formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

And all crap passes eventually, too, I guess. I signed my divorce papers today. I know, it was a long time coming and because of that, I thought I’d feel differently about it… at best, elated… at worst, indifferent. But I don’t feel either of those things. Truth be told, I feel a bit empty… and sad, too (which I didn’t expect). All the anger and hurt passed a long time ago and I thought the grief had as well, but I still feel it… it’s like mourning, but not for the life or relationship that was, because neither were good or happy; but for the life and relationship I thought I’d have and that I thought I was working toward.

It seemed fitting that I waited today... waited for nearly an hour for the notary to become available to sign off on the divorce papers. I spent so much of my marriage waiting… waiting for degrees and work projects to be finished; waiting for time together and vacations that never came; waiting for kind words and compliments and ‘thank yous’ and ‘I’m sorrys’ that never came either; waiting to be a top priority in an overloaded, over-scheduled life; waiting to simply matter to the person I was supposed to matter to the most.

But now the waiting is over. The notary was finally free and she witnessed my signature, signed her name, and stamped and dated the document - the piece of paper that effectively ends a chapter of my life that lasted more than fifteen years. I wouldn’t change it… I don’t long for the marriage or the relationship or the person… not ever. And I know this empty, sad feeling will go away… because everything - good and bad – must come to an end.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Down Came the Rain...

Hello All... we're back from a weekend camping trip to Lake Anna, about an hour-and-a-half from here, with my brother Grant and his wife Mary Jane, some of their friends, my mom, sister-in-law Michele, and niece Elizabeth. A good time was had by all, though we did have to paddle through a bit of a monsoon on Saturday night. The weather had been just gorgeous but right about dinner time we heard some rolling thunder... that turned into the pitter patter of light raindrops... that turned into the mother of all thunder-boomers. It was really very cool (I never mind rain when I'm camping) EXCEPT for the fact that I hadn't yet sealed the seams on my tent. For those of you who are considering taking up camping as a hobby, do yourself a huge favor and seal the seams on your tent (preferably BEFORE it rains)! And bring a tarp to cover the tent in case the seam-sealer doesn't work. We had a few drips inside, communicated to me (me, who was standing outside) by 3 screaming little girls (for whom I had no sympathy, as they were merely getting sprinkled upon when I (and Mary Jane) might as well have been standing in the shower (a cold shower, too, mind you), fully clothed!). We were tying lines tighter and pulling tarps over and dumping the buckets of water that were pooling on the rain-flap (which is really a laughable term, unless it actually means 'to flap rain into the tent'!). Poor Sundance was all discombobulated and wouldn't leave my side, so he was drenched, too. On the up-side, the toothpaste I dropped on his nose the other day (which has attracted and stuck to all manner of dirt) was finally washed away. However, the tent later smelled like a herd of wet sheep had decided to bunk there for the night. Oh well. We survived. Camping is always an adventure! The rain did eventually stop and Sunday dawned, sunny and hot. I sat in the sun and made my list for our Maine trip... 1) Seam sealer, 2) tarp, 3) Wellies, 4) extra dry underwear...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Baby Was on Fire Tonight!

Hi Everyone! I couldn't go to bed without posting a few photos of Ryan's first swim meet. She did an INCREDIBLE job and won first place in her first event (a 50-meter freestyle) and first place in her heat for her second (25-meter freestyle)... we won't know how she placed for that overall event until tomorrow, but I'm sure she did well. I was SO proud of her!! She was really nervous and unsure of procedure and all the particulars (it was confusing), but she sucked it up, dove right in (literally), and did amazingly well! And it was my first meet to function as a 'stroke and turn judge', which was really hard for certain events, but overall a lot of fun. I got a chuckle, too, when I realized that the coach for the other team was a girl (well, a woman now) I swam with on the Westover team 27 years ago! We spent 5 minutes or so assuring each other that neither of us has changed since high school... oh, shut up.

I'm off to bed now... it's been a long night and I'm spending the day in DC tomorrow with 3 noisy little girls... night night...

Friday, June 13, 2008

I DO believe in fairies... I do, I do!

I was looking at the photos I took of the Ryan the other day, thinking how grown up she looked in them, and I suddenly realized she’s going to turn 9 in a few weeks. Nine! How the hell did that happen? It’s a weird age, I think, as she’s straddling this invisible line… on one side, she’s a ‘tween (the new word for pre-teens)… on the other, a little girl. It’s a bizarre (and frustrating) dichotomy. For example, she’s more technically savvy than many adults I know… but she still has temper tantrums when the computer hiccups (of course, so do I). She is picky about her clothes and what coordinates… but she doesn’t see the mass of wrinkles that result when she stuffs her clothes in her dresser drawers. She has the attitude (and mouth) of a 15-year-old… but she still wants me to lie with her for a cuddle when I tuck her in.

I don’t like this growing up stuff. Part of it is because I know she’s going to be a massive challenge as a teenager and I’m scared witless. Part of it is that I simply miss my baby. But it’s inevitable, isn’t it? This past Easter morning, when we woke in our tent (bundled in our sleeping bags and parkas, hats, gloves, etc), we had “The Santa Talk.” Actually, it started out as the Easter Bunny Talk, as she wanted to know how he managed to leave her basket in my locked car, at our campsite. She wasn’t upset at finding out he isn’t real (I pointed out that the whole concept of a 6ft bunny waltzing into your house with a basket of candy is just plain creepy), but the whole Santa thing bothered her for a few minutes. I was a little sad about that… but relieved that I’ll never hear, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t play with it. Santa brought it, so it’s not like anyone PAID for it” again. Grrrrr.

Every now and then, though, I am reminded that she is still a little girl. My friend Todd, who lives in London, corresponds with Ryan via email, both as himself and as Jonesy, a red Welsh dragon who fishes in the Thames, types with a pencil (because of his long claws, you know), and lives in Todd’s spare room. Now, Ryan knows deep down that Jonesy isn’t real, but she’s still willing to suspend her disbelief and carry on this really lovely correspondence with her friend… her friend who just happens to be a dragon. And she still believes in fairies. When we were in England the summer she turned 5, she and her cousin Georgia saw one at the bottom of the garden (I missed it because I was on the patio, drinking beer… go figure). Since then, there is nothing anyone can say to convince her they do not exist, though her resolve does waver every now and then. After being told by a boy at school recently that there is no such thing as fairies, she asked me if I believe in them. I said I absolutely do; there’s no doubt in my mind. My affirmation worked, just like when she was little and I kissed the boo boos and made them better, and all was right with the world again. But I know the day is coming, in the not too distant future, when my words won’t mean a thing. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Snakes and Beasties and Foam, Oh My!

Howdy All! It's me again (duh... who else would it be?). We're back from our fun little field trip to Natural Bridge, about an hour south of here. It's a pretty cool thing to see, really, and photos don't do it justice. I did get some great pics (down the left of the blog page), however, of one of the several snakes we saw on our little hike through the park, an interesting green bug Ryan found (how cool is my zoom?!), the girls (Ryan, her cousin Elizabeth, and their friend Raven), and... OK, I'm actually embarrassed to say this... Foamhenge. Yes, I said Foamhenge. And yes, I know. It's pitiful. So pitiful. You've no idea how pitiful. Foamhenge. Actually, Styro-Foamhenge. Imagine Stonehenge modeled out of gigantic, non-biodegradable coffee cups. I'll say this... we do cheesy better than anyone else in the world. Lordy, lordy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Think Cool...

The swimming pool at 7am... ice-cold Diet Pepsi... Little Jimmy's lemon ice... Stonehenge in February... snow tubing... penguins... camping Easter weekend... Polar Bear Club plunges... Mr. Frostee soft-serve chocolate cones (with sprinkles... duh)... ice skating rinks... Johnstown in January (and November, December, February, etc)... ice cubes down your back (or pants!)... frozen Margaritas (raspberry... of course)...

What did I miss?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A 'Breast Man' Is Born...

You'd think, after living with a bright and extremely articulate child for nearly 9 years, I'd be used to hearing unusual and unexpected thoughts escape from the mouths of little people. But every now and then, I'm thrown. Last night was one of those every now and thens...

I've thoroughly enjoyed coaching the littlest kids on Ryan's swim team so far... I work with between 3 and 7 kids on any given night and they range in age from 4 to 6. They're all really adorable and because I've always been good with kids in that age group, they like me and are all getting quite attached (which I don't mind in the least). I try to make practices/lessons a lot of fun and give them all loads of encouragement and praise, which isn't difficult, as they try really hard to do their best for me.

