Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Long day

Spent over 12 hours at work, needed to wait for shipment to arrive. This was because they didn't deliver any yesterday and called to say they wouldn't deliver any today. I said I'd take it later if they could get it to me. All because my postage stamp sized stockroom would not be able to deal with three days worth of product coming in all at once.

Back in at 6am, so it'll be bedtime in a few minutes. Another 12 hour day ahead.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Good Monday!

Hubby and I headed over to WDW this morning. Every year, the week after Thanksgiving is the traditional time for all the Internet Disney fan groups to head to the parks for something called "Mousefest". Now that we live here, we can pop over to meet others as the work schedule allows.
We had a nice visit with some of my friends from a small group, and headed over to Animal Kingdom. It was a nice few hours.

Then, we headed to pick up the boys, with the plan that we would head across the bay to take stepdad out to dinner. While hubby was in the center, stepdad called to say it was seriously POURING by him, so he suggested we reschedule. OK, plans made for Thursday night after son's doctor's appointment.

Hubby comes out of daycare with better news. We've been extremely frustrated with the director of this center-she calls us probably four days a week to tell us that older son is 'out of control' and we need to pick him up IMMEDIATELY. Then, when we get him on the phone, we redirect him rather easily. The previous director (who was awesome, btw) got promoted up and out and we had not one single call from her in the same amount of time.

Apparently, we were not the only parents unhappy with the recent director, and she is gone. We're still going to look for a home daycare enviornment, but hubby says the place was extremely organized again, like it was when Sharon was the director. Good deal.

Oh, and if you haven't bought your exterior christmas lights, be careful! We bought three strings of multi color icicle lights at Target last week. We came up about 20 feet short for outside(I forgot the side of the garage), so I bought another 300 light string and a 100 light string. The 300 light string box was absolultely identical to the other three. Then, when I was up on the ladder yesterday, Ed noticed that this string was one color per strand, as opposed to the multiple colors on the strands that were already on the house. Off we went to get more, but the multi strands were sold out at two other Targets. We'll probably use the other strand on our lanai.

Oh, and if Santa reads my blog, along with that Ipod (40 gig, please), I think we really need a wine fridge now. We went to another PRP wine tasting event yesterday and once again, could not walk out without getting more wine. It's oh so yummy! Our reward was a bottle of Golden Tango Cream, which is like Bailey's on steroids.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I love Publix!

Publix carries my favorite coffee. (Barnie's Santa's White Christmas, if you were interested) Since there is no Barnie's in the local mall, I get my coffee there when I'm not near stepdad's mall.

A few months back, they had a sale on the store brand ice cream, two for one. I had the boys with me and they each got to choose. Older son went for vanilla and younger, noticing the coffee ice cream, went with it. I was happy to see it was Barnie's coffee ice cream. Now that I drink coffee, I was willing to try the ice cream. YUM is the appropriate word.

Wednesday, I went shopping so that our delicious ham would not be the only thing we ate. Lo and behold, Publix has a new flavor of store brand ice cream-Barnie's Santa's White Christmas Ice Cream. I didn't even wait for the two for one.

Obviously, because of the name, I should expect this to be a seasonal ice cream flavor. Fortunately, this is Barnie's most popular flavor, so the beans are available year round.

Thank you, Publix!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Retail insanity, part two

Let's see if you think this is nuts:
321 boxes of merchandise Sunday (because the shipping company didn't have enough drivers on Friday or Saturday)
269 boxes of merchandise Tuesday (because the shipping company had more call outs on Monday) 175 boxes today, but they wanted to deliver 285.

So, I'm being the helpful person and heading back into work in about 2 hours...probably will be there until midnight or 1am. It's gotta get done.

Glad I'm not doing all the turkey stuff this year. I love turkey, but buying the ham was a much better idea. Thanks Ed!

The question is: what drink am I going to have when I get home, because I'm going to need it! Wine or comfort and ginger? Hmmmm, I'm going to ponder that one for the next six hours!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Thanksgiving Request

Okay, preachy Suzanne here:

This Thanksgiving, tell those you love how much they mean to you.
Give them a hug, a kiss, as many kind words and thoughts as you can.

I'm thankful I had 39 years with my mom, and now I realize how much my life is affected on a day to day basis by Mom. In figuring out a Thanksgiving menu and trying to accommodate two kids preferences, I think I'll make carrots and onions in butter, then a broccoli bake for me and Ed, applesauce, cheddar bay biscuits, red cabbage and probably a chocolate cream pie.

Then it hits me that my Thanksgiving menu is all stuff Mom made every year-and I've made most of them year after year, too. I'm also looking to the leftover Honeybaked ham to make my favorite comfort food-au gratin potatos with ham chunks, and realize that this, too, was Mom's favorite way to make leftover ham.

I give thanks that we had a year of living close to each other when I was old enough to appreciate how much Mom had to offer.

Monday, November 21, 2005


So, last week we were looking at Christmas decorations. This year's in thing seems to be prismatic cut outs, outlined in white lights. For some reason, they're called Holographic decorations. Ed saw one and thought it said Pornographic Snowman, not Holographic!

Then today, I was reading the paper while Ed was driving us back from stepdads. He asked me to read him the news-and I told him about the article I was reading. It detailed prostidudes in Tampa-they were calling them 'agressive transvestites". Ed's take was that they come up to your car and tell you "You better come here and let me service you, or else!". Too funny.

Retail insanity

Well, folks, aren't you glad you have a link to my blog? I'm in the midst of the insanity that retail management calls Thanksgiving. Yep, supposed to have 3 days off, got cut to two and I volunteered (you're saying 'sucker') to help out this morning!

If I'm not returning your calls, it's not because I don't want to talk to you. Rather, I'm knee deep in pajamas, plush friends, princess toys and all the other accoutrements that my store has right now. Look on the bright side, I'm not calling at 2am to check in!

I keep telling myself that I can get through one more Christmas season-I'm scoping Monster for other stuff. It's time for a Monday to Friday normal job!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Right back at ya!

So, yesterday I had to take the kiddos to work with me because hubby wasnt' done with work yet. One of my coworkers took them down to KayBee toys for a while, then they came back and met up with DH. Younger son was telling me he'd miss me, so I asked if he'd like me to take them to breakfast in the am. That was a good thought.

So, this morning, after getting to bed at 3:30 am and having kids climb into the bed several times through the night, I decided to skip additional sleep and do what I'd said. Problem was, younger son was sleeping.

I asked if he'd like to go out to breakfast. I got a sleepy yes, then when asked, he said he wanted a banana for breakfast. He then went back to sleep, snoring and all.

Ten minutes later, hubby and I were still there talking and asked if he wanted to go to breakfast (mind you, he's still snoring!) and he answers, groggily, "I'm waiting on you!"

Guess he's heard it from husband and I too much.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Small Cell Lung Cancer

A good friend is flying to Florida as I write this. Her dad is hospitalized and they've found a tumor. Small cell lung cancer has another one. Yes, he smoked. It appears this has progressed quite a bit-they can't stabilize his sodium levels to even consider treating it right now.

It's still making me mad that the tobacco companies made smoking look cool. From where I stand, three people that I know of dying as a direct result of smoking is NOT cool.

Today, I worked on cleaninng younger son's room. His idea of helping was to play with stuff, like scooping up one piece of Lego in a scooper to put in the huge tub of them. This left the other 50 !$%#$%@$#% pieces where they were in their pile. I had to banish him and clean in peace. A few things reminded me of Mom, things she'd bought him. Didn't expect cleaning to make me a little sad.

Gotta call stepdad-still don't know what his plans (therefore, our plans) are for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's 60 out right now, guess Christmas...

Is just around the corner. When the heck did sixty ever feel cold?

Had to go to Walgreens to get one of the kids some acetaminophen, and we saw two houses with lights up already. Worried about the people who do it early and do a half ass job, lol.

Gotta get some icicle lights this weekend. Me, being the analytical one, will be out there tomorrow with the tape measure to ensure that the strands are the right length. If we don't do Thanksgiving with stepdad, I think I'll be hanging them then. Found a nice pre lit tree with multi lights and will buy that tomorrow, too. I've had to give up on finding an all blue pre lit tree-it's not going to happen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Scouting, woohoo!

So, both boys came home with flyers to join scouting. Younger son went nuts over the idea. Made sense, and we went to the Boy Scouting website, which further interested youngest.

We went tonight. It was to form a new pack. The whole point of joining, to me, was to meet other kids and parents. Not to establish the group! I can't remember who, but may years ago, I was told I was definitely going to be a den mother if my kids got into scouting-that Type A personality thing.

Do I like the idea of the kids joining scouts? Yep. Do I have the time to devote to a fledgling group in order to make it fun for the boys? Not really.

Off to find an *established* pack for the kids.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hmmm, Interesting

Last time I took this test, I was Harry...

Which HP Kid Are You?

This is what happens when you take an online study to become a notary and they expect you to take 23 minutes for each section. Let's see, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 5.5 minutes, 3 minutes, 3 minutes...waiting for the very last section's clock to run out.

You may find out more of who I am, ha ha ha!

Notarize this!

I decided that it might be worth my while to become a notary. They get ten dollars per document to notarize, not bad, IMO. Could be a useful thing.

So, I am on the Florida notaries website and I am taking their self directed study. If I become a notary, I can perform marriages. Florida is one of three states that allow this.

I take the first section assessment and acheive a perfect score. However, I have to wait another 23 minutes while I am logged on. Doesn't matter that I have a perfect score, they've allocated 30 minutes for this section of study.

Part two: 10 minutes. Here I wait for another twenty. Yes, another perfect score.

And if you're wondering, if you didn't attend school with me-I always, always, always was the first person done with a test. I guess I read too damn fast!

Cingular loves me, part 2!

So, I was shopping this afternoon and my phone rings. It's an 800 number, and I answer. Ron from Cingular apologizes for my mother's passing and offers to take 150 off my bill, since they can't retroactive my current rate plan. He thought that I'd be upset with that-nope, that's better than what I was going to pay!

It pays to email an explanation. I wrote and said they needed to look at the pattern of the last year, that the past two months were an aberration.

Still not happy to pay that much for one cell phone bill, but I won't ever have a bill like that again!

Proof that I liked Algebra!

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

Oh, and the one wrong is the one I didn't answer because I didn't recognize a symbol,lol!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cingular loves me

Let's see, all the phone calls made in the month of October to all the family members netted me a 536.00 cell phone bill this month. Argh. Life with a cell phone sucks sometimes!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sleeping in

So, all week I was looking forward to being able to sleep in today. I had a school conference on my day off and errands to run on the one day I worked late this week. Two days of getting up at 5:30 really made me crave sleeping until 8:30 or 9 am. (yep, that's sleeping in to me).

Went to bed a little after 11pm. At 7am, I was awoken to the dulcet tones of the RC truck my stepsister bought the boys. It was LOUD, it was crashing into stuff and it caused the boys to laugh and shriek at top volume. Did I mention it was LOUD?

No sleep was going to happen after that. Remind me that her son gets a noisy toy this Christmas!
(I've been good about not buying toys with lots of parts or make noise, lol!)

Friday, November 11, 2005


So, Wednesday night 9pm, phone rings. Fellow manager who's supposed to process shipment was calling out sick for the next day-fortunately for her, I could do it. Blew my plans for going in at 8 and doing some organization stuff for a DM visit the next day. It was an exercise in frustration, trying to fit twice the stuff in half the space!

Then, I had the pleasure of doing it again today. Mind you, in the 5+ years with my employer, this may have been the 12th or 13th time I've processed freight. So to say my butt is dragging after two days of it would be accurate. I don't have energy to make dinner-have a feeling the steak I'd like to consume tonight is going to be "no rules, just right".

My brother is going to email me back. He stopped by Giggle's house today, bummed out. Told Giggles I'd sent him an email that he didn't particularly agree with, but some of it must have sunk in. Socrates was very careful to say "Please" and "Thank you". He didn't agree with my assessment of his alcohol consumption-what a surprise!

Giggles has joined the ranks of computer owners, woohoo! Life is getting easier-we bought her a DVD player earlier this year to make it easier to buy gifts. Now I can email her stuff. I'm so horrible about snail mailing *anything*, even though I'm at the post office every day!

Talked to stepdad briefly today-he's hanging in there. I'm still in awe of how he's coping AND has opened up to us and is willing to ask for help. I'm back over there on Tuesday. Thanksgiving week should be a good one-I get three days off, so I'll get over there twice, possibly three times.

