Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Shopping Cart of Death....

My darling James accompanied me to the commissary today to help get groceries. Since I hadn't been in quite some time, I anticipated a very long trip.  I really hate grocery shopping, but I also didn't think I could pull together dinner from ketchup, an onion and Chips Ahoy.  Well, actually I probably could have, but no one else would have been okay with it, but me.  So off we went.  After traversing 6 or 7 isles of the store, our severely undersized shopping cart was full.  There were two choices, 1. buy what fit in one cart and try to manage making dinner from laundry soap, paper towels, shampoo, zip lock baggies, and other mostly non-food items.  (I always get food last so it doesn't get squished under the other stuff or warm while I finish shopping) or 2. Get another cart. 

So, against my better judgment we went and fetched ourselves another shopping cart.   I carefully explained to James the finer points of cart driving and instructed him on the four main laws of buggy safety.  1. Don't run over mom's heels.  2.  Don't run over anyone else's heels  3. Don't knock down any displays that Keesler might make mom pay for.  4. See Rule #1.   So I give him the empty cart and tell him to stay behind me, but not too close.  NOT. TOO. CLOSE.  To my joyous surprise, James maneuvered the cart very well.  He said “excuse me” to nearly everyone who got in his way and he only said “move it” to two people.  And to one of those I had to mentally applaud since it was the rude skeeze who rushed into the companion bathroom just ahead of James and I shortly after we arrived at the commissary, by herself.  But that rant is for another day.  We managed to traverse several isles, with no ill events and my confidence in James’ cart maneuvering abilities was blooming into down right pride.  I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s growing up.  How nice is it that your youngest child is finally mature enough to genuinely help with the shopping.  Yes Alex, I will take ‘Great Mom Moments” for the win”!    

But, if you know me at all, you know that this would be the exact moment when karma likes to treat me to a valuable free life lesson.  Today’s lesson was as follows:  “Woman who turns her back on a zealous child pushing a shopping cart for the first time, will soon be limping and angry”. 

No sooner had I smiled in pride at my son’s mad buggy skills, did he get a little hitch in his giddyup and slammed into my heels, as I leaned over to get a package of chicken breasts out of the meat cooler, doing mach 76.  (I might be exaggerating a little there.  It may have only been mach 52, but it felt like mach 76).

And here is the point where I exhibited my superior parental skills because I was somehow able to hold in the string of extreme profanity which was flashing through my brain like a 150 foot neon electronic billboard.  Words that I’m not sure I even know the definition of were swirling around in my head.  They might not have even been real words.  I’m certain that my face first blanched sheet white, then heated to tomato red, as my body reacted to the immense restraint I was exhibiting by holding my tongue.  After all, there were many people standing well within ear shot and I wouldn’t want to embarrass James by drawing attention to his error.  No.  At that moment, I would have much preferred to drag him behind the broccoli stand and beat him with the asparagus bunches.  But I did neither of these things.  Instead, I limped a few feet off to the side, more out of the sight and hearing of the other patrons and turned to James, who incidentally was now 8 feet behind me, and calmly said “Come here son.  Sloooowly.”  And not surprisingly, he did approach slowly, however; I think it was his self preservation instinct that had kicked in, and not because he was being particularly obedient.  I leaned in close to his face and in the quietest voice I could muster, said “Son, you have been doing a great job pushing the cart, but when you just rammed my heels at 36 mph, I honestly saw stars, and I might have glimpsed Jesus too.”  He thought that was funny.  But my goal wasn’t to amuse him.  My goal was to unequivocally discourage him from EVER EVER EVER doing it again.  I harnessed my inner saint and resisted the asparagus beating and the crying fit I was tempted to have and just let it go with my calm reminder that running over mom’s heels was categorically and unequivocally prohibited.  And then we went over the four main rules again, just to be thorough. 

As we limped on, I, having learned my lesson well, thank you karma, you freaking heifer, made certain that James and his offending cart were ahead of me or next to me, when possible.  For the rest of the shopping trip, James’ buggy managed to stay clear of my heels and our last stop was the deli for some ham.  When we rolled up to the deli, James had managed to maneuver behind me again, and at the last minute, my “fight or flight” senses kicked in and I stepped to the side of my cart, just as James, who was ogling the deli selections, slammed into my cart hard enough to send it careening into the banana stand.  As a wave of pure adrenaline surged through my system, I felt a sensation that is probably shared by folks who have very nearly missed being mowed down by a steam roller.  I would say that karma may have had pity on me, but we all know that heifer doesn’t roll that way.  I think what may have happened is when I saw Jesus earlier, he took notice of my uncharacteristic lack of rage and profanity and he gave me a little loving nudge to preserve my back side from a second drone attack.   Thank you, Jesus.  I love you too.  And thank you James for assuring that my life will never lack for excitement.


Moral of this story is, I am revoking all of James’ shopping cart privileges until his father accompanies us on a grocery run.  I will give them each a cart then stand back and watch the fun. 

One of the many Lindsey stories.....

Just a rehash of a spring 2012 Facebook post.

I was just sitting here watching TV with James and a commercial came on about Dr. Suess.  It reminded me of my favorite books growing up.  Lindsey is always sharing the..... um.... odd things that darling Maizie Moo does so I thought I would share the memory that popped up during the Dr. Suess commercial in hopes it might shed a little light for Lindsey about where Maizie may have gotten her proclivity for eccentricity.

When I was a child (a million years ago apparently) I was a voracious reader.  (One of the few things about me that hasn't changed in the last million years)  My mother, being the wonderful woman that she is, ordered for me, a subscription to the Dr. Suess Book of the Month club.  Once a month I would get a box with TWO, yes that's right TWO large Dr. Suess books!  Nothing could have made me happier as a child.  These were books like Yertle the Turle, McGelliots Pool, The Sleep Book, Scramble Eggs Stupendous and If I Ran the Zoo, Etc.  I LOVED these books!!!  Loved them.  Did I mention that I LOVED these books?

So when I ignorantly got engaged at 17 and married at 18 and then pregnant with Linz who was born when I was 19… (yes, in that order and no I wasn’t known for my ability to make smart decisions) I left the books in Cincinnati with my parents for safe keeping.  We all know that ‘traveling with the military’ and ‘cherished possessions’ do NOT mix.   However, when my little angel turned 3 and had demonstrated a deep love of reading and books I asked my mother to unearth the books for me to bring back home to our house in Auburn, where we were to be stationed for THREE WHOLE YEARS!!! WooHoo!  I carefully packed them on one of our trips home to see Mom and Dad and carted my most prized childhood possessions back to Auburn and promptly unpacked them and neatly stacked them into the newly acquired bookshelf in Lindsey’s room.   I stood back and looked at them and sighed.  The books had come full circle.  First read by me and now by my daughter and someday, perhaps, by her own daughter.  Yes, I was tickled pink to have the books again.  That night I put Linz to bed and read several of the cherished books to her before she fell asleep.  The next day Lindsey spent most of the day in her room “reading” and playing.  Or so I thought.  Yes, I was about to learn a very valuable lesson.    Any possessions that I truly love and cherish should be treated one of two ways: 1. Leave them at Mom and Dads until the kids move out.  Or 2. Lock said possessions in a safe, dig a moat around the safe, install at least three hungry alligators into the moat.  Dig another moat around the first moat and fill it with oil and set the oil ablaze.  Then hire several ex secret service agents to stand guard around the flaming moat with orders to show no mercy and never turn their backs on my children, no matter how cute and innocent they appear. 

So what you ask, happened to the precious Dr. Suess books.  Well…… Lindsey ate them.  And I know you are saying “What do you mean, she ate them”?  You might have gotten the wrong impression of my lil darling.  When I say “she ate them”, what I really mean is, she ATE them.  She put the books in her mouth and spent the majority of the day chewing on them.  Then she came out of her room to ingest some human food, tell me she loved me, and went back to her room to eat the books some more.   To say I was upset would have been a gross understatement, but perhaps this little story might not only shed some light on Maizie’s unique personality, and Lindsey’s errant habits, but it should also explain a lot about what happened to me.  Over the next several years Lindsey would go on to eat many things that made my eye bulge, steam escape from my ears and my hair to fall out in large clumps.  Lindsey’s room was like a child themed house of horrors by the time she was 10.  Barbie dolls with their legs chewed off, half eaten books, pencils, pens, markers and crayons that look like they had been used to tease a pit bull.  Bits of clothing that had been chewed up until they looked like faded out scraps of old paper. Weeble wobbles that no longer weebled or wobbled.  Cute little baby dolls with missing arms, legs and/or heads and sometimes hair.  ( I was expecting Ryan by this time and to say I was worried was like saying Mt. Everest is a hill)  But don’t get the wrong impression.  Lindsey didn’t chew all of her toys.  No, some of them she would break apart using things she had quietly and covertly pilfered from the kitchen.  For instance, my meat tenderizer was very useful in dissecting an electronic alphabet talking toy.  And oddly enough, after Lindsey was done with her mad scientist experiments, most of her toys would still function, just not the way the manufacturer intended.  For instance, that talking alphabet toy still made noise, but instead of saying “A, A is for apple”, I’m fairly certain it was saying swear words (A, A is for @@@hole), but it was so muffled I couldn’t really decide if my daughter was really an evil genius or just a product of my various dysfunctional issues.  :o)  When she was younger I told myself she was just super curious and precocious, but now that I have three kids and a grand kid, I can no longer support that philosophy even in my own warped mind.  Definitely Evil Genius.  Sorry Linz.  Hate to sell you out like that, but if it makes you feel better, my next reminisce will be about your dear brother, Ryan.  :o)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nov. 30, 2011 Journal Entry - My morning visit with Sgt. Carter....

An old post I'm resurrecting.


My morning with Sgt. Carter....

November 30, 2011 at 11:57pm
So funny story...  Scratch that, let’s call it a really long story.  Today I had to have a repeat Allergy test (RAST) because my 2009 test was expired, (who knew allergy tests expire) and I am get to start allergy shots after the Holiday's.  Yey me.  Anyone who has had this done knows what I'm talking about. They don't feel like angel's kisses, especially after about number 15. How it works is they draw circles on your back from shoulder blade to waist line in rows for each test (in my case it's 53 circles) then they take an evil looking little hooked needle, punch it down into your skin, then twist and jerk it off to the side to "tear" a little of the skin.  Each hook has been dipped into a liquid form of the allergen they are testing you for, ie: 7 tree saps, 6 grass pollens, several animal danders, molds, dust mites, milk products, nuts, etc.  In my mind I associate this with getting a tattoo from someone who really hates you. So Nurse "Ilik'ta Enflict-Payne" comes in and hands me a paper gown to put on, opening in the back.  Paper so you don't bleed on their nice fabric gowns (her words not mine).  So I get the gown on and assume the position face down on the table, gown open in the back.  She commences drawing the circles (she doesn't talk much except to give me orders like "don't fidget, stop moving, keep your head still", ya know, giving me a pep talk).  So she finishes with her art work and then she suddenly gets chatty.  "Oh I forgot to tell you, I ordered the four by four needles like we used last time, but Keesler prefers the 2 by 2 needles because they are cheaper.  Not my fault, but they are twice the size of the four by fours so I just wanted to tell you, this might not be as much fun as it was last time you were here".  I laughed thinking, finally Miss Personality makes a joke.  Naw, she wasn't joking.  By the time she had finished all 53 "pricks" (also her word, not mine, though perhaps appropriate) I had recited the entire "Naval Sailor's Thesaurus of Commonly Used Swears, Drunken Edition" in my head, twice. Okay, so my pride won't let me flinch or say anything out loud, because I'm tough.  Not to mention, how much of a baby would I be if I fussed about a little test when James just had a horrible surgery and bounced by like a champ.  So I just lay there, thinking bad things about Nurse Hachette and how she kind of reminds me of Sgt. Carter from Gomer Pyle, except she's a lot taller and bulkier.  But she really sounds like him too.  (I might be exaggerating because I feel she was enjoying her job way too much).  So finally she is done, now I just have to lay on the table, being still as the night, for 15 minutes while the test sites welt up.  Then Sgt. Carter will read the size of the welts and grade them on my results screen.  So worst part is over…………. Naw. After about three minutes I began to wonder if some of the allergen agents might have been ingredients in a Nuclear bomb.  Another minute or two go by and I'm certain that she was testing my tolerance to hydrochloric acid and several other biological agents the EPA has banned in 13 countries.  HOLY COW!  It didn't burn like this last time.  I turned my head a little to see if maybe she was holding an acetylene torch to my back for giggles. 1. She wasn't.  2. She sniped at me to lay my head back down and be still.  After my 15 mins. go by, I'm sweating like a politician in church, and twitching like a crack addict on day 3 of rehab!  (And crack addicts of the world, I apologize for lumping you into the same category as politicians.  I know, not nice).  So she records my results, while yelling at me to keep still.  Then she scrubs my back with a gauze pad soaked in alcohol.  Uh huh, alcohol.  BUT the alcohol burning was sweet relief comparatively.  At least it was temporarily.  She hands me my results sheet and sends me down the hallway to talk to the doc again.  So I’m trying desperately not to look like a Baloo from Jungle Book scratching his hind quarters on a tree while sitting in the chair talking to doc, but he is giving me a look like there is a Christmas tree growing out of my forehead, so I don’t think I was particularily successful.  Finally, he cut me loose with instruction to go home and take double my allergy meds and rub some benedryl cream on my back.  I made it home, and it’s a Christmas miracle because didn’t get pulled over.  It is REALLY hard to drive straight while rubbing your back all around on the back rest of the car seat.  No really try it sometime.  So I’m laying here in bed, not sleeping thank you, thinking I may just need to get up and get some 40 grit sand paper out of the shop and duct tape it to my pillow and sleep shirtless on that.  Yeah the burn stopped hours ago and was replaced by his good friend, Mr. Itch on steroids.  Thank God life is never boring around here!  "It's the Itchy and Scratchy Shooooow".

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why couldn't it have been Gonzo?

James has some interesting eccentricities.  One of them is a fear of things that most people would not be afraid of.  Weird things like fuzz, (aka: Walking fuzz: due to the ability of dusty bunnies to move when a little gust of air wafts past them) hair that is no longer attached to someone's head, (this includes his own hair - hair cuts are a blast) and toys.  Toys like stuffed animals and action figures.  Maybe it stems from too many cartoons and movies about toys that come to life.  Toy Story I, II and III come to mind.  (Darn you, Walt Disney) He cannot stand to sleep with anything like this in his room.  Don't misunderstand, though.  He will play with them during the day, but when the sun goes down, they are instantly and with extreme prejudice, banished from his room and the vicinity near his room.  Frequently I will walk into my own room and trip over anywhere from 7 to 16 stuffed pandas, lions, bears, and an assortment of other seemingly benign toys that have been ejected from his room and tossed, haphazardly, through the door of my unlit bedroom, until the sun rises the next morning.  Occasionally there will be that bonus toy on the floor that has more angles than Pythagorean theorem and sharper edges than Goliath Tigerfish's dental anatomy.  Yeah, that guy down there.   Incidentally, Goliath has been known to eat crocodiles and humans.  Pardon me while I cancel my upcoming river safari trip to the Congo.

peces gigantes fish 250x300 Giant fish that eats crocodiles and humans was discovered as seen on
Though I find this habit annoying, I've become somewhat accustomed to it, however; every once in awhile he pulls something out of left field that catches me off guard.  Sometimes the surprise is more than a little unsettling.  Take tonight for example: we spent most of the day out and about and came home after dark.  When we got home it was time for James to get a shower and brush his teeth and prepare for bed.  I turned on the water in the shower and adjusted it to a temperature he is comfortable with (frostbite falls).  I went to the linen closet and grabbed him a towel and a wash cloth.  I noticed that the bar of soap in his shower was getting a little small so I opened the bathroom supply closet to retrieve a new bar of Coast for him.  I nearly inhaled my tongue and had a simultaneous cardiac event, when I opened the door. 
It couldn't have been a simple stuffed teddy bear or perhaps his Spider Man action figure laying in there.  No it had to be Walter.  And of course Walter was in a sitting in that awkward position, looked all freaking freaked out, like he just saw one of those 8 inch Bird spiders or perhaps Satan himself was hanging out in there with him or something equally unpleasant.  Well played, James.  Very well played.  You indeed startled about 3 years of life out of your mom.  Good one, son.  Thanks for that. 

But then, he also needed a bottle of shampoo, which was hanging out on the shelf below our friend, Walter. 
Oh look, Twidget is in there keeping Walter company.  Maybe this is why poor Walter looked so skeeved out. That annoying purple idiot was probably in there making hours and hours of nasally, indecipherable, yammering small talk that earned him the second place title (directly behind the Teletubbies) for most homicidal tendency evoking fictional character of the 21st Century.  I would probably have the exact same expression on my face if I were locked up all night with that hideous twirly eared creeper. 
So for all my friends and family who wonder why I'm not quite right in the head and frequently look like I'm teetering on the precipice of needing to be committed to an institution or in desperate need of a nap, this is just one of the many daily occurrences in my life that contributes to the "Insanity Effect".
And this has been your glimpse into the zoo for today.  Have a lovely week.