Hi, Mom! Can I ....?

Last night's scenario:
Daughter hates mother.
Daughter thinks mother is insane.
Daughter mocks mother.
Daughter tells mother that she is completely crazy and that she'll "Call the Cops" if mother touches her.
Cell phone rings and mother picks it up to turn it off.
Daughter says, "Don't touch my phone. You don't pay for it."
Mother says, as she takes the bread from Daughter's hand, "Don't eat that! You didn't pay for it."

Tonight's phone conversation:
Daughter: Hi, Mom. Is it OK if I go out for my birthday?
Mom: Whatever works for you, Honey.
Daughter: What does that mean?
Mom: It means whatever you want it to mean.
Daughter: So, can I stay out past midnight?
Mom: Why are you asking me? You snuck out from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. the other night. Why would you ask my permission for anything?
Daughter: Because I want to know if it's OK to stay out until 2.
Mom: What am I supposed to say?
Daughter: You're supposed to tell me whether or not I can stay out until 2 a.m.
Mom: You came in at 4 a.m. the other morning. Why are you asking me this tonight?
Daughter: Because I always ask permission before I go out.

Mom: Do whatever works best for you, Honey.
Phones disconnect. Mom looks around the area for either an ugly, stupid dog to kick or for a chocolate eclair to gulp down. Opts for having Handsome Husband lock all of the exterior doors and windows. Wants to know what Beautiful Daughter will do when she comes home to a dark, completely sealed up house...that her mom and dad PAY FOR!
Handsome Husband points out a potential problem. Shit! He says, "What about Silly Son? You'll have to tell him that he cannot open any doors or windows for Beautiful Daughter."
Mom says, "We'll just make sure he has a nice, loud fan running in his room so he won't hear Beautiful Daughter when she comes calling at, oh, say, 3 a.m."
Handsome Husband and I BOTH know it won't work, but the plan seems fun and makes us feel in control for a minute or two. At this point, a minute or two is pretty, darned good.


Ebay Geocacher

Wah, wah, wah...

turns to...

goodie for me!

I won the Magellan on ebay. It wasn't as cheap as I'd wished, but I have it on the way, via FedEx.

It wasn't cheap, but it's worth it to me, cause Carnivorous Hippy and I are summer playmates and we like to hunt for stupid treasures under rocks, logs, within poison ivy and poopy trails. I think we must think we think other people think it's cool to do something that really is, well, stupid.

Oh, yeah---my car is now a Travel Bug


Big Party Tonight!

We're celebrating Beautiful Daughter's 18th Birthday and her graduation from CHS tonight! I've created 7 salads for the occasion, as well as purchased various breads, veggie snacks, crackers, and beverages! I've strung lights throughout many garden spaces, set up the fire pit area for s'mores, and set up tents for any sleep-over kids to hit when they can't keep their eyes open any longer. There are 2 big cheesecakes, chocolate cake, and much more!

Now, about this HOT WEATHER! See, the last time we threw a big shin-dig was on that Friday awhile back where the temp. soared above 100! More than 90 people came for the party and I was sick all of the next day, due to heat exhaustion!

Today, Handsome Husband will be installing the little window-unit AC I bought from my mother. Hope that helps...


I Drop Things

I do.

I drop glasses.

I drop plants in pots.

I drop keys.

I even drop my dirty clothes on the floor at the end of the day.
I don't think I've ever dropped a baby, but my mom dropped my youngest brother on his head when he was only 2 weeks old. She was standing in the backyard, smoking a cigarette. The cig fell and she wanted to grab it before it hit the ground. She dropped the baby, but saved the Kool 100!

Yesterday, however, topped all. I've been really, really sad about it. I dropped my Magellan Sportrak Color GPS Unit.
I've dropped it many times before. As a matter of fact, it was in ugly shape, with several types of tape holding the back on, a piece of blue tape holding the batteries in, and several chips on the front buttons. However, it has always managed to survive prior droppings. I even forgot it on the roof of my friend's car once while hiking in Northern California. We were driving along a gravel road near Mt. Shasta when I heard something bounce off her trunk! She quickly stopped and there is was, my GPS, broken into 3 pieces. I always seem to have duct tape with me, which is also called "The Substance of the Universe" for folks who are members of the SCA, and I put it back together!

