Army of Mom

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


To be or not to be

Tonight I had the privilege of seeing Shakespeare Man at the local library. He was very entertaining and informative. There were many things that I had either forgotten from my studies or simply never knew. For instance, a number of every day phrases still used today were coined by Shakespeare back in the early 1600s!!! For instance:
Eat me out of house and home.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Come full circle.
All the world is a stage.
In a pickle.
Flesh and blood.
There were all terms used by Shakespeare that are still used today. That is interesting. *shrug* I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended if you ever get a chance to see him. Audience participation was part of it, too. :)


Arrrr, matey!

Watching the Pirates on South Park tonight and I laughed so hard I woke Army of Dad up from his snooze in the recliner. But, part of what made me chuckle was that Hot Rod was like the South Park kids in that he didn't grasp that the pirates that took over the Maersk Alabama. He kept watching the news and telling me that he couldn't believe there were really pirates in the world. I think he was imagining Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl boarding ships and not the Somali dudes. So, that made the South Park episode even funnier. But, the best line was when someone asked if the crew of the ship that was pirated was OK and the response was "Yes, they're French. They surrendered immediately." I roared with laughter. The song is good, too. Offensive? Yes, but good.

Little Bit or Little Bait

Saturday marked the big day for Little Bit to catch her first fish. The catfish is as big as she was when she was born, I think. Definitely as long as she was and perhaps close to her six pounds or so. :) She loved fishing, but was a bit grossed out at the prospect of holding it with her thumb in its mouth. She also caught the little sandbass, too.
I love that unsure smile at having to hold it.
Hot Rod caught two sandbass and was disappointed that his sister caught a bigger fish than him.
Holding all four fish took a little bit of muscle from the boy.
Little Bit wasn't sure she wanted to watch dad clean the fish at first.
Then, she got into it as dad showed her all the internal organs, etc. Now, that made good fun for her and the boy. Good eats, too. We fry 'em up using Rice Krispies as the breading. I think Hot Rod ate half of the fish all by himself.

Picture Day

Windy days have made Texas the allergy HQ of North America, I think. But, sweet windblown Little Bit makes it look good. If only I looked that good with windblown hair.
Something you would never see little girls doing - especially right before pictures: seeing who had the biggest double chin. *shaking my head* Yeah, for real. The sweet little boy to Hot Rod's left (with his arms crossed) lost his grandpa Friday. I was so sad for him and his mom. I sat with this old fella for a few minutes at every game. He was a sweet old guy and I feel terribly for the family.
Then, let the flicking begin. Not sure what was going on here. The big kid flicking at Hot Rod is three months YOUNGER than Hot Rod. Yeah, go figure.
Bounce houses were at the fields during picture day, which made life a little nicer for Stinkerbelle. One was free and the other was 50 cents. So, free won out. Free fun is the best for moms on a budget!
And, pictures were funny. Hot Rod couldn't seem to figure out to slide his foot up where the guy was pointing.
But, I think he's gonna look adorable. He always does. :)
The team pic is lacking some as two of the four coaches and their two boys were missing. But, still, from my angle, looked pretty good.

Snape is Still Alive

Well, our little snake is still alive and he seems to be OK with me jacking with him now and then. We think he is a rough or smooth earth snake. Not sure. Anyone know by looking at him? But, here he is chilling while I was making his little home more homey. I got him some nice composty-type soil, some leaves and sticks, a little bowl of water and then we got him some worms. He ate them, so today we caught a little centipede to put in there for him. I'll need to find him some more tasty treats tomorrow.
This is little home for now. If he survives another day or two, I'll go check the thrift stores to see if I can find him an aquarium or something to live in. I just hated to spend the money if he was going to die, but he seems to be doing well living on his little hors d'oeuvre tray.


Snake Wrangler

I really REALLY REALLY hate snakes. So, guess what bizarro thing I did today? I caught a little snake in our back yard for the kids to check out.

Yeah, sometimes I shock myself. We're working on cleaning up the back yard in anticipation of Hot Rod's birthday party on May 17. So, some maintenance is definitely required and while raking up leaves, we found the little bugger.

