Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lessons learned

Really, it never fails.  The more sweaty and nasty I look the greater the likelihood I will run into someone I know.  It is like a great law of the universe.  Of course, the more vile I look, the more amazing they will look, the more important it is to me to at least look respectable.

This axiom of life applies to the behavior of my children.  The greater the likelihood of a public display of temper tantrum, the greater the likelihood I will run into someone with perfect children.  Someone who will look at me with general disdain.

To prove the axiom is totally true, I submit the following:

No husband for dinner, means eating out to me.  Monday means house cleaning day, and given that it is the beginning of the school year and I don't clean in the summer, Monday house cleaning days are an all day affair.  It is hotter than hell here, so I was needless to say, not looking my best when I left the house to take the kids to Culvers.   But, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Small digression here, that is not what I looked like, I looked more like this,

but when I typed disheveled mommy into google that was the first picture that popped up.  Seriously?  That is disheveled.  EGADS.  Oh, and you can not use dirty, messy or sloppy mommy, because that brings up porn.

Ok, on with the story here.  I was not looking top notch.  I run into some of the folks who wanted Santa at the holiday party last year.  You all remember.  It was just lovely.  I have been to Culvers about a million times, and NEVER seen anyone I know.  Today, when the kids were melting down, and I looked like hell, they decide to turn up?

I think there might have been some sort of food stuff in my hair.   Certainly there was dirty spots on my clothes.  Of course they both looked fabulous and put together and their kids were angels.  You could almost here the harp music in the background.  As usual, I looked like I had just been released from jail and my kids were about to go there.

Just proves that it is prudent to brush your hair and slap on some lipstick before you leave the house.  Lesson learned....  Mom you were right.

Monday, August 30, 2010

September Goals

I for one CAN NOT believe that it is already September.  Happy Birthday to me! :)

I only have 5 goals, and they all revolve around finishing things!  I am going to finish off a bunch of outstanding projects.  While I am starting Hannah's monkey, it is more like I am fulfilling a promise.  Besides, her birthday is rapidly approaching! 

  1. Finish my sweater
  2. Finish my March club socks
  3. Finish Martha's stocking
  4. Start Hannah's monkey
  5. Do 10 squares on my blanket

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Birthday Interview

So, Mr. Lang, can you please tell me about the highlights of your past year?  For starters, I have been a student teacher, and I am pretty sure I can read what you are writing over your shoulder.  

I guess this means I don't need to read it to you?  Yes, Mom, I am 10.

Other than being a student teacher, any other big moments in your 9th year?  Ummm...  I only have 7 years at Hogwarts.

I am not sure what Hogwarts has to do with anything?  Harry Potter is awesome.

Mr. Lang, we are discussing your 9th year... I told you Hogwarts only has 7 years.

Alright, so, as you embark on double digits, any special plans?  Yes, to blow up the school... but save all the teachers.

Great, so now we need to phone the police.  No we don't, they were here last night and I told them I didn't do it.

That was not the police, but Fish and Wildlife.  Perhaps the fish are in touch with the FBI.

Mr. Lang, I do not advise starting your 10th year with a felony charge.  Do you have any other plans?  Or do you need a time out?  Umm.... ummm... hmmmm....stop writing everything I say.

It is an interview Mr. Lang, I am supposed to write what you say, if you don't want me to write it don't say it.  This is sort of a comedy isn't it?  Why yes it is.

Back to the question about your plans for the future.  I plan to train really hard for soccer.

Sounds like a good goal.  Yes, I will be scoring goals.  I hope you have a good birthday.  Thank you Mr. Lang for your time. Stop calling me that, I want to be Mac.  I haven't turned in my student teacher pass.

This concludes our interview with the birthday boy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ten Things

Previously in the discussion about my weekend, we learned that I went to the thriving metropolis of Moline.  (Not that there is anything wrong with Moline, the river walk area was really cute, but it is not Chicago)  The question remains, why was I there.  Brace yourself, I went to a concert, we saw the Scorpions.   

Dokken opened for the Scorpions.  I learned a few things from Don Dokken.  For those of you who have no clue who Dokken is, it is an '80's heavy metal hair band.  Remember when these guys had really big hair and played really loud?  Yeah, Dokken was one of them.  Photo:

I was a punker/new wave chick in high school, so this heavy metal crap is not really my speed.  That said, I appreciated the Scorpions.  Dokken on the other hand, not so much.  But we can survive anything.

So 10 things about Dokken:

1)  Once you reach a certain age, leather pants are not a good idea
2)  Once you reach a certain weight, leather pants are not a good idea
3)  How many cows had to die to make said leather pants?
4)  When you loose your hair, you can use a scarf to cover the loss.
5)  If the scarf is long enough it will simulate long hair
6)  If you talk about how much sex you have and how much you like to drink, stupid drunk women will throw themselves at you
7)  When wearing the aforementioned leather pants, it is important to also wear a cup
8)  What was in the red plastic cups that they kept tossing around?
9)  The 80's are over, get a haircut.  Be totally committed to business or party, not both.  Make a choice.
10)  You can fashion fairly effective ear plugs out of toilet paper.

Dokken was, well, right up there with Twilight on the I-found-it-to-be-a-satirical-commentary-and-laughed-my-ass-off meter.  Good times, I tell you good times.

Tomorrow, the candid review of the  Scorpions.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The First Day

We pause our story about the weekend to present this breaking news:

The first day of school!!  I sent a second grader and a fifth grader off to school.  Some photos!

Monday, August 23, 2010


This weekend we went to Moline.  Where is that you ask?  It is in the middle of a corn field.  To get there from here, you have to drive south through the flat lands.  There is nothing between here and there, other than corn.  Still can't picture where it is?  Here is a hand map provided by the Moline Chamber of Commerce.

Please note how the Quad Cities, which includes Moline and THREE other cities is supposedly bigger than oh, I don't know, Chicago?  See how their sphere of influence is so great it covers multiple states?  Some how, I don't think there is truth in advertising here.  Moline is a small town.  It is on the map only because John Deere is headquartered there.

Why did we go to Moline?  To see a concert.  But wait, don't I live in the big city, can't I see it there without driving through the corn?  Yes, yes I could.  But the cost of the event in the big city was MORE than the cost of driving to Moline, spending the night in a hotel and seeing the concert.  We also got to see the concert from floor seats that were about 10 rows back. 

Did I mention there was a hotel stay involved with all of this?  I love to get away from the kids for an evening and Bob and I haven't been away together in 3 years.  It was a nice break from our routines and a lovely way to celebrate 14 years of marriage.  The fact that a hotel stay was involved is very important.  You will understand soon.

Who did we see you ask?  Well stay tuned for the answer for that question and more. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dishrag Tag

Last year, when the teams went up for DishRag tag (yes, a knitting thing) I was discussing the state of my underwear.  I was complaining that I didn't have very nice underwear (meaning it was old and ratty), and because Bob was out of work, I couldn't afford to replace my undies.  Things had reached a breaking point with them, and lets just say, if the coroner saw them, s/he would be appalled.

Everyone on my new team for DishRag tag will be happy to know, that my husband is now gainfully employed.  I have replaced most of my undies, so if I should drop dead, the coroner were to see them my mother would not be shamed.  I even replaced the bras. 

I point all of this out, to note that things have changed in the past year.  My lead post when the teams went up was me talking about babysitting 3 kids, adding to my own to make 6.  I shared that it was a crazy day, as one would expect.  My teammates will think that I am a sort of normal person.  They won't be concerned, as my last teammates were, that I was a little nutty.

Frankly, we just can't have that.  My team came in 3rd last year.  We could have won if someone wasn't worried about germs being transmitted in the mail.  Like all good athletes, tradition is important.  Last year I shared about my underwear and things went well.  So, it is lucky to share about the state of my undies. This year, things will go well.

Oh, I would also like to point out that I am not totally crazy, but perhaps a bit nutty.  I am responsible (someone did trust me with their 3 kids a swimming pool), I always do what I say I am going to do, and I got my dishrag out the day it came in.  I took it to the late night drop and it went out that same day.

