Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wait'll she learns to spell

I was at the stove fixing dinner tonight and Kady was on the floor in the utility room in the doorway of the pantry. I figured she was arranging the potatoes into size order or turning all of the labels on the apple juice cans to the outside (As any obsessive/compulsive mother would expect). But I honestly wasn't paying that much attention. I could hear her babbling and jabbering to herself, but I didn't really hear what she was saying.

Then I was jerked back to reality by her repeated, "Momma? Momma! MOMMA!" I said, "What, honey?"

"Momma, what does S-C-H-M-I-R-N-O-F-F spell?"


"Because that's the name of my castle!"

I looked into my pantry and sure enough she had taken both bottles of vodka and the bottle of whiskey and had fashioned a pretty good castle-front. I guess Prince Jim Beam lived there.

Monday, May 29, 2006

All good things must come to an end

Sometimes immunity just isn't enough. Especially when you don't have it. The ONE WEEK I don't have immunity and I get KICKED OUT OF THE CYBERHOUSE!

Yes, the rumors you've heard are true - your beloved Diva has been ousted, kicked to the curb, kicked out of bed for eating crackers, shunned, booted and any other cliche' you can think of having to do with being KICKED. OUT.

Okay, so I turned in a task a wee bit late. In my defense, I was going off Oklahoma time, not Australian time, so I wasn't technically late - I had one hour and four minutes left in Oklahoma! Oh, but Big Blogger came in with a comment about cold pizza that just sent shiver up my spine. I should've known then. I should've steeled myself for what was inevitable. I think the D. I sign in-between my first and last name on my checks stands for "Denial". Or maybe that's "Dumb". Hmh.

But it's okay....I grabbed few tissues from Stewed Hamm on my way out so I can dab my eyes when I feel the tears coming on. I'll just wander around with my new nomadic partner in eviction, Scott. He's a fellow LOST fan, designed a kickass basement for the Cyberhouse and is teaching me how to appreciate Van Halen. (He's very patient, bless his heart.) He and I will take our Fittymaid storage containers filled with contraband we stole from Cazzie!! and Hillbilly Mom when they were busy in the kitchen, flirting with Carlos the Cabana Boy and we'll entertain ourselves somehow. Maybe we'll eat some of Big Blogger's cold pizza and wash it down with Sump Cola. And maybe we'll meet up with Mark and join in his MUAHHAHAHA'ing. You never know.

So go check out the remaining defenders of the Cyberhouse, if you dare:
Hillbilly Mom
Lantern Light
Stewed Hamm

You can check out us losers, too:
Knocking on the Golden Door
Perspectives of a Nomad
Will Type For Food
and (sob) Me.

Holiday Weekend, Wastin' Time Meme

Seems my darling, duchess-y friend, Jen, has tagged me with a rather bizarre meme, so I'm going to do this while I try to drown out the sounds of WWE on the living room TV with some Nat King Cole.

1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up? Hands down, no question - Yzma Dermadouche. (Some of you know who I'm talking about, some of you don't. If you have to know that bad, email me.) She is not a nice person. In fact, I'd go so far as to say she's eeeeeeeee-vil!

2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be? Even though I don't consider what he puts out to be actual music, I'm going to say Marilyn Manson. He and Yzma can rot together for all I care. In fact, that'd be pretty cool to put those two together and watch her fuh-reak out. Ooh I'm particularly evil tonight myself. Shame on me.

3. Who would you really like to just punch in the face? Well, since I'm already having an evil daydream involving the big, wet tongue kiss that Marilyn Manson puts on ol' Yzma Dermdouche, I'm going to say that I'd like to punch The Jerkfaces. I'm normally a lover, not a fighter, but I bet I could punch those three. Or at least two of them anyway.

4. What is the best kind of cheese? I know Hillbilly Mom and Mrs. Coach expect me to write "free cheese" here, and while it is some dang fine cheese, I'm going to have to go with a good medium cheddar on this one.

5.You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal. Squishy white Wonder Bread, mustard on both slices, shaved turkey and ham, thin sliced cheddar cheese, red onion slices, and dill pickle slices. Now THAT is a sandwich!

6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once (they will never call you back). Laugh and I will cut you - Tom Hanks. Something about him just does it for me.

7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music celebrity of your choice. Same rules as above. Who is it? Trace Adkins, no question. I'd have that ponytail all tangled around my fingers and ..... is it hot in here?

8.Now that you've slept with two different people in a row, you seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy cow, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it? A new tattoo, what else?

9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where do you go? North Carolina - to heck with my husband and his whiny need for me to "take care of the children".

10. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Now that you are in the new location, where are you gonna go to spend that? I'm not sure! I'd have to rely on the infinite wisdom of Cousin Stacey to guide me in the right direction.

11. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. "Be brand-specific" it says. (Wow, it's obviously not a Southern Baptist angel.) Umm....I'm going to have to go with the ol' apple martini.

12. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there? Hmm...maybe high school. I might play a little harmless havoc behind the scenes. Nothing future-altering, though - I might end up married to that skinny guy that I thought was All That and it turns out he was just Not That.

13. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? No Jerkfaces allowed!! I think that's a pretty good way to start. And I'm the decider. If I decide you are an Jerkface you are sent off to where Marilyn Manson and Yzma are making out for all of perpetuity.

14. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called and what's the premise? Well, personally I think my life would make a rather hilarious sitcom. I'd go with something along the lines of Roseanne (but more couth) with some Seinfeldian themes. I'm thinking just titling it "Redneck Diva" would be okay. People usually chuckle when I say it. It works.

15. What is your favorite expletive? The f-word is by far the BEST cuss word ever. Ever. But I'm also partial to As*hat, the ol' standby SH*T, and depending on the situation I channel my Grandma Wilson and blurt out "Sh*t, p*ss and corruption!"

16. One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren't really doing anything, they're just standing around your bed. What do you do? Do something to scare the heck outta my husband and hope that he takes out one or two when he swings at me because I scared him when waking him up.

17. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don't worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what's the one thing you're going to save from that blazing inferno? My purse.

18.The Angel Of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel Of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour? Spend it 'nuggling my babies and giving my husband instructions and calling my mom to tell her that my husband is clueless and she'll have to help him out. Man, what a depressing question.

19.You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be? The ability to be two places at once. As a mom I find that this would come in handy more often than not.

20. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to relive again? I have no idea. I can't even begin to choose.

21. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? (the answer "nothing" doesn't count) Oh gosh, the loss of our first baby was devastating and as much as I miss him, I have to stick to my feelings that everything happens for a reason and no matter how horrible it was, we were supposed to go through it. And the countless broken hearts were necessary to get me where I am today.... So I guess I have to answer "nothing" even though it "doesn't count". Like, who's going to come along and throw me into detention for it?

22.You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check this out...you can move to anywhere else in the world! What country are you going to live in now? Canada. Eh.

23. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under twenty-one. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be? The Miami ELKS LODGE!!! Because Mrs. Coach will surely visit me there!!

24. Hopefully you didn't mention this in the super-powers question. If you did, then we'll just expand on that. Check it out...Suddenly, you have gained the ability to FLOAT!!! Whose house are you going to float to first? Well, I'd immediately float to Tater's house and holler to her, "DUDE! LOOK! I CAN SO FLOAT!!"

25. The constant absorption of magical moonbeams mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier have given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous-person of your choice. So which late celebrity will you bring back to life? Will they be any fun? Johnny Carson. He rocked.

26.The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn't think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? As long as he could return her in full health, I'd say Memaw. She suffered so much here on earth, I'd hate for anyone to return to that after having been in heaven. But I miss her so much! If I could have her back and healthy....that'd be awesome.

27. What's your theme song? If I Had $1,000,000 by Barenaked Ladies.

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you want to play along, let me know in the comments so I can check it out! It was actually a pretty fun meme.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! "WHS Alumini Banquet - BORING AS ALL GET OUT"

Okay, it wasn't all boring, but most of it .... yeah, pretty much most of was, as I said, "boring as all get out".

I would've been the youngest person there had it not been for the 2003 graduate who was working in the kitchen.

Yes, the 33 year old, grayer than her 43 year old husband, overweight mother of three was the next-to-the-youngest person at an all-school reunion banquet.

Oh man, Paul did NOT want to go, as I chronicled here, but I badgered the poor man into giving in. I harped, nagged, offered, bribed and yes, flat-out whined at him until he had no choice but to agree to attend with me. And even though he had said repeatedly that he didn't want to see any of his old classmates, I thought for sure he'd see someone from 1981 that caused a flood of memories to come a'rushin' back and he'd drag me to a bar afterwards with the whole crew so we could relive his glory days together.

We got there around 5:30 and the one guy that he'd said repeatedly that he hated the most and he hoped wasn't going to be there was just getting out of his truck. Oy. I saw my husband bristle and thought, "Well, that was a fun drive to Wyandotte. Guess we'll be going now," but instead me mumbled something about "Ihatethat[insert expletives here]", but still we were moving toward the door. I was still hopeful. And I could see where he'd have had issues with this guy that he really hated - he just really acted like a jerk. He exhaled jerk-ness and gave off bad vibes. And he was a lot shorter than he looked in the yearbook. I found that kind of funny. In a twisted kind of way.

Paul refused to put on his nametag, refused to sit at the honored 25th year table and refused to even speak to any of his classmates. I kind of figured there'd be nobody from my class - us folks from the 90's just don't get into this kind of scene I guess. Well, except for me and I'm a bit of a nerd ya know. So we visited with Pat, a guy that my mom graduated with and Tony, a guy that graduated 2 years before them. Pat eventually talked Paul into wearing his nametag and told us to pick out some seats. Of course, we picked out the table furthest away from everything including the food, oxygen and the ability to hear what was being said, but that's okay, Paul was far away from The Jerk.

Finally my mother arrived and Paul relaxed a bit. If anyone can make a situation more fun, it's my mom. She can relax a homophobe before a prostate exam (Not that she's actually that hands on with her relaxing ways....oh anyway). Mom flitted about the room not unlike the proverbial ferret on crack, visiting with scads of people young and old. She knows everyone on the planet, I swear. My Uncle the Politician and his lovely wife, my Aunt Janet, arrived and took seats with us back on the moon's surface where the oxygen was scarce, but the company was great. Aunt Janet said, "Hey, you're here! Last I read, Paul, you weren't coming." I forgot she reads my blog. Every time a person from the class of '81 would come in I'd point them out to my husband and he'd shrug and grunt. He never moved from his seat. I started to whip out some wisdom wisdom and tell him, "If you go somewhere thinking you'll have a rotten time, chances are you will", but decided that I'd keep my mouth shut and stay cheery. After all, he had said, "Bite me. I ain't goin'," before. Aunt Janet was right - at least he was there.

Dinner was delightful - big ol' chicken leg/thighs smoked to yummy perfection, tater salad, (No actual Taters were harmed in the making of the salad. I checked.) baked beans, hot rolls and cobbler. Mom and Pat had gotten their plates and were down at the end of the line kind of huddled together. I sidled up to them and said, "What are you two doin'?" and Pat nonchalantly said, "Oh, just rubbing some sauce on your mom's thigh." AGH!! I squealed something about needing to bleach my eyes and my brain and went back to the table where my non-eating husband was sitting. My not-eating husband? you ask - Oh, he had eaten pizza here at home before we left. And had failed to tell me that he wouldn't be partaking until after I had paid his $12. Grr.

After dinner we sang the school song. Thanks to Cap'n Neurotic's mom, I know every word to the school song still to this day and will know it until I die. Although I only got a 98 on the test because I forgot the RAH RAH! at the end. Dang those RAH RAH's. I don't forget 'em now, by cracky, though. Forever will the RAH RAH's live.

Then came the roll call - 100-some-odd old dudes with a handful of Baby Boomers and a GenXer (Or is it GenY? I lose track) thrown in for good measure, standing and saying their names and where they were from. Some would give a brief (or not so brief) life story, some just blurted out their name and the wrong hometown, like I did. I always say I'm from Fairland because that's where my kids go to school, even though we have a Miami address. It's just something I do. I sat down and My Uncle the Politician, Aunt Janet and Mom were all staring at me. Finally Mom said, "Fairland? You're not from Fairland!" Agh. When it came time for Paul's class to be recognized, the lot of us moon-dwellers cajoled him into going up front. Okay, so it was mainly me because I heard the honored classes got mugs. I wanted a mug! I thought, how much more school-spirited could I be but to drink my morning coffee from a WHS mug? As he was walking up front, Mom leaned over and said, "How much you wanna bet he says he's from Miami?" Sure enough, he's from Miami, I'm from Fairland. How people will talk.

A lady stood up to sing a song and told us that while she was singing to think of all of the classmates we had lost through the years. Hoo boy, let's end this shindig on a happy note, why don't we? Yeesh. We've only lost one, so instead of getting bogged down into a saddened mess I instead took my butter knife and began sawing on my wrists, which in turn led Pat into pretending to stab himself in the throat and Tony attempted a gut wound. My Uncle the Politician had to maintain some decorum while we children amused ourselves, but I think he was slightly amused just the same. Or maybe he wasn't. A few members of the Class of 1976 had obviously received a phone call from a long-lost class member and proceded to pass the phone around the table during the whole program. I offered to stick that phone where the sun don't shine, but Mom gave me that classic "Shut your mouth or I'll put half-moon shaped marks on your wrists with my fingernails" and that made me quit with the threats. But it still added to the giggling hilarity back in the corner. Yes, we were juvenile, but the Lucky Turtle Casino was just mere yards from us and we all could feel it's unmistakable pull. I even suggested we all cut out early, but Aunt Janet said, "YOU'RE the one who wanted this! You're staying!" She was right. So I just sat there and continued to make fun of people.

I wonder if I'll ever grow up.

Nah. I doubt it.

But I'll drink my coffee out of my husband's WHS mug and giggle about Tony doing the whole "Parkay" bit with the butter tub and remember fondly the 2006 WHS Alumni Banquet. I'll shout my RAH RAH's when the school song is over and I'll always have an unexplainable urge to wear black and white on Fridays.

March Wyandotte High with our colors on high
and shout loudly for dear old school we love so well
Sing to our dear banner of black and white
so we will be true as we march onward and yell,
Here's to the school that we love best of all.
We march with our colors of black and white on high.
Loyal and true we will come to her call
And prove that her spirit and pep will never die!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Herd of wild children

Today I had 10 kids in my house. I took 8 of them - the big kids - outside and sprayed them with the hose during naptime. Our water bill is going to be outrageous, but dang, we had fun. They played Water Limbo (pretty self-explanatory), Fill 'Er Up (They'd hold open the backs of their suits and holler "Fill 'er up!" and I'd spray down the back of their pants. We are an easily amused people.), Rain (Me holding the hose straight up in the air) and my favorite was Stampede! (I'd spray the house to my right and when all the kids were almost to the spray, I'd move the hose to my left and honestly, they sounded like a herd of wild buffalo running to the other side.)

I put 50 SPF on the kids. Me, not so much. Well, except for all four tattoos - those are always sunscreened when I go outside. I'm religious about it. I'm getting that itchy, tight-skinned feeling on my back and arms already. My head will be sunburn free because I pirated up before going out.


The baby isn't quite sure what to think of me in a 'do rag. He knows my voice and will get all wiggly when he hears me, then he looks at me like "Woahhhhhh, dude. You are SO not who I thought you were!" Speaking of the adorable Baby Divinity...I fed him bananas today. Divinity, I'm so glad you sent that jar of bananas! He was like a ferret on crack! The squealing, slobbering, spoon-grabbing, foot kicking euphoria of Gerber bananas was so dang cute! And I thought the squash yesterday was a hoot.


I still haven't quite managed to talk Paul into the Alumni Banquet Saturday night. I made him bbq ribs for dinner last night, a double batch of no-bake cookies and then hinted around that there would be ... you know ... if he wanted it. I had a plan.

We got into bed.....I reached over and started running my fingernails down his arm......quietly I said, "So...baby?....." and he was all like, "Yeah? What does my girl want?" and I was all like, "Mmmm.....baby.....I want you to....." and he was all like, "Yeah?? You want me to what?".......and I was all like,"Mmmmmyeah....I just want you to.......to take me to the Alumni Banquet Saturday night."

His reply: "Bite me. I ain't goin'."

And I got 8 hours of sleep. I'm not sure he did.


I have figured something out. The show LOST wasn't named that because these people are lost on an island. I mean, think about it....the show could've easily been more appropriately named "Stranded" or "Planewrecked" or something like that. No, the execs named the show LOST because that is exactly how the people who are addicted to the show walk around all the time - completely lost as to what the heck is going on.


