Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Breezy the Enforcer" and her intimidating stare.

I did it.  The show down.  The stare off.  The quiet, stank eye.  And, amazingly worked - for all of ten seconds that is.  But in those ten seconds I felt like the superpower adult that I was.  The incredible grown-up.  I had earned my distinction, my title, my years of wisdom.  I had succeeded in quieting a group of 7 and 8-year olds with nothing more than an arched eyebrow.  Yes, I was "Breezy the Enforcer".

Then it happened.  What every teacher dreads.  The teacher's assistant who showed blatant disregard for what I had just worked so diligently to accomplish, calm.

I believe I've mentioned before that I teach Catholic catechism on Tuesday nights.  Oh sweet Lord in Heaven, how do You allow this to happen?  Bri is so naughty and swears like a sailor!  Well, obviously I tone down my cursing for the wee ones.  It's my belief that 4-letter words are precisely that...words.  If I choose to sound like an ignorant slut (thank you, Mr. Dan Akroyd), it's no one's sad business but my own.  I certainly attempt not to offend people, swear around children, or use the Lord's name in vain; however, I have been known to slip on all three occasions.  I think it has something to do with being brought up in a staunch Catholic home.  We Catholics are known to be the greatest cussers of them all.  As far as my being naughty, well - I try to be good but I'm thinkin' I was just born this way.  I do my best but most days the devil in me wins out.

Because I have a few issues, this doesn't disqualify me from being a religious education teacher.  On a positive note, at least I admit to having some faults.  The other teachers are in a constant gaggle of gossip about yours truly.  Now I ask you, is this nice?  They don't like the way I teach.  They think the kids should sit at tables and not on the floor.  They don't like that we sing, dance, and laugh during class.  They don't like that we play, Follow the Leader, on the way into church.  They don't like that I start off the evening with a juice box and snack.  Maybe they don't like the fact that all my students show up every week?  Hmm...

Last night was a tough night.  I don't know what happened but it seemed like someone spiked my kiddos water with caffeine before they walked in the doors.  I only have eleven students but it felt more like thirty.  Hyperactivity was abound.  Add to the nonsense that both my boys were not behaving, and oh my goodness.  William was downstairs plying himself with four shots of double Espresso (yes, you did read that correctly) and my youngest who was expressly instructed not interrupt was constantly hmm, what??  INTERRUPTING!  Lovely.  The evening could not have gone any smoother.

When I gave the stank eye, the stare off - which might I add, I've never had to do before with my sweet class - I thought, ok this should do it.  I have the class under control.  Then my darling teacher's assistant - oh, I forgot to mention - that would be my husband Eric, took off his shoes and started wiggling his toes next to me while I was trying to explain the difference between the words, "fasting" and "abstinence" (Catholics are currently in the season of Lent).  It was all over.  Finito.  Calm had exited the room.  If I were a second grader and a grown up started wiggling his hairy toes next to my teacher, would I care about the difference between these two boring words?  Of course not.

Believe it or not, there was a purpose behind his bare toes.  We had planned on outlining our feet for an art project later in the class.  I just had hoped he'd keep his socks on at least for this part of the discussion.

Oh, it was a tough night alright; however, the one positive that came out of it was the discovery of this superpower, "The Intimidation Stare".  Now if I can just harness my strength and maintain it for longer than ten seconds and overcome the evil wiles of my teacher's aide, I will become invincible!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poor Bri. Are those violins I hear...?

Yesterday I shoved as much as humanly possible into a span of 24 hours.  I wanted to stay busy.  I needed to keep my mind off the fact that in Southern California my oldest sister, Ellen, was having a radical hysterectomy for advanced stage Cervical Cancer.  In my mind I know that this type of procedure happens in hospitals successfully all the time.  In my heart I was concerned because it was her first surgery since she was a child.  Ellen has other chronic health issues which may complicate things. So I shopped, picked-up, cleaned, changed bedding, ran errands, and virtually didn't stop until my body couldn't move another step.  I have a feeling today will be similar. 

It's interesting how we react in times of crisis; fight or flight.  A few weeks ago, while trying to relax in the bathtub, I received three calls of ugly news one right after the other.  The very fact that I was attempting to soak in the tub at 10:00am already implied how my morning had started out with the boys.  Eric was home from work not feeling well and by the third phone call, I was done.  No more fighting for Bri.  It was flight time.  After weeks of built up pressure, stress, and sadness I needed to get out of what I consider my "box" - my little "Thornton Suburbia".  Two autistic, emotionally troubled children can wear down the strongest of individuals not to mention a bi-polar wife and mother trying to cope with her own issues of self-worth.  In tears, I told my husband I needed a couple days to recoup and breathe.  I grabbed my laptop, cellphone, and five months worth of back-logged reading material and was out the door before I knew where I was heading.

"Knock, knock...".  None of my friends were physically or emotionally available for me that afternoon.  For the first time in a very long while I had to struggle with my inner demons alone and boy did they come out to play.  Without knowing what was in store for me, I battled them alone.  I stood my ground.  I wept, vomited, yelled and took no prisoners.  For dinner, when the waiter acted arrogant, I told him so.  Don't tell me the fried eggs you brought were "scrambled hard" you moron!  I realize you're a dinner waiter and only 19 years old but don't use that tone with me, mister!

I didn't sleep a wink that lonely night.  A lot of it could have been that the bed was comparable to the floor it was resting on.  No, the floor probably would have been more comfortable.  At least it was carpeted; however, I could not - with the naked eye - detect bed bugs or other creepy crawlies whereas at least on the fresh, white, linen bed, I was fairly certain not to be eaten alive by morning.  So there I was, all night, feeling sorry for myself.  Poor Bri.  She has so  much to feel bad about, doesn't she?  An amazing husband, fantastic friends, two boys - who despite their best efforts to drive me loonier than I already am - love me in their own, quirky little ways, a beautiful home, my health, my family...really?  What the fuck (pardon my Swahili) is wrong with me?  It was time to sit up, order room service, and look forward to my amazing spa experience the next morning.  The only thing I could possibly regret was that I left home in such a hurry that I didn't pack a toothbrush or a clean pair of underwear.

So today, I'll be busy again.  Busy feeling sorry for myself or my sister?  Absolutely not.  Why?  She's still alive.  She made it through surgery.  She's doing ok and the flowers I sent will remind Ellen that I adore her and that sometime next month we'll be together laughing and gossiping again.  No, I'll keep busy only to wish I could be physically or emotionally there for her and my other family members because I know they're struggling today with their own demons and I know from personal experience that this feels terrible.

**Note to close friends and family:  If you were unaware of my sister's medical condition, please respect this time and give my family the space needed during Ellen's recovery.  Thank you. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Excuse me, can I buy your car?

Oh, the good ole' days.  I was reminded of this again, and again, and again, and again...well, you get the picture, by my 16 year old Aspergian son during dinner over the weekend.  You see, once he gets hooked onto an idea, he settles into it.  His current thought is driving. What else, he's 16?  He's been asking a lot of questions about my first car and this brought me down memory lane.

