Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Life Lesson

So, it’s been a few days since last I’ve written. I would love to say that the pause was due to writer’s block, but I would have to be a writer in order to be afflicted with that condition. I would also love to say that the delay was the result of an overwhelmingly busy lifestyle that left no time for writing. That is absolutely not the case as I do nothing. Truthfully, though my life is never without fodder for this blog, I was waiting for the perfect subject and, boy oh boy, did I find it! Yesterday, I received an email from my son, Patrick, announcing a reunion of Athletic Training students from his undergraduate Alma Mater. It is scheduled for a weekend in July, and invited the former students to bring their families, as well. Wow, I thought! This is great! We can spend the weekend with both children as our daughter, Nina, is a student at the same university now and lives there year round. After all, we paid for that amazing education and, through many previous events, have gotten to know the teaching staff and several of the former students. How good it would be to see them again. I immediately went into travel planning mode: 1. Told my husband to put it on his calendar and to block out the weekend. 2. Made sure our daughter would be in town for the weekend. 3. Booked the kennel for our two dogs. 4. Reserved a hotel room for my husband and me, as the two kids would be staying at my daughter’s apartment for some quality sibling time. In other words, within 20 minutes the trip was arranged and a good time would be had by all…. …until Patrick called later in the afternoon. I told him how excited I was and how much fun it was going to be to see his former classmates and teachers. I went on and on and on…until I heard dead silence on the other end. “Mom”, he said, “the invitation didn’t mean ‘that’ family. It meant the family that I could potentially have at age 27. A wife…kids…Mom, are you there? Are you okay?” OMG, I had stopped breathing!! How could this be? “Family” no longer meant me! I felt as though I had been run over by a truck and stomped by a herd of elephants, afterward. My chest was exploding…BREATHE, Kim, BREATHE!! It had finally happened. I knew that someday it would; but I was totally unprepared for it to happen now. I had become background material in a life that I had created. I know you are laughing at my stupidity, or maybe even shaking your head in disbelief that my ego could be so large as to believe the invitation included me, his MOTHER!! I would, however, appreciate a bit of sympathy as I enter this new chapter of my life. And, I still have one “child” left!! Peace out!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How much is that doggie in the window?

Sometimes things happen in life that are just too funny to ignore and this, my friends, is just one such story. My 21 year old daughter, Nina, lives in a rental townhouse in her college town with 3 other girls. For the most part they get along despite their differing natures. Nina is especially close to one of the girls (we shall call her Lisa), and they have developed a relationship much akin to that of Lucy and Ethel; though, when I suggested that particular pairing to Nina she insisted that they were “way more like Snooki and Jwoww”. Anyway, Lisa and her beau decided to purchase a puppy for their Valentine’s Day gift to each other. Now, mind you, neither of them lives in pet friendly housing nor do they have the time or financing necessary to raise a puppy. But purchase the puppy, they did, and I must admit that she is absolutely darling. (We shall call her Lulu) Unfortunately, all of the puppy cuteness in the world does not exclude the fact that Lulu is now a fugitive from the apartment management company and must be carried in and out concealed beneath the outerwear of her “parents” and “Auntie Nina”. Get the picture? And, of course, this is exactly the life that I predicted for this little darling. But, just when you think there is no more to the story, there always seems to be a little surprise. In this case, it is the advent of online service dog registration. Apparently, “Snooki and Jwoww” decided that they could beat this horrid lease clause by going online to one of the various “certification” sites, register Lulu as a bonafide service dog, and no one would ever be able to remove her from their house. Truly, I think they might be on to something! There were, however, a couple of issues that had to be tackled first. For example, the registration fee for Lulu was $70. As you can imagine, both of these young women are college students and the fact that they even have a place to live is because of the generosity of their parents. They complain consistently about starvation, unibrows, and the cost of beer at the local distributor; all as a result of their lack of disposable funding. But in this case, coming up with $70 was, somehow, as easy as finding the cash to purchase yet more Candy Crush credits. Just like that, $70 later, Lulu is official. The next issue, however, is Lulu’s purpose. Neither of the girls are blind, therefore, Lulu is not a Seeing Eye dog. Nor are either of them physically disabled, so Lulu doesn’t need to provide assistance in that manner. But wonder of wonders, Auntie Nina has a documented disability resulting from her horrible high school years – ANXIETY! So little Lulu is the answer to all of her problems. All they need to do is explain to the property manager that she is there to provide comfort and support for Nina’s anxiety issues. Really???? Nina’s father and I are the loving caretakers of two adult dogs who were also adopted as the result of Nina’s need for comfort and support. Does either of them live with her? Nope, they live with us and because of that fact, Daddy and I are in need of emotional support. What about that, “Snooki”? I wish nothing but happiness for little Lulu and, for the girls, a life unencumbered by the realities of lease clauses! Peace Out!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

O Woe is Me!

