July 31, 2005

Survivor's of the Blog Crawl

TO ALL YOU SURVIVORS OF THE BLOG CRAWL… I HOPE YOUR HEADS FEEL BETTER! I HEAR ASPIRIN AND GATORADE WORK.

IF YOU HAD BEEN IN TOWN I WOULD HAVE DRAGGED YOUR HAPPY ASSES TO THE GYM WITH ME THIS MORNING WHEN I WENT RUNNING. BUT RUNNING NEXT TO ME WOULD HAVE MADE YOU VOMIT AS I ATE TOO MUCH GARLIC LAST NIGHT AT DINNER AND THE GARLIC SCENTED SWEAT THAT POURED FROM MY BODY WAS ENOUGH FOR ME TO WANT TO RUN AWAY FROM MYSELF.

SO I HOPE Y’ALL ARE FEELING BETTER. I KNOW A COUPLE OF YOU GOT PRETTY MESSED UP. I DID GET A CALL FROM A *VERY* DRUNK NORTHERN ILLINOIS BLOGGER SPEAKING WITH A THICK SCOTTISH BROGUE. RUMOR HAS IT HE QUIT VOMITING A COUPLE HOURS AGO…

AND I ALSO KNOW I ALMOST GOT DRUNK DIALED BY SOMEONE ELSE… HEH. DAMMIT. WISH HE’D GOTTEN THROUGH… I LOVE TO TEASE HIM ABOUT HIS HEAVY WISCONSIN ACCENT.

I WAS PRETTY SURE ONE BLOGGER PASSED OUT IN SOMEONE’S COMMENT SECTION, BUT I COULD NEVER FIND HIM TO BE SURE.

SO A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL. AND TO Y’ALL THAT ARE STILL HUNGOVER, I’M NOT YELLING… I’M ACTUALLY TALKING SOFTLY… BUT Y’ALL ARE TOO HUNGOVER TO REALIZE IT.

SHEESH. DAMN DRUNKS…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:03 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Harvey's Fun Facts of Florida

Blogfather Harvey of Bad Example has a really really funny post of Fun Facts About Florida. Go take a look. Good stuff. If you’re from Florida, you’ll definitely find some funny facts in there. This is so true:

Passing the test for a driver's license in Florida requires that you be able to make a right turn from the left lane across 3 lanes of traffic. Or so I assume from what I saw last time I was there.

And this one just hits home with The Great Omnipotent One losing Shed2, during Dennis:

Neil Smith of Montverde, Florida, invented the riding lawn mower in 1933, adding to the list of useful things that Floridians could have blown away during a hurricane.
Posted by Boudicca at 07:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Street Master

I was going to post this last night in honor of the blog crawl, but ended up not posting. It’s crude and a little more edgy than you would expect from my blog. Some of you know this story…

It was just before my 20th birthday and I had come up for the summer to visit my parents, who were then living in Ann Arbor, MI. Through the summer I worked at a great Chinese restaurant, waiting tables and doing some light bartending when the bartender was out. I ended up dating the owner’s son, which is a whole other story, but it became very obvious to everyone, early on, that I was very naïve. At 19, 1 month short of my 20th, I was still a virgin.

I wasn’t exactly frigid… OK, maybe I was… but it wasn’t a ‘save yourself for marriage’ thing as much as I always felt kind of geeky and that guys in general never viewed me as anything other than sister/friend... as I’ve ALWAYS had guy friends. I’m that girl next door… the girl guys want to take home to meet Mom. Even now, as an adult, all the guys I know view me as a sister/friend/niece/daughter/mother type figure. I seem to encompass all those feminine roles in their minds… but my sexuality has never really come into play with them, which as a married woman I am GREAT with. Being single, it kinda stunk. I’m not a head turning kinda gal. In college, I was the smart girl in Partial Differential Equations that felt if she just played her cards right… some guy would eventually notice and be interested, in other than studying and talking heat transfer theory. In college, most guys seemed to be about getting laid. That wasn’t my game. I had a future to ensure and didn’t have time for nonsense.

Add to the fact that I’ve just always hung with guys. I’m very comfortable with them, and they have always appeared to be with me. Perhaps it is my left brainedness… I do not know.

So I was a self conscious young adult and the type that needed guidance to get through my awkwardness as to what had become of my body… I went from looking like one of the guys at 13 to suddenly being stuck in a woman’s body at 16… a transition I had great difficulty with, and I had not met that guy I felt that comfortable with yet. (That happened a year later at 21 and I really did think I was going to marry him.)

Back to my summer job… the folks I worked with were GREAT people, but thought my naiveté was an absolute scream and they decided that for my going away bash, we would all hook up and go to the strip joints in Windsor, Canada. For those who don’t know, it’s only about an hour drive. And in Windsor, as opposed to strip joints in Ann Arbor, they don’t have to wear any clothes. NOTHING. Buck nekkid they get.

Off we went, guys in one car, gals in the other… keeping in mind that in the US I was considered a minor and unable to drink, so my co-workers, although enjoying the thought of this trip immensely, were keeping an eye on me. The deal was… the guys went to their strip joint, and the gals were to go to a Ladies’ Club… all for 2 hours, we set our watches, and then there was a restaurant we were to meet for dinner after. A Chinese restaurant, no less.

Obviously, they had done this before.

We wimmin folk arrived at our destination and let me tell you… those men were wearing no clothes. I tried to take it in stride, but it was just weird, my friends, to be sitting there, completely clad… and they… just… weren’t and besides… everything truly does come in all shapes and sizes. Amazed and astonished I was.

Now the women I was with, to give you a clear picture, two were pregnant, one bartender (the one I subbed for), and there were a couple waitresses. Where the guys were all Asian, we were half and half… actually, we women were mainly Caucasian. The pregnant women were the ones looking out for me. If they weren’t channeling Motherhood through their pregnancy, I brought it out in them… and one of them was my age.

They had me put money in a G string… the guys had to wear something every now and then to collect money. Blech. I did hate that.

And they hired me a lap dance. That was completely awful. I spent the whole time looking AT HIS FACE, thinking, ‘Does your Mama know you do this for a living?”

But the highlight… oh yes there was one… was one of the stage performances. The Street Master was his name.

Now I had heard the same rumors as all the other women, that black men are ‘bigger’ than other races. I always viewed that as racist and a bunch of bunk, paying no mind. I still do. However, the Street Master was a black man and when he walked out, if one data point proved a theory, he was the proof.

Holy crap, I think I jumped back in my seat 3 feet and a small muffled scream was emitted from my open speechless mouth, for the man… was… a foot long. I kid you not, it hung down to his knees. It was fully extended, leading me to believe that in it’s ‘flaccid’ state, it must’ve looked like a black garden snake… except… for it’s girth.

Folks, that is what freaked me most… I swear to you, it had to be 3 inches in diameter.

It was like a train wreck. A bad train wreck. As much as I was completely horrified, and found myself sitting with my legs crossed, every lower body muscle clenched, I could not quit staring. And the women around me… felt the same way. I thought at first I must’ve been a prude to have the reaction I did, but the pregnant woman next to me, her face was frozen in a shocked state, said to all of us, ‘There’s no way in hell I’d let him touch me with that thing.”

And there you have it. My very first data point to prove the saying I quote quite often: Less is more.

Well… with the exception of my writing…

Posted by Boudicca at 07:50 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

July 29, 2005

Linky Stuff

The lovely and talented Christina of Feisty Repartee is this week's hostess with the mostest for the Carnival of the Recipes! Christina does NOTHING halfway... so rest assured she did a bang up job this week. Go take a look... live on the edge... try something new!

And a special thank you to Blog Father Harvey and Pam who thought of those of us who will be the Designated Driver for tomorrow night's Blog Crawl. This is the picture going on MY sidebar... yay!!!

blogcrawldd.gif


Posted by Boudicca at 11:06 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack

9 Months Ago Today...

Holy cow are there are lot of birthdays in July. I know I’ve posted for a few already, but here are two more!

Happy Birthday to John of Castle Argghhh!

John is the 2nd blog I ever read when I started blog reading… which is why if you look at my blogroll, he is not in alphabetical order with the rest. John, his wife Beth, and Pam were some of the first blogs I read in the blogosphere, so the three of them hold a special place in my heart. That’s why they aren’t alphabetized with everyone else.

Also… Happy Birthday to Napster, wife of blogson Spurs of Pull My Finger! Napster is also one of the real life dear friends of my sister Morrigan.

So… all these birthdays in July. I kept thinking, ‘Why is July so frickin’ popular?’ Then I realized… wait, July, June, May, April, March, February, January, December… November makes 9 months. Heh. Thanksgiving. That answers that.

I can’t wait until Bones counts back 9 months from his birthday and realizes… it was mine. Oh joy.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Difference in Boys, Part I

This is the 1st part of the difference between my aged boys (6, 8, and 10) and small boys (2-4) and restrooms...

When we were in Atlanta, we went out to eat at a pizza place called The Mellow Mushroom. The restaurant has a kind of welcoming atmosphere… there were families, guys at the bar, people on dates. It was fun.

Of course, half way through dinner, I get the infamous, “Mom, I have to pee” from Bones. When I’m in a place I don’t know, but feel like its small enough that I feel ‘safe’, I’ll let him go into the men’s room by himself. He really really hates my having to take him to the Ladies’ room. But it usually goes like this:

Me: You have 2 minutes. I will be standing by the door watching my watch. If you do not come out in 2 minutes, I’m coming in there after you. Do you understand?

Bones: Yes

Me: How much time do you have?

Bones: 2 minutes.

Me: What will I do if you’re not out in 2 minutes?

Bones: Come in after me.

Heh. Now you male readers know, if you find a short Celtic woman continually checking her watch outside the restroom, and there is a little boy in there, she fully intends to come racing in there should she need to… there is no modesty about her when there is concern with regard to her boys…

It is somewhat of a ritual. Depending on where we are, sometimes I have all three go in together. If it’s a really scary place, like a frickin’ rest stop on the side of a highway, they all come into the Ladies’ room with me.

So here we are at the Mellow Mushroom and Bones has to use the bathroom, and he’s inside, and he comes out in his 2 minute window. I go through my next ritual, the questions of “Did you wash your hands?” “Did you touch anything after you washed them?” Blech.

As we’re sitting at the table, Bones points out this nice looking guy, probably in his mid 30s. He says, “See that guy. He’s the guy that got me paper towels after I washed my hands.”

Let me just say, that if it were me sitting there giving advice to God on Judgment Day, I’d be saying, “Put a couple extra punches in that Heaven ticket. He helped my son in the Men’s room.”

Yesterday we were at breakfast with VW and her boys. Bones had to use the restroom and since I knew the restaurant well and as we were sitting close to the bathrooms, I let him go alone… telling him I was watching the clock.

Five minutes passed and he didn’t come out. I sent my eldest to go find him and see what was up. Seconds later they both came out and I looked at Son#1 quizzically. His reply was, “He was standing in the middle of the bathroom… and couldn’t reach the paper towels.”

I gave him an odd look and said, “What was he doing, just standing there waiting for someone to come in and hand him one?”

My eldest shrugged and said, “Yeah. I guess so.”

I need to rethink this thing about his going alone until he gets a little taller...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Difference in Ages Part II

This is the 2nd part of the difference between my aged boys (6, 8, and 10) and small boys (2-4) and restrooms...

While at breakfast with VW and her boys, her eldest, Tater, who just turned 3, had to use the restroom. Although I have taken him before, let me tell you, it is far different taking a wee lad to the restroom than it is a boy the ages of mine. I just forget sometimes.

VW’s youngest, Tot, has not been well, so she stayed with my three and her youngest at the table while I took Tater into the Ladie’s room. Tater walked with his hands in front of him. We got into the stall and he immediately started to pee in the commode.

I was standing there thinking, “When did he take that out? Did he have it hanging out the ENTIRE time we walked to the restroom?”

I washed up his hands and he continued his perpetual 3 year old chatter, that completely cracks me up, and we walked back out to the table which was in a secluded corner of the restaurant, with no tables surrounding us. The perfect table for 2 Moms and 5 boys.

Not five minutes later, my boys informed us that Tater had his pen-is hanging out of his shorts and was telling them he had to pee... again! VW jumped up and had him put his ‘part’ back in his pants and took him to the restroom.

My boys were laughing. As for me? I now feel certain that he had his ‘part’ out of his pants the entire short walk to the restroom. And for some reason, I cannot quit laughing about it.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

First Annual Blog Crawl

Well... blog son Contagion... crazy man that he is.. came up with this idea to have a blog crawl. Think pub crawl, except you're drinking at home, under the guise of the safety of your computer... commenting drunk.

There you have it. A Blog Crawl. Go HERE to blog son Contagion's for details, but the rules are as follows,

A) You have to be 21 years old to participate. I don’t want some minor’s parents coming back and saying I told them to get pissed drunk and go on the internet. If you are under 21, you may still participate, as a designated blogger.

2) Drink as much as you comfortably feel you should. This is for fun, I don’t want to have blog fodder stories involving charcoal slurries and ER visits. Be responsible, especially if you have to drive. I’m saying right now that if you do something stupid and hurt yourself I will make fun of you. I am neither legally, morally nor ethically responsible for anything you do either in the real world or on the internet. You are all adults and responsible for your own actions.

D) Please attempt to limit the Blog Crawl comments to the time frame listed. Just so, it’s easier to track. Not that I’m going to link to every single post that has a comment on it, I just don’t want to search for them Sunday to see what everyone said. Oh, and a drunken post on your own blog is perfectly acceptable and I will link to those.

4) Try to leave a comment on every blog in the Bad Example and Frizzen Sparks family. You may use my side bar as a reference if you don’t know who they are. Do not feel limited to these blogs only, go ahead and hit any other blog you would like as well. Oh, and a drunken post on your own blog is perfectly acceptable and I will link to those.

To comment at Frizzensparks and Bad Example Family members, you will find them all on my sidebar. Feel free to use my blogroll.

And Blog Father Harvey, is always thinking ahead and he got the very talented Pam of Pamibe to create us a logo. (I have personal affection for Pam as her talents made my blog what it is. She created my banner and put it together.)

So feel free to click the logo and use it on your site.

As for me? I'll be the Designated Driver. I'll be over commenting, but I'll be sober. Every 'crawl' needs someone sober keeping an eye on things!


Posted by Boudicca at 11:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

An Anxious Wait

Let me preface this entire post with the fact I am NOT a space expert. I do not spend my time pouring over space data and the latest and greatest as to what is occurring. I read when I can and so there may be flaws in my assessments as I’ve not had a continual stream of data. Keep that in mind when reading this post. I read what comes out in our newspaper… while I’m on the fly with three crazy kids.

I think it’s been evident even to my newest readers what I do for a living. I’ve worked in the aerospace field for over 12 years. I’m with another company now, as my first employer closed up shop where I live and with a 4 year hiatus raising my kids, I’m now back in my field working for another company, subcontracting to my original employer. I may occasionally poke fun at my old place of work, but I loved my jobs, I loved the people, and I loved my customer.

During the 12 years I worked for the company I now subcontract for… uppermost on all of our minds, all of the time, was the safety of the men and women who used our products. Any time a plane went down, and we’d get the red border paper across our desk, my first thought was ‘Did he get out?’ It would be easy for me to say that was a natural reaction since my father was a career Naval Aviator, but it is not true… everyone I worked with felt that way. Everyone. Retired military, former military, military brats such as myself, and born and raised civilians. All of us felt the same chill when a plane went down… that was someone’s father/son/brother/uncle in that plane. And if a fatality was the result of an accident, my second reaction, after fighting the rising bile in my throat, would be, “Please God, don’t let it have been because of our product.”

I don’t remember a time when it was, not saying it has never happened, but typically pilots eject upon realizing they have a system problem. They don’t mess around with a mechanical malfunction if they don't have to.

There are times in all industries when we see things that alarm us… those working in the trenches with the data… things that we bring to people’s attentions, but for some reason get ignored. It could be myriad reasons: our approach, too many things similar have been brought up and amounted to nothing, or nobody ‘wants’ to listen to the gloom and doom, are to name a few. I worked in a job where all we saw was the bad stuff… that was my job. It was tedious to bring it all up… all the time… but that was my job.

But it happens. So when I heard what happened on Challenger nearly 2 years ago, I immediately said, “Someone brought this up… some data engineer like me… someone somewhere saw this coming… and it was ignored… for one reason or another.” Been there, done that. It’s frustrating. I’ve been the person sitting in a big panic meeting after some sort of incident, sitting stoically, something I projected to happen did in fact occur, and thinking, “I.Told.You.So.Ass.Hole.” However, the difference was, in what I was working, lives were never in danger. NEVER. Not on those projects.

