Sunday, September 21, 2008

oh and ...

this is an example of how hurtful she can be. she went on and on about her two friends having a birthday and how they weren't even going to have cakes because their mothers had said they weren't going to do cakes this year. she begged me to help her get her two friends cakes. so tonight I baked two cakes while she was at Youth so she'd have two cakes to bring to her friends at school tomorrow for their birthday.

when she had stolen the phone and she was standing their defensively her eyes going everywhere and I kept telling her to look at me which she eventually did, rightly or wrongly I asked her how could she repay me for making these cakes by doing something like this right after.

and she said .... YOU didn't do anything. you just mixed and baked them.

I could have cried.

The Art of Disengaging

Disengage: to release from attachment or connection; loosen; unfasten: to disengage a clutch.

I have a mouthy disobedient 15 year old. Anyone that knows me knows this because I talk about it a lot. I hope everyone isn't tired of hearing about it because, frankly, the venting helps me. School started the last week of August. We haven't even reached the end of September and already we have a detention and an in school suspension on the books. It seems she's constantly grounded for something.

Phone restrictions seem to get to her the most but what I have to go through to enforce it is madness. she'll hide phones, she finds old phones and plugs them into my computer area upstairs to talk on the phone after midnight - this mind you seems to be the time when all her friends sneak out of bed and talk. she constantly tries to steal my cell phone and spirit it away to talk on the phone. all this does is extend her phone restrictions. she looks at me and tells me it's my fault because she "needs" to talk on the phone. I look at her and say well follow the restriction and it will be lifted and this won't be a problem. well caught her again trying to steal my cell phone and I had to chase the child around the house to do that because she kept trying to turn a corner just ahead of me and dump it somewhere. her logic - I know - is that if I don't actually "catch" her with it then I can't "prove it". nevermind the fact that I am now chasing her around the house for it. she's gonna try. there's a level of insanity to this.

I caught her and thus started the diatribes - I didn't exactly use it, this is your fault I did this because I need to talk on the phone, this is bogus blah blah blah.

The instinct as a parent is to attempt to point out what she did, why she was wrong, what the consequences are and search for remorse.

When you have a disobedient mouthy 15 year old like mine that won't happen. there will always be a million things she'll come up with for why it wasn't her fault. try to answer her point for point and boom it escalates.

The experts tell you at this point to disengage. State what happened, state the consequence and leave. This is hard to do. To accomplish this you must now ignore anything following that comes from her mouth. much like a three year old in a tantrum said 15 year old will sit there in a voice at the level just so that you can hear but if you turn around feel she can sit there and say "what I didn't say anything". and say things she will. but to disengage you must keep walking and ignore her. you'll want to send her to her room, you'll want to yell, but these are just the things she's looking for. it vindicates her somehow. let's her get angry and maybe with this anger wrapped around her she really can say "they asked for it, it wasn't my fault"

today I did it. I tried to reason with her she became aggitated and tried to start something. dh heard me yelling and got involved. and I stopped and said - state the violation, state the consequence, and let's disengage. say it and go to the back porch. we did.

to sit on this porch and listen to her go on and on was HARD. the reality is you want to march back into the house and throttle her. much like the three year old in the tantrum she eventually gets tired and stops. she heads upstairs.

a minor victory and yet a groan at the thought of yet another week of phone battle.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the Birthday

Abigail is 9!! She had her heart set on a certain kind of cake. I had never worked with fondant before but I gave it my best shot! It took two days to make and didn't come out at all like I hoped but Abigail loved it so I guess that's what counts.

Happy Birthday Abigail!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

No more Zoom Zoom

the Miata was sold yesterday. it makes me sad. I was teary eyed watching tatto boy drive away in it. why? because I have weird car attachment issues. The Miata and I went through much stress and turmoil so that I could prove to myself I could drive a stick even with my palsy. I'll give dh credit here. He challenged me. He knew I could do it even though I tried to hide. He gave me the Miata for incentive. She was a beautiful car.

Boy did we stall and squeal and buck around the neighborhood for a good few months! She stayed tried and true and I triumphed! well ok - I still have hill phobias. I need to work on that. Still - I did something that everyone told me I could never do. Go me!

So WHY did I sell the car? because dh went out and bought himself a new toy. He told me I could have his old toy or keep the Miata. the new toy being the yellow car in the background there. (how do you like dh's butt? rofl) ponder. ponder. ponder. I chose his old toy. (insert foolish guilt here)

So here's Parkie's new ride:

yes it's the blue one! big bonus - it's NOT a manual retractable top! stick it in neutral, press the button and voila! horsepower horsemower it's a lot more powerful car but the retractable top was the seller! and yeah ok it is DAMN fun to drive!

it has a hardtop that you can snap on during winter. here's a pic with the hard top.

kinda changes the look of the whole car doesn't it?? It's like having two cars in one! It is a whole lot more car to handle. I need to go find some hills and get over my phobia.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sometimes you hear a song

and it hits you. "You're Gonna Want This Back" sung by Trace Adkins did this for me. It's on the dawg howls if you want to click. I tried autoplay but it doesn't seem to be working. I'd heard the song before and I've always liked it. It was the timing.

Today my daughter Cassie had a school concert. I know I've vented a LOT recently about various issues we've been going through with her and I know that these things are still there. Today, however, when she was done getting ready for her concert it struck me how much older she's actually getting. As she stood with her friends singing I was still feeling maudlin and the the thought struck me that there wouldn't be too many more of these.

When the concert was finished she came and got me and introduced me to some of her friends and they all hugged me. I hugged some of the friends I already knew. It was a pretty day and we sat outside eating some desserts. We had a really nice time. I dropped her off at church for Youth Night on the way back and as I was driving home this song came on.

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

and I AM. She's going to be on her own before I'm ready.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Earworm for my Sis!

For you my sister! crank it!


Here are the rules:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name).

3. After you are tagged, you need to update your blog with your middle name and your answers.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details.)

P - patient. or I try to be anyway
A - animal lover. I think everyone's guessed that one!
T - truthful. I'm shamelessly stealing that from Hoopy. :lol:
R - raunchy. great word! nice and earthy
I - intelligent.
C - charitable. it's my new goal for this year. I'm active in two ministries and am sub for two more
I - idealistic. I'll go with that one. I'd like to think I'm more that than cynical still in my life.
A - affable

That was hard!

New Habit in 21 Days

After much pondering - because there is so many things that could be possibilities here I've selected brushing out the dogs more as the new habit that both the bichons and I need to start. This thought comes to me every time I get them groomed .. I should brush them more. So the bichons and I will work on developing a new habit of regular brushings.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.

--Norbet Platt

Here's a new revelation brought on by some deep thinking. Winter weather in the South. When something happens weather wise things shut down. People run for the grocery store. Knew that. We had a couple of scares regarding the weather and I watched and, yes, I laughed. Last Saturday we had snow. They shut down the church for Sunday and cancelled evening events. I drove to Durham for the Duke Basketball game. Didn't think twice about it, it was barely snowing. Fast forward to the last couple of days. Yesterday the kids were still on Winter break but apparently other school districts weren't. It's been raining off and on and the temperature is hovering at 33 degrees during the day and 20 or below at night. I was supposed to go to the Church to break down the alter flowers into smaller arrangments and make Nursing Home visits with one other member. She calls just before we're leaving and says she looked outside and saw ice on the street so we needed to postpone to today. I looked out and "saw" wet pavement and thought hmmmmm. Still thinking to myself that I've driven on much much worse than that to get to work that was never cancelled and it took lots of ice for the schools to call a delay in Ohio.

Later that night I'm watching the news and one of the school districts was giving a press conference. Apparently they thought they hadn't needed to delay school and rolled the buses. They were getting TORN APART by angry parents. I mean raked over the coals. Even by the news reporter a little bit. Furious calls had been made after parents saw the buses "skidding" and the school district had to call all the buses and tell them to pull over until a new call told them they could go again. I'm telling you these people were FURIOUS! Whoa ... these people take icy conditions very seriously.

So dh comes home and he tells me he was sliding a lot trying to get to work and I start paying attention a little more. I pick up the paper today and read there was actually 40+ car accidents during rush hour.

When I really started reading the article on the accidents I had a revelation. Ice is maybe different here. Icy roads in Ohio came with snow most times and in quantities where the height was elevated. It was not necessarily clear, more white. You slowed down. Sometimes you had patches of what was labelled Black Ice.

Black Ice: thin, new ice that forms on fresh water or dew covered surfaces; it is common on roadways during the fall and early winter and appears "black" because of its transparency.

Yesterday it was Black Ice - everywhere and definately on all bridges and overpasses and exits. Not just patches but large quantities. The rain here hasn't really been steady. It's been spitting and very spotty. Is it possible I had looked out the door yesterday while my friend was on the phone and did't "see" the ice that she saw? More than probably!

Today the phone rang at 6:00 am. I was expecting it to. It's still spitting moisture. I'm not even going to call it rain anymore. The call was the automatic school notification system. Two hour delay. This morning, based on my new revelation, a school delay sounds like a good plan.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whoops! Wait!

someone mentioned beer bread in a post and I remembered I tried a beer bread that dh didn't like at all. so whatever the bread machine score is ... what was it 5? Add one.