One of my little guys, an especially cute and charming 5-year-old, doggie paddled out to me last night and when I picked him up to congratulate him for not touching the bottom of the pool, he looked at me through his bright orange goggles and said, "Your boobies are bigger than my mommy's." Well now. I didn't expect that. So I replied, "Thank you for that little bit of information," and I sent him back to the wall, where his little cronies were waiting for their turns to paddle out to me. When he reached the wall, he repeated his revelation to his 4-year-old partner in crime. And his (rather loud) reply? "Yeah, your boobies are bigger than my mommy's, too." Oh my. Our third little perv piped in (again, loudly) with, "Well, they're not bigger than MY mommy's! My mommy's boobies are HUGE!"

Monday night I'm wearing a t-shirt in the water.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Got tissues?

You'll notice that just under my profile info on the left of the screen, it says, "Check out this blog!" Baldy (otherwise known as Adrian Sudbury) is a young guy in the UK who is 1) a writer, and 2) dying of cancer. I stumbled upon his blog one day and laughed and cried 'til I couldn't see the screen anymore. He's quite an amazing character with an even more amazing attitude. His mission, before he dies, is to educate as many people as possible about bone marrow donations and his blog is well worth a look... but make sure you have tissues!

Swim Team Fundraiser

It's me again... and so soon! I wanted to remind everyone (or let people know who might not) about our swim team fundraiser. The summer team (and the one I'm helping to coach) is holding a Swim-A-Thon to raise money to fund the program. I've been SO impressed with the entire program and staff so far and though I'm usually one to avoid any sort of fundraising or asking for money, I didn't mind doing this. Ryan will be swimming as many laps as she can but we're asking everyone to donate a flat amount, from $5 up... no amount is too small, no amount is too much. We've already had some donations come in and I want to thank everyone who has sent checks! They are MUCH appreciated!! If you would like to write a check, you can make it out to WESTOVER WAVES and send it to my address by June 20 (please email me if you need the address, as I don't want to put it on the web for all the world to see! Oh, and remember, I moved a few months ago).

Thanks SO much!!

Diane... XO

Summer, It Is Upon Us!

Hello All! I've been (ever so gently) encouraged by several people to start a blog... so I'm going to give it a shot (Lord only knows what it will look like until I can sort out all the technical stuff). I figure it can take the place of my (rather sporadic of late) update emails. I hope you'll pop in often and leave me a note when you do!

So... summer is here! Finally! It felt like this past winter lasted forever (and not in that good, Currier and Ives, snowy sort of way). Spring was lovely here... all cool and green... perfect really (if you ignored the fertilizer funk that wafted through the air nearly every day for a while). And summer dawned on the first of June, hot and humid. Sundance, my hairier-than-Cousin-It pooch, doesn't handle the heat especially well, so our daily park visits will, I think, move from 8:30am to 6:30am once school is out (on Thursday!). He wheezes more than I do after a mile or so and I have to literally drag him around by the end of the circuit (unlike when we walk in winter, when he drags me around).

Summer promises to be incredibly busy for us... Ryan is swimming on 2 swim teams and she has morning practices starting next week, along with evening practices now. I'm helping to coach the youngest swimmers on the evening league, so I get to spend time in the pool with the little sinkers every night. It's a whole lot of fun (except for the fact that all the other coaches range in age from 14 to 23 and they each have about 7% body fat... unlike my 43-year-old self and 207% body fat... so getting into the pool with them, with 100 parents watching... whoo hoo!! Talk about a boost for my self-image!!).

Ryan got moved to the 10-year-old group and is swimming like a little mermaid... she'll get her first experience swimming competitively in about 2 weeks. I'm excited about it, because I think she'll do well, but I'm sort of dreading it, too... she's so competitive and a HORRIBLE loser, so if she doesn't measure up to her own standards, it won't be fun at our house! I'll keep you posted. I'll be functioning as a 'stroke and turn judge' at the meets, but I'll still try to get some photos.

Other than swim team, we've got a week-long trip to Acadia National Park in Maine scheduled for mid-July. Ryan and I have done a couple of weekend camping trips to ready us for a week in the northern wilderness... we're both really looking forward to it.

That's all I'm going to bore you with for now... but I'll be back... have no fear! ;)

Take care... speak soon...

Much love, Diane... XO