auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Yes, yes, haven't updated in forever, I know, I know. Life has been busy, and plenty to do and all that stuff. As usual.

So, how have things been? Well, let's see. After weeks and weeks of annoying low-level headaches thanks to being reduced to taking Prilosec while waiting to find out what exactly is going on with our medical insurance, I am now back on the Dexilant, and today is the first headache free day I've had in what feels like forever.

Second... I've been hesitant to proclaim this, but seeing as I'm back on the Dexilant, why not?

I haven't taken my asthma meds in over three months. I haven't needed my asthma meds in over three months. This isn't to say I don't have asthma, because I do, but at the moment, I'd say it's relatively mild, almost to non-existent. Why? Because... I don't think I have asthma. I have acid reflux. Which is being taken care of by the Dexilant.

And I have to say, it is the weirdest thing, to realize that I have been taking asthma medications for some twenty years now that... I probably didn't need. Except I did, because twenty years ago, they didn't have any of the medications that they have now for acid reflux. I remember actually getting medication for acid reflux twenty years ago that didn't even come close to making a dent in my asthma... and I wasn't being treated for acid reflux! I was being treated for a gall bladder flare up that had me throwing up almost constantly, and my doctor was trying to protect my esophagus. So... it's extremely weird to think that my problem all this time has been acid reflux, and when I told my gastro that, he said, "Actually, it's quite common," and he explained why, which I am not going to share because... EWWWWWW!!!

Still, I have to say, the Dexilant has changed my life, and I'm grateful. It's worth the hassle I've been through over the last two months. Seriously.

And I have some... pretty incredible news. Yesterday, for the very first time ever. EVER. The Impossible Son got a 100 on a math quiz.

*pauses to let you all absorb that*

Yes, you read that right. He got a 100 on a MATH QUIZ!!! HUZZAH!!!!!! *does cartwheels*

First, he has a pretty awesome math teacher. Second, because our district has not met "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP) in math and reading (among other requirements that haven't been met) my son's class is required to take an extra class that is basically a tutorial class in math and reading. Which is awesome because Mr. Impossible is finally getting the instruction in all the stuff he was supposed to have learned in elementary, and they've finally stopped teaching the stupid "strategies" that were actually hampering his ability to learn math. I'm sorry, but teaching kids the "shortcuts" in how to do certain math functions before you teach them to do it the "long way" is... well... STUPID.

And over at the high school, the district has all of a sudden come to the horrifying realization that, "OMG, our students have no clue when it comes to writing! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???"

*makes a rude noise*

I'll tell you how it happened, you idiots. It happened because you were teaching the kids how to take a stupid standardized test for the last ten years, and you skipped over some very vital bits of instruction, and gave them the bare minimum it took for them to be able to write a little essay for the test. Woopie. Ding. Dong. And now, now that things have changed, that when you realized, hey, wait a minute... they don't know anything.

The Impertinent Daughter's class is the last who will take the TAKS, and only now is the district changing the curriculum and actually requiring them to know how to write. So over the last two weeks, Miss Impertinent has been literally sitting at the table, staring at her notes, her head spinning as she contemplates complex sentences and structure, compound words, predicate nominatives, superlatives, and all those wonderful parts of speech that my generation was learning in second grade, and that hasn't been taught in our schools in, what... fifteen years??? And all of a sudden, they're supposed to know it? Heh... I know my kid isn't the only one sitting in her chair, looking hopelessly lost while swathed in a paper cocoon of notes!!

So far, that's all I got. But... that's enough, don't you think?

Oh... and I'm contemplating the arrival of... 49. And gave the Blonde Sister heart failure when I pointed out that next year, I'll be contemplating 50.


Yeah, no

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 12:25 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
I shop at Hobby Lobby a lot for my crafting needs. Not because I think it's the best or anything. I do it because it's the closest variety crafting store to my small town, being only twenty minutes away in San Marcos.

I don't enjoy it, though. I like their beads, but sometimes, the selection is a little too... similar, and I can't find things I need, certain gauges of wire, or the right size hammer, or yarns. And then there's the relentless piping in of "inspirational" Christian music, which seems to be played on the same tinny piano. Constantly. Don't get me wrong, for those who enjoy it, it's probably blissful and serene. But for me, not so much. When I'm shopping alone, I tend to pop my earbuds in and listen to my iPod. Most of the time that I go there, though, I have the rest of the family with me and need to listen for them. So I end up cranky and short-tempered.

Well, I won't be shopping at Hobby Lobby any more. I'll shop online or drive my ass into Austin if I need stuff now, because after reading this, I'm not so keen on them any more:

Hobby Lobby Lawsuit Against Affordable Healthcare

Yes, you have freedom of religion, bully for you. However, I also have the freedom to take my pocketbook elsewhere. And I will. When you find a clump of cells more important than the person carrying them, you lose my sympathy. And my money, if you're a business.

It may be inconvenient for me, but... no thank you, Hobby Lobby. I'll find somewhere else to spend my crafting dollars.
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
A lunch-note I slipped into the Impertinent Daughter's lunch this week...

McKay and Sheppard... Mud Again..., A lunch note for my daughter, the Stargate Atlantis fan...

