Monday, November 30, 2009
This year was different. In our quiet little village vandals destroyed ten of the trees. Most shockingly, the children believed to have done it are very young. Two of them are in elementary school. And the adults there whispered about this. The fact that the mother is suspected to be a drug user, the fact that these very young kids are left to roam alone for most of the time, with no supervision at all. Stories about the poverty, unkempt and dirty children. What stuck in my mind is this: children normally are excited by Christmas. Wide eyed. The idea that children would lash out at that particular holiday was jarring to me, and I could not stop thinking about this. Long after Tim had fallen asleep, I thought about these kids. Their actions pretty much insure that the community will be watching these kids closely, suspiciously, waiting for them to do some other bad thing. These are kids that won't be given the benefit of the doubt, not again. And the 'why a Christmas display?' just kept niggling at me. Curled up, warm and drowsy next to my snoring Tim, suddenly my eyes popped open. A child would lash out at Christmas when they knew that it was all a bunch of bullshit. All the stories about Santa coming to leave presents for good little boys and girls...well, when you're poor, it does not matter how good you are, sometimes Santa doesn't come. Or if he does, you know that your gifts will be pretty sparse, no matter how good you've been, no matter how hard you've tried. Santa Claus, in this case, is no more reliable than their own mother. I laid there, viewing the holiday from the perspective of these children, and it made me very sad. By the time that morning came around, I had a plan. I talked to my Sunday School kids, and we made a plan to begin collecting for these kids, to give them Christmas. Just looking around my own house, I found two warm winter coats for the girls. Cara donated two hoodies that she scarcely wore because they were too large. We had children's books. I found teddy bears with the tags still attached at the Goodwill, and we bought them each a Christmas mug and packets of hot chocolate. We had games that the kids had received as gifts throughout the years, games that they already had. I had two duplicate kid's DVDs. Boxes of crayons bought and put away for company. A thrift store had a collection of CDs on sale that a young boy would think was cool. According to Cara, anyhow. I also found stockings for each of them, heavily ornamented and beaded stockings for the girls, just waiting to be stuffed. The whole family got involved, scouring the excesses of our own home, and coming up with an embarrassing pile of things that we had used little, or even not at all.
I'll take these things to Sunday school next week, and my kids will be excited by this. I am not sure what the rest of the church will donate, but they tend to be quite generous about things like this. My class will come to the church on Christmas eve, and we will wrap these things, and deliver them anonymously. The fastest runner will then ring the doorbell and run, and the rest of us will be waiting in my running car around the corner. Alex will leap in, and we will sneak back to the church.
Will it make a difference for these kids? I cannot tell you. But I know for sure that I could not live with my own conscience if I did not try, and it gratifies me to know that my class got so excited about this project that we failed to notice that we ran ten minutes late until a mother walked in. We can only try. That's all. We will see what God does with our efforts.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Tim has never missed an opening day since he was 12, and I think that it is dear that forty years later, he will lay awake in the night, just as excited about all of this as he was when he was a kid. Dylan is staying home to hunt for the first time in 2 years, and Trevor is hunting for the first time in many years. The day has been spent getting the hunting clothing out and ready to go, spotting deer, and the retelling of hunting stories.
This is our family. These are our traditions. I think it's kind of cool.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Last year's celebration was different. I'd had chemo the day before. The kids had prepared a lot of the meal. It was out of necessity, simpler. The pies were store bought. It was the first time that we had been all together since the diagnosis, and I think the kids were still very afraid.
