Friday, August 30


Where is the reset button?

Just had to do my first official retraction. Nothing major, I didn't misquote the tax rates for our city or anything, but I did accidentally invite almost 50 people to someones home for breakfast next Wednesday. (heh heh heh)

There is a group of mothers who have a prayer group for the school, and the children in it. A deserving storyline, but what they FORGOT to tell me, was that EACH individual school within our corporation had their OWN chapter and the breakfast was for only ONE of them. So it wasn't all MY bad, just a detail no one ever told me.

A hasty letter to my editor with a small article RE hashing the entire thing will be printed tonight. I felt like a huge retard.

What didn't help, was that the lady was kind on the phone, but near the end, wanted me to read all the information I'd collected back to her verbatim. THEN she wanted me to E-mail her everything I was going to print.

That's where I got a little owie about it. First of all, you DONT send a preprint story to a reader. There are just too many areas that the editors may need to cut, trim, reword or delete. And if the reader sees it one way, they get married to it and upset when it prints. Not to mention the fact that she came off making me feel like I was a 4 year old who needed supervision.

(That's nearly true, but she didn't need to presume it.)

The whole story was interesting to me. You all know my roots with religion, and if you don't I won't go there now. But to think that our small community school system had a collection of no less than 5 prayer groups meeting weekly, discussing specific concerns within each aspect of it's schools, 3 elementary 1 High School/JR High and 1 for the entire overall corporation is just strangely odd to me.

Not that prayer is odd or strange in any way, shape or form, I'd just never heard of this group.

I got my first birthday card today, YEAH Grandma. Thank God for Grandma's, while I'm at it. She and grandpa sent a nice card and the usual birthday stipend, with a little "extra" because they know I'm not working, and the medical situation has kept our budget well outside the realm of personal rewards. Once again, they seem to reach out and lend a hand and be helpful. I honestly hope that I am able to be as close to my kids and grandkids as they are when I am older. I know that they wish they could be a daily part of our lives, and I do too. It's just difficult to plan quality visits around 6 day-a-week kid taxiing.

I got a telephone call from my friend at the Senior Center. Seems they hired someone else for the assistants job, because my application was thrown in with a bunch to be considered for the Senior Activity Director or something like that. Thats a mental picture, aint it.
One application down, 48 to go.

I'm beginning to think I really shouldn't have made fun of my last employer who felt it necessary to pray to God about who's turn it was to empty the paper shredder. Could this be repayment for my lax spiritual life? I don't even have the energy to go there now.
Waaay too deep.

I found out another twist to the correctional officer's job as I was reading the information pamphlet this morning. I will be subjected to a criminial background check - a financial check (good luck finding any) and least attractive of all - a POLYGRAPH examination.

I can understand why they might want to interrogate me in the future,for exapmle "Have you every really, REAALLY enjoyed patting someone down?" or "Are you SURE that you always complete a body cavity search?" That, I can understand. What leaves me puzzled, is WHY they want it now.

Maybe my fear, is that I have so much I don't want ANYONE to ever know.
I don't pick my nose and eat it, if that's what you're thinking, but for everyone (I think) there are parts of their inner sanctum that they do not want disturbed.

Who cares that I stole a styrofoam easter egg from G.L.Perrys when I was 5? It was pretty, and I liked it damnit! Like a five year old has a way to get a job and pay for her own stuff. My mom made me take it back anyway, so I don't think that made it's way to my permanent record. I don't over imbibe, I don't, nor have I ever done drugs, I don't steal cars or rob banks. (though I have considered it recently)

What if there WAS an ultimately reliable test one had to take, lets say, annually. It would reveal accurately, everything you said as truth or fiction. Would you feel confident strapping up?
Imagine your most personal thoughts exposed for all to review. Kind of "Orwellian" in a sense.
The truth is shaped by how we perceive it.

Now I'm way off track and I've lost my train of thought. Maybe I should go do some laundry to clear my head.

Thursday, August 29

A Pause for Thought
Man, it's quiet around here. That's unnerving.
I've completed all my newspaper articles for this week, and other than a huge amount of laundry to fold, and the same old house to clean - I've got nothing to do. (in general)
The sad part of it is, I'm not joyful about it either. Usually a day full of nothing can keep me busy celebrating it.

It's the eerie silence that makes me edgy. I mean, COME-ON!! I've filled out an infinitive number of applications, surely someone needs something.

The jail officer position had my husband and I talking a long while last night. He read the information, which included a schedule of working 5 days, and off 2. He didn't like that. He pointed out an obvious disappointment which was that it would take me 7 weeks to get an entire weekend off. I pointed back, that this was the only app. where they seemed excited to see me.

I don't know what normal applicants for this job might look like, but evidentially they thought I was a shoe-in. After filling out my application, the training sergeant sat down with me and explained the test they set up for me to take, saying it shouldn't be a problem for "me"... and on and on.

It's a really interesting situation I think, but like everything , I'm sure it has it's pitfalls.
I really think it makes him nervous to think of me working around a collection of derelicts. Why that is different than a week with my family on occasion, I'll never know.
The correction's officer salary has a raise cap of $18.61 per hour after 6 years. That's real good money for someone who hasn't cracked a college book. And once I reach that cap, or even before, I could trade in my cellblock for another career inside the department.
I get my own GUN, and uniform, and spiffy shoes, and handcuffs, and baton, and man.............

Who knows where that application will end up. Probably in the dust bin if my husband has his way.
I'm hoping that someone closer to home calls and wants my skills.

I found that filling out applications is kind of like shopping, in a way. From where I live, Meijer is a drive to just go shopping. But if I am already out there, I may as well stop at a few places while I'm in the neighborhood. Being a weenie winter driver, I'd like to work as close to home as possible but my applications are near, and far. I figure while I'm already at this place, I may as well drive another 2 miles out, and try my luck there. Before I know it, I will be in Michigan working at Chrysler.

Maybe someone will give me a job for my birthday. With that wiggling it's gnarled finger at me from a week or so away, it's warning me that soon, I will be older. Yippee.
I will be 33. By my calculations, I should have had a real life and career long ago. Oh well. Add that to the list of disappointing things I've accomplished!

On another exciting note, my husband's knee WAS feeling much better. Until he was playing with our dog, and it hit him directly on the kneecap. Another one of those times where I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. To be safe, I walked away, then laughed. Once I get my gun, I can laugh wherever I want to. heh heh heh.........

I could have pummeled my daughter. That's not news, but still.... She called the vet's office yesterday to return their call, and they asked her if she would like a JOB. Riding along with the vet while he does his weekend calls. WHAT A LITTLE BRAT! She'll get $10.00 an hour too. Not bad for a 14 year old. That is the job I would create to give myself if I had the ability. I'm still not sure I will let her live long enough to do it. I could squeeze her out, and take it myself.

Instead of a birthday party, just send pity gifts, like your last pay stub, photocopies of your 401K, you know, things I will never see again (grin)

Ahhhh.........what else has been happening......
Sheep are all fine, breeding....etcetera.......
Kids ok.....
Husband on the mend...
Not much else today, but if I think of anything, you'll hear about it.

Tuesday, August 27

Sad, but True

You don't know how many times I read the title to this journal, and realize what a great job I did when I selected it as the caption for my life. We think we are always in control, making choices that will positively impact our existence here, or hope that the choices we make poorly will somehow be filtered over time - but as I take a glance backward, I realize that every interchange in my life can be viewed from a position of disbelief.
"What have I done?" Haunts me regularly, which is a good, and a bad thing.

Speaking of the good.bad things, I decided not to wait another minute for the perfect job to find me.
Had I only known we would both be off work this summer, during the cash collection phase of our year, I surely could have stuck it out at the doctor's office another 20 or 30 years. I feel bad, and nearly responsible now as we scramble with some creative accounting procedures to make sure we have somewhere to sleep, and things to eat. Electricity and Telephone service are at optional status now, and the dogs have put their own ad's in the paper for a new home that has pet food.
(It's not nearly that bad, but I see it on the bleak horizon.)

After telling my husband what I would do when I won the lotto, and he reminding me yet again that I have to play in order to win anything (who made up that silly rule anyway) I discovered that I didn't have enough spare cash to warrant a trip to town to get a $1 ticket. Gas, taxes and insurance included, of course.

So - yesterday, the JOB LOTTO began.
I suited up, checked my pre-trip gauges and prepared for liftoff. As my reality faded off into the horizon, I began the morning with the dreaded application - the last desperate attempt for employment. THE HOSPITAL.
While I liked my job there, the weekends and holidays really stink. Why can't people schedule to be ill during the week? I made good money, but the familial inconveniences were huge. Not to mention the off shifts. Now they are working 12 hour shifts, either 5a to 5p or the flip side of that. So, they will probably call me for an interview yet this week.

There were the other applications I already have percolating away, such as the 4 trailer factory jobs I have applied for, and I worked on those, I have several calls still in to people whom haven't had a second to call me back (chickens!)

Lets see, there was the Senior Center Secretarial staff, the Utility Company meter reader, Administrative Secretary for Different RV company, News Paper Sales and Marketing assistant, and the best to date - County Jail Officer. All that's left in my repertoire is Wal-Mart and a Mental Health Conglomerate. As far as that goes, I know I would end up being admitted, versus employed, so that is my hesitation there. You can't make any money drugged our on Risperdol. (well, maybe I could....)

It was almost fun filling out applications for things I'd never considered before. But when you have a full tank of gas, and a lot of spare time you have to do something to amuse yourself.

As I sat there, filling out the info, I really wonder why it's important that you know where a 33 year old went to elementary school. Are you going to call my Kindergarten teacher (she's dead by the way) and ask her if I colored inside the lines? Are you going to ask my 3'd grade teacher Mrs. Mahnensmith if I learned my times tables quickly? (Those 8's really gave me a hard time)
Who knows? I sure don't.

I also love those "trick" questions they slide in there. " What did you like LEAST about your last job?" Somehow, the thoughts of writing that they were all religious zealots, with a side order of asshole, didn't seem to be appropriate. But why ask, if you really DON'T want to know?

"What are your best traits?" If I tell them that I am good at hand delivering disproportionately sized lambs from a ewe's hind end, what exactly would that qualify me for? Probably something in accounting.

What I need to do, is to find someone who will pay me (dearly) to do what I am doing now. I love the paper, but it's limits are obvious.

You won't believe what I saw last night that got me thinking.
On another weblog, I found a link to a site that was called "Save Karyn"
No, it wasn't about a young lady who is dying from some illness or terrible situation in her life, it was worse.

She is a 20-something girl who gave in to the pressures of credit cards. Having amassed a fortune (over $20,000.00) in credit card debt buying Gucci purses, Prada belts and other high dollar designer items, she has no way to pay this off, a she is unemployed.
She makes no apologies, she clearly states that she is an idiot for doing this, and for a dollar, she will let you watch as her debt is magically reduced from the kindness of strangers, and while she changes her life to live more within her means. The odd thing is, that people are SENDING HER MONEY!

Not just a dollar, either. People send her sports tickets to be raffled off, gift certificates for food, other gifts for her personally too.
Bells in my head started going off. Surely, my cause as an underappreciated writer, mother, and wife of a crippled and ill husband would wreak major havoc on those who might send me a dollar. If 100,000 people sent me a dollar, or if 50,000 sent me two the possibilities are gigantic.

In 4 weeks, she has collected almost half her debt. Over $8,000.00 from people online who are either as stupid as she is, or really believe that she deserves it for the moxie it took to come right out and ask. People even E-mail her and tell her to show them her boobs, and they will send money. In my example, I could THREATEN to show my boobs, and pay off my home 15 years early. I can hear the money rolling in now.

While that's a serious consideration if someone doesn't take pity on my poor soul and give me a job, I think I will sit on it for now.
Only in America.

Sunday, August 25

The Weekender's

Now that I am living my life without a definate change to the importance of days as they roll by, I find that weekends are a bit disappointing. Everyone else seems to think they deserve a break from their already busy week, and I've been waiting all week for some hands to help me attack what I didn't feel I deserved to do all alone.
(When it comes to cleaning, I feel all involved with the mess should report for duty)

So, my husband has figured out a good plan. If he can beat me out of bed, and out of the house, he's in the clear. I loathe getting up at the crack of dawn just to say I saw it. So he's off golfing, or helping a buddy - whatever it takes for me to avoid sticking a dust rag or vaccuum cleaner in his hand.

My kids though, are not as fortunate. They rise about the same time as I do, so they unfortunately get caught by my cleaning dragnet.

Today was unusually painful for us all. We moved all the furniture, washed all the walls, cleaned ceiling fan hardware, dusted and swept EVERYTHING, (couch cushions and all) and THEN cleaned all the carpets. This lets us re-discover things we were sure to never see again. The magic place that is behind the couch or chair, always has a kind of lay-a-way for us lazy folks. The dog was gleeful, as her tennis ball collection grew from 0 to 5, and the cat found all of her long lost "fake" mice.

You know me - I'm either doing nothing, or everything at once. I'm a cleaning bulemic.
I let things go until it's a huge mess, and then I have to clean it all at once.

