Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I am the biggest slacker

I promise I'll call you right back.  Yes, I would love to go out with you again.  Of course we can go shopping!  We will definitely keep in touch.  It's been over 30 years.  I think I may have a problem when it comes to follow through.  I make plans, I really do plan to do them.  I really did plan to write more often last year, and the year before.  I did plan to enter NaNoWriMo in November and actually complete all of camp in June.  I really failed! 

I have so much going on in my head, it's hard to actually get it nailed down to write about anything when I have the time to write.  Usually when I have down time I'm doing one of a hundred other things that could also technically wait until later.  The only hard and fast thing that must be done is feeding the guys.  The feline guy is the most demanding.  (little man is 15) I automate the bills, I do have to grocery shop, and make excuses for things I either didn't or won't do.  I do have a very important date with season four of Supersize vs Superskinny on the computer.  We don't get that over here in the US on any station that I know of.  The series also ended well before I even realized it existed.  I've been very busy binge watching them in bed at the end of a long day. 

I won't make any promises to myself but I do plan to write more this year.  It's really therapeutic for me, it makes me think, it also gives me some sort of creative focus, in other's good for me. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

He's an Adult

Years ago when I started this blog, I had more time on my hands.  My hands were also more messed up and needed to work on typing.  My mind was reeling and I needed a mental occupation as I healed physically.  Way back then in 2011, our son was 12/13 and in his first year of middle school.  There was a lot going on, but I had time to share my struggles and triumphs in silly ways.  I had time to write it out.

My writing time slowly started to change, then it rapidly changed.  Before I knew it months would pass before I even remembered I had a blog.  I logically knew it was there, I just had other things to do.  I volunteered as a team mom during football and lacrosse.  I worked with a good friend or two administrating an online support group.  I became much more committed to educating people about spinal stenosis and different types of walking spinal cord injuries. I became occupied with helping our son through the trials and tribulations of middle school and then high school.  I became insane with rage at some injustices he was made to suffer.  I also loudly made a total jerk and spectacle of myself one day, just to alleviate some of the blowback he was sure to suffer the next day.  I figured if they were talking about how absolutely batty I was, they'd have more to discuss than him and the unfair treatment he had endured.  Nonplussed (old definition) was the only way to describe our emotions concerning the disparity at his old school.  We made the decision to change his school before he lost his mind and his personality.  

Our child learned to drive, I went back to work.  I discovered I had other talents and gifts.  I discovered I can still be pretty effective and I could still physically handle some work.  I found new physical and inner strength.  One day I woke up and he was 18.  One day he forwarded me a message "Congratulations! You have been accepted to Notgonnanameithere College"  Great!  Wait! What!?  College?  Now?

I was hit with the reality that our son was soon going to no longer be attending public school in a compulsory education setting.  I also realized the schools he'd talked about for years weren't even mentioned.  They weren't even mentioned because he didn't even apply!  When I asked him about this, his answer knocked my socks off.  He chose Notgonnanameithere College because of;

1.) Cost
2.) Distance
3.) Culinary Program
4.) Transfer-ability of credits

Delving further into his new found thought center, he shared with me that he doesn't want to graduate with debt if he can avoid it.  He wants to go slowly and think about all his interests.  He found out through years of chatting with me, his Dad and teachers (Oh my, he listened to parents too?!) that any core classes done at any community college were usually very transferable and were far less in cost than a 4 year institution.  This college has begun a few 4 year degree programs, it's filled with certificates he can get as he's working toward his major in whatever field he chooses.

Our child also voted in his first election.  He has been a steadfast defender of logical political discussions, he makes salient points, he can argue his own with well thought out reasons and is open to new information.  He was actively working to have a three party system a long with some of his other young friends.  I watched him grow into a well rounded, well spoken young man in a flash.  He's still given to his regular 18 year old "I'm a nitwit" posts, but for the most part, he makes good points and argues well without pot shots.

The new school did all of this and taught him a love for creative writing.  He's again enjoying the pursuit of knowledge.  I can't praise this public charter school enough.  They had college application days, applications were free or lower cost on those days.  He could have applied to any, but he chose only the one.

Time to get serious.

Time to quit my part time job because my husband changed jobs.

Time to become a housewife and Mom again.

So where is all this boring stuff going?  It's going here.  He's an adult in age, he's an adult in some thoughts and ways, but he's still the little guy who needs me to put my special oil healing blend on his arm.

I love my son.  I'm proud of my son.  My son will do wonderful things as long as he pursues what he loves in life.

I also may have more time to write here after I finish Camp NaNoWriMo.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A complicated road trip

It was all supposed to be so simple.  Head to WV, KY, TN, VA then home.  This route was going to allow us to see a friend I hadn't seen since perhaps 1993.  First the order got changed and I missed seeing a friend in TN.  We did however, add in a jaunt to see my Mama, Daddy, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.  We of course took photos for the book of the dead.  We always take cemetery photos of our loved ones.  We recreated a photo we took when our son was 5 months old.  He was sitting atop his Great Grandparents (Mama and Daddy) double headstone while we held him.  This time he was 18 and sat on top with my husband next to him.  I'm sure that Mama and Daddy enjoyed holding their first great grandchild at 5 months and at 18 years.  The Great Great Grandparents didn't participate in the holding.

We missed my friend, but we learned that Gatlinburg should probably be renamed Cracklinburg owing to the sheer number of crack pipes and crack bongs they had on the main drag.  We have no proof, but we are guessing this is why they are called the Smokey Mountains.  There was a fair amount of cheap knives, badly done Chinese art and several sex shops.  The moonshine was ok.  There was a place with outstanding fries.

Our son, though born southern, has lost all connection to and concept of conquering a buffet.  We were saddened.  We nearly disowned him when he disparaged biscuits.  We have failed in some fundamental way if he can bash a biscuit.

The guys shot machine guns and I bought cast iron after a trip to the amusement park for those liking sharp objects, Smokey Mountain Knife Works. We spent a day at Wonderworks, spent time at Bush's beans and got lost up a mountain on a great drive.

Virginia was great and we really want to hit Richmond again.  There was so much we didn't finish doing.  We did make a quick jaunt to DC and one of the Smithsonian museums.  We could have spent a week in each location and not seen all there was to see.

On the way home we stopped at Tudor's Biscuit World.  Again we nearly disowned our son.  The cretin ordered a cheeseburger and once again denounced biscuits with a nasty sneer worthy of a Frenchman taking an American's order for coffee.

We learned that we pack like we are maniacs, we never have enough charging cables, but we do a lot of things on the spur of the moment, like the entire DC trip.  Totally spur of the moment.

We planned next to nothing.  We had a lot of fun finding things to do, but the snarcastic teen was a bit trying at times.  I also had PMS.  Not a good mix with husband and son who enjoy picking on people just to piss them off, it's apparently very fun to piss off Mommy.

We got home safe and sound to our kitty who also was safe and sound.  We got home on Good Friday.  We also learned that some idiots think Easter is the birth of Jesus.  They are supposed to be Christians.  We wonder now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Losing friends..oh my!

When I first started this blog I was a lot more diligent about posting.  I set up several pages and had some links to some really good places.  I had a link to a great place.  We've recently learned that as of December 15th, all of that will be gone.  Apparelyzed simply will no longer be.  Thousands of pages of advice, posts, friends, posts from friends who'd moved on, and some no longer living.  All of it gone in the blink of an eye.

There was always a game to play, a post to groan over, a plot to be hatched and a friend to be made.  We were the school yard of misfits hanging by the swings or slides, we were the jocks and the preppy kids, we were the nerds.  We were the modern day Breakfast Club.  We were a bunch of unlikely people all blended together due to a common cause.  An injury bound us all regardless of how affected or unaffected we were by the injuries.  On that site we found others who could understand the complex feelings and thoughts we locked away inside.  With one or two words hundreds of people could read between the lines and know our hearts.

Sure, there are other sites out there dedicated to the same conditions, but no site will ever be like that site.  No friends will ever mesh the way many of us meshed there.  There were differences of opinion, we didn't see eye to eye, We often argued, sometimes it got nasty, but it was just something that happend in a family.  I felt a sense of community there that I've not found in any other place including groups I've started.  There was something about "that place" something about the people.  That site was a testament to our growth, it was a tissue for our tears, the popcorn for our laughter and hundreds of friends all waiting to give advice, a shoulder to cry on or a kick in the pants when needed.

A wonderful man, a very kind and generous man created that site out of nothing over 10 years ago.  He saw a need and without much, if any, question he jumped in and started filling that gap with his own emotional, physical and financial investments.  The place took an enormous amount of time and energy.  I could see in the 5 years I was there how much it was taking away from him and his enjoyment.  It was a labor of love.

There are times when all good things come to an end, it's sad this is one of those things, but that's the way life is.  It's a series of loves, losses and growth.  I've grown from my time there.  I've grown in ways I'd never imagined.  I know people now I never would have met before.  We've shared our details and have started to make our way in the world.  Our "Boss" has pushed us from the nest and we're hoping we soar.

Maybe one day another brave and kind soul will take a seed from one of us and create a new safe haven to shelter and nurture those who need community.  Maybe one day there will be others like us nurturing, wise cracking and loving each other in their own twisted ways.  Maybe one day we will see the new garden or the nest that will rise from the past and forge a new path.

I am thankful I had my time there, I am so grateful for the people I've met and bonded with.  I'm grateful for the brothers and sisters I've met, loved, lost and kept.  With rose tinted glasses I will look into the past and remember only the good times because what use do I have for bad times?  With rose tinted glasses I will greet the future, but I may move them aside for healthy skepticism and trolls....oh those trolls!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I don't make good choices when I'm sick

I've been accused of not taking care of myself before.  I've been told that getting the flu isn't a good thing.  I decided I'd take care of myself and do the "adult" thing.  I got a flu shot.  I am now sick.  I have a cold.  While I can't directly blame the flu shot, I can't rule it out.  I can't rule anything out especially things that might not be so good at this point.

Take tonight.  I was sitting around feeling horrible.  I saw a photo of some Italian Wedding Bean soup.  I thought, "Oh my, that would be wonderful tomorrow.  I shall make some"  I probably didn't think the word shall, it's not something I'd normally say, but the recipe my illness addled mind concocted is nothing I'd ever come up with on a normal day.


What it should look like is a lovely light bowl of soup with tiny little meat balls, white beans, maybe some small pasta like orzo, pearl couscous, or pearl barley.  All lightness and delicate flavors in a soothing warm soup, easy on the tummy, packed with love, feel good and vitamins.

What my mind concocted was something far darker.  It's something no mind should ever contemplate, no crock-pot should be forced to hold or bear witness to and something no child or sick person should ever have to eat.  What my mind concocted was this...

Beans---hellz to the yeah!  Cannelli beans, Kidney beans and Black beans!! right on  (evil mind!!)
Meat--- I got you man!!  Turkey friggin hot dogs man!! No?  Bun length regular hot dogs!  Aight!!??
Greens---Like totally! Right on, there's like 3 pounds of kale or something like that in the fridge, kale is fun, it sounds like snail...kale...
Broth---oh like yeah I have some of that!!  It's in the box in the thing where the spices are!! I have some chicken broth totally!  It's not even out of date yet!!
Pasta---I got some spaghetti, some orzo, some pastina, some campanelle, you name it I got it!  I've even got.....spaghetti-o's!  YAY Spaghetti-O's!!!!
Tomatoes----OMG that would be like so totally cool to add some tomatoes, this will be so friggin healthy.

My husband stopped me.  We have something in the crock-pot.  I know there is garlic, chicken broth, some dry beans and some kale slowly crock-potting.  I have gnocchi on the counter waiting its turn tomorrow and I'm sure that someone sane will think for me when it comes to adding spices and things that make food good and stuff.

Oh heavens I can't think.  I think i still want soup with hot dogs, spaghetti-o's, kale and maybe some blueberries.

It's 3 am, cold medicine has left my mind a feeble little mass crying out for guidance and sleep.  While my mind's darker more sinister core keeps telling me to go add the hotdogs (I don't even like hot dogs!!) to the innocent soup.  It's a good thing I can't walk down stairs very well or that soup would be so screwed right now.

I think I need professional help.  Campbell's soup??

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My biggest regret in life

While sitting here pondering my life and thinking back over the years, the mistakes I've made, the chances not taken, words left unsaid; I've realized I don't have too many regrets.  Of course there are a few regrets, a few more chances I'd take, more I'd have said, less I'd have said or done, but one of my biggest regrets centers around two friends and a night of drunkenness.

It had to have been around 1996.  We were young and crazy.  We were in the SCA, a medieval recreation group.  My husband was a fighter, and I was an unbridled mischief maker and, at times, soldier for truth and transparency.  Above all, I enjoyed the revels.  We were at this huge event, Gulf Wars, people from all over the US come to Gulf Wars.  Every so often I get misty eyed and wish on the one  hand that we were still in the SCA and still doing the event circuit with friends.  So much time has passed, so many friends have passed or moved along.  I think this is where part of the regret stems from.  I never had another chance to mischief make with these friends on this level, that was the last Gulf Wars we attended and the last time I saw a great many friends and beloved acquaintances.  We soon after left the SCA and left many of those friends behind, some of us not speaking for years.  Some we never got the chance to speak to ever again.  Gulf Wars has grown into a much larger event than it used to be, granted we only went for the weekend usually, but I don't recall it being as large or as long in the early 90's as it now is. 

Our household was called the Bluebonnets.  We were a Scottish clan, though my persona was German and my husband's persona had been Mongol.  We were loud, proud and so very annoying at times to those with more delicate sensibilities and people who were in it solely for arts, crafts and the history aspect.  We were in it for the fighting, revelry, and camaraderie.  Some of our fringe members wore table cloths as kilts because they spent their money on armor not garb.  We just teased them a bit and didn't care that they weren't "proper".  Our leader "Big Nasty" would usually be blowing his cow horn and yelling or something.  We often used the horn to stir the Bluebonnet Plague drink we created.  Our household had our huge tent city going, my husband and I had spaghetti-o's and plenty of water.  We learned over the years that dehydration and hunger could really get the better of you.  I normally toted around some Boone's Farm and Kit Kats along with several packs of cigarettes.  I had my priorities.  We arrived on a Friday afternoon, late.  Our friends were looking like starving refugees, as they came to greet us, they still had yet to learn the importance of water and food.  They had gotten there a day or two before to select a campsite for us and to start setting up the party tent and stake our area out. 

I did my own thing during the scheduled fighting, shopping on merchant’s row with friends, hanging out with some of the merchants I knew well, gossiping with friends I’d not seen in months, I did sit on the sidelines and watch the battles.  I loved the social aspect so much.  These large events were wonderful when it came to connecting with friends who’d moved to other kingdoms (regions).  We made friendships at these events with people from other kingdoms and might only see them that one weekend per year.  When we saw them, it was like no time had passed. 

Now the regret. My husband always left the partying earlier than most.  I was a bit bitchy that evening, there was a whiny girl dating one of our household members, she was such a whiny snot…really couldn’t stand the girl after the first few times we hung out.  I threw my cotton hat to a friend sitting near whiny girl and it happened to miss and hit whiny girl, she claimed I hit her on purpose…with a cotton sunhat!  I can’t hit the side of a barn door with instructions.  Naturally I burst into gales of laughter at this haughty accusation of my tossing prowess and the supposed damage my floppy cotton sunhat must have done.  It did have that hellish ring of bells tied on the band, those could surely have put an eye out!  In my defense, other people were laughing too, it really was hilarious.  She stormed off.  The evening was looking like a huge success.  Then a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time sidled up next to me and we took off amid giggles.  Her husband (now ex) took one…ONE of my finger cymbals because I was obviously way too happy with both of them.  I still only have one of them to this day.  It stares at me balefully from the top of one of our wooden chests.

As the evening progressed we party hopped.  We parted ways at some point in the evening when I met up with two friends I’d also not seen in a while, Ananda and Flounder.  The three of us attended a party at an encampment called Asgard.  We’d been partying with that group for years.  This year, however, they had spared no expense and had this nifty cool gate/bridge you had to use in order to enter.  It had the name Asgard on a sign attached to what would have been the keystone in a regular arch.  Theirs was cut from wood.  It was a fantastic entrance.  The arch was the main gate, but they had gone all out and made a plexiglass rainbow that actually lit up with the rainbow colors.  The plexiglass was kind of frosted.  So, these two impressive arches were the sides of the bridge.  The idea was to cross (pass under) the rainbow bridge to Asgard.  Some of our drunk fringe members tried climbing across the rainbow bridge, but the angle was too steep so they kept sliding down.  They wobbled off drunk somewhere.  We were chatting up various friends at the household party and having a good time.  I got cornered by a chatty drunk friend who went on and on, gushing about the bridge and how it was made.  We left the party when the music stopped and they started boasting.  Flounder, Ananda and I found a porch at the main building (this was the main building of the camp and is a year round wooden structure, the SCA rents out sites for events) we were lying there passing around a few bottles while talking.  Then I noticed something truly amazing.  The porta-potties!  The porta-potties were named “Pot o’ Gold”  I got this wicked feeling and probably a mischievous look to go with it.  I blurted out.  “Guys, GUYS!  What’s at the end of a rainbow?”  They answered a pot of gold.  I said EXACTLY and pointed to the porta-potty nearest us.  We hatched a plan to wait until the party was largely dead, then we’d make our move near dawn.  We were going to grab a porta-potty and put it at the end of the rainbow!  We chatted, giggled, sung and reminisced.  Then the rain started.  Not a gentle rain…a down pour.  In that one moment, we lost a chance we’d never get back. We lost the chance to right things with the world, to release the leprechauns from their quests, we lost the chance to place a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.  Alas, the ground turned to slushy mud and we’d have fallen.  Plus it was already being used by many drunken souls.  We didn’t want to drop a “used” porta-potty on ourselves.  They don’t smell bad at all when fresh, but mix in a weekend of bad food and too much booze…yuck.  We left one another's company at dawn, feeling hollow about the rainbow and the pot o’ gold, but probably would do it the next year. That is my biggest regret.  I never got to have shenanigans with those friends, a pot o’ gold porta-potty and the rainbow bridge.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Catty, honest or bitchy?