We think he is a rough earth snake, but not sure. I need to try to get him a better set up than the snack tray he's hanging out in right now.


What Not to Wear

Well, Clinton Kelly is offering some tips on What Not to Wear. We could all probably stand to hear a few of them. *sigh* They're coming to Dallas. I would love to be on the show. Ok, love may be a reach as mean as they are in that 360-degree mirror. But, it would be nice to get the makeover and new wardrobe. I'd have to hide some of my sports jerseys, though. They're not tossing my Emmitt Smith, Tony Romo or A-Rod jerseys.



Reason No. 469 Why I Like Soccer

My beloved sent me the link to the FC Dallas blog about Peri Marosevic being selected to CosmoGirl's Hot Soccer Guys Eye Candy list. Yes indeedy ladies. It is worth a look. If you like 'em young, that is. If you're not cougar-worthy, then pass 'em on by because I think the oldest is 23. Yep. Yet another reason why I like soccer.

Happy Earth Day

A couple of weeks ago, our city hosted its annual Red Bud Festival, which is a wonderful event focused on plants and recycling. Contrary to what some people may think, there are those of us who are conservatives who *saying in a whisper* care about the environment. I suppose you could say we're treehuggers. Literally, from Hot Rod's point of view.
My kids kicked ass at the Recycling Race because they know what to recycle because we *gasp* actually do it. We even had to request a larger recycling bin from the city because we kept overflowing the recycling bin while our trash can usually isn't full. So, the kids did great with picking through a basket to pick out the recycling items.
Our city even has a recycling mascot and look at Little Bit's smile!
She made a birdfeeder out of a milk carton, too, which was great fun for her. We have it hanging in one of our new gardens. Now, I need to get some birdseed to replenish it, too.
And, what Earth Day post would be complete without some hippies. LOL. This daddy reminded me of a miniature Hagrid. I wish I would have had one of those slings when I had my kids. They weren't as widely available back in the day.
And, funnel cakes. Hot Rod was in heaven with a funnel cake. Little Bit got to try her first Italian Ice. That was pretty tasty.


I love irises. From looking at pictures of my garden over the years, I know that shocks no one. They are simply one of the most beautiful native plants we have, I think. I grew up with them in our yard, so they probably remind me of home, too. I took these pictures at our Civic Center Park at the Red Bud Festival a few weeks ago and wanted to share them. I love these multi-color irises. I only have one of those that Army Wife Toddler Mom had sent me. All of mine are solid colors.
This was a neat variation with a pretty color.
I love this orange color. I thought it was kind of neat to see this little fella sitting on the bloom, too.
And, this one is gorgeous, too.
All of the colors were just beautiful. They had a big batch of yellow irises, too.
I think Indian Hawthornes are lovely, too. The bees buzzing around these were fun to watch.


Green Thumb

Over spring break, Home Depot ran a super sale with azaleas for $1.99 and 4-inch pots/plants 3 for $1. So, I stocked up on the limited amount you could get and I had been wondering what to do with them when Army of Dad suggested putting a little garden around the mailbox. We can't seem to get the grass to grow there, so why not? We had these paver/boarder stones around the tree at the side of the house, but when I expanded my side garden, we absorbed the little garden around the tree into that one. So, I removed that border and wondered what I was going to do with it. So, this was a great place to use it. I have a few more that I may make another semi-circle garden in the back yard or maybe even another part of the front yard. I'm not sure yet.
I love this time of year when it comes to my yard. Not so much for Hot Rod's allergies, though. But, our little peach tree in the front yard looks like it may have a bumper crop of peaches this season.

And, one of my favorite plants that I use alot. But, I have no clue what it is. Does anyone know what it is called? I got some originally from my mom and I just managed to grow these things like crazy (you'd have to try to kill them for them to die). But, I would love to know what they're called.

And, my little front garden is full of blooming amarilis in a lovely red with white stripe. I got these from my mom, too. I love getting free flowers. ;) I love the little butterfly thing I got at a craft show several years ago.

