Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm going for a walk

I decided a couple of weeks ago to start walking in the mornings. I brought my camera and found that my neighborhood has an abundance of interesting things about it.

I also found out that I can meet the people I already know and stop to chat with them. It makes me feel good in a healthy way, and connected to the community.

A sense of connection is something we all need. I feel more connected to my sister after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 6 of 10

Today is the sixth of 10 days that the boys have off of school. Ten days. For Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we only got 5. I love and adore my boys, but there is a reason I do not home school them. That reason is my own sanity. I could never be a school teacher for that same reason. Yesterday they had a play date, and that was a welcome break from the constant bickering. Today it's raining, making their play space smaller. Because we are all recovering from the flu, I'm keeping them indoors today.

Oh, and the dishwasher caught fire last night. Thankfully, I still have a sense of smell, or I might not have noticed until actual flames burst forth. There was smoke, and a horrible smell that still lingers in the kitchen. The repair person will not be out for a week, leaving me with hand washing over the holiday. Great.

Add to all of this, the fact that I still work a full time job, and have to continue to train for strike duty, and buy a pair of work boots that may never get worn... I'm just getting tired of it all. The work B.S. is draining, and the kids are raising my blood pressure. I think I need a day at the beach.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Flu Day

So I'm mostly over the flu from yesterday - it was pretty bad, and I just could NOT eat a thing! The only thing that was cheering me up was a saying of Frank DeCaro's, "I'm just a good stomach flu away from goal weight".
Update: From chgomccool that this was in "The Devil Wears Prada". I never saw the movie, and I don't remember it from the book, so I'll just have to trust that's right.

I know I lost weight with yesterday's antics, and I'm still not 100%, but the kids have an orthodontist appointment, and I felt the dire need to clean the office/playroom. The need was precipitated by my inability to enter the room without tripping over or stepping on a toy. So I did what I always do, I dumped every bin onto the floor and began sorting. I got 2 kitchen bags of crap out of here along with a bin of Duplo Thomas the Tank Engine set. Next is the boys room where bins are hiding under the bed, and crap hides all over the place. I need to clean it all out in anticipation of boy #1's birthday, and Christmas, all which occur in December.

I do actually feel healthier with the one room cleaner than it was. I now have a place to start at least, and can begin narrowing down the amount of stuff we have. I also went shopping on Sunday - something I NEVER do for myself. I ended up with a couple of pairs of jeans, a pair of grey slacks, some work out wear, and a couple of cute peace sign tees. I also ended up with clothes and Christmas stuff for the boys, but at least I did something for myself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I missed most of the AMAs last night. Everyone is either in the middle of or recovering from the flu, and we are all pretty wiped out. I'm particularly sorry I missed this duet, as I've been listening to Sarah for a couple of weeks now. I am however glad I finished all of my grocery shopping, as I'm down for the count today. Just got up to cancel meetings, and now on the way back to bed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So I started this post on Friday, and it's now Saturday, and I'm hopefully going to post it finally!

I am SO Glad it is Friday! I have been under so much stress that my blood pressure is too high, and I'm afraid of the effects that is having on my heart. So this morning while the boys were eating breakfast, I went for a bike ride for about 30 minutes. There were a couple of moments when I felt like I was going to throw up, but I felt much better afterward. I'm going to go again tomorrow. Went to Lindsay Wildlife Museum with my Mom and Nephews. The boys thought it was cool, but it didn't keep their attention for long. I could have sat for hours watching the birds of prey. They are magnificent!

Now it's Saturday, and I got up too late to go for a ride. Ron took the car and is on his way to EMT training, and the boys are watching cartoons. Billy came in a bit ago to say he didn't feel well and wanted to lie in bed with me, so we took a quick rest - just long enough for him to warm up an me to get sleepy again. Now he's off watching Power Rangers, and I've got fuzz butt purring in my lap.

It's chilly here this morning, putting me in the Holiday spirit. The new Gap Holiday ads are making me smile, and go looking for my scarfs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Path of Thorns

This Song has been going through my head for DAYS now. I LOVE Sarah McLachlan. I have loved her music for a good long while now, and I can't help but wonder why this song is stuck in my head. Is it related to my need to hear it at this moment in my life? Is it related to needing to hear it in order to help someone else through a difficult time?

This has been a month of introspection for me. I have been reevaluating my life, what is important to me, what I need to live a happy and fulfilling life. I don't have all the answers, some days I don't have any. But I can say that I am starting to recognize what is healthy about my life, and behaviors, and what is not. My path has been strewn with thorns. Many times over. My choices are heavily considered, and my happiness, and that of my family are at stake. I can no longer afford some of the comfort, and diplomacy I have made my trademark, and so begins a new chapter. I'm sure I will suffer losses during this transition, and I will piss people off, but I will not suffer any longer, and it is hardly fair to ask that my children suffer.

