Thursday, February 26, 2009
So I got the doggy nail clippers, called her over, she raised her paw up and let me snip that very painful piece of nail, along with some necessary flesh, right off. Without a whimper or a snarl or a fight. And then she hobbled over to the treat cabinet and, of course, I gave her a treat. Then she licked me and said thanks and cuddled up on the floor next to my feet. Just like a well-behaved Dog.
And then it dawned on me - if this were Stinky's nail, I'd have had to call out the National Guard, find a Jack Russell sized straight jacket, frenzy-proof the room, and still pay the vet $86 to do it. Plus sedation costs.
And I thought about the fact that I open the door in this freezing weather and let Queen Bee out, she does her stuff and comes back. But I have to don a coat and a leash and gear fit for Alaska hiking and take Stinky out on a leash, cajol her to do her business, praise her and stand on my head and maybe, if I'm lucky, she finishes before my nose freezes off.
I trained Queen Bee. I ruled with an iron fist and a hard newspaper. I scolded, trained, went through barrels of treats, read books, demanded excellence. That's how I raised my kids - well except for the rolled up newspaper I admit I used a wooden spoon on butts among other props... They're still evolving but so far they are really good teenagers - good students, good Christians, good children. yeah someone said raising a kid is like raising a dog, and that might really draw some bad-ass comments, but on some level it is true. And, well, the kids and dog raised with strict discipline? All's well so far... I said well not perfect, no I haven't forgotten the chocolate brigade...
But Stinky the Granddog? I spoil Stinky. Stinky is my daughter's dog. I let her jump on my lap on the couch uninvited. I let her run all over my head and bite my nose when I'm laying in bed and then laugh like a crazed crack addict. I cuddle her when she's been bad and mommy yells at her and tell her that her mommy is just being nasty. I feed her treats even when she's done nothing to deserve them [can you say "fat jack russell"?]. I buy her 10 times the toys she could ever need or want, yet she insists on taking Queen Bee's few possessions. Yes, I have even bought her clothes. Needless to say, she is the Devil's Own Dog-Child. Gee I wonder why. And then It dawned on me what if I am a permissive, spineless Grandmother [someday in vast vast future] and my grandchildren turn out like my Granddog??
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Some people feel liberated because their family doesn't know about their blog and they've done all they can to keep it anonymous.
Me, the first person I told that I started a blog? Before I ever dropped a comment or figured out how to get my url "out there"? It was My Mom.
Some folks avoid posting certain topics or comments because their family reads the blog. Me, I am inspired to tell it like it is because, well, my Mom reads my blog!
She's not a commenter. She's a Class A Lurker. In fact, she recently admitted to me that she is lurking on some of your blogs, too. She's a Hip Gram: has an iTouch, contemplated a Facebook, IM'd before I knew what that was, knows how to text message. But she is a cautiously Hip Gram - she doesn't have a Facebook b/c she didn't want to share some of the info they asked for. (I told her she could make stuff up but she thought that might be like lying. Because yeah, nobody lies on the Internet ) And she doesn't comment because she thinks maybe sometimes her comments are better kept to herself.
She's that kind of totally awesome Mom. She is, without a doubt, my Best Friend and has been since I was in school. Yep, even in those awkward "hate you parents" years I totally Loved My Mom (I think she'd agree...) But sometimes? I wish she would just drop the ol' bomb on my blog. Because she is witty and well-spoken and a great writer. And I know she has some choice words for some of the situations I've posted about. [and she didn't even give me too much grief over the whole 25 year old secret in the Boy Who Haunts Me and my confession of staying over his house that night...] But I also respect that she doesn't want to comment. Besides, it just gives her a chance to tell me personally...
So yeah, my Mom reads my blog and I'm damned proud she does!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
But alas, over time they became very very dull and couldn't even cut this...
I was reminded just how sharp the knives were, as one sliced swiftly through the entire avocado and right through this in 0.2 seconds....
