Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I am thankful that Thanksgiving is over. I spent four days getting ready to move the feast 5 hours away, and now four days recuperating from it. When you total up the time we were together, the sum is on the positive side.

When you take six adults, two children and two dogs and place them in a 1700 square foot house, there can be good and bad, and that’s what happened. There was good, and there was bad. We laughed and got along, and we rubbed on each other’s last nerve.

Now we are getting ready to do it again for New Year’s Eve, only lets add another five adults and four children, and that includes the new born twins. At least that addition will only be for an evening. It should be fun - no, really it does!

Thanksgiving also brought news that I am not allowed or ready to share. It is bittersweet, and I haven’t come to terms with it yet. It is something that really should be beautiful, but it was unintended, and was easily prevented. Procrastination caused it. I am working to be happier, but at the same time, it doesn’t directly effect my life.

I hope after all the dishes were done, and all the turkey has been consumed, you can say that your Thanksgiving, when added up, had the sum on the positive side.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


In the part of Swampland where I live, commercialization has happened faster than the streets can accommodate. There are 18 wheelers abounding that try to turn onto little two lane previous country roads. The two just don’t mix.

This morning I was taking Simone for her grooming. I was second car on one of these little streets when an 18 wheeler was going to attempt to turn onto that road. I knew he couldn’t make the turn, but he turned never the less. The woman in the little toy car in front of me just sat there perfectly still. It was total gridlock. She wasn’t moving, and he couldn’t complete the turn. In addition, our light had turned green.

The car in front and I were both trying to make a left turn. I finally was going to go around her, but I was afraid she would dart out also. The truck driver finally got agitated enough that he honked at her and I also honked in unison with him. The dunderhead finally got the message and moved to the right so that he could clear the intersection.

I really wonder what was going through her head. It was obvious that he could not make any more forward progress without taking off the entire front of her vehicle. I guess she was intending to just sit there through the entire day. I wonder how she got a driver’s license.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

'Tis the season

I knew it was time, in fact way past time. I knew there would be problems, but I couldn’t help it. I especially knew there were problems when it took the pool guy an hour to complete this week’s service of the pool. The leaves were falling - rapidly. What’s more, there was no cover on the pool.

G said he was going to put the cover on two weeks ago. I should have known to read between the lines with that. That meant I would be putting the cover on the pool. I (silently) refused.

Last year, I would take the cover off for us to swim, and then I would turn right around and put it back on so that our little 15 year old American Eskimo dog would not fall in and almost drown - again. It is hard work. Putting that thing on is like putting a size 10 foot into a size 7 shoe. It has little eyelets with metal things that go into an eyelet. That is if you pull with all your might to get it to the eyelet.

K and S volunteered to help this year. I didn’t skip a beat. I took them up before they could change their minds. This afternoon, S showed up because the kids were napping. K stayed home - the coward.

We got it into the pool, and I put the floats that keep it out of the water in place. I then left it to the men. After ten minutes, S was sweating profusely. The TWO of them were going around trying to get the little metal pieces into the little holes. They were both about to fall out.

At one point I heard one of them remark that they didn’t know how I was able to do that job. I quipped back to S that at least he had G to help him. I did it alone!

As he was leaving, S said that job took the place of going to the gym tomorrow. No kidding! Been there - done that, several times last year. Not doing it again either.

I think I earned a little respect from those two men today!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just a phase - I hope

I keep telling myself it’s just a phase, but I don’t remember Lady Bug going through it like this. I feel that I am number one on Monkey Boy’s hate list. He gives me the least affection of anyone in the family.

Last night I was going to baby sit them while the parents went to the Rocket’s game. I walked in, sat down and we made direct eye contact, and smiled. I don’t know, but perhaps it’s like a dog - don’t do that. He immediately began crying and saying "no, no, no." I could tell it was going to be a loooooong evening.

He is also allowed to watch the cartoon movies over and over and over. The parents deny themselves TV time so that he is occupied with the movies. Monkey Boy comes by this honestly however. His father can watch movies over and over and over. If it’s not a sports program, you guessed it. It is some stupid, old movie.

Instead of starting the movie over when it ended, I went through every add in that was on the DVD. I was really trying to bore him silly. I was not going to miss "Ugly Betty," "Gray’s Anatomy," and "ER" for mercy’s sake!

They both trooped off to the bathroom after I switched on the regular TV. He decided to brush his teeth. This was going to be a chore that seemed like it would fill the rest of the evening. When I convinced him to leave the bathroom, the tooth brush had to come with him. Hey, I’m a Grandma. I choose my battles. This was not to be the one.

