Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

Checking in from my mostly computerless existence...hope you are all doing well and are virus-free. All is going along nicely in our little corner of nowhere, HM is pleased with the current Princess situation, so there hasn't been much to post about.

I was rather stunned to find this nice little article about today's Feast Day on the mainstream AOL feed. How in the world did that make it past the editors?!? ;)

I am very likely NOT going to make it to Mass today, as I am drowning in snot and Dayquil here with the equally slimy Little Boy, so please pray for me - I'll be watching Mass on EWTN, as is my usual fall-back position. Frankly, I've been doing that a lot in recent weeks. Otherwise, I am eagerly awaiting the big snowstorm we're supposed to get...aside from the daily kid taxi service, I've got nowhere to go, and nothing else going on, and plenty of groceries and firewood. So bring it on!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to the USMC

Busy day here...masons, car work, speech therapist, dance, and chaperoning for the teenagers...so here's a retro Happy 234th Birthday shout out to the USMC from when I had time to assemble long posts last year, and a big THANK YOU to all our Veterans....please please please take a moment to pray for those who have fallen while serving our country, all those who have served honorably in our past, those serving presently, and for the brave souls who will be our Marines, soldiers, seamen, and airmen of the future.

Thank you all for your service!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Devil Dogs...

...have their tender spots, especially for our four legged friends! I love this story!!!

Ooh Rah!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HMD #39 - Dusting off the Rotors

Yes! HeloMom lives...

Well, even as the continuing scarcity of time to post persists, the amount of activity here at the hangar has picked up again.


  1. Athlete continues to carry a torch from afar, but has bungled matters beyond repair. More on that in a minute.

  2. Westley, the Beautiful Stranger, has made his long-term intentions known. He leaves December 1st for boot camp. He acknowledges that he is 18, and the Princess is not yet 16, which makes matters difficult. She is otherwise engaged at the moment (I toldja, more on that in a minute!) But he vows that he will foray into his new career, excel, and return for her when she's ready. (Talk about Semper Fi!) She is "beautiful, smart, driven, and will make some very lucky man a fine wife." Hopefully his, apparently. This may sound far out there, but there's a look in the boy's eye....a stoic, solid and determined one....he's a neighbor of the Royal Grandparents....so there's no doubt that he's coming back. He's a lifer.

  3. The Beautiful Bad Boy is, indeed, bad. He took a lot of heat from the "cool" kids for having a crush on the Princess, who is too much of a good girl for his taste. He still stares at her all the time, but won't speak to her lest his friends tease him, and so as stupid teenage boys do to throw others off the scent, he has behaved boorishly to her at a few school dances (she does not do the sex-with-clothes-on "grinding" that is prevalent nowadays) by sandwiching her with his football friends and "grinding" her between their respective pelvises. (In the real world, it would be a misdemeanor form of sexual battery, quite frankly, and the school has heard my thoughts on this specific incident as well as the general permissiveness regarding this form of "dance" that is unattractive anywhere...but unpardonable in a quasi-Catholic high school setting...) She is disgusted and says no matter how gorgeous, smart, athletic, and popular he is..."he's a pig, and I don't want him to ever [expletive] touch me again." The expletive part is pretty serious business coming from her.

And now.....

Enter The Beautiful Music[ian].

As some of you may have seen on my accursed Facebook page, there's a new boy in town. A boy whose family transfered to Boston last year, so he and the Princess did not meet until he persuaded his parents to allow him to come back here to the middle of nowhere so he might finish off high school with the friends he's known since preschool. His very nice mom agreed to leave the family manse in Boston, rented a small place here, and they commute back to see dad (an ER doc, so he doesn't get to travel here as much) at least once a month.

From about mid-September on, I kept hearing about this cute and nice boy who came back for his senior year. He was touted as smart, cute (again with the cute...), Catholic (whew! finally...), quite popular among his fellow seniors, and very musically talented - in addition to performing in various state competitions, he composed several percussion ensembles and won awards and one earned a professional performance in NYC when he was in 10th grade here, and another was performed in Boston last year. She mentioned her admiration to a mutual friend (under pain of death, not-to-be-repeated...) so of course by the next day (a Friday), he contacted her out of the blue and asked her if she was going to the big soccer game that evening.

"Of course!"

The kid has never been to a high school soccer game in her life.

Especially when said soccer game was on a Friday/away-football-game night.

But she managed to wheedle her way (via me and my trusty Volvo wagon) into going to the soccer game, where she sat with him for exactly 38 minutes before we had to speed off to a miserable rainy football game over an hour away. (We made it in 50 minutes. Just sayin'). He left for Boston the next day, so a marathon textathon ensued for the entire Columbus Day weekend.

By Tuesday morning, he was (figuratively) on bended knee, asking her to be his main squeeze AND to go with him to the winter formal...which isn't until sometime after Christmas. He's asked us all to come to Boston and stay in the family compound at some point during Christmas vacation. Youthful exuberance and pupy love? Not this kid. He's smart, grounded, and very serious...but with just the right amount of humility to be endearing. Seems he spotted our Princess within the first week of school and was weak-kneed, but never thought she'd be interested in the drummer kid who just showed back up from Boston. He confided about his enchantment immediately after first seeing her to exactly one person - the mutual friend - also under threat of bodily harm. When the friend blabbed to him that she was equally intrigued, he was thunderstruck. Then they talked for hours and hours, and he now says he was tempted to hop on a bus if he had to in order to get back here to see her in person and ask her out lest someone else suddenly swoop in and steal her (now he knows better - she's selective and not easily swayed).

They've been virtually inseperable ever since. He comes over and helps her with her trig homework. They take the baby for long walks along the river. When faced with a choice of a kegger-bonfire with his pals or trick-or-treating with his girlfriend's younger siblings, he came here - and stayed to watch the World Series. He turned off his cell phone when all the "where are you - why aren't you here - we're all gettin' wasted" texts got to be too annoying. He likes to bring mom (a real estate broker turned stay-at-home commuter mom) when he comes over, so the work-widow moms can have tea and grown up chat while the kids do homework together at the dining room table. What more could a HeloMom want in a new boyfriend for her Princess?

How about less than a two-year gap.

Now for the painful part....he's just submitted all of his paperwork for an early decision at NYU's music school, and his prospects are excellent. So whatever may develop over the next several months, there is a finite aspect to this story - he will leave after graduation, and he will very likely not return. HeloMom has discussed this with the Princess. She does not like to think about it. Not now.

HeloMom hopes that these two nice kids have a wonderful time together for as long as may be. They've got a lot in common, they're very sweet together, there's no drama...just lots of mutual respect and admiration, and plenty of romance brewing. HeloMom just wondering how everyone will deal with the inevitable end of their story.

Until next time...

HM out.

Lest we forget

They still hate us.

Just sayin'.

Hard to "dialogue" when someone's been charged with reaping your infidel's head, or a least knifing you or beating you until you're bedridden and (better yet) "lose one of your senses."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Note to the Little Boy

Dear Little Boy,

I know that you are very excited about the new, huge 2-year molars that you have coming in at the moment. They open up entirley new vistas and avenues of culinary possibilities.

But could you please stop reaching back to feel them as they poke through? Because in all honesty, I'm kinda tired of cleaning up vomit.

Thanks for your consideration.

I love you,


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

Our little Therese is 12 today. She spent her birthday weekend babysitting so I could watch the Princess cheer at her last football home game, going to vounteer at a food pantry, attending another friend's party, (insisting that she did not want to have a party of her own, and would rather have dinner out at her favorite diner and be with "just the family" with a simple home-made cake) and is spending this birthday night attending her first training session for Youth Court.

She is a blessing each and every day.

Friday, October 9, 2009



Between this and Al Gore, my theory that a peace prize given in the name of the inventor of dynamite is no longer ironic...it's friggin' ridiculous.

Bono deserved it more than either of these two clowns.

Trying to "open up dialogue with the Muslim world?" Has that been helpful? That's up there with the dress Michelle Obama wore to the CMOH ceremony for Sgt. Jared Monti a few weeks back in the ridiculous, inappropriate, and farce categories.

Wow. Just.....wow.

One to tug at the heartstrings...

The photo is both priceless and heartbreaking....

Little Girl Can't Let go as Sergeant Daddy Leaves For Iraq - ParentDish

Thursday, October 8, 2009


LOLOLOL!!!!! One of Vincenzo's finest!!!!!



I don't know about you, but around here in the middle of nowhere, NY we had a cool, rainy, cruddy summer and the fall isn't much better. Yesterday we had a wind advisory, and just as we were about to hit our leaf peak....lost a lot of leaves. And a few branches, one of which (from a massive 100-foot pine or spruce in our yard) narrowly missed a neighbor's car. Whew!

Inside the domestic church, aside from learning that I need a $2000 masonry repair in order to renew and increase my homeowners' insurance coverage, I have just discovered a leak inside a wall that has destroyed a number of boxes of holiday and other miscellaneous decorations by heading into the dreaded "room under the stairs" in our basement. GGGAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Years of craft fair prowling, kid-made treasures, and a few bags of clothes I never managed to drop off at the Salvation Army...mold spore city. That should be a fun weekend cleaning project, as should tearing into the wall somewhere between our recently redecorated and wallpapered powder room, freshly painted kitchen, and (newly dank and moldy) unfinished basement ceiling, pipes, and stone walls to see where the leak is. First, though, I have to get through tomorrow night's football game an hour and a half away in what's projected to be yet another loss in a cold, windy, downpour.

