Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In which, Small Fry has a realization.

Mommy is a contralto!

When, around a french fry, I scolded Small Fry (terrible manners, I know) for not eating but instead trying to see what Large Fry (who was done with her dinner) was doing, she said this:
Mommy, why did you talk like a boy?


"What do you mean, why did I talk like a boy?"

"Ida know."  (Yes, the mysterious Family Circus character lives here, too.)

I can only surmise that my growl around the french fry held a deeper timbre than normal.

Get used to it, kiddo.  I can go halfway down the bass clef without flinching.

Movie Quotes My Kids Won't Get

After this afternoon's rip-roaring naptime adventure (which involved very little actual sleep), and relating to Hubby my posting of a friend's photo that challenged folks to replace a word in a movie title with "bacon" and comment with their baconated creations, it's no surprise I'm thinking in movie lines.

Actually, it's no surprise that I think in movie lines at any given point in time whatsoever.

But after Hubby went up to rouse the nap-ees, and found Large sitting in her doorway shouting down the hall to Medium, and Medium (from her bed) shouting back, I had only one thought:

The first rule of naptime is...you don't talk about [during] naptime.

Yeah, I'm thinking I should've gotten sleep.  Or something.

Some days, it's just like that.

I feel like I should have gotten a letter this morning from my children.
Dear Mommy, we hope you weren't planning on getting any work done today.  Or getting much else accomplished.  Because we're going to tromp all over your plans for the day, threaten your sanity, and push you perilously close to having your nasty headache come back.  We just thought we should warn you.
Failing that, perhaps a warning light or something would've been nice.

I got neither.

Large Fry was in my room before 7:30, wanting to watch tv.  Hubby had apparently fallen asleep on the couch in the den, and never woke up enough to get up to bed.  I told her no.

She came back an hour later, wanting the same thing.  Okay, fine.  Her sisters would be up soon.  Might as well.

The fact that the twins didn't get up until after 9 should have clued me in to what the day was going to be like.

Actually, they may have awakened before then.  They didn't come into my room until then.  And usually, the sound of Disney Junior on the tv is a lot like moths to flame.  Or Pavlov's dogs to a ringing bell.  I'm not sure.

Despite Medium's desire for a jammie day, I told them all to get dressed.  Large Fry got herself some waffles for breakfast, and enough milk in her own cup that there was barely enough for the twins' oatmeal.  Which, of course, meant we were out, because I didn't realize how low our milk supply was.

Seriously, I need a cow in the backyard.

By 11:30, Small Fry was reduced to tears any time anyone looked at her the wrong way.  Being told repeatedly to take her thumb out of her mouth didn't help.  She then complained she was tired.  No excuse for sucking her thumb, I reminded her.  She said she wanted to go to bed.  Then she wanted a snack.  No, because it was almost lunchtime.

That triggered a crying jag for the next ten minutes.  (And here I thought I was the one who was having issues with wonky hormones.)  Not being able to have Daddy at her beck and call made matters worse.  I held her for several minutes, and then went downstairs to move the Pillow Pets to the dryer for some air fluff time (80 minutes of that, and they're mostly dry).

Small had nearly had a conniption earlier because I'd insisted on washing the twins' Pillow Pets.

I quickly determined that a nap was in order after lunch.  I'm still fighting end-of-migraine exhaustion.  Large Fry could read quietly in her room.  Problem solved.


I managed to load, run, empty, and reload the dishwasher before lunch, and meant to run it again for a bunch of pots, pans, and mixing bowls after lunch.  (Forgot.)

By the time I herded everyone upstairs, it was quarter to 3.  (Large had dawdled over lunch again.)  There was much "I'm nawt going to sleep 'cause I'm nawt tieyewrd!"  It was 3 by the time I had finished hugging, smooching, singing, turning on the radio, trading I-love-you hand-kisses with Medium, and kicking out all nasty beings.  I made my own constitutional trip to the potty, then crashed in bed...only to hear footsteps in the hall about ten minutes later as Mika curled up on my outstretched arm.