And, a beautiful white iris from Army Wife Toddler Mom in the batch of bulbs she sent to me a few years back. The really pretty lavendar and yellow one she sent tends to bloom in the fall. This is the first season that these white ones have bloomed.


Skeeter food

Is it just me with my mind in the gutter or do other people snicker silently (or guffaw loudly depending upon my mood and company) when they're watching cooking shows or sporting events?

The commentary. I mean, the most sexual of all games has to be golf. Listen to the commentators during the next PGA event on TV. Trust me, you'll be laughing till there are tears in your eyes. Football does it, too. But, what caught me off guard was listening to Iron Chef America. Alton Brown's commentary gets me all hot and bothered. *shrug* Ok, maybe I'm just easily amused.

Well, I'm not sure what brought that on. I was going to write about finishing part of my garden. I got all ADD and moved from expanding the garden around the peach tree and moved on to the little garden we wanted to do around the mailbox with some edging paver stone thingees that we removed from a little garden when I did the last expansion. I think it looks pretty good. I didn't finish it till after dark, so no photos. I may take some tomorrow and post. I was mosquito food for a large part of the evening. Yuck.

And, lastly, I have had this weird rash on my hands that started last week. I got an appointment for the dermatologist today and was diagnosed with stress-induced eczema. It is the weirdest thing. Just a strange little rash on my hands. Nothing that anyone, but me, notices. *shrug* The doctor prescribed relaxation and then she laughed and said, Ok, seriously ... little tips she gave me and some Clobetasol cream. Unfortunately, she said this is probably something that will come and go from here on out when I get uber-stressed. Great. At least my eye stopped twitching, I guess.


I'm nothing in between

No one fits conveniently into a box labeled simply. I know I don't. I'm a Christian, but I'm a sinner. I'm a mom, but I'm also a woman. When this Meredith Brooks song came out, I almost cried because it could have been written about me. I'm all those things, I think. Good and bad.

I'm definitely not perfect. Flaws and all, I am who I am. Most of the time, I like who I am. Sometimes I don't. One thing I don't like is my inability to change voluntarily. Most often, I'd rather go with the evil I know than to change for what might be better. I don't like the unknown. I want to know what to expect in everything.

And, when I'm thrown a curveball, I have a hard time accepting it.

In the past year, Army of Dad lost his job and was out of work for seven months. I may have lost two of my best friends along the way, too. Life has seen fit to make me clean house internally. With the job loss came my questioning of my faith, too. I experienced so much and the one big thing I came away with was that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe this. I don't think God hit a spinner only for us to wonder where it will land. I think everything was put into motion for a reason. I don't believe in predestination, but I do think God gives us a kick in the ass toward a certain direction. The things that have happened to me aren't arbitrary. People are put into other's lives with an intent. And, just like everything else in life, there is a cycle to it. Sometimes that cycle is continuing and sometimes it reaches an end and there is no more.

While reading Woman's Day recently, I saw an article talking about things every woman should know. There were little things like how to "look great on little sleep" with tips for eye make-up or how to choose a good wine. But, the one that sort of hit me hard was titled "let go of something." I've been letting go of a lot of things and forcing myself into making changes that are beneficial (and God, I even hate to use the words "hope" or "change" any more since the last election. Makes me want to throw up.). But, what I have learned is that some things, some people, some activities just suck the life out of me worse than a dementor's kiss.

The article's advice:
Whether it's a relationsihp that's run its course or a set of fraying sheets, sometimes we just need to call it quits. Diana Kirschner, PhD, author of Love in 90 Days, suggests asking yourself: What would I advice my child/parent/best friend in a similar situation? Do I want to be dealing with this in 10 years? What might I gain if I let it go?

And, it just hit me. I'm letting go of a lot of things and I feel a huge weight lifted off of me, overall. Some things have some guilt and apprehension attached to them. But, for the first time in my life, I'm genuinely doing things for ME; not for others or out of a sense of responsibility. I'm doing things I think may be the best for me and eliminating situations that drain me. Ok, not completely, but the best that I can.

