June 27, 2012

Because he does things like THIS is the reason I HAVE to do it all....because he can't do it right

Since Hubby has been out of work he has been trying to help out around the house.

This is a good thing, I guess.

BUT.....(you knew there had to be a "but" in there, didn't you?) there are some things that are just best left to me; like laundry.  Because even though I DESPISE laundry and used to randomly turn his underwear pink (which may explain why he changed his preferred underwear choices years ago...TMI, I know but I just made the connection!  Yes, sometimes I am a little slow to catch on), I am the expert when compared to HIM.

Another one of these became glaringly obvious last week when Hubby decided to change the sheets for me.  What a lovely gesture, right?

He has already taken it upon himself to make the bed every morning which necessitated the conversation of the proper placement of the pillows.  He seemed to understand.

Until he changed the sheets.

Apparently, once he changed the sheets and the pillowcases came off the pillows he lost ALL sense of which pillow belonged where.

Not to say that I have kept the same pillowcases on all this time (because that would be gross!) - but when I change the sheets I make sure the pillowcases are color coordinated, yet different, to keep them in the proper order.

So for the past week, I have been re-arranging the pillows - all of which were covered in the exact same cases - every night without saying a word.  Because he went to the extra effort just to save me from doing it.

Even though, there is a CLEAR order to where the pillows belong.  The firm one on the bottom, because that is the one I lay my head on.  The floppy one goes in the middle, because that's the one I use to hold (or smother him with if his snores get too loud).  The semi-floppy one goes on top because that's the one I use to keep my knees from touching (no, that is NOT weird!  I'm a side sleeper and this is a real issue.  Ask ANY side sleeper and they will tell you it's true). And then the decorative pillows go on top of all that.  Why yes, my bed is rather full of pillows.  But that's okay.  He also uses three pillows because his hiatal hernia - so it all evens out....although he doesn't care which order his pillows are in; the weirdo; so it's not like the bed is lopsided or anything.

But the kicker to this story?  When I stripped the bed on Sunday (which is the day that the bedsheets AND the pillowcases get changed weekly) I discovered the true source of all my discomfort this past week.

Hubby had kinda-sorta short-sheeted the bed.

Instead of putting the blanket on length-wise he'd put it on side-ways.  Which explained why I hadn't been able to pull the covers up to my chin all week.  It also was glaringly apparent that the man has no CLUE about hospital corners.

And because of that, in addition to being banned from doing the laundry, he is now no longer allowed to change the sheets.

No, I am NOT crazy or obsessive.....I don't care what he claims.  Having your bed made correctly is a perfectly normal and sane expectation.....right? 

June 25, 2012

Words of Wisdom....the interactive edition

One of the best things I did for Man-Child's graduation party was to create this

I know it was a success because when we attended other graduation parties later the hostesses had stolen borrowed my idea....one even went so far as to "improve" on it by having the guests on video speaking their words of wisdom (I wish she'd given me a heads up about that little detail....all her son pretty much got from me was "call your mom often").

I also know it was a success because by the end of the night that little box was filled with words of wisdom to help send my boy off.  And remind him that he is loved beyond measure.

When I tried to fill out one of those cards, I knew I couldn't do it in one sitting.  Nor could a little card contain all that I had to say, so I just wrote, "Save your quarters for laundry and NOT for playing pool."

Since then, I have been jotting notes and ideas down in my spare time trying to amass enough wisdom to impart in letter form, of course.  It's not as "lecture-y" that way.

So far I have touched on how much he is loved, how we are his support system, to dream big, to make goals and work to reach them.  I have touched on sex, alcohol and drugs.  I have added how important it is to also  have fun.  And to remember that his parents are always here for him.

And then I had a thought.  Why not ask you?  You all have watched these past few years as Man-Child has morphed and grown.  Technically, you "know" him and are a part of his life (whether he realizes it or not). You all have vastly different life experiences to share.  You all have nuggets of wisdom, both funny and serious, that the next generation can benefit from.

