Friday, February 26, 2010

Kapow KABLAM!

This is the sequel to my previous post titled "Kapow!" and it's a corker, lemme tell ya.



Paul has had to go in at 5am the last few days which means I have to wake him up at 3:30am because even at 47 he still cannot "hear" the alarm. I started that when we were dating, me calling him up to wake him up, thus relieving his poor mother of the duty. We both have spoiled him into a deaf monster as far as alarms go. Yesterday morning after he was up and around (not happily, I might add) I gently reminded him that he needed to drive my van because I needed the truck to move some furniture to the consignment auction. This threw him into a tirade of epic proportions at 3:45am. That, Constant Reader, is WAY too early to put forth that much effort into a blood-pressure-raising rant at one's spouse. It's also too early for the spouse to endure such baby whining. Dude, it's my truck, too. I shouldn't have to borrow my own truck. Just sayin'.

When he stormed off to work, driving my van entirely too fast down the driveway, probably changing my radio station to country I might add, I went back to bed for that whole 30 minutes. Then when the alarm started going off I snoozed it for an entire hour. Now, let me clarify that I have overslept two times since Paul started working at the casino and it traumatized me for life. I hate that feeling of waking up late and knowing that it's making someone else late. I have my cell phone alarms set for 5:05 and 5:12, my iPod set for 5:00 and 5:15 and the regular alarm clock set as a backup for 5:24. Snoozing all these alarms isn't remotely conducive to any form of rest, yet I laid there curled up in bed, reaching an arm out of my mountain of covers every 4.7 minutes to smack, tap or slide something. For an hour. Yes, it's pathetic. I'm aware of that.

Finally rolling out of bed at 6 meant that I would not be showering, but that was fine because I hadn't planned on going anywhere until later that evening and I could just shower after Paul got home from work. (My kids are old enough to be unattended, but I'm not keen on letting a 20 month old wander the house while I'm otherwise indisposed. And naked.) I looked like a skank, but Conner's used to that occasionally. As long as he still gets his juice and banana and the occasional iced animal cookie he could care less that I'm not fresh as a daisy.

I have been driving the kids to the end of the driveway in the mornings because it's too cold to stand out there for too long. I was ushering everyone out the door at 7:15, like always, and Abby had forgotten something so I was standing at the door hollering at her to hurry and hollering at Kady and Sam to get in the truck. By the time I got out to the truck Kady was looking frazzled at trying to hoist herself and her gigantic backpack in that big ol' truck. Then she slammed the door - on her hand. Sam and I were on the other side of the truck and knew instantly what she had done. She started squawking and Sam and I were hollering at Abby, who was standing on her side NEXT TO HER DOOR, to "OPEN  THE DOOR! OPEN THE DOOR! NOW! NOW!" And Abby in all her teenage glory goes, "Why? Why do I have to open the door? WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME??" I was about *this* close to reaching my arms through the truck to strangle her. Eventually someone (Abby? Kady herself?) opened the door and the real screaming began. I turned off the truck, calmly said, "Everyone in the house. I'll just take you to school." Then I picked up my wailing 8 year old and took her in the house where I wrapped her hand in an ice pack and sat down to soothe her sniffling, sobbing, hiccuping self. After Abby finished pouting that she didn't know why everyone was yelling at her when she wasn't the one that had shut her hand in the door, I told her to call Courtney and tell her to just bring Tater's tots up to the house and I would just drive everyone to school. Then about three minutes later it hit me - I was in the truck and therefore didn't have room for six kids. I hollered, "You have to ride the bus! Go! Go! Get out the door! HURRY!" which prompted another round of stomping and heavy sighing from my teenager. (Later I saw a tweet from her that said "I'm having SUCH a great day. NOT." She may not survive to 14.)

The big kids made it onto the bus, Kady's hand eventually came out of the ice pack and it was determined she had not broken anything. I took her to school and came back home where I discovered that the washing machine drain had backed up and the utility room floor was soggy.

Fast forward to 12:30 when I laid Conner down for his nap. I have to sit at the other end of the couch while he goes to sleep, otherwise he gets down and makes a run for the border. While sitting there I turned on my laptop to charge my iPod and started playing Bookworm on the iPod to kill time while he fell asleep. I, myself dozed off. I normally don't do that, but I totally blame the events from this point on in the story on PMS and that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I just get so tired when I have PMS these days and it happened. Sue me. And my ovaries. Apparently at some point during my FIFTEEN MINUTE nap the processor in my laptop burned up. I woke up to a computer that was obviously somewhat on, but the screen was blank. I turned it off, manually, rebooted and then it just started rebooting and shutting down repeatedly, except it would never fully boot. I said a few choice words under my breath. I fixed a glass of tea. I shoveled about 487 Hershey's Kisses into my hormonal body and like an idiot, kept trying to reboot the computer. I eventually gave up and did some laundry and loaded the dishwasher.

When it was time to get Conner up I opened the blinds on the front picture window AND SAW THE BOX THAT HELD MY NEW DVR RECEIVER IN THE YARD IN A STATE ONE SHOULD NEVER SEE A BOX OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT. Amazing what happens during a 15 minute unscheduled, hormone-induced nap followed by angry housecleaning - the laptop takes a dive and our ninja UPS man drives up, leaves a box, DOESN'T KNOCK and the dog eats the box.

I busted out the front door and dragged the dog by his collar to the chain on the far side of the yard and chained him up, all the while calling him names that would probably get me fined by the ACLU, PETA and any other organization that monitors the rights of living beings. I then finished my tirade by telling him I hoped that when he took a drink of water ALL THAT CARDBOARD in his stomach would swell up and give him horrendous gas and that he would die. I didn't mean it. Okay, yes I did. I was mad.

I got back in the house to find a very bewildered Conner looking at his crazed babysitter with a still-sleepy look. He heard the dog bark and hollered, "HUSH!" Yeah. You tell him, buddy.

I inspected the receiver, it appeared to be fine. Had he started chewing on the other side of the box he'd have gotten the power cord right off the bat, but as it was he just got packing foam. I hope that swells up in his guts, too.

I then started unplugging the old receiver and plugging in the new one. I got to the point where I had to call DishNetwork to active the receiver and SmartCard when Mom and Pops drove up, Paul got home from work and the kids got off the bus, followed closely by Courtney coming to pick up Conner, so I hung up. Things went from crazy, hormonal, stinky lady and a baby to a house full of people to stress me the heck out. Pops took a look at the laptop (he rescued the desktop from a dusty death a few weeks ago) because he is our family computer repair dude. He said, "Hmh. I don't know. Might be the processor. Might be the power source. Not sure. I don't work on laptops." ARGH! Fortunately, though, my brother owns a computer store and apparently has some awesome guy that works on laptops and Pops said he could take it to him if I wanted.

And it was at that point I just started bawling. And I couldn't stop. I know I freaked out the kids, frustrated my mom, bewildered my husband and dad and made my cousin worry that leaving her son with a mentally unstable person was probably a bad idea, but I couldn't help it. It all just hit me and I lost it.

Mom took the kids home with her (Paul and I were supposed to go see the local little theatre's production of "Greater Tuna" that evening, but I was really in no shape to go out in public) and said she'd bring them back later, unless I wanted them to spend the night. Since it was a school night I said they should probably come home. She kept offering the sleepover. I must've really had The Crazy in my eyes.

After everyone left and it was Paul and I alone I picked up the phone to call DishNetwork again. Normally you're greeted by an automated voice dude who tries to interpret your verbal answers, but usually just ends up saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't catch that. Could you repeat your answer please?" but that time the call was answered by a person. He asked who he had the pleasure of speaking with and I told him. He asked for my address. I told him. Phone number. The same. I figured he was just confirming things with me. They normally ask for a PIN to the account, but I didn't give that omission much thought. He then asked for my email address, which I thought was strange since they send me reminders when I forget to pay my bill every month it's time to pay my bill every month, but I gave it to him anyway. Then he said, "Congratulations! By giving me your email address you are now eligible to save $24 on your monthly bill. Tell me, are you ready for a new contract?" Again, I thought it was strange he didn't have that information in front of him, but I answered, "Well, we still have a year on this one." He said, "Aw, bummer. So tell me this, Mrs. Hoover, how do you protect your home?" Say wha? Huh? "Excuse me?" I asked. He asked me again how we protect our home. I answered, "We have a dog. And he will chew up anyone who tries to harm us. Really, I just want to activate my receiver." The dude would not let up? He kept asking me about protecting my home. Finally I had had enough and said, "Look. Dude. I just called you to activate my new DishNetwork satellite receiver. If you can't do that would you PLEASE transfer me to someone who can?" There were a few beats of silence before he replied, "Ma'am. It appears you have inadvertently called DirecTV. It's okay. Happens all the time. Our numbers are very similar." And he would've been on my good side had he not said, "Now, about your home protection..." I busted out laughing very loudly in that man's ear and said, "I am very sorry I wasted your time. I do not want to protect my home with ADT, I do not want you to sell me anything. I do, however, want to hang up and call DishNetwork." Dude was still talking when I disconnected the call.

DishNetwork's number is 1-800, DirecTV's is 1-888. Someone totally messed up with that one.

Finally I got hold of DishNetwork to activate the receiver and was told by the customer support person that they have no training on that particular receiver and she would have to transfer me to AT&T customer support because, as I mentioned in the previous post, we have an AT&T Homezone receiver although NO ONE KNOWS WHY. (Yes, the new one has the AT&T logo on it even though she said it wouldn't) The guy at AT&T, of course, couldn't access my account because we don't have any services with them, but thankfully he was a stand-up guy and tech supported me anyway even though he said he probably wasn't supposed to, but who else was going to if not him? He got me to a point where I could take it on my own then transferred me back to DishNetwork and the rep there activated my card and then, in such a stereotypical Southern Black Woman fashion, so stereotypical it was utterly comical, informed me that "Mmm mm, hunny, you need to git rid of that receiver soon as you possibly can becuz that ol' thang ain't nuthin' but TROUBLE. Mm hmm. I mean it, hunny. You gotta INSIST on a new one when yo' contract is up in Jan'yary, okay? 'Cuz, see? We cain't work on it and I don' know why dey send you one of doze anyways."

Paul couldn't understand how I had gone from sobbing uncontrollably a half hour prior to sitting on the end of the couch, biting my lip, trying not to laugh like a loon in that sweet woman's ear.

I finished getting the receiver set up, handed my husband the remote, took a long, hot shower and finally sat down to decompress a little. Mom and Pops came back around 8:30 with our three sugared up kids .... and life seemed to get back to as normal as it gets around here.

That is, until we put a DVD in to watch and the sound wouldn't work. Fortunately I just jiggled the cord and it came back. Courtney has a theory that electronics create a mass suicide pact and that when one goes, they all follow suit. If that's the case, I'm putting every other electronic in this house on suicide watch immediately.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kapow!


Our pellet stove is out again. Last month it was the igniter that went out. Now it's the auger. Right now, as I type this, I have it running, but it is making a noise that makes me think of a goose being sodomized. (Not that I think about such things often. Or ever.) The guy came out again (I'm going to bake him some cookies next time. Because there will be a next time.) yesterday and said it was the transmission that runs the motor that turns the auger. (That lives in the house that Jack built.) (Anyone else think that immediately after that sentence? Just me? Hmh.) He also said that he had just cleaned out his truck and wasn't carrying any parts and would come back tomorrow, which is today. He said in the meantime to run it and if it burned up, it burned up, he was going to replace all the guts anyway. If we could handle the noise. I was fine being cold. That noise makes me want to stab things.The only reason I have it on today is because Conner is here and he's a baby and babies shouldn't be cold.

Yesterday morning it was 58* in our living room. It was WAY colder than that in the bedrooms. I could see my breath when I emerged from under the covers. This morning it was a whopping 60*. I have our little infrared heater (built by the Amish!) going on one end of the living room and the pellet stove burning on the other and it's 64*. Pellet Stove Dude will be here after 3. Just two more hours of MWAAAAAHHHHHHH......MWAAAHHHHHHHHH.......CA-CHUNK........MWAAAAAHHHHHHH.......rattle rattle.............MWAAAAAAHHHHHHH.......

This morning while waiting in the van for the bus to pick up the kids I decided to read the mail that I pick up but sits in the van a few days until I'm bored enough to go through it. Apparently mine and Abby's phones, LG Banters, have some electronic glitch in them that makes them possibly unable to complete 911 calls. Uh....911 calls are not calls that possibly might not go through. The phones need a critical update, available only at a US Cellular retail store. I would rather drive nails into my temples than visit the retail store in Miami. That has to be the rudest staff I've ever experienced. Case in point: Once I went in to do something that I was told BY US CELLUAR ON THE PHONE could be done. The gal in the store said it couldn't be done. Wasn't possible. She also had to put down her personal cell phone when I cleared my throat one too many times for her liking while she blabbered about personal things and had to see why on earth I was interrupting her day AT WORK. I guess we'll drive to Joplin. And hope we don't need 911 on the way.

This morning the satellite receiver wouldn't work. It was frozen with a picture from last night's 10:00 news on the screen. I restarted the system. Nothing. I restarted the system again.....lonnnnnng re-boot. Finally a message popped up on the screen that said, "Your AT&T Homezone receiver is having serious issues and is currently just a silver box sitting atop your gigantic TV. You should probably call someone about that. If you want to watch TV, that is."

Now, two years ago, when we decided to enter this century and get a DVR the nice man from Dish Network made a funny little comment about the receiver he was installing. He said, "I wonder why they gave you this thing. I never install this box. It's like, just one we never use. Hmm. Wonder why you got it." Like he was suggesting we were on old Santa Dish's naughty list or something and got the crappiest receiver they make because lumps of coal are so outdated. It's an AT&T Homezone receiver and considering we do not have AT&T internet or cell service and our land line is the most basic of basic packages you can get and still have a land line I, too, wondered why we got the AT&T receiver. We were never able to access anything other than Dish Network on it - not the pictures and other features it boasted.

When I called Dish Network this morning the first representative, Pat, I talked to said she would connect me to AT&T Homezone and then put me on hold. Three minutes later she came back on the line and said she was actually not able to transfer me, but if I had a paper and pencil handy I could just jot down the number and call them directly. I did and was connected instantly to Juan, a friendly fellow who said he would do everything he could to figure out the problem. Then he informed me that he could not access my account. I asked why. He said because....well, he didn't really know, but he would be happy to put me on hold and talk to a Dish Network representative and would do his best to get me up and running. After confirming the issues I was having with the receiver he put me on hold. Five minutes later he came back on the line with another rep from Dish Network who would get me fixed up in a jiffy, but not to worry because he'd stay on the line with me to assure things went smoothly. I thought it a noble gesture, but it kind of concerned me - like, was he my bodyguard now? So the Dish gal asked me to repeat the issues to her and then without warning put me and ol' Juan on hold. A few seconds passed and Juan nearly scared me to death when he said, "Uh...Mrs. Hoover, it appears we have been put on hold. But do not worry, I will stay here with you." But again, this indeed worried me. Was being on hold putting me at risk of something that warranted protection? We waited five minutes, my friend Juan and I, just listening to the funky 1930's jam that was ever-so-heavy on the ukelele playing in our ears, occasionally clearing our throats to assure the other we were still there, on the line, still safe, still out of harm's way.

When the Dish Network rep came back on the line she confirmed that the hard drive on my receiver had passed on and she was so sorry for my loss, which florist should she use for flowers? Oh and for $15 shipping and processing she could send me a BRAND! NEW! receiver. I said that would be great at which point my friend Juan popped in with, "Mrs. Hoover, it appears you are being well taken care of and if you are okay now I will say good-bye and leave you with Dish Network." I was never not okay, Juan, but thanks for being a buddy. Then the Dish Gal told me the new receiver would not be an AT&T receiver, but that the new receiver would be the same model. I could tell she sensed the question I was getting ready to ask because she said, "The difference? Yes, the difference is that your new receiver will not have the word 'AT&T' on it."

Well. Hmh.

[WARNING! The next paragraph is chock full of very large, runon sentences. If you are my high school English teacher or my editor at WelchOK.com, read with caution and know that Mrs. E., you did not fail and Tyson, I will try really hard to keep too many of these out of my column.]

So we can watch live TV and change the channel and access the program guide, but pausing the live TV is not possible. We also cannot access the DVR. My sister also informed me that we have lost everything stored on the DVR and this makes me not happy at all because I had four movies stored on there, one of which was Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and I big puffy pink heart that movie and so do the kids and we watch it every weekend and it was free when I recorded it from Nick and now I'm going to have to go and pay money for it on DVD because it's gone, gone, GONE and have I mentioned we really like that movie? I'm not upset about losing Pursuit of Happyness because now I have an excuse to not watch it. I recorded it on a day I was feeling like I could handle such a movie, but have since decided that no, my emotions cannot handle the hotness of Will Smith AND a movie about a daddy who has fallen on hard times and has a cute kid who is the new Karate Kid, but I couldn't bring myself to delete it and there it was, looming on the DVD, looking at me with pitiful puppy dog/Karate Kid eyes. I'm only moderately upset about losing Because I Said So and Interview with the Vampire because I just recorded them late one night because I was tired of the scheduled recordings to only be Ren and Stimpy and Fringe and LOST and thought, "Hey, those will be good ones to watch the next time I have insomnia or the flu or a day alone in the house without the kids, but who am I kidding, like that's ever going to happen because days without the kids means CLEANING, but at least there's something on the DVR besides Ren and Stimpy, right?"

So a word of caution, if you value your electronics, large machinery or small pets you might want to avoid me for awhile. The small pets warning is just a precaution - I haven't actually harmed a small pet, but much more of listening to MWAAAHHHHH........MWAAAHHHHHHH.....clunk clunk.......MWAAAHHHHH and I can't be held responsible for my actions.

Oh and also? Watching LOST tonight is going to be very, very difficult without the ability to stop the TV and scream, "WHAT? HUH? I AM SO CONFUSED!" like I do multiple times every week. I will have to save my exclamations for commercials like we did back in the olden days. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder did. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just Dance

A few weeks ago the girls came home squealing and waving a folded piece of paper in the air and speaking in hurried tones about OHMYGOSHMOMTHERESADANCECLINICANDWEWANNAGOANDPLEASECANWEPLEASEDOITANDOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE!! So I interpreted the words spewing forth from their mouths I deduced that there was a dance clinic being held and they wanted to attend. I speak fluent Girl.

I have two vastly different daughters. Abby is quiet, non-conformist, not foo foo yet very concerned about her appearance and with the length of the limbs on that child she sometimes resembles Bambi on the icy pond. Kady is a diva in every sense of the word, dramatic, emotional, foo foo and glamorous and believes the entire world should be coated in glitter and very shy in public situations she isn't familiar in. (And I am obviously very talented in ending sentences in prepositions.)

So given that Kady gets stage fright and Abby is a bit backwards I was somewhat hesitant to fork over the $60 it was going to cost for both girls to attend. "But Mom! We get t-shirts!" Oh well, then of course, $60 for two t-shirts makes it completely within the budget. Paul was against it from the word go, but after talking to the girls repeatedly and making 100% sure they were going to stick with it I talked him into relenting.

They attended the clinic from after school until 5:30 three days last week and both loved every second of it. Abby also decided she is going to try out for the dance team next year. Eek. Hope she does lots of babysitting this summer so she can save up the ominous amount of money it is going to require if she gets on the team.

Here are some shots of the girls in action. The first two Pops took with his camera and they are action shots. I also stole them off his Facebook page so they're tiny. I tried to embiggen them but they got all digitizey. (Look, two made up words in one sentence!)

Kady's the one in the center, the only one without her shirt tied up because I had no idea they were going to be so GINORMOUS and didn't bring anything to hitch it up.



Here's Abby, getting ready for her group to dance. She looks sooooooo very excited.



I took these in the lobby before they went on. I normally don't put Tater's kids on the blog, per her request, but I absolutely LOVE this pic of the girls together. Surely she won't mind and if she does, well, she's all the way in Yukon and it'll take her at least 3 1/2 hours to come beat the snot out of me for it.

It amazes me how they're all three growing up. *sniff sniff* I mean, I knew it was going to happen and all, but sometimes the stark reality of it kind of smacks me in the forehead.



My girls. *sigh*

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Therein Lies the Poop

Last week was parent/teacher conferences at the kids' school. Conferences are always a mixed bag around here because, while I love hearing about how charming and socially adapted my children are, I always dread that academically I will get a bad report from the people entrusted to teaching my children what my husband calls "book learnin'". And if you'll recall, it was parent/teacher conference day three years ago that Abby called her 4th grade teacher "dude". There's a reason I dread them.

As a kid, I loved school. I lived for school. School was wonderful and amazing and exciting and OH SO FULL OF LEARNING. AND BOOKS! Even though I struggled in math I still didn't get my first F until Algebra I in 9th grade. I was a straight A student (except for dadgummed Algebra) from K-12. I aimed for perfection and was determined to achieve it. Failing wasn't an option.

My husband was the youngest of three boys who was raised by his mother alone (because his father was an abusive, deadbeat alcoholic who split for the hill when the boys were little) worked three to four jobs and went to school at night to become an LPN . School was merely something he had to do because the law required it. He struggled with reading and English and if he couldn't figure the work out on his own it didn't get done because his brothers didn't/couldn't/wouldn't help him. His mom did the absolute best she could given the circumstances. Paul was the only one of his brothers to graduate high school.

So the fact that I have always been anal retentive about learning and grades paired with the fact that Paul was determined that his children have all the opportunities he didn't, has always made parent/teacher conferences very stressful for the both of us. I am, however, careful to not put undue pressure on my kids because I'd rather them not end up in therapy, chain smoking on a couch, talking about how they could never live up to expectations. And maybe mentioning wire hangers.

We have never expected perfection from our kids, but we expect effort. We don't pay money for good grades on the report cards, but we do praise the heck out of our kids when they try. Noticeable and marked improvement on the final report card in May gets them a special day alone with Mom. One year it was a manicure and ice cream for Abby, Kady got a movie and we didn't even sneak treats in my purse, but bought them at the actual concession stand and Sam usually chooses McDonald's and a movie with contraband treats. The grades don't have to be A's, but they have to be their best effort.

From Kindergarten through 2nd grade I got nothing but "brilliant!" from Abby's teachers. From Pre-K through 3rd grade I got "brilliant!" from Sam's teachers. Kady's in 2nd and I'm still getting "brilliant!" from hers (and I am secretly hoping she doesn't follow in the footsteps of her older siblings). In 3rd grade Abby decided that school was stupid and quit trying. She developed a fierce and sudden case of apathy and it's taken from 3rd grade until now to convince her that school is not the enemy. She is finally making decent grades again. Not all A's, but good solid B's and C's. I'm ecstatic. Starting last year Sam decided that since school was no longer super duper easy that he would just give up and not try. He's smart, but if he has to work for something a little more than he feels he should have to he throws his hands in the air and possibly throws himself face-first into his beanbag and cries all evening and throws Legos and rips up school work that I later have to tape back together while he pouts next to me. Kady has nothing lower than a 97% in anything on her latest grade report. Her older siblings may very well corner her in an alley and beat her with a tire tool in the near future.

On conference day last week Sam came in from school and said, "I have something to tell you.....no wait. I'll just let Mrs. K." I said, "Oh no you don't, mister. You just spill it." Then he tearfully proceeded to tell me he had failed a Social Studies test that morning thereby dropping his overall grade to 67 (a D) and thereby landing his butt on academic probation and thereby getting temporarily kicked off Student Council until the grade comes up. He failed the test because he thought studying for it was lame.

*sigh*

Right now Sam is just disorganized and well, honestly puberty is kicking his butt. He is dealing with emotions and weird feelings and body odor and basketball and bullies and school is just pretty low on the priority list in the midst of all the other stuff. His teacher said I should be super thankful he's not girl crazy on top of it all. Thank God for small favors. She also said his whole entire class has checked out for the time being and they are all goofy as run-over dogs, so not to worry too awful much about it. Just encourage him and all that. Try not to beat him. Get him to focus and stay organized. Riiiiight. Ever tried putting cooked spaghetti through the holes in a screen door? IT'S SIMPLER.

So last night he brought home a study guide for a test today. We went over and over and over it and really, if he doesn't ace that thing I'll be surprised. Oh and you can quiz me on the port cities of the eastern colonies and I will SO KNOW THEM. At one point while we were grilling him he decided that the commercial on TV was way more engaging (TV OFF at that point) and I have a cold and am testy as it is and hooooeeee I just kind of uhm.....lost it.

I was sitting here on the couch lecturing the heck out of my only son, the son who will someday (hopefully) carry on the Hoover name, the son who will give me my only daughter-in-law, the son who in Pre-K said I was his best fwend....and he was getting closer and closer to tears..... and I thought I was getting through to him. And then his father decided to get in on all the parental lecturing fun. That is never, ever good.

Have I mentioned once or twice that my husband is a redneck?

Once, while lecturing Abby the man said, "And listen here, missy. Let me just tell you how the cat ate the cabbage." The correct colloquialism is "how the cow ate the cabbage" because....uhm....cats don't eat cabbage as a general rule. And cows do. And while Abby didn't catch it I, however, busted up laughing and the severity of the lecture was lost.

Last night was no different.

I told Sam I had noticed that after he uses the website the teacher set up for spelling practice he has consistently made a much higher grade on his weekly spelling tests, rather than the weeks he plays around at addictinggames.com when he just thinks I don't notice what he's doing and he bombs the tests pitifully. I said, "Now son....the proof is in the pudding.....studying gets you higher grades, plain and simple." And my darling husband, so willing to support me in my train of thought said, "Yeah, son, like your mother said, the poop is in the pudding."

He knew as soon as he said it it wasn't right and he ever-so-slightly leaned over to me and quietly asked, "Uh....why is there poop in the pudding? And why do we care? I don't get it."

Monday, February 08, 2010

In lieu of an actual blog post today I'm phoning in a Nyquil-laden text message post. Will blog tomorrow. IF I make it through the ni....Zzz zzzz zzzzzzzz

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Air was Thick with Excitement

First off, I guess I should let the masses know that indeed we did survive the Icepocalypse. Or should I say The Icepocalypse That Never Was at Least for Here and That's the Place I was Most Concerned About No Offense to Anyone Else that Did Experience Its Icy Doom.

We got a pretty good amount of snow, but very little ice. It was very anticlimactic after all the preparation and worrying and continual checking of the NOAA website and the buying bread and toilet paper and such. Our power never flickered and we stayed nice and toasty the whole time. My sister, however, was iced in for several days down south of here. Festivus was postponed yet again due to several facts. 1) We here at the Diva Ranch are the Official Host Family of Festivus and our road was impassable to anyone without 4WD. There was talk of an alternate location, but considering 2) Sis was iced in down by the City and another cousin and his family were iced in in Yukon AND his wife had the flu, it was again just put on hold. I have such a dadgum good tacky gift this year I refuse to let it go by the wayside. It may be a Festivus Cookout by the time we have it, but I will keep pushing to have it rescheduled.





Basketball was canceled last weekend due to the snow. We could've made it, but man, we didn't want to, so we weren't too upset when they called the games.

Sam is apparently playing guard now which I think is good, but don't quote me on that. The only reason I know that is because when Coach was hollering at the boys for goofing off and not doing a play right he said something about the guards and grabbed Sam as an example. So yay. Go guards! Or something. He took a pretty good verbal tirade from Coach week before last and there were tears of frustration and declarations of "I QUIT!" but I had to tough love my boy and explain, "Coach has a job of making sure you boys play a good game. You have a job on the court, playing that good game. You played some pretty rotten ball tonight, son. He did his job. You didn't." Ouch. That was painful to say and he didn't enjoy hearing it. He's still undecided on playing middle school ball next year. We keep assuring him it will be better, less chaotic and he really will enjoy it more. He has potential and is good (when he pays attention), but if he doesn't want to there's no point in playing.

Kady is playing something out there, but we're not sure what. If there are positions, the girls have no idea what they are. Right now, in 2nd and 3rd grade they are out there for victory and blood and utter annihilation of their opponents. We are called very hard by the refs because we somehow got a reputation as the most aggressive team in the league, but after playing a Wyandotte team that had a player who drew blood on three of our girls and left our babies sobbing and crying they weren't EVER going to go back out on that court again and a Welch team that has some slappers and pinchers, we don't know how that rumor got started. I'd like to think it's not a personal issue amongst certain adults in the league, but I'm afraid that's what it is. It's elementary ball, folks. It's not the WNBA. These girls wear hair bows and paint their nails in the team colors and have striped knee socks and it's supposed to be fun while they learn the fundamentals. It can get competitive when they're older. Geesh.

And I eat nachos for at least one meal, sometimes two, every Saturday. Basketball season rawks.





During the Not Ice Storm, while my internet was sketchy at best, I got an email from the Comedy Examiner (that's their fancy word for "the reporter who looks for funny stuff") with the Oklahoma City Examiner asking if I'd be interesting in being featured in her column this week. Uh....YEAH.

The interview is here. Read it please. Oh, and thank you.





Tonight is the Tulsa Blogger Meet-Up. I am ever so excited. Ever. Paul got his undies in a bunch over me going by myself so I told him he could go, too. I think he thought I'd back out, but I was like, "Come on, bubba! Let's go hang with some bloggahs!" As it's gotten closer to today he has been more cranky about it. Then last night on the weather he was like, "Oh darn. It's supposed to snow. Can't go. Too bad. Sorry, honey." NOT. I have checked the NOAA website all day and yes, there's rain and yes, there will probably some snow, but nothing significant and nothing treacherous. Then awhile ago my momma offered to go with me to rescue Paul and still allow me to go. I laughed and then was just touched because she doesn't "get" the whole blogging thing and yet was still willing to spend a night with a whole room of us. She's a good momma. I told her thanks, but I didn't want her to feel like Baby in Dirty Dancing and be like, in a corner all night. Then I was reading comments on Tasha's post about tonight and TWO OTHER BLOGGERS are bringing their mothers! Kelly had offered to ply my husband with beverages so I could go, so Kelly, you can keep your money now - Momma's a preacher's wife. LOL

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dear Today Show, Please stop doing surgery on TV. If I wanted to feel nauseous in the morning I'd just get pregnant. Sincerely, Redneck Diva

Liberating Plankton, part 1

So I'm 45. I haven't dyed or bleached my hair in years and have fully embraced being silver-haired. I have wrinkles - more so now th...