Lately, I’ve been showing off my superpower a little too well.  I wish I didn’t have this power, but I do, and I bet many other people feel like they do too.  What is my power?  Well, you see, I’m invisible. I don’t mean I’m literally invisible. If I were, I wouldn’t have to figure out what to wear every day. Now, that’s a superpower I could get used to!  No, I mean I am invisible in life.

What does it mean to be invisible?

Invisibility does not mean that no one ever notices me or speaks to me. On the contrary, I get spoken to often. I know many people, and I even run into people when I go to the store. Invisibility in my case means I get overlooked. People think they know me, but they really don’t.  There are about 4.3 people in the whole world who actually know me, know how I feel and know what I think. There are others who think they know me.  Then, there is the vast majority of the people around me – they don’t actually care what I feel, know or think. They are nice enough to me, but they don’t actually care past the generic conversation of, “How are you?” and, “Fine, thanks.”  Thus, the feeling of invisibility.

Invisibility means getting overlooked for recognition at work. It means, even if you have striven for excellence, you will be deemed mediocre.  It means not getting invited to parties or other social events. It means, in a social setting, the chair beside me will be the last one to be filled.  Then, whoever fills it will turn to the person on the other side of them and chat with them the whole time.  Meanwhile, I’ll sit in silence, unless one of the 4.3 people who really know me happen to be at the event with me. Then, I’ll talk to them.

I would guess many people reading this understand what I’m talking about.  You get it, because you, too, are invisible.  You are forgotten, overlooked, misunderstood and disregarded.  Join me.  We’ll form a club.  I’m not sure how we’ll meet though, since we probably won’t notice each other in public.

If you are reading this and thinking, “I have no idea what she is talking about,” well, then, bless your heart.  You are part of the other side of life…the remembered, the invited, the cared for and the appreciated.  You’re probably skinny too.  And pretty.  And you have good hair.  If you don’t understand my words, you can stop reading now.  You’re fixed!  Congratulations!  Now, go eat some chocolate and RSVP to that party invitation you just got in your inbox.

Is anyone still with me?  Yes?  Great!  Well, great for me.  Bad for you, because it means you are invisible.  Sorry about your luck.

I’ve been dealing with this phenomenon now for enough years that you would think I would have it figured out, but I don’t.  Most of the time, I can ignore it and just go on with my business.  However, every once in a while, something big enough happens to smack me in the face.  That happened recently, and boy, did it hurt.  Sometimes, I can bounce back quickly, but this time, I’m struggling to pull out of the bad mood funk this hit created.

I don’t have the answers to invisibility.  I don’t know how to make others care about me or notice me.  I’m pretty sure it’s not possible, because I’ve been trying for 41 years.

Back when the Beetle was little, I used to plan activities and get-togethers for kids his age and their mothers.  I hosted parties.  I hosted teas.  I cleaned my house for people to come over.  As long as I planned the events, I was included in the fun.  However, I got overwhelmed and had to stop doing so much.  I quit planning as many activities.  Before I knew it, I was hearing about activities that were taking place without me.  There were birthday parties, picnics, swimming parties and more, all involving the children I had been hosting at my house.  At that time, I still believed I could overcome the invisibility (I was young and naïve), so I went to a mom who was planning an event.  I told her I had heard about the event but I hadn’t gotten an invitation, and I asked if we were invited.  She said of course we were and she would send the invitation to me.  I never got it.  Shocker.  I went back to the same mom and asked her if I had done something to offend her or anyone else in the group.  She said not that she knew of.  I told her I was feeling really left out and asked if there was a reason we were not being included. (Man, I was bold in my younger years!)  She apologized and said I must have been overlooked but they would include me in the future.  I never got invited to another event with that group. 

I’m not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me or to make you say, “Oh, we love you! We do!” I know people care about me.  I know, if I needed anything, there would be people who helped me, showed concern for me and took care of me.  Many people have proven that in the past in times of trouble.  In that way, I am not invisible, and for all the help we have been given in times of trouble, I am eternally grateful.

