I hate the term bucket list. I don't know why it grates on me so. The idea that experiences are achievements, the idea that if you've had x, y, and z experiences then it's o.k. to die....I know that's not what people mean but there's something about the phrase that always rubs me the wrong way. That being said, if I HAD a bucket list....one of the things on it was to go see the Skeletons play. I saw the Morells many years ago, but unless I'm forgetting (which happens more than it used to), I never saw the Skeletons. A few years ago I got the idea that we needed to go to Springfield, Missouri for a weekend with the boys. The Skeletons were playing a regular gig at that time....and I thought this would be perfect. I obsessively researched Springfield, places to go, the phenomenon of Springfield style Cashew Chicken, etc. It never happened though. Life got in the way, as it so often does....so no Lou Whitney and the Skeletons in Springfield for me. We probably went to a train museum instead. It's been a few weeks now since Lou Whitney died and that thought, the trip we never made, keeps popping into my head.
I remember when we saw the Morells at Mabels....I'm guessing 1983 because we were living in the big old white house on west Church Street...the one in which the roof always leaked and mushrooms literally grew in the bathroom. Great apartment though. Eileen decided to take me to St. Louis for my birthday...could that be right? I'm not sure, but regardless, off we went to St. Louis in her little orange Pinto, stayed at the Gateway Hotel. Lord that place was wonderful....pre-renovation with a gorgeous barber shop in the basement....amazing. Went to some club...maybe Cicero's, and did God knows what else. There was a duct taped muffler and a sexy mechanic involved. We drove back and went straight to Mabel's to see the Morells. They were incredible. I remember feeling so alive.
I've got to remember that feeling, that feeling of absolutely being in the moment, pure joy. I've got to remember those feelings and savor them when I start feeling the Medusa snakes of worry. And I have to not feel sad about my trip not taken because there are so many I have taken.
Perspective, perspective, perspective.
I feel like Medusa with snakes of worry all over my head. You wouldn't think I'd go for that snake imagery, would you? I don't seem to have any control over my mind however, and that's what I see.
Ugh....now that I think about it more, that's repugnant....but you get the point.
I just feel frazzled with little worries darting all over the place. Last night we found out that after finally finding a therapist that we like, and that seems to get us and our particular personalities and dynamics....he's leaving practice. I could just cry. I mean the boys are fine but we all have some odds and ends and worries....and with the boys growing up with family members dropping like flies and cancer, etc. everywhere....I've figured it's good for us all to talk to someone periodically. It's been a long road finding someone that worked well and bleh....we've seen them for about mmm...four or five months? Sigh.
The boys ate early before their appointment but it was kind of crazy and I figured Ernie and I would eat later. I ended up eating popcorn that didn't pop very well and finally give it to Rascal because he was begging for it and driving me nuts. Is popcorn good for cats? That, some cashews, and an episode of MasterChef Canada was it for me. I tumbled into bed. I was so happy when Ernie came up and I could just roll over next to him. Then I was able to go to drift off. Crazy dreams about our apartment in Chicago again.....getting flooded, original woodwork being lost....crying over lost friends. Weird. Then again the other night I had a dream that I was working someplace with Don Gerard and I saw a snake. He went looking for it and came back and said, "What happens if I can't find it?" and I said, "I don't KNOW....Ernie ALWAYS finds them....." What the hell these things mean I don't know.
Oh, and I STILL have Rolling in the Deep going through my head. None of your suggestions worked.
HELP ME PEOPLE....HELP ME! Speaking of which, have I ever told you about the time toddler Leo screamed "HELP ME, HELP MEEEEEEE" at the top of his lungs all the way home from his preschool in Urbana? Got a few odd looks at stop lights I can tell you...
1. I was thinking yesterday that I would like to put my children in a blender. Just blend for a moment...so that Owen would have a little more Leo and Leo would have a little more Owen.
2. I can't wait to have these guys at our place on Saturday, November 1st. All Saints Day? Why, yes it is....and we'll have to celebrate!
3. And another one....video by Deone Jahnke!
4. I totally forgot about the German Octoberfest thing for Leo's German class and by the time he told me it was too late. He assured me that he hadn't wanted to go but I still felt like shit. I thought I'd be better at some of this parenting stuff. I really did.
5. I love my Indian corn. Is there a more culturally appropriate name for Indian corn? I googled and came up with nothing. Native American corn just doesn't seem to work....
6. Parent/Teacher conferences this week. Should be interesting. To other parents: do you bring your kids with you to these?
