Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Think This is Off?

Ya know what I wish? I mean, besides for winning a few million bucks and having someone at my ever beck and call to rub my shoulders? Oh, and that the letter 'a' on this computer would work on the first try?

I wish refrigerators had a self clean button. I just found turkey meat and cranberry sauce in my fridge.

It's January 25th, people.

Hmm. Let's do the math, shall we?

I would like to clarify that I actually cooked that turkey sometime shortly after the New Year. So, we're talking 3 weeks of decay, not four. That doesn't sound nearly as horrific.

So back to my fridge problem. I did some soul searching today and came to a conclusion. Several, actually. None of which makes me come out looking like Suzy Homemaker.

Conclusion #1: I clean out my fridge when I've run out of food storage containers.

Conclusion #2: I have some vague memory of making a pact with the devil to clean out the fridge every Monday, since garbage day was on Tuesday and I had just finished working and was home full time will all this spare time, just a newborn and 3 other kids to take care of and was clearly suffering from post partum insanity. But then our garbage day was changed and even though it's been roughly two years since it was switched, I still find myself being woken up at 6:58 am every Friday morning to the rumble of the garbage truck which causes me to start yelling at The Boy to get up and get the garbage to the curb. From this you may be able to deduce that I never clean out my fridge on Thursdays. So, conclusion #2 is that my fridge would be clean if not for the garbage company's schedule change. See? It's not my fault.

Conclusion #3: I never make soup from all those leftovers I pack up over a week's time that I tell myself would be perfect for making soup and therefore stretch our food budget. Seriously, people. I've been married for 20 years and I don't make soup out of the leftovers. Unless it's turkey. Then I carefully boil the entire carcass and spend 2 hours picking off every bit of meat, making a lovely pot of soup out of it and then let two pounds of turkey breast rot in the back of my fridge because turkey breast would be wasted in the soup and should be saved for making The Husband sandwiches or something.

So, apart from turkey dinners, 20 years and I'm still packing up the leftovers and telling myself they'll be good for soup and letting turkey breast lay forgotten in my fridge. This needs to stop. I'm thinking I should be putting those leftovers into the freezer, giving myself at least 6 months or so until I have to throw them out due to frostbite. I think that will be a better system.

Conclusion #4: If I had a stainless steel fridge, I'd love it more and take care of its insides better than I take care of my white fridge. But then it wouldn't match my stove and dishwasher. And they all need to match. It's one of my life rules. Plus, if I had $3,000 bucks to waste on metallic appliances I certainly wouldn't be pouring water into my van's cooling system every other day. Sigh. Ok. Forget #4.

Conclusion #5: I hate cleaning out the fridge and will use any excuse to justify why I haven't done it. There. I said it. Yet another reason I won't be receiving a Home Maker of the Year award. Put it up there with my love for cleaning under my couches.

So....hours of thought and an hour of blogging to come to the realization that I'm pretty much willing to do a lot of stupid time wasting things to avoid ten minutes of work. And make you waste 5 minutes of your time reading about it.

Especially when you only came here to see if there was a picture of the new kitten.

Well here you go. I'm pretty sure it's Charlie.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eye of the Storm

God never gives you more than you can handle.


I found myself praying for strength tonight. Strength to help a 7 year old who was crying in her bed. She was crying because tomorrow wasn't going to be right since her Popeye wasn't going to be at her cousin's baptism.

"I just want him to come back and I know he can't. I don't like it. I just don't like this! I want it to be like it was before. And I won't ever see him again for like, 50 years at least because I won't see him until I go to heaven....and I don't want to go to heaven yet but I want to see him."

Sometimes you just have to let your children hurt. You can't fix it. You can't put a bandaid on it and make it better. And that, my friends, is a horrible horrible feeling.

The Princess episode tonight was just one of many reasons I found myself asking God for strength tonight.

The Eldest is having some major problems with her car.

The laptop is having troubles charging and every single time I type the letter 'a' I have to go back and retype it because the computer keeps putting in a space instead.

The engine light is back on in our car.

The government 'lost' The Eldest's student loan forms.

I've done something to my back and my joints are killing me today.

And we're out of lightbulbs. I'm pretty sure it is not normal to start crying when you discover there are no more light bulbs in the house.

Grieving and all that comes along with it has set everyone in the family on edge. Everyone in our family is raw. And when you pour salt into those wounds, salt being a broken car, bills to pay or a 3 year old that keeps screaming at everyone and everything and then finking that everyone is being rude to leads a person to be crying over burned out light bulbs.

And so I pray for strength. Just get through one more day. Just let me know what to say to a grieving 7 year old and a grieving 42 year old. What to tell an 18 year old who has had more crap thrown at her in the last two weeks than an 18 year old should have to deal with in a year.

And then realize that I haven't prayed for answers on dealing with a grieving 15 year old boy who holes himself up in his room shooting at things on his Xbox. So I pray for help...not to let him get lost in all of this.

It's 10:15 pm and I have no idea what the 6 people in this family are wearing to the baptism in the morning. I'm feeling rather numb after this day and I just want to sit with this tiny kitten sleeping under my chin right now. This furry little thing is purring and giving out the odd "mmmrrttt" when it stretches and then pulls itself further up under my chin. The Dog is snoring behind me, guarding the door and giving off the odd fart.

Life goes on. So many people are going through 100x worse than our family. I pray for perspective in all of this. And I'm just going to sit here for a bit and enjoy the company of a kitten curled up on my chest, breathing on my neck and every once in a while licking my chin with its rough little tongue.

Recharge my spirit with the fluff of a kitten.

I should be writing for Hallmark. Gah.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Kitten

Meet Sophie.

Or Charlie. We're not quite sure yet.

He or she is a little ball of fluff that has made this little girl smile again.

The Princess has been working on cat ownership for about two years now. We've put it off. We got our dog, Bryn, and the house was busy enough with that. We bought The Princess a fish. But you can't cuddle a fish. We bought The Princess a hamster. Sadly, we found Butterscotch had died on the same day The Husband's dad so unexpectedly passed away.

It was a very bad week indeed.

We promised The Princess a new hamster. But when we went to the pet store, there was a sign on the door.

"We have kittens."

Dear god. No. I looked at The Husband. He looked at me.

We knew we were hooped.

Of course, The Princess hardly glanced at the hamsters. All she wanted to do was play with the kittens through the cage door. The Husband and I have been married for a long time. 20 years. A look between us was all we needed to come to a decision.

It was time.

We left the pet store without a hamster. Instead, The Princess walked out with the promise that we would start looking for the perfect kitten for our family.

We had the past few days to talk about the responsibilities. We researched our options and priced things out. Free kittens are never free (vet fees, shots and spay/neutering costs had to be figured in), and pet store kittens weren't what we wanted to support. There were black kittens at the shelter, but The Princess wanted a kitten with tabby markings.

Today we found Sophie/Charlie, one of four little kittens just ready to leave their mom for their forever home. And I found myself looking at anatomical drawings of cats hinies online, trying to figure out if it's a boy or girl.

Obviously biology wasn't my strongest subject in school. I'm still calling the kitten "It".

The Princess said, "Thank you, Mommy!" about 8,000 times this afternoon and evening. I've filed those thank yous into a corner of my brain so I can draw strength from them when the kitten is clawing up my furniture and The Princess has 'forgotten' to clean the litter box.

But tonight, I'm enjoying the feeling of an 8 week old kitten cuddled on my lap, who occasionally wakes up enough to lick my hand with her...or his rough little tongue.

So sweet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life Goes On

It's been a very rough week.

Grieving is hard work. It's exhausting. Mentally exhausting. Physically exhausting.

Lack of sleep starts to play with your mind and you find yourself incapable of performing the most mundane tasks.

Like supervising your 3 year old.

Case in point.

That would be The Monkey's dinner.

The wise man is a nice touch.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Farewell To Our Popeye

In the early morning hours of January 12th, 2010, a soul took flight.

It was to be one of thousands that day.

But for our family, this one particular soul's departure brought us to our knees.

Tuesday morning and a ringing phone at 7:19 am meant we would never hear The Monkey scream with happiness, "POPEYE!!" as The Husband's dad walked through our door.

At 7:19, we found out The Eldest would never hear, "There's my Little Chickadee!" again.

A ringing phone meant The Boy had lost a kindred spirit. The Princess would not receive the perfectly picked out birthday card next month, addressed to his Little Peanut.

7:19 brought our souls to the depths of despair, at the realization of all we had lost.

Golf trips. Dinners. Christmases. Birthdays. Stories. They all must happen without Popeye now.

Grieving wife. Grieving sons and daughters. Grieving grandkids. Grieving sister. Grieving family. Grieving friends.

But at 7:19 am, on January 12th, 2010, that solitary soul, one of thousands that day, was not grieving.

He was rejoicing.

By 7:19 am, he was in Jesus' loving embrace. He was being wrapped in his mother's arms. He was being hugged fiercely by his father. And his brother. And brother-in-law. And being greeted by other family and friends. He was celebrating.

And had probably already scheduled in a tee time.

So we are left to mourn. Left to remember. Tell stories. Laugh. Cry. Hug. Get angry at him. Get angry at ourselves. Hit a wall. Tell Mom you'll fix that. Smell his shirts. Wear his hoodie. Sit on his bed and sob. Fiddle with his glasses that sit on the desk. Smile at a memory. Answer the phone. Not sleep. Comfort someone. Be comforted. Answer questions. Ask questions. Make tea. Reminisce. Pass around the Tylenol. Be amazed at the thoughtfulness of friends.

Desperately miss him. Wish it was still Monday, January 11th, 2010.

And yet, in all of that, remember that Dad is already off golfing, with a big smile on his face and in very good company.

Sláinte mhaith, Dad. God speed.