Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.



When you do a Google image search for Mardi Gras, for some reason, one of my posts comes up first. Swear to the good lord above.

So, guess what? I've had about 82,000 page visits this month. I had about 13,000 alone on Fat Tuesday looking for a picture of Mardi Gras.

Gees. I bet they were disappointed when they got here.


I don't understand why some agencies do this. A big company hires a big PR firm. The big PR firm contracts with me to do some of the heavy lifting for them.

Then, the big company doesn't pay them and the PR firm doesn't pay me. Ok, the big company didn't hire me - the PR firm did. So, IMHO, the PR firm should pay me regardless if the big company pays them or not. My contract was not contingent on the big company paying them or not.

Thing is, for a few hundred bucks, it isn't worth being a PITA. But, a few hundred bucks is a lot of money to me these days, so I'm applying as much pressure as I can. But, what can I do?


Substitute teaching

Wish the poor youngsters luck. I'm subbing all day Thursday and Friday. I reckon by Friday night, I'll be looking like Gollum.

Night of Stars

Last Friday, Pickle's middle school had its Star Night (or something like that) to highlight the fine arts programs at the school. There were performances by the orchestras, choirs, drama, band, etc. And, a viewers' choice art contest. Students could enter something they've created this year for the visitors to vote on. The top three winners were selected for each grade. In this picture is Pickle (far right), his girlfriend and then his best friend. They all entered and had some good stuff.
But, in the end, Pickle won third place for his Speed Racer drawing. He won some make your own manga book and he was stoked. This is his art teacher giving him the prize. Not a bad night. He got to hang around with his friends and then win a prize on top of it all. He really is talented and I really am proud.

Sixth Floor Museum

Thought this was a cool shot of the moon over downtown Dallas at like 2 p.m. in the afternoon a few weeks ago.

And, the flag was blowing beautifully with the cloudless blue sky in Dealey Plaza.

My mom and I took Hot Rod to the museum. He has been very interested in presidential things since the election was heating up last summer. He has been reading books about the presidents and then Presidents Day last week gave him an opportunity to learn more history as well. Since we live near Dallas, we have quite a bit of presidential history right under our noses. So, he wanted to go to the Sixth Floor Museum to learn more about JFK's assasination.

And, X marks the spot of one of the sniper shots on JFK. Some stupid tourists actually put their kids out there (mind you, it is in the middle of the street in downtown Dallas. Hello dumbasses. *shaking my head*) And, for those of you who don't know, JFK stopped off in Fort Worth before going to Dallas. He even got a new cowboy hat presented to him there, although he wouldn't put it on. LOL. But, I digress. My friends and I who worked at the Fort Worth Business Press talked about making our own T-shirts that showed JFK in Fort Worth that read: He was fine when he left here. (for those located out of Texas, folks in Fort Worth have the belief that our city is better than Dallas. Folks in Dallas don't consider it a competition. I have a shirt that reads: Life's too short to live in Dallas. Just a little geographic information for you.) But, regardless, the boy loved the museum and we had to drag him out of there. He would have stayed even longer had we let him, so he could go back to see things three or four times.

Dropping dimes

My boy has great vision when he is playing sports. He is smart and knows where the ball should go. It is a shame he can't dribble better or he'd be a great point guard. But, here he is stealing balls and dropping dimes. I think the best part of this is our running commentary.


Fat Tuesday

I just discovered that if you watching the streaming video of Bourbon Street you get the sounds with it, too. I may have a hard time tearing myself away from this tonight. I've been watching off and on since Friday and still haven't seen one set of cans. *shrug*

But, it is fun to see all the people on the streets already at 3:15 p.m.

Tomorrow begins the 40 days of Lent. I'm still debating a bit on what I'm going to give up, but it will certainly include desserts and snacking on sweet stuff like ice cream, cookies, cake ... *sigh* I'm debating on adding something else, but can't quite make up my mind.


Is this really effective?

