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Harried, Hurried and Hapless. That's how it goes.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time Passages

I just can't say how fast things change. A few weeks ago I was ready to throw myself from the rooftop to avoid seeing my oldest daughter continue a relationship with a guy I was sure would end up ruining her life.
That may sound a bit dramatic, but based on his actions over the 18 months or so they dated, I was certain he would eventually chain her to the house and see to it she washed his clothes, cleaned his home and birthed his babies without ever speaking to another soul again.

That is hard to take as a parent, when you realize you are no longer the "boss" and your kids may actually act on thoughts they have that you might not agree wholeheartedly with.

One of the more odd things about the relationship was that the pair enjoyed attending church together. I kept hoping that one of the Sundays the pastor would speak to something that might wake her up and let her realize what was going on but it never seemed to happen.

On Sunday, two weeks ago, my daughter didn't feel "up" to attending church with her bf. She called to say she wasn't going, and to that, he told her if she didn't go to church, he didn't want to talk to her again.

She was at home at the time, and I heard her reply.
"ok" was all she said.

I thought I was in my dreams. You know, the ones where I get to arrange the pieces and everything comes out okay?

OK must have worked, because he called after church, all friendly and such, and she told him to get lost. She wasn't talking to him anymore. After a few more calls, and a few more terse conversations with him, he figured out he'd pushed one time too many.

There was mental dancing, jumping and general gaiety here, lemme tell ya.

Two weeks out and he is referred to by her as: "The one which we do not speak of"

Dreams do come true, as well as prayer.

I know we're in the clear - at least for a while, as she's already replaced Mussolini with a refreshing friend she introduced us to this week.
They're annoying as hell together because they laugh and talk constantly, often interrupting each other to tell the funniest part first.

Its so nice to hear her laugh again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The 'eyes' have it

The time had come and gone for new spectacles for Stephanie. Sentenced to them since second grade, I relished the opportunity as a young adult to forego wearing them at the first given opportunity. Back in my day, glasses not only gave you improved vision, but an opportunity to see more clearly the kids making fun of your "four eyes," and allowed you to better dodge broccoli florets tossed at your head during lunch by the cool kids who didn't have to wear them.

Glasses were soooooo uncool in second grade.

By the fourth grade, some kids had cool glasses. Half-shaded lenses with diamond insets of their initial or an outline of a unicorn or ladybug, I recieved no such thing, though it wasn't for a lack of begging. I was assigned the big, round frames that dwarfed my head. I had to be cautious when playing outside, for fear I'd light my face on fire. Astronomers at NASA occasionally utilized the power and sheer size of my lenses to investigate the possibility of galaxies beyond our universe. The only person I knew who's glasses were equally as heinous as mine was my brother Randy. Between the two of us, we kept Foster Grant in business.

Being nearsighted in one eye, farsighted in the other, I was able to dump my heavy glass frames when my parents weren't looking and use only one eye at a time for years. I'd read the books I loved with my left eye, and drive or watch TV with my right. This worked like a charm until some guy named Gates thought every home and business needed a computer and someone to operate it. In order to work at a computer all day, glasses were in store and I wasn't a bit happy.

I made a trip to the eye doctor in 1989. He sent me home with a pair of contacts and glasses to boot. My prescription hadn't changed much, and I was smitten with my smaller, round lenses and proceeded to wear them until this Wednesday when I visited my new doctor.

The cute girl in the office quickly ushered me and my 18 year-old specs, now held together by gorilla glue and paper clips, to the diagnostic room. In almost 20 years, the equipment used to determine the lack of sight has drastically increased. I remember only looking at signs and charts at my last visit. We weren't in the chair more than two minutes when she immediately blinded me with eyedrops and told me to wait a while while I "dilated." The last two times I remember dialating, I left the building with a child. I prayed to God it didn't end that way this time.
By the time I'd passed through four different machines and was seeing spots the size of a Boeing 747, The doctor came in and we played the "better?/worse?" game until I wouldn't have recognized my own children had they paraded in front of me.

The best thing about visiting the eye doctor is being allowed to play dress up with no less than 500 pairs of empty frames once your vision has been temporarily reduced to that of the average gnat. The kind assistant asked to see my old glasses, to get a feel of what I'd been parading about in for the last two decades and stifled a giggle and said, "Oh, those are a little dated,"
Drunk on my choices, I gravitated to the most crazy/fun specs I'd ever seen. "Style be dammed! " I thought, "If I'm going to wear them, then I'm going to enjoy them!

