That’s just terrific…

I just LOVE finding out that my husband’s unemployment benefits just dropped from $278 a week to $83. That’s really fucking fantastic. I don’t have balls, but if I did, I’d just go ahead and have the State of Missouri kick me right in them. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. That’s $800 a month *poof gone*

What the fuck am I supposed to do now? Go get myself a second job, looks like. Fuck.

Maudlin Monday

Meh. It’s just one of those days. It’s been rainy & cold for 2 days, it gets dark at like 4pm, and I got shitty news on Saturday.

One of my absolute favorite customers, Y, died last week. He took his own life, and that makes me immensely sad. He was an elderly man from Ukraine, he came here with his wife, L, after the war so they could have a better life. As I understand it, life in the Soviet bloc after WWII was not so great. Anyway, his wife came in on Saturday to notify us that he had passed away. She has such a heavy accent that it’s difficult to understand her when she’s not devastated, so the guy who was assisting her was having a hard time trying to figure out what she was telling him. When he realized what was going on, he immediately came and got me. Not because I speak Russian, but because I have a very good relationship with this couple. He would always wait specifically for me when he would come in, because I was always very patient with him and would fill out his forms for him. He had a lot of trouble with English, and I think it embarrassed him when other workers would get impatient. He called me Laureshka, which apparently means something special.

L told us that Y was having psychotic episodes, apparently losing his mind. I would never have guessed, and usually I can tell when a person is losing it like that. My grandmother was a paranoid schizophrenic, and I have spent a lot of time volunteering with mentally ill individuals.  Anyway, he couldn’t handle the increasing frequency of his episodes. He couldn’t handle making L so upset. He didn’t know how to talk about it, and having the language barrier I’m sure did not help matters. So he did the only thing he thought there was to do, and he hung himself. And I am beyond sad about that.

I really don’t have anything else to report. It’s been business as usual at Casa Lala.

Oh well, now, hold on. There’s my dumbass nephew to talk about, lol. Grrr is 5 years old, and he’s way too smart for his own good. He’s also completely oblivious to his surroundings. Last weekend, his cousin, my nephew JP, turned 3, and of course there was the obligatory family gathering to celebrate the momentous occasion. Thomas the Train was the theme of the day, etc etc. So, my SIL arrives with Grrr and the twins, who are 19 months. Grrr says he’s going to go ahead and go inside with the present while she gets the babies out of their carseats and into the house, and he runs off. But he didn’t ever come in…he was nowhere to be found. After 10 minutes of all the grown- ups outside with flashlights, yelling for him, the neighbor across the street came outside and asked if we were looking for a little kid. WTF? Grrr had gone into the house across the street! Walked right in their front door without knocking, like he owned the place. He said later that he thought it was weird that all the furniture was different, and that he didn’t recognize any of the people. Holy shit, kid. He scared the bejeebus out of everyone.

Kids, man. They’re crazy little fuckers.

They’re all growing up on me…

…all the babies, that is. Two weeks ago, my oldest biological nephew, Aedan, turned 5. 5!!! What the hell? I remember when he was born, man, umbilical cord all wrapped around his neck, blue, scaring the shit out of everyone right off the bat. Of course, that was a memorable day in general. Aedan was born on the same night that Jimmy’s stepsister, Shelley, got married. We had been a little over an hour away, at Caroline Vineyard in Washington, MO. Almost home, late at night (almost 11pm), both of us feeling pretty good from the open bar, and my mom calls to tell me that Lindsey has gone into labor, but that everything is okay and I don’t need to come until morning.

Fast forward like 30 minutes, when my mom is calling to tell me that BAM! We have a baby! I was like “You said nothing was happening right now” and she went on to tell me that when they gave Lin the pitocin, Aedan’s heart rate and O2 levels bottomed out, Lin’s heart rate dropped, and they had to do an emergency c-section. There was a whole big brou-ha-ha between my mom & Lin’s mom (our moms have been really good friends for several years) because Sandy didn’t make it in time for the birth, and my mom was there, so there were some jealousy issues.  Silly, but emotions were running high that night.

Anyway, so Aedan is 5 now. He’s in Kindergarten, he’s got friends, he played soccer this fall. He never stops talking, and I love him to pieces. I just can’t believe he’s 5.

Tomorrow, my nephew John Jr is turning 3. 3! Again, I remember when he was born. I wasn’t there, as he was born in Virginia, but my mommy was able to be there. John Jr had to be a planned c-section, because my SIL Sara has a hard time with being pregnant.  John Sr is going to be 29 next Saturday, which means that he..my baby brother…will be 30 next year. I don’t see how that’s possible, since I’m only 25…

And then, come March, the twins will be 2! They’re starting to talk a lot more now, Miles can say “John” now, which really pisses of Nathan, but what can you do.

It just all reminds me that time goes marching on, no matter how much we want it to slow down.  Life keeps moving forward. Babies grow up and turn into toddlers, and then kids, and then teenagers, and then adults. My oldest nephew, Blake, will be 12 in February. He is my stepbrother Tommy’s son, and I’m so proud of that kid. His mother was killed when he was 4, by a crazy asshole who couldn’t handle that she rejected him. That crazy asshole will never get out of jail for what he did, even though he deserves to have gotten the death penalty for his actions.

Anyway, Blake makes me so very proud, because he is such a strong, smart, sensitive young man. He does well in school, he’s a nice kid, he’s quiet, and he doesn’t get into trouble. Heaven knows he could be one big hot mess, but he’s not.

So yeah, birthdays for babies. We’re all getting older. Life keeps rolling along. And I’m thankful for having a good life.

Random catching up…

…because it has been a few weeks since I’ve posted here. I’ve been feeling meh lately, and figure nobody really wants to listen to a bunch of whining all the time.

Mainly, we’ve just been hanging out, trying to keep our heads above water. We’ve been spending a bit more time socializing, instead of just sitting in the apartment all the time. Last weekend, on Saturday, we had dinner with our friends Bob & Terri. Terri & Jimmy went to high school together, and recently reconnected via the fantastic world of Facebook. She & her husband are really fun people, and it was nice to spend the evening with them. We just hung out on their back porch, played with the dogs, and ate a ton of delicious food. Bob is a tattooist, and he’s going to work on a design for a cover-up that I need. Awesome!

Sunday was another busy day for me. My nephew Aedan turned 5 on Friday last week, and had his big birthday party on Sunday. The main attraction of the party was “Serengeti Steve” and his “reptile & arachnid experience”.  We got to interact with an American alligator, a blue tongued skink, an albino snake of some sort (just a little guy), and…the best part (IMO)…a tame female ANACONDA!!! It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, having that huge snake draped around my shoulders, slithering on my head. Apparently, female anacondas are rare (1 in 10 born is female), and it’s also extremely rare for one to be friendly and tame. WICKED FUN!!! The next most awesome part was getting to hold the alligator. She was little, only about 3 feet long, but it was still great to hold her.

Of course, being around all of those little kids and their germs, I managed to pick up some sort of bug. Stupid compromised immune system. I spent most of Tuesday morning barfing my brains out, and then slept the entire afternoon. Went to work that morning, but my boss sent me home.

Umm…what else…oh, Bob & Terri’s oldest dog, a Basset Hound named Mary Jane, died on Halloween. She was born on 4/20 (LOL) and died on Samhain…and had a fantastic run in between. She would have been 13 on her next birthday, and she was a super cool dog.

That’s about it, so I suppose I’ll mosey along my way now. Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful weekend!

Happy Highlights

So, the Pioneer Woman tweeted a suggestion for a blog post, that suggestion being to write about the good things that happened this past week. Seeing as how I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, I decided to take up the challenge of posting on the positives.

You’ll have to excuse any typos, as I am posting from my phone. And there is a sick cat drooling on my arm. And I’m in bed.

The past week wasn’t really all that great until Friday evening. So really, I’m posting about a good weekend.

Late Friday afternoon, I received an email from HR, telling me that I had been chosen to win a Kindle + case! AWESOMEZ! I was entered into a drawing because I donated a certain amount of money to the United Way. Never expected to win.

Then, on Saturday, I had another little windfall. I was able to purchase $11 (face value) in old silver dollars and half-dollars. I took them to a coin dealer, where I sold them for their silver content. My small investment netted me a profit of $235! I got $246.66! This came especially in handy because my electric is scheduled to be disconnected on Thursday if I don’t have $400 to them. I was freaking out, because Jimmy’s unemployment check is only $278, and I don’t get paid until Monday. Plus I have to pay rent out of Monday’s check. So I took the money from the silver and paid it towards my light bill.

Now I can stop flipping out about that.

Another good thing that happened was last week, but I can definitely count it here. I won a pair of earrings from Slappy in the Face. If you haven’t heard of Slappy, I highly recommend you check her out at http://www.slappyintheface.com

It is snark at it’s finest, and you won’t be disappointed. Plus, she has a really amazing story to tell that everyone could learn from.

Anyhoo, Slappy did a giveaway in conjunction with Peanut Gallery Jewelry on Etsy. The prize was a gorgeous pair of handmade sterling silver earrings. The original winner never came forward, so a new winner was chosen, and voila! It was me! This is the second time I’ve won a Slappy giveaway, too! I was wearing the kick ass shirt that I won when I had the burned boob incident, as a matter of fact.

So, that is my happy highlights post. I’m going to do this every week, in an effort to not take things for granted so much.

The Wrath of Tea

I like to drink tea. Let’s just get that out there in the open. Iced tea, hot tea, herbal infusions, you name it. A fine woman named Phyllis got me hooked on a certain brand of tea, Harney & Sons. If you enjoy a quality tea, check them out. Their website is http://www.harney.com. You won’t be disappointed.

So last Thursday, I did as I quite often do in the evenings, and I brewed up an entire pot of dandelion tea in the coffee pot. I’d been feeling a little bit puny, and dandelion tea always makes me feel better. I poured a mug for Jimmy, a mug for myself, and was heading to the couch to sit down when my cup exploded.

It wasn’t one of those “boiling water in the microwave” situations. It was a case of a structurally unsound drinking vessel shattering. There wasn’t even a crack of warning. It just broke. My thumb was sliced open with a piece of the glass, but that was the least of my worries.

No, the most terrible part of this situation was the fact that I suffered really serious burns. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree burns. On my left breast. Yeah, that’s right. My nipple is currently brown & crusty, as is the aureola, and beginning the peeling process. There is one section that is blistered but not an open wound. There are 4 3rd-degree burns that have scabbed over and are still very sore, but doing better. Then, there is the quarter-sized 4th-degree burn that is still a bit weepy.

Folks, I have got to tell you, there are any number of things I would rather have happen to me than this kind of a burn. This situation…holy mother. I can’t sleep, it’s extremely painful to wear a bra, but I still have to go to work, so I have to wear one. I have to keep it bandaged so it doesn’t get infected, and my delicate boob skin is really taking a beating.

I go to see the doctor tomorrow, and I’m going to have him look at it. This appointment had already been scheduled, I need blood work to check my thyroid levels…I think I need my meds upped. Mostly because my hair is still falling out in clumps and I’m still wicked tired. Either way, since I’ll already be there, I might as well be like “Hey, doc, check out my boobage here and tell me if I need to do anything else”…

I hope all 3 of you reading this blog remember this story the next time you’re pouring hot liquids into glass beverage vessels. You never know when one of them will viciously attack you.

Why I love October

I love October for so many reasons. It’s definitely my favorite month of the entire year. The temperatures are generally REALLY amazing, 60’s and 70’s. We get those high, puffy clouds and clear blue skies. The trees begin their annual transformation from deep greens to vivid, blazing reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s chilly in the evenings…just enough so that you need a hoodie. It’s time for the farmers to wrap up their harvests for the year, and with the final harvest comes fantastic sales at the farmers market.

It’s a time for spending the weekends with family and friends. Football games, soccer matches. Bonfires at my dad’s house with my five brothers and their families. Enjoying the spicy goodness of apple cider spiked with bourbon or rum.

October is also full of awesome memories for me. Spending two days making homemade apple butter in Dave & Caryl’s barn out in the country. Sitting up in the hayloft with Bryan, watching our dads slaughter and butcher the hog they went in on together every year. Riding horses, maybe enjoying one last go on the rope swing, if the lake water hadn’t gotten too cold already.

My younger brother’s first son was born in October. Several very important people in my life got married in October. It’s just a fantastic month. It makes me happy to be alive. It makes me thankful, in general, and for specific things. I know that a lot of people find the Spring season to be a season for rebirth, for feeling alive and vibrant. For me, not so much.

Sure, I was born in the Spring. So was Jimmy. We have St Patrick’s Day in the Spring. “Spring Break” is obvious. Mardi Gras. Easter. Prom and graduation.

But for this girl? I’ll take October any time. It’s the best time of year to be alive.