I just saved this image from the Bourbon Street webcam I've been watching. *told you I was addicted* And, I'm just wondering if the "Roman Catholicism is of the Devil" and you're going to hell sign is really effective in saving one's soul. I mean, if someone is stumbling down Bourbon Street
drunk and covered with beads, is this sign going to make them see the light and be born again? My first instinct is no. Plus, I'm of the opinion that you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Minister to people by offering them a place to sleep off a drunk or help some poor intoxicated person who has passed out get to a safe place. Minister to their needs, show them compassion and then maybe they'll think 'hey, these Jesus folks are pretty cool. Maybe I need some of what they have.' I guess they may postpone some boobs from being flashed in their proximity, but other than that, I don't quite see the effectiveness in this form of ministry. I'm sure someone will have a scathing comment to leave, but it just seems like there are probably more effective ways for these folks to minister to the people in New Orleans - maybe helping some Katrina victims rebuild or spending the time collecting food for the local food pantry. *shrug* The people on the streets there are stimulating the local economy. Someone is selling those tasty banana dacquiri slushees and someone is making money selling beads and boas and ugly pimp-looking hats.


OHMIGOSH! We watched Open Season 2 last week and Army of Dad and I fell in love with the dumb cat, Roger. I can't even think about this cat without laughing out loud. Seriously. If you haven't seen the movie, it is pretty cute and funny. I discovered Redbox, where you can rent a DVD for $1 a day. Not too bad. We watched the third Mummy movie today. I'm still enamored with Brendan Fraser. *sigh*

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Had a ball at the Mardi Gras party we attended last night. While I was waiting for my honey to get showered, I was watching a live webcam from The Cat's Meow on Bourbon Street. We never went in there, but we walked by it a few times, so I remembered it.

On Saturday night, it was wall-to-wall people on the street. I left the computer on overnight and came to log on after church this morning and the webcam was still on. The view? Cops and trash trucks with an occasional tourist. :)

Note: Its about 12:30 p.m. and people are already starting to get on the balconies. That is cracking me up.

Another update: Gotta listen to some zydeco music while watching the webcam to add to the festivities. I never had much interest in Mardi Gras until I went to Bourbon Street in October. Now, I've gotta go back and take my old man with me. And, at 1:15 p.m. the balconies are filling up with people and their beads. (for a tip, if you want the balcony view, when you go to the webcam, pick Cam 2)



There are some things I'm not sure I'll ever understand.

1. Why do teenage boys smell so badly? I don't recall them stinking when I was a kid. Was I just oblivious?

2. How can a child be in a tiny bathroom and not put his puke in the toilet, shower, sink or trashcan? Why must he puke on the three throw rugs and the wall instead?

3. Why do the two youngest compete to be attached to me when the other is sick? On Monday, when Little Bit was sick, Hot Rod couldn't stand to be more than an inch away from me. Now that he is sick, she won't let go.

4. Why does cleaning up puke make me dry-heave? Now my stomach is killing me again.

5. What sixth sense do children have that mom is about to have some 'me' time that makes them puke or cry?

6. Where are those damned house elves that are supposed to be scrubbing my floors and walls and cooking for me?

7. Why is it that when I was sick on Wednesday, the phone rang no less than 22 times. Yet on days when I have nothing going on, the phone doesn't ring more than once?

8. Who makes these bizarre kids' shows on Nickelodeon? I think I lost IQ points watching I Carly. I kind of like Drake and Josh. I think that proves the lost IQ points theory.

9. How come my sex dreams always stop short of me actually having sex? I may get a smooch in, but I never actually consummate my dream sex. That is so frustrating.

10. And, how far backwards can my neighbor's worktruck really go in his driveway? I heard the beep-beep-beep backing up noise for 10 minutes this morning. Our driveways are only about three car lengths long.

These are the things that keep me up at night. Or in the morning as the case may be.


If I Could Do It All Over Again

I would be one of those gals who got married on the pitcher's mound of The Ballpark or something if I could do it all over again. I'd make it more a reflection of me rather than this traditional hoopla that I did. *sigh*

I just thought this was fun - Halo-themed wedding and look at who's officiating. Can't beat that. One of the local anime conventions had the bride and groom dressed like some of the main characters from Naruto and guests were invited to dress up, too. I've even seen Star Wars wedding pictures. That totally rocks.

And, sorry I've been MIA. I have been sick, but feeling better now.


Gloom, despair and agony on me

I'm still in a foul mood.

