Wednesday, August 31, 2011

38. Re-arrange/ re-decorate my bedroom, or Anti- Nesting? Cleaning?

Since Mac's left for college, I've become a freak about a cleaning project. The attic that Mac and I shared was full of our stuff, huge piles of my parent's stuff, piles of my Bro's stuff, and then stuff that no one would claim so I guess it was piles of strangers' stuff. When I moved in the attic didn't look to bad except the closet was a catch all for... everything. And Daddy-O canNOT say that he stuck things in the closet since I moved in. There was stuff in that closet that hadn't seen the light of day since 1996! And in one corner, behind some furniture, were boxes and piles of... other stuff.

Mac and I lived in between the stuff.

Until now.

A week ago Sunday, I decided to clean that room. I was sick of looking at the mess and with some of Mac's junk gone, I thought I could at least tackle it. And, in complete honesty here, Mac would never help when I asked so I was usually pissed when I thought about doing it before; I was pissed that he would turn around and make it messy again, and finally, because his 45" flat screen tv is now gone and I don't have to worry about bumping it.

So, I started, with the help of ITSam, last Sunday.

First, I had to clean out the closet because some of the piles of stuff behind Mac's bed were going in my closet. So I had to do that first. I found lots of Christmas things, an old set of barbells, some of my Bro's knives, half missing pieced puzzles, and numerous other items that went straight into the trash, or to Goodwill, depending. The closet took about 3 hours to clean. This is a huge closet- it's the width between a twin and full sized bed and is about 12 feet long. Yes, a closet around the size of a room, but it's totally a closet. ITSam and I lugged crap up and down stairs, to and from the garage, and to the trash and the car.

Next, I tackled the piles behind Mac's bed- stuff went into the closet and then to all the other aforementioned locations. I even found some of my mom's old paperwork from when she was a social worker, which was about 6 years old, according the the dates on the papers (we shredded these and then tossed 'em.). I gave my SisIL in a box of my Bro's knives. Things you think you'll never say: "hey, thanks for the loaning me the book. By the way, take home this huge box of Bro's knives, would ya please?"

Then last week, we work a few evenings: vacuuming and taking bags of trash downstairs.

Then last night and tonight, we kicked the room's butt. We took down my Christmas trees (I love my pink trees and they make me happy so I leave them up all the time but I needed to take them down for this project!), we vacuumed, we dusted, we moved all the furniture around, we dusted some more, I cleaned off the dresser tops and clean out my jewelry armoire, we vacuumed and dusted SOME MORE, we moved a bookcase upstairs and filled it with all my books and magazines, we put away laundry, sorted the piles I found under Mac's bed, and did I mention we dusted and vacuumed all over the place?

Now there are no piles of anything. There's space for Greco-Roman Wrestling in the middle of the floor, according to ITSam's sense of humor, or for a couch, according to Daddy-O! I think neither because I just want to revel in the open space of it all. I don't have to climb over piles of laundry or weave in and out of a path of boxes, dirty clothes, Rock Band instruments, barbels, or a globe. Everything has a place.

This would've been the best post for before and after pictures. I have none of each. I didn't think to take pictures of before and without 'before' the after doesn't seem like such a huge deal.

And to think, Mac and I lived in this huge space that was made tiny because we looked like an episode of Hoarders and now I feel like I'm living in a ballroom. All after he left. Weird.

I don't think I was ever so obsessed with a cleaning and organizing project as I was with this one. I can't even explain it. I just HAD to clean it. I do think, however, several things:
  • My mom always said to leave a place in better shape than I found it. I'm not planning on leaving the attic anytime soon (sorry Daddy-O)!) but it will be easy to follow her advise if I were.
  • Mac is sharing a 12x12 room with another teenage boy at college. Now when he comes home on the weekends and sees his part of the attic- his part is 15x15- it will be really clean and he'll be able to spread out, even though he's still sharing it with me (the whole thing is about 15x33 so each of us have about 15x15. the other 3 can be the stairs!) so he might feel more at ease
  • I needed to declutter and control something.
Ah, yes.... use your best Freud voice here: "You need to be in control of something?"

Yeah, well.... like I said, do we call it de-nesting with the kid leaves home and mom goes on a cleaning frenzy? Or do we just call it cleaning?

I'm counting this as a 40 before 40 item because it was a LOT of work!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Part III- Mac at college, so far....

The very first morning he was there he sent me a text and asked me where his wallet was located! How the heck should I know since I don't live there? He was in a panic that he'd already lost his social security card and he'd only had it in his possession for 21 hours. I told him to shake out his bedding or go through his pants he wore the day before and check pockets. He texted me back shortly and said he found it in pants- and how did I know that? Gee, I wonder... duh!