Handing her my selection, she nodded and wrote the numbers down.
"These are a change, that's for sure," she smiled.
By early next week, I'll be able to see clearly for once and for all if indeed glasses are uncool, or just the person who wears them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

As always, it's been a long time!

After reading my last post, and remembering the dire straits I felt then, I have to say that life has improved a good 70 percent. Nothing is ever perfect, but things are much better with the young adult scenario at our house for the most part.

What's incredible, is that as a single soul, you manage, sort, sift and prioritize your own daily challenges, headaches and minutia, without a thought of the next guy. As a parent, for God's sake, you are compelled to manage not only your lost keys, forgotten electric bill and impatient boss, but your children's lunch money, outgrown shoes, medical appointments and broken hearts. It does get taxing after a while.

The fierce struggle between homicidal desires and toleration of my daughter's former boyfriend are in a downward trend right now. I'm sure the rise in the NASDAQ had something to do with it. Either that or the lynching of Saddam. The world can only manage the execution of so many dictators at a time you know.

Slowly, I think she got the vibe her entire family was throwing at her. We (and I mean the WHOLE family, g-ma's, g-pa's, aunts, uncles, sisters and parents) made it perfectly clear that there was NO room in our lives for Professor Dickweed, (lovingly named) and he would not be made welcome under any circumstances.

I tried the whole concept of letting her figure out what an ass he was on her own, as a sort of educational process, but somewhere after the 300th cell phone call and the loud shouting, I lost my dedication to the whole process. His talents as a hypnotist still amaze me because we can be counting the short list (10,000) of his annoying and possibly psychotic traits together and within 30 seconds on the telephone with him, she's all doe eyed again. The guy's a magician.

Anyway, she spent most of her holiday break being herself again, which was a wonderful thing to see. I think he's on the last slow boat to Ex-ville.

Maybe now I'll remember to pay the light bill.

On an up note, we just had our first lamb of the season tonight. Mama did the hard work by herself and I just had to lead the new family to their "hotel room" where they'll stay for the next few days while they get to know each other.
Finally, something that was easy.

On the next wave, my youngest daughter's boyfriend has developed a few short circuits of his own. "They're just friends, can't I have friends that are girls?" I overheard last night.

Anything with testosterone better tread lightly for the next few months. I'm exhausted and it's best not to awaken a sleeping giant.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh faithful blogger friend.
You're here and you listen. Thank goodness for that. I've so overexposed myself on other sites that there is nowhere for me to hide and hack out the gory details of my life as I see them. So here I sit, still wading through drama I'd hoped to never go through.

Have you ever felt too close to your kids? I mean so close, that you feel what they're feeling and try to help make it right?
Recently I've been told that I'm trying to live for them, preventing them from existing on their own. Now the person that told me this, is by far at the bottom of my popularity poll, and any other thing they'd say, I'd vehemently ignore-but this one hit home.

My daughter is 18. She's been in a relationship with a guy from another school for 14 months. About a month ago, they decided to "just be friends" while they both attended college in the same town, but different campuses. They live in the same apartment complex, about a five minute drive from each 0ther.

This wasn't a nurturing, loving relationship, their exchanges would be loud, angry and mean 75 percent of the time. I'd overhear conversations and my daughter would tell me details about how he wouldn't allow her to talk to members of the opposite sex, e-mail them, or have them as friends on the computer. He'd show up at her apartment at odd hours to "talk" and she was getting tired of his control issues.

Although they were "just friends," they still called each other multiple times daily. I'm guessing just to annoy each other more than anything.

Well last week they severed ties. I was caught up in the drama because my daughter was at home on her fall break. The loud, repeated phone calls, coupled with hangups and arguements were ongoing.

She went with her dad and I, including about 11 other friends to a haunted house over the weekend. He called, after hearing about it, and let her know he didn't appreciate her selection of friends that went along.

He then went to the internet and filled her 2 personal sites with shitty comments, filthy language and threats. Lemme see, there was the
"You better hope there's an ambulance nearby the next time I see you," and the
"I think I could hit you," not to be topped by the
"I can't wait until you get back to your apartment because there's a surprise waiting there."

My daughter and I talked for the first time about stalking, personal danger, and how not to be stupid.
She contends he was just "mad and upset" and didn't mean any of it. She is completely oblivious to any form of a threat - despite the fact he followed her home from work yesterday wanting to "talk."

I'm afraid he might hurt her.

Maybe it's because I'm 37 and she's 18. I know how shitty people in this world can be, especially overly hormonal, territorial, possessive 18 year-old boys.

Last night I left him a private message on HIS website, telling him to back the hell off or there would be consequences, including the police, and notifying his parents, because I've saved all the messages to a file he's left on her website, his text messages, and phone messages. I wanted him to know I knew these things, and that my husband and I were watching.

He immediately answered my message, calling me "too involved" and said that this "isn't any of my business." I'm also an overprotective mom who won't let their kids live their own lives.
He suggested I get my nose out of it because he intended to get her back.

I told my daughter I'd contacted him to tell him what I expected. I didn't want him crying to her, telling her how mean and awful I treated him. I wanted to let her know that I told him that I knew what was up, and that he'd better back off. What I did was between he and I-I didn't implicate her at all.

Now she's not talking to me.

Am I right? Should I step in when I feel she doesn't recognize what's happening? When I can see a day when he hurts her? Am I entitled?

Or am I hopelessly wrong, meddling where I don't belong.
All the lines have been erased now, and I'm lost.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Almost a year.... where has the time gone.
I haven't really been absent, just not faithful to my Blogger buddies. I have another account at Xanga to keep in touch with my girls, they are members there too, and I can post and as their buddy, I get some much needed face time without interruption.
This is the year of the first graduation, the last of many things we will do together, and sometimes I feel, the beginning of my madness.

Quietly I've tried thinking my feelings through-trying to explain the turmoil I feel inside. I'm thrilled to death she's off to college, a place I'll never go. I'm excited she's grown into a great human citizen, much more than I was at 18, but parts of me grasp wildly at the thin air that will soon replace her presence in our house.

Hot on her heels, is our youngest daughter, who will graduate in '07. I worry I will spend so much time mourning my oldest's leaving that I will miss many of her "lasts," something I hope to aviod.

Since 18, I've never been childless, or short even one of them. This is a very challenging time for me, as I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now. I'd heard long, boring stories about mothers who lived for their children and were helpless and depressed after they left the nest, I guess I should have paid more attention to their pathetic souls so long ago.

That's as deep as I can go with that now. I'm still flailing about mentally too much to dissect it any more.

On to other things...
I'm still working at the news, and I love it just as much as ever. It's allowed me to be flexible with doing school things, college things, house things and still earn my 40 hours.
I've grown a lot, learned a lot, and it just keeps getting better.

The house, well, 2006 has been the year of the challenge. We lost the barn well in March, and right now I'm struggling with the house well. Seems our piping is old enough that scale is flaking off on the inside and clogging our pump nozzle. The first well in the barn was $1,100, and that was just for a quick hand drill. The house one will be upwards of $3,000 and we just don't have that kind of spare cash laying around so I'm fighting it tooth and nail.
The barn roof still needs done, $15,000 there, and windows, $8,000.
It's going to be expensive.
My husband is ready to move, but I just keep asking him to hang in there. What we have now, even with it's foibles, is what almost every homeowner in America wants, a house, barn, and a few acres to tool around on. To me it's priceless.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The time had come and gone for new furniture at the DeBolt chateau. Until the day we purchased our existing "old couch," six years ago, our home decor could be classified as yard-sale sheik. Castoffs from family members who were generous enough to donate to the too-poor-to-purchase-matching-sets reigned supreme.

Green matching upholstered chairs from the 60's spooned with a handmade pine endtable. Our massive brown sectional splayed across the living room, jarringly linear compared to the nappy yellow recliner claimed from my husband's parents when they upgraded in the late 80's. We'd just purchased the home we lived in and I was thankful we had places to rest our backends-styles and colors weren't at the forefront of my concerns.

Six years ago, after the sectional fell victim to some random childhood macaroni vandalism and the recliner was laid to rest, I determined that it was time to broaden my horizons with a new decorating scheme.

I am to planning what microwaving is to cuisine and within hours, I had declared that our new living room would be christened in the country-French style, or so I imagined. I drug my husband from one furniture store to another, seeking the perfect selection that said "casual taste." What we eventually bought was an attractive light blue plaid set, complete with button-top ottoman that should have said "Buyer with children and pets beware."

It was in the years that followed, my pretty country room turned to ruin. Somewhere between day one and the end of it all, the ottoman had found it's use as a shuttle serving the kitchen and parts unknown. Objects of furniture with wheels, partnered with children around, soon turn to projectile devices I discovered.

Not to be left out in the destruction of my living room landscape, our dog Sadie learned a new pet trick. In our absence, she had learned how to jump high enough to grab the blade of our ceiling fan to entertain herself. To celebrate, she'd grab a mouthful of the pretty blue plaid and shred it. Soon all the arms of the sofa and chairs looked like wounds left to fester. In the meantime, an accidental chili spill on a cushion was cleaned with bleach spray by accident, removing all color and leaving the fabric a dingy yellow, absent of the plaid that made it so perfect.

"CANT WE HAVE ANYTHING NICE?" I screamed to the heavens.

So there we sat. On our mortally wounded furniture, for years. I didn't have the gumption to fight it anymore.

A few months ago, I did an interview at a paint store. On the way home, my purse glowed with a promise of what might be. Two paint cards, one a brick red, and another, a deep sand, were tucked away tightly. That night, the two cards were tucked in behind our thermostat on the wal for effect. I'd glance at them furtively, laying the foundation for my new decorating plan.

I started gingerly, straying away to furniture stores alone. I'd look guiltily at sets , then the sectionals. I considered fabric, suede and leather, breathing nothing of my travels to a soul.
One afternoon I encouraged my husband to tag along. Fortunately for me, his tastes seem to have matured, and we didn't have to look at camouflage furniture with whitetail appliques. We both cast a coveted gaze upon a leather sectional, but left the store empty-handed. "Leather is nice," he said.

Soon, I was overwhelmed with the need for new furniture. As my need increased, only a quick fix would do. A spontaneous trip to a furniture store with my youngest daughter led to the purchase of the highly acclaimed leather sectional, but not before we sampled all the other options. This couch would be king.

Once the living room was devoid of any evidence of the furniture-morgue it had become, we carefully unpacked the three sections of leather sofa and all it's glory. "It's huge," was all my husband would say, and indeed it was.

Claiming nearly half of the wall space in the room, it looked as if it were planning a takeover. "Leather Land" had been unsuspectingly born. "I guess I should have measured," I said.
Fearing for their lives, our other furniture had fled to the East side of our house on their spindly, crooked legs. An unsegregated collection of end tables, coffee tables, floor lamps, planters and two desks clamored to fling themselves out the window to safety before they were swallowed whole.

"What about all that other stuff?" my husband said as he pointed in the general direction of the furniture which no longer belonged. "I have no idea," I shared, truthfully.

So far, bits and pieces of the refugee furniture have been claimed by other locations in the house. There is still a fair bit that looks positively out of place, and orphaned. I'm hoping that by the time I get the walls painted, it won't look so obvious. Or, that a too-poor-to-purchase-matching-sets relative will call and want some free stuff. Until then, I'm afraid our home will have to be classified as "Country Cluttered."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

This week should be fun.
Yes, I still LOVE my job, but IN my job I am responsible for writing stories, taking assignments, writing obituaries, births and a few other weekly newspaper housekeeping articles that keep me plenty busy.
I am supervised by wonder woman herself, an editor that manages the religion section, the food section, the health section and what used to be called "social pages" but we now call the "accent" section of the paper.
She does more work in a week, for less than thirty grand a year than most six-figure people do in 6 months.
I'm very thankful she's there to guide me, and save me from those who might want me to take over some of what she does. An editor, I'll never be.

I can do some limited layout of newspages, pages that are generally riddled with red ink when I get them back from the powers that be after they've reviewed my attempts. My accomplishment in this, is that I've taught myself how to do it (with help) but never been asked to do it.
I do the same with my now-standard photography assignments. I wanted to learn, and they taught me. Now I can hold my own with the big boys. I consider myself an asset to the team, and always willing to be the "go to" girl.

However- this week will rattle my small little world, as my wonder woman is on her week-long honeymoon vacation. Another editor will join her in the absence, and our full-time day photographer has also called Memorial Day week a good time to take off work.

I'm imagining that I will be thrust into more work this week than I've ever imagined, being pulled from my desk, to the photo desk, to her desk to try and figure things out. I hope I'm able to manage without killing innocent bystanders.
Let's pray I have no elementary school photos. Small, annoying children mixed with my last nerve could spell danger, Will Robinson.

In regards to last night's wedding situation, my husband and I had a sit down about our strategic plan to attend both. MY wedding began at 5:30. I knew it would be short and sweet, but we HAD made reservations for dinner at the other one at 6 p.m. Travel time between the two would be 45 minutes, so there's no way we could make it to MY wedding and not look like shitheels at the other, for missing dinner.

We arrive at HIS wedding at 6 p.m., AND THEN, we find out no one eats until 7 p.m.

MY wedding bride, was none other than wonder woman herself. She was kind and understanding, but I'm sure there will be a rash of shit to come in the future.

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