Evolving is a painful process, but necessary. I feel like a snake shedding its skin.

One of my favorite movie lines

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring... which makes it like sex. There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250... not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there's a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone, I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. 'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. 'Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball - now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake? It's a long season and you gotta trust. I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

C'mon Meat, throw me that weak-ass shit

I love baseball season. Hot Rod has a really good team this year. And, he has the anal retentive coach (but in a really good way). He makes out like a dozen scenarios for every game of how he's going to pitch the kids and positions and all. It is pretty funny. He wants to win, but he also cares about the kids, which is nice.
Relax, all right? Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic. I love Bull Durham.

Oh yeah. Little Bit has decided she wants to be the Bat Girl. *insert Batman theme here* So, she has a helmet and I made her a shirt with Bat Girl on it. :) She loves her job.

And, she does a pretty good job, too. :)


Pervy Klingons, Speed Racer and Fat Cats, Oh My!

Today I took Pickle to a dork fest (sci fi/comic con) in Richardson and we had a good time. There weren't too many celebrities or artists there that he or I were keen on seeing. There was a secondary character from Serenity on there, but no one I HAD to drop money on. Pickle dressed up like Speed Racer and made a dream find for his money. He found these movie theater cardboard stand-ups and bargained his way into their acquisition for a mere $10. These things are huge, so he has to decide what is coming down off his walls for these to replace.
Then, there was the pervy Klingon. *shaking my head* I thought he was going to act like he was assaulting me for the picture. So, I made the appropriate face. Then, he says, "The picture is going to look like something its not." To my puzzled expression he replied "Look down." And, to my amazement, it looked like he was copping a feel. I just shook my head and he started laughing. I'm thinking, great, my 14-year-old is snapping this picture and his little girl is holding his bat'leth in the backgound. Nice.
Then, the scary cat lady saying hi to a baby in a stroller. *I CAN HAZ EYE BLEACH* There are some outfits and some people just shouldn't wear. Her honey was the dude in the bright blue shirt to her left. Um, yeah. There weren't too many people in costumes around. There was a little girl dressed as Princess Leia and a 40ish gal who looked very World of Warcraft. She was hot, but I think Pickle was way too embarrassed to get a pic with her. I thought about asking for one, but after the pervy Klingon, I wasn't sure what may happen with that. LOL. Fun was had by all.



I guess having my eldest child have some issues has helped me grow as a person and a parent. He has struggled mightily in his 14 years of life and he continues his uphill battle with as much dignity as he can, I suppose. My job is to love him, support him and give him as much help as I can. Often, I feel like a complete failure in this realm, but I keep on trying.

Most recently, we've been given the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. A lot of it makes sense, but like anything else, not all of it. He has to be one of the most loving children I've ever met. Show him a baby, small child or an animal and his heart melts. He has so much love in him. But, he is a peculiar person. *shrug* He just is and always has been and the Asperger's makes sense in that realm. So, we keep on keeping on. He starts high school in the fall and we've been blessed to have a wonderful team (and I do mean a team as there more than a dozen educators, administrators, counselors and parents) working toward preparing him as best as we can for his future.

*deep sigh* So, we're doing what we can for him.

Now, my poor middle kid is suffering at the hands of a distressed child at his school. Hot Rod is extremely smart and very athletic. Of course, I think he's terribly cute, too. But, he has a nemesis at school. Another very bright child who, from my experience as a mother of a special needs child, needs more help than a mainstream classroom alone can provide. I believe he could benefit from the Social Adjustment Classes (SAC program) that Pickle has been in since fourth grade. I think he hasn't been put there because he is so incredibly smart. All year, Hot Rod has put up with this kid's idiosyncracies and I've encouraged him to ignore the outbursts. This the same child whose parents are atheists, just by the way. Not that it really matters, but is a side note. Hot Rod has been kind to this child and tries not to irritate him (as best as I can tell from working at the school and being around). But, this kid simply has issues. Yesterday, he lost it. Hot Rod was leaning his head in his hands and the kid thought his index finger (resting on Hot Rod's cheek) was "flicking germs" at him. *shaking my head - remember I said he has issues* and the kid jumped up and started yelling and grabbed Hot Rod's head and started shaking it.

