Saturday, July 31, 2010

Readin' and Writin' But Not What You'd Think

So this has been an exciting week. At least I think it has. I don't really remember most of it. But I know the firetruck came. I remember that, although I honestly can't recall if it was Thursday or Friday. The fire's out now - that's all that matters.

I've been writing. I've been writing so much that I forgot to eat for 3 days (except for the 3 Krispy Kreme donuts I ate while waiting for Camille to get out of ballet and I don't suggest you do that on a totally empty stomach) - and my pants are loose and this is totally thrilling (although I don't recommend that anyone forget to eat for 3 days because that would make me reckless and irresponsible.)

So initially I was going to write about how our house is haunted in the way that Hollywood Movie Houses are haunted (with pictures to prove it) - but then I had to make the 911 call to the fire department, and so I decided to blog about the way they couldn't find our farm because some genius changed our street name but didn't tell anyone (at least not emergency response people), and about how the volunteer fire department finally found us and one of the firefighters was in shorts and sneakers.....and the other was in jeans and boots and a big Tejano belt buckle because THAT would have made a good blog post title and possibly a good blog post. But then? We decided to go to the movies to see Inception like everyone else, only it was sold out, so we went to the bookstore instead. And now I'm going to blog about that. The Trip To The Bookstore.

So. We went to Borders. Actually, first we went to Canyon Cafe at The Quarry. When I went to take a sip of my water I discovered that the outside of my glass was COVERED IN FOOD. Lots of dried on chunks-o-food. Now I am no stranger to dried on chunks-o-food because I am a notoriously lazy dishwasher loader, but I don't like to get dried on chunks-o-food when I dine out. I showed my crusty glass to the waiter. He apologized and brought me a new glass but seriously? If that were my restaurant I'd be so free-desserting or free-drinking the customer because hello! she might have a blog!

Anyway - off to Borders.

So I mentioned I've been writing, correct? I am a published author of non-fiction stories, essays, poetry, and of course, my newspaper columns (no longer writing them). I've written fictional short stories but never sought publication. I've begun novels and never finished them. I always have lofty, high-brow goals for my novels. I like to read Anna Quindlen and Barbara Kingsolver. I'm currently reading Love In The Time Of Cholera. I want so badly to write like that. Ellie was reading aloud to me out of a novel by Kurt Zonnegut and I was like, "why oh why can't I write like that??? what wit!!" And she said, "Mom, you have to accept the fact that someone is always going to write better than you and live with it." This was wise. I said, "I guess you have to learn that with piano performance, right?" and she said, "I have. That's why I'm always constipated." *For the record, she is not always constipated. She is anal retentive and she can't help it - she had a horrible childhood. At least that's what I imagine she'll write in her book some day.

So I've tried to write like Barbara Kingsolver. I suck at that. I tried to write a first-person YA novel and it was actually pretty good - but I grew bored. So then I just started writing this story about people, because I'm always entertaining myself with fictional crazy people (often with real-life crazy people, too) and have done so since childhood. When I was a kid I would do this at school (because school was boring) I can remember more than one teacher embarrassing me by asking me what I was making faces about....well...I was watching a movie in my head and sometimes it was funny or sometimes it was scary or whatever. It was always more interesting than whatever it was that the teacher was reading to us (that does seem to be mostly what my teachers did - read aloud or ask us to - from boring books). Anyway, I still entertain myself with bedtime stories in my head, that is how I fall asleep at night, and so I decided to just start writing and see what happened. And so its going pretty well. But it ain't no Kingsolver.

I hate to admit it, but I think I'm writing Chick Lit. My critique/writing buddy (she is ROCKING AWESOME by the way) is really helping me. She reads all kinds of stuff, including some chick lit and romance, and she suggested I read some of that (since it seems to be what I'm writing) and so I went to the bookstore with a mission. Now, if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you'll know that I have had (past tense - I'm recovered) an addiction to what can only be described as vampire porn. It was a dark moment in my life...and I'm not even talking Anne Rice - I'm talking Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and I swear, don't go grab one of those books and read it now because I'll just be embarrassed - but I've never been a romance reader. I have enjoyed a bit of Chick Lit now and again - but the protagonists are getting a little young for me - I don't identify with them. So, why am I writing this sort of thing? I don't know. But I secretly think I'm kind of good at it.

