Saturday, November 17, 2007

Three in a Bed

There are 3 in my bed. Me, Robert and his Arm. Technically that really isn't 3 but the Arm in the cast seems to take up a good 3rd of the bed. It has the place of honor in the middle between us. Its like when the kids were little and they'd climb in because they were scared, sick, etc. One little tiny kid could take up 80% of the bed space. Rob's Arm is not quite that bad but its there and we both know it's there and we can't get rid of it. Arm has his own pillow, some times it has 2 pillows. Nice soft fluffy pillows. As I cling to the edge of my side of the bed, I hope that I can find a comfortable position that won't impose on Arm. Arm seems to toss and turn a bit. This has been keeping both me and Rob from getting a good nights sleep. I think Arm is doing fine, it does have the most comfortable place in the bed. Last night Rob had a nightmare and started yelling in his sleep about severed heads. Arm woke up too and started thrashing around. I think Arm thought he was having a dream about severed arms and this upset him. Needless to say it was a long time before the 3 of us got back to sleep. It was suggested that I trade places with Rob and Arm and sleep on the right side of the bed. This would put Arm on the outside of the bed away from me. But I need to sleep by the open window to keep cool. I think Arm wouldn't like the cool air and try to get back into the middle of the bed. This would cause Rob to move closer to me, thus making me too hot and I would get no sleep. And since I'm the designated driver I need to get as much sleep as I can! So Arm is there in the middle, big and blue, and coming between me and my man.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Religious Guilt

My best friend has Catholic Guilt. This is a disease, it must be. You get it from priests and nuns. It differs from Jewish Guilt which comes from Jewish mothers. My ex was Jewish and suffered from Jewish Guilt. Jewish Guilt is transferable. What I mean is you can't get rid of it, but your mother as a carrier can give it to your wife and then you have the guilt with her. Although I wasn't Jewish, I was able to use the guilt, bring it out and air it, when needed. It helped in the divorce. I was able to get the kids, the house, most of the possessions and the good car. Unfortunately the good car got totalled the day after the divorce was final. This was probably God looking out for the Jewish boy over the shikseh who took everything he had.

Now Catholic Guilt I know nothing about. Growing up in Ballard, where every other kid I knew was a PK (preacher's kid), they all knew that being bad wasn't wrong unless you got caught. Since they were all Lutherans and Norwegians, everyone was drinking and didn't know what their kids were up to, so we were all ok. I'm sure now, that this wasn't the way and we were all sinning up a storm, but we weren't too worried as long as no one was bleeding, dead or pregnant.

My friend, who is named Mary after the mother of Jesus, I assume, is riddled with guilt. Everything she does seems to get analysed as to possible reprecussions from God. She is sure that her kids will die because of some perceived sin, either current or in past, that she has committed. It must be a terrible burden to carry the weight of the world on you. She was sure we were going to be struck down by a bolt of lightening when we dressed up as nuns to take our kids trick or treating. I just humored her along, as I sipped my hot buttered rum in my Girl Scout mug as we tramped through my neighborhood. Her tense nervousness of the watchful eyes of God must have rubbed off on her kids, as they only lasted about 20 minutes and were done, ready to go home. My little munchkin, dressed as an Elvira wannabee, managed to collect about 10 pounds of candy before tiring out. My husband did end up taking her out for part of this as after about 1 1/2 hours, I'd run out of nun jokes and hot buttered rum and so it was his turn.

I asked Mary's mom and sister why she was obsessed with Catholic Guilt and they didn't know because they hadn't gotten it, so I guess its not contagious to all Catholics. I did check the internet (the source for all my knowledge, you can find anything or any viewpoint on the net) and discovered a website that explained about Catholic Guilt. That's how I knew it was a disease. It's like a flesh eating virus. Very resistant to cures and almost impossible to get rid of completely.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Anniversaries and Birthdays

Tomorrow is my 13th wedding anniversary. This is a milestone as my first marriage lasted thru the 12th anniversary. There was a 13th but we spent it waiting for the divorce to be final so it doesn't count. These last 13 have been great. I can't believe how fortunate I was to find Rob. Everyday I consider myself lucky in my life. I'm not as nice a person as my husband and I'm always wondering what he sees in me that makes him happy.

Our big day tomorrow has the kids off from school and Rob and I out to see the surgeon for a followup on his arm. Rob has not been feeling up to par - not that anyone can blame him - and so we are not going out to dinner to celebrate. But for me it will be a celebration just because he could have killed himself in that fall and I'm glad still have him. Wednesday is his birthday, so it won't be too much a rocking good time this year either. And to top it off, I'm mentoring a new Girl Scout troop and will be attending their first meeting that night. What was I thinking? Rob won't mind but I'll have to make sure I'm extra nice during the day and at dinner.

My in-laws are having their 50th anniversary this year and they want very little celebrating. I figure you have to mark the occasion somewhat grandly as in this day, its hard to find those couples still together after that long. Mom's health has been poor lately and we hope she is feeling better and up to par for the Dec 30th party.

My 50th is coming up in January and I expect a party. But I don't want to plan it. I'm afraid if I don't plan it though it won't happen. I just want food, drink, and friends. I'm not scared of turning 50. Its just a number and anyway, somedays I feel 50, some 25 and others like death warmed over.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I haven't worked for 5 years. I was laid off from my job at Bank of America after 19 yrs. They handed me a great severance package and I settled back for a little R & R which turned into 5 years. My oldest daughter is getting married next summer and this is going to cut into the home budget (as if we really had one). My hubby, Rob, said that to do this right, it was time I got a job. The problem with working is trying to juggle kids and all their activities, which all happen from 2:30pm to evening. The logical thing is to try to get a job with the school district. So I send in my application and hoped for the best. I don't hear anything for a while and thats ok as I'm very involved in recruiting new girls and leaders for Girl Scouts. Then out of the blue, Girl Scouts calls me and offers me a temp position filling in at their regional office for a couple of weeks while one of the gals is out on medical leave. Yipee! They tell me I can work my schedule around my availability with kids, etc. It doesn't pay much but what a fun place to work as I love Girl Scouts and bleed green blood! Of course, not an hour later, the school district calls and wants to interview me. I had to so I couldn't at this time, as my temp position was open ended and I'd already said yes.

So for the last 3 weeks, I have been doing background checks on volunteers, scheduling training, answering questions, checking out materials and equipment and working with great people. I'm very sad to say that today was my last day. The office coordinator is coming back monday. I'll miss working there. I'm hoping that the gal who I was replacing will suddenly decide that she is working too many hours and would like to think about cutting back her hours (she is at retirement age) and would like to job share. If I could work 15-20 hours a week, that would be perfect. But I'm not holding my breath and I wish this gal all the best, but one can hope. Luckily I'm in the office often for other reasons and so I will be able to catch up on all the gossip. I'm thinking of sending a card or something baked to say "I had a good time!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Allergies, lies and home product parties

When I was a kid of about 8, I went walking in a field of grasses and weeds about as tall as I was. I remember my eyes getting very itchy and red and my nose running. My mother took tea bags that had been used, waited til they cooled down and she placed them over my eyes while I laid on my back. I remember it was very soothing, it was Red Rose Tea. I had a lot of itchy eye problems that summer and a lot of tea bag treatments. By the end of summer, my eye sockets were tea dyed brown and I looked like a raccoon. By the next summer, I was taking tablets and just running around groggy all the time. In later summers, I spent a lot of time getting shots in my bottom and was sore. It was determined that I was allergic to cats, dogs, well, any kind of hairy animal - no horse backing riding for this Girl Scout, tree nuts, bananas, melons and cigarette smoke. We had a dog and my parents smoked. They smoked in the house, in the car, everywhere. Oh yeah, the dog slept with me. I took a lot of tablets and carried a lot of kleenex. I was also allergic to grasses and pollens. So the inside made me sick and so did the outside. My mother said I would grow out of my allergies.... I think a cat ate her brain too.

Over 40 years have passed since my mother told that lie to me but thats ok because as a mother I lie to my kids all the time. You have to. My father told me things like that the cows in Norway had legs shorter on one side of their body than the other so they wouldn't tumble off the hill. I wanted to know what happened when they walked to the end of Norway, how did they get back? My dad said they became Swedish cows then and they kept walking. My mother told me that acne goes away when you are grown up. Another lie. My dad told me that I was left by the gypsys and even showed me the basket I came in. Since I was only kid in the family who was not blond, I kind of believed this one. I was also very short. As I got older, I started looking closely at the mail man and the milk man and the fuller brush man and I'd wonder....