Thinking it was Hubby, home from work, I listened carefully and watched the hall...nothing.  Light shifted on the hall wall, but I figured it was just Large Fry playing with her door.

Five minutes later, Large walked into my room.  "Mommy, can I sleep with you?"

The answer at any naptime when I'm going to be resting too is always a resounding NO.  Because whichever Fry it is won't sleep, which means I won't sleep, thus defeating the purpose.

"No," I told her.  "I told you that you didn't have to sleep.  You can go read books."

It was now quarter to 4.  I dozed briefly, since Mika turned some more circles and settled again on my hand.  (I don't see how that's comfortable, especially for such a skinny cat.  But it's his thing.)

At 4, Small Fry appeared at my door.  "Mommy, can I go potty?"

Exasperated, since she was the one who clearly needed the nap the most, I asked, "Why didn't you go potty before?"

Small shrugged her little shoulders.

"Go potty, and go back to bed," I gritted out between clenched teeth.  (Yes, I know that doesn't help my headache.)

"Lawrge was in ouwr wroom an' singing to us an' keeping Medium an' me awake," Small tattled.

I thundered out Large's name.

She appeared in the doorway.

"Did you go in their room and sing to them?"  If there's ONE thing that Large Fry knows for certain, it's that she's not supposed to go in and wake up her sisters during naptime.  Or go in their room at all then.  There have been some pretty serious discussions about that.

Large's eyes bugged out.  "No!" she exclaimed, insulted.  "I didn't go into their room!"

I glared at Small Fry, who was still in the doorway, behind Large, who promptly decided that this was a good time to make her escape to the potty.  I turned my attention back to Large, having homed in on the key words.  "Did you sing to them from anywhere near their room?"

Large nodded.

"Come here."

Large slunk over to the bed, where I was now sitting up, knowing we were about to have a come-to-Jesus moment.

I did not disappoint her.

She got sent back to her room.

I sent a text to Hubby, asking when he would be home.  Because of his three-day beach retreat with the youth later this week, I already knew that he'd shuffled praise team practice to tonight.  The thought made me want to cry.

I dozed fitfully, waiting to get a text response.

4:30...and the twins appeared in my doorway.  "Mommy, can we get up now?"


"No!  You haven't slept at all!  Go back to bed!"

Then I called Hubby.  Who had apparently left his phone on silent and hadn't gotten my text, but by the time I tearfully recounted the last two hours of my afternoon, left work and came home.

I'm making him get dinner tonight.

I don't want to cook.

Friday, July 27, 2012

In the kitchen

I was cutting stems off the roses Hubby bought for me today before putting them in a vase, and the Fries had all gathered around to watch.

"Awre dose fowr youwr annivewrsawry?" Small Fry asked.


"Becawse Daddy loves you?"


"Awre dey good flowewrs?" Small persisted.

"Honey, there's no such thing as bad flowers."

So far today...

  • I moved to the "fluffiness of lurve" couch in the den (so named by Hubby) because, between Hubby and both twins, there was no room for me in my own bed.  (Hey, 3a counts as "today," right?)  For the record, I moved for two reasons: one, there wasn't room for me, even if I laid on my side; and two, I love my kids enough to let them sleep peacefully.  Besides, the sectional in the den is really comfy.
  • I was awakened by Medium Fry, who poked me and said, "Daddy says to come back up to bed."  I arrived in my room just in time to hear Hubby gently chastising Small (who was second to arrive in our bed in the wee hours), "Mommy shouldn't have to leave her bed for you."
  • Vaguely managed to remember it's my wedding anniversary.
  • Got dressed.  (Major accomplishment today.)
  • Discovered that the kids were all dressed and had breakfast while I was half-awake and mostly out of it.
  • Made Medium Fry cry at least three times in less than ten minutes.
  • Lost the spoon I got out when I retrieved my yogurt breakfast from the fridge.
  • Found the spoon.
  • Ate a container of Yoplait.
  • Got my business website finally up and publicly running.  (It's only taken me five days and so many mental calisthenics that I think I have a permanent brain cramp.)
  • Just now realized it's 12:30 and I need to make lunch.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Medium Fry: We'wre jus' gonna be hypewr until you let us watch TV.


My kids are now mobsters-in-training.

Puppet Show

This morning, I took all three kids to Miss Lowwry's for the twins' counseling appointment.

Summertime twin appointments are a bit of a challenge.  I bring a book with me regardless of whose appointment we're there for, since I need to occupy myself, and only singing along with the oldies station she has playing in the waiting room gets boring after awhile.  But on twin appointment days, Large Fry tags along, and wants to be more involved than she's really allowed to.

The first few twin appointments were a huge struggle for Large, because she wanted to go spend time with the counselor too...despite the fact that she gets her own appointment, and the twins don't usually have to tag along, since it's Hubby's day off.  Plus, we're there for two hours.  Miss Lowwry works with one twin while the other plays, they switch off, and then she works together with the two of them for a bit.  At least, that's how it worked during the school year.  Large Fry complicates things.  Fortunately, Miss Lowwry lets the two who aren't in session pick out some toys to play with.

So, that's what happened this morning.  It was Small's turn to go first (we have to keep track of these things, you know), and so Large and Medium hauled out coloring books and crayons and (Large) and a huge Scooby-Doo and a stuffed kitty and these two good-sized bear puppets (Medium).

Generally speaking, Large and Medium play well together.  I have bigger issues when Small enters the mix, and Large and Medium decide they don't want her "wrecking" their fun.

How the kids amuse themselves varies from week to week.  Today, while Small was in session, Large and Medium staged a puppet show.  With the bear puppets.  And the kitty.  The loveseat in the waiting room served as their puppet stage.

"Are you ready for the first part, Mommy?" Large said with glee.

"Sure," I said, and set my book aside for the moment.

They jabbered back and forth--Medium did surprisingly well at making the bear's mouth move, given that the bear itself is more than half her height.  The kitty (Large Fry) went wild, licking at the bear (Medium), causing it to shriek giddily.

"Are you ready for the second part, Mommy?" Large asked again.


More antics.  A pause while they regrouped.  I read another two paragraphs.  (Clearly, this was not going to be one of those days when I got to read a lot.  This was going to be audience participation.)

"Are you ready for the third part, Mommy?"


By now, Large had abandoned the kitty (which wasn't really a puppet) and grabbed the other bear puppet.

"Dey'wre getting mawrried," Medium announced, attempting to make the bears hug.

Large attempted to smoosh her bear's mouth against Medium's bear's mouth.  "They have to kiss; that's how they get babies."

I'm trying not to laugh outright as the bears French kiss.

"I don't see any babies," Medium said with concern.  "Oh, dewre dey awre, coming out her butt!"


Yeah, I'm surprised I didn't herniate myself trying not to guffaw, too.

You know....

Trying to get my business website up and running is probably going to be the death of me.

I'm just saying.

It took me over a week to finally decide on a name.  Now, I'm having template issues.

Guess I ought to get in touch with my friend Badger, who helped me with the domain and hosting in the first place.

After I take a nice, long nap.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mitosis, Meiosis, Mitochondria....Migraine....


Isn't he cute?

And also very sweet, rather shy, and tends to hide under the bed unless he's needed.

It really is a pity that the literal meaning of his name is "mister," not "nurse."  'Cause that's what he is.

We got Mika a little over 13 years ago.

My heart had already been run over by a truck earlier in the year by the death of a friendship I truly valued and thought I'd have forever, and now felt almost blown to smithereens by the death of my father-in-law.  When we found out that a friend of a friend had a bunch of kittens on their farm who were old enough to go to new homes, I turned to Hubby with puppy-dog eyes.

He said no.

I got him to agree to at least go look, after I pointed out that Keiki was still grieving, too, and still sleeping up against our front door, waiting for Grandpa to show back up (they were buds).

We came home with Mika.

He was so little, especially compared to Po.  (Then again, every kitten was little compared to Po.)  And he didn't exactly meow.  He squeaked.  (Also ridiculously cute, that was.)  With Po and Keiki, you'd hear the whole meow.  With Mika, all you heard was the -ow, although his mouth moved through both syllables.

