Monday, May 31, 2010

A 'real' post should be available tomorrow

Just a few random gems that I thought I might share...

How do you know that your bird's last family liked dipping into the powder? Because you rush your bird to the vet with it's terrible 'human-like' cold to find that it is merely mimicking snorts of different varieties. After careful consideration, I think that I might prefer a potty mouthed bird...just sayin.'

The same bird tried to remove my husband's arm last night. He sure is pretty (the bird) but, he is a real handful. Of course, immediately after removing a half dollar sized portion of my hubby's arm, he climbed up in my lap to give me kisses. I suspect that this bird likes the ladies.


If your husband bitches non stop about helping? No matter how much help he is providing, you'll wish he haste.

I mean, this terrible, horrible, exhausting life that he keeps claiming is making him miserable and possibly killing him, is your own.


My step son contacted me via Facebook. My husband encouraged me to ignore the request, I'm glad I didn't. He apologized, and now, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my chest.

This rather shifts the yin and yang of my world back into the appropriate balance. I love my step son, and I always will. No matter what happened in the past, that simple fact won't change. I will honestly admit that this applies to S alone, I haven't heard anything from N, and I wouldn't want to. While loving, doesn't cover 'liking' or 'trusting' necessarily, none of the above applies to N. My relationship with N was tenuous at best, before this past Fall, it is now completely non existent. I intend to keep it that way. N worked hard for years, at straining what little bond we had. After all that happened, it is broken beyond repair.


My husband is throwing away my tee shirts as I type. Heads might roll.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where have you been Mrs. Proud?

This question has been asked of me many times as of late. The truth is that I have been busy. Not busy with my children, well, at least not more so than usual. Not busy with my house...I will still try and visit with you on my non-existent veranda should you pop by unannounced. I've been busy with my birds.

It started pretty innocently, a single parakeet for my son's birthday. Then, in the blink of an eye my husband and I had a whole flock. In truth, I knew that what we had been wanting was a medium sized parrot. Instead, I tried to go the 'easy' route. Smaller birds are less of a commitment, right? That one little parakeet turned into a flock of six in the blink of an eye. Then we added a pair of canaries, and a cockatiel. Still, something wasn't right. So, we brought home a Nanday Conure. (There is a whole blog post on loving and losing a bird here for another day.) "Ahh," I'm surprised you couldn't hear our contented sighs from where you are Internet.

And then, we did something silly. We checked Craigslist one more time for the heck of it. A Sun Conure was listed. So, my husband said, "offer her 25% of the list price." So, we did. AND...she accepted our offer. So, we brought Herbie home to join our flock too. My husband keeps asking him, "Damn you, why do you have to be such a cute looking bird?"

I'm exhausted people. It is a contented exhaustion, but, bringing home these babies has been much like bringing home twins I should think. They wake me up every couple of hours all through the night. They cry constantly if I am attending the other. They both seem to be bonding to me. It looked like our Nanday was going to be a man's bird. Then my husband tried to get him to step up off of me, and got torn a new one. Nan seems to be mine now. Herbie won't step up for anyone. He does shriek until I open his cage so that he can chew holes in my shirts, preen my feathers, and give me kisses. He is very sweet until he sees hands, then he tries to amputate fingers with his beak.

There are all sots of other things going on too. My husband has been home this week. He is sick, and he is also sick and tired. He is about to lose his job. We knew that he had been 'working' on borrowed time. He also knows that he needs to stick with it until he finds another job, or until they dismiss him. If he gets emotional enough to quit, we would lose the unemployment option should we God forbid need it. It is stressful.

I ran my son to school yesterday morning. The truck was out of gas, and our local filling station has but four pumps. There was a pick-up with a trailer blocking the entrance to one pump, and closing access off to two more. I will admit to being grumpy, and pre-caffeinated judgement led me to jump out of my truck and yell, "You're busting my balls for two frigging gas cans? You've gotta be kidding!" So, if you are the dude I yelled at yesterday...I realize that I was not in my best form, and anatomically incorrect to boot. You're still a douche bag though Bud, 'kay?

I'll post some pictures of my new babies later. Thanks for all the emails and stuff asking if we were okay, you guys are great, really great!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The things that make my world go round

In the crazy, hectic past few weeks, there were a few blog posts that should have been written, that were not. So, today's post will be a collection of 'bloggy shorts.'


"What the hell is leaking?" I asked this question out loud at Costco. I was trying to ascertain what was dripping all over my carefully packed grocery cart and onto the floor. The answer? Pee.

My youngest daughter's diaper had shifted and caused her latest deposit to leak down her legs, into my groceries, down the sides of the milk gallons, and then puddle on the cement floor. Other than the 'gross' factor, there was the 'poorly prepared mother' factor. I was without a change of clothes for Baby Girl...or anyone else for that matter, and I have two babies in diapers and a newly potty trained toddler, so you would think that I would plan better for the inevitable.

We were also in the farthest corner from the restrooms. So, I changed my child's diaper in mid air, while holding her over a gigantic trash can, in the refrigerated foods section. I then mopped up my groceries, child, and the floor as best I could with baby wipes, put the wet skort in my purse (Vera Bradley is very washable) and tried to maintain my composure when the cashier asked if the apple juice was leaking.


"Mom, my ear feels funny!" I've heard my soon to be 8 year old say this approximately 1,000,000 times in the last few weeks. "Does it hurt?" I would ask. He maintained that it did not, and then I would promptly forget about the exchange.

It was an early release day from school, and I had my son, his friend, and the rest of my little ones at the ice cream place. As we stood in line, I was looking for the person who was bringing me two canaries, so I was distracted. "Here Mom," was all I needed to obediently stick my hand out, to receive whatever object LB was about to put in my palm. I glanced down at my hand, I was holding what appeared to be a medium size pebble.

"What is it?" I asked my son.

"I think it is what was bothering me," he said. I frowned and examined it more closely. "It just came out of my ear," he helpfully added. He had caught me off guard, I shrieked and jerked my hand, the 'pebble' went flying. The group of high school girls in front of us also screamed and ducked, so I have to assume that at their age, it is either a 'flocking behavior' response, or that they had been paying greater attention to my son's endeavors that I had been.

I surveyed the other patrons, aside from the group of teenagers, all but the bemused elderly couple behind us, were politely pretending we were invisible, or were oblivious. My son took advantage of my hesitation and began searching. "Stop right there," I ordered.

"But, BUT...I WANTED TO KEEP IT!!!" he sobbed.


I was waiting in the car with LB, it was time to leave to drop the children at school. "What is taking your sister so long? Go find out." I ordered LB.

LB returned to the truck alone. "JB isn't coming to school today," he announced, "we can go ahead and leave." I gave him a suspicious look and went to investigate the matter.

My oldest son was sitting at the counter, "JB's upstairs in the bathroom, she threw up when she was putting on her shoes. I guess she needs to stay home." I returned to LB and without saying much, because I am not very talkative and border on being 'screamy' pre-coffee, kissed him good-bye before he got out of the car at school.

JB spent the day suffering from allergies and a touchy tummy. She was relaxing on the sofa when LB got home. "Your teacher said that you could have worn flip-flops if you had come to school today." I thought very little of the comment, and dismissed it as my son giving my daughter a hard time, or as another funky Spirit Day theme.

I was less dismissive of BFF when she drove by with her mother, "JB! Mrs. B. said you could wear flip-flops if you need to!" I asked my daughter what that meant after they drove away.

"I have no idea Mom. Maybe Mrs. B has me mixed up with A, because A hurt her foot the other day at school?" My daughter shrugged and sneezed the comment off.

"Oh no," LB spoke up, "your teacher isn't confused. I told her that you couldn't come to school today because you couldn't find your shoes." We all stared at him. "Well, that is why JB didn't go to school, right? Because she couldn't find her shoes?"

"No Nimrod," my oldest son chimed in, "she threw up all over her shoes!" My oldest son ignored my death stare at his choice of words. "That's so rich! JB's teacher thinks she was out of school because she doesn't have any shoes!" As his gales of laughter continued, the horror of the scenario was washing over me, apparently my daughter wasn't immune to the implications either.

"Mommy! Please can you home school me starting tomorrow?" Much to her chagrin I denied her request. Today, I found her going through her closet. "I'm going to wear a different pair of shoes each day this week," she said, "just so people will know that I have some."


Jen, over at Diagnosis: Urine asked how I explained the terms in my last post to my children. She wanted to know how I explained lines, blow jobs, penis picture posts, and fuck to my children after our last dinner out on the town. Well Jen, blow jobs are drinks just like Shirley Temples, but, they have alcohol in them, so only adults can say the name. The people at the next table had obviously had too many drinks like Shirley Temples, but with alcohol, because they were being very silly and saying, "lines on the bathroom counter" instead of "lines to get to the bathroom counter" because it is very, very important to wash your hands after you go potty, and especially before you eat. The only time you would *ever* post a picture of your penis, is when you have to send one to your doctor because you weren't careful and got it caught in your zipper, and your doctor needs to know if you need to go to the hospital...and even then, in our house, we just go to the hospital. Finally, 'fucking' is something you do when you drive, or...err...when I drive...apparently, I "fuck douche bags that don't use their turning signals" rather too often.


Coincidentally, when my oldest son was younger (and called a kid on the school playground a douche bag) he asked me when he would be old enough to swear. I told him that he would be old enough to swear when he started I was pretty darn sure that he had picked up the term from me, around the merge to get from one highway to another.

He has never forgotten me telling him that. In all these years, he hasn't remembered anything I've ever asked him to do the first time around, but, THAT, he not only remembers, but, can list the witnesses to my jackassery. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you...never be flip with your children, in their court of law, verbal agreements are definitely binding!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Pink Elephant in the room

I am not by any means a prude. However, in my hope to help a few people out there, who aren't sure what is, or is not, appropriate to talk about in a family restaurant, here is a short list of words even *I* wouldn't utter.
  • Anything using "fuck." This rule may only be broken if you find an appendage in your food, such as, "What the fuck is this?" as you pull a small hairy paw out of your soup.
  • "Penis." While I won't ban the use of this word in the bathroom for obvious reasons, I will unequivocally state that any phrases that start, "He posted pictures of his penis..." are not okay, especially when spoken at your table.
  • "Lines." Please don't leave me nonsensically stumbling to explain why you just said, "lines on the bathroom counter," instead of "lines to get to the bathroom counter. Please leave your lines and any talk about them, in the dorm from whence you came.
  • "Blow job." I am positive that I don't care if Erica gave Peter a blow job, but, after they wire your jaws shut, your boyfriend will be doing without them for a long, loooong time.
Now that we have established what can and cannot be said in a family restaurant, let me give you a few helpful hints to determine if you are indeed 'in' a family restaurant.

  • The term "Family Restaurant" appears in bold red letters on the sign.
  • There are people at least 1-2 feet shorter than you are in every direction you look.
  • They have a game room that doesn't include any darts, poker, or pool tables.
  • There are pissed off parents as far as the eye can see, wondering when their children will need to potty, so they will be free to discreetly rip out your vocal chords.
I think that I am the true test of what is absolutely, positively offensive. If you have managed to offend me, you have crossed a line. In the event that the occupants of the table behind ours ever stumble upon this post, "Just because a restaurant has a bar, doesn't mean it is one. Just because you're drunk, doesn't mean it's okay. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should...and the last one, is all that saved me from dumping my glass over your foul mouthed little heads, but, the next time I would STFU if I were you, restraint only goes so far."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Only wisdom and serenity today

Jelly Bean with Honey this morning, Honey continues to decline.

Yesterday I had a revelation, I was on the phone with my mother and I told her that I couldn't really talk because I had to give the hamster a bath, and my mother responded with, "You're a fucking idiot. Just let the g*damned thing die. Why don't you give one of your kids a bath instead." I realized something at that relationship with my parents will never be fixable, because we don't *like* each other.

It isn't about who did what when, or even who said what...the biggest problem we have, is that we just don't like each other. We don't share the same tastes, values, or beliefs. We don't share the same goals or visions. In short, the only thing we have in common, are my children.

I'm walking away. Really. I am walking away now. I am putting an end to our relationship. They don't give a hoot about any of my kids except my oldest, and he is old enough to pick up the phone and call them if he would like.

It is time to end the cycle, and I suspect that we will all be happier people for it. I'm tired of being reminded on a daily basis that I am not living a life they approve of, and that I am not mothering in a way they sanction. I can only imagine that they are frustrated that I can't or won't change to conform to their standards.

I can tell you this, they did everything 'right' according to the records they keep, and they haven't seen any of their children over a holiday in a decade. If that is the result of doing it the 'right' way, I hope I keep doing everything wrong, because after my kids leave home, I want them to 'want' to spend time with me. I want them to fill my home with love and laughter always. I want love to be the greatest factor in my relationship with my kids, not judgement.

So, here is to having the wisdom to know what I can't change and the serenity to accept it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

An addendum to the Hamster Chronicles

First, I have to give a shout out to our local major pet store, Petco. I know what you guys are saying about major franchises, but, our local Petco, at least, has got it together. Believe you me, I never thought I would utter those words, but, it is true.

The shop that we got Honey from, is a local store. It is not a franchise, and the owner that I dealt with, IS the owner/manager. I am *not* impressed with them at all. Not only do I come to find out that they routinely treat the water in their shop for Wet Tail, whether the animals are sick or not, but, they offered me nothing but misinformation designed to sell me more crap, that would have not been effective in treating the Wet Tail anyway.

Petco, where I have either purchased or adopted all of my other hamsters, is in my opinion, a class act. They are in partnership with a local vet, and they have all of their small animals who show any sign of illness or injury treated. They even have a program in place, such that, if I had not been able to afford to have Honey treated, I could have surrendered her to them, even though I didn't purchase her there, and they would have had her treated by their vet, and later she would be placed up for adoption, if she healed. Honestly, I tried to encourage the shop owner where Honey came from to either contact the vet, or surrender the rest of Honey's cage-mates, to them. Let's just say, she wasn't interested in my suggestion.

I have two hammies that I adopted from Petco recently, and both came to me with their veterinary records. One nearly lost an eye to his wheel in the store cage, and the other was an owner surrender because Big John is meaner than shit...of course, he also lived in shit for a long time with his previous owners, so I have hopes that one day, after we work with him for awhile, I'll be able to clean out his cage without worrying about losing a finger. Big John is also the coolest, baddest dude in town. He is so freaking funny that his antics make up for his grumpy ways...and, I think we even understand each other.

So guys, don't rule out the big name pet stores, check them out for yourselves and talk to the staff there. I have unfortunately found, that the local guys, aren't always the good guys.

***The BBB was the only party that I contacted willing to take a complaint against the pet store. The ASPCA, the state, and the county all fobbed me off to each other. The saddest part of this for me, is that I'm not looking to be reimbursed (not that I would refuse compensation for the vet bills) but, that I'm not sure the BBB has much if any jurisdiction over the treatment and welfare of animals.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Hamster Chronicles

In the event that you all didn't know, I have a small sized petting zoo, and we seem to add to it on a regular basis. I have two dogs, two cats, a parakeet, five hamsters, four fish tanks, a frog, and two betta bowls. Theoretically, with six children, I should have plenty of helping hands to help dole out snuggles and meals.

One of our newer acquisitions, a black bear hamster is ill. I noticed on Thursday, that she had not run on her wheel Wednesday night. On Thursday, I put a couple of treats on her wheel to see for sure if she wasn't running. The treats were still on the wheel Friday morning, so I picked her up to look at her. Her bottom was damp, and anyone who knows anything about small animals, knows that Wet Tail, is the worry of every hammie owner and aficionado. Wet Tail has a 90% mortality rate.

The first thing I did was call the shop to ask about the health of the other hamsters in the cage. The shop owner informed me that she had found three dead, but, that she didn't know why. She also tried to tell me that Wet Tail is completely curable, and that a vet visit was most unnecessary. I was horrified by the lack of care that the animals are given.

Don't get me wrong, I've lost hammies in the past, but never in a way that they suffered in any prolonged manner. I am also pretty sickened that the shop will continue to sell the hamsters from that cage to families like mine, setting the children who will love them, up for disaster. The disease has a slow onset, it takes between 7-10 days for a hamster to show symptoms, which is why the reputable shops will offer a 14 day policy on hamsters. I'll be honest, I've been a little queasy since Friday thinking about all of this.

I eventually found a vet in my area (that was less astronomical than others) who would see Honey. She confirmed what I already knew, that Honey had Wet Tail, and that while she would give us antibiotics, we shouldn't get our hopes up. She gave us a five day window, tomorrow, we will be just over half-way there. We are keeping our fingers crossed for our Honey Bear. In the meantime, I am changing bedding every 8 hours, administering antibiotics every 12 hours, and washing her soiled bottom every time she has a bowel movement. Talk about fun! You don't know adventure until you've washed your hamster's asshole with betadine...just take my word for it...okay?

I am actually approaching you guys on the Internet, not because I think that you are going to be greatly interested in our hammie, but, because I want to know what your thoughts are on the moral aspects of pet shops, and the treatment of 'less valuable' companion pets might be? I spent all day on Friday trying to find someone in our state/county that could tell me what the law is in reference to just letting animals suffer and die because they aren't of a great enough dollar value...and let me just say, that nobody seems to know. So tell me, what do you think should happen?