Saturday, December 29, 2007

Harem Scarem

Yesterday I stayed up all day long even though every cell in my body was begging me to lie down and rest, for the love of Pete. But somewhere in my delirous, fatigued mind I figured that by staying up and cleaning house I'd either wear myself out enough that I'd finally sleep that night or else I'd land myself in the hospital. Fortunately/unfortunately, neither happened. I didn't sleep and I'm still at home. Good/bad, eh. Whatever. At this point, I'm so frickin' tired if Zach Braff came into my house and begged me to kiss his face I'd be like, "Eh, that would require like, so much energy" and I'm so not joking.

Yesterday I had done laundry all day, cleaned my kitchen, typed a blog post, screamed at my children to STOP TOUCHING EACH OTHER about 90000000000000000000 times and fixed dinner, so by about 7:00 last night I was really good and tired. The kids had already taken their showers, so I decided to be indulgent and take a long, hot shower, maybe shave my legs or at the very least my armpits. Because when you're sick and dizzy and your throat feels like it's on fire, armpit hair is pretty much the last thing on your mind. Trust me on this.

Now, here is where I should throw in a disclaimer: I am not perfect. I know, I know, this may be hard for some of you to grasp, (Okay, please know I'm holding back hysterical giggles as I type this. I'm really not this vain) but I really am quite imperfect. (Shhh, though - my 11 year old is the only one of my kids that has figured it out; the other two still think I'm awesome.) Part of my imperfection comes from the fact that I am hairy.

Yes, I just announced on my blog that I am hairy. I am a hairy blogging woman.

Just call me Chewbacca.

I wholeheartedly blame this on my father because he's a man and as a man, he is hairy, like a man should be. However, through some genetic mutation, or the fact he didn't have any sons, I got the hairy gene. Yay me. I won't go into overly gory details because you're probably already grimacing as it is, but let me share this story, an illustration of my hairiness, before I continue on with the story I originally set out to tell:

When Tater and Bub were dating, Paul and I went out to eat with them at Subway one afternoon. Bub was pretty quiet and didn't know us very well at that point. He was polite and nice, but not one to just overflow with conversation. We had finished eating and were sitting there talking - Paul and I across from Tater and Bub - when I put my elbows on the table and leaned my chin on my hands. It was at that point that Bub grabbed my arm and said, "Oh my gosh, did you know you have PUBIC HAIR on your arms?!?" Tater said, "You know, I had never really noticed it before, but yeah, Sis, it looks like you have pubic hair on your arms."


Needless to say, I wax. A lot. My dad bought me one of those EpiLady things back in the 90's - I like to think as a gesture of apology for giving me man-hair. Or maybe he's just twisted that way because as he handed it to me, he was laughing. As I get older, I have now branched out from just rampant arm hair and have started resembling Magnum PI. Yes, I have a lady-stache. I've discovered I am also part billy goat because I have chin hairs now, too. However, I can't blame those on my dad. They are entirely my fault - I made fun of Mom and Tater one too many times for having chin hairs and that bitch karma gave me some of my own.

Now, back to the story at hand: Last night as I shut the bathroom door in anticipation of a long, hot shower, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I managed to stifle the scream when I realized it was me staring at me and not Charles Manson. I have developed some serious black circles under my eyes from being sleepless and sick, my hair was wild and sorta mangey looking because my fever had broken during the day and I was sweating like a whore in church at one point and we all know what humidity of any kind does to my hair. I leaned in for a closer look and saw that what I had thought was a large furry caterpillar taking a nap on my forehead was instead my eyebrows. And yeah, Magnum PI was back in action.

I put off the hot shower and grabbed the wax strips and tweezers. I cannot believe my husband gave me a hug when he got home from work. I'm not sure I could've hugged something as scary as I was last night. Bless his heart - I think he really loves me. So as a gesture to him, I decided to rid my hair of all excess body hair - brows, lip, chin, arms and legs - all in one mighty de-furring event and I would emerge from the bathroom decidedly more human - and female. The things we do for those we love, eh?

I plucked my eyebrows first. I don't wax them because eyebrows are far too important to accidently take the whole thing off due to an unfortunate hiccup or something. Plucking is safer where eyebrows are concerned. I tamed them into two somethings decidedly less likely to tuck themselves into a cocoon and emerge as a butterfly. I then moved onto the lip.

