Sunday, December 5, 2010

An Exceptional Young Man

My son is exceptional in so many ways. He doesn't complain when he is sick. So when he does you know he really feels bad. He made it through three performances of the school play on Friday feeling awful. Then ends up in hospital on Saturday morning.

He is determined but this is what makes him exceptional. While at the hospital feeling incredibly awful he wakes and looks at me and says, "Thank you for being here with me and taking care of me."

Last night he finally got the energy to take a shower, still had gray hairspray in his hair and makeup on from the play night before. He asked me to sit by the bathroom door in case he felt dizzy. As I sat there I heard him softly singing in the shower.

Just now as he lay on the couch dozing off and on, he says, "Thank you for getting up so early this morning with me and taking care of me."

So how did I get so lucky to have such a caring, appreciative and joyous young man for a son? I don't know the answer.

But I am so thankful for him.

The Crazy Train Stops Here and Now

I sit here in the dark on the couch with only the Christmas tree illuminating the room this morning watching my Billy sleep on the couch. He woke me at about 6 saying he couldn't sleep.

And all I have to say is THE CRAZY TRAIN STOPS HERE AND NOW!

Well of course I have more to say but this is my major point. Things have been insane here. Days filled with pain, irritation, anger, distrust, misunderstanding and struggle.

Nothing like a life threatening situation to change your attitude.

Billy has been battling an illness for over a month. He has been riding a treacherous roller coaster through an unhealthy relationship for several months. He has been trudging through a rigorous rehearsal schedule for the fall play. Billy has been climbing and clawing his way through an uphill struggle with schoolwork. His fatigue has plagued him at every turn. Billy has been an odds with us, his parents for weeks now about all of this.

It all culminated yesterday with a visit to the hospital with a swollen throat which was threatening his airway.

The last 7 weeks have been filled with several doctors appointment, medications, blood tests and calls to the doctor. We got one question very thankfully answered yesterday. After 4 negative Mono tests we finally had a positive Mono test. Everyone felt he had mono but it wasn't showing up in his blood. Now it is. Ironically I am thrilled. The alternatives of what it could have been would have been worse than the mono diagnosis.

So although I breath a sigh of relief I also know we have quite the journey to recovery. Only if his luck changes we will get through this recovery with no more complications. I am hopefully and determined to do anything and everything to ensure this happens.

So "NO MORE!" I say. The next week is about nothing other than doctors orders and rest.

Rest for Billy and all of us.

Let's all just take a break.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You Have Arrived

We have arrived at Week 0 for the play. 4 days til show time!

Elk River High School
Irving Berlin's
White Christmas
December 2, 3 and 4 at 7:00 pm
December 5th at 2:00 pm
in the Zabee Theater

My Billy's name was in the local paper. This is a huge week. I am nervous and excited.

Here we go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ever wish a day was over just as it began. Well I usually don't do that in fact I love the morning on most days. I love the thought of having "the whole day" ahead of me.

Well not today. The day started poorly with angry faces, irritated people and unpleasant words. I would like to rewind about 2 hours and start over. Truth be told I would like to rewind about 2 months and somehow change the past, remove a chance meeting. start all over.

I need a break from the issues plaguing me and my family. Again I need to take the moments necessary to regroup and breath. Then I need to count my blessings.

No one said raising kids would be easy but I am just not ready for teenage drama and angst. The pain and uncertainty of young love. Add a dose of dishonesty and manipulation to that recipe and you have disaster. You have a quickly spreading plague in my family.

It reminds me of one close call.

A cold dark winter night I put Billy on the snow bank while I took groceries out of the trunk. "Stay there", I said. Suddenly and for no apparent reason two year old Billy ran out into the street as I dropped the groceries and reached for him wildly. I lunged forward as I heard the oncoming car's wheels screeching as the driver tried to stop the car.

I was moving fast but felt as if I were underwater.

I grabbed him sliding on my knees as the headlights came closer stopping just a mere foot away from us as I attempted to shield his body with my own.

The hysterical tears that came after when the tragedy was averted. The woman driving the car screaming at me for not watching my child better. You see I just turned away for a moment.

I carried Billy to the snowbank where I just laid in the snow holding him, dress clothes and all. For several moments we were both just quietly reflecting. No questions, no scolding. Just tears and a thankful Mom repeating over and over. Thank you God. Thank you God.

This is how I feel now. This time the symbolic car is moving faster and it is not stopping. And I will do anything to avert the tragedy.

Now a mom repeating over and over. Help me God. Help me God.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Been A Long Week

It really has been a long week.

A week of teenage heartache and uncertainty. A week of pressures, discipline and modification.

My sweet doggy had some sort of episode the day after her birthday. I think it may have had to do with her inner ear. Something called vestibular Syndrome. But suddenly Cabby could not stand up. Her head and body were moving like a drunkard. It was scary but only lasted about 2 minutes. Then she acted as playful as ever, as if nothing had happened.

Culminating today in my first endoscopy ever. Wasn't so bad. But holy moly am I tired. Those meds really knock you out for the whole day.

I am really looking forward to this weekend and next week. A week for reflection, rejuvenation, family and rediscovering your blessings.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


By far the hardest part of parenting that I have experienced is seeing your children heartbroken.

It is as if my heart is split in two.

Not sure what to do, God. I'd like to give this to you to heal.

Painfully Shy and Incredibly Awkward

Something that a lot of people don't realize about me. I can be painfully shy and incredibly awkward.

Often this may come across as snooty or stuck up because I will be very quiet. Mostly it is I am afraid of saying something... well....something SO "Joyce".

This really is only with strangers or people that I don't know well. Once you really know me it is unlikely you can get me to shut up.

Now when I have a purpose, a reason to be somewhere, an agenda so to speak, I am not shy. Oddly enough if I am talking about something I know about or something pertaining to the maintenance of my family or my home, I am not shy at all. When I was working I was not shy. In fact I was a leader. I always rocked the job interviews. And furthermore in these situations I don't say anything stupid. Well maybe once in a while.

The real problem arises when I am put in a situation that I need to make small talk. It's not a problem if it is a stranger I may never meet again. The problem is when.... well you guessed it, when I feel I need to impress the stranger, like a parent at the school, or a friend of a friend, or a new neighbor, etc. Then finally when I get the courage to let something slip out I sound stupid! OR worse yet I let my not-so-understood sense of humor out of the closet before said stranger is anywhere near understanding the real me. ( I really liked that last sentence. kinda funky)

Unfortunately this is who I am.
Take me or leave me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday My Sweet Cabby

It's my sweet doggy's birthday. She is all excited cause she knows she's getting ice cream tonight! I swear the dog knows.

She is double digits today. 10 years old. This is for you Cabby!

Quote : "Who knew that dog saliva could mend a broken heart." -Jennifer Neal

Thank you Cabby for making my world a better place with your gentle ways and sweet smile.


Nag Nag Nag

Do you remember that old cat food commercial?
Meow, meow, meow, meow.
Meow, meow, meow, meow.

Seriously do you remember that little tune?

Well this is me, THE MOM.
Nag, nag, nag, nag
nag, nag, nag, nag

Okay big word of warning this is a me ranting and raving with humor! Enter at your own risk.

There are days when I feel like the ONLY thing out of my mouth is telling people what to do. Reminding them, nagging them, pushing them.

It starts from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep and it is

I keep telling them. THIS IS NOT FUN. You think you got it bad with me nagging you. Try being me. I have a lot more important things to say than keeping track of your stuff. Man if I didn't have to use all my energy nagging I could solve world peace!

Hold on I gotta go push one out the door or the bus will be missed!

I'm back. We'll see if he makes it.

So ya. Like five minutes ago. I said "Alright you got five minutes. Better pack up your backpack." As he is feverishly trying to finish last nights homework before 2nd period, because he accidentally fell asleep after I told him last night "Now don't fall asleep. Why don't you stay down here with me while you read so I can keep you awake." Because he is reading a book that he really doesn't like. His answer, "I won't fall asleep." Trying to give the kid some freedom I say okay. Go to check on him an hour later. Oh yeah he is asleep!

Oh so back to five minutes ago. Actually now with two minutes to go I see him heading into the bathroom. I look over, his back pack is not ready. He is in the bathroom straightening his hair!!!!! "Where is your jacket? Hey, you gotta go."

He doesn't know where his jacket is. So I run around the house looking for it. He packs up his backpack. Then as he is heading out the door he exclaims with a gasp, "Can you go get my ipod downstairs?" I say, "Nope, there is not time." "I have to go today without my music?" he says with a look of terror on his face. With a hug I say "Yep, goodbye, I love you and have a good day!"

AND NOW I am feeling GUILTY about him not having his ipod!!! Now that would be stupid except, (yeah there is always an exception) music is everything to this kid, it helps him relieve stress. To be honest, he has been having a very rough time. He has had to deal with some serious adult type issues the last few weeks. And I hope she (oops I meant it) goes ways.

So now I am thinking is there a way I could get up to the school to give him his I-pod? Can you believe that?

And now I have exactly 20 minutes before I have to go wrangle kid number two out of bed. Which is not an easy feat! This #2 child is sooooo belligerent when she first wakes up!

Here is my new mantra:
"What about me? It isn't fair. I've had enough now I want my share. Can't you see? I wanna live but you just take more than you give." Thank you Garry Frost and Frances Swan from the band Moving Pictures for writing the lyrics to this song.

I gotta go rest.
BTW ; He made it to the bus.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two and a Half Weeks Out

In two and a half weeks!!!

Elk River High School Drama
Irving Berlin's
White Christmas
in the High School Zabee Theater
December 2nd, 3rd, 4th at 7:00 pm
December 5th matinee at 2:00 pm
Tickets $6.00 for adults
$4.00 for students and senior citizens

Tickets may be purchased at the school office, from me or at Coborn's on Tuesday November 23rd from 6:00 - 8:00 pm where the four leading characters will be performing a few songs from the show.
Tickets may also be purchased at the door at show times.

Yay! I am excited and nervous for the show and Billy - I mean General Waverly!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Play, You Pay

The winter storm came and went. We got several inches of the white stuff. It was okay. I did reschedule one of the plans I had on account of the snow.

But we kept date night. We had very much fun. too much fun. Since we stayed in a hotel down town we partook in mucho alcoholic beverages. We occasionally need to just let loose, be irresponsible in a responsible way. no driving, kids are safe with grandparents.
So we get stupid!!

I completely enjoy being with my hubby. We laugh, we talk, we eat, we drink, we dance, we laugh some more. We especially enjoy watching those who have way overindulged in the fun libations. I know it's mean but we laugh as we watch them fall over, stumble and sway.

Towards the end of the night we ourselves stumble and sway our way back to the hotel. Then we laugh at each other. It's all in good fun.

But oh my do I feel like crap today!!! In fact I gotta go lie down.
See ya,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here we go!

Winter Storm Warning.

Oooo. aahh

I love the first snowfall! It's purty. But I am not thrilled with the timing. I got places to go tomorrow, people to see, things to do.

Had a fantastic date night planned with my honey. I know, I know......this is Minnesota, snow doesn't stop us. Doesn't deter our plans. We trudge right on through with living. Right?

Well yes and no. After the 3rd snowfall of winter, everyone gets into their winter groove. They first remember how to drive in the white stuff. The plows get the hang of clearing the roads and pretty much life goes on as normal. But the first measurable snowfall is HUGE in the HASSLE factor.

If possible most people hibernate for the first winter storm! Me, I hibernate all winter! Pack on some extra pounds and sleep lots! Just kidding but that is what I would like to do. Well okay not kidding about the pounds but you know here in Siberia we need the extra fat to survive the brutal cold winter.

Well here it comes..... maybe..... if the forecasters are right. Which we all know is a 50/50 chance. Let's just say I'm not cancelling my plans just yet. But I will probably forego my stiletto suede boots tomorrow night. Bummer, I suffer through one incredible painful foot night once a year just so I can look HOT! Not temperature HOT but COOL hot. Smokin Hot!

