Apr 30, 2010

Dump Mulch Therapy

HATE this time of month. No, not that...I'm 57 years old. That's long gone. (Can I get a big Thank you, Jesus?) It's billing time where I turn in my client hours, mileage and consultations. Two new forms this month and I have had enough trouble with the old ones because I don't know Excel and no, I don't want to take an Excel class. As dyslexic as I am the only thing I would get out of an Excel class would be free coffee and stale donuts. I also have a new "fill-able consult form" that we are to do on the computer now. Nice. I was excited! Unfortunately, when I sat down to do it last night I could not get it to work. My cohorts credentials are way too long and by the time I get to the "SLP" part of her numerous accolades all the margins shift and it's a disaster. I e-mail the genius who teaches computer classes and she says, "Whoever set this one up didn't know what they were doing." That makes two of us, I guess. So I email my boss who said she'd get with me later. I'm sure she's sick of me by now. Anyway, in tears as usual, I had to get away from it all and piled the kids in to the car and headed to the dump for some mulch therapy. There is nothing like a steaming pile of dump mulch to cheer me up. Much better than a steaming pile of horse poo because dump mulch doesn't smell and there are no flies involved. Some gardeners (like me) love the free stuff. Some are highly insulted by it. I've had debates with other gardeners who called it nasty, ground up garbage. Not true! Although, as God is my witness, I did find a blue incontinent pad in a pile of dump mulch once. Hey! Who needs Milorganite when you have free, re-cylcled chux? For those of you who do not know that Milorganite is re-cycled human sewage sludge used as fertilizer go to their web site at http://www.milorganite.com/home/ and watch their awesome video about how it is made. (You had me at "microbial stew.") Yeah, ok once in a while you run into some wire, maybe a piece of plastic, screws, shoes. So pick it out and get on with your life! In my state we don't have soil. We have sand. Unless you amend that sand you might as well just go to the nearest beach and plant your vegies by the seaside. Add dump mulch year after year and the first visitors you will have are earthworms. The plants LOVE it. Look at those tomatoes above and tell me they are not lovin' it. Someone told me that was because the stuff (not the word he used) was radioactive. Yeah you go on now SNOOT DAWG and buy your high falootin store bought stuff. I'm going to the dump...to the dump...to the dump, dump, dump!

Apr 27, 2010

She's Not Exactly Charlotte...

She's a Spiny orb-weaver or Gasteracantha cancriformis The spiny orb-weaver spider is one of the most colorful and easily recognized spiders in Florida. The webs usually contain tufts of silk, which may prevent birds from flying into them. (seen in photo) What a thoughtful spider! Tonight the kids finally got to sleep after 2 rounds of unexpected company and I decide to vacuum the pool by flood light and full moon. I had no idea when i let "my light shine" I was doing a little someone such a big favor. Apparently the light illuminated her glistening web attracting dozens of tiny moths and Miss Thang pictured above was maniacally wrapping them like bug burritos and setting them aside for tomorrows fiesta. I was so fascinated, I drug a ladder over and got up in the bougainvillea for a closer look. ( FYI: My neighbors live in a pop-up camper in their driveway and smoke ganja so what do I care if they see me on a ladder in the middle of the night watching a spider? I mean really) I do not allow my children to kill spiders unless it's a black widow of which we've had a neighborhood explosion in the past year. My mantra for years has been, "Spiders are our friends." The genius and the artist will attest to this truth. When the artist and I were in DC we went to an exhibit at the Smithsonian about spiders called, Spit and Suck. While most tourists were climbing the Washington Monument, we were watching a documentary about spider pre-digestion. Can you say "N-A-S-T-Y"? Having said all of this about the wonder of spiders I will confess that if Miss Thang was a tarantula or a wolf spider I would be screaming like a lunatic on a bad acid trip. I had a tarantula in my purse in Haiti once and I'm not sure which was worse. A tarantula in my purse in Haiti or said tarantula being stepped on by a construction worker and seeing the tarantula goo squish around his shoe. Yack. So to make a long story short, my pool is clean, the spider is full and I'm going to bed.