So yeah - it's been busy around here as usual. Just not our usual fun-busy.

I think it's time to start baking to warm things up, cover up the encroaching basement moldy smell, and start working on my winter layer of personal fat insulation! ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feast of St. Francis

Well, it's a bit late in the evening, but I was reflecting with the girlies earlier about how it's been five years since we were climbing the hills and trudging the beautiful cobbled streets of Assissi, watching all the processions and even sneaking into the Basilica at the tail-end of Mass...getting lost but then gloriously found when we finally reached St. Clare's abbey...what an experience! Sadly, all of my pictures are still locked up in the scrambled brain of my dead laptop, waiting to be extracted, or I'd share a few.

Fast forward to 2009. I watched Mass and Benediction today on EWTN, and was glad to see that Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltenmeier (sp?) received "Pro Ecclesia" medals from the Pope for their advancement of the Faith through the network. Say what you will about the individual personalities involved, the Fr. Francis debacle from a few years back...but I am a fan and a supporter. Not only have I learned a lot over the years, but I find a lot of comfort in knowing that I can watch Mass, have the Rosary on in the background as my "white noise" when I'm doing housework, and heck yeah - I'll take a "Mother Angelica Live" morning rerun over "The View" any day. So thanks to Mother Angelica and her Poor Clares, the good Franciscan priests and laypeople who serve there, and to Sts. Francis and Clare for their inspiration.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well now, this is an interesting question...

Should Ted Kennedy have been denied funerial rites?

Hmmm....I see it from both sides, inasmuch as Mr. Kennedy took a very prominent, anti-Catholic position on pivotal issues such as abortion, sterilization based population control and healthcare, and same-sex "marriage." However, because we who are reading (and writing) about this simply cannot know the extent or nature of his private reflections (sorrow? repentance? or just doin' a little cya letter writing campaign to Rome?) as he journeyed toward his death, at the time he received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and/or at the hour of is death, it's hard for me to accept absolutely that he shouldn't have been afforded a Catholic funeral, because all we have is public information. I guess we should hope and pray that he truly repented and had a conversion of heart, mind, and soul as his days drew to a close. Hate the sin(s), love the sinner, right?

Bottom line: I hope Ted Kennedy found his way Home. And I love that we have someone like Archbishop Burke willing to go on the record and say aloud what his former USCCB cohorts are either too cowardly to say...or just flat-out don't believe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

HMD #38 - I'm ba-a-a-a-ack.....

Remember me? Yes, the HeloMom is still without her laptop (a hard business for a late-night, before-bed authoress..my library downstairs is a fishbowl and so darn cold at night!) but a new school year is upon us and there is much to discuss. So I'm sitting downstairs at the desktop because I love...and because I decided to go to cheater Mass at 5 and have some free time on my hands. :)


You'll recall, dear friends, the Beautiful Liar-Beautiful Stranger dilemma. I'll get to that. But first....

Enter the Beautiful Bad Boy.

Our favorite Athlete has gone off to college, a mere 45 minutes away. He still pines. He still loves. When he can think of a good reason, he texts and/or calls. And there are some great reasons - he's made the school's Ultimate Frisbee club (very competitive, apparently), as well as auditioning for slots as the student radio station's sports announcer - got it - and television sports anchor - got the secondary spot. Not bad for a freshman in his first month of school. We are very proud of him, and the Princess is genuinely thrilled at all of these accomplishments. Her tall friend is hitting his stride, has girls throwing themselves at his feet....but his heart is still back here in the middle of nowhere, NY.

Westley is still quietly pitching woo - but the Princess is not catching on. When the Beloved came for a back-to-school visit, he asked for - and received - permission to court the Princess. The catch: the Princess has to say yes. She has skirted the issue, and with good reason. Westley also discussed his plans to enlist in the USMC with the Beloved (who, as some of you may recall, is retired USMC and spent three dreadful years as a recruiter). This has caused the Princess to be quite reluctant to pursue any sort of relationship with Westley, beyond very basic friendship. He is 18, he's darling, he's a good boy from a very conservative Christian family....but.....it's just not clicking. Nevertheless, Westley has stated that he is content to wait and see if she changes her mind. He appeared unexpectedly with flowers and a card because she had a bad back-to-school cold last week after cheering at a chilly football game during a nasty, steady downpour. He came to Friday's home game to sit with me and some other family members, and escorted her safely back to the car. The young man is smitten, and he seems very patient and determined. The Princess' exact words: "he'd be a lot cuter if he wasn't leaving town..."

And now, there's the third player in the saga...the Bad Boy. He is actually not a truly "bad" kid, just very snarky and cocky...and a seriously talented standout football player in his junior year. Another tall, lanky kid who does double duty as a running back and a linebacker. Honor student, has a fraternal twin (who's definitely the "good" twin"), is very popular...but his sarcastic, cutting sense of humor is a bit much for even some of his best friends to handle. Princess has known him since junior high, they were on the same Youth Court team until this year...he was quite put out when she was reassigned and promoted to a judge position last month (ha! hooray!) while he remains a prosecutor, despite having an extra year of experience on the team. He's never given her much thought or a second look. Until now. He looks at her all the time, but (for once) says nothing.

And she's been looking back. Her fellow cheerleaders have noticed - most recently, when she was practicing her new "flying" job this past week and nearly fell/was dropped when the football coach screamed at the Bad Boy by name to get his @$$ back over to the team and away from the girls. She was startled, he was mortified. The next day, the boys finished practice early, but the girls were still at it. She and her base group stayed late to ensure she had the dismounts under control. She was struggling, but then the other girls saw Bad Boy and his cronies watching from the parking lot, told her he was there, turned and faced her towards the parking lot....and suddenly she was making superstar leaps, twists, and graceful landings. Her coach gave her a raised-eyebrow smirk and said she was possibly the biggest cheeseball she'd ever seen. All were laughing.

So what's the hold-up with this kid?!?

As with your typical cocky ultra-popular high school kid who has a crush on a younger, less-popular, but cute-as-heck girl....he's not sure what to do. She's smart. She's pretty. She's a cheerleader. She's a judge as a 10th - not 12th - grader. She sits on all sorts of school and county-wide youth committees where selection is based on merit, not popularity. BUT..... He's friends with a few older brothers of the Princess' tormentors, and has heard all sorts of strange rumors (fabricated and generated by the nasty girls). However, he has also spent enough time in her general vicinity outside of school to question what's been said about her. Yet at the same time...is it worth risking your reputation to give this girl a chance? It's a very "Pretty in Pink" - like scenario. (Except for the blue collar vs. upper-middle class theme... they're on fairly equal footing there.)

After this past weekend's first victory (in which Bad Boy played a major role), the varsity football players and cheerleaders had a bonfire party (dry, for once...). Princess sat on a rock near the fire talking with a few of her teammates. Bad Boy stood directly across the fire pit from her, staring intently...but looked away quickly every time she caught his eye. And then he left without saying a word.

The Princess is petulant, and intends to get to the bottom of this strange behavior. As she put it, "Who the heck does he think he is? Mr. Darcy?"

One can only hope...

HeloMom is not yet equipped to deal equably with a Wickham.

Will report in with any new developments.

HM out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In Memoriam

Another act of selflessness and sacrifice by one of our brave soldiers, whose heartbroken dad will receive his posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor. Read through the article (link below) to you get to the part about his dining room table. That's what true goodness and everyday heroism is about.

Thank you Sgt. Monti.

Requiescat in Pace.

Back from the brink...

Anyone still out there? :(

Still laptopless, so not a lot of time or availability to post until today, because the new desktop is here - at last! So I have been confined to the Blackberry for the most part since d-day. I have resolved to wait until the new WIndows program comes out to get a new laptop, so will be borrowing one for the time being.

Just sayin' - I will catch up with you all over the next week or so!


Friday, September 4, 2009


Spent the past few days laptopless...so, my savvy compatrots, should I replace motherboard or just say eff-it and start anew?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh...say it ain't so, Bishop Martino!

I am inexpressibly sad to learn that Bishop Martino of Scranton has resigned. This article is infuriating - Teddy Kennedy was a more prominent Catholic figure than our Bishops, true, but somehow the author seems to imply or equate prominence with moral authority. And while the author hints at a divide with the Vatican and Bp. Martino, where's the explanation?

I'm just sick at heart.

I need a physical and spiritual Tums. Gotta ponder and pray. What's next? Who's next?

Comment away, friends - because I don't get this at all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh yeah, about Teddy

As with the Michael Jackson saga, I've kept the tv off throughout the Ted Kennedy coverage. I have always had very strong (and negative) feelings about how he has conducted his personal and political life, and yet...there's something about that flawed family that has always made me feel sorry for them. So here's an article containing the text of his letter to the Pope and the response he received.

For his soul's sake, I hope his sentiments were genuine and that he experienced a true conversion of conscience during his last days, and that he will rest in peace. Those of us left behind will have to deal with the painful legacy he's passed on to our country and to the public face of the Church.

Another week gone by...

...but fear not, we are still here!

Some technical difficulties around here with a new computer and an additional laptop trying to become part of the family wireless network. New desktop computer: replaces the one we've had since before moving to this middle of nowhere place in December of 2003. Additional laptop:

The Beloved is home!