I was reading the paper today, reading how more debris occurred on this lift off for Discovery and how there are great assurances that all will be fine, as I’m sure it will. Statistically, it will be fine. They know what debris is acceptable and what isn’t… and debris happens on every lift off. I’ll keep praying though… it never hurts.

But my questions are no longer, “What happened? Why did it happen? What are the ramifications? How much damage is there? Is it something that is containable? Is it repairable in flight? What are the long term projections for the Space Shuttle program?”

My questions are, “Can we get them out if all hell breaks loose? Is the egress system sufficient? Will they have warning to make an egress attempt?”

My questions are much more basic. Mine are life and death. As they have always been.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fire in the Hole!

Over at blog daughter Sissy’s, she was talking about cleaning her oven. And the fact it was a rarity. And the problems she had.

There are a couple things I don’t do. One is iron. The other is… clean my oven. And this is not a good thing, this not cleaning my oven, as I cook a lot, and when one cooks as much as I do, there is always spillage. Spillage smolders. Or catches fire.

My oven catches fire a couple times a year. Its not a big raging roaring ‘burn down your house’ type fire, it’s contained, but a small little fire. I hate it when that happens. It typically happens when something combustible has dropped at the bottom of my oven, I didn’t see it, and then the next time I cook, “Poof!” instant fire in the hole.

It happened last week when I made chocolate chip cookies for the kids and I crammed too many cookies on my cooking stone and 3 of them puffed up and out and over the edge… dropping to the bottom of my oven. I thought I got it all after they were finished baking, but evidently not as when I went to cook dinner that night, I had a small fire as cookie burned turned into a burning coal.

I think the worst that ever happened were cheese butter potatoes. I was baking a big casserole full of mashed potatoes, sour cream, butter, and four cheeses. It’s not for those on a low fat/low carb diet. (I need to find that recipe for the Carnival of the Recipes.) Some how some spilled on the bottom of my oven and that fire was a pretty nice size… in comparison to past oven fires. That one really got my attention. I got a nice adrenalin rush off of that fire.

The only real issue I have with the small oven fires is it can change the flavor of what I’m baking. Burning stuff gives off an aroma that seeps into the food. I hate it when that happens.

I don’t know why I don’t clean my oven. I.just.don’t. I have a self cleaning oven, unlike ironing which I MUST do and requires effort, standing on my feet, and some amount of coordination for I very rarely iron without getting some sort of burn... on me... not my clothes.

But this is somewhat of a joke in my house. My folks and sister were visiting last year when my Mom looked in my oven and evidently came to the proper conclusion by the depth of the dirtiness that it had never been cleaned… in the 7 years I’d had it. And she was right. She opened the directions to my oven (I keep all the directions to all my appliances in my kitchen… all accessible) and decided that that evening was relegated to oven cleaning.

I was talking to The Great Omnipotent One when I was beckoned to the kitchen with my sister, by my Mom. Mom had this real serious look on her face. It was right after Ya Ya Sisterhood came out in the movie theater. She said this was some sort of secret ritual that we were to start and she had us put our hands in the center of the circle. Puzzled, we did so. Then she said something and made some proclamation of, “And let the oven be clean!” I nearly peed I laughed so hard.

My oven was clean. And has not been cleaned since. It’s been 2 years. I think the oven fire last week was a good indicator that it’s time…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Tammy!

Today is Tammi’s birthday. (Or as blog bro Johnny Oh likes to call her, Tammilicious!) The big 4-3. So this is a birthday post. Out of the ordinary for me as I normally post at night, I’m posting this first thing so everyone can see and maybe go on over and wish her a good one.

I met Tammi a year ago. It will be a year in August. We were both commenting at Harveys as we’re both blogchildren of his, but we had not really ever spoken until Hurricane Charley. A girl from the Midwest who had migrated to South/Central Florida 10 years ago, she’d never had to endure a hurricane and not only did she have to hunker down for the wrath of Charley, but she had to do so alone.

It’s funny, but when we spoke on the phone, I just was not nervous. You would think that not having met face to face that I would have some trepidation. I had none. You have to know Tammi to understand… to know Tammi is to feel comfortable and welcome, to feel able to be one's self without judgment. So when we spoke, there was an ease of having known each other for a long time, jumping right into conversation without the formality of having to get to know each other.

After that we spoke fairly frequently, but eventually, she became a daily phone call for me. Yup. I speak to Tammi almost every day. She was on the road a lot with her old job, so I’d ring up her cell just to see how she was doing. Honestly, the hurricane was not the scariest time I’ve spoken to her. I think the number 1 time I was scared for her was the time I called AS HER car was breaking down on a major highway in Orlando. I thought for sure I’d vomit that time.

I met her in person for the first time at our Bad Example gathering at her home in March. It was as if we’d known each other for years.

Tammi has become a most treasured and dear friend of mine.

I was lamenting to someone last year, that it is hard for me to make good friends. I have many acquaintances, but not so many close girlfriends. I was expressing that I had two girlfriends from high school, one of them my best friend for the last 25 years, two from college (VW is one), and two from my old job (one lives in CT and one down here) from the past 14 years.

I have not made a really close girlfriend in 14 years. And that saddened me that I had such a hard time letting people in; letting them get close. Especially because of all these girlfriends… only two live in town. And to me... a girlfriend is not someone I can just confide in, but someone I can depend on. Every person I consider a gilfriend, is someone who has proven to me to be extraordinarily trustworthy in the toughest of times... and someone I would go to great lengths to help in any time of need.

And then I met Tammi. She’s the closest I’ve ever let a girl get in 14 years. It was the last thing I ever expected, to make such a dear and close friend over the internet. Someone who is genuinely as you see when she writes… the sweetness, the big heart. On her blog you cannot hear her infectious laugh. Trustworthy and dependable... I never worry about what I tell her and I know if I needed something, she'd be there for me at the drop of a hat... and I for her.

Tammi is the best and I am honored and thrilled to consider her my friend.

And man oh man, if I could get her anything for her birthday, I'd win the lottery and get her out of her current digs. Neighbors from hell and all... Tammi is marked for Sainthood!

Y’all go on over and find a post to wish her happy birthday. Her answer to my bedside Meme post is a good place to start.

Happy Birthday, Tammy! You’re the best.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 27, 2005

Blogging Early Tonight...

Because I promised my 2nd son I would help him work a 1000 piece mosaic puzzle of Winnie The Pooh tonight. I suspect we'll get the border finished. Just shoot me.

And if my blog is still loading incorrectly, with my blogroll on the bottom, I have no frickin' clue why. I didn't touch my templates. I did nothing. And I'm not in the mood to fix it tonight or to fault isolate the code. So... hopefully it'll fix itself.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Bedside Table Meme

I got tagged with a Meme! Its by blog sister Barb of Righty in a Lefty State. It’s kind of an odd meme. It’s a bedroom meme. Heh.

It’s a ‘what’s on your nightstand’ meme. I can do this one. This is easy. However, y’all are going to be sorely disappointed. Whereas my desk looks like Office Depot threw up on it, my bed side nightstand is sparse in comparison. OK, maybe not sparse, but it is orderly.

Keep in mind, that things just appear on my bedside table at times and I do not know why. My life is not my own. Those who hold a y chromosome in this house simply like me to think I'm in control. In reality, it is all a big ruse.

On my bed side nightstand I have the following:

1 lenox lamp

1 digital alarm clock

2 small jar candles

1 family picture with my Mom and Dad, siblings, spouse and two of my kids (Bones wasn’t born). Hunh. Guess I should update that…

1 picture of The Great Omnipotent One when I think he was an Ensign, just out of the Academy

1 picture of my Mom that I think someone took at a counter at a department store

1 picture of my sister, her High School graduation… making that circa 1989.

1 picture of my brother, same thing… making that circa 1985.

1 picture of my husband and I at our engagement... circa 1991.

1 ceramic snake container painted by Son#2 and filled with rocks (smooth gems actually… the kind you buy at Rock City “buy all the gems you can fill in this small bag for just $2.99!”) It’s not my snake container. One of my kids put it there.

1 small stuffed moose head (I have no clue why it’s on my nightstand or from what moose it came… evidently there is a headless moose somewhere in my house… a SMALL headless moose…)

1 pencil (not mine)

1 gold Sakajawea dollar (The gift of tooth fairies, I do believe that one of my boys, in their excitement that the shiftless no good stinking tooth fairy actually did her job, bounded in to my room one morning to show me, leaving the fairy gift on my nightstand. I’d bet the dollar it was Bones…)

And, I have no clue why… or who left it there… but 1 Miraculous Medal which can be seen here and has the Virgin Mary on the front and an emblem of an M, a cross, and two hearts on the back. Evidently Catherine (the Saint who was given the instructions for the making of the medal) was told that ‘those who wear it will receive great graces, especially when worn around the neck…” I wonder what graces you receive when you keep it on your bedside… Hmmm. (I just clicked a few more holes in that ticket to hell card with that one, didn't I?)

There you have it. Not much is apt to change, except I expect the eventual removal of the Moose head and the pencil… and the gold coin will be claimed, although not necessarily by it’s rightful owner who is evidently not missing it, and the snake pot will eventually find it’s way, gems and all, to the owner’s room. But none of that will happen soon, of that I am sure.

I have to hit five people with this. It's an easy Meme folks, so I am hitting up five and I'm fully bracing myself for the ration of garbage I am going to take for it: Tammi, Sally, Jack, Ogre, and Contagion. Heh. Do Ogre's have nightstands???

Posted by Boudicca at 07:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Stupid Nents Will Get You Every Time

I have always had issues with stumbling over my tongue. Calling my poor youngest son, Boner, was not the worst… just the one with the highest probability to come back and bite me. At a bad time, I might add.

In my paying profession, inspections are called out for our product. Wear, tear, burns, scratches, nicks, and dents are but to name a few. About 8 years ago, a group of us had a meeting where we sat down to review the maintenance procedures on our product, with the customer. One enormous conference room, reams and reams of paper, it was tedious work, but it had to be done.

There was question on one of the procedures and for some reason, I had the answer. And why I knew that answer completely escapes me to this day… as it is not in everyone’s best interest for me to open my mouth at times.

So here I was in this room full of people, mostly men, about to explain about nicks and dents when I said, “The dicks and nents…” As soon as I said it, I shut up. The room fell silent, more of a shocked silent, and then everyone started to laugh. I was horrified, because, I knew… that since I made this mistake once, it would be made again and EVERY SINGLE time I EVER touched another procedure talking about nicks and dents, I’d think of that.

And of course, my co-workers didn’t let me down. Oh, no, no, no, my friends, for months someone would utter under their breath, “Those damn nents. They’ll get you every time.”

Even worse, I know now that now whenever I use the phrase openly, ‘nicks and dents’ I have to go through a little ‘think before you speak’… it goes like this and takes less than a second, “Wait, dicks and nicks are words. Dent is a word. Nent is not. It’s Nicks and dents.” If I DO NOT DO THIS, I always say, ‘dicks and nents’… which is what I caught myself doing today with my tech lead. Luckily he didn’t catch it. Trust me, if he had caught it he would have ragged on me all day… as would have the rest of the guys. All day Friday I’d have been hearing about ‘those damn nents’ from every guy in the room.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I Don't Think the Muslims Like me Much

I was uncertain what this test would tell me. I fully expected something along the lines of "You have no sense of humor" as I've been in a rather foul mood as of late. Heh.

I don't know. Although parts of this are correct, I do have a rather sarcastic sense of humor. Also, I don't think I've ever been called popular. Approachable? That's been questioned too as I've been told I can be rather aloof. That said, if you know me and I'm comfortable, I am approachable... but still not popular!

H/T to Blog daughter VW where I saw this test first.

<








the Ham

(26% dark, 60% spontaneous, 5% vulgar)

your humor style:
CLEAN | SPONTANEOUS | LIGHT


Your style's mostly goofy, innocent and feel-good. Perfect for parties and for the dads who chaperone them. You can actually get away with corny jokes, and I bet your sense of humor is a guilty pleasure for your friends. People of your type are often the most approachable and popular people in their circle. Your simple & silly good-naturedness is immediately recognizable, and it sets you apart in this sarcastic world.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Will Ferrell - Will Smith







My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
















free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on dark





free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on spontaneous





free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Posted by Boudicca at 06:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

A Bonus to Living in Florida

Today the Space Shuttle went off successfully. A bonus to living in Florida is being able to stand outside and watch it lift off.

Oddly, 30 minutes before scheduled take off, we got a message from security, via computer, that the roof was off limits for shuttle viewing. We had to laugh at that. There was no doubt it had occurred to some to go to the highest point as the best place to view.

We walked outside to find the best vantage point. It’s the first time any of us have watched a lift off while working for this company, so we were trying to find a premier site unencumbered by palm trees and sky line. For awhile some thought it was in the middle of the street. I guess you have to understand an engineer’s mentality to know that its not absurd to think they’d stand in the middle of the street if the view was clear and have to be reminded by other’s that maybe it really *wasn’t* the best vantage point.

There are multiple projects going on within the company I work for, and many of my co-workers work on the Space Shuttle. So it is always a morale booster for them to be able to watch their product. It’s not to say that those of us who do not work the project don’t enjoy it. We enjoy it, but it is different. It’s like when we get a fly over… I see our product work and get a sense of self satisfaction. Everyone else thinks, “Cool! A jet!” I think, “Heh. I helped do that.”

Today was the first time, however, that it has been a different feeling for me. Since Challenger, with every lift off that we’ve gone outside to watch, there has been a feeling of trepidation, for many of us watched as the Challenger lift off did not go as planned and if we did not watch, we know exactly where we were when it happened. When there is a lift off, we all hold our breaths until the separation. Once that occurs, there is a collective exhale.

This time, however, as I walked in with my buddy, the one who hired me, I looked at him and said, “That appeared to go well. Now we only have to worry about the landing.” I’ve never thought that way before.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Gasp!

I have to post this... as embarrassing as this is. Y'all know my youngest's nickname at home is Bones.

Bones has taken to calling me Mommer as of late. (Tell me you can see where this is going...)

So today he comes running in and says, "Mommer!" and I turned to him and said, "Boner!"

Yeah. That happened. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I turned around and acted like I hadn't said it. Let's hope that he doesn't tell anyone, "My Mom calls me Bones... or sometimes Boner..." That would not be good...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:51 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Carnival/Karnival

OK, folks, creative people like Jody of Iowa Geek, leave me feeling Oh So Woefully Inadequate. Seriously. She has the Karnival of the Kids up HERE and she weaved all the entries into a story!!! Go take a look!

Oh and while you're there, go look at THIS post. It cracked me up. I wonder if Frank Sinatra would approve...

Keeping it on a light note, David of Glittering Eye, has this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Live on the Edge Folks. Step out of the box. Try something new. You never know... you actually might like it.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Some Things Don't Change

No matter how high tech our kid’s lives have become, the ball game still stops when the baseball gets stuck in the gutter.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Day 3 of my Hair Cut

Yeah, what in the hell was I thinking? Lest any of you loyal readers think I am some sultry woman with raven colored tresses that hang flowingly and make a man want to run his fingers through it… think again. That wouldn’t be me.

I’m a wash and wear kinda gal. My hair is perpetually in a ponytail or a chip clip. I don’t do style. I hate my hair being in my face and tomorrow leaning over blueprints is going to make me nuts. It will be up. The hair that is… the prints will stay on my desk.

I know… she watched me come in with my hair up in a chip clip, took it down, watched it drop in a heap to my shoulders and thought, ‘We gotta do something for this girl.”

No we don’t.

I washed my hair today in a rush, threw it up in a ponytail and then threw on a ballcap. That’s what I do. I don’t have time to fool with round brushes and blowdryer peripherals and gels and mousses and such. I got home, took off my cap, looked at the mess my hair had become and thought, ‘Holy crap. This is going to be what I look like every morning when I wake up.” I have a bad habit of washing my hair and then going to bed… with it wet.

The probability of my actually styling this head of hair of mine is exactly… 0. Unless I have to attend something, of course, which I will push NOT to do.

And, this was interesting. I have said, “I have 8 gray hair.” My sister told me at my folk’s house, “Ohhhh! You haven’t seen the back of your head! You have a whole mess of them! I bet there are 30!”

Eh. Who cares? Gray hair doesn’t phase me. I just don’t want to be a bald old woman. So I blew it off.

Flash forward to my hair appointment. I’m getting out of my chair and my stylist says to me, ‘I cannot believe you are going to be 40 and you have NO gray hair.’ I replied, ‘Oh yes, I do. My sister said I have like 30 in the back I can’t see.”

