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    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Apparently It's A Theme Around Here Today

    Finding/seeking/pointing out and choosing the good, that is.

    Nothing I've seen in writing recently has broken down this idea better than what I read this morning at OK, Fine, Dammit. She's a writer after my own heart, with the kind of writing style that keeps you interested, and keeps you wanting to know when she'll be posting again. Today she posted a beautiful, much-needed piece that we could all stand to read about twice a day, every day. With her permission (thanks, Maggie!) I am reposting it here for you to enjoy (and pass on), and I hope you'll visit her blog and let her know what it means to you, too. Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers.

    From "OK, Fine, Dammit", I give you "What Are You Contributing With All That Hate?"

    A dancer does this thing called spotting. She picks a point in the distance and fixes her gaze upon it, and as her body pirouettes she tries to never lose sight of that spot. She spins but her head stays steady, waiting until the last possible moment to whip itself around and return again to start. It’s the only way to perform that magical endless cyclone without making herself sick.

    I am neck deep in writing projects right now but I’m not dizzy. I am reveling in my children, often literally spinning, but I am always, always spotting. I morph from writer to wife to mother to taxi driver to maid to cook to praying mantis or lioness twins or whichever Littlest Petshop character I’m relegated to in the constant bouts of imaginary play, and it’s the hardest thing and the greatest thing all at once but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am morbidly busy but I know when to quit, too, and most of all I know that I don’t have time for anything that doesn’t give back in some way to the amazing people I see all around me. I don’t have time for drama and bullshit.

    I’ve got a brother who teaches English to Somali high-schoolers while his law-school wife works 12-hour days helping the ones our system fails. I’ve got another brother who builds beautiful things with his hands while helping raise two daughters he inherited. I’ve got an aunt who is saving children one at a time when no one else can and an uncle who is churning out self-made CD’s filled with incredible lyrics and vocals and instruments all performed by him including the harmonica he taught himself to play mere weeks ago — oh, and he wins contests for his political cartoons in his spare time. I’ve got a cousin who can make magic out of any instrument he touches and now he’s passing those gifts along to children, another cousin who single-handedly managed to raise 70 donated bicycles for Cambodians, and yet another cousin who took a dream and cracked it wide open and stood in the fire of all that came with it, all for that love. And I’ve told you all about my mom, and there are countless more examples all around me. All around you, too, I bet. Look at what she is doing for flood victims, look at what he has done in the south. Look at the beauty this dad and his amazing son are putting out into the world every damn day. In less than a week we will either have our first man of color or our first female in the highest office in the land, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. If you feel a subtle change in the air each morning, if things smell a little better or shine a little brighter it’s because there are people who are working hard to contribute something to this world for all of us to share. That’s as it should be.

    And that’s why it’s so hard for me to understand the rest of you. No, not 99% of the people reading this, but you. You out there with your ugly and your menace and your hate like slick black sludge.

    Whether you are writing dirty campaign ads or forwarding hateful emails, whether you are commenting anonymously on blogs or creating entire websites designed to attack other bloggers, whether you are secretly reading other people’s words only to dissect and ridicule them, I want you to ask yourself — what are you contributing? What have you got to show for yourself? Where are your gifts to the world? What will your obituary say?

    The thing I understand least of all is how you have the time for this. Do you not have jobs or families, commitments or goals? Do you not have friends? Don’t you get tired? Aren’t you getting dizzy? Aren’t the fumes from your toxic rage poisoning you bit by bit every day? Don’t you want to be someone better than this?

    I forgive you. I wish for you peace, and love, and the innate, genuine desire to want others to succeed, because that is such a gift. Because we all benefit from that, even you. Especially you.
    This life is too short and too precious to waste a single moment of it tearing other people down, don’t you see? You are blowing your only shot, but there’s still time to change. Find your unique gifts and imagine them a sparkling emerald in the distance, and stare them down. Focus on them – spot — and spin and spin and spin.

    To John, Barack, Joe and Sarah: A Challenge

    I am serious. Just listen and see if you're up for it.

    For the next four days, as you go through this final weekend before Election Day, I challenge you to do just this:

    Stop. The. Smearing.

    Get your opponents' names OUT of your mouth. It's not becoming, on any of you.

    Don't tell me what he can't do - tell me what you CAN do. Don't tell me why she's unqualified - tell me why YOU are. Don't waste my time raging against your opponents' beliefs and policies - spend it showing me yours and helping me understand why they're yours in the first place.

    Give me reasons to vote FOR you, not reasons to vote AGAINST your opponents.

    Smearing is smearing, and campaigning is campaigning. Learn the difference, learn it fast, and stop wasting your time pulling other people down in hopes of making yourself look better. My god, my first-grade teacher taught us that, and we were able to grasp the concept at 6. Figure it out. You are out of time, and so are we.

    So spend the next four days of your campaign being the upstanding, honest, hard-working citizens that you claim to be. We deserve that much from you, and I am SICK to death of the bellyaching, then name-calling and the bitching about your opponents. According to all of you, we are screwed if your opponents spend your weekend convincing me that they are wrong by showing me what's RIGHT about YOU.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Like A Little Post-Dated Shredded Cookie Fortune

    " as little as ten seconds..."

    How true, how true. It's the first piece of shred Greg picked up when it was all over.

    Greg had spent the afternoon shredding documents, bless his heart, as part of TGPMo2008 (what a team player), and it was time for dinner. We considered pizza, and had popped down to the computer to check out our favorite pizza joint's specials. Were down there almost no time at all. Suddenly, Samantha appeared before us, with a hesitant smile, and informed us they'd been "playing with those little papers Daddy made". In that moment, we knew the fate awaiting us 12 feet above our heads.

    We ascended the stairs. We rounded the corner into the kitchen. We saw the damage done.


    After much gasping, Greg and I raced one another around the corner from the kitchen into the laugh our ever-loving asses off. Imagine how much FUN that must have been, and how much we, as kids, would have been rubbbing out butts for hours when OUR parents came up the stairs.

    So we had them get their little-kid broom and mop, and we cleaned it up together.


    (What the HELL is on my dustpan? OH, yeah, the LAST mess Jackson made, but that's another story...)


    Funny kids. Troublemakers for sure, but still funny. And cute - even with credit card statement shreds in their hair and on their clothes.



    Monday, October 27, 2008

    OH, and By the Way...

    ...first box in, 1/2 an inch into the first pile...I found the sewing machine manual. I know, what a total riot, right? I looked in that box, TWICE the night of the sewing machine incident. Twice. It's what spurred on the actual commencement of TGPMo2008.