Thanks are going out to my brother, who's pound puppy started the whole top-to bottom cleaning frenzy by bringing over his dog, and "infecting" mine with something akin to Montezuma's Revenge. There are days when I wish I didn't own a house pet - besides a cat. So, for now, Sadie is in her crate - if only to spare my cleaned carpets and exhausted body.

My husband is doing much better as of late, he reported golfing all day and driving home WITHOUT any glasses. That's a good sign. We were really worried his sight may never come back full force. He says it's not 100%, but for him to not need a thing, it's getting close. The doctor reduced his initial doses of meds on Thursday, which might make us be more restricitve with his diet, but so far it's not making too big of a difference. I'm slowly gaining confidence that this may not be the most terrible thing to ever happen.

I'm on my last week of passive job hunting. Beginning next Tuesday, I think I may have to go to the hospital. I just can't wait around forever. I had high hopes of not taking a job just to have one. I wanted to find something I could really get involved in, that had a future for me, not just anything to bring in a check. My timetable for that expired about 2 weeks ago, so I need to get on the ball before it's Christmas, and we are giving IOU's.
Never know....those little bell ringers in front of Wal-Mart might just be for me this year. (grin)

It's been a while since I have come up with anything particularly witty to share, I hope that soon, I will feel normal enough to once again regard my life with some sense of humor. It's getting there, I can feel it.

Thursday, August 22

And the winner is.......

I really HATE sports.
Not the kind you see on TV, not the kind that you play as an adult, not even the kind that you buy a ticket to see some overpaid professional compete in.

I HATE kid's sports, PERIOD.

This post is not for you, it's not for dinner conversation, or telephone calls or a casual mention the next time you see me. Sorry to be a bag about it, but it's just for me and my journal. I consider all the "people" I am talking about differently when I talk about them in relation to sports, than when I talk about them as a person I know.

I need to learn how to divorce myself from any importance I place on my kids being in sports because I truly feel it's all a big bag of crap, and it's shaped by those who know how to kiss ass, and go along.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I felt that everyone has the kids best interest in mind, or even if I felt they were at least TRYING to be fair, and scheming on the inside. But when it is blatantly obvious that the same kids win, and the same kids lose, I get all riled up.

Why do I care?

After all, it's not likely that any of the kids I know will be called from a division one school, offered a full athletic ride and then be "drafted" into the pros. So that's a non issue.

What's the big deal?

Unless I believe that everyone, regardless of ability, should play (which I don't) there always has to be winners and there always has to be losers.

What breaks my heart, is of course, when it's my kids. There is nothing like trying to comfort a child after they have been dropped, and branded unworthy. Some kids take it in stride, get a snack, go play playstation and forget all about it.

My kids, however seem to feel that they are defined by their ability to belong, or not. At least my youngest. News to the masses, she was cut from the team tonight.

I won't even go into the coaching issue, because I've been there myself and I know how it feels to have to grade you players by ability before you ever see them play a game - However, I would at least take each child aside before posting their fate for all to see, and give them some type of reason, or constructive criticism to chew on while they cried.

But, that's not my problem. I can see that - plain as day, but I have a hell of a time turning it over to them and letting them deal with it. Disappointment is a cheap commodity these days, and I guess they need to learn to handle it well.

My problem, is I need to just learn that some things will never change.
Even if it's promised to you.

Case in point...
My oldest daughter also loves volleyball. Her grades won her a parental trip to the bench at the end of her Basketball season. The school was quite satisfied with her grades - we weren't.
We decided that if she couldn't satisfy OUR requirements, she wouldn't play.

What we didn't consider, was that she would now be feared, as a player and considered a liability in a JV or Varsity spot, just in case she would fall behind again.

Bad parents, Bad.
Ok- so I can live with that.

However, in an introductory speech for all to hear, her coach let everyone in the program know that good players on a lower team would be moved up, and poorly performing players on a good team would be moved down. No one had a guaranteed spot. Soooo, after kicking some major ass, if I do say so myself, in several games, my daughters efforts go unobserved.

Why should I be surprised?
I'm a fool, that's why.

Now that's not saying that every kid who does well has parents, or is themselves, a good suck up. That's not my point. It's those kids that fall into the gray area - like mine, who's parents (at least their Mom can't keep their damn mouth shut, and just smile when fed a healthy portion of shit.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I wish my kids played chess, the accordion, liked fencing, square dancing or bingo. Anything but sports.

Is Prozac over the counter yet?
Normal, USA

This is the calm after the storm.
The newspaper totally claimed my life over the past few days, and I found myself missing several important firsts that went just fine without my complete attertion.

The first day of school came and went for the girls, and I guess it is going well. Up until 2 am the night before didn't leave me much time for the teary goodbyes as they stepped onto the bus. (Not that there would be any to begin with, ;-) )
All things have quietly fallen into place - so far.

I also missed the first game of my oldest daughter's volleyball season sitting in an orthopedic surgeon's lobby with my husband, waiting on the results of his MRI.

There have been things I have accomplished during this time - I finally finished the articles for the paper, all 16 of them and I'm in love with each and every one of them. I didn't know how satisfying it would be to create something like that. It's oddly like creating a child. Not the act of creating a child, but how you feel about the finished creation. You notice all the fine points, play down the less than attractive attributes, and want to show it off. I'm sure that it will become mundane soon enough, but for now I'm enjoying it.

DID YOU HEAR THAT? I ENJOY MY JOB!!! (Now I will surely be fired in the next 36 hours...thats my karma.)

My husbands multiple medical conditions are slowly retreating away from their emergency status. His diabetes is wellunder control, with the exception of a few days where he was really obstinate and ate whatever he wanted, and his knee is still in the investigation stages.

Seems some people are born with a condition called a bipartate patella. Instead of forming one complete bone, the bone develops an accessory peice which is connected by fibrous tissue. GENERALLY, but the time a person reaches skeletal maturity (16) this condition has stabilized enough to never notice it, unless you have an X-ray that might disclose it. Even experienced radiologist's may see the film, and declare that the patient has a fractured patella. Right now, his orthopod and the radiologist are arguing back and forth trying to determine exactly what it is. This, leads us to next Monday, where he will have a CT scan to answer everyone's questions once and for all.

If it's a fracture, we are looking at some screws and possibly a plate - and if it's the other, the surgeon has no idea what he will do.

I will be so glad when I can look at this time in my life and laugh, because it's over.

Tonight is the first Volleyball game I will be able to attend, it should be interesting. I won't get into details now, but the next few years of volleyball will be interesting.

Friday, August 16

I Got it Good

I can't believe I completely forgot to tell you my biggest news of all, from yesterday.

