2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Time For A Change

I started this blog in January 2007.  Right now that seems way more than a lifetime ago. So much has happened in these last seven years. The vast majority has been really good, but there have been some tough times as well. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I have been very happy and fortunate to share it with those of you who have been interested enough to keep reading. You know who you are, and thank you!

I’ve always moved in intuitive seven-year cycles.  Right now, I’ve been doing this blog for seven years, I’ve been in medical transcription for seven years, and a few other things. I’m feeling a need for motion and growth, nothing drastic that requires immediate or explosive action, but tiny ripples underneath the surface, like a catfish traveling along the silty bottom of a lake, stirring things up. When the silt settles, the water will be clear again, and maybe showing something shiny and new that turned up.

I’ve learned a lot about going with the flow in seven years. I’ve learned that sometimes the best plan is no plan, but just an attitude of openness and an ability to receive.  I’ve learned that there is no bad flow, just a willingness to go with it or to hold yourself back from it.  Everything in its own time. Some things I hold as certain knowledge today are things I couldn’t have imagined seven years ago. I can only hope the next seven years brings even more clarity and blessings.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that it’s time to move on from this place.  It’s time for me to stop being “Grumpy Granny.” Yep. It hit me the other day that I can’t call myself grumpy and be grateful at the same time. Although I’m not really all that grumpy most of the time, I need to let that monniker go, even in my thoughts.  It’s hard because I’ll part of me will always be the young grumpy granny, the 43-year-old traveler who met a kind Australian man in Edinburgh, Scotland. I told him my troubles and he gave me a nickname that’s stuck for 13 years.  So, yes, I’m going to keep on being GG, but in a different form.

I’m building a new house out here in cyberspace, and I’m already starting to like it.  This place will remain up for a while–maybe a very long time. So, if you want to see the pictures, find the recipes, and gain a little insight into what got me to this place, feel free to look back over the past seven years.  I may come back to visit from time to time myself, but right now, I’m looking forward, eager to create a  new life full of gratitude and blessings.  The last couple of weeks has been incredibly enlightening, and I can only hope the coming days will be as good.  I’d love to have you along for the ride if you want to join me!

Happy days, my friends, happy days!


It’s Magic

Ups and downs, rounds and rounds. That’s a nice, pleasant way of talking about what’s been going on around here. E has been out of school this last week for Thanksgiving and that has been interesting. Mostly he’s slept and played on the computer. I tried to get him to help us out in the yard one day, thinking that might be something we could all do together, but he promptely stepped in dog poop and was pretty much out of the game after that.

G and I have had some really serious, sometimes almost too intense discussions. We broached the subject of separating, not because we lack or have lost feeling for each other, but because we just don’t know how to bridge the gulf between how we think this kid should be parented, and how we perceive a lot of his behavior, and how to reconcile those wildly differing philosophies. The thing that’s always in my mind when we have these back and forth, round and round, gut wrenching discussions is that  he’s happily somewhere else (as he should be) not giving us the smallest thought in his FaceBook involved little head except where his next meal is coming from. I’m not saying that to be mean to him, but I know that teenagers are astoundingly self-absorbed (as they should be, to a certain extent) and they just don’t see why anything in the world should put them the least bit out of their comfort zone.

Friday night, after a particularly rough day, and a really rough week financially for me (computer crash last weekend, new hard drive installed, an entire day wasted trying to get my work VPN to connect. Basicially, I lost my whole work week last week. Fortunately, I WAS going to take 2 days off for the surgery that G postponed, so they let me take that time to help make up for it. Then my local comupter genius got me up and going in ten minutes after ten hours of failure with the company IT person…no offense to her, she tried everything. Tommy is just a genius.) But I digress.

Went to bed on Friday to find G surrounded by various books, one of which was this. We started talking. She was looking for some kind of inspirational book or relationship book or something of that nature that perhaps we could work on together every day, either reading to each other, discussing whatever it was, keeping our own journals about it, etc. That resonated with me on so many levels. I thought it was brilliant. I knew she had hit on exactly the right idea to help us get back to ourselves. Plus it would be taking E out of the equation of his behavior making us happy or unhappy, which was never going to work in the first place.

The book in the link is called “The Magic” and it’s kind of a more specific take on that book that was so popular a while back, “The Secret.” In many ways, it goes along with all the Abraham stuff, only this book helps you work specifically on gratitude. I’m really happy we started it now, right before Christmas, so that we can do the 28 days of exercises through this month of rampant and rabid consumerism, which we are doing our best not to get sucked into. (Easy for me–no money, no consuming–but G has a tough time denying E anything despite being royally aggravated by him most of the time.)

I started yesterday. I found an old sketch book mostly unused and decided to use that as my gratitude journal. First and foremost work is to write down ten things you are grateful for each morning before you do anything else.  It’s pretty easy, because there are a lot of things to be grateful for, if you just look around you. But you have to focus. And you don’t always have to be grateful for “good” stuff because don’t we often learn the most from things that are less than pleasant? But aren’t we grateful afterwards when we become tougher and wiser? I know I am.

I was actually happy to get back to work yesterday after two weeks, so I decided to carry it further. On my little pieces of scrap paper that I keep beside the keyboard to jot things on, every so often a thought would occur to me about something I was grateful for and I noted it down. At the end of my shift last night, I typed them up. They came up to actually more than one grateful thought per hour that I worked:

  • I am grateful for good dictators.
  • I am grateful for OP notes.
  • I am grateful for finding the document zoom function.
  • I am grateful for a hug from my baby.
  • I am grateful for toasted biscuits.
  • I am grateful FB is not such a temptation anymore.
  • I am grateful for good hearing.
  • I am grateful for leftovers today.
  • I am grateful for an extra hour of work offered today.
  • I am grateful for keeping my cool.
  • I am grateful for my grandson and his sense of humor.
  • I am grateful for long reports.
  • I am VERY grateful for my health.
  • I am grateful for my line count of over 3600 today, a first for me.

I overslept this morning because I forgot to set my alarm clock, but thanks to my own internal alarm, I wasn’t late, just later than I usually wake up. However, I was grateful for six hours of good sleep. I moved into higher gear sooner than usual, but got everything done and logged in on time, only to have an email that work was low and to log off. I could have been bummed, but I’m grateful that it’s now at the beginning of a pay period with time to catch up, grateful for some time to blog, and when I finish this, I can go have coffee with G and maybe work on tomorrow’s lesson.

The things to be grateful about in your life are endless, if you will just focus on them and not what seems to be “bad.” I’m so glad that G had her brilliant idea. I can already feel it working on a lot of levels. I urge you all to try this. Oh, don’t run out and buy the book, especially if you’re pinching pennies right now, but just try being grateful every day. Ten things, that’s all. Even if you can’t find anything about your personal life to be thankful for, just look out into the world. A beautiful sunrise or sunset. Birds in the back yard. Clear skies or snow, depending on your preference. Raking leaves or not having to rake them. A quiet cup of coffee when you start the day. These simple things are plenty to get you started on your gratitude journey. I know that for me, this is one habit I want to cultivate and encourage starting right now. I can’t think of a better way to kick off December and this season of giving. Can you?

Eternally Incomplete

I was all set to write a scathing post about health care here today.  Had my facts, my bill, all my ducks in a row and ready to let fly and blast away at the system, the craziness of it, the impossibility of trying to find out how much things cost before the happen to you, all of it.  But I’m not going to write that post.  Why? Because last night, I spent some time in the car listening to Abraham again.

I got away from the listening. I get the post a day in my email, but over time, I’ve begun to just skim over those, shrug, and say “Whatever” and move on.  (You do realize, don’t you, that when people say, “whatever,” they’re really just saying “Fuck you” in a polite fashion, right?  It’s true.)

