About Alex

I am a 41-year-old survivor. A mother of four and stepmother of 5 neither a 13 year failed marriage or a 7-year successful one have taken me out. The children aged 10 to 22 wage their battles on my sanity, but at the last summit, it was decided that I am still winning that war. The world in general (bureaucracy, stupidity, intolerance, greed, lack of manners, bad customer service, and anyone who is just plain mean) threatens my equilibrium but I make a come back every time.

I am not particularly strong, determined or religious (although, I do TRY to keep the faith) but I can take a joke especially, it turns out, if it is on me.

I am born and bred a Hoosier, but have lived in New Hampshire and Connecticut long enough to find out it was time to come home to Fort Wayne. We may have been voted fattest and dumbest city in America, but our flaws become us and we are content here

When will that be ready?

It takes 16 hours to charge a new battery for a cordless phone. This strikes me as excessive. I have to admit, this is the first one I’ve bought since Clinton was president, but to my recollection the charging time was about eight back then. When I gave in and bought my first cell phone, that baby was fired up and scaring me to death in traffic in only two. With technology exploding, why aren’t the guys at the phone factory pre-plugging those things in for us? When every other industry is trying to seduce us by saving time and effort, these people are producing a product we can’t use until we have owned it for 24 hours. Someone should tell them that we are patriotic, red blooded, American consumers, and what ever it is want or a need we want it NOW.

I am not a fan of the furniture people either. When he had sufficiently divotted our existing couch, my husband, Joe declared the hunt was on. After locating the perfect piece, we wrote a check and waited. The factory conveniently delivered our purchase. It was 8 weeks late, courtesy of a smelly couple of dudes opposed to belts that dropped it and broke the arm before it was off the truck.

Tragically I had enlisted my daughter’s boyfriend to haul off the old one earlier that morning. That may not constitute an emergency in your household, but considering the dedication that Joe lends to his couch slugging, someone was in big trouble around here and it wasn’t going to be me. 6 hours and 32 furniture stores later, I returned home couchless to face my doom. One salesman even admitted to having the couch in stock, in the warehouse, but they wouldn’t be able to “pull it for pick up” for three days. I say this type of disregard for an American with a credit card should be labeled a felony.

Have you ever tried to buy a refrigerator with the food rotting in the old one? Years ago this could be a disaster of epic proportions, but thanks to places like Lowe’s and Home Depot, if you can haul it yourself, at least you can pay for, own it and use it today. I know of a car lot in town that will locate the car of your dreams, buy it, pick it up and sell it to you all in one day. Hair dressers have gotten so fast you don’t even need an appointment, dry cleaning is done in an hour and pizza is free if it is not delivered in 30 minutes. There really are not too many industries holding onto to the pay now, enjoy later philosophy. The ones who are should be rounded up and sent to a prison for The Painfully Aggravating.

After all if they can’t figure out how to get it to us now, The Super Centers certainly will. These places are about as much fun as scrubbing toilets, but just as necessary. More so if you consider that’s where they keep the bowl cleaner. We may not like these guys, but they have the right idea. We have money. They want it now, period. For cash they will change your oil, print your photos, sell you a fresh coconut and fulfill all your hunting needs; and all at 3am in the morning. Americans hate waiting so much they will even go to one of these places to see a doctor. The guy who came up with that brain flash deserves a commendation from the President. Instant gratification is so instant; chances are you are being grateful for something you didn’t know you needed when you left the house before you even get home.

As soon as I finish this, I am emailing my ideas directly to the CEO of Wal-Mart. Things are gonna change my fellow Americans and all we have to do is wait.

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Not the Brady Bunch

I heard it again today. “WOW! Just like the Brady Bunch!” Jeez, I am tired of it. Actually, we are the polar opposite. We have nine children. Four are “mine” and five “his” and last I checked I was co-starring with myself as the housekeeper. If we could lose three children and turn divorce into bereavement we might be onto something, but until then, forget the sitcoms, this family is a reality show with no laugh track.