Yes, it's a lunch-note, it's a drawing, and it's a drabble. How awesome am I?


On that note, why did Netflix take Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis off instant viewing? How'm I supposed to get my Stargate fix NOW???
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
This is what happens when the Impertinent Daughter gets bored halfway through an assignment to write a journal entry as if she were a colonist who had managed to survive a year in one of the New World colonies in the 1600's...

"Friday, August 29, 1600-something -- Sunny. The recent arrivals to the colony were a great relief to all of us as they came with supplies. I mean, we have been trading with the Indians for food and some of their supplies, but... it isn't the same as using what we good English folk are used to using. Besides, if there is anything our new arrivals (and some poor, clueless souls here) should worry about, it's the werewolves. Those bloody pests have been getting too many a man as of lately! Tomorrow night is the full moon and some of the stronger men are going to go hunt them down and rid our colony of these beasts the illness. I think it may come from the water? Or whatever we have been eating. We basically live in a swamp. What the Indians don't give us and that the other colonial men pick up is probably not good for us. And then there's the natives themselves! I've seen some in the woods outside of the borders of our colony, but they don't venture too near. Probably because we're all obviously diseased here and they don't want it. Besides, they've got their own problems. I hear the werewolves are getting them, too. The infestation is worse than I thought diseases are spreading to them and from us no less! But, at the moment, that is of no matter, I have survived a year here in this new world colony, even if it is crawling with moonlight freaks a little dangerous... it is an occurrence worth writing about!"

Part of me wants her to turn it in just like that, but I'm fully aware that as it's only day three, and she doesn't know the teacher well, it's probably a little too early to be testing the bounds of the woman's good humor. Still, she's awesome, and incredible, and I love the skew in her humor!

Werewolves. Heh, heh... utterly wicked and delicious!!!
auntbijou: (Kirk duh what??)
Haven't posted in a while, I know. Real life keeps me busy, mostly in the form of two harum-scarums who regularly give me fits.

The Impossible Son has shot up this summer, growing at a rate that leaves me breathless. His feet are as big as mine, and the top of his head now comes up to the top of my upper lip. He can wear my shoes comfortably now. What's even weirder?

The Impertinent Daughter can wear his outgrown shoes. Guys... he's eleven, she's sixteen.

It's... mind-boggling, to say the least. I think the tall genes from my mom's family finally got turned on in my son.


The Impossible Son also got his first phone last week when the Husbandly One, Miss Impertinent, and I got our upgrades, and of course, he's going nuts with it. And driving us nuts in the process. Of course, I remember the Impertinent One doing much the same when she got her first phone. It will calm after a while. In the meantime, I have used his Blackberry to my advantage, setting the alarm on it when he goes off to play with a friend so he'll know precisely when he's supposed to come home. It's worked pretty well so far.

Heh, heh, heh...

Meanwhile, our clothes dryer has stopped heating, so unless we want to run up our electrical bill air drying our clothing, I have been hanging clothes out to dry on a clothesline in the backyard. I've discovered a few things about myself, too. Like... I still know now to tie a half-hitch knot... but have no memory of being taught how to do it. It's possible I learned it in boot camp, but... really, I have no clue.

And considering it's been forty one years since I last hung clothes out to dry, it's amazing how much I remember. Like.. turning jeans and shorts inside out so that the pockets dry, too. And hanging shirts inside out so they fade on the inside, not the outside. At least that's what my mom used to say.

I also totally understand why my mom wore loose house dresses when she hung clothes out on the line during the summer. Because it's friggin' hot out there, and shorts and a tank top just aren't cool enough! Ugh! At least I'm in Central Texas, where it only takes about fifteen minutes max to dry the clothes (sometimes, it only takes about five), as opposed to Houston, where it can take up to an hour or more, depending on the humidity. And you have to take the clothes in the very second they're dry... or they'll start to mildew.

Nope, no mildew out here!

Still, this hanging clothes out to dry and taking them back in is exhausting! I'm kind of dreading the bed sheets, but I know it has to be done. *sigh*

Hopefully, we can get a repair person out to at least look at the dryer soon and find out whether it's worth fixing or not. If it is, great, if it's not... not so great.

School starts in a week and a half, and I'm both looking forward to it... and dreading it. Looking forward to it because, hey, time alone to write again without someone either hovering over me or popping in every five minutes to ask questions. Dreading it because... the Impossible Son starts junior high, and while Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere is no longer there (though this may change), I'm still going to worry. He may be growing, but he's still small, and Grand-Daddy's Smart-Ass Gene™ has kicked in big and strong this summer. This is not necessarily a good combination, unless he can think of the kinds of insults that stop people in their tracks.


The Impertinent Daughter starts her junior year this fall and guess who the new 11th grade principal is? In case y'all don't remember, Mrs. See's-Plots-Everywhere was the 8th grade principal when the Impertinent Daughter was still in junior high. She was the nutjob who tried to ban button-down shirts for the girls because "boys can unbutton them," and shirts that showed the collarbones because "that's inappropriate." Yep, you guessed it, she's the 11th grade principal at the high school, and if I have anything to say about it, she won't stay there long.