In fact, throughout the last 13 years, Mika still has his personal volume set on "really soft."  Rarely does he make loud noises...unless you accidentally step on his paw or his tail.  Or if a cat shows up outside that he decides is infringing on his turf (it was odd the first time that happened, but Chaos was a nasty cat, and appropriately named).

Mika, as it turns out, is definitely what I would consider a gift from God.

I mentioned earlier that naming him Nurse might have been more appropriate, and the reason for that is that he is incredibly attached to me, and he just knows when I'm not feeling quite right.

I once caught an incredibly bad flu bug that turned into a sinus infection and benched me from work for more than a week.  I spent the better part of that week in bed, alone.  (Hubby didn't want to catch it.  I don't blame him.)  Except when Mika would come in.  He would drape himself over my limp arm, purr even quieter than he meowed, and just be.  And he would lay like that for hours.

He wasn't sure I was real, and not a figment of his feline imagination, when I finally came home from my folks' place after living there nearly 11 weeks when I recovered from that accident three years ago.  Didn't take long for him to drape himself over my foot.

He's been known to try to herd me towards bed when he senses I'm feeling ill.  He usually knows before I do.  He gets very perplexed when I don't obey him.

Yesterday, we took the kids to the local area fair.  We got to see one of our youth group teens take first place in a calf showmanship competition, and I got fair fries (yum), and we generally baked in the 88-degree heat and stuffy humidity.  (The breeze was not as consistent as I'd have liked.)  We wandered around.  We saw friends.  I forgot my cane at home, so my feet were really hurting after about two and a half hours.  The kids were begging to go on rides.

And the cloudless sky meant a very bright sun.

I was ready to go.  Largely because I was hot and uncomfortable...and I'd just had a migraine, triggered by the bright sun, slam into my head, behind my right eye.

We let the kids go on one ride (they had a blast), and Hubby promised to bring them back later in the week for more rides.  And we went home.

And I went to bed.

Mika skipped up the steps (it's so hard to believe he's 13 and still so spry) ahead of me, mewing for me to follow.

Then he followed me back downstairs when I went to get something to eat so my rescue meds wouldn't burn a hole in my stomach.  And back upstairs to bed.

He jumped on the bed ahead of me, and I lifted him out of the way so I could lay down, and leave enough room for him to curl up next to me.  I love Mika snuggles.

It struck me last night, as I got up much later due to the lovely diuretic properties of the rescue meds and Mika followed me once again, this time waiting out in the hall, that God sure knew what he was doing when he had me meet Mika.

Mika's soft meowing doesn't hurt my head during the worst migraine.  His purr is so quiet (unlike Pa'ani's) that you feel it more than hear it, and the vibrations are so gentle that it doesn't bother me.  He can come cuddle for 20 minutes and I don't feel worse.

Pretty cool.

If you're wondering, the headache isn't so bad today.  I'm still taking my rescue meds, because I need them to avoid relapsing.  The kids have been good today, for the most part (Daddy gave them stern instructions before he left for work).  I'm sure Mika is wondering why I'm not in bed anyway, but he doesn't want to fight the kids to find out.  The extreme exhaustion of the migraine is lingering, so everybody's taking naps today, whether they like it or not.

Hey.  I should go make lunch!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pie Wars

Last month, during our Vacation Bible School, the VBS director challenged the kids concerning how much money they could bring in for offering each night, over the course of the week.  All of the offering money was going to be donated to a food pantry here in our community.

If they made the initial goal, they would get a pizza/ice cream party.

It was obvious by the second night that the kids would make the monetary goal--$100--by the third night, so they needed a new incentive, so the kids would keep bringing in money.

So Hubby held a quick confab with Mr. D (who was the emcee every night for the full-group sessions) and PeeJay.  Mr. D agreed, if the kids reached $200, he'd take a cream pie in the face at the pizza party that would happen some time after VBS finished.  Hubby agreed to be the schmuck who would take a cream pie in the face if the kids raised $300.  PeeJay agreed to take one for the team if the kids brought in $400.  And then he went to Miz Sherry, the VBS director, and explained their tiered pie-getting system.  "Who do you think," PeeJay mused, "we could get to take a pie, to reward the kids for bringing in $500?"

Miz Sherry never thought they'd make it...so she agreed.

Little kids were coming to VBS with $10 and $20 bills.  The same kids were then waving them in Hubby's face and saying, "You're goin' down, Pastor D!  You're goin' down!!!"

One little boy, whose family doesn't regularly even attend church, went home that third night and asked his parents if there were any extra chores he could do around the house to earn some money.  His (probably skeptical) dad asked why.  And when his son explained, he was so moved that he called the church and informed us that, should we be short our $500 goal, they only had to call him and he would make up the difference.


Turns out, we didn't need his help.  Although, it was really cool that he offered.

How much did the kids raise?

Had I actually gotten to the ATM on the last day of VBS and taken out $30 so each of the Fries could put in a $10, it would have been more.

As it was, these kids raised $825.

Let me repeat that.


Go, kids!

Tonight, screamingly happy kids piled into the church's fellowship hall to stuff their faces with pizza.  They were already hyped up by the time we went outside--thankfully, the rain had held off, and we were able to hold the creaming out on the lawn--and our four victims sat down in folding chairs.  The kids (one from each class) picked out their favorite victim, and everybody lined up.


And that's how it's done.

I'm told that Hubby has already determined, based on the sheer number of "You're goin' down!" comments he got, that he's got to be the highest-dollar creamee next year.  Everybody was gunning for him.

Except maybe Small Fry (Large and Medium are apparently less concerned).  She still doesn't quite understand why her daddy had to get a cream pie in the face.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All of a sudden...

...summer jury duty doesn't sound so bad.

It's almost a pity that I got it pushed back for three months.

I have the strangest dreams sometimes....

This isn't the first time I've dreamed, in the last three months, that Po is alive.

It is, however, the first time I've dreamed that a different Po, who looks even more like the "real" Po (don't ask; I can't explain it), came staggering into the house, wearing her red collar and tags with our old address on them.

Hubby was flabbergasted.

Especially since this "real" Po had appeared on scene right after the "real" Koa (who is, by the way, very much alive), so that we had two Koas in the house (really, one is more than enough), and now a new Po.  Plus the boys.  And Minou.  Who was, true to form, still hiding through all this.

Bonus points if you guess that the "real" Keiki showed up next.  Because, you see, all the kittens in her litter were little carbon-copies of their dad.  So it was theoretically possible that we'd picked up the wrong kitten all those years ago.  (We didn't.)

So, the feline tally is now a "real" Po, a "real" Keiki, two Koas, Mika, Pa'ani, and Minou.

Enter Niele.

Ni was a pretty, medium-haired calico we had when we lived in Columbus.  She didn't make the move with us; she was unhappy, and needed a house where she was the only kitty.  So we gave her that.

But she showed up in the dream, wearing her collar, complete with tags for our last Columbus address.

And if all that wasn't enough, a tiny little cream-orange tabby (a boy) appeared.  A kitten about six weeks old, and I begged Hubby to let us keep him.

Which, if you're keeping track, makes nine felines.

When the ferrets arrived on scene and started chewing holes in the bottom of the litter boxes (ew, I know, but it's a dream; I can't explain it), and hunting the cats, I was ready to wake up.

I didn't.

Nope, what happened next was that I had to go through some weird process to escape certain death and/or an arranged marriage in the Middle East somewhere...and then I had to go back and help some low-level princess or friend of someone who'd escaped at the same time I did or something, and get her out as well.

About then, Large Fry climbed into bed next to me, and woke me with snuggles and a request to watch tv.

I've never been so glad to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Small Fry: Mommy, how old are you?  Eight?

Me: Yeah, that works.  I'm eight.

I'm not, really, but you knew that, I'm sure.

Small [shouting to Hubby]: She's eight!!

If you'll excuse me, birthday cake and ice cream and presents are waiting....

