Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Humiliation

Growing up, the only holiday better than Halloween was Christmas. What's not to love about dressing up and insisting strangers give you candy? Even better when the occasional stranger would toss in a trick as well. After all, what was better than filling your pillowcase with candy after filling your drawers with...well, you get the point.

However, as an adult and a parent, I find myself not loving this particular calendar day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so much a miser that I can't enjoy the sight of a toddler stuffed into a ridiculous costume and waddling about holding a lollipop, nor does the sight of well-disguised pet annoy me. Quite the contrary. I even appreciate an artful costume, one so involved and realistic that it looks like it should win best costume design at the Academy Awards.

No, my beef is with my mother.

She set the bar high, that woman did. My first real memory of my baby sister was her as an infant Pocahontas. Complete with a little braided wig and a leather tunic. She wasn't even a year old.

Then there was the year that Raggedy Ann and Andy made their appearances. My brother and I won every costume contest there was. It was the adorable hooked yarn wig she made for us, that made it all worth it.

We also had the Tooth fairy, where I had gossamer wings so light and airy that I probably could have flown if only I tried.

None of that tinfoil crap for my mom.

No, when my brother wanted to go as Chewy from Star Wars, my mom went out, found herself a bigfoot, killed it, skinned it and made it into the damndest little Chewbacca costume you ever laid eyes on.

She set that bar so damn high, even an Olympic pole vaulter couldn't clear it.

Which makes my sorry attempts at costume design even sorrier.

So to the woman whose rib I elbowed at Costco last week, while trying to grab the last damn dragon costume they had, I sincerely apologize. I can't say I didn't mean it, or that I wouldn't do it again, but please, understand my desperation.

I have huge clown shoes to fill. With small, little elfin feet to go in them.

And my mother is watching. Shaking her head, and wondering where in the world she went wrong with me.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please, Hallowe'en Style

In honor of the holiday that dentists everywhere cherish, I present to you this little piece of cheese on this snowy Sunday morning. So, with out further ado, enjoy!

A man was walking home alone late one foggy night, when behind him he hears:




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him...






He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him!

However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping...




on his heels, the terrified man runs!

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, the man locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps!

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door!

Bumping and clapping toward him!

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup!

Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...


(I hope you're ready for this!!)


Friday, October 27, 2006

Group Hug, People. My Therapist Says it Helps

When I started this blogging business, I simply expected to whittle away my hours and pass my days in a computer-humming haze. I was game for almost anything to make the hours tick by faster and I was grateful for any minute I did not have to spend dwelling on my shattered life and my throbbing heart.

Little did I know that this blogging business was addictive and time consuming. My husband calls it my computer crack. He may have a point.

But beyond the self-obsessed, egotistical and sometimes conceited aspect of blogging, surfing the blogosphere gave me something more than just the ability to self-actualize and poke fun at myself. It helped me reach out and communicate with other real, live people.

It helped me heal. It helped remind me I wasn't alone. There were people whose lives were just as screwed up as my own. Children who couldn't remember to flush the toilet and husbands who didn't know the sock fairy didn't exist and that those socks didn't actually walk themselves into the hamper.

Blogging gave me a means to be normal again.

And yes, I use that term loosely.

For that, my family and my therapist are enormously grateful. And so am I.

So when the incomparable (albeit, slightly hairy) Mrs. Chicky asks for a bloggy love in, I jumped all over it, like my two kids on a trampoline.

But sitting here, I am in a quandary. Do I blog about my sweet Australian doctor friend Jelly, who never fails to cheer me up with her kind words and incomparable mother?

Or do I post about the hysterically funny Kristen who not only made me clutch my sides from laughter, but was also one of the first to figure out that my now defunct blog and this blog belonged to one mommy?

But then I thought of composing an entire post about J and KimmyK and how, if the three of us ever got together, you just know that one of us would end up in the clink for drunk and disorderly, while the other two took pics to post on their blog.

Of course, there is always my love of a bald baby and her ability to rock the hat, so I began composing an ode to the inimitable Wonderbaby.

But I found I could not do justice to her bald head. And her mother knows too many big words for any of my ditties to be worthy of the Wonderbaby, so I scrapped that idea.

In the end, like a two-year old who hasn't had lunch and missed her morning nap, I was overwhelmed and daunted by my choices. My bloglines rocks. I just simply couldn't choose from all the bloggity goodness that I have collected there.

Just know that I read you, I love you and I need you.

Yes, I'm that annoying, clingy, little girl, who just wants to be part of the crowd and will sell her soul to do it.

I'll even do your homework for you, and give you my allowance.

I'm just so grateful you shone your beacon of hope for me, and then plucked me from my fog of grief.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Drawing A Line In The Sand

Being a natural (ahem) blonde, I have never worried much about grey hair. When I go to my hair stylist it is generally to have her put the blonde back into my once naturally light hair. I have never bothered standing before a mirror to search for grey hair. If I did happen to spot one, I would probably dance a jig, as it is one less hair I would have to pay to have lightened. That being said, I am not immune to the ravages of time. As my children like to keep pointing out.

But I'm a strong, independent woman, who does not place her entire self-worth on the image staring back at her in the mirror.

Shut up, Boo. This is my blog and I don't need your laughter ringing in my ears.

I understand that wrinkles are just memories smiles have left behind.

Really, does anyone believe this crap?

I can get behind the lines in the mirror without wanting a little shot of the botulism virus to make me feel better. I can adjust my once pert and perky boobs, thanks to the miracle of under wire. And if my bottom wants to spread a little, well, that's okay too. Isn't that what support underwear is for?

But I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

And that line has been drawn. Right under my chin.

Where a wayward black hair has pushed it's way through my milky white skin and protrudes like a thirteen year-old boy wearing sweat pants while watching the cheer squad practice their splits.

I have my very own whisker.

I've tried plucking the damn thing. It just keeps coming back. Uninvited and unannounced. (Like my mother-in-law. Hmmm...)

Waging a war on one lone whisker, I seem to have lost this battle. I wonder each time I pluck the damn thing, if three more are going to come and replace it. I wonder if I will wake one morning to discover that I am the bearded lady all the kids want to see when the carnival comes to town.

As if it is not an indignity in itself that my once firm jaw line has gone a little soft. A little less firm. In a few years, it may start to resemble the ole turkey waddle. Now I have to deal with a renegade hair that wants to draw attention to this fact?

Perhaps I should just give up. Embrace my new look. Grow out my little chin hair.

And when it gets long enough, I can put a bead on it and make music with the wind.

I can start a whole new trend.

Matching beads on my boobs with the chin bead as an accessory.

I'm so sexy.

***Edit: Okay, dear internet, for all you fellow bloggers who have informed me of the dreaded neck whiskers, I concede to you. That is much scarier. And neurotic. (As I now stare in the mirror every two seconds to see if I've sprouted one yet!)***

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Would You Like Rice With That?

I have found in my thirty one years there are rare, exceptional pleasures to living on this rock known as Earth. The first electric kiss you share with your partner, the first time your baby smiles into your eyes, getting an unexpected tax refund or even being told your mother-in-law is moving out of province. (I can only dream about that last one....)

Likewise, I have also realized there are always definite certainties. Beyond death and taxes. Some things should always be avoided, because they will never bring pleasure; only disappointment and perhaps pain.

Choosing to eat Chinese food in a small Alberta town where there is only three liquor stores, a post office/general store/feed mill combination and a handful of unkempt houses, ought to be one of those definite certainties. Upon entering, you know it won't taste good and will most certainly end in the manner of you clutching your sides, moaning about death and becoming best friends with the nearest porcelain throne.

Yet you proceed anyways.

Welcome to my world, dear internet.

