The Pride At The Watering Hole

Every evening at sundown, the pride makes its way from areas of seclusion, to the watering hole.  They are wary of the two-legged beasts, armed with toothbrushes, as the pride has been chased off and pushed to lower ground by them endless times before.  And yet, for the sake of fresh water, sipped straight from the source, the big cats persevere.  The water the bipeds place as an offering every morning in a bowl is never as good as the life-sustaining, ice-cold water from the motherload.

One Day Closer To Spring Break

It pains me to say this, but we still have to finish out this ENTIRE WEEK, before we can classify ourselves as officially being on Spring Break.  Apparently the members of our School District Calendar Creating Committee asked themselves, “Exactly how late can we schedule Spring Break, without having an uprising?”

The answer was THE LAST WEEK OF MARCH.  It was only by the hair on their chinny-chin-chins that the committee avoided the teachers and students all coming out at night with burning torches, demanding a week of vacation RIGHT SMACK NOW.  Our brains are on actual fire from trying to come up with clever things to do in the gym these days, because WHO CARES?!  We are all suffering from the NEED A BREAK syndrome, and all any child wants to do right now is play dodgeball, so he can throw a ball, with bitterness at Spring Break falling so late this year, at unsuspecting classmates.  Every school district surrounding us has already had the luxury of pointing their fingers at us, as they call out in sing-song voices, “We’re on Spring Break now… and you’re not!  We’re on Spring Break now… and you’re not!”  Thankfully, the jokes going to be on them next week, as we remind them to ENJOY SCHOOL, Y’ALL, while we sit at home in our pajamas, with our coffee mugs, at 11:00 AM.

Maturity has never really been my gig.

In other news, our new refrigerator and dishwasher arrived on the backs of a couple of very strong men on Friday.  They huffed and puffed their way into our kitchen, as I said encouraging, very helpful things like, “At least you can skip the gym this evening, seeing as how you’re getting your workout done right now.”  I feel like these two delivery men were very blessed by my presence, as I made a mountain of small talk during their sweat session.  Would they have preferred to work in silence, with nothing more than grunting and pointing as their form of communication?  I’m sure of it.  As it turned out, they fielded three-point-two million questions from Thing 2 and tried to keep up with conversation from me.  I think they both mentally added another beer to their upcoming St. Patrick’s Day dinner celebrations when they left our house.

But, sweet mercy!  That new refrigerator shines like the Star of Bethlehem has lit her up.  We did the family shopping trip on Saturday at Walmart.  Mid-morning, as it was.  When all the thickest, weekend crowds are in session, as it was.  Don’t ever say that our little family doesn’t live on the edge of danger.  When we came home, I went into OCD overdrive, as I told everyone, “Just let ME put the items in the fridge!  I’m accessorizing it!”  And then I basically told everyone that no one is to ever open the refrigerator doors, except me, because HEAVEN BE WITH YOU, IF YOU ARE THE MALE WHO SLOPS STRAWBERRY JAM OR MELTED VELVEETA ON ONE OF THESE PRISTINE SHELVES!

I think they all took it well.

Especially when they started calling out to me, repeatedly… repeatedly… repeatedly… ad nauseum… “Hey, Ma?  Can you get me a Gatorade?  Seeing as how I can’t open the fridge door by myself and all?”

By Saturday night, I had returned all fridge-opening privileges to the menfolk living here.

Also?  On Saturday?  THE SUN WAS SHINING, AND THE AIR WAS WARM.  In fact, Saturday afternoon looked a whole lot like THIS at our house:

I opened all the windows in our house and sighed.  I told Hubs, “I think winter is finally over.”  I won’t lie.  This has been the longest, most fierce winter since all the blizzards Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about happened.  I tend to thoroughly enjoy a good snowstorm, but after eighty-six feet of snow this winter, I… am…. done.

While Thing 2 was on the back deck, slopping water all over the place, the boy and Hubs were in the front driveway, changing the breaks on Hubs’ Honda.  It was a day for being outside, especially after we had survived the intensity of a Saturday morning at Walmart without losing a limb or our minds.

By 10:00 Saturday night, Hubs and the boy had hooked my new dishwasher up.  We all gathered around it, exactly like families in the ’50s used to gather around a new TV set that was brought home.  The boy took the liberty of adding detergent, Hubs pushed the GO buttons, and we held our breath.  Yes, we were anxious to see technology wash our dishes for us, after so many evenings spent scrubbing them by hand in our sink, but more than that…. we were all wanting one question answered.

