I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Keeping Buttons Entertained.

I’m drinking my first cup of coffee, a little late but better than never, right? Anyway, my grandson is sitting beside me in his chair and playing with my pencil holder, without the pencils but with interesting things just the same. It is amazing what I will do for a few minutes of undisturbed writing. He wants to color, I give him colors and then smile while he writes all over his tray, that’s okay, the colors are non toxic and washable. Now it’s Chap Stick, not medicated, but the little lip balms made from beeswax and cherry flavored, yes, I gave him a brand new tube and smile as he smears it all over his tray, his hands, and tries for his lips. He’s entertained. Yeah! You know, my son, who is the baby of my two children and the baby of my husband’s three children, is soon to be 28 years old, which means that I have not really had a full time baby since 1978. I was much younger, much more agile, and had plenty of energy, and I don’t know where that all went, but it’s gone. But, anyway, while I had my grandson number one a lot, I mean a lot while he was between birth and 4, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. (oh wait, he has found the little stick um strips, and he looks so cute with them attached all over his face, should I take a picture, nope, I’ll pass, I’ll try to keep in my memory) Like I was saying, there was a going home time, I knew that somewhere between 5 and 9 pm, my daughter or her husband was going to rush through the door with apologies for being late. Not now, and I am not complaining because he, Buttons, is safe.

My light at the end of the tunnel now comes from little things like stickems, Chap Stick, non runny shooeies, and help from Mr. Zelda. He gave the bath last night, he really did, to give me a break he says. Well the break actually went like this. I have his water in the tub, his toys, and I am taking his clothes off, and I say to Mr. Zelda, you sit on the pot and watch him play, until I put clean sheets on his bed, get his blanket out of the drier, and make him his last bottle. (No, I still haven’t weaned him but I’m thinking, I breast fed both my kids long past two even up to three. My daughter was forever nursing even after she turned three, I still was feeding the baby, her brother. I think it was a security thing. But I am thinking since I breast fed my children for so long, maybe him having one night time bottle and one mid day bottle is okay, as long as I don’t put it in bed with him. Right?) Anyway, he, Mr. Zelda, says, okay. So I am running around doing all the other things and to my surprise, Mr. Zelda, bathed the baby, washed his hair, and even helped him brush his teeth. Hey, not bad. So, by 7 pm, the baby was given his night time snack, bathed, teeth brushed, given his last bottle, teeth brushed again, and tucked in. Way cool. He slept all night.

Things are getting better, they really are, and if Mr. Zelda continues to help, well, maybe raising my grandson will not be so bad; at least I will sleep at night. OH, I forgot, he changed the baby’s diaper. Did a really good job, but put the sticky things in the back. Why is that? If a diaper is going to be messed up, it is going to be done so backwards. I didn’t laugh, just said the next time the sticky things go in the front. He said I thought so, but he was still, and I had it on that way so instead of messing around and getting him all moving again, I just put the fasteners on.

Oh, the squirrels are out and eating the pecans. (I will do anything to entertain my grandson so I can write. So I am feeding the squirrels my over priced pecans, not a bad thing in the grand scheme of things.) Now, Buttons is watching the squirrel. It’s time for me to go get him some cheerios so he can imitate the squirrels. Like I said, what ever it takes to keep the baby entertained so I can write, drink coffee, and have a bit of sanity.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sometimes It's Just Too Late

I can’t sleep, which is not uncommon. I am trying to remember what it was like having a niece the same age as I. She was only a few months younger and her brother was a few months older, their father, my brother, was almost three decades older. He wasn’t a real good provider nor was he a really good father; consequently, they spent a lot of time living with us in our overcrowded house and being supported by my mother.

There were five of us around the same age, my older brother, not their father, my nephew, me, my niece, and my baby sister. I was the one in charge of the two younger girls. Imagine, a four year old in charge of another four year old and a two year old. How funny.

