Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank goodness tomorrow is MONDAY !

Well, I just got done baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a batch of peanut butter crackle cookies. Lately, it seems like I've been baking cookies 2 or 3 times a week just to keep Jake's friends happy. Everyday, he comes home with Chrissy, his girl friend, and Summer, Chrissy's BFF, and various other kids. After being happily greeted by the dogs, they go straight to the kitchen screaming,
"Were home Mom! Got any cookies?!"
I'm not too worried about these girls getting fat, they're all almost anorexicly thin, blond, and gorgeous. Apparently, Hot chicks like hyperactive, silly guys like my son. Of course, he is terribly handsome and sensitive as well. He might be a little goofy, but I'm crazy about him too.

I've spent most of my day cleaning up from the weekend, and cooking. I didn't get my chili on to simmer soon enough , so I threw together some hamburgers at the last minute. After dinner, I put chili ingredients in the crock pot for a while and we'll have Chili tomorrow. It will be twice as yummy after the flavors have had overnight to blend in the fridge. While it was simmering this evening, Heather wandered into the kitchen and asked what that awesome smell was. I told her chili, and she begged for a taste. She concluded that it was, in fact, VERY delicious and she can't wait for dinner tomorrow night. I think I'll wait until after she's eaten her fill to tell her that it's venison. (he,he!)

I didn't think I'd ever get Jake and Heather off to bed. They've been staying up late and sleeping in for the past five days. They're going to be bears in the morning. It's been lightly snowing on and off all day, but it's not been heavy enough, or cold enough, to really stick and amount to anything. The kids are still holding out hope that things will change and they'll get a snow day tomorrow. NOT gonna happen. Thankfully! I'm about to loose my mind with all these kids. I need about eight hours of sanity and quiet tomorrow.

Well, like I said, My brain's been too frazzled to think of anything interesting to write about. I feel like a puppy chasing it's tail lately, and I'm just exhausted. I'm going to try and get to bed early tonight and catch up on some sleep.
Good night.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ho,ho, ho, hum

I woke this morning to find snow gently falling outside my window. It's been falling most of the day, but with the temps in the mid 30's, it just turns to wet when it hits the ground. Now that the sun has gone down, it's cooled off considerably. My backyard deck has turned to ice and it's supposed to start snowing again tonight, so maybe, there will be a blanket of white in the morning.

The snow fit into my plans for the day nicely. Today, we put up our Christmas tree and decorated the inside of the house. Ohhhhhh . . .Ahhhhhh . . . shiny, sparkly, glittery . . . crap.

Ugh ! I've been Dragging all the huge plastic tote boxes up and down the stairs all day, along with all the dust and cobwebs. Not to mention all the itsy, bitsy fake pine needle foo-foos that get dumped everywhere. I'm just NOT in a Christmasy mood this year. Unfortunately, there's really no way to stop it, so we might as well get this over with. To be honest, I don't mind the lights and decorations as much as the insanity, stress, and greed that they inevitably bring. For now, the house looks bright and pretty and I'm not going to think about the rest. I'm just going to focus on my accomplishments and be content with that.

Last night, Roy and I took Heather and Ana to go see Twilight, the movie. I was a little disappointed. It was a very picturesque, romantic movie, but I just don't think it's possible for an hour and a half film to convey a story as complex and emotionally detailed as this one. I think a person would have actually had to have read the book to fully appreciate the movie. I don't know if it's true, but someone told me that the movie was originally four hours long. I would be interested to see that, if it were released on a home DVD.

Other than that, things around here have been sort of . . . I don't know, blah? I don't know what's up, maybe the lack of sunlight and the abundance of cold grey skies, but I've just been feeling so tired and worn out. I haven't walked the dogs as much lately and I'm starting to pay the price. They're feeling anxious and very discontent. Maybe, if we get some snow accumulation in the morning, I'll feel like getting them out to play. They just love a walk in the snow. I don't mind, as long as it isn't bitterly cold and windy.

The other night, we were over at Jasmin's house and her husband gave us some ground venison. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to make a pot of Chili with it. I've only cooked with venison one other time before, when we spent a summer in the mountains of Colorado, ages ago. I hope it turns out okay. Heather is already having an issue with eating "Bambi."

Well, I need to finish putting up the last of the snowflakes on the windows, then get myself off to bed. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Whew! I feel like I should have been given a T-shirt that says: I Survived Thanksgiving 2008 !
For the past several years, it's become tradition for my family to meet at my older brother's house for the annual Thanksgiving gorging event, I mean, dinner. This year, the only one who didn't make it was my youngest brother. He's currently living in St. Louis and recovering from a hernia repair operation. I wouldn't think that driving several hours to pig out would be very beneficial to his recovery. God knows, it's not very beneficial to my waistline ! But, it's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make, you know, for the sake of family. (he,he) Actually, I was pretty good. It always helps when we eat fairly early, before my evening appetite has a chance to kick in. I did get an extra large helping of my favorite, my mom's oyster stuffing. I offered to take the leftovers off Mark and Lesta's hands, but Mark couldn't find them. (greedy little shit)

All four of my maniac children were there this year though, along with my very adorable, but slightly deranged grandchildren. And oh yeah, Nick and Jennifer brought the baby bunny that Heather has been dying to bunny sit. There were only a few times that I had to escape to the grown up table in the other room. (it gets just a little crazy with all my kids in one room)

We finally left about 4PM and Nick and Jennifer followed us home. Nick had plans to do some work on Jennifer's car, while Jen went over all the specifics with Heather on the bunny care. Thankfully, Jennifer got all teary eyed about leaving her baby at the last minute, and decided to call her dad and beg for a change of heart. The tears were more than he could take. So they took the bunny home with them. (Thank You, God!) Keeping the dogs away from that bunny would have been more stress than I needed.

Unfortunately, Heather now has it in her head that SHE wants her OWN bunny. She is determined to earn the money to get one. She went through the same thing with the hamster, which was crazy to start with. Heather has always had a phobia about mice, but she met a friend who had a cute, cuddly hamster, so she had to have one. She saved her money, we went to the pet store and bought it. She has had that hamster for almost 4 months and she is still afraid to pick it up and hold it. She does well to feed and water it. When she cleans the cage, I have to come and move the hamster for her. But you know, when Heather gets something in her head . . .

Well, I have to go deal with Jake and Patrick. They went downstairs to my art room and found a couple of 6 foot foam pool noodles and they are beating the crap out of each other with them. Peter is very worried about the whole thing. He knows that such rowdy behavior is not allowed, but he's too afraid of the giant noodles that go "thwack" to go down stairs and bark at them to behave. So instead, he's tattling on them. He's sitting here at my chair, whinging at me to do something. So I guess I better go do it. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm such a dork.

Oh. My. God. Somebody just shoot me and put me out of my misery ! I must be getting old and senile. Ooooh, big surprise, huh? I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. And I was having a good day. Well, actually, it's still a good day, I can't allow my stupidity to ruin everything. I learned to live with it a long time ago. Besides, it's Roy's biggest source of entertainment.

Okay, here's what I did. I let our water get shut off. (Not one word, Chris!) I got an extension on the bill because of Heather's birthday, and I forgot to write the new due date on my calendar. So . . .while I was out walking the dogs, they shut off my water. I came home, fed the dogs, went to the grocery store to get some supplies for dinner, blah, blah, by the time I figured out what happened, it was too late to make the payment because the office was closed. So guess who has to get up early and go pay the bill? The kids don't have to go to school tomorrow and I really wanted to sleep in. Damn, I'm such a dork.

So anyway, that's just the beginning of today's insanity. When Jake came home from school he brought a houseful of friends with him to celebrate Thanksgiving break. (Jake will use any excuse to have a party. ) In spite of having a houseful of loud, rowdy teenagers and no tap water, I managed to cook a lovely pot roast dinner for everyone. As I was cleaning up, the stupid electricity goes out! Everyone got silent and I yelled,
"This is NOT my fault!"
I immediately looked out the window to make sure that every one's electricity was out. Yup, the darkness that resulted from the lack of street lights matched the pitch black inside our house.

Now, as you may, or may not have noticed on my lunar phases chart, tonight the moon was only 1% lit. So having no lights gave a new meaning to the word DARK. I grabbed my lighter and started lighting candles. While everyone else walked around with their cell phones open to light their way. (Thank goodness I'm a candle freak.) Strangely, I noticed that the sudden darkness didn't result in any complaints from the family room, where Jake and his girlfriend were snuggled together on the couch. Since lighting candles didn't seem to improve the the status quo, I sent them upstairs to hang out with dad, who is usually quite gassy after a pot roast dinner.

That's another thing. Without electricity and the hum of the computer and refrigerator, and sounds of T.V.'s and radios from every room, the world becomes strangely quiet. Olathe is the county seat of Johnson County, and since the old west days, it's been a major thoroughfare for trains. (you can't swing a dead cat in Olathe without it landing on a street that has at least two railroad crossings.) So as we sat in the silent darkness, the sound of trains passing only a few blocks away (Which we don't, normally, even hear) sounded like a low flying helicopter directly over our house. For a minute, everyone stopped talking and looked at each other as if to say,
"Is this more than a simple power outage ? "
Without electricity there's no immediate communication from the outside world, for a moment, we realised, we had no way of knowing how many people were without power or why. I walked to the front door and opened it. When I said it was 'just a train,' everyone breathed an involuntary sigh of relief. Still, Roy suddenly announced that he was going to take a drive and see how many people were affected by the outage. Heather and her girl friend decided to go with him.

While I sat with Jake and Chrissy by candle light I started to chuckle. I said, "This is great, I'm toting water from the neighbor's well (actually their outside water hose) to make dinner, and now, we're spending the evening by candle light without T.V., computers, radios, or any of our modern conveniences. It feels like we've gone back in time 100 years."
They both said , "yeah" in unison. Then Chrissy said,
"Kinda boring . . . and Jake added,
"Sucks. . ."

Eventually, Jake discovered the many wonders of hot candle wax to entertain himself with while he and Chrissy discussed how many new babies would result from this power outage nine months from now. (I gotta watch those two!! ) Shortly after Roy and the girls got back, the lights came back on. As if in celebration, they tuned the T.V. to a music channel and cranked it up louder than normal. (at least it seemed louder than normal.)

Anyway, life is back to normal now - well, mostly. I better get myself to bed. Tomorrow is only Wednesday, but it's going to be a LONG weekend this week. In addition to paying the water bill, I have to gather supplies and get started on our annual tradition of snowflake making which begins tomorrow, plus I will have twice the dishes and laundry to do ! UGH! I just can't get a break. Goodnight, and if I don't see, or hear from you before then, have a happy Thanksgiving !


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Circle of Life

Well, I'm sitting here this Monday afternoon, sort of at a stand still. I have things I could be doing, such as laundry, grocery shopping, etc, but I'm out of supplies and my hubby left the house this morning with all my money. Because of his work schedule today, he won't make it back in the direction of home until 3PM. So I have a lull in my day, which will be followed by rushing around like a mad woman, trying to get everything done at once. Oh well, some days are like that.

I finally heard from Nick over the weekend. He's been busy working some temp jobs and helping to pack. Jennifer and her family have found another house (With the same space, in the same school district, that actually works much better, financially, for them) and they will be moving soon.

The only problem seems to be . . . last Friday, Nick bought a baby bunny for Jennifer, and there are absolutely no pets allowed at the new house. So he called Sunday to ask if I would Bunny sit until they are able to move into their own place. (it could be quite some time before Nick and Jen are able to afford their own apartment) Now when they first adopted the bunny, they stopped by my house to show her off and I set them up with Princess' old doggie crate as a temporary bunny home for her. As Jennifer held Nala, the bunny, I noticed that my dogs were of course very curious about this little bundle of fur. Midnight, my little "romeo" dog, adores little furry things, he calmly sat with his head in Jens lap and licked the bunny's paws. However, Angel, who is a working dog with a very strong prey drive, knew exactly what Nala, was. Angel has chased more than her share of rabbits. As she sniffed at her, her ears and tail came to attention, and her eyes dilated. NOT a good sign. Heather desperately wants to care for Nala and she has volunteered to keep her in her room, where she already has a hamster. I'm not so sure about all of this.

I think that I may have mentioned, we used to have several turtle doves. This was back when Heather was younger, and we only had two dogs; Honeybear, my very loving and gentle Golden Retriever, and Guttenburg, a formerly feral German Sheppard. Two of the doves, belonged to Heather. Because of Guttenburg's prey drive, I was always careful to keep the dove cages out of Gute's reach. Even though Honey bear was a bird dog, I never worried about her.because she never showed any interest in them. One day, Guttenburg was at the vets office having some x-rays done, and Heather had the bird cage sitting on the kitchen table. We had to make a quick run to the store, and when we returned . . . we found a trail of gray feathers and both birds, out of their cages and dead. Honeybear, was sitting in her usual spot, just like always, looking sweet and innocent. As I surveyed the scene of the crime (and Heather sobbed uncontrollably) there were signs of a chase, a struggle, and tooth marks in the bodies. It was obvious that Honeybear was guilty. Although I have no idea HOW she did it because, the bird cage door was still closed and locked. I tried to explain to Heather that Honeybear was just following her natural instincts, but she wouldn't speak to Honeybear for weeks.

