Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

For some reason, this is the only one I could find... this is the pink frosting crisco one

Monday, September 27, 2010

the cake game

So, what's going on in your world?

Nothing too earth shattering in mine...
The kid turned 16 and despite having a head full of cotton, I survived it. Some of the kids nearly didn't, though. They were playing a raucous game of Hide and Seek, and MG's boyfriend, who isn't known for his gracefulness, had one of those moments where he tripped. It was like he hung in the air for three seconds, then THUD. Sprawled on the ground. This kid is over 6 feet tall, and SOLID. China felt that earthquake. He's fine. But it looked nasty. Now, a week later, he says he still has a bruise on his leg from it. Our backyard is perfect for Hide and Seek, though, since it's a little over an acre, and has tons of trees. Fun was had by all.
One tradition we have for her birthday is that MM and I endeavor to make her the ugliest cake we can. Yes. We do that. We are terrible people. She loves it. It started out unintentionally, one year MM made a cake with frosting that consisted of crisco (the "fluffy" white kind, and Strawberry Quik.
NO I am not kidding. I had no part of that cake, except to stick a piece of peanutbutter toffee candy in the top. I mean, really, how could I have made it worse? I think he tried to write on top of it "Hippie Bird Day to Ewe". God that was a bad cake.
So the next year, it was my turn. I made a decent cake, and then tried to make black icing. Black food coloring really only turns things dark grey. And it made the icing runny as hell. I was running out of time, so I frosted that poor cake with dark grey icing, then put Happy Birthday on it like it was a hangman game, and had some of the letters filled in with candy. Stick figure hanging and everything.
Sadly, the cake was still a little too warm when I frosted it, and so the letters slid around and the hangman slid around, and it looked like a Picasso during his dark grey period.
Oh how we laughed at that.
This year, it was a team effort.
We bought one of those awful "Fun-Fetti" things, with the bright sugar things in the batter. With the matching frosting. I made the cake, and frosted it. It was a round layer, and of course, it was lopsided. MM decorated the top with MORE sugar sprinkles, and black icing from a can. It said "Hippo Birfday". Cake Wreaks got nothing on the two of us.
Before you take our parent cards, realize this
She LOVES the ugly cakes. She really does.
And we got her an ice cream cake for the actual party. The ugly cake is for family. And we ate that thing. My teeth STILL hurt from the sugar that cake held.
Now, though? I have a little less then a year to come up with a plan for next years ugly cake.
I'm thinking Cerebus.
Or maybe Cylcops.
or not...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The plague

Someone, somewhere, within the last week-ish decided to share their infectious process with me. Its only SEPTEMBER and I have my first cold of the season. It hit, of course, the day before MG's birthday party, rendering me achy, crabby, and snot filled for the weekend. Bastard cold.

Fun was managed to be had, I did my best to convince myself that I felt fine. We had a pretty nice weekend. But I am still sick and slow.
I am, however, working on a story. It's not a very nice one, and I still don't know how its going to end. I will put it here, eventually.
and, most importantly, Mustang Girl is now, officially, sixteen. Today is the day. MM has chemistry class, so she and I will be going for dinner this evening...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The small things in life

Another thing I really don't blog much about is being a step mom. (because that is what we call me, here).

I don't blog about it because, to be honest with you, it doesn't really create much blog fodder. I am very lucky in my karmic draw of step daughters. She is easy to get along with, she likes our little family, and her mom doesn't cause any particular drama in OUR lives. What she does with her own life is her own business, and we keep our families as separate as we can, and it works for us.
Yeah. Step mom. Sometimes I find myself doing things with MG that just make me giggle on the inside. Like prom dress shopping, or homework checking. Even better?
Back to School night.
Oh, yeah...
I think I blogged about this two years ago when she was a freshman. I was working last year, and missed the joy of back to school night.
Last night, however, I went again. It was interesting. To recap, somewhat...
the way they manage it at our local high school is to have us go to the classes our child goes to on a daily basis. We only get 10 minutes per teacher, though, with ten minutes between each class to find the next one we are going to. I have MG go with me, otherwise I'd never find my way. This doesn't give much time for any parent to actually speak with the teachers, but it does give a feel for what the class is like, and what the expectations are, and, also, how each teacher prefers to be communicated with. They all seem to like email. I love that.
The teachers I most liked last night were her English and History teachers. Oh, the Biology teacher was good, too. The English teacher calls his class "American Literature", and he has a VERY ambitious reading list for them this year. They are reading "The Crucible" right now, and they are going to read "The Scarlet Letter", "Catcher in the Rye", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The Great Gatsby", and a few others. They have some great reading ahead of them. Its a good thing she likes to read.
Her Spanish teacher nearly put me to sleep. It seems to me that foreign language learning is very hit or miss. He is very old school, very set in his ways, and lordy, I am glad I am not in that class.
Thankfully, she is loving high school, and does well with her classes. She is a junior now, and is turning Sixteen a week from today. This weekend we are having her birthday party...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

glasses, or spectacles?

So, writing down my thoughts about grief was a good catharsis for me, I was able to get those deep thoughts out of my brain, so I could move on to other thoughts that aren't quite as dark.

But, I've been kind of at a loss for any kind of blog topics, lately, and my brain is very tired today, so I hit MM up to give me a random blog topic.
His suggestion?
That I blog about "Timothy Leary's glasses cause hallucinations".
Yes, really. See what I live with? Its no wonder that I love him :)
So here we go.
Now, if by glasses he meant Timothy Leary's spectacles causing hallucinations, well, that could be so. Especially if people with different prescriptions tried his glasses on. That would at least make their world a bit more blurry then it would have been before the glasses.
if we are talking about Timothy Leary's drinking glasses, then, OF COURSE there would be hallucinations involved. He was such a big proponent of LSD to be used for psychological benefit that I would bet money he had a copious amount at home for just that. Being a house guest at his house would come with certain risks, and benefits.
He died from Prostate Cancer, but did an interesting thing with some of his ashes. He had them sent to space along with Gene Rodenberry's (and others)...
So, if you're ever at the house of a Leary, be leery of the glasses, drinking, or otherwise...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a discussion of grief. Not my best blog post, but out here none the less

Ok, take two, or maybe three of writing this one. If I don't get it all out this time, I will probably trash can it, so here we go.

I've been thinking, a lot about grief, this week. No, I am not depressed. No one close to me has died. Things have just happened.. I guess you could say it actually started off with Bubblewench's sad loss, but my thoughts of grief were really triggered this week because one of my friends/coworkers suddenly lost a family member, and was at work when he learned of it. And watching him go through that affected me. In mere seconds, I watched as he went through the denial, the disbelief, and then, that *moment*. The one where that dark cloud of realization hits. The one where you realize you are never going to see/hear/touch your dear one on this earthly plain again. And you didn't really get to say goodbye.
I've always, ALWAYS, been a sensitive to grief. To me, it is another emotion, all to itself. Sadness doesn't begin to cover it. In my mind, when someone is grieving, especially that initial, first burst of grief, they are at one of the most vulnerable moments of their life. They have just had something taken from them. Never to return. And they are there, on that brink, of either accepting that, or losing their mind. Some choose to lose their minds.
I see my fair share of it, in my line of work. I actually, purposefully, take care of the death and dying patients and families, because I am sensitive to it. I don't want to short change any of my caring co workers, but my river of empathy runs strong here. But when I am there, with those suffering families, I am not grieving WITH them. I should not be, because that would imply that I am an intimate of their family. I am empathetic to them. They don't need a grieving nurse. They need one who is going to help them get through the process. And I can do that. Well. We all have our gifts, and that is my acknowledged gift at work. And I wouldn't change that.
It doesn't mean I am not affected by the people and their families. Some of them stay with me forever, good and bad. The suicides really get to me. Thankfully, we haven't had many of those, lately.
But, I didn't really sit down to write this about work. I really sat down to write this so I could see if I could put the emotion of grief down in words. I still don't know if I can.
One thing that really upsets me, in relation to grief, is the media. They seem to think that freedom of the press allows them to go, and take pictures of people who are in that moment. I do not think pictures of a parent holding their dead child is beautiful, or moving. I think it is an invasion of what should be a very private moment. We do NOT need to see the crying soldier holding his best friend in death. We do not need to see the broken down widow's/widowers at the graveside, fresh in the knowledge that their loves will never walk by their side again. We know what death is. We've all been there. No one deserves to be published facing that black prospect. No one. I actually think its pretty disrespectful. But that's just me. I acknowledge that, and I don't look at those pictures. And if one sneaks up on me, I get mad all over again.
I do digress, I guess. Grief. One of the purest, most painful emotions we can experience in our lives. I have spent about three days really mulling it over in my mind, from all the different aspects I've witnessed it in. In my own family, as a nurse, as a friend, and as a bystander. It's different from every aspect, with every person. It depends on who died. On what died. We grieve the death of our pets. Our plants. Our televisions. (come on, you know that some really do grieve inanimate objects). We grieve any kind of loss. The loss of a favorite earring. The loss of innocence. Grief is not exclusive to death. But when death is involved, that is the darkest, most heart shattering grief, it would have to be, right? Its the most vulnerable. And it has me, thinking...