Good Times with the Boys

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— 1 —

If you have young children and need some help (as if anyone with little ones doesn’t!) bond with a nearby fifty-year-old woman without grandchildren. Baby Fever never stops, no matter what your age (for women, at least). When someone says, “I’d love to watch your little ones while you run errands, go out to dinner, take a nap and a shower . . . whatever – take them up on it!” Women of my age tend to be authentic. We don’t say it unless we truly mean it. I’m lucky enough to spend Friday evenings with my bestie Lisa and her two adorable grandsons. I look forward to it all week long. And I’m always up for some extra time with the boys if their mom needs me. The eldest can actually say “Angie” and the youngest has decided my chin is a teething toy. Clearly, they have me wrapped around their little fingers!

— 2 —

Meanwhile, my 17yo baby took me to see Finding Dory this week, and it was awesome. He and his dad need to go to the movies together on an evening Michael’s not too tired (hard to schedule since he’s still working at least six days a week in the heat with no AC). John’s latest “working at the cinema” story was a couple who brought a seven-day-old newborn to the movies.  I didn’t even ask which movie, because it doesn’t matter! They are all too loud for an infant. One plank in my large Presidential platform would be requiring a few simple tests before people become parents. One would be a multiple-multiple test about what large social functions in which a newborn should be included. (Hint: correct answer, no matter the choices, will probably be “none of the above”).

— 3 —

Teenagers are alternately the most fun and the most frustrating creatures on Earth. This week he’s been a blast. We both have the same dark sense of humor (he’d make a fabulous ER doc), so running out of dog food and having only one car mobile turned into serious entertainment. Michael had my car (the only one big enough to haul crates of Alaskan lobsters to Nashville) and had a flat. John’s brakes are totally shot, and John had Michael’s car at a friend’s house, where he’d stayed up until 3am watching classic horror movies. I started texting him at 4pm, reminding him that our chocolate lab insisted on her supper being served promptly at 5. About ten minutes later I texted that I had barricaded myself in the bedroom, but wasn’t sure the door would hold. The 4:20 text was, “HELP! ARRGH!”. He calmly called me from Kroger about the preferred brand, which I managed to strangle out before screaming, adding a deep “WOOF! WOOF!” and hanging up. He called again in the checkout line to see if we needed pancake syrup, to which I replied, “They hit an artery! Blood is hitting the ceiling! ARRGH! WOOF! WOOF!” When he came home I dragged myself, moaning, into the living room. He counted my limbs and saw there was no blood trail, and was unimpressed.

— 4 —

Of course yesterday John and I went frame-shopping at the Goodwill down the street, and even though I’d talked to him only five minutes earlier Michael was worried when he got home and John and I weren’t there. It’s all about knowing your audience, I guess.

— 5 —

Do you have a Click-It option at the Kroger/Publix/whatever is near you? If you do, use it! It’s the best thing since sliced bread. It only costs $5 per order, and it’s very easy to order your staples for a full month at one time, show up, and have them loaded into your car. Then you only have to make weekly trips for perishables, and it forces you to meal-plan. Awesome. But poor and disabled people can’t use it. Due to chronic severe neck and back pain I cannot even walk through Kroger anymore. So it’s yet another thing on Michael’s to-do list. But Kroger will not take the EBT card (food stamps) for a Click-It purchase, even if all items are eligible. I sat at the computer and cried, because I was so mad that I’d put that much time and effort into my list and meal-planning and downloading coupons to my card . . . and wasn’t going to be able to use it. And it’s perfect for handicapped people – all the brand names, sizes, and prices are right there on your computer screen – no crouching down or craning up to compare prices.

— 6 —

I’ve been writing every day. What I thought was just a short story has already hit 40,000 words and I have so much more to write! Maybe it would have been a good idea to memorize the keyboard and use the home keys in Junior High typing class after all. This one will be published under a nom de plume – Sowing Wild Oats by BeBe (pronounced Bay-Bay) Boudreaux (like the butt paste) if you’re interested. It should be out in time for Christmas gift-giving for those who like erotic suspense. No, that’s not my usual genre (hence the nom de plume), but you write what the muse serves up. And lately she’s been ladling out steamy and Southern. You don’t say, “No thank you, ma’am” to the muse. Not if you want to keep writing.

— 7 —

I wish everyone a wonderful Independence Day Weekend!! Eat watermelon and grilled burgers, lounge in the pool until your fingers and toes get all pruney, and insulate your dogs as well as possible from the fireworks. But above all don’t forget all the hard-working men and women in the military who are serving our country 365 days a year. And be thankful for the doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who are on hand July 4th when you do something stupid. Last but not least, remember in your prayers the many proud Americans who don’t get paid holidays, can’t afford to grill out, and don’t have any access to a pool or a safe fireworks display. Buy some extra sparklers and watermelons and hand them out to the children and adults you encounter between now and Monday! You’ll be surprised how much more you enjoy the holiday!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Dory and Steve and Me Being Pissy!

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— 1 —

It has been a couple of weeks, so I’ll update you first on John’s job at the movie theater, which he really does enjoy.  Nothing too crazy has been found in the theaters during cleanup (thank goodness), except a mostly empty baggie of what John referred to as “the Devil’s lettuce”. I have no idea where he picked that one up, but it was new to me.  I keep picturing a cartoon devil looking sadly at his wedge of iceberg lettuce. John took me to see Finding Dory today, and it was wonderful. I should watch more children’s movies, especially Disney/Pixar ones. During the previews I was excited to see they are remaking Pete’s Dragon. I loved the cartoon version, so I’m anxiously awaiting what the wonders of CGI will bring!

— 2 —

stephen king
I live in Louisville, KY, so our city honored the passing of one of the most well-known figures in the world the Friday after he passed away (Muhammad Ali). Native Louisvillians know what to do on days like that; when roads are blocked, businesses closed, hotels booked solid, and parts of the city off-limits to anyone who doesn’t live there or can’t afford the astronomical prices to be there . . . we stay home. But that Sunday, with 2,400 of my closest friends, I saw Stephen King. He came on stage in an old T-shirt and baggy jeans and talked to all of us as if we were in his living room. Meanwhile, an unexpected storm swirled around us, with thunder, lightning, and pelting rain that was probably sent by Vincent Price himself 🙂 The walking, standing, and sitting required to see him put me in bed, unable even to read his newest book, for two days. But it was 100% worth it!

— 3 —

Of course one of those days was the best hair day I’ve had in years. I noticed it as I passed by a mirror in the bathroom. It’s a shame there has no one but the dogs to appreciate it. After all, I know full well they were thinking, “So what, the hair on the top of your head looks nice. Big whoop. My entire body is covered with fur and I look fabulous!”
saminda

— 4 —

I limped in to see my chiropractor the first day I could walk as far as my car. He has such a knack for expressing medical terms in everyday analogies.  When I told him about sitting, standing, and walking much more than I was able and having spent the last two days in bed he said immediately, “It was the standing more than anything. Does your cane have a seat you can use to sit?” I admitted it didn’t, and he explained that when I’d been standing even though I’d shifted positions frequently gravity was compressing my entire spinal column. When he said that I laughingly admitted that I hadn’t weighed myself since the event, because I felt so much heavier. It felt as though I had double the force of gravity pulling me down, and I was surprised my wood floors didn’t crack with every step I took. I left that day feeling much lighter 🙂

— 5 —

I want to have a Nerium Twitter Party soon, but even though I’ve tweeted it out daily and put it on FB every other day I haven’t had a single response. I even logged in as my husband to make sure the link and survey were working. I want to give away the prizes people WANT, not just what I happen to have on hand. So if you’re at all interested in anti-aging for the face or body, or a brain supplement, please browse my Nerium site and fill out my survey about what you would most like to win. I have 900 Twitter followers, so if I can’t get at least 50 people interested enough in a Twitter Party to fill out a survey then it’s probably time for me to cull the herd drastically and try a different approach.

— 6 —

Any moms out there who didn’t get a Mother’s Day card, call, or at least a freakin’ text or FB post from one of their children? How about Father’s Day? Any dads feeling left out, unloved, unappreciated? My parents divorced when I was twelve and I think I always sent him a card and/or called him. I hope I did. I know when I was older I made sure to include him in everything, or at least offer to include him. It’s hard with blended families. But Michael and I will have been married 30 years this summer. And Michael is the best father any boy could have. I don’t understand it.

— 7 —

I went to my second meeting of my local Chronic Pain Support Group. I’d been hesitant, because everyone there seemed to have Fibromyalgia, which I don’t know much about. But this time we discussed “dry needling” (which got me through my eldest son’s wedding without collapsing) and then everyone’s diseases and symptomatology. I was not the only person there without Fibro (thank goodness!) but could relate to many more of the symptoms than I thought. My hyper-acute sense of smell, for example. Everything I use must be unscented (try finding unscented shampoo-just try!) and waiting rooms at doctor’s offices are torture chambers. Cigarette smoke, perfume, halitosis, body odor. I buy handkerchiefs, soak them in vinegar, and dry them to hold to my nose. I just pretend I have allergies. It’s the Ohio Valley – if you don’t have allergies you haven’t lived here long enough!

Then the Nurse Practitioner at my Pain Management doc’s office (because people with chronic pain are too “high-risk” for their Internal Medicine docs to treat and after a few years don’t bring in enough money to be seen by a doctor or even fill out a “symptoms today” form that the ARNP won’t look at) told me, “Don’t take the Hydrocodone until you need it. You’ll develop a tolerance to it.” I just stared at her. If she’d even glanced at my chart she’d have seen I’ve been fighting this battle since 2009, that her employer was the fourth pain management doctor I’d seen because I’d fired the other three (two have since been shut down), and that her own boss had labelled me “tried all conservative therapy, has had all indicated surgeries and procedures. Failed neck. Failed back.” I am never without pain of at least 6/10. If she has a witch doctor I’d be happy to sit while he danced around me with freshly be-headed chickens. Otherwise I’d prefer not to pay $35 once a month to hear her uninformed opinion.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

How Do You Define Yourself? (Final)

OK, here’s where the rubber meets the road. You’ve got my background and why I feel a need to define myself, and you’ve got all the circumstances I don’t want to define me. But lately  God has been almost literally bopping me on the head with a bat, insisting that it’s time to think and pray and do something to redefine myself and set my course for the rest of my life.

The first time was my first visit ever to a Chronic Pain Support Group. Better late than never, right? Everyone had known each other for years (or so it seemed). There were two other newbies besides me, and we all introduced ourselves and were greeted warmly before the guest speaker started.  Afterwards everyone stayed and talked for a while, and it quickly became clear that this wasn’t a misery loves company group of people. One woman identified herself as “the political one”, and I could 100% see myself spending time with her, educating the public, making calls, and sending emails about laws that need to be passed to protect hard-working people from some of the experiences I suffered. Another woman had suffered with Fibromyalgia for decades before being diagnosed, and now nearly 50% of her extended family has been diagnosed.  Her passion is early detection of the disease, and identification of those at risk. This is a powerful, positive group of people who have much loftier health goals than just “making it through each day”, which has been my only goal for a really long time.

Then I attended my usual Bariatric Surgery Support Group. (I had a gastric sleeve last August, hoping weight loss would help my low back pain – no luck so far). Our official topic for the day was Relationships, but we ended up talking about the frustration of how our culture defines and discriminates overweight people, and that it often continues even after the weight is lost. Then what should pop out of my mouth?  “Yes, our culture has some huge flaws. But the place to start making changes is how we define ourselves. How did we introduce ourselves today? By telling our first names, what surgery we’d had, and how many pounds we’d lost. We have to see ourselves as more than numbers on a scale or the size on a tag before we can expect anyone else to do so!” Yep, my filter is apparently permanently set in the Off position.

Then I went to see Stephen King speak (totally worth the incredible pain that night and the two days of bedrest afterwards!!) and the first thing he said was that he was actually three different people: the guy who took out the trash and picked up the dog poop, the guy who wrote all this crazy stuff and never knew how his books were going to end ahead of time, and the person brave enough to stand in front of a crowd of 2,400 people and talk.

The final straw was finishing a book by Lisa Wingate – part of the Moses Lake series. Yes, it’s romance, not literary fiction, but the clear theme of the book was defining oneself. So that’s what I’m up to now. I’m gathering all these scattered aspects of myself and deciding who I’m going to be for the rest of my life. And it’s kind of exciting! How about you? How do you define yourself and how has that changed over your lifetime? Does your definition need a closer inspection?

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!