CalamiTea

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CalamiTea

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School has resumed. I am thinking that for my custom made corset that I need to have the Wonder Woman design put on it instead of whatever I decide upon. WTF was I thinking? Yoga teacher training. 15 college credits. Homeschooling. I am f'ing insane. Pulling it off though will be a great thing. If I can just stay on top of it.

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I f***ing hate my major. I love Russian-- my teacher is awesome and while she chewed me up one side and down the other for being late, she is a ball of fire and I am in a class of science and business majors. The class is high energy and I love being there. "Fine! I didn't want to miss any anyway!" The prof laughed, "Well FINE back! See if I care if you are not late!"

She gave me a Russian name today-- it's the same as one of my children. She was delighted that most of my children have Russian names. This prof is so sleek-- I love how she dresses and carries herself. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

My major classes are where we do group therapy for fragile classmates or those whose lives are so hard that they need to vent. 300, 400 level classes. Goody! I cannot stand them and tomorrow we get more of the same in a class where we play Pretend. "If I were a counselor/person in this situation and this was happening, this is how I'd handle it."

My next door neighbor is in one of the classes. I don't think she is very intelligent. It bothers me that she is going for my major. She asked if I was happy to get my kidz back in school. WTF? What kind of a question is that to ask someone? I clarified once I made her tell me who she was (hint: I do not like you) and I said that I like my children and would not have them to only look forward to sending them away!

A lady in Russian has me degree and wants four years of her life back. I told her I wasn't crazy about the degree and asked what she thought and she said, "You will spend all of your time in your upper division classes listening to people talk about their personal problems, max out your pay in three years after graduation, have a harder time getting in to a master's program because it's not quite psychology and not really social work. . ." The last thing that I want is to change majors again. I changed them so many times years before. I really truly hate this one though. I don't care if I have to do the math-- I need it anyway, but the only reason I had problems before was because every time I had a math class, the kids would get sick and I was a single mother. I flunked out of an extremely low math class because I was overwhelmed when I was out of school for three weeks with my daughters taking turns with the chicken chops. (Chicken pox.)

I need to see an adviser in the morning. It will be crowded. Tomorrow is the last day to drop classes.

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Friday, August 31, 2007
Major Tea

I just dropped all of my human services classes. I am so ticked right now. I was in 300 and 400 level classes and they were like group therapy for the people with much decorated histories who were taking the class. Did I really need to hear about some woman's foster daughter who was suffered from RAD, ODD, ADHD and a collection of other terrible acronyms and how the present system was or wasn't helping her?

I will probably switch to English. I have maxed out on all possible electives-- I have so many, but I didn't know what I wanted. I have no idea what I have just done to myself. I signed up for math (the only thing that is lacking for a general studies degree-- and stats, I need stats, from Excelsior in New York) and I am in 054. I can't believe I did this.

I am close to an English degree. I like English and while it's not useful, neither is human services. The thought that I will make the money to pay back the loans is insane. I have no idea how I will do this but today I had a sickening feeling about going to class, like I'd get sick. Maybe it's a touch of the flu-- my husband feels it but I think it's the subject.

I signed up for the magazine article writing class through a sister college and a math class and a linguistics class. I take Russian out here. I will also be taking a narrative writing class in town that is five weeks long. (One credit.) I am so frazzled. I can't believe I dropped yet another major.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

My second eldest daughter (Peaches) just showed me an award that she got in Japanese for her use of Kanji.

Sunshine is doing well with her Spanish.

Dash has been listening to me practice Russian at night and greeted me this morning with what sounds like perfect intonation that is better than mine.

Tiger just called and loves her French class.

I have nine children-- will any of them learn the same language? My son with the speech impairments wants to learn Japanese. Oh this will be fun. . .

Wink

Yesterday my husband and I took the six smaller kids to the giant train model station where we can ride a model train around. It was great! I dropped off the older two (the eldest is at school now) at the state fair. They also had fun but the younger didn't know about it because there is no way I can afford to take them all.

Today we all went hiking in a popular pass and picked berries.

I am flat out exhausted but we had a terrific time.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I complain a lot. My life is not easy. Am I complaining or just telling it like it is? It's my journal so so what.

If another person interrupts me to ask me what I do with my children when I am happily talking about my schooling. . . I am going to do what I always do and assure them that they are will taken care of by my husband when I go out. I will not slap the living daylights out of them when they ask me if he is _____ unemployed. No one asks my husband what we do with the kids when he is working! I was at my favorite candy shop today and I was asked this by another regular there. Lord, have mercy I was so mad-- I had liked the woman, too!

Am I selfish because I love what I do and look forward to being in college and working and studying? It's life and I am living it! So irritating to be asked that-- why don't people assume that I have help or my husband does what his sperm contribution demands?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband has to be wondering how he married anyone as stupid as me. I know I am wondering how I married anyone like him. Are these phases normal in marriage? He tells me that I do nothing in our house. Complains that I don't get up to make breakfast on weekend mornings, "That has never been your strength." Damned right it's not. Shortly after we got married he told me that it was my "jab" to do it. I was like, "No it's not! I will not get up ever to make an early breakfast on the weekend." It's like one of those things-- we both stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights. I will buy breakfast and sometimes even make it ahead, but I don't like getting up early. So be it, it's not my strength. Play into my strengths.

He gets on me for delegating with my older daughters for making meals at times and changing diapers and said that Sunshine complains to him that I do nothing. How the hell can he say that I do nothing? I fold and clean all day long and the kids come home and throw everything off. I transport my children all over the area that we live in. My eldest started loudly complaining four years ago that she'd not left the house in "days" like it was a requirement and started telling me which kids to take with me shopping and I got irritated with her over that-- they play outside and go all over the place and play with few worries. Still, she put it in their heads that if I don't physically drive them here and there then they can't be happy. So frustrating. I told her to see how she feels when she has children of her own when her know it all teenager does the same thing. Children get bored shopping.

I asked him to do two things this weekend, one was to check the shower where the wall is falling apart and the other was to fix the vacuum. He played online, he played with the kids (then acted like it was something he should get a hero award for) and we went on some family outings and he went off last night to his night. . . but he never did the TWO things that I had asked. He was mad when I called him today asking if he'd done it and I yelled at him at work over not doing it. He ended it by saying, "Fine. I'll do it next time." He won't. Women have complained about this for thousands of years.

If we weren't married, he'd still court me and I'd still be making gourmet meals to attract him. I wish he didn't take me for granted. As soon as I start getting on top of things I am bad for being anal retentive about the kids doing their housework and asking for help. I can't win.

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Am I Doing the Right Thing?

I am killing myself over this major change. I think I am doing the right thing.

One of the situations that I observed years ago when I was volunteering at women's shelters was that so many of the women whom I served lacked a basic education. I have a repulsion to words that have been slang. I have a physical reaction to hearing certain words. I went off at an OB for asking me how I was peeing and sent a letter that I am certain burst into flames to a hospital ER for asking me how my tummy was feeling. I love the English language and have serious issues with people who are educated who do not!

I know I did the right thing, yet I am terrified that I won't have a job when I graduate or be able to pay my student loan debt. I will meet with my adviser in the morning. I hope I will not be wearing my insecurities on my sleeve.

When I ask friends if they think I have made the right choice they hug me or kiss my cheek and say, "You can do anything you set your mind to!" What?!! My life often reminds me more of an I Love Lucy episode with the dizziness of Suddenly Susan thrown in, than of anything serious. (None of that bawling nonsense that Lucy did. That just made me mad!)

I know that my path will open up to me. Umm, right?