We played for hours in the mud, mud we made after taking a bath in the washtub beside the house. I taught her and my younger sister how to mold mudpies into tuna cans and how to sift the dry dirt through an old screen. It was fun, we never watched television in those days, we played outside until it was too dark to see, then we played in the bedroom with our one and only doll. The three of us fought over who was going to hold the baby doll.

She was really tiny, my niece, and while she lived in the same poverty that we lived in, her mother could sew and spent a lot of time making her really cute dresses, something my younger sister nor I had the advantage of owning. We, more my younger sister than I, were jealous of her wardrobe and the fact that she, after they moved away, was allowed to take ballet lessons and piano lessons, something our mother could never afford. But, when we were together, the differences melted and we were three peas in a pod with my brother and nephew always on the border of our play, trying to aggravate us by throwing rocks or as we got older insults our way.

My niece died; the truth is yesterday, her landlord found her body. He called her children and until the autopsy report clears, we all are assuming she took an overdose, not accidental it seems. Her funeral will be next week and my sisters and my brother, not her father but the aggravating one, are going to travel to her state and city for her funeral.

I tried to remember the last time that I spoke to her and can’t, it’s been that long. Why, I am not sure, maybe it’s because we grew up and went our separate ways, two different life styles with vastly different priorities and that doesn’t make it right. So, I no longer have a niece my age, in fact, I really never did, she was more like a sister that came for visits and sometimes stayed for longer times than others, so I am now feeling the pain of losing her and wishing that I had called her Christmas day or something.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Post excitement blues

Hey, Happy Holidays! I hope your celebrations, are peaceful, fun, and memorable. Today, I am enjoying the quiet.

My children came up for Christmas Eve, that’s what we celebrate. I have never been one who could hold off until Christmas day, so they came up Friday, I cooked desserts, Saturday, I cooked the turkey and the rest of the fattening but good food, and we spent the day waiting for evening and telling the grandchildren about Christmas Eves when their Nana was a little girl and when their mommy was a little girl. Uncle played games with them, and I threw out little hints about what I had bought.

Then, it began to get dark and we took the children into the little television room, where the gifts were waiting. They tore into their packages and true to every child’s actions, tossed the sack of socks, underwear, and other useful items to the side, to get to the good stuff.

Not long after the wrapping paper was picked up and all the put-together toys were assembled, she, my daughter, began loading everything into the back of my son’s truck, including Button’s things. I asked her to leave him, and she said, “He’s my son and I’m taking him home.” My son whispered, “Don’t worry, I’m going to stay there until she gets tired and brings him back to you.” My son will take good care of the baby, I know this, but he, the baby, was getting in a good routine here.

I was about to insist that she leave him, but as she began loading everything up, the baby began screaming. I realized that he was afraid she was going to leave him. I couldn’t fight her, not with the baby so upset. I made my son promise me that he would stay there night and day until I got down there Monday. She had Buttons on her hip, wrapped in his Sponge Bob blanket, and he leaned over and kissed me and kissed Granddad and then they were gone. Just like that.

Today, I am drinking a cup of strong coffee, watching the squirrels, and missing the baby. That was our routine, he sitting in his chair, drinking juice and eating breakfast, and me drinking coffee and picking up little bits of food that he tossed to the floor. He loves the squirrels and the birds. But tomorrow, Mr. Zelda and I are driving down the mountain to take the seven-year-old’s, who I must give a name and will in the coming up days, telescope to him. We are going to set it up and when the moon and planets make their appearance, we will find them and let him see. It was too cloudy last night for us to find anything, and we are selfish, we want to be the first to see his face when he actually sees the craters on the moon. On our way home, we are going to stop at my house, which is where my daughter lives, and hopefully, we can bring Buttons back up here where he will be safe, if not, I am calling the police.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The menu

Okay, the turkey is in the refrigerator defrosting, I have diced the onions and celery for the dressing. Today, I’ll make the cornbread and the pie crusts. Only two pies, one pan of dressing, a bowl of creamed potatoes, asparagus, green beans, and yeasts rolls. That’s it. Oh and the turkey. The salad, fruit with nuts and a little whipped cream.