My First Car
Don't get me wrong, I love reminiscing but when he gets stuck on what he thinks he's going to unrealistically purchase, the conversation turns awkward.  My kiddo doesn't get it.  William, in his socially autistic mind, feels he can walk up to a stranger's house, make an inadequate cash offer on a truck (which isn't for sale), and the home owner will agree to the deal without a problem.  Or, even more bizarre, allow my kiddo to make payments on it.  My husband and I have told William repeatedly that this isn't how it's done.  We've also told him that when the time comes, which is quite a long way off since he's only saved what we believe to be $100 in his savings account, we'll have him do it the right way.  Of course, then he argues because the only truck he wants is in this particular yard.  There's no winning the argument.  Off the topic I beg you!!  Let me enjoy my billion calorie Red Robin cheeseburger in this horrifically noisy environment in what peace I may!  Where's my Valium?  Will it destroy the taste of my food?  I don't care!  Quick, where's the pretty orange bottle?

What's even sillier about this discussion is that Eric and I have repeatedly told our son that until he can maintain a "C" average grade level in school, there will be no Driver's Education classes, no Driver's Permit, and definitely no getting behind the wheel of dad's truck.  If he can't show us that he's mature enough to hunker down and study, then we're not going allow him to pick up an after school job to pay for gas and insurance.  It all comes with the responsibility.  He's not ready for it - not at all.

It doesn't matter what we've said.  He constantly talks about his dream truck from the mystery man's drive-way while interjecting questions about my first car.  Dammit I drove.  No more Valium for me.  Do I tell him that it was given to me out of high school?  Do I mention that due to my ridiculous decision to cut my schooling in half and attend a broadcasting trade school in Hollywood four major LA freeways from my Long Beach City College campus, dad felt it safer to purchase me a huge used "boat" in case I got into a bumper car collision on my first go-around?  That when he purchased it from a business associate's son, pop wasn't aware that the car had been damaged from the 1982 El Nino season?  That this would cause the engine to seize up while I was on these dangerous freeways or give me no way of knowing when I was out of gas in the middle of East LA?  No bueno (no good) especially while driving a white Chevy Monte Carlo; a signature, stand-out, Latino gangland car.  At the time, it was no laughing matter.  Now - I can laugh out loud as I sit safely in my study typing this morning's blog.

Yes, that car had a lot of memories for me.  Some good, some bad, and most of them I'll come to share in my blogs as time goes by.  As for this morning, you'll have to wait.  I'm off to the store in my new car.  My New Year's Eve, lovely Hyundai Santa Fe.  It's so nice to know that it won't seize up when I'm on the freeway or run out of gas when I'm in urban Denver.  Don't get me wrong, I still like a good thrill now and then, but I'm not up for staring down gangs of kids or hiking through snow banks for a gallon of gasoline especially if I happen to have one or both of the boys with me.  They take all of the joy from adventures especially when they're fighting, complaining, or threatening to take down a dangerous gang on their own.  Somehow, it just doesn't feel the same for this thrillseeker anymore.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Today's complaint? It's a doozy! Hold on to your intestines...

I have issues.  No, really?  Bri has issues?  Tell me a day when I don't have something to whine about?  Well since yesterday's blog about my odd sense of humor, I might as well type about it in a second installment, so to speak; HOWEVER, it's early and as my Bestie (best friend) has pleaded with me in the past - I am giving her and all of you, my dear friends and blog readers, advanced warning: swallow your coffee. 

For me there is nothing worse than having a perfectly lovely meal and experiencing the horrifying gastric sounds which follow soon afterwards.  Based on the level of intensity and the nature of the belly howls, I can sometimes determine how many minutes - or sometimes, literally seconds - I have to find a toilet.  This pisses me off both literally and figuratively. 

First of all, if I'm out and about, I usually spend some damn good money on a meal.  I'm thinkin', why not let my body enjoy it for a little while?  Why must my septic system feel the need to discard it so quickly?  Seriously, what a waste of a $30 dinner.  Also, I've mentioned before how in my youth I was mortified to use a public restroom.  Well, I had to get over this discomfort rather expeditiously and not only did I need to get over it but I had to deal with the embarrassment of the horrifying smells and explosive sounds my intestines make when they determine that the $30 meal was not up to their fussy standards.

Secondly, if I spend the time to prepare the food, it makes me seriously reconsider the effort.  Instead of the five hour Bolognese sauce simmering on the stove top, perhaps I should just go the cheap canned, generic route.  Hell, my boys wouldn't notice.  In the time it takes me to unscrew the lid, heat up the nasty, crappy sauce in the microwave, and pour it into their bowls, they would be done with it.  "Thanks for dinner, Mom.  It was good."  Ok, whatever.  I'll just have a banana.  At least it won't sting my ass on the way out.

"Oh my", the pre-med students out there are thinking, "there's something wrong with Breezy.  She needs to see her doctor.  Have a Colonoscopy.  Get checked out."  You're all very sweet.  Thanks for your concern.  Been there, done that.  I'm good.  It's the plethora of medication I take, that's all.  In a way, it's the easiest weight loss regimen out there.  Ooh, pizza...yum!  Ten minutes later...bye-bye pizza.  I'm not condoning the method, I'm obviously annoyed; however, it's what it is.  There's not a lot I can do about it and there's no way in Hell I'm going in for another Colonoscopy.  I had that "oscopy" and I'm over it. 

By the way, for the record, for those of you who need the procedure - have it done.  Please GO!  For my problem, my doc needed a series of "samples" before I went in.  This was what traumatized me.  The whole I-have-to-collect-fresh-poop-on-a-Popsicle-stick-thing-and-store-it-in-a-plastic-jar situation was not to be borne.  I still have recurring nightmares from this experience.  Good grief.  Yes it was poop, yes it was my personal specimen but I had to collect it and walk into the doc's office carrying it around in a brown paper bag.  Oh, sweet God in Heaven!!

Ok, so why am I writing about this now?  Why does today's blog have to go into explicit detail about my fussy intestines.  Because every morning I have an enormous bowl of "candy bar in a cup" (aka, my personalized coffee concoction).  Because once I consume the last gulp of my morning Joe, I have precisely five minutes before my dogs are frightened awake by my stomach's horrific growls.  Because, I am now at three minutes past coffee consumption and Tank is cowering between my legs and Tulip is upstairs hiding.  Yes, it's almost time.  Dammit, what a waste of a perfectly delicious cup of coffee!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bri and Eric. Our smelly sense of humor.

It's intriguing what draws people together; common interests which keep some folks happily involved in their marriages for years.  It could be politics, world events, computer games, science fiction.  For others - like my husband and myself - it could be silly, goofy topics; things which draw us into giggling fits of laughter well into the wee hours of the morning.  Do I dare share our secret with the Internet world?  Do I risk exposing our silliness to the scrutiny of Cyberspace?  Well, why not?  Perfect strangers in Serbia know my bra size and that I suffer from extremely hairy upper thighs.  What the heck, I'll go for it.

When Eric and I first met as kids in high school, I mentioned what a goofball he was.  I believe I've also eluded that I've always been a bit of a clown as well.  In fact, on our first date, on that fateful Sadie Hawkins dance so many years ago, we were asked to get up from the gym floor where we were wearing neckties around our foreheads and attempting to channel our deeper geekiness (Really?  I still squirm at the memory).  Similar souls find one another and ours certainly did - we're soulmates.  Oh my goodness, can two people be any more perfect for one another?  I don't think so. 

