Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Ten

Day Ten:  Someone you need to let go or wish you didn't know.

           Skippy                                                                                                     Jay
Well, this should be easy.


I have talked about my brother before but the answer to this question doesn't just balance on the past few years.

I sometimes think my brother was switched at birth, or stolen from the Gypsies [they should've been so lucky] or...something.  He certainly didn't turn out like anyone I ever wanted to be related to [am related to] or friends with when I think about everything he has done.  To my parents, my sister, me, his children, his wives, girlfriends, friends, co workers - cats? - Wow, writing that I just realized he has messed with a lot of people.  I think after looking at the picture I can see quite a few of us there, including his eldest daughter, that he harmed in some way or another.

A very big problem with Jay is that he is selfish.  He is selfish to the point of not having a conscious.  I think that part of his brain was left out.  Narcissism doesn't even begin to describe how self absorbed the man is.  ::headdesk:: at the thought.

I could tell you stories all day long - Like he was drunk, falling down drunk, at all three of his weddings [we had to hunt him down twice to get married] - he cheated on all of his wives, while dating them, during their marriages and while he "tried" to save thoses marriages.  The sweet lady in that picture sitting one away from my brother was one of his greatest "dating/I am going to marry you" victims.  I have never seen any man treat a woman like he played her.  Thank god she didn't marry him.  She saved herself. Another interesting soap opera tidbit is that he slept with my best high school girlfriend a week before his first wedding.  I was so fortunate to be privy to those details.  Both sides.  Bleech. 

It isn't just the relationship fiascos though.  It is the theft, the drugs, the lies, the verbal and physical abuse.

Then there is the charm.  THAT is the biggest problem.  He is a charmer.  He can lie his pants off [and often does] to get what he wants.  And people believe him.  It amazes me - regardless of what other people tell the victim they brush it off and say "Oh no, not me.  Jay would never do THAT to me."  Do you know I have been fielding phones calls since I was a High School Freshman trying to deflect awful things he has done?  .  

The list is endless - and I wish I could say I embellished what I just wrote - but I truly can't. He is a piece of work.  To the nth degree.  Someone I will never deal with again.  In fact I have only spoken to him once in seven years.  I told him that I knew what he was doing by stealing from our parents' estate and he said "I will ruin you if you f*ck with me."  I laughed and told him the courts would take care of my end for me.  He hasn't bothered me since.

So if you ever ask me how many siblings I have?  My answer is going to be one.  My sister - you can see her in the picture peeking over my shoulder. Cute isn't she?



Hey - At Least I Know She Has Been Paying Attention

My kids like to cook.  All of them.  Some from necessity, some just because it is what we do.

Wallene likes to cook and she is good at it.  I found out tonight how good she really is.

We go shopping on Sunday so Saturday night is usually leftovers or breakfast.  An easy, no big deal kind of dinner.

Last night Wallene decided she was going to cook something and  so proceeded to kick me out of the kitchen to go pantry diving.  Yes!  I taught the littlest how to pantry dive.

Thank goodness because what she made for dinner beats the heck out of anything I have served my family on a Saturday night in over two years.

Check this out:

Wallene's "Please add it to the menu" Chicken Barley Stew
The picture isn't much [then again my pictures never are] but that is because this is Pooldad's second bowl and it was a little messy.  No worries tho' - can you see the goodness?  Boy-o this was good.

Near as I can tell she used the following [she is slow in writing up the recipe but I want it!]:
2 cans of low sodium chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 large can of chunk white chicken
1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
2 stalks of celery - diced
1/4 box of barley [1 cup maybe?]
1/2 cup of flour [to thicken - who knew the kid knew that!]
And the following spices:  pepper, salt [minimal because of Mom she said], paprika [!], garlic, oregano and basil.  I don't know the amounts but I have taught the kids to make one pass over the pot with the shakers, stir, taste and then add more to taste.  If that makes sense then you can go from there I guess.

Throw everything into the pot [flour last], stir and let simmer, covered until celery/barley are tender and the stew thickens. [About a half an hour]

We were chatting after dinner and came to the following conclusions:  All leftovers belong to Skippy [I fairly called dibs first], Pooldad may never have to make chicken noodle soup again and Wallene will be adding dumpling strips to her next batch - on Tuesday. You know - just for a change of pace and the fact that she rocks on the dumpling strips too.

Thanks honey.  It's delicious!  And you know what Mommy is having for breakfast, don't you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Nine

DayNine:  Someone you didn't want to let go but who drifted away.

I remember you.
From when I dreamed.  What to be?
You've left me behind.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Duct Tape Ingenuity

Wallene's pumpkin
[No, the knife is not staying in while on display.  We were goofing.]
She loves it.
I love her shirt.  I am trying to figure out how to steal it.
Glow stick doggies.
They want what Momma has in her hand.
Little do they know it is just a pen.
I cannot take a picture of Scooby without making him look demonized.
It must be because of his eye color [amber].  Oh well, works for Halloween.
Wallene made her costume out of duct tape!
[She is wearing the tank top per school rules.]
We think she did a great job!
[Linda, do you see your spider on her hip/]
Hope everyone has a great Halloween weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Heart Just Doesn't Need This Kind of Excitement...But I So Am Happy it Happened!

Check this out!
I just found out I won a give away over at Yum Yucky's blog!
[Breathe Skippy, breathe!]
She is sending us an IPOD Shuffle.  Isn't that awesome?!!!

[Now I just have to figure out how to keep it out of Wallene's hot little hands. hee]

Thank you Josie.  This is the awesomest!

Josie's next give away is Subway's Commit to Fit.  Go check it out!

30 Days of Truth: Day Eight

Day Eight:  Someone who made your life hell or treated you badly.

I don't know who created this meme but I am starting to believe he/she didn't have a very happy childhood.  Jeesh.

Anyway - I don't see the point in this particular question.  It isn't that I think it is a bad question or that I can't think of anyone - it is just that the longer I thought about it the more I realized the people that did, at one time, treat me badly are dead.  All of them.

I find that a bit strange and unnerving because I don't believe in karma.  I know it is all the rage on the interwebs to say "Karma will get them, you'll see"  or "Isn't karma a b*tch?" but none of the mean people in my life died because they were cruel to me.  They just died - either from old age, disease, car accident or overdose - they weren't killed off by the karma god because of some hateful thing they did to me or anyone else.

