Sunday, September 30

As I happily blog away here, dumping my proverbial soul out on these keys, I can easily forget that there are a few of you out there who tune in daily for a report on whats happenning in my microcosm.

I may lay bare a few things that will look stark and ugly to me in a few days, but I do this
1.) as an outlet for my sanity...
2.) to be able to review and reread feelings and thoughts later...

So... for the most part, try and take me at face value.
I might just change my tune the next time you check in. And I am genuinely sorry if I have maybe shocked, or scared a few of you...My Id sometimes just carries me away!!!

I first of all, feel some updates are necessary for the past few days of unfortunate excitement around here.

1.) Grandpa is doing well, still in the hospital but in good humor and harassing all available nurses.

2.) Jessica, my daughters tutor who was in the auto accident, died Friday morning. The community is reeling.
3.) My friends father, with the brain aneurisim, is still stable but not alert at this point.
4.) The house fire was a complete loss, though thank God no one was hurt.
5.) My niece is home again, doing as well as can be expected. The physical wounds will heal, but we will all have to help her realize that there are good people who will help her through this.


A new and equally devastating addition to the above tragedies is that on Saturday, our community was dealt another fatal blow. Yet ANOTHER senior at our High School was in an auto accident with a passenger. The driver, a senior boy died instantly and his friend was airlifted to a Ft.Wayne Trauma center with severe injuries.. As of today, she was in serious condition.

A terrible side note to this accident, was that the accident was discovered by our HS Principal and students returning from a Tennis sectional match that the boys had dedicated, and won in Jessica's honor.. The wounds that they wore so close to their hearts already were torn open again.

I didn't see the site myself, but I have been told that as kids approached the accident, they simply pulled off the road and stood together in groups mourning again.

I can't say what this will do to our small, close knit community. I do think that we will all look for strength in each other, and our faith to pull us out of this.

I know that mothers are hugging their kids a lot more, and the kids aren't complaining.

Thursday, September 27

Many MANY disasters hitting close to MY home tonight.

I willl say a few prayers before I go to bed.

1.) My Grandfather is in the hospital with a blood clot in his leg.
2.) My daughters tutor from school was in a devastating auto accident today, and was airlifted to a trauma center.
3.) One of our good friend's father had a brain anurism, and is in Critical Care.
4.) A Family friends house burnt today.

All of these lightning strikes so close to home.

The young girl who was in an accident - she had become a sort of "mentor" for my daughter. They were pretty close. My grandfather is so far...fine. He is being babysat at the hospital until they see if surgery may be necessary. Our friends father is recovering only in very slight degrees at this point, and is still in very grave danger of complications.

Count your blessings.
A student of life....
I am still working on my degree.

I would imagine that death alone will provide the necessary paperwork to qualify you as a graduate.

There are many things that get all tangled up in my head when I deal with my family and my life. They have never been two separate and defined roles. But as I am getting older, and my kids and family are growing older along with me I see now that the foundation I laid as a novice isn't going to serve me well, for the most part.

Starting out, I didn't want help. I had a lot to prove. I had to prove that as a new wife at 17, and then a mother at 18, I didn't need the coddling that everyone was sure I would. I learned to do it all, and do it very well. I took great pride that at any given moment I had the kids scrubbed clean, well fed, and my house was neat as a pin. Anyone could stop in and judge for themselves at any time and I was prepared.

I was doggedly determined not to be looked down upon with pity, or the knowing tsk tsk from others who might judge me. I wanted everyone to see that I was capeable of handling it all, and doing a fabulous job at it.

What I didn't know then, was that the very definition of management changes with every stage of children and marriage. If you don't include the consideration of this beforehand, the cleanup in the aftermath may be devastating.

Instead of being controlling and rigid - I should have let everyone see (especially my kids and my husband) that I am not an army. I should have cried more, played more, and loved more. I should have let the things that are a constant - housework, bills, chores wait until I had the time to do them because they will always be there nagging at me.