I loved the fuller brush man. Not because I loved to brush my hair. I loved his case of stuff. It folded open and had lots of straps that held all the stuff in place. He had so much stuff in that case and he carried it door to door. When I was in my twenties, I was at my mom's when the fuller brush man came over. I was overwhelmed that he was still around. I bought a great boars hair bristle brush. I had that brush for ever until it disappeared one day. I miss the days of door to door salespeople. Now days, I don't give them the time of day as all they want to sell me is vinyl siding or replacement windows. Or its some kid out of rehab, who was bussed in to sell magazine subscriptions. Even the Avon Lady just leaves her catalog, no bag of goodies, no free samples. The thing now is direct sell parties. My oldest daughter sells Mary Kay cosmetics and I applaud her for this. Altho, its not something I would do. There is a party for everything. Cookware, candles, jewelry, home decor, art work, tupperware and sex toys.

There is nothing more interesting than sitting around with a bunch of women, passing around larger than life electric marital aids. Then you get to taste the lotions or even get a Qtip full of something that warms and excites! I had a blast but that might have had something to do with the large glasses of Cosmopolitans I sucked down. The group consisted of Girl Scout leaders and Cub Scout moms. The Girl Scout leaders were the rowdier bunch. Of course we left the kids at home. And what you purchased was placed in a black bag and stapled shut so none of your friends could comment on how kinky you are (or not!)

Cats in the Bed

I've got cats in my bed. Literally. Figaro, my cat, discovered how easy it was to dig thru the covering under the box spring. You know what I mean, the liner that looks like a large dryer sheet. So he hides in there and then sneaks out in the middle of the night to walk on our faces. He must have mentioned this neat hiding place to Cleo. So now we have 2 cats in the bed. This isn't too bad if they stay in there and sleep, it beats the fight between the humans and the cats for mattress space.

One night I'm lying there, dozing off, and suddenly the bed is alive! Did we get a coin operated magic fingers cheap motel bed?? No, we have two cats fighting inside the box spring. Talk about cheap thrills.

I'm going to have to flip the bed and replace the dryer sheet with something more cat proof. Maybe sheet metal?

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Simple Suburban Life

My husband who will be 49 in a few days bikes. He bikes to work, he bikes for fun, he takes Scouts on biking expeditions. He also has accidents.

His first big accident happened the day before Mother's Day 2001. He had recently started biking again after several years and had bought a used road bike that he really loved. It wasn't a light weight tour-de-france type bike but better than his old 10-speed. This fine day he had biked to the library, filled his backpack with books (biking books, of course) and headed home. He called me from his cell to ask if I needed anything. I said, "Can you pick up a gallon of milk?" He didn't as he knew I was just joking. So about a half hour later he calls again. "Honey, can you come down the hill by the bridge and pick me up. I fell off my bike and I don't think I can make it up the hill." So I jump in the van and run down to the spot he said he would be. This took less than 5 minutes. I get there and no sign of him. I call home and ask if he had called or shown up. Nothing. I called his cell over and over, I checked the other side of the bridge, I checked up and down the hill, nothing. No answer on his phone, no sign of him. I decided to head over to the local hospital as I keep speed dialing. Bingo, he answers. "Where are you?" "I'm not sure." "Are you in the hospital?" "I don't know" "Are there nurses there? Or Firemen?" "Yeah, a fireman!" So I race into the ER, they direct me to a room and there he is. Ice pack to the left side of his face, but he doesn't look too bad. Then he takes off the ice pack and it looks like raw meat. He ended up with a slight concussion and a beauty of a black eye. The only lingering effect is the quizical eyebrow or as our daughter says, "The evil eyebrow!"

He had a near miss of being run over a couple months ago. He had just ridden 70 miles and was only a couple miles from home, when a jeep with a barking dog passed him. The driver turned around to shush the dog veered over to the other side of the road. An oncoming car swerves directly into the wrong lane, heading right at my husband. He quickly heads across the road to avoid the car only to have the car bounce off the guard rail and clip his bike. Miraculously he only wobbled and did not fall. His bike was damaged tiny bit ($15 replacement part) but he was fine.

Now yesterday, he heads out to do some serious mountain biking, in the mountains. He and a friend head over the pass to where it was sunny and dry. The ride up was hard and steep but the ride down was fast and fun. Twists and jumps and SPLAT! Up over the bike and hard on his arm and face. He tries to get up but everyone says to just lie still for a bit. He's lying there looking at his arm and notices it looks kind of lumpy and bent funny. Maybe its broke!?! One of the riders with took an old inner tube and formed a sling and they all helped walk him and his bike off the mountain and got him to the car. His friend drove back over the pass and to a hospital where they put on a splint and told him to come back today for surgery. So he's got a metal plate, some screws and a few weeks off work. He will be in a cast for quite a while. The surgeon was impressed with the break, she hadn't seen such a spectacular one in a while. The next few weeks should be fun!