Top Reasons Why Ebola Pisses Me Off







  1. 1.2 million people die in car accidents in one year – that equates to 3200 traffic deaths every day but no one is freaking out about that.  Nope, we drive ourselves everywhere without a second thought.  But we don't care about driving because NOT driving would be inconvenient.  Going insane about a disease that is likely to infect 1 in 13.3 million people in America this year, that we can do.  
  2. The fact that no one cared about Ebola until someone in the US contracted it.  We are vaguely sad about thousands dying somewhere else in the world but OMG SOMEONE IN THE USA MIGHT HAVE THIS DISEASE, AHHHHHHH! Shut up.  All people matter.  Americans are not more important than others in the world.
  3. That we're all happy that some pharmaceutical giants are working together on an Ebola vaccine, even though it's not really a profitable thing.  For fuck's sake, pharmaceutical companies should already be working together and helping people, not trying to line the pockets of their board members, their investors, their CEOs
  4. This is one small blip in the deaths worldwide each day and yet it is dominating the news.  I suppose it is better than something that belongs in the tabloids, still, it is treated like a tabloid headline story.  Every news source has a new story each day, even if there is nothing to report. Why can't we have a well-reasoned account of this outbreak with the statistics on possibilities of contracting it (not as a vague afterthought either) along with some stories on things that are actually problems to a majority of the population of their viewership.
  5. School districts in Colorado, many states away from the nearest case of Ebola, are spending time and energy sending out informational emails about Ebola.  They have to reassure parents that their kids are safe going to school amid this "crisis."  Good grief!
  6. The incredible stupidity of our populace about anything scientific.  People are ignorant of statistics, p-values, rates of transmission, modes of transmission, graph/chart reading, and even the definition of the words study, data, and theory. What people are good at? Misreading and assuming, creating wild ideas and posting them as facts, half listening and filling in the details with truthiness.  
  7. This.  That people even thought up these crackpot ideas.
  8. The fact that if we were truly worried about this, we would go to those places most affected by the virus and treat the underlying problems that are causing the outbreak.  The WHO says, "The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability."  But instead of trying to help in those countries with the actual problem causing the outbreak, we are trying to come up with a quick-fix vaccine, which probably won't be available where it is needed most, and trying to bar people from our country.  
    
Now, please don't think I don't have empathy for those who are touched by this disease.  I do.  I think the US's coverage of  and reaction to the problem is biased, selfish, and downright ridiculous.  THAT is what I am railing against.

Cocooned in my own responsibilities





I've been feeling overwhelmed to the point of anxiety.  I can feel the tiny pins and needles shakes going through my body, the fuzzy cobwebs clouding my brain, pushing out any actual thought processes and only allowing me to see whatever is the next crisis.

Last night in bed, I was still whirling with emotions to the point where I couldn't concentrate on my book.  Reading is what I do to fall asleep.  Without reading, there is not sleep.  Without calmng the brain, there is no reading.  I had one sleepless night a week ago, I did not need another.

While my brain spun down its threads of thought, it came up with an analogy.  I am wrapped in a cocoon of needs that are all pulling at me.  One silken thread is picking up the children from robotics, another is the living room that need to be picked up, yet another is that connection with a friend that has slipped because it is difficult to carve out time.  The threads are too numerous to count, but altogether form a web which surrounds me.  Each thread is something I want, something I chose, and yet, there are so many they are smothering me.

I envision crawling out of that cocoon.  I exit it as if I was crawling out of sleeping bag.  I emerge in the woods and, with no one and nothing to connect to me,  All threads are gone, left behind. In my vision, I have a weekend's worth of time with no worries, no responsibilies.  I have only myself to consider.  I am free, if only for a moment.

Yes, I need a vacation.

Now, who wants to pay for that for me? And drive my children all over hell and back while refereeing arguments take care of my children for the duration of said vacation?

Yeah, I didn't think so.  Don't worry, I don't blame you.


Wonderings on a Wednesday

 

Stella reminded me of Rainbow Brite this morning.  She was not pleased to have her picture taken, can you tell? This is completely unrelated to my blog post in any way.  Ok, well, I mention the children and she is one of the children, but that's it.  Still, it's cute, right? (the correct answer is "yes," even if you don't find it cute at all.  Humor me)


Several things running through my head at the moment.  None are really long enough for a proper blog post so I'm doing a hodgepodge.  A bonus for those with short attention spans, you're welcome! For those without short...oh look a squirrel!