She said to me, “I just cut your hair. I promise you, you do not have any gray hair back here. Does your sister hate you?”

Heh. Nah. If she hated me, she’d have Naired my head in my sleep. I just don’t want to be a bald old lady. Everyone knows I don't care if I gray.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

EEP!

Yesterday we needed to do our dry goods hurricane shopping. I had been negligent in other than water, batteries, and flashlights. Son#2 elected to go with me, assuring me he knew all his brothers’ favorites. The other two ran errands with their Dad.

I wasn’t looking forward to hurricane food shopping. We found out during Jeanne and Frances that my kids HATE canned food. They had never had Chef Boyardee Ravioli or Spaghettio’s and what I figured was something kids loved, but was something I have not had in our home, was something they would garner as a treat. Oh how wrong I was. They acted as if I was poisoning them… which is why I never kept that crap in the house to begin with. It’s full of chemicals.

And what I also realized during the hurricanes is, what I remembered as a pleasant memory as a child has changed. Vienna sausages, that I loved as a kid, now taste like fat sticks. After a bite of one, my body rebelled. Taking a second bite of that fat sausage was more than I could stomach. Blech.

So off Son#2 and I went to Publix, to try to find something the kids would eat and not whine about if the power is out for a significant amount of time. I’m all about no whining.

We were filling up our cart and I was receiving quite the dissertation from Son#2, who is 8, as to what tastes like junk in a can, and what they think is acceptable to their discerning palate.

And then… the lights went out. BAM!, it was black as pitch. After getting over the initial shock, I waved my hand in front of my face to see if I could see any movement at all. None. And it doesn’t help that my vision is not the best, and I was not wearing my glasses, and when it is dark, my depth perception is off anyway if I’m glasses free.

I quickly realized that my son would be panicked, so I started to talk to him, so I could find him and assure him there was NOTHING of which to be afraid.

In a quiet voice I said, “Little buddy, say something so I can follow your voice and take your hand.”

Nothing.

“Son, if you don’t make any noise, I cannot find you. Just say my name a few times and I’ll find you.”

Nothing.

Then Pop!, the generator kicked in. I stood not a foot from him; he was staring up at me, his blue crystalline colored eyes with a well of tears just beginning their formation and a slight quiver to his lower lip.

I took his chin in my hand, wiping a tear from his eye with my thumb and said, “Why didn’t you call my name? I would have found you. You were so close.”

His reply was, “I tried Mom! I opened my mouth, but all that came out was EEP!”

The poor kid was so scared he couldn’t say a word. Have not we all had these nightmares, where someone is chasing us and we have to yell for help, but nothing comes out?

So now the family joke is, when it is quiet, someone will say, “EEP!”

Posted by Boudicca at 10:17 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

Worth Every Penny, Worth Every Minute

Anyone who goes to a foreign country and does not take full advantage of experiencing their culture and immersing themselves in the best of their surroundings is a fool.

Jack is no fool.

Go HERE. He was at the Tour de France today where he saw Lance take the 7th. Priceless. He's got photos. He has video. Go see.

I wouldn't take six hours of travel time round trip to see the Super Bowl, but I would to have seen Lance take a Tour de France.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My Other Job

Bones lost another tooth again. This is #2. Let’s see if the shiftless, lazy, good for nothing tooth fairy remembers to put something under his pillow tonight…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Let's Talk About The Weather

I’m sorry, but that bloody awful hot weather they are getting in Arizona makes my skin blister just thinking about it. Ok, maybe not really, but it makes my skin feel all prickly.

Yesterday at 4:30, I took my eldest to the Home Depot garden center to pick up some annuals. It’s time for me to kill the summer/fall flowers. The switching out of the latest victims comes twice a year. I’m overdue.

I have to say, I’m really happy there is not an equivalent of the Humane Society for plants. I’d for sure be on their Most Wanted list. There would be a head shot of me at every gardening store in N. America, warning them not to sell to the Princess of Darkness… she who has the blackest thumb.

We were just standing in the sun, in the garden center, when suddenly I felt as if I was going to pass out. I can’t take extreme heat. I’m a moderate temperature kinda gal. So there we are standing there and I realize that if we don’t move, my son is going to be stuck with a puddle of a mother and how embarrassing for all. I start moving the cart around, trying to think other things besides how my skin felt like it was burning off my bones, sweat was dripping down the small of my back, and I was feeling light headed.

We finished our plant shopping and got in the car. My car thermometer registered 100 degrees. Did I say it was 4:30?

I started thinking of those folks that are living in 120 degree heat. Holy crap that’s hot. Twenty degrees is a big damn difference. Yeah, we have humidity that makes it feel hot, but 120 degrees, wow. The difference between 80 and 100 is whether I go outside or not. The difference in 60 or 80 is whether I wear a sweater or not. The difference between 30 and 50… is not only whether I wear a Parka or not, but whether I even bother to go outside. BRRR. 30 is frigid stay inside cuddled in bed and read weather.

Sucks to live in the Southwest right now.

Anyway, back to Florida weather, I looked at weather underground today and saw that TS Franklin and Gert are out there. Harvey is next. Heh. I hope it’s not Harvey that comes and bangs Florida. Oops, did I say that? I see some real potential blog fodder here...

It is not yet 1 August and we’re already at ‘G’. We got hit by Francis, Ivan and Jeanne in September last year. The rate we’re going, we’ll be at Rita, Stan and Tammy in September. Tammy? Other than the spelling, it looks like the National Hurricane Service picked some names from the Bad Example family. Next year, if B is for Boudicca, we know for sure they reference us for names.... Anyone out there have any connections for hurricane naming??

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

The Competition Continues...

It appears the weight loss competition is not over. I had hoped everyone had forgotten about it while I was on vacation. Alas… they did not. Damn.

Now, when you see my weight, do NOT be fooled. 127. I maintained.

Lest you think I truly maintained, allow me to clarify. I have lost probably 2 lbs of muscle over the last 2 weeks. I haven’t weight trained in 2 weeks and I’ve probably done all of 2 hours of cardio in the last 2 weeks. I went to the gym twice this week, but I’ve been feeling ill, so I didn’t push it. At all.

So this number will rise when I start putting muscle back on. And I know this for a fact, because by the time I met Eric in Chattanooga, my clothes were already not fitting properly. That was a little over 2 weeks ago… and they still feel snug.

So that’s where I am. Don’t use today as a gauge for me. Yeah, it says I maintained, but I really didn’t. I’m just less muscular and more fat than I was.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Thankfully... It Grows

I got my hair cut yesterday. My hairdresser always wants to cut it ‘short and sassy’. If I went short and sassy, the four who hold y-chromosomes in this household would have a fit. An absolute fit. I’ve done it before; it’s not worth the abuse I take for it.

We went shoulder length. As she was cutting it I thought, “Hair grows.” But she gave it some good style and I think I like it. Actually… I know I like it. It makes me look younger and I’m all about that as of late. Let us see how it goes tomorrow when it’s MY turn to style it… I’m sure I’ll look like a dork, fashion senseless uncoordinated with a brush geek that I am!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Questions For Myself

I look for signs a lot in my life. Sounds odd, I know, but I have this thing about listening, seeing if there is a message around me telling me to do something that perhaps I’m not picking up upon.

I can be very connected to my universe. And I can be very disconnected… when I don’t listen.

The last week or so, my life has been just out of step, if that makes sense. I know what’s doing it; we all have stuff going on in our lives that we work through. It’s a matter of how you choose to work through it. Constructive or destructive.

I was thinking the other day about the time I was the most mentally and physically fit, that I can remember. Hand in hand, not one more than the other, mental and physical. I am going to have to say it was when I was training Karate. I could mentally focus, work out my frustrations, almost a soul cleansing, go home, take a shower, and I was good to go for the next day.

My dojo closed in February and I was not sad about it. I will just call it ‘dojo drama’. It happens when you have humans involved with anything… drama. Some people can control themselves and some people can’t and in my life, I like to cut out those folks who can’t control themselves. Life is too short for me to have to deal with whackos and there was a big whacko that the dojo closing eliminated from my life. It was a relief.

Nevertheless, my Sensei and most of his team, were excellent instructors and I miss their tutelage. In the beginning I looked for another dojo for my style, but there is not one around. Then I decided, “I’m done.”

Heh. Funny. I then met up with a black belt in my style in March. It is odd how we met, casual talk at the soccer field watching our kids. Fate, I would say. He kept telling me, “You are a brown belt. It is a LOSS if you do not continue. Train on your own. I’ll test you for your black belt; you can open your own dojo. Learn from the mistakes you saw… the unhealthy dojo drama. Be what Karate needs to be.”

We ‘discussed’ it quite a bit. I say discuss because he would push and I would push back. He’d say ‘train’ and I’d say ‘no’. He’d say, ‘you need your black belt, you will regret it… you are so close’ and I’d say, “No. I don’t need anything in my life. I am done.” He’d say, “Open your own dojo” and I’d say, “I’m not instructor material, I’m not black belt material, I’m not training.” He relented. He saw the signs. He saw it was a futile fight. I’d dug in my heels and wasn’t going to budge.

In the back of my mind I would think, “If HE opened his own dojo again (he’s had one before) I would take from him.” (He trains alone.) I have enormous respect for this man. I do. We just didn’t see eye to eye on my Karate. But that was it. I was done. But I did collect that data point that here I was in Palm Beach County for so long and never met anyone else that was a black belt in my style unless I had trained with them, but now I had. I filed it away and made peace with the fact I was over Karate. I was done.

On Thursday, I had Son#4 (my eldest’s best friend) with us, so I took all 4 boys to a Japanese restaurant. I never see anyone from my old dojo. I have heard from a couple via e-mail, but I have run into NOT ONE since we closed in February. Nobody. And here, in this Japanese restaurant was a former instructor from my dojo with his wife, also a black belt.

They looked genuinely happy to see me and said I was the last student with whom they had been unable to get in touch. They were opening their own dojo and wanted me to join. Two of the former instructors would be teaching. They were great instructors, patient, no ego, older… in their late 40s early 50s, so they weren’t hopped up on ‘young man ego and testosterone’. They have the perspective of wiser men. They are kind men. I like them.

And I am tempted. I am thinking it over. It is a long drive, but they would not pressure me when I could not train. They would not ‘threaten or harass me’ with BS if my real life interfered. They would ‘understand’ that Karate was 2nd or 3rd or 4th in my life.

I am wondering… peace of mind. The physical conditioning. I do not miss hand to hand combat. I sucked at that. I flinch when I’m about to take a hit. But I miss the training and I do know that under these two men and the wife, I would actually grow. I was never a GREAT karate-ka. I am not destined to win tournaments or have people say, “She is awesome!” But, I am capable of achieving what is best for me and maybe obtaining my black belt and maybe helping others.

I am in deep thought. We shall see…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

Why Blog?

While over at Ogre’s I found THIS site. Very cool. It’s a questionnaire for bloggers. Go take a look and fill it out. It’ll be interesting to see what his results are. He's looking at why people blog.

An excerpt:

The ultimate purpose of this survey is to analyze the difference between those who have well read or growing blogs and those who don't, but want to.

He still doesn't have any Higher Beings that have filled out the survey. (For y'all non bloggers, Higher Being is a 'status' in the blogging ecosystem. It kinda means, "big damn blogger".) So if you're a Higher Being and you read this, go fill it out! (Heh. I've never had a Higher Being read my blog... LOL!)

Posted by Boudicca at 09:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tips for Tanning in Florida

I was sent this by a friend of mine, via e-mail.

* Always sit at least 100 yards from sun.
* UV rays can damage the corneas; don't forget to rub a good sunscreen
into your eyes.
* Risk of sunburn is especially high while swimming; strap on a thick
lead suit before entering water.
* Instead of using our sun, sunbathe using safer, more distant star
like Beta-Sirius.
* When tanning, always alternate who's on top.
* Avoid harmful UV rays; live underground until your descendants
evolve into eyeless, albino mole people.
* For those raised in a red-sun environment, yellow sun may cause superpowers; use only for good.
* Tanning is safest when done in short spurts; disrobe for just a
couple of seconds every few blocks while walking through town.
* Allow thick, protective melanoma to grow all over skin.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Random Thought

I hate it when I cook and my oven catches on fire. That sucks.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

When They Make Chocolate Wine, I'm Game

Army Wife Toddler Mom had a post for me today! It’s HERE. Now, I was going to post on this anyway because of her comment in my post on watching VW’s boys, but this just ensured I remembered!

I don’t drink for myriad reasons. Every now and then I’ll have an Irish coffee, but that’s it. I think in the last 16 years, I’ve had probably 3 drinks. Specifically, however, I don’t drink wine.

One Saturday night my senior year in college, my girlfriend and I decided to get drunk. I think her boyfriend was watching a ballgame, so he bought us the alcohol and we hung with him. We were all poor at the time, so he bought us cheap red wine. I mean cheap. Screw off top cheap. I don’t know how I got home. I never drank and drove, so I think I may have stayed at their place.

Anyway, the next morning was Sunday and I got up and went to Church. I attend the Episcopal Church when I bother. I was hung over and felt like crap. Slowly I made my way up to the altar to take Communion and as I drank from the chalice, it took all I had to keep from barfing all over the priest. I think the Episcopals use cheap red wine.

I’ve not enjoyed a glass of wine since. Not the expensive stuff. Not the stuff EVERYONE loves. I HATE wine. HATE it. All of it. Red, white, blush, all of it… unless you add Sprite to it. Heh.

So last week when I was at my sister’s, she came home and the boys were being themselves. They were bouncing off the walls, being loud and crazy, and I was in the kitchen with her, fixing dinner. She looked at me with this exasperated look and said, “You want a glass of wine?” My reply was no. She said, “Are you SURE?!!!”

It was funny because for she knew a single glass of wine would help her relax after work while we cooked dinner and my boys were being nutso. My sister in law is the same way. One glass of wine every night when she cooks dinner.

So I don’t drink and I pretty much do this kid thing without anything to mellow me out ever. It’s just me. And… a lot of chocolate... and blogging!

Chocolate is my medication of choice, which obviously VW knows because when she came home from her Date with her hubby, she brought me a bag of dark M&Ms!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

For Two Hours I had Five Boys

I went to VW's today to babysit her babies. I brought along my 3 boys.

After last December, I was just unsure what to expect. See... her youngest, Tot, in December? He hated me. H-A-T-E-D me. Hated. Did I say hated? Yes, hated. As a matter of fact, it was so bad, that I joked often that he and I had a theme song. There's this song by an alternative band called Puddle of Mudd, called "She hates me" and there is this one lyric, "She fucking hates me". No joke, that's one of the lines and for some reason I've always thought it was funny. So... I have said that Tot and I have a theme song and I sing that lyric, except I change it to, "He fucking hates me". I know. Not nice. But the kid really did hate me.

For weeks afterwards we'd go to breakfast and he'd see me and grip VW like a vise. A whole, "Holy Crap, Mom! It's HER! SAVE ME!"

I did nothing. He just had separation anxiety and so for an HOUR I held this little boy while he screamed his bloody fool head off, at the top of his lungs, catching his head as he would lunge backwards, trying to keep him safe as he flung himself to the floor.

My kids were with me then too, so when I told them yesterday we were going to VW's house to watch her kids, all three sets of eyes bugged out until one of them spoke and said, "Is Tot going to freak?" My reply was along the lines of a "Good God, let us hope not."

But I was prepared. Mentally. And physically. I even wore my running shoes so I knew if I had to, I could make break neck speed in any scenario.

Her kids were awesome. VW and her husband went for dinner and the kids didn't bat an eye.

I will say though, I have come to realize, I had forgotten what it was like to have small children. For instance, I put Tot in his high chair and VW had said he will feed himself sometimes. So I took that as "he will feed himself."

Yeah.

I kept checking on him and he wasn't doing anything. Just sitting there. Then I realized, "Wait! He's a baby. She said 'sometimes'! I have to feed him!"

Then... I couldn't find his sippy cup of water. Looking all over for it, I found it much later under the table. That's the first place Moms with toddlers look. Moms with older kids think, "I've lost my mind. Where did I put that thing?"

So I improvised and attempted to have him drink out of a regular bottle of water. It wasn't successful, but he did enjoy it. His neck and chin are very clean.

I also forgot how babies are notorious for picking up their food, then rubbing their hair. There must be some chemical reaction that occurs that their hands touch food and their heads start to itch. I forgot to tell VW when I left that his hair was glued with Chicken Pot Pie. But... I am sure she figured that out not long after I left.

Oh... and I forgot that when you have a newly potty trained 3 year old that you have to ask them if they have to pee... when they're having fun... or they won't take the time to pee in the potty. They'll just pee all over themselves.

Yes. It happened. However, I did remember to tell her as I was leaving that there were pee clothes on the tub and that he needed a bath.

I took pictures with her camera, which she downloaded to me. Here are two of them.

My 2nd son is really into trains, so four of the five boys were building train track. This first picture of them is the start of the track set up. You will notice that nobody is looking at me since they didn't know I was taking the picture.


This 2nd picture cracks me up because AS SOON AS the flash went off for the first picture, Tater and Tot started to pose for the 2nd. Hams. The both of them. I had to laugh.

So this 2nd picture is of the two boys hamming it up and my two boys ignoring me.

NightOut2.JPG

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Crap

Obviously there isn't enough stress in my life. I was just sent an article saying there is a potential seat belt problem with my vehicle.

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into complaints about middle-row seatbelts that may jam in 2004-'05 Toyota Sienna minivans.

In a statement, NHTSA said it has identified 40 consumer complaints about the Sienna's seatbelts and noted Toyota has replaced about 3,100 of the components under warranty. Toyota has not announced a safety recall of the Sienna.

Love that. LOOOOOOVE it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Price you Pay to live in Paradise

Ever wonder what Floridians do with their tax returns? Well this year, this Floridian is buying a generator and getting a separate generator electrical panel installed in her home.

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

I came home from vacation, saw we got a check from the government and said to my better half, 'I'll call the electrician tomorrow.'

So next Friday, my electrician is coming, bringing with him a catalogue on our options and we will sit with him and discuss what we can run on our yet to be bought generator next time we're out of power. There are some necessities... like... water.

I'm on well, so I need power to run my pump for water. That's the only real necessity. We'll add the refrigerator to the list and maybe the water heater.

Hot water is nice.

So that's what I'm doing next week. I'm hoping we got enough money back to have the panel installed AND buy a generator, but I'm OK if we finally just get the panel set.

The price you pay to live in Florida...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

It appears to be about the clothes

My sons are very affectionate. Very affectionate. My 10 year old will still take my hand in public and not blink an eye. They crawl in my lap, even in public. More often than not, we'll be in a restaurant and after we're finished eating, one of them will ask to sit in my lap for hugs while we wait for the check.

My eldest still has this habit, where he will walk into my personal space and lean his head on me. That worked great when it was my stomach, but he's grown! For now, I am not saying anything. He thinks nothing of laying his head on my chest... I am his Mom. I am for hugging and leaning upon.

I am affectionate with them in turn, always rubbing their backs or shoulders, stroking their hair.

So I wasn't surprised at first when we were standing in Publix waiting for fish when I felt this little hand rubbing my back. It was my eldest.

The hand moved up and down my back. Then up and down my arm. Then I had a face on my arm. Then a cheek. He was rubbing his face all over my arm! It was like being with a damn puppy!

Finally I looked down at him to say, "What is going on?" when I was stopped by a grin as he looked back up at me and kept stroking my arm... and it occurred to me...

I work in a freezer box at work. It is so frickin' cold I have to wear a sweater. For Christmas a couple years ago, my husband bought me a black cashmere sweater. I'm the only person in Florida that wears a sweater in July.

So here we are standing in Publix and when my son does his habitual rubbing of my back, he realizes I'm wearing a soft sweater at which point he had this overwhelming urge to touch it with his face!

It cracked me up! I'll have to remember to wear this sweater when he's 14 and he wants nothing to do with me. I might be guaranteed a hug that way!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:09 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I'm a Mom

It’s funny, but I was just at work today thinking, “What am I?” I am working part time now and my hours are going to ramp up temporarily as we have some deadlines to meet. I will be working evenings in August after my husband gets home or on weekends until we push past this hurdle. I’m OK with that. I like my job and the cash is good for hurricane season.

So as I was sitting there at my desk, temporarily lost in thought today, I was staring at my schematics, my data, my computer, my photos of the end product thinking, “I’m not really what I say I am anymore. I tell people I'm a stay at home Mom. What am I? ”

When people asked me what I did after the birth of my first son, I’d say, “I’m a Mom and part time engineer in the aerospace industry”. I said that for four years following. Then our plant closed, I had three kids under the age of 4, and I found myself staying home full time… thankfully. People would say, “What do you do?” and considering how society views stay at home Moms (not so good… it is not a truly valued profession in our materialistic society) I would say half heartedly, “I’m a Mom.”

That lasted… about 6 months. After about 6 months, I had no issues with it. None at all. I became proud of it. And for the last couple years, people would ask me and I’d say whole heartedly, “I’m a Mom. I have three boys!”

I’ve worked full time for pay. I’ve worked full time as a Mom. I know what the hardest job is. Full time at home as a Mom. (Actually, the hardest job is single parent with full time job, but I'm not including that as I have not lived that life.) If you do it right, the full time Mom job is hard. Damn hard. And very rarely do you get any kudos. Your kids never say, “Thanks for the great meal, Mom!” Your spouse never says, “Wow! Look at these great clean floors!”

The payback is in other ways… people stopping you in restaurants telling you that your children were the most well behaved children they have had the pleasure of dining next to.

Or in someone you met briefly telling you they think you must be a good Mom because your kids seemed so well behaved.

Or… more importantly, when your kids snuggle up to you on the couch and tell you they love you.

Or… you’re having a bad day in every way, you feel fat, gross, haven’t had time to shower, and it’s a definite ‘no make up day’ and one of your kids bends your neck down and whispers in your ear, “I think you’re so pretty and I love you”.

In a child’s eyes… there are no expectations except to be loved. In my boys eyes… I am always beautiful. In their eyes I am smart and witty. I am their world. I know that will change.

So as I sat there today and thought, “What am I?” I realized, that even though I am working a few days a week back in my chosen field, a paying job that does make me mentally happy, if someone came up to me today and said, “What do you do?” I’d still say, “I’m a Mom! I have three boys!”… and… I’d probably not mention my paying job.

It seems irrelevant to me in the big scheme.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:00 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Sucks to be Her

I saw a picture in the paper today of President Bush announcing John Roberts as his nominee and off to the side were Mr. Roberts’ wife and children. My first thought?

Sucks to be her.

Obviously she and I are different people. I read a small bit about her and I venture to say by the way she carried herself in the picture combined by what I read of her, we have not much in common. I am sure she loves her life.

I never wanted a big huge successful husband that made the big bucks enabling us to have the biggest houses… the cars… the maids… the nannies. Blech. A man like that works a lot of hours. Their life is their work. Their life is not their relationships. It is not their family. A man like that… their wife must be a Kodak moment, a picture on his desk that people see and say, “Oh! What a lovely wife you have!”

A man like that works late hours all the time. There’s no family dinner. There’s no playing baseball with the kids after clearing the table. No video games with the boys after dark.

A man like that slips into bed after his family is sleeping and awakens before the house has stirred. He eats at his desk or does power lunches at big expensive restaurants.

His wife is expected to look a certain way, talk a certain way, and… dress a certain way. There’s no slumming and going to home depot in a ratty t-shirt and sandals. Their hired handy man goes to Home Depot for them. Besides, there are images to uphold, dinner parties to attend, and cocktail chatter to be made with people you with whom you must struggle to find common ground.

His time with his family is scheduled, I am sure. At those dedicated ‘family times’ he has to insist that it does not intrude upon them… although I am sure that more than likely he carries a cell phone and on more than one occasion has had to leave their family plans, a quick kiss on the cheek for his wife saying, “I gotta go. It’s the office. You know how it is…”

I am sure that Mrs. Roberts loves her life. But all I can think is, “Sucks to be her.” The life of a wife of a Supreme Court Justice would be my personal hell. The life of the wife of the man striving to get there… would be infinitely worse.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Do No Harm

I've seen this everywhere, so I thought I'd take it. This is what someone says is my blog personality.

Your Blogging Type is Entertaining and Happy
You are a fun, giving blogger who makes others feel good. You often post things that make your friends smile. At the same time, you expect the same blogging spirit from others. And when it's not returned, you tend to feel a bit hurt.
What's Your Blogging Personality?

So ignore the picture. The picture is way off:

First, I'm not a black woman.

Second, I don't wear lipstick and tons of make up when I blog.

Third, I don't look at pictures of shoes when I blog. I don't shop for clothes on my computer or look at the latest fashions... because I don't generally care about the latest fashions.

Fourth, I don't have a cup of hot tea or coffee when I blog. Maybe hershey's kisses. Or dark chocolate M&Ms, but no hot anything.

And last, my blog desk isn't clean. It's cluttered. Full of paper, folders, trays, envelopes, pencils, highlighters, calculators, tape, paper clips... you get the general idea. It looks like Office Depot threw up on my desk.

OK... as for the general description...that last part about feeling hurt if things aren't reciprocated is BS. Yeah, that's not me. That's just weird. I have a general rule of thumb when I blog: Do no harm. That's all. This is my happy place. It amuses me. It's a way for me to reflect upon my day on the good things so I don't dwell on the bad.

Eric of SWG once said that he was going through his archives and he found something he had posted on and had totally forgotten it had happened. If he hadn't archived it, it would be gone from his memory. That about sums it up for me. There are times I go through my archives and read through the funny things my kids did and I'll think, "Holy crap! I remember that!" and if I hadn't written it... it would be lost forever.

Archiving the good times. Amusing myself. Dwelling on the positive. That is my blog personality.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

A Stump of a Child

My blogson, Contagion is such a pain in my ass, as are most kids. Come on, everyone knows that our kids can make us nuts. Holy crap. That goes for Blog kids too.

This is HIS side of the story. This is mine:

Contagion and I are e-mailing back and forth yesterday and there is this really funny story that I remembered, but I told him that I thought it was best with inflection. Half the funny part is how the person speaks and I can imitate that person very well. So, knowing he is NOT a phone person, but also knowing I’ve known him for over a year and figured I could sustain even a 1 minute conversation with someone who HATES the phone as much as he professes to, I tell him I want his phone number. I had every intention of calling, blurting out the story, and then hanging up.

That was it. No small talk. No bs. Just the story. The end.

So he says he’s at work and his wife is out of town and he’s got stuff to do and if I INSIST on having his phone number, I can call him late. He provided his number.

Now I’m thinking that if it’s going to be that late, I won’t bother, I’ll just try to do the best I can and e-mail it, trying to add the inflection into type by elongating words etc. So I send it to him and he laughs and tells me something like “Oh sure, I gave you my number and now you’re not going to call.”

I know he hates the phone, so I figured there was no need.

That was at like 5 PM. I’m blogging last night and I get an e-mail from him at like 10:00 calling me a tease and how he braced himself for actually being able to answer the phone and I don’t bother to call. This goes on back and forth for quite awhile.

Sooooo…. Finally, I scroll down to his phone number and call.

Would you like to know how he answers the phone? “You are so predictable.”

Yeah. That’s Mr. Shy, “I hate Phones” for you. Sheesh.

We talked for a good 20 minutes and for someone who says they hate the phone, it was NOT a one way conversation! It was an excellent give and take… a 50/50. Geezoweez!

But, the funny part was near the end when he asked, “So, are you nervous?”

I replied, “Uhhh, No. Why?”

Contagion said, “Because you talk so fast.”

Heh. To me it was a given that everyone knew this! It was something Harvey commented on in October the first time he ever spoke to me on the phone. I speak very quickly. A friend of mine’s husband says to her, when I call and leave a message, “The machine gun called again!” He says it’s like receiving rapid fire listening to me speak. I do try to slow it down on answering machines, but in person, I give no thought to it.

So… folks… when you read my blog… if you want to read it as I speak, read it quickly and read it with a soft Gulf Coast accent. I don’t sound like Frickin’ Ellie Mae Clampitt. Sheesh!

*Grin* He’s a pain in my butt, is what he is…. *mutter mutter*

By the way, read THIS post of his… I think if he does a Best of Contagion, this belongs there. Good stuff. I’ve lived that life. Oh wait… I kind of still do.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Those SH Words...

The Great Omnipotent One had a fish tank while I was in high school. Fresh water fish tank to be exact. My folks have a big eat in kitchen and the tank sat on a wall next to the table. My folk’s home is no different than any other… the kitchen is where people congregate. So there was always an awareness of his fish, at every meal, and in general living.

We would go with him to buy fish. I still remember the cool fish store, as we would go from tank to tank, looking at all the beautiful fish. He had neon tetras, a scum sucking fish I believe was called a plecostomus, and a small fresh water shark… to name a few.

Fish died and were replaced. Weird diseases would appear. Fish would eat each other. As TGOO remembers it, it was like one of my sister’s school science fair experiments and he doesn’t say this with fond memories of her entries. Morrigan was notorious for having to have TGOO help her with a last ditch salvo in form of a narrative to save her from certain failure due to the outcome of her less than enthusiastic effort. Definite blog fodder.

Anyway, the neon tetras were pretty as I’m sure the unmemorable other fish were too, but there were two fish that were our faves… the scum sucker and the shark. The scum sucker, we could watch that guy suck scum all day. I think TGOO only went through two of those. Being a bottom feeder must’ve given that fish some real intestinal fortitude as the two he had were able to survive some nasty things that happened in that tank.

Then there was Mack. Mack the Knife to be exact… his shark. TGOO named him of course. The rest of us would never have been able to think of something so subtle. I think that Mack the Knife was some sort of theme song of my teenage years as a result of that fish tank. I can still hear TGOO singing it as he cleaned the tank or… replaced Mack.

See, Mack was not so hearty. We went through, I think, 5 Macks. We resorted to calling them by their number, Mack1, Mack2, and so on… and although I was thinking tonight we ended with Mack4, I do believe there may be a Mack5. TGOO loved the sharks, so there was always a ready replacement. There was always a Mack the Knife in the tank. Or perhaps there was just a feeling that no fish tank is complete… without a shark.

So what reminded me of this story? TGOO’s shed. He should be getting a new shed soon.

Shed1 was just a plain aluminum shed where it housed TGOO's tractor, tools, and Granddaddy's old chainsaw that TGOO still uses. It was felled by a gigantic tree during Ivan. Squashed like a bug it was, but then flayed right open with bolt cutters so TGOO could get his chainsaw out and do hurricane clean up; it served him well.

Then came Shed2. Shed2 was bigger than its predecessor. Bigger and… redder. It looked like a barn-wannabe. Like Shed1, it was bolted to a slab. Shed2 also met its fate by way of a hurricane, this time Dennis. (The rest of the story of Shed2’s untimely demise follows this post.)

And there WILL be a Shed3. I am curious as to what this new shed will look like. And I’m thinking it has a name already… ‘Shed3’. I know, original. But no longer will I just say, “It’s out in Dad’s shed” or “Dad’s out at the shed”. I’ll now say, “It’s in Shed3” or “Dad’s out at Shed3”.

It’s just like Mack the Knife. Many Macks serving the same function. Every tank needs a shark. We all talked about having their untimely deaths and the anticipation of its replacment.

Many sheds serving the same purpose. Every house needs a shed. And we all talk about the destruction of each previous shed… and the anticipation of its replacement.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Shed2's Demise

Y’all have heard about Shed2’s demise. What you did not hear was the brief conversation that occurred as its functionality as a shed ceased.

I have inherited this horrible inability to remember words, just like my Mom, who came by it honestly from her Mom, Nana. Every time I am panicked that I am in fact suffering from some horrible neurological disorder that will render me incapable of remembering a simple word like refrigerator, I remember that I am just following in the footsteps of my Mom and Nana and that this is normal in our family. And the way around this is… we describe the item of which we are speaking.

For instance, if I can’t remember the word ‘counter’, I’ll say, “You know, that flat surface in the kitchen that you set things on”.

Unfortunately, it happens with more than just nouns. The part of speech is irrelevant. I can forget the word for an adjective or verb just as easily. It is what it is. I have found though, that I counter it all with trying to keep my speech patterns as simple as possible as it’s usually the larger words in my vocabulary I find the most elusive. I have no problems understanding others extensive vocabularies… I just cannot use one myself.

So... as frustrating as this oddity is in our family, it can also be really quite funny. Honestly, I think my Mom wasn’t even aware I suffered this same affliction until tonight when I called for clarification for this post. Mom is the one who laughs at herself the most about it and we all laugh when she describes whatever moment occurred when this ‘forget the name of the object’ affliction reared its ugly head once again.

Hurricane Dennis was in full force. The winds were blowing at full hurricane forces with gusts that were taking down trees. My folks live in a ranch style home and my Mom was watching out the back windows, when TGOO’s Shed2, red barn wannabe, took out a side fence, bounced across the back yard, took flight, hurdled the next fence and landed in the neighbor’s yard.