I think the changing barometric pressure from the approaching Low weather system is blowing some fuses in my brain. Or maybe it's the loaded beverage I am drinking. But heck my mind is wandering and jumping all over the place. It's like a wobbly roller coaster.

Well here is my toast to winter.

Here's to hoping we survive it! See you next late May. The groundhog don't mean shit here! (sorry for the curse word!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


To all the veterans I know and those I will never know.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To my father. Today I took out the flag that was draped over your coffin 10 years ago on November 30th, 2000. You served your country in Japan during the occupation after World War II. You served your country in both the Army and the Air force.

I held the shells that were fired at the cemetery.

I read the card placed with the shells.

"This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation, as a token of our appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one."

Thank you Daddy and I miss you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yummy Buffet


Not for the food although it is okay. But I love it for the family time.

There is something quite magical about this place for my family. It's like the moment you walk in the door you relax and ALL manners fly out the window! Maybe it's the mauve vinyl chairs, the fake wood linoleum tables, the MSG in the food damages our brain, the dirty bathroom that I refuse to go in or the dirty fish tank with huge goldfish for ambiance. But we have laughed s0o hard in this restaurant that I worried they would ask us to leave.

It's not just a one time fluke either. Every time we go to there we lose propriety and just truly enjoy each other. I am sure when they see us walking up they just want to lock the door.

One time while there my entire family including myself had a contest to see who could suck up a chow mien noodle through a straw first! Disgusting but irresistibly funny!

Saturday on our adventure at Yummy Buffet two very funny things happened.

I got to see my son's face turn a shade of bright red violet that I have only seen on probably a handful of occasions. Billy is taking Chinese at school for his world language. He really likes it and he seems to be doing well. Yummy Buffet is completely staffed by authentic Chinese people. In fact they know very limited English.

My family starts pushing Billy to say something to the waitress in Chinese. So finally Billy decides to try out a word. When the waitress brings him his third refill of root beer he says, "Sie sie" pronounced "Shay Shay". It means thank you.

The waitress had already turned around to walk away. She turns back around with a huge grin. Excited and startled that someone knows Chinese and starts talking to him in Chinese. Billy smiles as the crimson first appears on his neck and quickly spreads all over his entire face like wild fire. Now beads of sweat are forming on his upper lip. He has no idea what she is saying. He just smiles at her. She nods and walks away. When she is out of ear shot we all start crying with tears of laughter!

The great thing about Billy is he rarely gets embarrassed. So it is fun to see him that way. You really can't embarrass him. The even greater thing about Billy is that he is socially fearless. I have often said this about him and he proved it ; when she came back he said it again!!!

Later during our meal we explored the possibility of slurping up jello squares with a straw.

I would like to go back there today and the next day and the next day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Okay about more than anything.....I HATE LICE.

So another note comes home from the school. There is lice in the classroom. Immediately after I hear the word lice I start itching all over. My head and my body.

I become neurotic. My hair will be pulled back in a pony tail for about a month now. I will think of lice intermittently through the day. We got a notice from the school about a month ago and it has taken me this long...... up until just yesterday to be able to touch my child's hair without thinking about lice.

And now we start all over again, with the crazy thoughts, like shaving my head bald!!!

I gotta go. I gotta stop typing and thinking....LICE

Drinking lots of wine tonight!

Dog Buzz

Just for reference for this post you need to know...... In our family we call passing gas, a fart, a toot...well we call it a buzz. For instance as a verb you would say "I buzzed". Or to another family member you might say "Stop Buzzing!"

Okay so the funniest thing here. My dog rarely buzzes. I mean I have witnessed the dog buzz maybe 10 times in her ten years. Almost Happy Birthday Cabby, November 16th, you'll be double digits. 10 years old. Anyways. so she rarely buzzes except for this week. Cabby is on an antibiotic for a tick bite. Well apparently, as the vet warned me, this medicine can upset her tummy a little. My dog has buzzed 4 times already this morning. And three times last night. Almost the total of her lifetime buzzes.

The thing about Cabby. When she buzzes, it scares the daylights out of her, especially if it makes a noise, which it has been.

So just now I am sitting at my computer, and I hear ppfppfppspphuh, from her bootie in the kitchen. Then I hear her nails skidding and running across the wood kitchen floor. I see her booking around the corner trying to get away from her own butt!

Then she runs toward me so I can protect her from again HER OWN BUTT. Then she lays down next to my chair by my feet. Suddenly the noise comes again, she jumps up as if she has a rocket attached to her butt (maybe she does). She runs back toward the kitchen then back around the corner to me again. Lays back down but is whimpering a little.

Now I feel bad for the dog. I mean I really love my dog. But you gotta admit, it is damn funny too. A dog that is afraid of its own buzz. What is the name of that phobia?

Hold on, I gotta look that up.

Okay I'm back. Not as easy as I thought to find the answer to that question. So some just call it the Fear of Flatulence. or Flatuphobia. However, I cannot find a scientific use of Flatuphobia but hey it works for me.

So my poor flatuphobia dog is next to me, looking at me as if begging me to stop this unnatural phenomenon.

I feel bad for her in between my bouts of laughter.

PS update, took dog outside. she had a mega poop. maybe she'll feel better now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scotch Tape Joy

Stick your nose into a tape dispenser. Draw a deep breath of air in through your nose.

ahhhh Do you smell that? I love that smell. That smell conjures up many emotions and memories.

It reminds me of the childhood excitement of Christmas morning before any gifts were opened. When you stared wide eyed at a pile of unopened gifts that held all the promise in the world.

Now it reminds me of Christmas Eve, the excitement of wrapping the last few gifts for my family.

I think of how both of my children have been so excited on Christmas morning to see Jeff and I open their gifts to us before they touched any of the presents for them. The gifts they made and wrapped with an entire role of scotch tape. The pure joy on their face to give to someone else.

It makes me think of my children's craft projects. It makes me think of Savanah's imagination, watching her tape together all of her little cars and my plastic butter dish to make a train. I think of broken things that my children tried to repair with scotch tape so I would not find out. ;)

It makes me think of wrapping gifts for people I love. It is the best feeling when you find a great gift (thoughtful not necessarily expensive) for someone you care about. That gift that you can't wait to see them open.

I think of when we told my in-laws we were expecting a baby (Savanah). We wrapped up baby booties. The slight confusion about the gift followed by overwhelming tears at the understanding of becoming grandparents. A moment I will always remember.

Then the Grateful Dead Tape for Jeff. I scoured the internet for a dead head. Found the right person who had a bootlegged tape of a Grateful Dead concert performed the very day Jeff was born!

I always aim for that Home Run gift. Sometimes I reach my goal, sometimes I don't. But I always try.

It's the same way with writing a post. Some that I finish really give me a sense of pride. They have a strong meaning or I feel like I truly expressed myself. Or it was just well written. Some of my posts could really use a healthy wrapping of scotch tape to fix them. But again I try.

mm-mm scotch tape. Yankee candle should make a candle that smells like scotch tape!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

No Post Sunday Quotes

Find your spirit within today.

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." -Wayne Dyer

"If I had a star for every time you made me smile, I would be holding the midnight sky in my hand." -unknown


Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Post Saturday Quotes

Seize the day.

"Do unto others as though you were the others." -unknown

"Imagination is more important that knowledge." -Albert Einstein


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not My Fault

I have been feeling a little bit discouraged with writing. Add to that some serious hectic-ness and you have no blog posts!

I forget that when I blog my random thoughts I generally feel better and more encouraged to keep on keeping on!

So what is making me so busy? Here is my sob story. I am quite certain this compares quite nicely to everyone's sob story. Mine is certainly no better or more important other than it is mine. Now I do feel that I should put in a caveat here, that I should just shut up and count my blessings!! No one in my family is dangerously ill. No one has lost their job. I am not living in a war torn country. We have plenty to eat. We have roof over our heads. No natural disasters have impacted us. We have no tragedy. Well unless you count teenage dating! After all that I feel stupid for complaining but these are my measly little woes.

1. Medical stuff. Scheduling Dr appointments, check ups, endoscopy, dentist appointment, GYN appointments, flu shots, vet appointments. And so on!

2. Drama stuff. Just picking Billy up every day from rehearsal can put a little kink in my day. Add to that the volunteering and promotional work for the drama club. Well it all equates to a lot of time!

3. Getting the house ready for Thanksgiving company. Slow and steady wins the race. If I could just keep my family from entering a room once I clean it! For three weeks. Is that not reasonable?

4. Starting Christmas and Hanukkah (it's early this year!) shopping. Again slow and steady wins the race and ensures a thoughtful gift!

5. Setting up piano lessons, gymnastic lessons, etc.

6. Keeping Billy out of trouble has become a full time job! Not really but kind of. This requires eyes like a hawk and a memory like an elephant.

Recently I was told that I appear to not be paying attention when people tell me things. Mostly because I ask a lot of clarifying questions and I don't remember stuff.

Well I figured out the reason why. I am so busy keeping track of responsibilities (mine and others) that I have no room left in my brain for new information. I am full to capacity. In fact one more bit of important information and I may blow.

So it is not my fault. For instance the other day I was talking on my phone in the car ....I got out of my car and looked for my phone for a good five minutes. I muttered out loud, "I can't find my dang phone." The kind person I was talking to on my phone started laughing! Hmmm What's so funny? I thought seriously irritated. It did eventually dawn on me, I was still talking on my phone!! Yes the same very phone I was looking for. Nice huh?

So I apologize in advance for my lack of attention and ditziness!

But....It's not my fault.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Ode to the Guidance Counselor!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Problem resolved. Lots of work to do now. For Billy. Not me. My work here is done.

I have a sick kid. Poor Billy not feeling well but has to go to first period. Meeting a new teacher. I'm picking him up at 12:00. Funny how he gets upset if he misses school. Make up work is a biotch.

Two hour late start. Kiddos got to sleep in.

My honey comes home from New York City today. Yay!! Missed you but leave the bed bugs there please! Remember I hate things that could live on me, my kids, my pets! Which reminds me, I found a deer tick on Cabby. Not good!!

Well gotta go.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love My Tree

I love my tree.

When our house was being built we researched trees. I knew I wanted a red maple in my front yard. We found this Sunset Maple at a nursery and I fell in love. One thing that I didn't know at the time we purchased it is that it turns color late in the season (well late by Minnesota standards). In fact it is almost the only tree in the area with leaves still.

It is small still although it has grown in three years. I can't wait til it's big.

Unfortunately pictures don't do it justice on its vibrancy. It almost hurts your eyes.

The sad thing is this: This coming Wednesday a storm is headed our way with rain/snow mix and with this storm 40 mile per hour sustained winds with gusts to 60. These leaves days are numbered.

Goodbye to the most wonderful, long, beautiful fall I have ever experienced in all my days. Hello to winter. 8/ or :} or :p


Friday, October 22, 2010


I have been accused recently of hating someone. Well hate is a strong word. So I started thinking about it. To me hate somewhat means: To dislike someone or something so much you wish it did not exist.

We all throw the word "hate" around almost as much as teenagers throw the word "Love" around. But think about this real hard, for instance, "I hate Mondays." Well if there were no Mondays there would be no beginning to the week and if there were no beginning to the week there could be no ending to the week, "Friday". You can't have an ending without a beginning. So there

So are there things, people I hate so much I wish they did not exist? Well yes but there are only a few. Like say Bin Laden now that is a true hate. I say that I hate Gilbert Godfrey but really that is just a very strong aversion! There are people who annoy me, who I may dislike but honestly to wish they didn't exist at all. hmmmmm well maybe if they didn't exist in my life???

I hate pedophiles, serial killers, child killers. Yes I wish they did not exist.

I can honestly say I hate Tics, lice, fleas. Anything that could live on me, on my children, on my animals. Yeah that is a hate.

I am sure there are other things I hate but maybe we shouldn't throw the word around. You know what I mean? So no to the person who accused me of hating someone. I don't hate her.

