Thursday, August 30, 2007
I Think my Squirrel is dead!
I think it was my squirrel. And not my squirrel in the pet kind of way.
But my squirrel in the sharing of time and space kinda way.
Tuesday, when I arrived home after some errands, I sadly noticed a squirrel had been run over in front of my house.
Oh No, not my squirrel I hoped.
You see, each afternoon I have this little ritual. Around 2:30 I take my chair, the mail, some magazines or a book and sit about halfway down my drive, under some big trees and wait for my son's bus to arrive. I get about 30 minutes of nice relaxing indulgent me time before the afternoon rush hour. School has been in session for about 3 weeks now and I haven't missed a day of this ritual. I started noticing this squirrel in the tree above me one day when I was sitting catching up with Oprah and little bits of things starting falling all around me. Upon investigating, I discovered this squirrel was sitting up there gathering and chewing the shells off of hickory nuts. So each day, I sit and read and he(or she) busily gathered nuts for the impending winter. And by winter I do not mean cold and snowy weather. Around here winter is a state of mind or page on the calender not necessarily a weather related event. But I digress. I began to look forward to our little time together each day and I found myself reading less and watching the squirrel, which lead to the birds which lead to the ants, all busily at work. Never stopping to ponder life around them or just stop and do nothing.
Then I saw the squirrel mishap.
So far Tuesday and Wed. I have not seen "my" squirrel. Maybe he is off harvesting from other trees.Maybe after 3 weeks he has rid our trees of its bounty and moved on. I think this is the same squirrel that visited our bird feeder on occasion that I shooed away. Today I am going to refill the feeders to try and lure him back. This time there will be no shooing. If not, I will miss him.
Damn car!
What ,you were going too fast to brake or swerve for a little squirrel.
Or maybe he was making a made dash for the woods across the street, having heard rumor of a tree full of harvest.
The same day I noted this tragedy I read an article entitled"Life's too Short to........"
The author was telling of her AH HA moment when she realized that life was too short to do things you don't want to or skip the things that make life worth savoring. Her only lament was that she wished she had learned this years before. If got me to thinking about my own list:
Life's too Short To
Not make friends with a squirrel
Not to say No to things you really do not want to do
To say No to something you really want to do but don't think you should
Not have a least a few bites of dessert
Not lay down for a few minutes with your child, even if it is a school night
Tell your child No, when Yes won't really matter in the long run
Not live like it speeds by but also to make each day last forever
Not speak out even if you are the only one that will agree with yourself
Speak out when you know it will open a can of worms you don't really want to deal with
Worry about any of these things.
Make your own list.
A week from today I will be 47.
47 47 47 47
Who me?
I keep having these thoughts that begin with "When I grow Up I will ______(fill in the blank).
When will I actually be grown up, not on the outside, but the inside?
I have been married for 25 years and have 2 children.
Does that make me grown up?
I am a chef, travel coordinator, laundress, nurse, Housekeeper, vet, personal shopper, teacher, cheerleader, therapist, mother, lover, sister, daughter, friend, driver, accountant and secretary.
Do all of these jobs make me a grown up?
I have decided that my mantra will be
"Life's too Short to grow up"
And that's the real secret.
Spend time watching the ants, never completing your to do list, and doing what you want.
Those child like qualities that we seem to think we need to leave behind or out grow.
It seems when I get one thing marked off my list, several more get added on.
I am not talking about laundry or grocery shopping or homework or anything attached to my above jobs list.
I mean this to do List:
Write a novel and not a Pulitzer Oprah Book Club book. But a racy, trashy, scary read at the beach Nora Roberts, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham kind.
Have a hammock and actually use it.
Sleep out on our trampoline with the kids in the backyard and stare at the stars.
Live to see the book "Geek Love" made into a movie.
Learn to scuba dive.
Go to Paris and Rome and Greece and Pompeii and Scotland.
Learn to Golf
Live on the beach
Go back to college and get a degree in Special Education
Learn to make the perfect cut out and decorated Christmas cookies.
Master the perfect Fried Chicken
Have Grandchildren
See my son graduate from high school.
Live closer to my bestest friend from New Jersey.
Live to 100 and see that the world still has water, wild life and hope and happiness.
Good thing I still have a lot of growing up to do.
I've got a lot of things I am looking forward to marking off my list.
And a lot of things to add to it.
Make your own list.
Life's a lot more fun with stuff to look forward to doing.
And that's the secret,
Life's too short not to.......

