Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Husband Banned from Target

An email forward to funny not to pass along.

Hope this finds you all smiling today!

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.

Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out.

Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from our local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samsel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store.

We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store.

Our complaints against your husband, Mr.. Samsel, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice,'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'.

This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a
reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he would invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through,yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.


Hope this made you laugh as it did me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Focus Friday

Once upon a time
I wrote lists.
Once upon a time
I accomplished what
was on those lists.
Once upon a time
my home smelled wonderful,
dust bunnies weren't housing in every corner,
under every couch and cushion.
Once upon a time...
my kids didn't have a mom,
they had a maid.

Today I plan to focus.

... on my kids.
It has been a long, long week
with too much running.
1. go to school
2. take a test
3. come home
4. grab kids and head to Grandpa's house
5. play with kids
6. pick up nieces
7. play with nieces
8. bring kids and nieces home
9. eat junkfood for dinner
10. kids crash, mom crashes harder
11. sleep in

How's that for focused?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Save your Life in 15 minutes!

Watch this, pass it along, the next 15 minutes of your day are worth saving your life and the lives of others.

My cousin proclaimed "you know you've done it", I know I have,
I don't want my kids to do it, so it is time to make a change.

No cell phones while driving...PERIOD!~!! I can do it, so can you.

PLEASE pass this along!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

remember: i love you 9-11 and 3436

In my frustration this morning, frustration that has much more to do with things internally that I am struggling with than the external chaos of raising four children, I lost my patience.

The boys...fighting, picking, somewhat of a smirk on their faces, but I wasnt having it. I tried to speak gentle. I tried to reason. I bluntly asked, Please stop!!! I told them that they have things that are of great importance to them, desires, places and events they enjoy participating in. The only thing that is of importance to me is that we are loving kind and patient with each other. I begged, please, get along, stop teasing and lets be on our way to school.

A few more jabs and kicks later and I found myself on the floor, in my eight year olds face, with fear portraying that I was at the end of my frayed rope. I was done with nice, and moving into the terror zone.

At this point I lost it....I said some things that should never be said...something about how I can't do this anymore. I ask with doesn't sink in. I am ready at this point to take away the things that are meaningful to them, their great important, soccer, television, football, computer games, their very freedom....and with anger I could have choked the life out of the two of them. Harsh, maybe....and DFS could want in on my antics at some point. My older boy, age 10, comes over to hug me as he sees tears welling up in my eyes....

Sweet, you say, yes, maybe, but then why did he have to kick his brother as he stepped over him. Here he is hugging me. Mommy, I love you. I am sorry.....[BUT YOU JUST KICKED YOUR BROTHER AGAIN....seriously.]

I grabbed his shoulders and used all the strength I had in me to express that I could chuck him into a wall right now, but I wont, because it would get him off the hook. ...I would no longer be able to govern his childhood, he could be taken from me for abuse.

I walked away. Funny that I walked away, I guess I can take my own advice. The beginning of the argument between the two I told my youngest...JUST WALK AWAY. People can not keep hurting you if you walk away, your back is to them, and it just works, trust me.

So I went to the bathroom and cried it out good. Great, now my make up is destroyed, and my eyes are all puffy again. [again??? I spent at least one night this week in complete and uncontrollable sobbing....] Yeah for me. Now I have class in an hour, errands to finish the Football Jerseys, a Room Mother Coordinator meeting, shopping for soccer supplies, a vet appointment for our kitty who has an infection, terrible infection from a cat bite/fight., etc. etc. You know the drill, you all have your lives to live.

My point here is that once we got in the car, and I noticed that my 10 year olds eyes looked a mirror of mine, I had no sympathy. I continued to rant. About being walked all over, about being a chauffeur, and a maid, and that I felt of no value to my children other than to be the two hands who constantly are open to giving them all they need to succeed. Driving them places, buying their supplies, feeding and cleaning up after them.

My daughter told me she loved me....yes, the daughter who generally says, "I hate you, you are ruining my life." I said, "really.....yeah okay, but those are just words. Actions speak louder than words."

We drove in silence....

I sat stiff as the kids got out of the car, stiff silence. I told them I would be here to give them their next ride....home from school, to the store for their soccer gear.

I vaguely think someone told me they loved me, I didn't respond...just stared straight ahead...mean huh.

After dropping my daughter off, her again telling me she loved me. Me broken and unable to even care to respond....I drove away. Be safe, I told her. [Yes, I still care]

On the way to school for myself this morning I was listening to NPR...a story from story core about some of the victims of 9-11. Yes, today is 9-11, a day to remember, to be more calm, to be more patient.....and I destroyed it. I was the terrorist in our home.

The story was told by a father who had two sons who became victims of 9-11. Both grew up with their father and grandfather as firefighters. One became a police officer, one a firefighter. The firefighter had the honor of being assigned his Grandfathers badge number, 3436.

On that dreadful day, both of the sons had called their dad, to check in as they always did. The conversations were simple, "How are you? Take care today. I love you."

That was the last he heard from those two boys as their lives were taken that day from the attack on the Twin Towers.

The father expressed that he has comfort in knowing that the last words that he told his children were "I love you", and the last he heard from them was, "I love you". Those words make him sleep at night. He has not regrets.

Ironically the age of his boys when he lost them was 34 and 36,
the number of his fathers firefighter badge, 3436.

Today, I have many regrets. I think I heard my kids say, I love you. I didn't respond. I was too wadded up, tears on the surface and falling apart....I just let them run off, the tears off my cheeks, the kids off to school.

Kids are resilient, yet a mothers love is critical for their healthy growth.
I failed them today. I failed me.

I love you. My kids should know that, they are not just words. Yes, they are actions, but every human being needs to hear them. I regret my actions today.

Don't let a day, a moment pass without telling your kids you love them.

Live, no regrets.

I love you, my beautiful kids. I am sorry. Please be patient with me. I am learning the hard way.....I hope that I wont have to regret not telling them today that I love them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

my paper on Family and Fictive Kin - [Warning: I'm Back in School]

Being back in school I am writing many papers. Some of them I will post here specifically because they feel like a journal entry, and are meant to be such. Enjoy, if you tu veux!

Question: What are the different kinship roles - such as nephew, aunt or uncle, in-law, grandson or granddaughter - that you play as a result of being a member of your extended family? What rights and obligations does each of these roles entail in your family? Do you have any fictive kin? How did they become "like family"?

Did you ever have an aha moment? One that you said to yourself, "self, this is what life is". Mine came to me when I was fostered by a family at the age of sixteen. The influence of fictive kin in my life was critical in my development. These family members took me in, as a stranded youth, and helped to soothe and heal the wounds of an abused and abandoned young girl. They loved me, their love, their structure and dependable nature matured me to the status of an adult who was ready to take on the world.

I leaned on them and learned from them that people can be good, kind, and secure. I still have daily contact with them, they didn't replace the family that I had, and that slowly I have found to come back into my life, they added to it. At the time, they were all that I had.

Over the years, as siblings of mine have found me, or been found by me, they have welcomed them and the family circle has grown. As my mother and father came back into my life, they helped me over the pain, therapeutically they helped me to heal and to be strong enough to have relationships with my biological parents. They have helped me when I have been at my very least, rock bottom. They created a sense of self-worth that allowed me to be who I am today. They are the people who took me from where I was and made me who I am! They became like family because of love!

People play important independent rolls in the lives of others. Whether that role is as a parent, a sibling, a friend, an extended member, their role is influential in the lives of those who they have kinship. In my family I now play the roles of Mother, Wife, Sister, Sister-in-Law, Granddaughter, Daughter, Niece, Aunt, Cousin, and sometimes Friend in each situation.

My right as a Wife is that I can depend upon my husband to provide, to listen, to be there for friendship, intimate companionship, laughter, and my obligation is that he can depend on me for the same virtues. We also are one anothers biggest fan, and cheering squad, as our role of parenting can be a difficult one, yet wonderful, there is no greater role.

As a mother my rights and obligations are simple. I have the right to govern their lives within realistic reason. I suggest to them the behaviors that I feel will lead them to have successful and happy lives. I allow them to make mistakes, learn the hard way, and I am obligated to be there as their cheerleader, and as their soft place to fall when they are hurting. I have the right to tell them no when I feel that the actions will bring them hurt or endangerment. I have the obligation to allow them to choose for themselves, and I am obligated to let them suffer their own consequences.

