Friday, March 30, 2007

Rescuing a Cardinal

Friday night after dinner, Randy and I suddenly hear "shrieking". It's one of the first signs of spring, Dog-Cat has caught something. We both got up to head outside & see what Dog-Cat had got a hold of, but we didn't have to go far.

Dog-Cat had brought his prey in the house.

It was a cardinal, a young one, probably just out of the nest. It was in his mouth flapping it's poor defenseless wings like crazy. Dog-Cat ran under the table and hunkered down so Randy couldn't snatch his prize. I reached down, grabbed Dog-Cat's tail, because I didn't know what else to do, and he let go.

The liberated cardinal started frantically flying around my living room, trying to get out. Poor thing tried to fly through my living room window-SMACK! I yelled for AJ to put the cats in the basement, as Randy and I scurried to open windows and doors, so the stunned fledgling could fly to freedom. It didn't take long; we herded the bird toward the door, and out he/she flew.

I can just see poor little cardinal back at the nest chirping, "You won't believe what happened to me!"

Ode to the Q-Mart

Someone invited me to go to the Q-Mart recently to buy fruit. Q-Mart is a big indoor/outdoor flea-market. There are food & produce stands, and all sorts of "flea-markety" things for sale. As I looked around the Q-Mart, I realized that I was standing in a white trash mecca. Now I'm not judging, afterall, I was in the Q-mart on a Friday night, so how cool am I?

So here as my ode to the Q-Mart is my top 10 list of white-trashy/flea-markety items.

1. Lamps with dolphin figurines, and fiber optic sprays of water
2. Tie-Dyed, large T-Shirts with really sexy, weeping Native American women on them
3. Life-sized porcelin dolls that look like scary children
4. Embroidered sweatshirts that say "World's Best Mom-Mom" on them
5. Boxes of cereal which were pulled off regular supermarket shelves because they are expired (DH swears it tastes fine)
6. Airbrushed car plates that say, "Joe & Mary" forever
7. Those metaly, swirly, thingies that are supposed to hang on a porch
8. Stuffed white cats, made with-real cat hair?
9. "Gold" ID tags
10. Anything with an angel

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Paused Today

I paused today for just a moment

a moment of stillness

from my hectic world

I heard the windchimes at my door

tinkling in the breeze

I felt the softness of my comfy couch

and the smoothness of the baby's cheek

smelled her sweet baby head

and the aroma of spring

I saw a boy absorbed in a book

and a little girl engaged in blocks

I sipped my warm coffee and thought

Life is good

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm Not Good With Ghosts

Yes, that's right; I'm not good with ghosts. This is because I get very attached to people, too attached for my own good. It's just too painful for me to let go of people, so I don't. Yes, I know how "psycho" this is. It's clingy, neurotic, maybe even "stalkerish". It can't be helped, once my complicated mind connects with another person's mind, the bond is hard for me to break, no matter how big the chasm in the relationship. What can I say? It's not that often that I click with someone in the first place!

This is why I know the wherabouts of, and have general information about what's going on in the lives of every person I've had any sort of close relationship with (It's a really short list, so it's not that incredible) I'd explain this further, but then I'd have to kill you.

Anyways, I can handle the whole "Lets be friends" thing. Shoot, I can handle "Let's be enemies." I could even handle, "Lily, would you just go fuck off, already!"

But I can not handle ghosts, people that just slip away for no apparent reason, or explanation, or without letting me explain myself. I have an intense fear about this. I could speculate on what's caused this fear. There's the best friend that dated my brother, broke up with him, and then stopped talking to me. And of course there's the fact that the same brother died very suddenly in a car accident, and disappeared from my life forever. But, whatever it is, the lingering memory of a person who brought joy to my life at one time or another, is just too hard to shake.

So you ghosts out there, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, can you try and work things out with me? I am extremely forgiving and non-judgemental. I'm big on recycling, rather than "dumping".

If not, could ya'll just be meaner? Could you just say, "Hey Lily, you're a fucking psycho. I don't like you, and I don't know why I ever did. Go away, crawl in a hole, and die!",

....if it wouldn't be too much trouble.