With that poor spector of Thanksgivings past, I wanted this one to be a knock-your-socks-off meal. New recipes. I made careful lists, for shopping, for meal preparation. I wrote the new recipes down in my little notebook. Despite the near disasters, everything made it to the table, and it was good. We gave thanks, and we talked and talked and ate and ate and laughed and laughed. I wanted memories, for myself, for everyone around the table. I think that it happened. It was a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving, and I found myself getting teary eyed at odd, private moments. Last year I did not know if I'd ever be able to give my family this gift again, and out of all the blessings that I counted yesterday, just the fact that I was back in the kitchen working at this meal made me more grateful than anyone at that table could have guessed.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
*wanders off rolling eyes and muttering to herself*
Cara's home, Dylan will be enroute before too long. Brianna will be here tomorrow with her fiance, Mike will wander in at some point. Three generations will gather around the table, and we will be grateful for much. Whether you celebrate the day or not, let me wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I've got a lot of blessings to count and you all are a big blessing to me. I wish that you could all come to dinner tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
But those kids are talkers, and the conversation eventually gets turned around and headed into that direction no matter what my carefully selected topic is. That darn Left Behind series has turned the apocalypse into wholesome family entertainment, and Nostradamus and Quetzalcoatl have only added fuel to the fire. But as usual, I digress. And as a side note, this is exactly how my classes always wind up in a discussion about the end of the world. Crap. I digress yet again.
Anyways, I finally decided that having their undivided attention was more important than staying in my own comfort zone, so a couple weeks ago, we discussed Jesus' description of the end times, a time that we are warned that we will be confronted by false prophets and liars. How do we tell the difference between a Godly person and a liar? For a class that has been sternly schooled in 'Thou shalt not judge,' the idea that I was asking them to do just that was astounding. They were intrigued that they might, one day, meet a false prophet face to face. How would they know? What were the warning signs? What about me? Am I a false prophet, a teacher who lies? Why? Tell me why you think that. So the debates have raged for a couple weeks. For these kids, debate in Sunday School is a new thing. They have come to my class from other classes where their little hands are folded on the table as they listen to someone tell them what the Bible passage means and then they do a craft. In my class, I expect them to figure it out, to come up with their own answers. They are not prepared to have a teacher tell them that she does not have all the answers, and has an aversion to crafts. They are not allowed to raise their hands. They are young adults now, I tell them. They are expected to listen when others speak, and when that person is done, they are welcome to speak their piece. And it works out pretty well. We sprawl around and have some great discussions. We have a pile of brightly colored flip flops. If people get off topic, I throw a flip flop at them, if I notice. Usually, sadly, I don't, but there is always a kid to gleefully point out that we've gotten off the topic.
In any case, Sunday I began with this: 'If you saw a man walking down the street wearing a tee that had a picture of our president on it and read 'Pray for our president. Psalm 109, vs. 8-9' what does that shirt say about that man? And they all decided that he was a holy man, a good person, a person who prays, a Christian, someone that they would be glad to spend more time with, etc. It entered none of their minds to look that verse up. They hunkered over their Bibles when I told them to look it up. They read it out loud. And slowly the scales fell from their eyes. For the very first time, I think that they got it. They finally understood what I was trying to say the previous week. Just because you know the Bible does not mean that you know God. And I told them that in Somalia this week, a divorced woman had been stoned to death for adultery as two hundred people watched. We talked about the dangers of religious fanatics who believe that somehow, God's judgement has become their right and responsibility. For the first time, I think that they saw how it could happen. Even here.
And you know what?
Seems to me that this is a mighty fine way to live. Simply be too busy to worry about things like tumor markers and areas of activity. It is what it is, and I've got things to do.
Friday, November 20, 2009
After an intense conversation with someone whose response to everything that I said was "That's not true..." or "That's where you're wrong...", it just came to me clearly. It doesn't matter. The relationship is broken and beyond fixing. My normal response to the conversation would have been trying to say the right thing, to find the magic words. I would have been upset. I would have cried. I would have agonized over the why and tried to defend myself. This time, I was simply sad. I tried. I can't. I'm done.
When you 'don't fit,' you move from the spot that you have been placed in, the corner that you were backed into, and you begin to wonder where you do fit, or if you fit anywhere at all. And cautiously, tentatively, you try on a pair of apple green pointy toed shoes, and like them. Or you try on a plain gray suit with a leather lapel, and discover that it fits like a glove, and that the fit of it turns you into something elegant. You look at yourself in a mirror, and are shocked to find that what looks back at you is not what you've been seeing for the past 52 years.
Or perhaps, you look at recipes on the internet and think, "Hey! I can do this," and without one doubt, you head to the kitchen to do just that, feeling creative and clever and accomplished. Maybe you buy a couple of bottles of wine for the meal for your guests, but after that pleasant evening, rediscover that, really, you like a glass of wine at night, talking with your beloved husband, just the two of you. And even though your husband is a tee-totaller, you resolve to keep a bottle of wine in the house always, because you can never tell when there will be something to celebrate.
Perhaps you are talking to a person dear to you, and she is talking about a friendship, and in your heart of heart, think, longingly, 'that is the kind of life that I want' and almost immediately realize that you too are capable of relationships just like that, because you are not what you've been told you are for all these many years. You are simply what you are. No better, no worse than any other person on this planet.
The realizations have come rushing in, one after another, this week. It is a time of discovery, of looking at myself with new eyes. And with each new thing that I learn about myself, my view of myself changes. I can't describe it really. It is sort of like wandering around in a heavy winter coat, intent on other tasks. In an absent minded way you realize that you are too warm, sweaty and uncomfortable. You shuck the oppressive thing, amazed that spring could have arrived without you even noticing. 'In the depths of winter, I learned that within me there lie an invincible spring.' (Camas)
My children are coming home this week, and a guest from Michigan. We have plans for cooking a great feast for Thanksgiving. There will be new recipes, and wine, and laughter. Tim and I will head a table filled with some of the people we love best in this world. Each of us, every last one of us, will fit perfectly.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Without further ado, I present ~
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I returned a couple DVDs to the video store.
I also returned a stack of books that had been loaned to me last fall. I sat with a cup of tea, and talked some more. There is nothing nicer than good conversation and hearty laughter.
I came home, unloaded (and stacked) a truck load of firewood. The sweater I'd pulled on proved to be too heavy, so I shucked it, working in my shirtsleeves. I was sweaty by the time that I was done. Mighty peculiar weather we are having for November.
I finished putting away some things from the back deck, and then ambled in and whipped up a batch of pizza dough. I have the best recipe. 4 3/4 c. flour, 3 tsp. yeast, 1 tbls. rosemary olive oil and two cups of warm water. I mix the whole thing up with the Kitchenaid mixer while I put everything away and wash the dishes, then turn around, dump the dough on a floured surface and knead a little more flour in until it's how I like it, divide it in half and put half in a zip lock bag in the freezer for another day, and roll the other out. Slap in in a pan, let raise, bake and then top and finish baking. It's a great supper and quick.
After supper, I talked to one highly caffeinated daughter who was writing a paper she was stressing over, heading on a coffee date ("Who's Jim? What do you mean that it is not your first date? Oh, and I suggest decaf.") Then I curled up on the couch with a good book while Tim puttered on the computer.
It was a nice day, a quiet night, jampacked with pleasant things. Earlier, I had been talking to my aunt about how different I felt. That I couldn't explain really, but I just felt alive and good and free and unselfconscious. I said, "You know, I bought a couple bottles on wine, and it just occurred to me that you should always have a bottle of wine in the house. You just never know when you are going to have a reason to celebrate." And we laughed together. But I was right. Tonight, Mary called. She had a suspicious PET scan a couple weeks back. She had gone to Pittsburgh for a second opinion. I'd been thinking of her all day. Mary had good news from the doctors there. I had a glass of red wine and celebrated with my friend.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I am different today than I was a year ago. I am loved. When that realization sinks in, when you understand from a deep place inside, that you are loved, well, it makes a difference in how you live, how you interact with others. I love my husband better. He loves me better.I am a better mother, able to stand back and let my children live without a bunch of interference and advice from their mother. It brings me comfort to know that they will survive quite nicely without me. I am a better friend.