WAS THE THING GOING TO LEAK ALL OVER OUR FLOOR AND CAUSE A 10 PM BRAIN COLLAPSE?

The answer was no.

That dishwasher performed her duty well, and she did it QUIETLY.  This was the biggest shocker, after suffering through the past six months with an LG dishwasher that sounded like a space shuttle firing up for takeoff every evening.  It was so bad, that Hubs and the boy took to saying, “Don’t start the dishwasher!  We can’t hear the TV if it’s running!”  It was true.

You couldn’t even hear machine gun fire, sonic booms, or nuclear explosions outside while our old dishwasher was running.  Not being able to really hear the new one is a blessed luxury, but it’s been more difficult to sleep this weekend, without the background white noise we’d become accustomed to for the last several months.  Some families run fans for white noise while they sleep; we ran the old dishwasher.

And then, because all good things usually come to an end, our gorgeous spring weather broke today… ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING.  We had clouds and cold and drizzling rain and gray skies, but we still picnicked outside at the park for lunch this afternoon, where we added TREE CLIMBING to our five-year-old’s resume.

And now, we’re just finishing up our evening, whispering, “Come, Thou Spring!”

Or, more accurately, “Come, Thou Spring Break.”

Y’all have a happy Monday.

Appliances And Parties

In case you are wondering how things have been going at our house, I will tell you this:

  1.  I am on my second round of antibiotics, after yet another trip to the doctor’s office, and I feel like there’s now a small possibility that I may have actually turned a corner in Mission:  Quit Coughing.  I mean, really, it’s only been three entire fat weeks since I first started coughing, so it’s time.
  2. Hubs has worked until 1:00 AM twice this week already.  God bless the IT guys, because they’re the only ones who can restore law and order and Facebook to a client’s failing computer system in the middle of the night.
  3. We said goodbye to our dishwasher a week ago, as she washed her last dish and went to be with the Lord.
  4. We said goodbye to our refrigerator last night, as she chilled her last package of honey ham lunch meat and went to join her sister, the dishwasher, in our Lord’s presence.

That has been our week, people.

Yesterday, Hubs announced that he would be working most of the night, because he needed to access a client’s computer system while their business was closed and no one was reading People magazine online.  That was all fine and dandy, because it meant we could have cold cereal for dinner.  While I was putting Thing 2 to bed, the boy left the house, because OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE and all.  He came back a few minutes later with a Big Mac and fries, because his 5:30 PM bowl of Lucky Charms had worn off.  When I asked him why he hadn’t just eaten something else here at home, he said, “Because the refrigerator is dead, so I assumed all the food was bad.”

Ain’t nothing that will light a fire beneath you more than hearing the words DEAD REFRIGERATOR.  I scrambled to determine the level of deadness that we were dealing with, which seemed to be THE FREEZER SIDE IS STILL FREEZING THINGS, BUT THE REFRIGERATOR SIDE HAS PASSED ON TO THE ETERNAL WORLD.  I frantically texted Hubs, because APPLIANCE EMERGENCY!!  APPLIANCE CODE RED!!!  Hubs texted back that we should look at the breaker downstairs and see if the fridge had tripped it.

I sent the boy to do this, because breaker investigation is really a man’s job.  In other words, I really had no idea which breaker the fridge was actually ON, even though Hubs has assured me that everything is labeled in that giant metal box on the wall.

The boy flipped the breaker, the light in the fridge game back on, the engine fired back up, and it was ALL SYSTEMS FINE, until… you know… all systems weren’t fine again.  Ten minutes later, the light in the fridge was out, and she’d shut herself off again, while her Siamese twin, the freezer, was still fighting the good fight.

We continued this game of flipping the breaker back and forth four more times, before I texted Hubs and said, “Listen!  I cannot stay awake all night long, flipping switches and checking the pulse of this LG refrigerator!”

Hubs texted back that we should get an extension cord and plug the beast into a different outlet.

Husbands are always full of helpful suggestions, when they are not at home, and you’re the one who is going to have to yank the mammoth out of the cavern in the cabinet cubicle to get to her cord in the back.  The boy and I persevered, and by 9:30 PM, we had the old LG plugged into a different room, with a bright orange extension cord running across our kitchen floor.

