I cleaned Fiona's cage today and boy, did it need it. The boys and I clean it every 3-4 days and if we let it get to 5 days, BLECH.
So I took apart the cage and my eldest was holding her, telling me she stank. He decided to give her a bath. Hunh. He's done this before and I always lecture him on making sure he doesn't scare her or submerge her. He gives her a sponge bath. And SHE LETS HIM!
I get the cage back together and I look over at him and he's cuddling with her, having taken a dry wash rag and dried her off and fluffed her up.
All this... for a hamster! I said, "Is she clean enough?" His reply was, "Oh yeah! She smells great. She smells like blueberries and bananas!"
Ack! He had used a little dab of this new shampoo I bought them to wash her up. I felt her coat... he got all the soap off her. She's clean and fluffy and her coat is shiney.
I don't know why this whole thing makes me laugh, but it does. We now have a blueberry/banana smelling hamster.
In four days we'll have a hamster that smells like banana/blueberry/crap. Blech.
My air conditioner broke yesterday in the house. No biggy. I called the guy who services our unit and he came out today and got it running. We'll need a new unit, probably soon... so chances are we won't be buying that generator this year.
It's funny... two years ago if you had told me I would lose my A/C in August, I'd be all freaked out. "Losing my air conditioner in the peak summer months?!!! Eeegads!"
Now? I've been through 2 hurricanes, my folks have been hit by 3 (two of them bad for them personally) and I continually witness the devastation all along the Gulf Coast.
So when I realized my a/c was out, I told them, "You'll just get to us when you get to us... "
It's all about perspective. Being without a/c is no.big.deal.
What’s been running through my head today?
It could have been me and my family. We live in Hurricane Country. Just as easily… it could have been here.
It could have been my folks.
How far can the water come up the East coast of Florida?
How far am I actually from the coast? I think I’m 10-15 miles. I need to drive it and make sure.
If a Cat 5 hits adjacent to Lake O and the dikes break… and in addition there’s a surge from the Atlantic, would there be anything left of Palm Beach County?
How many people really live in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and all other counties that run along I-95 and the turnpike? I think if the population in 2003 was over 17 million and half of them live south… that’s still about 9 million people. I’m betting the answer to my question is much more than 9 million.
How many of the dead in Biloxi and Gulfport weren’t in evacuation zones? I’m not in one.
If a big Cat 4 or 5 comes my way, I need to rethink our plans. We’re not evac people. But… maybe we should be. There will be mass hysteria next time. I can feel it… I’m a calm person, but I can tell… I may not be so much if a big one is laying sights on me and my family.
We can’t all evac out of S. Fl. Too many people. Only two roads go north. Not enough gas. It’s grim.
Is Palm Beach County going to re-evaluate their evacuation zones based on the vast devastation of the Gulf Coast? How do you really tell people not to evacuate during a Cat 5... how do you really tell people to sit in their homes with their families and tell them they're safer there than evac'ing... especially after they've watched all the footage from Biloxi and Gulfport?
The worst place to live in a hurricane is on an Island.
Tied with that is to live in a bowl… like New Orleans.
Also tied with them is living on the beach.
Therefore, the 2nd worst place to live is on the end of a peninsula with over 9 million other people… who all don’t want to be here if a big one hits.
There are bullies in every school. In the car today, Son#2 told a story of a 5th grader we know, a complete creep, that pushed him out of the way in the cafeteria and said, “Get out of the way, freak!”
Yeah, the kids on my major garbage list, but he was there already. I’m keeping an eye on the situation.
Anyway, he tells this story and his brothers were not around during the incident. Suddenly, the other two were plotting with him on what they’ll do as a team against this bully should Son#2 get picked on again.
I’ve got myself a little Army here. I let them rant a bit and then told them to cool it, that they were NEVER to instigate anything. It is one thing to work as one for a brother, it is another to plot revenge for being pushed or to start trouble.
I have no desire to get called in because Boudicca’s Boys got into something they shouldn’t have.
We’re at the dinner table, the story comes up again. Immediately my husband starts with, “You are brothers. You work as one. You defend each other…” and on and on he went. THEN, he looks at my eldest and says, “Whose the toughest boy in your class?” They went down the list for the two toughest boys in 5th grade, who happen to be good friends with my eldest, and suddenly we have this 3 family team that can go up against anyone.
Did I tell you my husband is Italian?
Yeah. So this continues and we get, the three families can take on any 5th grader and now we've moved onto first graders who think they're big and tough and might pick on Bones. Bones informs them that the toughest kid in his class... is his best friend.
I truly cannot stand this kid. He's obnoxious. It's that whole 'birds of a feather thing'. Discussion ensues about how rude he is and Bones actually says, 'Just because he spit on Son#2's neck, doesn't make him a BAD KID!"
Great. I'm waiting to see how the definition of 'bad kid' continues to change over the years. I also dread the day I get wind of a mother saying to their son, "Don't you hang out with Bones!" Hey, it could be worse. It could be, "Watch out for Boudicca's Boys!" Lovely.
It’s easy to forget them. We keep talking about New Orleans. The horror that is still building there… in that town everyone in the world knows of… the water coming in. The worst case scenarios actually occurring, much to our gut wrenching dismay. We thought it was over, hoped it was over and thought the days after they could look to assessing and rebuilding, but instead we’re watching as the water keeps coming… and they continue evacuations. The 20 foot waters are a reality as the city continues to sink into despair.
But beyond the terrible picture of New Orleans, a picture that I assure you, the media cannot possibly show grim enough, there is Mississippi.
I have a dear friend of mine. She comes from an old Mississippi family, Pascagoula, a Gulf Coast town. They came to the United States in the 1600s… her family has sent men to fight in every war for this country. Their home was filled with antiques, some dating before the civil war. Old family heirlooms, pictures, coins, furniture…
… all… gone. Her Mom had evacuated as had her sisters and brother. All living in different homesteads but near one another. They came back and there is nothing.
Not a paperclip, not a leg of furniture, not a shred of fabric… it is all gone… as if it never existed.
Her Mom has the clothes that were on her back, a nightgown, underwear, a robe and a pillow.
And she is lucky… she has more than most.
So my friend is loading up a trailer with a generator for the place her Mom is staying, food, clothing, batteries, and lanterns… and is making the trip this week. Her Mom is elderly, nearly 90.
I have offered to help, but she insists she needs none. I asked her to let me load her trailer; she said she had it under control. I asked her to let me buy things for her family… she said she had no more room. And in a last ditch effort I said, “Find an address. Let me know if mail starts trickling through. Make a list of things you need. I will mail anything I can. Batteries, more lanterns, food, underwear or wipes. Let me help. I NEED to help your family.” And she sent me a note that only said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ I think she may take me up on it. I pray she does.
I am sick for her as I cannot even comprehend the vast devastation she is going to see in her home town. The news cannot do it justice. The news can report it as they see it, but the entire scene is so damn tragic, it is being underplayed compared to how grim it really is. The news, doing an excellent job, can only do so much.
You cannot hear the anguish when you read. You cannot smell the awful stench of rot that permeates after a hurricane on TV. You cannot be in it 360 degrees. You cannot have the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare.
This is what she is driving into. I am sick for her. I am sick for her family. I am sick for the people of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
Don’t forget… it extends beyond the ongoing horrors of New Orleans. This nightmare is the entire Gulf Coast.
The Karnival of the Kids is UP! Donna of PrimoDonna is our hostess this week. If you've not been to her blog, I really enjoy it. Just to let you know.
Donna's blog is full of recollection upon her life... her childhood, her motherhood... all that she has done. She has a happiness challenge every day where she posts what has made her happy that day.
There is much sadness and weariness in this world. Donna's blog is a bright light. Go by and take a look. You may want to make her a daily read.
TGOO and my Mom lost power at 11:45 CST. He has branch damage, but no trees down. What bothers me is he has to use his chain saw, these branches are so big.
I know, you guys are out there doing some male grunting at the thrill of using a chain saw. Here's the deal... TGOO still uses my Grandfather's chainsaw. That sucker must weigh 40 pounds.
So today when he had assessed his damage and we were talking on the phone (I called him no less than 5 times today... no kidding), I said, "Dad. It may be time to just run Grandaddy's chainsaw until its out of gas... then bronze it... and get a new one. Something light."
He agreed. He said he's waiting until they get a new stock of them. Chainsaws are kinda scarce in 'Cane Country right now.
Pensacola sustained damage. Roads are washed out, the beaches took another pounding, but its nothing like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. It's just a shame that this is the third one in less than 12 months.
So that's the deal. They are fine, but powerless. A new chainsaw is in the future. Let's hope it's over now.
And... those people in New Orleans are the luckiest people on Earth. Hands Down.
OK, folks, a little Public Service Announcement from someone in ‘Cane country to those of you about to experience some Cat 1 or Tropical Storm strength winds, which may be out of the norm for you. Pay attention carefully, because there will be a quiz afterwards.
First, look at the below picture. If you find that you live in that yellow band, hereby called ‘The Cone of Confusion’ since I’ve seen people do some really stupid things when a TS or hurricane is coming at them, and it looks like this storm could come your way in the next 24-48 hours, this applies to you.