He also called or texted me several times the first week. He wanted to know if I had an Ethernet cable. He wanted to know if I could sew on a button when he came home. He wanted money. He wanted to know phone numbers of people he could use for a personal reference on his job application. It's like he'd never left, except I didn't have to cook for him and I knew where my car was located (in the driveway!!!!)

He wanted my help on an English since he was paranoid about it. He read me the assignment and it was supposed to be an outline. Why did she only want an outline? What was she trying to do? What was the objective of the assignment? Where should he focus? I have no idea, I told him, since I wasn't the teacher. But my guess was that she wanted to see several things: 1) could he organize his thoughts; 2) follow directions; 3)know how to take notes; 4) did he understand what senor images and memoir meant. So he does the assignment and then calls me the next day to tell me he totally over thought the assignment- he said the class is full of "fu**tards"<-- this is his word! I said then he should see if he could test out of the class. He said, and I quote, "Nahhhhhhhhhhh, I need help on my writing too. I'm the smartest fu**tard in there, though." Gee, that's nice to know.

He also got a low grade on his first assignment in history and he was devastated. He said that is meant that he wasn't cut out to go to college, he might as well work at McDonald's and live and g'pa's attic forever, and give up his dreams of being a lawyer since he was so pathetic. Huge pity party. So we talked about what he did and didn't do and a new approach. I heavily suggested a meeting with the Prof, right away. Then he told me it was only worth 30 points, he got a C+ on it, and when weighted with the other homework assignments it was only worthy 15% of his total and final grade! Ugh!!!!! I should've asked that to begin with!

He's called to tell me about fellow students, classes, meetings, food, and his roommate. Guess his roommate used $2 on his Playstation account and Mac took the bull by the horns. He told him to NOT do it again. Mac's theory was that if he let it go now, he would do it again, or worse. He said he has to live with this guy so he wants him to know the limits that Mac will tolerate. Wow! Mac said he was nice about it, but he was "assured and non nonsense" in handling it. He said he didn't play it off as a joke so the Roommate knew he was serious. O-kay!

He's studying LOTS, which is awesome. He's done every assignment, including all the reading. He likes his classes. Overall, he says it's a learning experience, he loves the learning, he LOVES being on his own, but the jury is still out how he feels about the school as a whole.

So, even though he's gone, he's staying in contact. Lots of contact!

And he's coming home this weekend for the long holiday. Should be interesting.

Mac's Mom,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Surprise festival, and a lazy weekend

This weekend there was a really neat free craft at Archiver's and I just 'had' to go. I made a free page and a free card. It involved sewing. By hand. On paper. It's a cool concept and has neat tools to make this happen but it was sewing. On paper! By hand! Let's just say I did it this one time and if I were to ever do it again, it would not be all the way across a 12x12 piece of paper. Maybe 2 inches, but not 12!!! See the holes on the left? I used thread and followed that pattern all the way down the page. But it was fun, and free! And Archiver's is a great store with so many wonderful ideas! I love to take pictures of their crafts and samples so I can try and re-create stuff!

We then found a festival in downtown Northern Civilization. When I lived there I knew about all the festivals and activities going on all over the city, all the time, concerts, displays, anything that there was to do, I was in the know. The Chamber of Commerce should've hired me! Since I don't live there, I'm never sure of what's happening so it was a pleasant surprise to run across a small faire and food tasting event. The faire was all about the Arts around the city with demonstration from the Civic theater to ballet to belly-dancing classes to South African drumming to museums to galleries- anything that had to do with arts or fine arts, had a booth or display or demonstration or performance. It was pretty amazing to walk around and talk to the folks involved, see the displays and watch performances either at the booths or on the three different stage areas. Then the fundraising part was food. Attendees could buy tickets and then go to any for the 30+ local food booths to eat. All food booths were local restaurants, not chains. It was wonderful! Cheesecakes, micro-brewed beers, ribs, gazpacho... so much to choose from. A foodie's dream come true!

It was such a beautiful day, not too hat, perfectly blue skies and sun and a wonderful time.

I love to find things like that around the city. Makes me miss living there even more than I already do! A little magic in the heart of the city! What a fun way to spend a lazy Saturday!

And speaking of lazy... lazy spilled over into Sunday. The weather was gorgeous so we opened up the house. I don't think it got any warmer than 70 degrees. I was a totally lazy bum and just laid around in my pj's all day, watching the box set of season 2 of Mad Men (one of the best shows on TV- how did I miss this all these years???). I ate cold roast chicken and warm rolls out of the container. I refrained from taking a nap, but barely. I read and watched and just was lazy, moving from one piece of furniture to another to keep from sleeping. But I didn't run around the house working or around town, play on the 'net, talk on the phone all day (one call with Curley!), text or anything. I just was a totally worthless layabout. I didn't even do laundry, which I feel like I do all the time. I just 'was'!

It was a fabulous weekend.... Can't believe I have to end it all and go back to work...


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adventures in babysitting

My dad and I always laugh about an episode of Designing Women, which was one of our favorite shows. The women are decorating the Governor's mansion (in Georgia) and the Gov.'s assistant is Ms. Bets. Through hijinks, one of the girl's gets her head stuck in a banister and Ms. Bets goes crazy!

This always reminds me of a time when I was in high school and I was babysitting. I had a few regular clients that I took care of on a regular basis. One family had 2 little girls and they weren't my favorite little kids. They were scream-y and whiny. They were close together in age, like 3 and 2. They were a real handful- makes me glad I never had 2 kids, nor had girls.

So one night I was there and the youngest little girl was calling for help with the "potty." The oldest was sitting in front of the TV and hadn't moved in a half an hour so I left her sit and went to the bathroom. About 30 seconds passed- I'm not kidding, 30 seconds tops- and I hear screaming from the living room. I grab the youngest under one arm (In only her pajama top and socks since we were in the process of putting on clean, dry, accident free panties) and ran to the living room.

There was the oldest... with her head stuck in an end table. The end table had a small piece on the top, fastened to the larger bottom- a stair step table. And that little dickens had her bloomin' head stuck in between the 2 pieces. Oh for Pete's sake!!!

I have no idea how the child did that. None.

I set her half nekkid sister on the floor and try to just tug her little head out and she screamed. She was really stuck. I thought I was gonna have to go VanGogh and cut off an ear. I tried to wiggle her around and she couldn't come loose. I try to turn her head and shake the table, and nada. I thought about taking the table apart but that wasn't possible- I laid on the floor under it and couldn't see any hardware to unfasten, or unscrew. I'm trying to get her free and calm her down at the same time, but I was really starting to panic, and I felt bad for the child, too.

Great. The parents were gonna come home and find a kid with her head stuck; I bet I wouldn't get paid. And of course, the kids is screaming the whole time. The nekkid one wondered over to the tv and sat down to watch.

I finally called my mom & dad.

Dad finally came over to the house. Now, by this time she's had her head stuck for about 30 minutes and the screaming stopped. She was kneeling there, and eating Cheerios. Go figure.

Dad came in and he tried to pull the kids loose, and it didn't work. Dad just jiggled the table and took hold of the top portion of the table and gave it a hard yank. It came off in his hands and the kids was free. She ran over and sat in front of the tv with her sister like nothing happened. Geez.

Apparently the tabletop was just glued fast and when dad gave it a yank, it popped free.

I don't remember what the parents said when I got home and told 'em what happened.

But I do remember they called me to sit again a few weeks later. And lo' and behold, the next time I sat that little brat did it again! And that was the LAST time I watched those kids.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Part II- reflecting about taking Mac to college

Okay, so it was a good day. The weather held; it didn't rain until around 5:30pm. We had 50 people carry all his crap up to his room. Everyone was nice and helpful. Mac was in good spirits but was nervous. His roommate seemed nice- and right away they figured out they loved the same music. They both have divorced parents so they could understand each other like that. We did a good job of getting stuff for school- we hardly had to buy anything. I was thrilled that I brought XL Twin sheets and Regular Twin sheets so he had the right size, no matter what. His RA was nice and introduced himself and explained the basics to us both. Mac's bed was lofted and a bunch of guys helped him and they were nice. His TV and computer hooked up without a hitch. A bunch of guys came to his room to introduce themselves to Mac, and to me. Student ID's print in 45 seconds, and lines were short. Mac's cell phone has excellent service there. It really was a good day. Really.

It was just strange to leave him there. I did my job as a parent right, I know, because he wanted to be there. He wanted to go. That's what's usually supposed to happen. You have a kid and you raise them and if they want to go to college, you gear everything toward that without being overbearing and you be supportive and then BAM- you find yourself leaving them with 25 strangers in his dorm "hall" and driving away in a borrowed mini-van, crying. Or some variation.

I want him to succeed and do well. Of course I do. What sort of ogre would I be if I didn't want that? I do want him to do well. But I miss him. I wanted him to ask me to stay, or to not go. Or to stand and wave at me as I drove away. But it was like his first day of kindergarten- I dropped him off and he barely closed the car door as he raced up the sidewalk, nary a backward glance. He's been like that always, so I don't know why I thought leaving him at college would be any different. But I still wanted him to stand and look at me.