A while back, in the spirit of de-cluttering, I managed to get all my various Abraham CDs copied on to my computer, so I could release the CDs to new owners.  Then, since our car has a USB port, I decided to further copy them all onto a memory stick, so I could listen to them in the car. Here’s an odd little fact–I have a very difficult time listening to the spoken word while I’m driving.  I find it extremely distracting. Thus, I rarely listen to the radio, but only music either on CD or another USB drive that has a ton of CDs on it. However, I can listen to Abraham indefinitely and every word seems to sink in and nothing about their voice takes away from my attention to driving. It’s the strangest thing. I don’t know if it’s a particular quality of voice or what, but I find that I get the most from the Abraham CDs when I listen to them in the car.

E. had a game last night at a school about 25 miles away. G. was down with some kind of 24-hour bug, so she didn’t go. So, I popped in the Abraham USB and off I went. After the first few words, all I could think of was, why don’t I listen to this more often? Everything resonated. The discussion was about teenagers, about struggling upstream, about relaxing downstream, about getting yourself, yourself, yourSELF into alignment before you ever take a step, about listening, about not letting what anyone else thinks about anything else matter, especially if it makes you feel bad.  It was about love, about NOW, about giving up the fear, about exhilaration and joy. Why is that so hard? Why? Why do we make it so damn difficult for ourselves? Because we do. Other people, circumstances, don’t it. WE do it. Each and every one of us make our own precious lives as difficult as we possibly can, when all we have to do is relax, let go of all the crap and BE HAPPY. Period. Just be. Happy. Just be.

So, I’m over all this crap.  Circumstances haven’t changed. They aren’t going to change, at least not for the immediate future. But I’ve been letting other people get into my head. I’ve been allowing that. I’ve been letting other hands turn my boat upstream. I take responsibility for that, I’m not blaming them. They are acting how they need to act for themselves. Now I need to act how I need to for myself. I need to feel the things I feel. I need to reach for what makes me feel better, what makes me feel good and quit damn apologizing for it because what makes me feel better isn’t the same thing as what makes someone else feel better. I need to envision the future I want for myself and everyone I love, the peaceful, happy, joyful, fulfilled future. I’m not giving in to what society or anyone else says “must” be. Screw that. I don’t want that and I’m not going there.  I’m taking it right out of my vibration.

I can’t get it wrong and I’m never going to be done no matter what I do. I am an eternal being and where I am right now on this journey is only the wink of an eye, but wherever it is, is just perfect. So I might as well have all the fun I can and let the whiners go off and do their own thing.

I just don’t have time for it anymore.

A Moment of Thanks

Another week passes.  This was definitely a better one.  More baby steps taken forward and fewer taken back.  It’s all a process.  But this one isn’t about me. It’s about you–people who read, people who comment, friends near, far, and everywhere in between. I wanted to thank all of you who have emailed, called, direct messaged, and offered an ear, a shoulder, a meal, and even a home, should any of us need it. I have the best friends in the world, that’s all there is to it.

Thank you.

I love you all.

Weekly Wisdom

It’s Monday and I should be hard at work pounding the keyboard for another reason, but apparently, not enough people are sick today, so I have a moment’s breather.  Today I am grateful I got up at 5 am and jumped right on so at least I got about an hour and a half before I had to wake up E to get ready for school.  If things pick up shortly, I should be all right. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about a lot of stuff, some of which won’t make it in here, but mainly it’s about a place online where I go weekly (most weeks, sometimes I forget, imagine that) and recently, the advice and messages I’ve received have been so timely that I finally had to blog about it. The place is Bohemian Path Tarot, and specifically the Weekly Tarotscope. Jen, the site’s owner, uses a combination of astrology and Tarot, and boy, does that pack a punch. There are weeks when I am literally breathless after reading my particular card. Or, I should say, cards. As far as my sun sign goes, I’m a Taurus, and most people who know me and anything about the sign can see that.  However, what most people don’t know is that my ascendant, moon, and about three other houses are in Scorpio, so I always read that card as well. Oddly, or maybe not, the messages of the two cards usually sum up about 98% of what’s going on in my life at the moment, with very good advice about how to manage it, which I may or may not pay attention to. But that’s how we are, right? The road to hell is paved with good advice, or something like that. So, if you’re in need of a little nudge along your path, if you’re up in the air about any issue in your life, or if you just want to see what the site is all about, head over there and check it out. At the least, you’ll get a little bit of amusement, and who couldn’t use a little more of that?