For 13 days, but hey - a man's gotta have his technology. Which knocked mine off and out for the past 5 days. But we're all back in working order now. At least I think we are. Right before coming home, the Beloved wrenched his already bad back while doing something he won't explain overseas. (More from fear of mockery than for security purposes, I'm guessing). We are four days into our visit, the jetlag is about conquered, but the back pain...not so much. He's on the couch with a heating pad, tramadol, and a grimace on his face if he's not wrangling and/or wrassling with The Boy.

The Princess sailed through her "procedure" last Monday, during which we discovered that she has a lovely, healthy looking set of intestines. The biopsies of the three areas (small intestine, ileum, and colon) will be back next week, but for now, the diagnosis is back in question. So if it isn't Crohn's, colitis, ibs, or celiac issues....what is it?!? Good to know it's better than what we thought, but bad to be guessing one unnecessary appendectomy and a rather humilitating (from a 15 year old's point of view) colonoscopy later. Cheerleading has started so we have decided to do our best Scarlett O'Hara imitation and "think about it tomorrow."

Therese is now an orange belt and steeling her nerves for junior high. And at the school she's going to...that's no small feat. So far, she's learned that two girls (incoming 7th graders) are pregnant. Nice, eh? As she put it, in that straight-faced, matter-of-fact totally Aspie way of hers...."I guess someone forgot to tell them that sex before marriage is a sin." Then she cocked an eyebrow and smirked when we explained to her why we were cracking up. So I'm not entirely sure that was an innocent statement. She has potential, that one...for all good things, but with a teeny-tiny edge of snarkishness. That's to be expected when one grows up at the Casa de Brookside, I s'pose.

On this cool but sunny Sunday afternoon, I am watching the first of the leaves fall from one of our trees out front (I must confess that have no clue what kind of tree it is, but it has tiny little symmetrical leaves that make it look sort of fern-like) and I'm thinking about Fall starting, which, on one hand, is great because I love the weather, the football games, the colors, the smells, the apples and spices that will be cooking in my kitchen in another month or so...but since we didn't get our first truly warm, sunny, and summery-sweltery days until the beginning of August, I feel like we got RIPPED OFF this year!

Hope you've all had a good summer - and yes, Karen, I have more Tales from the Brookside for you. Just a matter of having a few moments to myself to commit them to computer!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You bought it....

and you broke it.

The faith of the American people, that is.

According to reports this morning, The One is experiencing a dip in the polls. I wonder if the "I inherited this mess" blame game/press conference will make the evening news...


Don't look now...but I have NOTHING on my calendar tomorrow after 12 pm, Saturday is clear, and there's no cheerleading practice on Sunday.

Please, dear Lord...let us be activity and disaster-free for those 60 precious hours...

I hit the $5 movie rack at Target again...this is becoming a sickness...but I got "Rebecca" with my secret childhood romantic idol...Sir Laurence Olivier.

Can't wait!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coolest or Most Pathetic Mom...I Don't Care!

Well, as some of you now know, the Princess was finally diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Suckfest.

We have had such a busy summer with the tutoring, the speech therapy for The Boy, karate, ballroom, and the big math exam...no time for vacation (except Therese, who got to sneak away to visit cousins and then a week trip to Quebec with grandma), and now we get this wretched news after all her hard work. We've been mad, we've been weepy, and now it's time for some rebellion. So I decided to indulge my inner teenager.

I am taking the Princess to her first-ever rock concert.

U2 and Snow Patrol.

There. I said it. We will dance and scream and sing like fools, just without the ganja or other assorted illicit "meds" that will be floating around. We will buy the t-shirts. We will be in BOSTON!

I am telling the school it's a college visit. :)

Laugh if you dare....we won't be able to hear you for a few days afterwards. We are in the 4th row just off to the side of the stage.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time for a Tea Party

I have been a quietly political creature just about all my life. When I was in 5th grade, I asked for subscriptions to Newsweek and Psychology Today for Christmas - my mother thought I was nuts for asking, so the latter was probably particularly apt. Like my religious beliefs and convictions (although those didn't solidify until much later) I have always made it a point to be well versed in both my own opinions as well as those to the contrary before jumping into the fray. I also make sure my opponents are worthy, intelligent, not drunk, etc., before diving in.

So at a family lake party over the weekend, I listened while the family elders (60's liberals turned Reagan Republicans) went at it with their children - Obamaniacs all.

I said nothing.

I was so stunned at the one-sidedness and utopian myopia of the arguments made by the 20-30 year old set - and these young people are all college grads and beyond - med school, law school, and PhD's are in progress with all but ONE, who graduated from an outlying SUNY campus last year and is pondering law school. These minds were all formed while away working on their undergrad degrees during the post 9/11 years, being indoctrinated by the worst kind of leftist anti-war liberal collective that rules institutions of hgher education these days. While all of their fathers were in military service - and not all voluntarily - not one of the kids present has given any time or service to their country. They haven't had to - whether for college money, personal development, because of a draft, or any sense of commitment to their country. They have not had friends die - yet - for their country or because of those who would attack this country.

It got quite ugly and nasty between one very beloved Uncle and his son, at which point I instructed the Princess to go stand in the middle of the group and ask them if her butt looked big in her bathing suit. (She didn't of course, but all us ladies sitting across the dock sipping our wine and rolling our eyes cracked up....).

After the party and on the way home, we talked about all we'd heard, and who'd said what to whom, and the Princess said it was hard for her to listen to them. She remembers those scary days after 9/11 when her Daddy was on alert and on recall to the base at Miramar (i.e., all scheduled leaves cancelled, no leave allowed, had to be within 45 minutes of the base at all times for deployment readiness, etc.), the day we thought he was leaving that Fall, Christmas Eve when he was told to be at the base at dawn the next day, left, and then came home because the USAF refused to fly on Christmas...

"How can they be so blind? They aren't stupid people!"

That got me thinking, too. I have mentioned a few times here on the blog that I haven't had the tv on to watch the late-night news as usual. Honestly, since the election, I have not watched much regular television or the news at all - and especially since the Beloved left, I'd say I've watched the crappy local tv news once (and only because I was interviewed about a local political issue while watering my flowers...). I read a little bit here and there when I go online, and as you may have noticed - haven't been doing that much at all, either. I can't bear it. I don't want to see what the jackals are doing to our country, to our economy, and to our country's future. I see Sotomayor being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice and I cringe imagining what she will do to the future of American jurisprudence.

In the middle of all that pondering, someone forwarded me this:


This reminds me where we've been, and cautions me about where we could be headed if things don't change. We cannot let them win. And if people like moi (et toi) stick their heads in the sand for too long, they just might.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Prayer Request for the Princess and the Patron Saint for the Plane/Solid Scared Student

Ahhh....it has been a hectic few weeks around here, as the Princess prepares to take her state exam in Geometry, and is still battling the strange intestinal scourge that caused her healthy appendix to be removed in February. Still no concrete diagnosis - spent several hours with a pained Princess at the ER last night. She's fine, full of anti-inflammatories, and studying like crazy.


St. Hubert is the patron saint of mathematicians. Had to dig deep for that one. An interesting man from the Aquitaine region of France, later Bishop of Liege in Belgium. He was a rich young nobleman who enjoyed hunting, and reportedly had a vision of the a crucifix (some accounts say the Eucharist) framed by a stag's horns, along with a warning to change his ways, which effectuated his conversion to a holy life. Consequently, he is the patron saint of hunters as well, (in Europe, bloodhounds are called "St Hubert's Hounds")....and he is invoked to cure rabies! Given our brave little Princess' skill as a bat huntress earlier this summer, St. Hubert is definitely the friend she's needed in her corner of late. I love our Faith and all these fascinating people who've been inspired to live lives of greatness of spirit and humility of heart because of it!

So please remember our Princess to him in your prayers - she has worked with a tutor to skip ahead a year in math, and to be plagued by sudden sharp abdominal pains for no apparent reason while getting ready to take the test is not fun. She's battling through it and will be fine - she has a 97 average for the course, and is just hoping for a 90 or better on the exam so that she eventually receives the "Advanced Regents With Honors" high school diploma. (NY is more freaky than CA in so many ways...never thought I'd say that....)

St. Hubert update! --> Ummm...so I was at my friends' martini bar the other day and I noticed that his symbol is on the Jagermeister label (I hate that stuff, but it was on the bar looking at me as I sipped away at my cosmo)

In other news...

Summer is winding down, football and cheerleading practices are heating up...HeloMom is going to rest for these next few weeks before the rusty cogs of the romance machine grind and spring back to life. Regular posts will resume, however. This has been the busiest summer I've had with the kids - ever!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HMD #37 - Court-Date

Well some professional obligations are keeping HM quite busy of late, but here's the overdue update on the Westley-Buttercup ice-cream social:

1. Nice, well mannered young man. HM likes him.

2. His first "date" ever. He just turned 18.

3. His parents allowed him to go, but he pointedly neglected to tell his older siblings he went out to meet over ice cream with a...gulp...Catholic girl. One who is a cheerleader and wears the short-skirted uniform at that.

4. He is pondering the USMC but is concerned it will interfere with his Christian values and obligations.

5. No dancing allowed by his pastor or his parents.

6. He is not a fan of some of the #5-like rules and regs of his very fundamentalist Baptist upbringing.

7. He asked if she had any objections to dating a Protestant, she said not as long as said Protestant has any objections to dating a Catholic.