My dear friends and blog readers are thinking to themselves, being complete idiots is what Bri and Eric have in common? Well, sure.  That's part of it.  We both come from large, Catholic families.  We have similar tastes in music, sports, and movies.  We both tend to be somewhat liberal and our general philosophy is that everyone deserves a fair share and a chance at life.  We feel that no one person is better than another and that everyone should be treated with respect and kindness   And finally, it all boils down to our awkward senses of humor.  I believe we actually succeeded in channeling that deeper geekiness at the Sadie Hawkins dance.  I wish the chaperon had stopped us a little sooner.

Last night, for three hours, we laid awake laughing until the tears ran down our cheeks at short clips on YouTube.  What were these clips about you wonder?  The same topic that Eric and I used to giggle about when I spent the night on his dorm room floor in college, the one we'd disrupt intense movie theater scenes over, or loudly accuse each other of in grocery stores, or question with shock which of our two small dogs could possibly own something that horrific.  Yes, that's right.  You guessed it.  Our favorite topic, the glue which has kept our marrage filled with glee and our relationship locked with laughter since we were kids.  Yes - that's correct, the topic is...farts. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A promise to my friends and family.

I need to get my "A" game on.  For too long it's been about me.  I need to listen better.  I need to hear the lyrics, read the words, and follow the invisible ones between the lines.

I need to stop focusing on the tiny creases around my eyes and look deeper into the eyes of others.  Souls are exposed, hurts are bleeding, and old scars are reappearing; however, I'll never be able to fight them off for those I love if I'm preoccupied with my own silly vanity.

I should stop bringing so much attention to myself; stop drawing in the crowds and laughter when someone beside me would prefer to shield themselves under the safety of my wing.

I need to keep my promises.  When I say I'll do something, then dammit - I need to do it because when I don't, whatever my excuse - it's hurtful.  No one deserves this, no one.

I should be more accessible.  My cell phone should always be charged and beside me.  If someone needs me - desperately needs me, then whatever it takes - I'll be there for them.

And finally, I need to stop taking the people I love for granted.  I must tell them often and repeatedly how blessed I am to have them in my life. 

When I love, I love deeply.  I don't stop loving someone simply because I'm told I should.  My love doesn't end with a divorce, a devastating break of a friendship, or a death.  Yes, I may be hurt and that love gets placed on a shelf but with time, it's removed, remembered, and recovered.  I'm passionate about my family and friends.  Once they enter my life, they're a permanent fixture. 

So this blog is my promise to these friends and family.  I realize that I'm simply one person but I have a big heart and it seems to expand with age and the continuous flow of new friends who enter my life. I'll do everything in my power to keep you safe and remind you on a daily basis that I'm here for you if you need me ~ this lady is very much in love with you.  Bri


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The metaphorical coin was tossed.

I went to sleep with this phrase repeating itself over and over again in my mind, "Sometimes you need to be willing to see the other side of the coin."  What does it mean?  At the time I was fairly certain I knew the answer; however, I was recovering from an amazing evening of sleazy lounge hopping down Colfax Avenue.

When my birthday rolls around, I make a concerted effort to stretch out the celebration as long as possible and why not?  One day isn't enough - in my opinion - to honor the gift of life.  I believe it should be celebrated on a grand scale every day but I don't have enough Tylenol nor does Eric have the patience for this amount of excess. So, instead - I do my best to enjoy the week to its fullest and tone the rest of the 358 days down a bit. 

With this said, I wanted to investigate a local club for an "open mike" amateur comedy night.  Believe it or not, this lady is going to swallow a shot of Tequila and self-depreciation and attempt stand-up comedy.  I consider it sort of like skydiving but without the plane, pilot, or parachute. (Yes, holy crap - make it a double!).  Eric, my dear husband and business manager extraordinaire, was supposed to go with me last evening but the boys were suffering from what is commonly known as, "Tuesday Night Meltdown";  "William's an asshole!" and "I'm going to murder him!", etc.  These types of comments don't make us comfortable leaving the boys home together so needless to say, Eric decided to hide the kitchen utensils, referee, and let me go with a friend instead.

The show didn't start until midnight.  What's that all about?  Don't people work in the morning?  Even as I type this, clutching my water bottle, and blessing the makers of aspirin - it's well after 8:00am.  Granted, I'm not in my 20's or 30's but seriously folks, I do remember being that age once and had a heck of a time even then rollin' my ass out of bed for a 6:00am wake-up call.  Either way, it didn't matter.  My friend and I took one step into this lounge and determined that if I were going to be pelted by tomatoes, it would not be at this particular dive.  Have I become self-confident over the years?  You betcha'.  But the prospect of being heckled by toothless, grizzled, biker drunks, well - my self-esteem can only endure so much.

I'm amazed at how many funky, lounges there are in this part of Denver.  I suppose, being "amazed" is sort of stupid thing to write.  As a housewife from the suburbs, I'm not out normally looking for dives on a Tuesday night in an urban corridor of the city.  Sure, there were a lot of them so we decided not to end our evening early and walked to the closest that had live music and interesting lights.

Now this is where I finally get to understanding my bedtime mantra.  By the time my friend and I wound up in our last location, we were lost to the craziness of the night; the shear unexpectedness of it.  This is when life grabbed me and reminded me to look, savor, and be open to everything.  I was reminded that I'm not a stereotype and neither was the tattooed bouncer at the door or the cool looking lady sitting next to us at the bar.  My friend and I started up a conversation with her and the bartender.  Eventually the bouncer joined in.  We all started laughing.  The metaphorical coin was tossed up into the sky.

The lady's name is Gigi.  Her arms are covered in tattoos and she has beautiful brown eyes.  She's heavy set with shoulder length brown hair.  She started talking about her husband, the bouncer, and what they do for a living.  She works at a burlesque show in downtown on Monday nights.  The coin was flipping mid-air.  She offered to buy us a round of shots.  Three Firebombs; powerful shots of cinnamon whiskey.  We laughed some more.  I told her she was fantastic and I meant it.  The coin landed and I looked at the other side of it.  It was amazing.  I gave her my name and asked her to find me on Facebook.  I'd love to be her friend.  I kissed her, said good-bye, and told her that I believed we would be very best of friends in the future.

It's awesome when you're willing to see what's on the other side of the coin.  So until the next one is tossed, I will continue drinking excessive amounts of water and clutching my Tylenol bottle. C'est la vie and how wonderful it is!      


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sasquatch Lives!! Her name is Bri Potts.

This is an odd blog but one that was practically written in my mind last night before I fell asleep.  I believe when something writes itself, it must be shared - no matter how horrifying or humiliating it is for the author.  There must be a reason.  There must be someone out there who can identify with this embarrassing issue and therefore, this morning's topic will bring some sort of comfort to my hairy legged sisters in cyberspace.

As you may have gathered, I'm writing about the not-so-pleasant-to-touch topic of overly-furry-limbed girls, I being one of them.  This has been an issue with me since I was young enough to notice that I had more hair on my legs than most boys on their neatly coiffed elementary school heads.  Not only was this awful in its own right, but compared to my lovely older sister, Kathleen, who graciously pointed out that her leg hair was soft and blonde; mine was coarse and black.  Did I mention that my sister Kathy and I were bitter rivals and shared a bedroom growing up?  Not a good combination.

