Friday, August 24, 2007

What a week it's been!

Yes, I know I haven't posted. And to be honest, I'm sure that bothers me way more than it bothers the 2 other people who read this blog. I swear I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. But I kind of want to.

The last two weeks have been, well, a bit rough. I won't go through what happened last week except to say that I was very tired, what with having an actual job again. That first week is a killer. It's not like I was sleeping in over the summer or anything, unless you count 7 am as 'sleeping in'. But my gawd, it was those damn kids at work! I'd forgotten how exhausting chasing around a group of developmentally disabled can be. Ugh. I'm a bit more acclimated to it now, but I'm really glad that week is over, not that this week has been much better.

So, this week, Monday night to be exact, I drag Ash, Hunter, and Patrick to David's Bridal to have her dress for Jena's wedding altered. The seamstress - do people still use that word? - shortened the straps, pinned the booby cup things in, and began looking at the waistline of the dress with a funny look. Just for the sake of argument, we'll call it a skeptical look. Now, a skeptical look coming from a seamstress as she looks at an already-paid-for-all-sales-are-final-and-don't-you-even-think-about-asking-for-a-refund dress just scares me. I walk over to them just in time to hear her tell Ashy that 'we can't fix that'. Surely I misunderstood her. Totally channelling a very irate black woman from New York City at that moment, I tried to be calm as she tells me that because of the way the fabric is cut (on the bias, as if that means anything at all to me), if they try to correct the fact that seam isn't straight or flat, it will only make it worse. I guess she saw the look on my face because at that point, she hurried off to find her boss. Bosslady comes and after an equally skeptical look at the dress, she informs me that that is, in fact, the case. You could say that it was at that point that I was about this close to being livid. After calmly explaining that we'd been told by the idiot (No, I didn't really use that word. But I wanted to.) sales person that their alterations department could 'fix anything, anything at all', it was suggested to me that I might want to speak with the manager, who might be able to arrange a little somethin' somethin' to correct the situation. Long story short (okay, not really short, but at least shortER), we ended up being able to ORDER A DIFFERENT DRESS. I know they're going to try to stick it to me with a rush alteration fee, but I'd be surprised if they manage to succeed. At any rate, with a little luck, we should have a new dress by September 1st, which leaves just over 2 weeks to have it altered.

Short and sweet: Tuesday night, we had to go pick up Hunter's violin (not an instrument I'm excited about, or ever expected him to want to play), so, once again, I drug Ash and Patrick along, too. It was a huge cattle call thing, and it sucked, to say the least. My salesperson was not only incompetent, but an idiot as well, and not only could he not fill out the rental application, I doubt he could find his own butt without considerable help. Wednesday night I attended orientation at Arapahoe Community College, without, thankfully, children in tow. It once again made for a long day, but was at least interesting and without incident. Well, the lights went out because of a storm, but after the week I've had, that doesn't count.

Monday, August 13, 2007

School Begins

So today we started back to school. We being Hunter and I, he as a 5th grader and me as a 2nd year Severe Special Needs Paraprofessional. I was a little worried that he wasn't going to like his teacher because he'd been telling me all summer how a friend of his had gotten in trouble by her for running in the hall last year. That was no biggie to me because I spent half my time last year telling kids to QUIT RUNNING! in the halls. But Hunter doesn't think like an adult and after he nearly went ballistic on his teacher last year, I had understandable cause for concern. It turned out that he does like her and according to him, "she's strict, but in a good way." Now if we can just keep that sentiment beyond the first week of school...

Most of 'my' kids showed up today, except for one that's out of town for the next month and a new kindie that doesn't begin school until Wednesday. The kids were good, which was surprising, as our schedule for them was screwy being that it was just the first day. We tried to have them in class as much as possible today so they could get used to their new surroundings, and I think that was a good idea. One incident of note... I was told by Harry Potter (who last year wanted to marry me) that now he wants to marry Alice in Wonderland. I suppose it's for the best being that A) I'm already married, B) he's 29 years my junior (it may work in some circles, but not mine), and C) I don't think he can support me in the manner I wish to become accustomed to on just an SSI check every month. Oh well, he's still a cool kid.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Songs That Speak to Me

Redneck Woman by hell-yes-I'm-a-redneck-and-damn-proud-of-it-thank-you-very-much, Gretchen Wilson. This is me. I can't help it.

Sammy Kershaw's Queen of My Double Wide Trailer. While I've never lived in a double wide, the first place of my own that I had when I moved out of my parents home when I was 17, was a single wide trailer. I don't think double wides had gotten popular yet, if they were even around way back then.

Sweet Home Alabama by the one and only Lynyrd Skynyrd. And I happily admit to carrying my redneck roots around with me - Sweet Home Alabama is the ringtone on my phone.

Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann's Earth Band is one of those songs that I can listen to (with the volume ALL THE WAY UP, of course) over and over again and never get tired of. And yes, I know ALL the words, even to the extended version of the song. Watch me pat myself on the back as I ask you how many people you know that can say that.

Lone Star's first hit, Amazed. When we first began dating, this was the first song that Kenin ever said made him think of me.

