Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why I love him so

Last night Mr. Diva and I had a romantic dinner, just the two of us, at Sonic. We ate most of our meal sitting in the truck while it was parked, but I still had a few fries left when he pulled out of the parking lot. He pulled out the back way, onto a residential street. I was riding along, totally absorbed in the self-indulgence that is Sonic fries (Hillbilly Mom feels the same way about their Cherry Diet Cokes, just ask her) when Mr. Diva said, "Hey, look. There's an exercise machine for sale. If you want it I'll buy it for you."

I didn't even look up from my fries when I said, "Are you saying I need an exercise machine?" Then popped another fry in my mouth while I gave him time to respond, chewing as I planned my ultimate meltdown and just how I was going to badmouth him on my blog.

He was silent for a bit. And for a brief second I heard that familiar "Oh SHIT!" tone in his voice, but he recovered well with, "Nope. There's also a pickup for sale. And a lawnmower. If you want those I'll buy them for you, too. Because I love you. "

Quick-thinking, shameless ass-kissing and blatant recovery lying on his part and the fact that I have instilled a deep-seated fear of an emotional, tearful, screaming outburst in him .....

People, I have discovered the keys to a happy marriage.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Jesus and his sisters

I think the girls have taken Sam's role in the VBS play a little too far.

If I hear "MOM!! Tell Jesus to get out of our room!" and "MOM!! Jesus is touching me again!" one more time I may baptize them all. Till they bubble.

Oompapa oompapa oompapa mow mow

Well, here ya go. My new dark hair that is going to make the grays stand out like diamonds in a goat's butt.

(Humidity's a very rare 35% today so I straightened it. Normally it's a rather poufy black mop thing on my head. I can take a picture of that if you like, too. It's greaaaaaat, lemme tell ya.)

Jesus has a flat-top and his mom is Goth

Saturday morning I went to the salon to get my hair colored. Yes, I found some money hidden away in my sock drawer (the kids will never miss that one Christmas present) and decided to spend it on me. Mememememeeeeee!! Sherri, my new stylist who doesn't insult me like the last one did, matched the color swatch to my roots and all was set. She applied the color, put a lunch lady plastic hat on my head, sat me under the dryer and I sat there while hair dye heated properly and dreaming of how dead sexy I was going to be with my natural God-given hair color once more.

That dream was shattered when I put my glasses on when she was done and I saw Elvira, Mistress of the Dark staring at me from the mirror. So now I'm going to try Goth for awhile and see how it suits me. I always did like black nail polish and lipstick. My skin's already pasty, so I'm good to go.

Either my natural color is a lot darker than I remembered (okay, so maybe it's been awhile) or the dye just turned out darker than either my stylist or I fathomed. She was so sweet, telling me, "Oh but I really like the darker color! Dark hair is always so much prettier." This from a sassy blonde. My husband drove up and took one look at me and said, "Oh holy shit." My mom, God love her, did a double-take and said, "Oh! Wow! It's uh, it's's very dark! But I think I might like it....yeah, I think I do!" Methinks if you have to convince yourself that much, you should just quit trying.

At church Sunday night TotOne walked up to me and said, "Hey there, Elvira!" The whole family cracked up as I stood there speechless. Tater said, "She has no clue why she just got paid fifty cents to say that to you!" Teehee. My family is so frackin' clever.

One slot tech out at Buffalo Run took one look at me and said, "Oh shit. Did you dye your hair?" I looked him square in the eye and without cracking a smile told him no. Another slot tech, a guy I've known since high school, walked up and said, "Uh, what the hell did you do to your hair?" Tater hit him on the arm and said, "Dude, that is SO not how you talk to a woman who has just had hair color gone wrong." My second-favorite security guard out there (my husband being the first, of course) told me it was a good look for me and did I want him to knock off my husband so I could run off with him? And while I'm on the subject, does anyone else find it disturbing that I am so close to the employees at the casino?

But three of my daycare moms have complimented my hair. Either it really does look good or they are just trying to keep the babysitter from shaving her head and scaring the children. I, myself, am adjusting to seeing a very dark-headed woman every time I walk by a mirror. She could stand to lose a little weight, though....


Sunday night was the kids' VBS program. I'm not sure if watching my children perform or the pastor answering his cell phone in the middle of his presentations was more entertaining. It would be hard to choose because they both made us all chuckle. Seriously, the pastor answered his phone just after the Pledge of Allegiance and stood there talking on it from the pulpit. I still find it amusing. I mean, how could you not?

Friday night when I picked the kids up I saw Sam carrying a piece of paper. He said it was his and TotTwo's lines and that they were doing a play. Well, being a former drama savant and in love with all things theatre I was immediately upset that we hadn't had the whole week to prepare, block the scene, work on projection and find the boys a motivation. As it was, we had a mere just under 48 hours to prepare. I immediately set to work, preparing my son and nephew for their acting debuts.

Not only did my eldest child announce this last week that she never, ever wants to be in the band, but now I've discovered that my middle child has very little acting ability whatsoever. My only hope now is that Kady the Junior Drama Queen can play an instrument AND kick ass in the acting department. Hey, I did, so it's not too far of a stretch.

Sam was the most monotoned Jesus I've ever seen and TotTwo was an equally monotoned Peter, but they were so adorable while they blurted out their lines with no emotion that I teared up anyway. TotOne, however, took her one line very seriously and exclaimed, "Look! It's the Lord!" with emotion, volume, flourish and jazz hands. If I hadn't seen her emerge from my sister's vagina with my own eyes, I'd swear she was my child.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I am a pretty liberal parent. I love my kids with everything in me and I want them to be good people, but at the same time I try not to be a total nazi. I love my parents dearly, but growing up, Dad ran a pretty tight ship. Okay, so "tight ship" might be likened to "Turkish prison" in this case. Alright, alright, maybe it wasn't that bad. But still, he was pretty strict.

And the first chance I got to rebel I ran with it, not unlike a 5-year-old whose mommy has left her unattended and she's decided to take the opportunity to untie her shoes and grab the scissors, running with them so she can talk to strangers who have an unfriendly looking pit bull and they give her matches to play with.

Seriously. That's pretty much what I did.

So, as a former hell-child who is now a parent of my own little darlings and who remembers in quite vivid detail just how sneaky and rebellious she was and having heard terrifying stories of how wild Mr. Diva was, we are trying to nix some of that stuff way ahead of time. We let our kids say "fart", "crap", and they can even declare that something sucks. They know that these words are to be said only here at home and if they say them at Grammy's house they are subject to a mouthful of LifeBuoy. And if they say them at YaYa's house it could even be Lava soap. They also know that at school these words aren't allowed and if they say them, they will more than likely end up in trouble and it will only be their fault. We are giving them some leeway, but we're also giving them the responsibly that comes with a potty mouth. Some of y'all may not agree with that and you don't have to. It's a decision that we, their very rebellious and used-to-be-irresponsible parents, have made.

My mother and Tater know of this policy and despise it. They think that saying the word crap at age 7 is just going to lead to a life of sex, drugs, tattoos and *gasp* not voting in the primaries. So last night when Kady said the word "fart" at the frozen custard shop, Tater immediately reprimanded her. And I immediately came to Kady's defense. Which of course, led my mother to get this pinched look on her face, like she'd been sucking on pickles covered in extra alum. And Tater told me that it reflected badly on me.

Well, if my 4 1/2 year old is saying the word "fart" in public I guess I should resign myself to the fact that she's going to become a serial murderer - or at best a prostitute - and my only claim to fame will be the countless talk shows I'm booked on to talk about where it all went wrong. I will sit there stoicly and plead seriously with future parents to just start the day with a good sound lashing and lots of push-ups and withold sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. And for the love of God, people, don't let them say "crap".