Do with that what you will.  I am off to sharpen my needles.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result

Insanity:  Unsoundness of mind

Insanity:  Agreeing to watch the children of an acquaintance who you don't really know that well.  The kind with 3 kids, all slightly younger than yours.

I am insane.  In my unflappable, help out the down-trodden way, I agreed to watch one of Sammy's friends and his siblings.  When I said, sure no problem, I didn't realize it was an ALL day affair.  So, I had 6 kids for the entire day.  I learned some things:

1)  The fact that our house is pretty big and has lots of places for the kids to spread out to, is, when you have 6 kids, a very good thing.  We had kids in all corners, but everyone had some place to go away from everyone else when they needed a break.

2)  Taking the kids swimming, while this seems crazy, was a genius idea.  The pool is crazy full of lifeguards.  So, I essentially had an entire staff of helpers.  5 of the 6 kids were pretty good in the water.  4 of the 6 could go off and play in the pool/waterslides/dive pool area on their own.  So, this worked out really well and the lifeguards provided me with some assistance.

3)  6 kids will eat 1 lb of pretzels, 3 lbs of grapes, 1 bottle of juice, 1/2 gallon of milk, 9 sandwiches, and 6 popsicles and still complain that they are hungry.  This is the downside to swimming.  The cost of feeding said children was about $10, I am glad I don't have 6 kids.

4)  My house is a den of iniquity.  We seem to allow our kids to do a lot of fun things that the other parents don't allow.

Finally, one last thought about the day, I am VERY glad I decided to check on Hannah when she was teaching our youngest visitor to jump off the stairs and swing on the pull cord from blinds.  Apparently she thought that they could both tarzan into the dinning room by holding the "rope" from the mini-blinds.  Needless to say, this would not have gone well.

I survived, I helped out a friend and I guess that is a good thing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

14 years ago

14 years ago, I got up and took a shower.  Then a couple of my friends took a shower.  In the process of getting everyone bathed, we flooded the bathroom, causing a water feature to form in my mother's dinning room.  My mother was a bit stressed out at that point, so we cleaned it up and never told her about it.

My brother took Bob and his best man to my other brother's house to change, and they spent so much time chit chatting and looking around they were late to arrive at the party.  We had to call them to find out if they were planning on coming, or was I being stood up.

My Dad walked around in his silver tux, shiny and proud.  He wore his hat, drank a sprite and told everyone he was the father of the bride.  My Dad told me if I was stood up, we would still have one hellva party and then he would hunt Bob down and kill him.

14 years ago today, I married my best friend.  It is strange to say that, because when I married him he wasn't my best friend, but he is now.  So many of my friends are unhappily married or divorced, but we seem to still like each other.  I think this bodes well for the future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

No Failure Zone

If you could do anything, anything at all what would you do?  Failure isn't an option, this anything you want to do, you can't fail at it.  So here is the question, if you could do anything, you are guaranteed not to fail, what would you do?

I have been marinating on that question for a while now.  What would I do?  The two ideas that I keep coming back to are, open a brick and mortar yarn store and write a book.

I think the yarn store thing is not hard to imagine.  I have a yarn store-in-training in my basement.  I love to knit, and for the most part, knitting saved me during the black year.  During the year when everyone was crazy and I had to keep picking up all the pieces, but no one would pick up my pieces.  You remember.  Because of that, I will always have a soft spot for yarn and all things fibery.  Opening a yarn store would enable me to be in my happy place all the time and share that salvation with others. 

Why don't I do it?  Well, because a huge percentage of retail stores fail.  Failure means that I will lose a lot of money.  We are not in a position to loose a lot of money.  So what keeps me from doing this is failure and a small amount of laziness.  The amount of time and energy I would have to invest into such a venture is also beyond my availability right now.

Being a writer?  Who knows about that.  Perhaps maybe.  It sure would be nice to know I wasn't going to fail, but the cost of failure isn't that great.  I think about it from time to time.

What would you do, if you knew you wouldn't fail?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Got Bats?

When we go outside, we are assaulted by the heat.  It is hot and humid.  Once you are over the heat, you are attacked by mosquitoes.  The mosquitoes are so bad, I am seriously considering a bat house.

First, lets discuss the heat.  Chicago has broken the record for consecutive days over 80 degrees.  The area has also broken records for number of days over 90.  In our household, we have had the air conditioning on almost everyday.  I have a love hate relationship with the a/c.  I love to have it when it is really hot, but I sure hate to pay for it.  This year, well lets just say we have paid for to cool the house than to heat it.

Now, as it goes, the mosquito population is also at a record high.  The worst infestation in 20 years.  The mosquitoes are so bad, that they buzzing in your ears drowns out the birds.  We were outside doing a little weeding in the "cool" of the afternoon and we were all so bady eaten, that we looked like we had some strange pimply disease.  Sam's legs swelled, Hannah's shoulders were dimpled with spots on uneaten flesh and the rest of us, just sat on our hands trying not to scratch.

This of course has lead to a lot of discussion about the natural predators of mosquitoes.  They happen to be bats, who eat 600 to a 1000 insects a night.  But, we don't have any bats.  It was an evening activity to watch the bats in Connecticut, but here in the city, no bats.  I laughed at the bat houses, now I long for one. 

Till then, I hide in my house and use chemicals.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A new project

A good friend of mine just told me that she is pregnant with her second child.  This comes after trying for a while and not having any success.  I am very excited for her.  But, it leaves me with a dilemma.  What to make her...

I am looking for a project that meets the following criteria:

  1. I do not have to buy any yarn to make the project
  2. I can finish it in time without wanting to poke my eyes out.  (Ok, this might be a bit much to ask for, because most projects make me want to poke my eyes out periodically.)
  3. I do not have to buy yarn to make the project.
Since I have a massive bin of acrylic yarn, the yarn of choice for any baby project, I have a lot of choices available to me.  But, I don't really have enough of any one color to make an entire project out of a single yarn.  So this leaves me with having to make a project with a variety of colors.

The prospect of doing intarsia or colorwork on a huge project like a blanket is completely unfathomable to me.  I can barely handle it on a stocking, let alone a baby blanket.  This leaves us with the options of stripes or some other scrappy sort of project.

After searching through the patterns on ravelry for awhile, I think the end result is another log cabin blanket.  I hate to make the same thing twice, but that project fits the bill.  Well, it does make me want to poke my eyes out, but if I set a schedule and stick to it, perhaps it won't be so bad.

This friend has appropriately reacted to hand knitted goods, so she is worthy.  But, she will still get acrylic, it is for a baby.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bad needles?

Customer service is a tricky thing.  You want to make sure you take care of your customers but you do not want those same customers to take advantage of you. 

As we all know, I order a lot of yarn for various places.  Yarn and needles to be precise.  Both are tricky to order over the internet.  With yarn, the colors in the picture might not be the same in person and this could be a problem.  Also, you can not inspect the hank to make sure that there are no knots in it or to ensure that the dye it even or that the twist is to your liking.  You are buying it based on reputation of the seller and the brand of yarn.  There is a fairly big leap of faith involved here.

 It is the same story with needles.  When you buy needles in the store you can check out the tips of the needles and make sure that they are in good working order.  I have seen needles that are cracked at the tip, rough in places, with bad joins, etc.  There are lots of things that can go wrong with the needle that make it difficult to knit with, especially with smaller gauge needles.

All my "good" needles, come from Knit Picks.  This is a catalog company.  I have had a mixed experience with their customer service.  When I purchased a new circ to replace the one I broke, the join was bad.  I tried to fix it, to smooth it out, but it just was never as smooth as I would expect it to be.  I called to ask to return it and get a different one.  That was met with a prompt promise to send it out and that I could keep the bad one.  It will pain me, but into the trash it will go.

At the same time I asked to have my cracked double point replaced.  It was cracked when I pulled it out of the package.  I had purchased them some time ago, but when I had an issue with some yarn having a boat load of knots in it, I was told that KnitPicks stands behind their products and if I ever have a problem with something they will stand by it, even if it has been awhile since it was purchased.  So, when I was told that they do not replace double points, because they give you 6, I was pretty much dumb struck.  The customer service rep rendered me speechless, and you all know how difficult that is to do.

This is coupled with the fact that I know some of my knitting buddies have complained about cracked double points and had them replaced.  I also know that a ton of people on ravelry have complained about issues with needles and had them replaced.  Heck, when I complained about the bad join, they replaced it.

I am not trying to get something for nothing.  I purchased the 6 pack of needles because if I break one I have a back up.  I did not realize it was so that the company had a back up.  As I can not inspect the merchandise before I purchase it, I expect that the quality will meet my standards and if it doesn't that it will be dealt with properly.  When I broke my circ, I bought another one.  I did not call Knit Picks and ask them to replace my circular needle because I snapped it. 

But I do expect that the next needle be as high quality at the last 4 I have purchased.  I expect that ALL my double points are in good working order when I pull them out of the package.  I expect that my yarn not have more than 1 knot per hank.  If I can not inspect the items before I buy them, I expect that the catalog company will stand behind their merchandise.

I have complained about this on ravelry, because I was furious.  I appreciate the folks over there letting me vent.  I also hope that Knit Picks realizes that it isn't hard for us knitters/crocheters to share this information quickly.  I hope that I get to go back and share that they did the right thing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

School Supplies

This year I am going rogue.  I know, the shock and horror of it all, I am not going to follow the directions.  You would never expect me to not follow the rules.  I never decide which ones apply to me, never.  Shame on you for even thinking it.

At the end of the school year, I had the kids bring home their left over school supplies rather than donate them.  My reasoning was two-fold; 1)  School supplies don't grow on trees and 2) I wanted to see how much of this stuff they really used.

The volume of supplies that came home left me gobsmacked.  These kids take a back pack FULL of supplies at the beginning of the year.  They came home with a FULL back pack of supplies.  The list is about 2 column inches long.  It seemed that the only things that got used were the ziploc bags and the pencils.

I have some resolutions about the supplies this year:
  • This year I am sending back the folders that they didn't use.  I am not buying new ones.  
  • This year I am not sending in double supplies for Mac, he isn't in the regular classroom that much.
  • This year I am not sending in anything that seems unlikely to be used, if they need it as the year progresses, they can ask for it.  If it is a good deal at the office supply stores, I may buy it and keep it in the school supplies tote, but I will not send it in.
  • This year I am not sending in ziploc bags, not that I don't have a basement full of them that I got for free, but the reality is that the teachers have about a million of them, and I don't see an entire box of them return home, so no bags for you.  
  • This year, I am waiting until I know what we really need to send anything in, and that is the way that it is.

As an aside, the supply boxes cost $35 a kid.  I have bought all my supplies for all three kids and have only spent about $15.  This is not because I am not sending in the scotch tape they want, it is because the supplies bought through the school are too expensive.

We need to think about our consumption of resources.  I am not adverse to sending the supplies in for the kids, but I am adverse to buying things that no one uses.  I think that the supply lists need to be re-addressed, lets have the teachers ask the kids to send things in that they really use, not just a big list of stuff.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Is it over?

The final thing I surmised would happen while I was gone, was that my brother's custody battle would be resolved.  Well, with the efficiency and lighting quick speed of the court system,  a it was not.

Apparently their court date was really a date to get their case on the calendar.  You know like talking to the hostess in the restaurant and they put your name on the list for a table.  They will have a trial in Octoberish.  This is probably alright, as the way things are right now is not a bad thing.  That said, the drama and and the anticipation of the "big event" are still delayed.

When I have friends come and talk to me about getting divorced, I think about what is going on in this situation.  Granted, it is unlikely that any separation could be more acrimonious, but when I think about the impact on my nephew, my advice is always to try and work it out.  Don't have any kids?  Knock yourself out, do what you want, but if you have kids, think about it.

This does not mean that there are not situations where divorce is the right decision.  That said, even the most friendly separation has an impact on the kids that is not positive.  It is a life changing event, not just for the adults, but the kids too. 

All you children of divorce who turned out alright, cool your jets.  Think back to how you felt when everything was going down.  Remember the anxiety and angst as you had to adjust to the break up?  Remember the longing for an intact family, even if you didn't like your mother or father?  It sucked didn't it? 

That said, I am not saying that divorce is wrong all the time, I am just saying that in our country we tend to get divorced a little too quickly without any real thought about the impact on the kids.  In my brother's situation, this break up was most likely the right thing for him and for his son.  To his credit, he lived in a pretty untenable situation for a long time because he wanted to keep his family together.  Now, I think it is time to let the chickens come home to roost.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Exciting Thing

So the other thing I supposed would happen while I was gone, was that something that I haven't talked about but was really exciting would come to pass.  I didn't want to talk about the fact that Interfaithfamily.com asked me to write an article for them, because I felt that too many things could go wrong between the offer and publication.  Can we say House Hunters?

For those of you not in the know, we were asked to be on House Hunters when we purchased the house we currently live in.  The issue was that we moved out of our old house and were in temporary housing while we awaited the new house being available.  The apartment complex we were in would not release the film crews so that they could film us in the apartment.  So, it all fell through.  But, I had told everyone and then had to say it wasn't happening.  Ok, back to our story...

I got the offer based on a blog post that I had written.  I know, I was shocked too, when I read the comment from a real live editor on my blog.  It was a stunning turn of events.  I agreed, and then sort of hounded them a bit.  I did manage to stay on top of things enough to get my article published.  The editor who asked me to write is has left now, and so what will happen in the future, is well, up in the air.  I plan to pitch some more articles and see what happens.  But, I think I will wait until the dust settles a bit over there.

I was also asked to be part of a blogging project by the same folks.  I don't know if that will happen or not, but one can only hope.

If you didn't get a chance to read my article, the link is here  Choosing a Religion.  There isn't a return link, but I think I am done here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Trip

At one point I said that during my 12-day vacation a lot would happen.  I wrote that prior to actually leaving and well, it was sort of true and sort of not true.

The trip in and of itself is very "exciting."  Spending 6 days in a car with 3 little children is always an adventure, to say the least.  As I generally expected, the car portion of the trip was fine.  My kids have been traveling since they were infants, so they are used to the prospect of long days in the car watching dvd's and playing ds.  They look forward to eating out in restaurants and swimming in the hotel pool.  I took them to a local greasy spoon in Pennsylvania, and Mac thought it was the best thing ever and was amazed that we spent about what we would have at McDonalds.  They are learning.

Seeing my friends in Connecticut is always bittersweet, I miss them so much and it always makes me sad to have to say good-bye.  That said, it is so great to see them, and everyone always seems to pick up right where they left off.  It always amazes me that the kids that have not seen each other in a year, immediately start playing together and having a good time.  It is a place where everyone knows your name.

There is always a stop at my in-laws.  This year was not as jovial as usual as my father in law is struggling with some changes in his health.  These changes are very distressing to the entire family and as a result everyone is on edge.  The thing I thought was so interesting was that while my kids know the names of their cousins, their cousins do not know their names.

When my cousins would come and visit, it was the highlight of the summer.  I would count down the days and be sad when they would leave.  It was like a hole in the days once they were gone.  I missed the companionship, the fun activities.  We would fight and play together like siblings, it was a great time.  My uncle would take us to the beach and let us do things my mother would never even consider.  There was always trips to the ice cream store and dinners together.  Even if we didn't really do much "exciting" stuff it was always better with the Michigan crew.

Life has interesting twists and turns.  The people that you think should be important, sometimes aren't.  Different families, different people have different values.  I was taught to value family above all others, and to always have each others' backs.  I have shared this philosophy many times before.  Right, wrong or indifferent, I will always have my entire families backs, in as much as that is possible.  I have slowly come to grips with the fact that this is not a two way street in every town.  At the end of the day, I know that I have wonderful friends in Connecticut that will fill the void.  I will continue to encourage my children to value family, but sometimes I think that family isn't the blood relations.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keep on rollin'

Arriving home after a trip like we have been on is a surreal experience.  Spending that much time traveling in a car does strange things to your mind.  It seems so strange to sleep in "my own" bed.  The bed seems unfamiliar and the surroundings are oddly familiar and foreign all at the same time.

When you are in the car for 6 days, it is almost like meditation.  As we would roll along I would have these epiphanies, great ideas about what I should do about something.  Then almost as rapidly as they would float into my mind, they would be forgotten.  I had composed amazing blog posts in my head, only to arrive at our destination to not even remember the topic.

As I would drive along, I would find other people who drove about the same speed as I did and we would caravan.  I would imagine that we would be looking for cops together. Yet, usually it was me, noticing them and hiding.  This would put my fellow speeders in the spot light, but there is safety in numbers.  Big rig drivers always seem to know where the cops hide.  I always follow their lead.

Bob drove the last leg, and I got to sit in the car and knit.  This was a nice reprieve from driving, but I still had that same meditative experience.  Bob drives along pretty quickly, just like me, but without the infractions.  He was less concerned about cops.

It was great to see everyone, but I am very glad to not have to drive my car any longer than a trip to the store for a long time!  It is good to be home.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Not quite home yet

I hope you have been enjoying the last week of posts.  What they did not address was what was actually going on in my life.  I have been on vacation and have managed to get enough things up ahead of time that I don't have dead air space for very long.

As I sit here, not having actually left yet, I know that a number of momentous things will have happened.  Or, at least I think that they will happen.  I get a pit in my stomach when I think about all of them.

First off, there is the trip.  It is a pretty momentous event that I load all our stuff and all three kids in a van and drive to Connecticut for a vacation.  We take it slow, so we spend 6 days in the car, round trip.  My kids are small and whiny, Mac is unpredictable at best, and I will not have any back up.  The whole thing always scares me.  There are some relationships that I have to deal with that are not comfortable, and I have some anxiety about that as well.

Secondly, something that I have not shared in this space is going to happen.  Or at least I have been told that it is going to happen.  I have been promised similar things in the past, and not had them come through, so want to keep this under my hat until it is reality.  If it does come to pass, it is pretty exciting.

Finally, a really bad, traumatic thing is, in theory anyway, going to be resolved, for now.  I have shared a little about some of the things going on in Cali, and there should be some resolution on that.  But, well, also, maybe not.

There will be a lot for me to write about once I get back.  I will be back soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This Summer

I was reading an article in the paper about how summer is almost over.  I was looking at the calendar and after we get back from our trip, the kids have 2 1/2 weeks until school starts.  It is almost time to jump out of the swimming pool and dive back into the carpool.  I, for one, am not ready.

Last summer was, in my memory, long and breezy, filled with relaxing days.  This summer has been hot and a bit oppressive.  I wake up every morning at 6:00 because the dog is panting so hard I can't sleep through it.  I am looking forward to sleeping in once school starts.  I feel we have not had the wonderful idyllic summer we had last year.

What is different?  Bob has a job, so fear is not my consistent companion.  We have some money, so we have been able to do some fun things like Disneyland.  I have only two thoughts about why I remember last summer as so great... 1)  Our lives were so miserable at that point, the fact that Bob was happier improved everyone's lot so much that everything just seemed better.  Or 2)  We were so scared about the future that we appreciated everything a lot more.  The kids were just better because well, their mother was on the brink of a nervous breakdown, that they didn't want to push.  Or I was so distracted by fear and consumed by worry, I didn't notice.

I tell myself, and prove it by reading old posts, that the kids did in deed fight and argue with each other last year.  I think California was so awesome last year because after the winter I had had, it was so nice to go and have my mom take care of me.  This year, well there is a lot of stuff going on in Cali.

For what ever reason, this summer just isn't as awesome as last.  That said, I am not really looking forward to walking the kids to school everyday.  Mostly because, very soon after the first day of school comes the first snow, and then it is cold for another 10 months.