As if the injustice and indignity of having to suffer through a three day parenting course out in the wilds of Alberta wasn't enough, my lovely government choose to punish us potential parents by ensuring the location of said parenting course was in a town small enough that you can't find it on a map. A town with few means of nourishing yourself. A town where you either took your chances with the gas station vending machine and a slightly suspect, nearly green, ham sandwich with no expiry date on the packaging, or you rolled the dice and tried the local restaurant. It was a crap shoot either way.

Pardon the pun, dear internet.

It was like adding insult to injury, after ingesting the questionably brewed coffee and poorly disguised dog-food they tried serving to us parents.

And the end result of my three day weekend to learn how to parent a special needs child? Well, I can't say I learned much about parenting a special kiddo that I didn't already know.

But I did learn this small town was unusually rodent free and didn't seem to have a dog in sight.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

Good morning, dear internet. As you are relaxing, drinking your coffee and reading your morning papers, I am stuck in purgatory. Drinking badly brewed coffee, playing tic-tac-toe and hangman with my darling Boo, while some government nitwit is preparing us for adopting a special needs child.

You see the irony here, right dear internet?

But never one to let a little bureaucratic red tape foil my plans, I will happily listen to her drone on and on about the needs of a handicapped child. And when she is finished, I am driving straight to the local liquor store (or since this is small town Alberta, straight to the local hotel) and buying myself a stiff drink. Because Boo and I will have earned it. Three days of listening on how to become effective advocates, efficient role models and ultimately, good parents.

And I didn't learn a damn thing.

Now let me have my new baby.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I have found a pun for you. A picture pun.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stuck in Hillbilly Hell

I want to thank all of you for your love and support this weekend. My family and I certainly appreciate all of your kind words.

I'd like to say that I am taking time to reflect on my Shalebug and his lovely little life, and that I'm surrounded by family and friends to get through this difficult time.

But that would be lying.

No, in reality, I punted Fric and Frac, as well as Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever, to my sister-in-law, so that Boo and I could spend three days even further out in the sticks, to attend a mandatory adoption preparation course.

This new kid better be worth the sucky coffee, smelly carpet and lousy catering, I tell you.

How I managed to be stuck in a small room with the freakiest people I have ever seen on the weekend of my Angelboy's flight, will forever remain a mystery.

The upside to this roadtrip from hell is the blog fodder I have for you, dear internet!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

After No Tomorrows

The last good memory I have of my son, was my being too damn lazy to get off my arse and put him to bed. So, instead of being a good mommy, I grabbed him and cuddled him on the couch for an extra half hour. He didn't fight it as he normally would, instead, he just burrowed in for more. When Boo came passing through the living room, I mentioned it was past Bug's bed time and insinuated he was a lousy father for allowing his son to stay up so late. At 8:29 p.m. my husband reached into my arms and took my son from me, as I smothered him with kisses.

After that, all my memories are akin to those from a cheap dimestore horror novel. And hours later, the Redneck mommy was born.

I didn't know what to post this weekend, it being the first anniversary since his passing. I didn't even know if I wanted to say anything at all. After all, how many times can you write you miss your son before even you get the point.

Enough! I get it! I miss him! Move on already!

But as I've discovered, moving on is not always so easy. This past year has been torturous, hard and somewhat miraculous. I have discovered more about myself and my family than I have ever known before.

Some of it good, a lot of it not. What amazes me, is the unrelenting love I still carry for my Shalebug. Shale was my life while he was here, and somehow, in death he has managed to shape every decision, every choice I have made since then. Little bugger. Of course, I needed an outlet to vent my grief, anguish and ultimately, love. So I bought a computer. Thank you, my most beautiful Mac baby, I love you. And I started surfing the net, looking for other parents who have been through what I have been through. I didn't find many. But what I found instead, was what ultimately saved me.

I found you.

At first, I lurked. Then I started commenting. And it wasn't long before I launched Redneck mommy. With every comment, every post, I healed. I grew stronger. Yes, I stumbled this summer, but who wouldn't? But I've picked up my pieces, my life and carried on.