Staring out of the window in utter amazement, she looked to TGOO who was lying on the floor doing what he does (either reading or taking a cat nap), and proclaimed to him, “There goes your bolted down thingy!”

TGOO has lived with this his whole life and the interaction when this happens is always amusing. He sits up and says, “What… in… the… hell… is my… bolted down thingy?”

She says by the time he got up, it was gone. Shed2 was already in the neighbor’s yard.

And that… is the rest of the story…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:21 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Snips and Snails...

My boys want a puppy.

We will acquiesce.

Just. Shoot. Me.

Gut reflex says I want some sort of ‘herding dog’ as it will help me keep them corralled.

Logic says we’re looking at Labs.

Just. Shoot. Me.

They want one like Jim’s.

He was so cute roaming the grass… looking like a miniature Lion in the tall grasses of the plains.

That doesn’t last. Next comes teething. And potty training. And wimpering through the nights.

Just. Shoot. Me.

I appear to be all about acquiring blog fodder...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

He's The Man

I wonder often what my boys will be like. I wonder more so about Bones. Marching to the beat of his own drummer, NOBODY picks out that boy’s clothes. He has a style all his own. Sure there have been some fashion faux pas… like THIS one, but overall, he just seems to know what he wants and it usually looks pretty good.

His favorite outfit right now consists of his suitcase pants, a black short sleeved t-shirt (preferably Pirates of the Caribbean) and black leather lace up shoes. He had a FIT when we were to meet Eric and I informed him the Pirates of the Caribbean shirt was dirty and we weren’t going to meet people in dirty clothes. A black batman t-shirt sufficed. Bones may love to take a bath, but he loathes me to wash his favorite clothes. My mantra in this house has become, “We do not wear dirty clothes.” I can tolerate a lot, but dirty clothes is one of my lines of demarcation. I have to actually hide some of his clothes in my hamper when they get dirty or he’ll try to wear them out of his hamper over and over. It makes me nuts.

He is 6. He thinks he’s a tough guy. He struts. The world is his.

So I should not have been surprised the other day when he declared to Me, God, and Country, “When I grow up, I’m going to smoke cigars and own a gun!”

Yup. He’s the man. I hope he eventually gets a clue that he won't be catching the women if he insists on wearing dirty clothes...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Don't Make Me Stop This Train!

I don’t think I’ve blogged this before… but I’m a flying phobe. I don’t fly. I haven’t flown in a couple years. I’ll do it without having to be jacked up on anti-anxiety meds, but I’m the type that sits there very quietly, with their eyes closed, gripping the arms of the chair, silently praying to themselves that today is not their day to die, and sweating profusely.

It’s not a positive experience for me. And there is no reason for anyone to cite statistics or any other crap to me about how safe flying is… because NOBODY knows those stats better than I. See… I work in aerospace. I damaged myself with a very cool job and that combined with a very healthy respect and awareness of my unavoidable mortality, has made it what it is.

So comes tonight’s story.

My kids have never been on a plane. We drive everywhere… or take the train. There is an auto train that you can pick up in Sanford, FL and ends just outside Washington DC and when we go to Jersey, that’s what we do. We take the train.

When the kids were small, it was just easier, believe it or not. No lugging around car seats, no renting a car. We just kept the car packed, left it for the train people to drive on the car, got ourselves a sleeper cabin, grabbed our overnight bag, and we were done. Easy as pie. And the kids loved it. Trains are cool.

Bones doesn’t remember these trips as he was under 2. Tonight at the dinner table, we were talking about a trip we may have to take to Jersey in October; one I am hoping to avoid. We have decided that since it is a short trip that airline travel will be best, but Bones wants us to take the train. It’s the cool factor.

The boys were telling him how we slept in the train and he said, “Who made you?”

We replied, “What? Who made us what?”

Bones: Sleep.

Us: What? Our bodies made us sleep. It’s a long trip by train, over night, so we fell asleep.

Bones: No. Who MADE you?

Us: What do you mean, who MADE us?

Bones: The guy who drives the train. Does he stop the train and tell everyone they have to sleep?

Hunh. So I guess that is the job of the train driver. It’s like being the Mom, “Don’t make me stop this train!!!!” We couldn’t quit laughing.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 17, 2005

Happy Birthday to Sissy!!!

Today is blog daughter Sissy’s birthday!

I think she’s 18 or so today. I say that because I’m as old as her Mom and I can’t stand the thought of my being old enough to have a child any older than 18. So humor me.

Happy 18th Birthday, Sissy!!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Too Many Stops...

We made it home. Nine hours. Four stops.

First time… gas.

Second time… I forgot my kids needed to eat. Those little things like ‘gotta have food’ will get you every time. So we stopped to eat.

Third time… I hear from the back, “Mom! Do you have something I can pee in?”

Wha? I’m barreling down I-75S and Bones thinks I’m going to throw him a container to pee in? See, the problem was, as we were evac’ing out of Pensacola at 8PM on Friday night, we knew it would be bumper to bumper traffic with no where to stop, so TGOO handed me an empty Jiff jar, which is still in my car, by the way, and said, “Here. In case someone has to pee.”

Now, Bones really really wants to pee in that jar.

It’s not happening.

I think he remembers the floating Pringles story.

So I said to him, “You have to pee? You are NOT peeing in that jar. I’ll pull over.”

His reply to me was, “OK, Mom. I had to pee while we were at the McDonald’s drive thru, but I knew you really wanted to get home, so I thought I’d wait, but I can’t.”

The kid has no concept of time. That was at 1:00. We got home at 6:45.

We stopped at a rest area that scared the hell out of me with the creeps and so I made the boys all come into the women’s restroom so I could keep everyone together.

Stop#4 was for gas again.

If we’d had it my way, it would have been one stop. Gas up, eat, pee. I need to plan it better next time. I think gassing up the night before and more snacks in the car to get us to the half way point should take care of that.

It's all about logistics...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Vacation Recap

Family reunion
Family Ceilidh
Saw my family
Saw my cousins and aunts and uncles
Herbie the Movie (Blech)
Blueberry picking
Naval Aviation Museum *Update*
Pensacola Beach *Update*
Left Pensacola early and ending up in evac traffic with 1 million of my closest Southern Alabama friends.
My folks sustained wind damage, but no roof damage
Met Eric
Chattanooga
Aquarium
River boat
Rock City (in the rain)
Saw my best friend from high school and her baby… almost every day.
Stayed at my sister’s
Played games with the kids
Broke a nose
Water park pool
Met Jim
My kids love puppies
My kids want a puppy
Harry Potter
We survived I-285.
Met Sissy
Espy, my sister’s cat, has a death wish and peed on my purse
Nine hour trip home was uneventful.


Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

As TGOO Is Apt to Say

Some people will bitch if you hang ‘em with a new noose.

Yeah. That’s me today. I’m happy I’m finally off of that daggum dial up at my sister’s, but annoyed that I’m back home at this frickin’ keyboard I got for Christmas. It’s too flat and I can’t get used to it. Yeah, I know, it’s cordless, it’s nice, Yippee. But it’s flat and I type as fast as I speak and… my fingers are used to having boundaries from the other keys. So now when I type, I can’t distinguish between the keys so readily and I’m more prone to typos.

My bitch for the day. Thank you.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

A Brief Hello

Blog daughter Sissy was in Atlanta today... and I saw her for 5 minutes. Tops. *Big Frown*

Her plane was late getting in and we had to get on the road for a BBQ, so she came in, we hugged, and we had to leave.

She and my sister are really good friends. Now that I've met Sissy for 5 minutes, I *know* for a fact, she and I need a good 5 hours. What a great girl she is.

I'm off tomorrow... 9 hours with 3 boys, 1 game cube, 1 portable VCR, and the latest Harry Potter book. You can guess what Son#1 will be doing the entire 9 hour drive home.

I will not make the mistake I made last time. I thought I'd take the boys to a Krystals as they'd never been to one. I figured they'd like corn pups. Disaster that was. Complete and total. So it'll be typical fast food for them as I scrounge around my sister's house for something for me to take on the road.

I need to do a Bou vs. Mo post. I'd start with the difference in our refrigerators.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

A BBQ, A Blogger, and a Puppy

This evening the boys and I, along with my sister Morrigan, enjoyed the most wonderful barbeque at Jim's of Snooze Button Dreams. If you have read his blog, you will know he is funny and so very nice. What you don’t know is how truly very kind he is. You can sense it in a blog at times, but you sometimes have to meet someone to get a full feel of the depth of their kindness.

Jim and his wife had even hired The Bubbleman from Stone Mountain to come play with the kids. (He blows bubbles, all sizes, and shapes.) What a riot that was. Bubbles all over, the Bubbleman showed us all sorts of tricks… stuff I intend to try at home with the boys when I get back.

First, let me say, this whole evening ended up being the best form of counseling my kids could ever have as… Jim practically owns a zoo. At one point Bones made him count how many animals/birds they own and I do believe the magic number was 13. Of those 13 animals, two are dogs and then today… the 13th was delivered… a puppy. They had bought a puppy and the owner delivered this little hunk of love today.

Jim and his wife have very well behaved and affectionate animals. My boys of course were terrified at first and hung way back to stay away from the dogs. My eldest wouldn’t even get near the puppy and this puppy is just 5 weeks old. I mean PUPPY. A hold in two hands size puppy.

An hour into it, my eldest was playing with their big chocolate lab, throwing her a toy over and over to see her fetch it and bring it back. Of course he was still nervous about actually retrieving the item from the dog and still avoided making continual contact, but we made progress. He would even scratch her behind her ears if an adult was with the dog.

By the end of the night, Son#1 was picking up the puppy and carrying her around. Bones is still begging me for one. As we were leaving I had to say to all three of them, ‘Ok! We have to leave! Kiss the puppy goodbye!’

Y’all don’t know what a milestone this is for us. Phobic is a good word in describing my eldest and dogs. I mean full blown, quaking in his shoes, frozen with fear, anxiety attack around dogs. It was THAT bad.

Now, I have hope. That’s how well behaved Jim’s dogs were, my kids grew accustomed and that has never happened before. It helps that they were just a real good size too… and I think the puppy was key.

Oh! And Jim has a pregnant cat! My sister and I sat for 15 minutes watching this cat’s kittens move inside its tummy. I’ve never seen a baby anything move inside any mammal other than a human. It was so cool!

Jim has the nicest boys. Three boys like I have, they were like mine are at home, all energy. His youngest, Burger, who is 3, would have me wrapped around his finger. I was playing a game with him, I grabbed his big toe and said, ‘Let’s count the good things we’ve done today!’ so I started with the Bubbleman, ran through the cake, moved onto playing, and after #5, thought we were finished when he grabbed his other foot and said, “Do these!”

Crap. I had to find 5 more things that I knew he had fun doing that day. So he helped me find 5 more (it wasn’t hard) and HE included in it ‘You guys came over!’ Then… he held up his 10 fingers for me to find 10 more. He was really funny.

And he was so full of dried up bubbles from playing with the Bubbleman, that I feel certain that when Jim puts him in the shower to bathe him tonight, Burger is going to turn into a slimy big bubble.

We had a great time. Jim’s hamburgers lived up to their reputation and I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

Recipes and Announcements

My blog daughter and dear friend of 18 years, VW of One Happy Dog Speaks, has the new Carnival of the Recipes up HERE! And... she is at her new digs! Take a look at the Carnival and update your link accordingly. I'll be doing mine when I get home.

More announcements on the blogging front:

First, I have a new Blog Granddaughter. My blogson Contagion spawned and gave us Virtue at Rantings of an Indentured Servant. She is a re-enactor like Contagion. So go on over and take a look. I'll be updating my blogroll when I get home.

Second, my blog bro Johnny Oh! blog procreated too! He has given us Tuck of Thought Drizzle.

And on another note... while I am here on vacation... and I was in Chattanooga, I had hoped to grab breakfast with Johnny Oh before we left. I know he sometimes works up that way and I was hoping that's where his job would land him. It didn't work out and we didn't hook up. I met him at the last BE blog meet and he's a real sweetie. I know my boys would have enjoyed meeting him, so perhaps next time.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I'm NOT a Good Wife

What kind of bad wife am I? I didn’t tell my husband my son broke his nose until this morning. My sister and I were talking last night and she said, “You didn’t tell him?” I said, “Ack! I hope he doesn’t read my blog!”

Man. Wouldn’t that suck? You log on your wife’s blog and find out your son broke his nose… and she didn’t call.

I guess I didn’t think about it since I had it under control. If we were at home, I wouldn’t have called him at work to tell him. He finds stuff out when he gets home or if he’s out of town, when he calls. I just... deal with things. Always.

Anyway, Son#1 is doing well, but I feel bad every time he sneezes, which is often since he has allergies in Atlanta. Poor kid. He sneezes and his whole body cringes. Ick.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I Need a Vacation

I think I nearly died on I-285 today. Multi car pile up, to be exact. It was the kind of moment, that when it was over, and the adrenaline rush starts to leave your body, that you want to roll down your window and barf.

My boys are flat out wearing me out. A week with my boys, continually driving around and doing things, I’m frickin’ beat to hell.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I'm Not THAT Crazy

A couple years ago, the newest Harry Potter book came out and my brother called me asking, “You aren’t one of those crazy folks that parked outside the bookstore at midnight to get the new book are you?” My reply was along the lines of “Hell no!”

Odd things happen when you have kids and they WANT to read. You want to do anything to keep the momentum. Reading is good.

But I’m still not the crazy person waiting in line for the midnight release of the new HP book. No. That would be Morrigan. That’s an aunt’s duty to be the crazy lady.

So that’s what Son#1 and Morrigan will be doing tonight at midnight… trying to get the new Harry Potter book.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It's All About the Puke

My sister has a cat named Espy. I don’t have any mammals in my house other than my boys, my husband, and the boys’ hamster. So, I don’t know much about cats.

Today when my boys and I came in from our daily stuff, Son#1 comes running upstairs. “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, come see. Espy is eating something.”

I figured it was something Bones had dropped, chips or cereal or goldfish. He assured me it was not and that I HAD to come down to see it.

I was less than excited. If she had something she should not, the last thing I wanted to do today was wrestle a cat for the contents of its mouth. Blech.

I walked downstairs to find a pile of puke. Ick. And I don’t clean up cat puke or cat hair balls. I just can’t. I said, “Are you sure she was eating it? Maybe she was puking it?”

He assured me she was eating it. I pushed it out of my mind. Blech.

My sister met us for dinner. It was the big topic of course when she arrived. The only thing more exciting than puke talk is talk about cats eating their puke. It went something like this:

Boys: Aunt, aunt, aunt, aunt, aunt, wait until you get home. Espy PUKED!

Aunt Morrigan: Oh? Is there anything left? Usually she eats it.

At that point I wanted to hurl.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Little Stuff Eric Didn't Know

Yeah, I thought I was finished posting tonight until I saw THIS over at blog brother That 1 Guy's place. He swears he can be a bad influence on my boys. Tammi thinks my boys would be a bad influence on him.

And it made me remember something... boy did I give my boys a lecture before meeting Eric. I told them if they told all their puking stories at the dinner table, they were in big big trouble. There would be no descriptions of what comes out of your stomach when you have thrown up and nothing is left. There would be no talk about puking blueberries or coconut or pizza. Blech. It almost happened once.

Then I told them there would be no farting jokes nor farting at each other. As we were leaving the Choo Choo, Son#2 passed gas and the other boys looked at him and started to snicker. I gave him the evil eye and he mumbled, 'I couldn't help it!' Yeah. I think he can do it on command.

Sheesh. Boys.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Nose Knows

Well, after looking it up on the internet, seeing Son#1's eyes slowly turn black, and noticing the swelling of his nose, not to mention the fact he did have blood come ooze from it, I have used my great deducing skills to surmise my son has a broken nose.

It appears to still be straight. I am calling his pediatrician tomorrow to find out if we need to search out a doc in the box or wait until we get home.

Meanwhile, I heard him say to my sister tonight, 'When people ask me what I did this summer I'll say, "I broke my nose!"'. I think we have graduated from the pain/feel sorry for myself factor to the 'this could be cool to tell people factor'.

Boys.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Brotherly Love

If you’re looking for sympathy, this is evidently the wrong damn house.

We went to this place today called the JumpZone. It’s this big warehouse full of bounce houses. A good time was had by all… until…

Head met nose.

Specifically Son#2’s head met Son#1’s nose. There was blood. There were tears. There was what I thought might be some over reacting.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that getting bashed in the nose hurts like hell, but the constant flood of tears for the first 10 minutes… I just didn’t know if it was true or a cry for attention. That happens sometimes. I tell them the story of wolf, but nobody really seems to 'get it', so unless I see the sagging bone, like when Son#2 broke his arm, or a gush of blood, like when Son#1 split his head open, I’m never really sure how hurt they are.