Ok, this is where my patience for the child ends - when you assault my child. So, I sent a very nice note to the teacher and principal about it and told them in no uncertain words that my son has been told to defend himself if attacked. Thing is, my kid will be the one to look like the offender if he defends himself against the unstable kid. It is really sad. I worry about the poor little fella because I've watched him since second grade and his peculiarities have gotten worse progressively. Intervention is needed and, perhaps, this will be the final catalyst for it. I don't think he has peculiarities but some sort of mental disorder that may need medical intervention. *shrug* Like I said, as the parent of a kid with issues, I recognize it all too well. But, he needs help. I'm not mad at him. Honestly, I want to help him. I also want whats best for my boy and getting assaulted isn't it.


Off to take my car to the shop in the rain. *sigh* I need gas, too. Yuck.


The Naked Writer

I have an acquaintance who wrote a book of a similar name. :)

But, for a few moments this morning, I absolutely love what I do for a living. I had just stepped out of the tub, dried off with my robe and proceeded to do my phone interview (in the buff) of a gal who owns a bakery in Houston. I had to laugh because I know she was working from home, too, and wondering if she was in her PJs or what.

Then, while flipping the digital music choice stations to find some background music, I flipped past "Puff the Magic Dragon" before hitting "Can't Touch This" which led me to do the hammer dance. Then, I finally found Ida Maria's "I like you so much better when you're naked."

That made me laugh.

Of course, I love my job until moments like right now when I have to write about commercial real estate capital markets. *ptooey*

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Well, Hot Rod's little A's team is currently in second place after 3 to 5 games have been played by most of the teams. His team is 3-1. Two of the wins, they run-ruled the other team. The one loss was to the first place team 7-4. Hot Rod made a great stop at second base only to have the first baseman drop the good throw. *shrug* It happens. Then, he got this throw in from the centerfielder, but, alas, the runner was already on the base. Good idea to tag, just in case, I think. :)
Finally, the boy got a bonafide hit in his third game. What you can't see in the video is that there was a player on second and Hot Rod hit the ball down the third-side base line. I think it would have been a hit anyway, but it confused the third baseman when the runner arrived at the base about the same time as the ball was getting there. He couldn't field it cleanly and get a tag on that kid in time and Hot Rod saw him fumbling and not paying attention, so he took off to second. The throw came, but was bad, so he got up and ran to third. You get to hear me utter a curse word during all of this, too. :) Hot Rod is not a pull hitter at all, but the Rockies pitchers were pretty accurate, just didn't have a lot of pepper on the ball. So, for him to pull it down the line was pretty interesting. He usually goes opposite field. He didn't get to bat again before the game ended because the batter ahead of him - who has struggled at the plate mightily - hit an inside-the-park three-run homer! So, in typical Hot Rod fashion, he was left on deck.
This is Hot Rod at second during the first inning.
And, this coach has been coaching in our league for about two years. he always wears the knee socks up real high and the gigantic shorts that remind me of culottes. Last year, he tried to pick a fight with our coach after a game. Well, technically, the wife of the big-shorted coach tried to pick a fight and then this guy stepped in. If you knew our coach from last year, it is comical that they would do that. He's an old grandpa kind of guy and really a good guy. We've been lucky to get good guys for coaches.
This was the post-game talk. The head coach, the one next to Army of Dad, had a smile that was a mile-wide when the game was over.


See Ya Later, Arkansas

While visiting DeGray State Park, we went on a guided sunset hike along the water's edge for part of it. Incredibly beautiful, we found unusual features including this tree that grew at a 90-degree angle.
Our sunset wasn't as impressive as most nights - our park interpreter told us - because the weather was a bit overcast as storms were in the region. But, it was still a glorious site to see.
The roads leading out from the dam and back to the interstate were tree-lined and lovely, too.
On the way back home, we stopped in Texarkana to State Line Road, where one side of the street is in Texas and the other side is in Arkansas.