Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Homesick

I thought the kiddo might be getting a little homesick by now...so decided to send her a little something from home:




Because the thing is?  There is NOTHING in our house that doesn't have animal hair on it.  Jeff opened up his wallet the other day...you know how cartoons would show moths flying out of a character's wallet to show how broke they were?  Well, Jeff opened his up and about half a dozen Simba hairs Foofed out.
Inspiration actually came because Rosie is shedding her undercoat right now in CLUMPS.  I thought it would be funny to send a sampling from all the beasts & tell the daughter that she could put some pet hair on her stuff if she was feeling lonely.  I already had an offering from Rosie...I just snuck behind each of the rest of them and was all "Pluck!"  The cats were like, "WTH? Insane human. Geez!" Simba was just his normal, happy Golden Retriever grinning self.  Libby (chiweenie) thought I was trying to skin her alive, because she's just like that.

I thought the whole idea was funny and original.

Kiddo called when she got it and was all, "Okay, that was seriously, disturbing as well as disgusting."

But she did take a picture and post it on Instagram.  I think deep down she was touched.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Very bad, no good week

This has not been one of my favorite weeks.  The hubs and I are adjusting to our new normal since the chickadee has left the nest.
(Interesting side note, I texted "What's up, chickadee?" to a friend the other day, and autocorrect changed it to "Wax your chickadee."  Like, what the crap, autocorrect?  Who waxes a chickadee?  Is that a euphamism that I don't understand because I'm old? Is chickadee waxing a thing?  PETA will not be pleased.)

Anyway, the week started with some heavy duty house work.  With the flurry of activity to get the kiddo packed and moved, we'd left a little to be desired on the home front. 

Nothing like finding evidence that certain appendages that have pranced around in a litter box have also been on surfaces that come in contact with your toaster strudel.

You know, I've read studies about how children raised in environments that are too sterile don't develop the immunities they need.  At least I can rest assured that when I sent my kid out into the world...it was with PLENTY of built up immunities.

Then Robin Williams committed suicide.
Damn it!  That really sucked.

And then today, I was at work for 5 and a half hours before I even noticed:


Yes, I had my dress on backwards.

It's only Wednesday.





Friday, August 8, 2014

The ties that bind

I'm getting ready to change offices. Actually, my whole office is about to move to a new building. We've been steadily working on pruning down all of the stuff that we're not taking with us, throwing away things we don't need to move, etc.
In cleaning out my credenza, I found this:


It's a 6 year old's version of a pop-up book.  The front and back look like a house (our house) and inside are all of the people and animals who live in it.





Yeah, still blurring out the kiddo's name, even though she's an adult now.  I'm still amazed at the detail she used to give things...like how she really tried to capture the patterns of the cats' fur. And she made sure to show that one of her hermit crabs lived in a shell with a flower painted on it.

Also?  You may notice that her dad has earrings.  That's because he had recently gotten them.  Baby girl had wanted earrings SOOOOOO bad. But she was EXTREMELY terrified of anything even remotely needle-like.  We had taken her twice to get her ears pierced and she backed out.  Finally, she was in the ear-piercing chair, and Jeff said, "What if I do it first, so you see it isn't so bad?"
So that's how she finally got through it.  Jeff and daughter sat side by side, and the lady pierced Jeff's right ear...then Kiddo's right ear. Boy, she did NOT like that sensation at all!  But then her dad was all, "You're not gonna leave me like this with one earring are you??? Come on, I'll do the other one if you'll do the other one."  And so they did.
And she thought it was the coolest thing ever that her DAD had earrings.
We live in and around quite a conservative bunch, but Jeff proudly wore earrings.  And in every picture the Kiddo would draw of the family, her dad always had earrings on. I need to add that her scale was a little off...he really wore very discreet, small hoops usually. The 80's door-knocker look that he's sporting in the picture above was more to make sure everyone could tell she'd drawn him with his earrings than a true representation of how big they were.

And if I had to, in a nutshell, pick a story out to try and describe their relationship (as I see it), it is this story.  Jeff would do anything for the kiddo. Anything at all.  I am sure that he would lay down his life for any number of folks...me among them.  But only for his daughter would he get his ears pierced and proudly wear earrings for the rest of his life.  Sometimes the two of them (they are very, very alike) have trouble discussing their feelings for each other.  Jeff, in particular, has a hard time being "mushy".  I know part of it is that he's a man, and part of it is that she's a teen (though rapidly leaving the teen years).  But a huge part of it is just...that's the way they are.

When we took her to move into her dorm yesterday, it finally came time to say our "good-byes". Kiddo had warned us that everyone got one hug...not too long of one either (she's not very touchy-feely). Her best friend came with us and insisted on getting photographic proof that she'd gotten a hug.



