Monthly Archives: April 2008

MY BABY GIRL (AND HERS)

My daughter “Jujubee” Jenny is 30 another year older today. Saturday, Miss Madeline turned 3. I just want to wish them both Happy Birthdays and let them both know that they are the two most beautiful young ladies in the whole, entire world and I love them with all my heart and soul.

WHERE DID IT GO?

Ten years ago today, my father died. It’s very, very hard for me to believe that it has been ten whole years that I’ve been rattling around in this world without listening to his jokes or seeing his handsome face.

One of my favorite things in the whole world was watching my dad being all serious-like, usually giving my mom a hard time about something or other. He would catch my eye and give me a quick wink and a barely- perceptible nod which meant, “Let’s see how long I can keep her going.” The longer it went on and the more riled Mom would get, the harder time he would have keeping a straight face. He would stifle a chuckle and his shoulders would start heaving up and down before he would let out a laugh. When my mom would realize he was pulling her chain she would get all the madder. I was always torn, whether to side with my mother or join in the laughing with my dad and risk pissing Mom off even more. I’m sorry, Mom, for all those times I just couldn’t help laughing. It was such a great feeling to share that little joy with my dad. He took so much pleasure in getting a rise out of you. And yeah, maybe he got a few too many chuckles at your expense, but, damn. That was how he was. It was one of his lop-sided ways of showing you how much he loved you.

It was hard for my dad to express love. He was 3 years old when his own mother died. He was raised by relatives and worked very hard for everything he ever got. The story of how he and his brothers each received a single, white dress shirt as their Christmas presents tears me up when I think of it. It totally humbled me when I learned that applesauce was a rare and special treat at their dinner table and was dished out sparingly. As I got older, it made more sense to me that my dad was a proud man and expected my sister, four brothers and I to take care of and respect our possessions. I don’t ever remember being denied a single thing I asked for as I was growing up. In return, we were expected to do our best, respect our elders and go to church every Sunday. In retrospect, that was not a lot to expect for all he gave us in return. While he was not a terribly affectionate man, his actions spoke volumes about how much we were loved.

And he was good. And he was honorable. And he was funny.

I’m not going to go on. I could for pages and pages, but I want to leave you with this. If you are lucky and your own father is still in your life, love the hell out of him, faults and all. There very well could come a time when you would give everything you own just to have his arms around you one more time…

… or in my case, hear him say, “I love you, too, Wink.”

TULIPATHY?

So the other day I was walking around the yard with my camera, taking pictures of my tulips. The orange and yellow ones, at least. I thought a nice Spring flower picture would cheer up the look of the old blog.  Well, of course I never got around to getting the pictures out of the camera.
But here’s when things took a turn for the weird. It was the day I posted my horoscope. That seems to be the day-or the first time that I noticed- that WordPress started listing “possibly related posts” at the end of a post. When I saw it, and it wasn’t even on the main page, it was on my dashboard. I clicked on this link. What I saw there was a Pisces horoscope and I was thinking it took me to my own page and my own horoscope. Imagine my surprise when I saw my tulips that I’d only been thinking about uploading. I was like Holy Crap, WordPress is magic! My brain went inside out before I realized that there was another blog out there (Hi Lawgirl!) with a Pisces horoscope and yellow and orange tulips. I guess, though, that you would have had to have spent some time inside my head to fully grasp the freak factor when I saw that page.  And yes, of course I noticed that Lawgirl’s  tulips are sharper and clearer than mine.  Shut up.

CHANGE, CHANGE, MORE CHANGE

I’m so excited. Last night was the first time this year that I was able to go to sleep with the windows open and oh my goodness, I love that so much! I woke up with the early morning sun shining in my face, the birds singing and the sweet smells of freshly cut grass hanging in the air. My house smells so fresh and clean and I feel like Life is All Good. And I slept like a baby 🙂

And Sweet Madeline is 3 years old today.

The announcement was made at work last week that our company is switching to a 4-day work week. This was brought up previously, due to about 50% of the workers wanting an extra day off to enjoy the summer. A vote was taken and the idea was scrapped. Now, due to rising gas prices and the general state of the economy, the company has decided that this will be a more cost-effective benefit. Personally, I despise the idea of spending 10 hours at work 4 days a week but I’m keeping an open mind and hoping that I can keep caught up on my sleep enough to actually enjoy the extra day off. I don’t particularly mind working until 4:30 instead of 3:30 but getting up at 4:30 am does not thrill me, not a bit. I was just getting used to driving to work with the sun coming up. So we shall see. There are so many pros and cons, I will try to concentrate on the pros.

Want to share a funny little story that happened last weekend on the way home from NY. PD and I stopped to “gas up” at a little station/store before we left. PD went in to pay and I decided to run in and grab snacks for the ride home. My total came to $6 and some change. I had a wad of one dollar bills in a side pocket in my purse and pulled them out and was counting them out on the counter when the cashier started to chuckle and said “You gave me your fortune.” Several responses went through my head and when I was deciding what to say back to him, I looked down at the bills and saw a little white piece of paper on the pile, which was indeed, from a Chinese fortune cookie. Hehe.

MY TODAY

You probably aren’t going to feel very social today, dear Pisces. In fact, you’re likely to want to work on projects and tasks alone if you can. This actually might be good for you, as you probably need to concentrate on crossing certain things off your list without being distracted. Still, you should get out among others at some point during the day. You might want to be alone, but you’ll still need to feel that you belong. ≈

This was my dead-on horoscope for today and I only just now read it. But that’s usually how I read them; after the fact. That way, I know my actions on any given day aren’t influenced by a thought planted in my head and plus I get the added kick of seeing that mostly they’re pretty accurate. For me anyway.

So, as reported up there, I was wantin’ to be left alone today. Didn’t happen, which made that yearning all the more keen. I had two projects to accomplish at work today. Put the ear buds in and went at it. On breaks I went outside and soaked up as much sun as possible. Spent time thinking of what I needed to accomplish at home this evening and made a mental list. When I got home I dug in and took care of 8 or 10 of those. I did take time to sit on the porch for a little while, where I made a couple of phone calls I’d been putting off. PD got dinner and we sat down to watch Bridge to Terabithia, or the second half of it, since we watched the first half yesterday. I’d intended to watch it last week with Julian and never got to it.

While we dined and watched, a pretty substantial rain shower was going on outside. One single thunderclap and it was over. We finished the movie and dinner. I blew my nose and cleared my head from the profuse weeping (Thanks, Walt Disney) and went back to the porch and was astounded by how the rain transformed our backyard into a beautiful green paradise. The buds on the trees opened in less than two hours time! There must have been magic in that rain!

Either that or Terabithia did a number on my (already child-like) imagination. A kid’s movie for sure, but I came away feeling a surge of hope and creativity and a sense of wonder. I know this sounds hokey, but I ain’t lyin’ to ya. I can’t explain how beautiful the yard looks right now. The sunlight is shining through the rain-soaked leaves, the tulips and daffodils seem brighter and everything is green and shiny. It all has a kind of glow. It even smells wonderful and fresh. The birds must have noticed it too, they’re singing like crazy.

Ok, so my horoscope is a little off… I don’t need to get out among people to feel like I belong. Standing on my porch just then, taking in all the beauty in my own little corner of the world is the most belonging feeling I’ve felt in quite some time.

Going back there now… Wish you could join me : )

OBSERVATIONS

Having traveled to NY to see the kids this past weekend, there are a few things I’ve noticed and feel compelled to share with y’all. Some are personal, some are universal. Any offenses are purely coincidental and (of course) not intentional.

  • People who drive Dodges are the slowest drivers in the world. No. Wait. Let me clarify. I should maybe rephrase… Of all the slow drivers that I encounter in my travels, the highest percentage of them are behind the wheel of some sort of a Dodge vehicle. (the highest percentage of that percentage just happen to be male.) There, was that better? The worst and slowest driver I encountered this weekend, however, was neither. It was a woman driving a mint green Toyota, in the passing lane going sixty for miles and miles and promptly pissing off every other driver on the entire highway. Frankly, I would love to be the one to tell her that she’s damn lucky to be alive at this point. Grrrr.
  • The quality of the toilet tissue in the restrooms on the Interstates in New York is far superior to that of the tissue in Pennsylvania.
  • The chances of encountering an English-speaking person in a restroom on the Interstates in New York are lower than the absorbency rating of PA toilet tissue in a restroom on an Interstate.
  • The self-flushing toilets on any of these Interstates should be required by law to come equipped with hearing protection.
  • Missouri license plates are pretty.
  • Anyone familiar with the Angola NY rest stop will know that you park on one side of the highway and walk over the 4-lane highway in an enclosed walk-way to reach the food/potties/etc. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling North or South. I witnessed a purple-haired, highly-tattooed, twenty-something girl come out of the walk way and approach the parking area. It wasn’t particularly crowded and didn’t take her long to realize that her car was nowhere in that lot. She looked rather disgusted when she commented to me that she must have come out the wrong side. I wonder how often that happens? And no, I haven’t done it yet. Shut up.
  • Highway patrol officers seem to pull over more brightly-colored vehicles. Assumably for speeding. Maybe for clashing with the scenery, I dunno.
  • It freaks me out, driving on a bridge over a lake when you look off to the side and the water appears to be higher than the road. What the hell is up with that?
  • Black Volvo station wagons are cool as heck.
  • There was a $0.15 toll increase on a road that is in worse condition than it was when the toll was $0.15 cheaper.

We had lots of fun with the kids. We celebrated Maddie’s 3rd Birthday and she looks awesome in the sunglasses and boa that her Nana (that would be moi) gave her. She kept “going to school” wearing the glasses and the Elmo backpack that was a gift from PD. Her favorite expression seems to be “Are you kidding me???”

Bad news is that the record store that I fell in love with earlier this year has closed it’s doors. That really bummed me out. I hate that phrase, but I was bummed, nonetheless. They were a little pricey but had a really great selection. Dammit.

One more thing. On the road, we were coming up behind a truck with a huge “thing” tethered down in the bed of the truck. This is the ensuing conversation between PD and I:

Me: What the hell is that thing? A missile launcher?

He: (silence)

Me: (getting closer) A Gatlin gun?

He: (silence)

Me: (close enough, but still stumped) So what is it?

He: Log splitter. I have to pee.

JULI-ULI-ULIAN*

(click pic for full effect)

Julian

I have to have one of the coolest grandkids in existence. He’s always loved music and we’ve been dancing since before he could walk. He and JuJu lived with us from his birth until Ju “left us” for Mr. JuJu. Ours was and is a musical household. PD and I were big fans of U2 when Julian was born, as were his mom and Mr. J. So Julian was introduced to Bono and the guys early on. He spent his toddlerhood “being” Bono, complete with the sunglasses and usually with a microphone in his hand. He could perform U2 songs along with the band from having memorized the videos. We’ve got a lot of his “acts” on tape.

Just a little while ago I was playing the Black-Eyed Peas’ Power to the People and Julian and I were dancing. He’s amazing. Like a little, miniature Hip-Hopster. He had his hat on backwards and was bustin’ moves that I can’t even do. I had to call PD in to watch. Going to have to find the get the camcorder out real soon.

He’s making a playlist for me so I can send a Dance Mix home with him.

Oh yeah, I come home from work today and what’s he doing? Re-designing the covers for his Ben 10 dvds.

* my nickname for The Kid.

BIZZY BUSY BIZZEE

I been totally busy the last few days getting our hurricane aftermath house back in order after making our new living room and the guest room for the grandkids.  The little spare room which used to house the monstrous computer desk and all it’s craziness, a single bed, a nightstand, PD’s stereo and a zillion record albums and a couple filing cabinets and about a ton of stuff (some of PD’s sword collection, 45rpm records, cassette tapes, etc.) that just didn’t fit anywhere else now is home to an awesome set of bunkbeds, a desk and a night stand.  So all that other stuff was scattered all over the house and had to find other homes.  That took a lot of creativity, time and trouble to redistribute and/or discard.  It’s pretty much done now except for an odd box here and there, most of which is crowding up our master bedroom.

But anyway, we’re traveling to Erie today to meet up with the JuJu Clan and have dinner and kidnap the grandson, Julian.  He is on Spring Break from school and has opted to spend it here in PA with us.

In other news, Daily Piglet has totally proclaimed her love and devotion to me in a big way for all the world to see.  And I’m planning an elopement with her in the near future 😉

PD and I went yesterday and returned a defective shit-eating router which caused most of the problems that I reported earlier last week.  He decided to install a new one yesterday and of course that required another two hours on the phone for him, one with the router company and one with our ISP because, of course, we are cursed with that Murphy’s Law Plague Thing…  So I had no internet off and on all weekend and some mild anxiety but survived once again. It’s not as if I had nothing to do to fill up my days.

K, we’re off.  I had more to say but it can all wait for another day.

PIC TEST

Just out of curiosity, coupled with my own masochistic tendencies, I’m going to try to post a picture using the new WordPress handy, dandy  “Add Media” option.  This could seriously change my life!  Or send me deeper into the depths of depression… 😉  Wish me luck.

\"Pretty Posies\"

SERIOUSLY, FOLKS…

I think I was on here Friday and was surprised to see the new WordPress design. I vaguely remember thinking WTF, where did this come from? I also thought I was just on the wrong page and I would wake up and it would all go away.

Well, in the mean time there has been a major upheaval in our household starting with the purchase of bunk beds to put in the little spare room and ending with a couple days of sporadic Internet service and two full days with none at all. I was lucky to get PD’s birthday post up during a teeny window of “on line” time.

Not going into all the details, but we decided to move our main computer and all its components and accessories downstairs. No small feat. After all the furniture rearranging and lugging stuff up and down stairs for what seemed like weeks, it was time to hook up everything. PD is no slouch when it comes to putting wires where they belong. (He can only type with two fingers, but he knows all about hooking shit up.) So after he did all that, we had no DSL. He was a little suspicious of our router which hasn’t performed quite up to par since we bought it and even less stellarly since he beat the crap out of it one day. To make a long story short, hours upon hours of messing with stuff and talking to tech support and the ISP and purchasing a new router and going through the very same BS all over again… only to find out the problem was with the ISP and not us or the router, we are back up and running. Poor PD… on top of the headache he has, he’s got a sore neck from holding the phone on his shoulder and typing with two fingers.

My part in all of this has been nothing more than a sounding board for my poor, distraught husband. Oh, yeah, that and experiencing some serious withdrawal from blogging and IM and email. But I did it. And it’s going to take me awhile to get caught up. So if I owe you mail, hang tight. I’m hoping this was a slow blogging time so I don’t need days to get caught up on reading.

BTW, PD asked me to thank y’all for the nice birthday wishes. 🙂