Thursday, March 31, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge

So, tomorrow begins the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Since this has been year of emotional upheavals, downturns and loop-the-loops, I have decided to blog an emotion - or twelve - for each letter of the alphabet.

I expect this to be a very personal journey. I sometimes have great difficulty dealing with my emotions. I don't always acknowledge all that I feel. My hope is that by challenging myself to write about them daily, I will be able to feel my way through it, so to speak. 

We can't fix what we don't acknowledge. I know, I know, that was WAY too Dr. Phil of me. (This is one thing he is right about, though.) I have a tendency to make things someone else's fault. Usually, my Former Supposed Spouse gets the brunt of it. But it "takes two to tango" as they say, and so this Challenge is me taking responsibility for my part in things and cleaning up my side of the street.

I will also be hopping on to do all the regular stuff too - Meet Me On Monday, Captcha Balderdash, etc.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Me On Monday Blog Hop #40

Meet Me On Monday is hosted each week by Java at Never Growing Old. Check her out when you have a minute! This week's questions are:


1.  Crunchy or soft tacos?

I like soft tacos, but I like soft corns shells. I like them best when I make them at home. I buy raw corn shells and fry them in the hot oil just long enough to get them nice a hot, a little crispy around the edges and nice and chewy in the center. Mmmmm. Now I'm gonna have to make some!

2.  Do you scrapbook?

I do not. I have no patience for futzy stuff like that and I am no where NEAR organized enough to keep all of it together where I could get anything done. My mother on the other hand, is TOTALLY addicted to scrap booking, stamping - she actually belongs to a Stampin' Up group that meets the first Monday of every month.

3.  Do you take any daily medications?

Don't even get me started on medications. My head board in my bedroom looks like a small pharmacy. I have been trying, mostly in vain, to find a medication that works for me without causing debilitating side effects. Some have helped my pain only to make me so tired and out of it, that I cannot function. Others wire me to a point where sleep is impossible and THAT makes me tired so I cannot function. Others till have reduced me to a pile of sniveling, sniffling, useless tears. A happy medium would be nice. An even emotional keel would be nice. Someday, maybe.

4.  What is your favorite sound?

I love the sound of a thunderstorm in the distance, growing louder and stronger as it gets closer and closer. I love the sound of the first raindrops as they begin to hit the windows and the roof and then gradually grow into a down pour until it starts running out the downspout into the catch bucket. It kind of almost makes me a little sad when the time between the lightening flashes and the rolls of thunder begins to get longer and longer until the storm has completely passed. But, then I am left with the smell of the freshly cleaned air and it's okay.

5.  Where were you born?

I was born in the same town I live in. A little town in northern Montana - only about 40 miles from the Canadian border. Kind of in the middle of nowhere. There are probably more cows around than people and lots and lots and lots of acres of wheat farms. I used to dream of getting out, getting away, getting anywhere but here. But, now that I've been a few places, I've decided there really is no place like home.

And, if you would like to check out some of the totally awesome, hip, cool, radical peeps who also participate in MMOM, here's the linky!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Certified To Lie Memetastic Award (Yeah, I KNOW right? Another Award!)

The untruths contained in my previous post are added in red at the end of the story. Cheers and Happy Friday!

So, you may recall that a while back I participated in a "Two Truths and a Lie" blog hop. Well, just today, my Ahhsome friend Sandi bestowed upon my the "Certified To Lie Memetastic Award" because I was so very convincing the first time around. Ha.

At any rate, here is the challenge. First, I am required to formulate not one, not two, but three LIES about myself and only one truth and then bestow the same award on 5 additional bloggers.

My choices for the five bloggers are:

The Impulsive Addict @ Confessions of An Impulsive Addict
Aunt Becky @ Mommy Wants Vodka
Chana @ Mama Town
The Dreamer @ PBJDreamer

And Why? Because these women totally, completely ROCK! None of us get out of the Mommy Life unscathed or unchanged and these ladies really know how to find the funny in what otherwise might just drive us stark raving mad! Please take some time and check them out!

Okay. So, let the fibbing begin! And, keep in mind that every good lie contains an element of truth!

1. The Jessica McLintock First Day of School Frock

When I was going into the 6th grade, my grandmother was bound and determined to teach me to sew. My grandmother took me to the fabric store to pick out a pattern and then showed me how to read the pattern label to determine how much fabric, what kind of fabric, and all of the notions needed to complete the finished product. At the time (late 70's early 80's - ish), Jessica McLintock was a popular "designer" for very pretty, fancy schmancy, ruffly, frilly dresses. 

Gunne Sax Prairie Dresses. 

Decidedly NOT a beginner's project. But, my grandmother went with it and patiently stood by while I labored on this thing for 2 months in order to have it ready for the first day of school. She even helped me add about 4 inches to the bottom when we found that I had grown about 3 inches over the summer! The dress really was made only my Grandmother ended up finishing it because my 6th Grade Self crapped out after cutting out the pieces and sewing the skirt together. It was truly a thing of beauty. I will see if I can find a picture of it.

