The COVID’s got me bored and irritated…….

beyond belief. I’m not really buying into this whole mass hysteria thing. People can believe what they wish, but really, it’s just a new virus that we will figure out and get a vaccination for in the near future. Hardly anything is open, we have to wear very hard to breathe in masks, and we teachers had to scramble to implement “on-line learning”.

Granted there are some parts of our population that is at high risk medically, but they are already at high risk with all the other viruses out there…..flu becomes pneumonia, norovirus becomes severe dehydration and kidney failure, strep can turn septic…..everyday someone gets sick and sadly some die. Now, am I sticking my dad on a plane to Italy right now? No. Am I going to my sister’s by plane and sneezing and coughing all over her? No. They are high risk, so yes precautions are needed, but not to the extent of our livelihoods and our children’s education. We need to reopen this country and get back to work, period. Wear a mask, I don’t care. Too close in elevators for you? Take the stairs and get in some exercise….at this point it’s probably needed anyway. We are stronger and more resilient then we’ve been given credit for. We’ll be fine, life needs to go on. Quit worrying so much about who has it, who doesn’t, who MAY have it, who MAY not…..live you life, find some joy again, get some sunshine, hang out with friends….life is too short to focus on a virus. Our end has already been scripted, it’s how we live that really matters, and right now we are all missing out on LIFE!!

Middle School…..the worst 3 years of your life.

If you enjoyed your middle school years, congratulations. You were an anomaly to a time when hormones raged, voices squeaked, periods showed up unannounced in the worst of places and mean girls ruled the school. The movie ‘Mean Girls’ summed things up nicely. Girls. Are. Bitches. Period. The sad part is, some stay that way. Case in point Jennifer. Jennifer was a mean ass bitch in middle school, and remains mean to this day. I ran into her at a football game, recognized her and said hello…..her response? Hello did she say back? Uhhhmmm, no her exact response to a simple hello was, “Do I know you?”. Hmmm…..well not really, at least not for 30 years, but does that matter? When someone says hello, don’t most people say hello back and then go back to the stands and tell friends, “some loony bird acted like she knew me, but I have no idea who she is”. I find it interesting, and maybe a bit sad that some people never grow out of immaturity. Maybe it’s simply an intrinsic personality they are born with, maybe they want to remain “cool” their entire lives, or maybe they just don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves and their interests. Either one, it’s stupid. We all grow up and change….or at least I hope we do. Can you imagine millions of adults running around acting like 13 year old squirrels? No thanks, not interested!

So my advise to you sweetest Jenn….grow the hell up!

Childbirth…..

isn’t for the faint of heart. I was shushed recently for starting an explanation of what to REALLY expect to someone within the conversation who was pregnant. I was shushed so as not to “scare” her. Scare her???? Really. She’s about to push a basketball out of a 10cm opening, and you think she shouldn’t be a bit prepared for the reality of that? Geesh. What I was going to tell this person is that without an Epidural, it will be incremental pain like you have never known before. You really need to experience it to know what kind of pain I’m talking about. I’ve given birth twice, and I was very ill prepared for the pain of labor the first time. Oh, they tell you it will hurt, it will fell like “continuous, really bad period cramps”. Bullshit! Once that water bag breaks and that soft cushion is gone….you better be prepared to lose your damn mind and wonder why the hell you thought this whole child bearing thing was a good idea. You will curse Eve for eating that damn apple, your spouse/partner for simply being alive, and anyone who is anywhere near you that might have contributed to your current predicament. I literally thought I was going to die right then and there. I remember laying on my side (recommended) in the bed watching the monitor rise and fall with each contraction. I’d bore my head into the solid part of the arm rail as I gripped the rail itself with each rise of the line, and then begged Jesus to please make it end during the brief lull. Keep in mind, many hours earlier I had changed my mind in the elevator, and told the nurse to take me back downstairs….I’d changed my mind about delivering that day, I’d come back another day. She gave us a bit of a laugh and said….”Why? You’re having a baby today, I know you really can’t wait to meet your new little one”. Uhhhmmm, yes, yes, I could wait. I could wait quite a while if need be. There was a screamer near my L/D/R room and that REALLY helped solidify my need to get the hell out of there.