(none of these names are real)

I was under the impression that my pointed comments, teasing friends about faux pas with snarky or cutting comments was catty. I expect catty banter back and forth with friends of either sex. Maybe I don’t really understand what catty is. I can be catty (provided I understand it) when discussing someone I really do not like, but I don’t show false friendship to them either.  I keep my distance from them and don’t pretend to be friends.  I will have a pleasant exchange with them but won’t really hang out with them.  I can’t in good conscience not respect someone that I spend time with.   I am catty when people say “I have great attention to detail and I’m a fast learner” when half the words on a form are misspelled and no care was taken.    

So, in my special little world, this thing is going on.  A few of us are all attempting to do the same thing.  More specifically a few of us are all interviewing for the same job.  We are in a small office, and we agreed not to be catty about it, actually our manager told us not to be catty about it.  We agreed to go have a drink after the decision is made to celebrate the person who gets it or to plan pranks if it’s an outsider.  Perhaps I don’t understand the “real girl” meaning of the word catty.  I don’t tend to spend a lot of time with other women because I don’t get the mind games.  I assumed those games were part of being catty.  I’m too old for those games. I’m a bit older than the manager, and about 15 years older than each of the other ladies interviewing.  I honestly don’t even want the position anymore. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, helping people, supporting, and enjoying the work.  At first I really did want the job, until I learned there was a bit more to it than what was actually written on the paper… another job entirely came along with the one listed, I feel very misled. When I learned that, I lost interest, but now I’m locked into this interview.

Now, the catty, bitchy or honest part…..When asked, and repeatedly asked who told me to do something, who gave me something, how did I get this..I finally said “I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, we are all a team, but I got if from Alisa”.  Then the questions started, the manager feigned shock.  Marcia, the other lady in the office had my back as we sought to clarify exactly what Alisa’s role is in the office and if we can ask her for help.  We were, and still are, a bit unclear.  I met with the manager on an earlier day, because I am a very literal person when it comes to procedures and work.  I want to know exactly the direction things are progressing, exactly what our order of importance is, the exact steps we are to follow in the day to day structure, and the backup plan on days that are chaotic.  We need to operate within the law.  The rules change on a daily basis or at times even hourly.  I need to have clarification so I can refer to that when demands are made.  Things have to stay on some sort of track moving in some logical form of order or really important things can get lost in the shuffle making us look bad, getting us caught in a legal bind and potentially could cost us clients or a lawsuit. I shared the details of my meeting with Marcia because I think she got the wrong idea and the info was useful, I made copies of my notes for her.  I am very open, usually very honest and often very transparent.  I don’t do secrecy unless it’s a harmless secret or something hurtful.  If people entrust me with something, I don’t share it unless it’s very clear that I can share it.  If it’s something I can’t share but I need advice on, I will approach a close friend in another state who has no connection to the parties involved. I do not kiss and tell for lack of a better phrase. 

I overheard today, that we are apparently “being catty”.  I really have no idea how seeking clarification on procedures and divulging a name under duress can be construed as catty.  I was literally being hit with rapid fire questions and was badgered into answering.  I said I didn’t know who, I don’t remember, It wasn’t me, I tried to avoid answering because it really wasn’t important who did what, it was only important that my part was done correctly because my part dealt with the legality of something.  I don’t know how clarifying our roles is catty or being pumped for information by the boss is catty when it’s clear neither of us wants to get the other girl in trouble with the boss, we just want to know if we can ask her to help with parts of our processes and what her processes are. We need a team approach. 

I really don’t know if that’s catty, honest or what…but I can tell you it’s making me quite bitchy at this point.  There is no room for spite, conflict or backstabbing.  We have got to work as a team.  From all I’ve seen it would appear that our boss is trying to create strife rather than help build a winning team.  This is a management style I am not used to or comfortable with.  I will not play those games.  She can lead me to the Yahtzee cup but she can’t make me shake it.