And yes, I am on medication, and I have seen a therapist!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Typical Day

I start my day at 6:15 a.m. I creep downstairs and open the door to greet a dad with 2 babies. The 2 year old, goddess bless her, goes down in a crib and right to sleep. The 2 month old sometimes goes back to sleep, and sometimes performs an intermittent performance of whines, snorts, and spit-ups for the next 2 hours.

At 8, I call out to my boys to get up, eat, and do whatever they have to do to get ready for homeschooling. I drink my coffee, flip through channels and find TV still sucks. But it wakes me up.

At 9, I either grab a bottle for the baby, or my younger son and his Pre-Algebra book, depending on who is ready to be serviced. Sometimes I'm doing both at once. Formula stinks, expecially when it's coming back out of the baby. I change the baby, pat her down, and lay her in a seat. I call up to Red and ask what he's doing. "Reading." OK, I'm tired and too busy, so I trust him.

At 10 Jac wakes up. I change her, dress her, and give her breakfast, which she can eat herself with not too much mess. Then I start language arts with the boys, if they're ready.

At noon Randy comes home and makes everyone lunch on most days, bless his heart. Then we sit in the "teachers' lounge" (the living room, which is off limits till 1).

The afternoon is Algebra, and History, and sometimes we get a little more in. Jac goes back down for a nap at 2 or so and usually sleeps till dad comes to get her at 3:30. Jules gets another bottle at 1, spits up 3, 4, or 5 times, and might sleep here and there for 15 minutes at a time.

At 3:30 both BB's leave. I dismiss my sons, who I've been struggling with to keep focused, and let them go off on their own.

Sometime between 4 and 4:30 I get ready for work. I put on some makeup, because if I don't my face will turn all red when my allergies start acting up at work. I do something with my hair to look presentable. Last, I throw together something to eat at work.

DH cooks dinner for us almost every night, and does Science and Spelling with the boys twice a week.

I start work at Big Box Mart at 5PM. I work till 11. My job is to sell window treatments and wallpaper, cut window treatments, downstock merchandise, check previous sales, and run around the store filling in where needed. The store closes at 10, but I've got to stay till 11 and clean up. It doesn't matter if my department is clean. If it is, I'm to move on to another department. Cleaning my department consists of vacuuming out the blind cutting machine, sweeping, dusting, taking out the trash, and "fronting and facing" the merchandise. I also have to tape back boxes and stuff curtains back into packages that rude people have opened. By this point, I've been standing on a concrete floor for the better part of 6 hours; I'm dirty, sweaty, and my head is buzzing.

I go home, eat something, clean up, and watch TV till I fall asleep, which is usually about 12:30-1am.

I do all this 3 days a week. I also sometimes drive my daughter to work, or go to a doctor's appointment, which is really a lot of fun with 2 babies that have to be accounted for.

On the nights I don't work, I'm usually vegging out in front of the computer to clear out my head.

I'm just trying to tough this out till June. The babies won't be here in the summer, because their mom is a teacher. (This woman has a hell of a day, getting 3 kids out the door, working with special needs kids in wheelchairs that wear diapers and have to be spoon fed, and then feeding, changing, bathing, and getting her own kids to sleep which is no easy task.)

I figure I'll work as much as I can at Big Box Mart during the summer, and then quit in the fall. Hopefully, between my DH and I, we can save enough money to buy carpet for the 4 bedrooms before I quit.

If I've gotten through my day with no major catastrophes, and I know where everyone is, I count that as a good day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


When I left work tonight, there were two men there who came to kill the wild birds in the store.

Why are these birds inhabiting Big Box Mart?

Because we sell WILD BIRD FOOD.

(We also sell table top fountains that make nice bird baths)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Charlie Brown and the Football

If you grew up in the 70's, you probably watched a few Peanuts cartoons. Remember those scenes with Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football? It always started with Lucy telling Charlie Brown that she'd hold the football, while Charlie Brown kicked. Of course Charlie was always skeptical, as Lucy time and time again had pulled that football away just before the moment of impact. But sure enough, old Charlie would fall for it again, and end up flat on his back.

Why did Charlie Brown keep trying to kick the football every time? Why did he trust a girl who hurt him over and over?

Maybe it's because Charlie Brown was an optomist, and believed there was some goodness in everyone. If he only showed faith, that person would come through.