Apr 24, 2010

The Walking Iris's Rock Second AND Third Place

Today in memory of Iris/Virus's mother, also named Iris, we participated in a Hospice Beach Stroll to celebrate her life and raise support for Hospice. We named our team The Walking Iris's in honor of Iris/Virus's mom who passed away from cancer a few months ago. The Walking Iris's placed 2nd in individual donations and 3rd in team donations! Between the two cities that participated over $95,000.00 was raised. Not too shabby for a days "stroll." I think it was a 3 mile walk although with the boy, the teenager and the babe it seemed more like 30 miles. The boy was in his wheelchair and the babe in her wheelchair stroller. The teenager was on foot and I am so proud of her because she made it the entire way! Her demeanor changed significantly on the way back prompting Iris to suggest we change our name next year to the Walking, Rolling, Complaining Iris's but when I bribed the teenager with a hot dog, the teenager got her second wind. There was a big triathlon going on at the same time and while we were struggling with our 3 mile stroll they were
swimming 1.5K · biking 40K and running 10K. Ok, so maybe we'll try that next year. Not.

Our downtown area couldn't be more beautiful as the stroll took us past the ocean, marinas, sail boats, museums and hundreds of good looking guys in bike shorts many with
foreign accents. Oooooo la la!

As we were loading up the car happy to be such big WINNERS we knew Mama Iris would have been proud of us. It was a perfect moment. That is until the boy buckles up and says, "Let's never do that again."

I brought my camera to take a team photo but realized when we arrived that the memory stick was still in the computer. Enjoy the photo of the walking Iris from my garden instead!

Apr 20, 2010

"Aba blan pepe!"

What does it mean? Read the blog posting below. Thanks, Diane for the excellent article regarding Haiti after the quake. The part about sending your worse items to the Haitians (or anyone for that matter who needs help) really struck home. Having worked there a few times in the past I was constantly appalled by what people "donated." Here's a helpful hint:
If it's crap to you, it's crap to them. Keep your crap.

Click on the link below for some well-written food for thought:


Apr 19, 2010

Mr. Bean

" A writer is like a bean plant - he has his little day, and then he gets stringy. " E.B. White

I planted heirloom beans two weeks ago. Contender (Buff) Valentine Bush Bean introduced in 1949 to be exact. Then the dog decided to dig a tunnel to China through the bean garden. What a bad doggie! I figured all was lost in bean-ville until tonight when I found the little bean man above beckoning me with outstretched arms and a little brown bean shell beret on his happy head. "Some bean!" (as E. B. White would say.) You go little bean man! I promise to go outside and sing you the Genius's favorite song every day:

Beans and rice!
Beans and rice!
So good!
Mama make em' twice.

Live long and get stringy!

Apr 18, 2010

"Rainy Day!"