So what say you?  What words of wisdom do you have that I should share with my son before he heads off into that great, unknown world otherwise known as college?

June 23, 2012

Don't Worry; Be Happy

This is the mantra I've been trying to live by lately.

It's not easy.

What with my favorite boss ever retiring at the end of next week, the truck pretty much dying on us and leaving us one car short, the whole unemployment issue (that has been going on for WELL over two years now, in case you were keeping score) which is also tying our hands regarding getting another car and making us seriously consider putting the house on the market (the house we designed and love, I might add) and a whole host of other issues that I can't blog about, it's been pretty darn hard to keep my chin up, as they say.

But I'm trying and I get credit for that, if I do say so myself.

This happy, little blog filled with the natterings of the crazy lady in Somewhere, North Carolina has taken a pretty dark and bleak turn lately.  And that makes me sad because it makes me realize that the crazy lady in Somewhere, North Carolina has not been herself for quite some time now.

But, on the flip side, it warms my heart to know that you are all still here despite all my moanings.  That you all are so caring and uplifting.  When I read your comments, or your posts, it feels like a warm hug and that, my friends, is priceless.

I know that happiness is not directly related to your circumstances, but it certainly helps when the circumstances aren't ganging up on you.  And really?  If you look at the evidence (as laid out in previous posts over the past two years or so) the circumstances are TOTALLY ganging up on me; and I would complain to the authorities - but just WHO would that be?  Seriously, tell me.  I've got my complaint letter all typed up and ready to go.

So in attempt to get my "happy" back, I'm going to post this upbeat little video.

Because even with everything going on how can you NOT smile and relax a little when you hear this song?

And you?  Thank you.  Because without y'all, I seriously do not know how I would have kept my sanity, such as it is, intact.

Now, all I have to do is get through the retirement next week without becoming a total, blubbering mess and then, it will be smooth sailing.....right?

June 16, 2012

She must think I have amnesia.....

I was chatting with a friend of mine today.  She was telling me that her mom flew into town this morning and is going to drive with my friend and her two small children back to Arkansas.  My friend is planning to stay in Arkansas for about two weeks to visit with family and friends.

In the middle of explaining all this, she tells me that when her mom arrived, they were all so excited to see each other that they walked out of the airport and drove off.....completely forgetting to pick up mom's luggage (that is par for the course for this family).

We continued to chat for a few more minutes about this and that when out of nowhere my friend comes out with this little gem,

"You should TOTALLY fly to Arkansas sometime in the next couple of weeks.  It would be great!  You can visit your aunt and we can hang out by the lake (oh, that does sound like heaven).  And then you can drive back to North Carolina with me and the two boys!!"

Ummm, yeah.

Because even if I had the money to fly out there in the first place why, in the name of all that is holy, would I voluntarily get in the car with two small terrors adorable small children and their mother (whom I love dearly, but if the truth be told is a terrible driver) to travel across however many states is between there and here?

As a parent, I've done this bit before and I remember it with great clarity - with a child that actively hated his carseat so much that every time I put him in it he would act like he was possessed.  And you know how most small ones would be lulled to sleep by the movement of the car?  Mine was not lulled, at all.  In fact, I can honestly say that the majority of our road trips were hell on wheels - literally.

I can tell you right now with much certainty, I'm not about to do it again, not for love or money.  Especially with TWO small children torturing each other in the backseat.

June 13, 2012

Parent DIS-Orientation - Day Two


That pretty much sums up Day Two of Parent DIS-Orientation.

That's because I skipped it.  Yes, dear readers, I was a bad mom and skipped it.

If they had really wanted me to attend Day Two then they should not have given me the entire agenda on the first day.  Because once I saw what was in store for Day Two I quickly realized that there was only one session that would be of any interest to me at all.  All the important stuff had been covered on Day One.

