auntbijou: (Default)
I somehow never envisioned this day.

Well, I did, but far off in some misty, distant future, nebulous and untouchable in the land of Someday. Because in my mind's eye, last week, my daughter was two and lurching around the living room with a very large dog and three attendant cats, chocolate smeared around her mouth from the chocolate chip cookie she was hanging onto with fierce determination as she headed for her goal; the front door.

Three days ago, she was pushing her baby brother in a giant Tonka truck across the kitchen floor while he squealed with glee, making "Vroom! Vroom!" noises while the Triplicats scattered out of the way.

Two days ago, she was waving impatiently at me to leave as I hovered outside her first grade classroom, her brother in a backpack on my back, hoping she was going to be okay, and that she would make friends.

Yesterday, she was playing in her first soccer game, stunning us both as she displayed a determination and ferocity that has gotten her through every hurdle that has been placed in her way. I still remember having to hold onto the Husbandly One when a kid who seemed like a veritable giant loomed over her and looked like he was going to plonk a massive fist on top of her head and crush her as he stole the ball from her. She looked up at him, sniffed derisively, then plowed him over as she took the ball back, and passed it to one of the forwards, who immediately took it and made a goal. She then turned to face the boy and flounced past him to show how beneath her contempt he was and ignored him for the rest of the game.

It was very demoralizing for him.

Last night, I hugged my seventeen year old daughter for the last time, and this morning, I hugged my eighteen year old daughter for the first time.

The night the Impertinent Daughter was born was one of the most... ridiculous and yet wonderful nights of my life. My water broke three fourths of the way through an episode of the X-Files, an episode I still to this day have never seen through to the end, and then we were rushing to the hospital, feeling woefully unprepared. I mean, we decided on her name on the way to the hospital!! Seriously!!

I had a C-section, because she was a breech baby, and I remember when I heard that first cry thinking, "Oh, my God... what have I done? What have I done?? I can't be a mother!! I'm too immature!! I'm not stable enough! I'm gonna fuck her up, and she'll be lying on a couch by the time she's 25, spilling her guts to a therapist about her whacko mom and how she totally fucked her up and... and... I CAN'T DO THIS!!"

Meanwhile, they were cleaning her up, and the Husbandly One was looking at her and cutting the cord and all that, and then they laid her in my arms, wrapped up like a little burrito. I looked into her tired little scrunched up face, her centuries old eyes looking up into mine, and felt my breath catch. She wriggled a tiny hand free of the burrito wrap, then reached up to touch my face, stroking my chin, and suddenly, I was calm.

I could do this.

We could do this. We would grow and learn together, and we could totally do this.

And now, here we are, eighteen years later. She's got a driver's license. She'll be graduating from high school in a few weeks. And there's a part of me that's screaming, "No, no, I can't do this! I can't let go of my little girl, my baby, my firstborn, I can't let her go out into the wild, crazy world, because she's not ready! I'M not ready!!"

Today, she hugged me, and touched my face, and I thought, "Maybe... maybe I can do this."

Nah, not really, but you know... I'll give it a really good try.

Happy Birthday, Impertinent Daughter. You have given the roller coaster of my life some really wild twists and turns, some of them utterly terrifying, but I hung on and I've enjoyed the ride. And I can't wait to see where it'll take us next!!

IMG_1934
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
The Impertinent Daughter is a senior and will be graduating this year. That's twelve years worth of excuse notes that I've written for her alone (because I home-schooled her for kindergarten), and I am so done with this school district. Seriously.

In fact, you could say I've gotten rather jaded, and after last year's experiences of having to go toe-to-toe with administration just to get the Impossible Son moved to a class where he wasn't being bullied by his teacher, and then this year, well... I finally just... let go and gave them the full benefit of my biting sarcasm and dry wit when I had to write excuse notes. Or when I have to check the kids out of school.

Once, when I had to pull out the Impertinent Daughter to go with us to one of the Impossible Son's orthodontic appointments, I wrote in the check out slot, "orthodontic torture" for the reason. When she started her period and was cramping so badly she couldn't stand up straight, I wrote, "uterine vengeance and gore."

Why not?

