Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just when you start thinking your kids are growing up... Think Again!

Kids.

You gotta love tthem.

Except when you might actually hate them.

But then, you don't really hate them, you just don't like them so much.

Anyone with teens knows what I mean.

Exactly what I mean.

Today I am not so loving TeenBoy and Manchild. 

Why?

I used to have a really nice breakfast bar on my kitchen island.

Now I have a really nice partial breakfast bar on my kitchen island.

And a really pretty piece of butcher block pine...

Yeah, today I am so not loving those boys.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.

I know, it's not a REAL holiday, but then again, it kinda is.

Parents spend time with their kids.

Laughing and playing make-believe and just enjoying being together.

Carving pumpkins, dressing up,
watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

At our house, on Halloween night, we got dressed in our costumes as soon as we got home from school.
Then we gathered around the kitchen table with our pumpkin.

Mom only got one, but it was HUGE.
When we were little she would cut the top off, then hand us all a big spoon.
We would all dig in and start scooping.
Happily, we dug out handfuls of seeds covered in gooey slime, chunks of pumpkin flesh.

Next came the argument, there always was one, about who got to draw the face.
And, who got to cut it out.

My older brother usually got this honor... he WAS the oldest of the 4 of us.

Once the face was drawn, cut out and the candle was lit... 
Our Great Pumpkin took up residence on the front porch, keeping watch over the street as the sun went down, the street lights came on and the Ghosts and Goblins and Power Rangers and Cinderellas came out of their homes and swarmed into the night.

Dinner was spaghetti. 
Nearly every year it was spaghetti.
Easy to make, quick to eat and good fuel for trekking through the neighborhood, lugging a pillowcase full of treats.
And filling enough to make eating too much candy uncomfortable when we got home.

Candy had to be checked, sorted and traded before heading off to bed, visions of Jack-o-lanterns, ghouls and strobe lights in our heads.

And plans for what we would be next year already in the works.

I still make spaghetti for dinner on Halloween.
And, we still carve our pumpkins before the kids head out to gather their treats.

Checking and sorting and trading still takes place, only now it's my kids doing it, as I look on and remember the nights of my childhood with my brothers and sister...

And how our family came together for one night of the year, not because we had to, but because, candy was involved!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writers Workshop: Helen Keller Inspires me... sometimes my kids make me wish I couldn't hear them OR see them.... sometimes















Today's Post brought to you by:   


Prompt#5:

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow" - Helen Keller

In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?


At first, I thought this prompt was really hard. 

Then I realized
It's Not! 

What do I do to help with things that bring me down?
This! 
This is what I do.

And sometimes, instead of feeling like a failure or that my life is miserable or unbearable...
I actually, really and truly, like my life and the trials and tribulations it brings.

What do I have in my life that sometimes brings me down?
Hmmm, good question.

I have TeenBoy and BratChild and SIX...
And then I have a mortgage company from HELL
And 2 grown children  I still support...

But the biggest elephant in the room is my health.

I have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia... 
or a combination thereof...
or none of the above.

Depends on which doc you ask on which day of the week.

I have written about my life , my kidsmy mortgager and  Living with Lupus.

I have no idea whether anyone actually reads these posts, but they help me to let off steam or use sarcasm and witty repartee to deal with the bumps along my life's path.

How do I stay positive?

Not sure that I do, but I am sure that I don't let the suicidal thoughts,  or homicidal ones for that matter, have any real space in my head... 

And that's about as positive as I can be... 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hanging in the Hood... in a so not creepy way

Eight large pizzas.

Two cases of diapers.

A vacuum cleaner.

An all-in-one printer.

Recycling day is wonderful.

Why?

Because I learn so much about my neighbors...

without having to be Stalker-ish!

All I have to do is go to work and I'll know all about the people that live on my street!

Huge party for the returning war hero = Eight large pizzas

Potty training has failed  (again) = empty diaper cases

Serious Fall Clean-up and perhaps a For Sale sign in the yard?  = new high-powered-pet-dander-removing vacuum

Fancy new all-in-one printer.... nope it's mine and all it means is HeMan Hubby wouldn't let me get the 30.00 one from Wal-Mart... he had to have the wireless printing...
and it's out of ink
Already!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Home Coming Weekend... A Night To Remember?

TeenBoy had his first High School Experience this past week. 


SPIRIT Week came to a crescendo last Friday afternoon with a Pep Rally, followed by the JV then Varsity Homecoming football games.


Which they lost.


Again.


Like every other game this season.


But...
They did not give up.
They did not surrender.
They did not stop giving their all...


Even when their own fans stopped cheering madly.
Stopped waving banners.
'WIN IT'.... yes, they tried
Stopped paying attention to the game.



The JV players kept the Varsity guys pumped up...         


They soldiered on 
Fought the good fight...




Then went their separate ways as the crowds dispersed;
their classmates and friends all went home.


Only to reconvene for the Homecoming Dance Saturday Night.


TeenBoy experienced this Rite of Passage into Teen-dom
And he went with a girl... friend.
A friend who's a girl?


$200.00 suit jacket, $40.00 tickets, $35.00 orchid, and a tie...


And in the words of HeMan Hubby...


"All that money and all he got was a girlfriend?"


Yes.
TeenBoy is now 'in a relationship' with his date for the dance.


I know this to be true because...


It's says so on FaceBook!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide...

Or God...
Either way it's the same thing...
Except that one looks like a Cricket.
        
           When you meet temptation and the urge is strong...


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Name, Name every body has one...

My sister-in-law had a baby in September. 
Their second.
Now they have a girl, and a boy.
He is a junior.
But they call him by his middle name, so it's not confusing.


Why?


With all the names in the world... I mean,  I had a baby name book with OVER 10,000 names in it... why give your kid your name?


Or name your kids Michael and Michelle? 
Eric and Erica? 
Steven and Stephanie? 


These are all basically the same name... 
Think how confusing it must be for the poor kid, never really sure which one you are calling and afraid NOT to come, just in case it was him and will be in trouble for not coming when called...?


My other nephew, from HeMan Hubby's other brother, is also a junior. They too, have two.
A boy, then a girl.


Thankfully, MY sister did not name her son after his father, nor did MY brother name either of his sons after himself.


But he did name them after the grandfathers.
Which is cool only because neither was named Horace or Floyd or Eugene... mercifully, those names are all a few more branches back on the family tree.


About the same level on the family tree as the name my sister chose for her son... 
Luckily, it was a name that's not awful... and has actually seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. 


Having the most kids in either of our families, it was a chore at times to pick a name that we liked for our last child, but wasn't too close to any of our nieces or nephews names.


AND still be unusual and interesting, without being geeky.


So HeMan Hubby devised a plan.


He 'tried out' the names we had picked. 


When he called the kids to dinner he added the try-on names. 


When he called the kids in from playing he added the try-on names. 


When he scolded the kids he added the try-on names. 


And it worked.


We figured out which name went with our other 5 kid's names --- when you're calling 6 kids you want them all to know their name was called-- without sounding too much like another name or getting lost in the roll call.


We like it and it's a little different. 


He's 12 now and LOVES his name.


But he says SIX would have been the best name ever.


Maybe I shouldn't have talked HeMan Hubby out of that one?




Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Foto Feature

Thru the Eyes of BratChild 
 Life from the view of an American Teen

LIFE FORCE
LIFE LINE












LIFE LONG FRIEND






Please Support BratChild's Favorite Cause...





                           

October 20th, people all across the world are wearing purple to support the LGBTQ community and unite against anti-gay bullying. Over the last few weeks, the news has covered several suicides of young teenage boys who were victims of anti-gay bullying. The response has been an outpouring of encouragement over the Internet through social media. We appreciate all of you standing together in various shades of purple to show your support. 
















 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Writer's Workshop:
About Me... do you really want to know?

Another Writer's Workshop post from...


Mama's Losin' It


About Me


I don't have an About Me page because, well, I have no idea what to write about myself.
That was sort of the whole reason for the blog in the first place.


My name is Dawn. I started blogging in an attempt to figure out where I'm headed, and how to get there from here.



Why this Blog name?


Dawn means 'a new day' in most dictionaries.
My middle name means 'reborn'.
So my name means 'A new day reborn', which is essentially what a Dawning is.
Every new day is a chance to start over and do it right...


