Interesting times


Friends. I’m in a weird place (metaphorically speaking; I’m physically at home in my filthy little office) and I am also about to leave for Europe on a long-awaited ten day trip to three different cities.

Normally when at a crossroads I would not necessarily go on an admittedly expensive (though not lavish) trip but this was booked and paid for months ago, before Shenanigans Ensued About Which I Shall Not Elaborate On The Internet.  But a) it’s not refundable and b) it will be beneficial to heart and soul.  So off we go, The Lovely Rhonda and I.

In other news not related to any Shenanigans or metaphorical crossroads, my kid, along with her BFF, won first prize in their category for their National History Day project about Irina Sendler, the Polish nurse who rescued children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.  The project consisted of a large display board with photos and information about Irina Sendler as well as an interview of both girls about their subject.  They will go on to the state competition in a couple of months.  Here are some photos of them jubilating:

First a thumbs-up:

NHD winner 2017


….And now with eyebrow.

NHD winner 2017 that one eyebrow tho

Naturally we could not be prouder.



And the reply:

Hi Debra,
After speaking with my manager, we would like you to send us a copy of the invoice. We will review and contact Dental to determine the amount they would have covered on your claim and pay the amount.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
(HR person)

Dental Insurance Is Hard, You Guys


I rarely post about work but this is too funny not to share.

Rhonda is on my dental benefits and they requested we submit a copy of the marriage license.  We did this in 2015.

Recently we found that she had been dropped from my dental insurance because

Hi Debra,

Apparently there was an issue with the marriage license we received back in 2015. It showed that it expired on 2/6/13 so your spouse was removed. I can add her back on Dental effective 1/1/17.
Thanks, (HR person)

…Okay, so first off it might have been nice for them to have told me this, but okay. I’m easy.

I said that I needed her added back for last year since we had dental bills that should have been covered last year.  I was sent the following:

Good afternoon Debra,
Unfortunately, since the attached documentation appeared not to be valid during your new hire enrollment, your spouse was dropped from Dental. As a courtesy, we are enrolling her now however, we still don’t have a valid marriage certificate. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks, (HR person)


I was sent a copy of the license with a circle around the offending article.

I sent it back having marked it for clarity.  Can’t wait to hear back!


Stay tuned for further thrilling installments of THE MARRIAGE LICENSE THAT ALMOST WASN’T!


Flabber Gabbing Thing A Ma Bibber


So the other night I took a couple of the spawn out to the Smart(ish) Kids Program Family Game Night.  The third and youngest spawn was unable to attend owing to her lack of engagement with the Clean Your Damn Room initiative of November 2016.  This meant that The Lovely RhondaTM was forced to stay home with her and thus avoid miss the teeming mayhem of fifty children between the ages of 7 and 12 allegedly playing games with one another.

What actually occurs is that fifty children between the ages of 7 and 12 mostly chase each other around popping the hundreds of balloons that some genius had the bright idea of inflating and distributing around the room.  So it goes.

The Family Game Night has previously been held at an education service district building pretty near by, and so because I failed to pore over the email for location details because I am not smart, I operated on the assumption that it would be held in the same place this year.  Silly me.  Thus we found ourselves, the two older spawn and myself, unsupervised in a large, empty parking lot with the goal of quickly reaching the middle school a couple of miles away.

Friends, I am not a crazy driver.  I do not speed (much) and I largely obey the rules of the road, using my turn signals and coming to a complete stop whenever indicated.  But this is a large, empty parking lot, we have to get somewhere fast, and I am heady with the fumes of Friday night.

“GUYS I’M GOING TO DRIFT!”  I yell, and dash around corners of the parking lot at slightly reckless speeds.  The parking lot has a long entry road and there is no one around.  I punch it and we bomb and weave toward the road in front of us.

The children and whooping and hollering and the oldest child splutters,  “MAMA YOU ARE BEING THE DRIVER THAT OTHER DRIVERS SWEAR ABOUT!  THEY ARE ALL ‘GOSH DARN YOU FLABBER GABBING THING A MA BIBBER!'” as she claws around for something to hold onto.

And I laugh until I can’t breathe, and we head off to the middle school sedately, obeying all traffic laws and using the turn signal, for two hours of balloon popping chaos Family Game Night.  The end..

Hard Day


Today was kind of hard.

One of the kids left the chicken house open.  It opens at the top.  The poor kid, she didn’t mean to leave it open and she didn’t know that chickens can fly a little, or that they could climb up the perches to the top and jump out.  And I’m sure she really didn’t know that an ordinary house dog like one of ours would kill a loose chicken if given the chance.  She was devastated and it was just an accident.  One chicken gone and another a little stressed out but otherwise unharmed.

I had to be an adult about all of this and it sucks to be an adult.  Adults have to gather up the remains of the chicken and later explain why we could not bury it in the back yard where the dog would dig it up, even if we buried it very deep in the ground.  I hate being an adult.

Later in the evening I found out about a friend who chose to bring his life to an end on his own terms, facing as he was a terminal diagnosis and treatment that was not working.  I don’t question his decision nor his right to do as he did.  I am just sad that it ended this way, sad for him to have to choose to go alone, sad for us left behind him.  He was not a close friend but always a good one, an unforgettable man, and the world is poorer without him in it.

Hug your loved ones and be good to one another.  Nothing else really matters.


And so it begins!


So a couple of years ago we attended a “mini maker faire” at the local museum of science and industry, and I stumbled upon a presentation by a droid builder’s club.

I was so hooked, but still working on my master’s degree and not able to commit any time or allow distractions.

Tomorrow is commencement, and my diploma arrived a few days ago.

Last night I signed up for an account at the astromech builder’s site.  And this morning they approved me.

Hey you people in my life who know how to make stuff:  I’m totally going to be calling on you to help me, show me, teach me.  Building a droid is a learning experience, and I aim to learn.  Game on!


One hundred percent 11


So today my kid got out of school early for early dismissal, because kids nowadays get out of school early all the damn time.  I don’t remember this half-day nonsense.  By God, in my day we went to school full days and we liked it.  And when we had a day off it was an entire day and no mistake.

Anyway, hilarity ensues:

Delia: Mama, can I paint the end tables? (small unfinished wooden tables we got at Ikea years ago and are covered in marking pen etc because children are filthy little savages)
Me: (gathering supplies and opening paint can) Okay, but put down plastic and change your clothes.
Delia: Okay! (looks totally responsible and stuff)
Minutes later Delia is seen moving table dangerously close to house to get it out of the rain, which is at least purposeful, but then as if mesmerized places palms flat down on wet paint and smears it around for no reason.
Delia: (looks guilty)
Me: Okay, go wash your hands.  Why did you do that?
Delia: (washes hands; no answer)
Me: (places half-painted wooden end table with huge smeary palm prints on freshly-painted top in garage) Okay, you can finish painting in there.  But try not to get paint on everything and please don’t do that again or you will get paint everywhere and I will not let you paint EVER AGAIN.
Delia: (subdued) Okay.
She’s so tall and easy-going and good-natured that I forget that she is still an 11-year-old kid, and to an 11-year-old kid, slippery fresh paint is SO AWESOME to smear your hands around in.  Especially to this one who has loved mud puddles, pumpkin guts, creepy crawly stuff, and bugs pretty much since birth.