It's a time of mourning, to a certain extent. You know that? I know what lose is- my mom died a few years ago, so I understand a huge loss to death, and, I have to admit, to a certain extent this feel like that. It's been Mac and me against the world for almost 16 years. Just us. And then there he goes, to start his own life. And things will never be the same again. He won't be coming home again- at least not for good. And no one sends you a sympathy card for this. No one brings a casserole or a noodle salad (Or wine). Instead people joke about it, or talk about empty nest, like it's okay.,

And I know it will be okay. I do.

But right now, my life is a whole different perspective. I never asked for this. I never wanted an empty nest; I can do things with Mac, I always have. I'm used to it. I don't have a husband that I need to "get to know again" like some couples. I don't have a hobby I've neglected. I'm still me, and I'm still Mac's mom, but now Mac is... on his own. And my son is enough of me, he's how I raised him so he will follow his dreams. He's go to college, he'll go to law school, he'll study abroad and probably end up at UC Berkley. I am proud and I do want him to succeed. I do.

But it doesn't make this easier. It doesn't stop me from missing him.

Mac's Mom,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Part I: Mac to college

Last Saturday I dropped Mac off at college. Well, I stayed for the day so I'm not sure I should say I just "dropped" him off.

We arrived at campus around 10:30am and we had to do orientation which took about an hour. We also signed all the last minute forms, got his photo ID (which is also a key and his meal plan ticket, and his campus credit card- this is a VERY important document!), his computer sign-in info, and his dorm key.

Then we drove to his dorm. (Mac was soooo nervous, that he didn't want to eat lunch so we skipped it. I was nervous, too, so I didn't care.) He's in an all guys dorm, on the third floor. We were greeted by about 50 smiling, over- caffeinated young people. Their job was to unload our borrowed mini-van full of Mac's stuff. They did- in about 4 minutes. I wasn't even allowed out of the driver's seat. They not only unloaded all his stuff but carried it to the three floors to his room. I then parked and they was escorted by a perky young person to Mac's dorm.

We unpacked- we beat his roommate there so Mac picked the window bed and we had everything almost unpacked by the time Roommate arrived. We all met each other- he seemed nice and so did his mother, godmother, his brother and his sister! We left them alone to sort and unpack and Mac and I went to get his books and roam campus. Then we headed to Wal-Mart with a list of stuff we forgot.

The plan was for me to stay and have dinner and then go to a program for kids and parents, given by the President of the College. We got back and ate dinner- which was a huge picnic for students and their families- which got rained out so about 500 people were crammed into the cafeteria. Mac nor I were very hungry and we picked at the food, and finally went back to his dorm to unpack the Wally World stuff.

When we got back, Roommate was there alone- he's from Chi-Town and his fam had to head back. When Mac found this out, he turned to me and said I could go because everyone talked about how long and boring the President's speech was so I could leave and he would hang with Roommate. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...


So he walked me to my car. We said bye. I told him I was proud of him and call if he needed anything. We hugged. I left. I couldn't say anything else. I had this whole, awesome mom speech I was going to give him and I couldn't say a word. I just drove away, waving, looking at him in the mirror as he can back inside the dorm without a glance back.

I cried all the way home.

Mac's mom,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy thoughts....

Pink hot rod featured at a local car show

A caramel, hot fudge raspberry gelato sundae at a local specialty chocolate shoppe

happy flowers in the front yard

More about Mac, me, and yesterday will come later. Right now, here are some things that make me happy...


Friday, August 19, 2011

In about 14 hours, he's gone

Okay, today has been spent packing up Mac's stuff so he can head to college tomorrow, buying the last minute things I forgot, hanging out with Mac, doing his laundry, packing the borrowed mini-van...

I've only had 2 small minor breakdowns (so far, and neither in front of Mac), and two Xanix.

Please pray for us, for me, for him... I drop him off tomorrow morning between 10-11am.

My baby's going to university. He's flying the nest.

Okay, I can do this. Right? I can.

Oh help....

Mac's mama no matter how old he is,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I had a total crap day at work yesterday. I've said it all the time: the teachers are worse than the kids, most days. That pisses me off. Yesterday I had 2 teacher complain to me about a music project I'm working on, and 1 more whom I really care about and respect growled at me in one breath and ask me for a favor in the other. It was "library day" so ALL students on campus visited the library, which meant I had to 'interact' with 11 teachers. I try to AVOID teachers. ITSam and I had disagreement in the morning before schools tarted. Mac and I had a pissing contest. I started my period. I misbalanced my check book and just found the error and I was told Mac was missing a loan form. Yesterday was NOT my favorite day. I was so mad and just had to say to hell with everything because people suck, suck, suck- I give up. I was so pissed.

Also, I had promised Mac that I would take him to see a movie of his choice last night and make homemade pizza. So we went to see GLEE, the 3-D Concert Movie. I like Glee! I love the tv show and I have all the soundtracks. You could say I'm a bit of a Glee-k. Now, that being said, it wouldn't have crossed my mind to actually go see the movie. It just isn't my thing. And I wouldn't have normally paid the price of a 3-D ticket, in the evening, to see it. But I told Mac we could see his pick and that's what it was. (He's a Glee-k himself. He's the one who got me hooked on it!) Great-- after that day, seeing singing and dancing people acting like teens was NOT what I wanted to do. But it's Memory Week so no way could I say no!

I'm rolling my eyes as the previews start. I'm rolling my eyes as the movie starts. I can't believe I'm sitting there watching it in 3-D. Ugh, ugh, ugh! There was concert footage and all the fans that were interviewed and screaming and... ugh!

Then the singing started.

There was no Glee cast story line. There were some silly snippets of the cast doing "behind the scenes" stuff but there was a story of sorts. There were 3 young people who are HUGE Glee fans who talked about the show and how it's influenced their lives. There's a young boy who's in HS now but was outed as gay when he was in the 8th grade; he talked about how Glee helped him. There's a young girl who's a small person and how the show helped her see it's okay for her to be different and led her to be a 'Cheer-io' at her own school, only not a snob. And there's a young woman who suffers from Aspergers and how Glee helped her. These three stories were told interview style, back and forth between them in their homes and schools, and then intermingled with their stories were songs and dance routines of the Glee cast, from their concert tour this summer.

And it was good. It was totally feel good.

By the end of the movie, I was smiling and happy and even crying. I was singing along and seat dancing. It was just awesome. I loved it and it was inspiring and just flat out POSITIVE and FEEL GOOD! I was so touched by the stories of those three youngster and I just loved the music and energy of the cast.

Another part that touched me was the footage of the audience at the concert. They hadn't heard the stories- they were just regular, old concert goers. We've all seen either a concert music video (if not a full out concert on tv or in a movie) and we always see concert goers having fun. And there was the same audience/ concert footage of everyone singing along and screaming and having fun. And the audience was full of blacks and whites, men and women, boys and girls, old people and young people, gay and straight- all at the same concert, all singing the same songs. That was about the most amazing thing I'd seen, 3 year olds all the way to grannies singing "Don't Stop Believing.".

I'm a firm believer that there's nothing wrong with a happy ending, a feel good moment. And I have to remember to not stop believing, no matter what.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Now you see them...

While I'm a fan of change, and I think my itchy feet and wanderlust and lack of money are the root cause of all my issues lately, I've been thinking about routine lately. Or, more accurately, I've been thinking of people who are part of my routine.

When I lived in Northern Civilization, I drove to work the same way ever day, and at about the same time. I usually was put together but sometimes I put lipstick on at a stop light. But there was a guy I saw every day who always was shaving at the stop light. It got to the point where we would wave at each other every day because we followed each other down the road. We weren't neighbors (though we could've lives near each other but in a spread out city it's to tell) but as I pulled onto the main road it was usually behind or in front of him. It was an especially busy road and if I timed it right, he would stop and allow me to pull in front of him, if it would work out. We always waved. If it was "have the car window down" weather, we'd say "TGIF" or "have a good one" or "nice weather." When I moved, I always wondered what happened to him & I wondered if he thought about me and my whereabouts.

Even then I had a Starbucks I went to all the time and in a city of 1/2 million people, the baristas knew my face to make me my "usual." And I go to that one when I got to N.Civ., since it's my favorite one and if the right people are working, they still remember even though it's 7 years later. Now, how awesome is that?

I go into the Speedway gas station almost every morning for coffee (since there's no Starbucks in my town--- though--- the Starbucks that's 25 minutes from my house have several baristas who know me not only by my drink and pastry order but by NAME as well!!!! *ahem* !) and the same girls are working. I know their names and they know mine. They ask how school's going, I ask about their kids. They tease me about having Fridays off and I joke with them about their pizza perks. They notice when I get a new haircut and vice versa. One of the girl's is going to have a baby and another's kid had chicken pox. They even ask if I've been okay if I haven't come in for a few days. It's really nice to see those familiar faces.

Not only do I see the same employees on the same shift, I see the same customers; I'm in the early group so I see the truck drivers fueling up delivery vehicles, nurses, whomever. We're the "have to be at work by 8am" group. I see teachers from other schools. I see the people who are getting off of 3rd shift. I see the grandma who takes her grandson to pre-school on Tuesdays so he gets a Krispy Kreme from the big glass case as a special treat on those days.