8. They plan to have another meeting when he returns from family vacation next week.

We shall see - HM thinks these are two very good kids who, while virtuous and religious in their own respective faiths, are too different for any sort of relationship to be successful beyond being friends. Maybe boot-camp penpals.

HM has been wrong about such matters before. The Athlete leaves for college in 3 weeks and intends to persist from afar.


Friday, July 31, 2009

HMD #36.5

Beautiful Stranger takes the lead:

Westley and Buttercup are scheduled to meet - ice cream social is tomorrow....tensions are high....cute little sundresses are littering the hallways and bathrooms....hair options are being considered.....

HM will update you accordingly, after dodging the "does this make my butt look big?" and "I think I'm getting arm fat!" bullets several dozen more times between now and then.

HM out...I hear practice primping coming from the third floor....must feign sleep.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I haven't been doing...

I just realized that I have not watched the evening news (or anything, actually) since the Beloved was here back in June for Princess' prom. I turned my bedroom tv on to check the weather for tomorrow (a day without rain?!?) and realized it was tuned to ESPN.

I NEVER watch ESPN unless he's here.


My ONE single day (including Sundays) without 2-4 different kid-related practices, speech therapy, or other things to do was this past Saturday. It poured. We watched Pride & Prejudice (1995...Colin Firth, baby!) all night and I made fabulous blender drinks. The great thing about this new blender is that it has dual blades, so I can make a cold adult beverage on one side and a cold child's beverage on the other. Frozen lemonade with fresh strawberries....and a nice ZING of Grey Goose for the Mamma.


But it would've been great to enjoy it while snuggled up with my Beloved watching ESPN. Or, better yet, watching P&P...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

HMD #36: Question of the week

If you are a Princess, do you choose to remain with a Beautiful Liar (Beyonce, Beyonce...Shakira, Shakira)...or do you take a chance on a Beautiful Stranger (Madonna, Madonna)???

The Beautiful Liar

More drama with the belaguered Princess/Athlete duo...another spat erupted over the original lying episode. The Princess, whether sadly or luckily, has inherited her mother's cross-examination skills and is now tending to pick apart even the most mundane statements the Athlete makes and stories he tells, because she has a hard time believing him. It is good that she spots these things, but it's not exactly her most endearing trait. She's caught him in some pretty glaring inconsistencies more than a few times. All I can say is that it's a painful process to watch them both go through.

He's not helping matters - the more defensive he gets, the more likely it is that he's not being completely candid or accurate. He admits it eventually, but not before making her feel guilty for not believing him ("I can't believe you think so little of me...") - even when he knows he's not telling the whole truth. She nailed him for being emotionally manipulative as well as dishonest, and rightly so. And so here we are...five days, several dozen roses, countless texts, and scores of profuse apologies later. She remains sequestered in her garret on the 3rd floor, while he stands on his family's hillside across the river, gazing over at our 'hood and missing her.

To his credit, he's recognized that much of this petty dishonesty stems from hiding information from very strict and unyielding parents, and he's making strides by being more open with them, even when it means he isn't allowed to go places he might have otherwise gone under cover of going to a movie with friends, etc. It's a tough behavior to change. He swears he's trying. I hope he's being honest about that, at any rate. However, for now, and perhaps for good, they are on boyfriend-girlfriend hiatus again.

The Beautiful Stranger

In other news, the Royal Grandparents have acquired the teen-yard-slave services of a fine-looking, well-raised, and respectable young man...let's call him Westley....who spotted our Princess (Buttercup?) flitting about barefoot in the garden in one of her cute little sundresses, blonde tresses blown about by the breeze, laughing and chasing her little brother through the beanstalks. (This was a few weeks ago, during the first break-up period.) I was sitting on the porch swing and watched him stop dead in his tracks, crane his head forward...I SAW the poor boy's jaw drop open, but then he recollected himself, turned away (and saw me smirking as he did so), grabbed the rake he'd come out back to get, and practically ran back around to the front of the house to keep working with King Grandpa. We ate dinner, but young Westley remained outside because he hadn't finished his work and didn't want to intrude, despite numerous invitations to join us. When we were done, he came in to check with King Grandpa about the next day's agenda, but fell silent when the Princess came into the kitchen with a stack of plates. She (unaware of his interest in her) smiled, said hello, and offered to prepare him a plate now that he'd finished working. He smiled back and very politely declined, because his mother was holding dinner for him at home...but then clever Queen Grandma mentioned that Princess had prepared one of the side dishes. He promised to try what she'd made when he came back the next day. :)

Apparently he's smitten. He made some discreet inquiries the next day and asked Queen Grandma a number of questions about the Princess, her intereests, her grades, the state of her soul, etc., and then asked King Grandpa for his permission to speak to me about possibly COURTING the Princess, as the Beloved is not here for him to ask properly. Yep. He gets it. He's a hybrid-homeschooler. Another half-Catholic, half [fundamental Baptist of some sort] boy with a very conservative upbringing. Just got done with his high school work a year early and is pondering college vs. enlisting in the USMC when he turns 18. (Former Marine King Grandpa is skipping about with joy and whistling the Marine Corps hymn...Queen Grandma is dropping all sorts of little hints via email and phone call about how gorgeous these two blondes would be as a couple...) He is a very handsome boy, the Royal Grandparents have raved about him and what a good kid and hard worker he is, and the Princess admits he's....interesting. Young Westley confirmed to Queen Grandma that he approves of Princess Buttercup's culinary abilities as well as her overall appearance, demeanor, and toddler-wrangling skills. Queen Grandma heard about the latest "off-again" incident and gave him our home number yesterday. He indicated that he would be making use of it in the very near future.

So the question remains. Should she stand by her Beautiful Liar and hope he does some growing up and character building, or invite the Beautiful Stranger over for a chaperoned dinner or perhaps an ice cream cone outing with the family?

Hard to know....all HeloMom does know is that she needs some Jimmy Buffett-esque boat drinks....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Waaaay overdue!!!

Speluncae Gratias...an award/meme from our favorite club-wielding Cavey:

Now here's the deal - you must divulge 10 truths about yourself, and then pass the award along to 7 others. I tag you ALL if you're reading this and especially if you're on the blogroll. I've been so swamped I've not had a chance to catch up with all of you in weeks!!! Which leads me to....
1. I am, always have been, and always will be a horrible procrastinator. Why? I don't know. I hate it. But I think much of it has to do with having always been a "gifted" kid who didn't have to try or study much in school. Had I done so, I'd have taken over the world by now. Law school made me "average" - but I had one baby going in and was pregnant with the next one on the way out, had a 110 mile r/t commute from Irvine to LA each day, and I learned to accept it. And I was in the minority of people in my class who passed the Bar the first time out - 1997 was a brutal passage rate year. The other major thing is that I do my best written work under pressure. So it always works out. But I hate it all the same. The stress isn't worth it. Yet I still do it.
2. I don't make friends with other women easily. Now, don't get me wrong. I am a very social person, not one of those loner types who sits off in a corner feeling either above or beneath her company. It's just that a) I don't like all the typical female drama/gossip/cattiness, and tend to avoid those who engage in it; b) I don't like women who have an "agenda" and think it would be cool to be my friend because of what I do, how much money they think I have (snort!), and/or who I know; and c) referring back to points a) and b), I seem to piss other women off because of their own insecurities and jealousy. And I don't get that - really. On the surface, I'm a slightly chunky 41 year old mother of three, never could be accused of being a stunner, but I still turn heads here and there, from what the Beloved tells me. But I've never cared much about that stuff, so long as the Beloved still likes me. :) As for what really matters, I'm pretty down to earth (honestly, what you see written here is pretty much what you get, save the pen names to protect the kids' anonymity). I am equally comfortable hanging out with my cleaning lady (who has become one of my closest friends since I moved to NY) for drinks as I am with my local elected governmental official friends and those who fund their efforts. I just like women who are comfortable in their own skin, and who don't feel the need to compete with me about husbands/ money/looks/weight, join self help groups or book clubs, or - Lord help us - watch Oprah to figure out what their purpose in life is. I think the fact that I'm a lawyer makes other women feel threatened in some way, or incomplete in themselves. It's very odd.
3. People find me intimidating. Now, this is both a good and a bad thing. I think it's laughable, because I really am not like that at all. The Beloved says I am like a tame and occasionally frightened little rabbit on the inside, but I have scary eyebrows and sharp cruel fangs on the outside. But for professional purposes, it's good to instill fear in other lawyers, and to be looked at as a voice of reason as well as authority (especially as a woman lawyer). Personally, it's good because people don't generally want to mess with me, but bad because they tend to shy away from me because they're afraid of what I might be thinking about them or say to them. Apparently I have a very serious expression, even when I'm thinking happy thoughts, unless I'm actually laughing out loud about something. The kids occasionally think I'm angry at them when I may just be pondering all the crap I have to do, but haven't, because I've been procrastinating...but they're learning that it's my usual Mommy is thinking face.
Finally, this whole intimidating thing doesn't do me any favors with other females in my life (see #2). See? It's a lonely world for freaks like me.
But as a consolation, little kids and babies LOVE ME. I have some sort of magical calming power with upset little ones. They know I like them and want them to be happy, and they respond in kind. The Beloved is even better with the wee ones, but I've got some game.
4. I'm a terrible packrat. I have clothes in three of the six bedrooms' closets. I have expensive designer shoes that haven't fit since I had preeclampsia during my first pregnancy and gained a half size and went from a narrow to a wide foot. I figured the Princess might wear them someday. Same goes for those Size 28 Guess button-fly jeans. She just snorts and laughs. I've procrastinated about having a garage sale to get rid of all sorts of crap since we got here in 2004. Shocker, eh?
5. I have man hands and hobbit feet. Further to #4, I blame my good German and Irish immigrant forebears. I have thick, sturdy fingers and my once svelte size 8 AA's were stretched and swollen beyond recognition (courtesy of the Princess) to 8.5 D's. I thank the Lord every day that they didn't get bigger with Therese or The Boy. I'd have to buy the boxes and throw away the shoes.
6. I spend way too much time on the computer/Blackberry. Self-evident, really. Not to the point where I'm not around the kids, of course, but I think back 10-15 years and I'm disgusted with how much time we (as a culture) DON'T spend with our families and friends because work and leisure time alike find us pasted to these freakin' machines. I watch virtually no television, other than PBS kids' shows with the baby in the mornings
7. I would love to live in either England or Italy. Maybe just for a few years. Maybe forever. I've spent a few weeks in each lovely country and felt more at home in the landscapes and lifestyles there than here. (We've always preferred to rent a villa or stay in an off-the-beaten-path B&B so we can plan our own days and experience the neighborhoods more so than the major tourist attractions.) I love the USA, but I could use a break. At least until 2012 or - gasp - 2016.
8. I have been to 11 U2 concerts. I may have mentioned this before...but just thought I'd throw that in.
9. I bake when I'm stressed out. Hence the chunky bits....bread, cookies, complex meals...that, or some solitaire, compulsive laundry loads and folding/matching socks - whatever mindless activity that will take my mind off of what's bugging me.
10. It took me an hour to come up with this!!! See, I told you I'm kinda boring and low key...
Now all of you have at it - you wouldn"t be on the blogroll unless I like ya!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Got Stock? (As in St. SIMON?!?)


Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and the Feast of the Scapular of Mt. Carmel. On this day in 1251, our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock and presented him with the scapular and promises special favors and protection to those who wear the scapular.

I've had to fight to wear mine each time I've had a baby or any other sort of minor surgery - the best was my knee arthroscopy about 4 years ago. My good Irish Catholic orthopaedic surgeon, who is a quiet, sweet and soft-spoken man, told the OR nurse to back off when she got testy with me for refusing to remove it (in case of emergency breathing issues under anaesthesia, they want a clear shot at your throat). He then very reverently removed it and wrapped it around my wrist, lacing it through my fingers so that it rested in my palm, and crossed my forehead. As usual, I got a little verkelmpt. But for the first time since they rolled me into the OR, I felt completely relaxed, at peace, and ready to go under.

The (very Americanized)young Indian anaesthesiologist was intrigued by all of this, and asked me what "it" was, and what it meant. I told him the deal and he said "That's really beautiful! I've never heard of that and I've never seen one of those before Cool!" and then to his colleague, "Man, I never knew you were such a religious guy, that's great!"

So wear your scapular - don't be shy - there's so much to be gained for your own soul, and for Team Rome! Here's mine:
It's the Cross of the Crusaders....quite fitting, when one lives in the DOR, really. :)

The Princess wears Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the Beloved carries - but does not wear - his Confirmation name saint, St. Jude (a natural choice, given who his bride is...) and our Little Therese has the Holy Face, which was blessed at the EWTN 25th Anniversary celebration in Birmingham by the late Alfonso Cardinal Lopez-Trujillo, who led the Pontifical Council for the Family. She ran up to him as he crossed the street and asked him to bless it, he bent down, took it in his hand, blessed her and beamed at her and said "it is so beeeaauuutiful! And so are you, precious little one!" Again, I was verklempt.

So....that's ours. What does yours look like? And if you don't have one, why not? Spend the $5 for this wonderful devotional - keep it tucked in close, and if you're asked, hey - you might just reach into a heart or two.

Friday, July 10, 2009

To the Little Boy

Dearest Little Boy,

It's me, Mamma.

Please start talking to Mamma. I'd love to hear your little voice saying stuff to Mamma. The hooting, squealing, giggling, and screeching are good.

"I love you, Mamma" would be great.

The nice speech therapy ladies always tell me how much they love you. But it's nowhere near how much I love you. And even though you haven't said so, I know how much you love Mamma and Dadda and your big sissy and your glasses-having sissy, because your oh-so-tight hugs, sweet and gentle kisses, babba and Sesame Street-time snuggles, and neck-sniffing nuzzles are nothing short of phenomenal. They tell me all I need to know, but there's so much more I want to know...and I can't wait for you to tell me all about so many, many things.

But guess what? Even if you never say a word, I will love you forever beyond measure.

Just thought you should know.


Monday, July 6, 2009

HMD #35....Denouement

Well, well, well.....look who's back in business!

Sort of.

We had a rollercoaster ride of a holiday weekend around here. The weather finally became tolerable (sun, low 70's) in time for the 4th, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of this week, as we have houseguests who deserve to get out and see more than toddler tv on the flatscreen all week. That said, the heater is still kicking on at night because the house temperature sinks to less than 60*. The Boy is wearing thermal jammies, and the down blankies are still on all the beds...but the sleeping weather, I must say, is excellent.


Since writing the last HMD, we have had a sad, angry Princess who refused to discuss the Tall One Who Must Not Be Named at all. And if the subject arose, she got quite nasty and slitty-hatey-eyed, and ran from the room. This got HeloMom thinking. You know...the old adage that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. So, one night last week, I finally cornered her, (sitting on a stool in her full length flannel nightie sipping on a cup of tea to warm up in July...snort!) shortly before midnight and employed my best interrogation/cross examination skills and got her talking.

Very reluctantly, very slowly, through lots of tears, she admitted that she felt like she had a huge hole through her midsection - she was missing a big (okay, maybe tall) part of herself - her best friend. But she couldn't let go of being angry at him for betraying her by lying and letting her down, as her former pack of female friends had done before him. We examined what the lies were about (really more a matter of "been there, done that"-style exaggerations and boasts to impress her by making himself seem "cooler"), and eventually agreed that while BAD to do, they didn't really revolve around anything more than his own insecurities and relative immaturity. He wasn't lying about anything material or detrimental to her, to their relationship, or anything of serious consequence. The real consequences came back down on him - he has been despondent, and, as he put it one day while finishing up yardwork "I hate myself far more than she could ever hate me for what I did..."

When I thought the conversation was over, she looked at me with tears pouring down and said "WHY? Why did he do this? Why didn't he know that I loved [!] him already the way he was and he didn't need to impress me?!?" I told her I could not answer, and suggested she ask him those questions herself and tell him how she felt, just as she'd told me. She handed the cell phone to me and demanded that I summon him immediately (She might as well have ended it "...to my Presence Chamber"). I should have made her do it herself, really, but she was afraid he'd say no to her (doubtful) and would listen to me.

So - sucker, hopeless romantic, or overly meddlesome parent that I am - I sent the text at 11:55. He arrived at 11:59. He lives about 7 minutes away.

When I opened the door, he walked into the kitchen, and she was nowhere to be found. He eventually followed the sound of sniffles into a dining room, where she was on a chair, curled into a little flannel ball. He walked over, cradled her, and carried her out to the living room where they talked everything out for the next hour. When I peeked in, she was fast asleep, snuggled up against him. He looked more relieved than overjoyed.

They have both apologized and forgiven, and are going to try again, with the proviso that when he leaves for college, each may date other people, so long as they advise the other in advance.

HeloMom is cautiously optimistic. We are currently debating Transubstantiation via text message while he's lifeguarding, and she's taking accelerated geometry with a tutor. He has befriended Padre Pyro on Facebook and may go straight to the source for better information than an amateur apologist like me can provide.


P.S. For Old Bob - HIGH FIVE!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer, wherefore art thou...so rainy? And creepy...

Another week has blown by - literally. It has been cold, gray, rainy, and crappy here for the past week. We had a severe thunderstorm on Friday that knocked our internet service and telephones out until Tuesday afternoon. (More on that in a bit). My basement is leaking, my hair is frizzy, my flowerbeds got crushed by hail yesterday, and I truly believe I am suffering from a bout of S.A.D. in the summer. Sheesh!

In Princess/Athlete land, no real news, but he does still hold out hope. He came over and did some yardwork for me (hacked the hedges I can't reach), and we had a long conversation about Transubstantiation, his doubts, my attempt at apologetics was good (he gets it now) but not good enough (he still doesn't believe it). All the while the Princess lolled about in her bikini with a magazine and a diet 7-up, trying to soak up whatever rays she could between cloudbursts. She is back to work after only a week off after exams - 6 weeks of geometry tutoring (so she can skip a grade and accelerate toward calculus her junior year - ugh!), cheerleading practice three times a week, and ballroom two hours a week. No rest for the wicked. :)

Okay - now for the creepy bit. When the storm hit, lightening struck on the block behind us, between our house and the river. One of those instantaneous flash/crash things. Very scary. Less than 30 seconds later, three of the baby's "noisy toys" - Elmo, a car dashboard, and a school bus that sings that song - all spontaneously started making sounds. None are electric, all require pushing and pulling to get the sounds going. All were in different spots in the living room, and the baby was in bed for his afternoon nap. The girls and I looked at each other, and all the "warning hairs" on the back of my neck stood up, as happens when I get the feeling we are not alone in the house. I decided we should all repair to the basement to wait out the storm. We shut off all the electronics at their various power strips, grabbed the baby out of bed and went down - just as another huge crash hit outside.