2. My First Car Wreck

When I was sixteen, I was given my mom's old car to drive. It was a very large, very long, 1976 Ford LTD Brougham. It was generally parked in the garage. One summer evening, while my mother was out of town, I decided to take said car to go to the local drive-in, get a pop, and go for a cruise (of course, I was going to do this all without my dad being any the wiser!) So, I waited until he left to make a run to the dump, jumped in the car, and proceeded to back out of the garage. Only, the door was not open. So I didn't so much back OUT as I backed THROUGH the garage door. Oh yeah, and my dad wasn't so much GONE as he was just on the other side of the garage. How does a person do that, you might ask? In my defense, the sun was going down and was exactly level with the windows in said door so when I checked my rear view, it LOOKED like the door was open.

And my dad? Well, let's just say angry was an understatement. I think his exact words were "Go away. I don't even want to look at you right now!" This one is actually completely true, sadly enough. What's even funnier is that my mother has also done it once and my DAD has done it TWICE! And the new garage doors didn't have any windows in them.

3. The Great Water Tower Caper

One night, in the dead of winter, me and some of my friends decided it might be fun to scale the fence around one of the water towers in town and make it our own. Let me tell you, the walkway around the outside of one of those things is A LOT HIGHER than it looks from the ground! We did manage to leave our mark - a big DK (Dead Kennedy's) symbol, all our initials and the year we graduated from high school. When we were done, we made our way back down, and made our escape. A couple of days later, the cops came knocking on our door. Seems someone in the house right next door to the tower had spotted us and reported us. And the license plate of the getaway car. And since we all had the teenage brilliance of leaving our REAL INITIALS, we were oh so very easily identified. And we all ended up doing about a gazillion hours of community service for our antics. Yeah. Another shining moment of pride for my dad, who, by the way, was a city cop in my home town for all of my growing up years. This actually happened, I just wasn't a part of it. I don't know where I was, but I wasn't there and so didn't get in any official trouble but I did get lectured about participating in such "unsavory" activities.

4. First Time Caught Drinking

I was a junior in High School and me a two of my friends pitched in to have someone buy us two pints of Everclear. I brought along the only pop we had in the house - Diet Shasta Grapefruit - and we proceeded to swig & chase while another friend drove us around town. We ended up going roller skating - I know, right? Teenage brilliance ("Let's get sloshed and put wheels on our feet and try to remain upright!") at its best! One of my friends got fed up and walked - drunk off her behind - to the bar where her mother was drinking and ratted us other two out. Her mom called Sheila's mom and Sheila's mom called MY mom and we were all in hot water. My dad found the extra bottle of Everclear stashed in my roller skate at the bottom of my closet. Being the cop that he was, he called his cop friends and had me charged with "Minor In Possession." And to this day, neither Sheila nor I talk to the other girl. This also happened, only I was a Freshman in high school and my dad didn't really call his cop buddies to have me charged. Amazingly, and ONLY by the Grace of God, I never "officially" got caught drinking by any law enforcement agency. It's a wonder me and all my friends lived to tell the tales, really. And I did find where my dad had hidden the Everclear (HE DIDN'T EVEN DUMP IT OUT!!) and when one of my friends came home from college the following summer, we took the water bottle off of the water cooler, mixed up a spodie in it and put it back on the cooler. Instant cold drinks, no ice required.

Four, Going On Forty - Some Pearls of Wisdom From Bug Boy

My youngest son's nickname is Bug. We call him Bug because when he was born, summer was just beginning and in Montana, summer means skeeters. Admittedly, there are places much MUCH worse for the pesky little critters than where I live, but we have our share. After spending just a few minutes out in the yard enjoying the warm, late spring evening, any and all patches of exposed skin were dotted with skeeter bites.

And he reacted to them. Badly. Big red welts. One got him on the eyelid and just about swelled his eye shut. And so he was labeled "The Bug Boy" which we have shortened to just "Bug."

That was our very first trip to the emergency room with him. He's been something of a handful from the moment he was conceived. Yes, I said conceived, not born. At one point early in my pregnancy, I was overcome by such tremendous pain that I was convinced he was ectopic. 

No, Dr. assured me, he's just kicking on a nerve somewhere. 

And so began my journey with Bug. He continues to be a handful. But he has moments when he can be so sweet he makes my teeth ache! (And I don't even HAVE real teeth anymore!) Like when he gives me a hug in the morning before he runs out to his bus, puts his little hand on me, pats my back and says "You know? I love you Mommy!" Sometimes he doesn't say anything. He just throws his little arms around me and pats me on the back as if to say, "It's okay, Mommy. It's all going to be okay."

Tonight he shared these little tidbits with me while he was cuddled up on my lap. I love the way his little mind works. I just know he spent a good long while thinking about these things. And I feel so privileged that he chose to share them with me.

"Dora, The Explorer is not in the Bible. She is only on TV. Only Jesus is in the Bible. Jesus is not on TV."

" 'Soil' " is another way to say 'dirt.' Water and sun will make plants grow in the soil."