Is it me or is anyone else finding it harder to laugh these days? I hate to feel negative; it’s not in my genetic makeup. Unfortunately, the pressure of the world’s turbulent atmosphere is putting a real damper on my otherwise sunny countenance. Political protests are springing up everywhere leaving a trail of bodies and a multitudinous amount of anger. The rich are getting richer while the once strong middle class, myself included, disappears into oblivion. I almost expect to hear someone, somewhere, yell, “LET THEM EAT CAKE”! Global climate change is no longer something to ignore or make jokes about; it’s here and it’s real. And it sucks! My dogs have nowhere to do their business as their usual spots are covered in piles and piles of cold snow. The United Kingdom is besieged with storms and flooding the likes of which they have never known. And South Carolina suffered an earthquake last weekend. And last, but not least, is the leak in our kitchen ceiling and the fact that our front doorknob basically fell into my husband's hand last night. Now, mind you, I am certainly not predicting that the end of the world is at hand – far be it from me to feel able to make such predictions; however, as sure as I sit here typing away, something is happening. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable? I am a huge believer in the omnipotence of God and I don’t mind saying that I think He might be up to something. Do you? Survivalist training here I come, assuming that I can open the front door. Peace Out!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Farewell Rihanna

Believe it or not, my mother's maternal family were early English settlers on the tropical island of Barbados. In fact, a genealogy search conducted by an uncle indicates that our ancestors were residents of Barbados for approximately 10 generations. They did not arrive in the US until the early 20th century. That makes me, for all intent and purposes, an island girl. Which explains more about me then you could ever imagine...I love blue water, white sand, and palm trees more than most, I would suppose. In fact my "happy place" is a small hut right on the beach of a secluded island surrounded by blue water. (That vision helped me survive more than one horrible dental appointment) But I also envisioned myself with a few drops of DNA from the local African population. I always used that idea to explain the things about me that were less Caucasian and more exotic. In fact, I so romanticized the concept of an African heritage that I was certain that I must be related to Rihanna, Barbados' legendary and fabulous songstress. So deep was my belief in my African heritage that I set out to prove the truth once and for all. This past Christmas, one of the gifts that I gave each of my children was a DNA test kit from a California company called 23andme. They were, for a bit, advertising like crazy and I thought this would be an interesting gift idea for my kids. After all, it might help them understand the things about themselves that were less Caucasian and more exotic. And because my children have two different birth fathers, any genetic component that they shared would surely have been contributed by me, their mother. On Christmas Day, the kits were opened and each of them dutifully contributed their own spit and mouth swabs to the self-addressed return boxes. All we had to do at that point, was wait a few weeks, and it would all be made clear. I would be officially related to Rihanna and each of my children would find their places on the Barbadian Olympic bobsled team! So exciting would the story be that Ron Howard, the Hollywood movie director formerly known as Opie, would surely turn it into an academy aware winning film. My former soccer mom life was about to turn into the greatest .Pygmalion stories of all time. Move over, My Fair Lady - Rihanna's cousin is about to take the stage - NOT! After about 6 long weeks, the results were posted to their accounts. I was completely deflated - not one single drop of Sub-Saharan DNA. Not even a drip; nada, zip, nothing! I am as Caucasian as one white woman could possibly be. My hopes for a Rihanna family reunion are squashed and my children's chances for Olympic greatness is not to be. In fact, I don't even know who I am anymore and I am not sure how any of this is even possible. If many of the African-American people in this country can trace their ancestry to plantation owners, how the heck is it possible that, after 10 generations, not one of my ancestors found the time to mix and mingle with a local Barbadian? Really? I am crushed! Farewell Rihanna - it was a lovely family reunion while it lasted; however, I'm still hoping that our ancestors might have known each other in some way. There is at least that remaining possibility. And as far as my exotic qualities are concerned, now I'm pretty sure that they were just a figment of my wild imagination.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Enough of the white stuff!

