May 30, 2010

So immediately following my post about flowers.....

The manic, insanity that is my life ensues.....

Of course, while I'm trying to drum up something interesting - nothing happens. As soon as I'm done posting.....another story entirely....

And this is why I tell people I have two teenagers.....

A friendly game.  Tossing the football around.  Ahh, what a lovely family moment.....

And then????

Taunting and testostrone explode.

Sorry.  You totally miss the chase around the house (I had just put the camera away-my bad.  And they refused to re-enact the scene).....

Dad wins again!

Yes.  My life is never dull.

Relaxing on a Sunday.....

Today I have spent the ENTIRE day on the back porch sore and stiff.  Reading.  Blogging.  Playing on my phone.  Basically doing absolutely nothing (with a little bit of laundry and cleaning bathrooms thrown in - cause a mother's work is never done - but basically doing nothing).  I have deserved it.

After two grueling days. Although, in all fairness - I did enjoy them.  Once it was all said and done and I was able to enjoy today.

Big Brother, I mean, The company I work for, is kind enough to give us both Friday and Monday off for Memorial Day. Yay! They rock.  Sometimes

As you know, I'm in the process of re-doing my front flower bed. So Friday, I took myself off to the local home improvement store in search of plants. Where I was immediately watered.

Yes. You read that correctly. I was WATERED!.

Apparently, I'm too short to be seen on the other side of the plants...... *sigh* This is the story of my life. 

Although drenched, my mission for the day was accomplished. I came home and began to plant. Easy-peasy.

Should have been in and out of the garden in about an hour as I only had four plants to put in. But then I noticed all the grass that had somehow creeped into the beds. It's ridiculous really. The damn grass won't grow in the yard - WHERE IT BELONGS - but is perfectly content to grow in my beds. Needless to say, I spent the rest of Friday digging the grass out, all while explaining to it where it needed to grow.  Somehow, I don't think it got the message....

Saturday dawned and found me in another bed, pulling out weeds. All damn day. At this point, I am ready to rip out everything and just pour concrete. I'm beginning to think yards and beds are over-rated.

But everything does look much better now, if I do say so myself.

Hubby and Man-Child even got in on the action Saturday.

Man-Child voluntarily taking out the GIANT weeds in this poor neglected section of the yard.  What a great kid - I think I'll keep him - for now.

Hubby also got in on the action by starting his own project:

He impulsively decided to dig out around all the utilities and put rocks in - in order to keep from having to continually weed around them.

The almost finished project.  Need to add some lattice and some plants and get the damn grass to grow and then it's all done. (sigh...another bed to deal with)

After it was all done, I took a stroll around the yard to see how some of the plants were doing.  And this is what I saw....

The hydrangea is doing beautifully!  I'm excited about it, I've never had luck with them before.  Although, this one seems to be coming in was definitely pink when I bought it last year.....I guess it has decided to side with the guys and leave me the only female in the house.....

The Asiatic lilies are blooming!  I love these!

Although the coreopsis is crowding the lilies - so one or the other will have to move next year.

The Chinese privet is making a come-back y'all!!!  Can you see the new buds?  Yeah, still no mulch.  Nowhere near done in this bed yet....

The front bed is still a work in progress but I wanted to show y'all this....

See the hoses & sprinklers?  (Yes you can only see them because there isn't any mulch - because this bed isn't finished many projects, so little time & money to complete them all....) 

Best invention ever!  Too tired/lazy to go water your plants?  To cheap to put in a real sprinkler system?  This is the way to go.  Turn on the spigot and walk away.  Even better?  Put a timer on the spigot and it's all automatic.  And no, I was not paid or in any way compensated for this - I found this product on my own last year and love it!  So much so that I dug a trench from where I'm standing in the following photo all the way down to the bed.....

put a pvc pipe down and fed the hose through it - to have one of these systems down there.  THAT my friends, is the epitome of lazy.  Yes, it took forever, but soooo worth it! (Also, ignore the bald spots - I've talked to the grass - maybe it'll listen and start to grow.....)

My husband called me crazy....I called it genius!  Two days of slave labor to ensure that I never have to stand over that bed with a hose again......

Now, if I can just figure out how to dig a trench under the sidewalk to reach a couple other beds......

Sorry folks.  This is all I've got this weekend.  Plants or nothing.  And since I know how much you all love to hear from me (quit snickering!)....this is what you get.

Also?  Do you know how long it's taken me to craft this relatively-simple post?  HOURS!  Mainly because Man-Child is harassing me.  So "you're welcome!" because a lesser woman would have given up and just gone to take a hot bath long before now!

May 27, 2010

Hello? Guiness Book of World Records? You need to come see me.....

It has NOT been a good week for various reasons.....

But, the big one was today.

A little back story, if you will.....yesterday morning I jumped on the scale, as I do every morning (yes, yes, I know!  You aren't supposed to weigh yourself everyday; but if I don't then I can rationalize that I haven't been as bad as I thought - even though I  know how bad I've been....) and lo and behold.....I had hit the "magic" number (actually an ounce under)!!  Ladies, you all know what I speak of.....

That number.  The one that you secretly, deep down, in your heart of hearts, aspire to reach - but know in that sane part of your brain that you will never, ever attain - and really?  Should you?  At your age?

I HAD HIT IT!!!!!  It totally made my morning (again, I know that it's not about the number but your health.... I KNOW!  In the rational part of my brain - but in the other part?  I was going "YESSSSS!!)

So this morning, I hop on the scale all confident and sassy . . . . and what do I see???? 

Apparently, I've gained FIVE pounds OVERNIGHT!!  Not the normal one or two pound flucuation that I've come to expect .... but FIVE WHOLE POUNDS!  AND?? To add insult to injury - I hadn't done anything different!  Nothing.  Not. One. Single. Thing!  How did this happen?!

Seriously??!!  How does that EVEN  physically happen??????

Personally, I think it is not possible and that someone should call someone and that this needs to be in the Guiness Book of World Records or something......

May 25, 2010

What's your Red Dress?

If you haven't already "met" her, I want to introduce you to Jenny. 

Jenny is another Texan gal, so of course she is fabulous.

Jenny is totally funny and irreverent (I'm sooooo not kidding - be warned) and fun and kinda crazy.  She also has a heart of gold, is a beautiful person and is an amazing writer.

When she wrote this post today, I knew I had to share.

I don't know about you - but I'm now looking for my red dress.

May 24, 2010

Apparently there is some little jezabelle running around trying to steal my son's heart.