I love the details of living. It is the small stuff that enriches your life. It is the rosemary sprinkled on top of your fresh baked bread that adds that special touch. It is the vanilla in your oatmeal that makes all the difference. It is the magic of finding the perfect stocking stuffer for one of the kids, something that you know they will hang on to and think of you for. It is the little spontaneous chats among friends, the discovery of a tiny flower beneath the leaves, the way that a branch silouettes against a gray sky, or the view of one mountain feeding into another, to another, to another, to another. Laughter mixed with tears. An arm around you in the night when you wake. Thunder. The sound of the wind. Really, all those things were present in my life before cancer. I've always been a person who took great pleasure in the little things, but now these small pleasures have become my treasure.
I'm never going to call cancer a blessing, believe you me, but I am a blessed woman all the same.
But browsing, I found a pair of black flats. I found a pair of navy blue pumps. Good sensible colors that match with anything. I looked at a pair of apple green mules, pointy toed. Who buys shoes like that? Why, could you even keep a pair of shoes like that on your feet?
Turns out that I buy shoes like that. And I've been walking around the house in them, and they stay on my feet just fine.
Monday, November 16, 2009
You know, I have never shot an animal in my life. I am not a hunter. Luckily, I don't have to be, because Tim is quite good at it, and we usually have at least a couple venison in the freezer every fall. I have to say though, watching this poor creature lurching and limping along, I wished for a gun. If I had one, I would have shot the beast myself.
Because I am a sap, there were tears.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I had company this week, and got the idea to put together an authentic Italian meal. I enjoyed preparing this meal. There was no nervousness that company was coming, and these were new recipes. I moved confidently around my kitchen, following the instructions, and never worried at all.
And then Cara came home, and we went shopping. I am a frugal person, and a careful shopper, especially now, but I saw a pair of high heeled shoes. Extremely high heeled shoes. Completely impractical for life in the woods. Despite that, I wanted them. I looked at those shoes, and I really longed to be a woman who stepped out in shoes like that. Even though they were a good bargain at a second hand store, even though they were my size, I could not bring myself to spend the money. Instead, I bought myself a pair of jeans.
But this morning when I was getting dressed for church, I put on a crisp white shirt. I caught sight of a scarf that BB had sent me last Christmas. I had never worn it. I had experimented with it, trying to cover my bald head, but I felt foolish and self conscious, and couldn't bring myself to wear it out. It hung in my closet and I admired it often. I liked the neutral color, and I liked the texture of it, but accepted the fact that I was not a woman who 'did' scarves. This morning, however, I took it out and I draped it across my shoulder. I liked the look, and I wore it. I was worship leader, and for the first time, I noticed that I was not nervous about standing before the church. I did my work, and I did not worry about how I sounded, or how I looked or any of it.
I cannot explain to you what has changed. I only know that it has. I also know that tomorrow, after my meeting and after my appointment, on the way home, I am stopping by the thrift store to take a second look at a pair of extremely high heels I saw. I have this certainty deep inside that I just may be, after all, a woman who steps out in shoes like those.
Friday, November 13, 2009
But today, I cooked. I had new recipes and I spent a pleasant afternoon chopping and mixing, cooking, listening to music. It felt luxurious to be able to do this. I am perfectly, perfectly happy in this quiet moment. I know that it will change. I know that I will be back to some sort of job after Thanksgiving (please let it be a pleasant one...) It just feels nice to move around my own kitchen in my bare feet, sipping wine, with the smells of rosemary, tarragon, basil and garlic swirling around me.
I'll be going back to work. I need the dough. But tomorrow, I will knead dough, and I will be perfectly content.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
When everyone leaves, each in their own direction, my hope is that their hearts will be as full as their bellies.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Fer instance: I found a pair of shoes in the basement. I forgot about them entirely. They are a pair of brown suede scuffs with the gores on the side. They are very comfortable, like wearing slippers. I must have put them on to run outside and bring in a load of firewood, shucked them in the basement, and promptly forgot about them. I love those shoes. Don't ask me how a person forgets about her comfy shoes, but lo, they are now found, and my life is good.
