Archive for December, 2012

Payback Time, I Guess.

I was rushing around the kitchen last night like a Cheetah on speed trying to get all the predinner cooking done. I had the kiddie table set up in the kitchen for the children to eat at since I’ve grown weary of picking food outta the carpet in the dining room. I had placed the groceries (i.e., raw ingredients) on that table along with my purse earlier that day. Somehow I knocked the purse to the floor and didn’t notice it. The out-of-place bag was brought to my attention when I tripped over it while carrying a dozen eggs. I recovered my balance, but the eggs landed on the floor. I said some naughty words that guaranteed that I wasn’t going to get a visit from Santa, then kicked the offending piece of leather across the floor. I mopped up the worst of the carnage, then got back to cooking and didn’t think of it again.

Not until this evening, in fact. I was taking an overflowing garbage bag out of the trash can when I noted a brown something behind the trash can. I moved the trash can out. There was my forgotten purse, sitting wide open, with the contents inside of a plastic plate that had gone over the top of the garbage bag and had landed, instead, in the purse.

So, I removed a turkey leg bone with a few strips of meat left, some smashed taters, and mushy fruit salad. Oh, THAT’s gonna leave a mark. I think I may be shopping for a new purse soon. VERY soon.

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Merry Christmas to All! And to All a Good Night!

Jenny and ThanksgivingThe immediate SwampFamily arrived home today for the Christmas dinner.  SwampSon smoked a turkey.  Not Thanksgiving, but an anonymous store-bought turkey.  Thanksgiving is still attempting to stalk magnificently around the yard, but his tail feathers are getting a bit tattered. It is hard to get a good stalk on when the tail feathers are all tatty. At sunset, Thanksgiving stalks back to the pen he shares with a rooster or two who want to share the safety of the pen at night and a turn at the ever filled bowl of food.

It was wonderful having both my mom and little brother here. It had been about 35 years since we had last all had a meal together.

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I Woulda Ate the Apple in the Garden of Eden, Too

I made peanut butter blossom cookies for SwampMan today, something that I absolutely cannot eat.  But I absolutely love them.  They were sitting in the kitchen on a plate, all warm and peanut buttery smelling.  The Hershey kiss on top was soft and delicious looking.  Must. Resist.

Some of you that know me know that my resistance to Things That Are Bad For Me is a little, well, uh, underexercised.  Yeah.  That’s it.  Take, for example, my job.  I barely cover my expenses with my salary, but let myself get guilted into continuing to do it.  I could earn more money, which I badly need, by doing just about anything else.  Like what?  Well, I think I would earn more money spraying for roaches for a pest control company.  I hate them things.  It would be pretty satisfying to go home at night knowing that because of me, somebody will not have a roachburger at the local fast food restaurant.  Maybe I should look into that.  But no doubt my employers would try to talk me out of it by telling me how sad it would be for the children who would, no doubt, in reality be ecstatic at my departure.  It is just that my employers would have a hard time getting some other sucker in there for that low a salary.

If I can’t even walk out on a job that is bad for me (and giving me frowny wrinkles), what sort of resistance am I likely to put up to warm, delicious cookies that will give me severe intestinal problems after they’re ingested?  Except maybe this time they won’t.  Maybe I’m cured.  Maybe that whole gluten intolerance stuff has gone away.  Maybe just three cookies won’t hurt……

I’m supposed to be cooking and wrapping and cleaning today.  Too bad that I’m sitting in front of the computer, tapping on the keys and periodically doubling over in pain, hoping that I’ll be back to “normal” in a few hours.

Maybe the dressing and gravy on Christmas day won’t affect me.  Maybe it’s just the cookies…..


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Emergency Lunch Fixins

SwampMan brought the boys home @ noon, or 30 minutes after I arrived home from my optometrist appointment.

“I have to go to the BANK!” SwampMan announced.  He fixed me with the type of stare that Clint Eastwood would give a particularly loathsome bad guy in a spaghetti western that was about to become Purina Buzzard Chow.   “And. I. am. going. ALONE.”  Okay, then.

“Uh, have a good time, dear.  I’ll make hot dogs for the kids.”

In the meantime, the boys were screaming and wrestling on the carpet.  A thumb was purposely dislocated.  I firmly relocated the boys outside.  The boys decided that it was too cold to be outside, so they came back inside.  They were relocated again.  Then the oldest came back inside crying that the dog had knocked him down and he needed a BandAid.  I let him know that BandAids were only for arterial spurting at MeeMaw’s house.  We man up over mere oozing.  Back outside to learn self control.  The youngest grandson, Dylan, decided to help wrap hotdogs in bacon.  The oldest grandson decided to open a package of KoolAid on the porch.  *sigh*  Bathtub time for both.

Okay.  Lunch was a little strange.  Hot dogs slit down the middle with ketchup squirted in, then wrapped in bacon, baked until bacon is all nice and crispy, then covered with chili, onions, and cheese.  We had some wild rice to mix in, too.  Tasted pretty good.  (Hey, I make do with the ingredients on hand, okay?)

SwampMan got home from the bank, and said “where’s mine?”  Hunh.  I thought he was dining out.  I made more, he ate them, and pronounced them good.  “I woulda never thought that chili and wild rice would go together, but it does, in a weird sort o’ way.”  Hey, I didn’t care if it “went” or not, I just had some hungry tummies to feed.



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Only About 3 Shopping Days Left

I think you can safely picture me running around in circles and screaming.  Yep.  That’s me.

Mom’s latest surgery (lymph node removal) went quite well.  We had to leave for the hospital @ 5 a.m. yesterday morning.  Since I didn’t want to wake up both grandsons when I was going out the door at 4 a.m., I spent the night.  Heh.  SwampMan got to take care of the grandsons and take them to class with him.

Mom had a different anesthesiologist this time, and she was not sick at all in the recovery room or at discharge.  She refused any pain pills.   Instead of being basically unconscious (and sick!) for several days, we were sitting on her bed late last night laughing and telling jokes.

I had an eye appointment with the optometrist today, so I set off for home early.  Mom got up at 5 a.m. and fixed breakfast for us (I TOLD you she was feeling pretty good this time) before I left.  Getting up at 5 a.m. is Mom’s version of sleeping in.  She and my brother usually get up at 4 a.m.  That whole morning person thing skipped me entirely.  Mom keeps the thermostat at her house set at somewhere between summer in the Sonoran desert and the fires of hell, so my sleeping for the last couple of days was almost nonexistent.  I can’t go outside and feed because my dilated pupils react to sunlight much like those vampires that burst into flames when the sun comes up.   This would be primo naptime opportunity, but I can’t go to sleep because the (insert really foul expletive of your choice here) roosters have all decided to crow probably because I haven’t fed yet.   SwampMan and the grandsons are off on some sort of Secret Mission today.   I need to clean and decorate, too, but everything is a big ol’ blur.  The optometrist told me that the blurry vision would wear off in about two hours.  I hope so.

I haven’t really done any Christmas shopping yet.  I’ve taken a lot of time off for work (unpaid), and won’t have any cash coming in until mid January IF I go back to work.  Aaaaack.  I wonder if I can give out I.O.U.s for Christmas if they’re wrapped really pretty?

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Reviewing Old History

My oldest lil’ brother came down to spend the winter with Mom.  I’m so thankful that he’s here while Mom is ill, for I have to tend to things here at my house, too, and she’s an hour north of me.

His father was my stepdad #1.  To say that stepdad #1 was an evil bastard would be insulting to evil bastards everywhere.  There were probably all sorts of diagnoses that could be applied to him by a psychiatrist, like psychopath, but maybe I’m just bitter.   We came to an agreement when I was a teenager that if he beat me again I was going to kill him.  I have to admit that I did go out of my way to be a pain in the ass because I was stronger than my mom and lil’ brothers.  As long as he was hating me and scheming to make my life more miserable, he wasn’t bothering them.   I’ve always had a strong protective streak.

By the time I was 18 and graduated from high school, my stepdad was *very* anxious for me to leave.  My oldest lil’ brother was 15, and my youngest was 12.  When I walked out the door for the last time as I went off to basic training, I didn’t know that for the next 35 years, I could count the number of times I would see my oldest little brother on one hand with some fingers left over.

He dropped out of school and ran away within a year after I left.  I never found out why.  I just assumed my stepdad was up to his old tricks and my lil’ brother was better off away.  I didn’t know how right I was until this year.

Lil’ brother said that he’d been up on the roof of the barn putting on a new metal roof, and it had gotten crooked.  He couldn’t see it from as close as he was.  When his dad started screaming and cussing him about it when he came down, my lil’ brother said “Well, you were down here and were supposed to be watching.  Why didn’t you say something?”  Stepdad threw down his beer, grabbed a hammer, and swung it full force at my lil’ brother’s head.   Lil’ brother jumped out of the way.  Stepdad chased him, trying to hammer his head in.   Stepdad’s brother,  lil’ brother’s uncle, grabbed stepdad by the arm and kept him from killing lil’ brother long enough for lil’ brother to get away.

“Ohmygawd!” I exclaimed to lil’ brother.  “He was really going to kill you!”

“Yep.  Figured I’d better not stick around and let him.”

While most kids were trying out for the football team, my lil’ brother was sneaky killing geese in the park and cooking them over a fire to keep from starving to death.  He worked on fishing boats and in construction.  He worked on the railroad and at a turkey processing plant.  He grew and sold marijuana.   He got in trouble with the law.  He had a drug and alcohol problem for years.   He got married and got divorced.  He has two daughters that think the world of Daddy.

You might think that with all the bad things that have happened to my lil’ brother, including losing everything again when the housing market and construction industry crashed, he’d be angry or bitter.  Not so.  He’s one of the kindest people that I have ever met.   I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know him as an adult.



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Need to Predrill for Screws and Don’t Have a 7/32 Drill Bit?

The kids in SwampMan’s class kept breaking the 7/32 drill bits used for predrilling holes for drywall screws used in their small wooden projects (drywall screws being cheaper and smaller than wood screws).   SwampMan cut the head off a 6 penny nail and put it in the drill for them to use instead.  It works very well.  Don’t make the mistake of touching it, though!

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I May Be Feeling a Little Bit Overwhelmed Right Now…

I May Be Feeling a Little Bit Overwhelmed Right Now...

I came back to Florida late Friday afternoon. My chickens hadn’t been fed since Tuesday evening, and I figured they were probably not very happy with me. That isn’t quite as bad as it sounds….the chickens have 5 gallon feeders and waterers in their movable pens which hold about two days’ worth of food and water, but they were definitely ready to see that feed bucket by the third day. The sheep had to suck it up and eat acorns and pasture.

I came inside to a *very* dirty house. I was going to start off by washing the dishes but remembered that I’d used the last of my dishwashing detergent and liquid before leaving. Oh, snap.

Swampman came home, told me he was glad to see me, and asked “what’s for dinner?” Oy. I looked at the kitchen with dirty glasses and spoons and forks and plates and empty take out boxes and said firmly “Dominos Pizza!” because Dominos has a gluten-free variety. And I had a LOT of clean up time in that kitchen!

I fell asleep here earlyish on Friday because I’d not gotten much sleep at Mom’s on the living room sofa. I slept like the dead until the phone rang Saturday morning. I lept up to answer. It was the SwampDaughter. “Hey, we’re on our way over for the Christmas parade!” she cheerily stated. Dang. I’d hoped she’d forgotten. “Where ARE you?” I asked. “Almost to your house!” she answered cheerfully. Oh. Guess I better put on clothes, then.

We watched the Christmas parade. We ate lunch in town. We came home and watched Princess of Mars with the boys. Then off they went to Jacksonville, and I ran outside and fed the hens and ducks and sheep and dog and cats and then drove to the feedstore and came home and unloaded feed in the dark.

“What’s for dinner?” asked SwampMan. Off to the grocery store (oops, I forgot!) and then home to cook chicken fried steak and broccoli and yellow rice.

Today, Sunday, was spent running around to various stores to pick up supplies for our house, Mom’s house, and SwampMan. Then home, feeding, cooking, laundry, and suddenly it’s 11 p.m., I still haven’t been able to print out the required paperwork I need for my job because the freakin’ printer decided to go out on strike (you know what happens to strikers at the Swampie household? They get REPLACED!) but unfortunately, I don’t have the funds to purchase a replacement at this time. And tomorrow, I need to be at the hospital with Mom about 200 miles away from my work HQ where I’m on deadline to get my damn paperwork in.

The Christmas tree is not up, the shopping is not done, clothes are not folded, and the floor is pretty dang nasty. I don’t expect the situation will improve anytime soon.

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