And this last one is my favorite one. We have had more than our share of sad things happen over the last year. Lots of tears. Lots of frustration. Lots of drama. I worry about how my little guys are coping with the FSS's absence. I worry that I am so not setting a good enough example for them.

He came up with this one "just for you, Mommy." He came and crawled up in my lap, put his arms around me and gave me a big Bug hug. Then he took my face in his little hands, looked me right in the eyes and said......

"When you feel lonely, Mommy, just think happy thoughts."

Bless his little heart.

And pass me the damn Kleenex!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can Something Maybe Go My Way? Maybe? Something? Anything, Really?!

O! M! F! G!!

What a week it was been. Yes, AGAIN.

My step-children - who were placed in temporary custody of my ex-MIL - ended up staying at my house three nights last week because "Etta" took a tumble in her bathroom and did a face plant on the hardwood floor. She ended up with a 6 inch gash on her forehead, two black eyes, and some very severely bruised ribs. This required a trip to the ER and 17 stitches.

And I have been feeling extremely guilty because she called me when it happened and I didn't answer the phone. On purpose. I remember thinking "God GOD woman! What the hell do you want NOW?" Etta's "emergency" and my "emergency" are generally two vastly different things. Of course, the one day I make that assumption and ignore her, turns out it really WAS a REAL emergency. Ah well. Someone got her to the ER and I went and picked her up and took her home.

"Colton" and "Branda" came to my house for dinner that night and stayed overnight for two more nights, and "Colton" stayed for a third night. Jesus Mary and Joseph I don't know how people with more than two children do it day in and day out. The increase in the noise and the dishes and the laundry and the hot water usage and the grocery bill and the garbage generated....... I very nearly lost my mind.

Which brings up another trial - household appliances that have decided they no longer wish to be employed full time, but would much rather be "sittin' on their ass eatin' bon bons and watchin' Dr. Phil." 

The hot water heater will work for a day or two and then the pilot will go out and the water gradually cools (or gets used up) and not get reheated, requiring someone (ME) to trudge down to the laundry room and manually re-light it. There are few things more aggravating than getting the motivation to actually do the dishes or take a shower (both of which happen sometimes infrequently because of my chronic-ness) only to discover that the water is nowhere near hot enough to accomplish either task.

Another thing hot water is required for? Cleaning out the damn refrigerator that has decided it no longer wishes to circulate cold air through the refrigerator compartment. The freezer section is still working - everything is still frozen quite solid. However, many things had to be disposed of from the fridge because it is no longer cold enough to keep things "safe." I discovered this Saturday. I had to wait until Monday to call a repair person. Who couldn't come until Thursday. So, we have been living out of coolers for a week, buying ice at two different places because no ONE place sells both ice CUBES and ice BLOCKS. And, my kitchen is tiny so no matter where the coolers are, they are in the way. I'm hoping that it is a simple fix and does not require replacement of the entire thing. If that happens, the land lord will probably have an aneurysm because he just bought THIS one four years ago. My BFF had the condenser go out in hers. $600 for a new condenser...........$725 for a brand new fridge WITH an ice maker. Since the freezer is still frozen, I'm thinking hoping it's just the fan.

My Administrative Hearing for my SSDI benefits was in January and I STILL have not heard whether or  not I have been approved. Mind you, this process has been going on since January 2009.

*SIGH* and lots of tears and slamming of doors and cussing and throwing things.

The Universe is conspiring against my Pity Party, however.  Even though things aren't going so great right now, I still have much to be thankful for.

Because "Branda and Colton" are staying with "Etta," I have no problem letting my kids go over and play with them. That makes The Monkey a very happy boy! And The Bug gets to go too, and so that gives me a break. Someone else gets to take a turn listening to them argue about EVERYTHING. A little time to just be and not be bothered. With anything.

The Monkey was selected as Student of The Week at his school. This makes me SO EFFING PROUD of him, I can't even tell you.  I was up well past my bedtime on Monday putting together a "portfolio" of his life. Poster board, construction paper, glue stick, the works. We used up all my picture paper and a most of an ink cartridge, but we knocked that booklet out of the park. Most families I think could probably fit their family pictures on a single page. Not us! We have FOUR pages. (Blended families are fun!) Some of mine, some of his, some of ours and a set of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for each! I feel so blessed that so many people love and care for my son. We are our OWN village!

Even though I have a couple of appliances that are shitting the bed, at least I have a roof over my head. A mostly comfortable bed to sleep in. A roommate to help with the bills (and carry my trash out to the dumpster and pack the laundry baskets up and down the stairs).

And, perhaps most importantly, I so thankful that I have a sense of humor about it all because at a certain point, it all becomes so FUCKING RIDICULOUS that ALL you can do is laugh. Because if you don't, you might find yourself holding up the C-Store with a softened stick of butter in your coat pocket saying "Gimme all your ice or the popcorn gets it!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Monday. AGAIN. Meet Me On Monday #39

Yup, Monday's here all over again. 

Time flies when you're in the middle of a drama fest having fun. So, without further ado, here are this week questions as posted by Java at Never Growing Old.


1.  What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
2.  Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
3.  How many siblings do you have?
4.  Were you named after anyone?
5.  Coke or Pepsi?

And my answers are:

1. Jewelry 24/7?

I do not wear any jewelry 24/7. I used to wear rings, but with fluctuations in my weight due to medications and effects of chronic illness, most of them don't fit anymore. Necklaces only get tangled up in my hair and earrings make my ears itch and turn red.

2. Twirl or Cut?

Neither. I break the spaghetti in half when I put it in the water and then pick it up with my fork and slurp it. Much like my children. I went through a phase after watching "Moonstruck" where I thought I would be cool and twirl it up against a spoon, but that was too much futsing around for me.

3. Siblings?

None. I am an only child. However, I consider a couple of my very best girlfriends my sisters. One  is also her mother's only child (her dad had several children from a previous marriage) and one has two sisters that are old enough to be her mother. So, I have adopted them as my "surrogate" sisters. I wonder if the fact that I was an only child has anything to do with how sensitive I am to my boys' incessant fighting? I didn't have anyone to fight WITH growing up. Except myself. And I'm pretty sure if that was happening, my parents would have sought professional help. I hope.

4. Named after anyone?

Yes. I am named after one of my mom's cousins. Her name was Lana (pronounced Lah-nah) and my name is Lana ("a" like apple La-nah - like Lana Turner. My hair is red too! Hubba hubba). Middle name Kristine, after my mother, after my great-great aunt Kjestina (she came from Norway with her parents when she was a wee one).

5. Coke or Pepsi?

coke! definitely coke. And not that sissy diet or zero stuff. Classic, all the way!

And that does it for this installment of Meet Me On Monday! Do come play!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My New Ahhsome Friend Sandi

Sandi over at welcomed me into her Ahhsome Bloggers Community! I am so excited about this, I can't even tell you!

She's awesome. And, she thinks I'm awesome. And that's just way to "school for cool."

I recently posted about liking my popcorn with lots of butter and Montreal Steak Seasoning so Sandi created this most excellent button for me. I LOVE IT!!

TOTALLY cool!!

Thanks again Sandi!!

Oh yeah, and Happy St. Pat's Day! Don't drink too much Green Beer or Irish Whiskey! And, if you do, please please PLEASE have someone else drive you home!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You Can Make Them "Come-To-Jesus" But You Can't Make Them Drink The Kool-Aid


We had the big Come-To-Jesus meeting for the FSS's Ex-Wife.

And it was all very pleasant. Nobody yelled. Nobody blamed. Nobody shamed. I maintained MY composure even though I was SCREAMING on the inside.

And lots of really good ideas were bandied about regarding how we can all participate in helping the CHILDREN get through this, get help, dig into the problems they are having - both at home with mom and now that they are living with grandma - and figure out how to let these kids just be kids instead of always worrying about grown up things.

But there was a GREAT BIG FAT ELEPHANT in the room that no one really touched on. Well, we touched on it, but The Ex's Ex flat out REFUSES to even consider it.

"Kay" lives her live in constant, severe pain. She has a bad hip. Has had for quite some time. It's why she had to quit her job 10 years ago, because she could no longer sit at a desk for an extended period of time. It's why she's having such difficulty functioning now. And I KNOW what that does to a person. I live with chronic pain myself. I know how it feeds depression. I know how the depression in turn fuels the pain. She uses conventional pain medication, and it helps a little. But she also uses medical marijuana, which I don't think is doing her any favors. Sure, it makes her not care about her pain, but it makes her not care about anything else either. 

She needs surgery. Hip replacement surgery. And she's afraid of it. Which I guess I can understand. But she's never even been to an orthopedist to find out EXACTLY what's involved. She's only ever seen her General Practitioner. I wish I could talk to the counselor she's going to be seeing and tell her she needs to work on this with "Kay." There's more to the story. I can feel it.

Up until yesterday, her excuse has always been the kids are too young. We all helpfully pointed out that maybe now is the perfect time since the kids are in "Etta's" care. Now her excuse is that she doesn't want to do it now and then have to have it re-done during her lifetime. Which, I guess, is a valid point. I wouldn't want to either.

But hip replacements last at least 20 years. And technology has advanced since the last studies were done. She may well NEVER have to have it replaced. And anyway, even if that is a real possibility, it would be better to have 20 good years with her kids NOW when they need her the most. Wouldn't it? By the time her hip shit the bed again, the kids would be grown and would be able to take care of HER.

I'm worried. What I see happening is "Kay" doing just enough to get her kids back and get all these people all up out of her face and then things coming back to the status quot that brought us to this point.

And, regardless of how I feel about the FSS, I love those children as though they are my own.

I don't know. I wish there was a surgery I could have done that would take away my pain. If there was, I would SO be drinkin' that kool-aid.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Conversations With My 6-Year-Old Over Oriental Trading Company

I had a rather interesting conversation with my son this evening. He had found the Oriental Trading Company catalog in the junk mail recycle pile. OTC is a novelty company that sells junk things a 6-yea-old sees as total treasure - temporary tattoos, mini-stamps, jelly bracelets, stickers, stickers and more stickers. He found something on every single page that he HAD TO HAVE!

