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Picasso, I am Not

October 5, 2017

Lots of people think I am really artsy and creative, I hate to burst any bubbles, but I am not really all that creative on my own. I am really good at finding ideas and then manipulating them and making them my own. So when the Little One asked me to paint her cast for Halloween I panicked a little bit. You see I am pretty good with manipulating and creating things on the computer, but actually putting paint to paper (or in this case fiberglass) I was a little intimidated, actually I was a lot intimidated.

But you see my poor child has had rough last five weeks. It started back in August, right before school started. She and her friend were trying to build a fort in the backyard. One thing led to another, led to another and the Little One fell backwards landing funky on her wrist. The x-rays were a bit inconclusive whether or not there was a fracture, so they labeled it a “growth plate injury” and put her in a long-arm cast for three weeks. Now this, of course, is not the first broken bone for this kid. We had the epic fall when she was six. Then two years ago, she got a scooter for Christmas, fell off of it and broke her left wrist.

So starting school in the midst of a terrible heat wave while wearing a long arm was tough but she managed it. Her three weeks were up, we got the cast removed and all was good.

I specifically asked about restrictions with the cast off and was told, “her only restrictions are her own pain.” Having her whole arm immobilized for three weeks takes its toll. They gave us a brace, told her to wear it for 7-10 days and then all should be fine.

So it was TWO DAYS after getting her cast off, when the next adventure began.  I picked her up from school, she was white and cradling her arm tightly against her body. I knew this was a very bad sign. So I asked her what happened.  She said, “Well, I kinda tripped over the soccer ball and fell on my arm.” Now mind you I knew they were playing soccer for PE, so I specifically said to her, “stay away from the soccer ball. You can ‘play’ soccer without being in the thick of things.” The child clearly does not listen well. It’s “too hard” to not play she said.

That was a Friday. I was in denial all evening. Then I cried myself to sleep that night because I knew she hurt herself again.

On Monday we went to see the doctor and got the diagnosis. She fractured her left elbow. OY vey! So the doctor sent us off to orthopedics cast room to get a soft cast applied while we waited a couple days for the ortho referral. So then on Wednesday, ONE WEEK, since we got the other cast off, she got another long-arm cast for another three weeks.

Fast forward two weeks and she was complaining that her cast was too tight. She had been complaining since it was applied, but I told her it would be fine once the swelling from the injury went down. Well that never really happened so we went back in to the cast room yesterday because she has some nasty and painful blisters all around her fingers where the cast has rubbed the skin raw (fiberglass vs flesh is what the ortho tech told us… fiberglass always win!). They replaced her cast and then as we were leaving, we met a woman who had an amazing phoenix painted on her cast. It was gorgeous. I really should have taken a picture of it.

So now the Little One decides she wants her cast painted. We had talked about it before, but again, a painter I am not, so I had managed to put her off. But now she was fired up after seeing this amazing art work.

The Little One got a black and purple cast this time and asked for Halloween stuff painted on it so we went to work this afternoon. (side note she has now had a cast in every color that Kaiser offers!) I am not going to lie, my expectations for myself for very low. The Little One’s expectations for me where also very low (thanks kid!)  But I surprised both of us with how well it all came out. They are clearly not difficult pieces. They certainly do not look professional. But hey they are readable. I think it’s pretty clear exactly what they are!

   

Since I really have no artistic abilities, I printed out clipart, cut them down to make stencils, traced them and then painted them!

 

 

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Yes, Again!

August 23, 2017

As the Little One and I sat in the Cast Room waiting area, yes there is such a thing, I contemplated sharing about yet another apparently fractured wrist.* We often joke about people thinking that I must be the worst parent in the world because of the number of fractures this kid has had. She had the epic fall that resulted in surgery and pins, then the fractured wrist as a result of the brand new Christmas scooter (December 2016), then the fall just a few months ago in May and now this latest fall last week.

I really was doubting my parenting skills as we sat there. Yes, it’s silly to feel this way. The epic fall was at school. The other falls did all happen at home, but she was outside and I was inside. The kid just plays hard. She has no other speeds. It’s all or nothing.

The other thing about this kid is her curiosity. She has never met a stranger. She will talk to anyone and everyone. So as we were sitting there for 45 minutes waiting for our turn in the cast room, the Little One talked to every single person who walked by.

It started when I went to the restroom. I returned and she was fully engaged in a conversation with a mom and her son, who was about the Little One’s age. He had fallen off his bike and broken his ankle. He just got the hard cast off, but is now in a boot for three more weeks. Super bummed for him to miss his soccer tournament this weekend, the Little One shared her tale of woe with them.

Then the next guy she talked to had a nasty looking wound on his forearm when we first arrived (he was between casts). When the guy emerged from the cast room with a beautiful new green cast. Little One asked what he was in for. He explained how he fell off his roof while watching fireworks on July 4. (!!)  In addition to the originally visible stitches he told her about the 5 rods that now live in his wrist.

Next out of the cast room was a middle-aged woman with her arm in a sling. The Little One asked her what her problem was. She simply said, “I tripped,” And walked away. She didn’t want to talk to us. But that was okay, because once she was out of earshot, her husband was more than happy to fill us in on what happened to her. She actually tripped while hiking and had already been in her cast for 5 and a half weeks. She was apparently not happy to be getting another cast. He said she was itching to get back to work. The husband then asked the Little One her story, so she happily shared.

After that, a good-looking 20-something year old guy sat down across from the Little One. He had just had his cast removed and was waiting for the follow-up X-rays. Cody, was his name. He fractured his forearm playing football with his buddies. He was tackling a guy and the guy’s knee came down on Cody’s arm breaking it. He then asked Little One her story, so she happily shared again.

Cody got called back to x-ray, so we were again alone. Then another couple arrived. The wife was using a knee scooter she went to x-ray and then returned, sitting next to me. The Little One grilled her on her story next. She happily shared that this time was a scheduled surgery to correct a flat foot and a “host of other issues.” She told the Little One about all the bones she’d broken over the years. She said she’s had stitches, pins, rods, casts, you name it she’s had it.  Her advice to the Little One was to slow down, but keep being active and having fun!

Next out of the cast room was a 25-year-old woman with long braids and tattoos. She was a hoot. She sat down next to the Little One, having no idea what she was in for. Little One, started the conversation like most of the others, “Soooo what’d you do?”

The gal said she too had tripped. “Where were ya?” the Little One asked. At this point, the gal knew she was in for. She matter of factly replied said she tripped over a gym bag, but it was NOT her own and she had not placed it in her pathway.  She was at a hotel on a staycation. Someone put their bag down, and she proceeded to trip and fall. She had already been in her cast for 5 weeks and was told she’d be in a cast for 12-18 weeks. She apparently has a really bad break. She and the Little One discussed cast colors and what they should each get next.

At that point, our funny friend was called back for her x-rays and our friend, Cody returned. He saw us, broke out into a huge grin and said, “I’m back and you are STILL here.”

Yes, Cody we were still there. While Cody was hoping to be released, he was not so lucky, they told him they were re-casting him for three more weeks.

Finally they called the Little One back. The cast room guy asked if she’d had a cast before. We both laughed. So he said he’d be quick then since we knew the drill. Little One picked her colors – blue cast with green stripes and the tech got to work. A few minutes later, the tech apologized for the delay and sent us on our way. As we emerged from the cast room, Cody was waiting. “Hey nice colors!” he exclaimed. “Thanks,” the Little One replied. “Maybe we’ll see ya again in three weeks!”

Then I had to burst her bubble because our follow-up appointment will be at a facility much closer to home. So we bid adieu to our friend Cody and went on our merry way.

So the bottom line here, each of the people we met had tales of many broken bones and injuries prior to their existing conditions. So, hooray!  I am not a horrible parent; lots of people break lots of bones every day!

My kid also does not have freakishly weak bones. The doctor said, part of the problem is growth plates are challenging. He didn’t see anything on the x-rays that indicate there is anything physiologically wrong with her bones. She just plays hard and falls hard.

As the mom, I was honored that we met plenty of “her people” today. They all seemed like nice, normal, intelligent folks (well except for maybe the roof guy!)  If you don’t believe me, park yourself in the Cast Room waiting area some day and listen to the stories people tell!

