Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beauty is in the eye of the person with cash!

A camera and coins were the goal a few Sunday's ago. We went to our first auction to look for old cameras for Mr B's collection and coins.  What we came home with was far more fascinating.
We found a framed picture of our elusive Aunt Betty.  I know there are a few scratching their head right now trying to recall who the heck Aunt Betty is.  You know……the crazy Aunt……the one people rarely talk about…..remember her?  She lived in that house?  Remember? On that street? You know who I’m talking about! She was the Crazy Aunt on our mother’s side? Remember?  Needless to say to find a framed art rendition was quite a find.

Xman picked out a 4 foot framed picture of the sea. 4 feet wide.  Wide!

When we thought it couldn’t get better low and behold we found even more treasures!  Right there on a table in a tidy pink box was the most adorable navy blue vintage 1950 turban style hat. It’s gorgeous and screams 1950’s cool.  Now I know what you are thinking, where will she wear such an awesome hat?  I have no freaking clue!  I don’t own any 1950 throwback garb that also happens to match a navy blue hat.  This is what you do at an auction, buy strange shit you don’t really need. UPDATE: I have since tried on the hat and with my ears it doesn't look as 1950's cool as I thought it would.  It looks like I need an ear job...desperately.  

We also purchased a brass 1970’s sullen sounding gong.  Yes I said gong. 

Not to be overlooked is the five pound quartz replica of a whale pen holder.  That is quite a find!  Not often do you find a pen holder that IS ALSO a replica of a whale.  Even if you do it's never five pounds.  I can feel your envy even from here.

We aren’t done yet people. We also found a brass incense holder (at least we think that’s what it is) from India, a Mickey & Minnie mouse figurine, two Chinese dragon sculptures, some kind of reel to reel recorder and the last rare find was a brown velvet koala bank.  I can’t make this stuff up!  Check the pictures for proof.

What even is this?
Is Minnie flipping us off?

By the way we did find coins and cameras but with all this other incredible stuff those pale in comparison.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reason #219: Proof School Districts Hate Working Parents

Its summertime. There are no backpacks on the floor, no lunchboxes next to the sink.  There are no permission slips to sign, no reminders to bring in 17 pencils to school the next day.  Really....17!  I think the teachers enjoy this too.  They ask the parents to bring in some odd number of things so we are forced to buy more.  I think it's a sneaky way of getting more supplies for their class.  Really the 267 glue sticks I've brought in here weren't enough?! seems as if every time I need to bring something in the package quantity is off.  Like they plan it that way. The class size: 26  Carton size of whatever I'm bringing in: 24.  So heads up to future teachers when my kids walk in with 12 extra "whatever's", don't act surprised and grateful, I'm on to you!!

Okay I'm already losing focus here.  Where was I?  Yes!  School.  It's summertime and the new school year is more than 6 weeks away and already the school has decided to screw with me.

Lets break this down really simply: School District's Hate Working Parents!

Now I know this seems rather harsh and incomprehensible but let me prove it to you.  Over the last few years our district started a "Lets teach the teachers something and let the kids go home early" day once a month.  There is probably a more official name for it, but you get the point.  Once A Month!!  Then you throw in a couple holidays where school is out and what an awesome little month of school it's become.  Except for the 6 six days my kids weren't at school.  I wish I could take 6 days off a month.  You know why I can't...because I am working.  Working!  Someone has to pay for those 267 glue sticks.  Oh yeah and twice a month during conferences the school gets out at 10:00 am.  You know 2 hours after I dropped them off someone has to be back there to pick the kids up.  You know who isn't able to do that....ME!  You know why.....because I'm working!  267 glue sticks don't pay for themselves people!!  Last week our district sent out an email about next years schedule.  I had six weeks to go before I began beating my head against the wall...!  Next year there will one day a month with a late start.  %$&^@!!  Yes, one day a month I won't have to drop my kids off until 9:30 am.  9:30!  Do you know what time I have to be at work.....8:00.    You know there will be a flyer going home that says, "By the way parents that doesn't mean you can drop your kid off at 7:40 so they can play on the playground until 9:30 even if you think it should count as extra exercise time.  Nice try!"
Bastards!  You know they will allow us to drop off our kids to the before school program on those days...and they will happily accept the money required to sign your kid in.  So the money I just made for two hours worth of work, minus what I paid to drop off two kids at the Before School Program leaves me with $.19.  Trust glue sticks cost way more than nineteen cents!

It seems like the last few protests I stood in to support teachers had nothing to do with extra days off.  Give them money!  I am beginning to understand how this might work.  This must be how the laws are written.  Section 119: Teachers will be given $.07 more per hour of pay if this bill passes.  However we will take away four school days from the year and they will be considered unpaid."

