Monday, May 23, 2005

I'm so sweet, you could bite me

Saturday morning we put up the pool. Ah, the blessed pool. The spot we usually use for swimming type things is now taken up by a rather large playhouse. We decided on the back backyard. We have a yard that is right behind the house, aptly called a backyard, with a fence and all that. My clothesline is out there, the big toy, etc. Then past that we have a space between the backyard and the barn, what we call the back backyard. That was pretty much the only option for the pool because our front yard is wooded. We we laid the mass of plastic out upon the ground and began smoothing out the wrinkles. When I stood back I realized it was incredibly unlevel. So we moved it. Then we moved it again. Finally we found a level spot and began the filling of the pool. If you want to torture three children with anticipation, begin filling a pool and don't let them anywhere near it. Liked to killed 'em, poor things.

I left around 1:30 for TotOne's dance recital, leaving my husband in charge of our resting children and handing him the bottle of suncreen and instructing him to use it because I knew the pool would fill while I was gone. Yeah, so much for that. We now have three pink-shouldered children. They all suffered from hypothermia that afternoon after jumping headfirst into a pool that had just been filled, too. Wish I could've been there to witness that. Yep, I'm kind of sadistic that way. I'm the person that laughs when you trip and fall, too.

Something I'd like to know - when did the chairs at the Fine Arts Center at NEO shrink? 'Cuz my butt had a really hard being comfortable in them at the recital.

The recital was adorable, as usual. Saw Stormie of Irish Divinity, who is looking absolutley glowing, btw. I looked good during my pregnancy with Abby. That was the only one. The rest of them I looked exhausted, pale and was incredibly cranky. But Stormie, you're stunning, dear!

I called Paul to tell him when I'd left the recital and told him I needed to get earplugs for the tractor pulls. Well, I had to drive by the nursing home on the way to Wal*Mart and I just simply couldn't drive by without stopping to visit Nana. She's doing great! She's having a very hard talking, but I think that's due to exhaustion. She's bound and determined to go home, though. To her house. I'm very scared for that, but she's pretty stubborn. Mom tried to talk her into an apartment and she entertained the thought for awhile, then dismissed it the next day. But we had a nice quiet visit without the children using the bars in the hall and her wheelchair and walker as playground equipment. I tried to talk to her about the apartment as well, but she'd hear none of it. Her boys are getting together tonight to go over options and decide what to do next.

I ran to Wal*Mart, knowing that Paul was going to be fuming about the delay, but I hadn't seen Nana in a day or two and I wasn't going to apologize. So what did I do since I was running behind, but stop and pick out a new swimsuit. And a pair of shorts. And a pair of capris. Hey, if I'm going to be late, I'm going to do a bangup job of it. I called home, told him to get the kids into their tank tops and shorts and that I'd braid the girls' hair when I got there. When I got there I found my children only partially dressed and my husband pouting. It's okay for him to be late and fiddle fart around, but I can't. Grrr. He started griping that the kids wanted Pizza Hut, but now we couldn't GO to Pizza Hut because SOMEONE was LATE - you know the drill. I told him that I was sure there'd be someone at the gates who'd be glad to use his ticket if he was going to continue griping at me and continued driving and ignoring his overdone sighs.

And by golly, we went to Pizza Hut. And we managed to get to the fairgrounds a whole freakin' HOUR before the event started. Yeah. Saturday we came awful close to a record high - somewhere around 400 degrees I think. Or maybe it was closer to 91. Regardless, it was hot. And sticky. And dusty. Fortunately there was a breeze and that was the only thing that saved us from just dying right there in our seats. Sis and her kids showed up about 15 minutes before it started and we proceded to drive the folks around us insane, which is always fun. I think the chick in front of me was tired of the kids bumping her back. She could've moved. Geez. I had a kid bumping my back through the entire thing, too, and you didn't see me complaining. Some people.

Of course, the monster trucks came out first and the kids were hollering and squealing. And then the excitement wore off for them. We spent the next two hours fielding questions like "Aunt Kiki, when will the monster trucks be back out?" and "Mom, is it always this boring here?" and "Aunt Kiki, you're the best. Now when will the monster trucks be back?" My darlingest sister had never been to any event like this and she was as wide-eyed as the kids. Of course, Paul and I have been to dozens of them (yes, literally) and it's still exciting and we cheered with the best of them, but honestly, I thought my sister was going to pee her pants! She was like "Hella YE-A-UH!" Then she leaned over and said, "Uh, does that not hurt your ears?" I shook my head no and she said, "Oh. Hmh. Well, could I have a pair of those ear plugs please?" Rookie.

I did put in a pair of plugs when the tractor pulling started because those 2WD engines rev up so loudly that it actually does hurt my ears. They're the foam kind you roll up and squish in your ear and then they expand to fill the canal. The package said it reduced noise by 32 decibles. But when I stuck them in my ears I heard almost NOTHING. I thought "Dang, they underestimated these puppies." Then I reached up to feel them, to make sure they were in okay and I had shoved them all the way into my ears! They were completely in my ear, nothing sticking out. When I tapped Sis on the arm and pointed to my ear she busted out in this guffaw that caused even my husband to look at us. Needless to say, I readjusted.