It's only bleeding a little now....
edited to add: this whole incident had me cracking up b/c it is is so typical of a day in my kitchen! My cooking episode is not complete without a burn or a cut. No worries!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
He was perhaps my first love, if I ever even loved him because I'm not sure 1) that I have ever really loved any boy/man or that I'm even capable of such and 2) that I ever knew him enough to love him. But there is something that pulls at my heart, my memory and shuts down the smart part of my brain when I think of him.
I met him when I was probably 12 or so. He was my big brother's friend. He was the requisite cute, smart, athletic, sarcastic, if a tad short. I think it was the eyes and the dimples that did it for me. And I became the Number 1 Pain to him from that moment on. I teased him mercilessly. Never cut him slack on anything. Challenged him in every way. And totally wore my heart on my sleeve from day one.
In high school he was a senior and I was a freshman and we ended up on "stage crew" together for the spring show. The teasing continued, the tickling started. I was so over the moon. But he was older, with a date to the prom. I wrote him the dumbest poem ever in his graduation card. And said goodbye as he went off to the Air Force Academy.
Two years later he showed up at graduation - I was there bidding more friends goodbye and chatting up alumni. He stood by me for about 15 minutes, unnoticed. He had grown and matured. Finally he turned to me and said, "Aren't you even going to say hello?" And I melted there and then. My current boyfriend forgotten, I lapsed into the same, comfortable verbal jousting we always enjoyed. I said Yes when he asked me to go to the beach with him during his short break home. I fretted about what to wear for days, and didn't mind when the beach trip got cut short by the rain so we went home early to my parents' house where he kissed me on the living room couch and I melted.
Thus began a 6 year cycle - he'd go off to school and then later off to base, stopping home some summers and at Christmas. Sometimes he'd write a note or two inbetween. Sometimes not. But when he was in town, he'd call and I'd jump. Movies. Beach. Drives to Lookout Point. The time we watched "The Sound of Music" on my parents' couch and he sang to me, "You are 17 going on 18 I'll take care of you..." My boyfriend of the moment was always forgotten the minute he came to town. I never considered it cheating - we were just friends. And usually he just kissed me goodbye. So what if my heart ached for months afterward?
I remember Junior Year of college - he had disappeared for a while after his graduation. I was in the lounge in the middle of a dorm meeting when the hall phone rang and someone said, "Hey Mellie it's for YOU! Some Boy" I was currently dating a few boys (one the Ex). I called them "bachelor# 1 [or 2 or 3]" to their faces. I was not too happy with men in general. Until I realized It. Was. Him. Same feelings. Same buttery legs and racing heart. Same "YES" when he asked if I could see him.
We walked on the beach, had a nice dinner, shared music and laughs and a college party. "Top Gun" was still a popular movie. I thought he was Tom Cruise. I wanted him to be Bachelor #1. My friends thought he was an Arrogant Ass and kept calling him "Bachelor #4" - to his face. This time he did a little more than kiss me. I was pretty much a prude so he didn't get real far, but I thought about it. I followed him back home that night and spent the night in his otherwise empty house with him (my school was only 45 minutes from home). When it became clear I wouldn't do THAT he put me in his bed and slept in his parents' bed.
He left early the next morning, off to see the rest of his family in New Hampshire. I never did come up with a plausable excuse for showing up at my parents' house at 8am on a Saturday morning.
We saw each other one more time - about 6 months later. This time I didn't kiss him. I wouldn't even go out with him other than for a quick drink. I explained I had a serious boyfriend and that it just wasn't going to be that way between us anymore. He was so taken aback. And wished me well. When I got engaged 9 months later, I sent Him a note, explaining how much he always meant to me and hoped he would find his Mrs. Right one day like I had found mine.
We exchanged Christmas cards for a couple years - much to the total annoyance of Ex - and then we lost touch. About 12 years ago at my brother's school reunion the Boy was there and asked about me. He said to my brother, "Boy I really blew it with her didn't I." My brother's then wife [evil woman] got his number and passed it along to me. Ex and I had already begun divorce talk, although it would take another 11 years to pull the trigger, and I was home from Spain with the kids for a visit. I called the Boy. We talked. He made plans to come see me - borrowing a small jet and flying in to the local airport where I'd pick him up. I called him back and canceled. And walked away.
