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Friday, July 29, 2005

Still at it today

Lacey's still a growling, barking freak at the deer today. I'm really starting to feel like a turd. Gonna corner Tall Boy tonight to get it up on the wall.....

Off to see P-Judd.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Today's Failed Rescue: Lacey and the Mount

Tall Boy is a hunter. I knew it when I met him. Before Bam-Bam came along, he was basically gone to me from late September through November. He hunts with a bow, muzzleloader and rifle which gives him ample opportunity to be in the woods. There was actually quite a bit of discussion about my being able to get him to agree to a November wedding. He only agreed because we planned a night ceremony; he never would have agreed to a 10 am service. My only restrictions were that if he had a shot at a deer that morning (yes, he did in fact go hunting the morning of our wedding day) that he had to have it out of the woods and at the butcher by 2pm. Give and take.

In the 11 years we've been together, Tall Boy has actually shot two deer. The first, back in 1995 was a very small button buck that weighed in about what our golden retriever, Lacey, currently weighs. Not all that impressive. Certainly not mountable. He did have the hooves mounted in an upturned position and he uses it to display arrows and such.

His second kill was this past November. She was a nice doe that weighed in at 121 pounds. With his track record being as it is, he decided and I agreed that he'd get the head mounted in a nice shoulder mount that will grace our living room with tremendous pride. When she was laid out in the back of his father's Tacoma, I didn't realize how big the shoulder mount would end up but nonetheless, it is finished and has made it's way to our home.

He picked up the mount on Saturday, brought it home and put it up on our bed for the weekend because we were up at camp and it was at least safe there from the cat. Last night, upon returning home from camp, I moved the beautiful doe to the dining room table so I could sleep.

The move has traumatized poor Lacey.

She's been avoiding the great room, where the table is, all day. And, she's been growling quietly from whatever room she is in all day too. She'll be laying here next to me in the office and suddenly she'll grumble, even though the mount is not within viewing distance. Josey, the baby, has been barking at it sporatically but Lacey is just beside herself and it's killing me.

I tried like hell to get the deer up on the wall and in it's final resting place but wouldn't you know it, the stud finder died. Looks like I'll be getting a new one at Wally World tomorrow so as to not overload Lacey's anxiety level for much longer.

Imagine what will happen if he ever gets a moose......

The only part of all of this that is adorably cute is that Bam-Bam played "hunting" with daddy when he got up the morning. At one point as they passed by me on their way back outside, Tall Boy said to him: "But Buddy, where are you going to get the $1200 to pay the taxidermist for the three deer you've already got?".

***Note for those currently in a panic: playing hunting was completely imaginary. There were no real or play guns involved at all. Just "pretend" everything. Even to the point of pretend deer hanging from our trees out front. Neither one of us is ready for him to be playing with any guns (except water guns). To that end, I give you the accompanying video....

Friday, July 22, 2005

Drunken Rockstars

Last night I was invited down to Paddy's for a mini class reunion. Ok, not so much an organized class reunion but one based on the love of a local band, Pondering Judd, that is shared by several of the characters within the graduating class from SHS, 1988 (man, now I'm dating myself).

James, who was my latch-on friend from the first minute I walked into the new school in 7th grade, has been trying to get together for drinks since I showed up at his grandfather's funeral several months ago. James and I have that kind of friendship. One without time limits or without that uncomfortable nervousness that develops when there is time that has ticked by without reaching out to each other. We both know that those minutes/hours/weeks/months between connections have no reflection on how much we care about each other. But, with life the way life is, finding a time when we can both say "I'll be there" with definitive certainty can be tough to coordinate.

So, when he and I talked two weeks ago to nail down a night that we'd both be able to commit, we chose last night and found out subsequently that PJ was playing at the old Officer's Club and chose it as our meeting place. When I called him yesterday afternoon to confirm that my truck repairs had managed to leave me 20 cents to rub together and that I could definitely go, he mentioned that several of my old school friends would be there as well.

The band gave it's predictibly rocking sets outside on the deck beneath a huge canopy to prevent Martimus from passing out. Success. Goose, with his wide toothy grin, nailed down the baseline with the other three bandmates sounding meshed and melded. While intermittently singing along to "42", "Slim", "Losing", "Three Towns Down" and "Red House, Red Truck, Red Neck", we all reconnected, laughed, picked on each other and begged for Shipyard t-shirts. Being the sober one, I didn't land a t-shirt but I got something better: time with lost friends.