Watched Star Wars episode 3 last night. What a train wreck. I forget who said it ultimately was a love story-and it was. I'm regretting ever sticking up for Jar Jar Binks, though. It was his nomination of Palpatine that set the wheels in motion for all of it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yet another busy day.

Dropped the kids off at school, then headed across the bay to stepdad's. I was the administrative assistant today, drafting up a couple of letters to change beneficiaries and close a savings account and have the funds dispersed to him. He's still in denial about all of this (kinda feel the same way), but is sorting through Mom's financial stuff. I realized today that he's going to have a flood of calls starting in late January. My mom did taxes for A LOT of people, most of her clients are up in NY and won't know what happened. I sure hope no one calls the week before their taxes are due.

I think she enjoyed doing taxes-it was a puzzle to figure out and see which way someone would get the most money or pay the least. That must be why I enjoy doing them myself-she'd get that gleam in her eye when she realized that someone could use a deduction!

It's been suggested that I post the email I sent to my brother. I'll probably put that up tomorrow. BTW, I still haven't heard from him, but used one of the remaining beers in tonight's fondue. It's about all Budweiser is good for, anyway. :)

Got a new book to dive into-Nelson DeMille's Night Fall. It's always good when a writer I like bases their story in a locale I'm well acquainted with. Tom Clancy's another writer that I love that uses familiar locales.

I joined classmates back over the summer-I think I bitched recently that they charged me for membership when I didn't want to rejoin. That said, I'd sent an email through them to the boss that hubby and I had back in 1986. The job where we met. Anyway, she sent an email back. I'd written "Remember me? Remember Bozo (my ex, who worked for her husband)? We married. we divorced...and I married Hubby!" I got an email back "WHAT? What am I missing-you two got married?!?" Oh so priceless, lol. We've been emailing back and forth-she seemed so much older back then, when in reality she wasn't!

Want to read a bit-got a call from work and I'm now headed in at o'dark thirty. At least it means I get out earlier!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Returning to normal (whatever that is...)

Yes, I freely admit I was neglecting my posting duties. I think I needed a few mental health days after the chaos that reigned last week.

My siblings and stepdad were agog that I really sent my brother the email. I'm not the type to do that sort of thing. Hey, it was adressing actual events, lol.

After the craziness of the week, I went to work on Friday and found several cards. I work with a great bunch of people. Then I got a weekend off. Spent Saturday morning with stepdad and stepsis, then when hubby got off work, we headed over to WDW for an overnight stay and visit with his mom and sister.

We had a nice dinner at Whispering Canyon (well worth it, they were surprised by the antics and loved the food). Sunday would have been Nancy's 57th birthday, so the clan honored her day by doing her favorite thing-sitting poolside with a drink at Port Orleans French Quarter. It was off to Epcot afterwards. I had to leave at 4:30 for a store meeting. I have the rotten luck that every year, the store meeting falls on my *last* weekend off before Christmas.

Been busy with work the past couple of days. Tomorrow is my day off, and we're headed over to stepdad's in the morning to help him with whatever he needs. Some financial stuff needs to be looked over, so I'll help him out with that.

I know, really boring reading. Hope you're checking in with me just before bedtime today!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Crazy me

I sent Socrates an email, detailing my issues with him. He'll probably delete it as soon as he sees the comment "You're an alcoholic if you can't spend any time in 4 hours without a beer in your hand" Should be interesting to see if I even get a response back.

Poor Giggles, he went to her house last night-he started with the story and she told him her line. He shut up and moped for the remainder of the night.

Friday, November 04, 2005

What happens in Florida, stays in Florida

Giggles got a phone call from Socrates this morning. He was looking to talk about the events down here. She was going to call him back and say the above statement. If he persists in trying to talk about the drama he caused down here, she said he'll be sorry he opened his mouth-she's got far more ammunition to fire at him than I ever have.

Giggles lives in the same town as Socrates, so she's seen him on a regular basis. I suspect that will change.

No phone calls to me-guess he realizes that calling me is a waste of his precious cell minutes.

Work was a good distraction today, and my boss gave me a very thoughtful card. Then I got home and found that my online friends chipped in and got a Harry and David basket for the family. Very sweet gesture from some very sweet people.

Totally wiped out here. Think I'm going to grab a ginger ale, take a short soak in the tub and hit the sack pretty soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Socrates and the Furious Redhead

To continue...

I had dropped Giggles off at the airport and got home around 9am. I suggested breakfast to hubby and friend (Cracker Barrel was calling). My sister was still sleeping and I knew she'd have a long day, so we didn't wake her. Probably not the best decision, but I stood by it. Breakfast was yummy, pecan pancakes.

We get back to the house and my sister had woken up and had a shower. She wasn't pleased that we didn't wake her and I made some coffee to appease for not waking her.

Then, at 11:15am, my phone rings. It's Socrates. "Check out time is at noon," he says.

"And?" is my reply.

"When are you coming to get me?" To which I responded that he was being mighty presumptuous that I'd pick him up, he didn't even ask me if I minded or offer to put gas in the tank. He hadn't asked me last night when I had dropped him off. Apparently, he didn't ask because 'we'd been arguing'. I told Socrates he had a perfectly good cell phone that he could have called with when he realized this oversight.

Socrates was pissed that I wasn't going to be at his beck and call and insisted again, stupidly, that checkout was at noon. At which point I balked at driving over to get him. "Fine, I'll call Giggles". I then dropped the bomb that he could call Giggles, but I'd already dropped her at the airport at 8:30. I should've let him call her cell-it's the one I picked up last week.

At this point, I go off:
1. You've called everyone in this family a liar, that means I'm a liar
2. You've told Giggles that you're not sure if you can trust me, so why do you think I'm good enough to be at your damn beck and call.
3. You called my cell phone to complain that no one had picked up at the hotel to bring you to the funeral home, when I told you I didn't have enough room and I came back to get you. You didn't even bother to thank me for doing this.
4. You complain that step dad disrespected you, yet you didn't even go to shake his hand OR offer condolences on the loss of his wife of 20 years, the woman who shared his life and his bed.
5. Step dad bought lunch for you and you had the nerve to ignore him, not thank him, and stand outside and tell Giggles that I'm not trustworthy, even though I've offered to take you to other brother's grave site, which you didn't thank me for doing.
6. Get your own sorry ass to the airport, rent a car. I've spent the past three weeks spending all my time with Mom and making sure she was okay, my family hasn't seen much of me, I wanted a day to rest and relax with them and you're concerned that not I'm dropping everything to get you.
7. You didn't bother to ASK me to come pick you up, or thank me for being your taxi.
8. You're a fucking selfish bastard and if I don't hear from you, I'm not missing a damn thing.

Socrates, of course, yells at me to stop yelling. It seems to be the only way he will listen. On reflection, I'm convinced he's a misogynist asshole, who won't listen to females because he thinks we're stupid. Then I yell and prevent him from shutting his stupid damn ears.

I hung up on him, sister crying, husband was bemused that I said all that I did, and me positively fuming at the audacity. I'm a horrible sister because I've been doing all that I have to care for Mom, family and keep everyone in the loop about the events of the past month.

Twenty minutes later, my phone rings-Socrates again. I'm not answering it, so it goes to message. "Suzie, don't worry, I got a car, so you don't have to come get me. (I'm not, doody head) I'll call you when I get home, I'm out of minutes on my cell phone. I don't need to argue and I can explain everything." I think he needs all day to figure out how to address one of the things he's said in the past two days. If he thinks I'm answering the phone, he's got another thing coming to him.

After this, I needed a distraction, so we went over to see the house my in laws have a contract to purchase. Very nice-they wanted a house under five years old, and got one that was built this year.

Around 4:30, we made the second trip to the airport. At least my sisters Thank me for doing stuff!!! While saying our goodbyes, another good friend from NY called me. She'd read the blog and wanted to see if I was okay. Best part, she offered to bodily harm my brother! No, he's not worth the jail time, but it's a good thought.

Back to work in the morning. No rest for the weary and no good deed goes unpunished.

Socrates and I Me My

To continue the drama...

Dinner was consumed, (Socrates had 10 beers in 4 hours, but I think I mentioned that already), and socializing ensued. Around 9, I ask my friend to accompany me on the drive to the hotel so that I'd have company on the way back. I'm so sorry I did, but lucky for Socrates that she was there.

Socrates proceeds to complain in the car that stepdad disrespected him, nobody in the family understands him, blah, blah, blah. All "Poor, me" bullshit. I try to explain WHY stepdad would be mad (Legacy's lies about a past event). He kept saying "Yeah, but..." and would not listen to my explanation that if someone was feeding Mom and stepdad BS and they weren't hearing his side, they'd believe the rather big lie. I got fed up with the "Yeah, but..." and not listening to me and told him to shut the fuck up and listen to me. He apparently doesn't like yelling and I gave him a raft of grief about the fact that it wasn't about HIM. Then he goes on about the family friend that 'tried to adopt him and wanted to take him away from Mom' that died a few years ago.

Socrates then went on to complain that everybody in the family lies (hmmm, I'm a part of the family, so I guess that means I'm lying, too), and that he doesn't trust any of us. This, my friends, did not go over well with me. Here I am, with my brother calling me a liar when I've spent the past two weeks disseminating the truth to everyone about how things were here. If my friend wasn't in the car, I would have pulled over on the interstate and dropped him off.

I ended up apologizing to placate him, even though he still wasn't listening to me. Friend was saying it was like the dynamic in her marriage...Socrates thinks he's right, the worlds wrong and you can talk until you're blue in the face, you know jackshit. I apologized to keep the peace-when I wasn't the one insulting him by calling him a liar.

So, we drop Socrates off at the hotel and he gives me and friend hugs "since he won't see us for a while". We make some sort of peace, although I didn't have plans to talk to him again anytime soon. I still think he's a schmuck about all this, and he's ungrateful for anything that any human being does for him. Still no thanks for driving 40 miles to drive him to the hotel. I'm sure he walked away saying I'm a bitch.

Okay, so I ask friend what time she thinks Socrates will call me in the morning. Her impression was that our parting was pretty final. I had to stop by step dad's to bring youngest another duffel bag for all the 50 cent shirts she found (nice tee's, btw. She's murder on shirts) and regale her and step sis with Socrate's garbage. I need to be back here at 7:30 to take youngest to the airport, so we depart rather quickly.

This morning, I was up and out by 6:30, get youngest (man, I need to find a nickname for her, probably Giggles will work). I tell Giggles the part of the story I neglected last night, brother bringing up the would be adoptive parent. She fumes that our mother died and all he can think about is this other woman 'understood him' and we don't. We also talk about Legacy, other relations and the garbage they've pulled. We talk about YAGEing Legacy..."I just called to say I hate you, I just called to say you're a friggin drunk" to the tune of Stevie Wonder's song came up. Yes, she wanted to call Legacy to tell her she wouldn't be speaking to her again.

Gotta make another Jitney bus run. Final installment of the Socrates novella in a few..

The Immortal Socrates

My brother, Socrates (name has been changed to protect the stupid), has been the cause of screaming fury the past 15 hours. I've blown up twice and dropped more F bombs than anyone that knows me has EVER heard.

Okay, part one:
After the luncheon, I offer to take Socrates and the sister staying with me to see our other brother's gravesite (10 minutes away, most of the family has never seen it). I do, we go, pay our respects and leave. Sister thanks me for bringing her there, Socrates doesn't.

Socrates has had this look like someone has pissed in his Budweiser since he got here, so I do the right thing (not the easy thing) and offer to bring him back to my place for pork chop dinner. He says he wants to change out of his suit. I need to get gas, so we drop him at the hotel, go and get gas and are back in 5 minutes. We then wait 10 minutes for him, had to call his room to say we've been waiting-he'd said he'd be right down.

He asks to get some beer as we're heading to my place. I've got some Rolling Rocks (purchased for company, not a big beer drinker), but that's not good enough-Socrates ONLY drinks Budweiser. Okay. I'd promised my kids I would get them from daycare as soon as I get back home. As there's four of us in the car, I drop the others at the house, Socrates bitches that I didn't stop for him to get his beer. I tell him I'll grab some after I get the kids and run to the farm stand and grocery store. (This after enduring his thoughts on the public education system when he doesn't have kids and any first hand experience with it)

Upon picking my guys up, I see that younger son needs to go home and change, he's had a rough and tumble kind of day. We get back to the house, Socrates wants to know where the beer is-I show him child and tell him I need to change child's clothes.

