Monday, January 30, 2012

I am Woman See Me Drive.......

We are home! In case you haven't been following my other blog Life with the Incredible Mr. David or aren't glued to my every post on facebook, then you may not know that I have been traveling. Last Wednesday we left for Shriners Hospital in St. Louis and today we made it home. That's right folks the old gray van has put an extra 1200 miles on itself in the last week.

As I was driving home today....first through St. Louis, then Columbia, then Kansas City, I was thinking back to a time when I never dreamed I would be driving anywhere on my own outside the Wichita area. I hate traffic and I hate driving in unfamiliar areas. I am horrible with maps and directions and all my friends know this. Berty and Thiry used to laugh and say...."If Lisa says go sure and go right!" I might have been offended if they hadn't been so scarily correct.

When I was young and we went on trips....I never wanted to drive. New places scared me and traffic petrified me. Even when I was on my own before Tim....if I could talk someone else into driving...I would do it in a heartbeat. After Tim and I were together....I was always more than happy to let him do the driving and me do the navigating. Okay...he drove and navigated. I slept.

When Tim died....I was left to both drive and navigate on my own. I hated it. Sadly though, if I ever wanted to get out of a six mile radius.....then I was left to my own driving devices. Then the unthinkable happened. My mother in law who lives just south of St. Louis wanted us to visit!!! Oh Lord help me....I so did not want to make that first trip. I did and luckily I was still in my auto pilot grief phase so I have almost no recollection of that trip at all. Over the next few years....she made a couple of trips west and suddenly this summer....the ball or should I say...steering wheel was in my corner again. I conjured up my courage and off we went. The trip was fine until I found myself in Deliverance country. I was sure we would never be heard from again. Thank God for cell phones. My mother in law was able to talk us back into civilization.

So here we are again. This time it wasn't just for a visit. This time it was for David and there is absolutely nothing I wouldn't brave for that child.....including my fear of getting lost in east hell. So I pulled up my big girl panties and off we went. I left at 3:30 in the morning hoping to miss a lot of traffic and the trip was going great until we hit hard rain outside of St. Louis. It was as if St. Louis drivers had never seen or driven in rain before. The 75 mph traffic slowed to 40 mph and the part of the trip that should have taken an hour and a half tops took us double that. Other than the slow going though.....we made it in one piece with no detours or wrong turns. The trip down was a thing of beauty.

Today on the way home we again left at 3:30 a.m. We zoomed from my mother in laws house and the small surrounding towns straight into St. Louis. The traffic was easy as no one else in the state was up yet. We hit Columbia before the sun was up and KC right after rush hour traffic. Not only was the trip smooth, but we made it in record time. It was my personal best....7 hours for an 8 hour trip. I have learned that music really helps the trips go faster! I am. Not only am driving places that are somewhat unfamiliar to me and doing it by myself (well technically Z and David were along for the ride)....but I am also trying to beat land speed records. Who would have thought it? Boy....have I come along way. It is amazing what we can do if we have no other choice. It sounds like I will be learning these roads very well as we will have more Shriners visits in our future. Good thing the iPod is full!!!!

As I was contemplating all of this on the drive home...I had a song going through my head that seemed like the perfect soundtrack for both my thoughts and the drive. I could hear Helen Reddy proudly singing I am Woman hear me roar.....only in my version it went more like: I am Woman see me drive!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Z! is still cold and this kind of weather puts me in hibernation mode, but alas I must fight it. Today....although pretty chilly,  getting up was much easier as Z beat us all out of bed. It was about 5:30 a.m. when I heard the pitter patter of his size 10's on my downstairs floor. Yes....he was singing too. If his eyes are open.....he is singing. So why the early and cheery start? Today Z turns 16!!!! It is simply amazing to me. Time just goes so fast. It seems just like yesterday Tim and I were in the ER waiting for the doctor to say it was C-section time.

The October before Z was born, Tim had been at work and had pulled a huge box by its packing strips. Instead of the box moving....the strap broke and Tim lost his balance causing his ankle to twist and snap. After two surgeries Tim was still on crutches in January. It was cold and I had been having pre labor with Z since late October. Twice they had given me drugs to stop labor and we had made it to January. January 19th though.....I started having pretty heavy contractions. The weather was being fairly unpredictable at the time and with Tim not getting around so easy,  we decided we better head on in to the hospital. Twenty four hours later....the doctor finally decided the contractions were not going to stop and probably a c-section was in order. So at 1:30 p.m. January 20, 1996, Z made his first appearance. He had a head full of white hair and brilliant blue eyes. His lungs were obviously perfectly formed as he screamed for dear life. The first words Tim said were, "Honey....he has your nose and with those lungs....he's gonna be a singer." Sixteen years later....he still has my nose and he certainly does sing.

Z always just amazed me growing up. He had endless energy and he divided his time equally between being a mama's boy and a daddy's boy. First thing in the morning....he wanted Daddy. They had an early morning ritual of diaper change and Z sitting on Daddy''s lap while he drank his coffee. They would sing together and laugh together and I would respect their time. After Daddy left for work though....Z immediately became Mama's boy. He would crawl up on the couch with me and watch Blues Clues or Barney and we would sing the songs and dance to the music. We both got the best of Z.

As a little guy he was fun. He had energy to burn and never stopped during the day unless forced to  by a nap or bedtime. When Tim worked second shift and came home around 11:30 p.m. often Z would sneak out of bed and greet his Daddy. This was met with a snack and some more one on one time with Tim. They had such a strong bond and Tim always said that Z was making him the man he had always wanted to be.

When Tim died, maybe it was only fitting that Z was the one there with him. He was only five at the time but that day definitely was pivital in jump starting his path to manhood. He had almost an acceptance of the fact that it was his place to be with his father in his last minutes and honestly has never questioned "why me!"

Since those days Z has grown to be an exceptional young man. He is his little brothers hero and he has returned that with a love for David that is quite heartening. Z has never treated David as special needs....but he has given him a big brother that all little boys would dream of. Z has a very kind heart and with this sort of heart comes the ability to have it broken. People tend to see kindness as weakness therefore they will often try  to see just how much that heart can take. Z's heart has been hurt many times but never has he been broken. His kindness has brought about an amazing strength and his life experiences have given him an insight and empathy into and for others that few his age have!

I stand back and watch as my beautiful little boy quickly is turning into a handsome and wonderful young man. I can't tell you how proud I am of him. Someone told me the other day...."you did a great job with him." Somehow I don't think that credit goes to me.

So today....I am a proud mama. I am also mentally preparing myself for the next phase of the teen years. He now no longer just has to drive to school and work and now will come parties, girl friends and for me staying awake until I hear him come in and biting my tongue when I am being too over protective. Perhaps now would be a good time for me to take up drinking! lol I wish Z a very Happy Birthday! May this be your best one so far and may life hold for you many wonderful surprises from this day forward. I love you my Z!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I am a Gleek!

Have I mentioned that I hate the cold? I know! I know! Only about a million times. Honestly....I should not be complaining since up until now we have actually had a very mild winter but I am complaining because I really hate to be cold. You know it is cold when I allow my dogs to sleep on my bed at night just to keep my feet warm. I usually never let the dogs sleep on my bed. Last night though...I had a canine foot warmer. I know that says something sad about me...but I prefer not to dwell on that.

So I guess the media that was forced on me the other day kind of stuck. I actually caught myself surfing the news channels last night for headlines. BAD LISA! BAD! I know I should keep up better but seriously...until they can start balancing all the bad in the world with a little of the good then why should I watch the news everyday just to get my soul crushed? Toss in a story about a kid who did something right, a woman who survived breast cancer or a cute animal anecdote every once in awhile and I might be more inclined to tear myself away from Snooki's latest antics and find out what is actually going on in the world around me. Until then....I shall carry on my torrid love/hate relationship with reality TV. Sorry folks...that's just who I am!