And that is what I've learned this year. That I can do it. I am invincible. I am Supermom. (Just kidding. If anyone is still reading this drivel, I apologize.) I've learned I am a lot stronger than I realized and that love doesn't die just because your child does.

Don't get me wrong, I still panic at the thought of living to a ripe old age and not seeing my Bug again. What if I don't remember him? Worse, what if he doesn't remember me? What if, what if, what if. I've learned there is no such thing as a what if. There are only what are's.

I ache at the thought of not hearing his laughter ring out. Of not being slobbered on, shit on or puked on. But thankfully, Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever, stepped in to help out in that department. My kids, Fric and Frac, they've banded together like merry little thieves and wrapped themselves tighter around my heart.

All this love and missing has done one thing: expanded my heart. I want to love the whole damn world. ( Them's some good happy pills you've prescribed, Mr. Small Town Doctor.) But seeing as how I'm too damn poor to support the whole world, I'll settle for one. After all, I am not Madge or Brangelina.

Ultimately, that's my tribute to my son. Not the tattoos, the piercings or the posts. Just the simple ability of being able to love harder, longer and larger. That's what his life, death and the year since has brought.

So this Oct. 21st, I urge you all, to grab hold of your kids and drool all over them. They might fight you, squirm and wiggle. The older kids might roll their eyeballs and think you've lost what little of your mind you have left, but do it any ways.

Because that's another thing I have learned.

Sometimes, there are no tomorrows. Only the moments at hand. Enjoy them.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bandaids, Strippers and Prison: What do These Things Have in Common?

When I learned I was pregnant more than a decade ago, (now isn't that a scary thought?) there were many things I prepared myself for. I prepared for late night feedings, bowel mishaps, the Invasion of Barney, and even the loss of intimacy between my hubs and I. (Although, that last one didn't happen. Turns out watching me struggle to jam tiny bendable fingers into an impossibly small arm hole acted as somewhat of an aphrodisiac with my hubs. Who knew?)

I thought I had prepared for babyhood and then toddlerhood. I never looked much further beyond those years, frankly, because I didn't really think I would survive them.

Surprise! I survived. And they did too. (I thought about inserting a two out of three joke here, but even I could see the bad taste in that, especially with Oct. 21st looming like a funnel cloud on the horizon.) I digress. My point is, I am wholly unprepared for many aspects of raising older children. Especially older children on the brink of TEENAGEDOM.

This was never more apparent than last night when I was grating cheese for supper. As Fric was talking about what type of lip gloss Maxine gets to wear to school, and Emily has her very own cell phone and the scandalous tank top Brittany wore to school, I realized I wasn't ready for this stage just yet.

Then Frac came in and started moaning about some video game all the boys had which he didn't and it JUST WASN'T FAIR.

I'll admit it. I tuned them out. I started dreaming about this past weekend, when I was surrounded by attentive 007 look-a-likes, all fighting one another to buy me drinks and dance with me. (Well, okay, that didn't happen, but it was my dream, dear internet.) And just as my darling Boo came in to fight them all off in daring hand to hand combat, my own hand slipped.

Against the f*&king cheese grater. Which really f@$king hurt. Obviously, the Universe was teaching me a lesson (although I am unsure as to whether it was for ignoring my kids, daydreaming about hordes of men, putting my darling husband in imaginary danger or if it was just to watch what the hell I was doing with a cheese grater.)

So, after much cursing and moaning, I clutched my bloodied stump and went into the bathroom in search of the first aid products I keep in stock for just such an occasion.

Except there weren't any bandaids. Because my darling Fric and Frac have used them to patch up imaginary bumps and bruises. Apparently, at nine and ten, the urge to sport an unnecessary bandaid is still as strong as when they were five.

Which leads me back to the fact that I am totally unprepared for this stage of motherhood. I have no idea what to do with them once they've learned how to talk, walk, read and write.

So I did what any mom would do. I called my parents. And my dad (still in the hospital) gave me this sage advice:

As long as I keep my daughter off the poll, and out of the backseats, I've succeeded. And if I can keep my son out of jail, and his pants zipped up, I've done my job well.

Apparently, my parents had high aspirations for us.

Suddenly, a love affair of bandaids didn't seem so bad.

Thanks Dad, for the perspective. I needed something else to worry about.

Monday, October 16, 2006

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Every now and then a weekend pops along and makes marriage and all the accompanying trivialities worth the annoyances and aggravations endured during daily life. Lucky me, this was one such weekend.

With my darling Boo acting as a groomsman for one of his dearest friends, I had the opportunity to watch my man in action and reminisce about the dashing young hero I once married. Long before he turned into my Boo, he was a tall drink of blonde water. Muscles rippled, teeth gleamed, hair was combed. And then, of course, he married me. Where his muscles relaxed, his teeth, well, they still gleam as I'd beat him if he forgot to brush his teeth because I'm sick of his messy, unkempt hair.

No, this weekend I got to watch my Boo prowl about in a tuxedo, and I will admit there were moments he took my breath away. (And I'm not talking about the moment where he got out of the shower and let one rip as I was putting my make up on. My eyes still water when I remember that one...)

And as my hubs strut his stuff like a prized peacock, I had the pleasure of riding herd over the groom's party. How a bunch of dudes can become successful businessmen, dedicated tradesmen, fathers and husbands and still not remember how to put on a tie or remember their socks, will remain a mystery. How four men, who could together build and run empires, can not manage a simple task like, say, getting to the church on time, will boggle my female mind for years to come.

That said, it was a beautiful wedding.

There was a downside to all the fun and merriment though.

In an effort to use my feminine wiles (unsuccessfully too, I might add) to gain control over my flock of 007 look-a-likes, I wore killer heels two days in a row. As though I haven't been through enough pain and torture this past year. Nope, it appears the suffering would continue.

Imagine, dear internet, if you will, a five foot eight, slightly inebriated blonde wearing four inch heels toddle about a gang of men while chirping at them to stand up straight, tie their shoes and spit out their gum. And that was only the night before the wedding. Then imagine, if you will, a five foot eight, slightly hung-over blonde wearing four inch heels chase after her posse while promising the beautiful bride that they would all arrive shiny, smiling and not bleeding. (Heck, two out of three ain't bad, right?)

Then picture this tottering, now stressed and sweating blonde, still wearing her heels and balancing a wine glass in either hand, do a poor impersonation of a thirteen year old girl trying to dance while not moving her feet and still look cool. (It didn't work then, I don't really know why I thought it would work now.) In my defense, at least when I just shuffled my feet and shook my arse, my feet didn't feel like they were being stabbed by hot forks up the heel.

I may have looked like a dork on the dance floor, but at least I was a tall dork . And to be honest, thanks to the diligent attention of my 007 agents, I had enough alcohol to dull the throbbing soon enough.

Which, of course, has led to a whole new type of throbbing as I sit here rubbing my still-sore feet and try and avoid the glare of my computer screen.

Good times, people, good times. It was a weekend to remember. And the lesson learned here: Stick with three inch heels. They look just as good and I can probably get a few more drinks in before I start reclining against the nearest shoulder in an effort not to impersonate the leaning tower of Pisa.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let's Give Them Something To Talk About

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My darling Boo and I haven't had the easiest month this year. We've battled bronchial pneumonia, a severely infected throat abscess and our grief for our son. We've had to struggle through watching my dad fight for life and be reminded of Boo's father losing his battle years ago.

On top of all that, we've been separated while he chases his almighty dollar. And his big surprise for me on my birthday, oh yeah. It was a big surprise. A wireless computer mouse. So he could play his computer games better. Don't worry, dear internet. He did almost die for that one. He apologized and got a re-do. After I beat him with his wireless mouse he went and bought me a very pretty 30GB iPod.

