Showing Posts From: Family

03 Aug, 2013

Man Brains

/ posted in: Family

You know that thing that men do when you tell them an idea or theory that you have and they are pretty noncommittal and then a while later they come back and tell you that they’ve had a brilliant idea.  It just popped into their brain out of nowhere and they parrot back your idea to you.  Yeah, it is one of my favorite man things.

Last night the husband came home from picking up Z.  He sat down on the couch next to me and said tentatively, “I’m forming this theory.  It’s probably bullshit.  I hope it is bullshit.  But what if the things that make her so difficult aren’t her mental issues but just her personality?”

Me:  “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Him:  “You don’t think so?”

Me:  “Saturday evening.  Two weeks ago when she was here.  We sat on the bed and discussed this for about a half hour.”  I also wrote a whole blog post about it but I didn’t tell him that.

Him:  “Oh”

Me:  “Is that at all familiar to you?”

Him:  “Yeah, maybe….  Was it my idea or yours?”


25 Jul, 2013


/ posted in: Family

It finally happened.  She broke me.  I have no more tolerance left.

We had Z this weekend and a good time was had by all.  Yeah, that was sarcasm.  Her thing for the last few visits is to spend a good portion of her time wailing for her mother.  “I miss my mommy!  I love my mommy! I want to be with my mommy!”  That sounds like a poor child in distress, right?  Consider these facts though.

  1. We have gotten several phone calls from her mother with Z wailing in the background about how she loves her daddy best and wants to go live with him.
  2. Z is becoming increasingly violent to her mother to the point that we fear for her mother’s safety.

So, what’s the kid’s game?  If she is trying to manipulate us she has seriously misread her audience.  It isn’t like any of us are going out of our way to get her to love us best.  I can’t see that this behavior has gotten her any benefits.  Why keep it up?  I can’t tell if she is seeking more reassurances of love and acceptance while becoming more verbally and physically abusive to the people she wants love from.  It isn’t like she isn’t told and shown that she is loved.  This weekend her father drove her 200 miles to get a teddy bear she left in a restaurant and she spent part of the trip home having a fit because he never does anything nice for her.

On Saturday the husband had gone out for a while mainly to take a break from Z.  She didn’t even notice for a while but when she did she started in on how much she hated him.  She wished she didn’t have a father.  She wished she never had to come here.  On and on.  I pretty much ignored her.  It wasn’t the first time I’d been subjected to this litany.  Finally I calmly said, “If you feel that way just let your mother know and see if you can stay home from now on.”  Please!

She bitterly replied, “I can’t!  She says that the court says that I have to come here and she can’t change that.”

I couldn’t help it.  I burst out laughing.  As another adult in his child’s life I can easily translate that to, “I’d rather pluck my own eyeballs out than spend another weekend dealing with you right now but I can’t tell you that.  Go bother your father for a while.”  Well played, Mom.

After a bit she changed to, “I wish my daddy was here right now for a hug.”  I casually pointed out that just seconds earlier she had expressed a wish that he had never been born.  She said, “I mean, I love my mommy’s hugs best but..” Right then her father came home.  She ran to him screaming, “Daddy!!!!” like she hadn’t seen him in years.  Bizarre.

I’ve found myself trying to avoid her more when she is here.  I’m not the only one.  She asked me this weekend if I had noticed that Freckles didn’t like people any more because every time she tried to pet or talk to the her, the dog left the room.  That’s just sad when a dog finds you too trying to deal with.

I always used to think that she was difficult to deal with because of her mental illness but now I’m worried that may not be the problem.  As I told her father, he’s crazy but he’s still fun and enjoyable to be around.  I pointed out that in all the years we’ve been together neither one of us as ever proposed an activity and then said, “Let’s wait until Z is here because it will be so much more fun with her.”  We have often done the opposite though.  We’ve taken her somewhere that should have been fun and after she’s thrown a fit through the whole experience we’ve said, “You know, that was a pretty cool place.  Let’s go back alone and see it for real.”

So now I’m worried that this is just her personality.  She may just be one of those people who just suck the life out of a room.  She’s convinced herself that we lie to her all the time because several years ago she asked her father if we were planning a wedding.  He told her that we didn’t have any plans to get married at the time.  True statement.  Fast forward a few years and we got married.  She’s linked those moments in her brain and brings it up over and over as proof that we lie to her all the time.

