Crazy Things I’ve Been Busy Doing

Neglecting my blog.

Stating the obvious. One of my favorite past times.

Saying goodbye to the blue bug.

Helping one darling twin buy her first new car.

Watching one darling twin play rugby at North Georgia.

Why does she always have to be the one trying to get the ball?

We still hate intensely dislike this sport game blood bath.

Celebrating the pumpkin’s 23rd birthday.

All he wanted was this pitiful fruit cookie pizza. No fruit, just sweetened cream cheese on top of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Weird, I know. Also, very easy.

Watching two darling twins play rugby at Georgia Tech.

Watching one darling twin get hurt.

Not taking pictures of her being carried off the field.

Taking a picture of their friend Jenna getting hurt. That makes 4 players down in one game.

Worrying about the darling twins and their bad decisions regarding rugby.

Waiting for MRI results from knee injury from horrible rugby game.

Taking one darling twin to the doctor for an echo cardiogram for a newly discovered heart murmur.

Probably caused by playing rugby.

Taking pictures of said darling twin during the test after she hissed “no” when I asked if I could take pictures.

Dining with same darling daughter later that evening.

Two dinners with 5 of us in one week is a new record. We missed you Wizzy.

Listening to Scary Baby say…

“When are you going to blog about our trip this summer?”

Nothing like a little blog pressure from your 13 year-old.

Dealing with middle school issues that we are too old and tired to be dealing with.

Parenting when we are too old and tired to be parenting.

Yes, we know we brought this all on ourselves.

No need to state the obvious to me. 😉

Supervising the setup of a garage sale that Scary Baby begged to have all summer.

Not being present at any time during said garage sale.

Enjoying our gorgeous weather.

Playing golf with PhilBillPaul on my birthday this past Saturday.

Unplugging from the internet and all email for the whole weekend.

Planning a vacation trip with PhilBillPaul for our pending 25th anniversary in two weeks.

I had big plans to plan the trip much earlier in the year. Um, yeah…that didn’t happen.

At this point, we may end up in a tent at a state park. Not knocking those of you who love camping but that is soooo not my love language.

Trying to continue documenting our life in the Humpfreeze family before I die of stress from worrying about my 3 twenties and 1 teen.

Stressing that I am not blogging our stories so they will all know how much I love them.

Endless circle I know – love, worry, stress, love.

Writing many blog posts. In my head.

I really do miss blogging and hope to be back here soon.

What have you been doing?

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Disaster Preparedness At Our House

Storms and tornado warnings throughout Georgia sent us to our basement on Friday.

Several times.

My short list of what to grab when you don’t have much time:

Flashlights, prescriptions, cash, cell phone, camera and my laptop.

PhilBillPaul grabbed candles, matches and water bottles.

Scary Baby grabbed 2 stuffed animals, her favorite boots and moisturizing lotion.

I didn’t ask. Nor did I know this until I unpacked the bag the next day.

The Grunter “was forced” to move to the basement in January so he did nothing. (Story for another day.) Except become irritated when we invaded “his” space.

Once we gathered together for our safety, Scary Baby and The Grunter were ready.

Disclaimer: I did suggest the motorcycle helmets since we don’t have 4 bicycle helmets. I will concede the girlfriends motorcycles in the garage have come in handy for ONE thing. I have some legitimate fears about head injury. Go figure.

Thankfully, our area suffered no damage. Other areas were devastated by this latest round of tornadoes. I hope you and your family are all safe.

In other disaster-related news, my websites were down for over a week. Apologies if you got the scary red screen from Google. Can we all agree that hacking as a hobby is one of the most senseless, useless and annoying hobbies to date?

All is well again. How are things with you?

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DIY Car Repair

In the midst of the marathon kitchen renovation and the paralyzed wiener dog rehab center, we PhilBillPaul squeezed in a few other DIY projects.

Rachel needed new brakes on her car.

PhilBillPaul put them on as she assisted.

He loves to use these DIY opportunities to teach life skills.

She would have let him do it himself but he got really tough with her. He said he would do it but only if she got out there and helped him.

Ridiculous I know. He’s so demanding.

Because in addition to a fulltime job, handyman and man who never sleeps…

He does car repairs!

Wish I could share the picture of Rachel being grateful and hugging him and thanking him profusely.

But that’s not her love language.

In her defense, she is the only child who actually knows how to use tools.

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Getting Your Affairs In Order

I hope this ends my series on healthcare issues with The Grunter for a long while. Or he’ll need to get his own blog.

