Monday, December 29, 2008
Christmas village up & working - check. Tree still up - check. Public areas decluttered - check. Everyone invited - check. Hats and noisemakers - check. Champagne - to be picked up Tues. Grapes- pending. Backyard spotless - check. Pool cleaned - being done now. Backyard lights working - check. Dog bathed - set for Wed. Liquor cabinet stocked - check.
We are good to go.
I have no clue how many people are coming. I don't know what they are bringing. This is always a trauma for many not for me. It's a true pot luck. Bring whatever or not. I makes no matter. If you can come then do. If you don't RSVP and your plans fail, my party can be your back up, that's OK, show up. The only ones that have learned to appreciate this are my kids. The past 2 years they have invited friends and opened the invitation to their families etc. A few have come. Some are now going to be repeat guests.
People feel like their imposing, like they need to help me pre-plan. What if everyone brings dessert?! I laugh and say then we all eat dessert - oh the horror. It doesn't matter. I didn't go because I hadn't told you I was going and I didn't want to put you out at the last minute. This is not a sit down wedding people! It's a New Year's Eve party. If I run out of champagne (which I never have) then we'll toast with the next available thing. It's not about the stuff. I don't know how to impart that any better in my invitation. It's about the being with friends and family and sharing the time together. Here's the e-vite that I sent out this year:
It’s that time of year again! You are cordially invited to make merry and party hardy at the New Year’s Eve Bash! WooHoo! As you know (unless you are a newbe) the invitation is officially extended to you and anyone you would like or are obligated to kiss at midnight. There will be partygoers of all ages and all ages are welcome from abuelita to el bebe. Rumors are the adults may be outnumbered this year, as my children are actually inviting people too! (Can I get another WooHoo!?) We provide music, champagne for those old enough and sparkling cider for those not old enough and grapes to eat at midnight. In addition, we have a few other traditions such as traipsing around the perimeter of the house with luggage (to bring travel in the coming year), we throw the bucket of water out the front door (to wash away the evil spirits that may haunt us from this year) we ask that this event be limited to one person per family. We will also have lentils to be eaten at midnight (to promote good fortune in the coming year) provided by Miriam. And last year (I think) we learned that we should wear yellow underwear (for good luck according to the Costa Ricans), plan accordingly, underwear not provided at the party. ;) This party has been had in melting heat, cold (it all relative, people we do live in SoFLA) and in the rain. Nothing will keep us from ringing in the New Year! So, where is this shindig? xxxx SW xxx Court. My cell 305-xxx-xxxx. What do you bring? Whatever you want or nothing at all. It’s all good. If you need to eat or drink something special bring it. If you want to use us a guinea pigs and try a new recipe, fine by me. If you didn’t think you were coming, and last minute had a change of plans, please show up. There are no rules, other than keep it legal and there are no rules. Dress up, dress down just come and have some fun! If you need to hear or dance to something special, please bring it although I must say we traditionally have everything from Celia Cruz, to the Partridge Family to Christina Aguilera to Will Smith and Tim McGraw. We are quite an eclectic bunch.
Hope you can join us and if not have a wonderful and safe holiday.
Disclaimers: We have a pool that is ungated. Although there are many who will be more than willing to jump in after a child we ask that you keep track of your own. There is usually basketball playing in the backyard and football playing in the front (yes on the lawn-its perfectly safe) expect sweaty, grass stained, dirty children on the ride home regardless of how they arrive.
Where ever and however you spend it, I hope that the new year brings wonder, joy, love and laughter to you every day.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I have always made Christmas gifts from the kitchen for neighbors and co-workers. This year that list expanded. Honestly, I enjoyed making it all and as a bonus it was more economical than buying stuff and I think more useful. The only gifts that I truly went to a store to buy were for the kids. The few that I have to give to got their toys.
Adults in the family are mostly getting homemade things too. I made so much Creme de vie this year and gave so much that I have actually run out. I need to make more. I made 5 liters, more than I ever make and was short. The last bottle that was actually going to be a gift for my boss, 19 asked if he could give to his girlfriends parents. So, the boss is getting cranberry bread that was intended for the host of Christmas day brunch - oh well.
Which leads me to my kids. Part of my gift to 19 was to give him money to buy his girlfriend tickets to go to see The Nutcracker. He wanted to surprise her and he did. He told her to dress up nice, suited up and armed with tickets in a Santa gift bag and a bottle of creme de vie with an ornament hanging from it he went to her house to spread Christmas. I was the one bottling and scrambling for the bag at the last minute. As he was ready to walk out the door, he looked at his wares and said, "wow, mom. This all looks really nice. Thanks." He gave me a kiss and went out the door. Did he know that he just gave me a gift? After their outing, they went to dinner and after 11pm he called. "Are you up? We can go by and tell you about it, if you want?" Yes, I'm up, come on over. Of course, I jumped out of bed and got dressed and went out to wait for them. I listened to their retelling their evening. Her anticipation, his nervousness, her surprise, their enjoyment at the show. 16 sat with us and entertained us all with his sarcastic comments peppering their story. What a gift they gave me. I didn't get to bed until after 1am and I'm at work this morning but what I gift I had last night sitting with my boys and his girlfriend sharing stories and laughs. Priceless!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Honestly, I don't blame him for wanting to throw the 5 lb bag of sugar at me because I have been so scattered about my baking this year. It's really pathetic. It's been like ADD baking. I make 4 pie crusts then decide to make a rum cake and don't have you know a key ingredient like - rum. Then he goes to get that while I take out butter to soften for cookies. So, I make the cake later. Much later.
Next year I need to really organize my holiday baking. I mean I was so good with Thanksgiving. I did Thanksgiving in like record time. But I have been a disaster about Christmas baking so much so that it's even bothering me. Yesterday (Sunday) after he went to the grocery store on Saturday and stocked me up on Milk, Butter, eggs, flour and sugar. I went to the store because we ran out of brown sugar, and plastic wrap so 1) I couldn't finish some cookies and 2) how am I supposed to gift them if I can't wrap them. He was watching football so I didn't think it prudent to ask him to go.
RESOLUTION: So next year, a list of all the things I am going to bake and a plan as to when so that the groceries are done accordingly.
I won't hold my breath.
Monday, December 15, 2008
What I want to tell you about is that I got what I wanted for Christmas yesterday. My boys (all 3 of them) had never seen the movie It's A Wonderful Life. So, I popped it up on the Netflix list, we got it on Thursday and I sent the 3 of them an email. I told them that I wanted them to plan (not me) on a time when all 4 of us would be home and able to watch the movie uninterrupted. I was asking for 132 minutes, family movie time.
Mind you, hubby hates movies that are not linear from beginning to end. So, I knew he was going to struggle with the back and forth in time. It's also in black and white - duh! and I knew that wouldn't win them over either. But it's a classic and I thought that it needed to be seen.
Well, they did it. We all watched it last night. No laundry, no homework, no surfing, no texting, no reading, no phones were being used at the same time. We all just did one thing - watch the movie and of course comment along the way. And guess what?! It wasn't horrible. They actually liked it. They thought it was a little slow and probably could have been shorter but they liked it. Hubby of course, moaned when they story went back in time but he hung in there. I of course, cried at the end and they teased me. It was all good.
I got my Christmas wish...hope you get yours.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I made one girlfriend a cake which I gave her for Thanksgiving. Now I will make goodies for the neighbors and other girlfriends and a few of 16s teachers.
I also made my seasonal charitable donation to 2 teacher proposals through Donor Choose. I have the button there on the sidebar. I really like this site because it funds specific requests that teachers want for their classes but due to budgetary restraints they can't fund them. Take a look. You may find something that moves you to give.
I have made batches of Creme de Vie (see: http://cubanfood.blogspot.com/ ) for recipe. Now I will start on cookies and cakes and pies and I am going to make meringues with the egg whites from the creme de vie and GM asked for banana bread not too Christmasy I know but she asked so I'll make it for her.
