Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I have a whole new appreciation for Halloween after tonight.

My perspective of Halloween as a child was:

1. Mom tapes a picture of a black cat to the front window.
2. Wear costumes.
3. Wander the neighborhood until feet are frozen.
4. Get candy.


My teenager perspective of Halloween was:

1. Run around outside after dark.
2. Get candy.


My perspective of Halloween as an adult pre-parenthood was:

1. Buy candy.


My perspective of Halloween as a parent:

1. Design and create costumes for kids.
2. Buy candy.
3. Give out candy or walk through neighborhood until feet are frozen.
4. Clean off face makeup or hair color from children.
5. Await possible cleanup of vomit.


My perspective of Halloween as a gramma:

1. Buy candy.
2. Dote on cute little treaters.
3. Threaten anyone who scares my little darlings and try to help them understand that it is all pretend.


My perspective of Halloween after tonight:

1. Buy candy.
2. Watch Jr and Jack and Stu construct blinking eyes that line pathway to coffin that contains zombie who sits up as treaters approach through mist that rises around the walkway towards the stuffed monster sitting on the porch holding the bowl of treats who grabs the bowl as you reach for a treat.
3. Oh my gosh. Is it sick to laugh as Jr startles kids reaching for treats? Is it cruel for parents to encourage, cajole, and push their kids to pass through this nightmare-inducing pathway just so they can have a piece of candy, and then tell the kids to say thank you after Jr scares them? Is it hilarious to hear the big kids--teenagers--tell each other that this isn't scary, that's a real guy in the chair, hey maybe it isn't a real person, and then scream like little girls when his hand moves toward the bowl?


This has been the best.Halloween.ever.

And you should know, Jr didn't touch anybody. And he takes off his mask and offers the bowl of candy to little kids.

And scaring adult men who dress up is possibly the most fun of all.


Don't you think they would be terrified if they knew we have raccoons?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

but how do you feel about people who put their pets in costumes?

See, around here, the dogs don't really care so much about the costumes but they are totally focused on the rawhide bones...

cheering me up

I've been feeling a bit sad of late. Not sure why. Uproar at work? Extra expenses? Missing the Californians? Failing my information systems class midterm two days ago?

Yes, could be any and all of the above. But then tonight, this little face showed up and said things like, "hourglass, don't touch" and "dat's a boobytwap" and "Ine otay" and other astoundingly clever things especially for a two-year-old, and mostly, pretty much lightened my mood and lifted my spirits.

This picture looks just like one I took of her daddy at this age. Hopefully she won't hate me for posting it, but I couldn't resist...reminded me so much of him...and uh, hopefully he won't hate me either, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

it's back

Raccoon spotted in the toy room bedroom window--outside...

Thank you again, Gus.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

yes it's autumn

It may be Autumn, but for every one of those pictures this year, there's one of these:

There's this one:

And this one:

But then there's this one:

Have I mentioned how excited Jr is for Halloween?

We visited the pumpkin patch together this year and I only wiped away a few tears as I enviously watched other grammas with their grandchildren--

These are the final choices and a fine crop they are.

Perhaps I should have been a bit more concerned about that spidee in the window though...

Friday, October 14, 2011


I was just clicking around facebook and found this picture from the drummer's wedding reception. It might be one of my favorite shots ever--well done, Shi.

i'm smiling right now

Last week I checked my graduation status online. Shocked to learn I had eight classes to complete after this semester instead of four. Stewed about it all week and finally called my adviser yesterday. Excited to learn that I just need to send a complete transcript from SLCC that shows my associate's degree and shows I already completed those four additional classes. And my adviser decided to give me credit for one of my remaining four classes since I've already taken it too.

Three classes next semester and I'll graduate.

On another equally high note, guess who got 96 on her family law test that she worked herself into a frenzy on last week? May I also modestly admit that 96 was the class high? Average was 73.

So there you go. Hard work may just pay off. I'm smiling right now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

sometimes your eyes gotta leak or you gotta shop or both

This morning Jack got up early, for a Saturday, and went to work.

Which left me with options. I got up and made myself a bowl of HoneyBuzzers--the Malt-o-Meal version of Honeycomb--so I could stomach a non-narcotic muscle relaxant. I allowed my eyes to gaze about at the heaps of debris on my counters (Jr had a party last night, so leftovers of cake and soda cans are intermixed with junk mail and stacked dirty dishes). I stopped to pick up my compy from the office and headed back to my bed where I have a clear view of the clean laundry that is not yet put away from last weekend, the dirty laundry awaiting my magical touch today, the empty diet coke bottles on the nightstands and surrounding the garbage can--I'm practicing my basketball shooting skills in an effort to heal the shoulder. I couldn't make myself go down the stairs--a combination of the my-poor-back issue and my unwillingness to look at the remnants of last night's party: pizza boxes, soda cans, furniture displaced from its normal location to allow much 'just dance 3-ing', and that damned fog machine.

I climbed back under my covers, leaning up against Jack's wedge pillow, and clicked around my favorite blogs, saving facebook for last. Jessie posted pics of Janey and Cailin that brought tears to my eyes--I miss them so--and I was reminded again that one of the reasons I like my grandkids around isn't so I can entertain them, but more because I am so touched by their personhoods--who they are, how creative, how funny, how smart--when I hear them playing together when they think no one is around. I am so grateful for frequent visits from Stu and Shi.