I don't want a similar drama replayed. Especially since Nala isn't mine. But Nick is desperate to find a home for the bunny, and Heather is determined to keep her for them. I'm used to chaos and insanity, and even occasional dismemberment, but Angel is Heather's dog, and I don't know if I could handle it if anything happened to alter that relationship. In spite of all my warnings, it looks like the two of them are determined to do this. so it appears that the circle of life (and death) can not be stopped. Just in case, I have recorded my objections here. Mark my words . . .

In other news . . . Today is beginning of a week, that traditionally marks the start of many annual festivities and celebrations. (UGH!) This year, it's more like a gauntlet that has to be run. The kids have only two days of school this week before Thanksgiving break begins on Wednesday. After that . . . LET THE INSANITY BEGIN !!! Family feasting, decking the halls with snowflakes, Christmas trees, and boxes of other dust covered glittery items. And of course, Black Friday, which I REFUSE be part of. However, I did promise to take the kids to see Twighlight, the movie on Friday. That'll be crazy enough. I also have to plan for the month that follows. Gingerbread house creation, and a bunch of other merry family activities, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, I really do have some things I should be doing to prepare for this week. I need to get my butt out of this chair and moving. Wish me luck . . .



Friday, November 21, 2008

Blah, blah, blah . . .

Oh my . . . would you listen to that? It's quiet. Well, almost. It's Friday night and things are finally starting to settle. The girls, Heather and Chloe, have finally decided to go do some drawing in her room; and the boys, Jake and Quentin, are doing God only knows what in Jake's' room. Roy is sleeping because he has a call at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning. So now, I can finally think. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

My mind keeps reaching out in the direction of my oldest son, Nick. I haven't heard from him since . . .Tuesday? He called to get a phone number from me and said that he would call me back - he never did. I just don't have a good feeling about any of this. He and Jennifer stopped by the house last weekend, he is really feeling uncomfortable with the living situation over there. Not only is it uncertain, but Jennifer's sister is really making him feel unwelcome. Of course, the word is, she's a total bitch anyway. He's still head over heels crazy about Jennifer, but he just wants to be somewhere else.

I don't like feeling so disconnected from him, it feels unnatural. I'm used to touching base with all my kids on a daily basis. (and my oldest is 30) I just feel at loose ends not knowing if things are okay. I suspect he is pissed at me, I don't know.

Since the weather has turned cold, Jake has started bringing all his friends home from school with him to our house, instead of going to the skate park. This evening, he brought home five of them ! It gets a little crazy for a few hours in the afternoon, with a bunch of rowdy teens and five excited dogs. but it's also nice to get to know his friends. He has the cutest little girlfriend, Chrissy. Last week, Jake spent quite a few after school evenings at her house, and I guess Chrissy's mom decided that he was okay, and it's safe to allow her daughter to hang out here. That's good to know.

Since it's Friday night, Heather called to ask if her new friend, Chloe, could spend the night. After spending more time with her last weekend, I decided that she's a pretty good kid. She lives with her dad and brother (her mother passed away) and I think that she is just very used to hanging out with guys. Both her dad and brother are heavily into cage fighting on the weekends and she gets so bored hanging out at the gym with a bunch of sweaty guys. I suspect that I'll be seeing quite a bit of her. I think she really enjoys being with Heather and doing girl stuff. I think it's a good thing

Anyway, after school, the two girls went to Chloe's house to pick up her stuff, and Roy went to pick them up. Roy met Chloe's dad, and I guess they hit it off because he came home all excited that, "Van said he would get him tickets to the fights!" Oooooh, how nice, that's exactly what I wanted to hear! How exciting. Now, my hubby can hang out with the guys while I deal with the zoo! Actually, I'm not too worried. I don't see Roy as a cage fight kind of guy, but he's does get excited to check out new stuff, especially if it has anything to do with sports.

Well, I need to get some sleep tonight, so I better get myself off to bed. Goodnight.


Pre holiday Blues

I've been feeling very much like Cinderella lately. (Just to clarify, that would be pre-ball invitation Cinderella.) All cooking and cleaning, and mending, and care taking . . . sigh ! Damn it, I want to go to the Ball at the Palace !!! Of course, with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, that doesn't seem likely.

Why are holidays such a chore? I SO miss the days when Christmas was about beautiful twinkly lights, angels, and snow, hot chocolate and marshmallows, snuggling under a blanket on the couch to watch a whimsical Christmas special, nativities and Christmas carols, and the smells of pine trees, candy canes, and gingerbread. Of course, I work my ass off to make sure my kids have all those things, but I don't think they notice anymore, and I don't even get to enjoy them. There is always so much to do, so much stress and worry about gifts and shopping. When my kids were little, shopping for Christmas was fun. They didn't care what they got, they were just thrilled to discover Santa hadn't forgotten them.

Then they got older, they went to school and learned how to write. (damn public education !) They found out that Santa took requests ! At first, their scribbled little letters were so cute. . . until some jerk told them that Santa wasn't real. Suddenly, they got serious about making lists and comparing their Christmas haul with their friends at school !! All the pressure got dumped on Mom and Dad, and every year had to be bigger and better than the last. At this point, the only way I can top last year, is to buy them sports cars - and they aren't even old enough to drive !!!! Maybe that's a kids way of getting even with their parents for lying to them about Santa? They aren't impressed with twinkle lights and jingle bells anymore. Snow is only an excuse for a day off school, Christmas T.V. specials have been replaced by holiday movie releases at the mall with their friends. Christmas carols are lame, and they would prefer the scent of cold hard cash over pine trees, candy canes, and gingerbread.

My kids are barely teenagers and already they are SO jaded !!! Is early Childhood the only time when Christmas is magical ? Do we just get a few precious years and the rest is greed and memories? I want my Christmas warm fuzzies back !!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I feel so . . . ogled

It's been one of those LONG days. There wasn't much going on for Roy at work today, and he woke up feeling not so good. The general consensus seems to be that right now, everyone is feeling kind of yucky. The weather is just on the verge of flipping from fall to winter - not officially - that won't happen until Dec. 21st. However, the nights, and most of the days, are chilly enough to crank on the heaters. So anyway, Roy, and a lot of other people, are struggling with sinus problems, and as a result, he was home with me today.
It's been a while since I've had any actual grown up for company during the day. Unfortunately, he wasn't much company, so it just felt weird. Every time that I walked through the living room, there he was, sitting on the couch, in his t-shirt and thermal long johns, unshaven, with his hair sticking up in every direction, silently watching me. I'd stop, and ask,
"What? Do you need something? Are you okay?"
He'd just look at me, shake his head, and go back to whatever he was doing. After about the tenth time, it was just starting to creep me out. I finally told him,
"Quit ogling me!"
He didn't even respond to that. So I just gave up and ignored him.
He gets in moods like this, all silent and sullen. Usually, it's when he has something on his mind, or he's worried about something. Which means . . . I'll probably NEVER know what the hell all this crap was about.
When he thinks he's sick, there is a lot of moaning and groaning, and a whole assortment of obnoxious sounds, it's really pitiful - borderline disgusting. That's when I do a lot of eye rolling, tongue biting, and pillow fluffing.
Now that he's gone to bed and the house is quiet, I'm sitting here trying to figure out if he's really had something on his mind, or if he was just messing with my head? Maybe, my husband was a victim of an alien abduction last night and replaced with a clone sent to collect data. Who knows. I think when I go to bed, I should make sure to wake him up and then, just sit there and watch him - see how he likes it. Men are so impossible to figure out !

Well, I've had enough craziness for one day, I'm going to bed. Good night.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

And the crap just keeps on coming . . .

*SIGH !*

This has turned into a LONG weekend. Saturday morning, Ashton and Patrick had to leave, so I took Heather, Jake, Alexis, Chloe, and Quentin to the mall. Oh my Gosh, the mall has already become a mad house ! Parking lot rage, over crowded stores, and everywhere you turn, some idiot is trying to shove a free sample in your face. I thought trying to keep track of five rowdy, reved up teens would be a chore. I had told Chloe's dad that I would be going to the mall with them, but you know, I'm not cool enough to hang out with them. So I figured I'd co-ordinate the chaos from my home base at the food court via cell phone, while I sipped diet coke and nibbled Mrs. Field's cookies. Didn't exactly work out that way.

I found myself a table at the food court, the girls showed up and chatted for a while. As soon as they left, the boys showed up. I must be cooler than anyone wants to admit. We all agreed that the crowds were more than we wanted to deal with, so I gathered them all up and we went home after a quick stop at Borders Bookstore.

I had to stop at the bookstore because, I had to find a copy of a book that has been much recommended: Women Who Run with the Wolves. I've decided to read it slowly and try to absorb it. So far, I'm really liking it.

Anyway, all three of Jake and Heather's friends stayed another night. After having them for so long, it just doesn't seem to matter anymore. Alexis and Chloe went home early this morning, and Quentin NEVER seems to go home. He finally left around 7:30PM so we could eat dinner.

Shortly before that, Nick and Jennifer stopped by. They're both so depressed. Jennifer is sad because she just found out her parents home has been foreclosed on. She and her family have spent most of their lives moving all over because, her dad was in the Marines. When he retired, they moved into this house. They have been struggling with payments for the past five years, and I guess the bank was feeling the holiday spirit, so they foreclosed.
Nick is depressed for a number of reasons. He doesn't know where all this leaves him, he is up to his eyeballs in legal issues and he can't seem to find work to have any money to hire a lawyer. It's just a matter of time before it all comes crashing down on him and he will have to accept a court appointed lawyer, which means he could be looking at up 16 months in jail. (mostly because they have up graded his last DUI to a felony.)

Right now, I just feel exhausted. I'm done with birthdays for the year, and now I have to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. UGH ! Christmas Sucks !!!! Thanksgiving seems like enough, don't you think? Why do we have to do Christmas too ?!!! They have taken all the meaning out of Christmas anyway, why bother ?

I think I need to get all my kids to bed, draw a nice hot bath, and drown myself - I mean, soak for an hour or so. *sigh* Times like this, I wish I was a drinker. But no, no, no, I don't get that privilege.

Okay, I'm going to go do just that, before I depress everyone.

Good night.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mammas, Don't let your daughter's grow up to join the FSA

I'm back !

I've spent the last 48 hours on a cleaning spree. It only took a few a few days to tear down the asylum. I packed all the props into storage bins, and laid the corpses to rest in their coffins, but finding a place to store it all for the next 11 months was the real challenge. I checked into storage space, but just couldn't bring myself to spend $75.00 a month for storage. The mere thought of having to pay one. more. bill. was just too much. So Thursday, I finally worked up the energy to rearrange my basement to make room for it all; Which lead to a huge whole house cleaning binge, ending with cleaning Heather's bedroom in preparation for tonight - Her 12th Birthday sleep over celebration. Oh my God, what insanity !!!

Heather invited three of her girlfriends; Alexis, who lives next door, Ashton, a friend from school, and Chloe, another friend from school - who (from my perspective) just doesn't quite seem to fit in with the other girls. (I'll explain further in a minute.) As you can imagine, Jake was not thrilled with the idea of spending the evening surrounded by his little sister's giggling friends, so he asked if he could have a friend spend the night too. One friend turned into two, and now I have a house filled with 7 teens, (four girls, three boys) and of course, five dogs. I'm just praying that the Fire Marshall doesn't show up to take a head count - I'm sure that I'm over the maximum occupancy for a suburban duplex.

This afternoon, Heather came home from school with Chloe. I had heard a few things about Chloe, but Heather had never invited her over. The minute I laid eyes on her, I knew all I needed to know about her. I may be 46 years old, but you never forget the "Chloes" that you've known from 6th grade. (except when I was in 6th grade, her name was Sandy - Sandy Kinnaw) Chloe is just like Sandy. She has pale blond hair, bright blue eyes, a china doll face, and the emerging body of Cindy Crawford. She's cute and perky, and WAY too confident.

Most people are a little overwhelmed by our dogs at first, but Chloe was thrilled, and excitedly carried on about how much she LOVES dogs! When people have that kind of immediate response to my dogs, it always makes me nervous. Those are the kind of people who assume that my dogs will automatically love them too, and they don't give them the respect and space that they deserve. I want to say, "Uh . . . excuse me, but this is a PACK of dogs with a combined weight of over 350 pounds. They LIVE here - and you don't. Do the math Einstein." Fortunately, my dogs are pretty good at suffering fools, especially if they're kids.

I wasn't really expecting Heather's guests to start showing up until 5:30, so I was caught a little off guard when Heather brought Chloe home from school with her like a stray puppy. Before I could say much of anything, Heather stuck the telephone in my face and said,
"You need to talk to Chloe's dad, his name is Van."
I gave Heather an exasperated look (she knows how much I hate it when she does that) and took the phone. I introduced myself, and gave him a quick run down of the planned activities.
He said, "Well, Chloe kind of sprung this on me . . . I normally don't let her do stuff like this on the spur of the moment . . . "
I thought to myself, 'Really? Is that why she showed up at my house with a back pack, a tote bag full of clothes, and a sleeping bag? Where did you think she was going with all that stuff when she left for school this morning?' But I bit my tongue and stayed silent. Obviously, she had her daddy wrapped around her little finger, and this sort of thing happened more than he'd like to admit. He got my address, and asked me to have Chloe "check in" with him in the morning. By the time I ended the phone call, the girls had disappeared. No reason for them to hang around waiting for "permission," the phone call was just a formality, she knew that she would get her way. Why else would she have come so prepared?