Mrs. Brady never had to wake belligerent children aged 8 to18 at 6am. Nor did she have to transport them to 5 different schools 40 minutes apart all before 8 am. Mike was never laid off, she never needed a job, the kids didn’t do dishes and they always had clean towels. In their world, following the rules resulted in a happy ending in half an hour. In our world, the trouble never ends and if it did everyone would be pissed.

We had a family meeting once explaining that there were no “mine” and no “his”. We loved all the children equally as an extension of our love for each other. It was a lovely, touching, not one dry eye in the house moment. Everyone hugged, said, “I love you”, went to their rooms and promptly chose sides. “His” agreed I was the problem, “Mine” agreed if they just hung in there HE would go away. Seven years later the only thing they all agree on is “old people” love is gross.

“My” ex hasn’t made a voluntary child support payment in ten years. “His” ex has four college degrees, won’t get a job and recently decided that 15 years of faithful support is just not good enough. We are not the Brady’s. We aren’t the Huxtable’s or the Cleaver’s. We couldn’t be Jon and Kate…we love each other.

Carol Brady never had to bail a kid out of juvie for shoplifting. Her kids never puked in the middle of the night. They certainly never uttered the words “I HATE YOU!” Those kids ate their vegetables, brushed their teeth, went to bed on time and wrote essays that testified to the greatness that was their parents. I am NOT just like Carol Brady, but we did have one thing in common. Enough is enough. Neither one of us was dumb enough to ever have an “ours”.

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So you want to be a Mommy…

So let’s talk about PARENTING.  I have a lot of experience.  I have given birth to four children.  I am a stepparent to five.   We had a close call when Conner arrived three months early and Adrian seriously almost put an eye out, but I am proud to announce I haven’t lost one yet.  In fact, the two oldest are launched into the world and making a more than reasonable run at being responsible adults.

I get asked for advice all the time.  I do my best to help, but in truth there is only one hard, cold lesson I have taken away from the experience.  Whatever theory you study, whatever psychology you use to make sense of the experience, whatever totally unique personality God sees fit to entrust to you, there’s just one thing to do…prepare to be hated.

There is not one thing you will do in your life that can prepare you for this job.  Nothing else will ever bring you such soaring joy or all consuming pain.  You will be proud, confused, irritated, tickled, tormented, tortured entranced and amazed.  What you will never be…is sure of yourself.

If you work you will think you should be home and there will be people (mostly your children) telling you should be.  If you stay home there will people telling you to GET A JOB (mostly your kids) so they have a college fund.  If you spank you should use time outs, if you use time outs you’ll be “sparing the rod”. You won’t be right… ever…that much I know for sure.

These people, who you went to the trouble to give life to, will look you straight in the eye and tell you exactly why and with clarity just why you suck and why you are the stupidest human being on the planet.  They will lie, cheat, hate each other and make you crazy all in the same hour.  They will also learn, share, love and achieve greatness.  But not without doing their best to make your life miserable first.

I leave you a few moments of clarity I have lived for myself…

Don’t be fooled, children are NOT born innocent.  If fact an infant’s brain is situated somewhere in the vicinity of their heiny.  You will spend the next 20 years or so beating it up into the skull where it belongs.  I use the term “beating” loosely.  Don’t hit, it doesn’t help.

You are not doing your job if you don’t hear, “I hate you!” once in a while.  Don’t worry when they say it.  They will wreck the car and their love for you will come flooding back.

When your son pees in his own eye, don’t laugh where he can hear you.

Your parents were always right, but you won’t know that until it’s too late.

The kids won’t know about Chuck E Cheese or sugar cereal unless you tell them or some wretched kindergartner rats you out.

There is not a single, crappy, no-win job on the planet with better benefits.

