I remember

9114People everywhere are remembering the day our world changed. On that fateful day 12 years ago I remember exactly where I was.

At the time I was working in a call center for a cell phone company. We hadn’t heard much when I received a call from a woman whose phone automatically transferred her to my department. The woman on the phone that day was frantic. She was a stewardess for United Airlines. She was trying to reach her friends and co-workers. She was supposed to be on one of those planes.

Twelve years later I don’t remember her name but I’ll never forget her voice.

Shortly thereafter we received word that if we wanted to leave work we could go and not face any attendance infractions. 21-month-old MiniMe was in daycare and 7-year-old Beauty was in her second grade class at school. I chose to leave. I knew there was nothing I could do and thankfully I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed that day but I needed to gather my children close and keep them as safe as I knew how. I picked up the girls and we went home. Thankfully they were young enough that they didn’t understand at the time what was going on. I struggled to answer Beauty’s questions in a way that she would understand.

Twelve years later they have learned to live in our post 9/11 world.

I have relatives who have served in the military and a nephew who is a civilian firefighter in Afghanistan. There’s a local family who lost a son a few years ago. We live in a small community and the day he was brought home everything stopped. The motorcade from the airport to the high school gym where his memorial service was held was one of the most amazingly heart wrenching things I’ve ever experienced. Beauty and I were on the freeway and every overpass was filled with people. The fence along side the freeway was filled with flags.  Cars pulled over to the side of the road to show respect for this fallen soldier who was one of our own. I was one of those cars.

I am thankful every day for the men and women in uniform who work so hard to make sure that our world is safe. Whether it’s a military uniform or our firefighters, EMTs, police and sheriffs, all of them are working together to make sure that we in this country are safe.

For this, I thank you.

My response to the Daily Prompt

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me!

No, I’m not channeling Aretha.

Lately I’ve noticed that most many a lot some of today’s youth have no idea what respect actually means. I changed that to “some” because I do happen to know quite a few young people who are very respectful and I don’t want them to think I’m just making a grand assumption that everyone is like this.

Respect isn’t something that you can just demand. In most cases it must be earned.

Respect isn’t something that just happens. I respect a lot of people, even if I don’t agree with their choices.

Lying isn’t a form of respect. Not for yourself or for anyone else. Lying is wrong. Even more so when it hurts those around you. Stealing is right there too. Stealing from a store is illegal and is one of the many reasons we end up paying more and more for the things we need. I don’t care how big the store is or what it is that was taken. It all affects the bottom line and the paying customers have to make up for what you took without paying.

Saying please and thank you are a way of showing respect. They show that you appreciate what was done or given to you.

Not allowing those around you to act mean and ugly to you would be considered self-respect. Each of us deserves someone who genuinely cares and wants to help us succeed in life. Surrounding yourself with people who are always negative and don’t care about others feelings isn’t respecting yourself. It shows the world that you don’t think you’re worthy of anything better. You’re wrong! You are worth so much more!

There are a lot of little ways we can show respect for those around us. Sometimes it’s just smiling at the person you pass on the street. Maybe it’s offering to hold the door for that young mom who looks like she’s so overwhelmed she’s ready to burst into tears at any moment. Maybe it’s seeing the little flowerbed in front of your neighbor’s house is full of weeds and that neighbor is elderly and can’t get out there on their own so you clean it up for them.

Being respectful isn’t difficult. It’s really not rocket science. We teach our children manners when they’re little hoping they will learn to be respectful adults. Somewhere along the line some of these young people have missed something. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that comes off as arrogance and disrespect. They think just because they’ve reached a certain age, people should just automatically respect them. I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If all you’ve done is be a jerk to the people around you, including me, I’m certainly not going to respect you. Being a liar and a thief isn’t going to earn my respect either.

This isn’t necessarily directed at any one person. Just so I’m clear on that. This is happening all over our country. A young man and his brother set off bombs that killed 3 and seriously injured over 200 people because they wanted respect. (Ok, that’s my own opinion on the situation but I’m sure I’m not alone) How much respect do you think he’s going to get from a jury?

I found this quote and it seems very fitting in today’s society.

“The world is passing through troublesome times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.” Peter the Hermit (A.D. 1274)

Ok, so apparently this was happening in 1274 too. Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.