Roy took the girls to go pick out Heather's birthday present ( a guitar) and her birthday cake and ice cream. Everything was going fine until Jake, Quentin, and Patrick came home. Chloe's eyes literally lit up. I didn't introduce Jake and his friends to Heather's friends because, the whole purpose behind Jake having his friends over, was so that the guys could entertain themselves with "guy" stuff, while the girls did "girl" stuff. It took less than five minutes before Chloe was calling their names and following behind them. All through dinner, cake and ice cream, and gift opening, Chloe was right in the midst of them, doing her best to get their attention and dazzle them with her cute smile and adorable little hair flip technique.

I was impressed with my son's discernment. Jacob had her pegged from the moment she smiled in his direction. (He looked over at me and rolled his eyes.) However, Patrick and Quentin are uh . . . easily distracted. They played right into her hand.

Every time Heather and the other girls planned to do something, they had to go track Chloe down. Didn't take them long to figure out that she would be found with the boys. I think Chloe finally got tired of her flirting being interrupted, so she decided to take charge. She gathered all the girls together to play "make over/dress up." As soon as Chloe had all four of them looking like five dollar hookers, she disappeared to seek out the boys - again. By that time, Jacob had grown bored with watching his friends make asses of themselves over a 12 year old girl. Jake got unusually quiet and took his friends to his room to go to bed. Since then, the only one of the boys that has wandered downstairs has been Quentin, the red head, insecure one. He said he wasn't sleepy yet and went into the kitchen to listen to the ipod. Of course, Chloe pulled up a chair next to him while the girls settled in to watch a movie in the living room. I guess even Quentin can add two and two because, he suddenly became sleepy and went upstairs. She pouted, and came to join the girls.

Now that the boys are gone and things have quieted down, I think Heather is starting to see Chloe's true colors. Alexis and Ashton are already asleep on the couch, and Heather is doing her best to be friendly and polite, but she keeps yawning while Chloe brags about all the cool people she knows, and the awesome places she's been. Something tells me that I should stay up until I'm absolutely certain they're all asleep. I have no doubt Chloe will be the last one out.

When I was 19 or 20 years old, I worked as an optician at the local mall. When business was slow, me and a co-worker would pass the time by people watching. Of course, at the mall, a large number of those people were teenagers, just hanging out and meeting friends. Girls like Chloe were easy to spot. We had a code name for them: FSA - Future Sluts of America.

I have to admit, I'm a little surprised that my daughter invited an FSA to her party. I'm sure that Chloe is one of the more popular girls at school, but I really hope that they don't become close friends. If it's a choice between being popular, and being true to herself (and basically, that's what it comes down to) I hope Heather is smart enough, and courageous enough, to choose the latter. As a woman, who (barely) survived the tortures of public school, there is a part of me that feels . . .guilty (?) for wishing that fate on my own daughter. I remember how painful it was to watch the "popular" girls, and know that I wasn't one of them. At the time, I would have given anything to be in that elite circle. And I have no doubt I would have been good at it - I could have been as bitchy, snobby, and slutty as any of them. But let's face it, it IS a very elite group - 90% of us were either hanging on at the fringes of that circle, or completely nonexistent to them. If it weren't for the majority, the "real" people, they wouldn't even exist.
We create our "idols" because, they are something that we are not. Sometimes it takes years to figure out that there is a very good reason for not being like them, and that being yourself is a better thing.

By the way, I can't really say what ever happened to my 6th grade Chloe - Sandy Kinnaw. When we graduated 6th grade, we went to middle school. Sandy hooked up with the hottest ninth grader in the school, captain of the football team, Dave Phalen. They went steady for half a year, then one day the whole school was buzzing. Sandy was crying in the girls bathroom because, she found out she was pregnant. The next day, Dave had a new girl friend, and Sandy just disappeared. Seriously, she never came back to school. There were rumors that she had an abortion and transferred to another school, that she ran away from home, that her parents sent her away, that she was too humiliated to come back, so her parents moved to another state. Now, I'm not saying that being a slut, and getting knocked up, is the ultimate sin, or that she deserved it. I managed to find myself in the same predicament two years later. The difference is, I KNOW what happened to me and where I am now.

Well, It's late. Enough of this crap. I need to get some sleep. Good night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A night off

Oh my gosh, I feel so fat!!! My mom took us out to dinner to celebrate Heather's Birthday this evening. We went to a little hole in the wall steak house in Kansas City, KS, called Frontier. My God, it was good!! Most of us - except for Roy - could only eat about half our meals. It was so nice not to have to cook for a change.

Grandma gave Heather her birthday money and she got a few dollars from Roy's mom in the mail on Monday. She is trying to save it so that she'll have $ to spend on Saturday, when she and her girlfriends go shopping at the mall. Or at least that was the plan. On the way home, she asked if we could stop at Walgreen's so that she could buy something that she HAD to have, something that she'd been wanting for a long time. Do you know what she bought? A Rubik's cube, and a pair of rainbow colored, sparkly, toe socks ! It's funny what she considers as an "urgent need." I can hardly wait to see what these girls spend their money on at the mall.

Anyway, since Roy was sleeping in the car, we wandered over to the cosmetics counter and played around with the sample perfumes. I just love doing that, I've always had a thing for fragrances; perfumes, candles, body oils, incense, I even feel a need to smell the laundry soaps before I choose one. Anyway, I sprayed some "Glow" (by J.Lo) on the back of my hand and we both wrinkled up our noses at it. Now that I'm home, I'm starting to kind of like it. I'm not really sure about it though.

We weren't home more than ten minutes, when Roy decided to take his engorged belly upstairs to bed. The kids finished their homework and went to bed about half an hour ago, now I'm all alone with the dogs - and even they are sleeping. Since the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds today, I took them all for a mile and a half walk. After walking almost five miles, I should be tired too, especially since I haven't been out for almost a week, but I actually feel pretty good. I've really missed the sunshine and fresh air. I just hope I don't wake up with sore legs tomorrow.

I'd really like to know what's going on in my husband's head lately. For the past week, he's been walking the dogs after dinner - without being asked! Normally, it's like pulling teeth to get Roy to even help me walk the dogs. Roy HATES to walk, he says it makes his back hurt. All of a sudden, he's doing it on his own! I know that when we got our new insurance, he went to the doctor about his back. They told him that he had arthritis of the spine and all they could do, was give him anti-inflammatory pills and physical therapy. At the time, I told him that I "had heard" that the best way to slow down arthritis, was to stay active. I also mentioned that losing some weight might take the strain off his back. I honestly didn't make a big deal out of it because, I didn't think he would do it. Maybe, he actually listened to me? Or maybe, the physical therapist told him the same thing? I don't know, I'm afraid to ask him for fear that I might jinx it. Mostly, I'm just concerned because I know how much it takes to get Roy off the couch and moving. I wonder if he is more concerned about this than he is letting on? If he walks the dogs tomorrow night, I'll go with him and see if I can get some answers.

Okay, I'm just rambling on, I need to go get some things done before bed. Good night.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Heather day

Today, all over the country, people have been celebrating our troops, and honoring and paying tribute to our veterans, both past and present.

Here at our house, things are a little . . . different. (Ooooh, what a surprise!) It's not that we don't love and respect our veterans and service men; it's just that every November 11th, happens to be the anniversary of my youngest child's birth. Heather, my baby, turned twelve years old today. *sigh* Only twelve more months until she becomes a teenager. Although, that's just a technicality. She spends so much time with Jake and older friends that she pretty much acts like a teen already.

We have kept things pretty low keyed around here today, as far as birthdays go. Since Heather's birthday falls on a Tuesday (and a school day) this year, we plan to do the actual celebration on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. We told the kids last year, that since they're getting older, the huge, expensive, crazy parties are over. Birthdays are days to be shared with friends and family. They can have over night friends, cake, ice cream, and a day of doing things that they enjoy. For Jake's birthday, he had a sleep over and they all went skateboarding at several of their favorite skate parks. Heather is having a few friends over on Friday night, and then Saturday, we go shopping at the mall.

So today, I got over my tantrum and I feel much better. I fixed the vacuum myself - it has a small hole in the hose - so I am definitely looking for a new one. With five dogs, I vacuum almost every day and our vacuum takes a lot of abuse. I've spent the better part of my day just catching up on house work. Just the same old, same old.

I'm getting so tired of the cold, dreary, gray skies, and all the rain. It's bad enough that the days are shorter and it's full dark by 5:30PM, but it would be nice to have a little sunshine during the day time. I feel like the clouds have seeped into my brain, and I just can't think very well. Thinking really wasn't one of my strong points to begin with.

Well, I need to get myself off to bed. Good night.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday temper tantrum

UGH ! It's Monday, and everything is turning to shit ! It's turning into one of those days, when all my plans for the day have gone to the wayside, and merely accomplishing anything is a huge, monumental, effort.

I went to bed early last night because, I had a Doctors appointment at 9:45 this morning. (just a regular Diabetes check) The Dr's office is only a few blocks away, so I slept until 9:00AM. I woke up to find that Jake seems to have come down with Heathers flu bug; so I called to see if I could bring him with me and get a strep test run on him. Normally, I can get in and out of the doctor's office in less than 45 minutes, but not today. We ended up waiting over an hour to see him. Jake got antibiotics, and I got a flu shot in addition to my usual lab work. By the time we were done, we were both starving because, I had to fast for the blood work. We dropped off Jake's prescription at the pharmacy, and went to Sonic to get something to eat while they filled it. I was so hungry that I ended up eating too much and then, all I wanted to do was sleep.

It was after noon by the time we got home. I had planned on taking the dogs for a walk when I got home, (and before it started raining.) but then, I thought I'd be home by 10:30, So that didn't work out. I really had to force myself to get up and do something. As I mentioned yesterday, I pretty much let everything go over the weekend. As I dragged my ass around trying to pick up the weekend crap, my legs got heavier and heavier, and all I wanted to do was nap. But no, I pushed on. . . I got the vacuum out, plugged it in, and flipped the switch. As I pushed it back and forth over the carpet, I realised that it wasn't picking anything up, just moving it around. 'Perfect! That's just perfect.' Then, I remembered that Jake had used the vacuum yesterday when I told him to clean his room. 'Okay, it all makes sense now.' I sat down on the floor and started tearing the stupid contraption apart. Of course, as soon as I sat on the floor, all the dogs gathered around me, licking me, and wanting to play. Once I convinced them that I wasn't playing, I took the broom stick and ran it through the vacuum hose, and out came the most disgusting, dust covered crap, I've ever seen. LOTS of it - yuck ! 3o minutes later, I put it all back together, and turned it on again. The damn thing still won't suck any dirt up!

I'm sure my husband will fix it when he gets home, but I don't like this stupid vacuum anymore - I hate it- and I want a new one! I don't want to deal with this crappy house anymore, my right arm hurts where I got my flu shot, my left arm hurts where they took blood, I'm cranky, my head hurts, and I need a nap ! I'm done. No one cares about the house except me, and if I go to bed and close my eyes, I won't be able to see it, therefore, It won't exist. I'm done. Done, done, done.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday afternoon: Just going with the flow.

Oh Lord, I've started to write three different posts this weekend, and just can't seem to finish anything ! That pretty much sums up my whole weekend. So much going on, so much that needs to be done, but I seem to be lacking in the motivation to finish anything. And you know what ? I'm not sure that I really care.

Heather spent all of Friday and Saturday at a Church Youth Group Convention in Wichita, KS. She got home late Saturday night. I've been to (and through) Wichita a few times, they make a lot of airplanes there. But Heather had a blast; She got to meet lots of new friends, do lots of fun things, and stay the night in a hotel.

While she was gone, Jake had some friends over to spend the night. I've had teenagers in and out of my house all weekend. They always keep things interesting around here.

Roy has been on call this weekend and he stayed fairly busy on Saturday, but today has been quiet.

Generally speaking, it's been a pretty manic weekend for me. Either things have been chaotic, or things have been still and quiet, and it seems to change hour by hour, without any notice. Since I really didn't have any plans or expectations for the weekend, I've just been going with the flow.

Right now, I'm just about worn out from all the ups and downs. In about an hour, I'm going to send all the visitors home, and put both my kids to work on cleaning their rooms. (which are disasters) I have relinquished all power and control this weekend, and it's just about time to take charge again. There was a time in my life when just letting life happen was unthinkable. But now, it's not so bad. I don't have to have be on top of everything, there is always time to clean up the mess later.

On one of my runs to the store, I bought the dogs some chewies and a couple of new toys. So, yup, the mess is all over the carpet. They have torn the fluffy guts out of the new toys, and are playing tug 'o war with the ropes. They're happy. I haven't walked them all weekend - since Halloween, the weather has turned. It's not really cold, I know that in a few weeks, 40 degree temps will seem like a heat wave, but it always takes me a few days for my blood to thicken up a bit. I'll get myself back on routine Monday.

I think that right now, I'll go upstairs, and join my hubby for a short nap before I get dinner started.

Have a good weekend y'all,
Love, Susan

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I need Space !!!

Thank God for the miracles of modern pharmaceuticals. I am finally startling to feel better, more like myself, and less overwhelmed. I think I can do this thing called life after all.

I finally put together a slide show of the photos from Halloween, and posted it on my Haunt blog last night. I'm not really happy with it, the photos seem a bit blurred. I'll probably do something different when I have more time. I really have to sort through and organize my photo files before I run out of space. It seems some times, that the computer is just another domain where I have to pick up after my family, and their "I'll put it where it belongs later" attitudes.

