Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Neva!

So today is my sister Neva's birthday....Happy Birthday!! It seems like only yesterday that we were young and sharing a room together....Where has the time gone?

Remember when we used to look out the window of our bedroom to see our friends playing when it was still light outside and we were stuck in bed???
Remember when you colored Mom & Dad's friend's new white convertible car with crayons.....and refused to admit it ( even though they saw you in the process)???
Remember Strawberry Festivals in Buckhannon and watching movies at Grandma and Papaw's drive in????
Remember when we were bribed by our parents with Cheetos into staying out in the country with "Mom" and Sally and Leonore....with the outhouse, no running water, and the chamber pot so our parents could go on a ski trip????
Remember when we used to sight see in DC with grandpa Ralph and make him climb the Washington Monument stairs????
Remember band trips and parades????
Remember when........The list can go on and on....that's what sisters are all about!!!

Yeah, I remember too..... Happy Birthday!

Writing style idea courtesy of Tommy

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Welcome Shelby!

Welcome Shelby to the family! Shelby is now officially the new daughter of our niece, Melissa and her husband Jeremy. It took a lot of tense moments, joys and sorrows to get to this point but the end result is a brand new baby girl to join the extended Owens family tree.

To recap: Melissa(daughter to Tom's sister, Kathi) and Jeremy have been happily married for about 10 years, give or take a few. They travelled all over the US working and living in their camper/trailer and having wonderful experiences. They settled in Wisconsin, bought a house and were living a fun life with their dog,Clay. It looked like they were not going to be able to have children, and they were ok with that. Out of the blue, they were approached by a coworker to inquire if they might be interested in adopting a baby. The coworker was friends with the mother of a teenager that had gotten pregnant. The teenage wanted to give the baby up for adoption. Well, as things progressed...all looked like it was going well and a baby was soon to be Melissa's and Jeremy's.
The baby was born on Christmas Eve. After an emotional farewell with the birth mom, the new adoptive parents took Shelby home.
Well.......the teenage mom called at day 16 and said she wanted the baby back!!! No one can read that statement and not shudder!!
Needless to say, it was devastating for Melissa & Jeremy. The extended family was devastated for them, too. It looked like all was lost....Melissa wrote the most wonderful note to the extended family explaining what had transpired and everyone was so proud of how they handled this horrible turn of events. She basically said it was always a possiblity the birth mom could change her mind until the papers were final. She wrote that she and Jeremy had a wonderful life before the baby, and as hard as it may be without Shelby, they would have a wonderful life regardless.
Prayers were definately answered when after only one night, the birth mom again changed her mind and decided to go throught with the adoption.
For all parties involved, it seemed like a good idea to place the baby in foster care until the final papers could be signed. Two weeks later, after a few setbacks and tense moments, the court date arrived. Both the birth mom and father signed away all parental rights giving the baby to Melissa and Jeremy! There still is some state paperwork that needs to be taken care of but it is only a formality with the state....the birthmom cannot change her mind again.

So we all are excited to see the baby and welcome her to the family! Congratulations to Melissa and Jeremy! Welcome Shelby!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Reality show junkie?

Ok, I have to admit that I like reality TV shows. I'm not really sure why I enjoy the fool things but I do enjoy a little Survivor, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Wife Swap, the Nanny, the Apprentice, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, etc. The list could go on and on because they seem to keep coming up with even dumber ideas all the time.

Maybe it comes from being able to take a peak into other people's lives without having to invest much effort. It may be that I'm a sucker for seeing how things will end. I know sometimes I really don't even like what I am watching but can't seem to turn that channel for fear of missing that all important moment that will finally make some sense of these shows. (It is a little scary how many screwed up, bitchy, crazy people they show!)

My sons and husband are very vocal with their opinions of the various shows. My middle son refuses to even be in the same room when some of them are on... He says that the bachelor should be embarrassed to call himself a man! My husband can sarcastically respond with comments about all of them without even looking up from his computer.

I decided that this season I was going to use self control and will boycott The Bachelor. It really is a waste of time and those couples never work out in the end anyway. I guess my son really had the right idea all along about those pathetic fools.

I'm not sure I'm ready to give up ALL of them yet....so, Reality junkie??? I think so! But I will keep trying to wean myself away from them...Just don't let me get started watching that first episode....I can't resist seeing what happens next!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What's for dinner?

If there is one question that causes major grief at my house, it would be "What's for Dinner???"
As most of you know, I do not cook! I hate being in the kitchen and have never enjoyed the "cooking" experience. My husband is a great cook and does all of the cooking in our house. (What a MAN! Gotta love him for that!)