Foolish Pride is all mine this time around.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Too much fun

You can see from yesterday's post, that I'm having WAY too much fun with the Elf Yourself project. They make me laugh so flippin' hard! I'm in the mood for Christmas, even though we aren't yet to Thanksgiving. The rule in my house is no carols or decor until after Thanksgiving, and I'm just jonesing for it! Thanksgiving this year is at my sister's in-laws, which is pretty cool. I've known them since High School, and used to roadie and mix sound for the various bands that make up the family. I haven't been to a holiday with them yet, but with 4 boys in the family, there is always a good story.

Speaking of, a while back, I started writing a book of stories that came from families of 4 boys. Why? Because I grew up next door to a family of 4 boys, my sister and I both married guys who have 3 brothers, and each have 2 boys. Sis watched my 2 boys far a while when they were small, and I know quite a few people who either are one of 4 boys, or have 4 boys. There seems to be a specific dynamic to 4 boy families that brings out all of the best and craziest qualities. I think I need to dust it off and work on it some more. Also, I have to get waivers signed, or change the names to protect the guilty.

I think I'll post some of the stories as we go along.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mondays Suck

OK, so that is hardly news to anyone. But really, why do they have to print the obituaries in the Monday paper? And I had all of my meetings cancelled for today, but have god knows how many more hours of training to take. I'm in the middle of First Aid/CPR web based training (with too graphic of images), it's a 2.5 hour course, and I was starting to fall asleep. Decided taking a break to cheer myself up and write a blog might be what I needed to continue the training that will prove to be a complete waste of time. You see, I work for the phone company, and as a management employee, I have to take over 100 hours of training in order to be able to install and repair POTS in the event that the union strikes next year. If I refuse, or fail to take the training I will be fired. If I refuse or fail to show up to perform this job if there is a strike, I will be fired. Having grown up in a blue collar home, with a dad who went on strike, was a member of a union, and a steward, and having walked a picket line as a child, I am less than thrilled with the prospect of crossing a picket line in the future. I don't like it one bit.

What cheered me up today:
The original site is here: and if you click on the Easter Eggs, there are some funny things, and some kind of gruesome things, but all in all it makes me grateful that Barrack Obama is our next President!

And if you feel like clicking and having sponsors donate, go here:

It makes me feel better to give.
Now back to First Aid/CPR. After that I have a course on Manholes... Seriously.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Uncle Jack

Originally posted 9/2, and the final installment of "from the other blog".

My Grandfather Frank on the Left, and Uncle Jack on the right.

My dad's Uncle Jack died on Friday. In his prime, he was a Merchant Marine working the SF bay. He was 6'8" and 300+ lbs. of solid muscle. Uncle Jack is Irish, as is that side of my family, and his full name was John L. Sullivan. My Great Grandmother named both sons after famous people. My Grandfather's middle name was Xavier, after Xavier Cugat. Today is the Rosary and Viewing, and tomorrow is the funeral. Thursday is the burial, and sometime this week will be the wake. Uncle Jack was the last left of his generation in my family, and now there is only one generation ahead of mine. I am lucky that my folks are still around and young, and relatively healthy. Even though I was not especially close to Uncle Jack, I will miss him. My dad looks like a smaller version of Jack, and has picked up Jack's penchant for jokes. I'll be posting more as time and memory serve, but here is one:

An Irish woman marries young and has 10 children. After the 10th, her husband dies. She marries another Irishman and has 10 more children. She passes away shortly after the 20th child is born. At her grave site, the priest looks down to the graves, and says (in a brogue), "Aye, at least they'll be together now". The husband is enraged, and says, "Oy, now what's that to mean? Surely I gave that woman the last good years of her life!" To which the priest replies, "I'm not talkin' bout her and her first husband, I was talking about her legs."

I miss you Uncle Jack.

More Weird Smells

Originally posted 8/29

Yet another example of my life. It has been HOT here - today is the 3rd day of 108 or better. If you've been following my blog, you already know I share my life with a husband, two boys, a male dog, and a female cat.

Yesterday, the youngest boy came from the bedroom he shares with his brother to tell me that their room smelled funny. "Funny how?" I asked nervously. "Funny in a weird way, mom." I took a deep breath and dove right in with, "What does it smell like?" His reply was, "It smells like melted poo." I was struck speechless.

Melted Poo.

That got me thinking - what exactly would this smell like? How would one test if this was truly the smell? That led me to thinking about how Jelly Belly comes up with the gross Bertie Bot flavors. Who flavor tested ear wax? Does everyone's earwax actually taste the same? And what about booger? I know a whole range of pre-schoolers who could have taste tested that flavor for authenticity, my youngest included.

