Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I love the Christmas cards and other photo items offered by Shutterfly.  (  The selection of cool things you can make with your pictures is amazing, plus, if you have a free membership, your photos are securely stored, AND you don't have a limit for the number of photos you can save.  This is unlike some of the well known photo places like Flickr.

With Shutterfly you can make photo books to remember special times.  I'll probably use it to send out birth announcements when my grandkids get here.  You can make your own Christmas cards.

Shutterfly also has great specials and deals, like free shipping on certain orders.

Check them out!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Remember to breathe

I think the most exciting thing I've done in the past few weeks is to get my flu shot.  I felt like I should be standing in a huge auditorium, wearing my uniform, and standing in line with others from my work place, waiting to get a mandatory flu shot.

I hated flu shots.

Well, the shot itself isn't that bad, really.  It doesn't hurt at all.  No big deal.  No, I hated that it was mandatory.

I also hated mandatory meetings.

Something about me hates being told I must do a thing.  I feel like, "No, I don't!  Dang it!"  But then I have this very strong rule following personality, so I end up doing things like getting flu shots.

Now I can do it if I want to do it, so I do.  I'm older, I have a compromised immune system, and I'm prone to infections.  I don't want the flu.  I need the pneumonia shot, too, but the pharmacy here in the town of 10 people didn't have it available when I got the flu shot.

Erma and Ambrose and Jethro got theirs, too.  We got actual thank you cards from the pharmacy. Erma and Ambrose have theirs on the refrigerator.


I don't have a lot on my mind today, other than some pretty heavy thoughts that I don't want to share here.

No, it's not that I'm suicidal or truly very depressed, but I worry about my family.

I've been out of the Air Force for many, many years, but I miss it so much sometimes.  I think Jethro misses the Army a lot, too, at times.  Some people that come into contact with me, especially, are so condescending.  I will think, "I was in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment, and was the supervisor over 14 airmen.  I trained tons of people when I was the training NCO at various bases I was assigned to.  I've raised 4 kids by myself, and I know how to run a household.  I know how to pay a bill."

I keep quiet, though.

I will stand up for my kids, but it takes a lot to make me actually stand up for myself sometimes.  I wonder why that is...  Heck, sometimes I get angry when one of my kids says something mean to another, and one tattles and then I feel like I have to deal with the crap going on.  But if they said something about me, I would probably just cry, or tell Erma about it.

And complain a lot, until it was out of my system.

I'm going to be Erma's advocate in the labor and delivery area.  "Don't you put that epidural in her back, dang it!"  She figures I've gone through 4 kids with no pain killers, no epidurals, and she watched one of her friends deliver very quickly with nothing.  To be honest, I wanted pain killers, because darn it, that labor stuff hurts!  However, all of my labors went so fast that I was already past the time for pain killers by the time they said, "Do you need something for the pain?  Oh, oops!  You're at 8 centimeters!  Too late!  It's almost time to push!"

I hope Erma goes that fast, too.

It's much, much better and faster without an epidural.

So anyway, I'm rambling.

It's what I do best!

I really want that Dragon software, that is the speech to text program a lot of people use. It's really good, I've read.  My hands get so sore and swollen, that sometimes I can't type at all.  There are times, guys, that I can't lift up my blankets.  My hands hurt too much.  It's muscle pain, not in the fingers or joints.  My muscles hurt so badly!  It used to happen maybe once a month, so I thought maybe, just maybe, it was somehow connected to the female innard parts I still have left inside me.  Like, something with my cycle, except that my uterus is gone, so it's not really like a cycle.  Anyway, that's the technical side of things, I suppose.  Innards, I am sure, is a word most surgeons use all the time.

Now, though, the pain happens more, and my hands swell up and stay swollen longer than they used to.  Even now, my hands are falling asleep as I type.  Changing positions doesn't help.  I drop things all the time.  I've gone through more coffee cups than you can imagine.  Good thing I bought them at the thrift store, huh?

Speaking of that, our favorite thrift store up and closed!!!  We were so disappointed.  I don't understand how it happened, though I can imagine the new manager ran it into the ground.  She was not very good, I can tell you that.

I need to find another, closer one.  There is a Habitat for Humanity resale store here, which is cool.

I don't think they have clothes or coffee cups there, though.

About a year ago, Jethro bought me a rocking chair at the thrift store.  It has a back that is something like woven bamboo, and several kids couldn't resist putting their fingers into the holes, and now the bamboo is torn.  I just cut out a piece of cardboard to fit the back, and I want to cover it with a pillow that I'm making from material that was Mom's.  However, I don't know how to work her old sewing machines, my hands hurt too much to sew with needle, and though I have stitch witchery, I don't have an iron!  So, for now, I just have a broken rocker, but I'm using it anyway, dang it.

It's really kind of funny... in the box of material I have, there are three pieces of cloth that match my rocker's seat, which is made of oranges, browns, and tans.  It's almost like a gift from Mom.  "Here, honey!  These match  your chair!"  I can almost hear her.  In the box, too, were two baby dresses and a couple baby boy outfits.  Those were like a gift to Erma.  If she has a girl, she can use those dresses, if she has a boy, then he can use them, too, though that'd be weird.  Hee hee!

No, perhaps Jethro will have a boy.  Anyway, the clothes were a neat item to find.

A present from Grandma to the kids, you know?

Yes, I talk about her here a lot, I know.  I hate that others have moved on and seem to have forgotten about her.  Logically, I know that's not true.  But heartwise?  Well, I still hurt.  I still miss her, terribly.  I can't move on.  Not yet.  I don't want to forget her.  I have her pictures all around me.  In front of me on the desk, on my shelves, and on my bulletin board.  I don't talk to her or anything, but I do think about her, and wish she were still here.

She'd have come when I had pneumonia.  She'd have gone to my brother, who just spent six days in the hospital.  She'd have written to Lampshade, called my oldest nephew, and sewed baby clothes for Erma.  She loved us so and she showed it.

A part of me died when she died.

A part of me still wants to wail with the pain inside.

I deal with it by silliness and laughter.

Plus, I figure if I suddenly started wailing, I'd probably scare Ambrose and it would make Erma slap me and call the loony bin to have me admitted.

Dads love in completely different ways than Moms love, I know.  So it's hard to lose a mom who loved me so much.  I also know that death is a part of us, a part of life, really, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  Even if I don't accept it, it doesn't mean that it won't happen, even to me.

People say things like, "You'll be fine.  Time heals the wounds.  You have to go on.  I understand how you feel."  It doesn't help, not at all.  Time isn't healing me.  Oh, I don't cry as often as I did when she first died, but I do cry.  I touch something that she touched, and I cry.  I touch one of her books, that still has her bookmark in place, and I cry.  I remember her in her hospital bed, and I remember her in her casket, and I cry.

I like to keep this journal rather light-hearted, but sometimes I simply can't do that.  It's a journal.  I share it with all of you, but it's still a journal of my thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes, my thoughts and feelings are sad.

It's how it is.

In other news, I made some fruit salad today.  You take bananas, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries, and mix them together with a box of instant vanilla pudding.  Ambrose got the sugar free, fat free kind of pudding, and I'm not sure it's working correctly.  It's supposed to help mix with the juices of the fruit as they sit in the fridge, but this pudding mostly stuck to the fruit.  It tastes good, but it's not what it's supposed to be.

Hey, what is, right?  Nothing is what it's supposed to be, is it?

Oh, my gosh, my tooth hurts!

I just bit on something, forgetting about a cavity, and OUCH!

Well, I'm going to watch some television or read something, maybe both.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Friday, October 07, 2011

"Oh, my GOD!!! It's a bobcat!!!"

And if you don't know the story behind that title, then never you mind.  It has nothing to do with me or me shouting that out while watching some cows angrily chasing some animal away from their calves as we, I mean, some other family, drove through South Dakota.  And it has nothing to do with my kids saying slowly, as if I, I mean, some other mother, had the intelligence of a really dumb garden snail,

 "Uh, Mom?  That's a fox."

Looked like a damn bobcat to me.  I mean, to that other mom who isn't me.

Anyway, it's been months since I've posted.

I've been busy.  And depressed.  Busy being depressed.  In pain.  Tired.  You know, the normal stuff.

I have a new doctor because I'm staying with Erma now, and because mine up and left.  Just... up and left.  Like he did before.  Rumor has it that he was arrested and the DEA is investigating, which may or may not be true.  I would say it's probably not true, but it makes a good story, so I'm going to spread the rumor.  Email me if you want his name and his facebook page.  Tee hee!

My new doctor was rather gruff and to the point when I met him.  However, Jethro sees him, too, and thought he was friendly and very nice.  I'm not sure we saw the same doctor, to be honest.  I did see one at the beginning of the month, who chomped his gum the entire time I was talking, who was arrogant and wouldn't listen to me, and so, I dropped him.  I asked for another doctor in that same clinic.  Not too long after, I got a phone call.  Because I saw one doctor and didn't like him, I can't see ANY doctor in that clinic.  Yes.  You read that right.  A doctor can fire a person for no good reason.  Person, patient, you know what I mean.  If I went in chomping gum and he didn't like me, he could fire me.  Send me packing.  He can put codes on my medical records that show other doctors that I'm a pain in the butt, or a drug seeker, or just.. whatever he wants.  They make up codes all the time.  F.O.S.? On your records or your x-rays?  It means "Full of Shit."


So, I had to find a different doctor, in this town of 12 people.

I did.

So, there you go.

That's what I've been doing.  Doctor shopping in the non-drug seeking kind of way, and unpacking some boxes, and washing tons of clothing that smell suspiciously of, well, of cat urine.  Not everything does, mind you, but some of the clothes Saige and I had did smell pretty rank.

Three capfuls of Tide, hot water, and a healthy capful of some generic fabric softener, and the clothes now smell pretty good.  There are a couple of our towels I'm not so sure about, so I'll send them through the wash again.  If they don't smell good after that, then out they go!

Hey, it's all about the honesty here.

Don't tell me you've never had a cat.

And I know for a fact I'm not the only person in the world who had an idiot cat pee on the stove.  That always smelled soooo good when you didn't know your idiot cat peed on your stove, so you turned it on, and the sweet smell of disgusting cat urine began wafting through your house.

I was using sarcasm when I said it smelled good, in case you were confused.  I kind of changed from sarcastic to brutally honest there, in one fell swoop.

So, Dr. Lampshade is in jail, and he was NOT released yesterday.  Saige and I were there, and both of us wanted to jump for joy and yell out, "YES!!" While dancing the sailor's hornpipe and and pumping our fists into the air, but we felt that the judge might not approve of us doing that, so we quietly grinned at each other.

Plus, Saige doesn't know how to do the sailor's hornpipe.

I do.  Yes.

I'm lying.

Saige knows, but I don't.


So, Lamp stole something from me, and because he stole a bunch of other somethings, the last something made me FURIOUS, so I called the police.  They busted him and he got a court date.  He missed his court date, so they threw him in jail.  Through all of this, he also has a felony domestic abuse case going on.  He violated his probation on that.  More than once.  This is a guy who really doesn't care.  He's not had a lot of consequences, and now, now, my friends, he is having them tossed at him like bullets at a, at a, at.. a really bad guy in a police shoot out thing.

The judge was looking through the papers while the public defender tried to get Lamp out of jail.  The judge listened, looked through the papers again, said, "What'll that teach him??  I have all I need, right here."  Then he reduced Lamp's bond, asked him if he could pay it to get out, Lamp said, "Probably not."  And the judge said, "Back to jail."  You see, Lamp has learned to manipulate some of these judges.  At one time, he had been drunk or beat up or both, and he had horrible facial injuries and a concussion, so he looked punch drunk and as if someone had hit his face with a concrete eagle statue.  Which is what happened.

He was in a wheel chair.  The judge took one look, and merrily dismissed his first probation violation.

Obviously, he was being picked on and beat up, and that's why he missed seeing his officer.  She didn't think to ask WHEN the injuries occurred, and when his probation visit was supposed to take place.

I always want to talk to the judges, and to the attorney.  "Hey, dudes," I would say, because, you know, my taxes pay for their jobs, so I feel close to them, except I think judges might be elected.... huh.  I'm not homeschooling anymore, so I forgot a lot of stuff I probably should know..  where was I?  Oh.  "DUDES!!!  If you let this kid out, you are signing his death warrant.  If I bail him out" and my rule is, 'If you get arrested, too bad, so sad.  You will rot there.'  I got that from my mom.  She told me the same thing, so I managed to never get arrested, because I believed her.  Wait, where was I?  Oh, yes, "If I bail him out, dudes, it's the same thing.  He will either die of an overdose, alcohol poisoning, or someone will kill him over drugs."

It's how it is.  At least in jail he's put on weight, he's eating, he's working, and reading, and hanging out with thugs...  still, he looks good.  However, since they reduced his bond, here's how our phone calls go.

"Will you bond me out, Mom?  Huh? Please?  Get me out!"
"Lamp, I don't have the money."
"When you get some money?  Please?  Please?  Please?  What about on the 26th?"


He'd be going from jail to the streets.

Either one isn't good.

I'd almost rather he were in prison than on the streets, simply because I'd know where he was, and he'd be sober.  At least, I assume he'd be sober, until he got in good with Bubba and Frank, the convicts who make a living selling and trading drugs for sex.  I watch those prison shows! I know how it is.

Okay, I don't know how it is.

But I still feel he'd be better off in prison than on the streets.

As a mom, you never think you will say something like that when you're holding your newborn child or pushing him on the swings or reading him stories.  I suppose Dads don't think of their babies ending up in prison, either.

Speaking of dads, it's been seven years now that Ob died.

Seven years.

2 1/2 since my mom died.  I still miss my mom terribly.  I found the journal I kept when she was on hospice, and while reading it, tears were pouring down my cheeks.  All those feelings came rushing back to me.  Erma and I talked about her to Ambrose, because he never got to meet her, and we want people we love to know how special she was to us.  I am glad I kept that journal, even if it makes me cry, because it reminds me of things I've forgotten, and in places, it even makes me smile through my tears.

For example, she was hallucinating, and she'd see my dad, then a younger version of him would come through.  She found that very interesting and rather amusing.  She'd know it wasn't real.  As time went on, though, she'd become a bit confused.  One time she asked if I were patting her bottom, and I was nowhere near her bottom.  No one was near her bottom.  Another time she thought my sister, Emmie, was standing over her with a tray of food in her teeth.

My sister doesn't ever carry trays in her teeth.

That I know of, anyway.

She thought my brothers were on the porch, when they were unable to come.  One time she thought I was Erma, and thought Lampshade was my brother, Tardan, which wasn't very flattering to either Lamp or myself.  Heee!!!!

I was telling Jethro last night that Grandma was so interested in the whole death process, but one time she said sadly that she was learning so much, but she'd have no one to share it with.  Jethro chuckled and said, "Leave it to Grandma to keep learning, even at a time like that!"

I even wrote about my dad's new wife, coming to the house to help my mom out.  She wasn't my dad's wife then, of course.  That would be weird, for a guy who isn't inclined to have more than one wife at a time.

I wrote about the funny things Mom said, and how we'd laugh together with my sisters and Erma, even through the tough times.

I wrote about how one hospice nurse said she could feel our love in the house.

I wrote about some really bad experiences I noticed with one of the.. well, I better not say.  I don't want to upset anyone.

But someone was not very nice.

I was furious, but there's not much you can do, even as an adult, when you are in your parents' home, and you have been taught to respect others and it's just not the time to slap a bitch.

I am going to do Nanowrimo again this year.  Ambrose is signed up for it, too.  I think he's cheating because he's been writing and has a book about writing.  You are not supposed to start yet, dang it!!  Okay, I have my novel in my mind, and it's the same one I've been writing since I was 20.  It's improved since then, I know, due to my own life experiences (20 year olds really do not know everything, trust me) and writing practice through the years.

Erma is pregnant, and she's doing all right.  She does have some nausea and vomiting, and car rides make her sick, but other than that, she's doing well.  She is due on April 9th, right between her birthday, her Aunt JR's birthday, and Jethro's birthday.

Saige is staying with Jethro as a live-in nanny for the kids who call him Daddy.  They call me Gramma Cinny.  These are the children of his girlfriend, Macrame, of course, not some random kids I never wrote about before.  You remember Hope and Justice, right?  If not, then go back and read some previous entries.  They are there somewhere.

I know they are in the pictures of the Lumberjack wedding.

And that is all for now.  Life is made up of slow moments, I've found.  It's dishes and laundry and running errands, and in between all the mundane things, a few things might happen that are note worthy, but most of the time, things are a bit, well, boring around here.

Oh, we don't have the cats here, and need to find homes for Dos and Imp.  They are both spayed, and they had their shots.  I couldn't find their records, though, so I'm not sure when they are due again.  If someone takes them, I will pay for their shots.  Or just take Dos.  That would be good, too, because Dos is Saige's cat, and we couldn't bring her to either home.

I do have Fuzz Dawg and BDG here, though, and those are the ones that really matter to me.  While I loved the cats, urine and all, I LOVE Fuzz and BDG.  They are doing well here, and I'm so glad.  I would like to purchase one of those wireless fences that gives the dog a little shock, but right now, that's an expensive purchase, so they go outside on a tie out. They've learned to go to these doors, though, so that's good, when they want out.

Binnie Boo is here, too, as Erma's dog.  She and Fuzz hate each other with a rare passion that culminates in vicious fights, so Binnie will run into her kennel a lot of times when she sees Fuzz.  She will also growl menacingly at BDG and/or Fuzz Dawg if she has food in her dish.  Both BDG and Fuzz will steal food, so who can blame Binnie for growling and carrying on?

Okay, that's it.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.