I rubbed the wax strip between my hands in order to warm it enough to pull it apart into two magical wax strips, laid the extra strip on the counter and began the business at hand. I am a very efficient waxer. I do it fast because if I stop to think about what I'm doing, I will start crying at the amount of pain I am about to inflict on myself and I will stop. So here's how it goes - place strip, rubrubrub, stick tongue up into lip so you look like you're storing an acorn or two up there, close eyes, pull, wince, dance around, then hold the strip up to see the hair you just removed from your lip. It's a routine I am familar with. And I move quickly to the other side because I just caused an inordinate amount of pain and am about to do it again - I must hurry before I walk around with half a 'stache because I wimped out of waxing.

Except remember where I said I looked like Charles Manson? Focus not so much on the crazy eyes here, but instead on the crazy hair. Oh yeah, and have I also mentioned that my ears are also stopped up and as a result I am occasionally stricken dizzy like I've been on the TiltAWhirl while drunk? Oh I haven't? Well, let me just say that fluid in my ears doesn't have concern for what I'm doing at any given time - it just moves when it wants, whether I'm moving or not. The result is that I look like I'm three sheets to the wind and about to have a gran mal seizure.

Drunken seizures and wax strips do not mix.

Rather than go on about the words I muttered, the curses I swore and the tears I cried, just let it be known that keeping a pair of little bitty scissors in the bathroom is a good idea so that no one else in your house has to know that you just had to cut a really hairy wax strip out of the hair on your head.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Strep Tease

I have been a full-time mom, wife and college student for a year and a part-time employee for half a year. Any time I'd feel so much as a sniffle come on I'd declare loudly, "I don't have time to be sick!" then start drinking Airborne like it tastes good, chewing on vitamin C tablets and dousing everything around me in tea tree oil because Granny Glenn swore by that stuff and if it was good enough for Granny, by golly, it's good enough for me. Seriously, I was like a priest (albeit an overweight female priest who's actually a Baptist) sprinkling that stuff on people and furniture and anything that got in my path. I considered smearing the blood of a unblemished lamb on the doorframes a few times then decided that might be taking things a little too far - number one because I'm not Jewish and number two because ewwww. But strange as it sounds, this obsessive/compulsive behavior has worked for a year now.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up Christmas morning with a sore throat. I opened my eyes and swallowed only to realize that at some point during the night some sick had replaced my saliva with razor blades and acid. I shook it off, thinking that the humidifier must've run dry during the night and my throat was just a little parchy and in need of liquid. On my way back to get the kids so they could open presents I attempted that swallowing thing one more time (because by this point I was drowning due to lack of swallowing for five minutes) and again cursed the smart-ass who sabotaged my saliva. I also noticed that the humidifer was humming along nicely.

After we watched the kids squeal and squawk over the digital camera, pellet gun and Polly Pocket jet I asked Sam to bring me a Coke from the fridge. Surely this would be the balm for my dry throat! Turns out that a throat that has been brutally ravaged by acid and razor blades does not like Coca Cola burning a path straight down it. I know Paul was disappointed that I didn't run directly out to my computer to put pictures on my new! digital! photo frame! from him because that is normally what I do when I receive a new electronic gadget. In fact, I don't think he expected to see me for a day or two, except for when I'd come into the living room toting the frame, exclaiming, "Look what I did now!" I think he was truly disappointed when I instead grabbed two extremely heavy blankets, an extra sweatshirt and my pillow and laid down after telling him, "When I stop breathing and you have to call the paramedics, tell them that I took three Aleve. They'll know what to do." I slept for two hours and felt like I could've slept so many, many more.

I didn't even shower before we went over to visit my aunt and uncle. I just drank some Tylenol Sore Throat (talk about burn, baby burn), put on an extra sweatshirt and spritzed on some perfume to hide the stench of sick, diseased human. When Mom invited us to her house afterwards for leftovers, I looked at Paul to see whether he wanted to or not. He looked me up and down and said, "Yeah, we'll go. I don't think Kristin has it in her to cook. Hell, I don't think she has it in her to breathe tonight." By that point, I didn't.

The next day is a total blur. I remember calling to cancel the kids' doctor appointments, calling work to tell my supervisor I was dead and wouldn't be in that day and calling the sitter to let her know she was off the hook until next week. I don't remember much else. At one point, through my drug-induced stupor which was running in sync with my pain-ravaged body, I heard Abby unloading the dishwasher. Then I cried because I didn't ask her to do that and that was the kindest thing anyone could've done for me at that point. Well, aside from giving me a new throat or shooting me in the head and calling the dead wagon.

By Thursday morning I literally could not swallow. There was no space for anything to go down because my throat was nearly swollen shut. Talk about a scary feeling. As bad as I felt, I knew I had to get myself to a doctor. I showered but I'm not entirely sure how clean I got because my head was spinning so bad I was clinging to the wall for dear life. I figured at that point hot water running over my body was going to have to be enough. I somehow managed to dry my hair and even pulled Kady's up into some halfway decent looking dogears. Abby was totally on her own; thank God she's 11 and knows how to run a hair dryer. I called my mom to make sure the Indian Clinic still had a triage walk-in clinic and immediately busted into tears which didn't help matters at all. Crying is heck on a sore throat. My voice sounded like I was talking through a wad of bubble gum anyway and then add in hysterical bawling....yeah, I think I freaked my mom the hell out.

The kids were strangely quiet on the way to the clinic. I'm not sure whether it was because they were just trying to be good or if it's because they were praying I didn't wreck. It wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done, driving while delirious. We got to the clinic a little after 8 and those kids of mine were the most well-behaved children ever to sit in that germ-laden clinic ever. They might be brats sometimes, but when it comes down to it, they're good kids. I walked out of there with a 10-day supply of amoxicillin and a glimmer of hope that I might indeed not die of strep throat. I called my mom when I left the clinic and promptly started bawling again and she offered to bring the kids lunch and said to just go home, get in bed and she'd call later. She brought the kids pizza, brought me some Mountain Dew because sweet tea tastes horrible right now (something I never ever thought I'd say or write) and Coke is still painful and also brought chicken noodle soup and lemme just say that a HazMat suit looks lovely on her. Hey, it was either don the HazMat suit or get scrubbed down like that chick in Silkwood. I think she made the right choice.

I can't sleep because evidently I will not allow myself to swallow while I'm asleep. I guess this is because my body doesn't want me to miss out on any of the available pain. How kind of it. I wake up about every 30 minutes, drooling. Yes, glamorous picture, I know. Then I force myself to swallow, then spend 5 or so minutes writhing in pain. I forced myself to eat a piece of cheese last night and felt like I was swallowing silly putty. Malt O Meal was breakfast this morning and it looks like Campbell's Tomato soup for lunch. Normally I don't mind soup, in fact, I really like soup, but dude, I really want some chips and salsa today.....

Sam asked me earlier why I keep making "that face" and I said, "Son, it's because I'm trying to swallow." He totally looked at me like I'd sprouted an extra head and then said, " do it like this..." and then he swallowed. And then I grounded him for life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

We Wish You a Merry Nap. Oh wait, that's my wish...

Goodness, I feel like I never get to sit down these days! With work and kids and Christmas and freak ice storms and volunteering to stand outside in 25 degree weather while it sleets and snows to take pictures of kids with Santa in a state park and exchanging tacky gifts with my very strange but entirely loveable family I don't have time to post! Trust me, once tomorrow comes and goes y'all are gonna get so sick of me posting you'll be enrolling me in college again.

Yesterday we headed off to Branson, MO, to Silver Dollar City and saw Santa and a gigantic Christmas tree that plays Mannheim Steamroller and drank wassail and hot chocolate and yelled at the, I did not take any pictures. However, I will share with you some pictures from the last few weeks. It's the least I can do considering I've been horribly absent.

First some pics of our yard post-ice storm:

Leaning Pine.

That's our new Native American name.

Pretty gnarly looking pile of icy limbs eh? Yeah, there were about 25 more piles just like that one alllllllll around our yard.

I took this one through the kitchen window because Paul wouldn't let me in the backyard. This particular tree is the one that fell on the trampoline and didn't destroy it. All I can hope for is a tornado now. Every time the wind blows I pray it takes that dang trampoline into the nearest barbed wire fence, but for some reason God thinks that trampoline needs to stay right where it is.....

I will never, for as long as I live, forget the sound the sounds of the trees as they broke.


We had our Festivus celebration Friday night with Mom's side of the family. Those of you who read here frequently or know any of us in person are fully aware that we are a sick, twisted lot. The exchange of tacky gifts is not taken lightly and is a contest not for the faint of heart.

The winner this year was the blow-up sheep and bottle of lube brought by my cousin Chad. If that doesn't give you a clue as to what we're like, nothing will.

If it hadn't been for the dang ho sheep, my tampon Christmas angels would've won. The look on Courtney's face when she realized they were tampons was totally priceless.

No, that's not the look. This was after she dropped them like they were on fire and had come to grips with the fact that she now owns four ornaments made from feminine hygiene products.

Cousin Alyssa with her hideous lamp, comliments of my mother.

Chad with the sheep that won him the plaque for the year. She's a purty one, that ewe.

This would be my uncle, the state representative, sporting his extreme makeover kit.

Also notice the Festivus pole. That was a new addition this year. I must say, I liked the ficus variation, but the pole is nice in its own right, I guess.


Tonight was Christmas with at Mom's with Tater, the kids and Uncle David. Mom gave me my coat (that I knew about and had asked for) a day early because after standing outside Saturday night in the wind, sleet and snow without a coat, I decided I didn't want to walk around Silver Dollar City without one. (If it hadn't been for DeLisa I'd have died of hypothermia, no doubt. That precious woman literally gave me the coat off her back. I heart her.) I haven't owned a coat in years because I've been warm-natured, for one thing, and for another, Oklahoma winters in the past few years haven't been all that bad, but strangely enough, this year I'm so dang cold-natured I stay bundled up all the time and 2007 has been a year of ice. It was time to get a coat. She also gave me a really nice jacket tonight that I didn't know about, so now there is no reason for me to be cold. Top it all off with a $50 Bath and Body Works gift card AND a bag full of B&BW stuff (including glitter spray that has made my cleavage OH so sparkly tonight), a crock pot, earrings, my very own tools which are, of course, PINK, two new bed pillows that are thicker than a bologna sandwich which is how thick the ones we've been sleeping on are, and a bag of candy and other goodies that caused me to exclaim as I opened the bag, "OH MY GOSH, it's a diabetic coma!"

I *heart* Christmas.

I went to bed at 3:30 this morning and got up at 7, Paul and I still have a Polly Pocket jet to assemble and forty gazillion other gifts to set out and I've still got four loads of laundry to finish, so I'm going to leave you all with this.....

Merry Christmas from the Hoovers!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I've got the power! (insert 90's techno music here)

Five and a half days without power.

Not something I ever wish to repeat. Ever. I make a fairly decent redneck, but a pretty crappy pioneer.

The lights came back on Friday night while Paul and I were out as a casino that had lights, noise and hot water and no children. I love my kids and all, but dang they got annoying after 5 days living in one room with them. You cannot imagine the whooping and hollering that went on when we drove up that driveway and saw our porch light and every other light in the house blazing. Apparently, even though we had no electricity and everyone in the house knew it, everyone was still flipping lightswitches on when they went into a room out of sheer habit. The result was that our house could've guided in a jetliner.

I ran the dishwasher as soon as we walked in because that filthy kitchen of mine was causing me serious freak-outs. I always run hot water in the kitchen faucet before I start the dishwasher and it was working properly at 11pm. It was such a welcome sound, that dishwasher filling and whooshing and chugging along happily in my incredibly dirty kitchen......

Turns out, that was the water heater's last hurrah. She died some time during the night. Services are pending. They'll probably be tomorrow when Paul tosses her in the back of the truck and installs the new one. The new one that works and holds a lot of hot water.

For at least a month I am going to refuse to boil water. Or even heat it on the stove. (Sorry kids, no mac and cheese for awhile) I have hauled enough water down my hallway in the last 3 days to last me a long time. And while I've never been a big fan of a bath anyway, I'm definitely swearing those off for a long time as well. I won't say I'll never take one again because that kind of statement would come back to bite me in the butt and I'd break my leg or something and have to take baths for like 8 weeks or longer, but I will say that it will be a long dang time before I voluntarily take a bath. I need my shower in the morning. A shower and coffee are the perfect way to start a day. I was deprived of coffee for 5 days and now a shower for 3 - I'm bordering on homicidal, people.

Work has been insane since last Thursday and I'll just be glad when this Thursday gets here and I'm done until the day after Christmas. The other aide and myself have been gathering last-minute requests for gifts from foster kids, last-minute donations from generous individuals and businesses and then doing last-minute shopping. I don't do last-minute well. I like order and pre-planning and lots more planning. I am learning to get over some of that working for the state. Today the other aide and I did 3 hours of toy shopping at Wal*Mart and tomorrow we're both planning on being to work before 8 in order to get the 150-some toys/electronics/clothes sorted, tagged and wrapped. Thank God we're not delivering, too. However, I do love my job, so I keep going back. Willingly. I can't believe I'm actually enjoying leaving my house and going to a job. Weird.

Because of the ice storm, finals were canceled at the college. All this did was get me out of having to take the 10 minutes out of an afternoon to report for my Algebra final and then politely leave the room. I took an "I" in the class - I'm not sure if that's better or worse than an F and frankly I don't give a flip. If I go back someday I know full well I have to take it again. I'll cross that bridge when Hell freezes over when I get to it. I managed an A in American Lit and an A in Computers. The shocker of the semester was the C I got in Macro. I just told my Sunday School teacher yesterday that I got a D in that class, never dreaming in a gazillion years that I'd get a whole C. Man, am I glad that's over. I did it. I passed. I also had a totally surreal moment when I flipped on the TV early a week ago Sunday morning to watch for weather updates and all that was on was preaching or some business program that I fully cannot fathom anyone watching on purpose - except for my Macro instructor. And maybe Stewed Hamm. Strangely......I actually almost sort of kind of knew what they were talking about. Okay, not really, but I recognized a few terms.

Tomorrow night I have to put the final touches on my tacky gift for the family Festivus celebration which is this Friday. I hope that I reach a pinnacle of tackiness this year because I already have the nail driven in my bathroom wall in preparation for the turkey I hope will soon be hanging there. Yes, I realize that last statement was incredibly weird and I'll explain our family's Festivus celebration one of these days. Not tonight. I'm not in the mood because I keep remembering that I have to get up 45 minutes early in order to heat water on the stove for my morning bath. Not shower. Bath. A tub of warm water just brimming with my filth. MMMmmmm just gets me all kinds of in the holiday spirit.

Who can conquer the day effectively knowing that the crud they just washed off their body didn't really get washed off but was instead soaked on?

Not me, man. Not me. There will be no day-conquering until I get a shower.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blogging From Work, the final edition

Okay, this will be the last installment from work because after today I'll no longer be employed by the college. I'm sad because I really like this job, but geez, if you're not a student they don't let you do work-study. They're sticklers like that.

We are still power-less at home. We've been out since 6:30am Monday, so today is the 4th day. There were some 16,000 customers out and as far as we can tell we are the only road still out in our neighborhood. It is horribly irritating to see the neighbor's lights blazing. It is still sucking and we're incredibly cranky. Paul threw a pretty good temper tantrum yesterday morning, but eh, he'll get over it. Today was my first day back to work at the other job, the government job, the job that just got their power back yesterday. It was hard to turn that generator off at home this morning, knowing that the refrigerator was going to be all dark and lonely for some 7 hours, but I'm sure she'll be okay. I hope. I hope my Miracle Whip makes it.

I guess I should've clarified that my last post wasn't posted due to magical internet powers in my head, but instead I posted it from my mom's office where Mom, the kids and I had gone to heat up TV dinners that were thawing in Mom's freezer. Mom and I bathed KD and Sam by flashlight in her gigantic tub. I find it utterly amazing how much heat two four-wick candles can generate in a bathroom and the kids thought it was truly cool to see steam rising off their little bodies while they bathed and splashed and well, I'm glad someone had a good time. Abby and I trekked back into Mom's last night to shower in her 45' house because she has a gas hot water heater. It was much less of an adventure last night than it had been with the two younger ones. Abby and I were much more down to business and just wanted to get the heck back to the truck where we could run a heater. Tonight is again bath night for the youngest two - I figure they're little and don't have hormones and can therefore go a night without a bath. Abby and I however don't enjoy smelling like ass and we shower daily no matter how cold Mom's house is.

Our backyard is still a very scary timber yard and the plan was to clear it this weekend, but they're forecasting 6 inches of SNOW starting tomorrow night.


I never ever thought I'd say this, but I'm ready for summer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chilly and powerless

We are without power and have been since 6:30 yesterday morning. It sucks. Big ones. The kids are out of school going on day 3 tomorrow. How did I ever stay home with other people's children? Mine are driving me utterly mad.

We have lost about 4 whole trees and countless other limbs and branches. I was hoping that the gigantic tree half that fell on the trampoline would demolish the mother, but oh no, as fate would have it, the trampoline is fine. Have I ever mentioned that I really hate that trampoline? Right around the time we lost power Monday morning, we also heard a gigantic crash (oh we'd heard them all night long as the ice broke tree after tree, but this one was mega big) as the aerial antenna (that we don't use) crashed onto the roof of the carport. It completely bend the metal pole over.

We borrowed a generator from Paul's brother and got it hooked up last night around 6. We are running the important things like the fireplace blowers, the refrigerator and the TV and Wii. We totally have our priorities in order.

Mom will probably lose her oak tree in her front yard which has caused more than a few tears because Papa said, "I think that's just about the prettiest tree I've ever seen in my life" on more than one occasion. It's sad to see it go. Part of it is laying across her carport, though, and the rest is scattered about her yard and driveway. Tater's only lost a few limbs off her front-yard tree.

We are inconvenienced, frustrated, but it could've been so much worse. We have been blessed in spite of it all.

Oh and the best part? NEO cancelled classes all week - finals week. Students will be graded on what they completed before school let out. I was scheduled to take my Algebra final today at 1, but instead am going to just go ahead and fail it due to an act of God. Oh and the fact that I'm a mathtard.

So just know we're alive and we're managing. The Wii is helping. We're just hoping the power comes back on before the forecasted massive snowstorm hits on Friday.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby

I woke up around 3 this morning to the sound of thunder. I saw quite a bit of lightning and decided to get up and unplug the computers and Wii. I peed, got a drink, checked on the kids, looked outside to see only rain and went back to bed.

I woke up at 5 to the sound of my husband banging on something in the fireplace repeatedly. Over and over it sounded like he was driving steel stakes into cement blocks with a large, loud mallet. I closed my eyes and covered up, then realized I was freezing. I curled up in a ball and tried to tune out the sound of my husband's attempt to drive me utterly freaking insane. Finally the lack of warmth got to my bladder and I got up to pee. By that time Paul was done murdering whatever he had been stabbing in the fireplace and I met him mid-living room. He said, "You let the fire go out." I glared at him and said, "You fell asleep in the recliner. I put wood on it before I went to bed. Totally not my fault. You were up at some point to move to the couch, you could've put more wood on then." The reply I got was, "Wow, someone woke up grumpy this morning." As I continued down the hall toward the bathroom I resisted the urge to flip him off.

After peeing and deciding that the need to bring my body temperature up to a normal living human level overrode the need for caffeine at........crap, it was only 5am....... I went back to bed and turned on the bedroom TV then laid there and shook until the blankets warmed up. We were only under a freezing rain advisory and I assumed it was still raining.

Paul came in with an armload of wood about that time and declared it to be "slicker'n greased owl poop" outside.

Within 30 minutes we'd been upgraded to "ICE STORM WARNING" and I was begging Paul to stay home. I hate it when he thinks he's invincible in a 4-wheel-drive truck and will head out in anything. But no, he felt obligated to go because he knew of several other security officers who lived further out than we did. He called the Security Manager and they decided that yeah, they'd both go in in case no one else did.

He called me when he got there - they had 3 guests playing in the casino. When he called me an hour and a half later, they had none. I called to check on Mom and she informed me she was without power, which meant Tater was, too. My Sunday School teacher called to tell us the church was without power and services has been cancelled. I said, "Well, I'm sitting here with the mother of our Lord and Savior in my lap and we'd already decided we were leaving the manger to someone else this morning." There were a few seconds of really weird silence before I added, "Uhm, Kady's Mary in the nativity...." and then he laughed till he stopped. Right after that, the kids' SS teacher called to tell us that all 3 power substations were down in town. When I hung up with him I called Mom to tell her the situation with the substations and continued rocking the Holy Mother while we watched Smurfs on Boomerang.

We have drunk a lot of hot chocolate, I've started reading Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (which is taking off verrrrry slowly and leaving me unimpressed thus far), I've taken my Computers final, I've taken some pictures of the ice, and I've broken up about 96 fights over the Wii that mysteriously causes everyone to pick on Kady. Bless her heart, she's such a whiner sometimes. Okay, most of the time.

Paul hates soup. Any kind of soup. I can get away with potato soup more often than any other kind, but even that's pushing it. But today is just begging me to make a big pot of vegetable soup and a pan of cornbread. He can eat a sandwich if he's going to be a baby about it. I, however, am eating soup.

That is, if the electricity stays internet connection is being iffy already....

Wii should move

I've heard that the reason for the nationwide shortage of Wiis this Christmas is because older folks are buying them for health reasons and using them in lieu of a gym membership. I don't doubt it - the day after I boxed the holy livin' sh*t out of my husband, my shoulders were sore as all get out.

But I think the physical fitness aspect of it is lost on my children, especially the youngest one. I walked into the living room a few minutes ago to find her on her back in the middle of the floor, lazily waving the remote in the air. I looked at the TV to see her Mii (aka Wii avatar) golfing.

"Kady Dawn, what are you doing?"


"You are supposed to get up and move when you play the Wii."

"Why? Daddy was bowling in his recwinew wast night. He got a stwike."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I'm not dead

Okay, so I hear that people have actually been writing down my web address from up at the Park of Lights and have been checking me out here at my little home on the web. Well, I hope y'all had time to look around a bit and really look for the good stuff because I'm afraid there's not been a lot of quality posting as of late. Just randomly pick some older stuff from the archives and don't give up on me after reading what's on my front page.

Twice in the last two weeks I've been called "funnier than hell" if that accounts for anything at all. Of course, like my 11-year-old pointed out - "Uh...Mom? Hell isn't funny at all, so is it really a compliment?" Yes. I'm taking it as one.

Oh, and leave a comment, will ya? You can even leave 'em anonymously, just so long as you leave 'em. I'd love to see who's stopping in because of a camouflage trailer and 8 pink plastic flamingos.