But on to the harder stuff.  Sometimes when a card is so right on, it can be difficult to stop and let it sink in. You want to skim over it, just hurriedly say, Oh, yeah, I get that, and look away before reality can sink in. Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of that here. I need to let some of it sink in and really be with it, so that I can have some kind of idea how I want to proceed in the next few weeks, months, years. Lots has changed here, and I have a feeling that things are going to keep on changing. I can’t say for better or worse, only that nothing is going to stay the same, which is true regardless of what your situation may be. Plus ca change…

This week’s wisdom begins with the Taurus card, which was the Five of Pentacles (or Rainbows, since I automatically convert any traditional tarot card to my favorite Osho Zen Deck).  Here’s what Jen’s interpretation says:

“This card suggests a low cycle and/or limited resources. Often, it’s just a common cold that sneaks up on you. Sometimes it’s directly about finances and maybe you owe the taxman or you overspent at the mall and charged more than you budgeted for the week. Something has (or a series of things have) impacted your feeling of stability. Not to worry, it’s just a phase. And there is help available if you need it. Whether it be a church, a therapist, a mentor, a friend, a parent, or the cold medication that lets you sleep…relief is nearby. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Fortunately, I’m not getting a cold, but the rest of it? Pretty much dead on.  Now, for work on this, I went to one of my favorite books, “Tarot For Your Self” by Mary K. Greer. I’ve used this book for years.  One of the things I really like about it is that for every card interpretation, there are questions to ask, so you can dig deeper into the meaning and how it’s impacting you at the moment.  Additionally, Greer’s interpretation is spot on: “Voluntary simplicity and unconventionality. Uncertainty creating anxiety, worry, and stress (DUH!) Loss of job, home, security. Feeling “out in the cold.”

Well. Could be be more accurate? Or depressing? But that’s about where I am.  Week before last, I ended up in the ER because at that time, I really wanted to just drive my car off a bridge. They evaluated me and pronounced me with “adjustment disorder” and sent me home without any prescriptions. I guess that’s good, I don’t know. So, as you might surmise, things aren’t going so well.  Or, they are, or I think they are, and then something happens and I don’t respond right or say or do the right thing, or yell enough or be hard-ass enough, and then we’re right back where we were. I’m not going into details, but you get the idea.

Now for the questions and the time to be brutally honest.

1. What are your survival concerns?  Pretty simple. If I left G, life would be really hard, especially if E decided to come with me and not go back to his mother or in foster care. I don’t know if he’d want to stay with her, but if he did, it wouldn’t really surprise me, though I’m sure it would surprise HER because she thinks he hates her and worships me. So, I’d be looking pretty much at a studio apartment somewhere within walking distance of a lot of places or on the bus line for sure. I’d have to maintain an Internet connection for work, but would definitely have to pick up a 2nd job. The voluntary simplicity isn’t so hard. I’ve been working on downsizing a number of things recently, but haven’t made nearly as much progress as I’d like. Honestly, I think I would be happiest if I put a few things in a backpack, cashed out what little IRA I have, maxed out my credit cards for a plane ticket and headed back to Spain. Yesterday was a big blow up, which, again, I won’t go into detail, but later I told E to remember that I did not own a car or a television set. He looked at me curiously and I just said, “Think about it.”

