Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stepping forward while walking backwards…

I feel like I was lucky.

When I was growing up, I dealt with my fair share and more of hard stuff.  But not once do I remember attending a funeral.  Death was not a part of my equation in a memorable sense.  Both of my maternal grandparents died as well as my paternal grandmother either right before I was born or shortly after and therefore it wasn’t a huge heartache for me.  From then on death didn’t really exist.  Either my mom sheltered me from the funerals or else no one close enough to me died.

My kids haven’t been that lucky. 

The death of the three year old from our town that died of cancer recently has been weighing heavy on the mind of little Teensy.  On our trip to the cemetery for Mother’s Day, we discovered that his grave happens to be right below Geri and since I had previously explained that he was up in heaven talking to her now, this was a great coincidence.  Teensy has now proclaimed many times that he and grandma are “neighbors”.  But even with the assurance that her grandma is taking care of the little boy, she is still really saddened that he was taken away.  She signed the sympathy card and then proceeded to make her own.  Such a tender heated little soul. 

This week marks the one year anniversary since the death of Geri, their much beloved grandma.  Bubba has started to make progress in his counseling and Teensy just finished a full memory book in her counseling sessions.  We have been doing okay, this family of mine.  We have found ourselves a bit more comfortable with this new normal. 

Two steps forward and ten steps back.  Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Last night there was a really bad car accident a few miles from our house.  It consisted of one vehicle filled with a man and four children.  I don’t have all the details but what I know is that they went over a bridge and the vehicle became engulfed in flames.  The driver and a second grade boy died, two more children are in serious condition right now and one is in critical condition.  It was the worst trauma that the nurses at the hospital have seen in quite some time. 

The boy lived in our neighborhood.  He spent time at my house and played with my kids.  I had spoken with his mother on occasion and saw him at the school almost every day.  Although he was no longer a friend to my son due to a stupid childhood falling out, it is still a place that is too close for comfort.  Once again, reality has rocked the fairy tale world that my kids should live in. 

I have yet to see the effects of this on my children.  We have told them the new but they haven’t processed everything enough to give us a reaction.  That will come later.  In a few hours.  For now, we are in denial that grim reaper has claimed another innocent being.

And that is where we will stay for that is the only way to make it through.

Any other week of the year…but not this one.  Our wounds are already freshly torn open from the planning of a luncheon and memorial tree planting, so we could use a break from the extra despair for now. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

She gave me her eye color, too…

Money is not an issue with me. 

I am not saying that I am rich.  I am not saying that I don’t have a need or a want for money.  I am saying that I don’t allow money to be an issue in my world. 

I never remember a time when I was growing up that I was in need of anything.  I remember using food stamps and later having to remember the pin for the EBT card when we were shopping.  I remember the  white box with black letting food that we got for free at the Food Pantry.  I remember paying something like 40 cents for lunch on the low income program.  I remember having Medicaid for insurance coverage and 7 of us living in a three bedroom apartment while mom worked two jobs to keep us afloat.

But through all of that I never felt poor.  I always had everything that I needed…shoes, a coat, money for school field trips and programs.  I was never lacking in anything that I remember.  My mom (and my older sister at times) took really good care of me and I never felt the crunch of being low income.  Which is how it should be.

Although my mom was great at providing everything that I needed, she wasn’t (and still isn’t) the best at managing her money.  And since children learn most everything from the examples and lessons of their parents, I grew up with the same money management skills that my mother possessed.

What exactly does that mean, that I am not good at managing money?  It doesn’t mean that I am in debt up to my eyeballs or that I am one of those people that purchased a house way above their actual means and are now sitting in fear of foreclosure.  It does mean that I am not all that careful about money.  I don’t have a retirement plan or a college fund in place for the future.  I don’t have a massive savings account filled with money for a just in case.  I do have a mortgage, an equity line and a couple of credit cards. 

My husbands money skills mirror my own in most ways.  He is a bit more conscious about what we spend and when especially if the costs of eating out everyday are piling up.  He is more likely than I to make a large purchase (think cars) without my knowledge or consent whereas I will almost always get his input before spending more than $200 on any one item.  But for the most part, we both buy what we want now and deal with the payments later…in a responsible sense.  Most of our furniture was purchased through a furniture store where we paid no payments or interest until our tax returns came in the following year.  We remodel the house at will, using a Home Improvement store charge card and paying it down month by month.  I get the stresses now and again and need some shopping therapy so I head to Kohl’s and charge whatever clothes suit my fancy that day without thinking about the bill until I receive it a month later.  He charges tools at work on a monthly basis and makes a payment every Friday. 

However, knowing all of that, you must also understand that we are frugal.  I shop sales and rarely pay full price.  We use coupons at times and try not to buy more than we need of anything.  We love garage sales and auctions to furnish our house and clothe ourselves and our children.  We both absolutely love a good deal.

So, you see, I don’t make money an issue in my life.  I won’t have it when I’m dead and gone so there is no point in not using it now.  It is nothing for me to buy a meal for a friend when we are out because it is usually I that insists on something more expensive than McDonalds.  That is also why I sold a vehicle to a family member and have never mentioned the fact that I wasn’t paid a dime in return for the sale and why when a friend called me up today and said, “Please don’t think any less of me, but can I borrow some money?” I didn’t think twice before writing the check.  Money isn’t an issue for me and I think that because I don’t allow it to stress me out, it has always appeared when I truly needed it the most.  I am hoping that this holds true when I have to return to paying bills after my mega expensive European trip in July!  I guess we’ll see. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There was even a stripper pole!!!

I haven’t posted in a while so I figured I would come back with a bang…a wet and sticky one.  :)


Several weeks ago, Miss Insanity had a Passion Party and invited me.  Since her and I have become pretty good friends as of late, I was going for sure.  I haven’t been to a home party type of thing in a long time and Passion Parties are definitely my style of party.

You don’t know what a Passion Party is?  Really?  OMG!  Well, let me tell you.  It is a party where a bunch of girls get together to learn about and get their hands on sex toys without having to go to an adult store in the middle of the day in a downtown neighborhood looking like a majorly perverted sex addict.

Well, anyway, Miss Insanity was hosting one and I was invited.  I begged Dear Hubby to let me use the car that night because showing up at a “toy party” in a minivan just felt utterly wrong to me.  I was the first to arrive (as usual) and picked out a comfy seat where I wouldn’t have to be too close to anyone else, thusly ensuring privacy when I was writing my order.  I had only been to two of these parties and I wasn’t nervous but I was definitely a little passive about the whole thing. 

It turns out that the night was pretty good.  I had a hard time ordering from the catalog because I just wasn’t sure what kind of “toys” the Hubby would be in to, but I did decide to get “laid” by having a party of my own.  I texted Hubby to make sure he was down with it and set a date.

A few weeks later, I had done all the dirty work—sent out e-mail invites, reminded people in person, sent text and e-mail reminders and handed out the website and catalogs to those that I knew wouldn’t make it to the party itself.  I hopped in the van (yes the minivan!) with the Hubby and headed off to the bar where we were holding the party.

By we, I mean that I co-hosted the Passion Party with a friend of mine…and by Hubby and me I meant that it was a party in which significant others were encouraged to attend!  Let me tell you, that was the best idea I have ever had in my life. 

I sat through the same presentation as before with one big difference…there were men in the audience.  Each person sat and listened the same as I did but with their heads in close to their spouses, each couple perused the order form and catalog while each “toy” was passed around and whispered their preferences to each other.  We all joked together.  We shared an openness in that private room of a bar that just isn’t present in normal society today.  The crowd was a mixed bunch of people that I knew personally as well as through other means, not everyone knew each other and we didn’t need to.  We were all there with one purpose…to learn about and purchase sex toys. 

And purchase they did.  To the tune of $1000.  I was handsomely rewarded with free gifts and discounts for my efforts but what I walked away with was far more valuable than that. 

I walked away with a better understanding of my husband, myself and us as a couple.  That one measly party garnered me more taboo conversations about sex lives than anything ever has.  I am closer to my man, I am closer to my friends and I am closer to myself. 

All because of a party in a bar where we passed around sex toys. 

And I now have a full drawer full of fun and a catalog full of circles for the next party that I attend.  Sex is no longer taboo, people.  It’s a part of life and we can deal with it openly or we can hide away our precious little toys. 

Apparently, I choose to deal with it openly and publicly on my blog. 

If you are ever invited to a Passion Party, I highly recommend the Nipple Nibblers in raspberry. :)  Let me know your opinion if you do buy. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The verdict...

I made my choice. I will be back. I promise. :)

Right now I am off playing Farm Town on Facebook because I am utterly hooked and addicted and need an intervention.

But tomorrow...tomorrow, I will be back. Or soon. No one can run me off my own safe place.

No one.


See you tomorrow.