I have tracked him occasionally through various databases and things available on the internet. I think I know where he lives. I don't know if he ever married. He didn't show up to my brother's last reunion like we thought he was going to. I was home, just in case...
And yesterday while watching Steel Magnolias, he popped in my head again. Sometimes it's an old song, sometimes a movie, sometimes an airplane flying by. My friends were probably right about him - I mean c'mon the boy used to send me photos of himself standing next to his fighter jet or his sports car. Yeah me and probably 20 other girls. I don't know why he pops in my head like that. I can't figure out why he still means anything at all to me - lost youth? Regretful choices? Carefree jousting? Woulda coulda shouldabeens? I don't know. When I really think about it, we didn't have but a handful of dates, shared a bunch of letters, a couple phone calls. How well did I ever know him?
And so, I thought I'd turn to my bloggy friends for a normalcy check - anyone else have A Boy in the memory banks who you just can't erase?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Pass this on to the kind of friend you could and would call if you had to move a body.
The Rules:1. Put the logo on your blog. 2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. 3. Award some other blogs. 4. Add links to those blogs on yours. 5. Let the other bloggers know they received your award.
I will pass this on to:
Friday, February 20, 2009
A few weeks ago I sent around an email to the Partners and Associates with whom I work (not all 600 of them - just my daily coworkers):
I will be out of the office on February 20. I will not have access to
email or cell phone and will be completely unavailable for the day.
I thought that should cover it. Over the past 5 days I have reminded certain partners, "I am not here Friday." And my BossMan partner, close friend, and introducer of the Captain knew why I wouldn't be there. Although he kept referring to stuff we'd finish "tomorrow." [as in Friday]
And when I left at 430 Thursday to go get Son from practice I put the following out of office message up on my email, "I will be out of the office through Friday Feb 20 with no access to email or voicemail for the entire day. If you need emergency assistance please contact Ms. X My assistant. Otherwise, I will respond Monday upon my return."
It is midnight Thursday as I type. [through the magic of blogging this will post Friday night after my day] I have spent the night on emergency client calls and fielding new projects and things that people want me to handle and conference in on and email tomorrow, having completely disregarded the message that they all got b/c they contacted me by email first.
I should've been in bed hours ago, as I have to get up at 5am for surgery. Surgery people. No I don't think I'll take that conference call Friday, thank you very much. OR answer that email. Or do any legal analysis. Or maybe I will all drugged up on valium. See how good my legal advice is then...(wait my advice might be better if drug induced, huh! darn....)
EDITED TO ADD: IT's friday afternoonand i'm answering emails like an idiot so i guess I'm feeling ok. Tired but ok. but i refuse to talk to clients...
And I think I'm not tired from the "procedure" [really it doesn't count as surgery, just a little housecleaning] so much as I'm tired from crying. See in my blissful day off and for some reason can't sleep, I have been streaming netflix to the home theater all day. Last night it was Victor Victoria, so today I decided to watch steel magnolias. And have cried hysterically for pretty much 2 hours. I don't know why but that movie does it for me. OK so my sister and niece and cousin are all pump wearing diabetics so this does hit a little close to home, although so far all are fairly healthy. But still, I think it's time to switch to a comedy. Or take a nap. Or both.
Any suggestions for some good netflix instant play movies? My eyes are blurry from scanning them....
Thursday, February 19, 2009
- you are happy to leave your Jr. Suite at the Michealangelo in NYC (it was a free upgrade - have you been to NYC lately? It's empty!),
- you gladly walk away from sleeping "in" (til 630), going down to the fitness center and working out all by yourself for an hour,
- then going back to your suite for a nice leisurely shower,
- heading down to the lobby at 830 (decadent - I'm usually at my desk by 8am!)
- to meet the BossMan, enjoy an outrageous cup of Tuscan Coffee (I don't even like coffee and I am dreamily thinking of marrying this coffee...)
- and then head to your company's NYC office at 9 where they ply you with unlimited free diet cokes.
- Home to a cold house where you've turned the heat down to 61 to save money;
- Home to a smelly fridge where the chicken you bought last week but never cooked is waiting for garbage day (which you missed while in NYC);
- Home to clothes that need unpacking;
- Home to bills that need paying;
- Home where you have to get up at 5am if you hope to work out b/c you have to get out the door with the kids by 7am for school.
Ah yes, but it is your home and you are glad to be here. Smelly chicken and all....
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
You knew it was bound to happen. I live next door to my ex (what you thought that was just a catchy blog title?!)
The divorce is long past final.
The kids are accepting the fact that mom is "moving on."
So for valentine's weekend, the Captain came to visit me [he lives 1000 miles away.] I told the kids he was coming (they've met him briefly previously and know I talk to him on the phone a lot). Son even helped me clean the house and prepare for the Captain's arrival, all the way down to making the guest bed up for the Captain.....****
As I may have mentioned it was a glorious weekend. So much fun stuff.
Then Sunday afternoon we were picking up limbs and cleaning up my yard from the numerous storms when ex pulls in next door. And comes out back with Dumb Runaway Dog. And Daughter comes out with Stinky. And I'm there picking up sticks with a handsome friend. Daughter chatted and told stories. Ex had some mental telepathy thing going with DRD because she was done with her business in 30 seconds and they were back in the house.
Captain said, completely innocently and thoughtfully, "I was going to go over and shake his hand and introduce myself. But I wasn't sure if that would be a good idea."
Um no. Pretty sure that would've been a bad idea. Ex hasn't spoken a word to me since. Not that he normally would anyway. But things have gotten a tad icier around here.....
Poor old curmudgeon...
****Kids were with the Ex for the weekend - Son just happened to be around Friday tohelp me get ready...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wait, I think I've figured it out - quit my job. Ok, so that's not practical either. I mean, we have the whole food, shelter, clothing, college thing to think about. So the Job is rather a necessity.
So other ideas? This weekend was one of those perfect weekends - a day in Baltimore enjoying the aquarium and the dolphin show, making faces at Sharks, running away from snakes (don't tell me it doesn't count if they're behind glass. They're still terrifying to me). Playing games at ESPNzone, laughing our butts off riding mechanical horses and playing air hockey. Cooking the perfect dinner at home with little planning, playing games by the fire. Teaching Sunday School, enjoying the perfect 2 hour brunch at Mrs. K's toll house, picking up sticks in the sunny afternoon and feeling the accomplishment of a cleaner yard, watching movies and cuddling on the couch, hiking at Great Falls. Yeah it was one of those weekends.
Until about 9pm when BossMan and I had a conference call and started setting up the week. And I realized I have to go to NYC this week whether I want to or not (NOT). Wondering how to get it all done and be back for Friday's appointment. Realizing your team may have forgotten to serve something yesterday that you had prearranged Friday night but someone might have decided to change that plan. Facing documents and travels and treadmills. Sigh.
So yeah, how do we carry the peace of the weekend with us through the stresses of the week? Anyone?
Friday, February 13, 2009
Two 70 pound yellow labs - my big dumb queen bee and his lab, DRD (Dumb Runaway Dog), plus Daughter's puppy, 8 pound Stinky. Stinky likes to be the Biggest - the Biggest Pain that is. She hangs on their jowls when they have a toy she wants and try to run away from her. I kid you not. She's a rotten terrier. And then when they try to strike back, she hides under beds or chairs where they cannot reach her. She is a smart, rotten terrier.
So I got 3 of everything. 3 balls. 3 stuffed Santa chew toys. 3 bones. 3 big bears to hug. 3 cages, 3 beds, you get the picture.
Wait, I'm the mother of twins and never bought 2 of everything. Share and share alike. OK these are dogs and my children have taught me, through their Scholars' Seminar and Morality classes at school that "Dogs cannot reason and therefore don't have a soul." [oh the fights on that issue....] but we are pretty much in agreement that they don't reason [or they'd stop eating chocolate and nearly dying....] sooooo 3 of everything. And then there is peace.