This time it fell out of my backpack as I was coming into the house. Our large entry is all white, hard tile. BAM! It hit the tile on its head! I then watched as the Liquid Crystal Display broke and spread like ink all across the screen.

Since that time, I have driven to a freak-a-zoid's mobile home to look at another Magellan he had posted on Craigslist. OMG!!! The house was filled with cigarette smoke, a dog tried to bite me, and the unit wouldn't even turn on! I asked him if he'd been using it for hunting or geocaching and he said, "Nope. A buddy of mine owed me some money, so he gave me this, instead." It wasn't even the same unit as mine, but it was close.

Then, I found one on ebay and have been bidding throughout the day, hoping to win. Finally, I'm the highest bidder. See, the Sportrak Color is no longer manufactured, so I have to rely on finding a used model somewhere. Why try to get the same unit as I broke? Well, I've invested more than $100 in optional equipment, including a car charger, USB adaptor for uploading maps, and a holder for the car.

I hope I win on ebay. The original unit was about $395 at a sporting goods store. My current bid is $112.50.



Making a List

Cop 1: Well, Officer Jim. Looks like we have another coping mom in the area.
Cop 2: I think we should avoid her for a few days, Bob.
Cop 1: Good coping strategy, Jim.
Cop 2: Let's go out for a martini after work.

Silly Son and Beautiful Daughter are back at the house for the week.

Immediately, my level of anxiety goes whack-o. I prepare myself for their return, saying a common mantra, "Oh, Lord of Nature, God of Calm, High Priestess of Conflict-Avoidance, give me peace!

The goal this week? Conflict avoidance.
The interior goal (the one in my brain cavity)? Calm.

The coping strategy? Nature.

However, Handsome Husband's first words to me this morning threw all of my goals out for a bit.
"Hey, when I got up this morning, the kids left all of the exterior doors open, there are eating utensils and bowls all over the living room and in the guest room, and the dogs were outside all night. I also don't think your daughter is in her bedroom. Maybe she was out all night."

Ack! My stomach began to roil
Biff! My eyes welled up.
Zing! I said, "This week's goals include conflict-avoidance, calm, and nature."

I repeated the mantra, over and over, but it didn't work very well. So, I stood up and said, "We have no power. We are but mere puppets on their stage. We cannot teach them anything at this point. We must duck and spin around in order to avoid the shit they will fling at us. Let's start right now. Repeat after me; 'conflict-avoidance-calm-nature, conflict-avoidance-calm-nature.'"

Hey! It kind of worked! Handsome Husband looked at me with fire in his eyes, then he grabbed his stuff and headed out for his truck. I returned to making my list of things-to-get-done-today, including several columns of overwhelming to-dos. For a brief and magical moment, life was very, very good.

I poured myself another cup of coffee and watched the variety of bird species fighting over seeds and nuts at the bird-feeding station right outside the big, bay, kitchen window.

Oh My God!
Birds have conflict!

When they land on the flat feeder, they jet their eyes and heads from side-to-side, looking for Rocket the Cat to suddenly spring at them! They look down just long enough to spy one pumpkin seed to grab, but they don't grab it. Instead, they squawk and screech, trying to lure out the dreaded hunter. Then, just as they feel comfort in dipping their beaks toward a morsel, BAM! Out of nowhere comes an awful, loud, and aggressive Scrub Jay! The jays are like my kids. I am like the stupid scared, nervous bird. Like me, the bird jumps away from the feeder, only to feel REALLY PISSED OFF that breakfast is not to be had. However, getting mad or feeling sad does no good. Now, the little weak bird is hungry, without food, and has wasted huge amounts of energy avoiding conflict with the cat...and is super-depressed and angry at the Scrub Jay...who doesn't give a care...so the little bird loses!

Now my goals for the week are completely blown! If my idea of having the Lord of Nature intervene on my part was to be effective, I would have to see that nature, itself, does not have conflict!

Now, about those other gods; God of Calm and High-Priestess of Conflict-Avoidance can come through for me, this will be a good week. I think I'll do these things in order to create the needed success:

1. Follow my list of things to accomplish to a "t."
2. Smile all day long.
3. Say, "Whatever suits your fancy," each time a teenager asks me a question.
4. Make use of the martini shaker at 6:00 each evening.
5. Go pull a weed from the ground, lay it on the roadway, and burn it with my super-cool, flame-thrower, Dragon Weeder contraption (the one with a 5-gallon propane tank attached) whenever I feel I am not in control. By burning a weed, I'll fulfill my goal of avoiding conflict. The weed can't scream or argue. It just simply will fry up, turn black, and float off with the wind. Then, the feeling of wasting my breath on arguing comes up, I'll be all calm and satisfied.