Last week we had 14 cats on the place. We are down to 5 now. We have a very fat and well-fed fox, owl or grizzly bear, though.


Parental words that I never dreamed would come out of my mouth:

"YOUNG LADY!! NO, that cat does NOT want to ride in the carseat on your bike!"

"If you spray that hose at me one. more. time. I will personally shove it up your rear and laugh while I do it." (In my defense, the water was cold.)

"Honey, would you please put sunscreen on mommy's TinkerBell tattoo?"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


She: ...And the storage building rent is late again this month. I've had the check made out for weeks, but haven't gotten it over there.

Me: Well, can't you mail it?

She: I guess. But I don't have his address. He just really prefers it in his back door.

Me: Well, some guys just do. You really can't fault him for that.

Big Blogger 2 - Task #4 - Interior Design

Last week, had it not been for another gracious serving of immunity, I fear I would've found myself begging for mercy so as not to get booted from the Cyberhouse. I was kind of late on my task because of that pesky time difference between Australia and the US. Oops, my bad. Big Blogger is not known for her leniency so I gotta say there was a little apprehension that she would take away my immunity, not unlike that sneaky fox, Swiper. But this week....oh this week I am getting things done earlier. Tonight is the season finale of LOST and from 8 until 10 I will be rear to the couch, so I'm using precious, quiet, peaceful naptime to tell y'all about the newly redesigned

Big Blogger 2 Cyberhouse Kitchen

Because I am used to cooking for mass quanities of children, I have thought long and hard about this kitchen remodel. While there are no children in the Cyberhouse, there are nine seven adults and that's just as bad. So we must have a sturdy, useable kitchen with lots of cleaning and safety features.

When you walk in the doors on your right you will notice a row of hooks. On these hooks you will not see traditional chef attire - aka funny tall hat and cheffy looking coat thing - but tie-dyed, oversized t-shirts and do'rags. The tie-dyed shirts will mask and camouflage any spills, drips, dribbles and splatters and there will be various colors available. If you're making spaghetti, go with the orange and red shirt. Blueberry pie? We have a blue and purple version just for that. Plus they're retro chic and very comfy. And the do'rags aren't just for keeping hair out of the food (gag), but they also make us all look dannnnnnnng cool. And pirate-y. Yarr.

The counter tops are all height-adjustable so you can be comfortable while you slice, dice, pour, store, drain and strain. Cutting boards are built in, so you don't have to search and search through the cookie sheets and cooling racks. Just tap the correct button on the console in the center of each counter and voila' - your cutting board is waiting before you.

Also, featured on the console is a button for antibacterial hand sanitizer. No one really wants Sal-mon-illa, do they? Just push the button and you are offered a handy institutional-size pump bottle of germ-killing nectar of the obsessive/compulsive gods. And if you've been chopping up hunks of meat from Cut-Up Cow, you can push another button to sanitize the counter tops as well. I mean, the Cut-Up Cow is going to keep all of the beef fresh and disease-free, but what about Van Turkeys? Huh? What about them, indeed?

The console also has buttons for music, which is something every pirate-y chef needs in order to be efficient in the kitchen. Too many cooks in the kitchen and none want to listen to the same music? Headphones and earbuds are hanging just below the tie-dyed shirts at the door.

The Cyberhouse will also come equipped with a Cabana Boy named Carlos. Why does the kitchen need a Cabana Boy named Carlos? Because I said so, that's why.

There are no toilets in the kitchen, no matter what Hilbilly Mom wants. I just can't allow it. Yes, yes I realize that Cazzie's Cool Cleaner is a very effective cleaner indeed, but I'm drawing the line at potties in the pantry. Or anywhere near the pantry. There is a dinette set, a lounge (so the Cabana Boy can feed you grapes) and a formal dining table. Take your pick from those and if you don't like them, well, then you can go to the loo to eat.

Is anyone else fed up with someone using all but the last shred of paper towels on the roll and not putting a new roll on the hanger? And if they took the energy to get a new roll, they just left it sitting on the counter top? Well, that won't happen in the Cyberhouse Kitchen. No, the paper towels are neverending. Just like the toilet paper in the loo. And the pasta bowls at Olive Garden.

Also, all of the cans have labels that are the same front and back. This way, I don't spend my days turning all the labels facing out. And of course, the storage containers and canisters are made by FittyStore, the company that makes FittyMaid Brand Storage Containers.

But the most amazing features of the Cyberhouse Kitchen is the self-cleaning feature. At day's end, when all of the cooking, slicing, dicing, grape-eating and frollicking is done and you're ready to retire to the Hillmomba Slumber Cavern, you just shut the doors and push the button. When you arrive back in the kitchen the next morning, the kitchen is sparkly clean and ready for another day. But beware - the self-cleaning cycle is pretty much like that of a self-cleaning oven. If you hide in the kitchen to play footsie-wootsies or handsy-wandsies with the cabana boy a little longer, chances are you and Carlos are going to be crispy critters by morning.

The rest of the Krusty Krew:
Hillbilly Mom
Perspectives of a Nomad
I Don't Do Mornings!
Lantern Light
Legless in Perpetuum
Scotland of the Soul


Last night Tater and I took the kids to see Over the Hedge.

I feel like I got back the two hours I lost seeing RV.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Woody's Roundup

Right now there are 7 children in my toyroom. And there are two more on the way. I love summer. My house is always full of oodles of children and the noise and giggling and spontaneous dancing that occurs is enough to make me one of the happiest people on the planet. Just now I was playing "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas (Hey, only the most educational music for my kids) and even the babies were dancing. These kids know a danceable beat when they hear it.


Friday night was our end of the year ceremony thing for Girl Scouts. It went off without a hitch. The girls remembered their parts and Abby and MaKayla looked so big as they crossed the bridge and donned their new green sashes, all blank and ready to be filled with many, many badges next year. I had stressed out over it all week and Tater made fun of me saying, "I hope none of your kids get married if this is how you react over a little thing like this!" Well, I just wanted it to be memorable. I still remember my bridging ceremony! Magnet Lady and Magnet Sister interrupted the ceremony so that the girls could present Tater and I with flowers, which made me all misty. And I got misty again when we sent Taylor across the bridge to her momma (They're military now and will be moving this summer). Thankfully none of us broke down and really cried, which I was afraid we'd do. Well, except for Tater who thought us all rather silly for being sentimental in the first place, the big poot.

After the ceremony we had dessert and everyone kind of milled around and visited. Then after that, the grandparents and uncles and daddies left and we had our last shindig of the school year - a camp out. Magnet Lady and Magnet Sister, Tater and I were the parents that had planned on staying and then we talked Jeanie, Magnet Lady's best friend, into staying as well. Jeanie, ML and I graduated together so we were walking down memory lane by having a sleep over together again.

We had grand plans of playing flashlight tag, but the brand new batteries I had put in Abby and Addison's flashlights went dead after 5 minutes, so that was out. So pretty much we just let the girls run around and do what they wanted. Well, as long as it was safe. They giggled and ran and squealed and so did the little girls. Around 10 we came inside and gave the girls a healthy bedtime snack of Double-Stuft Oreos and milk and then it hit us adults that we hadn't eaten dinner so I whipped us up some smoked sausages, again a healthy meal right at bedtime.

We retired to the tents close to midnight, hermetically sealed the girls in theirs and then got into ours and proceded to giggle and talk sex and stuff until nearly 3am. The girls finally quit their giggling around 2:30. One of our famous Diva Skunks kept playing Hide and Smell with us all night, which punctuated the night with frantic wakeups and scurrying to find the flashlight to see if it was in eyesight, aka lurking outside our tents with tailed raised in spraying mode. But Jake slept between the two tents all night long and never even stirred when we smelled the skunk, so it was obviously not close. The wind was just right, I guess.

I woke up around 5:30 and Magnet Sister woke up shortly after that. The other grownups were awake by 6 but we all dozed back off again. I woke up at 7:40 and Magnet Sister did, too. We both came inside and started breakfast. Mr. Diva went out and sprayed the adult tent with water, but that didn't get them up, so with Magnet Sister and I giggling quietly behind him, he headed outside with a shotgun. He snuck around to the girls' tent and told them to not be scared and that he'd be shooting a gun into the air. He fired off about 3 shots just boomboomboom and Magnet Sister and I both started squealing and screaming, "It's still moving!! Oh MY GOSH it's still ALIVE!!" We saw the big tent start shaking, then Tater's head poked out the door and she growled, "What'sgoin'onouthere". She kind of reminded me of a sleepy-headed - albeit white - Arnold from Different Strokes.

