Friday, April 30, 2010

What was that?

I scampered over sleeping Daddio and a smothering pile of sheets and blankets like a Jesus lizard running on water.

Seriously, I took about three giant steps, flew up, off the bed and onto the floor in seconds flat.

Then I stopped dead in my tracks.

Did I just hear what I thought I heard?

I stood silent and waited.

I cocked my head toward the sound.

My eyes scanned the clock.... 2:03 am

Then the sound came again.

The phone!!!


See, the thing is, I have a BIG problem with answering a phone that rings in the middle of the may have something to do with the fact that I got the news of my brother's fatal accident by phone. That call came on a Sunday night around nine or nine-thirty.

For a long time I couldn't and wouldn't answer the phone on Sundays.

Phone calls after 9 pm usually bring nothing but trouble...unless you're expecting a baby in the immediate family, which we aren't.

As quickly as I was scaling Daddio and the mountains of covers  I was doing a mental tally of where my children should be.

In bed.

In bed.

In bed.

All the commotion had Daddio out of bed as well and in the split seconds it took for me to locate the ringing phone he had thrown back the blinds of our bedroom window to see if the kid's cars were where they should be too.

Reaching the phone, which had just stopped ringing , I ordered my eyes to focus and my fingers to find the TALK button.

I fumbled for the call log button.....WHO was calling in the middle of the night??????

Before I looked down to see WHO.... I remembered.


Bear and his friends had gone to see a midnight flick (yeah, I know it's a school night..and your point is???)

 The opening night for the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street.

"Hello? Hello? Hello" I cried into the phone.

Nothing. Dead silence.

My fingers, on auto pilot, dialed Bear's number.

"Ma" he answered, his voice a whisper.

"Could you come open the door"?

"Googie locked the deadbolt".

When he stepped in the door I kissed and hugged him like he was returning from War.

"I can't take much more of this" Daddio said when I crawled over him to get back to my spot in our bed.

"People like us shouldn't have children".

Silently I thanked my Lord for safe children, the man sleeping next to me, and our strong aortas.

Aortas that have really been put to the test these past twenty four years that we've been parents.

I went to sleep thinking of home defibrillators.

And then I had a bad dream.

I'll tell you all about it on Monday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Smells like teen spirit.....

While my work life with juvenile offenders centers totally around food, it's never been what anyone could call a picnic.

Yesterday was the oddest, most frustrating, emotionally draining, jaw dropping day I've had yet.

I was sapped of every ounce of energy.

And exhilarated all at the same time.

We've been going through a rough patch for a couple of weeks, this group of loveables is hard. Not that they aren't all hard, but this one is exceptionally difficult.

Physically, they are huge, and emotionally, hugely immature....we toss around the phrase it's a bad mix to describe them.

One of the Day Treatment staff told me early in the day that she was in a foul mood, she couldn't pinpoint the exact reason although we knew some of it was tied to the kids. Just one of those days we chalked it up to be.

The dish the afternoon cooking class was making was not so much complicated as time consuming. And it took all our resources to keep the loveables in one place, on task, with their potty mouths in check and their fists to themselves.

There are a couple of new female students that started this week, one a tall blonde who has the boy's attention and the other, a chubby brunette who owns some of the most beautiful green eyes I've ever seen.

She also has all the boys attention, but not in a good way. They've been picking on her and made her life at school not so great.

She came in with her dukes up though and it's hard to say who exactly is winning their wars.

Until yesterday, when she met me in the bathroom and pulled two notes out of her back pocket.

"Here" she said, thrusting some folded papers toward me, "this is what they put on my desk".

The notes look like they were done by a five year old, except that they contained swear words and a picture of a penis in the mouth of a crude drawing of a girl's face.

The boys were gaining on her.

I was livid. And sad to my core.

I gave the notes to one of the staff members who works with the kids in the academic portion of the day and we agreed to talk afterwards about what we planned to do to address and arrest this issue.

So the guys were already on my crap list when I met up with them in our kitchen.

It was a rough couple of hours.

And I said, out loud, what I was feeling "this class is outta control".

When we were almost finished I took a walk around back to the equipment rack and noticed that there was something sticky on the floor. Whatever it was, was also on a number of the pans on the shelf. I touched it and it was like glue. Clear, honey colored glue.

Corn syrup?

Pancake syrup?


Someone had doused the place with honey.

The shit hit the fan and this usually calm mama started yelling and accusing.

We searched garbage's, which is where they usually ditch the evidence and within mere seconds one of the loveables had gone to the exact garbage container and lifted a discarded piece of greasy parchment paper and plucked out a half empty plastic jar of honey.

I immediately accused this boy of the dirty deed.

He got angry and his voice raised. And he stomped around like an enraged black bear.

And he denied the charges.

The staff said that they would all receive write-ups unless the guilty party stepped forward.

Snowball's chance in hell, was my thought.

The biggest one of the bunch came to me, bent to my level and said, "I'm taking responsibility, I did it".

"You didn't do it" I insisted "you were washing dishes this entire class, you never left the kitchen".

"I did it" he insisted "I can't get a write-up".

I refused to allow him to take the blame for the mess.

Out in the cafeteria all hell was breaking loose as I heard staff and teens arguing.

I heard cussing and threatening.

The sounds of out of control.

When the mess was finally sorted out....

the confession I'd heard ended up being a truthful one.

The confessor wore my disappointment in him like a lead apron.