2. What have you chosen to give up or do without? Why? I’ve quit swimming.  I’ve quit going to the gym. I’ve pretty much quit moving all together except that I have gone back to my t’ai chi class and we are moving forward and I practice that fairly often–it’s a nice break every 45 minutes or so when I’m working to review the form. Helps get the kinks out and doesn’t take too long for just one run through. I’ve quit going to movies. Hell, I’ve quit watching movies. Just never seems to be enough time, forget the money. I still watch a couple of shows on TV, but even they aren’t holding my attention like they used to. Sometimes I feel like my whole life can be summed up in one word, which happens to be, “Meh.” Why? Obviously finances. G has become this Ebeneezer Scrooge-like character who constantly worries about money and how little we have and how we have to watch every cent and how much everything is going to cost. The recent budget crisis didn’t help because we were really making plans about how to take care of things if it all fell through and we had to survive on my income.  It wasn’t a happy thought, but I also knew that whatever needed to be taken care of would have been and we would have got by somehow. Beyond the obvious monetary reasons, I don’t know. For a long time, part of it was because we only have one car, and I hesitated to leave her without a vehicle if I wanted to go off on my own. Now, some lovely friends have let us use a spare truck and we’re housing it in our garage versus it being out in the cold weather all winter and not being driven. So transportation is not a problem. The other thing is that it has become very hard to do things by myself. Not because of any anxiety about that, but because it feels like I’m leaving her out of stuff. But I’m HAPPY when I do stuff alone, so why do I always feel like I need to either apologize or just not do it for the sake of “togetherness”? I don’t know. I’m probably over thinking everything, as I normally do, but there it is.

3. What are you worried or anxious about? See above. Ha. This doesn’t even touch on the whole E issue. But really, this stuff was happening long before he got here. Yes, really. All has not been well here for a while. I keep trying to pinpoint exactly when it happened, and I really can’t, only to say that it might have started after San Francisco. I’m not sure why. I understand that sometimes coming off a peak experience causes a shift of emotions, etc, but I can’t blame it all on that. I don’t want to blame at all, and that’s part of the problem. I’m tired of dissecting everything to death. G can’t stop talking about everything that’s wrong, name a subject, and she goes on and on and on and ON. I’m like, okay, let’s talk about it for 30 minutes and then can we put it away for a while and get on with our lives? She agrees in principle, but then the subject continues to pop up in every conversation until it’s like we never stopped talking about it. It makes me tired, which is how I also feel most of the time.

4. What conventions/injustices are you rebelling against? Do you have the rest of the month to listen? My whole life has been a rebellion, although a very quiet one. I want to LIVE the way I believe. I want to put things in action, not just talk about them. So maybe I should say, this isn’t good for either of us any more. Maybe I should live in that one bedroom apartment, with no car and very few possessions, and just say screw it to the rest of the materialistic, frenetic, uber-connected world. Or maybe I should join a Buddhist temple. I. Don’t. Know.

5. What inequalities or injustices are you trying to change? I’m not sure I’m trying to change any of them consciously or voluntarily. But I do think that all of us have to change the way we think about what “enough” is, what “success” is, what “rich” is. I try so hard not to focus on all the bad stuff. That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge that it exists, of course it does. But I don’t want to focus on it. But it’s incredibly difficult NOT to focus on all the bad stuff, all the negativity, all the things we need to “punish” someone for, all the ways we bump up against each other, when that’s all that’s being talked about, drummed on, thrown in front of me, every single day. I’m trying to breathe, trying to meditate, trying not to get agitated and raise the level of the whole conversation, or whatever you want to call it…not to escalate it. I feel that is really the solution for me. I need to let everyone else whirl around in their typhoons of what should be or what must be or what better be, or else, and I just need to allow that and try, try, TRY to be the calm eye of the storm as everyone else rages around me.

And that is a good lesson.

It’s A Long Story…

…and I don’t have time right now to go into it. Suffice to say that in the thirty minutes I’ve given myself right now to start cleaning/reorganizing/de-cluttering my office, I found a little affirmation kit that G was going to ditch a while back.

I asked her for it and promptly set on my desk to start catching dust. I pulled it over to decide if I was going to really use it or if I should toss it or re-gift it or whatever.

This card was on top:

“I release the need to blame anyone, including myself. We are all doing the best we can with the understanding, knowledge, and awareness we have.”

I feel like I just lost about a hundred pounds.

I’m keeping the kit.

Say Hello To A Friend

I found out a while back that my dear friend Melanie had started blogging.  She was taking a class and asked me to give her some feedback which I happily did. I just went over to check her blog, and found out that we have spontaneously chosen the same template for our blogs. If that doesn’t say “kindred spirits” I don’t know what does. I’ve added her blog to my blogroll to the right.

Melanie writes about wine (for now–I’m trying to convince her to turn to other subjects), and she’s very good at it. So jump over there and give her a read, leave her a comment and let her know I sent you.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Baby Steps, Again

I didn’t think this post would be so difficult to write. It’s very easy to get out of the habit of writing. You just don’t do it. You let the grandson play on the computer when you should take some time for yourself or you play mah jongg instead of writing or futz around on Twitter, or any one of a million other things. You let it slide. Just like you let your life slide, it seems. That’s what’s so hard. I admit it. I’m letting my life slide and I have no idea where. It’s really, REALLY difficult to write that. But that’s how I feel at the moment. I don’t know why. Nothing particularly momentous happened and all of a sudden I was oh, this is all just to much to bear. Yes, I know some of you will say taking on the grandson was a big deal. You’re right. It was huge. However, this feeling was manifesting inside me long before that happened.  Maybe this latest thing was the proverbial last straw, but it definitely isn’t/wasn’t the root cause. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

But I’m working on it. I’m taking baby steps, again. This post, for instance. I have a couple of non-fiction ideas I want to explore for submission a couple of places. I considered NANOWRIMO for a nanosecond, and realized I wasn’t ready, but I can do small things. I’ve begun using the timer on my phone. Now that sitting apparently is worse than smoking (and WHO decided on that for God’s sake in a society that sits about 85% of the time now–there has to be SOMETHING to make us fearful, right? I am so over that), I’ve begun to set myself 45-minute intervals and then get up, even in the middle of a report, and use my resistance bands, do wall squats, bounce on my rebounder for 5 minutes, stretch, do a few yoga moves, whatever it takes to get me out of the chair. It’s helping, especially on the last half of my shift.

I started walking again, now that the weather is more conducive. Again, the timer. I set it for 15 minutes and walk till it goes off. Then I set the stop watch and walk back the way I came to see if I keep up the same pace. I do. I figured if I can’t give myself 30 minutes a day to get out of my head, what is the point. I don’t need fancy equipment, etc. There’s a perfectly good street right outside. I just need to use it.

I knew it was getting critical when I quit wanting to cook. True. Don’t care. I’m suddenly tired of trying to get nutrition into people who can’t seem to open a fridge and see anything that’s not convenient. E wants chips or Cliff bars, I can’t even get him to microwave stuff. G either forgets to eat until she’s nearly passing out, or she’s nauseated from the reflux so nothing is appealing. Again, baby steps. G found a fabulous recipe for homemade “cliff” bars that is SO much better than anything I’ve found in a box. Don’t have it in front of me, but I’ll post it, because really, you have to make these. They are great. And flexible, so you can customize them to your taste.

I’m trying not to complain. I have nothing to complain about. All my needs are met, and the vast majority of my wants, so I can’t figure out why this utter blah-ness for lack of a better term. Maybe I need a vacation? I don’t know. I just know I don’t like this feeling and I’m not sure how to make it better. Except with those baby steps, one word, one meal, one foot at a time.

So Much For That

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This was morning down the street a couple of days ago. We’re all fine here, by the way, if you’ve been keeping up with news of flood in Colorado.  They are north of us in Colorado Springs, Denver, and even further north toward Wyoming. Once again, Pueblo proves to be about as disaster-free a place as you’d want to live in.  Apparently, we are a geographical anomaly, which suits me fine.  