DO NOT drive in TS Strength winds or stronger. DO NOT go outside in TS strength winds or stronger. DO NOT run a generator in your home.
Not enough info? Need an explanation? Your ground is going to get mushy with rain, unless of course you live on hard red clay, and your trees can fall with hard winds. That surely makes sense.
Here’s another… we in S. FL have trees that are indigenous to hurricane prone country and are less likely to fall over or snap in a Category 1. (I said less likely, not that it doesn't happen.) These would be… Palm trees! They’re bendy, but alas, even they do snap. Trees that we have snap in our yards, are typically what we call ‘ornamentals’. They don’t really belong down here. Some leafy trees that are indigenous to this area will actually drop their leaves before or during a hurricane so the winds can blow through. Some of us (like TGOO) get trees pruned real thin or cut back so winds can blow through. Wind hitting a tree full of leaves is like wind hitting a concrete wall. No give.
So, unless you live amongst the bendy trees, or trees that ‘voluntarily’ drop leaves during storms, or you’ve had your trees pruned or cut back lately… your trees can snap off during the stress of the these force winds.
I’m not talking Killer Sticks like they talk about on the Weather Channel. I’m talking full blown branches whirling at you… or your car. Think the nastiest thunderstorm you’ve ever been in… then add a bit more wind.
So… stay inside. Consider it a video night. When I find out that someone died because they got hit by a tree or branch in TS or hurricane winds… I never think, “hoooowww sad”. I think, “Idiot”.
Of the nine people who died in Miami, 5 were tree related, 2 were boat related, and 2 were generator in the house related. There you go. Don’t do as they do, do as I say.
OK, now on to the quiz. Its multiple choice, so don’t fret… and only two questions, so piece of cake.
1) In Tropical Storm Force Winds or Stronger you should:
a. Go for a ride in your car
b. Go for a run, it’s the perfect time to start that exercise regime you’ve been thinking about.
c. Stay inside, watch videos, read a book and/or have lots of sex with your partner.
d. Get in your car, find a good woodsy spot, and go for a run.
Answer: If you answered a, b, or d… you’re dead. Or possibly dead. And definitely an idiot. Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest may have been written for you.
If you answered c, don’t forget to use birth control, someone can still get pregnant, hurricanes and tropical storms do not prevent conception…and by the way, that was the right answer. *grin*
2) You’ve just lost power and you are in the midst of a Tropical Storm or a Hurricane. You should:
a. Run your generator in your home, as you’ve always contemplated death by asphyxiation.
b. Hang out outside under a tree, preferably with a power line near it, as it must be a lot cooler with all that wind than in that stuffy house.
c. Run outside to your back porch and start moving all your porch furniture, garbage cans, and anything else that is a potential missile, inside or close to the house.
d. Stay put and deal.
Answers: If you answered a, b, c… you’re dead. Or possibly dead. And definitely an idiot. Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest may have been written for you.
If you answered d, you win. By the way, just FYI, do move all potential missiles from around your house (garbage cans, hanging plants, porch furniture)… just do it BEFORE the big wind.
And a trick question for those of us in hurricane country…
3) You live in an evacuation zone and a hurricane is coming your way. You’ve been told to evacuate. You:
b. Don’t evacuate, your stuff is too important, and you don’t care if you might die anyway. You’ve made peace and will live with what comes your way.
c. Don’t evacuate and when the big winds come and your home is flooding, you crawl up into the attic with a hammer, crow bar and ax, and call 911 saying, “Someone please come save me, I want to live!”, thereby asking OTHER people who did evacuate and had their families evacuate, come risk their lives to save you.
The answers are a and b. If you answered c, the answer is… too bad… so sad… you die. You had your chance. You should have thought about your will to live when you were told/begged/pleaded with to evacuate. Your indecision to do so… has just… eradicated you from the gene pool. Darwin’s Theory at it’s finest. By the way, the news will pick up on that and the rest of us will laugh at how nervy and stupid you are. Idiot.
Good luck, stay safe and I hope you don’t lose power. It sucks to lose power in the summer. Watch out for tornados… don’t know what to tell you about those. Find a bathtub??? Tornados scare the every living hell out of me.
From Blogson Contagion, is this quiz... And I have to say, I keep seeing everyone's answer and I haven't seen any Cary Grant's or William Powells. Good thing I'm married!
By the way, this 'perfect woman' stuff... I think my husband would call BS on that one.
You scored 21% grit, 33% wit, 19% flair, and 35% class!
|You are class itself, the calm, confident "perfect woman." Men turn and look at you admiringly as you walk down the street, and even your rivals have a grudging respect for you. You always know the right thing to say, do and, of course, wear. You can take charge of a situation when things get out of hand, and you're a great help to your partner even if they don't immediately see or know it. You are one classy dame. Your screen partners include William Powell and Cary Grant, you little simmerpot, you. |
Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the Classic Leading Man Test.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating|
I spoke to TGOO. He was up at 4AM, checking the winds. All is well inland in Pensacola. He said the local weatherman said something along the lines of, "After enduring the winds of Ivan and Dennis, Katrina will not prove impressive to us... although the storm surge certainly will be impressive!"
TGOO and Mom did lose power for an hour last night as some yahoo down the street decided to chop down a tree in preparation for Katrina and in so doing, took down a power line. Gotta love the idiots.
So while Mississippi and SE La take a beating, other than the beach on Pensacola, the folks of Pensacola will be fine. TGOO actually expects they won't lose power. What trees they have left have been cut way way back.
My kids woke up this morning and the first thing out of their mouths was "Are Mimi and Big Daddy OK?"
Hurricanes have become the norm in their lives as of late.
It appears that the way Katrina moved and with her intensity dropping quickly, that although New Orleans will have massive incredible damage, there probably will not be the great loss of life. I am hoping this is true. The loss of the French Quarter, while sad, didn't phase me. It was/is the potential for massive loss of life that does.
Biloxi and Gulfport, what a mess those places will be.
So many to be homeless throughout the south. So so many people. And in Pensacola, not even a full year after Ivan... there are still people living in FEMA trailers. FEMA trailers appear to be quickly becoming a Coastal norm. The homeless indigent in New Orleans? Mind boggling. Completely mind boggling.
I was reading the paper this morning and a gentleman from New Orleans said something to the effect of, “We’re a Catholic town. We’re all praying for someone.”
I’m not discounting that. Nope. Not at all. That’s all those folks have right now as far as I’m concerned. But for those of them that thought prayer alone would get them by and turned down help or the chance to evacuate thinking ‘God would see me through’, I have a little story I heard when I was a teenager, that has stuck with me since. Some of you may have heard it.
The flood waters were rising and so a man went to his roof. A gentleman in a boat came by and said, “Brother, let me help you. Get in my boat and I’ll take you to safety…”
“Oh no,” the man replied, “my Lord will take care of me. I’ll be fine.”
The flood waters continued to rise and they were now half way up his roof. A gentleman in a helicopter flew over and yelled out, “Take this rope. Let me get you to safety!”
“Oh no,” the man yelled back, “my Lord will take care of me. I’ll be fine!”
The flood waters rose up past his roof, pulling him down and he drowned. Standing at the pearly gates of Heaven, he sees the Lord and says, “Why did you not save me, Lord?”
And the Lord replied, “I tried! I sent you a boat and I sent you a helicopter!”
Let us hope that everyone in New Orleans truly used their resources…
Well, I have spent most of the day truly sick over this. Completely and totally sick. It may seem absurd to some of you, but I am from Pensacola. I lived three hours from the area targeted to take this hit for over 10 years of my life… the most formative years at that.
And lest y’all think I’m being flippant in any of this… I feel like I have a horse in this race. A friend of the family is a doctor in New Orleans. You can’t evac critically ill patients. People stay… nurses, doctors… hospital staff. He is there for the long haul and he’s not living in some utopic bubble. He’s a smart man. He fully comprehends what could happen to him… to them.
I am sick for my folks… sick with worry that they could feel more than I want them to. I don’t want them to feel ANY OF IT. They’ve had Ivan and Dennis. I worry about tornadoes spawned off in their direction. They are ready… they are prepared, but I am nervous for them again. I think if it changes course and comes East… like it was supposed to hit me in Palm Beach County, but then went 90 miles South and hit Miami… if it goes those 90 miles East… I cannot even go there.
According to Jeff Masters, Katrina is so big, she has taken on a life of her own. She is a Monster in her own right.
And my Mom is sick about the people of New Orleans and ALL the neighboring areas. This isn’t just New Orleans… this is Southern Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama. Mobile is an hour from my folks… they’re expecting a 12 foot storm surge in Mobile. She and I talk, watching the TVs from our respective homes, horrified by what is before us.
As The Great Omnipotent One says, “I'm afraid we're about to witness the greatest human catastrophe this country has ever been part of in a short period of time. It'll rival some of the wars that have been fought.”
I was talking to my Mom on the phone… she worked in the mental health profession for years before retiring. She brought up a point I had not thought of.
So… who exactly is in the Super Dome right now? The poorest of the poor in New Orleans and the middle class and wealthy tourists who could not get out. The down trodden and forgotten of the Big Easy… some of them just down on their luck while others are drunks or drug abusers… mixed in with tourists, some of whom probably have children with them. All put together into a big Dome to hopefully live through a Cat 5 hurricane… at best a Cat 4.