This is the first Christmas that I will spend with my children and grandchildren, well that is to say, spend the time with my family and not with my family and my sister's family. Usually, we go to my sister’s house and open gifts, eat, and play games. But this year, I am breaking tradition. I just don’t want to spend my time amid all the family stuff. Sometimes, the holidays are best spent alone or with your own family, children and grandchildren and of course significant other. While I love my sister and her very large family, I just want to do things simple. Simplicity, that’s the ticket.

How do you decide?

My daughter is coming up the day before Christmas eve and Christmas eve. She says she is taking my baby grandson, Buttons, home. I am at my wits end. WE have had him for a couple of weeks now, and he is on a regular schedule, eats good, gets two baths a day, wears clean clothes, has play time with someone other than himself, and gets to cuddle with me or Granddad anytime he wants. She says she is clean, isn’t doing dope, but my husband talked to her and says she is rambling like she is tweaking, which means she is planning on crashing for two days here and that will be okay as long as she doesn’t leave and buy more dope. I am going to try and talk her into leaving Buttons with me, the older grandson is going to be with his father Christmas day and for two weeks thereafter. I hate to call the police on her, but if she tries to leave with the baby, I am going to call her probation officer and have her call the cops and get them to take her in for a blood test, that will mean I can keep the baby but she will spend time in jail. It’s horrible, I’m torn between seeing my daughter in jail or seeing my grandsons safe. The safety wins out hands down, but then there’s my little girl.

My poor pc

My pc has crashed, died, no longer able to perform. I am bummed, even though Mr. Zelda can retrieve my writings, but I like that pc, and I don’t like change. I have a new laptop, this one, but I don’t like to write on it, it’s awkward. I also have an almost new regular pc that we haven’t set up, it was Mr. Zelda’s but he has this, the laptop, so, it hasn’t been set up or used in about a year. So, I am going to concede and get use to a new computer. I feel like I am betraying an old friend, one who has spent many a lonely night with me, allowing me to write that last paper, that last chapter, that short story. I don’t know, I just don’t like changes.

Shopping at the Wall isn't always the bomb!

I went to the local Wal-Mart store to do the last minute shopping. I found the baby's toy piano, the bigger kid's telescope, and the other odds and ends, and then, yep then, the employees began ordering all the folks out of the store. I thought I might hide in the toy section, nothing doing, they found me. I was sent out, and we waited for an hour in the cold parking lot. Some ass hole had nothing better to do than call in a bomb threat. Most of the shoppers left, so that when it was safe to go back inside, I pretty much had the store to myself. Great feeling.

Okay, I hate the way Wal-Mart treats its employees and how they are unethical in their business doings, but I must admit, I did my last minute shopping there. I have been good, have boycotted the store for months, but last night, Target’s was full, Toy’s R Us was full, I didn’t want to go to the mall, so I broke my husband’s rule about shopping at the Wall. I don’t feel guilty, but I do wish I had waited and gone to Targets. The bomb thing, well that was just stupid and no matter what a person thinks about a store, they should consider the employees and the shoppers before pulling a stupid stunt like that.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Can you hear me?