Where was I? Oh yes, in Borders. Jeff took off to do whatever he does in the bookstore - which is usually look at Clive Cussler novels because he likes to sew and cook and stuff like that so he gets his manly kicks by reading Big Manly Books.....he often reads them more than once while trying to figure out the entire time if he's already read it....Clive Cussler books are a little bit like Steven Segal movies (remember those?). They're pretty much all the same. He also likes to head to the "gardening" section where he peruses books on growing marijuana. Now before you call the police (not that they could find us - just ask the fire department), let me just state unequivocally that he does not grow pot. He reads about growing pot, which is even stranger than actually growing pot. And he only does it in the bookstore - he's never actually bought a How To Grow Cannabis book.

So - I diligently headed over to the Chick Lit and Romance section - but made a few stops along the way. I'm a sick girl and here's what I bought.
1) Russell Brand's My Booky Wook...A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up
(In my next life I fully intend to go into stand-up and I ADORE Russell because he talks adorably adorable and I do like his rock star hair - although I do not find Russell Himself to be all that attractive as he is a little on the skinny side and his smile is too gummy.)
2) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
(Because I've been meaning to buy this book for a certain person's graduation gift as a replacement book for the one Ellie took out of the graduate's gift bag and promptly dog-eared every stinking page.)
3) I Was Told There'd Be Cake...Essays by Sloane Crosley
(Because I love humor them love them love them...but Sloane looks to be about 20 and so I automatically do not think she's all that funny.)
4) Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts
(YES! Mission Accomplished - I bought some smut.)

What I Almost Bought But Couldn't Buy Everything Because DUH It Costs $$$
1)When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris
(OK - I'm regretting this. WHY didn't I get it? Instead of the Sloane Crosley book? I feel like I just cheated on David. I love him so much and I left him there on the half-price table.)
2) God is Not Great...How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
(Because sometimes I just feel like being an a$$hole - but ultimately this is the kind of book I buy and never read.)

What I Was Not Tempted to Buy
1) Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
(I hate Nicholas Sparks. I hate his formulaic good girl lovin' on the bad boy stories - and you cannot convince me he's not gay and I don't care how many kids he has. And OMG I just realized I'm writing a Nicholas Sparks book - right Critique Buddy? Is this not the total god awful truth?)
2) Anything At All By Glenn Beck
(I hate him more than Nicholas Sparks but for entirely different reasons.)

After the book store we went by Amy's Ice Cream - not for ice cream - but because Sarah was working there and we had to hug and kiss on her. The line was out the door for ice cream, by the way, and I'm sure the customers SO appreciated us stopping in and loving on Sarah, who was supposed to be scooping ice cream.

There you have it. My big date night. Shall the next post be about hauntings or fire trucks?
Sardine Mama

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mystifying....All of It...And There's a Lot of It.

My week in review:

Sunday: Honestly don't remember

Monday: Honestly don't remember

Tuesday: Spent the day getting the kids who were NOT going to L.A. (all but Jules) ready to do whatever it was they were going to do in our absence. Took Camille to ballet. Took Camille to her friends' house to stay a couple of nights. Got home and began trying to get Jules to calm down because he was worried about a) getting enough sleep b) having his routine altered and c) the IV he was going to have to get with his MRI. I told him to take a bath (he's into baths, at the moment, as a method of relaxation). He got into the big claw-foot tub in my bathroom. I heard him fill it, I heard him get in. He was in for about 30 seconds before I heard the SWOOSHing sound of water - indicating he had made a hasty exit from the tub. Before I had time to yell through the door to see what was going on, he got dressed and came out. He was soaking wet. Not damp. Soaking wet. As in, starting to soak through his clothes. With a large puddle of water gathering around his feet on my tile floor.

"Jules, why didn't you use a towel?" I asked.

"Because I am not done with my bath."

"Why are you dressed?"

"Because I need to feed the cats."

Then he turned around to you know, go outside to feed the cats.