  • I have an evil tooth.  It started hurting pretty good (bad?) this past Saturday.  I got in with the entodontist on Monday who said we could 1) do a rood canal and cap, but that wasn't likely to be a good solution because the cavity is at the gum line, or 2) pull it.  I decided to pull it as I am not enjoying repeated bone infections of the root canal/cap on the other side of my face.  Made an appointment with an office who has an oral surgeon.  Picked them because they were close to home and advertised they can often do extractions on the same day.  Nope, Oct 17th.  So several more weeks of toothache fun.



  • I am awesome.  Yes, after waiting a year for someone to do something about the entertainment center and tv that have been sitting around our house, I moved them outside.  Not only that, I put them on Craigslist's free section.  The billion pound tv is GONE already.  I have my entry way and kitchen space back - yeah me! (what is that saying, if you want something done, do it yourself?)



  • Today I contacted Front Range Community College to get my login worked out so I could see about taking classes.  You see, I'm thinking of taking some accounting classes since playing with numbers and organizing things is fun for me.  As a bonus, I'm good at those things too! I did take an accounting class way back in, say, 1988, but I'm thinking things may have changed a bit since the paper ledgers that we used in that class.  Soooo I logged in and looked at what classes I'd need, even put one in my "cart."  Then I got sticker shock at the $900+ that it would cost for ONE frickin' class and ran away.  Damn.  Well, maybe I'll figure that out another day.



  • Did you notice that it is autumn outside? Well it is here in the northern hemisphere and it is LOVELY.  Ok, the 90 degree days that have cropped up have not been anything remotely lovely, but the changing leaves, the rain, the produce, the smell...ah, autumn, I love you so much.  You will forever be the best time of the year.  One where I can be cool but not cold.  Everything is gorgeously colored.  Stews and soups are back on the menu.  Knitting can be done again without sweating all over your yarn.  And, the best part, we are as far from summer as we can be.  Perfect.  (sorry, summer lovers.  I know you far outnumber me, but I so hate summer.  I know how you feel to lose your favorite season though.  And you are probably dreading winter coming the way I spend spring dreading when summer will rear its ugly head and usher in the non-stop 90+ degree days.  Hold tough, your time will come again.  Unfortunately)



  • School.  So yes, the girls are still homeschooled.  They do a lot of activities besides so we keep running about on a regular basis.  Right now we have quasi school, soccer, violin, Lego robotics, 4H, rabbit shows, and puppet choir.  Soon dog training and dance will start up again, quickly followed by horse bowl and rabbit judging.  But then robotics and soccer will end too.  



  • We've also been doing a schedule for school, chores, practices, etc.  I printed up a spreadsheet of what needs to get done and what's happening each day for each girl.  They are doing pretty well getting the schoolwork part done.  Also doing really well at ignoring the chores section.  Nothing's perfect, right? We'll keep working at it until it works, or we try something else.  



  • While in spreadsheet mode, I also made a menu plan for 1/2 of September and all of October.  I mapped out meals for 5 days a week.  One is a crockpot meal, one involves an egg dish (due to chickens in residence,) and then there are three other meals, at least one of which is something new from one of the many cooking magazines we receive each month.  So far, things have been working out pretty well.  


Alright, well, I probably have more to say but it's time to pick up the urchins from quasischool so off I go!
 
 
 

It's hard to be Stella

 

Stella: WHY do I have to get dressed just to go to Sandis' soccer game?

Me: Stella, you have to wear clean clothes every day, regardless of where we go or what we do.

Stella: eyeroll with accompanying flounce

time passes....

Stella: MOMMY, you only said to get dressed, now Daddy wants me to comb my hair and brush my teeth!

Me: Stella, these are things you have to do everyday too, even if you don't leave the house.

Stella: WHY?!?

Me: steam coming out of ears

time passes...

Brian: Stella, the chickens want their scraps

Me: I told Stella to check the scrap bucket to see if there was anything in there

Stella: I did check it, you didn't say to take out to them

Brian: Did you think she was asking for educational reasons? Take it out to them

Stella: (in snotty voice, proving she did look at the damn thing) Well, good thing I waited because there is more in there now.  (flounces off)

And now we must leave for soccer.  Only time will tell how today will progress....


