Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thar she blows--NOT

It has been hectic here--Rocky suspended from school and playing catch up. Nita being outed as the school cafeteria's best customer, buying breakfast and snacks with money she'd swiped from my purse and her savings, work being a little nuts, resulting in something hurtful happening, and now Nita is in her spring allergy season. For several years, I spent every Mother's Day in the emergency room with her.

The big problem I have with her now is she hates to blow her nose, so she ends up with a sinus infection, invariably, which then leads to a trip to the doctor. I have had to leverage her into nose blowing by threatening to keep her home from school. So, tonight, after a long day at work and longer afternoon and evening at home, I am taking her to the doctor again, this time in a proactive approach to the annual celebration.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Top Chef, my eye

I have decided that I want to stop cooking.

It all started about a year ago when I started buying more and more "natural" and organic products, finally arriving at our current state of about 90 percent organic eating. I no longer eat wheat or rye, and I am trying to go low glycemic, which cuts out anything much in the way of carbs: bread, grains, snacks, and fruits. I also try to eat very little meat and am weaning the rest of the family off of that as well.

Which leaves us rather limited.

This week on Monday we had spaghetti with marinara sauce, Tuesday sandwiches, Wednesday veggie hot dogs, Thursday vegetarian chili, and Friday macaroni and cheese with soy bacon bits on top. Saturday night, I didn't care what we ate, not to mention IF we ate, and neither did EG.

Rocky commented, "I thought we were going to stop eating meat. We still have meat all the time." Huh?

I had taken the dog to the vet, and we were discussing how it was simple to do weight control by increasing or decreasing the amount of food which we fed our pets. He said, "I have always said there should be 'husband chow.'" I laughed at the time, but now that I think about it, this is a valid point.

I think what is happening with us here is that our bodies are finally regulating themselves, as we aren't indulging in the refined sugars and flours. Or it could be that we are just getting older, in that dreaded age range when it doesn't really matter if we eat or not.

I was at a funeral meal last weekend, and a cousin, who is diabetic, had two overflowing huge plates of dessert--one would have been sufficient for all five of us here, with leftovers, and we are big fans of dessert. Anyway, the cousin said, "A friend of mine said you can have a cheat day once a week." Uh, I think this may have gotten lost in translation, as I half ate a lemon tart, which is my favorite, and considered it a cheat. I refuse to get sanctimonious about this, though, as I could stand to lose weight myself. And if I continue not cooking, I will certainly do so.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Global Positioning

I will be driving to Chicago this coming week, so I bought a GPS. We had used my sister's the other week when she and I and my cousin drove out to see my aunt. We were amused by the GPS's pronunciation of landmarks and road names, which are rather unusual out there: Vermilion, Berlin (pronounced BURR-lin), and Gore Orphanage Road. "Turn right," the administrative assistant-type GPS voice told us, "at Gororororororphange Road." We laughed outselves silly.

The next week, after my niece played with the GPS, we had Mary Poppins guiding us to the national cemetery. I was half afraid she'd start singing about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

It is not any secret to anyone who knows me that have the absolute worst sense of direction when it comes to north, south, east, or west. Sometimes I can do street names, but in the county seat, these get me a bit cornfuzzled, with Broadway and Bradway, routes which jog north-east-north-west, and the worst, overlapping street names. One evening, I found myself at the corner of North East Street and East North Street. Of course I couldn't tell what street was which, so I didn't know which way to turn. I would have asked for directions, but the thought of someone telling me to go west on North East Street gave me an eye twitch.

EG will give me directions, saying things like, "You'll go north," omitting the street, and my eyes will roll up into my head and my ears will ring.

However, I can drive by landmarks--tell me to go left at the Dairy Queen and right at the house with the blue shutters, and I am there. My uncle's wife was notorious for giving really abstract directions, telling people to turn at the herd of cows, or drive until the person saw the farmer standing in his driveway with a broom in his hand. For what it's worth, no one ever got lost when she gave directions. As an adult, I now suspect it was because they used a map or asked someone else.

