Monthly Archives: August 2008

Not Proud of Myself

 
I know my last entry made me sound like an selfish evil stepmonster.  Believe me, I feel like a selfish evil stepmonster.  What kind of woman isn’t thrilled to find out that her stepdaughter is bringing the grandkids home for a semi-surprise visit?!  As hard as I’ve tried, I just can’t build a good relationship with Princess.  I’m not saying that I’m totally blameless in this situation, because I’m not.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years in how to deal with Princess.  But all the years of dealing with The Drama that swirls around Princess has taken it’s toll on me and I just don’t want to play anymore. 
 
I’ve forgiven her for (and have tried to forget) the things that were said and done when she was a young girl.  She was just 8 years old when Hubby and The Ex got divorced and then I came in to her life.  I know that it was hard for her to deal with everything.  I was young and I didn’t know what I was doing.  She was just a little kid and couldn’t help how she was feeling.  But it is scary to think how close I came to leaving Hubby because of some of the things that Princess pulled back then.  It’s water under the bridge and not important anymore.  I have apologized to her many times for any hurt that I caused back then.  But inevitably, these hurts are brought back up to me everytime we have a fight. 
 
I’ve forgiven her for the blow-up she had with Hubby (and me) that kept him away from her high school graduation, her wedding to her High School Sweetheart, and the birth of Big Man (grandson #2).  Honestly, I don’t even remember what that one was about anymore.  I just remember that it hurt Hubby to the core to miss that stretch of her life.  If Hubby was willing to forgive and forget, then I could too.   
 
The last five or six years have been the roughest of our relationship with Princess.  It’s been one battle after another.  She takes, and takes, and takes but gives back very little.  She’s like a spoiled little kid that throws a temper tantrum if you tell her no or if you don’t agree with her opinion.  There have been a couple of very bad blow-ups where she’s dropped out of our lives for a year or so.  Then she comes back like nothing ever happened and we are silly enough to let her back in.  This last blow-up was very bad.  It hurt Hubby deeply.  It hurt me, too, but only because it hurt Hubby so badly.  I’ve been hurt so many times by Princess that I’m numb.  She’s never liked me anyway so I’m not surprised when she hurts me.  But to Hubby, she’s Daddy’s Little Girl and I can’t for the life of me figure out why she would hurt him like that.  I’d rather cut off both my arms than to hurt my Dad, but she does it on a regular basis without even blinking an eye. 
 
So, let’s just say that I’m cautious now when it comes to Princess.  I keep her at arms length.  After all these years, I finally realize that this is just the way it is.  When we had the last blow-up she said she wanted us to stay out of her life.  Okay, fine, I can accept that.  I’ve played this game enough to know what’s going to happen next.  She’s back in our lives now, but it won’t last long.  It might be a few months from now, or a year from now, but it will happen.  She’ll get her feelings hurt or she won’t get her way, we’ll be the worst scum of the universe, and she’ll go away again.  I’d give anything to be wrong.  I pray that I’m wrong. But my gut is telling me that I’m not.  And that makes me very sad.  Sad mainly for Hubby because she is so important to him.  
 
By the way, Princess didn’t come home this weekend.  When she cashed her check, she realized she didn’t have enough money to get here and back home.  I’m proud to say that Hubby told her that if she didn’t have the money, she should just stay home.  He wasn’t going to pay for her trip home.  She’s going to save her money and come home for Thanksgiving.  Supposedly. 
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Not A Happy Camper

 
It’s been a very long week.  Very busy and hectic at work.  Lots of interaction with patients.  Not always pleasant.  Just a little stressful.  Not as bad as the job at Large Insurance Agency.  Nothing is ever that bad.  But hectic nonetheless and I am very grateful for a long holiday weekend.  My big plans for the weekend consisted of working on my cross stitch, reading a trashy novel, maybe watching some of the DVD’s I haven’t seen yet.  Pool parties with Blacky and Luci in the back yard.  Basically being a hermit for three days.  
 
Then I remembered that it’s Oldest Granddaughter’s (Beauty) birthday.  Beauty will be 16 this year.  I had promised DIL that I would go shopping with her and Beauty for her birthday.  Shopping trip includes a stop at Steak and Shake for birthday lunch.  Okay, I can do that and then I’ll be a hermit.  After all, a girl only turns 16 once and I’ll still have two days to be a hermit.   
 
Then Hubby got a phone call from Princess (his daughter, my step-daughter) saying that she’s loading the kids in the car (Big Man – grandson #2, Sports Chick – granddaughter #2, and Bookworm – granddaughter #3) and coming for a visit this weekend.  Oh, great, unexpected weekend houseguests. Houseguests that I’ve had a strained relationship with for two or three years.  So much for a quiet weekend at home being a hermit. 
 
Now, ordinarily, you would think I’d be excited about seeing Princess and the grandkids.  But Hubby and I don’t have an ordinary relationship with Princess or the Crew (the grandkids).  Our history is a blog entry all of it’s own, but the summary is this – Princess is Daddy’s Little Girl and has Hubby wrapped around her little finger.  It’s always been an on-again, off again kind of thing.  If things are going her way, then she’s a happy camper.  If things aren’t going her way, then we’re the worst parents/grandparents ever and she wants nothing to do with us.  With Princess, it’s always ME, ME, ME.  What have you done for me lately?  If she doesn’t get her way, she shuts us out of her (and the grandkids) life until she decided she wants us back.  Usually when she wants something.  And that something is usually money. 
 
We’re in the on again part of the relationship.  Have been for about a year after and two year (maybe longer) absence.  Hubby is thrilled to have his little girl back in his life and both of them are acting like the two year gap never happened.  I might be inclined to do the same, but Hubby and I have been going through this with her since she was 12.  (She’s 34 now.)  For me, it’s getting old and I’m tired of the games.  If she wants to make an effort to patch things up with me, then I’ll respond in kind.  Funny thing is, she hasn’t made much of an effort to patch things up with me.  So I’m very skeptical about this visit home and think she might be up to something . . . and, again, that something usually involves Princess hitting Daddy up for money.  
 
So not only do I have the unexpected weekend houseguests thing, I’m worried that Princess is going to hit Hubby up for money.  I’ve already told Hubby that the answer to that question needs to be a resounding "NO" and if he can’t say "NO", then he should let me handle that task.  I’ll be happy to do that for him.  The Bank of Dad and Pam is closed. 
 
I know it sounds horrible that I’m not happy to see my step-daughter and my grandkids – especially when Hubby is so excited about it.  But all I can see is how much work it’s going to be and the stress between me and Hubby because of the differences in our relationships with Princess.  All I wanted was a nice, quiet, relaxing weekend at home.  Is that too much to ask? 

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Let Dreaming Dogs Lie

 
The party went off without a hitch – just like always. 
 
My cold seems to be gone for the time being.  It could be a ragweed allergy.
 
I’m still freezing.  Hubby has cranked the AC up (down?). 
 
Luci and Blacky were very well behaved considering 15 people invaded their space for the afternoon. 
 
The rain that was predicted?  It showed up right on time . . . about the time we were sitting down to eat.  Half of us were in the house and the other half were out under the tent in the back yard.  It didn’t rain long . . . just off and on a little bit until everyone left.  Then we had a big downpour.  It could have been a lot worse, I suppose!
 
They’re both sleeping now.  Luci is dreaming of something wonderful, I’m sure.  Her little feet are twitching.  Her lip is curling up and she’s making little growling noises.  It’s so cute. 
 
Yea, the Crabby Appleton mood is gone . . .

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Crabby Appleton

 
When I was a little girl and in a bad mood, Mom would call me Crabby Appleton.  Today I am in a Crabby Appleton mood. 
 
  • The weather here lately has been absolutely beautiful.  Low humidity, temps in the mid 70’s to low 80’s.  We haven’t had a 90 degree day . . . until today.  Today it’s over 90 with unbelievable humidity.  And I have a cold.  Stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes.  I’m freezing because Hubby has the AC cranked up.  I played in the pool with Luci this afternoon and it probably wasn’t a good idea.
  • Mom’s birthday is tomorrow and her birthday party is going to be here at the house tomorrow afternoon.  Hubby and I have been working very hard to get the house and the food ready for the party. The siblings help out with some stuff but Hubby and I do the bulk of the stuff.  It’s always a stressful weekend for us and this year is no exception.  He’s twanging on my last nerve and I’m twanging on his.  If we get through the weekend without a major blow-out, it will be a miracle!
  • Like I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks.  Guess when the next rain storm is forecast for our area?  Tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.  Right about the time that everybody is supposed to arrive for Mom’s party.
  • Didn’t feel like cooking, so I grabbed something quick for supper at a local fast food joint.  Some inconsiderate slob pulled into their driveway and stopped by the front door rather than pull into a parking place.  I was right behind him.  Hungry.  Impatient.  Not polite.  It wasn’t pretty. 

I know it’s just the stress of the weekend.  I know the party will turn out beautifully.  In the meantime,

My name is Crabby Appleton,
and I am simply awful.
It does my heart a lot of good
to do a deed unlawful!
I’m fond of gloom, impending doom,
I think good deeds are sappy!
I laugh with glee, it pleases me
when everyone’s unhappy.

P.S.  The best antidote for my Crabby Appleton mood is Luci.  She refuses to let me sit and sulk in my bad mood.  She wants to play and she won’t stop until I get up and go outside with her.  It’s taken twice as long as normal to type this because she’s here with her toy bumping my elbow.  I just love that little dog!

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Pass the Geritol, Please.

Have you ever heard of the Beloit Mindset List?  Each year, just before classes start, the Beloit College releases the list which presents the mindset of the incoming class of freshmen.  I found out about the list a few years ago and look forward to the new list each year.  Yes, some of the references make me feel really, really old.  But it also gives me an idea of how a different generation views the world.  

Some of the things are the same today as they were when the Class of 2012 were born – rising fuel costs were causing airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; Big Three car companies were facing declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush was increasing the number of troops in the Middle East in the hopes of securing peace. However, the mindset of this new generation of college students is quite different from that of the faculty about to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Think about it . . . today’s college freshman has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and most of their communication is done with cell phones, by texting, or through Facebook. 

This is a multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.

Most of these kids were born in 1990, and to them . . . 

  • Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
  • Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
  • Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
  • They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
  • GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
  • Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
  • Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
  • Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
  • Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce “tax revenue increases.”
  • Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  • Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
  • All have had a relative–or known about a friend’s relative–who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
  • As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognized that some people “just don’t get it.”
  • Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
  • Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
  • Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
  • Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
  • Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
  • WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
  • Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
  • The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
  • Students have always been “Rocking the Vote.”
  • Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
  • Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
  • We have always known that “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
  • There have always been gay rabbis.
  • Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
  • College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
  • IBM has never made typewriters.
  • Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
  • McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
  • They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
  • There has always been Pearl Jam.
  • The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
  • Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.
  • They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.
  • They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
  • Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
  • Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
  • Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
  • Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S.
  • Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.
  • Their parents may have watched The American Gladiators on TV the day they were born.
  • Personal privacy has always been threatened.
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones.
  • Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
  • The Green Bay Packers (almost) always had the same starting quarterback.
  • They never heard an attendant ask “Want me to check under the hood?”
  • Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
  • Soft drink refills have always been free.
  • They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about “nothing.”
  • Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
  • Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.
  • The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
  • 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
  • Michael Milken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.
  • Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
  • Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
  • There have always been charter schools.
  • Students always had Goosebumps.

And to think, Dollface (my youngest niece) is part of this group.  Man, I’m really feeling old this week.

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Pass the Geritol, Please

 
Have you ever heard of the Beloit Mindset List?  Each year, just before classes start, the Beloit College releases the list which presents the mindset of the incoming class of freshmen.  I found out about the list a few years ago and look forward to the new list each year.  Yes, some of the references make me feel really, really old.  But it also gives me an idea of how a different generation views the world.  
 
Some of the things are the same today as they were when the Class of 2012 were born – rising fuel costs were causing airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; Big Three car companies were facing declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush was increasing the number of troops in the Middle East in the hopes of securing peace. However, the mindset of this new generation of college students is quite different from that of the faculty about to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
 
Think about it . . . today’s college freshman has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and most of their communication is done with cell phones, by texting, or through Facebook. 
 
This is a multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.
 
Most of these kids were born in 1990, and to them . . . 
·        Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
·        Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
·        Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
·        They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
·        GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
·        Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
·        Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
·        Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
·        Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce “tax revenue increases.”
·        Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
·        Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
·        All have had a relative–or known about a friend’s relative–who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
·        As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognized that some people “just don’t get it.”
·        Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
·        Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
·        Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
·        Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
·        Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
·        WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
·        Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
·        The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
·        Students have always been "Rocking the Vote.”
·        Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
·        Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
·        We have always known that “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
·        There have always been gay rabbis.
·        Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
·        College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
·        IBM has never made typewriters.
·        Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
·        McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
·        They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
·        There has always been Pearl Jam.
·        The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
·        Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.
·        They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.
·        They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
·        Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
·        Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
·        Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
·        Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S.
·        Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.
·        Their parents may have watched The American Gladiators on TV the day they were born.
·        Personal privacy has always been threatened.
·        Caller ID has always been available on phones.
·        Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
·        The Green Bay Packers (almost) always had the same starting quarterback.
·        They never heard an attendant ask “Want me to check under the hood?”
·        Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
·        Soft drink refills have always been free.
·        They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about “nothing.”
·        Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
·        Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.
·        The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
·        The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
·        98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
·        Michael Milken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.
·        Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
·        Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
·        There have always been charter schools.
·        Students always had Goosebumps. 
 
And to think, Dollface (my oldest niece) is part of this group.  First the Jackson 5 reference and now this.  I am really feeling old this week. 

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Sports Overload

 
Hubby’s bowling season started tonight.  Which means he’s not here and I get to watch whatever I want on TV.  Oh, the possibilities are endless.  
 
So what am I watching?  
 
Little League World Series.
 
Pre-Season Monday Night Football.
 
Beach Volleyball, Track & Field, and Trampoline on the Olympics.
 
Seriously, I’m not a big sports fan, so why am I fascinated by these things?  
 
It’s a pure joy to watch the little boys play baseball.  They’re wearing their hearts on their sleeves and playing as if the world will end if they lose.  And to them, it will.
 
I realize that it’s pre-season football and it doesn’t count – and no one will remember who won or lost in a month or so.  But it’s football and I love football!  Don’t really understand it, but I love it none the less. 
 
The Olympics – no matter how obscure the sport, I’m watching it.  I can’t explain my fascination with the Olympics and I can’t get enough of it!
 
Of course, it could also be the fact that I have total control of the remote and I can watch what I want, when I want, and for as long as I want.  Yea, I’m just a little deprived in the TV Watching Decision Making Department.  
 
Let the party begin because bowling season lasts 33 weeks. . . .
 
 

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