So in my infinite wisdom (before I ingested any coffee) I decided that I would check out of the hotel early, grab some breakfast and hit the one session, skip the rest, and explore the town and surrounding area where my son will soon be living for the next (hopefully only) four years.

After I checked out and was having breakfast reality dawned on me.  IF I attended the one session, I would have to park the car on campus - where it would pretty much be held hostage until the end of the orientation (since you couldn't be hopping in and out of the parking deck willy-nilly) and that would mean that I would be confined to the campus.

This wasn't happening.  So I skipped the whole thing.  The problem with this?  I had already checked out of the hotel; THREE HOURS before I had to.  That coupled with the fact that Man-Child would be tied up in his orientation for approximately three more hours.

And so I explored.  And then re-explored.  And then explored some more.  It's safe to say that I covered every bit of that town and the surrounding area at least four or five times.  Let me just say this - there ain't much to do in that tiny, little mountain town to keep you completely occupied, on your own, for six plus hours.

Although, I did manage to buy a birthday gift and a father's day gift, so at least the time wasn't completely wasted.

I also discovered that I am VERY happy that Man-Child won't be able to take his car to this tiny, little mountain town.  Because apparently, in tiny, little mountain towns the roads are tiny, twisting, scary roads once you get off the main ones.  And there is little room for error.  And when you start to envision your child driving on these tiny, twisting, scary roads that have no room for error ESPECIALLY when they will most likely be covered in ice in the winter.....well, then your heart stops cold.

But this meant that I spent a good portion of the day in the car; especially when you throw in the fact that I still had an almost two hour drive home.  As you can imagine, I was pretty much completely spent by the time we finally arrived home last night.

But the best thing about the whole trip?  Man-Child is EXCITED and happy about his choice.  I have to admit, after dinner with him on Monday night I was concerned.  As I mentioned before, he was very quiet and didn't seem enthused.  I thought maybe he had thought he'd made a mistake accepting this college's offer.

I was so concerned that I voiced my worries to Hubby when I called him on Monday night.  I lined up a whole speech for Man-Child about how he didn't HAVE to go to this particular school; that he still had options, etc.

But when I picked him up Tuesday afternoon he was positively giddy.  As he chattered away about his schedule, his major (which we all know will probably change at least a gazillion times), how wonderful this school is my heart soared.

He was happy with his decision.

And that makes me happy for him.  Although bittersweet; still happy.  He is on his way to becoming an adult.  And I am slowly (very slowly) coming to terms with that.

June 11, 2012

Wait! Was this event titled Parent Orientation or Parent DISorientation?!

Finally!   Finally I am tucked away in my little hotel room after a very long day.  A day made even longer by the fact that I got less than three hours of snoozing last night*.  That's right - snoozing.  I didn't even really SLEEP during those three hours.  It's more like I drifted in and out of a light snooze.  With crazy random dreams that included someone stealing my wedding rings, The BloggessPearl and other randomness.  It was not fun; I DESPISE not being able to sleep; especially considering I usually do not have a problem with dropping off at all.

So the lack of sleep, coupled with the fact that I needed to get up (preferably) at 5:30 am but certainly no later than 6:00 am (which is when I was actually able to crawl out of bed) in order to rouse Man-Child and be out the door by 7:00 am in order to drive up into the mountains for Student/Parent Orientation at the college of his choice means that this has been a VERY long day indeed (especially considering it has just now struck 9:30 pm).

Wow.  The above sentence just MIGHT be the longest sentence in the history of the world.  Whatever.  I don't care; I'm too tired to worry about fixing it just now.

Somehow we made it.  Despite the fact that somehow I got us completely turned around (IN OUR OWN HOMETOWN!) and had us headed in the wrong direction only 15 minutes into the trip; the driving rain and the pea-soup fog that we encountered once we started gaining altitude.