So one morning, when I was sitting there, trying to cudgel my not really awake brain into composing yet another bland and professional excuse note, I just... gave in to my inner demons and wrote this:


"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter's absences on Monday, February 3rd, and Tuesday, February 4th. We shall blame her grandfather for this one, because he was the one who decided to pass down the completely unnecessary and totally un-fun Migraine Gene. He could have passed down any gene but this one. Did he give her his green eyes? No. Did he give her the ability to imitate any bird call she hears? No. He gave her migraines.

We have both decided this is totally unfair and wish to complain to the management. Management seems to be ignoring us at the moment, and so, she’s had a migraine the last two days, and while she isn’t really over it, she’s attempting school today anyway."


I figured, what the hell? What are they going to do, yell at me? I'll just smile evilly and ask them what precisely is wrong with the excuse note? It gives the salient facts in an entertaining and light-hearted manner, and if they don't agree, too bad. Besides, I'm working on the supposition that these things are just as boring for them to read as they are for me to write. Why not entertain everyone? I figure it's a win all the way around. I get to practice my creative writing skills, and they get to spew coffee all over their office! WIN!!

Here's another one:


"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absences on Tuesday, February 11th, Wednesday, February12th, and Thursday, February 13th.

There was an epic battle with a virus that turned into a secondary sinus infection. Fortunately, the valiant Sir Zithromax came to her rescue, and destroyed the bacterium that tried to invade her sinuses. This enabled her trusty White Knights to defeat the despicable virus that had brought her down in the first place. Thus, she is able to return to school today. Do not be startled by the barking. It is not a werewolf. It is merely Miss Impertinent coughing."


Or this one:


"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absence from school on Friday, January 11th, and Monday, January 13th. We were having adventures with possible mono, which most fortunately, did not come to pass. The doctor did not want Miss Impertinent to return to school until the blood work came back, due to Miss Impertinent’s unfortunate habit of biting people and trying to turn them into werewolves. We’ve had the werewolf discussion with Miss Impertinent. I don’t think she’s listening. Still, the blood work came back and showed no mono, just an opportunistic virus that had nothing to do with werewolves, and everything to do with making her queasy and tired. She should be fine for most activities, but definitely not werewolf hunting."


This is one of my favorites:


"Please excuse the Impertinent Daughter’s absence on Wednesday, January 8th. There was nausea. There was cramping. There was fatigue. And even worse, there came the Dreaded Noises We Shall Not Speak Of. Because of this, I, in my role of “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” decreed that the Impertinent Daughter should stay home and not inflict herself, nor her possible projectile vomiting (which thankfully did not occur) on the innocent populace of the high school.

She is still pale, wobbly, and vaguely nauseous, but determined not to miss classes. Should she become horizontal and immovable, I shall arrive forthwith to whisk her away to the doctor."


On that last line, I ALMOST said, "I shall arrive forthwith to whisk her away to the voodoo practitioner of our choice, there to have beads rattled over her, and then to be suspended by one leg until the evil spirits be exorcised or fall out forthwith..." but I figured that would have been a bit much. Besides, l like to keep the excuse notes to one page, if possible. It's best I limit myself, you know?

Lest you think I left the Impossible Son out, here's the only excuse note I could find (I think two others are either on the iMac, which is unavailable right now, or simply lost):


"Please excuse the Impossible Son’s absences on Tuesday, March 4th, and Wednesday, March 5th. First he turned green. Then he got the bulging eyes. There may have been excessive salivation. Thankfully, there was no projectile vomiting, though there were prodigious amounts of mucus.

Did I mention tonsils the size of ping pong balls?

Thankfully, it wasn’t some strange tropical disease, though that might have been quite exciting. And the doctor tested him for strep and mono (which seems to be going around), both of which turned out to be negative. So he should be good to go. However, should he start sprouting excessive hair, well, it could be puberty, or he could be turning into a werewolf. Please refrain from the use of silver bullets until I can come pick him up."


Fortunately, the staff at both the junior high and the high school have been getting a big kick out of these excuse notes. I had the principal at the junior high run me down one morning to tell me how much she enjoyed reading a note I had written when the Impossible Son got his first migraine (ugh). It reminded her of her mother writing a similar excuse note for her when she was in high school, so she thought it was pretty hilarious. And the normally dour attendance clerk at the high school is cheerful and greets me by name when I call in now. So... WIN!!!

And just think, they have at least five more years of this, until the Impossible Son graduates!

*evil smirk*

Impertinent Fan Art

Friday, July 26th, 2013 11:54 am
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
I've been sitting on this for a while, and kept meaning to post it, but life and stuff, you know? Gets in the way.

Anyhow, this came about because of a conversation the Impertinent Daughter and I had after one of the "turning the Wraith human" episodes on Stargate Atlantis. Because we wondered how much of their human characteristics would they retain, how much of the behavior they'd witnessed among the guards would they remember and try to imitate...

What would happen if two Wraith tried to... high five each other?

stargate_atlantis__fail_wraith_by_angryzangoose-d4cci4j

I don't know what I like most... the verbally challenged drone, or the "Oh, crap!" moment, followed by flailing.
auntbijou: (Steven Fry LOL)
Do y'all remember the Centrifugal Ketchup Incident? You know, when the Impertinent Daughter was trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the ketchup bottle so she could pour it out... and ended up splattering it across the ceiling, the floor, and the cat?

She did it again last night.

The Ketchup Incident, Part 2

That's her, laughing herself silly (and being a little embarrassed, too) after splattering the kitchen and the dining room with ketchup. She was, once again, trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the bottle to use on the Husbandly One's grilled burgers. She swears up and down that she sealed the top of the bottle. SWEARS!!

As you can see, it clearly wasn't.

Across the Ceiling...

Once again, it's across the ceiling, and now makes an X with the splatter from 2010, which, while it was cleaned up, took off the popcorn ceiling in those spots.

*sigh*

Even on the paper towels...

She hit the paper towels...

In the Cabinet

And inside the cabinet. It's across the counter, across the dining room table, and in the far corner of the dining room, too. I'd show you those photos, but... they came out blurry, so... you'll just have to imagine it. At least she didn't get one of the cats this time!

And the lesson learned? JUST OPEN ANOTHER BOTTLE OF KETCHUP, SHEESH!!!
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?

*bows*

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: (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.

O_O

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.

Heh.

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?

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!!

*head-desk*

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!!
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!"

Riiiiiight.

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!!

O.O

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: 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?

o_O

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.

O_O

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!

But... YAY NEW SYSTEM!!!

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.

AND I MISSED IT!!

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.

O_o

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!

WOOT WOOT!!!

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*

GO LADY LIONS!!!

LIFE. It Happens.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 11:44 am
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Can I just... step off the roller coaster for a few minutes? Kinda feeling dizzy... just a bit.

Let's see, we're having to replace the central air/central heating unit in our house because (1) it has reached the age where there are no spare parts available any longer and (2) even if there were spare parts available, it wouldn't be safe to fix.

*sigh*

Yeah, that was fun. The guy who came to repair it works for the company who installed it in the first place some twenty years ago, and after first telling me what needed fixing and how much it would cost, then telling me the parts that needed fixing needed to be replaced, then telling me they don't make those parts any more, I got to deal with the blustering, Good Ol' Boy owner of said company. Mr. Good Ol' Boy took one look at me and decided that I was the type that could be easily manipulated into what he wanted me to do, and proceeded to try to intimidate me into agreeing with him that his company should be the ones to do the work.

Y'all know that went over like a lead balloon, right?

Funny how Mr. Blow Hard and his tech went all through the closet where the CA/CH unit is housed, with Mr. Blow Hard taking measurements and loudly telling his tech that they'd have to rip out the wall, and probably part of the floor to put in a new coil, and he would recommend a contractor to rebuild the wall after they were done replacing the unit, blah, blah, blah, and it never occurred to him that I was texting the Husbandly One basically a blow by blow account of what was going on while I sat quietly at the kitchen table with the laptop. Mostly, Mr. Blow Hard shouted out a series of arcane numbers that I'm guessing were supposed to be measurements of some kind, or maybe it was just supposed to impress me with how technical he was...

When he finally "presented" me with his "findings," I said politely, "Well, I'll discuss this with my husband, and we'll let you know what we decide."

He frowned, then smiled indulgently and looked at his tech, nodding as he said, "Oh, right. You'll discuss this with your husband." He snickered. "You mean, you'll ask him what to do and then do what he tells you."

Yeah, that pretty much made me see red, but I just raised an eyebrow and said, "No, I mean I'll discuss it with my husband. We're partners. Neither one of us makes big money decisions on our own. We talk it out, go over the pros and cons, and go from there. Sometimes he has the final say, sometimes I have the final say, but either way, it gets discussed, we do research, and decide how big a hit our budget can take, because it affects both of us. So when I say we'll discuss it and let you know, that's precisely what I mean. You have a problem with that?"

"Well, if you go with us, you won't have to pay the service fee for this visit," Mr. Blow Hard said, still trying to work the intimidation factor. "But if you go with someone else, I'll have to send you a bill for $85."

"That's fine," I said with a sweet smile. "We'll let you know."

"You should decide soon, because we might be booked up," he said as he headed for the door.

"We'll take that chance," I said firmly. "Bye now."

Yeah, that was fun.

We called a couple of companies, but decided on one recommended to us by the Tall Blonde. What settled it was (1) he got back to us and (2) he didn't just look at the main unit. He also went up into the attic to check the ducts and connections, and went under the house to check the coil and the drains. He was very patient with my questions, and also cleared up a mystery that's been driving us crazy for some time now.

Every time the A/C or the heat came on, I'd smell this... faint burning odor that made the back of my throat burn, and would sometimes set my asthma off. We had the unit checked several times because of this, but there was never anything we could find to explain it.

Then Mr. A/C guy takes a look at the duct work and peers up at the top of our unit and goes, "Huh."

Yeah, that's not a good sound, either.

Seems that when Mr. Blow Hard's company installed the unit, they used a type of duct work that has since been banned in our country because it's... well, basically a piece of crap. And when all the new ductwork was installed, they left this original duct work in place where the unit connects to it all. Basically, what happens to the crap duct is that it dries out and starts cracking, then dry rots and gets blown about in the system. That's what I've been smelling every time the unit comes on.

Mr. A/C said, "What I don't understand is why they left it there. Because even if the new duct wouldn't fit, there's a way to work around it and adapt it, so... why leave the old stuff? It's not safe!"

Well, judging by the crap unit Mr. Blow Hard wanted us to buy, I'd say it was done to cut corners. After all, how many homeowners actually look up into their attic to see what they've got up there? And how many of those that do would know what to look for or what they're even looking at?

We're fortunate that the weather has been mild, though the first three or four nights after we lost our heat were tough, because it got down in the thirties. Thank goodness for lots of blankets!! This house holds on to the cold like you wouldn't believe, and I've had to open the windows during the day just so I can feel my fingers!!

The Impertinent Daughter's team survived a three day soccer tournament over last weekend, and so did we! Again, in San Marcos at the fields where the Impossible Son and I froze our katooshies off. And, yes, it was cold, but not as cold as last year! Friday night, they were in first place, but by Saturday afternoon, because of the bizarre point system the folks who were running the tournament were using, the JV found themselves playing for third.

I'm still not sure where we placed, because every person I've asked have said something different. Personally, I think they placed pi.

Hey, it makes about as much sense as that point system!!

And the Impossible Son has started soccer practice for the rec league this week, which is going to be frustrating, I can tell already. Why? Because once again, there weren't enough coaches for the record FIVE U12 teams that were formed this season, so they basically started grabbing any warm body. And one of the warm bodies is the woman who is coaching my son's team.

I have nothing against her. She's a good person, I've known her since the Impertinent Daughter started playing soccer, and now her daughter and mine are playing JV for the high school. It's cool. However... she's never coached soccer before in her life and has no idea where to start. The good news is, she knows this, and has enlisted the help of several girls on the high school team, as well as any parents who have any sort of know how, or is willing to help out. This can work, I've seen it work before.

I've also seen it go to hell in a handbasket.

So... I'm hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that things will go well. However, the Husbandly One and I have decided this will be Mr. Impossible's last season playing here. If he plays rec league next fall, it will be in San Marcos.

And that is the State of Auntie so far. Woo.
auntbijou: (Default)
So... it's been awhile, hasn't it?

Part of that's been because we had the Stomach Virus from Hell, which was possibly a norovirus. Well, the Husbandly One got it on a Wednesday night, threw up and had... um... well, let's just say he drove the porcelain bus, too. Yay. He had me worried to the point of hovering.

I don't hover. Unless someone is really sick.

He got better Thursday afternoon, which was a good thing, because that's the day the school didn't call me when the Impossible Son had been attacked at school.

*sigh*

By Friday, I had a meeting with the principal, informing her in no uncertain terms that she would be seeing both myself and the Husbandly One for a meeting, it was not going to be postponed to a more convenient time because as far as we were concerned, since she and her staff dropped the ball, her convenience was irrelevant to the situation.

I will say this about the Impossible Son's principal. Confronting her is like bashing yourself into a brick wall surrounded by fluffy pink blondeness. Seriously. First, she tried to blame the lack of calling on the counselor. "I told her to do it immediately," Mrs. K. said. "She knew she was supposed to inform you first thing!"

"Except she was in the office with you, because according to your own words, the student was out of control."

"Well, yes, but she should have called you the minute she left my office, and I reprimanded her for it, telling her that her priority is always to inform the parents..."

"Mrs. L. has always called me when there is a problem," I said firmly. "That has never been a problem for us before."

Yeah, that kind of threw her.

And... she tried to turn the Impossible Son's esteem issues back on us. Ohhhh, don't even go there! Don't... even.

We announced our intention to transfer Mr. Impossible, and THO tried to couch it diplomatically, saying that sometimes, just changing an environment can be good (he's had personal experience with that), and of course, she tried to discourage us because they really, really don't want to lose the Impossible Son from that particular school, which is the "flagship" of the district.

*insert eyeroll here*

And finding out what measures they were taking, in the meantime, to protect our son was like... pulling hen's teeth. She kept citing privacy laws to us and I finally snapped and said, "Look, I just want to know if my son is going to be safe! I want to know what guarantee there is that this won't happen again. I want to know what you are doing to make sure he's safe! Are you moving this kid to another class? Are you separating him out and putting him in in-school suspension? Are you sending him to the alternate school? Are you fitting him with a shock collar? What??"

I mean, she wouldn't even tell me if this kid was bigger than Mr. Impossible!!

I found out later through a friend who works at Mr. Impossible's school that Lug has a "shadow." A teacher who is assigned specifically to him who is with him at all times, and that he isn't allowed to come into contact with the other children.

It was a most unsatisfactory meeting on all sides.

So, THO and I made an appointment to talk to the principal of the school across the street from our backyard. She was pleasant and calm, asking for our son's name and taking notes when we told her why we were there and wanted to transfer him. Then she dropped the bomb.

It seems that the fifth grade class in our district is the largest ever, and the fifth grade classes at all four elementary schools in our town are literally jam-packed to the gills. In fact, the class at the Impossible Son's school is the largest in the district, to the point that they had to hire a fifth teacher just to handle the overload.

I already knew this. It started in second grade, when they had to hire a fifth teacher (there are normally four teachers at each grade level at his school) and let her go at the end of the year, then hired a fifth 3rd grade teacher the next year... and let her go, and so on and so forth. I just didn't realize it was district wide.

Anyhow, the principal, Mrs. O. told us she would give us a call after reviewing the situation with the fifth grade teachers at her school, and as soon as there was an opening.

That was Friday. That night, the Impossible Son got the stomach bug, and threw up continuously for several hours. He wanted his Papa with him, so THO stayed up with him while I went to grab some sleep, only to be shaken awake at 2 a.m. "We need to take Mr. Impossible to ER," THO said. "He's dehydrated."

So, I got up, got dressed, woke up the Impertinent One, grabbed a blanket, a towel, and a bowl, and drove to San Marcos and the ER there. That's when we found out it was possibly norovirus, and that we weren't the only ones. There were a lot of people with the same thing there.

Fun, fun, fun.

The Impertinent One, in the meantime, trying to stay awake and to not starve, raided the vending machines and consumed Dr. Pepper, a slice of carrot cake, a Coke, and Doritos. This... made her incredibly hyper and it was exhausting just to look at her. When we got home, the Impossible Son crashed on one couch, THO passed out in our bed, and I went and curled up in the Impertinent One's bed.

I was too tired to process that my teenage daughter was hyper and had nothing to do!!

When I eventually woke up several hours later, I staggered into the dining room and stopped, frowning. Something was missing. The feeling increased as I moved through the kitchen, and then into the living room.

She had cleaned the dining room, the kitchen, and the living room. She did dishes and several loads of laundry and... and... then she... she...

...FOLDED IT ALL AND PUT IT AWAY!!!!

I am still gobsmacked. Still.

Needless to say, our weekend was pretty mellow after that.

Well, Monday, Mrs. O. called and informed me that she had talked to Mrs. K., who had assured her that measures were in place to protect my son. And Mrs. O. was hesitant to transfer my son, but not because of Mrs. K's assurances. She said, "The thing is, we have a group of boys in our fifth grade classes and there is a lot of... ahem... drama going on with them. Normally, this is a problem with the girls, but this year, for some odd reason, it's the boys. And I'm really concerned that if we transfer your son here, we will be taking him from one ... dramatic environment... and dropping him smack-bang into the middle of another dramatic environment with the added bonus that he would be The New Kid. And Mrs. J.... that would be like tying meat around his neck and dropping him in a shark tank."

"I can see that," I said with a sigh, and I do. Great.

I haven't called the other elementary just down the street because that's the school we transferred Miss Impertinent away from when she was being bullied, and the same woman is still principal. She didn't protect Miss Priss, and I don't have a lot of confidence in her protecting Mr. Impossible.

*sigh*

That night, the Impertinent Daughter had a choir concert at the school, and I... wasn't feeling so good. But I went, leaving THO with the Impossible Son, and sat through the junior high choir's unenthusiastic and uninspired droning (no, you can't possibly call that singing) and was relieved when it was the high school choir's turn, because they actually can and do sing, and... drove home after, hoping the rock in my stomach would go away.

Yeah, I spent the night throwing up and ... driving the porcelain bus. Let's put it this way, THO didn't change out of his work clothes until the next afternoon.

So far, the Impertinent One has avoided it. *knocks frantically on wood* This stomach virus is ripping its way through town, and I just hope it doesn't come back for a second visit because... eurgh!!

And then this week, I had a checkup with the endocrinologist. During my last appointment, there was concern that the Lump on my thyroid seemed to be growing, so I was scheduled for an ultrasound, which ended up being rescheduled several times due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e. sick kids). Well, I finally got it done, and when the doctor saw me, he had a pleased smile on his face. The Lump has apparently been reabsorbed, and while they are going to be keeping close tabs on me (I go back in December), they're pretty certain this is just one more part of having Hashimoto's thyroiditis (anybody know Hashimoto? I'm sure he's missing his thyroiditis, and I really wouldn't mind giving it back...).

So... there we are, all caught up. And now, it's time for me to pick the Impossible Son up from school!
auntbijou: (Golden-eyed Weasley)
Okay, first... Friday night, I was on-line chatting, something I don't do often because (1) don't really have the time because of my Little Interruptions and (2) sleeping, I really like doing that when I can! But, I was chatting and really enjoying it when I heard something very large crashing around in the bushes outside my side-yard window.

Now, this is something we hear frequently, and it usually turns out to be a cat, a raccoon, a possum, or a lost dog. If it's a cat, we shoo it, if it's a raccoon or possum, we leave them alone. If it's a lost dog, we check for tags and either leave the gate open, or call the owner to come get it.

However, this was... large. Like... sounding like a drunk elephant large. And seconds later, the Impertinent Daughter texted me frantically that there was something outside her window and it was freaking Calcifer out to the point of hissing.

Well. That's new. So, being a brave and intrepid Auntie, I grabbed a flashlight, yanked on some shoes, and went out into the night to beard the Dragon, so to speak. And realized a few things.

(1) We have no lights whatsoever on that side of the house.

(2) It's really dark over there, because we have very little in the way of street lights in our town.

(3) I am 5' 3", didn't grab a baseball bat like I usually do, and was only armed with a mini Mag-light.

I shone the light into the bushes and started to stomp my way into the side yard, and... didn't, because it suddenly occurred to me what would happen if the critter in the bushes was on two legs instead of four. Already had the phone in my hand pre-dialed to 911, but you know, that just isn't enough, right? I shouted out for any person possibly there to come out, and nothing. Tossed a ball into the bushes to startle any four-legged creature into sprinting out.. and nothing.

That's when I decided to tell the daughter it was a possum and to go back to sleep.

So, yesterday, I was telling the Husbandly One about it when we heard a ruckus outside in the bushes again, except it was daylight and... we went outside to see what was going on.

This time, it was a squirrel hung up in a window screen, but it got itself sorted and took off into the bushes. Fine. So, THO and I went to look in the side yard, because we'd speculated about the big noise the previous night being a dog (a month ago, we'd had a stray dog settle himself in the bushes of the side yard quite happily). And... found something we had not expected at all.

Item One: Two milk crates shoved into place behind the bushes under the Impertinent Daughter's windows, convenient for standing on for viewing purposes through said windows.

Item Two: The wooden fence on that side is leaning INTO the yard.

Item Three: A nice little path through the grass and plants from the leaning in portion of the fence straight to the milk crates under ID's windows.

O.O!!

Then THO said, "Oh, the fence has been leaning in for a while..."

I said, "You know, a path that established takes a while to pound out."

It was rather startling to see the amount of fury building in my husband's eyes. And for a little while there, I was all for pounding down the door of the creepy neighbor's house in order to strangle one or more of their sons.

I am speaking, of course, of the Fireman and the Coffee Lady. However, upon further thought, I'm not convinced it was necessarily them. Why? Because, unlike our yard, theirs is open to the street behind us by expedient of having a large cattle gate in their fence, rather than a wooden one, and it has openings large enough for someone to just bend down and slip through. Plus there are handy garbage cans and barrels to stand on in that corner of their yard to use to climb the fence.

We've decided it would be worth it to install motion sensitive lights on that side of the house. And heavy shades for Miss Impertinent's windows.

*sigh*

The second thing to happen this weekend is that my mother called Friday afternoon and said she and the Flaky Sister were coming to visit on Saturday. Oh, well, at least I got 24 hours of notice this time, and not a call from my mom after they were already on the road!!

It was most fortunate that THO and I had already made a start on playing catchup, after two weeks of everyone being sick, because last week, the house looked like goblins had invaded and trashed the place. So there wasn't a lot to do other than cleaning the kids' bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, and tidying up in general. However, it was at some point Friday night, before I started chatting with [personal profile] keiramarcos and her minions, that I stopped myself from doing the manic "OMG-I-have-to-OCD-clean-EVERYTHING!!!" and said to myself, "Why am I doing this?"

Yeah, it was one of those moments. You know, the self-epiphany thing? And it all came about because of something I had said to my mother a few weeks ago, after Mom had gotten upset because the Flaky Sister had gotten sarcastic after a rather heated exchange between the two of them. I had said, "Mom, Flaky is 62 years old. She's more than an adult now, and you don't have to raise her anymore. Plus, Flaky, Blondie, and I all inherited Daddy's Smart-Ass Gene™, and you can't hold it against us. It's our sacred right to be sarcastic, especially when we're mentally exhausted, tired, or just plain cranky."

And Mom agreed.

Well, I was about to drive my family nuts with a frantic need to spotlessly clean my house when I thought, "Wait a minute... what am I doing? Why am I working so damn hard for approval I am never going to get from my sister??"

See, I had gone through this sort of epiphany about my dad back in my mid-twenties, so you could say I was sort of overdue this with my sister. The Flaky sister has a tendency, like my dad, to be hyper-critical, and to set impossible standards, and expect me to live up to them, and to withdraw affection and approval when I don't live up to them.

I started wondering when that became so important to me, when it hadn't really mattered before.

I have never been a model housekeeper. I never will be. My house will never, ever be spotlessly clean, nor would I want it to be. It will always be, at most, organized chaos, because I will always prefer spending time with my husband and children to spending time cleaning my house. Unless they're helping. And really, the only people I need to please are the three people who live with me. It's their opinion that matters to me, and if they don't have a problem with the way I do things, then... that's all that matters to me.

My husband loves me very, very much. And I love him very, very much. He pretty much knew what he was getting when he married me. He knew that I'm an indifferent cook, but I'm one WHEEE!! of a baker. And he's pretty okay with that. He loves me for my wit, my sly sense of humor, my fierce loyalty, my thinking abilities, and my extreme mattress-dancing skills. If my kitchen skills aren't quite the match of his, that's fine with him, and that's all that matters.

I had to remind myself of all of that. Because the Flaky Sister has the ability to make me doubt all of that, and I had to wonder when I gave her that power over me. Because it never mattered before.