My tiniest baby is making me laugh as of late. She is such a little pill. Very, very bizzy. My other kids were exhausting as I was pregnant with the next children. She is into everything as they were at this age but I feel like I am having more fun. I am tossing out baby clothes this time knowing that I won't be getting pregnant again and I feel relief. I am not happy to wind up this stage of her life, but I seem to be enjoying it while it lasts.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Today I went to meet my adviser. What a person! I love her. She was of course the mother of one of my friends in high school. As I sat in her office and we started talking children and families, so much came back to me about conversations that I had with her and her son. I told her how my own sisters have kids who have started having children at the age of 19 like I did, but that mine seem to be making good choices. Mine have other options besides marriage at a young age. She is partly why. She interacted so well with my friend-- I wanted to have that with my own children. My children and I are more intellectual than "me the grown-up and them the little idiot who obeys me" like my parents had.

I called the professor from the university parking lot in tears because I couldn't find a parking spot and asked her where I could park and she said, "You are driving?!! You are independent! I am so happy for you!" I was happy that I was driving around looking for a parking spot! Oh the joy of being upset with such a problem! The only parking spot available to me was ironically out by the elementary school that my daughters had gone to, next to the public bus stop.

She laughed at my transcript, "I remember when you struggled in that stats class. . . how did you make it through Shakespearean lit-- oh, you didn't." My transcript is an unwritten history of me having to choose between difficult choices, getting around a northern city on a bus with two and then three little kids-- what terrible years! I still have 250 usable credits.

English is choosier than human services-- the D's in history are not counting but she said they won't matter because they will be replaced with B's and A's and improve my GPA. The master's application will only look at grades from last spring on as far as how they will decide if I belong or not. I had thought about becoming a doctor. I spoke to biology and the adviser simply said, "Start taking science and math and get A's." I wonder if I could and still get into medical school. My adviser encouraged me to stay with literature because she knew that I loved it and she said that anything other than my passion will suck the life out of me, that my life is hectic and crazy and that I have to study and teach only what I love. Will this pay the bills? Everyone I spoke to on the phone on the way home seems to think that I am finding my place.

I took my eldest to late breakfast and slipped her some money and she thanked me for never making her ask for it. My CEO mother had a great job and money to spare and she made me petition her and show her my finances or at the very least explain them before she helped me out. We're talking about justifying why I needed help on an allotment of $923 a month and $300 in food stamps from which I paid $600 rent-- I did not make it past the wait list for heating assistance. I paid utilities and bus passes on the rest. It's occurring to me how bad things were but how they are not bad for my children-- and my kids are aware of it.

Sunshine got rejected from one of her modern dance classes. It's a blessing in disguise. They are putting her in to a ballet technique class which is so much better. The studio is more in to The Recital! than they are in to substance. "Perform for all your friends!" Technique classes are really what every dancer should be doing for the first three years before being allowed in front of any one. I got there a half hour early to see her in Modern and she was in tears. The owner was there and telling me how she was behind. She brought up the technique class and I was like, "Sunny, these people finally have it right. They spend way too much time. . ." The owner was not happy with my acceptance speech of the situation and asked me to keep my voice down but I said, "What's to hush? This is the finest decision you could have made! Why don't you do more of these technique classes?" Three other parents turned around, "You are offering more technique, Bella?" They surrounded her and I winked at her. I called to affirm the decision and she didn't seem upset and she may offer more classes in pure technique next semester "being that you created a stir over it."

I was glad that I had shown up earlier to buffer the humiliation and when we got to the car, a chocolate cupcake from one of our church friends' bakeries greeted her in the passenger side.

As I sit here writing, I have three children standing around me with different agendas, each ignoring the others. How do they do it simultaneously? Dash is reciting the list of clouds that he learned today, Guy Smiley is reading his spelling words, and my five year old is playing the recorder over it. My almost two year old hopped up on my lap and grabbed my pearl necklace and Jack-Jack the almost four year old just ran out to announce that he went potty and everyone yelled hoorah because he will make a mess in his pants if we don't cheer him on! In the dining room I hear my husband dramatically reciting Sunshine's Spanish words and comparing them to her French that she has to learn for her technique class. He sounds like he is trying to be Pavarotti with how he reads them in his tenor voice and sounding more Italian. For some reason, he just threw in a Japanese saying and is breaking a word down. My seventeen year old is on the phone with a friend and her best guy friend just got engaged. He is her age.

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My husband took me to a used book store last night. The town that we live next to is very quaint. The owner of the store is an MFA in Creative Writing. I've known him for years and we've always had lots to talk about. We had even more when I told him that I'd changed majors. There is a writing group that meets at his store and he promised bad coffee for all who came. He said, "I never saw you as a social worker. You are a ball of energy. If you aren't coming to the groups to write, we will write about you." (Just don't kill me off in your story, Dude!)

I bought a book called The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I could hardly put it down to sleep. I got through half of it and I don't know how I missed reading this in high school. My husband likes a different genre that doesn't translate well if you aren't in the book. I have the hardest time keeping up with him on why he likes it. I read some of the books he reads, but I wind up going to the last chapter first to see if it's worth following. I need the big picture where he gets into the details from the get-go. Anyway-- I will have the kids strapped into the car when I take Sunshine to a design class in a bit and I will get them cookies and sit with them and read my book until Sunshine gets out!

Also picked out to read is a book called I Don't Know How She Does It. It's a frothy read. It's popular. The author writes in partial sentences and I hate it but it could pay the bills if I write in this style. Hmmm.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today I read the rest of The Chosen. It was very powerful and I took Sunshine to class and bought ice cream for the babies and sat and read. It was so nice-- where I was sitting, the sun was beating down on me in the car but it wasn't overly bright. I felt like I was sitting under a sunlamp.

I cleaned up the babies and after Sunshine got done with class, I dropped her off with Boom-Boom and took the younger two to a pre-school for an interview. The assistant's name was Chuckie. She seemed nice but spoke down to the kids. I know that some have special needs, but the name Chuckie really got in my nerves. I got home and told them that we couldn't do it at this time. Note to teachers everywhere: do not make your name be the name of a horror flick character.

Time flies fast in Russian. I love my teacher. She is so cute. We have Russian names and American names and then we have diminutives of each. I felt like I was in War & Peace. Our teacher got tired. She felt so tired to she motioned for me to "get up and be the teacher." I had to explain that she had just explained, then each person in class took a turn being the teacher while she yawned and blinked her eyes.

We learned something interesting as well. She said that teachers in Russia cannot leave their grade books out because the students will help each other by adjusting the grades. She said that it's cultural-- Russians help each other. I wanted to ask some questions over that but she perhaps sensed a bunch of questions that might not end well and changed the subject. Are Americans too much individualists? To us it is cheating, to them it's cultural.

We were reading and something that is quite trivial-- a name-- kept being repeated and I didn't see how it could read like that. I asked her how she got that name out of what we had read over and over and she said I was correct. It was just a couple of letters, but I felt like I was getting it. I was quite happy with myself.

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Funny Site: Be a Lame Leader Rules

http://www.scribd.com/doc/273295/31-Refutably-Irrefutable-Laws-of-Lame-Leadership

You will crack up at these. This is an e-book put together by a Texas minister who is quite comical!

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Ahrg! I am so blessed. Argh!

Did you all hear my anguished scream from your sleep?

I just sat down to the painful task of matching up my classes to what is required of me. I am ONE semester away from a lit degree, and after this semester, one semester one and a half semesters (assuming that I am not taking math) from a degree in rhetoric. If I had come back to school for JUST English last spring, I would have my degree minus the math classes and stats course! I can't even spyell right tonight!

I am so fortunate to have my problems.

This means that I have time to do an art minor and maybe even a journalism one.

Oh my life is so hard.

Wink

My husband whom I am wont to loathe at times is very supportive of me in this. He has been saying to me, "Tea, when your time is come, nothing will be able to stop you. Your path will open to you and it will seem so clear, you won't know how you missed it!" Now-- oh dear God, let me pass my classes.

My eldest got my email on it and reminded me of when I told her to get a teaching degree because she'd always have a job. She is right. Then I can be a grandmother, too-- at least devote time to my dear children during the summer if they'll have me! I am very fortunate.

I know where I want to go for grad school to get my teaching certificate.

I have slid a long way from wanting to become a doctor ten months ago, but would I have returned to college "just" wanting to be an English professor? No. I had a few chances before. Even social work sounds more glamorous than teaching. I met a woman last year around this time at a boutique who was a visual delight and I stopped in my tracks and said to her, "I love your outfit! I adore your ensemble and I love how you speak! Pray tell, from what planet did you beam to us from?!!" She laughed and said she taught at a nearby high school. I told her that she had more culture than a container of Yoplait and the store owner laughed as did she. We introduced ourselves and she taught at one of my daughter's high schools. I went to the parent night dressed up hoping to see her and lo, she was there and we appraised each other. She said that she'd give me an A on my fashion sense and I told her that I would wear that as a scarlet letter in my heart for always and I do! She is an English teacher as is her husband. They are just like my fave profs, addressing the students as Mr. and Miss. They have Ph.D.'s and they are addressed as Dr. and Dr. I want a Ph.D. I want to be just like them.

Seeing people like that just makes me smile and feel great. They are a visual breeze. They said that while my reaction was over the top that they are as I am when they meet their kind. I am their kind! Why didn't they inspire me last year to join them? I wasn't ready. Your plate has to be empty and you must be feeling ready for the next course to resume.

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New Glasses!

I got some new glasses today!

They look like they are from the 1960s-- cat eyes with sparklies! They are freaking wild! They unfortunately bring all the attention to the glasses, not my face, but so far people say that they bring out my red hair. I may get sick of them soon, but everyone says they look good. Does the Empress have no clothes? I have a feeling that I will look at the pics that my daughters took of me and be like, "I can't believe that I got those." I think that I look like a dork. A fun, cool dork, but still a dork.

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I Married a Silly Man

My husband has been on me that I do nothing all day and put little work into the house. I washed a bunch of his clothes and put them on the bed, unfolded. The folded stuff falls off the bed. He never sees it then complains that I never wash his clothes.

He went to bed worn out and yelled at me, "Why didn't you put my clothes away?"

I told him that he says I do nothing and here's proof-- he sees them. I washed his clothes. He says the person home all day should put them away. No frakking way.

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My children are adorable but they drive me crazy at times.

Today I took them up to the playground while dinner baked. My middle son (I have four but Dash is my middle of the three elder boys) and he is really smart. He is eight years old and is smart like my husband but has a sharp personality. He has fast come backs to things, is extremely sweet when he isn't being full of himself and he is mischievous, and is just fun to talk to. On the way home he was telling me about something he learned in school and I was listening while driving. I listen intently to all of my kids when they have the floor but the ones close in age to Dash get jealous.

In monotone they start saying, "Mom. . ." and if I don't answer them they keep it up, "Mom. . . mom. . . mom."

When I asked them what was happening, one asked me if he could take my wooden recorder to school with him in two weeks and the other wanted to know if we were having ice cream for dessert.

I get so annoyed.

In a few years I will miss not having them do this but the annoying ones went to be early and I sat and chatted up Dash a bit more as he told me of cloud names and different types of rocks. The kid is paying attention. He knows his times tables. His cloud formations. Color combinations and music notes. He misses nothing in school.

Tomorrow I be taking the others out and about separately and letting them tell me their tales. No doubt they will have good ones, but it bothers when they can't wait to cut in when they see I am having fun. They do the same when they see me watching a good movie or get full gear in a story that I am writing for class . . .

sigh

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I fear that marriage is a sentence.

Why does it tickle me pink to presents from dh? I mean, it is a huge deal to me. Presents are material things and shouldn't matter. Screw it. I am a material girl. I like presents and love to buy them. I have a favorite store that I buy petite fours and truffles from and love-love-love to buy dh fancy little candies, put them in gold boxes and put them under his pillow case along with or instead of little bottles of Kahlua or tequila or whatever the liquor store has. Sometimes I buy him like 20 little bottles and stash them and have them even when we are broke. Dh is like, "Oh cool!" and he gobbles them up and then goes to sleep. He's happy to get them-- they are better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but they aren't making him overjoyed.

Today we went out to my little store and while we are dead broke, I had $5 credit. I bought him a truffle because he likes them best and me a petite four because I like them so much. I also bought him another truffle and put it in my purse.

WE went to a book store and he showed me a little Harry Potter Pencil Wand. I was like, "That is so SWEET!" I saw him buy it. A few minutes later he asked me if I wanted anything but I "knew" he was getting me something and EVEN THOUGH I WAS LOOKING INTENTLY AT A PARTICULAR INEXPENSIVE ITEM. I got to the car with him thinking that he'd surprise me, so he threw the bag towards me and said, "Look what I got my sisters."

He said I was being childish when I started to cry.

We are so limited. This morning we had even been talking of his sisters and I was irritated with one who is married to the biggest asshat in modern history-- she isn't as close to the Lord as she thinks she is and he is the reason I will never set foot in another Protestant church. He said, "They have done a lot for us." Well, not really. They invite us to come have dinner with them and if we run late as it seems we always do, they start with out us. They invite us TO EAT. Not earlier, we don't' stay later. It is to eat and leave. They have been nice on occasion but not so nice that it wouldn't have been worth dh thinking fast and saying there was one for me in there and when I pointed out that here was just two that he'd go back and get another one.

I got home and ate the truffle that I'd bought then threw it up. I realized that his love language has nothing to do with presents.

He's so much holier than me. God I am sick of him. I was considering my degree and said, "I will be to basic English and composition what Richard Feynman was to physics! People will come from everywhere to hear me talk about a five paragraph essay! I'll be famous and heralded and everyone will say how fantastic I am!" I was of course joking. Dh put his stick up his arse and said with all seriousness and bewilderment, "Who cares about being famous and hearing how great you are from people you don't care about? Why do you want that?" :fu2: Because I like to praised, you asshat. I wasn't even serious though. I was talking about teaching something boring and being silly, comparing myself to a physics god. He is so righteous. He is serious about being righteous.

Soem friends from church asked us to make dinner for a pregnant lady who is on bedrest. I told him that we can't afford to do it. Then he called the person and decided to do it. . . tomorrow. He said it was right after he got paid. I said we couldn't afford it and that we'd have to do it later like in October. Self righteous man that he is, he committed and went ahead even though I reminded him that we had to take ds into town for his retina problem (no big deal-- he is getting floaters and they think he has a fluid filled cyst, non cancerous) and that I didn't want to have to run all over the place, so he said, "It's my responsibility and I will take care of it!" We'll, we will be cutting our day short now to get it to the woman's mother who works in our town to get it tow her daughter on her schedule.

When he does this he reminds me of my ex husband. People who don't have sex with him, who don't care about what he does with himself or our marriage, are more important than anything I have to say and somehow I am the devil himself and he is being determined and righteous. I really cannot stand being married to him sometimes. Of course I know it is mutual-- but I have given him a large family and I am more psychically tired than he is.

He wants me to take over the finances but I do not expect him to pay attention to me if I say, "We cannot do this" if he gets onto one of his righteous trips.

I wish I had the ability to leave-- we could share custody and not have to fight this out.

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Yesterday we took Sunshine, Dash, Boom-Boom, Roo and Teacup to town. Dash had an eye appointment and it's one of those things that they are watching right now to see if he has an issue with his ocular tissue.

Of course I went to change my major and the English department secretary just started her vacation and is out of town and profs who I've known for years were dumbfounded on what to do. My timing is impeccable. My fave lit prof was still there. After 15 years, re recognized me and stopped in his tracks, "Why, it's Miss [my maiden name]!" I screamed my joy at seeing him, but while he is still dressing like a cross between a Mafia don and an English gentleman (complimentary on either account!) and hasn't changed, he was laughing because my daughters who used to go to the child care on campus and who used to go to lunch time department meetings because I wanted them to love school like I did, were the same ages as the children who were with me when I went in! He said, "You haven't changed and your children haven't grown up!" My eldest now has a class with him. Has it been that long? He kissed my cheek and welcomed me back. I will never wash that cheek again!

Dh and the kids and I went to the museum and out to lunch. I had a conversation with Sunshine and Dash-- she and Dash decided to start requesting things of the food servers, calling them "Ma'am" and smiling and being proud of themselves and causing me to remember why when I have money that I don't like to take them out. They want to run the show.

I saw friend from a private school that I went to years ago. The man deals in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just got out of federal prison and is working a silly job to keep his probation officers happy. Everything was about, "So I spent $75,000 on a new BMW. . ." or whatever. I asked my husband if he thought this guy was rubbing my nose in the fact that we never got together and he said not at all. It had run through his mind but he has another friend who is like that and he said that it's his life. He has been through hell in the past couple of years and I never cared one way or the other about money. I liked it and was raised in it, but my parents used it to control their environment and while I do not advocate being broke and in debt by any means, I am terrified of it. So my husband said that when he speaks of it, he knows I can relate and he is also establishing himself as the alpha male, on top of his game. I am a good listener and he said, "B. needs that in his life. You don't know his friends. He may keep you separate from them. You appreciate what he does because you understand it, but you are not scheming to join him." He is right. I would love to have the money, but it would mean having more money to spend on things that take us away from the kids. With my kids, if they get bored, they don't have Ipods-- they build forts. We don't watch TV all the time-- I read classic books to them. It's not better but for now it's a way of life that I am happy that we have.

My husband said that he thinks he will call me again as we talked for a long time and he was happy to see me as I was happy to see him. The funny thing is, he appreciates my children and family. He wouldn't want to be in my position financially, but he said that I am a wonderful mother. He knew my parents and didn't like them and told me in junior high that they had mental blinders on me. I didn't understand it then but I do now.

It was fun to get out with my husband and a few of the kids but not all as the "Ma'am thing" at the restaurant would have been insane. We needed a day like that. It was fun to have no schedule and bum around the museum, looking at huge works of art and explaining to the kids what they represented, and after a few, Sunshine and Dash were figuring it out and telling us what they understood.

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Spoke too soon

The other night my husband "confronted me." He says that I over react and my teenaged daughters have told him so and they were madder than hell at him for telling me what they said. (I also react fast to their concerns if I can help them. Money, anyone? Can I take your friends home from school if I've got gas? They just screwed themselves.) They come to me and demand that I react to someone on the street taking drugs or are upset that I didn't punish one of the other kids for something so yes, I yell when being pushed to react and I can't do anything. I also burst into flames over me asking my eldest to get a job at a nearby super market and her smiling and saying, "But I'm leaving in three months! They will just train me and then I'll quit and they'll be mad so. . . no, Mom." (Then she asked me for gas money. :firemad:

Today I was taking a late shower around 10:30 and there was a knock at the door. It was the electric guy. He was about to shut us off. I called dh. I'd calmly told him at least four times last week that I was getting calls from the electric company and that he needed to call them. "Sure, Honey! Will do!" Garbage. Gas. Argh.

So I called him and lit into him, he'd said he would call, etc. and lo and behold, he hadn't. Now I am wrapped in a f-ing towel talking to the shut off guy. "Tea, take a deep breath. Don't swear at me. Stop it! You are over reacting again! I'm calling you on it!"

"Go ____ your self. I'm calling you on it!" I say it in the same nasally sound he uses.

If I had been the one to leave him in the bind, I'd have my tail end in a sling over this.

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I love linguistics. What is is about how words that I love? How is it that a slight variation of inflection can change the entire meaning of a sentence and how are we programmed from birth to read something like this? Why do English speakers not use double negatives, but Italian and French have no problem with it? (Because in 1762 Bishop Robert Lowth wrote a book and gave English some new rules, taking them from Latin, allowing eager parents to read it and teach their children what Lowth though proper and good. Before this book came out, everyone would say, "I don't have none." While Latin had developed into new languages like French and Italian that had double negatives, Lowth brought us back to the Latin rules stating that two negatives made a positive and that they didn't work out in English.

Knowing a language means being able to produce sentences that were never spoken before and knowing the meaning of sentences never spoken before and then we get to throw in human facial reactions into deciphering the meaning. This is exciting.

I'm so happy that I am out of social work.

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Sweet Life oh What a Delight Sharin' My Love with You

Tonight we took what is one of the last walks of the season. It won't be long before winter sets in and the leaves are mostly golden and brown now with a few leaves that are still fading with red in the centers. We went up to the school with the younger kids and we played football on the walk there. I was pushing TeaCup in her stroller. She is at the stage where she will walk, but then wants (insists) to be carried so the stroller is easier. She leans forward and picks up leaves as we go along. I left the group early to pick berries as I saw a patch on the way into the school and enjoyed watching them throwing the football around to each other, my 11 and 9-8-7 year olds running backward and chasing one another. Boom-Boom and Roo were trying to keep up and dh gave them a smaller Nerf ball to throw around as they walked.

They played on the playground and there was music in them yelling from the swing sets to one another, "Daddy! Push me! Daddy, watch!" The older ones picked berries with me for a bit before we went home. The creep crawlies weren't all in the ground-- we still had a few the surprised me on twigs! We went to the creek on the way and my son Dash asked to carry the berries. When we eventually got home, the eight year old had red around his mouth and I looked at him and raised my eyebrows and he said, "Whaaat?" I just laughed and said, "You need to be more discreet when you snag berries from me." His eyes got huge, "I don't know whatchertalkin'bout, Woman!" He knew I knew but I said he owed me a half hour of berry picking with is way less than he ate, but he didn't mind and since he enjoys it I will join him!

We got home and I made spaghetti and we ate, then after dinner. . . dh got obsessed by an online poker tournament. That was a turn off as we were going to play a game. We wound up watching a DVD of Johny Cash singing and Boom-Boom and I got up and danced to him and June singing, "Jackson" and "Ring of Fire." It was a lot of fun. Dh did really well in his poker game though-- out of 2,700 people he was in the top 150 when he folded. He's playing a late night game of something with the kids as I speak. They are eating a bread that I baked, a yeast bread to which I added a can of expired pumpkin to the dough. I had no idea what i was doing, but it tastes good and the hot oven is warming up the house.

On nights like this, I feel so happy. I like to imagine us in five years when the kids will be older-- TeaCup will be 7, then Roo will be 9, Boom-Boom 10, then the boys will be 13-14-15 and Sunshine will be 17. Of course my older laugher's will be with their own families maybe or in school, and it's a happy thought of the kids still running along with us all a family, joking and playing.

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Meow Kitty

I am homeschooling my eleven year old daughter. She has developed an attitude that I have no intention of tolerating. It's probably a typical young teenager attitude, and it's not from homeschooling. She has friends and I think she is within the bounds of normal in how she is acting, however I am having to turn into a disciplinarian. I think it's a combination of hormones and boundary pushing. I have told her that I will be giving her a uniform and not letting her have the freedom that she has enjoyed and she rolled her eyes at me and stalked out of the room! THE LOOK can be intimidating and I discovered that I was afraid to ask her to do something thinking of getting it! (I am a lot like Mrs. Weasley in Harry Potter and I have a large family to go with the character.)

This wouldn't have worked with my older two daughters. They have different personalities and when they were snippy with me I was like, "Screw this! Who do you think you are talking to? This is your MOM! Do not cause me to sin on your little heads!" This caused ripples of laughter and they knew it was time to shift gears which they did. Miss Sunshine however, glowers at me when I say that, then she goes off at me, "Well, YOU are ruining MY day!" Hmph!

I am thinking of getting her a uniform of a plaid or navy jumper and getting several and removing her other choices and being strict with her-- this will http://frenchtoast.com/jump.jsp?itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=119&path=1%2C2%2C4%2C15%2C119 be worn every day including to church and she will earn the right to choose how she will dress and what options she has. Unlike my older two daughters, she looks a few years older than she is, likes make-up and I think is more predispositioned to making bad choices. (Of the elder two, one is a science major in college and the next older is going to get a scholarship to study Asian languages. Sunshine is more likely to do be a free spirit. I am a free spirit, but she spits venom at times. This is terribly not acceptable.)

She used to act snippy and I'd warn her and she'd get huffy, so I'd grab her hands and dance with her. This does not get me anywhere anymore.

She is a sweet girl-- I just see this attitude popping out from time to time and it is so not right and only serves to make things worse if she keeps on with it, not to mention how she will react as she gets older and teach the younger siblings.

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I have been thinking about the guy that I saw the other day. His comments don't add up, like from when I met him and he said that he was gay eight years ago (with a husband who died of AIDS) to saying that he was in a relationship for ten years with a late wife who died three months after he married her. His sons who are in private boarding school in England with $36mil trust funds-- too weird. He said he'd call to meet me this weekend as he was out buying a house for his dad with money in amounts that boggled my mind, but he didn't come out. It's just as well.

TeaCup will be two in the morning. Oh this is heart breaking! She is getting old and I so badly want to have another baby. That would be insane of me at this point. I want to be done raising them with time for dh and I. Of what do I speak? Pregnancy is what I know.

I feel over my head with my classes. Linguistics (as much as I love it) is hard. This is harder than social work. Anything worth doing is difficult. Once I break it down, I have it. Before I break it down, I do not. Magazine article writing isn't easy. All this is difficult. I have Russian on days that I do nothing but drive and I am worn out in class.

Whine whine.

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What's wrong with my ex. . .

Your Ex is Histrionic

Your ex is hot and cold - a total drama queen or king.
Your ex can't survive without tons of dramatics, attention, and approval.
People with histrionic personality disorder are inappropriately seductive, prone to rapid mood swings, and rash decision makers.
Sound at all familiar?

What's Wrong With Your Ex?

http://www.blogthings.com/whatswrongwithyourexquiz/

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Procrastination

Your Quirk Factor: 63%

You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.
No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."

How Quirky Are You?

http://www.blogthings.com/howquirkyareyouquiz/

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You Are: 30% Dog, 70% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

Are You More Cat or Dog?

http://www.blogthings.com/areyoumorecatordogquiz/

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Com ce, com ca.

My life is about schoolwork now and little else. I love it but I feel like I am not doing well. I am only as good as my next report.

My dad died almost a year ago. We are coming up on 11 months. Of course I am having anniversary epiphanies about childhood, the twisted dynamics of our relationship, his death in general. . . I am not speaking to my mother and have never been happier. Both she and my dad used to pull things on me-- just, if they kept picking at me, I was on the defense and couldn't start to think about them. They would tell me what a sh---y driver I'd be and brainwashed me so I didn't drive until I was 27, they would tell me that if I wanted to ride my dad's horses that I was fat and had to lose weight when I was around 130 and 5'8"-- very average. They would tell me how I would never do anything. They called me Thundar Thighs and my mother giggled, "You know he loves you!" I'd run to my room crying. My first husband was just like him.

As the years have gone by I have proven them wrong but I didn't realize how much I was fighting and how my defense mechanisms kept me from having lots of friends. When the people who you think love you tell you that they tease you over your weak wrists or your hair or whatever because they love you, you think you can tease your pals, too because it's normal to you.

My dad was dying and said that he did that to make me stronger. Did he really think, "I will screw with her mind and make her stronger"? I forgave him and I think that I was a huge help to him and he died peacefully, but my dad was a jerk and a half to me! What he did was f'd up. Hating him is pointless and I won't be mad but I couldn't even share my joy of my children with him without him getting a dickheaded voice and saying things while trying to act cute. I got his cowboy hats. My five year old who he never met wears them. He had lots of friends and anyone who knew him would have never believed what a colossal jerk he was to me.

My sisters during the days following his death-- I wished they'd have evaporated. I felt numb. I was sad but at the same time, I was getting ready to go back to college. My eldest whispered to me in the kitchen to not be too happy, I wasn't getting anything in his will. I tried to give into feeling sad and she told me to not pout because I had to do the dishes! :annoyed: She is fifty years old.

Such is life. I suppose I will think intently for years over this from time to time. Thank goodness that my children are different.

I used to break up with guys and be fine until my parents heard, then they'd berate me for the break-up, "If you weren't so outspoken, you could have kept him!" "How do you thiNK you made him feel about you with that fat ass? It's like hel-lo, I'm with Fatty!" THEN I was upset and begging the guys to come back.

My eldest just broke up with a guy. They went out and kissed a whole bunch. He wanted more but she said that wasn't her thing. She told a friend who told another friends and it got out that they were dating and he called her and yelled at her. She pointed out to him that she wasn't asking for forgiveness or even for him to stay around. He said he wasn't going to call her for a while, then said he'd just not call her and she said thank you for letting her know. He was IM'ing her the other day and she said, "No, we are not doing lunch or dinner. If I see you someplace we can be polite to each other but I really do not like you."

I'm so proud of her.

My ex's wife is showing signs of Munchausesn's Syndrome. She has for years. She is on all kinds of antidepressants and had had lots of stomach stapling surgeries and operations and neers to take medicine but she is also an alcoholic and would frequently drink with her medicine cocktail. She let herself get into a mess last week with certain issues and he had to come home from work to rush her to the hospital. DD is trying to act nonchalant as she started to google various terms and told me what she thinks she has. I've known it for years and dd is trying to act like it's not a big deal so as to not encourage it.

I flipping hate seeing doctors, but she relishes it. It is so weird. I get doctors smirking at me and I get up and leave. One poor guy called me on my cell phone and was like, "I've never had a woman throw her clothes on with me in the room and leave. What did I do wrong?" I told him that he smirked at his nurse when I mentioned pre-menopausal symptoms. Well, it was my age and he hears it a lot, thought nothing of it, it was just typical. i said I am not typical and didn't like it. Why do some women get into that? I hate feeling stupid.

My dds said that she was always trying to get them to the doctor and that was why the ex and her tried to get them diagnosed with learning issues. So sad.

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Gotcha Day!

Today is my third daughter's Gotcha Day that she celebrates with my husband. It's the day that he adopted her, ten years ago when she was a little over a year old!

She got up and made him lunch this morning and made him a sweet little card.

He takes her to the nicest restaurant that he can afford.

This man who I occasionally threaten to divorce is a great guy 99% of the time. We had dated off and on and I had her when he and I were not dating. I didn't expect him to want to marry me. I had two children from a previous marriage and then she was from six years later, after that marriage ended. I never expected anyone to want to get with me after that and there he was, a man with a master's degree, asking to go out as we always had. Not long after that he asked me to marry him and when I stared at him he said, "For God's sake, say yes before you get into more trouble!"

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No Martyrdom for Tea

On Friday I dropped by the literacy place to drop off my (lack of) criminal history. They seemed unwelcoming and unfriendly, as if being there was a form of slow torture. I don't need a red carpet rolled out for me, but they seemed like they could have only cared less if they'd been in coma or dead! I was there to drop off my information and that I was excited to be there and volunteer. I think that I met one of the teachers who was just a cat.

I went to the place that they teach which I did not realize is different from where they have their administrative offices. I bounced in and went to the sign-in desk and haded the woman my ID and criminal history. She condescendingly smiled at me and said, "Who told you to come here?" I rattled off the name of who I'd spoken to and looked around, realizing that I must be in the wrong place and said, "I am in the wrong place! Where do I need to go?"

She cut me off and said, "I'm about to tell you." She then told me about the supervisor's wife and I asked her to please just tell me where to go, as I needed to get back to the house. The other lady with her mentioned the administration office being behind a Subway and I said, "The cute houses! OK, I know the area. If I get to Subway, where is the cross street?

The woman who seemed bent on talking informed me that she would tell me in a minute, so she continued to speak of the supervisor being out and why (she did not know me and shared that his wife could have cancer!) then gave me long directions to get to the office which I found annoying. I knew where the Subway was yet she tried to be complicated in telling me how to get over there-- what gives?