Hey, what's up?




Why, oh why, have I not been writing?

I could blame it on the weather.  I hate sitting around in my own sweat.  It makes me want to crawl out of my skin or claw out my eyes.  But that is not the reason because, write or not, the weather is still here.  It changes not one whit depending on how many words I type.

I could blame it on our lifestyle.  Yes, I believe 4H is a lifestyle choice.  Unlike being gay, 4h IS a choice, and one I have chosen for our family.  Along with it comes rabbits and dogs and fairs and shows and auctions and on and on and on.  Not to mention all the book work and preparation that goes along with all of this - training and practices and book work and record keeping, etc.  And then there are the extras that aren't even projects such as rabbit judging, dance, and robotics.

Still, this 4H lifestyle has brought my daughters self-confidence and pride.  A sense of accomplishment.  Not to mention friends.  Yes, I have had two, count them two, completely free weekends this year, but I wouldn't trade it for anything because the girls have grown so much in themselves.

Still, that is no excuse because I have found time to watch some tv.  And writing is infinitely better than television.

Is it work? My messy house? My other hobbies? Not really.

It's a slump.  An Ihavenothingtosay slump. Not exactly writer's block. It's simply that I'm too worn out mentally and physically to see things and think, "I must spin this in a humorous way and put it on my blog," the way I usually do.  Maybe that is writer's block? I don't know.  I only know that the things I have to post are pictures of the fair or rabbits or something rather than fun and entertaining stories.  So, without further ado, here are some lovely pictures.  Enjoy them because that's all I've got right now.


Walking chickens, it's a thing


 
 
Did you know that walking your chickens is a thing now.  Totally is.  At least at our house.  And before you ask, the chickens don't mind.  They really don't.  Their tiny brains can only do so much and this falls into the realm of "doesn't scare or hurt us" so they accept it.  Silly things.
 

First you harness them up




Then you take them for a walk


Or, really, they take you for a walk



When all else fails, carry your chicken



Crazy kids
  
 

This is part of the reason why Deanna does not believe chicken are livestock, because my kids do things like this with them.  Well, these chickens are less livestock and more pets-with-benefits.

 

Here we come, Pueblo, here we come!



Stella qualified for State Fair in June with her dance team's Champion placing for their pom dance to Eye of the Tiger.




Today, Sandis and Dobby qualified for State Fair with her reserve champion placing in Intermediate Novice Showmanship.




In addition, Sandis is on the Weld County Rabbit Judging Team for State Fair and Stella is the first alternate. 





That is two, count 'em, TWO, fabulous weekends in the lovely Pueblo.  Very proud of my girls :)  Also wishing State Fair was not in Pueblo.
  
  

Recipe for a difficult day

   

How to have a tough day:

First, have it be the day your nephew should have turned 18 years old.  He should have graduated high school and be less than two months from starting college.  Instead, it's been just over a year since he passed.
Next, attend the memorial service for your husband's graduate adviser.  A man who also died too young, though he did have 64 years, they were not enough.

Attending that service, experiencing all of the outpouring of caring and love was doubly difficult as it was two men who left the earth too soon filling my mind.  Filling my eyes with tears.  Making my soul ache.

Fortunately, I was able to know these people while they lived.  I have memories, many happy memories, to sustain me.  And a busy day tomorrow to block out the sorrow.

 


Sandis, ready for college



Last week, for our drive to Arkansas, I had brought two bottles of beer in our cooler along with various snacks for the car trip.  I was thinking I might enjoy one after a long drive with children. Who wouldn't, right?  Well, our day was more adventurous than we had planned, with a breakdown and subsequent 2.5 hour wait at the Kansas roadside, complete with ticks crawling across the pavement to us.

Finally, we were rescued by our tow truck and taken to a hotel.  Upon arriving, this sign was displayed in the lobby:




When Brian arrived at our hotel room, I told him of the sign.  Sandis pipes up saying, "well, mommy, you better drink them up!"

Yep, she's ready for college.




Go Shopping and the Devil Arrives



Brian & I went grocery shopping sans children.  They are old enough now plus the older one has taken the babysitting class.  We left them one cell phone while we took the other (even though we have a landline.)  This is what happened.  Green is Sandis/the devil, white is Brian or I.  Hydra is Sandis' lizard.