James and I didn't get much time to chat. I showed off pictures of Bam-Bam and told a few stories about him but both of us were also busy visiting with other members of the Judd congregation. At one point, Gags, my dearest friend my junior and senior year in high school, came over to visit from another table. He's beautifully salt-and-peppered and hasn't lost a lick of his sense of humor. He proved yet again that he's obsessed with the roundness of his own ass and his penchant for breaking out into an English accent. He's still quick-witted, easy-going and still gives long, strong, memory-filled hugs.

When the set was over, a few of us moved on to Testy's huge new house. The blue margaritas and belly laughes continued there until well after 2 am. My stomach and cheeks are killing me today from the hysterics I was in for hours on end. The conversation was an incredible mix of nostalgia, loss of family figureheads and anecdotes about our kids.

In the years since I left high school, Tall Boy and I have accumulated several incredible friendships. Couples that we spend the majority of our gatherings with: trips, birthdays, days at the lake. Their gifts of sharing life with us is something that I am continually thankful for. I know that if I ever needed anything at all, anything, that I could pick up the phone and call either the husband or wife in these couplings and they would be right by my side. There's an indescribable comfort in their spot in our lives.

But spending time with the P-Judd fan club last night was mayhem based in history. Driven on memories made, stories recalled from that time in my life that existed before Tall Boy and Bam-Bam. It's a warm and familiar place before life took over, before I was one of the wounded , before jobs and mortgages and hectic schedules. At one point in the evening, just after Testy left Gags standing in the parking lot of Paddy's and I offered to drive him back to the house, Gag's turned to me and asked how things were for Tall Boy and I and I told him that we were excellent. We haven't always been but we are again, excellent. His answer gave me confidence that I've been able to return, at least a little bit, to who I used to be.

"Good, I'm glad to hear that. Because you deserve it, Hero, you always have.".

I love you too man.
--------------------------
Gags: My "I Go Back" track: In the Still of the Night by Whitesnake. Small Road camp and silver pick-up. Canoing the lake. Me, you and C-brother. "Play the na na na na song". Takes me right back.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Newfound Knowledge

Five Things I've learned in the last few days/weeks:

  1. Veternarians that tell you that your cats are pissing all over the laundry and every stray gymbag in the basement because they have a UTI are in fact just trying to buy time for said cats. In reality, the cats are just pissed and when they are pissed, they piss. That's it.
  2. Four-year-olds and hip-hop can mix, when the proper filters are involved, as testiment to Bam-Bam requesting for a repeat play of GS's Rich Girl, louder then proceed to sing along "Na na na na na na......shouldn'tmattershouldn'tmattershouldn'tmattershouldn'tmatter". At least we didn't need to play the Spongebob Squarepants Soundtrack for the 373rd time.
  3. Maine Outdoorsman-reading men don't necessarily make good boat-dockers and computer-savy, scrapbooking stay-at-home-moms just might. (Love ya Chum!)
  4. If the garage tells you that they need to replace your alternator, ALWAYS get the battery replaced too. And, when the dealership that fixes your airbag and a few other minor things tells you they need to keep your vehicle two extra days because the tech said he did some of the work but in fact had done none of it and that you're the greatest customer they've ever had and for your patience you get a free $15 oil change when you're due for one again and then charge you $200 more than the $750 estimate for the work, turn on the tears. I didn't, and should have.
  5. Then, a week later when the said unchanged battery dies and your vehicle won't start for the fourth time in three weeks just as you're trying to head over to the grocery store and hit the lake and you bring it to your favorite "local guy" and call at 4:15 to check the status and get surprised when a woman answers the phone, you just might break out into the new "Will Smith" language and ask "Hi, this is Hero, I've got the Explorer and I'm calling to find out what the giggy is?"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Well, look at that....

I managed to fix the formatting problems all on my own by tweaking the template. I scare myself sometimes.....

Oh, and if you haven't stopped by here, I highly recommend it, particularly with the current entry. The woman is incredible.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I could KILL Hunzer for this but here goes....


What I Was Doing...

10 Years Ago ~Tall Boy and I were attending wedding after wedding for many of our close friends. In fact, in October we were asked to stand up with our friends when they eloped. On the ride home from their wedding, we did extensive talking about where we were headed. A week later, he proposed.

5 Years Ago ~Five years ago we were deep into a fertility treatment. In May/June they had tried to do a supression cycle but my body just ate that right up and they canceled it just a few days in. The next month, they loaded me up with enough drugs to fertilize a herd of cattle. The weekend I ovulated, a very dear friend flew in from Florida to take in the Third Eye Blind concert with me. Vertical Horizon opened for them LOL. Anyway, for reasons my RE still cannot explain, I actually managed to get pregnant. We were worried for a few weeks that it might be multiples but I was lucky enough to be blessed with just Bam-Bam. The end of the three years had come.