Parkie 3; Bread Machine 6

Monday, January 21, 2008

Parkie versus the Bread Machine

I got a really nice Cuisanart convection bread machine for Christmas. Some of what I've made has been good. A couple of things have been - blech! Here's a rundown:

1. rustic french bread - heavy crust with some whole wheat thrown in. family verdict - good. Parkie 1; Bread machine 0

2. basic white bread - plain jane vanilla recipe. family verdict - don't make this again it is tasteless. Parkie 1; Bread machine 1

3. Made some whole wheat bread - it just didn't come out. very crumbly, couldn't really slice it. not sure what I did wrong. I didn't even need a family verdict on this one Parkie 1; Bread machine 2

4. Made some Buttermilk wheat something or other. went all over town looking for wheat gluten. it was hard as a rock - maybe not enough gluten? I'm not even sure what it does. Parkie 1; Bread machine 3

5. Now I am getting annoyed. Back to basics I think. Let's go for some pizza dough. The kids had a blast helping me make the pizza. Family verdict - delicious. Yay! Parkie 2; Bread machine 3

6. So now I'm thinking ... maybe it's the recipes. so I searched for bread machine recipes. I added some rye flour to my list of supplies. I found a recipe for Steakhouse black bread and thought .. YUM. Which one is it that serves this? the one with Flo isn't it? the big haired lady? This recipe has just about everything in it - whole grain, rye, coffee, molasses, chocolate ... chocolate?? Hmmmm.. Family verdict - delicious. Again - yay me!! Parkie 3; Bread machine 3

7. so now I think the french bread came out all right. I'll make a loaf of regular french to go with the potato soup I'm making. I about burnt out the motor of my electric knife just trying to slice the thing Ummm - blech I sliced the rest though. I'm starting to think I need to save my disasters for like croutons, stuffing or bread pudding or something so I'll feel better. Parkie 3; bread machine 4

8. does it count that we decided on pizza again and I made another batch of dough?? prolly not

9. I'm thinking I'm right - the recipes in the book that came with the machine are just ... not interesting. When I say blech - I just mean that it really just had no interesting flavor at all. I might make another batch of that steakhouse bread but since I didn't count the pizza dough I can't count the bread. I'm thinking I need to find some good recipes .... maybe some rolls.

In the meantime there's a Red Lobster commercial that just came on with a close up of those biscuits.... Mmmmmm ... maybe I'll just search up a recipe for that instead!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The most ignored blog in the entire world!

I guess that would be this one - is this better guys? I've been negligent. I shall do my best to correct it. In my defense I forgot my password. Jeanne didn't let that one slide though LOL.

So OK I saw the post about the hardest thing you did this past week. At least I think it was for this passed week... was it for this past week??

My Hardest Thing:

The silly turtle is now in my living room. I am irked that Ralph the turtle is here. But other than the manual labor of moving the big tank down from the bonus room to the living room, which in and of itself was hard and also included a necessary deep cleaning of everything and rebuilding the tank, was the necessary acknowledgement on my part. What is it that I am babbling about?

Ralph is a red eared slider. He is an aquatic turtle. I can't remember how long he's lived with us. Do y'all remember how long Ralph has lived with us? It's been awhile. We went through a lot of extra effort when we moved to bring the turtle with us. He swam in hotel room bathroom tubs for heavens sakes.

So now - there are absolute minimum requirements for his care like water, and his turtle light so that he gets a healthy basking, and you know .. FOOD. When we moved he went up in the bonus room halfway between the kids area and my scrap area. Long story short on how Ralph came to live with us - Ralph is Cassie's turtle.

Well I started checking on Ralph. There would be days when his water was way too low, days where I would come in and his lights would never get turned on, and from this I can interpolate that there were days where he never got fed. My first step was to make sure he got his evening lettuce. With stern lectures to make sure he had enough water when you gave the lettuce. This was met with moaning, complaining and if she was in a bad mood general nastiness and if I was not nagging, did not lead to any improvement in the turtle care.

So now y'all are saying to yourselves - Parkie you should just have made her give the turtle away. If anyone remembers the condition Ralph was in when he got to us - and everything we went through to get him to start acting like a turtle - and as silly as it sounds I consider Ralph a special needs turtle. You know what a softie I am when it comes to animals. Am I babbling again?

I didnt' want to move him. I really didn't want him in the living room. But the hardest part of the whole thing was that despite everything. All my talks and pleadings, everything I've demonstrated to her about my beliefs in responsibilities of animal care, I had to acknowledge that Cassie, if left on her own, would let that turtle die. And that hurts. It really hurts.