Saturday, November 08, 2014

Some Randomness

I don't really have a story for you today, just a list of random thoughts and things. I should be getting ready for work but I'm not.

Or perhaps I am getting ready for work right now, in the best way possible. Sure, my hair is a greasy mess and I probably smell like BO, but I'll feel really good for today because if all else falls through, I at least conquered part of a blank page today.

You would be surprised (or maybe not) at how far that will get me.


  • My daughter started calling me "Mother Thing". I don't know where or why she has come up with this, but my response now when she refers to me as such is to say, "Yes walking talking creature who came out of my vagina, what do you want." She has stopped. Also, it occurred to me last night, when G was having a bit of a freak out, if you have a death wish, try singing "Don't Cry Out Loud" by Melissa Manchester at the top of your lungs to a extremely distraught and hormonal pre-teen girl. No I didn't do it. I love life. No death wishes here.
  • My children are the type to purposefully annoy me when we are stuck in traffic and are bored. They will start to make screeching noises and ask "Are we there yet?" repeatedly. I have started what I call the "Xanadu" treatment in which I put that song on top volume and dance to it while sitting in traffic. They stopped and got the point. 
  • Audiobooks are the best thing for those times that you are stuck in traffic with them. Not so much if they have a friend in the car, but if it's just you and them, it's great. We just finished  "Anansi Boys" and have started on "Four Years, Five Seasons" by Peter S. Beagle. I have 'The Last Unicorn" and "Howl's Moving Castle" ready to go as well. My ridiculously expensive Audible subscription is finally paying off.
  • Have you ever heard of Peter S. Beagle? He is amazing. He wrote the book "The Last Unicorn" (everyone has seen the movie I'm sure). He is one of the best writers out there and you should check him out if at all possible. The guy saved my ass last week. I was sitting in front of my computer, feeling horribly uninspired. I was wasting time on the internet and remembered once reading about how he had trouble writing his own stories. I decided to see if he had anything worth reading to get me started. (Yeah I know, more excuses). Lo and behold, I found a pod cast called Writing Excuses. Lo and behold, there was a podcast with Peter S Beagle speaking about how to get into the writer's mindset. It really helped. (Here is the secret-you just sit down and do it. Ha!). The link to the podcast and the site is here.
  • The bees are fine. No honey for me from them this year. I got a tiny bit from Anne's hive. Anne is a lovely woman in Providence who hired me to take care of her beehive. So although I have no honey, through Anne's and my friends Scott and Emily's generosity of bee donations, I have 3 healthy hives with first year queens going into the winter. Keep you finger's crossed folks! I'm going to bust my ass this winter making sure the ladies make it through.
  • Last of all, my faith in humanity, always shaky best, was restored the day before yesterday as I was stopped at a stop sign, about to go down a hill. Two men were pushing a broken down minivan up the hill. It was being steered by an older woman. As I watched, a car pulled over and a third man got out and helped push it up the hill and to the side of he road. It was great to see and in the rain too. I try to hold onto those moments when I get my car keyed, or someone gets stabbed right in front of my house. I say to myself, "It's not so bad, Mr Roger's said, "Look for the helpers".
Ok off to work.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Jesus Would Have Left Me To Die

I love the Autumn portion of daylight savings.

All summer long, I have struggled to wake up before 7am so I could have my time to fart around and possibly write, before everyone else wakes up.
For some reason, I could not get out of bed before 7am, even if I went to bed at 10.

But lo and behold, I hopped right out of bed by 6:30 this morning.

Of course, I squandered the time I had and it is already a quarter past 7 and I only have about 30-40 minutes before I have to start doing things, but at the moment I consider myself to be back in training to write again.

I have barely written a blog post or a story, including any additions to my really long stories that I can't seem to finish yet. Please don't get me started on the newsletter. Joanna and I have been crazy slacking on that.

Some wonderful, little things have happened and now here I am typing at 7am. I am also in the process of creating future plans/schedules so that I can get my time in every day. I'm thinking of it a "cross-fit" for my writing muscle, which has grown very flabby.

I had a spectacular fall, in both ways.

My Fall has been a mix of extreme stress and extreme fun. I don't talk about my work here, One,  because I never want to give Human Resources a reason and Two, the nature of my work makes me want to keep it very separate from what I do outside of work.

But I will say that work had some tough moments that made me realize things..and that is all about that.

Despite work stress, I managed to do all of my favorite Fall activities so far. I picked the apples, I made the apple butter. I went to Salem with my beloved Jessica and her daughter. I somehow managed to accumulate pumpkins and the items needed to make 4 Halloween costumes just in time for the big day, as well as come up with a decent short story (well, half of one) before midnight on that day for my writer's group.

