Saturday, June 30, 2007


The boys finished the regular season last night by winning both games of their double-header. To say that they were happy would be a vast understatement and, I think I speak for all the parents when I say how proud we are of them. These boys have come such a long way from last year’s losing season and they did it with good humor and a sense of sportsmanship that belies their young ages.

To celebrate, Hugh and I took The Girl and the Man-Cub out for Chinese. Then, while still high on the euphoria of the win; Hugh stopped at the local fireworks stand and purchased enough fireworks to light up the entire sky on the 4th of July. I’m still not sure what possessed him but; the night of the 4th at Casa de Chelle should be AWESOME.

The Man-Cub is doing great. We are managing the pain from his broken wrist with nothing but over-the-counter children’s Tylenol and it seems to be effective. He was an awesome dugout manager for both games last night and he is looking forward to repeating his performance at next weekend’s tournament. At which, by the way, we will be seeded #1. Because....

.....did I mention, UNDEFEATED!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Season Ender

Earlier today, the Cub discovered that he is not, in fact, a Superhero and therefore, cannot fly. Well, maybe he can fly but his landings suck. In short, he broke his wrist after falling (jumping with the intention of flying) out of a swing at the daycare.

In typical Man-Cub fashion, he didn’t cry about the pain, instead, choosing to suck it up and soldier on. But, once the wrist swelled to a nice plump ham hock-looking specimen, the director of the daycare could indulge him no longer and called Hugh in for a consult. He agreed with her determination that an x-ray was probably called for, alerted me and; off to the ER we went.

The Cub finally cried upon receiving confirmation of the fracture. Not because it hurt but, because he realized that his baseball season was over, two games and a tournament short of the rest of his team.

He recovered his good cheer once I promised that he could be the dugout manager rather than a bench-warmer at tonight's double-header and, once again; all was right with the world.

Even better; his streak of annual visits to the ER remains intact.

On a related note; if I survive his childhood, it will be a miracle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Could Make Millions!

Of course, the people who need to read it, wouldn't.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bittersweet, Like Chocolate

As expected, our weekend was bittersweet. The Man-Cub’s baseball game on Friday night went very well; the boys beat the only other undefeated team in the league. They were not happy. And, by that, I mean the other team, obviously. Actually, I’m not entirely certain that our boys even realize that they, themselves, are undefeated; they very seldom ask what the final score was after each game, more intent on playing and having a good time than on winning.

Which is as it should be.

The team BBQ after the game was a lot of fun. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and played the requisite game of ball and, I didn’t suck. Trust me; I’m as shocked as you are.

Saturday was hard. The funeral was very well attended; standing room only in the church and a procession of cars stretching over a mile between the church and the cemetery.

The mother and sister of The Girl’s friend went out of their way to comfort The Girl; thanking her for being such a good friend to him and encouraging her to stay in touch with them. They told her about finding a silver turtle figurine amid his belongings; a souvenir that he had purchased while on vacation in Mexico back in November. He bought it for The Girl, because he knew how crazy she is about turtles and yet he was too shy to give it to her; no doubt reliving the ribbing his friends had given him when he presented her with a box of chocolates the previous Valentines Day. They promised to drop by the house with the turtle and to visit once things have settled down a bit and then, they introduced The Girl to the extended family who greeted her with open arms, having already heard a great deal about her. I cannot even tell you the comfort their words and actions brought to my daughter. They are good people who have made courageous and selfless decisions in face of a tragedy that I cannot begin to fathom. Their actions have honored Brandon’s life is an amazing way.


It seems appropriate to mention him by name now whereas it didn’t before; I don’t know why. Maybe because; we learned that Brandon’s heart and corneas were donated after his death and, that because of him, an eleven year old girl in Denver has a better chance at a life and two people who were blind, can now see.

Because of Brandon. Not because he died but, because he lived. Because he was the kind of person who would want his death to bring about something good for someone else.

It almost answers why. Almost.

