Monday, February 27, 2006


Oh wow . . . Hillbilly Mom, you were right to be disturbed. There are some seriously jacked up ways to get to my blog!

"I'm going to Miami, I'm going to the fair, to see a senorita, with flowers in her hair." - this was one that Hillbilly Mom mentioned she'd seen. My Brownies play this game, but they're always going to the country, not Miami. I couldn't find this keyword search, but it's obviously already been replaced with this one:

"photograph of fat redneck woman hanging poster for lost puppy with dog stuck in her butt" - Now, I realize that the word "redneck" gets me a lot of search engine traffic, but honestly.

"receipt for homemade jungle juice" - This one has steered someone in the wrong direction completely, because when I sell my homemade jungle juice I always, always, always give a receipt when the sale takes place. There should be no one coming around later to get a receipt - they got one when they left the back end of my van, where I sell my homemade jungle juice. And I certainly don't give out the recipe. They're looking for some other homemade jungle juice distributor.

"jake and heath kiss photo" - Mention Brokeback Mountain one time and you get searches looking for the two hottest sheep herders of all time kissing. I personally would like to see that photo myself, but it's not on my blog.

"baby kick grownups butts" - There are days when I feel like they do just that. But other days my motto of: "I'm bigger, I'm meaner, I'm stronger and I WILL win" usually holds true.

I'd share more, but 74% of my search engine hits come from searches for "redneck". These are just the rare few that make everyone go WTF????

Sunday, February 26, 2006

In the middle of the night

We were out really late Thursday night, not winning my Cadillac. They kept mispronouncing my name and other people kept claiming the keys. Idiots. But Paul won a boatload full of money and even shared, so it wasn't a total loss. I mean, I'm disappointed that they couldn't get my name right and wouldn't let me claim the 2006 Cadillac that was rightfully mine, but hey, what can you do? I'm going to blame the Dang Liberal Democrats, like my dear friend Jim. He blames everything on the Dang Liberal Democrats. I honestly have no beef with democrats, being registered as one myself. It's just fun to blame everything on an political group. Because I'm quirky like that.

I hadn't won crap all night Thursday (and was royally mad about it) when TaterSis jackpotted a RedBall machine and screamed so loud when she won her $250 that security actually sent over a Slot Tech to take her information because usually the only people that make such a ruckus are the ones that win taxable amounts. Oh, but not my Tater. She whooped and hollered and screamed and squealed and squeezed, slapped and punched me in the right arm so many times that any other time I'd have decked her, but I was laughing too hard at the hoopla she was creating. Within 30 seconds of her first ear-splitting scream there was a crowd of at least 25 people around us all gawking to see the enormous jackpot she'd won. Then they all sniffed and scoffed when they saw $250 on her machine.

Later on in the night, I was down to my last $40 and sat down at the RedBall machine Tater had won on earlier. Paul had already blown his $100 allottment from his mega winnings (he gave me $100, too) and was pouting around, saying he was tired and had to work the next day, but I was having fun and I'm selfish and hey, to quote Hillbilly Mom, it's all about me. So play, I did. I started with $20 in the machine and had it up to $125 at one point. I played it up, down, up, down, just generally driving Tater insane with the threat of me leaving with less than $100, and finally cashed out with $100. I paid her back the $20 Paul had borrowed, paid Mom some money on the Silver Dollar City Season Passes she bought for me and pocketed the rest. I was a happy diva.

It was while sitting there winning and driving my sister insane, that she began physically abusing me again. I had given her my cell phone to hold because Bub was going to call when he left the other casino he was visiting while I continued winning at the Buffalo. I should know to never give her anything but cotton balls and maybe marshmallows when she's bored because she can turn anything into a weapon. I'm sitting there happily daubing my machine when YOWCH a searing pain hit my upper left arm and I yelled really loudly before I had a chance to realize how loudly I was yelling. A guy had sat down on the right side of me just before I yelled and had asked how we were, if we were winning, etc. When I yelled his companion goes, "Oh, did she win?" He replied, "No, I think her friend just burned her with a cigarette, though." From the way I was holding my arm and cursing, I can see how it would appear that my upper arm had been almost set on fire. Turns out, since well, Tater doesn't smoke, she didn't burn me with a cigarette, but she did flip me with the antenna of my cell phone. I am going to start carrying my cell phone in my hand when I walk down dark alleys, because if I am ever mugged I can just flip my assailant with my cell phone antenna and send him away screaming and wounded. That HURT. She said she was sorry and that she felt bad, but the way she was giggling hysterically, I'm not so sure I believe her.

Friday day was a really easy day here at home. CBG didn't come last week since she was hit a bit harder by THE FLU than Kady was and was home recovering with her Mimi. I didn't have CTB (Cute Tiny Baby) because he's so tiny medical professionals said he should stay far from my house for a week longer. So I stayed in my pajamas all day, took a nap in the afternoon with the kids and then lied through my teeth when Paul asked me if I'd taken a nap. No way I was 'fessing up to that one.

That night Paul went to bed at 8:45, a mere 15 minutes after the kids. I stayed on the couch to watch the premiere of Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns on The Travel Channel. I'm a fan of all things paranormal and ghostly, but I'm afraid this dude was a little over the top. I fell asleep. At 9. A mere 15 minutes after Paul. And I slept until 7 the next morning!

All of the Divas got up and around and started the day pretty early for a Saturday around here. Paul was going to Wal*Mart to distribute more Girl Scout cookies and Abby had a cheerleading workshop to go to. Tater and I were going to go buy the things for our Troop's community service project and maybe do a little gambling while the girls were busy cheering and chanting and working on their spirit. But Tater called in a fit, wanting to know if we knew where Addison's shoes were. The child had lost her shoes. So after all of that drama and then the fact that Tater's alarm didn't go off, I scrapped the whole community service shopping and told Tater to meet me at the gym after the workshop and we'd deliver some cookies then and shop some other time.

Because I had gotten a bit overly emotional that morning, Paul - in a rare moment of husbandly compassion - took Kady and Sam with him to distribute GS cookies. After the shock wore off at his gesture, I dropped Abby off, then took off in a dead run for the nearest casino for 3 hours of quality gambling time ALONE. Now, granted there were others in the casino - it wasn't like they cleared it just for me. I'm not that famous yet. But I was there amongst strangers and I didn't talk, didn't make eye contact and didn't even think half the time I was there. It was nice. Sometimes I get overloaded and need to run. Alone is good sometimes.

It took us an hour to sell 4 boxes of cookies, so we stopped that nonsense and went home. When selling to family you visit a lot, we found. And Papa's house was really hot and smelled like cabbage. Bleh.

Awhile back my uncle gave Paul some ostrich skin boots. He also gave Bub some of those old man short boots. You know what I'm talking about - the boots that look like normal cowboy boots but in all actuality they zip up and only go to just right above the ankle. Now, I love my uncle to pieces, but short boots? To a 32 year old man? Bub took them and then gave them to Paul later. Yesterday he tried to wear them. I told him that I could never sleep with him ever again if he wore the short boots out in public. Seriously. Short boots, people. Not happenin'. The mere thought does not make my mojo do anything but vomit. So what does he do but run into town to shop for new shoes an hour before everyone is due to arrive at our house. He was late, but at least now I can sleep with him again.

My DivaMaInLaw is on vacation and offered to watch the kids if we wanted to go to Tulsa to the Cherokee Casino. So we rallied the troops and made the plans. Except we started hearing that Cherokee just doesn't pay out all that well. Consistently not that well. So we then decided to go to Siloam Springs, AR. Then we heard they pay out better than Cherokee, but just about like the casinos around here. So in our minds we might as well stay local and save gas. We went to Grand Lake Casino. We left the Diva Ranch around 6pm. We left Grand Lake Casino somewhere in the neighborhood of 2:30am. From there we went to Bordertown Bingo in Seneca, MO, and stayed until 4 or so.

And then of course, we couldn't end an all-night casino run without visiting The Lucky Turtle.

It was at Grand Lake Casino that I called my sister a "butt monkey" and nearly made our mother blow an artery laughing so hard. On the ride from Grove to Seneca we made up mean names for The One Person We All Really Don't Like And Will Soon Have No Reason To Associate With. Her new name is Yzma Dermadouche. Don't ask why, just laugh like we did. I'm sure the people at the Turtle thought we were all staggering drunks because when we walked into the place we were all laughing so hard we were crying and couldn't walk straight. I also called my sister a HoBag when she kept daubing my machine. You just don't mess with my machine and not expect to get called something nasty.

When we left the Turtle it was just after 5:30am. There was light in the east and Tater said, "Oh look! The sun's coming up!" Mom corrected her by saying, "No, the sun isn't up yet, it's breaking light." Of course, I giggled because I'm immature and infantile when I've been awake for nearly 24 hours. On the ride home we had laughed until we couldn't laugh any more. The truck got quiet and we were all just kind of riding along in a sleep-deprived stupor. I looked out my window and said, "Look, Mom! The sun is breaking wind!" And even though it wasn't all that funny, we laughed hysterically until we stopped.

We walked in our front door this morning at 6:10am. Just pretty much 12 hours after we'd left. We were smokey, tired and plumb goofy, but we'd had fun. Mom starts her new job this Wednesday and Tater has applied for a job as well and we're pretty sure she'll get it. This was just our way of saying, "Hey, butt monkeys! Congratulations!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Yoda ain't got nothin' on my mom

My mom doesn't read my blog, but occasionally when I write something that is particularly humorous or has to do with the kids, I'll send it on to her. I sent her my previous post this morning. And my mother, who is the wisest of sages, replied with this:


I hope Rich Optometrist doesn’t read “blogs”. If he does I will have to start going to Lens Crafters. (ha)

I know just how you feel. It never fails that when you feel you look your worst, your run into people who “appear” to look their best. Most likely this morning neither person could even tell you what you had on last night.

