Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Evening Weekend Wrap-up

After a craptastic week, emotion-wise, I was looking forward to this weekend. Friday, I spent the afternoon in the classroom working with Kindy's and First Graders on Easter Bunny paper bag puppets. They did pretty well and were good with the coloring, cutting and gluing, with the usual assortment of hand holding needed. But working with 5 and 6 year olds is tiring, and I was ready for a quiet evening. Of course, in my house there really is no such thing. Not. Ever. Found out some friends were in town and were planning on stopping by, so my Friday afternoon was spent cleaning house. At 10:00, we all figured no one was coming over, and The Boys went to bed disappointed and tired.

Saturday morning was a field trip for Photo 68 which was supposed to go from 9:00-Noon at Sycamore Grove Park. It was also the school carnival for which I said I would bring our shade tarp. The Dude was supposed to have picked up the tarp on  Friday night, so at 8:30, when he was still in bed, I reminded him that The Youngest had batting practice at 9:00 - and he could take the tarp with him then. At 10:00, I got the first phone call telling me the tarp was no where to be seen at the school, and The Youngest was not at practice. I called The Dude and he assured me that he would be going over to check out the tarp situation right then. At 11:15, the second call came from the carnival telling me still no tarp. I called the dude again and found out he'd lent the tarp to friends. I then called the friends as I was leaving the field trip to stop on my way home and pick up the tarp. Tarp in and on my way home, The Dude calls to tell me that The Youngest has hurt his neck and back in the jumpy house, and they were going home and possibly to the ER. The Dude was leaving The Oldest at the carnival with, "some mom". I asked, "Who's Mom?" He found out, told me and hung up. so now I'm driving 80 trying to get to the tarp, my wayward Oldest, and my injured Youngest. Oh and also to throttle The Dude. The rest of the carnival passed without additional drama. The Oldest got sunburned, despite liberal and repeated applications of sun block. The Youngest had heat applied to his neck and back and rested without any neurological signs of injury. And I took photos, and worked at the jumpy houses for a couple of hours and helped clean up. Everyone had lots of fun, and it was really great seeing so many of the families out and about. Of course I wasn't going home to calm and quiet, we'd invited friends over for dinner, so home, a shower, clean the bathrooms and cook dinner. The Boys love spending time with The Girls, and The Dude and I love spending time with The Parents, so it was relaxing just visiting and hanging out.

Sunday was thankfully a fairly quiet day. I did dishes, laundry, planted tomatoes, gave Augie a bath, made sure The Boys had showers, cleaned out the bottom of my closet, getting rid of an entire trash bag full of shoes I no longer wear, have worn out, or don't fit me, even though I held onto those converse high tops from college and held out hope for over 20 years that they would one day fit again. Of course, 2 kids later and there is NO WAY my feet will ever be a size 7 1/2 again. I also processed over 1,000 images from the last 2 weeks, sat in the warm sun and took a 2 hour nap.

The REALLY good thing about this weekend? Augie is now house trained!!!!!!

Some images from the field trip and the carnival yesterday:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rest In Peace

So this month is really bad for my family and death. Many more of my ancestors have died in March than in any other month of the year. Just this month two of my uncles have died.

Uncle Steve died early in the month in Florida. He had recently been hospitalized after a fall and stroke. When I last talked to him (about a week before his death) he was souding great and happy, and back to his old self. Steve was originally from Hungary, and not an actual uncle, but he did adopt Pop Pop and Mom Kay in Key West and took care of them for many years while they also looked after him. He managed restaurants and bars and gave tours. He did NOT like Jimmy Buffett, and that was no secret. He was a phenominal dancer, had a regular's status at the 801, and loved his family (all of us). He was the uncle who helped raise many unruly, surly teens when their parents were at the end of their ropes. All of those teens are now responsible, loving adults many with their own families. We all owe Steve our gratitude and we will all miss him.

Uncle Paul fancied himself as an Uncle Buck. He came to our family when I was 11 and he married my Aunt. We did not always agree on politics or hot button issues, but he always respected my opinion, and was there for advice or encouragement. He served as a Marine during Vietnam, was a body builder in the 70's and knew Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was active in local politics and his church. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even worked for my dad at one point before dating my Aunt. He suffered his own health setbacks, diabetes and on dialysis, a triple by-pass at Christmas, and on the list for a liver donor. He raised and trained dogs and loved the cats that my Aunt brought in from everywhere.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Monday

I was going to make this memorial Monday - another Uncle of mine died last week - that's 2 this month... But I couldn't write it this weekend. The Dude and I went out on Sunday Night to see Jake Shimabukuro. I am actually scheduling this, so I haven't gone, and I likely will weep during the show, especially if he does the acoustic version of Ave Maria.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Wild Time

So the past two weeks have been insane at work with the shit completely hitting the fan, and it couldn't have happened at a more impacted time in my personal life. We also celebrated a 7 year old's birthday, got a new puppy, started Baseball season, are gearing up for a Theater performance, nearing a Tae Kwon Do tournament and black belt testing, GATE testing, and Sring Break.