And know what else happened today? I got my hair cut.
What's up with you guys? This is my first real hair cut post chemo. I had too much hair. It was getting tufty and unruly. I GOT MY HAIR CUT!!!! And it is a nice cut. I like it. I feel stylish. I walked out of there feeling like a million dollars. Even better, I saw Laura from church. I grabbed her arm and whispered, "Laura! I just got my first hair cut." And she looked at me and said, "That's your real hair?!!!" Gaping, I said, "Well, yeah..." and she said, "Oh my gosh...all this time I thought you were still wearing your wig." Yeah. I was grinning.
And then I got home and know what else? There was a letter from the PA Treasury. The letter states that they have some money from 2003 that belongs to me. Certain that it was a big mistake, I called the toll free number, and was soon speaking to a nice lady. It's not a mistake. She's sending me the claim paperwork.
There was also another letter. From Verizon Wireless. It didn't take them 4 - 6 weeks to send me written verification that my non-existant cell phone account had been corrected after all. I was nearly speechless. It only took a week. I don't believe that I've ever had the opportunity to say 'Verizon' and 'efficient service' in the same sentence before. And it only took two days and three hours on the phone this time. Dang.
I'm leading a charmed life.
You really see the circle of life displayed in all its glory at something like this. It seems like only yesterday that I was the young mother with the babies. Heck. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was the kid sitting on the steps of my grandmother's basement with my own cousins. Now I am one of the 'old folks' at these shindigs.
I sat quietly rocking a baby, watching the hubbub contently, visiting and listening.
Where does the time go?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The kids are grown, and not so much in the area any more. I miss them. Yesterday, Bill had a post on his blog that brought tears to my eyes. I think that kids in little footed sleepers are just about the cutest thing on the face of the earth, even cuter than puppies and kittens.
My children have long outgrown the footed sleepers, and sometimes I get misty eyed remembering little voices, and the sweetness of children, the little voices, little scraps of songs, and conversations. Dylan had 'dandelion hair' that would poof up. Brianna had a tendency to make her own words. 'Forleft' was one of them. 'Forleft' was a marriage of words, used for the times when she forgot something and left it at home. It was forleft. I remember what a placid baby Cara was, and how I'd slice up peaches for her, and set them on the tray of her high chair while I cooked supper, and she'd happily sit there eating and smiling. These memories make me smile.
I think it is interesting that these are the sort of memories that spring forth when I start reminscing. I don't remember things like the time that Cara began to chant 'dog poop' in the middle of a sermon at church, or the fact that Dylan screamed from six weeks to six months, and no one could figure out why. I don't remember the time that Brianna learned a new word. Boogersnatcher. And she was so pleased with that word that she called every one boogersnatcher everywhere we went. Temper tantrums in public places. I don't remember the fighting over toys.
Edit after morning shower: Now that I'm thinking of it, allow me to add to my little list of things that don't come to memory right away ~ like the time a child forgot a toy for show and tell and improvised. The 'tell' was about her mother having her tubes tied. And there was the boy who, as soon as he turned 18 simply walked into the office at school, changed his home address to a PO box, thereby eliminating the fuss his mom put up everytime that she got a letter from the school. Those letters went to his mail box and he was thus assured that his mother never heard a discouraging word. And then there is the time... well... never mind. (*deep cleansing breath*) You know what? It's better that I remember the sweet little memories of them in their footed PJs.
Yep. Being a parent is not easy.
You know, I saw something that made me cheer. I was in the store and I heard a little kid screaming like there was no tomorrow. His mother told him that he didn't need whatever it was that he was after. He was hopping mad. "I want it! I want it!" He screamed long and loud, jumping up and down like a little Rumpelstiltskin. His mother placidly said, "You got a toy yesterday. You don't get a new toy every day." He said, "I don't like the toy I got yesterday." His mother said, "You played with it all day long." And she headed for the checkout line as he trailed behind her, screaming his head off in frustration. She quickly paid for her purchases and headed for the door, telling her angry boy, "Come on, we're leaving now," as he shrieked, "I'm not going until I get a toy." Without ever raising her voice, without showing any sign of anger, she simply said, "Well, I'm leaving now. Goodbye." And out the door she went. One wide eyed boy stood there, shocked silent for the moment. He then wailed "Waaaaaaaait!" and went out the automatic doors. His mother was there, and they had another bit of a squabble until he finally agreed to give her his hand as they went across the parking lot.
Everyone in that store watched this little drama unfold with some amount of amusement. Every single one of us had probably 'been there, done that', as the saying goes. I said, "You know, I have to say it did my heart good to see that. Usually, you see parents getting rattled and upset at the child, or worse yet, simply giving in and giving the child what he wants to shush him." And the crowded checkout line rumbled in agreement.
And suddenly, each of us wanted to rush after that mother to tell her 'Good job!'
I hope she reads blogs.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I had not thought of it, but the man had a family. His parents are dead, but when the media contacted his brother and told them what he was accused of, that brother fainted. His family (aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers) is trying to distance themselves from his actions, trying to make it clear that they are loyal Americans, and I find myself feeling really sorry for them. How horrible that must be for them. I'm sure that as Muslims, they must have already been dealing with some amount of hostility from stereotyping bigots. And now, one of their own stands accused of the most heinous crime ever to occur on a military base. They are caught in the white hot glare of the media spotlight. The suspicious eyes of a nation fix upon them. They did not bring this attention on themselves, and they will not be able to make it go away. I imagine the terrified eyes of a deer in the headlights, and I find myself praying for these people, the victims behind the headlines, just as I am praying for the victims of the shooting. Because I am a poor Christian, I cannot yet bring myself to pray for the Major.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Stacey is at Ft. Hood. Stacey is fine. She just in-processed. These troops were being outprocessed. One of the shooters was a Major?!!!!! Jeepers. 12 dead and 31 injured. Boggles the mind. For the third time in one week, I am speechless.
Don't get all excited people.
It's not bound to last long.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I called back to the original Verizon Wireless (oh wait...did I say that outloud?) number and spoke to a very brusque young man. I got brusque right back. His advice to me was that I needed to call the collection agency and straighten it out with them. "No. No I don't," I said. "how many times a day to they speak to bad debts who claim that they don't owe money? I prefer to straighten the problem out with the folks that turned me over to them. You made the mistake. You fix it.' The young man snottily told me that if I disputed with IC System that they had an 'inside line' and would be able to straighten things out with Verizon (oops.) I pointed out that I had my land line and my dsl through his company, and that I was a customer, and that I felt that Verizon's (dammit) motivation to get this resolved quickly might be just a bit greater than a fly by night debt collection place. I also pointed out that, "By God, you are the most exasperating company to deal with when there is a problem, because it is never handled in one call. If this is not resolved by the end of my conversation with you, we will find a new phone company, and we will find a new internet service carrier." He suggested that I call the In House Recovery like I'd been instructed. I suggested that he connect me to an operator so that I could avoid the automated system. He told me he couldn't. I told him I wished to speak with his supervisor. He said 'Let me work on this...' and I was back on hold, listening to repeated assurances that I was most important to Verizon (sorry). Several minutes later, Mr. Snotty had figured out how to connect me to In House Recovery. Daniel told me that the issue was taken care of, the debt removed. I asked for an explanation of how this had happened to begin with. How did my name get in their files? What was the bill for? And he brusquely told me that it had been taken care of, repeatedly. I took down his operator number and name and he told me that I would receive something in writing. He said, 'Be aware this might take 4 - 6 weeks.' Inside, I thought, 'There'd be hell to pay if my payment took 4 - 6 weeks.'
So, that's how it went. The situation is resolved, supposedly, but no one has offered any explanation. If I had a wireless cell phone account, I'd be checking that bill carefully. And if any of you see my name listed on your charges, give me a call. On my land line. You'll have to. We don't have, nor have we ever had, a Verizon cell phone.