Son: MOM! We HAVE to get some of these! Me & C could play with them!

Me: Yes, you certainly could.

Son: MOM! We HAVE to get some of these! ALL the GIRLS in my class would think I was SO  cool! (jelly bracelets, stick on plastic jewels, and glowing neon necklaces).

Me: (Gulp) They would?

Son: Yeah cuz, you know, girls like jewelry!

And so it begins. Actually, it began last fall during soccer - he had a little crush on one of his team mates. And she really IS a very cute little girl. But, by New Year's she had "moved on" and B now was "in love" with the next very cute little girl. This sparked another conversation.

Son: I really like "Jane." She's funny and really pretty.

Me: Jane? I thought you liked Sally?

Son: I did like Sally, but now she likes Johnny. Besides, Jane is prettier and way cooler.

Me: (Gulp) Okay.

Son: But I don't think Jane likes me anymore because when I try to play with her at recess she just turns around and walks away from me. (And let me tell you, the tone in his voice was so perfectly plaintive that my heart broke in about a gazillion pieces for him!)

Me: Well, you know. Girls can be like that sometimes. Just keep being nice to them and you won't have anything to worry about. Just be yourself. You are such a sweet boy. (Really?! He's only six and I have to explain the mystery of why girls can be so fickle? REALLY?!)

Son: I know.

Me: What do you know?

Son: That I'm such a sweet boy. You tell me that ALL the TIME, M O M !!

Me: Well it's true. You know what else is true?

Son: Well, you told me yesterday that I kinda look like Justin Bieber and I told that to Jane but she didn't think so.

Me: Well, did you brush your hair down over your forehead? 'Cuz that's what makes you look like him a little.

Son: No I forgot. I'll try that tomorrow.

All righty then. I can not WAIT until he is a teenager. (That was sarcasm, just in case you missed it!!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

And The Week Begins With A HUGE Upturn!!

I am so excited about this, I can't even begin to tell you!!

Copyboy over at Not Worth Mentioning has made me his "Blog of The Day!!"

Thank you so much Jesse! You made my day!!

Meet Me On Monday Blog Hop #38

Once again, it's Monday and time for Meet Me On Monday hosted by Java at Never Growing Old!

Come play along, won't you?!

This week's questions are:
1. Do you have a fireplace in your home?
No, sadly, I do not. I would LOVE to have one though because there is just NO heat like WOOD heat. The little meeting house where I go to my Al-Anon meetings has a wood stove. When I go to a meeting when it's cold outside, the warmth of that wood stove makes me feel oh-so-very-cozy. I have a spot in my house all picked out for it and everything. And if I actually owned my house, I would so be all over getting one installed. But, since I rent, I don't think my landlord would be all that excited about it. So, it will have to wait. 
2. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes. I can. When I took Driver's Ed about a million years ago, we were required to learn how to drive a stick. (And because I live in Montana and took my Driver's Ed in January, I learned to drive in the middle of a blizzard!) As long as you're not picky about smooth starts and stops, I do just fine. And as long as I don't have to start moving forward going uphill, I'm okay. I get a little paranoid about letting off the brake and easing off the clutch when facing uphill. I'm always worried that I'm going to start rolling backward. Into the car behind me. Which, knowing my luck, would be a cop car.
3. How many computers are in your home?
That are in actual working condition? Four. Two are mine - a lap top and a desk top. Two are my roommates - also a lap top and a desk top. And then there are the two dinosaur desk tops that I keep thinking I will set up for my little peeps to play on. They are still sitting in the basement collecting dust. 
4. Are your taxes done yet? Do you do them yourself?
Since I didn't have any income of my own this last year, I didn't have to do taxes for myself. I did the FSS's taxes and managed to find him a refund. Only to have said refund confiscated by Child Support Enforcement for the back child support he owed for his other children. Yeah. Nice, huh?! 
5. What is your favorite meal of the day? 
 I would have to say breakfast. Although, I seldom eat breakfast food at breakfast time. We love, love LOVE pancakes and bacon for dinner. Or sausage patties and scrambled eggs on English muffins. Or French toast and sausage links. Or even just a big bowl of cereal. (My favorite is still Cap'n Crunch!)
 And there you have it. This week's Meet Me On Monday! Why not sign up and join in the fun!

The Low Down on the AWOL

I have had this pain in my side for going on a week. And no, it's not the figurative pain my children provide, but actual pain. Very annoying pain. I have odd aches and pains all the time (when my fibro flares it tends to do so in various areas - when it flares REALLY bad, it's all over) but this one started off relatively mild on Tuesday  night. I woke up in the middle of the night with a pain in my left side like maybe I had fallen asleep with my blanket or my nightgown bunched up underneath me. So, i readjusted everything and went back to sleep only to wake up Wednesday morning feeling like someone had kicked me in the ribs. By Wednesday evening, the minor annoyance had graduated into a major inconvenience and by Thursday evening, had migrated from my rib cage to my abdomen. Even the pain pills couldn't keep it under control for more than an hour or two, so, off to the ER I went. Four hours later after having been cathed, IV'd, x-rayed, and CT'd, I was told NOTHING was wrong. My white cell count was "slightly" elevated but my CT and chest x-ray looked "perfect." So, they patted me on the head, gave me a shot in the ass and sent me on my way.