Sunday, the children and I spent the day with Jana’s family at Granny’s house. The kids waded in the creek and chased butterflies and snakes. They collected earthworms and searched for ripe raspberries in the garden and, at the end of the day; I had the privilege of tucking them into their beds and kissing them goodnight.

I was thankful for that chance and grateful for their presence in my life.

Which is why I didn’t rip my hair out by the roots upon the later discovery of earthworms in the bathtub.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bracing Ourselves

The past couple of days have been slightly better for The Girl but I suffer no illusions as to what tomorrow will be like; the funeral for her friend is set for two o’clock.

Hugh and I have chosen to fund a wrestling scholarship in his name; he was a good wrestler and he looked forward to each season. There are a lot of kids whose parents struggle to come up with the registration and uniform fees for the Pee-Wee program so it seemed like a natural fit; a way to honor his memory and to do something good for another little boy.

Speaking of little boys; the Man-Cub’s baseball team has its last home game tonight and we have planned a team BBQ for after the game. The parents are going to challenge the boys to a game and I’m relatively certain that I will be called upon to play. It could be ugly. In fact, I’m considering a ban on all video equipment in the park because, Lord knows; I don’t need further evidence of my inability to run without my arms flailing about as though independent from my body.

Although, if that is what it takes to get a smile out of my kid this time tomorrow; I will run a freaking marathon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fake It Til You Make It

I am not a depressive person by nature (No, really!) but; I am having a really difficult time projecting a sunny disposition lately. That said; I am trying. Why, just today I plastered a smile on my face while resisting the overwhelming temptation to tell a particularly annoying woman to go fuck herself and the horse she rode in on.

I bit a hole in my tongue while I was doing it but, I’m told; my smile was radiant.

Also, I heart the girls who work in my office, even if they don’t clean out the coffee pot.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Circle of Life

Last night, I had a lengthy telephone conversation with an old and dear friend. She recently started reading this blog (like, yesterday) and wanted to check up on me (hi hon! You might want to read this silently!). She also passed along some good news; news that brightened my day considerably.

Our conversation served to remind me that good things do still happen and that, no matter how heartsick we might be at any given moment; joy still exists. So, at the risk of getting all Lion King on you, let me just assure you that; I am no longer shaking my fists at the heavens in misplaced anger.**

My mother will be so relieved.

In that vein, last night we attended a baseball game played by the 10 and 11 year old boys. The Girl’s friend had been the pitcher on this particular team and we wanted to show our support for them as they played their first game without him. The team observed a moment of silence on the pitcher’s mound before the first pitch was thrown out. It was the first in what is certain to become a week of beautiful gestures.

After the game, we went home and The Girl completed her page for the memory scrapbook that she and her friends are putting together for her friend’s family. She included a picture of the two of them, taken at her birthday party at the local swimming pool a couple of years ago. She wrote a paragraph about her friend and specifically about her favorite memory of him; the fact that he had gifted her with her very first kiss. On the cheek. In second grade.

The Girl was obviously waiting for my reaction to that bit of news as I read the paragraph and, not wanting to disappoint her; I gasped as though thoroughly scandalized.

She laughed.

It was the sweetest sound I have heard all week.

**I did, however, consider singing a chorus from The Circle of Life whilst holding an infant over my head. I decided against it. You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Against the Tide

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to pray for my family and for the family of my daughter’s friend. You will never know the comfort that your words have brought to my heart.

The Girl is coping. When Hugh and I broke the news to her yesterday, it was as though she collapsed into herself, I have no other words, she just... collapsed. I watched a vital part of her childhood slip away in that instant and, once again, I was angry. And, helpless; helpless to comfort her, helpless to recover that lost innocence. Helpless.

Never again will she eagerly accompany her father on a “surprise visit” to my office. Instead, every impromptu invitation will be met with vague suspicion and dread of hearing bad news. I know; I could see it.

