Saturday, April 30, 2005

A delightful bowl of tidbits. Again

Folks, this is going to be the trend for the next two and a half weeks. You will just have to put up with the sporatic, tidbit-filled posts. I'm a horrible blog owner and I'm sorry. Forgive?

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Friday I went skating with Sam's class. If you want to find muscles that you haven't used in awhile, just for kicks and giggles, go roller skating. I took Abby a few years back and didn't fall once. Not the case yesterday. And just a note: 6 year olds, when they fall, can jump right back up and continue on. 32 year olds, when they fall, have to crawl their fat selves to the wall and pray that no one is looking.

The original plan was skating and a picnic, but since the frickin' weather has gone from pleasant, above normal temperatures to the Arctic Tundra in a matter of a week, the picnic was nixed. (And while we haven't actually experienced tundra-esque weather, it's still really cold). So upon leaving the skating rink, my neighbor Dana, asked if we could put our kids on the bus to go back to school because she needed to stop at Lowe's. Yeah baby. A No-Kid Trip to any store, even Lowe's, is a total score. By the time we finished her home improvement errand, the picnic in the lobby of the gymnasium was half over. I stood there and watched the kids finish up, visited with the teachers and a parent or two, then walked back over to the classroom. As much as I want to see Fat Albert, the thought of watching it with nearly 40 kindergarteners kind of put a damper on my desire. So I skipped out of the cinematic experience. I was going to go home and do some much-needed housework, then as the day worn on gloomier and colder my thoughts turned more to a nap instead. And upon leaving the school, the casino began to call.

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Yes, I skipped my son's field trip day to gamble. Nope, no compulsive gambling here. I won $130, so hush.

I managed to blow the afternoon. I didn't talk to anyone except for a few exclamations when my stranger/neighbor on the next machine would win something or to reply to my neighbor/stranger's exclamation when I won or to accept congratulations when the cashier said "And good luck to you!" as she'd hand me my winnings. It was nice to just sit in the smoke-filled casino and drink free pop and mindlessly hit a button all afternoon. Sometimes I just need to do that.

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I got home in time to meet the bus, fed the kids an early dinner and we went to town for karate. Sensei cut his hair off!!! And upon realizing the surprising new fact that his oh-so-sexy ponytail down the middle of his back was missing, I was momentarily disappointed and thought that quite possibly I wouldn't find him attractive anymore, but then I looked at his tight, lean, hot body and his gorgeous face and decided that I could still continue with my crush. Life is still good.

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We stopped at Wal*Mart after karate for groceries, which is our usual post-karate activity. I bought a super cool Napoleon Dynamite poster and it will be affixed to my office wall by tomorrow. Yessssssss. Oh yeah, we got food and stuff, too.

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Paul was playing PS2 when we got home and the house was all toasty. Not from an actual fire in the fireplace, but from his retarded firetrap of a kerosene heater which he insists is a much better alternate heat source. Fact of the matter is, he doesn't want to go out and split any more wood for the fireplace. But it made the house warm last night, so I only complained of the stench once or twice. I wanted to go to the movies, but the theatre in town has quit playing The Ring 2 already and I didn't want to drive to Joplin to see it. So we called the sitter and we visited with the benevolent Turtle.

I have decided that I would see more profits from my gambling if I would leave the husband at home. Or if I do take him, if I would quit giving him my money. Over the course of the evening I gave him over $100 of what I won. Grrrr. I am too nice. When he won half of that $885 jackpot did I see any of that? Nope. When I won $516 the other night, did I give him $100 when I walked in the door? Yep. I also gave him $50 when we walked into the Turtle last night, then throughout the course of the evening gave him over $50 more. Mooch. That's what he is, a mooch. And I'm an idiot for letting him.

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I nearly got a tattoo out of the evening ,though. A guy I graduated high school with has been on a really lucky streak as of late. He was playing again last night and we were talking about how I have managed to blow all of my $516 winnings (minus what I'm tithing out of it) already and how I didn't get the tattoo I wanted. He asked how much I needed for it. When I told him $50 he said, "Well, I can win that in 10 minutes." I laughed and said, "Well, great. Then YOU can go get a tattoo then!" Later when I walked back down to see how he was doing he asked if I'd won enough for that tattoo yet. Right when I shot him a dirty look that said no, he got a bonus game. He said, "Tell you what, if I win the $110 on this spin, I will take you to Joplin tomorrow and get you that tattoo." Then he had me pick the winning "jewel". Dadgum it all if I didn't pick the one that only had $30 behind it. So much for that. I think he knew I was unlucky and his chances of actually having to buy me that tattoo were slim to none.

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Today was supposed to begin construction on the Greatest Playhouse Ever Built and when the guys got out there to start putting the floor frame together they discovered that instead of leaving Home Depot with nine 10-foot 2x6's, they only left with two. Oops. They kind of got sidetracked somehow. You know how men are in home improvement stores. So that put Phase One on hold till tomorrow. Paul is at Lowe's in Grove right now picking up the missing lumber and they will commence to constructing again tomorrow after work. As soon as the guys drove up this evening, Sam ran into the house, got his Home Depot carpenter's apron, filled it full of his tools, put on his Bob the Builder hardhat and headed out the door. Oh my gosh, it was cute.

He wants to connect with his daddy so badly. Too bad Paul has a hard time realizing that sometimes. I'd like to whack him upside the head with one of those 2x6's and make him realize what he's missing out on. Don't get me wrong, he's a good daddy and he's better than he used to be and a far cry better than his dad was, but still he gets caught up in the big stuff (ie, building a playhouse of TajMahal proportions) and sometimes loses sight of the little, more important, stuff (like wanting to be so much like daddy that you dig out the tool belt you haven't played with in months, but you see daddy wearing one so now you must wear one, too).

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My kids think I am the coolest mom ever tonight, btw. I let them eat dinner in the toyroom while they watched American Dragon, Jake Long. I am so cool. Now they're getting bubble baths just to cinch the deal. I might somehow win back a nomination for Mother of the Year. It's a longshot at this point, but I'm still hopeful.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Eyes. Involuntarily. Closing. Must. Sleep.

We picked up our children from my mother's house at 3am. Yep. We are fully aware that we are horrible parents.

Last night was the Comedy Club at Buffalo Run. The first act was awful. Just awful. There were several of those "cricket" moments where he cracked a joke that was obviously funny to him and nothing. Nada. Zip from the crowd. He was from LA. He made fun of rednecks. See, here's the deal - if you are a redneck you are permitted to make fun of rednecks all you want. If you are a recovering addict, smartass, homophobe from Cali you are not allowed to make fun of rednecks. Chances are, you keep that shit up and you will get your ass kicked. He has had HBO and Showtime specials, too. They must've had writers for him on those because the crap he did last night sucked. The second guy, however, was a total hoot. I laughed till I cried. Well, the tears from my left eye could've very well been from the Schmirnoff Ice that my sister so preciously splashed into it. We couldn't bring bottles into the theatre so we had cups of our drinks. She made a snotty comment just as I took a drink, so instead of interrupting my drink (God forbid) I just lifted my middle finger while I was still drinking. She took it upon herself to hit my middle finger and in turn, sploshing half of a Schmirnoff into my face, down my shirt, sweater and jeans. My bangs were half soaked, my makeup was sticky the rest of the night and my eye kept watering. She's so gonna see my wrath over that one. I don't know how I'm going to get her back just yet, but she's gonna pay. MUAH hahahaahahah

We played at the Buffalo after the comedy show was over. Around 12:30am we headed for the Turtle. We lost money. "We" as in The Hoovers. Sis came home $110 up, the little snot. The Hoovers didn't fare so well. Grrr. Granted, everything we spent was winnings so it's not like we were blowing bill money or anything, but still, I get really pissed off at myself when I don't stop when I should. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I really get cranky about it. Oh well. I still have enough left out of my $516 to tithe and get my tattoo, so I'm happy.

Kadybug spent the night with Sis tonight and the house is so quiet. She's only one little girl, but obviously she brings a lot of noise to the table. Ab and Sam are simply worn out, too, so that might be part of the reason the house is quiet. We're all tired of running and going and doing. The last three weeks of school are always like this and there's really no way to prepare for it. You just do it and pray that the end comes quickly. We have some kind of activity or event anywhere from 3 to 5 days/nights a week from now till school's out. That's just wrong, people. That's too much. But what do you do, the things have to be done. We just fly on auto-pilot awhile, that's all. From end of the year awards dinners, to field trips, to Track and Field Day, to Beach Day, to Kindergarten Graduation, to Talent Show to complete and utter insanity, we'll cover it all in the next few weeks.

Well, I'm off to veg on the couch. I plan on being asleep by 9 tonight. Tomorrow's the Kindergarten Field Trip and whoo hoo - it's off to the SKATING RINK. The skating rink. Oh my gosh, I'm going to the skating rink. I'll be okay if they leave the disco ball off. They turn that thing on and I look like a blindfolded drunk monkey out there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I got new STUFF!

Last night was our money management class. Next to the last one and frankly, I'm glad. The class has changed my life, improved my marriage and made me a more stable person, but dang, I need my Tuesday nights back! (You can pretty much guarantee that Mr. Diva is going to be a cranky-ass prick on Tuesday nights all because of his poor pathetic soul being inconvenienced. Grr. But we shan't go there.) Next week's class they are feeding us, so that's always a plus, too. Of course, they were going to get Charlie's Chicken (the best fried corn nuggets you'll ever eat, I swear) but then some dumbass who works at Pizza Hut offered to give them a deal. I mean, free food is free food, but dadgummit I would've preferred free fried corn. Oh well.

So last night I took the kids with me to class. Thankfully there were only 6 people there and no one cared. They were really good. Of course, they were threatened before we entered the building. After class I took them to McD's for some McYummy McFood that gives me the McRuns and I let them get Happy Meals. Normally we don't spring for the Happy Meals because back when I discovered FlyLady, I learned the fine art of downsizing and minimizing and basically getting rid of the crap. I decreed that Happy Meals would be no more and you know what - the kids were okay with that! I was figuring a whining fit of volcanic proportions would ensue, but they were okay with it. I think they were tired of the clutter, too. But right now they have The Dog and The Cat toys and the kids really wanted them because "all the kids at school have them and they are so cool and oh mom can we can wecanwecanwecanwe" and heck, they really were good during class. I relented. We now have a Boxer The Dog, a Russian Blue The Cat and a Siamese The Cat.

