Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What do YOU do when you have a lost tooth?

It seems to be a reoccurring theme at my house.  I don't know if my daughter plans it this way, but one or the other of my grandsons always seems to arrive with at least one loose tooth when they come to visit.  And I don't just mean for extended stays.  This could even be for an overnight.  Who do I look like?  The Tooth Fairy (don't answer that).

Early on, I acquired the reputation for the official tooth puller (when one needed a little coaxing in coming out.  I just seem to have the gift to get kids to open their mouth so I can just "wiggle" it ...just a little and SNAP - it is out of their mouth before they realize what has happened.  No strings or slamming doors needed.  I magically open my palm and there it lays, in all its bloody glory.  Every once in a while I will hear, "You said you weren't going to pull it", to which I will answer, "It was so loose, it just fell into my hand".  Case closed.
Partner in crime

So, it was no surprise to me when Nathan (11) told me as he was visiting this summer, he had not one but TWO loose teeth.  I asked him if he needed me to look at either of them to which he assured me that no, he was good.  (He is wise to my ways).  It was the last night he and Ethan were staying when he came down triumphantly to my room, tooth in hand.  I think the tooth fairy must pay more at my house because this always seems to happen.

Naturally, I did what any normal, grandma (or in my case, Mimi) would do.  I said, "Nathan, quick, give me that tooth".  He was not so quick to hand over the prize.  I assured him I needed it for just a short while and that it would be "funny".  The look he gave me as he handed it over did not spell confidence but nevertheless, I had what I wanted.  Madi quickly went and made popcorn and we set the stage.

Soon Terry came in the room and I began eating popcorn, gave a loud cry of dismay, followed by a cough into my hand.  Terry came over and now I opened my palm, and there was the "tooth".  If academy awards were being handed out that night for impromptu performances, I assure you, I was a shoo-in.  As I bitterly "wept" and Terry tried to comfort me, Madi started laughing.  He was appalled.  He had his hands full -comforting me and then shockingly, he had to deal with an unsympathetic teen.  He said,  "Madi, this is not funny".  Which caused Nathan to start laughing.  So now, with my head buried in his side, shoulders shaking in what he thought were waves of agony (in fact, laughing so hard I almost was crying) he was mouthing all kinds of messages to both of them, which will not be repeated here (family audience and all).  Finally, I pulled away and handed Nathan back his tooth.

Terry was so confused.  It was the best joke ever.  Of course, then Mr. French didn't think it was as funny as we did.

I know not everyone appreciates my sense of humor, but this much I know for sure, I kept myself awake longer than usual that night because I couldn't stop laughing.

And I slept better than I had in a long time.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Addressing my Aging System

Lately at work, we have been having a series of meetings regarding our Information Technology Management Program (ITMP) program and process. For those of you who don't know all the acronyms - let's just put it in 101 terms...all things computers, processes, systems, storage, etc.

I was in a VERY long meeting covering this topic when I looked at a particular slide and refocused in an entirely different perspective.  Our Chief Information Officer was laying out the five priorities in our Risk-based Approach to upgrading/saving our current ancient computer system (can you say Mainframe) when I realized that what he had really handed me was a recipe for life.

Whose system are we talking about?
Let's take a look at Item number one.  Production System Outage & Support.  Isn't that just another way of saying - What resources (faith, time, insurance, money, energy, life support) will we need to be able to call on at any given moment on that day, without notice, when we suffer an irreplaceable loss; a significant health event; any unplanned life event.  A wild card day - if you will.

Item two:  Address aging system with stability and reliability issues - hello???  I believe I am in that phase right now.  First the thyroid (and it REALLY is), now a torn rotator cuff!  What the heck?  I can hardly move without some reliability issue coming into question.  And let's not forget - Item one can crop up at any given time (even while dealing with Item Two)

Next comes security vulnerabilities and related items.  Life is a vulnerable state and once the "mainframe" of the body has been breached, a plethora of problems can spread like virtual wildfire.

While the terminology in Item 4 doesn't really apply - replace it with Mandated medical or dietary changes and/or doctor recommended lifestyle accommodations and the next thing you know, dessert now means "fruit cup" and the only candy you get is nature's candy...i.e. "raisins".  Hmmmph.