Disclaimer: Our family has a history of finding humor at inappropriate times. We are aware of this and have no plans to make any changes.

When we went to the pre-op appointment for Everett, we were instructed to go over to the hospital and get paperwork done and meet with the anesthesiologist and blah, blah, blah.

It’s hard to pay attention when they are giving you lots of information you don’t want to process.

I also know there is a lesson to be learned if we pay attention and stay in the moment.

Everett and I would both say we were mildly impressed by the smooth mechanics of the newly remodeled hospital and the registration process.

Then the hospital clerk asked him if he had an advanced directive.

Ding, Ding! Teachable moment.

Granted – it is a teachable moment that most people avoid.

I whispered to him that I gave Grandma a signed copy of my Living Will when I was 19.

I’m a planner, what can I say?

Side note: I later explained to Everett that Grandma (my mother) did not bring my Living Will with her when she flew to Florida when I was in the coma and therefore is no longer allowed to make any of my medical decisions. You need to pick someone who is responsible and trustworthy and obviously that is not Grandma.

The side note is actually not the teachable moment.

I wonder if God saves May 27th just for me to have stressful times? It’s okay, I’m getting used to it now. I’ve learned to keep my expectations low and it seems to be working.

It was probably a good time to explain more about what an advanced directive is and why he should sign one. After all, he is 21 year, 8 months and 18 days old at this moment.

The hospital clerk kindly printed out a copy of an advanced directive he could take home and read, sign and bring back and give to the surgeon on the day of his surgery.

We then went upstairs to meet the anesthesiologist. Except we learned that really meant meet a nurse who might know the anesthesiologist.

Luckily she was well-versed in the hospital procedures and took time to answer all our questions. Because of his finger injury the week before and pain meds he was taking, she stepped out to check about drug interactions and what not.

As she left, she handed him a laminated copy of “My Journey” which had a bold black marker message on the top “Do Not Remove from This Room” because obviously people were stealing their “Journey” instructions. It seems after the multi-million dollar hospital makeover, they could not afford additional copies of “My Journey” to actually give to patients. Or they are saving trees.

She instructed him to read through it motioning with her fingers that his Journey would begin at the top and, with a sweeping U-shape, would end at the top.

Again, a whole lot of information to process but we both skimmed it.

Day of Surgery

As we sat in the waiting room, I spied “My Journey” in a lucite standup frame on an end table. And another one just one couch down. I asked Everett to go over and snap a picture of it so we could better document his “Journey”.

When he refused, I told him I would go remove it from the frame and put it in my bag. He seemed skeptical which I took as a dare.

I casually went over to the table and laid the plastic frame down, slipped it out and picked up two very interesting magazines with “My Journey” sandwiched in between.

Sitting back down and quietly showing him that we now had a copy of our own, we discussed whether the sprinkler heads could actually be small cameras. He said he hoped they didn’t search my bag.

This might be some of that inappropriate behavior that we exhibit as we both quietly laughed in the waiting room. I believe it might be more appropriately labeled a coping mechanism.

Which I think is very healthy.

In recovery in his groggy haze, one of the first things he said is that he told the nurses to check my bag because he was pretty sure I had stolen something from the lobby.

He also told us that the anesthesiologist nor the doctor were in the operating room. Just three nurses.

At this point, I don’t think anyone found our little pumpkin very credible. He was mostly just cussing about needing apple juice immediately.

Back to the advanced directive…

I reminded him several times to complete it early. Please don’t do it the night before surgery at 1:00 a.m. and come ask me questions about it. Work ahead boy.

At 1:30 a.m. the night before morning of surgery he appeared in our bedroom and asked if PhilBillPaul and I could witness and sign the document. I refused on the grounds of it being too late and that he did exactly what I told him not to do.

Story of my life as a parent.

Furthermore, I didn’t think I should witness the document if he put me down to make medical decisions for him.

PhilBillPaul and Rachel signed it. I took a short nap while the family slept through the night.

On our way to the hospital, he gave me a copy and told me while I was waiting I should read it because he included a little “humor” and I should find that page to pass the time.

I didn’t actually read it until the next day.

He did clarify that the doctor’s copy did not contain his humor.

I then pointed out that page 7 clearly stated that his dad could not be a witness since he is the back-up health care agent so his advanced directive was clearly not valid.

Now we have another summer activity. I’m printing advanced directives for all of us to sign.

The fun mom. That’s me.

P.S. Best online explanation I found on advanced directives when I did a quick search. In spite of our inappropriate humor, I actually do believe these things are really important to discuss before people get sick and not just when you become a senior citizen.