It's a very depressing thing when you are like me, and fool yourself into thinking that you CAN handle it all, and then you have to face it, and turn it over a little at a time. It is also so cleansing and refreshing to feel that someone WILL share it with you, and you don't have to go it alone.

Sometimes that person who steps in and saves you is your spouse, your child, or even your best friend.

It's the letting go that hurts like hell. Admitting that you are not the savior you think is necessary.
But it's a gradual slip, marked by phases in your life that you must pass through.

I work each day a little bit to try and remember who the person was inside this body before she happily took on the shield of mother, wife and protector.

I think she used to like to read. She also liked to sing and dance. But lately with so much to do, and so many things to accomplish, that would be a foolish waste of precious time. Then I realize that the same person who used to do those things, is the very same one that attracted the man who has shared her life.

Maybe he misses her too.
Bad Dreams...

I went to bed last night thinking of my sheep, after writing here.. all cosy and ready to get some shut eye.

Instead what I had was a horriffic nightmare. I was on a plane, and it all was starting up again. The hijackings, etc. Except that my entire family was on board and we were going on a vacation. The odd part, was that I was the pilot.
Luckily, I don't remember the ending - but I do remember waking up and almost knocking my husband out of bed...luckily again, he didn't remember a thing.

You figure it out. I have no idea what to translate that into. Maybe it was because I just watched some crappy TV show the day before about reading your dreams... My subconscious must have really wanted me to ponder that one... sick joke.

I really need to get my plan together for the house renovation I am in the middle of. I am dallying at it, taking my sweet time. I yearn for it to be done, and to be able to survey the finished product, but I don't know EXACTLY what I want to do to finish it up. So I do something each day, working towards the finish line but not knowing when I will get there.

I think it is just something I am doing to fill the days. Since the kids have gone back to school, I have two whole days to do whatever I want. Laundry and vacuuming gets old, so I have trained my focus elsewhere. Maybe that means I will finally finish this up in May - right before the end of school....God, I hope not.

Wednesday, September 26

It has been a really long while since I have blogged about my animals.

It is the breeding season, so I have been hoping that they are all out feverishly fornicating so we will have a nice big crop of healthy lambs this winter. It is looking good so far. We have about another week beofre we pull the ram from the ewes, and then another 90 days or so before the first of the lambs hit the ground.

THEN - it will be nutzo around here. Our entire lives will ebb and flow with who is due next, who had lambs today and who needs to come in and get ready. Much of this fever pitch is of little or no consequence because the sheep have yet to read the same manuals I do when it comes to lambing.
They do it at their leisure.

Some of them have even learned to wait until I have left the barn, and proceede to "spit" them out before I can get back, just to have some privacy. There are a few, here and there who will also purposely torture me by having little lambs, that I feel I must begin a crusade to save.

Little by little, inch by inch, I have learned that not everything will live. It is a huge statement for me to say. In years past, I have had tiny baby lambs in the house, in my bed(so I could sleep), at my work and in my bathtub.

Funny story, that I don't know if I have told here, was the time we had to go away for the day,and we had an orphan lamb in our bathtub. We closed the bathroom door, just in case it might escape.When we returned, the door was ajar, and the lamb was gone. We called to it, looked everywhere and it had vanished.

Afraid that one of our shepherd friends might have played a trick on us, knowing that we had a stowaway in the house, and that we might be gone all day, I was sure they had lambnapped her.

That was UNTIL we found her with our Blue Heeler/House dog Sadie, in her crate, all snuggled up and cosy.

That was a neat thing.

I enjoy lambing. It is extremely stressful and exciting, but it gives me an outlet.
I love my sheeps.

Tuesday, September 25

People in suburban USA are buying gas masks and Hazmat suits.

NBC News this morning was discussing different options that people are turning to in their fear.
What a better way to scare people right off the slender edge where we all stand right now.