Only a winter this atrocious could make me reactivate this blog. I am in desperate need of a good rant and this is the perfect place to do it because I know that I have lots and lots of company out there in the blogosphere! So let me start this way - I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! As I look out of my window at the frozen tundra that was once south central Pennsylvania I can't help but think that maybe my husband was successful in his threats to transport us to live in Alaska. Are you kidding me? The landscape is totally void of the color green - lots and lots of white and brown, but not one iota of green! I'm Irish - I like green! It makes me happy; it makes me want to dance. This? This horrible landscape makes me want to sleep until there is green again. Which is exactly why I have repeatedly explained to my husband that I cannot move to the frozen hinterlands. In another life, I was, quite obviously a bear. I haven't dressed myself in anything but pajamas for the last 6 weeks and my bed has become the womb from which all life began. I have become a dismal zombie, moving from bed to couch and back again, dressed in a plethora of pajamas that are definitely not intended to seduce anyone or anything. I need sun and warmth and GREEN!!! I stay inside for many reasons, not the least of which is my overwhelming fear of falling on the cold, frozen surface. I hate to fall in any weather but there is something even more frightening about slipping on ice. And, it's not so much the falling as it is the getting back up again! The ice that caused you to fall remains underfoot making any chance of righting oneself nearly impossible. God forbid, you have fallen away from anything to grasp for stability. It's a disaster waiting to happen and believe me when I tell you, there isn't a crane invented that can lift my fat Irish ass off of an icy surface. So I stay inside. I sleep. I watch wretchedly horrible reality TV shows. I sleep some more. I will say it again - I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! So this is when you say, "Why don't you move south for the winter?" And I respond, "I would if I could, but that would require that I put on real clothes, leave my den of hibernation, slip on the ice in front of my den, and then freeze to death in several feet of new snow while I wait for a non-existent crane to lift me up again. Ah, yeah. I don't think so!! So inside I shall stay, waiting for the first sight of anything green! Oh excuse me, I have to end this now...the dryer just buzzed to tell me that my load of clean pajamas is finished! Peace Out!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Couldn't help but roll this one out again; it's a particular favorite of mine; and, timeless, as well. It was originally written in 2008 and you will notice that nothing has changed! Enjoy.

The topic for today....(drumroll, please!)....SEX!! That's right, you heard it correctly; I'm going to talk about sex, today. It is in the front of my brain these days as my amazing Pastor has been conducting a series of sermons over the last few weeks, fondly referred to as The Summer Sizzler. Now, to be fair, the entire series has not been about sex, per se; but, rather about relationships and more specifically healthy marriages. Recreational sex, it seems, plays a huge part in creating and maintaining a healthy marriage. Yeah, right!! I'll tell you what creates and maintains a healthy marriage - Estrogen! Now, to be fair, I am not expecting men to understand this particular concept; you are driven by testosterone. Women, on the other hand, are powered by a very fickle hormone known as estrogen. It is what makes us women; it is what makes us your biological mate. But it also makes us your ideological opposite. Your testosterone, though it does decrease with age, lessens so slowly that its absence is almost unnoticeable. But for those of us who are driven by constantly fluctuating levels of estrogen, the desire for recreational sex fluctuates, as well. It goes something like this:

A 20-Something woman - Oh, yeah! (I have no kids, I look great and my estrogen level is at flood stage)

A 30-Something woman - Maybe this weekend if I'm not exhausted! (Are you kidding? I have 2 kids, a job, a house, and my estrogen level ebbs and flows with the stages of the moon)

A 40-Something woman - Maybe when we're on vacation this summer and I can like you a little bit! (Ok, now you're really funny! The kids have huge issues, our larger house is impossible to keep clean, plus, I need to be married to my job to help pay for it; and, my estrogen is disappearing faster than your leg hair)

A 50-Something woman - Maybe next New Year's Eve when I'm totally tipsy! (Keep dreaming! The kids may be gone but so is my estrogen; and, I have more hair on my chin then you now have on your head)

A 60-Something woman - Maybe when Hell freezes over! (I've spent 40 years listening to you whine about recreational sex and I've had enough; that ship has sailed)

None of this means that we don't love you, gentlemen! And, it doesn't mean that we can't have healthy marriages. But it's time for you and the scientists of the world to take our libido seriously and develop a little blue pill for us, too. Until then, grow up and deal with it!!

Peace Out!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Usually, on Sunday evenings, I like to take a look at my calendar for the upcoming week so that I might be mentally prepared for any, and all, challenges that are heading my way. Yesterday was no exception. I was able to see the regular "stuff" that fills my calendar including, but not limited to, a weekly visit to one doctor or the other in the hope that I might prolong my existence for yet another week.

Anyway, yesterday, a very interesting calendar entry appeared for this week. It read, "Wait to hear from Joanne". For some of my faithful readers this might not sound interesting in the least. In fact, it might even be a rather mundane calendar entry. Here's the problem, though; I don't who Joanne is and, on top of that, I can't imagine why I'd be waiting to hear from her. There was, of course, no further information relative to this Joanne person; not a phone number, a business...nothing, nada, zip!! But then, why would I have added anything further as, obviously, I must have known who the heck Joanne was or I wouldn't have been intending to wait to hear from her. That was, however, back when I wrote the damn thing. Now, Joanne is just another thought that has disappeared into the black hole that was once my memory.

I'm hoping that maybe Joanne is an attorney who will be calling to tell me that a long lost relative has expired and made me an extremely wealthy woman. Or, maybe Joanne is a casting agent calling to tell me that I will be playing Scarlett in an upcoming remake of "Gone With the Wind". Better yet, maybe Joanne is my husband's lover who will be calling to tell me that he can now go live with her! Whoever she is, I sure hope she calls this week. Yoo hoo, Joanne, are you out there in blogland?

Peace Out!