Even my liberal friends are making fun of this boneheaded move that isn't going to help things. It is only going to strap our children with debt as they enter adulthood.

I don't feel good and I have about four million things to do. All I really want to do is curl up in bed with my book, which is getting really good, and find out who did it. Instead, I need to clean the kitchen, cook dinner, portion and put up meat in the freezer and start my taxes.

I got a gig in the morning to head out to a country club for breakfast and to write a story. So, I'll have to get up extra early and dispense of the children where they all need to be early.

I've been wondering how couples manage to stay together after suffering a chronic health condition or death of a child - because the stress of the kids just having viruses, strep, etc. has been enough to make me go nuts. I can't imagine living with something really bad wrong with my kids. That has to be tragic.

*sigh* And, I just irritated my husband on his commute home.

My work here is done.

The Invisible Woman

I know I've read this before and probably posted it before, but it is always a good reminder for days like today when I just want to sit down and cry. I'm exhausted from caring for sick kids, from trying to keep the house from falling down, from figuring out how to pay x number of bills with -x amounts of money. And, I'm feeling pretty pathetic. I don't feel well, but I don't get sick days. And then I got this email last night. It is a good reminder right now that maybe all this is worth it in the end.

Perspective: The Invisible Woman It started to happen gradually, One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street whenthe crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?” “Nobody,” he shrugged.
Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something tomy family - like “Turn the TV down, please” - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing. Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.” He just kept right on talking. I’m invisible.
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the wayone of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’mon the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone,or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m aclock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.” I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and themind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She’s going¸ she’s going¸ she’s gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me witha beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which Icould pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have norecord of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes ofGod saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam thatwill be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.” I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you makeevery day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’tsee right now what it will become.”
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my ownself-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever bebuilt in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

AoM Family Status

Not sure how much we've shared, but Little Bit started feeling sick last Wednesday. Took her to the doctor on Thursday after Pickle had strep the week before and Hot Rod had an ear infection. Dr said she had a run of the mill virus that we just had to watch. Strep test was negative. She seemed to be better Friday afternoon other than a fever that wouldn't go away. By Saturday, she seemed fine and went to cheer and to a party. She was good until late Saturday night, when she started getting ill again. By Sunday morning, she was lethargic - not even having the energy to walk to the bathroom. She threw up twice and was eating very little. Drinking some water and sucking on an occasional popsicle. Called the doctor back Monday morning and they saw her pretty quickly. Did a flu test and that was negative. Peed in a cup, no UTI either. So, he said she seemed dehydrated. The dr gave us the choice of trying an IV bag at the ER or staying overnight at the hospital. Told him regardless of which, we were going to the children's hospital in Fort Worth. So, he said we were in luck - he could call ahead and have a room for us in the ER, so we walked in and had an IV placed in less than 20 minutes! Had a chest xray, showed no pneumonia. Tummy xray showed no obstruction/constipation either. Only thing we know is that her white blood cell count is down from the blood test, but that is consistent with a virus. If she's not better by Wednesday, we go back to the dr. She did throw up again on the way to the hospital, but she kept down a biscuit and a couple of bites of cinnamon roll after that. She got a bit of her energy back after the IV and wanted to eat. She managed to keep down some crackers and a bowl of cereal Monday night and slept all night. She seems fine this morning. So, I'm thinking she can go back to school tomorrow. *knocking on wood*

Of course, now I'm completely run down and feel the cold attacking me again. *sigh*


Celebrating Valentine's the Mom Way

Once you have kids, Valentine's Day doesn't hold the same romance it once did. This year, we celebrated as a family again. This was the first year that Pickle got flowers for his girlfriend. He let me pick them out, but he loved the selection. I'm such a bargain hunter, we managed to get this really nice bouquet for less than $11. Got the flowers at Sam's, the greenery at the nearby florist and the vase at the thrift store. Voila. Beautiful flowers that don't break the bank.
Hot Rod is making a funny face as his classmate flexes for the camera. She was so funny - she got a box of chocolates from a boy and she went nuts. It was very cute.

