Monday, December 25, 2006

29 secrets (Okay, just 23 - because no, Stewed Hamm, the last 6 aren't "super secret" secrets - whoever sent it to me previously just couldn't count)

23 secrets about yours truly...although I'm not so sure they're secrets, really.

1.What does your Myspace Name MEAN?-- Well, Redneck Diva means just what it says.

2. Where was your default pic taken?-- In a motel room in Branson

3. Whats your middle name?--Dawn

4. What is your current relationship status?--Married for a week shy of 14 years.

5. Honestly, does your crush like you back?-- I married the last guy I crushed on, so he better like me.

6. What is your current mood?-- Oh so incredibly tired. Also tinging on overwhelmed. I'm already starting to stress of DISNEY WORLD IN 3 1/2 WEEKS and what needs to be done.

7. What do you like most?-- Sleep, winning at the casino, when my kids want to snuggle, hugs out of the blue from Paul, sleep, paying all the bills and having money left, sleep.

8. What makes you laugh?-- My kids, my dorky husband, my dorky sister, my hilarious mother

9. If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?-- I wouldn't let guys know how much I liked them. That was so stupid.

10. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would you be?-- A cat. Who makes up these stupid questions?

11. Ever have a near death experience?--No.

12.Something you do a lot -- Cross stitch

13. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?--Strangers in the Night and I have absolutely NO clue why. All day, though, it's been Carol of the Bells, the David Foster version.

14. Who did you copy and paste this from?-- MamaKBear's MySpace - that woman is a veritable fount of memes!

15. Name someone with the same b-day as you?-- Benny Hill, Telly Savales, Gina Davis, Mac Davis, Robby Benson, Hakeem Olajuwon. Sorry that one was asked.

16. What food could you eat for the rest of your life?-- Chicken enchiladas

18. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?-- Yep. Used to sing at church all the time. Stacie and I also sang at our HS bacclaureat and graduation.

19. What's the first thing you notice about the OPPOSITE sex?--Arms

20. What do you usually order from Starbucks?--MMMMMM ........ Caramel frappuccino

21. Do you have braces?--Not since I was 13.

22. Name something funny that happened to you in the last 48 hours?-- Mom bought me a decorative iron cross for Christmas and when I opened it I wasn't quite sure what to say. I said, "Oh, wow......thanks." Tater jumped in to rescue me and said it was because I needed to be beaten with something so I'd go to church.

23. Do you speak any other language?-- Thanks to Dora the Explorer I know a few Spanish words and I know a few words in sign language, but not enough in either to carry on a conversation.

THAT'S IT!! I'm memed out. Meme Christmas!!

Uninspired randomness

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?-- Does that work?

What's the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?-- Paul and I are 10 years apart and we've made it 14 years now, so it can't be a bad thing.

Ever been in a car wreck?-- Yep. A guy t-boned Mom's station wagon when I was 4 and Tater was 2 months old. We were a mile from home. I was also in the backseat of DeLisa's parents' station wagon when we slid on the ice into the ditch just up the road from Papa's house, just a little over a mile from home. Lessons learned? I stayed away from station wagons on my road - it was too dangerous!

Were you popular in high school?-- Yeah. Fat lot of good it did me, too. It wasn't worth hurting the people I hurt to get there.

Have you ever been on a blind date?--Yep.

Are looks important in a relationship?-- Yeah, they really are.

Do you have any friends that you've known for 10 years or more?-- Oh gosh yes! DeLisa and I have been friends for nearly 30 years!

Have you ever made a mistake?-- No, I'm perfect. Geesh, what kind of questions is that? Who would actually say they hadn't made a mistake?

Are you a good tipper?-- If I get good service, I tip good. I've been a cocktail waitress, I know what it's like to work for tips, but I also know that it's pretty easy to be nice and earn those tips.

What's the most you have spent for a haircut?-- $22

Have you ever peed in public?-- Nope. I don't even pee in front of my husband. Things lock up and quit working. Performance anxiety? :-)

What song do you want played at your funeral?-- When I Get Where I'm Going by Brad Paisley. Since we've lost Papa that song has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

Beatles or Stones?.-- Beatles

If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who?-- Bin Laden

Beer, wine or hard liquor?-- Beer. It's cheaper.

Do you walk around the house naked?-- No. Even when I had a good body I didn't. Just not my thing. I prefer clothing, thank you very much.

If you were an animal what would you be?--A cat. I like to be left alone unless I want you to mess with me.

Hair color you like on someone when you're dating?-- Dark

Would you rather be blind or deaf?-- Deaf. I'm legally blind without my glasses and it scares me to think about being completely blind.

Do you have any special talents? -- I can clog dance.

What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?-- Put my purse down and check the answering machine.

Do you like horror or comedy?-- Both. I'm not as big of a horror movie fan as I used to be. Old age has made me into kind of a weenie.

Are you missing anyone?-- Papa and Cousin Stacey

If you weren't straight, what person of the same sex would you do?-- I have a huge crush on Kelly Preston.

Where do you want to live when you are old?-- Right here.

Who is the person you can count on the most?--Mom.

If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?-- Tom Hanks.

What did you dream about last night?-- I remembered it this morning, but I've forgotten now.

What is your favorite sport to watch?-- I don't like sports, but watching Sam play basketball now makes me smile.

Are you named after anyone?-- Nope.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?-- Bud Light, but if someone else is buying apple martinis are nice.

Non alcoholic drink?-- Sweet tea

Have you ever been in love?--Who hasn't?

Do you sing in the shower?-- No. I'm always trying to keep the kids asleep as long as possible while I get ready in the morning.

Have you ever been arrested?--Nope. I've never even gotten a speeding ticket.

What is your favorite Holiday? Christmas

Would you ever get plastic surgery?-- You betcha. It's only a matter of time.

Have you ever caught a fish?-- Blech, no. I see absolutely no point whatsoever in fishing.



1.Who was your first prom date?-- Eric Daugherty. He was a Junior, I was a Freshman. He and I were in Band together and were just friends. In fact, my boyfriend met up with us after the Prom at Pizza Hut. I think Eric's gay now. Heck, I think he was back then, too.

2. Who was your first roommate?-- Well, technically I shared a room with Tater before I ever roomed with anyone else, but as far as a real life grownup roommate, it was Cyndi in my very brief living-away-from-home experience in Stillwater. That was the beginning of the end of our friendship.

3. What alcoholic beverage did you first drink?-- I had tried sips of wine coolers when Mom and Dad had some, but the first time I drank and got drunk it was Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill. Agh, I still feel that headache sometimes.

4. What was your first job?-- I worked in an attorney's office as a gopher during the summers, starting at 14. I did dictation, filing and stuff for his family business. He was Mom's boss. That was an amazing opportunity. I don't know of many attorneys now that would hire a 14 year old.

5. What was your first car?-- A gold Chevy Cavalier with a horrific paint job, peeling headliner and a driver's seat propped up with a brick.

6. Who was your first grade teacher?-- Mrs. Pirrong. Oh, how I loved that woman. I still see her in Wal*Mart occasionally. She doesn't look any different.

7. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?-- Mom, Tater, my cousin Scott and I flew home from a visit to my uncle's in Nebraska. I was 8.

8. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?-- I have never snuck out of the house. My dad put the fear of God in me that if I did, he'd inflict so much bodily harm that I'd never move again, much less have an opportunity to sneak out.

9. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?-- My first best friend was DeLisa and yes, we are still friends. Not as close as we one were, but I could call her up tonight and we could spend hours on the phone together, talking about nothing and everything.

10. Where was your first sleepover?-- Nana's house. I mean, if you want to get technical, that was the first time I slept over at someone else's house.

11. Who is the first person you talk to in the morning?-- Usually Sam because he's up before dawn every stinkin' morning.

12. Whose wedding were you in the first time?-- Their names were Dub and Bernadette. Dub was our pastor at the time's son. I was 5. I don't remember much about it, but I remember thinking that the name Bernadette was the most glamorous name I'd ever heard.

13. What is the first thing you do in the morning?-- Hit the snooze 3 times.

14. What was the first concert you ever went to?-- Garth Brooks. I was 18 and in the midst of my first hangover.

15. First tattoo or piercing?-- I got my ears pierced the first time when I was 5. My Aunt Shirlye took me to Wal*Mart and had it done. I remember wanting to get my ears pierced so I could wear gigantic hoops like she always wore. My first tattoo was in 2002.

16. First celebrity crush?-- I hate to admit this - Michael Jackson.

17. First crush?-- I had a little girl crush on a guy named Jimmy Douthit when I was about 6 years old. He was one of the neighborhood boys who worked on the farm with Papa. He had this wonderful curly blonde hair that he combed into waves and I thought he was amazing.

18. First TRUE love?-- Brad was the first guy with whom I experienced real love. It was also the love that nearly crushed me into smithereens.

19. When was your first detention?-- I don't think I ever got detention.....I really don't.

20. What was the name of your first pet?-- It was either Katy or TinkerBell. They were both beagles and they co-habitated the pen in the yard at the same time at one point, but I'm not sure which one came first.

21. First kiss?-- Jeremy Foust in the back seat of Mason's mom's Mercedes on the way home from spookhousin' in Joplin.

22. Who was the first person to break your heart?-- Brad. Broke it bad, too.

23. Who will be the first to repost this?-- Don't know. Probably no one. I'm just feeling particularly uninspired tonight and thought I'd post some memes.

Christmas before dawn

We here at Diva Ranch got up at 4 this morning. We just couldn't wait any longer. Okay, so it wasn't by pure choice and anticipation that we got up at 4 to open gifts - it was because Paul decided that getting paid double time was worth working on Christmas Day. I guess I see his point, but man it was realllllly hard to drag myself out of that bed at 4 when I'd only just gotten into it at 12:30. I made the kids lie down at 8 because I was too exhausted to go on any longer. Kady made me set an alarm for 9:30, though, because the My Little Pony A Very Minty Christmas was coming on then. Let me say, I'd rather watch You, Me and Dupree than A Very Minty Christmas, but I didn't tell her that. We started watching it and then thankfully remembered that the Disney World Christmas parade was on ABC so we sent Kady and her minty rear to my bedroom to finish it.