Anyway, last week we drove to my aunt's funeral, and I printed directions off mapquest. They were fine, except the route addresses counted up, then went from five digits suddenly to three digits as we hit a small town, decreasing as we continued. "This isn't right," I said to EG. "Well," he told me, "we're going west." I called my sister on her cell. "Did you pass Gororororphanage Road?" she asked. Not yet. "Then keep going," she said. Not bad advice in any number of situations.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cell phone

I had to be dragged, pretty much kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. While I love my computer, and my laptop is used pretty much all day at work and much of the evening, what with school and connecting with people with special needs kids and my yahoo group, I couldn't see any possible reason for a cell phone. My kids were little, so they were with me or their dad when they weren't at school. I was either at work or on my way home to them if I wasn't with them.

So, when EG proposed we get him a cell phone for work, I agreed, but I saw absolutely no sense in having one of them for my own use. I didn't want to be that accessible. However, he pointed out the convenience of being available in case anything happened to my mom or dad when I was at PTO meetings, lessons, or sports events, especially since my father was in the nursing home, so I agreed. I had a rather "pinched between the thumb and forefinger and held out away from the body" approach to the thing, carrying it with me but always a bit leery when it rang. When my mother went into the assisted living facility, my sister and I got free mobile to mobile long distance, and it was then I learned how wonderful the cell phone could be. I wasn't spending money on long distance calls, but keeping in touch with her daily, a luxury which became a necessity when her husband was ill and when my mother finally made the decision to move on from this earthly life.

So, while I have a phone with internet capabilities, the ability to text, I do not use any of those function. My cell phone calls out and receives calls, and that is enough. For now. However, I can see where things are headed, as Kiki is pushing to have a cell phone so she can text her friends. When I pointed out to her that a) we don't have texting and b) she never calls people, so who would she text, she called me mean. Not mean--just still dragging my feet with this technology stuff.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Start me up

I got home last night, and when I went down the hall, I smelled something which I couldn't identify right away.

I let the dogs out, and then I checked Nita, who had run a fever all day. She spent most of the afternoon on the sofa, sleeping with her cat.

When EG was helping me bring the dogs in, he opened Rocky's door and said, "What do I smell? What is that?" Rocky said, "I had the window open."

I went in and said, "Why is it smoky in here?"

"My window was open."

"But it isn't smoky outside." Rocky then started to get stressed. We moved his dresser to find the remnants of a small fire, which had fortunately burned itself out before catching the house on fire. He finally admitted to the fire when we found matches and burned newspaper in there, too.

So now he's back on blackout. It never ends with the bad choices, does it? Tomorrow I will talk to him about using words to express anger.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Yesterday we buried my mother's sister; she was the youngest, and the last of her generation. My sister is the youngest of our generation, with me a close second. A cousin of ours told my sister yesterday, "Well, that's the last of the generation. Now it's our turn. You're the youngest, so you'll watch all of us die off."

Hey, nothing like giving us something to look forward to there, Miss Mary Sunshine.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again--I do not like Easter. I guess it is just a church holiday, and it should be celebrated with grace. Somehow, it seems to me, we have lost the meaning in all the cellophane wrapped baskets, jelly beans, marshmallow peeps, spring clothes, and ham dinners. EG likes Easter, sees it as a special day, but it just depresses me; so I try to make an effort at making it nice.

Luckily, today was unseasonably warm and sunny, too, so we went for a ride. We ended up at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, the burial place of famous Ohioans, and a horticultural wonder, including a hillside full of naturalized daffodils. Tucked in near the Cleveland Clinic, the art museum, and Case Western Reserve University, this cemetery is a wonder of nature, lovely in its respect for the natural, acorns littering the graves, wildflowers sprouting up, and trees blooming around the graves. We walked and looked at the old and new tombstones and the flowering trees and plants, and felt at peace in this lovely place.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I am thinking about the poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which the sailor is forced to wear the albatross around his neck because the seaman killed the bird of good omen and then the ship was becalmed.

Rocky was not expelled from school, but I believe it was mostly because the school would have to provide an alternate education for him because he has an IEP (Individual Education Plan).

However, his punishment has quickly become OUR punishment, the albatross about our necks, as his dad and I now have "the boy" around all the time, a bored boy who "forgets" he is on restriction. Keeping him occupied is exhausting, and it is limiting to not do fun things, like go out to lunch together, as he will have to participate as well. Plus, this continues all next week and into the week after.

In the poem, Coleridge said, "There passed a weary time." You got that right, Sam.