I’m holding out a bit of hope that part of this is just her age and that in 20 years or so she might be a nice person.  I’m not asking for her to be normal.  I just want her to be pleasant enough to be around that animals don’t flee.  Is that too much?

For now though I think it is time for a zero-tolerance policy on talking crap about her father.  She can have whatever feelings she wants but as long as she’s here she needs to talk respectfully.  If she can’t do that she should just keep her mouth shut.  I sense another fun weekend in store when that is explained to her.


19 Jul, 2013

New Wife Needed

/ posted in: Family

My husband needs a better wife. I’ve decided. We’ll be accepting resumés.

The other day we were watching The Waltons. (This is not my fault. He wanted to get The Waltons from Netflix but I hadn’t seen it. We are on season 7 or so.) It was an episode when Ben gets married and thinks that being the man of the house means ordering his wife around. He is standing outside their room yelling at her. I happened to glance over at the husband and to mention that that approach may not work on me.

He said that he had figured that out. He said that he couldn’t yell at me anyway. Then he decided to try. He sort of half-heartedly yelled something at me. He didn’t even get much volume. He only scored about 5 out of 10 on tone.

I found it mildly amusing but all hell broke lose.

Freckles was resting between us. She spun towards him in a panic and glared at him. Why was he yelling at Mommy?

Powder was walking by and froze. She gave him a look of complete disdain that only a female cat can.

Jules started screaming. She’s never been a big fan of his. No matter how many grapes he gives her she’s always been pretty sure that deep down he’s up to no good and this confirmed it.

He had to spend some time mending fences after that. He needs a new wife that does not come complete with a herd of animals who aren’t going to stand for any nonsense.

Later, I was reading a blog by a young woman who was discussing having a good attitude when helping out at home. After all the purpose of learning to keep a house is to be ready to make a good home for your husband. If your mother asks you to make sandwiches it is practice for serving your husband. You wouldn’t say no if your husband asked you to make him a sandwich, would you?

My first thought was, “I’d ask him if his arm was broken.”

I mean, if I was making sandwiches I’d make him one. If he was doing something and I thought he needed nourishment I might offer a sandwich. But if we were both sitting around and he said, “Woman, go make me a sandwich” I don’t see that conversation ending with him having a nice ham and cheese.

Obviously he needs a better wife. I told him this and offered to get him in contact with several of the young ladies who write blogs like these since they are prepared to be doting mates. He forbid me – again – from reading these blogs since they addle my brain. I’m ignoring his orders since, as we’ve established, I’m a pretty unobedient woman.

06 Jul, 2013


/ posted in: FamilyPhotos

I hate fireworks shows so I took the time to play with my camera. These were taken on a tripod with a 1-2 second shutter time. The first set were at a fairgrounds. We were parked about 1 mile away.







After that show we went home for the husband and the father’s Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza. It has become a tradition for them to blow things up in ever increasing numbers each year. I describe it as a High Holy Day in my family. In fact, when my mother suggested that maybe they didn’t have to do it because there was going to be a professional show nearby, the husband started yelling that she was a blasphemer.

This was a more dangerous photo shoot. I almost got hit by cardboard tubes. Anything for art!







Freckles was in the house for these. I had given her some benedryl but it didn’t slow her down. Fireworks don’t seem to bother her at all though. I went in the house when they were done setting these off. She was in the bedroom closest to the very loud noises and seemed mostly pissed off that she wasn’t allowed outside with all the people and excitement.

28 Jun, 2013

Introverts R Us

/ posted in: Family

Ever since I read Quiet I’ve noticed introversion vs extroversion more.   My father’s family is definitely a family of introverts.

There were 12 of us on this Hawaiian vacation.  My mom and dad, me and the husband, my brother, SIL, and their 2 kids, an uncle and his partner, and a cousin and her husband.  All of us who were born into this family (with the possible exception of my cousin who has always been considered a bit on the wild side) are serious introverts.  We all also partnered up with people much more extroverted than ourselves.  Someone has to talk, I guess.

The extroverts laugh at us.  My brother and SIL were going with the husband and me to the volcano one day.  We met outside and started to walk to the car.  About 50 feet down the corridor my brother looked over at me and said dryly, “Morning.”  I gave him a head nod of acknowledgment.

