Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Echo! ( echo echo echo )

We here at the Diva Ranch are now on our way to healing. Abby never did come down with the flu and while she had a sinus infection in the midst of everyone else's typhoid, she wasn't too awful sick. Paul and Sam are still coughing and Sam ended up back at the doctor Monday with an ear infection, so they're both on antibiotics. I usually don't let the PA put the kids on antibiotics for an ear infection but since he'd run a fever for 8 days I figured he needed a little kick in the pants.

It's Tornado Week on The Weather Channel. My DVR will be recording all of the hours I can't personally be watching the splendiforously amazing tornado programs they will be airing.

Speaking of weather - Paul's out riding the Harley right now as I type this. Note that it is February 25th.

I heard the weather guy on Fox say we had a chance of snow this weekend.

I'm hoping that the fact that I heard it on Fox means it isn't true.

Last Wednesday Paul went to town to Mr. Ed's barbershop for a $5 haircut. He called me and said, "Hey, I just got a haircut." I was tempted to say "Well, duh. I'd hoped you hadn'tbeen at the strip club this whole time" but I bit my tongue. Then he added, "Oh and by the way....IboughtatrailerbutitwasonlyeighthundreddollarsandnowIcanhaulmytractor!"

I just want to know where he thinks he needs to haul his tractor? Is he going to do some share cropping or something?

The very next day my mom called and asked if I wanted a piano. We're still paying Pops for the GIGANTIC TV we bought from him last year so I knew another couple hundred on a piano was out of the question and I regretfully declined. Then Mom asked, "But what if it was only $35?"

Of course I asked, "What's wrong with it?" She said,"The top four keys don't play, but really Kristin, who plays those top four keys anyway?"

I now have a piano.

Paul is not happy. Every time I play it he turns the volume on the TV up really loud.

I tell him to go haul his tractor somewhere and shut up.

I can still play the Star Wars theme, "The Entertainer" and even managed to plunk out "We've Only Just Begun" the other day. The best moment was when I played "Tomorrow" from Annie and Kady all but knelt down on one knee, waving jazz hands while she sang.

We have been turned over to collections - once again. We quit answering the home phone when they started getting nasty because really, I've had enough nasty in my life these last few weeks with all the snot and germs; I didn't need their pre-written hateful scripts and accusatory tones.

They're getting creative, tough. Today they called to tell us they need to update some important information to our account since our last phone conversation. Funny...the last time we had a "conversation" the only thing missing was the Brooklyn accent and a mobster named Vinnie asking "Do you want I should break both ya knee caps?" I don't think I need to update anything with them at this time. They can wait till the tax refund comes in - just like the electric company and US Cellular is.

Have I mentioned lately just how much I love Facebook?

I know it's dorky, but I can't help it. Tater and I nearly came to blow the other night in a heated MySpace vs. Facebook argument.

I am very protective of my Facebook.

I probably need a therapist.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up!

Hey, ya'll - there are some new reviews up over at my review site -- and a new giveaway!

Head on over and check it all out. Tell your friends! Tell your neighbors! Tell your dog! He won't care, but he'll cock his head to one side real cute when you talk to him.

A sign

You know you might've been sick too long when you wake up in the morning marveling at the fact that, however impossible it may seem, you feel worse than you did yesterday and the sudden realization that you are so cold you might just die at any second from the extreme coldness of the cold flowing through your veins that you grab the nearest article of clothing which happens to be your rattiest Eskimo Joe's sweatshirt that you vaguely remember wearing all day Tuesday but it doesn't matter that it's dirty, you put it on anyway because unbeknownst to you, roughly four hours from that moment you are literally going to wipe your nose on the sleeve and you won't even care.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It all started with a trashy romance

I am a vehement hater of Valentine's Day and have been since well, forever. When I was a nerd it was because .... well, because I was a nerd. When I wasn't a nerd....wait, I've never not been a nerd. Anyway, even when I had a boyfriend in high school Valentine's Day just brought a day full of major suckage and disappointment and usually me screaming at some point that life wasn't fair and I'm pretty sure one or two times I slammed my bedroom door, threw myself face-down on my bed and cried myself to sleep. Drama much? Oh, definitely.