I have taken my Macro final and my Lit final. I felt pretty decent about the Macro test really. Well, until that last page, but I'm not losing any sleep over it. I really should be taking my Computers final like, right now, but eh, I'm posting this then I'm going to bed. I'm scheduled to take the cursed Algebra final on Tuesday at 1:00. Prayers, good thoughts and maybe mailing chocolate directly to my home or sending me a bouquet of daisies to work would be appreciated. I don't expect to pass it, nor do I expect to pass the class, but I'm taking the final just so I can tell people I didn't totally wuss out. I just moderately wussed out. Moderately is definitely better than totally. Trust me.

For your viewing pleasure....... bad pictures of my display at the Park of Lights.

There she is, all lit up and glowing. Ain't she purty? Purtier'n a pink dress, eh, Mrs. Coach?

I think the pink flamingos add so much.

Here it is without so much flash.

I'll have to try to grab some video of me walking around it one of these afternoons. That way I can point out all the nuances and special touches.

I didn't manage to get any pics of the clothesline where ol' Santa hung his duds, so yeah, I need to video it for y'all. I'll try to get to that this week, barring we're not actually entering the next Ice Age as the meterologists around here are predicting....


Sam had his first basketball game today. I cannot believe how much more improved he is from last year! His coach last year was great, but the coach this year is even better. She's teaching them basics and fundamentals and whaddaya know, he came home from practice one night and said, "Mom! You are never gonna believe this, but now I know what a layup is!!" Every time his coach told him to work on his lay-ups last year he was too embarrassed to ask him what a lay-up was, much less how to work on one. So I really have to give Coach Summers some serious kudos for teaching my boy some mad basketball skillz.

He fouled a kid today and the kid got free throws. There were fouls all over the place from all the boys on both teams, but for some reason Sam's was bad enough to let them have free shots. He was kinda proud of it, but I told him that it really wasn't something to be all that proud of considering it could get him kicked out of a game. I guess it goes without saying that he's a much more aggressive player this year, too.

They lost 29-20, but they brought it up from 11 to 20 in the first few minutes after the half, so I was impressed at whatever she said to them during halftime. It made an impression, whatever it was.

He got the crap knocked out of him at one point and I just so happened to have caught that moment on video. Paul had to work today and when I was showing him what I had recorded he kept having me replay the part where Sam hit the floor and scooted a foot backwards on his booty. Paul said, "Why didn't you get up and knock the sh*t outta him, son?" Sam shrugged and said, "Eh, it wasn't worth it. The refs were biased anyway." I don't know where he wouldve heard that........

I left the house yesterday morning at 8:45 only to get on the highway and hear my phone ring. It was the school's number and I wondered who had puked already. It was Abby telling me she had spilled a carton of milk all over herself in the cafeteria and could I bring her some clean clothes? I turned around, went back to the house, dug around in that cave she calls a room, found some clothes that I think were clean and only a little wrinkled (they were in her closet, but that means nothing in Abbyland), took them to her, then went to town. I got almost to the turnpike entrance when I remembered I hadn't picked up my work study check at NEO, so I turned around, picked that up, then decided to go ahead and cash it since I was going shopping, then when I was in the bank drivethru felt my stomach rumble and remembered I hadn't eaten breakfast, pulled into McDonald's drivethru, ordered a McGriddle and a sweet tea and waited for what seemed like 4 hours while they butchered the hog to make the sausage patty and squeezed the chicken for the egg to make a perfectly round and quite disturbing egg patty and FINALLY got on the turnpike at 10. Then I'll be danged if I didn't pass right by the exit where the Harley shop was - the HD shop, Academy Sports and Toys R Us were my main reasons for going to Joplin.

Rather than turn around, I went on into Joplin and straight to Academy Sports where I bought my son a Benjamin pellet air rifle that the salesguy told me shoots at such a high velocity that the pellets will pierce the skin and could possibly kill someone in the right situation. Oy. My husband couldn't figure out why I had such reservations...

But seeing the look on Paul's face when I showed him the gun last night was pretty awesome. He had a Benjamin when he was a kid. That's why the squirrel population in the backwoods of Wyandotte is just now recovering after a heinous mass slaughter by a red-headed freckled boy 35 years ago.

I finished all of my shopping yesterday except I never made it back to the HD store. The kids and I can do that next weekend hopefully. I may lack a thing or two for KD because with her being born 5 days before Christmas, I never seem to have enough gifts for both events. Tater and I need to decide on Mom's gifts and then I'll be completely done.

Paul says he doesn't want to get me a desk chair for Christmas, but if it's what I really want, shouldn't he just shut up and buy it for cryin' out loud? All I asked for was a laptop battery that lasts longer than 37.2 minutes (because that's about all I can get out of this one) and a comfortable desk chair. He's balking on both. I guess I should get myself a Harley - he'd have no trouble buying for me then, huh.

We got a phone call from the director of the kids' Sunday School department last night asking if the kids were going to make it to practice for the program in the morning. I hadn't planned on them going because of Sam's basketball game and the fact that I'm playing single mom on the weekends and I haven't figured out the space-time continuum yet, but the guy said the teachers had all voted and they wanted Kady play Mary in the Nativity. I double-checked to make sure he didn't mean Abby, but nope, they wanted Kady for Mary, Abby for an angel and Sam for a shepherd. So after me letting down my over-protective Mom-Guard I said I'd leave the girls at the church for practice while I took Sam to his game. It's not that I don't trust the church people, it's just that I'm neurotic and like to be with my kids for stuff like that.

While we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off getting ready this morning Kady laid her hand right on my nuclear hot Chi iron and burned the ever-lovin' you-know-what outta her hand. Fortunately I had some Silvadene and bandages and wrapped her hand. I was comforting her after she was bandaged up and she sobbed, "But Momma, how can I cawwy da Baby Jesus wif DIS on my hand?" I said, "Oh honey, you shouldn't have any trouble carrying Baby Jesus. He should be pretty light. Ask Joseph for help if you need it. As the step-father of our Lord and Savior he really should step up and help you out." Abby, not impressed in the least by all the drama, said, "Man.... if there was ever going to be a Mary with a burn from a straightening iron, it would be from our family."

Conversation between Abby and me after KD's 26,000th meltdown of the day:

"Good grief! Mom, why is she crying AGAIN?"

"I don't know, honey. I guess she's just having a bad day."

"And you say I need a Midol! Can you give a 5 year old a Midol?"

"No, I don't think you can, but she'll be 6 in a few weeks. Then you can share yours."

Sam and Paul have no chance at all. None.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Blogging from Work, part hell I don't know

I'm at my work-study job for the next to the last week, so there will likely only be one more installment of Blogging From Work. Try not to cry too hard because this means that I will actually be blogging from HOME again! Whoo hoo!!

Oh and many thanks to everyone who offered to help us with Wii shopping. We managed to get our hot little hands on one yesterday after my mother stalked the Baxter Springs, KS, Wal*Mart until they had one. The kids got off the bus at 3:35 and were happily virtual-bowling by 3:45.

Today, my arms and shoulders are sore from all the baseball my son and I played last night. And I totally knocked my little sister out in boxing AND I chopped onions faster than her once. (We won't mention the 40 gazillion other times she out-chopped me...) My gosh, I don't know how we lived life normally before we owned a Wii. It's a good thing I quit school so I'll have more time to play now.

In about 34 minutes I will start taking my final Macroeconomics test. In about 25 minutes I should be quite done failing it as effectively as I possibly can. I got a 69 on the last test which was open-book. Does that tell you anything about how much I understood this class? Tomorrow or Saturday I will take my final in Computers and then I will be done since I'm not taking the Algebra final. Or at least, I don't think I'm taking it - the instructor hasn't responded to the pleas of the students who are wanting to know when the heck the final is. She may insist we all take it and if she does, fine. I'll take it, but I won't pass it. And you can't make me.

Okay, I'm off to find the new room they've moved Macro to. We were in two different rooms in two different buildings during last week's classtime and this week we're scheduled to be in some conference room in this building, yet.... I don't recall ever seeing a conference room in this building.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Putting that baby to bed

I just completed my final in my American Lit class.

Tomorrow night I will impair my vision attempting to type in the smallest font possible, one page front and back of notes for my Macro final. I'm not hopeful that a cheat-sheet is going to make the test any better - the test we took last Thursday was open-book and I don't feel like I did any better than on any other test.

Friday I will take the final in my Computers class. I'll make a C just like on every other one I've taken, but with the curve I'll get an A or at least a mid B. I still love that curve.
I am going to flunk Algebra. And I'm okay with that. The class is pass/fail. If you don't complete all 186 topics, you don't pass. I was 40-some behind the other night, managed to work hard enough to get it up to 30-some behind, then took a friggin' "assessment" (fancy schmancy word for test) and it knocked me back to nearly 60 behind! If you miss it on the assessment it adds it back into the topics. See, I mentioned that retention thing I don't have goin' on.....I totally wasn't lying. So, I'm going to fail because I have no intention of losing out on valuable sleep in order to bust my arse to get ahead only to get kicked to the curb when I take another assessment.
I should be kollij-free by the weekend.

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...