Hooray for me.

I also had a big spectacular fall last Sunday.

I was tired, it was an off day. I spent the night before having dreams of being in bed with something scary looming in the room. I kept waking myself up in dream to end the dream and tell B I had a nightmare, only I was still in the dream. I also think I did actually wake up a few times interspersed throughout, so I had terrible sleep.

I dropped the kids off at CCD. Going into the gymnasium, I stumbled over the threshold but kept my balance.

Picking the kids up an hour later,  I thought of my previous stumble and congratulated myself on being more careful as I crossed the threshold.

I tripped again, stumbled forward several feet, my torso parallel to the ground before I fell outright on my side. I want to say that I slid forward a few feet too. Even if I didn't, let's just pretend I did because it makes a better mental picture.

I got up laughing and walked over to my daughter's best friend and her mother who were laughing at me. My daughter had run off in embarrassment because she actually thought I had fallen in a room full of people on purpose. Just to embarrass her. She even punched me in the arm when she stalked back.

You have no idea how awesome it feels to know that I have gotten into her head that much. It should make the teenage years easier.

Here is the big problem I had with the whole scenario despite my laughter and the hilarity of it.

Nobody in the room even asked if I was Ok.  Nobody.

Not even the nun!

The people in the room are a bunch of Catholics. Who are in the room to set a good example for a bunch of kids that they are attempting to teach to be good Catholics.

Nobody helped, nobody even asked it I was ok.

Except for V of course. I'm telling you, that kids lives rent free with me for as long as he wants, when he grows up..

So this is a room full of people who aspire to be like Jesus Christ.

What would Jesus do?

Judging by the reaction of the people in the room, Jesus would have pretended that he didn't see me fall and would have left me to die.

Thanks Catholic people. Thanks Jesus, your folk are doing a bang up job.

I know I'm being a bit harsh, but still. I could have been really hurt. C'mon. They are supposed to be better than that. I was a little shocked.

Later in the day, I went to Salem with Jessica as I mentioned.

Here is our annual Port A John shot.

A woman fell in front of us as we walked down the sidewalk. She was laughing by the time we got there and her husband was helping her to her feet. 

I asked her if she was ok and she said she was. I told her that I fallen earlier today and nobody had asked me if I was ok. She was clearly embarrassed and it may have been better pretend not see so as to spare her the embarrassment. 

But I think that the "helping muscle" is like the "writing muscle" it needs a work out. 

It needs practice or it gets flabby. Then you do things like walk past and pretend not to see when someone falls or needs help in some way. 

The time is now 8am and there are things to do, so I have to cut this short, but as a public service announcement, if you see somebody fall today or in the near future. Just take a second and ask if they are ok. It means a lot. 



Friday, October 10, 2014

Minstrel Threat Level

When I was 17 or 18, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons a few times a week with a group of friends.

No, I had my own apartment at the time, so there was no dwelling in my parent's basement. They had a dank cellar anyways.

During one of the more memorable sessions, my friend Mike had enough gold pieces to acquire a minstrel. The purchasing of said minstrel, inspired many minstrel-related jokes. My favorite being that we needed to get the minstrel a bike. It would be a choice between aluminum or iron framed one.

A light or heavy minstrel cycle-get it?

Sadly, the minstrel was killed shortly after purchase by a tribe of Xenophobic elves that our party came across.

It was fun while it lasted, Sir Minstrel.

I was reminded of this today by my choice in tights. I had put on a pair of light grey ones as opposed to my usual black tights.
I never could figure out why light colored tights paired with black boots made me slightly uncomfortable, but it hit me as I was walking into a restaurant to meet Jessica.

"Tell me honestly," I asked, standing very straight. "Do these tights make me look like a minstrel?"

To which she replied, "Well, you do look like you could use a lute."

"I knew it!"

There were several discussions revolving around how I should mince about the restaurant as I made my way to the restroom, singing a ballad and I even had Jess take a picture of me playing air lute.

After Jessica and I parted ways, as I drove along, I remembered Mike's ill fated minstrel. Inspiration hit me.

Ok, I'm going off subject just a bit, but bear with me.

I am under the influence of a special kind of muse, (perhaps it's the 13th muse) the one that governs creative ways in which to poke fun at and embarrass your offspring.