Up till 2:00 AM on Friday night. Up till midnight on Saturday. Praying to sleep in this morning to at least 7:00 AM! Just not in the stars. Babe wakes up sometime in the wee hours. This is a frequent occurrence. Most children with severe brain damage generally have difficulty with sleep patterns, behavior and cognitive function. She's crying so I bring her downstairs with me. She goes through her excited hand waving litany of " woof woof woof la la la da da da uh oh uh oh uh uh" and a new one I've never heard before, "SEVEN! SEVEN! SEVEN! " She has difficulty closing her lips so there is no "mama" or "mine!" in her vocabulary. The brain damage from the birth trauma is the primary factor, of course but I have a few theories of my own after raising a number of traumatized and complex kids like the baby. It wasn't bad enough that the baby experienced the terror of suffocation at birth. She went on to sprout prize winning adenoids that occluded her airway on a good day and became impossible during a cold or virus lowering her 02 sats to the 80's. When they were removed the surgeon came in to tell me she did well, was on her way to PACU and the adenoids were outrageous. Fifteen minutes later a man in green scrubs walks in with a look on his face. I remember a feeling of horror. I remember saying, "You're not about to tell me something I don't want to hear are you??" He apologizes profusely and goes on to explain he is the anesthesiologist and he had trouble after the adenoidectomy. Baby would not breath. He worked on her and bagged her for 15 minutes giving her narcotic antagonists and eventually caffeine. She was "this close" to being intubated, put on a vent, and shipped to SICU when suddenly, she started breathing. Since then she's had hearing tests under general anesthesia and one MRI. I am careful to report the adenoid incident to each new anesthesiologist just as I am careful to mention the boy's potential to have a pseudo malignant hyperthermia reaction to anesthesia simply because he has Osteogenesis Imperfecta. As always some kind-hearted souls believe every word you say and react accordingly. Others get that smug look that all frequent flying parents of medically complex children have grown to adore. I have learned over the years how to deal with the smug ones as have highly organized plaintiff attorneys in the field of medical malpractice litigation. One such smug anesthesiologist came back to me later after our "talk." She had pulled up the computerized adenoid incident and having reviewed it told me it was worse than she "anticipated" so she was changing her plans regarding the days general anesthesia and by the way don't ever go to the Big City for an outpatient MRI with this child as they do not have the set up to deal with the anesthesia emergency she may throw at them as they do in the children's hospital we frequent. I've come to the conclusion over the past 2 years that if I was the baby I would keep my mouth open all the time, too for fear of not being able to breath. As do all of these spunky kids, the baby just works around the mouth closing issue and has developed a non-traditional baby vocabulary such as, "salt", and "seven, seven, seven." She uses sign language for the rest which we've worked on since infancy. So this morning, while still groggy, i hear a noise other than woof woof woof la la uh oh seven seven seven. "What's that noise I say out loud? "It's raining" the boy answers. I jump a mile as I had no idea he was laying next to me on the other side. "Rainy Day!" shouts the baby. A new one! So, today, the kids are making art while I walk around the garden with an umbrella thrilled that the horse poo is soaking in to the garden. It's a great, great, "rainy day" indeed.

Apr 17, 2010

Ah! The Aroma of the Mountain!

There is nothing like a steaming mountain of horse poop on a Saturday morning. The smells! The flies! The gardening possibilities! The boy and I brought a good amount home from the local horse ranch and spent the morning working it in to the garden soil. One of my favorite blogs, Big Mama Hollers, was just writing about the psychological benefits of horse poop. Cindy, you are my American Idol. This pile is for you!

The Teenager Teaches Drivers Ed

The teenager and the baby are making art this morning while I am trying to generate the strength to wash and braid the babes hair. The teenager interrupts my thoughts, "I have a present for you!" She holds up the above poster and informs me it is titled, "what not to do at stoplights." I can't wait to read the novel! But I do wonder....have I done something at a stoplight to deserve this tutorial?

Apr 15, 2010

Do Hippies Smoke?

This has been a typical week and I find myself praying, Dear God could we just have one normal day? Not Week. Not Month. Day. Even an hour would be nice. An hour of normalcy. Early this morning we drove to the neighboring big city to attend a number of dental and medical appointments for the boy. I was pretty confident my new tires would make it because I've already had one flat this week. I work in the more questionable areas of our fair city so flat tires happen. Frequently. Nails. Screws. Blades. Steel spikes sticking out of the ground in odd places. In one neighborhood recently, everyone came outside to watch the "teacher" get the tire off the steel spike. Even granny toddled out and sat in her rocker fanning herself on the front porch. It almost got as much notice as the time I went into the same neighborhood with my car washed. The entire family and neighborhood were yelling, " teacher washed her car!" But I digress. As I stated earlier, we had multiple appointments in the "big city." The boy tells me he has a big lump in his mouth on the way. Good I say. We are heading to the dentist. How convenient and how long have you had this lump? Oh, he didn't know...a while but he thought it would go away so he didn't tell me. This worked well. Usually he waits until we are done with the dentist and home to tell me he has a big lump in his mouth. The dentist examines the lump, x-rays and feels we need to go back to the orthodontist who is working with this big city dentist as part of a craniofacial team following the boy. Oh goody! I was really hoping for yet ANOTHER appointment. After a cleaning and no cavities (hooray!) we're off to our next appointment but first lunch. Too tired to go in to a restaurant and being in the seedier side of the big city as evidenced by the nude bar with the flying saucer on top of the building which I had to explain over and over...yes, their are aliens in there... naughty, naughty aliens....we stopped at...gag...Sonic. Sonic is not the place for a leaf loving organic person like me but the kids thought it was cool so we sat waiting for our meals on wheels. As we're waiting the boy starts. "I think there is a hippie over there." "There is a hippie over there." "Look at the hippie." It's not a hippie. Hippies were like in the 60's, man. "It is a hippie! Look!" It's not a hippie and anyway how do you know about hippies? "You told me." Dear God! I'm having 60's flashbacks and telling my children about my hippie days and not even remembering I did this? "Do hippies smoke?" "Let's eat outside!" No. I don't want to eat outside. "It's because of the hippie isn't it?" "Are you afraid of the hippie?" Still on the hippie...I put my face in my hands. "Are you laughing or crying?" I'm doing both. A knock on my window startles me. Its the guy in the car next to me. "Mam, do you have a dime?" I'm looking at him. Dime or dime bag? Actually, I have a dime in a zip-lock baggie that I threw in my purse so we would not have to go through the toll booth humiliation of searching frantically for 25 cents worth of pennies under car floor mats like last time. I hand the man a dime. I keep the baggie. "Why did you give that man the dime?" Because he asked for it. I'm thinking he was probably a dime short for an alien lap dance. Just as he leaves our food arrives and a white truck with a screaming woman pulls into dime man's space. Roller boy rolls his eyes at the screaming as he hands me the food. As it turns out she is screaming at the hippie. Here kids, eat your corn dog and watch the hippies fight. As we're eating with the windows rolled up an employee walks in front of our row of cars swinging a bag of fluid that well...to me...a nurse...it looks like a catheter and a leg bag. "WHAT WAS THAT?" Maybe it was a soda refill I reply with fake cheeriness. "It looked like pee to me." "Was it pee?" We head off to the behavior specialist who makes the mistake of asking how it was going. Well...I was thinking as we were driving here of placing a little name tag that read, "Hi! My name is "the boy"" on the boy and buying him a one way air plane ticket to Moscow. He stares at me over his glasses. I realize this would not be an answer. Why is that he asks? He's not Russian. We made a follow-up appointment for one month. Oh good. Something to look forward to. Maybe we can stop at Sonic again for some corn dogs and urine.

Apr 11, 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird

"Neighbors bring food with death, and flowers with sickness, and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife, and our lives." Scout Finch

Sniff... Sniff... Sniff..
BWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.... I cry every time I watch this movie. The boy and i chilled today with our Netflix DVD. It's the perfect movie for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I think this is a movie you should watch once a year when you're like me and forget just about everything you see within a few hours. Like the fact that this was Harper Lees' only book. Like the fact that the character Dill was based on Truman Capote who was Harper Lee's playmate and long time friend in Alabama where they grew up. She actually accompanied Truman Captoe to Kansas to help him research his best seller, In Cold Blood. How highly thought of Gregory Peck was and how he stayed in touch with the actors and Harper through out his life. He even had a grandchild named Harper in her honor. Brock Peters, the actor who played Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl, actually gave a touching eulogy at Gregory Peck's funeral. I'd also forgotten this was Robert Duvall's movie debut playing Arthur "Boo" Radley. Harper Lee refused an Oprah interview as she was quite a recluse, informing Oprah she was a lot like her character, Boo Radley. The movie kept the boy's attention who had so many questions I am determined to read him the book. The teenager informed us she thought Tom Robinson was lying on the witness stand and she was leaving to watch Sponge Bob. Maybe with the teenager I'll stick with Peter Rabbit.

