Friday, August 30, 2013


The Mister is in Pennsylvania.  He was sent there for work, with three days notice to return to his former plant for two weeks.  We were all particularly bummed as we would have enjoyed all being in PA together, but it didn't work out that way.

Today, he called me after work and asked for directions to our old house.  He found it with ease, a mere two and a half miles from where he used to live.  He went to dinner at a restaurant he used to frequent that I had been near a million times, but I had never eaten there.  Tomorrow he is going to the flea market famous in our old town, and he plans to drive around a bit and see what's new in the three years since he moved here.  We already know of several changes in the seven years since I moved away from there.

It is so very strange, to think of how close we came to meeting there.  We overlapped by only a couple months, really, but still...we have to wonder...

And while I might wish beyond wishes that we had met far sooner than we did, at the end of the day, we are just so thankful that we met at all.  He is glad to not be working at that plant any longer, and we are both happier here than there.  So he will eat his fill of cheesesteaks (and one more just for me) and he will return home with Wawa sandwiches, and we will talk about all that has changed.

And we will know, beyond a doubt, that God wanted us to meet each matter how hard we made it on Him!  

Sunday, August 25, 2013


We sent the teen to pick up the pizza.  He sent back this text:


We happily accepted his accidental generosity.  He mumbled something about paying more attention next time to which debit card he hands the cashier.  One kid's oversight is two parents' advantage! 

BTW, Flash, next time we'd like some wings, too.  ;)

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Batastrophe (#3)

Anyone who knows me well knows my fear of grasshoppers.  Irrational to some (ahem, Flash), if you understand my fear of things that might touch me in flight, you can see why an insect that jumps/flies in random directions and certainly with the intent to land and you can see why a walk through tall grass might as well be hell on earth for me.

About the only thing worse for me, is the idea that something might fly near and/or land on me in the dark.  There isn't enough therapy in the world should a large flying bug decide my living room is within it's flight pattern after dark.

So, imagine, if you will, my terror this morning, when I slowly came out of my dream state of sleep to realize quite suddenly that something has just flown over my head in very close proximity.  Such close proximity that it was the actual sound of flapping wings that woke me.  (I might need a Xanax just to retell this story.) It did not take long to confirm my worst, and I do mean worst fear.  There was a bat flying around my bedroom.

Now, let's review: 

Bat #1 was found in my living room lamp a few years back, during the daytime, and was removed by my very very kind neighbor, Nate.

Bat #2 attached itself to my nativity crèche this past Christmas, discovered one fine evening and was removed by The Soon-to-Be Mister.

This is Bat #3.   BAT NUMBER THREE.  In my bedroom.  IN MY BEDROOM.  At six in the morning.  IN THE DARK PEOPLE!!!!  

The Mister had left for work two hours earlier.  The teenager was asleep below me and was apparently deaf to my screams.  I immediately hid under the covers and there may have been cursing.  Loud, serious cursing.  I would rather give unmedicated birth to triplets than to be in the situation I found myself in.  Seriously.  I reached out just enough to turn on the light, thinking at least the #%$& thing would stop flying.  I peeked out twice, barely pulling the covers back far enough to see, but enough to know that a) it was still circling and b) THE CAT WAS SITTING ON A CHAIR WATCHING IT.   

I took several deep breaths and reached out again for my cell phone.  With shaking hands, I texted The Mister, "I have a major major problem.  There is a bat in the bedroom." And, because there is a God in Heaven who was not too offended by the aforementioned cursing, the Mister was not out on the floor of the plant grading cattle, but was in the office and immediately texted back, "I will be there in twenty minutes."  God, I love that man.

I stayed under the covers, although I did try texting and calling Flash times.  Ahem.  He slept.  The Mister texted me to suggest I close the door at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the bedroom.  I texted back, "I am NOT leaving this f'ing bed!!!!" To which, again, because he is a saint, he replied, "ok."  

Twenty minutes is a lot longer than I previously had thought, it turns out.   The bat did stop flying around the room, but then I realized with complete horror, that meant it had landed somewhere.  The bathroom door adjoining our room was wide open.  Worse yet, the walk in closet door was wide open.   Oh dear God!  There is now a bat in the walk in closet!!!  

The Mister came home, went to the basement for his thick work gloves and then worked his way through the still-dark house, turning on lights, checking the curtains, couches, rooms and corners for the bat.

When he got upstairs, I was still in bed, trembling, trying to remember the realtor's phone number.  He immediately started moving things about to which I pointed out that I was STILL IN THE ROOM.  With his assurance the downstairs was safe, I ran, RAN down the stairs and out of that room, closing the door behind me.

I'll admit, the guilt was thick.   I had basically forced my husband into a room closed off with a bat.  Something I would not do for a million dollars.  I woke the teenager long enough to say, "There's a bat!" but he doesn't even remember me doing that.  The Mister went though the bathroom and the rest of the room until he realized as I had that surely it was in the closet.  Brave man that he is, he figured out it was in a boot of mine (he could hear it.  Thank God I didn't hear that sound, I'd never survive!)  He shouted down to me to open the door and get out of the way (like I needed to be instructed to do that!). He took the boot out on the deck and I watched from the kitchen window as the bat flew out.


We both took a couple deep breaths.  I hugged him and thanked him profusely, and then he headed back to work. 

The teen woke FOUR HOURS LATER and didn't know what all the fuss was about.  (He did agree to make my number one that would actually make his phone ring in the middle of the night, you know, like if there was an EMERGENCY.  Good to know, his mother, of all people, was NOT a number that would previously have caused alarm in the night.)

So all is well.  For now.  I have lasagne on tap for dinner, made especially for brave bat hunters (read that: not for Flash).  And the Mister, God bless him, has been calm and cool and was "just glad to help out".   He did quietly point out, though, that again, I am the one who has had rabies shots.

I just think it's a good thing that I won't have to be in that room again, certainly not at night again until.....oh wait....#%$&!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Apparently... is highly frowned upon by The Mister for me to exclaim while shopping in Pier 1, "Hey, babe?  Haven't you always wanted a wooden salad bowl?  How about this one?"  I guess that's somewhat embarrassing for a guy, especially when there is another man within ear shot who turns to see what wimpy guy wants a salad bowl. 

I tried to recover by mentioning saws and Lowes and other manly stuff, but apparently the damage was done. 

My apologies, Chief.  I wasn't trying to confiscate your Man Card, I swear. 

And you're right, those bowls weren't the right ones, anyway.

The Vacation

The boys (and a friend) came down a week later and met me at Dad's for another week of vacation.  While the week was dubbed "Prank Week" by the two teens (think jalapenos in Mt. Dew and snakes in the Mister's bed...) looking back, I'd have to say it was FUN WEEK!!

 There was the annual Bags Tournament.  

 Tate tried his hand at tubing.
 That boy could defy gravity! 
You think he's going to end up in the lake here, but he keeps right on tubing!!

 The Mister didn't want to be outdone. 
 Even I gave it a whirl.  A slower, gentler whirl.

 Then there was the show-off. 

 While this looks impressive, it should be noted that Flash's attempt to stand on the tube, lasted, well, for a flash.  

This spelled trouble from the start.

 As if the two teenagers could cause trouble on a tube.

Papa made sure they got some air.

 The boys tried out kneeboarding.

 Even the Mister.

Every summer, Flash tries water skiing.

 He and the lake have spent a lot of time getting to know each other.

 But this year, we saw a new sight!  Flash up on skis grinning from ear to ear!
Way to go, Flash!

Next time, we sure hope Flash chooses to take a friend who can loosen up a bit more and have some fun.

 And I sure hope the Mister can just chillax while we're there.

 Nothing beats a vacation on the lake!
Thanks, Dad and Judy for letting us crash (again) at your amazing place!  

Being an Aunt (Again)

I realized recently I am about right in the middle of being too old to be a mom again, but too young to be a grandmother just yet.  The good news of that is, I am the perfect age to be an aunt!  With the birth of my newest nephew recently, I decided to head to Tennessee early to spend some time with the baby, my beautiful niece Adalene and my brother and his wife.  

Of course, there was an adorable baby, only a few days old. 
Amazingly precious.

Of course there was lots of holding by all the relatives.  
Including a proud Papa.

He's adorable, isn't he?

The Mister held a newborn for the first time in his life. 
He loved every minute of it.

The tiniest fingers.

 Precious Baby Garrett.

I expected to be helpful, to help with cooking, dishes, holding crying kids, changing diapers and anything else my sister-in-law needed during the first few days home from the hospital.  What I didn't expect was to have the most amazing time being an aunt.  And while I was there to help with the baby, the truth of the matter is, I really loved being there with my soon-to-be-two niece.  


You can see how easy it would be to fall in love with this face.

And so I did. 
We played, we laughed, we learned new words and we bonded.

 See those dimples on her elbows?

Having a snack, Gretel style.

 Diana and Adalene figuring out what sound Baby Garrett's nose makes.

 Even with a sleepy head look, she's still adorable.
 Snuggling with Mom.

 We went to the store together. 
She can actually make the grocery store fun!

 Adalene and her mom hanging out on the front stoop blowing flowers together.
 The best part?  Hearing her say, "Amy" for the first (and hundredth) time!
(Oh, and "ciao!" and "down, up, milk, ball, puppy..."

Thank you Big Garrett and Diana for letting me crash your homecoming for a long week.  Thank you for letting me hold a baby, play with a toddler and to be an aunt to a far away niece and nephew for a little while!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Of Moments I Hope to Never Forget

It is no small thing, when attending an information night for the college of your senior child's choosing, to realize how special it is to never worry that he won't get in, never worry that he won't be academically ready for college-level classes, never worry that he won't be college material.  It is no small thing to see the entrance requirements, knowing this school would be the hardest to get into, and know he exceeds them all.  

It is no small thing, looking at all the numbers and figures on the screen, taking into account the years of earning a substitute teacher's pay to get your child qualified for eighty percent of tuition forgiveness, taking into account the sacrifices made along the way to get him academically eligible for a competitive school, to still be staring at dollar figures larger than you would like to see.

It is no small thing to talk, again, about the importance of a job, or scholarships, or grant money, and even talking about the back-up plan of student loans, to see your child's face as he realizes, perhaps for the first time exactly the figures you've been talking about all this time.

It is no small thing, for a man, new to his role in this family, only months into being a parent in any capacity, to say with a catch in his throat, "Whatever it takes, Jacob, we will make this happen.  Whatever it takes, the money will be there."  

It is no small thing at all for a grown man to realize how jealous he is of the opportunities available to this teenager that were never an option for him, and instead of feeling spiteful or bitter, offering to do everything possible to make sure that this teenage boy can seize any opportunity that comes his way.  Including attending the competitive university that he dreams of attending.

Being the mother of a child facing a world of opportunities and being the wife of a man who generously supports that boy is no small thing to be taken for granted.

Oh how I love the men in my life.