Fast forward 12 hours…..I was the screamer to someone else’s fear. I BEGGED for an epidural. BEGGED, offered to pay cash, told my dad to pull out his checkbook, you name it, I offered it to no avail…..because the most important part of an Epidural is that it can’t be given after a certain point in labor. I dilated very quickly to 8cm….my window closed for that spinal IV of magic medical goodness, and I wanted that window opened back up because I was just not going to make it. I knew my life was over, because there was no way my body wasn’t in the process of blowing up.

Finally, after what seemed like days instead of hours a healthy baby girl popped right on out after a few adjustments to the exit area (which required 200 stitches to repair). She looked like a purple-y little ball, but when put under the lights in the isolette she uncoiled into what I thought looked like a VERY large newborn, and became quite pick with little curls on the crown of her head……in actuality she was considered “average sized”.

I haven’t looked back since. In fact, I even went through childbirth a 2nd time four years later, but I wised up and had the Epidural early. Truth be told, the Epidural sucked for two reasons 1) it made me so nauseous I could hardly move and 2) having a codeine allergy caused me to itch the entire time I had the IV in, as the narcotic was in the same drug family. BUT, the plus side was that there was no pain. I was able to act like a normal person instead of a crazy ass person that screamed at everyone near and far about putting me there. I was more coherent and able to really appreciate what was happening and what was going on after another healthy “average sized” baby girl popped right on out of the previously reconstructed exit area, which also went smoother the second time around.

It’s tough, childbirth. No doubt about that, but I believe one should know the truth, not the sugar coated version. Plus, sometimes the days/weeks after can be worse than the birthing experience itself…….but, I’ll save that for another day!

While in prison……

I realized, it’s a good thing I never went to prison/jail!! Yesterday, my friends and I did an escape room, and the room I chose (birthday gift) was the room entitled “Prison Escape”. We had stolen a bar of gold and been arrested. While being held in the pokey, we were each handcuffed inside the locked cell……then, the fun began. We had an hour to find the gold bar and get out. I doubled up on my Clonazepam just to be on the safe side of a literal panic attack, but found it not warranted (I’ve been handcuffed before-see previous post-and each time I lost my shit due to lack of movement). We were so busy trying to find clues to the next level, I had no time to think about being handcuffed to a wall. My bestie and I got out pretty quick. It was getting the other two out that was our first frustration. I had the walkie and asked for a clue, and the guy gave us one FOR THE WRONG LOCK!! Not cool Carrot Top (I swear he was his doppleganger)!! Our next frustration was realizing we needed to go through a secret passage, which we weren’t aware of. We’d put together one clue, then….nothing, another clue, then….nothing. We timed out and as competitive people, that was a downer. Once Carrot Top went over the enter series of events, there was NO WAY we were getting out of there! We should’ve known this though. The completion rates/attempts are on the doors of the rooms, and ours was like 297/924, something close to that. We are officially on the “Wall of Losers”, and I can now say, I’ve been to prison, Ka-Clink!!

What made this not so bad was because I had a walkie, and I knew I could get out if absolutely necessary. Real prison, not so easy to get out. Of course, I tend to follow the law, so going to prison isn’t a great concern of mine but, small enclosed spaces ain’t my thing! Anywhere I go, I look for an escape route, whether it be in an office building, movie theater, amusement ride, etc. Knowing that my getting out into the open is possible puts me at ease in any situation.

I digressed into the whole prison thing, but I highly recommend going to an escape room, it was as much fun as it was disappointing. I will definitely try one again!