After 30 minutes, I knew it was not a good scene.

And when it came time for ice cream, and Son#1 wanted nothing to do with it and actually claimed to be feeling nauseous and nasty, I realized he was probably really hurt. I did feel bad.

But his brothers did not.

Yes, my boys will not have careers in anything that requires empathy. There will be no forgoing the salary for psychic income to help others. No soup kitchens. No Peace Corps. None of that empathy stuff.

How do I know this? Because earlier in the day I had promised them all ice cream at this great little soda shop we found on a street corner down the street from the JumpZone. I told them we would get ice cream after jumping and expending great energy.

Then… the nose vs. head incident occurred and it was no longer a viable option for ice cream. You would think with the blood trickling from his nose, the plethora of tears, and the sad sad eyes of a boy who felt like total crap that they would understand when I said, “Boys, we’re going home.”

Oh no no no no, my friends. Instead I got a look of astonishment from Bones and a ‘WHA?! You PROMISED we could have ice cream! He doesn’t have to eat it!’

Lovely, huh? I don’t think I can remember the exact verbiage I used in my reply, but suffice it to say it was along the lines of ‘quit being a selfish jerk, brothers look out after one another’. Or something like that.

On an up note; however, tonight as I was putting the boys to bed, Son#2 was crying as all his scrapes from today were still burning from his shower. He was lying in bed, crying and Bones said to me, “I want him to feel better.” Then he turned to his brother (they’re sleeping in the same bed) and said, ‘Here, you can have all the covers tonight.”

I looked at him and said, “Wow. That was a really nice thing for you to say.”

He replied, “Yeah, well, you know what I am.”

I said, “No, what are you?”

And out of his little mouth he said, “I’m his brother.”

Perhaps it will take afterall…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:32 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Hurricane Perspective by TGOO

The TGOO and Mom have power after 76 hours and 16 minutes. Yeah!

On Tuesday he told me to tell my readers his perspective of hurricanes. Great. You'll love this.

TGOO says that a hurricane is like a prostate exam. You dread it and it's uncomfortable going through it, but once it's over, you want to just wipe yourself off and get on with your life.

Nice, eh?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:29 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Good News from the Land of Dennis

I was able to make contact with my best friend from college via her Mama and my friend’s home has repairable damage… no flooding. The way the winds were from Dennis, the water she is near did not swell up and flood into her home. She lost part of her roof and has ceiling leakage, but she says it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

It’s amazing how before you ever endure a hurricane, you think, “Oh! I don’t want to lose my stuff!”

After you endure one, the next time around, your perspective changes. It can become, ‘I’m never staying again!’ which equates to more of a life/death issue. Or after having massive flooding… suddenly losing a portion of your roof and ceiling is no biggy, whereas before you ever endured on, that was what you pictured as a worst case scenario.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, she is cool and she will be fine. She is truly one of the strongest women I have ever known. She has been to hell and back and survived, numerous times, and so this will be but a blip on her radar.

For that in itself, I am enormously thankful. She could use a break.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What will they choose?

I wonder what my children will remember of me. Will they remember the times when their Dad was out of town a lot, and they quit listening to me, I was tired of repeating myself, nobody was cleaning up after themselves, homework was a chore to get done, I was over run with dishes and laundry, I was in sensory overload from the fighting and screaming… and I finally lost it and became a stark raving mad screaming lunatic nearly completely losing it?

Or will they remember the times that I did things like… take them to Rock City… in the rain?

I’m thinking it will be when I was of the lunatic fringe.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Driving in Atlanta Isn't for Sissies!

My sister lives in Marietta in a nice little community. I love her place and the proximity to all she needs.

My only issue with Marietta and Atlanta is I-285. Holy crap that’s a scary road. I’m going to be on that road one day and have a damn stroke from the stress, causing a multi car pile up. I just hope I don’t take anyone else out when the big one hits.

I’ve driven in LA, Birmingham, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta and Miami. I refuse to drive in New York City or Chicago. I refuse. I’d rather poke my eye out with a pencil. Miami roads scare the ever living hell out of me. I even posted on it once HERE. It’s the time I muttered to myself, with my two eldest in the car, “That’s right folks! When you die, if you go to hell, you end up in Frickin’ Miami!!!”

So I-285 takes a close second to Miami. I’ll be taking it again tomorrow… and it’s been raining. I just hope I don’t blow a brain fuse from the stress and stroke out, dying… ending up in hell… in Miami.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

We Love Eric!

The boys and I were in Chattanooga yesterday with Eric. What a wonderful man he is. Anyone willing to spend an inordinate amount of time with three boys and a crazy lady and then laughs through all of it must be a very patient person!

We had a wonderful time. Eric’s take on things is HERE and I was taken back by his observation of my boys and how one action he witnessed he was able to fit something I had previously told him. I never saw it… but he did. Eric is an observant and deep thinking man…

We started with lunch at the Choo Choo. That was his first intro to my kids… where Bones drank nothing but sweet tea and ate a hamburger bun with fries. He was pretty much wired for sound after that.

Finally the boys came out of their shells, as we were leaving the restaurant, and proceeded to tell him how their favorite thing was to play Zoo Tycoon and wall up the zoo so the patrons could not get out, then release the tigers and other carnivores into the crowds. Oh and Zoo Tycoon Complete has dinosaurs too and they like to watch the T-Rex’s chew on the people.

LOVE THAT! Looooove it!

It is what it is. You just never know what kids are going to say and I look back at the day and still kind of cringe at some of the things that came out of their mouths. There is still no filter between brain and mouth and try as I may, not quite the sense of social boundaries I would like on what is asked and what remains unasked.

As for Eric, he is what I expected and more. His easy personality makes one feel comfortable. He has a quick wit and brilliant mind and sees what others do not. I suspect that if he had not snapped up Fiona 12 years ago, there would be many a Tennessee lass vying for his attention!

There were many highlights… one being the turtle exhibit where we found THIS snake. (Scroll through to the 2nd picture.) Eric pointed it out as he laughed. It just looked obscene! I call it the trouser snake turtle. Wow.

Oh and I had to laugh when I saw my three boys buckled into the back of his Audi. For some reason I just thought it funny. Perhaps I’m just not used to them peering so closely to me in a car, 6 eyeballs staring at me up close and personal… usually they’re 4 feet back at the back of the mini-van and I have to look through my rear view mirror. Or maybe it was the fact they were in Eric's Audi. His car is very clean... if we had ridden in it much longer, I am sure they would have found a way to change that!

A couple times, I would lose sight of Bones at the aquarium and say to Eric, “Wait… I’m missing one” and have to scurry around to figure out what exhibit he had found. (He was never far off... he just wandered a bit.)

Bones seemed enamored with the sturgeons. Pinging around from exhibit to exhibit, one time I found him sitting at the base of the sturgeon exhibit, just staring into the tank, transfixed. I couldn’t bring myself to get him to move… he was motionless for more than a minute. Perpetual motion wears me out. Finally I sat down next to him and said, “Buddy, what is it about these fish that you love so much?” His reply was, “Mom, I love those cheeks. Look at their gills.” He would have sat there for 30 minutes if I had let him. Go figure. Sturgeon cheeks. Sheesh.

I think the lowlight was when we were sitting in a restaurant at the end and Eric asked the boys, ‘So what was your favorite part of the aquarium?’ and Bones said, “Nothing! They didn’t have otters! They only had one and he was sleeping!”

Evidently he had forgotten the snakes and the turtles and his pulling me aside and professing his great love of turtles and “Mom! I can’t quit thinking about how much we need a turtle.” And he had a momentary lapse of memory on the sturgeons and the sharks.

What a twerp. Two hours later while the kids and I were on the River boat, all he could talk about was going back to the aquarium.

It was a wonderful day and to read Eric is to know him. He is not only a great blogger, but a very great man.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Carnival Mini-Round-Up

I've been negligent in announcing some Carnivals!

Karnival of the Kids is up HERE at Jen's of Iowa Geek. They always do a FANTASTIC job over there, so jump over and take a look at all the cutie patooties!

Carnival of the Recipes is up HERE at Like News but Tasty by Punctilious. Go take a look... there's something from cinnamon rolls to spotted dick!

And blog papa Harvey of Bad Example has the New Blog Showcase HERE. Take a look at some new blogs... they may be someone you may want to add to your blogroll and make a daily read!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hurricanes and Vacation Plans

I am way behind in my blog reading and we won't even go into blog maintenance. I'm just behind... and it will stay so at least for a bit longer.

Update on Dennis, my parents and brother seem to have been able to dig themselves out from under all the debris. The roof is sound as are the tools and riding lawnmower from the infamous shed. When they weren't removing trees they were assisting their neighbor in removing aluminum siding from the neighbor's entire back half of the house that had ended up in my folk's trees and yard.

The back half of my folk's neighborhood took a pretty nasty hit. My brother said, "Yeah, the news is playing it off like it's no big deal, and we got lucky, and we did, but it's still a disaster around here. It's just not of the proportions of Ivan." We suspect it will be 3 to 4 days before my folks have power.

I am sure I'll have pix of debris at a later date.

The best place to go for pictures of Pensacola, Milton, and Navarre is the Pensacola News Journal HERE. They do a great job.

As for my friend in Navarre, I am trying desperately to get hold of her, through her Mom where she evac'd to, but have been unable to make contact. We cannot see how her home made it through, but to know her life is to know that she's been able to beat odds when they were so horribly stacked against her; everyone else would have given up in despair. So I continue to pray that it is not as I fear...

Meanwhle, I'm meeting Eric with my boys in Chattanooga tomorrow. I'm hoping it is good weather, but rain or shine, we will have fun. More than anything, I am hoping my boys are on their best behavior. There are too many combinations and permutations of bad things that can happen with 3 boys with distinctly different personalities.

And for those of you on dial up, I do not know how you do it. I am on dial up here at my sister's and the turn time is frickin' killing me. It makes blogging slower, blog reading slower, and research painful.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Things That Make You Go Ewwww!

Go HERE to ArmyWifeToddlerMom's and see if you can tell which of those on her list inspired this post. This post is not for the faint of heart germ phobes with queazy stomachs.

My children were 4, 2 and around 6 months old, when we were at Publix and I heard the words all Mothers with multiple small children dread hearing in Public, "Mom, I have to pee". Taking a child into a public restroom is a pain in the neck in general, but doing so with other small ones in tow is something to make one break out in a cold sweat.

So off we traipse to the bathroom, with my saying a silent prayer of thankfulness that we were at least at Publix, which has bathrooms far cleaner than normal public restrooms with everything considered. But still... it is a 'public restroom'. Blech.

I have this mantra I say over and over when my kids are in a public restroom. I have been laughed at by many a Mom or older woman as they see me with my boys, washing hands, drying hands and repeating over and over, almost in a drone, "Don't touch anything. Don't touch anything. Don't touch anything."

Sometimes I vary the emphasis to keep their attention. "DON'T touch anything." "Don't TOUCH anything." "Don't touch ANYTHING!". I think you get the picture.

So as I've got a 4 year old in the stall, a baby on my hip, and a 2 year old holding a hand, I'm manuevering as best I can. It is inevitable that even those that are not actually using the restroom, will touch something. No doubt.

I usher all three to the sink, washing hands, holding baby on hip, hoisting one child at a time up to the counter on my other hip, and repeating my mantra as they walk from the sink, holding their hands straight up as if surgeons preparing for surgery.

Over and over, "Don't touch anything" as I grab paper towels.

"Don't touch anything" as I dry my eldest's hands.

"Don't touch anything" as I dry my second son's hands.

"Don't touch anything" as I dry my baby's hands.

And then... I look over, and my 4 year old... has his tongue... on the marble bathroom counter.... running it back and forth on the cool surface. Forget touching things with his hands, he cuts to the chase and went right to the source... insert germs directly into mouth.

I thought I would vomit.

I freaked of course, wiped his tongue, had him swish with water and spit it out, but the damage was done.

I resigned myself to the fact if his tongue didn't turn black and fall off within 3 days we were safe. Blech. I laugh about it now... but I didn't for a long long time.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:53 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 10, 2005

It's Over

Damage is what I posted earlier, with the addition of some felled trees. It would have been worse if Ivan hadn't already cleared out trees in September. My folks had 21 pine trees fall or get the tops sheered off during Ivan... not one landed directly on the house, although falling limbs had done enough damage that they needed a new roof.

This time, they'll probably have to pay to have a large oak removed as Dennis finished off what Opal and Ivan had started.

My parents will survey the neighborhood tomorrow. As I said, they are high and inland. There is no doubt that if the winds were bad enough to peel siding off a house high and inland, that the beaches and the homes near them are completely demolished.

I expect they will get power sooner this time than last, but either way, TGOO has a generator and a window unit and they will make the best of it... as they did last time.

I'm grateful it was not a 4. It did enough damage as a 3. Tomorrow we will know more and I'm sure there will be pictures posted at the Pensacola News Journal... for which I will provide links.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:43 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Latest on my Folks as they Endure Dennis

I don't even know how to describe this.

The winds are coming from the North. They haven't done that before.

OK, last year during Ivan, TGOO had this shed where he kept his chainsaw and riding lawn mower. It was felled by a tree. He spent the better part of a day with bolt cutters cutting through his metal shed to get to his chain saw. So when he had his chainsaw sharpened, he said to me as we pulled into the carport on Thursday, "I'm not putting this back in my shed. It goes in the garage."

Good move.

Because...

My Mom just watched their NEW shed, that had been BOLTED DOWN, get sheered off its foundation, fly across the backyard, take out a fence, and land in their southern most neighbor's yard. He came out and draaaaaaggged it into his carport (this is not a small metal shed). After he came inside, a magnolia tree fell, barely missing his carport.

The limbs from my parent's oak tree have sheered off and are now blocking all access to the same neighbor's drive. Basically, everything from my parent's yard is ending up in his.

But fear not, my parent's yard is getting their new acquisitions as they looked at the northern neighbors and found that their siding was being SHEERED OFF the house and the siding is now hanging in my parents trees and is scattered all over their driveway.

Inside my parent's carport is a cabinet where we keep the grandkid's play toys... sandtoys, basketballs, etc. This cabinet is UNDER the carport, not exposed. The doors have sheered off and they have no idea where they went.

Oh and that shed? We have no idea what happened to the myriad tools and the riding lawn mower. It will be interesting to see how far they were flung.

Mom says it is bad, very very bad, and they have 3 more hours of this, with tropical winds until 3AM.

Will keep you posted...

Posted by Boudicca at 05:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dennis Made Landfall

I just got off the phone with TGOO. Dennis made landfall somewhere between Gulf Breeze and Navarre. He said that Navarre is still taking a beating.

Navarre... well, I didn't blog this, but Navarre is where my best friend from college lives. The one whose house flooded during Ivan. The one who just got the new garage door 2 weeks ago. The one who just moved back in her house, the one who has three boys... the one whose husband is in Iraq. The one who after Ivan could see whitecaps from her door, whereas when she bought her home, she could not.

I know she lost her home this time. No doubt. I just wonder now how much will be left.

TGOO and Mom lost power an hour ago and have lost no trees that he can see, just one shutter on the house. He said he should be getting the eye wall shortly and that things would be picking up.

He still has phone, obviously, and I will be calling him intermittently to see how they're doing.

Thank you to all my readers for their thoughts and prayers. I haven't been commenting as I've been leached onto the weather sites.

Posted by Boudicca at 03:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sitrep#6: Pensacola 1245 10 July

I was cracking up when I got this from The Great Omnipotent One. 'The weather studs'. My sister and I were just watching the Weather Channel and some weather stud (my new term courtesy of TGOO) in Pensacola picked up a broken branch and started carrying on about the debris that will be flying around. Pulease. It reminded me of last year when some weather chick picked up a stick and said, "See this stick?! This stick could be deadly!" Blech. My sister still thinks Jim Cantore is hot. I still think he's not... I attribute that to over exposure. Nobody wants Jim in their city. That means you're about to get nailed by a hurricane.

Oh and just to let you know... my folks live inland. They don't live in an evac zone. If they did... they'd be with friends and not in their home.

OK... the latest from TGOO:

It’s getting really nasty here. The storm front is still 40 miles south of Pensacola, but the winds are tropical storm force and the rain is falling horizontally. The talking heads on TV are still making their inane comments while they interview the weather studs standing out in the elements. We expect to lose power momentarily and expect it to be off for several days when it happens.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

They Have No Choice but to be Ready

I'll be calling my parents shortly, but there is nothing for them to tell me that I don't already know. They are ready. As ready as one can be when one is about to get hammered by a Cat 4 storm. Things are going to be very bad, and although the tone of my father's Sitreps seem light, he is not taking this lightly at all. It is not so much he and my Mom and my bro that he is worried about, but the people of Pensacola. That you don't know from his Sitreps. He is sick for them.

