Thursday, April 30, 2009


Sometimes the baby I watch, just out of the blue starts running through every skill he has learned so far in his little 10 month life. He'll say "uh-oh" then "thank you" (which comes out "day----doooooo") then he claps for himself, makes his "mean face", barks, laughs like a maniac, blows a spit bubble or seven, says thank you again, does the sign for milk, maybe crawls a few paces, claps for himself, barks and then makes sure you've seen it all before he starts all over again.

Do you think sometimes we do that? As adults do we sometimes feel like we aren't getting enough attention and need to show everyone what we're capable of doing for their enjoyment?

I know sometimes I get stuck in my rut and feel boring so I begin my routine of showing the world what I can do - I plan a baby shower for a friend I haven't seen since high school but ran into one day in Walmart, noticed her gigantic belly, traded parenting stories then offered to throw her a shower. I call the bow lady and decide to have a bow party in my nasty, filthy, cluttery house - a party in which all of my female friends will bring their female offspring in order to buy scads of hair bows and other hair beautification acoutrements, a party in which I also will feel compelled to cook gratuitous amounts of food to show off my mad cooking skillz. It is also during this time I volunteer for something at the church or, because I am on the food committee, five community members/church members pass away and we have to feed the grieving families. Usually this time also coincides with field trips, the Beach Day, and school awards ceremonies and a week that my husband wants to partake of uhm...ya, every dang night. It wouldn't be unheard of for someone in the family to come down with the flu, contract ebola or for me to discover they have head lice during this time as well.

Somewhere in there I realize I need to find time to sit down and write a blog post about it. You know, just to make sure you are all aware that I am capable of SO MUCH MORE than I've been showing the innernetz as of late.

Or I could just be truthful and say "You know what? I've been so busy watching the episodes of Krod Mandoon that are building up on the DVR, catching up on laundry, trying to find that .32 mistake in my checkbook register, not cooking healthy, homemade meals for my family and spending inordinate amounts of time tickling a cute, pudgy baby tummy and trying to convince him that cats indeed do not say RUFF that I have been too busy to tell you about it."

My repetoire is pretty impressive if you ask me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Forget Princess Aspirations - I'm Cranky, the 8th Dwarf

We have been planning for a few weeks on going to visit some friends in Texas. The girls and I were going to hang out with Lori and her girls and I was gonna try to visit my favorite Tracy while Lori's boy and my boys went on a fishing trip. But tonight I'm sitting in my big chair with a big ol' heapin' helpin' of cranky in my lap.

Abby has been battling some nasty allergy-ness for a few weeks which settled into her sinuses and now her ears. On top of all that she has gotten a vicious nasty stomach bug and is about a step and a half away from dehydration.

Kady had an asthma attack bright and early Monday morning before school and continues to bark and wheeze still. She is also having a major eczema flare-up and is miserable with the itching and burning and such.

Sam did come from school Monday not long after school started because he puked twice but that right there was nothing more than stupidity. Apparently when one scarfs down a bunch of donuts and chases it with a gigantic Gatorade and then, because the morning exercises are "boring", decides to just spin around in a circle for 15 minutes one pukes. Lesson learned. Maybe. He is male, after all. We may repeat this one.


Lori said today that evidently the thought of going to Texas riled us Okies up somethin' fierce. I told her we should probably start looking into the theory that when Okie babies are born they are innoculated with an anti-Texas serum thus making them intolerant to All Things Texan. Of course, this can be remedied by being exposed to small doses of Texas over a period of time so Lori is planning on sending some bluebonnets and BBQ our way in preparation of a make-up trip.

In the meantime, we're just hangin' out. Just snifflin' and coughin' and occasionally pukin'.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My First On-Air Interview

Yesterday afternoon I got a direct Tweet from Tyson at The WynnBlog asking if I was available to be on their WynnCast that evening.

Immediately my teeth started itching.

That's what happens when I get nervous - my teeth itch. I first discovered the itchy teeth syndrome when I began doing Competitive Speech my Junior year. Right before a round my teeth would itch so badly I would spend all my time preceding a round clenching them. I'm sure I looked like one of the angriest competitors in the place but nah, I was just trying to keep myself from going mad with the itchy incisors.

I had Bible study last night (We're doing a Beth Moore study on the book of Daniel - PHENOMENAL, btw!) but told Tyson I was available after 7:30 then spent the rest of the evening immersed in the story of Daniel's safe-keeping in the lion's den while clenching my itchy teeth. I rushed the kids to bed, straightened up the living room, browsed around on Facebook and around 9:30 my phone rang and the fun began!

Clear your schedule for about an hour or just listen while you work. In the cast we cover such topics as tea parties (they're not just for little girls - who knew?), VBS (remember when they served Kool-ade and Hydrox cookies every day?), tornadoes, anonymity (or lack thereof) on the Web, and of course, spoonbilling.

I text Tater as soon as the interview was done and told her that I was in desperate need of a laugh transplant because I was worried my laugh came across all cackly on the air. She immediately text back asking if I had not learned ANYTHING from watching SpongeBob. See, there was an episode involving laugh boxes and such....Aaaaaaanyway, I then retracted my wish for a new laugh and just decided to wait and see how I sounded. I was remarkably only moderately cackly so yay!

Click the link below, have a listen then make sure you comment - comment about the content or the cackle, your choice.

WynnCast #47 - in which I am NOT cackly

Many thanks to the Wynns for having me on the show. Any time, guys! And yes, you owe me dinner. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Laughing Through My Dusty Tears

It's been seven days since I last posted. I feel like I should precede that last sentence with "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned" and I'm not even Catholic.

I had to dust off my laptop when I turned it on. That might be sad. No, it is sad. Of course, we watched The Dark Knight (Thank you Easter Bunny!) Sunday afternoon and I noticed this morning that the case sitting on top of the DVD player is covered in dust. Have I mentioned we're getting new windows and oh, how glad I am to be getting them? Living on a dirt road with 32 year old windows just pretty much sentences you to a life of dustiness. July cannot get here quick enough - of course, I have a feeling our Amish friend is dreading coming back onto the property.

I am prone to self-diagnosing and I have recently come to the conclusion that I suffered from SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder - this winter. I lost interest in pretty much everything other than sleeping and eating and my hiney is loud and proud out there proving it. This is something new for me because winter is always my favorite time of year and I loathe summer. I finally feel like I'm human again and am slowly getting back into the swing of things. It's time to drag out my FlyLady folder again and get back into routines and shoes and dusting and living. It's time to start posting to this blog more often than twice a month and time to enjoy it again. Awhile back someone asked me why I had stopped posting and my reply was, "Because my life isn't funny anymore. My kids aren't even funny." Really, though, I don't think life or my kids stopped being funny, I think I just got too bogged down in my own yuckiness that I stopped seeing it. I'm glad I'm laughing again.

Of course, my family isn't as glad. They've just enjoyed the heck out of the fact that for the last four or five months we have been happy as pigs in slop here in our dirty house and that I haven't cared how messy it's gotten. I haven't been following them around harping about shoes in the living room, hairspray buildup on the bathroom counter, dishes in the sink or the fact that I had to buy Abby new socks because all of her disappeared. AGAIN. Nah, I've just let my little piglets wallow and I've been there wallowing, too.

I knew I had gotten depressed and down this winter and that I'm coming out of it when I walked into the bedroom the other night and busted into tears at how messy it is. I love our bedroom because it's HUGE and I have a pretty comforter and my bed is big and pretty and there are pictures on my dresser .... but now it's just a cluttered room. And my comforter? Haven't seen it. If you happen upon it send it my way, willya? For all I know it could be out running with scissors. I think I saw it in a corner a few months back but I cant' be sure and didn't have a stick handy with which to poke it. I don't just go pulling things out of a corner, ya know. Dangerous behavior, that. The pictures of my family which cover my dresser and used to look like the old opening scene of All My Children now looks like a haunted house and I'm pretty sure my Granny Glenn wouldn't be happy about the fact that she and Grandpa are covered in about 1/4" of dust right now.

Saturday Paul was at work, the sun was shining, the kids and I had no plans and it was like all of a sudden I woke up. We cleaned. We dusted. We vacuumed. We threw away. We found socks. Abby now has enough socks to cover the piggie-toes of a small third world country. (And if you're curious as to where I found socks? Her desk drawer, floor vent, under the bookcase, back corner of her closet, a small tote sharing space with a few KidzBop CDs, the box her sleeping bag came in at Christmas, stuffed behind her boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia....want me to go on?)