Now, eating is a different story...
When I was growing up, I even had a nickname that referenced my love of eating. (No, I am not sharing that with you!) In reference to my love of eating, my husband likes to share his anecdote about eating out when the boys were little. He would say to the boys when they were asking to leave the resturant, "No, we can't leave yet....Mom hasn't cleaned up all your plates!"

Once, when my middle son was little, he wrote down all the things he loves to eat. He very neatly wrote two columns with the headings "Meals Dad Cooks" and "Meals Mom Cooks."

Under the Dad category he listed things like: turkey, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, hamburgers and a variety of other meals.
Under the Mom category he listed: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, and Pizza Hut! This is a true story...not made up!

I admit, because I don't cook, we do eat out ALOT! Deciding what to eat, or where to eat out, is ALWAYS a big issue. It got to the point that when someone asked the question, what's for dinner?, the response was, " You asked, so it's your turn to decide."

I have recently taken up watching the food network (Yeah, I know that makes no sense for someone who doesn't cook...but there you have it.) After watching untold hours of 30 min. meals, I said to my Mom," Watching them whip up those meals, ALMOST makes me want to cook!" I usually just end up telling my husband,"That looks good...you should make it."

I got so tired of the dinner question the other day that I actually decided to make "Shephard's pie." It sounded pretty easy. I thought, "Rachel Ray makes it look easy, I should be able to do this too!" Well, it was a funny sight seeing me chop onions, peel garlic, and prepare the ingredients for the pie. (Man, that garlic peeling stuff is a lot harder than it looks!) My husband actually took a picture of me "COOKING". The pie turned out pretty good for a novice cook, if I do say so myself! It definately took more than 30 minutes, though....It again confirmed that I do not enjoy being in the kitchen.

I guess tonight it will be the same o'le story: "What's for dinner?" How about: Glory Days, Applebee's, Tony's, Chick-a-filet, McDonald's, Arby's, Chili's and the list goes on..........

P.S. all suggestions are welcome!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Blog? What's a blog?

My sister,Neva, sent me this picture today. I thought it was pretty funny considering we both are "new" to the blog scene. (The fact that we are both huge dog lovers was also a reason I found it funny.)

When I mention that I have started blogging to some of my friends and family, I have gotten many questions about what blogs are, why a person would do a blog, and various other responses about the blog world. Some even expressed concern about security issues for my computer. I think a good number of them are really surprised ( or even a little embarassed if you're my sons) that I have started a blog. I was once one of those uninformed folks that had not heard about or enjoyed reading blogs. I have quickly become a blog reader addict. I don't think I will make much of a blog writer, but it sure has been fun to see the comments and feedback on my posts.

So now when people say, "Blog? What's a blog?" I can refer them to MY blog with some degree of pride....even if at times it is just pointless, incessant words or barking as the comic states!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Everybody is a critic...

Ok, so now that I have added a few stories to my blog, I am discovering that there is alot of pressure when you write blog stories.

I have gotten alot of feedback, mainly from my family, on my blogging. While I am really glad that they are reading it, I find myself thinking: It takes a brave person to put your thoughts out there for everyone to read... even if some of the thoughts do ramble around a bit. Especially if you are a person who really hated writing in school!

Comments (not already shared under the comment section):
1. "You're last topic was a little hard to follow." You are writing in the passive form...you should have an active verb in there somewhere. I gotta tell you that I was really impressed with this comment....it meant that someone had actually listened in English and learned something!

2. You should write shorter blogs. (This from a family member that doesn't pick up a book, EVER...well, to be fair, maybe they pick up a magazine to take in the "library" once and a while.)

3. Suggestions for topics to write about....the list is varied on this one. (Keep those suggestions coming...I can always use the help.) I will look positively on all comments and just be glad that someone is taking the time to read them.

My last comment to the peanut gallery is: try it yourself and see how YOU do on the blog circuit.

But remember: Everybody is a critic!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Day in Court

So I had my first subpoena and trip to the courtroom the other day. I gotta tell you that it was definately an experience and I came away from the proceedings with the opinion that I never want to be in a courtroom as a defendant.

Since I work for a doctor, I was subpoenaed by a detective to be a witness in a drug faud case. The defendant was illegally calling in drugs to different pharmacies using my doctor's name. I was not nervous at all about what the district attorney might ask me because the facts were pretty clear cut and all I basically would be required to do was state that the said defendant was not a patient of my doctor.

I actually was very nervous about driving to a new area, parking, and finding the right court room. For those of you that know me, you know I am directionally challenged (and borrowing an expression from my middle son) not qualified to drive to a place I've never been before. Fortunately, my practice administrator at work, took pity on me and decided to drive me there. ( Bless you!)