Okay, I have always been a little hard of hearing. Like in a crowded room, I hear nothing but a buzzing sound. I can only hear high pitches and never base or baritone sounds. I must be facing the person who is talking to me and usually don’t hear the last couple of words spoken from a sentence. I have known this but it is becoming a problem. So, I go to the EENT guy and he has my ears tested and they do this sound wave thing and an ultrasound of my ear. Wow that was really weird. It turns out that my mom isn’t to blame for all of my hearing loss. You see, I had ear infections that went untreated and most of the time my tympanic membrane would just rupture. So, I assumed that was why I was so hard of hearing. Not so, my mom is off the hook. I have a congenital defect that has caused my hearing loss. The doc says that I have probably been this deaf since I was in my teens and that I will only get worse. He says that in a year or maybe ten or maybe twenty, if I live that long, I will be stone deaf. Fuck, how can that be. How can I really really be going deaf? I am going back in a week to have my ears molded for hearing aides and he says that will help but eventually nothing will help. Now, my eyes are bad, my back is bad, my knees are shot…I have no removable organs left, and I think my toenails have a fungus. Now, now, now, I am really going deaf! Not that it is news to me, I have been saying “what” for years, but to hear it from someone. By the way, people who work in this clinic, well they all talk facing you and loudly. So, I heard every word they said, not like my shrink who is a low talker or my ortho guy who is also a low talker. I suppose I should be depressed about the bad news, but I am just happy that the hearing aides will help for a while. I saw a sign in the waiting room of the clinic, it was a quote by Helen Keller and while I can’t remember the exact quote it went something like this: Blind people lose touch with things, but deaf people lose touch with humanity. I wonder if that is true. When I can’t hear another voice or another bird or another song, will that separate me from the rest of the humans. IN some cases, that will be good, but other cases, not so good. I am not depressed, I am okay with this. I am looking forward to getting big pink hearing aides.

Just Another Day

I hate Cox cable. Our internet was down for a day or so, it turns out that someone broke into our outside box and tried to steal cable and while stealing cable, they messed our internet up. I tell the support guy that it has happened before, he says oh no, it’s here and he works on it from the office and has me unplug and replug and find ports and I am so confused that I am weary. But, finally our Internet was back up and running, but we cannot get email. Mr. Zelda says he can fix it but has not had time. So, I can’t check my email, not that I would have time. The grandson, well, he hates for me to even go near the pc. He wants me to play cars, and throw the ball, and play patty cake and itsy bitsy spider and froggy dance and watch Dora and Blue’s Clues.

I have not washed dishes in three days, clothes in four days, swept my floor in four days…well you get the idea. We eat take out every night and during the day, well we eat his favorite food, corn dogs. I don’t see how young women do it, that taking care of a toddler and other children. I used to do it but have forgotten the rhythm and I think it is a rhythm to staying organized. It’s like the rhythm I use when I write, when I read, when I research…well, I have forgotten the rhythm to mothering a small child. Oh, I give him lots of love and kisses and keep him clean and dry, but that’s all I can do. I can’t do the multi tasking. I think, and I may be wrong, but I think that when we become grandmothers, we lose something, oh we gain much more, but we lose that energy of doing laundry, dishes, sweeping, and chasing the children.

I want him all the time, I want custody, and while I know that I am probably not going to get him, I am still hoping that she will do the right thing. Don’t get me wrong, she keeps him clean, fed, and never abuses him or neglects him. He is a picture of mental and physical health. But, well she has unsavory friends, they all have criminal records, don’t work, spend their time scheming on how to get their next bit of dope. I am so afraid there will be a big bust, and social services will take my grandson. Even if it’s just for an hour that is too long for him to be afraid and with strangers, so I beg her, my daughter, to let me have the baby. Let me keep him until she finally decides to get out of that life.

I was going to take him back to her this Saturday and let him stay with her while Mr. Zelda and I go to a party, but when I talked to her, well she was so wasted. I doubt she even remembers the conversation.
It’s a shame that in Arkansas grandparents have no rights, none. If my daughter decided that she didn’t want me to see my grandchildren, well, I would not have a legal recourse. So, I have to be so careful about what I do. The lawyer said that if I file for custody and lose, well, she could and probably would not let me see the kids again.
My husband and I are going to try one more time to get her to go to rehab. Maybe this time it will work.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Now What?

Well, yesterday was my last day for this semester. I took my two finals, Latin and Pedagogy, and I turned in my four-page paper to my Pedagogy teacher. The instructions were four pages. He said four pages so I’m thinking he is very anal retentive and wants his instructions followed to a T, so I do four pages. Maybe, I could have written a little more, you know made a nice five-page paper. I don’t know. I’m really stressing--you see, undergraduate was so easy for me. It was fun and easy and I knew where I stood, all the time I knew. But here in graduate school, I am not certain of every little thing. And, and, well there are people, other students, who are just as talented as I. Yep, can you imagine, me not being the brightest star in the class. So, that means, I am going to have to work twice maybe three times harder to regain my position of bright star. Yesterday, after my pedagogy final, I actually sat down and read over the articles and tried to second-guess my answers on the test. You know, oh I could have said this or that and why did I say that. I actually cried for about an hour, much to Mr. Zelda’s trying so hard to fix it. He always does that, why are you crying, he asks and I say nothing and he says why and I say nothing and really how do I explain why I am crying. It’s stress, it’s release, and it’s fear and regret and all of those things that make women the sensitive people that we are. But today, all that is behind me, and I am going to get my grandson, the baby, today. I am going to keep him for the four weeks that I am out for the holidays. I get the seven-year-old when he is out for school. I am pumped about that. We will make cookies and all the good things that make for entertainment. The good thing about having the baby is the afternoons when he is ready for a nap, and he gets his blanket and climbs into my lap, and lays his little head on my arm and I tell him a story and he tickles my ear, and then he falls asleep. While he sleeps, I cat nap. My grandchildren make my heart feel so good, it’s so different from any heat-emotional feeling that I have had, even my children, whom I love more than life, well they made me feel happy but my grandsons, they just touch me more powerfully, maybe my children did the same but since they are grown, maybe I have forgotten. I have to say, grandchildren are better than any antidepressant that I have ever been prescribed. Yep, even better than Xanax.
So no more school work, so what do I do? REad for fun write for me and go to the park. Yep, that's it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Food that makes your toes curl

Oh my gods,
my sister has the recipe for these wonderful pecan bars, and so I got the recipe from her and made them. Wow, they make so many. Anyway, I just wanted to taste them to make sure they taste like her's, you know, sometimes, people will give recipes but not give the one really great ingredient that makes it good. So, I took one little square, they are so much better than what she cooked, and I think it is because I added just little bit extra of sugar and pecans. Not on purpose, but accident. So, I improved them I can't wait to serve these to my friends, the ones who live in the Fort and don't know it yet, but they are coming up to eat with us real soon.

Hey, I actually had time to post.

Okay,I finished my last paper. It will do, it could have been better, but I am so tired that I am turning in a spur of the moment pretext one draft paper with only proofreading as my revision. Okay, I know, I know, I should do better and I might. It is due tomorrow, yep, Saturday. My Latin final is at 7:30 and my Pedagogy final is at noon and at noon is when the paper is due. Then, then, I am going to friends and celebrate four birthdays, the end of the semester, and that Sunday I am getting my grandson, the baby. Yep, life is going to be good. I’m thinking a little drinking is in order, but since my husband thinks if I take one drink it will either turn me into an alcoholic or push me into depression or mania, I am going to have to do my drinking in disguise, not me, the drink. I am going to pass it off as apple cider. Yep, that will be what I am going to drink. I am not rooster pecked, if that’s what you guys are thinking, it’s just that, well, I don’t want to stress my little man, no way, he is too sweet to worry about me, and if I said I am going to drink and get drunk he would not pout or say no or any of those things; I think it is the sneaking that makes the drinking fun. I don’t know; I am so fucked up from issues that at this point, I will not try and analyze why I do any of the things I do. But, one more day of school, and I will have three, three, three, did you hear me? Three semesters left. Then it’s off to PhD school. Yep, so if anyone knows anyone out there who can get me into a really good graduate school with a medieval studies program, hey, hook me up. I will have my Masters in three more semesters. My languages are Spanish, English, Latin, and soon I will add Ancient Greek and a little bit of Hebrew that hopefully I will be able to develop into more than a little bit. I am also a really good person, while I am mentally ill, I keep it under control, I like blue and red, and I am liberal and feel that women should rule the earth. I have beautiful hawk feathers and claws hidden away for use in certain kinds of ceremonies that require dancing under a full moon and calling on the goodness of the earth and wind and sometimes fire. I know, I know a great group they were but I’m not talking about those guys. Okay, too much information so I’m going back to studying and baking some really great little pecan bars.