Jeff opened his mouth. I gave him The Look. He closed his mouth. He was going to say, "Why didn't you just wait to feed the cats until after your bath?" But he didn't. Because the answer was obvious. If Jules could have waited until after his bath to feed the cats, he probably would have done so.

A few seconds later, Jules came back in the house, went back in the bathroom, removed his soaked clothes, and continued his bath. When he was done, he DRIED OFF because he had officially FINISHED HIS BATH, put on pajamas and went to his bed, where he apparently remained totally and completely awake for the rest of the night.

Later that same day (because I refuse to call 3:30 a.m. the "next" day) I climbed out of bed after having been unable to sleep because I knew I had to get up in the middle of the night, got Jules up, and we headed to the airport.

Jeff flies All The Time so he has Special Privileges and stuff - so he checked our bag while Jules and I got in line for security. This always makes Jules nervous. Then he acts nervous. Like a terrorist. Sigh. He hesitated when the security agent asked him how old he was. After he finally stuttered out, "Twelve" he looked to me to see if he'd guessed correctly. I avoided eye contact because I was Trying Not To Look Suspicious.

When it came time to remove his shoes, I realized he had on The Shoes That He Likes To Tie Into Approximately One Million Secure Knots. We were like a little pebble in the way of an army of ants as he squatted to remove his shoes (which he refused to merely kick off without untying). After we successfully went through the detector - and he had retied his shoes just the way he likes them, we turned to see that Jeff was already waiting for us. He had been able to zip through the baggage check because he is a Special Frequent Flyer and he breezed through the security line because he was Not With Jules and His Shoes.

As soon as we sat down to wait for our flight, Jules began his pre-flight routine of boredom, hunger, and loud sighing. I finally said, "Dude, it is officially 5:00 am for me, too."

When it came time to line up beside the little numbers Southwest puts out to control the herds, Jeff went first with the Other Special People, and Jules and I went later, with the Not So Special People. I held onto Jules' belt loop because while boarding the plane, he has a tendency to basically push his way to the front of the line if I don't hold onto him. It isn't that he's being rude, or even that he feels he is in a particular hurry. It's just that he can see the door, and that's where he's going, so.....he goes.

Jeff held our seats. He likes to sit in a certain row - it is very important to him to sit in the certain row - because then he is first for the drink service. This little quirk initially irritated me, but then I was first to get my coffee and I thought it was pretty cool. Jeff also likes to sit on a certain side of the plane, but it turned out to be the wrong side for Jules because he sat by the window and then his right ear was the ear closest to us and he is deaf in that ear which usually isn't a huge problem unless you're on a noisy airplane. So he was pretty much totally deaf the entire flight to Phoenix but it didn't seem to bother him, only me when I was trying to talk to him.

Once in Phoenix Jules was dismayed to see it was basically the same time it had been when we took off. He wanted lunch, not breakfast. We got him an egg sandwich, which he ate in two bites. Then he ate another. Back onto a plane, where we again were first to receive our drinks. I married The Man, I'm telling you. We sat on the right side of the plane, so Jules could hear me talking to him.

When we arrived at LAX I immediately began to look for TMZ. I didn't see them. But it was a little too early for stars to be out, anyway. We then did what Jules considers to be the Best Part Of The Trip - we hopped on a bus to take us to our rental car. Homeschooled kids are obsessed with buses. And then? We rented a fun yellow beetle because if you have to go all the way to Los Angeles to see if your brain tumor has grown - you should be able to ride around in a fun yellow beetle. There is simply no other occasion that calls more loudly for a fun yellow beetle. Jules loved it.

He talked about Volkswagens for a long time. I don't know where he had aquired all of his Volkswagen information, but he had plenty. For the record, when he grows up, he is going to get a Volkswagen. I cut in on the monologue and began to point out various sights, talk about Los Angeles, read street signs, notice foliage, which Jules finally replied, "And they get good gas mileage."

Chinatown was next on the agenda. We went to Yang Chow, which seems to be a pretty popular place. Lots of stars go there, and we sat beneath a picture of Conan O'Brien. The owner remembered Jeff from 2 years ago - and they immediately launched into a Spurs / Lakers conversation. The owner is a Lakers Freak. Jeff showed the proper amount of humility this know.....what with the Spurs and all. People always remember Jeff. People, in general, love the hell out of Jeff. Even though he is a quiet introvert - people love him. Not that I mean to insinuate that quiet introverts are typically unlovable. Because they are not.