So starting next year on those late start days I told my kids they have to walk to school.  It's only 14 miles and map quest says they can do it in just under 5 hours.  I promised I would wake them early.  Lets just hope Bubbly B doesn't lose his water bottle right away or those Late Start Days will be a bit rough.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Jugglers Tale

It's all about balance.  Every little thing given ample time and attention while precariously hanging in the air.  This is  my life.

(Sorry I left for a minute, I'm back now, the cat needed water...fresh from the tap and refused to let me type until I got it for her.)

Have you ever seen those amazing jugglers who can juggle anything?  They start with a ball and slowly move up in size.  Right now I feel like I'm juggling chainsaws...on fire...while standing on a ball....on a hill!

(oops laundry is done, hang on one second)

With a second relationship the balance is precarious.

(ok, back again, sorry, the dog was eating a colored pencil.  That will bite us both in the ass later.)

Our relationship is still new and plus I really like the man and want to spend time with him.  Our kids are used to having us around and we want to spend time with them; its becoming painfully clear this growing up thing isn't going to stop.

("Go eat breakfast...just like we do every morning!" OKAY, I'm back...for good this time!)

How do you balance out time you are so short of to all the important people in your life?  How do you juggle all those balls in the air and manage to keep them all moving forward?

(Give me another minute...minor crisis brewing in the bathroom between two elbow driven boys)

It occurs to me that...."What?  Oh hell!".......

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Written Treasures by Xman

The best thing I ever did was let my boyfriends son on my computer.  I find these written treasures all the time.  There is another one he started about a boy named X and his two brothers.  Love!!  Enjoy this dramatic and comedic representation of our little family by Xman. 
(The only editing I did was to remove the kids name, this is as he typed it)

The Unrevealing Truth
By X

X, the revealer, B’s Brother
B, the reading lover
N, the smart Guy of the family
K, the kids’ mom
B, the kids’ dad
the crowd, the ones who have found out the reveal.

Scene 1. The family is at home, relaxing.

X: I’m glad no one has found out the secret.
B: Keep it down, I want to read “Wednesday Wars”!
N: Malamar-EX, use Spook Attack! Asleep!
X: How’s you like my city, guys?
Dad: It’s so large, I’m going to faint! *sigh*
K: Xavier, time for showers!
X: (Mumbling) I wish I could take a break! (aloud) I said, I’m glad I get a shower every night!
D: Like you’d ever say that!
N: Dad, be honest. You never say that!
D: Aah! My nose exploded!
X: Please. I do not see a nose lying on the ground.
N (to himself): Crazy.
Dad: You’re serious.
K: Nick, you’re up for showers! And no groaning!
N: (groan)

Scene 2. It is the day before the reveal.

B: Maybe you should just admit it. Being brothers is not a secret. It is stupid.
X: Not just brothers, family members. Of the only 900 that have superpowers, 2 of them are us.
N: I need your opinion on something. Should I type or draw today?
B: Type.
X: Draw.
N: Aaaaaaaahhhhh. Rock-Paper-Scissors, that stupid game.
Both: Rock, paper, scissors, (B: whattheheck, X: whatever.)
(B gets scissors and X gets Rock.)
X: O.K. …….


Crowd: Secret? Can we hear it?
X: One, this secret will not be a secret. Second, I don’t dang care about secrets.
N: Secret……………………..
B: You’re surrounded now. Tell the secret, or I’m outta here.
X: Fine. The secret is…..
Crowd: Come on….
X: I’m…
Crowd: Say it….
X: B’s brother.
(Everyone gasps.)
Crowd: What?!?!?
X: Yep.
B: Thanks for saying it. That’s all I wanted you to say.
X: Yeah. It’s what I just was wanting to say. (He mumbles again, “Like I’d EVER say that.)

So, have a great day, and The End!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Parade of Hell, otherwise known as the Parent Drop Off Zone

   At the school I drop my kids off each morning there are three areas for parents to drop off their kids.  The kindergarten drop off was the worst.  The first year after Kinder I snuck over to the 3rd grade side.  Those Kinder parents are nuts.  Full of emotions and chaos.  Kids climbing out the wrong side of the door, making a run back into the car if no one is paying attention, parents screaming directions out the windows and lets not forget about the parent who has to park and assist with every jacket/hat/backpack....for all four kids.  While I'm parked behind her.  Giving her death glares because my kid is at lunch already I've been there so long.

                                                 Image result for angry mom drop off zone meme

   Okay...maybe not lunch, maybe I exaggerate.  There is a man who cut me off so many times that every time I see him at a school function I stop short in front of him because....well because I'm like that.   I know I sound kind of shitty but please bare in mind that it's 7:40, I've had only one cup of coffee and likely I screamed like a banshee to get my kids out of the house so I could pull into the parade of hell, otherwise known as the Parent Drop Off Zone.