Okay, so that's just the Mama-Bear in me.  It might not actually be real.  But time will tell.....(and if my recollection of high school girls is right.....)

Apparently, Man-Child came home with hearts doodled on his arm last week.  This I did not witness but Hubby did.  And asked MC about it.  According to MC it was just "some girl."  Hubby obviously does NOT have the skills of interrogation. *sigh*  Doesn't he realize he is supposed to be my eyes and ears when I'm not around????

But today he came home with his arm adorned with two hearts.  (What is it with her and drawing on people?  According to MC she is "artistic" which explains her randomly drawing on body parts. Apparently, this girl has a future in the tattoo industry.  I'm thinking her parents may be wasting their tuition money if that is the case......)

"What's this? Who is drawing on you?" you know, all the questions a mother would ask.  I was able to extract a bit of information. 

Including the fact that she has a boyfriend at another school.  And, she could be cute.  And maybe he might be interested if she didn't have the boyfriend.

She better not be playing with his heart - that's all I'm saying - 'cause y'all?  This is my "little" boy we are talking about here. 

That last one?  I knew she was a non-issue from the get go.  This one?  Is located right here.  In the same state.  Possibly (but not likely) in the same town.  Most definitely in driving distance.

Someone pass me a drink - I don't think I'm ready for this......

NO, NO, NO! A thousand times NO!

Guess what I saw when I got home today?

Uh-uh!  No way.  No siree Bob!  Ain't happening.  Period.  End of story.

I told you he was hanging out with his friend-that-is-allergic-to-work too much!!

I had to have time to process this.  You know, because he's still fragile - I can't go completely psycho on him - yet.  Thank goodness they were at the gym - because I might have lost it immediately had he been here.

Lucky for him Man-Child was stuck to us like glue when they got home (how do they instinctively know to do that?).  He stuck around just long enough for Hubby to ask me where his resume was on the computer as he wanted to send it to a contact. 

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

Hopefully, this is about "just in case" and not the beginnings of a mid-life crisis where he needs to "find" himself.  Because between you and me - we don't have time for that.  We have a tuition to pay and this, my friends, is more important to me than anything else.  He knows this 

I know that I am willing to make whatever sacrifices I have to make.  I can quit buying shoes - and just drool over them at the store until security escorts me out the door.  I can limit spending.  I'm even willing to sell the house.  Whatever.  But he will carry his share of the burden in order to keep Man-Child in this particular school for the next two years.  He knows how I feel about this.  College is a different story and we'll worry about it later.  But right now?  THIS IS MY PRIORITY.

I know my husband. And he will find a way to make ends meet. It's all tied up in his manhood and upbringing. He'll do whatever he has to - I know that. It's one of the many reasons I married him.

But, between you and me, this really kind of shook me for a minute.

And right now?  I don't need anymore shocks, thank you very much.

May 23, 2010

Utterly and totally bored......which can only lead to nostalgia

With the weather being so iffy this weekend, and the fact that we had another teenager for the whole weekend, I didn't make any plans to work in the yard or to do anything else for that matter. 

I have read and read and read.  To the point where I'm actually tired of reading (I know!  Me??).  I have picked kids up; dropped kids off; picked them back up again and then dropped them back wherever it was they needed to end up.  I've read some blogs.  I've done laundry, of course.  And thought.

I remember when Man-Child was small.  Life was absolutely hectic.  Even when we had no plans.  He was a busy little guy and there was always something going on or something to do.  Go to the park!  The library!  Ice cream!  Lunches to be made.  Come play with me mom!  Read to me!  Listen to me read.  Look at me!  See what I can do!

These days, life isn't as busy.  I'm not being asked to take him to the park and play.  I'm never asked to read to him or play with his "guys" (super hero figurines) or legos.  To kiss his boo-boos and make them better.  There are no more nap times, bath times and bed time routines.  Now, about all I do is run a taxi service.  And occasionally, help him figure out what he's doing wrong with the computer when a homework assignment is looming.

It's kinda sad.  For so many years, we've been mommy and daddy.  Now, we are just mom and dad.  Not as necessary as we once were.  No more are we the heros.  The ones who had all the answers and could always fix it - whatever "it" was.

And I know it's just going to get worse.  Once he has his license (and a car) we will be totally on our own.  And then there is college just a few short years down the road.  What will we do then?  How will we fill the time? 

It is apparent - I am going to need a hobby.  Something to keep me busy. 

I know I'm supposed to embrace the man he is becoming.  And I do.  Most of the time.  I know I am supposed to cherish each phase as it comes.  And I do.  Most of the time.  I know I'm supposed to relish the freedom that comes with him growing up.  And I do.  Most of the time.

But sometimes, like today, I really, really miss being a mommy.

Now that I've depressed the hell out of myself - I guess I'll go find something useful to do.....

May 21, 2010

TGIF, y'all!

Let's put this week to rest once and for all!

We all know how this week started (well, actually how last weekend started....) but now lets take a quick look-see to see how it ensued.

Hmmmm.  Most of it pretty boring.

Very boring, in fact.  So boring there were several times when I was in danger of falling asleep at my desk and slamming my face into my keyboard, risking a permanent tattoo of the alphabet (in QWERTY-fashion) across my forehead.

But today?  Ah, today was anything but boring.  For many reasons, but here is the one I've decided was most blog-worthy (do y'all do that too?  Go about your day thinking, "hmmm, is this event blog-worthy?  No?  How about this one?"  I do that all. day. long!)

Today my car got serviced. 

It had been doing an awful shake and shimmy when I happened to creep up past 60 mph.  If I happened to hit 70?  Well, let's just say it could get kinda dicey.

Admittedly, I've ignored it for a while ('cause really?  I'm driving a tin can with wheels - what else would you expect it to do?).  I finally mentioned it and a curious "fluttering" noise to my guy when he changed my oil last.  He looked into it.  I was more concerned about the fluttering noise, if the truth be told.  I figured it meant my wheel was about to fall off.  Turns out the fluttering noise was nothing - just a funny spot on my tire.  Nothing dangerous. 

Ahh, but the shuddering?  Apparently not good at all.  On many levels.  And?  It would be the reason my tire might fall off - while I'm rocketing down I-40 doing 75 mph 60 mph (who me speed?? No, never!  I swear!).

Apparently my lower ball joint was going - that really sounds like I need a hip replacement and nothing at all to do with a car....

And, apparently, I had it repaired just in time.  According to my guy - if I'd hit one deep pothole this morning.....let's just say it's entirely possible we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

So a mere $250 later I am apparently A-OK to be rocketing down I-40.

