Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Copycat: "I'm thankful for..."

It's been all over Facebook and the Blogosphere, but I'm always a little slow to hop on the band wagon...

Plus, we went out of town for the week of Thanksgiving, and Mr. Incredible's laptop for work died a most spectacular death the week before Thanksgiving which has meant I have shared my computer with him and will share with him until his fancy new laptop arrives from Shanghai next week.  Just not having the usual uninterrupted time at my desk.

But, I have a small moment now, and instead of doing it just like everyone else, I will do a post-Thanksgiving thankfulness list with my own spin. 

The list of things I'm thankful for could go on and on until this entry would never load, but I'll limit it to thirty because there are that many days in November.

I'm thankful for...

1.  Grace.  Forgiveness.  Sacrifice.  Hope.  Love.  Faith.  The applied impact of salvation on my life.  Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Bible.  (Yeah, that's the Sunday School answer, but it works.) And now several of the atheists, agnostics, pagans and wiccans who read my blog have tuned me out and won't read on to learn that I am also thankful for nachos.

2.  My family.  Of course, that includes my husband, children, parents, sister, grandmothers, in-laws and other extended family members.  Bringers of joy.  And at times exasperation.  I'll keep all of them.  Ok, if I'm honest there are one or two I would trade in or even give away, but I won't name names.  Now they are all in a tizzy wondering if I'm talking about them...

3. My other "family".  Not related by biology or marriage.  I get to choose these people, and they get to choose me.  Some are in my daily life.  Some I don't get to see.  I have a unique connection to these people for myriad reasons.  You people know who you are.  Or you should.  I don't know why you people who know so much about me still like me.
4.  My derby family.  I pay to belong to this family.  You should, too.  Disgustingly acrid pad stench and all. 

5.  My grandfathers.  They have been gone for more than five years.  Still miss them.

6.  Having everything I need.  If you know me even a little, you know that I make a great distinction between wants and needs.  I'm not preaching at you.  I'm just clarifying.  Maybe you have a medical need for chocolate. 

7.  My friend's clear scans after two rounds of cancer.

8.  A year free from major illness or injury for myself, my husband, and my kids.

9.   Books.  I'm not sure what I would do with myself if we ever got to the place of Fahrenheit 451.  Go to jail, I guess. 

10.  My bed.  Sleep is my dear friend. 

11.  My bathtub.  With loads of bubbles.  And water so hot that Mr. Incredible is afraid I'll be cooked alive like a lobster.  The convenience of indoor plumbing.

12.  Opportunities.  For growth.  For resolution.  For failure.

13.  The color green.  I surround myself with it as much as possible.  It relaxes me and makes me smile. 

14.  Dreams.  Several of my dreams have turned into realities this year.  I've got several others lined up right behind them though.  Don't worry about me having a lack of dreams.

15.  Roller skates.  Awesome roller skates that don't give me blisters.

16.  The smell of clean sheets.  The convenience of washers and dryers.  Tide Febreeze Sport (see number 4...).

17.  Central heat and air.  Gas fireplaces.  Electricity.  A closet full of coats.     

18.  Mr. Incredible's job.

19.  Vacations.  Even vacations to Waco. 

20.  Humor and laughter.

21.  Nachos.  I love nachos.  Hard to pass up nachos or any incarnation of nachos.  Or cheese.  I just love cheese.  It's that item I list when we play "If you were stranded on a desert isle and could bring just one thing..."  You don't play that game?  Moving right along...

22.  Miss Noteworthy's dry sense of humor and the comments which come forth.  On Monday morning, I put her water, drink mix, apple and chips in her lunch sack.  Then, I went to another counter and made her pb&j.  And then I got distracted.  A little bit later she walked past the counter and said, "Were you going to put that sandwich in a baggy or just leave it on the counter?"  We laughed because I was so scatterbrained that morning.  So, I said, "Yeah, but just for that you don't get a baggy.  I'm going to wrap it in foil instead.  You know, when I was a kid, most people's sandwiches were wrapped in foil, Saran Wrap, or wax paper."  She came back with, "Well, by now we have invented the Ziploc."  I should change her name to Miss Smarty Pants, but she would probably have something to say about that, too.