I tried to help, as we cried together, I asked her to tell me three things that she loved about her friend; three things that made him special and that she won’t forget. She couldn’t do it, she wasn’t ready. So, I told her three things that I will remember about him. I told her how much I appreciated the fact that he always included the Man-Cub when he came to the house to spend time with The Girl. I told her how polite he always was on the phone, about how he always asked how my day was going. I told her how much it meant to me that he was always nice to her. She nodded her head in agreement at each thing. But, she wasn’t ready.

Last night, the Man-Cub had a baseball game and I encouraged The Girl to go. She didn’t want to but I could not bear the thought of leaving her home alone, so I pressed. I’m so glad I did.

A group of her friends was also at the game, standing in a solemn, quiet circle. As The Girl approached, the circle opened for her, her friends drew her in; embraced her. They talked openly about their lost friend. They shared their worries about his family and about the friends who weren’t there that evening; did they have someone to talk to? Were they being comforted? They devised a phone-chain, a plan for connecting with the other children to ascertain everyone’s welfare. They are each going to make a page for a scrapbook for their friend’s mother; a scrapbook about her son and about how much he was loved by his friends.

The circle broke up and The Girl wandered back to my side. She sat at my feet and watched her brother play baseball. After a bit, she turned to me and she said

He was cute.
He gave me chocolates for Valentines Day.
He was my best friend.

They are eleven and they did more to comfort one another in that solemn little circle than I, and the rest of their parents, managed to accomplish all day. They reminded me and every other grown-up in attendance about the awesome power that friendship has to heal.

They could not answer my “why” but they provided my answer for “what now”.

And they are eleven.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I wanted to write about my Dad today. I wanted to express how glad I am that he is my Dad. Of all the people in the world I could have ended up with; how truly blessed I was to find my way to him.

I wanted to talk about how proud I am to be his daughter. How his presence has enriched my life. How everything I do, I do with the knowledge that he will support me.

And, another day, I will. But, not today.

Yesterday, a very good friend of my daughter’s drowned. Her "boyfriend” since kindergarten, he played in my yard more times than I can count and his frequent phone calls were the highlight of my daughter’s day. Hugh coached him in wrestling and I enjoyed an easy camaraderie with his mother. I had the privilege of watching him grow from a toothless five-year old into a genuinely nice young man.

And now, I have to tell my daughter that he is dead.

Why? Why? Why?

Why God?

I don’t understand. Why? Why take an eleven year old son from his mother? Why a fifteen month old baby from his parents? Or, for that matter; a thirty-eight year old man from his new wife? Why?

I am just so…angry.

I don’t want to be angry. I want to believe that everything happens for a reason. I want to believe that God is merciful. In this moment, I just….can’t. I can’t reconcile a God who would bless my life with the family that I have with a God who would allow such pain for another family that I care about. I just can’t. Not today.

And I’m so very angry at myself for not being able to.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The End Is Nigh

Last night, Hugh cleaned up his mess in the mudroom. Then he cleaned out the garage and organized his millions of tools. At one point, I saw him pick up the Shop-Vac to vacuum cobwebs from around the windowsills and from the hinges on the garage door. All of which can mean only one thing; the End of the World as We Know It. Please plan accordingly.

This morning, I dropped the Man-Cub off at Scout Camp. Before I left, we went over his schedule of activities for the day and his eyes just about bugged out of his head when he learned that not only would there be swimming and fishing, but also whittling, archery and BB gun shooting. Yes, the Trifecta of Weaponry. As I was driving away, I could see him in my rear-view mirror; rubbing his hands together and cackling with maniacal glee. It’s a darn good thing the Apocalypse is already upon us.

In better news, my parents arrive today for a weekend visit. We are attending the Cub’s baseball game tonight and I’m looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing with my family; it has been a long week.

Speaking of, I finished class yesterday! And, I won the Exceptional Speaker Award which is the top award bestowed on a participant of this particular seminar. I’m quite proud. In fact, should the world truly end; I will die a happy woman.

