May 31, 2011

I should probably write a post so you won't think I've fallen off the face of the earth....*sigh*

No, I'm not sighing because I don't want to be in contact with you all; I'm sighing because I really don't have much to say that isn't moaning about something.  And, it seems to me, that's all I've been doing lately.


I suppose I could just post random pictures from the past week or so.....

It was a red-shoe-kind-of-day and I felt the need to share with Twitter.....

My lily was blooming and I just felt the need to take a picture.....

I was seriously contemplating these shoes; but couldn't decide which one...asked Twitter for help.  No response.  I've decided on the pewter ones and will promptly buy them next time I'm at the store - if they aren't gone....

Or, I suppose, I could tell you about Man-Child's dead battery AND the fact that it isn't positioned at the top, as most are, but rather placed in an obscure place that requires a certified mechanic to replace it (which is about three hours of his time plus the cost of the battery.....) .....AND the fact that the dead battery presented itself this morning in our mad rush to all get out of the house at once.....but no, that would be moaning and I'm not doing that in this post.  But, I guess the positive spin would be that we were still here when the discovery was made, thus not leaving Man-Child completely stranded.

Or, I could tell you about the fact that IT has been working on my computer at work since last Wednesday.  And that, at one point, we had five people squeezed into my tiny cubicle (and two on the outside looking in) trying to figure it out.  And, that by close of business today, not ONE thing has been resolved AND, in addition, to everything else wrong with it I now cannot access my EMAIL - you know, the way I actually DO my work.....but, again with the moaning.  But, I guess, the positive spin would be that I've done a minimal amount of work in the past three days (since there was a four day weekend thrown in the mix), I guess there is that.

*searching for positive things.....searching, searching.....AHA!*

In the meantime, I have read some books.  Okay, by "some" I mean, quite a few (what can I say, chores and family have been neglected A LOT lately.....).

I could tell you about them, but that would mean post after post after post about books.  Some of you might love that - others, not so much.  So I'll tell you this....if you are into suspense at all go read Harlan Coben's book, Tell No One right now!  This book is so awesome that I sat down with it early Sunday morning and pretty much read all 370 pages in one sitting.  Seriously.  I finished this book before I had to get dressed to leave for a barbecue with friends by 4:30 pm.

Eventually (maybe), I'll get around to doing a review on it - but for now?  Trust me.  It's an amazing story.  Of course, this author is one of my favorites, so I might be biased.....

May 25, 2011

Then and Now....

Other than last Friday's's been pretty quiet around here.

I understand this is par for the course when it comes to teens - unless there is something that you can provide to them.  OR you have done them some HUGE injustice like asking them to clean their bathroom or how their day was - then the "drama" is ON.

They hide from you (the parent) unless they want something.  Like gas money.  Food.  Whatever.

I guess it's their way of preparing you for the "empty nest."

But still.  The sudden-ness of it is eerie.  Because I can clearly remember when we moved into our "first" house here we were so excited because The Boy (as Man-Child was once known) had a whole room for just his toys; for "playing" in.  WE, the parents, could actually have a (semi) clean place to live and entertain.  A real, honest to goodness "Play Room!"    The idea was heavenly!

We were giddy with the excitement of it all.  No more toys strewn throughout the house for us to trip over and curse.  A place where The Boy could go and play while we had an area in which to be relaxed and grown-up.

It was an exciting time.

He hated it.

The whole idea of a Play Room repulsed him.

Toys were constantly retrieved FROM the Play Room and brought downstairs to be played with - never to be brought back upstairs again - until threats of throwing them away were brought out.  And the tripping and cursing, once again, commenced.

Apparently, he felt the need to keep us in constant eyesight.  As if he were afraid that we might just disappear if we weren't RIGHT THERE.


There are constant "reminders" that he still lives here.  Empty glasses with the icky remnants of whatever he was drinking left in random (and I do mean RANDOM) spots around the house.  Clothes discarded willy-nilly.  Bits of stuff that can only be classified as "trash" that is apparently too difficult to actually put in the trash can.

Now?  Most of the time he can be found hiding out in his room - far, far away from us.  It's like he thinks we are contagious or something....