You may wear New Balance shoes (do those come from Wal-Mart? My kids will NEVER wear that brand) (again ha) and not have on make-up, but YOU WERE THERE…………..that is what counts. Do you think Sam cares if you have on make-up? NO, because you are beautiful to him anywhere and at anytime because you are his mother and he loves you unconditionally.

Chances are even if you had been dressed to the hilt and had on your tiara, you would have probably still felt inferior. You know why? Because you allow people to make you feel that way. We are all equal in God’s eyes and are all basically the same inside. It is just that we all have different “shells” on the outside. My shell now comes with gray/white hair, but the old gal is still 18 on the inside. She may not be dressed for the prom today, but she still likes to dance.

Daughter of mine, never, I repeat, NEVER let other people make you feel inferior. You are a wonderful person and an absolutely terrific Mom and I know for a fact that Abby, Sam and Kady would not trade you for any beauty queen in this universe.

Because after all, you know how to make Goop out of cornstarch.

I love you.


When I grow up I wanna be just like her.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Things aren't always what they seem

Tonight was karate night and I took Sam by myself. Lately I have been dropping him off and picking him up in an hour, but tonight he didn't really want to go and then when we got there he wanted me to stay. So I did. Even though I was in track pants and was wearing no makeup.

It never fails that when I look my skeeviest, the pretty people show up. Tonight I sat smack in the middle of the row of chairs, rather than along the wall on the benches. I thought this would eeffectively keep me out of the general population of other parents. Instead, it placed me between the rich optometrist that I've known since high school because he played baseball with my boyfriend back then and some other well-dressed prepster who had a rather tall stack of legal pads in his lap.

Now, I don't ogle people, but I try to be a quiet observer of my surroundings. Rich Optometrist was reading a magazine - this I gathered from my peripheral vision (which is something he checks on me every couple of years, ironically). I assumed that he was reading some important Optometry Today journal or something medically/optometrically related. Stack of Legal Pads on the other side of me was scribbling furiously and from my well-checked peripherals I gleaned rather quickly that he wasn't writing about an upcoming trial (assuming at this point that he was a lawyer because of the legal pads). He instead was scribbling figures, lines, geometrical shapes and other nonsense. He was obviously a rocket scientist. (Even though I'm pretty sure there aren't any rockets around here.) Being sandwiched between two rather good-looking men in rather nice, expensive clothes and shoes - shoes that my husband would not be caught dead in - doing rather important-looking things made me slink lower in my seat as the class time wore on.

I have a pretty good sense of self and I know that even though I have only a high school education, I am a smart person (although the brain isn't as used as it once was and sometimes I revert to babytalk on the weekends completely unprovoked). I provide a loving home to other people's children and I'm good at what I do. I am a good mother and I love my kids desperately. I am a mediocre wife, but that's okay, he likes me that way. There are 7 little Brownies that think I am the shit because I know how to make Goop out of cornstarch and water and I can wrangle nearly 1300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies with what appears to be little effort. We're rednecks, but we're happy rednecks. My kids aren't perfect - my son is a bit of an Eddie Haskell and is hyperactive. My oldest child wears a headgear and an attitude. My youngest child is bossy and whiney. But I love them and they're mine. All in all, I have a good life and I'm satisfied. But sitting there with no makeup on in my New Balance sneaks with the little worn spots on the sides, my husband's tube socks and my track pants that the lining is ripping out, I started to feel pretty inferior.

But then I managed to get a better glimpse both directions and saw that Rich Optometrist was reading Woman's Day and Stack of Legal Pads was drawing basketball plays on his stack of legal pads.

And when I saw Rich Optometrist's kid picking his nose with more fervor and passion than I've seen a 5 year old pick a booger with in a long time . . . well, I smiled and sat up straighter.


Go here and be a picker.


I got this from Sam and well, she's the shit so I had to be a lemming and get one, too. If I'm not copying off of Hillbilly Mom I'm copying off of someone else. Yeah, so make sure when you pick the words that describe me best that "unimaginative" and "boring" are the first ones you grab. For me, k?


Kady's doing much better today. Sunday she went virtually fever-free all evening, but then Monday morning her temp crept back in again. She played more, but wore out easily.

I had already called my babysitting moms Sunday night to tell them I would not be allowing their children into my germ-laden home, so then after finding out there was no school Monday either, all five Divas stayed home. That was fun actually. I did laundry and dishes, took a nap with Kady and the others played outside while the Queen and her Princess slept. Didn't accomplish a whole lot, but we read a lot of books and sorted GS cookies, so it was a marginally productive day.

It's just KD and I here today. Since she still had a fever yesterday evening I felt like it would be prudent to keep her isolated again today, just for good measure. No fever today! I nearly did a cartwheel when I felt her little head this morning, but then I remember that I'm fat and really can't do cartwheels and figured I'd better just hug her and say, "Yay! No fever!" Better to err on the side of caution, ya know.

I left the casino ahead last night and bought all three kids some funky toy thing and me a new sports bra because I guess I am destined to have a uni-boob for the rest of my life or until I can afford to go to Lane Bryant for real boob-defining bras. And I bought Mr. Diva a box of condoms, so he definitely came out the winner because he got like, twelve toys. Anyway, this toy thing I bought the kids, Tater has been buying them for her kids so I figured I'd get on the bandwagon. It looks like a packet of JellO when you open it, but you drop the packet into warm water and it fizzes like crazy and turns color and then when the fizzing is done you fish around in the skanky pink frothy water to find your toys. There are 2 or 3 in each package. Kady got an Aurora, Jasmine and Snow White. I got Ab a Princess one as well and Sam Marvel Comics. It was actually pretty cool and Kady has played with this teeninsy princesses all dang morning. They even helped her put together puzzles this morning, so they're helpful princesses as well. I'm not sure Ab's gonna be all that excited, but I have a feeling that Sam will think the fizzing colored water is worthy of mess-making, God love that boy. I nearly gave him to a band of gypsies yesterday.

I've got a killer headache today. Not a migraine, just a rotten-ass headache. My neck is achey as well. I called DivaMom and asked her to pray THE FLU away for me. She prayed away her nose polyps a year or so ago and figured she's pretty good at the praying thing. Plus, she reminded me that she also prayed a lot and God gave her a NEW JOB, so yeah, I asked her to get right on that praying thing. I really don't think I'm getting THE FLU, even though my germy child coughed on me, barfed on me and basically laid on me nonstop for 24 hours, I think I just sat next to a dude last night that was smoking cigarettes made out of prairie grass laden with asbestos. Those were some seriously stinky cigarettes. And I've been known to smoke a cigarette or two in my life, but seriously, he offended me. But the praying thing can't hurt. Just in case it is THE FLU.

I really have nothing else to report. There are 24 minutes left in my soap opera so I'm going to watch that, then the Princess and I will be retiring to our quarters to take our royal naps.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

When a stranger calls

The people of Divatown were scared. There was a stranger in their midst and they were scared and full of dread. They'd heard of this stranger and they knew he could be horrible, ruthless and vicious and now he was in their town. The citizens lined up on the sides of the dusty street that ran through town, knowing that the stranger would make his appearance right in the middle of where the people gathered. The women stood with their hands over their mouths, recalling what they'd heard from others - stories of the moaning and groaning he induced. The children hid in their mothers' skirts. Fathers stood with bewildered looks on their faces, wanting to protect their family from this horror, but knowing they were virtually helpless. The town grew quiet. A tumbleweed skipped down the middle of the street. (Cue the shootout music - "oo-ee-oo-ee-ooooo wah wah wah")

There he stood, tall and menacing - Influenza had come to town.


When Tammy stood on my porch yesterday to drop off the acetaminophen suppositories and declared that CBG had tested positive for THE FLU, my guts just fell out into a steaming pile on my snowy front stoop. Okay, okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but dadgummit it's THE FLU!

The girls had gotten sick within about 12 hours of each other, were exhibiting the same symptoms almost in tandem and I'd say it's safe to assume Kady has THE FLU as well. I called the hospital and had them page the provider on call for her PA. I was disheartened when I heard who it was, but tried to speak slowly and use small words so as not to confuse his poor brain. Of course, he was at a basketball game and was a mite distracted anyway. I explained that KD had been exposed to someone who had tested positive and asked what I should do - should I take her to the ER to get tested herself? Or just wait? Or what? He asked if we wanted TamiFlu. HELL YES, we wanted TamiFlu! She was sick, almost as sick as she was the time she got Roseola and her temp got up to 105.1 and was limp as a dishrag, and I wanted her FIXED. He said he'd call her in the script, I thanked him and that was that.

That was around 5:30. After about 15 minutes it hit me to call the pharmacy to check their hours. They closed at 6! And we live 20 minutes out of town when the roads aren't slick. Who knew how long it'd take with the roads icy. So I pushed enough buttons that finally I got to talk to real live Pharmacist who listened to me frantically plead that someone just stay for 5 more minutes while my husband flew to town. When I had finished ranting he calmly said, "Mrs. Diva, I'd be happy to wait for you, except Dr. Doofus hasn't called anything in to me in over an hour." I was near tears. I had a sick baby who needed TamiFlu before her first 24 hours passed, I was sleep-deprived, worried and frustrated! He said if Dr. Doofus called by 6 that he could send the script to Joplin where they have a 24 hour store. It wasn't ideal, but I was desperate. About five minutes later the phone rang again and it was the adorable Pharmacist asking me to tell him again what was wrong with Kady. I told him THE FLU. He said, "Hmh. I wonder why Dr. Doofus called her in ear drops then." ARGH!! I said, "Mr. Adorable Pharmacist, I know it's not your fault in the least but I DON'T WANT EAR DROPS!! I WANT TAMIFLU!!" He laughed and asked, "How did you get hold of the doctor?" And when I told him that I'd paged him through the hospital he said, "I'll call him now." He sounded serious. Adorably serious.