It's not done yet. There's still clutter and dust and excess excess but we're getting there. We managed to get rid of a badminton rack that had long been un-badmintonable and the packaging from every crappy Dollar Tree toy he's ever purchased - yay Sam! We tossed out a Disney Princess calendar from 2006 AND four tubes of lipstick that looked like they had been eaten - yay Kady! We bagged up 40 gazillion candy wrappers and tossed out one petrified piece of popcorn chicken that had taken up residence in a dresser drawer - yay Abby! We pulled all of the fishing/hunting lodge-themed paraphenalia that has long since stopped bringing joy and had only been providing a place for the dust in the house to have rowdy parties and big dusty keggers down off of the mantle and now there are only three pictures of our gorgeous children - yay Paul and me! We have so much more to do but we're getting there.

It won't be long and I'll feel like opening the front door when the Schwan's Man drives up and I'll be posting here so often you won't be able to keep up with the hilarity.

I'm laughing again.

Monday, April 06, 2009

And we want this, why?

This morning, as I do virtually every weekday morning, I was flipping back and forth between CMT and VH1 while I wait for the kids to finish getting ready for school. I don't like country music, but sometimes you'll catch a random good video on CMT and sometimes VH1 plays Coldplay and my brain doesn't process Coldplay well and I'm all like "wha?" so thus the flipping back and forth.

So in between videos and random flipping back and forth a commercial for Enzyte comes on. Now, ol' Smilin' Bob has been around for quite awhile now and while they annoy me to no end, they are definitely memorable. The commercial that was playing was the Christmas one where ol' Bob is Santa. It just so happened that Sam was in the room with me when it came on. The whistling always gets the kids' attention.

He watched for a few seconds then looked at me and said, "Uh....I just don't get it." I said not a word because I am learning that keeping my mouth shut is sometimes much better, plus if I pretend the kids didn't say anything I don't have to answer them. Again he said, but more adamantly this time, "Mom. I don't get those commercials." I don't get Coldplay either but I usually just flip the channel and go about my life. Not so much for a 10 year old boy. He was waiting for an answer and I could see he was not letting me off the hook easily. I was praying the bus would come early or that the island would decide at that moment to flash us forward or backward or diagonally, whatever. Oh, but no. I live in Oklahoma, not a freaky mysterious island where "Others" and "Hostiles" and smoke monsters and large men who say "Dude" a lot exist.

I sighed and asked, "What don't you get about it, son?"

He said, "Well, for one thing..."

Oh boy.

"For one thing, why do all those women want to sit on his lap?"

My answer: "Because he's Santa. Next question."

"Okay, so why are none of the guys lining up to sit on his lap?"

My answer: "They're taking pictures for their wives' scrapbooks. Duh."

"Alright. So....what does this have to do with Enzyte? Is it a pill? And a pill for what?"

Agh! So many questions?

I took a deep breath. "It's a memorable commercial for their product which, yes, is a pill. And the pill is supposedly to make a man's winky bigger."

His eyes got huge and I mean HUGE. After a quick look down at his lap he looked at me and said, "WHY ON EARTH would a dude want a BIG one of those?"

My total cop-out answer: "Ask Santa. Oh look! It's time to catch the bus!"

Friday, April 03, 2009

When once again my life imitates a bad sitcom

Our house was built in 1976. The windows in our house are the original windows - crappy, aluminum windows. The pegs that you push to open the window are dry-rotted and broken on the majority of them and that means if you want a breeze you have to prop the window open with wooden spoon or one of those free rulers you get at the county fair each summer. Several of them are rattly which is unsettling when the ol' wind comes sweeping down the plains.

A few years ago a guy selling siding and windows came to our house to give us his pitch and try his darndest to sell us new windows throughout our house. After calculating the number of windows (18) and telling us the merits of his fancy schmancy windows he wrote an absurdly obscene number on a sheet of paper and slid it across the table at us. After we picked our eyeballs up and put them back in their sockets we told him to get out of our house. He wanted nearly $20,000 for 18 windows. I have this sneaking suspicion that company didn't sell a lot of windows and that maybe the ones they did sell were to little old ladies who are now eating dog food because they spent all their money on windows.

After that we didn't entertain the thought of new windows anymore. Even though we knew that his bid of $20,000 was WAY more than windows actually cost, we were still gunshy. We decided to spend our money on important things like gambling and a trip to Disney World. But with the economy taking a dive and the environment going all wonky and our electric bill climbing higher it's like an algebraic equation for dog food casserole.

Paul's brother and nephew recently had new roofs put on their houses and they used an Amish company out of Kansas. They were very impressed with the work and Paul's nephew also had them install windows. Again, the work was impressive and the price was lower than what his brother had paid for windows at Lowe's a few months prior. Paul called the number on the business card he was given and even though it said "Leave a message" he ended up talking to a real live person - a real live AMISH person.

In our community there are quite a few Mennonite families and a church/school just a few miles up the road. They are like Amish Lite - they drive cars, have phones, electricity, etc. but they still wear the cute little Amish clothes and seem to be pretty religiously strict. I've always been under the impression that the Amish do not have electricity or phones, nor do they drive cars. I mean, you see the pictures of their little buggies sharing the highway with cars, right? My aunt Janet explained to me that they can have phones as long as they are not taken into the home. And this particular Amish fella has a driver that drives him and his crew to jobs and then sits in the truck all day while they work. (Smart guy, that driver) So he and Paul worked out a time for him to come over and measure for windows.

I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt that day. I briefly thought about changing into a skirt but then remembered I don't own one. So I just decided that I would stay here in the house and stay out of the way because I thought the menfolk would stay outside. See, my darling husband had been asked earlier that day to take down the blinds in the bedroom and hose them down because folks, they are DUSTY. And by dusty I mean "so dirty they should be in a haunted house." But no, he said, because the guy would measure from the outside. Now, my intelligent mind told me that this was not true, but my man would not be swayed. I think he's in denial that his wife is a horrible housekeeper and he just hoped he would measure outside.

Well, right after Cousin Courtney and Aunt Janet got here to pick up Nonner, Mr. Amish Man and his non-Amish driver showed up. This is where I got my education about Amish phone ettiquette and basic rules for living. It was also at this time that Aunt Janet told me that her sister had worn shorts to an Amish man's place of business last summer and was asked that next time she visit she be appropriately dressed. So imagine how badly I freaked out when Paul stuck his head inside the front door and said, "Hey, come out here a minute." I looked down at my jeans in panic, considered quickly wiping off some of my makeup, but then decided I didn't have time. I stepped out onto the porch, smiled at our Amish guest and then gave my opinion on what color windows we were going to get.

It was at that precise moment my black-fingernail-clad oldest daughter came busting out the front door wearing a shirt postiviely COVERED in skulls, mouth full of toothpaste, declaring loudly, "DUDE. I JUST BROKE MY TOOTHBRUSH." Then she realized there was a strange bearded man in a straw hat standing on our porch holding a window in one hand and was trying to keep Gravy from humping his leg with the other. She nodded his general direction, sucked the toothpaste in her mouth and said, "'Sup." Then went back in the house. I looked at Mr. Amish Man and shrugged.

But then, because God truly does have a sense of humor, that was the exact moment that Kady came busting out the front door, screaming her head off, Sam and TotTwo close on her heels, waving Nerf guns over their heads shouting, "KILL THE GIRL! KILL THE GIRL!" Paul just grinned and shook his head. Gravy continued trying to get to know our guest better and I again just shrugged.

I went back in the house where Cousin Courtney and Aunt Janet were waiting expectantly, maybe wondering if Mr. Amish Man had asked me to change my attire before he would sell me one single solitary window, but no such luck. They went on their merry way and I plopped down in my chair in front of my laptop and grabbed up my cell phone to send a Tweet. Kady came into the living room and asked why there was a leprechaun in our front yard. I just patted her arm and said, "Sweetie, we live at the end of the rainbow. Now go play with your brother and cousin some more." A few minutes later Paul and Mr. Amish Man came in to begin measuring. Didja catch that? They came IN to begin measuring. I was wishing I had a nifty pause button on my life like we have on our DVR - I just needed long enough to hose down those haunted house blinds, do a few loads of laundry, mop the kitchen floor, sew myself a skirt and maybe find a different shirt for Abby.

I moved to the couch so they could get to the window. As Mr. Amish Man was measuring he asked the question, "So, Paul, where do you work?" I stopped mid-Tweet to watch the conversation. Paul, not thinking to lie through his teeth, said, "I'm a GSR Supervisor at a casino. I work on slot machines."

The poor guy's beard actually twitched as he briefly paused his measuring to process Paul's reply. I bit my lip to keep from busting out laughing and decided that Twitter would have to wait a few minutes because I needed my phone free to throw at my husband if he said anything else that might cause our window man to have a massive coronary in our living room.

Funny. He didn't ask me my profession. I can only assume he thinks I'm a street walker or voodoo priestess. I'm sure God got a big ol' earful from that little suspendered man that night. In fact, I'm pretty sure their entire community had prayer for us heathens.

But he gave us a super low bid on the windows and I have until July to buy a skirt.

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...