Can you tell that she's barely tolerating it?
Then came my turn...which I'm sure you guessed ended with me blubbering and snotty.  After several rounds of "Are you going to be okay?" from everyone, Jeff hugged her and said his goodbye,

Jeff: "I love you, baby."

Kid: "Love you too"

Jeff: "Just remember, I'm leaving a little part of me here."

Kid: "Why? Did you fart into my couch cushions?"

He will cherish that bit of smart-assery for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Put in perspective...

As you may have heard through my many blog and FB postings and various tweets, my daughter is leaving for college. I have wailed, I have gnashed my teeth, I have done the ugly cry…and yet the day of her departure moves inexorably closer. In about 36 hours we’re going to be loaded up and headed to T-town. Where she will become part of the University of Alabama student body. Which has a headcount of roughly 35,000 students. Tuscaloosa itself has a population of approx. 100,000.

Our hometown has a population of approx. 21,000 and the kiddo’s graduating class was 280. She has accomplished a whole bunch in her short life…graduated 5th in her class…varsity cheerleader…various clubs and honors societies etc., etc. She’s been a pretty good-sized fish in a pretty moderate-sized pond.

And then there’s her family. She was the first grandchild on both sides. She was her Papaw Gary’s ONLY grandchild. She is mine and Jeff’s only child. We live in a 2800 sq ft 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath home…and she occupies 3 of the bedrooms and a bath by herself (I’m guessing 1250 sq ft).

Sidebar: Here’s how this happened…so she has a bedroom and a bathroom, right? Well, we turned one of the spare bedrooms into her “TV room” so that she could have a place where she could have her friends over and not commandeer the whole living room, but that wasn’t her bedroom. Also…she would go into this room to do her hair and makeup because for some reason, the lighting our bathrooms (there are rows of big, huge bulbs that are back-lit with brass, because it was decorated in the early 90s and I can’t bring myself to undertake a remodel, so here we are) causes the room after a shower to be just shy of the temperature of the hammered down hinges of Hell. So I couldn’t really fault her there. All of her shoes live in the TV room. It is utter chaos. I can’t even look in there without a complete meltdown. I quit letting her invite her friends up there because I just didn’t feel like our liability insurance could cover it. It really isn’t safe to enter without a tether. Then…when she reached the age of 12 and essentially stopped getting any taller, her wardrobe grew…and grew…and grew. She ended up buying a rolling clothes rack, which she moved into the other guest room. I know, I KNOW. Starving orphans in China would love just ONE room to leave in a state of complete disor
der. I’m not justifying…I’m just explaining how she has spread out across so much of the house.





In Douglas Adam’s book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, there’s a thing called the Total Perspective Vortex. It’s a torture mechanism that no one can survive because it shows you your relative importance in the universe. An infinitesimal dot on an infinitesimal dot with a sign that says “You are here” or something. (Invented by a man who’s wife was always telling him to get a sense of perspective.)


I think you are probably getting the drift of my concern.
I'm afraid that we've raised this kiddo to believe that she's the center of the universe.  And really, nothing she's experienced in her life has given her any evidence to the contrary.
Is she going to be alright when she steps into a lecture hall that has the same number of students as she had in her whole senior class?
Of course, in TRatEotU, our hero was not annihalated in the Total Perspective Vortex because it turned out he was actually in an alternate universe built to keep him safe...so he WAS, in that universe, the most important thing EVER.
Would not surprise me if this doesn't turn out the same.
(I am her mother.)

Monday, August 4, 2014

What if?

(Me and the monkey in 4K. It was only 3 or 4 weeks ago, I swear.)
Daughter is leaving for the University of Alabama in 3 days.  Welcome to my head:


What if she gets sick?

What if she gets lonely?

What if she gets overwhelmed with all of the school work?

What if she gets into those huge lecture halls and feels insignificant?

What if she gets into a sorority and they are all Mean Girls?

What if she gets into a sorority and they all like her and encourage her to do too much and her grades suffer?

What if she doesn't keep an eye on her grades?

What if she doesn't keep an eye on her checking account balance?

What if she's crossing a parking lot late at night and somebody gets her?

What if her appendix bursts?

What if she fights with her room mates?

What if she breaks up with her boyfriend?

What if she doesn't break up with her boyfriend and he wants her to quit Alabama and move back?

What if she gets to feeling sad?

What if she doesn't miss me at all?

What if she doesn't eat right?

What if she doesn't change her contacts out regularly and gets a horrible eye funk infection?

What if she forgets to pick up her prescriptions?

What if she's crossing a parking lot in broad daylight and someone gets her?

What if she gets talked into going to the wrong party?

What if she falls for the wrong guy?

What if she falls for the RIGHT guy, but before she's finished school?

What if she never asks for my opinion again?

What if she hates her major?

What if she gets a crappy teacher?

What if she spends up all of her money the first two weeks she's there?

What if her car breaks down?

What if her car breaks down and she's nowhere near anything and then somebody gets her?

What if she's in a wreck?

What if she chips a tooth?

What if she never remembers to get her oil changed?

What if she finds something she'd rather do than come home for Christmas break?

What if there's a fire and she can't get out of her 3rd floor dorm?

What if she doesn't call or text me every day?

....and repeat

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Washin the dog, washin the dog


For Throw-back Thursday...new post of an old story...
 
We have a 7-month old Golden Retriever puppy named Simba.  He is a hot mess…he’s also very much a daddy’s boy.  He follows Jeff around like nobody’s business.  And Jeff acts like Simba is his baby.  Seriously, the dog is R-O-T-T-E-N.  Recently, Simba’s er...boy parts…have been…um…becoming more developed.  Also, it’s summer in Alabama…which means 95 degrees and 112% humidity…on a good day.  Plus, even with liberal applications of Frontline, there are still sometimes fleas to contend with.  The combination of all of these factors culminated to produce a rash around Simba’s…er…junk.  Which he felt like he had to clean incessantly, drawing attention to the rash.

Jeff, being a good puppy-daddy, became concerned about Simba’s rash and decided that something needed to be done about it.  His solution: Desitin.  You know, the diaper-rash ointment.  I mean…it looked like diaper rash…and Simba is still a baby (though a 60+ pound baby)… There was reasoning there, I’ll give him that…not SOUND reasoning, but still, there was a thought process involved.  So Jeff runs down to Target, buys a tube of Desitin and smears the gunk on the junk…and surrounding areas.  Then, and only then, does he come find me and tell me (proudly) what he’d done.   Do you what human babies wear that puppy-babies do not?  Diapers, that’s what.  It may occasionally give them diaper rash, sure.  But you don’t have to worry about getting the diaper rash ointment all over the place once you apply it… A puppy??? Not so much.

You know how a dog will sometimes drag it’s butt on the floor when they’ve got something going on down there?  Well, apparently, the sensation of gooey, oily ointment on his bottom was not a pleasant one.  We found Simba booty-scooting along the livingroom carpet.  He’d started his butt-drag in the foyer.  You’d think that cleaning Desitin off of tile would be easier than cleaning it out of carpet…but I’m here to tell you that they both are equally challenging.  On the tile, it just wants to smear around and it's pretty resistant to most house-hold cleaning products.  The steam-cleaner we have worked pretty well on the carpet…after the 4th time or so.

Then there was the dog himself.  Despite massive amounts of ointment deposited on my various flooring surfaces…there was quite a bit still on the dog…all matted up in his fur and stuff.  Jeff had put him outside while we tried to decontaminate the house…aaaannddd…he had decided to see if grass/dirt/mud was any better at relieving the medicated sensation with more butt-dragging.  So now, Simba’s greasy hiney has dirt, leaves and grass matted in it.  Let me end this by saying it took three wash/rinse cycles of his fur to get it all washed out.  And it left a greasy residue in the tub.  I swear, Desitin was apparently the basis for the pink stuff in the Cat-in-the-Hat book that they got all over the house.  You know, every time they tried to clean it, it just got worse and worse?  It never actually goes away, you just move it around until you get it out the door.

Anyway, everything and everyone is back to normal and clean now.  We’re all exhausted though.  Here’s a picture of my tired puppy-dog.  He doesn’t look too traumatized does he?
 
 

 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Road trip

We just got back from a road trip.  My lovely, intelligent, beautiful kidlet was awarded a $3000 scholarship from an organization called the Southern Automotive Women's Forum.  They had their annual conference in Nashville, TN, where they presented her, and 26 other young women with scholarships ranging from $500 to $5000.
 
 
 
We had a great time, we were very grateful for the scholarship sponsor (Malace HR) and of course we were VERY proud of the kiddo.
 
So there we were...driving the 4 hours or so back home, basking in the success of our only offspring, when we decide to take a short break right at the Tennessee/Alabama line so that we could gas up and maybe pick up a lottery ticket.
You know how...at the county line of a dry county, you will find it lined with liquor and beer stores so that folks living in the dry county can JUST cross the county line to purchase their devil's water?  
Oh.  You don't live in the Bible Belt and have no idea what a "dry" county is.  Well, a dry county is one where the sale and purchase of alcoholic beverages is still illegal.  Like it was in 1922.  Alabama still has over 20 dry counties.  No lie.
 
Apparently, compared to Alabama, Tennessee must just be a hot bed of hedonism.  Because right there at the border?  Not only do you have the sale of booze and lottery tickets...you also have this:

 
 
 
 
All in one picture you have "Show Girls", the "Boobie Bungalow"
 
 
And a giant cannibalistic chicken with crazy eyes. (Notice the fork and knife).
 
I'm kinda wishing they sold postcards.