No, seriously, this woman needs to go. The district sticks her at the junior high, then moves her up to the high school, or the alternative high school, the parents rebel, the district yanks her out, puts her out to pasture until the next school year, then sticks her back at the junior high, where she'll hum along for a few years until they try to move her up again. Why do they do this, you ask?

Well, it could be a variety of reasons. It could be they need any warm body they can jam into administrative positions.

It could be that she has something on someone high up in the district.

It could be that the administration are complete and total idiots and keep hoping that the parents who keep trying to have her removed will disappear as their children graduate (I personally hold out for this one, even though they don't seem to realize this woman keeps pissing parents off every single year).

It could be she doesn't get fired because her husband was once on the board of trustees. Or still is. I honestly don't know, because the lineup of the board seems to change on a weekly basis.

I knew something was off when I logged onto the high school's website and saw, for the first time in years, a dress code. Are they kidding?? Yeah, she's not staying, folks. I'm just sayin'... And it's not even ME they have to worry about. There are more than a few kids who are "different" at that school... and all of them are honor students, all of them are from what everyone likes to think of as "good" families, and the first time that woman crosses one of them, oh, boy, I think I'll just pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show. In fact, I'm pretty sure who she's going to piss off first, and the mom in question knows all the major players in town and has no problem getting them all behind her. Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere won't know what hit her. I can't wait.

I should really be ashamed of how gleeful I feel about this, but... I'm not. Nope. Not one bit. The woman lost my consideration when she locked the girls in the cafeteria to lecture them about their clothing and their personal choices.

And that's how my last few weeks have been going. How about y'all?
auntbijou: (Kirk duh what??)
Okay, so... today was the usual trip the library so the kids could go to Animanga Club, and I could write. After I threw the Impossible Son in the shower (this is becoming a regular occurence, it seems, as the Boy Who Lived For Any Excuse To Get Wet has developed an aversion to showers), I went to get my stuff together. It was going along swimmingly, even tossing the Impossible Son back in because he "forgot" to wash his hair (HA!! A likely story!), until I was checking to make sure all three USB flash drives were in their pocket.

There were only two. And the one with the story I've been working on most lately was... gone.

I dumped everything out of the laptop bag and searched it. Nope.

I dumped out my purse, every pocket. Nope.

Okay, I thought. I took it out to work on the story a bit, so I must have left it on my desk. So, I looked.


Trying not to hyperventilate at this point, I rushed out into the kitchen to start checking drawers, etc, and the Impertinent One asked me what was wrong. I told her and she helpfully lifted stuff to look under, checked the floor, and made good suggestions of where to look, considering that she knows how my mind works better than I do sometimes. Which is a scary, scary thing, my friends.

Anyhow, no dice here. I had a vague hope it might have fallen out in the car, but really, what I was leaning toward was the horrifying thought that... I might have dropped it... at the library.


We left for the library, and I held out hope that some excessively responsible person might have turned it in at the desk. Heh. What I really wanted to do was wail, weep, and, you know, be generally over-dramatic. I think I'm allowed, considering I was in a grumpy, cranky mood most of the weekend thanks to sleep deprivation brought on by the Impossible Son's inability to sleep when freaked out.

Don't EVEN get me started on that one.

Anyhow, we got to the library, and after the kids took off for Animanga Club, I went to the desk and asked if anyone had turned in a flash drive.

Someone had!

And it looked almost, but not quite, like mine. However, the librarians seem to all know now that I'm a writer and I'm working on something, so... she told me to take it anyway and see if my files were on it.

Fine. So I did, hoping I wasn't going to find some high school (or college) student's illicit porn stash.

Seriously, have you seen the porn high school and college age kids look at? It's sad. Really, really sad. They have no clue, really. They just don't. I don't want to look at their sad, sad porn stash, especially the version of porn that would be found in this extremely Baptist area.


So, anyway, I set my crappy laptop up and noticed schmutz all over the keyboard because somebody (looks accusingly at Impossible Son) was eating crackers (I'm generously hoping it was crackers) while watching Skyrim videos on YouTube. So, I opened this inside pocket that I keep a microfiber cloth, and nothing else, in. It's black, and when I shook it out... guess what fell out of it?

Yes! It was my flash drive!!

Y'all have no idea how hard it was to not do a whooping Happy Dance right there in the middle of the library!! Imminent Mental Breakdown AVERTED!!! YAY!!!!

It was awesome, and I was a very happy woman, and I'm sure the Husbandly One was very happy, too, as this means no copiously weeping Auntie who needs to be plied with copious amounts of chocolate heretofore unheard of, amounts that would put an entire platoon of female Marines in a coma for at least six months.

That's a lot of chocolate.

I have a lot of admiration for Marines, by the way. Just sayin'.

Anyhow, after I finish this post, I'm going to back up my novel... er... I mean... story on the desktop, and on the other extra drive. Just in case. Because, you know, stuff happens.

auntbijou: (Golden-eyed Weasley)
Lying on a couch on the back porch, my head on the Husbandly One's chest, his arms around me as I listen to the sound of his heart under my ear while warm rain patters on the leaves and the grass around us and lightning flickers through the clouds... what could be better?

Nights like this are why I am a very happy woman.

Facebook Status, Anyone?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 05:29 pm
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
This is what I posted on Facebook a few minutes ago...

"Grocery shopping with my children is rather like being orbited by my own tiny planet and moon. A hyper, dancing, chattering, extremely frenetic tiny planet while a very grouchy, cranky moon continually snarks and fusses at the tiny planet. No wonder I forget stuff. Aleve, please?"

The Impossible Son orbits around me, literally sticking to my side and hopping, dancing, twirling, and jigging on both sides of me, and behind me, and in front of me, until I can't keep track of him and I end up almost falling over him or bumping him or... yeah. And yes, it drives me NUTS. It was one thing when he was small and I could easily move him either into the basket or up on my back or hip and thus out of the way.

Now, however, he's eleven, and he's in that all long arms/long legs stage of pre-explosive growth, and that's just entirely too much boy to be dancing around Mama and nearly tripping her up!

And while he's doing this, he's talking my ear off and with the grocery store being full of people and annoying music, I can't make out a word he's saying, and I can't focus or concentrate for anything. GAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

In the meantime, my daughter is pushing the basket, fussing almost nonstop at him to get off the shelf, get off the the display, move out of the way, don't touch that, put that down, don't pick that up, get that for Mum, please, no, don't put that in the basket, not that one, genius, the other one, wait, no, don't touch that or you'll knock it all over... MOOOOOM!!!

Yes, as you can see, the fun of grocery shopping with my kids lives on.

It's very... migraine inducing.

Good thing I love them. Of course, I can't walk away from them and pretend they aren't mine because (1) they look just like me and (2) it's a small town, everybody knows us, and no one is fooled any more, though they might take them off my hands for an hour or two out of sheer kindness. Maybe.

Have I mentioned that my kids are also going through the ravenous wolf phase? The Impossible Son is eating nearly everything in sight. Fruit doesn't last long in our house. Or frozen vegetables. Or crackers. Or ham. Or hot dogs. Or leftover grilled hamburger patties. Or cheese. Or chips. Or bananas... dammit, I forgot bananas!!


And the Impertinent Daughter, at 16, is still growing, and has moments of, "I'm not hungry," followed by three or four days of, "eat ALL the food in the house!!" And there are days when she sort of eyes her brother, but he's too skinny to eat. Not enough meat on those long bones of his. Perhaps I should be nervous!

And then the Husbandly One comes home and says, "Where's all the food?? Didn't you just go grocery shopping???"

And I say, "It was sheer self-preservation!! I had to, or they would eat ME!!!

I don't know why he never believes me...
auntbijou: (Default)
She's done it again. The Impertinent Daughter has blown me away with her art again.

Yeah, I know, proud mom here. But it's not like I can drag you all HERE to look at the door of my fridge, is it?

It took me a moment to realize this was a DRAWING!!!

"If Only I Never Found Out"

It's just... wow. Just... wow.
auntbijou: (Steven Fry LOL)
So, we're having a late birthday party for the Impertinent Daughter. The twelve and under crowd is mostly in the living room playing on the XBox, the teenagers are in the dining room playing Scattergories Categories, and the adults are on the back porch, sitting around a table, drinking beer, chatting, and enjoying the evening.

Suddenly, Super-Goalie comes charging outside and says, "How do you spell intercourse? Is it with an I or an E?"

We all blink, and then one of the dads leans forward and says, in a deep, sonorous voice, "R-U-B-B-E-R!!"

*dies laughing*

I love my friends!!

Catching up...

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 10:00 pm
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Okay, so... let's see... I went to see an orthopedic specialist two weeks ago about my knee. Verdict, yes, I banged it up good and proper, I also have osteo-arthritis in my right knee (not unexpected, considering the way I've injured it in the past), and... at some point will need intervention. I'm too young and active for knee replacement, he could do surgery to clean out all the crunch stuff in there, but it would come back eventually (also true), or there's an injection he could give me after the inflammation and irritation calms down in my knee called "Synvisc One" that would basically replace the fluid that lubricates and cushions the joints in my knee. He's had good results with that one, and it turns out that the mom of one of Mr. Impossible's team mates has had it and said, "OMG, Auntie... get it. It's wonderful. I can move, I can walk, and it doesn't hurt!!"

You know... I was doing pretty well there for a long time. I mean, I was able to run and play with my kids, and while stairs were tricky at times, mostly, things with Rice Crispy Knee were good. Until now.

So for the time being, Dr. S. gave me a steroid injection in Rice Crispy Knee to calm down the inflammation and help with the pain, and advised me to stay off of it as much as possible, no stairs, no bending it, no kneeling, no lifting, etc., and to use a crutch when I needed to walk around.

Okay, cool, I can do that, and I promise, I've been very, very good. Very good. Except, I haven't told my mom about it because... really, she would freak for no good reason, and right now, I just can't see the point of upsetting her. Really. Besides, I really, really don't want to hear the "Marching Band Ruined Your Health, And So Did Drum Corps, If You'd Only Stayed In Swimming And If You'd Only Gone to Bellaire High School, You'd Be So Much Better Off" lecture again. I got a five year break from that one, but now that she has Alzheimer's, she doesn't remember settling that one so... it's being recycled. Yay.