My Dog Woke Me UP

It's 3:53 AM and my dog woke me up going ballistic. After 20 minutes of me yelling "STOP BARKING" I finally got out of bed with the boy tugging on me yelling that Vanna White was "sensing danger." Sure enough, there are 3 police cruisers in front of my house and a strange man/teen standing on my lawn smoking! There was something lying next to him on his right. A bike? A dead body? I just hate it when you can't see details in the dark! Of course, the boy was using my binoculars last week and didn't put them back! After seeing the man hunt and the boy's incessant, I told you so's, my tune changed to,"GOOD DOGGIE! WHAT A GOOD DOGGIE!" Since 2 of the 6 uniformed police were obviously on foot searching my neighborhood and 2 of the 3 cruisers were driving around with their lights off (which the boy noticed) I figured I'd let Vanna out for a little jog around the back yard so she could fulfill her doggie dreams and rip someones head off if they just happened to be lurking there. I saw Vanna in a fight once. She was attacked by a boxer who Vanna thought wanted to play. Within seconds of the attack I watched her switch effortlessly from play mode to I'm going to rip your neck open mode. The boxer immediately knew he bit off more than he could chew...literally and figuratively...and stopped the attack, standing perfectly still acknowledging Vanna as, "Alpha Dog." I was so proud of her I wanted to make her an Alpha Dog cape on the spot. They say these dogs kill bear, wolves and big cats and after the boxer rebellion I have no doubts regarding this tid bit of information. Vanna made a vicious sweep of the back yard perimeter tonight and finding nothing prances regally over to my heirloom tomatoes right in front of me and pees on them! "BAD DOGGIE! WHAT A BAD DOGGIE!" Even if my heirloom tomatoes survive who will want to eat them? Anyway, I soon lost interest in the hoopla and decided to check my e-mail. Thank you to my friend Diane who sent me two seriously funny blogs right up my thrifty alley. I'm in here laughing and snorting reading these blogs and since I have no curtains I'm sure between the giant polar bear dog and my insane cackling whoever they were looking for was making a mental note in the bushes to avoid my house in the future. Anyway, enjoy!



Apr 9, 2010

Rainy Day Road Trip North West

Today we had planned on going to the beach. All week it has been sunny and warm. This morning when we woke up it was dark, gloomy and raining. Time for a road trip! We hopped in the car and took off over a bridge and down a highway. When we passed an establishment that was newly built called The Hip Hop Soda Shop I lamented out loud that they must have gone broke before they ever got up and running. The teenager states matter of factly, "That's because everyone is buying that sugar free junk."

We drove aimlessly through a few different cities. One city we passed is a well known carnie town where many of the old time circus side show folk settled including, the Lobster boy, Melvin Burkhart (the Human Blockhead), Percilla the Monkey girl, and a number of little people who starred as Munchkins in Wizard of Oz. Al and Jeanie Tomaini, (the giant who married the “half girl” ) were considered to be the founders of the community and were known for their hospitality and friendliness as well as their restaurant, bait shop, and marina. Together they operated “Giant’s Camp”, offering southern style food and drinks to the local residents. Both Al and Jeanie are deceased leaving behind a daughter named Judy. Judy has a fascinating site full of carnie lore. Check it out: http://www.sideshowworld.com/thstgod-jtrs.html

We stopped at any thrift store we came across (no matter how scary) and found the Forget Me Not candlestick below for 80 cents:

The tiny cream and sugar set for $1.01:

To top it off the teenager spotted a pink Barbie "lap top" in a plastic bag with 4 stuffed animals which we donated back to the thrift store. The lap top cost $1.99 and works perfectly. What a find!

Sometimes you have to look a little harder when you are surrounded by dilapidated mobile home parks, junkyards and stinky phosphorous plants but there is always beauty to be found. Like this:


and this:

We found a large nursery in the middle of no where with a huge selection of Orchids and containers of lady bugs which fascinated the boy. (Fortunately, I caught him before he was able to "free" a container full.) The employee who helped us actually lives in our city but drives an hour or more to this nursery for employment. She told us how the nurseries in our area are cutting back hours to almost nothing and how she had to go where she could find full-time employment. I left there with two hardy day lily plants, a weird color of lantana, creeping rosemary and a thankfulness to be employed close to home. Today our city looks a little better to us and our house seems like a mansion. We actually had such an interesting time we've decided to hit the road at least once a month with no destination or plan in mind. Next time we go north east!

Apr 8, 2010

TV Coma, Organic Gardening and the Virus From Hell

This morning I'm talking to the boy and he is not answering. I finally YELL in exasperation and the teenager informs me, "He can't hear you. He is in a tv coma. This is a bad thing." I love how the teenager sums up life so neatly.We don't really have a tv. I got rid of cable when I sat down at Christmas to watch a popular family program with my son and was horrified by the Christmas perfume commercials and one commercial advertising the new season for a show where a man is throwing a woman up against a fence and ripping her shirt off over and over and over. That did it for me when I realized my 9 year old son and I could not even watch a family program without being inundated with the worlds version of "love." I canceled cable the following day. I'm not a complete freak, though. I subscribe to Netflix and we do Redbox. Both commercial free. It was Sponge Bob the boy was watching earlier on a rented DVD this morning that induced the coma. Sponge Bob has the same effect on me.

Today the boy is going on an outing with a neighbor friend. Thank you Jesus.

The girls and I are going to chill which means i will be putting loads of laundry away, mopping floors, etc. There really is never any chilling in my world. I've spent my "vacation" being sick. Saw the eye specialist Tuesday and my corneas are ok so am being weaned off the meds. Woke up Wednesday sick as a junk yard dog. Thought I was going to die. This is part of the eye virus according to the specialist. Go figure. I refused to let illness get me down, though. Armed with saline nasal spray, antihistamines, gallons of water and liquid gel ibuprofen I worked in the back yard for 4 hours anyway. I figured if the pollen count didn't kill me off nothing would. Planted the heirloom tomatoes, basil, cilantro, oregano, nasturtiums and pretty flowers all in a row. Worked on the red and yellow butterfly garden. Red and yellow are not colors of my choosing but the butterflies have informed me over the years that it is their choice so I have complied. All in all a good day.

This morning I feel a little better. Hooray! I am determined to homestead where I'm planted at the moment although my heart is in a country place. Even this morning watering the tomatoes I wished I could hear the bird songs without the whir of I-275 drowning them out. I was talking to a friend yesterday who has 5 gorgeous acres of land and a nice home in a country place. She wants to move back here. I want to move up there. In a perfect world we could simply trade and both would be happy campers. Unfortunately, her land and house are paid off and my house isn't. There are hundreds of threads in the scriptures that weave our every day tapestries. One of them is to be content in the situation you are in. Forget about the past. Don't worry about tomorrow. Contentment, however, doesn't just happen. It's very often an act of the will. Lately I am determined that i will make the most of my homestead in the city. Maybe some day I'll hear the birds sing without the droning of traffic. I guess I'm hanging on to that "thread" of hope.

Apr 4, 2010

Since When Did " i Carly" Represent Easter?