Not that I'm rooting for the end, you understand. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


No sign of Sgt. Pepper yet therefore, no report on today's outfit.

Today is the final day of class and I am really ready for it to be over; this getting home at 5:30 crap is for the birds. Plus, since I won the Outstanding Speaker Award on the first day of class, I have been ineligible for additional awards, quite frankly, leaving me nothing to aspire to. This is a shame considering that; my demonstration yesterday on the long-lost art of Cleaning Out the Office Coffee Pot, was an award-winning performance if ever there was one.

And, while I am on that particular subject; why? Why am I the sole member of our staff in possession of this particular ability? Just, why?

In related news, Hugh returned from Reno last night. He dropped his suitcase, bowling bag, golf clubs and an assortment of jackets in a messy pile on the mudroom floor where they will remain, waiting in eager anticipation for a visit from the Housekeeping Fairy. When she fails to make a timely appearance, you may begin placing bets on which of us breaks down first and cleans up the mess.

Generally, in cases like this, I am favored, 3 to 1. Just so you know.

If I do end up cleaning the mess, I plan to express my displeasure quite vocally, in a performance guaranteed to be an award winner.

Seriously, I will do Sgt. Pepper proud.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Taking It One Decade At a Time

Today, Sgt. Pepper traded the military jacket for a power suit circa 1995. I am on pins and needles in anticipation of tomorrow’s outfit; her fashion sense might just enter this decade.

Yesterdays class went well; I was awarded the Outstanding Speaker award for the day. My parents must be so proud, especially considering the time they spent agonizing over my introversion during my youth. See, parental unit? Reading all those books under the covers with a flashlight didn’t stunt my ability to grow into a functioning adult after all!

Today, we are supposed to give a two-minute demonstration of a skill, using a prop. Class starts in half an hour and I still have no earthly idea what I am going to demonstrate. One of my office mates suggested that I demonstrate correct usage of a condom, using a banana. I totally didn’t think she had it in her to come up with an idea so wickedly entertaining and I have a new-found respect for her. Also; I am totally starting to rub off on these people.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

But, Where Is the Rest of the Lonely Hearts Club Band?

The instructor of my class just showed up and she is wearing an emerald green cropped military jacket. No, really. It has shoulder epaulets and fringe, all it is missing is a gold braid to complete the look.

This class comes highly recommended but, I’m not entirely sure it bodes well that I am taking a public speaking class from Sgt. Pepper.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Only The Lazy Resort To Blogging In Bullet Points

I just got back from taking The Girl for a check-up at the pediatrician. I hadn’t taken her for a routine physical in ages and, with her starting Middle School later this summer (I just threw up in my mouth a little); I figured it was time.

Apparently, it was more like past time since she, as it turns out; she needed five shots. Yes, five; three basic inoculations (think Hepatitis A, etc.) plus a booster for the Chicken Pox vaccine and, just for the heck of it; the first in a series of three shots of Gardisil to prevent HPV. So, that was fun.

Of course, The Girl was brave as usual, and is very happy to report that she is officially vaccinated against Middle School Cooties. Oh! And she is in the 25th percentile for weight and in the 55th percentile for height; I'm thinking of changing her name to String Bean.

In other news, our weekend was crazy-busy. I wish I had time to elaborate on it in its entirety but, I have a week’s worth of work to do today because I will be attending a class for the next three days and won’t have time to work at my usual (and glacial) pace and still get everything finished. So, I’m not lazy, I’m efficient. Thus: My Weekend In Bullet-Form.


*The Man-Cub’s team won their game Friday night 17-1.

*I ate my weight in Cheese-Its crackers and peanut butter M&Ms. PMS, anyone?


*Got a haircut and covered the grey for what I swear is the last time. Last time, damnit!

*Took the Man-Cub to the Farmer’s Market, the library, a parade and a Mexican Fiesta, where The Girl was helping a friend from school sell snow-cones to a million sweaty children. It. Was. Hot.

*Bought and planted five tomato, two basil and two cilantro plants.

*Shook my fist at the heavens and cursed sunstroke.

*Drank my weight in iced tea while rocking on the front porch as the Man-Cub played in the sprinklers with the neighborhood kids.

*Kissed Hugh good-bye as he and his bowling team left for Reno. Eyed the golf clubs that he casually tossed into the back of his buddy’s van suspiciously.

*Fell asleep on the couch while watching The Illusionist.

*Wondered when Netflix declares a movie officially Missing and charges your credit card for its full value.


*Weeded the front flower beds.

*Did enough laundry to clothe a small nation.

*Drove the children to the neighboring city to buy new shorts and capris for The Girl (because she reached the 55th percentile for height, like overnight).

*Called Hugh on his cell phone and interrupted him mid-putt on a golf course in Eli, Nevada. Well, excuuuuse me.

*Bought a pair of knee-length shorts because The Girl swore that they are all the rage and that they look good on everyone.

*Refrained from killing The Girl on the spot when she burst into laughter upon seeing me in my new knee-length shorts later that day.

*Inhaled a Starbucks venti orange frappuccino. Declared it my new favorite drink. Was seized by massive Brain Freeze and spent the rest of the day recovering from the resulting ice-cream headache.

*Watched the series finale of The Sopranos. What. The. Fuck? David Chase and HBO got some ‘splaining to do.

Which brings us to today and, as I told you, I am crazy busy. So, I should get to work. Or, to Starbucks for a venti orange frappuccino. Of course, this time I will drink it, slowly.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It’s All About Meme

I got tagged with this by Sparky Duck a while back and never quite got around to doing it because, well, I suck. Today, I was tagged for it again by Dana and I figured it was a sign or something and that I should get off my lazy patootie and just do it already so, here it is.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago, today? Um…so that’s like, what, 1997…OH MY GOD, I was stressing over the planning of my high school reunion. Ha! Sooo glad I’m not doing that again right now, no offense to Old Classmate, of course.

What were you doing one year ago?

Um….well, let me just take a lookie here in my old day planner….apparently; I was home with a sick child. Huh. That was no doubt the day The Girl tried her level best to completely expel her stomach lining. I remember it like it was yesterday; it took me three weeks and five different products to get that stain out of the new carpeting.

Five snacks you enjoy.

Baked Lays, BBQ flavor
Tortilla Chips and Mexican seven-layer dip
Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to.

The National Anthem. What! I can’t help that I’m a patriotic American.
Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
I’ve Got Friends in Low Places by the Garth

As an aside, I never claimed to have good taste in music.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.

Take my entire family and my friends and their families to Disneyworld for an all-expense paid vacation.
Travel across Europe
Pay for the education of my kids as well as that of my niece and nephews
Make large contributions toward cancer research
Advance my platform for World Peace

Five bad habits.

Diet Pepsi
Gossiping about others
Cracking my knuckles
Buying stupid things on impulse
Procrastinating at work

Five things you like doing.

Taking pictures
Spending time with my family and friends
Buying stupid things on impulse
Relaxing in a hot bath

Five favorite toys.

Pardon me for just a sec while I…toys! hee,hee,hee,hee..and done. Where was I? Right!

My Canon Digital Rebel
My iPod Nano
My computer
The GPS system in the new car
Anything that keeps the kids occupied while I play with my,!

I know I am supposed to tag someone else with this but, everyone I would tag has already played so; I guess we will just have to come up with something new, now, won’t we?

You Don't Say...

...I would have pegged myself more as a dirty Merlot.

You Are Chardonnay

Fresh, spirited, and classic - you have many facets to your personality.
You can be sweet and light. Or deep and complex.
You have a little bit of something to offer everyone... no wonder you're so popular.
Approachable and never smug, you are easy to get to know (and love!).

Deep down you are: Dependable and modest

Your partying style: Understated and polite

Your company is enjoyed best with: Cold or wild meat

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In Which I Could Say I Told You So

Just got an email from Old Classmate, you remember Old Classmate, the poor sap who volunteered to plan our 20th High School Reunion? Of course you do. Anyhoodle, the email was sent to everyone in our class for whom she has an email address and in it, she was Very Angry. Angry and disappointed and disgusted that a larger number of our classmates had not yet bothered to RSVP for the event. Angry, disappointed and disgusted that she had only received a handful of checks from those who had responded (mine being one of them, of course). Angry, disappointed and disgusted that our class is so lame! If she doesn’t have those checks in hand in another week, she is canceling the whole thing! That’s right; she will take her ball and go home.

I laughed, y’all. Hard.

And, I said a little hallelujah and got myself a donut from the break room.

After some reflection however; I came to the conclusion that the Very Angry email will illicit a prompt response from those members of our class who can be counted upon to attend the reunion and that it will scare off the losers amongst the set (which, really, isn’t such a bad thing) and thus, the reunion will go on as planned, although slightly less well-attended than idealized by Old Classmate. So, Operation Hottie by July shall recommence.

Right after I eat this donut.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Which Our Parenting Practices Could Be Called Into Question

We played our first baseball game of the season last night and, by we; I of course mean, the Cub and his teammates because it certainly isn’t like the other moms and I were out there playing our hearts out and, I digress.

Run on, sentence, run on!

Anyhoodle, the boys played an awesome game and with the final score of 17-2; we won by a record fifteen runs. Of course, had we won by even one point, it would have been a record for us; we didn’t play quite so well last year. No, wait that’s not entirely accurate; we won one game last year, ironically; also by one point but, who’s keeping score right? As long as the boys have fun and learn the fundamentals, that is all that matters.

And, let me tell you, Hugh and his co-coaches put the fun in fundamental; the boys have a blast at every practice.

In news of my other child, you know, the one with a job, I am pleased to report; responsibility looks good one her. Yesterday, we let her ride her bike to work after spending an hour alone in the house between the time Hugh had to leave to take the Cub to wrestling camp, the time I had to leave to be at work and the time that she was actually scheduled to start her shift. She was fine; she even called my cell phone to let me know that she was leaving the house. She called again when she arrived at the store, two blocks away to playfully inform me that; "the eagle has landed, mother".

She’s been trained well.

On a side note, I cannot believe that I just told the Internet that I left my daughter home alone. I suppose I should mention that we have an alarm system and that my daughter has a blackbelt in keriyaki which, while being one of the lesser-known Martial arts, is the most deadly. Also, we own a vicious attack dog. Oh! And guns.

And, just in case that doesn’t deter you, I should also mention that my daughter is not a morning person and that she has been staying up waaay past her bedtime, lately. Also, she seems to have developed a strange fungus on her tongue recently and, while we can't be entirely certain; it is probably contagious. And, deadly.

Be afraid, would-be-stalkers, be very afraid.

Monday, June 04, 2007

It Takes a Long Time to Grow and Old Friend
- John Leonard

Friday evening, the kids and I met Jana at the pool for the D-Man’s eighth birthday party. While the kids splashed around in the water, Jana and I cut the ice cream cake and mused over the fact that the Man-Cub and the D-Man have known each other their entire lives.

Minus the eight months that the Man-Cub was alive before the D-Man, that is. But, since he was mostly unaware back then, those eight months totally don't count. Which means that the boys have been friends since the cradle; that’s pretty cool.

Sunday evening, Hugh and I hosted a BBQ. The guests of honor were Oscar’s best friend since childhood and his wife who were visiting from New York. Oscar and Ira get together about once every couple of years to relive the good old days and it was really sweet to watch two grown men rag on each other like long-lost brothers; I could only wonder if the Cub and the D-Man will end up like that.

I can think of worse things.