A MAJOR rant and a happy ending :-)

What a CRAZY weekend and week, for that matter!  I’m getting TOO freaking old for this, really.  lol  Today, I talked to somebody about my brother, who is a Leo.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the personality traits of a Leo, they’re just a tad self centered.  They’re STRONG and funny, but yes, the world as they see it, should ALWAYS revolve around them.  My brother came from the womb this way and he received many an a$$ kicking from me when he was little.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

This weekend, my brother suggested we have a birthday dinner for me.  He planned this with my husband.  I have to give little brother credit for even caring at all because I can’t remember a single birthday where he actually did anything for me.  Not that I mind… my birthday’s were something I’d like to forget, mostly because the brother that I shared every birthday with is gone.  I just wish they would come and go quietly, really.  Anyway, little brother planned a dinner.  You’d think it would be at HIS house right?  Nope.  He wanted to have the dinner at MY house so that my hubby can grill.  Little brother was going to provide the meat to be grilled but we had to do the sides.  He DID offer to HELP Hubby grill.

First of all, you know what having company means, right?  I have to clean.  The burden of cleaning and getting the house ready for company fell on me and my daughter.  I’m sure Hubby would have done it if I’d asked but he’s not good about details.  SO, I cleaned AND I made part of the dinner.  Once little brother arrived, he was “too sick” to help with anything. Hubby did it all while Little Brother went and laid down in my bed.  He had a headache and he was SURE that nobody in the world ever suffered from a headache such as he had.  Seriously.  I told him I understand headaches because I suffer from migraines but he told me that he knew I wouldn’t be able to LIVE with the kind of pain he suffered from.  Hmmm… how quickly he forgets that I have MANY a scar since I’ve been cut from my neck down to my belly button.  THAT’S nowhere near the pain Little Brother was having though.  So, I left Little Pumpkin to sleep in my bed while we got the food ready.

You might be interested to know what my birthday present was?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  My brother allowed me to take care of his baby daughters overnight and all the next day.  Thank GOD Hubby, Daughter and her friend helped me with this because I, myself, felt like complete crap.  Although, I’m sure my pain couldn’t compare to Little Brother’s.  I love my nieces, you all know I do.  I love them like they’re my own kids and why shouldn’t I?  They spend more than 2/3 of their life with me!  lol  It’s just that I’m tired.  And one of my nieces is possessed by the devil.  No joke.  I love her but she’s got some serious problems!  Far be it from ME to mention that to Little Brother because his progeny are perfect, just like him.  Oh and he really feels that if he tells me enough how I’m privileged to be able to watch them (because he won’t allow anyone else to take care of the little angels), I’ll look at it as my most honored privilege.  Only it’s my BIRTHDAY… so can’t I get a pass at least for this week?  Nope, I can not.

Little brother and his wife wanted/needed some time alone Saturday night so my family took care of my nieces.  3 of them.  Granted, the oldest one is a PLEASURE and no trouble at all.  The baby is also an angel, but you know how much time babies take, right?  Even the BEST baby is a handful!  lol  I could have said no, but I recognized that they don’t have time together (brother and wife).  They’re in their 40’s, like me and they get tired too.  So, just like he knew I would, I felt sorry for them and tried to FIX things.  So how did Little Brother and his wife spend their night together?  Little Brother was too sick to pay attention to his wife so he moaned and groaned and complained while she quietly read a book.  Wow.  What a waste.  Can’t he just fake it and TRY to act like he wasn’t the center of the universe?  It took SO much for my sister in law to rearrange her schedule just to be ABLE to spend an evening with her husband.  This was an evening he said he desperately needed with her.  I guess it was all good for him because she got the opportunity to dote on him and be concerned with his sicknesses.  She must be a saint.  I’d have killed him.

Yesterday, Sunday, the little angels were supposed to go home by noon.  They did NOT.  After noon, little brother called to tell me that his wife would be tied up at their oldest daughter’s tournaments until 5:00 p.m.  Did I want him to come and pick the kids up?  HELL YES, I wanted him to come right then!  Did he?  Nope.  He called his wife and asked her to leave the tournament, over an hour away, and come pick her kids up.  She couldn’t leave so the kids stayed here until after 5:00.  Little Brother had to go to the dump to empty trash and he actually said that he was going to be “stuck” with his kids for this entire week so he couldn’t come get them.  He’s a SAHD.  He doesn’t much like his role as Mr. Mom.  REALLY?  His poor wife works over 12 hours a day and still has to take care of the house and her kids when she gets home.  She NEVER has a break but my precious little brother needs a break.  Seriously, the kids are with me more than half the week, most weeks.  I guess I just thought that I would be exempt from having to watch the little darlings on my birthday.

Done with rant… kind of.  We made the best of the weekend, still.  I DO enjoy my nieces (when I’m feeling good).  I do NOT enjoy the devil that resides inside my 4 year old niece.  Luckily, Hubby was at home to restrain her from hurting herself this weekend.  She went into a RAGE, growling at us and slobbering because Hubby made her put a shirt on to go outside.  She feels like she should be naked all the time.  That would be fine with me if not for the fact that at 4, she’s getting a little too old and I don’t want some pervert driving by to look at her “business”.  lol  Hubby doesn’t “lose” it often, he’s got the patience of a saint.  However, even though he doesn’t believe in spankings, he had to administer one yesterday.  AND hold her so that she didn’t bang her head (on purpose) on the furniture.  I really can’t even describe her tantrums because I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Things DID settle down after the restraining incident and Precious Jr. became my Hubby’s best friend!  lol  Here they are cleaning up the playhouse.

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(this old playhouse was one we built for my 28 year old daughter when she was 4!  My youngest daughter and her friend ghettofied it with paint a few years ago.  Ignore the paint. Besides Hubby and Esme’ are going to paint it white and also make a sign that says “Esme’s Playhouse 🙂 )

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Here’s my teenage munchkin and her bff helping to keep the baby occupied so that I could do my birthday dishes.  lol  These kids were a LIFE saver!  Eventually, my daughter’s bff took off because she couldn’t take it anymore.  lmao

Once the babies left, we all got the heck out of Dodge and went to Dairy Queen!  There’s not much that ice cream doesn’t fix, right?  We ended the day with lots of laughs and fun and yumminess 🙂  All is good again at my house!

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(Hubby contemplating the Oreo Blizzard that will be coming his way soon)

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Hannah the bff, enjoying her ice cream, maybe a little TOO much!  lmao  BTW… she’d KILL me if she knew I posted this pic 😉  You can see that my daughter didn’t have much time this weekend to take care of her own very special hair needs?  hehehe

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Life is good again and everything’s fixed, all because of a little ice cream 🙂

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Hmmm…. maybe I should pay attention to my OWN hair and grooming needs?  Naw.  I didn’t give two $hi*$ about who was looking at me.  Sometimes, you just have to NOT care and enjoy your ice cream 🙂

Hope you all had a spectacular weekend?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Color

There’s color even in the dead of winter. This is a pic of a sunrise over Sunnen Lake at the YMCA Trout Lodge in Potosi MO during February.

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
― Oscar Wilde

The Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson, a book review

Product Details

The Madness Of Mary Lincoln 

by Jason Emerson

Southern Illinois University Press

Description from the back cover:

“This compelling story of the purposed insanity trail of one of America’s most tragic first ladies covers Mary Lincoln’s life from childhood to death and asserts that she suffered from bi-polar disorder.  Utilizing a set of letters that had been lost for eighty years, Jason Emerson shows how Mary Lincoln’s predisposition toward psychiatric illness and a life filled with mental and emotional trauma led by her son, Robert T. Lincoln, to commit her to an insane asylum.  Named Book of the Year by the Illinois State Historical Society, The Madness of Mary Lincoln is a gripping historical page turner.”

This one had me turning pages quickly!  The Madness of Mary Lincoln was recommended to me by a one of the women who worked at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.  She was a volunteer historian and Lincoln specialist.  There are a million books written on Abraham Lincoln and his crazy wife, Mary.  Of course I’m interested in history but more specifically, the “dirt” that remains in history!  lol  What can be more dirty than an insanity trial where a presidential son puts his mother into an asylum?  Much has been written about the insanity of Mary Lincoln but this one was recommended because it’s a little different due to it’s extensive reference and research, also the fact that the author based his book on the “lost insanity letters”.  Not much has been written with these lost letters in mind.  VERY interesting and if you read it, you just might come away with a new feeling for Mrs. Lincoln and new insight into her illness.

I’d read much about how “insane” Mary Lincoln was and with the other books came a feeling that I would truly not like the woman.  I’d always felt that I’d despise her son, Robert, too.  What son puts his mother in an insane asylum after all she’d gone through just to put his hands on his family’s fortune?  Ahhhh,, SO not true were my beliefs.  First of all, it might surprise you to know that the Lincoln fortune really didn’t exist, as far as fortunes of the late 1800’s go.  Robert L. Lincoln had quite a lot of money in his own right and didn’t need his mother’s money.  Another thing I realized after I finished this book was that Robert really did love his mother and felt completely burdened by her actions and by her insanity.  He was a tortured soul who didn’t WANT to have his mother committed or declared insane.  It became necessary to protect her from herself.  After reading this book, I had a whole new sympathy for Robert, the only surviving son of Mary and Abraham Lincoln.

I also walked away knowing that I would have probably REALLY liked Mary Lincoln!  I’m almost afraid to admit this but I saw a lot of similarities between her personality and my own.  Okay maybe not when she became paranoid or manic, but when she was demanding and “wanted what she wants when she wants it”.  THAT part.  I’m that way too.  I felt tremendously sorry that she just kept living after losing 3 of her sons and the husband that shielded her from reality.  She’d pretty much lost every reason to WANT to live.  I’m wondering how many of US could live after so much tragedy?  Untimely death didn’t just begin with her children, it started with the death’s of her mother and father and then sisters and brothers.  Wow.  I can tell you that I’d be insane too!  She didn’t want to live anymore and she did whacky things.  I’m pretty sure I would have too.

I still have questions about whether she was truly insane.  I see the similarities in her behavior and the behavior of my step daughter who’s also been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.  The question remains with some mental health workers, whether or not Mary Lincoln was “emotionally insane” – insanity brought on by living through so much tragedy and sadness – or “mentally insane”.  There’s also a question now about whether or not her behavior was brought on by physical illness.  Maybe she wasn’t insane at all but she suffered from illness that had no diagnosis back then.  Some people think so.  A reoccurring theme with Mary Lincoln was that even during her “insanity” , she communicated with family and friends in a lively and “sane” way. I guess we probably wouldn’t even believe she was insane if we’d met her today.  However, those who knew her best, witnessed self destructive habits.  Even suicidal tendencies.  Again, I seriously don’t blame the poor woman for wanting death to come quickly.  Who knows what any of us would do if we walked a mile in HER shoes?  Many people who attended her funeral say that she appeared to have died with a smile on her face.  Like she was finally at peace.  Poor woman.

I’d give this book 2 thumbs up based on the amount of research that went into writing.  There were also more facts than I’d ever heard about and it painted a clear picture of what Mary Lincoln’s personality was like.  I really enjoyed it and didn’t find the writing style to be dry, as so many other historical books are.  I finished this one a LOT quicker than I thought I would 🙂