And then, because I was already in a benevolent and giving mood, I took them to Wal*Mart and bought them The Incredibles (the 2-disc pack because I'm that cool) AND Kidz Bop 7 (because I'm even cooler than I thought I was) and the children were happy. I also bought a RF modulator for our bedroom TV (bought it used, it's really old) because husband bought me a DVD player for the bedroom last week. I told him I wanted to be able to watch Napoleon Dynamite in the bedroom while he watches The Outdoor Channel. He went out immediately and bought a DVD player and presented it to me. I thought he was being sweet until I saw him relocating his dirty movie collection to the bedroom. Yeah, bonk chicka bonk bowwwwwwnnnnggggggg was all he had on his mind. Ach.

While we were back in Electronics, I looked at some CDs that I've been kind of wanting. I checked out that oh so gorgeously curly headed Dierks Bentley and the equally adorable long-haired Blake Shelton (Whom I have seen in concert, met and have an actual picture of me with his arm around me and I was really drunk) as well. But couldn't decide if I wanted to actually purchase a whole album just so I could have their pictures available to me at any given time or if I'd rather just go to Wal*Mart.com and download the good songs for .88 and just visit their websites for pictures.

I decided on this instead of the hunky CDs:
New toy
I love new toys.

I probably need a job

I waste entirely too much time.
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Kristin Dawn Hoover's Aliases

Your movie star name: Cheetos Leo
Your fashion designer name is Kristin Paris
Your socialite name is Kiki Vegas
Your fly girl / guy name is K Hoo
Your detective name is Dog Wyandotte
Your barfly name is Wheat Thins Schmirnoff Ice
Your soap opera name is Dawn Route Two
Your rock star name is Whatchamacallit Train
Your star wars name is Krijak Hootra
Your punk rock band name is The Tired Garden Gnome

The Amazing Meganame Generator


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Your Japanese Name Is...




Suki Inoue



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Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Dixie
10% Midwestern
10% Upper Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?


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You May Be a Bit Dependent ...



You're more than a little preoccupied with being abandoned.
You need a lot of support in your life, at all times.
It's difficult for you to survive on your own...
And you don't reallly think you ever could.

What Personality Disorder Are You?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Now that I have a sizeable amount of caffeine in my bloodstream . . .

. . . I can procede to blantantly brag about my casino fortune. Hey, $516 is a fortune to me! And to a lot of the people I was with last night, too. Well, except for Tanya of "You're Not Going To Write About This On Your Little Internet Thing, Are You" fame who WON A 2005 MUSTANG last night. Her Mustang WAY outranks my $516. And I'm okay with that.

My neighbor, Dana, had a really, really rotten day yesterday. The last time she had a rotten day, I took her to Ladies' Night. What better way to forget your troubles than to mindlessly plug your money into a garbage disposal slot machine? We met up with the group down at the Lucky Turtle, where I had a scrumptuous Frito pie for a mere $2.25. I even drank water, which goes against my very nature, but as my mother so reminded me, the pop inside the casino is free. I paid for my $2.43 dinner and put the change in my pocket. Upon entering the casino I filled out my little slip of paper, received my Sharpie mark upon my hand and snatched my $5 from the nice lady. A RedBall machine was open and I was making a beeline for that mother. You may not realize just how hard it is to find an open RedBall machine at the Turtle. There are only 4 of them in the casino and they are always in demand. I nearly punched a poor innocent college kid one night when he tried to sit his skinny Wrangler'd ass in the chair in front of the machine I'd been stalking. So when I saw that machine open I abruptly, and probably rather rudely, ended the conversation I'd been having with Dana and the nice money lady and ran for the machine. I put in their five and a five of my own. I picked my numbers and began to play like a fiend. I played it down to $3 then started fishing around in my pocket for the two singles I'd gotten back in change from dinner. Dana said, "I see you digging for money. You are not going to put more in there are you?" I said, "I am going to play this $3 down, put in two more and then I'll be done." The next spin took my balance down to $2.50 and I RedBalled. The screen turned red and I thought "Oh goody!" I was betting 7 numbers and it hit 6 out of 7. That was good. But the machine turned red again and that is even better. If it bonus spins off of a bonus spin it is usually a big payout. I hit 7 out of 7 numbers and won 10,000 nickles. My machine started making noise, I was attracting attention, Dana was going "Well, look at that, you just won 516 nickles." I said, "OH MY GOSH NO DANA I JUST WON FIVE. HUNDRED. AND. SIXTEEN. DOLLARS. I think I'm going to faint." She said, "No, not dollars, nickles. Now let's see... 516 nickles is how many dollars...." and I turned around to her, pointed at my machine and said, "Dollars. Dollars, Dana. DOL-LARS." She goes, "You little shit." The lady on the machine next to me, who just happens to be another GS leader in our Service Unit, leaned over and quietly said, "I think now would be a good time to cash out." A woman who works in the casino said that no one ever wins the jackpot on RedBall. Well, I did.

I snatched the ticket from the machine and yelled, "My family! I must find my family!" and tore off around the corner and the first person I saw was Tanya who, although she isn't technically family, sufficed and I shoved the ticket in her face. She pulled back and said, "Woah. Can't read it this close to my fa-does that say $500?????" My mom heard the words "$500" and said, "WHO WON $500??? MY DAUGHTER??????" I gotta say, I loved the commotion I was causing. I cashed out and then walked out into the lobby to call my husband.

Me: Hey you. You busy?
Him: Nah. What's up?
Me: How are the kids?
Him: Fine. What's up?
Me: How much do you love me?
Him: That depends. How much did you just win?
Me: Oh....just $516.
Him: Holy shit. Are you shittin' me? No shit?
Me: Honey, are the kids right there?
Him: Yeah.
Me: You need to emphasize that you are very excited and "shit" isn't something they need to say, k?
Him: K. Shit....did you really win $516? Holy shit....
Me: Honey. Ixnay on the itshay.

The computer screen is blinding me

It's 6:51am.
I got in bed around 12:30am.
Coffee is done. Must get some.
Thanks to those who sent me get-well wishes.
I felt better yesterday - enough so to go shopping in Joplin, even though I regretted the tots and chicken sandwich I ate.
I also spent a lot of money on flip-flops. I didn't regret that.
Last night was Ladies' Night.
I won $516.

WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now. . . where's that coffee. . .

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sleep, viruses, snot, sweat and David Blaine

Last night Paul got a wild hair up his ass and wanted to make a casino run to the Turtle. And who am I to turn down a casino run? We called a sitter and off we ran. Okay, we drove. Anyway, we proceded to gamble and really enjoyed just being together and out of the house. About 15 minutes before we left I noticed my right hand was shaking. Strange, I thought, but I felt fine. By the time we got in the truck and on the highway I started feeling very, very wrong. I felt really weak and dizzy, my head started pounding all of the sudden, I broke out in a sweat and my mouth started watering. A barf was on its way, I just knew it. I managed to reign it all in till we got home, hit the door and ran for the bathroom. Oddly, I was unable to puke. Don't you hate that? I considered the ol' finger down the throat trick just to make it all go away, but man, I really hate to puke so I just remained miserable. I took two Tylenol for the headache and two Benadryl for the nausea and crashed on the couch sitting straight up. I woke up 30 minutes later with another barf false alarm. At that point I figured that chances are I wasn't going to puke so I went to bed. I woke up 5 hours later with the right side of my body dead as a tree trunk from sleeping in one position for 5 hours solid. Ouch! I got up and took two more Tylenol because now I felt like I had a fever. I went back to bed and slept until the kids started whining for breakfast around 8. Actually I believe it was Sam that was doing a bang-up job of going "Mom, it's 8:21..........now it's 8:22......did you hear that, Mom? 8:22..............ooh now it's 8:23........Mom? Can I have Cookie Crisp for breakfast if you ever decide to get up? Yep, now it's 8:24........" I'd have smacked him except I didn't have the strength.

I managed to remain vertical for the next 3 1/2 hours and then it was all over but the crying. I took a shower because I'm pretty sure I smelled like ass. All that did was make me cold. I ate lunch. That didn't help either. The grilled cheese sandwich I had eaten, but hadn't tasted, was sitting like a ball of play-doh in my stomach and I was weak and shakey and chilling. I told the kids that they were going to get to watch as many movies as they wanted because mommy was sick and mommy needed sleep. Fortunately the neighbor called and wanted to know if the kids could come up. I drove them up there, asked for their mercy and 2 hours of babysitting so I could sleep. What awesome neighbors I have. I took some Motrin and some Benadryl and crashed for 2 hours. I called up there and had the kids walk home. While they were walking home I dragged out the three boxes of My Scene Barbies that the kids rarely play with and I stuffed them into a closet because I was tired of stepping on chunky heeled doll boots and mini-boom boxes. They were ecstatic to find that awaiting them when they got home. I was ecstatic that they were ecstatic and I crashed on the couch to sleep till 5. Roughly 5 hours of sleep this afternoon, folks. And I'm still exhausted. My poor children have been so neglected.

I considered calling Jill to tell her I'm sick and just holeing up again tomorrow, but I have too much to do, to be honest. I have GOT to get up to the Girl Scout store tomorrow to get my girls' badges and patches for our end of the year Brownie Badge Barbecue. Yeah, I made up that title alllllll by myself. The girls think it's a riot, though, so hush. And just more piddly stuff to do - like clean the house before DHS is alerted to the biohazard status we are about to reach. I think they're already suspicious of my horrific mothering abilities this weekend, anyway. And Mr. Diva is off on Tuesday and we are going to start the big bathroom remodel which includes scraping, cleaning, Kilzing and painting a partial wall, then Kilzing and painting the rest of the bathroom walls and cabinet, assembling a new cabinet and hanging up butterflies wherever we can find spots to hang them. Then when that's all done Sis is going to come in and paint bugs, butterflies and snails all over the place. Yes, I will take pictures.

For now, I'm going to go sleep. My hands feel strangely like Jell-o and my eyes are closing involuntarily. Man, I hate being sick.