Five minutes later, Adorable Pharmacist called back and said, "Uh, Mrs. Diva? Dr. Doofus just got a little confused, but it's taken care of now and I am holding in my hand some TamiFlu for Kady. How soon can you be here?" "Twenty minutes. THANK YOU!!" I gasped into the phone while I was frantically throwing a coat at Mr. Diva and pushing him out the door. Five minutes after that Adorable Pharmacist called back and said, "What is your husband driving? I'll meet him out front in the parking lot." I will be writing a letter to Walgreens over Adorable Pharmacist. He went above and beyond. They've done this for me twice now - stayed and waited for us when the doc called something in late. I *heart* Walgreens.

I'm just glad Mr. Diva couldn't get his truck started yesterday and didn't go to work. If he had been gone all day yesterday I'd have flipped. Even though he's fairly useless with sick kids, it keeps me centered to have him here for some reason. His boss suggested he drive my van and come on in, but he didn't want to leave me here with no vehicle and a very sick little girl, so he told her thanks but no thanks, he'd pass and stay home.

Kady has run a fever consistently since 8am Saturday. She woke up this morning acting like she felt better, but still running nearly a 102 temp. She'll get up and play awhile, then end up back on the couch exhausted like she's just run a marathon. Her fever's down right this moment, but it hasn't broke yet, as far as I know, so I figure she'll spike back up here after awhile.

CBG is on breathing treatments PLUS an antibiotic for her FLU, plus some other illness. I think they're worried about bronchitis/pneumonia for her. And with good reason. I started KD back on her breathing treatments this morning after 1) hearing her cough like a TB poster child and 2) my dad told me that a side-effect of TamiFlu is bronchitis. Plus, I've heard of tooooooo many people going straight from THE FLU into pneumonia this year (as Hillbilly Mom so wisely warned). It's too shittin' scary, if you ask me. I lamented to my dad this morning that CBG and Kady had both had THE FLU shot. Plus my Papa had one as well, but is battling pneumonia with his one lung and has for two weeks now. Dad said they make this year's FLU shot off of last year's strain. There's been a whole lot of mutatin' goin' on.

Then to make this snowy sick weekend oodles better, my durn washing machine drain froze. Yet, it didn't send me an email stating so or put up a billboard with flashing lights or just simply holler "Hello? I'm fuh-fuh-fuh-rozen!" So yesterday afternoon after Kady had barfed on her blanket I started a load of laundry. And all was well until it drained and shot water 5 feet into the air and alllll over my utility room. As Mr. Diva and I used virtually every towel in the house to mop up the mess, thus creating MORE frickin' laundry, he was grumbling at me for using the washer when I should've known it was obviously going to be frozen. I stopped, flicked a wet washcloth at him and said, "Hey. Shut up and get back to moppin' my floor. I'll make you do housework one way or 'nother, boy."

I have lost so many IQ points these last two days. We watched so many cartoons yesterday that between the two Disney Channels and the two Nicks we watched everything twice and sometimes three times. Then we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night because my mother in law hadn't seen it. She wasn't impressed. I told her if we'd watched the original one with Gene Wilder she'd have liked it more. As it was, she found Johnny Depp disturbing, but then again, so did I.

So today, because of the still-frozen drain and the fact that Mr. Diva got his truck started this morning and had to go to work, I totally had a free day! I couldn't do laundry because of the frozen drain, I couldn't do dishes because the dishwasher drain might have been frozen as well and who'd want to take that chance? So you know what I did? I laid on the couch and listened to my MP3 player all dang day. Well, I did watch some SpongeBob, too.

When Mr. Diva walked in tonight to find the four of us laid out around the living room like the residents of Jonestown, he said, "Gimme your sister's phone number. I gotta get that drain thawed." I guess he didn't like the fact that I hadn't done a flippin' thing all day while he'd been out there freezin' his fanny off. He went down to the Farmette to get a space heater then drove up to the church to meet DivaMom to get a heat lamp and 20 minutes later he took me by the shoulders and gently directed me to the utility room and re-introduced me to my laundry. I hadn't missed it really.

I can tell Kady's feeling better tonight. She's talking incessantly again. Right now she's rambling on enough to make my ears bleed. Here's an excerpt: "So Momma? If Daddy don't wowk and don't get paid and don't pay bills wiw dey frow him in jaiw? 'Cuz dat would be bad. I wouldn't wike jaiw. I bet it stinks. Hey, wook I made a Wah*Mawt wif my Wegos. Wook at the doors. And der's de sign that says 'WaaMawt' because wemembew when the wite was out in the 'ehw' (read: L) and it wasn't Wah*Mawt but WaaMawt? Wemembew dat, Momma? Ooh wook, der's a ponytaiw holdew so if de one in my haiw faws out we can use dis one. Do we have any pickews? (read: pickles)" Oh my gosh, she's back to normal.

Mr. Diva just hollered out here that the kids don't have school tomorrow. There was much jubilation. By them. Not me. Plus, Mr. Diva's off tomorrow as well. I may volunteer to work for the county and help clear the roads.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

104.1 and snowy

No, that's not some crazy Weather Channel meteorologist's kooky forecast - it was my youngest child's temperature an hour ago and the current conditions in my front yard.


I had a PhPhPh post all in the works yesterday and then CBG started acting funny. Fussing and just generally not acting herself. Well, no wonder - she had a 102 temp. Poor baby was miserable! So I called her Momma and poked some Motrin in her, kept her happy and cool. I also ended up calling Chan's momma at work because he was not feeling well again yesterday. He'd gone home early the day before with a 101.7 temp. She said he was better and brought him back yesterday. But he still wasn't up to par and I sent him back.

My MaInLaw offered to come out and watch the kids this evening so we could go out. The original plan was to go see Brokeback Mountain with the Taters. But Bub refused. I can't believe that I got Paul talked into it and then Bub balked. Oh well. Anyway, after seeing the weather forecasts all day repeatedly mentioning the significant snow and ice we'd be receiving today we all opted to go out last night. We called Mom and she offered to take all five kids if we could have them picked up by 8am. Sure, no biggie. So we loaded everyone up and dropped off the kids and went - where else - to the Buffalo.

We ate dinner and played for about an hour and a half in the new casino - Joe's Outback. "Take the short walk down the long hall" and something about a taste of the Old West, blah blah, but I'm fairly certain that Matt Dillon never played RedBall while Miss Kitty cheered him on back in the Old West. Anyway, after we'd lost all we cared to lose back there we went back up front and figured we'd go talk to security and see if the forecast had changed. We took one look out the front door and all gasped. Snow!! LOTS of snow!! Blowing snow everywhere!! Paul whistled and said, "Holy sh*t", Tater said, "Oh my gosh, we are so stupid. We just HAD to come out here tonight, didn't we?"

Eh, Paul, like any good redneck, has 4WD so we weren't too worried and convinced the Taters to stay and play another couple of hours. When we left the casino, the first 4-way stop we came to turned out to be more of a "Slide Through and Pray the Other Guy is Paying Attention" because that's exactly what happened. Even in 4WD. As the other truck got closer to MY side of the pickup I had visions of turning the Ram into a demolition derby truck and was wishing I was wearing my helmet. Fortunately, the other guy managed to stop and we slid on through unharmed.

We took the Taters back to Mom's to get their car and there was actual discussion about just taking the kids home with us then, but the Taters - even without 4WD - had a hankering to stop at another casino and well, you know our penchant for RLTKAOOTHS, so we left 'em sleeping warmly at their Grammy's.

The snow had stopped by 3, when we went to bed and at 6:30 when we got up, it hadn't snowed any more. But HOLY NIGHT it was COLD!!! Our fireplace usually runs us out, stripping off clothes and opening windows, but today that meager 10 degrees and the windchill of relatively TWENTY DEGREES COLDER THAN ANTARCTICA is making the fireplace seem like a kitchen match.

We got to Mom's around 8:10 and she opened the door, greeting us with, "Go feel your youngest daughter." She was burning up. When we got her home I took her temp - 103.7. I put her on her daddy's lap and fixed her up a double shot of Motrin. I had no sooner gotten back to the kitchen with the syringe than I heard, "DADDY!! TELL MOMMA I'M GONNA FROW UP!!" I ran back in with the trashcan and well, that was a wasted dose of Motrin. God love her, she was miserable. I called Dad and he said to cool her down with cool cloths on the forehead, neck, groin and underarms while we waited for the Phenergan to work enough that she could keep some more Motrin down. After about 30 minutes I got more Motrin down her and she fell asleep. When she woke up she was cooler and asked for some Gatorade and crackers. I obliged and she watched a few cartoons then fell back to sleep. When she woke up again she was on fire. That's when the thermometer read 104.1. It was really too early for more Motrin, but I'm out of children's Tylenol so I gave her more Motrin. She's cooled off again, but it hasn't broke, so I know in a few hours it'll shoot back up again.

We called MaInLaw to tell her not to come tonight, but she had her heart set on seeing the kids and bringing them ungodly amounts of junk food and pizzas, so she's coming over anyway. She's braving ice and snow to bring my kids sugar and crap. Now, that's love. Hopefully she'll bring children's Tylenol, too.

When we got back from picking up the kids there was a message from CBG's momma telling me that she was taking her to UrgentCare. I called her back and asked if we could hitch a ride. I was joking, of course - we have to stick with Oklahoma hospitals. CBG's big brother just got over a bout of the actual, real live flu which went into pneumonia, so she's naturally concerned. CBG wouldn't drink anything and she's only a whole whopping 16 pounds anyway, plus running a 103+ temp . . . not a good combination.

