Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another round of change

Remember last fall when I announced that I was not going to babysit anymore? And made the announcement that I was going back to school? And how scared shitless I was?

Well, another round of change is in the works.

I took most of last December off and just enjoyed my family. Then I started college and went with the family to Disney World, all in the matter of a week and a half. Then Queen Tammy asked if I was still available to watch Princess because her sitter situation fell through and because she's my only best friend in the world I agreed to take Princess back into my care. We needed the money and she needed the sitter.

See, we hadn't thought the whole school thing through completely. By shutting the daycare down, I therefore quit making money. Yeah, hadn't thought of that one. I guess I thought that money would come out of my butt once I became a college student because well, back when I was 18 and a college student I had money. Of course, that was because I lived with my mother. Yeah, I'm not the brightest star in the sky sometimes. I kind of don't think a lot. I'm a writer, not a thinker. Yeah, mull that over, then laugh at me. I do.

Anyway, I then found myself overly stressed from vacation/school bombarding me all at once, having no money because Paul was still at Buffalo Run making slave wages and I took Princess back and another baby to watch part-time. And it's worked out wonderfully, don't get me wrong. I've been able to stay at home, work on school during naptimes and spend my last year with Kady before she gives me a serious case of Empty Nest Syndrome traipses off to Kindergarten and breaks her mother's heart. I also like to think that I made two mommies very happy.

Now, let me digress a moment and remind y'all that my husband is not the best communicator in the world. In fact, he isn't a communicator by nature at all. Paul's the kind of guy who will literally stand up in the middle of a conversation and go start moving cars off the carport so the kids can ride their bikes, even though he hasn't warned parents that he will soon be moving large vehicles and hasn't told us to gather up the children so they don't get squished. (Like he did Saturday night. And nearly gave us all heart attacks.) He just gets a thought in his head, decides to act and then acts. He doesn't mull things over like his neurotic wife. He doesn't talk about his feelings, his dreams, his thoughts or about.....well, he doesn't talk much at all, much less talk about things.

So when he sat me down a few weeks ago and said, "We need to talk" I immediately thought he was telling me he had cancer or that he was having an affair. Then I remembered that he refused to see the doctor over the pneumonia he'd had for a month until I forcibly loaded him up one day and took him to the doctor at gunpoint - so I knew it wasn't cancer because no way would he go to the doctor of his own volition. Even if he was walking along and his foot fell off or something. Then I thought that no woman in her right mind would want to have an affair with a man who grunts in response to questions, eats burritos at 11pm just so he can fart so rancidly under the sheets that I have had to change my pajamas because they are reeking of intestine, pees off the front porch even though we have two perfectly good bathrooms and thinks Hank Jr. is a god among men. Nope, unfortunately, he's all mine, ladies. No way it was an affair.

I was mildly perplexed and more than a little afraid.

He - or his pod person, the jury's still out on that one - calmly told me that he wanted me to quit watching kids. No yelling, griping, cussing or nastiness. Just calm, adult words, calmly spoken in a calm way. He said that when most families have children, the house grows up with the children. When one phase is done, you leave it behind: When the baby outgrows the crib or begins playing Houdini and escaping in the wee hours of the morning, the crib is stored and a big kid bed is purchased. When the baby is potty trained, the changing table is stored and diapers are just a stinky memory of days gone by. When the Terrible Twos (that lasted until she was four and a half) are done, the parents can stop drinking heavily on a daily basis and start enjoying their child. He said, "Our baby starts Kindergarten in a few months, Kristin, and I'm still hauling off shitty diapers. I think it's time we outgrew diapers. I want you to quit babysitting." Stunned, I wasn't sure whether to cry because that meant I had to get a job outside of the house, a place I try not to go, or hug him because he just strung together sentences that made sense and there was only one cuss word in the lot.

I have tried for years to get him to give me input on what goes on around here. So there was no way I was going to argue with him, although I think he was prepared to fight me tooth and nail if I refused. I picked my jaw up off the floor and said, "Okay. I'll tell them next week. Just let me emotionally prepare for their reactions."

Then my usual second-guessing kicked in and I started panicking. Where was I going to find a job that would let me go to class parties, field trips and assemblies? I'm incredibly spoiled to that, ya know. When would I find time to do my homework if I had a "real" job? I nearly drowned last semester working 45 hours a week here at home. When would I find time to clean my house? Because that is SO high up on the priority list. I was doing what I always do - doubting everything.

Then just days later I was offered a work-study job on campus in a wonderful office, working for an amazing woman who said I could get my hours in any way I wanted. I told my babysitting mommas that I was turning in my notice, so to speak. I gave Baby's momma about 7 weeks to find someone else and she cried. A lot. Then I told Queen Tammy that I wasn't available in the fall and I cried. A lot. But it's done.

How do I feel about this? I'm still pretty wishy-washy on it. Some days I embrace the idea of caring for only my children and my husband and my home. Some days I think "But I've taken care of other peoples's kids for 12 years! How will I know how to do anything else?" - what if I find I'm only equipped to wipe butts and noses for the rest of life? Some days I think that getting out of the house might be good for me. Then I remember that I really don't like people all that much. Some days I look forward to writing my book and (hopefully) doing some freelance writing as well. Then there are the days where I think that I might not be cut out to write after all and that people are just being polite when they say I have talent. And Cap'n Neurotic thinks he's cornered the market on neurosis.....

Regardless of my neuroses and fears, it's done. And once again, I'm scared shitless. Will there ever be a time in my life where I'm not? Nah. What fun is that?

It's that time again

The new stories are up at Write in the Thick of It, so go vote, mm'kay?

Voting is open until 10pm this Saturday night.

And hey, it helps to actually like, read the stories. Not that you, Constant Reader, would do that. That's probably only my little sister who just goes to the site and votes for me, never reading a thing anyone writes. Last night I told Mom and her about Hillbilly Mom's awesome story this round she said, "If I had read that, I'd have voted for her and not you! Because well..... I don't read your stories."

I'm so glad I have a wonderful support system. With love and support like that, I'll be on the best-seller list before ya know it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pith preempted

We took the kids to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End last night.

Toward the end of the movie a certain Captain Teague (Sparrow) makes an appearance and I was going to post here with a picture of Captain Teague and a picture of Keith Richards and caption it "Is it just me or does Captain Teague look like Keith Richards?"

Then, while Googling for pictures I discovered that Keith Richards actually does play Captain Teague.

So much for something pithy and clever this morning.

Oh and by the way: The movie freakin' rocked. I mean, rocked. I wanna be a pirate. I also need a life.


Yesterday I went to the dentist to finish up my last set of fillings. I wasn't too nervous this time - at least not like last time. I knew she wasn't going to hurt me too awful bad and I just wanted it over and done.

But again, like last time, she started drilling and I wasn't numb. Oh, I thought I was numb, I felt numb.....but I was wrong. So she shot me full of numby stuff again and proceded to seal my non-filled teeth while the numby stuff went to work.

Before she started sealing she told me that the sealant is very bitter and when she pulled her hands away to NOT close my mouth. Yay. I'm a big fan of "very bitter." Well, she went to squirt the sealant on a bicuspid and the dang thing exploded in my mouth due to, what she said was, a manufacturing defect. She said it had happened before. So of course it would happen on me then.

After she sealed the teeth she set to finishing with the remaining drilling. One cavity was on the back side of my last molar and she ended up putting a small chihuahua in my mouth to hold it open. I think there was a wedge to hold my mouth open and something else to hold my cheek out of the way, not to mention both of the dentist's hands and possibly her left foot, shoe included. And don't forget the chihuahua.

Oh and don't forget I was numb as hell at this point because of the extra shots. Apparently the small chihuahua got hungry while hanging out in my mouth and decided to gnaw on the inside of my upper lip and today I'm sporting a huge blister/abrasion thing.

Please, go to the dentist more often than every 8 years. Do it for your health. Do it for your teeth. Do it for the chihuahuas.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

As I mentioned, Cap'n Neurotic came up from Texas this past weekend to get a new car (which Cedric thinks needs some spinnahs) and because he was up here and missing out on a party down there, I offered to throw a shindig for him. Turns out, I'm no better at throwing parties now than I was in high school. A whole 3 other invited classmates showed up. But hey, quality not quantity, right? Jonathan, Cedric, The Photographer, Tater, Cap'n and various spouses were in here for the festivities. And a lot of children. Or maybe it seemed like a lot and there weren't all that many.....

The evening consisted of eating, drinking, laughing, playing basketball, eating, laughing, making fun of yours truly, laughing, and laughing. I believe it was Jonathan that brought up the old Jello joke and I still to this day do not know how they found out (No, I'm not elaborating. It's an old inside joke and that's that). There were memories of our Competitive Speech and Band days and it was informally decided that Cap'n and I were the King and Queen of Nerd-dom seeing as how we were the only two of our little group that were in both Band and Competitive Speech. All hail us.

The children ran amuck. As usual.

My husband got drunk. That doesn't happen a lot. It was kind of fun, though. He's more fun when he's drunk.

The Photographer and I were here in the house for some reason and she was sitting on a barstool next to my kitchen bar while I made a fresh pitcher of sweet tea. She was quietly watching me then said, "'re all domesticated and stuff." I said, "Sweetie, I've been doing this housewife schtick for nearly half my life now. It's what I do." And then I got depressed and started looking for happy pills and booze. But I digress....

I personally suck at using the camera for commemorating events. My mother and sister cringe at my irresponsibility in that department. But I did let the kids take the camera for awhile. Here is what we got of the evening:

That would be Mr. Photographer and Cap'n and Sam in a sweaty, humid game of pickup basketball.

Cap'n said he never thought he'd leave Texas and still have to complain about the humidity.

Cap'n and Mr. Photographer again with about sixty gazillion children on the court. At least, it seemed like sixty gazillion at the time. I think the humidity made them multiply. You know how if you get a Mogwai wet it turns into a Gremlin? Yeah, Oklahoma humidity and children, same concept.

Tater's younget tot in blue and Sam in green. If the picture hadn't been taken from a half mile away, you'd see their flushed little faces. But gosh, did they have a good time.

I'm going to call Mr. Photgrapher to babysit sometime. I'd call Cap'n, but he's far away and I think he's afraid of children, lol. Or maybe it's just MY children.

And it's simply not possible to turn kids loose with a camera and not discover shots like these.

You gotta have a picture of the dog. Or a dozen pictures of the dog....

And elbows. They're very photogenic.

Hey, look! My roses are blooming!

My dearest Cap'n,

I know it wasn't your usual crew of friends, but I sincerely hope you had fun. I enjoyed most of the evening (you know which parts I didn't, lol) and just hearing you say a cuss word was worth cleaning my house.

Yours truly,
The Queen of Nerd-dom

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Zach Braff snacks steroids nerds

I have discovered snack nirvana: Flat Earth baked fruit crisps. Good golly, not only is the taste wonderful, but I think a lot of why I lurve them so much is the texture. They're crunchity, but not too crunchity. The first bag I bought was the Apple Cinnamon Grove, but tonight I'm munching on Wild Berry Patch. Abby isn't crazy about the berry ones - says they're too tart. Okay, tart is my word, not hers. I think her words were something to the effect of "It wasn't bad when I first tried it, but then it started tasting like butt." Don't take her description, though. Take mine - they're yummy.


A few movie reviews for you:

The Last Kiss - While I think Zach Braff is incredibly yummy and yes, I have his blog bookmarked, and I thought his acting in Kiss was just wow, I didn't like the movie. The girlfriend was wayyyyyyy too freaked out and her behavior just seemed very over the top to me. I don't know of many women who would react quite so violently. A few, but not many. The ending sucked ass and I was very pissed off the rest of the afternoon after I watched it. But yummy is just the best way I know to describe Zach Braff. Just yummy. Worth watching again just to see him get naked and stuff. His lips...his sense of humor.....his tousled yeah.....I'd hit that.

Man of the Year - I like Robin Williams. A lot. I even liked him in that creepy movie where he stalked that family after developing their pictures at the photomat. He's a talented man. I like talented, funny men. I even liked his jokes in this movie. His delivery of the jokes is stellar, but the movie depressed me and left me relatively deflated. It wasn't what I expected and I was disappointed. Too dark and not happy for my taste.

Happily Never After - I love a good animated cartoon. Especially when Patrick Warburton and Andy Dick are involved. The kids laughed at the blatant cartoony stuff and I laughed at the things that were a little over their heads. Not sure why this movie didn't get more publicity.

Arthur and the Invisibles - I didn't finish the entire movie, but what I saw, I really liked. I liked the animation and the way the Invisibles were drawn/created. Sam watched the movie twice and is now on a total kick where he thinks he's been shrunk and stuff. I'm sure we'll end up buying it.


Last night Tater's littlest tot ended up in the ER with an asthma-ish attack. He was - much to Tater's chagrin - diagnosed as being asthmatic as a baby, but he literally hasn't had an attack in 5 years. But last night he was doing that horrific wheeze that any parent of an asthmatic knows all too well. The ER doc put him on an oral steroid and an inhaled steroid, plus albuterol. The combination hypes him up, which is pretty typical. Tater warned me when she left the house that he'd get a little hyped and not to hold it against him.

Right before bed, the 5 kids, running on nothing but fumes and the chocolate pudding they had after dinner, were wound up beyond belief. I had told them to tone it down before Daddy/Uncle PaPaul got mad and started hollering. They were too busy being rambunctious to heed my warnings. I finally stomped into the living room and stood there with my hands on my hips until my icy stare penetrated their very souls and they all froze. I explained once more that they really had to settle down NOW. Then, silly me, I added, "TotTwo is the only one who actually has an excuse to be rowdy tonight." Oh the looks I got from the other kids! Mouths open, they were stricken speechless at the mere thought that someone had an excuse and it wasn't them personally. Kady asked why and I ignored TotTwo's smug grin as I explained, "He's on a medicine because he had an asthma attack last night. The steroid makes him a little hyper." I realized I should've just kept my mouth shut when Abby raised her hand and said, "Can I have a steroid?"


The shindig for Cap'n Neurotic is tomorrow night. While we're not going to set any attendance records, the really important ones will be here and that's totally cool by me. Paul asked me what kind of thing this actually was. I said it was to mainly celebrate Cap'n's birthday, but at the same time allow a few of us to see each other since we haven't in about 16 years. He asked if anyone was rowdy, a thief, a drunk, sociopathic, etc. and did we need to lock up the guns and hide the priceless furs. I laughed and said, "Darling. You keep forgetting that I was a nerd in high school. These are my old Competitive Speech friends." He picked up the remote and dismissed me with, "So....if I fall asleep while you old geeks chat about computers and shit, will you wake me up if I start snoring?"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Because you gotta have frieeeeeeennnnnddddsssss

Poor Cap'n Neurotic. His cell phone died this week only to be resurrected much like Hillbilly Mom's son's laptop , the loveable Lappy (I'd link that particular post, but she goes around all movin' stuff and changing addresses and shit, that crazy hillbilly technogeek). Anyway, then....Cap'n's car died. We're not just talkin' stalled out on the side of the road, but actual "gave up the ghost, gone to the great Route 66 in the sky, kapooey" died. He may have Frankenphone, but I'm thinking there'll be no resurrecting the car. When Cap'm IM'd me the other night, I asked Paul if what he was describing was really bad for a car. Paul said, "Oh yeah. Probably fatal." Poor car. I hear it was blue. And old.