Speaking of GM the boys went with me over the weekend to see her. She was thrilled to see them. We had a very nice visit and I got some great pictures one of which I already enlarged 5x7 and framed. It will be one of her Xmas gifts plus her chocolate covered cherries (a must) and a new nightgown and robe and some lottery tickets. She's back in the hospital again. She's calm this time. They have found a tumor in her uterus and her cumedin (sp?) levels were high. They are getting her blood levels back to normal and meanwhile they are checking her pacemaker again. We'll see if she agrees to the operation to remove the tumor. That will be tonight's adventure. I'm leaving it in God's hands.
So, tonight after visiting and dealing with GM, I will finish wrapping and settling the gifts under the unadorned tree. It has lights but no ornaments. I have some loose ornaments in a drawer that were purchased throughout the year I will hang those tonight to see if hubby gets the hint and brings the rest of the stuff down from the attic. This weekend the baking begins in earnest. I'm looking forward to it.
There are so many things that I want to do this season that I have a list (duh!) I''m list lady. Let's see how much I get done. The only thing that didn't get done for Thanksgiving was getting my nails done. I spruced them up a tad at home but they weren't done. We'll see how much I get done on the Xmas list.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So, today I get a little misty because I think of how she missed having grandchildren (and they having her) and I know she would have loved spoiling them and making them all kinds of crap they don't need. I know this because she did it for her kids so it would only have multiplied for her grankids. She wanted boys. Her first words when I was born were "Damn, I wanted a boy!". So she would have been very happy with my two boys. No, I am not making that up, it's in my baby book. But at the same time I know she would have loved my niece because she's a girly girl. She loves her dresses and frilly girly things. I had all that because my mother tried but it just wasn't me.
Thanksgiving is always tough for me because it was our favorite holiday which makes me think about her a lot and inevitably I put her in the picture of my events. I will be baking and cooking with her in mind. Heck, she's why I make apple pie every year.
In so many ways, I am like her (and yet not like her). Of course, there was a time in my life that comparison used to bother the hell out of me. Now, I welcome it. So, today mom, I will be baking your pie and making the American side dishes you loved so much: sweet potato casserole and fresh cranberry sauce. I know Thanksgiving Eve is the one day that you will be in heaven's kitchen cooking and baking. I can hear you bitching about it from here and dad telling you not to do it and you telling him that you have to because its the way you make lasting memories. LOL! It worked, mom, we remember. My brother is cooking too for the holiday. Last year he called me for pie tips. I remember them all and passed them on.
Happy Birthday mom! Still miss you.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday night we went with friends to my kids high school's football playoff game. I have no children playing in this game, 19 was on the sidelines rooting on his former teammates and 16 had taken off with other friends to the State Meet for Cross Country. The football team lost. They didn't play well at all. They lost against the same team they have lost to for that past 2 years. Oh, but I'm only writing about the good stuff, so let me move on.
Saturday I picked up a friend VERY early in the morning to go to a local Craft Fair that used to be much bigger than what it was this past Saturday but it was still nice. We met other friends there and had a lovely time, strolling around looking at all the wares and picking it up saying I like this but its how much, I could make that (but I don't) but since I can, I don't buy it. I love going through it all and seeing what everyone has made, their creativeness. It's inspiring. It soothes my soul. I think it has something to do with the fact that as a kid my mother and I used to go to all those Church bazaars and craft festivals they have up north. It's not a Miami thing. This Harvest Fest is the closest thing to it. So it feels good and comforting to go even though I hardly buy anything any more.
One of the cutest things that made me laugh were the Florida snowmen. It was Styrofoam balls (2) glued together to be a snowman but they were covered in sand! and were wearing beachwear. They were adorable! Of course, I didn't buy any because, I can make those.
The Cross Country team won the State Championship. 16 is so thrilled and he didn't even run. He was part of the team during the year but wasn't the top 7, so he didn't make States but he's thrilled and may get a ring.
Then Sunday I, nevermind I'm only writing about the good stuff...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
He will be home tomorrow from college. He has a final today. I hope he Aces it for his bday gift to himself. What are we giving him you ask? He a college student. What does every college student want? Cash. That's what we are giving him. I am also going to make him some Cuban food favorites so that he can get his fill while he's here. I am starting tonight by making Lentils. The recipe we learned in one of the Cuban Cooking classes. It cold here right now so it will be perfect.
So, what's going to change while he's here....
His room right now is spotless; no more. Things are very laid back with only 16 around; no more - there will be alot more coordinating things. Dinner is less; no more- he's a bottomless pit.
It's all good. I've missed him and it will certainly be fun to hear all the stories and have him home again. Honestly, I don't expect to see too much of him. I imagine he will be out visiting friends and doing stuff he's missed while he's gone. But I will be glad he's home.
Happy Birthday baby!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
They went through the Hallmark Wish Book and initialled next to each ornament they would like and then I go through and pick out what I want from there or not and surprise them. I try to get them each one they picked. I also try to pick an ornament that has a significance, that ties into something they did in the past year or a favorite thing.
Like when the boys loved Power Rangers, they each got a Power Ranger ornament. Or for example 18 graduated high school in May, so it's easy to get him a graduation ornament because there are tons of them. Sometimes it can be related to a vacation, an activity or similar event. Like their first fishing trip, they each have a different ornament for that.
Hubby likes Santa, so his ornaments are usually Santa doing something whether it was playing golf, surfing on a remote control, juggling sports balls etc. Those are some he's received in the past. All 3 of them are also big on Super Heroes. We have a quite a few hanging on the tree as well as athletes or ornaments representing the various teams they support.
I am happy with what I got this year. I was thinking about this last night because tonight I will probably sit and write a note on the boxes and date them with the year to commemorate the reason for the ornament and wrap them. That way, if they find them, they will be wrapped and they can still be surprised.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I was looking for flights today so that 18 can come home for his winter break and OMG! it is prohibitive. It's going to cost upwards of $500 to get this child home for the holidays and back to school in January. That is for one person, round trip with no extra luggage. Sweet Jesus, that is a lot of mulah!
I have searched every travel search engine, all sorts of combinations, using all the local airports, combo's of trains and planes (that would be like 10 hours of travel to get from NY to Miami) and there are no shortcuts to be had. Ridiculous! Outrageous!
I am thankful that he doesn't go back after Thanksgiving. Once he comes down the week before, he stays until Jan. 4th. He's not even flying Thanksgiving week. It's the week before! Outrageous! but I think I said that already. OK, I am breathing. I will bite the bullet tomorrow because theoretically the airfare sales are on Tuesdays. Yeah, whatever. Maybe I can find it for 499! Gimme patience and a bucket of cash!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Remember that terrible day last Thursday? There were two good things that come of it. We got the call that our car was ready and I was invited to a game night at a friends house for Friday. Which the way way my week had been going, was desperately needed.
So, Friday saved the week. The work day was super swamped but we picked up the car and it looks like nothing happened. It came out great. And after going to see my grandmother who is doing well this week I went to game night.
A few of us played charades while we waited for the pizza. I say a few because although everyone was sitting there only 3 of us were acting out things and guessing. No one else wanted to act - such party poopers. After dinner, we played Cranium. That game is always worth a few good laughs and laughing makes the bad stuff melt away even if its only for a little while.
So, Friday ended nice or started the weekend nice, whichever way you want to view it.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I still can't believe it. It's exciting. I'm excited. I honestly didn't believe the polls. Ask anyone who knows me. I kept saying this country won't elect a black man. I just don't see it. BoyOBoy, am I glad I was wrong. Wow! He did it.