I think it's because I originally started out in this life as a romantic. Yes, really. I thought Anne of Green Gables was the coolest chick to ever sport red hair and would daydream often about living in a cottage and playing in a forest like she did. And Gilbert Blythe? *sigh* I thought he was dreamy and Anne was perfect and I wanted that life. As I got older I still carried my PollyAnna-esque/Green Gable-ish dreams around in a little purse tied with a pink silk ribbon next to my heart. I started reading Harlequins when I was 13 and I think that majorly screwed me the heck up in the romance department. I thought that love was just supposed to be awesome and exciting, followed by some major drama/trauma/tragedy, then neatly and tidily wrapped up into a great big ball of kisses at sunset and perfect hair.

At 16 what I got was a boyfriend who bought me Michael Jackson's Bad tape and a box of chocolates - even though for WEEKS prior to Valentine's Day I had repeatedly and vehemently told him to NOT GET ME A BOX OF CHOCOLATES because 1) it was just too cliche' and 2) at the time I didn't care for chocolates all that much. And Michael Jackson? Seriously? I don't remember asking for it ... and besides, he and I had repeatedly argued over the fact that he said cassette tapes were a dead technology and that I vowed to listen to cassette tapes until Jesus came back, so why did he buy me a cassette? (Okay, so he was right about the dead technology thing and I am now selling my cassettes in a flea market booth for .50 apiece.)

So really around my house Valentine's Day has always been quietly swept under the rug as far as exchanging gifts. We don't make a big deal about it, except that I feel it totally necessary to go COMPLETELY over the top when it comes to my kids' Valentine boxes. I am like a stage mom when it comes to building and creating a recepticle to hold twenty-some slips of paper decorated with Ben10, cute puppies and kittens with word ballons over their heads and Disney Princesses. In years past I have constructed a 2 1/2 foot tall SpongeBob, three mailboxes (covered in aluminum foil, of course) WITH working flags, two robots and a vintage TV set complete with rabbit ears and color bars on the screen. A couple of years the teachers have just had them decorate a white paper sack in class and I nearly freaked out at the bland-ness of it all. Oh yes, a psychiatrist would have a blast analyzing me.

I've always watched in amazement at the number of kids at my kids' school who get flowers, balloons and stuffed animals delivered to their classrooms and often wonder if I am a bad mom for not doing the same. In fact, this year I even asked the kids if it bothered them. Sam shrugged and said "Nah" because he's a dude and dudes don't get pink fluffy bears tied to 49 Mylar balloons delivered to their classroom with a big note that says "LOVE, MOM" and not spend his entire life living that one down. Kady was too busy sorting her Valentines and stuffing mini Snickers bars into her sugared-up face to be bothered with such questions when I asked. Abby, my completely honest and level-headed child, was the one I knew could be counted on for an entirely honest answer. She said, "No way. I hate Valentine's Day just as much as you, dude." And I felt instantly bad for pushing my hatred for Valentine's Day off on my children.

Then I handed her a Harlequin and told her to read up.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Last Friday about 2:45 Kady's teacher called me to say that Kady was not feeling well and did I want to come get her or just have her wait it out until the bell rang. We discussed the symptoms and came to the conclusion she would not perish in the next 45 minutes until she got home. But when she got home, she walked through the door, dropped her backpack, busted into tears and ran for her momma. She was burning up.

Being the stellar parents we are, we went out for Paul's birthday anyway. Yes, again, ship that trophy right here to my home address, if you please.

We hadn't been out in ages, Paul's birthday only rolls around once a year (as do most peoples') and Mom and Pops said they weren't afraid of a little fever, so we went. Of course, I called to check on her every hour and a half or so, essentially driving my parents nuts throughout the entire evening. We made the gambling tour, keeping up our recent tradition of not winning and by 10:30 I was yawning so hard my jaws were threatening to un-hinge. By the time Paul was ready to go at 1am I was chilling, had a headache and he sighed a deep sigh and said, "I'm probably not getting lucky when we get home, am I?" Bless his heart....I went to bed and he watched HBO.

I felt better the next day, piddled around the house doing some laundry, watching Juno for the umpteenth time and listening to my mp3 player uninterrupted. I picked up the kids, came back home long enough to let Sam change into his uniform, sent Paul and the three kids to Fairland for the games, I went the opposite way to Commerce to get our taxes done, did that, drove to Fairland, watched Sam's second game and in the meantime Kady started running her fever again. We didn't make it to church Sunday because her fever was over 104. She was complaining of a sore throat and a headache and with a fever that high I assumed it was strep. I called Cousin Courtney to tell her I thought it was strep and maybe Nonner shouldn't come out the next day until we knew for sure.

Monday morning Sis called and asked if TotOne could come out because she, too, had a fever and couldn't go to school. I figure what's one more fever and said bring her on. The girls each had a pallet on the end of the couch and happily and warmly watched TV until time for Kady's appointment. The PA looked her over, said she didn't look streppy....and said he wanted to test for the flu. And of course, she tested positive. Since she'd been running the fever since Friday it was too late to give her Tamiflu, but he gave it to Abby and Sam prophylactically and sent us on our merry way. When I called Sis to tell her Kady was positive she got TotOne an appointment with her PA. She tested negative for flu but had an ear infection and the PA said for her to not be around Kady. And Nonner couldn't come back until Kady had been fever-free for 24 hours, which was also when she could go back to school.

Tuesday morning around 7:45, about 15 minutes after the kids got on the bus, Abby called me from the bus monitor's phone and said that Sam had barfed on the bus. Paul went down to pick him up. He seemed to be fine by afternoon and Wednesday he went back to school. Wednesday afternoon Paul started running a fever. Thursday morning Kady went back to school, but Sam called me from the bus monitor's phone, crying, saying he was sick again - this time no puking, just severe stomach pain. I went down to pick him up. Again. Kady is on the couch this evening curled up in a ball with stomach pain as well. Paul missed two days of work, but should be able to go back tomorrow.

I am totally ignoring my sore throat and headache. I am firmly choosing to believe it is my sinuses and not the flu or any other virus. I am probably in denial.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Offensiveness and Avoidance

Why's everyone hatin' on the mommy bloggers, stay-at-home moms and housewives?

I don't get it.

If mommy bloggers aren't your thing, don't read them. That's right, I said it - don't read them. It's pretty simple. Last time I logged onto the internet (like, just now) there wasn't a guy standing over me with a bull whip telling me I HAD to read political blogs. Because if that had happened, I'm not sure I'd be here right now. I love me some WynnBlog, but it's not for the political content. I love my uncle who is a state representative, too, but not for his political content either.

All this is coming because I'm absolutely perturbed about the hatin' I'm reading as a result of the 2008 Okie Blog Awards results. Which, in case you've been hanging out under a large rock as of late, I did not win Best Humor Blog this year. No, I did not earn the right to obnoxiously use the term "threepeat" at will alllllllll over my sporatic and scarce blog posts. Oh, don't worry about hiding the razors or dumping all the sleeping pills down the toilet. I'm strangely not suicidal over it. Because my fellow Okie Bloggers voted and deemed me not as funny as in years past. And I'm okay with that.

Do I feel compelled to say nasty things about ♥ Georgie♥ this year's winner? Absolutely not! She's funny AND she comments here and hey, I don't comment on very many blogs so she's like, already nicer than me. So she likes ♥ s and misses a few typos....WHO CARES? I typo all the dang time - just have a look at my Facebook updates and you'll see that first-hand. As for the hearts....hey, everyone needs their "thing." I got smacked last year repeatedly during the nominations and voting and subsequent awards because of the whole redneck thing. But that redneck "thing" is my thing and I'm not changing. I doubt Georgie will either.

We all age. Just because I'm 36 or because Georgie is 38 does not make us harpies or menopausal or even old crones OR any less of a blogger than a teen who blogs. Or a snarky 30-something bachelor. Or a pastor. Or a guy who is positive I'm out to get him.

I am a housewife, yes. It's what I do. It's my job. I am so blessed to be able to stay at home while my husband earns a living. Am I less of a person because I'm not in the traditional workforce? I have something to say and it's no less important than an executive's opinions. Granted, a CEO of a major corporation may not have as SERIOUS opinions about cleaning products as I do, but I still believe in my GreenWorks wipes.

By lumping all bloggers into the same category is like dumping Republicans and Democrats into a pot and saying they're all alike. Ahem, no they aren't. Duh. The internet, the blogging community and yes, Oklahoma is made up of all sorts of people. We're all different and we have varying opinions, likes and dislikes. (Oh my gosh, I'm sounding like one of those The More You Know PSAs.....moving on.....)

Some women are home-schooling mommas. Do I homeschool? Heavens no. I am not NEAR patient enough to educate my children in any kind of a structured manner other than taking them all into the yard to watch the twister come at us. Do I talk smack about homeschooling mommies? Absolutely not. You can't belittle just because it isn't your thing.

If it's not your thing and it bothers you, avoid it. I personally avoid brussel sprouts because they offend me. There are websites out there I avoid because they offend me. So y'all just hush now, okay?

I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Darndest things

The other day the kids and I were having a deep discussion about popcorn.

What? Y'all don't have deep discussions about popcorn at your houses? Y'all, popcorn is important and therefore should always be deeply discussed at length. And often.

Anyway, I was reminiscing about Jiffy Pop and the kids were astounded that popcorn could actually be popped (read: burned to a black and smoking crisp) right on the stovetop. It was then that Abby's eyes lit up and she excitedly asked, "Hey! Didn't our fireplace come with a popcorn popper?" Indeed, we have a popcorn popper in the wood box. We've never popped popcorn in it and I have actually considered whopping my husband over the head with it a few times, but that's the closest it's ever come to being used. I confirmed to Abby that, yes, we have a popcorn popper.

Kady was looking back and forth between Abby and me with a confused look on her face. She said, "What's a popcorn popper?" I explained, "It's a thingy you can put popcorn in and pop it....." but before I could finish with, "in the fireplace" she interrupted with, "I thought that was called a microwave."

Thursday Sam came in the door from school with a look on his face I couldn't actually pinpoint. It was a mixture of what looked like excitement and trepidition with just a smattering of all-out fear. He rushed over to where I was sitting with Nonner and said, "Mom, you are SO gonna kill me. I mean like, you are SOOOOOO gonna kill me. You may even ground me."

Because we all know that grounding is far wore than being murdered.

I don't like it when my kids come in from school with looks on their faces that read anything other than extreme hunger and possibly exhaustion from using their wee little brains all day long. He was rifling through his backpack, his brow knit together in a way I have never seen it before and his movement were kinda jerky and manic. He finally found what he was looking for and presented me with two sheets of paper, stapled together. I thought he'd lost a textbook or maybe his coat. Then, because Howie's self-quiz says I have Adult ADHD, my mind quickly flitted to the thought that the kid was teasing me and that actually he was going to hand me a piece of paper declaring him to be maybe the Smartest Kid in School or maybe even that he had nominated me for Mother of the Year and I had actually won.

Turns out he had just gotten in a fist fight at school that morning.

With a girl. Wait. Correction - FOUR girls were involved. Yeah.

I quickly scanned over the "affidavit" and then I could tell he was faunching to tell me the story in his own words so I looked up at him over my glasses, something my dad used to do to me and I hated it, and said, "Alright, son.....what happened?" He then launched into the story of the fight and then he paused and said, "But Mom....I got REALLY mad when she called me....a.....a FEMALE DOG!" My eyes widened and I asked, "She called you a bitch???"

He looked at me blankly and said, "No, Mom. I said she called me a female dog."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

C is for Cookie

Those of you who have read the blog for awhile know that I used to be a Girl Scout leader back in the day. When Abby was a 2nd grader and on up to 5th grade we met every Tuesday and talked badges and manners and crafts and community service and most importantly, once a year we sold .....


I was a Girl Scout from 1st grade up until I was a Sophomore so I did my share of cookie-selling as a kid and then managed and organized and watched helplessly as my house turned into a Keebler tree gone wrong as an adult. But man, it was worth it. The girls learned networking skills and I was bound and determined that my daughter would learn to count back change just like my momma taught me when I was a mere 4th grader.

While we're no longer involved in Girl Scouts, I do wholeheartedly believe in the organization and what it does to empower and strengthen the women of the future - our daughters.

That being said, The Oklahoma College Savings Plan website is running a campaign allowing Oklahomans everywhere to vote for their favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor.(Don't tell the Samoas, but I voted for the Tagalongs. I couldn't help it. The power of peanut butter is strong with that one.)

When you get to the ballot page you can read "speeches" by each cookie, extolling their very own virtues and why they deserve to be Oklahoma's Favorite Cookie.

In a recent press release Oklahoma State Treasurer, Scott Meacham, says,

"Oklahomans have until March 31, 2009 to cast their vote on the Oklahoma
CollegeSavings Plan website. The winning cookie will be announced on early April
in a ceremony at the State Capital and the Girl Scout who sells the most cookies
in Oklahoma will win $1,000 towards an Oklahoma College Savings Plan. The sales
contest ends on March 31, 2009."

So not only will a cookie forever claim bragging rights to being da bomb, but a Girl Scout gets money for college! Everyone's a winner.Check out the Oklahoma College Savings Plan website and cast your vote for Tagalongs your favorite cookie today!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Yes, I realize this is the final week of voting in the Okie Blog Awards. Yes, I know I haven't posted in, like, forever. All I have to say for myself is this: I've had my sister's kids since last Wednesday. Now, if you're someone like Michelle Duggar who has 18 kids of your very own and a super-human uterus that is obviously made of steel or maybe platinum, five kids isn't a big deal. But if you're like me, a normal woman with a very squishy uterus and even squishier patience after two days of snow days.....well, I just haven't had much time to blog.

(Those of you who are my friends on Facebook don't need to go and blab about how I've managed to be on there every dang day, though. We'll just keep that little bit of info to ourselves, right?)

Here's a not-so-quick rundown of the week. If you are desperate enough to read it, well, God bless you.

Monday - Paul worked evening shift and it just stared doing a freezy misty thing as he left for work at 2. School let out two whole minutes early because of the ice/snow/sleet stuff that was falling from the sky. We watched and listened to the impending doom that rained down on us from above while the kids and I sat here alone, husbandless and fatherless. Boohoo. Tater picked up her kids early. When my cousins came to pick up Nonner I asked Cousin Chad to show me how to start the generator since it had kind of slipped both Paul's and my mind and he called me in a panic from the casino to try to give me a crash course in Generator Starting 101 over the phone and it just didn't sink in for me. They skidded home and again left us here husbandless and fatherless. Boohoo again. He called me around 8pm to tell me they had sent home all the GSRs and needed him to stay til 3:30am. I was not happy. I cried a little bit even. I was kind of pouty and whiney. He got off work at 3:30 and made it home at 4:50. It's normally a 15-20 minute drive. I was just glad to have him home.

Tuesday - School was canceled, but Paul went to his optometrist appointment, once again leaving us husbandless and fatherless. His glasses are wrong in so many ways and poor guy was really determined to get new ones. He also got contacts and he's having a heck of a time seeing clearly with them in. I have tried probably six different times in my life to wear contacts and I'm just one of those people who can't wear them. Apparently he is, too. We hung out here all day long, bored and stuff while it sleeted and iced, so the kids and I gave Paul his birthday presents early - Ravid Rabbids and Raving Rabbids TV Party for Wii. We called Cousins Chad and Courtney and asked if they felt like braving the slick roads to come play with us. Heck yeah, isn't that what 4WD is made for? They got here around 4pm and stayed til nearly 10. We played Wii with our butts and shot plungers at was good times. It also snowed.

Wednesday - No school again. There was moderate sleeping in by me, but Paul had to go to work on his regular day off. Guess who wasn't real happy about that? Tater and Gentleman brought the Tots out around 3 and they headed for Tulsa so they could fly out bright and early the next morning for Vegas. Yes, Vegas. Where there was no snow or ice. Wednesday night Mom & Pops brought out the Tots' backpacks (because heck if you haven't had school all week why on earth would you need your backpacks for the rest of it) and some groceries, including four boxes of cereal, which those ravenous five children have nearly decimated in a mere five days. Abby got a text message declaring in all caps with 97 exclamation points behind the words NO SCHOOL. I kind of just let the kids keep playing Wii and didn't make any one shower because heck, we were just going to be staying home all day anyway. But then we noticed that their school wasn't included in the crawler on the bottom of the local channels. I called Queen Tammy who said that as far as she knew we were having school. Turns out, some older girls thought it would be HEElarious to text a bunch of underclassmen a bogus message about another snow day. I found it not to be HEElarious at all because now all of the sudden I had five stinky kids who were going to school the next day. Then I hurried them all to bed because it was past their school-night bedtimes.

Thursday - I started my van 30 minutes before I headed to the end of the driveway to meet the bus and it only melted the ice enough that I managed to scape a teeny tiny peep hole right above the steering wheel. After the bus picked up the kids - I had given them the instructions to "Sit down, hold on and shut up" - I went back up to the house to finish the fourth Twilight book, the books I had sworn I wasn't going to read, the books I swore I wasn't going to enjoy, the books I was only reading to make sure they were appropriate for my tween daughter who acutally has no desire to read them anyway. Yeah, those books. Nonner came out around noon, so I had the entire morning to myself to hang out in my pjs and enjoy the quiet. Thursday night Sam had basketball practice and Paul said he couldn't take him because he was busy. If by "busy" you mean "had plans to take a two hour nap" then yes, he was busy. I was grumbly that night. And apparently if you write that you are grumbly on your Facebook page, people get concerned and send you private messages asking about your mental health and well-being because I'm guessing that there's some unwritten code where "grumbly" means "could open fire in a shopping mall at any given moment". Who knew?

Friday - We had plans to go see Mall Cop but those plans were foiled when TotTwo's teacher called to see if I was aware that the wee tot was supposed to go on a field trip and wouldn't be back home till 8 that night. Ab went to spend the night with a friend (and got to see Mall Cop) and the remaining kids played Wii with their butts pretty much the entire evening because hey, Paul and I are nothing if not fun parents/babysitters.

Saturday - Sleeping in was foiled by bickering children. Imagine how happy that made me. We played more Wii then traveled to Welch, America, for Sam's ballgames. I grew up in this area, particuarly Wyandotte, but in all my 36 years I don't recall ever going into the town of Welch. I put in a worried call to Mrs. Coach when the directions I had been given clashed with the directions Paul had been given. We decided to go with mine and made it to Welch just fine. En route, I got a tweet from Tyson Wynn of the WynnBlog saying they were in Welch and wanted to try to meet up for awhile. He and his lovely wife, Jeane, ended up coming over to see Sam's second game, which was a close game. They got to witness my intermittent Tourette's Syndrome which I only seem to get when my son is on the basketball court. We discussed the upcoming Okie Blog Awards, the hobo referee, my horrible satellite internet, among other things. I really like them.

Today - I managed to get five kids up and out the door for Sunday School and we even made it on time. I got my toes stepped on during Sunday School and then again during Pops' sermon. Of course, when your toes get stepped on at church it's because they're out there needing a good stepping-on anyway. After church we hit the McD for some McFood which gave me McIndigestion then to my niece Makenna's birthday party. It was while the five kids were running around smacking each other with balloons and blowing bubbles into my hair and Mom's hair and Pops was just there rootin' 'em on that I told Mom I didn't think we'd make it to Bible Study tonight. She gave me a sympathetic look and said, "Oh honey....I don't blame you at all!" Our water heater is acting up so we can get about one shower every 45 minutes if the showeree expects any hot water. I started running them to the showers at 5 and Abby finished up at 8:30. We watched the first Narnia movie and I wish I'd paid more attention to it from the beginning because it was really good. It's one of those I didn't want to watch the movie until I had a chance to read the book. Abby got them all for Christmas, so now I guess I'll start them.

The tots go home tomorrow after school and maybe, just maybe I'll blog again soon. I wouldn't hold my breath, but stranger things have happened.

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...