She shouldn't have cared who sent me over there, and she seemed really obsessed with dominating the discussion and telling me what was frankly not her business to tell me about the supervisor-- it wasn't my business as a total stranger! Please tell me that she isn't a teacher! Someone like that doesn't teach-- someone like her has a script and likes predictability. I just wanted to get away from her.

When I got to the administrative office, first no one came out into the area I'd entered, so I cleared my throat and loudly asked if I was at the literacy program. A woman came out and I told her why I was there, introducing myself and extending my hand. She ignored my hand and took my criminal history, thanked me and said she'd give it to supervisor. I asked for a copy of the receipt as I needed to get reimbursed. She came back out with $20 for me. There was no excitement or even pleasantries! Is that just the environment? I don't need constant encouragement or even gushy thanks for being there-- teaching is it's own reward. Compliments are shallow, but a little enthusiasm would have gone a long way. The woman could have just said, "Tim will be thrilled and call you early next week!" or something. The woman at the administrative office was as rude to me with her silence as the one at the teaching center was with her noise!
.
Anyway-- what is up with social service agencies in general? They seem dominated by women and usually run by A Man. Hens with a Rooster! They are often not happy no matter who is running the place. My Russian professor told me that it would be a great place to volunteer as she had worked there. They rely heavily on volunteers but haven't been able to get many as of late and I discovered why. I sent my professor an e-mail and told her basically what I told y'all here. I hope that she shows it to the supervisor who can then work with his staff-- no one in their right mind, with the reception that I received, would spend their limited free time at that place!

I am pretty much giving up on doing any type of social work at this point. Before I wanted to do literacy, my thing had been social work. Social workers are a bunch of failed actors-- I have never seen so many hyper egos in one place, all vying for prima martyr status. "No one appreciates me! No one will like me not matter what a great job I do!" I so many times wanted to scream as I volunteered at those places, "You need to be dead to be a martyr. Finish yourselves off!" They were a bunch of dim lights. How could people like that be in charge of helping people who were down?

I need to do a professional internship with my rhetoric degree-- instead of teaching, I may go political and write speeches or do something in a field known for it's excitement.

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The Romeros

Last night my husband and I went to see the Romeros, a national treasure of Spain. Last year when my dad was dying, he spoke of their music and said that if there was anything that I must do in this life, it was to see them in concert. He said that their music never left his soul. (It was right around this time that I went down to be with him.)

I came home and shortly after that received a postcard stating that they were coming up here. I was in a drawing class at that time and took the post card to my teacher along with some CD's to play in class while we worked and asked her if she'd heard of them. She laughed, "My husband knows them! They'll probably be at our restaurant afterwards!" I was ecstatic and we spoke of them several times during the semester and she played more of their music and told me stories about them.

Last night I watched them and cried and I don't know why. It was so amazing. Pepe was playing and I kept looking to see if his classical guitar was electric-- he made his guitar make sounds that guitars don't usually do. The four of them got together and "talked" with their guitars.

At the intermission, I was standing in line to buy a drink and saw an anthropology professor who I knew almost 20 years ago. He came to me and addressed me by my first name and asked how I was doing and how my children were. He remembered me from that long ago and I was pregnant with my second baby and he remembered! He was one of the most interesting people ever and I got to introduce him to my husband which was really nice because my husband honestly told him that I brought his class up quite a bit after all these years!

After I saw him, my art professor caught my eye and she came over to me and hugged me. I'd written a nice letter to the administration about her and she said it helped secure another invitation for her to teach the class again this spring. She whispered to me to come to her restaurant afterwards.

After the show, the Romeros came out and I started crying when I met Pepe. I told him of my father and he kissed my cheek three times and hugged me. I had felt like my dad had been at that performance and meeting him and seeing him play-- I understood why my dad said his music never left his heart. I told him of a PBS special where Pepe was teaching a little boy the guitar ("that was my nephew! Bernardino!") and-- I cannot tell you how happy I was. All of them were so nice!

We went to my prof's restaurant which is one of the nicest, most friendly restaurants in the City. The sign said they were closed but we stepped in and I was nervous and told the hostess that I thought my professor was expecting us. My prof came around and hugged me again and said of course she was expecting me. We went to sit down and she brought us wine and food. There was an older lady who was eating a lone and I went to talk to her-- she had a cool artistic blazer on and I knew she was an artist. Her son was a chef who worked there and she is a children's book writer! We asked her to sit with us and she hadn't seen the Romero's play but had been a guitar teacher and the conversation was so exciting! As much as she knew the restaurant, she hadn't met my professor who came around again and we made introductions. My prof was like, "All this time I have seen you but had no idea that you were _____'s mom!" They had a lot in common of course and were happy to meet each other with their interests! My husband and this lady had quote a bit to talk about because her family is deep in the city's history as is dh's family and they knew many of the same people and had great stories to share.

As we were getting ready to leave, the Romeros came in. Pepe came over and posed with us and invited us to stay and have something with them, but we had a long drive and had to leave.

That had to have been one of the nicest evenings of my life. To think that had my dad not told me of them I'd have missed it!

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Writing Ruskie

My handwriting used to look like Spencerian Script. It has gone to hell in a hand basket. I am learning Russian. I think that I am learning nothing and envision my mind to be like a glass that is full to the top and the more my professor puts into my head, it just overflows. This is not the case because in reality, the Russian letters have hijacked my hands. What was once lovely script has been replaced with me making three humped letters that look like cursive /m/'s for English /t/ sounds. English /m/'s are now pointed and could look like /w/'s, but they are not. I just wrote a thank you note to my former art professor and realized that I couldn't read anything but "thank you," "wine" and "enjoy." As I had done Japanese brush art on the envelope and and card itself, my husband told me to send it, "It's been a week since we ate with her, your note is late, and it's beautiful. She'll know what you mean." My Russian handwriting is very pretty, but my English handwriting which I have never had to think about-- is very, very bad. I have to remind myself to print or just write very, very slowly.

I think the Russian is getting to me because of the letters coming out in my handwriting. Sometimes I see license plates and if they don't really spell anything, my brain switches to Russian and I start trying to pronounce it and figure it out. This means that it is working itself into my brain.

The other night I drank TWO beers. For me, this is a lot of beer. Actually-- I was starting my second beer. I sat down to type and my 17 year old leaned over my shoulder. "Mom, I think you'd better stop drinking. You're slurring your words."

I laughed, "I'm working on a paper and not talking to you!"

She laughed and told me to take a second look at my last paragraph. "Super" was /shuper/, "miss" had become /mish/. These were not mere typos. I was writing as I would have spoken. I wasn't drooling or tripping over myself when I walked-- I was just buzzed. ("To be! To be is to buzz!") I was writing as I'd have spoken. I had sat down at the computer knowing what I needed to write, and I articulated my answers very well. There was just the spelling issue. I wrote as I always do, writing a paragraph and checking it then correcting the red underlines in Word without thinking, then going on to the next paragraph. I got up and got a couple glasses of water to rehydrate my body which needed it, and gave my husband the rest of my beer.

We know there are areas of the brain that control speech and different aspects of it-- I wonder if there is something in us that controls how we speak and hit keys and do all that. Very interesting.

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Holidays

I do not like it. I do not like Halloween.

Years ago as a single mother, I would tell teachers at the start of school that we were Jehovah's Witnesses so I'd not get assaulted for candy and have to make costumes. My mom knew I had no money for costumes and I'd tell her I wasn't doing Halloween which for my control fanatic mother, she'd arrive a few days before with costumes and take my daughters out. (If I told her I wanted to do it but lacked money, she'd ignore me. I didn't do that on purpose-- I just realized this as I typed!) We'd always be American Evangelicals by mid-November again.

My husband was furious with me. In the past month, I've sent him e-mails directing him to costumes and he ignored them. I talked to him about getting outfits in basic colors that I could dress up with bandannas and he told me to "watch what you spend." I didn't want to deal with it so I blew it off.

