Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All the Right Reasons

How do you explain doing the “wrong” thing for the right reasons to your kids?   I ask, because I faced that dilemma yesterday.  My mom, for those who don’t know, is in a specialized nursing home approximately two hours from where we live.  She’s been there for over a year now, and is not ambulatory.  This means she has limited options for entertainment.  Those options are limited even further because she cannot see very well. 

She needs new glasses, but getting them is challenging at best.  The doctor would have to come to her, and she has no insurance.  Husband Fixture suggested that we pick up a pair of reading glasses from the drug store, but she has an unusual prescription—she’s near sighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other.   As fate would have it, I have the same problem.  It only just occurred to me this week to have her try on my glasses to see if they helped her at all.  They did, though she’ll need a stronger prescription.   It was decided that I’d go to the vision center and get an extra pair of specs for my mom to use.

You can probably see where I’m going with this by now (pun intended).  I had to bring the offspring with me when I went to the vision center.  It was challenging enough finding inexpensive frames that looked like something I’d wear, but that my mom would like at least a little bit.   And of course, I had the additional challenge of Princess Gingersnap and the Prince of Distraction questioning me about why I couldn’t just pick out “old lady glasses” for their Nana, and why I planned to tell them that the glasses are for me.

I have, of course, taught my children that lying is a bad thing.  They know that doing so will result in a punishment ten times worse than any other transgression—including, but not limited to, a bar of soap in the mouth.  This method must be working, as I got lectured on how thou shalt not lie.  I explained the situation, but that didn’t fly with them.  They felt I should tell the people at the vision center the truth. 

Thankfully, they managed to keep their mouths shut as I went to the checkout counter and told the sales associate that I needed an extra pair as a back-up in case I lose mine on vacation.  Gingersnap even agreed that I have a good reason for needing another pair.  I’ll take that small victory  . . .  for now. 

*NOTE:  Lest anyone think I’m committing insurance fraud, you needn’t worry.  This was completely an out-of-pocket expense.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

A fellow blogger (Donkeys to College) posted a bit about her brother’s exaggerated claims that she somehow maimed his teddy bear when they were children.  This reminded me of some of my own sister’s tales of woe.  I suppose it’s about time to set the record straight. 

First of all, my sister is five and a half years younger than I, and as the baby of the family, she was spoiled bloody rotten.   I had to be responsible and do chores, while she barely lifted a finger.   I was cruelly flogged for even the most minor misdeed, whilst she merely fluttered her lashes and the most heinous transgressions were pardoned. 

She did the typical younger sibling things—making messes and blaming them on me, swiping things from my room, and getting sick right before nearly every vacation . . .   She had a set of those wind-up chattering teeth, and she would actually bite herself with them and claim that I had done it.  It wasn’t until years later (when I got braces) that my folks caught on. 

She claims I was downright cruel to her.  I was merely acting in self defense.   Take the time when I informed  her that yarn contained parasitic worms that would eat her from the inside out.  My mother used to crochet, so there was plenty of yarn around.  Imagine my mom’s dismay when my sister got sick and mom tried to cover her up with one of her afghans (with tassels at each end).  My sister went ballistic.  I don’t think she will wear or own anything crocheted to this day.    

I also managed to exact a bit of revenge when I convinced her that the clothes dryer was a confessional.  I directed her to climb in and talk to the air vents inside, telling God all her sins.  If she heard one “boom” she was forgiven, if she heard two “booms” she had to do penance.  And never mind the whirring sound (as I tried to start the dryer).   And of course, I derived great pleasure in telling our parents all her dirty little secrets.   

For some reason, my sister still holds a grudge and blames me for all her misfortunes.  I figure I was preparing her for real life by alleviating her of her naivety.  A healthy skepticism is a good thing to have.  She was lucky to have a sister whose maternal instincts emerged so early.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Morning After

Yes, the Steelers lost the Super Bowl.  And I’m woman enough to admit that Green Bay played the better game, and therefore deserved to win.  Am I upset?  Not really.  Truthfully, we had a house FULL of friends joining us for the game.  And between hostess duties, and the help of a friend who shall remain nameless getting me inebriated, I missed 95% of the game.   

Now, in the cold light of morning, as I survey the post-party carnage, I am grateful that I didn’t get a work call.  My head is pounding and I’m exhausted.  I am, however, slowly getting my house back to rights—taking frequent breaks to post on Facebook and watch the commercials I missed last night. I’m not in any rush, since Husband Fixture will be in Alabama all week.  That is, if he actually makes it down there.  His outbound flight was cancelled.  He’s got another one, but of course, it’s not for a few more hours, so he gets to hang around the airport a bit longer.  Yeah, today is definitely a Monday.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day Fun

Now that I’ve managed to chip the ice off my deck and cars (only breaking one shovel), I have the rest of the day to ponder a few things relating to February 2nd.  

Most importantly, I need to do a little shout-out to the Husband Fixture.  As of today, we have been together for eighteen years.  This means if I’d gotten knocked up when we first got together, the kid would be heading off to college now. 

It appears that not only did Punxsutawney Phil fail to see his shadow, but he is quite aware of the goings-on in the NFL (GO STEELERS!!).   As desperate as I am to be rid of this horrid winter, I’m not sure I can pin my hopes to an oversized rat.  But he is kinda’ cute.  Of course, if old Phil is wrong, then I am prepared to dole out an appropriate--yet tasty punishment. 

As I had already gotten the call that our schools would be closed last night, I indulged my insomniac tendencies, and caught a little of Chelsea Lately last night  (around 0200, so technically it aired today).  I about peed my pants over her comment about Charlie Sheen.  It appears he wants to do his rehab at home.  Chelsea suggested that he invite Courtney Love and Lindsey Lohan over, and they could do a remake of Three’s Company.

As it is too miserable for my kids to play outside today, they’ve been watching Season One of Glee.  While part of me is concerned that it’s really not the most appropriate show for a nine and eleven year old, I can’t help but glow with pride when they sing along to Queen, the Beatles, U2, or the Stones. 

Oh, and one more February 2 tidbit.  Two of our dear friends have decided to have their online “wedding” via Facebook tonight.  I plan to break out the champagne to toast to them, eat cake, and make inappropriate comments to the other “guests”.  It promises to be a good night.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Empress Island

I have had it with this mother fracking snow in this mother fracking area!  I need to be on a tropical island somewhere, sipping a frozen drink on the beach.  My son asked me which of my friends I'd rather be stranded on such an island with.  I made the dubious error of posting his query on Facebook, and now my friends are under the mistaken impression that I am in possession of my own private island.   Do they really think I'd still be HERE in Snow Hole, PA, if that were true?!?!

That said, I decided that if my friends were going to vie for a spot on my island, I would make them work for it.  And so I give you:

As with the tv show, contestants will be divided into two tribes, randomly chosen.  Each tribe must choose a leader and compete together in challenges.  After each challenge, the losing tribe must vote off one member.   Tribe members and rules may be changed at any given time by the hostess (Me). 

1.       Tent Trials—Tribes must set up camp for themselves.  The best looking/most functional campsite (as judged by the hostess) wins. The losers must clean my cabin. 
2.     Geek  Squad—Tribes will choose three members to fix my laptop, ipod, and whatever other electronic device I manage to screw up.  Prior service in this area does NOT count.
3.     All Tied Up—Tribes will race to complete a ropes course challenge.  Anyone who falls must return to the beginning of the course and start over.  The first tribe to finish (all members have completed the course) wins.
4.     Movie Madness—The tribe that can correctly identify the movie from which the quotation was taken receives a point.   The tribe with the most points wins. 
5.     Book Bonanza—Tribes must race through a maze to find books that match the clues they are given.  The first tribe to find all the books  wins. 
6.     Grammar Nazis—Tribes will send one member at a time to race to a white board upon which a passage is written.  They must correct the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of the passage.  Each tribe member makes one correction, then races back to the line.  The first tribe to correctly edit the passage wins.
7.       It’s Good to Be the Empress—Tribes must take turns pampering the hostess.  The team who does the best job wins. 
8.     So You Think You Can Dance—Tribes must dance for my amusement.  The most entertaining tribe wins.  An immunity idol will be given to the best overall dancer.
9.     Iron Chef—Tribes will be given a set of ingredients and must cook for me.  The tribe who makes the best meal wins.  The losers have to clean up the mess. 
10.  Semi-final challenge—All remaining contestants will compete as individuals.  The details of the challenge are not to be revealed until that time.   Only the winner and the first runner up of this challenge will compete in the Final Challenge.
11.   Final Challenge—The  top two contestants will explain why they feel they deserve to win a spot on my island.  The prior contestants will give their input and vote for who they think should win.