Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wake Me When its Over.

This has been one of the most exhausting few weeks of my life. I move from painting project, to clutter eliminating jobs, to cleaning up after the ten different things being done to my house at the moment. I have never cleaned so much to be left with such a disaster. Dust from the kitchen work forms a thick layer on everything I own. Silly me, I keep trying to clean it up every night and the workers show up every morning to make all the mess appear again.

I have neglected all the regular things that should be getting done, such as laundry, grocery shopping and the general upkeep required with four kids. My daily wardrobe is even older sweats, because they are the only things left clean. I also have a new rule on towels since I realized today that the linen closet was bare....don't let the fact that they are in the dirty laundry pile fool you, if they don't smell horrible, they are still usable! Reminds me of the ol' college rule. When something is dirty long enough, its clean again. Also, chips and dip are a perfectly healthy dinner and sugar wafers make a lovely appetitzer.

The thought that keeps up at night is that the brunt of the work has not even happened yet. After I finish this place, I will need to begin on the other house. Every inch needs a coat of paint, carpet needs installed, a room needs drywalled, and a crap load of other jobs that I fear I will not have the energy to even consider after this place kills me. I keep praying the house will sell in the first five minutes so that I can hire people to paint and do all the work that my tired body is dreading.

I have a lot of mixed feelings. I wanted nothing more than to make this move for all the benefits it holds for me, and yet, I am starting to have some unresolved feelings for this place. Whether you love it, hate it or have an indifference to a place you have lived for almost nine years, at some point it still feels like home. And with all the stress I have been under lately, losing home seems like too much to lose, too much to deal with and too heartbreaking all at the same time. I will truly miss this place with strong intensity, nothing has surprised me more.

I feel very alone right now, mostly because my thoughts overwhelm me. It is the change of scenery without changing really anything else that troubles me. It will help with the financial issues, but there are so many more issues that move along with me. They say change encourages change, so that is something to ponder I guess. I just have to keep the faith that I am exactly where I am meant to me and make the best of it for now.

And yet, I cannot get this sinking feeling to go away. I always seem to look ahead with fear, never being sure I can cope with the things I wish to leave behind. Maybe this is the first step and it will get easier. I can always hope!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo

It was an interesting weekend. Friday, we had a unexpected party that lasted til 5a.m.. Five hours later I was getting ready to go to the mall to get my stove and other items I need to get the house in order for selling. Sunday (today) we celebrated Ryan's birthday with a lebanese feast. My mom brought me a gift of premixed Jose Cuervo. WOOO HOOO!

Inbetween all that I painted the kitchen, threw away another ten tons of crap and did a lot of cleaning. Tomorrow they redo the kitchen and paint the ceilings all through the downstairs, thus making a very stressed out me, have to tolerate the intrusion. God, I'm soooooooo tired!!

Lots of other stressing things happened throughout the already fun-filled and busy weekend that I am not willing to discuss until I gain some distance and actually find some humor in the horror. So, (yawn) I'm off to finish up some paperwork and crash.

Oh, and speaking of crash......crazy weather junk happening too. We are having more thunder and lightening storms in January than we had in July. For Ohio, mighty strange. I wish it to stop now, cause the weird weather is just adding more stress to my already overwhelmed state.

Wish me luck, peace and a vacation. ( yeah , right) Wow, I may even be getting delusional.

Oh, and for your entertainment, here is a little thing I wrote to my arch nemisis, when I previously had too much time on my hands, a while back. Proof that it can be a dangerous thing. (Warning- bad words to follow).

Ode to Pop-up Messages

You think you are so clever
Making surfing worse than ever.
You make my IM's stall
You are not so smart at all.
I will never click your stupid ad
All you do is make me mad.
You fill my processes with iexplore
Your nothing but a dirty whore.
On Adaware, I have 153
Problems with my registry.
You multiply when I hit any key
Critically low is my virtual memory.
My patience is wearing thin
No matter what I run, you win.
Peaceful internet is all I seek
Your creator is a sexless geek.
I don't need a penis enhancer
Nor want to see a topless dancer.
My weight is fine, I want nothing free
I am not filling out forms for a plasma TV.
As for search engines I will not switch
Just leave me alone, you freakin' bitch.
So, there it is, I had my say
Now kiss my ass and go away!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I am Going to Quit Smoking..........

With all the commercials, state laws, ugly, funky lung pictures, Oprah shows, and so on, I have decided that smoking is so NOT cool anymore. It also doesn't help that many people around me have been successful in quitting, thus trying (quite obviously) to make me look bad.

I always planned to quit when things in my life became less stressful, but that plan is totally failing cause, like, that never happens. So, now I have to try and do it anyway. Hold on, let me sit back, light one and ponder this a moment...........

Okay, much better.

Now there are several, quite obvious, reasons to quit. I cannot argue with that, but I still might. It just feels like breaking up with the love of my life. They have been with me through everything the last twelve years. They are always there for me, they calm me down, hype me up, and help me not be constipated. (Yeah, I agree, too much info.)

I have to pick a quitting date, cause that is the hip thing to do now. I was thinking about February 17th, my birthday. I have not yet decided which year, but I may shoot for this one. It seemed like a nice birthday gift to myself, but now it seems like the shittiest gift even, so don't hold me to that date. We move the following week and that seems like a high nicotine type activity. Geeze, if it is this hard picking a date for me, can you imagine actually not smoking anymore???

Dr Phil says you must replace a bad habit with something if you want to be successful. I can't think of a single thing I could do once an hour for five to ten minutes. Ugh, this is too hard!

I will be so unbelievably intolerable, and while that is not so much of a change, I can see myself calling people to talk about not smoking. It will be like breaking up with your soulmate in seventh grade, the peak of puppy love obsession. Maybe I should name them George or something. "I miss George. I remember the first time George and I created a head buzz together. George was so easy going, so available. There will never be another like George. Oh, Godddddddddddd!! George!!!!!!!!!!!". (falls on ground, weeping).

Maybe I should rethink this. I'll get back to ya.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An "F" in Mom for the Day.

Cassie, after much coaxing, went back to school today. She wears baggie sweats about 90% of the time. We told her to wear regular clothes more often. She always insist we buy her all these clothes she just loves at the store. You know, normal stuff, like jeans, tops without a sport's team plastered all over the front, so that she looks put together at least sometimes. She listens to us for once and actually dresses in non-jersey material today.

Fast forward to 10am. Phones rings, caller id comes up as her school. First thought, "Oh, my God, she is coming home sick AGIAN!!!". Wrong!
"Hello". (with ever so slight annoyance, as I think it is her for above reason).

"Mrs. B., this is the school guidance office calling about Cassie."

"Yes?" (gulp)

"Well, Cassie is a very attractive girl and she is well endowed in certains areas (really, which ones?) and though her shirt is not entirely inappropriate on its own, she does have a cleavage line showing, most notably when she leans over to pick up her books."

"Uh huh".

"Would it be possible for you to bring down a more suitable shirt for her? We had her put her winter jacket on to cover her up until she could change her shirt. But the school is quite warm, so she cannot be comfortable." (Speaking of uncomfortable, I'm sure there was no humiliation in requesting her to put on and zip up her winter coat)

"Yes, I will take care of that right away, but let me just say, I realize things look more, ummmm, inappropiate on her, but I also know that is hardly her fault. So while I understand your concern and will be more selective in choices for school, ten different girls could have that very same top on and it would not be an issue at all. As unfair as that seems, we will try and tone down her, ahhhhh, (boobs, breast....nah) well, you know."

"Thank you, Mrs. B. and I do apologize for the inconvenience."

I guess the sweats were a better choice of attire, since thriteen year olds with boobs are now considered "inappropiate". I dropped the ball on that one big time!!

But just to really rub it in, I think the Steeler game has corrupted Brooke. There was some alcohol present, some loud yelling and just your general game watching stuff. She opened her play refrig today, took out two fake plastic bottles of coke, brought me one and said, "Here, Mommy, we have a beer. Go Steelers!!!".

Now I am totally going to have to ace the final.......... damn!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here We Go!! Oh Oh Oh!! **static** We Have No Driveway.

Look out Superbowl XL..here we come!

The game today was much less stressful than last week and the guys are playing as good as ever! I am fortunate to live with a family of Steeler fans, minus one. Ryan was, is, and always will be a Dallas fan, though I have tried to convert him every season with no success.

He called on his way back to college after spending the day at a friend's house, just outside of Pittsburgh. He has come to the conculsion that every place is better than where we live, as he travels from one teammate's house to another. They also serve "shrimp already peeled", have large driveways, never park on the street and have beautiful landscaping, according to him. Umm..I have served that, it must be more noticable or better tasting in a mansion with a driveway and beautiful landscaping.

Nothing like a good dose of "we live in a depressed area where they advertise high paying jobs at $8.50 an hour" during the high of the win. People live to rain on my parade!!

I would have liked to live in a richer, more promising place. For raising the kids, I just think the small town thing has its advantages too. Ryan was a hometown hero here. Don't ever be ashamed of or piss on the town that worshipped you!! We done raised ya betta than dat,my boy.

We could make much higher wages, have much more debt and headaches, and pay $500,000.00 for a home that in these here parts would cost $120,00.00 We could work at the make-up counter at some department store in a booming metropolis and make 15 an hour,while paying $1200.00 a month for an efficency apartment. But why???

We live 40 miles from the city that will play in the Superbowl in two weeks (had to get that in!), we make a middle class income and struggle just like some of the rich, and we pay way less for everything. We adore our kids, spend time with families, strive for more, go into debt and don't have to impress people with our possessions. I know the name of most every kid in my children's classes and the whole town turns out for a friday night football game. I really can't complain too much.

Sure, I wish wages were higher here, but only if everything else would stay the same, and that is just not the way it works. So you take the good with the bad and you look for the things that truly make you happy, such as, "Pittsburgh's goin' to the Superbowl. Here we go, oh oh oh................"

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Toddler Timeout!!!

Yes, she is loads of fun and entertainment. I'll give her that, but when you want to get any project completed at all, she is up your butt with demands.

Trying to move is no picnic. You have to go through every closet, drawer, and every other inch of your home to start getting rid of things you no longer need or want to lug to the next house. It is also a time to fix those little knicks in the wall, repaint rooms and get it ready for the market.

All this is a job in itself and I am seriously trying each day to pick a room and get it "moving ready", but I do not have five to ten straight minutes of work before she senses I am not completely and entirely devoted to her. So, she requests different things to eat and drink. First a "SAMich", then "a dink ah juice", next she wants "fishy cackers". Food is not the only way she tries to get you away from something that is not all about her.

She is new with the whole potty thing, so she runs to restroom yelling, "Mommy!!!! I pee! I poopies!!", every 20 minute or so. Then she demands to watch specific episodes of Dora that I do not have access to for her. She has several Dora tapes and it is on plenty of times throughout the day, but she doesn't want those!! No,no, no!! She wants "Dora, star in pocket!!". Whatever the hell that is!! The only thing I know for sure is no Dora, but "Dora, stars in pocket" is going to do!

So, here I stand in my dining room surrounded by extra large trash bags. In one corner we have the "good clothes to go to friend's kids" section, the goodwill section, the "even the homeless should not attempt to wear this rag" garbage pile and a table covered in the yet to be sorted. When I do not give in to her demands immediately, she becomes a helper by taking everything out of the bags so my work is not only never finished, but restarted.

I cannot even think of attempting to paint with the little princess running the castle and everyone in it. Her latest way to distract me this afternoon is saying "Get my presents, I want my presents!!". Umm...what presents?? Is this some kind of Christmas morning flashback and more importantly, is it treatable??

What should take us about a week or two, will undoubtably take us a month or more at this pace. I had more to say, but I have been ordered to "Put my shoes on now!!!" as she stands in the dining room with a snowsuit on and dora slippers. Hmmm, we must be going somewhere............

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Can I Just Talk to a Human..Please!!??!!

While in the process of both moving and dealing with an insurance claim after the kitchen fire, I realize that talking to a human about any question or concern has become almost impossible. This is putting my stress level on dangerously high.

The insurance guy from hell now has 5 messages, the contractor has 6 and it has become quite common for me to spend an hour a day on hold with numerous utility companies. All I want are some answers to if the estimate was approved and when that work may start. That seemed like a reasonable request when I left the first two messages. Now I feel like a phone stalker, pain in the ass. I think they purposely ignore messages to build a case against you. "She called daily harassing my machine with the same question. I think you can see she sounds more annoyed and aggitated as time passes. I fear for my safety at this point.". (Maybe you should, asshole!!)

I called to inquire about changing some ulitities, what installations would run and what transfer fees would roughly cost me. You always start at the main menu that seems to have just the option you are calling about, but after you press that, you get into some other dimension that gets way more specific and nothing seems to really fit. You press the number for what seems closest to what you want and get ten more options that are now completely wrong. The last option is always to return to the main menu, while the option you never get anymore is"press this to talk to a freakin' human!"

Soon you are at square one, the main menu, trying again. At some point I just get frustrated and start pressing anything til I confuse it into letting me have a customer service representative. I hear Gaundi asking me to confirm my name, address, social security number, account number, date of last period and so on. I feel all relieved even though I cannot really understand a word he is saying. So I begin telling him the whole problem and/or question. He then informs me I need to talk to another department and will be "berry happy" to transfer me. I hear the click followed by the all too familiar voice of the lady robot on (shaking in horror) the MAIN MENU!!!

And so another day without the entire use of my kitchen. I miss scrambled eggs, linguine, mashed potaotes and other stovetop delights, but more than anything I miss those bitchy, old hags that used to directly answer the customer service lines back in the good ol' days.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Why I Hate Everything.......A PMS Diary.

Cause I wanna and I can.

But more specifically:

1. People keep talking to me.

2. When they talk to me, it is usually a request that would require me to move.

3. I don't feel like moving.

4. I have to listen to Bob talk about drywalling a room.

5. Bob, can not only NOT drywall, he can't hang a picture straight.

6. Not moving is becoming as annoying as moving, thus leaving me in a no win situation.

7. I have way too much experience in no win situations.

8. I'm tired of eating salty, crunchy, junk food out of a noisy bag.

9. Lobster doesn't come in a noisy bag.

10. My ideas are always bigger than my bank account.

11. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up and resent all of you for it.

12. I want my oven back. I'm tired of meals that are delivered or microwaved.

13. My microwave needs cleaned.

14. My entire house needs cleaned.

15. You won't do it, so I hate you too.

Oh, yeah, and have a lovely day.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Many Faces of a Hormonal Teen.

There is a time you think nothing is worse then dealing with your own PMS, til you have to start dealing with it at the exact same time another member of the house is too. A few days of each month we again, welcome, spazz fest. My annoyance level is high and her emotional mood swing nightmare is rocketing out of control.

I was about to run the vacuum as Cassie is walking down the steps. (She is home for cramping and period related misery). I see that by her foot there is something on the floor big enough to possibly hurt the vacuum, but small enough that I cannot exactly identify it. I ask her to reach down and pick it up. BIG MISTAKE!

She, who has been in bed for 5 hours watching television, falls to the floor in an excruciating long whine, "GEEEEEEEEEEEZEEEEEEEE, I have to do EVERYTHING!!!". This is followed by actual crying and more whiny mumble that I could not make out. I think it had to do with the once a week slave labor of being asked to clean her room.

For an average of three days a month, we no longer communiate at a comfortable decibel level. The vicious cycle usually begins with me speaking, her freaking out, me telling her to calm down, and then we reach total and complete chaos. (Cause she doesn't calm down, only gets louder and more intolerable).

I can't say too much though, as it has taken me about 20 years to handle PMS in a way were as few people get hurt as humanly possible. I even give "fair warning". Can I help it if people do not listen and must be made to pay with more attitude, more bitching and more insanity. Typical PMS conversation with Bob.........

Me: "Hufffffffff, hmmmmmmmm, sigh"

Bob: What is it NOW?

Me "That NOISE you're making!"

Bob: "What noise? Breathing??"

Me: "Yeah, that one. Could you stop that?? NOW??!!"

Almost makes me have sympathy for the guy.....


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Insurance Guy From Hell

When the dead ringer for Ross on Friends showed up after the kitchen fire, he looked well put together and fairly competent. His evening call from the night before was a bit hyper and all over the place, but it was 930pm and he was holding his infant son. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Turns out the call was his mild side. I felt like I was in a bad torment game of "anytime you open your mouth to speak, I will immediately start speaking louder and never actually hear anything you have to say".

I called him yesterday at 10 am with information I was to get to him. His return call was this morning at 7am. He wanted to get the stove replacement check in my hands so I could get this taken care of immediately. He lives about 3 miles from me. Shouldn't be too difficult, right? WRONG!!!!

I was able to get in the words "husband finishes work at 330", after about 30 minutes of endless and meaningless rambling on his end. He then requests Bob's cell phone number so that they can meet up, but interupts me trying to give it to him with more endless rambling. Somehow between getting the number and his neverending babble, he comes out with, "So, I could just drop it in the mail, but that would be two days, snail mail, okay,let me see here, how much did you incur in expense not having it, I will not be mobile til after lunch," ............................and on and on. There is never a pause to answer a question he has directed at me, he just keeps talking. HUH??? Now it is going in the mail?

This leads me to tell him that my parents live 3 blocks from him, could he drop it there? This starts a new rambling session for another 30 minutes..."who will be home, names, phone number?" Then he gives his famous timeline ( as in I will call you back between 9 and 10 in the morning, calls back at 8pm or I will be at your home between 12 and 1, arrives after 4 pm). Between noon and 3pm. Sorry, Mom, you should see him 'bout 6ish. And just a small tip. Take the check, fake a need to vomit and RUN!!

So, one week later, we have nothing replaced and nothing accomplished at all. The contractor has not called back with the estimate that was to be given to us on Monday. The trauma of the fire is starting to dim finally, but I may need several hours of therapy over the aftermath. ***sigh***

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Things That Make Me Happy

My children. Nothing fills a mother with more pride and love than these precious gifts. Paradise is being surrounded by all four at one time and just sharing good times, laughs and lasting memories.

A visit or call from a good friend. We could order lunch, watch a movie, sit and re-evaluate each other's lives, talk about anything or nothing at all and feel totally accepted. Great friends are priceless!

Doing something thoughtful for someone else or being on the receiving end of a kind gesture. Something so small says something so giant, "You are appreciated, remembered and cared for."

Hugs. Is there anything on earth as wonderful as little baby arms wrapped around your neck in a loving embrace?

Puppies. No explanation required.

French vanilla cappuccino. The best way ever to get a shot of caffeine.

The beach. Sunbathing in the warm sun, cooling down in the water, the awesome view, making sand castles and giggling at the guy in the speedo, is there anyplace more perfect?

A good cry. When all the stresses of the world overwhelm you and it is everything and nothing in particular causing it, those cries are the most cleansing and necessary to carry on.

Making love. Sure, some desire driven porno sex can be just what you need at times, but nothing is better than those moments when it is all about connecting souls intimately.

Bubble baths. Relaxing music playing, scented candles burning and steam filling the room make for the perfect stress reliever.

Frozen margaritas. The most enjoyable and tasty way to catch a buzz, just wasting away in Margaritaville.

Moments. As you get older and actually realize a special moment as it is happening. Those moments when you are so deeply touched and totally know this will be something unforgetable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

We are Family.......

My family is amazing. I am refering to the family I grew up with including my mom, dad, one sister and two brothers. If I could not laugh at the things they do, I would surely be commited by now.
My youngest brother plays Canada, so we can actually leave him out, but he does have some interesting ways. Those rare and odd things have been locked in my mind and the key has been thrown out. He is a great guy for the most part, so we need never go to the "top secret" file.
My other brother, I worry about him a lot. We was always such a great guy, but life circumstances has put him in a place that isn't so pretty. The remnants of the good guy still exist, but bitterness has clouded it somewhat, well, maybe a lot.
My sister is the family "hero" and I lovingly (and generally behind her back), refer to her as Gladys Kravits. She always means well I think, and can come in handy when you actually want your stories repeated. It is just in those weak moments when you share more than you wanted to and then realize it will be broadcast at 6pm, that you wanna kick yourself. She would do most anything for anyone, so that helps.
My parents are good people for the most part with one giant flaw. No matter how bad things are for you, they quickly make it clear it is ruining their lives and peace of mind more. If a problem you are having, that is completely devastating your life, keeps them up for five extra minutes at night with worry, they are taking the brunt of it. So, at times when you most need support or compassion, they are busy being totally pissed at you for how it is cramping their style for you to have the problem.
I try not to take anything too personally. It was not always easy, but you learn to expect it all and laugh it off with an exaggerated joke. Like, " My gas was shut off, I have no idea how my parents will manage. I wish there was something I could do for them".
Most observers on the outside will see me as the sanest of the bunch, but in the family order I am the "scapegoat". The one that doesn't do anything quite right. I do not mind holding the roll of "problem child" cause I know it is totally not real and because it is their distraction in life to discuss what is wrong with me and my life so they do not have to sit and examine their own lives too closely. Hey, they are family. I can help 'em out. No problem.
God created friends to make up for our family. Warts and all, I still love them. Once you get that ability to not take it to heart, they really can be quite wonderful in their own special ways. I just inflate the good, deflate the bad and , wow, life goes so much smoother!
Until they find out my electric bill is 5 days late.......

Monday, January 09, 2006

Four Games and a Funeral

Well, two games, but four fit better. This past week has been one I would like to hit the delete button on. An out of town business associate was killed, my sister-in-law's mother passed this weekend, my kitchen caught on fire Thursday and the gas company shut me off today. Ahh... living the American dream.
What gets me through most everything is my humor and my ability to laugh at the irony of things in this crazy world. Now, death, not funny. The kitchen and the gas...well I can get a few jokes out on those. Most of the people I know beat me to the kitchen one, "Was Tricia trying to cook again?". Hey,I can cook!! I don't do it as often as I should and now I have an excuse. Worth the inconvience? Not really.
Concerning the gas, that is a whole other story, but I am convinced they secretly have it out for me. I get charged for gas when I use none and mysteriously no one there can figure out how I get charged 80 bucks a month when I am using zero during the summer. The answer was, sorry, we can't seem to locate the problem. Ummmmm..okay. So, Christmas got me a little behind on the bill. I think they own me a break seeing as I pay them for nothing 6 months out of the year...assholes! ( Okay, actually I have gotten smart and have it turned off for those 6 months now, but that is not the point!)
Stay turned for more later on, "As The Stomach Turns.".

Ready, Set ,Gooooooooo

Hey all. Welcome to my world. I will start out with some pictures and tell you who is who. First, my second child on the left.. What can I say about Travis, he is usually happiest sitting in his room avoiding any family contact. He welcomes friends up there, but we are pretty much warded off with a bad attitude. Just your regular, normal, healthy, teen I guess.

Next is my 13 year old daughter, Cassie. She is quite challenging at home, but I hear all the time how polite and fabulous she is elsewhere. I suspect multiple personalities, cause I do not know of the person they speak about.

Then we have the two and a half year old, Brooke, who we lovingly refer to as "The Brookie Monster!!" She was the most shocking and wonderful surprise of our lives. Lets face it, with a houseful of teens, we all need some comic relief!

Then we have "mon prince" on the right, my oldest son, Ryan. He is in college at the moment, freshmen year, playing football. I miss him all the time, talk to him several times a day and am quite thankful that he is at a "mom-friendly" distance of only 35 minutes from home.

The top picture is me from a few years back when I was still trying to bring the 80's hair back. I have to get a more recent one, but you get the idea. I have a few from recent events, but I look either mean or evil in them all. I blame my husband, Bob. I'm sure he did something to put that look on my face.

So, now you have some actual faces to go along with the endless stories, I am ready to begin........well soon anyway. My name is actually Tricia, but signed up with a different name, not knowing that it would become my signiture. Oh well, it works for me either way.