Saturday, April 26, 2008

Long live the Bobos!

Remember Bobo's? (2nd definition listed, not the first, haha) They were thee sneakers to have in the late 80s, at least in my little corner of the world. They were plain white canvas, very cheap, and went with everything. And they were like 2 bucks. (Remember the song?) Oh, and most importantly, they lasted forever, or at least until you outgrew them or wore them in the creek. (pronounced crick. don't question it.) They did eventually come out with the ones with the blue stripe which was quite a big deal.

Yesterday the Princess showed me that her very fancy sparkly Hannah Montana sneakers were coming apart. (The sole was flapping which really amused me. She didn't find it so funny.) So out we went to hunt for new shoes. Being the super-consumer that she is, the Princess already had the exact shoes picked out before we even left the house. They are High School Musical sneakers. Seriously. And they cost TEN times more than a pair of Bobo's did! Ok, so that sounds dramatic and they were only twenty bucks, but really.... Whatever happened to two dollar sneakers? She's going to outgrow them in four months anyway! And they don't have laces! They have weird bungees up the middle topped by one strap of Velcro. How lazy are we now??

Did I mention that she's been asking for a cell phone? Did I mention that she is EIGHT? *sigh*

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Political Rambling

So we finally had our primaries here in Pennsy, which was a relief. I could not be more sick to death of political ads and discussions and this person said this and that one did something scandalous and blah blah blah. Get on with it! Add to that the fact that as a Republican, I pretty much had no say in who our candidate will be, since my state is one of the very last to vote. I don't know which of those clowns I would have picked for certain, but I'll have to live with John McCain I suppose.

My mother-in-law and I have a fun political relationship. We're definitely on opposing teams, but we like to tease each other with our party stereotypes. (I hate the environment for example, and just want to waste all of our resources! Whee!) When GWB won a second term she called me to congratulate me on 'my guy' winning. What I love about my MIL, in addition to the fact that she wore a bikini to the beach on her 50th bday, is that we can talk politics the way that everyone should be able to talk politics. Emotionally intense moral topics like abortion and the death penalty aside, most political discussions consist of people who want the best for their country & family. My MIL is a democrat and my FIL is a republican. This in itself is entertaining, but I'll save that for another day. I don't consider myself an idealist by any means, as I'm way too cynical and sarcastic to fall into that category. But I just don't see why we can't talk from both sides of the political table without it ending in bloodshed. I think this is why I'm not really a Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter fan - while I agree with a lot of their political stances in theory, I'm just not into the name calling stuff. I'm much more of a Glenn Beck fan, who is a thoughtful man when it comes to politics but doesn't tend to take himself too seriously, and has a wicked sense of humor.

I love our President, but I can find humor in GWB's foibles, and I'm not so self righteous as to not laugh when he says stuff about gynocologists practicing their love of women. One of my all-time favorite YouTube's is the Endless Love video of GWB and Tony Blair. I guess maybe I am an idealist in a way, since I don't see why we have to take ourselves so seriously when it comes to politics. Or maybe I am just sick to death of the political commercials already and will just be sticking my fingers in my ears til November. *la la la la not listening la la la*

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The Boy had his first field trip recently, to a natural science museum. He was very excited but I was NERVOUS. I didn't have the option of going with him, as the chaperones were pre-selected from the PTO elite, darn them! I kept telling myself that they would have safety measures in place, like name tags and a buddy system and GPS chips - wait, ok maybe not the last thing. But really, if you'll recall the infamous church escape incident, you know that this is not something I am overreacting about. I briefly considered taping a note to his back with his name and my cell number. I also briefly considered writing 'I WANDER' in Sharpie across his forehead. Although this warning doesn't do much good, as in the cases of the aforementioned church escape, and as my mother-in-law can attest, the Great Dutch Wonderland Escape. He's quite stealthy.

When he was two he was playing in our back yard. I went in the house to do something housewifey, and his sister was in school. He must have sensed his moment had arrived, because when I returned to the yard a few minutes later, he was gone. I checked every nook and cranny of that back yard and finally noticed the gate was slightly ajar. And I say 'slightly' because it was, in fact, still CLOSED. And PADLOCKED. He being of skinny bones however, was able to push the gate just far enough open so he could squink his little self through. I don't know why I thought to unlock the gate and go looking, since I really did not believe he could have gotten through. I found him the next street over, trotting down the sidewalk and just beaming. After I recovered from my aneurism I was able to see the humor in the situation, in particular the part where he had not gone into the street and been flattened. Oh how I long for those simpler times, before he could run faster than me, before he learned how to use his father's tools to dismantle his room.

The Boy enjoyed his field trip immeasurably, and the bug exhibit was the highlight for him. I was just relieved to see him get off that bus at the end of the day. I'm still thinking about the Sharpie idea for next year though.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alcohol Awareness Month

"The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has designated April 2006 as the 20th Annual Alcohol Awareness Month. Alcohol Awareness Month began in 1987 in an effort to reach the American public with information about the disease of alcoholism - that it is a treatable disease, not a moral weakness, and that alcoholics are capable of recovery. " (Quoted from

How much is too much?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. If you or someone you love is concerned about alcoholism, please check out that link above, or look into the multitude of resources out there. Alcoholics Anonymous is absolutely the reason that I am sober today. Not everyone is a fan, and I myself took three years before I was willing to admit that I needed the program. But the basic premise is that we are a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. What could be more effective than those who have been there, reaching out to those who need help?

The First Drink

The first drink I ever had was a strawberry margarita. It was wonderful. I think I was mostly fascinated with just the newness of the forbidden experience, rather than with the alcohol itself. But in that first teenage experience were clues about what was to come.

I think I had two or three drinks and was wildly enthusiastic about how it made me walk funny. I kept trying to demonstrate this to my friends. I eventually was in the bathroom throwing up, and beginning my very first blackout. I didn't learn until many years later that blacking out when you're drinking is not normal. Who knew? By the next morning I was more concerned about the fact that I had been unceremoniously dumped on the doorstep in front of my flabbergasted mother (by the mother of my friend who had found out where we were and what we were doing), than with whatever a blackout was. I knew nothing about alcoholism, except that my father was in recovery. Even that meant little to me, since I had no memory of his drinking.

I am keenly aware of the blessing that my children have in my sobriety. They will have no memory of their mother being a drunk, and I am obviously quite thankful for this. On the other hand, having come from a long line of not-so-distinguised Ukrainian alcoholics, I am not naive enough to think that my tales of woe will be enough to protect my children from this disease. It is something I have prayed about and I have asked God to end the 'line' of alcoholism at me. I know the story of the Prodigal daughter all too well, and if it were up to me, there would be no such story for my daughter or sons. Accepting the things I cannot change, or in this case, the things that I cannot prevent, is part of my own recovery.

When it comes to your own children, there is nothing you wouldn't do for them. Truly nothing. But I know that my children will make their own choices and live their own lives, and I will someday be an observer of what they do, with little to no say. Will I handle it with quiet eyes, the way my own parents did? Will I lecture them about doing as I say and not as I did? I suppose God is gently chuckling at my questions, as He already knows their future. I had an issue with my daughter a few years ago that I was very upset about, and I have not forgotten the Lord firmly telling me, "You're just going to have to trust Me." To this end, may I always strive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Soylent Green is People!

Ok, that title has pretty much nothing to do with this blog post, but it's fun to say. And if it means nothing to you, then go see what Wiki has to say and try not to have nightmares. Bon appetit!

This is how I made my children insanely happy at the dinner table the other night. I turned their favorite tortellini green. For now, it's just food coloring. Little do they know that this is part of my diabolical plan to get them to eat the spinachy variety of pasta. I love it when a plan comes together! *mwahaha*

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Denim Quilt

For many years I have been working on my denim quilt. It originally began when I had some extra jeans, and then as I lost weight, had even more extra jeans. So I've just been adding to it here and there over the years, and it now finally looks like this:

It is gigantic to say the least. It is wide enough to cover my queen sized bed from floor to floor. A year or two ago I found the perfect backing fabric, a wooly blue plaid. It's already sewn together, and I have the batting that I got on sale a few years ago too. It is now ready to be layered together and pinned. However, the whole project is at a stand still for a few very good reasons.