Last week, the Impertinent Daughter turned... sixteen.

*incipient freak-out*

Have I mentioned how awesome my daughter is? May the 4th is her birthday, it's Star Wars Day, and "The Avengers" came out in the theaters. TRIPLE BONUS!!! So... we took her to San Marcos for dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant, where the Impossible Son got this in his fortune cookie...

If you can't read it, it says, "About time I got out of that cookie!"

After that, we went to the theater where I'd pre-ordered tickets and got in line. And hey, I just have to say, I really like this "ordering movie tickets online" thing, because the show was sold out!! It was awesome!! Yes, yes, I know, welcome to the 21st century, Auntie.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, too. The Impertinent Daughter is absolutely NEVER allowed to ever, ever, EVER drink Mountain Dew again. As far as she's concerned, it's a controlled substance. OMG... one of her friends gave her a can for her birthday, and she was feeling tired when she got home from school. She wanted to stay awake for the movie, she said, so she decided to drink the Mountain Dew with her snack. This is around 4:30 p.m.

Holy Mackinoly, y'all, that child was wired for sound!! I mean, seriously, she talked nonstop (except when she was eating, and even then it was a close thing) from 4:35 until 1 a.m.!!!! EVEN DURING THE MOVIE.

I would shush her so I could hear the dialogue, and I'll say this for her, unless her enthusiasm got away from her, she mostly kept her voice really soft and quiet, which had irritations of it's own, because I couldn't hear her well enough to understand her!! And she tried valiently to be quiet in the car on the way home after, but... chatter chatter chatter!!! At least it mostly made sense!!

"The Avengers" was ... awesome by the way!!! Just... oh, yeah, gonna go see that again just so we can catch what we missed the first time!!!

The Impossible Son had a soccer game Saturday, and didn't play like himself at all. By Saturday evening, he had a fever of 103 F (39.4 C). That was fun. Turned out to be a virus that's blasting its way through town. The Impertinent Daughter fell victim to it Sunday night, but her temperature didn't get as high as the Impossible One's did, thank goodness. Mr. Impossible missed Monday, and Miss Priss should be back at school tomorrow.

After her doctor's appointment tomorrow, I shall retire to the couch with pillows to prop up Rice Crispy Knee with an ice pack and not do one damn thing until the kids get home from school!!!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
So... Saturday, the Impossible Son's U12 team had a game in Temple, which is about a two hour drive from here, and it was a very frustrating endeavor, for many reasons. Mostly because we only had 6 players, and we play 8 v 8. Most of our players didn't come because their parents decided it was "too far" and just... didn't want to go.


Okay, so don't even get me started on that or we will be here all day while Auntie vents her spleen about idiotic soccer parents who plonk down money for their kids to play soccer... and then freak out because they have to actually go outside their comfort zone so their kid can play soccer.

Yeah, I don't get it, either.

Anyhow, the fields in Temple were extensive, and when we finally found our team, we were walking across ground that had been affected by the last bout of rains we'd gotten about a week and a half ago. I had just looked down and said, "Oh, hey, there are holes here! Better be careful, I don't want to find one the hard waaAAAAAY!!" and down I went.


My left ankle turned outward and actually bent so that the outside of my foot was flat to the ground, and the next thing I knew, the ground was rushing up to hit me and slammed my right knee straight down onto hard-packed soil. Right on my kneecap.

It hurt so bad, I almost threw up right then and there.

Managed to roll onto my butt and snarled, "Don't touch me! Just don't touch me!" at all the hands waving in my face. The Husbandly One was right there with me, most likely wanting to snatch me right back up, but I couldn't bear anyone touching me until I could get a handle on the pain. And you know, my right knee is my bad knee. In fact, when I pulled my capris up to look at the damage, I was half terrified I'd see my kneecap on my shin, like I did all those years ago in boot camp.

Oh, so don't want to remember that!!

Fortunately, my kneecap was right where it belonged, I had just scraped my knee to hell and gone, and knocked loose all the calcium and other crap collected on the back of the kneecap so that it felt like my knee was full of gravel.

Thank goodness I hadn't worn shorts, like I originally intended!! Or it would have been even more of a bloody mess than it was. Eeyuck!

Of course, it feels like I have a rock inside my knee now, but I'm not limping any more. Stairs are a problem, though, and this means my weekly battle with the Laundry Monster is going to be iffy. Oh well. We don't need towels and clothes, right?

Is it wrong for me to be ready for this year to be over already?

auntbijou: (Default)
So, the Impertinent Daughter is taking art at the high school, and I have to say, I really, really like her art teacher. She's always challenging the Impertinent One, and I have seen some really stunning art coming out of that class, I have to say!

Over the last few weeks, they've been working on a self portrait, and while Miss Priss started out with the usual self portrait, the teacher felt she should try something different, to not be so literal.

And I have to say, the Impertinent Daughter rose to the challenge and... pretty much surpassed it, if you ask me!