My 4th grade year was full of demons; the start of my menstrual cycle, Sister Mary Jose, Patrick Moriarty, and yes - body hair.  Well before other little girls, I was covered with bandages around my kneecaps and ankles not from bike falls (though I was still very much the neighborhood tomboy), but from where I was experimenting with my older siblings' razors attempting to shear off the hair and top layers of skin which grew it.  In Catholic school, the girls wore uniform skirts.  No jeans for this kiddo.  My legs were exposed in all of their Sasquatch glory.

These were also the days of short-shorts, athletic shorts which came up far too high for fluffy, furry girls such as myself.  As I matured, not only did I develop horrifying heat rashes but my leg hair grew thicker and fuller.  It truly looked like my private area started mid-thigh.  Instead of choosing the nickname, "Bri",  I could have easily chosen "Bob"; however, my burgeoning size 42 boobs were beginning to make their notorious appearance.  Why was I cursed?  If I wanted to wear a bathing suit, it would - and still does - take me three go-arounds with a disposable razor and two bathtub rinses before I'm certain I can lay on my belly without embarrassing myself.  Then, of course, there's the constant razor stubble issues - the in-grown hairs, the bumps - because invariably I lose patience and shave my monster thighs in the wrong direction. 

STOP!!  STOP THE MADNESS!  I must admit, I'm starting to offend myself and these are my legs I'm writing about after all. 

The reason I started this particular blog is because last night, and more nights than I care to admit, I find it difficult to sleep unless my legs are shaved or I'm sleeping in sweat pants.  Am I the only woman who suffers from this hysteria?  If my legs are stubbly, they feel rough against the sheets and make me tend to toss and turn.  For the first two years of my marriage, I felt it necessary to warn Eric lest he slice his hand on my afternoon shadow.  Am I a freak of nature?  I can't possibly be the only woman on earth who feels this way BUT I'm probably the only woman strange enough to actually blog about it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Old, worn-in slippers - they suit this birthday girl just fine.

Ok.  So today is my birthday.  45 years old and still tickin'.  A big number?  I guess so.  A milestone?  Hell, yeah.  It's the slice straight down the center of the cake.  If a number defines "middle age" then 45 is it in bold, blazing, hightlighted, neon colors.  What color?  I'm thinkin' green.  Bright, seaweed green.

I'm not bemoaning the age.  It's just curious to me, that's all.  I can admit with all candor that when 30 rolled around, I was ready to call it quits.  Oh, the drama!  When I look back I can perfectly understand how I was feeling but it was hard to explain at the time.  At 30, I was just rolling off of a divorce and had recently remarried.  My life was still in an upheaval.  Yes, I was getting back on my feet but at 30 I thought I should already have it together;  the house, the family, the white picket fence - not walking into a new marriage with thousands of dollars worth of debt and no carreer opportunities.  Life is never so simple - so cookie cutter.  I suppose that's what we learn as we get older.

What have I learned at this milestone?  A couple of really cool things.  One, no matter what happens, the wise words spoken to me by Eric's Grandmother, Bernice Bolton, several years ago continue to ring true; everything will work out in the end.  She laughed as she told me this, probably as I was worrying about something one of the boys had done at school that day.  Grammy, who's still alive but now wouldn't remember me or this conversation, is a cherished part of my life.  I miss our chats over coffee more than anyone could ever imagine.

The final lesson, and this is a tough one for a daughter who fought like Hell never to agree with her mother, the 40's will be the best years of my life.  Yes, I agree.  The 40's are wonderful.  At this time in my life, I'm not concerned so much with what other people think of me.  I say what I feel, I'm confident, and for the first time in my life I'm beautiful in my own skin.  It's a liberating decade and I'm relishing it.

Birthday wishes??  I honestly don't have any.  I'm where I want to be; in a warm, cozy bed drinking coffee next to my husband, doing what I want to do - writing.  More money, a book deal, slippers without holes in them?  Sure that would be nice.  But ultimately, I don't believe that particular cookie cutter is sold in the store.  If I find it, great.  If not, I'm content.  Oh, and my slippers have a nice, worn-in feel to them which suits this 45 year old just fine.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm brash, silly, and non-stop.

I'm always "on".  This is hard to define put I'm going to give it my best shot.  When people meet me for the first time, I find myself having to be the quintessential entertainer, the clown, the queen of comedy.  I'm brash, silly, and non-stop.  I find this completely annoying at times.

I have friends reading this, nodding their heads in quiet affirmation thinking, "Oh my God, yes - Bri was totally out of control when I first met her." 

I can't help it.  When I'm nervous, my demons come out to play.  I'm either completely introverted and want to hide in the back room with the kids, animals, or interesting collections of Hollywood memorabilia or I'm the non-stop-story-telling-brash-ballsy-say-it-like-it-is-shocking-naughty Breezy who wants to make the bad boys blush.  I'm thinkin' it's that Bi-Polar Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing I've got working for me.  I can't be too sure.  Whatever it is, it can't be controlled.  Then, if I add a bit of Tequila to the situation, oh dear God in Heaven save me!

Let me give you an example of my demon bad girl.  Last night Eric, my dearest love, my wonderful and most loving husband, had forgotton to tell me that at 6:10pm that we were due at 6:00pm for dinner at his friend's house 15 minutes south of downtown Denver.  We live at least 20 minutes due north of downtown Denver.  Throw in a wee bit of Friday night traffic and the situation was stressful to say the least.  I kept my humor, flossed my teeth while driving, and managed to get us there an hour late.  Did I mention that I took the phone call?  "Bri, where are you guys?"  Huh??  Awkward.

Regardless of the bad start, the evening was lovely; however, I was on a roll.  It was an intimate meal with Eric's co-worker (our friend) and her new boyfriend whom we'd never met before.  "Bri", showing me the lovely salad she made and pointing out the artichoke hearts specifically, "what do these remind you of?"

"Well, what else?  Little itty bitty penises, of course."  Eric almost spit out his water at my response.  "My dear, did you put them in there just for me?  How kind of you.  Always thinking ahead."

This was exactly what Eric's friend expected me to say but I must confess not what Eric thought I would say in front of his friend's date.  It does amaze me that after close to eighteen years together he doesn't expect Mr. Hyde to rear his ballsy head and say the first thing that comes to mind. 

On our long drive home, Eric and I talked about this.  Did I embarrass him?  Were there moments that I should have held back?  Was I too brash?  To my delight he laughed and said he married me because I was this crazy lady.  He wouldn't want me any other way.  He adored my outspokenness.  He loves that I'm the life of parties and that I keep conversations going.

"Even if the situation is totally out of control and people are secretly wishing I would go home and be quiet?"

"Especially then because I'll have you all to myself."

Deep sigh.  How nice it is not having someone looking for my "off" switch.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Where's the straight jacket? I couldn't find it if I needed it.

I don't know what's wrong with me lately but I'm losing everything and it's driving me absolutely crazy.  I know that I wrote a blog about my lost house keys recently but now I'm actually getting a little concerned for my mental health state.

Not more than ten minutes ago I found some important paperwork which has eluded me all week.  Now, mind you - my dear friends and blog readers - my home is not a complete disaster.  Sure, it has it's days of messiness and I will even go so far as calling it "dirty" from time to time; however, I consider myself to be somewhat organized.  I have folders.  I have neatly organized "get-to" piles.  I don't hang on to bits and pieces.  Everything eventually gets looked through, shredded, and filed away appropriately (sort of).  

I repeat, ten minutes ago I had this important piece of paper in my hand ready to work on.  I was going to transfer the information into my computer.  D'oh!!!  Where did I put it?  How did I misplace it from the bedroom to the study?  It was in my fingertips!  I even shouted, "Eureka!" (Yes, I admit to saying stupid, foolish quips and dancing little jigs when happy about things.).  Did I throw it away?  

I have a terrible habit of multi-tasking my multi-tasking.  In other words, I confuse my projects.  I pick up ten things and prepare to walk past eight drop-off locations.  This would conceivably scramble the most clear-minded individual.  Add the fact that my Lhasa Apso has been humping my Shih Tzu non-stop and I've been blasting Green Day on the stereo, well - my concentration has been a wee bit off this morning.  Damn, where is that paperwork?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bingo frightens me.

At the risk of upsetting a lot of people, I'm going to write about something that has been on my mind since I said goodnight to my obsessive compulsive friend yesterday, Bingo fanatics frighten me.
Perhaps I have to actually win at Bingo before I can comprehend the mad obsession behind it, but personally, I don't get it.  I've gone twice now to a evening gaming hall where the players are almost considered professional.  The money is high stakes.  It doesn't cost a lot to participate but the winnings are big.  I'm sure this is the draw; however, I'm just not getting it.  Again, please don't spit nasty comments at me just yet.  I'm still considering this craziness.

For the second time I have come home a nervous wreck with various color dobber ink all over my palms and finger tips.  I'm convinced I'm doing something wrong.  How is it that these 44 year old eyes can not scan two - yes, that's right two - sheets of Bingo numbers when the 97 year old woman sitting beside me can follow ten easily?  I twitch and shake in my torn up, rubber chair as the heavier, younger lady who plays three days out of four sits comfortably on her rubber inflatable.  I'm completely distracted and can't remember if the letter "I" comes before the letter "N" due to the hacking, coughing, chain smoking, oxygen-taking gentleman at the end of the table.  They're all plotting against me.  And my friend?  Oh, she's no better.  She pretends not to notice any of them.  She chats pleasantly keeping my mind off the game.  She secretly does this because she knows that I'm a Bingo loser and she'll have a greater chance at winning the big progressive jackpot if I can't concentrate on the numbers.  Well, she won't next time, dammit!  Next time I'll be better.  Next time I'll be more focused.  I'll buy one of those stupid inflatables.  No, better yet - a seat cushion...yes!  I'll show them!  I'm going to be a Bingo winner

Uh oh...I totally get it now.  Hi, my name is Bri Potts and I'm addicted to Bingo. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day has come and gone...

Valentine's Day.  What a funny holiday, well - I find it comical anyway.  Really, depending on how you look at it, you can either lock yourself away like a hermit and refuse to acknowledge the silliness of it, buy into the marketing mayhem and drop a fortune on flowers, chocolate, and/or a meal which would cost you a fraction of what you would normally spend, or jump on board with the growing number of "anti-Valentine" party goers and celebrate being single.

My husband made a wonderful point this morning as he was sitting beside me tapping away at his laptop. He simply said, "It shouldn't be one day a year."  Actually, I lie when I imply that he made a simple statement.  My dear man never makes a "simple statement"; however, having been married to him for nearly eighteen years and knowing him since we were kids, I can easily interpret his comments into basic, easy to read sentences (He just called me an "ass".  This is foreplay.  We'll enjoy crazy love making once I finish writing this blog.).

I realize that I'm in a relationship which many couples envy.  I believe this stems from the fact that Eric happens to be my very best friend.  We've had periods when our love life has struggled.  We could be like other folks and fudge our way through it; choosing not to touch on the tough issues, skim over hard stuff, or patch things up with bandages.  These solutions don't work.  They come back to haunt marriages.  We've addressed the heartaches.  We've cried.  We've talked about things which would tear most couples apart and by doing so, we're stronger for it.  Our souls are intertwined by love, trust, and a mutual respect which has been forged by years of friendship and devotion. 

My dear one, my silly guy, my wonderful man is right.  Yesterday wasn't just Valentine's Day.  June 4th was also Valentine's Day.  We hung out in the back yard and watched Austynn play in his pool.  Eric BBQ'd some chicken and we sat quietly in in our patio listening to the crickets sing in the late Spring evening.  October 19th was Valentine's Day.  It was the night before my trip to California and my husband held me tight against him until I fell asleep.  I never felt more loved.  January 5th was Valentine's Day.   Eric and I sat watching TV attempting to ignore our children yelling at each other in the Family Room.  We sat holding hands, rolling our eyes, and cursing just loud enough for each other to hear.  Every few seconds, when a new battle erupted downstairs and one of us uttered a new and impressive string of four-letter complaints, our laughter would match the volume of the fighting below.

So Eric's wonderful, convoluted point is correct.  Yesterday, Valentine's Day, has come and gone but today is another day.  My blog is finished.  My husband is adorable.  He's busy working and I can't keep my hands off of him.  I think he needs to take a quick break so his wife can wish him a very special Happy Valentine's Day...again. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Risk" can be a very long game.

I hate homework.  No, not my homework.  I'm not taking college extension classes, thank goodness.  I'm complaining about what every parent of school aged children grapple with, that's right...I won't even go into the detail.  It's too painful a topic. 

I don't remember these battles with my parents growing up.  I was a happy, lovely, wonderful little girl (cough, cough) who always went right to my desk and completed this nasty business when I got home from school.  I had no other recourse.  Homework and then playtime.  Besides, I didn't want to face Sister Mary Agnel in the morning and tell her I didn't have my writing assignment completed.  Those of you who went to elementary school with me and experienced this Catholic Nun in the 5th grade know exactly who I'm referring to.  She could be terrifying.

Last night and this morning it wasn't the gunfight at the O.K. Corral but instead the Potts' family kitchen table:

"Austynn, this is a mess.  You need to re-do this paragraph and complete these sentences."

"No!  You can't make me.  I don't have to do that.  That's not what my teacher wants me to do!"

"I know exactly what your teacher wants you to do, she explained it to me while I was standing in the office."

"Well then, you misunderstood her.  And by the way, I'm not going to school!"

Deep sigh.  I hope I never reach the point when he calls my bluff and I have to call the police intervention number.  Before my children came to live with us, I had no idea there was such a thing; a team of police officers assigned through cities or counties trained to deal with troubled youth.  It makes sense.  With the problems that adolescents and their families face, it seems logical for specific people to know what to do and how to handle these firestorms as they erupt.  I've come so close to calling - so many times.  In fact, I'm certain that by the time my boys are young adults, the Thornton Police Department will know our home address fairly well.

Yesterday, I met with William's personal therapist and he's concerned that my oldest seems to have become more aggressive in the time since he's last seen him.  Surprise!  Yes, he has!!  Welcome to my scary world of, "where are the kitchen utensils" and "stop telling us you want to hunt down small animals for the sport of it".  I realize that this doesn't have anything to do with homework, but it does in a way.  It has everything to do with my own.

Eric and I are in constant overdrive.  If a razor is missing, we're looking for it.  If we can't find our inside house keys, everything stops until we know where we've placed them.  If a battery has been removed from something, the house is torn apart until it's located and then kept safe until disposed of when Austynn isn't looking.   If William makes a physical threat, we have to determine immediately how it was made.  Oftentimes, it's a joke but even his jokes have a subtle reality to them and are extremely violent.  We're constantly reminding him of how inappropriate they can be. 

Our homework is never done.  It's exhausting.  It's keeps us awake at night.  Eric and I stay up talking about it.  We discuss plans, alternatives, strategies.  It's almost as if we're playing a never-ending game of Risk; matching rolls against two very clever and battle-scarred children.  I never expected parenting to be like this, neither had Eric.  When we filled out the Fos-Adopt paperwork asking us what we could handle as far as behaviorally challenged children, we didn't check off these many boxes, I'm certain of it. 

What happened?  A picture.  Ah yes, I remember...a picture of a sweet, over-weight little boy missing a front tooth with wire glasses.  He was wearing a paper crown and smiling from ear to ear holding a kindergarten achievement award.  His name was William and he needed a home.  His younger brother, Austynn wasn't far behind.  He was in another foster placement - one of 13 to be exact.  He would show up on our doorstep asking for parents and patience later.

Deep breath.  There will be more homework tonight, and tomorrow, and the next night, and for a very, very long time to come.   

Monday, February 13, 2012

And Bri's alter ego for today will be...

Everyone wishes they could be like some one else from time to time or if not, feel that they can relate to that person or character.  I know I have as both a child and as an adult; however, during a recent poker game, Pepsi almost sprayed out of my nose when one of Eric's co-worker's touched off an amazing thought provoking comment without warning.

Growing up - and admittedly still today - I'm a huge Peanuts cartoon fan.  Whenever the jazzy theme music announces the arrival of Charlie Brown and his gang for an animated television special, everything save for a death in the family stops the Potts' house dead in it's tracks (pardon the pun).  Chicken is stopped mid fry, toothpaste is left dribbling from the chin, and all other activity ceases immediately.  It's Breezy time.

Of course, my favorite character is Snoopy, the beagle.  I had several of these stuffed animals growing up.  I practiced my kissing techniques on one of them...poor feller (might I add, he smelled horrific by the time I moved on to the real thing).  The personality I most identify with is Peppermint Patty.  Patty is the tomboy or now how she was suddenly and most irreverently brought to my attention at the poker game as, the "token lesbian".

Peppermint Patty
Again, I can not construe enough how immensely dense I can be.  I'd never considered this before so when this was suggested while I was bluffing a pair of threes over my opponents full house, it was all I could do to keep the half gulp of soda from spraying my husband's employer beside me.  We need that possible 25 cent raise in the fall.  I held the carbonation back amazingly well; however, I still lost the bluff.  It may have had something to do with my eyes popping half way out of my head.  I can't be certain.

Did Mr. Schulz have this in mind when he created his characters?  One may never know BUT, I found the remark very intriguing.  Yes, I was a tomboy growing up.  Yes, I always wanted to wear funky, open toe sandals versus silly girlie shoes.  Do I call my husband "Chuck" as a term of endearment when we're talking (I'm laughing as I write this)?  Yes, all the darn time.  I hate fussing with my hair - which,  might I add, is now conveniently red.   At one time,  I used Peppermint Patty as my profile picture on Facebook.  Here's the final question; how does being a tomboy qualify someone's sexuality?

Well Chuck, I've given this matter some serious thought and I've concluded two things:

1:  This tomboy made love twice to her husband yesterday.  I've never had sex with a woman; however, it doesn't sound like a bad idea - I just prefer men.

2:  Why would a bunch of grown ups sitting around playing poker even care?  



Friday, February 10, 2012

Eric has a great big pain in the brain.

Our Wedding Song:  **Play While Reading

I've been writing some serious blogs lately.  Sorry about this.  I find that I go through spurts.  It's just the way my kooky mind works, I suppose.

Last night was a long one for my husband, Eric.  He was up and down since midnight vomiting and on the toilet with reactions from his medications.  Now a lot of you, my dear friends and blog readers, are thinking, what?  What is Bri writing about?  Medications?  What is wrong with Eric?  Well, that's just it, you see.  I take for granted that there's anything wrong him so when he does get sick, when he does have reactions, I'm actually concerned but at the same time - I'm grateful.  I'm grateful to be reminded that yes, he does have a medical condition and that I must never take our lives together for granted.

Geez Louise!  That was a complete and utter rambling paragraph which left my poor readers no closer to understanding the situation than when I started.  I make myself laugh most mornings, oh - but not you, my friends.  You're getting annoyed with me.  Should I draw this out a little longer for the heck of it?  No?  Ok, enough with the torture.

Eric has a brain tumor or in medical terminology, a prolactinoma.  We consider it to be an old nuisance which has been hangin' about in there for years.  It's not cancerous but it certainly has been a great big pain in his brain for a long, long time.  The doctors think it started wrapping itself around his pituitary gland and brain stem about the time Eric entered puberty.  Because of its location, the bastard kept Eric's adolescent body from producing hormones.  As Eric aged, the tumor grew, migraines increased in intensity, his body stopped growing in height, and could not produce testosterone, etc.( the pieces are coming together as to why Bri and Eric adopted the boys).

When Eric and I met one another and became close friends in high school, this thing, this ugliness was growing in his head.  No one knew it was there.  As the years went by, the two of us followed our other friends down the aisles at their weddings.  Oftentimes, ironically, we were paired up as their bridesmaid and groomsman; however, due to his migraines, Eric could barely manage to stay through the receptions without becoming deathly ill.  He never went to the doctor.  He didn't seek help until it came to my own wedding week and then it was almost too late.  He had a seizure.  He couldn't ignore the symptoms any longer.

I hadn't planned on videotaping my wedding but a friend thought it would cheer Eric up in the hospital while he waited for surgery.  My entire wedding video was dedicated to Eric Potts.  As I knelt at the alter, in my wedding dress, next to my first husband, waiting to exchange vows, I looked right into the camera and told Eric that I loved him.  Destiny?  I think so.

Jeff and I went to Great Britain for our Honeymoon.  The night of Eric's surgery I stayed up and made the long distance call to make sure he survived the delicate procedure.  I used every coin I had.  I refused to close my eyes until I knew my dear friend was safe.  Eric was the only thought on my mind.

Four years later, when I told my ex-husband I was planning to marry Eric, whom he knew and was very fond of, Jeff said something I'll never forget..."Bri, when I married you, I felt as if I had stolen another man's destiny."  Wow.  Powerful words.  How often does one have a chance for a "do-over"?  All I can say is that my ex-husband, though our separation was ugly, gave me a new insight on life.  I still love Jeff tremendously.  I cherish his friendship and value our time together as an amazing learning experience.  We were just the wrong souls.  I was always meant for Eric and Eric for me.

So the tumor...yes, it's still there - the bastard; HOWEVER, we believe the stinker - due to radiation - has shrunk to such a level that it's virtually a non-issue.  BUT, it's still there.  AND, last night's little episode reminded us once again that life is precious.  Yes, I have a plethora of medications that I sort out every Monday for him but I do the same for the boys and myself so it's easy to forget what Eric needs them for.  As far as I'm concerned, he needs meds to calm his nerves or settle his ADHD or whatever else his crazy doctor tells him to do.  Brain tumor, what's that?  Eric wears a medical ID bracelet for a reason.  Sooo, this is where I give thanks...

Thank You, God for last night's little reminder.  Thank You for having him feel somewhat better this morning.  Please continue to send us these annoying jolts from time to time when we start taking our lives for granted (though last night's was a doozy - if You could go a little easier on his tummy next time, I think he would appreciate it).  You gave us an amazing second chance when You placed us back together.  Please continue to keep us laughing at the insignificant things and allow us to taste and savor and share the greatness of life's flavors.  Yours always, Bri.   


Thursday, February 9, 2012

This is a tough one...

Bri - 1985 Prom Night
My first crush.  I don't know why I'm writing about this today of all days.  And, as I type this, I'm not sure if I this implies my very first second-grade-hand-holding-ring-exchanging-blush-inducing crush, or the middle-school-meet-behind-McDonald's-hand-holding-walking-home-together-never-even-kissed-class-gossip crush, or the big-whopper-high-school-lose-my-virginity crush...hmmm....I think it was the latter that I was referring to when I started typing.  I suppose I must go with it.  Good grief.  The poor guy.  If he reads my blogs (dear boy/now, grown man), I promise to be as gentle as possible.

I've mentioned in the past that I've had weight problems on and off my entire life.  During high school, my battle with the bulge was a huge concern.  In junior high, I was very involved with sports.  I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in my 8th grade year so I kept fairly slim regardless of gorging on large quantities of junk food and sweets.  However, when I entered high school, I stopped playing sports yet continued eating the junk.  Why didn't I stay active?  I was enrolled in an all girl Catholic private school.  In my mind, there were stereotypes attached to female athletes which of course are so silly now that I'm embarrassed that I considered them.  Also, I would have had problems with the commute.  I lived quite a distance from campus.  So, needless to say, I ballooned.  By mid-freshman year, I weighed over 200 pounds.  Add this along with the factor that I met and started dating an abusive senior from the brother school, well - my self-esteem plummeted and I piled on more pounds.

I was a naive, overweight adolescent who by the time I was 16 had been sexually assaulted, survived an attempted rape, and was physically abused by the only serious boyfriend I ever had. That same year, I was sexually assaulted by a 70 year old friend and told repeatedly throughout my life how worthless and fat I was by the people I loved.  Wow, no wonder I ate.  Calories comforted me.  They didn't hurt.  They didn't shame.  Fuck - this was a tough paragraph to write.

Suffice it to say, I didn't have a heck of a lot of self confidence when I first met the guy I fell head over heels in love with.  He, on the other hand, had plenty of it.  I'm not going to use his actual name here, I'll call him Pete for privacy purposes.

I've always been a bit of a character (No, really? Me?) so outside of sports, my next logical activity was the Drama club.  This is where I met Pete. He was from our brother, all-male Catholic high school and was dancing, laughing, and cracking off one liners in the middle of a group of kids I hadn't met before.  He was amazing and intimidating.  I'd never seen anyone so fast with jokes.  My sister, Ellen was like this and I always envied her skill.  It was the same with this guy.  I almost didn't want to catch his eye but at the same time, I wanted to. He had such beautiful eyes.  Oh, and could he sing!
Now with this said, dear friends and blog readers, I'm certain you're quietly nodding your heads thinking, "Bri, couldn't you recognize the tell-tale signs?  Dancing, singing, etc?".  Dear ones, again I reaffirm that I was a young, naive girl who desperately needed the Handbook, "What Are the Obvious Signs to Look For in a Gay Man".  I had no clue.  I was in love.  I was twitterpated.  I was a gonner.

Sadly, for Catholics and staunch Christians everywhere, we are taught at an early age, to stifle what is clearly an inherent trait.  What a terrible shame this is.  Pete fought it for such a long time and at such a terrible cost to him and his conscious.  If God is love, than in my opinion, how can what He created be a sin?

Where was I??  Oh yes, did he eventually catch my eye?  Silly, funny, goofy people always have a way of becoming the center of attention and the best of friends.  Of course he did and unfortunately,  I didn't want to be his best "fat", sisterly friend which is exactly what happened.  My not-so-secret crush was bursting out of my size 22 jeans.  I could barely contain myself.  I was enamoured.  Every waking thought was of Pete.  I had it very, very bad.  First love - what a terrible time in a teen's life.

Around this period, my entire family (except for my baby brother who was eleven years younger than myself), had gained an enormous amount of weight and my parents had placed all of us fatties on the liquid diet, Optifast.  It worked for obvious reasons and suddenly within months I was a skinny, beautiful princess.  Of course, on the inside I was still a naive, sexually abused, worthless cow but Pete didn't know this;  I just wanted him to love me and love me he did - in his own skewed way.

I lost my virginity on the bathroom floor in a room of the Disneyland Hotel.  It was my senior prom with all of my best friends and their dates just outside the door.  Pete was high on cocaine and booze.  He had no condoms and decided that a complimentary hotel shower cap would do just as well.  While I gritted my teeth through the pain, I convinced myself that it was ok because I loved him, that I wasn't being sexually abused, that I wasn't being naive, and I didn't hear the words "worthless" being murmured in my mind.

When it was over, he walked out the bathroom victorious.  To my shame, I heard giggles scattered around the room.  My vagina ached.  My body ached.  My heart ached.  I was the first of my friends to lose my virginity.  This was not how I wanted it to be.  But I was convinced it would be different the next time.  He would hold me and kiss me.  He would tell me I'm beautiful.  Wrong.  In all the times afterwards, that "time" never happened.  My shame continued to grow.  Just tell me I'm not worthless, please just tell me that you love me.  It never happened.

Over the years I went on to date some lovely men; however, not one of them could prove to me that I wasn't worthless.  I worked my ass off while they spent money on scuba diving lessons, others accused me of hurtful things, yet another broke a solemn vow.  It took years of looking inward and 347 pounds to recognize that it wasn't about them making me feel worthy of their love.  It was about me willing to love myself unconditionally.

I have a huge crush now.  It's my final crush, my last love.  She's wonderful.  She's beautiful.  She has bright blue eyes, an amazing smile, a quirky personalty, and she's blessed to be married to an amazing man.  Her name is Bri Potts.  She's not worthless, she's fantastic.  I'm glad you're getting a chance to meet her - one blog, one rambling day at a time.   


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Prince Charming pulled up in a 1967 Ford Mustang.

Prince Charming.  How did we define him as little girls?  When I was twelve my perfect hero needed to be of course handsome but not in a swashbuckling kind of way.  Perhaps that was my saving grace, but I'll get back to this later.  He needed to be interesting, clever, and above all - have a fantastic sense of humor.  Whomever my prince was, this amazing human being riding into my life be it on a white stallion - no, I've always had a secret fear of horses, or in classic green 1967 Ford Mustang, he had to be able to make me laugh.  Oh, and one other thing, he had to take me as I was.  No pretending to be Princess Aurora around him.

That request didn't seem difficult.  After all, I was cute.  There were lots nice guys out in the world who would love and cherish a rough and tumble, say-it-like-it-is, sassy girl like me.  Someone who would take one look at me jumping through sprinklers in the middle of winter and offer me his jacket afterwards.  Someone who would call me out when I was telling him a bold faced lie and laugh in my face when I denied it.  Someone who could look into the depth of my soul and know what I was thinking before I ever said a word.  Someone who's fingertips against mine could send my body into quiet tremors. 

As I look back at it now, my expectations were high but I was also realistic.  These lovely hopes were not so far beyond my reach.  In fact now, every morning when I wake up and look at the sweet, dear man lying beside me, I give thanks.  There are so many women who've wasted their lives in search of a chiseled Adonis with a healthy bank account. So I wonder, in their search who have they passed along the way?  How many interesting, clever, and amazing princes have passed them by and out of these - who might have brought them their glass slipper?

When Eric and I married we were both geeky looking 20-somethings who had suffered some pretty tough times. We weren't perfect, but we weren't looking for perfect - we were looking for happy.  Some eighteen years later,  my glass slippers fit perfectly, his fingertips still elicit tremors, and when I tell a whopper he still laughs and accuses me of being a liar.  

...and we lived happily ever after...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweet Dreams

Oh, how I love a good dream; the ones I wake up from feeling all warm and cozy and squirmy and, get the picture.  I'd go into explicit detail about last night's visual; however, this blog is read by younger audiences from time to time so I  must keep it as least a PG-13.

It's amazing how faces of people are conjured up in sleep whom I haven't seen seen childhood.  Last night I had a full on um, conversation (cough cough), with the adult person of a boy I went to grammar school with.  I can say with all certainty that his face aged correctly.  Based on pictures I've seen of him on Facebook, everything seemed normal enough.  It was lovely.  I told my husband, Eric about it and surprisingly he was a bit jealous.  I'm thinking this is a good thing.  I'll have to tell him about the one I had with three firemen last week.  That was a doozy.  Nothing like keeping the house fires burning so to speak.

I feel sad when people tell me they don't remember their dreams.  How is this possible?  Mine are so vivid (obviously).  Since my father passed away in 2002, I see him almost every night.  (Fortunately he doesn't walk into my naughty dreams, shake his finger, and tell me to behave.  God bless him for that!)  He's always somewhere either in the background playing cards, sitting in his recliner, or having dinner with us.  I know it's his way of telling me he's near.  Of course, there are the strange dreams I lie awake afterwards and try to interpret.  Some are easy.  Some, I'm wondering if my Native American ancestors smoked way too much Peyote and it's still floatin' around in my bio-chemistry.  And then there are the ones I want to crawl back into.  They're gifts from whom I consider to be God; glimpses of what I believe to be Heaven.  I haven't had too many of these, perhaps two or three in my lifetime; crystal clear images of what "it" will be like.  Every sense in my body is awake and alert, and I know - strangely enough - not to call them dreams.  Glimpses of Eden which seem like an eternity but instead are merely seconds..amazing.

How did this happen?  How did I go from blogging about my naughty, squirmy dream to visions of Heaven?  Oh, my goodness...all in a morning's rambling, my friends.  All in a morning's rambling.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Violence and War vs. Love and Peace

Another weekend has gone by and I face a houseful of chores.  For some reason today doesn't seem so daunting.  Recently, I've gone through my calendar and removed obligations that I would normally have on a weekly basis.  These were volunteer projects.  Obviously by volunteering, they were things near and dear to my heart, but with time as a valuable commodity, I needed to start looking at what made sense for me.

The boys, in particular my oldest, have had some additional behavioral issues as of late.  Could it be that he's sixteen and every hormone in his body is telling him to rebel against mom and dad?  Quite possibly.  Add that to the fact that he's still trying to figure out how to communicate appropriately due to his Aspergers and is throwing rage about from prior abuse history - well, Eric and I have a ticking time bomb on our hands.

Everything we say, William misinterprets due to his autism.  He's paranoid.  We're out to get him.  The world is against him and because of this he's going to get the world.  Pretty frightening stuff.  My husband and I are on constant alert.  We keep an eye on everything he does.  We're always explaining what people's intentions are.  No "Mature" video games.  No gun play.  No knives, etc.  We talk love and peace.  He talks violence and war.  

Austynn is right behind him.  Our thirteen year old is different somehow.  There's a gentleness to him, a childlike quality that he'll always possess.  He too speaks of war but has an innocence about him which makes him completely unaware of the ugliness it brings.  When I explain to Austynn that war tears families apart, he explains that he's more interested in the "mechanics" of it.  He likes the way the machinery works. Then, he immediately changes the subject and asks if he can snuggle with me.  You see, Austynn doesn't like to talk about about unpleasant things.  Death and ugly are bad.  He wants to cuddle up in my arms and talk about Legos instead.

So today I have a clear schedule.  I'll fix Austy some breakfast, comb his hair, and get him off to school.  I'll go through the house and pick up from this weekend's lazy lay-about.  Perhaps later this morning, I'll meet some friends for coffee, we'll discuss our special needs kids, and work out a plan to get through another tough week ahead of us.

This is good.  I need more time for me - more time to focus on the afternoons and plan out how to handle the hours between 2:30 and 8:30pm; the hours when my boys are talking about violence and war.  I need this quiet time to focus and center myself completely on love and peace. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Are we ready for some football?!

Super Bowl Sunday.  Are there three words which strike a more interesting and varied note throughout homes across America today?  I think not.

For many of us, it's the game itself; a day which has culminated over seventeen weeks of our favorite football teams across the country meeting head to head to determine this year's champion between the NFC and AFC rivals. 

For others, it's a chance to socialize; enjoy a cold beer, partake in some playful trash-talking, and maybe win a couple of bucks in the office pool.

Oh, and of course, there's the food.  We Americans must always have an excuse to eat and this is the day when all reasonable dietary precautions are thrown out towards to the Polo crowd.  Any true football tailgatin', All-American, red-white-and-blue wearin', Super Bowl XLVIn' (that was tough to type) person will tell you that if some one so much as whispers tofu or smoked salmon spread they're out the door on their skinny fanny.  I don't know about you my dear ones, but bring me a bag of Fritos with some home made onion dip and I'm in Football Heaven.

Now, because I'm a world class whiner, I must get this in.  If you're not a fan of the sport and you attend the game solely to gab and eat I beg you, let the watchers watch.  For example, if you see a friend obviously intent on the game, do not stick a chicken wing in her face and ask her if she thinks it's too spicy for you.  At that precise moment, trust me when I say this, she probably hopes it was dunked in Cayenne pepper and you choke violently on it; however, since you're friends, she'll most likely attend your funeral and perhaps bring some lovely roses (that's if she didn't miss an interception with your stupid foodie question).

All rightie then.  TV is in working order.  The recliners are comfy and the beer is in the refrigerator.  Before the game highlights start, I will go pee several times so I don't miss any of the silly million dollar commercials geared specifically for my viewing pleasure.  Fritos are within onion dip reach.  My children are delightfully distracted.  Ahh, Super Bowl Sunday!  Three words which invoke such bliss within the Potts' family household.