When I was out, being Lois Lane for the West Nile story (which was front page tonight, I might add, as I rub my poor, starving, bony knuckles on my shirt) I had to find horses to photograph.

I wasn't sure where to find cooperative horses, but I knew a family very close to me that had some - and I needed to stop in and say howdee-doo anyway. I hadn't seen them since the doctor's office and I parted ways.

Lena met me in the front yard, thrilled I had stopped to see her. Marcia was playing in the yard on her swingset, and Marlin had Paul who looked like he had just finished a great big bowl of chocolate pudding by the circle around his mouth.

This was, by far, my all time favorite patient family that I worked with. Lena and her husband are Amish. I've told you before, some of the silly things she has done that endear her to me. Like the time she had to leave a urine specimen in the cup, and she was all upset because she couldn't fill it all the way up - (you don't really need to, just a few dribbles will do) Anyway, aside from her simplicity, Lena is a spectacular, caring person and a intently wonderful mom. She and Marlin both just BEAM when they see you, and want to talk your leg off, catching up on what you have been doing. I think they are each 23 or 24 years old.

We talked a bit, and I asked to photograph their horses, so Marlin went to the fence to call them in. I talked a bit about the West Nile Virus, and how important it would be for him to vaccinate his animals so they didn't get it, and ultimately die. I understood that I really should explain in great detail to Marlin, because he probably wouldn't understand my concern. He just bowed his head and nodded intently.

I went back, and caught up some more on the new little family I was proud to have watched grow, and watched the kids play in the grass when Marlin said, "The reason I didn't get the horses any vaccinations this year, was because I've spent most of my summer at the Mayo Clinic.

Stunned for a moment, I asked him what was wrong with him, and that I was sorry to hear that. At the same instant, Lena found some laundry on the line that evidently needed her attention immediately, and she scurried away to the side of the house, leaving us to talk.

"She has MS", he said. "We found it out there."

Still stunned, I felt so terrible for this new, and so dear to my heart family.

He explained that the doctor's sent them there to find out what was wrong, and that's what they found. He had no idea how long it would be before she would get really sick, but he wasn't going to think about it now. "We have little ones to think of."

He also explained that the conventional medicine was going to cost him nearly $1400 a month. His job pays him $900.

"We could get help from the church, but not forever, so we are going to try the natural way."

I could have cried. I believe marginally, in the benefits of herbal therapy - but not in the face of grave illnesses. I wanted to cry for Lena, and what she will be facing in the next few months and years. I wanted to cry for those babies who may never get to remember vividly just how much their mom doted on them, and her total dedication to their every need.

I wanted to cry for Marlin, who has to face the early reality of mortality. Losing Lena in 60 years would be much easier to face than in 5.

It really made me stop and think how fortunate I am, even in the midst of the mess I'm in. It's sad to mourn someone before they are even gone.

I want to cry, most of all for Lena, because I'm sure she has no actual clue as to what is going on inside her body.

Isn't that just sad.
If I made you cry, thanks for joining me.

Thursday, August 15

Lois, .... Lois Lane......

Whew! What a day I have had. Today began with my lazy self deciding to get up and attack the job market. I filled out 2 applications, talked to a couple of friends on the phone who might have contacts, and re-called all the others who had feigned interest in employing me. I did this all on the way to and from several interviews I had set up for the newspaper today. The paper is organizing a special insert they call "Spotlight on Business" which includes hundreds of ad's for businesses across it's readership.

Somehow, I think that some of the other correspondents (or staff writer, as I've been bumped up to) decided not to participate, because in 3 days I have generated 10 requests to dart hither and yon, talking to Amos about his candlestick shop, or Betty and her lace doily business. Interestingly, ALL of MY contacts have been Amish so far. I haven't had time to think what that might mean.

So, between running my daughter to volleyball practice, babysitting a friends little girl, (which my kids did the majority of), and traipsing between 3 Indiana counties today I put 120 miles on the blue truck. As soon as I got home from round one, I had to run to put gas in said vehicle, and wash off all the Amish road apples that had accumulated from the back road driving, and what should I see at the Veterinarian's office? A local television station van - complete with satellite and everything.

Now a long time ago, when I got this job, I decided that I didn't want to be a busybody-sticking-my-nose-where-it-wasn't-invited kind of person. I would wait until I had an assignment, not shove my recorder in your face right after you rear-end the mail lady.
So, I finished washing the truck, and headed home.

I collected the papers I had accumulated in the truck, and all the other odds and ends and headed inside - only to be greeted by my daughter who told me the vet's office called and would like me to interview them for the paper. Seems our county has been gifted with 6 potential cases of Equine West Nile Virus. The blood tests were positive, and the tissue results will be awhile. Only one of the horses lived to tell about it, and definitive lab results won't be back for another week. SOOOOOOOOOOO.......

I called my Editor. She hadn't heard anything yet (I scooped them!!) And she gave me the go ahead to take it and run, while shouting to another in office reporter "She's GOT IT - she'll do fine" Boo Yeah for ANN. Her only requests were to;

1.) interview the vet.
2.) interview one of the horse owners.
3.) talk to the health department, and find their position.
4.) get a photo of something useful.

As I look at my watch, it's 2:45. I sprint to the vet's office, get a very concise and informational report and then head to the Amish
(yet another Amish homestead for me today) home - where they had just left in the buggy for town.
Ok - I can stop by later when I pick up my daughter from volleyball.

I then go home and deal with the health department's white noise about how they have to wait until is it a complete medical diagnosis...yadda yadda yadda - no need getting everyone in a panic. Then, as I am trying to do my spotlight ad's, I forget about my daughter! In an avalanche of paper I streak out the door for the 60'th time today.

I found the Amish couple, got my interview, I collected my daughter, and I nearly forgot the photo, good thing there are horses grazing all over on the way home from the school!

Now, I will be here all night trying to get all this information out of my head and onto paper.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, My husband had his MRI at 8:50 a.m. today. I opted not to go, as he didn't think I could get into the tube with him, it was an hour one-way drive for me, and another vehicle would complicate things. He said it went well, and for the past few days his knee has been hurting him less anyway. I had hoped it wouldn't completely stop hurting before the test, as that would be aggravating to get and expensive procedure that proved nothing. It took about a half an hour and they sent him on his way.
It will be nice to know what we are dealing with.

Not too long after I got home from the Olympic-style Virus dash, my youngest daughter who is extremely vague, attempted to relay a message to me from the doctor's office, about my husband's MRI. "They said something about crutches, Mom."

WHAT ??!!!

"Uh, they said that Dad needed to be on crutches until his next appointment, or something like that"

"Nope, they just hung-up."

Gaaaak.... Crutches. Lord only knows what's wrong with it. Evidentially enough that they think walking on it might do more damage.