Oh, hi.  Yeah, it’s been a little bit.  Mostly I’ve been driving a boy to and from school, to and from football practice, to and from…whatever.  Yeah.  Pueblo is a small place but we’ve put over 2000 miles on the new car (Yeah, we, er, she got a new car–went to get the mirror fixed on the old one and walked out with a whole new vehicle. It’s great) in less than 2 months.  I guess that’s not much when you commute to work, but for two old ladies who don’t work outside the home, it’s a LOT.  Plus Denver. VA Denver.  We’ve got at least THREE trips to Denver coming up in the next six or so weeks, at about 250 miles a pop round trip, not counting me picking her up at the airport on Tuesday, so add another 1000 miles. So, that’s what I’ve been doing when I’m not having or watching someone else have a meltdown.

Yeah, we’re doing the meltdown thing. I’m not going to go into it because for the first time ever, G read one of my posts and thought I really “cremated” her in it.  I’ve never asked her to not read my blog, but she’s often said that she doesn’t or won’t because she knows I’m pretty honest and put a lot out there. I guess she decided to break her own rule.  I assured her that nothing I write is ever meant to hurt her, and she should also read the comment section too, because that might make her feel a little better.  Anyway, over the last few months, she’s asked me to be honest and when I have, it seems like I’ve really hurt her without meaning to.  And by honest, I mean HONEST, not the kind of “honest” that’s like, “It’s not mean if it’s true.”  I work really hard not to do that and not to make snap comments off the cuff because I can be the utter queen of sarcasm and I know that sarcasm is not taken lightly. So, there’s this tentativeness I’ve got now around blogging at all.  We’ll go forward. I’ll get over/beyond it.  The weather has changed recently and my attitude is a lot better.  (Yes, Dr. Gignilat, I AM a “climatic determinist.”)  That was one of my college history teachers, by the way.

Right now, G is in New York for her sister’s birthday (today–Happy Birthday, Joanne!) and her niece’s wedding (tomorrow). We all needed this trip.  Last week, E had F’s in two (not one but TWO) of his classes and I let him play because I didn’t find out until 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the game (his one away game). He played really well, too.  Scored the only two touchdowns the team has had all season.  They still lost, but they scored. It’s a big deal.  So we had all the conversations with him, I called teachers, talked to one (message from the other), etc. etc.  Today, I was texting with one of the coaches and now he’s got F’s in THREE classes and tomorrow he’s benched.  He’s also going to learn that because of this fiasco, he has now “failed” Facebook and if he’s not careful, he will also “fail” any TV too.  It’s going to be a fun weekend, let me tell you.  Most of tomorrow will be taken up with the game (he has to appear, if not play) and then one of the coaches has a study session scheduled at the library in the afternoon. But Sunday, well, not going to be fun.  Too bad. So sad. He has options.  He can do what we ask, i.e., go to school, get decent grades, etc. or he can ask his mom to go back to Denver, or we can call Social Services and ask to have him put in foster care.  It is entirely up to him. His behavior still isn’t really bad, but there is a sense of entitlement and I know he thinks he can play me…and he can, up to a point. He doesn’t know yet that he’s “failed” the computer, but I just went and changed the passwords, and he doesn’t know mine b/c I have to have it protected for HIPAA compliance.  So, even if we weren’t here, he couldn’t get on.  The thing that is so aggravating is that he’s too damn smart for this. Just like his mom (tho I will NEVER say that out loud to him). He can do every bit of the work but he wants to do the least amount to get by.  I simply don’t get it. I was baffled by it from my daughter and I’m baffled by it from him.

But I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve. I have some activities planned if he gets bored.  Of course, there’s always house work. The bathroom really needs cleaning and the rug needs to be vacuumed.  And I’m looking for 8th grade appropriate poems and I have a dictionary to go along with that and a few questions, too.  Oh, and the trump card? Hey, I’m off four weekdays.  I can show up at his school any time I want and accompany him to class.  He wants to goof off?  He WILL suffer the consequences and nary a harsh word spoken.

So much for that.