Paul and I didn't exchange gifts this year since WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD IN 3 1/2 WEEKS!!!! (Oh, sorry. I sometimes burst into fits of screaming and hollering when I think about the trip.) The kids, however, got me some counted cross stitch kits. I've already started on one. When I opened it Abby said, "Uhh...Mom....I wasn't sure you'd be able to do it. I mean, it's a house and all and I didn't think you'd ever done a house before." I assured her that I was perfectly capable of stitching a house just fine. At least I think I am...

Paul left for work a little after 5 and the kids and I have been in our pajamas all day. Paul got home around 2:30, put on his new pajamas and promptly fell asleep in his recliner. I love Christmas. Tater made a meal with all the trimmings and invited us, but we declined due to the fact that neither of us felt like we would be safe driving. She makes a huge meal every year and invites Mom and us. The deal is, if you want to come, come. If you don't, they're not offended, but you get no leftovers. Last year we partook, but we also didn't get up at 4am.

Last night we had Christmas Eve with Mom and Uncle David. The kids made out like bandits, as usual. Abby's main gift was a huge bag of Babysitter's Club books. Kady got some Disney princess doll clothes and a micro mini with leggings, among other things. Sam got an uber cool SpongeBob pinball machine and some Cars cars and a multitude of other things. They all three got DisneyWorld autograph books because WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD IN 3 1/2 WEEKS (Oops, I did it again) and some other Disney paraphenalia. Mom got all four of us grownups Eskimo Joe's Oklahoma Bicentennial t-shirts, which rawk. She got me a shirt that says, "Because I'm the Queen, that's why". (And really, what more needs to be said?) She also got me some delovely earrings that I never would've gotten myself because if they don't come in a multi-pack at Wal*Mart I don't indulge.

Mom got TotOne a Littlest Pet Shop dog that when you put its bottle up to its mouth it licks. It's cuter'n all get out. Mom said, "TotOne, hold that bottle up to it's mouth and see what it does." She did and when the dog started moving it's mouth on the bottle TotOne exclaimed, "IT SUCKS!!" Not quite the exclamation Mom was going for, but it did make us all laugh.

After the presents were all opened and the trash was cleaned up, Mom had us gather around the table and proceded to torture our brains with these evil, evil puzzles from the learning store in Joplin. 3 squares by 3 squares covered in impossible patterns was enough to make smoke roll out of my ears. I do not do abstract-y thinking puzzles very well. I just don't like to think that hard! Mom paired up with Uncle David, Tater and Bub were a team and Paul and I, who do not work well together on things like that, were a team. And only because my husband is a whiz at puzzles, we managed to solve two and no one else solved any in the hour that we worked on them. He nearly had a third one conquered, but it was after 9 and we had to get up early and still had so much to do. I got fidgety shortly after we started on the third one and went to play with the kids while he sat at the table constantly moving puzzle pieces around, cursing under his breath and spitting in his Dr. Pepper can. On the way home he said, "If you'd have just left me alone for another 10 minutes I could've solved it!" I patted him on the leg and said, "Honey, if you'd have worked on that puzzle for another 10 minutes, there would've been no Christmas Eve nookie for you. So hush."

I have had such a wonderful, relaxing day! It's 6:15pm and I'm still in my TinkerBell pajamas. I love Christmas. We declared after Sam was born that we would no longer be attending any family gatherings on Christmas Day. We got tired of giving the kids gifts and then rushing them around to get ready, making them leave their amazing new toys and go to at least three different houses during the day (because we're insanely dysfunctional, ya know.) We just flat out declared our refusal and pissed off a whole slew of relatives in the process, but we've had stupendous Christmases ever since. And after that first year, the anger wore off and now the families are very good about accomodating us and the Taters, who have declared the same thing. The only reason we went to Tater's last year was because there was no food in the house and we were hungry. Desperate times will cause you to lay aside a refusal occasionally.

I hope y'all have had a phenomenal day, too! I hope all of your Christmas dreams came true and you got all the toys you wanted. Me, I'm content with GOING TO DISNEY WORLD IN 3 1/2 WEEKS!!!!

Merry Christmas, ya'll!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


"Momma? How will Santa get down our chimney if we have a fire in the firepwace?"

"Well, he uses Christmas magic. He's been doing it for years and he never gets burned."

(giggle) "If he's not careful he will burn his buttocks."

"Oh, he's careful. That Christmas magic is pretty powerful stuff. He doesn't get burned, trust me."

(thoughtful silence)

"You know.....'buttocks' is just a fancy name for butt."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve Eve

For the last week we've just taken an Eve off every day. Monday was pretty confusing, what with it being Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve and all. I'll be glad when my children outgrow this phase.

And just for the record, if some little girl type child on your Christmas list wanted Polly Pockets for Christmas this year and you can't find any, it's because we now own more Polly Pockets than God. Yes, really. Even God can't possibly need this many small plastic dolls with microscopic shoes. We haven't even had Christmas yet. I will never be able to vacuum again for fear of sucking up a pair of tiny yellow pumps, infinitesimal pink ballet slippers or minute chunky orange clogs.

We had the Glenn Family Festivus Tacky Gift Exchange last Sunday. I have taken pictures and notes and will post a long to-do about it when I find some time. Let me just say this, though, I am related to some of the most hilarious tacky Democrats in Oklahoma. And I love them all.

Tuesday night Sam had his first basketball scrimage. He did pretty darn good. He rebounded and shot once and then managed to shoot once when he got the ball. He's still having a hard time understanding this Offense/Defense business, but we're working on it. He has a scrimage next week, too, then real games start Jan. 2. That is the date that we will just move into the gymnasium. What with games one or two nights a week, plus practices who knows how many nights a week......I'm looking into having my mail forwarded there, too.

Tuesday night after the scrimage, I sponge-rolled Addison's hair because Tater had her office Christmas party that night. By the time everyone got bathed, curled and bedded, it was 10:30. I still had candy to make for 3 teachers and Kady's birthday presents to wrap. I made candy until 1am, then cleaned up, wrapped gifts and collapsed onto the bed at 1:40am. I love the holiday exhaustion. Paul and I coined a phrase years ago - Christmas Tired. There is no exhaustion quite like the exhaustion you feel after running around to every dysfunctional family member's home for a solid week, then waiting until the kids are good and asleep before you can start putting stickers on Hot Wheels tracks, stuffing batteries into baby dolls and then disposing of every box, tag and piece of plastic before you finally fall into bed so tired you can hardly move. Well, I was Christmas Tired on Tuesday and Christmas was 6 days away.

Kady's birthday was Wednesday - Mom got her a Baby Alive. Of course, we had to feed her immediately. I held the doll on my lap because we were lacking a doll-sized high chair at that moment and Kady fed her. Then the doll proceded to shit on my leg. Dolly poo on your leg is not all you might think it's cracked up to be. Trust me on this one.

Wednesday Kady and I went to the kids' Christmas parties at school. Sam's class sang Happy Birthday to Kady, which I thought was sweet. Abby got some lip gloss and a maze book. Sam got a monster truck and a couple of other Hot Wheels. Their teachers and Sam's student teacher got candy. I got more tired from running back and forth across the hall to divide my time equally between both kids. Next year I'll add another entire building to have to visit. Paul was supposed to go, but he's got a horrible chest cold/bronchitis/typhoid and pulled some muscles around his ribs and could hardly move. Lucky booger.

Yesterday we went to Tulsa for Abby's orthodontist appointment. We drove an hour and a half, took them cookies and candy, the assistants and hygienists played with Kady's Baby Alive for 10 minutes then we headed back home. If I didn't love that dentist and his staff so much there is no way we'd drive to Tulsa once a month for a 5 minute appointment.

When we got home from Tulsa, I crashed on the couch for an hour while the kids watched TV, then we watched Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Awesome, awesome movie. We'll definitely be buying it. Paul had watched it the night before to make sure it wasn't too scary for the kids, so he slept through it. After that, the kids watched the Grinch in my room while I watched The Devil Wears Prada. And just for the record, the book is much better. The movie wasn't bad, but the book was just better. Paul watched the last 3/4 of it with me. If I had asked him to watch a movie of that nature with me, he'd have dug in his heels and flatly refused, but catching him fresh from a nap, he watched it and liked it. Then finally, because our brains hadn't flatlined enough from gratuitous movie-watching, we put in You, Me and Dupree. Paul woke me up several times laughing out loud, but I thought it was a boring, droll movie. I didn't like what I watched of it, which was like 30 minutes.

Today I laid on the couch until 10:30 and only got up then because I knew the house HAD to be cleaned today because starting tonight we have a family gathering every night until Christmas. Okay, so it's only 3 days, but still.....I was afraid it would get away from us what with bringing in toys every day. The kids and I cleaned the kitchen and living room, I've done some laundry and now we're just waiting until The Princess and her brother get here. (The Queen and King are going to his office Christmas party and we get to watch the royal children overnight. The kids are ecstatic.)

Oh, and for those who have asked or are wondering:

This semester at NEO I'm taking 13 hours. 12 of those hours are online - Intermediate Algebra, American History from 1865, English Comp II and General Psychology. One hour a week I have to, by arrangement with my advisor, work on the campus newspaper. Being a Mass Communications Major requires it. I have mixed emotions about it. I'm really not in Mass Comm. because I want to be a reporter, per se, but I may get in there and love it. And before it's all said and done, I may switch my major to something more along the lines of English instead of Journalism, but we'll see. Right now I'm just trying to get an Associates of Something.

So now you know.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Eve, everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Trial and error

Yesterday I enrolled at NEO.

I am an official college student. Sometimes I hyperventilate when I say those words.

I was nearly sick all morning yesterday before I went to enroll. I might be a bit tense about this new phase of my life. Actually, I'm better now that the enrolling is done. I still get flutters when I think about this gigantic undertaking.

Late at night when I'm tired and frustrated, the doubts start creeeeeeeping in. What was I thinking - I am almost 34 years old! I have three children who need for me to devote all of my time to them. When will I have time to study? Will I ever cook dinner again? What if I get anything less than an A - will I still be devastated like I was in High School? Have I just set myself up for failure?

Fortunately, during the daytime hours I feel exhilarated by the decision to go to school. I really am excited. Paul says he'll respect my pleas for alone time and promises he'll keep the kids out of my way when I'm studying. Riiiiiight. And monkeys might fly outta my butt. But it was sweet that he said it.

What is cracking me up more than anything is the reaction people are giving Mom, Tater and me when we tell people I'm going back to school. The other day in Wal*Mart, Mom saw my 5th grade teacher. She asked about Tater and I and what we were doing these days. Mom said, "Well, for the last several years Kristin has had a home daycare, but last week she shut it down. Now she's going back to school." The woman literally let out a "Praise the Lord!" in the card aisle at Wal*Mart. Have I been that disappointing all these years?

It's only been 16 years! Okay, so 16 years is kind of a long time.....I'll grant you that one. In my defense, though, in those 16 years I have taken the time to get married, start a family, raise my children, assist in raising a dozen or so other people's children while running a fairly successful home business and have never regretted any of it. It's not always been a walk in the park. There have been times when I wasn't working and money was very scarce. There were also numerous times when I thought I was going to lose my mind if I didn't talk to another adult human being - someone who hadn't recently pooped in their pants. Over the years I have discovered my strengths. And my weaknesses. I've experienced highs and lows and in-betweens. I have been incredibly blessed to have been able to stay at home with all three of my children. My family has put up with a messy house that was most of the time completely crawling with children, parents and oodles of toys. My husband has grown to appreciate me and what I do and am capable of.

When I graduated from High School, Mom's boss at the time was an attorney. He is an amazing man and I have always admired him. I worked for him in his law office several summers before he retired. He has been good to Mom over the years and to this day Mom continues to check in on him and help him when he needs it. He sent me a graduation card nearly 16 years ago and inside that card, attached to some money, was a slip of paper that said:

Trial and error

You can see that it's pretty worn. It went with me to Stillwater for that very brief stint of living away from home. It has been to every house Paul and I have lived in over the years. It's been taped to the top of my desk a few times. It's been taped to the inside of a desk drawer a few times. I laminated it a few years ago because it was starting to look pretty rough. Now it hangs next to my desk, stuck to the wall with a thumbtack. If I turn my head directly to the right it is exactly at eye level. I've read it thousands of times over the last 16 years because I knew that if Mr. Reed said it, it had to be true - I would eventually find myself if I was patient enough.

It hasn't happened all at once. I found a little bit of myself when I met Paul. I found more when we got pregnant with and lost our first child. The birth of Abby, the purchase of our first home, the birth of Sam, the near end of our marriage, the purchase of our second home, the birth of Kady.....all of those events added a little bit more to me. Is the picture complete? Have I completely found myself? No. And I'm not sure I ever will. We all change and grow over time. Different events in life change the whole picture and what was a part of me three years ago might not be a part of me now. I'm probably closer to finding myself than I've ever been, though, and I don't plan to stop. Maybe someday the task will be complete, but until then I'm content to keep trying.

He said "First you have to find yourself" and for a long time I thought that meant that my life would not be complete, whole or remotely enjoyable until that elusive "myself" was found first. I worried that I was wasting time wandering around aimlessly, being ineffective and worthless and that life meant nothing until I had found myself. As a teenager and even as a young adult, I accepted nothing less than perfection of myself. If I didn't do it perfect the first time I was a failure and that was that. Over the years I have discovered that having children relaxes a person quite a bit. Thank God for that. Now, I know what Mr. Reed meant by "Accept trial and error". I have perfected that part. When it comes to attempting and failing and trying again, I'm your woman.

I'm sure that I'll fail a few more times before it's all said and done and I'm okay with that. It's like watching your child learn to walk. You watch them stand and wobble, then flop back down onto their bottoms with a hearty "oomph!" Maybe they cry when they hit the floor, maybe they just sigh and try again. Maybe they don't try again for awhile. When they do try again, you sit and watch, holding your breath and wondering if they'll wobble as much. Eventually they do it and maybe they get scared. Maybe all you see on their face is joy and accomplishment and determination. Then they try taking a few steps. They fall again, hitting that floor and sitting there wondering what the heck just happened. Eventually though, they get it and nothing is the same from that moment on.

For me, it really has taken years. And I'm so glad it has.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I used to be a really good multi-tasker. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I was nearing phenomenal.

Now, I can hardly breathe and blink without having to realllllly think about it.

I need a vacation. I need a nap. I need for my whole entire house to be clean all at once. I need organization. I need money. I need to quit whining.

I need to never watch The Biggest Loser again. That show should inspire me, but all it does is remind me that I will never be that muscular and thin and healthy because I don't have the money to have a personal trainer or even a gym membership. I applied for the show once - Tater and I sent an audition tape together when they were asking for siblings. We sang a really corny song to the tune of "Summer Nights" from Grease. It rocked. They totally missed out on putting us on the show.

Oh holy night I'm rambling.

Man, it stinks to be this tired and know that there is still so much more to be done before you can even think about resting. #3 party of 4 goes down tomorrow night. Girl Scouts - I have no cookies made, no craft ready, house is a mess even though it was clean Saturday. I am really not doing a good job with Girl Scouts this year. The last two years I kicked serious leader butt, but this year, not so much. Paul had pity on me tonight after my SU leader called to tell me that the money for our fall fundraiser was due today and I had forgotten that small fact and he helped me sort some stuff and organize my paperwork. I really hope that after Christmas break I have my act together. If not, I doubt I'm a leader next year. I just can't keep doing this - it's not fair to the girls.

I got my financial aid award notification for school today - all is a go for the spring semester. Now to enroll. That should happen Monday. I looked online today and was very disappointed at the amount of available online classes. I had hoped there would be more. I just need to talk to an advisor because I'm feeling very discouraged tonight.

Today I made an appointment for a dental checkup. I haven't seen a dentist since I was 5 months pregnant with Sam. Yeah. I know. That's unexcusable. I have one filling in my mouth and I've had it since I was 7. Lately it's started bothering me. I would say that since it's perilously close to being 30 years old that it's starting to go bad. Mom was going to her dentist today so I asked her to get some prices for me. For a checkup/x-rays/video/cleaning and ONE filling it was going to be anywhere from $350-$400. No way. I have no insurance whatsoever. I was whining about it to Tater and she said she'd seen at the indian clinic last week that they were now taking adults for regular dental appointments. Halleluiah!! You have to jump through a few hoops and it takes awhile to get in and they break everything up into multiple appointments, but it's free and I can get that tooth re-filled. Plus, I think I have another small cavity, too. The earliest appointment they had was February 9th. I'm just glad it wasn't an emergency.

I also made a followup appointment with my regular doctor at the indian clinic while I was at it. The followup appointment that was supposed to have been in October is now in January. It's just to re-check my blood to make sure it's still flowing smoothly and not thick like grape jelly. Thank God for baby aspirin, which I try to take every day. I'm not real good at taking my daily aspirin, but I try. So far I haven't had a blood clot, so I guess I'm doing alright.

Tomorrow is my next-to-the-last day of Diva Daycare. I've shed a few tears already. Friday I'll be a wreck. Trying not to dwell on it. I've spent extra time loving on my babies this week. Of course, today when I was in baby poo up to my elbows because the prunes that I gave Li'l Divinity kicked in and broke the dam and the kid pooed into his socks, I proclaimed, "I don't get paid enough to do this!" A phrase that Kady promptly told Irish Divinity the minute she walked in the door tonight. Love that kid. Thankfully Divinity just laughed. Gosh, I'm gonna miss seeing her every day. Okay, must stop thinking about this. Really.

I think I'll go make my little bed on the couch. No way am I sleeping with Mr. Coughypants tonight. I refuse to endure another night with his knees poking me in the back of the legs while he coughs on my neck. The dude just doesn't understand why that bothers me. Warm germy air on my skin....................ICK!

Because if you can't be clever, you can just post a survey (or four)

Much to the chagrin of me, myself, I and my sister, I now have a MySpace account and I (gasp) have even made some changes to it and it's nauseating pink and purple and I have a very strange attachment to it. Did I mention the chagrin? I swore I'd never do it.

Anyway, along with MySpace comes many, many opportunities to do many, many surveys and y'all know what a survey whore I am. And as the title says, if you can't be clever on your own, you can just post your answers to embarrassing questions.


1. What TV character do you most identify with? Roseanne

2. Describe the worst haircut you’ve ever had? She cut it short, but left the sides really long - I cried all the way home. It was like a reverse mullet.

3. Would you share your ChapStick with a complete stranger? NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Can you say OCD?

4. What was your favorite toy growing up, and do you still have it, and if not, do you want it? Strawberry Shortcakes - yes I still have them. In fact, my youngest child played with them this afternoon.

5. If all of the people within ten years of your own age vanished off of the planet, would you date someone older or younger than you? I married a man 10 years older than me and it hasn't been too much of a problem. I'm totally attracted to older men so dating someone much older wouldn't bother me. However, I have dated guys younger than me and it was like babysitting. Of course, at the time I was 18 and they were like 16, so not only was it illegal, but yeah, it pretty much was babysitting.

6. What is the first thing you do when you get into the shower? I usually have to adjust the water temperature some more. Then I wet my hair

7. Tell us about the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done to impress someone you had a crush on. Begged him to just say he was my boyfriend for a week. I cringe when I think about it now.

8. If dogs assumed the roles of humans and humans assumed the roles of dogs, what tricks would you do and how often would you ask to be left outside to go to the bathroom? What a stupid effing question.

9. Scarier slasher… Freddy, Jason or Leatherface… and tell us why. Freddy is ridiculous. Leatherface is uber creepy and certainly wouldn't want to encounter him. I have never seen a Jason movie.

10. Do you have any strange eating habits that you’d like to share with us? I won't eat brussel sprouts, asparagus or cooked spinach. I cannot eat a PB&J with any flavor jelly other than grape. I can't drink milk unless it has chocolate in it and even then I have to drink it really fast and not breathe while I'm doing it.

11. Sex… overrated act, or everything it’s cracked up to be? Depends on how much sleep I've had.

12. What was the last thing you printed from your computer? A counted cross stitch pattern.

13. Outside of a Christmas Tree, name something you decorate in the month of December. My entire house

14. How many people know the real you? Pretty much everyone - I'm an open book. There are only a few hidden chapters.

15. What is your greatest accomplishment thus far? Having and raising three kids who, number one I was told I'd never have and number two, so far haven't turned out to be juvenile delinquents.

16. How soon do you think it is before CDs are completely obsolete? Oh good grief, I still have cassettes and record albums.

17. Is there an everyday activity that you never learned to master? I can't swim, but frankly it's not something I want to accomplish since I'm terrified of water.

18. What is your least favorite month of the year and why? August because it's so freakin' hot.

19. When was the last time you regretted a decision you made? I spanked Abby and it turned out to not be her fault. It was hard enough to spank a 10 year old who is nearly as tall as I am and then to have to go back and apologize was not fun.

20. Give us one memory from kindergarten. Mrs. Pogue pulling me aside at the book fair and having me read a 3rd grade book for the 2nd grade teacher. She was really proud and I just wanted to impress that 2nd grade teacher for her.

21. If you were an animal living in a zoo, would you be content in your life? Again, stupid effing question.

22. Are you living your ideal life, and if not, what would it take? I've pretty much accomplished the big goals I'd set for myself - getting married and having kids. Now to work on the book.

23. What is a better memory trigger for you… sights, sounds or scents? Scents and sounds would have to tie.

24. Have you ever sat in the back of a police car? Yes - at Cadet Lawman Academy. We sat in the back while the other people in our squad got to drive recklessly. Talk about good times.

25. Do you consider yourself “normal”? Normal is so boring.

26. What is the sexiest quality a significant other can have? A sense of humor and a knack for knowing what I need and want and me not having to print a friggin' sign to let him know.

27. More annoying… a flea, a mosquito, or a gnat? Pecker gnats are just so bothersome. (Not that I have a pecker or anything.)

28. Would you sleep with a stranger for a million dollars? You betchum, Red Ryder. I really need some money right now. My bookie's on my back.

29. What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done in life? Slept with a total stranger. It was eons ago and I was going through a very rebellious phase.

30. Could you make it to Hollywood auditions in American Idol? No way. I can't sing anymore.



1. What brand of shirt are you wearing? A Just My Size sweatshirt.

2. Would you kiss anyone on your top friends? This is obviously a MySpace question - I don't make it a habit of rating my friends anymore. In elementary school, yes. Adulthood, not so much. Anyway, my top friends on MySpace are mostly female. Although.....if the money were right.......

3. How many kids do you want to have? I think I'll just stick with the three I have. My husband says I can't have any more toys.

4. Do you have a good relationship with your parents? My mom, yes. Dad....well, things aren't the way I'd like them to be.

5. Do you wanna change your name? Nope. I've always liked my name. I never went through the phase where I wanted to change it. Although in 7th grade I tried spelling it Krystin for awhile.

6. What did you do for your last birthday? CASINO RUN!!!

7. What time did you wake up today? 6:30 - I totally slept in. Paul coughed all night and when he wasn't coughing and waking me up, he was jabbing me with his bony knees or molesting me.

8. What were you doing at midnight last night? Cursing the cold my husband has acquired.

9. Name something you CANNOT wait to do? Go to Disney World in January.

10. Last time you saw your dad? Uhhh.......Halloween.

11. What is one thing you wish you could change about your family? All in all, I'm pretty happy with how things are now.

12. How many people live in your household? 5

13. Last thing you ate/drink? A Dr. Pepper and a chocolate chip cookie

14. Favorite month(s)? December and January

15. Least favorite month(s)? July and August

16. Have you gotten a flu shot? Nope. Never. Don't plan on it either. Years of working with small, germy children has given me a pretty stout immunity.

17. Who's getting on your nerves right now? At this particular moment, not a soul. How rare.

18. Last person to make you sad? Mom called me yesterday afternoon to tell me that her neighbor had passed away. He was such a sweet man.

19. What brand of underwear are you wearing? Cacique by Lane Bryant

20. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

21. Have you been kissed by anyone within the past six months? I've gotten oodles of snotty-faced kisses, some quick pecks from my oldest children and a few real good ones from the youngest child. Oh yeah, the husband has thrown in a few token smacks, too.

22. Last person to make you laugh? Kinley - I was tickling her until she lost her breath. I am inherently cruel when it comes to tickling babies.

23. What is one thing you can't do, but wish you could? Lose weight and keep it off.

24. Who was the last person you slept in a bed with? My coughing, bony-kneed, horny husband.

Tooooooooooooooo much

Anyone who can keep a blog up with any semblance of regularity this time of year is a better person that I am. I can't find time to take a decent crap, much less post on my blog.

We've gotten 2 of the 4 parties we're hosting out of the way already and the next one is tomorrow night. I say "we're" hosting, but y'all know as well as I do that it's me doing all the work. God love him, my husband is just not a partier.

Saturday night was the Annual Hoover Christmas Bash and much fun was had by all. I'll try to post later today our version of The Night Before Christmas. It was by far the raunchiest one yet.

Last night Santa made a visit to Diva Ranch to see the kids a bit early. This was Santa's last visit to Diva Daycare and I'm glad I was so busy that I couldn't dwell on that. I've been a little emotional lately.

Tomorrow night is the Girl Scout troop's Christmas party. We haven't had a meeting in 3 weeks due to Thanksgiving and the kids' school program, but we're forging ahead with the party anyway. Pizza, cookie decorating and much giggling - what could be better.

Sunday is the Glenn Family Festivus Celebration. Let the tacky gifts fly! You can bet pictures will be posted.

Last night was Sam's first basketball practice. Bless his heart, considering the child has never been shown how to shoot, pass or run a play, he did great. He was late getting on a team and the other boys have 3 practices on him. One of the moms sitting next to me said, "Well, you just need to get out there and show him how to shoot a ball!" I ignored her. She then nudged me because she obviously felt it necessary to ask the fat chick " did play ball in school....didn't you?" I looked at her over my glasses (my kids know that this is never ever a good thing) and said, "I was in the Band. I was in Drama. I blog. I do not shoot basketballs nor have I ever." She said a quiet, "Oh." and then added, "Bless his heart." I love parenting politics.

Last Sunday we went to Silver Dollar City to see Santa because you know the real one goes there. All the others are posers. We stood in line over and hour and a half to see the dude and then he had the nerve to tell Tater's tots that he would not bring them a hamster. Tater was almost in tears. He said he won't bring live animals on his sleigh. Says it makes them sick. If I had been thinking clearly and hadn't been starving to death and wondering if my kids would be overly traumatized if I paid them to see a poser Santa instead of the real deal, I would've remembered that he told Abby the exact same thing one year - that no, he would not bring her a cat and that her mom and dad would have to do that. Oy vey, Santa - have a little Christmas couth, why don'tcha? Tater was behind the kids, nodding that yes, they were getting a hamster and the dude still found it in his three-sizes-too small Grinchy heart to crush their little rodenty Christmas dreams. Next year we're just going to deal with an imposter who will agree to whatever we nod behind the kids' backs.

Oh and before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I am personally on a mission to bring big hair back. 2007 is going to be The Year of Big Hair. Tell your friends. Abby even went to school yesterday was gigantic hair and thought she was the coolest thing ever. I patted her on the shoulder as she walked out the door with curls a'bouncin' and said, "Oh sissy, if you think this is great, wait till I show you how to use a teasing comb and cheap hairspray!" Grasshopper has so much to learn. I announced to Tater while I was fluffing my overly large banged hair that I was bringing sexy back along with big hair and she laughed. When I told Abby the same thing she said, "Mom, you can bring back big hair, but sexy.......not so much." My family loves me. And you know, maybe they're just wanting me to take it slow - big hair and sexy might be too much for right now.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dissed coin a probably outdated word.

I got dissed.

Urban defines the word three ways:

A - 1. Dissing someone is showing disrespect to them.
2. Being dissed is the act of being disconnected, by voice or by modem, from another party.

B - The act of putting someone down with words.

C - "Dis"missed impolitely .

I got C. I got dismissed. Shunned. In other words, completely ignored. And man, did it hurt.

I am not one of those people who is loved and liked by everyone. Believe it or not, despite my charming blog-self (I write this all tongue-in-cheek. I really don't think that highly of myself.), I can be a royal bitch. I have a few foes out there. They pretty much know who they are. And those that are the stand-out non-friends.... well, the feeling's pretty much mutual. It's fine by me and them.

But this dissing I got was totally out of the blue. It was a friend I'd gone to high school with and thought we were close. We've been through a hell of a lot over the years and in fact, had just had a 30 minute long phone conversation with her a week or so before the dissing occured. Not once did she act like she didn't want to talk to me on the phone or express having an issue with me.

