#ThingsWeTakeForGranted

Okay, I’m a nerd.

I’m a space nerd.

From the moment I laid eyes on Capt. Kirk, I’ve been hooked.

So, when  a friend sent me this video I squeed with delight, and then I realized what I was watching.

Outer space? No big deal.

And isn’t that wonderful?

Then, This Happened….

I’m working on a long, whiny, right-now-incomprehensible, post on my stepfather’s recent illness and death, and my mother’s insanity.

But, while I’m doing that I just wanted to take a moment and mention something awesome that happened at Pensacola Beach last week.

I was standing in barely-ankle deep water when one of these came swimming up to me…

shark

………only it was much smaller..I’d say 2-3 ft..a juvenile lemon shark.

Swimming in front of the shark, at a much faster and more frantic pace, was a smaller fish so I knew right away that the shark wasn’t interested in my toes.

At least I hoped he wasn’t.

I watched him swim right towards me, then move off to my left at the last second, missing his target as my wiggling toes distracted him.

Hubby came over by me and Bruce (that’s his name, now and really I think it’s fitting we’re on a first-name basis as he and I are practically BFFs even if I did interrupt his lunch) again swam towards me, this time he wasn’t chasing anything and as he broke off at the last moment we made eye contact.

It was weird, scary, fascinating, and I loved it.  Later, I realized that if he’d bitten me not only would Bruce be off the Christmas card list forever, but it would’ve hurt.  A. Lot.

But, he didn’t and we shared a moment and now I’m pretty much an expert on juvenile lemon sharks so ask me anything.

Just don’t ask me to go swimming at night off Pensacola Beach.  I think Bruce may hold a grudge.

I Need Bats

Every mosquito in the state of Texas has bitten me, at one time or another.  I’m certain of it.

Every. Single. One.

Bastards.

I cannot go outside, for even one second, during mosquito season (Jan-Dec here in these parts) without getting eaten up.

So, I have a Ritual of Preparation for doing things like taking the dog out or, you know, getting the paper.

The night/day before I eat garlic.  I don’t know why, but I think someone, somewhere one time (at band camp, probably) told me it was good for keeping mosquitos away.

Or was that vampires?

I get those two confused.  I mean, after all, they’re both blood-sucking fiends and never sparkle in the sunlight.  It’s an easy thing to mix up.

After I’m garlic-infused I then cover myself with this wonderful product called “Bite Free”.  It’s a citronella cream that smells like..well, citronella…going on and then in about 15 minutes’ time the scent goes away.  Every part of my body, not covered by clothing, gets the cream.

I’m not done yet.

THEN I spray “Deep Woods OFF” on my clothes, shoes, and as a second layer of protection I spritz some on the exposed skin.

THEN I clip on one of those battery-operated “OFF” thingys…can’t remember what they are called…that’s supposed to create a “mosquito-free zone” around me and anyone within a five foot radius.

After all this, I’m ready to go outside and be….alone.  NO ONE wants to get too close when you’re doused in “OFF”.  I don’t care what scent they add, or want to call it, you still smell like you bathed with a badger in kerosene.

So I sit a little ways removed and enjoy the outdoors…until I start to itch.

There, and there, and there..and dammit…there again!

Going inside I invariably find a cluster of mosquito bites, usually about the size of a quarter, on the ONE SPOT on my body I may, or may not, have missed in the creaming/spraying/zoning ritual.

I currently have just such a spot on the bottom of my left foot.

The bottom. Of. My. Foot.

I have no idea how that happened since I wear shoes outside…and if I wear sandals, the bottoms of my feet get the Ritual.

The only time I’ve not been bothered by mosquitos was when we visited Bull Shoals Lake in northern Arkansas.

When I first noticed, I asked if we could buy the lake and just live there forever.

Hubby thought that might be extreme, but clearly he doesn’t have to deal with what I deal with.

Then I asked a local where all the mosquitos were.

He told me it was because they have bats, lots and lots of bats, living around the lake.

Bats eat mosquitos.

Bats are my new favorite animal ever.

They gave us Batman (hubba, hubba) and dammit they are cute.

I told hubby we needed to get bats and turn them loose in the yard.  He says that won’t work because there are no caves in our backyard.

I told him I thought the bat cave was a made-up thing from television, but he insists it’s not and bats need caves to roost and since I can’t just make a bat cave (because I’m not a millionaire) I’ll have to give up on my dream of a mosquito-free life.

He sure knows how to crush a girl’s dreams.

As The Stomach Turns…

Previously on awesomesauciness….

My devoted reader was subjected to my whining over my mother’s verbal abuse.  Yay for mother-fecking-hood, amiright?

That’s where our story resumes…

The next day Mom called and after trying to claim she didn’t remember even talking to me the night before, and me calling shenanigans on her, she apologized.

So, we’re good there. For now.

My stepfather is now home from the hospital and on hospice care for dementia and congestive heart failure.  I tried to warn my mother that it would be near-impossible for her (no spring chicken herself) to attend to his physical needs at home and much as I detest nursing homes, well sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Less than 24 hours after he got home, Mom called 9-1-1 again.  This time it was because Dad had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and proceeded to wander about the house before curling up on the floor in the fetal position refusing to move. Mom got the paramedics to get him up and into bed.

One day home, one night with little sleep for Mom.

Guess who she called the next evening?  Me.  To tell me how “hard this is”, and how “tiring it all is” even though she refuses to allow nurses or attendants at the house in the evening.

Guess why.  No, just guess.

Okay, you’ll never guess because you don’t know her.

But I do.

She starts hittin’ the bottle about 4:00 p.m., and no nurse, aide, or attendant will stand for that kind of behavior.

I just don’t have anything to offer her at this point.  He’s dying, but in the meantime he’s living and he needs way more care than she can provide.

And, my give-a-damn, while not busted, is seriously bent.

Well, That Was Interesting

No, no it wasn’t.

You know how sometimes you accidentally pause while channel-surfing on one of those “reality” shoes, based in the Deep South, where everyone is mad at everyone and the women get into shouting/shoving matches and they’re so angry you can’t make out the words even though you’re pretty sure “bitch” is used a lot?

Take that, and imagine it in your ear.

And imagine the person in your ear is your mother.

Further imagine this is a one-sided argument, and you spend most of your time trying to figure out what she’s talking about.

Add in the fact that your stepfather is currently in a locked psych unit, the real reason for your mother’s tirade is her fears and frustrations at what might happen to her husband of nearly fifty years.

And then remember that the screaming in your ear is still going on and you’re a fully-fecking-grown woman and dammit you will NOT be treated this way.

Then imagine the tirade abruptly ends before you get a chance to tell your mother that as she slams the phone down in your ear.

I didn’t get much sleep last night.

You Say Child, I See Science Experiment

I have an…shall we say ‘acquaintance’…who is a professional engineer.  His wife is a tutor and teacher.  They have one child, a son, on whom they can focus all of their energies.

Poor kid.

Since birth, I’ve gotten regular updates on the child (prodigy) with emphasis on milestones and achievements.

At 2, he was reading.  At 4, complex math. At 7, fluent in one foreign language and starting when he was 8 another language was added.

Every minute of this kid’s day is packed with precisely measured doses of education.

I honestly haven’t heard of a single incident involving bugs, mud, skinned knees, puppies, or a busted lip.

Recently, he was expected to be accepted into an accelerated program at one of the local magnet schools.  In order to properly prepare him, his parents altered his sleeping and eating schedule to “obtain optimum cognitive abilities” on testing day.

I’m worried about this kid.  I foresee a future with him snapping, and by ‘snapping’ I mean he’ll wear mis-matched argyle socks and his mother will faint.

I’ve met him several times, over the years, and he is poised, personable, handsome, and at 8 yrs. old he creeps me out.

He’s a Stepford child, I’m convinced.

Also, this cannot be common.  I refuse to believe this happens a lot to children who really should be spending at least some time every day getting dirty.

I’m really, reaaaaaaaaaaallly curious to see how puberty affects this child and wonder if he’ll just rebel and maybe ditch the khakis for some ripped jeans and a pair of Vans.

I don’t think his parents could survive that kind of shock to their systems, but me…I’ll be doing my inner “hells yeah” dance the day he does.

The Door is Squeaking

On Friday the weather here was…perfection…awesomesauce…amazing.

It was low-70’s, low humidity, light breezes and beautiful sunshine.

It was like someone ordered the perfect day from Amazon, and chose same-day delivery.

That Amazon can bring it.

Naturally, I had all the windows in the house open.  It smelled wonderful.

Hubby was relaxing, I was puttering about the house – I’m such a domestic, I actually like cleaning and laundry and stuff…I know, I’m weird.

“What’s that noise?” I heard hubby ask.

Above the din of birds (I swear there’s an Audubon ad somewhere that says, “Go to the Awesomesauciness House” and every bird within a hundred miles has read it.) and the gurgle of the fountain I couldn’t hear anything I didn’t recognize.

“What noise?” I asked.

There was a silence, and I walked into the den.  Hubby sat with head slightly cocked, listening.

‘SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAKK…AKK…AKK’

“THAT noise”, he said.

“That noise?” I asked, “that’s a bird.”

“Is it?”

“I think so.”

“I think it’s a squeaky door.”

And that’s why we spent the next few minutes test-open/closing the doors in the house, only to find out it was….a bird.

Welp, My Christmas List is Complete

Pure, awesomesauce and artistic genius, all rolled into one.

I want one of each, kthxbai!

Easter Egg Hunt, Hunger Games Edition

My family is, shall we say…competitive.

And by competitive I mean, cut throat, winner take all, Hunger Games competitive.

So it was with fear and trembling that I watched my seven grandchildren scour my sodden and muddy yard for the 108 eggs we’d carefully hidden.

Some eggs were real, but most were shiny colors with shiny coins or camo colors with candy inside.

Before the back door even opened, my oldest daughter laid down the rules:

NO pushing.

NO crying.

NO cutting in on the little ones (youngest is 3, and so cute it hurts..no one will mess with her).

NO cussing (which was met with looks of confusion, and one “I won’t” from her 7 -yr. old son).

The door opened and I was reminded of the beginning of a Hunger Games competition.  The looks of sheer determination were…intense. And that was just the parents.

Then I looked at the kids.

They looked determined to get ALL THE EGGS for themselves.

It was muddy, it was sloppy, it was chaos, and it was hilarious as egg after egg was discovered hiding under bushes, in trees, in wasp-filled BBQ pits.

They ran, like a flock of birds, first this way and that in a tight little group.  The bigger kids not letting the little ones branch out on their own, all the while remembering where they saw eggs missed by the group and quietly circling back to pick them up.

In the end, we don’t know if all the eggs were found but there was no crying, minimal cussing, and lots of mud.

We got a couple of group pictures and traipsed back inside.

All was quiet until I heard a whispered, “So, what does the winner get?”

I couldn’t resist.  I just couldn’t.  I had to say it, I did.

“You shall receive income from the Capitol for life!”

Not one of the grandkids got it…but their parents did.

So, That’s What It’s Like To Have Pneumonia…

….again

Hi kids! Last Monday I was feeling kinda poorly, and then I was feeling like a truck had run over me and the truck was hauling a trailer, and the trailer had a tractor on it, and the tractor was pulling another trailer, and that trailer was full of manure.

Wet manure.

No, wait…maybe I didn’t feel that good.

It was a semi that ran over me.  A flat bed semi, hauling the space shuttle, pulling the truck/trailer/tractor combo.

Yeah, that’s closer to how I felt by noon last Monday.

The rest of the week is a blur.  A horrible, cough-wracked, chest hurts, wheezy, feverish blur.

Team Pneumonia was kicking my ass, until the Big A (for amoxicillin) came to my rescue.  It was a close one, but in the end my defense proved too tough.

And,  I lost ten pounds, so victory?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers