Monday, June 26, 2006

montana, grandkids and the campground

Mark and I were supposed to go to Montana this weekend.  His 83 year old stepmother lives in Missoula.  It's been years since we've been there, 1998, when his father passed away.  Since Missoula is not a popular place to fly, airfare is huge.  We planned on taking the extra long weekend to drive, it's a gorgeous drive through the Dakotas, mountains, and the Black Hills.  After Mark's father's death his stepmom went downhill, she has all sorts of health issues, her only family member out there is her son.  So even though we had made plans to go a while ago, she isn't up for the visit.  I am thinking it's her age and that she used to be quite the entertainer, getting older keeps her from doing this.  I am sure she would rather not face us.  It's been a long time, growing older is hard, watching someone grow older even harder.

Mark was quit upset, sometimes he has the tendency to act 2, I mean sometimes Jacob acts older than he does.  He threw a mini pity party, but got over it after I told him he could order the needed starter for his motorcycle.  God men are easy! 

We belong to a small gun club that has an even smaller campground.  Our old trailer is there, it's clean, has a lake & is far enough away to be "away", but close enough to run home if need be.  We went on Saturday.  It was a very relaxing evening.  Quiet & the clear sky starry.

Tried to visit the kids, (Jacob demanded that I bring grandpa next time), but kept missing them or they were napping.  Where they live has horrible cell phone reception, and since they are rarely in the house the landline is useless.  So it's pretty much hit and miss.   Jeremy lives about 2 minutes from the campground so it will be great to take the boys fishing, and boating this summer.  He & Mark had planned on going trap shooting on Sunday morning, but it was rained out. 

I will be watching the boys tomorrow, I was there today, but Jeremy had a rain day and came home early.  I had them in the mud all morning, Jeremy came home just as I was giving them a bath.  Mark is working though, where his job was is dry.  Weather sure is weird.

Now I am home, catching up, Liz has another play, they are doing the Pride and the Prejudice.  She wanted a big part, but was given a small one.  She will be doing the tech crew along with her part.  Her play last week was very funny.  I had a nice time.  This one should be just as good, I hear there is some new talent. 

Thursday, June 22, 2006

rain, work and plays...

It rained this morning, this after raining yesterday morning.  Yesterday Mark got sent home from work.  Today thankfully he did not.  No work means no pay. 

I got called in to work to sub for a monitor who went to Galena.  There's a lot of people at work who seemed to have taken 3 week routes and taken vacations time during their route time.  Which to me is wrong.  If your route is only 3 weeks long, take your vacation time later on in the summer.  I didn't complain though, I didn't bid on a route so it didn't negatively effect me.  It actually helped me because I've subbed twice.  Besides I like to save my whining up, especially at work...why whine if nobody listens anyway.

Liz is in a play this evening.  She's in a one act.  Not sure what it's about, pretty sure the kids wrote it so it will be some sort of thing that kids understand or find funny.  I go to show my support, rah!  Actually I enjoy my kid's talent.  My husband is actually the talented one, he was quite the singer in his day.  He had the lead in two plays in high school.  I still find it so wild to have known him in high school and then years later end up marrying the guy.  Life does throw unexpected things your way that's for sure.

Tomorrow I will be babysitting again.  Thankfully, it's not supposed to rain.  Those two boys have to be outside for part of the day or the boxing match starts.  And Grandma gets pretty tired of playing ref!  But the fun always always wins over the normal sibling stuff!  Maybe grandma should teach these two how act!???



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

father's day, parades and kids

I had a wonderful weekend.  I even got my husband out to the fest! He hates crowds and gets easily annoyed by obnoxious people and Prairiefest usually has all of these.  Fortunately it rained on Saturday so after a nap we went over long enough to eat some carnival food and watch the fireworks.  The crowds were very small.  The main stage had a band that was delayed because of rain,  because beer is served at the fest a few overly happy people became antsy for the late start.  The powers that be started the fireworks early to satisfy them. Usually I only see the fireworks between the trees from my house.