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Note:
Oh yeah, I hit publish before I realized I hadn't written about why David Blaine's name is in the title of this post. Man, he is one freaky-ass dude. Anyone else think that? I get the major willies even looking at him. I may be wrong, and I hope I am, but that dude cannot be working for the Good Guy. The crap he does just seems a little too demonic for my taste. No kidding - just watching him on TV makes me feel like I need to pray and have a spiritual cleansing. His voice has no nothing in it - no emotion, no inflection, no nothing. Dude, that is wrong. We watched a special about Alain Nu and he was entertaining. His illusions and "magic" were intriguing and captivating. Then after that a special on David Blaine came on and that is why I'm out here on the computer now. I couldn't handle watching him any longer. Even sitting out here hearing his voice is making me shiver. Ach.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

More family pictures

Okay, so I told you I was going to post pictures of my friends and me back in Jr. High and High School... Really, I'm still going to do that. I just got all caught up in scanning and messing around with these family pictures that I couldn't resist posting them, too. The whole photo blog thing is really awesome and I hate it that my first Photoblog Friday turned into a Photoblog Saturday, but it's been on my mind and first thing this morning I started going through old photo albums to find THE perfect pictures of Magnet Lady with hair bigger than mine and My Neurotic Friend with countless different hairstyles and colors...oh yes, friends I am posting my little heart out. But in the meantime -

Cousin Stacey's darling husband, Larry, took this precious snapshot of me looking like a retard. I was going to pose with my cheek resting on the back of my hand, like a classic Sears Portrait Studio shot, but he was a little quick on the draw.

Hamming it up

Sis, me, Cousin Stacey and Mom under the glamorous sign of the Lucky Turtle Casino in the metropolis of Wyandotte, OK. Yeah, it cut us off from the chest down, but he wanted to get the sign in the pic. Plus, we all have big asses anyway - you aren't missin' much. Actually... you're missin' a lot, LOL. I slay me...

Turtle! Turtle!

And finally, one last antique. Me, Scott and Stacey. Does this shot not crack you up? I'm looking at him like "What the hell did you just DO, cuz?" and Stacey's all like, "Quick, everyone sit still and maybe the grownups won't notice!"

Three Little Cousins

Cousins

Stacey and Kristin - 30 some years ago:

Little Cousins

Kristin and Stacey - today, in all of our diva-esque glory:

Big cousins

American Freaking Honda

On July 3, 2002, Paul had a motorcycle vs. car accident. This was the first time either of us had ever been in a serious vehicle accident. When the nice fella from Progressive came out to our house one afternoon and sat with us, commiserated with us, felt sorry for us (or so we thought) we were won over by his salesman-ish charms. He cut us a check for a lot of money and were told that it was over, done, finit, ba da bing ba da boom, we were done with that nasty mess. We actually had two agents working for us - one that handled the medical issues, one that handled the actual motorcycle issues. The medical one was the nice one. The motorcycle one, not so nice. He eventually started not returning phone calls and when we could get hold of him he was vague and curt and just generally not nice at all. Now keep in mind that I said this was the first time either of us had ever dealt with our insurance company over anything more than hail damage. When we were told the title was released and the account was paid in full, we believed them.

Silly us.

One year and 3 weeks after the accident we got a nasty letter from American Honda Finanace Corporation that said we owed them $1500-something. We called Progressive and they were of NO HELP WHATSOEVER. We called Honda and they said they only received a check for part of what was owed and we were responsible for the rest. And they weren't nice either. A month later we received another letter from them, still saying we owed them money, but it was roughly $450 less than the first letter. (Remember that $450 - it comes back to haunt later in the story.) Grrrr... get your act together, Honda. So Paul basically said, let 'em sue us, we'll declare bankruptcy before we pay them.

Another year passed and we got a letter from a "law office" which is actually a collection agency. Some incredibly rude woman who felt compelled to eat really loud food any time she spoke on the phone with me, was our account representative. We ended up settling for nearly $700 and she said the account was settled in full, we were no longer responsible for any more financial payments, the account balance was zero, yada yada yada. One year later, we got a letter from a collection agency that didn't even pretend to be a law firm, and said we still owed them $449.99. I then contacted Ms. Rosalyn "I Must Eat When I Speak With You" Freeman and she was more than happy to send off a letter, stating that our account balance was zero. I then typed up a letter to the new collection dude, sent it and a copy of Ms. Smacky-pants' letter and we weren't bothered anymore. I even called them to make sure the account was settled.

Now, it's April 2005 and the other day the internet answering machine picked up a call for Paul from someone named Tina("You fat lard"), yet Tina had no place of business that she wanted to share with me on the machine, so I did not return her call. You don't tell me who you are with then you don't want me to call you back. That's my policy. Two days later Ms. Tina Who Has No Place Of Business, became Ms. Tina With The Newest Collection Agency Assigned To Make Your Life Hell. She informed me that Paul owes American Honda $449.99. I immediately stated that no he does not, explained that the account was settled. Of course, I didn't have my file cabinet opened for her convenience, I had dinner going on the stove, a house full of kids and she was more than a little put out when I couldn't tell her the exact amount of money we settled the account with. I told her she could call me back in 30 minutes and I'd have any information she needed, but she obviously had someone else to harass and couldn't get back with me, but kindly offered to put this new information in my file. How sweet of her! She's precious, that Ms. Tina etc etc.

I mentioned it to Paul and of course, he BLEW UP. I said to let it ride awhile, see how actively they pursue it and in the mean time I'd get together all of the correspondence and cancelled checks from previous years. Today he got the mail. Imagine: Grassy lawn-mowing husband maxing out the mower as he hightails it up the driveway with collection letter in hand, busting through the backdoor and yelling "Give me the cell phone, woman! I'm going to kick some Honda butt!!" It totally ruined the quiet of the house and my then-present state of blogging nirvana.

Monday morning I will be calling both the collection agency and Honda once more. Except this time I'm going to threaten Honda with harassment. I mean, if they don't want the account settled for anything less than $499.99, then don't "allow" us to settle with the collection people repeatedly. If you want it all, say it, folks. Doesn't mean you're going to get it, but you could at least make your wishes known. I am sick of this!

Obviously it hasn't marred our credit too awful much. We just bought a $33,000 pickup and Chrysler finance didn't even bat an eye. But when we bought the truck we bought that extra little bit of gap insurance that pays the ENTIRE BALANCE OF THE LOAN in the event of the accident. That's where we got screwed on the bike. He had owned the bike all of 5 weeks when he had the wreck. Obviously we owed more than the bike was worth at that point because we hadn't made but one payment. So Progressive only paid on the value of the bike, not the total loan balance. This is something that Progressive should've told us. I mean, we're uneducated rednecks for cryin' out loud!

So in conclusion:
Progessive auto insurance sucks.
American Honda sucks.
Collection people that smack when they eat while they talk on the phone with you are rude.
If you call me and want me to return your call, you must tell me who you work for.
Paul has a temper, yet he mowed the yard today.
Always buy that little bit of extra insurance they offer you. Just in case.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pineapple tidbits

This post has nothing to do with pineapples. Just tidbits. But "pineapple" and "tidbits" just seem to go together, don't they?

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The baby still hates blogging and all things related to blogging. I can even say the word "blog" to him and he screams. What has blogging ever done to him?

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My washing machine drains now! I called a plumber at 8:30 this morning and he was here by 9:30. So now we've had enough heroes out here to rival Higglytown. The kids have loved it, though. They got to watch the "poop truck" yesterday and the "noisy truck"today.

$275 to get my washer to drain properly. Damn.

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I'm going to start doing a Photo Blog on Fridays. What do y'all think? Does that sound like something you'd just about trip all over yourself to make sure you checked my blog on Fridays? Just so you could see pictures of me, myself, my family and whatever else I choose to take pictures of? Huh? Huh? I got new Pink Panther flip flops yesterday. Wanna see pictures of those? (They really are pretty cool.) Anyway, I think tomorrow's Photo Blog is going to be me and my friends (Neurotic Friend and Magnet Lady - look out!) in jr high and high school. Make sure you visit tomorrow! You know you are dying to see me with really, really big hair. Admit it.

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Okay, the screaming has reached a pitch that only dogs can hear and we now have a herd of strays in the front yard.

Why y'all got be hatin' the blog, Cute Baby?? Why?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ooh looky, it's Wednesday

My gosh, where has the day gone? It's already 4:19 and I have accomplished very little. I did manage a nap, though, so the day isn't a total wash. What is up with me and the naps lately? I thought spring was supposed to give us all energy! Oh yeah, now I remember why - MY ALLERGIES ARE KILLING ME. I feel like I've sucked chlorine water up my nose all the time, my eyes itch so badly that even gouging them out with unsharpened pencils wouldn't fix them and oh the snot. The copious amount of snot. I went outside today to pet my wonderful, faithful, protective wonder dog, Jake, who is completely black and discovered my dog to be green-tinted. You know how your car will get that yellowygreen haze on it in the spring? Well, my dog has that haze on him, bless his heart.

Speaking of my wonderful dog - gotta share this one. We got our income tax return last week and it's just sitting there in checkbook waiting to be spent. Was going to completely pay off that Discover card, but husband has a huge plan for the playhouse to beat all playhouses so the money has continued to sit awhile till he tells me the final damages. But I digress. Okay, so since the money was just sitting there and I already know that the Discover card isn't getting paid off, I decided to call the septic tank people and have them work their magic. I've only been having this problem since the day before Christmas Eve, so I figure it's about time. I am forever Pavlovian conditioned to jump up from whatever I am doing when I hear the washing machine begin to drain and make a mad sprint to the utility room where I skid in and smash the button in to turn it off before it sprays water everywhere. I really am trained to do this. I did it at Mom's last week. She thought I had lost my ever-lovin' mind. Anyway, boy I'm just jumping all over the place today. (Stacey, think it might be ADD?) Okay, so I called the septic place and she said she could have someone there at 11. Whoohoo! I'm thinking. What service. I quick put on a bra, because well, I wasn't wearing one and didn't want to offend. Turns out, offending was the last thing I needed to worry about.