Needless to say, the whole "getting turned around" part had Man-Child pretty exasperated from the get-go. But in my defense, I WAS pretty sleep and caffeine deprived at the time.

But we are here - in this quaint, little mountain town.

One of the many views of the surrounding mountains on campus.**

Where they pretty much kidnapped wrenched directed him out of the car on the side of the road in a dark alley in a parking lot next door to the dorm he will be staying in tonight and kept us separated us for basically the whole day sent us to our separate orientations.  Considering I don't "do" strangers well I was pretty uncomfortable I did okay.

A LOT of information was covered in our 8 hour day.  Of course, being the uber-prepared mom, I brought my notepad, etc.  I was READY.

And then we sat down and I couldn't find my pen which may have caused a small panic attack.  Until I remembered my phone.  Luckily, I was able to tippity-tap some key information into the memo pad for the majority of the day - until my pen finally emerged from the bottom of my purse as I was rooting around for some happy pills gum sometime in the late afternoon.

When they finally freed us for lunch I figured I'd get to catch up with Man-Child and compare notes.  No such luck.  As we were preparing to head out the speaker told us where to go for lunch and then, as an aside, informed us that our children would be eating elsewhere.

After a lonely (and, quite frankly, yukky) lunch, I headed off to the afternoon sessions.  Let me tell you, this particular campus is MUCH bigger than I remembered.  And, after trekking across the campus; which includes a lot of stairs and hills, I have determined two things.

One:  Man-Child is going to leave this place with an EXCELLENT cardiovascular system and legs

and Two:  I am terribly out of shape.

But on the plus side?  I WAS smart enough to wear semi-sensible, but cute, shoes so my feet didn't suffer!

Not the best pix, I know.  But what can I say?  This must be the darkest hotel room in the history of hotels.

The afternoon sessions had to be both the most informative and scariest sessions of all.  In one of these sessions, they had a panel of students and parents of current students who answered any and all questions about coming to school here.  The questions ranged from the meal plan to healthcare to sex to drinking to drugs.   And back again.  The answers were concise and informative.  And for the most part, pretty honest.

And basically brought home the fact that yes, it is time to let him go.  I raised him to the best of my ability.  Once I set him loose here, I will have very limited control and will have to trust that he will do the right thing. And, for the most part, I believe he will.

That is not to say that I am not completely naive.  I know that he will do things and try things that I may not approve of but I think for the most part he is a pretty responsible person.  I know that he will learn and grow from his mistakes just as he did when he was small.

We were finally able to catch up for dinner.  Which, believe it or not, was basically the EXACT same thing we had for dinner last night at home; pulled pork barbecue.  Although, I must say it was MUCH tastier than my lunch - Hubby's version was FAR superior to what they provided.

Anyway, I tried to compare notes with him then; but he was too preoccupied with his next session.  Although, I was done for the day after dinner he still has a few sessions to attend (which don't wrap up until 10:45 pm!  He's gonna be one tired guy tonight!).

I find myself in a rather sweet hotel - even if it is a chain.  It seems to have been very recently built and is very clean and safe.  Although the room is small (it would be MORE than crowded if there were one more person in here) and VERY dark (have they heard of 60 - and higher - watt light bulbs?  Even with all the lights on I can barely see) the bed is extremely comfortable.  As are the pillows.  Which is amazing, as I usually find hotel pillows to be on the limp side.  And being a firmer pillow lover I am usually very disappointed.

View from the front of the hotel

View from the back of the hotel

I must admit, when I realized that Hubby wouldn't be joining us for this adventure, I was a bit apprehensive. What with the whole "not dealing with strangers well" issue and the fact that I would be spending the night alone in a hotel room.  To be honest, I've never really stayed in a hotel alone before.  Usually, I'm with the family, Hubby, Man-Child or a girlfriend.

But now that I'm tucked away in this quiet little, albeit DARK, room with no distractions I am in heaven.  I could get used to this actually.