Thirty minutes later, while I was in bed, asking the Lord to shine His favor upon us and not let the entire house burn down with an electrical issue, the boy announced, “The fridge is dead again.”

Bless.

By 1:00 this morning, Hubs was home.  He examined the refrigerator and pronounced it to be at death’s door.  This morning, he took her temperature and heart rate again and said, “She doesn’t have long for this world.  I’ve consulted other physicians on the World Wide Web, and I believe we’re looking at a compressor problem, and it’s time, honey.  It’s time to let her go and bleed some money out to buy a new one.”

Which is exactly what we did.

Especially after our refrigerator gave up the ghost mid-morning and quit responding to the life support we offered.

We went to Home Depot and spent twenty entire minutes picking out a new refrigerator and a new dishwasher.  These were the exact things I had no desire to be spending my money on this week.

We debated between two different refrigerators, going back and forth, back and forth, until I finally said, “I like this one.”  It was a surplus refrigerator that had been marked down, because they had three in stock and wanted them gone.  It was a floor model.  Hubs dashed off to pay for the fridge and dishwasher, which is when I noticed that SWEET MERCY!  The floor model was dinged and dented beneath all the giant price tags, when the manager tore those off and declared us owners.

Do you know what I didn’t want?

I didn’t want to start a relationship with a refrigerator who was already smashed in a little, when the giant price tag had been hiding her blemish like a big band aide.  I told the manger we’d actually take the other refrigerator, which was in stock in the back, wrapped in plastic and undented.

It only took TWO ENTIRE HOURS to deduct the original refrigerator off of our Home Depot card and charge the second one TO our Home Depot card.  I’m not even exaggerating or kidding in any way.  PEOPLE, WE SPENT TWO HOURS RETURNING A FRIDGE THAT HAD NEVER LEFT THE STORE, GETTING A REFUND ON IT, AND BUYING A DIFFERENT ONE.

It reminded me of Flash and Priscilla, the sloths, in the movie Zootopia.

When we finally emerged from Home Depot, I screamed, “IT’S NIGHT???!!!”

With any luck at all, by this time tomorrow, I should have a refrigerator, without any sticky jam slopped all over the tray, up and running, and I can quit washing dishes like the founding mothers of our country did.

In other news, we threw Thing 2 a birthday party this past weekend.  His birthday was almost two weeks ago, but with everyone in our family suffering from the Black Plague, we postponed a celebration with little kids, because I never believe it’s polite to invite people to party with us and then cough all over them.  As it was, I still felt perfectly miserable on Saturday, and coughed all over our guests.

We invited a pack of Thing 2’s little buddies to our church, where the kids roamed the halls and shot one another with Nerf guns and laser guns.  We had cake and ice cream and cheap punch.  We laughed (and coughed) and talked (and coughed) and had a wonderful time (and coughed some more).

These are some of our baby’s closest friends.

Out of the ten little kids in this picture, five are adopted.  They have been born on three different continents, on opposite sides of the United States, and right here, in Small Town, USA.  These children have all been prayed for… parents have gone before the Lord to beg for these children… they have been adored during pregnancies and sobbed over, as birth mothers and orphanages have placed them into their parents’ arms… and through God’s blessings, they’re all here, celebrating friendship together.  Under normal circumstances, they would have been scattered all over the world, growing up in different cultures and religions and orphanages and families, and yet God has brought them all together.

All together, as close friends.

These kids are our baby’s PEOPLE.  I have begged God to let their friendships continue to run deep… and to run clear into adulthood for them.

I love each and every one of these children dearly.

We did take a pack of Christian kids and told them, IN THE CHURCH, no less, to go forth and shoot one another with the Nerf guns and the laser guns.  There was whooping and hollering and general mayhem.  There was running in the halls and dodging of the bullets.  There were shrieks and giggles and a nuclear, meltdown fit when the birthday boy himself got his last laser light shot out and had to be eliminated.  Don’t ever say that Thing 2 isn’t competitive!

And can we all please take a second to appreciate Vivian June’s passion for fashion, even when she has shown up to a Nerf gun fight?

We all sang to Thing 2, while he sat in front of a vanilla cake, frosted with four inches of EXTRA SUGAR, PLEASE frosting.