I also busted my little sister's bubble when I told her that the monster trucks are sanctioned and predetermined as to who wins. Honestly, she was crushed. So then, the rest of the night she'd lean over occasionally and ask if the tractor pulls were predetermined, were the tough trucks predetermined and for the love of God, "Please don't tell me the demolition derby was predetermined!" I also wowed the kids when I told them that Uncle Pa-paul and I had seen the monster truck, The Terminator, up close and had touched it and yes, we had even leaned on the tire while we visited with the drivers. We saw the underbelly of it as it caught air because we were in the pit at the Ft. Smith races last fall. Oh yeah, we gained like 40 gazillion cool points with that story.

The night ended with the jet truck reducing a junk car to flames. Even though the announcer said it would reduce it to nothing, which Abby then informed us all that it simply couldn't reduce it to nothing because it had to go somewhere when it melted and it couldn't just vanish. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of hers. But like she said, it didn't reduce it to nothing. Just burned it real good. All in all, it was an awesome night. I really think that once Sis moves out to her farm-ette, the transition will be complete and we'll make a redneck of her yet. While we were standing in line to pay $12.50 for 5 bottles of water, she looked around and said real quiet, "I've been looking around here... and I SO do not fit in." I patted her arm and said, "We're gonna change that, Sis."

Oh yeah, almost forgot - about halfway through the evening something bit me. I'm assuming it was a spider. I knocked a spider off the dude's back in front of me earlier, so in my mind it's a spider bite. All I know is, I felt a bite and suddenly my foot started itching and burning and ouch it hurt. Finally after suffering in silence for about 15 minutes I said, "Heather, I'm going to stick my foot in your lap. I want you to look at it." Then I didn't give her a chance to say no, I simply flopped my foot onto her leg. Yikes! It was swollen and red and I had this nasty rash covering half of my foot! When we stood up at intermission my toes were numb and I was about ready to start heading toward the ambulance, but then I realized that my foot had just fallen asleep.

Sunday morning we all got up early and started painting on the playhouse. Well, Paul and I did. The kids just rode their bikes around asking us every 5 minutes when they could go swimming. My foot was still swollen and sore, so I didn't paint long. I stayed in the house, tried to put my foot up when I could, and did some housework. I dozed off in the afternoon. It was so hot in the house, all you can do is sit when it's that hot and I slept. When I woke up, Paul came in for a glass of tea and said he was going out to mow. In a moment of utter insanity I said, "Hey, why don't you let me mow?" The look on his face was priceless. People, my dad stuck me on a riding lawnmower when I was 13 and about two swipes through the yard my eyes were swelling shut and I couldn't breathe. So needless to say, I've had a medical discharge from all mowing the rest of my life. But it was hot and that man I married was tired from painting so he said, "Sure. You really wanna mow. Right." But I could see on his face that he was beat and he really didn't want to mow. So he showed me how to work the thing. It's no ordinary rider. Heck, it's not even one of those ZTR's with the two stick thingys to turn it. You operate the thing with a freakin' joystick. No kidding, I reverted back to my Atari days and had a blast! I mowed the whole back backyard and even though it wasn't perfect, I think for a 20 year hiatus in mowing, I didn't do too bad.

Then the five of us went swimming. In the still really cold pool. And my youngest daughter called me a wuss.

My bite's better today. Still red, still rashy, but not swollen. Just to be on the safe side, though, I stayed off of it today. I finished reading The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks, which I had been working on since January. Then I started reading Nights in Rodanthe and finished it about 20 minutes ago, while bawling my head off. Oh, dang you, Nicholas Sparks. I hate to cry over a dang love story. I also have read an entire book in one day in who knows how long. That was kind of nice.

Last night Mom, Sis, Bub and the kids came out for a barbecue. The kids swam. We ate and Mom asked me to tell the possum story again. It's a classic, I'm tellin' ya. Then we watched the finale of Grey's Anatomy while the kids put together puzzles. Then the storm hit. I was closing windows in the back of the house when I realized that it was hailing. I ran up front to find my entire family on the front porch. Because we're rednecks and this is what rednecks do. We must stand on the porch when the tornado comes and the hail bounces so hard it breaks in half. It's genetic, I'm sure. The hail started out as pea-sized, but before it was over got up to ping pong ball-sized. The kids were stoked. My husband was chanting "Oh sh*t. Oh sh*t. My truck. My truck. Oh sh*t my truck!!" Big baby. I stayed up till nearly 3 this morning watching as the storm headed at us, with rotation and everything. But hit the Ottawa County line and was gone. As always. But at least the storm cooled things off a bit. Now it's only 350 degrees and the humidity's down to oh 1500%. Not too bad for May.

Anyone ready to see some pictures of me in high school? I know I've been promising and if the weather behaves tomorrow and I can actually plug my computer in, I will post big-hair pictures tomorrow. Stay tuned. It's sure to be entertaining.

No comments:

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...