I know.
Sometimes I think too much.


My Family?


I am married.
With children.
Six of them to be exact.

Some are grown.
Some are grown and still live at home.
Some just think they are grown...
and they have to live at home because, well, they're not grown.
(yes this is not a current picture of the kids... but they are still this cute)
















Personal Info... at least the public kind of personal


I enjoy movies and sunsets and walks on the beach...
Tequila and kettle corn and frogmore stew...
Time with my family and friends...
A warm summer day spent on the deck by the pool with a good book...


I HATE Winter and the cold and Snobby people...


I LOVE my husband and children and grand child and Summer weather...
And cheese pretzel Combos and Twix.


My HOBBIES include, but are not limited to:


Crocheting and designing my own patterns to crochet and knit


Painting... the Donna Dewberry Tole painting kind, not the 'this room needs a new color' kind, although I have been known to do that, on a whim, on occasion.


Making jewelry... gemstones and sterling silver all sparkly and girly?
I just can't resist!


Textile crafts - making purses and bags and embellished clothes, like in the fancy magazines, that I can't afford but love... that I always gift away.


Paper crafts... cards, stationary, book marks and don't tell anyone but, scrapbooking- on a very small scale...


What?
My sister is a Stampin'Up demonstrator... gotta support your family, right?




I USED to breed and raise several small parrot species like Peach Faced Lovebirds, Cockatiels and Parrotlets... you can see my aviary website HERE




Yes, I am a bit of a Geek... I mean, Genetics was my hobby!


I have been a nurse for 26 years. Not because I am that old, but because I started when I was so very young...


And I Write.
Stories for my children...
Poems...
Short stories...
My Blog...
And perhaps a novel... if I ever find the time and courage to finish it.


These are just some of the things that I do and like.


They are not Who I Am, but perhaps, in some small way, give my readers a better picture of the person behind the words and wit and sarcasm.


Without having to give away any state secrets or divulge my darkest desires that is.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Days of Our Lives... not the soap opera, the real days!

It's Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today's Creative Blog - Crafting Fun and Giveaways... Check it Out! 




Yesterday was Monday.                      

I know, Monday!

Again!

It just keeps coming back, week after week, although it never gets a warm welcome.

I wonder if it feels like the kid on the school playground that is always the last one picked for the dodgeball team... and inevitably, the first one out?

If the days of the week were children in a family, then Saturday would be the favored, golden child and Monday...

Think Cinderella, doing all the dirty work for the rest of the family.

On Facebook were all the 'OMG it's Monday?' comments from friends and acquaintances... it was a universal theme from people ALL OVER THE GLOBE!

Except for one.

One post, of all the Monday Morning Blues posts, was positive...

One post, out of all those others, was an 'I'm happy it's Monday' post.

I know, weird, right?

And why was that one person glad it was Monday?

Because Monday is the last day of their work week... meaning for them, Monday is Friday and a VERY welcome day indeed.

Every thing is relative...

And Nothing is the same for every one...

And Monday is probably feeling a little better about it's self knowing it is welcome...

If only by a small handful of people the world over.

Kind of like dentists... tolerated as a necessary evil...
Until you need a wisdom tooth pulled...
then he's your best friend.

People really need to work on that...

and by People, I mean me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Old is New Again.... But Why?




Went walking at The Mall today.

I walked about 4 miles.

I window shopped 4 miles.

I did not like what I saw.

Big Men's shirts paired with leggings and wide belts.

Sweater dresses over skin tight jeans and ankle boots.

Black knit dresses with zippers and snaps randomly placed all over.

Yes, I did this walking and window shopping today.

Not in 1984.


(fashion photo courtesy of Forever 21)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Writer's Workshop... How I see myself

I see myself in my children around me every day...



In the traditions and little things we do together...







Like Christmas morning breakfast...




And gathering around the tree





















Spending time AND enjoying each other's company...



















And in my child's Child...







All that is good in me comes out in them...





That is how I SEE My Self.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday... or something like that

Today is Wednesday and I wanted to share some links I have come upon the last few months...

things that I really like, things I think are Wonderful!

Sit back and enjoy the visit...