Now that doesn't mean I condone cruelty or bad behavior.  I think everyone should be nice to others.  I love the saying "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  I work really hard to live by that [not always succeeding] but it isn't going to keep me on this earth longer because I did it.  It is just going to make my time here a lot more enjoyable than the lives lived by the mean people I once knew.

Gosh, I hope tomorrow's question is a bit more fun than this one.  I am starting to depress myself. :)

Have a great one Tadpoles!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Seven

Just a memory [stock photo]

Day Seven:  Name someone who has made your life worth living.

I know you all think I am going to pick Pooldad or the kids, right?

Surprise!  I am not.

There is absolutely no doubt that my life is full and so much better since I met and married my husband.  He is absolutely my world, my heart and my being.  I know I exist because of him.  He has not only helped raise my children as his own, he has shared his children with me and magically given me one more. [Wallene is magical isn't  she? - Well - at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.  It explains a lot.  Trust me. hee]

I knew that you all would walk into this post expecting the obvious - and it isn't that I want to disappoint you, but since I write this blog for me I truly thought long and hard about the answer.  This whole "Truth" thing really does make you do that btw.

Here is my story:

Growing up my parents were pretty tough to take.  Sure we had a nice house and food on the table, clothes that made us "fit in" - we weren't considered outcasts,  but...well, there were a lot of fights.  There were a lot of punishments.  There was chaos, turmoil, fear.  For all outward appearances we lived the American Dream, but behind closed doors it was pretty much an emotional hell.

[Aren't you all happy I did this damn Meme?  This is better than "Days of Our Lives" isn't it/ jeesh.]

My brother and sister were gone from our home by the time I reached high school.  Left alone I became my parents foil, their go-to for fights when they needed someone to take sides.  I became their punching bag when they didn't want to hit eachother.   I remember one time I brought home 5 A's and 1 B on my report card. I was punished because of the B.  The B was in P.E.  See what I mean - this was what it was like.

I was allowed to go out one night a week during my junior and senior year.  Friday or Saturday only.  I had to make sure I cleaned our house and mowed the lawn before I left, otherwise I couldn't go.  Believe me I did it - I wanted out of the house from 6 pm until 11 pm [and yes, I had world's earliest curfew].  That isn't so heinous, I realize - but since I only had one night a week - I tried to make the best of it.

And on those nights I was gifted by a very special person.

Someone saved me during all of this - literally.

His name was Paul.

He was my absolute best friend in the whole world.  He had a smile that could stop your heart and a soul that would melt yours.  It makes me smile just to write those words and to think about him.  He would rescue me every Saturday night - like clockwork - I rarely had a date, so he would show up, whisk me away and we would go and do nothing.  We would just hang out. Or look at the stars or listen to the rain.  I am not kidding.  One of our better "dates" was to hang out with his Mom, Mary*, and watch TV and eat her delicious cooking.  To go somewhere quiet, without judgement and to feel unconditional love from someone was the sustenance that kept me going through my final years at home.

I don't know if I can explain Paul the way I want to - he doesn't translate well onto the web from me, but I want to say he was so kind, so giving - he was calm.  The calm I never had at home.  I could retreat into him when my world was going a thousand miles an hour around my head and I didn't think I would survive.  He sustained me.

If you haven't noticed all of this is written in the past tense.

The reason for that is because Paul died the day after his 21st birthday.  And 24 years later I still cry as I write that.

I miss my best friend.  I didn't do him justice in this post - but his short life and his unselfish, loving demeanor showed me that I was worth living.  Anytime I think life isn't worth it - I just have to close my eyes and picture Paul - the knock at the door, the phone call, the holding hands as we watched the world pass by, regardless.

Next to my family, his life keeps me going when it is darkest.

I love you PEZ and I am sorry we never did get those tatoos. JLS.

*The Mary link explains more about us all if you would like.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Six

Day Six:  Name something you hope you never have to do.

I hope I am not cognizant [awake!] on the day I simply give up.

I waffle.  I am a definite waffler.  Some days I am strong and gung-ho, a go get'em kind of gal that is going to smack life upside the head and take over my well being.

Other days I don't even want to get out of my pajamas.  Okay, some days I don't get out of my pajamas. [You want to be me - admit it. Well, not the whole fun disease thing, but who doesn't want to stay in their pajamas all day with a VALID excuse?  Don't be jealous. Just do it. You now have the "Skippy Seal of Approval"***. :)]

Really tho' - It is because I can't decide.  Honestly?  It is just that when you are diagnosed with what I have and you realize you have to make the best of it but the best of it isn't good enough for you anymore, you do start to wonder:

 "What exactly IS the point?"

The most dangerous thing I can do is give up, but some days it just seems so fruitless to move forward, let alone try and make progress.  I know I am here for a purpose - my kids - but does it sound selfish to say that sometimes I think they would just be better off without me?

There are so many things I do to make sure I take care of myself, but there are so many things I could be doing better.  How much am I supposed to do?  How much do I care?

There seems to be a limit in my "Skippyness" and I suppose I think a lot about whether or not it is worth it.  Sometimes I just want to lay down and ignore it all. I want to go to sleep.  The effort seems to be too much, even for me.  An example would be: I can knock myself on my behind just getting dressed in a sweater and jeans.  Nevermind make up, hair or shoes, just the simple act of 4 pieces of clothing.  I will have to sit or lay down for 20 minutes just to breath.  Is that anyway to live, I sometimes think as I am choking for air.

Please don't mistake this for depression - it isn't.  I have a heck of a lot more joy in my life then sorrow, but I know that as the time passes and these diseases further take their toll on my body I am going to start caring less and less.

I just don't want to be around for the day I don't care at all.  That simply isn't me.

***Recognized in all fifty states, US territories, Canada and any place a Tadpole lives.  Get yours now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our Sunday in Pictures [For Real This Time]

"Eye See You"
This trip had better be good.
Driving through the mountains of VA.
The leaves haven't changed yet.  Weird.
Arriving at our destination we were thwarted in our attempts to be on time.
[There were 8 of them.  They took their time. Believe me.]
Also, is it just me or did anyone else think "Abbey Road"?
Just wish I could have gotten a pic with four of them in the frame.
[Pooldad commented "Coffee and smiling?   It's not coincidental."]
I'll save you lil' sis!
I will return the favor big sis'!
Safe at last.  Whew!
Duke [Pool] Dad & Duke [Skippy] Mom
Very windy day I might add.
One view of the ride home.  ? ? ?
It was on the back side of the mountain.  We have no idea.
If anyone in the New Market, VA area would like to let us know you are okay we would be thrilled!  Thanks.
Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No Pain, No Cane

Oh YES I did!