The invisibility I’m talking about is more of a day to day phenomenon.  At work, at church, in the grocery store and in life, I am invisible.  I'm not asked.  I'm not invited.  I'm not recognized.  I'm not remembered.  I’ve been struggling to write, struggling to comment on Facebook and struggling to live life because my invisibility has kicked my butt lately.  I was hesitant to post this blog, because I don’t want pity.  There is nothing to receive pity about.  I don’t want extra attention.  I don’t want people to try to convince me that they can see me.  I just wanted to share.  My hope is, if there are other people out there who feel invisible, this post will help them.  Like I said, I don’t have answers, so I can’t help you by solving your problems.  However, I hope knowing there is someone else out there who is invisible might encourage you.  If you’re in a grey funk like I’ve been in for the last week, I hope the fog lifts soon.  And I hope you are seen. -Al

This is a first for Not Your Average Al....A guest blogger!  I figured, if she had something to say, I might as well let her say it. Apparently, from my lack of writing lately, I've got nothing..... Enjoy! -Al

ank you to my sister who is definitely Not Your Average Al for letting me guest blog. I have something I need to get off my chest and since I don’t have a blog of my own, she is a gracious hostess.

Here’s a little background on me since I don’t know most of you. I will call myself Guinevere. I am older than Al but have younger kids. I had a trial run marriage. That’s a polite way of saying I married an idiot. I rectified that and married my Mr. Everything (we’ll call him Lancelot) 15 years ago. We have 3 children: a 13-year-old daughter (Iris) and 10-year-old boy/girl twins (Axel and Ariel). We are happily married, but we have our moments, just like everyone (except for Al and Mr. E).

Our children are in public school. We do not homeschool, and we will never homeschool. Why do I feel this important to mention? I am a Facebook user, just like many of you. I posted about one of the twins having nightmares and not being able to sleep. I asked for any advice to get through this. I got some great advice, including praying before bed and checking the room. That’s what worked, and we still pray together each night before bed; the child can now sleep each night. I also received a very negative piece of advice that if I homeschooled instead of being selfish and putting my children in public school so that I could have time for myself during the day, my child would be well-adjusted and would not be exposed to the negative influences of public school. WHAT? How does that help me get my kid to sleep? For that matter, how does raising my blood pressure get me to sleep?

I have been composing a response for over a month now and a snarky Facebook post from the same person recently has led to me actually put this in writing.

Why do I chose not to homeschool? Right now, you are thinking I am going to bash homeschoolers. Wrong! I have the utmost respect for parents who homeschool as well as parents who choose public school, private school, charter school or any of the other choices of schools available these days. Lancelot and I have chosen to put our children in public school and so far, so good. Iris is in the 8th grade in all honors classes and is taking 3 high school credit courses. She has made 2 B’s in her life and is proud to be an honor student. She is on-track to graduate high school with many college courses under her belt. Axel and Ariel are in the 4th grade at a great elementary school. We have requested teachers each year, and the principal has always worked to accommodate our choice of teachers. They are both in the advanced program for math and science and are always on the honor roll. Iris is going to take a virtual class over the summer to get a required course out of the way so she can take an extra AP course in 9th grade. She sounds extremely unadjusted, right?

Do I feel that I am dumping my children in public school so I can have a break during the day? NO! I wish I could sit on the couch and eat bon-bons all day long. Lancelot and I both work full time and are involved in extra activities. We are both social workers and provide benefit coordination to people with unique needs. Lancelot typically carries a caseload of 60 to 80 elderly individuals, and I maintain a caseload of 39 to 43 individuals with developmental disabilities. We both work extremely hard, and I can assure you, social workers paid through the Florida Medicaid system are not highly paid. We do the best we can with what we have, and our children do not lack for anything, including time with their parents.  So, I ask, when would I homeschool? I want my children to have a good education, and I am intelligent enough to realize that 2 parents working 50+ hours per week are not going to be able to provide the time needed for a complete education.  I applaud those of you, including my little sister, Al, who have dedicated yourselves to educating your children. Of course, Al, also works like a dog, but she finds the time to manage her children’s education too. But, I also applaud those of us that have dedicated our lives to serving others AND providing the best experiences possible for our children. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the education question.

I have many friends who homeschool. One of my favorite families from church has a set of lovely twins who are seniors this year. They are homeschooled and have been accepted to a fabulous school. Their mother is a saint, and they are the nicest people of all time. Do I think they are nice because they are homeschooled and not exposed to the “bad kids” of public school? NO! I think they are nice and responsible because that is how their parents raised them. Are there homeschooled kids that will become mass murders? Yes. Are there public school children who will become pastors and priests? Yes. Public school did not give my child nightmares. A child whose parents allow him to be exposed to adult movies and situations scared my child. Could this have just as easily have happened at church? Yes.

Lancelot and I are doing our best. We love our children, and we provide them with every opportunity available. We are not a theme park affording, expensive vacation taking family. We are a movie night and game night with the kids family. We go to church and get involved in the activities our children are passionate about. Iris enjoys youth group at church, and Lancelot and I are right there with her. Axel is a Webelos Scout, and Lancelot is his den leader and will be the Packmaster starting in March. Ariel is still stretching her wings and deciding which activities she wants to try because we walked away from her previous activity, but when she flies, we will be right beside her.

I will end here, but watch for another guest spot where I address some of the craziness of raising a mini-me teenage daughter!

Thank you again to Al for letting me express myself!


When I was in school, I hated all things science.  I’m not sure why that is, but I think my disdain started around 7th grade.  It may have been due to the teacher who constantly harped on us that snakes were our friends.  I began to realize I could not trust anything this woman had to say if she seriously believed snakes were good.  Or, it could have been the science fair project.  Same year, different semester.

We had to do a science fair project, and I was less than thrilled. Somehow, I came up with the hair-brained idea to test the effects of overcrowding in goldfish. Mama and I bought two goldfish bowls.  In the first bowl, we placed one happy little fish.  In the other one, we placed 25 not-nearly-as-content fish. Then, we watched and waited. The results really were non-existent, because I don’t think I gave the fish long enough to enjoy their time together in the bowl. However, my hypothesis was that the overcrowded fish would start dying and would eat each other. (The reality was, they started stinking and pooping even more.)  Now, I have a few observations about this project:

1.       Why in the world did I want to do that? I have no idea. I guess it sounded easier than building something or mixing chemicals together.

2.       I can’t believe my teacher allowed me to do that. In today’s time, I would probably be arrested for animal cruelty.

On the day of the science fair, I took my fish to school. When I didn’t win the science fair (shocker there, I know…), I told the teacher she could have my fish. I didn’t want them.  They smelled bad.  So, my teacher, the snake lover, took the fish and put them in a big aquarium. As she put the filter in and air started flowing, the fish started floating to the top of the tank, one at a time. The woman murdered 26 goldfish right in front of the class. (Today, the children would need grief counseling.)  I cried. All at once, these fish went from being the victims of my weird science project to being my most valued pets. I was outraged that my teacher had murdered, nay massacred, my beloved fish!  With all the drama I could muster in my twelve year old self, I cried and cried. The snake lover was not moved by my tears, and I was told to get back to work.  I turned off the tears and got back to work, because I was nothing if not obedient. At lunch that day, we had fish sticks. Oh, the humanity…

When I was in 9th grade, I took biology.  I would rather have cut off my right arm and donated it in the name of science than to have endured that class. The fruit flies were bad enough (What, exactly, were we supposed to learn from that??), but the finger-pricking and dissection pushed me right over the edge.  Oh, yes, my friend, you read me correctly.  Finger pricking.  With a needle.  Welcome to the late 80s.  We were made to prick our own fingers so we could test our blood type.  Though I was typically not dramatic and was always obedient, this was one issue I could not budge on. I was offended by the fact that the teacher could MAKE us prick our fingers.  In a rare moment of defiance, I crossed my arms, shook my head and said I wasn’t doing it.  I meant it too. (Come to think of it, this might be where the Beetle and the Goose get their strong-willed streaks from…)  The teacher told me I would get an F on the project if I did not prick my finger.  I told her to mark it in her book because I wasn’t doing it.  (This really was a very rare outburst of defiance from me.)  She said I had to do the project, and I asked her why.  She said because it was part of the class, and I said I didn’t care.  She told me to prick my finger, and I told her to let me prick hers first.  I think I made her mad.  She had two big guys hold me while she pricked my finger.  Seriously.  Where was the 5:00 news crew when I needed them?  The result?  I’m A+, thanks for asking.  I also was positive I loathed science.  That day sealed the deal.