HOTBLACK by Oceanship


I'M ALIVE and To Write Love On Her Arms









To Write Love On Her Arms.... by Helio ( with lyrics)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10% Luck 20% Skill 15% Concentrated Power of Will...





The BusyFamily Theme song!


TeenBoy's football team hasn't won a game all season.

BratChild's soccer team wins more than they lose.

SIX's football team is about even in the wins and losses.

And yet, no matter how many wins or losses, my kids go out on that field day after day to practice; week after week to meet the competition head on, giving 100% of themselves, and more.

This is what makes them winners... no matter the score.

I want to be as focused and dedicated to the things that are important to me as they are.

Sometimes, your kids can teach you a lot...

All you have to do is pay attention.

Monday, October 11, 2010

White hat versus black hat

Some people are Optimists... and no, not the Rotary / Good Sam Club / Moose Lodge kind of Optimists.
Some are Pessimists.
And still, others are cynics.

Optimists see the glass as half-full.
Pessimists see the glass as half-empty.
Cynics... a cynic sees another dirty dish to wash... again.

I think that I am joining the ranks of the cynical as I age.
Not intentionally, mind you, but it's happening none the less.

I found myself criticizing a child for being, well, a child.
Albeit, a spoiled and rather conceited child, but still, a child.

I apologized to the Universe, and even though no one else actually heard what I said, I sent a sincere apology his way too.

So, there may be hope for me yet!

But he really was being a jerk... and he tends to be a bully and a know-it-all. But he is only 11...

I also find I am suspect of other's intentions... and not entirely trusting of them.
Even when I KNOW the reason for the what ever it is they're doing and know it is not for selfish gain.

WHO died and made me Caretaker of THE WORLD you ask.
Good frickin question...

I'll get back to you on that...

So if the Optimists are the Good Guys- the White Hat guys ...
And the Pessimists are the Bad Guys- the Black Hat guys...
What color does that make the Cynics???

I know... The Red Hat guys!

We're not good, we're not bad... but we DO have an awesome sense of style!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Foto Feature...

Welcome to the view Thru the Eyes of BratChild...
she's 13 going on 30!





This Shizz will KILL Ya!







AS EVER- PLEASE SUPPORT BratChild's CAUSE OF CHOICE....

To Write Love On Her Arms

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Writing Workshop: Breast Cancer... To Do or Not To Do... Is that really a question?

You can Thank Mama Kat for today's topic of conversation!

Mama's Losin' It


Yes, I did ask what would seem like a silly question to some, but not, unfortunately, to all.

As many of you know, I am a nurse with a wide variety of job experience.

One of my jobs, along the well-worn path I have travelled for 26 years, was that of a Home Care Nurse.

I travelled as many as 150 miles in a day, driving from one patient's home to another, toting the tools of my trade with me, looking as much like a Bag Lady as any found on the streets of Baltimore or Washington, DC...

One Fall day I was assigned to a new case. This woman had had surgery to remove both breasts as treatment for an early stage breast cancer.

I know, bilateral total mastectomy for an early stage, 1st time cancer patient?

But it seems that this woman had a sister, an aunt, a mother, a cousin... who all had had breast cancer.

She was familiar with the treatments offered and decided not to waste time, and the possibility of not being aggressive enough, and skipped to the end... total bilatateral mastectomy with reconstruction and implants.

I was seeing her to perform wound care. She had some problems with the healing of the lower incisions on both breasts and, as it turned out after several years and several revisions, was allergic to the breast implants.

She had the implants removed and she was seen several times a week over the next month or so as the new incisions healed. Quite well now that the pesky allergic-reaction-causing, healing prohibitive implants were gone.

I can't say I got to know her well, but, as one might imagine, we developed a rapport.

She talked about watching her mother and aunt, then her sister and cousin, dealing with their cancer diagnoses and treatments. How it had taken a toll on not just them, but their husbands, children and other family members. She talked about how she feared she would lose her life, her husband, her sense of Woman-ness that made her feel feminine and girly.

We talked alot. Or rather, she talked and I listened.

And I learned. A lot.

It was about the same time that I was assigned another patient. She was an IV patient receiving pain meds for advanced stages of cancer.

As it would turn out, it was breast cancer, and it was killing her.
Slowly, painfully and without any sign of slowing down to give her, or her family, a chance to come to terms with it.