1 Year Ago ~ Last year I got to take Bam-Bam to Philly to meet some friends and see Sesame Place. Spent the rest of the summer either working at the dog daycare or up at camp. It was a rough summer overall.

Yesterday ~ Yesterday I basically did a lot of nothing. Never got out of my pj's. Never left the house. I did wash bedsheets, dishes, etc and we had a terrific dinner but that's about it. One of my more enjoyable ways to spend the day.

5 Snacks I Enjoy ~
Ice cream
Rice Krispie Treats
Nutter Butters
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Granola bars
Swedish Fish

5 Things I Would Do with $100 Million ~
Pay off debts and buy new cars
Buy a house on the lake
Travel to all 36 Nascar races for at least one full year
Donate to charities (particularly ones that would help people in Africa)
Invest

5 Locations I Would Like to Run Away To ~
Ireland
Square Pond
Ireland
Square Pond
Ireland

5 Bad Habits I Have ~
Biting my nails
Driving too fast
Swearing
Picking at my skin
Letting the housework go

5 Things I Like Doing ~
Fishing
Scrapbooking
Reading
Singing/Listening to Music
Spending time with family

5 Things I Would Never Wear ~
A bikini (at least not until I'm skinny again)
A tube top
Capri pants with the sheared sides
Leather chaps
Short, short, short shorts


5 TV Shows I Like ~
Rescue Me
Hell's Kitchen
ER
Law and Order SVU
Numb3rs

5Biggest Joys of the Moment ~
Being able to stay home to raise Bam-Bam
Being at the lake
Writing
Watching Bam-Bam swim
My marriage

5 Favorite Toys ~
Digital cable with DVR

Digital Camera
MP3 player
My computer
A deck of cards

Monday, July 18, 2005

Can we PLEASE get a quarum on this matter? [with phrasing I wish I could have included]

Dear Senator-

I would like to lend my voice of support for my friend, W, in his request to return home from Iraq to care for his wife, V. As I'm sure you are aware by now, V has been hospitalized for the last week after suffering a series of seizures/strokes that have left her left side compromised. As of this morning she has been tentatively diagnosed with viral meningitis with encephalitis and was supposed to be transferred to the big hospital in town for further treatment and stabilization until said big hospital in town acted all "No Room At the Inn" on her this morning. To top all of that off, she is in need of surgery on one or possibly both of her knees once they are able to get her “healthy” again; a process that had started just before all this current issue began last Monday.

With her family out of state, having W return home to care for her and their four year old daughter, Pooh Bear, is imperative. So far, the petitions submitted on their behalf by the Red Cross have fallen on arrogant ears. It is my hope, along with V’s other friends that have contacted you, that you will be able to intervene with the powers that be opening the door for W’s to return to his wife's side.

While we understand that every soldier would not be able to be dismissed from active duty for every ingrown toenail, overplucked eyebrow or uneven breast augmentation, this situation has definitely progressed to a level of urgency that requires his participation in V’s direct care as well as being available to her during her expected extensive recovery period.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and hope that you will be able to lend your voice to this family’s cries for assistance. I'd like to also add that if you chose not to help us out, we may band together even more and have a sit-in or something on the front lawn of the Capitol Building.

Respectfully-
Hero
[although not feeling very heroic with this particular topic]

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Technical Difficulties

I don't know what the deal is with the sidebar. I'm using Blogger's template for inserting pictures and it's making the sidebar alignment all stupid and bumping my sidebar information way down below my entries.

Of course.

Plugging through Idiot's Guide to Webpages and Blogs. Guess I need to make that a higher priority.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Fortune Telling

Took one of those on-line IQ tests and got this:

Congratulations! Your IQ score is 126

"This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others. Your Intellectual Type is Word Warrior. This means you have exceptional verbal skills. You can easily make sense of complex issues and take an unusually creative approach to solving problems. Your strengths also make you a visionary. Even without trying you're able to come up with lots of new and creative ideas."

After reading their description, I researched to find out how the number translates on the scale and found out that the 120-129 range is considered "superior" with only 6-7% of the population joining me (LOL). Then I also discovered that people in my “score range” are most typically employed as school teachers, pharmacists, accountants, nurses, stenographers, or managers.

Guess that explains why I’m considering going back to school to be a nurse once Bam-Bam hits first grade in a couple of years.

And here I thought it was for the $60+/hour pay potential.