23.  Gorgeous smiles.  When you see one you almost can't help but give one back.  Even if you are in a foul mood.  And then, the foul mood starts to dissipate.

24.  Friends, family members, and strangers who serve our country in the military.  Thank you Melanie, G.I. Joel, Chris, Michael, and Nathan.  Veterans, too.

25.  America.  It's not a utopia, but only heaven is.  We may not have everything right, but I don't think I could find a better place.

26.  My church.  The lot of the imperfect people there who can admit that they don't have it all together and need a savior.

27.  Online pizza ordering.  You have to know me for this one. The thought of having to call a pizza place and speak to live person induces great anxiety for me.  I realize this is a completely irrational fear, but also a completely avoidable one because I can order online and not speak to a soul about my large black olive and mushroom.

28.   Music.  And singing and dancing in the car.  Especially dancing with your hands over your head or the Brady Bunch groove. 

29.  The quietness of the house when everyone else has gone to sleep or after everyone has left for the day. 

30.  The roar of the house before everyone goes to bed and after everyone comes home for the day.

I hope your Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful and filled with gratitude and love.     

P.S.  I'm also thankful to have this venue to chat away and people who actually show up and read me everyday.  You all rock!

P.P.S.  I'm thankful that Mr. Incredible is not in the hospital after I sent him up in the attic to fetch the Christmas tree and decorations this morning.  The attic ladder fell down on his head.  He is going to have one fierce scar.  Could have been so much worse.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Are You Going to Take Me to the Doctor or What?

A couple of weeks ago as Bonus and I were waiting for RNR to race out of the school building (kindergartners get out a few minutes before the other grades), Bonus was doing something he is not supposed to do.  Yes, I know, you are all shocked.  Bonus was climbing on the concrete planters by the stairs to the school.  I asked him to stop and reminded him that he needs to follow the rules of his school, and he needs to obey me.
Bonus and I have had this talk, well, nearly daily since the first day of school.

I don't think we are going to have to have it again.  

You see, Bonus ignored me when I told him to stop climbing on the planters, and he fell.  Big time.

Don't worry.  He's fine.  No concussions or broken bones.  Just a lot less skin on the back of his knee and the back of his calf.  And like he says, "I lost some of my blood out of my body."  The moaning and wailing was earsplitting.  A copious harvest of tears washed down his sweaty, dirty cheeks, trailed onto his favorite football t-shirt, and eventually, left spots of wet on my shoulders, hands, and blouse.

As the older kids emerged from the school his cries of pain seemed to get louder, and the kids would look at him and then quickly turn their heads as though to preserve his privacy or dignity.  Or maybe they just weren't all that interested in his injury.  Or thought he was a big crybaby.  It's hard to know.

His tears didn't stop until we reached the van and I used the last, odd components in the car first aid kit to fashion a rudimentary bandage, which I promised him would only have to suffice until we reached home (a short mile).  The piercing screams exchanged for soft whimpers, we loaded up and made the short drive successfully.

Piling out of the van and into the kitchen, Bonus seated himself at the kitchen table to await his treatment.  As I removed the gauze square taped to his skin with tiny band-aids one might use on a paper cut and lifted a wet paper towel to his wound, he asked, "Mommy, is it going to hurt?"

I answered, "Yes, son, it is."

"Wait, then."

"No, we need to get this cleaned off and get the bleeding to stop."


I washed the scrapes and blotted blood.  Then, he spied the bottle of antiseptic wash I had pulled out of the cabinet. 

"Mommy, that's going to hurt!"

"Yes, it probably will, but we need to clean it."

He winced.

I hated to make him cry again (makes me sad AND I had a splitting headache), but I poured the blue liquid over his ripped flesh. 

He screamed that it was stinging, so I pressed on it and blew on it.  I applied the bandages hoping that my efforts would help him to feel some small comfort. 

Not so much comfort.

He splayed himself across two of the kitchen chairs and writhed in pain, all the while telling me it was my fault for putting the medicine on the cuts.  And yelling that I needed to take him to the doctor and what kind of a mother was I anyway?  Ahem...  At this point, I'm about to lose my cool.  

I looked him directly in the eyes and told him I was sorry he was hurting but that I was not going to pay a doctor $30 to put a bandaid on his leg, and then I went to tend to his sister for a moment.

From the living room, I almost immediately hear "I'm dying in here.  Are you going to take me to the doctor or what?"


Apparently, I only think I'm speaking in plain English, or I need to clean the wax out of the kid's ears.  Or maybe both.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "Eff" Word

Yeah, it's the one you think it is.

And I really don't like it.

Yes, I'm expecting a backlash from some of you who use the word liberally.  Bring it.

I think use of the "eff" word shows a lack of creativity.  And vocabulary.  And, sometimes, it just doesn't even make sense.

Like when people say, "Eff that sh**!"  Really?  Let's flesh out that exclamation.  

___(you)  |___"eff"   |   "sh**"

(Forgive the limitations of my keyboard in this diagram.  I can't extend the line between the subject and predicate, and I don't know how to tilt the text "that" in Blogger.)   

This sentence is a command or directive. "Eff" is the verb or the action word in the sentence. The understood subject, "You," is implied in the command.    "Sh**" is a direct object in the predicate of the sentence.  "That" is an adjective.

Okay, now that we know the parts of speech, let's look at definitions.  "Eff", in the most widely used definition, means to copulate or to have intercourse.  "Sh..." is poop, excrement, human waste, crap.

Now, let's put all the information we have gathered together.

"You go have sex with that fecal matter."

Ummm....exsqueeze me?  I think I'd rather not.  Apple pie?  Maybe (kidding!).  Poop?  No.

Or let's look at another common expression.  WTF?

Technically, it's a question and an incomplete one at that.  The missing verb is "is".  And "eff" is used as a direct object.

So the question asks... 

"What the intercourse?"

My answer:  "Huh?  What are you talking about?" 

And I won't even touch "effin' A"... 

It's crazy talk that has become culturally permissible or even lauded as empowering language.

I'm just stating my position on the "eff" word and its preponderant usage in our society.  If you are an adult, I realize you have a right to choose your own way of expressing yourself (when not in the presence of children).   We all make choices, and some of mine have been questionable, to say the least.     

However, I suppose I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to this word.  I really don't expect you to use it in my presence the first time I meet you (or the twentieth) or if we haven't seen each other in twenty years or in a business meeting or if I'm standing behind you in line at The Krogert. with. my. kids.   I'm talking about grown men glancing back at me and my children and then still choosing to utter the word with nothing but a plastic bar between our groceries.

Hello!!?!!?  That plastic bar divides our groceries.  It does not provide sound-proofing.

It's as though it has ceased to be an obscenity in their minds.  

Are people really that desensitized?  Have we really lost all semblance of common courtesy in public? 

It's still an obscenity to me.  It still makes me flinch when people say it around me.  I still think there are better and more creative word choices that are equally, if not more, effective in expressing disgust, distaste, or dislike.   

And now, please don't tell me to go have sex with myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The View

Walking home from school one day, Bonus tangoed with a patch of cacti.

It wasn't pretty.  His hand was covered in about 100 spines.  Fortunately, I had pulled the wagon up to the school for backpack hauling.  He was able to moan and writhe in the wagon, which allowed us to get home and take care of his impaled hand that much faster.