I love it when that happens. NOT. There obviously is SOMETHING amiss, otherwise it would not feel as though someone had kicked me in the ribs with pointy toed boots! It is somewhat better now - back to the minor annoyance stage - but it's still there. And for an added bonus, the skin over top of the area that's paining me is now numb. Weird. Follow up with the Primary Care tomorrow.

My FSS's ex-wife is disabled. She basically has no hip joint left. She desperately needs hip replacement surgery. It's going to be an ordeal because along with the hip replacement, the doctors would need to break her femur in order to lengthen it. A long and painful  process, to be sure, but one that is necessary because as it stands now, she is unable to function. And by function I mean keep the trash in the garbage can and take the bag out to the dumpster when it's full; find suitable clothing for the children and keep it washed; do the dishes; cook; make sure they go to bed at a decent hour so they can get up and go to school the next morning; supervise the little boy enough that he isn't lighting dog houses on fire or blowing up gas cans; provide enough authority that the little girl (who is 12 and more than able to) does her chores; provide enough supervision so that these children aren't out terrorizing the neighborhood. You know, do ANYTHING besides sit in her recliner and smoke her "medical marijuana."

And because she is unable to function, her children - my step-children whom I dearly love - have been removed from her care and placed in the temporary custody of my Former Supposed MIL. Not that she's much more able bodied than the Mother. But, whatever. I was asked if they could come stay with me, but I'm having just about as much trouble managing my own two kids. Part of learning to live with chronic illness is leaning what your limitations are. Taking on two more children, regardless of how much I would like to, is simply not possible for me to do by myself right now.

This has been coming for a while. Child Protective Services has been to her home on several occasions to tell her she needs to clean her filthy house or the children will be removed. And, I guess sometime on Wednesday, they showed up at her house again. To find a filthy rat hole. Again. Gave her a day or two to clean it up. Again. Or the children would have to stay somewhere else while she gets her act together.

And it has finally come to that. As of after school on Friday, my step-children are now living with my ex-mother-in-law.

I don't know about anyone else, but I know that if Child Protective Services showed up at my door and told me I had to clean my house up or they were going to take my kids away, I would SO be up ALL NIGHT making sure it was spotless by the time they came back. I mean, you would be able to EAT off of my floors!! And I so know that my kids would be right in there helping me. They may only be 4 and 6 but they know how to sack up trash and pick up their dirty laundry.

But, apparently, she didn't think they were serious about taking the kids away from her so she took them to McDonald's and then out to Wal-Mart to get toys.

So now, sometime this week, Child Protective Services has decided that "we" (meaning The ex's ex, her 24-year-old son, the ex-MIL, and me) need to have this "family meeting." Because The ex's ex obviously needs some help. So WE all need to get together and see what WE can do to support HER so that this doesn't happen again. CPS even called MY parents to see if THEY would like to participate. (That's what led to the freak-out from my mother. CPS called their house and got my dad (I would have liked to hear how THAT conversation went) who called my mom who called me and wanted to know WTH??!!)


I don't know. Maybe I'm over-reacting. But come the hell on. NONE of us are doing okay since the Former Supposed Spouse departed a little over a year ago. He was her sole source of physical help and my sole source of income. We've all been kind of left in a tail-spin. We're all struggling. And now, I'm feeling a little bit - I don't know - cornered, I guess. Like, even though I'm having trouble keeping up and it takes all I have to just do the bare minimum, now suddenly CPS wants me to drop everything and be at this "Come-To-Jesus" meeting to see what WE can do to help HER?!

The rest of us may not be doing it perfectly, but at least the rest of us are at least making an EFFORT. I don't always feel like cooking (Thank Goodness for Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Indeed) but at least I have the common sense to know that when I have NO MONEY I shouldn't be feeding them McDONALD'S four days a week and buying new toys. And you know, more often than not, we are digging clean clothes out of the laundry basket instead of drawers but at least they're clean. I make sure my cat has a box to use and, even though I HATE it, I clean it out when it starts to smell because I HATE the STINK even more than I hate cleaning it out. And I would be MOR-TI-FIED if my kids went to school smelling of cat poop.

She's been offered help with the cleaning. Disability will PAY FOR someone to come and help her a couple days a week. She turned them down. If someone offered me help a couple of days a week, I would SO be ALL OVER that! She's been offered counseling for herself. She turned THAT down. So, you know, I have a hard time finding the willingness to help her when she WON'T help herself.

AWOL - Absent With OUTRAGEOUS Leave

Okay, so I know I've been pitiful about posting and reading and commenting this week, but let me tell you, it's been a doozy over here! the list of this week's activities includes, but is not limited to, a four hour stay in the emergency room, a call from Child Protective Services, and a freak out from my mother.

