Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Mondayist Monday

I always get to work at 7:00am on Mondays because I help with payroll and attendance and all the other things that have to happen in the beginning of the week to make the rest of the week go smoothly.

This past Monday, though, was different. Well, wait. Not different in that I went in at 7. No. That happened. But I was only there for an hour and forty minutes before I had to leave with some co-workers to go to an Excel class. That was great fun.

Only too bad for me, because while I was off having excellent great fun learning the basics of Excel (which, honestly, I kind of already knew…shhhh, don’t tell.) the work I’d normally have been doing during my three and a half hours away from my desk…well, that work was not being done in my absence.

Where the hell is my assistant?

So I worked ever so hard for the rest of the day to try and catch up on the work that didn’t get done from 8:40am to 12:30pm.

Only guess what? I didn’t even get to work until my usual 4:30pm that day because too bad for me, I had to leave at exactly 3:00pm for a 3:15pm physical therapy appointment.

The appointment was fine. I’m fine. My arm, according to my therapist, is feeling less full of fluid, so that’s good. She also said something about the tissue moving better, whatever the hell that means. I’m guessing it’s good since she smiled as she said it.

I have two more PT sessions, just so you know.

I had to go to The Walmarts after work because on Saturday, the VERY SAME WALMART did not have cucumbers. RED ALERT – They did not have any freaking cucumbers. Did you know that I eat a cucumber every single day at work? It’s the main part of my lunch. Why the hell am I still so fat when a fucking cucumber is the main part of my stupid lunch? Please let me take a moment to point out that the rest of my lunch is not pecan pie (blech!) or anything else that would be considered high in calories and delectable. No. The rest of my lunch consists of a half a cup of blueberries, a single, lonely string cheese and if I’m REALLY lucky, Tom will have left a half a tomato on the counter the night before after dinner and I’ll toss that into my lunch container the next morning. Lovely.

Anyway, I was at Walmart on a Monday afternoon. I not only needed (NEEDED!) cucumbers, but Olivia, the poor dear, was down to her last Klondike ice cream sandwich. WHATEVER WOULD SHE DO FOR A 9PM SNACK!?! Cue the fucking violins.

Woah there. I’m getting ahead of myself with the pissy tone of this post. I wasn’t even pissy while I was at Walmart. I don’t mind that place much. Just on Saturday afternoons when I’m trying to get through droves of people who should have had the sense to leave at least one of the seven adults in their party home to care for the twelve children they brought with them.

Monday afternoons aren’t that bad, even now, in the middle of laker season. Ahh, lakers, don’t even get me started.

So yes, there I was, bag of cucumbers in my cart, off to the ice cream section then back to the bread because Alyssa had band camp all week and needs to pack her turkey and mustard sandwich. I also wanted to get an assorted bag of individual bags of chips for her to pack to. I’m a great freaking mother, don’t let my children tell you any different.

After grabbing a Payday in the checkout line (and I was wondering up there why the hell I’m so fat…yeah.) I made my way to the car through the sweltering heat. OMG you guys, it’s so hot tgus week. It’s like living on the surface of the sun, if the sun had a surface, you know, since it’s actually just a giant ball of flaming gas.

I went home, still in a perfectly delightful mood, since my car is equipped with this wonderful invention called air conditioning.

I walked in the door and Olivia wanted to know if we were going to go swimming.

I declared that to be a lovely idea and we both changed into swimsuits and gathered towels and snacks. I didn’t realize until I got home that both Tom and I put two bottles of water in my snack/towel bag. No wonder that damned bag was so fucking heavy.

Before Liv and I left, Tom asked me what time Alyssa said she’d be home. I informed him that I had no idea since I wasn’t the one who’d been home when she’d left. He informed me that he’d assumed we (Alyssa and I) had discussed this the night before.

I told him we hadn’t. I also suggested that since HE was the parent who was home when she left, he might have considered, you know, talking to her and ASKING her or, hey, here’s a suggestion, TELLING her when to be home.

He, in turn, suggested I sent her a Snap and ask her what time she planned to be home. He said, all pompous-like, that as a responsible person, she should know that nothing later than 9pm was acceptable since she has band camp all week and has to be up by 7am at the latest each day.

Basically, he was attempting to trap her by giving her the option to be right or wrong in when she thought she should be home.

Ugh. I sent her a message, she said she’d be home by 8. I told her that since Liv and I were going swimming and wouldn’t be home until after 8, she could make it 8:30 if she wanted.

Then I grabbed that heavy-ass snack/towel bag and Livie and I were off.

For snacks I took cookies (Olivia at ten, I had three – oh, look at that, reason number 7426 why I’m a Fatty McBitcherson), blueberries, and Doritos, regular and Cool Ranch.

We swam from 6:00pm until almost 7:30, at which point, Liv asked me if I’d be mad if she needed to get out of the pool and use the bathroom.

I told her that of course I wasn’t mad that she didn’t take a giant dump in the pool. I was freaking proud of her for realizing she needed to shit and did the responsible thing (ie, GOT OUT OF THE POOL) and made her way to a toilet.

After she made use of the toilet, we went home, where Tom was sound asleep on the couch. Olivia woke him up by touching his face with her icy cold hands.

I heated up dinner for Liv and gave Tom the rundown of the messages that Lyss and I had sent back and forth.

At first he thought she’d been the one to push the time back from 8 to 8:30. I had to backtrack and tell him that I was the one who suggested 8:30 and then, I went on to remind him that he’d originally said 9, so, DUDE, she was still getting home earlier than he’s originally suggested, so give it freaking rest.

But then…THEN… she texted me about how she and N had gone swimming and could they run to Dairy Treat and then come straight home?

You know what?

I’m sick of being the go-between. I don’t actually care if she’s home at 8, 8:30 or hell, even 10 on a week night. She’s a smart girl.

Alyssa, if you’re reading this, you’re an amazing person. You’re smart, you’re responsible, you’re kind. You’re a wonderful friend, a delightful daughter, and even a great sister (I mean, you’re no Norah Porch but then again, Olivia isn’t exactly like Delaney Porch so you get a pass. I love you bunches and forever.)

Alyssa KNOWS how much sleep she needs each night. Going out and having fun with friends after band camp isn’t going to make her suddenly think she can come home at 3am and get back up at 7 for the day.

So.

When she asked about Dairy Treat, Tom huffed, “8:45, then, right?”

I texted back that she could be out until 8:45 but by then I was annoyed with the entire freaking world.

I was annoyed with Alyssa for proving her dad right and pushing the limits, even if the limits DID NOT EVEN MATTER.

I was annoyed with Tom for making ME be the one who communicated our annoyance with her.

I hate being in the middle. I HATE conflict and time management. Let her grow up!

Damn it.

After Alyssa finally got home (at 8:44, for anyone keeping track…TOM)I was upstairs remaking Olivia bed because…Olivia.

Lyss came in to say hi. I was short with her. I feel bad about that. I was just so done with that day.

I did apologize later and told her I wasn’t trying to be passive aggressive. I don’t want to be THAT mom.

I ended up going outside and petting our gross cat for a while on the swing in the backyard.

When I finally went back in I was still annoyed but not as bad at earlier. Tom asked me where I’d been. I told him. He asked if there’d been mosquitoes out there.

I shrugged. I don’t get bothered by mosquitoes; haven’t for years. Who knows why?

He acted all pissy that I didn’t get bitten. So freaking weird.

I can’t wait for his shoulder to heal and for him to feel better so he can get off the couch and stop watching Court TV and murder shows. He needs to get outside, get back to listing, get back to feeling productive because the way things are right now, he’s getting on my very last nerve.

And for what it’s worth, 99% of the time, I like the guy. And even when I’m annoyed with him, I still like him, I just want him to leave me alone while I stew in my frustration for a bit then I’ll be fine.

In the end, I’m always fine.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Okay, Fine

So a friend who is also a cancer survivor mentioned on FB that her doctor suggested she try and keep to a plant-based diet with minimal meat.

Yes, I know this is what my stupid doctor told me to do too.

So fine.

Fine!!!

I’ll try.

Really.

I’ll research the stupid Mediterranean diet. I’ll start eating more lettuce and fewer Suzie-Q’s. Did you know that they’ve changed the recipe and now add MORE filling? They’re even more delicious than ever! Thus, my hesitancy to give them up; why yes, I am a child, why do you ask?

I’ll cut back on the Mega-Stuf Oreos (though, in my defense, I only eat the filling. I chuck the actual cookies out the window on my drive home…that’s few calories right there…just saying. And hey, deer and birds need the special treat that is a plain Oreo cookie sans stuffing, right? Uh, maybe? Okay, so I’m a wasteful bitch. Give me a break.)

I’ll pretend to like snacking on things like baby carrots and hummus and ignore my desire to eat raw cookie dough with a chaser of pickle juice to cut the sweetness of the triple chocolate chip dough.

I’ll try.

It’s not so much the meat I’ll miss when I attempt to adopt a plant-based diet. It’s the sweets, the carbs, the glorious sugar.

But I know it’s not good for me. I know!!

So yes. I’ll try.

And now that my stupid cold is almost gone, I’ll also get out there and walk again. That’s got to count for something, right?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Taking My Own Advice

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about a friend who is always VERY busy with her daughter and her husband’s ‘hobbies’ and I wondered aloud what my friend does for herself.

The co-worker gave me a look and I laughed, saying, “Yeah, I don’t do a lot for myself either, do I?”

It’s hard when you’re a wife and mom and a full-time employee to carve out time to do something that is solely for you.

Right, Julie? J

But I know that we have to try because in fifteen years, when our kids are all grown up and living independently of us, where will we be?

I can tell you one place I won’t be and that’s in a strawberry patch picking strawberries. Nope. That is NOT me time.

But what would I do with my time if my husband and children weren’t a factor?

Ummm…

I’m not sure. I’ve been doing this wife/mom thing for over sixteen years. It’s just who I am. But I know that I’m more than that too.

