Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Living in a Resort Town

Top ten reasons NOT to live in a resort town.

10. Hard to find a gift that is not touristy....(How many shell chimes does one need?)
9. Have to go out of town to shop at Target and Costco....(Love all in one store shopping)
8. Anything you buy in town costs more....(Well, they have to pay the rent!)
7. Not a huge selection at the grocery stores....(Not enough space.)
6. Hard to find a better vacation spot....(Not that we'll get one this year)
5. Gas prices are way higher....(Because they can)
4. Galleries, galleries everywehre....(How do they make a living?)
3. Not enough fast food drive thrus....(Actually have to get out of the car!)
2. Traffic grid lock once tourist season hits....(Use side steets, but don't advertise them)
1. Everybody knows your name....(No secrets here)

Top ten reasons TO live in a resort town.

10. Tourists....(Who buy the touristy gifts, good for local economy)
9. Calling myself a local....(Reminds me how lucky I am)
8. The phone book is small....(No straining to lift it)
7. Nice weather, year round....(Even June gloom burns off)
6. Knowing alternate routes, anytime....(Or the local bus schedule)
5. Being referred to by name at local establishments....(Makes me feel welcome)
4. Schools are small....( Hard to get lost, in more ways than one)
3. Family and friends come here for vacation....(Always nice when they visit)
2. The beach....(Truly beautiful)
1. Everybody knows your name....(Small town and lots of friends)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Resting the Broken (?) Toe

Last night I was making dinner and I got out the Stretch Wrap to nuke something. Somebody had ripped the cardboard container and the whole roll came flying out and landed on my big toe.

For those of you who don't know about Stretch Wrap, it is cellophane, from Costco and comes on a roll with 500 sq ft.

When it landed on my toe, I made loud writhen sounds, and then started crying. I am pretty sure my toe is broken and I will lose the nail.

I didn't go to Doc in the Box, as I know they can do nothing for fractured toes....Been there, done that.

I don't cry much when I get hurt. My husband knows my real pain cry. He was there the second time I broke my ankle. Shattered it and needed pins and and plates. Then the time I shut the Volvo door on my thumb. Had to open the door to get my thumb out. My husband said he knew immediately that I broke it by the way I cried. With two little ones to get in the house, I got to drive myself to Doc in the Box. Yep, broken....Sunday night and he had to find an open pharmacy to get me pain meds once the girls were tucked in.

Last night, I thought I was fine, until the tears started. I hate crying in front of my daughters. I didn't want to scare them and apologized. They asked me why I was apologizing.....

My husband helped me to a chair and got ice for my injury. The three of them kindly finished preparing our dinner.

My husband also said he didn't know that cellophane could be so heavy. Dropped from five feet up and multiply that by 500 sq feet and then think about that again!

Needless to say, I will have my foot up and down for the duration of today at least!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

In Other News........

Late night last night. Katharine's friend Daniella spent the night. They are both 12 and very very energetic. I am not sure who talks faster, Katharine or Daniella.

They emerged from Katharine's room about 11:00 last night. After hours of IMing and I don't know what else. They came upstairs where I was lying on the couch in darkness and quiet, catching up on Tivoed shows.

They started their talk and giggle fest. Gotta love 'em. I was not really in the mood to be bothered just then. I indulged them and listened to their stories and got to see all the small purchases they made at the mall. Anything pink for Katharine and anything orange for Daniella.

Finally, they get a drink, brush their teeth and head back downstairs with the movie Mean Girls in their hand. Only to emerge again to get a Rolaid for Daniella.

I see the light go off in Katharine's room and the tv was on, but they were quiet! Yippee. After midnight and now all is quiet and I continue with my Tivo stash.

Thinking the girls will definitely sleep in this morning....Wrong. Up at 7:00. Daniella woke up Katharine to ask what the noise she heard upstairs was. My response would have been, same noise you two made last night. But, Katharine told Daniella that it was Charlie the dog. Charlie was playing and doesn't know he is not a cat, and runs up and over the couch and leaps into the air and lands and the wood floor. The sound downstairs is elephant like.

Anyhow, the girls are up now and Katharine is tired, not accustomed to rising before ten on the weekends. Daniella is full of get up and go.

Hubby makes yummy pancakes for breakfast. Zoe finishes and grabs her computer. "We boring you?" asks hubby. "Yep," says Zoe.

Daniella, who's family has front row Angel tickets for today, doesn't want to go. She calls her mother and tells her so. I am thinking, her mother is going to hate me for telling Daniella she can stay if her mother says so.

I speak to her mother and she tells me that she wants Daniella to go with them, but if she will be miserable, then so will the rest of the family. So, can she stay with us. I say, "Yes, of course."

The girls decide they want to go to the ball park to watch little league. Katharine is weighing Daniella's options with her hands. Front row Angel tickets with professional ball players or little league. Daniella opts for little league.

It is not the game they are going to see.

Six Degrees of Separation

Some already know this story, but I wanted to post it anyhow.

Cozy first came to my attention by commenting on my blog. She liked a comment I left on Rosie's blog. I went to her blog to check her out and found myself commenting on every post.

She had mentioned how she would like to live in another country one day and mentioned Polynesia. I told her I had been there and while beautiful, it is run by the French. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

I told her we go to an island in Tahiti called Huahine. She writes back that her best sister friend has lived there for twenty years and has dual citizenship.

Even before finishing her comment, I knew it was Joyce she was talking about and I hurriedly wrote to her and asked, "Is your friend Joyce?" She writes back, "Well, yes it is!"

Just imagine what a small world we live in. Out there in blogland, I get in contact with somebody who knows, much better that I, a person I know too. In a far off land no less.

It was so amazing to find her out of all the people in the blogworld. What are the chances?

Cozy is very cool. A lot like me in many ways, I think. Not to say, I am very cool...... Anyhow, we are communticating now and it is fun! I am still waiting for her to contact Joyce to tell her what a small world it is.

Anyhow, this has been a very bizarre experience and one that has truly connected us!

And to Cozy, it is great to get to know you!!!!

Friday, May 27, 2005

My Office

I don't have an actual office with four walls and a door.

My office is a deck off the kitchen and living room.
It gets cold I put on the layers and light the patio heater.

My office is surrounded by eucalyptus trees.
It has a bird feeder and bath and now a nest in a tree.

My office has many colorful pots of flowers, not yet eaten by the dog.
Lots of life in my office.

My office has three umbrellas to keep the sun at bay.
I can gaze at the canyon down below, and think or not.

My office has a spectacular view of the sunrise.
No two mornings are the same, fog rolls in and out.

MY office has views of the hills and the ocean.
I am thankful for cordless phones and wireless internet.

My office is a thousand feet up.
No wasting gas or time to get to my office.

My office is occupied by many. But quiet right now.
I feel so lucky to have an office at all.

No, I don't have an actual office with four walls and a door.

This is not a poem. No crap.....OK?
Just wanted to write this way today!
Sometimes I sit and think. Sometimes I just sit.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


When I was growing up, I always liked my friend's moms that were cool. The moms that let everybody hang out. The moms who didn't faint or want to call your mother if you cussed. The moms that made me feel at home, every time I was there. The moms that made me feel like part of the family....You get the picture.

Not that there were a plethora of moms like that. Probably why they were so special. They were different, almost like contemporaries, to a point. They actually listened and gave advice. Sometimes they even drank with us as teenagers. They let us drink, but not leave, unless sober or driven home. So different than today. Because, you can be sure nobody wants to open themselves up to a lawsuit by parents. Lawsuits have ruined so much fun.

Not that I am against honest people who file law suits. Law suits where somebody was actually wronged and deserves restitution, or to force the bad guy to do the right thing. Sometimes, just the threat of a lawsuit works for the bad guys to do the right thing.

I am against frivolous law suits brought by people who think they have found a way to make a buck. I am against people filing law suits because they know that corporate America will just pay out, to get them to shut the fuck up. Don't need any bad press.

It truly angers me when people pay off the would be plaintiff, because it is cheaper in the long run. If it costs more to hire an attorney and go to court and the time and energy it takes, sometimes it is cheaper to just pay out! Seems so fucked up. The way of the world these days....Anyhow, went off there.

I suppose I should interject here. My husband is a lawyer.

One mom in particular, Dollie, was very special to me. Her daughter was my best friend. Her husband coached a baseball team and we had team parties after every Sunday game. We drank and smoked. Shot pool and swam. We gathered for playoff games, Super Bowl and the World Series. We made pools for the games. We gathered to play cards and backgammon. We played spades and hearts, among others. I learned several ways to play solitaire. Always at their house. On other days I would tell my parents I was at her house and I was with my boyfriend. Not that my parents ever called to locate me. But, Dollie would have covered for me.

Dollie was also the mother who told me when a girl/woman could get pregnant. She got out an calendar and showed me how to figure out the fertile days. Something I really should have known! She knew her daughter, my friend, was pregnant by the end of the first month. Just because she noticed no pads in the trash that month. She rocked! She was truly there, for so many of us.

I have always wanted to be the Dollie for my children's friends. Not nearly to that degree. I would never cover for a kid lying to their mother about their where abouts. But, I want the kids who come here to be able to themselves. I want them to feel at home. If they are hungry, I want them to feel comfortable enough to help themselves to a snack or non alcoholic beverage! Funny, because, I want my kids to always ask before doing something like that at their friend's homes.

I will answer questions honestly as I do with my own kids. I have had occasion to do this with at least one kid. She asked me questions about getting pregnant and I told her what Dollie taught me and my mother did not. Of course, her mother might not be mad at me for that, but her father would be furious. I do not feel guilty about this either. I think knowledge is power and I will gladly empower any child who comes into my home and asks questions.

I do take into consideration their age and what the parents would tell their kids, at some point. I don't offer too much unsolicited advice. And, I only tell them what I think they need to hear about the question at hand. Often times it is easier to ask somebody other than one's own mother. That's where I come in. I am proud of being like Dollie.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Well, needless to say our marriage news took many by storm. My new husband's (MNH) family was shocked. His aunt and a
cousin called to welcome me into the family.

I had met his daughter before we got married and frankly, I am not sure how she really felt. But, she was kind to me. And I really liked her.

MNH's sister was really shocked. She had been visiting him just a couple weeks before we got married. I already had my ring and was sleeping on a bed downstairs, because of my broken ankle. We didn't tell her while she was there. I think we just felt weird about it being so fast. I am sure she saw my ring, but we never mentioned it. She told me I was a good guest. I didn't tell her I LIVED there and was marrying her brother. Neither did he. Strange.

My family called to congratulate us. My parents knew that we were going to Paris and would probably get married there. Nobody else knew that. When we didn't go to Paris, and ended up in Vegas, they were not too surprised.

We had a big reception in our back yard. It was a blast and made up for the big wedding we didn't have. I had known since I was five, that I would never have a big wedding. I would never walk down an isle with all those people watching me. Too nervous.

When the man took me to buy an engagement ring, I didn't have a clue about money. Didn't know how much to spend or what size rock to get. I picked a beautiful one carat pear shaped diamond with two half carat baguettes on either side. Not a big band. Simple. He wrote a check.... I was shocked by that. In a past relationship, I got a $400 ring and he made payments.

The night before we left for Vegas, we went to a neighborhood jeweler and got the man a band and a band with baguettes for me. It went perfectly with my engagement ring. I had them soldered together later.

Anyhow, MNH's daughter was in Copan, Honduras, on a Mayan dig. We planned on visiting her there and we decided to go to Anthony's Key Resort in Roatan, Honduras, for a honeymoon. Roatan is a small island in the Caribbean and spectacular. We were in a bungalow on stilts above the sand. To have meals we had to take a small boat to the bigger island. Fruit loop birds everywhere. Unbelievable water. MNH did scuba. We snorkeled together and just relaxed.....A LOT. I had taken a scuba course in high school and wanted to get certified for our trip and took a class before we left. I did everything I was supposed to do. But, one evening after staying under water and suffering an almost panic attack, I told MNH that I couldn't do it. It was like claustrophobia. So, I snorkeled and did the paddle boats while he dove. But snorkeling together was really romantic and I had never seen so many colorful fish.

MNH told me how he liked hermit crabs. They were everywhere. Along with Iguanas and as I said already, the fruit loop birds.
One day he was reading in the hammock and I returned from a walk with a hermit crab for him. It was the size of my hand. Well, I gave it to him and it attatched itself to his finger and it hurt. He shouted loudly. I laughed so hard. I said, "I thought you liked hermit crabs!" Still laughing. He said, " Well, not that big!" I think he got over his thing about the little, or big creatures.

One day we ventured into the town near by. Coxen Hole. We waited outside the resort for a bus. Along came a VW van. Pretty rickety at best. We got to town and got some snacks. There was a partially sunken ship in the harbor. Had been there forever. On the way back I noticed the driver of the VW was half done with a pint of whiskey. I looked at MNH in horror and he said, " I saw that on the way here and didn't tell you, or you wouldn't have gotten back in for the ride back." Oh shit. Well, we made it back and did not go back to that town.

We left Roatan for Copan. We got on a bus and took the road to Copan. When there was one..Some of the roads were dirt from being washed out or just not asphalted yet. A little scary. Copan is a city of the Maya, high in the mountains, with cobblestone streets. Laundry was done by local women, on rocks in the river. It amazed me how well the clothes came out. We stayed at an old hotel with the biggest bougainvillea I had ever seen. Spectacular. We were in good company at the hotel as there was a film crew from National Geographic. They were there to do a documentary about the Maya ruins.

MNH's daughter was working on the dig. We got to see how and what they did, up close and personal. Little brushes lightly brushing the artifacts. We saw the amazing ball court and the hieroglyphic stairway. We got to go into a cave that was off limits to the public.

My stepdaughter took us to the local watering hole. Very eclectic mix of people. People from all over. Most there to help with the dig. She took us to a couple of restaurants as well. We got to see where she lived. A house with several other people.

Packs of wild dogs roamed the streets and I wanted to pet them. But was told not to. We went to a big town square, where most of the town converged after sun down for some relief from the heat. It was a nightly practice. The people worked hard all day and it was very hot an humid. The kids would kick around the soccer balls and the older folks came with chairs.

It was an experience of a life time for me. I had only been to Mexico City before and it was also my first time on a plane. When we would mention going to Honduras, people would seem perplexed. "Why Honduras?" They would ask. Well, it is a beautiful country with a lot of history, good and bad.

As for Paris, never made it there. Have been to many other places though, pre kids and with our kids. I really have no desire to ever go to Paris. Being able to visit the places I have been, is all because of my husband.

And to reply to somebody who commented on what a great guy I have....That is so true. I am very very blessed.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Younger Years, Final

I started dating this man and thought I was going to marry him. Some nights at the bar, the old boyfriend and the new man were at the bar. It was pretty funny. They knew who each other were and were cordial. Old boyfriend and I parted on friendly terms and remained friends.

New man and I would go out to dinner and if going back to the bar, had to bring something to Susie. It was customary. If somebody goes out to eat, they are supposed to bring something back. We humored her.

New man took me to his house and it was lovely and sparsely furnished. One Saturday he came by the bar to see me and told me he was getting some chemicals for his pool. I asked, "You have a pool?" The blinds were closed. I had no idea. Just shows how much I didn't know about him, but I was crazy about him.

I invited new man to come to dinner with my family at Christmas. He came by the bar one day before and gave me a beautiful pair of earrings. Diamond and sapphire. Susie finally liked new man! "Oh, these are nice," she says. Then tells me that he is a good man and will treat me right! I asked new man why he gave the earrings to me early and he told me he didn't want to give me something that personal in front of my family. He bought me perfume to unwrap in front of my family.

New man asked me to go on a vacation. Anywhere I wanted to go. I said, "Paris." We had the tickets and passports and then I broke my ankle. Bad break, second time, same break, pins and plates to put it all back together again. When I was released from the hospital. I moved in with him. He brought a bed downstairs for me. He was so sweet. I loved him and loved how funny he was. We laughed all the time. Never made it to Paris.

On the day we were to go to Paris, we went to Vegas and got married. Me with my leg up in the back seat of the car. Nobody knew. We just did it and then told everybody. Eight weeks after we met.

We did go to Roatan in Honduras after my ankle healed. It was so beautiful and only the second time I had ever been out of the country. I will write about that another time.

We have been married for 15 years.

The Younger Years, 2 of 3

I loved bartending. I did it for two years. I graduated from beauty school and decided to remain a bartender instead of doing nails.

Bartending was cool. I began dating the man who owned the bar. But not until he sold the bar to a wacko woman, whom I did like after getting to know.

She did some crazy things. One day I paid the Bud man out of the register and she made me get money from the office and put it back in the register, exactly how I had taken it out. Meaning the exact number of 20's, 10's, 5's....You get the point. She said it was bad luck to pay out of the register.

She would not turn on the a/c to save money. Customers complained and she told me I was the one who wanted the air on because I was fat! From brain to mouth and out, without thinking or caring about other's feelings. That was the way Susie was.
I got used to it. I was the best bartender she had. And she loved me. Even bought me jewelry. Wanted to hang with me when I came in after my shifts.

Oh, and the bartender who I thought was such a bitch when I started? She became my best friend for years to come. I still love her and we are like sisters. She moved away, had a family. Robin!

Robin and I did a lot of bar hopping in those days. Sometimes we brought along the man I was dating. One day the bar was closed and she and I stayed inside all day and danced, drank and just had a ball. Nobody but us.

We had a whole group of friends who hung out at the bar. One night while I was working, Robin, trying to get some guy off her back, put a tampax in her mouth and asked him for a light. The whole bar erupted in laughter, except the guy, who left. It was funny because she did it like Groucho Marx. And, it was not open! It was funny because men are so weird about women's personal products! Most are embarrassed to buy them. What do they think? The checker is going to think the products are for them? Strange.

Anyhow, I dated the old owner of the bar for a year. One night a man and woman came in and took a table. I asked a question and the man gave me his business card. The couple were just friends and nursed two beers for a long time.

A couple nights later the man came back. This time alone. He asked me out. I thought he was so funny and wanted to go out with him. So, I told the boyfriend that I wanted to date this man I had met. Done. We broke up.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Younger Years

In my earlier life I was a purchasing agent. I worked for a company that manufactured circuit boards. I started in the factory right after high school. I hated it! I loved that I got to work four days a week, ten hours a day though. Three day weekends every week. Waiting a whole year for one freaking week off though, that sucked. Welcome to the real world!

I had other jobs before that during high school. I worked at a high end store doing gift wrapping when I was fourteen. I worked at a Pic N Save after that. It's now called Big Lots. I loathed that job. It was already a cheap store and customers would ask for discounts on things. Blew me away! I couldn't believe people could be so cheap. It was not a swap meet or flea market! The merchandise was marked so low that it was nearly free. Anyhow, the reason I loathed it was because at the end of a shift, we employees would have to go around with a cart and pick up all the items that were out of place! OMG. We had to get all the crap people dumped when they realized their kid had picked it up or they no longer wanted to purchase. Then we had the displeasure of putting it all back where it belonged. Only to do it again the next night. To this day, I put things back where I got them. I know somebody has to do it later! I lasted three months at that job.

My friends and I hung out at this donut shop daily. We knew the owner, Virgie. She was the mother of one of our friends. We would all meet and hang out or find out what was happening. We would either start the night there and/or end up there after doing something else. We all had the number of the pay phone so we could call to see who was there. It was our hangout. Way before cell phones. Way before cordless phones too!

Virgie gave me a job after I quit Pic N Save. I loved it because I loved the people that came there and I was the nerve center for my friends. "Hey, have you seen Ralph?" That kind of thing. I hated the early weekend mornings though. Had to be there at six. I had a hard time getting up after the late nights with my friends, but I managed, because I was young and full of energy. At some point I got so sick of the smell of the donuts and coffee. It became even more difficult on those early mornings and it was all I could do not to toss my cookies. Cops and Firemen got free coffee and donuts! Of course they did, everybody knew that is where they could be found on their breaks! Now, it's coffee shops and bagel shops. I lasted there til high school ended. Almost three years. To this day, I hate the smell of donuts. Although, I can't say that about coffee. I love coffee.

Back to the job fresh out of high school. I learned everything there was to know by working in the factory for two years. Worked the 4PM to 3AM shift. Didn't get to see my friends nearly as often. I finally moved up the ladder and made it to purchasing manager. I loved that job. I was manager for a number of years. The company went through some changes and I was not satisfied with the new leadership. I quit. After a couple of months of mismanagement, I got a call from the new CEO, who used to be my boss. I went back at his request to try and straighten out the clusterfuck of a mess. I did ask for a lot more money and got it. I remained there for another year, but things were no longer the same. I wanted out and after ten years, I quit for good.

I decided that I liked the atmosphere in beauty shops. They always looked like they were having fun. So, I went to beauty school to become a manicurist. Even had a job lined up. One night, a friend I had made in beauty school, Ruth, and I went to a bar/restaurant to listen to some music. We were sitting alone and a man came up to us and said, "Don't I know you?" I realized he was the man who owned the liquor store in my neighborhood where I grew up. I had known him since I was ten. I had not seen him in several years. "Yes, how are you?" I asked. He sat down with us, a total flirt, and at some point asked me if I would like to be a waitress there, while I was still in school. Oh, he owned the place. I told him I had never waited tables before, but sure. My girlfriend talked me into it. She was a waitress and had been for years. So, I took home a price list for drinks and memorized each one with Ruth's help.

My first day of waiting tables was Super Bowl Sunday. Seven TV's and the place was packed. I didn't like the bartender. She was a royal bitch. I asked another waitress, "Who the hell does she think she is, God?" "Actually, being the bartender here, is pretty much like that," she told me. "Then I want to be a bartender!" I said. The next day, I told the owner/friend, "Thanks for letting me be a waitress, but I want to be a bartender instead." He laughed and told me okay. Just like that! I was officially a bartender, after one day of waiting tables!

Enough for today.....

Friday, May 20, 2005

Funny Kid Stories

Thanks to Pong, (Hollie). She gave me the idea (from her blog), for something for me to post today.

We had just gotten home from karate. My then five year old daughter went upstairs to play dolls. Next thing I know, she is crying and I look up and see she has her head stuck in the stair rail. She looked so sad. I tried to get her head out, but her ears would get caught and I couldn't get her out. My four year old daughter came up, hauling a container of vegetable oil. She thought if I put some on her sister, she would slide right out! We didn't try that. I asked her why she stuck her head in there and she said, " I did it when I was little!" Well, heads do grow. A lesson she learned that day!

I called 911 and the fire department came. While we were waiting, I took photos. Couldn't resist. The firemen came in and luckily she had stuck her head in between the wall and the first bar. They removed the rail from the wall and freed my daughter.

They were so nice and they gave the girls a tour of their truck and then gave them each a teddy bear. I then rushed to my photo store, and they knew me well, and got he photos developed. They even enlarged one to 8x10 and mounted it. They said, "We thought you may want to bring this out when she starts dating!" I would NEVER do that!

Then there was the time we were in a hotel and the girls were very little. They followed me everywhere and this day into the bathroom. I asked for some privacy. My youngest said, "I will get it for you mommy." and ran out of the bathroom. Only to return a couple of seconds later to ask, "Where is it?"

Another time, in the bathroom again. Just a coincidence. My eldest daughter wanting to help, asked, "Mommy, do you need a crouton?" I told her no, but thank you. "And the word is tampon, sweety."

Geez, that was so long ago. Some things you just remember and others you really have to write down. You may think you will remember, but you probably won't.

A friend of mine who has a little boy, took him to preschool for the first time. After a couple of days he told her, "Mom, you know how we have to do all that writing and number stuff?" "Yes," she replied. "Well, tomorrow I am going to tell my teacher that I want to skip all that and just go outside to play." I told her, write it down right now! And, she did.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Free Concert

Last year, my cousin Pam, won two tickets from a radio station. The tickets included airfare for two from LA to Kansas City, a suite at a beautiful downtown hotel, and two tickets for to a Vote for Change concert.

Vote for Change was arranged by musicians for John Kerry. Without getting into my political affiliation, I will tell you that the concert was the bomb.

We had not just front row seats, but we could touch the stage seats. We saw Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Keb'Mo. They were fantastic. It was a little unnerving sitting so close because when the performers sang they often looked at us. Right in the eyes. Made me want to divert my eyes on to somebody else on stage.

I have loved Jackson Browne's music since my teens and had all of his albums. Yes, albums. Bonnie Raitt, well she can do no wrong. She so amazingly talented! And Keb' Mo. I had never heard of him. He is fabulous. Best description is that he is a Cool Cat. Tremendous musician and wears very cool hats. Bought one of his cds when I got home.

I have a Keb'Mo for Peace bumper sticker on one of the glass sliders in our home. I have to put something on there to prevent people from walking through them, as they are so damn clean that people don't know they are closed! Usually, I use something like colorful fish stickers. But Keb'Mo needed a home and it was the perfect place. We have six glass sliders, and I wish I had five more of Keb's bumper stickers.

I don't put bumper stickers on my car. Not big on advertising. My sister-in-law, Phoebe, once said that more than two bumper stickers on a car, makes the person a nut. I tend to agree, unless of course, you need them to hold your car together. I have seen some of those.

Back to the trip.....wandered there for a second. The hotel was so beautiful. Had a two story fountain in the lobby. It is also connected to a mall. Now, the person who dreamed that one is brilliant, in my opinion.

I will never forget Pam jumping into the middle of her bed and sinking deep into the down bedding. They are called heavenly beds and Pam proved them right. She was in heaven.

My brother Danny lives in Lawrence, Ks and he and his wife Janet came to take us out the night before the concert. They showed us around KC. I didn't know that is where Hallmark lives. And there is a coffee company there as well. The aroma wafts thru the air for many blocks. If you don't like coffee, you may want to take an alternate route, if you ever go there. Or bring along a clothes pin.

The theatre where the concert was held has to be the most beautiful I have ever seen. I have seen a few too. It was completely restored. It was built in the 1800's and had gorgeous chandeliers and intricate wood work on the walls and the ceilings. It was stunningly gilded in gold leaf as well. It was a real trip... back in time.

The day following the concert my brother took us riverboat gambling. Not quite Vegas, but it was enjoyable and family oriented, not that we had our kids with us. I just thought it was worth noting. When you arrive you give them a credit or debit card and they give you a card with a springy key chain. Springy like the old fashioned telephone cords. We didn't gamble for too long and we ate the best ribs I have ever had in one of the riverboat restaurants. Not that you veggie people will like that.

Anyhow, we had a blast. All for free, almost. Because the bars did charge!

The reason Pam took me instead of her husband? Because my cousin Ron had to work! Now you want to know if my cousins are missing teeth and related to each other, right? Well, they aren't. Ron is my cousin, also referred to as cuzbro, cuz we are so close, not THAT close, he's like a brother. And Pam, well she married into this family and she is like the sister I never had.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

She, Who's Good Side You Want to be On

I stopped by the girls old elementary school today to see, she who's good side you want to be on....Claudia. Her title at the school is clerk, but she is SO much more than that. That school could not run without her. She can tell you anything you want to know about anybody there. She can answer any question you have, better than the person you should actually be asking! She has been there for more than twenty years. She knows all.

When I first encountered Claudia, she scared the crap out of me. I felt like I was back in fourth grade and I was not even the one she was speaking to. I was standing there waiting to ask a question with my first and third graders in tow. TOW, that is also the name of the school. Top of the World. I listened as Claudia chastised three girls who had missed the bus. They came in to ask her what to do and she told them if they hadn't been using the phone they would have made their bus and to go to their classes and tell their TEACHER they missed the bus. Then looks at me and says, "Yes?" I don't remember the question as it was five years ago, but I remember the feeling.

From that time on, when anybody suggested I call Claudia, I would beg them to do it. "Why?" They would ask. "Because I am afraid of her." I would answer. Then they would laugh and tell me that she wasn't THAT bad. I was volunteering in my girls classrooms. I hated taking anything to the office and God forbid I needed help with the copy machine!

It wasn't that she was mean to me. She wasn't. She frightened me the first day, and I could not let that image go. She was frank and to the point. Usually, I am okay with those types. HA

When I agreed to be cookie mom for one daughter's troop, I had the initial training at Claudia's house. Talk about shaking in your boots! I went to the meeting and she has a lovely house and she seemed so much warmer at home. Claudia, even though her kids are now in college, she is cookie manager for the entire town. She has been forever.

I got to know her very well thru cookie sales that year and it made all the difference in the world. I was no longer in fear of her and I actually liked her very much. I could call her and get anything I wanted done. She was definitely the person in the know. Even now, if the weather station at the school goes down, I can call her to have the teacher reboot it. Much faster than emailing said teacher!

This morning I stopped by to pick up the incentives, known as bribes, for the girls in our troop who won these prizes. It was nice to see Claudia again. I miss her. I don't have that kind of clout in the middle school!

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary since Claudia's husband died of melanoma. Kurt was a fighter pilot and then a commercial and private pilot as well. They think he got the skin cancer from the sun coming thru the window of the cockpit. One story they told at his funeral last year was, that somebody at their house saw a photo of eagles and asked what kind of lens he used on his camera. He said, regular lens. He had flown very close to the nest to take that awesome photo. There were several pilots at the funeral with similar stories. He was quite the daredevil.

Anyhow, Claudia's sisters are flying in tomorrow to be with her. I thought that was nice. She seems to be doing okay.

Monday, May 16, 2005

My Computer

My husband took my computer in for a tune up on Friday and Saturday was informed that my hard drive was dying.

Bad news? Yes and No. I had two days left on my three year warranty! Yippee.

My computer will be in "the shop" longer, but I get a new hard drive and it is quite possible they will have to upgrade because they no longer make my kind. Which means I will go from 18 gigs to 28 gigs or something like that.

I am very happy about that because I had to back up all my photos and remove them, to make room for Tiger.
Tiger is the reason my computer went to the shop in the first place. I tried installing it and it had errors. I tried to fix them, to no avail.

Actually, I suspected something was wrong because of little things that no longer worked. Like having to restart my computer every time I was thrown off AOL. If you have ever had or have AOL, you will know what I mean about getting thrown offline! I don't have to restart my computer if Safari quits, which is rare.

More and more people I know are leaving AOL. I started with them and like them, except for getting thrown offline, of course.
Other times AOL gets too busy and I have to use Safari. I am using my daughter's computer and she has Safari and I go on AOL through there. Seems to work well.

Other little problem is when I turn off the sound, and it stays on. So, all these little annoyances will be fixed at no cost to me!

How often does something go out before the warranty expires? Only one other time for me. A refrigerator. The compressor went out a week before the warranty expired. Lucky indeed, twice now.

I thought I was going to have a quiet morning of laundry and bills. NO. Window washers just showed up. Luckily there are three and will get done relatively fast, I hope. Windows haven't been washed since last Summer. We had so much rain this winter that there was no reason to do it. Like washing your car and the next day it rains. I can pretty much count on that. In fact a friend emails me on rainy mornings and says, "Washed your car yesterday, didn't you?"

I have finished my Choices story. Very cathartic. Now, I need to write a new story. Hmm, what to write next? Thinking..........
Actually, thinking Choices needs an epilogue! Yeah, that's it....an epilogue.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Choices..The Final Chapter

Lilly decided she must be in labor. Nobody had told her what to expect. Nobody told her that contractions would be so painful. She had hidden the pregnancy so long, that she was completely uneducated about giving birth. All she knew was what she had heard over the years and wasn't even sure what to believe.

Lilly had contractions for hours. She quietly cried in pain. She didn't want to wake her parents. It finally got so bad that she knew she needed to go to the hospital. About two in the morning, she woke her brother and told him she needed her mother. Her mother knew immediately that she was in active labor.

Lilly's mother had easy and quick deliveries. Her last baby came after she felt a couple of contractions. Lilly's grandmother was visiting at the time and knew enough to put a vinyl tablecloth down on the front seat of Lilly's parent's car. The hospital was only three blocks away. Lilly's brother was born inside the car, in the parking lot of the hospital.

Lilly's brother woke their father and he was in the car waiting when Lilly and her mother made it to the driveway. Her father was a nervous wreck. He knew what happened last time, with his wife, and hoped Lilly's baby could wait until they got to the hospital. Lilly cried in pain all the way to the hospital. It took them twenty minutes to get there.

Lilly's father got a nurse who came out with a wheelchair. Lilly's parents told her that they loved her and that everything would be fine. She would be fine. It was all happening so fast. Her parents had only found out three days earlier that Lilly was pregnant. It was not fast for Lilly though, it had been an eternity since she got pregnant.

Lilly was taken to a delivery room. One of the nurses asked who her OB was. Lilly didn't know what an OB was. Then they asked her which doctor she had been seeing during her pregnancy. Lilly told them she hadn't seen one. She could see the expressions on the nurses' faces had changed. No longer did they look kind and caring. It was more outraged and angry. Lilly was even more frightened.

Lilly's pain grew worse and she asked if they could give her something for the pain. The nurse told her no, that she had no prenatal care and they were worried about the baby. The contractions continued for three more hours, when finally a male doctor came in and asked, "What have we got?" A nurse told the doctor that Lilly was fifteen and had not had any prenatal care. The doctor didn't even flinch. He told Lilly that it was time to have her baby and to push when he told her to.

Lilly was in agony. No pain medication. She swore to herself that she would never have sex again. Lilly did as the doctor told her to and felt like she was being ripped apart. Finally, she heard the doctor tell her she had a boy. Lilly was out of it, but heard the nurse say, "She is giving him up for adoption." They told her that her son weighed nearly twelve pounds and was healthy. Then they took him into another room. Lilly didn't get to see him. They told her it would be best if she was giving him up. Lilly didn't know enough to tell them that she wanted to see her son. At last, she was medicated and stitched up. She was taken to a room on another floor.

Lilly asked her mother why she was in a room with a couple of old ladies. Her mother told her that it was best not to be around all the new mothers with their babies. Her brothers and one of their friends came to visit Lilly while she was in the hospital for two days. Her brothers knew the truth, but the friend, the rest of her family and her friends were told she was having her appendix out.

A woman from the hospital came with all kinds of forms for Lilly to fill out. She asked Lilly what name she wanted on her son's birth certificate. Lilly hadn't thought of that. She told the lady, " My son's name is Michael Paul." Social Services came for Lilly to sign the papers to put her son in foster care until he could be adopted. Lilly was very sad and wasn't sure she wanted to give him up. She signed the papers.

Before she left, the doctor came in to check on her and right in front of her mother, he asked, "Do you need any birth control pills?" Lilly looked at her mother and said, "No, I don't need them." Lilly would have taken them, had her mother not been there. She knew she swore not to ever have sex again, but she also realized, that at some point she would.

Once home, Lilly was getting all kinds of cards and flowers. All hoping she felt better after having her appendix out. She hated it, but didn't say a thing.

Lilly got a call from a social worker who was working on her case. The lady told her that since Lilly knew who the father was, he would have to sign the relinquishment papers as well. Lilly was livid. She told the woman his address and also told her if he would not sign, she would not be giving her son up for adoption. There was no way Lilly was letting that loser have her baby. He signed them.

When her son was about eight weeks old, Lilly and her mother were summoned to the Social Services Department. Lilly was singing the final adoption papers. On the way there Lilly asked her mother what would happen if she wanted to keep her son. Lilly's mother told her if she wanted to keep him, she could. But, her parents would raise him as their adopted son and he would become Lilly's brother. Lilly hated that idea.

Lilly finally got to see and hold her son. He was beautiful. Lilly loved him. She spent an hour alone with him while she thought about what to do. She realized that living as her brother, would never work for her. If he came home with her, he would have to be her son. Then she thought about the fact that she was only fifteen and how hard it would be to raise a child. She thought it was selfish not to give him what she thought would be a better life. She knew the people who wanted to adopt him already had one adopted son. Lilly was also told that the couple would tell their children they were adopted. Also, she knew that the couple could support him, had a loving and stable family life and would love Michael.

That was the first and last time Lilly got to hold her son. Lilly loved her son. Lilly chose adoption.

The End

Choices..........Part Ten

The next day Lilly went to school and thought everybody knew she was pregnant. She knew Judy did. Lilly was sure Judy had told everybody. Lilly endured school for the whole day. It was hot and she was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and hoped she was hiding her belly.

Lilly switched from her blue sweatshirt to the couple of smock tops that she had for school each day. She had no choice. Only a few items would cover her belly. She realized she was not a slave to fashion at that point. She couldn't be.

Lilly continued to hide the pregnancy for another eight weeks or so. She had not decided what to do. She thought she would just give birth. She had no idea what to do with the baby. She also had no idea the kind of pain that accompanies giving birth. She was clueless and quite literally just made herself think that it would just go away, and tried not to think about it.

After dinner one evening, her mother came up to her room. She asked Lilly if she was pregnant. Lilly started crying and said, "Yes." Her mother started crying and asked if the baby was moving. "Yes," Lilly replied. Her mother asked how many months pregnant she was. Lilly told her she didn't know exactly, but thought she was due any time. Her mother hugged her. Lilly was surprised by that. A slap across the face, she would have expected. Lilly's mother asked why Lilly had not told her or her father that she was pregnant. Lilly told her the story of what her father had said when she was little, and how he told her she better never do that. Lilly's mother said, "Oh, surely you knew he was kidding." Lilly just stared at her mother, thinking, do I look like I thought it was a joke? Lilly asked her mother if she was going to tell her father and her mother told her, "Of course." Lilly was scared to death, not just because she was pregnant, but because her father was going to know very soon.

Lilly's mother left the room. Lilly was crying uncontrollably. She was waiting in her bedroom for her father's wrath. It never came. She didn't want to leave her room. She waited until she thought she could sneak into the kitchen without being seen. The kitchen was dark and she got some water and turned around and her father was standing there.

Lilly froze. Her father hugged her hard and didn't let go for what seemed like forever. Lilly had never been hugged like that before. When he finally let go, he told her everything would be okay. Lilly was shocked. She couldn't even speak. She went back to her room and cried some more. For the first time in months, Lilly felt some relief. Her parents knew, they didn't kill her and they would help her. She was not alone anymore. She fell asleep, almost peacefully.

The next day, her mother took her to a doctor to be checked out. On the way home, Lilly's mother asked Lilly what she wanted to do with her baby. Lilly didn't know. She had actually never thought in terms of it being her baby before. Her baby. Her child. She told her mother she would give her baby up for adoption.

The following day, Lilly and her mother went to Social Services and filled out paperwork for the adoption. SS sent her over to the health department clinic to get a pregnancy test. A pee in the cup kind. Lilly thought that was the most outrageous thing she had ever heard. They could see she was pregnant!

The next night, Lilly was not feeling very well. She was having pains and didn't understand why. She ignored them as they would come and go.

To be continued.........

Friday, May 13, 2005

Choices.........Part Nine

Lilly was scared. She realized that she was probably pregnant. She knew that she could not go to her parents. Especially her father. He had told her when she was little that he better not see her necking in the cars like the girls in her old neighborhood. She truly believed she would be whipped or worse for getting pregnant. Her parents didn't even know that she was with a guy, as she vowed never to bring one home.

Lilly thought about telling JoAnn. She decided it wouldn't be a good idea. She was embarrassed and ashamed. Jim didn't even care about her. She felt like such a loser. She would think about what to do later.

Lilly continued going to school, until one day she felt like she was going to pass out. She was walking down the long street to school. It was a couple of miles of block wall on one side and a sewer ditch on the other. A very boring street, with nothing to look at, and heavy traffic. As she got about halfway to school, which was at the end of the block wall, she felt like she was going to throw up. She turned around and headed home.

When she got home, her mother was still there. She asked why she was home and Lilly told her she felt like she was going to faint and wanted to come home. Her mother was very unhappy. She told Lilly that she would drive her to school. Lilly protested and her mother told her she didn't believe her story. She did get to stay home though.

Lilly decided that her mother would really hate her if she knew the truth. Lilly went back to bed and watched TV. Her father was home, but sleeping. He worked swing shift and would leave about noon to go to work. When Lilly realized he didn't even know she was there, she figured it would work out to her advantage.

For a couple of months when Lilly felt ill, she went home and slipped upstairs to her room. She made no noise until her father left. She started taking the cut slips out of the mail again.

Finally Lilly didn't feel so ill in the mornings anymore. But her clothes were all too tight and she began wearing smock tops and thought she could hide her growing belly. She figured she was about four months along now. She was scared, but every time she thought about it, she put it out of her head. She felt she was doing a good job of hiding her belly, since none of her friends had said anything and neither had her family.

Lilly continued to go to her classes. She continued to go to the park and occasionally cut school after lunch with her friends. She was keeping her grades up as well. She was trying to be as normal as possible.

One day she ran into Bob, Jim's friend and Bob noticed. All this time and Lilly was despondent that he could tell. He asked if the baby was Jim's and Lilly quickly blurted out, "No, of course not." Bob said he was relieved because the last thing Jim needed was a kid! Apparently he was still with the person he began dating after her, and she would not like Lilly carrying her boyfriend's baby.

Lilly rushed home and didn't want to go out ever again. She had not seen a doctor, nobody, but Bob, knew she was pregnant and she didn't know what she was going to do. She managed to almost convince herself that it wasn't happening.

When Lilly was past what she figured was six months along, she was really uncomfortable. The baby was kicking up a storm. She would go to the park until her mother left and then go home and go upstairs to her room. When her father left for work, she would eat and was usually starving by that time.

One day Lilly's mother told her she would have to go on a diet. Her mother had noticed she had put on weight and wearing a lot of the same clothes day after day. Lilly just said, "okay."

The diet consisted of hotdogs with out buns and fruits and vegetables. Nothing wonderful. Lilly started emptying her purse and going to the neighborhood liquor store for candy and snacks. She will fill her purse and go home and eat everything, alone in her bedroom.

Except for the mornings going to the store and the occasional school day, Lilly stopped going out completely. One night her mother yelled up to her that the phone was for her. It was Judy Nelson. She recognized her voice instantly. Judy said, " Hey Lilly, are you pregnant?" and hung up the phone. Lilly stood there with the phone in her hand, paralyzed with fear. The room was dark and she could barely make her way back to her bedroom. She shut the door behind her and burst into tears. She cried for hours and hours. She really had to deal with this. But how?

To be continued...............

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Thanks to the FOUR of you who stepped up for me. LOL

I am sarcastic, caring, relatively harmless, sarcastic, cool, sarcastic, only mean when REALLY provoked, (and that hasn't happened in years), sarcastic, would never write anything off color or hateful, sarcastic and not a bad person and sarcastic!

Yes, sarcasm is my middle name. I admit that! Not that there's anything wrong with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Seriously, while on a much much smaller scale, I have gotten a taste of what it feels like to be accused of something I didn't do. I felt the need to obsess about this and fix it. Not that I have done that for sure, but I did get an e-mail telling me I have been unrestricted by the never mentioned website.

I have bombarded the woman who owns the site with, "What about this?" e-mails. I have been diligently researching and trying to figure out how this happened. I noticed another clue that could clear me last night. I fired off another e-mail. So, I suppose I was unbanned due to annoying this kind woman, who just wants a non hate filled site.

Although I was told that I was not the only person restricted from the site, I sure felt like it. Call me paranoid, but people I have made comments to have actually deleted my comments.

I can now somewhat understand the way a person feels, when they profess their innocence for a crime they have not committed. Just being accused is debilitating. Losing all they have established in life to be a good person, can be taken away in a heartbeat. Then having to reestablish themselves and make people understand they are not bad.

It has even more meaning when trying to convince people who don't know you. People assume the worst. Look at the fiance of the runaway bride. After Scott Peterson and others, we immediately jump to the conclusion that the person closet to the victim did it.

We know that in this country we are innocent, until proven guilty. That is one of the lamest and most out dated doctrines we have today. A joke of major proportions.

This has been a wake up call for me to wait to hear the whole story, before thinking the worst in people. I realize what I have felt like in the past few days is not even a blip on the radar of all things that matter. But on my radar and in my little world, it is huge.

A glitch can ruin your day, or in my case a few days. Wasting time to clear my name and assure those who don't know me, I am a good person. Dwelling upon those people's opinions of me. Why should I care? I care about my good name.

Putting on my PI hat and researching has been a valuable experience. Learning I am susceptible to many injustices and so are you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blogging Confuses Me

I have been banned from a site that I like. I was told somebody was making hateful remarks with my IP address. I don't know much about IP addresses, but I believe mine was used, unbeknownst to me. I have never written that word before. Unbeknownst. I like it.

Anyhow, I am not sure what to do. Am I banned forever? That is a really painful feeling and I don't like it.

For those of you who know me. Please comment on my character. Am I a good person? Am I hateful? Am I mean enough to write nasty comments just for "fun?" Would I write nasty comments at all? Only if somebody said nasty things to me, maybe. But not unprovoked.

I went to Site Meter today and found out that the little number counter that WAS on my blog wasn't a good thing. It let people see the stastics, etc., for my account. Again, unbeknownst to me. I believe that is how, if somebody did, use my IP address.

I have upgraded so that will not be happening again. However, if somebody has my IP address, then is it too late? Am I deemed a bad person forever?

I feel violated and very frustrated by this whole thing.

Okay, those of you who know me. Please comment. Not that there will be many, since this blog is not well known to most of the people I know. However, it is to some stanger friends that I have made in the last few months.

Thank you.


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day

My mother worked hard her entire life. She got Alzheimer's about the time she retired. My dad took care of her for several years. We thought my dad would always be there to take care of her. But, it didn't work out that way.

My father, who could really piss me off at times, but was much loved by me, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died three months later. It had spread to his brain and other areas. He died August 12, 1998.

My parents had moved about three hours north of my siblings and me. It was a lot of work to get powers of attorney for both parents before he died. I had to take over the bank accounts and pretty much everything else, as my mother was no longer able to do that stuff.

We brought my father down here to be near us. My mother was staying with me at the time of his death. My siblings came over after one called me at 4 am to tell me our dad had died. When my mother came up stairs, she saw us all there and she burst into tears. She was pretty advanced with the Alzheimer's, but she knew she had lost her husband of forty-five years.

It was awful. She stayed with my siblings and my family for a couple of months. We moved her around each others homes, until I found her a beautiful place to live. Assisted living. Cost a fortune, but was so worth it. She loved it there. She would take the brochures to show people we went to visit, who had not seen it yet.

My mother seemed to be doing pretty well there. She knew the routine, or they would come find her and help her if she got lost in the huge building. She got to a point where she forgot how to open a pop can, didn't know which utensils to use, and forgot what she liked to eat. She hated eating, because she felt like she was going to choke. Part of the disease.

My mother lost a lot of weight. I took her shopping for clothes that would fit her. While we were walking, she was out of breath and had to sit down often. She had a physical the week before and aside from the devastating disease she had, she was deemed physically healthy.

I took her back to the doctor the day after shopping and they did an x-ray and found cancer in her lungs. It had come from somewhere else. But she was dying of cancer as well.

We were all shocked. I know this will sound really pathetic and mean, but the cancer was truly a blessing in disguise. Alzheimer's is the worst and most demeaning way to go. You lose everything very slowly. And you are aware it is happening for a long time before it really gets bad. We were already watching all her independence disappear, which is unbearable to see.

Eight months after my dad died, on April 11, 1999, my mother died from cancer. Two weeks after she was diagnosed.

I dream of her often. Sometimes how she was before she got sick and others when I was taking care of her. But the woman I was taking care of, was no longer my mother. She was gone. When she finally died in her sleep, I was there in a bed beside hers. It was just a body at that point. I felt that her soul was gone the day before. I miss her. I officially became an adult orphan.

After my mother died, the night before her funeral, I had a visit from my dad. He told me to take care of my siblings and to go on. I cried as I told him I would, but it was so hard. He told me he knew. I awoke crying and told my husband that my father had just been there. He looked skeptical, of course.

I didn't speak at my dad's funeral. I am deathly afraid of public speaking. I asked my husband, to read what I had written, at the very last minute. Somebody I had known for years, a nice Christian guy, told me after the service, "Just couldn't do it huh?" I will never forget him. He was an older siblings friend really, but I had know him since I was little. He really got to me. I will never forget how mad I was at myself for not having the courage to read the words I had written for my dad.

On the day of my mother's funeral, I did read what I wrote. I even mentioned my talk (or dream) with my dad. My husband was surprised by that. But, I got up and said a final good-bye to my mother, with all my heart and tears.

I loved my mother a lot and had missed her for years, before she actually died. Happy Mother's Day Mom. I Love You.

Choices........Part Eight

Lilly was waiting for two things to come. Her period and her fifteenth birthday.

Finally, it was Saturday and her birthday. She was still grounded, it was the last day. She endured the past month of staying home, except to go places with her family and to school every day she was supposed to. Only phone calls were allowed. She was dying to get out of the house. She was also depressed that her birthday was going to be spent in lock up.

"I can't believe I have to stay home on my birthday!" Lilly cried. "This is the worst birthday ever!" she persisted, just within ear shot for her mother to hear. She continued with the water works. They had served her well over the years. Especially when trying to get her brothers in trouble.

Finally, Lilly's mother told her that she would talk to Lilly's father to see if restriction could be over. "However," she told Lilly, "don't get your hopes up." No problem there. Her parents proved that they could stick to the rules with this punishment. No matter how unjust it seemed to Lilly. "Oh, come on, only one more day, no big whoop." Lilly responded. "I have done everything you have asked and I am sorry," continued Lilly. "I have learned my lesson." Lilly promised, crossing her fingers behind her back. "We'll see," her mother said, as she walked out of the room.

Lilly was bored beyond belief. Her thoughts bounced around from getting off restriction on her birthday to thinking about what Jim was doing that very moment with his new girlfriend. She wondered if she just laid there too. Lilly thought not. Or she would not have stayed with him. After all, Lilly didn't.

Lilly was still confused about her feelings. She couldn't figure out why she was jealous that Jim had a new girlfriend. She didn't like him anymore and she certainly didn't want to ever see him again. She thought at fifteen that she would be smarter than she was at fourteen. She was wrong.

JoAnn called and asked if she was ungrounded yet. "No." Lilly replied. JoAnn told Lilly she had a gift for her and asked her to meet at the park the next day then. "Park, sure, why not?" Lilly moaned. Lilly couldn't wait another year for her license. Then she could go anywhere she wanted. And then it hit her. JoAnn would be sixteen in three months. JoAnn could drive them everywhere and get them out of the boring neighborhood. On that note, Lilly perked up. She agreed to meet JoAnn the next day.

Lilly was eating lunch when her father came in. He told her that she could end her restriction. "Right this very minute?"she asked excitedly. "Yes," said her father, "Right now, Happy Birthday," he told her. "Yippee, cool, uh, thanks Dad." Lilly responded. "You're welcome and Lilly, be good."

Lilly ran to the phone and called JoAnn. JoAnn's mother told Lilly that JoAnn was at the park. Lilly ran out of the house, telling whomever, she would be at the park.

When Lilly got to the park, only a block from her house, there were a bunch of people. JoAnn and other friends of theirs. JoAnn's eyes got big when she saw Lilly. " I thought you had to stay in one more day!" yelled JoAnn. "Nope, I'm free again," shouted Lilly. Then the others came over and told her that thay were glad to see her. Lilly was so happy and got birthday greetings from her friends.

Lilly's friends wanted to have a party at the park that night. Any reason was good for a party, but this was a genuine party for Lilly. Lilly was sure she could get out of the house after dinner. On birthdays in her house, they got to choose what they wanted for dinner and her mother would make it. She couldn't ditch dinner that night.

Lilly's brother came to the park to tell Lilly dinner was ready. Lilly dashed off and ate dinner with her family. She opened her presents after dinner. A new pair of jeans and a blouse. Pretty cute too. She got two candles from her brothers, to add to her collection. After cake, her mother told her she didn't have to do the dishes that night. Lilly already knew that. It was a birthday rule. Nobody had to do dishes on their birthday, even if it was their week.

Lilly headed for the shower. Put on mascara and her new jeans. It was too cold to wear the blouse, so she opted for a sweater. Not the turquoise sweater she had worn with Jim. Quite possibly, she would never wear it again. Asshole. Now she couldn't even wear her favorite sweater. Lilly put on perfume and earrings and headed to the park.

The party at the park was fun. Strawberry wine and her friends. What could be better? Nothing, Lilly thought. She got a few gifts and a great black light poster from Joann. Lilly loved her posters and the black light. It made her look thin and tan. Two enviable qualities, at least in Lilly's eyes. Lilly had all the posters arranged beautifully on her walls. Now she would have to reconfigure the whole room, or at least one wall. She would sit down the next day and draw out their new placemment.

Lilly was home by 11:30. She had a good day after all. She went to bed happy. She was fifteen now.

The next week was going well for Lilly. She was attending all her classses. One morning though, she began to vomit. She thougth she had the flu and her mother told her she could stay home from school. Lilly was not going to argue with that, and hopped back in bed, until it happened again.

Lilly was about to confront the other thing she had been waiting for. Only, it wasn't coming.

To be continued........

Friday, May 06, 2005

Choices.......Part Seven

After hanging out at home on Sunday, Lilly was bored. She had called JoAnn to tell her she was grounded for a month. JoAnn was quite happy she got the cut slip out of her own mailbox. If Lilly had thought about it, she could have had JoAnn go to her house on Saturday and get the cut slip out of Lilly's mailbox. She was not that devious, yet.

Lilly watched some TV and did not talk to her parents. She was mad and wouldn't say a word, unless they asked a specific question. Lilly was almost excited that she had school the next day. Anything would be better than staying home. She took a shower and figured out what to wear to school. Finally, she fell asleep.

The next morning, Lilly hurried to meet JoAnn at the park. JoAnn told Lilly how bad she felt for her and wondered, out loud, what she was going to do without Lilly for a month. Lilly told her she was pretty sure her parents would give in and let her out of being grounded before a month.

Lilly went to all of her classes for the next three weeks. Her mother was calling the school to make sure she was there. Lilly didn't know it until after the first week, when her mother said she was happy she attended all her classes. Lilly was mortified, "YOU CALLED THE SCHOOL?" "Yes, and I will do it until you are off restriction," said her mother. Lilly immediately thought, Oh, shouldn't have told me that! Only until she was free!

Lilly's mother was a very good girl, while growing up. She was a great student, very smart, well liked and was involved in many school activities. She wanted to be a writer when she grew up and had picked out a pen name. Lilly's mother was the editor of the school newspaper as well. She was beautiful and had a few boyfriends, but was more into school.

After high school, Lilly's mother started college at a community college. She was very happy. She was close to her home and her friends and loved college. After her first semester, she realized she would need to go to work to help out with the family finances. Her brother married and moved out of state. Her only sister married right our of high school and lived nearby. She was pregnant with her second child. Lilly's mother was the only sibling still at home, where she planned to remain until she got married.

Lilly's mother got a job as a bank teller. It was rare for a woman to be a teller or even work at the bank, in those days. Lilly's mother worked part time while she finished her first year of college. Reality set in though, she would not be going back to college anytime soon.

Lilly's mother was still working full time at the bank three years later when she met Lilly's father. It was a blind date. He was a musician and was very handsome. It was love at first sight for both of them. Lilly's mother was still a virgin at twenty-three and stayed that way, until she married Lilly's father, three months later.

Lilly's father was a complete contrast to her mother. He only went to eighth grade. He loved to party, stay out late and play music. And he continued that lifestyle after they were married. She got up early to go to the bank and he slept in, after a late night of entertaining. He got up in the afternoon and would sometimes get asked to tune pianos in bars during the day. He primarily played guitar and sang, but could play almost anything. He never learned to read music and played by ear. He played in bars, and on albums with some famous, and soon to be famous country western singers.

When Lilly's father was three, he and his father played fiddles for the governor of Oklahoma, where he was raised. It was on the radio and Lilly's father fell asleep during the performance. Lilly's grandfather tapped him on the shoulder with his bow, and Lilly's father resumed playing, without skipping a beat.

Lilly's father had most of his siblings nearby. Lilly loved them all. They were an awesome family and always fun. Lilly's father had been married before and he had a son. His son lived in another state with his mother though. Lilly met him when she was five and had not seen him since. She had met him on one of their yearly summer trips to Oklahoma. She adored him. She was sad she could not see him more.

Lilly hated the two day drive to and from Oklahoma, but loved being on her father's cousin's ranch. They fished in one of the three ponds on the property, rode horses, collected frogs, and ate the best food. They had family reunions as well. Every year somewhere different. All the cousins would pile into the school bus, which had been converted into a huge camper. They drove to the reunions and camped and fished for a couple of days. All the relatives had fun. Never a dull moment.

On the trips to and from Oklahoma, Lilly and her two other brothers were usually pretty miserable. Their father would wake them at three am to "hit the road." They were afraid to tell their father if they had to use the bathroom, because it always made him mad to stop. Hopefully, he would stop before they had to ask. They would pull into a service station and get gas and a chocolate Yoo-hoo, or a Coke and put peanuts inside it. They learned that on one of the trips. The best part of the trips were when they stopped driving for the day, late afternoon, and they always stayed at a motel with a pool. The kids loved swimming. It was always sweltering and it was many years before they had air conditioning in their car or in the hotels. The pool was where they stayed until they had to go to bed.

Lilly decided she must be more like her father. She thought her mother was an easy mark if she was only going to call the school until she was no longer grounded. She still couldn't believe her mother told her. She couldn't wait to tell JoAnn. JoAnn would be happy, because she missed Lilly and was only allowed to call her. One more week! Lilly could do that.

Lilly told JoAnn the next morning that she only had another week and that her mother was only going to check on her attendance until then. JoAnn mentioned that Lilly originally thought her parents would relent before the month was over. Lilly said she was surprised that they stuck to their plan. She figured surely after a couple of weeks, they would forgive her and let her off the hook. But, they didn't.

Lilly asked how things were going with Bob. JoAnn admitted she was getting bored with Bob, that he was too old for her and there was this hunk at school that she liked. The boy was much more on her level. JoAnn found out from his friend that he liked her too. JoAnn wasn't sure how to tell Bob, but she wanted to break up with him.

Lilly asked if she had seen Jim and JoAnn had. Lilly wanted to know if he ever asked how she was. JoAnn told her the truth. "No, and he has an older girlfriend now," JoAnn said. Lilly felt like she had been hit in the stomach with a baseball bat. She didn't understand why though. She hated Jim. Why was she jealous?

One day during the last week of being grounded, Lilly wondered why she had not started her period. She had never really kept track of that kind of thing and put it out of her head. She would start, she was sure.

To be continued.........

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Running Out Of Gas

Not! The computer on my car said, 40 miles to empty. Traffic in town was a nightmare as usual. I dropped off the girls and headed north to Jenny Craig. Thinking the whole time, I will be so embarrassed if I run out of gas...Then again, I never get to use AAA and they must be bored at this point.

I had to put in brake fluid too. I suppose I should take it in to be serviced, but that is such a pain and I will be replacing it by August anyhow... I put in the brake fluid and wondered why it costs so much to have the damn thing serviced in the first place. That was so easy, I put in windshield wiper cleaner too. There are a couple of other little compartments, that were not labled. I did not mess with them. I am pretty sure one is oil! HA

Anyhow, traffic in the canyon was bumper to bumper as usual. In my head, I realize that going faster, when on empty, will not work. But, sitting in traffic, seems to waste gas, no matter what the computer says.

Finally, got gas and it cost a fortune. Baby Bush says he cannot do anything about the price of gasoline. I believe a study should be done on that! Anyhow, I was relieved to have a full tank again.

Weighed in at JC. Lost another 2.3 pounds. That makes a grand total of 20.3 pounds in five weeks. I am happy about that.

The food is much improved since the last time I tried it. But, it is hard for me to do it for SEVEN days a week. So, I do about four. Or I may eat something on my own for one meal and her food the other meals. I haven't told my coach either. At least not that I take three days off! I would get the usual reprimand about how I shouldn't do that. But, hey, it works for me and that is the bottom line. They don't want anybody to lose more than three pounds a week. If you do, they make you eat more food! Go figure. I will be on this for the rest of my life at this point. However, I am happy with two pounds a week.

My coach told me that Kirstie Alley takes her coach with her everywhere she goes. I believe that is a bit over the top. But whatever works for her, I guess. Just think about him though. He gets to go with her all over the place. I wonder if he had to give up the rest of his clients? I wonder if he will be on her really bad show....Time will tell. Do I really care? NO.