Now. If you will excuse me, I've got a bunch of raking to do. I seem to get more of it done when I'm mad as all get out. I guess that's one thing I can thank Verizon for.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wind picked up, and began to spin, like a miniature tornado. Leaves whirled and spun clear up to the sky, taller than the house, and this funnel of leaves danced across the yard. I thought of Clement Moore. 'As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky...' I finished raking seeing how much of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' that I could remember by heart.
Christmas started creeping in to my consciousness well before Halloween. I was surprised to walk into the local Lowe's and find their Christmas trees display just a few feet from their animatronic lifesize Halloween figures. Red eyes and maniacal laughter and twinkling pre-lit Christmas trees, some musical and playing 'Silent Night'. Call me old fashioned, but really, those two images kind of clash in my mind. It becomes kind of jarring. And it's not just Lowes. I bought Christmas cards the first week of October. Yes. I realize the irony of it...purchasing the cards simply feeds the preholiday frenzy.
Today, the incomparable Rhubarb has a poem on her website.
You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout I’m telling you why:
The Christmas hype will take you right down.
Look at the calendar, go on check it twice
You know you are right
it’s the date not your eyesight’s the first week in November, right now.
Westfield are quite sneaky, they get you by surprise
they have up all their strings and things to make you spend and buy – Oh!
Oh, you better watch out!
You better not cry.
Get your credit card out I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Yeah you better watch out,
don’t think you’re immune,
Another few minutes you’ll be humming this tune
The economy boost is coming to town.
Shelves are stocked with tinsel, I know it’s early too
Next year I hear the Santa hype well begin somewhere in June.
Oh, you better watch out! I think I might cry,
I am sure we just had the Easter Bunny hop by
How can Santa Claus be coming to town?
Marketers are quite sneaky, subliminal messages you can’t see
ads and banners and discounts and things that make you think ‘buy me!’ - Oh!
Oh, you better watch out! You better not cry.Get your credit card out I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa Claus is coming to town
I tried to sing this to myself, and I remember part of the tune, but not all of it. I betcha that will change in just a few weeks.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have been turned over to a debt collector by a wireless phone company which shall remain nameless, except to say that their name begins with a V and rhymes with 'horizon'. For $15.52. The most astonishing thing about this is that not only have I never received a bill from them, the fact is, I don't have a wireless account. I don't have a cell phone!!!!!!!! Tim and I share a pre-paid track phone which we buy a phone card for, but we don't use a cell enough to warrant going whole hog, living in an area where reception is an issue. The name on this account is listed as my own, and the fact is, I have never had an account with them. Neither has Tim. Has to be an error. An error that I am playing hell trying to get corrected. After forty five minutes, four phone calls, waiting on hold for an interminable amount of time, what I discovered is that the people that I need to speak with are gone for the day. I need to call back tomorrow. I explained that since this is undoubtedly a mistake, I think they need to call me. They won't.
Holy cow. It takes quite a bit to get me good and fired up, but by george, I'm seeing
right this stinking minute. I've never been turned over to a collection agency in my life.
Cara recited Roman history as we waited for the play to begin, and really, it was all very interesting to me. She loves her major, and can really hold forth. When the play began, I had trouble hearing at first, my hearing damaged by years of listening to loud rock and roll, no doubt. But my ears adjusted, and then I struggled with the words themselves. Gradually, even that smoothed out as slowly as the lessons from Mr. Miller's eighth grade classroom came to mind. My mind swung easily from the theater I sat in to a classroom I once sat in, with a wooden desk and blackboards that were black not green, big wooden unscreened windows that flung open and were propped open with sticks kept there for that purpose, stray breezes sending our papers flying and rattling the big green shades on rollers. A stray thought occurs...does anyone else remembers the smell of freshly copied papers still warm from the xerox machine?
It was a pleasant evening. I visited easily with the people present, but my mind roamed freely to other places, and to other times, and to other faces.
This morning, Cara and I had coffee and watched 'World' and 'To the Contrary' while folding her laundry and then she got in her little car and headed back off to college with her clean clothes, and the 1935 college textbook 'Ancient History' that I discovered at an estate sale.
Mondays, no matter how monday-ish, are almost always followed by Tuesdays.
*sigh of relief*
Monday, November 2, 2009
I headed out the door at just past seven. I wanted to get the lab visit over early. There were no instructions with the paperwork. Some lab work requires you to fast. I did not want to eat and find out after the fact that I shouldn't have eaten. I skipped my morning 'two cups' as well.
On the way off the hill, I stopped at the local Walmart to drop off two tires to be mounted on two rims. I was just going to drop them off, but by the time the paperwork was complete, the tired on the rims had been removed, and the friendly folks told me they'd be ready in ten minutes. Might as well stay around for that. I roamed the store, and came back only to find that those tires couldn't be mounted on those rims. Size difference. Tim's never made a mistake like that before.
I went to pay for the work they had done and discovered that my wallet was not in my purse. With a sickening feeling, I remembered...I made a quick run into town for something on Friday. I had taken my wallet from my purse and stuffed it in my coat pocket. I had not put it back.
I left the store, and came home for my wallet.
I went back to the store, and paid for the service, and they loaded my tires and rims back into the truck.
By then, it is nearly 9, and I'm hungry, and have a headache from missing my morning caffeine. I headed over to the hospital and discovered that my bloodwork did not need me to fast. Natch. But I got it done, headed out and I stopped and got myself a cup of coffee. I got the bright idea to grab one and deliver it to Mary working away at the hospital. Carrying my two cups of coffee to the third floor, I found out that Mary had called in sick today.
I headed back downstairs, hitting my own caffeine hard.
I put the extra cup in the cup holder and head off to errand number two. Turning a corner, the cup sails out of the cup holder, hits the floor of the truck. The lid pops off immediately, sending most of a $4. coffee spewing all over the floor. This causes me to say 'Dammit!' Several times.
The tenant I was trying to meet was gone by the time I got there.
I came home and vented my spleen by raking the leaves at an aggravated pace, grumbling to myself. My dog took advantage of my preoccupied state to roll in something.
I bathe the dog. He is not happy, because he just had a bath Friday. I'm not happy, because I just gave him a bath on Friday.
Did you ever have a Monday that was just a bit more monday-ish than most?
Edit: This was supposed to be tomorrow's post. I forgot to change the post options. *sigh*
When I was in the Army nearly twenty five years ago, there were soldiers who were given the choice: join the Army or go to jail. I met one of those fellows close up and personal in Korea. I was not raped, but it was terrifying. (I was asleep in my bed. My roommate gave the key to our room to the guy so that he could 'come in and get something'.) It was scary. I know that I talked about it openly. I reported it to the CQ. No action was taken, not against my roommate. Not against the man. Somewhere in a CQ log, the incident was reported. I don't remember being particularly outraged about this fact at the time. It was an acceptance to how things were. It had already happened twice before at AIT. In one case, an instructor at Ft. Sam Houston followed me into a women's room. In another case, assigned to the motor pool for detail, I was given the job of polishing an officer's military vehicle. There I met the officer's driver. In those days, the best thing that you could do for yourself was to literally become 'one of the guys'. I was a very tough cookie who chose her friends carefully. While I was still in the military, the 'jail or Uncle Sam' program was discontinued. I guess that I am shocked that these sorts of unsavory characters are again being allowed into the military, because the military has quotas to fill.
The other thing, sadly, is that out of the twenty two hundred rape cases the Army prosecuted, only 181 of the cases resulted in a guilty verdict. Reading on some of these cases was horrifying. It seemed as if, sometimes, the 'not guilty' verdict was incomprehensible. I'm not all that confident that the military will 'fix' this problem. It would first have to be acknowledged.