Details to follow soon. I'm off to my former supposed MIL's with the air mattresses so that the children have somewhere to sleep.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Authentic Flaw: Nothing is as complicated as I make it....

And that's another one of my authentic flaws - my ability to make EVERYTHING ten times more complicated than it is or has to be.

I read this little gem in my little book of reflections today:

"In other cases, my resentment is based on a persistent pattern of
behavior I'm not willing to accept. I forgive the other person because
that's what I need to do for ME. Sometimes the forgiveness process
fosters deeper unity and connection between people.
Sometimes, it points to an exit sign."


The FSS (former supposed spouse) called last night to tell me he has been approved for the WATCh (Warm springs Addiction Treatment and Change) Program. Again. This will be the second time he's been through it. And he started rattling off all the things that are going to be different this time. Again.

And while I hope that it really will be different this time, I am not holding my breath. The smart money just isn't on that bet. And even if it is different, it will be different without me. In the seven years we were together he has spent almost half that time behind bars and/or fences (with and without razor wire) of one sort or another. And the last three times I've waited - sometimes patiently, sometimes not so much -for him to come home thinking all the while that THIS time it's gonna work. THIS time he's gonna get it. THIS is the LAST time this happens.

And every time he's been gone I have turned myself upside down and inside out trying to figure out what was wrong with ME that made HIM act the way he did. I tied myself up in knots and twisted myself into pretzels trying to make myself over into whatever he needed me to be - all the while not really having a clue what that might be - to a point where I no longer recognize myself.

And I guess maybe I'm a little pissed about that. No. No maybe. I am pissed.

But I'm pissed at MYSELF because - well for a lot of reasons, really - but the big one is this - I KNEW what he was long before we ever got together. His reputation well preceded him and his tales of "daring do" are somewhat legendary in our little town. But, I went there anyway. Actually, I ran there, away from the hell my first marriage had become, but that's a story for another day. Life with an active alcoholic actually seem like a picnic compared to what I was married to.

I'm pissed because I didn't listen to my gut when he got arrested the second time. My gut was telling me to run - run for the hills - but my back bone and my running shoes were nowhere to be found.

I'm pissed because despite the fact that I have tuned upside-in-outside-down and ran in circles trying to be better, stronger, smarter, tougher - deep down inside where the "real me" lives, I don't think I've really changed at all.

And then I was watching "Intervention" on A&E the other night and the counselor said something that clicked a little at the time and has been gnawing at me ever since.
"If you don't change, she won't have to"
Well, no wonder. I keep wishing for the happily ever after. He keeps promising one. I keep believing him and keep letting him come home. And sooner or later, the cycle repeats itself.

I told him the other night that maybe I'm the one that's no good for him. He hung up on me. And I think that says it all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meet Me On Monday Blog Hop (I think I'm addicted!)

Yes, yes, I admit it! I am hooked on these Blog-Hoppy thingys!! I can't help it! It's so much fun to spend a lazy Sunday hopping around reading other people's work and laughing out loud all day.

So, yes. Here's yet another one for Monday, appropriately titled "Meet Me On Monday" and hosted by Java at Never Growing Old. Every Monday, Java lists a set of five questions for us to answer and share with our bloggy friends so that we can get to know each other a little better. It's fun and I'm writing so I'm stretching my brain instead of rotting it away on Farmville or Cafe World, right?

This weeks questions are:

1. What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?

If I am feeling under the weather, nothing beats plain old instant mashed potatoes with butter and salt and pepper. Otherwise, I like them sliced thin and fried crispy in a little butter with garlic salt, fresh cracked pepper, some onions and a little parsley. Mmmmmm. See, now I'm hungry!

2. What was the last package that was delivered to your house?

We actually received two on the same say. One was replacement strings and a strap for Bryson's new guitar that he got for Christmas. (Because his mother doesn't know diddly about tuning a guitar and tightened the string to tight and snapped it!) The other was the boxed set of all the Harry Potter books. That was a red letter day in our house, baby! We were rockin' and readin' the whole rest of the day!

3. What is your favorite scent that you love to smell?

Do I really have to pick just one? Maybe, but I can't so here's a few for a few different situations. On a man, I love the smell of Axe Phoenix Body Spray and/or soap. MY favorite perfume is called Krishna Musk. It's a perfume oil that is incredibly unique and exotic - musk, mixed with some sandalwood and something else that I can't quite put my finger on - and it makes me feel oh-so-very-sexy when I wear it. I love the way the air smells right before and right after a good thunderstorm. And Fresh Cotton candles. And warm cake. And my grandma's house.

4. Do you smoke?

Yes. I do. A lot. And for a long time. And I know it's no good for me. But I enjoy it. I feel all empty inside without it. I tried to quit cold turkey once, and I sat in my recliner all day and cried. I'm gonna have to, and I know that because it's killing me AND my pocket book. But I just can't bring myself to do it yet.

