My whole family will be in the same house tomorrow. I’ll be picking Little Big Man up from university at noon. His one class on Wednesday has been cancelled. I would have picked him up tonight, but he had to work. He hasn’t been home since we took him up there and moved him in. On one hand, I’m proud of him for finally finding his place (after 2 years). On the other hand, I’ve missed him this fall. We’ve seen him a couple of times, but it’s not the same as having him actually in the house.

Hub left Florida today to meet his brother in North Carolina. They are driving up and will also arrive sometime tomorrow afternoon. We’ll all be in the same place!

Then the rest of the family will descend on Thursday. We’ll eat too much, drink too much, and laugh a lot.  It’s going to be a good day!

Movie Review: “Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

My daughter convinced me to read the Twilight books a couple of years ago. She loves them so much; it seemed like the thing to do. I raced through them in a weekend and felt a little sick afterwards, but my Sassy was happy. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last several months, the latest movie based on the books came out this weekend.
Sassy has seen every movie with a group of friends, but they couldn’t get their acts together this time, so it wasn’t going to happen. She was very sad, so I offered to take her and our exchange student to see a matinee today. They both jumped at the chance (and sang all the way to the theater to my utter annoyance).
As I expected, it was AWFUL. Seriously, the acting was wooden, the dialogue insipid, and the pacing agonizingly slow. I was gratified to find that every time I rolled my eyes, I could hear Sassy giggling. At least we were on the same page about that. The scenery, however, was amazing – what can you do to screw up the Pacific Northwest? Also, the shirtless boys – pretty gorgeous.
One last thing, the dress. SPOILER ALERT – the vamp and the human get married in this movie. You’d think they could have gotten at least a gorgeous dress for this occasion. They did not. Panels, seams, buttons, lace…all the pieces were there, but the final product looked like what my 5-year-old used to do with tissues and tape – puckered and painful. Not what I expected at all.
Two hearty thumbs down for this movie. Wait for Netflix if you really feel the need.

(I’ve edited to add the picture of the dress. While it may not be apparent in the still picture, the panel in the front is unfortunately places. Just odd.)

Coco Delilah

Have you seen a Lexie Barnes bag up close? They’re magnificent. She makes the most gorgeous, most functional bags ever. Well, she did. She recently stopped making bags. I had always anticipated buying a Coco (the bag she made for holding circular knitting needles). A few weeks ago a friend told me that she’s no longer making them and I panicked. I went online and managed to find one that someone was getting rid of. I shipped her the $$ that day and waited.

It’s been 3 weeks and I was getting a little nervous. I figured I wait to see what came in the mail today and hoped my bag was there. 

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, my girls and I started the fall house keeping today. In the entry way, there’s a bench that becomes the collection point of everything that we carry into the house. Shoes, boots, gloves, backpacks, coats, etc. – it all gets dropped here. That was where we started our attack. I picked up the top layer and came upon what looked like a Coco bag. I picked it up and said, “What’s this?”

My daughter said, “I don’t know.”

Henriette said, “I’ve never seen it before.”

I whirled on both of them and said, “Neither of you put this here?” They shook their heads.

I walked out the door, across the yard, and over to my mother-in-law’s house. She has a labrador retriever who’s known to chew things up (most recently the top of a styrofoam cooler belonging to my dad). I slapped the bag on her counter and said, “This was something I ordered 3 weeks ago that I just found in my house.”

“Well, it clearly looks like a dog chewed it up, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before,” she said.

I told her the girls hadn’t ever seen it before, but it was on the bench IN MY HOUSE.

She had the temerity to say, “When might this have been? I may have put it there, but I really don’t remember.”

I came back home and cried. Then I called my husband (in Florida) and yelled at him for a few minutes.

It’s not the end of the world. But here’s the thing, I don’t have a whole lot of money to be throwing around and I was so lucky to find this case and so happy to have a treat for myself.

People wonder why I don’t like dogs. This is it.

Power Outage

There was a big storm blowing through tonight. Wind, some rain, 20 degree temperature drop in 3 hours – the works. I was worried all the way home from our field hockey banquet that our power would be out. I was right. 
We all stomped around being pissy and lighting candles. I called the Hub (who is currently in Florida) for instructions on how to start the generator and called in to report the outage. And then, the power came back on. Just like that. 
The next time I complain about it always being hard, someone needs to slap me upside the head and remind me of this moment. It was easy and I’m now toasty warm and the lights are on.

Campus Visit

Tomorrow I take my youngest for her first campus visit. It’s a small, liberal arts college here in the midwest. She doesn’t want anything too big and eventually (thinks she) wants to do physical therapy. It seems like a good place to get a well-rounded education that will set her up right for graduate school. The other couple bonuses are, it has a field hockey team and it’s only about 1.5 hours away. I just want to get a feel for the campus – see how the kids interact with each other, how much a part of the surrounding community it is, how big it is, are the buildings old and covered with ivy or brand new and all glass, etc.

When it came time for my son to look – he wasn’t interested. He wanted Big 10 and as soon as he got accepted to MSU, he was done applying (he was fortunate enough to be invited to apply early, so got the acceptance early). I wasn’t convinced such a big place was good for him. Turns out, I was half right. He stumbled and fell during his first 3 semesters, but realized what he had done and took some summer classes to make up for it. He seems to have turned it around and is making huge efforts to get back on track.

My daughter never had it as easy as my son. She struggled early to get the hang of reading and it took her so long that she struggled with everything else as well. The bonus here is that she got some terrific help and created some lifelong study habits that she’ll take with her when she goes to college. I don’t worry that she can do it (I know she can). I worry that I can’t do without her.

I find these last couple of high school years bittersweet. She’s a fabulous kid and has been since we brought her home from the hospital. She’s ready to go now and while she hasn’t hit the “terrible teens”, I’m sure we’ll have some trying times ahead. She’s my Sassy girl and even when we’re on each other’s last nerve, at the end of the day, she’s the only one I want.


I’ve always had headaches. Seriously, ever since I can remember I’ve had them. In high school, the doctors thought it was because I needed glasses. So I got glasses. Still got headaches. The older I got, the more severe they got until I had the classic migraine – flashing lights, nausea, photophobia – the whole nine yards. These necessitated trips to the emergency department and 3 different (massive) shots. They’d give me anti-nausea meds, anti-dilation meds, and pain meds. On those trips, all I wanted was to be back in my own bed with a waste paper basket next to me.

Between my 2 kids, they changed to visual disturbances. The first one made me think I was having a stroke. These start as a pinpoint in the center of my eye (usually only 1). The pinpoint gets bigger and bigger until it moves out of my vision altogether. The thing sort of looks like a backwards, vibrating C, shot through with metallic colors (green, blue, red, and silver). There’s usually no pain, but it feels like someone closed all the windows in my head and started smoking cigars in there. Disorienting, but I can function.

About 3 years ago, the classic migraines came back. I went to the doctor and asked for some of those new triptan drugs. And they work – with a couple of caveats:
  •  You have to KNOW you’re having a migraine and get the meds on board within a few minutes or the vessels dilate and there’s no stopping them. Then you just take giant pain meds and hope for the best (which for me is a pretty intense headache that lasts for about 3 days).
  • If you’re NOT having a migraine, you get a giant rebound headache from the meds. So you end up taking milder pain meds and it goes away after a couple of hours (or a day at the most).

Here’s what I know about my migraines:

  • They’re cyclical, so they’re tied to my hormone levels. Since I no longer have the equipment that tells me my hormones levels are fluctuating, I forget about them. Which sometimes leaves me without my meds nearby.
  • Sometimes, food tastes funny. Not bad, just “off” somehow. A couple of months ago, nothing tasted right about 2 days before the headache started. I knew it was coming, so I was ready for it, but it doesn’t always happen this way.
  • About 1 in every 6 headaches is going to throw me right on my ass. I am literally in bed with an eye mask and a clear path to the bathroom because all I’ll be doing for 3 days is sleeping and vomiting.
  • Wine can sometimes trigger them if I drink without also drinking a glass of water for each glass of wine. 
  • They mostly occur on the left side of my head, but will occasionally swing to the right.

Is it time for me to have another talk with my doctor about these? I don’t know. I can usually cope. During the epic ones, I swear I’m going to talk to her. Then it passes and I’m fine again for a while. The thing is, there isn’t really a hard and fast pattern – no way of knowing the classic ones from the visual ones until they hit. 

I also have to say, those of you who don’t get them don’t understand. I work with people who say they’ve never had a headache (lucky). Then there are those people who think you’re shirking when you’ve moving slow because there’s a vise crushing your head. They can’t see it, so it doesn’t exist.

I’m on day 3 of the cycle today. Didn’t have the meds on Monday, so I suffered. When I get home, I’m going to lie down in a dark room, keep flipping my pillow over to the cool side, and be happy that I escaped with a mild one this time.

Here We Go Again

Remember when I said I was going to write every day? That lasted all of 2 months. So, here we go again. At least this month, I’ll have things to write about as the Tour de France starts just 2 days from today!

Because I know myself, I need something prodding me to make sure I do write everyday. So, I’ve signed up for July NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I’ll have daily prods in case I can’t think of anything to write. The theme for this month’s NaBloPoMo is Saved.

I drive a hoopty. It’s a 2005 Subaru Forester and I love it, but it has 125,000 miles on it and needs more care than I have been able to give it recently. I took it in for an oil change last week and since the tire place was right next door to the oil place I took it over there for a tire rotation and balancing. The tire guys showed me that the tires are wearing unevenly and suggested I go in for an alignment.

The guys at the alignment place did their thing, but when they took it out for a test drive, it was making a funny noise. They put it back up on the lift and discovered a hole where the bolt that holds the steering wheel in place should have been. Let me just pause for a moment to let that sink in. The bolt that holds the steering wheel in place was gone. That means that on any one of my daily trips into work I could have lost control of my car at highway speeds. I shudder to think about all the things that could have happened.

They put a new bolt in place that will keep me safe and will order a part to completely fix the thing. The alignment guys at Ann Arbor Muffler saved me.