It's under the cut, but seriously, you should click it and take a look! )
auntbijou: (Kirk duh what??)
You know, I haven't posted a Weird Animal Story in a while, mainly because the Killer Psycho Mockingbirds have been relatively quiet. So... I guess we were kind of overdue.

So... this morning. We troop out of the house so I can take the kids to school, and as we get to the car, I pause. Why? Because there's this huge BUZZARD, also known as a turkey vulture in the street behind my car. Just sort of... hanging out. You know. "Doopty doo, doopty doo, nothing to worry about folks, hyuk, just doin' mah buzzard thang heere, heh... don't mind me, now, y'all just... pretend I'm not here!"


And he won't move. Usually, buzzards don't like being approached, and will take off if you get too close. Not this one. I figured whatever it was that was dead, it must be really, er... tasty. Or something. Problem was, I couldn't smell anything dead nearby, and didn't see anything, either. So, I herded the kids into the car and had to back up creatively so I didn't end up with a big ol' turkey buzzard stuck to my rear bumper. And it was as I was pulling out that I realized what had attracted Mr. Buzzard.

Our neighbors had this... this... HUGE FISH lying in their front yard against the mutual hedge between our properties. I swear the thing must have been six feet long!! NO WONDER Mr. Buzzard was so determined to stick around, I mean, he must have thought he'd hit the Mother Lode of Dead Crap!!

Okay, so... the kids were freaking out, and laughing hysterically, and kept looking back to see if he'd approached the Big Dead Fish yet the whole way up the street.

The Impossible Son looked back as we turned and said, "He's going for it!"

So... we get to the Impossible Son's school, and there is a truck in front of us that has a... tiny deer sitting on the hitch. No, seriously. A tiny little deer, sitting cross-legged on the hitch with one of it's forelegs up in the air, like it's saying, "Hi there!!"

The Impertinent One said, "Oh, I wonder if it's like the cow Papa and I saw on a truck once! When they hit the turn signal, the cow's eyes glowed red and the legs went up and down!"

"Yaaaaagh!" I said. "That sounds creepy!! And distracting!!"

The truck didn't turn, so the kids were disappointed. However, after I dropped the Impossible Son off, and then went to drop Miss Impertinent off at the high school, the truck appeared again, turning out of the driveway of one of the schools I pass on the way home, and there was the tiny deer again. This time, the truck turned, and THE DEER WAVED AT ME AND KICKED ONE LEG UP AND DOWN!!


I almost had a car accident, I was so... mesmerized...

So, when I got home, Mr. Turkey Buzzard was pecking half-heartedly at the Big Dead Fish, and I could swear he was saying, "WTF is this shit??" I peeked around the hedge and realized his problem right away.

It was a TAXIDERMIED Big Dead Fish!! In fact, it had lost most of its scales at some point, and there was fiber sticking out from where it had split at the top, and oh, the reek!!! Evidently, the bushes sort of protected us from it.

Mr. Buzzard gave this indignant squawk and sort of hop-flapped away before taking off for something less well-preserved. I mean, seriously, it's pretty bad when you manage to disgust a BUZZARD.
auntbijou: (Death)
Is it just me, or is 2012 so far just... full of suck?

And we still have eight more months to go.


Bloody marvelous, that.
auntbijou: (Default)
So, what has Auntie been up to lately?

Coping, mostly.

The Impertinent Daughter has recovered from her concussion and is back playing soccer. In fact, her final game is next week.

The Impossible Son is also playing soccer, and is doing well. School-wise, however, math continues to be his Achilles heel, and I have gotten to the point of throwing up my hands. Seriously, his math problems are not going to improve without outside intervention, because he is being confused between what the school is trying to teach him (and I'm using the word "teach" very lightly here) and what we're trying to teach him. Getting his teacher to send home homework has been like pulling hen's teeth. It's frustrating and excruciating watching him try to do what little gets sent home.

He's making A's and B's in all his other subjects. He's got a really high grade in science! But he's making D's and F's in math.


And then there's my mom.

Okay, so... Mom is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Yeah, I didn't see that one coming at all. But then, we know almost nothing about her mother's family, because she was raised by her father's family, and they couldn't stand her mother's family. So, for all we know, there are people in her mom's family who had Alzheimer's. People in her dad's family tended to be as sharp as a tack up until the day they died. Some of them had strokes, but even paralyzed and unable to talk, their minds were still sharp and clear.

Mom is getting vague and dithery, and forgets what she's said half the time. Her short term memory is going. I already knew that. This, though... yeah, really caught me off guard. It's really difficult to accept that this bright, intelligent, sassy woman is going to... fade away.

Okay, I can't write about that any more.

Anyhow, she gave us a scare earlier this week. Got up and didn't feel right, went to call the Flaky Sister, and by the time my sister got to her, Mom couldn't talk and was glassy eyed. Flaky called 911 after getting her back in the bed, and she was rushed to the hospital with a suspected stroke.

After some tests, however, they determined she had a Transient Ischemic Attack, also known as a T.I.A. or mini-stroke. They gave her some medication and within the hour, she was back to her normal self. Or, as normal as she gets these days. They kept her, though, because she needed to be checked over, and decided to go ahead and run some tests she's been needing, but been avoiding (because she hates hospitals). She should be coming home today, though.

I've been staying in contact with the Blonde Sister through all this, because we decided after an event earlier this month that the Flaky Sister is simply not allowed to call me and "let Auntie know" what's going on with Mom. Why? Because the Flaky Sister is simply incapable of telling me, "Mom has bronchitis and they put her on antibiotics, oh, and when they did a chest x-ray, they figured out she has very light emphysema."

No, it's more like, "Mom's been feeling pretty bad, she's been coughing so hard she shakes and so we took her to the doctor and after an x-ray, they found spots on her lungs, and she now has emphysema, so her smoking when we were kids is coming back to bite her in the ass, and the doctor wants to put her on a bronchodilator, but I said no because it will make her heart work to hard, and she'll freak out, and we won't have her with us much longer, so you need to start accepting that now."


The Blonde Sister's version? "Mom's been coughing, so we got her in to see the doctor. She has bronchitis, and while he was listening to her chest, he heard some extra wheezing, so he sent her for x-rays. The x-ray came back clear, but there are signs of mild emphysema. However, two days of antibiotics and the wheezing has cleared, so it's not affecting her too badly. Funny thing is, when she saw the doctor last week about the cough, the doctor wanted her to take Mucinex to loosen the phlegm, but for some reason, she heard it as "Benadryl." And so she was taking that, but not only that, she'd forget she'd taken it, and would take more, so that's why she was all woozy and dizzy and sleepy all the time. I've hidden the Benadryl so she can't take it any more. Other than that, she's fine!"

Yeah, I'm not liking Flaky Sister so much lately. If she doesn't watch it, I'm going to give her a good whack upside the head with a Clue by Four.


And I am soooooo not looking forward to next week. The Impossible Son will be taking the S.T.A.A.R. tests, which have taken place of the TAKS testing that has been the bane of our existence over the last few years. He'll probably do just fine in science and reading, but math?


It's hard not to feel like I'm failing him in this. It's hard seeing him struggle like I struggled. And it's hard to feel helpless. Dammit.
auntbijou: (Golden-eyed Weasley)

You know, after watching this... I feel better...
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
So, after the Impossible Son's soccer practice, it was decided to head to our favorite local Tex-Mex restaurant, Mr. Taco. We were in the mood for fajitas, or at least the Husbandly One, the Impertinent Daughter, and I were. We have discovered that Mr. Taco's "fajitas for two" plate feeds the three of us nicely. The Impossible Son had his usual chicken strips, no gravy.

We forgot that Thursdays are live mariachi band night.

Did I mention there are all hard surfaces at Mr. Taco, with nothing to absorb sound?


Anyhow, yeah, it was loud, but the food was worth it! Once we'd eaten ourselves to a lull, the Impertinent One begged a pen off me, grabbed a clean napkin, and immediately began to sketch the mariachi band members, then took it to them before fleeing back to our table.

They passed it around among themselves, looking at it intently, then marched over to our table and serenaded her with "Just My Imagination," and a Spanish/English version of "I Just Called To Say I Love You."

Her smile was incandescent, and she giggled almost the entire time, hiding her face every once in a while, but mostly beaming at them with delight. I rubbed her back from time to time when it looked like she was getting overwhelmed, but mostly? She absolutely loved it!

I think she was also chuffed that two of the mariachi singers actually fought over who would get to sing to her! And if you've never seen a violinist and a trumpet player arguing over who is gonna sing to the pretty girl, then you have no idea what you missed!

I think she's just beginning to have an inkling of the doors her art can open for her. This is going to be an interesting journey to watch!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Friday was a very eventful day in our household, some good, some not so good, and some downright alarming!

I'll start off with the good. We got our central air/central heating unit replaced, and it only took one day, and while it came with its own horrors, it was a definite Good Thing.

The horrors?

Well, first off, when they pulled out the coil? Okay, one thing you should know about an air conditioning system is the coil should be kept clean. It should be flushed out and cleaned twice a year at the very least, monthly if you want to be particular. I knew this. When we had window units, this was something we did regularly because it kept them running efficiently.

With the central whole house unit, though, that's a bit trickier, and with the unit we had, it was pretty much impossible.

And it wouldn't have mattered, because apparently no one ever cleaned the damned thing! There was an inch and a half mat of... hair. And dust. And dirt. And other things it doesn't bear thinking about. The A/C guys figure that thing hasn't been cleaned since 2003, the last time it was fully serviced. We couldn't have cleaned it anyway, because it was inaccessible. What really chaps my hide? When the fan motor burned out in 2010, and the capacitor burned out last summer, one of the first things they should have done was check the coil and clean it. Because... a dirty coil will freeze over and cause the fan to work harder and eventually burn the motor out, or burn the capacitor out.

They never looked at the coil. Just asked us if we used filters regularly, and when we said yes, said, "Okay, you're good." And that was that.


Okay... so, the next thing? When they opened the intake register? There was carpet on the floor inside the intake chamber. And... it was full of dirt and MOLDY. They rolled it into a plastic bag and carried it quickly out of the house and disposed of it, then cleaned the chamber out thoroughly, even asking if I had bleach, because they hadn't expected to have to swab the chamber out. And then spent time drying it thoroughly.

No wonder I kept getting pneumonia!! No wonder the kids kept getting upper respiratory infections. No wonder the Husbandly One kept getting sinus infections!! No wonder the Impossible Son was almost constantly congested!! It makes me want to bang my head into a wall!!

Okay, so they cleaned everything, replaced it all, sealed it all, and put a ceiling in the closet where the unit is housed... no, there was no ceiling in the closet. It was open to the attic and that was a problem, too! Anyhow, there's new ductwork up there, everything's been taped and sealed, and then they turned the A/C on (because it was a warm day and the house was stuffy).

Normally, it takes about half an hour to cool the house off after turning the A/C on.

In ten minutes, I was shivering!!

I was sitting at the kitchen table, defragging the laptop and doing other maintenance on it, and nearly jumped when papers on the table started... fluttering. And I blinked when I realized I could feel air moving against my face. Mr. A/C Guy comes in and says, "How's that?"

I said, "What's that breeze? Do you still have the front door open?"

He grinned at me. "Nope. That's coming from the overhead vent."

Y'all... we've never been able to feel the air coming from the vents. Well, not from a distance. We'd have to hold our hands up to the vents to tell it was working.

Right about that moment, the wind chime I have hanging from the kitchen vent started softly chiming. It's never done that before!!

Totally AWESOME!!

And when they got the heat set up? WONDERFUL!! It's a sealed system, so no more checking obsessively to make sure the pilot light is still lit, and worrying that it's gone out every time the wind starts blowing outside. SO AWESOME!!

And the house is actually warm!! I no longer go around bundled up in the house like a little Eskimo, as THO puts it.

Totally full of WIN!!

Yes, those idiots at Mr. Blow Hard's company really screwed us. Oh, yeah, when they replaced the fan motor? They put in a super-charged fan motor, so it would work with the crappy, dirty coil and not burn out. Not only that, but they replaced the 30 amp circuit with a 40 amp without telling us so the fan would work and not overload the circuit.

Yeah, that has to be replaced. Yay.

*grumble grumble grumble*

Put all of that together and it explains why our power bills were so damn high!


The Impertinent One had a game Friday night, and right about the time that Mr. A/C Guy was putting the finishing touches on our system, I got a text from her. Their game, which had been scheduled for 6 pm, had been moved to 5 pm. Which meant scrambling to get food into them before game time.

Except they didn't. They pretty much had them practicing until fifteen minutes before the game, and then they had to change out and set up, and nowhere in there was there time for the junior varsity team to eat, or even text their folks to ask for so much as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So basically, they hadn't eaten since lunch.

Oh, and did I mention it was cold and rainy by that point?

Not that cold and rainy is a problem, but on an empty stomach, it is.

To say that they didn't play well would be a major understatement. We had a lot of injuries in that game, including the Impertinent Daughter.


I was answering a parent's questions, trying to keep an eye on the Impossible Son (who was living up to his name, believe me), and on the field, but I missed Miss Impertinent taking a ball to the face straight off her opponent's knee. By the time I was focused on the field again, she was on the bench. And she stayed on the bench through the rest of the first half, and part of the second half until one of the coaches noticed her face was swelling, so they sent her to the trainer, who slapped ice on it.

Her eye was swollen shut, apparently.

The Tall Blonde noticed that the Impertinent One was sitting on the trainer's cart, and after looking through the zoom lens of her camera, determined she had an ice bag held to her face. Then we heard that she had a headache, and that was all I knew until the end of the game when I was finally able to make my way to the team's bench, just in time to hear the trainer assessing her for a concussion.


So... I got her home, did my own assessment, and decided to keep her home and resting until Monday, when I could get her in to see the family doctor. She had a headache, but it wasn't severe. Her face was swollen where she'd been hit by the ball, but had improved by the time we got home, and she was fairly steady on her feet. By Sunday, though, she couldn't walk a straight line if her life depended on it. And she was sleepy. We kept an eye on her, and I got her in to see the doctor first thing on Monday.

The physician's assistant did her assessment and said, "CT scan time!" The verdict? A mild concussion, so she's benched by the doctor until the 10th, and benched by the district's concussion protocol until the 17th, provided she passes the trainer's assessment.

I'm glad of this, because when I was in high school sports, their concussion protocol consisted of, "Can you still see? Can you still stand up? Okay, rub some dirt on it and GET BACK IN THE GAME!!"

In other words, unless you were bleeding out your eyeballs and nose, you were fine to play, especially if you were one of the better players.

I'm glad this is no longer true!

Still, the coach looked like she was sucking on a lemon someone had found in the garbage when we let her know. Oh, well, my priority is my kid, not the coach's happiness.

So, new CA/CH unit - YAY!!

Mild concussion - BOO!!

And there you go!


Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 11:39 pm
auntbijou: (Soccer is love...)
The Impertinent Daughter had an AWESOME game tonight!! And Junior Varsity won their game, 3 to 0!! She had two truly sweet corner kicks and many assists, and omg, y'all... she was so fast tonight!! I'M SO PROUD!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*


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