Armed with Febreeze, I opened the door, and their room smelled exactly like it always does. It smells like 2 boys, their toys, their beds, and dirty socks, and sweaty clothes. I sprayed the whole place down, put up the caution tape, and walked away. Today it smells slightly better, either the febreeze or my quarantine worked.

Oh, and Daisy brought in a sacrifice to the smelly room - a roof rat. Adorable fuzzy butt that she is, it was still alive, and she wanted to play.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three in the Morning

Remember when 3:00 am referred to the time you rolled in after clubbing? When you climbed into your bedroom window after ice blocking? When you realized you folks were going to totally bust you for being out so late?

My 3am was strange. Not in the traditional sense, but it did set me to giggling uncontrollably for about a half hour. Daisy (the cat of weird likes) brought in a mouse. Alive. Into my bedroom. Ron managed to chase her to the kitchen, while I went behind them closing all doors. I locked myself in the bedroom, and listened to the chair shuffling, the swearing, and the dog on the wood floors, sounding like a giraffe on roller skates. About 20 minutes later, Ron returns, grumbling and swearing about the cat, and the damned dog, standing between him and that damned mouse. Just the image of an off balance dog cornering a mouse, with Ron looming overhead in his undies started my giggles. It was quite a visual!

That's when I realized that Ron didn't even get dressed to take the mouse outside. I bet the juvenile delinquents that populate my neighborhood got quite the eyeful!

Just yesterday morning at 1:20am, the cat brought in another mouse, this one was dead though, and partially disemboweled. So while higher on the grossness scale, way lower on the exercise scale. That one went out straight away, leaving her meowing at it's empty space on the floor.

I'm okay with her killing, eviscerating, and even eating mice. I just don't want them in my house. Ever.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First day Blues

Originally posted 8/25/08

Today was my youngest son's first day of kindergarten. I admit it, I cried. I cried when I was getting ready, thinking of his life so far, and what an awesome kid he is. I was also reflecting on this summer and how difficult it has been, and how my entire family was almost wiped out in a mere instant in time. We all survived, and while the physical scars are minimal, the emotional ones run rather deep for us all. The youngest has been sleeping with, and carrying about a teddy bear since the accident. The Bear's name is Barry, and starting to get a bit worn, but he has helped get us through a tough summer. I wish I had a Barry at times. My oldest went back to sleeping with a Silky - this smallish square of blanket, and spent many nightmare nights cuddling with me on the couch. I find myself crying at weird times, and the accident comes back to me when I am driving, and I get anxious and panicky all over again. And my husband - he's only been awake an average of 6 hours a day. He's bi-polar and depressed, and if you have ever lived with someone while they are balancing meds, then you know what we've been going through. He's also on anti-seizure meds, since it was a seizure that caused the accident in the first place. He's got his own demons of guilt to deal with, and there have been times when I wonder if it is all worth waiting around for.

Then, on days like today, when I see my boys sitting together in the cafeteria, eating lunch and sharing. Or now, when they are playing with the hose in the backyard. I am filled with such awe and love, that I start crying all over again.

They really are neat kids.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's about Love

I watched this last night, and my first thought was that I really haven't given Olbermann a fair shake. I don't watch his show, and the only exposure I'd had was clips on The Soup, so I wasn't rushing to watch. Now I'll be setting my TiVo for 2 hours each night to catch both Keith and Rachel Maddow (who I do watch).

Thank-you Keith Olbermann for voicing what we already knew - this is about Love. Even though this was masked under lots of other things like religion and lies, you get it and I hope others who watch the clip will too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Funny in Retrospect

Originally Posted 8/22/08

So my boys got up two days ago and upon entering the bathroom, my oldest exclaims, "MOOOOMMMM, It smells horrible in there!", while gagging and holding his mouth and nose. In my early morning, pre-coffee state, I innocently ask, "What exactly does it smell like?" thinking maybe the dog peed on the floor, or someone threw up grass overnight (Dog or cat, it's usually anyone's guess). To which he replied, "It smells like bad cheese and pee!" So I go in to investigate, still willing to blame an animal of the four legged variety. Come to find out, my 2 adorable male children have been using the bathtub like a men's room trough at a MLB game. The same tub they bathe in, the same tub that has rubber duckies lying on the bottom now in pools of kid pee. Gross.

I leave the bathroom, and inform my husband that these are boy things to deal with, and since he hasn't stressed the disgusting factor of such an action, he gets to clean it up. Besides, I was on my way to drop of the boys at his mother's, and go to work. On the way, I talked to the boys about germs, and appropriate indoor plumbing usage, and told them if they weren't willing to use the toilet, then I would lock the door, and drive them to the gas station to use that one. My oldest loves this idea since he must use EVERY public restroom in EVERY place we enter. The youngest was appalled.

I actually considered adding a urinal or a pee trough to the backyard, but we've only recently mastered "You aren't in the backwoods, on a hike, so do NOT pee in our backyard, anyone else's backyard, or the school yard." That was a tough few years.