Now that it's 9:00 p.m., does anyone have any spare crutches?

Thanks for reading another exciting episode of "That's my Life"
Stay tuned, fellow readers - this is just the beginning if my luck holds true.

Tuesday, August 13

Attack of the Killer Dust Bunnies

The past few days have been unbelievably busy. Busy to me, because without a schedule, I tend to work and play in large groups of time. I can't seem to get myself in a good routine. In discussing my lack of employment with a girlfriend, she suggested that I take this time to schedule and complete assorted house tasks or yard tasks that have gone without attention. She's the same one that can shame me silly with the amount of things she can cram in a day with only 24 hours. I tend to gravitate towards planned chaos, with plenty of breaks for rest. I'm either going full tilt, or I am in a holding pattern somewhere over Boise. After all, I always have tomorrow..

Not that her idea lacked merit, I really should be able to claim something for my time at home, but finding the initiative to pull it off still is eluding me. I think I am still waiting for "the phone call" that would render any current project useless, because I would have to leave it to go immediately to work. Yeah - I think I am delusional. Either that, or incredibly depressed in discovering that I am no longer an employable assett in a venue where I might actually have an opportunity to earn a very decent living.

Is my future forever delegated to answering telephones and filing data?


I really wanted to be able to say I was once "IN CHARGE of something. I wanted people to come to ME for all the important answers. I would gaze knowingly into their searching, puzzled eyes, and deliver just the right dose of knowledge to ease their feeble minds. I want to be more than the kind (sometimes) voice who asks you to "Please hold, while I page them" or even "I will need to look in your file, and get back to you".
Or worse yet, "Could you spell that for me please?"

I'm beginning to think I missed the bus. You know, the one that takes you uptown. I mistakenly caught a ride on the one that drops you off at the welfare office, and will then take you and your food stamps to Sav-A-Lot so you can buy your cigarettes and
Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Working at the paper is still enjoyable, but currently, my computer desk is surrounded by a moat of newspapers. My paper, other local daily papers, weekly installments of farm journals..... you name it. I'm the same person who previously had to pull 7 days of papers out of the box, unread, just so they could leave more.Lately though I have an insatiable appetite to read everything, and see what others think is noteworthy.

My column last night gave a blow-by- blow of the town council meeting. Not that it's interesting to anyone, but they are doing budget planning and it's a fairly tedious mess to decipher. If life were like a council meeting, we all would simply jump off the nearest bridge to rid ourselves of the pain. I always loathe writing those articles. I cannot insert any humor or interest, because there is none to be found. The most painful part, is that once it's over I must immediately re-hash and type it into some semblance of order, package it neatly, with a big ribbon and E-mail it off for the next morning's editor to review. I must somehow make 2 and one-half hours of excruciating boredom tantalizingly appetizing for the masses to digest. That's talent, I tell ya.

I don't think they would appreciate a narrative of post-70's clothing that the council insists on wearing, or how the town Marshal and I sit there rolling our eyes at the banal content of it all. Or even that the council president's new mustache makes him look like Hitler's idiot twin. I just want to try and somehow make it interesting - but that is a futile endeavor. I live for the features I write, where I can insert my special touch into the article and make it entertaining - something that our paper is sorely lacking. I mean the reporters think they are witty, but sadly, they are fooling no one.

The "Diabetes Daily" is fairing remarkably well. He has had a stellar return to normal sugars, and is doing MUCH MUCH better in the attitude department. I know some days he would just like to run, not walk to the nearest Heath Blizzard, but so far, he has been exemplary. I, on the other hand, would probably live at the drive through at Dairy Queen, hoping I wouldn't get caught. Something about being told I CANNOT have something makes it irresistible.

On the other hand, or should I say knee, he is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday to get to the root of his knee pain. I think we will both be relieved to finally discover the origin of the injury/pain, but the examining Doctor felt confident that we would find some torn cartilage and/or ligaments and he would be facing surgery in the near future.

While it's totally uncouth of me to be hesitant when it comes to his medical well being, I cringe at the thought of him being away from work for an extended period of time. If I were STILL AT THE JOB I QUIT this wouldn't be an issue, however the timing of me discovering that there isn't an immediately viable job market does not jive well with extended weeks of no income. I have options, I know.......I know...... McDonalds is always hiring, but I hope I never have to run to something in desperation. After his MRI we will have a better idea if it will be days off work, or months. I'm just a glass is empty - compared to a half full kind of gal.

The kids head back to school on Monday. I can't believe how close I am to having two kids in High School. That also means that my days as head taxi driver and schedule coordinator are also nearly over the hill. I just can't fathom how the next 5 years will pan out, and maybe I don't want to. It's just amazing for me to stand in my shoes and see how far they have brought me.

I hope the tread is good - because I have a long way yet to go.

Friday, August 9

A Vehicular Friday Five ...
(For those of you not familiar with the Friday five, it's a series of five questions to help acquaint yourself with your readers, about grossly unimportant issues)tee hee

1. Do you have a car? If so, what kind of car is it?
We have three vehicles. One of which is delegated to my husband from his employer to drive, which probably doesn't count. Tht leaves the other two. One, is a big blue pick-up. My personal favorite. It is paid for, and all ours. It has it's share of rust and dings, but the allure of no monthly payments makes it beautiful. The other one, is a Tahoe. It is the entire bane of my existence since I was coerced into buying it under the guise that we could well afford it. I take total offense that I was stupid enough to buy that crap, and I am looking forward to December when we return it to the netherworld from which it came. I will chalk that up to education you think the IRS will audit that?

2. Do you drive very often?
I live in the truck. Especially when the volleyball coach thinks practice twice a day will be fun. I can make the trip to the school or Wal-Mart in my sleep, and have on occasion.

3. What's your dream car?
If it were free, and I could pick from anything, it would probably be a 1970 Mustang or a Cutlass. They just don't make them with that much style or horsepower anymore.

4. Have you ever received a ticket?
Oh my goodness, no.
There WAS a time, once, I think I was 16 and I had invited two of my "friends" along with me to a ballgame in another town. What I didn't know at the time, was that they had also brought along some (not necessarily legal) cigarettes with them. I don't know if they thought we would pull over and smoke some weed or what, but I had no idea they had stashed it in my glovebox, and until now didn't even consider the possiblity of being set up. Anyway - since I was never a weed-smoking kind of kid, I had no reason to suspect they were, or that they had any contraband with them. While driving to the game, we stopped at a McDonalds for some food, and as I was trying to drive and eat, I crossed the center line on a local law enforcement officer. He pulled me over and I was rightly concerned. I was all nervous (little did I know what I had to be nervous about) but when I asked the girls to pass me my registration in the glove box, they flatly refused.
Luckily for me, the policeman must have been blinded by 3 giddy 16 year olds in a pick up because he didn't see what fell out of my glovebox in the dark as I dug out my registration. Sadly, the night ended by me angrily taking the girls home, and marking them off my "people to do things with" list. So much so that I didn't even get to enjoy the warning he gave me simply because I hadn't ever received a warning or a ticket before.