I saw her 3 times a week to check her IV site, monitor her medication levels, just touch base and make sure she was okay... to call Hospice if it looked like things were going that way sooner, rather than later.

As you might have guessed, yes, we too devloped a relationship of sorts.

She ignoring the cancer traversing her body as much as possible.
Me asking her questions designed to make her acknowledge it and the fast approaching end.

One of the questions I asked, but she refused to answer, was how soon after noting the lump, or irregularity, had she sought medical attention.

One- I wanted to know myself and ,
Two- Her records indicated she was in advanced stage 4 when she was diagnosed... only a few months before I came on the scene.

This seemed so wrong. In this day and age of medical miracles and triumphs over evil... how could it have gotten so bad without any sign?

After several weeks it became evident that she was fading fast. Her pain meds were upped and upped and still... the pain was constant and irrevocable.

One Saturday morning she met me with a tremulous smile and watery eyes, from lack of sleep and too much morphine and... something else.

As I leaned in to listen to her heart and lungs, her thin, fragile hand came up to gently grasp mine. I looked down at that blue-veined, tissue paper thin skinned hand that shook with the effort to hold onto my much stronger, tanned and healthy-looking one.

She turned her head to look around the house, to make sure no one else was there, and then slowly sighed.

" Four years ago." It came out as a faint whisper. "Four years ago I felt a small lump. I knew what it was. I was afraid. I did nothing. I knew it would kill me so I lived my life until a few months ago. My husband found it. I saw the doctor. I knew it would kill me, and it is"

The reality of what she was telling me hit like a bolt of lightening. She was too afraid to seek help. Was afraid it would kill her... so she did nothing and she was right. It would kill her... was killing her.

Both she and my other breast cancer patient had found their lumps at about the same time.
But they proceeded in very different ways.

One had gone to a specialist immediately, had taken drastic measures for the chance to live a full life. She had under gone several years of surgeries to get everything just right, but she was cancer-free and was healthy. Healthier than most people her age who had never had cancer.

The other. She had hidden in fear of finding out what it was. In fear of what a doctor MIGHT say or do. She had hidden this from not just her family, but herself.
She was leaving her husband and children before she, or they, were ready. She would not see her daughter grown, her grand children. She would leave them with a hole in their hearts, just like she feared she would.
She did nothing and in so doing, made all her fears come true, which was really doing the worst thing possible.
And she realized it too late.

Too late for her, but not too late for others.

I think she told me the truth so that I could let others know what doing nothing really means. That doing nothing is really doing everything to let the cancer do what it wants.

Please be like the first patient and DO EVERYTHING....

And NEVER let anyone you know or almost know or kind-of-sort-of know Do Nothing.

Oh I almost forgot... They were both 45.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SMO Anyone ?

(no, it's not a drink, sheez!)

Social Media Optimization

Yeah... that's the new 'Thing' in technology.

What does it mean? What is it?

It's what you do every time you 'Like' someone, or something, on Facebook.
When you tweet a link or re-tweet something that really cool person you think you might like to know tweeted.
When you Stumble Upon your friend's website or Blog.

It's what Blogger and Disquis and WordPress and all those other places where people like me can set up and maintain a blog... a place to talk to themselves in cyber space... are promoting in a not so round about way.

It's what companies like to see.

It's where more and more are getting their products talked about and tried out and wanted by Real People in the Real World.

It's the NEXT BIG THING for Ad Execs and Companies with products to sell....

And it's not going away any time soon...

But on a Computer Geek timeline... it's probably already outdated!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Assume Nothing...

When WE see our children growing taller, WE assume they are growing up, naturally.

But WE are so very wrong in this assumption and as WE all know, to ASSUME is to make an ASS out of U and ME...

So, no assuming allowed.

And as they are kids, albeit bigger, broader, hungrier kids, they're not telling us what they are thinking or doing or thinking about doing now, or in the ever-looming future.

How then do WE know when our children HAVE grown up?

When WE get that phone call... the voice on the other end is filled with wonder, elated and breathy come the words...

Mom? You know, YOU were right!

And there, right there in that moment the GROWN UP has arrived...

Let's just hope WE have our hearing aide in for that call!