In retrospect, I suppose it's pretty funny - at the time, not so much.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am disappointed in my state of California. This is the "sunshine" state, and home to MANY rainbow flags, yet there is a slim majority of people in this great state who believe that an existing right must be taken away from our citizens.

Proposition 8
It is not about what is taught in school.
It is not about religion.
It is not about forcing anyone to do anything.

Proposition 8 supporters managed to convince people that there should be fear about gays and lesbians. That their lives and the lives of their children would be taken over by the so called "gay agenda". They are wrong, and what they are teaching their children about love and tolerance and acceptance is wrong.

My continuing hope is that all people be treated with love and care, and that who you love will not cause persecution. I want my own children to be free to marry who they love. I want the children of intolerant people to know that they are not alone, and they are loved as well. I really do not want to see us going back to a time when teenagers thought it was appropriate to commit suicide, rather than be who they are.

The teen years are difficult enough, without the knowledge that your own government does not protect your rights.

Shame on California, shame on all of us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is this weird?

Originally posted 8/20

My cat Daisy likes yogurt covered raisins. I think it's a bit weird since she doesn't like either by themselves. She is a weird animal. She's very mouthy - biting me to wake me up in the morning, biting my ankles on the way to her food bowl, biting the dog when he's asleep and she wants to play. In fact all of my animals have had odd behavioral ticks.

TC (Third Cat) liked to fetch McDonald's cheeseburger wrappers. She'd fetch all sorts of other things too, but she liked the wrappers best. She'd bring them back and fetch again and again, for an hour or more. This was WAY before kids.

Stella the cat liked to ride and sleep on my shoulder. She greeted everyone who entered our home at the door, and had to sniff them before allowing entrance. She was after TC passed, and the alpha animal until her own passing after 15 years.

Molly the cat coexisted with Stella and was horribly fat. Her nickname was Fat Mol. When she would bite something, she would clamp her jaw like a dog, and not let go. It was cute on pizza crust, not so much on my knuckle.

Josie the dog - so named because we got her after Stella and Molly. She was a stray, and part Border Collie. She would pace in a triangle to all entrances to the house. I guess she never realized if she only laid near the back door, she could see the other two. She was very sweet, but eventually went insane and started attacking the other dog (who we will get to in a minute), and growling at the kids.

Duke the dog - he was a shelter dog, and is now about 15 years old. Half German Shepherd and half Chow, with the blue tongue, and the big ruff around his neck. He still acts like a puppy most days, but does spend alot of time asleep. Actually that is his only quirk. I guess he's the mellowest pet we've ever had. Oh wait, when the neighborhood delinquents light off fireworks he goes insane, and pulls a Houdini on every type of enclosure we've ever had, somehow gets out of the house and yard, and runs until exhausted. He then scratches at the nearest front door, and those people call us. In fact, our neighborhood knows him so well, I will get calls with sightings of Duke, and I am usually able to recover him before he gets too far. This only happens when he is home alone (or with Daisy), and we've found that locking him in the house with the TV on keeps him home usually.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Today I am Happy, and I am anxious. I am proud to be an American because we finally got our collective shit together and elected a Black Man as our President. I am hopeful about the future of our country as we all struggle to survive the current financial crisis, and improve our name in the World at large. We will need to continue to work together, harder than ever, to ensure we can all see this through. Now is the time for change for the better, of healing old, deep and gangrenous wounds. Now is the time to serve our country in the ways we can, by reaching out to our neighbors and collectively lifting us all up to a better place. We have done this before, and we can do it again.

We are America, and we are survivors.

I am also anxious today because a fundamental right may be striped from a minority population in my state of California. I'm talking about Proposition 8, an insidious, hateful proposition that places people into secondary citizenship because of love, and in the name of tradition and religion. I am waiting for the final vote tally, as mine is one of the absentee ballots that could swing this whole thing around.

I am proud of America, and hopeful for California.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I want to retire

Originally posted 8/19, and relevant still today.

I'm tired of corporate America. I'm over performance evaluations. I'm sick to death of acronyms and buzzwords. Seriosly. Terms like velocity, and fungibility make my skin crawl. Seems like some sleezy marketing type comes up with these watered down terms to try and whip people (now called resources) into a frenzy and become enthusiastic (now called buying in) about corporate domination (now called market saturation). The worst of it is Corporate right sizing - this term is used to mask lay-offs, off-shoring, and out sourcing. It is earily similar to spin doctoring in politics. Where genocide becomes ethnic cleansing, war becomes conflict, and Drilling for Oil becomes Exploring for Energy. This is lulling us into complacancy - I mean really - a conflict is something you have with a neighbor over leaves being blown into your yard. Makes an actual war look tame. Honey, I wasn't fired, I was right sized out of my company. This is ridiculous.