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quote of the Night

Small Fry [to Medium]: I hafta go to tha baffroom, but I'll be wright back to tickewl!

Medium snuck up the stairs after her twin shortly thereafter, and I'm hearing giggles from above.

I'm guessing Medium didn't want to wait to tickewl.

Note to Self

Next time, do not go to the salon for yourself and take the Fries with you to get them haircuts, too.

It will be an expensive trip.

Of course, if you were a little less vain about your "platinum" hair, it wouldn't be quite as expensive.

But you do look cute.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Must Be Doing Something Right

To protect all my lovely (and expensive) new furniture, I decided even before we moved that it was time to invest in Soft Caps for the cats' front claws.  We had long ago made the decision not to declaw the cats, and I figured these were the best way to keep both my cats and me happy.

They're just little silicone caps that you fit on over the claw itself, and what's essentially superglue keeps them on.  According to the manufacturer, after 6-8 weeks, as the outer layer of the claw sloughs off naturally, the caps fall off too.  They come in a range of colors, from clear to sparkly pink to blue.  I tried to use a different color for each cat, just so that I would know who lost a cap. And I once gave Pa'ani pink caps because he'd ticked me off during his pedicure.

Now, the manufacturer clearly doesn't know my cats.  They are not normal.  Usually, less than half the caps fall off on their own (which the kids occasionally find, and bring to me).  I have to get the rest off myself, before the claw grows so much that it hits the toe pad.

It was very comical to watch BIL do a double-take after seeing Pa'ani's toes, which were capped in purple at the time.  "Did you paint their claws?" he asked.  I chuckled and explained.  He'd never heard of such a thing, but agreed it was a practical way to keep my furniture from being destroyed.

I told you that story to tell you this one.

Koa's claws had grown dangerously long inside her reverse-french-pedicure caps (white, with pink on the tips).  I knew I had to put on a new set of caps.  I'd been putting it off, though, because Koa is a pain in the heinie when it comes to pedicures.  She yowls.  She fights.  She tries to bite.  She fights some more.  It's tiring and irritating.

But she sat half on my lap tonight, and I decided it was time.  She yowled and bucked the whole way to the kitchen, where I retrieved my basket of kitty supplies.

The Fries all crowded around to watch (I usually do this after bedtime, just so the cat doesn't get further irritated by kids).

The claw trimmers work well at getting the remaining old caps off, and as Koa howled her indignation, the girls peppered me with questions.  No, it doesn't hurt her.  She doesn't like it.  Yes, I need to do this, so her claws don't hurt her toe pads.  No, the caps don't hurt.  And on.

Koa broke free after I got one paw recapped, and I chased her downstairs.  I caught her and she yowled all the way back to the dining room, where I'd been working on her claws.  Hubby hung up with his mom and came to help.  He held Koa still for another minute after the last cap was on--there's no way my cats are going to hold still for the recommended "five minutes"--while I put the glue and claw trimmers back in the basket.

Small Fry pulled out another package.  "Why didn't you use dese ones, Mommy?"  The caps were dark gray and blue.  Blue is Mika's color (it matches his collar).

Gray is Keiki's, usually.

Also in the basket was a set of the sparkly light pink and hot pink caps.  Popoki's cap color was always the sparkly pink.  At Keiki's last little pedicure, I put the hot pink caps on her toes.

My head dropped into my hands as I fought tears unsuccessfully.

"You okay?" Hubby asked, letting Koa go to lick her emotional wounds.

I shook my head.

"Are you sick?"

I shook my head again.




I nodded.

"Why is Mommy crying?" Large asked.

"Because she misses Popoki and Keiki."

Two sets of little arms wrapped around me as I cried.

"You should give Mommy a hug, too.  It'll help her feel better."  A third set of little arms came around me from the other side.

"It's okay, Mommy," Large said encouragingly.

I pulled myself together and Hubby sent the kids to clean up dinner stuff.  I put away my basket and threw away the old caps I'd taken off.

Hubby called to Large Fry to come get her plate and cup, just as she appeared in front of me, holding a sheet of lined looseleaf paper.  (I'd found a bunch during our move, and put it in the craft bin for the kids to use.)  "Here, Mommy!"

I took the sheet of paper, blank on the side facing me.  I turned it over, and smiled as my eyes felt watery again.
Large's picture.  Love the spellings.

"I drew it for you, so you can always remember and be happy!"

She'd drawn Popoki and Keiki together, and the size ratios were just about right.

"Why are you smiling and crying?"

I gave Large what must have been a very watery smile.  "Because sometimes it's possible to be very sad and very happy at the same time."

Golly, I love my kids.


Overheard just now...

Hubby: Go!  Get your swimsuits on.  Fast!  You have permission to run!

[90 seconds, tops]

Hubby [to Medium Fry]: That's not having your swimsuit on!  That's naked!

Hubby then appeared in the doorway to the den, and slapped his palm to his forehead.

Friday, July 6, 2012

North Shore Acapella

Way back when Hubby and I were dating (and even before, honestly), when we were both going to college back in Quincy, MA, we were also broke.

We needed cheap dates.

For less than $2 apiece back then, you could get in and out of downtown Boston on the T.

We would take the Red Line downtown to Faneuil Hall on Friday or Saturday nights, just to go hear these guys.

We'd feel the bass singer through the cobblestones before we could hear them.  That's a good bass...who's well amped.

During the spring, summer and fall, there was a pub in Faneuil Hall that would open up its glass enclosure, and these guys would rock the joint.  They sang mostly hits from the 50s and 60s, with the occasional hits from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, all served up in classic acapella doo-wop.  People would congregate outside just to listen...and dance.

Given that Hubby and I met because we both sang in our college's semi-professional A Cappella Choir (the Latin isn't picky about spelling, believe it or not), we loved this kind of stuff.  (Okay, so I also loved it because my dad had gotten me hooked on it years before.)

Especially since these guys would do something they called acapell-eoke.

Poor unsuspecting patrons of the restaurant would find the tenor in front of them, shoving his mike in their faces, and commanding them to sing the opening trill of The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," which he'd just sung for them.  He'd do this several times, and then the tenor would mosey back to the rest of the group, and they'd sing the whole song.  (On a totally unrelated note, our choir would occasionally travel to concerts by the T, and a bunch of us would often break out into that song, only to have our director groan and command that if we were going to do it, we should "do it right.")

I loved it.  It was great.

I'm so glad they're still singing.

Thoughts on the last week....