Speaking of TV I heard a conversation the other day between two individuals about the show Glee! Both admitted that they had never watched the show but where discussing what they had heard about it. Okay....discussing wasn't quite the word. Bashing is probably a better adjective for what they were doing. They were talking about what a horrible influence a show like that would be on our youth. It after all has gay students, it talks about drugs and alcohol and it has sexual situations. The final statement that I heard before walking off and yes....rolling my eyes a bit was....."How could any decent parent allow their child to watch such trash?" Hmmmm Okay....I have to say REALLY?

What they described was not just a TV is what goes on in any high school in America right now. If these women feel this strongly then how could they possibly send their kids not just to public school....but any school? I guarantee you walk into just about any high school in any town and you will find gay kids. They might be closeted, but you can bet there is at least one. And you know because it is high school.....some or many kids are trying to ease the pain of a crappy home life, being bullied or being gay and not being able to come out by self medicating with drugs and alcohol. Also the teen high school years are just chock full of raging hormones. Maybe not all but at least some of those kids are having sex. Chances are there are even teen pregnancies. High school is life and life gets messy sometimes, so as an adult who has watched Glee multiple times I would say the show is pretty darn realistic. What these ladies didn't understand about this show (because they admittedly have never watched it) is that there is a much bigger message that this show is putting out. The message is okay to be different. It is okay to be yourself....and if you enjoy something even if others don't think it is cool....go for it. That is the message that hits home with kids!!! It is also making people more aware of just how bad the bullying is in schools. They have shown everything from kids getting slushies thrown in their face because they are Glee kids to getting threatened because they are gay. This is a very prevalent and very important message. It is also opening dialog between kids and parents as parents don't always see or understand what goes on in today's high schools. There are also underlying messages such as a girl who chose adoption over abortion, that being gay is not a choice and often that bullies bully because they are so unhappy themselves. In my humble opinion (and I am pretty conservative) the Glee writers are pretty responsible and careful when handling these story lines. The added bonus to Glee though is the music and the talent. The voices they showcase are amazing and the songs range from crooner classics to Top 40! Maybe Glee is not everyone's cup of tea and far be it from me to tell another parent what they should or should not let your kids watch. All I am saying is don't judge until you have watched it. Who too might become a Gleek! I know I am!

Okay, so the opinionated Lisa is back. Obviously the blogging Lisa is back too. We all knew that the silent Lisa couldn't last long. I have way too big a mouth and way too many opinions to stay permanently dormant. Guess it is time to get back to work. Here is hoping that you stay warm and cozy and that you don't need a dog as a foot warmer!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trips, Media and Things

The countdown is on. Soon we will be heading for St. Louis and Shriners Hospital in hopes that David will have new found or at least better mobility. I would do almost anything to ensure that he has the most amazing and independent life possible. I just wish I had known about Shriners sooner.

Life is starting to make sense again....or at least as much sense as life ever makes. Friday will be Z's 16th birthday. I can hardly believe it. It really doesn't seem possible that it has been 16 years. Wow how time does fly. I remember 16 being such a milestone in my life. I was finally able to pierce my ears, drive and date. I felt so grown up but the reality was....I was still just a baby. It is hard to look at Z and see my baby because he is a very grown up young man, but when I look into his beautiful blue eyes.....I still see the little boy he once was. Z has asked for very little for his birthday (other than friends over and karaoke) but I know he wants a tattoo and I am debating it. His wanting a tattoo is the equivalent of me wanting my ears pierced at his age. Different fad....same need to cross lines and be a bit rebellious. Lord help me if the wrong people find out though. So it is a dilemma I will ponder for a few more days.

Yesterday I took my car in to make sure it was road ready for this trip. Since it took a while to do all that was necessary I waited in the lounge where a TV was. My self imposed media black out was circumvented by the fact that I had no control over the channel being watched. For over an hour I watched the same news over and over again and honestly.....none of it was good. I watched the cruise ship sink in Italy all the while hearing the coast guard 911 tape incriminating the cruise ship captain for incompetence and failing to keep his passengers safe. WOW! I currently have no desire to cruise anywhere.