I called to check on Chan this morning, too. He's fine as frog hair.
At least someone is.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This strange quiet is unsettling

I only have two children in my house today. And they're both taking naps right now, so it's eerie in here. Chan is sick, CBB is with his Mimi while his parents are out of town, Kady spent the night with Mom last night, so it's only me, CBG and CLB. Weird, huh? I laid them down for their morning naps and then wandered around aimlessly for awhile. I really should clean the bathroom, but that is just no dang fun. So I didn't. I'm blogging instead.


It's flippin' HOT in here! Paul got chilly last night and built a dang fire even though it was like, 60 outside. So now this morning it's 62 and the fireplace blowers are still running. I've got the front and back doors open in an attempt to let the heat out. The high today is supposed to be 69 and then BOOM the bottom is supposed to fall out this afternoon and plummet the temps down to the 40's. Frickin' Oklahoma weather. THEN we've got a chance of snow Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Of course, my jonquils are trying to come up in the sideyard.


Abby brought home a paper last night for a cheer exhibition/workshop thing this weekend. They go to a day camp thing, learn some cheers and a routine and then perform at the college's halftime games next Monday. The deadline was yesterday, yet they passed out the papers 15 minutes before school was out yesterday. So I hope to hell they don't charge extra for late registration since it was their fault. She really wants to do it and I will gladly shell out the $25 for it. That child is so shy and introverted that any time she wants to do any public performing I let her. But before I agreed I said, "You do realize you will be performing at halftime at NEO's basketball game, right?" She quietly said, "Uh, no......I did not know that.....but you know what, I want to do it anyway." Here's hoping she'll follow through.


Tonight is Brownies, but I'm dreading it. The weather is so kooky and the wind is supposed to switch from out of the south to the north this afternoon. Do you KNOW what that does to children? It makes them freakin' wolverines, that's what it does. I'm thinking a little Benadryl in their juice might help.....


Last night was LOST. I wish just once they'd answer a question in the same episode it is introduced. I guess that's what keeps us lemmings coming back, though.


I got my Biggest Loser workout DVD yesterday. Haven't even cracked the plastic yet. I wonder when I'll get around to that . . . Probably when all of the Valentine's candy and cupcakes are gone.


Yesterday was so nice that when the kids got home I sent them outside to play. They have created a little "village" of sorts out in the woods next to the house. They call it Roxenboxen after a book Mom has at her house about some kids who made a city out of boxes and things lying around. It's a cute, captivating book, so the kids decided they needed a Roxenboxen of their own. It was starting to get dark so I went out to holler them in. Kady was closest and came running. Just seeing her little ponytail with the red ribbon in it flying out behind her and her little pink jacket falling off her shoulder made me literally catch my breath at the wonder of being a parent. She was just so amazing in that moment. She came through the gate and ran toward me with her arms out. I scooped her up and smelled her neck - that little kid playing outside smell - and she giggled. My gosh, I was so in love with her. When Sam saw me kissing and swinging her around he hit the gate in a dead run right at me. I put Kady down and held my arms out for him. I did the same thing - scooped him up and buried my face in his neck. He giggled and kissed my cheek. Abby came sauntering through the gate and smiled at me, but didn't break into a run and come at me with arms open. She did, however, as she got closer, walk a little faster and when she reached me she threw her arms around me and squeezed for all she was worth. She's nearly as tall as I am and it makes me sad to think that my days of her running at me and being scooped up and swung around are probably over. I rested my chin on the top of her head and she giggled. We walked to the house, her arm around my waist, my arm around her shoulder, the other two running around us, whooping and hollering. So maybe I can't pick her up and spin her around anymore . . . but I think I might like the next phase just as much.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Top Ten Tuesday

I haven't done this in awhile, so it may not go well. In fact, I'm typing and have no clue as to what the list is actually going to be. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants.

The Top Ten Things That Made Me Tired Today

1. Staying out way too late last night. Not only did I leave the casino later than usual, but Mom, Tater and I went to Wal*Mart. I can get in and out of Wal*Mart without kids in 20 minutes if I'm just picking up a few things. If I go after Ladies' Night with Mom and Tater it's at least an hour and a half ordeal. But we had fun, so it wasn't painful.

2. Having pre-Valentine's Day sex that was actually on Valentine's Day, but I knew I'd be tired to night and I was already up last night (or actually this morning...) and figured I might as well.

3. Loading 1200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies into my van last night and then unloading them this morning before I could even think about taking Kady and Chandler to Lab School.

4. The first day of Lab School this semester. Complete with new parents who were just a little too Country Club for me with their fancy schmancy clothes and cars and perfect Stepford children.

5. Losing $13 at Quapaw Casino this morning. It was Free Play Day, but losing their free $10 wasn't enough for me so I donated $13 more. Yep, I'm pretty kind.

6. Not eating anything until noon except for one of CBG's momma's amazing Snickerdoodles that the woman has now made for me TWICE and I really want to marry her so maybe she'll make me cookies more often. Except we're both already married. And we're not gay. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

7. Attending not one, but two Valentine's Day parties at the kids' school today. I enjoyed it, since I haven't been to a school party all year, but they're exhausting. And Third Grade smells like BO. Oh, and First grade smells like farts, too. However, when I stopped into Starlit's room I discovered that Kindergarten smells GOOD!! I'm not sure what kind of air freshener she uses, but third grade could really use some.

8. The infernal wind that blew all freakin' day long. Omg, I feel like my hair has been put in a Cuisinart. Not to mention that layer of dust that's coating my entire body.

9. Counting and loading the majority of the 1200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that were in my living room into parent's vehicles. Once Riley picked up hers we could sit on the couch again. Once Mattie got hers we could watch TV. I'm already sick of looking at cookies and am so tired that I haven't even opened a box of Thin Mints yet.

10. Breathing. Right now, at this moment, it is taking every ounce of energy I have to even exist. Today was long, exhausting and stressful, yet I can't seem to figure out where it actually went.

If I weren't so tired I'd go ahead and get a jumpstart on the whining for tomorrow. But instead I'm going to bed. Who the hell cares that it's 8:14.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

You got here HOW?

Sex ramblings videos (Rambling that the sex that just goes on and on and on and you're falling asleep and filing your nails and tapping your foot?)

Redneck bra (Which is different from any other bra ......... how?)

Redneck (I love it. So simple. So understated.)

Redneck weekend (Every weekend is a redneck weekend around here. If it were anything else, I'd worry.)

pictures bar wench boob boob cleavage (Nope. I have no clue either. )

armstrong albuterol (Is that a name brand?)

red neck booty (Was this search for a neck booty that is red? Or was it just a simple case of redneck being misspelled?)

redneck party table toppers (Simple. Any weed or wildflower in a Mason jar. Elegant and unrefined.)

redneck diva kristin hoover (What's so funny about this one is that the link was shortened on the opening referrer page and it only said "redneck diva kristin ho". I was offended for a few minutes there.)

Toothless redneck photo (No, not here. Trust me, I would know if they weren't. My momma reminds me often about how she scrubbed toilets for my pretty teeth - I make sure they all stay in my head.)

Redneck bad names (Like some of my relatives from further down in Oklahoma, the ones who all go by both first and middle's just sad really. I used to be offended that they never called me Kristin Dawn, but now, not so much.)

diva star game (I knew I'd be famous for something! Now, does anyone want to tell me how to play this game?)


Yesterday I kept the Tater kids all day. Paul got off work around 4 and was home a little after 4:30. When I asked him what he wanted to do that night I got his typical answer, "I don't know. What do you want to do?" GRRRRRRRRR! It was finally decided that we'd go eat and go to the casino. See? I told you.

I kind of wanted to eat a nice dinner, hit the only steakhouse in town, and have a nice non-fast-food dinner. I told him that after he repeatedly said, "I don't care where we eat. Where do you want to eat?" I suggested the nice non-fast-food Mexican restaurant or the steakhouse. He picked Long John Silver's. The steakhouse was crowded, what with it being the weekend before VD and all, but I expected that. As we drove past, me looking longingly out the window at it, drool running down the window, he said, "Boy, I'm glad we decided not to eat there." Yeah. Me, too, honey. I'm glad we decided.

So after an enchantingly romantic dinner of fish and chicken, where he even let me add three pieces of shrimp for $1.09, we were stuffed to the gills and amorous as all get out. I'm kidding. I was belching fishy grease before we even left and about as far from amorous as you could get, but I digress. We went to the bank to make a night deposit and from there drove out to Quapaw Casino, where Paul had had the best lunch hour ever last week. I had $7 of my own and plugged it into a Royal Reels machine. I was down to $2.25 when he handed me a $20 over my shoulder and disappeared again. Yep, he's a romantic, that man of mine. I played it up and down and cashed out with $30. I was three whole dollars to the good! Paul appeared out of nowhere, sat down dejectedly and said, "I hope you're doing better than I am. I just lost $80."

We had only brought $100 to play on all night. Yes, you are correct. I got $20 and he blew $80 of our nightly alottment. GRRRRRRRRR! again. We drove out to the Buffalo, even though he was ready to come home. By golly, I still had $30 and I wasn't ready to go home. So to the Buffalo we went. Even though he claimed to be out of money, I knew he wasn't. He had some rat holed for a tattoo. I know him well. I played here and there and ended up cashing out busted. He was still claiming to be broke, but I knew that if I used my womanly wiles correctly I could get some out of him. He owed me. Sure enough, he ended up shelling out more money. Am I good or what? You know, I carried around the art for my tattoo for 2 years before I got it. Any time I had the money, there was always a bill to pay or a kid who needed something or we needed, like, food or something. So you know, it won't kill him to wait awhile, too. Yes, I'm selfish sometimes.

I put the last $20 he gave me in a RedBall machine and got it up to $60. I cashed it out and gave him half. He played it and got his up to $50, cashed out and gave me half. When he shares, I'm happier. If he holds out, I get really cranky. We left there shortly after 1am.

When we got home, I curled up on the couch with a blanket and started reading my Valentine's Day present from him - Stephen King's new book Cell. There's nothing like a little light horror reading after your Valentine's Day date. He fell asleep in his recliner. The next thing I knew it was 3:45am. I tried valiantly to wake him up, but waking was just not happening. I really did try to wake him up this time, too. Usually I whisper his name from across the room then sneak off to bed before he wakes up. From 4am till 5am I would wake him up, go to bed, wait on him, realize he wasn't coming back there, go back up and wake him again, go back to bed, wait on him, realize he wasn't coming nauseum. At 5am I turned off the light and went to sleep. He came in and woke me up at 9:30 this morning, "WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP? I nearly FROZE to DEATH up there!"

I got up, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, started some laundry, checked my email, straightened the kitchen, called Mom, did more laundry, called Tater and checked on the kids, did more laundry and he slept. I made lunch, he slept. I curled up in the recliner with a blanket, turned on Food Network and read until 3, when Sleeping Redneck woke up.

All in all it's been a pretty relaxing day. I should've done more housework, but I didn't. I should've rearranged some furniture, but I didn't. I should've cleaned my bathroom, but I didn't. I really should've gotten the living room and dining room ready for the arrival of The 1300 Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies Invasion from Hell tomorrow, but I didn't. I did put in a pan of pork ribs, though, and hoooooooooo do they smell good now! Paul went down to Tater's and picked up the kids, his nephew brought over 3 rick of wood and now all my little monkeys are back in the roost. The house is warm and smelling of ribs and wood smoke, Abby's at her desk doing her homework, Kady's cleaning her room, Sam's whining that he's bored, Paul is griping at the whining son . . . ahhhh, life is good.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Brittle Ol' Bones (A sequel to Wrinkly Ol' Butts)

I am still alive and kickin', but good Lord it's been quite a week.

The last time I blogged was Wednesday . . . let me fill you in. Because I know you are just curious as The Man in the Yellow Hat's simeon friend.

Thursday morning I got up a hair late. By "a hair" I mean 45 minutes. I jumped in the shower and I think I got relatively clean. I started straightening my hair before it was completely dry. At 6:49 the phone rang. The only time my phone rings that early is when one of my babysittin' babies is sick and their parent is calling to tell me they won't be here. But the Caller ID showed my dad's number. Dad never calls at 6:49am. I answered and Dad said, "Good morning!" Awfully chipper....strange...."Uh, good morning, Dad." Again with the chipper, he said, "Are you up? Are you ready to face the world?" Frankly, he was freakin' me out. "Dad, is everything okay?" "Nope."

Nana fell and broke her other hip. Uncle Mike called Dad around midnight and said he couldn't even move her. Last time he picked up her frail little 90 pound body and put her in the car. This time her 85 pounds wouldn't be moved from the floor; she was in a lot of pain. He called an ambulance which had to come from Miami because Picher and Quapaw don't have ambulance service anymore. And I'm not sure, but I think the ambulance had to be diverted because the highway has been closed into Picher. See, just a few miles to the north of here lies the Nation's Largest SuperFund Site. (We capitalize it like that because we're so dang proud.) The highway into town has been closed due to the fact it is sitting precariously over a plethora of mine shafts and the highway has become unstable. The elementary school playground isn't even safe anymore and they're doing a geological study on it.

So I guess they got her settled in the hospital around 2am. They did the surgery Thursday afternoon. Last time, when she broke the right one, she just cracked the femur and they screwed it back together. This time I guess she broke the left one real good and it took a metal plate and more screws. They opted to do general anesthetic this time, rather than the spinal like last time. I was really worried about that, but she came through it fine and dandy.

But again, just like last time, now she's goofier than a run over dog. She's not in the hospital, she left last night, she's staying at her son's, she didn't break her hip, it took four ambulances to get her out of her house, she's ticked off at Dad to no end, etc etc ad nauseum. But at least the Hatfields and McCoys aren't battling in the hallway outside her room like they were last time. Hoo doggies, fun with the elderly.

She now has a permanent room at the nursing home. There is no other option. She simply can't be by herself anymore. She doesn't know this yet and when she finds out she's going to be so mad at each and every one of us. Mom says she'll quit eating, go catatonic and die. And I think Mom's right. Dad agrees as well. She's one stubborn ol' gal. But, her mental state is dodgy at best, her physical state is dwindling daily and she's just past the point of independent living. She can't even do assisted living now. It's the nursing home for the rest of her life.

If I think or talk about it too much I get really upset, so I'm going to quit.


Thursday night was the Brownie Skating/Slumber Party. Some of the girls got off the bus here and I gave them snacks and turned them loose to run amuck until time to leave. Around 5:15 I told them all to go to the restroom and I headed out to get the carseats out of the van. It was cold, so I turned the van on to warm up. And when I started it, there was this funny clicky sound. I ran my first car, a 1986 gold Chevy Cavalier with a horrible paint job, out of oil and I am terrified of clicky sounds. Plus, the minute the clicking started I remembered Paul telling me a week or so ago, "You better put some oil in the van. It's a quart low." I turned it off, hollered at him, pulling him away from a heated game of Collapse, and thus, making him mad.

It was only 2 quarts low.

I'm just glad I had 6 little Brownies standing on my front porch or ooooooh I would've gotten a cussing! As it was, it was more of a scolding with whispered and mumbled profanity. No Brownies were harmed in the checking of the oil. He told me to pick up at least a quart at the convenience store on the way to the rink and then to get it in to Wal*Mart. Uh....he works there 5 days a week IN THE DEPARTMENT WHERE THEY CHANGE OIL. Does anyone else think it'd be easier for him to drive it in there himself? If I take it I take 3 children. If he takes it they change the oil while he works. I'm just not understanding his logic on that one.


Okay, so we loaded up. My van was in the lead, one momma next, and another momma and daddy behind her. We were a few minutes late getting to the rink, but that was really not a problem. I think they were glad to see such a group come in. It was Christian Music Night and the guy told me when I called earlier in the week that there'd be 30-40 on the floor. If we hadn't come there'd have been 4 on the floor.

Some of the girls had skated before, but most of them were very novice skaters. Abby has been once before and with her long, gangly legs she looks like Olive Oyl. TotOne was so scared of those skates, it was hilarious. Tater got her skates on, I got my skates on, the other moms did as well and then we all stood there like "You go first." I had been twice in the last few years, and I did much better the other times. I went once around the rink and it wasn't bad. A few feet into my second lap I fell. I mean, flat on my big fat butt, I fell. And of course, Tater, Magnet Lady and MagnetSister nearly fell laughing at me. I sat there quite awhile because well, getting up off the floor is hard enough when you're not in skates. I think they lapped me once before I finally crawled to the wall and clawed at the bricks until I found a hold and stood up once more, knee throbbing, butt sore and pride slightly wounded.

The girls had a blast! Even Abby, who didn't move off the wall all night, had a good time. By the time the night was half over TotOne was out on the floor by herself. McKenzie and MaKayla were flying past us all, the little whippersnappers. Skating was supposed to be over at 8:30, so at 8:15 we all gathered for a group picture and sent them back out to squeeze in as much skating as they could in 15 minutes. At 8:25 the DJ announced last time and it was a slow skate to Amazing Grace. It's hard to skate to Amazing Grace, just so you know. I went one lap and decided to get my skates off before the girls got off the floor. Halfway through the song, I looked out and saw McKenzie lying face down on the floor. Abby was knelt next to her and so was Tater. I thought she had fallen and was being dramatic. Then her mom, who was sitting next to me visiting, said, "Oh no....oh no...." and Tater was waving her down to where they were. Carol started off on her skates then stopped and wrestled out of them as Tater picked up Kenzie and skated her in.

She broke her arm.

The poor kid had just broken it last April on the playground at school. She said as soon as she hit she knew it was broken. She and Abby are best friends and as they skated McKenzie in, here came Abby right behind, white as a sheet and big ol' tears threatening to spill. I sat Abby down and started helping her off with her skates while Kenzie's Mom helped her with hers. All the mommas were talking quiet, reassuring words to the girls as we helped them off with their skates. One of their own was down, wounded in battle, and the troops were shaken. I told Carol that I had to call my Service Unit leader to find out what steps I had to take and then we'd meet them at the hospital. They headed out while we finished up, cleaned up, thanked the skate people and gave the girls a pep talk.

I called Sherry, my SU leader, and she said that in all of her years of Girl Scouting she'd not had to deal with an injury on a trip. Yep, leave it to me. Diva's in the Scouting hizzouse now and there will never be anything normal for the rest of forever. Or at least, as long as I'm involved. She said she had an insurance paper, but she needed me to call some big muckity muck first and let her know. And of course, there will be an accident report to fill out. *sigh* I just can't do anything uncomplicated.

We stopped at the hospital and Tater and I went in while MagnetLady sat in the van with the girls. They splinted her and promised pain killers, so she was hanging in there. We were just standing there not knowing quite what to do when Carol pulled Tater out in the hallway. I gave them a funny look, but didn't say anything. Carol came back in and sat down then Tater pulled me out in the hallway. She murmured, "The EMT's crotch is blown out," then pushed me back in the room. I was confused. Was that code talk? Like "The eagle flies at midnight while wearing purple clogs"? Then Carol caught my eye and nodded toward the EMT's nether region. I completely understood the code talk when I saw the dude's red underwear just a shinin' through the hole in his crotch like a diamond in a goat's butt. It was right after that, amid stifled giggles, that Tater and I decided to leave. McKenzie's a rather outspoken child and I could just imagine her saying something and there'd be no way I could've stifled a giggle then, dignified Girl Scout leader or not.

We opted to skip the shopping for the animal shelter and instead took the girls to Wal*Mart to buy Kenzie a stuffed animal and a card. Then Tater bought them all an Icee.

After the girls signed the card, we dropped back by the hospital and left leather bejacketed bulldog with right arm wrapped in gauze with red-eyed, doped up 9 year old with right arm splinted.

As we were driving home, Tater kind of giggled and I asked her what was so funny. She said, "I bet somewhere at the main Girl Scout headquarters there's one of those counter thingies with a sign that says '6500 days without an accident'. They're gonna be rollin' that puppy back to zero now." Again I say, leave it to me.

We got back to Diva Ranch around 10:30 and the girls proceded to hole up in the toyroom and do whatever it is 6, 7, 8 and 9 year old little girls do. I had bought some Oreos so we fixed them some Oreos and milk and called them out for that, then sent them back, using a bullwhip and chair to herd them back in safely. Around midnight they started wandering in to us, one and two at a time, blinking slowly and whining. We knew they were crashing, but no one was actually stopping. At nearly 1am we finally had to make them all lie down, we turned out the lights and threatened them. It wasn't that we cared if they stayed up later, but amidst the whining, tattling, griping and just generally bad moodineess of them we decided they'd had enough fun. We didn't realize until yesterday morning that we bought them COKE Icees at Wal*Mart at 9pm. We're real einsteins, we are - we paired up caffeine highs with Oreos at an incredibly late hour.

MagnetLady and Tater are bigtime nightowls and I am not. At 2am my eyes would stay open no longer and I gave up. I remember MagnetLady exclaiming that it was 3:30 and then Tater told me she was taking off my glasses and I was out again.

Kenzie's doing fine. We talked to her yesterday morning and she has another cast, bless her heart. It rebroke where it had broken before. Dang that luck. All of the girls were gone by noon and by 1:30 my three kids and Chandler were sleeping and so was I.


The kids and I went to town last night to get groceries and take Sam to karate. Tuesday night is usually karate night, but Paul and I were just not in the mood that night so we skipped. Sensei said he'd like Sam to switch to Mondays if we can. That might cut into my Ladies' Night flexibility, but that's usually Paul's day off, so we're gonna work on it. Plus, he has a Little Dragons class right before Sam's on Mondays and Kady's old enough now. It's just a matter of whether I want to - and am able to - shell out $49.50 for Sam AND $39.50 for Kady a month. I told him that I'd have to see if we could afford it. He mentioned the 10% family discount. $80.10 a month for my children to be able to fight off bullies and kick each other's butts. Hmm ... that's gonna take some thinkin'.


I may have mentioned on here that I LOATHE Valentine's Day. If I haven't mentioned it before, or if you've just forgotten -


I have since junior high and will for the rest of my ever-lovin' life. It is a horrible holiday and is just a glaring reminder of the lack of romance in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but he ain't the most romantic man you'd ever meet. And I used to think that romance was necessary for living and breathing and utter happiness. I know now that one can survive with out romance, but it sure makes for a crappy Valentine's Day.

So I asked if I could go with my mom and her friend, Lisa, to see Brokeback Mountain on Valentine's Day. It's Men's Night. I just figured he'd go out with the guys and I could go watch the gay cowboy movie that I really want to see. But when I asked he got his feelings hurt, so I guess I won't be going to watch Jake kiss Heath. Dang that luck. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm sure he'll go to Men's Night and I'm going to miss the gay cowboys. See why I hate Valentine's Day?

So we're going out tonight. Tater and Bub went out last night and I watched the Tater kids for them. Tonight they're watching our little Divas while we don't go watch a gay cowboy movie or participate in anything remotely romantic. I bet we go gambling.

Big surprise there, eh?


Oh, by the way - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DivaDad!! You just keep getting closer and closer to that century mark, dude. That's gotta suck. I love you!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Maaaaaaiiiiiiiil Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!

You know, after 8 years of watching Blue's Clues it never fails to entertain me. I was more upset when Steve left than the kids were. Joe's okay, but he's no Steve.


That moment of parental insanity was brought to you by : Children. And the number 7 and the letter I. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.


Abby missed two days of school this week. Sunday night Mom came over to watch the kids while Paul and I went to Grand Lake Casino to get a jumpstart on his birthday gambling. Mom called me around 8 to tell me that Abby was complaining of a backache and a headache. I told her how much Motrin to give her and Mom sent her on to bed. She woke up Monday morning running a fever, white as a sheet and still achey. That baby laid on the couch all day. That's just not like her. I mean, all day she just laid there. She wouldn't even read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. And she wouldn't play her GameBoy, which is a sure-fire indicator of a sick child, just ask Hillbilly Mom. I kept her home again yesterday even though she felt better and even read a little bit. Of course, now she has a sinus-y thing goin' on.


I had her parent/teacher conference last night. I love her teacher! She's so real and personable and down to earth. She gave me some hints to help with the Social Studies, because from what she says, she all but feeds it to them. I said, "Well, the only thing I can figure is, she just doesn't like Social Studies." Her teacher replied, "Does anyone really like Social Studies?" She had a point. We also addressed the AR thing and she agreed that Abby needed to be challenging herself more. We're both going to stay on her about that. But the coolest part of the whole thing is that I get to bring cupcakes to the Valentine's Party! I love being the cupcake mom. The kids really love the cupcake mom. Okay, so they really only love the cupcakes, but still, it's nice to have 20 kids think you are the bomb when you walk in with all. those. cupcakes.

Yesterday was a really poopy day. Chan is having some issues about being here lately and that is frustrating. He cries every morning when he gets up, cries on the way here, cries when he gets here and cries after I peel him from his mother's clothes like a staticky sock right outta the dryer. His mom's upset, I'm upset and obviously he's upset. I figure it must be a four-year-old thing because Kady's going through some strange separation issues with me right now as well. His mom has explained to him that no matter how much he cries he still has to come and I've explained that to him as well, but it doesn't help. Maybe if I make him some cupcakes . . . Just a thought. So far the other children still adore me and that's the only thing that's keeping me from have a real complex over it. CLB attacks me when I sit down and gives me extra snotty lovin's all day long. CBG cries for me even when her momma's around. CBB will come up to me and give me hugs and loves all day long for no reason. So I really hope it's not me.


My tat is itching now. There's a spot on it that is concerning me. Not concerning me like I think my arm's going to fall off or anything, but my bra strap keeps rubbing that one spot. There's no color there now. The instructions (Yes, tattoos come with instructions) say not to pick the scabs that form (Yes, I'm discussing scabs on my blog) and while I personally haven't picked at any scabs, my bra strap keeps rubbing the scab off. He's definitely going to have to recolor that spot. There are a couple of other spots that need touching up, too.


Paul had like, the best lunch hour ever today. He and one of the support managers went to the Buffalo and he won $540. Then turned around and won another $120, but he ended up donating that back. I guess he figured they couldn't pay the electric bill if he'd kept that extra $120. Add that to the $500+ he won on his birthday and I'd say he's one lucky redneck these days. So I had him stop on the way home tonight and buy a PowerBall ticket. The way things are going, heck, it can't hurt, right?


Dang....I just checked the PowerBall numbers. Neither of us got one single number. That was $2 we could've stuck in a slot machine!


Tomorrow night is our Brownie Troop's Skating/Slumber party. We're rewarding them for such a phenomenal cookie sale this year. I am not a big huge fan of roller skating, but I have fun for awhile. At least until the muscles I haven't used in eons start realizing that they are being used and let me know that they aren't happy about it. Then I lose the skates and risk my toes going out on the floor in sock feet. Abby looks like Olive Oyl in skates and I gotta say, it's quite humorous. She's all legs, that kid. She definitely did not get that from her mother. Tater, however, is so stoked about the skating that I'm worried she'll have a seizure or something. I just hope she doesn't sustain an injury that causes her to shed any blood. I can just imagine how traumatic that would be for the girls - seeing one of their troop leaders bleeding out on the rink floor. That'd be memorable.

After the skating excursion we're taking the girls to Wal*Mart. They want to adopt the local animal shelter as a community service project, so we're going to turn them loose in the pet aisle. That should be fun. (Speaking of which, Shannon, I need to talk to you about that! I should've asked you while I was dropping my honeybuns all over Wal*Mart tonight, lol.) And then after all of the skating and the pet shopping we're going to bring them back here to the Diva Ranch to let them junk food until the wee hours of the morning. The good thing is that we can put them in the toyroom with a movie and Magnet Lady, Tater and I can watch something not animated and giggle and girl talk ourselves. I have a couple of kids Friday morning so I will have to catch a few zzzz's at some point, but the afternoon is entirely set aside for napping. I love Saturday afternoon naps. And Sunday afternoon naps. Oh heck, who am I kidding, I just love naps, no matter what day they're on.


I got to see Irish Divinity's new baby today. Omg, that is one cute kid. He's got this hair that reminds me of me in the morning. It sticks up all over and dang if it's not adorable. I'm going to spend the next few days in anticipation of his arrival, which will hopefully be next week. Although, his momma's not been feeling on top of the world, so she might wait another week. My uterus might go into withdrawl. Dang, he's cute. CBB thought he was intriguing and spoke to him in some strange toddler talk, probably telling him that the left shoulder is the best shoulder to wipe snot on. CLB would not even come NEAR me while I was holding him. I mean, that kid took off like a rocket to the other side of the room and completely ignored the whole spectacle. CBG really handled it better than I ever imagined, but it was also only for a little while. We'll see what she does when she has to share her Kiki for 8 hours a day. Chan was so sweet, kind of hanging back, not sure what to think of the squirmy little guy in my arms. He was pretty excited that they share the same hairdo, though. Kady was nearly giddy before he got here, but then once he was here she was kind of aloof. Before they got here she kept asking me if he talked and jabbered like CLB and CBB and if he was trying to crawl like CBG and if he could eat enchiladas with her and Chan at lunchtime. She seemed disappointed that all he did was sleep, grunt and squirm.


And now it's nearly 11pm and that means it's time to crawl into bed and begin my nightly 6 hour roll-around-flip-flop-and-just-generally-get-frustrated while I attempt to sleep. Sleep's been pretty scarce lately. Even Kady had trouble last night. She got in bed between Paul and I around 1:30 this morning and began talking. I mean, really talking. I told her if she was going to stay in my bed she was going to be quiet. "Okay, Momma. I will." Then silence. Stillness. I relaxed and started to drift off. Then, "Momma? Can we go jump on the trampoline? Just you and me?" HUH? I'm not sure she was ever awake. She was talking some off the wall stuff, lemme tell ya.


Author's note: Keebler Fudge Shoppe Grasshopper cookies are pretty durn close to Girl Scout Thin Mints. Close enough that I'm not sure I can resist buying them when I go to Wal*Mart from now on.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wrinkly ol' butts

I was sitting here at my computer playing Collapse and Abby was sitting at her desk doing her homework. For some reason this causes an inexplicable and undeniable force to draw the other two children into our quiet workspace. We both shhsh'd them and told them they could stay if they were quiet. Kady sat down at the white board to write her K's over and over and Sam sat next to me to watch me play.

Abby lamented that school sucks. Sam agreed, "Yeah. I hate school. It's so boring." I said, "Now guys, your attitudes make a huge difference in how well school goes. And how well school goes plays a big part in how your life goes as an adult. If you don't do well in school you can't get a good job that makes lots of money so you can buy your kids things and take them to Disney World." I knew I had 'em there because they really can't understand why their father and I can't just hop and plane to Orlando like, tomorrow so they can visit the Mouse and Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear.

He said, "Well, I haven't even decided if I'm going to GET a job when I grow up. There's just really nothing I want to do right now." I said, "Son, it's really not an option to do nothing when you grow up. You have to get a job. If you don't, well, that's called 'being a bum' and no one likes a bum, son." Oh, but this threat of being called a bum didn't phase him. He replied with, "Well, why can't my wife just get a job and I can stay home?" I said, "You know, your wife may want to get a job and that's perfectly fine, but son, you're a man and men work. Period." He sighed. "But who will watch our children if my wife works and I work, too?" I looked over at him with a look of obvious DUH and said, "Hello! Like, maybe their Gramma Kiki!"

"But....uh.... Mom, you'll be all old and stuff."

"My gosh, son, I won't be THAT old!" Of course, this prompted him to giggle. "And besides, son," I said as I rubbed his hair, "you need to get a good job and make lots of money so you can take care of me when I DO get old. I'll need someone to wipe my butt."

Abby looked up from her homework and said, "Lady, I got news for you - old lady poop stinks."

Sam, after he caught his breath from laughing hysterically at the mere mention of poop, said, "And I've got news for you, too! The only butt I'm gonna be wipin' is my own! Not your wrinkly ol' butt!"

So I guess I'll start looking into rest homes now.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I just want to hang out with Heather B. Armstrong!

Dangit, I'm not asking too much. I read on her blog where last week she got to hang out with a bunch of other cool blogging mommy type people and she got to have her picture taken with Andrew Shue and while I'm not a big fan of Andrew Shue, dammit he's FAMOUS. Or used to be. And most importantly someone asked her opinion about blogging because she's famous for blogging. I have opinions! I'm just not famous.

I just want to hang out with Heather B. Armstrong. Just once. (Well, maybe twice if it goes well.) She's famous for her blog. I want to be famous for my blog, too. I think I've got what it takes, too. I just need to get a job, blog about it and get fired. Then I bet I'd be famous, too.

But that would require me actually buying clothes that weren't track pants, sweat pants or pajamas. And then we'd get into the whole not talking baby talk to grownups and the whole don't forget you're in public and not with a bunch of children and you can't just fart when you want to now issues and frankly, I'm not sure I can handle that kind of pressure. Literally. Because when you gotta fart and you're used to farting any time you want, well your intestines don't handle that adjustment just overnight, I'm here to tell you. Trust me on this one, folks.

Yes, I want to be famous, but I want to be famous in my track pants and my New Balance sneaks that are wearing dangerous thin in the area of the baby toes. I want to be famous going bra-less with baby snot on my left shoulder. I want to be famous for writing about puking children, hateful husbands and PMS, but I don't want to get a job to get there.

I want to fly on big airplanes and miss my children desperately when I call home to tell them, "Mommy misses you, too, but Mommy's famous for her snotty left shoulder and well, kids, that makes Mommy really happy right now." I want to be on the Today show. I want to sit across from Katy Couric and tell her that I have a daughter named Kady, too, but it's spelled with a "d" because it's cooler. And I want to show her actual snot on my left shoulder and giggle about dancing the cha-cha with a group of toddlers who didn't get near out of the experience what I got out of it. I want to show off my tattoos as well. AND I want to tell her and all of America that we actually do have Really Loud The Kids Are Out Of The House Sex every time I blog about it. Really. And it is actually pretty loud.

I'm almost famous now. Last Sunday my Papa took Mom and my uncle out for lunch after church. At the restaurant they saw Shannon and her crew. Mom said she was visiting with Shannon and her mother when Shannons' husband walked up. Mom said she knew who he was, but hadn't really spoken more than a few words to him ever. He approached the table and said, "Hey! Aren't you Redneck Diva's mom???"

Look out, Heather B. Armstrong. You may have constipation, but I have a snotty left shoulder, sister.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


My oldest child is mad at me right now. I won't let her play Grand Theft Auto III on the PS2. I am such a mean parent. Just because her daddy can stay up all night long stealing cars, running over pedestrians, shooting people and taking their money and picking up prostitutes, doesn't mean that I'm going to teach my 9 year old daughter how to do the same! She just can't understand my logic.

Speaking of my oldest child, her Social Studies grade was brought up to a 72 in a week's time. She went from a 63 to a 72 in 5 school days. Of course, she could also run for mayor of San Francisco she knows so much about it now.

Parent Teacher Conferences are this next week. This particular one, the teachers use their discretion as to whether they feel a conference is necessary. I usually get out of this particular conference because my kids have always been super students. Ah, but guess who's got a conference at 6pm on Tuesday? Sam's teacher only grades in four areas and he has nothing less than a 96 in any of them. And he was the kid I thought wouldn't do so well in school. I should be ashamed of myself for stereotyping that kid. Of course, third grade may kick his butt as well, but for some reason I don't think it will. He's just a different learner than Abby.

In going over Ab's Friday folder, I found some AR tests. She got 100% on them. Hooray right? Well, not really. I mean, yeah, it's great she's getting perfect scores on them, but I'd be more excited if she were actually reading above her level. It's Accelerated Reader, not Read Below Your Grade Level Reader. She's in her 7th month of 3rd grade and at the beginning of the school year was testing at 4.4 - 4th grade, 4th month. Now she's taking tests at 3.1 and 3.3 because the 4th grade books are harder and she doesn't get 100% on them. Omg, I'm going to bang my head on something hard again. WHY?????????????????????


Mr. Diva's 43rd birthday is Monday and the kids and I had planned on going to Joplin last night to get his birthday present. In the afternoon, I called Mom to see if she'd like to ride along. She said it sounded fun and agreed. I told her I'd pick her up after I ran to the bank.

When my last babysittin' kid was picked up, we loaded up and drove into town. Our bank is in the middle of a reconstruction and they are operating out of a trailer house (Only in Oklahoma, right?). The trailer house bank has two windows and two lanes, but they were running ONE WINDOW in ONE LANE at 5pm on a Friday. Yeah. Imagine the line of traffic down the street. Finally I got my banking done and headed over to Mom's.

Between the bank and Mom's I told the kids that I really wanted to have a fun evening and that there would be NO crankiness, no attitudes, no griping, no bickering, no arguing and that was that. Those kids were precious angels all night! It was one of those nights that you feel like you're actually doing something right in the parenting department. I took them to Olive Garden for dinner because they think that is something downright fancy, lemme tell ya. I just like their salad dressing. Sam got a little bouncy, but he's a boy and well, he tends to get bouncy. He's always been that way. But they were all three polite to the server, "please" and "thank you" were said at the proper times, no one spit food, showed their food or even griped about the food. It was most enjoyable.

From there we went to Academy Sports where I dropped $85 on a fishing pole for my husband. Yes, I just said "I dropped $85 on a fishing pole for my husband." Yes, I am insane. But see, and I kind of can't believe I haven't mentioned this before now, I WON ONE OF THE $100 DRAWINGS AT BUFFALO RUN LAST LADIES' NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can tell by the gratuitous overuse of exclamation points that it was quite exciting. I was sitting at a quarter slot machine, playing on the $20 I had borrowed from my mother because payday was still 4 days away, and I was thinking "If I could just win one of those hundred dollar drawings tonight I could get Paul that fishing pole." I had no sooner finished that thought when they called my name. Remember how I made fun of those girls screaming at the blackjack machines on Mom's birthday? I kind of outdid them. Actually Mom and Tater screamed so loudly that people thought it was one of them. I was trying to be all calm and cool, but as soon as I walked toward them they screamed louder and hell, so did I. You'd have thought I'd won a house or something. So anyway, because of winning that drawing I actually had the money to throw away spend on a really long crappie pole that is actually a bass pole, but the kid at Academy said that the fish don't actually know the difference. *shrug*

After Academy, where I felt out of my element like Martha Stewart at a Hillbilly wedding, we went to Toys R Us. Santa brought Sam a Lazer Tag set for Christmas and after he and his father had shot so many lazer beams into each other that it was incredibly unhealthy, it quit working. Fortunately, Santa had left the receipt with me, so finally, just a few months after Christmas I managed to get up to Toys R Us. Sam had said all along he wanted another Lazer Tag set, but then decided upon entering the store that only rivals Chuck E Cheese in the cause of ADHD in both parents and children, that he might want some other toy. Kady still had some birthday money left that I've been slowly doling out very sparingly because the child needs toys like Michael Jackson needs a little boy, so I told her she could look for something. Abby had earned some money working at an auction with Mom a few weeks ago. So the fun began.