Bitch by Meredith Brooks is the song that I think of when I think of my daughter, Ashlyn. She was only about 4 when it came out and she'd sing it loud and proud, but would leave out the title of it because it was a bad word. She still loves the song and still sings it without the title (at least when she's around me).

Uncle Kracker's Follow Me is one of the first songs my son, Hunter, really liked. He was about 3 years old and sang it to the best of his ability which, bless his little heart, wasn't very well. I think the next song he learned was Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Kid Rock's Cowboy reminds me of Patrick because it's the only song guaranteed to get a smile.

And one last one... Happy Birthday because, well, it's my birthday today.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My PageRank is...

The good folks at offer a page rank service by along with the following words:

Google's PageRank is a way of knowing how important a site is. Show off your PageRank to your blog readers.

Well, me being me, I put that little puppy right down on the page and and BAM! Just butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I discovered that I'm about the only person who ever reads my blog. Not a biggie, though. I'ma figgur this stuff owt an git better at it. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ah, to be 16 again!

Just a few differences between my daughter, Ashlyn, who turns 16 today, and myself, who was 16, some almost 22 years ago:

Ashlyn: Scared to death of driving and has no urge to even begin Drivers Ed or her state-mandated 50 hours of adult supervised driving; would much rather mooch rides from me, Kenin, her grandparents, friends, or her boyfriend. This girl will be right at home in the back of a limo should she ever be able to afford one.

Me: Although I was in the nut house on my 16th birthday, at the age of 14 (or was it 15?) I'd already 'borrowed' my parents car (and one belonging to a friend or two as well) and had driven with only my learners permit (and certainly no adult) all around the city of Augusta (GA) and the confines of Ft. Gordon. No, I never got caught by the cops, but feel the need to apologize to my brother, Tom, who got blamed for the time that I parked too close to the curb and ripped the air plug thing from the tire, resulting in the flattest tire ever seen in Kings Chapel Court.

Ashlyn: Has a FABALUSS relationship with her mother (AKA me), if I do say so myself. We talk about EVERYTHING, we bond (particularly over TV and food), and we hang out. She actually likes me, so I've decided to keep her. At least until she turns 18.

Me: Had a not-so-good relationship with my step-mom at the age of 16. Not-so-good is actually much better than my relationship with her prior to me being in the nut house. Don't get the idea that she was an evil stepmonster or anything, because she wasn't. I was just a butthead. The big turning point for me? When Ashlyn was born, my step-mom (now just known as MOM, 'cause she IS) accepted Ashy as her own grandchild. She's a great lady, and I love her bunches.

Ashlyn: Petite, skinny, and disgustingly shapely little stick of a child who eats, or grazes, all the time. I don't know who she got it from, 'cause I never looked like her when I was growing up, or even anytime after that. Ashy actually TRIES to gain weight if she goes below 105. How cool is that? Anorexia is NOT in her future. Her typical order from McDonalds (her favorite food place and where she works. Convenient, no?) is a Southwest Chicken Salad with extra dressing if you please, a Hot n' Spicy Chicken sandwich (or sammich, as we Southerners like to say) with extra lettuce and extra mayo, and a large strawberry shake. She complains her boobs are too small, but I keep telling her that at least they won't sag to her belly button when she gets older.

Me: An average sized child until about the age of 10 or so, I began to pack on the pounds after my mother died. I was a plump teenager (having the munchies during my druggie years prior to the nut house years didn't help much, either) and managed to become a plump adult. With the exception of a year before I got pregnant with Ashlyn and the year before I got pregnant with Hunter, I've always had a little extra skin hanging around. Since I can no longer have kids, I can't imagine I'll ever be slender again. Not that I'm complaining (much). I have to admit, Ashy definitely got her enjoyment of food from me.

Ashlyn: Works at McDonalds and actually LIKES it, and not just for the almost free food that she gets. She looked for a job for several months before she could find someone who would hire her, since she was only 15 at the time, and was thrilled to finally get hired. She worked her first Mickey D's birthday party last weekend, and her manager said that she wants her to do all the parties from now on. She's also training people, so she must be doing okay. I'm glad she likes it, but will most definitely have a fit if she were to become a manager. She also VOLUNTEERED to work this summer with me during the last week of ESY (Extended School Year, or summer school) with special needs kids. How many 15 year olds do you know that have been hired by the 2nd largest school district in Colorado to work with special needs kids? Do you not see how wonderful my daughter is?

Me: Although I was in the nut house at 16 (are you seeing the trend?), my first job was at the age of 15 and was at one of the Augusta-based chain of KFC-type restraunts called Wife Saver. They had good food, especially their shrimp, which you might not expect at a chicken place. But, alas, the shrimp and paychecks were not enough to keep me employed there for more than a couple of months. The lure of hanging out at the bowling alley (Of course, I didn't actually bowl. That would have been un-cool.) and smoking on the steps of the skating rink with my so-called friends was too much. I was too lazy to want to work, and would have most certainly killed any children that came in for a birthday party had they offered that as an option.

So, as you can see, Ashlyn is an incredible young lady. She is the light of my life and I'm so proud that she is so much like me, but so much not like me, too. I love her more than anything, and hope that all parents are lucky enough to enjoy their own children as much as I enjoy mine. Ashlyn, you rock.