That's some pretty stunning realizations to make about oneself, you know? Which is probably why I went online for chat, to distract myself from it, because believe me, the stress was incredible.

And Saturday, it was just worse. I actually asked the Tall Blonde to come hang out for the duration as a buffer because if there is one thing I know about my sister, she won't misbehave in front of company. She'll work at tearing me to shreds in front of my husband and children... but not in front of strangers! And while I realized that her opinion doesn't matter a hill of beans to me any more, I kind of need some time and distance to absorb it, and let it sink in, so I can parry her shots with indifference.

I love the Tall Blonde, by the way. She is... awesome. Period.

Had a good visit with my mom, who is looking better. Actually, she looks pretty darn cute, to tell you the truth, with her fluffy silvery-white hair and big smile! It gives me a pang to hug her now and feel how small she is. She's 84 now, and every time I hug her, I wonder how much longer.

So, Flaky was reasonably well behaved, and when they were gone, the Husbandly One made his awesome margaritas and poured one down my throat to combat the Killer Stress Migraine that hit me afterwards. I love his margaritas, they are delicious, and with my low alcohol tolerance, they knock me out pretty fast.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

Yep...

Friday, September 16th, 2011 11:10 am
auntbijou: (Death)



I think I can safely say that this comic, by the Impertinent Daughter, nicely sums up what the past three days have been like for the two of us.

Add a phone call from the Flaky Sister that left me wanting to spork myself, and yeah, it's been FUN.
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Photobucket

Well, in this picture, he kind of looks like him, don't you think?

*laughs*

It's the way his long hair is blowing in the wind, you know. And if you're wondering, that cute little fish was his catch of the night. He'd taken the kids salt water fishing for the first time, and while the Impossible Son caught the biggest fish of the night, and the Impertinent Daughter caught the second largest, the Husbandly One caught... the smallest. And no matter how hard he tried to catch something bigger, for the rest of the week, everything he caught was... pretty much the same size as that cute little Gulf cat in the picture. Heck, for all we know, it was the same fish the entire time, following him all around Rockport and Fulton, throwing itself shamelessly on his hook for one more look at its long haired hero! ♥ ♥ ♥!!

Oh, come on, I had to say it!

I find this an extraordinarily entertaining photo, on so many levels, and I'm proud of the Impertinent Daughter for taking it. She got a good shot of her papa!

I wanted to write more, but I'm just too tired to concentrate. School starts in three weeks, and... I can't wait.

The Last Hurrah...

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 01:49 pm
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
In a few minutes, I will leave to run a couple of errands, one of which will be to go to the local theatre to pick up tickets for tonight's midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 2."

As my daughter said this morning, sitting on my bed in shock, "I'm so excited to see it, and yet I'm not because... I'm not ready for it to be over."

We've been following Harry Potter's adventures since she was very, very small. We've laid on the floor with a box of crayons and a huge 18"x 24" tablet of paper in front of us, and drawn Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Hagrid, the blue Ford Anglia flying through the air, Fluffy the three-headed dog, and Professor Dumbledore with pointy toed boots and sparkly purple robes, because Miss Impertinence had gotten glitter sparkle crayons from Aunt Blonde Sister and thought they'd be perfect. We've sewn felt people and made Harry, Snuffles, and Mrs. Weasley with wild curly red hair. We've experimented with making Butterbeer, some of which were awful, and some which were... okay. And when the Impossible Son was born, we tugged him into it, too. We've dressed him up as Harry, and dressed Miss Impertinent as Hermione, and as Luna. We've had Harry Potter birthday cakes and spell battles. We've made up ridiculous spells for very silly things, and we've made a game of looking around when we're in public and spotting people we either think look like the characters in the books, or that we think are secretly witches and wizards slumming it with the Muggles.

In other words, we took the world of Harry Potter and ran with it. And it's been fun!

But... it's sad to see the last movie. Because, according to J. K. Rowling, that's it, there is no more. One can hope she will eventually come around to writing about the next generation of wizards and witches and the challenges they will face, but... that day may be long in coming, or may never come at all.

Still, I'll be leaving to get the tickets. And I'll probably pick up a box of tissues to take with us because... I have a feeling we'll need it.

September 2015

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