Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another trip around the sun.

Today was my birthday. Fifty three years in, life is not getting any calmer. Why?

Today was also my driving day for dialysis...and my day to watch Kendall.  Not sure how that overlapping was going to work, but no time like the present to try it.   Kendall was not sure about riding in Nana's car. 
I debated. 
Would it be easier to convince the two year old to ride in Nana's car? or would it be easier to convince Nana to ride in my car? 
What a dilemma. 
Pros and Cons. 
 The two year old can't talk a lot, the 70 + year old has no problem voicing her opinion..repeatedly.  On the other hand, the twenty five mile trip with the two year old screaming might be just as bad as the 70+ year old "opinons". 
 What to do, what to do?

I strapped in the car seat and managed to bend the stiff as a board, screaming two year old into the seat. 
Such decisions in life. 
The two year old will forget, the 70+ year old has a good memory and will remind me more than a few times that I made her ride in my car. 
The two year old has already forgotten the screaming stiff as a board incident.

The day passed pretty uneventful, some shopping, some errands, a much needed haircut for me and a bangs trimming for Kendall, UNTIL, I get to dialysis to pick up my MIL and Kendall is pretty calm, smiling at people and charming them.  I get a call from Shawnee and while she is in the middle of a story, I see a man go in the rest room and come out and I smell POOP!  Really bad stinking up the whole waiting room.  He leaves and still it smells, Shawnee is still talking and still the waiting room smells and then I think, "Hey, that smell is getting worse, not better and it is stronger when Kendall is close."
Light bulb moment. 
 I cut Shawnee off, grab Kendall, go to the car and get a diaper and wipes, bring her back in, there is no place to change her, lay her halfway on a chair, change her trying to go fast so it is done BEFORE my MIL WALKS out. 
As I get the diaper off and trying to balance little turds in a diaper that are trying to roll out, my MIL is WHEELED out in a wheel chair (not normal so I know she is sick),
I look up, still balancing the turds and my phone starts playing Faithfully, by Journey, it's John....Kodak moment. 
Do I
a.) Answer the phone?
b.) Run to the bathroom and dump the turds?
c.) Help my MIL who is sick?
d.) Sit down on the floor and scream, "Happy Birthday to ME!"

Another one of THOSE days!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Are the eggs cooked?

Really?
That is how I am now answering that question. 
Followed by;
How disorganized do you think I am?
It's been another one of those weeks.
Dead battery in my car.
SOMEONE hit the truck and dented in the side.
Tax day.
Still fighting the ants.
Rain.
Rain.
Rain.
Finally mowing the grass.
Lots of t-shirts to print.
Dialysis driving day.
Battle with the common cold....or allergies.
Missed doctor's appointment.
Out of blood pressure medicine.
Out of thyroid medicine.
and still....
I managed to boil the eggs.
Well I did two dozen and then JWS thinking I didn't have enough,
did another two dozen.
Point is,
They were cooked and cooled in cartons in the fridge waiting to be dyed.
So yesterday is my day to drive to dialysis.
Shawnee has a doctor's appointment, I am going to drop my MIL at dialysis and go to Shawnee's and keep the girls until my Mom and Dad get there to take over and then I have to go back and pick up the dialysis patient and somewhere fit in some shopping both for me and the dialysis patient, pick up prescriptions for both me and my MIL, make a deposit...well you know the normal day.
And
COLOR EGGS.
So with a tote bag filled with 18 eggs, egg dye, a re-designed Easter hat to match Gracelyn's dress in tow,
I head to Shawnee's. 
But first,
My MIL says,
"Do you have the eggs boiled?"
Then my mother who is already at Shawnee's says,
"Do you have the eggs boiled?"
I want to say,
"NO, I have never colored eggs before and I am going to make a two year old and a three year old stand around for two hours while I boil and cool the eggs before we can color them."
But I say,
"Of course I do"
(sweetly, through gritted teeth)

We begin to color. 
Kendall thinks it is a carnival game and tries to see if she can pitch the eggs into the cups.
Gracelyn, ever the neat child that she is, carefully places the eggs and scolds Kendall for being messy.
Kendall laughs.
So much fun.
So much like their mothers were.