All last week when we realized that Pensacola was going to take the big hit, that is all he talked about. The people who are still living in FEMA trailers because their homes are still not fixed.

The total devastation cannot be comprehended unless you see it for yourself or have lived it.

A couple months ago, I wrote 3 posts on what it's like to be in a hurricane. I'll link all three of them here for you, but the 3rd one is the one you should pay particular attention to if you've not endured the havoc wreaked by one.

Part I is HERE and is a status on homes of Pensacola and other areas hit; how we've been living since last hurricane season.

Part II is HERE and concerns economics. May I add... I wonder how much the Navy will tolerate having to rebuild their Naval Air Station in Pensacola. The Navy is THE economy of Pensacola... the cradle of Naval Aviation or as some say, the Mother in Law of Naval Aviators as many meet their spouses there.

Part III is HERE and concerns the psychological toll as well as what it is like to endure both the hurricane and the aftermath.

What I anticipate today: My parents will have regular phone until 24 hours after the storm hits. I don't know the phone company lingo but there are back up generators or something, that when the power goes out, everyone still gets phone (unless something happens to their phone line). This back up generator stays charged for about 24 hours after power goes out... then everyone loses phone. (In hurricane preparation, everyone has an old fashioned corded phone that doesn't require batteries.)

Cell phones will not be in use until cell towers come up. There will be about 24-48 hours where they cannot call out and I cannot call in. It is the most unnerving.

I-10... what a damn mess. I can't even wrap my mind around that. They hadn't finished fixing the I-10 bridge when I was there last week. It's going to be a bear to get into Pensacola to bring stuff in as all roads and bridges might be destroyed like in Ivan.

So now we sit and wait... for the inevitable... and pray there is no loss of life. We can rebuild cities and buy new furniture... but we cannot replace loved ones.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:32 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sitrep#5: Pensacola 0830 10 July

I hate it when he talks in 'knots'. And yes, we grew up frequently hearnig directions by forward and aft, starboard and port... if I got those right. Sheesh. The Lingo of a Navy Man. So... from The Great Omnipotent one.

Dawn showed a completely overcast sky, light rain, and winds I’d estimate to be 25-30 knots. The latest weather predictions show Dennis making landfall around Mobile Bay, putting Pensacola in the NE quadrant. The talking heads on TV are at it as expected, providing continuous blather about what everyone already knows.

This is the day for the really big show!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sitrep #4: Pensacola 2300 CDT 09 July

Updates from The Great Omnipotent One continue:

Night has fallen on a beautiful day. If we weren’t listening to the talking heads on ALL the TV channels telling us about the approaching storm, we wouldn’t suspect a thing. By tomorrow morning we expect significant tropical storm force winds and lots of rain. We’re about to be serviced by Dennis. In the words of Robin Williams, “Brace yourself, Maude.”

Posted by Boudicca at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2005

Sitrep #3: Pensacola 1500 CDT

Report from The Great Omnipotent One:

Getting cloudy now. Dennis is still 300+ miles out and we’re getting an occasional weather band with light rain and wind. Mom, Toluca Nole and I went downtown for lunch this afternoon. The restaurant overlooked a small marina where there were still quite a few sailboats moored. Good luck to those boat owners.

As we ate, the restaurant’s windows were being boarded up. The surrounding offices and restaurants were already closed and boarded, and the traffic is VERY light around downtown Pensacola. The folks we passed as we left all said “Stay safe.” All of us understand.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An Eye Opener!

A special thank you to Ian of The Political Teen who brought to my attention that my blog was spoken of on MSNBC. Holy crap lions tours. Ian's post is HERE, with a link to the video.

It seems that Jeff Jarvis was on MSNBC speaking of hearing first hand accounts of the London tragedy via blogs. He then moved on to Florida and Hurricane Dennis where he not only mentioned my blog sister Tammi of Tammi's World and THIS post, but Good Lord, there was a PICTURE OF HER BLOG on the program! I saw it and was yelling to nobody in particular as I am prone to do, 'Wait! That's Tammi's blog! I recognize the legs and sand!'

From there, Mr. Jarvis mentioned how Tammi had her Florida friends linked and then he mentioned Bou and gasoline in Florida.

I was stunned!

So thank you, Ian, and thank you Mr. Jarvis for our exposure. I just wish it hadn't had to do with impending disaster...

Posted by Boudicca at 12:19 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Sitrep#2 from TGOO

This is the 2nd Sitrep from The Great Omnipotent One. More forthcoming.

Saturday morning arrived as the precursor to a beautiful Southern day. Katydids are singing in the trees and the sun is shining in a sky devoid of clouds. On a day like this 100 years ago, we would have had no inkling of the huge storm headed our way.

I sat on the porch for a few minutes and watched a butterfly visiting the flowers in Mom’s garden. Birds were pigging out as usual on the sunflower seeds in their feeder. The great Gaia organism is functioning normally. Meanwhile, over the southern horizon…..

The computer models are becoming more convergent now that the storm has passed over Cuba and entered the Gulf. Their track predictions seem to be converging a little west of us, putting Pensacola in the northeastern quadrant, a terrible place to be as it passes over.

I boarded up my two exposed windows this morning, and as I was doing mine, the next door neighbor had his family out doing the same thing. We still have a few hours before the beginning of the rain and wind. With preparations complete we might as well enjoy the day. Otherwise, life is just a search for shelter before the rains come

Posted by Boudicca at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sitrep #1 from TGOO

I'll be posting Sitreps from The Great Omnipotent One (my Dad) as Dennis approaches them in Pensacola. This is the first:

Boudicca, her hubby, and the Rolling Ball of Noise departed the Gulf Coast tonight for a wee visit to Morrigan in Hotlanta. It’s a good plan, because tomorrow will bring with it traffic jams like no one has ever seen before, when all the coastal residents finally start north.

We, my mate and I, moved here in August of 1979, and the following month hurricane Frederick roared ashore and passed over our house. That should have been an omen. Since then there have been five or six, the most terrible being Ivan only nine months ago. Old Dennis promises to be an even bigger disaster for the Panhandle.

Years ago, there were no satellite photos and tracking available to give us warning of an approaching storm. I vividly recall waking up early one morning to hear that hurricane Opel was just south of Pensacola and heading north. The torrential rains soaked the ground so thoroughly that even the live oak trees, the indigenous hardwood of the area, were blown over throughout this part of the state. As the satellite technology advanced, we all became fascinated with watching the big ones track towards land.

Now, as we watch Dennis approaching by checking the updates on the internet every three hours, it’s akin to watching a disaster about to happen, a light at the other end of a long, dark tunnel, growing larger by the second.

We’ll hunker down for the few hours it takes Dennis to pass over or around us. Then Toluca will help me get a leg up on the outside clean up.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

We Made It

We rolled in last night about 3:15 AM. I just woke up. We are dead dog tired.

So... this is what we found. Gas in Florida was nearly non-existent as we left. The border stations, as in filling stations on the AL/FL border weren't plentiful either. The population density seemed to be directly proportionate to how much gas was to be found... i.e. small populated areas had gas.

We made great timing through the outskirts of Florida up into Alabama. The 5 1/2 hour trip was going to be smooth sailing... until we hit 71 miles outside of Montgomery on I-65. The traffic came damn near to a standstill. We spent the next 2 hours trying to get to Montgomery.

The entire trip took us an extra hour due to the massive traffic on I-65, but we and all I spoke to feel certain, we did a good thing in leaving last night. Today's evac is going to be hellish at best for those who chose to leave today.

A couple thoughts that ran through our heads:

1) We can now cross off "Traveling North through Alabama at 30 miles per hour" off of our '100 things we want to do before we die' list. Yeah, we're OK with never doing that again.

2) We are not evacuation people. We never have been and this trip solidified that thoughts in our mind. As Ivan was approaching, I was harrassing my Mom saying, "I live on the bottom of a frickin' peninsula! I CANNOT evacuate! We have one way, that is North, and what a mess that is. YOU, however, can go North, East, or West. Go!" Yeah, never again.

What a damn mess as everyone from Alabama and Florida try to get the hell out of dodge. My folks live inland, they'e house is sturdy, and other than the tornadoes, they are fine. We're the same way in West Palm. I made sure we bought West of I-95 for a reason. We don't evacuate. We prepare, put up shutters, and hunker down.

Sheesh.

So our vacation has started up here now. I will be blogging from The Great Omnipotent One as he keeps me posted.

And I am really really far behind in my blogreading, and I hope to catch up tonight and tomorrow morning.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 08, 2005

Gone

With a whirlwind of energy and noise, *Poof*... we are gone.

Right before dinner The Great Omnipotent One said if it were him, he would leave tonight. Tomorrow morning is going to be bumper to bumper and the great potential for no gasoline.

Alabama is already evacuating. There are no rooms at the Inn in Montgomery already.

If we wait until tomorrow morning, our 5.5 hour drive could be 12 and my husband has a flight to catch. Not wanting to chance THEIR canceling his leg out of Pensacola, we canceled it instead, retaining his Atlanta leg... so he will be returning home tomorrow night from Atlanta.

So... we are leaving. When the decision was made, we quickly ate dinner, scurried for our belongings and as we speak my husband is finishing packing in the car. We're gone.

I'll blog tomorrow... Pray Dennis weakens more.

To know what's gone on in Cuba and how horrible it could be for their country, economy, and people go HERE. Nobody deserves what the people of that country have been handed.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Preparing for Dennis

My Dad and I went to pick up his chainsaw this morning. He had taken it in to get it sharpened, down into a little town 15 minutes from here called Cantonment. It appears to be family owned, where the folks working behind the counter also volunteer with the local fire department.

It was a busy place this morning as everyone was picking up or buying chainsaws.

On the way out I saw only one filling station with gas and it had a line down the road and around a bend. The newspaper kept saying there would be plenty of gas in Florida and gas was coming in, but you couldn't tell that by me. Every filling station we passed had brown paper bags over the pumps. The plenty of gas in Florida must've been referring to the South end of the State.

People are starting to evacuate. Everyone is heading to Atlanta, which is where I'll be heading too. Debate now is whether I leave early in the morning or wait until afternoon.

I know, y'all are screaming at your computers saying, "Why wait? Get the hell out!" But... it's not that easy.

There is an amount of.... guilt I guess... although that is not a good word...uneasiness... I guess... over leaving people behind. Sure, it's their choice to stay, but I'd just rather stay with them. It's just not sitting right with me that I'm leaving my parents here to sit through a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane while I continue my vacation up to Atlanta and Chattanooga.

And... its not sitting right that I will leave here, having my folks take my husband to the airport so he can take the late flight out. He's going home... he has to work. It should be me taking him to the airport.

So there is a swirl of emotions that defy all logic. More than likely we'll get the car packed up and make a leisurely way out.

We'll see.

The Great Omnipotent One is on the roof right now cleaning the gutters. Their phone continues to ring as neighbors who are evacuating call to tell them they are leaving or to ask questions with regard to generator operation as TGOO seems to be the resident expert on all things regarding preparedness. Surprise.


Posted by Boudicca at 01:01 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

A Rose By Any Other Name... Is Bones

Bones is still addicted to taking baths, but this has gotten worse as at my Mom's house he has an assortment of good smelling bath stuff to choose from.

I could hardly breath when I walked into the bathroom. I was knocked over by the pungent odors of what should be nice smelling bath stuff... used in moderation.

After letting him play in bubbles for 20 minutes I walked in and pulled the plug. I stood his scrawny little body up, coated in bubbles, and tried to wash it all away with water I managed to clear of bubbles. I rinsed his hair two or three times.

I got him out of the bath and when I dried his hair with the towel, white thick soap bubbles remained trapped at the roots. I didn't bother to put him back in the bath to rinse it... it would take me another 30 minutes and I was just too damn beat. So... I just kept toweling his hair until I could see no more bubbles... his hair sticking straight up stiff from all the 'hair product'.

He looked at me and said with a puffed out chest and a big grin, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom... I used a little bit of EVERY kind of soap we have on my hair... including bubbles."

No kidding. Obviously my nose does not lie.

I looked in the bathtub and there was my shampoo, some rose scented body gel my Mom had in there, Ivory soap (which he usually shuns as it doesn't smell *enough*), kid's shampoo that smelled like berries, and kid's body soap that smelled like watermelon.

He smelled like a frickin' rose fruit bowl. I thought I'd barf.

I walked out and said to my Mom, "I'm telling you, I don't know how Son#2 sleeps in the same bed with him. It really is nauseating."

Oh, but he thinks he smells so good.

My brother went in to kiss them good night and said, "My God, I think my eyes are burning!"

It's bad. It's time for the lecture on less is more. Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:13 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

A Little Perspective

The internet has made this world significantly smaller… as if it were not small enough. I awoke this morning to turn to the on-line news and find that bombs had gone off in London and then opened my e-mail to find out my blogsis Sally and her hubby Alex are fine.

They were the first ones on my mind. 18 months ago, I would have read about the terrorist acts and thought, “Yikes! That’s terrible!” But now… I know people there. And it is more than Sally and Alex. Helen lives there. Eric’s wife is a Scot. And it makes it feel more personal. It is no longer a random terrorist act that makes me feel angry and sad, but one that has an element of personal fear involved as I now *know* people there or who have family there.

There is nothing left to say that has not been said at other blogs. I can tell you, as I brace for what is to happen to us this weekend, that the bombings in London have put a strange perspective on things. As I said to Sally via e-mail… I’ll take a hurricane.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Target On Our Back

If bad language offends, this is not the post for you…move along.

Dennis is tracking like Ivan. Dennis is going to be bigger than Ivan. Pensacola is fucked.

We are no longer going to help my friend tomorrow. We cannot. We cannot afford to waste the gasoline… as it is scarce and the probability of being able to top off to take my kids to Atlanta is remote. We topped off at 5PM and the lines were long already.

I left a message on her machine this afternoon while she was at work. She is a part time engineer for a company that does military subcontracting too. I just told her I had some ideas on how to save some of her furniture and to call me so I could get her a list of supplies and if she couldn’t get them there, I’d try the stores near my folk’s.

She called me back and said, “Don’t come, girl. There’s no gas out here. You need what you’ve got.”

The whole conversation was so awful… almost surreal. I finally said, “I don’t get where this water came from that flooded your house.” Her reply was, “Well… I didn’t used to live on the beach, there was a barrier island between me and the beach, but after Hurricane Ivan… I live on the sound now. I can see white caps from my front door.”

She’s worried about losing her garage door. See, if you lose your garage door during a hurricane, the wind gets under the roof and blows it off. She didn’t lose her roof during Ivan. She did what we did… she threw her van into neutral and slowly backed it up against her garage door until they met, then put it in park. She took her other van and evacuated. When she got back, the garage door had fallen in, but the van had kept it from falling all the way in, so the wind wasn’t able to create enough force to take off her roof.

She only has one van now as that one flooded with her house. So she is engineering a brace for the back using a special nail gun that can shoot nails into her foundation and 2x4s. A neighbor is coming over to try to create a retaining wall on the outside.

She said, “You know, this totally sucks. This is a brand new garage door. I just got it 2 weeks ago. There is a 10 month wait on garage doors and the only reason I got mine when I did as I got on the wait list the DAY AFTER the hurricane in September.”

Yeah, that’s right. She got her new garage door in JUNE. She lost it in SEPTEMBER.

So I gave her my ideas on what to do with her furniture with plastic and duct tape and buckets and what not and she is going to try to make do tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my husband was supposed to fly out Sunday morning as the kids and I were supposed to drive out to Atlanta at the same time.

He switched his flight to Saturday early evening, the only flight he could get. I’m debating and may leave with the kids Saturday morning or afternoon. Tomorrow will give me the data I need. Worst case scenario is he’ll come with us and catch his Atlanta connecting flight out of Atlanta… there is a possibility his Pensacola flight could get canceled.

I don’t see many best case scenarios here. Panic is starting to set in… NAS Pensacola has already been evac’d and the planes are probably gone from all the neighboring fields. The stores are crammed and there is a distinctive hum I have gotten to know now before a hurricane. It is a conversational hum as people prepare. The talk… the concern… the slight tinge of dread as they know it is imminent and they’ve lived this nightmare before. It is all in the sound of their voices.

Gas will be gone tomorrow.

Pensacola is so fucked. And... everyone knows it. I'll be gone... but my parents and brother will be here. This sucks.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:54 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 06, 2005

Happy Birthday, MOM!

My Mom’s birthday is today. The big 6-4!

I made her favorite birthday cake which is an angel food cake with special chocolate frosting. The Great Omnipotent One cooked her a turkey dinner.

I’m such an idiot sometimes. I’ve started my Christmas shopping and bought her Christmas gift, but neglected to get her birthday gift. So last night I ran out quickly to get her birthday gift, wondering what that special gift would be when I saw a music store. It hit me… music from her youth on CD.

I remember from my childhood… Peter, Paul, and Mary. So while I got her the doowop music from the 50s, I made sure I got her the best of Peter, Paul and Mary. As soon as her party was over, she popped in the CDs and I knew all the words. I said to TGOO, “Hmm. I am now wondering if I actually learned ‘This Land is My Land’ in school or by listening to Peter, Paul and Mary at home.”

I’ve never posted a picture of my folks, but tonight I am posting a picture of my Mom. My Mom is a beautiful woman at her age now… but in her youth, she was the type that turned heads in the street and stopped traffic. Think Elizabeth Taylor. But, Elizabeth Taylor would die to look like my Mom now. My Mom has aged well, where Elizabeth has not.

People have said I look like my Mom, but that is only partly true. Where in my youth I was deemed cute, I was never beautiful. There are some people who are just natural beauties and that was never me. I may have the same nose and same shaped face, but I think that’s where it stops. My Mom had the beautiful skin (still does), dark brown hair, almost a raven color (still does… very little gray… and all natural), the eyes and the wonderful shape.

This picture was taken when my folks were just turning 19… on their first date, a blind date, at the quarry. TGOO had just finished his plebe year at The Academy and was on a destroyer in the area. It was a fluke they met and their odd courtship and marriage a blog story all in itself for another time.

So… TGOO and Mom… circa summer of 1959.

Oh… Happy Birthday, MOM!

(Click to Enlarge)

JERPAT59.JPG

Posted by Boudicca at 11:33 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Dennis The Menace

It appears I could be in a state of flux… damn Mother Nature.

We are all of course keeping an eye on Hurricane Dennis, that threatens to come ashore to the Pensacola/Mobile area. If you look at the left column of my blog, you’ll find all my hurricane tracking links.

As of now, which could change by tomorrow, Dennis could hit on Monday. My husband flies out Sunday morning, I drive out Sunday mid-morning and my brother flies out Tuesday night. Wedged right in the middle is Dennis.

If it all goes as planned, there should be no problems with travel plans… in theory.

I called my best friend from college to see if we could hook up while I’m here. Her husband is a Marine, currently in Iraq. She has triplet boys, age 7. Her husband was deployed during Ivan and she had evacuated with her sons, inland to her Mama’s house. My friend’s house flooded nearly a foot, ruining her home and furnishings. When I called today she was stressed as they just got all new furniture, her house is just now finished and she is JUST NOW moving back in… she isn’t even finished getting her belongings unpacked. This is all from damage done in September… and this is the norm here in the panhandle.

Wait… did I mention her husband is in Iraq?

I told her not to sweat it, that by Friday we would have a better handle on things and my husband and I would come and help her get ready for the hurricane. So that’s what I’m doing Friday. We’re going to help her put up hurricane shutters and figure out how to protect any of her new furniture. Her home will flood again if Pensacola takes another hit. It’s a given.

Meanwhile she is worried about me, saying if I leave on Sunday, my 5.5 hour drive to Atlanta could be about 10 as everyone in the panhandle evacuates for Dennis. That would suck.

Still… it is far easier for me to think about driving 10 hours with my kids in evacuation traffic than to think…

… that I could lose my home again for the 2nd time in 8 months, while contending with it with three young children, and my husband deployed in Iraq.

I got it easy.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

Admiral Stockdale

Growing up in a military family, you are raised on stories with real heros. Sure, you aren't immune to the media and hearing about sports figures and actors and public figures, but in a military family, they are not typically revered as they are in regular society.

In military families you grow up hearing of Rickovers and Chesty Pullers... and Admiral James Stockdale's.

The daughter of a Naval Aviator who served in 'nam, I knew of James Stockdale before the rest of America knew of him... and America only knew him as a guy who ran with Ross Perot and happened to not look great on TV.

What a loss to any American if they never bothered to get to know who he really was... the brilliant mind and true hero, although I am sure he would not have been happy to be considered one... as true heros are also amazingly humble.

My throat closes off in grief that this great man is gone. It is truly a great loss to our society. He was a hero among modern heros... and for his leaving us, I cry.

Go HERE for an article about his passing. If you want to know more about this great man... no need for me to link. Just google Admiral James Stockdale and you'll find a wealth of information.

UPDATE: Link HERE provided by The Great Omnipotent One... site for Admiral Stockdale.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Life in Florida

Blogging will still be happening, but it will be lighter over the next few days. It happens when I live my life... I catalogue it all into my brain, but then I don't have time to write.

I have a post in my head with pictures with regard to our 4th of July, which was marvelous. And I have pix of my boys for a post coming up too. I just need to find the time to sit down and download and write. It is coming.

Meanwhile, we have high hopes that tomorrow morning we'll rise early and go see the Blue Angels practice out at NAS Pensacola. However, Tropical Storm Cindy and the nasty weather she threatens to bring could put a halt to those plans. But that's cool... I'd rather be me than my cousin.

My favorite cousin was in town with his family this week. They left this morning to spend a few days in New Orleans. That would be great except Cindy is probably hitting there about 1 AM. Yeah, sure, it's only a Tropical Storm, but geez, they're on VACATION! Hopefully no power will be lost and they can make the best of it and continue their plans... with a little rain.

That just sucks wet socks.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

You Say Karnival, Some say Carnival

The Karnival of the Kids is up HERE at blog sister Michele's of Letters from NYC. She did a WONDERFUL job!

The Carnival of the Recipes is up HERE! Take a look and find new recipes for next week. Live on the edge. Try something new...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Of Epidemic Proportions?

Oh, I saw THIS article about how Meth abuse is an epidemic.

Geez. I brought it to my folks attention today at lunch and TGOO had the same reaction I did. We don't seem to be doing our share.

I wasn't even aware Meth abuse was a real problem until I heard in some states you can't buy frickin' Sudafed over the counter anymore. I need to really crawl out from under my rock of naivete every once and awhile.

So this is what I think... not that I think drugs should be legal... but I'm just thinking that Darwin's theory should come into play here eventually. I would just think that someone who wants to snort something made of fertilizer and wants to do it all the time... probably ain't long for this world.

And... I'm OK with that.

What kind of person wants to do that crap anyway? Give.ME.A.BREAK.

Cleansing the gene pool folks. Cleansing the gene pool.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:18 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Attention all Camel Riders...

Folks, my kids have it so easy, and they don't even realize it. THIS article right here just goes to prove my children are of the uber privileged. *Grin*

Luckily... by 2007 all camel rider racers will be mechanical. Thank God. I might have lost sleep over this.

Now I wonder if the US will eventually make our horse race jockeys mechanical for their light weight.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Blog Showcase

This week, as Ogre has JUST returned from vacation, I am hostessing the New Blog Showcase. (By the way, stop by and look at his new lay out. Very very fun. I liked his horizontal blog, but this one is very fun.)

The following posts were submitted by new bloggers, bloggers who have been blogging for 3 months or less. Take a look at their posts, peruse their blogs and see what they've got.

From Adam's Thoughts we have THIS post with regard to illegal immigration. This blog is a conservative Christian blog with political and societal commentary.

From Steve the Pirate we have THIS post with regard to China. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Steve, who just turned TWENTY! This blog is also a conservative blog with political commentary and humor.

From Sacrastic Shrub we have THIS post on a suggestion with regard to blogs and blog design. This blog in general appears to be humor, blogging, life and he has some funny funny stuff over there.

Over at Feisty Republican Whore is THIS post regarding New York and their dancing laws. This blog is an about life blog and her tagline is "Anyone can be a Republican, right?"

At Thanks for the Ride, Lady! is THIS post where the lesson learned is, “If you’re going to drink beer on a frozen lake, wear boots.” She's a Mom and her blog is an about life blog, or as she puts it, "It seems as though I spend most of my days driving someone somewhere. These are the random thoughts I have as I drive."

And lastly, over at Washington Toast, we have THIS post on Dick Durbin. His blog is a satirical view on politics and as his blog header puts it, "News. Not Biased. Not Slanted. Just Cockeyed."

There you have it folks. New blogs. Take a look. You may find something that suits your fancy and will make you want to continue to go back fore more!

Posted by Boudicca at 12:44 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 04, 2005

The Guard Bunnies... More

I was putting Bones to bed and as he was placing 'the guard bunnies' on his pillow he said, 'I have to have Pregnant and Not Pregnant on my pillow."

I looked at my sister and said dryly, 'Oh, that's... lovely.'

Posted by Boudicca at 11:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

Yet Another Difference Between Morrigan and Boudicca

When Bones turned six this year, he asked for two stuffed animals…they look like bunnies. One has pink ears and the other blue. Basically, boy bunny and girl bunny. (When looking at the links... we did not pay this for these stupid animals. I paid less then five bucks a piece.) They’re evidently Pokeman characters and each has a ‘sign’in their cheeks. The white and blue boy bunny has a negative sign on his cheeks, while the white and pink girl bunny has positive signs on hers. I have taken to just calling them ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. First thought when I see these are… protons/electrons.

He’ll be going to bed and I’ll say, “Where are Positive and Negative?” as he usually has them sitting on his pillow… bunnies standing guard while he sleeps.

So two days ago, the boys are being put to bed, Morrigan has stepped in to kiss them goodnight, when she sees The Bunnies sitting on Bones' pillows, having been set into their 'guard the sleeping boy' positions. She comes walking in to me, a bunny in each hand, at waist level and says in a cartoon voice, shaking each bunny individually saying, “Pregnant… Not pregnant.”

I look at her confused and she shakes the Pink Bunny and says “Pregnant” then shakes the blue bunny and says, “Not Pregnant.”

I started to laugh and she says, “What? Didn’t you think this as soon as you saw them?”

I sat there and finally said, “Ummm. NO. I thought 'positive' 'negative'.” It never occurred to me.

Perhaps it is because I am so way past my bearing any more children…thankfully. Or perhaps it is because I know for a fact I never have to worry about being pregnant again. I don’t know. All I know is… Pregnancy Tests never came into my mind when I saw those bunnies… but I think hers is funny and more appropriate given the whole ‘rabbit died’ scenario of yesteryear.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

You Call This a Movie Review?

The boys wanted to see Herbie at the movies the other day. Oh Joy.

We got home and my Mom asked me how the movie was and I replied, “Michael Keaton is aging very well. He looks good. Lindsay Lohann needs a hair cut. The boy who played her Mechanic side kick is good with physical comedy and may do very well in Hollywood.”

She looked at me and said, “You didn’t answer my question. How was the MOVIE?”

Returning her look I said, “As I said, Michael Keaton looks good, Lindsay Lohann needs a hair cut and her side kick did a good job. THAT’S what *I* got out of the movie.”

She answered, “Oh. That good, huh?”

The kids liked it although Bones thought it was gross that the ‘car peed on the bad guy’. A kid’s take.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Weight Competition

On Friday it appeared I had gained 3 pounds, which quickly freaked me out. So I have been at the gym for 1 ½ hours every day with my sister since. It was probably water retention from sitting in the car for 9 hours and the vast humidity here. Either way, I’m up 1 pound for sure.

The M&M’s did not help, although after I saw that + 3, I quit eating them and am watching everything I eat.

On a funny note, my sister does not work out like I do. So we had been at the gym for a long time and my boys were at lunch with my husband and one of them said to him, “Dad? What is Mom doing?”

Their Dad looked at his watch and said, “Well… right about now, your Mom is kicking your Aunt’s ass in the gym.”

Yup. That about summed it up. *grin*

Posted by Boudicca at 11:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 01, 2005

Great Causes for our Troops

I received an e-mail from John of Castle Argghhh! today informing me of this very cool event.

Over at Molten Thought there is a blogathon going on. Take a look HERE. For every $25 donated, a post will be written on any topic you choose. 24 hours of blogging... and the money goes towards the Armed Forces Relief Trust.

An excerpt from their site:

The mission of the Armed Forces Relief Trust is to assist the military aid societies by providing a single vehicle to accept donations that will benefit the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families. Examples of such assistance may include payment for a soldier's airfare to fly home for his father's funeral, a special reading program for a sailor's daughter, special medical attention for a pilot's expectant spouse, or college tuition for a soldier's child.

So go on over to Molten Thoughts... for Saturday, July 2nd and support a worthy cause. 24 hours of blogging. My backside hurts just thinking about it!

ALSO!!!, Blogson Contagion is putting together a package to send to the 1st Armored Division, US Army who is shipping out on their 3rd deployment.

Contagion has his paypal button up and will be keeping this post up until the 1st of August. If you've been like him and have said you have been wanting to send something, but have not yet, or if you are ready to do something again, stop by his place HERE and give.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Think We MAY NOT be Normal...

What do normal families do when they get together?

I have no clue. All I know is that at one point I broke out my old music theory book so we could try to convert my eldest’s B flat trumpet music into something my flute or TGOO's fiddle could play with him as we’re C instruments.

I guess we messed with the music for about an hour and then it was just too much of a pain and we decided he’s playing in the ceilidh solo, and he’s cool with that.

At one point there was trumpet sounding in the study, bagpipe music playing over the speakers in the family room (TV on mute) and Nora Jones on the porch, and my music theory book is open on the kitchen table with sheet music and pencils.

I have to say, its very relaxing.

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Random Thought

I hate webmail.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Is There a Choc Anon?

Only at my Mom’s house are the M&Ms either color coordinated for the room or put out by holiday. One year I came and she had saved the fall and spring color M&Ms so she could have them in candy dishes in the rooms that were of those colors… all year round. So the family room which is a very homey room with wood floors and a fireplace, done in burgundies and dark greens had fall color M&Ms. The living room which is done with some pastel accents had pink, light green and yellow M&Ms.

We are now eating by holiday. It’s Red, White and Blue M&Ms in honor of the 4th. I think we ate all the color themed M&M's last time we were here...

So much for my weight competition. I’m going walking tonight to try to burn off the bag of M&Ms I’ve probably already eaten and I’ve only been here a half day.

Yeah, I have problems with chocolate.

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Some Things Are Set in Stone

Greetings from Pensacola… home of the remnants of Ivan, shark attacks, and hot sticky weather. Ack!

It was an uneventful trip, thankfully, as we found a really nice Holiday Inn in Lake City. It was either refurb’d or brand new and the beds were, oh I swear to you this is true, more comfortable than ours at home! Other than the A/C being very loud, it was a great sleep.

And for those wondering, evidently there was a good enough assortment of jellies that Bones was happy. Life is good when you’re 6 and jelly makes you happy.

My parents go by the names Mimi and Big Daddy for their grandparental names. Of course over the course of the years, there have been changes. Mimi goes by: Mimi, The Mim, Mimster, or… Mim. “Hey! Mim!” has been heard more than once. The Great Omnipotent One goes by: Big Daddy, Big Dad, or… just… Big. Yes, there is an occasional, “Hey! Big!” which is very funny in and of itself since he is not Big nor has he ever been…standing at all of 5’6” and probably never weighing more than 155 lbs.

So we’re at Mim and Big’s and life is good. The boys are already talking to TGOO about what he’s going to cook for breakfast in the morning for them, as that’s his big thing… big breakfasts. I think tomorrow morning is poached eggs and sausage on buttermilk biscuits. I heard Sunday is waffles and pancakes.

It’s really amazing to me how these breakfasts have not ended up on his spreadsheet. Yes, you heard me. Spreadsheet. Starting about 2 months in advance, he puts a spreadsheet together by calendar day and on each day, lists the menu for that night. At the end of every day is a grocery list so he knows what extra items need to be picked up for that evening’s meal. Also on this ‘meal calendar’ spreadsheet is the arrival and departure times of every individual.

One does not deviate from the meal calendar. I’ve tried. So if I KNOW I want to cook a meal when I’m visiting, I have to reserve a day with TGOO well in advance or no can do.

Needless to say, poor planning on my part with regard to wanting to prepare a special dessert for TGOO (his fave is banana pudding) and not telling him until a couple days ago, has resulted in my getting a spot on the calendar for November when we come for Thanksgiving. That’s right. I got my meal calendar reservation 4 months in advance. Gotta reserve it while you can.

Did I say TGOO was career Navy?

Posted by Boudicca at 07:45 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack