Sunday, November 25, 2007


Thanksgiving has come and gone.

I was so busy being self absorbed that I didn't even acknowledge it was Zachary's first Thanksgiving at home in four years. Or play dominoes with my mom and sister. Or make sure my kids sat down and enjoyed their food.

My energy was taken up by trying to avoid feeling pain. By trying not to think about things. Not thinking about Nathan being gone. Not thinking about how things are changing and how much I hate change, even if change is the best thing that can happen. It's all very time consuming.

My heat is broken in the new house, so we're bundled up like eskimoes. The guy can't come to fix it until tomorrow morning. I discovered the old gas heater in the bathroom works, so that's pretty cool. That didn't sound right, did it?

Anyway, I've been breaking friends hearts right and left. I stood up J for a tv show. I consistently don't keep in touch with L and the girls. I suck. Maybe I'm isolating myself on purpose.

But enough about me. Really.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Birthdays and birthday suits

Joseph turns ten years old tomorrow. To celebrate this milestone in my youngest son's life, I came up with the brilliant plan to invite a bunch of his friends over, go to CiCi's pizza for lunch, the movies, then back to our house for cookie cake and a sleepover.

Did I mention he's my youngest son? Shouldn't I know better by now? It was like trying to hold onto a handful of greased, crack-addicted worms.

Usually no one comes to my kids' birthday parties. Maybe three or four, tops. So when Joe wanted enough invitations to invite his entire class, plus a few others, I thought, "No problem."

They started arriving at 11:15 and before it was all said and done, eight pre-teen boys showed up on my doorstep; my little darling made it nine. That's the equivalent of forty-two in kid numbers.

Because some were early - all of you who know and love me will understand this - I was still in my bathrobe, fresh from my shower, with wet hair and half of my makeup on while greeting parents and welcoming their children to my home.

In a desperate bid to save time, I ran two of the little buggers off the computer in my bedroom and popped into the bathroom to finish my makeup. Then I realized my clothes were still on the bed. I cracked open the bathroom door and listened down the hallway to make sure no one was around. Not a peep. So I threw open the door and raced into my bedroom, naked as the day I was born, where - to all of our horror - the two boys I'd run off earlier were back in my room on the computer.

Let's just say an expletive was screamed, a new world record for landspeed while running backwards and doubled over was set, and two ten-year old boys are probably now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hopefully their parents will never figure out why they shudder and go pale whenever a computer powers up.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, that's right, noon and nine fourth-graders at my house. (FYI - I was finished getting ready by noon.)

So, no problem, right? I had a back-up adult on standby for just such an emergency. Whipping out my handy dandy cell phone, I confidently text messaged an S.O.S. to my go-to guy. Except my back-up had forgotten another event he had to attend and wouldn't be able to get to my house for over an hour.


The boys were swinging from my fruit tree in the backyard, hurling japanese persimmons at the house and each other to see which made the coolest splatter pattern. When the fruit was gone, they discovered and ransacked one of the storage sheds. There were gutteral screams peppered with crashing and banging. The sounds coming from outside were even worse. But it was when I heard one of them say, "Hey, I found some nails!" that I decided to give myself a pedicure.

Nine minutes had elapsed.

I looked out the window to make sure no one was bleeding. Then, armed with fingernail polish remover, toenail clippers, and a pumice stone, I locked myself in the bathroom. I did my toenails, fingernails, looked out the window again, and checked the clock. Thirty minutes to go.

Things had gone quiet and it made me nervous. I decided it probably wasn't a good idea to leave them unsupervised anymore, so I told them to come inside. They came trampling into the house, eighteen muddy shoes across cream-colored carpet, and were delighted to tell me that we had "sex books" in our storage room.


I wouldn't know. I've never been back there. Great. Now I'd let them run rampant in a porn house in my backyard. I must have looked as mortified as I felt, because one kid piped up and said, "They weren't magazines with naked pictures, they were sex books."

Ah, maybe this could be salvaged yet. "Those were probably romance novels." Good save! "Yeah, they were definitely romance novels, not sex books."

The kid looked at me with jaded eyes and snorted, "I've never heard of a romance novel named 'Sex on the Beach' before." Who was this guy?

It was time for a distraction. I'm a writer - how hard could it be? I had them sit around the couches in a circle and we played "Add a Word to the Sentence" until my relief arrived. Finally.

By comparison, the trip to CiCi's and the movies was pretty uneventful. Although I must say I now know what a mother hen feels like herding her brood.

All in all - except for the naked flashing and age-inappropriate reading material - it wasn't so bad as far as ten year-old birthday parties go.

And I don't think I'll have to worry about any more kids coming to my house for a while.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When you're just not fun to be around

So I guess this is the longest I've ever gone without posting something new. Hmmm.

I've been plagued lately by a string of poor health. My surgery took way more out of me than I thought it would. Now I have a severe bronchial infection, which includes a delightful, very attractive, hack-a-lung cough. Boy, I'm the queen of the city now.

Thanksgiving is almost here with Christmas hot on its tail. How can that be possible? It still feels like summer here, except the sun goes down earlier.

Oh well. I could use some pumpkin pie right about now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thanksgiving came early to our house and is still here

We ended up compromising on this weekend's visit for the kids with their dad. It turns out Joe was really looking forward to spending the whole weekend and Katie and Savannah just wanted to stay one night, so Joe is going Friday and the girls are going Saturday morning. Everyone seems happy with the arrangement, so that's a relief.

The kids and I have been spending some good time together and they're really getting more involved with keeping the house running instead of depending on me to do everything. Katie made dinner tonight and tomorrow I'm going to help Savannah make spaghetti for her night. Joe and I cleaned up the kitchen and we all did some laundry together. I'm liking this a lot and so are the kids. I feel like I'm getting to know them for the first time in a long time, and we're not just surviving alongside each other.

Last night I determined to lay everything else aside and just relax with my kids. After dinner and kitchen duty, Joseph and Savannah and I decided to watch Elf together. (Katie is too cool to watch Elf and spent the evening sequestered in her bedroom doing teenagery things.)

We turned out all the lights except for a few scented candles, gathered blankets and pillows and put in the movie. While I took a quick potty break before it got started, I overheard Savannah tell Joe, “This is the best thing that’s happened to me all day.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Doing what I do best

My surgery was last Wednesday, and honestly I've either been in pain or drugged up so I haven't posted since then.

I'm feeling better now and I start my new job full time tomorrow. I'll be selling advertising and writing for Outlook magazine. I sold a few things last week, but I'm really geared up to give it a go now since the surgery is behind me. My publisher/editor is someone I trust and believe in and our graphic artists are top notch, so I think it's going to be a big success.

Savannah had a major meltdown this evening when she found out she was going to have to visit her dad for the first time next weekend. She doesn't like spending the night away from home.

Now that the move is over, I think all the kids have had time to think about what's happened and it's hard. Katie misses her dad and it makes me feel like I messed up their perfect lives. But the thing is, our lives weren't perfect, even if the kids can't realize that yet.

I wish I could have made it for them.

Anyway, my new grandson is actually an American Bull Dog/Dalmation mix, not a Lab. At least he's not a black sheep. We have quite enough of those!