I have a talent for it. It may sound mean, but think of it. You carry them, give birth to them, you nurse them both with your own body and then with your hands when they are sick. You spend all of your hard earned cash on plastic things and an exorbitant amount of extra food.

And for what? For them to be completely and utterly embarrassed by you, just as they start to become a little bit independent.

In addition, they tend to be very vocal about how embarrassing you are.  My kids act so embarrassed if I even open my mouth near them in public, you would think that I had crapped myself, based on their reactions.

But, instead of being hurt a bit or feeling rejected, I go with it.  For the most part, I try to use my special creativity for blackmailing purposes.

I do not threaten to take away toys or privileges. I do not hit my children. I do not put them in time out or ground them.

I tell them that I will chaperone their school dance, bring their father, and slow dance with him to every love song.

I threaten to yell "I love you, be brave!" as they walk into school. (I have followed through with this one)

I threaten to fart loudly while in public with them. (Tried that one didn't work out.)

They are good kids, fairly polite, somewhat responsible and they are good students. Must be working..

This is the one though.
I'm thinking that this is one of the last Halloween's where I can enforce the rule that they have to be accompanied by a family member.
B has to stay home to hand out candy with Lyd, so there is nobody to reign me in this year.

I'm thinking that I have to go as a minstrel. Floppy hat with the feather, big puffy sleeves and the light  colored tight and big boot combo.
I'm going to attempt to get a lute, but even a cardboard one will do.

The songs and ballad's I can sing about my lovely children as we meander down the sidewalks passing every classmate and neighbor.

I could just threaten them with this. I could give them fair warning. Each broken rule, each moment of being disrespectful could be another song about the infraction for the neighborhood's enjoyment.

"Clean your room or it's gonna be another ballad while Trick or Treating!"

Or I could just surprise them on the big night.

I'm going as a minstrel, no doubt. If I have songs or whether I sing them will depend on them.

Next year I'm going as a mime.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Apocalypse Cometh

I am in the parking lot of my orthodontist's office after my appointment. I had my final extra heavy duty wire installed. He also added 3 more months to my sentence. 
After this wiring job I am truly thankful I went with the scrambled eggs/breakfast with dinner option for tonight. The pain should start just as I get out of work. No reprieve for the wicked and whatnot.
It's ok though. I'm used to these things after 2 years. What's 3-4 more months? 
Three to four more months. Judging by this time line, in partner with my fatalistic view on life and my overactive imagination, I am estimating that the Apolcalypse should begin sometime either just before or after Christmas. I am fairly positive that right before I am due to have these damn things removed, a world wide catastrophe of epic proportions will occur, preventing me from ever having these things taken off in a proper manner, so I may have bridges installed and then be able to chew like a normal person once again. 
Perhaps in the zombie infested, post apocalyptic desert of New England, these wires in my mouth could become some sort of weapon, placing me at the top of the food chain. I could be some sort of a warlord in my own right. 
Probably not. That's ok, in the meantime, be sure stock up on canned goods, Poland Spring and axes, because it's coming. I'm loading up on supplies then locating my orthodontist's home. When the end comes, I'm gonna guard that man, and I guess my kids, with my life. 
Orthodontists and children first!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Fireflies Listened

My New Jersey vacation ends tomorrow, but I am content. My phone, which usually rings off the hook with work calls, has been silent. I managed to find a book that V is really enjoying (Odd and The Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman), I still have 4 days off when I get home tomorrow AND the fireflies came out. 
I was worried. Everything is running late this year. My first night here I was sad not to see them at twilight near my in-laws house. I was sure I was going to miss them but last night at a friends house they began flickering at dusk. 
We went to the field down the street from my in laws after sunset and although there weren't as many as there are at the height of the firefly orgy, there was still enough to satisfy. We also surprised a small herd of deer, which was a bonus. Especially because they were nowhere near my own meager garden.
I took a few crappy videos that didn't come close to showing how wonderful it was. I would share it here only I'm writing from my phone and I haven't figured out how to upload video. Besides, most of you see me over on Facebook and the videos are up over there.
The June fireflies are now officially categorized under holiday magic days along with Christmas and Halloween.
So that's it for now here in the Garden State, Good Night and behave yourselves.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's been a long time!