There were presents galore, from everyone.  By this time in the party, I was coughing like a lunatic, desperately trying not to fling germs on these precious children.  My friend, Heather, stepped in to run the gift-opening show for me.

That’s what mothers do for one another.

I love this next picture of little Miss Evie, because I finally have proof that my child is not the only one who cannot eat a snack without covering his entire face with food.

By the time we wrapped the birthday party up, the kids were flat-out worn down.

AND…. it was on the evening when we all had to run home and set our clocks FORWARD an hour, taking sixty precious minutes out of our lives forever.

Or at least for the next few months.

Thing 2 went to bed on Saturday night at the old 7:30, which is his normal bedtime, and he slept until…

… DRUM ROLL, PLEASE….

… 9:10 on Sunday morning.

NINE-TEN, Y’ALL!!  Of course, this was the NEW 9:10, which means it really only felt like 8:10 in the morning, but that was Thing 2’s official LONGEST STRETCH OF NIGHTTIME SLEEPING IN HIS ENTIRE FIVE YEARS OF LIFE!!!  Never, ever, NOT EVEN ONCE, had our younger son ever slept so long.

All the hallelujahs!

I’ve heard tale that several other little party-goers also pulled off long sleeps that night, because the ferocious gun battles, with all the running in the church hallways, tuckered everyone flat out.

Y’ALL ARE WELCOME FOR THAT!!  It’s a little public service I like to offer to mothers of young children on the eve of losing an hour.

And THAT, people, catches you up on the Jedi Family.

I’m pretty much done coughing now, because MORE ANTIBIOTICS SOMETIMES DOES A BODY GOOD.  I am on the very brink of being all well.

And by this time tomorrow night, I will probably be opening and closing a refrigerator door, to LOOK AT ALL THE GLORIOUS SHINE AND CLEANLINESS, while my new dishwasher labors away, scrubbing gunk off plates.

I feel like the two hours of paperwork at Home Depot will be worth it.

Bless.

 

When Apple Juice Is Not Really Apple Juice

I came home from Bible study last night, to find Hubs and Thing 2 watching Moonshiners together on TV.

THING 2: “Hey, Mom! These guys are making juice in the woods with apples, but they said it’s not juice. It’s actually called liquor. Dad, can we buy some liquor with apples in it? it looks delicious! I want to try it.”

HUBS: “And… I think it’s time to turn the channel, so that we can all see what Peppa Pig is up to tonight!”

I Miss My Hour

I know that I’ve posted this in the past, but I felt like it was fully appropriate again.

Because today, when Thing 2 popped out of bed at 5:20 in the morning, all I could think was, “Two mornings ago, this was 4:20.”  Bless.

I have never missed my hour more than I miss it today.

And really?  No stupidity.  “Stupidity, I send you back downstairs!!”

May you all sleep tonight as though you had an extra hour squeezed in there.

Hey, There!

Well, hello there.

I’ve heard your complaints that these long blogging breaks are becoming a bit of a nuisance, but I’m going to tell y’all the flat-out truth:

This blogging vacation wasn’t my fault.

(Yes. I stated that exactly like a kindergartner would state his defense, in front of a teacher, when he’s being tattled on. It’s NEVER a kindergartner’s fault. I know this, because I work with kindergarten children, and I am privileged to have countless tattle tales brought before me every single Tuesday and Wednesday, when they are in my gym. Believe me when I say that it’s ALWAYS the other kid’s fault.)

(Also? I own a five-year-old. Nothing is ever his fault either. Everything is blamed on his brother, with the big vocal chords in use. Just this morning, I found my bathroom sink filled to the brim with water and OVERFLOWING DOWN THE SIDE OF THE VANITY. There was a toy monster truck sunk to the bottom of the sink, and a hairbrush was floating like a rescue boat. The water was running in the drawers of our bathroom vanity, and dripping onto the floor. It was every insurance company’s nightmare, except not in this case, because HELLO, NO FLOOD INSURANCE. When Thing 2 was questioned about it, he blamed his sixteen-year-old brother for washing toys there.)

(Of course, I took a picture of the crime scene, in case I have to sue Thing 2 for property damage.)