Off to the hotel for a 4 hour nap. Then we wanted to go swimming; I could see the hot tub from my window and it was steamy and empty. But Jules didn't have his swimsuit. So off we went to a nearby Marshalls to buy him one. We were in East L.A. and you know what? It might as well have been San Antonio. We felt right at home. Then back to the pool where I now saw that there were several people in the hot tub, including a guy who looked rather hairy and a couple who looked like they were going to steam things up.....and dang. I missed my window of opportunity. Jules hopped in the pool. Popped up, said, "This is cold," got out, and headed back inside to go to the room. Good times.

Thursday: At the hospital at 7:00 a.m. Jules began his pre-MRI routine of saying he was bored and hungry.

Enjoyed a chilly and noisy MRI, and Jules was a trooper for the sticking part - later said it was no big deal. Ate breakfast in the cafeteria, then headed to the House Ear Clinic to have the film read and talk to Dr. Brackman.

Jules had a hearing test, confirming that he is still deaf in his right ear. More importantly, he has the same level of hearing in his left ear as he had last year. Then the waiting began. Let me just say that this clinic serves mostly deaf people. So it makes sense that the technological method of communication they choose when it is time to call patient names, is to stand off in the corner of the waiting room and quickly yell out 6 or 7 indeterminable names. 4 or 5 people hop up hysterically and head to the corner, because the name-caller has already turned her back and is now walking away from them down the hall saying, "Follow me!" What follows is usually 1 or 2 of the people who followed her returning to the waiting room because they had misunderstood the names that had been called, and then several people sitting in the waiting room looking uncertain and confused and talking amongst themselves as to whether or not their names had been called. The receptionists in the waiting room? Watch this without intervening. This time around was no exception, and an elderly almost completely deaf man went up and began asking them if his name had been called. He was told that they didn't know what names had been called. Then they looked at him, daring him to continue with this unreasonable line of questioning. He stared back. But he broke first, walked back to his seat, where his timid elderly wife didn't know what to do next. After a few minutes he tried again. Same results. So then, an audiologist came out to call more names, and he high-tailed it up there and explained his situation to the audiologist, who said, "Oh, why didn't you say you were hard of hearing?" Because Dude This Is A Clinic For Deaf People. Anyway, then he handed him a little beeper thing (that they apparently keep hidden away for special circumstances like when a hard-of-hearing person stumbles into their deaf clinic) and that Settled It.

I was feeling all in Activist Mode over this and fully intended to bring it up with Dr. Brackman but then Jules' name was called and we all quickly gathered up our things and sprinted up to the Name-Caller and hysterically ran down the hall after her. Then we waited for Dr. Brackman and I forgot all about the waiting room fiasco because Hello My Kid Has A Brain Tumor and I was waiting to find out if it had grown. It had not.

Dr. Brackman walked in and said, "Jules continues to mystify us..." Jules enjoys the Atypical Presentation label with most things in life....including his tumor - which has followed none of the usual tumor rules seeing as how it belongs to Jules and all. And we are happy with that, believe me. Even though I knew it hadn't grown (just knew it - don't ask me how) and didn't feel particularly worried about it (having had the conference distraction for the previous few months) I still cried. Dang. It embarrasses Jules. But I can't help it. I think I was Secretly Very Worried.

So then? We cruised Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Stuff. No star sightings this time!! But other fun stuff like sex shops and pot shops and why didn't we ask Dr. Brackman for a scrip??? You know, before I had ever been to Los Angeles, I really didn't think I would like it. It didn't sound like my kind of place. But I totally love it. I love driving down a street through the Jewish blocks (kosher delis, everything written in Hebrew, little old men with black hats walking down the sidewalk) right into Little Ethiopia, and then into Whatever Comes everyone is just right there together in their differences. I really really like it. We ate lunch at the famous Farmer's Market at Fairfax and 3rd....watched people....and headed back to the airport for the fun bus ride.

At the airport, we had a long wait. Jules (and now me, too) began the pre-flight boredom/hunger/heavy sighing routine. We had our spirits lifted, however, upon the arrival of a loud young woman and her boyfriend. As soon as I heard her say, "Dude, I'm effing sorry I drank all of our food money, okay? How long are you going to be pissed about that?" I perked up. Entertainment had arrived. She was pierced, dyed, tattooed, overweight and extremely loud. (Disclaimer: I have had fuchsia hair. I have a tattoo. I am overweight. I'm not picking on any of these things - just trying to give you the FULL PICTURE). He was pierced, dyed, tattooed, and very meek. It was awesome. He sat down right behind me, our heads back to back. She marched off to the bar a few yards away, where she proceeded to call him and continually pester him to come drink with her. I could literally hear her from the bar where she was yelling into her phone, AND through his phone right behind me. He repeatedly declined her invitations, I think because it had probably been days since the poor boy had eaten. I was thrilled to see they would be on our flight.

We were already seated when she came down the aisle. I didn't hear what was said to her (something was) but I did hear her (as did everyone else) say, "Yeah, thanks for the advice Buddy," and then roll her eyes. Yay! This was going to be fun. But you know what? She sat down and passed out and was no fun at all after that. It was Uneventful.

Friday: We finally arrived home 1:00 a.m.

Saturday: I lived through the Conference - which is another blog post for another time.

Signing Off as a Grateful (and tired) Sardine Mama

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Should You Talk To Your Doctor? Nah....

Quick Lowdown before we get to the Topic of the Post.

1. I am still going crazy with the conference

2. If you're in San Antonio and you want to go to a homeschooling conference because you homeschool or are just plain crazy - come to the Roundup and see me. I'm a) leading a workshop on Unschooling b) sitting on a panel of homeschoolers for Homeschool 101 (facilitated by Grilled Cheese Chick) and c) in charge of the entire freaking thing.

3. Amidst the insanity of the conference planning, we went to the beach. It was windy. But fun. For basically everyone but me - because I was in charge of the entire freaking thing. It is my fate in life to be In Charge. Anyway - I was so grateful that our part of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico had no sheen or tar balls or dying pelicans. Just the usual Saragossa seaweed, lots of seashells, and lots of happy un-tarred and feathered pelicans. Also? 4 (not 5) kids frolicking in the waves - and they were huge by our standards (the waves, not the kids). We didn't have 5 kids with us because Ellie didn't go...and that made me sad. Next year she leaves me for like GOOD and all - and on top of it, she is checking out early on the family trips. What was she doing, you ask? Well, the wicked child was practicing the piano for 4 hours a day. With all of the wedding preparations and other things we had going on, she was feeling out of control due to the lack of practicing (she has some big things coming up) and so she asked to stay home. I know how important feeling in control of things is to her - so we said she could stay. And we came home to a much happier teenager - she had a little break from the familia (and I totally understand how a little break like that can improve one's disposition) and she felt on top of her repatoire once more. But still. She didn't go with us...sigh.

While at the beach, I tortured myself by buying a new swimsuit. It was supposed to take ten pounds off of me INSTANTLY!! It did take ten pounds off of some places, but it deposited them in others. If you squeeze fat it has to go somewhere. I mean, it wasn't like there was Actual Surgery Involved. Luckily, my head did not pop off, but I think I might have had back cleavage.

When we go to the beach, we stay at an RV Resort, which is an oxymoron. And truly, I don't want to dis anybody. Really. But maybe I am feeling just a bit snarky because I would like to say that I had the highest quality tattoo in the trailer park (and there were A LOT of tattoos). We do not fit in with most of the other RV resortists. First of all, we don't fly a Confederate Flag. We don't even have an American Flag on our camper and I'm sure there is talk around the trailer park about that. But I will say, our tires have not been slashed yet (and we've been there many times), even though we have an Obama bumper sticker. Also? It really frightens me to see that many white people gathered in one place waving Confederate flags. Even though I'm white. They have really nice bathrooms, though.

4. We went to Landa Park yesterday with friends. We go every year. With the same friends. It was fun and felt like summer, something I haven't felt much of because of the Homeschool Conference Planning that I am soon to be totally done with.