  • Parenting is a lot easier when you have an equal child-adult ratio.
  • You would think I'd be used to being this tired.  Or being tired, period.  I've been tired for the last four years.  (Most of the time, it's a good tired.)
  • I have discovered why I've been feeling so wonky for the last week or so.  Wacky hormones will do that to you.  (No, I am not pregnant.)
  • It has been beastly hot here.  We're supposed to reach triple-digits again tomorrow.  Alaska is looking nicer and nicer.
  • Going to the pool is great.  Always having to be in the water because my kids are still learning  how to swim is fine while I'm in the water.  Once I get out, I remember that I'm no longer pre-30s or pre-accident.  My ankle always forgets in water what it can and can't do.  I limped out to the van tonight after nearly three and a half hours turning into a prune.
  • Large Fry burst into tears tonight because the lifeguard determined that she's not quite 48" tall and said she could no longer go down the slide into the pool.  (She's really close, so it's sort of a toss-up if she reaches or falls short of the height requirement.)
  • Pool noodles are lots of fun.  Especially when you let the hollow center fill with water, and then aim and blow.
  • The revelation that someone I know had Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a child (now, full-grown, strapping adult with two kids) gives me great hope for my former youth group kid who was recently diagnosed.  If he was cured as a child, 30ish years or so ago, there's great hope for my dear friend.
  • Eating ice cream has become difficult.  I burst into tears the other night after Hubby brought home some frozen custard from Rita's for me, because I set my empty cup down on the floor for Keiki to lick, without thinking.  And, of course, she's not here to lick out the dregs like she's done for most of the last 13 years.  It broke my heart.  Grief is such a funny thing. The weirdest stuff will bring it racing to the forefront.  Keiki could hear the ice cream scoop hit the ice cream, and she would be right there.  Out of a sound sleep, I tell you!  And then she would sit in front of me and watch me eat, often sitting up on her hind legs like a prairie dog and plaintively meowing.
Small, Medium, and the PA Memorial.
  • We spent the 4th in Gettysburg, touring the battlefield in an abbreviated fashion, with some good friends of ours.  It was quite a day.  We finished the day with watching the local fireworks.  Getting home this year was considerably easier and quicker than last year in C-burg, where it took us an hour to get out of the parking lot and another half hour to get home, from the elementary school where we parked...which was all of a ten-minute drive from our house (the Fries were all zonked within three minutes of classical music in the van).
  • Today we got invited to my oldest great-nephew's birthday party.  Why, yes, I am a great-aunt (in addition to being a great aunt).  That's what happens when you marry the "what do you mean, you're pregnant?" baby of the family, and there's 12 years between him and his oldest sister.  He'll be six.  My great-nephew, that is, not Hubby.  The party's at Chuck E. Cheese.  I'm torn between really wanting to go--Little D and I share the same birthday--and being leery of stepping inside a Chuck E. Cheese's again, mostly because my brother took the Fries there the last time they went to one.
  • We have to play the party thing by ear, anyway.  My friend A posted this on Facebook tonight: "Walking with someone into eternity is a painful blessing."  I know her sister and family arrived today from where they're missionaries abroad, and I know some hard decisions were being made.  My guess is that they have decided, as a family, to stop her dad's sedation and remove the ventilator at some point this weekend, and they do not expect her dad to make it.  I am going to try to make it to the funeral if at all possible, and that may throw a wrench in other plans.
  • I am seriously contemplating going to bed right now, but I had a nightmare last night that we were facing court again because of another custody suit, and  Hubby and I spent the greater portion of the dream meeting with our lawyer's senior partner.  I still feel rattled.  (Our lawyer would love to go back to court.  She's that confident in our case.)
  • I smell like chlorine.
  • I have a huge craving for more french fries.

Monday, July 2, 2012

When it rains, it pours.

A little over a year ago, my best friend from high school emailed me, to let me know that her dad, a Navy veteran, had been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

My friend, A, is a cardiac nurse.  In situations like this, well, she knows too much.  She doesn't have the bliss of ignorance concerning the worst parts of cancer.

I know how much she loves her dad.

I love the crotchety guy, too.

She sent another message last night, with an update on her dad's condition.  They learned a couple months ago that his cancer was growing again, and due to some scheduling conflicts, he had missed both his chemo sessions for the last two months.  He was scheduled to go in again today to see his oncologist and have another chemo treatment.

He apparently had a bad allergic reaction to the chemo, because his throat closed up fast and his heart stopped before the docs could get there.  A said that they did CPR for a long time, which is never a good thing, before they were able to restart his heart and get a tube down his throat to help with breathing.

It will be another 24 hours or so before they know if there was any lasting damage from this little anaphylactic (spell check suggests "intergalactic") adventure.

If your praying muscles aren't already worn out, would you exercise 'em again for my friend?  She's scared.  Her mom is scared. They need wisdom.  And comfort.  And love.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

This should not be.

As I browsed through Facebook tonight, I came across the latest status update from one of our youth group kids from 13 years ago.

I only reconnected with her about two years or so ago.  It's been a treat to see the person she's grown into, and to compare mommy notes, since she's now the mom of two young kids.

It doesn't seem like all that long ago that she was in high school, and Hubby and I were volunteering with the youth group at our church.

Her status tonight announced the results of a biopsy that she had a couple weeks back, a status I must have missed.

She has Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

She's not even 30.

Thankfully, she says that, while this is cancer, it's also easily treated with chemotherapy, which she will begin in a few weeks.

One of my kids should not be facing cancer.

This seems so...wrong.

Your prayers for my friend, her husband, their kids, and her doctors would be appreciated.