Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This is the card I pulled today?

Today, I'm going to band practice, and I'm hoping that this card means that someone is going to stand up for me in the issue about my having my own band kilt. If so, then I will get a favorable judgement. That would be a good thing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tarot Card for today...

Okay, it was the Chariot reversed.

This is not good.

Generally, this means car trouble, and now is not a good time to have car trouble. Beyond that, I haven't really been hearing anything "going on" inside the inner workings of my car, but you know how it trouble happens when you least expect it to happen.

Of course, it may have nothing to do with car trouble. It might have to do with putting a lot of effort into something only to find out that I'm just "spinning my wheels" again, or perhaps that I'm spread too thin in my creative endeavors, and that's also true.

So I suppose I will let this one find it's way to me.

I'm still sore from the weekend, and I can't wait to get home to get some more rest. I did check out the bed when I got home--and I had 2 naps on Monday. I'm pretty much back to my normal self. I just need something to drink, and I need it now.

My ex didn't show up at the Alma Highland Games. Ray had mentioned that he'd gotten a call from my ex, who said he couldn't come to the games due to a conflict in schedule, but I couldn't imagine my ex missing the Games again this year. I even left the extra ticket that Ray had come up with in the mailbox and emailed my ex to let him know, but I don't think the effort made it's way to my ex's eyes/ears.

Wednesday's card was Judgement Reversed, and so was Friday's card!!!

This is the card I pulled today?

Okay, so I'm trying to put together the information to get my passport. This has turned into a circus act. I had all my paperwork and I walk into the post office where I live, and find out that the pictures I'd taken so meticulously aren't correct for use. Must be on a white background. Face cannot take up more than 50% of the total picture. It's a crime that I can't look good in my passport pictures---

But then, I find out that my birth certificate, which I've used all my life, isn't "good enough". Signed by the probate court at the time of my adoption (6 days after being actually born), it didn't have the required information (such as a doctor's signature????????)...nevermind the fact that when I told the man I was adopted, he nearly turned blue...

Okay, now I need a copy of the adoption order--from some 50 years ago--so I contact the probate court, where I believe I was adopted, and there's a $20 fee, not to mention that I have to go to Ionia to get the durn thing, requiring me to take time off work to hopefully get it and get a judge to sign it. I'm hoping that they can find mother is in her 70's and her memories aren't so good these days.

The other thing I can do is write to my brother and send him an affidavit that needs to be notarized and all that--which of course would take forever, since he lives in KENTUCKY. The only other relatives that I have (still living) is my mother's sister who lives nearby, but she's an agorophobiac. The other two sibs she has locally, she hasn't spoken to in years on any friendly basis.

Suddenly, I feel like this teensie weensie island out in the middle of nowhere...and you know how they say "no man is an island"? Well, did that apply to women, too?

So the Judgement card reversed is telling me that today, I'll have some legal issues that need to be dealt with and I won't much be successful at it...for instance, the judge won't be able to come in, or will have taken the day off and gone to Tahiti or Cancun on HIS passport.

Not that I'm bitter, you understand. I should have taken care of this years ago.

Gosh. All I want to do is travel across the state line into Canada! I suppose I can do that, but getting back in might be the bigger difficulty....

--------(there's that obligatory line that says "subject changing" again)

I've been doing a little knitting here and there. I'm trying to finish the dk hat that I started weeks ago. It's coming along slowly, as I can only do 2 rows at a time before my wrist starts to bother me again, and I have to quit and rest...but the different working, little by little with the different things I do--tenor flourishing, knitting, writing, typing...if I rest in between, the injury to my tendons there in my wrist start to feel better--so I'm still going at it, resting as I need.

A big emphasis on RESTING.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flint Wins Again and Again!

Well you wouldn't believe it, but Saturday started out like any other day--except that I woke up at my friend Ray's house in Alma Michigan, and he and I ate breakfast after Mandy went outdoors for potty--really basic and usual, but that's where life sort of ended being a same thing different day "attitude", and things got really interesting.

Since I don't have my own kilt yet, I had to dress in most of my gear and jeans at the house, and when Ray finished getting ready we took off for the festival grounds and parked the car. Then we began the tedious job of hunting down Flint's "meet up" place. We finally found some of the band and the meet up place, and I moved the car to a closer spot before unloading and setting things up.

Shortly after this, one of the members showed up with her kilt, and asked me if I was competing today, and handed me her kilt. I finished putting on my gear, right there in the open. Once dressed, I set out to find a Glen Gerry for my head. I found one, but it cost me more than any other hat I've ever bought! Things are always so much more expensive on festival grounds.

We set up for massed bands. I don't remember seeing Grand Rapids IN massed bands, and I played with the Grade V bunch. The Bass Drummer looked down at my drum and pointed out that one of the lugs had come off the rim, so I resolved to fix that when I returned to the meeting place. In the meanwhile, the Drum Instructor, Ted, was freaking out because he didn't know that was on the other side of the field. When everyone got back, they were looking for me (meaning the Grade IV bunch), and I was right behind them fixing the lug and listening to them practice. Once I got my lug fixed on the drum, I started to enter the circle, and Ted warned me back, so I practiced outside the circle. When the medley was done, Ted turned on me.

Now remember, I was playing with the Grade V bunch--apparently he thought I knew that I was supposed to go out into massed bands with the Grade IV bunch, but quite honestly, I don't know everyone, and I wondered where everyone else was, because I thought Grade IV and V played on the left side of the field--but apparently, Grade IV was on the right side of the field.

Well, I got a huge "talking to", and was basically told off--because nobody in Grade IV knew where was--so when Ted came to "Do you understand that, Tenna?", all I said was "yes sir!", and went back to sit down.

Flashback: A couple of days ago, I let my dog out, and she took off before I got the rope untangled from the peony bushes, and the rope slipped through my fingers and burned me in the first fold of my finger, which left a 2nd degree blister there.

Back to the Present: On game day, when I took a bath, that blister filled with fluid and broke. So I had a big sore on my flourishing finger! This was a not a nice injury, and it really smarted, so I started to look around for a band-aid from some of the "crew", and one of the drum majors said they had some in their RV across the street, and since they had none on the grounds, the DM and I walked to his RV to get bandaids (he had sliced open his finger on the chain on his mace--which was bleeding quite a bit!). I didn't have any clue what time it was, but once arriving at the RV, I saw that it was 2:15, and I knew that we were "on" for competition at 2:20!!! OH NO!

I got 20 feet from the competition, when I saw my group march in to compete.

You gotta know I ran across the compound to get there, and put the drum down and sat directly in the grass and cried. This competition was so important to me, because I knew that my sister would be watching from somewhere, and also knew that my ex-husband was out there as well (as it turned out, he wasn't), so this was a huge disappointment for me. Ray came by, and asked if I was okay, then Ed came out when competition was over, and had this huge smile, and asked me what happened. You see, I just knew this sort of thing would happen. I felt like I'd let everybody down by being a wimp, and I don't know, everyone was so glad it was over--

My friend, Sharon told me not to talk to Ted about it because nobody realized that I was even gone, so I sort of steered clear of Ted when we got back to the meeting place.

Unfortunately, Ted saw me. I figured I was a goner.

And he says is "Listen, I get really fired up on games day, and I was just "sounding off". You didn't think that I meant you couldn't play in competition, did you?"

The man was actually apologizing (sort of) for yelling at me earlier!

I explained my reason for missing it, apologized for the misunderstanding, and that it would all work out.

Later, after food and beer and sitting down for a long bit, the closing ceremonies started. This time, I went out with the grade IV bunch, and we went out on the field playing a 6/8--"Bonnie Dundee".

Grade V took 2nd place.
Grade IV took another first place.

We beat Windsor Police!

We partied hearty at the beer tent afterward. On arriving to the meeting place, I found someone had run off with one of my folding chairs. So Ray, Sharon and I loaded our gear in the cars and headed back to Ray's house to watch the Redwings win their competition with the Penguins 4-0. Huge game. HUGE. One of Sharon's friends got lost three times trying to find Ray's house to watch the game, but finally arrived in time to watch them score two more goals!

Then it was off to bed to prepare for Sunday's competition.

Sharon bought me breakfast at the cafeteria, even though I had eaten waffles at Ray's house, and we sat with others in the band and Bill Marsh from Grand Rapids. It's funny, because the only people from Grand Rapids that DIDN'T talk with me were the Pipe Major and the Drum Sergeant. Why doesn't that surprise me?

On Sunday, Ted decided that I needed to wear a different kilt. The one I was wearing was really too short, and while I was gearing up, he had me head to the Drum Majors (believe it or not, we have 3 of them!) truck to get a kilt that fit me better. I ended up in the DM's kilt (not to complain, but it smelled of cigar!), and after closing ceremonies, he cut short my celebrating by telling me to return it--as he was going to wear it Monday in the parade. I was dumbstruck. I hadn't expected to have to return it immediately after, and hadn't brought my jeans with me. So I had to drive back to Ray's, change, then come back, but I'm getting WAY ahead of the day and myself...

We formed up for competition, and decided to march right through Windsor Police's practice area on our way to the competition circle playing loud and long, and that's exactly what we did, both grade IV and grade V! When we got close to the last minute check your drones area before actually going on, we were surprised to hear another band directly behind playing our tunes!! It turned out to be our own grade V band bringing up the rear. I look down to find out that my drum harness is coming apart! I tell you! Your gear falls apart at the worst times!

We circled up in the "last minute, check your drones" area, and worked on some startups and checked drones, did a few taps on the drums, then marched in and up to the line.

The tension was quite palpable, but I felt confident and ready, and when we started up and marching into the circle I recall feeling as cool as a cucumber.

Of course you know that I didn't breathe the entire medley.

I made a couple of mistakes, but they weren't earth shattering, and the other tenors worked with me within my mistakes to the point that it looked like we planned it that way.

Then suddenly it was over, and we were marching out.

I do remember that we sounded fantastic, but that's all I remember!

The Tenor Instructor asked me if Saturday was just one of those "too scared to compete sort of things", and I told him "oh heck no!" and explained my day to him too.

We hung about, took some pictures for memorial purposes, and then headed back to the meeting place and sat down. Too soon, the closing ceremonies came, and we met up on the right side of the field, and marched out for the closing ceremonies massed bands one last time.

The weather had cooled down a little and we all stood in a slight breeze while the announcer called off the winners.

Two of our people won in Grade III and Grade IV piping, and we took first place as a band

AGAIN beating Windsor Police. Grade V took second.

On both days, the grade IV band marched past Grand Rapids line, and I twirled my sticks in the trickiest ways while I marched past smiling from ear to ear.

Take that! See what you lost by dismissing me?

We headed back to the beer tent to celebrate--stopping momentarily to take pictures with this huge trophy and 4 silver plates. Flint's name gets put on a placque for that trophy--and we get our picture in the local paper!

I caught up with Zack from Grand Rapids/Ann Arbor Pipes and Drums (he's my old snare drum instructor) and he bought me a Guinness for winning in Grade IV both days.

Then I headed back to the car to go to Ray's to change into my civies to return the kilt to its owner, then we loaded up the car to head back to Ray's house.

Ray wanted to take me to dinner, but I was beat, so I just packed and thanked him for letting me stay, and took off with my dog--and my dog and I headed down the road for hearth and home.

Two very happy days....full of competition, joy, camaraderie, friends, celebration and "ha-ha's".

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Day B4

Today, I pull a tarot card and it's the 9 of pentacles.

Upright, the card means having enough to get around, but I was so worried about the reverse meaning, I decided to look it up, and...

since I don't get my payroll till next week, I'll probably live off my plastic anyway this weekend, because,


Oh, yeah, big deal!

Flint Scottish hopes to win, Win, WIN in Grade IV. There's some fierce competition coming into town this evening in order to be on the grounds warming up (and with the way that the weather has been lately, there's going to be hours and hours of "warming up" going on) early on Saturday morning. There will be bagpipes playing in every corner and hide-away!

I love the Alma Highland games--I wait for it, anticipate it, and oh I forget, the 9 of pentacles reversed:

"What passes for success is built on shaky foundations that may be about to give way. The crow is about to come home to roost. (hew! Bad omen there!) Beware of shady dealings that may compromise your integrity. There may be problems with property matters. A pet may need your attention." From "Tarot Plain and Simple" by Anthony Louis 2002 Llewellyn Pub St. Paul, MN

Like I said, I didn't want to look this up and find out that I've got bad news coming. The pet needing my attention is probably Mandy--she's getting very nutzoid, the closer Alma comes. I've considered taking her with me, but she has to stay at Ray's house while I'm at the field, which will cover two entire days--but for her to live without me for 3 days is just torture for her, because she loves me, and she tells me so every day when I get home--after she says "harrooo".

Perhaps the fellow that's to bring my tenor drum won't make it to the games (that would definitely put a crimp in the entire weekend!). Now, see what you've done, you ninny! You've jinxed the entire day! Silly me!

So I need to buy a new hat (called a Glen Gerrie) and pay for my band T-Shirt. I'm going to hunt for a Jacobite tie pin, and buy it if I find it. I might need to purchase another pair of Kilt Hose--as the popcorn ones that I have aren't fitting so good--that or I wear the John Anderson Kilt Hose that I knit. I also need to return a couple of items to the Grand Rapids and District Pipe Band, including $30 for my son's hose that he only wore once.

Sigh. I'm already in the poor house. This is going to do me in!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trip to the dentist

I have a trip to the dentist planned today, which is amazing, since I don't remember appointments set up so far in advance usually, and this was a complete surprise to me yesterday, when I looked at my little paper calendar, and saw "Oh, hey, I have a dental appointment tomorrow."

And then said,

"Oh, hey, Ive got a dental appointment tomorrow," with a much "less than thrilled" affectation.

I don't care how friendly a dentist is--or how good looking, really. When it comes right down to brass tacks, I don't like them. There's just something about someone getting into my face, into my mouth and doing things that hurt me that I have a strong aversion to--it's not the people themselves, of course, but the act of sitting in a dentist chair that just puts me literally in a tail-spin, no matter how much they try to make it feel comfortable. You just know that my the end of the appointment your hands hurt from gripping the armrests.

Fear will do that to a person, I suppose.

But dentists don't like me much either--those of any genre--because i have a small mouth that is nearly impossible to get into the back of it, and I have a penchant for garlic bagels for breakfast.

Nuff said?

Anyway, today the plan is to make a McDonald's "sausage, egg and cheese" bagel and go to the office. The dental appointment is later in the day. So I can eat lots of garlic bagels today before the appointment. I schedule afternoon appointments so that I can leave work early, too, but the extra time to down a few more garlic bagels is just too much of a draw. We have a bagel place down the stret, an every morning, they are baking bagels. The smell is confusing--but the end result is something!

They make hundreds of garlic bagels. They are ALWAYS out of them by noon. What? Does EVERYBODY have a dental appointment today?

--------------------(obligatory line divider to show I'm changing the subject. Clever, huh?)

Rowdy Roddy Piper was on WWE Raw last night for a couple of minutes. Santino wants to fight him, but Hot Rod is retired from wrestling due to health reasons, I guess, to my chagrin. Now, Rod is my favorite, for obvious reasons. Last night, Santino, Rod and Sal Kimmel (brother to Jim Kimmel talk show host) were at a birthday party for Sal, and Santino interrupts (as is his method), and calls Rod a girl for wearing a kilt (fighting words for most men in kilts), and then Santino slaps Sal, who then steps back to resettle the loose nuts in his head. Hot Rod steps in "oh, you think you're a big boy, now eh?" Slaps Santino, who then steps up to get ready to slap Roddy. About this time, you see Sal coming in with the cake (did you have any doubt), slams it into Santino's face, and then tackles Santino to the floor.

Back at the ring, Santino is mouthing off, dressed (wrongly) in a kilt with a hot rod t-shirt, impersonating my own favorite with a pillow tucked under the shirt to make him look fat (and listen, Rod isn't FAT!), when Sal is called out. Santino has brought out a second cake with "I'm Sorry" written on it, telling Sal that he's either going to apologize, or he's going to get a cake in the face. Next thing you know, the pipe music is playing and out comes Roddy, and as Rod and Santino are bantering back and forth, Sal gets the cake and Rod helps him put it in Santino's face.

Well Santino is really po'ed and challenges Rod to a match, but Rod offers up Sal instead (who hasn't really got a wrestler's body), and Santino walks off. Now it would be something for Santino to get the stuffin' kicked out of him by a complete nobody, but this might be the beginning of something different. Because if Rod trains Sal, could Sal take Rod's place in the WWE?

Frankly, there's no one could take Rod's place--I'm really trademark focussed. What might make the difference would be that Sal turns out to be Hot Rod's son, somewhere down the line, and quite honestly, Sal does have some of Rod's features....perhaps this information is coming down the pike, but on the other hand, Sal did resemble Jimmy Kimmel too much to be Rod's son. So I'm really torn up.

I was really torn up when Rod left the WWF and retired, too. Can you tell?

So now, I have to wait until Raw comes on again on next Monday, and I'm not a patient person.

So I guess I'll make my sandwich and go to the office. Bye!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today's Plans Often Go Awry

And today is the busiest day yet.

My wrist is still bothering me, so I'm babying it still, but the irritation does "seem" to be going away slowly. I think the frustration with this is that the response was not nearly as "immediate" as I'd hoped. I'd like to get back to my knitting before I forget how to knit!

But I can't knit like this, so I'm going to do the following:

1. Go to breakfast and take my Naproxin.
2. Head for Meijer's and do some grocery shopping.
3. Go to the nail technician and have my long nails removed so that I can type. I might have them do a manicure, but I want the gel nails removed.
4. Come home, clean out the vacuum and vacuum the bedroom floor, make the bed, and hang and fold clothing that was washed last week.
5. Give the bathroom the "once over".
6. Start laundry again.
7. Clean up the kitchen
8. Pick up the living room, remove the treadmill and the computer from the table and take that downstairs, the vacuum the living room carpet.
9. Sort the mail from the breakfast nook table and vacuum the rug beneath it.
10. Clean cat litter and feed all the animals.

It's going to be a big work I need a list.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Five Best Things

That bring me joy....

1. Waking up early in the morning to watch the sun rise--when everything is covered in mist, and the sun comes out all golden yellow, with pink and blue in the sky, and the only ones awake are me and the birds and the light breezes lifting the leaves in the trees in a "glad you could be here" handshake.

2. Massed bands at the Alma Highland Festival Opening Ceremony. So much color. So much sound. So much emotion. Pride swelling inside knowing that this is part of my heritage, and something that I will remember when I'm old (no, really REALLY old) and gray, and can no longer rise out of my chair.

3. Arriving at a destination where I've never been, pitching my tent, and falling asleep to the sound of crickets and tree frogs.

4. Listening to the Beach Boys Endless Summer CD.

5. Spending time (and money) with my girlfriends at fiber shows, buying yarn.

6. Foot massages or even getting a manicure/pedicure.

7. Believe it or not, the bugler (that's the guy who plays the bugle) playing Taps at the funeral....not joy at the passing of the person, but the mournful sound of the lone bugle at the end of the day (or life) that tells the camp to rest. Rest is good.

8. Coming home after a hard day, and my hubby gives me a kiss, the dog gives me a kiss, the cats visit my lap, and sometimes reach up and give me a nosing, and I can feel comfortable in my own skin.

9. Watching the sun set and roasting marshallows over the campfire.

(I guess I'm sort of an outdoorsey sort of gal!)

10. Riding motorcycle with the man I love...which at the present time, isn't happening, actually, but only the memory of a previous "love". Memories of camping/band/motorcycle rather dominate my happier memories, and are the times that I miss most, but not forever, I shouldn't think, if I get my way.

Oh, did I say 5 Best things? Somehow, managed to find 10. Think I'll stop there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Warhead--She's about to BLOW!

I've decided that I'm fairly tired of my wrist hurting.

Tomorrow, I go to the doctor's office for a cortisone shot in my wrist. Now, I have no idea how this is going to affect my life, and frankly, I'm terrified. I use this wrist for typing. I use this wrist for drumming. If I lose use of my wrist, it means I can neither work or drum, and that, for me, is pretty terrifying.

I have babied this thing long enough.

And if it doesn't work, I'll end up in surgery, which will sideline ALL use of my wrist and hand until it heals--meaning, I'll have to do something that doesn't require holding anything--neither file, or stick or pencil.

I'll take pictures of the shot--if anyone cares...don't worry, doctor plans to numb the nerves before shooting me up with steroids. I wonder if I'll grow a mustache? Probably not. I just hope that it doesn't have the same effect as what steroids have on a cat...

More to fret about, eh?

I got the tents folded and put away last night, having dried out in two days of sun and breezes. Of course, my erstwhile husband sat on the telephone wishing that the caller hadn't corralled him into a long-winded diatribe about at least a dozen different things, when he could have said:

"oh, Tenna needs help with folding the tents, so can I call you later?"

Once done with the tents, though, the call ends, and he says

"Whew! He sure can chatter about stuff!"

And I'm you even care what happens to me?

I believe I voiced something that purveyed my displeasure in his choices, but I don't remember it.

Today, I'm wishing I were a construction worker. It's raining, and they've all taken the day off. I'm in a mood--pretty surly, actually, due to the throbbing in my wrist, and it shows in my telephone voice when the phone rings.

"ya, what do you want? Just remember I only have so much blood to go around!"

Maybe surly is an understatement?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stressed spelled backwards...

Whoever came up with this hogwash should be shot. I am so stressed right now that I am shaking. Work is backed up of course, and I feel like I have no room in my office. I am quite literally "WHELMED" rather than overwhelmed--because it sounds worse to be "whelmed" than to be overwhelmed....somehow.

I've been eating a lot of comfort food lately. Last week was a hard week, and I really haven't had the time to mourn or grieve--in fact, I haven't had much time to even think on my loss, and it rears up at the most inopportune moments.

I had a huge argument with my mother on mother's day...that I never intended to get caught up into again, but caught up into it I did--she really knows my buttons, and she pushes them without fail. No matter how adult I try to be, somehow she is able to corner me into this mentality where I just explode into a conniption, and I hate myself for falling for it every time. The only option is just to have nothing to do with either her or my son, but that's not going to fly--not even on a WINDY day!

How to get along with family members? I mean, I get it, okay? I don't play nice with people when I'm under pressure/stressed out/tired. When I am at my worst, that's the time they pick to start harping on me about this or that. Now, with Jeff, I can say "You know, I don't need you to harp on me (or nag me, or complain or get into my face, or b****) right now, because I'm in a MOOD!"

He knows when to shut up, bless his heart.

But my family--forget it. I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but I do feel proud of myself when I'm able to joust effectively, without attacking personally--while at the same time "ducking for cover" before it literally hits the fan.

Now, I'm hearing that my son blames me for all his personal problems. My mother is worried that when she's gone, I'm all he'll have (a hard truth), and if we don't have some sort of relationship before she goes, when she goes, he'll be all alone. Well, what she doesn't know is that if he writes me off, how is that my problem (or my fault)? It wouldn't be the first (or the last) time I've been betrayed by a family member, so there's no surprise there. Beyond that truth, there's not much to say, other than that there is no way that I'm going to be able to be there for him when she's gone, because I'll have my own grief to worry about--but he'll basically be alone anyway, since my hubby won't allow him to come into our lives to set about his own personal vendetta of destruction.

Because he does that, you know? Even as a little kid, he destroyed my relationships with men. This is not blame here, but simple fact. I don't fault him for it, because he was just a kid, but as an adult now, he's got to realize that his behavior as a child was detrimental to the maintenance of relationships for me. It always used to amaze me that my ex and I got along just fine when my son wasn't there. And while he was a child, I stayed true to my responsibility, but he doesn't realize how much his behavior hurt me personally, and all that I ended up giving up because of him. Now, I have a reasonable man, who is a reasonably good man, and I love him. My son was 19, and doing drugs and I just wasn't going to allow his behavior to destroy the possibly one last chance at having someone really wonderful in my life, and I sent him away. Those words strike pain throughout my heart, but there's simply nothing I can do about it, as I would hurt worse to let my hubby go--because my son knows my buttons and pushes them just as hard and just as far as my mother always does.

Perhaps that's what Randy meant when he tossed these words over his shoulder:

"Blood is thicker than water"...gee, you think? Maybe he meant that there was no way that I would give up my relationship to my son and choose him--but then again, there was no way that I could.

But my son doesn't see what I gave up. All he saw was how bad Randy was to HIM. And I didn't see that until the very end, and for sure didn't see how bad Randy was behind the scenes against me...but my SON did. Even so, my son told me nothing. My neighbor told me nothing. The band told me nothing. Our friends told me nothing. My sister told me nothing. Nobody wanted to get involved. You want to talk about betrayal? Nevermind. I've seen enough of that...bought the socks, wore a hole through them and tossed them in the trash along with the bag of chips I just finished eating!

No. I think it's more important that I be whole and happy in my life. The band makes me happy. My friends make me happy. My work makes me, well, okay, yes, it makes me happy to an there's something about working successfully that gives me much satisfaction. My husband makes me happy MOST of the time....but it's not his job. I hope I make him happy, and I know that I often disappoint him--especially when I take off three times a week to do this or that, and dinner doesn't get put to the table--or his other "gender specific needs" aren't catered to--it's sometimes a hard choice to make, and I worry that someday he might decide that I'm not worth the effort. Ouch. But for him, I do walk the line. I still ask him if he'd come with me to this or that event. I still hope that he'll answer yes someday. But if he doesn't, it doesn't mean that I'll just quit asking.

But my family???? They do not make me happy. They make me feel miserable because I feel like such a failure where they are concerned. They expect so much of me, and I'm a horrible disappointment to them, I'm sure. I have tried to love them--I suppose that I'm not really good at it, being that I'm almost always pressured/stressed/tired for this that or the other reason. It's not an excuse, it's just how I am. I wouldn't know how to behave otherwise. I am always on the go with something to do, somewhere to go, an appointment to keep, a person to see. Are they last on my list? No, but I'm sure that they think so. The fact is that I feel so miserable around them that it's difficult to even BE with them, and God knows that I have tried...for years...and still feel unsuccessful and unfulfilled.

So I don't know what to do about it. Other people have reasonable expectations of their relationships with their children. It makes me wonder what really went wrong with mine.

Well, back to the stress of keep me from the feelings that this blog entry has spawned. I'll see you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Competetion Weekend (Part II, with a Scottish Accent, Aye?)

Finally, the bands formed up with intent on Massed Bands. There was shuffling about as members were moved here and there, and late-comers were edged into position. And then, the Drum Majors shout "By the Center, Quick, March", and the pipers hit that high E before Scotland the Brave--the one that always makes my blood boil!

The group as one marches onto the field, then a right wheel to face the band tent, where the decisions are handed out, and the trophies are meted. Ray and I sat aside to the right of the tent to watch from a picnic table in the shade of the tent.

First, the results of the Grade V competition.

Third..not Flint (hey, maybe we got second?)

Second...not Flint (no, seriously, we won?)

First place....

not Flint.

Huh. Imagine that? Well, as I said, I thought that there had been 2 places where the band didn't sound like it was "in unison" or "together" somehow.

Grade IV...baited breath....

Third place..not Flint...

Second Place....oh, good grief...not Flint? I had sort of expected our march off to count us down!


Drummer of the day: Our own Shawn, the Drum Major/Instructor's protege! A BIG TROPHY for such a young man to walk off with!!!

Drum Corps of the Day went to the Cincinnati band--

Now for the Grade III results....

Second...Cincinnati (hey, wait a minute....what happened to Third Place?)

First...FLINT SCOTTISH!!!! THE CROWD (okay, it's just me and a few others) is screaming!!! Lots of jumping up and down...handshakes and high fives...

okay, what about Ann Arbor?

Well, apparently, the way I understand it, and I haven't chatted with my friend yet to find out the particulars, but apparently, a piper blew out his chanter right before competition, and there was no time to change, and there are no substitutions--so while they did play, they had been disqualified (my god, to come all this way to be disqualified???? I feel bad for them, sort of made my loss of sticks seem so small in comparison!)

Our band marched off the field, smiles on all members faces, and they played a 4-parted 3/4 tune, then tossed their hats in the air in victory!

I was so pleased that I was nearly bursting, and I joined them in celebration.

Then of course, the requisite pictures....Grade V, Grade IV and Grade III, and then back to the staging area for a quick potty and beer, then back to the car to head for the tents to change for supper.

We are going to a BBQ joint, called Tina's BarBQue--small hole in the wall owned by mom and run by mom. The wait staff are her children. The place is just north of the 227/71 interchange. First, however, Ray and I went back to the tent to change into street clothes. I got out of the car and into the tent, changed in a couple seconds, then back to the car. Waiting for Ray, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I opened up the back driver's side door, and


I don't think I could have screamed any louder. I bet the residents in the next county heard me. I jumped up and down. I held them to my chest as if they were my only newborn! I said

"You are not going out of my sight for another minute this day!"

And to prove it, I took them to the restaurant with me. As I drove past the band members who were outdoors yet, I honked my horn, rolled down my window and cried--


Tina's BarBQue Review: The food is great. The service is nice and pleasant. The mom/cook was stressed and couldn't get her regular "help/wait-staff" to show up--it's her loss, really, since all of us tip well--even though the service was a tad slow (since it was a 14 year old and an 11 year old).

We stayed nearly 3 hours, making lots of noise, helping out where we could, and the last to get her food complained the entire time, and then got it to take out, then complained that it was nothing but grease!

There is just no pleasing some folks--know what I mean?

So back to the campsites to

party Party PARTY!

and chatter around the fire--eventually, I saw Ray nod off in his chair, so I bid adieu to the band compadres and Ray and I walked up the hill to our tenting site and turned in.

I slept pretty well, too, once I got to sleep after all the excitement of the day, but around 2am, I heard the pitty pat of rain on top of my tent, and I knew that we were in for it. About 5:30 my alarm went off, but I was already dressed and ready to go. I zippered my tent and called for Ray and we started packing anything that wasn't nailed down into the back seat. This was a neat trick because most of the gear HAD been in the trunk, but I knew that I was going to have to put 2 very wet unfolded tents into the trunk, and I didn't want the rest of our stuff soaked.

Then we rolled on over to McDonald's to check the weather report for the area and eat breakfast, hoping the rain would let up, and about an hour later, it did. We drove back to the campground and bugged out the rest of the gear, threw away the drop cloths (covered in mud both sides) and got back in the car just before it started to sprinkle again.

I called my brother at 6:45, to find out if we were still meeting in Lexington, but he'd forgotten that it was mother's day, and he was taking his wife to her mother's for a visit. So we drove on to Ohio. We got just outside Cincinnati, and it started to pour again. We'd drive out of the rain, stop at a rest area, and it would catch up with us. It rained all the way home.

Finally just before Dayton, I realized that I couldn't keep my eyes open, so we stopped at a rest area, and while Ray bought me a Diet Pepsi, I sat in my seat and fell asleep--for seconds at a time, but kept waking myself up snoring. He was only gone for all of 5 or 10 minutes, but that was all I needed to get me going again.

Just outside of Dayton, Ohio, I swear I saw a large wild cat in the median. I called it in on 911. I don't think they believed me. I was tired, but not that sort of tired. Even I had to do a double take--it looked exactly like a leopard--with a spikey hairdo--from the rain.

Then we drove the rest of the way home which was as uneventful as the rain was unrelenting.

On arriving home, Ray removed his gear from the car, and I went into the house to see if I had gotten a message on my phone from my son for mother's day. be continued...

Competition Weekend!

After Judy died on Monday, a viewing on Wednesday, a lousy band practice on Wednesday night and a burial on Thursday, I finished my day at the office and went home to pack for the trip to

Carrollton, Kentucky Highland Festival!

It didn't take long to pack my things to ready for travel, because I had a list..and checked it three times to make sure I had everything...

Big tent, little tent, sleeping bag, air bed, pillow, wool blanket, kilt, shirt, vest, tie, gillies, belt, hose, glen gerry, hat badge, flashes, skeign dubh, curling iron, hair dryer, towel, washcloth, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, pajamas, street clothes, underclothing, cell phone, drum and tenor sticks, drumsticks, drum harness, Ipod, camera, earplugs, sunglasses, regular glasses, camping stove, Kumihimo and duct tape.

The last items to go into the car were my pillow cell phone and Ipod. I had to buy duct tape, because the big tent had a mouse hole in the flooring....I digress.

Ray showed up at 8am, and we packed his gear (significantly less, but not less important): his sleeping back, air mattress, canvas stool, his briefcase and snare drum, a cooler with pop, barley pop and hot dogs, some snacks, buns and marshmallows and the sterno for the camping stove.

We were off like a prom dress in very short order. We called the snare instructor when we found out that they had left about 10am--so I figured that they were about 1/2 hour behind us--wanting to know if they would like to meet up with us for lunchtime.

As it turns out, nope. They were stuck in traffic tie up at the lunch rush hour in the Detroit area--which is experiencing that fourth season in Michigan we fondly refer to as "Construction". Okay, perhaps not so "fondly".

We arrived in Carrollton, Kentucky at about 2pm, and I called my brother to schedule a meeting, since I haven't seen him in more than 5 years (this unfortunately fell through, but he will be in Michigan in a few weeks with his almost 8 month preggers wife.).

We arrived at the campground, and found that we were going to need a drop cloth because the ground was mostly mud with little tufts of thin grass--really unacceptable, and if we do these games next year, I will know earlier where it's at, so I can schedule the DAYS INN!

It was lucky for us that the hardware store was immediately across the road from the games grounds, so it was no trouble finding, purchasing what we needed and getting back to the campground to lay out the cloth and put up the tents.

I found out that Ray hadn't put up a tent in over 4 years. I also found out that he can't really hear me when I talk to him from the other side of the tent! The effort was worth it, though, because once we got the tents up and open, the rest was fairly simple.

I blew up the air beds (as he had never had one before), and then we decided to eat.

We cooked hotdogs and had chips and cheese and a bottle of pop. Nutritious all the granola bars (read that sticks and seeds) for this gal!

After eating, we decided to check out the restrooms (about 1/4 mile away), and some of the other campers to see if any of our crew had arrived yet (nope!). We found a couple from the Indiana band in the second row of camping cul de sacs, and we got our drums out and terrorized the neighborhood for a few songs, then Ray and I played the drum salute for them that we played in Grand Rapids. We RULE!

We offered to bring marshmallows over later after we checked out the rest of the campground (unfortunately, they didn't have a marshmallow stick--so no s'mores for you), but that also fell through, so we took off back to the campsite and turned in for the night.

The night was cool and dark, and once the little children fell asleep (screaming meme's) and the adults turned in, I finally fell into light sleep, which always happens to me when sleeping in a different place other than my own bed!

I woke up about 3:31 am, and listened to the Grade 4 set, playing the drum score over and over, prepping for the competition which would happen sometime after the noon hour. At 5:30am, my alarm "woke" me (in fact, I did not get back to sleep), and I dressed and woke Ray up to one of the foggiest mornings I've ever seen. We drove past a lake nearby, and Ray commented that he thought he'd seen "Nessie". No such luck, it was only a couple of Canada geese.

In chatting with other campers the night before, we found out that the Rotary Club was having an "All You Can Eat" hotcake breakfast for $5, and after discussion, Ray and I decided to go, with or without fog. We asked about the location at the nearest gas station, and arrived quite handily, even through the fog--you could just barely make out the sign for the High School, and the actual school was far back off the road, so it took some time to finally locate it, but once again, the effort was worth it--the food was very good! We ate our fill and then headed back to the campsite to change into our band clothing.

We hadn't taken the drums or sticks out of the car the night before, so everything was packed except us--so we climb into the car and head to the competition/festival grounds. We had to do some finagling to enter close enough to where the band was meeting up so we didn't have to waste a ton of energy lugging drums around. I unloaded our gear, and

"Ray, where are my tenor sticks?"

"Aren't they in the car?"

"Not that I can see...." I swear, I gave the car a cursory once over, then opened the trunk and rummaged about in there, and came up

Zero. No tenor sticks.

So back to the campsite I go, leaving Ray to manage the drums alone, believing p'raps I'd left them in my tent...only to miss the turn (stress will do that to me), and end up travelling up to the top of the "hill" (which was considerable), turn around and go back (about 1.5 miles), then take the correct turn, and head into the camping area.

On arrival, I frantically open the zipped tent to find.

Zero. No tenor sticks.

I emptied the trunk.

Zero. No tenor sticks.

I packed again, then drove to the Indiana campsite...they had left for the parade grounds already.

I drove to the guard shack. No one home there either.

By now, I'm bawling, certain that I'd left them on top of the car, only to have them drop off the car somewhere to be destroyed by some passing motorist or picked up by a child and become a new "toy". Quite an expensive toy, and I figure they are lost forever. I'd just bought them--they weren't even "broken in" yet! An important precision instrument, and they are gone!!!

So I drove back to the festival grounds, and asked Ray if he'd had them in his briefcase, to which he replies that he looked in it that very morning, and they were not there. He opened the case to prove it (unnecessary, because it didn't quell my fear whatsoever).

The band's final decision was that I would borrow another pair of sticks from another tenor drummer, who was playing in grade 5, right before our performance, which meant that I would lose valuable time used to practice with the group right before "going on". It was all I could do--there was nothing else I could do, and therefore, I had to accept it.

I wept, I fretted, I thought and I thought, but nothing came to mind. At some point, I drove back to the campground again, just to double check the tent.

Zero. I'm usually pretty thorough the first time. I was simply hoping that they would magically appear, just as they had disappeared! Houdini had nuthin' on my tenor sticks.

I was sad and depressed over this. It simply added another dimension to my feelings of loss over the entire week, and it quickly became a bit too much. Massed bands started, and I felt bereft and lost--I felt as if I had come unprepared. Naked, and as if the entire trip was a total loss!

Since I was probably looking quite forlorn and I had nothing else better to do with my hands, one of the other tenors (who probably thought I was being melodramatic) and I walked over to the food vendors and I got a couple of cheeseburgers and she got a sausage. We ate and listened to massed bands, and when they played Amazing Grace, I thought of Judy, and cried anew. My friend strode off to check out the vendor booths and to leave me to my thoughts and grief for a moment.

When she returned, we walked back to the staging area, and I had a light beer to quell the nerves. I practiced with the other tenors without sticks, and one of them snickered because it looks sort of funny to be flourishing without sticks in your hands. I agreed. It was the first time I'd smiled.

Finally, Grade 5 competition started, and our band was last to go up. I decided to take the spun dog hair yarn that I had prepared to its owner, and met him clear over there (see me pointing to the far side of the staging area) on the opposite end of the field. We talked of competition, and he told me that Grand Rapids had scrounged about and found a couple of drummers out of the clear blue sky, but that they were really green as far as Scottish Drumming was concerned, and were likely not much threat. We'll be meeting them at the Alma Highland Festival. So I felt a small stab of irritation over Grand Rapid's sudden dismissal of my talent once again. So I dismissed it, and said to myself...

"Good for them. I hope they look over in the Grade 4 arena and find me playing there--in addition to the Grade 5 arena--having learned both tenor scores in less than 2 months!"

I wished my friend good luck in the competition, and from there, I walked back to the competition circle to watch the last band before Flint's Grade 5 whipped out their chosen selections. Then, it was time to watch my friends in Flint, Grade 5.

I walked to the other side of the field to be in place for the tenor stick hand off, and waited in the shade for the tunes to be played. I listened very carefully to the march medley. I determined that there were two places where the drums and the pipes were not "together", but couldn't figure out who was playing "out of sync"--the drums or the pipes?

When they finished playing, I applauded and "woohoo'd" at the appropriate time, but all I had on my mind really was "okay, ready set, go get those sticks!" The band stood at attention for an eternity while the judges scored the band, then the group fired up to march out.

The sigh of relief was quite audible. Oh, wait, that was me!

I got my "on loan" sticks from the other player, and started warming up with them. All too soon, it was time to get my drum and line up to march out onto the field.

Waiting with baited breath, the pipe major calls out "By the right, quick march!" and my sticks go up into the air in the celtic cross, and twirl and down--magic begins.

Now you need to remember that I haven't really "competed" in tenor for oh mumble mumble years, but have been playing snare off and on for all those years--so I am used to marching off LAST--so after a flawless medley that took almost no time at all, when the time came to "march off", I didn't go--so likewise, the other tenors didn't go, and the snares marched through us--then we tenors brought up the rear--

It was different than any other band and must have sounded spectacular, stellar, mah---velous!

But while it was technically "wrong", we made it look just fine--and never missed a beat or a step. We did quite well....and even though I wasn't playing a snare drum, I still got to march off last!

I bet that gets fixed at the next practice! HA!

Then it was time for Grade 3. I decided to stick around to watch my friend (the one I'm making yarn for---remember?), who was playing with the second band up to the line.

Now earlier in the day, our PM found out that there were only two Grade 3 bands playing, so he decided then and there that we were not going to let first prize go by default, so he challenged Grade 3! So the drummers were warming up, decisions were made, and when Flint's Grade 4 medley was done, the first Grade 3 band was warming up in the wings.

They were very good. I watched their tenors quite closely. They both played a different set, but both were compatible with the set (called a March-Strasphey-Reel or MSR). The drums looked like one of Ray's rope tensioned drums, but only in color. That's where the likeness ends. I thought they played well, but didn't really see anything "spectacular" in their medley that stood out and cried 'PICK ME, PICK ME'.

Next up was the Ann Arbor Pipes and Drums, the band we intended to challenge later in the year, but because of the few competing bands, the PM changed his mind and challenged EARLY which the drum major wasn't expecting...Ann Arbor's set held unfamiliar tunes which didn't set my heart to singing, but the drumming was solid, and my friend did a good job. The single tenor, however, was something to watch! I liked her style. I liked her performance. I thought to myself, 'I will hunt her down at Alma!'

Flint, however, is waiting in the wings, and when Ann Arbor marched off, I started to chat with some of the people who were sitting at the picnic table with me under a shady maple tree and a healthy blue sky with fluffy white clouds...

"Are these the best bands today?" asked one lady. To which I replied,

"If there are no Grade I or Grade II bands, then yes, the last 2 were both Grade III, and here comes the band I'm in--they have this fantastic medley of tunes that I really think you'll like, and, wait until you see this lady they have as tenor...she's a whiz at this, and she's only been playing for a YEAR!"

There was more conversation while the band marched up to the circle, and prepped for the competition. The man next to the lady asked

"How old is she?"

"She looks 16 doesn't she? But really, she's 20. I think she's wonderful. Watch her make those sticks fly!"

And the band played on.

And on...

and on...

And when the last note was played, sudden if a rock had just been tossed in the pool with the audible "plop" and the edge is waiting for the ripples to! The audience was just agog, and Ann Arbor looked a little hang dog--which didn't make sense to me at the time, as I thought they had played well, just not the tunes I would have chosen for my band...

And then the ripple hit the shore, and the crowd started to applaud in response, like the ripples bounce off the shore and head back inward from whence they came.

(good imagery there, eh?)

I believed we had it in the bag, even then, but reserved myself to support for my fellow band-members. But I was very pleased with their performance.

Soon would be time for closing ceremonies--where we find out how the bands did.... be continued....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What to do, what to do?

I have a cat, Smokey, who overeats. She's not FAT by any stretch, but she is bulemic!!

She will eat maybe 1/4 cup of food in the morning, and then toss her cookies immediately after, making a mess for me every morning. It's disgusting!

Now I suppose it's possible that the food is too rich for her. I have thought of that. But Purina Cat Chow is probably the best stuff out there--and God knows that I hate the smell of canned cat food--even the very best kind, and if cat chow comes back disgusting, imagine what canned cat food will come back smelling like?

Perish the thought!

Beyond this, I have another cat that simply loves the stuff, but would be a pirate over something different, were I to give it to Smokey, because



The King.

There is simply no other way to put it. I set something down, and he's right there to eat it. First in line. As if he's got some sort of superiority thing going on there. And they don't eat together. The King would never allow it. So he eats first, while Smokey waits on the stairway for him to leave the dish. And she won't set off the stair until he has left the area completely, because if she doesn't, there will be fights--hissing, slapping, pulling of hair fights. There really is a reason they call it "cat fight", you know?

So she eats last.

Today, I let me dog outdoors for the silly thing she has to do, everyday, twice a day, and when she came back into the house, she said "In", and then went to her dish and said "I'm hungry", and when I filled her dish with food, she said "Thank you".

Now there's a smart dog for you. That, or else I'm finally learning her language. I swear to you, this dog can really speak--I mean sure, it's in tones of bark and howl, but it's got subtleties that seriously transcend any other "dog language" of any other dog I've ever had. It's true, I talk to her a lot--just now, she's laying by her dish, guarding it from the cat (Smokey) who doesn't want it to begin with, so I say

"Aren't you going to eat?" And she just looks at her dish, then at the cat. So I say, "Go ahead, eat!" And she won't--because she's busy....guarding her food from the cat, right.

So I said "Well, come here, and let's talk about it!" And she gets up, barks a "no", slaps the cat down, and eats her food.

Well, time to get ready for work. It's going to be a long day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Well, this past Monday at 11:45am DST, Judy Draper ceased to be.

The viewing is Wednesday from 2-4 and from 6-8pm. I'll be going to the early viewing, and will likely stay until 4:45. I will be meeting Ray afterward to go to Flint band practice.

The funeral will be Thursday, at the local Catholic Church where Judy lived for many years.

Friday, I leave for Kentucky.

I've been pretty out of it, sleeping a lot--mostly because I'm being overworked at the office and I can't seem to get my work done at all. I'm tired, now, and only staying up to watch my email come down.

Except for that, I'm fine.

and now, it's Thursday.

I just got back from the funeral. Things went pretty smoothly, until they started to sing the songs from the hymnal that had to do with "going home" and that sort of thing--the reason being that I have this huge concern that but for not being able to forgive my ex for his horrible treatment of my son and me, I might not make it to heaven.

So that song made me cry. Not due to Judy, since I figure she's a shoe-in for a position at the heavenly palace. Me, I'll be lucky if I turn into a footstool there.

In any case, I remembered to take some Kleenex with me--figuring that I would cry, and by golly, I sure did. I sat in the back, too, since I arrived a minute or so late, due to traffic and the telephone at the office....but considering all the honking going on in the back row (me), I guess I was simply being appropriate for the occassion.

At the end, when Judy came past in her "new recliner" (sic) I started to tear up again with goodbyes that I couldn't even whisper. Then Randy walked by, saw that I had Kleenex, and pulled one out for his current wife, who had been crying even more than I had been. I thought to myself "hmm..." and then shrugged it off. I guess that was the whole reason for my being there.

But not one tear fell from the family during the whole thing.

I suppose they'll go home and do their crying. That's okay. I understand that.

Oh, and I found out that my ex's brother knew one of the drummer's in Flint Scottish--called him "FAST EDDIE". So Wednesday night, when I went to practice, I called out the window to the tenor music writer--"hey fast eddie", and he looked up to see me, and thought I was kidding! Then, when I told him I'd seen my ex's brother, and he'd asked me if it was "fast eddie" he admitted to knowing what I was talking about.

So I told Randy's brother that "fast eddie" said hi, and sends his condolences for the loss, and that Ray had also expressed sympathy, as well.

Then I left the funeral.

And now, must must concentrate on the competition, or be lost trying.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Latest Story

I contacted Judy's DIL yesterday to find out how her special night with her husband had gone, and she told me all about her evening--apparently, because it was raining, they missed their turn and ended up in Flint. Seems like a wrong turn--since they were heading for Chesaning....

Anyway, they had a nice ride and ate at Zehnder's, which I believe is in Frankenmuth, and finally got home. It would appear that they are probably under a lot of stress--in fact, my friend was quite a bit more chatty--almost as if she'd just taken a pill that wired her for sound--so I just listened, as she apparently has a lot on her mind.

But one thing she mentioned in the conversation is that my ex had stopped by there and told them that the nurses at Hospice had told him that Judy would likely only last a few more days, and that he tried to convince my friend and her husband to go with him over to Hospice to see her. She mentioned that he was crying. I will lay odds that this passing is going to be very hard for my ex to deal with. I think that he expected her to pull out of it the way his dad did for a short time before he died. Frankly, I think his dad came around to say one last goodbye hug to Judy. The way she described his passing was as touching as any death can be.

I have never known my ex to cry, but then again, this is a loss probably too great for words for him. His mother is his only support system. Once gone, I figure he'll have a nervous breakdown--many men don't take the loss of their mother very well, and I don't expect this to be any exception. On some level, I feel sorry for him, because this will be a really trying time, especially for him, being the baby of the family.

On a gladder note...

I have done 2 sets of tenor laces on my KumiHimo. I am working now on the third set. Once done, I can then sew them to the tenor beaters and we can go into competition with laces that match our kilts. This is EXCEPTIONAL, and I wonder if it is possible for me to make these for all sorts of bands--of course, I haven't tried the ones I made on the Inkle Loom, but they are quite thin--and I'm concerned about well they will hold up, so I'm reserving judgment on them.

We travel to Kentucky on Friday. I have the day off, and much packing to do. I still have much work to do on the tenor part--it's not nearly memorized. The trunk and the back seat will be full. I'm planning to do the massed bands on snare--if the band will allow it, and practice practice practice the second I arrive. Now that they've given me a second job at the office, I have no time even to listen to the ipod! Now that's BAD!

So I sit here before the computer with many things on my mind, and drinking my coffee, considering the funeral that I will be going to next week most likely, and hoping that it doesn't conflict with my travel plans. That sounds really crass and I don't mean it to sound like I'm hoping Judy will pass before I have to leave--but the band would be horribly disappointed in me if I didn't go, and the family would be very disappointed in me if I don't attend the funeral, but my Ex-Randy-would be tickled to death about it.

God knows I can't let HIM down, now, can I?

In the meantime, I play a waiting game, and prepare to buy yellow roses for Judy's grave. Sigh.

Oh, and Mandy wants to play ball.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Judy is Leaving us

Such a somber title, but it's what's most on my mind as I type. My friend and ex-mother in law, Judy is languishing in Hospice, sound asleep--and heavily medicated--I've been to visit her room every day in the last couple of days, and left her flowers--though she will not live to see them.

My signature yellow rose--a flower that I have kept as a part of my heart for going on 30 years now--I know that it means "jealousy" in all the "books", but to me, it is a one of a kind thing--long time ago I adopted this flower, and it's been a mainstay in my life since.

Choosing it was the result of my grief over the loss of a very intimate involvement with someone who was only in my life for a very short while, but the love and affection I had for this guy was something of story books. Losing him was pretty traumatic. While in therapy over the loss, I was asked to close my eyes and imagine what flower I would be--and really "playing along", I visualized a yellow rose bush outside my ex-inlaws house, next to the oak tree...and I said I'm a yellow rose.

Of course, the therapist, and you, the reader, probably thought/think "OOOH! Thorns!"

But to be honest, the thorns don't really "come out" until I'm hurt by someone I care about, and then I can be very "thorny" indeed.

In fact, one of my chants is "Be good to me, I will be your friend forever. Be mean to me, and YOU will RUE THE DAY!"

So the yellow rose bush came out of grief, so when I feel grief/loss, I get or give yellow rose(s). It's become a part of me.

So the family is tearing down the nursing home room this weekend. I offered to help, but there really isn't much there--beyond that, my ex-husband will be there (read that "vulture") and there is no need to have trouble develop. It's bad enough that he knows I'll be at the viewing and the funeral. I will have to ask my friend Wanda (Judy's daughter in law) for a picture of Judy so that I can blow it up to an 8x10 glossy, scan into my puter and have her with me for a little while longer. I'm gonna miss that old lady!

In the meanwhile, I'm still practicing and listening to the Flint Scottish Medley. Keeping myself busy (last night, hubby and I took the wicker plant stands to Novi/Wixom, which was a long drive!)

Oh, and the television has died. Hubby asked me what I wanted to do today, and since we have no television anymore I thought perhaps we should go to Best Buy and get an HD television--no sense in spending money to buy another analog set when HD BlueRay is going to be the only thing available in another year or so. So we're talking about it.

You know...I have come to find out, that when certain appliances are not operating properly, one should check the most obvious it plugged into the wall socket?

Apparently, the dog or the cats in there normal daily play got behind the television and unplugged it. No Blue Ray today.

So I need to get a new bulb for my microwave, since the one above the stove burned out. That one was a bit difficult to get out of the socket, and in fact, the bulb came apart in my hubby's hand--we had to shut off the lights to pull the aluminum piece out with needlenose pliers. I know, danger, danger Will Robinson, but we did flip the main before attempting such a silly task.

Children: please do not attempt this at home!

Now the standard way of removing broken bulbs from the socket is to shut down the main switch in the fuse box, and use a potato to pull the rest of the parts out, but we were out of potatoes....honey, put potatoes on the grocery list, will ya?

I'm trying to convince hubby to sell his oldest computer to my friend Ray for cheap that Ray doesn't have to use the library's internet connection anymore. Ray has cable television, and could easily hook up to the cable internet, since he lives right in town. All he'd have to do is buy a cable modem, speakers and a printer, and he'd be good to go. I think hubby is going to go for it, and Ray is a little miffed about the library because they'll only allow him to surf for an hour a day, and there's usually a line waiting to use the library computers, so his time on internet is limited.

I figure I'll introduce him to chat rooms/channels and the like. I think he would have a lot of fun chatting with other people online!

So much for needing a new television. I guess I won't be getting one yet. He will wait until the last minute for the change, and at that time, the demand will be so high from all the other people wanting/needing sets, that the cost will be exorbitant!

Well, I think I will head over to Knitting Daily, and see what I can download.