My SIL cracked up.  “Nice to see you guys got the pleasantries out of the way.”

I said that we had covered everything we needed to say until sometime that afternoon.

My brother sat up front with me in the car because he is a tall person.  The husband and the SIL sat in the back and talked away.  My brother and I were silent unless you count the sarcastic asides muttered about the people in the back in tones that they couldn’t hear.  We crack ourselves up with a few well chosen words.

My oldest niece is 3.  I had never heard her speak until this vacation.  I only heard her say a few words in the week I was with her.  The one year old has so far seen no reason to talk unless pressed on the issue.  He can say things but why bother?  I totally agree.

Do your families have strong tendencies like this or are we just weird?

23 Jun, 2013

Kona 5K

/ posted in: Family

My father has been on a quest to run a race in all 50 states for the last few years. When he first started talking about this I said “Make sure the last one is on Hawaii on the beach and I’ll be your trainer.” I was joking but we’re here! Today was the Kona Marathon/Half Marathon/10K/5K. I was support staff only. No running for me.


This is my dad, my uncle, and my cousin. Everybody got into a Hawaii trip.

You can’t have a race in Hawaii without hula girls.


In case you need encouragement to run fast.


Dad took second in his age group and my cousin tok third in hers. My uncle is younger than them but he ran the race with my dad so he didn’t place. They said that at the end of the race they got routed into a hotel and up and down a flight of stairs. That wasn’t a fun surprise.


19 Jun, 2013

Justifiable Homicide

/ posted in: Family

The husband and I were having a snarky conversation about brains vs beauty this morning.  He wistfully said that he had dated a lot of beautiful women in the past.

Me- “Oh, poor you!”

Him- “Now I went for brains and good looking.”

Me- “So you’re settling for ‘good personality’?”

Him- “I never said you had a good personality!”

The whole conversation had evolved from my assertion that my entire family was going to gang up on him and kill him this week.  I don’t even remember why we were going to kill him but it is obvious that he has it coming for many reasons.

We are heading off on a big family vacation this week.  Wish us luck.

27 May, 2013

What Not To Wear

/ posted in: Family

The husband had an idea. When Z comes to visit she lugs a suitcase around crammed full of clothes that she mostly never wears. He decided to give her mother $300 to buy her some clothes that can stay here to make it easier on everyone. It seemed like a good plan.

Z came here this weekend with her clothes.

  • Problem number 1 – She came with a receipt showing that they spent $165. There was no change provided.
  • Problem number 2 – Z likes obnoxious clothes.  She has absolutely no sense of what matches.  She thinks if both have some pink in them anywhere then they match.  Let me just show you a picture of a selection of her new clothes to show the problem.


Seriously?  Nothing she brought matches at all.  She’s nine.  She didn’t drive herself to the store.  Did her mother think this was the makings of a wardrobe?  I think the sweater on the upper left is made of dead Muppet.  I’d burn it but I think it would make toxic fumes.  I would love to make quilt borders from the skirt on the bottom but there isn’t enough material.  There isn’t enough material to cover the kid’s butt either.

  • Problem number 3 – The kid is fat.  Poor food choices and a handful of anti-psychotic medications a day means she looks like she’s in her third trimester of pregnancy.  All the clothes she brought are skin tight.  They are all made of clingy material.  They all emphasize her belly.  I don’t want to give her a body image complex but there are better ways to dress yourself that are more flattering than skin tight leggings.  (Those are the ONLY type of pants that she owns besides a few shorts.)

This combination made the husband hit the roof.  He declared (not to her) that she looked like a whore working the corner outside the clown school.  We decided to redo the shopping to try to get acceptable clothes.  Her mother will not argue with her.  I don’t have that problem.

The rules were easy.  The clothes had match multiple things.  Each outfit can only contain 1 obnoxious piece of clothing.  Each outfit had to be more modest than she is accustomed to wearing.  Surprisingly she didn’t fight us.  I expected full on screaming temper tantrums but it didn’t happen.


Pull on knee length shorts.  For Z they don’t have a zipper or snaps and they have neon details.  For us, they are slightly baggy and mostly a neutral color that can tame the most obnoxious tops.  I like the frog shirt.  Quirky and whimsical but it doesn’t hurt your eyes.