Monday, August 27, 2007
After thinking about my last post I did want to come back and clarify one thing.
I hope no one takes my thoughts on the current war in Iraq as to mean that I do not support our troops to the fullest extent and respect each and every one of them in the decision to join the military and their bravery.
My father was in the Air Force and my father- in-law was in the Navy during WWII.In fact he was one of the first soldiers to step in Hiroshima after we dropped the Atomic Bomb. I also have close friends that have son's that have enlisted within the last year. These are some of the most courageous and determined young men I know who have volunteered to risk their young lives for our country. Who have enlisted knowing full well that they will eventually be deployed to Iraq. Young, bright men who just a few months age were cheering at high school football games, picking out dates and tuxedos for Prom night and proudly accepting their diplomas in caps and gowns. Young men who had college and a future close to home at the top of their lists. They chose instead a very different path. A path that makes their parents proud and afraid, supportive and fearful. I want each and every Congressman and Senator and President to know what precious and irreplaceable souls and spirits and futures and lives that are being put into their care. It seems many have forgotten that a life, a Mom and Dad, a son or daughter, a wife, best friend, the future of America is who each one of those numbers represent , who they are and what can be taken away in an instant.What a one minute blurb on TV or a line in a newspaper truly represents. I hope every decision made to send one of them into harms way is the right decision, the only choice and they never forget the dreams and aspirations that they are in charge of.

OK, so now I am back into the blog world and I have up dated you on my summer of hell. Now that was just what was happening within my own house. But what is going on in the world this summer , let's see.................

Nicole, Lindsay,Paris really I am sure to your immediate family and friends and a few misguided fans they want a daily or hourly update, but for the rest of us I say.
I can sorta see the interest in Lindsay Lohan-She was a wholesome and successful child actress and my daughter watches "The Parent Trap" weekly. So her quick descent into drugs, drinking and the wrong side of the law is surprising but not shocking. So much potential wasted.
But Nicole, really the only thing you have done was to have a famous and wealthy indulgent father and propel anorexia once again on the top of teenage girls "to Do List"
Shame on You!
And do not get me started on Paris Hilton. What in the world has she done that is so worthy of so much expensive air and print time.
I'm gonna say it. SHE IS UGLY, I have never seem a picture where she even comes close to cute. She doesn't act(no her stupidity is not a act and her porn video doesn't count), she doesn't sing.The only contribution to society I see her make is in the form of Shopping and then she is spending dear old Grand Dad's money. Not her Dad's or hers, but a generation back.
Let me not leave out Brittany.I missed the weather forecast the day Hell was reported to have froze over, because the fact that KFed, her ex, is the responsible, normal and most qualified parent of the two was not something anyone would have predicted.
Oh for the days when she was just a gyrating teen in a catholic school uniform.
Thank you God and Disney for Hannah Montana. And High School Musical1,2,,,,,3 and 4???
I am so glad my daughter has a normal looking, acting and talking group of celebrities to try and emulate. And that ole Achy Brakey Billy Ray Cyrus is still pretty easy on the eyes.

Iraq- Woe is us and Woe is the U.S.
It bothers me that in our newspaper the reports of deaths of our military soldiers is relegated to pages 5,6 and 7.(yes, those girls above mentioned usually get a notation on page 2.)
When did Paris and Brittany's crotch shots become more newsworthy than the deaths of our soldiers in a War most of us didn't want, in a place we should have never been in and can't seem to either win or get out of. I think most Americans have sadly gone on to other things in their thoughts and actions. We have either given up, grown weary, grown complacent or are still confused. We can't trust or believe in our president, those in the military are giving very different opinions and observations. Meanwhile we are loosing lives each day and we have to dig into the paper deeply or rewind the sound bite on the TV to hear mention of the quagmire we are in. This morning on the "Today Show" they report that since 9/11 and our quest for Bin Laden(remember he was the guy responsible, not Saddam, NOT Iraq) we have "maybe""possibly""might have" "almost" been near where he "could have" been once in 2003 but not before or since. This 6'5" Afghan who is the one responsible for the 9/11 attacks and most probably planning another we have NO CLUE where he is. Why are we not after him? Why are we warring with Iraq? I read an article this past week where military recruitment is down(DUH) and that some in Congress are bouncing around reinstating the draft.Maybe that will finally get this country off it's A*** and demand a government by and for the people, a government we trust and believe in and institute change.
In the deep dark recesses of my soul, I give a prayer of Thanks that my autistic son will never have to face a draft decision and I don't have to pack our bags for Canada. But I have nephews and sons of friends that I am very afraid for them. I had so hoped that the end of the summer would find us with answers and a clear plan and weeks or even days passing with no deaths reported. Maybe by Christmas.
So now I have unloaded the two issues that have continually pushed my buttons this summer.
Two issues that have made me thankful that my kiddos are still in the Elementary set and oblivious to this crazy world that is swirling around them.
They still think Mom and Dad are the only swirling masses they have to be concerned about.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Camping and at the Beach!