Anyway, long story short, it's Cap'n's birthday weekend, his TX friends had a party planned for him, but now he's coming home instead because he has to buy a new car and well, I'm throwing him a party. I am never one to overlook the opportunity to throw a shindig and eagerly volunteered. He took me up and the rest is history. While he gave me a list of folks he'd like to see, I've already run into a couple that have plans already. Guess some people make actual plans for holiday weekends, unlike me who was just going to sit around my clean house and swat flies. Now, I'm going to get to sit around the yard of my clean house, swat flies AND mosquitoes AND visit with some friends from high school. So far, though, the short list is full of folks I cannot WAIT to see and we are gonna laugh ourselves silly. I'm sure there will be plenty of competitive speech references, too. Once a geek, always a geek, as we geeks say.

By the way, did I mention that I made the Dean's Honor Roll?

The Dean of Awesomeness

Got a letter in the mail yesterday.

Made the Dean's Honor Roll.

They might give that out to every Tom, Dick and Harry that attends, but still, I tacked the letter on the bulletin board anyway. Anyone who walks in the house is taken directly to the bulletin board and this will probably occur until the next semester starts. I asked Mom if she wanted a copy to hang on her fridge. She politely declined. I told her I'd fancy it up with crayon colorings if she wanted. Still declined.

Some people are just no fun after their kids reach their mid-30's.

The British are flying! The British are flying!

Okay, so the British Flyers are all octogenarians now and don't do any flying, but you gotta admit it was a cute title.

Last night Operation Flying Brit went down successfully. Turns out, he couldn't have cared less about my cobwebs or lack thereof, he drank a Bud Light instead of white wine and even got in on teasing me about a certain pineapple tree. (Remind me to tell y'all that story sometime) He is an absolutely charming ol' fella and I hate it that California is so far away.

As soon as he and Mom got here, Mom went to the kitchen to help me get dinner finished. I told him to make himself at home on the couch. I then looked at the TV and said, "Oh boy, Collin. Looks like Paul is watching racing lawnmowers." Paul indignantly said, "It's a tractor pull. Pay attention, woman." Collin sat down and politely pretended to watch TV with my redneck husband. Mom sent Tater in to talk to him. I think he would've nodded off had she gone in there when she did.

He's retained his British accent after 45 years in the States and when I asked him what he would like to drink with dinner and he said, "I believe I'll have a beuh" it took me about 3 seconds to process his answer. Quickly, in my head, I ran through the list of what I had offered him and "beer" as the closest thing to a "beuh." I crossed my fingers and said, "I have Coors Light and Bud Light. Which would you like?" Imagine how relieved I was when he responded with "A Bud Light sounds great." Whew.

After dinner Mom asked him if he'd like some coffee. She had told me earlier in the day that he likes his coffee strong, bitter, and black. All I had was Folgers, so I threw in a few extra scoops and prayed it would be strong enough to suit him. When I put the coffee cup down in front of him he said, "Do you have any creum and suguh?" Agh! I brought him the sugar shaker because I don't have a sugar bowl - just a shaker like you find in a restaurant. I was standing in my kitchen with a bewildered look on my face, getting ready to reach for the Coffeemate when Tater walked by me and said, "Do not offer him Coffeemate." The bewildered look turned to panic until I saw Mom at the table mouthing the word "milk." I turned to open the fridge, then realized I had absolutely nothing to put the milk in. I just always pour it directly from the gallon jug into my coffee cup because in case you hadn't noticed I'm a redneck and I don't entertain all that much. And when I do entertain, friends just pour their milk straight from the gallon jug, too. I stood in the middle of my kitchen floor again, taking a mental inventory of my cabinets. Nope. No small pouring type container in which to put the milk. Mom was sitting at the table, shaking and trying not to bust out laughing at my predicament, Tater was getting entirely too much pleasure out of watching me freak out. Finally I just walked to the table and said, "Collin, I don't have anything to pour the milk into for you. I just usually use the milk container" and I smiled cutely and hoped I was charming. He just laughed and said, "Not a problem. Just pour some in my cup for me, will you?"

We sat around my dining room table and visited for hours. He told us stories of the war, living in England, things about the Queen and Queen Mother and my gosh, the man has a laugh that reminds me of Santa Claus. In a matter of a few hours, I have become quite attached to him.

I hated to see him leave and hugged him tightly when he left. He hugged back, thanked me for hosting and then I sent him out the door with a "Good-bye! And please don't trip over a kitten, the dog or a stray toy!"

Mom and Collin left, Tater loaded her tots into the car, Paul and I got our kids tucked in and then we both collapsed onto the recliner and couch. We both sighed at the same time, then Paul said, "Dang This house is clean." I smiled and said, "Yeah. It's almost like being on vacation, isn't it?" He looked at me and said, "What are the chances of it staying this way?"

"Not good, dear. Not good. The kids will be up in 8 hours."

Like I care

Abby: Mom, what does "happy go lucky" mean?

Me: (without looking up from the laptop, but making very happy go lucky hand gestures) "Ooh I'm so happy. La la la. I'm lucky and I don't care about anything.

Kady: That means she doesn't care about your question. She only cares about her laptop.

Abby: Duh, dork. She was answering my question. Happy go lucky means you're so happy you don't care about anything.

Kady: Well, you gotta admit, she really loves that laptop.

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's so sad

Tonight, all over my house, if you listen very carefully, you'll hear sobs. Oh, they're quiet so you have to listen hard. Shhh now, children.....listen.....can you hear them?

What are they, you ask?

They are all of the homeless cobs* that I uprooted tonight. Apparently my house harbored quite a little colony of cobs. They had set up their little webby camps all around my dining room, living room and hallway. I am sure they were harmless and I kind of feel bad about destroying their homes like that, but it seems that we'll be entertaining a fella from California tomorrow night, a former British Flyer that trained in Miami during WWII. (He's a very dear friend of my mom's. They met when she worked at the college for the Foundation and he's in town to present a scholarship.) I am now in the process of doing the ol' stash and dash cleaning that makes FlyLady tsk tsk and cringe.

Paul put in my new kitchen sink and faucet today, before we knew that this visit would be tomorrow, not Thursday and now the kitchen that I brought up to spotless status on Saturday is now a disaster once more. See, the old faucet was leaking underneath and we didn't know it until a few weeks ago. Because we are in the running for Homeowners of the Year, we didn't know that this was taking place down there in the cabinet that I only opened long enough to grab the dishwasher detergent or gallon ziplock bags. I know....we suck. We are irresponsible and all that. Sue us. Okay, don't really. You know that saying "Ya can't get blood out of a turnip"? Let me introduce myself - Hello, I'm Mrs. Turnip. I have no blood in me. No money either. Anyway..... So now everything that was under the sink is sitting in a laundry basket in the dining room, the cabinet doors are open and a fan is blowing under there in an attempt to dry it out. The veneer or whatever that top layer is called on cheap lumber, is done for and Paul ripped it out today, but it seems that the wood is still good, just wet. The plan was to dry it out, wipe it down with bleach solution (Oh the mildew! And we wonder why the kids have allergies...) and then put linoleum down, but because I am less than 24 hours away from entertaining a man whom my mother says is used to eating dinner off of a table with a real live tablecloth and cloth napkins and food that isn't deep fried, grilled or wild game, it's all going to have to just go back in there sans linoleum. When Mom asked if we could have dinner out here I asked, "Ummm...Mom? You do remember that my husband and I are rednecks, right?" She sighed and said, "Yes.....just do the best you can. I'll try to explain it to him. No offense."

None was taken at all. And to give us a little credit, we've turned the cob community out onto the streets, Paul used the water hose to remove all of the sidewalk chalk off of the house and even knocked the mud dauber nests off the front porch. Comp'ny's comin' to town!! Yeeeeehaw!

If I missed a few gypsy camps of cobs, my sincere hope is that Collin's eyesight isn't all that great and he won't notice. I'm also hoping he won't hear the forlorn cries of homeless little cobs. I'd like to make a good impression on him, ya know.

* I just KNEW y'all would figure this one out! Cobs are the little creatures that make cobwebs in your corners, nooks and crannies. I think they're distantly related to the Dust Bunny. Thought I'd clear it up since not too long after I originally posted this, I had two comments saying they had no clue what a cob was.

Cobs - they're not just for corn anymore. Teehee.

AdVen7ureS 'N SpAm

Gmail has a handy dandy spam folder and let me tell ya, I get a lot of spam. I guess word has gotten out that my p3n1s is small or something. Anyway, I decided to enter the spam folder and see what was going on.....

I was just browsing around at first, then immediately I was tempted to see what was going on "at hickorywithe which cashiers HXPN IS GAINING GREAT MOMENTUM." Tempted, yes, but not quite convinced. I decided to see if there was something more intriguing. Then I saw "ring ring ring its Kathryn here" and while I looked around for a phone to see if Kathryn truly was there, I never could find it. Todde mentioned something about "In each blandburg HXPN IS GAINING GREAT MOMENTUM" as well, but I couldn't find blandburg on a map. Is it next to Boresville? Lena asked me "Stuart put a Ring where?" and while I was trying to think of the right words to answer, she then began shouting, "EVER DREAM OF MIND-BLOWING LOVE MAKIN" and I had to take a moment to stop and think that why, yes...yes, I have dreamt of mind-blowing love makin'. Because I'm a redneck and love making is out of the question. I had to quit dreamin' about love makin', though, when Dennis, Marcy started screaming at me that "HXPN IS GAINING GREAT MOMENTUM" and I couldn't concentrate. Belinda walked in at that moment and asked, "Do you know where she is at?" and I answered her like my momma always did when I ended a question with "at" - In between the A and the T. She wasn't amused and told me "it might already be too late." Well, guess I won't dilly dally any more with the snarky comebacks. "Don't be left out, join millions of men in the revolution" was what Andre kept saying over and over and I asked him if all those millions of men would appreciate me, a woman, honing in on their revolution. He wasn't amused and referred me on to Nick Wolfe who simply stated, "Please respond to your loan application on Mon, 21 May." I felt like I was nothing more than another applicant after talking to him. He kept calling me Josefina and I told him that wasn't my name. I also informed him that Josefina was out in the hall bellering, "please to ask another message for Josefina." She's so needy. Geesh.

While I was out in the hall trying to find Josefina, I saw a sign that read, "for mcbrides in amagansett" and I had to wonder if Amagansett was near Boresville or Blandburg. It didn't matter really because right about then Gladys walked up to me and asked, "What are you doing on the 15th of next month?" and I was so glad someone seemed genuinely interested in me. Then she started in with a schpiel about, "fear, Why, indeed, he account boastfully does seem to flight," and I shook her and said, "Gladys, you're just talkin' gibberish again!" She didn't seem to think it was gibberish and before she walked away said, "You can relax with Viagra." Relaxing is the furthest thing from my mind when there's Viagra involved. But I didn't tell her that. I didn't want to get the reputation of being a "bArn slut hot aCtion, d0nt delay, now."

I decided that my time in the spam folder was just about done, but not before Abigail Latham, Lynette Moss and Donn started in with "HXPN IS GAINING GREAT MOMENTUM" once more. I put my hand on the doorknob and heard Raquel Tidwell sigh and say, "The flakes have stolen onto the flag" and I nodded and replied, "Flakes indeed, sister. Flakes indeed." I could hang around to discuss the flakes in detail, though - I was in a hurry to find my "50 lottery tickets from around the countries of the world." Who can resist a deal like that?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why I don't clean my house

I've been cleaing house all day because Mom has a friend in town from England (Yes the Mary Poppins/Tally ho, good chap!/Care for a spot of tea, gov'nuh? England) and there have been rumors of using my house for a picnic since Tater is in between houses and Mom is housing some of Tater's stuff because we're working on Tater's new house which is actually my rental house and I am now known as the family slum lord. (Whew, long sentence)

Anyway, I sat down on the couch with laptop on my lap to rest my weary legs and take a little break. It had been a few days since I'd fired up the laptop, so it was doing some updating and such.

I woke up 15 minutes later to an updated computer but am now sporting what I fear to be permanent burns on my thighs from the scorching hotness of the laptop from Hades sitting on my short-clad lap. Obviously, laptops are not meant to sit on bare laps. I knew this, but I freakin' fell asleep.

In a round about way, the injuries are all because I cleaned house. House cleaning is dangerous, folks. Avoid it at all costs.

Friday, May 18, 2007

All that I am, want and love

(You can do this, too. Just go to Google and type in your name followed by the word "is", "wants", "loves", "likes", etc. [Just leave out the quotation marks.])

Kristin wants you to buy Bongo jeans. Sure I do. Because I'm not just a person who wears Bongo jeans, I'm the President of the company.

Kristin wants to be a "somebody." I am a somebody. Just a relatively unknown somebody.

Kristin loves to burst out into dance. Yep, just like ol' Napoleon Dynamite. I've got canned heat in my feet tonight, baby.

Kristin is the new Bongo girl. Did I mention, I'm also the President of the company?

Kristin wants to be a part of the King Arthur's round table. Ya know, not so much. I find that the armor really chafes.

Kristin wants to run away and hide from the much more demanding world. Okay, who's been reading my mind again?

Kristin loves holding babies. Then I love handing them back to their mommas. I am gonna make an awesome grandmother.

Kristin is an accomplished drummer, singer, and banjo player. And I'm working on the yodelling.

Kristin wants to contribute something positive and loving to the world. Like  worldwide domination and unlimited donuts for all.
Kristin wants to look like Jessica. I don't even know Jessica, but if she's skinny then yeah, I wanna look like her.

Kristin loves to bang. A drum, you dirty minded people!

Kristin wants consumers to think about where fur and fur trim come from before they go on shopping sprees. It comes from animals that we rednecks shoot on cold November mornings. Now you know. Quit thinking and go shopping, ya tree hugger.

Kristin loves to scrapbook. No I don't and I don't know who keeps telling y'all that nonsense!

Kristin wants us to continue blogging. Of course, I do. Because blogging makes the world go 'round.

Kristin is now OPEN for business. But I ain't cheap. Bring your credit cards.

Kristin wants a pair of upholstered seats and some pre-cut carpeting. Because I'm planning on taking over the world and it all begins with the upholstered seats.....

Kristin loves teaching meditation, writing and being a mom. Sometimes.

Kristin is dating Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein in order to get back at Nicole Richie. Because she is just too skinny and everyone knows that DJ AM likes his girls with meat on their bones.

Kristin wants a new car. Actually a van, please. My Astro is on its last leg. Um, wheel.

Kristin wants to teach math at the junior high level, just to "watch the light bulb come on" for her students. I'm sorry, you must have me confused with someone who doesn't cry when the word "math" is uttered.

Kristin is set to star as a sorority girl in the upcoming remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Ya know, if it said I was playing a nerd, I could totally see that. But sorority girl? Only if Geek Squad has a sorority now.

Kristin wants to know why life is not fair. I learned a long time ago that it isn't, now I just want to know why.

Kristin is annoying and untalented. In my defense, I've been a work-at-home mom for most of my adult life. I have an excuse.

Kristin wants to know whether you want some red chili peppers on your watermelon now, or later. If I were you, I'd choose "later" and then run for the hills. That ain't right, people.

Kristin is a rich, triumphant mean girl, the stuff '80s soap operas were made of. My life's goal has been achieved.
Kristin is demanding. Duh. Now, click on the comment button and comment. NOW.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Summertime, D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Chi, and Boobs

After today, the kids have 2 1/2 days of school left. One of those days is Beach Day and the half is well, the last day of school. Hillbilly Mom has been saying for months that school is almost over and by cracky, I think she's right! I don't think Abby's class has had books for a week now. They're dismantling computers since Mr. Dude is somewhat of a computer geek. He said the kids were bugging him and he relented. I asked if I could sit in, but he kind of didn't answer me. But that was right after I told him that I'd come to Beach Day in my bikini. Maybe his brain was still trying to recover from that horrific vision.

The kids are just so done with everything that no adult can get a thing out of 'em. Even last night at gymnastics they were a little dazed and confused. Here at home there are desperate pleas to play outside until like, dawn. And chores? What chores, Mom? Ohhhhhh those chores. Gotcha. Get right on those, like, after June.

There is upheaval galore around our place. My baby sister, Tater, is getting a divorce. And without going into details, man....divorce sucks. And I'm not even the one getting one. She's doing really good, the kids are doing good and she's just ready to move on. Hopefully that will happen soon.

Paul's still doing good at The Casino That Shall Not Be Named. Still likes it even though he's hassling with them shorting his paycheck for the past 6 weeks. Hopefully that will be worked out soon. The checkbook would like to see that worked out, too.

In case you didn't read my Mother's Day post, my mom bought Tater and I both Chi straightening irons for Mother's Day. I had heard that it would change my life and by cracky, it has. I mean, literally. It has been hot and humid and even rainy and my hair has remained straight throughout the day with NO FUZZ or curling. I *heart* my Chi. Biosilk, Big Sexy Hair (Because I just haven't bought any Flat Sexy Hair yet, but it's on my list) and a Chi and even the curliest of hair can be as straight as Mitt Romney.

I bought two new bras last week at Lane Bryant. My boobs now sit somewhere up around my chin. Okay, maybe not my chin, but at least up where boobs are supposed to sit. Tater got one before I did and I was so impressed (Not that I sit around and ogle my sister's boobs because that would get us an invitation to Jerry Springer) that I trekked to Joplin to get one. Except I should've done more research because mine is not the same as hers. Mine is WAY more padded and well, frankly Paul was quite disappointed the first time he reached out to cop a feel and drew back his hand like he'd been shocked. I just giggled and said, "Yes, it's totally false advertising, but they are so pretty to look at, you'll just have to deal with it." He shook his head and said, "That ain't right."

I need to go back and get the kind that isn't so padded that I feel like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz - I can tap on them and I swear I hear a hollow "clunk." They are so protected that last night Abby and I were boxing (Hush. Yes, I was boxing. I had some pent up frustration I needed to get out.) and she threw a punch hard enough that it knocked the bag into my chest. She had this horrified look on her face and said, "Oh Mom! I am SO sorry! Did I hurt your boobs?" I put my hands over them, then struck a Superman pose and said, "No, darlin'. I am wearing The Bra of Steel. The boobies are protected." Neither of us could throw punches for a few minutes because we were both doubled over laughing.

Daughters are cool.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thanks, Mom

Thank you, Mom, for meeting Dad. I know it didn't end up the fairytale you thought it would be when you were 15, but ended up with some cool kids in the bargain.

Thank you, Mom, for letting me bake that cake for that church party when I was 14. You had the greatest of faith in me. And thank you for being one of the brave souls to eat one of the two pieces eaten from that horrible cake. I know Dad ate the other. Although I have serious doubts to this day that they were actually eaten - I'm thinking you tossed them out the car window on the way to the church and then left the cake in the car. If you did that, thank you for going into that church empty-handed.

Thank you, Mom, for singing "Down in the Meadow" in harmony with us about 40 gazillion times in the car.

Thank you, Mom, for letting me wear dresses with bells in the ruffles when I was little. I have so many memories of shaking my groove thang just so I could hear my dress make noise.

Thank you, Mom, for all the book fair, bake sale, yearbook, Tom Watt, candy bar and sucker money that you stuck in envelope after envelope and sent to grade school with me, year after year. Thank you for the Big Bird cookies with icing feathers, the southern belle cakes and for burning the meatloaf because that's the way we like it.

Thank you, Mom, for being my cheerleader.

Thank you, Mom, for stuffing that brussel sprout into my face. That incident will forever go down in family history.

Thank you, Mom, for orchestrating the trip to Biloxi. Maybe you knew somewhere deep down inside that we had to go that summer and I'm so glad we went when we did.

Thank you, Mom, for gymnastics, a piano and piano lessons, a flute, and clogging lessons. I'm not going to set the world on fire with my amazing talents, but I learned a thing or two along the way.

Thank you, Mom, for letting Sis and I sing in church any time we wanted to. (And for making us sometimes when we didn't want to.)

Thank you, Mom, for taking Sis and I to church when Dad didn't go with you. That's not easy, I know. You hung in there. Thank you for teaching VBS, Sunday School and singing specials. You truly are a virtuous woman.

Thank you, Mom, for being one of the bravest women to walk the face of the earth. It could not have been easy to find yourself suddenly single with two teenage daughters, no college degree and a secretarial job. Even though we saw you cry more than a few times, I don't think you let on how truly scared you were.

Thank you, Mom, for rocking me to sleep and singing while you did it. When I am old I will still hear your voice singing to me.

Thank you, Mom, for not getting angry when you found out Sis and I stole cigarettes from you and hid them in the glove box of my car. Thank you for laughing when we 'fessed up that we forgot about them and by the time we remembered them they were so stale and horrible that we nearly wrecked my car in a fit of coughing, smoke and laughter.

Thank you, Mom, for being very angry when I walked in the back door and slurringly declared, "Mom. I'm drunk." Thank you for yelling an awful lot and calling Dad (which I know was incredibly hard to do) and then grounding my irresponsible ass.

Thank you, Mom, for letting me go to the Garth Brooks concert the day after I announced my drunkeness to you on the back stoop even though I was "grounded forever." You were right, it was a once in a lifetime deal and I am so glad I got to see him. Thank you for telling me that you hoped my head "hurt a whole lot" while I was there. Looking back now, that was a hilarious statement and one I can hear myself saying to my children.

Thank you, Mom, for lifting the lifetime ground and letting me drive myself to my Senior Prom. If it's any consolation, I didn't have all that good of a time. It was watching "Stella" with you when I got home that was the best part of the night.

Thank you, Mom, for all of the slumber parties that involved oodles and oodles of screaming, squealing, giggling, caffeine-fueled girls. It started at age 11 and didn't end till I was 18. You deserve a medal for that. And some kind of reimbursement for the hundreds of 2-liters of soda we drank at those parties.

Thank you, Mom, for sewing all those little dresses and outfits for Sis and I over the years. I know you did it out of love, but wow. Just wow.

Thank you, Mom, for not dissolving into tears when I asked you go not go into Wal*Mart with me and a group of my friends that one time when I was in the 6th grade. You were hurt and I know that. But you were so cool about it. It was a first - I had never not wanted you with me before. I know that someday soon my son and daughters will in turn ask the same thing of me. Thank you in advance for listening to me when I call you after that happens.

Thank you, Mom, for being so wise. When I was pregnant with Sam I was so worried that I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved Abby already. I went to you to ask how in the world I was going to be capable of loving this next child when my heart was already so full. Your words to me were, "Your heart will grow and you'll be capable of more love than you ever thought possible." You were so right.

Thank you, Mom, for being my hero. (You're still the wind beneath my wings. Heehee.)

Thank you, Mom, for being fair. Sis and I get tickled sometimes when you explain how, even though we didn't get the same exact thing, you spent the same amount of money or didn't do for one what you didn't do for the other in another way. You don't have to be that fair, but it's just another thing that shows what a wonderful person you are.

Thank you, Mom, for taking care of Nana. She's not your mother-in-law anymore, but you haven't abandoned her. You don't have to, but you do.

Thank you, Mom, for sharing stories with us about Memaw and Papa and growing up on the farm. Those stories keep the past alive for us and our kids. The one about the tornado is our favorite, hands down.

Thank you, Mom, for loving your grandchildren with all of your heart.

Thank you, Mom, for loving Sis and I with all of your heart.

Thank you, Mom, for being the perfect model of Motherhood. I learned from the best.

Thank you, Mom, for the Chi iron.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I am sitting in a dark hotel room.........BLOGGING!

How did I ever survive in this world before Lorraine? (In true Hillbilly Mom fashion, I named my laptop Lorraine. Her son's laptop's name was Lappy before it met its demise this last week. I hear there are plans to raise it from the dead, though. Frankenputer, indeed.)

Anyway, I am in Branson with the kids for our big Mother's Day excursion. I'd share pictures with you, but ..... I haven't taken any. I brought the camera, but then decided that I really just wanted to enjoy the day without having to carry the camera and interrupt totally spontaneous moments by saying, "Wait! Lemme get the camera!" or "Crap, do it again and I'll take your picture."

The funniest moment of the day was when we were standing in line to ride Fire in the Hole, an indoor, underground, very dark weenie roller coaster. It's supposed to be a mine on fire, so the operators are dressed like firemen. We got in line, which was outside at the time, and not long after, one of the firemen came out with his dalmatian to talk to the crowd. He and I visited briefly and then he stopped and asked loudly, "Would anyone like to help me demonstrate how to put out a fire?" Little hands shot up all over the line, but he was standing right in front of us. He said, "You, son. You wanna help?" Sam nodded excitedly and then looked at me for the go-ahead. I nodded and he started climbing through the fence. The fireman told him to stand against the wall and he did. It was at that moment I put it all together and realized what was going to happen and if I were a good mother, the best mother on Earth or in the running for Mother of the Year, I'd have warned him.

But I am inherently evil, in case you hadn't noticed.

The fireman said, "Folks! I am going to demonstrate how to put out a fire!" and with that he grabbed a bucket, scooped it through the trough and threw a bucket of water on my totally shocked son who was a sitting duck on that wall with nowhere to run. He honestly didn't realize what was going on until the water was in the air heading toward him.

I laughed so hard I think I tinkled a little.

My son was drenched from head to toe. Visor, shirt, shorts and crocs soaked. He stood there, mouth open, dripping, as the fireman matter-of-factly stated "And that's how to put out a fire," sat down his bucket and walked back in the building.

I was still laughing when my drowned rat of a son climbed back through the fence and got back in line. Sam said, "I am soooo dumb! I thought I was going to help put out a fire - I didn't know I WAS the fire!" Fortunately, he's a good-natured kid and thought it was hilarious.

It was dang hot today and by 4 we were all beat, sticky, sweaty, thirsty and just plain tired. We came here to the hotel and the kids swam for about 45 minutes or so, then we got around and went to dinner at Fuddruckers. I was really not impressed. Then we visited Krispy Kreme to get donuts for breakfast. We were all stuffed to the gills and donuts - even the blessed Krispy Kreme - didn't sound good, but we knew we'd feel differently in the morning.

The hot light was on. Kady couldn't be talked into taking one, but Abby and Sam followed my cardinal rule: Never turn down a free donut. The plan was to wrap them up and put them in the box we were buying for breakfast. While I was waiting, Abby came up to me and said, "I kind of took a nibble. I just had to. It was calling to me." About 2 minutes later she walked up to me looking utterly miserable and said, "Ugh, I kind of umm....ate half of it. I'm so full I think I have donut in my brains." By the time we left the building, her donut was no more. She is definitely my child. I *heart* Krispy Kreme.

We were in the hotel room getting ready to leave for dinner and I told the kids to wash their hands. I unwrapped the bar of soap and set it on the counter. Kady asked Abby, "Sissy, what's that?" Abby grabbed it up, held it about a centimeter from her eyes and said, "Oh. My. Gosh. I think it's a bar of soap! Yes, it's definitely a bar of soap." Kady and Sam stood there ogling the bar of soap in their big sister's hand like she was holding the Ark of the Covenant. I never thought about it, but we don't have bar soap in the house and haven't in years.

It's after 11pm and I think it's time to let Lorraine rest and put myself to bed as well.

But not before I check on those Krispy Kremes sitting here across from me......they might be lonely.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Just so you know

Hot here.

Even more humid.

New writing challenge open at WitToI.

Leaving tomorrow for Branson.

Not entirely packed yet.

Washing machine just kicked off. Finally.

Must sleep sometime tonight since am the only driver this weekend.

Kids wound tighter than eight-day clocks.

The Benadryl worked - kids finally are sleeping like little drugged logs.

Allergies bothering them. Would never sedate them just to buy some peace.

Also been known to lie a lot.

Was wound earlier as well, but finding that now am only about half a twist.

BBQ and Bluegrass festival begins at Silver Dollar City tomorrow.

Not a fan of either really.

Totally not an issue, though - they have water rides.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Celebrating Mother's Day, Redneck Style

This coming weekend is Mother's Day, a day when most mothers get breakfast in bed, spa packages, pampering, lavish gifts and adoration.

Not this redneck mother, of course.

No, it doesn't matter that Mother's Day comes on the same weekend every year and there are always a bazillion commercials about flowers, jewelry and spa getaways. Every year, around the Monday before MDay, when I have fielded concerns from the kids that Daddy hasn't taken them shopping and they're afraid my feelings will be hurt if they don't get me something, I politely remind my husband that Mother's Day swiftly approaches. And every year I get the same reply, "Well....I don't know what you want...."

I guess the post-it notes all over the house, the cut-out ads pasted on the fridge and the loud comments that begin with "I sure would like to have...." just isn't enough. Last year I even went as far as to approach him with a typewritten list, complete with graphics and prices, so as to ensure success all around.

So this year, I had a plan. I got out mine and Abby's season passes to Silver Dollar City and noticed that the free passes that will get my two youngest children in the park expire in a few weeks. So I casually mentioned to the kids (rather loudly) that we needed to plan a trip. Oh, sometimes being evil is so easy. What ensued was a cacophony of squeals, pleas and downright begging. He then "got" the brilliant idea that the kids and I take off for the weekend.

If I ever chose to use my powers for evil and not good, I'd be dangerous.

We almost had a glitch in the plans, though, and my little junior rednecks had to make a tough decision. This weekend the Outlaw Nationals are coming to town. We never miss out on a chance to sit in a hot, humid, dusty outdoor stadium to listen to our ear drums come about as close to rupturing as they possibly can without actually doing so, eat cotton candy, swat flies and do lots of hollering when the trucks wreak utter destruction on anything in their paths. But my darlings chose Branson. I'm so proud. *tear* Proof positive I am raising them right.

Branson, here we come! The motel has wi-fi AND two indoor pools. Of course, I'll be so paranoid with the kids in the pool that I won't be able to enjoy any pool-side blogging, but it makes me feel special knowing that I could if I weren't neurotic. We're going to Silver Dollar City, the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum and the kids seem to think that mini-golf is in the cards. If it keeps us away from the go-cart tracks, I'm totally up for mini-golf. Of course, a trip to Build A Bear Workshop in Springfield is mandatory on the way home - they seem to think their bears need new duds. And who am I to argue?

As much as I love my husband, he is absolutely no fun whatsoever on vacation. Disney World was the final attempt at a family vacation with that man. ForEVER. I mean it. He doesn't like Branson, anyway. Usually we go to Branson with Mom and Tater and Tater's tots and while I love going with them, I'm looking forward to this trip being just my kids and me. We're going to be loud in the van and more than likely, yes the kids will be allowed to jump on the beds in the motel room. Because I'm so cool like that. We're also taking virtually every electronic device we own - MP3 players, Discmans, the laptop, and Gameboys and we will use them all at the same time on the loudest volume possible. Because we can. And there won't be a cranky redneck daddy to gripe about it.

I can hardly wait.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yup, you are

"It won't work. I've tried."

"Oh, Paul really. I've done it a thousand times. If it doesn't work it's only because of your ineptitude."

"And if I knew what 'neptitude was, I'd defend myself..... and quit smirking or I'll knock your 'neptitude right off.......and don't tell me, I used it wrong in that sentence, didn't I? And I'm getting blogged, aren't I?"

a few things

It's been awhile since I've done anything like this, so I guess it's about time.....

A few things about me:

* I have naturally curly hair which I hate. Really hate. After my last haircut I swore I'd never wear it curly again, but the torrential rain and now the wearable humidity that we call "Spring" in Oklahoma have since decided that I will indeed wear it curly again. For the rest of my life.

* I am rapidly going gray.

* I wonder why I started this with talking about my hair.....

* I married a man who was a teacher's aide in my Kindergarten class. Talk about explaining that one to the kids.

* I have one sister. I love her. A lot. I am fiercely protective of my little sister. Now, as kids I'd have sold her to the first band of traveling gypsies to wander by and never blinked an eye, but now.....I go completely momma bear if you mess with my Tater.

* My right foot swells occasionally for apparently no reason. Well, deep down I know the reason - I'm fat and I inherited poor circulation from my mom's side. Yeah, thanks for that, Gramma Morris. You started this.

* I have a relatively rare, uncurable, hereditary, and can-be-dangerous blood disease called Factor V Leiden. My mother and sister also have it. It has caused them to both have blood clots. So far, I've dodged that bullet but by the grace of God.

* I wonder if my kids have it. They have to be tested when they're older. It's kind of a serious thing, but I like to pretend it's not. Because serious sucks sometimes.

* I *heart* Disney World.

* I miss my Papa and Memaw so much that it hurts.

* I do not have a very close relationship with my dad. That bothers me. A lot.

* I regret the placement of my ladybug tattoo sometimes. There are times I'd like to wear a lower cut top and not look like a hoochie. Those times are relatively few, but still, they come up occasionally.

* I was told at the age of 21 that I'd never give birth to a child of my own. I'd like to herd my little tribe in there and tell him "Quit telling women that. God can work miracles, ya know."

* I hate brussel sprouts, asparagus and cooked spinach. If you try to make me eat them I will throw up on you. A lot. Even if I haven't taken a bite yet, I'll throw up on you just because you're being mean.

* I think Johnny Depp is totally hot as Captain Jack Sparrow, but uber creepy everywhere else.

* I think Steve Martin is sexy. Dead sexy.

* I've had my daughter Abby's name picked out since I was in the 6th grade.

* My name would've been "Kevin Dale" if I had been a boy.

* Abby would've been named Kade if she'd been a boy. Sam would've been named Kady if he'd been a girl. Kady would've been named Jake if she'd been a boy. We have a dog named Jake that we got after Kady was born. We recycle names around here.

* I really want to have another baby.

* My parents divorced when I was 18. If you are going to divorce and have any say in the timing, don't do it when your child is 18. It will seriously mess them up for a long time.

* I'm scared of spiders.

* Clowns, too

* And water.

* Oh yeah, not crazy about heights either.

* I've never broken a bone or gotten stitches. Which is hardly any wonder since I'm scared of everything.

* I have had a kidney stone. That was worse than childbirth.

* I want to learn how to yodel. I plan on learning this summer. Not sure how....I don't think the vo-tech has a class on that. Cake decorating, yes. Yodeling, probably not.

* I learned how to cross-stitch last winter. I mainly did it to prove to my mother and sister that I am capable of being domestic and crafty and stuff. Then it turned out that I really like it.

* I am really not very domestic and crafty and capable of gardening and stuff. I can decoupage like a fuh-reak, though. And my cooking is awesome, too. I will cook for you if you ask. I will even decoupage for you, although I'm not sure why you'd ask. Just don't ask me to water your plants. They will die. I pretty much guarantee it.

* It's hot and humid in my office, which I'm starting to believe is one floor up from hell, directly over Satan's office. Oklahoma doesn't believe in a gentle, cool Springtime where you can enjoy watching new life emerge and flourish. Nope, we go straight from 12 feet of snow and ice to tornadoes, which runs cuncurrently with air you can wear and that lasts until the 12 feet of snow starts again. None of that is conducive to watching new life emerge and flourish - it is only conducive to drinking large amounts of iced sweet tea and asking everyone you see in Wal*Mart, "Hot enough for ya?"

* I am not scared of tornadoes.

* I have had tornado dreams since I was a child. Freud would say I have penis envy. Other, more not-so-cuckoo dream analysis stuff I've read says that tornadoes in dreams indicates turmoil. I have lived in a constant state of turmoil since I was a child then.

* I scream like a little girl when I am startled. Last night I let a blood curdling scream loose on my mother's quiet little neighborhood when a rabbit hopped out in front of me in the dark. Then when Paul tried to run it in the other direction I screamed again for no apparent reason.

* I type constantly. I have done it since I took Typing in high school. I type every word you say when I'm talking to you. I type every word I say when I'm talking to you. I have woke Paul up by typing on his arm in my sleep. When Abby was little I was rocking her before bed and she opened her eyes and said, "Momma, you can stop tapping on my arm now. You have my attention."

And now I'm done. I'm off to watch the radar to see what the odds are that the tornadoes will skirt us yet again.



Spring 2007


GPA 3.769

Not the 4.0 I so desperately wanted my first semester back after a sixteen-year break, but darn close, by cracky! I'm pretty durn proud of me.

I was marginally pissed about the History grade. It all came down to the writing. The instructor just did not like my writing style. My English teacher became okay with it after a few papers (although there are still some things she pointed out and I'm still going wtf?) and my Advertising/Newspaper instructor obviously liked it. Oh, and the Freud paper that I labored so frantically about? Yeah, 100%. I totally rawked Freud. So it's kind of obvious there that she liked my writing, too.

I complained about it in an email to my mom:


In between the last time I obsessively checked, talked to you, and then obsessively checked again, Mr. Loving posted my grade in History. It's a B.

First Baldwin*, then Birdsong**, now Loving*** - why do History/Government teachers hate me????

Her reply:

Oh, daughter of mine, you are such a disappointment..............NOT!!!!!!!!!

I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished this semester.

In the words of Grammy's Connie****:

"History doesn't matter. It's not where you've been, but it's where you're going."

Love you bunches!


PS: And quit your cussing online.

I sure love that woman. She can make it all better. She's always been able to do that - when I was a kid, it was with bandaids and a cookie. Now it's with an email. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

* Mr. Baldwin was the teacher who taught Oklahoma History, Government and Modern History when I was in high school. I had him for all three classes and hated them all. He and I clashed furiously and mixed about as well as oil and water. He called me "tacky" once. (I probably deserved that one.) I left his classroom in tears many times - not because he hurt my feelings, but because I couldn't give him the proper cussing he deserved. I was still a "good girl" back then. Today, I'd let the cursing fly.

** Mr. Birdsong was the instructor I took Goverment from my first semester at NEO 16 years ago. He is very, very liberal and Democrat. I am really not so much either. He and I would engage in verbal warfare virtually every time I was in his classroom. Stacie would sit with her head down, kicking me, whispering "Just hush and he'll leave you alone!" I left that classroom in tears many times as well. Frustration makes me cry.

***History instructor this semester. Probably a good thing I took the class online. Nothing against the man, he was very nice in the limited email conversations we had. I just have a feeling I would find a way to ruin that somehow. I have a history with History, so to speak.

****Connie is the secretary in my mom's office. For some reason, the kids have taken to calling her "Grammy's Connie" as if we are overrun with Connies or something and we need to differentiate. But regardless of the lack of Connies other than her, the name has stuck and she will forever be Grammy's Connie.

Complaint department

Stewed Hamm, links are appropriately enblackened and are no longer playing hide-n-seek.

Thank you for complaining. I've been meaning to change it for awhile now because I didn't actually intend for the links to be all covert like that. That was a total mistake due to tweaking on the fly. But it took you bein' all snarky to motivate me. I owe you, dude.

Now, you can follow this highly visible link over to the writing challenge blog.

Disclaimer: I am a smartass. I hope you realize that, Hamm. I'm not offended that you dissed my links. Really.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Bubblegum Tate won the last writing challenge at Write in the Thick of It, but seems he's out being all daddified since his wife decided to have a baby on the very day I announced his victory. It's usually all about me and normally I would get all huffy over a darn baby interrupting things, but I'm gonna let 'em have their glory, those Bubblegums. Or those Tates. Oh heck, call 'em what you want as long as you acknowledge the fact that they are now parents.

So I proposed over at the other site that we play a mini-game in the meantime, since we can't continue with the challenges until Tate gives us The Words. Not that I'm complaining. Frankly, I'm just bored. And I'm avoiding housework.

So jaunt over to WitToI and suggest a mini-game or two. Save me from my house.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Oh what a night

It's almost 8:30pm on a Tuesday night. There is a slow rain falling, like it pretty much has all day. Not too much, not an annoying mist.....just right. Perfect napping weather, to be honest. The house is just chilly enough that I have a light blanket on my legs. Paul is at Men's Night, the kids are in bed. I'm on the couch with my laptop, watching Glenn Beck on Headline News Network and I'm blogging.

Tonight rocks.

Absolutely enormous panties

Sunday afternoon, Tater and I took off for Joplin to do some shopping. We went to the mall first because I'm switching Bath and Body Works fragrances and had two bags full of stuff to exchange. Then, the swimsuit I bought Abby was just a little too big in the boobage area and her "little buds" (as Tater calls them) were positively lost in a sea of pineapple printed ruffley spandex so I had to return it to Old Navy because that is the ONLY place I will buy my girls' swimsuits because the ones from Wal*Mart or Penney's just don't last. So after taking care of those tasks we then gave the children Dip'n Dots and cookies, which no sane parent should ever do just before taking four exhausted children to Lane Bryant. Ever.

Tater was having bra issues and I cannot speak highly enough about bras at Lane Bryant. For a fat chick, bras are serious business. Lane Bryant bras and panties are the only underwear I will wear. No ifs, ands or butts. (Get it? Butts?) I will give up ladies' night at the casino forever if that's what it takes to keep myself in comfy, reasonably pretty undergarments.

That being said, we proceded to hit the mother lode in that store. I got a pair of white capris with the new Tummy Tamer panel because, let's face it, my tummy is downright wild and the only way to tame it previously was with a bullwhip and a chair. Ohhhh but the taming of the tummy by way of spandex panel in front of pants? MARVELOUS!! And much less traumatic than the bullwhip and chair.

That day, all drawers in the store were buy one get one FREE so I put together another entire outfit, complete with kicky new headband. I did pass on the sandals because I need another pair of sandals like I need a bullwhip and a chair. But the new outfit? I'm rockin' it. Tater picked out a new outfit as well, trying on and successfully making work for her, a top that I had tried on mere weeks ago. The blouse is one of the new tunic-y looking things that so far I've never had any luck with wearing successfully. Plus, this one had smocking around the boob area and on the back side of me, opposite my "lovely lady lumps," I have some not-so-lovely lumps called "backfat." Smocking and backfat are mortal enemies. But Tater was workin' that outfit.

She came out of the dressing room and myself and two other women, complete strangers, all gasped in complete delight at the outfit. "Buy it!" exclaimed one. "Oh yes, honey, buy it," agreed the other. I just nodded and said, "Oh yeah, sister." But she wasn't sure, claiming that she had a "shelf" around the middle. I personally didn't see the shelf, but I knew what she was talking about, seeing as how I have not only a shelf, but a fully-stocked pantry of my own.

And that is when the Angel of Lane Bryant appeared seemingly out of nowhere and said, "Honey, if you are worried about a shelf, then you need our shapewear!" and then she raised her shirt to show us her spandex-clad belly - a belly so effectively encased in spandex that actual rays of light shone down from the heavens upon her belly and I'm telling you, I heard music.

All of us in the dressing area at the time drew in a collective breath of admiration and perplexity at the spandex she was showing us, then took Tater and I both by the arm and led us into a dressing room to show us her spandex in all its glory.

And to quote Daniel from Bridget Jones' Diary, those things "are absolutely enormous panties." They go from boobs to knees, and although I have no personal experience with them, I've heard they're like the bottom 3/4 of Mormon underwear. These puppies are body armor. They are impenetrable by man nor beast. They are truly enormous and all-encompassing. These are the mack daddy of all underwear.

Never in my life did I dream I would ever purchase a pair of such gigantic underwear. I wore a freakin' thong in my college days. The first college days. The "18-years-old-28-inch-waist" college days. Not these college days. I'd lose a thong now. Zap, that puppy'd be gone, never to be found again. But I asked the salesgirl, "Okay, so where does all the fat GO when you stuff it into spandex of this magnitude?" She said, "Well, it kind of pushes it all down here, so it's really not all that pretty to look at without clothes over it-" and I interrupted her with, "Sweetie, me naked is not at all pretty to look at anyway. I can handle squished fat. Hand me those absolutely enormous panties," and took them from her hands.

Tater turned white as the gal handed her a pair, too. Tater tried hers on and then decided not to purchase her own under-armor/chastity belt, saying that she just wasn't sure she could look at herself in the mirror with them on. Plus she said it was kind of hard to breathe.

I put mine up on the counter, whipped out my checkbook and said, "Ring me up, sister, before I lose my nerve." Tater looked at me incredulously and said, "You're buying them? What will Paul say? Are you going to wear them in front of him? How could you possibly get busy in underwear that big?" I gave her the driest look I could muster and replied, "We have been married for 14 years. It doesn't matter to him what kind of underwear I have on as long as at some point I can get them off. Because that's just the kind of relationship we have. In his mind, panties are not made to be looked at. They are a mere obstacle." Then I turned to the lady behind the counter and said, "Is there technical support for these bad boys?"

Hopping and squealing

Last night Paul and I stayed up till 1am watching a show on DiscoveryTimes.

Around midnight, Paul got up to go outside and pee (because God forbid he use the indoor toilet) and when he flipped the foot thingy down on the recliner something was flung out into the middle of the living room floor. I thought it was a piece of paper or wood chip. Then it hopped again.

It was a teeny tiny tree frog!

Of course, in my usual fashion, I began squealing and dancing around on my tiptoes because I don't like critters, especially ones that ribbit and hop. He turned on the overhead light as soon as he realized that my seizure was over a frog. In our house. He dove for it. Imagine, this 6'1" tall man, diving like a professional ball player for a tree frog no bigger than an oversized booger. And missing.

There was cussing. There was hopping. There were futile attempts to dig it out from under the TV cabinet where it found refuge. There were squeals from me when Paul thought he'd just roll the cabinet out to retrieve the frog, but all I could envision was smashed frog guts in my carpet.

Finally the teeny tiny tree frog was stupid enough to take about a half-hop out to check things out and Paul caught him as he proclaimed, "Gotcha, ya little fucker!"

After he deposted the little amhibian outside, he came inside and sincerely said, "Okay, dear. When we start finding critters in the living room, it's really time to clean house."

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...