 

When you live in Texas…..

you can go to the beach year ’round. That’s just what we did this past weekend, and took the lil fella you see right here. He is a love bug who LOVES the beach. I get my exercise in when we go. He is all over the place!! I started him out barefoot with his pants rolled up to his knees. I soon realized the pants were going to continue falling down, so off they came. Yes, I was the one with a toddler running around on the beach in December in a diaper. My mother would be aghast. In a diaper, in public, NEVER!! I tucked in his oh so cute dinosaur Christmas tree shirt into said diaper and off he went. We had a great time….feeding pesky seagulls, much to my friend’s dismay, chasing waves, and just plain running around outside on the beach. It sure beats sitting inside in front of an electronic device. Of course, two minutes into the car ride off the island, he was out, and I mean OUT. He didn’t budge for a good 30 minutes.  The sad part about being at the beach, is seeing the abuse it endures. I don’t know how much trash we picked up and threw away. I am not particularly green when it comes to recycling, but I have seen what the trash does to wildlife, and I hate it. When I was in high school we had a week long church camp in Port Aransas. I was about 15 maybe. I distinctly remember finding a large sea turtle with a plastic six pack ring wound so tight around it’s leg that I’m not sure how the thing was still attached. Since then I have ALWAYS cut up those plastic rings before disposal. The one thing I have always loved is sea life, water, beaches, water sports, etc….There is nothing more relaxing than sitting on the beach looking out into the wide open sea. We need to care for it and it’s inhabitants (just my two cent soap box). Again, nothing better than being able to run around the beach, in December, with a toddler barefoot in a diaper….OH!! and a girl’s ear muffler fitted around his tube filled ears to keep them warm and dry. He looked like a little prairie child with his little make shift muffler.

 

Fifty Shades of exhaustion…..

from being up late reading the book Fifty Shades of Grey. I know I am very late to the party with this, but I refused to be a part of the phenomena for many years. I had a Christian Grey and I was very similar to Ana. Let me rephrase that a bit. I had a MUCH poorer Christen Grey, not as hot, and not as fit, but deviant just the same. I was 19, he was 25 and the brother of my best friend at the time. Needless to say, she ended that friendship and treated me as though I didn’t exist when he and I were together. Ridiculous, really. It’s been 30 years since that relationship, but there were many years that I had a very warped idea of what was ‘normal’ or ‘comfortable’, and that I could actually say NO if I was not interested. He and I are the only people who know the depths of that relationship’s deviance. Some know bits and pieces, but NO ONE knows the full story. My husband knows very little, and he has made it clear that if we ever run into ‘HIM’ just keep on walking and make no introduction because he will lose his shit with that “Mother Fucker” (direct quote from my spouse). So, anyway, I watched the movies before reading the books. As a degreed Sociologist, I immediately became fascinated with the underlying story of Christian. What made him tick? How bad was it? Fictional story, yes, I know that, but it’s Realistic Fiction, and I am drawn to what environmental factors play into a persons deviant lifestyle, beit drugs, alcohol, sex, murder….what makes people from seemingly good homes turn out the way they do. These movies were also for entertainment, and I was ‘entertained’ watching the layers of Christian Grey fall away. He became vulnerable, communicative, willing to release control. Like my ex boyfriend, Christian Grey savored the virginal ways of Ana. She was all his. No one else had ever been with her….at all. Controlling men (people) love this. For 2.5 years I heard over and over “you are all mine” or, “you belong to me”….sound familiar? He loved me, I know he did, but it was in his own way, different from what truly makes a relationship work. Compromise wasn’t an option. My age and naivety worked against me, and was taken advantage of. I had no point of reference and no real voice in what we did. These movies and books brought all of that back to me….the feelings, the shame, the anger, the sadness of a young girl becoming something she wasn’t, and taking years to really work through that, at the expense of some REALLY wonderful men. Of all three movies, the last 20 or so minutes of the final film was poignant to me. I actually cried at the very end. So, when you are married or in a committed relationship, does it matter what goes on behind closed doors, if it’s indeed consensual? My relationship was consensual, but I didn’t know any better. He enjoyed it, so I figured I should too, even though, in the back of my mind I sometimes thought there was something REALLY wrong with him. The books I must admit are better, though poorly written. The supplemental books from Christian’s point of view are even better, still poorly written, but feed into my desire to know some “whys”. So, off I go to continue reading….and continuing to stay up way too late and be way too tired the next day. Starbucks will make a killing off of me right now!

Alzheimer’s Has Stolen My Mother……

and that fact really SUCKS!! My mom was so, so intelligent and put together. She was a firm believer in NEVER leaving the house without being fully dressed to the nines. She never owned a pair of jeans, only dress slacks or skirts, and bought her first pair of khaki’s at the age of 70 (which she thought was ‘awfully casual’ to be worn in public). She was an “indoor girl”, to quote DiCaprio from Titanic. Sweating in the sun was not her thing. Yard work? Nope. Gardening? Nope. Community pool? Nope. She raised -3- girls without hardly EVER going outside. Two of us would rather BE outside….I’m not sure if our lack of it growing up turned us into outdoorsy adults, but we very much became that way. My father taught me how to ride my bike. My neighborhood and school friends taught me the ins and outs of football (tackle, of course), water skiing, and camping. My father loved to snow ski, so every Spring Break vacation was spent in New Mexico or Colorado skiing. My mom tried it once, it was a disaster. I can still vividly remember watching my father carrying my mom’s skis down the mountain while she walked several paces ahead….like she couldn’t get down soon enough. My mom was a creature of habit and very set in her ways. I am the baby, the last born by many years, and she had a very hard time with my growing up. She hovered, was over protective, and did all she could to stifle my independence. My dad traveled a lot on business, so for many years it was mostly she and I, as both my sisters were out of the house by the time I was 7 years old. I was my mother’s soap opera companion, her clothes fetcher at Frost Bros., her template to practice new hair styles and her sounding board when things were not in her control. When I was a teen she made me insane. I wasn’t allowed to do this or that, there was ALWAYS some issue with my friends or boyfriends, and driving…..that was a BIG issue between us. One that made me leave the house on several occasions only to lose the use of my car for weeks at a time. Then, my mouth took over, and I found a way to really get under her skin. I was swiftly moved to a private school because my folks didn’t tolerate ANYTHING!! College and early adulthood were better as I grew up, started a family, moved out of state, and was available to talk maturely on the phone daily. For about 20 years I spoke with my mom daily. Once we moved back to my hometown, we saw each other almost daily. She had her quirks and her demons, but she was my mom and she was an unwavering support when I needed it. Then came 2014, and things began to change. Small things at first; she’d forget a conversation we had, a time we were to meet, nothing overly obvious. As the years went on, her memory became increasingly worse and alarming.  I’d talk to my sister about what I was seeing, and she would explain it away as just “old age”. She lived out of state and only saw our mom three times a year, she had no idea what the day to day was like. I took my mother to a neurologist who ran tests and found the presence of “Early Stage Dementia-Alzheimer’s”. My mom immediately went into denial and told the doctor he was, “Too young to know how to read scans correctly”. That was a nice end to a long day. 2017 was the turning point for our family, it became very clear she wasn’t getting things done….bills not paid, forgetting to eat, forgetting where my children went to school, the list goes on. My dad became alarmed and confronted her with her memory issues to which she told him that he needed to mind his own “fading mind”, and leave her alone. From that point on the decline of my mother was swift and unnerving. The decision was made to move her into memory care where my sister lives two states away. I agreed to it too quickly and really didn’t have time to process other options. Because her own furniture was moved into her apartment, she thought she was at her townhouse she had owned and lived in for 12 years. We all thought her transition went pretty darn smoothly. Maintaining a relationship with her, however, is close to impossible. She can no longer hold a phone conversation. She repeats everything over and over and after 30 minutes all you’ve really talked about was how she’s coming “home” pretty soon, maybe next week. I visit as much as I can, but for me it’s not enough. At the same time, those visits break my heart. She’s childlike. She giggles and plays with balloons, she spits out food at the table she finds “gross”, and she likes to play jewelry and make up as much as you will let her. Playing jewelry is where she goes into her safe, pulls out all her jewelry for you to try on, and then she tries to give it to you. Playing make up is going through every single item of skin care and make she has, and she tries to give it all to you at the end. She ALWAYS hugs me, tells me she loves and misses me, and tears up when she sees I have arrived. We drink coffee, play scrabble (where she makes nonsense words, but insists they are real words), and we watch football in her room (which is always set between 85-87 degrees!). We have a really good time, then I have to leave, and as I fly home, I cry because the woman I just spent several days with isn’t my mother. Alzheimer’s stole my mother. This woman looks like her, sounds like her, but she isn’t her. My mother is gone…..for good. The mother I had will never return. Instead, she will deteriorate more and more until she passes away. When could that be? Next year, 5 years from now? It’s an unknown. I know I have not properly grieved for the loss of the mother I knew. I think, maybe next visit she will be a little better. It’s useless to think this way, but I guess I have some denial that I’ve chosen to live in. I have friends who have lost their mothers to cancer, heart attacks, strokes….their mothers are gone in every sense of the word. I know they view my grief differently because physically, my mother is still here. I can still call and hear her voice, hug her, etc. To me, however, I feel there is not much difference. Grief happens when something is taken away emotionally, physically, spiritually. My mother’s mind has been taken away and along with it everything that I held dear when she was well. I haven’t spent a birthday or actual holiday with her for 2 years. I have a family that needs me and I can’t always take off to go up north. Alzheimer’s is referred to as the long good bye, and it is. It’s a humiliating, disrespectful, mean, and unrelenting to those it takes over……and it has taken over my mom. My mother has Alzheimer’s….and it really SUCKS!!   