I'll have to test it out tomorrow....

May 20, 2010

WHAT did I just do??

You simply won't believe it.

I don't. 

Sometimes I truly wonder about my sanity.

I just told Hubby he needs to join the blogging world.

I know!  It's official.  I've lost it.

The one I've kept to myself.  (yes, he knows I blog, but he hasn't seen! He hasn't read! That I know of.....really? If he gave it any thought he could find me easily....)

Apparently, sometimes my mouth runs away with itself.  (see previous posting several days ago about offering to co-host a baby shower during uncertain times - I'd find it, but I'm lazy.)

Hubby came to me today and asked, "Do you know anyone who knows how to build a website?" (in retrospect, I probably do.....).  Apparently, he was thinking about starting a cooking website. 

Me, the ever helpful spouse responded, "Start a blog."  He - who obviously has NO idea what a blog is all about - said,

"No.  I want something interactive, where I can have ads and answer questions."  (I'll patiently wait while you laugh hysterically).  Yet, I persisted.

"You can have that with a blog.  You can have ads.  Blogging is VERY interactive.  You can even buy your own domain name and some people can actually make money off blogging."  He responded with, "What's a domain name?"  I explained it all in detail to him.  And bless me, if he didn't wander away seeming interested.

So, what's the problem, you might be asking?

Well, if he starts blogging - as his beautiful and talented wife I will have to follow him (although I have absolutely no interest in cooking....) and as he is my very manly and studly husband he will have to follow me (although - most of the time - he has absolutely no interest in what I have going on in my head [or so it seems]).

I realize this blog is tame.  There is nothing to hide here.  But it's mine.  If I want to bitch about Hubby and Man-Child, I can - and do.  At length.  If I want to talk about people we know - I do.  And it's nothing new to either of them.  Whatever I say to y'all (mostly) I say to them. 

But it's mine!!

I don't want to share!

But I do want him to find a hobby (I always have - even before the layoff.).  I want him to do something that he loves.  And I really think (especially if he got started and realized how much fun it is) he might like blogging (although I also have a nagging suspiscion that I might be doing most of the typing....).

So what do y'all think?  Should I encourage this -- or leave well enough alone?

May 19, 2010

The positives & negatives

Am trying to find the positives in having Hubby home all day.  So far, the pickings have been slim. (and yes, I know!  We are only four working days into this layoff.....)

But this morning he took Man-Child to school.  And while that doesn't sound like a big deal, it kinda is.  See, Man-Child doesn't attend a neighborhood school.  His school is about twenty minutes west of our house.  My job?  About twenty minutes east of our house.  (Am trying to think if I got the directions right....) With morning traffic thrown in (and if Man-Child drives - that means we go the back way and stay off the highway because he is nowhere near ready for the morning commute yet!) - all together it's about an hour round-trip for me to leave the house in the morning to drop him off and get to work.  Which I don't mind - most of the time.  But this morning?  I realized, I'd get to sleep in at least another 45 minutes to an hour (well, I would have had someone decided to inform me that he was driving before my alarm went off at the usual time....).  So am currently thinking this should become the new norm for now.  I am currently perfecting my pitch to Hubby.

Another positive - he has dinner waiting.  Okay, okay.  I realize - he's always had dinner waiting and, yes, I know. I don't generally eat it.  BUT - he is trying new things and loving it.  That's a positive for him and Man-Child.

He's trying really hard to work out at least twice a day.  Once in the morning and then again when the Weight-lifting Machine (aka Man-Child) gets home from school.  This can be nothing but good.

He's also planning to get some things done around the house.  Another positive.  But yet a negative.

A negative because that involves spending money.  I know, me!  Freaking out about money....but it's true.  Must mean I'm finally growing up *sigh*  We aren't in a bind.  But I don't want to get into a bind any sooner than we have to, if at all, if you know what I mean.

Another negative?  The house is never spotless.  Because he's home.  Yes, he picks his socks up and puts them in the laundry.  But he doesn't see the things I see.  You know - the clutter.  Like the cooking crap (spices & whatnot) all over the counter.  We have plenty of cabinets and a pantry.  There is no need for that stuff to be left out on the counter.  Drives me bananas.  I walked into the kitchen this morning and immediately saw an entire cabinets worth of stuff left on the counter.  My obsessive self immediately began to itch and curse at the same time.

Don't even get me started on the paper and stuff left on the dumping ground - excuse me - I mean the dining room table!

I remember when I was laid off (or, more accurately, when I quit (but forced them to say I was laid off) since they hadn't paid me for three months...tomato - tahmato) the house was freaking spotless.  The house had never been that clean.  I'm trying really hard to remember - he just doesn't see things the way I do and I  know that in reality? Even when he worked it didn't stay completely spotless - 'cause yes, I do have a teenager that lives here.....and I work outside the home.

The one big, big negative that I've seen so far is that he's bored.  So I know he's hanging out with his chronically unemployed friend.  This guy, although he's a great guy (he really is - in his own way), is allergic to work.  Seriously.  He should have been born a man of leisure.  With his own country.  Anyway.  In addition to being allergic to work - he likes to drink.  A LOT.  But to be fair, he's working hard on this (or so I understand).  So although Hubby has never exhibited any of these traits - I'm worried about peer pressure (for a 50 year old man!).  Because really, wouldn't we all just sit around with our friends and drink the day away if we could?

Which, in turn, makes those things he wants to do around the house?  Well, it turns those back into a positive.  Because that will keep him busy and away from the bad influence.

I know I'm controlling.  I know this.  And I'm trying really, really hard not to point some of these things out as we are still in the early days yet.  So as much as I want to crack out that Honey-Do list - I haven't.  I know he's in a tough place right now (he's still so, so angry). 

But another positive?  He's looking better than he has in years.  The stress and tension are almost gone (unless he starts thinking or talking about the whole thing).  He's not sleeping too well - and that makes him cranky (he actually snapped at me this morning!  Usually it's the other way around as I am the one who is not the morning person around here).  But other than that - he's looking great.  That alone makes all this worth while.

The biggest positive of all?  That once this is over and done with - I feel sure that he will be in a better place.  And we will be a stronger family.

Seriously, I don't want to turn this blog into one big "OMG, Hubby lost his job - whatever will we do" blog.   This blog was started to get the stuff out of my head.  And right now, while it's still fresh?  Well, that's what's in there.  So please bear with me.  Eventually we will return to the normal randomness that is me.

May 17, 2010

Now that we made it through the weekend – that sick feeling is back with a vengenance (and a surprise ending).