   Well I hoped the Third Grade drop off would be better, I was wrong.  This morning was no different.  The 3rd grade area is a little different, it's actually a bus drop off area AND a parent drop off area.  Two different areas clearly marked by the painted curb, the letters sent home by the principal at the beginning of the year and third by common sense of your SUV idling by the side of the curb and the BIG ASS BUS in your rear view mirror honking.  At you!   See the bus drop off area is right next to the school gate and is big enough to park three buses.  Then the parent drop off area begins.  The rules are simple; pull up to the parent drop off area, let your kid out and leave.  Now it also means that you pull up behind the car already parked in the parent drop off area.  This morning I worked my way to the front and parked to let my kids out.  Two buses were parked in front of me.  Just as I'm about to pull into oncoming traffic...oh look it's Super Mom in her minivan!  She stealthy pulls right in front of me (not in the parent zone but the bus zone).  Why....because her kid is entitled.  Her kid should not be forced to walk the 8 extra feet to get to school.  Her kid doesn't have to wait in three car line as the other kids have to.  Her kid is special.  Clearly more special than mine.  She should be allowed to drop her kids off wherever the hell she wants too and screw the rest of us. 

Am I a little impassioned about this? Hell yes. Is it justified? Hell yeas.  I hear constantly about our kids being "too entitled" blah blah blah....!  You now why....because of Moms like this.  Follow the rules, how about that?  Make your kid walk the 8 extra feet, how about that?  Don't carry your kids backpack for them while they walk to school, how about that?  Make your kid learn to be responsible for his actions because he saw his parents do it, how about that?

   Needless to say the Third Grade Drop Off Zone isn't going well.  I no longer have hopes that the 5th grade side is any better.  I've considered adding bull horns and bazooka to the top of my car.  Neither will get me better gas mileage though.  So I will have to start dropping my kid off around the corner.  That way they can walk to school, like I did.  Appreciate the exercise and maybe save their Mother from having to get anti-anxiety meds just for school drop off zone.

Friday, September 4, 2015

I Was Wrong

   As a single mother with the task of raising two boys I told myself I could be all that they needed. Granted my boys do get to see their father.  I told myself that weekend contact with their father was enough for two growing boys.  I was wrong.  I underestimated the impact a man has on boys when he is living under the same roof.  I didn’t make the decision to live with a man easily.  I know people who have moved their children from boyfriend to boyfriend’s house and I know the impact can be devastating.  I told myself if I was just worked harder and taught independence it would all work out.  So when I moved in with my boyfriend I didn’t give much thought to the impact I would see.  My own parents were divorced and I knew firsthand the struggle a kid can have with a step parent.  My expectation lay only in that they be respectful and be friends.  Even a friendship I knew could waiver but a level of respect was important. 

Last night my eleven year old son ran downstairs when my boyfriend came home from work, anxious to show him the final step in his braces had happened that day.  I was stunned.  He was exuberant and prideful and wanted to share his news with my boyfriend.  I loved seeing it.  My eleven year old has felt the impact of my divorce the most.  He craved a “house” to live in but I think what he craved even more was a family to have in that house.  Sure we were a family in my apartment but to him it felt like something was missing.  This house, even though it is someone else’s with new people in it, feels more settled and more like a home. 

I watch my boyfriend and I can see the impact he has.  He doesn’t allow whining and says so but does it in a way that the kids know it’s because the behavior is unacceptable and boys don’t behave like that.  He has rules and most come from the same rules his father set forth to him but he passes those down and my kids respond and listen and follow them.  We both know they won’t always and we know the teen years are closer than we care to admit too.  But these rules, this life is being laid out for them.  It’s an expectation of respect, trust, interest in them as people, and fun.  Although as a mother I give that to them, my boyfriend gives it to them differently and it was exactly what they were looking for.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

When Blending Becomes Chopping

"Blending A Family"

I love this phrase.  Such an idealic scene ensues.  A woman baking away in a kitchen with an apron wrapped around her waist.  Her man standing by with a supportive arm around her shoulders and little children gathered around while she gently stirs the goodies in the bowl.

Blending a Family is probably the furthest thing from that image.  I've done a bit of research and no one is talking about it. You know why.....because no one is blending!

We are chopping. Grating. Grinding!!  I admit, "We Are Chopping Our Family" isn't as quite a socially acceptable phrase.

Have you ever baked bread?  You mix a few ingredients together, add the yeast place a towel over the bowl and let it rise.  All that gooey goodness warming and rising.  Several hours later when that beautiful round ball is ready we peel back the towel and beat it into submission.  That is what blending a family is like!!

Some days mixing his and mine are easy, idyllic.  Other days we feel a little war torn and exhausted by the end of the day. The hurtles are real and blind side us usually at the dinner table.  Some days require a bit more mingling, others require a bit more fusing of the ingredients and some days you need to throw out the whole bowl and start all over again the next day.  

Everyday is different.  
Every moment is real.  
Every opportunity is great and I wouldn't miss a minute of it even if I could.