I want to be an advocate for cancer survivors and for special-needs kids and moms. I’d love to either join or heck, even start a support group for cancer patients/survivors who are just trying to figure out their new normal, whatever that means.

I know that caregivers live lives of solitude and I’d like to figure out how to fix that.

I saw my cousin this past weekend. Her daughter had spinal surgery a couple of months ago for scoliosis. S has been bedridden ever since. The outing over the weekend was the first time S was allowed out of bed since her surgery. She looked great, by the way.

My cousin, S’s mom? She looked exhausted. I can’t begin to imagine the loneliness she feels being at home with a child who can’t get out of bed. She has her own health issues but I’m pretty sure she can’t address them right now because, well, see the above paragraph about a bedridden child.

I know that while I was going through treatments, Tom and my mom both had some moments of being overwhelmed by being my caregivers. And hey, I was never bedridden, so there’s that.

During my months off work, I didn’t get our house into shape as I’d thought I might. I didn’t get any painting done or cleaning or organizing. I did make a blanket for my brother that I gave him for Christmas. But sewing is not my passion.

I think I need to find my passion. I want to. Can I? Will I?

I guess we’ll see.

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's Official

Yay?

I mean, okay.

We caught it early, just like the cancer that led to the lymphedema.

When the nurse measured my arms, Leftie was three centimeters larger than Rightie.

When the PT measured them exactly a week later, either Leftie had shrunk or Rightie had grown because there was only a 1.5 centimeter difference.

So that’s good news.

Alas, once you’ve been diagnosed with lymphedema, you will always have lymphedema, even if your affected limb doesn’t balloon out to elephant proportions.

For what it’s worth, I REALLY like to avoid that.

Apparently, I’m lucky that my affected limb is my dominant arm. That means I’ve maintained better range of motion due to constant use of said arm. (Read: I wipe my butt with the hand on the end of that arm…holding toilet paper, let’s not be any grosser than I’ve already been in this sentence.)

Typing is also good for the hands that might be affected by lymphedema. So, go me for having a job at which I sit and type quite a bit each day. And yay for blogging, right?

Right.

My insurance company approved the consult with the PT but hasn’t approved the actual physical therapy yet. Huh.

The therapist said it’s usually approved so we’ll see how that goes. She’d like to see me twice a week for four weeks and by then, I’ll have hopefully learned how to do the massage portion of the therapy myself.

That ought to be fun…for no one.

I’m not really as pissy as this post comes across.

I’m more…resigned.

I mean, the cancer diagnosis was bad enough. The surgery and ensuing recovery was, well, it was exhausting.

Chemo was awful and radiation, while not as bad as chemo, was time-consuming and tiring.

And now we’re throwing lymphedema into the mix because why the hell not? I guess I haven’t paid my dues enough yet.

I know I’m lucky to be here. Damn it, I KNOW that. I don’t want to go all ‘why me’ about this. Why not me, right?

It just sucks.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Why?

Why do I open my stupid mouth and say things like, “I’m so lucky! I haven’t had a cold in over a year. I mean, I had a cough during my last chemo but other than that…I’ve been so lucky!”

I’m an idiot.

I actually said those words about not being sick. I said them out loud to an actual other person.

And guess what? Two days later, I was coughing. A day after that, I had a sore throat and the day after that, I was congested and miserable.

I’m so stupid.

The universe does not like smug people.

Smug people who brag about the thing they’re all smug about are just asking to be bitch-slapped by the universe.

Okay, Universe, consider me bitch-slapped. I’m sorry. Truly.

I will never, ever again announced aloud, all smug-like, that I haven’t had even a cold for a long time.

I will always bow down to the power of the universe and its all-knowing ability to slap me down and make me sorry for having a big mouth.

Now this cold can go away and leave me to my quiet peace before I crack a rib from all the coughing.

P.S. Did you know that having radiation in the area where I had to have it can weaken the ribs and just coughing can crack those now-weakened ribs? Yes, cancer, even in remission is the gift that keeps on giving. Or you know, it just plain sucks, even after it’s gone.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Reason #7064 Why I Need to Chill

Last week I suffered a great deal of angst over the whole physical therapy thing. I was stressed over having to drive five thousand miles on a regular basis just to have my stupid arm massaged to make sure it doesn’t balloon into a cartoon version of itself.

This was on top of the fact that my doctor makes me feel like Fatty McObesity.

So I was kind of a bitch at home for a few nights.

I skipped a few dinners to punish myself for being…well, me.

I also walked and was miffed when Tom and Olivia wanted to walk with me because, hello, they don’t need to be punished!!

I took a few breaths, slept pretty well for a couple of nights and ended up calling the original physical therapy place back to schedule a consult.

I figured I could drive the million miles for a consult. Consulting with a PT didn’t mean I HAD to go back for any more therapy.

Basically, I started to get my shit together.

The very next day after I called the clinic that is on the other side of the sun and scheduled an appointment, I received call from the rehabilitation center at my local hospital telling me they’d received orders from my doctor referring me for physical therapy for lymphedema and did I want to schedule an appointment for the next week?

This would require a drive of two miles from my work to the hospital for this therapy.

Yes.

If I’d just chilled my stupid butt out, it all would have worked out without a lot of angst and tears and pissing my poor husband off.

Sigh. I might never learn but I am going to try.

See, wait. To give myself a little credit, the scheduler (Sandy) at the doctor’s office TOLD me to call the PT office that I originally called. At first, she wanted them to call me once she’d sent them the doctor’s referral. She had my cell # but I told her I didn’t receive calls while I was at work and that I didn’t have any voice mail set up.

Since I’m technologically challenged, she said she’d send the PT orders to IPT (the original clinic) and I could call them myself to schedule the appointment.

When I first called, the day I declared I was NOT driving to Pluto for therapy, the person answering the phone did not see any referrals for me.

What I think happened is that Sandy called IPT, they told her that their clinic is in the Delta Quadrant (REALLY FREAKING FAR AWAY) and so she decided to call the hospital’s physical therapy clinic, which is practically in my lap. Since they had openings, she sent THEM my referral and, hey, would you look at that, they called me a mere two days after my original doctor’s appointment.

Whew.

What a mess. But really, the mess is only in my head and that’s clearing, just as I knew it would. It always does. Those first couple of days after the appointment are always so awful and I know, logically, that things always get better. I need to remember to just keep to myself for a couple of days and my stupid mood will even out, I’ll calm down and everything will work out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Oh Nothing, Just Over Here Feeling Sorry for Myself

I saw the radiation oncologist the other day.

I’m fine.

Everything’s fine.

I show no outward symptoms of recurrence; which means he gave my stupid boobs a thorough rub down and all is well.

Except…I’m fat.

He was quick to remind me of all the studies that show that pre-menopausal women who develop triple negative breast cancer have a much lower recurrence if they reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

Duh.

I know that.

I KNOW THAT.

And yet, there we were, me in a stupid hospital gown, talking about diets and exercise and blah blah blah.

I was able to tell him that I’ve been walking thirty minutes each night for three weeks. I’ve lost four pounds since my late April appointment with the chemo oncologist.

Alas, that’s not nearly enough.

Did you know that muscle burns fat even when you’re sleeping?

Yeah, me too.

But Dr. R was quick to remind me of that fact as he suggested adding a weight resistance routine to my walking.

Okay, see, I know that walking isn’t the best exercise there is. I also know that I’m not going to go to a gym. I’m not going to join a yoga class (OMG, can you even imagine? Picture my fat ass in a pair of yoga pants and a sports bra in a class huffing and puffing amongst a group of strangers. Oh, that’s right, THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.)

So walking is the best I can do right now.

And let me state AGAIN that I will never, ever take on a weight-resistance or lifting routine again in my life.

I showed Dr. R my biceps as proof that even with minimal weights, I put on bulky muscle. He admired my stupid muscles and said he was jealous.

I eyed his scrawny arms and told him I was jealous of his.

Oh yes, I did say that. I am not even making that one up for story-telling purposes. Nope, I told my skinny doctor I wished I had his peewee arms.

Tom told me that Dr. R was probably not flattered by my statement.

I deadpanned, “I didn’t mean it as flattery.”

I’m sure you can figure out that once again following an appointment with this doctor, I’m in a REALLY shitty mood.

I hate myself so much right now.

I hate that I let him get to me. I hate that I’m so fat. I hate that being this fat could cause my stupid cancer to come back. I hate that I hate exercise. I hate that I eat too much junk food. I hate that my body is so gross. I hate that I’m a brat and an antagonist. I hate that when someone makes a gentle suggestion, I take it to heart and then just want to cry my stupid eyes out.

Oh… and even better still? My left arm is three centimeters bigger than my right arm.

Sure, I’m left handed, so…makes sense right?

Apparently this could be the first signs of lymphedema. Joy!

Dr. R wants me to start physical therapy on my left arm to at least keep the lymphedema at bay.

Okay.

I called the clinic near where I work yesterday. I was in the process of giving all my information when the scheduler said something along the lines of, “As of right now, our lymphedema clinic is at the Dupont Hospital campus. But on July 1, they’re moving to Clinton Avenue.”

I stopped her right there, “I’m not driving that far for this.”

I was probably bitchier than I meant to be but I was already in a horrible mood and being told that I’d have to drive a minimum of 40 minutes one way for this therapy pushed me right over the edge from annoyed to furious.

I held back the tears that threatened as she tried to assure me that the clinic wasn’t moving that much farther away than it already was.

“Are you familiar with Dupont?” she asked.

I am. I take Olivia to the dentist in that area.

“Do you know where Leo Crossing is?” she continued.

Nope.

“How about The Rusty Spur?”

I told her that I am not familiar at all with Fort Wayne and so nothing she was saying was ringing a bell.

I then told her I’d have to call her back. I was going to go home and research lymphedema and see how important this stupid therapy really is.

I think I apologized and told her I wasn’t trying to be difficult but going all the way to Fort Wayne on a regular basis simply wasn’t something I was interested in doing.