And while I knew it was a necessary penance, it was hard to watch.

In the meantime, I had an apology to give.

The formerly accused didn't want to have anything to do with me and balked at my order to "follow me" until one of the other youth said to him "maybe she wants to apologize you asshole".

He let me apologize and agreed to forgive me.

The kids gathered around a long table and they sat with the facilitators of what is their next activity, simply called "group".

Group can be anything from playing football to playing board games like Apples to Apples. Sometimes they watch movies, or do projects or just talk.

Today, the masses were spent.

The kids and the staff...wet dishrags.

One of the kids asked to speak and he rose from his chair and addressed his peers.

First he reminded them that he too liked to "play" and "act a fool", but that this class had been taking things too far. Some fun and games were okay, but this all day every day was "getting old". He talked about being on probation and being locked up and how much he just wanted to be out of the program and that he thought the rest of them should have the same goal.

They were silent and allowed him to continue.

He chided them for getting me so upset. And said that he would not tolerate them disrespecting me or my kitchen. He told them that he'd been a long time student in our Day Treatment program and that he'd never heard me say anything like he heard this day.

I'd taken a seat in the back behind the kids and listened too.

My eyes filled with tears.

And my heart, with gratitude and pride for this young man.

When he was finished I thanked him and he took a seat.

Another of the youths, one who has been steadily spiraling out of control began to talk. He started describing his life and how hard it is. How much he hates it. His sick mother, his lazy sister. Whose boyfriends he has to fight with. His hatred for his hard nosed Probation Officer and his desire and need to get out of his neighborhood. Where he knows he has no real future.

A real one perhaps, but not the one of his dreams nor of his potential.

The other youth sat still, every eye on him, and let him get it all out.

I wanted to gather him up on my lap and pat his back.

And tell him that growing into a good man is going to be the hardest and best thing he is ever going to do.

That everything would be okay

 I wish it were that easy.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Takin care of bid-ness

Time sure flies when we're havin fun, or working too hard. I have health insurance through work and it's quite a good plan. So good, they mail my doctor letters about me and call me at home on a regular basis.

They also send to me pamphlets and reading materials in the mail about medical issues I don't have...(which of course scares the livin daylights outta me and has me drafting to Daddio a last Will and Testament).

A recent visit to the doctor had him flipping through my chart and mentioning that the insurance company had sent him a note asking him to remind me to get my mamogram.

And my pap smear.

And an eye exam.

And a blood test.


(Isn't that what your mother is for???)

Well, I've done most everything they've asked, and more.

But I guess most everything is not enough, because yesterday they called and left another lenghty message reminding me that I still haven't gotten the mamogram.

And I'm still getting letters and notes in the mail about the other tests.

Oooooo-kay, apparently there is a little communication problem going on here.

And a picture really can be worth a thousand words. So I will be taking this...

with me for when I'm up close and personal with the boob vice.

And I'll add it to an email with the pictures below to be sent to the insurance company.

See, new glasses (case is proof)

And proof of my visit to Jean Gray, Nurse Practitioner, extraordinaire.  

That should do it (although, I won't hold my breath).

On a side note....
(Am I the only one that has two thoughts instantly come to mind when my feet are in those stirrups???? (1). Damn, I wish I was more flexible and better able to shave the back of my thighs and (2). I hope my gold bar Dial lives up to it's hype.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If you ever had any doubts that he loves you.....

As part of my Motherhood Mission Statement (the big rant most of us know-it-alls have and share with our friends and anyone else who will listen before we even have any children) I stated that I would always be truthful with my children….that statement turned into a lie.

Googie’s phobia has made a liar outta me.

The technical term for Googie’s psychosis is Emetopohia, which is the fear of vomit or vomiting.

At our house we can’t call the flu the flu.

It doesn’t matter if you have body quaking chills, a 103.5 temperature, and are pooping pearly white foam…it’s “something that you ate”.

That way Googie can’t catch it.

Recently, poor Bear came down with a horrible case of “something that he ate”.

It was a very busy week in Googie’s life, she had her internship to finish, she had things to do with her show, she had work, and a ton of homework and I couldn’t risk having her go off the deep end by telling her about Bear’s ailment so we made a plan.

Daddio, Bear, Trouble (Googie’s fiancĂ©) and I all agreed to keep Bear’s condition a secret from Googie.

It wasn’t easy.

She was so busy she didn’t seem to notice me walking through the house wearing elbow high gloves and carrying around an industrial sized bottle of Lysol.

She did notice her brother, laying on the couch, sea foam green colored. She noticed his sunken, red rimmed eyes and his parched lips.

She noticed how he hugged the blankets tightly to his chest.

WHAT is wrong with him?” she asked nodding at the blanket covered heap on the couch.

“He has a cold” I lied.

“A cold? She mocked

“Look at him, ohhhh poor baby” she smirked.

“What a freakin baby…He has a little tiny cold and he’s on the couch, laying there like he’s dyin”.


“Guys are such babies, look at me, I have a cold TOO and I’ve been sick for days and somehow I'm managing to go on with my life. I'm not laying around nursing it”.

Un-believable!!!! she rubbed it in. “He just wants you to baby him”.

I sat at Bear’s feet and stroked his leg and watched as he took his sister’s insulting tongue lashing.

He must really love you Googie….

(Truthfully though, if he’d had an ounce of strength, and wasn’t severely dehydrated he probably woulda pounded you into a pulp).

PS...Confidential to Marmie, remember when I used to call you hyperventilating and refusing to care for my sick vomiting children, threatening to run away from home and never return? Remember that you ordered me off the front porch and back into the house by saying,“you are gonna mess up those children?” ( I just wanted to let you know, at that point it was a done deal).

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Paper Tiger......

My mother in law and I share a dirty little secret.


Piles and piles of papers.

Stashed papers.

In paper bags.

Hidden in closets, or under beds.

I found out a couple of years after Daddio and I married that his mother has exactly the same filing system as mine.

Our stacks start out innocent enough. A bill here, a bill there. Toss a couple of coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and a grocery circular, last month’s Redbook and a recipe for that cake you plan to bake on top.

The neat little stack sits pretty on the edge of the kitchen table, or the kitchen counter.

Daily the stack gains height, and width.

After about a week or so the stack begins to teeter.

And totter.

And before you know it, the stack has matured into a full fledged pile.

And then somebody whizzes by and the pile slides off the table onto the floor.

And then we got ourselves a bit of a problem.

Daddio threatens D I V O R C E.

Before he heads off to see an attorney he gives me time to clean up my act….like a few hours.

In a perfect world I would sort through the pile and reduce it. Then I’d file the important stuff and toss the rest.

Instead, I stash the pile into a paper grocery bag and hide place it in a closet or under a bed.

“I can’t live like this” Daddio yells when he stumbles upon one of my bags.

“I’m Claustrophobic”

“I will leave you” he threatens, when he has to catch one (or more) bag(s) about to tumble out of its hiding storage place.

“I WILL leave you over this”.

So I ask him, “aren’t you going to feel kind of stupid when we go to court and the judge starts questioning you”?

“Is she on drugs?

A shopaholic?

An alcoholic?

A germaphobe?

Been unfaithful?


“No” Daddio will answer to each and every query.

“Why exactly then Sir are you seeking a divorce?”

Piles, Your Honor, she makes piles."

Once when the kids were young Daddio built me a really neat bench, attached to the wall behind the table. It was for the kids to sit on.

“Make it a storage bench” I suggested.

He flat out refused, saying “In a week or two that bench will be so stuffed with shit that the kids will be sitting at an angle”.

He did as I asked and in a week or two, they were.

Last night my mother in law came over for dinner. On the side of the table, hidden in the back against the wall are two paper bags filled to the gills with papers and flyers and bills and important recipes.

I’ve been taking full advantage of the fact that Daddio has bigger fish to fry these days and he hasn’t noticed mentioned the piles.

Normally, before she would arrive I'd have stashed the bags and had the place looking all spiffed up, yesterday, I got sidetracked and forgot.

After dinner, we sat at the table talking. She glanced over to her left, toward the right hand corner against the wall where the papers were sitting and she said "Nice piles".

What the........?!!!!!

How could she throw me under the bus like that?

"You like my piles?" I asked, wounded. "I've been very busy and haven't had much of a chance to clean them up or stash them anywhere, you know how it is?"

She looked at me kind of strange.

"Your tile" she said,

"I said I like your tile".

This morning, checking on my horiscope I had a Oprah lightbulb ahhh-ha moment when I saw this......

Feng Shui Tip of the Day

If everybody is being uncooperative or unhelpful, check the near right corner of your home for clutter or broken items.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm having attacks.......

I have a lot of irons in the fire these days, maybe too many.

The past few days have found me in some kind of not so nice state.

I finally figured it out, I'm having apoplexy attacks.

An apoplexy attack, yes, exactly.

That phrase jumped out at me as I searched my mind for what word might accurately describe what I am feeling.

I hadn't heard it in a long, long time, and had no idea what it even meant.

Maybe I heard it when I eavesdropped on one of my mother's 1960's-70's conversations.

They talked weird back then.

I was relieved when a Google search popped up the word.

And theWikipedia definition fit.

Apoplexy is an outdated medical term, which can be used to mean 'bleeding'.

It can be used non-medically to mean a state of extreme rage or excitement.

Outdated, uh-huh.

Medical term, yep (a self proclaimed hypochondriac picks up on those kinds of words).

Bleeding??? Not recently. (In case you're new here, I'm mennnnnnnnnnnnn ah, never mind).

A state of extreme excitement and rage?

Yesterday at work I had a bit of both.

Standing around waiting for the magic moment we begin class I listened as the children (my loveable thugs) talked. The conversation centered around April 20th.


Wikipedia says this about 4/20,

4/20 is a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture. The date 4/20 is sometimes referred to as "Weed Day" or "Pot Day.

Okay, sitting around talking about pot is not a normal in most people's lives, unless maybe you knew what 4/20 meant before I schooled you????

Then maybe you do sit around and talk pot.

Anyway, many conversations at my work center around pot.

Who dropped dirty? Who is expelled for thinking they could outsmart the staff and sneak outside and smoke a blunt?

They talk about other not so nice things too...

This is what you drink, eat, smoke, inhale, shoot up, to get high, to make your pee clean, to quench your munchies. To get higher than high.


Sometimes I wanna  hit them, honestly I do.

Instead, I just stop the talk and gather it around more appropriate things like measuring cups and funnels.

Today, before I could do just that, I had an apoplexy attack, which came about in the form of hysterical laughter.

One of my students, a blonde whose beauty may very well make up for her lack of grey matter stared wistfully skyward and whispered in her soft Marilyn Monroe like voice "I wish 4/20 was my birthday, wha'da party that would be, when I'm old enough maybe I'll change my birthday".