Needless to say, I was stunned when she ignored me and my greeting. So stunned I was speechless. That is a hard task to accomplish with me. Tater was with me when it happened and while we were both shocked, the person wasn't as close to her as she was to me, so she was taken aback, but not as hurt as I was. I walked along for several aisles, mouth open, unable to talk. My first instinct was to cry, but the other holiday shoppers at Target probably wouldn't have appreciated my open bawling, so instead I just gripped the cart tighter and said nothing, did nothing. Finally Tater, put her hand on my shoulder and said, "You know it doesn't matter, right? You know that you don't need them if that's how they are going to treat you. Right?" And I nodded, blinked back the tears and said, "Yeah. I guess. But Tater.....why?" Being a true friend and a fabulous sister, she leaned her head on my shoulder and said, "You know you'll always have me, right?" When I turned to look at her, her blonde head resting on my shoulder, her green eyes blinking up at me dramatically, I couldn't help but laugh. I wanted to hug her right then and there, but again, the other holiday shoppers at Target probably wouldn't have appreciated a blatant sister hug-fest right then and there. It would've caused me to cry anyway. And boy howdy, would she have been embarrassed anyway.

And while I laughed it off right then with my little sister batting her eyelashes at me, I was sick to my stomach the rest of the time we were in the store because I was afraid I'd run into them again and how would I react? Would I say anything? Should I say anything?

I mentioned it to Mom the next day. My mother is such a kind soul. She has this empathy that I wish I had. Her answer to my "Why?" was, "Kristin, you just don't know what is going on in her life right now. Maybe she simply couldn't talk to you at that moment." I hadn't thought of that. And while that is very possible and all, I just can't help but think that maybe I just wasn't the kind of friend to her that I thought I was. Maybe she wasn't the friend I thought she was.

I have this opinion that if you are friends with someone, you are friends with them to the end. I'm talking true friends. Not just Mary Jo and Phyllis that you see a couple of times a month at a PTA meeting and have had a cup of coffee with a few times. No, I'm talking true friends that have been there for each other for years and years, have suffered through heart breaks, child loss, trying times with kids and husbands, struggling to find identities while being stay at home mommies - these are the guts of friendship. Crying to each other, screaming and yelling and then being forgiven, bad hair days, bad breath days, I just don't want to deal with it days - those are indeed the times that test friendships, but I always thought they were also the times that forged the friendship into someone stronger and infallible and well, forever.

I guess maybe I thought wrong.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Too much of a good thing

I have been in my house since Wednesday morning. Now, normally this wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the time I choose to stay holed up here, but now that I know I can'tget out, I'm GOING CRAZY. Seriously.

I even planned on going to church tomorrow - that's how nutso I am right now. But Paul nixed that one for me. He says the roads are still nasty and I really shouldn't be out. I was begging him less than an hour ago to take me to a casino. I don't even have any money. I just want to be somewhere other than here.

It did warm up enough that the kids were able to play in the snow today without fear of frost bite and hypothermia. That was a nice 30 minutes for me.

Well....I enjoyed it until the kids left me this in the foyer:

The mom in me can't enjoy a snow day for too long.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Be careful what you wish for

Boy howdy, did we get snow. About two hours ago Abby went out in the yard with a ruler and measured about 4" of snow, with who the heck knows how much ice underneath. I have never seen so much ice and sleet in my life. The ground was totally covered pretty much all day and it was nothing but ice, not snow. The kids kept asking to go play in the snow and I kept saying, "Kids, as soon as we get some, we'll play in it!" Of course, I'm a big fat liar because the temps are so dang dangerous that there is no way in heck that I'm letting them outside tomorrow. Wind chills will be around 5-15'. Not kid-friendly weather. We grownups, however, will be frollicking until we give ourselves pneumonia. Wait. Who am I kidding - I am curling up with a counted cross-stitch.

Mom and the Taters are spending the night here, just in case the power goes out. We're the only house with an alternate heat source - a kerosene heater. We've played Blink and Apples to Apples, done a lot of visiting and now Paul and I are out here in the bedroom praying that the Statler Brothers DVD they're watching will be over soon. Don't get me wrong, I like the Statler Brothers, but it's 11:30 and we're tired. Just now when Barbara Mandrell hit a high note Paul threw the covers over his head and said, "Oh holy shiiiiiitttttt."

Before this storm is all said and done we should accumulate more than a foot of snow. WAHOO!

An assload of snow, family camped out in my living room, a fire blazing in the fireplace, and nearing completion on my first ever counted, life is good.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

just a few things

** A few weeks ago I cut myself some bangs. I have worn bangs since birth because I inherited not only my father's rapidly graying hair, but also his ginormous forehead. I was told that bangs were needed to cover the continent above my eyebrows and took that as gospel. Then a few years ago I got tired of being the only banged person in the universe and grew them out. For two years I was bangless. It was a good two years.

Let me advise thee, oh faithful readers - don't ever cut your hair when you are stressed out, depressed, sad, premenstrual, your planet is in retrograde or on the eve of your grandfather's funeral. Oh, it might seem like the thing to do at the time, but you will regret it. Trust me on this.

Even though I left the new bangs fairly long, they are still bangs and are constantly in my eyes. And maybe it's just that my bangs are just extra absorbent, like a feminine hygeine product, but my bangs soak up the oil on my forehead and therefore by about 10am they are just pathetically droopy and greasy. I swear I wash my hair, but you couldn't tell it by mid-morning.

Now begins the long drawn-out process of growing the m****r*****rs out again.


** We are anticipating snow in the next 24 to 36 hours.

Yes, I said SNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! I'm simply aflutter at this prospect. I know that being a lifelong resident of Oklahoma, the state which has taken global warming very seriously, I should not get my hopes up. The forecasts always say snow and we get bupkis, but the kid in me is still hoping for a snow day this week. I got new jammies last week that are just begging to be worn all day long while I listen to my kids whine that they are borrrrrrrrred and have no toys.


** Having a TV in the bedroom again is nirvana for me. I go to sleep every night to either old cartoons on Boomerang, drifting off to the sounds of Speed Buggy's sputtering or shrieks and squeals from the stars on Celebrity Paranornal Project, courtesy of VH1. I mean, how much better can things get? We haven't even had a chance to order porn yet. I may die of happiness when that happens.


** Paul has gained 28 pounds since he started work at Buffalo Run. This is a fact that the twisted part of me finds somewhat humorous. He weighed all of 163 pounds when we got married. He is 6'1" and has always been lanky and thin. it wrong that I find his new belly amusing? He once told me, "If you're tired of being fat, just quit eating. It seems pretty simple to me." HA! Stick that one in your 10pm burrito and chip fest there, big boy.


** I got some new eye makeup remover a few weeks ago. I'm thinking I'm going to throw it away. Let me just say that it's a good thing I take my makeup off at night when I'm going to sleep because I'd be dangerous if my vision was this impaired during the day. I feel like I've poured baby oil directly into my eyes, then rubbed some french fries or other fast food in them as well.


** A few weeks ago I bought a counted cross-stitch kit at Dollar Tree. I figured for a buck I could try it and throw it away because I fully expected to hate it. I am not a real domestic person. Mom and Tater can sew like crazy, but me, not so much. If it hadn't been for the fact that my HomeEc teacher really liked me, I'd have flunked the 9 weeks where we sewed. I don't crochet, knit or any other activity involving yarn, thread and fabric. Until now. Now, I am addicted to counted cross-stitch. It's sad. I don't even like to hang stuff like up in my house! It's just the doing it that I'm loving. What I'll do with the projects when I'm done is beyond me.

It seems like I saw on, though, that somewhere there are cross-stitch kits with profanity and curse words and I will SO be looking into that. I think combining cross-stitch and cuss words is just about the coolest thing you could ever do.


** The family has made plans for Festivus this year. The last two years, just us cousins celebrated Festivus in one wild evening of nonsense and liquor. This year, the grownups are getting involved as well. (Isn't it funny that I refer to my mother, aunt and uncles as the grownups? We're still the kids in my mind.) The objective this year is to buy the tackiest gift we can find, then numbers will be applied to them upon arrival at the Festivus gathering. We'll draw for gifts, open them, then vote on the tackiest. The winner, the purchaser of The Tackiest Gift of Festivus, will receive the Turkey Award.

Papa, for some reason, had a framed picture of a turkey on the bathroom wall, next to the toilet. We aren't sure why. So, the other night when we were gathered once again at Papa's house to go through and distribute items, it was decided that the Turkey Award, the esteem framed turkey print, would be the trophy for Festivus from here on out. But here's where it gets good - the winner of the Turkey Award must hang the picture on their bathroom wall, next to the toilet for one full year. Family members will be checking.


** I love my family.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Weekend Headlines

"Homeowners Lose Living Room Furniture": Wednesday morning, rural Ottawa County homeowners, The Divas, began shuffling furniture around their house in an attempt to create more room. The toyroom became their bedroom, their old bedroom became a tween's bedroom and their youngest child now has a bunk bed all to herself. This sounds like a story with a happy ending, right? Wrong. In the middle of the hubbub, the family lost their living room furniture. The husband had this to say, "I know we have a couch, but I'll be damned if I can find it." The wife was unavailable for comment - she was buried in a pile of toys, looking for the recliner.

"Another Kitten Dies in Mysterious Accident": After more than 30 cats have met their demise at a particular residence, the authorities were finally called in to investigate. Yet another kitten gave up the last of its nine lives on Wednesday at the Diva Ranch. "Lady", as she was called by the family's children, was fine as she trotted onto the carport Wednesday afternoon, when she suddenly fell to the ground and began having an apparent seizure. Redneck Diva, the female suspect in this series of feline deaths, was quoted as saying, "I was putting something in the dresser when Sam [her son] busted in the back door and said the cat had had a heart attack and died. I was a bit suspicious, so I went out to investigate. Sure enough, that kitten was dead as a doornail." Investigation has shown that the kitten's back was broken as a direct result of its climbing up under the homeowners' brother-in-law's car while it was parked. When he started the engine, the cat was obviously mortally wounded. No arrests have been made.

"Child Star Gets Big Break": Abby Diva has made her way into the Broadway scene after repeatedly re-enacting the final moments of her kitten's life for family members over the Thanksgiving holiday. "That kid has real talent," a family member was heard saying. Another family member said, "It'll probably land her in therapy one of these days, but that kid sure can act like a dying cat. It nearly brought me to tears."

"Sisters Go On Much-Needed, Yet Irresponsible Shopping Spree": Diva and Tater, two sisters from the Miami area, set out on Friday afternoon to start and finish their Christmas shopping. Disappointment was met several times throughout the day when they were told repeatedly that the item they were seeking had been sold out since 6:05 that morning. "That's what we get for sleeping in," said Diva. The two weren't daunted, however, and kept on shopping. While sitting at a bench eating pretzels, the two discussed how their daughters will never wear some of the current trends seen on other shoppers. "I feel like I'm in a time-warp," said Tater. "I keep seeing leggings under mini-skirts and big hair. It's like the 90's have come back to haunt us." The shopping spree ended after the sisters successfully walked the entire mall, visited Kohl's, Lane Bryant and Target and finished up at Wal*Mart. They returned to their respective residences after midnight.

"Breaking news: Husbands Who Strangle Their Wives on Thanksgiving Saturday": Story in progress.

"Furniture Found": The Divas found their living room furniture on Saturday afternoon, authorities report. Detectives were on the scene when Redneck Diva found her big chair and couch. "It's the welcome end of a long investigation," says one investigator. "They can finally watch TV again."

"Apple to Apples Spurs Loud Raucous Laughter Among Cousins": Tater Bug brought her own personal board game "Apples to Apples" to a family Thanksgiving dinner last night. The cousins gathered around the table were unsure of the game's "fun factor" after hearing the directions read, but decided to give it a try regardless. What ensued was nearly 2 hours of hysteria, wild margarita spilling and an unidentified source says that a hot pink flamingo necklace was involved. The family recouperates today.

The other 41

It's only taken me a week to get to it ......

41 more things about me:

1. Christmas tree: pine or cedar?
Plastic. Right outta the box it came in from Wal*Mart.

2. Name two dumb things you did as a kid.
There was a huge hill down past DeLisa's house that lead straight to the river bottom. De and I would sit back from the top of that hill and start pedalling like we were being chased by the devil. When we flew past the top of that hill, we'd put our feet up on the handlebars and if we were feeling particularly stupid, we'd raise our hands in the air. It's a wonder we weren't smashed to bits on that hill.

As a kid, I didn't do much stupid stuff. I was very, very nerdily cautious. The bike thing was something I'd done so many times that I didn't realize how stupid and dangerous it was until I look back now and swear my children will never do something like that.

3. What foods did your mom used to make that you will never, ever cook?
Occasionally Papa would get a hankering for beef tongue and Mom, like a good daughter, would boil it up for him. Now, I love my dad and all, but I will never boil a beef tongue for him. Mom would also always make brussel sprouts and asparagus and I HATE them both - I have never even had a can of either in my house.

4. Describe the place you go to in your head when you need to calm down.
I don't do this - mainly because I am never calm.

5. Have you ever seen a ghost, or something you can't explain?
Yes. When DeLisa lived in a creepy rock house in Wyandotte, we were "chased" up the stairs by a ghost, who made it to the top of the stairs before us and slammed the door shut. We screamed like we were being mutilated. And while I haven't ever seen her, I swear to you there is an old woman who inhabits this house with us. She's ornery, too. And finally, because you don't quite have enough information yet to have me committed, when I was a junior in high school there was some big hubbub about lights in the sky around the area. One night, in hopes of seeing something, my boyfriend, Tater and I sat on a blanket in the front yard, our eyes glued to the skies. It was nearly time for Brad to go home and we were going to start packing up, when about 2 miles away, a light rose up over the treeline. It hovered there for a few seconds then did that whole sci-fi movie, move like it's going to fly away and then disappear because it went so fast. Yeah. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'. I know Tater will back me up.

6. If money and image didn't matter, what would you do for a living?
Write, write, write. Wait, I'm planning on doing this anyway - and money really does matter. I gotta feed those kids, ya know! This might work out to be a problem.....

7. Did you ever fall off a horse and get right back on?
I'm terrified of horses.

8. What name did you call a sibling that was sure to start a fight?
If I called Tater a baby, the fight was on.

9. Describe the events surrounding your first alcoholic drink.
Mom, Tater and I had gone to Joplin to the mall to shop for me a Prom dress. We saw a group of my friends and they asked if I could go run around with them. Mom gave me $5 because we said we'd probably stop for a soda or something. Instead of soda, we bought liquor. Then we played this hilarious game called Get The Nerdy Girl Obliterated. I was the Nerdy Girl in the game. We all stood in a row, me at the end. The bottle was in a brown paper bag and everyone had to drink and pass the bottle on. Since I was at the end of the line I had to finish to bottle. Those guys were drinking A LOT so I figured there would be nothing left. Not only was I nerdy, but incredibly stupid - they weren't drinking. When that bottle got to me it was nearly full and I chugged the entire bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill. Ohhhh how drunk I was. Crying drunk. Then, to top off the whole thing, I had Jerry take me home. Instead of propping me up against the doorframe and speeding off, he was chivalrous enough to escort me in. I busted open the back door and announced in a loud, slurry voice, "MOM. I'MMMMM DRUNK." I think the corker of this whole story, the true testament to what a horrible kid I was, was that this all happened on the day my dad moved out. My mom had just that day become a divorcee' and single mother and her eldest child came in so altered she couldn't walk.

10. Have you ever had a wild animal as a pet?
A ground squirrel. It had gotten caught in a mousetrap in the garage and had broken its leg. Dad splinted its leg with a popsicle stick. Took us awhile to convince it to go when it was better. I think we girls cried.

11. Do you have a deep, dark, secret?
Yes. Several. And they shall remain so deep and dark and secretive that they will eventually grow mold. Or turn into diamonds.

12. Would you ever shoot a deer?
My name clearly states that I am a redneck. I could not hold this title if I were not willing to kill a deer. Now, the diva part of it all comes into play when I say I refuse to eat said deer.

13. Do you return money if you get too much change?
Depends on how far away payday is.

14. What puzzles you?

My mother.

15. How do/did you act toward a person you have/had a crush on?
Ugh, I used to be a total stalker. I mean, like if I did that kind of stuff today, I'd have restraining orders slapped all over my pathetic self. There is this one guy that I wish I had the guts to apologize to over how I acted around him. He and I ended up at the same birthday party last March and the look in his eyes when he realized who I was just screamed fear. I think if I had talked to him he'd have screamed like a little girl. I am so embarrassed.

16. What makes you cry?
Pretty much everything.

17. What's the best bargain you ever bought at a yard sale?
I don't yard sale much, but I did get a copy of Little Black Sambo for Mom at an auction for $20. The auctioneer told me I stole it.

18. How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
Does a sewing bee really sew? If you plant birdseed does a bird grow? How far down does a kitchen sink? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

19. If nobody is watching, would you run a stop sign?
A few weeks ago when Kady was having that really bad asthma attack, I ran a stoplight. It was 3am, there was no one around and I made sure it was safe before I made that decision.

20. Do you believe in Hell?
Yes. And the handbasket that will take me there.

21. What material possession do you value most?
Pictures of my kids

22. Which day is better...Friday or Sunday?
Definitely Friday. On Sunday, I cry a lot.

23. Do you read a book more than once?
Yes. I've read The Catcher in the Rye more times than I could count. I'm on my second way through the Mitford series. Stephen King's Insomnia is another one I've read more than once.

24. What is the greatest problem with today's society?
Lack of respect.

25. How old were you when you first touched somebody else's hoohah?

26. Would you ever skydive?
It's hard enough to actually get me on a plane - why would I entertain the thought of jumping out of one?

27. Name 3 songs significant to your romantic life, and tell why.
Crazy For You - Madonna. It was the song that I played recorded off the radio with my jam box and played over and over again while I wrote note after note to the guy mentioned in Question 15. The word "crazy" in the title should tell you my state of mind back then.
Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins. It was one of Brad's and my songs.
Shameless - Garth Brooks. Paul sang it to me, very drunkenly, one night when we were out and I very drunkenly listened and fell very drunkenly in love with him even very drunkenly more.

28. Would you ever have plastic surgery?
It's only a matter of time before my breasts are put back into their original positions.

29. Does bigfoot/sasquatch/yeti exist?

I am a direct genetic throwback of sasquatch. Have you ever seen the hair on my arms???

30. Are you a follower or a leader?
Depends. There are times I take charge and boss everyone around quite annoyingly. Then there are other times I am very content to sit back and play lemming.

31. What's the worst thing you did when you were a kid?
Came home drunk to my recently singled mother? That's about as bad as they get.

32. List three jobs you would never want to do.
Septic tank cleaner outer, personal assistant to a Hollywood star, teacher

33. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Pepsi is an abomination.

34. Where would you live if you could move your family, friends, and job there?
Springfield, Missouri.

35. Is three really a crowd?
That all depends on the situation. In a menage' a trois, that third person is pretty critical. In my mother's small kitchen, that third person is a liability and a fight waiting to happen.

36. What kind of interpersonal interaction repulses you?
Close talking

37. Who would you rather spend an hour with, a writer or an entertainer?
A writer.

38. Which calendar appeals to you: Nature's Wonders, AmazingArchitectural Feats, Babies as Vegetables, Hot Hunky ConstructionWorkers, Humane Society Cuties?
Ach, they all make me want quit caring what day of the week it is.

39. What would you do if life gave you lemons?
Probably get juice in a papercut and sit down in the corner to cry, then when I went to wipe away the tears, I'd accidentally get lemon juice in my eyes. That's just how things go for me.

40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I don't believe in soulmates, either. I think that's a bunch of malarky.

41. Did you ever wish on a falling star, and have the wish come true?
If you always wish for safe things, they always come true. If you say, "I wish that Monday would follow Sunday" and "I wish that Britney Spears would continue to be crazy" then you will always have your dreams come true.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I stole these from Hillbilly Mom. Like that's any surprise. Lately, when it comes to blog posts I'm waxing pathetic and waning pitiful, so I'm not above stealing.

Forty Questions

1. What is your occupation?
Currently, homemaker/daycare lady. In a few weeks I will magically transform into aging college student.

2. What color are your socks right now?
Not wearing any.

3. What are you listening to right now?
Absolutely nothing. The two 4-year-olds sleeping behind me aren't even snoring, they're so out of it.

4. Last thing that you ate?
That would be dinner last night - Hamburger Helper. This morning all I've had is sweet, blessed coffee.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Not well. If it were a matter of life and death I could probably get where I needed to go, just with lots of fits and starts.

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Blue. Probably Cerulean because I think that's a cool word in and of itself.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Again that would be last night and it was Tater. We were discussing Thanksgiving.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Well, I read it on Hillbilly Mom's blog, so technically I'm just stealing it. But yeah, I like her. She's pretty okay for a stranger I've never met.

9. How old are you today?
According to the calendar I'm 33 and 5/6, but I feel about 90 and 9/10.

10. Favorite drink?
Sweet tea

11. What is your favorite sport to watch?
What are these "sports" you speak of? This is a concept I'm not familiar with.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Oh people, I have had my hair in so many different colors I've teetered on the verge of chamelion-hood. It was even pink at one point. Of course, that was entirely by mistake, but it took awhile to fix.

13. Favorite curse word?
I really like "asshat" and you can't go wrong with a good "m*****f****r" every now and then, but really "dammit" is the one I say most.

14. Pets?
Our cat herd is diminishing swiftly (thank you, Jesus) and we're still waiting for Jake to get a new home.

15. Favorite food?
Chocolate anything

16. What was the last movie you watched?
Over the Hedge

17. Favorite day of the year?

18. What do you do to vent anger?
Cry, throw things and just generally stomp around and throw a tantrum, but that's only when the kids aren't around. Usually, because I'm constantly surrounded by children, I just clean.

19. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Well, I was awfully fond of My Little Pony and Barbie, but I'd say Strawberry Shortcake beat 'em all.

20. What is your favorite Fall or Spring?
Definitely Fall.

21. Hugs or kisses?

22. Cherry or Blueberry?
I'll be your huckleberry, but I don't like cherry or blueberry anything.

23. Do you want your friends to email you back?
I don't know what my friends emailing me has to do with a blog post, but yeah, I like email.

24. Living arrangements?
With my husband and three children in a not-quite 2000 sq. ft. half brick, half cedar siding single-family home with 1 1/2 baths, attached carport and green metal roof sitting on 40 acres of beautiful rural Oklahoma. (I have visions of working in realty someday)

25. When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday morning when Mom and I were talking about my daycare mom who is still in the hospital and very, very sick. I cried for her mom and dad who are so worn out and worried.

26. What is on the floor of your closet?
Actually, just shoes. I moved our closet yesterday and for the first time in 3 years, it is clean and organized.

27. Who's the friend you've had the longest that you're sending this to?
Not sending, just posting. But as far as a friend I've had the longest who might read it......that would be Stacie, if she still reads me.

28. What did you do last night?
Sat on the couch with my mp3 player crooning to me in my ears and did a counted cross-stitch, taking the ear phones off occasionally to listen to my husband ask me questions that began with, "Hey, Granny. Stop knittin' long enough to listen to me." Yeah, he is so precious. He finds it utterly hilarious for some reason that I am doing a counted cross-stitch.

29. Favorite smells?
Babies in Baby Magic, Mom's house, Paul when he gets out of the shower, my kids when they've been playing outside, "Indian Summer" candles from Carmen's Candles (who is no longer doing candles and I think that is a downright abomination).

30. What inspires you?
My kids

31. What are you afraid of?
Water, heights, spiders, clowns, cervical cancer, breast cancer, okay- any kind of cancer, dying and leaving Paul to raise the kids, something happening to Mom or Tater (I would be so incredibly lost without them), disappointing people, dying before I finish what I want to do

32. Country you would most like to visit?

33. Favorite dog breed?

34. Number of keys on your key ring?

35. How many years at your current job?
2 1/2 this go-round, but I've done home daycare nearly 7 years altogether over the years.

36. How many states have you lived in?
One - Okla-byGod-homa.

37. Favorite holidays?
Christmas and Halloween. I loathe Valentine's Day.

38. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery?
Before we had kids, Paul and I had a touring bike and we rode that thing everywhere. Once I found out I was pregnant with Abby I developed a very deep fear of them. Consider Paul's car vs. man on motorcycle wreck and now I'm terrified of them. But I have, however, driven a tractor and feel perfectly safe on it. It's too slow for my taste, though. If I'm going to do farm work I want to do it fast.

39. What's your favorite saying?
I say "Bless your heart" a lot. I would imagine people find it incredibly annoying, but I can't break the habit. I also say, "No no!", "Let's not hit our friends", "Toys are for playing, not for hitting your friends" and "For the love of Pete, where is your father?" a lot as well.

40. Where did you get the chair you're sitting on right now?
My mother gave it to me. I shouldn't complain because it was free and all, but I really hate this chair. I keep hinting around that Santa needs to throw in a high-back, comfy chair with arms into his sleigh this year, but I don't think he's gotten the hint yet.

Hillbilly Mom did 41 more and I have them saved and ready to answer, but alas, I have run out of time this morning. Today begins the Quest To Turn My House Upside Down And Then Put It Back Together Without Causing A Divorce Or Losing A Child In The Mess.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Disappearing weeks

Last Sunday morning - one whole week ago, where has time gone? - I slept in a little. I couldn't do anything else - I was useless from being sick and exhausted. The kids and I pretty much laid around all morning, then I got up and started in on some much-neglected laundry, wrote what I wanted to say at the funeral and made it to Papa's house right around the time Paul got there from work.

Mom told me that Papa was ready and that I needed to take the kids down to the funeral home so they could see him, just us, no one else. When it was time, I went back to start rounding up kids. I said, "Come on, Kadybug. Get your shoes on." She looked up from her coloring and said, "Whewe awe we goin'?" I said, "We're going to go see Papa." She gave me a look that said Mother, you are sooooo very stupid and then said, "You mean we'we going to go see his body, wight?" I nodded and said, "Well, yes, that's right." The look on her face changed to relief as she said, "Whew! I fought you meant we were going to Heaven! And I'm just not weady yet!"

Don't let anyone tell you that kids aren't aware of what's going on around them or of anything you say and do.


Monday night was the visitation. Mom and Uncle Larry arrived at the funeral home around 5:30. All of us cousins and Uncle David got there around 5:45. From then until just up to 8:00 there was a steady line of people in that chapel. The line went out the door, down the sidewalk. I think Aunt Janet said she counted either right under or right over 300 names - the funeral director had to get more pages for the guest book. I had done okay all day until I got in the chapel and saw all of the flowers and started reading the cards.....then I lost it again. Then seeing people I hadn't seen in years, folks from the old neighborhood I grew up in, people that have known our family for years, friends, was a very long night. But don't get me wrong, there were plenty of laughs, too. You can't get us Glenns together and not expect some shenanigans and jokes, no matter what the situation.


All three kids had been coughing all day Monday. I stopped at Walgreens and picked up some cough medicine and doped them up accordingly. After the visitation and of course, more eating, it was late by the time we got home. (I will never understand the need to feed people in mourning, but I'm certainly not complaining.) I gave them more cough medicine and put them to bed, then went up front to work on some Girl Scout paperwork. In the midst of all of this, we had our fall product sales fundraiser and I needed to get all of it tied up to turn in. It was about 1:30 when my eyes finally refused to focus any longer and I gave in to exhaustion. I was too tired to even turn down the bed and just collapased on the couch under a blanket. Paul was in the recliner, the fire was going, the house was warm..... I was tired.

About 3am I woke up to The Sound. That is literally what we call it in this house - The Sound. Kady calls it her Scawy Sound. It is the sound of Kady wheezing and gasping for breath during an asthma attack. I flew up off of that couch and ran down the hall to find Abby trying to get off of the top bunk and Kady sitting on the edge of her bed, eyes wide and mouth open. Abby said, "MOM! She can't BREATHE!" I scooped Kady up and ran back up the hall. I hollered at Paul to wake up and get the nebulizer ready, then took her outside. Usually being out in the cold night air will help her, but that night it didn't. Paul hollered that the machine was ready and we went in. The breathing treatment had no affect on her - she still couldn't breathe. I found a blanket, wrapped her up, handed her off to her daddy and told him to take her outside while I got my clothes on. He grabbed my van keys on the way out and started the van while I at least put on a bra and some shoes. When I got outside I found them by the van, Paul singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is what we always sing when we're outside during an asthma attack. (Singing makes them take deeper breaths) What better song to sing when you're outside at 3am under the stars?

Paul buckled Kady and I headed to town with a blue-lipped not-quite-5 year old, praying all the way. When I hit the highway I turned on my flashers and drove as fast as I felt I safely could.

