Friday, October 24, 2008

Emily Dickinson, I Ain't

Monday was my day of birth
I took the whole day off
My parents took me out that night
though mom still had a cough

Tuesday I was back to work
And mayhem ruled the day
I watched in shock as management
just hacked and hacked away

I spent the morning tracking names
of friends all being cut
At noon I got invited to
a call for you know what

My job has been eliminated
the date not set in stone
I got a decent severance
but still I had to groan

I kept it all professional
You would have been so proud
But Wednesday night the panic hit
I'm sure my sobs were loud

So once again I turned to God
I'm not sure how he deals:
My constant knocking on his door
My begging and my squeals

But that's the cool thing 'bout my God
He seems to like me still
So I will keep on trusting Him
and put my mode on 'Chill'

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Anniversary...

Today is my birthday. To put it in terms that align more with my mental age more than my chronological age, I celebrated it as follows:

The 23rd anniversary of my 20th birthday or
The 13th anniversary of my 30th birthday or
The 4th anniversary of my 39th birthday.

That last one is how my friend's father used to label his birthdays. It was always in relation to his 39th birthday.

For the last I-don't-know-how-many years, I have never worked on my birthday. It's always a planned vacation day for me. When my children were born, I incorporated this rule for their birthdays, too. They were both born near holidays so that usually helps to not use up too many of my vacation days. But mine is never on a holiday. So I take a day. It's silly but very refreshing.

Today, I would have loved to have slept in. But I woke up at 6:20am, got the kids ready, and drove them to their school and day care. I had every intention to return to bed when I got home. But I didn't really want to waste a whole day sleeping. Oddly.

So at 7:30am, I got a bowl of raisin bran, sat down on the couch, fired up the ol' DVR and watched the 3 episodes of one of my favorite shows I've missed for the last 3 weeks. Let me tell you, watching 3 weeks in a row, fast forwarding through commercials? That's just fun! Sure it's mindless drivel but it's FUN!

After watching that much TV in pretty much one position for that long, I started getting a you've-been-sitting-in-the-same-position-too-long headache. So I hopped in the car and went to Walmart and Target. This is something you moms will get. When you don't have the kids and don't have to work (when does THAT happen at the same time?!), just walking through a store at your own pace is amazing. I can stop and look at anything I want. For as LONG as I want. No one is going, "Mooooom (*big sigh*) how long do we have to look at these CANDLES?!" or "Why do we always have to look at GIRL clothes?" or "When can we go to the toy section?" Granted, I didn't buy anything for me. Well unless gum counts. But I was able to buy some Christmas presents and hide them away. But the whole concept of being able to stop and stare at whatever I wanted? Yah, I was soaking that up.

With money being tight, I haven't spoiled me in a long time. So I went to Starbucks. I didn't get too stupid because money doesn't magically untighten on your birthday. So in stead of the huge java chip frappacino I would have liked to get, I just got a ginormous iced coffee. Very cheap and very yummy.

After getting all wired on good coffee, I dropped in on my parents. My mom is recovering from an incredibly tenacious bronchial infection of some sort. The effort of all that coughing (which I almost spelled "coffing") has exhausted her. She's on the tail end but still having those coughing fits that hit you at the worst times. So I sat and talked with her and dad for a while. Which of course, probably made her cough more. I'm thoughtful like that.

I left my parents to head over to the elementary school for a teacher conference. I wasn't sure what to expect. This teacher doesn't seem to give a lot of direct feedback to the kids so I had no idea which direction this thing might go. Fortunately, it rocked. Nothing better than sitting there having a stranger confirm what you already think about your kid. Well, I suppose that last statement is only true if you LIKE what you already think about your kid. So Pokemon Boy got rave reviews. He's incredibly polite. He's been working very hard on responding the first time she says something. (I resisted the urge to say, "Really? Could you come to my house and get him to do it THERE?") He seems to have made it over that adjusting-to-third-grade hump that can be very hard. He thinks outside the box. He's creative. She likes having him in her class. I was like, Did I pay you to say all of this and it just slipped my mind?