Date night:  October 22, 2010
Participants:  Pooldad, Skippy and Wallene [Yes we DO take our kid on a date with us.  It is still definitely a date tho' as she doesn't mind a little parental PDA and hand holding in public.]
Venue:  The movie theatre to see "Hereafter" [Thank you Rudee for the suggestion.]
Not in attendance:  My damn cane!


What an awesome evening. 

We don't go out much together [if you haven't noticed] because of financial restraints and the fact I am just too dang tired at the end of the day to want to leave the house.

But the other day I was reading The Knitting Nurse and she had a post about a close friend and how they were going to see the movie "Hereafter".  Rudee also included a clip which Wallene and I watched. After viewing it three times we both looked at Pooldad and said "Please?"  He readily agreed with the understanding that I had to feel up to it on Friday evening. 

So yesterday I did what I do best - which is nothing.  Yep - absolutely nothing all day and let me tell you it worked like a charm.  [Sounds selfish, I know - but you have to understand - it is energy conservation at it's finest Tadpoles and I have discovered I have it down to a science.]

Pooldad arrived home at 6 pm and we were out the door by 6:45.  I literally skipped* down the stairs to the van and needed no help to get into my seat.  In fact, the whole night, I didn't need any assistance at all.

The thing is I totally forgot to take my cane and didn't realize I didn't have it until I came home.  It is such another one of my appendages that it is not even a thought to pick it up and go.  I am used to having it at all times.  I guess we were in such a hurry to make the earlier movie I just moseyed on out the door without a second glance at the hall tree where I keep it.

Go me!

Actually that wasn't even the best part of the evening.  The popcorn [gasp!] wasn't even the best part - nope!
The very best part was a conversation Wallene had with her friends regarding their Friday night plans.  When Wallene told her girlfriends that she was excited about going to the movies with us to see "Hereafter"  they all screwed up their noses and said "Ewww - Why would you want to go out in public with your parents on a Friday night?"  She just laughed and replied "Because my parents are cool."  At first I think her friends were skeptical until the subject changed and they started talking about hair color.  Wallene mentioned that she colors hers all the time [4 times in the past year, I think?] and one of the girls remarked "Oh my parents would never let me do that."  Then another chimed in "Mine either. How do you get away with it?"  Wallene answered "Are you kidding?  My Mom buys me the hair color."  That is when we became cool to her friends. heehee.

Who knew a $5 box of Preference by L'Oreal [in Auburn] would do the trick?

*Okay, okay - I didn't "skip" - but I didn't have to take the stairs one at a time last night. Bonus!

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I have packages to mail out!  See ya' on the flip side.

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Five

Day Five:  Something you hope to do in your life.

Whew!  Finally an easy and fun question.

This is definitely a no-brainer.  

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Live and in person!

Ever since I was a little girl I have watched the Macy's Parade on television.  It would be on at my Grandparents' home and I would watch it in between helping my Grandma, Mom, aunts and sister cook dinner. 

I have forever been captivated by the huge balloons, the floats, the marching bands and the Rockettes!  It is just magical to me.  It always has been.  

When I first started cooking Thanksgiving for the family [1998 & my favorite holiday, btw] I would get up early and click on the TV, waiting for the beginning of the parade [8 am]. I would then pop the turkey in the oven and begin peeling, chopping, squishing and baking all the food for the day's festivities.  The day simply is not complete without the parade going on in the background.  Having kids made it even more fun as they would sit by me while I cooked and watch all the magic go by and occasionally yell "Mom, Mom come quick!  This band/musical number/balloon is so cool!"  We still do this - and they still shout out when they think there is something I want to see.  I think I spend more time in front of the TV then I do cooking anymore.

It has been my dream since I was a little girl to go to New York, stand on the street and just bask in something that brings me such happiness.  It does.  It really does!*  I swear I am smiling as I write this - that is how much fun I find this whole idea.

I used to have bigger dreams, I suppose - Alaska, retirement with Pooldad in an RV, grandkids - but life has a funny way of pulling you back a little and saying "Let's shoot for the smaller stuff first Skippy."  It isn't that I have forgotten those dreams or don't think about them but other things merit consideration and so my "Bucket List" has changed quite a bit in the past few years - well, really, in the past few months.  I don't mind because the lesser ideas, the shorter term goals, are just as exciting to me as something as grand as a vacation to Alaska.

Perhaps if I get my wish and I can actually go to New York to see the parade it will make me more confident that I will be around for our retirement and a couple of grandkids. 

One can hope.  I know I do. 

*This was my Sally Field moment. Forgive me. hee

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Four

Day Four:  Name someone you have to forgive.

I don't have anybody.  Honestly.  There is not a single person alive or dead that I need to forgive for something they did or I think they did to me.

Because I am not one to hold a grudge.  Anymore.  And that is what needing to forgive someone for something is all about - a grudge.  Well, perhaps I haven't had anything so terribly heinous happen to me in my life that I really do need to forgive someone or it is just that I let go of hard feelings towards others a long time ago.

I have a good reason - I call it my "Get Out of Jail Free Card".  The Doctors call it "Lupus".

With Lupus it is important not to become stressed or upset because doing so can cause a flare [it is one of the  ways to do it] and no one wants to flare - least of all me.  You can become terribly ill and end up in the hospital if you are not careful.

I took this knowledge and applied it to my own life.  Not so much because I wanted to but because I had to and Tadpoles?  It is like a gift.  No more arguing with family members, no more "he said, she said" kind of fights in my world, no more disappointments from friends - I just get to say "Sorry, I do love you, but I am stepping away now because I can't be in the middle of this melee anymore.  I have to think of my health."  It works like a charm - because no one wants to continue to fight with the Loopy in the corner, right?  They don't want to think they are going to be the cause of the sick chick in the hospital.