We got come cute t-shirts that will go with the more neutral pants but can even mix and match with the louder pieces of her wardrobe.

We ended up with the black shorts, knee length khaki shorts, another pair of khaki shorts (the only time I will ever be looking for size 0- I don’t know what we’ll do come cold weather since junior sizes can fit around her waist but are about 6 inches too long.), a t-shirt dress, and several fun t-shirts.  How hard is that?

We were so excited watching her walk around yesterday in her black shorts, a t-shirt, and a hoodie (it was crazy cold).  She looked like a normal kid.  It was the weirdest thing for us.  The husband and I just kept staring at her behind her back but for once the rest of the world wasn’t staring at her inappropriate outfit.

13 May, 2013

Big Changes

/ posted in: FamilyPhotos

I’ve been missing in action for the last week because we had a last minute visit from my brother-in-law. He comes up from down south when he doesn’t have enough work to do there and fixes up things at our house.

With a few days notice I had to completely empty out the sewing room.


It all moved across the hall into (and onto) the gym.


Now the nasty dirty stained thread-collecting carpet is gone and I have new wood laminate that can be swept up with a broom.


Freckles says it isn’t as comfy so she’ll have to use the dog bed that she’s rejected since we got her.


Good thing she has white on her or she’d be totally camouflaged.

Project number two was adding a breakfast bar to the kitchen to give us more counter space as Powder so ably demonstrates.


He found tile to match the backsplash in the kitchen. Anything in that picture with tile on a horizontal surface is brand new from scratch.

He also installed a new people door from the garage to the outside. I hate this door right now. It will feature prominently on tomorrow’s workout post so stay tuned for the story of my epic fail with the new door.

24 Mar, 2013

Yeah, So I’m cheap

/ posted in: Family

I hate shopping.

I hate going to malls. Nothing ever fits and if it did everything is too expensive because I’m cheap. I like shopping at thrift stores so everything else seems crazy expensive by comparison.

The husband likes shopping. I end up following him around malls bored to tears. He doesn’t buy much because he’s cheap too but he likes to look. Today we did this and I was pouting because I hate it.

He wanted to stop at TJ Maxx. That store makes me crazy. At least in my area they have racks and racks of size small clothes, a half a rack of mediums, and then one or two things larger. Since I’m a larger person I never find anything there to wear. It is depressing to be too big for all the clothes in a store.

But today I found a skirt I liked. It was a blue lightweight maxi skirt. It fit and looked ok. The problem was that there was a tear in the seam. I could fix it. But I wasn’t paying $25 for a ripped skirt. They offered me $2 off. I said no.

As we left the husband tried to gently tell me that perhaps there was such a thing as too cheap. This is crazy talk coming from him. As we drove over to Burlington Coat Factory he was trying to tell me that sometimes my stubborness meant that I can’t buy anything. I maintained that I don’t require a blue maxi skirt and I certainly wasn’t taking a ripped one for less than 50% off.

Then I went in and found a whole section of maxi skirts for – wait for it – $12.99! I marched over to him with an armful and asked “Now who is unreasonably cheap?” I think it might be my new favorite (non-thrift) store.

Cheapness wins!

17 Mar, 2013

Paternal Care

/ posted in: Family

I stayed up late last night to read.  About an hour after the husband went to bed I heard Z wailing.  You’d think I’d pay attention to that but she is a very accomplished fake crier.  She attempts to use it way too much and this wailing sounded a bit too theatrical to be real.  Besides, I figured her father who was sleeping across the hall from her would hear her and decide it this was worth investigating.

He didn’t wake up.

She progressed to yelling, “DAD!”  No response.  These were not the cries of a child in need.  These were the pissed off screams of someone not getting her way.  We hear that a lot from her.  Again I decided to wait and see if he would hear his offspring bellowing like a mad bull.

He didn’t wake up. His snoring never varied.

Then it started.  The Banshee Wail.  This is a scream she does in a pitch that makes me think she’s trying to communicate with bats combined with the volume of an air raid siren.  You would think that something would have to be bad wrong to use this form of acoustic torture but I’ve heard her Banshee Wail because a cat was sitting in a chair she wanted.  My lack of urgent response is directly related to the number of times she’s done this for no good reason.

(Why, yes, we did read The Boy Who Cried Wolf to her repeatedly when she was younger and she never understood it.  Now she is living it.)

