Thursday, November 29, 2007

No "me time" for ME!

After much thought, I've decided that I don't want "me time". I've had far too much time to be alone with my thoughts. I need to share my thoughts. I need US time.

I finally figured out what's wrong with my relationship right now. We've spent the past 30 years putting ourselves on hold, so our children would have a stable home. Our kids have NEVER been to daycare; we don't believe in it. They're OUR kids; WE will raise them!

With both of us working full-time, this hasn't been easy. I work days, L works nights. For several years we didn't even have the same days off. After 30 years, we've become like 2 roommates sharing a house. Our conversations involve things that need fixing in the house, and the insanity that surrounds us at work.

I fear that we really don't know each other anymore. The biggest thing that needs fixing in our household is US! We're trying, but it's a s-l-o-w process. I fear that we don't have enough years left in our lives to ever completely fix this.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

4 Days Off!!

One of my customers gave this to me today, so I thought I'd share it with you. I think this is such a clever little treat! It's amazing how creative you can get with a package of fudge stripe cookies, candy corn, caramels, and chocolate stars.

Believe me, this is the ONLY clever thing I've seen in the last couple of weeks!
L and I have been driving ourselves crazy trying to conquer the idiocy that surrounds us.
I've spent the last week butting heads with our state run health insurance, trying to keep our insurance.
L has spent the week tracking down our electrician, to get him to finish his work before the really cold weather sets in. Foolish us, expecting to contact them during deer season! They finally came today and finished their work. Naturally, it was the coldest day of the year, so far! Nice time to have the power, and heat, turned off for 4 hours!

Our area has had 17 water main breaks in the last month! The first 15 didn't affect our home, just our workplace. Believe me, it's NO FUN trying to run a restaurant with no water! The last 2 water breaks have left our household without water for 6 hours at a time. This time of year all they can do is patch the water line. This doesn't seem to be working real well, so we keep 15 gallons of water on hand. I wonder if we can incorporate water jugs into our holiday decorating?

L and I have the next 4 days off. We desperately need a little down time. We want to get our Christmas decorations up this weekend. We don't plan on leaving our property. We've had enough of other's idiocy for now.

Speaking of idiocy....
I REFUSE to shop ANYWHERE on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or the 4th of July. Any employer that can't give their employees those 4 holidays off, doesn't deserve my hard-earned money on those days!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is This a Sign?

THIS is what happens when we neglect our daily chores to complete a major home improvement project! This is the floor in Z's room. The surface of his bed and the rest of the floor are just as bad, but I couldn't walk far enough into the room to get a picture.

Part of this chaos is due to normal teen laziness. Z's main problem, however, is Executive Dysfunction. This means that Z has zip for organizational skills. He sees the mess, but he has no clue what to do with it. It's overwhelming to him.

I've spent weeks of my life sorting Z's possessions and placing them in labeled bins. This system works quite well IF we police Z's room EVERY DAY. We used to have to stand right there while Z picked up his stuff and put it away. Now that his ADD is improving a bit, we can give him a list of what needs to be done in his room. Then we check in on him a couple of times to make sure he's staying on task.

As you can tell from the picture, we haven't had time to police Z's room for the last few weeks. Our garage project was occupying all of our off-work hours. Now we'll have to sort through EVERYTHING once again.

An overwhelming sense of panic engulfed me when I turned the page on the calendar on November 1st. OMG, it's only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving!! We can't possibly get this house into order before we put up the Christmas decorations on our 4 day Thanksgiving weekend!

As most of you know, I'm a holiday fanatic. I usually get our house whipped into shape in September, so we can put up our Halloween decorations on October 1st. We then progress into Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's, and Easter decorations. Due to our major projects, we haven't been able to get our Halloween decorations up for the past 3 seasons. However, we've ALWAYS been able to get our Thanksgiving decorations out. Not this year.

I was even beginning to despair that we wouldn't get our Christmas decorations up.....UNTIL....this happened......
My Christmas cactus burst into bloom!

Somehow, this event calmed my anxieties. I resolved not to let my depressive state ruin my favorite time of the year. In our home the Thanksgiving/Christmas season equals cozy family time, good memories, candles, luscious scents emanating from the kitchen, and most importantly, a heavenly sense of peace descends on our household. THIS is worth fighting for!!

I immediately put a Christmas CD in my truck and dug out the Christmas videos. Immersing myself in the holiday spirit has helped me immensely.

We've made significant progress in the last 10 days. Last weekend we got most of the outdoor winterization completed. Z decluttered the living room, while L vacuumed and dusted. L is now tackling his clutter in our bedroom. I washed the summer jackets and will exchange them for our winter coats and boots today. I went online and finished 90% of the Christmas shopping. Now I'll be ready to mail our Christmas/birthday package to SME's family by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

This week we'll start on Z's room. *sigh*

Things are looking up around here, and I owe it all to my Christmas cactus. Do you think that my plant had a bit of divine help?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

For My Homeschool Friends

A special thanks to Tweets for emailing this to me!

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List
By Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1,
Fall 2007
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's
insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals,
would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use
the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do
now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun.
Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so
successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids,
that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the
other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that
we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir
practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music
class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she
ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for
the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV,
either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you
know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by
homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness
whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature
labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard.
We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear
they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like
potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an
adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling
for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking,
weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into
homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal
decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the
bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a
judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my
credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to
successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in
teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years
in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we
call public school left me with so little information in my memory
banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my
nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send
my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I
can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand
that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to
respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there
in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to
the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and
in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on
weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in
homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours
every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school"
side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach —
we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently,
because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my
kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-
priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do
go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one
of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow
somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you
don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get
some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think
it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified.
One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class,
you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If
you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly
do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as
well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my
kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about
everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious,
quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or
loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who
go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being
branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because
she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I
homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I
homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't
get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start
asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have
because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about
homeschooling, shut up!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Who Stole MY Idea?!

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when I opened up my Things You Never Knew Existed catalog, and found the Christmas tree ornament pictured above! The catalog calls this their "Doggy Doo Ornament" and sells it for $6.98.

Following is my post from December 2005.

SME and I made doughcraft candy canes and wreaths when she was in 5th grade. We also made some for my parents.
The following year my Dad laughingly referred to our doughcraft wreaths as "dog turds", so SME and I designed the infamous. . . . . .

Dog Turd

Here it is folks, our family's sick tradition. SME and I made one of these out of bread doughcrafts to get even with my Dad. We embellished it with a red yarn ribbon and hung it on their tree when they weren't home. This has become my Dad's favorite ornament. Every year my Mom tries to slip it back in the ornament box, only to later find it proudly displayed in front of a light on the tree.
Two years ago, Z and I made more doughcrafts and Z wanted to make more turds so our tree and his sister's tree could also have one.
I'm certain that we have the only 3 trees on earth that have a dog turd ornament!

Personally, I think that OUR ornament looks a lot more realistic than the one in the catalog!
I can't believe that there is another mind out there that's as twisted as SME's and mine. OR did someone find this UNIQUE ornament on my blog and copy it?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Givers and Takers

I know it seems that I haven't been around much. I've been around, but I just can't seem to put my thoughts into coherent words lately.

I've been spending a lot of my time in thought about what I want from the future. I find myself old and used up. I need to replenish my soul. I need some fun and frivolity in my life. Unfortunately, I have no one to share fun with.

I've always been a "giver". I spent my childhood being a good girl, so I would make my parents happy and proud of me. I was always at the top of my class academically, and I NEVER got in trouble.

When I married, I reveled in creating a home and family for L. He had never had love or a stable home life. L bloomed into an entirely different person with my love.

As the years passed, we had many setbacks that put L into a tailspin. I was always there to pull us back onto the right track again. Anything that gets accomplished around here happens because I am pulling for it....every.step.of.the.way! I do 80% of the work, and 100% of the planning. For 30 years it's always been: "If there's a problem, MOM will fix it."

It's the same way at work. I've always given 110%. I've spent 27 years building up the clientele on my shift. I put 100s of unpaid hours into a business that L and I would, one day, buy from my Boss. Now, it seems like my Boss is deliberately trying to bankrupt herself. For years, I took up the slack of the older workers we had. NOW, I'm one of the older workers, and I'm still expected to take up the slack of the other workers who are less than half my age! The lives of our new co-workers are nothing short of insanity, and it ENRAGES me! I'm constantly surrounded by idiots and "takers"!

Right now I need to be able to come home to a safe haven and have someone take care of ME for a change! I'm old and used up. Do you think there's anyone who's willing to throw a lifeline to a tired old broad?