I also watched the highlights from the previous nights GOP debates. Since I didn't watch the actual debate (had no real desire to) I was left at the mercy of the news channel and which ever sound bites from the debate they chose to focus on. I was left with the impression that Ron Paul was a dud and that the race would be between Newt Gingritch and Mitt Romney. The one I am interested in.... Rick Santorum was kind of left in limbo (according to this particular news outlet anyway). I so dread this election year. I know it will be an ugly one and I really have no idea at this point who I would actually vote for....but I am of the mind that just about anyone is better than what we currently have. Don't hate is just my opinion.

Finally....the last piece of news that kept flashing was the fact that the middle east is building their armed forces along with their arsenal in preparation for a strike against the US. Apparently they are stronger now than ever (or at least will be in the next 6 months) and they definitely have an axe to grind with us. They have not been this much of a threat since the 1970's and now they have more reason to hate us in light of the last decade. Granted...this would not be the first country who had a beef with the US, but are we prepared for such an attack? It appears that some holding current office believe in taking a "golden rule/turn the other cheek" attitude. That is great if the other countries have the same philosophy (and they don't). It is pretty hard to turn the other cheek when it has been blown off by nuclear weapons.

Sigh! I so did not want to get political. This is what watching the news gets you. I think I will go back to my media blackout and focus on the tasks ahead. Oops.....have to give an opinion on one other little tid bit of news. While this is media pushed my info on it came from the internet and sites I use. Apparently legislation is trying to be passed to stop piracy of music, books and movies. Piracy is theft and quite honestly if I created something and my livelihood rested on the ability to be able to sell it to the public, then yes....I too might be quite miffed if others were just taking it illegally. I know that especially music and movies are downloaded illegally by the millions every day. It is in fact stealing and it is in fact wrong. That being said....the government is trying to use this as a way to play Big Brother more than they already do. They are using the piracy issue as a way to infringe on individuals privacy and censor anything they found offensive or possibly infringing. Sadly...the movie industry, music industry and many publishing houses are behind this legislation and are pushing to get it passed quickly. What this would mean for you and I is our privacy is put at risk (anything we do on the internet will be watched, recorded and quite possibly censored) even though only a fraction of the people are involved in the piracy. There has to be a better way...and I truly hope they find it. Government already has their nose so far up peoples business that any more and we might as well just give up and call ourselves China. now I will delve into the business of trip preparing. I am excited, nervous and very anxious but after talking to several who have been to Shriners and have had very positive experiences I have great hope for next week. I am sure the blogs will be flying before, during and after the journey. Please keep us in your good thoughts and prayers that we have a safe and successful trip. And now....I'm off!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The New Chapter

I won't lie....this last week was really tough. It was also in its own way....amazing. It was a week mixed with heart felt sadness and pure unadulterated joy. To put it in terms one outside my own personal body might understand...... it was like being on a VERY wild roller coaster ride. You know....the ones that turn you upside down and make you feel as if you are in mid air without support and you really aren't sure you are going to survive so you pray all the way. Yep....that was my week.

If you read my other blog, you already know most of what went on. If you didn't or don't let me give you the abridged version. I found a breast lump the first of the week, had to wait until the end of the week to have it checked out. I ended up in the ER mid week because of horrid back and side pain. Watched a fb friend suffer as she lost the love of her life way too young. Had to worry about the "c" word while inundated with stories of it wrecking peoples lives, all the while  fearing what a bad diagnosis would do to my children and how it might affect David's chances of going to Shriner's Hospital this month. Out of everything bad though comes good and my week though precarious was not without many blessings.

