Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Summertime Blew(s)

It's the last week, before the first week, of the first day of school and dang if it doesn't feel like just yesterday when I was writing about the last week, before the last week, of the last day of school.

Wienie roast
It's ALL fun and games until someone loses their weenie.

I had such GREAT expectations of trips to the beach, quiet little picnics in the park, impromptu backyard weenie roasts with friends and maybe even a holiday weekend away with Garth (not his real name) you know, just the two of us, like old times.

Then, you know, life happened.

 

Street Sprung a Leak
Noah should be floating by, any minute.

Our plumbing broke, my youngest got sick (pneumonia, in the summertime?!?) then our street broke again (which broke our plumbing, AGAIN!) ummmmm, what else? 

 

Oh, yeah!  Then, our car broke, we had to rent a car so that I could drive my oldest to work and no I cannot make this stuff up.

But, wait, there's more!

Hope Lemure
She's a saucy little leemur.

My youngest passed out while visiting grandpa in the hospital while I was all, like, WHAT THE HELL?!? and feeling totally helpless to, you know, help from a thousand miles away.

UGH!  Then my poor father-in-law was rushed back to the hospital while I was all, like, SERIOUSLY?!? because, you know, I wasn't home THAT time either.

So, while my mother was in the hospital getting her new arm (it's official, she is the bionic grandmother) we had my dad stay with us this month, you know, just in case...DAMMIT!

Day 1 of Heavy Machinery on My Lawn
We've grown used to seeing heavy machinery as lawn ornaments.
You know what?  To save time, just go ahead and read through the rest of July's blog posts and most of my stuff for August (when you have time, of course) and perhaps it will help you better understand why I currently hold the title of President of The FUBAR Club.

On a scale of one to ten, this summer blew (A BIG WET ONE!) to the point where the kids and I are actually looking forward for school to start and I never thought THAT would EVER happen.

In fact, my husband Garth (not his real name) and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary on Saturday by taking all four of our kids back-to-school shopping...at the mall...at the same time and everything...and NO!...I have no idea what is wrong with us, either.

22nd Anniversary notes
"Because, we're too young to buy wine!" they said.

Then, they gave us our anniversary present -- beautifully hand written notes (love that!) with sentiments that both Garth (NHRN) and I really needed to hear (like, RIGHT NOW!) -- however, this particular one really stands out:

Hope's note
It was written by our youngest.  She is being very polite.  Enough said.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

It's Official, Mom's a Dorkfish!

At the Beach

I took my kids to the beach for the first time the other day (yes, I know, it's the next to the last week in August) in a last ditch effort to have them be able to write something other than, "We hung out in our backyard," on their summer reports and I couldn't help but feel a little like a tourist (in my own backyard) saying stuff like:

  • Ouch, that sand is HOT!
  • How far is it to the water, anyways?
  • Oh, damn, we didn't bring an umbrella.
  • Is it low tide or high tide?
  • Damn, that sun is HOT!
  • What's up with all the red flags and why isn't anyone in the water?
  • Oh, look at ALL the pretty seagulls.

"Nooooooooooooooo, don't feed them!"

I did, however, remember NOT to feed the seagulls -- a cardinal rule, which once broken may or may not cause one to be severely beaten with a beach umbrella, here in Jersey anyways.

Hopey digs the beach
Hopey digs the beach, sort of.

On the one hand, it's SO MUCH easier taking older kids to the beach -- grab a few towels, beach chairs, a couple of water bottles, a little spending money for french fries, maybe even a corn dog (or twenty) then sit back and remind them NOT to feed the seagulls.

On the other hand, I pine for the days when my kids were easily entertained with a shovel, a bucket or watching tourists get beat with beach umbrellas.

Hopey and Glen not fighting at the beach
This is the quietest these two have been ALL summer!

Then again, I have been their main source of entertainment (especially, during the summertime) for the last 18 years and, well, I'm perfectly fine with just hanging out and NOT feel the need to actually have to do anything -- other than remind them to, you know, turn over and go get mom a corn dog.

Holly and Heather sunning on the beach
Aaaand, these two actually LET me take their picture!