Later in the semester, we began dissecting things.  I saw no point in this.  My public education had not allowed me to learn anything hands-on for the last nine years, so why, now, were they so concerned about me getting my hands into science?  I didn’t get it, and I was having no part of it.  We dissected an earthworm, a big nasty frog and a sweet little pink fetal pig.  Let me correct that, my class dissected those animals.  I never touched a single one.  Never.  Ever.

You see, there is value in being able to write well. It means your writing can earn you good grades.  Therefore, I just found a lab partner who was a terrible writer, and I told her it was a match made in heaven.  I made a deal with her that if she would touch the carcasses, I would do the writing.  She wanted to shake on it, but I declined. (She had been touching dead things, after all.)  So, for the rest of the year, I never actually participated in a biology project again.  I just wrote about it.

So, a year ago, when the Goose started asking to dissect animals, I was horrified.  I told Mr. E she had to get this from his side of the family, because I did not *do* dissection.  The Goose begged.  She had dissected a starfish with a friend of mine, Super-mom, as I like to call her, since she’s the only mom I know brave enough to gather 8 little girls in her home and let them cut up dead animals.  The ooshy gooshy starfish was enough to turn my stomach, but it awakened the inner scientist in my child.  Oh, yippee.  So, the Goose finally convinced me to look online for somewhere to order animals for dissection.  I found a place and looked through the obituaries, I mean, catalog.  I told the Goose that I would not dissect anything with her, and I told her if she could convince her father, I would order the animals. She asked Mr. E one time, and he said, “Sure.  Why not?”  “Why not?” I thought, “I can list about 100 reasons.” 

So, about ten months ago, I ordered the pig.  I also ordered an owl pellet (that would be dried vomit with bones in it, in case you aren’t familiar) and a gecko.  The Goose dissected the owl pellet and loved every minute of it.  She kept the bones of the rodent and put them in a Ziplock bag.  It was enough to gross out the Beetle and me.  Maybe he’s my only real child.  She must have been switched at birth.

The gecko ended up being nothing more than an average, everyday lizard like we avoid on our Florida sidewalks.  I can’t believe I paid money for it, but it’s too small to attempt to dissect.

That left the fetal pig. The Goose wanted to name him. I told her that was unnatural. She’s been asking for months to cut him up, but between moving and moving, who has had time? So, this week was deemed as “the week” by the Goose.  I agreed, because I figured, why not get it over with?

The Goose and I studied a virtual dissection online, trying to prepare for the big day. Just the photos were enough to make my skin crawl. I told Mr. E earlier this week that this was THE week and asked which day he preferred. He said, “Why do I have to do it?”  “Oh, no, no, no, my friend. You can’t play that game with me,” I said.  He said, “What game?”  Then, I refreshed his memory of the discussion we had BEFORE I ordered the fetal pig. He finally gave in and said Friday could be the day.

The Goose was so excited, she invited a friend over.  You know what they say, “Friends who dissect together…..”  (Yeah, I don’t know what they say either.)  So, the Goose and her friend were ready for the big moment of dissection.  I was ready for it too.  I left to go to lunch with Willow.  Mr. Everything started to protest before I left, but I reminded him that he agreed to it.  He really is a good daddy and husband.  (As I told him while I was slowly walking toward the door.)

By the time I got back, the cutting was done. The back patio table looked a little like a crime scene, but at least I didn’t have to witness the crime. The Goose and her friend were happy, and all was good in the world.  Mr. E looked a little shell-shocked, but I think he survived.

Now, I just wonder what the Goose will want to dissect next, and I wonder who I can convince to do it with her? Any volunteers?  Super-mom, are you reading this?  -Al

Months after the Goose had her ears pierced for the second time, she still would not take them out.  The backs of her ears looked gross, like skin had grown over the earring backs.  She wouldn’t let me touch them, and she was missing her very first softball games because of them.  I had to do something.  After a week of having nightmares about getting the earrings out, the time had come.  I had a plan, and it was going to work.

On *the* night, I made sure the Goose was sound asleep.  I enlisted Mr. E to help me, although I really wouldn’t need him.  I tip toed into the Goose’s room.  I’m not sure why I tip toed.  The child can sleep through a tornado.  I could have gone screaming into her room, and she probably wouldn’t have woken up.  I went in and climbed in bed with the Goose.  She was flat on her back.  Perfect.  I pulled her blankets up over her, making sure her arms were inside.  Then, I sat on the blankets.  I had created a bedtime straight jacket.  My plan was going to work.  I sat there for a minute, just looking at the Goose and how peaceful she was.  She really was so sweet when she was sleeping.  Then, I took a deep breath and began to work.  I started on the right ear, and I pulled and pulled and pulled.  I got the earring out, and the Goose did not even wake up.

The left earring was the problem.  It was the one that was on too tight and skin cells had crusted over it in the back.  I began working on getting the back off.  The Goose woke up and began screaming at the top of her voice.  She had no idea what was going on.  All she knew was someone was sitting on her and touching her ears.  I’m not even sure she was awake, but she was mad with a capital M.  She screamed some more just to be sure I’d heard her.  The Beetle came storming out of his room, ready to defend his little sister from whatever harm was being done to her.  That was a little reassuring to know that, should something happen in the middle of the night, at least he would come to her aide.

The Goose struggled and wiggled and fought, but she couldn’t get her arms free.  As bad as this sounds, by the end of it, Mr. E and I were laughing hysterically.  The Beetle was also laughing.  The Goose?  Not so much.  I’m pretty sure if and when she goes to counseling as an adult, she’ll have plenty to talk about.  Regardless of the emotional toil, the second earring came out, and all was right with the world.

The next day, I tried to convince the Goose to put another pair of earrings in, but she wanted no part of it.  She’d had the earrings for months, so I knew the holes would stay open for a while.  For a week, I tried my best to talk her into putting in more earrings.  My stubborn little Goose refused, and the holes closed up.  I told her she would regret that decision, but she disagreed.  She said she never, ever, ever wanted to wear earrings again.

Never ever lasted about a year and a half.  Now, the almost teenaged Goose is growing a little more concerned about her appearance.  I see her checking the mirror and checking it twice.  So, about a month ago, she said she wanted earrings.  I told her I was sorry, but we’d already been down that road.  Twice.  She asked if she could get her ears pierced if she paid for it.  I said, “Knock yourself out.”

Christmas came along, and the Goose got money.  The day after Christmas, I had to go to the mall for something (how did I let that happen???), and the family went with me.  This wasn’t our local mall.  This was a mall that was a 45 minute drive from our house. 

Before we left the mall, the Goose sweetly said, “Can I please get my ears pierced?”  Not remembering that she had gotten money for Christmas, I told her no.  She asked why not, and I said I wasn’t paying for it.  She reminded me that she had money, and I gave in.  We went to Claire’s.  Again.

On the third piercing, the Goose did not even cry or wince.  She said there, matter of fact, as holes were punched in her ears.  She had her ears pierced, and we were good to go.  Finally, the Goose had her earrings.

The next day, we went to EPCOT.  Late in the day, the Goose exclaimed, “OH NO!”  I had flashbacks to the time she left her cell phone on the airplane (you can read that little adventure HERE), and I immediately looked to see if she had her backpack.  She did, so I wasn’t sure what she was yelling about.  Then, I looked at her.  She had one earring.  The right ear had, once again, rejected the earring.  She wanted to retrace our steps to see if she could find the missing earring.  Looking around at the 100,000 people around us, I didn’t think that was such a good idea.  I told her I would call Claire’s the next day to see what they could do.

So, the next day, I called.  The manager was friendly, but she told me she couldn’t do anything.  She said if we had the earring, we could bring it in and she would trade it out for a sterile one and repierce the Goose’s ear.  However, since the earring was gone, she couldn’t do anything.  Teetering on a big ole’ hissy fit, I firmly, but politely, told her that we had paid Claire’s three times for piercing.  I firmly told her that I did expect them to do something to make it right since this was the second time we’d had a new earring fall out.  She sighed and agreed.  (Thank goodness.  It was going to get ugly.)  The manager said to bring the Goose in, and she would pierce her ear.  Again.  I asked if we could just go to our local mall, but she said she would have to do it.  *Sigh.*

The Goose and I drove 45 minutes back to the mall.  The manager was friendly enough and pierced the ear right away.  So, maybe the fourth time is a charm.  All I know is, the Goose has had the earrings for 5 days, and they are both still in her ears.  I hope all goes well.  Softball season is coming soon.  -Al

That’s a strange title, isn’t it?  But it seems like the Goose’s ears have gotten a lot of attention in the last week.  Well, more accurately, her earrings, or lack thereof, have gotten the attention.

The Goose decided last week to have her ears pierced.  For the third time.  And then the fourth.  Um, yeah.  I’ve become way too familiar with the inside of Claire’s jewelry store at the mall.

When the Goose was six, she wanted to have her ears pierced.  We read about how to care for earrings and I told her about the pain of having them pierced, but she was committed.  When the big day came, we went to the mall, and she sat up in the chair like a big girl.  Okay, actually, my mother took her to the mall, because I was too much of a wimp to see my child go through voluntary pain.  However, my mother soon discovered that she could not sign for the Goose to have her ears pierced because she was not the legal guardian.  So, I ended up going to see my child in pain anyway.

When the Goose had her ears pierced, she didn’t exactly cry.  Three small tears ran down her sweet little cheeks.  Talk about breaking a mother’s heart.  If she had wailed and screamed, I probably wouldn’t have felt nearly as sorry for her!

For the first week, things went well with the earrings.  We cleaned them three times a day, and we were doing great!  Then, on Christmas Day, it happened.  The right earring fell out.  The Goose and I had run home from my parents’ house to get a gift we’d forgotten.  Jeanie, my pseudo-child, was with us.  I remember it well.  I was sitting on the toilet (sorry for the details, but hey, if you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!).  The Goose came running in, screaming.  I didn’t know what was happening, but I was a little indisposed at the moment.  Luckily, the situation did not require me to spring into action.  The Goose said her earring had just fallen out, and sure enough, it had.  We cleaned the earring (after I flushed and washed!), and I started trying to put the earring back in her ear.  For about 30 minutes, we worked at that earring.  The Goose cried.  I cried.  Jeanie just looked at us like we were crazy.  Finally, after 30 minutes of torture, I told the Goose the earring wasn’t going back in.  I asked her what she wanted to do, and she said just to take the other one out.  So, that’s what we did.

I didn’t hear about earrings again until the winter of 2011 when the Goose was 10.  She said she wanted her ears pierced again, but I wasn’t going for it.  The memory of torturing her in the bathroom was still lingering in my mind.  Finally, she convinced me.  She said she would save money to pay for it herself.  I agreed, and she saved.

The day we went to Claire’s for the second piercing, the Goose was nervous.  She remembered the pain from the first time and wasn’t sure she wanted to do it again.  We had made a special trip to the mall, and the time had come.  She kept saying she didn’t want to do it.  We would get ready to leave, and she would say she did want to do it.  We would walk toward Claire’s, and she would say she didn’t want to do it.  Finally, I stopped in the middle of the mall, said no to the man who was trying for the seventh time to put lotion on my hands, looked the Goose in the eyes and said, “Do it or don’t.  I have things to do.”  (By the way, if your mall doesn’t have those high-pressure salespeople who try to put lotion on your hands, count yourself lucky.  They drive me crazy.  I just want to shop.  I don’t want to be approached by strangers in the mall.  Typically, I pretend to talk on my phone as I pass the kiosks so the salespeople won’t talk to me.  I’ve found if I look like I’m in an angry conversation on the phone, it works even better.)

The Goose finally decided to go for it, and we went to Claire’s.  She sat down, got it done and left.  This time, she was so paranoid about losing an earring that she had me check the backs and tighten them.  I learned the hard way that if you push on the backs of piercing earrings, they will pierce your fingers just as effectively as they will ears.  I tightened the backs for her, and we thought we were home-free.

Fast forward three months.  The Goose would not take the earrings out.  She wouldn’t let me touch the earrings.  She wouldn’t even let me say, “Earring.” (Okay, that last part is an exaggeration, but you get the point.)  Finally, I took a peek behind her ears to see how things were looking, and the backs of her earrings looked gross.  It was like the skin had grown over the earrings.  She still would not let me near her ears.

The Goose’s very first season of softball started, and she loved practicing.  The day of the first game came, and the coach said everyone had to take off all jewelry, including earrings.  The Goose flipped, because she still wouldn’t let anyone touch her ears.  She cried and pleaded.  I lied and said she had just had them pierced and couldn’t take them off. (Call me, “The Enabler.”)  The coach said it didn’t matter, and they had to come out.  She said the holes wouldn’t close up by the end of the game.  I begged to differ, but she didn’t listen.  The Goose ended up missing her very first two softball games, a double header, because she wouldn’t take her earrings out.

When we got home, she told me she wanted me to take her earrings out.  I moved toward her, and she ducked.  She said, “No!  I want you to sneak in when I’m sleeping and take them out.”  Um, yeah.  Sure.  From past experience of trying to use wart medicine on her finger while she was sleeping, I knew this was not going to end well.  However, I figured it was worth a try.  For a week solid, I would go in her room every night and try to loosen the earrings.  This was not easy as the violently sleeping child would flail her arms and legs.  Needless to say, I never got a good grip on the earrings.  The Goose gained the nickname, “Flailarella,” for her flipping and flailing she did in her sleep.  I was so stressed out about her earrings that I was dreaming about them at night.  I was trying to think of any way possible to get them out of her ears, because her next ball game was just days away and I did not want her to miss it.

It took me a while, but I figured out a plan.  Come back tomorrow, and I’ll tell you what I did….  -Al

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at resolutions.  I’m not good at thinking of meaningful, memorable things I should change.  It’s not that I’m perfect.  I just don’t usually spend that much time in deep, philosophical thought.  (I know this is no shock to you.)  I’m also not very good at keeping the few resolutions I do make.  Usually, by about January 2, I’ve forgotten them and moved on.

For several years, I resolved not to resolve.  That way, I was sure to keep my resolution.  Then, there were the “weight loss” years, the “exercise” years, the “read my Bible every day” years and the “be a better all-around person” years. (The “all-around” part is easier when it’s not a “weight loss” year.  Oh way, that should be just “round,” not “all-round.”)

Anywho, this year, I just ain’t doin’ it.  I’ve decided I’ve experienced enough change in the last five years than any one person deserves in a lifetime.  Therefore, I don’t have to change anything.  (Sounds reasonable, huh?)

However, I know people will ask what my resolutions are for the new year.  Not waiting to disappoint anyone, I’ve made a list.  Here is my list of resolutions for 2014.  These, I am sure to keep.

  1.  I resolve not to eat tomatoes.

  2. I resolve not to pass up a chance to eat chocolate. (I have to have my priorities, you know.)

  3. I resolve not to pet snakes. In fact, I am so committed to this resolution that I won’t even look at snakes.  (Now, that’s willpower.)

  4. I resolve not to say, “Good eye,” when watching my daughter play softball.

  5. I resolve not to wear camouflage.

  6. I resolve not to grow a beard. (Although, sometimes I think I’m working on it.  Where did those stray hairs on my chin and neck come from????)

  7. I resolve not to wear 4” heels.

  8. I resolve not to get any new pets. (Sorry, kids.  We can’t get one.  I resolved.)

  9. I resolve not to wear a pink spandex. (You’re welcome.)

  10. I resolve not to go to the mall any more than I have to.

  11. I resolve not to eat liver. (Oh man, I wanted a bloody tasting piece of meat, too.  The sacrifices I must make for the new year…)

  12. I resolve not to take myself too seriously.

  13. I resolve not to watch Jurassic Park. (I haven’t watched it yet, so why start now?)  While I'm at it, I'll resolve not to watch the Star Wars Trilogy or those other weird Star Wars movies they made either.

  14. I resolve not to perm my hair.

  15. I resolve not to wear leather pants. (Again, you’re welcome.)

  16. I resolve not to play X-Box.

  17. I resolve not to pay full price for anything.

  18. I resolve not to repeat myself.

  19. I resolve not to say everything I am thinking. (And if you think I do, you are oh, so wrong.)

  20. I resolve not to let other people decide who I am.  (Now, that’s just teetering on a serious resolution, isn’t it?)

  21. I resolve not to cheer for the Gators. (Oh, don't get all upset.  I resolve not to cheer for any other team either.  Unless my child is on the team.  Then, I will cheer.  But I will not say, "Good eye.")

  22. I resolve not to repeat myself. (Oh shoot!  I’ve already broken one.)

  23. I resolve not to wear angry socks. (I’m going to have to buy new socks or do laundry pretty quickly.)

So, there’s my list.  Do you think I can keep them?  I’m pretty sure I can.  What about you?  If you are making real changes in your life, good for you!  I, on the other hand, am just surviving one day at a time.  Just think, before we know it, we’ll be waving goodbye to 2014.  In the meantime, happy new year!  -Al