Leave there,
with my Dad in tow.
Head to Verizon,
get them a cell phone.
That will be a post in itself.
The training is still in progress.

Pick up the dialysis patient,
get her fed,
get her home,
unload the shopping,
back to work.
Customer at 4:00,
Leave work,
5:30PM
Have to get supper,
Jenn catches me in the driveway.
"The boys are waiting to color eggs, are you going to do that this evening?"
I say yes,
She says,
"Do you have the eggs boiled?"
Really?
Again,
Sweetly.
"Yes, of course."
Supper and then I call the boys to come over.
My Mom says'
"Do you have more eggs cooked?"

This is seriously getting old.

Color eggs.
The boys have calmed down so much from last year.
They color eggs, they play for a little bit,
I tell them it is time to go home.
They THANK me for having them over to color eggs.
They run across the yard to their house holding hands.
I get teary-eyed.

I might just be tired.

More cell phone training.

8:00PM

My Mom and I start SEWING Easter presents for the kids.
Our Easter celebration is this evening.
More on that later also.

Then.
I get up this morning to walk with my friend, Dawn.

Halfway through the walk, I am relating the day to her.
When I get to the part about the eggs, she says...
"Did you already have the eggs cooked?"

I screamed.
It's early, wonder what people thought when they heard that?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Cameras Should Be Rolling...

We really could have a better show than the Kardashians.
Oh, of course we are not as beautiful or glamorous,
and we sure don't have that kind of money,
(or much of any right now actually)
but there sure is a lot of activity.

Of course, I had to put a picture in of something creative.
This was actually all I got finished this week.
More on that later.
So,
Back to yesterday.
I knew it had the potential to not go smooth.
Too many variables,
too close of scheduling.
Up at 5:00 AM.
Make the coffee,
a little devotional,
a little prayer,
(that probably was the key to it not going worse, or me remaining somewhat sane)
Out the door at 5:30 for the 3+ mile walk.
It is not light yet, we take flashlights.
How silly do we look?
Back in the house at 6:15,
Take JWS his coffee in bed.
(I do that EVERY morning {smug smile on my face})
Anyway,
Jump through the shower and "do" my hair, there won't be time for touch ups later, we have a dinner to go to and are leaving at 5:00 PM right when I finish work.
Drive to meeting place and pick up Kendall for the day at 7:10 AM.
Back to work,
Jenn arrives, Logan in tow.
Work,
Customers,
Matchbox cars all over the floor in my office,
Work,
"Jenn, get that sign cut."
Work
Trip over a pink fuzzy bear dressed like the Harlem Globe Trotters,
"Jenn, did you get that sign cut"
"Logan, turn down Mario, I have a customer."
"Kendall, don't write on your hands with that Sharpie!"
A visit from a friend I haven't seen in awhile.
SHE BRINGS ANOTHER BABY!
Anyone counting the children THREE and under?
"Jenn, that customer just called and wants his sign today."
When..
Logan, who has been quietly working on the keyboard of the computer,
(we noticed that in retrospect)
proudly holds up the down arrow key and announces,
"Grandma, I could not get Mario to go down far enough, so I pulled this off and now I can stick my finger in here and make him go down farther!!!"
Really.
I should own stock in keyboard and mouse companies.
I spend the next ten minutes trying to put the keyboard back together all the while explaining to a three year old why that really doesn't work, with a two year old in my lap.
Production?
"Jenn, did you get that sign cut yet"
Jenn: "No, I am leaving, I have a doctor's appointment.
Me: (looking incredulous) "NOT BEFORE YOU CUT THAT SIGN!"
She did.
 She takes Logan.
The count is back to one child.
For twenty minutes.
That is when the kindergarten bus pulls in and leaves Tyler off.
How bad is it when you think the twenty minutes that you only have a two year old at work with you is the quiet part of your day?

The usual,
How was your day, did you get in trouble today, let's look at your papers, and Oh you got your report card, that's good and
we settle back into a routine for the day.

Did I mention that I went through the car wash in the AM, because we are taking my car to the dinner tonight?
Kendall, who supposedly likes the car wash, cried the whole way through it.