It’s going to be hot. It’s going to be dark. It’s going to stink. The children will be loud and they will be afraid. And all through it… in corners here and there… will be random people suffering from the DTs. Oh yes, I’m sure they’ll have some drugs or some booze with them, but overall? That’ll run out.
And it’s not just for a few hours. That Dome WILL take in water. It’s just a matter of how much. And as the city lies under 20-25 feet of water, with sewage, chemical waste, fire ants, snakes, gators, bodies (they don’t bury their dead… they’re all above ground cemeteries… water table is too high) and the like… how long will it take before someone can get them out? And where will they all go?
It could be days. DAYS of hot, smelly, scared, angry people. DAYS of the mentally ill mixed with the substance abusers, sometimes one and the same, the poor who have always just gotten by, and tourists who’ve never been through a Tropical Depression let alone a Cat 5 Hurricane, who are used to staying in Marriotts and Hiltons, now holed up in the Super Dome.
And I keep going over the structural integrity of that Dome, built according to Laughing Wolf in the early 70s. Perhaps it was made to withstand a Cat 5, but at what level? A Cat 5 starts at 155 mph. What if this is 175? 20mph is about the range of an entire Category. Can it take that? And did they cut corners when they built it?
It has been running through my mind all day. I’m a wreck. People are going to die. And if that doesn’t bother you… think of a city 3 hours from you… one you’ve lived next to your entire life… and then picture it… gone. And the people either suffering greatly or dead. Now expand that to all the neighboring towns of that city... for another 100 miles. And the suffering that will be endured... and most definitely more death. That pretty much sums it up. Gut wrenching.
One of my S. AL readers was talking about evac to the Super Dome. I read that here too.
So let me get this straight. The officials in New Orleans think its a sound idea to evac people who live in a city shaped like a bowl... into a smaller bowl.
Did I get that right? Am I missing something?
OK, here's another. Can the Super Dome structurally withstand 170MPH winds? Hunh. Survey says... Beeeenh. No. OK, maybe I'm wrong, but I'm thinking the top comes off, wind gets in, you have wind from the outside, wind from the inside...
Hey, I'm not a structural engineer... any civil engineers want to take a shot at this? Does it collapse upon itself? Blow apart? Lift off like a flying bowl?
But either way, there is no answer now. We're sitting back and watching. It is making me physically sick. I'm so spooled up about it... I can't quit flipping to the various websites on weather. 'Cause see.... I see dead people.
We found ourselves in the mall this evening with the boys, making a return. I told them they could each pick out something that was around $5 and as a treat, I would make the purchase.
All Bones wanted was handcuffs. That's all he talked about. I quietly laughed to myself as I purchased them for him.
A Bad Example Family member in the making???
I'm going to go on a couple 'o rants here. So sit back.
First, I am so sick and tired of hearing people from Miami say, "We didn't get enough notice!" OH yeah?! Well they got the same damn notice I did. Last I heard, the Weather folks continually gave us a large band as to where that 'cane could hit. They never said, "It is definitely hitting Palm Beach County". Never.
Listen carefully, my friends. I'll only say it once for all y'all who live in this fair state of Florida... when you look at the weather and there's a Big Damn Storm coming at your Coast... YOU GET READY AND ASSUME IT IS COMING RIGHT AT YOU!!!
Good Lord. People really piss me off. What do they expect, the frickin' Weather People to call them personally and say, "Excuse me, but did you buy your water?"
Here's a tip for all you that haven't been hit by a hurricane lately or don't live in hurricane country. ONE DOES NOT DRIVE IN TROPICAL FORCE STRENGTH WINDS OR RAIN. Guess what happens? Trees fall. They can crush your car. You can die.
End of story.
OH! And here's another tip for you... YOU DO NOT RIDE OUT A HURRICANE IN YOUR BOAT. Guess what happens? You die.
End of Story.
Yeah, Katrina was a deadly storm because someone ran into a felled tree, a tree fell on their car, or they decided to wait it out on their boat. PEOPLE WERE OUT IN IT.
It leaves me speechless.
I blogged about when I bought my food supplies in JULY. I bought my new battery operated lanterns in APRIL. I bought my water in JUNE. I had my kids in the house and we were NOT going anywhere as of 2PM on Thursday because I expected TS type winds to hit between 2 and 4.
Wait... did you catch that? I ASSUMED it was going to hit me. YES. I prepared for the worst (except I didn't put up my shutters), and hoped for the best. I got the best. Thankfully. This time. I didn't TWICE last year.
OK... off that rant and onto rant #2.
When Ivan was making its way into the Gulf last September, there was much fretting, gnashing of teeth, and wringing of hands that it would hit the city of New Orleans. Want to know how damn bad its going to be if Katrina truly hits New Orleans? I've heard... it is possible... that they don't have enough body bags. They have 10,000.
Now, I realize that it may have been said for effect, but I don't think it was. The bottom line is, New Orleans is a bowl below sea level and it is an IMPOVERSHED city. Many folks who live in the city, lets say... oh... 100,000, are POOR. I mean, don't own a car poor. How in the hell are they going to evac a Cat 4 coming into their city. The big one hits... the analysts predict FIFTY THOUSAND DEAD. That's right. A 5 and four zeros. 50,000.
I forsee a Modern Day Atlantis about to occur in Louisiana if Katrina does strike.
So herein lies my rant. The city of New Orleans better not botch this up. They've had ONE YEAR to come up with a contingency plan for those folks who can't evac. They GOT SPARED Ivan. SPARED!!!! They better not have sat around for the last frickin' year with their proverbial thumbs up their asses and done NOTHING! They HAD A YEAR TO PREPARE.
That's a helluva lot more than Pensacola had, but thankfully, Pensacola is not in the dire straights that New Orleans is in. New Orleans probably should never have been built in the first place.
So... I await to see what happens with Katrina. 72 hours is what it takes to evacuate New Orleans. It is slated to hit Monday, if it goes that route. Will they be spared yet again or is the Big Easy going down? We don't know, but I do know... they have less than 48 hours and we may find out how prepared they really are.
And for a little easy reading on New Orleans, from the Washington Post last year preparing for Ivan we have THIS. It is positively chilling... and one quote that should perk your ears: "The Red Cross has rated a hurricane inundating New Orleans as America's deadliest potential natural disaster -- worse than a California earthquake".
From another site I found, American RadioWorks is 5 pages of all... preparation and what happens if in fact the big one hits. Find it HERE. Equally if not more chilling and the quote from this one that should hit home for all you thinking it doesn't effect you: "if a killer hurricane does strike New Orleans, then you and the rest of the nation's taxpayers will have to pay the mind-boggling costs of dealing with the carnage and destruction. "
Want more? Just google New Orleans Hurricane Body Bags. You'll get a plethora of grim information. I can't seem to find the one I read last year that said something to the effect that if New Orleans were to take a hit it and people were to survive the massive flooding, they would find themselves floating in water filled with chemicals, waste, fire ants, and bodies.
Lovely. Just lovely. I hope New Orleans heeded last year's warning. I really do.
This camping thing is not just blog fodder. It’s being talked about quite a bit at work. Let me refresh everyone’s memory. I work with Men. All of them fish and/or camp. All of them own handguns and most are retired military. That should set the stage for you.
Then there’s me.
I get along great with all of them. They tease me unmercifully at times, but trust me when I say, I can dish it back out.
So I’m standing in my Tech Lead’s cube and we’re talking about my new tent. My boss is talking with us. My TL tells me that on his honeymoon, he and his wife went camping. I had no idea! I was AT HIS WEDDING! I flew up, they got married in Illinois, and I had no clue they went camping. Turns out it was one day in the Smokey’s, total roughing it. They happened to have their camping equipment in the back of the car and decided they should camp for a night. The conversation went something like this… best of my recollection:
TL: Yeah, we went camping on our honeymoon.
Me: What? Why didn’t I know this? I sat right behind you at work, flew to your damn wedding and I didn’t know you went camping???
TL: Our equipment was in the trunk. We were driving through the Smokey’s and thought, ‘what the hell?’ It was just one night, but it was a lot of fun.
Me: Heh. Not what I picture in a honeymoon… I mean I’m sure it’s good for the bond with each other thing… but I like hot showers.
Boss: Oh camping is GREAT like that. Nobody can hear her scream. (He then winks at me.)
I stood there for a minute, a light shade of pink and started to stammer: I, uh, well, yes, I suppose you’re right, I’d, hmmm, never really thought about that, yeah, well, honestly? I have absolutely NO IDEA what to say to that.
And we all started to laugh. So guys… there’s a bit of a tip for you in case you hadn’t figured it out on your own. Go camping just you and your gal. Nobody can hear her scream.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the Mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, the Pig from, “If You Give a Pig a Pancake”, and the Moose from “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” all have ADD.
(For those not familar with the books, go HERE.)
Miami and the Keys took the hit with Katrina. I think all of us were surprised. I quit watching the Weather Channel after it looked like it was just off the coast of Lauderdale. Imagine my surprise when my husband came in and said, “Miami Beach is taking a pounding…” Wha???
Lots of flooding. Lots of power outage. What a mess. Seriously, it’s still the summer here and all those folks in south Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties have no power.
Meanwhile, that bitch of a storm is getting bitchier and moving into the Gulf. I expected it would nail Lauderdale, hit all those buildings, move across the state and become a mere shadow of itself. Wrong-O. She went over the EVERGLADES! I watched that on the Weather Channel and said to my husband, “Uh oh. That’s bad. The Everglades is water. Warm water. And there are no buildings to weaken it.” About a minute later the talking head on the Weather Channel said something like “No, it’s not good it’s going over the Everglades. The Everglades is full of warm water and its big open space. There are no buildings to batter it.” Maybe I should work for The Weather Channel. I promise I won’t talk about Killer Sticks.
Sure enough, Katrina became a TS for all of 4 or 5 hours before reemerging as a Cat 1. The probability of it staying a Cat1 until it makes landfall AGAIN… in my book… is exactly… ZERO. That Gulf water is warm. Someone is going to take the hit up there. Guess what? I’m wishing it on a neighboring state. WE HAVE HAD OUR SHARE!
In the last 13 months, every square inch of this state has taken some sort of hit. In the last 12 months, Pensacola has taken 2 hits. If Katrina is up that way, that’s 3 hits. No thanks.
TGOO and Mom are getting ready. TGOO pretty much got ready a few days ago, actually.
And here’s an odd little tidbit for you… in May, my boys were at soccer camp and I was sitting with one of our local firefighters. He’s high up the food chain, so he hears predictions on a daily basis from the REAL weather people. He said to me, “In July the Gulf will take the hit. In August, the bottom part of the State like Miami will take it. In September, it’s all ours…”
Now how did they know that? Or was it just a fluke guess???
I enjoy listening to people’s accents, trying to figure out from where they’ve come. Sometimes my ear is good and I’m spot on. Once I was talking to a counter guy at a bagel shop here in town and I said, “Where are you from? I am detecting an Atlanta accent with a mix of Boston.” He laughed and said, “Oh, you’re good. I grew up in Atlanta and then spent 10 years in Boston.”
Yeah, it was a bit of a fluke. My favorite accent is the true Atlanta accent. It’s soft and it rolls…
Anyway, I have what blog son Contagion has aptly named, an ‘elastic voice’. Typically to hear me speak, I have not much of an accent at all. The only real issue with my speech is that it is very quick, akin to gun fire, so I’ve been told. Other than that, occasionally a soft Gulf Coast accent is detected, but not much.
However, get me with a group of Southern folk, and my accent gets very strong. I think that is typical for many people when they go back to where they grew up. I know that my husband is a Jersey boy and once we were vacationing in NYC and Jersey, we had been there a week already, when we drove up to a toll booth. My husband made some small talk with the toll booth operator and out of his mouth came THE STRONGEST NY/NJ accent I think I’d ever heard. Holy crap. I sat in the passenger seat, looking at him and thinking, “Who is this man sitting next to me?!” Heh. It was kind of sexy. I couldn’t figure out if I was sitting next to a character from the Godfather or some grown up street punk.
So I am guilty of my voice taking on the inflection of others if I am immersed with them long enough. It’s not intentional, it just happens. I know for a fact that if I hung out with blog bro That1Guy, from Drunken Wisdom, with time, my ‘o’ would sound like his…. Heavy Wisconsin! Although not as bad as Contagion (he has a really funny story that I hope he blogs) where he picked up a full on Scottish brogue while talking to a client on the phone with a Scottish brogue, given time, I blend. I noticed it first when I worked in that Chinese restaurant in college (ref, the street master post) when everyone I worked with spoke with heavily accented English. Given a month, so did I. I’d be at work, catching myself, the American girl, speaking choppy Chinese accented English. Lovely.
That summer I was mistaken for being from Germany and Britain too. That has happened since.
So you can imagine my horror, being full aware of my issue with my accent and speech patterns, when I was on the phone with one of my customers last week… and I realized… to pick up his speech patterns would have horrific consequences. For… this gentleman… has a terrible time with stuttering.
I would never make fun of anyone for their speech (other than affectionately with T1G and his heavy Wisconsin accent! Heh heh heh!), and I realized that this in fact could be a problem for me. When I speak to this gentleman on the phone, I have to concentrate on my own speech. It is not just accents I can adapt, but full on speech patterns… the clipped way someone talks, the speed, the phrasing, the cadence… it’s a problem.
And there is no doubt in my mind, if I let my guard down when speaking to him, I will in fact develop a stutter.
Over at Ogre’s, he says Monday, September 19, is talk like a Pirate day. Heh. Well, consider I can’t talk like a pirate unless I’m around other pirates, (ref THIS post) I suspect I will fail miserably… hence I shall not try.
That said, I did go generate my own pirate name at THIS site. H/T to Ogre for the pirate name generator. And I am:
Now… if I can just get Jack Sparrow to maybe kinda sorta be my first mate…
No big deal in Iceni, where Boudicca resides. It was a rainy day with light winds while Katrina passed south. The power is out in southern Palm Beach County and in Boca, which accounts for the server being down.
Meanwhile, up in the Panhandle, we're staring gape-mouthed at the tracks predicted by the latest computer models. Here we go again. Recovering from these major storms over and over again is a Herculean task akin to cleaning the Aegean Stables. Gotta go find my boots and shovel.
Count'em... two queen sized mattresses in her tent. Her quote (not mine): "I'm not sleeping on the ground. If I'm camping I'm going to be comfortable."
Boudicca cracks me up! She's going to sleep comfortably in an eight man tent with the Rolling Ball of Noise. Ahh... naivete' is such a blissful state.
Boudicca just called me to say her server in Boca is down, and she has no cable internet access for awhile. The storm passed well south of West Palm Beach, consisting mainly of rain with VERY little wind. As she described it, it was a typical rainy weekend in south Florida; no wind, no trees down.
What's really eating at her is the fact that schools are closed tomorrow, so she'll have the entire day to spend with the Rolling Ball of Noise. Of course, I suggested she pitch her new eight man tent in the back yard and see how it works.
And speaking of which.... Boudicca has now bought two queensized blow-up air mattresses with battery powered pumps. Ha ha ha ha ha !!!!! More later. TGOO
Katrina appears that she will make landfall closer to the Lauderdale area... perhaps in the next hour or so. That's about 45 minutes south of me. She is a minimal Cat 1.
Key indicator that we're not the target: Jim Cantore isn't in Palm Beach County.
We've been getting light rain all day; we awoke to rain. The wind has been light and steady, certainly nothing to fret over. All y'all that live north get this kind of weather all the time with your normal summer storms. No lightning or thunder for us... just a steady drizzle with light wind punctuated by slightly heavier gusts.
I don't foresee us getting much more than what we have now with regards to wind... perhaps the wind will pick up a bit, but I do expect a bunch of rain. All of S. Florida is to get a whole heapin' lot of rain.
I'll keep y'all posted on the goings on here, should things change, but I suspect it is the Floridians to the South of me that will feel it most.
The joke at work was, "Let it hit Miami. They already collected their FEMA money!" I don't know if y'all have kept up, but some losers in Miami actually put in for money for Frances and Jeanne from FEMA and got paid. FYI, the eyes Frances and Jeanne hit NORTH of me, by 20 - 30 miles.
I've been prodding TGOO to blog, but I think he's waiting until the time he can harrass me on my blog about the fact I don't own a generator. Heh. Not this time!!!
OK, Boudicca, I'm ready to take over your blog on a moment's notice.
I have... a... new... Blog Granddaughter! My first blogspawn, VW of One Happy Dog Speaks, has procreated and we now have Sticks of 'From Chaos to Serendipity'. VW and Sticks have known each other since high school... I see some good stories coming... *grin*
I'm not sure which post is my favorite, it's a toss up. Let's just say, I'm kind of scared as reading about her teenage boys makes me wonder if it is a window to my future. Sex, physics, good humor... she's got it all.
Take a look. She's a riot!
Ahhhh… soooo… we have Tropical Storm Katrina in our midst, looking like she’d like to take a slap at us and then move on to something bigger and better… like… the Gulf Coast! Fishing in a bucket, folks. That’s what I call when a hurricane gets in the Gulf. That hurricane is going to nail one of those cities, you just don’t know which one… all you know… is it’s a given... like fishing in a bucket. You know you’re gonna catch one, but which will it be?
So people are scrambling here in S. FL. Grocery stores are packed as pinheads who didn’t prepare buy water and supplies. How long have they been screaming this is going to be a big season? I can hear all my Florida readers yelling in unison, “SINCE JUNE!!!!”
Gas stations are crazy and running out of gas already.
But, at best she will be a Cat 1. No shutters going up for a Cat 1 for me. Unless you’ve put up hurricane shutters, you have no frickin’ clue what a monumental pain in the ass that is. It’s gotta be a 2 for me to put them up. And even then, I’ll do it only for fear we’ll really get smacked by a 3.
Meanwhile, while driving through the quaint little town of North Palm Beach (one of my faves down here), I noticed that the power companies were doing something to the street lights. Perhaps they were getting ready to take half of them down. Better to take them down in advance then have them blow down, only to have to wait 6 months for replacements!
And so… more blog fodder! I’m all about the blog fodder!!! Unbeknownst to The Great Omnipotent One, it is time for me to get him set up on Munu, so he can guest blog when we take a hit and lose power or DSL.
Today via e-mail, I received from The Great Omnipotent One, the following:
And your new generator is:
(check the most accurate)
__ hooked up and ready to run
__waiting for an electrician
__still in Home Depot
And the answer would be….. still in Home Depot!!! As where it will remain!
...an 8 Man tent. Yup, I bought a tent today. Sports Authority was having a sale, 33% off, so while the rest of Palm Beach County ran around screaming like lunatics that ‘A hurricane is coming! A hurricane is coming! Save me! Save me!’, I was buying a tent.
So I looked at all the tents, with my recommendations from the Boy Scout Dads in hand. I looked at dimensions and what looked like ease of set up. It was a done deal that I was getting a one room tent. The question was… how big?
Now I don’t come from the land of ‘bigger is better’, I'm a girl, remember?, but I had to be practical. There is a possibility my husband will camp with us, however remote it may seem right now. So that gets us to five right there. Then there is the fact I never just have three boys. If I ever take another cub scout along, I now have six people. Then of course, I could always invite my sister Morrigan to come down and camp with us…. Oh, *ahem* right, that’s not happenin’…
I had to plan for more, I just never know, so I did the 8 man, which really is a total frickin’ joke. There could very well be NO men in my tent. It could very well end up 1 WOMAN and a bunch of boys. I guess what I have is a ‘1 woman and a bunch of smelly boys’ tent.
Box in hand, I walk to the counter. As I’m waiting, I’m staring down at the box. What a joke. This box has a couple, tent is together, the weather is probably a cool 68-70 degrees, the weather is beautiful, not a bug in sight, no dirt, no mud, pristine, drinks in hand for each adult, no kids, smiles on their faces, and… they’re clean. Life is good on the Coleman tent box.
On their box was not a man, sweating in the 90 degree Florida heat, swatting mosquitoes, with his wife overlooking his shoulder as he tries to keep the tent from collapsing as he drives a stake into the ground, all the while the wife is holding the directions saying, “Honey, I don’t think that’s the way…” and he’s looking over his shoulder with a look that could kill and saying in return, “Look, if you want to put this frickin’ tent up, have at it!” There does not appear to be any cursing on the Coleman tent box.
I don’t envision the Coleman idyllic picture to be what camping is like for me. Oh no no no, my friends, lest you think I am an optimist just because I don’t own a generator in my ‘prone to be smacked by a hurricane’ home. I am hoping for the best, but am expecting camping hell.
Ten to one says I end up looking like Chevy Chase in some Camping Vacation movie. I’ll get tangled in stakes, poles, and rope, trying to tie down a tent that keeps collapsing, all the while I have kids running around me, kicking up dirt and mud, stopping every once in awhile to say, “He hit me!” or “Mom! Make him shut up and quit bugging me!” I see lots of sweat, bugs, dirt, and noise. Oh… I see a whole lotta noise. And I see swearing. Oh yes I do. Let us just hope I can keep it under my breath.
Needless to day, the Coleman box didn’t make me want to buy their tent. I saw through it all. But… one can hope.
Well, those who know me know I don’t do anything half way. If I’ve decided to commit, I’m fully committed. Now I am a Den Mother and today, I jumped in feet first. Well… the commitment stops when someone tells me what I have to wear. I have issues with that.
Let me start with last night when the ‘supportive Mom’ asked me if I had my uniform.
Me: Uniform? You mean have I bought my kids’ uniforms?
Her: No. YOUR uniform.
Me: I’m not wearing a uniform. Those shorts make my butt look big.
Hey, I said I was not a high maintenance woman, I didn’t say I didn’t have ANY girly girl attributes. Much conversation ensued following that comment.
Dad#1 : Just get a pair of the uniform pants like this. (tugs on his olive green cotton boy scout issue pants)
Dad#2: Oh I just got one of those hats for when we go camping.
Supportive Mom: One of those Indiana Jones hats! (Looking at me) They have hats and everything.
Me: Those pants make my butt look big and I don’t do Indiana Jones hats. I’ll wear a ball cap. And jeans. And a t-shirt.
Her: You know, I saw they have these cute blue skirts…
I gave her a blank look and the topic was dropped.
So this morning I realized I am in fact committed to this and Son#2 is just as excited that I’m the Den Mother as he is at Christmas. I picked them up from school and went to the local boy scout store so I could pick up: my Bear T-shirt, my Bear handbook, and a book of ideas for meetings. If I have to run these daggum meetings, they’re going to be fun dammit!
While I was there, I found this small paperback book called, “Cooking on a Stick”. I picked that up too. It has assorted recipes of things one can cook on a stick on a campfire. I figured, what the hell. If we never use it at a campfire, we’ll cook with a stick over my electric eye on my stove. You think I joke. I do not.
And I think this camping thing… I think that Cub Scouts kind of go as families. It’s a family event, siblings etc. When they go to Boy Scouts in 6th grade, its men and boys only. And I think with Cub Scouts… all the Den Dads seem to have wives that stay in local hotels and I’m banking on the fact that this Den Mother’s husband will be too. I haven’t told him about the camping yet… or the fact I’m buying a tent that sleeps five tomorrow. I haven’t figured out how to broach that topic yet. It could be touch and go. He’s not a camping kind of guy.
Things have been going well at work. I am being moved to a new project. I’m excited. It’s a new military aircraft not in production, so in the position I am in, I’ve essentially been given a blank slate. It’s going to be challenging, but my Tech Lead is truly one of the most awesome men I’ve ever worked with, so I think it’s going to be fun.
So to work on this new project, I’ve had to apply to work on various computer systems run by various contractors. There have been lots of wickets and hoops, of which I have been jumping over and through for over a month. No worries. Its par for the course in the type of job I do.
A funny thing happened a couple weeks ago. I received a group e-mail telling all of us of a system we needed access to and how to apply on-line. I’m the type of person who has to do something immediately or it will fall by the wayside. So I jump on the system to start filling in the application and the first block says ‘Title’.
Hmm. It’s a pull down. I hit Mrs., but as I moved to the next box, I realized that there had in fact been many options for Title.
Back I dragged my cursor, to see what other choices I had. Obviously the company I will be working with does business with myriad countries as some of my choices were the following: Bishop, Sheik, Lady, Baron, Baroness, Lord, Princess, Vice Admiral, and on and on these choices went.
For some reason I found this to be hysterical and I start talking across the cubes to my other co-workers, “Hey! Have you guys selected a title yet, because I’m really really torn here. Queen isn’t a choice. I’m trying to decide if I should put Vice Admiral or Princess.”
The guys thought this was funny and for the rest of the day we were calling each other his Lordship or Her Royal Majesty.
It really reminded me of that old e-mail I've received 1000 times over of a fake survey by the now no longer McDonnell Douglas. It's a multiple choice survey thanking the person for choosing their product and then asking many questions, all of which have an option regarding Mercenaries or 3rd World Country Despots.
Anyway, today we had yet another to fill out. I once again perused my choices and hit the standard, “Mrs.” I went over to my Tech Lead’s cube as there were some issues with the paperwork and when I got there, I noticed he had selected ‘Baron’.
I could not believe it. I said, “You can’t do that! You can’t put you’re a Baron!” He said, “Watch me” and he hit enter! So I’m waiting to see if the system hiccups or if all his paperwork comes to us as Baron “insert last name here”. Cracked me up.
I have been remiss!! There have been Carnivals and Karnivals and I have missed linking them. My apologies.
First, it has been ONE YEAR since the Carnival of the Recipes started. Where has the time gone? So to see the One Year Edition of the Carnival... an anniversary Carnival of sorts... go HERE. Beth did an amazing job and in addition she is the behind the scenes coordinator for the Carnival. Her organization has kept it moving and was instrumental in getting it to grow to the size it has.
And let me tell you, that Carnival has grown. I remember when it was just an hour to put it together. Go over and look at that post. That is HOURS and HOURS worth of work. They have scads of entries and some really really good recipes. So as I'm apt to say, "Step out of the Box. Try something new. You never know... You might like it!"
Next, the Karnival of the Kids is up HERE, at Big Orange Michael's. (Looking at his blog explained why he's Orange.) The Karnival of the Kids always has great stories and wonderful pictures. Go on over and take a look.
Well, its time that I let you in on a little secret. My Mom and I have some fluky ESP thing going. I think it’s a Mother/Daughter thing, so any of you women that have this with your Moms, feel free to chime in.
It’s always been. Although I make reference that it creeps me out, it really doesn’t. It just is. It has always been this way and so it is a part of my life. What will suck is when its NOT a part of my life, but I try not to dwell.
I was away at college for a couple years and she’d just instinctively call when I was down. She has this 6th sense.
Buying Christmas gifts. Holy crap. I almost need to consult her on what I’ve bought someone so she doesn’t do the same.
Every single Easter for the past 3 years, she has sent me things for my kid’s Easter basket, only for me to open the package on Easter Eve and for me to find its the SAME EXACT stuff I’ve bought my kids. And I’m not talking something simple like “oh, we bought the same type chocolate bunny”, I mean obscure stuff like we bought the same weird 3 dimensional puzzle to decorate my house for Easter. Or we both bought them these funky white cloth bunnies that they could color with markers.