Now that my oldest has graduated high school, is working and pretty much learning to support herself by contributing to the household for stuff like groceries and car insurance (reminder:  we live in Jersey, the land of HOLY HELL, HOW MUCH?!?) not to mention, with my middle girl entering her junior year and having to start the college search all over again (see also:  HHHM?!?) I realize that our days of spending quiet afternoons at the beach...together...are numbered. 

"The waves look AWESOME mom, c'mon!!!"

Not to mention, my being able to jump, up and down, and expecting to successfully land, on the ground, on both feet, on purpose.

"Mom, behind you, LOOKOUT!!!"

I totally forgot about the OTHER cardinal rule:  Never, EVER, turn your back on the ocean, which once broken may or may not cause one to be bitch-slapped into next week by an incoming wave, here in Jersey anyways.

SLAP!!!!  Aaaaaaand, I could NOT for the life of me get up AND not because of the wicked undertow or anything, either.

SLAP!!!! I would reach up and grab onto my son's swim trunks.

SLAP!!!  Aaaaaaand, he would slap my hand away (each and EVERY time) so I would, you know, fall back into the water.

SLAP!!! Then reach up again, grab onto my son's swim trunks, not thinking that the poor guy was trying to keep me from pulling his swim trunks off.  So he claims.

"OMG, that was the FUNNIEST thing we have EVER seen!"

Note to self:  next time, try to stand [up] further away from the lifeguard stand.

Moral of the Story:   As I strive for continued excellence in being a source of entertainment for my teens and tween, as well as the entire Jersey coastline, dammit.

Stupid undertow.  Dumbass corn dogs.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Hey You Guys, Get Off My Kids' Lawn!

I remember walking home from school with my brother (uphill, both ways, bare feet, in the snow, etc...) and both of us running past the abattoir (exotic-like name for slaughter house) as if being chased by zombies.

Living around the corner from a slaught..I mean...abattoir was scary enough (and downright disgusting, in the middle of August, enough said) however, I can't begin to describe the old lady who lived next door without feeling as if I need to get up and run away, real fast, right now, because LOOKOUT!!! SHE'S COMING!!!

Thinking back on on her blood-stained apron and pack of hell hounds (some sort of beagle mix, from hell) I'm guessing she worked next door at the abattoir, at least I hope she did, because the alternative explanation of someone walking around wearing a bloody apron...well...LOOKOUT!!!  SHE'S COMING!!!

We were upsetting her dogs, you see (more likely, walking to close to where the dead bodies were hidden) either way, I hated walking home from school and often times remind my kids about how lucky they are to have their own personal car service (that would be me!) not to mention, NOT having to live around the corner from an abattoir.

Day 1 of Heavy Machinery on My Lawn
Well, good morning sunshine(s)!

According to Melisa, I should have been all...WHAT THE?!?...and, considering we've had plumbing problems since the beginning of summer and they've been ripping up our street consistently for the last two weeks, I was sort of...MEH, WHATEVER!...about it.

Until the kids started waking up:

  • What are those guys doing on our lawn?
  • OMG, can't they fix it right the first time?
  • Hey, they're ripping up the flower bed!
  • We worked TOO HARD for them to mess it up!

It took me a few minutes to calm them all down -- seriously, ALL four of them were ready to go outside (in their pajamas and everything) to holler at the poor guys who, really, were just doing there jobs and, honestly, probably don't give a fig about peonies.

"Don't worry, I'm going to write a letter to the water company and the town."

My 13 year-old son continued to stare out the dining room window for about...oh, I don't know...however long it took me to drain the rest of my coffee mug.

"Nope, I'mma get my baseball bat!"

SNORT!  Talk about role-reversal, seriously, and I couldn't help but imagine my kids wearing bloody aprons.

Doofus-Dawg, however, would make a terrible hell hound -- although, he WOULD lick them to death.

They did eventually put my peonies back, however, the shock of being ripped out of the ground by a bulldozer, I swear I can STILL hear them screaming.  The peonies.  Not the workmen, who were unusually quiet, btw.

Their heavy machinery, not so much.

They DID, however, move their heavy machinery to make way for my kids' car service (me, remember?) and yes there ARE perfectly nice people here in Jersey...dammit!

Day 2 of Heavy Machinery on My Lawn
They're baaaa-aaaack!

HEY YOU GUYS, YOU BETTER GET OFF OF MY KIDS' LAWN!!! BEFORE THEY WAKE UP!!!