I'm sure the proceedings were fairly routine in the courtroom that day, but I gotta tell you that the whole deal was a bit overwhelming. The attorneys were speaking legalese, the judge was asking questions of the defendants like: "You are pleading guilty. Were you coerced into giving up your rights? and Do you understand you are giving up your right to ever question your accuser?" and various other very final type questions. There seemed to be a firm, no nonsense, even intimidating type atmosphere in that court room.

We heard a couple of cases that day. One about a guy who was doing 88 mph in 55 mph zone. He must have had some other things in his history too but it all happened so fast I couldn't keep up. He ended up losing his liscense for 3 months. I was shocked to hear he could have gone to jail for 12 months... The penalties all seemed pretty stiff to me, and the baliff actually took him away in handcuffs. So there he was in his suit and handcuffs .
Another case was a girl that looked about 18 who was stealing money from her employer. Her little baby was out in the hall in a car seat. The district attorney seemed a little nicer to her, but the judge was all business and kept wanting some way to monitor her payments of restitution. She didn't get jail time because it was suspended and she didn't get taken away in handcuffs.

The case that I was subpoenaed for was for 16 counts of felony drug fraud. The guy ended up pleading down to 6 counts. He evidently has made a practice of obtaining drugs illegally since 2003, been in and out of jail in the past, and continues to plague the detectives and legal system. None to the people who were subpeonaed that day in this case were actually asked anything since he took the plea bargain deal. He doesn't have to report to jail until April. I looked around at the witnesses and thought what a horrible waste of time this all was. There was an emergency room doctor, 2 pharmacists, one office administrator of a big doctor's office, one nurse, and a detective present. All those healthcare workers and the detective definately were pulled away from important jobs without any real resolution to this guys drug problem. The gal sitting next to me said, " I would probably be put in jail for jay walking and this guy gets off with very little."

It is an interesting analogy that the one guy was taken away in cuffs and the other will have many more free days before he must serve. I could only think: Well, that gives him time to call in a bunch more drugs till April, but that shows my cynical side.

Lesson learned for me was that I never want to be in any courtroom, except as an observer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I know somebody who died like that...

Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Being a mother , a nurse, and having a compulsive personality is even harder. (NO comments from the peanut gallery on the compulsive personality are allowed.)

When you have 3 boys growing up in one household you always live in fear that someone will get physical and get hurt. Therefore, there was one steadfast rule in our household. We may have been lenient on some of our rules but this ONE rule was unbreakable :

Our house was always the house where all the neighborhood kids came to hang out....sometimes for days on end...and we really enjoyed having them and never minded that they were there. It was sometimes a challenge to get the whole group of kids to stick to the no roughhousing rule, but in most cases, they all knew the rule and complied.

While trying to enforce this no roughhousing rule, I would generally make some point of telling experiences where people got hurt doing dumb things. Being a nurse gave me many stories of how people do DUMB things and get hurt. I usually made some comment about the fact that no one EXPECTED to get hurt but it sometimes happens. Being a worrier, as all mothers are to a point, I talked about everything.
For example:
Boys: Mom we are going out to play in the snow and ride our sleds.
Mom: Be careful, one of my good friends in high school ran into a tree while sledding and died. (This really was a true story.) I usully expounded on the details a little more to try to make my point.
Boys: We are going out to play basketball.
Mom: Be careful, you could: fall, break your leg, get hit in the face or many other endings to the be careful comment that may fit the occassion.

There are a number of things that really send me over the edge in reminders to be careful. Some of my real hangups include:

Fireworks: I took care of a guy that burned his private parts when I was just a brand new nurse and that really made an impression. I also told on many occassions, if I needed to change up the story, that the boys' uncle lost his finger while doing fireworks. The thinking on changing up the warning was to show that it could happen to them too!

Lightening: I hate lightening and am really afraid of it. Whenever the boys were playing baseball and some coach (Coach Dad included) said, Oh, that thunder is miles away so there is no need to worry about the lightening, I always told some story about someone getting hurt or killed. I always quoted the safety rule of : when you hear thunder you should take cover. ( I'll save the story about the one coach who was out on the field using a rake to smooth the field, while it was thundering and lightening up a storm. He did have the sense to have the boys off the field, but my thought on that was "What kind of example is this setting!!!")
I still to this day warn the men of my family who work at the golf course to seek cover when they hear thunder.

Driving: the boys can quote my warnings about driving safety because I just can't seem to keep quiet on the subject. If I start to mention a warning about driving they usually interrupt me and say, Yeah we know mom, don't speed, pay attention, don't drink and drive, and yes we will call when we get there.....

I don't apologize for worrying about my family. They may get really annoyed with me over some of my comments but I can only hope they know it is because I love them. I hope that my reminders help keep them safe some of the time, because the real fear here is that fate can always bite you in the butt at any time. No one plans to end up hurt or worse.

Even when they were still in grade school, they soon realized my personality just wouldn't let me worry in silence. Hence, they started even at that young age to interrupt my warnings with:

I can only hope they understand this compulsion when they have kids of their own.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mother of 3 guys and 1 Husband

I recently got interested in blogs from reading one of my son's friend's blog: http://twentysixyears.blogspot.com/ . It is funny, well written, and Cara is very disciplined about writing frequently. You can tell she is a "professional." (I also like her husband J's blog too! http://thingsjustinlikes.blogspot.com/) I know I will never be able to write like that, and I also know I will never be as disciplined, but I thought I might try writing a few things.

Many of you may be asking about the title of my blog "This is my question..." but those of you that know me, will not have any doubt about why this is my title. I do have the reputation of asking a lot of questions. (Hence the nickname of "20 questions"). I also admit that sometimes I don't listen to all the answers to all my questions. I want to title this first post "mother of 3 guys and 1 husband."

Since the only kids I had were males, (3 of them), and I have a husband, that pretty much made me the only female in my household until my oldest son got married. (Thank goodness for Becky because she does have a female outlook and helps even out the playing field of living with males!) Living with all males definitely is an adventure sometimes. The book that talks about women from Venus and men from Mars probably covers this phenomena much better than I ever could but I do have to laugh sometimes about how different men and women think, act, talk and respond.

I like to tell this story in defense of why I ask questions of my guys. (It also shows how women and men look at things very differently!) It goes like this...

My son works at a golf course and has worked there for many years. He was over one night to eat dinner and said very casually that he had an upsetting day at work that day.

For the women reading this...their next thought{a question} is usually: What happened at work today to upset you? But my son actually paused before continuing with his story and acted like nothing unusual had been said. Being the mother and the questioning type, I of course asked, "What happened at work today to upset you?"

He said," One of the new guys cut off his finger".

Of course in my mind that generated about a million questions: How did that happen?, who was it that got hurt?, what happened to him?, is he alright?, etc..... I really do not think it is asking too much to get the who, what, when, where, how questions when talking about a guy cutting off his finger. (And I bet I am not the only female out there reading this that was thinking the same questions!)

Well, eventually, after several of those types of questions, I got the story about the injured coworker.
Who: New guy, not sure his name, Hispanic, dad works for the golf course too .
What happened: thought the mower was stopped and stuck his finger in the back of one of the mowers to clear out the grass, supervisor called for ambulance, argued with the 911 operator "Just get an ambulance out here, I can hear someone screaming and it is likely a hand or foot!
How old was he: "Young" was the answer. (Now just as an aside, "young" causes many more questions: Is that young to you or young to me? There is a difference! {He was about 16 yrs old}.)

Eventually, after my son was totally annoyed with the question process, it was all clear to me what had happened to that coworker. My son did have all the answers, up to that time frame, of the status of the coworker. I was actually glad he had included us in his day to day happenings, and shared things that made an impression with him.

Now being a nurse, I worried about the coworker......I kept thinking: How is the kid? Did they save his finger? Is he still working?

Next enter my youngest son into the story: He was not at the golf course when the occassion happened but went to work the next day. Now I ask the females reading this: In any work situation, especially if women are working there, wouldn't you expect some talk about how the kid was doing the next day after he cut off his fingers and an ambulance picked him up?
When the youngest son came home that day, I asked,"how is the kid and did they save his fingers?" Reply: " I don't know Mom, I didn't hear."

Well, let me just say that after asking my youngest "how the kid was and did they save his finger?" for TWO WEEKS, everyday single day, the middle son finally told me (put me out of my misery) that he was fine, back to work, and no they were unable to save his 2 fingers.

Now, this is my question....if your mom was asking you everyday the same question, wouldn't you try to find the answer just to shut her up?

The kicker to this story is that my husband said, " I don't know why you had to ask any questions...it was clear what happened."
MY reply :" What do you mean it was clear???? The boys didn't tell us anything of substance without a little prodding."
My husband very matter of factly: "You know they work at a golf course, it was probably a hand or foot in a mower, and since they provided no further info....everything was ok."

My point exactly...Men and women think differently and I am the mother of 3 guys and 1 husband who never( to be fair, not never, but frequently) answer the who, what, when, where, and how questions!