5. Have you ever been in an accident?
Oh yeah. Many.
Fortunately, I can say that I have never CAUSED an accident to someone else *that I know of. I have simply been the recipient of my own stupidity, or the passenger in such a case. There was one huge memorable accident - a 10 car pileup due to a dust storm on Mother's Day in 1988- but thankfully none of us were seriously injured. We were driving a 1986 Ford Escort that resembled a pancake afterwards. We rear-ended the car in front of us, and were reciprocated by a cutlass supreme complete with two LP cannisters in the trunk. Luck smiled on us that day. I will never forget my husband grabbing our oldest daughter, who was 5 months old at the time and running as fast as he could to the treeline away from the road so we wouldn't continue getting smashed by oncoming cars at 60 MPH. I was pinned in the car because my seatbelt wouldn't release and I remember being able to only watch as car after car piled up behind us. ...aak. Didn't really want to go back there.

The Black Post

If you are a close family member, or friend, I must preface this entry with a "WARNING -DO NOT ENTER"
I'm feeling a bit too close to my own situation right now, and I have to get this out here on "paper" before it eats me alive. I'm sure that shortly after I write it I will feel better, and maybe remorseful for what I have expelled - but that's my main reason for being here - to say what's on my mind and deal with it. Not to be funny, or exciting - though that often happens. Tonight's post is for me only.
Most of what I'm going to cover, are items I have little or no control of, I'm just either listen as I whine, knowing it will all work out, or slip out quietly so as not to disturb my train of thought.

Sometimes life deals you bad cards to see how you will react. Almost like the sheep showmanship classes. Sometimes the judge will pull you out of the running early and put you way down the line, just to see if you will quit working at it. If you give up, that's where you stay - if not, he will pull you back out and give you another chance.
All summer I have been playing around with finding another job. I quit knowing that I wouldn't be home forever, but there was fair to look forward to, and then my husband's illness - heck, even I got sick. So there has been many weeks where I wasn't even concerned.

Now, we are at a point where I am able to finally seriously consider going back to work full time, and I can't find a thing. All of the calm assurances that I received earlier in the summer about having something readily available as soon as I wanted it have dried up like dust in the wind. Now, knowing that I don't have a thing to turn to I'm beginnning to panic. Premature, I'll agree, but the nagging certainty of not going to work tomorrow is going to give me an ulcer. I even considered Wal-Mart today as I filled my cart. Now that's desparation on my part. Bartender, Custodian, run something by me now and I might bite.

My other stress now is my husband. All week long we have been eating well. I'm not one to usually go out of my way to cook supper, we would just eat whatever was handy. I'm admittedly part of his problem that led up to his diabetes, since we weren't 5 serving of fruit and veggie people before now. Anyhow - I've taken great pride in turning around our eating habits in the past few weeks. I'm making it a personal priority to do better. Our whole family is now on the diabetic bandwagon just to make it easier on him. We don't drink pop, we don't have sweets and snacks hanging around the house. It will do us all a lot of good to lose a few pounds.

We've went out to eat twice since his diagnosis and the first time went marvelously. He was concerned about fat content and sugar, and asked for all the condiments "on the side". I was genuinely impressed. He even ordered the smallest portion of steak and only ate half. He didn't leave hungry though, and I thought we were well on our way.
That was until tonight.

My brother borrowed our vehicle this week, and as a repayment, he invited us out to supper at a little diner in town. I was a bit concerned with what the menu might hold, but as soon as we got there I noticed that they had grilled chicken breast with rice as a special, and some other great choices for a diabetic person.

His supper? All you can eat FRIED FISH, with FRENCH-FRIES, a house salad with RANCH DRESSING (no low cal).
I lost my appetite quickly. Especially after he cleaned his plate and asked for more fish.
With diabetes, it isn't only the sugar that you fear, you also shy away from anything high calorie - be it fried foods, pastas or the like.
It's all about your fat stores and your body's limit to processing and using new sugar/fat you eat, but don't burn off right away.

I could have just killed him with my bare hands right there. Kind of like handing a quadruple bypass patient a 20 oz. steak and a whole cheesecake with a chocolate shake for dessert. It really felt like a slap in the face. In turn, the girls also shed their nightmare of our good eating household. Please pass the pop, high fat dressing and fried foods.
I ate my chef salad silently with my diet pop and no-fat dressing to console me. No one even noticed that I was the only one who made the right choice. I think they knew I was mad, though, but no one brought it up. He even tested his blood sugar an hour early, which we have never done - but I think it was to show me that he was still okay (113) What he doesn't know, that I do, is that it takes nearly 2 hours for all your intake to accumulate into your bloodstream....thats WHY they ask you to wait that long.
He knew he was bad.

This is my nightmare. Right now I am considering how long would be polite before I packed a bag and ran far, far away. Would it be rude to up and leave your husband mere weeks after a diagnosis of a life long disease? Would that reflect badly on me as his spouse? Would it be presumptious of me to presume that most would think I was cold-hearted? I would have to think awhile about whether or not to take the kids with me. I probably would, if only to save them the grim picture of what my overreactive mind is forseeing in our future should we stay.

I won't do it, by God. I swear before thee and/or thine now that I will not spend every second of the rest of my days reminding him of his concerns like a spoiled child who wants ice cream for breakfast. I will not be his mother. I will not order his food in restaurants, nor will I berate him for making poor choices. Does that mean that I would leave him, in his hour of need? Hang him out to dry? Turn away from him when he needs me most?
Yep.. I guess it does.

It really stinks when you want someone else to be responsible for what they do, doesn't it.
If I allow him to let me bear this weight for him, he will. He will gladly point out to anyone who will listen (and already does) that I will not ALLOW him to have this or that. It didn't used to bother me, but as of tonight, it does.

So, here I sit. All in a dither about working, and my foodicidal husband.
did I mention a thing to him about any of it? No. And I don't think I will. Because by tomorrow I'm sure I might feel different.
And for our friends who invited us out for dinner tomorrow.....hang in there, he may just make a right choice this time.
As for me, I'll have a salad thank you.

Whoops - forgotten post

I nearly omitted the volleyball saga.
how I could do that, is beyond me, but I did.

First, some background.
I have been accused by some as being the worst, meanest mother in the world. Usually I don't listen to my kids as they always say that, but when YOUR mom and GRANDMA accuse you of Atilla the Hun-ness you might perk up and take notice.

Last year, my oldest fell way short in the academic grade department. The school has an academic policy that states as long as you aren't failing MORE THAN ONE subject, you may play to your heart's content. What she hadn't intended, was our family academic policy which states as soon as you get anything lower than a C , you are benched until we say so.

Well, I feel that's more fair to the kid than to let them fail and expect to participate. How many times in life does someone tell you
"Man, you really stink at your job, but we are going to keep you around until you have a good chance to ruin everything"
My point exactly.

So, after we had a good familial exchange about our expectations and those of the school we ended up benching her for the last part of her basketball and some summer activities after she assured us that her grades would be stellar and they were miserable again.

On to volleyball, this season. Her coach is a very independent soul, and didn't seem to respect the parental authority we hold over our kid, so as a caution, my daughter was placed on the C team, which holds those who don't know a volleyball from a softball. All this, after she gave up her trip to the State Fair so she wouldn't be "hurt".

I'm pretty torn over how to feel. On one hand, I'm upset that some players who are not as accomplished as she is, were placed above her on the roster. On the other hand, I agree to an extent with the coach - why put someone on JV or Varsity that might not be there after the mid-term report? My daughter has been ASSURED that as she manages her grades and plays some games she will be moved up into the ranks of the deserving, but I'm still a little sad for where she ended up possibly because of me,and my control issues and after she decided to give up her 4-H projects for a chance at something better.

I guess it's all on her shoulders now. It's really not too early for me to step back and let her handle her own life. I know I was doing it by then, but I consider myself a better example of how not to do things.
Interesting Factiods

1.) Number of completed summer projects due to my stay-at-home status this summer - 0
2.) Number of impromptu jobs accepted during my guilty non-working phase - 3
3.) Number of above jobs that are still current - 1
4.) Total number of sheep wanting to be housed and fed this winter - 27
5.) Number of those who are lambs, and probably won't breed - 11
6.) Amount of calories and sugar grams in one serving of once presumed "safe" Angel Food cake - 200 cal / 35 gm sugar
7.) Number of times I hit the snooze this morning - 3.
8.) Things to do this weekend - 0
9.) Pairs of shoes strung out through the house that need put away - 9
10.) Meals I have cooked this week already - 10
11.) Kernels of dog food left in bag - 4 (whoops, I didn't mean to infer that I've been cooking dog food)
12.) Articles written for paper to date - 18
13.) Things I should really be doing instead of sitting here.... 118,000
14.) Children available to help with above items - 1
15.) Willing children available to help with above items - 0
16.) Reasons to sit here and avoid all work - 117,999
17.) time left until I sign off and actually do something - 2 sec...1....0

Thursday, August 8

All's well that ends well...

The prodigal grandmother and troupe have returned home. I won't even go into the entire week-long caper that was the trip, I figure I didn't go, so I cannot judge the things that happenned. so I will just be thankful for the vacation and wish it wasn't over.

Not too long after the lambs were unloaded and the separated sisters reunited......the fireworks began. First, the stay-at-home sister evidentially raided the missing sisters room and helped herself to whatever wasn't nailed down. Once that was argued out, then they grappled over who gets to do chores tomorrow....
At last...something's finally back to normal around here.

The lambs faired well, we received placings from 6th to 10th, and at state fair, that aint half bad. My youngest was upset that she didn't place well enough in showmanship to even get a ribbon. That's a crock if you ask me - she's a really good showman - it must not have been a good first impression with the judge.

I'm really glad that she got to go. I think of either one of my kids, she is the one that needs some special attention. It's hard for me sometimes to hand it over because she can be so dang argumentative and sullen. She also doesn't know when she has reached the end of my rope, and she is better off to just walk away and leave me alone. She tends to hand around and want to debate with me.
Since I realize this, I TRY to be more patient, but it usually doesn't work out in her best interest.

My next endeavor will be the job search. In my current state of poverty, I am having a hard time forgiving myself for throwing in the towel at the last job. You know, the 66 hour work week, but the $700.00 paycheck. I have to do a reality check and remind myself that I can't be away from home the whole week and not expect chaos when I return. I was so tired I had not time for anything but going to bed so I could wake up at 3:00 am the next day. With our run of bad luck lately, some good force has to smile upon me somewhere and hand me the perfect job, I just feel it. (hee hee hee)

My brother and sister-in-law just completed their family. No, they aren't pregnant - they bought a dog. They have been exchanging threatening banter about it for months, he wants one, she doesn't. All I asked of them, is that if they wanted a dog, to go to the Humane Shelter and find one that needed a good home. They stopped by earlier this week with "Putter" in tow.
She is a Chow-Lab mix. Not the most attractive dog I've ever seen, but they claimed her the day before she was to be put to sleep, and her puppy qualities make her irresistible. Every move she makes is observed with total adoration with her new parents. They even had to point out to me that she "barks!" Imagine that, a dog that barks.
I'm just so jaded from the several dozen animals that share my every day life that I forget the awe of it all.

Funny thing is, she doesn't want to eat.(the dog, that is) So my brother calls me. I suggested another brand of puppy food, and that didn't work. I suggested canned dog food, and she wouldn't eat that either. My last resort was wetting down the dry food, and she turned up her nose at that too. Accidentally they found that she has a fondness for bread. He wondered if bread was bad for her and I told him that if she didn't eat, dying would be bad for her too! The vet appointment is tomorrow, so we might find out the answer to the non-eating puppy.
My brother is even taking off work to accompany my sister-in-law and the dog to the vet.

Sheeeeesh...wait till they have kids.
I'm glad I have caller ID.

I'd better run, it's bedtime and I hear the sounds of angry teenagers getting reacquainted upstairs.
I have 11 days until school begins again. Have I said yet, that I can't wait?

Tuesday, August 6

101 Things to do with your stay-at-home Husband

The past few weeks are really testing my skills.

Not only am I now on call 24 hours a day to a demanding family situation, I also am now required to test the depth of my financial creativeness.

Silly me, to think that my luck was circling 'round when my husbands blood sugars finally fell into a very acceptable range and he was finally feeling more like a person and not a complete cripple, doomed to raw veggies and celery forever. He is actually doing far better, faster than they had presumed.
(with me, there usually is a however hiding somewhere)
on Saturday afternoon, he came home unable to see anything but an outline of what he was looking at. This was placed at my feet, and the clock ticked as I was to find an acceptable FIX for the problem. I'm not saying that I'm not very resourceful, but man - ocular irregularities is a bit outside my meager realm.