Now he's got to get it done and he's being handed this country in the worst state its been in forever. Of course, I am also one of those who believes that no matter who was elected president, the economy hasn't hit bottom yet. That scares me because I am afraid that it will be blamed on him.
Only time will tell but I am excited. I am also very glad that it ended last night and there were no major glitches to drag it out. WOW. He did it!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
They had us standing outside in 3 lines, divided alphabetically to match the register lists inside. Well, the A-G line was moving the slowest and those people got VERY aggressive with the poll workers at why they were taking people from the other 2 lines and not theirs. One woman was yelling and screaming at how unfair it was, they were there when it was dark, it wasn't fair and others were going in first, it wasn't fair, yadda yadda...it wasn't fair. When we got inside, she saw that my line the P-Z had only two people in it where hers had like 20. So, she said to her partner, that now she understood that since the other line was empty, they shouldn't have people waiting outside for no reason. So, I turned around after signing the register and asked, So are you going to apologize to the worker you verbally abused outside. Her eyes opened wide as I continued, It would be the fair thing to do. I completed my ballot in the line for the booths. Since I didn't need to go to a booth I went directly to the scanner. She was behind someone at the next scanner. I waited for her at the door and just watched her. I didn't say anything. I just stood there with my arms crossed watching her. I think I intimidated her in to apologizing. The man accepted it graciously.
I truly pray that this is all over tonight and that there are no glitches. I don't think I can handle stretching this out any longer. Please gimme patience!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Tomorrow we will know the country's choice. They say they are expecting 80% voter turnout. That's unheard of. I think it's wonderful. People realize that its a historic election (no matter which party wins) and they want to be a part of it. I think that's awesome I hope that the trend to come out and vote stays with these people.
I have my doubts that my candidate, Obama, will win. Sadly, I am very skeptical and I'm not convinced that race won't be a big factor. I wish, I hope, I am wrong. We shall see. I honestly, cannot imagine 4 years of McCain and Palin and I swear I almost crashed the car the other day when I heard someone on the radio saying 2012 Palin for President. OMG! OMG! OMG! I just cannot imagine. If I compare my resume to hers, I am just as qualified....we both played high school sports, I wasn't a beauty queen but I was a debutante, her executive and management efforts in Alaskan govt, match mine in management for 14 of my 16 year career in (at the time) largest American bank in the world! Oops, I guess that might make me overqualified. She's a hockey mom, I was a soccer mom and now am a football mom. Again, maybe being a multi-sport mom overqualifies me. Well, here's hoping that she goes away and that her 15 minutes are up.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Today is also All Saints Day. I didn't go to mass. It's a holy day of obligation for Catholics.
Today (more importantly) is my best friend's wedding anniversary. So, here's her shout out. WooHoo! I say her and her hubby last night at a Halloween Party and we sang them Happy Anniversary near midnight when we were all preparing to leave. I wish them many wonderful years of love, joy and happiness.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I feel like everything is falling apart because I dunno. It is! There's the big stuff like the country, the economy, the healthcare system (I use the term loosely), my 401k those big picture things that affect my little picture over here in fake America. Have I mentioned that evey time I hear "Real America" I want to throw something and scream like a banshee. I apparently am fake and then I thought about it and ya know, I am. I keep pretending that everything is OK. That its all peaches and cream. That it's going to work out. Well, ya know what. I don't feel that way most of the time but I past a smile on my face, take a deep breath and march on and do my best to keep my panties from bunching up. See, fake.
So, over here in fake America, I have no clue how my property taxes are going to get paid. I'll just wait for a bag of money to fall out of the sky or maybe I can get a piece of the bailout. The money that was going to be used for that is being spent on repairing the car. Yes, the car. 16 was side swipped and the asswipe that hit him took off. I know. Look at the positive that effin silver lining. 16 is fine, he wasn't hurt. Trust me I am truly grateful. But DAMN! and the laptop no longer connects to the internet because the I dunno what card died and we had to order a new one. And a piece of my bathtub chipped off. That's right, the bathtub. I covered it with duck tape and have proceeded to ignore it because frankly I can't afford a new tub and De Nile is more than river in Egypt. My dog is having some issues that will not be resolved because no mula for a vet. Sorry, Max. GM is back in the hospital again. I am having so many issues with her that its not even funny. That's her third visit THIS month. She has 2 bank accounts, I sign on neither, we only have a checkbook for one of them. Her SS check goes to the one I don't have the checkbook for. Her pension checks go to the other one. I have no clue how the ALF where she is living is going to get paid for November because she won't tell the bank over the phone that she needs new checks. And she won't tell SS to change her direct deposit to the 2nd bank. The missing checkbook is in the hands of a previous caretaker who is not returning my calls. I canceled the ATM card which she had also given her with her PIN # of course.
And I wonder why I don't sleep. It's not like I have any worries, right. And a good friend just got laid off. I know that's not my problem but it just sucks ya know. And I will be worried about her and her family because well, we're friends.
And of course I want 18 to come home for the holidays duh!, even though I don't know when that will be exactly and the thought of looking for airfare makes we want to throw up. And in case you haven't heard, the holidays are coming. 18s gift may just be his ticket home. That sucks! I'm working my ass off at the office. The other secretary retired 4 months ago and has only been here part time since June. They haven't hired anyone, they haven't told her to train me on what she does and so when she's not here I am going through hell trying to figure things out by trial and error and stay on top of everything. It sucks!
Everything just seems so friggin hard. Nothing just works out and is easy or relaxed. Everything is a struggle, a hassle, a haggle, a problem that needs solving and I am tired of all the finagling.
So Happy Halloween! I'm going to a party at a friends house. When they ask me what I am, I'll tell them - a fake American struggling with life. Boo!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This is what I have been saying to people for days! I am so frickin frackin tired. I can barely get through the day. Hell, there are some days I don't get through the day.
Yesterday, after we got home we realized we needed milk for breakfast so hubby went out and I stayed home to change and get dinner started. Only when hubby came home I had changed and laid down in bed, just for a few minutes. Hubby's all "What are you doing!" I yawned and said 'Nuthin.' DUH! And dinner was still in the fridge/cabinet.
We're up at 6am and I am at work @7ish and we get home @6ish to then cook and do some house things etc. I get into bed @11ish and don't really fall asleep until @midnight. It's making for some long ass days I can tell you.
Sunday was a little better, I didn't get dressed. Seriously, I was in my PJs ALL DAY. Now that doesn't mean I was in bed all day. By the time I got dinner started I had to take a shower and change into a fresh pair of PJs because I was so dirty from all the cleaning I did in my PJs. But it was easy cleaning. I went through piles of papers accumulating on every surface of the office and bedroom and sorted and organized. Then I emptied an area of a closet and reorganized it and put it back together. That's what did me in. After that I took the shower to re-energize. Then I spent the evening quietly scrapping. That was good.
Right now, even as I type this I am still yawning. It's 1:00 in the afternoon. I gotta wake up! Or maybe I need to just stay in bed...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
One of my favorites...
Mom, you know all those TV shows and movies you've seen about college life and you think the roommate set up is so cheesy and just too stereotypical and over the top? Well, they're true, those are my roommates. There are 4 of us: a meathead, a pothead and 2 athletes. He doesn't call himself a jock, I wonder why.
After the homecoming game where we met the other athlete roommate (RM) and his family, we finally had a chance to go check out his dorm. RM was sure to let us know that they had cleaned up for our visit. So across campus and up 4 flights of stairs, that's right there's no elevator in this building and naturally we entered the building on the opposite end of his room, so down the entire corridor to his room. There's a handmade sign which looks like it could have been drawn by my 5 year old niece, that says men's room. I laugh and ask, what's the joke. He said there is no joke, that's pothead he loves making signs and putting them on people's doors, he shrugs. He thinks that's hysterical. Most of the signs on the floor are his. Okidokie. The Common Room as it's called is small but picked up and clean. I'm impressed. There are some chairs a couple of ottomans, some short bookcases and 3 mini-refrigerators, one with a mini-microwave that one belongs to 18, and a TV. So far so good. Of course, I resist the urge to move the furniture because honestly, it would flow better set up differently but whatever, not my room. Then he opens a door and says this is my room. AH, there's the chaos I know as teen-boy living. Beds unmade, duh!, clothes hanging off the footboards, piles of things under the beds, the desks cluttered with piles of books, papers and other miscellaneous items such as soap. A few hooks on the walls with towels and coats and just a general sense of creative chaos where only the owner can claim the ability to find anything in. All seemed right in the world.
Meanwhile, bank in FL, 16 spent the weekend in Orlando with friends and I am told they were certain they had won 100k! They were each planning on how to spend their half sure that they had the winning combination of game pieces from a fast food restaurant, one piece with them and the other at home. The parent they were with kept trying in vain to convince them to share their new found wealth with their loving parents because after all without our financing, they wouldn't have gotten the winning pieces at all. His pleas were falling on deaf ears. It was all for naught because once they got home they realized they were still regular Joes and not 100k winners after all, they both had the same game pieces. Aw, so sad. In this economy 100k would have come in handy.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
First, he was put on 2nd string and may get rotated into the game. He was told the move is because the other team like to throw the ball and they think his speed will help cover the long pass. WooHoo!
Second, he's got Sunday off. No meetings, no practice. So, he's wondering if we could go into the city, NYC. Sure! Can we take some other guys? Sure! We want to go to MOMA. WHAT?! I figured you wouldn't mind. Mind! I could probably spend a week in there. Let me get this straight. You want us to take you and some friends into NYC to go to the Museum of Modern Art? 16, who was sitting next to me, intuitively says: either there's a girl or his brain has frozen because of the cold. It's a girl and I don't care! I'm amazed he's not ditching us for her and that he's actually including us in the trip. I am spending Sunday at MOMA, with some college kids, including my son at his request! OMG! pinch me!
Third, he went over other things, he's liked planned the entire weekend with us. OMG, who is this person that called me and what has he done with my son?!
Not sure if I will be able to post while I'm gone but I'll try. I am so ready to get on this plane!
I am not calling the hospital until after 7pm when the nurse who knows me is supposed to be there and I know that everything will be fine because it has to be! How's that for positive thinking.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Each visit to the hospital, I kept missing the cardiologist. So, I hadn't spoken to him and was only aware of the battery of tests that they were doing on her in that regard. Well, I met one of the team last night and they want to replace a valve. That's open heart surgery. It's what is causing the respiratory problems because the blood flow is backing up and going into her left lung. They are treating it with meds but they need to fix the cause which is the valve. As I asked a few more Qs, and discuss what if we don't do the surgery, are there any other options etc. I am told that I have no decision making powers. She rescinded those powers and informed the hospital and signed their paperwork that I can only visit. I was stunned into silence and then I broke down. I started crying right there in the hallway with the nurse and the Dr. I asked them if she had signed DNR papers or if anyone had discussed it with her. They told me that the patient had to bring it up. I told them that she had always said she did not want a machine to breathe which was why I was asking for alternatives to the surgery because my understanding was the surgery required that she be put on a ventilator. All this through tears. Again, I asked if she had been explained that. According to them, she had. They consider her lucid because she knows her name, what year it is, who's president and that it's an election year.
So, I went into her room and asked her about the surgery. She didn't have a clue, "what surgery?! The want to do something to my heart but no surgery. I don't know what he told me. Go ask him." I tell her I did, but that she had informed them that I was only to visit and nothing else. "Well, that's because you hate me, look what time it is and now is when you come to visit, I haven't seen you in days." I asked the nurse and Dr to come in to review the procedure with her in front of me. They explained it. She said OK, you are going to fix my heart. I said, and to do that they have to use a ventilator. And she countered but only for the surgery, then they take it off. The Dr said, maybe not. She freaked out. Started yelling at everyone that they were stealing from the insurance co, that she needs to be left to die in peace, naturally without a machine breathing for her, that it was all my fault and that is why she wants me to have nothing to do with her. Adding to her ranting was the ringing of all the monitor alarms and two nurses scurrying pressing buttons trying to keep them silent. The Dr. continued to probe my GM with questions to be sure that she understood what she was signing and she signed the DNR order as she was ranting at me and all who could hear that it was my fault that she was so miserable and now she had to worry about them making a mistake and putting a tube in her; that's how much I hate her that I make her think about these horrible things. Once the paperwork was done. I was asked to leave for the 2nd time in as many days so they could try to settle her down.
I left, exhausted, just plain drained with silent tears falling down. When I was almost at the door of the ICU, the nurse came over to me and gave me a big hug and said they treat the ones they love the most the worst. It's age, its not you. I gave her a big hug, thanked her and told her that my brain knows this but the rest of me can't deal with it today.
As I walked to the car, I saw the full moon a friend had told me would be out and about these days. I smiled through the tears thinking of my friends who are my rock, thinking they were smiling and supporting me thru the full moon watching me. Then I howled as I have done with one of these friends on occasion. I startled quite a few people in the parking lot, some shrieked, some laughed and one man yelled, that sure explains a lot don't it! It sure does! I yelled back and then I heard him howl as I got in my car. I was still smiling through the tears as I drove past him and his group. I had the windows down because I wanted to feel the night air on my face. He said, Hang in there girl, lots of us crazies out tonight! We were both laughing as I drove off thanking him for the warning and told him to be good.
I'm tired and I'm mad and I just don't want to fight with anyone anymore. I want things to not be so hard for a while. I'm tired of feeling like I'm always trying to go uphill with the breaks on! I'm getting on a plane tomorrow to see 18, I haven't packed and I have no idea what is going to happen with my GM while I'm gone. Please gimme patience and strength to get through all of this.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We've heard home can be many things. We all want to make our house a home. What is home? The other day when speaking to 18 after his football game. He said he'd call me back they were about to board the bus and he'd call me when he got home and he hung up.
OK, new flash! Home is here with me! Your dorm is not home, it's your dorm room where you happen to be living for a couple of semesters and then they will assign you another one. It kind of hit me like a bucket of cold water but as I drip dried I thought. He called his dorm home...hmmm...that means he's comfortable there. It's his base, his center. He likes it. That's good, I guess. I had no idea that would freak me out the way it did. But it's all good.
But for the record, it's his TEMPORARY home because home is still our house, here, home with me.
We leave Thursday to spend Homecoming weekend there and I can wait to see him and to see his *home*.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I just never knew I would have this talk with my grandmother. For real people. She's 85 and argued with me and the nurses at the hospital the other day that she only had one (how shall I put this delicately) outlet from which to do her business ALL her business.
She went in for what I figured would turn out to be a yeast infection and when the nurse was talking to her about cleanliness etc down there. My GM exploded at her that she didn't understand what she was talking about how to keep all her parts clean when she only had one output. It was all I could do to not start cracking up. I'm imagining what this sounds like from other parts of the ER when you don't know what's going on and can only hear my GM using her salty sailor vocabulary. It got to the point that the nurse explained you know how people say, I'm going #1 or #2...well that's cuz there's 2 outputs and they start counting from the front. It really through her off when the nurse told her that she actually had 3 holes. My GM told her "You might be deformed and have 3 but I am normal and have 1." My GM started getting very explicit about all the business that goes on in that area (or ever went on) and that it's all handled in one location. The nurse just looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders and asked Does she really need to understand that at this point in her life? Nurse was frustrated and agreed that I was right, it really doesn't matter at this point.
But my life being what it is and GM being bored laying there waiting for test results she was like a dog with a bone; just couldn't let it go. She went on an on. I mostly let her ramble and occasionally said a-huh, mm-hmmm when I thought it was appropriate. But then she started point blank asking me questions. I tried to let them go; pretend they were rhetorical. But NO! She kept asking. So, I slowly put the book down and answered as broadly as I could. Then I finally said Look, believe us or don't believe us, it doesn't matter to me. But you have to think that the medically trained person should know how many holes there are in that area. There are three, ok. One to p, another to poo and a third for fun (not the word I used but don't want to get those kinds of hits). She was stunned, shocked. I enjoyed the silence and got back to my book. About 20 minutes later, she very matter of factly said well, I guess things have changed in 80 years because there used to be 1 and now there are three just like Pluto was a planet and now its not. I had to walk out of the room to not laugh hysterically in her face. Because the planets and your privates both ever changing areas of science. It was just too much for me. Too too funny.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Instead of a debate they should have a 20 questions. People get to just ask questions and they can only answer yes or no and then we have to guess which candidate it is.
I can see it now...
Are you for off-shore drilling? Would you invade Pakistan? Are you for Minimum Alternative Tax? Are you for govt funding of stem cell research? etc.
That would be more enlightening that listening to them skirt around the meat of the questions.
Maybe I should send that in as a suggestion....
Monday, October 06, 2008
We always had a greater concentration in his room and the office next door. Both of these rooms face the front of the house and we all presumed that they were somehow coming in through the windows, from the outside somehow. 18 always had a bunch of dead ones on his window sill. Then a couple on months ago, I actually saw one coming out of the fan's motor compartment. OMG! I freaked out. Well, they were back last week. I am sparing you pictures because I don't like bugs and don't want any on my blog. YUCK! So, we called the exterminator again and this time he sprayed in the attic. We shall see how that goes. If it doesn't last then, the next step is to fog the attic. I hope the are gone. I realize they are harmless but they are oversized flying ants. 'nuf said. YUCK!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
2 hours later its finally his race time. They are all lined up. We are all lined up to cheer them on. There's the gun! We yell and cheer. Our entire JV makes it across the bridge in the first half of the bunch. Great. We jog thru this lovely mush covered with grass that has been trampled on by hundreds of runners to get to the next corner we can see them closely. I jockey for the perfect spot to take my picture of him coming over a hill. I wait. Here come out leaders. We cheer. I see in the distance our coach standing at another corner cheering and coaching with a shoe in his hand. Honey, didn't we just buy 16 a white pair of shoes? Yes, why. Look at coach. He's got a white shoe in his hand. I bet its 16s. How can it be? Why would he not have a shoe? That's impossible. Here come some more kids I think 16 should be coming soon. I turn on the camera and get set. There he is. Look! He's only got one shoe on! I started laughing so hard amidst others yelling Hey, you lost your shoe that I hope you got the picture because I didn't. I couldn't cheer or yell out his name all I could do was laugh. As he passes me, I jolt out of my hysteria and jog over to the next spot to cheer him on. I compose myself enough to yell and cheer as he passes. I hear my name being called. I turn. It's coach he tosses the shoe over to me. I don't' have the energy to get to the finish line. Hubby went with the camera and I headed to the tent to wait for everyone to come in. They get to the tent and 16 has a grin from ear to ear. He PRd (read: set a Personal Record) with only one shoe. Apparently someone bumped into him and stepped on the back of his shoe pulling it off the back and he ran for a while with it like a slipper until he saw some school parents and then he kicked it off towards them and yelled at them to pick it up and just kept going because he'd already passed the mile marker and knew he was doing well. He didn't want to stop. The teasing, the jokes abounded and we threatened to have him run next week with no shoes at all. He ate up all the attention and was very pleased with himself. It was all too too funny.
After the meet we race back home to try and catch the end of 18s football game which we can see online through the schools website. We spot 18 on the sideline and then I think I see him get in the game. The bickering begins among the 3 of us. I insist he went in for the kickoff after a score. Later we see him go in for the punt block team. Now, they begin to think maybe he did play earlier. Hmmm. He calls us after the game and he DID get in because someone else got hurt earlier in the game. The team lost in the final seconds but he played. YEAH!
Since I've hardly done anything at all yet, I head over to GMs ALF where I have a notary coming to see if we get GM to sign a POA. She has said she would in the past but when push came to shove, she never did. I told her that I was going to stop fighting with her and everyone else. If she doesn't want to sign it then, fine. She can find someone else to try to take care of her and her things. We have a pleasant visit and the notary shows up. He explains the POA. She starts balking. Now, she is going to take EVERYthing. (note: there' s nothing to take, she makes enough to pay for the ALF). She's going to send me to the loony bin because she thinks I'm crazy. All of this at the top of her lungs as if we were torturing her. I calmly get up. Give her a kiss and say don't worry about it but don't call me when you go back to the hospital because I am no longer fighting with drs. and nurses and hospital admin to manage your care. I give her a second kiss and walk out. I go find the owner of the ALF to say my good-byes and head for the door. They call me back as I am getting in the car (she can see me thru her window) and tell me she's signing it. I go back in. I'm crying. The notary is explaining to her how and why this will make things easier. I stay at the door. Once she signs it, I go in and thank her and give her a big hug and a kiss. She tells me she doesn't understand why I got so upset and left, I'm so serious, no one can joke with me anymore. I don't comment. I walk the notary out and stay a few more minutes visiting nicely.
I let the ALF tempted to buy a lotto ticket but I didn't want to push my luck. I thought that would be greedy so many good things had already happened that day.
That was my Saturday. How was yours?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Last week when my GM was being discharged from the hospital I had to deal with her assigned Case workers. I thought they were supposed to be Social Workers to assist me in finding adequate care and housing for my GM. Over the span of 3 days I had a few verbal exchanges with 2 separate case workers that did not go well. Every time I asked for the names and # of some places fro me to go check out I was told it wasn't their responsibility that it was the families. On day 3, I was flat out told that if I didn't pick her up within an hour they were filing an abuse case against me with that govt agency that handles these things (not writing the name because who knows what hit I will get from it). So, fast forward to me getting my GM placed by the sheer grace of God and a friend's help to me calling and setting an appointment with the hospital's Risk Management (read: legal) department. I also called that govt agency on my own and discussed the hospital's handling of the situation. Their rep offered to go with me to the meeting. I'll call her Rep.
Now it's yesterday, we met at the hospital early, go to the Risk Mgmt office and the woman goes into a tirade that I am there the wrong day, she can't see me now, do I think I can show up whenever I want yadda yadda. I calmly state that I need to speak with someone this morning. If not her then someone else that I would appreciate her finding someone to hear me out. She has no idea who the woman with me is. She tells me I can meet with M and C, they run the Case worker dept. I had to insist that she call over to see if they were there, available and ask for directions. She unwillingly complied. Rep has not said a word this entire time. They don't know who she is. We find C and I introduce myself and start to introduce Rep when C interrupts me can calls for M to join us in the conf room. Fine. We all sit and they ask me why I am there. I pull out my notebook where I had all my notes of who I spoke to when and what was said. Rep is sitting quietly, they don't know who she is. They ask me some questions and we calmly and go over all the details. M, their immediate supervisor, apologizes and explains that they were in fact a bit abrupt with me, thank you for coming. Rep says, that's it? They were abrupt. C then asks me, "well exactly what do you and your mother want us to do?" AHA, I think. They think Rep is my mother. Rep tells them "I am not her mother" as she pulls out her business cards and hands them each one. Their eyes are as big as saucers. They excused themselves and step out of the room. The com back momentarily with a file. They apologize again and explain that their behavior did not follow their policies and standards and ask us to please be quiet as they call the 2nd case worker. We sat there as they called him and fired him over the phone! Told him not to come in the next day, to come in Monday for his final paycheck and they would go over the reasons then. They hung up, thanked us for coming and said their good-byes. Rep and I walked out and didn't speak until we got on the elevator. She said, WOW. I said, Dayum! They fired him! She said, I've never seen that. Me neither.