 






  
Apparently, the devil is a sucker for biscuits, who knew?

  

Parent of the Year




For various reasons, we have had to get up early for nearly two weeks straight.  Some days we had to be up as early as 5am, other days we had the "luxury" of sleeping until 7am.  This may be normal to some, but not to the Walter girls who generally sleep until 8:30 or 9am, occasionally, 10am.  (Yes, I do work, but my hours are flexible and I take advantage of that.)

This morning however, all of that has come to an end.  A brief end, as the children have camp next week, but an end nonetheless. Yesterday I informed my children that anyone who woke me up on Friday would be punched in the face.

Sandis woke me up at 8:30am.

Not only did she wake me up at 8:30am, but she also woke up her sister, who had crawled into my bed at some point in the night.  And she didn't wake us gently with breakfast or song.  Or even in typical child fashion by jumping on the bed.  No, she wakes us by sticking a scaly, blue-tongued creature in our face and saying, "Hydra says hi!"

Yeah, that.  Let that sink in.  Being woken up by a lizard less than an inch from your face.

Despite all of that I did NOT punch her, face or elsewhere.  This probably sets a bad precedent.  While I'm sure my children didn't THINK I would punch them in the face, as judged by 1) their giggles when I threatened it, and 2) the fact that she woke me up even with the aforementioned threat, now they KNOW I won't punch them in the face.  Damn it, now I must think of a new threat.

Still, the fact that I did NOT punch her in the face after being not only awoken, but awoken in a rude way, entitles me to the award of Parent of the Year. Or at least the day.

Another blog?! Yep!



I'm doing some important to me but probably boring to you writing over at http://chaosstartingnow.blogspot.com/ .  If you want to follow my personal life struggles as opposed to my parenting life struggles, you can head over there.



The cult(ure) of busy




I know, I'm not supposed to support the culture of busy.  We as a society are too busy, too scheduled, and we glorify it. Our nation tends to equate being busy to being productive.  Why would be stay at home and relax when we could be DOING.  If we don't DO enough of the THINGS we will die sad and unfulfilled.  Right?

I fought against it.  I read the living slowly books.  I took time to let my toddlers follow the ants across the sidewalk for hours at a time.  Every autumn I would bundle them off to the park and river for leaf walks, carefully collecting and pressing those foliage prizes like precious memories that could be preserved forever.  Ah bliss.

Oh how things change.

These children I now have want to DO ALL THE THINGS.  I try to limit them - one athletic endeavor, one other activity per child.  Not too bad, I can handle that.

Ok, but violin lessons don't count because that's music and school, right? And quasi-school doesn't count either, because that's school and my only day off.  Surely therapy doesn't count, even if it is six or so times a month, because it's THERAPY.  And, oh, that ONE additional activity is 4H and has about a million subactivities.  Maybe not a million, but approximately four weekly practices.

And now, here we are, busy.  Me, the person who wants to curl in a ball on the couch and do nothing for days on end is engulfed in chaos.  So much is going on that I have cling to those moments at home for dear life lest they fly past me.  I don't try to venerate busyness, I loathe it.  And yet here I am, out three nights a week, a couple weekdays along with every Saturday and many Sundays, schleping kids to activities.

And I have to work, because, well, we like eating and living indoors.*  That sends me out of the house a couple days a week too.

Each of these activities have value.  They all promote something in them that I love seeing develop.  Responsibility, confidence, self esteem, sportsmanship, education, team work, leadership...the list goes on.  As much as I'd like to cut some of this craziness out of my life, I think I'll simply continue to be busy for the next 6-8 years at which time I can retire to my blanket fort and play solitaire.

For now though, I live for them, and their life is, well, busy.


================

* Please don't tell me if they didn't have the activities I could stop working.  I barter to pay for some, some other things are free..  4H is cheap, really cheap.  Therapy is necessary.  Stopping everything would not save vast amounts of money, certainly not nearly my pay.

The Evil Rolling Head

If you want more bunny pics, head over to our rabbitry website
 

All of our rabbits are named after gods and goddesses.  It's a nice because there is a theme and yet, practically unlimited names.