He still lives. But just barely.

But because of the illnesses, the grief, the work absence, the stress, and of course, the bad birthday gift, it hasn't been a month filled with cuddles and kisses, and other assorted marital intimacies.

No, the only loving I'm getting is from my boob-destroying puppy, also known as Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever.

And Nixon's loving tends to be of the slobbery, dog-breath smelling variety. Hmm, wait a second. So does my hubby's...

I digress. What I'm trying to allude to is to the fact the hubs and I have spent less time hand holding than my daughter and her grade five beau. Sad, really, when your ten year old gets more action than you.

So to make things right, put the intimacy back into this marriage, we are going away together for the weekend. Without the kiddies.

To make romance happen dear internet, or die trying.

The weekend won't just consist of reconnecting. It also includes my beautiful Boo standing up for his buddy during his wedding ceremony. But it's not going to help the romance develop when the groom wants to crash with us the night before the nuptials so he doesn't see his beautiful bride. And it certainly won't help the lovin' department when all the men who attended the stag party stop to stare at my chest, at the reception and dance.

Since the intoxicated bride-groom and his stupid buddy (that would be my husband) announced to the twenty or so guys there that I have made some body modifications.

I'm feeling the romance already.

Facing all of this, and the stress of the past few weeks, I did what any healthy normal woman would do.

I got my hair done.

Cut, colored and styled. My long tresses are, well, I'm not gonna say. My darling hubs will read this tonight and then the surprise will be gone.

Let's just say that I've given all those boys something to wonder about other than what my boobs look like.

And if you don't like it Boo, you should have muzzled your buddy a few weeks ago when he decided to spread the word about my love of all things sharp and pointy...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Warning: This Post is Not Pretty

I learned something new last night.

I've decided to impart this new wisdom to you, dear internet, in the hopes that you will take this knowledge and use it for personal growth and well, if nothing else, just a bit of trivia to carry about inside your head.

Imagine this, if you will: Sleeping in the buff, with a little dog on top of the covers, right next to you.

Naked boobs with rings dangling from the ends of said boobs. Puppy toenails in dire need of a trim.

Puppy nails catching on dangling hoops. Puppy excited and trying to extricate himself from a web of metal.

Instant wake up call.

Can we say "Ouch?"

Lesson learned. Please be advised.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lessons Learned

It is humbling to realize how many people are out here, floating about in the blogosphere, who will take the time to try and make a little bitty redneck girl feel better.

For all the well wishes, good thoughts and prayers you sent in my direction, and that of my father's, I thank you. I really, really thank you. All of you. For every key stroke you sent my way, I want you to know it helped. It all helped.

My dad is doing much better. As of yesterday, the doctor's pronounced him stable and took him off the critical list. It was a good day.

Strike that. It was a great day.

Sitting in that ICU room, day after a day, brought back a lot of memories. Some pleasant, other's not so much. But as I struggled with my fear and my memories, I realized something. I would survive this. Even if my dad didn't.

I do wish, however, he had chose another month; a different time, to get sick. With my Shalebug's first year anniversary of his passing approaching in less than two weeks, I really didn't need a reminder of how fragile life is. Or how cold October could be when standing at the edge of a grave in a pretty cemetery.

But now that my dad is fighting to return to his old, ornery self, I thought I would take the time to share with you, dear internet, some of the things I have learned these last two weeks, while sitting in various hospitals, staring at my dad and my husband.

First off, I know now, that no matter how sick my husband is, how legitimate that illness is, I will still be annoyed with him for getting sick in the first place. Heaven help him, he can do no right. I would apologize for this, if I thought I could change this about myself, but since he tends to be a big baby and I tend to be a heartless woman, I'll just choose to accept this quirk about myself.