    Yeah. Irony, my friends, irony. Come roll around in it with me.

    TGPMo2008: Phase One Completed

    It has begun.

    All boxes have been brought together. From everywhere in the house. All boxes have been searched and gone through. All shreddables have been removed and boxed together. All recyclable papers are in the green bin. All "other stuff" is in a box of its own. It was a long process, but fruitful and it felt good to accomplish that leg of the movement. Greg even joined in (after helping carry boxes, even) and shredded two garbage bags full. Remind me to tell you about the shreds, by the way.

    Now the painful Phase Two can begin. The process of creating and editing the actual files, and then sorting and filing, piece by piece, each item that needs a home. THIS will be the tedius, awful, not-fun portion of the event.

    I do not look forward to it.

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Big Hot Business for Saturday

    Morning, my lovelies. Just thought I'd jot down the big goings-on around here this fine Saturday morning in FMFO Land.

    Food TV In The Morning: Hold the Foreplay
    The kids wanted to watch Food Network this morning instead of cartoons. Fine by me! Anne Burrell was on, and she was cooking whole fish, complete with the process of removing the spine. Kinda cool, kinda gross, but they'll certainly never see that in MY kitchen, so we'll call that a valuable life experience for the kids.

    What is NOT a valuable life experience is the show that came on next, "Down Home With The Neelys", which I will not even take the time to link for you - that's how much I don't like them. Seriously.

    Why, you ask? What could be offensive about a couple cooking together on TV? I'll tell you.

    The first (and only) time Samantha and I sat down to watch them, the show hadn't been on very long when the husband did something, I don't remember what, that caused the wife to exclaim, with a suggestive look on her face and a suggestive tone in her voice: "I told you he was good with his hands!"

    Well, isn't THAT nice?

    So nice, especially when Samantha immediately demanded to know exactly what that lady meant by that. Great - would they have had me say "Oh, well Mrs. Neely was alluding to the fact that apparently Mr. Neely is quite the skilled lover, with the ability to create great sensations of sexual arousal for Mrs. Neely when they are in the sack instead of in the kitchen, which has not-a-freaking-thing to do with their stupid TV show. Isn't that nice of her to share?"

    I did NOT offer that explanation. We changed the subject and the channel, never to return to that particular show. My kids love FN, and so do I - but THOSE folks will never get another minute of our time. FN is one of the few networks with shows "for me" that are generally also OK to watch with my kids - that's a rare treat, and one I don't plan to give up, but those people are NOT on the line-up. A tip to the old "Neelys": If your COOKING show needs a warning label, you should have a different kind of show, you asshats.

    TGPMo2008...Beginning to Start to Commence is Pending
    TGPMo2008 begins today. Really. No, really, I'm starting today. As soon as I pick up the clutter in my office, get the vacuum out and run that in here, tidy up the rest of the house, I am locking myself down here and digging in.

    I think.

    I may photograph it so you can fully appreciate the level of paper clogging up my life around here. Which I'll have to find the camera to do. I suspect it got buried the other night during The Great Sewing Machine Manual Search, during which time I also I found the papers from the sale of the house. Not this house, that we bought three years ago...the house we SOLD in Columbus in 2004. And some credit union papers from the credit union at my old job...from 2004. It was then I realized it's worse than I thought.

    While those older papers do have some semblance of order in their boxes (I'm not even sure why I was checking them for a manual I've only had a year or so), they are still not filed. And many of them are now irrelevant and can be shredded, I'm sure. So they are a part of the process. The process which holds FOUR years of filing for me, instead of TWO. The process which may consume me and swallow me up whole. I should run a rope up the steps that's tied around my waist so Greg can hoist me out if I get stuck in a pile of papers. Picture Wesley using that vine, pulling himself and Buttercup out of the sinking sand pits in Princess Bride. Yeah, like that. I'll keep you posted. If I can.

    Trick or Treat Early OR How Much Cuteness Can You Fit In One Building
    Oakview Mall held their annual "Monster Bash" last night, with indoor TOTing at most of their stores. What a fun time we had this year! Last year on the other hand...we made the mistake of following the pack. We arrived early, sure that the candy would run out by 10 minutes past the hour. We waited in line for at least 30 minutes, acting as though the mall opened at 6pm. The line went from the food court doors to the east end of the mall, past JC Penney's (for you non-Omahans, that's a long freaking line).

    And we waited.

    And then we waited in the line when it finally started moving, and wound our way through the mall, painfully slowly, wish there were some other way. What did we know, we were Monster Bash virgins!

    As we got inside, though, we discovered that the smart people had gone in through other entrances and were free to TOT where ever they pleased, with no negative repercussions of any kind. The only line was one that anal moms like me created in our heads, beyond the inital line going in the front door. And those relaxed-looking people who showed UP at quarter-after - THOSE brilliant folks, clearly experienced mall TOTers, not only DIDN'T have to wait in the line, but they also got the same treats we stood in line for, and there were plenty to go around! So we planned then, and executed last night, our new plan. Show up at 6:15, walk right in, TOT where you please. SO much better.

    Anyway, the cuteness was overflowing. Cute little twins in soft, fluffy cupcake costumes. Princesses everywhere, of every shape and color. Fairies and butterflies, ladybugs and Dorothys, and even a cute purple alien girl. Boys in TMNT shells with red headbands, and boys sporting Buzz Lightyear wings, and boys dressed like puppies and dinosaurs and frogs. Babies swaddled in banana, bee, and bunny costumes. And superheros everywhere - including our two particular superheros, Wonder Woman and Superman (the blond/blonde versions). Samantha and Jackson loved the costume-watching more than they loved getting the candy. We satiated their need for candy in less than 45 minutes, sat down to a less-than-stellar food court dinner, and then came home. Good times.

    It Doesn't Have to Have Monsters To Be A Nightmare
    I dreamt I was knocked up last night. I also dreamt I was happy about it. I also dreamt I was in some freaky weird clinic where you had to go into somebody's bedroom in a trailer to POAS (pee on a stick). While in the dream I was fine with ALL of this, and Greg was ecstatic at the news, I am quite certain it would not be the case should it actually come to pass. See here for reasons why.


    So, that's what's rolling around in my head this morning. Oh, and somebody gave out those stupid fucking strawberry candies at the mall last night again. Prompting me to be sure that I'll be doing my second annual Halloween Candy Review once we get through the actual event next weekend. I can only imagine what some of those Columbusites will come up with to stick in my kids' bags. (Hey, I said "some", not "all", Columbusites, keep your pants on!)

    Hope your weekend is fun and exciting, and your Halloween week is spooky and scary and full of bats, witches and good candy.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Sew Where Is It?

    I have this sewing machine. It's not a great sewing machine. Wait. It's a great sewing machine for what I paid for it. It was $20, new. It's a mini-me version of a real sewing machine, and for as often as I need it and for the depth of my sewing projects, it works great. Very point-and-shoot as sewing machines go.

    Project du juor that I am using said machine for = Halloween costumes, and more specifically, the altering thereof.

    All went well with altering Wonder Woman's main outfit, and even the belt and the arm bands; I whipped them out in record time. I was pretty proud of ole' Cathy about then, let me just say that. About the time I got half way through shortening the "boots" (made of soft thin cloth), things started to get sticky, and then jam up - little examination was required to discover that the damn bobbin came unthreaded.

    No problem. I'll grab the manual and walk myself through it. Bobbins are my least favorite part of sewing; I've never gotten the knack on ANY sewing machine I've owned or used. But surely with the manual in-hand I can get it done, right?

    M'kay, so let me grab the manual. It's not in the box. Oh, yeah, right - it's in the...I saw it in that...

    Yeah, see what had happened was...

    The manual has been floating around the house. I've run across it at least a dozen times in the last year. It's white, with orange lettering on the front, about 6" x 6". I can see it in my head as clear as day. Where I can't see it is in my hand, since I cannot for the LIFE of me FIND the fucking thing.

    I just spent TWO HOURS going through my closets, my files, my boxes of papers, my manual binders, my kitchen cabinets, my drawers - you name it, I looked there. Now it's 2 AM for shit's sake, and here I am, on the verge of a panic attack in my office because this stupid manual, that I have glanced at VERY often in that certain missed pile or drawer or box, eludes me. I think I can hear it laughing at me from its hiding place. Little fucker.

    This is why, folks - this is why TGPMo2008 HAS TO HAPPEN. If I didn't have Halloween costumes to finish I could work on it now. But I need to work on it now so I can FIND the manual so I can RETHREAD the bobbin, so I can FINISH the costumes. See? Ahh, my life is lived in the Great Fields of Irony. Come out and tromp around with me, the weeds are high and the irony grows wild, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

    Oh dear Lord. I just now considered the reality of most likely having to finish sewing those damn boots by hand. Erinn, you're lucky you have school in the morning or I would be calling you RIGHT NOW to come over and thread this damn bobbin, (even though you would undoubtedly laugh at my little-sewing-machine-that-could) because I KNOW you could figure it out, being the sewing genius you are. Whatever, don't argue. Want proof? Fine - anyone here know anyone else who whips out fully lined, satin, beaded bridal capes in three hours the day before her friend's wedding, in which she is standing up as MOH? Yeah, me neither. Oh, and E, you still owe me a guest blog on that vibrating razor idea you had. Makes my butt pucker every time I think about it.

    OK, Cathy's a little punchy now...time to try to shut my brain off, after I have a conversation with my subconscious about how I expect it to dig out the info on where the manual is while I sleep before I get all pissy with it. My subconscious, I mean.

    Ooooook. Whatever. Seriously bed time now. Whoooo.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Year In Review

    So what if there's two months's my blog and I can do what I want. This will be whiny, so prepare yourself. Roll your eyes now, get it out of your system.

    January - we lost and said goodbye to sweet baby William

    June - I find out I need about $3k in dental work

    July - I am blessed with a lovely bout of food poisoning, complete with worthless trip to urgent care

    August - I fell and broke my fucking elbow and sprain my ankle (neither of which are right to this day)

    September - we lost and said goodbye to Aimee

    And now, just for shits and giggles...

    October - My grandmother is diagnosed with Alzheimers and has to be moved into a nursing home, and loses a bit of herself every day, ripping Mom's heart out as it progresses.

    October Part 2 - Greg's overtime at his job, a staple in our financial diet, gets cut firmly and indefinitely. In two weeks we are, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, royally screwed, glued and tattoed.

    So. Yeah. I've said it before and I'll say it again: 2008 can kiss my white ass. This is some BUUUULLSHIT. All of it. Seriously. I am SICK OF IT.


    Ten Years Gone

    I don't do these surveys much, and certainly don't post them much, but this one caught my interest. It's nice to look back.

    1 )How old were you?
    Then: 25
    Now: 35

    2) What was your online presence?
    Then: Pretty minimal, I think. I think we'd just gotten internet before I moved out of you-know-who's, and I don't know that I used the net for a while after that.
    Now: Full-on web junkie. But you already know that.

    3) Where did you work?
    Then: Bogey's Music and Lakeview High
    Now: Home

    4) Where did you live?
    Then: Columbus, NE
    Now: Omaha, NE

    5) Who did you live with?
    Then: At this exact stage of 1998 I was living alone in an apartment and LOVING it.
    Now: Greg, the kids and the Wondermutts

    6) How was your health?
    Then: WAY skinny, but smoked like a freight train; lots of upper respiratory infections
    Now: Not so skinny, but not smoking...I see a correlation; lots of whatever the kids give me

    7) Pets?
    Then: Xena my black lab (who I had just given up custody of to soon-to-be-ex-husband)
    Now: Jake and Greta the Wondermutts

    8) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse/S.O.?
    Then: Divorce hearing was about now with ex-husband, and was just starting to talk to Greg
    Now: Greg

    9) Who were your friends?
    Then: Aimee, Erinn, Greg, Playhouse people, Greg's softball buddies, all my old friends who've always been my friends
    Now: A lot of the same friends from back then, plus folks like Deb, Kae, Jenny, Barbie, Christine, and more than I can list, actually. I am SUPER blessed in the friends department.

    10) Any kids? Any plans for kids?
    Then: no and no (thank god)
    Now: two (thank god!) and NO

    11) What was your worst struggle?
    Then: figuring out where my life was going
    Now: changing where my life is going

    12) What was your biggest joy?
    Then: singing, performing, the perfect smoke ring
    Now: my kids and my husband

    13) What did you consider your greatest accomplishment?
    Then: living on my own for any measure of time
    Now: pushing two kids out with no stitches

    14) What advice would you give your younger self?
    Put the fork down, and learn to like the gym more than video games. Shut up, just do it.

    15) What would your younger self say to you? Uh, HELLO - get FAT much? Remember our deal about the whale harpoon gun if we ever weighed x amount? Remember that?

    16) Looking back, is your life in 2008 what you thought it would be in 1998? By this point in the year, I was already starting to know that I would be with Greg forever, but I couldn't admit that back then out loud, people would have thought I was nuts. I had no idea I'd be this FAT, and I had no idea we'd be in Omaha, but I was pretty sure I'd be with Greg, and I was pretty sure we'd have kids. So I guess overall, I knew I'd be with him, so the answer is "yes", isn't it?

    Feel free to steal this (call it a voluntary meme) and post your own on your blog, and let me know so I can come read. Ten years makes a HUGE difference!

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    My Past Is Not Her Future

    A genuine, much-needed heartfelt talk with my good friend Deb* took place just after I posted what I posted eariler today. Deb, like me, grew up as "the loud girl", the recipient of more "can you lower your voice"s and "you are just too loud"s and "you could whisper through walls"s than most of you will ever understand. So she gets it. She gets why the comment I heard today stung despite its giver's best intentions. We talked about my fears that Samantha would be made to feel bad, and would be in part squelched as she grows into the person she will become, because she's boisterous, because she's got her volume stuck on high when she's excited. We know all too well how it feels to be reprimanded at the height of your excitement, and how that can affect how you feel about yourself.

    Then, as we laid it all out, and talked about how we came to feel badly about that part of ourselves for a time, something occurred to us.

    It doesn't have to be that way.

    Our parents' generation equated loud children as disruptive children, as unruly children, even as bad children, and our families conveyed that to us right along with the world who spent so much time "shushing" us. Who we were and how we felt about ourselves was, in part, defined by being knocked down emotionally when we were at our peaks, which is when we were also at our loudest by nature. Parents who succeeded in quieting their children might have felt victorious over ours who, despite their best efforts, never seemed to have much luck in shutting off the amplifiers inside us; but the more we talked about it, maybe it's a lesson we are proud to have not learned all that well.

    Maybe who we are, even when we are loud...even TOO loud , is really OK. And maybe that spirit, that inability to be still, to be quiet, to stuff our joy, is a good thing.

    And maybe we can pass that on to our daughters, rather than teaching them that it's always best to be figuratively posing for American Girl Magazine, to stuff what you feel, to suppress who you are, and that the only good manners are quiet, ladylike, muted ones.

    Maybe the world will do its best to quiet her, but I can choose NOT to stand in line with them, and NOT participate in admonishing her for who she is. Maybe I can choose to tell her that while we should try to not make things uncomfortable for other people, and we should let other people shine, too, that it's OK to be excited. It's OK to not be able to contain it. It's OK to love who you are, even if an adjective describing part of who you are is "LOUD".

    I have no doubt she WILL be the loudest one singing "Skinamarinkee-dinkee-dink..." tonight. And her daddy will be proud as punch while she does it, probably holding back tears at the enthusiastic, beautiful, smart young lady she is. And the more I think about it, the more I really hope he remembers to video tape the whole loud, boisterous beautiful thing, so I can be proud as punch, too.

    *Deb, I am grateful for you as always; and for the better moms we become every day because we can encourage and uplift one another, and have such immense impact on each other's families in such a beautiful, meaningful way. Thanks for your friendship, and for being a "loud girl" with me, and for loving my little "loud girl", too.

    The Torch Is Passed, And Why That Sucks

    Samantha's preschool is having their "Daddys Spaghetti Dinner" tonight. She is ecstatic. They have been learning songs, making gifts for the dads, and generally building up anticipation for this for weeks. It's all set up and ready to go in the gym, so when we picked up Samantha today, we (along with a couple of other parents and their students) peeked in to check out what we'll be missing tonight.

    VERY cute stuff. Painted rocks with "My Dad Rocks" are at each place setting, made by student for their daddy. Cards touting what each child loves about their dads crop up out of the pumpkin centerpieces. Hand-written place cards complete each place setting. A. DOR. A. BLE. Seriously.

    Mom J, one of my favorite moms, comes up to me and says that her son, a VERY sweet, soft-spoken, well-behaved boy, has told her this: "Mom, when we sing tonight, you're going to hear one very loud voice. That will be Samantha."


    I immediately felt my face go red. I stuttered something, with a fake smile on my face, about how I was loud as a child (shut up, I'm better now), and how Samantha is (sorry Samantha, for when you read this someday) A) loud like me, and B) tone deaf like her father (Greg knows this is true, too). But she has that same passion for 'the singing' as her daddy, and so I was not surprised to hear that she was the loudest of the bunch at four. Mom J felt bad (I must have faked amusement badly) and said she only told me because she thought it was cute. She is SUCH a sweetie (and reminds me much of my dear friend Mrs M, so you know I adore her), and I felt bad...that she felt bad...because she thought I felt bad...because of what she said.

    I told her it was really fine, and that I was fine, she needn't feel bad. But it's easy for her to say that "it's cute" when she has a soft-spoken, never-runs-in-the-halls, always-does-what-he's-told little angel like hers.

    The truth is that I was a little sad. I had hoped that the "S-family-loud-mouth-trait" so prevalent in my family would have passed her by, but she is seemingly not that lucky. I feel bad for her - it's no fun to be the loudest girl. Trust me on that. So while I am thrilled at her enthusiasm, and proud of her 100% effort, I am struggling with accepting that another of the traits that disserviced me as a child has been passed on to her. And the fact that other 4-year olds are already noticing how much LOUDER she is than other kids is a pretty clear indication of how bad she's got her case of "The Louds".

    Sigh. I will do my best to stuff this; to help her find ways to express herself while helping her understand volume control (and mouth control in general), and to find some way to NOT have it affect her self-esteem. I am crossing fingers and praying like mad that I find a way to do just that.

    Tonight will be so special for them, and I choose to focus on that. But here at FMFO, I know I can come and share the secret petrifying fears that eat me up inside about who she is becoming, because I want so much for her to be spared the things I was not spared.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    She's Lucky She's Four

    If a grown-up person had been as disrespectful and awful as my 4-year old was to me after school today, I'd have kicked them right in the box and thrown them down a flight of stairs, and then I'd have gotten nasty.

    If the running up and down the halls outside preschool wasn't bad enough, if the running in the parking lot and fucking LAUGHING at me when I told her to stop wasn't enough, then certainly screaming and crying in a meltdown-threatening tone at me when I told her to get in the van because she "NEEDS TO TELL ANNE GOODBYE, MOMMY!!!!" (which she'd done twice already) was it. Then the whining began once we got en route to home, after she realized she was in deep shit with Mommy, and there was no going back.

    No. "Whining" is not a strong enough word to describe it.

    She was wailing and moaning, fake coughing, relaying her sad, sad story about how she was trying SOOOO HARD, MOMMY to make good choices, and she was SOOOO SORRY, MOMMY for being disrespectful, and for hurting my feelings by not listening and endangering her and her brother (not to mention Mrs. R's children, who she likes to lead down the primrose path to naughty-ness).

    We had a BIG discussion about following directions (they are only supposed to use their "walking feet" in school at all times, which she knows), about listening to Mommy, about how it makes Mommy feel when she doesn't listen and behaves that way, and about what will happen the next time she acts that way.

    Now I need a nap. And I am wondering when they start listening with any level of regularity.

    I think I was about 27 when I started listening to my mom. Great. 23 and 1/2 years to go. That's just dandy.

    Like A Mack Truck

    It's been a few weeks since losing Aimee sucked the wind out of me, and left me feeling like I'd been run over by a semi carrying my heart in its trailer.

    And then, just as suddenly as six weeks ago, her death is stinging me again, the wounds reopened and the pain just as fresh. The numbness is coming over me again. And yet, it is numbness that is tempered with anger and sadness and melancholy and that sensation of "hey, we just got screwed RIGHT in the ass, didn't we?" Or maybe it's all those things that are tempered by the numbness.

    No significant event today, no big revelation, it's just a Tuesday. The sixth Tuesday, by the way, since she died. Six Tuesdays now, with who knows how many more to come, that I get to, every week, relive that awful phone call. A phone call that has been given a visual reminder in my memory by the unfortunate coincidence that I was standing in front of my vanity mirror when Nik told me that she was gone. So every Tuesday I see myself, in my orange v-neck shirt and jeans, hair done, makeup suddenly running; I see me, screaming. Screaming at myself in the mirror and Nik in the phone as he choked on his tears and told me my life would never be the same in two simple words: "...Aimee died..."

    I miss her.

    I miss you, Aimee. I miss our lazy day chats on the phone, our laughs that went on so long that they made us cry, and everything else that I loved about who we were as friends. The tears flowed easily today, and painfully, and you are still worth every one.

    What Are You Waiting For?


    What's the hold up?

    Sure, it's not the best time you'll have in a week. Nobody's lining up to volunteer to go do it. Some say it is slightly unpleasant, while others insist it's the pain that knows no rival. It's not sexy, or thrilling, and overall most people would rather lay in a hammock watching a sunset than go do it.

    But if you're due, or if you're overdue...

    Do it anyway.

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ladies (and gentlemen who have a lady or two that they love). Even the White House is helping to spread the word, lighting the building in pink to remind everyone. Pretty cool, I thought.

    So, here's where I lean on you. If it's that time, it's that time. If you're over 40, or sometimes even over 30 depending on your circumstances and risk level, and you haven't had a mammogram and/or breast ultrasound, it's probably time.

    Knowledge is power, folks, and knowing what's going on with your body can save your life. Early detection is key. Having a set of baseline images, even if you have no suspected problems now, can be a valuable tool if you do detect a problem later on. There is just no reason not to go and get it done if it's that time for you. So go. Call and make the appointment. Go. I'll wait. Ok, that's a lie, I won't wait. Just do it.

    My mom works in a hospital, and takes care of many end-stage cancer patients who come in to die. Do you know what most of them say to her? "I kind of thought something was going on inside my body for a while, but I blew it off and didn't get checked. By the time they found the cancer, it had spread." Talk about regrets.

    Ignorance is NOT bliss, and ignoring potential problems does not eliminate them. So if you suspect something may be going on, you better be RUNNING to the phone to go get checked.

    Besides, why should I have all the fun?

    Yep, that's right. I'm going on Friday for my first mammogram, and even getting the bonus ultrasound for good measure*. I know - you're jealous, right? No need for that, just call your OB/GYN and schedule your own. I'll keep you posted on mine, and I hope to hear from those of you who are due for yours. So get those boobies squished - it's not a whole bunch of fun, but it beats the alternative, right? That's what I thought, too.

    *Nothing to worry about that we know of; I'm just having some slight abnormalities in one breast double-checked, but we fully expect it to be nothing outside of normal non-cancerous breast tissue. If it turns out to be otherwise, I'll let you know.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    You FMFO Sunday Update

    The office is alive. Once again, there is an area known as "the floor" where one can walk without seeking a path to cut through the toys, papers, shoes, etc., that have crept in and made their home here. Fresh air is coming in through the window, the carpet is clean and soft again, and even the area around Jake's chair/bed (our old recliner that he has claimed and now no one else wants it) has been vacuumed and simply awaits a dusting of the base. The desk is still packing some unneccessary stuff, but the possibility of getting it sorted and put away is great. Soon
    TGPMo2008 can begin. The way has been cleared, literally.

    We have been OFF the beach for weeks now. Breaking my arm just before Jackson's birthday was a good start, we crept up onto the dock attached to the beach; and when Aimee died we dove head first off the deep end of the dock, into the river of sugar and sludge, giving ourselves permission to comfort ourselves with Swiss Rolls and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Big Macs and Sonic Chili Cheese Tater Tots. And we're paying the price. Greg, of course, being a man, can simply switch from energy drinks and regular Mountain Dew over to Coke Zero and drop four pounds in three days. I am not that fortuanate, and if I don't stop the bleeding, it's gonna get ugly, and I'll be digging in that box of clothes for Goodwill that I was "sure" I'd never need again. So in the next week or so, once we can afford to restock the house with real food instead of crap, we'll be back on the beach, where we belong. I HATE eating like this, I HATE how I feel, and I HATE that I used tragedy as an excuse to screw myself out of ten pounds I fought to lose. More to come on that fun business.

    Huskers suck, but not quite as bad as last week. They were supposed to get spanked again, but they held the #7 team into overtime and only lost when Ganz' brain fell out and he basically walked OVER to the other team and HANDED them the ball. Poor Joey. Poor Greg. Better luck next week... (This entire section was for you, honey, hope you like it.)

    Gas prices? $2.75 is the lowest baby. Dig it.

    The three crowns I had done this week are too high, and need adjusting. It's really not fun because I find myself biting down on them constantly, presumably subconsciously trying to push them down to where they belong. The result is a sore jaw and ibuprofen requirements at bed time. My liver is going to give out one of these days if I don't stop needing painkillers all the time. Ridiculous.

    Don't ask about my elbow. Just don't. It works, mostly, and that's about the best thing I can say about it.

    The nice fall weather is holding out, and we are grateful for that, knowing that the snow could come any time (shudder). Yesterday Greg put up the privacy fence and it looks great. Certainly better than the crappy chain link that was there. Two sides to go now.

    Samantha just announced she would like to learn yoga. Guess that means I should get some yoga stuff dug up and show her. You know what yoga's like for me, I've said it's like doing oragami with bed pillows.

    Kids are good, Greg and I are good, dogs are stinky but good. That's about it. Hope your weekend was as productive as ours and your week holds nothing but good things. Check back soon, m'kay?

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    OK, So I KNOW The Economy's in the Toilet...

    ...and while I'm damn sorry about that, especially for those with investments that are taking a nosedive, I gotta tell you something.

    I'm really ok with what it's doing to the gas prices around here. Actually, giddy is more like it.

    I know, I know - it's only because the economy's shot to hell, and the bottom is falling out of everything including oil prices. I understand. Yes, it's all clear to me. No Econ or Math classes needed, I promise that I understand the implications of what's going on beyond it being a little cheaper to fill up the family vehicles.

    So, with that said...dude, do you know what it's down to? I know we usually run a little cheaper than other areas, but just a week ago, Greg and I were passing conjecture back and forth about whether or not we would "get below $3 a gallon". Just a week ago. Maybe not even THAT long ago. And as much as it's indicative of how badly things are going in other areas of the economy, I am giggling just a little bit when I pull up to the pumps and see this:


    Ok, so I took this on my cell from a slightly moving vehicle (no, I was not driving, breathe easy), so the quality is less-than stellar. But take my word for it: that top number says $2.89 a gallon. Seriously. Two dollars and eighty-nine cents. No "three" in there anywhere. I took another picture at another place (even LESS legible so I'll spare you) and it said $2.86. And that was two days ago. Yesterday I saw $2.84. No lie.

    Wait. I probably need my "disclaimer paragraph" thrown in about now. Yes, I know everything else is higher. But everything else is higher whether gas prices dropped or not. Yes, I know natural gas prices may be higher to heat my home this winter. What else is new? Yes, I know that part of the drop has to do with offshore drilling moratorium that ended at the beginning of the month (in theory). Let's don't get all deep on this folks...I'm just saying I'm glad the cost to fill my tank has gone down a bit in the last few weeks. Seriously, I can hear some of you anonymous commenters getting your panties all in a wad and readying your keying fingers already. Spare me, m'kay? It's a happy friendly day around here, and I let that last snotty comment go last week, but I may not be so kind in the future.

    So (now that I got that off my chest) since large investments are not something we're blessed with at this time, and we own no stock in any crappy banks or insurance companies or mortgage brokers that have committed financial suicide, everything is the same for us so far in this deep, dark, sad financial time. Except for gas prices - which have dropped close to a dollar in less time than I can even believe. So things being what they are, I'll take it.

    What a Kid, That Sid

    Sid the Science Kid, of course.

    What's that? You haven't seen Sid yet? Henson's new show, running on PBS Kids several times a day now? No? Nothing? You haven't seen this one yet? Oh, here, let me help:

    That's our favorite* song in the whole show. And by "our", I mean all of us - even Mom is digging Sid. A fun, smart, witty group of virtual preschoolers, these kids are all about science, and learning, and singing, and my kids are learning and asking their own questions, and finding themselves sorry when it's over.

    This week they are learning about "Senses", and doing experiments, comparing and contrasting, drawing in their journals about what they learn, and Teacher Suzy always has a great song to go along with the day's lesson.

    TV is a part of our life, unfortunately, and while we are always striving to have it be less a part of our life, I am happy to find shows like these - shows that offer more than some vague lesson in the last 30 seconds of the episode, or characters that are above, below, or just beyond where my kids are. Samantha especially can relate to these kids, she asks the same kinds of questions that they ask (before the show ever existed, I mean). Even Jackson is fascinated by their dancing and their songs, and watches intently while they go through their processes for learning.

    And it's so very nice to have a show on that I can stand to stay in the room and watch with them. When Caillou comes on I want to gouge my eyes out with a fork and puncture my ear drums while I'm at it.

    Check it out. Seriously. CUTE, cute stuff. Fun, witty, modern, and most importantly educational, in a true sense.

    Jim Henson would be proud. And since you KNOW I'm a Muppet lover ( you know that? Have to check my archives...) that means something too.

    *OK, so really my favorite song in the show is this one, that Sid sings on the way to school with his mom: "I love my mom, my mom is COOL, but now it's time for having fun at school!" Samantha has not caught on to this one yet. I hope to hear it coming at me from the back of the van one of these days. Sigh.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    I'm 'Bout to Git Political on your Shizzle

    So here 'diz, homeys, I'ma 'bout ta break it down fuh y'all. I'ma bust out my best break down of the election shizzle that's 'bout to go down up in here, and what cho ass needs to git up and go do. Word.

    Ok, sorry, that's all of that kind of talk I can do without getting a headache. I know that makes me old, but whatever.

    My good friend Deb asked me to do something. And when Deb asks me to do something, I do it, if at all possible. She is my go-to girl for nearly everything, and never asks for anything in return, so when I can do something she asks me to do, I'm there. She asked me to pass this on, so I will.

    Let's face it, there are no candidates running for President and VP who are free from any scuttlebutt, whether you believe it or not, that's up to you, whatever. There are no perfect candidates, no perfect parties, and no one that I can see most people jumping up and down about, regardless of your party affiliation, and nobody's disputing that. (If you want to dispute that, do it someplace else and take your kool-aid with you.) Nothing is perfect. Not in life, not in fast-food, and certainly not in elections in the crazy world we live in. Both candidates have shortcomings, and you can (and should) find out what those are, along with their strengths, beliefs and policies. And even then you may find that none of them will end up being exactly what you had in mind.

    But vote anyway. Get the facts as best you can, figure out which candidate you can most confidently back while still sleeping at night, and get your butt out there and vote when the day comes.

    At least watch the video. Just watch it. Watch it, even if it's just to see how freaking white Forest Whitaker's teeth are. Dude has some SERIOUSLY white teeth. Looks good, though, not like Ross' teeth on that episode of Friends where he looks like a glow worm. Forest's teeth look good. Almost to the point of distration, though. I mean, like, he's obviously had the GOOD whitening job done at the dentist, not that Crest shit.

    Sorry. Fell off the train of thought. Those teeth, man.

    Back to the topic. Get registered and vote. Just get on it. You're running out of time. But watch this video full of shiny, happy people who want you to vote, too. How can you say no to "Rachel" and "Monica" from Friends? To Dustin Hoffman? You're gonna say no to "Rainman"? And Sarah Silverman? My god, she'll probably come to your house and poop on you if you tell her no!

    So really, just watch the video, get registered, and vote. If nothing else it gives you full license to bitch when it all goes further down the toilet in the years to come, either because your guy did, or did NOT, get elected. It's a win-win, really. For you, anyway.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Parenting Hurdle #125 I'm Not Looking Forward To

    So I have this friend. Let's call her Shara. Shara has a son. Let's call him Marco. He's a bright kid, funny and smart and full of life. And he's approaching puberty.

    Or rather, he seems to have stumbled upon and dove head-first INTO puberty.

    Shara calls me today, in what may be construed as a slight panic, with a touch of upset in her voice, and I wasn't quite sure if she was laughing or crying when she said my name when I picked up the phone. I'm still not sure.


    "Hey girl, what's --"

    "Marco is stroking his pole IN MY BATHROOM!!!" There's a conversation starter!

    After much giggling, much "Oh. MY. GOD"-ing and much "ewwwwwww"-ing on the subject, we did discuss it, this fun and exciting topic of "hey, guess what - your kid isn't just a kid anymore, he's this guy with urges and pangs and a wiener that does something other than pee, and he therefore has the need to be alone with himself for a rousing game of plink your shplinky".

    Being progressive, modern, hip moms of today, we don't want our kids, of whom Marco is the first to go through this stage, to feel shameful about masturbation, to feel as though there is something wrong with what he's doing in and of itself, or to feel that there is something wrong with him because of it. Quite the opposite - a healthy and clear understanding of our bodies' functions and why and how they work is essential to growing up to be a fine young man or woman.

    Shara just wishes he'd do it in his OWN bathroom, and that he'd finish his homework first. The bathroom issue stems from, frankly, it being a little close to home for her to know it's going on in her own private bathroom. And as far as being up there making sweet love to himself when he's supposed to be studying, it's not like video games, or shooting hoops outside, or anything else one does before homework. Those things you can discuss, you can help to enlighten the boy on how to prioritize, how to do the hard stuff first and the fun stuff later...wait, that's a pun, unintentional, but a pun nonetheless... Really, think about it. It's just not the same to discuss those things as it is to have to have THIS conversation:

    Mom: So son, it seems you're doing a little five-knuckle shuffle in the afternoon before your father and I get home; we're pretty sure because well, your belt is in my bathroom, where you usually aren't allowed to be, and some, um, adult-oriented media in our room has been moved.

    Now, that's all peaches and cream
    (ha ha, cream, get it?) and I know you like doing that, but what we'd like to see you do is go ahead and finish your algebra BEFORE you go up and choke your chicken. M'kay? Alrighty then, that'd be dandy - now go get ready for supper...

    And wash your hands, OK?

    See? Nobody wants to have that moment. NOBODY. Not Shara, not Marco, and not me when it's Jackson's turn. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit when I typed that. He already thinks it's funny to slap his winky really hard, give it a pinch, and growl-slash-giggle "HA-HAAAAAAAA!". I can't imagine what that will mean for his sexual self in 10 years or so, and I don't care to ponder it for any length of time. Hell, I get nauseous thinking about Marco, and he's not my kid. But I DO remember him at about Jackson's age, and it seems like yesterday. Clearly though, it was NOT yesterday, since yesterday he was up in his mom's know...

    So Shara is at a crossroads with this entire issue. Understandably she trying to figure out, along with her husband, what the best course of action is to refocus Marco's use of personal time, and prioritizing of when it's appropriate to have his "My Winky and Me Time" without bringing down a hailstorm of internal embarrassment and uncomfortable tension on the family that is like none they have ever known.

    We now understand why our parents (most of them) operated out of the school of thought that said "don't talk about it, don't do it, and for god's sake, don't tell if you do": because it's ookie and weird and strange to have those discussions, to make those discoveries, and to have to change how we see our babies as they grow into men and women. that's why. But we strive to do better, to lessen the weirdness and the embarrassment just a little bit, by hopefully finding a way to communicate about these things in a way that shows love, trust, and openness within our families. Shara and I both know that while it's killer on the inside, it's best to dive in, breathe through the embarrassment, and let them know it's OK, but that there's a time and a place for everything. It's important to try to help everyone maintain their dignity and sense of worth while it's all going down.

    Using words like "plink your shplinky" and "five-knuckle shuffle" are probably not great ways to do that, by the way. It's just funny as hell to say when the kid's not around. Same with the "cream" jokes. Not mature. Not mature at all. Go another route...take the high road, my friends. Don't be like me.

    So mark that on the list of things I am not looking forward to. Shara, on the other hand, cannot WAIT for me to call her with that same tone of voice to announce with terror that Jackson is invading my bathroom in the afternoons. Misery loves company...right, Shara? Just remember who has more boys while you're waiting for my nightmare to begin, sweetie.

    I'm teasing. You know I love you, and I promised to be as ooked out as you were on the phone today when I return the phone call, many, many years from now. Many. MANY. SOOOOO MANY. It better be at least ten. Maybe 12. I'd prefer 16.

    Maybe I'll start putting salt peter in his milk when he's about 8.

    Or tomorrow.

    Just Because There Hasn't Been Enough AIG Talk Around Here...

    ...I'll simply refer you this time to CNN, and let you read about AIG for yourself. God forbid I get quoted on MSN again...

    Wow. Just, wow. Some suspect it may have been planned a long time ago and not going wouldn't have saved them any money. May be true. That being said, I don't care if it was planned back on St. Swizzum's Day, there is NO WAY they had any business spending their time in that manner, effectively spitting in the faces of those who bailed them out.

    I'll be picking my jaw up off of my desk now. Man, people just SUCK.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Three Crowns Does Not A Queen Make

    But it does make for a relatively sore mouth, and some more debt, and another day where I got nothing done.

    In addition, and most importantly, it paves the way for Mr I'll-Go-Get-My-Teeth-Worked-On-When-Yours-Are-Done-Dear to do just that. Because guess what? I am done (for the year, anyway...thank you to MetLife for insurance caps).

    So, you're up, babe. Let me know what day and I'll make the appointment. Or you can make it yourself, whatever works for you.

    You are SO going to get your ass chewed for letting that broken tooth go for so long. And I say that with love. Seriously.

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Friday Check-In

    Just thought I'd pop on and let you all know how we're doing around here on this fine Friday.

    NO Sickies For Now
    We are all well as of today, except for the mystery bumps on Samantha's elbows and knees that persist despite the steroid cream. But, they don't bother her, so it doesn't really count. We are, as of this day, currently free of any maladies keeping us in bed or under the weather.

    Unless you count the fact that I am on the rag...there is that.


    Did I just tell the world I'm having my period? Well alrighty then. I think this is a first here at FMFO. Whoo-hoo. Stand back, big moments here today.

    Ooookay, moving on...

    Kids' Stuff
    Samantha is LOVING preschool most of the time, and her new BFF Anne is a cutie pie with a little brother of her own the very same age as our Mr. Jackson. The four of them together is just one big pile of cute, and we look forward to play dates outside of school with the "R" family soon. (Hi, Sara!) Oh, and I owe you people first day pictures, don't I? I should get on that. Sorry, that week was a little crappy outside the preschool realm, I'm grateful I remembered to take pictures at all. I promise, they're coming.

    Tomorrow we'll travel to Lincoln for a drop-off birthday party for Miss Caroline, one of Samantha's best buddies who is turning FOUR. VERY big stuff, this "drop-off party" stuff (it's Samantha's first), and while Samantha is hesitant about it right now, she is more excited to go than she is nervous to be dropped off, so we'll play it by ear and I'm sure she'll be waving us out the door before we know it. It's the funnest part of our weekend, we're sure of it! Mom and Dad will take Jackson out for some good 1-on-1 time in Lincoln, and we expect a good time for all.

    Jackson is a talking machine now. Ok, in volume and quantity, if not in clarity and quality. He repeats the entire alphabet and numbers to ten, and will give any word a shot now, with MUCH higher rates of success than what we saw in the summer. We are glad to see he's found his voice and is excited about using it. His favorite word is "Yooooohoooo!" when he wants your attention. Need to get that on video for you, it's a riot, folks, trust me.

    Just a Month Ago
    I am fine, I guess. It seems like it's been longer, and yet I can remember talking to her like it was yesterday. I am dealing with Aimee's death as well as I can on any given day. Four weeks ago today was her wake. I go back and forth between being glad and regretful that I didn't take pictures of her in her casket. I wanted to before I saw her, didn't want to after I did see her, and now I just don't know. I know it's not who she was, and it's just the part of my brain that connects her body with who she is automatically that wants a picture; and in time I'll forget that shell of her and only be able to remember the Aimee I knew whose nose moved when she talked, whose green eyes sparkled when she laughed, and whose hair was much cuter and perkier than what I saw four weeks ago today. I know that. I still miss her every day, still wonder if she can hear me, and still know my life will never be the same without her. But I continue, also, to be blessed by all of you who have cared about me and continued to check in on me during the past month. Thank you so very much for that, it means the world.

    TCB, Or Planning To, Anyway
    Anyway, we have SO many projects we'd like to get done this weekend. We did get the garage cleaned out earlier in the week, a fun family night for all that was long overdue. But that project was one on a huge list that is longer than I care to share of things we'd like to get done before the snow flies. (Maybe I NEED to share it...hmmm...) Well, OK we've gotten a few things done...I did clean out my kitchen pantry the other day, and I did tackle the storage room yesterday, but that will get torn apart again when The Great Paper Movement of 2008 begins. (Yes, I am still not working on that yet, I have still not cleaned my office so I CAN do that yet...see "huge list" above). We are ready for another garage sale followed by a pick-up from Goodwill, especially since I didn't do that last time Mrs M and I had a sale. What was I thinking? But that sale will probably have to wait 'til spring, as winter is threatening to show up any day, blowing thoughts of garage sales out of everyone's minds until then.

    So, anyway, about that list...

    *Clean out storage room - check
    *Clean out garage - check
    *Clean out kitchen cupboards - check
    *Get all laundry done, including blankets, etc
    *Clean out office nightmare
    *Sort/box/rotate/purge toys before the holiday in-flux (that surely threatens to bury us alive in Fisher Price and Leap Frog)
    *Rotate winter and summer clothes & purge outgrown kids' stuff
    *Deep clean all main floor
    *Clean all windows in and out (I'm not sure this even got done in the spring, so we're overdue)
    *Begin The Great Paper Movement of 2008 (TGPMo2008)
    *Refinish Samantha's pink cabinet
    *Install last replacement doors on main floor
    *Strip and re-paint foundation
    *Winterize flowers and plants
    *Install shelving in new garden shed

    Wait. Now that I'm thinking about it...did I ever explain here the fundamentals of TGPMo2008? Maybe not. Let me back up. Let me clarify so you can have a clear understanding of what's to come.

    I have been remiss in my filing. For longer than I'll admit. You don't even know. It's a little crazy now. It's a little MORE than a little crazy now. Can some of it now be thrown? Sure - but those things exist among documents we DO need, and there is nothing to be done but sort, sort, sort, and file, file, file, ad infinitum. It's such daunting task that I weekly find other projects that simply "must" come before it. Which I am aware is only adding to the pile. Or pileS, rather.

    Strangely enough, I am looking forward to the task, and dreading it at the same time. Surely it will take DAYS to complete. (Yes, it's REALLY that bad. Think circa 2006 since I put anything in a file cabinet. Shut up. Whatever, I had a baby that year. And this year has sucked my ass. And 2007, well...whatever. Shut up.) The files in the cabinet, many of them, are no longer current, so much labeling and relabeling of files is necessary as we go along.

    SO. The goal is this: eliminate the boxes of paperwork requiring attention, purge what can be purged and file what we need, and find a better system to prevent it from happening again. MUCH movement of files, of needed documents, of memorabilia, of books, magazine articles, etc., is on the way - thus the title "The GREAT Paper Movement of 2008".

    2:42 Means Time to Goooooo
    Gotta go pick up the girl from preschool. So that's what's up with us. Bored? Feeling the need to work but just have no place to be? Give me a buzz, we can put you to work, and we pay in food and my kids performing cute tricks for you. I'll wait for your call.

    I'm sure I'll be absent a few days when TGMo2008 happens, and a few more days when we tackle all that other business listed up there, but no worries. I'll always find the computer again, no matter how deeply it gets buried, believe me. You are like the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box - I'll keep digging until I find you. Have a stupendous weekend, my lovelies.