During the weekend, it was easy to forget.  In fact, the weekend was quite normal.  We went to a cookout, chores were completed, etc.

Today, the fact that Hubby is out of work smacked me right in the face.

I was quickly reminded of the fact that when I once again realized - I don’t like having him home during our morning routine.  I tried hard to hide this from him.  I don't think I did a good job.

No, I don’t want to have conversation while I’m having that first cup of coffee and reading the paper. No, I don’t like tripping over anyone while I’m trying to put on my makeup or do my hair, or making the bed, or anything else I might be doing.  Man-Child knows the routine and we pretty much don't even see each other until we are in the car and ready to go.   I’m sure I’ll get used to it....eventually. (even better, let's hope I don't have time to get used to it!)  Although, I’m sure Man-Child definitely appreciated having his dad home as he got a full “weekend” type breakfast this morning.  French toast, sausage, etc.

My email also provided reminders.  I had two in my inbox this morning.  One from a friend trying to coordinate details for a girls-weekend to her hometown in June.  I’ve responded telling her what was going on and that I couldn’t commit.  Bless her.  She immediately responded - swore it was her treat and that she'd have her entire family on the lookout for a job.  Of course, I'm not going to take her up on that.  I'd rather go when I can be sure to pay my own way. 

The other one?  I’m slapping myself silly over.  At a cookout this weekend, I offered to co-host a baby shower for a friend.  Because I forgot!  How could I have forgot?!  I forgot because everything seemed so normal.  So although it's entirely possible that Hubby will be working by the time the shower rolls around - I really need to bow out now - just in case.  I feel horrible about it.

And, I need to quit job-searching.  I need to concentrate on my job.  But I can’t.  I know it’s the control freak in me.  I also know that I am more proficient on the computer and using it to find information; which then leads me to think that he’s missing stuff.  But, I can’t do that during office hours.  Do you know how hard it is to restrain myself? (But, since I typed most of this earlier and am only now editing and tweaking it - you'll be glad to know that I was able to restrain myself.  For today at least.)

We’ve also learned of some things that went on behind the scenes.  It is positively Machiavellian.  Seriously.  And one person involved?  Well, let’s just say that although he claims to be a fine Christian man - his actions say something completely different.  A wolf in sheep's clothing is more like it.  Ah well, he will be un-masked in the near future I’m sure.  Again, I’m arming myself with karma. (Come on karma!!  Kick in already while I am still around to see the results!  Please!)

Hubby is angry.  Very angry.  I don’t blame him.  I understand.  I’m angry for him.  I’ve had to explain to Man-Child that this is a normal reaction.  And that his dad will be going through a lot of emotions in the coming days, as will we all I'm sure.

Once again, thanks for your kind words and support.  It means the world to me.  And this medium?  The ability to get it all off my chest?  That is life-saving.  I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this outlet.

And to prove that this post isn't a complete downer - I share these:

M-C when he was probably about 9 months old.  It was our first trip to the zoo.  Apparently he had a great time.

Man-Child (about 10 yrs) and a neighbor who adored him; because he was always willing to play whatever she wanted. 

These two pictures have permanent residence on the refrigerator because they never, ever fail to make me smile. 

Oh will he kill me if he ever sees this last one out there for all the world to remember, sshh!  Don't tell him, it's a secret.  Just between you and me.

May 15, 2010

Open letter to Blogger......

Dear Blogger -

Seriously?  What is wrong with you?

First, way back when, you ate my template and then gave me total grief when I tried to fix it. 

Then, for no apparent reason, you quit updating Blogs of Note (which really, in the scheme of things, isn't a big deal since I've only found ONE blog from there that I love - so yeah, you might want to revise the way you choose some of them.)

Next you decided it would be fun to quit providing me updates to a few of my favorite blogs - seriously, uncool!

Now?  Now, I'm beginning to realize that you are playing with my mind by not posting comments that I make and letting me think I'm following someone - only to realize later that I'm not - even though I clearly remember making the comments AND going through the process of following someone.

I must tell you, Blogger.  I am not amused.

And, just so you know, your whole Help area / forum thing?  It seems to be a waste of time as I've yet to find the answers to any of these issues.

I will (im)patiently await your reply and/or immediate remedy to above problems.

Thank you,

P.S. - I've just noticed you've fixed the Blogs of Note thing.  Wow, only two minutes after I hit publish!  Way to go, Blogger!  That's what I call service.  Now let's see how long it takes to fix the other issues.

May 14, 2010

You guys totally rock! And an update....and oh my gosh, I haven't used this many parentheses in I don't know how long!

First of all thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind and wonderful words of support.  Mrs. Lovely has even stepped up and agreed to be my alibi should I act on the feelings of murderous intent that I have toward the ex-boss.  You guys are AWESOME beyond words.

When I wrote yesterday's post I was terrified.  When Hubby gave me the news - I can't even begin to describe how I felt.  I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.  The shock was horrific.  Today's not so bad. I'm a bit worried but not gut-wrenchingly sick like yesterday.  It's amazing how your mind/body can absorb that kind of shock and just move on like, seemingly, nothing is wrong.

Hubby went out with a friend last night and tied one on.  And I don't blame him one bit.  In fact, I was kinda surprised that they made it home as early as they did.  I had planned to sit at home and quietly tie one on; but my dear friend came by (wife of the guy hubby went out with) and we just sat and talked.  And that's what I really needed.

I had thought I might stay home today with Hubby and work through some things.  But when morning came, I went to work.  A couple of  thing factored into this decision.  One - he needs time to de-compress.  His job was very stressful.  So stressful that I figured I could call it murder if he had a heart attack or something while on the job.  And two - what good would my staying home - worrying - do?  Not much.  Oh - and yeah - that whole, annoying problem I have kicked in - it's called a work ethic. *sigh*  So I went to work.

As I mentioned yesterday, the financial situation isn't the best - but it's not too terribly bleak.  So, on that front, I'm okay . . . for now.  And at least, with my company, our health insurance is covered.  One less thing to worry about.

The worst is the uncertainty of it all.  Right now the job market really, really sucks.  We live in a smaller city, town, whatever - where there is not much call for what Hubby does and is really good at.  Then, dare I say it, there's his age.  An applicant of his age and experience is not a desirous choice.  Why?  Because with age and experience you expect/demand a higher salary - so of course some newbie whose salary requirements are lower is much more attractive.  And this is what we think happened here.