Several meltdowns occurred. I gave up trying to keep track of them. The crying was really out of hand, but the one that was the funniest had to do with the cats. For some reason, he has developed a fear of the cats. Perhaps it’s because he has been allowed to fine tune his ability to knock the wowie out of things with anything that resembles a bat. Gotta have the jock, you know. He was about to beat one cat senseless with a clothes brush until I stopped him. When she turned around, he was getting away. He was afraid of her.

He had just finished up a snack when he confronted the other cat in the breakfast room. He came flying back into the den, crying, of course. Lady Bug was going to get him to face his fears (I guess - who knows what runs through the brain of the five year old big sister). At that moment, the cats got into a yowling scuffle. Both kids were scared out of their minds.

They came flying back to me, and for the first time in months, Monkey Boy wanted to be in my lap. He clung to me. The parents walked in at that moment. SIL was so touched that Monkey was loving on Grandma. I assured him is was simply a fluke, and things would be back to normal today!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What was begun is now (finally) finished. Back on September 18, we left SSB with the thoughts that when we returned two weeks later, we would have new floors. Well that has finally been accomplished, but the ending date was November 13!

I have finally gotten the grout dust fairly under control, but now there is the dust from the laminate. OMG! It is everywhere. I dusted the furniture, began the floor, and it was back on the furniture! One day . . .

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good weather brings sad people

As the days rush toward the end of the month, which signals the end of hurricane season, you can see the weather people around here becoming more and more dejected. The impossible has happened. No major hurricanes. No mass destruction.

They have had to, instead, focus on some locally drenching thunderstorms which produced some localized street and small stream flooding. There was no washing away of homes. No power outages lasting for weeks. There was no major story, but they surely tried to make one.
With every cold front that approaches, you can see the gleam begin to flicker in their beady little eyes. They are trying to salvage stories of destruction. Perhaps this one will be the front that stalls, then backs up bringing with it even more rain - more flooding.

When the day turn off clear and crisp, the disappointment is palpable. It hangs in the air for all to see. So they turn to the fact that it will heat up during the day. We will reach into the mid 80's today - with a wide grin It’s as if to say "you people won’t be treading water, but you will be sweating."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Oh yes, in less than twenty-four hours I managed to make K angry - again. She said she would be responsible for ordering the flowers to send to my niece E following the birth of her twins. I was alright with that. K is such a penny pincher. I wanted her to be the one who decided how much we would spend. I was a little afraid that when I told her she owed me a certain amount, she would respond in such a way that she was not happy about the extravagance of the flowers. I know how much it costs to send flowers!

My best friend’s son and girl friend are having a baby this month. I wanted to send them a gift, and I wanted it to be a very nice one. D is not only my best friend, but she respected my teaching ability that she saw to it that I taught her children. I taught this son, and I care for him very much. Since I am an only child, I have adopted D as a sister, and her children are much like nieces and nephews for me.

My children wanted to be included on this gift. Sunday evening, I asked B and C how much they wanted to spend. They told me $25. OK, that’s fine. I wanted to send the stroller that was put on the registry. K found the registry. She asked me if I wanted her to go ahead and order. I was hesitant because I didn’t know what she wanted to pick out.

She was already angered by the time she spent trying to send the flowers (and by the amount it cost, I really believe). When I was hesitant, she got irritated. She cut the call very short. I called her back and assured her I would take care of the baby gift.

Later she called. We were on the same page basically. She was looking at the stroller or the bassinet. To put an end to this story, I am sending the stroller. The amount I owed on the flowers will be put to the stroller, I will get the $25 from B and C, and we are all even. More than that, we are speaking - in a normal tone - again

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday mix

A mother’s work is never done. I have, once again, stepped on my daughter’s toes even though I tried to carefully bring up a subject. She is looking at having her sister in law, C, watch Monkey Boy beginning in January.

I asked her if she knew why C was not going to be keeping the children she is keeping now, and K said no. I tried to tell her as much as I knew, and that was that C felt the little boys were not disciplined. K immediately jumped on me asking if I thought her children were undisciplined. I tried to explain that people sometimes have different ideas about discipline, and I just wanted them to be on the same page about what the expectations are. She will probably say something to C, and I will be the one who is out. Oh well, I guess I can be an equal opportunity bitch, or so they may think.

Thursday is set to be a busy one. I am finally getting the guy out to check the furnaces. I forgot to get them to check the air conditioners all season. Oh well! I just hope the technician that comes is not the guy who went to high school with B. They were really good friends, but S has changed. He has become a really needy guy who would just show up at their apartment, unannounced, at all hours of the day and night. If S is the one, he will ask for B’s phone number. If I were to give it to him, I would be on B’s list too!

In theory, the floors will be done at The SSB. Stacy, the installer, said he would be completed on Wednesday. We will know Friday afternoon. I wonder if they will have replaced the toilets with the right ones this time? The ones that are presently there, the ones that came with the "manufactured home," are similar to the one we had in the travel trailer. It seemed like it was 6 inches off the floor. My arthritic knees have a real problem with the ones that came with the house. We are trying to get a "handicapped" toilet - especially in the master cave, er, bathroom.

I wonder how I can get K started today. I guess I could say something about S (her husband)!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Babies, babies

They are here! I’m referring to me niece’s twins. They are health and big, but then we really expected that. The boy is 19 ½ inches and 7 pounds 12 ounces. The girl is 19 inches and 6 pounds 14 ounces. My poor niece is only about 5 feet, three inches tall. I don’t know where she managed to carry those babies.

She has been ready for a month to have them. She tried and tried to get the OB to go ahead and take them, but he refused. He had set November 2 as the date he would take them. We knew she would not be able to deliver naturally, especially since she couldn’t with her first. But she went into labor naturally, and her contractions were one minute apart by the time she got to the hospital. They are here, and all are well.

K and I have been so interested - fascinated actually. We know people who have twins, but we have never been able to follow the process through the pregnancy. I am even more amazed when I find twins while doing my genealogy. Knowing what E had to do to ensure the health of the babies was really something. It’s amazing twins lived way back then.

I keep thinking the pregnancy was really the easy part though. I just can’t imagine caring for two babies. One was always enough for me. She is getting a good taste immediately though. Even though she has a Caesarian, the hospital does rooming in. She really has gone from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.

Now I can’t wait to see them. G said since we will be going to The SSB, we will stop in the Capital City for a short visit. I just can’t wait!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Those words

Those were words I never expected to be spoken from my daughter’s mouth. I was shocked, but, in reality, I should not have been surprised. I just don’t know if they will really come into action. I really hope not.

She said she would file divorce papers. She said that she should have listened to the little voice in the back of her head shouting that they were from different social levels. They were voices that told her he would never be able to shed the lessons learned from his parents.
What brought this to be? Was it cheating with another woman? No, quite simply it was keeping a devastating secret - again. S does not know how to handle money. He has never been taught the proper way to manage any money.

Several months ago, K called me after finding a collection notice for S. He had taken out, without her knowledge, a credit card. He was $13,000 in debt, and the company was going to collect. She was crushed. She had been fully aware of his poor credit rating, and it was their decision that she would handle the money.

In the beginning of their marriage, there wasn’t much money to handle. They didn’t make much. Over the years, they have had their salaries increase, and through K’s careful handling, they are in good financial shape.

She arranged to have the debt paid off over the course of several months. In fact she was making the final payment on that debt when she thought she would run their credit reports. That’s when she found them. Two open credit cards, each with outstanding balances on them again.

She felt she had been cheated on. I really don’t think she would have been hurt more had she found he had been having an affair. She felt so crushed because he had hidden something like this knowing how important it is to her.

His family does things like this. They open accounts, then never pay them. His parents, to get utilities, would open accounts in their children’s name, and then not pay. They would manage to get cars, only to have them repossessed. It has come to light that once they bought a refrigerator and used one of S’s friends names as a reference. The friend got the calls when they skipped out on that debt.

As of now, she is giving him another chance. She will pay these off as well, but she cannot take another fall. He claims he wants to be more like our family, but it seems this leopard cannot lose its spots.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quiet Halloween

I cannot believe how quiet our Halloween was. I believe since it came so quickly on the heels of the time change, that made it even quieter.

I have not given out candy in several years. Part of the problem was that when you teach middle school right in the middle of your neighborhood, you may not want to open the door to some of your students.

More than that, I really am not fond of opening my door to five foot ten men with masks on. My own children were often upset with me when I refused to let them trick or treat after they reached middle school age. I am a firm believer that trick or treat is for the little ones.

I turned on my light last night. I was prepared for several children, but after an hour and a half, only two little ones made an appearance. At seven, I grew tired of waiting, and turned off the light.

I didn’t get any tricks either. I think the older ones were simply too tired after having their sleep patterns disturbed for three days!