I mean, come on! Even if I had a 4pm appointment, I’d have to leave work at 3:00 and if the appointment lasted an hour, I’d not leave for home until 5, and because of traffic, would probably not get home until after 6.

No.

So after spending a little time on Google I learned that the therapy involved in treating lymphedema is 75% massage. They also wrap the affected limb and teach the patient how to care for their skin.

I got home after all this and had to take a minute before I could talk about it with Tom without crying.

I’m such a freaking baby.

Tom tried to help. I know he did. But he really just made it worse for me.

He followed a link from the site I found about therapy that talked about surgery. Right. Sure. Let’s just jump right to surgery.

The morning after the doctor’s appointment he said something about how I could drive to Fort Wayne once to meet with the PT and see if it is something I even really need.

I could. I might.

I need to calm down first though and get my head straight.

On the bright side, I don’t have to see the radiation oncologist for another year. That gives me plenty of time to get out of my funk and maybe figure out how to motivate myself to lose some freaking weight.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Radiologist

On the eve of seeing my radiologist for the first time in a year I’m a little pensive.

Am I worried he’ll find something?

Maybe.

Am I worried he’ll just give a quick exam that couldn’t find anything even if there was something to be found?

Possibly.

I like this doctor just fine but he’d the one of the many doctors I see who reminds me each time I see him that I’m a chunkalunk. He’s suggested I go on the Mediterranean diet.

He’s the one who made me think that, because of the above mentioned chunkalunkiness, I’m to blame for my cancer. I don’t think he meant to make me feel that but it happened all the same.

I want to be healthy. I want him to give me a thorough exam and declare me fit as a chubby fiddle.

I’ve been walking for a half hour each night for almost three weeks. That’s something ,right?

I guess, after all the excellent care I got while going through treatments over a year ago, I’ve felt a bit adrift over the past year. Sure, I’ve seen my surgeon, my chemo oncologist and my gynecologist each twice in the past year, that doesn’t compare to the weekly appointments I was having back in the thick of treatment.

I’m grateful for the reprieve but also feel lost knowing we’re not currently actively fighting cancer.

Sure, there’s probably not any cancer in my body to fight but…what if there is? What if we’re just sitting around, going about our days and cancer, that insidious bastard, is just there, in my body, throwing a party and inviting all its cousins to come over and start colonies in my liver and my lungs?

What if?

That’s the big unknown, right? And we all know that the sooner we know the better but as long as I’m ignorant of any problems, I can pretend that I’m fine.

And honestly, I’m probably fine. The odds are that I’m fine.

Of course, when I think that, my stupid mind goes to the fact that the odds of Olivia having 5p- syndrome were 1 in 50,000.

The odds of me having breast cancer were 1 in 8.

So…yeah.

Friday, June 21, 2019

First Job

The summer after I turned 16, I got my first job. I was a waitress at the Dairy Treat in the small town where I went to school.

This is not to be confused with the ‘town’ where I grew up, which was even smaller than the town my school was in.

Whatever, that’s not even the point of this post.

The point is, I started working when I was sixteen. It was…fine. It wasn’t fun by any stretch of the word but it wasn’t always awful. I worked with a good friend, Cheryl. I think she’s the one who actually got me the job in the first place. I got excellent tips from the construction dudes who were building the boardwalk along the lakeside so there’s that.

I learned that 99.9% of waitresses are working their butt off and when you’re a customer, you should be kind and understanding when they might seem like they’re ignoring you. To this day, I’m an over-tipper.

All this (five paragraphs? OMG, Tommie, get to the point or shut the hell up!) to say that on June 13th Alyssa started her first job.

My BAYBEEE is growing up…I’m so proud of her. And it’s kind of breaking my heart because that first step is one of the biggest steps away from childhood and I want her to cherish her childhood, to hold on to it for as long as possible.

But a job is a rite of passage. It’s the chance to find out what you’re made of.

Honestly, I think everyone, EVERYONE, should have to work in the service industry at least once in their life. And by ‘once’ I don’t mean one day of serving at McD’s or waitressing. No, everyone should have to hold down at least one service job for three months or more just so they can learn how to NOT be an ass to those who do those jobs for a living.

I don’t care if your name is (oh dear heaven, I almost wrote the name that is not spoken. For those not in the know, we simply call him 45 because I can’t even stand his name these days…)

Anyway!! I will try and keep the digressions to a minimum (too late!) from this point forward.

Where was I? Oh yes, I don’t care if your last name is Hilton or Zuckerberg or Jobs. I don’t care if your parents are bazillionaires. Everyone should have to spend a summer waitressing or standing behind a counter serving hamburgers or scooping ice cream, or scanning groceries at their local Wal-Mart.

Because if they do this, they might, just might, be kinder to the people who do these jobs.

Alyssa’s working in the cafeteria of a boy scout camp. She’s serving snacks and meals to campers.

It will build character and remind her that most people are working hard at whatever their job is and maybe they’re having a really crappy day and if they are, they’re probably not being rude AT you, they’re probably exhausted and other customers have probably been awful to them.

Okay, this is going nowhere. I have lost cohesion (everyone likes a vague Stephen King reference, right?)

But you get it right? Kids need to work because even when they’re good kids, they learn from being around people who aren’t their parents. They learn how to treat people and how not to treat people. They learn to get places on time and hopefully how to manage money.

They learn, which is the whole point of these big lives we’re all living.

Even when it’s hard for us parents out here to loosen the apron strings, to watch our kids drive away to their first job, their first date, their first night away from home. We want all those things because we want our kids to have the best lives they can.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Picking Strawberries

So, Tom hurt himself (shhhhh, he doesn’t want me to tell anyone) and so he’s been kind of down for the count for about a week. He slammed his shoulder into the corner of an archway and yeah, he’s broken.

The day before he hurt himself, my mom invited us over to pick strawberries. She’s got a bad knee and so picking berries or any kind of gardening is kind out for her right now. She, because she’s smart, been to the doctor and is doing the things necessary to hopefully get better.

Tom…because he’s a stubborn dude, hasn’t seen a doctor but I made him start wearing a sling about three days after his injury. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway. We picked strawberries on a Saturday. The following Tuesday afternoon I got home from work and the first thing Olivia asks me if if we can go to Gram’s.

I kind of shrug and say I don’t really want to.

But Tom pipes up with the suggestion that we do go to Gram’s because those strawberries aren’t going to pick themselves.

Sigh.

I hate picking strawberries.

I hate gardens in general because they’re so much work. There’s the planting, the weeding, the harvesting, the preserving of the harvest.

Ugh. So much work.

Alas, I am currently the only able-bodied adult in our immediate family and so the strawberry picking falls to me.

Tom instructed Alyssa to help…and she did, to a point.

But she’s a teenager, she doesn’t have a lot of gardening experience. She wandered around the strawberry patch, picking the occasional berry that caught her eye. She didn’t stop and bend and move the leaves of the plants and find all the berries that hide beneath the plants. And it’s fine. I didn’t tell her to do any of that.

About a half hour into our picking spree, she declared she was done. I think she might have swallowed a bug or touched a spider or something but she was completely over being outside in a strawberry patch. I made her trade bowls with me since mine was three-quarters full and hers was…not.

And to be fair to her, she’d been outside all day at high jump camp. She was tired too.

I picked for another twenty minutes or so, through my mom coming out onto her deck to yell that I could be done if I wanted to.

Yeah, except too bad for me, there were still berries to be picked.

All I could think about when I thought about quitting was that if Tom or my mom were out there and able to pick those stupid berries, neither of them would stop picking until there wasn’t a single ripe berry left to be picked.

Those two put the rest of us schlumps to shame. Their work ethic makes me feel like a lazy schmuck who never puts in a full day of work.

Which…isn’t necessarily wrong, but I don’t like to be made to feel like that. I mean, I fully admit to being lazy but it’s awful to be reminded of it on a regular basis.

But hey, to end on a positive note, since I sweated my ass off in a strawberry patch for over 45 minutes, bending and stretching and kneeling and wheezing, I didn’t have to drag my big, lazy butt out and walk that evening. Look at me, always looking for the bright side.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Bad Influence

So apparently, I’m the mom who leads the children of others astray into lives of deception and lies.

Alyssa decided to play social director one day last week.

She created a group chat with about seven of her friends. She and these friends then used the group chat to make plans to go swimming on a Friday afternoon. The swimming party would then move along and become a pizza party which would end at N’s house with a sleepover.

Among the friends was Zane, one of Lyss’s best friend, who just happens to be gay. He’s a sweetheart and I worry that his parents are in denial of his sexuality.

His dad will not let Zane spend the night with female friends.

As another of Lyss’s friends put it: Apparently, Z’s dad thinks the gay goes away after 10pm.

Zane would not be the only male attending this swim/pizza/slumber party.

D would also be there.

So…being the devious person I am, I suggested to A that she suggest to Z that he tell his dad (or mom, whichever parent he had to suffer that weekend) that he was spending the night with D.

I mean, it’s basically true. I’m sure that D and Z would be in living room on the couches while Lyss, N, A, S and K would be in N’s room.

So not really a lie, right?

Except, yes, it’s still a deception; one I suggested my teenage daughter tell her friend to tell his parents.

I’m a terrible person.

Yes, it’s true. And I feel almost bad about it.

But honestly, shouldn’t these teenagers be coming up with their own ways to lie to their parents?

Why is the 48 year old mom over here being more dishonest than the teens?

What is with this sweet, honest generation we’re raising?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

In Other News

I am so tired of hearing myself complain about walking for exercise and the misery that accompanies it.

So what else is new?

Oh, hey, yeah, Alyssa got a job.

She doesn’t start until June 13 but she’ll be a working girl then.

I know! Can you even imagine it?

She’ll be working at a scout camp on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 7pm making food/snacks for the campers.

I’m so proud of her.

She was referred by her choir teacher who worked for the scout camp for nine years.