Long story short, they did another treatment with no results, put her on a heart monitor, oxygen and pulse ox, then did a chest x-ray. After the chest x-ray the doctor checked her again and said that they way it was looking, she was going to be admitted. She had Respiratory Therapy to do a different kind of breathing treatment - racemic epi, such magic medicine - and Kady perked right up. We left the hospital around 6am. Kady talked nonstop all the way home and when we stumbled back in the house around 6:20, I was so tired I was nauseous. I put her on the couch with me, pleaded that she rest her lips awhile and fell asleep with her still talking. I woke up at 8 to find her crashed on my arm. Even though I wanted much, much more sleep, I got up and started getting clothes ironed and shooing kids and husband to the showers.


The church fed the family at noon and Kady enjoyed all of the attention she was getting from telling everyone she came into contact with about her adventure in the ER mere hours before.

The service was the most beautiful funeral I've ever attended in my life. What a celebration of Papa's life. The two ministers who spoke did wonderfully. Paul Ingram Thomas sang and I guarantee if Papa was looking down from Heaven, he was nudging everyone and saying, "Why, look at that - they got Paul Ingram Thomas to sing at my funeral!" He never missed a concert when ol' PIT was out at "Bison Run". I spoke as well. I held it together until the last sentence. I know that I wasn't alone up on that stage that day - my Papa was right there with me.

We were escorted to the cemetary by 9 country sheriff cars and one Highway Patrol. The procession was so long that you couldn't see the end. Papa would've been impressed with that one, too. The military burial always gets me no matter whose service it is. Hearing Taps and the gun salute just causes me to break down and Tater and I sat and bawled uncontrollably. We had almost gotten ourselves together while they folded the flag, but lost it again when the soldier knelt before Mom and presented her with the flag. I had never been close enough to hear the words they say, but let me just tell you, I am so proud to live in this country.


I took Wednesday off and had intended on sleeping and catching up on the mountains of laundry and the toxic waste dump in my kitchen, but instead took Kady and Sam to the doctor. He said there was nothing more to do for Kady, just time and patience. Sam has bronchitis, but of course, it's viral. But the doctor did put him on Singular and Claritin to help the allergy stuff that he's been dealing with for awhile now. I'm so tired of hearing that kid sniff, I hope the medicines work. Kady was still hopped up on albuterol from breathing treatments every 4 hours, so there was no hope of a nap that afternoon, but I did manage to lie on the couch and watch Boomerang. While it wasn't sleep, it was at least rest.


The rest of the week passed by as usual. Thursday I took treats down to Sam's class for his birthday. Neither Paul nor I could do it tomorrow, so we fudged a few days early. Friday night we took the five cousins and Chandler to Pizza Hut and then bowling for Sam's birthday. Mom, Paul, Tater and I bowled, too. I forget how much fun bowling horribly is.

Yesterday was a two-hour gymnastics class and then we went to the sports store to pick out new shoes that the indians so graciously purchased for the kids. Abby and Sam both got some Nike Shox, something they would never have gotten if their momma had been paying for them. They both also got a pair of Adidas tennies and so did Kady. Sam's Shox are basketball shoes - now to get him enrolled and on a team......small detail.


Now, before I go, I have another prayer request:
Thursday morning one of my daycare moms was in a really bad car accident. She was ejected from the car. The last I heard, she was still on the ventilator, but they had pinned her leg and her blood pressure was finally stabilized. Please keep her and her family in your prayers and thoughts.


Thank you to everyone who left comments, sent emails, said prayers, kept us in your thoughts, sent cards and even sent flowers over the last few weeks. We wouldn't have made it without friends like y'all. If I could hug you all, you know I would.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Gone Home

He made it to Veteran's Day. I know he hung on for that. Veteran's Day was very important to Papa.

Wednesday evening we took the kids up to see Papa again. Tater's kids hadn't gotten to see him at all, but he had looked so bad and felt so bad that we weren't sure it was a good idea. But wow, Wednesday he was doing really good and Mom said if we were going to bring them up it was a good time to. He couldn't talk very well that night, but he was fully aware and enjoyed listening to them talk and tell about school and various other things important to the elementary school set. He did get enough breath to tell them he was proud of all of them. Before they left the room, hugs were given all around and he looked so happy to have seen them.

Tater and I stayed until probably 10 or so that night - the earliest night we went home all week. Papa was just doing so good, plus we had the kids and we were afraid DHS was going to be called because of the threats we were doling out. We had given the daddies the night off for good behavior - they were exhausted from going above and beyond their usual childcare duties.

After we left, he started his slow wind-down. He had seen all six great-grandkids.

Wednesday morning Mom had gotten a phone call from Papa's wife's sister. Papa's wife, Georgia, had called her sister and was talking kind of strange and said she had fallen and then the phone went dead. The sister had called Mom to ask her to check on her. When Mom walked across the yard she prayed she wouldn't find blood - Georgia had a history of being a little "confused" from time to time and Mom was afraid she'd done something to herself. Papa was the one to keep Georgia straight on her medications, but since Papa was in the hospital she had gotten a little off. During the night she had taken a lot of meds - sleeping pills, pain pills, Valium, God knows what else. She had tried to bake muffins under the recliner, made little piles of food in every nook and cranny of the house and while she was talking to Mom she poured herself a bowl of orange juice and drank it like that was the most normal thing to do. Mom and Aunt Janet took her to the hospital. Her heart was in arrythmia from all of the meds, so they admitted her to ICU until it kind of straightned out.

Now, please understand that we are not cruel people. But honestly, there was no emotional attachment to Georgia. There never has been. We accepted her and well, tolerated her out of respect for Papa. It was decided that morning that Georgia was going home to her family down South. We knew Papa was going to die and we couldn't take care of her. But instead things worked out on their own and Thursday morning Georgia had a massive heart attack and died.

Talk about raining and pouring and all that jazz.

Things kind of turned into chaos from there on out. Instead of letting Uncle Larry or Mom tell Papa, the doctor (who is a real butthead in my opinion, for more reasons than just this) took it upon himself to him. And Papa went downhill fast from there. Mom said I needed to get up there by afternoon.

I had two babies here that day, so I called them and asked them to pick the boys up by noon. Irish Divinity said she could probably make it by four, which I said would be okay. I'd just leave Paul here with Li'l Divinity and Kady and I'd go on up by myself. But I called Mom to ask an unrelated question and she answered the phone crying and said I needed to get up there right then. I loaded up the baby, Kady and Paul and we flew to town. Paul met Divinity in the parking lot while I got upstairs. Mom and Tater were in the hall crying and I thought I was too late, but heck everyone was crying. It was the worst he'd been that far. Paul went back home to get the kids off the bus, help them get their homework done and that night a friend that works with Mom - the kids call her "Grammy's Connie" - took the kids to her house for the evening. All five of them. (We hope she's still our friend.) The daddies picked them up and took care of getting them to bed. Tater and I stayed until 2am or so. We had planned on staying the night because he was doing so bad, but Mom told us to go. She and Uncle Larry were taking turns staying awake with Papa and she said we needed to go home to our babies and husbands.

Friday morning I got Paul off to work and the kids off the school and took Kady to Lab School. I think Friday was the longest day of my life. I kept Kady at the hospital with me all day. She was so aggrivated with us for not letting her go see her Papa Leo. We just told her he was resting. At one point she put her hands on her hips and said, "Mom. Just how much sweep does Papa Weo need?" When Paul got there after work he was going to take her home and pick up the other two from Bub. Kady was crying that she wanted to see Papa. Finally Mom agreed to take her to the doorway and let her blow him a kiss. She blew him about 47 hugs and kisses and whispered, "Bye-bye Papa Weo. I wuv you." Talk about ripping your guts right out.

Lack of sleep, emotional roller coasters and spending most of your time in a hospital are pretty much the perfect recipe for getting sick. I followed the recipe to a T and have come down with a humdinger of a cold. I was doped up on Motrin and Mucinex all day Friday and spent from about 9pm on wrapped up in a blanket when I wasn't sitting beside Papa taking my turn holding his hand.

They had moved Papa to a larger room, but there were so many of us we had to take over the small waiting area at the end of the hall and we dared anyone to try and sit in it. We had staked our claim with Sonic cups, Charlies Chicken boxes and pretty much just made ourselves at home. It was ours. It had become home to us in the hours after work last week. Around 8pm, though, we abandoned the waiting area and all of us moved into Papa's room. By midnight the conversations started to wane and we were going between dozing and watching his breathing get slower and slower. When Tater nearly fell out of her chair as she dozed she decided to go back to the waiting room for awhile - the chairs had arms on them out there. She had only been out there 10 minutes or so when Mom said to get her and bring her back in.

We were all there standing around his bed when his body finally just gave out. There wasn't a moment that you could actually say he drew his last breath - it was really just like he faded out. We had known it was coming, but when the nurse turned to us and said, "I'm sorry" it was such an emotional moment. He was really gone. Heaven got a big "HOWDEEE!" at that moment. And he was finally home with Jesus and Memaw.

Tater, Mom, Aunt Janet, Courtney and I had taken turns holding his hands all night. They were so cold and he didn't hold back, but just having that connection was a comfort to us. I wouldn't ever have just taken Papa's hand and held it while he was living. That just wasn't something I'd have done, but holding his hand that night was so precious. I will never forget that.

Being in such close quarters with my family this week has taught me so much about them. Watching my Mom comb Papa's hair was such a touching act in my eyes. Papa always carried a comb because he just didn't like for his hair to be messed up and Mom just worried about his hair being messed up when he couldn't worry about it himself. Papa had wanted cool washcloths on his neck and head for some reason. He wasn't running a fever, but I guess it just felt good. Watching Uncle Larry take those cloths, wet them and fix them back the way Papa wanted them showed me a side of my uncle that I hadn't seen before.

I asked Mom at one point, "What is he waiting for? Why can't he just go?" Mom said, "Kristin, Dad always believed in doing something to the fullest. If there was a job to do he did it with everything in him and he did it until it was done."

He drew us closer to each other this week. If that was his job, he succeeded.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...