Evidently - Fred, George and Bill down at the diner In Iowa see the change in the posture of the world and decide between their over-easy eggs and toast that it is time to be prepared.

The masks and suits they are snatching up like Furby's at Walmart cost $299.00 for a mask with a 4 hour filter, up to $599.00 for an 8 hour filter. The suits, amazingly enough are from an Iranian manufacturer and carry such a hefty price that they weren't willing to divulge on network TV.

This is so reminiscent of the 50's where everyone wanted their own private bomb shelter tucked away under their home. Nowadays, a hole won't save you. If we are to be judged on a global scale by nuclear weapons at any time - I do not want to live to see the aftermath...unless I have been selected to do so.

In my feeble attempt to get all religious, I could say that if this is the time for the world to pay for it's selfish existance - let it be so. I can agree totally with others who have written that on Monday September 10th, 2001 the world did not want God's assistance. In fact, we were re-writing laws and penning bills that would intentionally EXCLUDE him from our sight.
Then, on Tuesday we all sought him. We asked his blessings on those who were lost. We asked him to save us from further terrorist attacks. We went to him, groveling for our lives. This may be new to us, but we aren't the first people who prayed too late.

I am hopeful that now, we will all be better people - but for how long? The words "tragedy" roll easily off our lips, but will we remember?

Monday, September 17

Anger....

What is it that possesses some to turn to violence to solve a problem, and then they don't understand the retaliation of some sort or another that follows...
How the slightest change in mood or temper could set of a catastrophic event.

I am sure that the girls who are now in custody for violently assaulting my niece did not wake up on Saturday morning and decide to nearly kill someone. I doubt as the 13 year olds ate their cinnamon toast crunch and watched early morning cartoons, they were not contemplating attempted murder.

But I can't say what drove them past the ordinary internalization of emotions to act them out.
I frequently say that someones "filter" between their brain and their mouth must be broken, but in this case I can't seem to even find a filter to begin with.

I went to see her today.

With her bandaged head, two black eyes, broken nose, severe concussion, and totally fractured spirit, she still tried to put on a happy face for me. It's all so senseless.

Haven't we had enough senseless things to manage lately?

Sunday, September 16

Leave it to life, to return your thoughts to home, and to refocus your gaze.

I have many things fluttering about my head, many of them not well enough organized to write sensibly here.

This weekend, as most, was busy - though not hectic. Tonight hardly feels like Sunday, maybe because we have been so busy.

I found out today, that my niece is in the hospital. She has a broken nose, two black eyes, some cuts and bruises and other general items that made the physicians decide to keep her. I don't know for how long.....I will probably try to get up there tomorrow night after the girls volleyball game to see her. I am glad that my husband took the call, and got to speak to his mother. There is some tense feelings surrounding my sister-in-law, and I doubt if she would have felt comfortable talking to me

She is 14.


What I haven't told you, is WHY she is there. That is the part I am having a tough time grasping myself.

She is there, because 4 other girls she knew from school (I presume) beat the shit out of her, quite literally. Hospitalized her. I am awe struck. Evidently it was over a boy. The other girls were also her age.

As my niece and my own two kids progressively grew older together, I have become very alarmed about having them spend time together. I don't like the stories the girls come home with about who she has kissed, that she just started smoking cigarettes, and only God knows what they HAVEN'T told me to keep me from freaking. I hate to feel that way - but I just can't help myself.

I have known since the word go that she and my nephew would be kids that had a hard go of it. You know the kind. Mom is involved with her life, kids are baggage, Dad has a new baby with the girlfriend -
and here are these kids raising themselves. I have berated myself for not being more involved with them, and maybe now I know I should have been.

But I just recently had an eye opener comparing our relationship as a family, to what they know - or presume about us. The kids were all together, and their grandma said something about one of my girls, and my niece just replied, "We can't be PERFECT like they are" in a snotty 14 year old way. That let me know that they are aware of the differences in our enviorment, and we are seemingly the hostile ones.