A few quick phone calls led us to the only open, and available eye "anything" at Wal-Mart. Now if I had a serious concern, or hysterical blindness you probably wouldn't find me in line at Wal-Mart but this was a weekend emergency. The doctor saw him, reassurred him that the bluured vision would be a side-effect of the diabetes for a few weeks yet, and even then, he might need corrective lenses for the long term.

He gave him a rather extensive exam and promptly told us that there wasn't any irreversible damage done to his eyes and we would just have to wait it out. On a side note, he mentioned that my husband might benefit by getting a pair of those granny-glasses you can purchase at the pharmacy, for reading and other purposes. He wouldn't fit him with a prescription at this point because things were sure to change.

We set out for the pharmacy to "see what we could see" and immediately found a pair that nearly made things look normal to him. He was so excited that I didn't want to spoil it by telling him that he looked like a twin to "Cousin Arthur" from the Brady Bunch. (no kidding) So, he's been doing a bad Sally-Jessy-Raphael look alike bit for the past few days and is just thrilled that he can see. The 4-eyes jokes are bouncing off with no damage done at all.

On another note, his knee which likes to flare up at inopportune moments has been kicking his ass for the past 2 weeks also. I had hoped that it would fade away, but it seems to be getting worse. We are funding the doctor's office with our $10.00 copays lately so they didn't look too surprised to see us today, limping in. He is convinced that I should just shoot him, and if I were any weaker I might just try it. The doctor thought it might be a good idea to draw some of the fluid off his knee for a culture. 3 minutes into the stick, he still hadn't found the fluid and gave it up. So now he's limping worse, still blind and on 5 different medicines.

Medicare, here I come.
Whatever have I done to deserve this?
Oh, nevermind. I know.

Thursday, August 1

The Postman Always Rings Twice

That by-line has nothing whatsoever to do with my topic, it just sounded intriguing. It really should be something like, Death By Sheep.

I have finally regained my grip on life, I think, and things here are flowing more smoothly. My husband is feeling a little better which goes a long way towards all of us functioning on a plane closer to normal.

Fair is over, we have the barn put back together and all the sheep are fine, and accounted for.

Several weeks, actually months ago, my mother-in-law thought it would be GRAND if she would take all the grandkids, with their lambs to State Fair. My first thought was WOW - she's got nerve. But if anyone could accomplish that, it would be her. I was actually glad for the initiative, as I have been unable to muster up enough courage to do the same, all by myself since Tod would be working during the State Fair.

I didn't really pay TOO much attention, as usually her plans fall way short of their actual goal and are left behind in the dust as pure folly.

I should have paid better attention. For not only did I not take it seriously, I also wasn't smart enough to know right away that I would be her presumed (but not actually invited) special chaperone to attend to the kids, since of course, I have no job and am available 24/7!!

(how silly of me)

So, in the past 5 days, I have seen this ingenious plan of hers swell into a large angry head (yes, like a great big zit) Her itinerary of "OUR" adventure was outlined to me in great detail today as I finally called her to get the 'pticulars. I figured that I had better do something, as if we are going, we will need to leave on Sunday.

We were to pack 5 lambs into the back of a pickup truck (forget the trailer, that's too much trouble) cram in the equipment and feed to sustain 5 days of FUN FAIR and then delegate one adult (me) to drive the freak wagon 3 hours into downtown Indianapolis to unload the animals while the rest of the crew rode in the Expedition, complete with air conditioning. (of which I have none)

THEN - (I) we would unload the animals, and go to the hotel or wherever else we wanted to go until THURSDAY when the animals would show. Then THURSDAY - we would reverse the process, and come home - myself again manning the freak-wagon solo, because it's just too durn hot for the kids to ride 3 hours with no air. (hello..?)

Now normally, I'm all up for being a man-slave if someone else is paying.
But in the past week, I have watched my life go from neutral and coasting along, into 18th gear and back to reverse. I'm pretty strung out.

On top of all the near-fun I was planning on having, my daughter comes home from Volleyball conditioning and tells me that she isn't ALLOWED to go to State Fair. Now, the person whom was hating with every-fiber-of-her-being, having to go, was suddenly defiant that someone else should deprive my child of that trip!

Evidentially, next week is the MANDATORY practices for all of the girls who ever want to even consider playing volleyball at that school, for that coach. To miss even a day would be personal suicide.
She was crushed because she really had no problem deciding she would rather play ball than go show sheep. Her coach didn't tell her she wouldn't make the team, but said it would "Hurt her chances" Brilliant. Fabulous. Just what I need.

I was crushed, because I was the delegated one, the co-pilot and navigator who had to break the news to Grandma.

Breaking bad news to THIS Grandma is pretty much the same as transporting liquid Nitroglycerine across the Swiss Alps by grasshopper.

I had been trying to think of a way all week to back out of this project, but I just couldn't put the words together with enough glue so that she wouldn't see my feeble attempt to bail. She's wise like that too. So not only would I look like I was trying to stiff her, I would also look like a lazy, good-for-nothing-mother. (How dare I not go, and ruin the entire trip for everyone!!?)

So I did what every daughter-in-law in my position would do. I told my husband to call his OWN mother and tell her that my daughter and I couldn't go. She was his mom, so he had to deal with it. He didn't buy it. He has her skills of seeing through feeble attempts to bail out of a job.

So then I did what every wife must do in this position....

I got mad and started stomping and hollering around the house at no one in particular about how unfair it was that I always had to be the one to deal with his mother. He wouldn't break bad news to MY mom, he would make sure I handled it, so why couldn't he just do me a favor this one time.... and forever and ever ad nauseum......

I told him that I couldn't be 3 hours away wondering what my 14 year old was doing home alone for 5 days, I couldn't handle wondering if he got up on time, or if his blood sugar fell to 0 overnight and he was in a coma. I went on to ask him how he would handle getting our daughter to practices, since he can't see well enough to drive yet. I gave him 8000000 reasons why he should be the man, and just take care of it (imagine back of hand to forehead) because I just don't need this hassle right now..!

I don't very often play the woman card - but it was a necessary evil tonight.

He called.

She was happy as a clam with him, I could imagine holding my severed head in my hands, bleeding into the phone if I had made the call, but nonetheless she was understanding as could be. She volunteered to drive the trailer herself, take the remaining 2 kids that could go, pack all the lambs, manage the show day and take care of business all by herself. She is totally capable of this, but once I heard that, I felt worse than if I had ruined the whole trip, and no one went.

Dammitt - she took the high road on me.

She let him know in one smooth caressing gesture that "Mommy's here dear, don't you worry about a thing, I will take care of all of your troubles for you ..... since Stephanie can't handle it"

You just gotta admire someone who is that passive-aggressive.
I've got a lot to learn.