Not terribly fond of her.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guidance Counselors

Have you ever noticed there is a negative stigma around high school guidance counselors? The ones I knew in high school were...... I don't know....dopey, useless, unreasonable, unhelpful, mundane, annoying. I am quite certain my perceptions were more a product of my age, attitude and angst (the three dangerous A's) than truth.

If you think about it, they have a wicked hard job and kudos to the ones who do it well. Imagine having to motivate teenagers to do well academically and provide counsel to the ones struggling through no fault of their own. Then deal with the slackers. The kids with unsatisfactory but not abusive homes. The emotional drama with having discovered the opposite sex alone is too much for their developing minds and reproductive organs! I have to deal with one good but procrastinating, absent minded teenager and it pisses me off to no end. The cavalier way they approach their future.

On the other hand they also have to satisfy demanding parents. Flip that side over again and they are dealing with teachers and principals.

Well I have just had reason to contact my son's guidance counselor. And my original opinion has been completely altered. This counselor was FANTASTIC. She was a great listener. She worked with me. She tried to find solutions and we came up with a plan and a back-up plan. We went over worst case scenarios. She felt concern over my child's well being and happiness. She looked at the big picture through the lens of my eyes and Billy's eyes. Then went as far as looking at prospective college's perceptions.

WOW!!! That is all I gotta say! Sure got my tax payers money's worth with this gal. She deserves a raise!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gray Area

I used to never think there was much of a gray area in parenting. You know...more black and white.

Be nice to others
Don't steal
Don't cheat
No hitting (or biting or kicking)
Take turns
Be respectful

Now there is definitely a gray area where you choose consequences for not following these rules but you work through it.

Now I find myself in a very gray area as I watch my teenager maneuver through relationships. Those rules above still apply but now there are a whole new set of rules that I don't know. I guess I am in the teenage parent learning curve and I am certainly not gifted in this area

I struggle and I am afraid of making mistakes. This is maybe the most crucial time within a child's development. This is it. My last chance to groom him and send him into the world strong confident and caring. This is where he really feels his own self worth. This is where he gives it all a test drive but still has the bumpers on the car.

I am those bumpers.

This is my dilemma. My child is being hurt by a girl. I can see that she is using and manipulating him. She is thriving on the attention Billy and another boy are giving her. But she can't decide she cares for them both. Whatever!! She is stringing him along. And he is following her. I have no respect for this girl. Alas he will not listen to me. Billy is smart by he is blinded by love. He is "in love". I see him hurting. He doesn't want to hear my opinion anymore. But it is obvious he needs someone to talk to. At this point he is starting to not trust me because I can hardly keep myself quiet. The more I try to push him away from her the stronger he is pulled towards her.

At what point do you forbid him to see her or talk to her? Does there come a time when that is necessary? If he gets so down? The drama she creates gets too much for him. We are not there yet but it's heading in that direction. Would that do any good? Then will he just lie to me?

This girl is bringing him down. Is this a lesson he has to learn for himself?
Do I just sit by with duct tape on my mouth?

This is causing serious stress within our family.

What should I be doing besides praying? (cause I am already doing that.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Farm - Sacred Ground

Oh how I love fall. This is one of my favorite parts. Going to the farm to get pumpkins. We spend hours at the farm. The animals are so adorable and sweet. We laugh and play. I love these moments as a family. I wouldn't trade these times for anything!

The first little cutie we see is Archie. He is a sweet old cat who spends all of his time with his eyes closed. I think I have seen his eyes but I am not sure. Savanah spends quite a bit of time with Archie. She loves cats but Daddy is allergic to them!

Then we head over to the baby chickens. I am sure the chickens just love the scent of cat on Savanah's hands. That is assuming chickens can smell?

Then it is on to the beautiful sweet baby goats. These are Savanah's favorites! They flock to her too. They are precious!

She holds them forever. They never seem to mind.

Then Jeff and my favorite. The baby cows! Oh Have you ever seen such cuteness? They love to have their necks scratched and rubbed. This one was a licker. His/her tongue was really rough!

This little baby cow adored Jeff. It just kinda rested it's head in Jeff's hands. Oh I want one!!

Then the kids and Jeff begin a friendly game of teether ball while I snap photo's. They have a blast. They also have many brain altering near misses where I gasp. Watching someone move their head just in time to not get a concussion!

This picture shows my point exactly. They have so much fun and I just savor every moment!

More Teether ball!

Eventually we pick out our pumpkins.

Now on to why this place is sacred ground. Our second year visiting ( 5 years ago) this farm misfortune occurred. During a friendly game of teether ball the unthinkable happened.

While hitting the ball, my honey's wedding ring flew off of his finger! It landed somewhere in the grassy, leaf covered field. The farmer, his wife and many visitors were with us on their hands and knees looking for it. We ran into the small town and rented a metal detector. We looked for hours and never found that ring. Jeff was devastated. He said he could never go back there without thinking of his lost ring.

Eventually I convinced him that for this specific reason, we had to go back every year! This is precious ground. I spend a few minutes each year looking down in the area of the lost ring hoping to see the shimmer of gold. No luck this year.

Maybe next year!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Love My Husband So Much

I shared my last post with my husband. He encouraged me to n0t give up. He told me I have an interesting way of looking at things. He really seems to like the way I express myself in my writing. He said I have talent.

He also told me that the book I wrote was not a waste of time. I needed to write it as a sort of self help therapy. I suppose he is right. It was painful to write.

Even after he said all of that I was still feeling sad and defeated.

Last night he bestowed on me a gift. This gift came as a challenge. Two challenges actually. First after the beginning of the year he wants me to take a creative writing class. He wants me to learn everything I can about writing.

He then challenged me to write again. Write about something completely different from myself. A character who is NOT me at all. A situation I have never been in before. A setting, a place I have never been. He also asked me to start making LISTS. Can you believe that? I love LISTS!!! This is a man after my own heart! Oh Yeah...he already has my heart. Lists of places that intrigue me. Places I have been and have not been that I would really like to go. Characters I know or have never met that I find interesting and completely opposite of me. Professions that are interesting to me. Special human interest stories that I have heard that moved me. "CHILE MINERS" etc.

Then maybe put all of this on a poster board and start thinking through different possibilities, different combinations. Holy cow, doesn't that all sound like fun!!!

I love him so much because he knows me so well. He knew I needed to move forward. He knew I needed "a plan" and "to plan". He knew I needed a new way to look at things. He knew how I would react to a challenge.

The point to all of this is.....he doesn't want me to give up. And now I don't want to give up.

He believes in me.

I want to thank everyone who read portions of my story. Your feedback and encouragement has meant so much to me. I am not going to throw it out. But I'm putting it away. Maybe I will revisit it in a couple of years when my skill has hopefully improved. Then again maybe not. Maybe the story needs to be written and read once.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Book and A Dream

I had a dream to write a book. A novel. So I wrote it. Dream accomplished? Yes but there was more to the dream. I wanted the book to be good enough to publish. I wanted it to be published.


I finished the basics on the book about a month ago. As my brother suggested I then let it sit for a few weeks before I read it again.

So I just read it's not very good. I am sad. Something is missing. I tried really hard. I worked hard. I poured my heart into it. So instead of saying I think I could write a good book someday but I don't have time. Now I took the time, I did give it my best shot and I wrote a not good book.

I don't have "IT". Unless I have it hidden somewhere? and someone can show me what I have done wrong.

Coming to terms with a dream come true and a dream lost.

Wondering? now what?

No post Saturday

Have a beautiful day!

"Every word I say by definition is a promise." -Marlon Brando The Freshmen

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Basement

Okay so we are thinking of fixing up our basement. Not really finishing it exactly but setting it up a little for the kids. Kids meaning little kids and teenagers.

Lately we have been having a lot of Billy's friends over on Friday nights. It is kind of like a party at first them all hanging out, talking, playing the guitar and piano. Then it turns into movie night. Someone rents a movie every Friday. They have a great time. This gives them something to do, keeps them out of trouble and I know where my son is! Sounds like a win win, right?

It is but they take over my family room. I've got no where to hang out and enjoy my Friday night. So we have been looking at couches to put in the basement. We have an extra TV for down there. Thought we could set up the PS3 too. We have a large air hockey table too.

The dilemma I am having is in the basement they are less supervised. Makes me nervous.

What do you think? Struggling with this one. How often can I take a trip down in the basement without being a pain in the butt but keep teen pregnancy rates down!? Just kidding. I think?

Charting New Territory,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Office Day / Flu Shot Day / Random Day

This post is just a collection of junk floating around in my head. You've been warned!

Today is Office Day. I am rededicating myself to this procedure. It really does help keep the paper clutter out of my office and my house. But Holy Crap I have been going at it for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Sheeez. (I like the word Sheeez, almost as much as pppffff) Still not done.

Usually this takes me 30 minutes. Every Thursday to go through the weeks mail. Pay bills and recycle old magazines and such. Do some filing. Well not today. See I told you I am behind in EVERYTHING!

At least no bills were paid late. One, however, was paid ON the due date. Whew, that was close! I hate that.

Soon I will have to go pick up the kiddos for their flu shots. I hate seeing my kids get shots. Once when Billy was younger, they drew blood with a pin prick. He passed out! I gotta tell you though I would rather they take a vial of blood from my arm that prick my finger. Every once in a while with that pin prick they hit some weird nerve and OMG it hurts soooo bad.

Well Back to the grind.

Hopefully tomorrow's post will have a little more substance! Sheez again. Oops I meant pppfff.

A Day Behind

I am officially one day behind. I often type up a post for tomorrow, today. That didn't make sense. What I post today I often wrote yesterday. Yeah still not really making sense.

Well anyways. Look for something interesting (hopefully) from me later today.

I stink! It's a good thing you can't smell through the internet.
Gotta go shower!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Emergency 15 minute Procedure

Beep Beep Beep This not a test!!!!

I am initiating the Emergency 15 Minute Procedure because yesterday Mama had a meltdown.
Those of you who know me from facebook already know this by my status updates yesterday. For those who are not facebook friendly with me, here is what I posted at different intervals during the day.

I am a little overwhelmed.
"Sanity is a cozy lie." -Susan Sontag The perfect quote for my day.
"I just don't have time for the nervous breakdown I so deserve." - unknown

So what happened yesterday well...... I damn near had a panic attack. I had the sudden sensation that I had forgotten something important, there was too much to do and I had a strong feeling of impending doom.

Well after some reflection, meditation and medication! I came to a conclusion. I have not been organizing my calendar or my days lately. In fact I had not looked at my calendar for days! What I was feeling was chaos. See Flylady. (I'm not going back to being a Fly gal but I do LOVE some of her ideas and use them often.)

So today instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, (not sure that is an image I should start my day with) I have gone back to a list. I will work on everything on this list for 15 minutes then check it off. You would be amazed at how much you can get done in 15 minutes. I am quite literally wearing my timer today.

It feels good. I feel in control again. You should try it.

Gotta go timer went off!

Breathing Easy Again

Late Post

Look for a late post from me later today!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Baby Boy Turns 16

My Baby bootie boy turns 16 today. At 5:32 pm. How can that be so?

It doesn't seem possible.

Just yesterday you were in middle school struggling with the awkwardness of adolescence. Finding yourself yet remaining true to yourself.

And the day before that you were in elementary school still playing games. Still innocent. Feeling the magic and wonderment of childhood.

A week ago you were babbling as an inquisitive toddler exploring your boundaries. Always smiling and happy.

And a week and a day ago you were just a babe in my arms. I sat holding you dreaming of all you would become and at the same time wishing I could stop time and keep you in my arms forever.

Through all of this you have kept your positive attitude, your willingness to participate in life and be fully engaged. You have never shied away from the opportunity to laugh at yourself. You have a glow about you. Billy, You shine. Everyone around you sees it. There are those who may be jealous of that. And yet others including myself who just want to watch you soar.

And now you are a young man searching out your way in this world. Oh, you still need me from time to time mostly just to listen. I've bitten off my tongue several times fighting the urge to give my strong opinions. Some days I win that battle and often I do not. Sometimes you and I disagree but I still have great respect for you. I believe you respect me as well.

Watching you feel heartache has been the biggest challenge for me. I can no longer just "Kiss the boo boo and make it better"(your favorite book when you were 1).

But even in the deepest pain you have always handled yourself with dignity and kindness. You are not and have never been careless where others' feelings are concerned. That may be the very thing I am most proud of you for.

You are everything and more that I dreamt of while holding you as that small baby.

I love you!

Now get an icepack to bring down the swelling of your head. You are not perfect! lol

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oberg Mountain Trail

The Superior National Forest beholds this ruby.


This is an easy hike beginning with an elevation of 1220 feet above sea level and peaking at an elevation of 1539 above sea level. It is a gradual climb. At the summit there are several grand amazing views. It is a loop so eventually you end up where you started. (You can't get lost!) The trail is 2.3 total miles.

Something magical happens when my family enters this trail. It is like they are sprinkled with fairy dust and suddenly become angelic and well behaved!

Even the teenager is caught up in the magic. It is contagious.

Proof is in this picture. Do you see how tightly I am holding Billy around the waist? It is not often you get this opportunity to stand so close to your teenager and them willingly except it!! Truth be told, he was trying to give that casual "I'm a cool teenager, too cool to really smile" smile. So I was tickling him. It worked!

See Savanah's smile. She was more like, "Let go of me! I'm on an adventure!"

See the happy faces. Besides the stranger in the blue shirt. oops sorry lady!


AWE they are making a heart with their hands. Isn't that sweet? I swear by the Oberg Magic.

Love it!

The magical dust does eventually wear off. Just about the time we start heading down hill again someone realizes they have to pee. And EVERYONE (except mom) is sick of mom taking pictures. Then it is time to go.
I highly recommend this hike. If you can walk you should go!

That is the last of the vacation pictures. I promise. Well maybe I think so.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Post Sunday

Have a beautiful day!

"Family is like a pecan pie. Something sweet holding all the nuts together." - unknown

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No post Saturday

Love the Day!

"Life: It's all about how you handle Plan B" -unknown

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Room with a View

We have been going up to Lutsen in the fall for 10 years now. We have stayed several places. But Bluefin Bay is by far my favorite. The reason I love Bluefin Bay?

This is the view from my bed. Literally you can see the sheets at the bottom of the picture. How could you not love waking up to that?

Savanah loves the seagulls and feeds them causing quite a commotion.

What are you looking at? I don't have the food. Look for the little girl in the green jacket!

From the back porch. Hello there birdie.

A fight!

Soaring at the balcony. Catching food in mid air.

Oh Yeah the birds love Savanah!

Aaaahhhh waking up to the sound of waves.

The deck again. solitude.

Need I say more?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wherever 5 or More Are Gathered

I know that this saying implies a biblical theme but this post is not of a biblical nature.

It has everything to do with my personal characteristics. You see I am "high strung". Not to be confused with high maintenance. I am not overly concerned with vanity or material objects. I mean I like to look pretty and I like nice things but..... I am not consumed with them.

I digress.

I am high strung. You see I have an anxious nature. I like children, they can be so darn cute! Funny, sweet, energetic.

However, I have a mental condition which causes me to panic when there are 5 or more children (of any age, teenagers included) in a room, more exaggerated if they are in a room in my house!!

You see...this is how I see it.

When you have two kids in the same room, they are playing nicely, sharing, resolving conflict, enjoying each other's company, etc.

Now add one more to the mix. A total of 3. Still okay. Maybe some power struggles, a little pairing up occurs leaving one child out. By hey it's manageable.

Add another for a total of four. Voices are louder, more kinetic energy, a little more whinny but still possible to control.

Add another with a total of 5 kids, CHAOS REIGNS!

I have seen this in my own home.

Four kids are playing, coloring quietly. It begins. I see the dog sit up suddenly from her peaceful slumber. Her ears are erect. She hears something. I become more alert. The children are still unaware of the lurking danger.

Then a little growl from the dog. She is warning me. Then the dreaded doorbell. I see the children all jump from their seated positions and in a split second become 4 enormous ball of energy and light running towards the door with the barking dog following at as breakneck pace. I run through the kitchen trying to head them off and take care of the mounting problem.

Another child stands eagerly at my door. "Hi, Can Savanah play?" Well I've got four sets of little human eyeballs poking from every direction behind me. I can't say no it is obvious she is already playing.

(Any of you neighbors/parents who may be reading this, please note the following. It is not any one child that I will ever try to exclude. It will rotate on a first come - first serve basis. It is not an issue of who is at the door. It is an issue with how many are already inside.)

I hem and haw trying to come up with something. The light bulb goes off. "You know honey, I was just about to send them outside to play. How about they finish their game, clean up their messes and meet you outside?" This sounds reasonable to me. I hear back a sheepish, "Okay". Then the child (all of them do this) just stands there. This is the true test. Whatever you do don't look them in the eyes at this moment. Oh no I feel bad, so so bad. I failed the test.

And there they are: the cutest sweetest big sad puppy dog eyes just staring at me.

Oh Lordy, I'm a goner. "Okay honey you can come in just for a few minutes, then everybody goes outside." A sweet smile spreads across the child's face.

As that child steps in to my home those happy bright eyes start to glow red. Then I see the most awful frightening transformation occur in all 5 children.

They are transformed or maybe abducted by the body snatchers and replaced with Freddy Kruger Tasmanian Devils. It is what horror movies and my nightmares are made of.

I run towards my bedroom the dog keeping pace at my side. As I dive in and lock the door I hear the evil screeching and laughter just outside my door.

"I'll get you my pretty." I hear.

Huh did they just say pretty? Okay so maybe I am a little vain. Don't fall for that sweetness. They are out to get me. I stay there until my dragon slayer white shinning knight husband returns home to banish the demons!!!! Until tomorrow!

Yeah I told you never let 5 or more children into your home. It makes you delusional and just down right insane!