They are my husbands', sisters kids. I would feel much more comfortable going commando on my brothers kids... It's still that feeling of me not having any familial authority over them.

I don't know what I can do to help them not become statistics without setting off the "So you think I am a lousy Mother?" alarm. That might be a challenge.

The more I learn about teenagers, the less I like them.

It's not a far journey for me to go back and remember the seething hatred I sometimes carried as a grudge for those who loved me. I could be more caring and civil to a stranger than I was to the people that raised me. Why? I don't know why. At least I'm not positive.

If I could strip away all the layers of crap that get piled on feelings as time ages them, and dulls my memory somewhat...I think I would say that I probably felt unloved...unnoticed....unimportant.

In reality now, I know I was spoiled, selfish, uncaring.
It was the age when you go from being dependant on your parents, to wanting both sides. I wanted them to still do everything for me, but let me do what I wanted. Thats it -
Until I broke away from thinking I could have both, our lives at home were hell on the high seas.
What broke first, was me leaving. From their home, right into one of my own.

And from that move - came clear and total understanding.
(Of how good I had it back then)

If anyone under 20 would listen to me, and buy it, I could write all the teenagers a book
(presuming they still teach them to read)

But maybe the glory of separation is lost if the trials are few, and the road is paved with gold...?

Wednesday, September 12

Like everyone, I feel compelled to write about the great tragedy that we witnessed in our Country yesterday - but I am also at a loss to process the scale in which it might change our lives.

My daughter has a friend who lives in Zimbabwe. We recently went through some terrorist threats and acts with them and kept updated by E-mail when they could. Prior to this, she had bee invited to go and visit him and his family sometime in the near future.

She did not understand my concern for her safety. I had to explain to her that in other countries, Americans can be targets of violence just because of their nationality. I explained to her then, that here in the United States we have very few terrorist acts, compared to there. We live inside the understanding that here, we are unquestionably safe. All that changed yesterday and today with the continued threats of violence.

Some say that these are the end days.For many reasons - that is unsettling to me.

Monday, September 10

Sports....

More specifically - young kids in sports.

I remember when I used to play sports. I can tell you EXACTLY when my last active sports participation was. I was 5, and I was on a T-ball team. Back then, where I lived, EVERYONES kids played T-Ball. So, when I was old enough, I suited up and took the field.

I was a lefty, so that sent my dad out to the Sporting goods store to find me a mitt. I think I remember him telling that he shelled out nearly $20.00 for a left handed mitt for his daughter. That was a lot back then in those dino ages. I happily donned my purple "Tom Socks" jersey and ballcap and headed off to the diamond. There were boys and girls on my team, some younger, some older. I distinctly remember being WAY down in the batting order, because the longer I sat there, the more nervous I became.

I also remember everyone trying to teach me to be "normal" and bat right handed. But what sticks in my mind, is that I got up to bat, hit the thing, and got out before I reached the base.
That was the end of my career. I simply refused to ever again parade around pretending to be an athlete.

Some would have practiced, some would have went to camp, or just given God time to make me a little more coordinated. Not me. I stared failure in the face, and decided that I would rather not try than to fail miserably in front of spectators who might laugh.

I did accomplish other sporting goals, like a lettermans jacket from managing teams, being an athletic trainer and solo adventures.... I found that if I attempted and failed in a solo sport like diving, weightlifting, or golf - the loss was more acceptable as I didnt hurt anyone specific but myself.

So now that you know my involvement personally with organized sporting activities, well you can understand my mirth at how serious everyone gets nowadays when their son/daughter takes the field in any given event.

I will admit that it is very easy to be caught up in the moment, and get lost in the mirage that your child is a wonderfully gifted individual and in a few short years many division 1 schools will be begging them to attend their university free of charge just so they can play. But in general, I try to remember that it is the same kid out there playing that would also not remember to brush their teeth if I didn't remind them to.