*I say “apparently” because who knows if it’s truly fractured. The doctor said he didn’t see a fracture but there is so much swelling and pain (just like in May) that it’s hard to tell. Growth plate injuries are very difficult to definitively diagnose. Her discharge paperwork does say wrist fracture though, so who knows!

Oh, YES, I Did!

August 5, 2017

Yep, I just took $5 from my kid. I have zero reservations about it either.

A little back story, I do everyone’s laundry. Don’t judge me, yes my kids need to know how to do it but most days it’s just easier if I do it. They put their own laundry away, but I do wash, dry and fold it. In a pinch, they are smart enough to do it themselves and have done it once or twice.

Anyway, my girls play hard. They get dirty and as such, they are stinky. Yes, my kids stink. It’s been so hot and humid, that though rare recently, when they wear socks, those things get ripe. A few months ago I was griping and grumbling about inside out nasty socks and underwear still attached to shorts in the dirty clothes hamper. So The Husband and Little One worked out a deal that if she tosses her clothes in the dirty clothes hamper inside out, she owes me $1 per piece. It was a win for me!

She did really well and was committed when the deal first started. After a few months, I’d occasionally still find inside out stuff but it was rare so I let it go.

Well, last night after taking a shower the Little One came out to the living room wrapped only in a towel and announced in a not-so-pleasant fashion that she was “out of pajamas!” Another little backstory here, the Little One has a wonderful habit of just tossing her dirty clothes wherever she strips them off. Typically the floor of her room is covered with inside out clothes. Just like everyone else in the family, if they expect me to wash their clothes, they need to get said clothes to the dirty clothes hamper. I do not go hunting and gathering for dirty stuff. So often, she waits until I’ve washed everything, THEN she decides to clean her room. This is what happened earlier in the week.

So as she was exclaiming her dissatisfaction with my laundry abilities, I simply told her to find a t-shirt or something and go to bed. Her crisis was not my problem.

This morning as I began sorting the dirty clothes in the hamper to begin the wash, I found plenty of inside out clothes. Not feeling too generous after the attitude last night, I began tracking as I flipped things right side out:

One T-shirt

One pair of shorts WITH the underwear still attached (2 pieces technically)

One purple sock

Two purple socks

One pajama shorts bottom

One pajama tank top

One nightgown

As I counted I shouted from the living room, asking for clarification on the dealio that The Husband and Little One has negotiated. “Was it $1 per piece or $1 per pair, if it’s socks?”

The response from The Husband and Big One, was $1 per piece.

At that I heard little footsteps charging down the hallway, “WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!” she exclaimed.

Now she did clean both bathrooms yesterday, so as she tried justifying why her clothes were all inside out, I decided to cut her a deal and only charge her $5 instead of the $8 it should have been.

We’ll see if this lesson of handing mom the $5 really sticks or I make even more money on the deal.

“Aren’t You Going to Put It Away?”

July 27, 2017

Summer is so much fun, right? Constant togetherness with your sibling. Not enough “fun” stuff to do. Your mom constantly saying, “Go read a book!” when you complain about being bored. It’s been a long couple of weeks since we returned from the “Epic Adventure!” (Yes, I am working on sharing some of those stories, but THAT is a project!)

The summer has been different for the girls. Usually they get to pick a couple of Girl Scout camps to attend and then we do fun stuff on the off weeks. Well because the Epic Adventure began on the last day of school, we opted to not do any Girl Scout camps. That means since returning from the 23-day, 6,149 mile road trip we haven’t done much “fun stuff.”

Today the girls were picking at each other as usual and I was getting more and more frustrated. So in my infinite wisdom I told them to enjoy the TV today because there will be NO TV tomorrow. (Pretty sure this is a case where I am punishing myself more than them!) UGH!

Anyway, the Little One just wanted to play in the backyard. She kept asking the Big One, badminton? Frisbee? Catch? Baseball? Water balloons? Each time the Big One refused. Oh the joys of tweendom.

So I told the Little One I would play with her despite the laundry, dirty dishes, etc. So first up was badminton. It was only a matter of minutes before the birdie was on the patio roof. So I dragged out the ladder, climbed to the top, used the giant broomstick and retrieved the birdie. Then I put the ladder away while the Little One put the broom away.

A few more minutes of badminton and guess what happened? Yep! Birdie on the roof again. So I again got out the ladder and broom, and repeated the retrieval process. This time I also retrieved two hula hoops while I was up there.  Then we put the ladder and broom back in the garage.

Then I suggested we try something different. The Little One was onboard so she grabbed the Frisbee. A few tosses of the Frisbee and all was well, until it wasn’t,  and we watched as the Frisbee soared up and over the fence. Of course it went towards the corner of the yard so we weren’t sure which neighbor’s yard it went into. So I grabbed the ladder again. This time the Little One climbed up and peeked over the fence to see which neighbor we were going to visit. She spotted the Frisbee and off we went around the block to retrieve it.

Our elderly neighbor sweetly told us to “go on in the back and get it!” So the Little One went thru the neighbor’s gate and retrieved it.

We walked back home and tossed the Frisbee again for a bit. Things were going so well. Then the Little One tried to get a little fancy and what do you think happened? Yep, back up on the roof it went. So guess what we did? Yep, got the ladder and broomstick out of the garage. I climbed to the top of the ladder and retrieved the Frisbee.

Only this time, when I climbed back down the ladder, I simply folded it up and leaned it against the outside of the garage.

The Little One, who was perplexed after putting the broomstick away yet again asked, “Mom, aren’t you going to put it away?”

Fool me once kid, shame on you. Fool me twice kid, shame on me. Only it took me three times to learn my lesson!

I only wish that I could say the story ended here. But alas it does not. After the third trip up the ladder, I decided I needed a drink of water. So I turned my back on the Little One for all of 6 seconds to take a sip of water and what do you think she did?

Nope, it didn’t go on the roof…. It went over the fence again! So back around the corner we went. This time I assured our neighbor we were done with the Frisbee.

Riddle Me This

July 25, 2017

I know I have lamented about this on Facebook, so I apologize again for this little rant.

So the Big One has a well child appointment coming up this week. Thankfully I put this appointment reminder on my phone because in the great state of California, the powers that be have decided that once my child turned 12 years old she is entitled to great privacy surrounding her healthcare. I can no longer see her online health information including appointment reminders, immunizations info and past lab results.

Well, here’s the deal as long as the state of California is NOT paying for said child’s healthcare, they really need to keep their noses out of her perceived need for privacy.

As her mother, the one who manages her healthcare, I have always had access to her medical information. So if there was a Girl Scout permission slip where I needed the dates for her immunizations, I could log into the system and quickly see all of her immunization dates. If the other moms were comparing the size of similar aged children, I could log into the system and quickly see how much the Big One weighed at her last appointment. When The Husband talked about visiting amusement parks, we could easily log in and see just how tall she was to determine exactly which rides she could go on.

But now that she is 12, the state of California thinks I should not have access to this information. So back to the well child appointment that is coming up in a couple days. I have now received, via e-mail, TWO notifications regarding a health questionnaire that the physician has requested be completed before the upcoming appointment. Funny thing is, I cannot access the questionnaire because again the state of California believes my child needs privacy.

I know what you are thinking, this really is an easy fix. If she is old enough to deserve privacy, let her have her own online account to manage these things herself. Well, here’s the kicker, she is apparently old enough to deserve privacy, but she is NOT old enough to create her own online account. She has to be 13 to be considered responsible enough to have an online account.  Someone please explain this to me.

I’ve done some research on this challenge. While the state of California made the laws, it seems Kaiser is also partially to blame. There are other healthcare systems in California that have special online systems for kids age 12-17 that allow individual accounts. The information that Kaiser provides seems to contradict their reality. As I read this information, I should still have access to her online account until she turns 13, but that is not the reality. I guess I will be reaching out to Member Services again to figure out what’s actually going on.

As an aside, my child is healthy. She doesn’t have any difficult or chronic conditions that we have to manage daily. So, yes for us this is simply a very minor inconvenience. My heart goes out to my friends and family members who children have chronic conditions that require daily medical interventions. I have heard those horror stories regarding access and cannot imagine the stress that adds to survival each day. If only we lived in a world where the powers that be truly understood the daily plight of the average citizen.

 

I can still e-mail her doctor and vice versa…

I can even read the message!

OOPS! Just kidding I can’t do what they are asking me to do!

 

Too Much TV

July 24, 2017

The Husband is very good at a lot of things. He works hard to take care of us. He walks the dog every day. He volunteers in the community. He loves Jesus. He’s a good guy. One thing he does not enjoy doing is yard work. This is one of the main reasons why we have fake grass in the front yard.

Of course, we live in California. It is not easy to keep real grass alive. We won’t even talk about the cost of watering or trying to figure out what day of the week it’s even legal for our street address to actually turn the water on without the fear or an exorbitant fine.

On Saturday, The Husband was busy with a Search and Rescue training event, so I took the girls to see the Captain Underpants movie (don’t judge, it’s free entertainment on Base).  After the movie, we drove around downtown for a little bit to ogle at the folks dressed up for Comic-Con (again free entertainment!).

After weaving through the mess downtown, I decided it was time to head home. The Husband’s training finished up early so he beat us home. As soon as we rounded the corner onto our street, The Husband came into view. He had a shovel in his hand and the green waste trashcan right next to him. (Yes we have THREE different colored trash cans for collection on alternating weeks. It’s almost as bad as trying to determine your watering day!).

Before I could even say a word, the Little One exclaims from the back seat, “WHOA! What did he do? It must’ve been REALLY bad!”

It took all that I had to not fall over laughing. The Little One’s comment coupled with seeing that The Husband was in fact doing yardwork was almost too much.  I did not ask him to. I had not nagged him incessantly. I had not passive aggressively hinted at anything needing to be done. Yet there he was in the front yard, shovel in hand.

Back in 2012 when I first planted them. They were so cute!

A little background here…. Yes, we have fake grass. But I wanted some living plants as well. So we have a planter area that butts up against the house. In my infinite wisdom I planted succulents including fire sticks there. I thought the hearty cactus plants that change from green to yellow to orange to red would be a fantastic pop of color in the front of the house. In my defense it was a great idea! They looked beautiful for the first few years. And then they decided that they were really, really, really happy where they were planted and they began to multiply and grow larger and larger and larger. They really started to take over. It was a challenge to get to the hose. The flagpole access was being impeded. I could barely get to the electrical outlet to plug in the Christmas decorations. My lovely fire sticks were becoming a huge nuisance.

So one day I decided they needed to go. I began hacking at these poor plants. It took us several weeks of filling our green waste trashcan, along with about six or seven trashcans that we borrowed from our fantastic neighbor.  The Husband got sucked into the joy of hacking these things down because he does love me and didn’t want me to kill myself alone in the project. Did I mention that the sap that oozes out of the fire stick plants is toxic? Yes, it will burn your skin and people have reported temporary blindness when they’ve gotten the smooth milky white sap in their eyes. So for several weekends we worked on chopping down the plants that really had become like trees.

We finally got down to the roots. I spent another several weeks dousing the roots with RoundUp (again don’t judge, after many hours of research I discovered it’s really the only option for killing the darn things.) The roots have been pretty dead for several months now. I have been to chicken to try to dig them out because, of their location. You see the one challenge of my little planter box area, is that the water and gas mains to the house run right through the middle of it. So I admit I am little paranoid and did not want to be the one who struck the water main with the shovel so I have just been ignoring the ugly planter box with dead cactus roots for months now.

AHHHH! They’ve taken over!

So back to Saturday afternoon, The Husband, who hates yardwork and quite honestly, thinks plants and flowers are pretty useless was digging out the roots!  But again, I have not said a word about it. Yes, I may feel like I am dying a little each time I notice the ugliness, but I figured one of these days I would get tired of it and try to work on it. But so far that day hadn’t happened. Now here he is working on the ugly roots!

As I tried to stifle my laughter from The Little One’s comments, she runs up to him and says, “What did you do?”

The Husband was baffled by her comment thinking at first that she insinuating that he had destroyed or broken something that was hers. Before he could say anything to her, she continued by saying something to the effect of, “Did you cheat on her or something? You are really sucking up!”

Oh my gosh, y’all I do not always understand how her brain works but this was hilarious. Clearly my child has watched too much TV, although I am not sure what show she’s watching where she picked up this little gem.

Alas, The Husband is not cheating on me or sucking up. He was already sweaty from his SAR training, so it was a good time to put in some work on the mess. Plus the neighbors across the street have spent countless hours re-designing their entire front yard so I think it was more about a little peer pressure, combined with knowing that his wife would have probably started nagging very soon. I mean it’s only been seven months or so!

A Date Night to Remember

July 21, 2017

So, those of you with kids, how often do you really have a date night? I know the experts say you have to carve time out for each other. You have to schedule regular date nights, but c’mon the reality, for many of us is that there is just not enough hours in the day. So last night was a rare date night opportunity for us. The husband’s mom wanted to take the girls and their cousins to see a musical production. She offered to keep the girls overnight too.

This was a bonus date night with the girls sleeping at Grammy and Papa’s. The Husband had to work this morning, so I was relishing the thought of sleeping in this morning and sipping hot coffee in a quiet house. I fantasized about the peace that I would feel. What is it they say about the best laid plans?

So for date night, we typically go out to dinner and then walk on the beach and enjoy the sunset. We figured we’d do the same last night. We try to select restaurants that we don’t take the girls to. I mean really, how many times can you eat at Chili’s or Fuddrucker’s? So I suggested El Torito. Yes, we have many Mexican restaurant choices in San Diego. Is El Torito, the best? Absolutely not! But I do really like their grilled chicken Mexican Caesar salad, so The Husband agreed to try it. He doesn’t remember ever eating there. I am fairly certain we’ve been there as a family, but that’s a different story.

So we pull into the parking lot and I warn The Husband that the parking spaces are teeny tiny in this particular parking lot. It’s really strange because it’s a decent sized strip mall with a Burlington Coat Factory as its anchor so why the spots are so small, I’ll never understand. Anyway, The Husband drives a big ‘ole SUV so he parked in the back nine, like past the Burlington. So El Torito is on one end of the lot then there is the Burlington, then where we parked. (This will become important later in the story!)

We walked in and were immediately seated. It was a quiet night so far. We sat for a while and were finally greeted. Then a few minutes later our orders were taken. Then, considering how quiet the restaurant was, the food seemed to take an exorbitant amount of time (again, this turns out to be okay!)

{Just an aside, the last time I came to this El Torito was on Mother’s Day with my mom, sister, two nieces and the girls. That night the service was terribly slow as well, and we are fairly certain there was a kitchen fire while we were there. I should have known better than to choose this particular location!}

So anyway, our food finally came. We ate and then we waited for the check. Finally it arrived. We were both getting a little impatient by now at the time everything was taking. The server dropped our check off and then bolted to another table. The Husband had his wallet and credit card ready, but he wasn’t fast enough to get give it to our server before he bolted. So at that point, we both reached for our wallets figuring maybe we had enough cash between the two of us to pay the bill and leave. Our server must have sensed that we were getting impatient because he suddenly reappeared. So we put our cash away and went back to Plan A which was use the credit card. It took a few more minutes for our server to return with the credit card receipt and then we were on our way.

Turns out these delays were probably a good things. Funny how things happen and then later, we realize that there was a reason for all of it!

As we were walking out the doors of the restaurant, I casually said maybe we should walk over to Burlington and see what they’ve got. You just never know what you will find at a Burlington. I’m pretty sure The Husband was not onboard with this idea, but before he had a chance to tell me so, we were out the restaurant doors and were confronted with six or seven police cars and a community service officer truck parked all around the parking lot. Most of the police cars were near the entrance to the Burlington, so I quite naturally assumed that the Burlington had probably been robbed.

Remember we were parked in the back nine of the parking lot. Thankfully we were not in the center section of the lot where all the police cars were blocking the entrances to each aisle.

I admit it, curiosity got the best of me. I was looking down the aisles of the parking lot trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. I felt safe with all the police presence. The Husband was a few steps in front of me so he approached the next aisle before I did. As he looked down the aisle, he said, “OH! Don’t look!”