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The Town Crier

I am on a list at the Post Office. My seven-year-old had information they needed to know and sang like a bird when I didn’t see it coming. “Is there anything fragile, liquid, flammable or potentially dangerous in you package?” The postman drones routinely. “Not unless scarves are scary.” I quip. He smiles and Tessa spills it, “Are glitter bombs dangerous? She sent one to Dani last week.” The truth is it was a harmless gift of baby gifts laced with glitter. They didn’t know that. I don’t know if you have ever said the word “bomb” in a government office, but don’t. They did finally release me without bail, but I think they were madder than Dani; and she is still vacuuming that mess.

The vet’s assistant thought our puppy had an adorable tail, Tessa set her straight. “You might think it’s cute, but I think you should fix it, my Dad hates pet butts.” This is a benign example of the open books our lives have become.

Tessa is a bonus baby. She came as a surprise after I was thirty and lives in a world of teenagers and grown-ups. With an “old” Mom, a father who has perfected the art of cussing and three teenage siblings she is never at a loss for sensitive information to share with the world. After parenting for all these years and not having the strength to get worked up about much of anything anymore I suspect I may have failed to give her the respect she deserves when it comes to being a tattle tale and forced her to go elsewhere for affirmation.

One of her best friends is the “Mail Lady”. She stalks this woman with a determined vehemence that is almost psychotic. “Yea, Mail Lady!” she bellows before blasting out the front door to join her during deliveries on our block. No doubt that woman knows more about my family than I do. I was in charge of hosting a baby shower. Being by nature anti-social, I generally reserve entertaining for when hell freezes over and my potential for failure concerned my daughter so she took it straight to Mail Lady. The next day I received a bag full of shower games and a party planning book in addition to the mail. Mail Lady got a thank you note but all of Tessa’s confessions are not as appreciated.

Her sister turned a spectacular shade of purple, when their Nana was informed Sissy had been kissing on her boyfriend. Conner would have died happy if I never heard he liked to make “handsome faces” in the bathroom mirror. Adrian, our oldest was beaten profusely (A was a hitter) when Tessa told Girlfriend A about Girlfriend B. Her entire class knows not to even look at me before I have had my coffee, and my Mom, who lives 900 miles away, knows our next door neighbor had his “‘lectricity shut off.” Tess grinned at the cashier at the Super Center before saying I hate that place and would rather clean toilets than shop there.

Essentially, our privacy died along time ago and I, for one, am done mourning it. I tried to impress on her that some things are sacred, threatened to beat her with a stick and tried to confine her to the house. The stick thing was a really bad idea, that didn’t go over well with authorities (no charges again, but I am pushing it) and keeping her home only gives her new ammunition. After months of careful consideration I found a solution and we have come to an agreement. I confirm that people really do need to know and it is definitely her job to tell them. I even collect tidbits for her arsenal, just as long as she agrees to tell it on her father.

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More on Conner

This is not the smartest thing I have ever done. All my children have threatened me with varying levels of torture if I drag them into this. I briefly considered changing names to protect the innocent, but that would imply that they are innocent. So while I do appreciate the fair warning, I have decided to ignore it.

Conner was a big hit yesterday, so I thought I would share a little more about him. True he is currently the best at making my life miserable, but just as true he’s usually mad at me anyway, leaving me nothing to lose….

“Yes, Conner there really is a school, and yes you must go there.” This needs to be written, so hopefully I will never have to say it again. In his defense, I started this child in full day pre-K when he was four. He was a preemie and always especially attached to me. I thought the early start would help him to bond with other people. Truthfully translated, this means he was my 3rd child and I was ready to get him out from underfoot. I have been paying the price ever since.

In ten years, he hasn’t had a healthy morning. He has gotten up with ailments running the gamut from swollen toe syndrome to hair cancer. He has heard, “Suck it up, you’ll feel better by first period” so many times he has stopped telling me he is sick and started living it. The child has developed a proactive list of symptoms, directly related to the questions that have foiled him before. When called to get up, he begins the day with a weak groan and a pathetic ok. Shuffling to my side, he slumps pathetically, and radiates illness. A weather delay is his first hope so he checks the news and then the games begin.