There's a small coffee shop in town and I can go in and they know my name and my drink. Several cashiers at Wally World know me (I'm ashamed to admit that). I can call the bank and two of the tellers recognize my voice. I even have become friends with a woman who used to work the early AM shift at McDonald's and she got a new job but we liked each other so much we stay in touch! And there are several restaurants in town who recognize me and can ask if I "want the usual"! My Pizza Hut delivery guy says hi to me when he sees me in public, and asks how my dad and son are!! (I think that means I have PH delivered waaaaaaaaaaay to often!) I won't even mention how personally acquainted I've become with people at the video store and the public library!

So, while I give living in a small town a rough time, and I clamour about the boredom of a routine, there's something nice to be said about seeing the same friendly faces over and over again.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Memory Week

Mac and I were sitting on the porch yesterday morning, talking and laughing about nonsense. Then he was begging me to watch all 6 of the Star Wars movies and I was refusing and he said it was memory week and I should do what he wanted since he would be leaving!

I know he was just joking around, trying to get me to see movies I didn't want to see but it struck a chord.

Memory Week.

Memory Week.

I've wanted to smack Mac most of the last year- his senior year- and have even pondered thoughts of dropping him off at school months early, with a tent so he can stay on the college lawn, for Pete's sake, but it was a reality smack for me at the fact that he leaves in 6 days. 6 days. 6 days.

I've spent the entire 18 years of Mac's life trying to give him wings- yes, a cheesy cliche, but it's so true. But I have. And I want him to fly. He does fly- in 6 days. I can't very well play the weepy mom card now, after I've been trying to teach him to be strong, to achieve success, to be independent, to chase his dreams, to let him know he can be anything, go anywhere.... I can't fall to pieces and beg him to stay home, to move to his college town, to hug him and not stop hugging. I can't do those things, because I can't let him have any more doubts or fears than those that are natural to a kid going to college and leaving home for the first time.

But what if. I'm full of what ifs. What if he fails? What if he succeeds? What if he hates college? What if he loves it? What if he moves away? What if he moves home? What if he.... There's a million of these. I've played the "what if" game before and I know that's bad, bad, bad thing to do, that nothing good can come from it. But I seem to be plagued with the "what ifs."

Memory Week.

Memory Week.

This is memory week.

I've walked around for several days with butterflies in my stomach and my heart knocking in my chest. Knocking to the point where I swear you could see it beat through the skin. And the stomach butterflies are the kind you get in a situation of the total unknown. Not fluttering like a roller coaster or like waiting for a root canal sitting in the dentist chair, but some combination of the two. How can I go all this week with a thudding heart and a fluttering stomach?

I know he's not dead and I know I will see him again. But I won't see him every day. I won't know where he's going with whom. If I'm honest, I'm not completely sure of that now but he tells me he's going with Ryan or Nick or Joe, and I know if I call Ryan or Nick or Joe I could track him down if necessary. I know that each day I will see him. I can see the blue of his eyes, or hear him tell me some outrageous story or utter some preposterous theory or play me some crazy song. I won't know when he's sad or glad.

How do you let someone go that's been your responsibility, your air, your life, for 18 years?

Someone told me I'll mourn. Okay. I'll probably drive Daddy-O nuts over the next few weeks, wonderful about Mac, asking "so, what do you think Mac's doing?" Can I ask him that about a 100 times a day and have him not want to kill me*? It's easier to NOT miss Mac when he's being a jerk or a turd. When he's being sweet and charming and funny, the normal child I've known (until his senior year) then it wrenches at my heart and twists my gut. And next Saturday I have to smile, unpack his stuff, be excited over EVERYTHING, reassure him, and give him a small hug and drive away with a smile when all I really want to do is cry.

Memory week.

Damn memory week. I'm dreading it.

Mac's mom,

*(An Aside- and Daddy-O won't want to kill me. I don't want people to think he's a heartless guy. He's let me move away and my brother. He knows the loss of an empty nest and he knows real loss with the loss of his wife, and so he will let me mourn. More than any other person I know, he's known grief and he will never deny me the right to miss my child...)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Paid to blog?

Well, this sounds too good to be true and I'm not holding by breath or counting my chickens or any of that good stuff, but in the near future I might be getting paid to blog.

I've always wanted to be paid to write, and I've said here a million times it would be a dream come true to get paid to blog, and now it's a tiny, minor possibility!

Alcatraz, not just the school but the entire facility, has a wonderful marketing plan and branding and all that good stuff! It's fairly new, but it's going along well. We also have a company blog and I've written for it several times. The director of marketing calls and asks me to come up with something for the blog because she likes my writing style and my energy.

Yesterday she called to see if I would write something and then she asked if it would be something I would be willing to do on a semi-regular basis. She said she'd like to do a series on a couple of specific topics and thought it would be great if she could hire me part time/ freelance to blog for the company. She said if it all works out, I'd start as part time and then as her position evolved, then so would mine- into something full time. But the outset would be hired to blog for the company.