5. Next week we leave for LA for our yearly trip to take Jules to his doctor.

And that kinda sorta leads me into The Topic. Doctors. Now then, I have friends and family who are doctors. They are groovy and all that. But they are not like The Doctors on TV.

You see, I saw a link online to a "news story" about menopause. First of all? I am not perimenopausal. I'm just going crazy. Sometimes it is the same thing, but not always. The biggest symptom is nowhere near me....the moon and I are in sync. But I am Of The Age where I could be perimenopausal - so even though I'm totally not (perimenopausal, that is) I clicked on the link.

First of all, as with most news stories, there was no actual information shared. Second of all, I hated the fact that one of the anchors who talked about menopause was a man. I wanted to rip his head off. I'm not sure why - but I know it has nothing to do with menopause because we have already established the fact that it has nothing to do with me. Thirdly, they had TV Doctors on to talk about menopause.

Have you seen TV Doctors, like the ones who have their own talk show? You know the ones? They talk seriously about things like erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness like it is the latest breaking news on the latest happenings in I Don't Know...Haiti maybe....but they never freaking SAY ANYTHING. Actually, they do say something. You know what they say? They say that if this, that, and the other is happening (everything else is normal but you should still talk to your doctor) that you should Talk To Your Doctor.

Seriously, if you're not getting along with your husband or you're having difficulties in the sack or you are finding it hard to should Talk To Your Doctor. If, after talking to your doctor, you get put on medication and experience any one of the zillions of side-effects, most of which are common enough to happen to you every single stinking day even if you've never taken the medication (the rest of which are quite alarming and involve erections lasting longer than 4 hours and thoughts of suicide), you should Talk To Your Doctor.

Here's the fun part. Have you ever actually tried to Talk To Your Doctor? It ain't easy, but here are the steps if you choose to attempt it.

1. Call for an appointment. The receptionist will act like she's doing you a favor by answering the phone. The first thing she wants to know is if you have insurance. Then she will ask you why you want to see the doctor. Let's say you have a sore throat. She'll offer you the Next Available Appointment. If you tell her that you need to be seen sooner ('cause you're sick and all) she will tell you to go to the Emergency Room - that is where sick people go nowadays. If you tell her you're having a "problem" and need to Talk To Your Doctor, she will make an appointment for several weeks down the road. Hopefully, you'll resolve the issue before your appointment (at which point you will be charged $25 for cancelling your appointment), otherwise you will

2. Arrive for your appointment. You will fill out pages of paperwork that ask questions about your medical history and your insurance policy.

3. You will wait.

4. You will wait some more.

5. You will be called into a room and your vital signs will be taken.

6. You will wait some more.

7. The doctor will come in. He will ask you questions that you already answered in your medical history. He will ask you why you're there, even though the nurse already asked and wrote it down.

8. While you're talking, he will take more vitals, poke and prod....and you'll get the feeling he's not really listening to you.

9. He's not.

10. If you attempt to Talk To Him, he will write a prescription. The entire process of his walking in the door to writing the script will take less than 5 minutes.

11. You're done.

So you can see how all these dressed up and made up Doctors on TV telling you that if blah blah blah blah happens or you think you might be experiencing blah blah blah really personal stuff blah blah blah you should Talk To Your Doctor is kind of annoying.

Not that I even have anything to talk to my doctor about. I don't really. It just cracked me up listening to them, all serious and straight faced and talking about how this "can" be a symptom of menopause, but it can also be a symptom of having a pulse...therefore you should Talk To Your Doctor. The doctor? Does not want to talk to you. He wants to write a prescription and send you on your merry way. There is no insurance code for Talking To Your Doctor.

That's it.

Wish us luck next week as we head to The Doctor. He is actually a great guy, his office runs pretty efficiently (how unusual is that?) and he freaking saved our son from premature and Possibly Totally Unnecessary Brain Surgery. So what if he's not chatty?

Signing Off as a Not Even Close to Perimenopausal Sardine Mama

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sneakering Down the Aisle

So, just in case you fear, after reading my previous post, that I went stark, raving mad - let me just reassure you that I had no such luck. Still doing the hanging on to the edge business, which unlike going totally bonkers, doesn't afford one much relief from the day to day humdrum goings on of life.