It's a day later and I am still a bit stunned by it. I actually feel bad for the guy even though he made me go through hell. I can only imagine that there were previous complaint or problems with him and maybe he was on probation or something because how could they just do that like that? WOW!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Meanwhile back at the ranch....have you ever gone to a Cross Country Meet? You know running 5k. Well, 16 has been training forever (read: a year) and we went to his 2nd race this past Sunday. It almost killed me. It is SO hard for me to watch the physical exertion that all those kids put out to finish. He ran a personal record, taking a little less than a minute off of his time. He finished 74th in a field of 198 runners and he scored points for his team by being the 5th man in the JV to come in. The JV placed 4th out of 27 schools. As he came around the last quarter mile to the finish line, he dug deep down and from out of no where kicked in some speed. His face showed all that effort being forced through his body. I cried. It's do hard to watch. Of course, everyone teased me and said but you have a son who plays football! That's so much easier than this, I told them. They have pads on to protect them, they wear helmets, they are down on a field where I can't see his face, playing with teammates that help him make his plays. Running is you and a pair of shoes on your own against everyone. You can share a tackle you can't share a finish in running. In football each play lasts a few seconds and then they regroup. In running you are on your own pounding it out for 15/20 minutes. The coach came over to me and just put his arm around me and said "Thanks for coming." We all laughed.
There's another meet today and then another one on Saturday. He has goals to PR each time.
I am going to try to schedule my life a little better. I know things come up and plans change but I have so many things that I want to do. I think I need better time management. I have to work on this. I am sure you will hear more about it. I am going to start with a list of stuff, broad idea of what I want to do. Then I will try to see how I parcel out time to do each of these things on a regular basis. I have to noodle this some more.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.
2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.
3. something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted.
4. a document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.
5. passage, or an opportunity or means of passage, between places.
Just in case you needed to know. I know some people who need to know. Unfortunately, they probably won't read this blog. Gimme patience!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We really did a lot this weekend. It was very productive and busy with house things, crafting, cleaning, errands and add to that GM in the hospital and that makes for one jam packed weekend.
I actually went to the scrapbook store on Saturday for about an hour and as per usual spent more than budgeted. But oh well. I got ALL my cleaning and then some done. Microwave is fixed. Missing shutter was replaced. I changed the weather stripping on the front door. Did maybe 6 scrapbook pages and the cover of a scrapbook, made some birthday cards. Set up all my online bill paying for the month. Packed up clothes for donate to Haiti. I saw the movie Smart People on DVD. I thought it was hysterical and laughed out loud. Hubby fell asleep. As you can see it was a wide variety of things that got done this weekend.
But the highlight was relaxing Sunday evening with friends who came over to watch football. The husbands and 16 watched football and my friend from The Mind Wobbles and I played Scrabble. For the first time in my life I got a BINGO! You know, when you are able to put all of your tiles down in one turn. My word was r-a-n-t-i-n-g-s. Coincidentally, she had played the night before with her hubby and she got a BINGO too. I think it's a hoot that we both did it the same weekend. We constantly say that we share a brain. There's just more proof.
Friday, September 12, 2008
That thought made me smile. So, here's a laugh to cleanse your soul...
"Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So - if you give her any crap, you will receive a ton of shit."
Love and appreciate all the women in your life… or else!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
18 got his classes and today is his first day of class. 16 is doing well in his classes (I almost didn't want to write that to not jinx it) and he's very excited because he may be able to run in some upcoming Xcountry meets. It depends on how many kids they can enter etc. but apparently he's got a chance and he's very excited. This Saturday FIL is coming over to do some odd jobs around the house. Hubby isn't thrilled because that's not his best event but his dad's available so I snagged him.
He's coming to fix one of the hurricane shutters for our back door (important), my front doors are double doors and the stationary door lick thingy that goes into the floor needs to be fixed (important!), the light in my kitchen is only turning on when it wants to (necessary!), the microwave didn't work this morning - a recurring theme that I think has to do with how much power it's not getting, weather stripping on the front door- I already bought it and I can probably do that. Hmmm there was something else and I can't think of it now.
Believe it or not I already started thinking about my Christmas list. I have a few homemade items that I'm going to start working on in the evenings. I bought some more material to make a jumper for my niece. It's absolutely adorable. This pattern actually requires interfacing and a zipper! So, this is a big deal for me. We'll see how it comes out.
I'm getting bored with my cooking, I've got to sit and think of something new that 16 will eat. I started working on his high school scrapbook. I actually did 3 pages the other day. This weekend I will work on the cover titling.
Lots to do, everyone is busy. I love it!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Since I wasn't feeling well, I left work early and laid down for a few minutes before I changed and 2 hours later I woke up hungry. I felt rejuvenated. Sleep is a wonderful thing!
After dinner, I watched a bit of the game with hubby and 16, 18 sending text messages to 16 throughout. After the first quarter, I said good night and went back to bed. I put the CMA Festival on thinking I'll watch that for a while. I have no idea who performed. I fell asleep almost instantly. Sleep is a beautiful thing.
I feel very rested today. I hope it lasts.
Monday, September 08, 2008
This morning it was SO hard to get up.
In case you are one of those who has no idea what sport season is in. It's football. It started this past Thursday. 16 & hubby have watched +6 football games since Thursday. They saw the Thursday night game, I organized my sewing things in 18s room. On Friday they went to the local high school game, I stayed home cleaned out my email all cuddled up in bed watching reruns. On Saturday, they watched a college football game in the afternoon, I saw pieces of it as I was in the kitchen making myself chicken soup. That evening we went to a friends house to watch the Miami Hurricane game, I sat in the kitchen with some of the other moms, chatting and drinking my soup. On Sunday, I would say they watched 2 more games but in reality it was pieces of all the games since we have the NFL Ticket and they get them all. Every time I went by there was a different game on. I did 4 scrapbook pages, fixed my lunch for today and laid in bed watching old movies and snoozing.
Last Wed. 16 moves a sign that I have in the kitchen and hung it on the front door like a wreath. It says. "We interrupt this family for football season."
18 did send some text messages asking what time certain games were on over the weekend and
and to say that he missed HD.
I don't fight it anymore....I tried to once....I just use that time to do my things uninterrupted and they all lived happily ever after....
Tonight the Packers (16s FAV team) and playing the Vikings (hubby's FAV team). I have sought and been granted asylum and refuge at a friend's house because I fear the competition and therefore their noise level may be too much for me in my frail condition.
Friday, September 05, 2008
He's been in NY for a while now and finally did his first load of laundry, actually it was 2 loads because according to him the machines there are smaller than the one at home. So fine, he separated his loads and started 2 machines with nary a care because there was no one else there. He leaves, goes up to the cafeteria for a snack and some tv watching. He's not in a hurry because again, there was no one there waiting for a machines or anything. He goes back 45 minutes later and freezes at the doorway. His mouth drops and he thinks OH CRAP! What did I do?! There was soapy water all over the floor, a machine sounded horrible and was spewing water and bubbles. Bubbles were everywhere! He thought he was walking into a cartoon. Freaking out and thinking OMG how did I break a machine? What did I do? He waded over to the bubbling machine and opened it to make it stop and was deliriously happy to realize that it wasn't his machine. He didn't break it. He's not an idiot. His clothes was fine. It was another machine that was broken.
Relieved. He found someone to clean up the mess and said he couldn't wait to tell me. Naturally I laughed hyterically and have told everyone.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
First Impression of:
The town: This place is a dump. Where the heck am I leaving my kid? Why did he want to come here? ** Apparently, we drove into town through the poorest parts of town and to boot our hotel had an ick factor to it also.
The college campus: WOW, this is nice. Big enough and yet cozy in that small town way. ** We walked the whole thing - it's doable yet spacious.
The people on campus: made me smile and feel this is the right place for him. ** As we walked around we 'bumped' into a tour and I eaves dropped a bit. The former student spoke so well and with such pride and highlighted aspects that I thought described my son to a T.
The Coaches: made me want to stay and play football. ** We met 3 and they were all super personable. One recognized 18 as we walked over the the check-in area, stopped us, introduced himself and welcomed us very warmly and chatted with 18 for a few minutes. The head coach sat us down in his office and despite having I am sure 60 gallion things to do this 1st day checking everyone in spent a good 15 minutes chatting with us. During that visit 18s position coach walked in and introduced himself, remembering that he had spoken to me on the phone. All very nice.
The students: This feels right. ** As we made the trek up to the 4th floor by stair (no elevator) in his temporary dorm you could hear boys yelling at each other and welcoming each other back. All very nice. Then you hear a few expletives as a couple of them exchange greetings and the ones that crossed us on the stairs yell back "Language! Language! Parents in the house! Moms in the house!" and he apologized to me for the strong language saying '...sometime we get carried away' and then I hear a yell from the floor ahead 'Sorry mom! Sorry parents!' For whatever reason, that touched me. It hit me the right way. They obviously are close to each other and yet know there's a line of respect that shouldn't be crossed. I liked that. It made me think of my sons and their friends.
The people in town: I could live here if it weren't so friggin' cold most of the year. ** Everywhere we went everyone was so nice and friendly. EVERYONE! EVERYWHERE!
In the end I could understand the attraction to the school, the people and the place. He seemed happy, I was happy. It was all good.
Friday, August 22, 2008
We walked around campus today and saw some of the buildings, I took pictures and properly embarrassed my son. I made him stand by the Union College entrance sign for a picture - oh the horror!
We also got all of his dorm stuff AND we found out that we may get his dorm key for his permanent room and be able to move his stuff in before we leave. That would be awesome!
Still lots to do but it's all good.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I got excited when I saw the signs fro Schenectady. The route we took to the college itself isn't the nicest part of town and made quite an impression - I'm leaving my baby here?! Then we get to the college. WOW! It's so pretty. Everything so manicured, the neat old style buildings, the historic buildings. All we did was drive around a bit before we went to the hotel to stretch out and then we drove around an explored the area a bit. So many rolling hills, real hills not the central Florida ones I've written about before. We found downtown, we saw gorgeous churches, some of which I want to go in to see later, we drove around to some neighboring towns. This is really a nice place!
I have taken a handful of pictures. From the car I actually got the picture of the Welcome to New York sign, a couple of shots the mountains as we drove, and my first sighting of the Nott Memorial (I think that's what its called) at the center of the college.
We are ready for bed, watching the Olympics, chillin', looking forward to tomorrow. I want to walk around the campus and see what we see.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tomorrow is it. We are getting on the plane to take 18 to college! Whatever is not packed or hasn't been bought I have informed my family that he is not going to Timbuktu only upstate NY, it can be bought there.
I am looking forward to the trip. I hope that the campus is open enough for me to walk around and see things. His classes don't start until after Labor Day. The only people reporting now are athletes for their various workout camps.
18 has spent the past few days saying good bye to people. You would think that he is going off into the wild blue yonder never to be seen again! He's enjoying himself. It's all good. Don't know if I'll have time to write while I'm gone. We'll see.
I'm leaving on a jet plane.....
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Anyway, he was one of those full of life people. He had such a zest for life it was contagious. He shared his laugh, smiles and verve with everyone around him especially his wife. She shall we say doesn't have the same zest for life that he did. She's not a warm and fuzzy one she has some rougher edges but you appreciate her too. She tends to complain a bit more than he did and she always has those little barbs that she tosses out all the time about everything that make you think she's not happy. But deep down I think she is, it's just her way. So, they were an interesting couple to watch in action; always counterbalancing each other. Almost as if she just couldn't handle his overbubbliness and had to be stick in the muddish. Like they were made for each other because he made her get out and go and enjoy and maybe her being they way she is made him all the bubblier. Who knows.
They lived in Tampa and I grew up in N. VA. I remember one fall when they were driving through to PA and stopped at out house for a couple of nights. They were probably in their mid 50s. Our house had 2 beautiful apple trees (one green and one red) on the side. The lawn was covered with apples and leaves of every color. It was really picturesque. He wanted a picture of them and the apple trees. Most people would just stand there, maybe put their arm around each other smile, say cheese and snap- there's your picture. Not good enough. Pretend we're picking apples! He yells out. She simply explains there are no apples they can reach, they are all rotting on the ground besides everyone will know that we didn't really pick them. As if he didn't hear her, like a little kid he exclaimed, We can reach these! as he picked one off the ground, dusted it off on the back of his pant leg, turned it so the bruised part wasn't showing, held it up to the branch as if it were hanging. With her hand in one hand and holding the apple in to the branch he yelled at me Take it Now! with the biggest smile you can imagine. After I took the picture he told us he picked the red apple because it was her favorite type. She said something about that it was old and dying. I remember him leaning over and giving her a peck on the cheek saying it was crabby just like her but he loved them both and he actually took a bite out of the 'clean' side of the apple! I screamed in shock that it was rotting and gross. He showed it to me and said it was fine. Things may look old and crabby on the outside but inside they are sweet and fine. I was dumbfounded as I followed them laughing inside.
I think of that moment a lot. It taught me a lot. We have to make our own fun, our own moments in life. We have to take the time to see the good stuff inside. There's always something we can appreciate and crabby people can help us appreciate the sweetness of life even more because we need to help them see it. Plus, you never know the impact any little thing can have on a person. I mean look at what snapping that picture some 27 years ago did for me.
I wonder where that picture is? I need to call his grandkids and keep in touch with them. I hope everyone's alright.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Based on the amount of clothes that 18 wants to take to college I was under the impression that he thinks he's moving into a mini-mansion with mega-closets. This lead us into a conversation which others may call an animated discussion including huffing, puffing, deep breathing, and eye rolling by both parties - yes I can act like I'm 18 too. He has always been very vain about what he wears and how he looks. For a while there he had more hair product that the other 3 people in the house combined until he found what works for him.
He finally enlightened me that he is fully aware that his dorm is going to be miniature in size and probably shared by 2 people. His plan is anything that doesn't fit in the closet or stacked on the "desk" or in the suitcase which he expects to fit under the bed will be neatly stacked on the floor around his bed. WELL! Lovely, as long as we have a plan!
I will let you know if any of this clothes comes back to Miami.
Then we had a 30 minutes discussion on how to pack the football cleats without "messing them up". Naturally, I hadn't realized that they were fragile because 1) they go on your feet 2) you play football with them and I hear that's a contact sport. They are going in the shoe part of the garment bag. He's taking 2 pairs. I had to put a pair IN the compartment to show him that they actually fit because apparently I have no clue how to handle cleats. Whatever! (best read with a rolling of the eyes)
Meanwhile recently 16 went to Cocoa Beach for a few days with some friends. He says that when they picked him up and he walked out with a backpack and a beach towel under his arm. They all asked him if that was ALL he was taking. Was he sure he had everything? He said yes and off they went. When they got to the hotel, they all compared what they took. He took the least amount of clothes. He did forget his running shoes to workout but he had others so he used those. The other boys questioned why he was bothering to put his clothes in the drawer. He told him because it's clean, as I wear it, I put it back in the bag and when we leave all my clothes should be back in the bag. They all did the same thing. He says that on Sunday when they were leaving, he only had one outfit that had not been worn which he took as an extra because you never know. They also teased him when they were talking about how they packed when he told them that his socks and underwear were in the pockets of each pair of shorts that he was going to wear to save space. That explains why he took a backpack and the others each had 2 bags and too much clothes.
So, at least one of them knows how to pack! I'll work on the other one. Gimme patience!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
There are the customary piles of laundry that needs to be washed and the one of the sofa that needs to be folded and put away and then there's the pile of socks on the coffee table from previous sofa piles that need to be matched and distributed. Add to that the pile of old school uniforms waiting for someone to tell me they need them so I can unload them. I'm giving them another week and they are disappearing if nobody wants them. And the pile of dress clothes that needs to go to the dry cleaners and return before 18 leaves so he can take it with him. And the piles of clothes that doesn't fit my boys that grows daily and it to be handed down to the nephews. And the piles of clothes that doesn't fit my boys that is to be donated. And the piles of clothes to be packed and the pile of suitcases. And the pile of clothes that needs mending - a button, a hem, a patch. I think the hangers miss the clothes that they used to hold in the closet because those are turning up all over the place too. I was collecting the trash last night and in the guest bathroom there was a hanger hanging on an extra roll of toilet paper that was on the towel rack! HUH? I didn't ask because I was a little but scared of the answer. I just put it all away.
Since I didn't have enough of a mess of clothes all over the place last night I brought down the big Rubbermaid containers with winter clothes in them that were in the top of the closet to pull out gloves and hats for 18. So the containers are out too because I couldn't get them back up by myself and everyone else was ahem, sleeping.
May your clothes be nicely and neatly contained in your drawers and closets. And if it is, come help me get mine under control will ya?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Well , I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of clothes he brought out. I didn't realize we had bought that much and that he was SO ready to go. I great calm and sense of relief came over me. As he brought things out, I was taking them off the hangers and folding them in piles. Then I start realizing some of this stuff is old. I don't mean hand me down old, I don't mean out of style old. I mean I bought this for our 2 days of cold in Miami, I don't even remember when. When he plopped himself back on the sofa, I asked "Does this fit?" "Ahhh, no." he answers nonchalantly. "And this?" "nope", "What about this?" "Nah". Do you see a pattern here? A good third of all that clothes he brought out to pack was too small on him! Now, I realize everyone has their own packing style but I presume we all pack clothes that you know - FITS!.
So, I take a deep breath or 32 and calmly ask him to go through the clothes so we can figure out what we still need to buy. "Now?", he asks incredulously. "Yes, right now." "But why now? I'm not leaving yet." I take another deep breath. "Because there aren't enough last minutes to get everything done at the last minute. So you choose. If you want me to be a part of the clothes buying and packing then now. If you want me out of the process, then whenever." At his point it would be beneficial for you to know that I haven't packed for either of my children since they were old enough to drag a rolling bag, which is quite young. I would tell them what they needed (3 underwear & socks, 3 shorts & t-shirts, pajamas, bathing suit etc), they would pull it out, pack it in their own bags that they were responsible for during the trip. Children can do this from very young if you are not particular about the matching aspects of their ensembles; which I wasn't. So, 18 bolted to an upright position and declared "You're going to pack for me?" "If you want me to and you go through the clothes now, I will." "Hell yeah!" he cheered as he popped off the sofa and sorted the clothes. 16 and hubby laughed and he says "After all these years of telling them to do it, now you are going to pack for him?"
I matter-of-factly explain, I was teaching them to think, to plan, to organize and to be responsible. He already knows how to do that, now I can do it for him. They all laughed but 18 sorted the clothes and has one bag packed and ready to go by his mama.
Monday, August 04, 2008
I went to game night and we played Cranium. It was fun. I had a great time and saw some girlfriends that I swear I don't think I had seen in a year. My dad came over and taught us how to make a traditional Cuban picadillo. It was much better than mine. I don't like mine at all. I am going to try to duplicate this on Wednesday for dinner. The recipe should by up soon on the Cuban Food blog. So, check it out when you can. Then we went to my in-laws house for dinner and to look at vacation photos. My FIL took 1600 photos! That is not a typo. They had a great trip to I don't even remember how many parks and canyons and mountain ridges and ranges. It was his favorite vacation ever. 1600 to prove it. News flash: our grass is as green as it is over there. It was nice to see him so enthusiastic about something. Truly. Then the weekend came to a lazy close with me sewing ALL day. I made a poncho out of this great pink flowers fleece for my niece. It's got a hood and fringe. It came out super cute. I did make a couple of mistakes which I now understand but I think a 5 year old can totally wear it. A girlfriend came over and we made a pillow with tassel in each corner. That came out great too even though one tassel isn't in the corner. It gives the pillow character! She's had this material in her closet for 2 years and found it cleaning things out and voila we made a decorative pillow. I also mended a blouse and a pair of pants. After dinner we all watched the movie 23. It was weird but good.
A terrific weekend that could only have been topped had I actually won the lotto and been able to continue the fun and not have to interrupt it with you know, work.
Friday, August 01, 2008
* Well , the loan was approved. We have nothing else to do on that front. The bank and the school coordinate amongst themselves to confirm payment etc. So, Check.
* With the help of a friend, found a clinic through Walgreens that will give 18 the immunizations he needs and (more importantly) takes our insurance. He WILL do that this weekend. So, half-check.
* Still need a backpack.
* Want hubby to pull out suitcases this weekend so, we can start packing and see what we are still missing.
* Still waiting for the housing details and can't get the dorm stuff until we have that.
* 16 needs his uniform shoes.
* Also needs practice for driving test which is next Friday. OMG!
* Check for PE uniforms
* Thanks to 18 the pool may actually be usable this weekend. Nice. So, Check.
* We bought a piece of weather stripping for the front door and just need to install it. So, half-check.
* I need to get new storage containers. I threw a bunch of mine out because they were old and nasty!
*Need to finish posting things for sale on Ebay & Half.com. So, half-check.
* Friday- Game night at a girlfriend's and I don't know what I'm taking yet.
* Cuban Cooking class at my house Saturday! Picadillo time.
* Another girlfriend coming over to sew; she's making a pillow; I want to cut out and maybe if there's time make a Poncho for my niece.
* Scrap and make cards.
Responsible Adult stuff:
* Need to update online bill payments.
* Need to bathe the dog.
* Put together the clothes that the boys have outgrown and take it for donation.
* Need to order a new charger for 16s computer because his died and the boys are sharing and ya know one of them is leaving soon.
* I have to get blood work done this weekend
GREAT! Not too many checks on that list! Lots to do and I'm sure I left stuff off. Whatever. Taking a deep breath...here we go! Oh, yeah, I forgot. I'm still at work. A couple more hours to go. Oh, well. Here's hopin' half of this gets done. Gimme patience.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So, I sent 18 to the store today with credit card in hand (yikes!) and a spending limit to get himself a backpack, underwear and some undershirts. He's also cleaning the pool because he wants to use it before he leaves. I figure by the time he has it clean, it will be time to go. I mean the thing is a science experiment waiting to be graded for an A+, it's so green.
Of course part of my freakout is because I have other things scheduled in my life. Tomorrow night I'm going to an Open House of sorts for this place where you make ahead and freeze your meals, Friday I have game night at a girlfriend's house, Saturday I have Cuban cooking lessons at my house which needs to get picked up before the people arrive, and Sunday another girlfriend is coming over to use my sewing machine and 16 will be back from the beach and we'll have loads and loads of laundry to do.
I know that MIL wants to have a big family party to send 18 off, he wants to be out with his friends. Last night they went to the Marlins baseball game and he has plans to go out on a friends boat the Saturday before he leaves. He has an appt to have his wisdom teeth pulled, he got an eye doc appt, 16 has his Driver's licence appt and we have to go buy his school shoes. PLUS we haven't finished the school loan stuff. That sounds like a lot of stuff in not so much time. OMG! How's it gonna get done? I need to win the lotto, so I don't have to work, so I have all day to do all this stuff! Gimme patience! lots of patience!