And lately (especially since realizing that I haven't actually laid eyes on him in the past three hours or so-whereas before he'd have been at my knee begging for attention) I've been getting the distinct feeling that if he had his druthers we WOULD just disappear.

Until he needed something.

Like gas money or food.

May 23, 2011

I'm planning on encasing him in bubblewrap and locking him in the attic for the next twenty years

This is a post I've tried to post all weekend - but since I was hormonal, emotional and Blogger wouldn't cooperate maybe it's best I waited......

Okay - to catch us all up to speed......

I've been a tad stressed lately.  (for maybe the past year or so....who's counting?)

Friday?  Friday was the worst of the worst.


Friday, as I was talking to a co-worker/friend about the memorial service of our other co-worker's wife (it was hard! He was broken.  Completely and totally broken - AND when he came in to work this morning it was even worse) that had taken place the night before when I received a call from a strange number.  

It was Man-Child telling me he'd been in a wreck.  Not an "accident" but a WRECK.  He sounded more terrified than I'd ever heard him.

My friend, having no idea what was going on but having ascertained it wasn't good, just shooed me out saying, "Go.  Just go!"

I kept him on the phone as I ran for the elevator.

I asked what happened.  He'd run off the road.  He said he hit a tree.  I asked if he was alone; he wasn't.  He handed to phone over to the woman who was with him.  The one he'd gone to for help.

She gave me directions and promised to stay with him until I got there.  She told me to drive safely.

Obviously, she's a mother.  She understood.

Needless to say, I drove like a bat out of hell - as safely as I could.  

When I pulled up on the scene of the accident, I was almost in tears.

The car was in a ditch, practically in the woods.

But my son, my heart, was walking toward me without a scratch on him.

When I got out of the car he fell into my arms and I just held him.

I haven't seen him this upset and shaken EVER.  

Me?  Well, I haven't been right since. 

Apparently, he was going a tad too fast around a curve, took his eyes off the road for a second.....that's all it takes.

He side-swiped a traffic sign and a couple of trees and landed in the ditch on a lonely, un-traveled back road. Where God only knows how long it would have taken for him to be found had the accident been worse.

Thank God he didn't hit a tree head-on.  Thank God he walked away from it.

You know, I was told when I was pregnant that I would soon feel a love that I'd never felt before.  I was told that this child of mine would become the focus of my life.  But no one ever told me how it would feel to have my heart walking around outside of my body.

I know that he has been scared by all this; I know it. With the benefit of youth and that "I am invincible" attitude that only teens can have he is getting over it.  But I have been traumatized.  This incident has scarred my very soul.  The "what if's" are pinging around in my head.  

The other two accidents were just that; we can laugh about them now.  But this?  This could have been life-changing.

I have informed him, in no uncertain terms, that he is not to have anymore accidents/wrecks because my heart certainly can't take it.  Especially since it's walking around outside my body, unprotected.  Hopefully, he's learned something.

And to that woman?  That stranger that stayed with my child and made sure he was okay for the 15-20 minutes it took me to get there - I can't thank you enough.  You are a hero to me.

May 17, 2011

They say bad things come in threes - so we should be good for a while.

The past few days have been rough.

Really rough.

In the past few days, I've had to deal with death, divorce and car accidents.

It's too much for me to process at once.

So, of course, I will spill it here.

Friday we got the awful news that a co-worker had lost his wife unexpectedly.

His WIFE!  The one he has been with FOREVER.  The one he'd been with since college.  The one that put him through law school.  The one that (you could tell) he loved beyond all measure.

This one struck me the most as I have never known anyone to lose someone so close.  Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Parents....yeah, I've been there.  But a SPOUSE?

This was a first (and please God - hopefully the last).  We've all been in shock - which, apparently, we all deal with in our own way.  Some of us gave the appearance of having no heart and others....well, let's just say they show themselves in their true light which some would call selfish and bitchy.  The memorial service is Thursday and to tell the truth I am dreading it.  I'm just at a total loss.  And I figure if I'm at a loss, how must he be feeling?!?!?!  And I just don't have the words in me to express my sorrow for him.  I have truly been losing sleep over this news; because it's just so horrific and brings to mind of what the future could bring to this little family someday.

The divorce - well, I've mentioned it a time or two before.  But it looks like (finally) she has accepted the inevitable; that there is no other out and that she will have to be the one to end all; once and for all.  What galls me to no end is the way he is behaving.  Seriously people.  Be ticked off at your (ex)spouse; that is fine and even expected.  But do NOT hide your head in the sand and ignore the needs of YOUR children in order to "show" your ex.  That is not cool.  AND?  It will seriously hinder any friendship you might think you have with the friends.  Because, yeah, when you act like THAT; people will take sides and it won't be yours; especially me.  Me?  Yeah, you might want to worry about what I will have to say to you should I see your sorry-ass again.

The car accident?  Glad you asked.  That is the least of my worries, for the moment.  As you all know, Man-Child had his first accident not too long ago.  Yesterday marked his second.  The first accident - totally unavoidable.  This one - not so much.

About a month ago our garage door broke...again (damn new house! Is it too much to expect everything to work properly in a [fairly] NEW house?).  At this point in time, the garage door is the least of our worries so it hasn't been on our To-Do list.

So we've all been parking in the driveway and doing the car-shuffle to get out.  So far it's been fine.

Yesterday, MC was heading out for a late weight-training.  My car was parked behind his - which is unusual on Mondays as usually his training is on Tuesdays and early enough that I get home first.  I'm sitting on the back porch perusing some blogs when I hear a loud *CRUNCH!!*

And I knew.  I immediately knew.

I ran inside and toward the door and Hubby was headed out the door; thinking the worst.  I knew he was thinking about the incredibly busy street at the end of our drive - but I was ahead of the game since I already had an idea of what had happened.

And sure enough....

Man-Child had hopped in the car and began to back out without a care in the world - because in his mind, I *should* have been parked in front of him - and slammed into my car.

Luckily, we were parked back-end to back-end.  No serious damage; in fact you can't even tell that either car was hit.

When I came outside (in the spirit of trying to keep things light) I informed him that I wouldn't sue.  Bless his heart, he was SO upset.

In my mind?  I hope these "minor" accidents serve to remind him of just how mindful he needs to be while behind the wheel because it only takes a second for something to go wrong.

Now here is where I should end this post with something relevant, wise and deep.  But all I can come up with is this:

1) Love the people in your life fiercely and tell them often.
2) Don't be afraid to take the hard stance to do what you have to do for your (and your children's) best interests.
3) Never - and I mean NEVER - let your children learn to drive - it will give you gray hair faster than you can imagine and will cause you to drink copious amounts of wine.

May 13, 2011

Why yes, I may be just a *tad* addicted.....

Considering I really didn't have anything to post (and still don't - what can I say, I lead a pretty boring life) I was utterly crushed when I woke up yesterday morning to discover that Blogger wasn't working.  Despite my desperate tweets -

And just went about my business until evening.  As you can see from that last tweet, I came home to find Blogger still broken.....then things began to spiral out of control.  As witnessed by the next set of tweets....

By then, I began to lose it - just a little.

Then when I woke up and discovered that it was STILL down.

I began to grieve.  And plan Blogger's funeral.  And tried to decide what dish I should have Hubby make for the wake.

And? Despite myself, I began to think that maybe....just maybe.....I should create a FaceBook page just for my blogging friends.  (I know, I lost my mind for a bit there - but the thought is still there in the back of my know, as a "just in case" scenario).

Then, lo and behold, I saw THIS tweet this afternoon....

And all was right with my world again.

May 4, 2011

Conversations Like This Are The Only Reason I Go To Work Every Day.

Here's a tip from me to you ..... (not "you" who are reading this snippet; but the "you" who called me today at 4:45 pm - when I was happily dreaming about Happy Hour).

If you have a complaint about our product, it would be best to deal with the Customer Service department.  The folks in our Customer Service department are well trained and are willing to make you, the customer, a happy customer.

Don't get yourself into a righteous snit and think that you are entitled to the keys to the company.  They can't give you those.

Don't demand to speak to the Legal department.  Because if you do, then the conversation might go something like this..... (and end up being blogged about)

Me:  "Hello, Legal department" (said in my most chirp-y, nice voice that I reserve for answering the phone).