Plus I signed up to drive on the two Wednesday field trips in a row - of course things were slow at work when I signed up a month ago...

I also have recently been involved in a shift in consciousness. I know it sounds very EST and Hippy Dippy, but hear me out (or rather read me out) on this one.
I have in the recent past met three homeless men who have given me the gift of perspective and gratitude. They have also allowed me to learn while teaching my kids about giving and taking care of all beings sharing our world and community. Do I wish I had more to give? Yes. When I crossed paths with these men, I was without much (or any) money, and I gave what little I could monitarily. What I did was listen. I talked a little, and listened intently to the message each brought. Oh and they brought me messages of love, devotion, hope, gratitude, trust, kindness and joy. I can only hope to never forget them, or their stories.
I must at this point pause to thank Julie Michelle. Without her opening her heart to a homeless family and allowing me to be a small part, this recent tangent of my life would not be. I also would not be dropping my cynicism to embrace a more loving and open, childlike me.
I also really have to go way back to the beginning and thank my parents. They instilled in me a sense of responsibilty for humanity, and the need to help. They were not, are not, and likely never will be Hippies. Despite having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the height of Haight Ashbury, and known Black Panthers and founders of local NOW chapters, they are not what passes for progressive. They are deeply caring and spiritual people who taught me right from wrong, and all the shades of grey between those two ends. I learned the difference between murder and manslaughter and what an insanity defense was because of a walk with my father discussing the Harvey Milk assasination. I learned that homeless and hungry looked just like me while working next to my mother at St. Anthony's soup kitchen. I've taken all of the lessons over the course of this work in progress life and applied them to situations in life. Some turn out really well, some turn out like shit on toast, and most fall in the "damned lucky and well prepared" section of life. I recently saw this Irish Blessing and thought of my parents:
"May the sons of your daughters smile up in your face."
I am one of two daughters, and we each have two sons. It makes me smile to think there is a specific blessing for my parents. They deserve one.
OK, I really am doing stream of consciousness at this point, I'm tired and need some rest as well.

Sláinte chugat

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Youngest is 7 years old today

And I made 3 types of rice krispie treats for his class. We will be dining on Casper's Hot Dogs, and he will open presents - he's such a cool kid, and I am very proud of him!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Augie Doggie joins the family

The Dude grew up with a Dachshund named Otto, and has been pining for a Doxie for a REALLY long time. I'd mentioned about a month ago that now would be a good time to get a new dog, as Duke is at least 15 years old, and maybe as old as 17, and if he lives past 25, I'm going to rename him Dorian Grey. Duke is a GREAT dog, gentle, sweet, loving and very smart, and my thought was he could help us acclimate and train a new dog for our family. Or, we would have to wait until Duke was gone, because I didn't think it fair to bring in a new dog if Duke was acting old and infirm (which he really isn't at this point).
I was looking for another mutt, but The Dude wanted to pick himself, as I've picked all of our furry family members over the years (or they picked us, or one furry person picked another furry person). He found a backyard breeder and checked out the place, and I found a puppy on Craig's List. He also went to see the CL puppy, and ended up bringing him home last night!
Our new puppy is a 5 month old red shorthaired mini dachshund named Augie, like the cartoon. Duke is so happy we brought him a puppy, The Boys are over the moon, and Daisy, the cat is likely going to kill me in my sleep. He is not yet house trained, but Duke taught him to pee outside this afternoon. (Yippee!) I need to talk to my IRL friend Sam to get the secret to housetraining Doxies as they are notoriously hard to house train. The Boys have been taught that dogs belong on the ground, not in a person's arms, and the proper way to pick him up, but only when The Dude or I am there to supervise it. He slept through the night last night in his crate, so we'll see how tonight goes. If the cat lets me live to tomorrow, I'll post an update...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Music Monday I Love Patti LaBelle Edition

I love Patti LaBelle. I love her voice, and I love her music, and I love her attitude.

This was my "Theme Song" for a while - the one song that makes you happy every singe time you hear it, no matter what mood you are in:

I found this a couple of weeks ago, and I just love that the Muppets are singing a gospel song: