I love these people!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So VERY Hot!

Santa put some new VS cologne in my stocking this year. I guess it's specifically made for middle aged menopausal women because it's called Very Sexy HOT and that I definitely AM. Hot, I mean.

Frankly I don't know if it's the big hormone dive or medication-related or possibly my accelerated cookie consumption but I am currently in the midst of a month-long hot... flash? Can a flash last a month??? I would think it would be more aptly named a hot era or something.

I have taken to using clinical strength antiperspirant on most of my upper torso just to keep The Girlz from being washed down the river of sweat that runs between them. The thermostat is turned down to the point that my scrawny daughters have started wearing down blankets around the house and even Hairy Homer, who might be part yak, is sporting sweats. But you know the saying 'If mama ain't happy....' Yeah, so do they, so they don't argue. Besides, I have threatened to run around buck neck-ed and that's not something anyone wants to imagine... well, except maybe Homer but he's too busy salivating over the lower heating bill. I guess cheap trumps porn in his game.

So I'm wearing more shirts and fewer sweaters, lighter jackets and fewer layers and still
Which makes me wonder; shouldn't all this hotness be burning a monumental amount of calories??? I was kidding about the cookies... mostly, so I should be about a size 2 by January if this keeps up. Okay, that's like 5 sizes in two days so I don't think it's going to happen. Which seems really unfair.

I guess I should take up back country skiing because I think if were buried in an avalanche I could steam myself out in a matter of minutes. Which also makes me wonder; has any woman ever been saved from hypothermic death by a hot flash?? I'm picturing a middle aged snowmobiling couple who gets lost in the wilderness (because the man wouldn't ask directions) and the rescuers finally reach them and the man is laying stone cold in the snow shelter and the woman is all sitting there in her shirt sleeves wondering how she can bottle 6 below and take it home with her.

Don't even laugh. Global warming isn't near the threat to our polar ice caps that I am right now.
Gad, where is my fan!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Party's over

Well, I have successfully frittered away my 5-day weekend. It seems like only yesterday I was still deep in pre-holiday stressing and now it's all over but the dead tree removal.

Having Christmas Eve day off really saved my heiny. I still had a few gifts to buy so I headed out to the mall early. WTH?!?! So did everyone and their cousin. It took me 10 minutes just to nab a parking place. I heard on the news that people were shopping late this year which really irritates me. That is MY time! All you organized people are supposed to be well out of my way by December 24th! You cannot just randomly decide to take over our procrastinators' shopping time.

I had everything purchased and wrapped by noon. Yay me! Can I just say that one good thing about this recession is that Christmas seemed much simpler this year. There wasn't all that crazy buy-a-gift-for-your-dog's-pedicurist mentality. I mean, I'm all about the spirit of giving but I just don't need another bag of candied fruit slices. Especially when there are people out there who don't even have breakfast.

The afternoon was set aside for lefse making. For those of you whose last name doesn't end in -son, lefse is basically a Norwegian potato tortilla. You butter it up, sprinkle it with sugar, roll it like you're gonna smoke it and yum! It's good but it's also a lot of work and goes better with a helper. Omega agreed to do the cooking if I rolled it out. This lasted all of three very browned pieces... because she was paying more attention to texting her friends than watching her work. I got a little um... testy and soon it was just me doing everything since Alpha was off snowboarding with some totally hunky guy and Homer was... oh, just STARTING his shopping. Anyway, it turned out quite well.

We had lasagna for dinner on Christmas Eve and then we opened out presents! This is the way both Homer and I grew up and still seems to be the norm back in the 'Otas but it is NOT the way of You-tah. People here couldn't be more shocked by our actions if we pantsed Santa in the food court but it's worked for generations of Jane-people, which are easily identified in a crowd by their lack of Christmas morning eye bags. We get to sleep in because all that's left for Christmas morning is stocking stuffers and noon church. We used to do midnight mass, which is actually at 11pm, but who can stay up THAT late any more?

Christmas Day we had our traditional ham and potato dumplings... and lefse... and a little squash for color. This totally defies the family green bean casserole custom but my mother ruined that for me by using canned green beans. I can't even talk about it without throwing up a little.

And, well, that pretty much sums up our Christmas... except for the laundry. Did anyone else do laundry on Christmas Day? I just couldn't help myself. It's that Siren washer... she calls to me.

I spent the rest of the weekend doing odds and ends and rearranging the family room for the new BIG tv that Santa brought. We just need to hang it on the wall... when Homer gets the mount... right after the second coming.
A p.s. on the morning dog pee story: I never realize how freaky I sound until I expose some little habit of mine to all of blogdom, and once again feel the need to explain myself. You don't even have to pretend you care. This is about my needs.

Pepperann doesn't wake me up to go out. My Sweet Pepper not only stays in bed as long as I do, but she does her best to defend me from the moocherous cats that try to wake me with paw slaps to the nose and insistent mah-rowing that means it is time for morning kibbles. True,
sometimes her 'defense' is more rousting than the cats, but her intentions are good.

Back when PA was new to our home, I used to take her out first thing in the morning and I would tell her to pee and then wait for her to perform. This serves two purposes: one is that it's
very helpful to have a dog trained to pee on command if you are traveling for instance and two, I then know that she is drained and has not fallen victim to some distraction like a blade of grass or say... the air. It only takes a minute and then we return to the kitchen and put the feedbags on.

A year to the day, after PepperAnn moved in, I got distracted by Alpha's birthday breakfast and I FORGOT to take PA out. She peed right next to Alpha's bed. That was her first accident in almost year so I blame only myself for breaking our routine. I should also mention that she does have a dog door and she takes care of all the rest of her daily business ALL by herself, when she doesn't have visions of breakfast clouding her focus. She also takes care of herself when I am
not around, which is good because she would probably shatter her bladder waiting for anyone else in this family to arise.And now you know the sunrise story.

Uh, no, I didn't think to take my camera with me... but I did happen to know, for once, right where it was. Sometimes that happens.

    Saturday, December 27, 2008


    Not feeling the bloggy writing love, so I'll use the old 'picture is worth 1000 words' thing.
    This was sunrise from my backyard at morning-dog-pee o'clock.
    Almost made it worth the trip out in 7 degree weather.

    Also notice the love dust piled high and deep. There are many, many happy powderhounds tearing up those mountains even as I write this.

    Ciou for now!

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Snow job

    Saturday afternoon I noticed my neighbor Krys stomping home from my other neighbor's house. Come to find out that her rambunctious boys had pulled down their Christmas tree and broke several heirloomish ornaments. Although fairly new to the 'hood, Krys has deeply impressed me with her patience when in comes to her 4 small children. She is always the calm voice over the wild blur of mad kid-tivity that is their front yard, where even the neighborhood dogs dare not go.

    But apparently she does have her limits.

    I was out shoveling the driveway that afternoon - a fairly ambitious job after Friday's big storm - when I noticed Nick, the 7-year-old tree toppler, doing the same.

    Jane: 'Nick, how's it going?'

    Nick: 'Not so good. I have to shovel.'

    Jane: 'Really? All by yourself?'

    Nick: 'My mom's mad. She said not to come in until she can see some concrete.'

    Jane: 'Yikes! You better get to work.'

    Nick: 'How much do you have to do?'

    Jane: 'Probably the whole drive.'

    Nick: 'Really?'

    Jane: 'Yep.'

    Nick: ' You must really be in trouble. What did you do?'

    Jane: 'Married wrong.'

    Note to husbands in cold climes: If you let your wife blow off steam by shoveling snow, be warned that at the same time she is accumulating some sweet upper-body strength that may soon enable her to throw your a$$ over the back fence.

    Merry Christmas Everybody! Santa has promised to put a better outlook in my stocking this year. I better go check it.

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Clearing the cache

    I had a somewhat fershit weekend, which I'll get to but first I want to tell you how absolutely lucky I am to have 2 terrific daughters.

    For you younger moms who usually read this blog for the 'horrible warning' side more than the 'good example', I will tell you that getting to THIS stage of mothering makes the empty bank account, full calendar and crapped out car totally worth it... I'm still not sure about all those poopy diapers.

    Not only did they bake the cookies and decorate the tree but they had fun and they got along and, get this, THEY CLEANED UP! Okay, that's not what makes it worth it but it surely doesn't hurt. No, the bonus is that they are always there with hugs and smiles and lots of love for their dear old mom. I love them and I'm keeping them.

    That said, the rest of my weekend was sort of an emotional junkyard - some jewels, mostly trash.

    I left work Friday in a raging snowstorm. Since traffic was moving almost backwards, I decided to detour though the surface streets and break up the drive with a few stop and shops. I hadn't been able to get ahold of Homer so I had no idea if there was a dinner plan. I decided to stop at home to pick up a return and then throw myself at the mercy of the mall. Oh, there's Homer. Back from skiing, napping on the couch.

    I bought some presents and then stopped off to pick up my glasses, that were being fixed... except they couldn't find them. Yes, they called and said they were ready... yes, they should be there... but weren't. They were nowhere to be found... until I was back home... when they called and asked if I wanted to drive back in the raging snowstorm to pick them up. No thanks. So... it's 7:30. Looks like Homer has gone to bed. Poor guy, I think. Rough day on the slopes. I did some laundry and cleaned up and finally went to bed.

    Saturday morning I notice that the noise is worse in my left ear and the pressure seems greater in both. I was two days off of the big steroid bump they gave me to try and... I don't even know what. So I'm cranky because I have a lot that I want to get done - most of which involves public interaction. For some reason, I am a chat magnet. I am often asked for directions, my opinion or help. I realize that being almost 6' makes me a good top shelf picker, but small talk? Really? I don't think I appear all that friendly. Maybe I look like a challenge. Whatever the reason, I'm usually more than willing to oblige... when I can hear. When I can't, I have two choices: pretend that I know what they said and smile, hoping that the conversation is over OR stick my right ear in their personal space and say 'Sorry, what did you say?' which makes me feel like Nelda Nursinghome.

    Yeah, I know, get over it Jane.

    But I accomplished a lot on Saturday: picked up the elusive glasses, purchased some gifts, finished two scarves I was making - one knit and one crochet (Meg, are you proud?), put together my Christmas centerpiece - Marthaverymuch, and shoveled the driveway... among other things. Homer? Oh, he was a real trooper. He kept that couch from sailing away ALL DAY. He might have risen once when he called me at Target to make sure I remembered the list of recipe items that he gave me a week ago. The same list of things that I suggested he could buy with a little time carved out of his busy schedule of, oh, a ZERO hour work week.

    So I said to him 'Okay, then, let me just step out of this REALLY long line and go get your F#&$ing stuff!' Yes, I used the real word and judging from the looks on people's faces, I used it quite loudly. Sorry Target guests.

    Oh, and then there was the prescription that I forgot to fill at work and took to the local pharmacy. It was new and I realized it might be more expensive there but... $150!!! Um, no thanks. She tells me it would have been $700 without your insurance. This matters to me... how?

    Okay, you can see that I was getting a real butt-nasty mood on without even telling you about how the moronic dipshits parked at the mall. But I brought home the Homer-requested dinner ingredients. Except the peas. I don't do peas. Sorry. So he SAID he would take care of dinner. He was going to make Shepherd's Pie since he found a recipe and we have never in our lives had
    Shepherd's Pie. Oh, did ever make it? No. I guess the couch started to jump a little.

    By the time I go to bed on Saturday night, I have some serious insight. I'm sometimes clever about piecing things together and it's become pretty plain that he is pissed at me because I can't hear. I realize it's probably not all that clear to you because I have left out most of our recent interaction about how he complains can't talk to me but still he turns away from me and mumbles or yells from the other room. If I ask him to repeat he YELLS in my face. But apparently this is HIS problem. I am making his life difficult and not paying enough attention to his problems. That's why he can't get off the couch. Because I am making his life TOO HARD. This goes hand in hand with his policy of 'if you get mad at me, I'll get madder at you.'

    I am probably going through the MOST DIFFICULT thing of my entire life so far, which has happened to coincide with my dad's major health issue and Christmas. But whatev. I realize that life goes on and I am doing what I can. I do not want pity. I cannot for a minute imagine pulling the covers over my head and shifting to poor me mode. I truly think I can handle whatever is sent my way. All I'm asking is for people to temporarily handle their own real or imaginary crises. I can deal with the millions of holiday minutiae but he can't make it to the grocery store?

    Yes, I'm angry. BIG angry. There is not a font large enough for my angry.

    Oh, and then when I went out to get the paper on Sunday morning I noticed why Homer had parked the SUV off to the side... which he never does because it is a considerate move. It looks like the front bumper has been smashed in. Wonderful. Someone backed into him he thinks.

    This morning? It gets even better. I realized that I really can't taste much anymore. And just now I got a call from Omega. The SUV overheated on her way to her friend's last night and she doesn't dare drive it home... and Homer called to see if I can stop and look at it on my way home from work.

    So why am I telling you all this? Good question. Mostly because I am on the verge of exploding, which would be a shameful waste of the 5 cookies I just ate. Partly because I need to decide which one of you I can trust with my Blogger password. I'm thinking there might need to be some posts deleted from my blog... should there happen to be a suspicious death in my family in the near future.

    Shupe? You're in charge of the shovel.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Thought of the day

    A wise lyricist once wrote:

    "If you can't say something nice... shhh, say

    Well, that pretty much takes all the words out of MY mouth, so... maybe tomorrow?

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    Not as daft as you all would have me

    Before you all get too used to the idea that I have lost my mind - along with my hearing, let me remind you that I am not as CRAZY as I am CHEAP. Shame on any of you who thought I would hand out my debit card without some type of collateral backup. Besides that, *sigh*, most of the things they purchased were either within official guidelines or something I had flat out requested... like vacuum cleaner belts.

    I know. You're thinking why the heck did I need cookies when I had Style 5 belts to come home to. For sustanance, that's why. Changing the belt on my vacuum is only slightly easier than getting teenagers to focus.

    Okay, men? This is the point where you might want to just head over to the BCS website and admire my fine Utes for making it into the Sugar Bowl. Nothing to see here. Go on... run along!

    Okay, the one item on the $54+ list that I did have a problem with was the $8 box of tampons. Seriously? Now I'm all in favor of this product, because when you have teenage daughters you don't want to NOT be buying them if you know what I mean from a Sarah Palin point of view. But eight dollars for 36? Plus, I had an isolated incident of clarity and recalled the same daughter tossing the same box into my cart not 3 days before. What is she doing with $16 dollars worth of (gold plated?) tampons? I believe you could actually wring her completely out and not come up with enough fluid of any type to fill up 72 tampons. And older daughter has always made due with storebrand. I'm good with generic, even. I'm sure Omega would be mortified to hand out Target Tampons to her cheer posse but, you know, moochers should not be choosers because 0nce they're installed people can't even tell what brand they are. Really.

    Now I admit to being cheap but I am not chinsy. I have bought the special Playtex Sport model before because they profess to have a little extra security skirt or something... which is probably useful to someone who is regularly being tossed in the air by boy hands applied to her spanky-clad butt. So I save the coupons - usually for a whole dollar and I watch for sales because it really is the principle of the thing. Storebrand on the fly... but namebrand requires my sick shopping skilz.

    I examined the box and not only noted that they had no special skirt but, I didn't see that they would clear up your zits, or get you a date or even make your parents disappear so... jeez, and I am not getting over this very quickly... eight dollars?? At Target? Did the Chinese tampon factory get a little too close to the fireworks warehouse... or I have I just been woefully neglectful of prices in the hygiene aisle?

    Since I'm really not one to go stand in the return line for something like this, I need some closure... ideas? Anyone?

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Her high school chemistry teacher has just resigned

    Jane is standing at the clinic desk trying to get an MRI scheduled... Merry Christmas Jane!

    Twenty-Something Receptionist is studiously filling out the online form:

    TSR: Do you have a pacemaker?

    J: No

    TSR: Any this... any that?

    J: No. No.

    TSR: Any chance you are pregnant?

    J: *laughs* Define chance.

    TSR: What?

    J: No.

    TSR: Do you have any metal in your head?

    J: Uh, yeah.

    TSR (stops typing): You do. (Not a question because I guess she gets this a lot?)

    Isn't that just like Jane to make TSR's life difficult?

    J: I had to have my jaw joint rebuilt a bit about 30 years ago. There's a metal thingy (medical term) in there making up part of the joint.

    TSR: What's it made of?

    J: Beats me. Something metalish? It shows up really well on an x-ray.

    TSR (still tapping away): Well, could it possibly be titanium? Because if it is titanium, it will spark, which will not be pleasant... besides all the damage it could do to the equipment.

    J (ever the comedian): It's probably not titanium. I was only about 20 when it happened. I don't think titanium had even been invented yet...

    TSR (looking me over for the first time): Oh yeeahh. Duh!