As a Sister, Sister-in-Law, Cousin and Friend I have the right to depend on them to be there for me, and the obligation to be there for them, in good and difficult times. I have the right and obligation to a shoulder to cry on, a lunch full of laughter or tears, whatever is needed and necessary at the time.

I love the role of Niece. I get to enjoy friendship with my Aunts, I get to seek direction from the, to ask for their unbiased knowledge. I know by the way my cousins turned out that the knowledge is good work. I have the right and obligation of friendship without complication.

As a Daughter and Granddaughter I have the right and obligation to seek comfort and help in times of need. The relationship seems to change as you get older. You are there for them as much as they are there for you. You love them, they love you. You understand them better, they understand you because they have been there. You forgive, your give your forgiveness. You realize that you are more equals, and you do equally for one another.

I enjoy each of my roles and I am grateful for the divine nature of the human family, that we have people in our lives who we depend upon and who can depend upon us.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Video Games for Moms


child: [yes mine] My mom plays video games too, just she uses her words instead of cartoons.

me: what are you saying?

child: you know mom, that blogit thingy. You play with your words.

WHAT has our world come too???

Friday, September 4, 2009

#10 Postcard: Sunrise Over Fallujah

Dear Uncle Richie,

We were running from insurgents while in Fallujah. It was pitch black and the light of firing gun barrels lit up the sky. We were saving the children from the Iraqi men. One child was hurt and Jonsey ran to his rescue, I heard Miller call out, “He’s hit! He’s hit!” We carried Jonsey and the blind child to medics. I prayed for Jonsey not to die. The following day news came to me of Jonsey’s death; it hit me that even though he had dreams of going home to his blues club he would jeopardize that for an innocent stranger. It put in perspective just how serious this was, again.

We are all being relocated including me. I will be headed to Germany in a few days all alone to find new friends. Uncle Richie, I understand now why you didn’t talk to me about Vietnam. I think when I have children I won’t tell them about my going to war or what I’ve done here. I will tell them something because I want them to know about war. But are there really enough words to make them understand?



Thursday, September 3, 2009

#9 Postcard: Sunrise Over Fallujah

Dear Uncle Richie,

I had to go to the bathroom so badly, but as I went to open the door an Iraqi came out, his hand cusped over Captain Miller’s mouth. I saw his AK-47 and quickly shot his face. I saw the other man in the bathroom searching through his jacket. I tried to tell him to stop! Don’t move! But no words came out. I pointed my nozzle at his chest he struggled and I don’t remember firing, just seeing his head explode against the wall of the bathroom. I now rolled as someone who had killed. That was not a name I enjoyed, neither carrying nor the thoughts of it. I checked if Miller was ok. She said that I had saved her life but hadn’t saved her soul from being ripped apart. Oh how I wish I could have.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#8 Postcard: Sunrise Over Fallujah

Dear Uncle Richie,

The time is flying by so fast it but it feels like I’ve been over here forever! The funeral for Pendleton was today. News of one of our own dying confirms the fact that we all are constantly in life threatening situations over here. I think of how he showed us pictures of his two daughters and how when he got back he was sending them to college. As they flew his body off in the Medevac with the camera man I couldn’t help but cry.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#7 Postcard: Sunrise Over Fallujah

Dear Uncle Richie,

Today we were driving to PR green zone in the Humvee and a group of bandits shot at us hitting Victor in the legs and fingers. He will be ok, they think they can save all but two of his fingers, definitely his thumb though, so that’s good news. We’re all rattled but we’re getting used to loud gunfire and staying attentive. That’s how it is over here always hearing gunfire and having to be ready to act. It gets old but you cant let it get to you… you’ll go crazy!



on marriage

'Will you, um, marry me?' I haven't seen you in weeks! You don't look happy or excited about the prospect of our marriage! You're asking me to give up my - my freedom, my joie de vivre for an institution that fails as often as it succeeds? And why should I marry you anyway? I mean, why do you wanna marry me? Besides some bourgeois desire to fulfill an ideal that society embeds in us from an early age to promote a consumer capitalist agenda?