My mouthful of sugar coated Corn Flakes almost came out of my nose.

And that discussion turned into this discussion.....

"Did you see that? Miss Beth just choked on her Corn Flakes"

And onward our morning marched.

In class, we were short staffed.

And the strong smelled the weak.

After much coaching (begging) and encouragement (threatening) they did as they were asked.

And soon we were cleaning up the mess.

One very tall young man, who (somehow) wears the waist of his pants down around his knee caps was not in a very cooperative mood.

He'd worked, but I nearly had to do a handstand and spit nickels out my ass to get him to.

This morning's class was almost over, there was one thing left to do and that was to put the chef coats and aprons from the washer into the dryer.

I called out to him, as he was the closest to me.

"Come help me" I said

He looked at me.

"Come help me" I said again.

He looked at me.

"Come help me.. I need you" I said

He looked at me.

And then I had another apoplexy attack.

You would have thought I was home and with the children of my womb when I did what I did next.

I pulled out a pile of wet chef coats and I threw them at him.

They flew through the air, and when his hands failed to deflect them they hit him in the chest and rolled down his body till they hit the floor.

You might have heard a pin drop except the other loveable's collective sharp intake of breath made it impossible to hear anything over the sound of their shock.

They stared at both of us waiting to see what would happen next.

The big, tall, very angry loveable turned and walked out the door.

I was glad he choose that instead of pounding me into the ground.

I followed him and apologized for my lack of judgment. I told him that I was plain wrong to throw clothes, or anything, for that matter at him.

I let him walk it off, hoping he'd take in and accept my apology.

In the mean time the others were deep in conversation when I got back into the room.

"Miss Beth is going crazy" I overheard one say "this morning, she spit her Corn Flakes right out on the table".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Outside my window.....

I saw a curious visitor who came to see,

if I had any kids that wanted to come out and play......

Not Today......

No, today I cannot play,

I was mischievous,

I ate some gum,

and danced on clean clothes,
and tried to become invisible,
(if I can't see her she can't see me)

No, I cannot come out and play today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Part Two...

Fearing what you know.....

I obsess over growing old(er).

I hate it.

And I totally blame my mother....

Mom, this is your fault.

I've not ever blamed you (out loud anyway) for my intense fear of the IRS or of deep, dark shark infested waters (you know, any body of water, except the backyard above ground)...but I do blame you for this fear of aging.

And you know, it's not that you haven't managed to somehow become even more beautiful as you age, it's those little comments that you make.

"Lizzy, I don't wear eye shadow anymore because it draws attention to my droopy eyelids"


"Saggy" you say as you slap your butt cheeks, looking over your shoulder into the bathroom mirror "what has happened to my butt????"

The scary part is that you exercise like a fiend.

You call me, breathless and panting from climbing high hills while you run-walk miles at at time in strange neighborhoods.

Pretty much every day of the week I listen to you huff and puff and say things like "Lizzy, you need to get movin".

Inspirational mom, but you know how much I hate to sweat.

So things aren't looking too good over here.


I hate it.

My saggin eyelids and my saggy, sagging butt cheeks.

And the bingo flaps.

And the jowls.

I really hate the fact that I feel like I've reached the top of the hill and it's down, down, down from here.

My recent trip to the gynecologist confirmed my (current) greatest fear.

So now I do know.

Something about my blood work.

I figured there'd be some fanfare attached to this life's stepping stone.

A personal tsuami or an earthquake for one..something, anything to tell me loud and are here. you are here. you are here.

I cried to my mommy, tearfully and broken hearted.

"Mom, I walked in the door a supple grape and walked out a shriveled raisin".

"The tests said I'm mennnnnnnnnnnnn ah , I can't even say the word."

How did this happen?

I am there.

I don't want to be there.

My mom laughed and said "you need to write about that, that is funny".

You're not the only one laughing mom, seems like the universe has joined you.

This morning when I commented on another blogger's post, that little stupid squiggly hard to read word you have to type before they will publish your comment said.....


I swear to God.

Anybody know of a good all over moisturizer?

I'm feeling a bit like an old saddle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In the know....

Listen to what you know, instead of what you fear.

What a powerful quote by author Richard Bach.

How many of us do exactly that, listen to our fears and let them guide us?

I know I do.

What about what you think you know?

Does that count?

Should it?

I think I know lots of things...and that is where the fear comes in.

Do you really know?

Or do you just think you know?

And how do you know the difference?

Trust, says Marianne Williamson, is short hand for going with the flow.

So I guess I simply have to trust what I think it is that I know I know.

And stop letting fear be my guide.

Start going with the flow.

That doesn't mean that I would ever be stupid enough to sky dive to overcome my fear of heights.

Or befriend a spider or a bee.

I know I'm too fearful for that.

Please come tomorrow back (my grandfather's silly made up sentence) for Part Two...Fearing what you know.

Friday, April 16, 2010

50 going on 12.....

I'll admit it. I have the maturity level of a tween when it comes to my sense of humor. I laugh so hard I almost pee my pants when I watch shows like MTV's Boiling Point or that goofy new Silent Library. In case you don't indulge in that kind of absolutely pointless television viewing and have no idea what I'm talking about I'll give it to you in a nutshell.

Silent Library has 6 college age kids sitting around a table. They have a shuffled deck of cards laid face down on the table in front of them. They each draw one. Five of the cards are safe. The unlucky one who draws the sixth card is given a challenge.

The challenges are each more gawd awful than the last. The group must not make too much noise while the challenge is being completed. The person who is completing the challenge must not yelp in pain, nor gather any attention when they gag or vomit and the other five can't laugh too loudly.

If they complete the challenge and don't disturb the other library patrons they earn money.

Some of the stuff is really gross and honestly a real true grown up would not watch for more than about a minute before changing the channel.

Me, I sit perched on the arm of the couch and cackle till I almost go over the side...I've sat that way through two or three episodes in a row without realizing that I've just spent an hour and a half watching some kid complete the Foot Bowl challenge, eating soup out of an old man's stinky shoe,  or the Sweet Red Corn challenge in which the player has 30 seconds to eat a lipstick covered corn on the cob.

Seriously, I do have better things to do.

Like hide in the pantry and lay in wait for Daddio.

Or turn all the hot water off when Bear is showering.

Or put makeup on the dog...

Which made me laugh so hard that I did pee my pants (thank God for Depends).

Then I started thinking that she looked like someone....I racked my brain trying to think of who.

Which got me laughing even harder when I finally figured it out.

I called the pooch Nora all day long and I could hardly contain my excitement waiting for my family members to notice her pretty new eyebrows.

Bear went all grownup on me and got mad claiming he could tell the pooch was suffering from a great indignation at being the butt of my joke.

He made me clean her up.

Grownups...they ruin all the fun.

*(Hey...just in case your bloomers may have gotten in a bunch thinking I hurt my precious pooch I want you to know that I used a very soft makeup brush and she sat there like a good girl and let me do no animals were harmed in the process.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I just love it when that happens.....

It's no secret to those who know me well that I love old ladies. I especially loved one certain old lady, my grandma. When my parents brought me home from the hospital, it was to her house that we went.

Busia and (one day old) me.

 We lived with them until I was at least a year old. According to my mother it was in that year that I totally stole my grandmother's heart.

That I was special to her was no secret. I think she tried not to like me best, but I don't think she could help it.

I take after her in so many ways, even our physical size. Both of us 5 feet 4 inches tall, size 8 foot and a set of buck teeth.

Her teeth were hand made and why she ever paid for buck toothed dentures remains a mystery to this day.

My confirmation day (look at the arms).

My grandmother and I spent so many hours in each other's company, I could write story after story about her and maybe someday I will.

Same puffy hair, same toothy smile. Pictured with (one day old) Googie.

When her husband of 52 years died I convinced my dad to buy my grandmother a gold locket and chain for her birthday, which came a few weeks after his late winter death. When my dad agreed, the two of us picked out a nice one and I placed a picture of her and my grandfather (one on each side) inside.

The locket.

Every single day she opened that locket and kissed it.

Often I'd catch her absentmindedly fiddling with it,  rubbing it between her fingers. Back and forth her fingers moved over the oval locket.

When she died seven years after we gifted her with the locket, I asked my dad for four things, her sky-blue colored Tupperware gravy shaker, her tin measuring spoons, the dark wood crucifix that hung above her and my grandfather's bed and that locket.

I got them all.

On May 2nd she'll have been gone for 17 years. Hard to believe it sometimes that its been that long.

This past Saturday I was getting ready to leave my house to visit the other old Dolls in my life, The Golden Girls I call them. The girls are six women that live in a private senior home, usually on Fridays I do their hair. They are all in their mid to late 90's. One will be 100 years old next February.

It's a nice arrangement, they get a hair do and I get my old lady fix.

I was already a day late and running later when I had the thought that I had to wear my grandmother's locket.

When it first became mine, I wore it often. It helped me to feel close to her. I'd move it between my fingers like she used to do and open it and kiss the sweet faces inside.

For the past few years I mostly just glanced at the locket when I'd be rummaging through my jewelery box looking for some other piece to wear.

Time was ticking and later and later I was getting.

I didn't care, I was a dog on a trail.

I had to dig hard and deep for the locket.

Finally I found it, I opened it, kissed it, and hung it on my neck.

Driving in the car on the way to see the Dolls I was listening to the radio. The DJ mentioned that this day was April 10th.

April 10th???

My heart did a dance.

April 10th was my grandmother's birthday.

I wholeheartedly believe that last Saturday I got a visit from my favorite old doll.

I just love it when that happens.

Meeting Bear (one day old).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Speak softly and carry a good translation manual....

Preferably John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Daddio has been as uptight as a hen on a hot griddle. According to him this being laid off is for the bums, I mean birds. He's had enough time off and can't stop thinking about all those times when he was working 10 hours a day, six days a week. "Pure heaven" and " the good old days",  is how he describes it now.

He forgets that his mantras were "I'd give anything to get laid off and take a break" and my personal favorite  (not) "My vacation will be an eternal one, when the good Lord pulls me out of this hell hole called life".

Ey yi yi yi.....

Be careful for what you wish for the old saying goes...

The guy is getting a tad testy having all this at home time. And he's starting to talk crazier than he usually does. The other day he grabbed my pajamas, (never mind that they were still coming off from around my neck) and tossed them into the hamper to be washed.

"I've only worn those once" I said.

"They have something spilled on them, they need to be washed again".

"Oh" I said " put some stain spray on them".

"What am I" he growls "the maid?"

Well goodness sakes of course you are not the maid. You are the poor soul stuck in the house at the mercy of a bunch of inconsiderate clods who have no real clue how it is that every little thing they sloppily do gets magically undone.

A plate left on the living room table somehow makes its way to the sink where on its own it chisels off the dried on melted cheese and then hops into the dishwasher.

Where it joins those 16 glasses dug out from the bowels of a bedroom during a most recent archeological dig.


I soooooo feel your pain Daddio, honestly I do. Remember, I was the stay at home for many years.

And for all those times you thrust your dirty blue jeans into my open waiting arms instructing me to "spray some of that stain shit on the knees"...

I want you to know it's okay... I accept your apology.

So the other night Daddio drove me to see Googie's show. It was about 45 minutes away and there was no sense in us going separate. He opted to stay in the car and listen to a couple of cd's and the radio while I helped the cast with their hairdos. I told him that I'd call when I was finished and I'd save us a couple of good seats.

I was done about a half hour before show time and sat my can in a great seat. I started calling Daddio's cell phone. No answer. I called and called and called and called.

It rang and then went to voice mail.....

I left a couple of messages "where are you?" I asked.


"Where are you?"

"Where have you gone?"

"Helloooooooooooooooo,where   are   you    ?"

"Me again, where are youuuuuuuuuuuu?"

Beginning to feel like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction I gave it a rest for about 10 seconds.

And I called some more.

And then I got scared.

Daddio is as dependable as they come, even more so.

Surely he was slumped over the steering wheel, a victim of some kind of silent killer.

Or maybe he was the victim of a not so silent killer, a kidnapper or some crazed crazy roaming the parking lot looking for guys sitting in their cars listening to music.


Daddio had to be dead. That would be the only reason he wouldn't answer the phone call he most certainly was expecting.

Once the panic set in I wasted no time gathering my things and sprinting out of the auditorium, through the filled lobby and out into the large parking lot, dodging cars and people along the way.

I was nearly breathless when I got to him.

I whipped open the car door to find him listening to the radio

"WHAT IN THE FREAKIN HELL ARE YOU DOING?????????????????" I screeched asked.



Daddio's eyes blazed. His jaw clenched and in very slow motion, using a very low voice, he snapped  said, "Hey...shut up will ya, my phone was turned to silent and just because I'm laid off.... do.... not..... think..... that you are going to talk to me like that. (He may have mentioned something about me losing some of my teeth, but I tuned him out at that point).


WHAT THE......???

I didn't get it.

Somehow I had insulted him greatly.

I wished at that point I had some insite as to how it is exactly that his mind works???

Epilogue: This story almost ended with the narrator possibly toothless and traveling the 50 plus miles to her home on foot. What could have transpired between the time she left her mild mannered (that's a bit of a stretch, but...) husband in the car listening to music and the fire breathing dragon she found waiting there when she went to retrieve him???

When Daddio finally stopped foaming at the mouth he told her....while enjoying an hour or so of cheerful blues ballads, a few little cheerful ditties about rotten days and unfaithful women, Daddio heard a new one, one he'd never heard before. The lyrics told of a man that lost his job and had to learn to cook and clean...they called him Mr. Domestic.

Those lryics landed a bit too close to home...

Daddio working on a blues song. (It probably won't have anything to do with housework and laundry).

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Sparkle Shirley...... Sparkle"

What a whirlwind weekend. Googie had a show and I agreed to do the hair. The poor dear was sick (any relationship between massive amounts of stress and frequent colds and infections?).

She had the lead in a silly little musical called Urinetown.

It’s about pee.

I sat in the audience on Saturday, with a couple of nuns sitting to my left. I cringed a bit when I saw them walk in and take a seat. Not like it was me on stage singing about pee or anything, but I knew what lyrics were coming and I know a little bit about nuns.

No matter how it’s cut, nuns and pee never mix, not even in the same sentence.

From my vantage point I could see by their posture they were quite stoic… I think an uncomfortable squirm would have not have been as bad. But nothing. No movement. Deathlike stillness.

Oh well, it is called Urinetown…..

On Sunday I sat in the audience as well. This time there were a couple of blue hairs (old biddies, not young punks) sitting in front of me a bit to my left. When the character Penelope Pennywise uttered her first “pee”, one blue hair nudged the other. I watched to see what they would do next….(yes, I was missing a portion of the play, but Googie didn’t have a big part in that song and I was dying to know what the biddies were gonna do when Penny belted “piss” and “defecation”).

Sure enough, the minute the word “piss” left Pennywise’s mouth the ladies looked at each other and both shrugged their shoulders. And then shook their heads.

Looked like Two Thumbs Down to me.

After intermission, their seats were empty.

Too bad they left, Urinetown was really funny.

I’ve acted as Googie’s personal dresser for as many years as she has done theater. I don’t dress her, really, I just help with her microphone, or her bobby pins or I just look her over and give her the a-okay.

A last minute hair fluff and a peck on her painted cheek.

Lastly I take a line from my favorite stage mother and I say.... “Sparkle Shirley... sparkle”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

( "SPARKLE SHIRLEY...SPARKLE" : Shirley Temple's mother's instructions from the side of the stage.)

Then I sit in the audience and enjoy.

This day, she stripped off her top, I handed her the starched pastel yellow costume she wore for the show.

She slipped it on and I did a double take.

Googie’s brassiere was showing through the shirt.

She called to her cast mates and asked if anyone had a tank top she could borrow. One girl agreed to take her own right off her back and give it to Goog.