I Could Have Done It Myself!


That's what I paid to feel good about myself! When I look down and see that I haven't lost a single pound, in spite of all of the biking, working in the garden, walking, and such, I usually find myself doing something to my hair.

Usually, it involves getting a cut at a cheap hair salon, like Perfect Look, and coloring the be-jeezus out of it, using Loreal's Feria. I do a pretty good job, actually!

However, out of feeling down about my weight and such, I decided, "What the heck? I'll have it done by a professional."

What a waste!

The appointment took 1 hour and 45 minutes! She mixed all of these custom colors together, trimmed my hair, colored only parts of it, waited awhile, and then added some platinum bonde highlights.


It looks EXACTLY the same! No joke! I gave herthe money, including a tip, and walked out the door wondering WTF just happened!!!

That's a lot of perinneals on that there head of mine!

Poison Oak is Inevitable While Caching!

Remember yesterday's blog about dirty feet?Well, the toes on my left foot drove me INSANE last night as I was trying to sleep.

I finally got up and discovered they are covered with poison oak blisters!
That is why one should not geocache in sandals in Oregon!


Dirty Feet Syndrome

Is it just me, or are your feet crackly, crunchy, and filthy all summer? I went to buy new walking shoes today (aka "tennies") and was so shocked as I removed my Teva sandals! My heels and the balls of my feet were black! I immediately went over to the sock section of Big5 and took a pack of clean footies off the rack.

As I was putting on the socks, I noticed some other interesting details:

1. my toenails, which I painted back in early April, need painting. They were hideous!

2. I have several chipped and chopped nails! I wear sandals a lot while working in the garden.

3. the tops of my feet have odd tanning. I wear both Birkenstocks (Florida) and Tevas, which accounts for the striping.

4. the little toe is useless

5. my feet stink! Sandals made of that black rubber stuff do NOT help!

I know women who have absolutely BEAUTIFUL feet! It wouldn't even matter if their toenails were painted---their feet are awesome! I'll never be one of those women...


Geocaching is Baaaddd...

So, here's one of my latest hides. Check it out! http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=7a61c345-05cf-48fc-a318-3b1f23584b50
I had a long list of things to do today, including clearing off a table that has become a mountain near the entry to our home. But, dang it! I started messing around on geocaching.com and got all wrapped up in moving my newest cache, creating 2 new caches to place today, and uploading coordinates for some near-future adventures with Carnivorous Hippy.

I ended up loading up the 2 big dogs, Jim Dandy and Dood, and convincing Handsome Husband to meet me at Crystal Lake Park after work so we could go and find 2 caches I didn't find yesterday. The dogs LOVED the water and ran like wild pigs through the grassy fields. It was hot and it was fun. We logged 2 finds and headed back home.

As we were getting into our cars, I said, "Hey, how about it I head over to the grocery store and get some good salad veggies?" HH replied, "That'd be good. You haven't been to the store in awhile." ZING! That's when it hit me! I haven't gone shopping for food since Albin arrived from Sweden on June 6! That's a long-frickin'-time-ago! Of course, we've got a huge pantry, 2 fridges, and a big freezer, so we're always well-stocked with rations.

Geocaching is bad. I don't smoke. I don't drink often enough. I have accepted that my vice is heading out the door with a GPS, water bottle, pen, and notepad. The rest of life goes on hold.

Geocaching Addicts

Wow. I left my house at 10:20 a.m. and returned at 7:20 p.m. I'd been on my bike, hunting down caches, for a very long time. Of course, being with my buddy, Carnivorous Hippy, made the day just fly by! We're "hard core," but we also know when to stop and enjoy a bit of local faire, such as Dutch Bros. and American Dream. Oh, yeah, we started the day at Noah's, feasting on bagels and coffee for energy!It's a long, lonely trip...
This is a really good way to trash a really nice bike! Thunk-a-think-a-thunk-a...

Oooo, this threat really kept me from even THINKING of taking it! Quick rehydration made the day better!
End of a loooooooonnnngggg day! Headed over to American Dream for cold drinks and good pizza!

Ummm...it was good...
Our hubbies even joined us at this point, making the day even better! We love them a lot!


Passionate Geocaching

During the school year, it's not an option. Working full-time, being a mom, owning 3 big dogs---and crappy weather keep me from feeling the urge to geocache.
Then, school lets out, the sun begins shining, and Carnivorous Hippy calls and says, "Hey, wanna go caching today?"
Then, I go online and check out all of the new caches in our area. I start reading other cachers' logs. I start entering coordinates into my GPSs. I update some files. I check the goody bags. I head out for one hunt.

BAM! It's back! CH and I rode our bikes to a cache the other day that really had us stumped. We looked like complete fools, up to no good, as we crawled, pondered, lifted, snooped at the little weird triangle park across from the North Co-op Store. We may have given up the hunt, had it not been the phone coversation with another fellow cacher who'd found this one! He gave just the right clues and within 30 minutes, we found it! Granted, that was 30 minutes after already searching for, oh, 30 minutes.
Yesterday, I put out 2 new caches. They have great names! One's called "Bend Over, Baby." The other is a tribute to one of my favorite childhood song memories. It's called, "Ode to Billy Preston." Google his name if you'd like more info.

Today, I'm heading out to meet the Carnivorous Hippy again. We plan to hit the newest caches in Willamette Park. I sat up loading coordinates into my more-expensive Magellan and discovered options it had that will make it possible for me to go completely paperless as we head onto the trails. It's good for the environment, you know, and saves our household a lot of ink!

Yea for summer!


Garden Tour on Sunday??? Who'd-a-Thought?

I think she's lost it...


I drove up to McMinnville last night to spend the night at my mother's house. She'd invited me up to attend a Summer Garden Tour with her today. The drive up was awful. I was playing some Led Zepplin while cruising the back-roads towards Independence when I came across a long, long line of stopped cars. Freakin' road work. I turned off the engine, rolled down the windows and continued listening to my tunes.

31 minutes later-yes, 31 minutes-the pilot car arrived to lead our caravan through 11 miles of road work. That's right, folks, 11 miles!

As I finally cruised into McMinnville, I saw a few signs advertising the Garden Tour. I noted that the date was different than what Mommy Dearest had said.

When I arrived at her home, I said, "Hey, the signs I saw on the way in said the tour is on June 22."

"Yeah, that's right," she replied.

Well, since today's the 2oth, doesn't that mean the tour isn't until Sunday?"

So, I took her out for dinner to my NEW favorite restaurant. It's called Thai Kitchen, right in downtown Mac. We gorged ourselves on several amazing dishes then headed back to sit in her amazing garden. She sipped a beer while I loaded some coordinates into my GPS for some happy hunting over the weekend. At midnight, I decided to head home. I didn't really want to spend the night, anyway.

at 1:00, I rolled into the driveway, half-expecting I'd see Beautiful Daughter's car there and find her inside with a houseful of friends, hitting our martini bar area.

Nah, only the dogs greeted me. Thank goodness!


I Used to Think They Were the Most Amazing Kids in the World!

Not so much.
I had always believed that I'd be a very lucky mom, whose children behaved and followed all of the rules, up until they, themselves, became parents.
Cool Son got his driver's license yesterday. We drove out to the DMV, he took the driving portion of the test, I paid the mega-bucks to get him the little card, and off we went.
When we got home, it was so funny to hear him say, "Hey, Mom, we're out of chocolate soy milk. I think I better head over to Safeway to get some more." Of course I let him go.
Beautiful Daughter and I began laughing after he left. I said, "Hey. Wanna bet he gets in a wreck in the Safeway parking lot?"
Got you! He came home safe and sound, with no dents or dings to be found.

Then, he said, "Hey, Mom, can I drive into town to show my friends that I now have my license?" Of course I let him go.

Corvallis isn't a mega-city. It's "large," but not large enough to mask our stupid children from many-a-witness. In Cool Son's case, he was seen by the ultimate witness---my husband.

Handsome husban called me around 4:30. He said, "Hey, I was driving down 10th Street when I say your minivan cruising along. There were 2 little heads in the front seats. I stopped as it pulled up to a stop sign and said, 'Hey, there, ___________.' Obviously ________ looked a bit nervous, as I followed up with, ' Aren't you supposed to wait 6 months to drive with friends in the car?'"
Now, let's back up a little...the law CLEARLY states that one must wait 6 full months after receiving a driver's license before driving with non-family members as passengers in a vehicle. Cool Son knew this. We'd discussed it a couple of years ago when Beautiful Daughter got her license...and, well, honestly, I remember saying to him, "Sure, you can drive into town. Don't pic up any friends, though."