    And then Jane lumbered her big ole Brontasaurus body out of the office and back to the tar pits.

    PS: For those of you who do realize that titanium is an element - discovered in the 1700's - rest assured that the doctor and radiologist were ultimately consulted and it was determined that Jane's head will not be sparking. This time.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Why you should never encourage your children to get along.

    Homer and I had a Christmas… I mean holiday party last night. For once the girls had nothing going on… well, nothing that they preferred over spending a little sister time together dining on one of the special pizzas I brought back from Minnesota. Their plan was then to run to Target and buy a few ingredients for
    no-bake fudge cookies,
    make the cookies and put the decorations on the tree.

    Actually, these were the very same ingredients that they supposedly bought back in November so they could make the
    no-bake cookies
    for Thanksgiving… with money that I gave them.

    Well, of course, that money has long since dissolved into probably breath mints and French fries so they needed more. I had zip in cash so I handed my debit card over to the younger, usually more fiscally responsible one and left.

    I will skip relating the fun of sitting through a 3 hour party when you have little ability to grasp what is going on around you or the obviously very entertaining speaker who talked for an hour. Oops, I didn’t really skip it did I?

    Anyway, one of the things that rambled through my head as I pretended to listen was the reward that awaited me at home… cookies and a decorated tree! But especially the cookies… oh, and dare I hope? A scrap of pizza.

    When we finally made it home, me drooling a little bit at the thought of a
    no-bake fudge cookie
    as reward for my patience, I found an empty kitchen.

    Oh, except for my debit card and a receipt for $54.38.

    FIFTY DOLLARS FOR COOKIES, you say? Well, these are not your average cookies… they have absolutely NO calories. Really! So you can eat as many as you want! And NO ONE will know because these cookies are also invisible!

    Just like the decorations on the tree!

    Apparently the sisterly love fest fizzled after they raided the cosmetics department at Target... at my expense. One went to the gym and the other to a friend’s house to ‘study’.
    Like how hard would it have been??
    You don’t even have to BAKE the
    no-bake cookies….

    Oh, btw, there was no pizza either.

    Santa is very disappointed and will be cutting back his gift buying for certain naughty sisters this year.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Christmas Chrazy

    It's been an action-packed last few days in Jane!world. First I have to tell you that last night I swear I dreamed an entire movie! Have you ever done that? It was like I was on a road trip with some crazy lady through Dukes of Hazzard land. I think there might have even been commercials because I got up and went to the bathroom somewhere in the middle. Today I keep having flashbacks. Bee-zar!

    What I think you might be proud to know is that I currently have a cleaned, rearranged and partially decorated living room that includes.... a tree! A Christmas tree! With lights!! Yeah, no decorations yet but soon... like tonight! Maybe. Think I'm rushing it?

    Of course when I went to bed last night Omega had homework sprawled all over the living room floor. And this morning Homer was working from the recliner, with piles of papercrap ev. ry. where.
    Why is it that family members always gravitate to the cleanest spot in the house? Are they like spiders that get a little spidey sense alert that there's a hole in their web? I guess they feel the need to cover over that offensive little spot of clean with their junk. Or maybe they worry that too much neatness might bring me out of my crazy momentarily and then who knows what I might get into.

    So the tree happened yesterday and Saturday night I baked some cookies! I know! Christmas cookies! And before that I spent SIX HOURS AT THE MALL! Shopping! Which I didn't think was going to happen because when I woke up Saturday morning there was almost a blizzard going outside. We don't get wind with our snow very often... okay it wasn't Midwest kind of wind... but I was shocked to see snow coming down unvertically. Big deal you say, but we ended up getting a good, heavy 6" of the stuff and it kept snowing and melting and freezing and snowing some more all day. And it's STILL below freezing. Okay, that's my weather whine.

    But, trooper that I am, I made it all over the mall and to the Target and B3 and even Wlmrt, where I didn't find anything, thank goodness, because the lines were long and harsh looking. Sadly, I still have MUCH to do.

    So... since this seems to be a backward blog, that brings us to Friday... when I went to see the ear specialist. I told the kindly old guy about my ear infections 2 1/2 weeks ago and how I feel fine but I CANNOT HEAR. And then he told me that eustachian tubes are sometimes tricky to unblock and maybe it could take 3 to 5 weeks for it all to clear. I thought I was going to cry. I waffled between accepting what he said and flinging myself onto the floor in a full fledged tantrum screaming "I NEED to HEAR!!!" Luckily, I was wearing my most favorite suede blazer which I would never allow to touch medical flooring. And really, if you take your jacket off before you start a pounding/screaming floor tantrum, I think it takes away some credibility. So good sense prevailed and I settled instead for a tirade.

    I told the good doctor that I CANNOT HEAR and when I say that I do not mean that I need to turn up the volume, I mean that turning the volume up does NO good because what does come through mostly makes no sense to my brain. I told him that there is much noise in my head that shouldn't be there. I hear whooshing. I hear chimes. I hear tones... NO, I don't hear voices... which is the problem. I cannot watch tv or listen to the radio, which is extremely hard for an audio multitasker like me. I wanted to mention that I couldn't even blog much because I am stuck in my own little world which is about as exciting as cardboard. I did tell him that people at home and work are getting, frankly, quite sick of the whole thing. Which is a whole 'nother post I could write but who needs all that bitterness during the holidays. He decided to get the audiologist to test my hearing. You know... so he could tell me I was over-reacting.

    Half hour later he brings in the results of the hearing test. I have significant hearing loss. Of the six or so ranges/pitches of hearing, I have ONE range in ONE ear that is within the normal parameters. You know that old joke about the guy who had 'I told you I was sick' written on his headstone? That is how I felt. Like I certainly didn't want this awful, crappy news but at least I was finally being taken seriously. The doctor (who is the deparment head of a large medical institution) was stumped and is sending me to a neuro-otologist today. This is where I did start to tear up. He consoled me by telling me that I would be a good candidate for a cochlear implant which started a full fledged cry on.
    But I got over it quickly because when I got back to work the news there was even harder to take. Budget cuts to be made. Serious cuts that could affect jobs.

    I really didn't plan this very well. I sort of fell into the backwards reporting method accidentally and now I see that from a feel good perspective, this wasn't the best route. Oh wait!! I do have good news! My dad got out of the hosptial Friday morning and is feeling good and eating well. Well, eating my mother's cooking isn't exactly well but... Yay Daddy!

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    She came THIS close to being my favorite

    During the morning commute:

    Jane: Oh hey! That was Lily's Jenkins mom! Have you ever met her?
    Alpha: Um, don't think so.
    Jane: She's really nice. I worked with her on the last fundraiser. I swear she must be a marathoner or something. She has absolutely not ONE ounce of fat on her.
    Alpha: Really!
    Jane: Yeah, you know I should be a sport and offer to share some of mine with her.
    Alpha: That would be SO nice of y.... I mean, what fat? Mom, you can't afford to spare an ounce yourself!

    If she works on her timing she could have a future in politics.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Eau de transit

    On the days that are too dark or stormy or lazy for me to ride my bike home from work, I take the bus. I can't believe that statement is not a lie because I have been a committed bus-phobe for over 40 years.

    It could be my fear of ending up in East Bosnia or my need to be in the driver's seat or maybe my inability to stay on schedule or even the fact that they keep stopping for all those other people! Whatev. That's between my shrink and me.

    The point is, despite my neuroses, I HAVE been riding the bus. Several buses, in fact. Hey, when I break through, I break through BIG! One thing I've noticed is how all the buses smell the same - kind of a mix of dust and plastic with woodsy undertones and subtle hints of Cheez-wiz.

    I also work in a building next to a transit rest stop... where the drivers cop a squat and a smoke, and I've noticed when passing these people in the halls that they all smell the same... just like the buses.

    Now I'm totally bewildered as to how the drivers pick up that smell. I mean have you ever noticed someone who smells like new car? Can't say that I have. Is there an official bottle of cologne that they hand out with the blue pinstriped shirts? Or do they sit a little too close to the 'new-bus' scented tree fresheners?

    Okey, dokey, once again I think I have overthought.
    Time to stop and be grateful that my ride home doesn't smell like a mixture of B.O., overheated polyester and moldy salami.

    Now I have something else to worry about. When I stop at the market after work do people sniff in my direction and say, 'Ewww, I think that lady's been rolling in budget figures.'

    What do you think people smell on you?

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    The disrespect for authority comes from her father's side.

    Longtime Jane followers are familiar with the dating games that surround school dances here in You-tah. The story of last year's winter formal explains it all.

    This picture from last homecoming gives you the 10-second version of the tradition:

    Cute invitation idea + cute answer delivery = dance date.

    So much cuteness! I guess it uses up all the creativity that we directed towards scoring Boone's Farm, vodka and a room at the Holiday Inn for the post-dance parties back in my day. I can't tell you how many times a day I thank God that I am not the parent of myself.

    Well, winter formal has rolled around again -which is girl's choice - and Omega set her sites on going with Mr. Bigmanoncampus. Only one problem: she was summoned to the vice-principal's office where he informed her that she has been accused of running from a hall monitor. At Omega's high school students are fined $5 if they are caught in the hallways during class so sometimes they try to outrun the law.

    VP: I have a report that you ran from a hall monitor.

    O: Are you kidding? I never ran from a hall monitor. When?

    VP: After lunch yesterday.

    O: No way. Check my attendance. I have no tardies in that class.

    VP: Sometimes the teachers don't report it.

    O: I have Mrs. Analretentive that period. She would NOT have missed it.

    VP: Well, I'd like to believe you but the hall monitor is quite positive.

    O: How did he know it was me.

    VP: He picked you out of the yearbook.

    O: From seeing the back of me.... running away?

    VP: Yes.

    O: Whatever. Do you want me to just pay the $5?

    VP: I'm afraid it is beyond that. I have to suspend you.

    O: WHAT?

    VP: It's a mandatory one-day suspension which also means you can't cheer at the playoff game tomorrow.

    O: No way.

    VP: How can I contact one of your parents?

    O: *mumble, mumble* figure it out youself...

    VP: Well, here's your suspension notice.

    Omega looks at the form which has several violations checked off. One of which is 'disrespect of authority'. And in the comments section it says "Mr. Bigmanoncampus says YES to winter formal." Whereupon Mr. BMOC jumps out of the closet, video camera in hand.

    As Omega is telling me the story, all I can think is 'where did this child come from?'

    I asked her how it happened that she did not either cry or wet her pants because I am pretty sure that at 16, I would have done both... probably even at 50. What? Vice principals are scary!

    She said that she had a feeling she was being punked but when Mr. VP said she would have to miss the football game she almost got teary.

    As for her date... if I were him, I would be very afraid.

    Monday, December 8, 2008

    And the news just keeps getting better...

    Not to worry, this will be my last 'poor me' post. If you haven't figured it out yet, a huge part of what this blog is about is taking my frustrations and worries and irritations and writing them down right here so I can recognize it all for the petty complainishness that it is. Then you all leave nice comments that make me feel even more like that one person in every group that just has to complain, complain, complain about everything. Ah well. At least we know our jobs.

    So, what do you want first: the good news or the bad news?

    The first thing that comes to mind is a bad news thing so...

    Bad: You know it is not a good thing when your teenage daughter hands you her $162 paycheck and sobs "Here you can have this." Even the fleeting idea of a new pair of UGGs does not distract you from the realization that this is no windfall on your part. Once you determine that it is NOT, in fact, Opposite Day causing the kid who usually sucks money to start dispensing it, a quick visual inspection of your car will supply a piece of the puzzle as big as the scrape on the passenger side.

    Good: No one was hurt... yet. Kid-ding. Possibility of a lesson learned about distracted driving that could save lives in the long run. Maybe a $250 deductible will make a deeper impression than a mother who preaches on and on just for the fun of hearing her own voice.
    Like, what do parents know anyway. *eyeroll*

    Bad: I spent this morning at the local endoscopy clinic. Yeah, those of you who are post-50 know what I'm talking about. I have now been videotaped from the bad end up to my bellybutton. I even have full color pictures. If I had a scanner, I'd share. Anyway, they say that the prep is the worst. That's probably true but I have to say that waking up in the middle of it probably came in a close second. Did I not mention my superhuman ability to metabolize anesthesia to that goose crew? Yes, I did, but partial credit should also go to my 'loopy,tortuous colon' and the fact that it took an hour longer than usual. No kidding. I have a kinky colon.

    Good: ... a kinky, but healthy colon. I shouldn't need to resubmit to the process for 10 years and by that time I fully expect that modern medicine will have developed a much less personal approach to the process. Like say... maybe just fart in a jar and bring it in?
    Enough of that subject. I apologize if I overshared.

    Bad: My ears have not improved. I still have fluid in my middle ears. I have partial hearing in my right ear... if your voice is not low... and I can read your lips. My family and coworkers tell me they are getting tired of my condition. Ooh, not me! I'm having a blast. The asses! I think I'll fake the hard of hearing thing for an extra week or two just to get even.

    Good: I get to see an real ENT specialist this week. Apparently after two weeks, which have seemed like forty, you get to move up from the quickie clinic virus doctors.

    Bad: My dad is still in the hospital. He has had numerous ups and downs since I came home and I have been hesitant to report anything because it seems like I no sooner tell someone he's doing well and then he takes a turn for the worse. I claim that I'm not superstitous but really have no proof of it.

    Good: Right now he is doing better than ever but shhhh.... I didn't say that.

    Bad: My bed has now reached capacity at: 1 Me, 1 laptop, 2 cats (one on the keyboard), 1 dog and 1 napping daughter. I suspect most of the attention is because it is animal dinner time and only I have the keys to the food locker... or so you'd think.

    Good: I don't have to think right now because I had anesthesia today and am fully released from driving or thinking for the next 24 hours. Sometimes it's not so bad to be me.

    Peace, love, Jello!

    Wednesday, December 3, 2008

    Deconstructing Jane

    Some find it so shocking when a person is killed by a member of their own family. Frankly, I have to wonder why it doesn’t happen more often... Okay, I'm kidding... mostly.

    Two Sundays ago, I flew back to Familyland in the upper mid-north. I grew up there but I left half a lifetime ago so it's no longer my home even though all of my family still lives there.

    My dad is scheduled to have major surgery the next day and my mother's mind is getting a bit too fuzzy to fully cope with this kind of stress. The surgery is necessary to repair a prior surgery-gone-wrong from last August. I won't say screwup or malpractice because pointing fingers serves no purpose at this point. I will say that this time I resolved not to be 1000 miles away and at the mercy of others to be my dad's care advocate. I will also say that in spite of my mother, my two brothers and their wives, my dad might only have survived last summer because of my former sister-in-law and a cousin who were good enough to jump in and demand some answers.

    Oh, have I mentioned that I'm the family bitch? Yeah, I have the misfortunate character flaw that causes me to question authority and say what I think. The rest of my family does not make waves. They secretly complain about my differences but have no problem exploiting them when it suits. Whatever. Some times you just have to block out all the disfunctional noise that is your family and do what feels right.

    The biggest reason I'm going back for the surgery is because my dad wants me to come.
    But, oh, as long as I am packing up my B-ness and coming that way, could I have a talk with my mother about getting some help for her developing dementia, they asked. I mean, it's not like they don't see her every day whereas my contact with her is pretty limited. Bitter? A little.

    So, in spite of a crappy nasal gomboo and a buttload of job-work, I take off for 10 days of family fun. I am actually thinking of it as a bit of a break. Sometimes my optimism is a bit misplaced.

    The plane ride was fairly uneventful... except that my eardrum ruptured at 27,000 feet. Wow. At least the plugged up feeling is gone... in one ear.

    My dad picks me up at the airport and takes me to their house where I soon realize an early Thanksgiving dinner is in the making... with the WHOLE family. In this case WHOLE doesn't imply a large family so much as it means every member of the family. Including my newest sister-in-law - who is not very new but I lack a better identifier. As much as I dislike her for the selfish witch that she is, I can be civil around her. She, however, cannot return the favor because she believes me to be the soul reason for the sad state of my brother's family relationships... but that is a complete 40,000 word blog of its own. My brother, with whom I once shared a close relationship, pre-witch, mostly pretends I'm not there because to acknowledge me with other than vague pleasantries would probably cost him sleep and sex for a year. My mother thinks that we will all be one happy family again soon. I have given up trying to teach her about reality.

    The next morning we take my dad to the hospital bright and early. He is optimistic and ready to have done with it. The people at the hospital are SO nice. Really. Unless you have spent time in the 'Otas, trust me, you do not know NICE. Even the doctor is nice. Not curt or quick or all doctor-talky. My dad is off to surgery and 5 hours later is in his room to sleep it off. Growing up my dad was the strongest man in the neighborhood. He was the one the neighborhood called on when they needed some serious muscle. Now at 83, he is lying in bed, tubes snaking out of every opening with my mother looking on helplessly. I am suddenly aware that life has changed. A lot.

    With the surgery out of the way, the next day I resign myself to getting some professional help for my throbbing, bleeding ear and drive myself to the quickie-clinic even though I feel like shit. My mother offers to take me but I can’t let her do that. I am 50 years old and she is 78. We’ve crossed the equator as far as who cares for whom and there is no going back. I don't 'want my mommy' anymore.

    I tell the receptionist right up front that I have no idea whether my health insurance covers their services because I do not have the strength to track down an internet connection to find a ‘participating facility’. I even go so far as to tell her that I am pretty sure it doesn’t. No worries, she tells me. Why don’t we just run it through and try. She wants only my co-pay and neither my arm nor my leg. I am too sick to lecture her on how the wonton trust of her culture will surely bankrupt them. That nice thing again. I take a seat and wait no more than 5 minutes before my name is called.

    I’m examined by a kindly, older nurse practitioner who sees my burst ear drum and raises me a double ear infection. Ten minutes later I head out with three prescriptions in my pocket and try to find a pharmacy based on my fuzzy recollection of one in the general area of… okay, I’m lost… and I’m sick… and I am driving around aimlessly in my dad's truck with an empty prune can rolling around the passenger floor - probably the remains of his last presurgery 'binge'. I am thinking that my life can’t get more pathetic than this. I am way wrong.

    I struggle through the pharmacy experience and finally make it home. Oh my! My mother has plugged the toilet. I glance briefly into the bathroom and see her plunging brown water. I tell her that if she will leave it alone, I’ll take care of it later but I just can’t deal with it… right now. I hit the couch and focus on fighting my nausea. I drift off only to be roused by the periodic sound of plunger suckings, which join up in my mind with the brown water visual. Finally, it’s unavoidable. I run to the brown water bathroom and puke into the sink… several times. No way was I getting close to that toilet.

    Meanwhile, my mother has called my father... in the hospital! to find out what should be done. He asks to talk to me. He says she is plunger-challenged. I tell him I will take care of it. I tell my mother that I will take care of it. I tell myself that I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT! What a big help I'm turning out to be. I finally sleep a miraculous, rejuvenating 90 minutes and arise to battle the crap clog. Once the pipes are clear, I notice that my mother has obviously been using a wire hanger... or something, to try to poke out the poop. There are black scratches all over the bowl. Not my problem... bitches don't do toilet bowls.

    So over the next few days my dad's condition improves... and deteriorates... and he's better and he's worse. He's trying so hard to get out of the hospital. My dad, unlike his daughter, follows his doctors orders to the T. But he's a textbook case of what isn't in the textbooks. What should work doesn't. IV's in... IV's out. They try liquids... and take them away. The tests show that everything should be working. It's not. Then it is. My dad is very sad and I cannot fix it no matter how I try.

    I put off the 'talk' with my mom until my dad's condition seems somewhat stable, which doesn't happen. My other brother, the one who put in the bitch request, keeps asking about my plans to take care of the mom business and about this time my own husband starts calling persistantly asking when I am coming home... and can I make it sooner. All the while where I once had ears it feels like there are large cotton-stuffed conch shells. I am able to hear less every day. But that doesn't stop my mother from talking to me... while my back is turned or I'm out of the room. Everything must be repeated at close range. Again... and again. I want to yell 'WTF don't you understand about I CAN'T HEAR YOU?!?!' The 'Ota nice is obviously not catching.

    Okay, now go back and read those last two paragraphs over and over... at least 4 or 16 times and you will have an inkling of what goes on for the whole first week. I feel mean and unhelpful... and like I should not have come.

    I run off with my BFF for yummy Indian buffet and some mad lipgloss shopping on Black Friday, then it's back to her house for mojitos and 'What Not to Wear.' We totally poke fun at everyone - even the 'experts'. Just the therapy I needed.

    When I get to the point where I am almost completely deaf, I go back to another doctor... who gives me more drugs and the 'sucks to be you' rush. I am dreading the plane ride home. I am dreading the talk with my mother. I find ways to misplace my cellphone because I cannot handle even one more call from home. My dad wants me to stay another week. I feel like the worst daughter in the world because I can't... or won't because extending my stay another week would make everything else beyond difficult. I am a wimp and I am feeling depressed and totally ineffectual when I make a visit to my in-laws who feed me the world's best pizza and some empathy... and I leave feeling better.

    And then there is more... but for another day if you can stand it.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    Feeling like what the cat dragged in

    I am back home but my sunny disposition is seriously fatigued. As soon as I locate my sense of humor as well as the ability to string more than 24 words together, I will be back with details. Thank you so much for all your good wishes and texts and emails. I heart you all.

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Peanuts for thought

    Have you heard the latest from the health experts about kids and peanut allergies? They are now saying that contrary to their earlier advice, women should NOT avoid peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding AND that it's probably not a good idea to wait until age 1 to feed kids peanut butter. They think they might have been creating more peanut allergies instead of preventing them with the 'old' advice.

    Wow, can I get one of those 'expert' jobs?

    I was pretty darned shocked to hear that you weren't supposed to eat peanuts while pregnant. I didn't even get the memo on feeding peanut butter until it was too late. Frankly, a nine-month-old that can't have a peanut butter sandwich would probably starve in my house.

    I know my memory is fading, especially where incubation was concerned, but I think I ate pretty much everything. Lots of everything. I don't remember avoiding ANYTHING when I was preggers. Oh, except housework.

    *The lightbulb goes on!*

    That would explain why the only thing my girls are allergic to... is CLEANING!


    I am very thankful to be part of a very healthy family. It isn't but once or twice a year that one of us gets hit with some viral smackdown. When we do, though, it's usually a doozie that we share completely. Last week Omega brought home a major snotbomb that hit me yesterday. All night I drifted in and out of sleep, feeling like trolls were pulling all my muscles out through my ears and wondering if I would ever be able to swallow again. My voice varies between floor rumbling bass and Tiny Tim shrill. The harder I try to talk, the more I get but a squeak. I had a hard time giving my order at the bagel shop this morning. The bagel-ess was a bit short on English skills so, of course, I had to talk LOUDER so she could understand me. She just laughed. Alpha had to order for me... boy the circle of life, huh, when your kid has to talk for you.

    Sunday, I'm leaving town on family business - back to the land of my birth, to test the strength of my patience and my pills. I will be gone for over a week and may not have much opportunity to post or comment or even lurk, so I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! No fighting over the drumsticks... and make sure you get that bird up to 165 degrees.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!


    Regarding a couple suggestions on prior posts...

    The crazy cat sleeps where he wants to sleep. He makes terrible noises if he is not where he wants to be. And then the dog gets worked up... and Homer starts yelling and Jane gets LESS than a half night's sleep.

    No way, no how that anyone else is allowed to touch my beloved washing machine. I waited too long for its beautimous, high-efficiency wonderfulness. Only Jane! is allowed to push her buttons. I prefer to abuse their free labor on things like floors and bathrooms.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Cat nap

    Check out this bad boy. Looks pretty ferocious, no?

    He's actually yawning...
    which I find ironic because he kept me awake half the night
    listening to him saw logs under my bed...
    many, many, very thick logs.

    There he goes again. Now I think he's just trying to piss me off.

    So I'm wondering if anyone has tried using those snore strip thingys on a cat?

    A person might have to do a little shaving around the nose first...

    but I think it could work. Yeah, thought that might change your attitude.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Not just a river in Egypt

    Last week I got an email from a friend that I hadn't seen in over a year. Our kids were tight in elementary school but then drifted off to different junior high and high schools. Although we both work for the same very large organization, we both lead crazy, but parallel lives and though we often talk about doing lunch... it just doesn't happen.

    In her email she was lamenting the fact that she just turned 50 and how everything that hasn't dropped or fallen off, is now wrinkled. She's 6 months younger than I am and I was thinking 'How sad for her to have hit the aging skids like that!'.
    Kind of smug, I was... feeling pretty good about my mental age of like 30ish (shush you!) and my physical age of... refuse-to-think-about-it.

    Then I ran into her yesterday and during out brief chat I gave her the once over, but I really didn't see one bit of difference from the last time I saw her. And I for sure didn't see anything that screamed 50! Well, except for her less than perky chest... but I think we can blame a history of breastfeeding 2-1/2 year-olds for that!

    Yeah, so except for the breast thing, I think we look pretty similar... which makes me realize that either she was she totally fishing for compliments or I am in complete denial.

    So... I see now that I have no choice.
    Next time I see her I will have to let her know how fabulous she looks.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Jane explains it all

    Okay, that's a lie. But I got your attention, didn't I?
    I want you to know that I do feel better now. It's been a tumultuous time for me on many fronts. Nothing dreadly, just lots of little things chipping away at my normally sunny disposition. I appreciate your patience so... on to happy things once again!

    Like Barbie! All that talk of my dear Ms. Roberts (did you even know that is Barbie's last name?) made me nostalgic.
    So, Angie L, here is MY bubblecut Barbie:And, Noanie, notice Midge is also in the pic. I was too lazy to dress Ken and Skipper... but Ricky was ready to go, so I stuck him in the shot. Can you tell he was almost NEVER played with? He's still in his original clothing. The tweenage boy doll idea probably didn't make much coin for Mattel. Back then we were too young to know the value of a good pool boy. No wonder there were no margarita glasses in the Ricky box.

    I love Barbie's specs. I think they make her look tres geek. And what I wouldn't give for their perfectly permanent hairstyles. Midge has had that exact same, lopsided, flip since like '65 and Barbie looks just like the day she came out of the box with her bullet-proof helmet head. Anyone who remembers Bobby Goldsboro raise your hand - no fair googling.

    BTW - Shanna you little punk, Barbie wasn't born until 1959... 50's style Barbie's, indeed!

    And even more show 'n tell - From reading your comments, I have the feeling that you didn't understand what I meant by a 'serious' wallet. Here is the new one:
    You can tell I need lots of space to stash lots of stuff. For a bean counter, I am seriously challenged when it comes to organizing my receiptage. There are the debit receipts and the credit receipts... and the Flex spending receipts and the job credit card receipts. Each needs a spot. Once in a while I even have a dollar or two in cash! Shhhh! Don't tell the teeners.

    This baby has a space for everything and I like it a lot, except for the fact that it's black. I also thought about what you said, Kat, and I don't just have trouble trying to find a black wallet in a dark purse... it's trying to find a black wallet inside any of our cars that all have black interiors or any of the other stupid places I tend to stash it. Just this morning I left it on the seat of Alpha's jeep. That wouldn't have happened if it had been neon pink with butterflied stripes.

    Oh, Diane, this came from Target, too. And check it out. For the first time since giving birth, I am packing pictures of my little devils. What a mom!

    To me this just seems like a regular wallet, but I think I may be living a bit above the curve because I couldn't help but notice that it is called the Incredible Bulk wallet. It says it will hold everything from your breakfast to your birth control with an extra space for your Smith and Wesson and a handy fold-out yoga mat. Okay, that's a lie, too.

    What's in YOUR wallet?

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Time for a defrag?

    I know it’s been a while since I put in my nickel’s worth. It’s not like I haven’t tried. If you could see my post list you would certainly notice the pile of discarded drafts. Several times I have started writing and somehow the sentences all fell apart. It wasn’t blogger’s block… I had plenty to say. I just couldn’t seem to string seven coherent words together manner in which sense they make. I know. How sad is that?

    So, in an effort to get my groove back, I’m going to try to dump all my frustrations from the weekend and see if that will clear up some space on my mental hard drive. Cross your fingers because 5 days without posting has left me off balance and rocking a major case of mental constipation.

    What is currently deranging Jane:

    The people at the Greek-Letter Airline - I understand that it was probably oversight that allowed me to book a flight using sky miles – at the lowest level even - in the first place. But don’t worry; my non-faith in The Triangle was restored when I tried to get back to my reservation. I realize that I might be a tiny bit picky, but please don’t SAY you’ll be right with me when you won’t, don’t expect me to know to input a reference number in a field that says confirmation number, and just DON’T put the letter O in the middle of a bunch of numbers and expect me to figure out that it is an O and not a 0! My email font and my visual acuity are not that discriminating. Bonus question: What percentage of pesky callers are you able to eliminate by using the phone tree/eternal hold torture?

    Slick, the appliance salesman - Stop yammering and listen to what I want. Quit spewing script and answer my questions with real answers – this is dishwashing, not politics. Cease the nagging and forget about the extended warranty because I WILL NOT BUY IT NO MATTER HOW ‘FREE’ IT IS OR HOW YOU TRY TO SCARE ME. Just stop the lip flap NOW because if my head explodes, NONE of your fancy washing machines will get the brain stain out of your pristine, white liar’s shirt.

    Husband – I appreciate your willingness to cook dinner for the family… but every day does not need to be a food channel gourmet episode. We are simple, hungry women. We would rather have grilled cheese and tomato soup at 6:30 than coq au vin at 8 o’clock. Food crunchies, mystery proteins and vegetable adventures are not cool. Sorry we are such culinary simpletons.

    Boss - *This is where I would have much to say about my current workish frustrations IF I could afford to be dooced at this particular time… which I cannot.*

    Co-workers - *This is where I would name the person that should be voted off the work island.*

    Neighbor – Stop lying down in the middle of the freeway and then complaining that you have been run over! Seriously, self esteem IS for sale and your insurance will cover it!

    Daughter1 – Don’t turn in your dirty clothes at 6pm on Sunday night and then complain that nothing is clean on Monday morning. That doesn't even give me time to refold the clothes that aren't really dirty, spray them with fabric freshener and put them back on your shelf.

    Self – Ditch the needies (aka family) and get thee to the optical shop! It will not be pretty if you end up driving half blind through a dark semi-unfamiliar city. It was your one dam job for the weekend and you called in too busy. Tick tock… all I’m going to say there…

    Okay... that's all I'm going to say period. :o)

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    I Heart Barbie!

    Jane's note: This is not a poem. The format is just a ploy to make you read slower, thus making today's entry seem longer... and more cleverish.

    Yesterday I finally caved and bought a new wallet.
    I wanted any color but black because it is very dark in my purse and black is,
    dark, and hard to find.
    Have you noticed the world gets dimmer as you get older?

    The problem is that in the wallet biz,
    bright + pretty = dainty + non-functional.
    It seems that if you need a serious wallet
    with proper places for all things important,
    you are stuck with black...
    or brown which is really just another black.

    So, once again, I sold out
    and bought black.
    The crazy thing is that when I opened my BLACK wallet,
    I recognized the smell of it
    as the very same smell
    that came from my Barbie Dream House
    all those mrfrtzs years ago.
    I was at once shocked that I remembered the smell
    and mystified by where that smell has been all this time.
    I think this may be a problem
    because now every time I open my purse
    I badly want to 'play Barbies'.
    I do still have my Barbie...
    and all her friends, but not the dream house.
    And that probably wouldn't go over well with the people in my life.

    When they lock me away in the looney bin,
    I'm going to ask if I can take my Barbies.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Am I dreaming?

    A phone call I never expected, even in my most bizarre, far-fetched dreams... of which I have many:
    "MOM, you won't believe this. Gas is $2.08 a gallon over here by C.J.'s house! I was so excited I used my last $10 to fill up!"

    I didn't know whether to be more excited about the gas price or that my child was putting her own money towards fuel.

    Yeah, yeah, I know you have probably been paying like 73 cents a gallon since about May over there in *insert your town*, but please keep that to yourself and let me celebrate the fact that I can, once again, afford to drive to the gas station.

    I just realized, because I'm mathy like that, that that is less than HALF of what we were paying in August. I also just realized that I am very special to be able to use 'that' three words in a row.

    And the news just gets better... Omega has a job! Yay! In retail sales, which is just the place for a girl who could sell prayers to the Pope. Heaven help the poor teenage boy who steps foot in her sporting wear store. His pockets will surely be empty when he leaves.

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    I think you will congratulate me for not killing him

    As if I needed further proof that I should not let Homer plan a remodel on our house, I give you a recent example of a simple home repair:

    In this example, we need a new handle for our back storm door.
    Jane's thinking it should go something like this:

    • Remove handle.
    • Throw in pocket.
    • Motor to the H'Depot.
    • Pick out best match for a reasonable price as long as it has the lever feature that makes entry so much easier when hands are full of groceries.
    • Buy it.
    • Take it home.
    • Install it.
    Estimated time: 1-2 hours
    Estimated cost: $25

    The reality of Homer doing it:
    • Remove handle on Saturday. Leave inside part on the counter, take outside part to Lowe's... in wife's car.
    • Browse handle sets... and rotisseries for grill, but buy nothing.

    • Leave storm door handle-less, forcing the family to pull carefully at the deadbolt to gain entrance.

    • On Sunday, trip over to a few home centers and bring home... a rotisserie.

    • On Monday leave handle in car, which goes off to the high school for the day.

    • Assemble rotisserie. When handle comes home, ride bike to H'Depot and buy FIVE different lock sets - 3 different colors and 3 different styles.

    • Show wife the 5 options that have been purchased.

    • When wife states that her only request is that it be the lever style, try to talk her into some weird-ass type that lifts up!

    • When wife states that either brass or white would be acceptable colors as long as it is the lever style, show her the weird-ass handle again and pretend you didn't hear her.

    • When wife starts building the road map of pressure filled veins on her forehead, note how it reminds you of Cincinnati and tell her about your planned trip back to Lowe's the next day to purchase some other available options.

    • When wife states that she would definitely like a BRASS set WITH A LEVER and will accept NOTHING ELSE (because there is one right in front of her), suggest that she consider black because it would match the slate floor that you would like to put down in the ADDITION.

    • Mumble something else about a slate-topped table and making a man-space as wife retreats to bedroom... and locks the door.

    • Leave all five options on the kitchen counter so wife gets a good look at them.

    • Tuesday do nothing.

    • On Wednesday, decide to save ass and go with the only lever style handle that you've purchased... except discover that footprint is different and will require touch up paint. Apply touch up paint. Meanwhile, temperatures have dropped to glove weather, adding a new challenge level to the game of gaining entry.

    • Thursday... scrape off crappy looking touch up paint and try again.

    • On Friday go skiing.

    • Saturday - give up making paint patch look good. Delegate to wife. Note what good job she does with the paint and wash hands of project. When wife swears out loud about the new lockset not even fitting... AT ALL, after all that rigamarol... argue with her. Tell her she is wrong and when it becomes obvious that SHE IS NOT, change the subject... to the remodel.

    • When you tell wife that you bought every available handle type and the one she wants is NOT available anywhere, change your story AFTER she breaks the seal on her second choice, consolation, weird-ass handle and tell her that you never actually went back to Lowe's.

    • Mention how nice the installed NON-lever handle looks. Make note to sleep with one eye open, lest the old handle find a new dark, uncomfortable home.
    Actual time: 1 week+
    Actual cost: Currently $100+ pending return of 4 locksets which may or may not happen before divorce is final.
    BTW- Does anyone know why the bullets and numbers don't show up on the published posts even though they are quite clearly there when you write it?

    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Hey nineteen!

    The Why family parenting pilot program turned NINETEEN this week.You have no idea how totally shocked I am every year about this time, to discover that I have actually allowed something not only to survive and thrive that long on my watch, but possibly even contributed to its... livingness. This record is second only to my 27-year-old draceana. And really, who can't grow a corn plant - you have to actively try to murder it... the corn plant, not the child... don't start rumors, here.

    Our starter child didn't do much to ingratiate herself at the beginning. First, she had to be pried out sideways. Then there was the colic, and the eternal puking and general contrariness that tested the limits of my single, rather smallish maternal gene. I wasn't sure I'd ever forgive her for needing less sleep than I did. Added to that muddled mess was a heaping case of postpartum depression... back when they thought support groups were the answer to 'snapping out of it'. Unfortunately, I wasn't a snapper. So the beginning was... hard, but Alpha just went right on with the business of growing in spite of me.

    Back in the early days, when we'd be out on the town, restocking the diaper or wine supplies, people would ask her age, as curious people do when confronted with mini-people. Besides being confused by whether to use weeks or months for baby-life measurement, I also had to brace for the inevitable eyebrows shooting up and the stifled 'Wtf do you feed her?!'
    Baby steriods, duh!

    She was always the biggest (and best) in her daycare and preschool classes. She was durable and virtually indestructible. She was popsicle sticks to the other toothpick kids - off the growth charts. This was a real blessing for her inept parents.

    There have been the minor ups, downs and head butts over the years and I'm sure more will come but I have to say that I couldn't be happier or more proud to have Alpha as my daughter. She is smart and principled and responsible and many other good things. Bestly she is not her mother, or what her mother was at 19. For that, I thank God every day.

    Did I mention that she is awesome... and pretty, too?

    By the way, she's still darn durable but she quit growing about 7 or 8 years ago... too bad about my WNBA dreams. Happy Birthday, Alpha!

    ** Photo by Shanna

    Finally Friday

    It's a good day in the state of You-tah.

    1) The Blackout was successful.

    Almost 46,000 fans, most of them wearing black watched Utah beat TCU 13 - 10.
    This is a big deal to us.
    The Utes are 10 - 0 and hoping to bust into the BCS... again.

    2) It's Opening day at The Bird!

    The second earliest ever.
    Extra bonus part of this is that Homer will be on the slopes...
    not at home 'fixing' things.

    3) Omega's high school team is still in title contention.
    No picture here, but would you listen to me...
    all sounding like I really care about football.

    4) It's Friday.

    And this is really all just a brilliant (by Jane! standards) cover
    for the fact that I don't have much to say.
    Well, I do but most of my thoughts have been
    dark and controversial
    and run along the lines of why can't people let other people
    live their lives.
    You just can't convince me that your
    neighbor's gay marriage will have the slightest impact on
    your heterosexual marriage...
    Oops, a leak in the verbal ziplock.

    Peace, love... and let love.


    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Got mugged

    If you visited earlier today you might have sensed a bit of crankiness in the air over here. True that.

    I think it was the snow and cold. It demanded my grumpiness and I was glad to oblige.

    Then I got home and all was ruined! Someone had the nerve to send me something special in the UPS and my crappy mood was totally shot!

    Before you get all judgemental, let me explain that although I am pretty anal when it comes to spelling, I would no more correct someone's spelling on their blog than I would wear pantyhose to bed. Really. I totally turn off my mental spellcheck when I blog-trip. Even though I expect people who consider themselves friends to immediately email me if they find an error on MY blog. Gah!

    Last week I did make one teensy weensie um... play on words in my comment over at Our Name is Blog Oops! and today I got this in the mail.

    Luckily there was no white powder or rattlesnakes in the box. Instead there was this:

    An awesome mug* that could have no better home than on my desk. Tomorrow I will take it to work and use it and make sure everyone knows that I am not some alphabetical rent-a-cop. No, I am official because it says so right there on my mug.

    Thank you, thank you, Lorrie! You are awesome! And so is your/my mug... although some might argue that Police should be spelled B-I-T-C-H.

    In the future you might also be more careful about rewarding my bad behavior.

    *The awesome mug really deserves a better photo but I am too tired to argue with my camera yet again over lost photos.


    10-second (blog) tidy

    Yay: Barack! America.

    Boo: Snow. Fershit drivers. Broken heat in my office building. Naked earlobes. Desk without a visible surface. Thinking about Homer at home with tools... and no time to blog about it.

    Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with a better attitude... and earrings.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Too much fun

    Wow, Monday again. How did that happen? Seems like just yesterday I was doing 12 loads of laundry and having a crazy good time scrubbing my kitchen up to board-of-health standards.

    You know that when I get frustrated I clean, right? If you looked at my house, you would assume that I am a very unfrustrated person and you would be wrong... oh so very wrong because I tend to become VERY focused in my cleaning. I spent an hour or two just on that little cubby on the fridge door where you get your ice and water. Does that have a name? And the sink... I only lasted about 15 minutes in the Flylady program but I did gather that a clean sink is supposed to be akin to an extreme mental-state makeover, so I used an old toothbrush around the faucet and the drains and sloshed in this and that until is shone! Shined? Whatev. Then I had to use it and it became just another downer in my clean/use/repeat life.

    Oh, the source of my frustration? That would be the lone Y-chromosome in my house.

    One day late last week, Homer started walking around the house examining it structurally. Looking at one side of a wall... then the other... tapping here, kicking there... looking at the ceiling and mumbling hmm and mm-hmm. I know he expected me to ask what he was up to... so I didn't. I couldn't.
    My brain was done for the day so all I said was 'So help me God, if I come home tomorrow and find you have knocked out a wall or two, I will leave and never come back." Truthfully, I would never do that because my car could not even hold all my shoes, but I might change the locks the next time he ran to the H'Depot for supplies.

    Then it was Friday and he spent the entire day making pumpkin people - a guy with an arrow through his pumpkin head (complete with ketchup blood) and a guy bending over and showing the world his pumpkin moon and generally festive-izing the front of the house. What? All of your husbands don't do this?

    Okay, the boat didn't get moved - my ONE request - but the house was structurally intact so I felt safe for another day.

    Then Saturday it all spilled - Homer's grand plan for an addition to the house. That's when I took up my toothbrush and started scouring... all the while repeating my mantra 'MUST not kill him, must NOT kill him... must not KILL him...' You get the idea. Not that I wouldn't love to have extra space in my house. Heck, I would sell my spotted soul for an attic and extra closet space.

    So 'Wtf, Jane?' you're saying. Sounds win/win, you think. Well, you probably haven't lived with a gaping hole in the side of your house for those three months we call December, January and February. Okay, I haven't either, but I can see see the future if this were to take the well-traveled road of many of his other projects. That would be the well-traveled road that stops in the middle of nowhere... right there before the uncrossable river that a person who had PREPLANNED would have known about.

    I won't bore you/depress me with a list of the reasons I have to be worried. But if you come looking for new posts and find nothing but the smell of bleach and burning brain, I want you to know why.

    Friday, October 31, 2008


    Ooh, Happy Halloween everybody!
    I love to post on October 31st! So much raucous good fun!

    This is where I would insert the festive pictures, artfully arranged and lit of course, of our jack-o-lantern team... if I had been able to find my camera last night after we finished carving them. Maybe later, I guess.

    And this is where I would put a picture of the cute costume that I'm wearing to work to show that I am a bean counter with a sense of whimsy as well as a desire to be a team player. IF I was wearing anything more festive than pumpkin earrings and a pin that says BOO! And, oh yeah, can't find my camera anyway.

    And ladies and gentlemen, here is where I would tell you about my elaborate plans to foil the little $hithead juvenile criminals that steal my awesome pumpkins off our porch and smash them in the street just to prove that they are stronger than large vegetables. Is it possible to run a little 'juice' through the jack-o-lanterns so their boxers sizzle a little when they pick one up? Not that my pumpkins are all that special this year because I just wasn't feeling the juju, but the mental picture of a pumpkin thief trying to run with his gangsta jeans zapped down to his ankles lightens my mood a bit.

    And finally here is where I would put cute pics of my sweet daughters dressed in their adorable little Halloween costumes... except that 'little' is the only term that applies to their costumes and I don't think the internet creeps need to see photos of Hoochie Fairy Girl and Slutty Deviless... even if their overly judgemental mother had a camera.

    As I was getting ready for work this morning, Homer declared his desire that we dress up in costumes tonight.
    To answer the door and pass out candy, he says.
    Okey dokey, dude. You dig out your cowboy costume and I'll dress up as the bitchy accountant... just like every day.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Laura Bush has my condolences

    "Hey, Dubya! This is Jane! How's it hanging there in D.C?"

    "Good, good to hear. Hey, the reason I'm calling... I just wanted to thank you SO much. I really appreciate that you thought you were answering my domestic prayers and all but... I think you might need your ears cleaned, because when I joked that 'we' needed a wife, I meant the whole family needed someone EXTRA to take care of all those crappy tasks that I not only don't have time for... but, frankly, don't want to do. "

    "Yep, yep. Like detoxifying the veggie drawer and scrubbing the skid marks from the toilet bowl. "

    "Yeah, ick! That's what I say, too! Ick!"

    "But Georgie, I DIDN'T say that I need a house husband. "

    "Yeah, I know, it sounds good in theory, and oh I'm sure you'll make an excellent one... I guess we're going to find out pretty soon here, huh?"


    "Ohhhh, that's what you've been up to. Shining up the Lincoln bathroom, are you?"

    "Well, good for you! You go, Tydebol man!"

    "Oh, he's a... never mind. That was just a (really bad) joke. But, now see, what I want to talk about is this whole financial crisis you got us into? "

    "Yeah, that's the one."

    "It's gone too far, Dub. I've been pretty patient. I battled the hella high gas prices by riding my bike and piggybacking my errands. I've been sticking to the sales to stretch my food budget far enough to feed ALL my family members and we've cut back on the luxuries like 2-ply toilet tissue and meat."

    "No, I'm sure you weren't even aware there are alternatives. I have to tell you that cheap toilet paper is not your friend when you do all that bike riding but we're working that out... notsomuch with what's been happening lately. See, I'm not going to be able to retire at 62 like you. No, probably not even at 72 because my retirement account is kinda looking like my gas gauge... way down below a quarter tank. "
    "No, it wasn't always like that... and now this last week pretty much bites the pie, dude, because thanks to your little credit crunch, builders aren't building because investors aren't investing because lenders aren't lending. You know what that means for me, Gee? That means that project managers aren't managing. It means they are on HIATUS."
    "HI - A - TUS. That's a fancy word for staying at home. "

    "Yes, that does sound like fun if you are tired of working."

    "Oh you are..."

    "But see, that means that I now have a house husband... who prefers the term Mr. Mom."

    "Uh, huh. Yeah, I liked that movie, too."

    "Laura lets you play with the vacuum, does she? Well, I bet that IS a good time... you be careful, hear? Now back to me, George. See, I still have a job. I want to keep my job. I need to get my job done. I don't need 57 phone calls and emails every day asking me how to undelete junkmail (for???) and where we keep the boat polish."

    "Nope, I truly have NO opinion on whether the mower should be lowered a notch."

    "Entertaining? Well, it should have been funny when he locked himself out of the house and his truck in the same day, but after a while it all accumulates on top of my last nerve and I tend to rocket right off the anger management wagon. "

    "She did? Oh, dude, I'd lay low for a while if I were you. And in the future, keep your hands off the hand washables."
    "Okay, anyhowdy, I really need to know when you think this shit is going to end. "

    "Yeah, I know. I heard about the bailout and all that. "

    "Uh, huh. See, I'm wondering if you have any idea when that's going to start taking effect."

    "Sometime in January... after you leave office... and not before... ahhh... I see."

    "Shit Georgie, I hope you are so right because meanwhile, if I should happen to beat myself into a coma with my stapler or stab a mechanical pencil through my frontal lobe there will be one more family in America without health insurance... or clean toilets. "

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Hot pots/Cool Time

    Sunday we took Homer on a birthday hike up Diamond Fork Canyon,
    which is about an hour south of Whytown.
    It was a gorgeous day as far as October in Youtah goes -
    close to 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

    About 2.5 miles up the canyon,

    there are some wonderful hot springs just made for soaking your bones.

    We soaked and had a little picnic with some friends.

    The water was very warm and the scenery was beautiful.

    Notice the hot 'tubs' down in the right corner.

    The blue, milky water is from some of the springs, I guess.

    These girls gave the trip two thumbs up:

    THIS, however, turned out to be a lie:

    But I guess you can't have everything.

    Oh, btw, those hats are actually hunter orange (damn camera!).

    We were careful to wear bright colors since it was still deer hunting season.

    I chose to wear a red sweatshirt... in fact, I wore 'the' sweatshirt.

    But I washed it first.


    Smilin' Shanna, whom I love, even though she has left me high, 'dry' (Youtah-duh!) and photographerless by running off to live down in Tayksus, has given me an award.

    Here is what I must do: List 6 things that I love then pass the award onto (along with the rules) 6 blogs that I love! Those were the rules in case you are wondering.

    Okay.... keep in mind these aren't the ONLY 6 things... or the TOP 6 things... I don't want to start anything... family: stay calm... I mean I obviously love my family otherwise I wouldn't be putting up with them day after frustrating day... until my nails are nibbled to the quick and... uh sorry, um... 6 things I love. In no particular order. And of no MAJOR significance.

    1) Our dog. I won't go into that again because it is just sickening how that pile of pup can make me into one of those freaky, ooshy-gooshy pet people that I poke fun at.

    2) Sleep. I love it and I'm good at it. Every night is a crazy dream-adventure, which I generally keep to myself to avoid being forcibly medicated.

    3) Audiobooks. It's often best that I NOT be left alone with my thoughts when I'm riding or driving or cleaning the house. Also a must-have for driving through Nevada.

    4) My bike. I admit I have become addicted to riding. There are no traffic jams when you only have 2 wheels. I even dream about riding on water and through the air! Oops, NOTtalkingaboutdreams....

    5) Thai food. Pad Thai, red curry, green curry, yellow curry and all the things I have to point at on the menu because I can't get past the tom part.

    6)Glass. I'm attracted to most shiny objects but glass is my favorite - especially stained glass.

    Okay, that's done. Now for 6 blogs I love. It was a crazy weekend at Why-central and I have much catching up to do, so if I happen to pick someone that has already been picked, just go with it, okay? You can put TWO little thingys on your sidebar and feel even more honored.

    Kat, SNJunie, Tracy and um... I gotta go but I'll add the rest later.