ANNOUNCING….

My son has got to have nerves of steel. He can be the coolest kid under pressure you ever saw in your life. This last official season track stock car race was for all the marbles. There were four points between him and the number two guy. Four. Most races there were 30 points difference and the winners just went and raced for fun… My son’s race was nerve wracking. Especially when they line up all the cars in front of the stands and introduce them all and where they are in the standings, then make a HUGE thing about how there are only four points between them and they are the cars to watch and it’s for the track championship… blah blah blah. I wanted to strangle the announcer. No, let’s not add to the pressure… sheesh! I know it’s fun for the fans that way – give them someone to root for, but still…

I didn’t want to watch. I figured out when I watch, he’s never won. Ever. Besides the migraine I end up with from stressing the whole time I’m waiting for his turn and letting the old imagination go crazy. I’ve tried about every relaxation technique there is, but have decided the best thing is staying away. We were camping at the track, and Hubby was going to call me when it was over to let me know if I needed to come down for pictures. He called me earlier in the evening and informed me they would take pictures right after the race, so to be ready to shoot down to the track the minute they heard.

Well, I’m sitting in the RV, calm as can be, watching a movie, when it occurs to me that I probably should be closer as it is the equivalent of a couple of blocks to the track from the campground. I head out and walk toward the track, realizing as I near that I’m on the top of a hill and will be able to see the whole track. The whole race… Uh oh. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I stand next to the fence, behind some trees, where nobody can see me (except the mosquitos, of course). I see cars lined up being introduced… I call Hubby and tell him I’m watching and ask how long until his race. He says this is the race before sons’.

The race before his begins. I’m watching, but am trying not to watch too hard… then, I see it out of the corner of my eye… a wreck! The ambulance comes out… the tow trucks come out… people are running… someone says they thought they saw a BODY fly out of one of the cars (it ends up it was the wheel assembly flying out). I’m going through my ritual… it’s not himit’s not him
Everyone was okay. They cleaned up the debris and finished the race. I’m pacing back and forth on the road. My heart is in my throat. It’s only a race, damnit! It’s not life or death, it’s only a race! It’s becoming a mantra. I know how much he wants to win this…

They’re lining up. My son… my youngest… my little boy… okay, not so little anymore… The crowd goes wild when they say his name. He’s a track favorite. He races clean – that means a lot. That damn announcer. Putting the pressure on.

The introductions are done, the race is going to start…. and here comes the green…they’re off! The number two car jumps into the lead. Son drops back to third… I’m hanging on the fence, holding my breath. I start debating… do I close my eyes for a few laps, or do I need to run back up to the RV? What can I do to reverse this? Have I jinxed him? I’ll never forgive myself….

He drops back to fourth… I can’t watch.

It’s over. He came in fourth. The announcer is yapping, but I can’t hear him. The second place guy pulls into the winner’s circle for pictures. I’m talking to the ticket lady to see if I can get in now – she says ‘go ahead’ and I start across the track. My heart is breaking for my son, I know how much he was looking forward to this.

What? What is the announcer saying? He’s saying the winner has 480 track points… and my SON… has 481!!!!!!! He’s WON! He won track championship! WHOOOO HOOO!!! I practically stumble across the track in disbelief. I’ve been reprieved… I’m not the jinx!

The team next to us brought a keg, we had a trailer full of food… and I went back to the RV and got my bottle of champagne. A good time was had by all… I think I finally saw my bed about 3 a.m.

God’s Gonna Strike Me Down

The following words may never pass my lips again. MIL was actually good this weekend. I’m suspicious. Which one of you talked to her? Which one of you told her to chill? Who spilled the beans that we were tired of all the incessant chatter and the OCD? Who? Someone had to. She wasn’t herself. She was… calm. She didn’t babble… She was helpful, but stayed out of the way when told to. She was able to ‘go with the flow’.

Did it make a difference that we started drinking the minute we got to the track? We’ll never know. She even thanked us on the way home for the “opportunity to go”. Of course, that made me feel like a worm…

Now I have to start thinking about her nicely. Wow.

Let the Hell Fun Begin

We are at two hours and counting until we leave. Let’s see, I’ve packed steaks, hamburger (no vegans here!), potatoes, salad ingredients, and beer, whisky, wine, and, lest I forget, champange (in case son wins the whole smear, I’m drinking THAT – my personal stash). Does it sound like I have enough? Maybe I need just a little more alcohol…

Remember, if you haven’t voted yet for kids vs. critters, do so now. Your vote DOES count!

Hope you all have a good weekend and I’ll be checking back in… probably with LOTS of blog material, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself to get through this.

P.S. Just found out a cousin of mine who is an EMT from Missouri is down in Mississippi about two miles from the coast. Says it’s all gone and they’re seeing about 500 people a day for treatment. Just got some porta-potties in yesterday so they don’t have to “share the trees with the snakes anymore” – his quote. Those poor people. So many of them… so many stories… so much sadness, anger and destruction. Say a prayer for them, this weekend, too… the ones who have been displaced and the ones who are trying to help. Let them be safe in their goodness, and let the ones who are raping and shooting get some dreadful infection and go belly up in the ocean. I have no time for them, at all.

Okay, end of lecture. Cya later!

Flashback

This is for Miss Sizzle.

Butterfly Effect

I was reading Joe (fantastic blog!) today when he was talking about chaos and other things. It got me thinking about how many times this has happened in my life.The first one I can really remember is my Grandmother’s death. My Grandmother lived in another town in Iowa about two hours away from my family. She came to visit us for a week and during the visit she was talking about how she’d gone to see my aunt at college in Missouri the week before. She’d arranged to meet my aunt at a specific time on campus. While she was waiting for my aunt to meet her, she ran into my uncle who was also going to school there but had no idea that his mother was going to be on campus that day. He’d had to go to the registration office to take care of some paperwork and it was totally unexpected. She then got to visit with her two younger children there, came to our house for a week and visited with us, then went home and the next week had a massive stroke and died. Strangely enough she’d gotten to speak in person with each one of her children and her grandchild before she died.

The other one that sticks in my mind is meeting my husband. He’s a few years older than I am, and I met him through a friend who was dating his brother, who is my age. I’d met his brother several times, and in a random “I’m hearing you but not listening” way, I’d heard things about his older brother, but it never stuck. Mainly because the younger brother is blond haired and blue eyed and that’s really never been my “type”. Okay, so I end up at a party in the middle of nowhere because another friend had a fight with her boyfriend (who was a friend of the younger brother)…. keeping up? She was afraid he wouldn’t talk to her at the party and she’d be left with no one to talk to but me – if I went. Feeling sorry for her, I went. As fate laughed loudly, she and her boyfriend made up immediately and I was the odd man out.

Now enters tall, dark and handsome. Who, could this be? None other that the older brother!?!?! WFT? He’s supposed to be blond and blue-eyed! What is this handsome stranger? I was introduced, but as I am painfully (honest – it hurts) shy, I merely said “hi” and went across the room where I proceeded to casually sneak peeks at this hunk. I couldn’t get over how much he looked like the guy of my dreams. Yes, honest-to-god sleeping dreams. I have them, in color, and usually remember them.To my total shock and embarrassment, every time I snuck a peek at him standing across the room… he was staring at ME! OMG!Fast forward the evening as I proceed to get terrible stomach cramps. (Heat wave, booze on top of a glass of milk right before I left home. Dumb, I know.) I’m sleeping in my friends’ car waiting for them to wrap it up and take me home. Never talked to the guy again…But wait! He was a brave soul and asked my friend about me. Got all the pertinant info and proceeded to ask me out (through my friend)… the rest, as they say, is history. 26 years and counting…I love Fate! Butterflies… whatever….

The Water Saga

So, I’m working away yesterday morning in the office by myself like a good worker bee when one of the construction guys comes in to use the restroom. Fine. Whatever. After enough time in there to read the bible (and probably to peel the paint), he comes out with a sheepish look on his face.

Guy: Uh…I forgot. There isn’t any water to flush. We hit a water line.
Me: What?!?!
Guy: Yeah, we were digging and the locator mark was way off and we broke a line – there is no water

Do I dare mention another worker came in and used it before someone called to have the line fixed? Did you remember I’m the only woman working here? Let’s put it this way – I went home at lunch and didn’t come back.

This morning I walk in there is a big “Out of Order” sign on the door, but my co-workers in the office have smirks on their faces. They tell me it does work, they are just trying to discourage the construction guys. Whew!

Your Vote Counts!

With a long weekend coming up, I’m going to try and get some of my photos organized. So… which do you want, kids or critters? I’m leaving it entirely up to you. (No, there are no other categories. )

Be sure and vote, or you’ll just get what you get… and you never know what that might be!

Stop. Me.

sigh… I’ve done it. I’ve broken down and bought fat pants. Every woman in the world (and maybe a few men) can relate. It’s when you finally realize that your need to get bigger pants because your fat ass won’t squeeze into the old ones without excessive hopping, cursing, and laying on the bed followed by a feeling of pain all day as your insides try to shift into other parts of your body. Damn. I’ve got to quit eating. Now.

Insomnia

Do you ever wake up from a deep sleep with the feeling you should be urgently doing something? No? Okay, smartass – YOU can go back to sleep. For the rest of you who know what I’m talking about, I’ve just woken to think I need to find a paint-by-numbers painting that my grandfather painted for my dad and they lost in the fire. It’s nothing fancy, a fisherman in a rain coat and hat in a small boat out on some rough waves. Blues, grays, and blue-grays are the dominant colors. Do you think I can find it? NO. Damnit. I’ve been Googling for half an hour and can’t even come close. If I can find it, I’d like to paint it and give it to the ‘rents for Christmas.

Mkay – just thought I’d ask.

Night.

Kill Me Now… or, Alcohol Pt. II

Update: I just got a call on my cell phone. Believe me, when I saw who it was I wanted VERY badly to screen, but of course I didn’t…

MIL: Are you busy?

Me: Uh…I’m at work…

MIL: I wanted to know if there was anything I could do for Saturday?