Stinky has tiny stinky-sized tennis balls. That squeak. And DRD thinks they are hors d'oeuvres. Queen Bee likes tennis balls, but DRD, despite being a retriever doesn't know how to retrieve, just how to eat balls, so they fight over that one. And, of course, the other dogs only want the ball that the other dogs have. Tonight I was trying to play ball with Queen Bee, the true retriever , but DRD and Stinky kept trying to steal the tennis ball, despite the fact that the tiny ball and a wonderful, chewy rubber ball were sitting in front of them, in plain sight. And of course they don't retrieve. And of course Queen Bee is 10 and can't see that DRD has the stupid tennis ball in her mouth, so she runs frantically around the room looking for it. There is much growling and gnashing of teeth and biting going on here tonight. And did you know that a terrier's mouth fits nicely completely inside a lab's mouth? Uh-huh it does. All this while I am trying to finalize my discovery responses and get them filed before midnight.....sigh.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
If you know me, you know that I pretty much have no patience for anything any time any where any how. Not for the atm machine that can't keep up with my key punches; not for the self checkout lane that doesn't process my info fast enough when I swipe my bonus card and my credit card and am 5 steps ahead; not for my sunday school kids who squirm and are disruptive; not for the gum chewing checkout person who pretends I do not exist; not for the slow person in the left lane; not for my secretary who types slower that I do (which isn't fair b/c I type ridiculously fast); not for the puppy who still pees in the house....
But when it comes to teaching kids to drive, well, I have incredible patience. Huh? Yeah I was just so excited about this phase of their lives. And I know it's so important that they get as much experience as they can before they get turned loose out there on their own. So everywhere we went since July 28, 2008, they drove. Highways. Beltways, Backroads, night time, hail storms, downpours, snow. And I [usually] quietly and patiently sat in the front and calmly gave them instruction, trying to anticipate their needs.
"Up ahead the intersection will have a right turn only lane, so stay center."
"You need to turn left eventually up here so when you can, make a move to get over to the left lane" (nearly every road around here is 6 lanes - 3 each direction. No I'm not kidding).
They said the "Heads up" and the "calm manner" was really helpful. Oh once or twice I shouted, "STOP!" or "NO" but usually when an accident was imminent. I was more likely to say, "Gee I was gripping the car door rather tightly on that last stop. Think you could slow down a little earlier next time?" See I had confidence that these smart, responsible kids would do it right ultimately, if a little nerve wrackingly. I high-fived them when they nailed a parking spot first (or second or third) time or backed into a tough space or made a smart decision and did not attempt to "make" the yellow light...
So my kids have bragged to their friends what a cool, teacher mom I am. And now their friends want me to teach them to drive.
It's nice to know that sometimes, we connect with our kids. Of course, it helps if it's something they really really really want....
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
And sometimes when I look at my life now and I compare it to our life then I am amazed at the difference in my quality of life. And I am thankful for the many many blessings in my life since the day. I have an incredibly supportive family that I've become even closer to since then without the impediment of his resentment and comments when I tried to communicate with them. I have a great job. I have wonderful friends. I am healthy. I have an amazing ManFriend who adds a whole new dimension to my life.
And then I compare [what I know] of his life then to now. And I am somewhat amazed that he is still a miserable, fat, curmudgeon. He complains that financially he's worse off. Things don't seem to be breaking his way. And my mean-voice comes out and says "what goes around comes around." And then I look over my shoulder and think "Ack I am going to get it for that evil thought." But it's there. And I'm admitting that.
I try not to be smug about it. Goodness knows I don't deserve my blessings, but God has opted to give me a break lately. And so many people I know who are suffering certainly don't deserve their suffering. So I'm not making a general statement about the world.
I'm simply comparing our lives together to our lives apart. And being really really thankful. And although last Saturday on an abnormally warm, sunny, winter's day I went outside and he was washing his car and I was doing outside chores and I was remembering days when we all worked on things together and how simple it is in many ways to be 4 people as opposed to 3 people, but then. I looked again at my life. And even with all the stresses and challenges of being 1 person doing 3 jobs now (mom, dad, lawyer) instead of just 2 (mom, lawyer), I still say, "Yes, I made the right decision. And it feels right."