Hubby saw a job advertisement listed a few weeks ago that sounded suspiciously like his job.  We joked (can you believe?) about what if it was his?  Then his boss gave some big raises to a few of Hubby's key employees saying that they deserved these raises (although one really didn't (he's a slacker & a complainer) and he'd been saying for the last two years that there was a salary freeze on -so the sudden change of heart?  Suspicious).  Hubby's theory (that we have yet to prove) is that they've hired someone to replace him already - for much less money (and between us? Hubby wasn't making nearly enough for what he did - or for that matter, enough to justify letting him go for "financial" reasons but since his isn't a "visible" position it was probably the easiest to cut) and that those raises were given to keep key people from jumping ship.  Time will tell if that theory pans out.  And if it does?  It will be interesting to see how long the "new guy" puts up with all the crap that this job entails.....

I haven't had a chance to talk to Hubby to see what his state of mind is today.  Yesterday he was scarily calm (sooooo not like him).  But before he went out, I could see that he was getting angry.  Today we've been like ships crossing in the night.  He was still asleep when I left (the residuals of last night I'm sure...) and he only called once (as usual) this morning and didn't stay on the phone to chat.  When I arrived home he was off carting Man-Child to meet up with friends for dinner and a movie.  I think Hubby had planned to join in for dinner (which apparently he did - as here it is an hour and a half later.....).

Man-Child took it rather well last night.  But I know he is worried.  But such a sweet boy he is - he left a note for his dad to find this morning that basically told him how much he loved him and that in the whole scheme of things it was only a job and that he had the important things - us.  I cried when I read it (hell, I am almost crying just remembering it!)  Despite my complaints - and my one attempt to give him away on Twitter (I almost had Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst convinced that she should take him!) - I think I'll keep Man-Child around a bit longer.

So far, I've only told two people - friends from work.  Because seriously?  How do you broach that subject?  "Good morning!  How are you?  Did you have a good evening?  Cute shoes! So guess what...."  Talk about an instant downer.  But the amount of support from them (and y'all) is amazing.  It's funny, both of them immediately suggested that Hubby should do something that involved cooking (yes, they've tasted the culinary delights that he's been known to produce).  Who knows, maybe this will lead him down that path (although he doesn't have the "training" for it).  God knows, he couldn't run a restaurant - too much pressure, but catering on a small scale maybe? 

So, at this point, who knows what the future holds.  But this much has been determined, with the love and support of friends (yes that includes you) and family, we will face it together and we will be fine.  We WILL be fine.

May 13, 2010

Gigi's Rotten, Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Day.....

I'm sick to my stomach.  I'm scared.  I'm angry.  I'm (almost) speechless.

Today, I received not one but three phone calls at work from Hubby. 

Usually, he calls me in the morning just to check in.  Any other information that flows between us during the day is usually via email.  Unless it's something important.  I can't remember why he called the second time.  It wasn't important.

But....the third phone call?  The one I wish I'd never received?  It was important.  Uber-important.

He called to let me know that he'd just been let go.

After 12 years of giving his blood, sweat and tears to that place.

What ticks me off?  Is that he is least-paid and respected manager; but yet he was the one who always managed to pull the miracles off.  Yet he was the only one released. 

You know what else ticks me off?  He was only given about 3 weeks severance - for 12 years of service.  For 12 years of being on call 24/7.  For 12 years of (pardon me but...) fucking with our family time.

At first I was angry that he called me at work - why couldn't he wait till I got home.  Do you know how hard it was to hold it together for the rest of the day?

But then I realized, it was better that he did tell me before hand.  So I could compose myself for our son.  Who is a worrier (just like his dad).  And I can tell, he's worried.  He asked me when his dad was out of earshot if we will be okay.

I know will be okay (hopefully) in the short term.  Yeah, our finances aren't were they should be, but at least until unemployment runs out (hopefully we won't get to that point!) we should be okay.

I try really hard to look for the positives (usually) in most situations - so I'm hoping that this is a "one door closing and another one opening" type of thing (pleeeeaaaasssssee let it be that type of thing).

So far, Hubby is taking it far better than me.

Like I said, he's a worrier.  And for the most part of our marriage, since he's taken on that role I haven't worried.  Even when things were pretty darn bad.

But now?  I'm worried. 

And his ex-boss?  He'd better be worried too.  Cause if I see him on the street...... let's just say I'm not making any promises that the car won't suddenly jump the curb and mow him down.....

Who's willing to be my alibi?

May 12, 2010

Someone send a memo to management! And a few crazed, ramblings.....

Not reading y'all at work (during DOWN TIME) is seriously cramping my style.

Somebody send a memo to management.  ASAP.  This must be remedied.  STAT! (how'd you like the use of acronyms there?)

Granted, I've not been particularly inspired lately (i.e., nothing has been fantastically funny (to me anyway) or has horrifically ticked me off.....) but still...

If I get my reading done early.  Then there isn't so much "catch up" time later.  Which gives me plenty of time for "witty" (at least in my mind! If you feel they aren't - keep it to yourself...) comments and plenty of time to think - which in turn gives me blog fodder (if you actually saw into my brain - you would understand that statement - there is so much swirling around up there).

But despite the constraints that "The Man" has put on me - I have been able to create two posts today.  Thanks only to a miracle (and Respectfully Yours).  And, that is, if you actually consider this a "post" rather than just some ramblings of a crazed woman.

Ahhh, BUT you ARE reading the ramblings of a crazed we jump from one subject to another.

Let's chat about Nair, shall we?  They have this fantastical, new product.  It's called Shower Power.  According to the directions (and the website) this product has amazing water-resistent properties so that you can use it in the shower.  If you follow the directions.

So guess what?  I attempted to use the product for some "maintenance."  I followed the directions.  Emmm, didn't seem to work as well as advertised.

But I will give it another shot tomorrow.  Maybe their idea of waiting a "minute" and my idea of a "minute" is two different things.....we'll see if this topic gets re-visited tomorrow as  to whether or not it worked or if it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

Now let's move on to this Disqus-thing that is overtaking blogs everywhere.  Okay, I understand it.  As a blogger you do want some kind of control over your blog.  You don't want spam.  You want to be able to respond, etc.  I get it.

Here is what I don't get.  How come on one blog that utilizes Disqus, I don't have to type anything in?  When I check on that blog it automatically knows it's me and fills in all the info? (which if you think about it too much, could be kinda scary)  But on all the other blogs?  I have to type in everything?

Someone PLEASE explain this to me.  Because if there is a way to make it so my info fills in automatically every time that would make me happy (if not slightly paranoid).

Now, those of y'all that utilize Disqus - please don't take offense.  I will fill in all the info requested when I have something to say; believe me (have I ever let you down?).  But the whole why one blog recognizes me and the others don't is driving me crazy.  So if anyone can help me figure this one out - you'll be my best friend forever!!

Halloween 2005

Respectfully Yours from Here Is What I Think . . . has tagged me to play along in this game. Basically, you go to the 8th folder and choose the 8th picture to post about. (Actually this all sounds vaguely familiar…..)

Anyway, I had to tweak the rules a bit for privacy reasons. Apparently, the 8th folder/8th picture is of someone else’s small child. And since they don’t know I blog, I can’t very well go and ask if she minds if I put the image out there.

So since I have various folders with pictures, I went to another and pulled the 8th image from there. And this is what I found (which is actually one of my all time favorite pictures):

This is Man-Child when he was about 10 or so dressed up for Halloween. He was going as a big shot. He walked into the kitchen and started out with a whole routine – asking about his driver, waving around a wad of cash (fake of course), puffing on his (fake) cigar and here is where I captured him in character.

I actually ended up using this picture for New Year’s cards (unlike the insanity that is Christmas cards, I don’t do that on a yearly basis – but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to send out cards with this image and a message reading, Hope you have a Happy & Prosperous New Year).

Now I suppose I’m to pass this on, but I think I’ve noticed that a majority of you have already participated in this tag (or one very similar) and since I'm a rebel that way – I’m going to leave it open to anyone who wants to play along.

Oh, and since I already changed the rules, feel free to do the same! 

Thanks, RY!  This game brought a smile to my face as I found this picture again!

May 10, 2010

A look at my Mother's Day

It was a beautiful day, if rather chilly, but the sun was shining so we were off to a good start.

Apparently, the guys left the shopping till the last minute.  But that was fine.

I'm 14 1/2 years into this Mom-gig.  I'm not going to be receiving the sweet, hand-made, sticky (from glue and who knows what else) cards anymore.

Basically, I was in a "acknowledge me and move on" kind of mood.

(Which, between you and me?  I blame on PMS - which somehow seems to be worsening with age.....)

Anyway, I started the day off with a load of laundry.  Yes, Hubby offered to do it.  He gets many gold stars for that (anyone who at least offers to do laundry? I'll love them for life!).  But I have a "system."  So, I told him no, thank you (although in retrospect, I should have at least let him do his own clothes.....).

Then there was errands to be ran.  Which apparently, worked to their plan.  For whatever reason, that I have yet to figure out - we have only one card for a particular store.  I had it.  Hubby asked for it.  (Why I had it, I'll never know since he's the only one that uses it - which may explain why we only have one card instead of two....).  When I handed it over - I told him, I don't need anything.  And I was serious.  I don't.  We made a plan to meet back at the house to head out for an early dinner, hoping to avoid the crowds.

After a frustrating morning/early afternoon of running errands (again-PMS and idiot drivers....) I headed home.  And there, I found this......

from my son.  Who apparently, wanted to make me cry with the card.  I didn't (again, blaming PMS - usually I'm a sucker for a poignant card).  But had I known his intent, I'm sure I could have found a few tears.

There was also some beautiful heart-shaped ruby earrings from hubby - sorry no picture as they are currently in my ears.  Sometimes when he ignores me, it's a good thing.

When they finally came back home we went off to dinner.  Which was wonderful.  From what I can remember. 

In addition to PMS, I'd been suffering with allergies all day.  So finally, in desperation, I took some medication.  But did so un-thinkingly.  Normally, I only take one pill as I simply cannot handle a full dose.  But for Man-Child I am usually doling out two pills at a time.  So in that mode of thinking.....yup, you guessed it; I took two.  And had some wine with dinner.  By the end of it, I could hardly keep my eyes open and, for the life of me couldn't figure out why.  Apparently, was too groggy to put two and two together.  It's a good thing Hubby was driving!  There was no way I could have gotten us out of the parking lot, much less all the way home.

Upon arriving home, I took a much needed, quick cat-nap and then went to finish laundry.  Where I then discovered Man-Child's clothes littering the floor.  After threatening to set them all on fire if he didn't get them off the floor and into a hamper or, preferably, into the washing machine immediately I then discovered peace and quiet for the rest of the evening as they then hid from me.

OH!  And the kicker?  We ran out of propane yesterday.  Yup, the stuff that enables us (I mean Hubby) to cook and the ability to have hot water was gone, nada, kaput!  Hubby had ordered it last week.  They never came.  It was really lovely trying to get ready for work this morning.......luckily they came today (or there would have been hell to pay - PMS, remember?).  I will be talking to them tomorrow about a scheduled delivery from here on out - particularly since this one cost us a whopping $600!   Hmmmm, maybe those earrings should go back??  Noooooooooo!!!

And then, as I was taking pictures of the flowers and the card, I noticed this......

This was a Mother's Day present from Man-Child from many, many moons ago (1st or 2nd grade?).  *sigh*  This is what nearly brought me to tears.  The little paper flower on the popsicle stick says "I love you."  and has his name on it.

I had just found this the other day - pushed way back behind the mixer.  I'm sure someone (hubby) placed it there to get it out of the way - he doesn't believe in decorative or sentimental touches apparently.  I should have left it there.  I pulled it out and put it on the window sill so that I could smile every time I saw it.  Someone opened the window without moving it; and this is the result.

Here's hoping I can piece it back together - again.  Someone has already broken this once before....

So what have we learned here?

Mother's Day + allergies + PMS + over-medication + no hot water + out of control laundry + broken treasure = not a very happy mom (although her ears are spectacularly decked out). 

I'm sooooo ready for next year!

May 7, 2010

Why is it always celebrated with food?

My husband believes that any and every celebration cannot be celebrated unless there is food involved.

I'm just guessing here, but am assuming it's because he's Italian?

Don't get me wrong.  I like food.  I even eat it on occasion. 

But every, single holiday or celebration?  There must be copious amounts of food.  Even if it's only the three of us.  And although Man-Child can put away just about twice his weight in food - even his appetite is no match for the amount of food his father can produce.

Today, he asked me if I wanted to have a cook out for Mother's Day.  Emmmm.  Not really.  Whether it's just us or with friends - this means cleaning, cleaning and some more cleaning.  And isn't it kind of against the law for me to have to do any kind of labor on Mother's Day?  Well, okay, maybe not against the law - but it certainly isn't in the whole spirit of the day, now is it?

