My New Favorite Twitter Hashtag is: #YouRule

Dear supporters of my blog,

Last fall I mentioned in a couple of posts that I lost my temper mightily during the US presidential debate season. It went sort of like this story that my friend just sent me about getting her daughter to bed last night:

She is generally unflappable, but tonight I went too far. Forgetting it was her turn to blow out the dinner candles, I blew them out and said,
“Come on sweetie time for a bath.”Her eyes widened in shock/dismay, then narrowed in anger:
“Mom ! How could you do this to me?”
“What ?!”
“It was my turn to blow out the candles!”
“Oops sorry honey. You can do it next time. Now go upstairs for your bath.”
She then huffed toward the stairs and mumbled:
” I do not like any of this one bit! I hope this never happens again!
This stomp is for you !!”
She proceeded to garuff up the steps. I just giggled. What else was I going to do Kate?!
I’m not four any more, but chatting with some family friends during this Christmas break has me remembering being on the shoulders of one of the college students that followed my father home after class. So, yeah. I totally get what this little gal is talking about, and it is exactly what happened when the PBS debate jokes starting flitting around the globe a very few weeks ago.
Again, the theme of this blog is spirituality, and my prayers are of a Catholic base. Last night I’d bet that my friend’s little spitfire gal with curly hair was blowing out Advent Candles. The reason that this curly-haired 45-year-old couldn’t find the candle ring this year could be that I was stomping so much in our laundry room. That is where that decorations are now stored, so maybe the candle ring got smooshed and tossed.
This storage corner is also where our youngest son, inspired by the NBA and the St. Ambrose Bees men’s basketball team, keeps trying to set up a personal arena.
Regulation sized basketballs. PILES of sorted laundry. Stacks of unopened moving boxes. And one, large and enthusiastic fifth grade child.
It’s a lot some days. But usually the hard work pays off in a very, very fun manner.
(Note to self: Send another thank you note to MissTNT of the Harlem Globetrotters and pray that she tweets me a recommendation to have a Nerf hoop corner somewhere in his life.)
As I was saying about the debates last fall: I also lost my temper at comments and discussion about how many teachers are safe and recommended per classroom (I used to teach), and continue to be floored at the lack of religious tolerance and common sense among my fellow and gal Americans (I met my husband while training to become a pastoral minister).
Here is the good news: there is a fair chance, a very fair chance,
that I am going to rock  the
Greatest Harlem Girl Globetrotter Fan of the Quad City USA award
in just 74 hours or so.
Did you know that there have been now, not just one, but twelve women on the team schooling the likes of Kareem and Meadowlark?
I know my posts ramble, which I apologize for.  Yet, I need to continue my effort to get said fifth grader to the Moline Illinois arena, which requires getting his CoachDad to work, so I don’t have time to hyper proof this particular blog post.
This stomp is for you patient readers…I so appreciate your support. Happy New Year: #YouRule.
Photo by Linda Douglas, Ripley Ohio

Photo by Linda Douglas, Ripley Ohio


Holiday Stress? Watch the Roches Perform Handel’s Hallelujah

Our family had a very, very challenged couple of weeks as we awaited Santa. It feels like Jesus came tumbling by way of a King’s Island roller coaster this year.

On my side of the family – no hitches: all three major trans USA move transitions went fine. All systems, go, go go! (Doing the thankful daughter/sister/mom dance in my mind because when I try to do even a mini office chair samba my brain sort of explodes and my hip dislocates a bit).

Why even try to samba? Because my people are happy and that’s the goal:

1. My brother is in proud dad heaven as my niece grabbed the golden ring of what she wants to do with her life, 2. My cousin who survived hurricane Irene on Long Isle and I still love each other more than anyone, 3. My aunt and uncle’s children seem to be doing especially well this year, and,

4. My father?! Holy smokes. When I talked to him on Christmas day he sounded happier than he has, honestly,

since well before my mother died of colon cancer eight years ago.

What favorite daughter of the best dad in the world isn’t trying to reach THAT brass ring? Eh?

John Fugiel troop Douglas McEwan photog.With a little bit of help from my brother and I, his perfectly laid out plan to organize, sell his home and move permanently to Florida is, as he would say: “Finito!” Done.

It worked! The rewards of his hard work to grieve and retire at the same time seem to be that his new neighbor Rose loves him (he killed and threw away the scary dead snake in the road), my cousins went from enjoying to adoring his company (he reminds them of our grandfather), and even dad’s doctors love him it seems. (Aka: He is being compliant to their plans and in return his kidney disease issues are at a standstill for now).

In addition, though his favorite new walking park let him down mightily by closing off a path so they could chase away alligators by draining a pond, his life seems to be moving at his perfecto pace at last. Hell. After two years of weekly poker losses, he says that he’s now even winning some card hands now.

If you’ve ever met my dad even once for ten minutes, you’d agree that his life is now wonderful indeed.

Boo, and YA world! High fives all around the globe.

I imagine that you, whoever you are: stranger or not, I imagine that you are staring at your PhoneComputerTouch screen and thinking, “and this made your 2012 Christmas a disaster because…?”

…there’s more of course.

On my adoring Sleigh Driver’s side of the family, elder care issues

have come home to roost in epic proportion.

If your Christmas celebrations have you feeling like this:

(click the word BESTBEST if you have 5 minutes to watch and hear a righteous cool Handel’s Messiah rendition.Thank you SO much @JamesMartinSJ and @suzzyroche – that tweet share last night has me confused about whether or not this is the best or worst Christmas season I’ve celebrated in my 45 years.)

Or, if you feel a bit guilty that you didn’t have a crappy or complicated holiday season, just google

sudden onset of dementia

and your heart will break just enough to empathize with my favorite husband.

He has a very, very large German family in a lovely rural Appalachian corner of Ohio. We have all helped take care of his grandmother for a couple of years now as she has had some health issues. Despite those efforts, she has suddenly become what I can only describe as a five foot GermanHandful of frustration and occasional cuteness.

She was and will always be the Matriarch of, I exaggerate not, dozens, which if you count the great-great-greats, is probably more like hundreds.

But. She apparently kept us all fooled that it was perfect apple pie that was keeping us in line and clicking our rosaries for the last 100 years. It was actually her mind.

Over the past 20 years she has become blind, deaf, and in the last year or so has developed mobility issues. We’re trying to figure out what she needs most, and my SO not an “expert at geriatric care” opinion is that “Little Grandma” has been suffering from some normal oxygen loss which results in tired thinking issues. In turn, this is creating a sudden onset of dementia that is moving faster than is easy to manage for her two daughters.

I didn’t expect that my mother in law and I would be at her kitchen table trying to figure out if all of a sudden Little Grandma has Alzheimer’s or not.

You’d think since my mother in law is a librarian and I’ve mostly been a teacher or student we could combine our tired noggins and figure that out at least a little bit.

Not so much over just one cup of lukewarm peppermint tea.

For now, my approach is going to be to watch and re-watch that music video of the Roches singing Alleluia that I found on Twitter while finally giving myself a Christmas sixty minutes alone.