Lunch in, settled into my desk, actually somewhat productive,
Papa says,
"Tyler, Kendall has never been to the Bent and Dent, I'll bet Grandma would take you there"
A statement that I won't forget and I will get even.
Did I mention that I take this man coffee in bed in the morning?
Now Tyler in his slightly OCD way is repeating that over and over
"Grandma, Kendall has never been to the Bent and Dent, if you take us, this will be her FIRST time at the Bent and Dent."
AT LEAST TWENTY TIMES.
I swear they should get him checked.
I know that there is a label for that child.

The Bent and Dent is on a dirt road.
Car wash in the AM.
Crying Two Year old.
He will pay!

So,
I load them in the car and off we go.
Oranges
Borax
(for the ants)
Strawberry Daiquiri Jello
Sugar
About 40 packs of gum
Fruit roll-ups
Hairspray
Ajax
A drink box
Sugar free candy for Nana

And we are out of there.

Getting tired of this story?
There's lots more.

I get Kendall down for her nap.
Finally.

I move my car to wash it....again!
Tyler wants to help.
Seriously, I underestimated what a disaster that had the potential to become.
Let's just say that the hair that I so carefully coifed for the day, was going to need re-coifed before we left for the dinner.

Skip forward.
It is 4:15 and both children have been picked up by their respective mothers.
Tyler THOUGHT he was going to spend the rest of the day and evening with us.
NOT!

John goes home, showers, ready for the evening.
4:35.
I try to salvage the hairdo for the evening, change, out the door at 5:05 PM.
Twelve hours.
It has been twelve hours since that alarm went off.

Deep Breath.
Calm.
Calm.
Nice evening with friends.
However.
It is a Zone One Fair Meeting at Scrubgrass Grange.
This is real, can't make this stuff up folks.
One half hour into the one hour, ten minute trip, I say to JWS,
"You did pick up the Mapquest directions that you demanded I get for you in the middle of all the chaos of the day?"

Anyone want to take a guess at that answer?
Again,
I
Bring
this
man
coffee
in
bed!

Thank goodness for smart phones and GPS Apps.
Took us right to Scrubgrass.
Well, almost.

Ok, so I really want an anonymous blog...or a chance to write a novel..
so considering that is not happening, you are going to miss out on
a lot of the descriptive details that otherwise might be included in the account
of the
Zone One Fair Meeting at Scrubgrass Grange.

and
the subculture involved in county fair managers.
However,
I will tell you that it was a great meal.
Country Home Cooking served by Grange members,
dressed in red, white and blue.
It could have been a picture out of a country life magazine.
Not the decorating magazines,
true old-fashioned country life.

Some talks on agriculture,
the rules of the baking contests,
startled gasps when they realized that they caught a woman entering her apple pie
and winning at seven different fairs!
(We just wanted a taste of that apple pie)
Government regulations on smoking at county fairs.
Write to your senators about funding.
Rules for the fair queen contests....
I should have taken notes.

But,
The BEST story.
It seems that no matter where I go, I get the characters.
They tell me their stories.
The zero in on me.
Mostly men.
Mostly OLD men.
Why?
Wish I knew. 

So we sit down across from people we don't know. 
Nice people.
I talk.
and ask questions.
And visit.
and
as we are eating, I notice,
that the man across from me is picking his teeth with his fingernails, holding his finds out in front of him,
inspecting the bits of food,
and then re-eating them!
Honestly.
Where are the cameras?

As we get in the car to leave,
our friends that we are with are collapsing with laughter.
Apparently he was also double dipping in the cole slaw bowl and ate his entire meal with his spoon.
The same spoon that he kept scooping more cole slaw out of the bowl with.
The same cole slaw bowl that I dipped out of for my cole slaw!

12:30AM
Home. 

The coffee pot is still on! 

Today.
You might say rest. 
JWS just literally ran out the door five minutes ago. 
He has to open the Bingo Building at the fair for a Pie Sale today. 
Today is my day to drive to dialysis. 
I have no clean clothes. 
My good jeans are still drying out from the car washing yesterday. 
And. 
I am tired.  

I have an Art show to be ready for by the end of the month,
I have a magazine deadline at the end of the month,
I have my family here for Easter on Friday,
and
a jewelry party on the 26th.