At 5 minutes till 11 the dog starts barking his "Hey, owner people! Someone is coming up your driveway!" bark. I went to the front door to call him back because he really does try to get his bluff in on strangers. The letter carrier is scared to death of him. The guy hollered out the window and asked if my dog bit. I said, "Well, he shouldn't. At least, he never has before!" and we all had a merry little laugh. Then the guy got out of the truck. Oh my gosh, he had just time-warped in from Woodstock, I swear. He was filthy, unshaven, greasy hair in his face and hanging down past his shoulders, NO TEETH and when I say "no teeth" I mean HE HAD NOT ONE TOOTH IN HIS HEAD, I'm pretty sure. He really did look like a hippie. But he was polite and hey, that carries weight with me.

I then walked around the side of the house to show him where the cleanout is. He started looking for the septic tank and I struck up a conversation. I told him what we were having trouble with and how the washing machine backs up constantly. He stopped what he was doing and started walking toward me in order to explain the inner working of the wonderful world of septic systems. As he got to me, he took off his glove. OBviously, he moved too quickly and Jake, completely out of the blue, jumped at him, teeth bared and we actually heard his jaws snap shut! The guy jumped, I jumped and yelled "JAKE!!!!" He immediately cowered down and slunked back away from the guy. I told him in my meanest voice to go lay down, which will usually make him do a wounded soldier crawl as far away as possible, but he would not go. He sat right beside me, his hackles up and growling softly. The guy goes, "Ma'am, I thought you said your dog didn't bite." I replied, "Yeah. Well, he's never done that before." I was mortified that my dog was showing such horrible behavior around company, just like when your kid says "Look at that fat lady, Mommy!" in the middle of Wal*Mart, within earshot of said fat lady. But at the same time I was thinking "Dude, my normally calm, yet protective, dog just about took this guy's arm off and now I am borderline scared." I offered to chain him up and the guy was more than grateful to have himself and his helper guy out of harm's way.

Now, at this point, part of me is thinking that by chaining up the dog we are saving ourselves from a lawsuit. But part of me is thinking that as soon as I chain up the dog the guy could possibly attack me and then I'd be up the creek. But really the guy seemed pretty harmless, he just smelled funny. I went in the house while he worked his septic magic and didn't see him again until he was done. Poor Jake sat there pouting but would I could hear him growl when the guy came to the front door. When the guy was safely down the road, I unchained Jake and proceded to pet and scratch and tell him what a wonderful puppy he was and thanked him for protecting me. He seemed proud and even tinkled a little. I think I'm forgiven.

But the washing machine still backs up. I'm screwed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hello, my name is Kristin and I'm a Baptist

Okay, so I don't get this whole Pope thing. Really. All things Catholic confuse me, I'm afraid.

Do they just get to randomly pick their own pope name? Is there an email that goes around with a "Pope Name Generator", like the "Porn Name Generator" that we've all seen? (And admit it, you all probably know your porn name, too.)

Take your first childhood pet, use the second letter of their name and then pick a former saint whose name begins with that letter and that will be the main name. Then use your father's best friend's cousin's middle name to determine the second name. Lastly how many times you've seen the movie "Flashdance" determines which number you'll be. Of course this new guy, Benedict, I guess, had a father who didn't have a best friend or maybe his best friend didn't have cousins or something...

I guess they really do need to pick a new, more stately sounding name than their "real" names. Pope Ratzberger or whatever his name is just doesn't sound as priestly as Pope Benedict XVI, does it. Nah. Pope Marvin Schlepler wouldn't get the respect either. Pope Joe Bob Smith lacks a little as well. Of course, all I can think of when I hear Benedict is Benedict Arnold. I can't help it!

It's a good thing Baptists don't have to pick new names when they enter the ministry. They'd all pick Ulysses Bob the Nothing'th because we all know that most rednecks name their dog "Duke" (Unfortunately Ulysses wasn't a saint but what other name can you think of that starts with "U"?), nearly everyone has a cousin named "something Bob" (ie: Johnny Bob, Joe Bob, etc) and none of them have seen "Flashdance".

Monday, April 18, 2005

Little lessons

1. Babies should not eat wood chips. This makes babies cry. Not the actual eating of the wood chip - it's the taking away of the wood chip that makes them holler.

2. Babies do not like blogging. The screams emitting from the child's wide open maw right now are proof postive of that.

3. Babies are snot factories. Plain and simple. The big smear of green boogersnot on my left shoulder is testimony.

4. Babies like to eat Twister boxes. Two corners are oogey and wet now and the spinner board will never be the same.

5. Wood chips, glitter and dust bunnies stick to boogersnot smeared all over a baby's face. This just makes me realize what a horrible housekeeper I am. But you know, 3, 6 and 8 year olds don't rub their snotty faces in the carpet, therefore I didn't realize we had a wood chip, glitter and dust bunny problem.

6. Babies that cannot crawl still have an uncanny ability to scoot around until they get to where they want to be - ie, the Twister box, the fireplace and the video cabinet.

7. Formula burps smell really, really bad.

8. Babies find the movement of your fingers on the keyboard utterly fascinating. He's giggling like a loon now and blowing raspberries at me. I would blog all day if it would make him happy, but refer to #2 above - they do not blogging. He has just temporarily forgotten.

9. Even if they don't have teeth, when a baby grinds his little gums on the second knuckle of your thumb, it hurts like motherfucking hell.

10. I now remember why I got my hair cut off short when my children were about 6 months old. His chubby little slobber-laden fingers entwined in my tresses is pain, people. Pain, I say. It ceased to be fun before it got started.

11. My left boob has been pinched repeatedly for over an hour now and my shirt covering my left boob is covered in slobber. In another scenario, place and time, and with someone legal and over the age of 18, I would welcome this activity. Right now it's just damn annoying.


When your child outgrows baby-hood, you seemingly forget these lessons. Print out this list and post it in a conspicuous place. Feel free to add your own as necessary. I must go now - he has just remembered his loathing for all things blog.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Journey to Fulfillment (Careful, it's a long one. You might need a beverage.)

Funny how on any given day there are 40 katrillion children in my yard or house, depending on the weather. I love it. Every neighborhood's gotta have the house that all the kids go to - I am SO STOKED that I have that house. Talk about a life's goal coming to fruition.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mommy. As a child, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always, without hesitation or thought, a mommy. In junior high, teachers would talk about what a wonderful teacher I was going to be someday. In high school, the guidance counsellor gently directed me towards college and teaching. I bounced around a lot my senior year, trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I knew it had something to do with children and even though mommy was still high on the list of what I wanted to be, for some reason I felt pushed that staying at home was not an option for me. I was so "gifted", so "smart" and had "so much potential" and I hated the fact that what I wanted to do more than anything in the world was get married, have baby after baby and stay at home to raise them, yet no one would let me.

I still wonder why everyone pushed me so hard to seek a career in education. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know why they did it, but WHY did they do it when they knew dang good and well that I had no desire? I hope I don't sound conceited, but I knew I had the smarts to get any kind of degree I wanted. Okay, well maybe not one in math because I really suck at math. But what I'm saying is - and maybe it's because I've learned through my own mistakes - when someone has no earthly desire to do something why push them towards it?

Oh yeah, I went to college. (Go! Go! NEO!) I enrolled at the end of summer at our small 2-year college with a major in early childhood education. I was going to run a daycare. I didn't really want to run a daycare, but everyone seemed to think that was a good thing for me since I had so horribly disappointed everyone by not wanting to teach. I started out with 18 hours that semester. MISTAKE. The counsellor who enrolled me AND my father who stood there while I enrolled, allowed this. For one thing, I didn't want to go to college. Period. For another thing, my parents had just gotten divorced that summer and I hated everyone, everything and had a really pissy outlook on the world, the universe and life. And these dingbats let me enroll with 18 hours my first semester? HUH?

The semester started, I went to my classes with diligence, I took notes, I studied, I worked hard. I hated every second of it. I loved my English class, loved the teacher, loved everything about it. I hated the Biology class, not because I hated science, no it wasn't that. I just didn't like it. Government was horrible because I have always hated anything like that. I am a horrible citizen, I admit it. So not only was I in a class that I had no interest in, was bored to tears in, but the teacher and I HATED EACH OTHER WITH EVERYTHING IN OUR BEINGS. It wouldn't have mattered if I had said that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, he would've argued it with me. I would leave the class near tears every time. I loved my speech class, but hey I'm a dramatic diva and how could I NOT like speech class where everyone had to look at me, me, me when I spoke? I also had a technical theatre class that rocked. But funny how they wouldn't let me take only English and Speech/Drama classes. So I quit. My mother was disappointed. My father was disappointed. Guidance counsellor, yep. Okay. Who cared. Certainly not me.

So I got a job - IN A DAYCARE. I was the toddler teacher. I was part of the original staff of a new grass roots type center in town, funded by the state, but we had so much free reign. I loved it! I could just hear my uterus screaming every day, I wanted a baby so badly. I looked forward to work. I loved my babies. I loved the girls I worked with. I was engaged to be married. My life was perfect. Uterus was geared up and ready to go, babies would be deposited soon, I was sure of it.

Then suddenly, one fateful night, my uterine dreams came crashing down around me when my fiance said I was smothering him. (I really don't think I was. Here's a clue about his personality: The engagement ring I was wearing had been someone else's, too. Yeah. Can we say "committment fears"?) My best friend from high school was moving to Stillwater (Goooooo Cowboys!) and maybe I should go with? Not for school, just to get away, live on my own, get over a bad breakup. My mom got in touch with a girl who had a relative who got me a job, a really good job, and Cyndi and I moved into an apartment in a big ol' college town, 3 hours from home. I drank a lot. I partied a lot. It was FUN. But my ex-boyfriend from high school lived there as well and he still knew how to manipulate me. He would call me, saying he missed me so I'd go running, thinking I was what he needed, he loved me and we were going to get back together, but all he was doing was making booty calls. How dumb was I? I was incredibly homesick, I hated what he was doing to me, I wanted my mommy.

After one month, I moved home. Left my best friend in Stillwater, headed home to do God knew what and live with my momma once more. She was newly divorced, I was newly single. We were two depressing women, lemme tell ya. I scoured the newspapers every day and one day found a nanny type job. The pay was great, the kids were great, uterine pains subsiding, but still lurking there under the surface. I treated these girls as if they were my own and life was looking good once more.

Enter Paul.

Boom, three months from our first date we were married. I wanted a baby RIGHT THEN, but we were poor, neither of us working steadily so we waited. Then the light of Heaven shone down and rendered unto us jobs. And it was good. Yet no baby was begat. An endometrial biopsy showed that I was not ovulating, but hey, here's a pill that will make that happen. I took my temperature diligently and lo and behold, two lines appeared when my urine was applied to the little plastic test! A baby!

Uterine dreams fulfilled.

I had everything in the world I wanted. Okay, so we were renting still, but hey, I was married, I had something in my uterus finally and who cared if we didn't own an actual house yet.

But something was wrong. The ultrasound showed the baby was at 10 weeks and I knew I was 14 weeks along. I had the temperature charts to prove when I ovulated, I had taken the pills, a day or two might've been off on the date of conception, but not 4 weeks. The doctor didn't have a thing to do with the ultrasound and the tech was acting strange. She left the room to "check in with the doctor", came back and said that we'd just repeat the ultrasound in a few weeks. I left there with a very uneasy feeling and I was nearly hysterical by evening. Something wasn't jiving. So I made an appointment with a friend's OBGYN for two days later. He listened, thumped on my tummy and said since there was a discrepancy in the dates he wanted to do an ultrasound of his own.

I will never forget the feeling of drowning and blackness that overtook me when he patted my leg, put down the transducer and said, "I'm sorry, but your baby isn't alive." No this was not happening to me. My life was perfect. My baby was fine. I was not going to accept this. I passed out. When my eyes opened I saw my precious husband standing over me, tears flowing freely down his face and he looked very very tired. The doctor gave us a few minutes alone to sit and stare blankly at the wall and wonder what we had done wrong. Why? Why?

The baby died at 10 weeks, we found out at 14 weeks and I hadn't miscarried on my own. He blah blah blah'd on about "missed abortion" and my body not having enough hormones to register that the fetal death had occured. He told me to go home and wait, said eventually I would miscarry and that would be that. I was pregnant, yet I wasn't. My body said I was, yet at the same time my body mocked me. 5 weeks later, after not leaving my house for fear that "it" would happen out in public, after crying virtually nonstop 24 hours a day and withdrawing from my husband, who was just as devastated and confused as I was, I called him one day and said "I cannot continue on like this. I need closure. You have to make something happen NOW." I went in for a D&C 2 days later.

After that it became my heartfelt mission to have another baby. Soon. I waited the three months that the doctor considered safe. I started back on the Clomid to make me ovulate because my ovaries were in on the betrayal, right along with my uterus. After three months and no ovulating, he upped my dose to double. I was not only NOT pregnant, but I was now a raving, screaming, demonic lunatic from the pits of hell. No wonder I didn't get pregnant - my husband was scared of me. The doctor told me, after the third month on double doses, that I was simply not going to conceive. We didn't have the money for IVF, that was out. We had used up everything we had just to pay for the seemingly endless doses of Clomid I had taken. No, he said, we couldn't adopt either because we were too young. He told me to enjoy other peoples' children because I wasn't going to have any of my own. He was just a bundle of sunshine, wasn't he? I left in tears, cursing my uterus, cursing myself, cursing period. I went home that night, packed a bag and told my husband that I was leaving him because it wasn't fair to him that he live a childless life when he had the ability to have children. He grabbed me, held on so tight and told me that under no circumstance was he allowing me to leave, he didn't care if I had a cantankerous uterus, I was his - end of discussion.

He steered me towards adoption. We found a wonderful agency out of Tulsa that specialized in sibling groups, minority and hard to place children. We knew it might be hard, we knew we would be challenged, but we didn't care if we ended up with Cantonese quadruplets at that point so we forged ahead. We passed the initial stuff and had an appointment on Tuesday for our face-to-face interview. On Friday, I was nauseous and dizzy feeling. I had been on a round of progesterone to force a period, yet it hadn't happened when it should've. I teased "You know, the way I'm feeling, I'd swear I was pregnant." Hoo boy did we laugh about that one. Paul slapped my leg and said, "Yeah right. Like THAT'S going to happen." Saturday I bought a pregnancy test, but didn't tell him. Sunday morning I woke up at 5am, bladder full of urine and I snuck off to the bathroom. Imagine how I rubbed my eyes when two lines showed up on that test!!! I tapped in on the counter, (why,I dunno, lol) I rubbed my eyes again and sat there on the side of the tub staring in disbelief. When the timer went off after the alotted 2 minute time frame for a result, I ran to the bedroom, nightgown flying behind me. I pounced on top of my snoring husband, risking being punched mind you, and waved the test in his face. I said, "Mr. Hoover, are you ready to be a daddy?" He opened one eye and said, "Uhhhh....no. It is 5 am. No one is ready to be a daddy at 5am." Then, like a shot of electricity coursed through him, he sat bolt upright in the bed, knocking me off and said, "What did you just say?"

It was a very guarded first trimester. The doctor immediately put me on progesterone to sustain the pregnancy. At 9 weeks he did an ultrasound and things looked fine. 10 weeks was excruciating, but another ultrasound showed us a rapidly beating heart. At 14 weeks I cried the entire week. 19 weeks I cried more, but felt like I had accomplished something. 20 weeks and we saw our Abby sucking her thumb and kicking the transducer, ankles crossed and proudly showing her cooter to the world. I was whole. I was complete. I had a real, living, kicking, precious baby in my uterus.

After she was born the doctor said that we should enjoy her because chances are she would be our only. Non-ovulaters like me didn't just "get over it". He said to spoil her rotten and enjoy life.

Okay, so if you were told you would never conceive again, would you be too stringent on the prophylaxis?

We weren't either.

25 months later we had a Sam.

37 months after that we had a Kady.

If I thought I was complete before, you can't imagine how complete I feel now. And when I look out my front door and see those three children playing "adventure" in the yard and I hear the squeals when they chase the ducks and when my princess tells me "I lub you, momma" I know that no college degree could've fulfilled me any more than being a mother does. No high-paying job could ever make me swell with emotion like when I see my oldest daughter's toothless grin and clumsy Olive Oyl walk. No amount of money in the world could ever make me tear up in pure joy like smelling my son's hair when he's been playing outside all day.

I am so blessed. I am so thankful. I am so proud.

I'm a mom.

You know it's going to be a good week . . .

. . . when your Sunday starts off with you and the husband fooling around under the covers in the bedroom, giggling and laughing like a couple of horny teenagers, while the children watch cartoons in the front room. They're even better when you are blessededly given a no-strings-attached orgasm and he didn't even ask for a blow-job in reciprocation.

I wish every day was Sunday.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Happy Happy Birthday, Cousin Stacey!!

Okay, so the post is actually a day after her birthday, but really isn't it the thought that counts?

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Cousin Stacey and I hit the Lucky Turtle around 11 Thursday night and I pathetically lost $47 in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Stacey found a Jackpot Party machine and I saw her eyes get that familiar twinkle - the twinkle that says "It's genetic - I'm a gambling addict." Yep, it must be a Glenn thing. She found me around 12:15 and said, "Hey it's my birthday! Can I go ahead and get my birthday money now?" Well heck yeah! I sent her up to get her $10 and she gambled on it for quite awhile. By the time she was done with that, it was nearly 1am and that's when the Nite Owl party starts so we got in line around 12:50 and visited with some folks who drove an hour and a half to gamble at the Turtle. Hmh. I really planned on just taking the $10 and going home with it, then at least I'd only be $37 in the hole. But I got bored and it's really really hard for me to sit and watch someone gamble without being overwhelmed with the urge to daub my own machine. So I stuck the $10 in a Yahtzee machine and about 20 minutes later, cashed out with $51.83. So I actually came out $4.83 to the good. Whoo hoo!

We got home around 3:30 in the morning, she came in and we visited awhile before we both started being just overwhelmed by the need for sleep. I got up at 6:00 with the kids, got them ready for school, fed Chandler and Kady then set the satellite to change shows every 30 minutes, making sure it was programmed to the ones that would hold their attention the best. Then I laid down on the couch and proceded to slip into a semi-coma. I got up around 9:30 and showered then headed to Sis' to help pack around 12:30. Then I picked up the school kids, brought them back home and fed them an early dinner. I had forgotten that the neighbor girls were getting off the bus at my house, so add them to the 6 that were in my van already and I had 8 kids here after school. Paul walked in at 4:20, looked around kind of panicky and said, "Why do we always have 40 gazillion children in our house and we only actually own three?" I said, "Cuz this is what we do - we host." He seemed satisfied with that and went outside to mow the backyard. Chicken.

After the neighbor girls were picked up, I loaded the remaining 6 into the van again and flew to town, dropped off Chandler and then went to the karate dojo. After karate I stopped at the bank, got some cash for the gambling run and then headed back home.

Sis and Bub were late, as usual, so we left around 7:30. We had just turned onto highway 60 in Fairland, heading toward the mecca of Wyandotte, when we saw flashing lights on the highway, headed toward us. It was a high speed chase! A red T-bird driven by a wild-looking kid with long hair was flying down the highway with about 25 miscellaneous police vehicles in hot pursuit. I think I even saw Roscoe P. Coltrane there were so many. Highway Patrol was right on his tail, followed by unmarked cars, county deputies, BIA and maybe even a dogcatcher or two. It was cool. Being the rednecks that we all are, we started scrambling for cell phones and called all of our friends with police scanners trying to find out why the heck he was running. No one had heard a thing on the scanner. Later one of Sis' friends called back to say that he eventually wrecked, but she lost cell service so we never heard the details of the chase or the wreck. What a way to start the evening!

We went to Grand Lake Casino, where they give you twenty whole dollars in COLD HARD CASH. I didn't gamble, just watched Stacey and Sis sit on machines and play as little as possible, but enough to qualify for the hot seat drawing we had just gotten in on. Neither of them won. We were all starving so we drove on into Grove to the Rib Crib. Oh my gosh. Maybe it was the fact that the pb&j I had eaten at 11 that morning had worn off, but I swear that was some of the best damn bbq I had ever eaten.

We left there and went to Bordertown Bingo in Seneca, MO. I didn't gamble there either. I just stood there cashing out ticket after ticket as Paul won like crazy. Then we went to the Eastern Shawnee Travel Plaza and Paul and I played $5 on Red Ball and didn't win crap. By that time it was nearly 11:30 and we still had three casinos to hit. There was no way, so we went directly to the Buffalo. We left at 4 this morning. That is the latest I have ever stayed in a casino. Longest stretch, too, I think. We had a blast. Some guy gave us the almighty cheat secret to winning at electronic blackjack. It's helpful, but not foolproof. You can control your winning to an extent, but still, if the machine decides that your winning is over, you lose. I plugged my entire babysitting check into the retarded machines through the course of the night. Paul lost over $100. I was pissed that I had blown so much money, so what did I do but borrow $20 from Sis. Thankfully I won $100 on RedBall with that $20 and cashed out with $80. Of course, we put it right back in. Then I cashed out with $50 some. Then played some. Then put in a $5 and cashed out with $20. I somehow came home with $45 and even though I am still in the hole, it's better than nothing.

Tonight is the Cousin Party, Part Deux. I can only imagine the laughing and cavorting that will commence tonight. Everyone's getting around kind of late, but Stacey and I are okay with that because that gives us a chance to play around on the four-wheeler. Gosh, I love being a redneck.

I will be posting pictures tomorrow, hopefully!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

COUSIN STACEY IS IN THE HAY-OUSE!!!

Although I haven't actually seen her, she is in Oklahoma and we are SO going gambling in a couple of hours! Her birthday is tomorrow and she gets buttloads of free money then, but she spent two hours this evening with a certain great aunt AND her grandmother and bless her heart, she needs some time "alone". I'm so glad I'm the one she chose to be alone with!

Actually I've had the gambling itch all day today, but never got a moment without the children. But ya know, last week during one of the Nite Owl parties, we overheard this conversation:

"Hey Marty! How's that new baby?"
"Great! He's out in the car!"
"Awww...I'll have to go out and see him."
"Sure! He's out there with the other kids."

Now, I realize that I might be considered a little on the "eager" side when it comes to my gambling habits, but the day I load up my children at 1am and drive them to the casino and LEAVE THEM IN THE CAR WHILE I GAMBLE, is the day that all of you out there in Blogland had better stage an intervention. And I am not kidding.

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Today in the van:
Kady: Mommmmmmmmmmmmm! TotTwo said boys don't have boobies!
TotTwo: Did NOT! I just said boys don't have big boobies!
Kady: Did too! You said girls have big boobies and boys don't have any!
TotTwo: Did NOT KAY-DEE! I said girls have big boobies and boys have little ones.
Kady: Okay. Fine. (dramatic pause) Momma's boobies are on her stomach!
Me: Woah. Hollllllllld it! My boobies are on my chest not on my stomach!
Kady: They sure look like they on your stomach.
Me: (surreptitiously feeling my boobs to see if they are indeed on my stomach.) They are SO on my chest!
TotTwo: Boys have little boobies on their chests, Kay-dee and guess what? When boys get bigger their little boobies turn into muscles! Girls' boobies just get fat.

Now, I realize that my boobs aren't quite as perky as they used to be, but I think the underwires do a pretty good job keeping them up off my stomach! Don't they? Oh please, God, don't let them actually look like they're on my stomach....

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I spent two full days at my sister's house packing and moving them. We have accomplished so much, yet there is still so much to do. I am simply amazed at how much stuff people accumulate. I'm not pointing fingers, trust me. I know if we moved it would be the same way. In fact, last night after a drive home at 11:30, fighting sleep the whole way, I tucked in my very exhausted children and sat down on the ottoman to take off my shoes. I looked over at Paul, who was sprawled out in the recliner looking pretty exhausted himself. He wearily looked up and said, "We can never get a divorce." I laughed and said, "Oooookay, wanna give me a reason behind that statement?" He rubbed his eyes and said, "If we ever decide to get a divorce let's just draw a chalk line down the middle and share, okay? I don't want to move. Ever."

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Yesterday Sis and I had made a quick run to Fairland to get another load of boxes and I left Chandler at Mom's for Jill to pick up there. I guess she commented several times on Mom's berry wreath on her front door, how much she liked it, where could she get one, etc. Mom called me today and said she had found another length of the garland she used and did I think she should offer to sell it to Jill? I said that I'd buy it from her if she'd make it into a wreath for me and I'd give it to Jill for Mother's Day. Well, all day long I kept going back there to look at that wreath, wondering how in the world I was going to store it for another few weeks and also knowing that I hate keeping surprises. So I decided I was going to just give it to her. I am SO glad I did! The kids were outside playing when she got here and I asked her to step in for a minute. I told her that I had her Mother's Day present if she wanted it early. She laughed and said, "You got me a Mother's Day present?" I said, "Well, yes! If you weren't a mother I wouldn't have your kid every day, now would I?" So I came down the hall with that berry wreath and you'd have thought I had given her the Ark of the Covenant. She did a happy dance right there in my foyer and hugged me all the while squealing like a kid on Christmas morning. I'm thinking she liked it. I love making people happy. That sounded very co-dependent, didn't it?

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Thin Mints have got to be the best cookie on the planet.

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I have done 7 loads of laundry today. Go me.

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Today while picking up the school kids, Kady grabbed another mommy's hand and started to walk out the door with her before realizing it wasn't me. I didn't see it, but the two Kindergarten teachers saw it and had a great big laugh about how cute Kady was when she realized and all that. What disturbs me most is - that woman was FAT! Dammit. Now I'm regretting eating all those Thin Mints.

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Other things I have accomplished today:
*I finally broke down and washed all of the dirty pots and pans that sat on my stove for days and days because I kept asking Paul to do it and he kept ignoring me.
* I cleaned off my bar.
* I cluttered up the bar again.
* I took a 30 minute nap this afternoon.
* I put all of my winter shoes up and replaced them with my 40 gazillion pairs of flip flops and sandals.
* I took all of the sweatshirts and long sleeves out of my closet and replaced them with t-shirts. Did you know I have 7 Eskimo Joe's t-shirts? I counted. That is kind of pathetic, I think.
* I managed to drink a whole pot of coffee and nearly an entire 2-quart pitcher of sweet tea by myself today. (Tater made the comment once that when I die my body will continue on for days until the caffeine finally quits.)

Yep. That's pretty much what I've accomplished today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Lost Post Republished

Not verbatim, mind you. But I will at least try to remember most of what I wrote before those Evil Blog-eating Internet Trolls ate it.

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Last Monday I took Abby and Sam the the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor for their year checkup following the tonsilectomy/adenoidectomy/PE tube placement surgery. Both of them had a tube that was out of the drum, but was caught in the canal in (gag) ear wax. He managed to extract both tubes with some teensy tiny tweezers. As all four kids crowded around the doctor to get a glimpse of the tubes the room was filled with "IIIIIEEEEEEWWWW!! Gross!" They wanted to keep them and of course, being the cool mom I am, I agreed. They wanted to take them for show and tell. Cool by me. Of course, the morning I was standing at the bathroom counter with Q-tips saturated with alcohol trying to clean the year's worth of ear wax from those nearly microscopic blue tubes I thought "Cool mom or not, this is disGUSTing!" Bleh.

Sam was checked first. The drums looked good, the tonsil scars were healed, all was well. He put him in the booth for a hearing test and one ear tested off just a little. The doctor said it was probably from the fact that the tube was newly out and the ear needed to adjust. He didn't schedule another visit, but said to self-test him periodically and if we noticed his hearing interfering with schoolwork to bring him back. I had commented before the hearing test that I thought we were dealing with some "selective hearing" but turns out it probably isn't selective after all. But Dr. Allen still felt like it wasn't anything to be too worried about. He had hearing loss pre-surgery and the doctor felt like PE tubes would correct it. Sam's surgery was mainly done for the tonsils. He had adult-sized, nasty infected tonsils in a teeny little 5 year old body. He snored louder than his father and did the whole sleep apnea thing. The ENT just automatically puts tubes in with a tonsilectomy/adenoidectomy. He's a healthier kid now for sure. No more snoring!

Abby's ears looked good but she did have a lot of wax, tonsil scars looked good and he then put her in the testing booth. The nurse did the test, sent Ab back in to me and when the doc looked over the results he came into the exam room and without a smile on his face said, "We need to see her again in three months." Okay, that look on his face was not good. Before surgery last year she had a 30 decibel hearing loss in both ears. Signifigant yes, but she was certainly still functional. He said her drums were very badly scarred from repeated severe infections her whole life, but felt like the placement of tubes would correct any loss. But he did say that if, after surgery, the hearing loss still existed it was more than likely permanent and irrepairable. Well, it looks like that is where we are. Her hearing has never really gotten better post-surgery, but I have kind of held to the theory of that selective hearing thing. It's called Denial, people. He said there is still a signifigant loss and he wants to keep a close eye on her. Why, I'm not sure. If the loss is irrepairable, I'm not sure what he thinks he can do. I guess monitor. I dunno. And as much of a worrier as I am, I'm really not freaking out about this. I have a sense of peace for some reason. She is a brilliant little girl, never has trouble in school, reads a year and a half ahead of grade level, functions perfectly well at school and at home - we just have to tell her things more than once sometimes - and I think she's going to be just fine.

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Last Wednesday night at the Turtle's Nite Owl party, I won $103.
Last Thursday night at the Turtle's Nite Owl party, I lost $30. That sucked.

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I'm sure there was more that I wrote in the lost post, but for the life of me I can't remember it. Oh well. I guess if it was earth-shattering I'd remember it, eh?

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Last night was Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino. I didn't get to go on the whole run, hitting the Turtle first. Paul was whining about "spending time" with me. Blah blah blah. Seems funny that while my sister was here he was all mushy, gushy about loving me and missing me over the weekend, but as soon as she left he kicked back in that recliner and flipped on SpikeTV and that was the last I heard outta him. Well, he did comment that I didn't fix dinner. He ate a bologna sandwich. Ha! But he did give me $20 before I left for the Buffalo, so I almost felt bad about making him eat bologna. Almost, but not enough to do much about it.

I entered the casino with $20 of his money and $7 of my own. I put the $20 in a Red Ball machine and after losing down to around $3, I managed to cash out with $145. I actually won $155, but played it down $10. At that point I still hadn't even used my free money. Mom wanted to play her "Jack Daniels Machine" so I sat there with her, watching. I was sitting at a machine called Double Money. I asked her if she'd played it before, she said no and I said, "Well, let's just see what it does." Well, by golly, true to its name - it doubled my money and then gave me $5 more! I cashed that card out with $25. Then after the last drawing at 11, I found another open Red Ball, stuck in the $7 I had brought and ended up cashing out with $29. Honestly, I think I could've won much more, but Mom and Sis wanted to leave so I just cashed out with what I had. So all told I came home with $199, paid Paul back the $20 he gave me and now I have $179 in my wallet right now. I love gambling. But I do not have a problem. :)

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When Mom, Sis and I left the casino last night, we all stopped out front to talk before heading to the different parking lots. We were discussing the moving out of those two goofballs, and the impending visit of Cousin Stacey and while we were standing there talking, Mom spit. Just nonchalantly turned her head and spit. Well, not wanting to let that go, I spit, too. Then Heather, with just a slight grin on her face, spit as well. Then the three of us all got so tickled we nearly peed our pants. I'm surprised we weren't all dehydrated by the time we got home because from that moment on, the spitting was utterly hilarity. Why? I have no clue. We are rednecks. We are all tired from the moving and the unsettledness we are living in. It's spring and the weather is fantabulous and we all felt like spitting. I will never forget my Nanna telling me when I was little that "Ladies don't whistle or spit," and as much as I wanted to be a lady, I did not want to give up whistling or spitting. It's just too much fun, people. I have never been accused of being a lady, either.

This is where the diva and the redneck in me collide. I can spend an hour flat ironing my hair, perfecting the makeup and making sure my panties match my bra, but 20 minutes later you'll also catch my gorgeously straight hair flying in the wind behind me as I fly down the dirt road on my four-wheeler, spitting and cussing and if I feel like it, whistling as well. Okay, so I don't actually whistle while I ride the four-wheeler because well...that's just not possible. And I don't spit while it's moving either because well, that's just gross. Yep, I'm the perfect balance of priss and trash.

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All weekend I wore flip flops. Last night I wore flip flops. My gosh I love flip flops. Whoever invented those little flat, rubber, strappy pieces of shoe-y goodness is a SAINT in my book. Sorry, Pope - you didn't get your three miracles, buddy, but if you had invented the flip-flop, I would've nominated you for sure.

It was kind of chilly last night when it was casino time, but rather than mess with the sock and shoe drama, I just left on the flip flops and threw on a jacket. Paul gave me a funny look and said, "Uhhh, you do realize that you are wearing capris, flip flops and a jacket, right?" I gave him a blank look, grabbed my purse and said, "Yeah?" He shrugged and said, "K. Just wanted to make sure you knew you looked like a dork." I said, "Hey, I paid good money for this tattoo on my foot. It has been hidden from view all winter long and by golly it is screaming for exposure! I am not about to cover it again!" Again, he shrugged.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Imagine, if you will

. . . me sitting in my big chair, in my most comfy-est pj pants, with a big ol' coffee and the best book ever in my hands, about halfway drunk, getting a foot massage by Sam Elliott or Harrison Ford and just recovering from the most intense orgasm I've ever experienced in my life. Are you picturing that? Okay, good. That is how I feel now that I am back from my selfish vacation. *big contented sigh*

I didn't do diddly squat. I shopped, I slept. I slept a lot. I got two new bras (I was only going to get one, but when the salesgirl told me they were buy one get one half off - well, how could I refuse that kind of a deal?) and some really cute pj pants with ladybugs all over 'em. I watched part of Crippendorf's Tribe, part of The Saint, and part of several other movies, but funny, I kept falling asleep. I am quite the party animal, lemme tell ya.

We did have one small snafu during the trip, though. Abby told Mr. Diva when he got home from work on Friday that Little Dog had just laid in the back yard all day and wouldn't play. Paul went out to check on him, found him in his barrel (He cut the end out of a 50 gallon drum and made a doghouse), just lying there, not moving. He couldn't coax him out with food or anything. He called me and I told him to just keep an eye on him, maybe he was tired from running around all night, maybe he was wormy. Well, when I called home Saturday morning he was no better, he was worse. Mr. Diva adamantly told me repeatedly that he was not taking the dog to the vet. I understood. Really I did. Again, I told him to keep an eye on him and I'd check back in in the evening. When I called him that evening the dog was nearly dead. He was just lying in the yard, moaning and he couldn't open his eyes. Paul shooed the kids in the house, stayed out in the yard and so kindly let me listen to the poor dog. I immediately started crying. Oh how horrible! He said he didn't think he'd live through the night. I told him to just shoot him, put him out of his misery and tell the kids in the morning that he'd died. They knew he was sick anyway. Well, my darling husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me, decided that instead of whitewashing it for the kids, he was going to tell them he was going to put the dog down. By the end of the phone call, all three kids and both parents were bawling. It was awful awful awful. Abby, who is always a little more mature than average, was okay; a few tears, but she really understood. Sam was crying pretty hard, but I managed to distract him with conversation about the day, what Happy Meal toy he'd gotten, etc. Kady, our precious third child, was inconsolable. I've never heard that child cry so hard. I was nearly hysterical myself, listening to her hurt. When I finally felt like she was sort of calmed down I had her put her daddy back on the phone, only to be met with his crying (in a manly way, don't get me wrong) and oh gosh, we bonded as a family, lemme tell ya. Mr. Diva thinks he was poisoned. I think he was snake bit. We'll never know. So Little Dog, RIP buddy. RIP.

I have oh so much more to write, but it's 8pm and I have to get my kids tucked in so I can go to Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino and begin winning back all the money I spent this weekend! I wrote a big enormous post on Friday before I left, but the Evil Blog-eating Trolls of the Internet ate it when I hit post. I did notice that on the blogger homepage today there is a new feature that you can recover a post. Whoo hoo. Too bad that was 3 days ago. Oh well, live and learn.

Btw, is anyone else able to post on here???????? I have tried to post to Stormie's blog twice and it won't let me. I tried to post to Monkey's to no avail as well. What's up with that??? Of course, if you can't comment either you can't comment on here to tell me. So leave me an email, k? theredneckdiva@gmail.com Thanks!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest

Okay first - time for a shout-out!!!!!

Stormie has a blog! I'm trying to count it up in my head what number she is in the growing list of "People I Have Brought to Blogging". Okay, let's roll call: My neurotic friend, Courtney, My BFF, Jersey Girl, Craz4acop (God bless her, she's icky sicky pregnant right now and not posting much), Magnet Lady and now Stormie! I'd like to take credit for Shannon (Who I discovered over the weekend!), too, but I think Courtney brought her into our little world. But technically I did bring Courtney in. Ooh this is sounding strangely like a pyramid scheme . . .

You need to check out Stormie's first post because she wrote about ME! Actually it's a really embarrassing story that has to do with me. Funny how embarrassing things follow me around. Not funny "haha" but funny "why the hell?". But that's what I get for writing soft erotica into my Fizzle n Pop stories, right? And now there will be a stampede to FnP to read my story. I love it. Actually, it wasn't very good at all. I was embarrassed to even post it because it sucked so bad. I wrote it in about 20 minutes so you know it wasn't real thought-out or even put together well. Agh, being an artist is so frustrating sometimes.

I told Mr. Diva the other night that I only got one vote for my last story on there and he said, "Man, you must've really sucked this round." Gee thanks, baby.

Sunday night was the PJ party at the Lucky Turtle, so Sis and I donned our PJ's and headed to the Turtle. It was one of those nights. We both spent our $10 pretty quick. Then I got pissed at the machine for not letting me win (how dare it) and put in $9 of my own money. I was playing a quarter slot machine and will someone please remind me to stay away from those rat bastards from now on? I gave up after I finally realized that I could not prove my point to the damn machine. I then found an open Red Ball machine and you know my love for Red Ball. I pulled a twenty from my "secret gambling stash", aka "the selfish vacation fund", and plugged it into the machine, picked my usual numbers and started daubing my heart out. The lower my balance got, the more I silently cussed for allowing myself to be sucked into the seemingly benvolent vortex of the gambling turtle. Damn turtle. I decided to up my bet from three nickles to ten, an entirely desperate move. I cashed out with $103.75. So minus the $29 of my money I put it, I added $74.75 to my stash. I pulled that ticket out of the machine and headed down the row to Sis, who was silently cursing herself for being pulled into that damn turtle's vortex as well. I showed her my ticket and told her I was going to go cash out. She was down to like $2 and said she'd be done in a minute. I got my money, walked back around the corner to find her machine making the most outrageous noises and the look on her face! She cashed out with $166.50!

Last night was Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino and I think that turtle has been talking to the buffalo about how gullible I am. I plugged $29 of my money into the Red Ball machine before it finally paid out $53. Granted, I still came out ahead, but still I don't see why that damn buffalo can't be nicer. Later I found another open Red Ball machine, put in a $10 and cashed out with $20. I cashed out my free play card with $5 left on it and somehow came home with $64 bucks. Not sure how the math worked on that one. Oh yeah, I remember . . . I PUT SOME MONEY IN A STUPID DOLLAR SLOT MACHINE. Weren't y'all supposed to remind me to stay away from those rat bastards?

I actually got to go on the whole Ladies' Night Gambling Run last night. The only way I got to go was because tonight is Men's Night at the Turtle and now the Buffalo (like how I've shortened the names to make me sound so super cool?) and they're giving away a Harley every week at the Buffalo and Mr. Diva really wants a Harley. So by way of well, pouting till I get my way AND putting him on the spot by asking him in front of all of his co-workers, I got to go with my family for the whole shindig. I took my $5 from the Turtle and relocated it to the Buffalo. See, ya damn turtle - I can play this little game, too!

Today it's supposed to storm and I am highly anticipating that, I gotta say. I love living in Tornado Alley! Storms are way cool and I live for this time of year. But now the sun is out and I'm getting irked at those Weather Channel folks who all morning have all but told us to nail down any small pets, cover the house and cars in bubble wrap and find the nearest shelter. See the reason I can be so excited and not fearful of tornado season around here is because we are in the middle of a meterological anomaly and for some reason a huge super cell storm system can be headed straight at us, dropping F5 tornadoes out of the air every 2 seconds, throwing basketball sized hail down from the heavens and blowing winds over 86 miles an hour but when it reaches us, it miraculously peters out. No kidding. I will stay up all night, flipping between TWC and local stations, getting ready for the storm of the century and then boom, it's gone. Two years ago in May we got softball sized hail that knocked out Paul's windshield and put a circle-shaped cracked in mine, but that is it. Last year a tornado was headed straight for Fairland and at the last second diverted and went south. Also last year we were sitting in the Rib Crib in Joplin with Magnet Lady and Mr. Magnet when the sirens started going off, the restaurant all but cleared and when Christy and I went to the window we saw a tornado dropping out of the clouds directly over us. Yet, it went back up and no one was hurt. So I'm not the least bit scared of tornado season! Bring it on!

I have only two more days at home then I am taking off for 2005's first "selfish vacation". The original plan was to just save up enough gambling money to go, period. No shopping, eating very cheaply, just mostly going to get the hell away for awhile. But now that the Turtle and the Buffalo have felt compelled to grant me monetary windfalls I can now go buy new bras! Yeah, I know, I am really easy. Buying new bras, eating Chinese food, reading without having to get up to wipe someone's butt or nose or break up a fight, watching TV that doesn't involve animated critters of any kind.... oh yeah, this trip is long overdue.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Here's to you, my soulmate and cousin

COUSIN STACEY IS COMING TO OKLAHOMA NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see from the gratuitous over-use of exclamation points, that I am oh so excited for this event to occur! Cousin Stacey and I have been cousins since ... oh my gosh did I really just start that sentence intending to tell you how long we've been cousins? Why yes, yes I did. Silly me.

I feel so blessed to have her in my life now and cannot thank God enough for bringing us together at this point in our lives. Too many times we've declared that we might possibly be soul mates or at the very least twins, separated at birth, which makes the family tree cease branching in an oogey sort of way. Since January we have shared countless emails, more than one 2 hour phone call and some rather hilarious IM sessions.

She's coming in for her birthday and we are taking her on the Gambling Run (Courtney, can we borrow the Clipboard O' Fun? HA!) then having a Cousin Party on Saturday night. Courtney will be at the Hill, but she said she might be able to sneak out for awhile. I have yet to hear back from Uncle David and Keith and Alyssa (HINT HINT), but we're hoping that everyone can make it for another side-splitting evening of cousin bonding. I can hardly stand it!

She chided me in an email that (sniff sniff, sob sob) that I hadn't blogged about her impending visit and I assured her that her coming into town was A#1 on my list of things to blog about today. So Cousin Stacey - here's to you. I love you, girl!!!

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Friday I spent all day going through clothes. Rubbermaid box upon Rubbermaid box of the kids' clothes. Over Spring Break Sis and I had tried the spring wardrobes on the kids, handing down, giving back and just generally making a mess out of things. Since then the boxes have set in my van, then in the toyroom floor, then in the living room floor. So Friday, since the rain was preventing me from having any fun on the internet, I worked on the clothes. Abby and Sam are completely set for spring and summer clothes-wise, I just have to buy them both some flip flops and sandals. Kady, on the other hand, has more clothes than Imelda Marcos had shoes. I called Sis at one point and asked her how many dresses she thought the average little girl had. She said, "Well, I'd say 20 would be over average." My reply:"My daughter is more than twice over average then." She said, "OH gosh I was kidding! Most little girls don't have 20 dresses!!!" Well, mine had 40. That was just dresses. That didn't count the 10 pairs of jean shorts, 8 pairs of knit shorts, 5 skorts, 25 t-shirts, 2 pair of capris, 5 skirt/blouse ensembles and 2 pair of shortalls. Yeah. The kid gots clothes. So I began the arduous process of weeding through them all. Last year, she got to keep all of the clothes that fit, even though she could've worn two outfits a day through the summer and would've never had to repeat. But this year she is sharing a closet with her sister and therefore she is limited on the amout of clothing she can own at any given time. She could care less - as long as she has dresses, she's cool. It's her momma that loves her clothes. So throughout the course of the day, I managed to knock it down to 15 dresses (some play, some church), 2 pair jean shorts, 5 pair knit shorts, 2 capris, 3 skorts, 10 tshirts, 2 blouse/skirt ensembles and one pair shortalls. I think it will fit now. I hope.

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I finished pricing all of the garage sale items, washed and hung up all of the clothes for the consignment shop and at 2:30 Friday I took a shower. Chandler's daddy picked him up at 3:30, the kids got off the bus at 3:45 and I immediately loaded them up and we drove in to Fairland to the consignment shop. I drove by Sis' house (it's on the way, I'm not stalking her) and saw her loading the kids into her in-laws' truck. I pulled off in the ditch to say hey and see what they were doing. The original plan was to take the boys to karate, then go to Mom's to help her price her garage sale items, spend the night and then get up early for the garage sale. Well, our friends, Terry and Melissa, just bought a ginormous house and are in the process of moving. All of the help they had recruited had turned up AWOL. So being the kind friends they are, Sis and Bub offered to get the truck and help them move. I know what it's like to move with children so I told them to load up the munchkins into my van and I'd take them while they helped with the moving. Sis assured me she'd be done with the moving by "early evening". I have got to start remembering that her idea of "early" and mine are two totally different things.

I took all 5 munchkins to the consignment shop, back home, loaded the garage sale stuff into the van, threw Nutri-Grain bars at them and off we ran to town. The accountant had called and our taxes were done and they wanted money and signatures (don't we all). Fortunately for me and my gas tank, the accountant and the karate dojo are on the same street in Commerce, which is 25 minutes from here. We flew to town, praying that all of the HiPo's were on a dinner break, cashed a check/made a deposit, signed for the taxes and got the kids to karate with 5 minutes to spare. Then after karate it was off to McD's where Happy Meals were ordered and bribes were made. I took them to Mom's (because remember, that was the plan) and fed them then Mr. Diva stopped by and he ate while I sat and stared at him because we never see each other anymore. Thank God I brought a book with me because the evening just kept going and going and going and I was stuck there with the kids, all of my stuff was priced, Mom's stuff wasn't ready to price and where the HELL was my sister?????

At 8:45 Mom got in from work to find me sitting on the couch reading while steam quietly rolled from my ears, the five kids watching Popeye and her other daughter nowhere to be found. She had to go back to the college to take some linens to a kid that was staying on campus overnight and when she got back, Sis was back. It was about 10 by this time. At 10:30 the neighbor girl from next door came over to look through our stuff before the sale. We had just broke open a bottle of wine and Mom offered her a glass. What ensued was 4 hours of utter hilarity and Amy so thoughtfully educated us as to what "tossing someone's salad" means. I had no idea. She works with teenagers so I figure she's up on all the lingo. Wow. Makes me kind of not want to ever get out of this smart-mouthed 8 year old pre-teen thing if salad tossing is what teenagers talk about now. Yikes. Amy went home around 2:30, after my 4 glasses of wine had made me so unbearably sleepy that I dozed off on the kitchen table while she and Sis talked about people and things I had no clue who or what they were.

Amy left, we opened a bag of Sour Cream and Onion Lay's, I got a Dr. Pepper to caffeinate the wine in my system, Mom opened a beer and we had declared that the pricing of the garage sale was to begin. Then Mom's phone rang. Yes, at 2:30 am. It was John, this guy that is kind of in the middle of one of those non-divorces from his non-wife who he was non-married to. Does that make sense? He said he was on her street with two six-packs if she was thirsty. I guess she was because she told him to stop right in. He wasn't 3 sheets to the wind - I'm guessin' it was more like 10 or 12. Hilarious, I gotta say. When I fell asleep sitting straight up in a wooden rocking chair I decided it was time to get some sleep, pricing or no pricing.

I have no clue how long John stayed, but after he left Mom went to Wal*Mart while Sis, the kids and I slept. We got up at 5:30, I called Mr. Diva to get him up for work and we headed outside armed with coffee and price tags. Holy SHIT it was cold Saturday morning! I was trying to clean off some tables we were going to use, but when I'd spray the cleaner on the table, it would freeze immediately. Had I paid attention to that bad omen I'd have marched my ass straight back into that house and gone back to bed. But noooooooooooooooo we kept right on. We had three Cozy Coupes for sale, so we set it up like a car lot and put signs on them like "Everything Must GO!" and "Low miles" and "Energy efficient" on them. Got quite a few chuckles before they sold, I gotta say. We got everything set out, perplexed that we didn't have the usual early birds who get there as you're setting up. But it was cold, we said, they'd show up as it warmed up. Well, it would've been beneficial if someone had told us prior to the planning of the garage sale that Neosho, MO, was having their city-wide garage sale yesterday and we were no competition for the 1,000 families participating in that.

If we had 40 customers yesterday I'd be over estimating a bit.

I made a whole $54. Mom made $15. Sis made $82, but she had mattresses and big stuff. All of that freezing, all of that sleep deprivation for roughly $150. I shouldn't complain because that $54 is going to pay for my oil change and the mounting and balancing of my four new tires, so I'll hush.

When we finally decided to quit beating the dead horse of a garage sale, we then began the exciting task of repricing the flea market worthy items for relocation. We made it home last night around 5:30, after I had stopped at the chicken place in town on the way home. I threw dinner at the husband and the kids, told them to get their PJ's on, laid down on couch and DIED for about an hour. After that I had the energy to get up and shower, snuggle with the kids a bit, order a PPV movie and then send everyone to bed. Paul and I watched Saw, which we had started watching at MagnetLady's awhile back, but had never had the chance to finish. Wow. It was awesome. I had inadvertently read a spoiler on it so I spent the entire movie trying to find where the spoiler came in and was perplexed as all get out. Then after it was over, I gave myself a headache trying to work out a time line in my head of how it all went down. I am so compulsive it's not even funny.

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It's 12:17 pm, I'm still in my pj's, the kids are outside, one of the neighbor kids it up here and I'm debating as to whether the kids get PB&J or grilled cheese for lunch. It's a tough life I live, people.

I do have to clean the house. I mean, really actually clean the house this time. I leave on Friday for this spring's "selfish vacation" and I'm leaving the kids with the sitter on Friday and then with Paul the rest of the weekend. That is simply a recipe for Messy House Flambe'. So if I take care of some of the big stuff, get it in order, maybe it'll be easier to piece back together when I get home.

Oh yeah, 7 pages left in Fahrenheit 451. Read it. It rocks.