After feeding the crew pancakes and bacon we let the girls play until their parents picked them up. Then I slept pretty much the entire afternoon while Mr. Diva went out riding with his brother and my children's brains rotted while they watched too much TV.

We had secured an overnight stay at Tater's for the kids because we had been invited to a wedding, but we decided to instead go to the movies. We had a romantic dinner at Sonic (Mmmm....Jumbo Popcorn Chicken) and then saw RV. We toyed with going to see Over the Hedge, but since we knew that one or both of us would see it with the kids, we opted on something non-animated. Bad choice. The two hours spent watching RV are two hours of my life I'll never get back. And that makes me sad. It was so horrendously stupid that words really fail me in describing it.

But quite possibly, hopefully, I will gain those two hours back with the satisfaction I will get from seeing NACHO LIBRE weekend after next. I am so stoked about it I can hardly stand it.

And even though the movie was a bomb, we came back home and had - yep, you guessed it - RLTKAOOTHS. (For the new folks: Really Loud The Kids Are Out Of The House Sex) That almost redeemed the 2 hours lost during the movie.

And yesterday my dad and husband installed my new ceramic, flat-top stove top!! I have pictures of the campout and of the range installation, but I'll have to retrieve them from the camera and I don't have time right now. But suffice it to say that I cooked dinner last night on FOUR WHOLE BURNERS that all worked at once!! It was a very liberating experience.

And now I must go. There are 9 children in my house now:
5 months
12 months
15 months
4 years - x3
7 years - x2
and 9 years

Yes, I'm insane.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Big Blogger 2 Challenge - Task #3 - Ode to my...

I have waited until the very last possible moment, but I'm finally writing my ode.

Even though I do have IMMUNITY again this week! WAHOO! It sure pays to be insane and write stupid stuff in the Diary Room of the Cyberhouse sometimes.

Without further ado -

Ode to My Toothbrush

Oh toothbrush, sweet toothbrush,
You are chock full of bristle-y goodness
and oh so ergonomically designed.

Not only are you a welcome massage to my gums
But you also keep my teeth from tartar and plaque
when I apply you properly according to ADA guidelines.

Your purple handle lets me know that you are mine
and not my husband's.
I will swap slobber with the man,
but he's wise to never touch you, dear toothbrush,
or place you in his own mouth
for you are mine and mine alone.

I see you sitting there in the toothbrush holder
with ladybugs and flowers adorning it.
I see you there each morning, greeting me
like a good toothbrush should.

Oh toothbrush, how I love thee!
You have kept me cavity-free for two and a half months now
and we still have a half a month to go.

Yes, sweet toothbrush....alas, but your life is but three months long.
It is a sad day when I must replace you with another.
It will again be purple-handled, but I'll always remember you.

Especially when I use you to scrub the grout in the shower.

An Open Letter to the Jerkfaces

Dear Jerkfaces,

If you all three weren't such jerkfacess I'd buy you a dictionary. And I would highlight a few words in it for you - "consideration", "common decency", "humility" and just plain ol' "manners". But since you are jerkfaces and I frankly don't want to exert any more energy on you, I won't buy you a dictionary. You have no desire to learn about those things anyway.

You are not better than me, no matter what you think. You can think that all you want, but let's be honest, you just aren't. Your feet stink after a whole day in tennis shoes and you also get gunk in the corners of your eyes and your breath stinks in the morning. Everyone's does. You are no exception. I'm not saying I'm better than you either - there's no way I think that. I just think it's pathetic how you waltz around like the world owes you something. Just because you show off your tramp stamp and manicured nails and name-brand clothes like they mean anything to me and you insist that you really are fat even though you know you're not and you think it's cute when you do that, you really aren't any better than me. And I know it. I think that's probably why you're so condescending to me - because you think that you can intimidate me. Well, you can't, so quit trying so hard. It's just not a good look on you.

I am a person who does not like confrontation, nor do I invite it, so I'm not sure why you people are avoiding my phone calls like I'm going to blow an airhorn into the receiver. I don't even own an airhorn and uh, I quit being a teenager a long time ago. You, however, have not. You are so immature that you can't even give me some common courtesy and talk to me on the phone and let me know what is going on. It's not hard, it won't hurt and contrary to what your twisted mind thinks, I am not a dragon lady. There comes a time in your life that you just have to be mature enough to say what's on your mind and that's that. I'm a big girl, I won't slit my wrists because of what you have to say to me. I promise. But then again, obviously my thoughts and feelings aren't a factor for you, so what do you care if I slit my wrists anyway? Be an adult and address the things that need to be addressed. Life isn't always pleasant and that's just the way it is. If you can't handle that then you have more problems than I thought.

And while I was attached to your children and heck, I'll even admit that I love your kids, I am not losing sleep over the fact that now I no longer have to deal with you on a regular basis. To all three of you - grow up.

Redneck Diva

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

They only come out at night

The flying ants that are flying madly around my computer screen right now, that is. During the day I am not plagued by them, but at night they plague much. A Terminix commercial keeps ringing in my head, telling me that flying ants might be a sign of termites. I am trying to ignore that ringing. I don't want termites in my 30 year old home that really doesn't need termites. Termites suck. I type awhile and then slap at these flying ants and then I cuss a little, too. It makes for fun nighttime blogging.

We need to call an exterminator anyway. The other night Abby found a spider in her bed. She screamed and called her daddy who captured said spider in a bug-looking-at jar complete with magnifying glass and then brought it to me. Which of course made me go "EEEEEEE!!" and hyperventilate and tinkle a little. The evil man I married shoved it in my face and said, "Ain't that a fiddle back?" I said, "Nah, it's too big for a brown recluse. But I'll check anyway."

It was a fiddle back. A brown recluse. A little brown eight-legged ball of poisonous, flesh-eating terror.

SO calling an exterminator tomorrow.

Tonight was yet another new experience for me. I cut my son's and my husband's hair. Paul's mom bought him some really good professional clippers years ago and twice Paul has cut his hair with them. It was not a good experience either time. It pretty much looked like he had shoved a stick of dynamite up a badger's but and it exploded all over my bathroom. My husband obviously does not know how to use a broom properly.

Last time Sam had a haircut Paul did it. The clippers were dull and the boy had a LOT of hair so it was not a pleasant ordeal. In fact, it was a rather horrible ordeal, punctuated by lots of crying and yelping from the boy and griping and swatting from the husband. So I decided tonight that I would be the one to clip the boy's hair. He immediately started crying, but I assured him that I wouldn't run the clippers over his head at warp speed. Only once did I pull his hair. I used the 1/4" guard on him, so he now looks like those kids who were absent the day after the lady from the health department came to do lice checks and came back with shaved heads. But the way I figure it, he'll be cool and it'll be awhile before I have to shave his head again. Always thinking ahead, I am.

Then, upon noticing the stellar job I did on my male offspring's hair, Paul came into the kitchen and plopped his rear in the chair and said it was his turn. He wouldn't let me use the 1/4" guard on him, so he looks less like a freshly shorn, de-bugged person than our son.

Iew. All this talk of bugs is making me itch. Iew.

Monday, May 15, 2006

MONSTER TRUCKS, crying mommy and a new experience

Friday night was the much-anticipated (at least by us) MONSTER TRUCKS and truck pulls at the fairgrounds. We had a plan this year.

With all of the recent rain and subsequent flooding, we knew parking would be scarce and the parking that was to be had would be muddy, so Mom met me at the one paved parking lot across from the fairgrounds, picked the kids and I up and took us back to her house. Whoo hoo, we got a parking spot on the front row, facing out! No hassling with that pesky redneck traffic for us, by golly. Mr. Diva drove to Mom's when he got off work. After dinner at Mom's she took us back down there and dropped us off nearly a full hour before the show was to start. We still had to sit in the nosebleeds. I gotta say, the rednecks around here sure know how to get around early enough to get the good seats at a MONSTER TRUCKS show.

Friday night was TotOne's dance recital and TotTwo wasn't really all that excited about attending, so Tater asked if he could go with us. Now, my sister and her family just aren't as redneck as we are. In fact, they really aren't redneck at all. But hey, if the boy wanted to go who was I to say no? I'm all about exposin' them young'uns early and all. We met up with Chandler and his parents and saved them seats. They really aren't redneck either, but Chan is a little boy obsessed with trucks, so it was only natural that they attend.

And I just have to say that the diva in me was forcing her way through because in getting ready for the evening, while I did abandon my new lavender beaded chunk heeled flip flops and go with the more sensible and much warmer New Balance sneaks , I simply could not go without dangly earrings and lip gloss. Do you see why I'm called Redneck Diva? It's a constant struggle. Even when I drove demolition two years ago I wore lip gloss and large hoop earrings, only removing the earrings because they got in the way of my helmet. What can I say?

So the MONSTER TRUCKS were awesome. They had six there this year - two more whole trucks than last year. One driver is a hometown boy that we got to know when we went to the Ft. Smith races and worked pit a few years ago. He did fairly well for a young'un. One truck's whole back axle just completely came off. The safety guys rolled his back two wheels right out of the arena. My favorite event of the night was the Tough Trucks. We know several of the pro drivers. Now, when I say "pro" drivers, I mean the guys who actually do this for the purpose of winning the events, not the guys who just drive in their tricked out Ford Ranger or worse, an old station wagon that they bought for $150 and spray painted on the sides and hood. These pro hometown guys have professional paint and body jobs and know their trucks. One guy from up in Missouri rolled his truck on the first turn. Is it cliche if I say "the crowd went wild"? First time he had driven the truck, too. So for the second heat he drove in it without a body. No fiberglass, just metal and roll bars. Talk about dedication.

I am completely a huge screaming fan of tractor pulls. Few things give me more satisfaction than yelling FULL PULL when they make it all the way. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that there were no tractor pulls, but instead truck pulls. They sucked. The tractors, when they wind up they are ear-splitting and mega exciting. The trucks, eh, they just blew big clouds of black diesel smoke all over the place. Poo. It was bor-ring.

The main event, the thing that was shouted over and over on the commercials, the thing that made cars driving by the fairgrounds slow down to a crawl was DRACO THE DRAGONATOR. Basically a car eating crane draped in shimmery scales with a fire-breathing dragon head on top. But the boys loved it. My non-redneck nephew, had sat up to that point counting the metal bars in the bleachers, cleaned under his fingernails, picked his nose and hummed every song he has learned in Kindergarten, but when Draco came out he was stock-still and entranced. He and Sam I don't think breathed the entire time the dragonator "ate" a car. Whoo hoo good times for 6 and 7 year old little boys. Chandler was quiet and stock-still, too, but I guess he didn't like it and it kind of scared him. I give him a few years and he'll be entranced, too.

We left a little early, halfway through the free-style MONSTER TRUCK exhibition where they show off like motorized peacocks with large wheels, preening for a crowd of redneck patrons all dying to see them climb over a schoolbus. I'm not sure that was a really good analogy, but I think you get the picture. You don't? Well, shit. Anyway....

It was a pretty decent evening. The kids were exhausted, but not too tired to get a frozen custard afterwards, although Kady did fall asleep and drip melty custard all over her carseat on the way home.


Saturday night we went out to Mr. Diva's middle brother's house and had a barbecue. I wasn't really looking all that forward to it because well, his family is just not a real talkative bunch. I think I scare them with all of the words that come out of my face. They are completely content to sit in lawn chairs and stare at the ground, emitting the occasional grunted question and waiting for a one-syllable grunt reply. Don't get me wrong, they're good people, just not talkative people. But we had a good time. I was pleasantly surprised. I have one sister-in-law and I just love her to pieces. She's talkative like me, but she's more content to sit around and be quiet, whereas I just have to talk even if the whole group is staring at me like I've done gone plumb mad. So we visited and watched them play tackle basketball. Yes, tackle basketball. The basketball was flat and they were playing on the grass, so what choice did they have but to tuck the ball under an arm and make a forced run for the basket? Sam got out there and played with all the adults and came home with a pretty good shiner for his effort. His daddy's thumb gave him a decent strawberry under his eye, but had it not been for his daddy's thumb he'd have made contact with another guy's head and probably would've ended up in the ER getting stitches. They were each really intent on getting that ball, obviously.


Sunday was my annual Bawl My Eyes Out and Secretly Loathe How Insensitive My Husband Can Be Day, otherwise known at Mother's Day. Last year and this year I spent the better part of the day crying. Next year I'm not celebrating Mother's Day. This will be no big change in plans for my husband.

Sunday evening we all went in to Mom's for dinner. She gave me some Bath and Body stuff, $10 for the casino, a card that made me cry and a certificate for 10 consecutive hours of labor by her personally. I love that woman. She is SO cleaning my bathroom during those 10 hours. That is one chore I really, really hate. I got Tater 3 tubes of Super Glue. Well, she never has any, so I picked her up some. We're going together to get Mom a new cell phone since she's still carrying around her Nokia 6150 from oh....2000. It's a wonder the thing still picks up a signal.

Tater, our husbands and I hit the casino while Mom watched the kids. We gambled our $5 free play just for being mothers and the $10 mom gave us. We all walked out with nothing, but had a good time. Considering I hadn't been in a casino in 13 days it was a welcome visit.

I'm trying to cut back on the gambling because I see myself going completely compulsive with it. I have those compulsive tendencies anyway, what with the alphabetizing of my canned goods and all, but gambling is much more costly than putting your applesauce before your pears. This is my second week sans Ladies' Night and while I miss my Monday nights with Mom and Tater, I am much more rested on Tuesday mornings, I gotta say. And I get to watch Deal or No Deal with my kids and that is always fun. Just hearing Kady yell "NO DEAW!" at the TV 47 times in an hour is worth missing out on $10 free play.

And tonight Mr. Diva and I did something that I'm not sure we've done before in our 13 years of marriage. (No, not that you pervs.) We watched a Presidential address. Hmh. I'm not sure that I'm going to make a habit of that. While it was informative and I feel like I am now caught up on my illegal immigration education, my mind kept wandering and I found myself thinking is Howie going to have to starting asking," ¿Reparto o ningĂșn reparto?"

Note: Ha! I just went back and reverse translated "¿Reparto o ningĂșn reparto?" and it gave me "Distribution or no distribution?" Hmmm... the show would take on a whole new direction if Howie used the same translator I used.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just for Hillbilly Mom on Mother's Day

Ask and you shall receive, dear friend.

Anyone else have a request? Old Prom pics? Baby pics? Perhaps some from my not-so-cute "pleasantly plump" years? (And no, that doesn't mean the last few years up to now...) Oooh, what about slumber party pics? Pregnant pics? G'head and ask. More than likely I'll post 'em. Hillbilly Mom can tell you that if you ask, I'll even post pictures of me as a Band Geek in the throes of directing the band all by myself.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Memory, all alone in the moonlight

These last few days have been a veritable plethora of reminiscent moments. I have spent more time laughing, crying and thinking back about my child/teenage-hood than I have in a long time.

It started Wednesday when I visited Todd's blog and found a post he'd written about our glory days back in Competitive Speech. Then he wrote another one on Thursday. Then he continued on Friday by bringing up old SNL skits and competitive speech quotes (that I still use to this day, btw). Tonight I went to his blog and promptly laughed so loudly that Paul paused the PS2. He never pauses the PS2 unless it's to yell at one of the kids or to ask me to get him some food. So I know I laughed extra loud. But you gotta admit....seeing a picture like this is enough to make anyone laugh. Especially when you are the main dork in the picture, wearing a really stupid-looking white dress, sporting really big hair and GINORMOUS glasses, looking like you are about to have your heart ripped from your chest because some dude in a Cosby sweater is about to steal your precious Green Teddy and some other dude in equally ginormous glasses is swooping in behind you for what reason you're just not sure.

Man, those were the days.

Then Thursday night while I was out here on the computer the internet answering machine picked up a call from a cell number I didn't recognize. The message was from a gal saying she graduated with Paul and wanted to get our address because she was rounding up all of their classmates for the Alumni Banquet at our alma mater. I was confused for a moment until she said, "...because it's our 25th year out of school." So I laughed and walked into the living room and very nonchalantly asked my husband, "Who's Kelly Durborough?" No response. Again, I asked, "Honey, who's Kelly Durborough?" Nothing. But I could see he was looking a little uncomfortable. I know that his ex-fiance's (the one that robbed him blind one night while he was passed out drunk because she broke his heart, but let's not go there) name is Kelly and was trying to make him think I was talking about her. It was working. Finally as I stood there tapping my foot he asked, "Why?" I was having too much fun, but instead of making him mad I just said, "Oh she just called. Because you, my dear husband, have been out of school TWENTY FIVE YEARS and she's wanting you to go to the Alumni Banquet."

He didn't even pause the PS2 to say, "Bite me. You'll be there in ten years, smart one."

So I called Kelly Durborough back to give her our correct address, reminisce a little with her and then tell her that yes, we would be attending even though Paul was yelling from the living room, "I am NOT going to that stupid banquet!" Oh, he's going. By cracky, it's my 15th year out of school and his 25th. We will attend that banquet and stand up with our classes and see our old classmates and then quite possibly go get drunk because we'll be feeling really old and fat. Or maybe that will just be me. But I digress.

After my phone call with the lovely Kelly Durborough, I got out his senior yearbook - the yearbook wherein I was in Kindergarten, mind you - and we proceded to spend the next hour and a half walking down Memory Lane, hand in hand, laughing, crying a little and definitely waxing sentimental. Okay, he never cried, just for the record. I teared up once or twice, though.

And dang, I was a cute Kindergartener. He, however, was a shaggy-headed Senior. It's a good thing I wasn't looking for a husband back then, you know, when I was 5. I would've passed him right on by.

Then today I got an email from my first husband's current wife. You know, my first husband Brian Highfill, the one I married 23 times at the school carnival marriage booth in the second grade. Yeah, his wife. I'm glad that if I couldn't have him - because ultimately his father was going to find me a husband - that she could, because she seems really nice. I'm just glad she wasn't emailing me so she could hunt me down and kick my butt for marrying her husband back in the 2nd grade. Some women can be touchy about stuff like that. For the record, Beckie, I never kissed him. That was back when kissing was gross.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

[insert heavy sigh here]

Ever have one of those days where you're just tired?

It's not even dark outside and I'm going to bed.

I just feel bleh.

But tomorrow will be better, I'm sure of it. Why am I sure?

Because my husband bought us all tickets to the Outlaw Nationals
tomorrow night. Rawk on!

Happy Mother's Day to me!

I *heart* being a redneck.

Big Blogger 2 - Task #2 - "In Da House"

Our 2nd task for Big Blogger is to create a posse. We must choose two people from our blogroll that can run as our offsiders and we have to rhyme why they are cool enough to run wit' us.

Word. Yeah.


I got my girrrlz together
and we formed a bad-ass group.
We have lotz of thingz in common -
Number one iz baby poop.

We're a gang of redneck mamaz,
Don't go messin' wit our kidz
Or you'll find yo'self in a 55-gallon drum
Wit' us sealin' all da lidz.

Now, don't go thinkin' we're all evil,
We're not as violent as we sound.
Just mind yo' mannerz, wipe yo' nose
And at naptime settle down.

By day my girrlz are secretareez,
But at night da hair comes down.
They slap on do'rags, sag their draw's
And head out on da town.

Jen works at a lib-rare-ee
At da local college.
She seemz mild-mannered and super sweet
But she'll kick yo' ass full of knowledge.

In da morning about 8
Off to work she'll go.
But at night she'z doin' drive-byz
Tossin' cheezecake out da window.

Stormie iz my homegirl.
She'z as Irish as can be.
With red hair, frecklez and lots of 'tude
She'z Irish Divinity.

She won't kill you wit a gun.
She's not a natural born killa.
She'll just leave a turkey in her van for a week
And kill you wit' Sal-mon-illa.

So now you know our namez
You pansy-assed bunch of whinaz.
We're three tough mommas,
We don't back down.

We are da

http://www.GraffitiGen.com/ - Graffiti Creator

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cat house

We now have 14 cats.

And the other Brady cat hasn't had her litter yet.

Today Jen called and asked if she could bring out two orphaned kittens whose momma had been killed during a building demolition on campus. Fortunately, Cindy Brady (I was informed by my children that I had blogged about the wrong Brady cat previously. It was Cindy, not Marsha Marsha Marsha.) took the two kittens with no problem. She sniffed them, then rolled over and let them crawl in to nurse. *whew*

My kids love the book Millions of Cats. I'm thinking they were plotting all along.

My offer still stands. I'll pay postage to ship you a cat. Your choice - they're all female and we have grey, grey and grey to choose from.

Big Blogger 2 Mid-Week (Surprise the Holy Crap Outta Me and I Didn't Win Immunity) Mini Meme #1


He who hesitates is lost. Darn you, Hillbilly Mom. Darn you and your immunity.

So....Big Blogger says we can choose whether we want to do the meme or not. I choo-choo-choose to. Even if Hillbilly Mom is hogging all the immunity.

1. Name of your first teacher Ahhh, Kindergarten - Mrs. Pogue. I loved that woman. She passed away when I was in junior high and I just cried and cried when I found out.

2. Name of best friend at school That pretty little brown-eyed girl from down the road, DeLisa Anderson. She came to my birthday party when I was 4 and we were inseparable from that day forward.

3. Do you still know them now Yep. In fact, she now lives just down the road from me again. With her own little family.

4. Name of first person you had a crush on at school Brian Highfill. We "went together" from Kindergarten until oh gosh, probably 3rd grade. In second grade we got married in the school carnival marriage booth 23 times. I crushed on him for years. And his daddy, Red, was the man responsible for Paul and I meeting years later. Funny how things work out, eh?

5. Favourite lunch at school I think we all liked pizza day (even if the pizza was square), but the cafeteria's hot rolls were the best thing they served. We could've sold those things on the blackmarket, traded them for crack for our ferrets, or gotten bonus points with the teachers by slipping a warm roll under the desk. We'd all do our best to get two of 'em and then we'd fill up one compartment of our tray with honey and just dip those rolls to our heart's content.

6. Do you still eat it now The only hot rolls I've found that are remotely like the school's are the ones at Charlie's Chicken. And I still fill up one compartment of my divided styrofoam plate and dip to my heart's content.

7. First award you got at school In fifth grade I won the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) essay contest. My essay was about dolls. Old dolls. I got a trophy, my picture in the paper and got to read my essay to the Daughters at their monthly meeting.

8. Age you first mastered the "monkeybars" The monkey bars were very serious things at our school. We girls all wore shorts under our skirts just so we could climb the monkeybars and not show off our Barbie and Hello Kitty panties. I'd say that by 2nd grade I was sporting the blisters of a tried and true champion monkey bar climber. And by 3rd grade I could skip a bar. By 4th grade I was fat and pretty much abandoned the monkey bars and went with jump rope and chasing boys.

9. Favourite Canteen/Lunch Order "treat" Ooh when Mom hit the Wonder Bread store on "Bar-gin" Day..........mmmmmm yeah, buddy, Tater and I found Ding Dongs, Cupcakes or those heavenly pink Sno-Balls in our Mickey Mouse lunchboxes. Oh how I love the Wonder Bread store.

10. Favourite schoolyard game Totally had to be jump rope. We were crazy with the jumping of the rope. Those 24 robbers knocked at our door, we told the tale of Cinderella mistaking her fella for a reptile and teddy bear, teddy bear.....oh yes, he turned around.

Brownie Stampede

We're back from Branson. We've actually been back since late Sunday night, but I was so busy yesterday day and then so exhausted last night that I crashed and the blogging had to wait. But I know y'all have just been sitting there at your computers wondering how it all went.


I got up Saturday morning and put my hair up in a towel after my shower, which is what I do on the days I'm going to straighten it. It helps pull out the curl, ya know. So I started getting ready, just by chance looked outside and saw rain. Lots of rain. I whipped that towel off my head and prayed it wasn't too late. I shouldn't have worried. By the time we reached Branson that afternoon we were soaked, fuzzy-headed and web-footed. There was plenty of curl in my hair to go around. I had Incredible Shrinking Hair. A veritable poodle-do. (Not to be confused with poodle doo.)

It poured on us while we waited to leave from Miami. I was passing out tie-dyed shirts in the rain, taking care of money in the rain, and cursing a lot in the rain.

We drove to IHOP in Joplin. In the rain.

BUT . . .

I had this for breakfast so it was all okay.
I *heart* stuffed French toast.
(And please don't be a smartaleck and ask me how many Points were in it. I didn't care. It was just too dang yummy.)

But when I got my receipt I couldn't help but wonder ...... if maybe they were concerned that I had eaten too many Points and I needed one of these -

We drove from Joplin to Branson. In the torrential rain. I'm not a fast driver, rarely do I exceed the speed limit, but it would've been nice to have actually been able to set the cruise control a hair over. Instead we just drove in the rain. The torrential rain.

Here's a pic of my girls at the Stampede -

I was serious when I said we'd look like a group of grapes that had been in a paintball war.

And the whole group. Yes, most of us wore the grapealicious shirts.

That's Tater on the far left - she just had to be different. She didn't go for the paintball look. Smart woman. She just looked like she'd run into a freshly-painted fence.

And I never realize just how red my hair is until I see it in a picture where I'm standing next to normal-color haired people. Yikes. Must. Tone. That. Down.

Evidently it was Girl Scout day at the Stampede and they gave us ubercool patches to commemorate our rainy stampede-y day.

Which, later TotOne decided to display on Tater's chest.

This has to be my most favoritest picture of the whole trip. I took the picture of the row of girls and moms at the pre-show. But I had to crop Taylor out because she just looked so, "Nuh UH, oh no. she. did. NOT!" Doesn't she? It cracks me up.

After the Stampede, where I got dirt and horse turds flipped up into my delicious cheddar garlic biscuit, so Hillbilly Mom, I, too, have experienced the full Dixie Stampede Experience, we went to the motel with the indoor water park.

(Note: Please know that I refrained from eating the amazing cream of vegetable soup at the Stampede that is made from heavy cream and half-and-half. I didn't eat it to keep myself from freaking out over the fact that I had eaten a Stuffed French Toast for breakfast and was about to eat a whole chicken for lunch. Just know that, okay?)

Here's Abby coming down off of the water slide. It took me forever to get the child to try the slide, but once she went down it once I couldn't keep her off of it. MagnetLady, MagnetSister, Tater and Melissa all went down it as well. I just couldn't quit thinking that I had just eaten a Stuffed French Toast AND a whole chicken and didn't want a water slide debacle to go along with my roller coaster experience. I'd have died a thousand deaths if they'd have had to dismantle the slide to get my fat rear out. I just didn't wanna chance it.

That's what everyone looked like coming off the slide. With looks like that on their faces, it just just didn't look fun enough for me to try. Plus, hello! It's water and we all know how terrified I am of the stuff.

And this is what it looks like when the bell goes off and the bucket dumps 40 gazillion gallons of water on everyone in the place. Yeah. Whoo hoo.

The girls played in the water for a couple of hours and yes, Cousin Stacey, they do have a lazy river, but as I told you in the email, there was nothing lazy about it while I was escorting my 9 year old on her tube. I walked the lazy river. Great exercise if you want that, not great if you want lazy. Then the girls wanted to swim, so we gathered our lifeguard and all but two of them and headed to the indoor pool. I actually got in the water and it was kind of nice. Till we got used to it and then we all froze. Well, the mommas froze because we were all hanging out along the wall. The lifeguard and the girls didn't because they were like ferrets on crack down in the deep end.

There had been talk of dinner and talk of bribing the lifeguard into watching the girls while we walked the strip, but after Abby got out of the shower and into her SpongeBob pj's she just deflated. She didn't even want dinner. We had brought snacks and she was totally content with snacking in the room. So Tater, TotOne, Abby and I hung out in our pj's while the rest of the group hit Fuddruckers. The girls crashed and Tater and I watched The Weather Channel, our favorite channel next to CMT. We also talked with Mom on the phone and decided that the weather forecast was just too cold and wet and gloomy for her to drive up with the other three kids. We decided that on Sunday we'd pay a quick visit to Silver Dollar City to check out the new rides, do some shopping and come home.

Then we slept. Hard.

Sunday morning we got up and around, hung out with some of the other moms in the room, then left the motel around 10:15. We headed straight for SDC. And the traffic was backed up nearly to Shepherd of the Hills. For those of you who know Branson know that that is WAY backed up. For those that don't, dudes, that's WAY backed up. After over 30 minutes in traffic Tater called some friends that were meeting us in the park because she was going to get them in free, but they said if we were that far out they'd just buy their tickets and go on in. She had just talked to someone who had waited in traffic for over 2 hours and over an hour just to get tickets. So we turned around and headed back into town. We shopped, shopped and of course, hit the Krispy Kreme (5 points per original glazed, btw, for those wondering), found major bargains at the Disney Store and then shopped some more. Then we drove on to Springfield.

The mall called to me with its ever-present homing beacon. We pulled into the parking lot and I was home. *sigh*

We piddled around the mall awhile, then the girls finally wore us down and we agreed to check out Build A Bear Workshop. OMG, that place is freaking AWESOME. We went in totally prepared to tell our girls no, no bears would be built. Then ... well, those things are just too awesome to NOT build. They built bears. And I cried.

Yes, I cried in Build A Bear Workshop. I just couldn't help it. Abby is at that age where she wants so badly to be a big girl, but at the same time is still very much a little girl. She wanted a bear, but got self-conscious when the gal had them rub the hearts to make them warm, rub them on their heads to make them smart, etc. and I knew she wanted to do it and believe in it. I was willing her to just give in and believe and when she did that was it, the waterworks started. And I totally caved again when the girls found Girl Scout outfits for their bears. Abby's was just going to leave with bows in her ears and panties on her little bear booty, but they had Girl Scout outfits, for cryin' out loud! What respectable Girl Scout Leader/Mom could resist?

Lizzie left in a GS Junior skirt and sash and Krissy left in a Brownie skirt and sash. And both girls and bears got the GS patch for doing it all. And Tater and I left with $10 coupons for JC Penney. They were happy girls and so were we.

And I bought some gauchos. I said I wouldn't. But I did.

From the mall we went to Incredible Pizza. And while I was disappointed that Fantastic Caverns weren't fantastic, well, Incredible Pizza is definitely incredible. There was no disappointment. We ate pizza while we watched cartoons on the big screen and then we hit the game room.

Abby is the skee-ball queen and offered me her card so I could play, too. I did a couple of no-point rolls and she looked over at me while she lobbed the ball into the 5000 point hole by spinning around three times, crossing her eyes and throwing it over her shoulder (okay, slight exaggeration there) and said with much disdain, "Mom, you really stink at this." Then, the next roll I hit the really hard to hit 10,000 point hole and she high-fived me and screamed, "My mom's got SKILLZ!"

When we all dragged our tired carcasses to the van, the girls crawled into the back, picked up their newly-built bears and both of them, in unison, said, "This has been the best day of my life!"

And I got skee-ball skillz.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Well, the Diva and her 7 little balls of energy....I mean Brownies, are off for a fun-filled weekend in Branson, MO. We're going to visit Dolly's Dixie Stampede (Hillbilly Mom, aren't you just jealous?) where we'll get to sit in the special little horseshoe shaped box right out at the edge of the arena, we'll get special Girl Scout Dixie Stampede patches AND we get to hang out at the super cool indoor water park.

If any of y'all are in the Branson area and see a large mass of women and children walking down the strip wearing purple tie-dyed t-shirts that look like they've been hit with pink paint balls, not to worry. It's not my Big Blogger2 posse . . . it's just my me and Brownie troop. Say hi, but beware, they will be sleep deprived, high on sugar and they might attack.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I AM: oh so very tired right now.

I WANT: to sleep until I wake up and then sleep some more.

I WISH: my house was clean, I was a size 9 and that I could keep my house clean.

I HATE: it when Paul rubs on me all night long. It makes me tired and cranky the next day. Of course, in his defense, I did kind of fall asleep while he was trying to be amorous last night.....but I still hate the rubbing during the night.

I MISS: Cousin Stacey.

I FEAR: that I am really screwing my kids up.

I HEAR: "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain

I WONDER: if I cover Paul up with his camouflage blanket, will I wake him up and ruin any chance I have of getting the bed to myself tonight?

I REGRET: not getting my tubes tied right after Kady was born. Insurance would've covered it
then. Now it looks like we're going to pay for a vasectomy. (Not for me. For him.)

I AM NOT: going to get enough sleep tonight.

I DANCE: when there are no grownups around.

I SING: all the time. I also hum constantly.

I CRY: at the drop of a freakin' hat.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: honest when I tell Paul I'm "tired". Sometimes I just flat don't want to.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: ...well, tonight, it was 14 tie-dyed t-shirts.

I WRITE: to make y'all laugh.

I CONFUSE: my husband. It's really not that hard, to be honest. And it's fun.

I NEED: a hot shower, a massage and a lot of sleep.

I SHOULD: go to bed.

I START: my day at 5:30 every morning. That is my least favorite part of my job.

I FINISH: my day by putting on chapstick before I turn out the light. Every night. I have incrediblyl soft lips, too.

I TAG: Mrs. Coach and Tater. Seriously, Tater. UPDATE THE BLOG, WILL YA?

Glad I'm not a cat

We have had a bit of a cat drought around Diva Ranch for the last few years.

Until now, that is.

We moved here in March of 2001 and within a week we got a kitten. The house had sat empty for a year and the country mice were partying like crazy. In my house. That had to cease and desist. Immediately. So I stopped and got a free kitten one day. Turns out the guy was a guy I had gone to school with and hadn't seen him in forever. We shot the breeze awhile and he showed me his "best" kitten, said she was the sweetest and would make us a good mouser.

Turns out the little darling had ringworm. So guess who got it, too? Yep. On my chest where I had been cuddling and snuggling her. Shortly after the vet visit and subsequent diagnosis she disappeared. I have no idea what happened to her and I'll tell that to my kids till my dying day. Because I wasn't actually there when anything allegedly happened to her.

Anyway, from March 2001 until June of 2005 we went through - and I'm not exaggerating - 26 cats. I ran over one, a couple ended up squished in the road, a whole litter disappeared in one night due to either owls, foxes or the Swamp Thing, some just vanished. We figured we lived in the Bermuda Triangle of all Catdom and just set more mouse traps to keep the country mice at bay.

Then last June our neighbor called and said he had a mama cat and litter of kittens that were less than a day old and did we want them all? Heck yes!! We loaded up in the truck and got her and her five kittens. We named her Mija and she has been a lovely addition to our Diva family. We gave one of her kittens to Tater, one to Chandler and kept the other three - a male and two females who we named Junior, Marsha Brady and Cindy Brady. We haven't had a mouse in the house for a year now.

Later last summer a friend of my mother in law brought us a cat and two older kittens. One kitten ran off immediately and the other got squished in the road. The mama we called Mamacita. Well, the kids call her that. I call her "you hateful THING! GIT!" We don't get along.

So in case you weren't counting the cat total in the story so far is: five.

A few months ago we noticed Mija was puttin' on a little weight. Sure enough, she was knocked up and about four weeks ago added to our family a litter of all females. Three little Siamese-lookin' tigers and an all grey tiger. All females. Oh yay.

Cat total in story now: nine.

Tonight Marsha Brady had kittens.

I was here at the computer listening to my MP3 player and reading blogs, the kids were playing behind me in the toyroom when Paul came in and told us all to come outside. I knew from the look on his face that someone was birthing something. Marsha Brady had curled up on an old rag next to the deep freeze and lying next to her was a white kitten and a black kitten. The older kittens, the Siamese-lookin' things were crawling all over and being general nuisances. I said, "Ya know, I'm surprised she hasn't slapped one of them yet!" Paul said, "Me, too. Especially since they've already e-a-t-e-n one." Our kids can spell. Well, two of them can. Immediately gasps of horror rose from the children and Abby screamed, "THEY'RE EATING HER KITTENS??????" And this hysterical statement sent Kady into a particularly loud and pitiful crying/screaming/wailing fit.

Now, in the human world, your sisters eating your offspring - their niece/nephew - is a definite no-no, but in the cat world I guess it's easy to mistake your niece/nephew for a delicious mouse.


Abby immediately scooped Kady up in her arms and carried her away from the kittens and I could hear her talking softly to her, calming her down. I was so glad she did that, because without any ceremony or couth, Paul picked up a headless, half-eaten kitten and disposed of it. Sam was crying and gagging. I was just fuming and ready to kill the man for giving our children a not-really-needed lesson in The Circle Of Life.

After giving him a really nasty look that said, "I am SO going to kill you, darling husband" I went in the house to find a box. We then moved Marsha Brady and her kittens to the box and put her on top of the freezer. Those carnivorous kittens can't get up there yet. Ha. We had a hard time convincing her that the box was a good thing, but finally she decided to hang around. We all went in the house to give her some space and when Paul checked on her ten minutes later she had had another one. A red one.

Cat total in story now: thirteen twelve

We figure Cindy Brady will have her kittens within the week.

People, this is why Bob Barker says to spay and neuter.

The only theory I have is that all 26 cats that have disappeared over the last 5 years are being reincarnated en masse. Lucky us.

So......we're now taking orders. You want a kitten I will either personally hand-deliver the little furball to you or will even mail it to you. You pick, I'll accomodate you either way. Heck, I'll even pay postage.

Shannon, if the taking orders for kittens doesn't go well, I'll be paying you a visit in about eight weeks with a dozen or so cats. Get ready.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I am so blessed

TotOne: My cup's wet! It's leaking!

Abby: No, it's not. When water forms on the outside of your cup it's called "evacuation".

(Uhh...we obviously need to work on the science skillz.)


Jen: ...Well, I'm going to try it and see if it works. I mean, "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic" is what they say.

Me: Hey, it's worth a try. Can't hurt.

Jen: And if that doesn't work, I'll just say a couple of Rosemarys.

(That is one of the main reasons I am so glad Jen's my friend. She made me laugh so dang hard I woke up the baby.)


Mr. Diva and I were watching the news the other night and there was a story about a fire in an apartment building. Of course, just like when a tornado hits, the reporter interviewed the most inbred-looking, toothless degenerate that lived in said apartment building. This guy was so stoned it was comical. Mr. Diva then stood up out of his recliner, started channelling Cheech and Chong, and had me laughing so hard I fell off the couch. I literally fell. off. the. couch. His impersonation wasn't really all that true-to-life, looking back, but the fact that my quiet, monosyllabic husband was standing in front of my fireplace, holding an imaginary joint, talking about "smoking a 12-inch doobie" was totally priceless. I'll remember it forever. Just like the night he got really drunk and proposed to me. And I was so drunk I said yes.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Hmh. Sparkly.

You know, as a parent, that it's time to get a lock on the bedroom door when, after you and your signifigant other give each other the high sign, make a run for the bathroom and have some quality "Mommy and Daddy time" in the only room of the house that has a lock on the door, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and see sparkly blue Crest For Kids toothpaste all over your elbows.

Big Blogger - Task #1 - Let's Go Shopping

Okay, the benevolent Big Blogger let me into the house, even if I did get around to it late. Many thanks to Rebecca for squeezing me into the hizzouse!

For those of you who care, Big Blogger is the blog version of the TV show Big Brother. Check out the link for all of the details. I didn't get in on last year's festivities, but Hillbilly Mom did. She got beat by a cheese sandwich, too. Poor thing. She's OH SO PRETTY, but sometimes the sandwich wins.

So the first task for all of the housemates - we get to bring something into the house!

My contribution is FittyMaid Brand Storage Containers. It never fails, when you move you never have enough boxes to even pack up your stuff. And then when you move in the closets are way smaller than you thought they'd be. (Trust me, this place has very little closet space. And Cazzie's Cool Cleaner is much-needed.) Every person who has moved has always been in need of versatile, sturdy, hideable storage containers. If you're really short on space, FittyMaid containers are waterproof, dirtproof and perfect for burying in the backyard.

They come in three sizes to fit your burial and storage needs:
The Original Fitty-Five Gallon size for everyday use
The smaller Fitty Gallon size, for those bits and pieces.
And the *NEW* Hundred Fitty Gallon size, for those extra large jobs.

The containers come in clear, camouflage and Oklahoma Red Dirt colors. I will bring an assortment of each, just in case.

"FittyMaid Brand Storage Containers - Because Momma always knew you'd end up here."

Note: To those new to things around here, my mother is just 100% certain that because I blog I will end up hacked up into bits and buried in someone's backyard in fifty-five gallon drums. Hillbilly Mom has named my virtual stalker, Fitty. Fitty is the cause of everything evil that occurs to any of us at any time, any place. He's bad, that Fitty.

If you really think about it

Feeding a 4-month old baby food is like . . . well . . .

trying to put a limp penis into . . . uhh . . . anything.

Seriously. Think about it and tell me I'm wrong -

*You can poke and poke and poke and it just keeps coming back out. You can try holding your mouth just right, but it won't cooperate no matter how hard you try.

*Usually one of you is trying way harder than the other.

*You both end up completely frustrated and sometimes one or both of you cries.

*You can try taking a break halfway through, but most of the time even that doesn't help.

*You both end up messy, sticky and in need of a shower. And a nap.

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...