Once on Googie’s little 94 pound body it hung like a sack and it was much too bunchy to fit properly under her costume.

Okay…now what?

I knew what.

Later in the audience it was a bit hard for me to breath.

Not just that my heart swelled to take in the wonder that is my daughter,

but it was hard to breath wearing Googie’s too small bra.

I couldn’t let her go on stage, the lead in a show called Urinetown, wearing a pea colored bra that showed through her shirt.

A mother’s suffering knows no bounds.

(And for what’s worth, this is the SECOND time I’ve done this for my daughter…at least this time her bra size was larger than a size AA.)

PS....Her most sincere appreciation via this coffee pot note (and some stalks of beautiful white flowers, stolen from the restaurant where they ate after the show) made it all worth it, of course.

Friday, April 9, 2010

102 and counting....

This this is my one hundredth plus two post.

My hundred o two.

My 102nd.

I think we should have some kind of party.

A very popular blogger that I follow recently hit her 1000th post..she was smart enough to remember to note that she was getting close to that marker, she waited till the time was right and she wrote a post about it.

She made it special.

She probably doesn't have ADD.

Or a husband, or kids.

Or a job.

Maybe she just blogs all day long and forgets to even comb her hair?

When I read her post, I thought to myself...hmmm, I should write a post about my 100th post and the sense of accomplishment I feel at writing 100 times on this blog.

I'd gush on to my thousands of loyal readers just how much fun I've had and I'd tell them how much I appreciate the gift of their time and attention that they've given to this blog and to me.

And to my numerous commenters (Mom, LD and Nicola, Kelly, Lauren, Jessi, Kim :-) I would say, thanks, thanks for your helps me to feel not so nuts (as in she is talking to herself nuts).

I was so giddy with thankfulness that I wanted to rush back and write that post.

I wanted to package up some luv and boxes of really expensive virtual chocolate and mail it right off to all those who stop by regularly.

When I hurried back to my own blog home, I discovered that I missed my mark...too late to do a 100th post post.

Missed it by 2. (damnitalltohell).

 A day late Two days late and a dollar short. (Even my clichĂ© is a day off).

The story of my life.

Thanks for reading, if you read one, or one hundred and one two of my literary masterpieces...thanks.

I do so appreciate you.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Bear tale x's 2.........

The Easter Bunny Gets Duped....

Daddio and I always wanted three children. We both come from families with that number of children. After we had the Sweet Prince Buttercup (who by himself counted as 10 children) and his lovely sister GoogieMonster we decided that 11 was a good number to stop at.

Then my brother John died. And there were only two (earthly) children for my mother to hold.

And faced with the reasoning that if (God forbid) something should happen to my sister that would leave only child for my mother to hold,



and so Daddio and I went back to plan A and created child #3...

Child #3, my most cuddly. The one most likely to allow his mother (even at his advanced age) to maul him half to death.

Every mother should have one of him.

I've been known to say a time or two that on those occasions when I may doze off on the couch while watching the tube and should feel myself being covered with a small blanket...I know who's gentle hands will be doing the covering.

Baby # 3.

"That kid's got you soooo wrapped around his little finger" Googie accuses.


Googie, don't be a hater.

Your brother is a nice guy.

When I woke up the morning of my last big (B I G ) birthday next to the coffee pot I found this...

The other side of the mug says "I Love You Mom".

Since a gift this thoughtful usually comes from Googie, I gave her all the credit.

I later learned it was from Bear and was touched by his effort.

On Easter Sunday I found a small bag filled with brightly colored paper grass. Inside the bag there were a couple of mini peanut butter cups and this....

A hand decorated hard boiled egg. On the other side it said "MOM".

When I hopped into Googie's room singing "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" (You should see how mad they get when I do crap like that. tee-hee) at the top of my lungs early on Easter morning with her basket hanging from my arm, I thanked her for the beautiful decorated egg.

Later when Bear came down into the kitchen he asked me how I liked my egg.

"Oh" I said "I loved it".

"Yeah, me and Mal made it for you" he replied.

"Your sister made me that egg. don't lie" I scolded.

"I made that egg" he insisted.

Of all my kids, #3 is the most likely to tell a tale, stretch a truth, bald face lie (while looking me straight in the eye).

"I made the egg!!! " came a voice from the bathroom.

"She didn't make that damn egg, I did" Bear said starting to get mad.

"Look at me" I demanded "did you make that egg???"

His face was as straight as it's ever been.

"Yes, I did" he said again.

"No he didn't" came the bathroom voice again "I did".

Baby boy shook his head no.

I peeked around the corner to see Baby #3's sister...she had her head down on the sink, pounding, with her palm, laughing her guilty lyin azz off.

Googie...Googie how could you?

I am loved.....

Okay, so I do have hearts for iris's when I look at my son, but when he leaves notes like this...

you would too.

Later when I put on my reading glasses and took a closer look....

I got Googie's point.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Great Depression.....

It's no secret times are tough all over. The entire nation is suffering through the worst economic crisis since the mid 1920's and frankly I am about over it.

Since Daddio's layoff from his job six days before this past Christmas I've come to the realization that I have been a bit spoiled. And that I sometimes waste money on trivial things. The definition of trivial is going to be different from person to person. Another man's can't live without could be a total frivolity to the next guy.

A very personal interpretation, a need certainly is.