I had started Weight Watchers the 1st of January. So far....this is the first time in years that I have been on WW and stayed exactly within my points. Even through the stress of waiting and worrying.....I never faltered. For me....that was huge. I also had plenty of time to soul search and come to some very private and yet very real realizations about myself. Between my "conversations" with God and my conversations with myself, I made some mental and emotional decisions. I also had my prayers answered in no small part I am sure, due to the fact that I had many prayers much more worthy than my own going out. I also am sure I had a few heaven insider prayers going up as I have some very special guardian angels up there. Friday about 9:30 a.m. my girls were given a clean bill of health and I felt all the stress and worry just leave my body. As things go kids have "me" to look forward to for many years ahead and David's St. Louis trip is still a go!!!!! And once is as normal as it gets in Lisaland.

Since I have kind of let blogging go to a hit or miss status.....I really haven't been on much to discuss this new year or what my plans are. For those of you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering,  my new years plan is really simple....I have no plans. The only scheduled plan I have is to get David to Shriners....after that.....I plan on living my life day by day and on occasions, it will probably be hour by hour or even minute by minute. Perhaps I have decided that me trying to make plans gets in the way of what God has planned. I am pretty sure His plan for me is far better than any plan I could have for myself.

Along with all of the hulabaloo of last week, my beautiful step-daughter celebrated her birthday Friday and this next Friday, Z will hit his landmark 16th birthday. It doesn't quite seem possible he could be such a grown up young man, but he and I ended this last week with a wonderful conversation last night. It was one of those where you actually start out doing one thing, but then you get to taking and three hours later everything else has gone by the wayside except for your conversation. I learned a lot about Z last night and saw maturity in him that I hadn't seen before. We talked about morality and his views of things and lessons he has learned in the last year.  I was really surprised at the eyes in which he sees the world. He is an amazing young man and I am very proud of who he is. It was truly a wonderful time stopping conversation for the two of us. I hope to have more conversations like that in the future.

So we are approaching a new week and we are smack dab in the middle of the first month of the year. The possibilities are endless as the road is wide open. I feel like after this last week, I have relinquished all control.....especially due to the fact that as much as I would like to think differently.....I never really had any control and also.....I have absolutely no idea where this road leads or where I am going. This new chapter that I am beginning is a blank one, but as things happen I am sure it will be filled with wonderful adventures and a great many highs and lows. Fear not though........because whenever possible....... I will be right here....... ready take you all along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm (blank) Because......

I found this on one of my favorite blogs Busy Little Lady Bugs. I just love it and thought I would do it myself. So here goes:

I am Weird Because......
I like salt and sweet and take it to the extremes (i.e. french fries and ice cream, strawberry jelly and pizza)
I have too vivid of an imagination
I prefer breakfast for dinner
I have a love/hate relationship with Reality TV
I think my best feature is my feet
I love a clean and orderly house but hate to clean and organize

I am a Bad Friend Because.....

I am horrible about returning calls
I am pretty bad about texting too
I go into recluse mode and block out the world (friends and all)
I am either hyper needy or no maintenance and have no in between
Sometimes I stick both feet in my mouth at once
Often I speak my mind too fully instead of just listening and agreeing
I have a low threshold for BS which can make being friends a bit dicey at times

I am a Good Friend Because.....
I do listen
I try to be there when someone truly needs me
I will pray for anyone...anytime....for any reason
My heart is usually in the right place even if my actions sometimes say otherwise
I will have your back
I choose my friends wisely therefore my friendships last decades
I have good friends

I am Sad Because.....
I worry too much
I have a sick child at home today
I am very lonely at times
We are going into a mud slinging election year
I don't have my mom to turn to
My dad will never see me as anything but a failure

I am Happy Because.....
I have wonderful kids and step kids
I get to hear Z sing everyday
I get to hear David laugh
I have a job in this horrid economy (and it is not in aircraft)
I have the ability to make someone smile everyday.
Spring will be here in about 3 months
I have awesome friends (even though they take unflattering pictures)
I can write and blog and express myself

And finally......

I Did this Because.........
I can
I know you were dying to know more about moi!