Showing posts from March, 2012

April Fool

Come on down! You're a contestant on this year's version of "Fool or No Fool?"  Half of the following statements are true. Half are false. Use your keen mind and complete chance to figure out which are which.  Guess all 10 right and you're a genius - or very lucky - or you really know me well. Guess 7-9 right and you're "cool ... nice!" as my favorite almost-2-year-old would say. Guess 4-6 right and I'll still be impressed. Guess 0-3 right and, you guessed it, you're an April Fool! Have fun - and please respond to this post with your guesses!

1. I have more than five tattoos.

2. I watch the news first thing in the morning and before bed every night so that I'm up-to-date on the happenings in the world.

3. I've been breastfeeding at least one of my children since the day my oldest child was born over 13 years ago.

4. I have never eaten a corn dog.

5. I despise reality shows.

6. I've never been arrested.

7. "Rannygahoots" is a t…

Miracle Cure

I won't get into the details of the hour and twenty minute doctor appointment during which it took my primary care physician, two nurses, the Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program, and an ekg to diagnose what I had already told everyone concerned was a fungal infection. That hour and twenty minutes was spent with my five children in a very small room with only one chair. One of said children was four years old and overtired. Another of the children has sensory issues and for him this was sheer torture. But that's beside the point. 

I will fill you in on the results of this astounding appointment and the wonder drug I was prescribed. Hold on to your hats!

The prescription was called in to my local pharmacy, and as it took so long to diagnose my condition at the doctor's office, I didn't have time to pick it up that evening. The next day I was also short on time and chose the grocery store over the pharmacy. Spreading fungal infection or not, I only had time fo…

For Better or Worse...

I am committed to this relationship for better or worse.
A lot of "better" has been happening lately. I've been given more freedom to do the things I enjoy and even take on a new thing or two. We seem to be living together more harmoniously than we have in a while, although we still have our tiffs. 
Some "worse" has been happening as well. I have become a bit upset over the insistence that I go to bed early on nights when I really want to stay up and chat or get things accomplished - and at the same time frustrated at being urged to wake up several times a night. 
It seems that my weekly dates with E seem to be injecting my life with new energy and new possibilities. Some say E is dangerous and have concerns about me adding this new relationship into the mix, but so far, I see only good things happening. E has added spice to my life that hasn't been there in quite some time. 
You see, Sporadic Artie (PsA, for short) and I have been on fairly good terms lately. …

Marty's Corner

On the corner of the street I grew up on lives a treasure trove of memories. Growing up, we referred to the series of storefronts as Marty's Corner, even though that was the name of just one of the shops. Whether going to Marty's for italian ice or IBC rootbeer or to Ernie's (later Adrian's) for groceries or a grinder, a trip to Marty's Corner was always an event.

When we were very little, my sister and I used to walk or ride bikes to Marty's Corner with one or both of our parents. Every time we went to Ernie's I hoped to talk my parents into a child-size box of animal crackers, cheese tidbits, or chocolate snaps.  
Eventually we earned the privilege of going to the corner ourselves. Sent with money and a list, we'd go to Ernie's Market to pick up groceries, and with the change could treat ourselves to something from Marty's. 
Walking into Marty's, the grown-ups sitting at the long counter would pause their conversation and glance your way. A g…

How to Clean and Organize Your Living Room in Five Easy Steps

Step 1: Volunteer to be Theme Basket and Silent Auction Co-Coordinator for a local conference. With this job comes the need to store theme baskets and silent auction items in your house.

Step 2: Clean off a couple shelves in your living room and store items there as they come in. 
Step 3: Realize that a couple shelves isn't enough. Clean out another area in which to store stuff.
Step 4: Pack up all theme basket and silent auction items and bring them to the Conference.
Step 5: Return home and use open spaces to organize bin of random items left over from making room for conference goodies. 
I'm on Step 3 right now and things are looking promising. In a little over a month, I'll reach steps four and five. The wait is excruciating at times, but I think I'll survive. If you're as fortunate as I have been, the process of making room will lead to the donation of lots of unneeded items, the purchase of a new storage system, and the basic reorganization of the rest of your hou…

One-way Ticket to Hell

In the past year, several of my friends have lost friends to suicide and as a result there's been a lot of discussion about suicide, the survivors of suicide, and mostly about the intensely emotional nature for all involved. This has led me to a lot of thinking, copious writing, much deleting, and to the realization that I cannot write about this without getting emotional, or while making any sort of coherent sense. So I figure I'll just type and see where it gets me...

Suicide is a one-way ticket to hell.

That's what many of us are told, what many of us believe. This is not what I believe, and I'm going to attempt to tell you why, from a Christian perspective - because is was a Christian perspective that I was subjected to when I was in a place where death seemed preferable to life (to put it mildly). It was a Christian perspective that added to my despair. I have a different Christian perspective: 

Those who commit suicide are forgiven. 

Suicide, by someone in overwhelmi…


Dear Brain,

Shut Up Now.

Thank You. 

My Dearest S,

I love you. I want you. I need you. 
I lay in bed at night eagerly awaiting your embrace. I long for you. 
Why do you tease me and then run off into the night, leaving me to toss and turn without you? 
My dearest S, please come to me tonight and make my wildest fantasies come true. 
I beg of you, stay with me for more than an hour or two. Take me fully and completely for hour upon hour until my body is done with your or one of the children wakes. 
I lay here in bed awaiting your arrival. For the sake of my sanity, please, my beloved Sleep, I implore you: bless me with six or more uninterrupted hours and I will be eternally grateful.
All my love,  Me

Seeing the Hat

We were sitting in a restaurant enjoying our lunch when a man came in on crutches. He was missing one leg and had prosthetic arms and hands. One of my kids yelled, "Hey, Mama - LOOK at that guy over there!" My brain readied itself for the possible situation at hand and my lovely child continued, "He has the coolest hat!"

Someone recently asked me if life is different for my children because of my chronic illness.

Life is different for them due to a lot of things. We homeschool, so I guess that could be considered different - but many of their friends are homeschooled as well, so they don't see it as different. My oldest has Aspergers - but he's just Alex to all the other kids, so his differences are normal to them. My children are different from many of their peers in that they are responsible for helping keep the house clean, but not only because I am unable to clean up after five kids, but because they are a part of this family and we all live here. The…


Once up on a time in a land called Supermarket there was a very frugal shopper. She had gone to the store for just two things, but as usual had her eyes open for bargains. First she visited the Island of Reduced Produce and invited a pound of organic strawberries into her carriage for a mere dollar eighteen. Tragically there were no deals to be found on Meat Row. Undaunted, she carried on. Upon entering the village of Scratch and Dent, she discovered Eden. At first she was taken aback at the size of it, amazed that it just went on and on. There were five BPA-free cans of Eden Organic Kidney Beans in all. The three dollar price scrawled atop each cylinder seemed too good to be true. Into her cart they leaped - well, it would have been nice if they'd leaped, as at nearly seven pounds apiece they were not exactly as light and airy as you'd envision Eden would be. 

Purchases totaled and paid, a quite happy frugal shopper returned home. I wish I could say that everyone lived happily…

Budding Photographer

When my camera has many more images on it than photos I've taken, I have a good idea which one of my children has borrowed it. Here are a smattering of photos, titled by the photographer.

Child-free Vacation

Or, A Parent's Guide to Grocery Shopping Without Kids.

It all started when this was posted on facebook:

It got me thinking. There is an art to grocery shopping alone when you're a parent - especially if you have plenty of time to do so. Or at least if your partner is taking care of the kids and you fail to mention how much you're shopping for and when you'll return. Here are a few basic steps to follow for a vacationesque trip to the grocery store...
Step 1: Do Not Tell Anyone When You Plan To Return. Vacation is about leisure, not about schedules (ok, if you talk to my grandmother, it's about making the most out of every second of your vacation, but this is not the type of vacation about which we're talking).
Step 2: Listen! ... to NPR or your favorite radio station or catch up on your favorite podcast on the way to the store. The store is only two minutes from you house, you say? Put those two minutes to good use and carry on listening. Don't worry - there…

In My Dreams...

In my dreams, I get to sleep until 11AM. I get to lounge in bed all day with nothing to do but read and nap. It's lovely and serene and relaxing. 

In reality, I slept until 11:30AM. I tossed and turned in bed all day and did nothing - while in pain, exhausted, and quite miserable. It was neither lovely nor serene. It was quite necessary and fairly restful.

This is not the day off for which I was hoping. Perhaps tomorrow shall be that day ... with chocolate.

Prostitutes and Whores

That got your attention, didn't it? 

Apparently those words got my youngest's attention as well. 
Listening to Les Mis, not three beats after the words, "prostitute attacked me," Alia, age 3 at the time, piped up from the back seat of the van, "Mama, what's a prostitute?" 

My mind reeled for a moment. Ummm... errr.... prostitute you say? Prostitute. Prostitute? How do I explain ... how the heck did she even pick that out so fast? Explain a prostitute to a 3 year old - really???!!!??? I'm trapped in the van with a three year old asking for a definition of prostitute. Why aren't we prepared for such things before having kids?
"Well, a prostitute is a person who gives up control of her body to another person for a short time in exchange for money." 
"That sounds scary. I wouldn't like that."
"It is scary, and the women who feel they have to do it probably don't like it either. It isn't a happy thing to be. It's go…