I stayed under the covers all morning, leaving only long enough to snag a piece of cake that I ate while finishing up all of this week's homework. My phone rang once, it was the tenants, the ones who always need something, so I didn't answer. They left a message--the upstairs shower seems to be leaking in their downstairs bathroom. Landlordship is like breeding dogs. Don't ever let yourself think you will make money from it.

And Oscar. Dear Oscar. Did he really just pee on the chair while I was laying in the bed next to it? Ah well. Another piece of furniture bites the dust.

So. Now that I've moped about, shed a few tears, finished my homework, and looked at this mess til I can look no more, it is time for me to rise, gather up and begin this week's laundry, clean out the kitty litter boxes, tidy up the bathroom and kitchen, hang up and put away that clean laundry, change the sheets, and patch the hole in my quilt that Gus chewed in it last week. If only he'd just chewed the hole instead of eating part of it too--would have been a much simpler, less noticeable repair.

And I'm going to watch for the UPS guy with my Kohl's order that includes this skirt, so I can figure out whether it's too cool outside to wear it

with these shoes

with the navy ruffle-front blouse I bought at Old Navy last weekend--can you wear espadrilles after Labor Day?

Shallow? I think not. New shoes and skirt and ruffly top make everybody feel happy, right?

Friday, October 7, 2011

has this been the longest week or what?

One visit to the ortho
One visit to rehab
One visit to the vet
One visit to the hospital
Two nights at school
Five days at work
Twelve assignments due

1. Shoulder is healing on schedule
2. Haven't lost any range of motion and have, in fact, gained a bit
3. Oscar. Peeing on the furniture is apparently not a sign of rage but may be, in fact, an indication of a urinary tract infection in a male cat. Have you ever tried to get a cat to take antibiotics in pill form? With this cat, it includes growling, hissing, running, hiding, snarling, scratching, biting--rinse and repeat after peeling pill off his face or shoulder or leg.
4. Stu. More of the usual for him. Except this visit was scheduled to begin at 5:30 a.m. Really? Then why didn't they take him in for the procedure until 7:15? But he's home and okay.
5. Driving. Eating fast food. Sitting. Absorbing. More driving.
6. The new boss left last week for a new job. Is this good? No boss--but then--no boss.
7. Seriously. Five classes--shouldn't that equal, at most, five assignments per week? No, apparently not. The two in-class classes? Two assignments and one take-home killer test. The three online classes? Two assignments, three assignments, and four assignments respectively.

Oh--then there's that one day when I checked my graduation tracking online only to see that the online tracking app thinks I have eight classes before graduation instead of four after this semester.

And Steve Jobs died. The guy who changed my world. Okay, maybe not him, but his company. But him too, because his health issues include some that are close to my heart.

And just to add some whipped cream and a cherry on top of this week, while bending over to plug in my computer this morning at the hospital, my back did its old favorite trick--may I have a large dose of muscle spasms, please? Just enough to almost put me on the floor. Thank you very much this week.

Between the ache in my right shoulder and the pain in my left hip, I can no longer pull up my own pants.

Well, that isn't exactly true. But only because I refuse to accept help with this most basic task.

Can I please end this week by participating in a most exciting Fleetwood Mac musical adventure while wearing my newly acquired attire?

If I am upright, I'm there. If not, I'm sleeping in that dress. If I can put it on.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

really? seriously?

I went to see the shoulder manipulator today for a follow-up visit.

I'm healing right on schedule.

But this crazy thing happened while I was waiting an hour for my turn to wait in the exam room for 15 minutes to see the doc for six minutes.

I'm sitting in the waiting room--a big room with lots of seats for the patients of the ten or so doctors in the practice. They leave the double doors into the waiting room open--probably for the patients on crutches, right?

Anyway, I'm sitting there, reviewing for a test I planned to take later this afternoon, when I notice a guy come in and sit down near the open doors. He starts talking on his cell phone--loud enough so everyone can hear--and his side of the conversation goes something like this:

Hi, yeah, I'm waiting for her. The baby gets out of the hospital today. We'll be moving in the house tomorrow, but see that's the problem. We need a place to stay tonight. I mean, it would be different if the baby had to stay in the hospital another night, but I can't let a six-month-old sleep in the car. So we need $15 for formula and $25 for a room. Just $40. That's all. What? Well, we are. We're praying for a miracle. That's what we need. A miracle. I guess I'm just the worst husband and father in the world. Really? I can't let the baby sleep in the car. If it was just me, that would be okay.

By now, I'm reaching for my purse, my wallet.

And that's when the sullen male nurse called me back to see the doctor.

Almost immediately after the nurse closed the exam room door, I realized--I was almost scammed out of $40.

When I finished up my visit, I noticed the guy was gone. The seat he had been sitting in wasn't visible from the reception desk--a pillar blocked it from view.

And I'd bet $40 that one of the other ladies waiting to see one of the ten docs handed over whatever cash she had and felt good about helping out that poor man.

Wow. Who needs "Will work for food" signs when the pickens' are so easy in a comfortable air-conditioned doctors' office?

Monday, October 3, 2011


I heard this story today on NPR. Touched my heart and gave me hope.