I don't know if I am explaining this well, but I learned to let it go. Other peoples' actions have no bearing on me.  I am an adult - and as much as something that someone else has done may effect me, moreso than others, I am still me and ultimately I am the one taking care of me.  Walking away from volatile or heart wrenching situations is what I [have to] do now.

Did any of this make sense?  Hope so!  Y'all have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Three

Day Three:  Name something you have to forgive yourself for.

I think most people have regrets.  It is human nature.  It is just the manner in which people chose to handle them that is the most telling.

I would like to say I have no regrets or that I have nothing to forgive myself for, but I can't. I would be lying.  I know many people that don't have regrets who can say that - and it is quite the envious trait I must admit.  The idea of being able to live without wondering "What if?" must be incredibly freeing.  I am working on it though.

So the heart.  That pic' illustrates what is wrong with me.  I don't have a broken heart in the sense of romance - Pooldad still loves me [I think? - ::Honey feel free to comment anytime!::] but the fact is my heart is actually broken.  And I think I could've tried harder to keep it from happening.

But now that it has and I am stuck with a crappy ticker, I have to deal with it, but first I have to forgive myself for letting it happen.

[If this post could be anymore self indulgent just let me know.  ::crickets::]

Here is the deal - I have had severe anemia for over 20 years.  This isn't your run of the mill, typical, "every woman gets a little anemic during her time of the month" anemia.  This is the full bore "let's give Skippy a blood transfusion" type of anemia.  I stopped giving blood in my teens because of it, pregnancy became a thing I should never do again and basically I just learned to live with being the pale girl who was cold and tired all the time.  Oh and I ate a boatload of liver and greens. No kidding. [Thank goodness I love the stuff.]

Everytime I was tested for anemia the doctors would come back with "We don't know what is causing it.  Oh well."  Seriously - no one wanted to try harder, least of all me, to discover what the heck was wrong and why pills, shots and transfusions weren't sticking.

It should also be said that I hate hospitals, doctors - anything to do with cold steel, polished floors, antiseptic and white coats.  No thank you.  So when they threw up their hands, so did I.  I was just happy to be out of there.

Then came this past year and as I got progressively more ill I refused to go to the doctors.  Refused.  They couldn't fix what was wrong with me before and I didn't want to bother with them again.

My mistake.

When I finally ended up at the hospital the doctors said "You are probably the most anemic person we have ever seen.  How are you not dead?"  [True statement.  I have also heard this before.]  How do you answer that?

After they pumped me full of six pints of iron rich blood [Quick aside:  If vampires suck the blood out of everyone why the hell are they so pale?  Are they only attacking anemic people?  I mean I get the whole no sun thing, but c'mon!] the doctors discovered the anemia had caused Congestive Heart Failure [CHF].

Here comes the forgiveness part:  I knew I was sick.  I didn't know exactly what it was, but had I gone months earlier I probably could've gotten the transfusion sooner and saved my heart from failing.  MY fault.  No doubt.

Stupid.  It doesn't bother me so much for me - it is just knowing that I have lessened my life expectancy because of a bad choice and therefore have ultimately denied my children and the love of my life a Mom and a companion for the years they expected me to be here.

This will take some time I think, but I am working on it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amazingly Cute Halloween Cards

Click the pic' to see all the wonderful detail

Aren't they adorable?  My great friend [and Wallene's adopted Grandma] Teresa, The Middle Side of Life, has quite the talent for making cards.  She has gifted us with a few over the past year and I treasure them as the little works of art that they are.  She has tried to inspire me in making them, but, alas I do not possess the vision nor the skills. [Or the working fingers for that matter.]  Even the envelopes are handmade!

What's a girl to do when she wants something unique to send to friends and family but can't do it herself?  Why she turns to her buddy!  I saw some of Teresa's work on her scrapbooking blog  and asked if she could make me a set to send to my family.  She happily agreed and designed these 4 beauties just for me.  I also saw a Thanksgiving card that I loved and she is going to make me a set of 8 of those to share with friends this holiday season.

All this wonderfulness for such a great price!  So happy!

Now if I can just convince her to design and make my Christmas cards.  Hmmmmm..... 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Two

Day Two:  Name something you love about yourself.
Tee, JR, Wallene, Dee and Squirrel

I love that I have children.

Now, with a name like SkippyMom and a blog that contains a lot of posts featuring my kids I am pretty sure I just heard a resounding "DUH" rise from the pond.

Didn't I?

Well here is the crux of why I love having children.

I never wanted children.

[There just went the collective "GASP" - I hear you.  Now hush up.]

Seriously - I never wanted children, but somehow I was blessed with six and that makes me a very happy woman.

Growing up my sister babysat all the time.  She was THE neighborhood go-to-gal for babysitting.  Me?  I couldn't be bothered.  I didn't like little kids and when she grew up and moved on I disappointed a lot of neighbors with my refusal to watch their rugrats for pay.  I had no desire to be around little kids or babies.  It became so apparent that my Mom and sister were convinced I would grow up, live in an apartment and have several cats instead.  At the time I didn't understand the implied insult meaning behind their use of the term "cat lady".  I thought that was an awesome idea.  Living alone and having a bunch of beloved kitties around me?  That sounded great.

Also, I would listen to my sister, Mom and their friends relate horrific stories of pregnancy and child birth and decided that just wasn't in my realm of possibilities. EVER.  [Note to anyone who has ever had a baby - please do NOT share these types of stories with those that have never had children or those that are pregnant for the first time.  Regardless of the trauma you felt - you could feasibly scar some young woman for life.  If you have the need to bond on pregnancy/child birth please find a Mom and trade horror stories as I am sure most can relate, but please leave the newbies out of it unless they ask.]  The thought of everything awful they talked about in regards to their experiences was pure birth control for me.

Or so I thought.  The dream of an apartment and cats suddenly disappeared in my 21st year.

My first pregnancy was pretty easy and labor wasn't too bad.  The best part was the beautiful little girl I was graced with at the end.  I forgot everything that had happened before the moment I held her in my arms and the idea that I never wanted one of these little people just slipped away.  Here she was and I was a Mom.  Wow.