Again, he didn’t wake up.

I walked down the hall contemplating which one of them I was going to kill first.  (Later I realized the correct answer would have been Z.  Her father would have slept through it.)

I opened her door and said, “What’s the problem?”

In a perfectly relaxed tone of voice that the uninitiated would not expect to hear from a child who was trying to break crystal with her voice mere seconds earlier, she said, “I’m awake.”

My brain exploded with profanity.  Maturity tempered it so it came out of my mouth as a barely sarcastic, “Yeah.”

“I need to talk to my dad.”

“He’s asleep.”  We can both play The Obvious Game, sugarplum.  “What can’t wait until morning?”

“I have to tell him I can’t sleep.”

I decided that deep breathing was the best response here.  Then I went and got her some ear plugs from my stash to drown out his snoring which was reaching virtuoso levels at the time.

Now I’m hoping that the smoke detectors never go off when I’m not home because he’ll probably sleep through them.  But, this is the same man who gets all mad at poor Freckles in the middle of the night if she squirms too much because the sounds her dog tags make are so loud he can’t sleep!




12 Mar, 2013

Musical Beds

/ posted in: FamilyPets

Last night the husband started giggling in his sleep. Actually his sound output was snore, snore, giggle, snore which is sort of sweet until it goes on for too long. He’s more of a nightmare kind of guy so I’m glad he was happy but he was keeping me up.

At the same time the dog apparently had a dream where she was running a marathon. (This is amazing because lately she’s been refusing to go on walks. When we take her she stops frequently and acts like she just can’t go on. I was starting to think I was going to have to carry her home the other day. We walked very slowly home and when I took her leash off in the driveway – she ran full speed into the backyard.)
Anyway, my back was the road under her feet in her marathon dream.  I decided I had had enough.

I moved into the guest bed.  Normally this freaks out the husband.  He takes it as a sign that I want a divorce and not just a restful night’s sleep.  But a few times lately he’s slept in there so I figured he’d understand now.

Nope.  A little bit later while I was still playing Candy Crush on the iPad they appeared.  Freckles landed on my stomach to say hi.  The husband asked why I had left.  I explained giggling and running.  He accepted that grudgingly and took the dog and went back to bed.  For a while. About half an hour later I had just turned off the iPad, taken off my glasses, and settled in.  I heard him get up.  He crawled into bed with me.  I was yelling, “No. No! My glasses are over there.”  I snatched them out of the way just as he laid down and looked at me and said, “What?”

He said he had a bad dream.  Usually these are war dreams but this was a picnic with fresh honey that was interrupted by his ex-wife.  He shuddered.  I pointed out that if we were in fact sleeping together we ought to sleep in our real bed near the alarm clocks where I wouldn’t have to sleep with my glasses in my hand.  He said he didn’t want to sleep in the “bad dream bed” but that I should go back to hear the alarms.

I trudged back to my bed only to see that the animals thought that they had achieved their dreams of getting the bed all for themselves.  There were two cats and a dog on a queen sized bed and somehow it was all covered.  I pushed and shoved my way into a spot and finally fell asleep.

Until the husband decided that he wanted to come back to bed too…

Getting up at 5:30 to go workout was hard this morning.

01 Feb, 2013


/ posted in: Family

The husband has developed a new mysterious ailment. He’s the King of Odd Maladies. He’s itchy. He thinks I’m his primary care doctor so I gave him my dermatology once-over. No skin lesions. No fleas. Itching is probably coming from the inside and not the outside.

But, he wanted me to Do Something and suggesting he call his human doctor was not correct. So, I decided he should take an oatmeal bath.

I had him start filling the tub. As it filled I was impressed at how it was holding water. It leaks like a sieve for me. I made a mental note to have him work the drain for me when I take a bath. It was all good until he tried to drain the tub. Somehow he had flipped the drain lever so hard that it was fully closed and the lever disconnected from the drain leaving us no way to drain it.

Bailing out a tub full of water? Not so fun.

Taking apart a drain mechanism to see how you broke it and realizing you can’t fix it? Makes a guy forget about being itchy for a bit.

16 Dec, 2012

The Real Issue

/ posted in: Family

I’m outraged at Facebook outrage.

People are posting a bunch of pictures in honor and rememberance of the people in CT who were killed. I’ve seen lots of calls for gun control. Sorry, I’m not a fan of guns but that’s not going to happen here. The one that has been making me insane is stupid knee jerk reactionary posts about “This is what happens when we take God out of schools.”

1. If your God is so powerful, he can’t be taken out of school by mere mortals.
2. The people posting this would be the first people up in arms if the schools were teaching Buddhism or Hinduism or Paganism.
3. I haven’t checked for sure on all of them but most of these same people posted rants on saying Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays so I know they aren’t into making everyone feel welcome.
4. All the Supreme Court said is that you can’t lead public prayer in school. This makes me happy. Stop using it as an excuse for everything bad that happens. Rote prayer is as useless as the Pledge of Allegiance that every kid says at full speed and it means nothing at all to them.

I started blocking people who put that God thing on Facebook because it pissed me off so much but I realized that I was about to be out of friends soon.

The real issue in violence isn’t the weapon. It is the mind of the person doing the violence. On the same day as the Connecticut school shooting a man in China killed 22 kids with a knife. People were killing each other with stones long before weapons were made.

That’s why I love this post – “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” It is written by the mother of a mentally ill teenager who is violent. This is a mother who is afraid that someday the person on the news will be her child. I understand her completely. Someday this might be our reality.

I haven’t written about it but Z’s mental state is deteriorating. She gets irrationally angry and then violent. She’s been out of school since November because of violence. It isn’t clear if she’ll be allowed back.

“A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books…… ….That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.”

Her mother attempted to hospitalize Z last year. Because Z was rational and talked to the social workers, she was released with no treatment and Child Protective Services was called to investigate her mother, father, and grandparents. When the violence escalated this year she attempted to hospitalize her again. This time she was violent in the ER so they kept her.

“By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. “

She was rational when talking to the psychiatrists at the hospital. They said there was nothing wrong with her. At the same time, she was attacking the nurses. That didn’t matter. Neither did the stories of her teachers or parents or the psychiatrist who has been treating her since she was 5. They released her with additional medication. She now takes handfuls of pills three times a day. She’s still scary and she’s no closer to getting help.

“I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me”

At this point I’m not afraid for myself. We are very afraid for her mother. Her mother is afraid for her own safety. We are living the same life as the lady who wrote this article and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. We aren’t alone and that is scary.

How many kids are there like Z out there who may go off at any moment? How are we going to deal with this as a society? That’s the issue.

15 Nov, 2012

These Dreams

/ posted in: FamilyWork

Every so often I have a dream that there is a snake in my bed.

I have a snake phobia. I’m actually starting to think that it is a phobia of things that look like snakes. I see them a lot more often than I see snakes. I’ve jumped in fright from wires, twigs, shoelaces on a sidewalk, etc.

The weird thing is that I’m fine to work on snakes. I think part of my fear is the element of surprise. If I know that I’ll be working with a snake I’m ok with that. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath and make myself touch them the first time but then I’m fine. I love boas and pythons. They don’t generally sneak up on you in the northern U.S. and they don’t slither. I do hate slithering. It creeps me right out.


Meet Daisy. She’s a nice girl. Friendly to handle and has been taking her medicine well. That’s all well and good except she decided to star in my snake in the bed dream the other night. She was in the bed between the husband and I. I jumped out of bed and in doing so threw back the covers. This woke up the husband and he shoved the covers back on my side. He didn’t realize that he was throwing a snake at me. I ran around the bed to get far away from the snake.

This dream is different because I act it out. If there is a snake in my bed I get out! The husband said that I woke him up when I was getting out of bed. He said that I levitated. According to him there is no physical way that a human can do what I did so he decided that I must be demon possessed. Then I took off around the bed. He said I had a look on my face like “you were going to beat my ass!” He said he had his hands up to defend himself because I was making fists. That’s when I woke up.

I decided to go to the bathroom and then get a drink. Whatever cat decided to wrap a tail around my ankle at that point is lucky that I was awake enough to distinguish cat tail from snake!

I went back to bed to a very confused husband who was still wondering if I was possessed or if I had discovered a way to get my body to the bathroom and kitchen while my brain was still asleep. If so, could I teach him? I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t explain until the next morning that that is what he gets for throwing snakes at me in my dreams!

10 Oct, 2012

Nature Studies

/ posted in: Family

I’ve learned a lot about nature on this trip.

We were at a sort of fancy restaurant the other night. I had one of the best veggie burgers that I’ve ever had. The husband had trout. One of the high muckity mucks of the restaurant came over to see if everything was ok. The husband said that he liked the trout. The guy went off on this story about how the restaurant has a guy who only goes out on the boat for a day or two at a time and then comes back to port so the fish is always fresh caught. This story went on for a bit in a swirl of pride about their great local and fresh sourcing of ingredients until the husband said, “Trout is a fresh water fish.” Spoil sport.

This lead us to start speculating over the next few days about why the trout might be in the ocean. We’ve decided that they watched The Little Mermaid and took Sebastian at his word that Under the Sea is the place to be so they have migrated.


The following conversation happened halfway down to Key West when we started coming across signs saying that we were entering the habitat of endangered Key Deer. My thoughts will be in bold type representing how upright, scientific, and correct they are. The husband’s will be in italics because he is slightly off center.

Why are there deer here?
There are deer everywhere.
On the mainland but we are 50 miles off shore. How did they get here?
They are like rats. Rats turn up everywhere.
Rats get places on ships. They are little and can sneak onboard and not be noticed. Deer can’t do that.
They could if they were in disguise.
Like a trench coat and a hat? I think they’d be noticed.
I think you underestimate deer. They are sneaky bastards.
Now I need to look this up.
You don’t need to do that. I told you what happened.
It says that they evolved here to the size of dogs. They had to be here for a long time. They didn’t charter a fishing boat.
They could have.

It turns out that Key Deer migrated over the land bridge that was between the keys during the Wisconsin Glaciation. No fishing boats were involved.

27 Jul, 2012

A Girl and her Dog

/ posted in: FamilyPets

Z is not an animal person.  She claims to love them in the abstract but we’ve only recently stopped her from screaming whenever a pet touched her. Since she’s been staying with us this month she’s seemed to bond a bit more with Freckles.  She goes and hugs her.  Freckles sleeps on her bed when I leave early to go work out.  (That may be due more to the large stuffed bear that Freckles likes to rest her head on though.)

I noticed that after Z calms down from a meltdown she likes to give Freckles huge body hugs and talk to her about how horrible we are.  I thought that was a good thing to be able to have a non-judgmental ear to listen to her version of the story.  I forgot that Freckles is anything but non-judgmental.

On previous visits if Z has been carrying on, Freckles will walk out of the room while making big sighs.  We point out that her behavior is even annoying the dog.

The other day after a crying fit, Z came downstairs to the sewing room where Freckles was sleeping on the carpet. She dramatically fell to her knees and threw her arms around the dog.  She buried her face in her fur.  Freckles looked at me over Z’s shoulder and the message was clear:

“Get. Her. Off. Me!”

I avoided eye contact.  Eventually Z let her up and started talking to me.  Freckles took her chance and tried to quietly sneak out of the room.  Z noticed and called her back.  Freckles walked back with her head hanging and got another bear hug.  I avoided looking at her.  All I could think of was the old joke about having to tie a pork chop around a kid’s neck to get the dog to play with them.

A few days ago I got called back from the grocery store because Z was acting up.  I was met at the basement door by both Freckles and Powder.  They never voluntarily head to the basement – especially not together.  That gave me a clue that it was a bad tantrum.  They both just stared at me.  I guess I’m being held fully responsible.

10 Jul, 2012

Told Ya So

/ posted in: Family

Sometimes I’m so smart that I even amaze myself.

We have Z for a month. The husband’s niece J is here to babysit. We proposed this earlier in the year and were soundly rejected by Z’s mom. Then Z’s babysitter needed to have surgery so suddenly it was great idea. Then Z punched her babysitter so she quit early and it is an even better idea.

I predicted that Z would be good for 2 days and then she would have a “Come to Jesus moment”. 46 hours after arrival her meltdown happened. (I’m a bloody genius!)

It started when she wanted to have a KoolAid stand. I said this wasn’t the best idea since our neighborhood is dead on a Tuesday afternoon and there would be no customers. She came back a bit later and said that she could stop cars going by. I said no. She started in on “It isn’t fair.” She likes that statement even though it has never done her a lick of good in any discussion.

