Thursday, July 8, 2010

Such a Pain in the Back!

So I mentioned that I threw my back out last Friday after standing up.  Or maybe it was the way I was sitting. Or carting WG on my back so often.  Or a combination of all three.  Suffice to say, it hurts, and it doesn't seem to be getting much better.  Although today I bought Icy/Hot patches at Target, and they are a gift from the heavens, let me tell ya!
I was thinking about all the little things that have gone awry lately; last month was ridiculous, in terms of stressors.  I was NOT unhappy to see the end of June 2010, let me tell ya! Then, after weeks, I FINALLY had a few days off from work.  Of course, this was when I threw my back out, Hubby, LG and family went camping, and WG decided to break the world record for meltdowns in a single weekend.
We are now at the blissful point in which BOTH kids are in summer school.  I actually have 2 1/2 hours to myself in the mornings.  I WAS gonna work out and take yoga classes, but, well, the back. At the end of next week LG will be out of school, and 2 weeks later,WG will be out as well.  Leaving THREE WEEKS of vacation for BOTH OF THEM!!!!!! Luckily, my mom will be in town (along with her new hip!) and we can take the kids to fun places. I probably shouldn't complain; last year they both had 5 weeks of summer vacation, all at the same time.  But last year WG wasn't pulling hair and scratching.
Yes yes I know, most kids have 3 MONTHS of vacay, but most kids aren't Autistic. Trust me, it's harder. Not that I'm some great, all-noble, sacrificing mother.  I'm REALLY not.  But It. Is. Damn. Hard.

OK, enough of that.  On a lighter note, I just finished reading "Undead and Unfinished," the latest in the Queen Betsy Vampire series by Maryjanice Davidson.  I know what you're thinking: Great, ANOTHER vampire series, just what the world needs!  But the first book in the series ("Undead and Unwed") was published in the late 90's, waaaaaaaay before the current vampire craze!  And these books are FUNNY!  (Have I mentioned the stepmother who was possessed by Satan for 9 months and no one noticed?) But parts of them are also incredibly sad and some are downright creepy!  Not in an "Eeeew, gross!" kind of way, but in an "OMG, I can't believe that just happened!" kind of way.  The ending of this book, the very last sentence, practically made me jump out of my skin in fear, excitement, and utter admiration.  I NEVER, in a billion years, would have guessed! If you haven't read the series, go to your local library and rent the books.  In order.  You really do have to read them in order, otherwise they won't make any sense.  Especially this newest one.  Especially that last sentence!!!!
The only problem I have is that the books come out once a year, and I read them in a day.  Then, of course, I have to wait another year before I can (sorry) devour the next one.  And, with this one's finish being a doozy, I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyREALLY want to know how or even IF they're going to get out of that situation!  And what the repercussions would be!  Because they'd be pretty darn severe!  I mean, I have ONE idea, but I don't think it would work.
Of course, Ms. Davidson is a very prolific writer, working on multiple series of books at a time.  Her first in a new series comes out in September, so there's that to look forward to.  (If you're interested, there's a 3-book series she refers to as "Bitch Out of Water," also known as the Fred the Mermaid series, which is REALLY fin-er- fun!  Especially the king of the mermaids, who learned to speak english by watching "Deadwood."  So you can imagine his language!)
The other thing, and this is kinda random and weird, is that every time a new Betsy book comes out I am reminded of shopping at my favorite mall.  It's near Los Angeles, right up the street from the Santa Anita race track, in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest.  Also near the really cool, small, funky town of Sierra Madre.  I went a few years ago to buy the latest book at the Borders there, then sat in the food court with a coffee and began reading. It's a fond memory of mine.  I know, it's weird; why should sitting in a mall in L.A County reading a book be such a fond memory?  I'm not sure myself.  All I can say is that the area is GORGEOUS, that I took the kids there many times to walk around (and to play in the indoor playground, which they're too big to do now), and that there ARE parts of L.A. that I love and miss.
Not that I want to move back, mind you; IMHO, San Francisco is THE greatest city in the world!  But there are times when I get a little homesick for the small, out-of-the-way places in SoCal that many people don't know about. The places I would take friends and family to when they visited.  Sure, we could (and often did) go to Hollywood Blvd. (which is a dump, let me tell ya!  I used to see these poor tourists walking wearily with their kids down the boulevard; sure, they saw the Walk of Fame, but no one told them most of the stars were hidden by sleeping drug addicts and prostitutes plying their trade), Venice Beach (An experience, but not terribly clean), and Beverly Hills (DON'T get me started!), but we also went to Montrose, La Canada Flintridge, and the above Sierra Madre and Angeles National Forest (where, as a puppy, our dog learned to swim.  She was trying to rescue me from the 2 ft-deep swimming hole.  It was so cute!).  THOSE were the places people remembered, and those are the places I miss.  Especially at sunset.
There's a part of me that wishes we could have kept our L.A house after we moved up here.  That way, we could visit whenever we wanted. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVED that house?!?!?!) But, not being millionaires, we kinda had to sell it so we could afford our current home (also not too shabby.  I just wish we had a yard.)
I guess, too, there was still a bit of youth and naivte left in Hubby and I.  He was still acting, I was a full-time mom, and, while we certainly had to watch our finances, the economy was in decent shape and we didn't have to worry TOO much.
Hmm...don't know why I'm feeling so maudlin all of a sudden. Ah well, blame the hormones!  I'd best be getting to the laundry and then to work.

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