Liz worked both evenings and her bossy, no nonesense attitude came in handy when dealing with both the drunk 'guests' and the folks that thought they could driver where ever they chose.  I raised that kid right!

We only had few issues with parade day.  Since we live on the Parade route we normally have the same people sit in our yard or in the easeway (which technically isn't ours, we mow and mantain it though).  We look forward to seeing these folks every year.  We sat up chairs in the morning, put up tables and our display made it quite clear that we were having a party in our yard.  Soon up pulls two guys, in an SUV with a kid.  They park in the middle of the street and proceed to unload chairs and two bags.  They did this exactly next to where we had our little party set up.  The rest of the block was totally empty.  First they set up one of those portable tents that people use to block the weather.  Ok, one tent in my yard is ok, then they start to set up a huge tent.  This was too much for my 'never' shy husband.  He blew his stack, and in a not so nice manner asked them to take down a tent, and respect other property.  This must of freaked them both out, because they took down the tents and moved.  I found out later that one of them was on our local school board, good thing I didn't do the yelling, I might have lost my job!  I am wondering whatever happened to common courtesy?

It must be as out of style as disciplining your children, manners and obeying stop signs.

I babysat yesterday.  Things are not perfect yet.  The other sitter, my husband's ex, still is carting the kids everywhere, running her own adult kids to work and court dates, they still are being effected by this and it shows in their behavior, BUT I am only the grandma, and stepmom.  My stepson wants his mother to finish out her obligation to babysitting his children.  She still is taking his money.  I will be watching them again on Friday and Monday.  Thank God my daughter in law will be quitting work soon.  This world doesn't two more angry spoiled kids.  Enough said!


Friday, June 16, 2006

Prairiefest and I am pooped

Last night was the kick off of our annual town fest, or feast as I call it, Prairiefest, or Prairie dog days as one of Mark's old firends calls it.  Whatever it's usually a ton of fun, and this time Liz has volunteered to help out tonight and tomorrow night.  She will be picking up trash, reuniting lost kids with their parents, and things like that.  They have a carnival, live music, animals, crafts.  The fest ends with a huge Father's day parade that goes right past my house.  I love it!  The parade lasts over an hour, big times for this town.  The kids all come over and we sit and watch  and visit.  One of the few times we get them all together.  This year I am going to have some burgers and hot dogs and celebrate!  For some reason I have never thought to do that before.

I am so tired now, I was with the babies from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm.  I am on to them , so I was able to head off some pretty nasty shoving matches between the two of them.  We walked to the park and I am so out practice, I had to remember to explain to them that we must walk on the sidewalk, not in front of cars, spinning our little brother on the merry go round until he flips off is not safe,  & no Dakota you can't eat the sand, fun stuff like that.  The afternoon got very hot, but fortunately the kids have an air conditioned house, but I am a sissy and was freezing so I took the boys outside after their naps.  They were nice and dirty for their daddy when he came home~!

See grandma's do get the last laugh...:::rubbing hands together:: tee hee~

Thursday, June 15, 2006

no more freaks or freak outs for Rose~

Yesterday's private freak out has passed.  In my old age I have figured some things out....for one thing I try not to freak out before I know the facts.  I am usually quit wrong about things or people (family) don't listen to me anyway.  I have found it best to keep the freaking out session in my own head. 

I was freaking out yesterday mostly because I thought I had made a royal mess of my bank account, but was that's a relief.  Money issues are easy to fix.

Kids, not so easy.

The whole, ex-wife (hubby's), babysitting, grandkids, stepkids mess is going to do whatever it's going to do...I am going to go on with my own life and if I am available I will be there, if not....well life will go on....

As a former control freak...I have to let the powers that be do their job...or drive myself nuts....

Life is a whole let nicer at least for me!

I am subbing a route today...3 wheelchairs, an able bodied 3rd grader, and a little guy I drove last school year.  I had a driver for monitor (she also subbed) so she was able to help me with the lift, which I hadn't used one in over a year.