When we came up, we heard a blast of static and a screeching sound through the computer speakers. The ones that we shut off at the power strip before we went downstairs. Then we looked out and discovered that a tree directly across the street from our house had been split down the middle. Utility wires and one of our own trees kept it from hitting the house, but part of it did knock out a USPS box that had been anchored into the cement for decades, by the looks of it. Crews came and took down the tree. A near miss.

Rational me says the electricity in the air must have somehow triggered the toys. Not-so-convinced me wonders if we got some forewarning....so I said "thank you" out loud and then said my prayers.


We still are finding strange things - a few fuses to parts of the house that are rarely used were blown, and two of eight phone jacks were fried, as were our cordless phones (one base unit, two handsets).


How's your summer going?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Johannestag 2009

Yep, it's Johannestag - the feast of St. John the Baptist (and the Boy's second anniversary of his baptism...how can that be?!?) - so we had a mini-bonfire (Johannesfeuer) and cooked hotdogs and s'mores out on the patio on one of the first truly GORGEOUS summer evenings here in the middle of nowhere.

Thank the Lord...for sending John ahead of his cousin and for instituting the Sacrament that washes away original sin...thanks for sending us the Boy....

...and praise God, summer's finally here!

Monday, June 22, 2009

HMD #34 - The End of the Affair

Yes, I'm afraid it's true. Our favorite young couple is no more, as of this past Monday evening. Nearly 8 months of mostly fun, mixed with a fair amount of frustration, has come to a peaceful end. Mostly peaceful, anyway.

There was no big "incident" - no cheating, no new boy or girl, no more shouting, no would-be chivalrous fistfights....nope, nothing like that. It came down to a few seemingly trivial episodes of exaggeration and lying about something of no consequence when it would have been much easier to tell the truth.

Something clicked in our Princess' head. "If he would lie to me about something this silly now, what won't he lie about? And will happen when he leaves for school?"

All the respect and trust they worked so hard to build up - and did - despite all the many obstacles, questions, and objections along the way...was lost over a few boastful statements and one really stupid lie that was easily proven false, and which he admitted was a dumb thing to do. But too little, too late. With all the other recent issues that have cropped up, she decided it was enough.

She gently, but firmly, let him know that she thought it would be best if they didn't date anymore, and tried to scale back to where they always got on well, as good friends. She said he was literally gasping for air as she said the words, and she felt terrible. She still does. He didn't argue or try to negotiate, but accepted her decision and told her he did not blame her for what she'd decided. They promised to keep the matter private between them and that they would not bad-mouth each other.

She's spent the week taking exams, while he was home absorbing the shock, working at his two lifeguarding jobs, and kicking himself for making a series of blunders that led to this final outcome.

Graduation was this past Friday. She still attended the ceremony, and they went to three parties over the weekend, each one less awkward than the one before, and tonight he stopped by with the now-heartbreakingly gorgeous formal prom pictures from the dance two weeks ago. They really did make a stunning couple, and they really do like each other a lot.

He has been a gentleman and has accepted defeat gracefully, but he has not conceded the war. He vows he will win her trust and respect again, even if he does not win her back. "She's the love of my life, whether or not I'm the love of hers." I thought this was a bit grandiose (aren't they always, at 18?), but he reminded me that his mother is only the third girl his dad ever dated, while his dad was mom's fifth. They are apparently a highly selective lot. "A mater, not dater" as the saying goes. Princess was his #4. I have no doubt he will find a #5, but try telling that to a heartbroken young man. He will be down and out for awhile. As will she.

She says - and wisely for one who is 15 - that she gave this a great deal of thought, and as one who prefers the idea of courting to dating, she could not see any point to dragging things out over the summer, wondering if this past month was an anomaly or if these basic character questions would keep coming up. When she realized she didn't want them both to remain miserable as she tried to figure this out, it finally hit home that this very nice, usually well-mannered boy is simply not the right one for her at present, nor will he be "the one" in her future. However, she feels very strongly that he will be a part of her life, in some way, for a very long time. She has not been happy this week. There's been no sense of relief, no giddiness, and there's been less-than-zero interest in all of the offers that have started flowing in from other boys ("Vultures!" as she so scathingly put it...), and less than her usual quest for perfection in the hair and makeup department. She is mourning and missing him, but she knows it is truly over. She also knows herself better now than she did back in November, and she knows that it will be a long time before she's open to the thought of getting to know anyone new, or letting them get to know her as deeply as our Tall Boy has done. She's shuttering her inner Princess from the outside world's view, and it pains a Helo Mom to see it.

HeloMom hates to see so much sadness on both sides of this breakup. I don't think there's much hope for any sort of romantic reunion, but then again... quien sabe? They may surprise us someday. But not anytime soon.

I'm very proud of them both for handling this with the amount of mutual respect that they've shown thus far. I hope and pray it continues.

And so ends the HeloMom Chronicles. Perhaps a post-script here and there....

Until next time.

Happy Father's Day...

A little late in the evening, but heartfelt wishes to all you present and future Dads, and especially to our dear collared Fathers who so lovingly deal with flocks of spiritual children - our temper tantrums and our triumphs - for a lifetime.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wedding bells....

Fr. Cutie got married yesterday. I wonder if they're registered anywhere.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

I am ashamed to admit it, but we don't currently have a flag! It blew away last summer. (It's flown from outside our bedroom window, so definitely an act of weather, not teens/terrorists)

However, at the family picnic today, I wore a red tanktop, a white blouse, blue jeans....and my totally patriotic stars and stripes Birkenstocks....and in so doing, horrified the more footwear-fashion-conscious of my children accordingly.


HMD #33: Back to virtual reality...

Hello friends....yes, I am alive! I am well! Thank you for your kind inquiries. The Beloved is still in town (yay!), but leaves tomorrow (boo!).

I can report that the Prom went relatively well. The Athlete was still in a fair amount of pain and under strict orders to take it easy and only dance the slow dances, which he did - each one - with the Princess. He had a better date with Vicodin than with the girl, who was torn at first between staying at his side/minding him and mingling with the others there. As it turned out, she was glad that she chose to stay at his side, unglamorous as it may have been, because all of the "dancing" to anything with a remotely upbeat tempo involved her least favorite high school dance pasttime....grinding. Here are kids in tuxes and some crazy-expensive silk and satin gowns rubbing pelvises together and, as she put it "basically having sex with their formalwear on," in a basement of a fraternal order's lodge that smelled of fifty-plus years of beer, sweat, fish fry, cigarettes and despair. Ughhhhh....

As the lone freshman present, she came away having had a nice time, but being disillusioned with the rite of passage that is prom, and wondering if it will be worth going to it again for each of the next three years. But she will go, because it is what is done. However, she vows that she will chair the prom committee so that future proms will be at tonier venues such as the country club, not the area's various lodges - cheap prices notwithstanding.

That's our girl.

As for the future of our senior-freshman couple....well....graduation is Friday. Graduation parties abound for the next two weekends. Then it's summertime. She's dusting off the Jane Austen collection and stocking up on magazines and iTunes. He's planning roadtrips to amusement parks and pilgrimmages to such gourmand lures as Chik-Fil-A.

We shall see what transpires.

I am not optimistic, but that's okay. They each need to do some growing up, and that may well involve growing apart. It's a matter of doing so without hard feelings....and that, friends, isn't easy at any age.

HeloMom out - but I shall return in a day or two, once we're Belovedless and readjusted to the empty spot at the dinner table.

Friday, June 5, 2009

This week in sports...a recap

Well, friends, if you read the post below, you know how this past week has ended, but let's get back to where it started.

Part One: Psycho Redux

On Tuesday, late in the balmy evening, Princess and I were up - way past bedtime - having a long discussion about life, boys, relationships with Tall Boys, prom, colleges, that kinda stuff. We heard Jack the Vicious Predator running about up on the third floor, presumably slaying some socks or maybe chasing a moth around.

Until we heard the frantic chirpy squeaking coming down the stairs toward my bedroom.

Yes, to those who have experienced it, you never forget the sound of a BAT in your house. I don't like rodents. Winged rodents produce a combination of rage and panic that I don't like to admit I'm capable of feeling all at once. But I do. So I slammed the bedroom door shut and sent the bat averse but less freaked out Princess to shut the baby's door as well as Therese's. (She has her uses. And besides, she's the idiot who left her unscreened window open at night!)

Jack emerged from the stairwell and had his live squeaky toy in his mouth and decided to share his good fortune with her - after all, she is one of his harem of strangely furless kittens, and he provides for us all, in his strange sock-slaying way. So he trotted toward her and let it go and it shot up and then swooped at her. Oh, the screaming...so she came back in my room with little Therese hot on her heels, slammed the door and we giggled like the nervous fools we were. We heard Jack leaping and bounding in the hallway, then sometime after 3 am the squeaky sounds stopped. We decided to remain barricaded in and let nature take its course.