Aaaaaand, I'm hiding the baseball bats, just in case (you're welcome).

Stupid plumbing.  Dumbass heavy machinery.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

My Kids Think I'm a Stupid Momblogger, I Prefer the Term "Family Chronicler"!

Bushkill Falls Caution
Reading between the lines: HEY, YOU KLUTZ, BEWARE!

I love it when Garth (not his real name) is home for many reasons that I won't bother you with writing a long, drawn out list or anything (you're welcome!) okay, maybe just one.

Falling Behind the My Pack
Pulling up the rear (literally!)

This week, my kids LOVED being able to hang out with their dad (besides, at the supper table or a few minutes before bedtime) as I, once again, played the role of mom blogger. 

Striking a Pose
I said "G'head and do something," and I got this!

Although, I prefer the term:  family chronicler (yes, it's a word, spell-check says so) the kids and Garth (NHRN) are used to me falling a bit behind (as usual) but, this time, I felt a terrible desperation to capture AND savor the moment.

View fromTop of Trail
The view from the top of the red trail.

I have suffered from back problems for years (car accident in my 20's, birthing 4 babies in my 30's, dumbass 40's) and it's been getting progressively worse. 

Holly at Top of Trail
Holly at the top of the red trail, YAY!

An unexpected trip to the hospital for a kidney stone this past February also confirmed 2 herniated discs in my lower back (a.k.a. 2-for-1 diagnosis...YO!) and a subsequent visit with a neurologist who is still waiting for me to, you know, show up.

Hope Almost at Top of Trail
Hope at the top of the red trail, ALMOST!

What?!?  The man wants to shove a HUGE needle in my back...ON PURPOSE!!!...more than once and then, eventually, introduce more pointy objects into my spine that will keep me flat on my back for weeks.

Heather Owning Top of Trail
Heather owning the top of the trail, YOU GO GIRL!

Yeah, I know, I know, there are worse things.  Unfortunately, I have friends and family who are suffering from all sorts of physical, mental and emotional pain...as we speak...DAMNIT!   So, trust me when I tell you that I am NOT looking for any sympathy, JUST because I am afraid of sharp pointy things.

Garth (not his real name)
He's got a smart phone and he's not afraid to use it!

I am, however, scared to death at the thought of being expected to do nothing more than lay flat on my back for weeks.  There, I said it and NOT just because Garth (not his real name) will testify to the fact that I am indeed a TERRIBLE patient.

The Boy
He didn't want me to wait alone, at the top of the red trail.

Apparently, I am an equally AWFUL actress.  There was no hiding the fact that the 2-hour car ride had taken its toll -- not to mention, attending 2 blogging conferences, in 2 of my most favorite walking cities, in 1 month -- as each of my kids took turns holding my hand, clearing a path or asking me if I needed to sit down.

Thompson Clan 2012
When did they get to be THIS BIG?!?

Not for nothing, but it broke my heart.  Kids today have enough to worry about -- I have teenagers, trust me, I know -- still, my mother is scheduled for surgery this coming Monday (a long overdue shoulder replacement) but, this time she's really, really scared and, well, I finally "get it".

Masked Mom
Look, it's the masked blog-guh!

No, I'm not the smartest, bravest or most talented person in cyberspace (seriously, I'm okay with it) however, my kids seem to like hanging out with me inspite of the fact they believe I'm stupid for not going back to the neurologist sooner.

Aaaand that's just all sorts of cool, right?!?  RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets]

Riiiiiight.  Stupid back, dumbass 40's.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

The Descent, Jersey Style

My brother-in-law is visiting with us for a couple of days this week (yes, on purpose!) but, I wasn't surprised to learn that he really didn't have any plans to go to the beach (or down the shore, if you're from Jersey) and, considering he's lived in Southern California for the last 20+ years, can you really blame him?

Glowing rocks
So, yeah, our rocks actually do glow, you got a problem wit-dat?

Besides, there are plenty of OTHER really cool places to visit here in Jersey (ARE SO!) especially, for BIG TIME history buffs like my brother-in-law (and me) so, when he suggested we take our kids to The Sterling Hill Mining Museum I was all, like, YAY!...oh, wait:

Sterling Mines Capture
I mean, considering our run of bad luck lately, can you really blame me? 

A geologists dream
A geologist's freakin' playground.

Seriously, I couldn't help but think of ALL the dangerous possibilities:  one of us getting beaned on the head with a random piece of falling rock (okay, mostly me!) learning that the misplaced stick of dynamite was in fact SO NOT a dud, finding that one and only hole they forgot to plug up and/or re-living The Descent (be careful, link has sound and dang but that movie scared the bee's juice out of me) for real.

Mining clothes
2,550 feet, 35 miles in length, that's a WHOLE lot of descending, you's guys!

Add being a tad claustrophobic (okay, more like DUUUUUUDE, I HATE FREAKIN' TIGHT SPACES, GETTOUTTAMYWAY!) not to mention, I am not very comfortable with the dark (seriously, have you seen The Descent?) so, actually getting out of the car and buying the tickets to tour one of the oldest mines in the United States (first worked c. 1739) was a HUGE leap of faith on my part.

Heather in the window
Heather's reflection looks almost other-wordly.

I mean, just take a look at some of the stuff they've pulled out of this place for the last 250+ years -- totally creepy, right?

Dinosaurs were among us here in Jersey
So, how YOU doin'?

The museum was packed from floor to ceiling and, quite frankly, as interesting as these artifacts were, walking around displays of rocks embedded with ancient creepy-crawlies didn't help to quell my fears any (NUH-UH!) not one freakin' bit.

Hearth in mine
So pretty, right?

"Hey, look, this one looks like a heart!"

Then one of my kids would point out something really pretty and I think to myself (SELF!) fuhghettaboutit AND really, you've ridden the subway and survived, how bad could it be?!?

Miners I'm PROUD to be able to tell you that I did INDEED survive going into the mines.  Aaaaand, you'll have to take my word for it, because I was too busy holding onto the railing(s), I don't have ANY pictures to really prove it.

Dynamite
Of course, my kid was the ONLY one who knew and shouted out the warning, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"  She shares a bathroom with her 13 year-old brother, enough said.

Learning about the past is cool AND helps to remind us to NOT take our more modern conveniences (like electricity, YO!)  for granted.

Where do miners go
Guess what this is? G'head, I'll wait.

Oh and indoor plumbing.  More specifically, toilets (see picture above) seriously, just let me hear one of my kids complain about having to share a bathroom...one more time...FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Better Start Hoping for Rainy Days, B*tch

Veggie Garden 1

Growing up, my parents always grew their own vegetables in the summertime.  We lived with my grandmother before I started grade school and she had a vegetable garden. 

Later, my father would build a greenhouse in our backyard, using plumbing pipes and sheets of plastic film salvaged from an abandoned work site (or believed to be abandoned, anyway) which would one day play center stage for make believe expeditions to Egypt and China, late night bug hunts and marathons of hide-and-go-seek.

Veggie Garden 2
My parents surprised us with plotting out and planting our first vegetable garden, a few weeks after my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I moved into this (not yet full) house and did so, on the sly, while we were both at work.

"Our grandchildren are going to need a place to play."

We've been on many, many lovely expeditions since then and adopted several frogs, hundreds of worms and scores of other less invasive creepy-crawlies over the years and, well, I can't imagine a summer without digging in the dirt.

Veggie Garden 3
"Yes, but your back can't handle it anymore."

My husband suggested perhaps I should NOT plant a vegetable garden, this year (stupid busted up back) and we went to the mats...or, raised beds...on whether or not I would be able to handle worrying about...you know...one more thing.

"But, I love digging in the dirt."

Ripping out weeds by their roots, burying a spade deep into the earth, digging out my frustrations and casting them away with every rock and stone -- it's cheaper than therapy, I tell ya'.

This Full House Veggie Garden Planted
It took me ALL day -- what once would  have been only a few short hours of work -- and, trust me when I tell you it is certainly NOT the most beautiful vegetable garden you will ever see...especially, in this part of Jersey...DAMMIT!

Busted up back or not...yesterday...I made roughly 6 yards of dirt MY B*TCH and, well, I swear you could STILL hear her laughing.

Turns out she is a bit of a sadist, the b*tch.

"So, I see you're still insisting on growing a vegetable garden then."

YES!  Aaaaand, I guess we better start hoping for rainy days...you know...so maybe I can get some housework done...or NOT!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.