Younger child has not seen much of me for several weeks, so he runs the errands with me, WalMart for lava rocks, farm stand and grocery store for Socrate's 12 pack of beer. We get back and he complains that I bought bottles-that's all I've seen him drink since he's been here.

We get back around 5 and he's antsy for the damn beer. Best friend came down from Jacksonville to be moral support and I've invited another friend for dinner. Spend the time prepping food and socializing. It appears that he's coming out of the pissy attitude. My poor friends have to hear my brother's warped views on life and politics. Socrates has an interesting take on things and chastises my husband for parenting incorrectly (he's got no kids and knows all).

All was okay, then I drove Socrates back to the hotel. I'll update that in a little bit...

Goodbye, Mom

Funeral mass was very nice. It was in a small chapel at the Catholic Church near the funeral home. The priest, since Mom wasn't a member of his parish, took a very nice approach. He asked the congregation "What comes to mind first when you think of Joanie?" Younger sister and I both said "her smile", and he asked sis to elaborate. I then said her generosity, because she'd give anyone the shirt off her back and wouldn't let anyone spend a holday alone.

One of her neighbors mentioned that Mom stood up for what was right. Another her laughter. And her intelligence, caring and warmth. It was very personal and touching.

Stepdad did beautifully. Mom's gravesite is under palm trees, near the pond, with some flowering bushes nearby-all things Mom loved. Graveside was less than ten minutes, and Stepdad invited everyone to lunch at Macaroni Grill.

We toasted Mom and said her grace and had a nice hour talking and reminiscing. Mom would have loved it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Drama, drama and more drama

It's been a loooooooooooooooong day. Did I say it was long?

I keep repeating to myself "I love my big family, I love my big family, I love my big family" Maybe if I say it enough, I'll actually believe it.

Wake was open casket, we were expecting closed. It's okay, they did a great job. However, mom did not look like mom because a. she never wore full makeup, only lipstick and b. she was not smiling. It was extremely rare to see mom without a smile.

Some of the interesting events today:
1. Brother called me and asked me to come by the hotel and pick him up, because youngest sister told him to. Nope, she didn't. I already was not driving my car and taking husbands-mine seats 4, his 5 and we were full up with 5. Brother got petulant "I knew it was a mistake to come down here." Suck it up and pay the 15 bucks for a taxi! I was going to take two cars, hubby wouldn't hear of it. Instead, we went to the funeral home and I drove back to the hotel (getting three messages from my brother in the process that nobody had bothered to pick him up). Next time, you get strapped to the roof, bucko!

2. Brother called the sister that is persona non grata (assumed another sister's identity, forged mom's signature and pretended to be mom to buy a car, among other things) to tell her mom had died. Her husband said "no, she's adopted". She's also an ordained minister. I want to know which church ordains those who don't honor their parents and try to bed other sister's husbands (yep, this DID happen!). She obviously is not coming to pay her respects.

3. Sister who racked up over 10k in credit card debt on mom's credit cards is clueless to why my stepdad is giving her the cold shoulder.

4. "Legacy" called another sister crying that I didn't offer to buy her a plane ticket, but I bought one for my brother (not true) and offered one for the sister she called. "No one bothered to ask how *my* financial affairs are!" she complained. "Legacy's" daughter was called by this sibling and was outed for the drama she has caused. Legacy was offered a plane ticket by her daughter, and then it all tumbled out that she wasn't welcome because everyone thought she was a money grubbing vulture (if the shoe fits...).

Daughter called me, and said she was tired of the she said/she said bullshit. I prefaced my comments with "you know how your mother is when she drinks" and proceeded to explain all the events since August. She must've shut her mother down, because flowers showed up to the funeral home an hour later with all their names on them.

5. I feel like the babysitter of the two siblings that are not in stepdad's good graces-I've got to keep them away to keep the peace. The difficult part is that stepdad wants me and hubby to come to the luncheon after the burial, and I can't ditch them-I'm their friggin taxi right now. I've apologized to him that I'm not around, but I am keeping them away because I know how he feels.

Give me strength! At least I can get through one more day of the three ring circus that comes to town with my family.