The needles on this cacti were the furry, red kind that jump right off the plant and into your skin if you even think about approaching the plant.  I know about these needles from my Uncle Steven's apartment.  I was about 8 or 9, and I'm sure I howled like Bonus did. 

When we reached our home, I slowly and carefully pulled the needles out of Bonus' skin one by one over a sink with tweezers so that they wouldn't wind up in anyone else's skin.  It took about fifteen minutes to remove most of the needles.  Fifteen minutes with wailing in my ear.  And his talk about being worried if he would ever be able to play again.  And comparisons of cacti needles to the bullets of a gun.  Mr. Incredible and I don't call him Drama King behind his back for nothin'.

When he was finally as needle-free as he was going to be and the histrionics had appeared to die down, I bandaged him up, cleaned up our little mess and washed my own hands.  Yes, I did manage to get a couple of the needles in my own hand.   
As Bonus started in on his cheer-up lollipop, he tearfully asked RNR, "Now how will I cut my steak?"

And, yes, I turned my back and giggled.  It's me.  Of course, I laughed at my child. 

Isn't it interesting that even though he had been rescued, cleaned, bandaged, and ployed with a cloyingly sweet treat he still found something to grumble about?

And isn't that just like us?

We can get all we ever wanted or needed and still find a reason to complain. 

I realize this is not "rock science" (that's a special joke for someone I love), but isn't it really all about perspective?  Just thinking today about the view from here. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

That's Gonna Hurt...

Ever wondered what I might look like after you kicked me in the face?


You're supposed to say "No!"

No matter.

This is what I look like after I have been kicked in the nose with a skate:

©2011 Thorpe Griner/Thorpeland Photography

You asked for it.  I got it. 
I know.  I know.  I look like I'm about to pass out.  You can see that the swelling was already starting on the bridge of my nose.  Yes, the blood is real, and it didn't stop completely until about midnight.  I vaguely remember the moment caught in the photo.  Doesn't my teammate Brutal Bliss look beautiful and intense?  Her face brings back those slo-mo scenes from Charlie's Angels.  I love that I got knocked in the face, and the two of us are still trying to hold a wall.  The jam got called off seconds later.  Or so I thought.  I'm still trying to figure out how it is at all possible that Dick Diamond, Manicorn, and a little sliver of Kitten Spit are in the picture.  I fell and got kicked between turns two and three.  The jam got called off right before turn four.  The bench for Jack Skellington was at turn one for the first half.  Did I actually skate a whole lap and not know?  Scary!!!!

I contacted photographer Thorpe Griner regarding usage of this shot of my bloody nose, and he graciously gave me permission to post.  For free!  Thanks, Thorpe!  I'm glad someone had a quick shutter handy! 
In an update on the schnoz... miraculously, it was not broken!  Much to the chagrin of my baby sister who thought it would be nice to have a new, improved me by Christmas...  Sisters.  Hmph!
Two weeks out it still feels a little stiff and sore, and I find myself flinching whenever Bonus gets a little too close to my smeller (or anyone else, for that matter... but most people are not wielding light sabers...).  And fortunately, it's not any more crooked than it was before the skate-face incident. After the swelling went down, I still look like me. 

Me on a normal day.  Nose looks pretty straight.  Not sure if that crooked smile can be helped. ;) 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Rare Domestic Jag

I'm on one.  A domestic jag.  It's kinda like a jig, but you get your house in some semblance of order. 
And it's been a good long while, so my family keeps looking at me like I'm the unabomber or something.  I used to do things like make homemade cream cheese pastries for my Sunday School class or bake dozens of iced sugar cookies for my Death and Dying class (seems weird to me now, too, but made perfect sense in the middle of writing my thesis).  I quilted (what?).  I even crafted (gasp! I know you are shocked.).
The short version of the story is after I had two kids I was exhausted.  I was trying to do too much all the time.  I stopped.  Why did I need to be the one to make braided pastries for my Sunday School class when everyone else bought a dozen doughnuts?  People love doughnuts, right? 
But right now, I'm going the extra mile for these people I live with.  And it's taking some getting used to.