Although she was only here with us a short time I have never forgotten those first moments with her or any of my children.  I was given a second, third and fourth chance to do it again and those times I was able to take them home with me and truly be a Mom.   When I was gifted with two more [step] children in 1995 I could not believe my luck.  Here I was, some 15 odd years after I had promised to never have kids to being a Mom of 6. WOW.

It still amazes me I have to say.

Raising kids has it's ups and downs.  Motherhood isn't easy, but it isn't hard either - it is what you make of it - and the bonuses and payoffs far outweigh the disappointments and heartbreak.  It can't destroy you but it can make you a better person.

I respect people that choose not to have children because I have been there.  I know what it is to not want something that society has deemed necessary.  I understand.  You will never hear me ask "Why don't you have kids?" or "What? Can't you have children?" [ And I will trip you if I hear you asking anyone that in my presence.]

I know now that the reason for a great part of the love, happiness, humor, tears, fears and heartbreak in my life is because Natalie, Dee, JR, Tee, Squirrel and Wallene are part of my world.

That is a very easy thing to love about myself Tadpoles.

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day One

Day One:  Name something you hate about yourself.

This query made it hard for me to start this challenge.  Not because I couldn't think of anything, but because I simply couldn't pick just one thing.

I would like to think I don't suffer from a low self esteem, but don't we all have our foibles that we would hope that we could improve on in our lives?  I haven't met a perfect person yet, so I think that is a pretty fair assumption.

Since I can only pick one - I decided to choose the words "I can't" and how they color my world.

I truly hate that the phrase "I can't" is in my everyday world and I hear it, more often than not, every single day from my mouth, from the doctors and from my family.

I could always do.  Always.  I could cook, sew, drive, walk, clean, love, hug, tickle, play, run, laugh and basically do what I loved - which is what a Mom does, eh?  I never thought being a stay at home Mom was a bad gig - I actually thought I was pretty good at it but, everything combined in the past two years has given me a lot of  "I can'ts."  I used to be able to enjoy so much, but now the phrase "I can't" has stolen some of my smallest pleasures and those of my family.

"I can't breath."  Because it is early morning and the congestion is severe.
"I can't cook dinner tonight" Because it is too painful to stand.
"I can't attend your band concert, awards ceremony or your Christmas party."  Because I am too tired.
"I can't drive you to your friends house."  Because my hands don't bend around the steering wheel anymore.
"I can't drive to Myrtle Beach with my family."  Because my doctor told me no.
"I can't have you hug me. Sorry."  Because it is painful.
"I can't walk the dogs." Because I have no strength to get out of the house.
"I can't eat that. It has too much sodium."  Because of my illness - and I know better.
"I can't walk up the stairs right now to see the new decoration in your room."  Because I have one trip left up the stairs today and I am saving it to get to bed.
"I can't remember" something I said three hours ago or that you told me yesterday.
"I can't sleep." Because it hurts.

I could make that list a thousand lines long - but I think everyone gets the point.  I understand that I should focus on the "I cans" - I can get up in the morning, I can make my daughter's lunch, I can cook once in a while  and that is probably why I post about my little victories of laundry and bread sometimes - but I find so many more "I can'ts" in my life than I would like.

And?  I just can't live with that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hallowooonie Give Away and an Awesome Story

Picture courtesy of Olde Bagg
The best Oma in the world is having a lot of fun over at her blog, Olde Bagg and Stuffed Shirts, and has not only created a very enticing three part story BUT is also giving away the hat pictured above.  Yippeee!

Go on over and read the story today, tomorrow and Saturday for an opportunity to enter to win!

Happy Hallooooweeenie!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Can't Guilt Trip Me 'Cause I am the Queen of It

As parents with a child in college we are inundated with a lot of offers to purchase stuff on behalf of our newly minted freshman. One thing that is driving me bonkers are the letters I receive offering their services to compile a care package for our daughter.

As if.

I send these to Squirrel when money allows.  I don't need this service but they seem to think I do and have stepped up their game.

The most recent letter starts out with a little story about a student who didn't receive one of the stupendously glorious box o'goodies.  The shame! The horror! But it was the next line that cracked me up:

"Because so may students receive Care Packages during exam time, it can hurt if a student is left out.  This year we have a solution to make sure every student feels supported at this critical time."

Critical* - really now.  Critical is for dying patients in the hospital and code reds on the Homeland Security chalkboard.  I know exams are important but I wouldn't call them critical in this sense.

It goes on:

"A Care Package is tangible proof that the people students count on are thinking of them at exam time.   It makes them feel supported, not alone.  It's also fun."

What* - no exclamation mark after fun - come on people.  The use of the word "tangible" also makes me smile - yep, nothing says "I love you" like a couple of bite size snickers and a juice box.

But here is where they try to guilt me into the purchase:

"Last year, parents chose the Spirit Pack as th best way to support their students through the rigors of finals.
If you have sent one before, you already know how much it helped.  If you haven't, you can be sure your student will appreciate the same kind of support other classmates receive." [The underlining is theirs.]

Okay - the gloves are off gang - they are using the peer pressure card here.  I am going to be a bad Momma if I neglect my lil' darling because the Joneses didn't forget Timmy.*  Jeesh people.

I am sure this marketing ploy works on a lot of parents, especially parents of new college students but, Tadpoles, I was raised on guilt.  I know firsthand how to dish this stuff out.

I have already started drafting my email response:

"Dear College Fundraiser - Thank you so much for your lovely letter.  It is so nice to know that others are so concerned for the welfare of our lil' punkin. Your letter was so touching. Unfortunately at this time we are unable to afford your carefully crafted gift package as we are being evicted, her father has lost his job and we just had to put Fido on life support.  So as you can see it just wouldn't be feasible. It saddens me that our daughter will feel like such an outcast and alone, as your letter so clearly states, since we are failures as parents. Sniff, sniff."

Whatdya' think*

* - the asterisks replace all question marks in this post - sorry my question mark key is not working.

Something to Blog About

I am borrowing this from Barb over at This and That because it seems interesting and thought provoking. Since interesting things rarely happen to me anymore [woe! woe is me! ha!] I thought "Well this will give you something to bore the Tadpoles with now won't it Skippy/ " Because I am giving like that.  You're welcome.  You are also welcome to join in if you choose - I would love to read your answers.

30 Days of Truth:

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself
Day 2: Something you love about yourself
Day 3:Something you have to forgive yourself for
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living
Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly
Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times
Day 14: A hero that has let you down
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without
Day 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without
Day 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage
Day 19: What is your opinion of religion?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight a couple of hours before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose those songs
Day 25: The reason you believe you're still alive today
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life?
Day 27: What's the best thing you've got going for you right now?
Day 28: What would you do if you got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) right now?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself
Day 30: A letter to yourself

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

At Least It Got Us on the White House Christmas Card List

Regardless of your political affiliation when the Social Secretary from the White House calls and asks you to perform at a private function you say yes.

Actually?  You say "Hell yes!"

For the record  Pooldad and I were once polar opposites on our political beliefs.  We have spent more elections cancelling eachother out than making a difference by being responsible and simply voting.

But, the story behind that picture?  That was one rocking party Tadpoles and my husband was one of the entertainers for the Clinton's shindig.

Cool huh?  Even my Dad [the Republican] loved to tell this story.

So I share.  With you.

Blast from the past kind of thing.

In 1995 First Lady Hillary Clinton was celebrating her 48th birthday.  One day, while at his day job, Pooldad received a phone call from the White House.  Now, this wasn't that unusual, really, because his company had been known to take care of the swimming pool at the Naval Observatory for the Vice President and for many other dignitaries, Senators, Congressmen, etc.  Except this WAS unusual because the Clinton's Social Secretary was phoning to ask if my future husband would like to deejay Mrs. Clinton's upcoming birthday party.

He asked the nice lady on the phone where exactly his name had cropped up in the planning of this party that she would think to call a local DJ from Northern VA?  She replied that she had called all the major Country and Western venues in and around DC and that his name had come up time and again as one of the best. [I may be biased, but these were people he worked with that said it, so yes...he was!]

The Social Secretary faxed him an agreement and while filling it out he added me as his assistant.  Pooldad never needed an assistant for his DJ job but he wanted me to be a part of it - so there I was - going with him to play tunes for the First Couple.

Weird huh?

We arrived at the front gates of the White House and were promptly searched and canine sniffed.  Then - and this is so cool - we were able to park our truck [that carried the DJ equipment] right in front of the White House and it stayed there the entire evening while we were inside.  The funniest part was it was a pool service truck we borrowed for the occasion.  The trucks were bright blue and it got to sit there all night.  I am sure it was quite the photo op for some tourists that evening.

The party was a BLAST - for a few reasons.  First - it was a private affair and also a surprise for Mrs. Clinton.  There were no suits, no politicos - just their friends and family present.  Second - their friends, family and close personal staff can party!  Not in a fall down, drunk kind of way - but a "This is too much fun!  Let's dance some more" excitement that makes it an awesome party.  Third - The food and [open bar] drinks were spectacular.  We were able to eat fajitas off of White House china!  It was a huge, wonderful buffet and being dragged [literally] to the bar by one of the staff to imbibe was too crazy - it IS kind of intimidating to drink in the White House, let me just say.  Fourth - and the best part - regardless of what anyone says, sees or thinks they know - President Clinton reallllly loves his wife and she in return.  There was no showboating that night for voters, no hamming it up for cameras - this was for her, the family and their friends and you could see that they were and [I believe] still are committed to eachother.  [No, I don't agree on cheating on your spouse - but it isn't my place to forgive him - it is Mrs. Clinton's - and she has, so let's just enjoy the story, okay?]

It was one of our more interesting dates I have to tell you.  Oh - and only I could do this, in the White House - on hardwood floors [sober I might add] - I went running across the ballroom [while Pooldad was setting up] to retrieve something from the truck and completely wiped out on the floor in my cowboy boots - [Did I mention it was a C&W theme?]  I slid about 15 feet.  Not one of my more graceful moments I have to admit, but those floors are slick!

Pooldad has another story he is going to want to tell, but I have to leave it to him because it truly is his gig to tell about.  [I do need to add that he completely rocked the House - he was spectacular!]

For all the years [after the party] that President Clinton was in office we received the official Christmas card from the White House - which was pretty neat.

Now who wants to guess the two Democrats in that picture?  I will give you a hint - Bill is one of them. hee

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Don't Know...Because It's the Law?

Get Yourself One

Tonight Pooldad went to a hockey game with his bosses. [Told you they were cool!] Wallene had a birthday party to attend and since Pooldad had our one and only vehicle I walked Wallene over to the party since it was quite a few blocks away from our home.  We were all excited - she had her bag packed, present in hand and it was a beautiful night for a walk.

It was around the time of doggy walking so we took the pups.  On leashes.  Because? That is what responsible pet owners do.  Unfortunately I didn't realize my neighbors don't know the meaning of the term "responsible pet owner."

I always walk Scooby, as Spot is a tugger and has already pulled my shoulder out of joint once. I also only use my right hand to hold his leash because my left arm is pretty useless due the damage and the nature of my joint pain.  I knew on our route home I could leash Spot to Scooby and he would bear the brunt of her tugging. [Like he cares - he is 120 lbs to her 15. hee] 

As we came out of the woods that separate our two neighborhoods I spied an unleashed pet with no owner to be seen.


Knowing that our dogs any and all animals, babies in strollers and basically any human that is upright I have learned to guide them away from these types of situations as I know not everyone wants to be greeted by a ginormous lapdog and his Nazi minion.  Still - I wasn't quite sure which direction the unleashed animal was going in and much to my dismay I chose wrong and he crossed our path.  

Right in front of Scooby.
Who instantly took off after him.
Which dragged me along behind....and... 
Directly onto the pavement and with me landing on my left shoulder, hip, elbow and knee.
[Can someone please explain the concept of how you can skin yourself through clothing?  I don't get it.]

The fall was so hard it knocked off my glasses and my baseball cap.

Now.  Imagine you were walking with your Mom and your dogs to a birthday and you were hyped up because there was going to be pizza!soda!scary movies!friends!make up!boy talk! and all the things that go along with a 13 year old's sleepover when suddenly you see your Mother in a heap on the ground, bleeding and crying while your dogs are in hot pursuit of an unleashed animal?

How much fun do you think THAT birthday party was going to be knowing your Mom has to walk back alone, in pain and wait for your Dad to come home and take care of her?


Bless Wallene's heart - she managed to get the dogs back while I lied [laid? Diane help me out here - how about prone? - I was prone.  That works :)] in the street and she stood on their leashes while helping me up off the pavement.  She begged repeatedly to walk me back home but the whole point of taking her there was to assure she arrived safely - so that wasn't an option.

I know some laws are stupid - I agree, but this one has a purpose.  The leash law exists for a reason and this is a shining example of WHY.  I am not afraid of dogs and I don't consider myself entitled to the point that I will subject other people to my wishes because I don't like a particular law.  

And before anyone gives me the argument that I shouldn't be walking a dog that weighs more than I do - it is MY dog and I make a conscious effort to avoid the situation I just described.  If the animal had been properly attended to this would never had happened.  I know my pets and act accordingly.  

Wouldn't it be nice if others did?

I am sitting here at 6 am, in throbbing pain, waiting for my Doctor's office to open.  I just know I wouldn't be here, awake and in tears, if other people took the care for their pets the way the rest of us do.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You Say Shoe Whore Like It's A Bad Thing

My sister calls  me a Shoe Whore.  I guess I would have to agree with that, but? I blame my Mom.  She did this to me.  hee

My Mom was a small woman but she had feet that she felt were too large to look good in many shoes.  Instead of buying them for herself she would buy them for me.  I had footwear for every occasion. In fact I was known for my shoes in high school and college.  My roommates at GU used to call me "Thom McCann" [old time shoe store for those that don't know.]  I had so many shoes when I left for college that I lined them up under my bed and my roomie's bed.  No kidding.

I had pink hightops with plaid lining, pink leather pumps with gold buckles [they were smoking!] high heels, low heels, boots, sandals, sneakers.  Name a shoe type, make or color and I had it.

I culled my collection once I became a SAHM.  I only needed a few dressy shoes for church, weddings and the like plus some sandals and a pair of tennis shoes.  I was down to a manageable 13-14 [?] pair when I became ill.  From there I downsized farther to a pair of flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes.  Not being so steady on my feet I gave over my collection to Wallene who should be able to wear them for about....oh...3 more weeks before she outgrows them.

When my Mom passed away I  knew I had to wear some kind of funky shoe in her honor.  Everyone [sister, husband, MIL] tried to convince me that Mom would be fine with tennis shoes but I was insistent that I needed a new pair of shoes.

See that kicky pump at the top of the post?  Those are the shoes I bought.  Aren't they great?  I love these shoes and not only are they fun to look at they are incredibly comfortable.  The heel is only an inch high so I can stay balanced on them [the cane helps as does my husband.]

They are Croft and Barrow in the Dawn style with multi as the color.  In a weak moment I actually purchased the same shoe in black.  In my defense they were on sale!  Sale tadpoles.

I know I won't be wearing them all that often but it makes me happy knowing they are in my closet waiting for  a special occasion.

My Mom would be tickled.  The Shoe Whore is lurking. ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Walking in Circles Here...Um, Hello?

I know the passing of a parent brings all kinds of issues.  I get that.

I am sitting here in wonder of what just happened.

I know I should keep this to myself and Pooldad - it is personal, but I am really incredulous.

Loss for words kind of thing [natch-you know I lie - I am talking here Tadpoles. Follow along if you care to, but I write this blog for me - and my rules.]

My sister called this evening.  She is the executor of our Mother's estate.  I have no problem with that. My sister is the oldest, an accountant and more knowledgeable then I will ever be in these details. She is also able to kick my brother's butt and not get put in jail for it. [Me?  I would spit on the s.o.b. and get more time than Lindsay Lohan.]

I leave all details to her.

We have talked so many times since our Mom's passing and have discussed the Will.  The things you do when a parent dies.  Right?

Okay - now I have to back up and tell another story.  Ready?  Following me?  Ride is really pretty good.  Well, at least I think so.  Then again? Half the time I think I am talking to myself.  Whatever.

My parents were married 50 years ago in Florida after a 4 month courtship [no kidding] and my Dad bought my Mom what he could afford at that time for her wedding set.  My Mom always called the two rings the "Chips" because it was a bunch of diamond chips in a setting that was made to set them off.  She was always kind of derogatory about it [outside of Dad's hearing] but I loved those rings.  They meant something to me. They were beautiful and they represented what my parents had.  My Mom never wore them, but would take them out once and a while to show me.  I thought they were the epitome of what every girl wanted when they were married.  So beautiful.  So elegant.

I love/d those rings.

My Mom always asked my Dad to receive a prettier wedding set.  She always wanted a big diamond.  I have already explained how my parents claimed poverty for[ever] years and so the idea of a big diamond seemed to be out of the question.  Right?


My Dad surprised my Mom with a platinum set x.x carat diamond ring for their 40th wedding anniversary.

This ring was spectacular.  Dad researched.  Bought the best and lovingly presented it to my Mom.  There were a lot of tears, applause, kudos and admiration over the fact that he bought those rings.  I can't explain my parents in three or four blog posts - nor do I want to - but let's just say Dad did good and Mom was thrilled.  So were us kids.

Still there?  Because here is where it gets weird, but then better.

My Mom called me last year and asked me to sell that ring.  I didn't ask why.  I hemmed, hawed and hung up the phone to avoid doing that.  She WAS NOT selling that ring  At least not on my watch.  My Dad waited 40 years to buy her that ring and I would've been damned if I was going to be a party to the trainwreck that the selling of that ring would've been.  If nothing else it was a heirloom and my sister was entitled to it.

My sister informed me tonight that the ring never was sold.

Imagine my surprise when she told me that our Mom left Squirrel the "Chips". [Nice Nana. Thank you.]

Now picture me as I fell off my chair when my sister told me our Mom left that ring to me...

I get to wear my Dad's love for my Mom on my hand for the rest of my days.

How great is that?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Feel Like I Am Living In a Ricola Commercial


As you all know I live directly behind an elementary school.  In fact between our back gate there is a row of trees and then the playground and basketball court.

It has been a fun four years here and I would not trade my lovely view or the sounds of happy kids playing at recess or after school.  It is really nice. [I could live without the screamers tho' - what is it with kids that scream on the playgroud for a solid 30 minutes?]


When recess ends each teacher has his/her own manner of announcing it to the class and it usually entails a whistle.  Whistles are cool.  I can get down with a good ol' fashioned "tweet" every forty five minutes for 8 hours a day, five days a week.  It is to be expected because of our proximity to the school.


Ms. 11:45?  I am not too happy in your choice of hardware because it is very disconcerting to hear a HORN everyday at 11:45.  And not a little horn either. It is a big a** honker of a horn that makes me believe that you think some of your students have wandered off into the hinterlands and you fear they may not be able hear a simple, little coach's whistle.

Lady - let me clue you in.  If I can hear the other teachers' whistles while in the shower I can guarantee you that MARYLAND can hear that freaking horn.

Do us all a favor and buy a whistle.  Better yet can I just bring you one?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Now What Exactly Did You Mean?

While watching football last night [the most boring game in the history of the NFL - c'mon NYG and Chicago at least make it interesting, jeesh] I decided to paint my nails.  Stop yawning - hopefully this post won't be as boring as that dang game.

The above fingernail polish is named "Honestly I am not a Waitress"* and is my favorite fall color.  It also happens to be very red and very startling when your family isn't used to puurty nails on Mom.

I was making dinner last night when Wallene chimed in:

Wallene:  Wow Mom. I love your nails. They look so professional.

Me:  Thanks honey.  Not too bad I think.

Pooldad:  Yeah I was noticing the same thing.

[Wallene had left the room at this point]

Me:  I am wondering what she just meant?

Pooldad:  About what?

Me:  The "professional" part.

Pooldad:  huh?

Me:  Does she mean I had them professionally done or professional as in the business woman sense or a "lady of the night" kind of professional?

[sorry, my mind - it wanders]

Pooldad:  I don't think she knows.....

Wallene returned on my last sentence.

Wallene:  What's a lady of the night Mom?  Isn't that when you stay up at night?

In unison: [loudly] No!! Nevermind.

Wallene:  [completely disinterested] Oh, okay. [Then she walked out.]

Pooldad:  [Turning to me, throwing an arm around my shoulder and channeling his inner creepy guy] So what's your rate lil' lady?

Me:  You can't afford me.

Pooldad:  I checked the bank statement today.  You're right.

Me:  Shut up.

*I was a waitress for years and that is why I have such an affinity for this color.  No slight intended.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back Into the Swing of Things

I feel like I have done nothing but sleep for two days.  Not true as my comments around the interwebs will prove different, but I have just been so worn out.

Anyhoodle - now it is time to step back into life as the stop gap is over and time continues.....

I realized today I have way too much food in my house.  I think I went a little freaky the last two times we went shopping but I seriously have a lot of food.  I am not complaining, mind is just weird.

For lunch tomorrow I made Wallene one of her favorites.  Since we had tacos for dinner tonight I used the  2 leftover soft flour tortillas [6" diameter] and layered each with a swipe of honey mustard, a leaf of lettuce, two slices of deli ham and shredded cheese.  I rolled them up and cut each in half.  It totals about two bites per piece or eight total.  Then I added carrot sticks, celery sticks, applesauce and a Reese's peanut butter cup for dessert with a Juicy Juice to drink.  It is such a pretty, fun [healthy!] lunch - makes me want to eat it tonight. hee

Pooldad received the leftover taco meat, shredded lettuce, cheese and tomato with the hard shells in his lunch.  For just three of us we can stretch out taco night pretty darn well.

Then tomorrow night I am making chili for dinner ::waving at Rudee - hi honey:: and we will use the shredded cheese, chopped onion and diced tomatoes for that.  I will also add sour cream and corn muffins to make it complete.

Next the chili will make it's way into Pooldad's lunch on Tuesday with the remainder to be served over baked potatoes, with cheese and sour cream for that night's dinner.  Family fav' right there - if you are ever trying to save money take leftover chili and serve it over pasta, rice or potatoes - it is really yummy and filling. In fact I find a whole lot of stuff to put over baked potatoes because they are one thing that I can eat the heck out of they are so good.

I have a pork roast planned for Wednesday with cabbage and potatoes which will turn into lunches on Thursday - roast pork sandwiches anyone? Oh yeah...with pumpernickel bread. Yum!

And then to wind out the week I have a boatload of chicken to cook up - leg/thigh quarters and bone in breasts.  I have just about everything in my pantry so could someone please tell me what to do with these - because I am bored with baked, bbq and chicken salad.  Actually I think I ate my weight in chicken salad this summer so - no.  Oh I do know one thing I am making - check out this recipe - it is so good - AMAZING - and I have all the ingredients except I have to make my own bread bowls [no biggie - if I get lazy I am going to Panera] It is called Chicken Cordon Bleu - but not like you think.  Check it out.  Biz is an amazing cook - if you want great, healthy recipes her's is the blog to watch. If you don't feel like cooking healthy meals then you can just scroll through Biz's pictures of her drool worthy food.  Don't go hungry. It is dangerous.

Any suggestions for the chicken would be greatly appreciated.

I also have all the makings for homemade pizza so ideas there would be fun too!

Thanks again Tadpoles.  You help me immensely.
Hugs and love.
Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Am Still Looking...

That silly beer bong pic of my Mom. I promise.  I found it a few days before my Mom died but now I can't lay my hands on it. Grrrrr.

My Mom's funeral was beautiful.  Although it had rained for days preceding it yesterday it was bright, sunny and in the 70's.  Windy as heck - but just lovely.  It was also, per her request, the absolute shortest funeral I have ever been to in my life but, once again, that is my Mom. [I will tell you why that is later.  Just a little worn out.]

For anyone interested my brother did show up - and no, no cane whacking involved - because he stayed far away from everyone.  Everyone.  Including my Aunt who also had a cane she would've used. ;)   I will give him credit for honoring my Mother by showing up, not stepping on anyone's toes and for respecting the entire family's wishes that he not attempt to interact with any of us.  That may sound sad to many of you, but after everything we watched him do we really didn't have anything nice to say to him.  He can live with his own demons.  It isn't my problem anymore.

You can chose your friends but you can't chose your family.   That I truly believe.

Thank you again Tadpoles for giving me so much support and love this week [and always].  It never ceases to amaze me the great friends I have made through this simple blog.

I know that all of you would have truly loved my Mom the way you care for me - we would've had a grand time hanging out.

I am so very tired and sick right now.
See you on the flip side Tadpoles.
Love you.