Finally, we are left with Item 5 which in this scenario would be the optional process improvements - think cosmetic improvements at this point.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Why would one spend another dollar on any type of surgical misery to make anything look better???  WE ARE IN SURVIVAL MODE HERE!!!!!

Yesterday I had to have some blood taken and after the first attempt failed (yes, that does mean pass me your other arm, please) the plebotomist advised me that they needed to use the "butterfly" approach.  Apparently, this is a technique rarely used on adults (I translated that to mean-reserved for small children),  She further explained that I was "delicate"!  HA!!!  I knew it.  I have been telling my husband that for years,  I asked her if she could please document her findings,  Sometimes it is good to have things in writing.

As our meetings at work conclude, we have determined we must take care of our aging infrastructure to ensure the integrity of our system going forward.  All business processes-while nice to have, are meaningless without a solid foundation.

So, in translation, I guess none of my surgeons will be plastic or cosmetic in nature (at this stage of the game).

Until next time,

your pal,

Kari (your delicate flower)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Is this a mid-life car-isis?

They say you never forget your first love, and forgive me, Terry if I digress for a moment.  We first met in those tender teenage years when I was around 16 and some months.  Getting ready for my junior year in high school.  My step-dad, Jim introduced us.  I would even go so far to say he made it possible for us to get together.

Once he caught my eye it was all over.  He went by Marvin and what a looker he was.  A 1966 sunny yellow Ford Mustang (3-speed standard shift).  I had only been a legally licensed driver for a few months and had learned on an automatic, but I could not be swayed.  This was the car for me.  Jim paid the $600 cash and I set out on a payment plan and a life long love of mustangs!

It didn't take me long to master the gears (although hills were a source of worry for quite some time to come).  With its sporty look and quick demeanor, he soon became a favorite of the family.  I usually sang "Marvin the Mustang, do we love you" to a popular commercial jingle whether driving solo to work. or taking my siblings or friends on outings to movies or shopping.

Soon my brother had his license and with a look that could only be described as longing, indicated his desire to master the standard gears and take Marvin for a spin.  Thus began my long and illustrious part-time (unpaid) career as driver's education teacher.  Attempts were later made to teach Katy.  She was my only "less than success" story.

Fast forward many years later when the original Marvin was just a fond memory.  A red Mustang made an appearance in my life for several years - and yes, he was named Marvin the Mustang II. Then came a laundry list of adult-looking cars and even one van (soccer mom years) as I played the part of "I have children at home, am willing to car-pool, can drive your child also" mom.

But....if you read my blog last week, you know what happened.  I became the mother of ALL ADULT CHILDREN.  It was then that I realized one of two things could happen.

My car-isis
Choice One:  Enter a respectable period of mourning.  Face the fact that my youthful years are gone.  The kids no longer need me.  I will be relegated to the "old ladies" section in just about every place I can come up with.  Just call me Grandma.  (Wait, I am Grandma - well, Mimi as the kids call me and that is definitely NOT a bad thing).

Choice Two:  Face the fact that all my kids are adults. (allegedly).  Realize it is no longer necessary for me to be bound by those chains that tied me to the adult looking cars (yes, even one van) and say to the world, "MARVIN,  COME TO MAMA!!!!!!!"

Guess which choice I made?  More importantly - guess how long it took me to make it?

So, while I am not quite sure how this will all work out, this much I know for sure.  It's a tight squeeze in the back for old ladies, so if you want to go somewhere with me, CALL SHOTGUN or meet me there.


Marvin's BACK!!!

until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

All my children are adults now

One day I was checking the box that said "Do you have any children living at home under the age of 18" with a big fat YES and the next day I had to respond with NO.  How could this happen?  How did all those kids that I had either birthed or acquired through marriage manage to "grow up" on me?

Yes, my baby turned 18 last week and I can't even say I was surprised.  For the past year she has been reminding me at regular intervals - "I am almost 18", or "Can you believe I am going to be 18" and "I am not going to do that when I'm 18".  (On that last one, once we had the talk about still living at home and being on Dad and Mom's payroll - well, suffice it to say, we haven't heard much of that anymore).