This morning the girls decided to name some of the babies who are going to the show in May.  In order to choose the perfect name, we turn to http://www.godchecker.com/.  The girls started with Persephone, Freya, Athena, normal goddess names.  While naming these does, one naughty bunny spent her time chewing on my shirt, gnawing on the carpet, running around the room like a possessed idiot.  This rabbit, she has been named Ulupoka, the evil rolling head:

An evil rolling head.
In the very beginning the Gods were involved in power struggles and wars. ULUPOKA got his head cut off in a battle and it fell to Earth. But it could not die as it was a Godhead — but not a good one. He had got the chop for a very good reason. He was evil.
Since then the head has rolled around doing nasty things like biting the feet of sleeping men. This means they will never rise again.


I may have to keep her just because her name makes me laugh every time I hear it.

As for our other rabbits, we have:


  • Harn (senior doe) - Norse goddess of flax
  • Mayahuel (senior doe) - Aztec goddess of tequila
  • Yhi (senior doe) - Australian creation goddess who is bad at anatomy, hence the strange creatures down under
  • Quetzlcoatl (senior buck) - Aztec feathered serpent god of, among other things, chocolate and the cosmos
  • Radegast (senior buck) - Slavic god of beer, hospitality, and sound advice
  • Zosim (intermediate buck) - Slavic god of mead, bees, and bawdy songs (because what else would come from the god of beer mating with the goddess of tequila?)
  • Athena (junior doe) - Greek goddess of war
  • Persephone (junior doe) - beautiful Greek part-time goddess of the underworld
  • Freya (junior doe) - Norse warrior goddess of love and fertility
  • Chloris (junior doe) - Greek goddess of spring flowers

and

  • Ulupoka (junior doe) - an evil rolling head

FYI: Only the seniors and 1-2 junior does will be staying in the herd after the May show. 
  
  

I quit, and it scares me

 

Anxiety is running high right now.

Why? Lots of reasons.

First, because I quit.  I quit a big volunteer job that I've done for a number of years. Is it a relief? Yes and no.  It had to be done as the girls' county and state 4-H commitments are insane.  If I tried to continue to manage that and the volunteer position, at least one of those juggling balls was going to be dropped, probably more than one.  Still, I have a hard time letting go.  I've done this job, and done it well, I might add, for many years. I'm giving up something I'm good at.  I also don't know who will take over.  What if no one does? What if I unfairly burden others because I quit?!

Then there's the thought of all that 4-H crap.  There is dance, rabbit judging, dog...what if all of those things go to state fair.  Dance is pretty likely.  Rabbit judging has no qualifier, they just go. Dog, well, Dobby's not terribly cooperative but it could happen, and then I'd be spending up to three weekends in Pueblo. In August & September. That is not exactly heavenly what with the heat and the fact that it's Pueblo.

Not to mention getting ready for the county fair.  The record books, the tri-fold boards, the animals.  The dance competition, dog rally, rocket fly day, rabbit meat pens. Ahhhhh!!!!

Then there are these stupid broken ankles.  Yes, they are getting better, but they also still hurt and swell up on a regular basis.  I have to ration out what and how much I do so that I can get through.  It's not merely "one day at a time," more like, "plan out your week with rest time, and don't forget, driving sucks. A lot. And you have to work and drive kids around.  Yeah, you!"

Ok, time to end these swirling thoughts and move forward.  I will come up with a plan and we will get this stuff done.  And I'll do all of the other stuff I have to do too. With the exception of that volunteer position.  It's someone else's turn to be awesome at that.




PSA #2



Guess what, people? Pictures of food, even really special, super delicious food, are not appealing.  They aren't.  I know that you think, "I am having this fabulous thing, I. Must. Share."

Please don't.

Professionals take hours and hours to make food look pretty for a picture.  It's all about lighting and staging.  It's about using things that aren't even the real ingredients to make things look better.  You know those milk mustaches in the Got Milk? campaign? Not milk.

Your picture in a dark restaurant taken with your phone, not so great.

Of course, I share horribly blurry pictures of rabbits and hedgehogs so who am I to talk, right?

PSA

 

Public Service Announcement:

There a lot of vibrators for sale on Groupon.

A lot.

Don't let your kids casually browse Groupon Goods. That would be ill-advised unless you'd like to have a discussion about adult toys.  You probably don't.

Thankfully, I have not let them do that, and certainly won't until they are a bit older.  I could totally see them looking on there too as they know you can also find Rainbow Looms and ice cream at half price.  Those two things alone are enough to drive most kids to a website, and mine are no exception.  Still, I will steer them away from that particular site for awhile.