I have become a biased observer over the years. Generally, the kids that do the most showboating or running their mouths have parents who will attest to their perfection. They have the confidence to overwhelm people with the talents they think they have. The kids I gravitate to, are the ones that are consistently working their butts off because they love the sport. They may not get the recognition or the news coverage, but you remove them and the rest of the team falls apart.

Modesty is the best policy.

My 13 year old bafflled me yesterday.
There was a skirmish over uniforms. Suffice it to say that the ones provided by the school didn't suit some of the players. They had asked a parent to screen print new jerseys and had picked out different shorts to wear. My daughter was going along with the mass until one of the girls parents decided that the uniforms may not be suitable for young girls to wear.
Her daughter was mortified that mom happenned to mention it to her teammates, and even went so far as to suggest they use the old uniform.

Well, all the teammates in favor of the new uniforms basically shunned the player who caused the rukus. The girls completely overlooked the fact that their objective was to play VOLLEYBALL - and not make a fashion statement. (which was my daughters point of view.) The clothes would not make a difference, but you take one player who has been ridiculed, and it could cost you the game. I am glad that she thought beyond the box.

Maybe she does pay attention to the lessons we preach occasionally.

When I was in school, you participated in sports to be active and have something to do after school so you could ditch whatever chores mom and dad might have in mind should you be there watching TV on your butt.

We didn't take it to the extreme that they do now. Kids as early as Kindergarten are being signed up for intensive clinics to develop technique and to learn the basics of whatever vogue sport the parent has in mind. I think by doing that we are interrupting the natural choice and development of other hobbies or interests they may never get the opportunity to know - all because Mom or Dad wants his kid to get a full ride and play college ball because he never got to.

So as I sit there, and shake my head in frustration because they missed a basket, or flubbed up a serve, I try to remember that there are more important things in the great big world than just the scoreboard.

Sunday, September 9

Wow-
I've had a very interesting few days. To begin with, Saturday was my 32'nd birthday. It kind of snuck up on me, as much as a birthday can...but I was occupied with the kids, and other things that were going on around here.

I decided that I was due for a change. In that - I mean that I needed a makeover. Well not really, but to some degree I was tired with the current hairstyle that I can trace back to my Juinor year in High School, and flying high on the cusp of my birthday seemed to be a good time to throw caution to the wind and just be freaky.

I walked in, sat down and gave very few instructions - just told her to do what she wanted. That was brave for me, but as I said, I was feeling brave. I also had confidence in her, as she looked pretty good herself. I explained that I had 2 teenage(almost) daughters, and a stupid looking mom would not be acceptable. She cut, and cut.
And cut.
Then she cut some more, and had to even it out a bit here and there.
Then she trimmed.
and thinned.

I am sure she was having a ball. How many times does someone with very thick, very long, naturally curly hair come in and say - TAKE IT OFF !

The results are shocking to me, although very acceptable. I will have to learn how to manage it, now that it is too short for throwing back in the ever popular pony-tail when it is unruly. I think even though I am still in shock when I go past a mirror - I will like it.

Biggest drawback - I look like a woman now. Not a girl. BOO !
Am I planning on growing it back out - ?
YES
Being a mature adult sucks. Best not look it if you don't feel it.

Another groovy thing that happenned this weekend was that my favorite cousin decided to have her baby on MY birthday. Totally cool. Although it wasn't a darling baby girl to name after me - I am glad that Austin chose that day to make his grand entrance.

We also went out on my birthday with some very good friends. Spent some money for a fund raiser our Fire Department was having and ate steak and drank beer while schmoozing with lots of people.
Well, I was schmoozing. I seem to do that whenever there is beer around. I had really high hopes of winning the raffle which was $8,000.00 or a Harley Davidson because it was my birthday and I was schmoozy and full of karma - but typical loser that I am I made it within ONE ticket of the money.

Oh well.

I had already mentally spent the money. I had considered being conservative and saving it, investing it, home improvements, etc. Then I decided that if I won I would be reckless and pack up the hubby and go on our Honeymoon. I had selected Australia, and was even practicing my accent.
You know what they say about a fool and his money? Yep - that was me.

I also had an eye-opening conversation. Someone asked me how old I was, and I replied "33 years till retirement!" Thinking that outloud really bites. It threw me into a "Have to go to College" mode. I cannot fathom 33 more years of my vaguely interesting job. AAAK.

Funny though - I don't feel older.
Maybe whacking off all my hair was a good distraction.

Wednesday, September 5

I am really starting to doubt my sanity.
Maybe thats not the right concept to give you...but I just don't know what else to think.

I believe more - that everyone outside my "special circle" is mad. By mad, I mean loony, goofy, lost touch with reality kind of mad.

If you are in my circle, you know it. If you don't understand me - my ways then you aren't in it, and why the hell are you reading this? ahhh nevermind. I was trying to be silly, and it just doesn't suit me.

If you hadn't guessed, it's work again that is marinating all my thoughts with sour vinegar.
I have just discovered, like a character in a Stephen King novel that my existence there is not of this world.

I have been reviewed by the Efficiency Committee. Well, not formally, but I did run across some incriminating documents that due to a breach of scotch tape were no longer confidential.

The hilariousness of it all, is that the above named committee, (I wont say it outloud due to the sheer idiocy that name conjures up) Has met and found a few things that are being done in our office (read what I AM DOING) that need to be hastily changed and reformatted into their own image.

I would voluntarily say that I am a change maker. I see slack, and I cannot help but take it up. Woe be the slacker who gets tangled in my web. Only this time, like never before, I have found an entire EMPIRE built on slacking, slackers and other derivitives of. The mission statement must read like something out of a 3'd grade easy reader.

I had the ingenious plan to actually schedule patients in our office not about what they were to be seen for, but based on the amount of time it actually took to complete even the simplest tasks with these patients. Ex. If you come in for a cold, and end up having a physical, you will never slide by me with only 10 minutes ever again. I am hip to your game .

Thinking I was being more "efficient" by actually scheduling the day more accurately, I find that they do not appreciate it AT ALL. What seems more efficient to them, is to give everyone a minimal amount of time, make everyone else wait around forever for their appointment time, and to close up shop somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 to 3 hours behind schedule.

They also think that to promote "unity" between our sattellite offices, those who don't currently work Saturdays at their own office, need to come to the one that does, and do their time.
YEAH RIGHT.

If they's thinkin they be doin that to me - they can just bite THIS!
Really - if it werent for the constant comedy there - I might have just left a long time ago.
Now I exist to make their existence a painful, thoughtful experience every day.
To work with me, is to THINK, people - get used to it.

On the homefront...all is well.
The girls are adjusting to school quite nicely, and I see my youngest developing her own space, and personality. She was such a backward kid, I was really worried. Thank goodness she still somewhat respects what I have to say and listens. Her sister challenges my every breath. Such opposite poles.
No wonder I feel like I am lurching in all directions sometimes.

It's a nice feeling to be back in control. I have recaptured my grasp on everything within my realm - from finances to housekeeping to life in general. For those who have never experienced the inability to even decide what to do upon waking - let alone manage a household, let me tell you - don't ever slack.
It will snowball away from you until it is impossible to manage without calling in the National Guard.
I was lost for a little while, that I am sure.
BUT THE BITCH IS BACK !
:-)
beware to all.
heh heh heh

Monday, September 3

Big Weekend - Big Plans

Seems as though I was so consumed with worrying about all I had to do, I wore myself out.
We did a few fun things and a few not so fun things - but mostly just did whatever we wanted.

Kids each took a day to spend with some friends, which is good for them to get out of here for a while and experience life outside the confines of our boot camp. All in all It was a good weekend.

Now......on to the week forthcoming.
:)