At any rate, as stated before, this has been one LONG day.  And tomorrow promises to be equally as long. This is the first chance I've had to log on all day and rather than follow my usual custom of reading your blogs first, I had to take the liberty to get this all written.  Whether or not I will have time to go read what you wrote before I crash and burn is up in the air; but rest assured eventually I'll get caught up again.

*Please ignore any and all typos or confusion; I am EXHAUSTED people.

**Please ignore the bad quality/lighting issues in all the photos.  Remember, I am not a photographer or a photographer-wannabe.  Plus? I'm EXHAUSTED people.

June 6, 2012

That's it. I'm DONE.

At this point, I figure our best bet is to just walk away and live in Hubby's truck.

Except we wouldn't get very far since, apparently, the transmission died today.

Immediately after I had to have the brakes done on my car - to the tune of $400.  $400 that we don't have, mind you.  And when I say, "had to have" I MEAN "had to have" as there is no real mass transit system here.  So it was either new brakes and having a way to work or no brakes and causing mayhem and possible death.

The cost of replacing the transmission?  Definitely more than the truck is worth.  Most likely more than the truck, my car and Man-Child's car is worth.

This news was given to me just as I had reached the sorry conclusion that there is no way I can attend the wedding of my oldest and dearest friend's son back home in July.  I have held on to that invitation in hopes of a miracle happening.  A miracle that is obviously never going to make an appearance.

Coming to that conclusion was heartbreaking enough.  Now this.

I know I should be grateful for what we do have.....each other.  Our (relatively) good health.  My job.  And on and on and on.

But to be honest?  It's hard to remain grateful when (seemingly) day after day you are struck with something else.


For over two years now, it seems like every day it's something else.  I've tried being grateful.  I've tried being cheerful.  I've tried everything I can possibly think of and still it doesn't stop.

So that's it.  I'm done.

And when "they" ask - just be sure to tell them that it was the f*&#ing transmission that sent me over the edge.

In the meantime, I'll just sit over here and wait for that piano to fall on my head......I mean come on, after everything else, that is what is bound to happen next....right?

June 3, 2012

You Decide 2012

This is a huge, HUGE decision people.  Yes, it's even bigger than the upcoming presidential election .

I need your help.  The time draws near.  The time......

to color my hair.

(I told you it was huge!)

Recently, I've been sporting a lighter shade.  And I liked it.  At least when I looked in the bathroom mirror it seemed fine.

Until I downloaded the most recent pictures of me.  Then I wasn't so sure anymore.  Because, as we all know, pictures don't lie.

So I turned to my "fashion" consultants for advice.....Man-Child and Hubby.  They looked at me like I had two heads and shrugged.

For illustrative purposes, I pulled up two pictures of me with different hair colors side by side on the computer and demanded asked again.

Man-Child, who learned his lessons well at his father's knee about answering questions of the "do these pants make me look fat" caliber bravely responded that he couldn't see a difference.

Hubby, in a bid - for once - to be helpful, responded that they both looked great.

Hmmph!  "Fashion" consultants indeed!

So I turn to you, dear people of the Internet.  Help me decide this dilemma.  Darker?  Or lighter?

Ignore the squinty eyes and the shiny skin - those are a figment of your imagination.  Also, ignore the fact that, apparently on both days I was having a so-so hair day.

Me, myself, am thinking that I must somehow rid myself of squinty eyes and shiny skin before I can even begin to think about hair color......

Although the lighter color does disguise the few grays I have, I have to say, I think the darker color suits me better....as does the the angle in that picture.

So what say YOU, people of the Internet?  Help a girl out.

June 1, 2012

Today? Today I should have stayed in bed.

The title?  It pretty much sums up my day (and this post) in two short sentences.

I should have known it was going to be one of those days when I slept through the alarm clock.  That was my first hint.  Right then and there, I should have just called in sick and spent the day in bed.