That being said, I am going to start censoring their television viewing a bit more after the conversation Abby and I had last night on the way into Wal*Mart.

We had seen a highway patrol car that had pulled over a speeder or other traffic offender (who I bet his parents let declare that something sucked at some point in his early childhood) and she asked why police officers have to write everything down when they stop someone. I explained that if a person is repeatedly breaking the law then the records would show that and they would find a better way to punish them. She thought about this a minute and said, "Well, the cops of the TV shows have the best way of catching the bad guys." I had no idea what was going to come from her mouth when I asked her how they did it on TV. She said, "Well, they have a girl cop dress up like really sexy and hot and they have her stand behind a church or a convenience store and then she says something about 'five bucks' and then the cops come running and they catch the bad guys." She stated it very matter-of-factly and seemed rather proud of herself for having solved all of the world's crime problems with a mere prostitution sting.

And I found myself with a look on my face that was somewhat like I had been sucking on pickles coated with extra alum.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

They're mine and I'm not letting go

The kids have been in Vacation Bible School this week at the little country church that I grew up in, was saved in, was baptized in and sang many a "special" in on many a Sunday morning. We aren't members there and frankly, we haven't been to church anywhere in over a year. But lately, especially Abby, has been asking me questions that I can't answer, so I figured I'd send her to the professionals. So far they've learned the song Oh, How I Love Jesus AND the sign-language to it, they've consumed far more kool-ade and cupcakes than is probably allowable by law and Sam even scored a super cool headband that says "God Rocks!" (Which Tater thought said, "Got rocks?")

I know I am letting them down - and I'm disappointing God - by not having them in church every Sunday. The good ol' God-fearing Southern Baptist in me is feeling the guilt over not being there every time the doors are open. God and I are talking about it, we've been discussing it and I'm mustering up my courage to step back into a Baptist church for a Sunday morning service again. I made a promise that I would raise them right.

Anyway, tonight when I picked the kids up from the church Abby was drenched from a water balloon fight gone all-out "let's hydrate the kids through osmosis" experience. She was shivering in the air conditioning so I sent her out to the truck to be with her father in the 101' Oklahoma evening. She looked tired and worried about something, but didn't say anything. I told her to go, but she hesitated. She asked me to watch her walk out there. It was maybe 50 feet to the truck, but I had to keep her in my eyesight until she physically reached her father. I tried to turn around once and she ran back to me. I knew something was up.

She sat quietly shivering on the way home and was quiet when we got in the house. I sent her to the shower, knowing she was tired and obviously something was on her mind. When she got out she found me in the kitchen and wrapped her skinny arms around me and hugged me like there was no tomorrow. I stroked her wet hair and rubbed her back, then kissed her on top of the head. I pulled back and asked, "Now....tell me what's wrong. You've got a worry tonight, don't you?" She nodded and looked me right in the eye. "Well, tell me,Ab," I said. She sighed.


This is not something I like to even think about, so the fact that my 9 year old had it on her mind struck a chord way down deep inside me. Call it the Protective Mother gene or the Mother Bear Impulse or whatever, but the mere thought of someone taking my child from me just makes me bristle. Then force down the urge to vomit. I asked her what was making her worry about kidnappers.

She took a deep breath and then began to spout forth much more knowledge than I cared for her to know about kidnapping statistics nationwide for the summer. She told me that 500 kids have been abducted just this year. She told me that it wasn't even just grownups doing the kidnapping, that some kids had dressed up as cops and had kidnapped and killed another kid. She was relating to me her nightmares. And mine.

We live in our little patch of heaven. I like to think we live a very safe life. I am fiercely protective of my children and yes, the thought of them being kidnapped creeps into my thinking from time to time, but really I think I've convinced myself that it's a theoretical obsessive thought and that I'm doing everything I can possibly do to protect my children. It's a rare thing for me to allow them to go into public restrooms alone and even then I remind them before they go, "Don't talk to ANYONE. And hurry!" and I stand outside the door and pace until they are back in my reach. I have talked to them extensively about Stranger Danger and we've even role-played about what they are supposed to scream if someone tries to take them. Kady really gets into screaming "SHE'S NOT MY MOTHER!!!" and kicking the tar out of me, her pretend abductor. We've discussed how wandering off and not paying attention is a very, very bad thing.

But am I doing enough? Can I ever do enough? I think I've given my kids the right information and the knowledge and the power.

But what if I haven't?

Tonight when I tucked Sam in he got the giggles. The hysterical, sleepy giggles. He laid there on his bed in his SpongeBob underwear and laughed himself breathless and had tears rolling down his cheeks. I wondered if I had a booger hanging out of my nose and even asked him that, which only made him laugh harder. He is so perfect, even with his overbite and loud mouth. His freckles are perfect, his face is perfect and he's my little boy. I want him to be little and innocent and amazing forever. I kissed his head that smelled like little boy and summer and listened to his giggling taper off as I went to his sisters' room.

There was Kady in her Dora underwear, sprawled out on her bottom bunk amidst a sea of Strawberry Shortcake dolls and books. She was on her tummy, flipping through a book and picking her nose. How much more perfect can that be? To be four and in your underwear, picking your nose while you read a book about Knufflebunny. She's a drama queen, but I am so in love with my overly dramatic Elmer Fudd impersonator that I can't even begin to explain what I feel when I look at her.

Abby was climbing up the top bunk, her fears put aside for the night after her daddy threatened to kick anyone's butt who tried to mess with any of them. She was laughing and rubbing her butt cheek because she had bumped her behind against the door of her closet and it pinched her. She was wearing her headgear, her hair was still wet from her shower and she smelled like strawberry Suave shampoo and a generous few hundred spritzes of peony body spray. There are days that she acts like a teenager with her patented and perfected eye rolling and self-assured sarcasm, but then there are times like tonight when she seems so incredibly small and I think back to when I first held her. She was so teeny tiny and so beautiful that I cried. I can remember pushing back the panic at the absolute immensity of the responsiblity we had been given and I held her closer and kissed her head and vowed to hold her forever. She was little and vulnerable and she needed me to keep her safe.

She still does. And I will personally kick the butt of anyone who messes with her. I'll be in line right behind her daddy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I guess I'm responsible for the way they are

My kids have been in rare form lately, especially my girls.....

Kady was playing with Little Nicky and maybe she speaks some special Nickese that I don't, because I never heard the child ask for a cookie. Yet she swore he did. "But Momma, he weawwy wants a cookie!" she exclaimed. I said, "Well, Kady, I want a million dollars." She rolled her eyes and said, "Hey, weave me outta dis. He wants a cookie and you want a miwwion dowwas...maybe da two a' you shouwd tawk."


I waxed my upper lip last Friday and for some strange reason, no matter if I do it at home or have it done at the salon, I always have a massive zit breakout afterwards. Either I have a Tom Selleck moustache or revisit my 9th grade acne, my choice. Well, today there is a real doozy sittin' pretty over my upper lip. And it's in that really tender space where you can't really pick it because it makes your eyes water and your nose tickle and causes you to kind of shudder if you even breathe hard. So pretty much, I'm leaving it alone. To take over my face and quite possibly inhabit my sinuses. Abby came in to ask me a question and after I answered she turned around to walk off. Then she turned back around and peered at my face, scrunched up her nose and said, "Oh. My. Gosh. Is that a ZIT??" I sighed and said, "Yes, hateful child. It's a zit." She made another face and said, "I thought old people didn't get zits like that." Then she shrugged. "Well, it goes great with your gray hair."

Glory be, by cracky!

Tater has posted to her blog!

Show her some love and go visit, willya? She says she's going to post more often, so maybe if we all go visit and leave comments she'll really keep it up. She had me laughing so hard that I woke up Li'l Divinity!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


No, we're not raising money to give ol' Joyce a proper burial.

I'm just letting you know that we now have six new Joyces. Five are solid black and the sixth is mostly black with some tabby stripes.

One thing about it, though.....when it's time to eat we can just holler "Joyces!" and that should bring 'em a runnin'.

Mamacita and all her Joyces seem to be doing fine. In lieu of flowers or receiving blankets, just send bags of Special Kitty.


A kind of traumatic joyous occasion

Saturday evening Mom and I worked the gate at the All-Star 8-man football game. It was hot. Beyond hot. I had sweat in places that I'm not entirely sure it was legal to sweat. Afterwards we went to Buffalo Run to cool off and relax a little bit, but I was so tired that even daubing was too much and I went home. My mother in law had watched the kids for me and wanted to stay and visit until Mr. Diva got home at 12:30. I love her to pieces, but I was really tired and smelled like ass and just wanted a shower and my bed. I finally got both - at 2:30.

So Sunday morning, naturally, I was kind of a zombie. I got up with the kids, fed them, turned on the TV, then laid down on the couch to drift in and out of consciousness for awhile. All of the sudden I hear the back door burst open, feet running toward me and then,

"MOM!! The grave's been dug up!! JOYCE IS GONE!!!"

What a way to wake up.

So more tears were shed, of course. I calmed everybody down then went back to wake up Mr. Diva and alert him of the grave robbing. He was not a happy person. We assume it was Jake, but there's no way to know for sure. Hell, the way my luck goes, we may have been thrown into an alternate universe or a Stephen King novel and have our very own Pet Sematary.

I'm just glad the kids didn't find Joyce's remains. Oy, I would've had to have bought them a pony, new bikes, a trip to Disney World and arranged for them to meet Willie Wonka.

Turns out I didn't have to make things better all by myself. Mamacita came through for me and had her kittens yesterday. Of course, we can't find them so have no idea how many new Joyces we have.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meowing off into the sunset

Awhile back we had a cat explosion around Diva Ranch. We had 12, then Mama Cita had her kittens, but we never found them and something must've gotten 'em because they've never appeared. And the litter that Cindy Brady had plus the two orphan cats disappeared then reappeared minus one. Then, Mija and Junior wandered off/got eaten/were abducted by aliens. So we were sittin' at 9 cats. And they come in various sizes - small, medium and large.

In the last litter Mija had there were two Siamese lookin' kittens, one much prettier than the other. Abby adopted the pretty, whiter one as hers and named her Joyce. Yes. I said Joyce. Not Fluffy, Buttons, Smokey or Socks, but Joyce. She said that because she was so pretty that just looking at her gave her joy. I know, I know. She's precious. And after all of the trauma that has occured this last week regarding Miss Joyce, I may very well end up with a granddaughter named Joyce someday. She really was attached to that cat.

Get ready. You know what's coming.

Last Sunday I was running late to go pick up Tater's tots and didn't do my usual bang on the van hood and honk the horn thing to run the cats out from underneath.


I did.

I made cat salad out of my daughter's cat.

I turned the van on and it was idling while I put on my seatbelt and put on my sunglasses. Then as I was getting ready to put it in gear I heard Kathump-kaTHUMP. I groaned and my heart sank to my toes. Abby goes, "WHAT was that?!" I just turned the van off and said nothing. Quietly she said, "You don't want to tell me, do you?" I shook my head and opened the door. Sam, being Mr. Diva's son and therefore tactless most of the time, said, "Cool! Mom shredded a cat!" Kady began bawling her head off. Abby remained calm and because she's a natural-born mother hen focused on calming Kady down. Sam was just anxious to see the carnage.

I popped the hood, got out of the van and stood there for a few seconds, taking deep breaths and praying for strength. I felt around for the latch and that's when I started gagging. It wasn't that I had seen anything gross or smelled anything bad, it was the thought of finding Cat Tartar under my hood. I stepped back, took some more deep breaths and again tried to open the hood. And again, I started gagging. I got my cell phone and called my mom to tell her I was going to be late and then called Mr. Neighbor. He laughed, but said he'd come up.

He's a police officer, he's used to things much worse than Kitten a la Transmissione, so he got right down to popping the hood and found one very small, very angry, VERY pissed off kitten sitting on the battery. She was unhurt and was spitting and hissing to beat the band. I felt pretty silly for calling Mr. Neighbor then. She wasn't going to have anything to do with the likes of us humans, so he was trying to poke her with a stick to make her exit my van. Instead of exiting, she went further in. *sigh*

And he poked far enough in that he ran out Joyce. Joyce a la Transmissione.

Her tail and hind leg were pretty nasty looking, but she ran - and fast - and we figured she's just gotten nicked by the fan and would be fine. I honked the horn a few times, no other beasts ran out, Mr. Neighbor headed home and I headed out. And as I put the car back into drive after backing off the carport I watched another small kitten run out from under my van. It was kind of like watching cockroaches run out of a cabinet. (Not that I have extensive first-hand experience with cockroaches. I watch Discovery Channel.)

We kept an eye on Joyce this last week and Abby reported daily that she was doing fine. She limped a little, but was eating. I'm not sure if she was just putting on a brave kitten face and pretending to be okay or if something just went nastily awry as time went on, but yesterday morning Mr. Diva came in the house and said, "We're gonna have to put ol' Joyce down. She's dragging herself with only one front paw." Oh the drama that ensued - wailing, gnashing of teeth, dramatic throwing of bodies across beds, etc. I soothed them best I could and promised we'd have a funeral. Mr. Diva said, "You're going to have a funeral for a cat?" Four heads turned to him and glared. Coldly I said, "You can't honestly tell me that you didn't have funerals for your pets when you were a kid." He said, "Uhh....I can honestly say I never had a funeral for a pet when I was a kid." I was stunned.

Growing up in the country and both of us being mushy, tenderhearted girls, Tater and I never passed up an opportunity have a good funeral for any dearly departed critter we found. And if we were lacking in subjects, we weren't above peeling butterflies from the grill of Mom's car and burying them as well. We put to rest countless butterflies, frogs, caterpillars and worms in that driveway growing up. Possibly a few goldfish. We were very solemn and no service was complete without singing and scripture. So, naturally, it seemed right that we give Joyce the same treatment.

The morning wore on and I did everything I could to keep the kids occupied in the back of the house. I didn't want them to hear the gunshot. When we should've been working on putting the girls' room back together, instead we pulled out their baby photo albums and sat back there looking at them. I heard the gun cabinet open and dug out more baby pictures. And turned on the radio. We laughed, giggled and strolled down Memory Lane while Joyce was strolling right on into Cat Heaven. Finally Mr. Diva came back and solemnly said, "You can have your funeral now. She's gone." Memory Lane was abandoned. The tears began anew. Abby said, "Did you have to shoot her, Daddy?" He said, "Ab, she's dead." In Abby's mind that meant she just passed on without assistance. And we're okay with her believing that.

The kids got their shoes on, I grabbed a handful of Kleenex on my way out the door and we headed to the back yard to put dear Joyce to rest. I was not prepared for what we saw in the backyard. The man who had been cranky since he woke up that morning, had been nothing but snarky and hateful to the kids and I the entire day, and had scoffed at our funeral request had buried that little kitten, mounded the dirt up neatly and had made a little wooden cross and placed it at the head of her grave. I looked at him and immediately forgave him for being a butt.

Kady, ever the drama queen, immediately fell to her knees, threw herself across the grave and proceded to cry with such intensity I was afraid she was going to rupture something. Abby buried her face in my shoulder and sobbed quietly. Even Sam, Junior Tactless, ran to his daddy and cried unashamedly. Mr. Diva and I looked at each other while we held our distraught children and cried, too. Not over the loss of Joyce, but at the loss of a small piece of their innocence, at the grief they were feeling and at the absolute unpleasantness that being a parent something brings.

When the tears started to taper off, Mr. Diva took all the kids to the crepe myrtle growing by the kitchen window and cut them each a branch of flowers to place on the grave. We all said a few words and then headed back into the house to carry on with life. But not before the kids stopped to pet Mama Cita's hugely pregnant belly and vow that her kittens would be named Joyce 1, Joyce 2, Joyce 3.....

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Elephant Days of Summer

It's frickin' HOT out there! It's 10 till 10 as I type this and still so miserable outside that it's nearly unbearable. It was 96 when we drove out of town at 8:30. And the humidity was hangin' somewhere around the 95% mark. I keep thinking back to what Tater said a guy told her in Vegas: "We're in our monsoon season right now and it's got us all a little flustered. Right now we're at 7% humidity". Ha! We Okies scoff at your low humidity, Vegasans. Vegans. Vegasanites. Vegassers. Dammit. You people from Las Vegas. I'd kill for 7% humidity and a good hair day right now.

Speaking of hair.....I actually have an appointment for a haircut in the morning at 10, but I'm seroiusly thinking about cancelling it. For one thing, I only had $75 to my name tonight when the kids and I went to town. I spent $49 on groceries and $5 bought the kids frozen custard, so that leaves me with $20 and I need to put gas in the van. Methinks I just don't have the ability to pull money out of my ass for that haircut tomorrow. But then I keep thinking about how I must look to other people and think that maybe I should borrow the money from Mom and get the haircut as a public service to those that have to look at me.

Anyone remember Reba McEntire's hair back in the 90's? That big poufy curly red job she sported? Yeah, when my hair gets this long that's what it looks like when it's freshly coiffed. I have to keep a few layers in my hair because if I don't I honestly look like I spent 4 hours at the beauty shop getting a spiral perm while listening to Wham! Seriously. And because I am a child of the 90's I also know how to use a teasing comb and hairspray and when I first fix my hair in the morning it's a little poufy. "My works tends to be a little poufy when I'm nervous." (Copying off of Hillbilly Mom, if you can tell me what movie that line's from, I'll post a picture of me uhhh.....a picture of me dressed up as Dolly Parton at Halloween one year.) So poufy that Mr. Diva has actually put his hands on both sides of my head in an attempt to squish it into submission a bit. And to allow me through the bathroom door.

But because the layers are so long and heavy that the 90's Reba look leaves me after a few hours and instead leaves me looking like Weird Al Yankovic.

So in a matter of hours I go from 90's country music diva to old polish dude with a warped sense of humor. It ain't pretty people.

I'm working the gate at the Oklahoma 8-Man Football game tomorrow night. When I say "working it" I don't mean working it in my mini-skirt, fishnets and a purse full of condoms and mace. I mean working it in the respect that I'm selling the programs. My mom and one of her friends are taking tickets and I'm the program gal. I worked two 8-man games last year and had a blast and they pay well, so I'll suffer through the heat.

So if y'all are football fans and feel like coming out to Miami for the evening, look for the old polish dude making people laugh at the gate and make sure you say hi.

Bunkin' up

A year and a half ago, two days after Christmas (because I'm insane) we bought the girls bunk beds, moved them into the same room and moved ourselves to Abby's former room which was formerly our room before it was formerly her room and made our former bedroom (the last former bedroom) into the toyroom/daycare. Make sense? Just nod.

Anyway, because I frequently get wild hairs (Or is it hares? Ooh talk about uncomfortable.) up my hiney and make rash decisions, we hadn't prepared ahead of time for the purchase of a bunk bed two days after Christmas. Evidently bunk beds are hot Christmas items because there were none to be found. Well, one to be found - at the flea market where we have a booth. He cut us a deal, seeing as how his mom and my mom are best friends and all. Turns out, he should've cut us a better deal. Like a free deal. It's not his fault, but that bed was a piece of crap. He felt really bad when we told him that his bunk beds were poop and the posts were splitting and we were afraid that we'd end up with a Kady-pancake one of these nights.

So right after Christmas this year we pulled the bunk beds apart and the girls have been sleeping in the beds side-by-side. Their bedroom is only about 10x8. Yeah. Poor girls can't even really say they have a bedroom, they just have beds. I finally got fed up last night when I tried to carry Kady back to her bed in the dark and nearly broke my neck trying to sidle around her bed, dresser and I think the entire contents of her closet which she had strewn about the 4 inches of walk space at the foot of her bed.

I had $100 left from my jackpot winnings that I had earmarked for a haircut and color, but I gladly gave it up in order for my daughters to have their bedroom back. Plus, Kady's desk has been sitting in my foyer for six months. AGH!! I'm tired of there being a red plastic desk greeting everyone that comes to my house!! Okay, so the desk doesn't actually greet people with a hearty hello and a hug or anything, but it is still the first thing they see when they open my front door.

So today I loaded up my three kids, Li'l Divinity and Chandler and we all headed to the furniture store. Mom met us there because she's my consumer advocate and can spot a problem a mile away. Plus, she's better at wheeling and dealing than I am. Well, they wouldn't wheel or deal because the bed was on sale and I'd love to have used my "That's not good enough" line that we learned in Financial Peace University, but to be honest, I didn't have the time or inclination to shop around. I wanted a bed, I wanted it today and I wanted it over and done with today. So I shelled out my precious last $100 and bought my girls a bed. Granted the bed isn't heirloom quality, but all I care about is that it will again effectively stack my girls on top of each other and ultimately free up floor space in their room and my foyer.

So, if you run into me at Wal*Mart and I'm wearing a ballcap, 'do rag or am sporting a bald head it's because I gave up a new 'do to get a red plastic desk out of my entryway. Don't laugh or even comment. Just ask to see pictures of the new bed because I will now be carrying a picture of it in my wallet.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Calling all nerds

I know I spoke of being a nerd in my last post, but I have stumbled into a realm that I'm not quite so knowledgeable - the inner-workings of my computer.

Would anyone out there know why my burner is all of the sudden reading all blank CD's as not blank? It started when I tried to burn some songs (legally, mind you) onto a disk and it told me I should make sure my disk was clean and to try lowering the burn speed or a new brand of disks. I tried two new brands of disks to no avail.

Today I tried burning a photo CD and it kept popping my disc out and telling me to make sure I was using a blank CD.

Anyone out there who has any knowledge at all about stuff like this, I would SO appreciate your help!! I've been known to send cookies to helpful people.....

That's what friends are for

When I was in 9th grade, the song That's What Friends Are For by Dionne and Friends came out. After my birthday slumber party that year, after everyone had gone home, the phone rang. It was my friend Chloe. She said, "Hang on a sec, okay? Don't hang up?" Then I heard thumping noises as she hauled her jambox over to the phone (because that was back before all phones were cordless) and pushed play on the cassette player (because that was before CDs). She had waited who knows how long until that song came on the radio, recorded it, then played it for me on my birthday. I sat there in the avacado green and gold rocking chair and bawled till I was hiccuping while I listened to her play me that song. My mom came in from the kitchen, wet tea towel in hand, wondering what in the world was making me cry like that. I held the receiver out to her and she heard the strains of Dionne singing that if she ever went away all we had to do was close our eyes and feel the way we do today. Then Mom was crying, too. When Chloe got back on the line, we were both hysterical bawling, but really nothing more was said. Nothing needed to be said. I said thank you, she said she loved me and we hung up.

It was at her house that I broke a dining room chair when I sat down to dinner. It was at my house that my dad scared the living daylights out of us by hollering through the open window in my room. We were partners in crime when we stole steak knives from a steak house on a band trip and all of the glasses and lightbulbs from the Marriott in Kansas City on our Senior band trip. I was one of the first ones she called when she was thinking of calling off her wedding. (Thank God she did) She braved icy roads to be at my wedding.

Now, I run into her and her three kids in Wal*Mart about every three months. We're both frustrated and flustered from taking three children to Wal*Mart, yet we stand in the aisle and do a quick run-down of what's going on our lives. And we usually make it to each others' various Pampered Chef or Home Interior parties. We usually have a few of our children in tow for that, too. But I know if I'm having a hard time or need to talk, I can call her and she'll listen.

My friend, Trishia, and I grew up a few miles down the road from each other. We are unlikely friends, seeing as how she used to torture the crap outta me on the school bus and I was scared to death of her. She is four years older than me and even though we were both nerds back then, she was the older nerd, therefore the more powerful nerd. Then when I was 14, in a desperate attempt to get out of PE and the pedophile teacher who always reeked of whiskey, I insisted on being tested for the Gifted program. By the skin of my nerdy teeth I made it in and 2nd hour from then on was spent in the computer room with three Juniors, messing around on the Commodore 64's. (Yes, Commodore 64's.) She was a whiz on that ol' Commodore. I thought she was so dang cool and she thought I was a junior high dork. We didn't become friends, we didn't forge a bond that year.

It was about 7 years later when she heard I was babysitting, that she called me up, shocking me to death. Why in the world was SuperCoolNerdGirl calling me? Oh wow, she wants me to help rear her child? I was flattered. Not only did I fall in love with her child, but I discovered a lifelong friend. I'll never forget the night she and I got all dressed up and went to see the Tulsa Light Opera perform exerpts from La Boheme at the Coleman Theatre. I'll also never forget the night that the two genius girls with high IQ's (well, at least her - I only got in by the skin of my teeth, remember) and their husbands ended up taking a bread knife and cutting a half-gallon of ice cream into slices through the carton because it was frozen so solid that we couldn't scoop it. It was several years later that she called me up out of the blue and said, "Why did it never occur to us to just put it in the microwave for a few seconds?" We laughed till we cried.

When we bought this house, one of the biggest perks was that I would be living a mere mile from my best friend. Talk about heaven. When I was sick she brought me soup. (Man, can she make soup.) When our men needed help with various manly tasks, they called each other. We ate many a meal at each other's house and spent many a day giving each other a break by taking the other's kids. Our kids were fast friends. Sam and her Annessa played on the same t-ball team, the team Trishia coached. Abby still wears one of Seth's camouflage shirts and gets this dreamy look in her eye when she puts it on. One winter when it snowed she and her crew loaded up in the truck, picked up me and my kids and we spent the entire day playing in the snow on the four-wheeler at their place. The baby we lost would be just a few months older than her son. The baby she lost would be the same age as Kady. We use each other's kids to keep track of what they might've been. We have laughed, cried, griped, ranted and during that one season of Average Joe, well, it was a good thing we had cell phones and unlimited nights and weekends.

Now, since they have moved, we talk on the phone maybe every couple of months. She came to my Pure Romance party last month and that was the first time I had seen her in nearly a year. Yet, when we start a phone conversation you can pretty well bet that it won't end for at least an hour. We pick up right where we left off and it was like there was never a two-month span of no talking. If I needed her, she'd be here as soon as she could get here and she knows the same thing about me.

As the two charter members of GLOA (Green Lovers of America), my friend Stacie and I share a unique friendship as well. Oh the slumber parties, the sleepovers, the nights uptown dragging Main, the boy-talk, the gosh, we knew everything there was to know about each other back then. It was at her house that I did my very first pregnancy test ever. She waited so patiently outside the bathroom door, then sat with me on the couch, neither of us talking while we waited the two minutes. I deeply mourned the loss of her first child. I remember her telling stories of her first kiss and being captivated and disgusted at the same time, yet she was a pioneer and we were enthralled. Our Junior year at my birthday slumber party we spoofed Wayne's World; she and I were the people being interviewed - she was a slutty cheerleader and I was a driftwood sculptor. And later in the night when we did a spoof of Sweating to the Oldies, she was the aerobics instructor and I was one of the fat chicks with an afghan stuffed up my shirt. Oh, the things we have done.

When we were both newlyweds we lived less than a mile from each other, yet we didn't take advantage of being that close. Now, it's a 30 minute drive to her house. Like Trishia, I haven't seen her in over a year. We chat on Yahoo any chance we get, though, and email like freaks. It's enough, though, because I still love her as much as I did back when we were spelling our names Krystin and Staci with hearts over the i's.

Who knows you better than someone who has been there when you crapped on the creek bed? Methinks pretty much no one. Twice we've camped with Christy and her husband and I'm talking primitive camping. I think we both nearly fell off the four-wheelers laughing the next day when we drove around the bend of the creek and there were two little piles of toilet paper mere feet from each other. (Note: we didn't crap AT the same time, we just found a good spot and took advantage of it) Christy was the one I wrote about in my Senior journal when the topic was "Why would you want to be the person sitting next to you?" Now, you might think that I wrote about her by default only what with her sitting next to me and all, but truthfully, there wasn't anyone I would've rather written about. She was so pretty and happy all the dang time and OH. MY. GOSH. her bangs were bigger than mine and that was pretty hard to accomplish. That right there was enough to win my adoration. She only came to one of my slumber parties in high school, but it was one of the best, it being the one where we swear we saw UFO's.

It wasn't until after I got the internet that we got in touch again after high school. That was in 1999, when our girls were 3. Now, our girls are 9 and in Girl Scouts together and Christy and I can spend more time chatting on the phone than should be allowed by law. I can call her when I need a pickmeup and I hope I can cheer her up like she does me. (If not, Christy, tell me and I'll work on that!) And you know you are a true friend when you take a casserole over after your friend has her breast reduction and you actually get to see her new boobs! That right there, folks, is friendship.

My Junior year I finally got in with the popular kids. Now, for the record, I wasn't a troll before that. I was always well-liked, but I was just never one of the really popular ones. But when The Cyndi and I went to Yearbook Camp together and struck up a friendship I felt I had accomplished something. Sadly, I abandoned the friends that had been with me since forever, the ones who were really friends, the ones I'm still friends with to this day. I didn't see that at the time, all I could focus on was being one of them. Fat lot of good it did me. Has popularity held me when I mourned the loss of my child or given me advice when my toddler started throwing temper tantrums? Has hanging with the popular kids when I was 17 helped me get through those few years when I wasn't sure my marriage was going to make it? Not once has being able to say I was best friends with the most popular girl in our class helped me in my adult life.

As it turned out, what I got from hanging out with the popular kids, was a hefty dose of reality. My Senior year I decided to run for Stu-Co President. I was well-liked by most of the students, the teachers were behind me.....then a really popular guy, Scott, decided to run against me. I wasn't worried, to be honest. If he won, he won. But it was when at the nominations, one of the guys who had proclaimed to be my friend, got up there with Scott and ran me down, bashed me and embarrassed me to death in front of the entire student body, that I got my first taste of how people can let you down. I can remember sitting there so shocked at the betrayal that I was even too stunned to cry while sitting there in front of the school. It was later, in Mrs. Sharbutt's room that I lost it and cried until I nearly threw up. Cap'n N's Mom was livid, as was Mrs. Sharbutt. Mrs. Sharbutt took my face in her hands and said, "Kristin, if you remember nothing else that I say to you, remember this - these people are not your future." At the time it made no sense to me. Now I completely understand.

After we lost our baby, one of the girls that The Cyndi and I hung around with in high school was back home on leave from the Navy. We planned a night out - the four of us girls from our Senior year unleashed on the city. I really looked forward to it. What happened was that every time I was asked what was going on in my life and I started to answer, the subject was changed. Navy Girl even commented that I shouldn't be so upset over a baby that hadn't been born anyway. Oh that hurt. If someone said that to me today, I'd punch 'em. As it was, though, I just sat in the backseat, crying, my soul crushed. And I didn't have money for the running around and partying that they still did, nor did I want to anymore. We didn't live the same kind of lives anymore. I was too busy growing up while they were still grasping for their youth. The girls that I had so longed to be friends with, the girls that I would've done anything to hang out with, were a huge disappointment when it came right down to it.

Looking back, it's a good thing that those girls weren't my future. I'm happy with the future I ended up with.

JustLinda and Hillbilly Mom are the ones that started me thinking about my friends. Ladies, I don't know why we adults are so wary to make new bonds, open ourselves up and involve someone new in our lives. Maybe it is schedules, family and sheer exhaustion. I know for me, I have so few spare moments, so little free time, that even though what I want more than anything else is a girls' night out, what happens in reality is me falling asleep in the recliner while the dishwasher finishes its cycle and I wait for the dyer to buzz.

And sometimes, I wonder if there will ever be friendships that can compare to those when I was 16.

I guess what I'm saying is.....the friendships that mean something start out meaning something and stay that way forever. You don't have to work to get them and you don't have to work that hard to keep them. Even if there are pauses and breaks along the way, the friendship survives and flourishes. I've learned not to worry about the fakers, the snots and the ones that will invariably drop you for someone else. Because when it comes down to it, a real friend will not only make you laugh until you pee your pants, but she'll loan you a pantyliner from her purse because she has the same problem, she ain't no spring chicken either. She'll not only sit with you at your grandmother's funeral, but she'll take a kleenex and hold it up to your nose and tell you to blow. She'll tell you honestly that your pants might just be a little too tight, but she'll say it kindly and then promise to do Weight Watchers with you when you vow to never eat again. She'll take your kids out for ice cream to give you a break even though she's had a really bad day herself and just wants to go home and cry herself to sleep.

A true friend is a precious gift and I know I am not always the best friend a person can have. I know I have let my friends down from time to time, but one of the qualities of true friendship is forgiving your friend when all you really want to do is strangle her.

And then you get into online friendships......and all I have to say about that is: Hillbilly Mom, when my crackerjack team of private investigators finally finds you, you'd better have that hot tub heated up because I'm bringing the Coors Light and all the stuff to make Chex Mix.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Funky. Funkalicious. Funkadelic. Funk you.

Yeah. This lack of blogging sucks.

I'm in a funk.

All I want to do it sleep. Methinks I need a Paxil or something, but the last time I tried an antidepressant I felt like an asexual zombie, so I think I'll just suffer sans drugs, thankyouverymuch.

I'm so busy, yet I accomplish nothing.

School starts in 4 weeks. We haven't done a durn thing that I wanted to do this summer.

My baby girl announced to me today that she wants to go to Pre-K "with Wiwey and Chanwer" (her two best guys, Riley and Chandler) instead of staying home with me one more year. *sigh*

My oldest child rebuffed me last night when she was mad and I was trying to tease her out of it, something I have been able to do to her since she was a baby and wasn't successful at last night. That hurt. I realize that it was only the first of many hateful rebuffings I'll receive from my children as time goes on, but man, that first one was a doozy. I walked out the front door and promptly burst into tears.

I won a progressive jackpot last night at Ladies' Night. Cool Catz, dimes, $476.66 + $10. I cashed out the jackpot ticket of $476.66 plus another one for the $75 that I'd won previously. That was awesome, except I was all alone. I ended up sharing the moment with a toothless half-wit inbred sitting next to me who kept leaning over and going, "Wowee, hon, ya'll shore did win a lot of money thar!" and "Man....I hope summun comes over ta cash y'all out soon. Want me to watch yore machine whall you find summun?" I politely declined and prayed that my Fairy Slot Tech would hurry up and cash me out and rescue me from Ma Kettle and her toothless maw that kept grinning at me. I'm sure she was nice and all, but for the love of Pete, people - WEAR YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU GO TO THE CASINO. Please. That cud-chewing thing that the toothless ones do.........omg, it's nauseating.

Tater and Bub are in Vegas. Will probably be watching topless showgirls within an hour or so. Lucky! Cousin Courtney and her crew just got back from Vegas. Did I miss the memo that said this was The Summer of Vegas? 'Cuz I just don't remember getting that one. Heck, it hasn't even been The Summer of Branson for me this year. The Summer of Heavy Drinking Punctuated With Lots of Crying Jags, yes, but The Summer of Vegas, no.

Out of the $500 I walked out with last night I have a whole $100 left. I owed Mom $200 (she covered my hind end when I kind of forgot to take out that automatic debit for our insurance, the debit that's been coming out of our account for 2 years now), put $200 in the bank and have $100 left in my wallet. I really want to go get a tattoo tomorrow night, but then I take a look at my hair and think that for the sake of those around me, I should probably get something done to this frizzy electrocuted weasel thing on top of my head. I'm counting down the days until the humidity drops off for the winter.

It's 7:21. I have every intention of being in bed and asleep in 39 minutes. I sure hope the kids are out of the bathtub by then.

Oh and by the way........


Friday, July 07, 2006

Farts is farts

Abby: I'm tired. And I'm hungry.

Me: Well, I have gas.

Abby: MOM!! (runs down the hall)

Kady: (pops a handful of Nerds in her mouth) Hmh. I guess she's just afwaid of fawts.

Sam: I'm afraid of Dad's farts more than Mom's. They're loud and they make my eyes water.

Kady: (rolls her eyes) Guysssssss....fawts is fawts. Dey awe awl stinky, no mattew how woud dey awe.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Well, no one's dead yet

The day has been quietly safe. I'm very on guard and check all of the kids, including today's only babysitting ward, Li'l Divinity, for fevers about every 15 minutes. We went to town this morning to run a few errands. I made Mr. Diva go with us. No way I was going to get stranded in town when the transmission fell out of my car or all four tires spontaneously went flat.

Twice on the way to town cars swerved over the yellow line at me. Thanks to my stellar reflexes I avoided peril. Well, and the fact that I've been paranoid since I woke up and was on the lookout for crazy drivers.

We picked up some more fireworks now that we have moved our celebration to Wednesday due to tomorrow's forecast of storms. Since Wednesday and Thursday are Mr. Diva's days off now he'll get to shoot off the fireworks with the kids and I get to not shoot them off. Glad that worked out. Fat chicks running from fireworks is what keeps America's Funniest Videos still on the air.

The kids and their daddy even shot a few off awhile ago. There were no screams from outside and I did a digit count when they came in. The gal told us the firecrackers I got weren't their slowest fused crackers, but also not their fastest. Liar! Mr. Diva nearly lost a toe. Danger averted, though, due to his lightning-fast reflexes.

It seems to be a day of near-misses.

We stopped at the library, too. We haven't done that in a long time. Mr. Diva even held Li'l Divinity and stayed with the kids in the children's library so I could look around in the big people section all by myself. That was strange, but I liked it. I wanted to get Memoirs of a Geisha, but (and don't laugh) even though I'm a nerd I have no idea how to use the card catalog, nor do I even know where it is in our public library. I know. I should be shot. I'm sure Cap'n Neurotic has just fainted dead away right this very minute. Someone might wanna check on him.

So instead I got one by Fannie Flagg, Standing in the Rainbow. I saw her latest one in Wal*Mart last night, but didn't have the money to buy it, so I instead checked out an older one today. I really just want Memoirs of a Geisha, dammit. And they were out of David Sedaris books, too. I checked out Me Talk Pretty One Day awhile back, but never got around to reading it. Now I want to and they didn't have a single one of his books.

Saturday the kids were turned loose in the video store and we came home with High School Musical, Aquamarine and Hoodwinked. I tried to watch Aquamarine yesterday, but fell asleep halfway through. That mermaid was kind of hateful, if you ask me. Maybe she got nicer after I fell asleep, I dunno. I also tried to watch Hoodwinked with them, but again dozed off. Hey, I was really tired yesterday. Hush. Mr. Diva and the kids watched High School Musical on Saturday while I finished cooking for the family get-together. Well, except for those last 10 minutes when the disc screwed up. But I took it in last night and the gal fixed it. I got to watch that missing scene with them this afternoon. Just 10 minutes and I've found myself doing jazz hands and pathetic renditions of jazzy cheerleading moves the rest of the day. I can't wait to watch the whole thing. I will be unstoppable.

Tonight's Ladies' Night at Buffalo Run. It's also the 3rd AND the day before a holiday. This means welfare checks came today and no one has to work tomorrow. That place will be more crowded than a Krispy Kreme store next door to an Overeaters Anonymous convention. Oh, but you know I'll be there. I withdrew an extra $20 from the bank today. I'm hoping to break *da da dummmm* The Curse of the Fourth by winning a shitload of money tonight.

Bits and Pieces

Contrary to the title, this is not a post by Fitty heralding his latest stalking victim. Instead it is an overview of what's gone on in my life during my not-so-intentional blogcation.

* Last Saturday our GS Troop went to Me and My [The Camp That Shall Not Be Named] Mama camp. We went last year and I nearly had to rassle and hog-tie a counsellor when she made me take off my 'do rag. This year there was no rasslin' with the counsellors, only with rodents. Many, many rodents. The unit we were assigned to had not been cleaned prior to our arrival and when Tater and I went into the cabin we chose, we were greeted by piles and piles of mouse poo. And the innards of the mattresses were strewn about and what wasn't strewn about had been made into quaint little mouse nests. *shudder* I like mice about as much as I like water, you know. Magnet Lady's cabin actually had a mouse running about IN IT, which she didn't discover until her bags were already in it. So she hollered at Tater, who isn't afraid of mice, just snakes. Tater opened the cabin door and was greeted with what I choose to call The Little Circus of Mouseville. Straight from The Green Mile, people. Mice, mice everywhere!! Scurrying about the rafters over her head, I tell you! And for someone who isn't afraid of mice, even Tater was freaked out.

After deliberation amongst the mommies we decided that we would not be staying in those cabins. Even after the counsellors offered to clean them out for us and even after the camp ranger offered us alternate housing, we were unmoving in our decision to not sleep anywhere near Mouseville. Because they could clean up the copious amounts of mouse poo all they wanted, there was no way those mice were giving up their carnival grounds in a matter of 8 hours. They had staked their claim on those cabins, by cracky. I knew that much. We instead talked our girls into tent camping at one of the mommies' house, my neighbor, who I'll call Neighbor. Neighbor has a pool. They were on board. We stayed the day, participated in the nature stuff, the craft stuff, the pool stuff, the ticks, mosquitos and all of that other good, wholesome Girl Scout camp stuff, but we left after dinner and headed home.

We mommies sat on Neighbor's carport and talked serious girl talk, while the little girls played in the yard and swam. About the time Mr. Neighbor got home with some pizza a storm rolled in and we ended up going home for the night and didn't camp at all. But we all had sunburns and mosquito bites to prove that we had at least tried to camp.

* Our toilet broke. There was something just not right about that toilet anyway because this is the second time it's gone all wobbly on us. And it has always leaked. Stupid toilet. So Paul bought two new wax seals and was going to nix the wobbling. Of course, he decided to do this plumbing job right smack during naptime. He promised to be quiet. And to be honest, I didn't hear much noise from back there until all of the sudden I heard tools flying, banging and muffled cursing. I was rocking a baby and didn't go back there, but I knew it wasn't good. Finally he came down the hall, flopped down on the couch and said, "Broke the [expletive] toilet." Oy.

He had replaced both seals and had gotten the toilet back into place and had tightened the bolt on one side. He went to tighten the bolt on the other side, but it was still wobbly, so he turned the bolt another quarter turn and just cracked the base in two. Ohhhhhhhh was he mad!! I don't think I've ever had to purchase a toilet in my life, but I knew they weren't all that expensive, but he was ranting and raving about $400 for a toilet and we didn't have that kind of money and of course, he punctuated every other word with an expletive. (Thankfully the kids were asleep.) I told him I thought we could buy a new toilet for around $100, but he wouldn't hear it. I then told him that I'd borrow the money from Mom, but that still didn't pacify him. I knew of another option, but I didn't want to use it. I continued trying to talk him into letting me ask Mom, but no. Finally, with heavy heart, I picked up the phone and called my dad and asked if we could buy/borrow/use one of the toilets up at Nana's. She's in the nursing home now and the town of Picher is in the middle of a buyout because of the town being unsafe and lead-laden and all that, so I knew that if no one else had staked a claim on the toilets there were two up there to be had. Dad said it wasn't a problem and that Paul could come by for the key any time.

I sent my husband to my dad's house with explicit instructions to NOT get the turd-brown toilet. Although, the alternative wasn't all that great. And, we have a robin's egg blue toilet in our main bathroom. It's hideous. It's very, very blue. I think I am destined to always pee in colored toilets. Our last house had a pink toilet. And now we have blue. Chan's mom was the first of my friends to see it and bless her heart, she was so sweet when she smiled and said, "But, matches the walls!" Uhhhh....yeah.....but the walls are pretty and uh....I wanted them to be blue. I didn't want a blue toilet. Not to mention it doesn't match the rugs or the hand towels. They're sage green. I now go pee in the blindingly yellow Tinkerbell bathroom just to avoid the hideous blue toilet. I'm not being ungrateful, I'm just pouting.

Paul still loves his job. I'll just be glad when school starts and we resume with some normalcy around here. As it is now, the kids are going to bed at 10 or even 11, sleeping till 7:30 or 8 and he's sleeping till 10 or 11 because I've been staying up to wait on him and then we stay up till 2 or so. I'm very schedule-oriented and I like it when things go into particular time slots and go according to plan. Right now, there is no plan, no normalcy, no routine. I'm also very, very tired.

We have discovered, though, that it is putting a serious damper on our sex life. *Note: This falls into the Too Much Information department, so just skip on down if it bothers you.* We are a nearly every night kind of couple, every other night if I'm tired. That's just the way we are these days. Er, well....we used to be. Now that he gets home at 12:30 am ...... well, let's just say we're not handling the transition well. Cap'n Neurotic's Mom mentioned the fact that the whole family will adapt to the schedule, but she mentioned nothing about "Couple Time" and really that's okay that she didn't because, after all, she was my high school English teacher and I love her and all, but I don't want to know how they have scheduled sex all these years. Nothing personal, Cap'n's Mom.

I've obviously gotten into the habit of staying up for him lately because I tried the whole going to bed before he got home and sleeping a few hours. It din't work. When he leaves for work I send him out the door with a slap on the rear, a wink and a "Hey, wake me up when you get home, okay?" But invariably, he comes in all randy and anticipating only to get his hand slapped and to hear me whine "Iiiiiii'mmmm tirrrrrrrreeeeeeddddddd" over and over. I guess I even called him an name a few times. I don't remember any of it. I really don't handle being woken up very well, obviously.

Twice I've finagled sleepovers for the kids with Mom just so we can kind of make up for lost time and all that jazz. RLTKAOOTHS* is really the best anyway. But I'm just not ready to give custody of my children to my mother over sex. Yet. That may change as time goes on and we don't get our schedules synched.

* We had a family reunion of sorts yesterday. My Uncle Tom's birthday is on July 4th, so he and my Aunt Shirlye decided to throw a big shindiggity this year. We really aren't that close to the first cousins anymore, not like we used to be, so everyone was on board right from the start. Well, covertly my dad started calling some of his cousins and managed to get them all to come in as well. Karen and her crew drove in from Wisconsin - or as I say "Wees-kahn-siiiin", even though it probably drives Wisconsinites crazy when people do that. (Min-a-soooooda is even more fun to say, though.) And Gay and her crew came in from up in Kansas. They surprised the heck outta Uncle Tom and Nana and that right there was priceless. Throughout the day there were so many laughs, tears and stories told and I will remember yesterday for the rest of my life.

It was hot yesterday, so after a few hours Jon took all five kids to the Farmette and that allowed Tater and I to stay and visit with everyone. We ended up sitting in a big circle in the driveway, a group of about 25 or so give or take a few, and while there were times the entire group was involved in a conversation, for the most part little mini-conversations were going on all around. When Tater and I are around my dad, the barbs, smartalleck remarks and insults fly because we're just like that and he not only passed that gene on to us, but he brings it out in us as well. So then his middle brother, Mike, got in on it and after something particularly snarky from me he replied with, "Well, at least I don't have a tattoo, young lady." I didn't even pause when I said, "I don't have a tattoo, Uncle Mike." He raised his eyebrow at me and then I finished, "I have four." All conversation stopped.

Nana has known for quite awhile that I had a tattoo on my foot because she saw it one day when I forgot to put on foot-covering shoes and went to visit her in flip-flops, but she didn't know about all the others. So then I spent the next five minutes going around the circle showing off my tats to family members. Oh, the look on Nana's face. I her eyes, not only am I fat, but I'm now trashy. I love it. Then it was asked if I was going to get any more. I am seriously considering copying off my friend Stacie and getting the kids' names in Hebrew somewhere on my body and told the group that. My dad sat up in his chair and said, "Uh, Kiki, you aren't Jewish." And then the group took off with that and I became The Jewish Cousin. You probably had to be there and y'all are probably sitting at your computers with blank looks on your face, but trust me, it was funny.

Around 7:30 everone started packing up to head home. The kids and I had rented High School Musical that morning and the DVD messed up in the last 10 minutes of the movie, so I asked Tater if she would run me by the video store to exchange it. While I was on the phone with Mom, relating the details of the day (Nan saying I was fat and Kady comparing her food to turds) her cell phone rang and it was Gay, the cousin from Kansas. She wanted to get to get together with Mom, seeing as how they used to be related back in the day. We ended up meeting them at the Stables around 8:30 and stayed until nearly midnight, visiting some more, hearing more old stories and laughing till our sides hurt.

I left Karen and Gay a copy of my card, which has my blog address on it. They had been told throughout the day that I write some pretty amusing stuff and were anxious to check it out. 
* As I get ready to post this, I realize that it is now July 3rd. (Refer to this for some history.) I am now going to log off and commence to wrapping the children in bubble wrap. Just in case the curse begins really early this year.

(*RLTKAOOTHS = Really Loud The Kids Are Out Of The House Sex)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mi familia

Yesterday we were sitting on the carport at my aunt and uncle's swatting flies and eating lunch - two things that really aren't meant to go together in my book, by the way - and the kids were hot and tired and really just weren't that into their food. Kady asked if she had to finish her hot dog and I told her she could just eat the weiner and leave the bun. It was a grilled hot dog, which meant it had some black on it. Well, she was sitting there all prim and proper, swinging her legs that were hooked together at the ankles, holding the hot dog in between her thumb and forefinger, nibbling away at it. Suddenly she stopped and inspected her hot dog closely then turned to me and said, "You know.....dis wooks just wike one of Jake's tuwds," and went back to eating. Tater just about choked on her potato salad.


Last week, RJ left me a link in the comments about some medical alert bracelets. Some are very expensive, like $900 expensive, but some are very pretty and very reasonable. I sent the link to Mom and Tater and this is what I got back from Mom:

"Have you lost your mind? I was planning on paying about $10 - $15. Or better yet I could just write it on my wrist with a permanent marker."

She might be onto something - if I go on Coumadin therapy that's how I'll be getting all of my tattoos from now on.


Saturday morning the kids and I sat down and started making a list of what we wanted to get from the fireworks stand. For five years this was their daddy's task, but last year and this year it has fallen to me and I hate it. I love my kids, but I hate going to the fireworks stand.

The usuals were on our list: pop-its, sparklers (or "spwinkwers" as Kady calls them), tanks, Roman candles, etc. Sam thought a little bit more and said, "OOH! Ooh! Mom? Can we get some bottle rockets?" I nodded and wrote them down on the list. Then he asked, "Mom, would you drink a beer for me?" I snapped my head up and said, "Huh??" He said, "Daddy always drinks a beer for us so we can shoot off our bottle rockets." I patted his arm and said, "Son, after the family get-together this afternoon I will need to drink enough beer that you guys can shoot off six at a time."

Later at the fireworks stand we were being helped by a very helpful gal from the Apostolic Assembly church's youth group. She was so sweet and very good with the kids. We were starting on the night works when Sam said, "Mom, don't forget the bottle rockets!" The girl turned around fast and said, "Oh honey, bottle rockets are illegal in Oklahoma!" Sam said, "Really? Well, Mom, how did we shoot them off last year?" I slapped him on the arm and said, "Son! We didn't shoot off bottle rockets last year! Those things are illegal!" The look on his face was pure confusion as he opened his mouth to argue and I'm sure Mommy's promise of consumption of a six-pack would've entered into play. I squeezed his arm and said, "Durn that father of yours! Letting my kids shoot off illegal bottle rockets in Oklahoma....oh, don't think I won't be having a talk with him..." And I stepped on my son's toe while I said it. He shut right up. No one ever said my son wasn't smart. Or scared of me.


Now, y'all know I love my Nana dearly. I've written about her a few times on here. She and I have always been close and I do love her to pieces. But yesterday Tater and I decided that she is playing her Old Lady card a little too much. She's using her age and the fact that she's now in a nursing home to play us all and get away with shit. Oh, she's good, alright.

We were in the kitchen yesterday at the family shindig, all of us ladies kind of milling around doing various tasks. Everyone had been filling dessert plates and I had fixed Nana some of the torte Tater and I had made. She was sitting at the table eating it when she started kind of moaning. Tater turned and asked if she was okay. She told her that her back was hurting because the back of the chair was wooden. Nana has no fat on her body. Seriously. She weighs all of 86 pounds. Naturally, bone on wood isn't a pleasant feeling. I had been washing a serving spoon and turned around to them while I was drying it. Tater offered to get her a pillow, but she didn't want that. She just moaned some more and said, "I just don't have any padding anymore." Tater patted her on the arm and said, "Well, Nan if you need some padding I have plenty I could donate." Nana shook her head and pointed at me over by the sink and said, "No, I think Kristin has more that I could use."

Tater shot a look at me and I busied myself with an imaginary spot of water on the serving spoon. I bit my lip - not to keep from crying but to keep myself from busting out laughing at the look on Tater's face. Nan was going to keep pursuing it, too. She really wanted to. But my darling sister saved me from another insult by producing a pillow out of thin air and proceded to stuff it behind Nan's back and distract her from my fat.

I sure love that Tater. And it's a good thing I love Nana.


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...