Me: Oh, you mean like stay home? Um..no, I don’t think so.

MIL: I put some sheets in there. And a quilt. And a pillow. Oh, and some towels.

Me: Okay…. DAMN! She’s moving right in! I bought towels and stuff for in there, too!

MIL: I vacuumed it out yesterday, too, but I suppose Hubby told you that.

Me: Yeah, first thing this morning – ruined my whole day. Yes, he told me. Uh…I’d just bought a new little vacuum to keep in there I was anxious to try…

MIL: I’m sure you’ll get plenty of chances. Tee hee.

MIL: I also put some different rugs in there. They don’t match, but they’ll be fine.

Me: I just bought some brown washable rugs to put in there, too.

MIL: Oh. Well. If you want, you can just take mine out.

Me: Can I put you out with them? Pretty pleeeeeze?…

MIL: Well, I better let you get back to work. I’ve talked to Hubby, too. Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Me: Kill me now.

Can You Say, Alcohol?

Yep. I’ve decided that is going to be my watchword for the weekend. Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Why? You ask innocently. Oh, you wicked person… for you know why. Yes. Yes, it’s true. MIL is going with us this weekend.

How did this happen? – Wipe that smirk off your face. I mean it. Wipe it off now or I will hunt you down and club you. I will chalk it up to “What Ya Gonna Do?“. (Hereafter to be referred to as WYGD). This is a famous character in our family life. Right up there with “Not Me”, it ranks when it comes to things that are completely out of our control.

It’s like this. FIL was a farmer and Hubby and he farmed together pretty much Hubby’s whole life (except when he was drafted into the service). FIL passed away about 10 years ago and ever since Hubby has run the operation basically on his own until the past year when our youngest son decided he’d like to help. The farm shop is located at MIL’s house – a huge house in the country. This means Hubby sees his mother every single day. (He’s a farmer, except for Sunday, he’s working every day – and in the busy seasons on Sundays too). Before we built our house, we asked her if she would be interested in selling hers to us and moving into town to something smaller, but she declined. That was fine, as I’m sure I wouldn’t want to give up my dream house even if it is too big for one person – it is my home and I would want to stay there. I have no problem whatsoever with that. We thought she might enjoy being in town where she could have neighbors and be closer to things, but no.

The problem comes in that she sits in the house and basically has no life. She has aquantinces – no close friends. (I can be accused of the same thing, but I have a couple of good friends and I’ve got “only child syndrome” so can entertain myself just fine, thank you). She golfs, maybe, once a week, but really has no hobbies. She knows how to do various crafts and things, but doesn’t choose to do them. She reads romance novels. She occasionally travels. That’s it. So when anyone drives in to go to the shop, she shoots out of the house like a horse out of the starting blocks. I mean, literally shoots out. Well, WYGD?

When FIL first passed and we took over the farm operation, I had my farm ‘office’ there at the shop. I finally had to move it out to our house because every time I went to pay bills or take care of farm business, she was there. Right there, looking over my shoulder. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled about ANYONE seeing me paying bills. It drives me nuts! This is MY business, not yours, and I certainly wasn’t looking over YOUR shoulder when you paid bills. So, I just gave up and moved out, quietly.

At any rate, Hubby still has a small office there, mainly just for his computer to check grain markets and stuff like that. She does the same thing to him – shoots out of the house and sits there randomly chattering while he’s trying to work. It doesn’t matter if he’s on the computer, or if he’s out in the shop, she wants to talk. About Everything. She chatters like a magpie about people he doesn’t know, doesn’t care to know, and could care less about. He said once she uses more words to say less than anyone he’s ever met. That’s pretty accurate. But, hey… WYGD?

I understand she’s lonely. I do. Honest.

I understand she sits in that big house all alone all day and it drives her crazy.

Hubby’s sister who lives out east, and his brother who lives thirty miles away, don’t understand why we, who live only five miles away don’t enjoy having her around all the time. I mean, I don’t mind having her if it’s in a structured setting – you know, dinner and planned visiting time – when you aren’t trying to do something else at the same time, say, figure out how to market your grain or what seed you are going to use or how to pay $8,000 worth of bills with $5,000… you get the drift. They lay the guilt trip on us. They don’t have her looking over their shoulder every single day of the year to see what it is we’ve spent money on now, or how the crops are doing, or what swear words have we taught our children this week?

His sister sees her at most, three times a year when MIL goes out there or SIL comes here to visit. That’s usually about a week at a time. A week when you have to be nice and listen and shop and eat out and do things together. Yeah, that could be arranged. SIL let it slip, though, the last time she was here that MIL isn’t all that easy to get along with when they’ve traveled together. She gets really upset if things don’t go just her way. Oh, really…? Hubby and I both grinned.

BIL and his wife kiss up play the role bow to the queen brownnose oh, shit, I can’t even say it nicely… Every Sunday they have MIL over for dinner. They invite her to The Boys’ ballgames and other events. They go over and pick up sticks in her yard. They let her dog-sit. I eat that stuff up. Me? Anti-social, remember?

But, WYGD? Rock. Hard place. Us – between. Remember…alcohol.