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DIY Nursing Care

It’s not enough that we now have to be our own cashier, banker, waiter and candlestick maker with all the customer service friendly businesses where you now provide your own customer service.

We now announce Do-It-Yourself Nursing.

A week and a half before his surgery and because we didn’t have enough stress at the house, The Grunter arrived home early from his new job and announced he had injured himself.

This is when I check myself out of parenting responsibilities.

Because I don’t do blood or vomit.

Believe me, I do enough other stuff so don’t start thinking PhilBillPaul has to do everything. And don’t say in your head or out loud “Poor PhilBillPaul” in that voice my mother Junebug uses.

Thanks.

I suggested that PhilBillPaul take a look at his injury because he is an expert on personal injury. This is when his voice actually got higher as he squealed, “OH BOY, OH GEEZ, OH EVERETT YOU HAVE TO GET TO A DOCTOR…” I knew it must be bad.

They headed to an urgent care facility assigned by his new employer that was open 24 hours. Arriving back home at 2:30 a.m. they reported that it was not broken but the doctor said he was lucky because he almost blew the tip of his finger off.

This from pinching it between two big metal doors that reportedly weighed 1,000 pounds each.

Ouch.

Everett did not shed a tear or dance around screaming like I would have been. He did embrace the Tylenol #3.

When we went back for the followup appointment, he came out to the lobby carrying this bag.

He had to ask the receptionist/nurse?/person in scrubs for scissors so he could wrap his own injury.

Really?

I’m sure this is part of the new plan to make healthcare more affordable.

Can’t wait to do my own mammogram this year and PhilBillPaul finally goes in for his overdue colonoscopy.

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Pessimists with a Positive Attitude

I’m still here.

I’m swamped.

Little joke for my friend Ann. 😉

I’m really just busy…like everyone else.

I have several hot topics I’d love to discuss here but until I can carve out more than 5 minutes on my own blog, please enjoy this optimistically pessimistic text I received from PhilBillPaul:

“My job sucks but at least I am not dancing on a corner
in a statue of liberty costume!”

It’s the little lessons like this one that help us keep our perspective.

Be back soon!

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Life Without Internet

An entire week without internet.

An internet fast.

I wish I could say I lost a few pounds but alas, I continued to eat during my fast.

Two back-to-back trips meant I was gone from home for eight days.

The first trip was so spontaneous that I didn’t have time to prepare any blog posts and thought I would write when I arrived at our destination.

Spontaneity with a family of six is really an oxymoron.

But we pulled it off and I was sure I would just keep blogging when we got out of the car.

Only to find no internet.

Except on my phone. I’m a creative problem solver and a bit of techno-nerd but I cannot write a blog post on the keyboard of my phone.

Nor can I answer emails other than a few short words on my phone.

I’m an old-fashioned typist – shocking but true!

We’re all fine, fine, fine!

Really, it was a lovely break. All the typing and emailing and reading on the computer screen can be exhausting. I think everyone should try to take an internet break a time or two.

Being tethered to the internet and the wondrous wireless world is great but I still like being with people and have conversation while we make eye contact with each other and aren’t multi-tasking with our laptops and cell phones and other amazing electronic gadgets.

I’ll share some highlights in the coming days. Oh, the fun stories I have to tell of the Humpfreeze family travels.
😉

What’s the longest you’ve gone without internet in recent years?

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Hooked on Phonics

In our continuing “little lesson” on the demise of the English language as we once knew it and all the slang we keep adding to the dictionary, our family plays a little game about how to pronounce words.

Photo courtesy of See-ming Lee

I keep a running list on my computer and it has grown over the years. It all started when we were driving up to the mountains and Lizzie said “I know we’re getting close because I saw the sign for Cherry-o-key.”

In her defense, she was in the 3rd grade.

We love to mispronounce things whenever we can. Part of it is some Indiana dialect that comes from both of our mothers. Part of it is that we all have some classic word we have mispronounced and then whenever we try to say it, we have to stop and think “Did I just say that wrong AGAIN?”

Here’s our Humpfreeze list of amusing words that we like to mispronounce on purpose.

Sidenote: I won’t call out who said it wrong first which is usually why it gets on the list. Some are really just for fun. Just in case you read the list and think “Oh my, they are really a dumb family.”

We call our little game “IS IT?” You really have to say them out loud to fully enjoy the game.