The teenager and I were in the store back when I could see well and she said, "look! It's almost Easter!" pointing to a huge display of stuffed animals, candy, baskets and a very large display of...i Carly? For those of you who don't have small children and are not familiar with the program on Nick it is a very popular tween show involving the main character, Carly, and her buddies who have a web show. It's an entertaining show if you're 12 and I have nothing against it but what does it have to do with Easter? This has been swirling around in my head like a turd that won't flush and today, Easter Sunday, I feel compelled to officially protest the commercialization of yet another special day. After I un-stuck both of my eyes this morning and was able to see a little of my world, I went out in the garden to find samples of what Easter is truly about. I did not find an i Carly Easter display.
I love the story according to John: "For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.Then the disciples went away again unto their own homes. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus has lain. And they say to her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because, they have taken way my Lord and I know not where they have laid him. And when she said this, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself unto him, Raboni!; which is to say Master."
And so to sum it up less eloquently than John, it is Jesus who has risen and His resurrection that we celebrate on Easter. Irregardless of how hard we try, His show will never be canceled.

Apr 2, 2010

For the Kindhearted Among You...

who have inquired about how I am feeling I have included a photo of myself taken this morning. Both eyes are now officially affected. I will not be blogging for a while for obvious reasons. The teenager just woke up and said, "So how are your eyes today?" I took my glasses off to show her. "Kinda worse I see." You can always expect an accurate assessment from the teenager.
I put a 40 fluid ounce jug of hand sanitizer at my front door. Sanitized are those who enter and sanitized are those who depart.

Apr 1, 2010

You're Village Called. They Are Missing An Idiot.

Well, so much for "vacation." The artist just called and she has to work. Seeing as this is the only time we can go it looks like we won't be going back for many moons. Just as well. I'm very tired and don't feel all that well. I get criticized all the time for "not asking for help" as does one of my favorite bloggers, Big Mama Hollers. She feels her "problem" is stubbornness. I think my "problem" is perceived as stubbornness but to me it seems more like when I ask for help it isn't always convenient for people who can't help and so I end up embarrassed for asking. They say it takes an entire village to raise a child or in my case today take a baby off the school bus while I'm at the eye specialist. My "village people" were unavailable so I phoned the genius in tears who left work and came to my rescue. Between Iris/Virus, the genius and Curly T the children and I survived. Curly T and I have been friends for some time now. We met at our children's special needs bowling league and per Curly T she liked me immediately because one of my children who shall remain nameless the teenager was rolling down the alley in the throws of a tantrum and I obviously didn't give a rip. Curly T is not a people person and is suspicious of those who are "religious."Apparently, I am acceptable because I admit I'm an idiot and as she puts it so eloquently, "yes, you suck but not as bad as everyone else." The genius drove me to the eye specialist who diagnosed me with a virus which is beginning to affect the other eye as well and the lymph glands in my neck. This explains why i feel as terrible as I look. The good news is it has nothing to do with an auto-immune disease. The bad news is, "it will get much worse before it gets better and it has a very prolonged duration. I have a lady who has had this for 6 weeks now." She said this at least 3 times as she slathered hand sanitizer all over her arms. The medication cost $97.00 and I have to go back next week for a re-check to make sure my corneas aren't rotting. While there I ran into an optometrist I've know for years who greets me with a cheery, "hi!" and then notices my eyes..."WHOA!!" Jumping back about 3 feet he asks me if I'm contagious. Yes, I told him, but this has already proven to be a positive thing. The genius treated me to lunch but refused to take my money or anything else I touched for that matter. While all of this is happening a friend of mine who is always available for everyone in need calls me to see if I can help her today. She recently broke both feet and is alone with her special needs daughter. I felt terrible telling her no, i was blind as a bat. I'm sure if she saw me though she would be thankful I could not help. As Curly T put it today, "put your sun glasses back on you look freakish!" So in all reality...and I do love reality...I guess it's just as well that we cannot go to visit the artist and the tall man next week. Honestly, I think a vacation might just kill me. I have to say though, before I die I really want to visit Crazy Woman Creek in Colorado. It sounds like my kind of vacation spot.