Oh, and best of all - she hasn't seen any tics. She has had a student in the past with severe Tourette's. So she knows what it can be. I was so glad to hear that. Also, Pokemon Boy has commented on a few occasions that not a lot of kids play with him because they think he's kind of strange. He actually used the word "weird" once. I was worried about that and asked her. She said socially, he's completely normal. She sees him working with other kids and getting along with them. He's very good at encouraging his classmates and is very kind. I asked her about anything that might look like he's on the outside. Nothing. HUGE relief.

When I got home, I took Pokemon Boy to Walmart to pick out a birthday present for Lil' Bro. His birthday is right before Christmas so I thought we'd grab something now, while Lil' Bro was still in school. My closet is currently stocked well with Bakugan and Transformers. I live in a boy house for sure.

After picking up Lil' Bro, my parents picked us up and took us to one of my favorite TexMex restaurants. I had enchiladas (which I'm pretty sure man COULD live on alone...or at least I could) and crispy tacos. While I was in the bathroom with Lil' Bro, my mom talked to our waitress. So after the meal, here comes the wait staff with a giant sombrero. They sang some birthday song that included a comment about me getting old (Pokemon Boy made sure to point that out after the song), plopped the sombrero on my head and gave me a big bowl of fried ice cream and whipped cream. YUM!!!

The ice cream rocked. Putting a sombrero on my head that has graced who knows HOW many other heads with who knows WHAT other skin or hair ailments - yah, that was NOT my favorite part. But it does make for a silly picture. I'll scan that and post it another time. And you will all be amused at how even a giant sombrero looks tiny on my ginormous melon head.

OH! I forgot! After picking up Lil' Bro at day care, I got home to find a vase of flowers on my front porch. BigSis and her TallHubby had them delivered to me. How much do THEY rock? Last week, my church sent me my first birthday card. My aunt Millie sent my 2nd card. Pokemon Boy MADE my 3rd card.

So the anniversary of my birthday rocked.

Thank you God for giving me a fun, stress-free day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Haircut and God Rockin' the Meat from Heaven (via Omaha)

A Haircut for Lil' Bro:
Today was school pictures for Lil' Bro at the day care. So last night, I offered to trim his cute little mop top. He informed me he wanted a hair cut. One like Pokemon Boy. Are you SURE? I must have asked him about 952 times to be sure. He was sure. I finally gave in and gave him a crew cut. I have always let them choose their hair cuts (within reason). So I lopped off all that adorable moppage. *sniff*

As you can see, he's adorable no matter how much hair. But I do miss the mop.

God Rockin' the Meat from Heaven:
In one of the small groups Trish had right after mine, they were discussing miracles or signs from God. One person had been skeptical and had said something like a baked ham dropping from heaven might convince him. So I have often referred to miraculous happenings as a "baked ham from heaven."

In light of that little set up, my next praise report had me email Trish immediately.

Things here in Tourette's Mom Land are tight. This life is not a one-parent or one-income kind of thing. I have been finding ways to cut costs. Some more painful than others. I have spent weeks and/or days wrapped in anxiety, worrying over the potential loss of my house or entire life style. To the cost cutting end, I have been buying generic or cheap. Things that used to seem inedible to me in my snobby money-grows-on-trees days now seem like ambrosia. I have learned the hard way that, if you sneer at it, you can pretty much count on having to actually need it some day. It's just one version of the whole pride-before-a-fall story.

Blah blah blah = money is tight. Meat has become a luxury item or something I usually only get at my mom's house. I was starting to worry if I'll be getting enough protein in my boys' diets.

Last Sunday we prayed as a church for our selves. Individually. Pastor Kenny led us all in a prayer releasing all the worries over to God. Giving control of everything over to God. Releasing the fear. And in that prayer, I just asked for God to bless me. It was a very loose, all encompassing request. I didn't even know what I wanted. Just a blessing. Anything. Help me, God. Send me a blessing. Anything. It doesn't even have to be big. Just something.

On Monday, I ran into my next door neighbor - the gorgeous classy divorced woman I want to be some day. She informed me that she had a whole freezer full of Omaha meats that were going to go to waste and would I like them. (Insert me looking completely dumbfounded here) She just removed meat from her diet and she knew I liked to cook and thought maybe I could use the hot dogs, hamburger meat, steaks, chicken breasts, talapia and salmon that were taking up room in her fridge. Are you KIDDING ME?! All that was missing was an actual baked ham! Oh but there were pork chops. So I think that qualifies, right?

So not only does God provide some meat for me and my boys. But he provides top quality Omaha meats. And not just a little. But half a freezer full. And VARIETY!!!

I seriously laughed. I laughed as I drove home. When she dropped them off and I had to rearrange my freezer to fit all the boxes? I laughed. I emailed Trish about my Omaha meats from heaven. I called one of my head pastors to tell her because I was about to POP from sheer amazement and laughter.

Does God ROCK or what, people? Can I hear an 'amen'?!

Friday, October 10, 2008

First Sick of the Season

Well, I have to say, Pokemon Boy has been very healthy for quite a while. Even Lil' Bro has only been dealing with allergies. And me? I've actually been doing quite well, too. Haven't even had a migraine lately.

School started in August and I figured sending the boys off to their daily petri dishes we call school and day care would mean the start of non-stop sick. Nothing! Woo hoo!

Today, both boys were home. Pokemon Boy's school was out so I kept Lil' Bro home from day care. They entertain each other and I am able to work. It's a good deal.

Early in the afternoon, I started feeling that scratchy soreness in the back of your throat from sinus drip. I ignored it. Around the same time, Pokemon Boy told me his throat hurt when he swallowed. I got some decongestants in him and went back to work. I came down a couple of hours later to find Lil' Bro farting around by himself and Pokemon Boy laying on the couch - face flushed red, looking like he'd pulled an all-nighter.

Yup. Fever. Low but there. He has no school Monday either. So he's very upset that he'll spend a long weekend sick. So I said, well, you know we always run for the medicine as soon as we feel yucky. It rarely occurs to me to try something else first. So I went over and put my hands on him and just asked God for healing. To take away the sore throat, clear the nose and take the fever. Why is that always done after I've already poured all the other crap down his throat? I'm going to have to shift that.

Anyway, I've just wrapped up my work day. I'm going to go see how the boys are and convince them to go to bed early on a Friday night. Yah...good luck with that one!

Hope you're all well.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What Does My Birthday Say About Me?

I have so many blogger pals that totally crack me up. I wish I had more time to read blogs because I certainly need the levity. But Ellesappelle got me thinking with this post. What does my birthday say about me?

On October 20th, I will turn 43. It's a rather non-exciting age. So I thought I'd take this moment to see what my birth date might say about me.

Celebrities Sharing My Day:

Bela Lugosi born on October 20, 1882 - dude, it's Dracula! How cool is that?
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton born on October 20, 1890 - "Jelly Roll". Need I say more?
Olive Thomas born on October 20, 1894 - A silent film star, she was a Ziegfeld girl and the original flapper. Sweet.
Jean-Pierre Melville born on October 20, 1917 - French film maker. Zut alors!
Mickey Mantle born on October 20, 1931 - an amazing ball player with a bit of a drinking problem and trouble marriage. Hmm...
Tom Petty born on October 20, 1950 - singer/song writer who recently played the half time show at the Super Bowl. The performance made me think, "You need to stop now. Stop while you're ahead."
Vicente Engonga born on October 20, 1965 - born on my actual day of birth. A Spanish football player (that would be soccer to the silly Americans).
Snoop Dogg born on October 20, 1971 - Awww yah. I'm down with the Dogg.

Performers and entertainers. Coincidence? Oh sure you could say most "celebrities" are performers and entertainers. But I beg to differ. I don't share birthdays with historians, quantum physicists, great architects, poets or painters. I share them mostly with spot-light hogs. Now tell me if you think it's coincidence!