Hello!
It has been forever since I have been on here.
I do not blame myself and my complete lack of motivation, of course.
I blame my new job, it has been a tough transition. More hours and more responsibility, but I think I have the hang of it now.
And of course I blame the children.
What has happened with the television has happened with the computer as well. In a household of 5, there is only 1 television. 
Since I'm content to read, I simply gave up the fight and let the rest have their Mythbusters, Star Wars and sporting events. 
So now the fight has been brought to the only laptop that we have. 
As soon as I turn the thing on, a small head will pop up in front of the screen and ask, "What are you doing? Can I use it when you're done? When will you be done?"
So I gave up. 
I'm currently saving for my own computer, each week in a honey jar. 
However, that is a poor excuse for not writing. I should be doing it every day in some way. 
 I finally downloaded a Blogger app on my phone, which the hellions can't claim from me. I need it for work. 
So in between work, managing bees who aren't doing what I want them to do, fighting squirrels in defense of my new tiny garden and keeping up with the kids, you may hear from me a bit more. 
In the meantime, I am on the Jersey Shore for our traditional start of the summer vacation.
 I'm really disappointed because the late spring, with all the plants and creatures running late, means that the fireflies, who are out in the millions at my in-laws at this time, have not yet made an appearance.
If you need me, I'll be standing in my in-laws backyard, silently willing a couple of million insects to wake up already and start having sex for my entertainment. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

Noro Through the Ages

It's funny. The annual Holt family stomach bug outbreak always seems to coincide with the annual trip to the Providence Performing Art Center.

Every year for Christmas, I get tickets for Lyd and I to see a show.

Every year, right before we go, someone gets struck down with the stomach bug.

I stress and worry because I would hate to have Lyd miss out on the show and I know she would be pissed if someone else took her.

We made it to see Wicked last night.  I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the show was over. (The assholes who came out in force to join us at the show may be a post for another day)

Bring it on Noro-virus!

It was especially hairy the year that we had a show to go to, after which, I had to drop Lyd off to her Dad's because she was flying to Hawaii the next day.

And V and G had already had the bug.

I dropped Lyd off and nearly collapsed with relief that time.

Then I went home and got sick. Lyd made it through, happily.

It used to be that I feared the stomach flu.

Anyone with really young children can relate.

The kids get sick first, you change their diapers and clean the vomit that they spew all over indiscriminately.

By the time they are feeling better, you are on the floor feeling like you are going to die, unable to move.

The kids take the opportunity to destroy the house.

I had a friend who drove down to Virginia (or somewhere else that was a really long drive) with her family, to stay with a friend's family.

Within a half hour of arrival, the friend's daughter came down with the stomach flu. My friend said, "We gotta go!" packed up her three young daughters and drove back home.

I would have done the same thing.

If you have a child under the age of 7, the stomach bug is the worst thing. To the point where anyone that has it going through their house is considered a pariah. To be avoided at all cost.

I remember a night, during that crazy snowstorm filled winter a few years back.  I spent the evening chipping away at a huge swath of ice in the driveway of the house I worked at, in preparation for a storm that was coming. I made my way home from work in the storm, an hour late because my relief came late, only to have to shovel more in order to get into my driveway.

I walked into the house, tired and glad it was all over. G was standing at the door. She informed me that she had puked "a little" in the bathroom.

It looked like a vomit bomb went off in the bathroom. B and I spent the next hour alternating between cleaning and holding the big green bowl under G's chin.

I spent the rest of the evening on bowl duty. It was definitely one of those dark nights of the soul. You cat nap on the foot of the sick child's bed. You don't want to actually share the bed because, gross. You lay listening for that first sound of retching, praying to God that you get the bowl under their chin before you have to change the fucking sheets again.

It's gotten much better. I knew things were looking up last Mother's Day. You can read about that vomiting incident here.

So far, V had it last week. The lovely boy waited until morning to start, so I got a full nights rest. He made it into the bowl every time. Because he is old enough to stick the bowl under his chin himself (I spasmed with joy as  wrote that last part. It's the little things, ya know?).

G said she felt sick last night. I suspected a school avoidance, but left the big green bowl up on her bed just in case. G sleeps high up in a loft bed. The thought of the splatter range should she puke off the side of that bed was simply terrifying, so I took that precaution.

I jumped out of bed at 3am to the sounds of her retching. Thankfully, in the toilet. I don't know if you can truly understand my happiness and feeling of triumph at this, but it certainly was a wonderful moment.

So here I am, tired from sleeping on the couch, while Gretel lay on the other end with the big green bowl. I am working on tying up any loose ends because I am assuredly the next person to take my place on the couch, with the big green bowl by my head.

Only I am a big girl, so I generally make it to the bathroom.

 I suppose I should apologize. No blog since Christmas and the one I get around to writing speaks only of my family's vomit.

But this is where I am right now, in a holding pattern, waiting to see where the virus strikes next.

Two down, three to go!