Him: "I'm angry and fed up and want to sue your company."

Me:  "Okay."

Him:  "I mean it!  I've had enough!"

Me:  "Okay."

Him:  "I'm serious!  This is ridiculous the way your company treats people!" (which is not true, by the way - we strive to make sure that our customers are happy customers)

Me:  ??????? total silence.

Him:  "So, I want to prosecute."

Me:  "Sir?  You do realize this is the Legal department of the Good Ol' Boy Network?  That means we work for the Good Ol' Boys; we can't help you to sue us."

Needless to say the conversation pretty much went nowhere after that and ended with him telling me that he didn't like my attitude.

May 3, 2011

Talk To Your Kids...Today.

After the highlight of my day yesterday, I was brought to the deepest depths of sorrow as I received horrible news from a friend of mine.  I cried and cried and cried.  My little family had never seen me in such a state.  I have to admit though, they came through and comforted me to the best of their ability.

I'm sure the copious tears were a culmination of events in addition to the horrible news.

You know how you feel after waking up from a crying jag?  No?  Is that only me?  Well, today I awoke to that awful feeling of hollowness and a stuffy head from all the crying.

Then I read the paper (I have GOT to quit doing that!) and discovered that a local boy who has been missing, thought to have just "taken off" out of a fit of anger, was found dead - in an apparent suicide (it hasn't been confirmed yet though).  It seemed that I wouldn't be shaking off that hollow feeling any time soon.

I guess the reason this struck me so much was that he is local, he's about the age of my son and the fact that one of my co-workers knew the boy and his family well.

Needless to say, today that hollow feeling has been with me all day and I've been on the verge of tears - all day.

I remember well what it was like in high school.  I remember how even the most insignificant faux-pas could be devastatingly mortifying.  I remember the magnification of EVERY. SINGLE. THING.  I remember the cruelty - the "us" and "them" attitudes.  The "ins" and the "outs".  The teasing; the taunting.

And to think, I remember all this and I wasn't even picked on in school!  I was just kind of ignored.  I had my little circle of friends and it was okay.  

Then you add in the cell phones with cameras, social media, YouTube - all the various ways that your mortification can be immortalized and shared on the world-wide web.

As much as it sucked to be a teenager way back when - it must be a hundred times harder today.

From all reports, this kid was well-liked.  Didn't have problems in school; had plenty of friends.  And yet....something apparently made him think this was the only answer.

My heart bleeds for him.  For his family.  For his friends.

Also, needless to say, we will be taking the time to talk to our son.  To remind him (again and again and AGAIN) that no matter the problem, no matter the anxiety, no matter WHAT - that suicide is NEVER a remedy.  There is always a solution to whatever you may be facing.  It may not be easy, but there IS a solution.  We will take the time to remind him that even if he feels he can't come to us - there are plenty of people he can he can talk to that love him and support him.

So, tonight, I ask that you keep this family in your hearts and TALK to your children.  Remind them of just how precious life is and how that there is always a better way to resolve your problems.

As for my friend? Well, we are waiting and hoping for the best of outcomes - and, if you can find room in there, please keep her and her family in your hearts as well.

Much love.

May 2, 2011

Reason Number 5,891 I love living in the South....or It's a Two'fer (two posts in one night)

I was born and raised in the "South."

Say what you will, but the majority of Texans will tell you they are from the "South" - not the "Southwest" as others might say (usually "Yankees."  Hey, don't hate me!  I love me some Yankees, I even married one!).

The exchange I just now (this very minute!) overheard by some neighbors reminded me of why I so love the South.....

Neighbor-Man said to his visitor, "Y'all come back now!"  To which the visitor replied, while revving his truck engine as much as possible,

"Oh, I'll be back.  I'll be back on Thursday!"  Then, revving that truck engine some more, sped away.

I can't wait to see what Thursday brings!

And, if I were Pearl - the ever-vigilant note- keeper of people watching and able to craft a story around this - I soooooo would!  Take it and run, Pearl!  This is people-watching (or overhearing) at it's finest!

And??  As an update?  Just watched said visitor drive away from Neighbor-Man's house only to watch him arrive at his own house - three houses away.