 

I don’t know how to do this

Life has thrown me some big huge curve balls lately and I can honestly say I don’t think I’m handling it very well. That being said, I’m not exactly sure how one is supposed to handle the amount of stress and tragedy I’ve been subjected to in the last few weeks so maybe I’m handling it just exactly right. I have no idea, but I DO know that this part just sucks!

My brother asked me the other day how I was doing. I answered him truthfully. In that very minute I really was ok. A couple of minutes later I was crying.

I miss my mom. A couple of days ago I posted that on Facebook. I hadn’t had much sleep the night before and I was super emotional. I ended up crying pretty much all evening. We had a video slideshow that we played at her service and I ended up watching that a couple of times. That just made it worse! I think it’ll be awhile before I can watch it again.

Last week a former co-worker was killed in a motorcycle accident. When I found out about it I had another anxiety attack. It just so happened that I was standing in a local pizza place at the time. Yeah, that was fun. The service for that amazing young woman was yesterday. I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle it but I think I did ok. I was able to breathe my way through an anxiety attack so that’s something anyway. My heart breaks for her twin sister. I know how hard this journey has been for me since losing my mom 25 days ago and I can only imagine that what she’s going through right now is even harder. Please pray for the family as they figure out this new life without their loved one.

I find myself being so afraid that something is going to happen to another person I love that I feel like I’m becoming an emotional wreck. I’m needy in ways I never have been in my entire life. I want to gather everyone I love close and not let them leave my side so I can make sure they’re safe. I know that isn’t reasonable so I keep it to myself most of the time but it’s always there. Is that normal? Again, I have no idea. Maybe it is… maybe everyone who’s been through this feels the same way.

I just know that pretty much every day is a challenge and I just want things to be ok. Mostly I want ME to be ok.

And I don’t know how to do that.

How am I?

Well, that’s just a loaded question right there.

In the last 12 days:

  • Monday – Beauty was admitted to the hospital with kidney problems again
  • Tuesday – My mom was admitted the following day to the same hospital with internal bleeding. I also had my first ever anxiety attack
  • Early Wednesday morning – My brothers and sisters and I had to make the decision to let mom go. I had another anxiety attack
  • Thursday – Mom passed away. I had 2 more anxiety attacks. It was also my step-dad’s birthday 😦
  • Friday – Beauty was released from the hospital because the doctor is an idiot. My sisters came from Idaho
  • Saturday – Had a service here for mom. Another anxiety attack
  • Sunday – Went to my old church (also the church my parents attended). It was good to see so many of those who have been praying for us but still hard to be there without my mom.
  • Monday – Worked all day and ended up taking Beauty back to the hospital to be re-admitted.
  • Tuesday – Worked all day after getting 2 hours of sleep in a chair at the hospital with Beauty. Doctor released her again because they can tell us what ISN’T wrong with her but can’t figure out why she’s still in so much pain. Really dissatisfied with our healthcare system right about now!
  • Wednesday – Worked all day, probably the most uneventful day I’ve had in a while.
  • Thursday – Got to see the little boy who is like my grandson. Haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving. He’s growing so much! **I didn’t cry for the first time in a week!!!**
  • Also Thursday – A truck with an oversized load hit a bridge on the freeway about 30 miles from where I live and the bridge fell in the water. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured! Bad news for me is that I have to drive that way today after work! Yep, that will be fuuuuuunnnnn!!!! NOT!
  • Today is Friday and after work we are leaving for Idaho for a second service and burial for my mom. Good news is that I have Valium!
  • Tomorrow is Saturday and we will be having the above mentioned service for family and friends that weren’t able to come to the first service. I expect I will cry a really lot.
  • Sunday we will be driving back home.
  • Monday I will sleep and clean my house that I’ve barely been at in the last 2 weeks.
A very sick girl and her very sick Grandma

A very sick girl and her very sick Grandma

During the last 2 weeks I have learned just how amazing my friends are. I can’t thank you guys enough for being there for me during this difficult time in my life. Y’all know how to make a girl feel loved!

Living with RA

Mt Baker (2)

This picture has nothing to do with RA but this weekend we got to house sit for my brother and sister-in-law. This picture was taken from the back yard. Beauty took it early Sunday morning. She spent the night with us and woke up early. She grabbed my phone and took this picture. It was a great surprise when I woke up. One of the local coffee shops is having a photo contest and it was suggested that I submit this for it. I did but got an email back saying they needed a higher resolution copy. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. Oh well, I like the picture anyway. Those of you who are Facebook friends have already seen it but I just love it so thought I’d share here too!

I’ve mentioned before that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed in February 2006. I had spent a year with what I called “The Amazing Traveling Pulled Muscle”! I was at the doctor nearly once a week with pain in a different location every time. The first was my right shoulder. My brother, Beauty and I made a quick trip for my uncle’s memorial service. A very quick trip. We were gone a total of 20 hours and about 15 of that was spent driving. I went to work the next day and couldn’t lift my right arm. My shoulder felt like someone was stabbing me with a red hot poker right in my shoulder joint. Any movement at all was excruciatingly painful. That was the first time I went to the doctor and was told “You have a pulled muscle. Here, have some narcotics!” They didn’t work. Three days later I was sitting at work and watched my left hand swell up and turn red. My left arm started hurting as well. You may recall that my dad died when I was 12? He had a massive heart attack. My mom? She’s had 3 open heart surgeries and a mild heart attack. Pain radiating down my left arm? You can bet I headed for the ER. Interestingly enough they didn’t even check anything with my heart! They ended up telling me “You have a pulled muscle” and giving me more narcotics. Really? And we wonder why so many people are addicted to pain pills???

Over the course of the next year, like I said, I was at the doctor multiple times only to be told that I had a pulled muscle. Finally after doing some research on my own I called and asked for a referral to a Rheumatologist. I ended up going in to my doctor’s office but saw a different doctor who FINALLY ordered lab work! Yes, I had been in this much pain for a year and my doctor never even did any labs! The very last time I saw the man who kept blowing off my very real pain he actually said to me “I got you in here on an emergency appointment. I don’t have time for this.”!!! Needless to say, that was the very last time I saw him. He’s still practicing. He’s even in the same office my girls and I still go to. But I’ve made it VERY clear that none of us will EVER see him again. I would rather take my chances at spending 12 hours in the ER than see him again. Lucky for us we now have an AMAZING primary doctor who actually listens and seems to genuinely care about what is going on with us. I was able to get in with a Rheumatologist that I really like. He understands that I haven’t had insurance for the last couple of years so he works with me for my appointments. He also has been instrumental in helping me get the most expensive of my medications ($2400 a month?!?!?) for no cost.

Now, 6 years after my initial diagnosis and 7 years after the onset of my symptoms, my life is mostly normal. Yeah, I have to take it easy some days and the cold generally hurts. Now that I’ve been on this most recent medication my flares are not as frequent (maybe 1 a month unless I completely overdo it) and aren’t nearly as severe as they were. When this first started I didn’t know how I could live my life with this horrible disease. Now I know I just do. Yes, it’s still horrible but I’ve learned that my body has certain limitations and as long as I remember that, I do ok. I have been blessed with a great job where it’s not overly stressful on me (which causes flares really bad!) and it’s physically not a difficult job. My last job before this was at a big box store and I walked 6-8 miles every single day.

Interestingly enough when I started writing this I was feeling great. This morning I woke up and could barely open my mouth because I’m having a flare in my jaw. Let me just tell you how much fun THAT is! If you have ever suffered from TMJ this is pretty similar. I can’t open my mouth all the way and I can’t bite down all the way. Makes eating interesting for sure! Today was the busiest day of the week at work and all I wanted was to take a nap! That’s what happens when I take my meds before work. Luckily I don’t get all of the common side effects associated with Chemo medicine, mostly because I take such a low dose. I just put a reminder in my phone to take meds on Friday night or Saturday morning so this doesn’t happen again. We’ll see how that works…

But you’re so strong!

Recently someone told me that they thought I am a very strong person. Not the “I can lift a car” kind of strong either. That made me think. Am I really strong? Honestly, I don’t think so. I just do what has to be done. I don’t have a lot of time to sit and cry about things and wait for someone to come rescue me. You see, I’ve been a single mother for 19 years. I know that might night make sense to you given that I have 2 children and the oldest one is the 19 yr old.

Lets see if I can help make some sense of that statement.

When Beauty was born, her father and I had been together for about 2 years. When she was about 3 months old, he left. His loss. He lost out on the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. When Beauty was 5 I met someone and ended up getting pregnant. We weren’t “together” when I was pregnant but after she was born I decided to give it a chance with him. It lasted less than 6 months. To be fair, that wasn’t all his fault. I just didn’t love him the way I thought I should love the person I was planning to spend the rest of my life with. So I broke off the relationship and took my own path. I knew it would be hard but I had to do what I believed was the right thing for myself and my children.

So that’s the cliff notes version. Hope it helps.

Was it my strength that made that decision? I don’t think so. I just knew that I couldn’t live the rest of my life feeling the way that I did. MiniMe’s father now has a baby with another woman and I’m happy for them. I wish them all the best and we love that baby because she is part of our family too.

My amazing brothers have tried to be positive male role models for my girls. For this, I can never thank them enough. When the girls were little they would make “Uncle’s Day” cards for my oldest brother because for all intents and purposes, he was the main father figure in their lives. I don’t know what I would do without my family. They may not agree with all of my choices but they still give me love and support no matter what.

When I was 12, my dad died. I’ve posted about that before. I survived because I didn’t have a choice. I just did what came next. I could have chosen to spend the rest of my life making a long string of dangerous choices and using that as an excuse. I chose not to. I may not be proud of all of the things I’ve done but I like to think that my dad would be proud of who I am today. Does that make me strong? Maybe. Or maybe I just did what came next.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had no idea what was going on with my body. I could hardly move most days and was in so much pain that I would just lay in my bed and cry. I started doing some research online and reading stories of other people who had RA and ended up in the worst depression of my life. Seriously, 90% of the stories I read were about how debilitating this disease was and long lists of things these people couldn’t do anymore! I ended up quitting my job and spent weeks crying over my sad life and the supposed death sentence I had just been handed. But I had one person in my corner rooting for me. Some of you will know who he is but Mister J probably saved my life. I know for certain he saved my sanity! Mister J is someone I’ve known more than half my life. We went to high school together. He’s a great friend, an amazing dad to his 2 girls and a great man. He pretty much told me that I needed to stop crying, get out of bed, go to the doctor, and do what comes next. And stop reading those people’s stories! He was right! I went back to the doctor and insisted on more bloodwork and a referral to a specialist. I got them. Six years later, I still have pain but through some amazing people who I will never meet in person, I am functioning and living my life! Since that time I have graduated from college and landed an amazing job! Does that make me strong? Again, I don’t think so. I had a great friend in my corner who helped me more than he will ever know. I just did what came next.

I could spend my days wallowing in self-pity for all the things I don’t have but where would that get me?

I chose to live each day as best I can and just do what comes next.

I’m a grown-up?

My last post was wondering where the pause button for life is at. Well, I still haven’t found it and life has gotten even more crazy. A quick re-cap of the last month or so:

  • Like I mentioned in my last post, my co-worker “retired suddenly” and I stepped up offered to help with whatever I could. Ok, let me explain something here. I have a college degree. (Yay me!) That college degree was focused more in the medical office field. The office I work in now? I work for a lawyer whose primary practice is estate planning.  Absolutely NOTHING to do with medical of any kind! I pretty much said to my boss, “Look, I have no clue what I’m doing but if you want to teach me, I’m willing to learn. Just please be patient with me.” My boss isn’t really known for her patience and the learning curve has been incredibly steep but I think I’m doing ok. If the last bonus I got is any indication then I’m doing pretty darn great actually! And I’m now full-time which is always a plus!
  • In the last couple of weeks I have apparently become the legal assistant rather than just the receptionist (not that there’s anything wrong with that job!). The other day my co-worker addressed me as my bosses assistant to a client and I kind of freaked out (not in front of the client of course!). It was the first time I’ve heard her refer to me as that and it just hit me that this is a seriously grown-up job…AND SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT ME! Ok, deep breaths… I can do this!
  • Because of the type of work I am now doing I am thinking about the future and putting some things in place so if anything was to happen to me, my kids will be taken care of. Another seriously grown-up thing!
  • Beauty is no longer living with me. She has made some difficult choices recently and while I don’t agree with most of them, she is 19 and is learning to be responsible for herself. I just pray that she makes it through this and will someday have good advice to give to her children.
  • MiniMe is adjusting to not having her big sister at home. Most days it’s hard but we’re finding our new normal.

All in all, the first few months of 40 have been incredibly busy but mostly satisfying and I think I’m okay with it.

Where the heck is the pause button???

The last couple of weeks have been more than a little crazy around here. Hmm… let’s see if we can put things in order..

  • Beauty ended up in the hospital for 3 days after 2 ER visits
  • I attempted to sleep in a really uncomfortable hard plastic chair for 2 nights as a result of the above situation.
  • I thought my purse was stolen. (I actually left it in the cafeteria and the food service people had it locked up for me!) Lack of sleep can do crazy things, let me tell ya!
  • My co-worker quit. As in “Here’s my keys. I’m not coming in tomorrow.” kind of quit.
  • I’m picking up a few extra hours and some more responsibilities to help pick up some of the slack.
  • My mom was admitted to the hospital for 5 days with Type A Influenza and Pneumonia. She’s doing better now thankfully.
  • A group of us went to a Sewing Expo about 3 hours from home. It was awesome to just get away from everything for a couple of days. I’m pretty sure I walked 10 miles the first day just looking at everything. I did purchase a kit to make the coolest wall hanging I’ve ever seen. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to try to add more around the outside of it to make it into a quilt for my bed or just have it on my wall. I took a couple of classes and can’t wait to get sewing again so I can put some of the tricks I learned into play.
  • My boss left for vacation. Yes, it’s been very quiet around here by myself but she left me with some work to do so that’s keeping me busy.
  • Beauty just informed me that she thinks she needs to go back to the hospital. She was previously admitted for treatment for an acute kidney infection. She has been on antibiotics for over 3 weeks now and the pain is just as bad as it was the first time we went in. The did a CT scan to check her appendix as well as for kidney stones and didn’t find anything there but this is more than a little ridiculous. And scary!

MiniMe and I were planning on going to our local high school’s production of the musical Hairspray this evening but I’m thinking that might not happen now. You know, I get it now why my mom wanted to be there when I had my gallbladder surgery.

When you’re a mom, you just have to be there…You don’t have a choice.

Starting Over

Someone recently asked me “Are you happy?”. That question made me stop and think. In the last year:

  • I turned 40
  • I lost my home
  • Lost my job
  • Found a new home and a new job that I love
  • Said goodbye to some people
  • Reconnected with some old friends
  • Purchased a different vehicle
  • Started a new blog
  • Felt heartache and loss
  • Discovered joy in things I hadn’t thought about before
  • Discovered Pinterest and learned  how to make my own yogurt
  • Learned that sometimes people aren’t what they seem

Am I happy? Well, I’m not unhappy so that’s something, right?

When I was a little girl, like pretty much every little girl since the beginning of time, I dreamed what my life would be like when I grew up. I pictured myself married with 2 or 3 kids, raising my family in the house with a big yard surrounded by a white picket fence. That’s about where my fantasy ended. I never thought beyond that. I’m pretty sure most little girls back then didn’t. Then my life got turned upside down. My parents told me we were moving to a different state. My 9 year-old self was devastated. We all survived the move and I survived starting a new school that had more kids in 3 classrooms than there were in the entire school in my hometown. It wasn’t an easy transition but it was a fresh start and we made it work.

Then my world got turned upside down again. Two months before my 13th birthday my dad died. Talk about devastation! I was a daddy’s girl and pretty much my whole life revolved around him. I once again had to figure out how to start over and get through life without the most important man in my life. My mom did the best she could and I will always be grateful to her for trying to make sure our lives went on. I’ve been a single mom for 19 years now and I now have a small idea how hard that must have been for her.

When I was 19  met the guy I thought was “the one”. I was wrong!!! I didn’t listen to my family or any of my friends when they tried to tell me. I ended up pregnant and alone. I had to learn how to be strong because I didn’t have a choice. If I wasn’t there to advocate for myself and my child, nobody else would do it for me. That child is now 19 herself and I see a lot of myself in her. It scares me to death!

Thirteen years ago I gave birth to my second miracle. We had to start over with a new person to care for and love. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it.

In my 30’s I went to college for a fresh start. I had big dreams of landing a job in the field I had been trained in. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I ended up working at Walmart just to pay the bills.

Last year I landed a great job working in a totally different field that I frankly knew nothing about. I love it! For the first time in my life I feel like I have truely earned the respect I so badly wanted growing up!

Not everything is as I had hoped it would be but I feel like I’ve been given a fresh start this year and I don’t plan to waste it!

Of Mice and Me

My biggest fear, other than something happening to one of my children, is mice. I don’t care how many people tell me “They’re more afraid of you then you are of them!” LIES! I think it goes clear back to when I was a child and my parents and I used to live out in the woods in our camper for the entire summer. My dad was a real cowboy. He worked for a man who had cattle all over the countryside and his job was to round them up, count them and move them to different areas to graze. I had a horse named Midge that I would ride and help him. I was maybe 7 years old. This was in the days before cell phones and Ipods and video games. We actually lived in a camper. Not a big fancy 40′ motor home either. Just a little cab-over camper that my dad and uncle built onto a flat-bed truck. We bathed in the creek upstream from the cows. We cooked over the fire. We didn’t even have a bathroom, just a hole that my dad dug and put a wooden box over with a toilet seat on it. My city kids would never survive!Anyway, in our camper there was a drawer below the fridge. One day my mom and I were fixing lunch and when my mom pulled out that drawer a rodent jumped out and tried to kill us scared us. It was probably Chip or Dale (Please tell me you know what I’m talking about?!?!) but I didn’t stick around to make friends. My mom screamed, I screamed, I’m pretty sure my horse even screamed!

That was the beginning of my completely rational fear of rodents.

I had a cat as a teenager and she loved to bring me presents. One time she came in the back door and when I saw what she had in her mouth I screamed, she dropped it, and it ran straight for me. It was still alive! I ran outside and refused to go back in until they found it and disposed of it. When Beauty was a baby I climbed over a bar to get to the phone to call my neighbor to come dispose of another of those “gifts”. When I was pregnant with MiniMe my roommate decided it would be a good idea to breed hamsters. Seriously??? And when MiniMe was born my sister-in-law decided that Beauty needed a pet. Wanna guess what it was? I’ll give you a clue. It wasn’t the puppy she had asked Santa for!

When MiniMe was about 6 months old we moved into a mobile home located near a big field. One evening after MiniMe was in bed and 6 year-old Beauty was in the bath, I was in the living room when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a GINORMOUS mouse run across the floor and go behind the shoe box by the front door. I immediately started hyperventilating and tried to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this. Remember, 6 month-old MiniMe asleep for the night, 6 year-old Beauty in the tub? That’s important. So I very very carefully crawled over furniture to get to my phone to call my friend. The hamster breeder roommate I mentioned? Yeah, that’s who I was calling. She convinced me that all I needed to do was get a big bowl from the kitchen and move the box the nasty creature was hiding behind, throw the bowl on top, trapping him underneath. Want to guess how well that worked? I moved the box, the mouse ran, I screamed, threw the bowl and ran out the front door pulling it shut behind me. Now I’m standing on my front porch, in shorts and a tank top, no shoes, pouring down rain, holding the phone and listening to my so-called friends hysterical laughter. Some friend, right? So while I’m standing outside getting drenched, I hear Beauty yelling for me. I refused to go back in the house. In fact, I believe my exact words were “I am NOT going back in there, EVER!” Of course, my friend reminded me that my children were in there and I had to go back inside. My response? “Sorry, they’re on their own!” Yep, I was totally willing to leave my 6 month-old and my 6 year-old to fend for themselves as long as it ment I wouldn’t have to go back inside with the mouse that tried to kill me. After some coaxing, I finally agreed to go back inside and gather up the kids and clothes and head to the friend’s house. It was midnite by the time I got there. It’s not like we were neighbors. She lived a good 40 minutes away. I didn’t care. I wasn’t staying there! So the next day I got some traps and set them and promptly left the premises again. Well, we got that sucker but then I had to figure out how to get rid of the evidence. I mean sure, it was dead now but that doesn’t mean that my completely rational fear was any less! I wasn’t able to do it. I tried but as soon as it wiggled I screamed (do you see a pattern here?) and ran back outside. Lucky for me, Beauty came to the rescue. Yep, my 6 year-old daughter had to dispose of the mouse because her mother couldn’t do it. That was only the first of many times that Beauty saved the day. I had a mouse commit suicide in my bathtub. She had to get rid of that one too. Then there was the time about 5 years ago that she chased me to the neighbors driveway holding a dead mouse with my salad tongs! Yeah, those ended up in the trash.

I don’t care what anyone says. My fear of mice is completely rational and holding them and playing with them to “get over it” is NEVER going to happen!