Or maybe Charlie Brown was just so genuine a person that he couldn't believe anyone would lie to him, especially when he expressed his doubts. Lucy would assure him every time that she was not going to pull the football away, and Charlie kept believing her.

Maybe Charlie was just such a pathetic looser that he had no choice but to try and kick the ball. Maybe it's the only interaction he could get with Lucy. Maybe he was a glutton for punishment. He knew he might as well get it over with and take his humiliation, and pain.

For whatever reason the Charlie Brown's of the world, including me, keep running full force, with foolish optimism, thinking each time it will be different. The hurt won't happen this time. This time I'm going to kick that ball poised before me into the air, and feel good about myself.

But each time, I land flat on my back, staring at the sky, and wondering what happened.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Conversion to Atheism

My mom is a Roman Catholic, and comes from a long line of Roman Catholics. My dad, however, is a Southern Baptist. This interfaith upbringing gave me the first conceptual step toward my Atheism,

Conceptual step 1:Religious doctrine is subject to interpretation.

My mom got her way for the most part, and I and my brothers were raised Catholic, & attended parochial school for 12 years. I never quite agreed with all of the Catholic dogma though. As an adult, I decided to look into protestant Christian religions. Consequently, I started attending a Lutheran Church, or "Catholic Light", if you will. The Lutherans seemed like a much more friendly bunch, and they had coffee and doughnuts. But then one day in adult bible study, during a lesson on the Creation Story, our group leader explained about how ancient people viewed the world, and how the Creation Story reflects that. She pointed out "the firmament- a solid, dome-shaped structure in which the stars were placed, and separated the waters below from the waters above" as a good example. We now know that rain comes from clouds, and not windows in a firmament being opened.

Conceptual step 2: Some stories in the Bible are just too contradictory to science and reason to be real.

So then I started thinking, what am I supposed to believe out of this holy book if some of it isn't true? There's no disclaimer in any of the chapters. If some of it isn't true, maybe the whole thing's been embelished. So then I started looking into the world's other major religions, and their traditions, and writings. I probably found something I liked and didn't like in each and every one, so I thought,

Conceptual Step 3: Why choose?

The final step of my Atheism odyssey came to me while studying World History My sons and I passed through Ancient Eygpt, Rome, the Myans, Aztecs, and many more rich cultures. I couldn't help but acknowledge how valuable each culture's personal faiths were to them, even though we look back and view them all as myths. It made me wonder if 500 or 1000 years from now, school children would be reading about "Christian Mythology". Weren't the beliefs in the Roman gods just as important to the Romans, as Christianity is to modern Christians?
Why limit myself to current, conventional belief systems? If I could believe in the Holy Trinity, then why not Zeus, or Hermes?

Final conceptual step: When it comes to religion, moving forward in time, and the evolution of cultures do not validate belief systems. Instead, as times change and people evolve, so do their beliefs.

I'd love to elaborate on all this, and I will-in another post.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Peaceful Afternoon

Like clockwork,
it is now 1:45, and both BB's (Borrowed Babies) are down to nap. Jac actually said, "I need to go in my crib." Jules was fussy, so I held her. Then she fell asleep.

Red is doing his Algebra practice work. AJ is working on reading questions from Animal Farm.

All is right with the world.

Burying Friendship

I've known Mo since freshman year of high school. We've had an on again, off again friendship for the past 24 years. She's one of those quirky people, that I've always admired. I always thought it was geeks like us vs. the rest of the world. And I always thought that every time she strayed away from me, she'd come back. The longest was a 3 year period, during which time, she moved in with a guy, got pregnant, broke up with the guy, moved back home, and had a son.

A mutual friend from high school brought us back together. After that, we became very tight. We'd bitch and moan to each other about mothers, kids, husbands. Oh, by the way, Mo snagged another guy, a real nice one, and got married. I was her matron of honor.

Then my "issues" kept creeping up. I've been through 6 years of non-stop "challenges"since about the year 2000. Mo's had her own issues, but sorry, they pale in comparision. After-all, the biggest problem she has with her son is lying. The biggest problem I've had with my kids have involved hospitalizations and chronic illness. Still, I listened and was always there for her.

Now I'm coming to the sad conclusion that this person that I've called one of my best friends for the last 24 years is not really my friend. A friend supports you when you're down. A friend accepts you for who you are. Mo's done neither, particularly in the past year. So, I feel it's time to bury the friendship, mourn, and move on.

You have no idea how hard that is for me to do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Time and Names

Boy, nothing like sleep depravation and sinus problems to zap your creativity!
I'll just share two little odd facts about myself today.

1. I was born at 12:30a.m. on July13th. This was of course during Daylight Savings Time. I don't know why, but the hosptial recorded my birthday in Eastern Standard Time, thus changing my official birth record to 11:30P.M., July 12th. So, I kind of have 2 birthdays.

Which just goes to tell us that time is a relative concept.

2. My real first name is Lori-Ann. I have no middle name. When my mother registered me in school as a child, she wrote Lori Ann X....., and not Lori-Ann X.....
Consequently, every teacher and student throughout 12 years of school knew me as Lori X. I, myself introduced myself as Lori, and came to be annoyed that my own family didn't know my proper name.
In the last couple of years, I've been going through this life altering/self-affirmation phase. I decided to start using my full name. I told my employers to put it on my name tag, so everyone at work only know me as Lori-Ann. There are people that are confused and wondering just what my name is, and I try to explain myself, without sounding too flaky.

This goes to show how much an impact school has on a child. School told me what my name was!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Life Resolutions

It's a little late for New Year's Resolutions, but I'm thinking some Life Resolutions are in order.

1. I will no longer try to maintain relationships with people that don't care about me, or accept me for who I am.
2. I will no longer do favors for people who never say thank you, or return the favors.
3. I will not seek attention by being flirty, or shocking people.
4. I will appreciate every single day of my life, and not keep thinking about tomorrow, or next week, or this summer.
5. I will stop worrying about the things I can not change, and focus on the things I can.
6. I will stop blaming myself for the bad decisions my grown, and almost grown children make, and the imperfections in their lives.
7. I will shut out the nagging voice of my mother, the guilt of having a messy house, and the impulse to compare what my house looks like to anyone else's. I have made my own choices, established my own priorities, and no one here is upset because things are not all in order.
9. I will stop trying to do everything for everyone in my family, and delegate to those perfectly capable of doing for themselves, and helping out the family.
10. I will stop worrying what could happen in a relationship, and just enjoy what is happening.
11. I will stop regarding feedback from others as proof of my self-worth, or that I have done something well.
12. I will stop beating myself up daily for the mistakes I've made in the past.
13. I will take what I can from those mistakes and learn from them.
14. I will be true to myself and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it.
15. I will make myself a better person by setting and following my own path.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

BB1, who is 2 years old, just informed me that Buddy (her brother) got F***ing toothpaste on the G-Damn rug.

Children, aren't they precious?

The Alpengeist

Here's another chapter in the story of "My Family VS Natural Selection"...

DH, the boys, and I drove down to Williamsburg last August for a two day excursion. It was drizzling the whole way down to VA, but we remained hopeful. We got to the time-share late at night and went to sleep almost right away. The next day, it was cloudy, but we'd already paid for passes and drove 7 hours, so we were going to Busch Gardens. The first day turned out OK till about 3 in the afternoon when we got a downpour.

The second day at BG, it was drizzling when we headed out. This actually turned out to be a good thing. The precipitation cooled down the August heat, and kept the traffic in the park sparse. We gleefully enjoyed ride after ride, with no lines and no waiting. We rode in the middle of the coaster, then the back, then the front, over and over.

The pinnacle of Busch Gardens in an inverted coaster called The Alpengeist.

The Alpengeist is:
the world's tallest, most twisted inverted roller coaster. Alpengeist reaches a height of 195 feet and a speed of 67 mph. Alpine "skiers" are launched on the most chilling ride of their lives as this snowbeast twists an innocent ski lift into six staggering inversions and a 170-foot drop.

We rode the Alpengeist, despite my terror, on the first day of our vacation. It did a real number on my stomach, and made my head feel like Jelly, but was a pretty cool ride. On day 2 with virtually no lines, we were able to get right on this coaster too. We walked around and rode rides for a couple hours, then it started getting colder, cloudier, and raining a little more heavily. We knew we'd have to go soon, and that would be the end of Busch Gardens for us. We decided to give the Alpengeist one last spin. We were pleasantly surprised to find there was no one waiting for the front car, which usually has a very long line. We were soon to find out why the line was empty.

My family has a real knack for not putting two and two together. Hmmm.....extremely fast moving, extremely tall, looping roller coaster, moderate chilly rain, front car of coaster with nothing in front of it....what happens???

Yes, we were PELTED with what felt like hail. The sudden realization came at the first descent, but we had no choice but to close our eyes, brace ourselves and follow through. If that weren't bad enough, rain water poured off the top of the car on one side, completely soaking my 11 year old son, who had insisted on sitting on that end. We were all pretty soggy by the time we got off. DH and I just laughed hysterically, shivering, and questioning, "Just how do we stay alive everyday, when we do such dumb things?" Moreover, how could two idiots like us be in charge of children?

The Mental Health Care System

You know how hard it is to find a good hairdresser? Imagine that you need your hair done, but you can only go to a select group of hairdressers. You're "hairdressing provider", who is paying for your hair care, gives you a list of names and numbers of hairdressers that you may go to with their approval.

You call these hairdressers, and a quarter of them say they are not taking new clients. Another quarter say they do not cut or color hair on people your age. Maybe another quarter say they are not in your "hairdressing network", and that they don't know why they are on the list that your hairdressing provider has given you.

Before getting down to the last quarter of potential hairdressers, you've been put on hold, told you've got the wrong number, and to call their "hairdressing intake number", or you were greeted with a voice mail, swearing they'd call you back soon.

Now imagine you're down to your last quarter of potential hairdressers whose names and numbers you've been given. Imagine that those hairdressers tell you it will be a month before they can see you, and you have to take whatever time they have available. "What?", you say, "But, I've got work, school, a family to take care of...and my hair looks terrible now!" Doesn't matter, take it or leave it.

Finally the day comes for your hairdressing appointment. You sit down with the hairdresser, and she proceeds to ask you for a whole history of your familly's hair. A whole hour is spent on that, and then the hairdresser recommends you see a "hair product specialist" as well. So, it's back to square one with setting another appointment which will take you another month or so to schedule.

Your hair product specialist says your hair is dry, and gives you some conditioner to fix this. You use the conditioner, but your hair is still dry. When you tell the specialist this, he says you need to use more of the conditioner. Then when you go back and tell the specialist your hair is still dry, he suggests a whole new conditioner, and the next time, to combine two conditioners to fix your dry hair.

Meanwhile, back at the hairdressers, you meet your stylist. You may or may not like her personality, but at this point you're desperate. She says you will have to come to her about every other week so she can attempt to fix all your hair woes. After weeks of this you may or may not like your hair. Then one day on an appointment, your stylist regrets to inform you that she is going to another salon, and it is either an hour away from you, or not on your approved list of hairdressers.

So now the merry-go-round starts all over again.

One one desperate night, your hair suddenly starts falling out! You rush to the phone to call the salon, only to be told that they can't help you. "Try the hair emergency clinic." they tell you. You call the hair emergency clinic and they tell you to sit and wait till they can pre-approve you for emergency hair care. You sit for hours, watching your hair falling out, not knowing what else you can do.

You are admitted to the emergency hair care center, and they quadruple your conditioner in the hopes that that will fix your problem. 2 weeks later, your hair's pretty weighted down from all the product, and you have no idea how to keep your hair from falling out in the future.

And oh, by the way, turns out the salon you've been going to is not really in your hairdresser network, so you now owe 50% of all the charges you've incurred there.

Now imagine that we are not talking about something so trivial as hair. Hair grows back, afterall. Imagine we are talking about your mental health, or your child's. The mental health care system in this country is a living nightmare, frustrating to no end, extremely frightening, and confusing.

How can this happen? Most people do not care if they don't have to go through this hell; they don't even think about it. Many people don't want to talk about mental health, mental disorders and disabilities, even in a country where you can't open a women's magazine without seeing half a dozen ads for anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills.....where your primary care doctor will prescribe you these pills just on your say so that you aren't feeling quite right.

And so the nightmare continues.....