Cool Son was napping on the couch. I calmly walked in and tapped his forehead. I said, "I thought you were different." He opened one eye, barely, and said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "I thought you'd be the kid in this family who followed simple rules."The look on his face was PRICELESS!!! I honestly wish I'd had a camera! It's one of those moments you think about when you hear Styx singing, "The jig is up, the news is out, they've finally found me. The renegade who had it made..."

I then walked over to the family calendar in the kitchen and wrote, in all caps with a Sharpie, "_____-NO CAR" and drew an arrow from Wednesday to Wednesday.I used to get so stressed out about laying down the law with my kids. Now, I actually feel some pleasure when saying something that goes like this: "I hate to be the one to burst your pride bubble, but you won't be driving for 1 full week. Oh, and you've only had your license for 5 hours!"Bwaaa-ha-ha-ha!



Rough, rough night. Teenagers invaded the house. I used to LOVE when our home was full of kids and antics, but now, eh---not so much. It's very different when your daughter is almost 18 and comes home with "kids" you've never met, just to hang out. They are really big and they take up a lot of space. They also eat food, clearing out all leftovers in a fridge in a manner of minutes. They don't relate to us "older Americans" well, since we are obviously dumb and just don't get it.

At one point, right around midnight, I decided to put away the book I was reading and go and check in on the roomful of teens. See, Beautiful Daughter had brought home her good girlfriend and 2 other large boys I'd never met. Silly Son had his buddy over (who is a giant) and had been messing around on the computer. When I walked into the zone of our home where the teens had previously been hanging, no one was there. Cars were in the driveway, but no teens. Then...I heard it...a giggle through the closed office/guest room door. Oh shit! I hate dealing with this stuff! What to do? What to do?

Finally, I said, "Hey, _____ (insert daughter's name into blank)! Where are you?"

The door opened and Beautiful Daughter came out with her beaming smile and little sweet, high-pitched voice. "We're just hanging out in Albin's room." See, earlier this evening, during dinner, she was sooooooooooo nasty toward me. She's that way when she's not in complete control. However, when she needs/wants something, she reverts back to being a nice person.

I explained that it wasn't a good idea for them to be in "Albin's Room," (office/guest room) since it's the place with the big futon. I said, "Why are you in there?"

OMG! Her response is something I'll always remember: "We just wanted to be somewhere where it was quiet."

Up until 2 days ago, Beautiful Daughter was scheduled to leave for Colorado College in mid-August. My sadness about her leaving had completely dissipated. It truly is a pain living with her right now...which is a bilogical survival stage. Then...BAM! An e-mail arrived explaining that she'd been denied additional financial aid, meaning we would have less than 2 months to come up with at least $40,000. Not happening...no-how, no-way.

So, the alternatives began swirling. In spite of the fact that I think she treats my handsome husband poorly, he began doing some research. As an OSU employee, he has access to stuff, you know. He discovered through his boss that Beautiful Daughter could enroll at OSU or UofO immediately, beginning this coming Fall Semester, even though the deadlines had long-passed. My heart was happy. It would only cost us about $7000/year for her to attend a state college in Oregon.

Let the rumbling begin. Beautiful Daughter began arguing with us, as we laid out ideas for her to consider. Accusations, dirty looks, angry words...ahhhh, the life of a mother of a teenager played out in perfect synchronicity. My only fear? That she'll still be here in September. I cannot believe I just wrote that, but it's true...


A Secret Message to CK

I think I figured out who you are! (wink, wink!)
It was fun visiting the other night.
I think I'm up "shit creek" without a paddle.
I'll just remain focused on being honest and doing my best...


Just 15 Minutes...

Next year, I have a goal to open a modified NAACP program in the school in which I teach. The reasons are obvious---clearly obvious--when you walk through the doors of this school. However, in reality, it's true for each of the schools.

Check out this video. I was just in the midst of cleaning house, doing some laundry, and listening to "This American Life" on NPR when I just Googled "make a difference." Look what I found...



A Whole Day with Nothing on the Calendar...

This is the first day in 7 months that I don't have something scheduled on a Saturday! School is out, my kids are busy, my husband is home, and the weather is great! I tried to "sleep-in," but the cat woke me up at 6:45. The advantage is that I am now coffeed up, have watered all of my potted plants, checked on all new transplants, and am ready to shower and have a relaxing day! Who cares if there is 3 weeks worth of laundry to wash? I don't have to do anything today!


Hush, Hoggies, Hush

My, Oh, My.
After the argument I had with my now-graduated daughter in the yard this evening, I sure do wish I had me some of these well-behaved hogs around the place. Yes-sir-ree, I could tell em what to do and expect it'd be done...



The plot thickens...and Lorazepam really helps!

Made it through a rough day.

My work day ended with me in my doctor's office, asking to be seen.

Dr. D let me in, heard me out, and let me leave with the controversial prescription.

I feel goooooooooodddddd tonight. I was playing beach-ball Kill-Ball with the kids in the driveway. Malory, Collin, and Albin are much younger and quicker than me. I quit. Then, we talked about weekend plans. Woo-hoo...I'm trying to convince my friends, MCS and CH to go with us to the Crystal Ballroom to participate in a wild night of 70's music with DJ Victoryfoxx and a big screen of videos! Life is good, as long as I have some chemical interventions in place.


Just Keep Diggin' Those Holes...


It's never right.

In my career as a public educator, I look back and fondly remember my best days of teaching. There was a 2-year span where I teamed with a very lovely person, teaching a dual-language, Spanish-English Immersion classroom. We had 61 students, split into 2 groups. I was the English immersion instructor while my partner did, obviously, the Spanish. We used precise, research-based strategies to create a group of bilingual/biliterate children. We laughed sometimes too much. We definitely went on field trips (I think we did 14 in the 2 years we were together), and we cried when anyone in our clan was hurting, including their family members. We dealt with current events, specifically focusing on immigration laws, "having papers," and American politics.

Those days are gone. Today, I'm a 1/2-time Instructional Coach and 1/2-time ELD teacher in a school that makes me nuts! My job is simple enough, but the challenge of current, relevent issues is gone. My schedule is simple enough, but I feel sad about the amount of time I COULD be working to make a difference, but am, instead, battling reluctant and closed-minded staff.

So, I've put in a request to move my Coaching position to a different school with a much-needier clientele. I like them little guys who come to school to learn to function in society, as well as to read, write, and do a little math. I LOVE those Title I schools, with their focus on taking something that's a little "sorry" and spinning it into gold...every-single-day!

Here's the catch: I think I'll get the new position. I've just complicated my life, because I'll also be working at the previous school as an ELD teacher (English Language Development) and supervising at another school! That means...from 1 school that is less intense to 3 intense positions...and they are all miles apart!

I just keep diggin' those holes a bit deeper...


Good Thing I'm a Wealthy Public Educator!

3 trips to PDX in 2 days.
Repeat that incomplete sentence a few times.
On Friday, I headed up to the Portland International Airport from Corvallis, dragging along my good buddy, Carnivorous Hippy. We went and got Albin! He's here visiting for 2 weeks from Sweden! Up and back, filling up with gas ($59) as we left Corn-Valley, was 1/2-a-tank. Not too bad, for a 6-cylinder Honda Accord.Here's a shot later Friday afternoon in Corvallis High School. My daughter (graduating Malory), son (Colly-Wolly-Gum-Gum), Joe, and Albin (the Swede) were so happy to be reunited after 11 months apart! Albin was our exchange student from Sweden last year. We absolutely LOVE him and are so happy that Malory will be visiting him in Sweden in less than a month!

Then, headed up again on Saturday, this time with my Handsome Husband. We swung through McMinnville to pick up my mom, who was on her way to OKC to spend time with my SAB (Stupid-Ass-Brother). Took her in, got her all settled, ate some lunch at Panda Express, and said our good-byes. Hubby and I then headed to IKEA to pick up some much-needed junk (including 4 brand-new flat sheets...it's a long story involving ghosts), then into downtown for some meandering and shopping. Oh, man! I bought some AWESOME junk at a store completely filled with cool Chinese antiques, propaganda materials, and other assorted junk! Hubby is so sweet. He'll go anywhere with me, no whining or complaining!
Then, as per usual, we ended up in a cool bar with my youngest brother, Robb. He's the cool brother, all straightened out and living an excellent life in the heart of Portland. Artwork, sales job, friends, music, writing, and more artwork fill his life, as well as nightly outings for good beer and a few cigarettes. Anyway, as we were sipping our cold Laurelwood Porters, my dad called Robb on his cell phone.