I am certainly not complaining about Hubby.  Because this is a man who can (and does) cook - and if we are having a cook out - either just us or a whole bunch of friends - he does it all.  But I'm in charge of cleaning before, during and usually after (although he will help if asked; sometimes.  Unless he's in the middle of cooking and then he's all "Can't you see I'm cooking here?  And I'm all, "Well, sorry!  But this can't be moved/done/fixed by just me! And you know this must be done before the guests arrive.") - so yeah not exactly what I want to be doing on Mother's Day.  A day when I should be waited on hand and foot.  Loved unconditionally.  A day when no one argues with me or talks back.  And I should be lavished with gifts.

So I think we've reached a compromise.  I believe we are going out to eat.

At least I won't have to clean the dishes.....

In case I don't get a chance let me wish all you Mothers out their a very happy day - doing whatever it is your heart desires!

May 6, 2010

If you thought I was quiet before......and a follow up

Let me preface this by saying:  I don't blog at work.  Period. 

Yes, I may take a spare moment to type up some notes, or the beginnings of a blog, but that's it - I do not post.

I will however read blogs at work - during down time only - and very, very occasionally will I post comments.  That's it. (Because truly?  It's the only way I can keep up - you guys are busy writers!)

I tried to log in yesterday - and apparently Big Brother's filter has finally caught up with me.  *sigh* I knew this day was bound to come.

Although, I have found a way around it so that I could continue to read you all - I still can't comment.  The problem is that if I read it - and want to comment - I have to somehow remember that I wanted to comment, where I wanted to comment and what I wanted to say that was so desperately important that I say it right then.

So, I have decided (for the time being) that I will not even attempt to read at work (which truly?  If I'm staring at a computer screen during down time at least I am looking busy as compared to staring out the window and sighing heavily every few minutes.....) which means that I will have limited time to read and comment in the wee hours of the morning and in the evening; which is when Man-Child is leaning over my shoulder every two minutes saying, "Ya done yet?"  "How about now?"  "Are you still on the computer?" (Yeah, I'm thinking someone might be getting a computer come birthday time.....for the two of them to share to leave this one to me!  Although, I really, really, really like having the control of knowing where he's been and what he's been up too.....'cause y'all?  Although our little corner is nice and safe - not all of the internet is such a nice place)

Anyway - I wanted to follow up on the post I did the other day - you know about the slacker.  (Yeah, I tried to respond to some of y'all personally - but apparently you don't have an email attached to your name.....)Yes, I agree that a supervisor needs to be told BUT since I wasn't the one who discovered her I really can't say anything (hearsay, you know).  Plus, office politics being what they are - the one doing the telling could be considered "catty" at best.  Another thing would be the big boss (who would really need to be the one told - as her immediate supervisor shields her) isn't exactly known for his listening skills or for his ability to manage "staff" issues (believe me, I've lived to tell the tale).  So the slacker will just continue to get away with stuff like this until management catches her - and it'll happen.  Eventually.  Probably long after I'm dead.  But it'll happen - I'm sure of it.  Anyone that emboldened is bound to slip up sooner or later.

May 3, 2010

So seriously?? How do some people get away with it???

So.....we've got this one woman in our department.

She cries and moans about how over-worked she is - all the freakin' time.

Seriously?  I've been at this company for almost nine years, in this particular department for at least six years.  And can I tell you?  I have yet to meet one person who is over-worked.  Period.  In fact, I'm thinking my company should hire me as an efficiency consultant; because I know what dead wood looks like when I see it.....

Anyway, this particular woman has been known to go "missing" during the day.  Her lunch hours seem particularly long and her days particularly short.

The woman who held my job before me (who has since left the company) once told me (after she left) that this woman had told her that she would leave her purse at her desk and her computer on so folks would think she was around somewhere.  (ok - first off, how bright is that?  To actually tell someone who works with you your ploy?).  She once mentioned to another employee that she'd gone out to see a movie in the middle of the day!  (yeah, not the brightest bulb in the package....) So yeah, we all know that she is screwing off.  Not our business.  Whatever.  Karma, baby.  (unfortunately, karma seems to take it's own sweet time about coming around....)

Until....she starts foisting work off on the rest of us.  Which, really?  Would be fine if you are sooooo swamped, but when your not....doesn't really foster that team atmosphere now does it?  But whatever, none of us are so busy that we can't handle it.  In fact, some of us even welcome it - because nothing makes a day longer than having nothing to do.   And besides it kind of makes us look even better when the annual reviews come around....

But today?  Do you know what happened today?

Her immediate supervisor was out (and he's a whole 'nother post in himself.....and I'm pretty sure he knows what she's up to but doesn't care because he's cut from the same cloth.....).  And suddenly, she went missing.  Normally, we wouldn't really notice because she's around the corner.  But then not one, but two, people came around asking if we'd seen her. . . of course, we hadn't - but antennaes were raised at the mention of her computer being on and her purse sitting there.... 

A little while later, a co-worker went to drop some paperwork off in the missing woman's supervisor's office.  It was locked, but the co-worker had a key so she let herself in.  Guess who was in the floor? With the lights off?  Apparently, when she heard the key, she began to scramble and act like she'd dropped something.  But no, it was pretty apparent....she was sleeping in there!

This woman comes and goes as she pleases.  She disappears for long stretches of time.  She is foisting her work off on other people - and . . . she is napping in the her boss' office? 

First of all - where does she get the nerve?  I could never even begin to think about pulling some of the stuff she does (but then again, I have a work ethic....).  And particularly in this economy!  People are fighting for jobs out there - and for a job at this company?  Forget about it.  Most of the people here are "lifers" and for good reason!  And second of all, seriously?  Does she really think no one notices?  Or makes comments? 

I would like to think she's seriously worried (I hope) that my co-worker doesn't drop a comment to key people.  But somehow....I doubt it.  She's skated this long - why should she start worrying now?

Seriously, they need to hire me as a consultant - I know dead wood when I see it.


Yeah, I know.  Three posts in one day....I'm on a roll!

I CAN be a domestic goddess. . . sometimes...

It is well documented here, there and everywhere that I don't cook.  Ever.

I attempted to way, way, way back when.  When Man-Child was just an infant and I was a stay at home mom.  Then after the great oregano meat-loaf incident (what? I never told you about that?  Hmmm, let's just keep it that way for now....) Hubby asked me to just stop!  Apparently, he wanted to live or something.  I don't know.  Whatever.  I said sure, no problem and (thankfully) haven't cooked since.

Now, I will bake (because that is not cooking).  In fact I (usually) enjoy baking.  Unless there's pressure.  And usually there is pressure since it involves baking for an event or something.