It means I get up while sensible people are still blissfully slumbering earlier than usual to make things like monkey bread for the kids to eat before they leave for school.  This morning when Bonus and RNR came down and asked, "What's for breakfast?" I replied, "It's a suprise."  Bonus was sure to inform me that there could not be a surprise because it was not anyone's birthday, and silly me, I didn't know that one could not surprise one's children with a special baked good on a day other than a day commemorating the birth of a loved one who lives in the same household. 

Who knew? 

I told Bonus to go into his father's office to run that "surprise" theory of his past Mr. Incredible.  However, as he galloped out of the kitchen, I realized that this past year I have only made special breakfasts or meals on birthdays or holidays, so what else is a five year old to believe?  Not that I beat myself up about that or anything.  Cringe.     

Being on a domestic jag also means I have cooked recipes that are new to my children.  When I made gumbo, Bonus thanked me for making foods he had not tried before.  And then he told me he really wasn't hungry.  Gotta give the kid points for figuring out something nice to say when he did not like dinner.  Miss Noteworthy enjoyed it, and her expanding palate surprised me once again.  She didn't even complain about eating the okra.  She liked it!  RNR... well, my once adventurous little eater has traveled to the land of EEEWWW and made herself a new home there.  At least she is still eating asparagus... for the moment.

And last Thursday I pulled out a recipe from my childhood... Sherried Beef.  In the crockpot.  So easy.  Everyone loved it.  Mr. Incredible called us bums because he was getting home that night and, we had eaten up every last drop of it (don't worry he had dinner before he got home).

2 lbs. beef, cubed (brown sides in a skillet if you like)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c. of dry sherry (this is what makes it delicious, of course)
1/2 packet of onion soup mix (i know.  it has onions in it, and i still eat it.)

Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Easy peasy!  I would cook in my crockpot for every meal if I could get away with it.  I love having dinner all prepped and cooking by 9am.  It absolves any guilt I have about that afternoon nap that I still need at nearly forty-one. 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” Isaiah 43:18 – 19

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roll with the Punchlines

Mr. Incredible to me: "You know I'm still going to love you when you are an old woman."

I look over at him and wait for the punchline.

Mr. Incredible: "What's that... about three years from now?"

Very funny, sir.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet George Jetson...

Daughter Judy

Jane his wife...  How fun for me & Miss Noteworthy to be the Jetson girls together.  Unfortunately, we NEVER got a picture together.  Maybe next year.
The spoils of RNR ala Daphne

Save me Obi Wan.  I need Reese's peanut butter cups.

I hope my dad has some better pictures...

Maybe not the world's best combo of orange and green. 

Our Halloween fun.  Mr. Incredible (not pictured) was dressed as a dad or a surfer.  Just like every year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bout Broken

The Corpse Brides, Monster Mash-Up 2011

The Jam I Could Live Without
Mr. Incredible reminding me that we have insurance for a reason.

Our Halloween bout was last Sunday night.  Four jams in I fell and then I got a skate to the face when I was down.  I got up from the floor and felt something roll down my face.  At first I just thought it was a bunch of snot.  You know, when your eyes fill with those pesky tears, your nose fills with an inordinate amount of snot. I caught up to the pack and asked a teammate if I was bleeding.  When she said yes, I looked to a ref, but the jam had already been called off by the jammer.  I headed back to the bench, took a seat, got some ice, and started assessing the damage.

Of course, no one saw me get a wheel to my nose.  I don't know whose skate, and it really doesn't matter.  It was an accident.

Is my nose broken?  Well, it's leaning a little more to the right than it did before.  And there was blood.  And swelling.  And, oh yes, there is pain.   I wish I could post one of the pictures with blood running down my face, but they are all copyright protected.  Boo. 

I'll find out if it is broken tomorrow at the ENT.