Lyss was originally interviewing to be a life guard but because of scheduling for training and Lyss’s own summer plans, that didn’t work out. But one of her besties, Tessa, is going to be doing the food thing at the camp too so that ought to be great fun for both of them.

Next week Alyssa is attending a three day high jump camp as suggested by her track coach. We’d already paid and registered for the camp when she interviewed for her job so that cut into the life guard training.

And then…THEN, she’s starting voice lessons the week after that. I know, we’re getting all worldly around these parts.

Olivia…well, she broke her tablet earlier this week.

Sigh. Poor kid.

But wait, it wasn’t completely her fault.

First of all, her dad was chasing her through the house, as he does.

Second, the case she carried her tablet in was wearing out. Lyss had duct taped it together for Liv so…yeah, it’s not that surprising that the tablet slipped out of the case and fell to its death on the kitchen floor.

Of course we’re going to replace it.

Sure, Liv shouldn’t have been carrying the tablet around but, well, these things happen.

When Alyssa heard we were going to replace the tablet because it’s not really fair for the rest of us to have phones/computers/tablets and Livie to not have anything, Lyss kind of shrugged and said, “It’s her fault it broke.”

To which I replied, “I don’t care.”

Apparently, I said that a little more harshly than I’d intended because Alyssa looked a little surprised at my response.

I tempered it with, “When you dropped your phone last weekend, if more than the case had been damaged, wouldn’t you have wanted to replace it as soon as possible?”

Well.

When you put it like that, Alyssa was quick to agree that Olivia needs (first world need, I fully admit) a new tablet.

Sure, she’s got a bunch of books, she’d got DVDs and Netflix/Hulu but being able to sit and do her thing on her own electronic device is just a nice way to spend an afternoon/evening.

So yes, we’re replacing it. And I’m fully aware that we’re lucky to be able to do so.

But hey, now that the community pool is open, Liv and I plan to spent many a Saturday afternoon there.

I’m also going to take the occasional hot Friday afternoon off and stuff myself into a swim suit and hit the pool with her. It will get her off the aforementioned new tablet and out in the fresh air and sun, getting us both some much needed exercise.

And that’s our plan for the summer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Okay, Fine

In an effort to be transparent (because when am I not?), let me confess that I’ve continued to walk for a half hour each day after work and while the actual walking part is still miserable and unpleasant, the aftermath hasn’t been nearly as awful as it was those first few days.

Please don’t take this to mean that I’ve finally found my endorphins.

No. Not even close.

But I’m not nearly as sad and miserable as I was those first few days.

I’m not happy by any means but I can smile and find things to enjoy in the evening hours after my walk.

I don’t sit there and bask in pleasure at having actually walked but as long as I don’t have to get up and walk around on my sore, tired feet, I can laugh at the stupidity of ANTM Cycle 20 and enjoy my time with my lovelies.

I can be amused by Tom’s never-ending optimism when he leaves out half a tomato and half a green pepper, thinking that if they’re on the counter, I might actually eat them.

Ha.

No.

If I’m going to drag my carcass out into the yard to walk for 30 minutes, I probably am not going to be ingesting any calories afterward.

Please be reassured that I am not starving myself. I eat plenty during the day to cover the caloric deficit of the evening hours.

I’m just at an age where I know that if I eat after a certain hour, I will be miserable in the night. So no matter how light the meal is, if it’s eaten after 8pm, it will cause heartburn.

Damn. I’m middle aged, aren’t I?

How sad.

Though…the alternative is even sadder. So hey, let’s spin it another way. Yay, bring on middle age!!!

The aches, the pains, the occasional insomnia, the checking the clock to see if I should skip the caffeine, the heartburn, the covering the gray roots, the thin, sagging skin…the list goes on but again, the alternative is worse than anything on this list.

Bring it, middle age!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

"There He Is"

Some of the men with whom I work seem to think it’s cool to say this to every single dude they come across.

And sadly for me, these guys happen upon other dudes near my desk all day long.

So on a regular basis I get to hear, “There he is.”

This phrase is then followed by a chortle because the dude saying it thinks he’s so clever.

It’s eye-roll inducing on the best days. On my worst days (which seems to be the current mood) it’s rage inducing. I just want to punch someone in the nuts.

I might be losing my mind.

Monday, June 10, 2019

And Another Thing

Have I ever mentioned that I hate cooking corn on the cob?

Well, I do.

And yes, I know it’s just boiling the stupid things in water for less than 10 minutes. I still hate it.

I hate it so much.

Boiling eggs? No big deal.

Bringing water to a boil for potato soup or mashed potatoes? I can do that all day long.

But boiling corn on the cob makes me want to cry.

Why?

I have no idea. I just hate it so, so much.

Oh, I also hate shucking the corn before you boil it. The silks get freaking EVERYWHERE and you can never get all of them off the ears of corn. And you have to do it outside to avoid making a stupid mess in your kitchen.

Corn on the cob is so annoying.

And, because I baby the hell out of my children, I cut the corn OFF the cob before they eat it…so what the hell is the point of the cob, I ask you.

I know they’d tell me that it just tastes better and yes, sure. Of course fresh corn cut from the cob moments before being consumed is better than grody old canned corn but it’s also A LOT more work…for me.

And since these days my moods are all about me, there you have it.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Funk

Sigh.

I’m having a tough time.

I’ve made myself walk thirty minutes each day after work.

I’ve only done it three times at the time of this writing but each time has been a miserable experience during and after.

What I want to know is: Where the hell are my endorphins?

I read up on it and obviously, not everyone gets a ‘high’ after exercise. Just reading the comments on one person asking if they were the only one who didn’t get that good, good feeling from exercise pissed me off.

Not the question, obviously. The question helped me feel less alone in my misery. But some of the responses…ugh! What a bunch of assholes.

Those people out there who advise: Exercise is awesome, it makes me feel so good! You just have to find the exercise that works for you. Find something you love and you'll WANT to exercise!!! Blech.

Whatever.

Walking ‘works’ for me because it’s free, I can do it right there at home. I don’t have to go anywhere, pay someone, blah blah blah.

But I don’t enjoy it. I don’t get some rush when I’m done.

In fact, I’ve been in a horrible mood each evening after I’ve walked. I am sad, angry, and disgusted with myself and the whole stupid world. As punishment for my crappy attitude, I don’t eat dinner after I’ve walked either. Which I know is stupid. I KNOW. No one has to tell me how stupid that is. I know.

But I do it anyway because I’m so mad at myself.

Then I read more of those stupid comments and get angrier and angrier.

One such comment:

“I hate exercise too, especially working out alone. But when I join group activities, I get such a rush.”

Oh, fuck you.

I hate exercising in a group even more than I hate exercising alone. I hate knowing people can see me, can hear my stupid breathing, can probably see me sweating and watch my blubber flap as I move. It’s just all so awful.

Let me just say that I know I’m a contrary bitch. I have issues with people telling me what to do, even if they’re just making a suggestion. For example, Tom bought a bunch of vegetables one day while I was at work. When I got home, after my walk, which is the WORST time to suggest anything to me, he pointed out that I could have one of the cucumbers with my dinner.

He suggested this because he knows I love cucumbers. I eat one every single day for lunch at work. He’s a great guy, right?

But, because I’m a beast, I refused. I didn’t say it to him, but in my head, I whined that I don’t like COLD cucumbers. The ones I eat every day at work are taken

Apparently, there is no pleasing me. I’m hateful and awful and exercise just makes me worse.

I need to fix this, me. But I don’t know how. (Can you hear the whine in those words? Ugh!)

For what it’s worth, as I sit here writing and feeling sorry for myself, I do plan to walk again this evening, even if it makes me miserable. I’d rather be thinner and miserable than as fat as I currently am and still miserable. So…there’s that.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Triggered

Whew, last post was vicious. Sorry about that.

I guess reading that blog post about the mom of 14 who manages to work out for an hour every single day triggered some serious anger inside me.

I was in a horrible mood for the rest of the day.

When I got home I made myself walk for a half hour. I hated every single minute of it. I hated hearing myself breathe hard; I hated how much my back hurt. I hated that I got sweaty and that my stupid face got all red from exertion.

I’m just so angry with myself.

Why can’t I be one of those people who gets a rush from exercise? Why can’t I have a high metabolism?

Why do I love sweets so much?

As further punishment, I didn’t snack after dinner.

That should not be a punishment, by the way; since I’m a freaking adult that should be the norm. You eat dinner at 6ish and then you. Just. Stop. Eating.

Duh.

I’ve had a few people commiserate with me, telling me that it’s okay that I’m a fatty, I don’t smoke or drink, after all. So I should give myself a break because we all have to have our vices.

Yeah, but not really, right? Shouldn’t we all practice a little self-discipline? I mean, if I didn’t eat like a twelve year old left alone in the candy aisle of the local grocery store, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I want to be happy for people who find success in diet and exercise. I really do.

But I’m not that good a person, apparently.

Instead of rejoicing for them, I lament for me. I sit and feel sorry for my stupid self, wondering why I can’t do what they’re doing.

Then I berate myself, listing all the things I hate about myself.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I need to get off this merry-go-round because even though I like to spin, going round and round like this isn’t healthy, not physically and definitely not mentally.

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Starting Line

So…yeah.

I read the blog of a lovely woman who has 14 kids. She’s adopted some, birthed some. Some are typical, some have special needs.

This woman recently wrote a post about her daily, hour-long workouts and what she likes (and doesn’t) like to eat.

She said she’s 5’7” and before starting her workouts, she weighed 125lbs.

Yes.

And she confessed that she hates to eat.

What?

I mean…for real?

She also admitted that she knows she can’t afford to lose even a single pound.

OMG.

Whatever.

Except, okay. Sure. There are must be people out there who don’t like to eat, who have incredibly high metabolisms and who struggle to gain weight.

I’m obviously NOT one of those people.

I want to lose weight.

I do.

I just don’t know, right this second, how to even get started.

I’d love to exercise. I mean, if I could find an exercise that I didn’t hate and that didn’t make me breathe hard and sweat and feel gross, sure, I’d love to do that.

I was a naturally thin kid. I ran, I rode my bike, I played tennis against the roof of our house for hours. I mowed the lawn, an acre with a push mower. I moved a lot and didn’t even think about my body.

I think about my stupid body all the freaking time these days. I hate my body so much. I hate my stupid feet, my horrible stomach, my disgusting boobs. I hate my jiggly arms and my short neck. I hate my thighs and my chubby cheeks.

I know that’s awful. I’m sorry.

But I need to start somewhere. I need to find a way to motivate myself to NOT eat all the chocolate covered raisins; to not eat my weight (which is considerable…) in Suzy-Qs.

I need to WANT to go for a walk, to fight the pain my feet and just get off my giant butt and MOVE.

What do I start?

How does one start working out for an hour every single day?

I only have two kids and I can’t imagine finding the time to work out daily for an hour. I just…can’t.

I know I will never be that person who gets up early to work out. And once I’m home, I can’t imagine actually leaving my family again to go workout. So…what do I do? Where do I start?

How do I fix myself?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hey Jealousy!!

Our local school held the graduation ceremony on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Which is nice for those with graduates, it gives a day to recover from festivities. Others who might want to travel for the weekend probably aren’t so excited about this.

Anyway!! This isn’t about the school administration and their scheduling issues.

Alyssa wears T-shirts and hoodies. She’s not really a ‘dressy’ kind of gal.

Alas, she is in the band and choir, so she’s required to dress up on occasion. She often stands in her room wringing her hands in despair, lamenting her lack of dressy clothes. Which amuses me to no end because I try and try to get her to even LOOK at dressy clothes while we’re out and about but she refuses, saying everything looks stupid or just not her style.

Which, yes, of course dressy clothes aren’t your style, my dearest love. We all get that. But when you NEED them, it doesn’t matter that they aren’t your style, you still have to wear them.

Ahem.

Where was I?

Yes, the Saturday before Memorial Day. Which, if you’re keeping track is the day before graduation, my mom and I took A and O to Fort Wayne with the intention of looking at Kohl’s for a dress for Lyss to wear to graduation THE NEXT DAY.

Yes, nothing like waiting until the last minute. Sigh.

As is our norm, we decided to go to lunch before hitting the stores. We tried to go to Steak ‘n Shake in Fort Wayne but found that the north location (on Coldwater Road for those who want to know) has closed. Huh. Who knew? Well, now WE know, which is guess is what matters.

My mom suggested we just go to the mall. The girls very enthusiastically agreed with that suggestion. They love Sbarro’s pizza.

After lunch we headed to JC Penney’s because, well, it was right there.

We came across racks and racks of dresses priced at 40% off.

We picked five dresses and headed to the dressing room. My mom and I waited outside the stall while Liv went in with Lyss to serve as her zipping girl. It was sweet.

Alyssa ended up with three dresses, one purchased by me, one by my mom and the last one, Alyssa bought herself because she happened to have a bunch of cash on hand. Smart girl.

As we headed out of town, my mom commented, “It’s so sweet that Livie showed no signs of jealousy while Lyssie was trying on those dresses.”

I shrugged. Neither of my girls seem to be jealous of the other.

Olivia knows that even if she’s not getting a dress this week and Lyss is, it might be Liv’s turn next week (or you, know some other time.)

Now, don’t think I’m sitting here tooting my horn as an awesome parent who has fostered good will within her children.

Ha! We all know that none of this is my doing. I can’t take credit for their awesomeness. I mean, I’ve love to, of course. I’d love to be able to say that I’ve loved them both so thoroughly and so evenly that they KNOW there is no reason to feel jealous of the other. But…yeah. No. I don’t get that credit.

My girls are just good kids. They don’t feel any need to compete with each other because they actually like each other and enjoying seeing the other succeed and/or get nice things every so often.

We share the love and they both know that in the end, it will all even out.

Remember when I worried incessantly that Alyssa would be jealous of Olivia’s need for therapies and extra attention? Yeah, apparently, I was stupid for worrying.

I’m a lucky, lucky mom.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Flash Back to the Fifth Grade Field Trip That Didn't Happen



Fifth grade is the year that kids are introduced to D.A.R.E. At least that’s the case at our local school.

Olivia had actually enjoyed the monthly programs throughout the year. She’s come home each time with all kinds of stories about the day. I think her favorite was when the officer presenting one day was dividing the kids into pairs.

He pointed to two kids and said, “You’re a pair.”

Then he pointed to another couple of kids and said, “You’re an apple.”

Olivia got such a kick out of that one. She loves puns and ‘clever’ jokes.

Last week, with only two weeks left in school, she brought home a paper that described a fifth grade field trip. They were going on a day trip to a D.A.R.E. camp. And it was only going to cost each child $5 to attend.

The very first activity listed was…

Animal handling.

If you know Olivia at all you can imagine her reaction to that one. The face she made was priceless.

The next activities were things like ropes course, rock building, fire starting, canoeing…

You get the picture. It was a list of all the things that Olivia hates.

Then, the worst fate of all, according to Olivia, is that the kids were instructed to pack a sack lunch.

She brought this form home on a Friday. It was a full week and a half before the field trip was scheduled.

She worried all weekend long about how she’d eat lunch if she was expected to do so OUT OF A BAG. Let’s remember that she did not eat at school in kindergarten and first grade. She finally started eating a little of her lunch in second grade because they moved her from the regular class table to a table by herself. In third grade, she moved invited select classmates to join her at her exclusive table.

In fourth grade, she was integrated back into the regular table with the rest of her classmates, which is where she sits and eats these days. However, she never takes her food out of her lunchbox. She leaves the container inside the lunchbox and hovers over it, surreptitiously moving the food from the lunchbox to her mouth, hoping against hope that no one will actually see her eat.

She’s weird.

I told her on Friday evening I’d email her teacher Monday morning but she fretted all weekend about that field trip and the lunch involved and how much she did not want to go to that day camp. I also told her that even if her teacher said she thought Olivia should go, well, of course we’d just keep her home that day. We weren’t going to pay $5 and send her on a trip we KNEW she’d hate. We’re perfectly capable of torturing her at home for free. No need to pay some camp to do it for us.

I kept my promise and emailed her special ed teacher on Monday morning saying basically, “Olivia does not want to go to the D.A.R.E day camp. She’s suffering quite a bit of anxiety over the thought of having to attend. Help.”

Her teacher, bless her, replied immediately, “She does NOT have to go to that camp. She can spend the day in my classroom. I was planning to take my non-fifth graders to the Dairy Treat that day. Olivia can go with us.”

When I got home that evening, I informed Olivia of the new plan.

Her relief was palpable. She gave a sigh and said, “Yeah, ice cream is way better than animal handling.”

Oh gurrrrl. I feel you on that one.

In the end, none of this even mattered because the field trip was canceled due to inclement weather. Did you know that's been raining the Midwest since about mid March? Yeah.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

File Under: Advice I Hope I Never Have to Remind Myself to Take

So back in the day when I was receiving my first four rounds of chemo, my worst days after the chemotherapy treatment were Friday and Saturday immediately following the Tuesday that I received the treatment.

Fridays were awful with the body aches and the general lethargy.

Saturdays were a little better but the, um, intestinal distress kicked in then. Not horrible, nothing uncontrollable but still, distressing.

The routing in our house is that the girls and I buy groceries every Saturday after we’ve gone to lunch so as to not go to the grocery store hungry.

I never missed a Saturday during those nine weeks of receiving A/C chemo (adriamyacin and cyclophosphamide.) Looking back, I know that the reason I insisted on going to the store even on those Saturdays following a chemo treatment was because I didn’t want to admit that chemotherapy was affecting me enough to actually change my routine.

I didn’t want my cancer or the treatment necessary to ever affect my girls.

I know now, though, that it would have been okay to stay home on those Saturdays. The grocery shopping could have happened on Sunday or any other day of the week.

I didn’t have to push myself to be ‘normal.’

My life wasn’t normal at that point. I should have accepted the non-normal issues I faced and rested.

In the end, no one was hurt by my need for normalcy. We got through. Sure, I had to take more than a couple of bathroom breaks in Walmart on those Saturdays but I got through.

But if I could tell my past-self (or anyone else just getting a diagnosis and starting treatment) anything at all, it would be to let go, even just a little, of the need for ‘normal.’ It’s okay to admit that you don’t feel good. It’s okay to admit that chemo is hard. IT IS HARD. And it’s okay to not be able to do the things you did before chemo. Things will get better. They’ll get back to normal. And that normal may look a little different from the old normal but that’s okay too. You’ve been through a lot. Take the time to be kind to yourself. Let your friends and family be kind to you. But also, if it will cause you more stress to not buy those groceries, well then just buy the groceries. Do what you need to do to get through this day and handle tomorrow as it comes.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Hi Guys! Welcome Back to My Summer

The first day of summer started with Olivia climbing her little butt out of bed at 6:50am. And WHY would she got back to be when there was fan fiction to read and tablet games to play and dads to annoy?

Most school mornings I have to almost drag her out of bed. But that first morning? She was bright eyed and ready to start her summer.

Sadly for her (but mostly for me) I have to work this summer and so her summer isn’t going to be quite as fun as past summers have been.

Since I just started my job (you know, nine months ago) I don’t have a lot of vacation yet (I currently have four hours…HOURS) of paid vacation time. Sure, I also have four days of unpaid time (aka, personal time) available to me but who wants to go on a vacation and spend money when they’re not actually earning any money? Not me, I’ll tell you.

So we’re going to have to skip Cedar Point this year. We skipped it last year too since I wasn’t working and you know, that pesky money thing. I was also still recovering from radiation and so wanted to stay out of the sun and let some of the residual swelling at the surgical and radiation site go down.

We do plan to have a little fun this summer. I’ve found a really groovy sprinkler thing at Sam’s Club that can make your yard resemble a water park. No slide, alas, but it’s still really cool and it’s only $30.

My mom plans to take Liv and the boys (my nephews) to a really neat water park about twenty minutes from our house. I might take an afternoon off and join them once. It’s got slides, a pool, a wading pool, a hot tub, water cannon, etc. We went a couple of years ago and had a blast.

Since the local pool doesn’t open until 1:00 each day, I will probably take a few afternoons off this summer and take Liv to the pool. Alyssa, that weirdo, prefers the lake. Ick. I much prefer the lovely chlorine of a pool over the muck and sand and weeds in a lake. Alas, Olivia just likes water and so, in hopes of getting Lyss to go with us even a couple of times, I’ll probably suffer through a few visits to the lake. Of course, there are the weekends.

This year the 4th of July is on a Thursday, so we get the 5th off too as a holiday so yay, long weekend!! We’ll definitely do something.

I hope, though, that during all of her non-water time, Olivia will remember to put her tablet down even a little and read a book or three.

I’m not actually expecting this to happen…just hoping.

Of course, if I were a decent parent, I’d MAKE her read but since I’m not there all day, well, we know how well that plan will go down.

Confession: I was there all day every day last summer and I didn’t make her read. See above re: not a good parent.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Junior and a Sixth Grader

As of Thursday, May 23rd at 1:30, I am the parent of a junior in high school and a sixth grader.

That’s pretty awesome.

I got to see Amy’s granddaughter for the first time last weekend. She’ll be six months old on the 27th (she shares Olivia’s birthday.) She’s beautiful. She looks like her Mimi. Amy chose that as her grandma name when her ex-husband’s oldest daughter had kids and Amy was very active with them. I love it.

She’d have LOVED this baby. She was so sweet, so good-natured. Amy’s daughter and son-in-law are very lucky.

I got to hold that baby and it was awesome.

But..I love the stage my kids are now. I didn’t enjoy the baby stage as much as a lot of people do.

Babies are so much work. Sure, they’re adorable but they also need to be fed and cleaned and carried and put to bed and…and…and the list is never ending with their needs.

People who want to have babies because they want someone to love them are insane. Babies don’t love you. Babies need you.

Teenagers are so much better than babies. They might be sassy but at least they can feed themselves and take care of their own bathroom needs. They can dress themselves and make their needs knowing by using their words.

I love teenagers and preteens. Olivia won’t be a teenager for another six months and that’s cool too. She’s a little needier than your typical twelve year old but hey, she can speak, she can walk, she can (sometimes) feed herself. So yeah, I’ll take these two over all the beautiful babies in the world.

Sophomore year was good to Alyssa. She received the Outstanding Musicianship award from her choir teacher for the year. She got 5th place at the BBC (Buckeye Border Conference) in high jump. She participated in the school play. She went to several honors choirs/bands. She went on a lot of dates with Naomi and hung out with other friends too. I think she had a fun year. She started driving this year and will probably get a job this summer. That ought to be fun.

Fifth grade was…challenging at times but overall, I think it was a good year for Olivia. She is learning fractions (sort of) and has started to understand multiplication. It helps when I count by fives when we’re working on things like five times six and so on. Her reading is amazing and her creativity for making up stories and writing them down knows no bounds.

She loved the phases of the moon section of science and I currently know more about symbiotic relationships than I ever wanted to know.

We’re ready for summer, for a break. We’re ready to slow down even though that might not actually happen for all of us (I’m looking at you, Miss Lyssie Lou Who and that job you’re going to get.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Post Office Line Rules

I go to the post office every day for work. This is not a bad gig. I get to leave the office every single day at 10am. I check the post office boxes (yes, multiple), leave outgoing mail, get supplies if necessary (most only certified mailing papers, we sent A LOT of certified mail.)

Most days I don’t even have to go into the area where you have to interact with the postal workers. I just go to post offices boxes and the drop box.

But the other day, I had to go in and drop off…you guessed it, a certified letter and get the receipt date stamped.

So I got my stamp and went to the first of the six PO boxes I check each day. The very first one had an envelope in it addressed to one box below the actual box it was in. So…back to the counter I went to give the dude the envelope in hopes of it making it to the correct box.

Then I went back and checked the other five boxes, sure that I’d be on my way back to work in no time.

Only too bad for me, because after I got my receipt stamped and then dropped off the outgoing mail in the drawer, I checked the PO boxes and guess what? There was one of those yellow tickets (not a yellow ticket of leave, I’m not 24601) that say something like, “So sorry we missed you, please bring this to the counter to pick up your mail.”

Yes, I had to go BACK inside and wait for the postal workers behind the counter.

While I’d been gathering mail from the other five boxes, I heard the doors open and heard the lady postal worker call out, “Hello, I’ll be right with you.”

There were two workers that day, a lady-type person and a dudish person. The dude was at the far register and the lady was at the register closer to the doors through which customers enter.

I went back in to the counter area and this little old man was waiting closer to the door.

See, the lady-type worker was the one who’d spoken to him and so he was waiting closers to her area.

Now, I don’t know how your post office works but ours has a counter on the customer side of the counter. Waiting patrons wait on the far side of the counter for the next available worker.

The little old man was not where one usually waits but it didn’t matter. We’d both get helped in good time.

And hey, I was on the clock so whatever.

But alas, it DID matter to the woman who entered a few minutes after I did.

Little Old Man and I were waiting just inside the door.

This woman entered and within seconds, she realized that we were NOT waiting where we were SUPPOSED to be waiting. You’d think the world was going to end.

She informed me, “The line starts over there.”

I raised an eyebrow and said, “Yes, I know. But he was here first.”

She didn’t care.

She told me again, “But we wait over there.”

I narrowed my eyes and said, “I know.” Then I pointed at Little Old Man.

What the hell difference did it make where we waited? There were two workers and only three of us customer. The line was bound to MOVE fairly quickly.

But because this woman was the BOSS of LINES, she had the nerve to go up and take Little Old Man’s arm and LEAD him to where he should be waiting.

OMG! Seriously?

Then, she happily and probably SMUGLY took her place behind me, thrilled that all was right with the line at the post office.

Then..THEN! She started to explain to the back of my head that if we didn’t start the line where we SUPPOSED to start it, it would get all backed up when the post office got busy.

Guys? It was a TUESDAY…in May.

She actually mentioned how busy the post office gets during CHRISTMAS, like that somehow justified her audacity at TOUCHING poor Little Old Man. Did I mention that we were FIVE MONTHS past Christmas, which puts us SEVEN MONTHS before Christmas? What the hell does the fact that the post office gets busy during Christmas have to do with anything about that particular day?

I very pointedly ignored every single word she said because I didn’t CARE about her REASONS for doing what she’d done and I refused to give her the satisfaction of a response to her excuses.

I’m sure, though, that she left the post office that day feeling quite proud of herself for taking the time to school us commoners on the CORRECT way to line up at the Angola Post Office.

For what it’s worth, by the time I’d left with my envelope and bag of other miscellaneous mail, she was being waited on, Little Old Man had already left and…there was no one else waiting in line for service.

So yeah, waiting six feet from the ‘beginning’ of the line would have caused SO much trouble for ALL of the ZERO people who came in after the Postal-Line Police Woman, also known as HAG.

And get this, after all her explanations of the place getting crowded and the line being backed out the door were so very obviously ignored, she tried to get on my good side while I was waiting for the dude postal worker to get my envelope from where ever postal workers go when they leave the counter (ignore the man behind the curtain) by saying that Little Old Man reminded her of her dad, who’d died last year and she was just so enjoying this little bit of time with Little Old Man, as if he were some sort of surrogate dad for her.

Yeah, okay, Lady, whatever you say. Just because strangers who line up ‘WRONG’ remind you of your dearly departed Papa, don’t go around TOUCHING them. I mean…for reals. This is kind of a rule, as in the most important of all Post Office Line Rules.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Pool

For the last week or so, Olivia has been asking when the pool is going to open.

She’s ready for summer and swimming and afternoon at the pool with mom.

Last summer was amazing for us. It was the first summer I was able to be at home with Tom and the girls and Olivia and I spent more afternoons at the pool than I can count.

One night recently as I was tucking her into bed, she asked again when the pool was going to open. I told her it would probably open after school let out for the summer.

Then I said something about taking the occasional afternoon off to go to the pool with her, since the pool doesn’t even open until 1pm each day anyway.

She gave me a confused look and said, “But I thought you had the summer off.”

Oh, baby, I wish!

I told her no, I only had last summer off. This coming summer, I’d have to work since I’d just started my new job last fall.

Then I said, “But last summer was so great, wasn’t it? I loved spending my afternoons swimming with you.”

She nodded.

I reminded her, “We’ll still spend a lot of time together this coming summer, even though I have to work.”

I love that she remembers our awesome summer. I love that she wants to continue to spend time with me. I love that she’d figuring out who time works and building memories of past times.

I do wish we were independently wealthy so I could spend my days at home with her and Tom and Lyss (though, let’s face it, Lyss probably won’t be home much this summer…see: Teenager.)

Even with working, we’ll make more memories, spend as much time as possible in the water at the pool, swimming like mermaids and being silly. It’s what who we are, it’s what we do.

How lucky am I to still be here to do all this?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Sramriches and Other Embarrassing Memories

Back in the day, when Alyssa was a tiny tot, she often asked for macamoni and cheese.

It was adorable.

One afternoon a few years ago, my mom was watching Olivia and my nephew Jaxon. They were having tea and snacks.

My mom sliced some lemons for their tea.

Jax loves to eat lemons like normal people would eat an orange.

He announced to the room, “We’re eating womens.”

Olivia gave him a stern look and informed him, “We are NOT eating ladies!”

Jax’s favorite food group is the sandwich. But until very recently, he called them sramriches. I can’t stand the cuteness. His absolute favorite sramrich is the peanut butter and jerry kind.

When Lyss was still eating macamoni and cheese, she’d often ask me, “Mommy, can I have something from the nitchen?”

Because I’m a horrible human being, I’d say to my eighteen month old (no exaggeration, she was speaking in full sentences at a year and a half, don’t judge me, Olivia spoke at three, so it all evens out to average. I’m not bragging, just telling it like it is.) “But Lyssie, we don’t have a nitchen.”

And she’d reply with the haughtiest of tones, “Mom. You know I mean kitchen.”

Can I remind everyone that she was eighteen months old at that time of these conversations?

Jaxon’s favorite president is Hammerham Lincoln.

We fought an endless battle with Olivia to get her to stop using her shirt sleeve as a napkin. Tom finally gave up the fight and cut the bottoms off old socks, creating what he called, “Sleevekins.” The cuffs of the socks fit perfectly over O’s arms and sleeves, creating a removable area she could wipe her mouth on and save the sleeves of her shirt. Tom’s an innovative fella.

For the record, she hasn’t had to use a sleevekin for several years. We’re not completely disgusting over here.

Until a couple of years ago (Jaxon is eleven, by the way) he called my girls Ryssie and Ribbie. I think I might love this kid.

I want to remember these things so I can tell these stories at each of their graduations. Because that’s what we oldies do to the younguns, that’s why.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

No...with a Side of PSTD

think I have post-traumatic stress syndrome left over from the twelve years of sleep deprivation I suffered at the hands of my wonderful, loving, adorable, EVIL children.

Why do I think this, you ask?

Let me tell you!!

First, background (because I can’t just jump into a story, I have to give background and make it that much longer, right? Right.) Mother’s day was lovely. Tom and the girls were very kind to me and I got some wonderful things and loving words. I slept in, Tom made breakfast, Alyssa got me a bamboo plant that I took to my desk at work. All great things.

Alas, laundry does not care that it was Mother’s day. Laundry sat in the basement in great piles and taunted me. It reminded me that I better not spent too much time at my mom’s celebrating HER because that laundry was not going to do itself.

So I did laundry all afternoon on Sunday, as it my curse. (Let me stop here and say that I don’t actually mind doing laundry. In all actuality, in this day and age, it kind of actually does do itself. One simply loads the washer and then the washer does the actual work. The dryer is the same. I don’t even mind folding and putting away all that laundry. I feel like it’s a labor of love for my family. Yes, seriously.)

Anyway! The laundry was taking FOREVER because I chose to also wash all the sheets that day.

Tom offered to ‘help.’ As in, he’d load and unload the machines but he’s not one for folding or putting away.

He also always overloads the washer which means it take two cycles in the dryer to finish a load. Ahem.

So…I ended up leaving only a load of towels unlaundered Sunday night.

When I got home from work in the Monday after Mother’s day, Tom had washed and dried the last load of towels.

He’d also done a bit of research on bedwetting. He’d done this FOR ME, don’t you know?

More backstory, I wet the bed until I was eight years old. My mom was so great about never making me feel bad about this. It was just something I couldn’t help doing.

Our house is a house of bedwetters. We can’t help it. One of us stopped at nine years old. The other…well, let’s remember that the freaking cards are stacked against her. Not only did she get the bedwetting gene from her mother but also probably from her father (not going there, not this time) but she also, unluck of the draw, was born with a syndrome that causes problems with potty training and all that entails.

I don’t mind washing sheets several times a week. I don’t mind that she sometimes needs a shower firs thing in the morning. She sleeps through it all and that means, YAY, I sleep through it too.

Have I ever mentioned that Alyssa, that darling girl whom I treasure with every cell in my body, didn’t sleep through the night until she was two years old?

I have? Oh, okay, well, there it again, written out for all to see.

And, just for the record, let’s remember that my sweet Olivia, light of my life, didn’t sleep through the night until she was EIGHT (8) YEARS old. Yes. YEARS. As in, she woke up every single night, at least twice, sometimes four or five times for more than TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND TWENTY (2920) nights. That’s not even adding in leap years or that last month of nights from when she turned eight in late November and then, FINALLY, in December started sleeping through the night. Sit on that and ponder how I came out even semi-sane.

Ahem.

So.

That Monday afternoon, my better half had done some research on bedwetting and alarms one can purchase that will go off at the first sign of dampness.

He was thrilled to find that he could purchase one such alarm for the low, low price of $23.95.

Wouldn’t it be great, he thought, if the child who still wets the bed (for what it’s worth, she wears Pull-Ups and they don’t leak all that often) were to learn to wake up when she felt the need to pee?

Sure. It would be awesome if she did that. Not just for us but mostly for her. We want her to have that freedom, that sense of maturity and maybe even, someday, spend the night at a friend’s house without having to worry about the stress of Pull Ups and/or wetting the bed.

And yet…when he showed me the picture of the kid on the website wearing that alarm, I had to hold back tears.

Look at this picture:


Doesn't everyone feel panicky at the sight of that peaceful imp, just sleeping so soundly, alarm ready to BLAST him and the entire population in the tri-state area awake at the first hint of moisture?

The very thought of being woken up several times a night by a screeching alarm for, what weeks, or oh please dear Heaven, no, months?

I can’t go back to that.

We’ve been sleeping well for four years. But those four years haven’t erased the twelve years prior to that when I was woken up no fewer than two, most nights four times every single night for YEARS.

Is it selfish of me?

Probably.

Should I get over myself and do what’s best for my kid?

Obviously.

And I probably will but I had to put this out there, that sense of doom and depression that sets in at the thought of going back to being woken up over and over and over again each night for who knows how long.

I dread it. I feel panicky at the thought of it. It makes me sick to my stomach just considering the possibility of starting those nights of being pulled from a deep sleep, stumbling around, helping her to the bathroom, finding dry undies, resetting the alarm and then doing it again and again and again.

Tom could tell that I was not into his idea. (Yet another parenthetical: He always gets a little pissy when I don’t immediately embrace and applaud his ideas. He’s a little princess about that kind of thing…sigh.)

I tried to explain to him that he didn’t understand my panic because he wasn’t the one who got up with those two demons angels every night for years.

He offered to set up a cot in the family room and sleep down there with our darling until the alarm did its job and trained her brain to wake up when she needs to pee.

Ha. Hahaha.

Right.

He’s a funny, funny guy.

We all know who will be responding to that stupid alarm if we go that route. And it won’t be Not-The-Mama.

I’ll grin and bear it and I’ll come here and bitch and moan about it, because it’s what I do. But I can’t promise to be sane when this is all over. That, my dears, is simply asking too much.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

At


I have often told one my children that her sister is not doing something AT her.

A week or so ago, I felt like I needed to tell a male relative that same thing.

The female partner in that marriage had taken it upon herself to fix a door that wasn’t latching. She was very proud of herself and showed off her handiwork to the rest of us.

The Man, who was sitting on the end of the couch where he’d probably been all day long, rising only to eat the food that had been prepared for him by his wife, got extremely pissy about her having fixed the door.

He said loudly and obnoxiously, “I guess I’m not needed around here. Maybe I should just move out.”

What?

Where did that come from?

It wasn’t as if she’d fixed the door AT him. The Wife said calmly, “That door hasn’t latched properly in months. When someone mentioned what might fix it, I tried it and it worked.”

Man replied, “I’ll just move out and take all my stuff with me.”

Wife replied under her breath, “Promise?”

But seriously? Why was he so mad that she’d fixed the door? Had he expected her to TELL him the door wasn’t latching? I mean, he used the bathroom every single day, several times a day, had he NOT noticed it wasn’t latching?

For the record, Tom is NOT Man in this scenario and I am obviously not Wife. Tom pretty great, actually, when it comes to seeing what needs to be done and just doing it without any input from me. He washes dishes when he sees them in the sink; he will feed the girls when it’s dinnertime without my having to say anything.

And none of this makes him a hero. It makes him an adult; a partner in our marriage.

The couple in question are both retired and Man has decided that retirement for him means he sits around all day long, not lifting a finger around their house. He doesn’t wash dishes, doesn’t do laundry, has never vacuumed a rug. He will mow the lawn but he bitches and moans the entire time if Wife doesn’t help him with the mowing.

Wife does all the cooking, all the cleaning, most of the gardening and I think she’s on the verge of being done with it all. And get this, when Man does do something like, say, mow the lawn, he bitches and moans for hours afterward if Wife doesn't get on a mower and 'help' him. And the times he gets off his butt to weed the garden? HE LAYS DOWN IN THE GARDEN WHILE WEEDING. Who does that? I mean, seriously?

She’s a saint in my book because Man is still alive and well-fed. If I were in her shoes, I can’t say the same would be true. He might be alive but not because I kept feeding him. Hell, I rarely prepare Tom’s food even though he’s an actual nice person because he likes weird things and so he cooks them himself. And guess what? He’s a grown man who knows how to use the stove and as such, I do not heap praise upon him for taking care of himself.

But honestly, even the laziness isn’t the worst of it. The fact that he gets mad, acts like a freaking child, when she does something he thought he should be ASKED to do is what gets me. Grow up! Stop being a passive aggressive ass and make yourself useful.

No one fixed the door so that you would feel useless. She fixed the door so people could use the bathroom with the door closed and latched.

I don’t think this is a gender thing so much as a personality thing. This guy is just lazy and hypersensitive to his laziness. He knows he’s lazy but he doesn’t actually want anyone to point it out, so if he thinks you are pointing it out, it’s going to piss him off and he’s going to be an ass.

I know there are women out there who are much the same (me…maybe? I hang my head in shame at the very thought of being at all like him.) but in this case, he definitely has some ideas about gender roles and who should do what around the house, even though both are retired and have the same amount of hours in the day.

This is just a bunch of rambling to say that some people just suck. That’s all.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Relatively Speaking

At work one recent Friday, a co-worker came in from being outside and declared, “It’s really nice out there.”

Oh, really?

About a half hour, I went out to check our company mailbox.

I decided that, sure, it was lovely out there, if one was simply walking to one’s car after a leisurely lunch. But being outside for hours at a track meet? Not so much. And guess who was going to be attending a track meet that afternoon/evening.

This spring has been…wet…and cold; oh wait, and windy…so very windy.

Of course, there have also been some very lovely days.

These opinions are all based on track meets, don’t you know?

And back in the days of junior high track we had a couple of MISERABLE springs.

So, relatively speaking, this has been a decent spring.

Seventh grade was awful. So cold; windy and cold and snowy! That first meet was just amazingly terrible. It was held in Pettysville, Ohio. Go ahead and look it up on Google Maps.

I’ll wait.

.

.

.

See how it’s there in the middle of freaking nowhere? Yes, there are flat open fields around the track. No windbreaks what so ever. It was so awful and because I was a novice track parent, I hadn’t gotten Alyssa any of the necessary garments that track athletes wear under their uniforms on cold days.

So there she was in a tank top and shorts and it was all of 45 degrees Fahrenheit with a horrible wind blowing from the west.

We remedied the lack of running pants and long-sleeved shirt the very next weekend but I confess to still, four years later, feeling a bit of maternal guilt over that one.

I don’t really remember eight grade meets all that much except the one at my high school where it rained the entire meet. My mom and I both had umbrellas and yet, because of the way the rain was falling, we ended up soaked. I don’t think the temperature was much above 50 that day.

Last year, the weather was so crappy in the beginning of the season that they cancelled/postponed at least three meets.

I was glad for this…cancer treatments, bald heads and cold track meets do not mix well. But I wasn’t working and so I couldn’t justify not going to any meet that was actually happening.

They did postpone one meet so far this year. It was due to cold temps and rain. I think the high that day was 42. I greatly appreciate not having to sit out in that kind of weather for hours on end.

But on the other hand, we’ve had some amazing weather for a couple of track meets too.

The very first one was so nice that we all ended up sunburned because we weren’t used to 62 degree weather and sunny skies.

Basically, spring in the Midwest is a crap shoot. One day it’s 65, sunny and low winds and the next day it could be 40 degrees with 20 MPH winds and rain/sleet.

Tell me why we live in this area again.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friendly

I've turned into my mother. I remember back in the day, when I was a sullen pre-teen and teenager and I'd go to the grocery store with my mom. It drove me NUTS that she talked to EVERYONE. She talked to the cashiers, she talked to the baggers, who were sometimes (rarely...but sure, sometimes) cute and it was so embarrassing.

Guess what? I have a face that says, "Talk to me, I care."

Sure, my face lies but I don't have the heart to stop people when they take me at face value (ha! Get it?) and talk to me.

At Alyssa’s track meet one blustery Friday afternoon, I stood at the fence watching her compete in the high jump.

Next to me stood a lady who must have been in her mid-seventies.

She was lovely. Let’s call her GM (for GrandMom)

As the relay that was taking place on the track began, the lady next to me said she was there watching her grandson, who was seventeen.

I smiled and pointed out Alyssa, saying she was sixteen.

This opened the door and I found out that my fellow spectator was raising her two grandsons, who are seventeen and thirteen.

She lost her husband quite a few years ago and then, when her son died, she took guardianship of her grandsons.

I didn’t ask where their mother was. Maybe she died when the boys’ dad died.

I also found out that this woman’s mother lived to be 100 years old and mowed her own lawn up until the end.

I mentioned that I lived three miles from my mom and GM told me that she’d lived a mile and a half from her own mother and her brother, who never married and lived with their mom until the end, told her she couldn’t move any closer than that or else she’d end up back in her mom’s house.

I told her that she was a very good person for taking in her grandsons and she replied with a shrug, “You do what you have to do.”

Her grandson who was compete that night fell during a hand off in one of the relays. He happened to fall right where we were standing. She made him show her his hands, which were pretty scraped up. She told him to go wash them and get a med-kit.

Later in the evening, her grandson came up and put his head on her shoulder. She patted his head with her hand. It was so sweet.

When I told Alyssa this story the next day, she said, “You make friends everywhere you go.”

I suppose I do. It’s not a bad habit to have.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Momentum

The valedictorian of my high school class gave a speech about coasting.

It was a good speech. I mean, I still remember is thirty years later, it must have been decent, right?

He talked about how easy it is to coast through life but if you do that, at some point, you’re going to realize that you’ve coasted right past the points where you could have made difference choices.

He said something about being more deliberate, making actual choices and following through because when you coast, you’re letting life lead you rather than you leading your own life.

I feel like I’m lacking momentum these days.

I get the bare minimum done. I do what needs to be done to get through the day.

The laundry gets done on Sundays. The girls are fed, the carpets vacuumed and the kitchen floor is swept.

But nothing else ever gets done.

I have a list of things I want to do and it keeps growing. But I do the minimum because I lack the motivation to even get started on those other projects.

I think that once I get even one thing started, the momentum I will build will at least help me finish one of those projects.

These projects aren’t the type that will make our lives hard if they don’t get done. It’s not like I need to reshingle the roof and am just not doing that. No, it’s more like the closets need to be organized, or the toy room needs cleaned out. These are not life-enhancing projects, but they’re things I’d like to get done and they just aren’t happening.

I’m tired.

Like, all the time.

But that’s no excuse for not getting off my tired, achy butt and doing things.

Except, there’s laundry that needs to be folded and children who need to be fed and those cookies aren’t going to bake themselves.

I’m looking for a little motivation to stop coasting. Got any tips for creating momentum out of apathy?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Foul Ball

The last track meet of the season (not counting the BBC meet – aka Buckeye Border Conference) was the first Monday in May. It was a make-up invitational meet that had to be rescheduled due to ridiculously cold temps and monsoon-like rains. This spring, I tell you, has been the wettest in forever.

There are ponds where there hadn’t been before, rivers are overflowing and there’s mud everywhere. It’s as if we moved to the wetlands of Florida without the warm temperatures. I’m over it.

Lucky for us, the weather on that Monday was quite lovely. The sun shone intermittently and the wind, while brisk, was not blustery. Did I mention that the wind at these freaking meets has been horrible? Yes, it really has.

Back to the meet.

It was held in Hicksville, a small town (though bigger than our town) about twenty minutes south of us. The track in this town is not at the school. It’s across town, actually. It’s in what they call the ‘athletic fields’. The football field is there as well as several baseball diamonds. #foreshadowing

Parking was awful that day. There were at least two baseball games going on. The track meet was an invitational, so there were at least six teams there along with all the attending parents and grandparents. There was also a soccer game being played somewhere among the fields.

And what the actual hell, Ohio drivers? Why must you all park like you’re driving a $100,000 car? You can’t be bothered to actually park close enough to the car next to you so as to NOT take up two space each?

Lucky for me (ha!) I work at a place with the narrowest parking spots in the tri-state area. So too bad for you, but I’ve become an excellent parker. Not to brag, but I can wedge my Chevy Equinox into the tightest space imaginable and do it in one try.

So my mom and I arrived at the meet, we found the last parking spot left by the obnoxious Ohio drivers and their horrendous parking abilities.

We paid our $5 to get in and made our way to the high jump, which, wheee, was close to the port-o-pots I needed to use because I have a bladder of a field mouse. Port-o-Pots are NASTY.

While I was in there, I heard them announce the results of the girls’ high jump?

What? We were maybe ten minutes late, who were the girls already done with the high jump?

Apparently, they’d started a half hour earlier than I’d thought they were starting. Huh.

Alyssa tied for second place, by the way. Go her!! Wish I’d seen it.

We left the high jump and headed to the bleachers beneath which Alyssa and her teammates had placed their bags. Why they feel the need to hunker down beneath the bleachers like a bunch of hoodlums at every single meet is beyond me. I do not claim to understand the minds of today’s teenagers. Let’s face it, I’m old.

Alyssa came out and told us she’d cleared 4’6” again, which was awesome. It’s her current record for this year. She was quite proud of herself, as she should have been. I was proud of her too.

She didn’t end up running in any races, so, my mom and I paid $5 each to watch her sit on a grassy knoll across the track from us. That was great fun.

We finally decided we’d had enough of the brisk wind, the shouts of other parents nearby and the non-visits from our favorite high school athlete, so my mom and I headed back to my car to go home.

As we approached my car, the lady in the car next to mine asked me if my car was mine.

Uh-oh, I thought. Did she think that since I’d had to park a little close to her vehicle that I’d dinged her door? I hadn’t but I didn’t know if she knew that.

I told her that it was indeed my car.

She pointed to it and said, “It was hit by a baseball.” Then she pointed to a dude and his dog. The dude was holding a baseball. He said he was getting it for is dog.

Oh.

Okay, then.

Apparently the ball the dude was holding was the ball that had hit my car. I glanced at my car from the front and didn’t see any damage. I moved toward the driver’s side door and still didn’t see any dents. Thankfully, I didn’t see any broken windows.

The lady in the neighboring car pointed to my drivers’ sideview mirror.



Ahh, there it was. The fixture itself wasn’t broken but the mirror that sits in the fixture was shattered.

That was a hell of a hit from the baseball diamond. Alas, poor kid, it was definitely a foul ball.

By this point, the dude with the dog had absconded with the baseball that had hit my car. I wondered why he’d want a ball that probably had glass shards in it for his dog. Weirdo.

I called Tom to see if I needed something from the baseball people in case we had to make an insurance claim. He said they’d probably believe us that a ball hit the mirror.

I place the mirror, which was hanging on by a couple of wires, gently back into the fixture and started for home.



I crawled over speedbumps and it held all the way through town.

Alas, the first time a truck passed me going the other direction, the blast of wind caused the mirror to fall out of the casing, it dangled at a lovely angle that allowed me to see myself in profile the rest of the way home. That was a special kind of torture.

By the time I got home, Tom had already ordered a replacement mirror off eBay for $37.90. He’s pretty sure he can change it out himself.

I do know that it could have been so much worse. It could have been the back window or even the sun roof. So…while it sucks, I’m not losing any sleep over a broken side view mirror.