Too many pets? Inconceivable!

 

Brian thinks that at one point I had trimmed the pets back to a reasonable number.  This was probably after I had children and a dog that wanted to eat small furry pets so we only had 2 dogs. That would be Brian's perfect pet scenario, 2 dogs.

Currently we have, in no particular order:

  • 2 dogs
  • 3 goldfish (these are Brian's fault, BTW.  Well, Brian and the 4H carnival)
  • 1 blue tongued skink
  • 6 chickens
  • 25 rabbits (5 of which are permanent residents)
  • 2 hedgehogs
  • a few beetles hatched from "pet mealworms" brought home from quasischool


I could see more in our future.  Namely a few pullets to replace some older hens and maybe another rabbit breed.  The kids have chosen English lops.  If they win a meat pen at the fair, then they can get another rabbit breed.  Need to pay for those new hutches somehow, right?  :)



What? But I want to!

 

At my 5 week post-ankle break orthopedic visit, I was told that I am doing well.  Basically, all is well and healing properly.  I can do whatever I want.  I can push the limits. Yeah!

Also, I will hurt for the next several months.  Everything I do will cause pain, swelling, tiredness.  I will be able to do whatever I want, but not everything I want to do.  That part sucks.

It's difficult to go back to playing the "choose what to do" game.  I did that when I had chronic fatigue.  While that never 100% left me, I was pretty much able to do what I liked.  Now I'm having to pick and choose.  Nope, no going anywhere today because you had a rabbit judging contest for the kids yesterday and in 2 days, you have to drive them around town.  Yes, driving involves using your legs so it counts as doing something.  Fuck.

Rather than writing on my blog, or knitting, or whatever, I've been feeling sorry for myself.  Not completely, of course, but I am frustrated and annoyed.  There are productive things I could do while resting, but I don't do those things because am angry I can't do the things I really want to do.

So that's why the old blog has been quiet.  Because I'm too busy playing Threes on my iTouch or writing sample rabbit judging tests to put myself out there. Plus, I haven't DONE anything newsworthy in weeks.

Ok, enough moping! I'll write more...or play a super awesome game of Threes...or watch more Parks & Rec....

---------------

BTW, my rabbits HAVE been busy during my forced confinement.  There are lots of super cute babies.  You can see them over at the rabbit's website: http://triplesrabbitry.com/


Gone....

 

Today my good friend has taken the children (thank you 1 million, Lisa.)  Not before their lizard puked on me, of course, because I wouldn't want a totally kid-free kind of day.  Still, I have a day all to myself.

I told Brian last night, "I have a day all to myself tomorrow, I can do anything I want!"

Anything I want?

I can do anything I want as long as it's in my house.  Well, not downstairs.  Or requiring a trip to the garage.  Or in the backyard.  Or requiring a foray into the kid-trashed sewing room with its many hazards.

And nothing that would require me to be on my feet too much.  Or involving climbing up on something or tippy toes, like say, taking down that f@#king Christmas tree.  Yes, it is still there.  Waiting for Easter? Maybe.

And no carrying things or lifting, so no cleaning out and removing the empty fish tank or vacuuming the floor that I can no longer see properly due to dog hair and mud.

And not too much walking.

But, I can read or knit or watch tv or surf the internet or nap.  The things I've been doing every day for nearly four weeks, only without having to deal with kids bickering or not wanting to study or clean.  And I can watch adult-only tv shows.

No, not porn, Dexter.

Best part of two broken legs





Obviously, there are drawbacks to having two broken ankles, but there are upsides too.  Really, there are!


  • You can watch the Olympics.  As much as you want.  If your child whines and thrashes about on the floor in obvious agony over the television choices, you tell her, "two broken legs!"
  • No wearing a bra.  Or real pants.  Or anything else you don't want to wear.  The hardship of the injury is enough to excuse any clothing choices, IMO.
  • You get to say things like, "two broken legs and STILL I am the only one who can put toilet paper in the bathroom"
  • Naps
  • Making children fetch you things and they can't complain.  At all.
  • Someone else has to drive your children to their 80,000 activities.  Sure, you still have to arrange it all, but you don't have to do the actual driving.  And your husband is the one who has to get up at 5am to drive 2 hours to take your daughter to the rabbit judging meet in Kiowa and not get home until 5:30pm.  Thanks Honey!
  • Sleeping in, because, where are you going to go? Nowhere, that's where.  
  • Friends.  You realize how many friends you have and how much they care about you.  They run your errands, bring you food, tote your kids around, visit you, and call or email to check on you.  I love you guys :)



 


A little over two weeks ago, at around 2pm, I was standing in my kitchen, throwing some recycling into the garage bin, ruminating about why the children can't throw things in the bin and instead, stack them on the counter, whether or not I should shower or eat lunch first, and how much time I had remaining until I had to pick up the children.  My foot slipped off the top step and then everything was a blur.  One ankle twisted, as I tried to catch myself from falling, my other ankle twisted, I registered pain, I realized both ankles hurt, I was on the floor.  I could barely breathe from the pain, there was no crying, not enough breath for that.

It was a lovely below zero day in our unheated garage and despite the layer of hay and straw between myself and the cement floor, I knew I needed to get inside.  I remember thinking that I didn't want to get my pants dirty by crawling and then scoffing at myself for the ludicrous nature of that thought.  I crawled into the house.  The dogs, who were the only ones home with me at the time, believed that this was a very exciting game.  Oh boy, she's on the floor with us, lick her!

After crawling back into the house, the pain subsided to the point where I could breathe again so I though I
should try standing.  I was barely able to do that while using the counter and bookshelf for support.  The dogs were disappointed that we weren't playing the crawling game any more, but were still excitedly milling around my feet.

I knew I had to get to the couch, I also knew I had to get the phone on the way because, being a mom, I was thinking about the kids and the fact I would be unable to fetch them.  Somehow, the phone and I ended up on the couch where I elevated my feet and dialed my husband.  When he answered, I said, "I did something stupid."  That pretty much sums it up.

I spent the next several hours with my feet propped up, waiting for the pain to subside.  Brian & the kids came home, I still claimed to be fine.

Then I tried to walk to the bathroom.

I still could barely hobble, and needed something to support me the entire way.  I started wondering if I was too hasty when I had told Brian I didn't need to go to Urgent Care.  I thought they'd tell me to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and send me on my way.  But at this point, I thought I could take a dose of RICE if it came with pain killers so I made a plan.  An extremely complex plan, because, you see, Stella had a horse bowl class from 5:30-7:00pm and Sandis had dog class from 7-8:00pm.  So, Brian was to take Stella to her class with me along for the ride, then proceed to Urgent Care and drop me off, then back home to get Sandis and take her to dog.  When dog class ended at 8pm, he could bring both girls to pick me up from Urgent Care.  Perfect!

Well, he stayed with me at UC until they wheeled me back.  They took xrays.  I expected the RICE talk.  Not so much.  One spiral break to be put in a boot air cast, the other a bad sprain in a little ankle thing, orders to call the Orthopedic Center first thing when they opened.  They warned that it was a bad break and might need surgery.  No walking at. all.  They gave me a prescription not only for pain meds, but also for a wheelchair.  For in my house.  Yes, for in. my. house.  Then they wheeled me out to wait for Brian.

After a few minutes of waiting, though no one said anything, I realized the UC closed at 7pm.  It was now probably 7:15pm and my family wouldn't reasonably be there to pick me up until 8:30pm.  I texted Brian to see if he could get a ride for Sandis with a friend of ours who was also at dog class, and he & Stella could come and pick me up since the UC was closed.  That was arranged and I waited.

And waited.  And waited.

Finally, another text came through at 7:59pm.  They had been stuck in the snow and ice of the parking lot and were now finally on their way.  Ugh.  Another minute and they could have just brought Sandis with them!

I was finally picked up at 8:15.  Now we would be racing Sandis home because Brian had forgotten to give her a house key (I don't know what else could possibly have been on his mind, this night.)  Not only that but there was the logistics of getting my pain killers before the pharmacy closed.  I didn't have my friend's number in my phone, but I had her husband's number.  I called him, he called his wife, they took Sandis (and dog) home with them and we proceeded to the pharmacy.  Drugs acquired, we picked Sandis up, and finally arrived home a bit after 9pm.

And that, my friends is the end of day one with two broken legs.  "Two?," you say, "you only mentioned one?"  That fact was not discovered until day two, at the orthopedic appt.