But no.  Being the eager beaver, people pleaser that I am - I just jumped into overdrive and somehow made it into work on time - early, in fact, 'cause that's how I roll (and I was on the lookout for MY parking spot).

The day quickly went downhill from there.

At 8:30 am one of my bosses (remember I have three and a half) called a select few of us (I should mention here, that this "select few", along with this boss is a pretty tight group and as a group we've been through a lot) together for an impromptu meeting at 8:45 am.  When I groaned at her, "What have we done NOW?!" She laughed and said, "You haven't done anything.....it's good!"  So, I reserved a conference room and marshaled us all together, repeating her mantra that it was "good" as we trooped in.

Upon being seated she announced that she is "retiring" at the end of the month.  The tears flowed around the table at that simple announcement.  She even had the foresight to bring tissues; because she knew how this would affect us.  How was this a "good" thing.  Sure, it's good for her - but we were selfishly thinking of ourselves.

This particular boss, the one that I was originally hired to work for, is AMAZING.  I can't even begin to describe how amazing.  She is so amazing that another staffer has begged me to switch attorneys on many occasions - I've refused every time; mainly because this woman is so awesome and because her attorneys, with the exception of one, are major asses jerks.  She is an advocate for us.  She believes in us.  She treats us as equals.  She is awesome on so many levels.

She is, in a word, a Friend.

I understand the reasons for her leaving and stand behind her 100% but my heart is broken that she is going.  I told her this was a bad time for her to leave me.....since my son will also be leaving me so soon (yes, I did resort to guilt - it didn't work).  She informed me that she wasn't leaving me; she was leaving the company and that she'd only be a phone call away (see why I love her?!).

My big boss has promised to replace her.....but somehow, I don't think her replacement will be the jewel that she is, no one else could possibly live up to her in my estimation.

From there the day, just proceeded to get worse.  When I went to lunch, I discovered that in my haste to get out the door this morning, I neglected to bring a fork or a napkin with my lunch; which I did not realize until I had driven to a local park just to get out of the office for a few minutes to process all that had happened and ponder what the future might hold.  My lunch of chicken salad.

Do you realize just HOW hard it is to eat chicken salad without a fork?  Luckily, I had fast food napkins in my car and I had remembered to bring crackers - so I was able to use the crackers to scoop the chicken salad out of the bowl....but what a loss of dignity!  The geese, and my fellow park-goers, looked at me with disgust (that may have been in my head, but still....).  I may never be able to eat at that park again.

And still later, as I was talking to some colleagues, I very nearly put my eye out with my pen.  MY OWN EYE - WITH MY OWN PEN!  Don't ask me how, I still haven't figured that one out - and my right eye is still kinda twitchy from that very close call; even all these hours later.

Needless to say, once the clock hit 5:00 pm I was out of there like a shot.  I immediately came home, put on my pajamas and poured myself one very large glass of wine and cried to my guys.  After today, I deserve it....and maybe it will help that twitchy eye; I hope.

The guys were equally shocked - they know what a wonderful person she is.  In fact, she sent MC a very generous gift for his graduation last week - to which he replied, "....and she's never even MET me!" (which is is because of our ridiculous rules about "visitors").  She laughed when I told her that and responded, "Oh, I know him alright!" and she does; because she listens.  How many bosses do that?  Actually listen AND genuinely care about you and your family?

Over the years, I've had a few bosses that I've really respected, liked and admired.  But this one?  This one I LOVE (something I don't do with abandon).  She is a wonderful woman and I will treasure the twenty or so days that I have left to work with her (and the six or seven years we've spent together) but boy, oh boy, am I going to miss her when she is gone.  Life at the office will not be the same once she leaves.

But a woman of her caliber I know will go on to bigger and better things once she shakes the dust of this place from her heels.  And our company?  Well, eventually the "powers that be" at our company will be kicking themselves that they let her go; that they didn't promise her the moon to stay.  And I will be there on the sidelines whispering, "I told you so."