Sorry for the infrequent posting. When people on my blogroll post this sparcely, I dump them! Don't dump me, though. Really. I'll do better right after the conference is finally over. I promise!

I'm still planning the conference - we are 2 weeks away. My house is still a mess. The kids are still horribly unschooled (or wonderfully unschooled - depending on how you look at it). I am still writing (something like 25,000 words on the 2nd novel) instead of doing Other Important Things.

A stray dog showed up and promptly pooped out five puppies (this is jasper's description). Yay for me! I NEEDED five stray puppies at this point in my life.

We had 53 people over for 4th of July - where the boys once again sacrificed a Lego Man on a rocket. I asked if the Lego Man was a virgin - because virgins are usually the preferred sacrificial victim. A long discussion ensued among party guests as to whether or not the Lego Man was a virgin. Joel said he was not - as it would be just plain sad to be both sacrificed and be a virgin on top of it.....and I suggested releasing Lego Man and maybe he could go have a good time first, at least, but the boys told me they have no Lego Women, which led me back to the whole Lego Man As Virgin theory that I'd begun with. Anyway, he was sacrificed.

Let's see... what else? I have 9 turkeys in the coop. Because I don't have enough to do what with the ailing wiener dog and the stray with the five puppies and the 2 cats and the guinea pig and Ranger the Cow Dog. Oh, and the cows. We have those, too.

Oh and here's the Big News and the Title of the Post:

Sneakering Down the Aisle......Because it was a Wedding, Dude!

One of Ellie's best friends got married. She is an original kind of girl and she had an original kind of wedding. That is Ellie, second from the left, and for sure, Camille was Flower Girl Extraordinarre.

And Camille was an original kind of flower girl.

But did I say Hannah is an original kind of girl? And a Black Belt. As is Juliana.
It wasn't that long ago that Ellie and Hannah were volunteering at the library, that they went to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals together for the FIRST TIME. Or that they were playing their electric guitars on the couch, learning the tabs for Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. When Ellie was in 8th grade, Hannah said she'd take her to the prom. Then Hannah got a boyfriend and said, "Uh, Ellie? Yeah, so, um, I kinda want to go with Allen now......soooo......." And the dang boyfriend stuck around....just walked her down the aisle today - Converse sneakers and all. Good choice dumping Ellie, Hannah. Allen makes cheesecake...tiramasu...pineapple upside down cake....Ellie officially makes None Of Those Things.
Jeff said to me, "So does this mean we're not going to hear Hannah laughing in our den at 4:00 a.m. while we're trying to sleep? Like ever again?" And I was like, "God - stop it, you're making me cry!!" And he was like, "RIGHT??" Man, watching these kids grow up is freaking hard. And lovely. Here are the 3 Muskateers, Ellie, Hannah, and Juliana.
There was a reception. With fun things on the table.

And here's Joel. He got a haircut for the wedding. At least I paid for a haircut. I saw hair on the ground and everything. But here he is. Like a ninja.

The wedding was in a beautiful Catholic church. The same one we used to attend. The music was awesome - Hannah comes from a family of musicians and they run the show at the church. When it came time to share peace with each other, Joel turned to my Jewish father and said, "May the force be with you." Disrespectful? Not if you know Joel. He meant it. My dad probably said, "And also with you." It was a spiritual moment.

There were lots of spiritual moments - it was a beautiful wedding and it was Hannah and Allen through and through. On the program, they had written to their friends, "We love our friends not because they are all the same, but because they are different. The many colors we wear today represent the differences that make us love you so much."
We had a GREAT night. Of course I cried. A lot. I hate the changes. And I love the changes. I both love and hate the changes.

Be happy, sweet Hannah. We love you. And the boy there, he's not so bad, either. Your wedding was perfect. It was a happy, sincere, colorful, and holy event. It was You. And I totally got the shoes, by the way. Yes, you were getting married. Yes, two people were "becoming one" as they say. But the shoes said, "And Hannah is Still Hannah...Yo!"
Congratulations to a wonderful young couple. And thanks for having graced our lives thus far.