YES! Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!

So, keep your fingers crossed. She doesn't have a deadline for this plan, but she's one of those people who gets what she wants, and she WANTS this. I'm totally psyched!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Can't shake the blahs

Yesterday I wrote about not knowing where all my time went this week.

And I have to say, I need some time to breathe.

I don't know what's going on with me lately but I just feel like I need some time to ... to myself. This sounds totally bitchy, I know, after coming off a month long break but for some reason, I've felt overwhelmed lately.

There's been turmoil with Mac, leaving for school. It hasn't been pleasant and I feel turned in so many topsy-turvy ways because of this.

I also feel all consumed by work when I go home at night. I worry about the kids, about a new program I've been put in charge of, about testing the kids, and anything else about work I can seem to worry about.

For some reason I can't even seem to convey here what I mean to say. I just know I can't seem to settle my brain and I feel completely not at ease, or full of unease.

Am I just unhappy? Someone suggested I'm depressed. I am tired all the time, it seems, for no good reason, even when I get tons and tons of sleep.

I don't often feel like this, so full of drudgery. I don't really want to read, craft, talk, clean, write, cook, do laundry, hang out... I just don't want to do anything, really.

Ugh, I hate feeling so blah, so tired, so uneasy, so no time to myself.

Whining once again,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Computer suckage

I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last blogged. I have no idea what happened. Actually, I do know what happened and I'm so sorry. After a month of vacation and then going back to work, and getting off work at 4pm and home by 430pm, my day feels shot. Getting back into the groove to cook and clean in just a few evening hours and then having time to blog doesn't seem to be jiving.

My other big issue is that my laptop seems to be dying a slow death. It can be one for 10 minutes then shut itself off. It can be on for an hour before it does. No one seems to know what's wrong. So all the evenings when I would crash on the couch and grab my trust steed of a laptop are now gone. I have no money to replace my trusty steed so now I have to... well, to hell with the analogy- I can't easily blog.

And that SUCKS!!!!!!!!

I've vowed that since it's my weekend to be the receptionist at job number 3, I'm going to write several post and get them scheduled.

The other part that sucks about the slow demise of trusty steed is that I can't easily respond to lengthy emails nor can I read blogs at my leisure. Ugh! I have no idea how I'm going to resolve this issue!!! Steal a laptop, maybe?

Other than computer issues and trying to get my back to school groove on, I'm also trying to get Mac ready for school, which emotionally seems draining. In all honesty, other than being exhausted at the end of a work day and feeling like doing nothing except be a slug, I'm really not sure where my week went...

I vow to do better. I said that last week, I know.

Maybe this time it'll actually happen!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

A coffee confession

Okay, I love Starbucks. You know I do. Venti Peppermint Mochas are a food group for me, and are a vital part of my existence. I even have friends bring me this beverage if they're coming from the nearest Starbucks, which is 20 minutes away. If they barista makes it extra hot (or the hottest brewable temperature without curdling the milk) then it's drinkable temperature when it gets to me. In short, I love Starbucks.

I even love to get my favorite drink all year long. It's been so hot this summer that I've tried some variations in a cold form, like in a blender and iced. They're okay but nothing to write home about. A hot venti, Peppermint Mocha with whip is the best. It makes me happy. It's reliable. It's good. It's bliss.

So I have a confession. I live 20 minutes from a Starbucks but about 6 minutes from McDonalds. And I have 2 special drinks I like to get from their McCafe menu. The hot drink is a passable substitute from my Starbucks favorite. When I want something hot I get a hot caramel mocha with whip. It's not anywhere near as good at my Starbucks beverage, but it'll do in a pinch. I'm also going to admit it's a cheaper drink, so I don't mind having it. I've also figured the best way to get a drink that's a good substitute is to NOT try and order the same thing as I get at Starbucks, but to get something else that's good. A caramel mocha serves that need.

Then there's the McCafe cold drink. As I just said, I can't find a cold drink at Starbucks that I like other than unsweetened black ice tea (I've tried all kinds, by the way, not just my favorite) with mint. McDonald's, on the other hand, has a delicious cold beverage: a caramel Frappe. I don't even like caramel drinks but at McDonalds I do. And the caramel frappe is AMAZING.

I have to say it's a better cold drink than any cold drink I've ever had at... *gulp*... Starbucks. I feel totally unfaithful to Starbucks but I had to say it. I had to confess. And I want to say it's this only drink. Not better than my soul mate, Peppermint Mocha, but better than any cold drinks.

And I feel better.

And I promise, I vow, as soon as the cold temperatures come back, I'll go back to being faithful to Starbucks, my one true love.

