Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giant Chickens, crossed fingers, public speaking and am I blind?

This morning when Jadon made his annual morning trek to daddy's side of the bed to "just rest my head one more minute", I shared with him the ca-ra-zy dream I had just awoken from.

I was dreaming about our home (even though it looked more like this amazing place I keep dreaming about - is that a sign that some day it will be mine?).  We had just tucked Jadon in for the night.  He came trodding out of his bed to tell us there was a strange scratching noise on his ceiling - he was sure it was mice, rats, or squirrels (if only he knew that none of those would be allowed in this amazing place I keep dreaming about).  After searching the attic (because that is what we do), we went outside.  By now the entire neighborhood has joined us on the street, looking back at my home (of my dreams) to find a giant chicken on the roof.  When I say giant I mean GIANT.

When we reached the street, just to the north of us a giant black creature with a bushy black tail ran past us - upright in an unnatural state, accosting our neighbors roof. 

Suddenly as if the skies parted, there were white balls of something appearingly falling from the heavens.  But the large chunks of hail were really eggs.  The chicken was throwing EGGS at us!  When it ran out of eggs, it started throwing the bricks from our chimney.  Its black hairy friend next door was doing the same.

In his defense, I know this is not how my husband would have reacted, but it was my dream remember, and therefore I must tell it as it was...  My husband darted across the drive to be at my side - me thinking he had Jadon in his arms.  I was so very wrong.  Jadon was still out in the street playing dodgeball with bricks and other flying foreign objects - Jim was scared and didn't want to get hit. 

Then out of nowhere, like a knight in shining armor, my mothers brother Ed appeared.  He swooped down and grabbed Jadon from his hovering spot in the street and dropped him gently next to me before crashing to the ground...

and then my alarm went off....

So tonight as I was driving home I realized that we don't have a sitter for Satruday night...  So I sent a text to my adorable cousin Sarah Belle (who is more like a little sister - kind of like her twin, and my cousin Chrissy - I just adore them all!) and said exactly this:  "come over and babysit for me on Saturday, k?"  - only she lives like 140 miles away in a 4th floor dorm (with no elevators yo - it was not fun moving her in I tell ya - my old lazy butt does not do 4 flights of stairs).  She still said "yes" - if she can catch a ride from someone who lives close.  I hope she can come - we have so much fun with Sarah!

Here is to hoping! (oooohhhh my nails look nasty....)

I mean really - who wouldn't want to spend a few days with these two clowns?

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from our former American Cancer Society Relay For Life Rep.  She was very kindly, and in a round a bout way, asking me to speak at the Regional Roundtable Conference on Saturday. 

Being the ever people pleaser that I try to be I conceded.  This afternoon I received a call from her counterpart to go over the emailed materials they want me to share with not one, but two break out sessions - each an hour long, on Saturday morning and afternoon.  I have so much prep work to do, but until an hour ago my laptop was receiving a much needed lobotomy.  Thank goodness the school tech person is a genius!

If I have many spelling errors in this (or any future) post, I would like to point the finger at the culprit - unless I am blind, it appears that the last time Blogger upgraded they removed Spell Check.  Am I blind?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What makes a mother do something like that?

Every story of child abduction and murder makes me ill. 

But the story of Shayina Davis brings me to tears - literally.

Maybe its the pictures of her in the arms of the man who allegedly kidnapped her.

Maybe its the allegations that her (pregnant) mother sold her to sex slavery (just typing that makes me want to vomit).

Maybe its the sweet innocence lost once again to adults who were supposed to be there to protect her.

Watching her father and aunt yesterday on CBS Morning News, the only question I had in my mind is "why did you give her back to her mother?".  But that isn't my question to ask.  How could they have known.  You always hope you have a childs best interest when you leave them with someone you trust.

I normally would not focus on a story like this because there are so many, and that is the job of the news, but something makes me want to scoop up all of these little lost souls and let them know someone cares.  It also makes me want to form a posse of "what goes around comes around" and open a rather large can of kick ass on these people (no, I am not normally a violent person).

It just makes me so sad.  So sickened.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Outstanding! A+

That is what the note said on the report that Mantha brought home today from school.

This is why...

The project called for a "diorama" of one of the stops of the Ojibwe on their way to Minnesota.  Mantha chose Niagra Falls.  Instantly ideas were pumping through my brain - what we could use, how it could look.  But I was forgetting this was her project.  So I let her creativity take hold.  I spawned some ideas of course by providing the tools/supplies, and together, we built Niagra Falls with Mod Podge colored with blue food coloring covering baby fleece yarn as water, and Floral Moss covering the tops of twigs and sticks as tree's.  Luckily we have a friend who owns a gift store and has a plethora of styrofoam.

So our her project got not only an "A", but an Outstanding "A+".

To those kids who brought blueberry muffins (a state symbol?) I chuckle.  How you got an "A" I will never understand, as you and your mothers did not have much time to bond on a beautiful Sunday now did you?

Bad mom, I know!  I will repent by guiding my daughter to another "A+" with the cover of her autobiography...

I only helped a little... I promise!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

REPOSTING: Memorial to my Step Father Bruce Leonard Snyder

Two years ago today I lost my step father Bruce.  He was the light of my mothers life, and he was an amazing man.  Sometimes his zest for life drove me crazy - because he spent a lot of time flying by the seat of his pants - no schedules, living life as it came to him.  But I also respected that, and was envious of that ability.  It has taken two years, but I think I have finally accepted that he has left us.

Today is the day that we honor and remember all of our Veterans.  The best Veteran I know went to be with his beloved wife, my mother, on this day.  What a victory for him!

REPOSTING November 11, 2007

As I try and wrap myself around the news I have received of my step fathers passing, I must remember the joy...

Bruce was his name, and life was his game. Bruce was a hard working, even harder playing man who found his way into our hearts more than 15 years ago... boy has time flown!

"The Set Up"
In May of 1992 after a little planning, and a little scheming, Bruce's friend Donny, and I planned the perfect "set up". But Donny neglected to tell me what Bruce looked like! As we walked into the Legion on May 12, 1992, there sat two men. Good friends they were, but very different.

One wore tatoo's from hither to yawn, drank beer, and swore like a sailor. The other wore a flight suit and a glass of scotch, but was so shy that all he did was giggle! I remember as if it were yesterday, like two school girls, mom and I rushing into the bathroom, both a little giddy (and slightly intoxicated) laughing so hard that we feared peeing our pants, because we had NO IDEA who the guy was I was supposedly setting her up with... Was it the Harley dude or the Army Brat? Note to self, next time ask the co-conspirator the guys NAME!

What we didnt know at the time was that the co-conspirator had already told the smitten gent all about the set up, and the guys were playing us for all we were worth. See, the man cannot be caught off guard, he must always be in control. And they played the game well.

And the best man won...

Bruce, what can I say about him? I loved him, I hated him, I adored him, I respected him, I was amazed by him. I will never forget him.

I loved him... for loving my mom unconditionally. He was there in her spirit, in her smile, in her laughter, and sometimes in her tears.

I hated him... for sometimes taking life not serious enough. Is that his fault? Not at all. Did it harm anyone? Only him. "In the moment" was Bruces style, and sometimes "in the moment" meant missing something that was coming at him like a runaway freight train. He lived his life like he wanted, and sometimes that meant not seeing the big picture. But it was his life to live, and he lived to its best!

I adored him... Bruce loved and lived with all his heart. When Bruce married mom, he married so much more. He instantly became "dad" to two adult children who would not allow him to forget his place in their hearts. He also became "brother" to 7 of moms siblings, their spouses and children, and we cannot forget, "son" to Margaret, and "son" to Olga, whose life he was only able to touch for a very short time. Bruce soon became "grandpa" to three adorable children who loved him dearly, and he them.