The next morning, we crept through the house with brooms in hand, looking around for the bat and/or its carcass. Nothing. So we figured Jack took care of business. I kept all the doors shut upstairs and went on with the interminable kitchen painting project from the time the girls left until sometime after 8:00. That night, we were still apprehensive after the sun went down, and none of us could sleep. We shut ourselves in my room again for the night, told bat jokes, wished that daddy was here, etc. All quiet on the Western NY front.

Thursday morning, as I had promised to let Princess sleep in after two nights of less than three hours of sleep, I decided to take a quick shower in my master bathroom while she ate breakfast. I got the water to its ideal temperature, hopped in, pulled the cutain shut...and there, hanging upside down in the folds of the shower curtain and less than 18 inches from my face, was the largest, fattest brown bat I've ever seen. I screamed for my Lord and Saviour's assistance and was about halfway down the stairs, the right half of me soaked from head to toe, completely naked, before I recollected myself and where and who I was. Princess thought I was being murdered, came to the stairs and gaped at me. I pulled myself straight up, sucked in my gut, tried to look casual in my nekkidness, and said to her: "Ummm, yeah....I found the bat. In the shower with me, hanging off the curtain. Go get it."


"Well yeah, it's not like I'm going back in there!"

"Why me? You're the adult, you're supposed to protect us!"

"I gave you life."

"Damn you and your uterus, woman..."

"You'll say it to your kids someday. Now go get a broom and a box"

She complied, I dressed myself, gathered what little dignity I had left and held the box while she put on a thick glove, held an inverted plastic bag, snatched the bat off the curtain, shoved it in the bag and stuffed it in the box and duct-taped the box shut.

Living as close as we do to the river, bats are fairly common around here. Unfortunately, there are a few cases of rabies reported in the county (carried by bats, passed on to squirrels, raccoons, and unvaccinated cats) every year. Bat contact is never a good idea. Waking up with a bat in the room is an automatic invite to the doctor for rabies shots. Because they have tiny teeth, bat bites are hard to detect unless you are awake and aware that a bat has bitten you. Out of 17 human bat-strain rabies fatalities in the 90's, only one person was aware of an actual contact and bite - he just didn't report it because he didn't think it was a big deal. Then he died. We cleverly sealed the bat into the bedroom/adjoining bathroom with us for at least one night. NOT cool. So I took the bat to the county wildlife/environmental office, they froze it to death, and did rabies testing. Mercifully, we got the all clear late on Friday. (They've had two positives in the past month). Jack's getting a booster shot just to be safe.

Part Two: Client Catastrophe

In the midst of all the bat chaos, I was supposed to have a hearing Friday on a case that I lost on a technicality (no gory details, but the former atty screwed something up and my efforts to unscrew it initially failed), I then appealed, won on appeal, and this was my big day with the client - 11 years after her accident, 4 years after she filed her claim - and then she had a death in the family and we had to postpone. I was SO ready to go back in...but that's okay. I'll be ready when we have our day in August. Just a scramble to get in touch with the judge, get a fax in for the record, and not make an even worse impression on a judge who doesn't like being appealed....and then there's a lot of mental prep work and framing of arguments and evidence in my head the whole week leading up to the hearing, now for naught. I spent the weekend painting 27 cabinets, 13 drawers, and a half-mile (or so it seemed) of crown moulding and clearing it from my head.

Part Three: The Weekend War

As all this drama was unfolding, more strife on the teenage front. They went to a party on Sunday night (no school Monday), he behaved badly and embarrassed her, she called him on it, his friends rebuked him as well, he didn't like it one bit, and he snapped at her in front of a group of people. Things remain tense between them, and it is taking a toll - perhaps a fatal one - on the relationship. But he finally listened to her, with help from his friends' observations of his behavior, and has pledged to work on his temper and his snappish-of-late attitude toward her and life in general. Life-changing, end-of-era stress is my diagnosis. Too little, too late seems to be hers. I'm sad for both of them. It will be a difficult summer.

Part Four: Sudden Impact....and Surprise!

For over a month, I have been harboring a huge secret...The Beloved is home! We planned a sneaky surprise visit for Prom night. He didn't want to miss it, or to miss the chance to menace the Tall Boy with an impressive array of K-Bar and Nepalese Ghurka knives as well as firearms. I have been striving NOT to screw it up, made a few slips that the girls did not figure out...and we managed to pull it off. But it wasn't easy, and here's why:

A. I got 45 minutes of sleep Tuesday night. Remember those 27 cabinets? Well, each of them requires 10-15 screws. We own two electric screwdrivers. The Beloved is not real great with organization in his man-room in the basement. I couldn't find the charger for either one. After 4 cabinets, I was re-hanging them all, screwing the hardware on and then mounting them back on....by hand. I think I have arthritis now - seriously. They still hurt. And it took me all night, even with the Princess helping me until 3 or so. And she had no idea why I was doing this, scrambling to get it done before the Beloved arrived. She just helped because she saw that I was desperate to be done and wanted to be there battling at my side. Good kid.

B. I got hit by a car 45 minutes before the flight was due to come in! You can't make this sh*t up. Really. I was makingthe requested pot roast for the Beloved's homecoming and realized, at 1:30, that I had no carrots. Princess has been eating like a rabbit in the run-up to prom. So I had to book out to the store to get carrots. As I was walking in, a 75 year old woman backed out of her parking spot without looking back and clipped me at the hip/thigh, knocking me to the ground. Fortunately, I saw it coming and leapt out of the way, and I have some serious assets going on, and so I bounced back up like the Bumble, relatively unscathed. I didn't take her plate #, but I should have...she was angry at me, wouldn't roll her window down past an inch, apologized begrudgingly for not seeing me (as opposed to "I'm sorry I hit you, are you okay?") and left. A few onlookers were duly disgusted with her as well. Deo gratias, I'm a bit stiff and sore, but not even a bruise to complain of. I was lucky. And in a hurry...so I ran into the store and made it to the airport only 5 minutes late...to discover the flight was 15 minutes early. No matter. It was a thing of beauty to see my boys smiling and flirting with each other the whole way home. Then he hid, I lured the girls into the dining room with an impropmtu after school yay-the-kitchen-is-done tea party, and as we started our after-school gabfest, he sauntered into the room and asked for a cup. Princess screamed and launched herself at him, Therese looked shell shocked and started weeping. It's been hardest on her to be without her Wii buddy these past four months. Princess/Athlete drama has dominated the household.

C. The Athletic Appendix began to give out. As noted in HMD#32, the symptoms were classic, the physician dad was in denial, and the kid suffered. We had many texts and calls throughout the course of the day and evening....prom or no prom? And we had picked up the freshly altered and gorgeous dress earlier that morning, too....

D. I slept for 9 glorious, uninterrupted hours last night. No listening for the baby, no getting up at 6:45 to feed and shoo girls out the door to school....and I'd had a combined total of 2 hours and 45 minutes the two preceeding nights. So it was needed sleep.

Which is why I can't sleep now! But I am going to try. So, gentle readers, thanks for bearing with me to this point, I will be back with more tales from the Brookside before you know it. I have a fresh "visitor" story, too....but all in good time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

HMD#32 - Gut Wrenching...

...and I mean that literally! Yes, the Athlete was feeling ill last night, physician father told him to suck it up and go to bed....and so once he started throwing up, dad relented and Athlete went into the ER this morning, complaining of severe pain on the right side.

He had his appendix out this afternoon.

Prom is Saturday.

He swears he will be at the prom, no matter what. Princess vows that she will not go with him if he's violating the surgeon's orders.

We are all in uproar.

HeloMom out.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

HMD#31: Athlete's Foot...

...belongs in his mouth. Or perhaps it should be up his....okay never mind.

As noted in a recent dispatch, there have been a number of scandals and fist fights at the local quasi-Catholic high school, and the Athlete started one of 'em. As was also noted, Princess was not pleased that he did so, and they had a tiff about it that escalated into a full-on fight, wherein he raised his voice and let fly with some expletives.

Princess, being a princess, doesn't do well with that sort of thing. Not that hearing foul language is particularly shocking to her at this stage of the game, but having it directed at her as an outlet or as an unfortunate side of a young adult male meltdown....not so much. As with the gym class brawl, his response was disproportionate to the offense. So she stopped the conversation and post-nuclear winter has set in. He attempted to lobby me for help, I reiterated to him the lack of manners and impropriety of the behavior involved...and he started in on me with the raised voice and language - not a personal attack, but a lot of frustration that no one will agree that his thuggery was justifiable.

Not cool. HeloMom went yard on the boy and set him straight on some basics about how to treat females he cares about - if he wants said females to be part of his life, anyway. Princess was not amused that the Queen was treated with disrespect by the Athlete. That, to her, was worse than his treatment of her. Nobody messes with her HeloMommy. (Hee!)

Dozens of hollow-pologies ("I'm sorry for what I said to you and your mom, but not for what I did to that kid") and as many dozen roses later, Princess is not yielding. He cannot understand why. She has explained that her values and his may be too divergent to make the relationship viable. He is in true distress. She is cordial, but not cuddly. She does not think she can go back to the way things were, because he lacks not just respect for her and/or for her mother, but he lacks sufficient self control to never have "gone there" in the first place. A wise observation. But now what?!?

Prom is in a week.

Are you there vodka? It's me, Kit...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts On The Fallen

It's been about 18 months now since we were all wringing our hands over Fr. Francis Mary Stone's decision to leave the priesthood due to his relationship with a woman he met through his ministry at EWTN. He was about to become a biological father. Yep, he sinned, defied his priestly vows and vocation - and he was publicly bludgeoned for it. He then had to choose between walking away from his vocation and manning up to take moral and financial responsibility for his child and the mother (hopefully his bride by now), or living his vocation by remaining in the priesthood, thereby denying his child - the one innocent involved - a traditional father-child relationship and leaving another single moter out there struggling to raise a child - his child - on her own. I never have and never will condone what got him to the point of having to choose between these options, but I can understand and support what he ultimately did. He's a dad, and he's doing what he can, in his 40's, to start a business and generate enough income to support his family.

THEN there's Fr. Alberto Cutie, the soon-to-be Episcopalian. Caught with his speedo and his grope on. As our dear Fr. Erik points out, he's the worst kind of hypocrite. Becoming a Protestant as a means of getting his cupcake and ea....ok, never mind. You know what I mean. So he's leaving the Church without following the proper laicizing process, hoping to forge ahead as an Episcopalian cleric of some sort, with his concubine-turned-wife at his side grinning and squeezing his....ok, never mind....for the cameras.

Father Oprah? I think not. Nay, I foresee them becoming the Jim & Tammy Faye of Univision. Get thee behind me....

Unlike Dave Stone, Alberto Cutie's defection really pisses me off!!!

(Yeah, yeah...prayers, charity, and all that. This is why I am NOT a religious, it's the bitter, snarky thing...)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

See, was that so difficult?

Today the CA Supreme Court did the right thing.

They interpreted the CA Constitution.

They did not play politically correct games, they didn't let personal feelings and/or minority activist agendas overtake the rule of law. They looked at Proposition 8, which passed by a majority of the popular vote (which took place at the same time as the liberal landslide that was the '08 election), and decided it was constitutional. This is the way it is, and this is the way it should have gone all along.

They didn't retroactively nullify the "summer of love" same-sex marriages that took place last year, or anything "punitive" like that. They pointed out that which has been obvious for many years in California law, for those who'd bother to read and understand it before stripping naked and fornicating in the streets in protest: same-sex couples are entitled to form domestic partnerships which confer upon them the same rights and responsibilities that hetero couples have, just without the term "marriage" applied. For those who feel the need to have a spiritual/religious element applied - go get it "blessed" by your favorite [non-Catholic] minister, rabbi, guru, duck-billed platypus, or what/whoever floats your boat.

So all you crying Castro-ites....get over it. You can still share financial responsibilities, you can share custody, you can duke it out over who gets the Baccarat when the party's over. (Wasn't it mostly about the party in the first place?)

You lost fair and square. Now get on with your lives.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Remember the fallen, pray for them, honor their service.

And be glad we have young men like this one on the wall protecting his compatriots and all of us here at home.

(Kid, you may love NY, but I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HMD #30 - Prayer request

Update #2: The verdict is in - not an osseous tumor...not a lipoma...looks like a traumatic injury but the kid wasn't injured there in recent memory. Very strange.

Update: 48 hours, no result. Dad is a physician, you'd think they'd let him know sooner than us mere mortals. I don't like it.

Gentle readers: the Athlete found a golfball mass on the inner ridge of his shin bone, between the muscle and bone. Not painful, not a result of bruising or other trauma, deep enough that he found it as a result of swatting at something on his leg and had a "wtf is that?" moment. His physician dad sent him in for a bone scan and MRI yesterday. Results should be forthcoming sometime this afternoon.

I'm voting for a lipoma.

In the meantime, this sucks.

More soon,

The Concerned HeloMom

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fresh from painting the kitchen...

A conundrum for us all to ponder from the "is it me?" category...

Let's take a trip to Theoretical Island, and let's say you're a teacher in a quasi-Catholic school system. Your kid goes to junior prom, then has a bunch of friends over afterwards to hang out in your house/back yard to build a fire and "make s'mores."

Do you:

A. Say no, because it's late, it's prom night, and you never know with kids these days....

B. Say yes, and discreetly monitor the activities to ensure nothing untoward is going on

C. Join in the festivities and provide the alcohol to the 16-18 year olds as well as the graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars; or

D. Go to bed and tell the kids to have fun while a few dozen teenagers are at your house on prom night, and then feign shock when the cops are beating on your door and arresting drunken teenagers who are rampaging through the neighborhood on 4-wheelers you own and holding beer they got from your fridge?

Okay. Stick with me.

Let's presume, for the sake of argument, that you chose C and/or D.

Should you still be employed by the local (marginally) Catholic Diocesan school system, or perhaps at least be on leave until the investigation is complete and the charges are either proven or dropped?


Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Would Matthew Say?

If he had a spine or was orthodox at all?

The latest proposed gay marriage bill is wending its way through the corrupt corridors of Albany, and we get this predictably weak "statement" of what the Church opposes, but not its titular head in the DOR. No educating, no expounding on the sacramental nature of marriage...just some happy social justice/civil rights crap.

How unrefreshingly typical.

May Daze

Ugh...what a week. For some reason, I stupidly believed that I could repaint my kitchen in 2-3 days.


For starters, I now know that I have a total of 27 cabinets in my kitchen, and 13 drawers. So I had to empty all that, sorting and dumping stuff as I went. You don't want to know what my dining room looks like. The table I was given by my m-i-l when we moved here has four leaves, is 120" long, comfortably feeds 14 adults, and (tightly) manages 20. It is completely covered with pantry contents and my many sets of dishes and glassware. (The butler's pantry, with all the china and crystal, will have to wait...) All the chairs are occupied, too. And the radiator that runs the length of the room. And most of the floor.

At the same time as all this chaos has erupted in my dining room, I am attempting to persuade the 2 y/o that climbing over formerly impassable baby gates to inspect the carnage is BAD. He does not believe me. So far the dogs have broken in and eaten some crackers and, strangely, meat seasoning packets (venison seasoning, sloppy joe mix, and pepper rub - WTH?). Jack keeps slinking around and slithering through the glassware just to mess with my mind, or perhaps cause me to drop dead of a heart attack so he can feast on my fat carcass for a few weeks. No one would find me in there until I started to smell really bad. And even then....


Then there was the patching and sanding. The day I planned to do that, I wrenched something in my lower back while catching the baby gate scaler in mid-vault, got stiff and sore...and had 2 days of sciatica as my reward. In the midst of this, the Athlete texted to me that he was in the school office, having decided to smite some obnoxious kid who routinely badmouths him for dating a freshman during gym class. (Senioritis, anyone?). Had to provide lots of advice and counsel to ensure that privileges such as prom were not revoked, and then had to ensure that Princess did not smite Athlete for his display of fisticuffs, which, while well-intended, was not worth the trouble that ensued. (She thought he could have handled it more rationally, he was incensed that she did not appreciate his defense of her honor after months of snarkiness from that kid).

Then late that afternoon, I finally spackled. It rained for the next 36 hours, so it took forever to dry....and so I waited overnight, then I started sanding that next morning. A mayday call came in from the Princess from a school locker room. She was walking between classes with one of Athlete's wrestler friends, deep in conversation about a very serious alleged incident -- wherein said friend's former girlfriend was taken advantage of by another boy at a party -- when the offending boy crossed paths with them. Wrestler friend (smaller by a foot and about 150 lbs lighter than his target) took the alleged offender out at the legs and proceeded to pound the snot out of him. Princess' horrified screams alerted the faculty, and after several attempts, Wrestler friend was finally pulled off, bloodied knuckles and all, and dragged off to the principal's office. The alleged offender was well and truly pummelled, and had blood flowing from several spots. Princess, having never seen anything close to that kind of violence, was teary, shaking uncontrollably, and had to sit with a nun until I came to fetch her. The nurse's office, the vice-principal's office, and the principal's office were all full of bleeding boys and outraged parents.

So I got the kid home, got the walls primed, then the phone calls from curious kids, parents, and those who hoped to obtain free legal advice started pouring in. Wrestler friend actually showed up late that night to apologize to Princess for scaring her, and proceeded to pour his heart out on my couch for two hours, praying that he will not be expelled, but unashamed of having avenged the outrage perpetrated upon the alleged victim. (I'm just waiting to see how much of this makes the police blotter...and how much is covered up about this party, its attendees, and the alleged incident). I'll let you know how it turns out.

What's the term the Amish use for "spring madness" again? Well it has hit our town and the quasi-Catholic high school with a vengeance.

Oh, yes, and did I mention that I had a brief due as well? What would have taken me 3-4 hours sequestered in my office back in the day, took me about 14 hours over the course of three days, with so many interruptions, derailed trains of thought, and lost bits of legal brilliance and clever word usage....GAAAAHHHH!!!! Not my best work, but it hit the fax machine and went to its destination nonetheless.

Today I was supposed to be putting everything back in the cabinets, reattaching the finished, freshly painted doors, and admiring the pretty new paint job. But no. I still have chaos in the dining room, white primer, and completely untouched cabinet doors and drawers waiting to be done, and three gallons of lovely light blue and coordinating delft blue sitting patiently next to the dishwasher waiting to "transform my [friggin'] space."


Looks like another week of fast food and takeout.