We did I am off to take the little ones home...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Things this week are all being taken moment by moment for me.  There are still some issues with my grandchildren's sitter (my husband's ex).  I watched them Monday and Tuesday.  We had  a great time, although the kids have issues with hitting each other--that's to be to expected they are only 1 1/2 years apart--dealing with each other isn't easy.  But I handled it pretty well, and with Liz (she came with me Tuesday) only getting a fat lip out of the deal (thrown toy car).  Today the sitter had them in car again for 4 straight hours.  Other stepson has some legal issues (tickets) and needed to be run around.  He lives on his own, but needed his mom to run him around.  The kid is 22 and should have called a cab, or I was perfectly able to babysit again today.  Tomorrow I am working, I am subbing for another driver.  Friday I am watching the kids again and hopefully everyday until Tracey quits work.  Some people just do NOT like to give over the control to others.  But with all things in life, they seem to work out for the best.

Otherwise I am doing fine, I am used to the insanity that is my life, it's always been there, and it's usually something I've created myself.  Hopefully, things will calm down soon.  But for today I ok. 


Sunday, June 11, 2006

grads, and wedding showers

June is the month for graduations and wedding showers.  Yesterday was the day for all off these. 

First off it poured all Friday night, Mark was told to come into work and move machines.  He drives a huge truck and moves huge machines.  He got to work and it was still raining, but he moved machines none-the-less.  He was soaked all day and the truck he drove was not his and had no heat.  I took pity on him and let him skip the parties.  I've learned over the years to pick my battles with my hubby, if I really wanted him to go he would have, I opted to take Liz and her boyfriend Mike. 

First up was a wedding shower of a co-worker, I don't really know this girl have no idea why I was invited, but since her party was the same time as my cousin's graduation party, I chose to drop off the food tray I made, & gift to my monitor's house to take for me.

On to my cousin's party.  These are emotional deals as we rarely see each other.  She is from a family of  three girls and two boys and they all tend to fight and at times stop speaking to each other for years.  I was greeted by my male cousin (her brother) who delayed his exit to talk to me.  I made small talk with the rest of the cousins, catching up on the family drama relating to kids, their father, their ex's, my dad, etc.  These cousins are from my mom's side of the family.  Out of my mother's four sibs there is only one uncle left, he has moved away to Missouri and is not speaking to anyone either.  Wow totally disfunctional wouldn't you say!  Thank God for therapy!  Near the end of my visit the cousin who is the daughter of my non-talking uncle arrived with her husband and children.  Of course she cried, she's a good kid, who got a raw deal from her parents, but is an excellent parent herself.  She took good care of my father when my mom was dying and I will always be thankful to her.  I have rounded up some pictures I have of her when she was a baby and a young girl and am sending them off to her.  When her parents moved she got nothing from her childhood. 

It's always nice to visit with this side of the family, but it reinforces why my father moved us an hour away from these folks.  He didn't like drama and either do I.

Last party was for the daughter of my best from high school.  The graduate is a lovely girl, but very, very sheltered.  My friend divorced the grad's dad many years ago and her daughter became her whole life.  K is going to Chicago for college.  I am not sure which one mother or daughter will freak out first.  Hopefully she will swallow her normal fears and stick out the freshman jitters.  She's a very intelligent talented girl, she could accomplish a lot, if allowed to fly.

Life is a strange and wonderful thing.  And family and old friends?  Nice place to visit, but glad I don't live there!


Friday, June 9, 2006

may as well do two today!

I know I bug my children by all my proud Jacob and Dakota talk.  When I saw this picture of Tina and Eric and a cousin's baby I said, I'd brag about their children too someday, but they can wait!  Although I will have more baby ammo and baby talk next week, I am babysitting at least on Monday and Tuesday next week...guess the courthouse incident finalized the deal...


grrrrrrrrrr will the 4th time be the charm??

OK I have now tried to do an entry 4 times since last night, this being the fourth!  I know exactly what will happen too I will push the save button too many times and I'll get like 40 entries!

A couple of them were insightful and thoughtful too, but humph!....This will be a straight up front one.

Eric and Tina came to see me last night...This is a picture from Tina's big sister's wedding last weekend.  They are such a cute couple.  In my last entry I talked about how Eric flunked college twice, the kid's not dumb, just never wanted the pressure of trying too hard in school (he got himself kicked out of honors classes in 6th grade didn't want the pressure like his older brother had).  The kid can be like his mother, just a bit too smart for his own good.  We tend to be people smart. We know how to work a crowd.  This time though he's on his own, has a job and means to pay for school.  God bless you child go in peace, is my motto...knock your socks off....oh God this entry is going on...I hope it actually goes through...

I've told all my children to do what you have to do before they get married.  Marriage changes everything.  Fortunately Tina is studying to be a Psychologist, add in years of Masters work and it'll be awhile before they get married.  I keep telling Eric to not give up the awesome job he already has.  The grass make look greener on the other side of the fence, but momma sure loves her Menard's son.  Besides he's moving up quickly, store managers make a lot of money!

OK crossing finger---please go through!



Thursday, June 8, 2006



I am enjoying my not working freedom! 

My family is still out there trying as they will to drive me nuts.  I will not be baited into their schemes!

My husband is all over the place at his job.  Now that he can 2-way me all day long I get to listen to all the work drama.  Men can come up with some really creative drama too.  I just agree with him and go on about my day.  If something important comes up I'll do something about it.  Until then, I just reply, "ok, hon, sounds good"

Besides the stuff that my stepson Dale has created for himself, not sure what it is he did, but I think he got into a fight at a party and ran from the police.  He kept blowing off court, did some traffic stuff and finally got arrested for not showing up for his court dates.  Who knows, his mother allows him to do whatever he wants and now he's in trouble again.  We saw it coming tried to help and we're shut out so it goes....

His older brother Dustin (22) is doing well though, (I did not raise this child much he only came on weekends to visit).  He has an apartment  and is actually going to work and on time.  He works with the rest of the boys, the older three plus Mark.  It's a construction company, the boys all started out as the low guy and do labor work, then they are admitted to the Unionl learn to drive one of those large machines and have a certain amount of hours they must do in order to go up to scale, which is a very good wage + benefits.  Hopefully, this boy is growing up and commited to his future. 

On to my two sons.  They both stopped over last night with their new ideas on what they want to do with their lives.  They both live on their own, the oldest Tim, went to Purdue, graduated, has a great job with small company that wants to some day promote him to head Engineer.  He decides now that he is tired of wasting his money on an apartment (smart), partying (even smarter) and wants to move into his dad's and jointhe volunteer fire department (his uncle was a fireman).  Fine with me.  Just don't quit your day job.  OH yea he wants to save money for a house.  Ok fine by me.

The other one, Eric who works for Menards, has tried college flunked out both at a large state school and a junior college has decided he wants to go back to school and see if can pass a class.  Ok fine too,  He will not be quitting his job at Menards, he just wants to see if he can pass a class.  Ok fine again.  His present job at Menards is a lot of hours, but at 21 years old he is the manager of a whole department,  he runs the whole front end of the store, something he does quit well. 

I have learned one thing from raising kids/dealing with a husband.  Until 'it' happens I usually don't overreact...I just nod and say, "ok, gotcha,"  Saves a whole lot of stress and worry.  My decision making skills were pretty scary when I was their age too, and I turned out ok. 

After all that, last night Liz runs out of the computer room with news about an email from one of her friends...the library down the street is hiring a page.  Side note here, Mark has been threatening to take her life away if she doesn't get a job this summer, so she has been applying here and there.  She tried to apply at the library in the past, but they kept saying they weren't hiring, she got an inside tip from her friend who already works there.  This would be good fit for her.  She loves books and it's close.  She still doesn't have her drivers license, a goal she has for this fall.  Fingers crossed she gets this job.

Then there can be peace in the house again...until somebody else gets bored and decides to come up with some other form of excitement.  Hopefully it will be legal and sane!


Wednesday, June 7, 2006

day one of break~!