I respected him... How could you not respect a man who put his life in his own hands and lived, and lived and lived... He knew what he wanted, and he made sure he got it. He knew who he was, and he never let anyone tell him different. How can you not respect a man who knew how to live life to its fullest?

I was amazed by him... How can you not be?

I will miss him... Anytime you lose someone you love, you miss them, that is obvious, that is part of loving. His laugh... devious and obnoxious, and at sometimes came at moments when you knew he would rather cry. His smile... usually was followed by the above noted laugh! His eyes... you could see his soul in his eyes. He may have presented with a tough guy image, but you saw the soul that screamed love and devotion when you looked into those beautiful frosty blues!

What I will miss the most... what I saw present everytime I looked into his eyes was the love of his life. She was there always. He never left her behind. He carried her with him. He was her vessel to the living. He carried his father in those eyes too. Leonard, I have decided over the years, was the devious side of Bruce, and Mom was the devotion in him. I will miss all of him. His quirks, his love and his laughter. Bruce was the best step father I could have ever asked for.

So as I share in the sadness, the "life" of his life, I also share the "joy". The joy that Bruce brought to my life, and to my family's life, and to all those who knew him.

Bruce we all love you and will miss you, but we are all so happy that you are back in the arms of the one you lived for.

Thank you for gracing my life - love, your bratty kid.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today has been emotional to say the least.  This morning my dear friend Jennifer stood by her baby Stellan's side as his heart stopped beating.  Blood pressure gone, heart silent.

If you don't believe in Miracles, then you have never read my blog, nor have you read Jennifer's blog.  Because if you have, you would know a miracle by name. 


Life returned to Stellan's heart.  Life returned to Jennifer's hope. 

The day was not easy once that life was reborn into him.  In fact to say the least, it continued to teeter on the edge.  Surgery was started, but there were complications.  Well laid plans were halted by stubborn pathways and arteries.  Once underway things were still not under control.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lots of leaves and even more Jen(ny)(ies)

Yesterday was very productive...  Up at the crack of early, for the first time in 7 years, we all participated in the much dreaded fall clean up - back yard style.

Our works in pictures...


This is actually the leaves on our neighbors yard - but ours looked just like it...


Another year of failed grass growing under our belts!

The jumping pile after it was all jumped out...

Wagons for everyone...

The Crew Supervisor

The Waitress (aka slept in and came out in time to serve beverages - meaning all the work was done)

That smile?  It was relief that she didn't have to rake!

The Leaf Mover

The Digger

(that really his is nickname, so this picture was too perfect!  Who would think those little legs could make such big holes!)

Let me out!

Daschel was exiled to the deck because he thought the piles were for play!

I will admit there was a little bribery involved in the crew's willingness to help us.  This under recognized iconic locale known as McDonalds.  It kept them going until pre-wilting due to starvation.  Post bribery naps were had by all!

After naps and laziness concluded I had a date with some of my good friends for a birthday!  A small girls night out turned into a rompin', bar hoppin' (lots of drivin' to other small towns) and tons of jukebox playin', dancin', laughin', not just for girls night out.  Unfortunately some of us did not know boys were allowed until we were already piling into cars like clowns, so the Crew Supervisor was stuck with daddy duty.

Lots and lots of Jen(ny)(ies) were out to play last night.  Jen, Jenny and Jennie were in prime form.  Susie and Nicole wore out the dance floor.  Lee and Troy were embarrassed by the whole lot, Dave and Rod tried to keep up, Steve and Michelle caught up to us at our last resort, and Ben, well he showed up late for the party too but was already 12 sheets to the wind.

It was fun, I am amazed I am not hurting right now.  When I arrived home at 2 am, my husband was still awake.  It has been said that I was very chatty upon arrival.  Could it be that my last two beverages included passion fruit rum and Red Bull?

Happy Birthday Susie!

To ensure that Jennie does not double book, I wrote down our next two dates for her on a bar napkin - now I have witnesses lest she forgets!