Due to a few bucks we saved from Daddio's previously good paying job, his unemployment and my job we are doing well enough and I have no true worries that we will be out on the street or that we'll have to survive on crusts of bread and pork & beans....still though things have been a bit different around here.

In the beginning it was a bit humbling to have to start watching my pennies again...not to say that I was a spend thrift before, cause I certainly wasn't.

I did often splurge on things that made my heart sing, things like lipstick and nice hair spray.

And perfume. Lots of perfume.

They know me in Macy's at the perfume counter. They know that every few months I'm in there slipping them big bucks for the good stuff.

I try to treat myself on certain occasions like my birthday and Mother's Day (and maybe some of the other big holidays, like the First Day of Spring or the First Big Snowfall of the Year).

And when I'm not buying, I'm begging for samples. I know which saleswomen will set me up. And I stop in when I know they're working. They always slip, real slick like, a few samples of the new stuff into my bag.

They know one sniff, I'll be hooked and then back for more.

Like a drug deal on 8th street.

I can't ever seem to get enough.

Forever searching for my scent.

And so far I'm not having much success in finding that perfect signature fragrance.

It's important to me to smell like something other than just me and being the fickle, all over the place, thing that I am I continue to try new things and chase ladies down street asking them what it is that they are wearing.

In the meantime I have a few bottles of foo-foo that suit me as okay (for the moment anyway).

But I'm getting low on those.

So low that some days it feels like a true emergency.

An empty Ed Hardy.

 Only a few drops left of Paris.

Recently I've started to panic...The First Day of Spring has already gone by and I see no extra flow to feed my addiction  make a frivolous purchase.

I pride myself on being resourceful and I've devised a plan.

I'll let you know how it pans out.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Houston, I think we have a problem....

"Psssst, up there"

"Excuse me, yooo-hooo....down here"

"Pardon the interruption , it appears I have a
 rather large problem and desperately need your assistance"

Of I get it...

Please don't think we starve this pooch (she eats like a Doberman).
I've nicknamed her "Brickhouse". She is a perfect rectangle.

She's a quick study, taking lessons from the kids.
Using the broken record technique and her big brown eyes.
And I become putty in her paws.

And really, can you blame me?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down in the valley.....

Daddio had what you might call a wild hair up his butt this weekend. His stomach hurt and he is tired of staying home and not having a bona fide job.

Hmmm, I’d say being the Stay At Home is a bona fide job. A noble profession. A calling even.

I did it for years and for the majority of that time I loved every minute.

There was a minute*, mostly toward the end of my tenure when my thought process often had me thinking..."If shit travels downhill sister, you’re in the valley."

I felt like the housekeeper at the Holiday Inn.

After an all night prom party.

Daddio has obviously already arrived at the afterparty. And it seems he's wallowing in that valley.

He's getting tired of being the “bottle washer”… (he can’t be the chief cook too, because all he knows how to cook is a hot dog, so dinner duty generally still falls to me).

Anyway…Daddio had a few complaints this past Easter weekend.

And they centered around our indoor outhouse.

The potty was a pissy mess.

Not pissy as in pee, well, I’m sure there was a sprinkling of misplaced pee in there somewhere, but that wasn’t what had Daddio’s goat.

I’ve had a few lavatory complaints myself over the years… mine centered around the mysterious white flecks that stuck to my mirrors (Pimple spew? Dental floss fling?)

Whatever it was, the elbow grease that it took to remove it had my upper arms really buff, and so while I cussed out every one and no one in particular as I worked to chisel it off, I  looked at the bright side of the chore.

Daddio’s eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, and in this case that is a blessing because he probably doesn’t even notice any white flecks on the mirror.

He does however notice what he calls toilet paper flakes.

Daddio took me into the bathroom to show me.

Your kids” he said pointing.

"They grab at the roll, and chip at it...see"
And leave little pieces all over the floor...for me to pick up."

"I also have to dehair the bathtub drain every day"

I googled "Hairest animal on the planet?" (hoping to pin a new name on my baby boy, the main suspect of this bathroom blunder,who's already appropriately nicknamed Bear) and I found this...

The Sea Otter is considered the hairest animal. Helping them to keep warm in the icy waters where they live, certain sea otters have arguably the thickest fur coat of any animal. Another contender would be the musk oxen, that has a thick coat of densely packed coarse hair. However in the unlikely event you pass one in the wild - don't get too close because they stink. They pee on their legs to keep warm and when they sit down the pee is soaked up by their hairy coat - producing the ponk* from hell.

Okay, so I'll have a little convo with our little musk ox.

(I'm totally kidding, that kid takes so many showers and wears so much foo-foo he smells heavenly...I caught a giggle thinking about him peeing down his hairy legs and well... one thing led to another).

Okay, back to my story…eventually I got placed on the "list" too when Daddio came upon my liddle biddie malfeasance.... I left a dead body on the wall. A splat for him to fix.

I'm brave enough to grab a magazine and bold enough to swat..but I can't touch the thing, I can't scoop the splattered guts and still quivering legs into a tissue. I'm scared that it is still alive enough to come after me....

Stranger things have happened.

I promised to have more respect for this man who doesn't love his current job, yet still does it well. I wll make sure we all try and do a better job of helping to keep things looking nice. I can't however make any promises about spider bodies.

I hope he loves me enough to understand.

* Minute: A very long time. (Yo I haven't seen you in a minute!)

*ponk: break wind; guff cut loose; freep; clear the room.