Now let's see if any historical events say anything about me. We'll start with events happening AFTER I was born:

1967 - A purported bigfoot is filmed by Patterson and Gimlin.
1971 - The Nepal stock exchange collapses.
1973 - The Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.
1976 - The ferry George Prince is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling, LA. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died; only 18 people aboard the ferry survived.
1977 - A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.
1982 - During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.
1991 - The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

Ok, I was going to try to twist around some events to make them look more dire than they really were but dang! I didn't even HAVE to. Allie, I'm getting worried.

Now let's look at my name and stats to see if anything can be made of those.

The letters in my name can be shifted around to make the following:
Eel Sent Testy - eel? Snake. Sent testy? The snake sent...discord? Hmmmm?
Steely Tenets - cold & unyielding beliefs.
Set Ye Nettles - plant stinging prickly plants.
Eyes Let Tents - the eyes your...uh...tent? The eyes let stuff into the tent of your mind! Yah, that's it! I don't know what it means but it's very profound and mysterious sounding.

My zip code plus my SSN plus my street number equals 55703767. When you add those 8 numbers together, you get 40. Which is the number of years the Israelites wandered in the desert, pretty much because they were a whiny lot even after national-scale miracles, a visual presence of God and generally being dumb humans like the rest of us.

So if you look at people with my birth date, we're all in desperate need of attention and approval.

If you look at events on my birthday after I entered the world, apparently, I have wrought much disaster in this world.

If you look at the anagrams of my name, they speak of discord and discomfort...and tents.

And the numbers add up to years of punishment. I may not be the antichrist like Allie. But apparently, I'm one of her minions.

I probably never would have looked into my own broken nature like this if it weren't for the ridiculous amounts of forwarded (and unresearched) emails I've been getting telling me how each of the political candidates is the spawn of the dark one. Thank goodness my mass emailing friends and family have awakened me to my own horror!

And one reason I'm writing in the OTHER Palin for president:

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Blissful Lapse in Memory

Well, today would have been my twelfth wedding anniversary. I never would have even thought of it. Isn't that huge? Well, it is. I am so happy that I haven't been thinking about it for a month - dreading it. I'm so happy I didn't remember it today. I'm amazed that I didn't wake up in a funk because of it.

Today, I woke up and had an amazing day at church. God has been lifting my attitude a lot these last few weeks. It's amazing what shameless persistence can do when praying.

So if I didn't remember it, why am I posting about it, eh? I got an email from the ex. It started out "Seeing that today would have been our 12th anniversary..." I read that and had to check the date on the calendar. A few emails later, I got a reminder from that it was my anniversary. I have since killed that reminder. But I was so surprised to A) see an email from the ex and B) be reminded that today was my anniversary. Oh, and C) I don't particularly care. Last year, it was hard. Actually, I recall that last year, on my anniversary, the girl-thing flew into town for a visit with the then-future-ex. Hahahaha! Oh what insanity God has pulled me through! Holy guacamole.

So this year - the first anniversary on which I was actually NOT married - I am pleased as heck to have had to be reminded. And by the ex himself. And with a very sincere attempt at an apology. We have a long way to go. He has a lot of apologizing to do. And God has a lot of miracle to pull off by filling my heart with forgiveness. It's a work in progress. But I appreciated his efforts. His foot was in his mouth throughout the whole email. But it was an attempt. Attempts are something lots of women in my position never even get. So I will appreciate the fact that he made one.

But - as I told him in my reply - the imperfect human side of me will always have trouble with these little apology nuggets seemingly tossed over his shoulder as he continues with his pursuit of the thing that destroyed the the family unit we built. Like I said, God has a lot of work to do in me yet.

But look how much He's already done!

Oh, and I thought I'd leave you with a fun little picture from my wedding day. Because I had one of the most fun weddings ever. I refuse to lock every single memory away just because someone ruined the marriage. This is a shot of me with my friends Paul & Adrianne. It's a ridiculous shot of me and Adrianne has a goofy look. I like it because Paul is in it and has since passed from this life. So here's a fun memory from 12 years ago, today: