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    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Futuristic Writings

    I wrote it tonight, but it won't publish until March. I set it, and I'm sure I'll forget it. You can't read it until then, and I won't read it again until then. What's it about? You'll have to stick around until at least March to find out.

    Ooo, suspenseful, yes? I know. Try to contain yourself.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Your Update For Wednesday

    Morning, lovelies. How about a quick update on completely random, and mostly pointless topics? Yes? Alrighty then.

    ~ It's raining like a biotch around here today. No complaints, I was just thinking I was going to need to water my garden (which I've only had to do twice since June, hallelujahpraisethelord), and Mother Nature provided again, bless her heart.

    ~ Jackson is obsessed with Sun Chips (Harvest Cheddar, obviously). He would literally sit and eat them all. day. long. I don't let him, obviously. If I did that, how would I eat Sun Chips all day long every time he's not looking? Right.

    ~ I found my avocado cream soup recipe after not having it for a few years. I'm so excited about it I almost cried when I found it. Seriously.

    ~ We have this Kindergarten thing down. She gets dropped off at precisely 8:43 each morning, rain or shine, and goes bouncing off into her school and escorts herself to class. Some days we're too early, though, and have to wait a few minutes to get in the drop-off line. I know, right? The only real confusion right now is that Jackson, who had his 3 year wellness visit on Day 3 of school, still wants to know if he can go see his pediatrician EVERY DAY when we drop off the girl.

    ~ A Thermos with Disney Princesses on it (and also the only BPA/PVC-free one on the shelf) will run you $13. No lie. For a fucking THERMOS. To put Spaghetti-os in. Would I kid you? Right. Anyway - $13 bucks. And if she doesn't lose it before Christmas it'll be a miracle.

    ~ TGPMo2009 is happening. No, it really is. I'm not kidding. I know. I know it was originally TGPM02008. I didn't want to say anything when I started a few days ago, but it's really true this time. I think this might even be the last day. As in, I may FINISH TGPMo2009...TODAY. Shut up, you say. Get out of town. Finished? You're never going to finish that shit, Cathy, get over yourself, you've been talking about it since Saint Swizzum's Day. Fine, think what you want, but I'm telling you, it's happening. I may take pictures when it's done.

    ~ I need to stop drinking pop...nothing else to that one, really, I just do. Not sure when the hell I WILL, but I NEED to.

    ~ If you haven't tried these yet, you need to get you some: Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins. Oy. SO good. And regardless of your particular food plan, these are for you. Counting calories? Only 100 per TWO pieces (one "roll"). Carbs? Good whole grain ones. Fiber? Lots. Taste - uh, super really yummy good. Replace pretty much ANY bread with this thin, almost pita-like bread, and you've got a meal that just got healthier - burgers, sandwiches, and we've even done hot dogs and grilled cheese. SO good - even the kids think so. And while originally I could only get them at Target and Bag-n-Save, Walmart is now carrying them, and at a MUCH lower price. It's seriously my favorite new food item of 2009. I don't see myself ever eating regular bread on a daily basis again.

    ~ My breakfast is now gone, and so it's time. Time to log off, and file, file, file. I've organized, sorted, pitched, recycled, alphabetized, you name it. Only the filing remains. Time to get after that, and get it done. So this list of random, pointless updates comes to an end. Lots of heavy-duty stuff coming up around here at FMFO, as I approach the anniversary of Aimee's death, and I do not look forward to it. But I am hoping to find a way to honor her and let her see and know that I have not forgotten her, that I haven't moved on, and that she is still with us in our every day life because we carry her in our hearts. Sigh. More on that to come. Have a great day, dear reader.

    Oh, but seriously - go get some of those Sandwich Thins. You'll thank me.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    You Ask, I Answer ~ OR ~ It Shouldn't Be THIS Hard to Pick Up My Kid

    I’m sitting in the van. I'm typing on my laptop (thanks again, dear!).


    Time? Well, it’s 3:30 now. It was 3:15 when I arrived.

    What’s that? When does she get OUT of school? Oh, 3:45. They walk them out by 3:48 or so.

    So what were you doing getting there at 3:15, you ask? Fair question.

    Well, that’s what time you have to be at BWE to pick up your kindergartner if you want to park in one of the FOUR parking spaces available for the kindergarten parents.

    FOUR. 4. F-O-U-R. Yeah. Four.

    Say again? Oh, now you want to know, How MANY kindergartners are there at BWE?

    Oh, about 100. And let’s say that half of them get picked up by car. Just half. Might be more, might be a little less. But let’s say it’s half. So 50.

    Assuming that there aren’t large quantities of multiples attending kindergarten this year at BWE, that means roughly FIFTY cars are vying for FOUR parking spaces.

    FOUR. 4. F-O-U-R. Yeah. Four.

    What do the other 46 parents get to do (many with toddlers/babies/preschoolers in tow), you ask?

    Oh, well that's the best part. Those lucky folks get to park down the street, a LONG way down the narrow street, on crappy sidewalks, and they get to WALK, and come and stand in the school's yard and wait for their kids. In August - a little warm, but not such a big deal. In February? Oh, you can BET I’ll be here by 3:15, because there is NO WAY IN ROTTING HELL I am standing out there waiting in 2 feet of snow with a 3-year old.

    And in case you wondered, I arrived at 3:15, the first kindergarten parent to arrive. But how long until the other spots were occupied? you ponder. By 3:25, the other three spots were filled. And the other parents who I'd seen parked there the last two days drove by me and shot me dirty looks for taking what they presumed are "their" parking spaces. I can only imagine what time those folks will show up tomorrow.

    There has GOT TO BE a better solution. I have NO idea what it is, but I am flabbergasted that hundreds of parents participate, all year long, year after year, in this ugly, unmanageable, inconvenient, STUPID process for picking up kids every day, and NOBODY has thought to say “Hey, this is NOT a great plan. Can’t we do better?”

    So for the record, I’m saying it now:


    I'm scheduling a meeting with the principal. I stopped in and tried to visit with him this morning, but apparently being neither friendly nor helpful are required to be a secretary at BWE, so I will call him directly and make an appointment.

    This may be my new cause, folks. My new passion. That which I will make right before I die. I may also have to video tape it so you gain a true appreciation for what an absolute NIGHTMARE this pick-up procedure truly is.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    3 Years Ago

    ...right this second, I'm pretty sure I was comfortable. The epidural had set in, a perfect, perfect epidural, with leg control AND the complete absence of pain in the abdominal area. Only the allergy to the narcotic that made me itch from the boobs up was keeping it from being a perfect afternoon in the hospital (lol). I knew I wanted a nap, and lunch, and that I was excited to meet you, and I knew that all signs pointed to me getting to meet you that day (which I did, if only by 5 minutes). But there was so much I didn't know.

    I couldn't see you then. So I didn't know that you'd have that little knob on your ear that I have, that your uncles both have. I didn't know you'd get my nose and Daddy's hair. I didn't know you'd have eyes as blue as pools; or that your laugh would give me goosebumps; or that you'd say things like "GET OUT FROM DIS TOWN!" instead of the common phrase of disbelief "Get outta town!" and send your father and I rolling with laughter. I didn't know your sister didn't have her best friend yet. I didn't know that I would find fat rolls completely lovable and endearing. I didn't know you would be kind, and gentle, and tender-hearted like your Daddy, and that you would say things like "You best Mom EVER, Mommy - I kiss you now." I didn't know how different, and how equally wonderful, it would be to raise you compared with raising your sister.

    I didn't know how much I could love a little boy.

    I didn't know my heart would ache with love and burst the second I saw you.

    I didn't know our family wasn't complete until you came to be with us.

    I know all of that now. And I'm so happy to know all of the things I know about you, and on your birthday, my sweet boy, I am more grateful than ever to have the rest of your life to learn so much more about you. I hope you have a perfect day today.

    Momma loves you.

    *Photo credit:

    She's a Big Girl

    No question.

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    As You Go Off to Kindergarten

    Remember to use your listening ears, and to think before you answer back.
    Be respectful, and honest, and stand up for yourself, no matter what anyone else says.
    Keep your hands to yourself, and out of your mouth.
    You are there to learn first, and to make friends and socialize second.
    Choose your friends wisely. They can make a world of difference in your life.
    You can make a good choice no matter what anybody else does.
    When you hurt someone, say you’re sorry, even if it was an accident - and mean it.
    Use your best manners, and take turns, and share.
    Please eat good foods and drink enough milk and water.
    Don’t forget to go to the restroom when you need to go. And wash your hands.
    Be a good listener, a good learner, and a good student.
    Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.
    Know that we will miss you every second you are gone...but that we are so proud of you for going out into the world to blossom and grow into the beautiful woman I know you will be someday. Today it’s just kindergarten, but that’s a first step to the rest of your life. And it’s a big step, but we know you’ll meet the challenge and come through like a champ.

    Oh, and I know you are really excited, and we are too.’s OK to be a little bit nervous, or even scared. I am a little bit scared, too - scared of how fast it‘s all going; scared of blinking twice and realizing you‘ve grown and gone; and a tiny bit scared of things that could happen while you're away from me, that you have no inkling are even a possiblity, as you sleep soundly in your bed right this second.

    But more than anything I am proud of you, my love - so very, very proud of your kind heart, your sweet spirit, your beautiful sense of self, your sharp wit and your keen mind. You‘re going to light up the world, Samantha, and I am so blessed to get to watch it happen. August 17th is the first day, honey - the first day of the life you choose for yourself. And I know you’ll be spectacular.

    Happy First Day of School, my sweet baby girl.

    Momma loves you.


    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Four More Sleeps

    ...until she starts school. Wow.

    We met her teacher tonight, and got to see her classroom and the new play ground they just built. Very fun stuff! She was excited, and glad to meet Mrs P, her kindergarten teacher who seems very nice and seems to like the kids.

    All good signs and good feelings about the whole thing. Let's hope this great vibe continues and we can have a great year of school.

    Now if I could just convince Jackson that they really ARE NOT GOING TO LET HIM STAY with his sister, I'd be all set. He REALLY thinks he's ready for kindergarten. Really, really. Him no want to stay home wis Momma, him wants to go to sool wis MISSY!!!!

    More on this later. Just found out my dad's in town tomorrow and stopping by, so I'd better pick up the house and get my butt to bed.

    Monday, August 10, 2009


    So you're really going ahead with this dead thing, huh? Seriously?

    Because I was sure it had to be a joke. A bad joke. A horrible, fucked up, scary, sad, not-even-kind-of-funny joke. Like, if someone had played this joke on you, you'd have said "Somebody gonna die..." in that funny voice. Ironic, yes? Yes.

    So not a joke. I get that. I then hoped it was some weird, stupid, so-real-you-pinch-yourself-and-turn-on-the-TV-to-forget-it dream. It's been almost a year now, after all, and I keep hoping to wake up like it was some bad season of Dallas and realize that no one shot J.R., and that my best friend isn't gone.

    But you are. You're still gone. And it still doesn't make any sense.

    I can see now, as I look back at the time close to your death, that people were being sent into my life to hold me up after you were gone, and for that I am grateful. To God, to the powers that be, to whoever. People like Deb, who listened, cried and consoled as I sobbed and fell apart over the phone line; and Sara, who hugged a stranger who couldn't have needed it more and became a fast true friend. Without them I would not have survived the last year. And not just them, many of my loved ones swooped in and cared for me, and were (and are) the kinds of friends and family you'd have been proud of. And I am sure you are settled in now, resting in love and peace, and feeling full understanding of why what happened had to happen. I wish you could share that with me, because we are not so lucky down here.

    I miss you. I still miss you. More all the time. There are moments when I ache for you. The wounds' scars, that begin to form over time, are so frighteningly thin and frail, and it only takes a moment on any given day to rip them wide open, and the tears come again. And again. And again. A picture. A funny quote. The Cleveland Browns. Seeing Copper. Walking by a Game Stop. A song you would have loved. Dane Cook. G.I. Joe. Eddie Murphy. The name Murphy, period. Ink cartridge exchange programs. Tampons in a Target bag. Someone's nose moving when they talk. Calla lilies. The rent. Facebook. Myspace. TV theme songs. Red fingernails over boobs. My kids. My dogs. My husband. My wedding. Baby Einstein. My kids' T-shirts. CDs you burned for me. 278 wedding snapshots that you scanned for me before I ever had a scanner to understand how much fucking TIME that must have taken. Y-Knot. Poodle Skirts. King's. MST3k. Marlboros. Bare Minerals. Green eye makeup. Curly hair. Sex caves. Ambien. Psoriasis. Tiny feet. Shoes. Oh, and that girl. The girl in the white car at the gas station the other day, who looked so much like you, no matter which way she turned, that I had to stop myself from running to the car to prove to myself that it wasn't you. (The dog on her lap that looked like Waldo, the dog you got your parents 2 weeks before you died, didn't help.)

    All of it, it all leads back to you, kicks me in the gut, and sends me through the momentary disbelief that you are still...really...dead. So much of our lives we shared, for so many years, and you're not here to share anything with anymore.

    There is still a hole. There will always be a hole, Aim. Always.

    Just so you know...

    ...I have NO clue what to make for supper.

    That is all for today.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Sweet Escape

    Thanks, honey. And sorry, again, for being a royal asstard this morning. Ain't I a stinkah? Love you.


    That's the best word for today. Jackson's party is coming up,and for some reason I have neither the time, money, nor motivation to get anything done, planned, or figured out for it. I am burned out on big kids' parties that the guests of honor will not even remember. Why didn't I wait until they got bigger? All of you rolling your eyes and saying "DUH, Cathy!" can just shut it. I'm not on the mood, frankly. The fact is, I have to do this party, Jackson deserves this party as much as Samantha deserved a big 3-year-old party, and I'm not screwing him out of it just because I have a cob up my ass about doing the work. But it all makes me feel unsettled.

    Greg is busiest this time of year, and while it's nice to have that level of financial means coming in, it means more time for me on my own with the kids, and less time for him and the kids (which seems to lower his thresh hold for their antics, for some reason, rather than raising it), and certainly less time for us. It also leaves me feeling disjointed from our marriage, and while that is not particularly dangerous because I believe in the longevity of our marriage, it makes for a weird vibe between us that I can't quite put my finger on. Or maybe he's just acting strangely and I'm not really ready to be real about that yet. (Greg...thoughts?) And it makes me feel unsettled.

    I did some good meditation last night, (see previous blog), and while I feel relaxed as I'm doing it, I find that the morning after I am, possibly, more irritated than usual. Maybe stirring up stuff, yeah? Maybe not satisfied with where I'm getting in my meditation and that bugs me? Whatever the reason, it leaves me, you guessed it - unsettled.

    Oh, and I have PMS. Me with PMS is "unsettled" personified. No joke. Unsettled.

    Not even sure what the point is. Just that I'm, well...unsettled. I'm feeling unsettled about that. Vicious cycles much? Oy. I need to get a shower, and get my poop in a group around here. Not that it'll help, but it needs to be done.

    I'm No Farm Girl

    I swear to god. My good friend Rayann lovingly called me that on FB recently, and if you look at my blog as of late, you'll swear she's right! Tomatoes, sweet corn picked out of a field, botany everywhere, garden pics - it's a really green thumb environment going on here this summer at FMFO.

    But there's way more going on over here than just agriculture. I am Shredding - painfully, and with great effort and not great consistency, but Shredding all the same. Jillian Michaels is kicking my ass on a hopefully-soon-to-be regular basis. And I hope to see the results. Google "Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred". The DVD's cheap, pick one up. Or watch it first on youtube. Seriously old-school workout here, folks - circuit training with strength, cardio and abs. I hope to make a real part of my regular life.

    I am meditating. Nobody even knows that yet, you heard it here first. And I'm just starting, to be clear - it's not like I've been closet meditating for months now. And frankly, I still rather suck at it. It's kind of like trying not to giggle in church, or trying to be serious in the principal's office when "Relax...don't do it...when you wanna cum..." is playing on the radio in the background. Or trying to keep focused on a training segment that you know you'll need later in your job, but just can't seem to stay plugged in to. Yeah, it's like that. I know I feel better from the breathing techniques, and I am still searching for the best meditation guide (some sound like they are trying to put me to sleep, some DO put me to sleep, and some of them just plain sound like douche bags), but there are plenty to choose from online, so the search and the work is in progress, for sure. And I hope to be better for it before I'm an expert.

    I am trying to get school options figured out. Metro is apparently not interested in taking on new students because I can't even get anyone there to call me. And who even knows what the hell I want to study anyway? Certainly not me. My heart draws me to psychology, but I'm not sure I have it in me to hear of heartache and pain all day, every day, and I'm not sure I will deal with the inevitable failures very well, either. Maybe pet therapy. I mean, really, only people with money even really buy into that stuff anyway, right? So the pay should be fairly nice. And let's face it, if I screw up, and Spot offs himself, or still chews up the furniture, or can't give up beggin strips and has to go to the puppy fat farm, it's a dog, dude. A DOG. How bad can I feel about not being able to tighten the bolts on a dog brain? Hmm?

    Oookay, Cathy's a little tired now. Anyway...

    So, school's a possibility. That's really the long and the short of that.

    What I'd really love to do is get a fucking book written and published (I know, me and 125 million other talented writers, yes?). OR, and I know I've mentioned this, I'd love to dust off my children's book that's been in a file for ?? years now, and get someone to look at that. I feel less confident about it all the time, and I'm not even sure why. It's a perfectly nice story, with a perfectly sweet character, and I think it feels iffy because I know there are dozens and dozens of perfectly nice manuscripts just like mine that go in the trash at publishers daily.

    More later. My batter on my laptop is dying. Yes, I have a laptop now. A brand spanking new one. I know, right? SO not a farm girl.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    One Hundred Greenies

    That's the estimate. It's a rough estimate, I didn't count every single one. I don't think I could, the plants are so huge I'm not sure how I'll get in to pick them.

    Not that I think that's really a genuine concern right now. They're never going to turn. Ever. E.V.E.R. They're just going to remain the biggest tomato plants in history, with the most beautiful big round lovely fruits ever, that will never, ever, ever turn red. Ever.

    I had one. One that was rather small, but had a lovely red tinge, and soon looked ready to pick. So I finally picked it.

    And stuck my fingers through the hidden, ROTTEN other side.


    Seriously, some horticulturalist needs to come study these plants. They are lovely. They have had their suckers removed. They should have been pruned more than they were, but frankly that has not affected production. I KNOW there's 100 tomatoes set on. Most of them are softball sized, and beautiful, beautiful fruits.

    They're just green as the grass in June, that's all.

    Don't believe me? Well, allow me to show you.

    I have more. I can post them.


    Ok, tantrum over. I'm going to go check now, convinced that I'll see nothing different today than I saw yesterday. If by some miracle of God I happen to notice a change in the dozens and dozens of green spheres hanging out in my back yard, I'll letcha know.

    But don't wait around for it.

    UPDATE (2o minutes later):

    Two. There are two that are beginning to turn. Oh, and I did a more specific count of one plant. I counted no less than 55 - on one plant. I have four. I am now hearing that old addage in my head "Be careful what you wish for...", because I lack the answer to the question "What in hell am I going to do with over 200 tomatoes?!?"

    I hope to find out. But again, not banking on it.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Up to My Ears In Ears

    So Greg's grandpa told us the sweet corn was ready, and to come and "pick all we wanted". And so we did!

    There's 13 bags here, folks.


    Got it cleaned and was one bag's worth:



    Blanch them...


    After they cool, they come to the counter...


    Where the trusty paring knife awaits...


    Meanwhile the taste-testers are hard at work, and liking what they taste, I might add:



    So we bag it, and freeze it,


    and this winter we'll eat sweet, sweet corn (30 quarts in all), compliments of Grandpa's farm and our hard-working hands. Worth every second of work!

    Busy, busy, busy!

    Yep. I know, not a valid excuse, but a true one, anyway. A FABULOUS trip to Minnesota to see dear friends, two birthday parties (and one to plan for our Jackson soon), play dates, summer fun, corn and cherries to pick and freeze, and on and on like that...all of it culminates into me not blogging for a few weeks now. I was unaware (as we all always seem to be) of how quickly the time had passed since I blogged last, until the fine ladies at BlogHer Ads emailed me this morning and gave the kind, patient version of "Hey, dumbass, post a blog already, wouldja?" Sorry girls, I'll get it in gear again soon, I promise!

    So take this as my raincheck for future blogs of substance to come, very soon. Promise. I have a corn blog, a vacation blog, and a staycation blog all in the works. But right now I have a timer going off that tells me the next batch of corn is ready to take out of the boiling water. Never a dull moment.

    Stay tuned.