Of course the fact that I posted a picture of Farah for my brother on my blog for his birthday and she sent him the same picture of her that morning via e-mail should not surprise me. Although, really folks, we’ve not talked about his adolescent crush on Farah in probably the last 20 years. Not only were we on the same freaky wave length on something from his past that would make him laugh, but we picked the same picture.
Oh, but I can top all of that. See, I had this nasty spot on my face that I posted on. I made an appointment with my dermatologist to get it removed in July. Flash forward to two weeks ago when my doc burned it off. I was sitting in the parking lot, my cell phone rang, and it was my Mom. We’re chit chatting and she says, “So when are you going to see your doctor about that spot on your face?” My reply was, ‘Ummm, Mom? I’m in the parking lot now...” She.just.knew.
That’s my Mom. 6th sense and all.
Well… my loyal readers… you will not be surprised to hear… I am now the boy scout leader for my 8 year old’s den. The crap I do for my kids sometimes, truly boggles the mind.
It’s not even worth going into how it happened. Really. The fact is, it’s a done deal. I think the other den leaders are kind of horrified. When a den leader is introduced and she starts with, “I have no clue how I got roped into this, I don’t even like kids…”, that’s not a real good sign. Not exactly stepping off on the right foot there… but, I.DON’T.CARE.
I just have to get through this year. Tonight’s meeting was me, 3 gung ho Dads and 1 supportive Mom, who happens to be married to one of the 3 gung ho Dads who is also the frickin’ Pack leader guy. So she doesn’t count. It was 3 gung ho Dads and a Mom who doesn’t give a crap.
Half way through the meeting, I looked at the Dad next to me (who also happens to be a very cool I T guy from work) and I whispered, “Wait, den = small, pack = big, right?” He gave me a two thumbs up, but he could not conceal the horror in his eyes. I know he was thinking, “Thank God my kid isn’t in her den.”
It’ll all come together. I’m not worried. Tomorrow I go to the Boy Scout store and buy a shirt. Son#2 is a Bear, so I’ll probably get a shirt with the Bear logo. That’ll get worn exactly one time a month. I’m also going to buy a book so I can peruse it and think of lots of places to take the kids… with Moms as chaperones. The more things we see and the less I have to spend alone with them, entertaining them, the better.
They can learn to chop wood, shoot a BB gun and whittle wood with the MEN folk when they camp. That’s not me.
Which brings me to… camping. Now I don’t know exactly what kind of impression I give off on my blog. I’m a high strung woman who is very low maintenance… if you can believe that combo. Think type A personality, in jeans and a T-shirt, bra optional. I have no issues not wearing make up, although I do prefer a bit of eye liner and lipstick. Hair in a ball cap and pony tail is perfectly cool. I prefer barefoot to shoes. I rarely change my earrings. If I’m going out someplace with my husband or have a big shindig to go to, yes. Otherwise, I only wear my gold posts. I never remove my jewelry other than my watch. I prefer a shower to a tub.
But… I cannot live without the finer things in life, such as… running water and electricity, preferably combined to make… a hot shower.
No. I do not do the ‘no bathing thing’. I am an almost 40 year old woman and dammit, I like my hot showers. I like one a day on most days and if it’s that time of the month, I’ll take two. Or three. It is a necessity.
Now I know I have readers who do re-enactments as their hobbies. I LOOOOOVE reading about them. But stop right there. If at the end of the weekend, there has been NO BATHING, I want NOTHING to do with it. NOTHING.
And forget all that junk about digging a hole and defecating in the woods. Or peeing in bushes. NO. I DO NOT do that either. Bathrooms, my friends, yes, I require a bathroom and I don’t want some blue plastic port-o-let that could tip over or smells like 100 years of feces and urine.
So this camping thing… it appears I may have to do this FOUR TIMES. FOUR. Not just once… but FOUR FRICKIN’ TIMES. FOUR!
I just sat there taking it all in. Finally at the end, the great IT guy I work with says to me, “Look, this is what you want in a tent…” and at that point everyone jumped in and I’m scribbling furiously as evidently Sports Authority is currently having a 33% off tent sale as we speak. I’m hearing about tarps, tents, poles, blow up mattresses that self inflate, stoves, propane, dirty kids, no bathing, rain, sleeping bags that don’t keep you warm, some drug that starts with an ‘A’ that helps you sleep, ear plugs, and the like.”
I sat there thinking, “Shit.”
Oh and the bonus plan in it all... Oh I frickin' LOVED this one... the IT guy says to me, "Oh my wife got this great tent... " and he sketches it out so he can show me the lay out of how it fit two queen blow ups, 1 pack and play and a changing area.
I said, "Wow. Your wife is a saint. You even went camping with a baby?"
His reply was, "Oh no, she got it big enough for it all to fit. She doesn't go with us."
The other big camping Dad looked at me and said, "Oh none of our wives go. They stay in a local hotel preferably with room service."
Lovely. Just. Lovely.
Soooooooo… on a good note for you all… it appears I have just stepped into an enormous amount of blog fodder, as you now get to be the recipient of my half insane rants of a den leader to 8 year old boys as well as y’all get to watch me indoctrinate myself into this heathen sport called ‘camping’.
Let the fun begin. Ooo Rah.
My folks and siblings are all on e-mail. So it’s not uncommon for one of us to send something absurd that’s been found to the other four and then a flurry of e-mail ensues commenting on the original e-mail.
Sometimes the family itself is the source of the absurdity. Like the time The Great Omnipotent One took Mom to the ER because she was in serious pain (kidney stone). The staff had her on some pain reliever and when she felt better, she ushered him out of the ER to go home and get himself a sweater. Those ERs are cold and although she had blankets at her hospital bed, he was wearing a cotton shirt. My folks live down the street from the hospital, so he quickly drove home, grabbed a sweater, and on his way out decided he would e-mail us three kids that our Mother was in the hospital.
Nice, eh? That is SO something my grandfather would have done if he was alive right now and technically proficient.
So imagine as I’m sitting here blogging and I get this e-mail that pops up saying something along the lines of, “Your Mom’s in the hospital. Stopped by to get a sweater.” It was so short and to the point, it should have been in Morse Code.
Mom in hospital. Stop. Got sweater. Stop. Will be fine. Stop.
Life of the military brat never ends.
Needless to say I received the e-mail and 1/10th of a second later, I was dialing their number, working quickly enough to ensure he did not escape the house between hitting send and grabbing his car keys.
That’s how my life works sometimes. Hey communication is great.
OK, so what this post is really about.... TGOO sends us an e-mail with this link about urine run batteries and a short sentence that said, “Why with my diuretic, I’m a walking fuel supply!!!!” Many e-mails are exchanged. Sometimes with topics like this... it can get pretty gross in our family. This one stayed clean considering, but it may have had something to do with my Mom's joking e-mail of "Not in front of the kids, Dear". I had to laugh.
Can you imagine? Extrapolate this pee battery to eventually running cars. Of course it’s not going to happen, but just think. My life… and that of all mothers… would have such a different twist. Two hours before every long trip we’d be yelling at our offspring, “OK, kids! Drink up! We have a trip to make!” And then before we made our trip, instead of hollering at our herd to ‘use the potty’ before shuffling into the car, we’d have it saved up for the trip… our electric car that was powered by urine.
And Ogre beat me to it the other day. He posted on the same thing. Cracks me up.
Hey. It could happen.
In my sitemeter today I found I was #3 in Yahoo for Pirate lace up shirt. Hunh. The #1 Yahoo search had something to do with Pirate Wench.
Pirate wench, huh? Maybe that could be my alter ego. Pirate wench. What does that entail? Just having sex with lots of pirates? Do they look like Johnny Depp? ‘Cause… if they do… I think I could do that job.
My husband took my eldest to a birthday party, so that left me with Son#2 and Bones to run some errands. We’re all about gardening as of late… gardening and bird feeders. So that was our mission today, to buy more flowers for me to kill and a birdfeeder. Hopefully I won’t be killing any birds.
Bones comes in wearing Sponge Bob socks, his camo shorts also known as his suitcase pants, and a surfer shirt with blue tie dyed sleeves. He looked like someone on a bad acid trip had thrown up clothes for him to wear.
I always try to not make a big deal… just quietly suggest that perhaps there are other choices that are better suited. So completely aghast at the pending fashion disaster wanting to travel with ME, I said, “Dude, you don’t match.” With one hand, I held the blue tie dyed sleeves and with the other and I held the camo fabric and said, “They don’t go.”
Static immediately was directed at me. “They kinda go Mom. Look, they have a similar pattern.”
I didn’t see it. Sky blue splotchy tie dye and Army green and beige splotchy camo… it must’ve been the splotchy he saw.
“Nope”, I replied, “they don’t match. The colors are off and the splotchy pattern isn’t the same.”
That doesn’t even go into the whole Hippy vs. Military theme he had goin’ on.
Whining to the nth degree was the reply, “Moooooom, whyyyyyy dooooo I allllllwaaaays haaaave to match?”
Sheesh. Ummm, because it’s a reflection upon me if you don’t?
Son#2 woke me up this morning. It was his typical silent stand by the bed until my 6th sense feels his presence and I jolt awake staring into his blue eyes. I hate it when that happens.
He says to me, “Mom, Fiona is sick.” It’s 7:30, so I’m fully functional and thinking. “Really,” I mumble as it’s the first I’ve used my voice in 8 hours, “How do you know?”
“I think she has diarrhea. She’s not well.”
So I told him not to touch her and I’d come see how she was later. Nothing I saw was indicative of her being ‘ill’ with their diagnosis. But upon looking at her I started to wonder, “Do hamster menstruate?”
Heh. I love my frickin’ life. It’s truly all about blog fodder. Everyone else in America is meandering about their Sunday morning, going to church, going swimming, thinking about football season, making pancakes and waffles for Sunday breakfast and I’m standing there looking at my kid’s hamster at 9AM thinking, “Is she OTR?”
She’s a mammal. It’s got to happen. So I jump on Google, wondering whose frickin’ sitemeter I’m going to pop up on for this whacked out search. I carefully pick my wording, starting with ‘hamster health’. I move on to ‘female hamster health’, settling on ‘hamster reproduction’.
So just a little piece of trivia for my blog readers, information I KNOW you could not live without. Hamsters are in heat every four days. That tells me, her cycle is four days long, right? So doesn’t that mean she menstruates every four days? And therefore has PMS every four days?
Yeah. Sucks to be her.
After dinner tonight, my 10 year old snuggled up on my lap. I was nuzzling him as I usually do and I said, “Buddy, how’s Fiona today? You know, I don’t think she’s sick. I think she’ll be OK.”
Son#1: She’s just sleeping a lot.
Me: Yeah, I know how she feels.
Son#1: You don’t think she’s going to die?
Me: Mmmm. No. She may feel like she wants to die, but she’s not going to die.
Son#1: Her tail is all red. Do you think she was cleaning herself and bit her tail? Maybe that’s all it is?
Me: Mmmm. Yeah. Maybe. Just let her sleep today.
No need for THAT talk yet. I’m sure it’ll come up this year in general. Until then, Fiona bit her tail and feels like sleeping. Poor thing. My boys carry her everywhere. She nuzzles in their neck and will sleep on their shoulder. She’s very docile. But even docile females can’t want to be touched ALL the time.
But geezoweez. Every four days? Blech. Sucks to be her.
Sometimes I just go into sensory overload. Too much input. And when I get to that point, I just shut down and regroup. Every now and then my blog will go dark. Usually it only takes a couple days for me to regroup and recharge.
And that is just a fact of life. Sometimes there’s just too much going on and the energy required to process all the data, keep one’s priorities straight and make the proper decisions for all involved requires my having to shut down certain aspects of my life.
I don’t allow blogging to take energy from me. If I’m not in the right frame of mind, it is an effort to write. It’s not writer’s block, I can come up with stuff, but none of it makes me laugh and it is a more painful process. It’s not enjoyable. And for me, blogging is for me to laugh at the absurdity in my life at the end of the day. When I can no longer laugh, that will be when I quit blogging.
Hasn’t happened yet! Just intermittent darkness. Don’t sweat it. Everyone needs time to get their proverbial shit together. This week was mine.
Who am I to say that what is fun for others is not right? Sheesh. I saw THIS and thought, ‘Darwin Award’.
Hey, they can hang ten or go down on their bellies all they want. As long as they have health insurance and my tax paying dollar isn’t paying for their cuts, bruises and ‘broken necks’. Yeah, no joke. The guy broke his neck, but thinks this ‘sport’ is such a blast he’s still going at it.
As for not finding a sponsor… well, I must say I am surprised. I mean, with all this extreme sport stuff they can’t find a sponsor? Perhaps it’s the judging criteria of ‘style, length of ride and… survive ability’. That last one may be the clincher as to their troubles.
Personally, me? I’ll continue to pick sports where my living or dying in the end really isn’t a factor. As I’ve said in the past, I’m very in tune with my mortality. It’s gonna happen… I’d just as soon it be later than sooner.
Some days it just gets the better of us. Today would be one of those days.
My brother who comments here as Toluca Nole, or TN for short, turned the big 3-8 today. Yup. Another year older. Last year’s post about him is HERE. Some of y’all may not know much about him, but that post fills in the gaps.
He’s a good brother. Its tough being so far apart, but one could not ask for a better brother than mine.
So for my kid brother, this birthday gift in the extended entry. He'll understand.
Happy Birthday, Bro.
First let me state, that I did send my condolences via e-mail to the author of this linked post. The death of anyone is never something to be taken lightly, in particular when the death was of someone they loved so dearly.
That said… the funeral… holy crap. This has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. I knew it was coming. She forewarned me that nobody would believe it. I could almost see her shaking her head in disbelief as she e-mailed me. But never… never in my life did I expect this.
Go HERE. Good Grief. As I read it I thought, "That could be me..."
I was over at blog brother, That1Guy’s and he had THIS post about t-shirts with chocolate smelling pictures... strategically placed… I’ll leave it at that. You can see his link to the t-shirt models. And rest assured, as always, the comments are worth it at his post.
But it reminded me of a story. I was at a board meeting for our school because, as you remember, my stint as the school treasurer is 2 years. This is the last. I hope. On the board are two teacher representatives, great ladies these women.
Something came up at the meeting that when it is free dress day (the kids wear uniforms at our school) that there can be no writing on the front of the t-shirt. I think this is a new policy effective as of last year… when one of the teachers told me it was free dress day and in walked two of her students, 12 year old girls. These two girls were wearing t-shirts that had a big chocolate bar on the front. The bottom corner of the candy bar was above the right breast and it had a bite taken from it. Under the Chocolate bar it said, ‘Bite Me’.
Oh yes. She said she couldn’t believe it. Bites taken right over the right nipple. What kind of Mother would allow their TWELVE year old daughters to wear a t-shirt like that to school?!!!
I sat there, mouth agape, in complete shock and horror. The other parents, who have middle school kids, seemed non-plussed. Not me. I was stunned, appalled, and mystified by the behavior and made it quite evident by my reaction.
I can’t believe a parent (mom or dad) would allow their 12 year old to own a t-shirt like that. Who runs their home? The 12 year old or the parent?
I can’t believe a parent would allow their kid to wear that to school… a Christian school at that… on free dress day.
I can’t believe a parent would allow their TWELVE year old to wear that to school. At that age, most of the boys are walking hormones.
And to make it worse, she said a girl came in that same day wearing a t-shirt with a picture girl lying prone across her chest and under the body picture it said, “Just do me”.
I nearly choked when she told me that. “Just do me”.
The teacher made the girls go into the bathrooms and turn their t-shirts inside out and wear them that way the rest of the day. They started the new rule of no print on t-shirts as the principal said, “Our days should be about teaching, not about policing what children wear to school on the few free dress days they have.”
Stupid parents. Stupid stupid parents.
My 8 year old got in the car yesterday after school and said, “Mom, I have to read to you. I’ll just read out loud on our way home.”
So he did. Aloud he read a story about an immigrant grandfather, when suddenly he said, “Mom, mom, mom, listen to this. This is really weird. “… and he shook the hands of white people, black people, yellow people, and red people.” Yellow and Red people? What are those? I’ve never seen a Yellow or Red person.”
Being 8, he is literal. He is picturing Crayola Crayon Red and Crayola Crayon Yellow.
I was kind of startled. I’ve never referred to someone as Yellow or Red, and although I have heard people’s skin color described that way, it’s never come up before at the house. So I explained that yellow refers to Asians and red refers to Native Americans. I don’t know why, but that whole thing in his reading book didn’t sit right. It just didn’t.
And of course, 2 seconds later, I’m kicking myself, because if I’d been thinking clearly I would have said, “oh! That means he shook hands with people with liver disease and really bad sun burns.” But I didn’t. Probably better that I didn’t.
Well, 3 hours later, I was taking my eldest and youngest swimming while my husband ran errands with my 2nd son. For some reason, getting back into the van brought back the entire yellow/red skin conversation and I suddenly started singing to my kids:
Jesus loves the little children
All the Children of the World
Yellow, Black, and White
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Now, you need to know, I may be introverted in public, but it is NOT uncommon for me to make a complete fool of myself or break out in song in front of my children. Suffer they must, as I can’t sing worth crap.
So I sing this song and my eldest says, “Mom! There are NO yellow people. Only if they’re really really sick!”
Heh. Great minds and all that. I said, “Yeah, liver disease will do that to you. They call it jaundice.”
The whole thing was just so bizarre. One of my best friends is from Vietnam. My kids have never thought her skin was ‘yellow’ and neither have I. Odd, very odd. Now I know next time we see her they’ll be telling her that some people think she is ‘yellow’. She’s tight with my kids, so this could be interesting…
From Blogdaughter VW of One Happy Dog speaks and Richmond of One for the Road we have this quiz. I'm not sure how many are surprised by my results. Heh. I'm not. Well... except for my desk. It's not neat and orderly. At all. At work or home. I like everything at my fingertips. Yeah, that part doesn't fit.