Little Bit stayed home from school, but was bouncing off the walls, so she went to her party. She seemed recovered Friday evening and all day Saturday. Then, Saturday night, she melted down once again. Today, she did nothing by lie on the couch. She ate maybe three saltine crackers and a part of a popsicle. Poor baby. She threw up twice today. I don't know if we rushed her recovery or what. I'm glad the kids are out of school on Monday, so she can rest some more.
She did manage to make it to her game on Saturday and she looked/acted fine. I thought she did pretty good to be the second youngest girl on the squad.

What a race!

I didn't get to see all of it, but I was watching while cleaning up the front room when the giant wreck happened with Junior and Vickers tangling and screwing up the pack. That was crazy.

Way to go Matt Kenseth!

More Random Things

Just strange things about me that most people probably don't know:

1. I like Britney Spears music.
2. My ring tone on my cell phone is The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars
3. I love the NBA All Star Skills competition more than regular NBA games.
4. One of my weaknesses is cupcakes mixed with ice cream.
5. I had my first car accident about three days after I got my driver's license. 6. I had posters of the Dallas Cowboys, Rick Springfield, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird and David Lee Roth on my walls in high school.
7. My bedroom in high school had black walls. I hated them, but my mom loved them. All my friends thought it was cool. I wanted something pretty like pink or lavender.
8. I don't like video games very much because my husband and my kids love to play them all the time and it gets on my nerves.
9. We often find new restaurants because we have a coupon for them.
10. If I had three days off (without anyone around) I would clean the house from top to bottom.
11. My most recent 10 YouTube favorites: Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke; Five for Fighting - World; Foo Fighters - Best of You; Cha Cha Slide; Puddle of Mudd - Psycho; Eminem - Ass Like That; Vallejo - Just Another Day; Hole - Doll Parts; Slipknot - Duality; Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff.
12. I've been a sports nut since I was a kid. I would go to ball games with my dad when I was a little girl.
13. I still have a great throwing arm.
14. When I was in college, I fell asleep during a Whitesnake concert drum solo.
15. I'm still a little mad at Army of Dad for going to see Matchbox 20 without me before we were even married (like 12 years ago).
16. I converted to Catholicism for Army of Dad.
17. I love Facebook except that the damn site locks up my computer sometimes.
18. I've thought Bono's voice is one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard since I was about 14 years old.
19. Watching Fergie in My Humps inspires me to work out. I need this on my walkman for working out.
20. My workouts haven't started yet because my kids can't seem to get well long enough for me to escape the house.
21. I hate to do things if I'm not good at them.
22. I have The Shack, Twilight, Inkheart and about three dozen other books all in my queue to read, but I can't seem to get through all the Deborah Crombie books first and I want to read them all. Its like an addiction.
23. I don't particularly like substitute teaching because I hate being cooped up all day in one building.
24. I could sleep 10 hours a day if I didn't have so much to do.
25. I write everything - including letters - in AP style.
26. My husband says he forgets I'm older than him until I start listening to "old" music.
27. I saw Madonna and the Beastie Boys on the same tour when I was in high school. Now I can't stand Madonna.
28. I have an A-Fraud Rangers jersey. And, I still plan to wear it.
29. I think the MLB should have a salary cap.
30. Baseball has always been my favorite sport, but the steroid issues that can't seem to go away have made the sport lose favor in my eyes.
31. It sucks to be a Rangers fan. It sucks even more to be married to a Twins fan who can be a total ass about his team. (I still love you babe.)
32. Men seem to be shocked that I can carry on intelligent sports conversations.
33. They seem to be even more shocked when I can talk about tilt wall concrete construction methods, FDR (not the president but full-depth recycling) and the finer points of Rene Echeverria's work on The 4400 and Star Trek.
34. I'm a Romosexual. Although, he ticked me off a bit when he didn't seem to care that the Cowboys sucked ass.
35. I would like to return to law school, but don't think I'd make a good lawyer.
36. If I could go back in time, I'd never have let myself gain weight after having children.
37. I hope to lose weight and have someone write an Army of Mom-licious song like Fergie's.
38. Astromerias are my favorite flower these days.
39. I keep a book with me all the time. I read in the line at the post office, while waiting in the car riders line picking up the kids at school, when I'm in the restroom, whenever I have 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted moments.
40. I'm extremely jealous of people who can write novels and books.
41. We have more crucifixes than televisions and telephones in our home.
42. I could probably watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies over and over and never get tired of them.
43. Captain Picard will always be my favorite ST captain.
44. I'm about the least handy person around the house for fixing things.
45. I hate answering the phone if I don't recognize the number calling. Makes for anxiety when I have to answer work calls.
46. I have received my "second notice" for car warranties about 258 times.
47. I have always liked younger guys. In junior high, I had a couple of boyfriends a grade younger than me. My high school sweetheart was a year behind me about 18 months younger than me. AoD is 7.5 years younger than me.
48. If I could change one thing about my husband, it would be for him to mellow out while playing video games and watching sporting events.
49. I think YouTube is one of the greatest inventions ever.
50. I'm a pack rat.


Throwing down 3s

Mike Bibby is throwing down threes while I'm picturing him yelling "I love you Mrs. Kiveat!" Anyone else see the resemblance besides me?


Yep. It is Valentine's Day. The day of lovers. Yep. Yessirree.

So, guess who's monthly visitor arrived a week early?

That's ok. We're going to celebrate with a basketball game, cheerleading for another game and a birthday party for a 5-year-old girl.

Awww, we're romantics, aren't we?


How in the world did this happen?

I'm baffled. How do you go from being this handsome young man to looking like the Unabomber meets the Blues Brothers? I have some theories, but I truly hope they are all incorrect. I hope he doesn't turn out like his brother. Remember River Phoenix? Yep, same parentage created Joaquin Phoenix. *shrug*

Now, its a hat trick

Yep. Child No. 3 is now sick. We go to see the doctor at 11:05 a.m. I've already prepared Little Bit for the enormous cotton swab that will be tickling her uvula or whatever the hell it rubs to test for strep. Since Pickle had it last week, its a sure bet she's gonna get swabbed. Hopefully, she'll be like Hot Rod and have something simpler like an ear infection or something. Her fever was 100.8 this morning. *sigh* I was afraid of this when she told me one of her best buddies was out ill earlier this week.


If You're Gone

Ok, if we can rip out the little girly hoop earrings, I would so totally run away with Rob Thomas. I mean, seriously, is he just adorable or what? And, the voice ... *heart thumping*

A Valentine's Day Tradition

Every year, I have to post this Hallmark commercial because it cracks me up.

And, for Father's Day. So, I'm early.

Bleeding Green

Only three more UNT Mean Green men's basketball games to go for this season and I'm starting to get a little blue about it. We have such a good time going. We see friends we know in the community and the kids enjoy playing and the atmosphere.

My favorite player is out for the season, too. Bless his heart. I could see his frustration when he played in the last game Saturday. You could tell he was hurting and uncomfortable when he was on the court. Still, I thought he held his own pretty well grabbing some boards. On the upside of that, I got to meet his mom. She is sweet, kind and very pretty. I can see where he gets his good looks (or at least half of them, didn't get to meet his dad. :) She didn't even try to strangle me or anything for checking out her kiddo.

She mentioned that our family must bleed green and I think we do and it starts early. I didn't think to tell her this story, but I thought of it this morning. When Pickle was about 5 or 6, Baylor (my alma mater) came to Denton to play UNT for a football game. I was so excited. I got Baylor shirts for Army of Dad and Pickle. (I had a couple already, go figure.) So, we get to the game and Pickle cries and cries and cries.

"I don't want to cheer for Baylor. I want to cheer for the Mean Green!"

So, Army of Dad took him down to the souvenir stand and bought the child a UNT shirt (which now fits Stinkerbelle). He was happy until the end of the game, when he cried some more, because Baylor won.

So, yeah, it isn't quite the shade of green I had hoped the children would bleed, but I'll take it. I think I can better afford a UNT education more than one at Baylor anyway. (And, yes to my MIL and husband, I'm sure a University of Florida education would be affordable after the first year, too!)



*taking deep breaths*

I know it is only little kid cheerleading and it isn't that big of a deal. But, I get so frustrated at the lack of commitment parents have to youth activities. I mean, why did you sign the child up if you don't intend to take her to practice on time or even take her to the games (instead opting to take her to a birthday party)?

I was brought up (my parents were both coaches, too) to believe that when I signed up for a team, I was obligated to that team before any other activity that I might rather do. (Don't even get me started on the fact that I was the only first-grader in all of Fort Worth who didn't go to the Shaun Cassidy concert because I had a softball game, which we had to forfeit because only me and two other girls showed up to play. Not that I'm bitter or anything all these years later. Da doo ron ron, da doo ron ron.)

But, I digress, as I usually do.

I am so proud of my little cheerleaders when they "get" something and do it pretty well. But, they won't "get" it if they never come to practice or the games.



Look Ma!

Little Bit lost her first tooth today.

Just a little diversion

Trying to write a ton of stories - ok five - that are all due today. So, I put on my YouTube playlist and this came on and made me smile. Back to work.

Calgon, Take Me Away

I need some mental health days. *sigh*

Have a story that was due yesterday to finish. FIVE stories due today (so not going to happen) and only 30 pages left in my novel. I just found out who did it, but now I want the details and it is killing me!!!!!!

My motto for the day:
I love deadlines. I especially like the wooshing sound they make as they fly by!


Scientists Can Be Really Dumb: Exhibit A

Upon occasion, I want to choke the life out of the expert sources I have to rely on for information. I'm writing a story on fertilizer issues for growers. I made a call to this one professor who said he'd help me, but he'd like me to email him what I needed. So, I sent him a simple email outlining my story.

Here was his first email. A little snippy, IMHO, but I know how college professors AKA "intellectuals" can get on their high horse and talk down to us stupid people who don't have lots of initials after our names.

I will need more specific questions from you that I can answer since the topic you mentioned is too broad and general and may require a lot of background and information. I will need to know the exact title of your article, length and format, your affiliation and background so I know how this information will be compiled and presented.

My response:
This is the magazine's website (omitted from blog post, sorry). The readers are growers. This will be an article written with information from university professors and extension agents across the country. I'm struggling to reach the right people in the various regions as everyone keeps passing me along to someone else, so you are my first contact. Often, my first contact helps guide me in the right direction. My article will be about 1,500 words all together from compiling information from various sources. I'm sorry I can't be extremely specific with a broad topic. I'm not a horticulturalist, but a journalist and I rely on my sources to help guide me. This is my specific topic from my editor: I'd like a feature that focuses on the Top 10 issues that nursery growers may face this spring with fertilizer issues. The focus is on FERTILIZER. Call 4-7 of the top university labs with a good cross-section of the country and ask them to list the top issues that NURSERY growers faced last year and what they expect might be the top issues this spring. Does that help you at all? I appreciate your guidance and expertise.

After a few more email exchanges that were all similar in nature, here is his response:
As I have said earlier, it is not possible for me to write this article. I just pointed a few issues. You will need to do it if you are the author. The issues are several and each one requires substantial information to appropriately make the point. Uf (sic) you have written something I can look at it offer a few comments. I cannot do it for you.

Ok, jackass, I'm not asking you to write the damn story for me. I'm a writer, you're the scientist. Hello!?! Who is the reader going to give more credence to? You or me? All I asked for was some quotes - his opinons based upon his expertise - regarding issues in the industry in which he has multiple advanced degrees. He was talking to me like I was some undergrad asking him to write my term paper for me. No. I need you to talk to me so I can add your comments to the rest of the scientific quotes. Now, in his defense (and in my best Texan twang), he ain't from around here, but I thought I did a fairly good job of communicating what I was doing and what I was asking of him. English is likely his second language, but he speaks asshole just fine.

Random Information of the Day

Cuz my Monday is really just starting - workwise - and I posted the word "arse" somewhere ...

Just in case you ever get a wild hair up your butt and want to do a Google search for arse + hair ... you can learn what an arse hair demon is. Go figure. Never heard of that before. But, now I plan to work that into a sentence somehow.

Rx Disclaimer

I guess I watch a lot of TV shows that are targeted toward old men because at least once an episode there will be a commercial for Cialis. In case you've been living under a rock, Cialis is for ED (no, not economic development, although it is a form of stimulus). Shhh, its for erectile dysfunction (which is code for your dude can't get it up when he wants to.)