Girls NOT Interrupted

I've never quite known how to put it all in words so that people that know that I'm a completely rational person could understand. Today, Citizen Mom did it for me.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Connected

My uncle, Bookem, who got remarried a couple of weeks back has two kids. His son, SkinnyBumpLip hereafter shortened to SBL, and his daughter, Beck, are 4 and 6 years younger than me respectively. They grew up in a little red Cape one street over from the house my sister's and I lived in.

When we were very young, my sisters, cousins and I all spent a lot of time together. We spent weekends with my grandparents at their camp in the mountains playing carrom until our knuckles throbbed, climbing into the old rope swing that hung from the tree along the rock wall that once held the lake and watching hummingbirds flit back and forth to the feeder from the musty old couches on the back porch. We fought over the twin beds and read This Happened to Me in every edition of Bampa's Outdoor Life magazines. We saw the mountaintops with aunts and uncles and there's an incident involving a transparent green visor and a bee that still pains SBL to this day. We went sledding down the hill in the front of my grandparents house on the Snurfers, ice skated on the reservoir and picked mayflowers in Ham's field on Easter.

When I was about 10 Jo, their mom, made a religious conversion that threw shockwaves through my family. My grandparents were particularly rocked by the news that she was no longer going to be Catholic like the rest of us. At the time, I had no idea what it meant to not be Catholic. I didn't view people by their choices of faith. I knew that all of my friends and family all went to the same kind of Church that I did and had no comprehension that anything else out there existed. Not until the announcement. And, the announcement was "big" for level of Catholicism my family practiced. She had become a Jehovah's Witness.

When Jo switched gears she brought SBL and Beck with her to the new services and they stopped attending Catholic-based celebrations. There had been a handful of years just after the conversion when the "kids" still joined us at Christmas or Easter but eventually even that stopped. After what I'm sure must have been several heated discussions between he and Jo, Bookem gradually gave up trying because the bottom line is that the differing view would eventually take it's toll on the kids hardest and he loved them so deeply that he would never hurt them in that way.

Unfortunately for us, the cousins, the chasm created by Jo's very personal decision was near impossible to bridge. The camp in the mountains was sold and although our family continued to gather and spend time together, it was now primarily at the holidays. As unintentional as it was, we the kids were a tremendous casualty in the middle of the spiritual conflict between the adults. There became fewer and fewer occasions for us to hang out until eventually, we just didn't see each other at all anymore even though they still lived one street over.

Years have ticked by now and SBL and Beck have moved clear across the country, literally. They grew up minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and are now settled minutes from the Pacific. To me though, they don't seem any further away then they have for the past 25 years.

Last month for Bookem's wedding, they flew home for the celebration. They were both as beautiful as I remember them. The six cousins, Tall Boy and SBL's wife were all seated at the same table and throughout the meal we made our way past the nervousness to the point of being able to joke and reminisce again which was, by far, the best part of the day aside from gaining the most incredible woman as my new aunt.

Later at the after party, SBL sidled up to me and wrapped his arm around my neck with a smile and said that he missed me, missed "us". Then he added something that was both heartbreaking and poignantly spot on. He said that he felt like he didn't know me. That he knew me "before", in the past, but that he didn't now and that he hoped that some how, some way, that would change.


For me, it's still not about faith, religion, beliefs or mileage. Never has been. I miss them as members of my family. As a makers of memories. As a tellers of history. Our history essentially stopped when I was 10, he was 6 and she was 4. I miss them and hurt for the chances we were never able to have all these years. Woven in that painful place is the realization and acceptance that none of this was anyone's malicious doing. Not their mom, their dad, or anyone else in our typically complex yet incredibly loving family. It's just what happened, what resulted, from decisions made so incredibly long ago. I don't know that we'll ever be able to create new memories in a way that replicates the path our relationships were on before it all but at least now the chasm is connected if only at it's shortest span.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Heaven and Hell


I know I've been MIA for several days and I apologize. Between reeling over the news of my friend's son, vehicle dilemas, ISP issues and life (all the referenced "hell" in the title), things have been rather chaotic around here. To tide you over, click on the picture of Bam-Bam and see some more of our heaven.....

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Logic?

If you're reading this, someone I know and who's mother I love, needs your prayers. Sue's son, Jay, received this news on June 9th.

On July 1st, I received news that he has Burkitt's Lymphoma that has metasticized from his brain to two ribs, his breast, his forearm and his sinus.

"Almighty God, take Jayson into your loving hands. Give his body the strength it needs to fight. Give his family comfort in this time of uncertainty. Lord, please grant your mercy on him today and in the tomorrows ahead. In Your name we pray..."



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