Thank goodness for the new income tax deadline of Monday..
I will be taking advantage of that!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twelve Days

No blogging.
Where did the time go?
Painting.
Trying to rid my house of black ants.
Some funky painting.
Another battle with the ants.

Some funky stitching also.
Another ant battle.

Some of the weapons of the war.

The last of the bunnies.
And a few carrots.
Die, you stupid ants.

A different battle...
Several days of the flu.
and a little more stitching.

Some cleaning.
I know, maybe if I would do more of that I would not have the ants.
A wonderful surprise
My girls took me to see Mamma Mia for an early birthday present.
It was great!

Some more ant battles.
The first motorcycle ride of the year.

Nightmares about ants.

Spring early morning walking with a fun friend.
We walk before 6 AM with flashlights and talk and laugh! 
What fun!

JWS had a battle with the flu.

I fought some more ants.

Some rearranging of furniture.

And the ants.

I finally broke down and went to the hardware store today to buy ant spray.
I am not a huge spray chemical lover,
but I could not take it anymore.

The boys went along.
The hardware has a penny candy counter.

And now Tyler reads.
You ask why that would change anything?

Because he announces in his normal loud voice as he reads the can I set on the counter.

"GRAMMA, WHY DO YOU NEED ANT AND ROOOCH SPRAY?"

Quietly, I correct his reading and say,
"That word is roach."

And he says,

"GRAMMA, WHY DO YOU NEED ANT AND ROACH SPRAY?"

I was so proud of his ability to read until today!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Fire Has Gone Cold

For those of you that have not been following the continuing saga of the fireplace.
Check
for the background on some of the drama.
Or

I really thought that the worst of it was over.
The fire would be out soon.
I could clean the living room.
The rest of the house.
The front porch.
Get a new rug.

Oh, the gas bills were low.
But.
The rug was ruined.
$$$$
Chiropractor bills from back issues that I blamed on unloading firewood.
$$$$
Initial cost of woodburner.
$$$$
Continual vacuuming
%$&*
All ok, because the gas bills were really LOW.
However,
lately there has been the issue of the smoke.
Lots and lots and lots of smoke.
Not up the chimney smoke...
in your face, choking you out of your recliner at night,
SMOKE!
I thought that something was wrong.
JWS just kept jamming more wood in there.
What do I know?

Finally, on Wednesday...
I slide him this little post-it note with the name of a chimney sweep on it.
Talking to Shelby on Wednesday night, we laugh about Dick Van Dyke/Mary Poppins showing up.
So Thursday arrives.
Never mind that JWS schedules the time for them to come at the same time as
I have a truck to put vinyl on...
I have Kendall and have to arrange for a sitter for her during that time...
Jenn, the only other "employee' at work is driving my MIL to dialysis....
someone has to meet the kindergarten bus....
we do have a business to keep open...
and
the chimney sweep is going to dance across our roof singing
"Chim, chiminee, chim chiminee, chim chim chiree.
A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be..."
Got that song stuck in your head now?

Now.
The Exasperating Part of the Story.

The chimmey is clogged.
Really clogged.
The insert in the chimney is no good.
It was not installed right.
Cost, you say?
About $200 MORE than it would have cost to install it right initially,
plus,
the cost of the dance episode of Mary Poppins that happened yesterday.

You might say,
"Go back on the initial installer and make them make it right!"

Well.
in order to save $$$$,
guess who installed it themselves.
That is right.
JWS
and an Amish Man named Fritz.

Moral of the story.
If the
JWS-Fritz Chimney Installation Co.
appears at your door to install your chimney,
check them out at the Better Business Bureau.
I am having them blacklisted.

And now on to more happy things,
because I am so not completely over the last story.


Here is Kendall at work yesterday.
The only thing that really entertained her all day long was this box.
Opening and Closing,
Packing
and
Opening and Closing some more.


See the remnants of Tyler's hopscotch game on the right?
The kids love the sidewalk chalk on the floor of the shop.


Open

Closed

And the resident executive.
He was the only one with a desk job yesterday.

Nothing creative to show.
Bet you don't even have to ask "Why?"