Now, thank God I married a young guy, so this hasn't been an issue for us. But, again, I watch shows aimed at old men - which gets me back to the point - commercials for Cialis.

My favorite goes into all the possible side effects:
In rare instances, men taking prescription ED tablets (including CIALIS) reported a sudden decrease or loss of vision or hearing (sometimes with ringing in the ears and dizziness). It's not possible to determine if these events are related directly to the ED tablets or to other factors. If you have a sudden decrease or loss of vision or hearing, stop taking any ED tablet, including CIALIS and call your doctor right away.

Now, every time I see the commercial I break into laughter at the image of a guy boinking himself blind or deaf and imagine this disclaimer:
If you find that you have screwed yourself blind or deaf, stop taking any ED tablet, including CIALIS and call your doctor right away.

It can't be just me that finds that hilarious? Ok, the poor schmuck who that happened to ... it would suck for him and his lady pal, but I guess it would be a good way to go, no?

Managing in Tough Times

To help families struggling to make ends meet, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has published a new bottom-line guide to personal finances called Managing in Tough Times. The 40-page booklet includes ideas on prioritizing debts and handling them more efficiently, saving money on basic needs, and finding overlooked sources of income.

I just stumbled upon the information today while looking up an ag source for a story on fertilizer I'm writing. No shit, a story on fertilizer. *rub down the goosebumps* I know my life as a writer is glamorous as hell. Regardless, I just looked it over briefly, but I think it could be a great help to many people who are scraping by like the rest of us.

Prayers help, too. But, Jesus helps those who help themselves, I've been told and I find it a pretty good life motto. So, go give it a read and pass the link on to others who can use it.

Why Rock n Roll Will Never Die

A comparison of quotes.

Why I Support the Stimulus By Arlen Specter
Monday, Feb. 9
Washington Post Page A17
"I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country cannot afford not to take action."

Kill this Porkosaurus by Ted Nugent
Tuesday Feb. 3, Headquarters for the Conservative Underground
"In a crisis, hysterical, wrongheaded, ignorant people will squall and holler to 'do something.' Reasonable people with a modicum of intellect know that throwing a cinder block to a drowning person qualifies as 'something,' but surely it is the wrong something."

Sometimes the Motor City Madman knows more than the lifelong politician who can't pull his head out of his ass. On a side note, I saw the Nuge perform at Texxas Jam in 1985. Yeah, I'm that old. Of course, back then, I wore a bikini and my Daisy Dukes and had to fight off the dirty old bikers because my boyfriend was a wuss and wouldn't say anything when someone tried to feel me up. Not that I'm bitter or anything. But I digress. Hat tip to Ken.


Out of the mouths of babes

I was trying to explain to Hot Rod exactly what a mammogram is and what it does. The best description I could come up with was it is an x-ray of my breast.

He went back to school today for the first time since he left early on Tuesday. Apparently, he had a conversation in the hallway with his homeroom teacher and his science teacher.

Science teacher: Hot Rod, we're so glad you're back.
Homeroom teacher: Yeah, we missed having you here.
Hot Rod: Yeah, mom said she thought I was feeling well enough to come back and besides *looking around to make sure no one is nearby* she is having a boob x-ray today and I didn't want to go to that with her.

The science teacher told me about this exchange in the hallway shortly after it occurred. She said it took every ounce of restraint on both teacher's parts not to burst out laughing. I walked into his homeroom a few minutes later to make sure his teacher didn't need anything else from me and she just looked at me and smiled a knowing smile.



I remember being in college or just out of college when this song came out. I loved it. Something about it is so bittersweet to me. I wanted to name a baby girl Kayleigh. I don't know that Army of Dad would have liked that name. Little Bit's name was my first choice and this was second. *sigh* I'm in a foul mood right now and this song is a good choice for being a bit grumpy.


Four Years

We never heard the end of it when Bush's appointees had anything unseamly in their backgrounds. Funny how little is being made out of his picks and their aversion for paying taxes. According to our vice president, it's patriotic to pay taxes. *shrug* I'm just saying that we'd hear all about this on the front page if this happened four years ago. But, now, not so much.

But, we do have things like this to look forward to for the next four years. I think I'm going to irritate some people and buy one of these. I think the website would be so sad to know that people like *gasp* me are now buying their shirts. And, go figure, I'd be stimulating the economy and supporting a free market without government interference.


Go Green, Go White

My little cheerleader squad is getting better. I'm working with girls from 4 to 8 years old, so it is quite a challenge to get and keep them on task. But, they're having fun. Learning a little Jesus and looking absolutely adorable.


Hot Rod got an invitation today to participate in the Duke Talent Identification Program, which recognizes the top 5 percent of fourth- anf fifth-grade students nationwide. He qualifed after getting a perfect score on the state's standardized test in math last year. From what he thinks, only two fourth-graders at his school were invited to participate. So, he's not just a good athlete, a sweet little witnessing Christian, he's smart, too. According to my husband and my dad, he was "dropping dimes" everywhere. I thought I was enough of a sports nut to know the lingo, but I didn't know that meant he got lots of assists.
Needless to say, I'm one proud momma tonight. He also had a great steal that he put up for two.

Checking under the hood

Now that my husband is gainfully employed again and has been so for more than 90 days (no small miracle in this economy), I have bonafide medical insurance again. None of this emergency stuff. No sirree.

So, that means that all the stuff I've been putting off - like my annual mammogram and check of the, ahem, lady parts - are all getting done this week.

I was first humiliated with the British nurse (who doesn't mince words) had me step on the scale. She informed me that there is no way my jeans, sweatshirt and cell phone in my pocket weigh nine pounds, so therefore my scale at home is a BIG FAT LIAR and I'm much more of a lardass than I care to admit. (Ok, she was more diplomatic than that, but not much.)

After that meant peeing in a cup. (For you guys, we never get to see a doctor or nurse without having to pee in a cup first. Never mind that my tubes were tied in 2002. Nope. Peeing in a cup is mandatory.)

So, the best part comes when I'm told to strip and handed two drape thingees made out of an old pink sheet with drawstrings. I'm instructed to remove everything and put the openings in the back.

This is always comical with my, ahem, girls. The top part is like some sort of poncho and I felt like a particular South Park character that shall not be named here. Not a pretty picture. So, I'm trying to wrap the poncho around the girls, but under my armpits, so the fabric is secure.

In walks the British nurse again. Tsk, tsking, she is.

"You're going to get Dr. T all in a twitter looking all seductive like that. That won't do." At this point, she proceeds to pull the girls out and re-arrange the fabric while instructing me how to sit while covering more of my body.

So, the doc gets out the light and goes spelunking while talking about commuting, gas mileage and driving a fuel efficient vehicle. The small talk while they're up in me is always weird. I delivered a baby once talking about an Elton John concert the doc went to and that I wanted to go to. *shrug*

I was pronounced in good health and instructed to schedule my annual mammogram. (done, its set up for Friday). Then, I got the whole "You're 40 now, so we probably ought to check your thyroid and cholesterol." Then, he pauses before continuing with "and, you probably don't want to hear it, but how often do you exercise?" *deep sigh* I know, doc. Its on my to-do list.

And, it was. So, I went and joined the rec center today. I'm going to have a meeting with someone to help me develop a routine of exercises and get me acquainted with the equipment. They asked me my goals for working out: fitness, strength and weight loss. Yes, in that order. I like my body (for the most part), so I'm more concerned with not being such a wuss. If I get all buff, that's a bonus.

Now, see, after regaling everyone with that tale, I bet none of ya'll can wait to hear about the pancake squish on Friday.

Family Affair

My mom and dad came to watch the kiddos on Saturday. We were lucky (for a change) to have sister cheering at brother's game. Made it nice to get it all over with in one fell swoop!


Superbowl Refs are on Ben's Dick

Now, I like the Steelers just fine. But, these referrees are up on the Steelers' dicks so bad that it isn't even funny.

And, I'm not impressed by the commercials or the commentary of the game.


At least our meatballs were very tasty. ( they were inspired by El Capitan's recipe. We use a jar of grape jelly and a spicy BBQ sauce cut with some sweet Dr Pepper barbecue sauce in the crockpot. Yummy)