“Mom, does everything feel cold to you?” means he has a temperature. “Yes, Con, I just got out of bed and it is WINTER, everything IS cold.” That is the signal to drag him self to the shower, but not before a well thought out delay, that is an expression of the effort it will take. Clean, but in his boxers, he returns for round two. “Shower help?” I Inquire. “I feel like I have to heave, but I can’t.” Avoiding eye contact I reply, “Good, I’d rather you didn’t. Eat something, you’ll feel better.”

I feign support by getting his allergy medicine every morning, but we both know he is cursing preventative medicine and praying for the sinus infection. Sane people would rather serve jail time than have that particular malady, but this child is dedicated to his art. Years of fine-tuning his warfare result in a performance not for the faint of heart. Nose blowing, until I think he is loosing brain matter, gagging in my face, and stomach gripping are all standards. He has tried fainting, turning blue and once he swore his kneecap was falling off. Ear boogers, fingernail pain and seizures, that all occur on the floor at my feet, are all in his play book.

7:04 and one last, “Man, I feel TERRIBLE today.” He kisses me on the forehead and trudges off to the bus stop, deflated and defeated again. Calling at lunch, by some miracle, he is well. “They need me to play my bass again, Mom. Can you bring it for me and then pick me up at five?” This is a project I was supporting until my Momdar picked up on the fact that bass playing was code for hanging out with his female fan club. I’ve been waiting years for this one. I grin and say, “Oh, Conner, I’d love too, but my hair hurts, I have ear boogers, my kneecap is falling off and I am going back to bed.”

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes…

My husband and I were just engaged in an absolutely inane, but as absolutely amusing argument about the new television show, Flash-Forward. We neither one really care much about what’s going to happen next, we have already debated ¾ of the show and missed most the details anyway. However, it’s the only show we have run into lately, that we never do quite know who’s right (at least not yet) so we are having a blast with it. Not having a better argument, I pulled out my best Judge Judy and enunciated, rather loudly, I admit, “IF IT DOESN’T make sense, IT ISN’T TRUE.” I type that LOUD because she is loud, but anywho…

In comes Conner. He is a great kid, but has the perfected the art of dissension. We can’t figure out where he got that. The difference is two-fold; he is 16 while we’re not and we laugh our way through our “discussions”. He has a deadpan delivery and flair for the taciturn that has earned him the nickname, Lifesucker. He has one word for us both on the whole subject “Bullshit!” He shakes his head and walks away. I laughed. I’m used to being harassed by him. According to him I haven’t done a thing right since 1996 when I enrolled him in full day Pre-k. Then it hit me. With all due respect to the honorable judge and God help us all.  He is completely right.

Illegal drug manufacturers have found ways of using over the counter drugs for evil. In an effort to control the massive purchase of these potentially “bad” medicines, the state decided to keep track of who was buying them. If my nose is running I have to present my drivers license and fill out the tracking sheet under Pharmacist supervision. This takes about 30 minutes and includes finger printing your first born son, so don’t leave home without him. Last time I checked there are pretty much two types of people, those who at least try to follow the rules and those who don’t. Those who don’t are commonly referred to as “Bad Guys”. They are not good. This means they have plenty of time to stock up on illicit cold medicine while the rest of us are standing in line. They are also the same folks packing Uzi’s while the rest of us are waiting on the background checks for our mace. Please note, purchasing enough Sudafed to medicate a family of 12 in allergy season can and will result in an investigation.

Generally speaking the more involved the government is the more confused I am. I think we should let non-seatbelt wearers be the victims of natural selection they were intended to be. The government (I think, I am still confused) sees it as a blatant disregard for our own lives and penalizes us for our own good. But if this is such a grievous infraction, why is the fine only slightly higher than poor parking and way lower than littering? I am thinking of relocating to St. Croix in the beautiful US Virgin Islands. Down there they still enforce the seatbelt law, but the ticket comes with an umbrella drink and the officers don’t care if you have a Bud Light in your drink holder. On second thought maybe that is a law that makes sense. If a bunch of drunks want to cruise around and kill each other they should definitely be wearing their seatbelts.

Why does it cost more to buy groceries that are organic, fatfree, sugar free or low sodium? This is what we are supposed to be eating, but we get charged more to buy less. If they tax all the bad habits, like alcohol, cigarettes and gasoline shouldn’t they tax these dietary no-no’s?! Oh geez, I take that back, I think I just gave the Governor another great source of revenue from a state hugely populated by the unemployed and underemployed. Speaking of which, didn’t I hear the recession is over?

I don’t know if my son was being his usual smartass self, or having a profound moment. I can’t ask because he has special permission to go to the midnight opening of Where the Wild Things Are. That would have made no sense in my 16-year-old world, but it’s true. I have seen the bloodshed over and over that proves children would rather spend 2 hours arguing over whose turn it is to do the dishes than spend 15 minutes actually doing them. My niece was just informed that creativity was not allowed in her art class and if she tried it again she would receive an F.

I could go on for pages about all the examples that we have all already heard and are horrified about. Things in this world are so out of whack, that our President, for whom I accord all due respect, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Not for what he has done, but for the HOPE of what is to be. I’m with Conner…

If it doesn’t make sense it isn’t true?

BULLSHIT.

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Shopping is for Suckers

There is absolutely not one good thing to be said about what has become a national pastime for the fellow members of my sex and I just don’t get it. I hate shopping, period. My loathing begins with parking lot traffic and extends all the way to the paying for anything. Most people find that an unusual quality in a woman, but my husband, Joe doesn’t care what my problem is as long as it doesn’t involve spending money, so we are pretty much on the same page.

During our first trip as a couple to the local Super Center, with no verbal plan, we slid in the oil change entrance and split up. By the time I grabbed cold medicine, a Christmas Gift and contact solution he had 65.00 worth of groceries checked out and loaded in the van, leaving me in awe, and begging to marry him.

Retailers do not make it easy to enjoy the experience. Super Centers cross-market so well, that there have been weeks I can’t afford the trip to pick up the “cheap” diapers. One six dollar bag of diapers and a $174 dollar receipt later I can’t help but wonder what was so bad about paying drug store prices after all. If anyone ever listened to me they would serve cocktails.

Home Improvement stores are a great place to enjoy a little sexual discrimination. I can walk in carrying a fixture I need to replace, dressed in nothing but cash and wander the isles for days before locating an actual employee. Joe hits the front door and suddenly the cast from a Broadway musical is there to serve him. I am still carrying the cash, but no one, including the cashier seems to notice. I know this because she always hands him the change.

Don’t think I make exceptions for clothes either. I never have anything to wear and I don’t care. Besides my cash suit, I own 1 pair of blue jeans with a hole in the butt, 2 pairs of shorts, 18 pairs of sweats that don’t fit because I refused to try them on and 4 shirts I bought in high school. Joe has begun to protest the hole in my butt and actually suggested I buy some new clothes. I settled for camouflaging the hole by wearing his shirt.

My best friend makes it her mission to drag me kicking and screaming to the nearest mall no matter what the occasion. I pass the shopping hours constructively, sitting on the floor by the fitting room pouting. She counters by finding things for me to try on and nagging me until my ears bleed. At this point I have to strip naked in front of a 3-way mirror under fluorescent lights. If I liked seeing myself naked I would put a mirror in the shower.

The worst of it is grocery stores. The children can consume 6 boxes of cereal and a side of beef before lunch and since Joe gets paid for his job, I have to put down my typewriter and be the shopper. I cannot physically make myself pay a dollar more for a bottle of ketchup when I know which store has it for less, so I fuel my own fire by hitting at least 2 a day, where I always have a buddy.

My buddies are the shoppers that are oblivious to grocery etiquette. They pop up every other isle to impede your progress before beating you to the checkout. These people always have issues with the cashier and always pay by check. I want check writing outlawed. Haven’t you people heard of a debit card?

Now shopping on the Internet is a hobby I can deal with. You can’t get lousy service from a computer and the cross marketing isn’t too bad if you have a good pop up blocker. There is no one trying to run you over in the parking lot, no fitting rooms, no check writers, no salesmen, no hours, and you can wear your jammie pants, which is the best reason of all. Joe wore my camouflage shirt today so I am sitting at home with a hole in my butt.

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A Question for God

When the time comes for me to meet my Maker, I have a burning question for Her.  In almost 40 years of life, I have learned to answer many of the eternal questions myself. Why am I here?  Why do you let bad things happen to good people?  Or more importantly, good things happen to the bad ones?  I have experienced the pain of loss and learned to work through it and seen enough proof they do exist that I do not have to ask to ask about angels.  However, there is one whopper I can’t get past and I need an answer.  “Lord, are these people really that stupid, or do they just not care?”

School has been in session for well over a month now.  The rules for pick up and drop off, are well published, clear and easy to follow.  Every year, our dedicated vice-principal, begs, pleads and threatens until the majority of us are back in line…literally.   Every year there are the select few who persist in bucking the system, giving me an insatiable urge to get my self deputized by the Carpool Police so I can issue citations.  Picture a line two city blocks long.  Dozens of parents pointed the correct direction patiently waiting to enter the school’s circle drive.  Enter the 1981 Mercury Zephyr with a dent in the door and no muffler. He is pointed the wrong direction, and stopped in the middle of the street with his left signal on.  From where he is positioned he cannot see the end of the line but he can see that it is not moving and he is blocking traffic behind him.  Is he really sitting there in ignorant oblivion or steadfastly ignoring the chaos until someone gives in?  A newer black Mercedes (my arch nemesis) is a regular when it comes to causing trouble. We got off to a bad start anyway when she showed up sporting a naked lady license plate holder.  Every time she blocks someone in, goes for the left turn, or holds up traffic I am more convinced that it is her divine mission in life to tick me off.  In the spirit of fair play, I have to admit I guess it is just possible that she really is dumb enough to play catch in traffic.

My ten-year-old and I ventured into the neighborhood sandwich shop.  Not being familiar with the menu I took her inside so we wouldn’t hold up the drive thru. They were open during remodeling.  Two painters flanked the front counter and all but the cash register was draped in plastic.  All the tables and booths had been removed and the front window was gone.  Sporting a contact high from the fumes we approached the counter to order.  Obviously under the influence himself, although someone had issued him a respirator, the Manager greeted me with, “Is this for here or to go?”  Tessa suggested he was lonely and wanted to have our breakfast on the counter, under the plastic.  I went for “to go”.

I was feeling very sorry indeed for the “dotty old man” in front of me at the grocery.  He was wearing a 1976 Bicentennial T-shirt, what appeared to be, from my angle (but surely couldn’t be) his boxers and a pair of galoshes.  Figuring him for a lonely, neglected widower, I was cursing what must be, his ungrateful children.  He noticed my selection of whole-wheat pasta and turned to chat about healthy eating while we waited.  After getting a glimpse of what was indeed the fly on his boxers and thanking the above-mention Maker for the button fly type; I discovered that “poor man” was a witty, charming husband and grandfather. He was doing the shopping for Sunday dinner that he liked to cook it himself.  I never did have the nerve to inquire as to just exactly where he lost his pants.  Perhaps that would have cleared the whole thing up, but I doubt it.

Yes Lord, I am definitely going to need the benefit of Your Infinite Wisdom on this one.  I did actually forget my bra once, when the youngest lost her shoes before school; but in 22years (and nine kids) I have never met the drama that made me forget my shirt.

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No one could make this up

The General StoreThe whole mess started with an upgrade at the Cable Company. My husband, whose hobbies include couch slug, was a Platinum Customer. There were 3 boxes in the house every channel known to man sprinkled in with a few that aren’t, not to mention Internet. Our monthly bill far outweighed our mortgage, but when it comes to hobbies no expense should be spared.