It appears that frivolity is back!

Hope Springs Eternal and Yes, DAMMIT, Justice Was Served!

I got up really, really, really early this morning.  Yes, I know I was going back to work today - but still it was ridiculously early.  It was probably 1 1/2 hours before-my-alarm-clock-went-off early.  Which, of course, means I went to bed ridiculously early too.  And that definitely means I'll be going to sleep far too early again tonight - setting off a vicious cycle; but anyway....

As I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I began to check my phone for the tweets I might have missed while sleeping.

And to what did my sleep-addled brain read?

Osama bin Laden was dead.

Can I tell you that brought me semi-awake faster than coffee ever could?  At first, I thought it was some kind of joke or rumor or something.  Because seriously, how much information can be conveyed in a tweet?  And I wasn't even really awake yet (come on, people it was 4:00 am!!!).

As I was settling in with my coffee and turning on the computer to check a couple of blogs - Hubby came down (also ridiculously early) and said (even though after 20 years you'd think he'd KNOW not to talk to me in the morning), "Did you hear?? Osama bin Laden is dead!"  And proceeded to give me the details that he knew.

As he was speaking, I quickly clicked over to CNN - because really? They are right up there with Google in the Knowing Everything department.  It WAS true.  He is gone.

I don't think the reality of it all has quite sunk in yet (14 hours later).  After ten long years - vindication.  Justice has been served - finally.

I don't believe in exulting because another human is gone but I truly believe this man was evil.  This man alone was responsible for the deaths of thousands; many of whom were his "followers."  People who believed in him and the evil that he spouted.  Scores and scores of people dead - because of him.  Scores and scores of people taught to hate because of him.

And now he's gone.

It would be naive to think that with his death there is a chance that peace could reign.  I am sure that there is another waiting in the wings to take up his hatred and carry it on.

But for the moment?  I can hope.

And to all the military men and women (and their families) - thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you sacrifice for your nations.  What you do matters and today was proof of that.

I know that I usually shy away from the serious stuff here but I had to say this and all frivolity will return tomorrow. never know. 

May 1, 2011

Watching my little vacation come to an end....

Here I am - counting down the waning hours of my vacation.  *sniff* No more sleeping in (well, if you count 7:00 am sleeping in....WHY can't I sleep in anymore?!).

I have been off for the last ten days.  This is one reason I love my company.  They close the offices on Good Friday and Easter Monday.  So if you take four days off either before or after Easter then you end up with ten days off.  They also do this for a few other holidays as well.  For that they get high marks in my book.

It has been a very quiet ten days - with only a few scheduled events.  Easter with our friends was, of course, a lot of fun.  And then I had scheduled two different college visits for Man-Child.  Which I MONUMENTALLY screwed up somehow.  I had scheduled the visits for Monday and Wednesday of this past week.  I even wrote it down!  And then, somehow convinced myself that I had scheduled them for Tuesday and Thursday.

You can imagine how upset I was on Monday evening when I went to print the email with the directions to discover my mistake.  Luckily, I was able to recover and get us signed up for Tuesday and Thursday instead.

The visits went fine - although the first one made me really shaky to realize that we were scouting out places that my child would be living WITHOUT ME.  I think we have determined that he would prefer a smaller school (which actually sits much better with me as well).  We still have a couple others we want to look at and will hopefully fit them in soon - but will probably have to wait until August or September as most of the colleges are about to end their school year.

Other than that, not much has been going on.  No projects done (although there is a list of them a mile long), not much done in the way of housework (and it shows) and definitely no spring cleaning was done (and that shows too).  I haven't even been compelled to blog - other than that last book review which I did at the beginning of the vacation.  Truthfully, there are about three more books I will probably be sharing with you soon (but didn't want to overwhelm you with 4 book reviews in a row) as I have been parked here

for the most part of the ten days.  Doing this

and watching these progress

Yes, I know it's blurry.  The wind was blowing & wouldn't stop!

of which, I had a perfect view of while parked here

And these- may I say - smell heavenly

On the whole?  I'd say it was a good vacation.

But now, it's back to reality for me.  And waking up much earlier.....