Finally, after months of telling her she would like Glee, Brian finally just went ahead and played it for Stella.  After one episode she was wishy-washy.  "I don't know if I like it yet," she claimed, despite dancing on the couch during Journey.  After the second episode, she declared herself a Gleek.

My first episode was #3.  The Glee kids decide to do a sexy dance number instead of the 70's one their teacher chose in order to attract more kids to the Glee Club.

Me: But they couldn't have pulled off that whole routine in ONE DAY of practice.

Brian: You have to suspend reality for this show.


Ok, I understand, the learning of the routine is the boring part, no one wants to watch that.  I can suspend reality, it's a TV SHOW for goodness sake.

Next episode, the football team decides to do a dance before their last play.

Brian: Even if they take a timeout, the 35 second clock would start when the ref sets the ball.

Me: Suspend reality

Brian: But they would have rushed the kicker before he could have kicked the ball.

Me: Um, suspend reality?

Brian: Ugh!

Me: :)


Then towards the end of the episode, one of the Glee kids comes out to his dad as gay.  His dad says he's known since his son was three, when he wanted high heels for his birthday.

Stella: But he's gay?

Me: Yes, that means he's attracted to other boys.

Stella: Yeah, I know, but what does that have to do with shoes?

Nothing.  It has nothing to do with shoes.  A ten year old knows that, but still that's what we're putting out there.  The media still finds it easier to muddle up gender and sexuality than to face up and explain what it means.  Probably because most of them don't know the difference.  Don't care to know the difference.

Why is that? It's not difficult to explain.  Some people are attracted to the same gender, the opposite gender, both genders.  Some people like to dress like the opposite gender, either for fun or to pretend to be that gender or to explore that gender.  Some people believe they were born the wrong gender.  Some people are more than one of these things.  It's all ok.

It. is. all. ok.

If you don't think it's ok, keep it to yourself.  It is not your job to make someone else's life miserable, even a little bit, because you don't understand or don't agree with their life.  This is their life.  Who they are.  It is not ok to disagree with that.  Your religion disagrees? That's between you and your God, it has nothing to do with this other person.  Leave. them. alone.

It's not about you.

And you know what, kids understand and accept pretty easily, much more easily than a lot of adults.  Why not respect them enough to explain the range of sexuality and gender? This is not the hard part of parenting. Not even the hard part of the sex questions.  The hard questions are things like, "How do I know if I'm in love?" Yeah, answer that.

I know not everyone agrees with me.  Some may say they want to keep children innocent.  Some think it's difficult to introduce the idea of anything beyond a heterosexual couple. Some don't even want to mention the "sex" in heterosexual.

I just can't understand that. Knowledge is power. I don't think that my kids understanding there are different ways of loving have changed them in any inappropriate way.  They know that people are different, this just affirms that a little bit.  They aren't shocked or appalled or over-sexualized.  They are just open minded.

And I like that.



Stella's perfect name



Stella: Was Grandma or Grandpa originally named Walter?
Me: Grandpa was, Grandma was Schmerbach and changed it to Walter when she got married.
Stella: Ok
Me: Like I changed my name to Walter when I got married.
Stella: Ooooh, ok.  Well, I'll never have to do that.
Me: Why? (expecting a "I'm keeping my name" or "I'm never getting married)
Stella: Because I'm already named Walter

New Year's Resolutions. Or not?



I was ruminating on New Year's Resolutions.  Obviously, with the way my year went in 2013, I am planning no resolution, no specific word of guidance.  That was a flaming failure for 2013 that I am in no hurry to repeat.

Still, I think about things I'd like to change in my life on this day of resolutions.  I want a clean house.  To weigh less.  To be in shape again.  To finally get those family pictures on the wall.

Then I think, what if people decided instead of choosing a resolution of change, like weight loss or organization, they chose an area of their life to accept as is? What if instead of picking an space to fix, you pick a space to embrace? So you would choose instead to accept your body or your messy house.  I would love it if I could embrace my messy house!

At that point though, I wondered if that would be any easier? I mean, how difficult is it to love your faults?! I imagine those reverse-resolutions would be abandoned just as quickly, with just as much guilt.

So I'm going with my resolutions that I posted on FB yesterday, "...with the way last year went, I'm not willing to do anything too daring this year. Just going to take it as it comes and roll with it."  I imagine that will be difficult enough for me.

But I still want to get those photos up, dammit.