Back in the Saddle
Yes, it seems like my blogging follows the school schedule. After a summer off with the kids, I am back to pondering the meaning of life or what it doesn't mean in some cases.
I hope everyone had a great summer. Better than mine anyway.
This was not the best summer I have ever had.
Let me make a long story short,well kinda short in a War and Peace kinda way and recap what roads I have traversed since my last post.
May 17-School year ends.YEAH, kids and I both were so ready. The last 3 weeks I had to literally ( not figuratively) drag, cajole and force my son on the bus each morning to school.
Memorial weekend we depart on our long awaited camping trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee.
We love to camp, tent camping the way I did growing up. This year we added a few family members to the trip. By a few I mean 10 other people, my extended family, for 5 days. They all rented 3 cabins, we tent camped and were the designated kitchen and gathering spot.
5 days later we came home.
3 of us not speaking to 2 others.
Many lessons learned that trip.
Mainly, in the future it will be best for the 4 of us to camp with,well the 4 of us.
Nough said.

We ease into lazy days of sleeping in, going swimming and usual slothfulness.My husband and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on the 12th.
The next week I get what seems like a 48 hour Flu that morphs into a cough. When my husband finally forces me to the doctor after a few days of a high fever, I am told I have Pneumonia, DOUBLE Pneumonia. I take the prescribed Z pack, Mucinex, drink lots of water and rest.
Yes, that's a pipe dream.
Relax when you are in charge of 2 kids, a dog , a cat, 8 fish, 2 hermit crabs and a house 24/7.
Did you know you can actually cough to the point that you have the bladder control of an elderly woman that has birth 20 kids ?
Adds a little something extra to the whole experience. I perfected the quick cross legged Kegal exercise cough stance. June passes and still the cough lingers.
Still coughing, feel fine-sound like a 10 pack a day smoker. Really attractive.
My daughter looses 2 teeth, my son 2 teeth. One of which propels him into our bedroom at 10:30 at night, blood everywhere, screaming that he's scared and trying to stuff his upper front tooth back into his gum. Now mind you this is the 4th tooth he has lost with barely a recognition to those. Takes us an hour to calm him down.
Mid to late July, I am still coughing and my husband casually mentions a time or two that his vision seems a little blurry.Must be time for an eye exam and glasses update.
Last week of July my husband finally go to the eye doctor. Who sends him to a Retina Specialist.
Who sends him to a doctor at Eye Foundation Hospital. Who thinks he may have had a stroke. Who sends him for an MRI. Then to a neurologist.All of this in 2 days. Never has the medical world done so much so fast ever. All of this with me having to drive and with our two precious angels in tow. Me still having the occasional cough a thon.After tossing and turning all night wondering how I was going to deal with an Autistic son and a blind husband,we find out no stroke, he has what is called Optic Neuritis.An inflammation of the Optic nerve and causes (temporary or permanent) vision loss , blurring and peripheral vision loss. Can also be an early sign of Multiple Sclerosis. I am almost wishing it had been a micro stroke.
They give him masses doses of steroids-24 doses in 3 days and tell us to wait and see.
A lovely wait since the side effect causes severe headache, lethargy and increase appetite.
Also wonderful timing since we left a few days later for a week at the beach.
Me driving. I hate to drive. My husband hates to ride with me driving.
All in all we have a great time at the beach. Perfect weather and an incredible condo.
Kids have a blast, Dad relaxes, Mom catches it all on film....cough lingering on.
Mom drives home, Dad getting used to having a chauffeur.
Buy school supplies, meet the teachers, School starts Aug.9.
LOVE my son's teacher,which is always a new school year issue for him. But this year I am so happy, so that's a great start. My daughter's teacher is the 1st grade half teacher of her Flex class last year so we already knew her. She's kinda rigid and not too free with the "Thata Girls" but we will tough it out. Still a cough every now and then. Husbands Eyes Improve.
Second week of school.Kids doing good, I am feeling like my old self finally, husband getting used to small visual impairment. I get some new contacts and can ditch the reading glasses.
Husband mentions he must have pulled a muscle in his shoulder unloading the car after our vacation.OK OK so I pack a heavy suitcase.
A few days later, after the his shoulder pain gets markedly worse and I am secretly thinking, is this what happens when you turn 50 and finally stop smoking, all bodily hell breaks loose.
He develops a rash, goes to the Doctor. Shingles. Yes, shingles, a mainly old peoples malady.
Also, interestingly brought on by large doses of steroids.
He moans and groans and takes Valtrex.
Yes, the Valtrex of those commercials with the hunky guy and gorgeous girl who look like they have never even had a zit ,talking about genitial herpes. I apply Calamine lotion and pray no one we know saw him getting THAT prescription filled at Walmart.
So here we are, 3 weeks in to August and 2 weeks into the new school year.
Shingles gone, vision improving, Cough down to once a day.
Life is good. No wait, Dear husband now has a nasty cold.
Woe is me.
SO that is a few reasons why blogging was last on my proverbial To Do List.
I realize how much I missed it. I hope at least one of you missed it too.
Is anyone still out there????
I hope the rest of you had a nice relaxing trauma and sickness free summer.
See ya tomorrow