Poor, Poor Rudy….

Sweet Rudy has been my classroom Elf on the Shelf for 6 years. The kids run in and look for him daily whether I am their teacher or not. Rudy has been caught in quite a few naughty scenarios….playing cards with a sketchy group, throwing snow all over the art table, riding a pony across the top of the whiteboard, herding cattle, trying to make the class pet fish into fish tacos…..the list goes on.

This year, we lost Rudy pretty early on. A student picked him up out of his glitter angel and reposed him. This of course made him lose his magic and he returned home to the North Pole. We miss him. Students still ask about him, hoping he will return, but I keep telling them he won’t be back until maybe next year. It was a sad day finding Rudy gone. I hope we have better luck next year.

 

Rudy2

Early birds don’t get the good worms!!!

Getting up early isn’t part of my genetic make up. No matter how hard I try, and really, I’ve tried, I cannot become a morning person. I can be a hyped up on coffee morning person, but not a true organic morning person. Setting my alarm is painful, hearing it go off is even more painful. I love to watch the sun rise, but would rather be in bed, snuggly warm. My mother was the epitome of “not a morning person.” My dad got me up for school, made big breakfast meals for us to share, and got my mother’s coffee going, but it took her HOURS to roll out of bed. I can relate. One of the greatest joy’s of parenthood is when the baby sleeps through the night!!! I was lucky to have one start at 3 months…..my 2nd one, not so much, she was 3.5 YEARS OLD. I just knew I’d never sleep again!! I married a morning person who finds great joy in hounding me to get up until I lose my shit and finally get up. I give him the stink eye for about an hour, then I’m done with the pity party and the day gets started.

Here we go AGAIN…..

So, it’s raining AGAIN in the hill country. That means several things: 

mud, wetness, mud, muddy animals, mud, wrecks, deer running amuck, mud and more mud. Detect a theme here? MUD!

Mud means filth and filth makes my mood foul with a capital F. I have mud on the wood floor, carpet, bath mats, blankets, etc…….We have a 6 month old lab puppy and he revels in mud, water, anything that gets him wet or dirty or both. So, with rain again means my brand new front porch is FILTHY, my raw wood flooring inside the cabin is FILTHY, his kennel and everything in it is FILTHY and my mood will be FOUL, FOUL, FOUL until things dry out.