Apparently, Hubs decided to quit making annual payments to the spot who has hosted my blog all these years, because why pay for something you can do yourself for free?  Hubs decided to move my blog to HIS computer company, and have his company host Jedi Mama.

My response to that was, “We pay a yearly fee for someone to host my blog?”

I’m the CEO here at Jedi Mama, Inc., but apparently there were some technical details that I was unaware of.  Hubs asked me, “Um… did  you think it was hosted for FREE AMERICAN DOLLARS all this time?”

Here’s what I thought:  Nothing.  I thought absolutely nothing.  Blog hosting never occurred to me.  All I knew was that I could type in a password and boom!  There was my blog’s control center, and, as far as I was concerned, it existed in cyber space somewhere, for no exchange of money.

When Hubs decided to switch my blog from the expensive host to my new, free-at-Hubs’-office host, he did it without consulting me.  I may be the CEO here, but apparently Hubs felt like he was Royalty with Authority, who could trump the CEO without even buying donuts to console her with.  He simply hacked my blog, started moving things, and then announced, “Your blog is down.  I’m working on it in my spare time.”  What Hubs’ spare time amounted to was, “It’s taken me three days to get your entire blog copied and running at my office.”

When you don’t pay for IT services, it’s going to be a while before you get the green light signaling that everything is a GO.

So the reason nothing has been written here is because it wasn’t my fault.

I blame Hubs.

And, with any luck, we will be back on a regular blogging schedule soon, unless this nasty, two-weeks-and-still-going-strong cough of mine doesn’t slow down, and I end up quarantined in bed.

Y’all have a happy Sunday evening.  Especially since we’ve lost an hour, and it doesn’t really feel like bedtime quite yet.  Whoever invented Daylight Savings Time clearly never had small children or a need for sleep and coffee.

Celebrating Number Five

About an hour ago, Thing 2 was digging through our kitchen junk drawer, looking for a hammer.  I had no idea he was looking for a hammer; all I knew was that I didn’t like the looks of him frantically digging through our assortment of small tools, rolls of electrical tape, batteries, and our collection of loose screws and keys, which we are at a loss to say what they go to, but which we cannot part with, because WHAT IF THIS KEY HERE UNLOCKS A TREASURE CHEST WE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT?

I asked him what he was looking for.

“A hammer, Mom.  I need a hammer really bad!”

And that is the precise moment in time that I assured him there’s NOTHING IN THIS WORLD that he could possibly need a hammer for.  Thing 2 and hammers tend to behave like oil and water, except with an end result of broken Sheetrock.

Of course, Thing 2 protested my authority, as he hollered back, “I DO need a hammer!  I need one VERY… HEY!!!!!!  Here’s my microphone Dad hid a long time ago!”

And that was exactly the diversion he needed, to get him off the Hammer Mission.  He grabbed the microphone, ran to his bedroom, retrieved his karaoke machine, which has sat useless in his closet, because DADDY HID THE MICROPHONE FOUR MONTHS AGO, and I have been subjected to a rock and roll concert ever since.

I have blood dripping from my left ear, from all the noise, and I feel exactly like I’ve been beaten like a rented circus monkey.  Forgive me if this blog post goes a little more sideways than normal tonight.

Yesterday was Thing 2’s fifth birthday.  He came prancing into our bedroom, poked me in the arm while I was sleeping, and asked, “Is it finally my birthday, Mom?  Is today March 5th?”

Which is why we were opening presents on Sunday morning, while it was still dark outside.  Bless.

We blame the grandparents for the stress of the karaoke machine, which they bought Thing 2 for his birthday LAST YEAR, but Hubs and I made a grave error in present-buying THIS YEAR.  Hubs helped him assemble a little racetrack that we bought for him, which flips tiny cars all over the place.

It plays carnival music.

At one volume.

Which is the volume of a real carnival, on steroids.

Hubs has already announced that there are two wires inside the speaker, and that he knows which one to cut to make all the crazy singing go away.

That, in a nutshell, is the reason I married Hubs.  He always knows which wire to cut.

After church yesterday, I made Thing 2 smile for some FIVE YEAR OLD PICTURES.

Five, people!  My baby is FIVE.  YEARS.  OLD.  Tomorrow, he’ll be getting his driver’s license and waving goodbye to me, as I leave him at a college dorm somewhere.