Mocha maven,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whew---- one week down!

I can't believe I've been away from here all week. I am so sorry, if anyone cares! We went back to school on Monday and since then it's been go- go- go!

Mac is getting ready for college, along with all my back to school drama. He's a lovable pain in the ass right now.

Daddy-O has another ear infection, which worries me.

Lest we forget the insufferable heat attacking the Midwest right now which sucks, and getting into the routine of getting up early, going to bed at a normal time, cooking, chores and financial worries, it's been a looooooooooooong week.

I was so ticked off on Monday because we have some "old guard" teachers who think our new discipline policies are stupid and won't comply. We have new teachers who are learning. Our construction isn't done yet. Just lots of back to school issues, like so many other schools suffer.

I also took a 3rd part time job- I'm overseeing lunch period for our students who live off the grounds but attend our school. I'll do this everyday, and get paid $15 per 90 minutes (or $10/ hour!). I have 4 kids, and they're pretty good. I also decided to oversee the literary magazine, co chair the prom, be the sponsor for the art club, and direct the school play in the fall and the musical in the spring. Yes, I have lost my ever-loving mind. The only things that could save me from this fate would be a handsome Irishman to whisk me off to the Emerald Isle, marrying Johnny Depp, a new job, or death.

I also got in a new shipment of new books, had to do bulletin boards, schedule all the English classes to visit the library, oversee all the new student testing, AND I have girl's PE locker room duty. Oh, and I met with students who wanted to check out books- you know, regular library stuff which is... oh, just MY JOB!

Sorry I was out of the blogging loop. I'll try to get back in the groove. I sure did love my month off, and miss it already. But I really love my job and is was good to be back with my students!!!

Hope you had a good week. Tomorrow is going to be "read other blogs while doing laundry" day.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Drinking meme

1. Beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks – rank them

a) mixed drinks, then wine, then liquor and lastly beer

2. How often do you drink?

Not often enough.

3. Favorite scotch?

Johnny Walker Blue

4. Favorite whiskey?

Jack Daniels

5. Favorite tequila?


6. Gin?

I don't care for gin

7. Vodka?

Gray Goose

8. Rum?


9. Red or white?


10. Best wine ever?

Angioletta Muscato

11. Favorite type of wine?

Angioletta Muscato

12. Favorite every day red?

I'm not a fan of reds, but Robertson Winery makes a nice sweet red, if I must

13. Favorite every day white?

Angioletta Muscato

14. Best value white?

Angioletta Muscato- it's a lovely Italian wine that I can get for about 10 bucks a bottle

15. Do drink boxed wine?

I have in the past

16. Fastest to getting drunk?


17.Are you quiet, silly, or what when you are tipsy?

usually very silly

18. Ever do anything your regretted while drunk?

I have a list

19. Favorite beer?

MGD lite

20. Favorite food while drinking?

fried and greasy

21. Favorite cordial?

Crème de menthe

22. Favorite ‘desert drink’?

Lemon Drops-- you mean having booze for dessert, right?

23. Favorite morning libation?

Morning Glorys

24. Favorite bar?

anywhere with a good loud cover band, fun people and cold drinks that are cheap

25. How old when you had your first booze?

I think I had a sip of beer on Race day when I was a kid but to actually drink drinks or order my own drinks, I was legal- age 21

26. “Not for me”


27.Do you own a cocktail shaker?

Yes, and it's pink!

28. Martinis – gin or vodka?

Vodka, dirty, three olives, no onions, shaken not stirred

29. Ever been in a bar fight?


30. An amusing vignette involving booze:

Well, there are many... kissing strangers over a pool table, taking a "friend" home, throwing lettuce, drunken singing when there was no karaoke, singing when there was karaoke.... there's a long and embarrassing list...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Let the school year commence

I'm back at school. Today. Right now!!! (okay, if you're reading this after 3:45pm EST then I'm not there, but I was otherwise!) Today and tomorrow are teacher days and we have students on Wednesday and Thursday. We are now officially starting year- round school. We also now no longer have school on Fridays. This week is a 2 day with student week.

I can't believe my summer vacation is over. I'm working on "blogger appreciation gifts" and don't have them all done yet (but be watching your mail!). I have a stack of books not read. I have two quilts not finished. I have recipes not tried. Ugh. The list goes on and on.

I'm going to be really good at being retired.

But on the good side, I do love my job so it will be good to get back into a routine and to see the kids. I have some magic up my sleeve for the library and I have a nice, long, fun list of things I want to do this month with the kids. Well, the next few months, anyway! So, it's not really all about complaining about the end of summer,

I prefer to think of it as being in mourning. I have on my favorite black t-shirt...