Note To Self:

Sitting down and catching up on 3 weeks worth of stuff recorded on TV is not an accomplishment of which one should be especially proud...



From The Things You Don't Expect To See File;

A guy on a bicycle, getting hit by a pickup truck.

He seemed ok; just got knocked off the bike (the bike is toast, though) but the EMTs still hauled him off in the ambulance. No damage to the truck (it was like a 3 mph hit...) Just not what we expected to see on our way home from the DMV...


When Thomas Haynes Bayly wrote Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I think he missed the mark by about a foot. The truth is that distance and time make it easy to shove that fondness onto your heart's back burner, where it can simmer with very little attention for years.

Then comes Something Big, and all the sudden it's not on simmer anymore; it's coming to a boil and you feel a deep need to close that distance and pop that absence like a zit on the buttocks of your existence. Once you do, you suddenly realize that you're missing something so much it almost hurts, and you were using that back burner to keep from scalding yourself.

Mixed-metaphorical enough for ya? I wax not so much poetically or eloquently as I do in a mumbling an incoherent way...

I know I missed my parents and sisters and nieces and nephews, but until I went and popped that zit, I didn't know how much. And I certainly didn't know how much more I would miss them when I had to leave for home. I am the Evil Bad Seed--I hadn't been back to see them for 13 years...yes, I am painfully aware that's more than a decade. It's not as if it was intentional. Other Life Zits kept popping up: health issues, money issues. Money and health at the same time. We'd tell ourselves in January that We Will Go Forth To Texas This Summer, but then we'd wind up owing a fortune in taxes or we'd have to move, and there was the whole Doctor Hop when I was dx'd with FMS, and then the whole brain tumor thing... We had reasons that weren't just excuses, but it didn't change the fact that I wasn't seeing my family.

And then I did. One phone call had us scrambling for plane tickets and a car reservation, without much thought how we'd pay for it. It wasn't Can we afford this? but How soon can we get a plane out?

And then in waves it hit me. I missed them. I missed them before, but I really missed them.

Other things hit me, too, things I knew but didn't really know. My sisters are pretty cool people. They're generous and kind; we could have stayed with any of them for the week (sister #2 drew the short straw, heh) and it would have been comfortable. They're deeply caring and loving; for that week someone was always sitting with our mother, not out of a sense of have-to, but a personal sense of need-to and of want-to. And trust me, there's a world of difference there. In those moments where the child becomes the parent, even on a temporary basis, they were right there, doing anything they could for my mom.

I got a very new sense of my siblings as adults, and ya know what? They turned out pretty good. And that's no small feat, and a testament to how we were raised, I think.

And my dad...he is so adorable you'd pretty much just want to drink him in like a blue raspberry Slurpee. He turns 80 next month. Eighty. There's only one person older in the entire family tree, I think, and it's not by much.

My mom is doing quite well it seems; she's getting up on her own and shuffling around the physical rehab ward, and she sounds really good on the phone. But she still needs to eat...apparently the hospital food sucks donkey balls.

There won't be another 13 years before I go back; summer won't be allowed to fade into autumn before we return, I don't think (so keep your fingers crossed that I sell my car, and that the owner of our house doesn't decide we need to move...) I don't want to let time and distance make me shove those feelings onto the back burner again. I want to miss them as much as I do right now. Missing them keeps them right here.

If you can't be around the people you love, missing them is pretty decent.


At First I Thought It Was A Joke...

I'd like to see someone actually ride it... 410 cubic inch engine is what, 6500cc? (Math is hard...) 350 hp, more than some cars. It's not even a one off custom, the guy plans on making several, including with a sidecar.

I know some guys have that "bigger is better" mentality, but I'm not sure this would be a fun ride, especially on roads with curves...


We're back home... My mom is doing all right for now; she's still in the hospital recovering, but they've got her up a little bit each day, and she looks and sounds a whole lot better than she did a few days ago.

Today's Think About It For Her... EAT. She's not eating nearly enough. Even if she eat junk food, she's gotta EAT...


Still in Texas... Thanks for all your thoughts & prayers--it seems to be working. My mom had a heart attack, and it's been a seriously up and down week with her case being so complicated that we didn't know left from right for most of this week, but she started perking up a whole lot yesterday, and today they were able to do a heart cath, and they placed a stint in the offending artery.

While the docs couldn't give us a money back guarantee on the procedure, that was really good news; they didn't start the cath and then have to haul her in for open heart surgery.

Now the concentration is her kidneys; they used as little dye as possible during the cath, but we're waiting to make sure there are no complications there (it's been a concern this week) so if y'all could keep on with the thoughts and prayer, I'd appreciate it. Just think Pee...:)


New letters are up at Dear So And So... Yep, it's a tad early, but tomorrow the Spouse Thingy and I are headed for Texas. I'm taking a laptop, but I'm sure my getting online will be hit and miss.

Mondo big favor to ask...please keep my mom in your good thoughts and prayers. She's in the hospital and really doesn't want to be there, so if you could toss a good wish or two her way so she can get out of there ASAP I'd appreciate it.


'Splain to me, Lucy, how it could possibly be fun to egg someone's car...?

And hurray for neighbors who take the time to wander the 'hood looking for egg victims and letting them know before there's time for a whole lot of damage to be done. The car was parked at the side of the house, and I might not have noticed for a couple of days...


The other day the Spouse Thingy and I were out for a short ride and stopped at a new McDs attached to a new gas station, because it was 99 cent McNugget Day, and who can pass up cheap, greasy, cheap chunks of overcooked processed poultry? OK, it could have easily been 99 cent Big Mac Day or 99 cent Happy Meal Day...we'd been riding and we were hungry, and it was there.

Convenience rules.

When we came out, there was a white van parked next to our bikes, and as we approached the driver jumped out to ask questions about my little Rebel; he seemed incredibly excited, it was apparently the perfect bike for the Harley owner to step down to from his Sportster (which was in the shop for the 3rd time in a many weeks...) He was so taken with it, I did as I've done with other excited people: I let him sit on it.

I thought nothing of this--other than I must have a pretty cool ride--until I talked to Murf.

Murf: Guys don't do that.
Me: Sit on each others' bikes?
Murf: Best way I've hear it put is that asking a guy to ride his bike is like asking him to ride his wife. It just isn't done.
Me: I don't have a wife. And besides, all he did was sit on it.
Murf: You don't ask a guy to sit on his wife, either.
Me: But if he offered to let you sit on her...?
Murf: [quiet for a long time] What part would I be sitting on?



Because He Said I Could Share This...
...and Dang, I Wish I'd Had A Video Recorder


Monday was the Boy's 24th birthday, and after allowing us to take him out to dinner and then getting his presents, he went out with his friends to really celebrate. Because, truly, it's not Happy Birthday until someone pours the first beer. Or Long Island Tea.

I went to bed around 12:30, but tossed and turned for over an hour and just couldn't fall asleep; right about the time I was going to give up and get up, I heard a car door outside, followed a minute or two later by what I thought was the door opening.

Good. He's home.

But then something didn't feel right. I slid out of bed and padded down the hall, where I could look over the banister and peek downstairs. I didn't hear any footsteps, no sound coming from the bathroom, so I looked at the door--

--and there he was, outside, his forehead pressed to the glass window. Now, our front door sticks sometimes, so I assumed he just couldn't get the latch to spring, and went downstairs to open the door for him.

By the time I got there, he was bent over, trying to pick his keys up from the ground. I opened the door and there he was, weaving slightly as he stood there, keys in hand.

"Are ya drunk?" I asked, knowing the answer.


"How'd you get home?"


"So your car's not here?"


I then asked if he needed help getting into his room, and as he stumbled over the 2 stairs that lead into the hallway he said, "I'm fine." He went into his room, and I went upstairs, where I told the Spouse Thingy the Boy was home and very, very, very drunk; I went into my office and turned my computer back on because I really was awake by then. And yes, I was laughing at the Boy. He was not just three sheets to the wind; he was toasted, $hit-faced, and wasted.

A few minutes later, something again didn't seem right. It was too quiet downstairs. I went down; the Boy was not in his room. Nor in the bathroom. A shadow moved past the front door...I went back upstairs and told the Spouse Thingy I thought the Boy was wandering around outside.

And he was. He still had his house keys in hand, and was over by the convertible, which is parked on the side street. I called out his name and he stepped onto the grass, looking very confused and not quite sure what the problem was.

"Why are you out here?"

"Sorry." He stood there with keys clenched between fingers, leaning a bit to the left.

"Get inside," the Spouse Thingy said, to which the Boy replied, "Sorry."

The Spouse Thingy took him by the arm and guided him in, where in Rainman-clipped-tones said "Sorry" as they went over the two stairs, "Sorry," as the Spouse Thingy asked if he needed help, "Sorry" as he turned around. I watched, laughing behind a hand held to my mouth.

Then he either tried to sit on the edge of his bed or was just turning around; either way he missed and wound up on the floor. "I'm fine," he said as he was helped up.

"How much did you drink?"

"Mmmmorrre than I should have..." His longest sentence of the moment.

"Do you need help getting into bed?"

"I'm fine." A bucket was brought to his room. "I'm fine." Spouse Thingy went back a few minutes later to get his keys (while his car was not home, we wanted to see if he'd dropped his house keys outside.) "I'm fine." A few minutes later he was seated in a chair in his room... "I'm fine."

We were so sure Rainman was fine that we barricaded the front door and hid all the keys to our car and the motorcycles, and I sat in the living room until 4:30 in the morning, just to be sure he didn't decide to wander around the neighborhood some more.

I crawled back in bed, laid there and listened for another hour, and finally drifted off. The cats graciously allowed me to stay in bed until 10 a.m., after only getting 3 hours sleep, and none of those hours were in a row.

Did he have a hangover?

Ever so slightly.

Did he remember?

LOL Hell no. He was surprised he woke up in his own bed, relieved to find he'd had a ride home (though not from Drew, apparently...), and somewhat amused that the front door was blocked. He has no recollection of what he was doing after 11:30 on the night of his birthday, though today he was informed that he and his friends were at the same bar at 1 a.m. they'd been in at 11:30, he'd worn a balloon-crown and had a balloon-sword (which he popped), and when his friend Nestor dropped him off at home, he got out of the car and walked up to the tree in the front yard, where he tentatively held out a finger to touch it.

I think it's safe to say he had a very good birthday, though he wishes he could remember more of it.

I bet he doesn't drink that much again.

And you can bet we'll give him chit about this for years to come.



I write letters. Mostly, I write letters to people I see during the course of my day, people I will likely never see again, nor speak to. These are largely for my own amusement or venting purposes, but I often wedge them into my blog.

Often when I do, I get an email or two.

I've got tons of stuff to write to people about, but they would see themselves if I put it on my blog.
I don't have a blog, but I would do this...
Can I write a letter to my monster in law but have you put it on your blog? Please?

Then came an email that damn near broke my heart. "This is what I would write, if I had a place to write it. I miss my Sean-bon, and I talk to him every day, but I need someplace that no one else knows where I can write this..."

And thusly was born Dear So and So..., a place for all those unsent letters; if you pop over there, the first letter you'll read is her letter to Sean.

If there's enough traffic and participation, I'm hoping to add new letters every Tuesday and Friday.

Should be fun. Come play with me :)

Unsent Letter Writer


Today is a momentous day. Truly it is. For today the Boy turns 24, and it's National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day.

I should bake him some jelly filled peanut butter cookies, eh? Even though he hates peanut butter...

Happy birthday, kiddo!


Snow is evil, and riding in snow is probably stupid, but when I saw this picture all I could think was "Wow..." I don't know who the photographer was or who the rider is, but dang, I think this is pretty.