Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Continued Improvement

I'm so grateful for it.  I've made big progress in my garden today.  I think I sweated out some venom.  Vitriol.  Poison.  And rancor.

Feeling tired is good.  Also, I'm no longer fish-belly white.  I'm tan, but a little bit pink.  It feels good.  My vitamin D is surging!

A good friend stopped by today.  He's moving to Lakeland, and I have an open invitation to visit.  He's on the lake and has a great big pontoon boat, which he can't use at the moment because the water level is too low.  Still, he's caught catfish from the shore.  He's a catch and release guy.  I'll take The D with, and I'll leave it up to him about releasing or eating.  I can put a minnow or worm or cricket on a hook (my friend is a chicken and uses slices of hot dogs... please...), but I can't gut a fish.  And I'm not sure I want The Daddler to do it, since he's on Coumadin.  Plus, I'm not a big catfish fan.  But every fish is good when it's fresh out of the water.

About my friend John, he's so sweet, and I love his wife.  They live just around the corner from me.  For now.  He's a retired pilot, and I met my BFF Melanie at his wedding.  Kismet.

I've recovered from the heat.  So I'm heading back out.

Over and out...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feeling Better

Couldn't feel any worse.  As I've said before, I'm a regular Henny Penny.  Actually, I'm probably more like Chicken Little.  CL (Funny, those letters happen to be my first and middle initials) is the one who thinks the sky is falling.  It's very complicated, but fascinating.  Disney used the story as a cautionary, anti-Nazi tale, in 1943.  According to Wikipedia, the villian, Foxy Loxy, seeks advice from Mein Kampft to manipulate the flock.  The hysterical hens, who are playing bridge, fly into a panic when the developmentally challenged CL heralds the end of the world.  Because Hitler Foxy Loxy knocked him silly with a board which was painted in sky blue.

The following scene was incredibly disturbing to me.  Foxy Loxy extracts a wishbone from his mouth.  He sticks it in the ground with countless other wishbones.  Walt Disney was a regular Dickens.  I cried watching Finding Nemo (think of the bloodthirsty, menacing sharks) and Lion King (murderous Scar luring Mufasa to his death), and so many more.  Why were Walt and Chas so fixated on orphans?  Not to mention the Grimms.  To make matters worse, I'm reading Jane Eyre.  Damn.  If I'm not careful, I'll go back to Tess of the D'Urbervilles.  Hardy, Hawthorne, Poe.  Why is good literature so depressing? 

Ok, I'm off on a tangent.  I need to get back to real life.

I went to the farmer's market today.  I gave The D a big bag of snap peas to snap.  I was saddened when he asked me how to do it, but encouraged when he not only caught on, but disregarded my instructions.  What the hell if we have a few stems to deal with?  I'm sure they're loaded with fiber.

I made him a BLT for lunch.  With a tomato far superior to the poor excuse I find at the grocery store.  I microwaved an extra piece of bacon for him to give to Lucy.  That dog is going to be so obese.  I'm going to switch her from puppy food to the weight-control kind.

I'm missing Linus, and I'm in such a quandry about him.  The whole flea infestation/territor-marking disaster has made me rethink the prudence of taking on another dog.  I miss him, though.  I've wanted to visit him, but I know if I do, my heart will melt and I won't leave without him.  He's so sweet, but I know that I don't need any more complications in my life right now.

So.  Real life waits.  If you wanna see the crazy, weird, subversive Disney short, here's the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnp4kj5lLOU

Over and out...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


...I'm in one.  That's all I can say right now.

I'm heading to Angela's to lie by the pool.  No sunscreen.  I'm tired of being so pale.  I'm sure I'll burn to a crisp, but I don't care.

Maybe the sun and the water and escape from my responsibilities will help me regain altitude.  I can only hope.

But the truth is, I don't care.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Crazy Life, continued...

The other day, when I called the adoption agency animal clinic to complain about Linus' flea problem, I was instructed to return the merchandise.  I suggested that I treat him here at The Good House, to make it easier on him.  Nurse Ratched was on vacation so the receptionist cum dog whisperer (named Tiffany or Brittney or something equally silly) denied my request to speak to a real vet, and refused to back down.  I didn't feel like sparring with the poor (no doubt sensitive) child, so I acquiesced.  I asked her to advise me about which products would kill the fleas, who were most assuredly infesting every fiber of my home as we spoke, without killing those of us with endoskeletons.  She put me on hold.

When she came back on the line, we had a complicated debate about the efficacy of Frontline Plus v. Advantage II (my online research was meaningless since Tiff was the Oracle of Ortho - The One True Cure); the need for bathing a canine-flea-host (she said I shouldn't because it could splash up and wash off the Advantage II, no matter how careful I was); and other practical matters involving carpet, upholstery, and innocent mammalian bystanders.  Said debate was quite complicated. For me, at least.  Tiff (Britt?) had a nice little script and she delivered it with confidence.  I exercised considerable restraint by not telling her to audition for community theatre, because she had a knack for method acting.

Oh, my.

Long story short:  I think I want Linus, but it is much easier with just one dog.  And The D says he doesn't miss Bubba, but I have a feeling he enjoyed the challenge.  Furthermore, Lucy seems lonely.  Kinda like a younger sister whose big brother is away at summer camp.  Even though she loves the undivided attention from her parents, she's at loose ends without the challenge of competing for their affections.

That reminds me of long, unstructured summers spent fighting with my brother, David.  Every day, we wound up in some sort of ruthless competition.  Including Battleship, croquet, HORSE, Monopoly, full contact (tackle) football, Mastermind (the best ever game of logic - not counting chess, of course), our version of UFC (we never drew blood or broke bones, but it was pretty brutal), perfecting our cussing skills, climbing trees and fences, etc.  Now that I think about it, there was plenty of bloodshed and a few stitches.  David had a broken tooth and a forearm fracture, and I got my toe caught in the bicycle spokes and sliced my hand open on the cracked glass on a storm door.  I won't even get started on the time my little sister hit me over the head with a croquet mallet.

Well, I think I'll get busy and do something productive.  I'm just getting home from spending all morning with my latest, nonsensical, misadventure.  But that's another post.

Over and out...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mi Vida Loca

or, for the monolingual among us, "My Crazy Life."

The clouds evaporated and the sun came out.  Linus and Lucy had spent a couple hours outside, without escaping.  In my muddy yard.  So the logical thing was to give them a bath.  Cool them off.  Clean them off.

Great idea, huh?  Since Linus is a newcomer, I had no idea how he felt about baths.  Turns out, he tolerated it very well.  Better than Lucy.  Which isn't saying much.  Unfortunately, the colony of fleas he hosted didn't take it as well.  OMG.  I have a parasite phobia.  I swear, they said he was negative for everything.  Heartworm, rabies, hookworm, and surely, fleas and ticks.  I should've listened to The Daddler when he said the new dog was "knockin' fleas."  I thought it was an allergy to the cat.  It was congruent with his sneezing.

After doing my best to spray away the fleas with the jet setting on the nozzle, I wrapped Linus in a towel and handed him to The D.  I fastened the "Lucky Dog" collar and slipped on the leash, and told D to take him in and put him in the crate (which, fortunately, had clean bedding.)  A minute later, I'd plunged Lucy into the fresh (hopefully flea-less water).  That's when I heard The Daddler holler, "She ran away."  Amber alert.

I abandoned Lucy and ran in the house.  Told D to get in the van.  I grabbed the keys and a leash and headed down the street.  Like a ghost, we kept seeing her, but she didn't materialize.  I jumped out of the van and ran like the devil.  I tried to head her off at the pass.  That's when I saw the mini-van rolling down the street.  The Daddler was behind the wheel.  Pressed into service.  I jumped into the passenger seat and told him to go past Linus, so I could head him back to our house.  The opposite direction of White Station.  Major thoroughfare.

I imagined the convo with the animal clinic's In-House Nurse Ratched, telling her of Linus' demise.  I was comforted by the fact that my house was likely infested with fleas.  And that I'm on the verge of figuring out how to do small claims court.

The D did great.  I instructed him to pull into a driveway, so I could jump out and pursue the prodigal dog.  He did.  And I did.  And Linus submitted.  I snatched him up.  The Daddler was getting out of the van when I got back, and I told him to keep on driving.  And he did.  What was the worst that could happen?

Wow.  I think I should try to reinstate his license.  I'm not sure he could pass the written exam, given the aphasia,  but the truth is, he's a much better driver than I am.  And as far as sense of direction... No contest.  And so what if he got pulled over and ticketed for driving without a license?  If he did some time for doing the crime, I think he'd have a positive influence on his cell mates.  And I'd have a break from preparing meals.

Ok, this is nonsense.  I should close.  I need a nap before I head to the James Taylor concert tonight.  Turns out, everyone I know will be there.  So I should figure out something to wear.  Maybe just a towel, because it'll be a sauna.

Over and out...

The Great Outdoors

Now that I've determined that Linus can't get out of the yard, my life is much easier.  Unfortunately, neither he nor Lucy likes to be outside.  But the weather is very temperate, so I don't feel one bit guilty about exiling them to the shady, but muddy yard.  I now understand, though, why they call it a "mud room."  I purloined some of The Daddler's baby personal cleansing wipes for the filthy paws.  Linus, being a male, covers up his poop, so he gets much dirtier than Lucy, who shits and gits.  Funny, it's kinda inverse to humans.  Think about it.  It's the whole toilet seat conundrum. Backwards.

I'm making progress, and The D seems to be adjusting to the idea of another dog.  I'm still not sure, but I'm comforted by the fact that I'm just fostering bubba.  Kinda like cohabitation.  Or "shacking up" to a traditional lady.  It should be noted that I consider myself to be one, in spite of my sometimes unladylike language.

Actually, I'm just pragmatic.  After the debacle of moving, a year ago, I think moving in with a man would be paramount to marrying him.  And that's not counting what The Daddler and Kiddo would think.  Losing my alimony.  Dealing with difficult stepkids.  But then, there's employer-sponsored health insurance to consider.  I feel a spreadsheet coming on.  Well, actually, it's not an issue for me right now.  Still.  Lots to think about.

In the meantime, I have a fun, paying gig this week.  I get to be an interviewer for a focus group.  I get all of $10/hour for two whole days.  Wonder if I'll get an apple pie or two?  That was my one and only experience with this company.  Don't worry.  They're legit.

Getting paid to talk!  I can't think of anything better!  I'll have to practice modulating my voice.  Enunciating.  Slowing down.  Toning down the southern accent.  Maybe I'll channel Phoebe Finebottom, my British friend.

Better run.  Dogs are barking...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Today's Episode...

...is sponsored by the letter P.

As in Pee.  Or, as The Daddler puts it - Piss.  It always catches me by surprise when he says that, because he never cusses these days.  Except for the occasional "damn" when I scare him with my driving.  One of these days, I'm gonna pull over and make him drive.  I'm sure he'd do a great job.  Seriously.

About the pee.  I did a very impetuous thing.  I brought another dog into our family.  He's a seven year old Jack Russell terrier rescue.  So sweet.  But, he's only recently been neutered.  Which means he's used to marking his territory.  Which means this horrible carpet is ruined.  That's kind of redundant, because beige carpet is intrinsically awful.  On top of Bubba's effort to comfort himself, Lucy has regressed.  So she's peeing everywhere.

To make matters worse, we had a thunderstorm last night.  Both dogs are afraid of thunder.  And they hate the rain.  And my yard is a mud pit.  Picture this.  At 5:48 this morning, I was soaking wet and covered with mud.  Trying to corral two dogs who had full bladders and colons, and very muddy paws.

Somehow, I made it through the day.  Improvised.  The Daddler wasn't too bad.  We decided to divide and conquer.  He maintained Lucy duties, and I handled Linus (a/k/a Bubba).

I was in the home stretch a little while ago.  I'd fixed The D a good dinner, and I was cleaning the kitchen.  He appeared.  He mentioned an accident.  I assumed it was Lucy, but I realized it wasn't her.  It was Daddy.  He showed me his pants, which were very wet.  Said he felt the urge to go, but before he could stand up, it happened.  I told him I'd schedule an appointment with his urologist.  I told him to take a shower and put his clothes in the laundry basket.  I was due to do another couple loads anyway.

I hope his eyes were just watering, but I saw a tear under his lower eyelid.  All of a sudden, I was a new mother with a sick child.  Fiercely protective, and scared to death to realize that I wasn't in control.  That I'm in over my head.

I have my work cut out for me, but I can't think of a better way to spend my time.  And selfishly, I hope that if I can love the unlovely, it'll come back to me in the end...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm the most...


I've been in a very long time.

I used to be able to figure out how to fix things.  I was a fixer.  In fact, I have total clarity when it comes to fixing other people's problems.  Just not my own.

At the risk of indulging in self-pity, I'll say that I am a victim of my circumstances.  I've never made a practice of playing the victim, but I'm in uncharted territory.  This sandwich generation thing is so hard.  And I've had more than my share of problems over the last three years. 
I'm an affirmation addict.  Unfortunately, I've had very little of this drug of choice, and I'm jonesin' for an 'atta girl.  The Daddler is incapable of expressing approval or appreciation and since he is the primary focus of my energies these days, that can be painful.  I know in my head that he loves me and is happy here with me, but it still hurts when I go out of my way to do something special for him and the best he can do is say, "It's pretty good."  I made homemade ice cream the other night.  I've never done that on my own.  It took lots of planning.  A phone call to an aunt who doesn't use a recipe - when she says to check it in "a little while" and "add more milk until it looks right."  A trip to the grocery store, trying to remember the things on the list I left at home.

As much as I complain about The Daddler, he keeps me hangin' on.  I take care of the ones I love.  Way more than I take care of myself.  I'm no martyr.  But on the other hand, if anyone wants to beatify or canonize me, I'll be flattered.  Did you know that most of the saints were nuts?  There's a whole science devoted to them.  Hagiography.

Well, this is no longer making sense.  I'm going to try to get some sleep.  That's a rare commodity for me these days...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

If Nancy Drew...

...had Google, the books would be much shorter.

It's kinda scary how easy it is to find things out about people.  As a former auditor, I have a very inquiring mind.  And I know how to find information.  I have a few tricks.  In keeping with the cloak and dagger thang, I won't reveal them all, but let's just say, I do my homework.

I will share one, though.  Because I'm so sick and tired of so-called Customer Service Representatives.  They call themselves CSRs for short.  They should be called SNSs.  See n' Say.  Except, instead of saying, "This is a duck.  Quack, Quack.", they say, "Thank you Ms. Mispronounced Last Name, I'm sorry you are having trouble with your (inferior) product today. "  If the CSR is in another continent, I usually have to say,"Pardon me?" at least three times.

I'm not a bigot by any means, but when I'm frustrated, I don't want to tell my story more than five times.  And when the person I'm talking to sounds like they moonlight on weatherband radio, I figure I'm not going to get anywhere.  Once I told the woman that I couldn't understand her and that I'd like to be transferred to a North American representative, and she said, "What part of 'How can I help you?' don't you understand?"  Hmmm.  Reckon that was in the script?  Also, why is it that these CSRs with exotic accents have such humdrum names?  How many Michaels and Amandas can there be in South Asia?

Oh, my point was, if you want to get through to the executive offices of a big corporation, go to the SEC website.  That's Securities and Exchange Commission, not Southeastern Conference.  Look for their 10K, and you'll see a phone number on the first page or two.  Call it.  You probably won't have to go through a 15-step phone tree.  And you're about a thousand times more likely to get results (and avoid going postal), if you can avoid getting caught in the insidious customer service web like a helpless fly.  If you're really mad, find the CEO's name on the 10K, ask for him, and tell his assistant you're his mistress and you need to get through.  Desperate times call for desperate measures...

Oh, well.  I digress.  Let's just say that I'm beginning a new adventure.  About which, I'm going to be very cryptic.  In keeping with my alter-ego.  Nancy.

More later.  Maybe...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Motherhood, redux...

The Daddler had two wisdom teeth removed today.  It was a little more complicated because I have to adjust his coumadin whenever he has an invasive procedure.  I took him for an INR last week (blood clotting test), and it was fine.  I was worried because when I did the laundry, he had a hankie and some shorts stained with blood.  Very atypical.  I think Lucy might have been involved.

There's a long story re his wisdom teeth, but they needed to come out.  He did just fine - didn't even have nitrous.  I swear, I've asked for laughing gas for an overdue cleaning before.  He has a high pain threshold, though.  I didn't inherit it. 

He had tomato basil soup, watermelon, a free milkshake from Chik-fil-a, two glasses of iced tea, and some apple sauce. 

We changed the gauze.  He slept.  I took over Lucy duties.

So, all's well that end's well.

Over and out....