Today is day one of summer break!  I don't know how long I will be able to spend the day doing whatever I want!  Seems my youngest stepson (he's 19) was in court today and my husband's ex (who babysits the grandkids) was with him.  My daughter in law is very upset about this.  Maybe she's afraid my stepson's criminal behavior will rub off on her boys!  I will wait until Friday and volunteer myself to watch the boys until she quits work.  I at least want a couple of days to get bored!  

The other grandma's health is pretty poor along with the fact she is disappointed that she isn't getting a granddaughter this time, has caused her to give up the babysitting job when Tracey has the new baby.  Watching three kids under the age of three is a challenge, I've done it before and you really have to love kids and pace yourself.  Otherwise you end up plopping them in front of the TV, which is a pretty sad choice.  I have a background in early childhood education, been a special ed aide and drove the school bus for 3 years.  Oh yeah raised 3 of my husband's kids full time didn't hurt either.  Besides I just love kids!

For me kids keep me young and my mind active, they are so funny and entertaining. 

So as I said I am enjoying my down time, for now at least ... time to walk the dog!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

it's my birthday!

It's my birthday today.  This year will mark the ending of my 40's.  Ah my 40's they were a decade of true growth for me.  I am not a big birthday person.  Most of the time my birthday marks the end of a school year, I even graduated high school on my birthday.  I remember when I was 6 I ran around saying "on June 6 I'll be 6" to the point of being annoying (not ME??!!).  In my early 20's my birthday meant free drinks at the local bar, but I've grown out of that, plus drinking and I have an understanding , I don't and I stay out of trouble!  Later when I was a young mom I received handmade cards for the kids.

I was honored by a some great people today.  My j-land buddy Lisa Jo sent me a beautiful plaque honoring our friendship, complete with a very sweet card, I love that girl!  I am ever so grateful to my j-land family.  I also received an e-card from dear Jackie, we just met here in J-land but we have much in common (grandma!).  My kids on the bus sang to me, gave me gifts and one little girl even cried.  This time of year I always have such mixed feelings.  I realize how much I love my job and what an impact I have on them.

For a few short minutes I nearly bid on a route that was posted late, but then I remembered my biggest commitment this summer is to ME!  I deserve some time off, a siesta, time to relax, regroup, spend some time with my grandbabies and enjoy!

Afterall this is my last year of being in my 40's! 

Saturday, June 3, 2006

The past week

Last weekend was a hot one here in Northern Illinois.  We spent most of it on the motorcycle.  I did sleep through the Indy 500 all that spinning makes me sleepy!  Liz's boyfriend Mike came over for dinner on Sunday night, and since our larger grill is at the camper we used a wee little one for our chicken breasts.  It worked out fine though. 

On Memorial day we went out to see the kids.  Tracey is getting huge, and the boys are as cute as ever.  A storm blew in and poor Jacob cried because his spiderman boucie toy blew next door.  It made a safe return when the rain stopped.

Also this week my already "hanging by a thread" washing machine finally refused to run.  Fortunuately for me my Menard's son came to the recue.  We drove to his store Thursday night and got a nice deal on a machine.  This one even stays put and doesn't bounce all over the dining room.  It's in the dining room because the previous owners of our house built a closet in  that room and put the washer and dryer in it.  The dryer had so much long venting through the basement to the outside that it was causing a fire hazard.  We moved that downstairs, but with the plumbing already in and a drain there I just had Mark put the new one in the old ones spot.  Besides it would have been an ugly site watching the two of us carry a washer down the narrow stairs to the basement.  The hot water heater received a huge dent in it when Tim and Mark brought that down last fall.

I took my four writen driving tests this week for my driver's license.  I even had to take the core knowledge test that I took when I was 16!  Because I drive a school bus I must have the CDL endorcement along with the Passenger and of course the school bus.  The district even reimbursed me for my $60 fee!  The test are now computerized, which when I took them three years ago freaked me out!  It was hard for me to get used to knowing you got an answer wrong immediately.  This time I took my time, skipped what I wasn't sure of and passed the first go round.  WHEW!

Have a great Saturday!