Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a good thing she's cute

At work, 4:00 pm. Phone rings.

"Maria! phone. I think it's one of you kids."

Well, that's never good.


"Mom? I forgot to tell you. I have a recital tonight."


"It's at 7:00"


"I'm sorry! I forgot to tell you!"

"What time do you have to be there?"

"I don't know, a little before"

"Was there perhaps a note you forgot to show me?"


"Shannon, do you have any idea how mad I am right now?"

"Sorry! Oh yeah, we have to go buy cookies too."

Of course we do.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We haven't heard from the local wildlife in awhile...

I got a new patio this week. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but someone on the board thought it would be a good way to spend our money. Don't get me wrong, the new patio is beautiful. It's three times bigger than the old one. Big everything always has to be a saga.

We got a letter several weeks ago, saying they were going to be redoing all the patios, and that we would receive notice before so we could have everything cleaned off. So imagine my joy when I came home last Tuesday to a note that said they would be starting by us THE DAY BEFORE and that as soon as I saw it marked I had to clean it off. The thing that makes it irritating is that I didn't get home until 8:30 that night and still had forms I needed to fill out for the school. I looked outside and my yard wasn't marked, but the sidewalk had been marked by the utility company. It just gave me a bad feeling, so out I went, moving furniture, grill, bikes, etc. into the grass.

My neighbor told me not to worry, since they hadn't marked anything. But I'm really glad I didn't listen to them. At 7:15 the next morning I look outside and see them removing my old deck and digging up my yard. My neighbors who had not moved anything just about had a stroke.

When I came home, I started to go into the house and a note falls out. It says any writing or footprints, etc found on the patio will result in the unit owner being fined the cost of replacing the slab. With a sick feeling I realized Miss Emma had just run around back, I yelled at her and ran over, getting there just before she carved her name for posterity.

Then I looked around and my yard is covered with trash. Mostly drink containers. Then as I walk over to the deck I notice something gray and furry on the ground. The workers had killed a mole and left it there! Hello, I have children! Fortunately, my neighbor took care of it while I was cleaning up the yard.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed something in the far corner of the new patio. So I went inside and looked through the patio doors. One corner of my new concrete patio is covered with squirrel prints. And the way they wove around, it must have been drunk. But of course they would find my patio. None of the neighbors, just mine. It seems fitting.

I hope they don't try to charge me for this, no matter how hard I try, I can't control the local wildlife. And believe me, I have tried.

Now this is something you don't see very often.

Driving through town today, I saw a man walking down the street with a backpack on, strumming a guitar and singing.

Not something you see this far from the city...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roughing it

I just got back from camping with Shannon and her Girl Scout troop. We were at a Girl Scout camp just far enough away but not too far. Being the avid camper (not) that I am, we had absolutely no camping gear whatsoever. We went and bought chairs, a sleeping bag for me, two pads for underneath the sleeping bags and a plethora of other things. It was like we were moving.

At least we were going to be in a cabin, which seemed preferable to a tent. And you know what? I think I would rather have been in a tent. The ground is definitely softer than that tile floor was. I think I might have gotten a little over 2 hours of sleep. 16 giggling/arguing girls does not make for much sleep. And what does it say about the water when we all preferred the smell of fire smoke and deodorant failure to the smell of the water in the showers?

This camp is really big. It's owned by the girl scouts and in the summer they have this big program where you can stay there for several days ($$$$). But there is a pool, dining hall, pond for canoeing, outdoor stage, etc. They even have those permanent old wooden frame tents with the wood floors. This is in a different section that is closed this time of year but when we were walking around we ran across it and it was like walking onto the set of Friday the 13th. CREEPY!

The girls also ran across a dead possum, a couple of baby birds that fell out of their nest and get this, A really large set of hawk feet and legs - all the way up to the where they attach together - hanging from a tree branch.

Had some good conversation with the Barbie moms, I kind of think I misjudged most of them. Spent some really nice time with Shannon that I think we both desperately needed.

We had great weather and great food (ever had walking tacos?), so other then the fact I only got 2 hours of sleep and it took two washings to get the smoke smell out of our clothes, it was a great time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reality Check

I drove past a funeral home yesterday and was startled at how busy it was. The parking lot was full, as were the surrounding business lots, the side streets and even the driveway. It was so chaotic traffic was disrupted on the main road I was driving on. There was a line of people more than two blocks long waiting patiently to be allowed in. Who was this for? I assumed some local dignitary or bar owner or something.

When I got into work this morning, I grabbed yesterday’s paper and looked. It was a 14 year old boy who had lost his long battle with cancer. And I started crying for the family of this boy I had never met. He was obviously so loved by so very many people and had touched so many in his brief life. In a few short days, it will be Mother’s Day, and no matter how blessed she feels to have had him in her life, that days is going to be empty.

There was a line in a movie once, “When you lose a spouse, you’re widowed. When you lose your parents, you’re an orphan. But they don’t have a name for you when you lose a child”. It’s too horrible to think about.

This Sunday, I’ll be hugging my kids a little harder, thanking God a lot more fervently, and praying for this mom and all the others that no longer have a child to hold.