A good majority of our neighborhood’s service was taken out due to a “glitch” during an upgrade, the repair required a Cable Guy. Now one of the perks of being a PLATINUM CUSTOMER is the cable company’s prompt attention…2 weeks from Thursday. I briefly considered moving to Aruba, but gave it up in favor of sitting around from 8am-1pm waiting for the cable guy. That guy is a professional. It must take higher education to perfect the art of showing up when people are in the shower, or timing a drive by in the rain so he can’t do “line work”. We had no sooner corrected the original problem than a thunderstorm took out our service again.

In a month’s time our cable worked about 10 days. In my defense, any housewife might get the wrong idea. We were going out a couple nights a week. Chores must be more entertaining than thumb twiddling, because the children were doing them. The family room stopped looking like nuclear devastation and started looking like, well, a room. The seven-year-old gave up hitting and my 13-year-old replaced online video games with sleep. The real nail in my coffin was a couple of bike rides with my husband. This honeymoon period with my family led me to suggest we unplug for the summer. The children knew I was nuts, but Dad went right along with me and this is where it starts to get ugly.

He came home from work with a truck (this is really an Astro Safari van, but we don’t tell him that) full of scavenged lumber. He had been inspired to build a doghouse. Our 18-pound terrier/collie mix ended up with a house that is big enough to sit 3 full-grown adults. It might help to know that he is generally parked right up my butt (the dog not my husband) and cries if I close the bathroom door on him, so you can imagine how impressed he was.

Unfortunately, my husband was entirely too impressed and his new hobby was born.
The second project was to be a modest 6X6-foot shed for the garden tractor. Yeah, right. If there is one thing the self declared “His Royal Majesty King Shit of the Carpenters” is really good at it would have to be under estimation. After 3 days of trucking in lumber, he pulled out his tools, including one you have to be twenty-one to buy and used them to frame 11-foot walls. The tractor shed got a second story and was trimmed out to resemble an Old West Saloon. His Majesty dubbed the backyard “The Wild West” and the building boom was on.

Completion of his town involved my learning how to roof, because His Majesty informed me, “I am a carpenter, NOT a roofer.” I’ll let you guess what I had to say to him. However, it became obvious he was not coming back in the house until the town was complete and he had already moved on to a new project. Turns out, you can learn to roof from the directions on the back of the shingles, in case you ever need to know.

Three Years Later:
I have a gazebo for my garden. No, I did not garden and I was not planning on starting. We have a horse trough, hitching post and a water tower. The tractor shed turned Saloon houses his carpentry tools. There is a two-story General Store with wood floors, electricity; air-conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave and hand crafted trim. Our 19-year-old daughter approves she spent her summer home from college in there and even brought her own coffee pot. I finally managed to get him back in the house by threatening to strike if I had to trim around one more building. He came in on the condition I agree to him building The Jail. He had too…there was no place to park the tractor.

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Here goes nothing

I just got the word from my brother, that my blog is ready for me. This whole endeavor is the product of years of nagging from many folks. He and the sister of my heart, his wife are the straws that broke my poor camel’s back. I am going to start sharing with the world, the stories, random thoughts and insights (if that is indeed what they are) that I have been torturing my family and friends with all these years.

I am terrified. While I am assured that, “If I write it, you will come.” I am somehow convinced that if you come, you will just as quickly, judge me the bent human being I am and just as quickly depart, shaking your heads in pity, for, “That poor, poor woman.” My lack of any sort of self-esteem has been a life long challenge and this “One small step for woman”, is a giant leap for my peace of mind.

Moving on, that is the least of my worries. I also have a long-standing love hate (mostly hate) relationship with computers that started when a TRS-80 ate my Eighth grade term paper in 1983 (I think, that was a while age to be sure). Anywho, I have only just overcome my terror of THE FACEBOOK at the unmerciful insistence of my best friend and grown children. So we (if there really is anyone out there) are about to find out if I can survive the challenge of the BLOG.

So hopefully as I giggle myself through this one. My slightly bent, but never broken constant companion, my sense of humor will make you laugh too.

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