I was able to get down to Nick and Jennifer's old room (the family room) and get things cleaned up yesterday. Of course, it still has no floor coverings in there, just a stained concrete floor. I think I'll look into installing one of those hardwood floor kits when Nick gets his bed moved out. Roy and I replaced my moms old kitchen floor with those hardwood laminate floors - it's not that difficult. I just need to check around for a good price on it. In the mean time, I've moved in some grow lights and turned it into a winter nursery for the overflow of my plants.

I talked to Nick yesterday. He and Jennifer are looking for jobs again. Jennifer's parents live in Missouri (about a 50 minute highway drive away from here) and it just isn't cost efficient for them to drive so far to work. So between looking for a job and having to stay sober, Nick is in a mood. I've been there, and done that with him enough times, that I'm relieved I'm not doing it again.

Well, I've still got a lot of work to do, still getting cleaned up from Halloween. I've got three corpses that need coffins made for them so they can be stored away. I've decided that between Nick's stuff, and all my projects, I've just run out of room to store things, so I'm going to check into renting a storage locker. There's a storage facility just a couple of blocks from here that would be convenient. Of course, the minute I create an empty space around here, my family makes it their mission to fill it with randon junk. Why is that?

Any way, I'm not getting any thing done sitting here . . .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Scrambled Brains.

I'm not sure I should be blogging until my meds fully kick in. I wasn't able to get down to the doctor's office to pick them up, until this morning. I probably won't be myself until tomorrow or Thursday. Y'all are just going to have to deal with me "as-is" until then. After all, it seems that life goes on regardless of my mental, physical, or spiritual situation. And the past few days have been pretty crappy.

After Nick and Jennifer left Sunday night, Roy looked at me and said,

"you know, this whole thing isn't any where near over . . ."

I knew then, that he was right. Seems nothing involving Nick is ever simple. Nick called me Monday morning before I was even out of bed. He and Jennifer wanted to come over, pick up a few things, eat some lunch, and talk with me. I told him that he could come by IF he was sober. He lied about being sober. I while they ate lunch, they told me that they had plans that evening to talk with Jennifer's parents about moving in with them. Jennifer's parents are RLDS. (Reformed Latter Day Saints) They're good people, but they don't especially care for Nick and his "lifestyle." To make things even worse, Jennifer is their oldest child, and they're having a hard time accepting that she is no longer under their control. Jennifer's grades in High school earned her a two year scholarship in Missouri. She hasn't started college yet because, she has been involved in Nicks cycle of Chaos ever since she graduated. Her parents are desperate to get her away from Nick and enrolled in school, at home. ( I'm sure that having Jen in school again would feel more normal, and in control, to them)

Once again, this morning I was awakened by Nick's phone call. He and Jennifer showed up at 10AM to pack their things and move in with Jen's parents. This time, Nick was sober, but not looking too well. Not only was he nervous about moving in with Jennifer's parents, but he was a physical wreck. Over the past year or so, Nick has been slowly discovering the many, physical, consequences of his addictions. Every time that he relapses, the price he pays gets higher. This morning, he spent the first couple of hours throwing up and trying to soothe the burning in his esophagus. Unfortunately, I don't think that destroying his health, is going to be enough to make him stop. Nick likes to think that he knows more than the doctors do. Just his little lie to convince himself that he has some kind of control. Right now, he really has no idea how out of control his life is.

As much as I hate dealing with him when he's drunk, I think today was worse. Watching him pack his (few) belongings; listening to him try to convince me (actually, himself) that things would work out fine at Jennifer's house; knowing that he wasn't going somewhere so that he could get better, but so that my household could (maybe) get better. Every time I looked at him today, I was shocked by how pale and blotchy his face looked. It's the sort of thing that a mother can't ignore, the sort of thing that demands a maternal response. But he doesn't want a mother, he wants an accomplice, and I can't do that. I can't watch him destroy himself.

So . . . I've been doing my best to stay busy today, and fight off the urge to crawl into bed, pull the blankets over my head, and sleep - indefinitely. I really have plenty to do, the hard part is not thinking. I'm amazed at the arguments and excuses that my brain can throw at me, when I least want to deal with them. I shouldn't have to justify this crap to anyone, least of all myself. It's exhausting.

Ever since Nick and Jennifer left, I can't seem to shake this gnawing feeling of concern and doubt. I know for certain that I can not continue dealing with the insanity and chaos. It's no good for any one. But I really don't have any high hopes that Nick moving out will "fix" anything, and I think that's the hardest part of doing this. For so many years, every decision or choice I've made, has been made in hopes that it will benefit Nick's sobriety. It's hard to do something knowing that isn't specifically geared towards "helping" Nick become or remain sober, without feeling like I've given up hope. With Roy, my husband, I think I did a lot of things to motivate and manipulate, him towards sobriety; but with my son, it's always been more a sense of responsibility. I'm still trying to figure out how to hang on to hope, without being responsible for creating a specific outcome. I think it's a facet of faith that I haven't quite grasped, or learned how to apply yet.

I don't know, I think my brain is scrambled right now. Thank God this day, is over, and I can call it quits for the night.

Good night.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Guess what?

I just checked my Yahoo forecast and discovered some interesting information. Apparently, tonight's forecast is . . . Sunny! Sunny? I don't give a shit, I'm going to bed anyway.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Should have seen it coming . . .

You know what I wish ? I really, REALLY wish that I hadn't run out of antidepressants three days ago. I wish I had taken time to phone in the refill, and found time to pick the damn things up. But this has been a busy weekend, and I thought, "Eh, I'll take care of it Monday." I should have known better. But you know, three days isn't a big deal. I've just been puttering along, dealing with whatever life tosses my way. I'm not completely incompetent, you know? It's not like I'm going to fall apart, right?

So, I've been fine. Looking back, I can see, and admit, that maybe, little stresses were a tad bit more uncomfortable, and letting go of stress and moving forward, might have been a bit more difficult; but how was I supposed to know that a bomb was going to be dropped on me today?

This afternoon, I was just checking things off my "To-Do list," and actually, feeling pretty good about it all. Then, I went to the grocery store. When I came home, I found that Nick had chosen today to pull up the carpet in the family room. (the room that he and Jennifer have been using as their bedroom since they moved in - 3 months ago) Replacing the carpet was something that had been discussed, but we hadn't gone as far as deciding what to replace it with. Initially, I thought it was stupid to remove the carpet without a plan, but when Nick came up stairs, it all became crystal clear. It was obvious that he had been drinking while I was at Aldi's

Less than a month ago, Nick and I had a very ugly discussion about his drinking and drug use. Basically, I told him that I wasn't going to tolerate it in my house, and that he and Jennifer needed to find new living arrangements. Of course, they a had no where to go, so we finally came to an understanding. I told the two of them that they could stay, provided that they both got steady jobs, and Nick stayed clean and sober. Roy and I made it clear that if he started using, or drinking again, they were gone - no excuses. He said that he understood, and agreed to live by the rules. He remained sober for 28 days. Of course, since he didn't have any money, I guess it wasn't too hard. He got his first paycheck on Friday. I should have seen it coming, but I guess I've been a little distracted with our Halloween celebration.