  • cherokee or cherry-o-key
  • pecan or pee-can
  • carribbean or care-a-be-n
  • caramel or care-mell
  • potato or po-tot-toe
  • roof or ruff
  • wash or warsh
  • milk or melk
  • bear or bar
  • route or root
  • coupon or coo-pon
  • Illinois or Illi-noise
  • italian or I-tal-yen
  • creek or crick
  • syrup or sere-up
  • envelope or on-velope
  • lidocaine or lid-o-caine

Bad inside family jokes posted just to make the kids laugh:

  • vending or bending
  • biscuit or b-kit
  • foreigners or fur-ners
  • brown hog or brown log
  • mosaic or mose-e-ack
  • vinyl or venil
  • filet or fill-et
  • ex-lax or egg slice

Did any of them make you laugh? Or are you just thinking we really are dumb?

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I Have {Typo} Issues

Typos drive me crazy.

Mine.

And other people’s.

It’s a gift and a curse that I see them.

I find typos in published bestsellers.

On CNN.

Restaurant menus. Signs. Flyers. Blogs.

Photo courtesy of victoriapeckham

It really should be my full-time job. Proofreader. I know people get paid for this. I’m not sure if it’s lucrative or how I break into the industry.

I’ve been a little too busy to find out. Raising our four darlings.

My real worry is that this next generation is at risk – the new school, text speak, computers, spell check and typing with two fingers are compromising our English skills.

My kids will tell you I’m a pretty big stickler for proofing their papers. Their very strict and old-fashioned years of elementary school set the foundation for my favorite kind of book learning. The kind where the teachers insist your handwriting is legible and your grammar is correct. Crazy, I know.

They are all excellent students with excellent writing skills. Because I think communication is pretty vital to your success both in school and life. (I’m still not sure how or why I needed Algebra as a life skill.) I am positive that good, basic English skills are used continuously throughout your life no matter what career path you choose.

I’m not an expert and I’m not the grammar police. In fact, part of the fun of blogging is to write in a conversational tone and throw out some of those old-fashioned grammar rules. Like…beginning a sentence with “And” which I love to do. And “Because” is my second favorite and I think it’s wrong too. Sometimes I get really wild and END a sentence with a preposition.

I know I make plenty of my own mistakes! But there are some common mistakes that are easily fixed and when I see them – they really add to my craziness. Maybe it’s the coma?

Seriously, I do remember how hard it was to write down the letters and the words after the head injury. And it gets progressively harder with old age.

But here are a few that really send me over the edge…

  • your and you’re
  • to and too
  • there and their
  • it’s and its
  • a lot is two words

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall

Don’t even get me started on the proper use of an apostrophe.

I think I’m going to start collecting my favorites and take screenshots when I see them on the web. It takes so very little to entertain me.

Last week, I saw these two on websites:

…I was hoping to here good news.

…taking an active roll in politics.

Anybody else see/read what I see?

Yeah, I know I’ve just opened myself up for critics, grammarians and proofreaders to have a field day with me and my blog.

Have at it. Bring it on. I’ll correct anything that needs correcting and probably learn a few more things in the process! I’m the first to admit it’s always harder to proof your own work than it is to proof someone else’s.

Cuz like I wanna make miself a more better righter.

Whatever. 😉

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Dangers of College Commuting

There are many reasons why your college-age children should go away to college. I heard one mom who had a rule that they have to be at least 90 minutes away.

I’d go with a 3 hour minimum.

Seems like the right amount of time and distance so the quick, impromptu, surprise visits happen rarely, if ever! A little bit of planning goes a long way. Wait, I’m getting off track. That’s a post for another day.

The topic today is WHY they should live in a dorm and not commute from home.

The list is long but since it’s Friday I’m keeping it simple.

This is the primary WHY…

So you don’t have to know that your 20 year-old is working on a project at 2:00 a.m. on the kitchen floor because his time management skills are less than stellar.

PhilBillPaul took up for him and asked me, “Didn’t you ever stay up all night and cram for an exam? This is the same thing.”

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I did stay up all night and do that.

But my mother was nestled in her bed 3 hours away and did not get involved or scream at me for losing her glue gun, not being prepared and/or worry that I was going to lose my scholarship if I didn’t get a good grade.

Side note: I didn’t have a scholarship. Illinois did not pay students to maintain a “B” average. Thank you Georgia state lottery funding, i.e. Hope Scholarship.

My mother did send cookies and write notes that were pretty much always the same except for the type of cookie in the box…

Sherra,
Here are some snickerdoodles. I hope you are getting some rest.

Love,
Mother

I should have scanned one. I have them all.

Thanks Mom.

And Mom…

I’m still trying to get some rest but your pumpkin is keeping me up late.

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