5. Are your parents married or divorced?

My parents are still married, more or less happily, and have been for over 40 years. FORTY TWO to be exact. It's a fact that amazes me every day. And I am so thankful that they are still with me on this Earth and that we have a good relationship. We talk every single day, they really WANT to spend time with their grandchildren, and my dad makes THE BEST prime rib roast ever!

So there you have it. Five more things to know about me! Enjoy! And join in the fun!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting To Know My Fellow Bloggers

Kimberly over at A Spicy Boy, A Cat & My Fat Ass is hosting the Spicy Weekend Hop to give all us bloggers a chance to "meet" new people and have new people "meet" us.

Since I'm new to the whole blogging thing, I really appreciate opportunities like this to find other like-minded peeps. It let's me know that I'm not the only one with bats in my belfry!

If you would like to link up and join us, add your link to the linky-dink below.

And let the hopping begin!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Hop - Gone But Not Forgotten

This is a blog hop hosted by Erin at Something Else To Distract Me. Today's task is to list our own favorite five shows that are no longer on t.v. This was hard to limit to just five but here goes:

5. ER - I remember when ER first came on, I was cooking at a restaurant and couldn't leave until 9 p.m. so it was a race to get home without missing more than the first five minutes or so. Most of my girlfriends fell instantly in love with Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney). My heart, however, was captured by Dr. Mark Green (Anthony Edwards - aka "Goose" in Top Gun.) When Dr. Green and his wife split up I would day dream about being cast to play his new love interest. My heart kinda broke when he died. I also had a little bit of a "girl crush" on Carol Hathaway (Julianna Marguilies - who is awesome by the way in "The Good Wife" Tuesday nights on CBS).

4. That 70s Show - The FSS (former supposed spouse) loved this show and would watch it almost religiously. I didn't think I would like it because I thought it was one of those "stupid-dumb" shows like The Simpsons. The first episode I really actually watched was the one where Eric is in line at the pharmacy in front of Donna's dad who is picking up her birth control pills for the first time. At the end of that episode Eric is sitting on the Vista Cruiser watching Donna walk away and Red, Eric's dad, turns the garden hose on him. After that, I was hooked. And now, every time I see pictures of me and my friends in grade school, I am struck by how much we resemble the cast.

3. Roseanne - I love Roseanne. She reminds me of me. I could relate so much more to the Connor's than I could, say, the Cosby's or the Keaton's. The Connors were real, and they were messy and kinda trailer trashy and they seemed like they could be any family anywhere. They weren't perfect and they didn't try to be. And there wasn't always a happy ending. And I loved that about Roseanne.

2. Mad About You - I remember the trailers that came out for this one. Paul and Jaimie are brushing their teeth before bed and taking turns spitting in the sink. Paul misses a beat and doesn't come up right away and Jaimie ends up spitting on his neck. I remember rushing to get home in time for this one too. They were two single people trying to figure out how to be a married couple and deal with the in-laws and the sister from hell and the stupid best friend and the other married couple friends and the neighbors from hell. Good stuff.

1. Boston Legal -  For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this show was cancelled. It was hilarious and socially relevant at the same time. I tuned in every week just to hear Alan Shore (James Spader) thunder away in the court room. And to see what kind of crazy-ass-shit Denny Crane (William Shatner) was going to try and get away with this time. David E. Kelley is a master of blending the off-beat, quirky and sometimes downright bizarre with current issues and socially relevant topics. (See also by David E. Kelley: Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, and LA Law). Happily, Mr. Kelley is back on NBC with Harry's Law on Monday nights which is equally awesome.

And there's my top five. With a couple of plugs for some current favorites as well. It was really hard to limit myself to just five. There are so many others I could mention - Picket Fences, Grace Under Fire, Charmed, Everybody Loves Raymond, Still Standing, Northern Exposure, Home Improvement.......and the list goes on.

What are your faves? Hop on over here and sign up.

Thank Goodness for Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Indeed

The last couple of weeks have not been fun ones at our house.

What started two weeks ago as some sniffles and a stuffy head quickly degenerated into full-on sinusitis, followed by bronchitis, bilateral otitis media, and pharyngitis (also known as a sore throat). I would have called it tonsillitis, however my physician tells me that since I no longer have tonsils, I can no longer have tonsillitis. (I had a tonsillectomy in December 2009 at the ripe old age of 39. I do NOT recommend having that procedure done that late in life. Things that are really sweet STILL don't taste quite right.)

Anyway - a double course of antibiotics later and I'm happy to report that all of the "itis's" have left the building. Or, at the very least, are being shown the door. The building, however, is a little worse for wear. I am so worn out from fighting off all those nasty little germs that all I want to do is sleep. And for the last three days, that's pretty much all I have done - sleep. Get up and get Monkey to his bus. Sleep. Get Bug Boy to his bus. Sleep until they come home from school, get them a little snack and sleep some more. Get up and feed them, maybe get them in the tub, put them to bed. Sleep.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm glad the little boys are satisfied with foods that require a minimum of effort. I'm kinda feeling like the world's worst mom. And I hope they know I will make it up to them when I feel better. I think maybe some Monster Cookies might be in order next week.