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Everything from dishes to laundry has come to a screeching halt.  With no mom “on duty” …as she is fighting strep and likely to be found coughing, sipping “wal-flu”, or napping….it has been party central here!  The dishes are 1/2 dirty and 1/2 semi-dirty (washed by a 9 year old with a bad attitude), the laundry is in piles on the basement floor, and the house, in general, is in DESPERATE need of a good scrub. With James leaving for work between 4-5 am, and returning home near 6pm, then rushing out to work with his dad after that….well, he pretty much falls into bed at night.  Although, yesterday, he came home, cooked dinner, made a home movie with Kadin, snugged Layla, and played Runescape with Riley! Then he brought me “wal-flu” in bed…. I can’t ask anymore of the man, he is amazing! (although another baby would be nice 🙂  So, here it is almost a week after “the affliction” (…which I gave to my poor, dear sister and nephew who were visiting- sorry!!) ,and I am looking around at the house and this close to making a big announcement. “chores are cancelled everyone, we are just going to live like piggies from now on…..go ahead and just leave that dirty cup on the counter, and don’t bother with putting your dirty undies down the laundry chute, who knows, maybe we will hit the lottery and be able to hire grandma to come over and clean up!!”   I KNOW my mother would have this mess whipped into shape in 2 hours flat! Too bad she lives so far away…come to think of it, I am not at all sure how she keep our house so clean, with 3 kids running in circles, I am sure she got sick at least once, but I can’t remember…..there is hope then, maybe my kids will forget too. All the barking of orders from my sick bed, and the frumpy hair, wadded up tissues, and cough drop breath, will be but a distant memory….. we can only hope! Because next week……chores are reinstated, and mom is back on duty.

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Forbidden Love

I am feeling a bit nostalgic tonight, so I thought I would share with you all the first poem I ever wrote. It was my senior year in high school….we were on a van full of teens headed to camp. My boyfriend was chatting with a girl who was dating my favorite school mate “Todd” , since they were engrossed in a conversation, my friend “Todd” offered me one of his walkman earbuds…(yes, I said walkman, it was 1991 after all!) He happened to be listening to the soundtrack to “Princess Bride”…and just as he handed me the earbud…the song “Our love is like a storybook story” came on…..there has always been this unspoken chemistry between us…it’s just we both dated quite a bit, and were never single at the same time…so here we both were, listening to this very romantic song, sitting next to our respective dating partners. The song ended, we locked eyes for a long moment, and I handed back the earbud. I retreated to the back of the van and wrote out this poem…

FORBIDDEN LOVE ~

Trapped inside this crystal cage-

I cast a weary eye

At the same old things I always see

And I wish that I could die.

 

I see you from a far

At a length, but never near

I wish with all my heart

But I only shed a tear.

 

The curse is there forever

My cage you’ll never see,

Torment will be my companion

Is this the way it has to be?

 

Day after day, hour by hour

I hear you call my name,

I’m calling back, why can’t you hear

Why can’t I stop this game?

 

Oh, to be free from this wretched cell,

To feel your warm embrace,

As I look upon your shattered soul,

I see your tear-stained face.

 

I press my face close to the glass,

Choking back my scream,

Oh, how can love be so cruel?

Why can’t my hurt be a dream.

Who am I?

At 35 (as of June 25th) I am definitely not the “young new mommy” I was at 25. I have been seasoned a bit– by having 3 kids, 6 moves, and a husband who went through rehab. I wouldn’t say I am happy about what those events have done to my body, but I am pleased at who I have become in spirit…. I am stronger. I can see a situation and realize that there is hope, not all is lost, there is a tomorrow. Today’s reality does not define me, tomorrow’s destiny does. There is a world out there to be discovered, explored, and it is waiting for me. I will not look behind me, I will only push ahead, in 10 years I hope to be stronger, bolder, and more seasoned than I am today. Life has a strange way of sorting it all out in the end, we need to let the small things go, and fight only the battles that are necessary for our survival. We need to raise our brood to be accomplished and kind and brave. Teaching them to cherish their young, to run in the rain, to write poetry. For only too soon, we will be the elders….looking back on a life that has been lived, seasoned to the fullest, and better than it ever was at 35.

I have received some interesting comments about my last blog. My friend Carol, whose mom worked in a chocolate factory, told me that bugs do indeed get into chocolate. Yucky- Carol also brought up an unpleasant thought…”What about eating candy at the movies…..??” Seriously, people, I may never get candy at the movies again, you can’t SEE squat in there!! My sister, Kelly, has vowed to check every single candy bar she eats from now on! I really didn’t mean to make the world a more paranoid place! I just wanted everyone to know that it IS possible!

 

In other news, Kadin’s shoddy stitching job resulted in another trip to the ER, as they tore open last night. This time they glued his head shut, not the mouth part….which would make things considerably quieter at our house, but the 1/4 inch gaping wound still in his head. Poor kid, I have a sneaky suspicion that this is only two of many trips to the ER for him, he really is a risk taker.

 

Tonight is the season finale for American Idol, we are having our friends Keith and Carol over for ribs, and to watch it together. We are so immature and call each other, like 10 times during the show to discuss how everyone is doing.  So we decided that we MUST actually be together for the finale, because it is just too pathetic to be calling all the time (or so my hubby says). I think sometimes that girls really never outgrow that silly, giddy schoolgirl-ish-ness about them….at least I hope I never do. As for James, I think he likes having something to pick on me about. He always makes an “appearance” during the commercials when Carol and I are chatting, and makes faces!!

 

My fibromyalgia is really flaring up the past week, so that is not fun. Most of the time I feel like I have the flu (achy, sensitive skin, nausea, muscle aches) so I am dealing with that. James has been helping with dinner and the kids which takes a load off me. There really aren’t too many good options for FMS, as far as treatment goes, so you basically have to live with it. My job doesn’t provide insurance for me, so Physical therapy is out, as well as anything else alternative that would help. Most of the time I can manage, but this past week has been alot for me.  The really annoying thing is that is “settles” somewhere, surprise,  you never know quite where!! This flare up is all about my hip sockets, weird, but true, I am limping around here like an old arthritic. It passes that is the good thing. I decided to try some Vitamin B6 this round to see if it helps, any advise out there?

 

Well, that is all I got for now, just some bits and pieces of my day…have a safe and relaxing memorial day weekend, and let’s not forget that this weekend is about more than bbq’s and fishing.  Soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and Monday is for remembering them. Let’s not forget!!

  Sometimes no matter what you do, things don’t happen as fast as they need to! This is what happened to me today. Kadin is with me at work today (long story about a “fake” sickness that snookered me into picking him up at school, only to result in a rowdy kid that could be learning something right now), anyway, we went to lunch at the McDonald’s down the road, it is connected to a gas station. We had a little lunch with my friend Lisa, and as we headed out the door, we each picked out a candy bar. I chose a chocolate payday, Kadin picked a Rolo, and Lisa a 3 musketeers. I told Kadin to wait until we got back to open his (I am sooo glad I did), so back at the lab, I open my candy bar, only to discover…..MAGGOTS, yes, you heard me right, 5-6 of them crawling all over my candy bar!! I grabbed Kadin’s, and opened it…upon a close inspection….a maggot crawling between the rolos!! I called Lisa “DON’T EAT THE CANDY!!”  I practically yelled into the phone……now, I am not a person who takes something like this lightly!! I immediately get on the horn…I call information, they give me the number for the health department….after the automated blah blah blah, I get a person…..who gives me a phone number for the agricultural and dairy association…..after calling them, and the blah, blah, blah of automated crap, I get a person……who gives me yet another number!! By now, I have told my story several times, and am losing patience…..”DO YOU REALIZE THAT KIDS MAY BE EATING THIS MAGGOT FILLED CANDY AS WE SPEAK!!!!”  This gets me no where, so I patiently call the last number, and finally get to log a complaint. “Is someone on the way???” I ask, to which the operator calmly says, “The Wayne County Inspector will get a copy of your complaint, and contact the service station in 10 days.”   Your joking, 10 days??? Do you know how many candy bars could be consumed in 10 days????!!! She has no answer for this, so I hang up and call the gas station. No one answers, I let it ring and ring, but no one answers, so I drive up there. I hand over the candy bars (safely sealed in plastic baggies) and the clerk, actually acts like he can’t see the 1/2 inch long maggots!!! I assure him that they are there! He argues for a minute or two, then gives me a refund. I say, “what about the candy???!!!” He comes around the corner, and takes out the box of Rolo and Payday. He assures me he will tell his manager. So I leave, what else could I do? I can’t stand outside with a sign that says, “DON’T BUY THE CANDY HERE, IT IS INFESTED!!”  I head back to the lab and call Hershey, Pa, they also take down the information, and promise to launch their own investigation. “Poor storage conditions, often cause an infestation of the candy.” she tells me. Again, I am thinking of the mother in line at the BP who is “treating” her 3 little kids to a candy bar, for being good. Who has time to inspect each product?? I see it going down like this, “Hurry and pick something, now get in the van, and buckle up, that’s nice Susie, just hurry and eat it, we will be at Grandma’s soon……”  I promise, I wouldn’t have noticed the maggot on Kadin’s if I didn’t do an up close inspection!!! Yikes, my kid almost ate it!! The lady I work with suggests I call the local non-emergency police line to see if they can force the manager to remove the candy…so I call and give my story 2 more times, but it turns out it is up to the Health department, who, sadly has 10 days to act. I tell the officer, “Just be sure you don’t stop there to pick up some candy for your kids on the way home!” He laughs, and assures me he won’t.  So what can I do??? There is wormy candy being sold down the street….did I mention that the maggots are alive and crawling??…..AH-HA… “RUTH TO THE RESCUE”  Channel 4 news. I call, and inevitably get transferred to someones voice mail in the news room….sigh, I think it would make a great news story, and maybe someone would do something. Well, this blog is the last thing I will do, I don’t want to think about it anymore!! I am not sure I will buy candy ever again……ok, that’s not true, but I will most likely get it at a grocery store, where the food is monitored a little closer.  It may seem extreme what I am doing, but how mad would you be, if it was your kid who almost ate it??