Okay on a side note: my husband just read this and said "You're a little paranoid." So I want to make it abundantly clear this is a funny rendition not even remotely true except in my imagination! It is fiction mostly! This does not happen in my home. I am not NUTS.

Don't answer the door to the men in white coats!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More from the North

Lutsen Lodge. One of our favorite places to go. We eat breakfast here often. Awesome eggs benedict. Great breakfast buffet.

The inside of Lutsen Lodge. Cozy

After breakfast we go play. This bridge straddles a wonderful creek that brings agates down to the shore. Savanah and I spend hours on this shore rock hunting.

Billy skips rocks. He is the master skipper. That is a lollipop in his mouth!

This is what my honey does!!

Everybody is happy!

I'll put up another set of photos in a day or two. Is this the equivalent of our parent's watching a person's slide show of their vacation? Is it boring? Oh well I don't think so!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I am having a hard time with trust. Well trusting a teenager. My teenager. Now he has made a few mistakes lately. Nothing life altering but pretty drastic especially for him. I am afraid this is just the beginning of the trouble he is heading towards.

Much of this I fear is happening because of a girl. I want to give this girl a chance but.....she is not making it easy.

Now I know Billy is in charge of his own actions, should be held accountable and suffer the consequences. But I also know he has never felt this way about a girl.


I am noticing a rebellious tone to his voice and more rolling of the eyes. He is carrying around a new angst!

According to him she is constantly saying she is ugly or fat. That he is too good for her. So basically this girl has zero self esteem. She is needing Billy to constantly build her up and tell her how great she is. I know this because I eavesdrop! It is a mother's right, you know? Hey, if you are in ear shot I am going to listen.

The other day they had a...I don't know.......disagreement. She is very dramatic. And well he said to me. "I just want to keep this between her and I."


I want to trust him to work this out. I really do. But I don't trust her.

Now I also remember slightly from my teenage years if you push a teenager too much they will do just the opposite of what you want them to do. So you sit quietly and intently, watching every move made ready to intervene at lightening speed before things get out of hand. So If I am patient this relationship may end on its own. ? Right?

Billy, I feel for this girl but truth be told, you are too good for her!

Billy forgive me but I am hoping this relationship ends quickly and painlessly.

The Momma bear on prozac protecting her cub!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Aint No Words Good Enough

There are just no adequate words to explain the Lake Superior north shore in Minnesota in autumn.

So I'll just show you.

I cried.

I cried about five times a day. Not like sobbing but a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes. Happy tears.

The scenery taking my breath away. My family enjoying each other without the pressures and responsibilities of everyday life.

The smell of fallen leaves. The crisp air. The laughter.

I wish I could have bottled up this day, this feeling and bring it home with me. I'll carry these memories with me forever and the memories will sustain me until I return next year.
The word I would use to describe how I feel when I am there is




I'll post more pictures in a few days!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Post Sunday

Here is a good one.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." --Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Post Saturday

Have a great day!

"If only mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood." --unknown

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yeah for me!!

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." -Albert Einstein

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid some day lying in hospitals dying of nothing." - unknown

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I am taking a couple of days hiatus. Yeah for me. Too bad for you.

Enjoy the quotes.

"If you don't have a sense of humor, you don't have any sense at all." --unknown

"Time's fun when you're having flies." --Kermit the Frog

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29, 2001

I love you honey!

You are the calm to my worry.

You are the reasoning to my crazy.

You are the encouragement to my insecurity.

You are the foundation to my home.

You are the laughter to my humor.

You are the shoulder to my tears.

You are the plan to my dreams.

You are the vibrancy to my days.

You are the absolute to my forever.

You are the everything to my world.

Happy Anniversary

I love you!


On a humorous side note: Dang I should write hallmark cards!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Proposal

Okay so we did everything backwards. We moved in together before we were married. Talked of getting married. Picked a date and started wedding planning before the proposal.

Started trying to conceive two months before we got married. We had a timing issue. We wanted to have a baby soon but we also wanted Billy to be in town (not with his dad) when the baby was born. So we tried for two months. Then stopped trying (just practiced...8)...) for three months. Then started trying again. and viola!

Went on the honeymoon two months before we got married. It's just our wacky way.

So Jeff had gone to the jeweler. He wanted to get an alexandrite (my favorite stone in the world) for my wedding ring. Well alexandrites aren't very popular and are rare. So the jeweler had to order it.

I felt pretty strongly that I wanted a ring before we went on our honeymoon. Makes sense right? So the day before we were to leave Jeff went to the jeweler to get the ordered stone. I knew this was happening.

So that night it was soooo hot outside. I came in from work and took off my shirt, don't get all excited or upset. Billy was out of town. Savanah was just a twinkle in her Daddy's eye. It was flippin hot so I stood in the kitchen in my pants and bra.

Jeff walked in the door from the jewelers. I was excited to see the ring of course but acted all casual. "Hi Honey! Yeah for vacation!" I gave him a kiss. We talked for a few more minutes about our trip the next day.

I had turned around fixing the coffee pot. Jeff said, "Honey, I'm sorry but they got the wrong stone. I don't have the ring."

I inhaled deeply, "Oh no really?" I was so disappointed. I was even a little mad. Why had he waited to the last minute? I was about to say something not so nice. When I turned around to give him a piece of my disappointed mind, I was shocked. There he was on his knee, ring box opened with the most beautiful ring inside.

Then the sweetest words ever spoken.

"Will you marry me?"

"Oh yes!! YES!!!" I jumped up and down. I was silently thankful for the bra! And boy did I feel like a jerk for almost getting mad!

And that is how it happened.

And they lived happily ever after!

One more day honey and it'll be 9 years!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Square of my Heart

This square means the world to me. It means everything to me. This ugly old piece of brown linoleum played an integral part in a moment that changed my life forever.

You see once upon a time my husband knelt on this very piece of flooring when he proposed to me.

When we had the floor replaced I cut out the exact square where his knee sat.

I know I said it was ugly but you know what, it is beautiful, isn't it?

Now the story of the proposal is kinda funny and not traditional but I'll save that for tomorrow.

Happy almost Anniversary Honey,