One - small but very demanding people in my house
Two - no place to lay it out and still have room to get around it to pin it together and make the quilt sandwich
Three - see number One

So since I do not have enough floor space to do this at home, my plan now is to take it up to my church and lay it out in the big gathering room where I can do it with room to spare. Now I just have to get past reason number Four, which is of course procrastination.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I've had this cranky pain in my neck for about, oh.... a year or so now. At some point I sprained my trapezius and went to physical therapy for that. Which led me to finally realize that my neck was really bad and I needed to do something about it. I went and got an x-ray, which was negative, so the doctor suggested an MRI. He also said that based on the 413 knots in the muscles of my neck that I need to go back to physical therapy. I don't know how said knots got there, but I'm pretty sure that toting the Barnacle around all the time is not helping them any.

Now I was pretty sure that I'd had an MRI before, and stuff like this doesn't bother me so long as no one pokes me with pointy things. I'm also not claustrophobic in the least, so I wasn't worried.

As it turns out, the MRI I thought I had of my sinuses a few years ago was actually a CT Scan, because what they did today was totally different. Appparently MRI stands for Mortuary Resting & iTunes, because they stuff you in a coffin to relax with headphones on. It's an odd experience. Once they slide you into your tight little casket you are informed that you cannot move, which is right about when your nose begins to itch. You forget that fairly quickly though, as they begin jackhammering around your head. At first you think there's been a mistake, as no one warned you that there was construction going on. You think about asking someone, but are pretty sure no one will hear your screams over the thunderous noise.
It lasted about twenty minutes and then I was resurrected from my tomb. When I sat up from the table I felt like I was getting off the merry-go-round. There is something that my sinuses do not like about loud noise and vibration, because either tends to make me dizzy. (And my aversion to super loud music has nothing to do with getting old, no matter what the Man says.)

Hopefully should have some answers on Monday. In the meantime, I'm so happy it's Friday! Can someone inform my children that they are all required to sleep in tomorrow? Thanks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Alcohol Screening Day

Today, as the title implies, is National Alcohol Screening Day, or as I would have called it 10 years ago, I Am Not An Alcoholic Because I Only Drink Beer Day. Funny how the mind works, as I remember having quite the odd conversation about alcoholism back when the Man and I were still just friends. Several of my girlfriends were concerned, and appointed him to be The One who would speak to me about this. I thought it was utterly ridiculous that they really thought that someone could be an alcoholic when they didn't drink any of the 'hard stuff'. Amateurs.

Illogical reasoning aside, I eventually moved from beer to harder stuff anyway, and my last drink was wine. My last drunk was at a Memorial Day party, where I drank two bottles of wine. And of course that meant the big 3 liter bottles. The Man wanted to go home after a while, and I didn't, so he took the Princess and left me there. I thought he was being a stick in the mud. Looking back later, I could see my behavior in a more truthful light, and how I willfully chose to stay and continue to drink rather than go home with my family. I don't even remember how I got home that night.

All I can say to that is thank God I don't have to live that way anymore.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Night Shift

The Man went back on night shift yesterday. It's a good thing (money-wise) but it's also a hard thing (sanity-wise). We will now not see very much of each other during the week, and I will be back to single-mama duty for bedtime. This job is only a week though, so we aren't sure if he'll be back to days next week. There's another night job coming up that they may roll right into, so we'll see. They don't tend to tell him until the. last. minute.

Nothing else going on, except that I'm very happy with the banner I made for up top. I know, we're heading into spring, and yet there are autumn leaves on the trees. But it made me happy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ah Winter, I hardly knew ye!

Much to my chagrin, winter is pretty much over. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the winter-time, and look forward to wearing heavy sweaters and snow boots. Alas, this winter is fading and I don't think I got to wear my snow boots more than once. We have been cheated! Boo! I am thankful though, that the kids did get that one good snow day where the Man could take them sledding. :) And the wonderful trade-off of losing my favorite season, is that soon it will be warm enough for camping.

Didn't sleep well last night, or any recent night really. I can't seem to turn my brain off for some reason. So today is a caffeine day for sure.
So it's Monday, and I'm puttering. Got some things done around the house, and then was quite surprised to see the Man walk in the door before noon! Apparently he is starting night shift tonight, and no one told him. So he is sleeping now, and will have to make that fun time adjustment on very short notice. We aren't complaining though, because night shift is very good money. Thank you Lord for always providing!
The Barnacle is sick yet again, so he's needing a lot of cuddling and tissues. Not much more to say about that, as it's been our swan song all winter really. I guess that can be my other silver lining to the end of winter; hopefully his lungs will finally clear up.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A love like Johnny & June

I was driving my son to school this afternoon and I heard this song on the radio by Heidi Newfield (originally from Trick Pony) about Johnny & June Cash.

I wanna love like Johnny and June,
Rings of fire burnin' with you,
I wanna walk the line, Walk the line,
'Till the end of time,
I wanna love, Love ya that much,
Cash it all in, Give it all up,
When you're gone,
I wanna go too, Like Johnny and June

And it kinda gave me pause, and I thought really? That's the kind of love you want? I suppose if you only look at the end of the story, and not the beginning, they definitely had a love worth admiring. But the painful journey it took to get them there is something that we shouldn't glamourize, even if Walk the Line was an incredible movie. Adultery, addiction, divorce... these are not things we should have to go through to find true love. And I know that I don't want my kids to look back at the life I lived and envy any part of how I lived.

I remember being challenged once by a friend who said he could outdrink me. I knew he couldn't, even though he had me by probably 5 inches and 70 or so pounds. So one night we were having a party and he matched me beer for beer for the whole night. I clearly remember at the end of the night, standing over his passed out form on the living room floor, while I finished the beer I had and opened another. For a long time in my early sobriety I had to remind myself that this was not behavior worth bragging about. I should never be proud of how much I used to be able to drink. It was something the Man had to deal with too, because he had an odd sense of pride over it too.

I can't say I care for that last line of the song, about wanting to die when our spouse dies. I love my husband, but I wouldn't want to die if he died. As much as I love him, my husband is not my reason for living. Jesus Christ is my reason for living, and as long as I am able to serve Him, that is where my worth comes from, not from being a wife.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Old Me Vs. New Me

Hmm... a week since my last blog. Proof that I have a life outside of my laptop! Or, that I just have nothing interesting to say. Harumph.

I've been trying to get back in gear with Step 9. I've been talking to my sponsor a lot in the last day or two about a specific one that I am struggling with. It's to a person from my past that I had strong feelings about, and I am quite honestly afraid to contact them. I know that I have to do this, but making yourself vulnerable in this way to someone you have not seen in about 13 years is overwhelming. Thinking back to who you used to be, and really digging into what you did to harm other people is prickly business. I have to be fair, but to do so requires that Rigorous Honesty that follows me around wherever I go, pesky thing.

I got out my old diaries and letters from that time period, and found memories I had conveniently let go of. I don't recognize myself in a lot of my writing. I am so foreign to myself now. Sadly much of that comes from the fact that I was a wretched liar in those days, and would stretch things to accomodate my own purposes. I made up a lot of things in order to get the sympathy or attention that I desperately craved. It's not a pretty picture to think about, and I certainly can't say I'm enjoying the process.

I was in therapy once years ago and the doctor asked me to do an exercise where I sat in a chair and spoke with the old 'me' from college. I fell apart trying to have that 'conversation'. I knew that the Old Me would hate the New Me, and quite frankly, the New Me sure wasn't really fond of the Old Me either. It was very painful, and I don't know that it accomplished much in the end. I was able to look at my previous life, and the choices I made, and see how utterly sick and dysfunctional I was. But I was unable to really 'talk' to the Old Me, because I knew that Old Me would have told New Me to go pound sand.

I know that this journey is not always supposed to be easy. I am thankful that God comes with me on it though. If I could just learn to stop treating him like my co-pilot, and just let Him take over, things would go a lot more smoothly for me.