She went away and I heard her talking to J upstairs. Then I heard her starting to yell. I went up to intervene in time to see her standing in the kitchen with her hands on her hips yelling, “I GET WHAT I WANT!!!!!!” at J.

She made me go Southern. “Oh, honeychile…” I thought in my head. Out loud I said, “Why don’t you go to your room to calm down.” She started yelling about how she didn’t want to – like that mattered at all to me.

I started counting. I have no idea what will happen if I ever get to a high enough number but it scares her and she headed down the hall. Then she stopped, turned around, and kicked the wall repeatedly while looking at me. I think she was trying to get a reaction from me so I just looked at her. She then started punching her fist into her open palm while looking me in the eye like she was threatening to punch me. I said, “Room please” as sweet as anything while in my brain I thought, “Bless her heart…. she is dead.”

The husband and I consider it a matter of time until she seriously attacks either her mother or me. I’m much bigger and stronger than her mother and I live with her father so I think it won’t be me. He takes any threat to me very seriously. I’m thinking I need to start lifting heavier with my upper body so I can throw her if I have to. How’s that for motivation?

She stomped off to her room screaming, “Idiot!!!!!” over and over. I assume that was aimed at me. Then she went in her room and threw things so it sounded like I had caged up a rabid gorilla in there.

Her father had a nice chat with her. There was a line about what gives her the right to disrespect his house, his niece, and his wife which better have been in increasing order of importance or he’s getting a talk. 🙂 Then he said that she had a punishment. She seemed surprised. He asked if she thought it was going to go unpunished and she said yes. He reminded her that she lived with him now and not her mother. She’s been out picking weeds for about an hour.

Hopefully she got it out of her system or it is going to be a long month.

22 Jun, 2012

Wedding photos – Freckles style

/ posted in: Family

Wedding 001

My peoples are getting married! Or I’m getting married. I’m not clear on the details…

Wedding 101

Sitting on rocks is fun but the camera lady kept saying, “Freckles look over there” and so I’d look where she was pointing and then she’d act all surprised. Like I can’t understand English or something.

Wedding 108

My daddy took off his glasses to be pretty so he couldn’t see anything. Mommy had to lead him around and she was laughing at him. I don’t understand why we were just walking up and down the beach for no reason at all.

07 Jun, 2012

Ch – Ch – Ch- Changes

/ posted in: Family

Today’s topic was supposed to be about real life opportunities that your blog has given you. Yeah, got nothing. I’m in it just to rant about what’s on my mind anonymously. If we don’t have that we can tell a bit about ourselves. So, here’s today’s rant about what is going on with me.

Changing your name sucks.

I didn’t really have to deal with the ramifications of this before. When I got married the first time I was living in one state, quit my job, got married, moved to another state, and got a new job. Everyone I met from then on knew me by my married name. No confusion.

When I got divorced I had been in my job for 8 years and decided not to change my name because I had a receptionist who was so resistant to change that another vet called her “the parrot.” He said, “You know how if you give a parrot a new toy they will scream and carry on and be afraid of it for a while and then once they get used to it they will defend it to the death? That’s her.” I didn’t want to deal with her and thought at the time that I’d be remarrying fairly soon so I didn’t change my name. I knew I’d have to change it to something else then since it is considered rude to keep your first husband’s name. Besides I’m working on my princess name. Princesses have like 10 names each. I’m up to 5. Sure, mine is more like Joan Collins in Dynasty than a true princess but it is as good as I’ve got.

The wedding got postponed a few years and then we moved and it got postponed again and now I’m changing my name after 6 months at a job. It is not going well. I don’t have a first name at my job. If I try to use my first name they look at me blankly and honestly have to think about who this Heather person is. So changing my last name has thrown them all into a tizzy. Conversations generally start out like this – “Hey, Dr…. uh… mumblemumblemumble…. ” It doesn’t help that my previous last name was a regular word in the English language and this name is just a random collection of syllables that doesn’t mean anything. That’s even harder to remember.

One person said he was going to avoid the whole thing and refer to me as The Doctor which thrilled the Doctor Who fan in me to no end. I want a sonic screwdriver.

I told the husband that every time I come home muttering that no one including me can remember what name to write down he is supposed to pet me on the head and repeat, “You’re so smart and pretty” without a trace of sarcasm in his voice. It helps somehow.