Last night he was mad at me. "Why didn't you take care of this?" he yelled. I told him that I had sent him e-mails and he could have ordered them if he'd wanted, that he blew off my comments. Well, I was supposed to give him direct requests for money. I am so sick of asking for money. I hate it when the kids ask me for money, their little hands up towards me, and I hate it when I have to beg as well. He took them to the store and they were sold out of EVERYTHING. I kid you not, he'd have broken the bank to do costumes rather than plan before. I am soooo sick of asking for gas money, clothes money, etc. and having him say to me, "I gave you $100 last week! What did you spend it on?" "Oh, candy to eat to give me the curves you lust for." He knows that it costs more than that to fill up my SUV!

As it was, one of my daughters is reusing a ballet outfit that I'd spent $90 on last year for a recital that I couldn't see due to a fear of crowds, and she found some shoes and made some fairy wings. She looks stunning. One of my sons found his camouflage pants and matching top and a white t-shirt and some fake dog tags that he got in a party goody bag last month. Another son wants to be a karate guy and is wearing a t-shirt with jeans and a red bandanna. Still another son found a Spiderman costume that one of my older kids wore a few years ago.

This starts the holidays for us. I do not like holidays. My husband pesters me to keep costs down so I do, then he calls me a grinch and over spends. I hate going to his sister's house on holidays-- she is a nice person but she is LOUD. Creative, funny, well mannered and pretty, but loud. Her husband runs a church of over 1,000 members. As I am not American Evangelical and am Byzantine Catholic, he thinks I am going to burn in Hell and worship icons, and that I have led my husband astray by converting him as well. If he and I sit down to chat which I enjoy, he gets a hilariously comical expression on his face, "I am having an intelligent conversation with a heathen!" and he stands up and walks away. If his (truly) delightful wife, my husband's sister talks to me, he walks over to her and interrupts her to do something that he can do himself. Since she is submissive she gives me a cheesy smile and walks away. It is un-****ing-believable.Their kids are sweet, but they are showing off their presents which is a financial issue for us. We don't have loads of money to spend, and I am a quasi-hermit and don't have as many friends as they do who also lavish on their children. I don't like driving up the cliff that leads to their house anyway as it scares me with the kids and seat belts that I don't trust that my husband insists are "just fine!"

I like on holidays to chill out at my own place with my family. A few of my kids have also told me they like this. It's nice to wear PJ's till 1:30 if we want. I like to rent a bunch of movies, take care of a turkey in my oven or make whatever my family wants (I like cooking Greek food the best,) I often do a huge "summer feast" where I make fried chicken and mashed potatoes and a couple of salads and what-have-you. I make the best fried chicken, the way God intended us to have it. You rinse a chicken (no joke-- for us I cut up THREE chickens) and dip pieces in flour with some salt added. No batter-- just rinsed pieces of chicken, patted dry or not, dipped in flour, and fried for 20 minutes on each side. We eat around 2:00 in the afternoon, then have left-overs the rest of the day and have a bundt cake and pies that I've made and bought way later. We have no rushes.

Byzantine Holidays rock. We are coming upon the season of fasting. I enjoy Advent. I seldom go to church, but I like the fasts and observing them. We are some of the few who lose weight before Christmas! St. Nikolai's Day arrives in December. I fill their shoes with candy and presents. This year I will petition my lord and master for money with which to buy them all watches and special candies that they like, like Pop Rocks and expensive chocolates. One of these days I want to figure out how to put an ice fishing pole into my husband's shoes!

We have one birthday in September, one in October then Halloween, two birthdays plus Thanksgiving in November, St. Nikolai's Tagen, Christmas, New Years, four birthdays in January, Valentines' day, a birthday in March and Easter sometime in March or April and a birthday. There is another one in mid-summer. We have a lot of Orthodox holidays all over the place. We celebrate names days when we can, too. I love St. Nikolai's Day because it's our day-- not many people celebrate it. There is no pressure. New Year's is fun because I usually go Greek and we have a plum pudding that I ignite. Birthdays are a drag-- I feel so terrible because I cannot out do the last kid who had a party and we have homemade cakes and nothing as fancy as other kids. My kids notice it, but there are so many of us, we still have a blast. Last years I made everyone learn to sing Happy Birthday in German, French and Japanese and the recipient had to sit through it as we tripped through the verses.

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I have to see the doctor tomorrow and am dreading it. I have been bleeding between cycles and am on some type of hormones to help me not bleed. This has been going on for a few months but I hate to see the doctor. He's a sweetheart who loves to educate his patients and is extremely nice. I wish we could be pals. I am glad he is my doctor, but I do not like what I need to see him for.

For several years I have been having this problem. I kept getting break through bleeding but when I would ask the doctor's nurses, they'd just say, "Weeeell, you are getting older!" No, I am getting a few more grey hairs because I am older, I am not having these problems because I am getting older! What nerve do they have to tell me this?

Anyway, my doctor's nurse got on the phone and said, "How has this been going on since the summer and you haven't called?"

I told her that for years, I would just get blown off, or I'd watch one doctor in particular (the MER doctor, the man who I adored and who delivered my ninth baby) roll his eyes at his nurse when I pressed for answers or told him what was wrong. He just changed birth control pills on me and shrugged his shoulders. Didn't know, such is life. Women bleed.

My present doctor is like, "No, bleeding tells us that there is a problem. Maybe some women just bleed, but I like my patients to know why they are having problems so they don't die on me for some oversight that could have been fixed!"

It's funny because how much is too much blood? He says that any is an issue. He asked how often I was changing my pads and I can't explain that-- I change pads whenever I use the toilet if I am bleeding! I always wear pads due to never knowing when I will bleed. I've been like this for years.

I told my husband last year how much I liked him. Sadly he only practices in my town and if we moved to the Big City, he'd not be covered under my insurance any more. I will not leave this town because I like him so much. He's also religious. I think he prays for his patients. I am not into religion like my husband is, but I admire people who believe like my husband does or like my doctor does. He's Seventh Day Adventist. I have actually not met an SDA that I didn't like-- Sunshine's bio dad was and probably still is SDA. They are good people. I loved my Jewish doctor, but i didn't have this problem with him and now he is retired.

I am not worried that I have cancer, but why am I so upset as I write this? Afraid that I won't be able to finish my degree and all this other crappola-- it's probably nothing because most of the time these things are something that needs to be fixed, like a uterine polyp or something. It's expensive though. I'd rather be healthy and spend my money on other things. I even like the curves that the pills that he has me on are giving me. If I have it, I am going to catch it early. It's really a win-win situation with me going in!

C'est la vie-- tomorrow at 2pm they are squeezing me in. I will go there and do my usual 2 hour wait when this happens, then he will order more tests as surely it will be like it has been for the last six years, he'll do an ultra sound and nothing will be seen, then he'll get more invasive. Each test will be one where we hope to get negative results. Maybe it will be easy to figure out. If it's uterine polyps he will remove them. He won't take out my uterus even though I am done having children-- he says that unless it is a problem, he likes his patients to have them because problems associated with the uterus can reveal other problems that are not directly associated with it.

I just typed up a list of my history with problems with my break-through bleeding.

I also talked to the nurse earlier and I told her my anxieties about being seen. I hate getting undressed and feeling exposed under the gown. I told her how it infuriates me that I have had nine children and manage to get told by nurses how to put the gown on and what articles of clothing to remove and what have you. She was so nice and said, "You know what? He doesn't have to see you totally undressed for a yearly! Take off the top and leave the bottoms on, then we'll step out and you can change and put on your blouse and take off your pants! It's not an issue and if your worries and vulnerability level make you better able to stay with us mentally so you can tell him what hurts and what is giving you problems, then we'll work with you! We are her for you, you don't come in for us."

How blessedly nice.

Tomorrow it's just trans-vag. Not too terrible.

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It went well-- I have some condition where my uterus is thicker than usual. He said it can't be thinned and isn't really a big deal. It isn't a precursor to uterine cysts or fibroids like my mom had, although that doesn't mean they won't develop as they can.

When I went in, I outlined my problems on paper which made it easier for him to read.

He was classy and noticed that I frazzled about being undressed under the gown and let me keep my skirt on, so he worked on my top half then he stepped out and I put my blouse on and removed my skirt. I was able to talk to him the whole time which was wonderful.

He has me on more hormones.

I'm sad because I now weigh 149 pounds-- I weighed 138 when I gave birth to #1. At the same time, I love my curves. I told dh that I would start dancing to dance it off and he asked if I'd increase my caloric intake-- he loves my c-cups and added that when we loose weight, we get wrinkles. I can avoid fat replacement surgery by just making sure I don't loose my curves!

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The Crumpets are getting sick. It started on Wednesday with Sunshine having stomach cramps and talking in her sleep, "Mommy help me!" The two year old, TeaCup, was sleeping with her as she was so worried about her. Letting her stay with her was debatable, but by the time Sunshine was sick, we thought it was food poisoning and I knew that it is wasn't she'd passed it on anyway.

The others will follow. I have so much school work-- and I will also succumb. I have Aviela's chicken soup recipe that I'll be making for the weekend-- when the family is getting sick it is not time to be making spaghetti!

I say the bit on spaghetti because this morning as I was holding my three year old son as he threw up into the waste basket in the computer area, my seven year old (oblivious to what was happening) said, "You know, what I would like this weekend is a huge spaghetti dinner with garlic bread, noot-elles and meaty sauce!" I have no idea why he said that when he did. I know we all love spaghetti like that, but his timing was comical.

I went to the local supermart to buy stuff for the weekend. I lost my custom Hummer-like hybrid vehicle in the parking lot. Why does everyone see you wandering around the parking lot and have to ask you if you've lost your car or if you are lost? "Umm, yes I am! I don't know how I lost it!" Argh. It's not like they are going to go looking for it, but why even slow down and ask me? It's embarrassing to misplace your vehicle. I suppose if the worst thing that happens to me is that people ask if I am lost I am doing pretty darned good.
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Argh

My husband is home today for Armistice Day. I was excited. He could help me out with the kids while I studied. No can do-- a few hours browsing through the news, finally came in to the living room. I asked him to turn off the TV and read to the kids. He vomited something at me, "Huuuuunnnneeee! It's my day off!"

He just sat and watched TV while I sat here writing my papers.

I reminded him to read to them.

"They're being good! Leave them alone!"

Is this why he thinks I do nothing but sit around watching TV all day and do nothing to help my children? Because it's what he'd be doing?

He sat on the couch, his shirt unbuttoned and his gut hanging out-- how lovely. He'd read to them when I stormed out of the room. For the most part my children will have fine memories of the day with Daddy staying home, gathered 'round the TV. . .

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Anxiety

I am having nightmares constantly about school. I am waking up in the middle of the night thinking that I have to study more when I need sleep.

I'm getting muscle tremors from lack of sleep.

The stomach flue is making a second round in my house. I cannot believe this. I missed Russian again for ME last night as I was sick.

I may need a hysterectomy-- they will leave my ovaries as I have no issues with them and menopause this early is a very bad thing, but I just have "female bleeding" a lot and pills are not working. The thought of spending Christmas break with my 17 year old caring for me cannot appeal to her. When I get my student loans for next semester I think I will set aside some money and send her skiing for a day with a friend. She is such an angel. If i get the surgery I will be laying down for two weeks then not able to lift anything for six to eight weeks. The idea of getting to college classes with a back back bothers me. Maybe I will get a suitcase on wheels.

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How did my brilliant husband marry moi?

Last night my husband and I were at the mechanic's shop. I suggested that since my beast doesn't start very well that the mechanic look at the battery and the block heater. My husband didn't bother to take so much as a deep breath when he said in a nasally, condescending tone that, "There's nothing wrong with your heater or your battery."

I was talking to my mother but hissed that he say something just to make sure. My sweet, charming husband rolled his eyes at me but said, "Fine." (This means, "You are a flipping English and art major and you know nothing. I will ignore you."

Today, probably 18 hours after he blew me off, I was calling him from my driveway as I was trying to get to a test and asked him, "What's wrong with my battery and block heater?"

My husband didn't bother to take so much as a deep breath when he said in a nasally, condescending tone that, "There's nothing wrong with your heater or your battery." (Note a pattern developing.) He added that it would start right up.

I told him that I was calling Triple A. The guy came, "Say, aren't you a frequent flier with us?" I laughed, "Of course! I'm the woman who gets ignored about her vehicle!"

I told him what I thought was wrong and he set things up to jump it. "Yeah, it is probably both. I can't hear the block heater and the battery doesn't seem to want to turn over."

I rang up my husband, "He thinks it's the battery and the block heater."

My husband didn't bother to take so much as a deep breath when he said in a nasally, condescending tone that, "There's nothing wrong with your heater or your battery." He added that it would start right up and that I'd take my test in no time. He was right on one of those points. I took my test in no time!

We towed it.

Guess what! It was my block heater and my flipping battery!

I am seething right now. I don't like being right. Why didn't he listen to me? I didn't take my test, my entire day was spent at the mechanic's shop. I am a frazzled mess.

My lawyer friend heard my vehicle a few weeks ago and he saw me have to start it a few times. I am religious about driving and he saw me cross myself. He said he liked that I pray before I drive but hated to think of having to use my faith to start my engine. He said that I really needed to check out that battery and the block heater while I was at it-- "they go out every so often, you know."

I called him after my car got fixed.

I just touched up my hair. It's red. Right now it is flaming. I am so ticked. I have a political fund raiser to go to tomorrow. Fortunately my friend who is taking me who I really go to be with called and said that she can't be there for long. I was glad. I have to hit the books hard.

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Good to have a place to vent!

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Dh just came home from church. I am so never going back. He was in a terrible mood. He'd tried to call so I called him back and left a cheerful message, "Not bothering you, I just saw that you left a message! Call me back! Bye!" (Something like that.)

He got home just furious. He'd tried to call my eldest and home dd and she didn't answer. He wanted a roast on to be ready when he got here. Well, I don't have voice mail on my phone and he didn't leave a message on hers, and he didn't text either of us.

He must have seen some sweet submissive dumpling at the church obeying her husband. (Her husband who probably pays his doctor bills at the time!)

He walked in, "I will be an ass---- until you learn your place."

My place. How lovely! I'll just flutter my eyelashes here. . .

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He was on me because yesterday while I was studying, he kept wandering into the room and walking out and then I'd call him and ask him to shut the door. (Very important or the dog or kids would come in and start getting into things.) Well, it's not my place to ask his eminence to shut the ****ing door.

It's a constant thing with him. If I ask him to do anything, I am nagging. Or he tells me that I have lost my temper. His voice gets calm when he knows what he's pulling. If I don't show my frustration, he says "You didn't seem upset. How can I read your mind?" WTF.

He gets on me about the house. It's not dirty-- just cluttered. I have no garage to put extra stuff (kids school work, extra clothes) because he won't clean it out. So they go in our bedroom. Even little areas that I tried to designate and areas for me he has sprawled into. Yet there he is, "You don't make the house look nice!" If I had the power I would. Yet throwing anything away is an offense to him.

This has to be stress from the holiday and his car breaking down. The kids are happy-- I never mentioned them in this but they are doing their things and getting ready for the holiday.

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As I am considering a hysterectomy, please see the site that my Hystersisters have sent me to! LOL This is what I can do with those unused tampons! http://www.tamponcrafts.com/

Things got better with dh. I won on the car issue.

He gets mad and gets conservative and I get mad and feel liberal. Too strange. We went for a drive to one of my favorite stores and chilled out for a bit. I couldn't afford anything but I showed him what I put on layaway for some of the kids. It was nice to get out. The eldest says that I need to give him something to do on Saturdays because he isn't a homebody. He fixed a bunch of stuff around the house that only he could fix and he made room for some stuff in the garage.

The day ends OK. . .