Robb: Howdy, Dad.
Dad: I don't understand. How'd you know it's me?
Robb: Ummm...caller i.d., Dad.
Dad: But I'm calling you from my cell phone. Isn't that an anonymous number?
Robb: Why are you calling me, Dad?

Me: Hi, Mom!
Mom: How'd you know it was me?
Me: Oh, good god!
Anyway, Mom had been sitting in the airplane for 4 hours, not going anywhere! The plane had electrical problems and there were no other flights heading her way until 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning! DAMN!
We paid our bill and all of us, Handsome Husband, Robb, and myself, loaded up into the car for another trip to PDX! Mom was just slightly freaking out, as she isn't much of a traveler and was planning on spending the night at the airport, despite the fact that United was offering her a room in a nearby hotel. We met her outside the Departures area (she said, "How will you know how to find me?" on her cell phone............ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!! Get it?)
We drove her all over, after getting bad directions from the folks at the nearby Embassy Suites, an finally found Country Inn Suites. Guess what? There was a BAR downstairs. So, we got her settled in her room and the 4 of us headed down for some Widmer Hefeweizens and onion rings. I then drove Robb back into NW downtown Portland to his apartment, and filled up with gas. Ready for this? $61.00.
I set the cruise control at 76 as we hit I-5. Leaned back and chatted with Handsome Husband, listening to Led Zepplin's "Latter Days," making bets about exactly what time we'd be home. It was 8:41 as we entered the freeway. It was 9:54 when we pulled into the driveway. Yep...1 hour and 13 minutes from Portland to Corvallis....no cops, no brake lights, just a rockin' drive home. When we got out of the car, I noticed that there was 1/2-a-tank in the car. So, according to my calculations, that's approximately $90 worth of fuel.
Man, my rear-end is sore...


How Many Hours, You Ask?

Let's see:
Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Thursday.

That's 4 whole days + 2/3 of a day.

So, each day, my student contact time is...oh...5.9 hours. Multiply by 4...= 23.6 hours. Now, add the additional .66 hours on Thursday...and...you get...24.26 hours.
I can handle that.

Summer, even though the weather doesn't show it, is within reach.

Good-bye, students. I'm really not going to miss many of you...


In honor of Carnivorous Hippy...

Hello, Hipster!

Had a sleepless night, huh?

Hey, Babe...no stress! That blog (that's now deleted) wasn't about your kid.

Jeez...I never realized I had so much power over you! :)

Here's something to keep you awake:

George Bush is the President of the United States of America.



Ahhh...Anxiety and Home

All day, beginning at 5 a.m., I've had this nagging ache in my chest. It's indescribable, but I am very familiar with it.

I woke up thinking about Beautiful Daughter. This is her last week of high school. I'm excited and absolutely scared to death.

My intention is to have the SMOOTHEST week of our entire lives, but I know that isn't something one can really plan on. I just know I'll have to watch my P's and Q's and let things just "drift by" peacefully.

This is a very busy week, as all of you who have gone through this know. Ceremonies, visiting family, dinners, parties, and the actual last day of classes...AND...on top of it all I'll be making a run to PDX on Friday morning to pick up Albin, the Swedish-Wonder-Boy. He'll be here for about 2 1/2 weeks, so that's just one more thing on the list.

The garden is supposed to be a soothing place for work and focus, but I've just created messes everywhere today, beginning one project and starting another before I'm done. I broke a large cement base to one of my largest pots, which doesn't really upset me in itself, but with this aching chest...well, you know.

Hubby spoke sharply with me today, which was good. He reminded me to not "talk to him like dirt" when he asked questions. I guess I do that when I'm in my anxious zone, so I was glad he broke the wall down. However, there's a big part of me that's wishing I had some nice little narcotic to knock me out until it's time to get ready for work tomorrow.

One good thing...I'll be riding my bike to work on Monday and Tuesday! I fixed it all up for the adventure yesterday, lubing the chain, pumping up the tires, adjusting the seat and handlebars, and shining it all up with Windex! I bought this mountain bike in 1994 and it's still running strong!

OK, enough chit-chat...get dinner going and move on...