Monday, January 31, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It

We have a big, big storm approaching.  In fact, I've just been placed under my very first BLIZZARD WARNING!!  I'm so excited I can hardly see straight.

I've been in severe ice storms before.  For the most part, I don't understand the panic.  People FREAK OUT when they hear snow is coming and they buy out all of the grocery stores.  With the exception of an ice storm that left me powerless for 8.75 days, there hasn't been a true emergency due to winter weather the entire time that I lived here.

However, those 8.75 days were scarring enough to leave a slight impact, so I went to the grocery store on Sunday to stock up.  While there, I made an interesting observation.  If the end of the world is approaching, the following items are the first things to go:

1.  100 Calorie Packs

2.  chocolate covered pretzels

3.  red wine

4.  Reduced Fat Cheez-Its

I'm not kidding you.  They were completely cleaned out of these items!  Besides the wine, I can't say that any of these items would be on my "must have" list, but to each his own, I guess. 

My sister was wigging out about the weather and I jokingly said "Well, if worse comes to worse, you could always twist hay and burn it as a heat source like Pa and Laura Ingalls."  To which she replied testily, "We don't HAVE a place to burn hay!"

Now, we're officially in a BLIZZARD WARNING and I'm ridiculously excited.  I mean, it's not like I will probably have to go anywhere, so I am anxious to experience a blizzard.  The strong winds, the tall snow  Something to try at least once in your life. 

And hey, I've got wine!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Time for New Glasses

Remember how I saw James Brolin at the local pool lately?  Well, this time after leaving the pool, I passed Matthew Fox on the stairs at my gym.

Definitely time to schedule an appointment with the optometrist.

Although, what am I thinking?  Enjoy the very clearly distorted view, Non-Mommy!  Who knows what these men look like with corrected vision?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Laptops for Dummies

I've been to more training meetings, and meetings in general, than I have gone on blind dates in my entire life, and that's saying a lot!  Most of the time, I find these meetings to be a huge waste of time.  Take, for example, a meeting I had to go to to learn how to use a new laptop (which, at the time, I wasn't able to use online or even print - useful!).  I may not be a technology genius, but I know my way around a computer, thank you very much!  I wasn't thrilled to go to this meeting, especially when it went like this:

Me:  [leaning over to the person next to me]  I hope this thing doesn't last very long.  How hard can it be to use a laptop?!

Other Participant (OP):  What is that big button with the light, that has a circle with a slash on it?

Me:  Uh...that'd be the power button.

OP:  Oh, is that how you turn it on?

Me:  [sighs]

OP:  So what do these little pictures all over the screen mean?  Like that one with the big "W?"

Me:  Uhhh, those would be shortcuts.  They open up programs.  For example, the "W" is for Word.

OP:  Oh, wow.  You sure know a lot.  So do you know how to change the picture on the background?

Me:  Yes.  First, you...hello?  Are you listening to me?

OP:  What?  Oh, sorry, what were you saying?

Me:  [muttering]  I'm going to smash my head in between this keyboard and the screen.

Leader:  Now, I will show you how to save to your hard drive.

OP:  What did he just say?  Did he say to save something?  What?  I think I missed something, what?

Me:  Could you pipe down?  You are ruining my game of Solitaire!  I'm about to break even on Vegas style!

OP:  Oooooh, you can play games?  Can you show me?

Leader:  And, we can't use the wireless internet.  There is confusion out there, some people think it is working.

Me:  Oh, really?  How come I'm watching a hilarious spoof of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" if it isn't working?

OP:  What is that little thing you have plugged in?

Me:  That'd be the power cord.

OP:  I don't have one of those.  Excuse me, leader, I don't have one of those cords that Non-Mommy has!

Me:  [speaking through gritted teeth]!!!

These types of meetings just go on...and on...and on.  I feel like the most confident person in the world. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kamikaze Cat

Dear Cat on Crack,

I don't know what your other cat friends have told you, but in general, all living animals should NOT THROW THEMSELVES at the hurtling, missile-like car coming down the road.  I mean, most animals know that you avoid the moving car, not jump right at it!

Do you know how much therapy I am going to need after hitting you?  I tried to comfort myself by telling my carpool friend that I saw you run away, so you must not have broken all of your legs.  She replied, "Ever heard of shock?"  She also tried to tell me to pretend I hit an opossum, but I've never seen an opossum with a white head and a fluffy tail.

I've been genuinely upset all day, thanks to you!  Cat, life is worth living.  Next time, don't run directly into a car.  That is, if you're alive.

Sniff sniff,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life After Death

In the past year, a lot has happened to me.  All the small things seem insignificant compared to the loss of my beloved father.  As the year mark of his passing approaches, I wanted to document a few of my thoughts and feelings.  Going through the grief process is incredibly wild - exhausting, frustrating, uplifting, and blessed all rolled into one.  While my intention for this blog is to remain generally lighthearted, I think it is important to not only document these life changes, but also to help others going through the same thing.  No one grieves in the same way, but maybe something I've experienced can help you.

If you're wanting something less serious, skip this post.  As I write more entries about grief, you will be able to locate them at the top under "Non-Mommy Gets Serious."

(Taken from my personal diary, March 2010)

You know, twelve days ago my whole world turned upside down.  Twelve days ago, I became fatherless, and my mother, who has always had my father in her life, became a widow.

I went on autopilot.  My head was very unclear.  I couldn't concentrate.  I couldn't stop worrying about if my dad knew that I loved him enough.  I couldn't stop sleeping.  And then the strangest thing has happened.

I'm going to be ok.  I have peace right now.

Don't get me wrong.  I know that this is still very early.  I know this will never be easy.  I know things may get more tough.  But right now, I have a peace that is very comforting.  It helps that I have this week off and can just rest.  I'm so thankful for this time to rest and recharge.  The day of the funeral, I was washing my hair, and I could hear my grandpa's voice saying "You're a Farfenugenleiderhosen [not my family's real name, but close haha].  Buck up."  So very German and Finnish of him.  And then a friend told me that we were built to carry on, and we do.  I needed to be reminded of that.

I also have the comfort of my faith, and knowing that in retrospect, this all happened in ways that only God could have ordained.  There are so, so many things to be thankful for.  You know, since September my health has gone to total crap.  I passed out at school and had to go through lots of tests.  And stay with my parents.  I got Swine Flu, pneumonia and bronchitis.  And my dad came to stay with me.  I had to have an emergency appendectomy.  And had to stay with my parents.  How lucky am I that even through all these horrible life crappy events I was able to be with my dad?

I talked to my dad almost daily on the phone.

The weekend before he died I spent the weekend with him and we laughed and had a great time.

I had just eaten lunch with him two days before.

The last thing I told him ever was that I loved him.

He recently drove through my town and left me a note in my mailbox that said "Missed You.  Love, Dad."

Two days before he died, my sister and I both had thoughts that he was going to die.  I dreamed he would die in his hotel room and no one would know.  My dad left his hotel room and then died.  He didn't die while driving, thank God.

He died in a place far away so that now my mother never has to drive by where he died and relive that.

He never knew what happened.  One minute he was eating a contraband bagel and the next, hello Jesus!

I was able to watch his body stop fighting, and as sad as that was, I'm so very thankful to have had that experience.

I have been absolutely surrounded with love and support.

There is so very much to be thankful for.  Even more than this.  I'm still worried about my mother, and her finances.  I'm still unsure what to do about my job situation.  But I know that I can take it one step at a time, and everything will be ok.  In the next few days, many things need to be accomplished:  my parents' taxes need to be done, we need to sell his motorcycle, sell a car, and a whole workshop full of tools and saws that I don't even know the names of.  But I also have the luxury of being able to snuggle with a little blonde nephew whenever I need to, and to go to bed whenever I need to.  I don't have to think about my job.  I don't have to do much of anything.  My dad is in a better place, and he would want me to carry on.

We were built to carry on, and we do.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

 Just a little background knowledge that will be helpful to this story.  I pretty much think that my grandfather was the best grandfather on the planet.  He was funny, he was generous, and he was a hard worker.  Well, I might like him a little more than he deserves because of my OTHER grandpa.  You see, I have another grandpa.  Oh yes, I do.  I try not to talk about him (or his wife) because, well, they aren't good people, and they are weird.  It's embarrassing.  What you need to know is that my OTHER grandpa is a tinkerer.   He's a handy man, but not that great at it.  He's had many, many scrapes and we've always joked that he has more than nine lives.  I mean, the man ran himself over with a tractor trying to start it from the front of the tractor, and ripped his face off.  Yes.   He's that good.

He also, when I was a child, was redoing an RV.  He was working on the engine, I think, and the gas line, but he couldn't see.  My stupid grandpa who I do not claim then lit a match in order to see better, and blew up the entire RV.  He burned all of his hair, and his face dripped, dripped I tell you, for weeks.

So, he spawns my dad. And my dad was also a tinkerer.  My dad was very handy and inventive.  We never had to call a plumber my entire life.  My dad built things, my dad liked to get down and dirty, and he was always trying to find ways to fix things.  He didn't like to slow down.  We called it "Mad Scientist Mode" because he just kept going and going trying to build something, or fix something.

A few years ago, my parents surprised me by bringing up a gas grill.  What had happened was that my sister's grill blew over in a windstorm, and so my sister and her husband decided they didn't want it anymore.  They wanted a bigger one.  As a surprise, my father decided to clean up the fallen grill, and give it to me.   Of course I was more than happy to take their grill.  Who wouldn't want a grill?  When he brought up the grill, it looked perfect.  Like new.  He said that the ignition switch was having some problems, so he handed me a box of long matches and said that I should just turn on the gas slowly, and light it using the match. He showed me how to do it safely.  I practiced.  It was fine.  An alarm should have been going off in my head that the man showing me this shares his DNA with the face ripping, RV blowing up old man. But it's my dad, he wouldn't put me in harms way!

That night I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she told me that my BIL is appalled that I was lighting the grill with a match, because he didn't think it's safe.  I scoffed.  Whatever - I'd done it lots of times and had no problem. It was just fiiiiiine.

I got my lazy butt off the couch, and went to start up, or fire up I should say, the grill.  I turn on the gas like I had many times.  I went to strike the match, and in my head I heard the conversation I just had with my sister.  So I leaned back, waited for a car to drive by in case it really did blow up so they wouldn't see (all signs were pointing to "DO NOT LIGHT THE GRILL, NON-MOMMY!") and put the match in.


A ball of flame erupted from the grill.  As that happens, time slowed down and I saw hair, in the air, glowing orange. I am not kidding.

Did you know that in the millisecond it takes for a grill to poof up, you have many, many thoughts? These include:

-Holy crap. The grill just blew up.
-Is that my hair?!?!
-GREAT. I've turned into my grandfather.  I wonder if I burned my skin?
-I'm going to kill Dad.
-What is that smell?   It's my hair.
-How is my hair falling to the earth in a ball of fire, because it was pulled up?
-I was leaning back!
-Am I ok?
-I wonder if I look like Michael Jackson?

So, I came into the house, to check myself out.   I could really smell my hair, so I was worried that IF my hair was on fire, if I went more quickly, it would speed up the burning process.   But if I went too slowly, I'd end up looking like this:

Thankfully, I was OK.  My skin was not burned, and my hair was just singed around the edges.  The hair around my face was kind of crunchy, and there was some weirdness with my eyebrows, but they were still there.  I know it's so crazy to be worried about your hair, but my hair and I have quite a history.

About a year ago, after my father passed away, I attempted to use the grill again.  The new ignition switch did not work and I had to light it with a match again.  So I had to light it with a match and it AGAIN blew up!!!  This could have been me:

No guy wants a blonde whose hair is all burned off just so she can eat some grilled chicken!  I mean, come on, what else could I do besides sell the stupid grill?  Let some other sucker catch on fire.  And just for the record, I was careful to not let the gas build up before I lit it, and the propane was BARELY turned on.  But, the chicken was good.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Which I Vomit in the Pool

This morning while swimming for exercise, I was thinking about writing a blog post about how much I adore swimming.  I was going to talk about how good my body feels, how I love the fact that all you can hear while swimming is the sound of the water and your own breath.  How when you get out of the pool, your body is completely exhausted and deliciously relaxed.

And then, while I was rhapsodizing in my head, James Brolin walked into my little swim pool.  James Brolin, in a Speedo. 

James, James Brolin, if that was you at my local pool, swimming in a tight Speedo, please.  Stop.  Surely Barbara can afford to give you a pool of your very own.

(NO, it wasn't really James Brolin, but maybe his evil twin in a Speedo.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Teacher's Prayer for Snow

I take no credit for this poem.  However, I couldn't have said it better than this fine author.

Oh, Lord, let it snow.
Let it drift and let it blow.
In the morning, no real fuss,
Just enough to stop the bus.

Enough to make the County say:
"There will be no school today."
Let the radio report: "Snow's deep!"
And I'll roll over for more sleep.

Then later on, say maybe ten,
I'll turn the radio on again.
Just in time to hear them say:
"It's strange; the snow has gone away!"

And then I'll know, You made it stop,
So I can go to Cover to Cover and shop.
Please, Lord, just hear my teacher's plea,
And make it snow for the kids and me!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

I have good reason to cry!

Things have been very, very stressful around the Non-mommy house this week.  My brother in law had to have a pretty serious surgery unexpectedly.  It was my mother's first wedding anniversary without my father.  It was the first time that my nephew has had to spend extended time away from his parents.  It's been a very emotional, exhausting week.

I've been tempted to sit down and cry in frustration and exhaustion many times this week.

But the only thing that really, really makes me want to cry is that I woke up this morning and was greeted by this hairdo:


Get better soon, J.  The stress is making my hair do odd things!

I Need a Walker

I take my nephew to the pool as much as I can.  We enjoy swimming.  This week, my brother in law has been in a very unpleasant medical situation requiring a great deal of pain.  My nephew has had a hard time adjusting to life without his dad and less time with his mom.  Today, he needed to go swimming to perk him up.  I had to take him to a different pool than I usually do because the heater was broken at our pool.

The new pool was cool, but the sidewalk was very scratchy and slippery.  I kept having to yell at my nephew to STOP RUNNING for pete's sake!  It's slippery! 

We were walking around, I was holding his hand, and then BAMMMM.  I fell like a rock and took my fragile little nephew down with me.  He didn't seem to be too bothered, but Non-Mommy? 


I fell hard.  So there I am, laying splayed about, when a lifeguard comes over.  Comes over to check on the old lady, yelling "Are you ok?  Are you ok?"  I was humiliated.  And, bleeding!  I'm completely bruised and cut up from the hip down.  I had to be bandaged up by the 18 year old lifeguard.  I'm all sore and tottery now.  But I definitely got back in that pool because the kid needed it. 

I'm not as young as I used to be.  And also?  Don't lecture people about running around the pool.  Even walking can take you down.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spit Chronicles

Today, something horrible and filthy happened to me.

You see, in the school where I work, students have to take what we call "Swish."  Swish is just a flouride rinse.  The water here is flouridated, so I'm not sure why, but they still take it.  It's really gross.  I pass out 30 individual cups of the crap, they swish for one minute (the quietest one minute of my whole week), and I act all goofy.  I tell them dumb things like "Just imagine your teeth thanking you.  The flouride is filling in the holes and cracks in your teeth to keep you from getting cavities."  They all spit in sync, and it's DISGUSTING.  30 kids spitting.  *shudder* 

Anyway, we have to dispose of it properly because you can't just put it in the trash, I guess.  I make a kid go around and collect the stuff, because it's so sick.  I can't handle it.  Before they collect the spit cups, I lecture them about how if they get spit on the person, or their desk, or anything, they will be in really big trouble.  REALLY BIG TROUBLE.

I was handed the bag o' spit.

I went to twist tie the bag o' spit, when I noticed something. 

A damp feeling.

I looked down...


This prompted a gagging, gurgling scream from me.  One of my little smart asses piped up and said "Ms. Non-Mommy, you just need to imagine your pants thanking you.  The flouride is filling in the holes and cracks in your jeans."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just a little tip

 If you're an altar worker, helping pass out communion, you should most definitely look at the part of your body that the people kneeling to receive communion will see.

It really takes the seriousness out of communion to see a robed assistant wearing blue (chipped) toenail polish.  It might even make you want to spit out your wine.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Birds and the Bees, Public School Style

This month, the note for "THE CLASS" comes.  You know, "THE CLASS."  I absolutely love this time of year because I secretly get great pleasure out of watching the kids squirm.  I explain that they need to return the permission slip stating that they are, or are not participating.   If they don't return it, I am required to call each parent about it.  This is how I get those notes back ASAP - I say "Do you really want me to call your parents to talk about how your body is going to change, and relationships between a couple?   If I call them, I will have to talk to them about it!"  You know, I get ALL the notes back the next day!

Anyway, I was giving this little speech a few years ago when I was approached by an adorable skinny girl.  A girl who usually whispers, and is very quiet.  She comes up to me afterwards and tells me that she got a book for Christmas all about her period and how her body is going to change and that she's becoming a woman.  I think back to when I was in fifth grade, and I know I wouldn't have even admitted that I'd ever even read the word "period" to my teacher!  Three girls came to me during Study Hall to ask if I would teach "THE CLASS", because they don't want the nurse to.   I guess I should take that as a compliment.

One of the boys yelled out "I don't want you to talk about that with my parents.  Period!"   I said "Yes, you'll be talking about that, too." Only about half the class got the joke.

This got me thinking about when I was a kid.  We had to watch a video for girls only.  The setting was a sleepover.  Some young gal got her period at the party.  The mother comes in, and starts talking about it.  Then, to explain it to the girls at the sleepover, she starts making pancakes.  What did she fashion the pancakes into?  Why, a uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, of course!  All the girls were so interested, and not at all weirded out.  When she was done making his pancake diagrams of the female anatomy, she said something like "Anyone hungry for breakfast??"  Then the FATHER came in and ate the pancake uterus!

At the end of the school day, all the girls on my bus stuck the pads to the bus windows.

I don't think they did a very good job. In my class, which wasn't that huge, around 200 people, there were already four babies born by eighth grade. MTV came to my high school to do a special about the high sexual intercourse activity at my school. By the time I graduated from high school, the drop out rate in our grade level was huge, and there were 17 babies born.

OH!  Wait!  If I'm taking a stroll down memory lane, how could I forget this tidbit?   I was at a church lock in event called "Disciple Now" in 8th grade.  I was sleeping on the couch, when I heard a disturbance behind the couch.  I looked over to see two of my classmates having sex.  When they finished, the boy went in the kitchen, crapped in a ziplock bag, and held it to my face.   He threatened to put it in my face if I told anyone.

Clearly, public health education is awesome and oh so effective!

(I tried, valiantly, to find a video of the pancake period lesson, but no one seems to be able to find it.  I did, however, find HILARIOUS old videos about getting your period.  Did you know that you should not go square dancing during your period?  Or go swimming because you might catch a cold?  Also, be careful about personal hygiene and daintiness!  I hope you find these as hilarious as I do.  Who knew looking for the pancake video would allow me to stumble across these gems??)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...