Secondly, the ICU is a scary place. It doesn't matter how cute the male nurse named Todd looks in his green scrubs, the beeps, tubes, machines and smell of death is still scary.

I learned septic shock accounts for 25 percent of all ICU bed utilization in North America, with a mortality rate of greater than 70 percent.

I learned the leading cause of death in non-coronary ICU patients is septic shock. I learned that sepsis is the tenth most common cause of death overall, in North America.

I learned that watching a dialysis machine take urine out of blood is truly a miracle. Especially when you are packing around a fussy six month old baby who shuts up (finally!) to watch the whirring and beeping of said machine.

I learned it is always funny, no matter how many times I see it, to see an old man waddle about with his back side hanging out from a hospital gown. I also learned an old man's rear is not near as pretty as a thirty year old man's.

Sadly, I learned that watching your father fight for his life, while very scary and humbling, is not nearly as scary as watching your child fight for his life. There is still nothing scarier than rushing to emergency with your sick child in your arms, only to walk out of the emergency room hours later with nothing but a plastic bag in your hand.

I also learned that hospital food is never palatable, my annoying aunt is even more annoying in the face of great crisis and that as screwed up as my family really is, we really love each other. Warts and all. Even when my 6'4" brother hogs the tiny sofa and snores like a lumber jack. Even when my sister uses my toothbrush and deodorant with out asking. Even when my mom shoots pop out of her nose, thereby spraying me with it. Yummy.

I learned there is no better sound than that of my dad finally being taken off the ventilator and telling the nurses he is going to shove his boot up their asses when he gets out of this god forsaken place.

I learned how blessed I am. No strike that. I remembered how blessed I really am. I already knew I was blessed. I just forgot it momentarily.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Living On a Prayer...

It's a child's right to grow up believing their father is Superdad. To think he is invincible. To believe he is better than all their friends dad's. To think their dad is the strongest. The smartest. He can fix anything. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound, while crushing beer cans in their large, hammy hands. (Okay, that part may just be my dad...)

I grew up in awe of my father. He was my hero. He was always there.

My dad is a character. Missing several digits from various work accidents made for some interesting tales for us kids while growing up. We learned he lost fingers due to wrestling with wild boars; he had them bitten off in prison fights; my mother slammed his fingers in the car door; or his sister bit them off when he was really little.

Of course, we hung on every word. It was rather a let down to realize he was pulling our chains. The truth was so much more boring. He lost them due to an accident at work. Oh, and his brother turned on the car engine when my dad was trying to replace a fan belt. Really. But in my uncle's defense, he did pick up the amputated finger and place it on ice, hoping it could be reattached. It couldn't.

My dad is, was and always will be a force of life. From his off-colour jokes, his trucker mouth, and his amazing generosity, he is the heart of our family. He is the definition of strength and resilience. Courage and humour.

I hope to oneday have as much grace and kindness as he possesses.

On Tuesday morning, it was a huge shock to learn he was being rushed to the hospital. Where he has been ever since.

Where I have been ever since.

A simple foot infection has turned into a staph infection that has went septic. He's not breathing on his own, his blood pressure is so low that it's off the charts, and he is in renal failure. They are throwing everything they have at him to keep him alive. Give him the time he needs for his body to heal.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the I.C.U. doctors told my mom, my sister and me that my dad has an 80/20 chance of survival. 80 percent being death.

Today, they said 50/50.

I'm hoping tomorrow it's 25/75.

Knowing what a stubborn mule my dad is, I believe he is fighting tooth and nail to beat this infection. But I'm terrified that I will never have the chance to hear him call me a dumbass again. Or to tease him about being toothless. Or to see him wear his shiny new plastic teeth.

I'm scared he won't meet my new son or daughter. I'm scared.

It's been a shitty week. But at least Boo is home, safe, sound and healthy.

And I haven't had to boot him in the ass.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Apparently, I jinxed myself yesterday, when I announced to you, dear internet, that my darling hubs would be arriving home.

Either that, or I am the most gullible woman in the world, and actually believed dear hubby when he said he would be released. What would the patient know, anyhow?

So, now I'm begging for his release, and I'm off to go kick someone's ass.

Anyones. I don't care whose. I just need to kick it.

Fanny's Feline Wiles

Growing up, my parents allowed us very little freedom. There was a curfew and by golly, if you didn't make it, you better get down on your knees and pray for mercy from up above. There were rules. So many rules. If I dared to speak on the phone more than once in an evening, or gasp for longer than five minutes, you would have thought I was plotting to murder my baby sister in her sleep with a pair of wire hangers and some duct tape. It never occurred to my dad that I may be talking about, say, I dunno, boys?

But for all my parents perceived faults, the one thing they did allow us, was pets. Lots and lots of pets. We had dogs, cats, goldfish, budgies, rabbits and guinea pigs, often all at the same time. We had our very own menagerie. And so began my love affair with all things small and furry.

I got my very first cat when I was eight. I carried him home in my yellow and red McDonald's knapsack at lunch time. (Ever try putting a cat in a pillowcase, dear internet? Go ahead, I dare you.) I survived that sharp walk home and so did my cat, Casper.

Since then, my life has been filled with pets. (Although, I never tried putting a cat in a knapsack again.) They've come and gone, but they have always left a fondness in my heart.

Then I married my husband. Who used cats as target practice to sight in his rifle. Who would gun his truck to try and run them over. (Oh my, I just realized how much a hillbilly my husband really is. At least he never had a gun rack on the back of his truck. That's something, I suppose.) Or how about the time he squished the pup with the tractor tire and then said "Shit. Damn dog should have moved."

Yes, that's my husband, dear internet, beloved father, devoted husband, and animal lover extraordinaire.

After many tears, (and threats of never seeing me naked again,) he finally broke down and allowed me a cat. Which then multiplied into many cats. Until I had cats coming out of my ears. Quite literally. But I was in kitty heaven. I didn't mind changing the litter box. I was just so happy that I had my cats. In the house.

When I finally realized twelve cats inside a 600 foot square house was a tad too many kitties, they all went outside. Except one. My Fanny. She was my love and she had the run of the couch.

Then, one day, my darling cat ruined it for all of us. She took offense to my dear hubs. Apparently, she had grown weary of his bad attitude towards her and all other four legged critters, and she thought to teach my man a lesson.

She would poop in his shoe. Then the next day she would poop in his other shoe. She would swipe at his legs, maliciously. Hiss at him when he walked past. But the straw that broke my darlings back, was not once, but two nights in a row, she climbed on to his chest while he slept, and peed all over him. And then curled up next to me.

Hee Hee.

I no longer have Fanny in the house. Sniff. But I still have Fanny.

Saved from certain death by threats of divorce or worse.

While the hubster never grew fond of Miss Fanny cat, he did develop a new appreciation for her feline wiles. And how she managed to wrap herself around my finger.

And now, when Fanny cat boxes my poor Nixon, he absently scratches the dog's ears and tells him there is just no fighting with a female feline.

We always win.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

My world is once again right side up. My darling Boo is to be released from the hospital this morning. And not a moment too soon, might I add. Because if he isn't released today, I'm going to have to kick his ass. I mean, there is only so much tolerance a wife has for a miserable, whiney man. A man who insists on batting his baby blues outrageously flirting with the female nursing staff and then defends his actions by saying he gets the best jello this way.

I'll give him good jello.

Scratch that, dear internet. I'll just kick him in the ass. I like that plan better.

But since I'm at home, polishing my ass-kicking boots, I thought I'd throw out some cheese. And then I thought of my daughter, Fric, and her attempt at cheering up her daddy.

She, like me, believes a little cheese can go a long way. So, courtesy of my ten year old, enjoy!

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?

He's all right now.

I tell you dear internet, I just about burst with pride. It's good to know I've raised her right.