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The GOOD: In this horrid economy with people and family members being laid off and my industry laying off by the thousands, I have been fortunate enough to stay in a place that is cautious, conservative, and loyal. Yesterday I got a notice that I actually got a bonus for 2008. Huh? Shocked. Totally and wholly. I didn't make my billable hours - no one in my group did last year. But I worked my butt off on non-billables, on committees, and marketing, and pro bono work. And someone noticed. And said, "Thanks." I am speechless
The Bad: Kind of goes along with The Ugly and Poop:
Yesterday Queen Bee again went on a chocolate rampage - this time opening the pantry, opening the door to the family room, and opening Stink Butt's cage and letting her out. The two feasted on Onion soup mix, (deadly onions to dogs), chocolate cake mix, boxes of mac n cheese and who knows what else. They shredded papers and had a party all over the house. And then they pooped. And vomited. Everywhere. All night long. And still today. AND I am vomiting - not sure if it's the grossness of the dogs or the flu that's going around. And Son is sick in bed with a fever and the flu of another kind. And Daughter went to school to get away from the madness with her nasty cold and sore throat.
Yep, it's bad, ugly and poopy around here. The Vet's on speed dial and contemplating whether we give Stinky Butt the BRAT [bananas rice applesauce toast] diet for her diarrhea or whether we give her an enema to get the rest out once and for all. Queen bee, being 75 pounds, is doing ok other than HATING her new cage that she'll be living in while we're out of the house forever more. I need to add double locks and maybe set up nanny-cams (doggy-cams?) to figure out how she's pulling this Houdini stunt. No it's not Ex coming over. He's in Florida [again - so ironic] so I can't blame him....
But that work thing? I am busy as all hell. I have already filled 2 months' quota of hours in the first 6 weeks so I am happy, even if it means I can't blog regularly or read other's blogs or stay home when I'm vomiting. Yeah. I'm at the office. Sharing my germs. And my Purell sanitizer....
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Anyway, the Captain is also 1 of 5 kids in a French-Canadian/Irish Catholic family. That means lots of people and kids and names to remember. Over the last few months he's come to know my family through my stories. And he's come to appreciate their "personalities" through my stories and, now, through his own experiences.
Obviously, I told him a lot about my Dad prior to the party. My dad is the best Dad in the universe. This I know, so don't even try to tell me how great your dad is. (OK OK you can try, but well....) My dad is NOT perfect. Oh no. He'll drive you absolutely crazy. But his heart is always in the right place, so you love him no matter how loudly you have to shout because he's turned his hearing aids off, or how many road signs he reads out loud when you're driving down the street, or how many times he tells you the same story b/c he has so many kids he can't remember who he told what, or how many times he checks his voicemail despite the fact that no one ever leaves him messages (maybe we should just so he can listen?!).
One of my favorite things about my Dad is his very phunny sense of humor. He is king of puns. Combine this with his avid model railroading, and, well, you get this:
Yeah, that's a portion of his layout. The backdrop is the most amazing painting - done on 6 (? I forget how many) LARGE canvases. Oil on canvas. In the basement for a backdrop. Painted by his dear, ridiculously talented friend Colonel Hayes. Yes, this is the kind of love my parents inspire.
That's Dad ever the teacher, pointing things out to the Captain (next to Dad) and to my Bro
Let the Puns Begin...
In front of the graveyard, the gravediggers truck sports the company name... "Dowe Digem and How!"
Do you see the deer that the car ran over? Yep the tow truck had to come and pull it off. (Do you have any idea how small HO scale is? My father is nuts.....)
Yes, you read right, "Estee Loggers"
And he has a whole section of mining, called, naturally, "Boggle, the Mine"
Here's a small Heinz factor, where they only make 28 1/2 varieties because "We're a SMALL plant"
This is my personal favorite: "Burrr Ice Co."
Another shot of his amazing layout. He has graffiti on his train bridge. And IRS building that catches fire and burns. Kids tipping over an outhouse, lights shot out of the billboard next to Farmer Brown's farm b/c it was keeping the cows awake, and oh so many more.