Man-Child asked me to make him some muffins yesterday.  But I was so not in the mood.  It was hot and I was in the middle of a book that is turning out to be very good; good enough that I may tell you about it when I am done - maybe; we'll see (the way I've been lately I just can't make any commitments! I keep forgetting about them!).  Anyway, I didn't make them - I know - bad mom! Right? Especially since they'd been gone all weekend - but I was in the middle of a good book and it was hot!  So I get a pass.  Plus I'd kinda gotten into the groove of doing whatever I wanted to do . . .

Anyway, since today is his "hard" workout day (the kind of workout where he needs his dad to go with him to spot him on the weights - this means I have the house to myself for about 1 1/2 hours after I get home) I decided to make him cranberry muffins (see! Totally making up for yesterday's bad mom moment!).

So basically, this is the long way of telling you I made muffins.  And since I'm nice that way, I thought I'd share the recipe.  Muffins from scratch is super, super easy and, according to Man-Child, very, very yummy (although we'll have to see what his opinion on these are as I've never made cranberry muffins before).

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sale
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Heat the oven to 400⁰

Grease muffin pan, or line with paper cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, milk and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir until just moistened (batter should be lumpy).  Fold in cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling each about two-thirds full.

Bake for about 18 minutes; or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy.

Now since I'm a bad, bad blogger - I didn't take any pictures of the process, but I did manage to remember to take one of the result (before M-C gets home & eats the evidence!).

They look good . . .


Well, Man-Child just arrived home and informed me that in his "opinion as muffin expert they are AWESOME!"  

So, I guess with that recommendation . . . if you are in the mood for muffins and have a few minutes to spare - try them out.  From the time I began to make them, popped them in the oven and cleaned the kitchen it only took 30 minutes; then 18 more for them to cook.  So yeah, I can kinda rock that Domestic Goddess title (every once in a while).

Electron Boy (and the other Super Heroes)

Did anybody happen to catch this story? It’ll bring a tear to your eye and a lump to your throat.

Go read it. I’ll wait.

Any words I have on this subject are completely and totally inadequate to cover the way this story touched my heart.

We all know that the folks at the Make-A-Wish foundation are utterly amazing. But so are all the other hundreds of folks that pitched in to help make this kid’s dream a reality.

All you have to do is type the words Electron Boy into Google and you will get over 800,000 hits. There is now a Fans of Electron Boy page on Facebook, which at the time I am writing this has 2,508 fans.  And this just happened last Thursday.

Although we all know that there are good people out there; wonderful, kind, generous and loving people – sometimes it’s hard to remember when most of the articles you read in the paper, online or see on television cover so many bad things – murder, drugs, natural disasters, war; etc.  The list depressingly goes on and on.

And then you come across an article like this one. And it makes you cry into your coffee cup as you read it. And your heart swells. And once again you are reminded that there is good in the world and that there are people out there who are actively spreading the love around – not for fame, fortune or recognition. But just because they wanted to help make a little boy’s wish come true – and give him, in his own words, The best day of his life.

And these folks? The ones that pulled this off? They are true superheroes in my book – right up there with Electron Boy.

May 1, 2010

Another episode where I show you how insane I can be.....(titled this because I couldn't come up with a better title; but at least I remembered to title it)

It has been quiet here at Gigi's casa today.  And while there has been some goofing off and loafing around much has been accomplished.

It's amazing to me how much can get done when there aren't other people around to obstruct my objectives.

Just as I was settling down for a quiet evening on the back porch with my glass of wine, expecting that chores were done for the night what should continually catch my eye?  My poor sad Chinese Privet.  You remember, the one I moved that wasn't doing so well? 

Despite all the love, water, plant food, prayer, threats, cajoling, etc.  It is dying.  In fact, it is on it's very last legs.  I expect we'll be having a funeral soon.

So leaving the computer and my glass of wine, I went in search of a shovel.  Why, you ask?  Because I figured I needed to move it - - again.  (yes, yes.  I'm insane.  I know.  Hubby reminds me of this constantly).  It simply had to be done right at that very moment!

I had determined that it wasn't happy where I had placed it.  So I figured I'd put it somewhere else.  Where it might get some more sun; somewhere it might thrive.  And if not, well then at least it would have the sun shining down on it as it struggles through it's dying days.

Basically, I figured at this point I had nothing to lose.

So it's done.  Even though it's leaves are curled and kinda crunchy - it somehow looks happier over here, don'cha think?

Ignore the dirt and water hose - I've yet to get the mulch for this area (it's on the list). 
 If it lives, it will hopefully hide the hideous box.

Alas, my poor forsythia (that Hubby RAN OVER) is not faring so well either.

Hmmm, all my mulch has washed away (add it to the never-ending list!)

But lest you think that I am a total plant-murderer (but yes, Hubby is!  Evidence above.); I thought I'd share some of my successes in the yard.

My phlox (to the left) and coreopsis are completely taking over.  The phlox was absolutely stunning when it was in bloom and the coreopsis should start blooming in another month or so.  In the middle, which you can barely see are my Asiatic Lilies - which have also doubled since last year.  They will have to moved after they bloom so they can have room to breathe next year.  Apparently this little corner is plant heaven.  I never expected any of this stuff to get so big!  (Hmmm, maybe if I put that dying privet over here a miracle might occur....) 

This is called Artemisia, or a type of wormwood.  It has also doubled since last year.  I love this stuff.  It is so soft to the touch - I guess you could call it the cashmere of plants.  I'm hoping it stays.  The last time I used it, it failed to return after the second year.

My irises are blooming beautifully this year.  I got lucky when I bought these last year in that they are double bloomers which I didn't realize at the time.  After these blooms die off, they will bloom again sometime in the summer, I think.  At least, they did last year.

I cannot for the life of me ever remember what this is called.  But it is crazy the way it takes off.  Last year it grew out of the bed practically covered the front walk.  It is actually considered an annual, but apparently in our region it can be a perennial.  But I mainly took this picture because of the toadstools.  I love these things and buy at least one whenever I see them.  Unfortunately, as they are pottery they are fragile.  And being in a home with two guys is dangerous for them.  I can't tell you how many I've already lost.

Actually this was a very theraputic post.  As you know I'm re-doing the front bed.  And it is very slow going for the "want it done and want it done NOW" kind of girl that I am.  So this has just reminded me of all the good stuff that has been done (and crossed of the list) and that, with time (and patience), eventually that front bed will be done.

In the meantime?  Send your good thoughts and prayers for my poor Chinese Privet.....

It needs all the help it can get.