Oh sure, she still has one more year of high school left (thank goodness we had the foresight to hold her back when given the choice before she even STARTED school).  I can't even imagine having to prepare to check the box NO and send her off to college in the same summer.  But that too will happen soon enough.

And yes, she is already saying "Can you believe I am a SENIOR"? or "I can't believe this is my last year at home" and "This will be the last year I ever live here".  (On that last one, once I started talking about plans for redecorating room, etc. she retracted - reserving the right to come home for holidays and summers, suffice it to say, we haven't heard much of that one either, anymore).

1997 was a good year
Eighteen years sure isn't what it used to be.  I was looking at a picture of Megan holding my little baby Madison and she was surrounded by all these young kids and teenagers I didn't even recognize.  That is when it really hit home. Eighteen years didn't just go by for my baby - but for all those other kids I have birthed and acquired.  Back then I had a couple of little girls - ages 11 and almost 13 - thrilled with a new baby sister.  Also hanging out were two handsome teenage boys - 13 and 15 (leaning towards 14 and 16) who were more help than I ever thought they would be when it came to a new baby.  And the oldest - a 20 year old daughter, just starting out on her own and was probably the most nervous when it came to holding her new sister.  We don't need to focus on how old these kids are now.  (or me).

Now two of these "kids" have kids of their own (a couple of them are closer in age to Madi then her own siblings).  Eighteen years and five grand kids later (four boys and one girl) - what a time we have had.  

I don't know what life holds for the next eighteen years, but I do know this.  The time we spend together is sweet and when I make a wish on my birthday, it will be for as much "time" as possible.

Until next "time"

your pal,


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Slow down, I move too fast!

There are so many things to be annoyed/offended by in today's world.  Let's name a few:  poor manners, loud talkers, offensive language, opposing viewpoints, mean looks, bad drivers, lane blockers (in the grocery store), etc. etc.  The list could go on and on.  But wait....I have discovered and/or created a couple of new ones lately.

How about talking on the phone in public restrooms?  A recent phenomena has been occurring and I was the only one that didn't get the memo.  Apparently it is now tres' chic to have the trendy background sounds of toilets flushing, water running and bodily sounds at full throttle accompany your most intimate and important conversations as you wile away the hours sitting comfortably, in your private stall, chatting with your soul mate or your doctor's office.  And in a "fully staffed" restroom that will seat up to four, the sound effects can be quite versatile.  As God is my witness, I promise you - this is one I discovered - not created.

And I am talking about walking!
Next on my list of things I must share - apparently there is an unwritten law against those of us who enjoy a brisk step in our walk. Maybe not legally but certainly a social breach of some kind is being committed.  The first time I was held accountable for this breach of etiquette, I had come in from a heavy downpour and was proceeding in my fast paced fashion toward the elevators.  I must digress here and mention that my daughter who towers over me (meaning she has long legs capable of a pretty aggressive stride) has complained to me on several occasions about my "fast walking style".  Moving on (no play on words intended) - As I came to the door to flash my badge, another woman had arrived (albeit more slowly) before me, at which point I stopped (on a dime) and said, "please, go ahead".  You can imagine my chagrin when she looked at me with a very unfriendly look and said, "No, you go ahead since you seem to be in such a hurry".  Oh.No.You.Didn't.

I am a polite person.  I hold doors for folks, let others go first, allow cars to enter my lane amicably in traffic.  This did not just happen.  My smile FROZE!!!!!!  I said,  (kindly but firmly) "I wasn't trying to be rude.  I said you could go first.  I am just a fast walker."  And doesn't that just sum it up nicely?

It has been a learning curve and I admit, I almost got busted again for the same offense.  Same rapid walk, no rain, made it all the way to the elevator banks and was fixing to get on when I caught a death look from a woman balancing a sandwich on a cup, who OBVIOUSLY had arrived before me and therefore had a ticket to board the elevator before I should EVEN THINK about getting on.  I stopped (on a dime) and smiled.  "Looks like you're eating on the run today" I said, as I gestured for her to hop on board.  She gave me some kind of look - not really conciliatory but not "she drew first blood either" and we called a truce.

Until next time,

your pal,

Look past the water stains

Here comes the sun!!! Despite the streaked window, the sunrise was beautiful.  I would have missed it had not a co-worker said "Com...