7. Ernie's find of the day yesterday....in great shape to boot....
8. I have woken up every morning for the past week or so with Adele's Rolling in the Deep going through my head. It's starting to drive me insane. It's because when I was sick I tapped away at anything on my iPad and so ended up watching Aretha Franklin's performance of it on David Letterman. I read all these things saying it was an amazing performance....got a standing ovation, etc.
Good God....I thought it was pretty dreadful. Nothing against Aretha...but really? This is when I know my ears are just out of step with much of America. It gets better as it goes along but the first minute ten seconds or so? Oh, and you have to watch Cissy Houston behind her. Honestly. Watch it. Full screen. Really.
Now I'm not saying I'd pit a 26-year old Aretha against a 26-year old Adele...but still.....
9. If you have any suggestions of songs to get this one out of my head, please feel free to let me know. Dick "Piecrust" Detzner gave me one on Saturday but I can't remember it so I guess it didn't work....
Is there something....mmmm....ironic about the fact that all the trees I planted in memory of family members are....wait for it....DYING?
One of the dogwoods, the pink one for Judi, had to be moved because of NeighborGate. Oddly that one came through last winter a little better than the white one for my father...but both look like hell and I fear are not long for this world. THEN the Amur Maple that I planted for my mother began looking funny this summer. My friend Susan kindly cut down the dead limb and took a sample into the U of I plant clinic. Susan got the report the other day and the news was not so good.
The Amur maple sample submitted to the University of Illinois Plant Clinic was not found to be infected with any disease causing pathogens. The sample consisted of a large branch section with dark green vascular discoloration originally suspected to be caused by verticillium wilt. Upon arrival the sample was cultured on acid potato dextrose agar to isolate possible vascular pathogens, no pathogens were isolated.
Bluegray heartwood rot as seen on your sample is not something we see often at the clinic. Usually wood
decay is a disease of large, old trees. These wood decay fungi are spread aerially and invade through wounds on the tree. On a tree as young as yours it is suspected that it has spread due to high levels of tree stress. In the lab it is impossible for us to know exactly how far the heartwood rot has spread, but based on the advanced decay of the sample it is suspected to be well established. At this point you can attempt to remove any dead or diseased limbs, and do what you can to restore tree vigor and reduce stress. We
must also warn that an advanced wood rot can impair tree stability by weakening structure, making it a possible hazard. If you begin removing infected limbs and find that the rot has made its way into the main trunk, then it may be safest to remove the tree.
for some further information on wood rots see this link
Host Amur Maple
Received Date 9/30/2014
DIAGNOSTIC REPORT State IL
Diagnosis and Recommendations
Host/Habitat Amur Maple (Acer tataricum ginnala)
List of Diagnosis/ID(s)
Inconclusive for Heart Rot (Unidentified Agent)
Inconclusive for Stem Canker (Unidentified Canker)
Not Detected for Verticillium Wilt (Verticillium dahliae)
University of Illinois Plant Clinic
1102 S. Goodwin
S-417 Turner Hall
Urbana IL 61801
Telephone : 217-333-0519
Diagnosed By :
Suzanne Bissonnette Sean Mullahy
Completed Date: 10/15/2014
Sigh. I'm kinda sad. And yet, when I forlornly read the diagnosis to my friend Nancy, she started laughing somewhat hysterically and pointed out that even the TREES in my life are stressed.
She's got a point.
In other news....life with refrigeration is delightful and our refrigerator got its first dent.
O.k....so we had a really nice time on Saturday.....so what does that mean? Why, yes, the inverse rule, or the balance rule, or something like that, was in full effect and Sunday more or less sucked. I'm not entirely sure why....one child basically ignoring us and the other going into full mercurial, impossible to please mode. I had wanted to get out of the house and do something but the pain pills make Ernie kind of quiet and his version of lethragic. I can't wait til he's off them but he still has a fair amount of pain. Then Ernie and spent time trying to figure out our bills from Carle. $30 a pop for 6 to 8 weeks of therapy (twice a week)...that's going to hurt on top of the car payment we can't afford. Thank you March car accident. And $30 a pop for all the various doctors' appointments....o.k. I understand that. But his Cancer Center bills I don't get at all anymore. It was costing us $40 a month for his infusion...I thought the total charge was somewhere around $2,000 and after insurance we owed $40. This bill showed the charge at $1,500 in July with our share as $126, $6,000 in August (when he got the additional injection) and our share as $176, and then $3,000 in September, with our share as $26. Huh? Then, of course, we have the co-payments for all the doctor appointments and prescriptions too. Ernie's got to call to get this sorted out. I am so grateful for our insurance, without it we would have been in bankruptcy long ago no doubt....but man, even these small payments really add up....and for some reason I find Carle's billing incomprehensible.
We did manage to turn around our Sunday a bit. We sat outside and read and crossword puzzled and built a fire in the fire pit. I admired the last burst of my nasturtiums and my zinnias. The pictures don't begin to capture their glory.
A glorious night last night at my beloved Sue's Birthdaypalooza. Happy Birthday again to Sue and Thomas. Ernie and Owen made her a Sue Records 45 cake.
It was a wonderful night. Heaps of people I love and amazing food...Donna's 80's dance music and Aron Stromberg's songs. The tacos were outrageously good (thank you Sue, Ken and Jill!). No pictures of those because I was too busy enjoying them. Ended it with Ceal's rice crispy treats...and the fact that they were hand wrapped in wax paper made them SO much better. With a bit of white wine and two of my boys by my side? Pretty damn perfect.
It was fun having Owen with us. We picked Teri up and she said in surprise, "Oh, Owen, are you going to the party?" He was properly taken aback and said, "Well, of COURSE.....Sue's a good friend." And she is indeed. She is indeed.
photo of Aron Stromberg stolen from Donna...thank you Donna....thank you Aron for the music....
Today we should be cleaning the house. We'll see. This week is going to be busy, as is next weekend, and I'm feeling enough of a happy glow from last night that I just want to revel in it.
OH.....and I forgot to add....my favorite moment of the evening was when Owen walked back to the table from getting a taco and said, "Nick Rudd just said hi to me. I mean, he's legendary in our family."
1. I am alive and I have a refrigerator.
2. I also have been down with whatever bug Owen STILL has.
3. Leo now has it, so he's down too.
4. Let's all raise our spirits in hope that Ernie doesn't get it. He's got physical therapy AND his infusion today.
5. Tom Sheehan, one of my favorite record store boys, showed up at our doorstep the night we got the refrigerator with inaugural beer and wine for it. I love him.
6. Speaking of beloved record store boys....ran into another of our favorites recently. Ernie and Tim Williams....Tim kinda looks like the younger brother Ernie never had, huh?
7. And last but not least.....Negangard Pumpkins....best place in the world to buy pumpkins....even on a gray, drizzly day....
1. Ernie wakes me up at 6:30. I say "I hate you" because I couldn't sleep half the night and was finally sleeping.
2. Ernie wakes me up again at 7:00. I say, "I still hate you" but manage to drag myself out of bed.
3. At 7:21 I tell Owen to make sure he's ready on time, and I yell to Leo that it's time to come downstairs.
4. 7:45 we finally pull out of the drive way. I drop Leo off first because he needs to be there sooner even though that puts me further away from work after Owen. I drop Owen off and there's a girl lying in the street with concerned school officials. Hmmmm.
5. As I'm driving to work my phone rings. I don't get it because I'm driving but then I hear another phone ringing. When I get to work I search the car but can't find anything. I decide to check the voicemail that was left and then call Ernie's phone....but my phone dies in my hand.
6. I settle in at my desk and go through my purse.....no charger.
7. I sputter and head out to my car. I find the charger.
8. My boss calls Ernie's phone and we finally find it under the seat.
9. My phone comes back on and it's the refrigerator delivery people saying that they'll be there between 9:00 and noon.
10. I go to my 8:30 meeting.
11. Afterward I tell my boss I need to run Ernie's phone home because we don't have a land line and he needs it to make various calls today. The cats still have fleas and we need to get their medication.
12. I zoom home, hand Ernie his phone and tell him the refrigerator people are coming.
13. I get back to the office to find out someone has changed my 11:00 meeting to 10:00. It's 9:54...uhhhh. I scramble with phone calls and manage to set the meeting for 10:30.
14. I go to my 10:30 meeting which is outside looking at sites. In the middle of the meeting somebody from the high school calls me about Leo's vaccination record.....he got one of his vaccines three days before his third birthday so we need a letter from the doctor....I tell him the doctor's office has sworn they will fax it today. Otherwise Leo can't go to school beginning Wednesday.
15. I see a call from Ernie come in but don't take it because....meeting.
16. Our meeting splits up to go to another location. As I walk over there Ernie calls again. The refrigerator guys can't get the refrigerator through the kitchen door. Even though supposedly it's the same size as our old one....even after taking the doors off...they can't get it in. Ernie is yelling. I am yelling. Ernie said he had to send the refrigerator back to the store.
17. I get to the rest of my meeting and try to seem composed.
18. After the meeting I walk back to work and the phone rings. It is Owen, calling from school because he's sick.
19. I whimper a lot and tell him I don't know if I can come get him. He sounds truly pathetic so I say I'll be there in 15 or 20 minutes.
20. I rush to my office to get my keys and rant to my boss and my colleague while almost crying.
21. I drive to school and get Owen. As soon as I see him I know he's really sick...his face flushed with fever.
22. I accompany him to his locker.
23. I take him home.
24. Ernie and I sit and stare each other and wonder what to do. I obsessively google various models of refrigerators.
25. We go to the appliance place and tell them our sad tale of woe.
26. There aren't a lot of options. The one I'd like to get will take one to two weeks to get in.
27. I wander from refrigerator one to refrigerator two to refrigerator three and back again. And again.
28. The sales guy gets on the phone and comes back with good news. He tracked down one of the ones I want and we can get it tomorrow.
29. We go to the hardware store so Ernie can get the part to cap off the water line so we can turn the water back on, as they had to turn it off when they were taking our old refrigerator out.
30. We stop at a gas station to buy more fucking ice. ONE MORE BAG OF FUCKING ICE.
31. We get home and the part doesn't work. Ernie swears a lot.
32. I write a letter for work and we finally get another part for the refriterator line.
33. It leaks like hell so Ernie tightens is up more and it's stops dripping.
34. We check on Owen. I decide it's too late to go back to work.....it's almost 4:00 and I know the state I'm in I won't get anything done.
35. I take Ernie to Fries & Peanuts and buy him a drink. We sit and stare at each other.
36. We come home, sooth our sick boy, tell Leo the saga and Ernie and Owen go to the media room. I come here to spout.
37. I'm planning to order from Peking Garden for dinner. They deliver and we can get egg drop soup for Owen.
38. I have no fucking idea what will happen next.
We did it. We bought a refrigerator. I just couldn't take it anymore. It's been a month. We've lost a bunch of food and all I buy is ice. All I do is buy fucking ice. All my beautiful roasted tomatoes that I had harvested from our garden? They got moldy and we had to throw them out. Hours and HOURS of roasting tomatoes. Damn it.
The refrigerator gets delivered on Monday.
That means I still have to go and buy ice today but there's light, icy cold light, at the end of the tunnel.
Let's review. A year ago this summer we had to buy a new furnace/air conditioner when ours died, this spring we had to buy a new (used) car after the Honda got totalled, and now a refrigerator. No wonder I get stressed out about debt, huh?
On a postivie note, Ernie has a new dashing sling.
Yep. That's all I got.
Gotta head out to work in a few minutes. I'd kind of like to go see Marshall Crenshaw tonight (with two my favorite Bottle Rockets backing him up) but I'm not sure Ernie will be up for it. We'll see.
We'll see, we'll see, we'll see.
At least I got good sweet peas.
My refrigerator stopped working.
My god damn MAYTAG refrigerator stopped working again....ONE day after the FOURTH visit from a Dick Van Dyke Appliance service person in three weeks.
Last night I couldn't stop saying, "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" to it. Over and over: "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you." I made popcorn for dinner but couldn't even enjoy it.
Owen's bike seat came off again and his back brakes aren't working and it's raining so I need to drive him to school. And the dishwasher isn't working. And I have to try to get Ernie in for an injection today since we missed it Tuesday waiting for the REFRIGERATOR REPAIR GUY. And I need to try to get to the meat lab to buy eggs there so they can be left at room temperature since I DON'T HAVE A GODDAMN REFRIGERATOR. And this evening I need to take the boys to a couple of appointments. And I have a million things to do at work. And tomorrow's Friday but I have to work Saturday. And Ernie hurts, and he can't drive. And I hate the whole goddamn world.
I KNOW these problems are miniscule in the scheme of things. Not just in the world's scheme of things, but even in my own little scheme of things, but it's still MAKING ME FREAKING CRAZY.
Crazy. I tell you.
I can't say I feel 100% confident in my refrigerator but I have ICE! I didn't manage to get Ernie to the doctor for an injection but by God I wasn't taking a chance on missing the refrigerator guy. The hell with Ernie's deathly allergy to wasps.
At one point yesterday evening the refrigerator made the weird thunk it made when it wasn't working and we all raced into the kitchen and stared at it. It appeared to be o.k. so we crept away cautiously.
In other news Owen has asked me to take him to GameStop this evening. He wants to sell some game back that he had saved up for and found disapppointing. He aksed me, "Mom.....uh, is o.k. if you just wait in the car?" I just stared at him and asked if I was really that embarrassing. "Well, no offense Mom, but yeah. I mean, you're a mom." I couldn't argue with that reasoning so I said I would be MORE than happy to give up the pleasure of being in GameStop.
Rascal is getting huge...