In his drunken state, it took almost four hours to make him understand that I intended to stand by our agreement. He and Jennifer finally left at 8PM. (only two hours ago.) They packed a couple of days worth of clothes, and I'm sure they will be back for the rest, eventually. I have no idea where they went. I keep telling myself that he is 23 years old, he made a choice, knowing the consequences, and the rest isn't my problem.

Realisticly, Nick has up coming court dates; one, for his 3rd DUI, and also, a diversion revocation on his 2nd DUI. It won't be long before Jennifer is back home with her parents, while Nick is serving his time in jail. I just wish he could have stayed sober until then.

I also wish I had my medication. Right now, I feel like an emotional train wreck. I know that I really had no choice. I know that I have done everything that I could do to help him. I've even gone so far as doing things that I shouldn't have done. I can't "fix" him - I can't save him from himself.
However . . . I really wish I could stop crying. I honestly don't know how I feel. Right now, I'm just a mess. My brain is still functioning, and I know what is true, but that does nothing to heal my broken heart. Maybe, I just need to go to bed. The last 6 hours has kicked my ass.

Good night.

Howling Hollow Asylum 2008: New and improved version with added family memories.

Okay, maybe it IS 5AM, November 2nd, but I finally found a few minutes to post those photos! (thank God for day light savings and an extra hour of sleep!) I've been SO busy since Halloween. I know that clean up is going to be a huge job this year, and as usual, it will be MY job. (for some reason, no one EVER gets all excited and creative about clean up. ) Just as well, they don't have a lot of experience at cleaning up, they probably wouldn't know where to begin! Any way, I've decided that since Halloween was on Friday this year, I'll just leave it all 'till Monday. In the mean time, I've been doing prep work and getting things organized and planned out for storage.

But I digress - again. If you're a regular reader, you've probably seen alot of what the asylum/cemetery looks like. So . . . I've chosen the best of the photos from Halloween night. I'm planning out a post on my haunt blog that will include ALL the best photos - in a cute and clever way -of course. But that's going to take a few more days. (no matter HOW much my husband pouts) My regular blog readers get the best stuff first. I will let you know when the haunt blog is done and posted.

Here we go. First of all, Halloween night weather was PERFECT this year - warm and clear. Things got a little hectic earlier in the day because, at the last minute, I was able to have our home haunt listed on a local news channel's map site of "must see" Halloween decorations in Kansas City. Also, I had a few friends that had already informed me that they would stop by early, and I wanted everything to be set up before they arrived. In other words, At 4PM, we were still at Walmart buying extra candy and a new CD player for the one that quit working at the very last minute, knowing that we were expecting guests at 5:30 PM! But it all worked out. (thank you, God!) and once we threw open the garage door, we had a blast. ( *as usual, you can click on any of the photos to get a closer look)

This is Heather, in her Hippie chick costume. Unlike my sons, who would rather spend their Halloween with girlfriends in sexy costumes, my youngest stayed to help for most of the night before she and her friends went trick or treating together.

This is The Mad Doctor Foley in his laboratory, waiting for our first guests to arrive.

This was our crew for this year. (right to left) Heather, Roy, Alexis, (our next door neighbor and Heather's best friend) and Sebastian. Sebastian is a friend who came to last years Haunt and was so impressed that we promised him he could help this year. He held us to our promise, and he is a very creative actor!!! (I'm going to track him down for next year too!)

Jasmin and Jason, and their kids were one of our first guests. (They dropped off Christian so he and Jake could terrorize the neighborhood) And I got photos of my grand kids in their costumes ! This is Ana as a she devil.

Of course, girls never miss an opportunity to strike a pose in a new outfit.
Ana, Alexis, Heather.

This is my grandson, Caleb as a rootin' tootin' cowboy.

Since we didn't have time to eat, Roy BBQed some brats and hot dogs for the kids and a few of our neighbors.

One of the last minute errands was getting cows hearts, pork brains, livers and intestines from the meat market to fill the Dr.'s specimen jars in the morgue. We used Hair gel to add color and that gross, disgusting effect, and surrounded them up with orange twinkle lights so they would glow. The kids were absolutely fascinated with them.

This is the brain that Dr. Foley removed from Bob our patient. His job this year was to find a willing brain donor to reanimate Bob.

This is Alexis and Sebastian waiting for the "goblins" to arrive.
This is our coffin filled with candy to lure them with. I bought one of those bowls with a hand in the center of it that that says, "HEY!" and tries to grab any hand that reaches inside. I didn't think it would impress many kids because, I'm certain that everyone has seen them before at Walmart. But in the middle of SO MUCH candy, they never even saw it coming! Almost all of them jumped back in surprise.

Sebastian came up with a lot of new skits to try out and this is Roy, Alexis and Sebastian trying one out. (I really like this kid, he's evil! I'm putting him on next year's planning committee!)

Just like in the movies, the cute punk rocker always survives . . .

This is Sebastian acting out another skit for the kids with Elizabeth.

This was a pretty good view of the Asylum.

This is Edna, one of the last corpses that I made. Mostly, she just hangs around the morgue.

Roy and Sebastian (aka: George; the Dr.'s evil henchman) waiting for the next group of kids to show up.
These were some common reactions from little ones when they realised that the guy behind the exam table (Roy) was REAL !

This guy showed up thinking that HE was the scariest monster around. We try not to scare the little ones, but guys like this are doomed !
Halloween is a good night to make new friends. I think they make a cute couple.

The Dr. asked for volunteers to help hold Bob down when he flipped the switch to reanimate him. We planted a back massager under Bob's shoulders, so when the lights, and buzzers came on, Bob would bounce around on the table. A lot of the kids freaked out, thinking that they were going to get shocked. ( of course, watching them jump made everyone laugh)
Around 11PM, things started slowing down, and I lit the candelabra while Roy went to get us some burger's from Wendy's. Romantic, in a warped kind of way, Huh?)

Even the bone boiler seems kind of pretty after a long night of scaring little kids.
Roy and Sebastian.

Dr. Foley and his wife. (me)

We had an awesome time this year. I've got all kinds of new and exciting plans for next year. I can hardly wait!!!
We hope that everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween !!!!!
Good night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm done - until next year

Hey there,

Well, The Foley family has survived another Halloween. It's been a long and Crazy night. Everyone is home safe and sound, and tucked snug and warm into their beds - everyone except me. I've been sorting through a ton of photos and I am just about crossed eyed from it all. I'm going to shut down the Asylum for another year, and crawl into bed myself. I'll do my best to have this year's photos posted sometime tomorrow.

Good night all, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Halloween !!!