Unfortunately for me, he said it about a half second too late. My eyes had already wandered down the parking lot aisle. There was a person lying motionless in the parking lot. I quickly diverted my eyes and walked towards The Husband’s car. I did not need to see anything else. I did not look down any more aisles. I became acutely aware that this was NOT a robbery at the store. As I went directly to the vehicle, The Husband is bolder than I am. He approached a police officer who was standing close by. There was a vehicle parked diagonally in front of ours. The driver’s door and trunk were open. The officer was standing near it. The Husband inquired about what had happened. The police officer gave a brief explanation of what they thought had happened. (for those of you curious, this is what happened.)

At this point, I am just wanting to get in the car and get away. Then the fire truck rolled onto the scene. We noticed that the fire personnel were not moving with a lot of urgency, confirming our speculation that the man was already deceased. At that point the police officials began putting up yellow caution tape around most of the parking lot. We took that as a very clear indication we needed to leave the area because it was going to be a long night.

As we exited the parking lot, the ambulance arrived and I said a silent prayer for the victim’s family and friends. We opted to continue with our plan to walk on the beach. Goodness knows we need some beauty after what we’d just seen. My tummy was a little urpy and I was feeling a bit uneasy. I called my sister and talked with her as we drove to the beach. So the goal was to just get to the beach, inhale that salty ocean air and just enjoy the rest of the evening as best we could.

Often as soon as we get within range, The Husband will inhale deeply and exclaim, “Smell the air!” He loves, loves, loves the ocean. So last night just as we turned into the parking lot at Mission Beach, he inhaled deeply and … the whiff he got was NOT ocean air! But it was something that would probably have calmed my nerves had we just stopped the vehicle!  Instead we drove through the cloud of dope and found a parking spot.

We made several inappropriate jokes about second hand smoke vs second hand-dope as we made our way to the boardwalk enjoying the ocean air. For those of you who don’t live near the beach, at sunset time the smell in the air is different. You still get that salty, sticky ocean smell but it’s mixed with the aroma of sunscreen and fire as the bonfires are being lit. The mood shifts from giggly, shrieking kids splashing in the ocean to the calmer quiet that comes as the sunsets and the tide rolls in lapping against the sand creeping ever closer to those concrete fire pits. {Depending on which beach you go to, you also do experience the other smells! I was surprised to smell it so profusely at Mission Beach though!}

It was cloudy so the sunset, while beautiful, was not spectacular but it was enough to calm my nerves and help me get away from the scene in the parking lot. My stomach was still feeling urpy so we didn’t stay too long at the beach. We decided to head home. I was feeling more calm and relaxed until we got on the freeway.

We entered the 8 eastbound to head home. As we got on the ramp at W. Mission Bay Drive, we were following three motorcycles. No big deal, really you just have to watch for the slap happy morons leaving the beach while also dealing with the tourists who don’t know which way the all the different lanes split off. It’s a little hairy most of the time, but it’s a bearable hairy interchange most days.

Then you have the days when complete asshats on motorcycles think they are invincible and begin doing wheelies as they weave in and out of the lanes of traffic. What in the actual hell is wrong with people? Why on earth would you be so freaking stupid? If you want kill yourself doing wheelies find a less congested spot to meet your Maker. There is no need to do it in front of me. I had already seen on dead body, I certainly did not need to see another one.

This stuff is amazing!

Needless to say, the calm that I have achieved through watching the sunset was now gone and I was a big ole ball of stress again. Thankfully the morons on motorcycles did not wipe out in front of us. Even more thankful they exited on to N805 as we continued on towards home. Then we did the only logical thing there was left to do. We drove to our local Vons (hell on earth according to my niece!) and I sought out some of Ben & Jerry’s One Love ice cream. Have y’all had this stuff? Holy macaroni, it’s amazing!! It’s a limited edition that I have not been able to find anywhere else. So in my stress filled-stomach-urpy madness, I confess that I paid $4.99 for a damn PINT of Ben & Jerry’s. Who in the heck can afford to buy this stuff regularly? I usually pay $2.49 for a half gallon of Dreyer’s. But $4.99 for a dang pint?? Oy very.

Our date night to remember ended with a session of stress-induced, over-priced ice cream eating.

Next date night we are having pizza delivered.