Abby had her heart set on the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but Toys R Us didn't have it. They had Pixel Chix and she wanted one, but I told her we could get one at Wal*Mart where Mommy gets the magical 10% Associate discount. I also explained that they were $30 and she only had $15 and if she wanted one I was going to work that extra $15 off of her. She agreed and I got an indentured servant. MUAH HAhahaha! Kady found a "Stwawbaby Shootcake" backpack that she couldn't live her life without and also a Blue's Clues DVD for her InteracTV. Two down, the boy to go. Sam had long forgotten the Lazer Tag game and headed for the Ninja Turtles. Yet they had nothing that he didn't already have. (That is just sad, btw.) He was kind of moping around that he couldn't find anything, then suddenly beams of God light from heaven shone down upon the Godzilla toys and it was good. There sitting on a shelf were Godzilla, Burning Godzilla, Mothra and Gigan. Life was complete. Nirvana had been attained. We had reached Shangri La.

He settled upon the Burning Godzilla, Mothra and Gigan and pretty much floated out of the store. From there we went to Hastings in search of that durn Fourth Grade Nothing book. I'm sure I have my copy somewhere in storage, but she wants her own copy, the spoiled thing. Hastings didn't have one either. They had every other Judy Blume book ever written, but not Fourth Grade Nothing. Sam had a few bucks left and got a Narnia book. The cashier was a snotty, pimply-faced dork that told my son to "be sure you thank her" for the two pennies I gave him. Ya know, I can tell my kid to say please and thank you, but I don't appreciate strange cashiers telling my son to use his manners. I nearly climbed over the counter and slapped him around a bit and I SO would've won, but Kady really needed her inhalers and instead I just shot him a dirty look and left.

By that time it was after 9:30 and Kady really was in near-desperate need of her inhalers. We walked a little slower to the van, hoping that the cold night air could work its usual magic, but no such luck. She woke up night before last wheezing and just generally not sounding good and hasn't sounded good since. She had had a breathing treatment before we left, but it was obviously wearing off. Mom was bound and determined to get Abby that durn book so we drove across the street to Books A Million. She took Abby in the store while I stayed in the van to give Kady her inhalers, put a much-needed layer of Carmex on my scaly tattoo and open up Godzilla and his crew for Sam.

Glory be to God they found the book!

So then, because we have serious mental problems, we went to Wal*Mart. It was after 10pm at that point. My children are always in bed by 8, but I was on a mission to find Baby Magic, to heck with the exhausted children. JOPLIN WAL*MART DOESN'T HAVE IT EITHER!!!!! What's up with that?? It's a conspiracy, I'm sure of it. And you know how it goes, you go into Wal*Mart for one or two things and walk out $50 poorer. I bought some sponge curlers because Abby had the thickest hair I've ever seen and the 30 sponge curlers I have are not enough to get all of her massive hair curled. I bought four packages of baby wipes that were on sale for $1.50. That is an AWESOME price and I had just opened my last pack this week. I bought Sam's Easter shirt and found the dresses I'm going to get the girls. Sam's going to wear a pink polo shirt. He was SO not happy about that either. I told him that his cousin, Anson, has a shirt that says "Real Men Wear Pink", but he wasn't convinced. He finally said, "Fine. I'll wear it, but I don't have to like it." I rubbed his head and said, "You'll wear it and I don't care if you like it or not. I'm the mom and if I want to put bows in your hair, then by cracky, you'll wear bows in your hair this Easter, boy." Sometimes you just have to remind them who's boss. :)

I stocked up on 7-Up (Ad-Match, whoo hoo!) and Gatorade because Tater's youngest tot was home puking yesterday and I don't want to be caught unprepared if someone comes down with it in my house. I bought a package of chocolate chips, some orange juice (Ad-Match again! I should shop with Mom more often.) and a gallon of milk and ended up spending nearly $50. *sigh* We walked out of the store at 11:00pm with three very tired children, one of whom was wheezing and crackling to beat the band. By the time I dropped Mom off at her house, stashed the fishing pole in her dining room and drove home, we pulled into the driveway at the stroke of midnight. Paul was still up playing MuthaTruckers so he helped Kady get into her pj's while I fixed the nebulizer up for her, shot her full of albuterol, put her in my bed and then I went there myself. I think I'd rather put up with Paul's snoring then my youngest child's kicking. And if she coughed in my face once she coughed in it a thousand times last night. It's a good thing asthma isn't contagious. Of course, the way I figure it, she's probably got some virus, too, and I'll come down with it in a day or two.

I slept in this morning and woke up when Kady came back into my bed and said, "Well, if you're not going to get up, I guess I'll snuggle with you some more." I took the hint and got up to find Sam watching cartoons in the toyroom and Abby with her nose in her new book on the couch, a fire crackling in the fireplace because my husband thought enough to build one before he left for work, and a dirty house. I just hate to spend one of my days off cleaning, though. But I'm afraid it's gone beyond "just a little cluttery" to "we might lose a small child in it soon" status. know.... I bought some chocolate chips last night.... I bet I can effectively dodge housework by making chocolate chip cookies..... Just a thought.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What heathens do on Wednesday nights

Tater and I took off last night for Joplin with the sole purpose of getting my tat. My last ink, the one on my foot, was done at Eyewitness in Joplin, so that was where I wanted to go. The guy that did that particular tat doesn't work there anymore, he's in Tulsa doing piercings, so I was a bit apprehensive about anyone else doing the work. The guy that did Paul's was the one that was there last night. He couldn't get me in and neither could the other dude there, but Kelly said if I could come back on Friday he'd knock the price down to $70. Yikes! I hadn't really planned on paying that much, but it's also been three years since my last one, so I guess prices have gone up. I told him I'd be back, but I wasn't so sure about it all.

After driving around a bit, I asked Tater if she minded if we checked out Punkteur. A friend got one there a few years ago and hers is gorgeous so I figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out. The pierced-up little dude that greeted us said he has an appointment coming in in 15 minutes, but he'd check with Cory. Cory looked at my design and said he could do it for $60. I told him he was the lucky winner. I told him if he wanted to dress up the art a bit that was fine. He came back a few minutes later with a redrawn image, but with one extra bud. I explained the signifigance of the tattoo and he took off the extra bud.

Tater and I checked out some of the flash in the shop and she was amazed at the number of tatas on display. I guess some people just really like nekkid boobies all over their bodies. We also stood at the display cases and marveled at the doohickies that folks use to making gaping holes in their earlobes. Hey, but who am I to judge - I have four tattoos. It's not something I'd do, but I also know of people who wouldn't dream of getting a tattoo either.

When he came back with the finished piece and picked up the form I filled out declaring that I'm not on bloodthinners - like Tater - and hadn't had any alcoholic beverages, Tater asked him, "So, I just have to know. When someone comes in for a tattoo of flowers, do y'all laugh at 'em?" His immediate reply, "Not to their faces." Holy crap, I had made a mistake. Then he gave us this big ol' grin and laughed. I said, "Uhhh....great, I feel better now. But at least it's not a fairy, right?" He laughed again and told us to come on back.

I also made sure to ask him right away if Tater could snap a few pictures for my blog. He grinned and chuckled and said, "Not a problem. Just warn me so I don't end up drawing a line on your back that we have to turn into a flamingo or something." He was rather amusing and sang Johnny Cash to us the entire time. He had a pretty good voice, too, so it wasn't a bad experience. I also knew he was cool when I saw on his bookshelf a copy of The Catcher in the Rye and a few Stephen Kings. He was good people in my eyes then.

It didn't hurt too bad and certainly not as bad as the one on my foot. He asked where my others were and when I told him I had one on my foot he said, "If you can handle a tattoo on your foot, you can handle anything." I'd have to agree. There were a couple of lines, especially the stem, that I felt like he was trying to tattoo my gizzard by way of my shoulder, but other than that it was a pleasant experience. An mere hour after we came in, $60 poorer and one tattoo richer, we left.

We decided to have dinner at the Outback. I will never step foot in that place again. Talk about nasty food. Omg, it was horrendous. I always order my steaks medium rare. I like a good rare steak. The waiter told me that medium rare there is very, very rare so I bumped it up to medium.

My steak came out mooing.

Tater couldn't even watch me eat it. And frankly, I had a hard time with it myself. It was so charred on the outside that I tapped out a little tune on it with my steak knife and so raw inside that it bled into my mashed potatoes which is a waste of good garlic mashed potatoes in my opinion. I managed to snag a couple of bites around the edges, ate a few bites of potatoes from the top of the pile and threw in the towel. Tater told me to send it back, but I have seen too many Datelines and I know they'll spit in your food. I took my chances with Mad Cow and ate the bloody steak. Or part of it anyway.

She told me if I started sprouting fangs on the way home she was booting my butt out of the car.

Tater's cell phone rang not long after we got on the turnpike. It was Mom. The first words she said to Tater were, "Well, is your sister conscious?" Tater, without missing a beat said, "Yep, we just left the hospital. She has Hepatitis C and is neon yellow, but she's feeling fine now." Mom just sniffed and mumbled. Of course, that afternoon when I had talked to her on the phone, right before hanging up, she said, "You two be careful tonight. I love you. And hey, try not to get Typhoid tonight, okay?" She loves me even though she thinks I'm weird.

Kady Speaketh

Overheard today in the toyroom:

Kady singing, "Teamwork! Teamwork! Everybody do my work!"


"Momma, can I have a sucker?"

"No. It's too close to bedtime.

"But I'll eat it real fast!"

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...