We ran home and changed out of the crunchy jeans and button-up shirt that ruin his life, and we took him to Stick and Puck, where the kids can take their hockey sticks out onto the ice.

Sadly, Thing 2 is COMPLETELY SOLD on becoming a hockey player.  I don’t think I have it in me to be a hockey MOM, because hockey moms have to travel to games all winter long.  I need Valium and counseling to drive on snowy roads.  I think I’m more cut out to be a baseball sort of mom, who can drive to games in neighboring towns on DRY, SUNSHINY ROADS.  The boy, bless him, chose golf, which involves dry, sunshiny roads between tournaments.  I think Thing 2 should reconsider his sport of choice, for my sake.

Grammy and Papa offered to take Thing 2 to lunch, for his birthday.  They told him that he could pick any restaurant in town.

He picked McDonald’s, because OF COURSE HE DID.

So, we all sat around a big table in the Play Land, eating French fries that tasted like they’d marinated in vegetable oil for three weeks prior to being fried.  It was a very glamorous birthday lunch, but it made Thing 2 happy.

Afterward, Grammy and Papa had presents for the birthday boy to open.

Grammy even brought a giant, chocolate cake!

We all sang to the birthday boy, which made him deliriously happy.  I couldn’t quit grinning, watching our little boy SOAK IN THE JOY of FINALLY being the birthday kid!  That grin of his, which erupted from the total joy of us celebrating his birth together, made me happier than anything else could have.

Since Thing 2 got Rollerblades for his birthday, we decided to hit the park and see how well he could use them.

The answer was PRETTY STINKING WELL.  Apparently, ice skating transfers straight across the board to Rollerblading.

A couple of Thing 2’s BFFs met us at the park, and the kids played and played and PLAYED.  They hunted for dinosaur bones, chased one another in tag, road bikes and scooters and skates, and had a marvelous time in the sixty-degree weather.

There were only a few tears, as Vivian June found a real vertebrae from a T-Rex dinosaur, and refused to let Thing 2 take it home.  It’s hard to be five, when your good friend finds a dinosaur artifact at a public playground, and you don’t.

Meanwhile, the girls’ moms and I sat on the edge of the playground and talked and talked and talked, as grownups tend to do.  We marveled over the glorious, GLORIOUS weather and sunshine, because this has been the kind of winter that Laura Ingalls suffered through.  We have gone from one blizzard full of road closures to another blizzard filled with road closures, over and over and over again, and frankly… COME, THOU SPRING!!!

When the sun started to go down, we got together with Mam and Pa, who had more presents for Thing 2 on his birthday.

There was more cake, because birthday boys can always have second helpings of chocolate cake, decorated in balloons made from thick frosting.

Thing 2 ended up going to bed at 8:30 last night, which is an hour past his normal bedtime, and he slept until 7:30 this morning!!!

Oh, yes!  He did!!  Hubs and I awoke at 6:30 to the angels quietly singing a hymn of LO, THE BABY SLEEPS, ON THIS MONDAY MORN.  And then Thing 2 slept on for another solid hour.  He woke up at 7:30 this morning, refreshed and telling us that he felt like a grownup five-year-old.

Of course, when Hubs and I got out of bed at 6:30, we noticed that it had…

… well…

SNOWED ANOTHER THREE INCHES OVERNIGHT.

Yes, ma’am.

Shoveling the driveway was back on, like Donkey Kong.  This is the endless winter.

And it’s been a stereotypical Monday ever since.

Y’all have a good evening.

Five-Point-Oh

THING 2:  “Vivian June said that when you turn five, you can use sharp steak knives all by yourself, so I guess I’ll be doing THAT now.”

ME:  “Don’t listen to four-year-old girls.  They’ll lead you astray.  You can’t actually use sharp steak knives until you’re twenty-six.”

Y’all!  Our baby is five today!

He.  Is.  FIVE.  I could cry, with how fast these past five years have flown by, and yet I love having a five-year-old in our house, too.

Happy birthday, Thing 2.  Your family sure loves you.

Dehydration 2017

Where do I even start?

I’m sure that there are those who have looked at the lack of progress here at Jedi Mama, Inc. over the past week and thought, “Well, they’ve finally done it.  They’ve taken a VACATION.”  For that I simply say that vacations are for normal families, who don’t have to buy a new dishwasher, as theirs has currently given up the ghost and washed its very last splotch of sloppy joe off a dinner plate.  Besides, every morning that Hubs sits beside me with a cup of coffee is his vacation, and every time someone just HUSHES!  HUSHES!  FOR THE LOVE, JUST HUSHES! while I’m watching Chip and Joanna on the DVR is a vacation for me.

In other words, no.

We have not been vacationing.

What we have been doing is suffering from the failing health, while Hubs was out of town for work.

You see, Hubs left for Major Thriving Metropolis last Thursday, in the middle of a blizzard, which didn’t bother me at all.  I thrive and blossom under the stress of internet reports, stating ROAD CLOSURES, DUE TO LOW VISIBILITY, BLACK ICE AND HEAVY SNOWFALL.  I don’t think I overtaxed the friends that I texted, asking, “Um… y’all wanna pray?”  Meanwhile, during his several-hour trip, Hubs sent me texted updates saying, “The roads aren’t as bad as the internet said,” and “We’ve only seen one car off the road, on its side, this entire drive,” and “Honey, the West wasn’t won by a bunch of cowboys who sat around and said, ‘The snow looks too bad to push forward.'”  Eventually, I started believing these little text messages, as they came in, which is when Hubs fired off the final blow.

“We’re here.  The roads were flipping treacherous and it was kind of touch and go for a while, but I didn’t want to worry you.”

Lovely.

Just lovely.

I told the boy on Thursday night that I was going to bed early, because I suspected I was catching a cold.

And by cold, I meant that I was going to wake up the following morning with the Black Plague of Death lingering in my throat and sinuses.  My cough on Friday resembled that of a seventy-six year old woman who has driven a semi truck most of her adult life, while smoking five full packs of unfiltered, cheap cigarettes every single day and bellowing out the lyrics to Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette songs that were played off the 8 track in her enormous rig.  I sounded exactly like I’d had a bowl of gravel with stout coffee for breakfast.

By Friday night, I was coughing like I intended to meet Jesus.  As in, I could not stop.  I coughed and I coughed and I coughed, until I thought surely THIS WAS THE BIG ONE, ELIZABETH!  I’M GOING TO SUFFOCATE NOW!  And then, with some miraculous gift from above, I’d catch my breath, suck enough oxygen into my lungs to keep life going… seconds before I kicked off another loud fit of coughing.

I coughed all night long.

I know that you think this is an overused cliche, but listen:

I coughed.

All night.

Long.

As in, every ninety seconds, all night long, I was coughing.  I think I slept for a while between 1:30 and 2:30 that morning, and that was pretty much it.

Saturday morning began my dedication to poor hygiene.  I didn’t shower, because why?  WHY SHOWER, WHEN MY DAY WAS ALREADY MAPPED OUT AND DIDN’T INVOLVE LEAVING THE HOUSE?  Sit on the sofa.  Cough.  Drink some hot tea.  Cough.  Sit on the sofa some more.  Cough.  Drink another cup of hot tea.  Keep coughing.  Continue and repeat until bedtime.

Mam and Pa came over to collect Thing 2 and his little backpack, filled with pajamas and clean socks and sweatpants.  They let me know that I could just go on ahead to bed, and try to get some sleep, while they had a sleepover at their house with the little man.  Under normal circumstances, when I could have enjoyed sleeping in on a weekend morning, this would have been a lovely thing.  As it was, I took a full dose of purple, Delsym cough syrup and propped myself up on six giant pillows in my bed.

Dear Delsym Cough Syrup,

I want to haul your little self into court for falsely assuring me that you could control my cough for twelve entire hours.  I hate you, because you lied.  You couldn’t control my cough for twelve seconds.

Sincerely,

Mama

And that’s how I came to have not showered again the following day.  I THINK I may have put on clean pajama pants, but I can’t even really be sure of that.  All of my sick days have blended together in a panoramic blur with a coughing soundtrack behind it.

In addition to the cough, I couldn’t breathe.  There was not a single space in my nostril that was open to air at all.  My nose became nothing but a decorative feature on my face, and I had to cancel my appearance at the beauty pageant.  I just felt like walking across the stage in my swimwear and stilettos, while I was coughing, was begging for a tragedy.  The coughing would have thrown me off balance, I would have stumbled, and embarrassed myself beyond saving.

So I stayed home from the pageant.

All of this continued to go on, until I woke up on Monday morning and felt different.

And by different, I mean that I couldn’t focus my eyes on anything, my heart felt like it was beating too fast in my chest, my hands were trembling, my mouth was so dry, it felt like I’d eaten a bowl of hot sand, and I was so nauseated, I couldn’t get out of bed.  I remained in bed, wondering if the time had come to just call an ambulance to come and fetch me, because HOW ON EARTH WAS I GOING TO GET DOWNSTAIRS, OUT THE FRONT DOOR AND SIT IN A CAR, TO RIDE TO THE HOSPITAL?

And yet, that’s what I did.

I told my mom that I needed to go to the ER, which threw things into a bit of fast movement.

We made it out of my house.

We made it halfway across town.

We  made it to a nice, respectable neighborhood on a very, very, VERY busy street.

And then I announced that I needed the car to be pulled over, so I could hang my head out the door and projectile vomit all over the curb.

Over and over and over.

Right in front of someone’s home.

I could only imagine the conversation going on inside.

“Gladys, some drunk girl’s hanging out of a car, vomiting all over our curb and gutter.  You just sit tight, with the phone in case I signal for you to call the police.  I’ve got my shotgun loaded with rock salt, and I’m going to go see if I can encourage her to take the contents of her stomach somewhere else.”

Thankfully, we were able to move along, before anyone ventured out of their house to witness my grave embarrassment.

At the ER, I couldn’t walk inside, but a nice, elderly gentleman brought me a wheelchair.

He helped me get to Bed Number Nine, where I basically passed out.  The sweet nurse asked me my name, and I could barely tell her, before I announced, “I have to puke!”

In other words, no Southern Belle has EVER made such a grand entrance into a place as I did on Monday.

Five minutes later, the announcement came that I was grossly dehydrated.

Dehydrated, people.  Despite all the hot tea I had been drinking, I was diagnosed as being dehydrated!  I got an IV and several bags of fluid, and I’m here to say that it made all the difference in the world.

At one point, the ER doctor said that he was ordering a chest X-ray, because I was coughing like I had pneumonia.  Bed Number Nine was wheeled down to Radiology, I puked three more times before I came back, and the friendly radiology tech helped me with my gown, so that she could take some pictures.

Later, after I was hopped up on REAL FLUIDS THAT REHYDRATED ME, I became aware of the fact that I hadn’t… well... SHAVED MY ARMPITS… like… in quite some time.

In other words, “Here, Chewbaca!  If you could just grab this bar right here, while I get a picture of your left lung, that’d be great.”

By Monday night, people, I was beginning to feel like I might survive again.  I’d had fluids, fluids, oh, precious fluids!  I’d been given a shot of antibiotics and had more antibiotics to take.  I actually managed to sleep a little on Monday night.

By Tuesday, my hair looked like an oil spill in the ocean.

I had a migraine from the glands at the back of my neck aching so badly, so I slept a lot during the afternoon.

And, people, by Tuesday night, I felt like I might live again.  I got up out of the bed and walked around the house.  It was then that I smelled someone’s horrid body odor.

Oh, I’m not kidding.  It was the worst kind of body odor you’ve ever smelled; the kind that makes your pull your T-shirt up over your nose and mouth, right before you make a hasty retreat to AVOID THAT PERSON AT ALL COSTS.

Except… I couldn’t avoid that person.  All I could do was coax her and her greasy hair into the shower.

It was then… after I’d washed with soap and warm water and taken a razor to Chewbaca’s armpits… that I realized I was going to make it after all.

And now?

Well, it’s Thursday, and I’m actually feeling pretty good.  Hubs got home last night from Major Thriving Metropolis.  He missed all the DEHYDRATION DRAMA.

Apparently, dehydration is a big deal.  Who knew?

Hubs came home with a cough.  The kind of cough that makes people think he might be about to meet Jesus.  Hubs went to the doctor today.  He got a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for more antibiotics.

And THAT, in a nutshell, is pretty much why nothing has been happening at the offices of Jedi Mama, Incorporated this week.

Please forgive us.  We’re on the mend now.  We have prescription cough syrup and antibiotics, and our armpits are more worthy of the eyes of a radiology technician.  We are going to make it now!

Bless us.

Y’all have a good weekend.