 

It had been a long day, James took Riley to his fencing class, so I could relax. I slipped into my flannel, santa jammie pants, and a long sleeved tee-shirt. I grabbed a snack, and settled down to do some serious TV watching. Kadin and Layla asked to go to the park behind our house, since we are at a dead-end street, the park is literally in our back yard, I gave them the thumbs up! One of my favorite TV stations is Discovery Health, I can’t help it, I am addicted to all the blood and guts, maybe because I am an ER Tech, maybe because it truly IS amazing what the human body can endure. So I had watched a bit, when Layla came back from the park, Kadin decided to play a while more. As I continued to watch the show “Trauma, Life in the E.R.” I had this strange sensation come over me. I felt like I needed to change the channel, like something bad was going to happen……not two minutes later…..Kadin comes crying in the house with blood running down his face!! I am not a panicky mom, so I set him down on in the bathroom, and give him some kleenex to hold on his head. Once the blood cleared I realize he had a dime size gaping hole between his eyes…..I have Layla get my cell phone. I call James and tell him that I am not WATCHING “Trauma, Life in the E.R.”, we are now LIVING “Trauma My Life in the E.R.” , and off we go. Kadin asks me if he will get stitches….I tell him, that I think so. He says, “out of a 100% chance……” I say, ” 99% “, he cries, and asks to call his brother. I dial up James and he gives the phone to Riley. ” Do stitches hurt?” Kadin asks. “Not as much as breaking my arm did!” Riley replies. They chat a bit, and Kadin informs me that Riley thinks stitches don’t hurt too bad, so all is good. Amazing!! One chat with a 10 year old can do that!! So by the time we get to the ER, Kadin is showing his gaping wound to anyone who will look, “I got whacked with a swing, and my head cracked open..” he says. The Er doctor tells him he will need stitches, and that he will need to get “numbed up” for it. Kadin says, ” that’s ok, my brother says it doesn’t hurt too much.”  I need to pause here and say that I wouldn’t be so calm if a doctor was coming at my head with a huge needle, ready to give me 3 shots directly into a gaping wound!! But, Kadin has so much trust in his brother’s words….(he did survive 10 stitches in his big toe after all), so he just lies there calmly, and when the doctor gives him the shots, he says, “well, that stung a little, but it really wasn’t too bad!” To which the doctor replies, “He has a high tolerance for pain, mom”….4 stitches later, and we are on our way home. Kadin is excited to go to school and show off his crescent-shaped, stitched-up, forehead. I think what surprised me most is that kids have a great belief in the words of those they trust. Whether it be, parents, teacher, or in this case a big brother. We are all blessed to have others who have been down life’s road ahead of us. There are always others to light the way, and encourage us. Sometimes all we need to do is ask.

I encounter many interesting clients, as I draw blood each day. Today I met a WWII vet, named Harvey. He is 87 years old, has wavy white hair, and a contagious smile. He walks with a cane, but is still in great shape, with only a slight bend in his back.  He chatted quietly with the other clients waiting their turn, and when I called him to the window, he gave me his ID and Insurance with a soft smile. I know war is hard on some soldiers making them bitter, and angry at the world, but Harvey seems to be a genuinely happy person. I asked him about the rain outside, he laughed and said, ” Not sure, it took so long at the doctors……” then to his daughter… “go run outside real quick, if you come back wet, we will know it is still raining”, then to me (with a slight smirk) ” good thing about my daughter, she does anything I ask!!” So off we go to the “draw room” where everyone hates going….I have tried to keep it a happy place. I keep pictures up on the walls, and Witty sayings near the chair to distract nervous clients. I even keep a small supply of stuffed animals to hand out afterwards.  So Harvey and I finish the last minute paper work, and I get my supplies together. He tells me that he was a medic in the army and his dad was a “Polar Bear” in WWI and fought for America in Russia. I start to draw his blood and he commented… “those butterfly needles sure are nice, we didn’t have them back in my day.” I really felt a sense of gratefulness come over me,  “Thank you for serving our Country”, I told him, to which he replied ” Thank you for the Privilege!”  He has seen more than his share of death, illness, blood and guts, yet he chooses to just be Thankful. Thankful to be walking this earth, thankful for modern medicine, and mostly thankful just to have been a soldier.