This picture of Tot, the son of VW atOne Happy Dog Speaks, reminded me of Bones. (She has the most beautiful boys. The picture of him in his new shoes is priceless.) In the comments, Oddybobo said how they don’t wear shoes in their home, Korean tradition, so her son carries his. Someone else commented on how their son was into cowboy boots… and it… reminded me of a story. (Surprise.) About Bones. (Bigger Surprise.)
When Son#1 was small, he was given a pair of yellow galoshes. He never wore them. Son#2 came alone, never wore them. But then Bones came… and that kid wore those yellow rubber boots EVERYWHERE. With his floppy blonde hair and big blue eyes, he was the cutest 3 year old (he had to be… it’s the only thing that saved him, pain in the neck that he was), but with his little yellow rain boots, he garnered the nickname, ‘Christopher Robin’ wherever we went.
No matter where we were or who we saw, invariably I would hear a woman’s voice say quietly, “Tut tut, it looks like rain!” It was so funny. Looking at him, everyone was on the same wave length.
And he loved those boots when it rained. Every puddle he could find got stomped in. The day he outgrew them, however, I was not too remorseful. They were the foulest smelling things we had in the house and that’s saying a lot. Rubber boots and stinky feet. Blech.
And… here’s a picture of Bones at Age 3. I'm sure I've posted this one before. No pictures with his rain boots, unfortunately.
During the day I may be an engineer… but in the afternoon… I am a short order cook.
Crap. I completely forgot about how hungry kids are when they come home from school. During the summer they just ate all day. Now, they come home and are frickin’ ravenous and I spend AN HOUR feeding them and then start dinner.
Yesterday was our first full day of school. The boys came home and asked me to cook scrambled eggs and cheese. Hey, it’s protein; I was happy. We went through 8 eggs and a ½ brick of cheese, 3 bowls of cereal, and some snacky thing after.
Three hours later they ate a full dinner of pork chops, saffron rice and broccoli with dessert. Full plates. All of it.
Wait, did I say they’re only 6, 8 and 10… and they’re in the lower 5th percentile for their ages in weight and height? Small kids they are. My eldest only weighs 64 pounds. I have NO CLUE where he packs away the food. (Although I suspect his feet as he went from a size 2 to a size 5 this summer.) When we were at my folk’s house this summer, one night he out ate every adult at the table. I thought I’d vomit just watching him pack it all down. And he wasn’t sick full after! He was… content!
Anyway, today was the same way. They got home and immediately hit the pantry and refrigerator. Sandwiches, cereal, cheese, chips, goldfish, yogurt… it became a frickin’ feeding frenzy. I’m afraid to get a hand anywhere near their faces in the first hour they’re home for fear of losing a finger.
And I’m aware… this is just the beginning. The time is drawing near; we really are going to need that 2nd refrigerator. Soon.
When on MSN this morning, I found THIS quiz about hurricanes. I scored 8 out of 9, missing one about a hurricane in the Honduras. It wasn’t even a coin flip… I just flat out didn’t know it.
Yeah, I read too much about hurricanes. I do believe it comes with the territory.
I’ve of course been keeping up with the Cyprus air crash. I cannot even convey how horrible I feel for everyone involved with that.
In poor coincidence, just a couple days ago I was discussing with someone about depressurization problems and how everyone just assumes depressurization will always work or when those little oxygen masks pop out of the ceiling that they’re going to work.
Heh. News flash. Not always. Anything can fail.
(Sidenote: There is nothing conclusive as to what caused this crash. NOTHING. Nobody was wearing a mask when they found the bodies. They are still investigating.)
Sometimes it sucks to know too much. But, that is not the purpose of this post… it truly is safer to travel by car. It’s just more spectacular when something happens and it’s by air. I don’t mean that in a flippant sense. When 2 people die in a head on, it barely makes page 2 of the local section of any newspaper. It just happens too much. People dying in a fiery ball, having plummeted towards the ground at Mach 3… that makes news. And don’t blame the press. It just affects SO MANY people, the families, the airline, the city it occured in, that it is news, forget about the big ball of fire.
OK, so what is this post about? Everyone is talking about the cause. Everyone is horrified for the families. Everyone is horrified for the passengers and their untimely demise. But there is a group I’m NOT hearing about.
What about those F-16 pilots? When Payne Stewart’s jet went down I said the same thing. What about the Fighter pilots dispatched to the ‘air scene’, scoping out the cockpit? What about those guys?
Pilots are trained to protect us. That’s their job in the military… protecting our country. The average pilot I know, and trust me, I know A LOT of pilots, are very controlled. Controlled and capable. They’re take action people. Not only are they NOT spectator people, they aren't helpless spectator people.
So now you have a couple guys fly up to see what’s going on, they look in the cockpit, they see the pilots are unconscious… they realize the passengers are NOT… and they must fly helplessly by as they watch these people fall to their death.
There is nothing they can do… but… witness it.
They cannot stop it. They cannot get in the cockpit and take over… even though they probably could/would given the chance. They can’t rescue any civilians.
They can do nothing. But… watch…them… die.
Yeah. That’s pretty heavy stuff, folks. Pretty heavy.
The oddest thing happened today. I looked at my sitemeter and I was getting a whole lot of traffic from a blog I had not read. It was from Debbye atBeing American in T.O. So I did what I normally do when I notice that, and I clicked over to see who it was. I only knew it was a munuvian, but that is all.
Her blog was blank. Not a post in sight, as happens when one has not blogged in awhile, only some posts in the archives. So I went through her July posts… nothing indicative of a link to me. I couldn’t figure out how people were coming by way of her to me. But I noticed her calendar in the corner had marks as if she had posted.
For you non-bloggers, if you look in the upper left hand corner of my blog, you’ll see a calendar. If you run your cursor over a date, if I have a post for that particular date, it becomes underlined. If you click it, it will take you to that day’s posts.
So I see a calendar on the blog and realize she posted yesterday, but am not sure why it isn’t showing up on her blog. I clicked it… and… it came to MY blog. I have no clue why. Any date I clicked, I got my posts.
Wondering what was up, I started going to random munuvian blogs with calendars clicking their calendar to see if the same thing happened, perhaps it was a universal glitch throughout all of us munuvians. It was not the case.
So I e-mailed Pixy, our own Wizard of Munuvania, and he said he had no real clue either, but he waved his magic wand and it corrected itself. Who knows?
But what I saw was that most of her readers were from Canada and the Great White North (as in US of A) so I wanted to say to any of you who found yourself back down this way in sunny old Florida:
Welcome! Come back and see us again, ya hear!!!
(Excuse the photoshopping skills... as in... I have none.)
And... reading through her last posts, it seems that she's had some tough times as of late, so I'll be going back over to Debbye's and checking on her blog. I hope she's up and running again soon.
My Karnival of the Kids Entry is HERE. An old post... referring to Son#1. Thank the good Lord for wonderful and understanding teachers.
Boys aren't the same as girls. My acrophobic pyromaniac impressed his first grade teacher as well...
And, for the record, the teacher of whom I write of in that post is the same teacher Bones has now. I requested her.
There is a gentleman that leaves comments on my blog... that has a new blog... that I've linked in my Florida Blogger section. His name is GuyK and he's at Charming Just Charming. It never fails that I go over there and he posts something that makes me laugh or makes my heart smile. He just seems like the nicest person.
I don't typically carry on about bloggers... if they're on my blogroll I like them all. But I had hit a bad patch the other day... yes even I can get a little put out by the jerkfaces in the blogosphere...and when I was perusing his blog, suddenly all seemed right with the world.
He blogs a lot on Florida... he loves to fish. So he talks about the Red tide and fishing and housing. He has pictures of the beautiful parts of this state... out by the water. And he has funny posts... jokes he's gotten on the internet or funny stories from when he was in the military.
Blog sistah, Michele of Letters from NYC, has resurrected her old blogger site, posting pix of NYC and showing what life is like there. As she says, “I'm back to both conduct a photo blog essay/journey/experiment and also to find new footing.” She’s still at her regular blog… but she’s doing both. It's a very cool tour she's doing through NYC, showing us great places to eat and shop, as well as sites... and the safe subway!
She said I inspired her to resurrect this old site because…
She and I were e-mailing one day and I confessed that my husband travels to NYC frequently. I refuse to travel with him. We’ve actually had borderline arguments about it. NYC SCARES ME. Big city. Lots of people. Crime… it’s always in the paper.
My husband is from Jersey. Italian from Newark. Trust me, the man can take care of himself. He is very street savvy. My first trip to the city with him, we’re packing and I have my bright pink and blue shirts and he says, “Hun, dark clothes. Think dark. People don’t dress like a neon sign in the city.” Blech.
I did have a good time… because… I was with him. Like I said, he’s street savvy so it was like having a protector. He’s not afraid to drive in the city, hail a cab, or anything. Me? Fugetaboutit. I probably couldn’t buy a frickin’ hot dog from a street vendor.
This was an actual conversation he and I had:
He: Come to NYC with me.
Me: NYC is scary. If I have to get somewhere far away, I have to hail a cab.
He: *pause* What?
Me: You have to hail a cab. I can’t do that. I can’t stand in a street and hail a cab.
He: OooooK. The bellman can hail you a cab. That’s what they do.
Me: Yes, but I have to get BACK to the hotel. Unless the bellman is coming WITH me, I still have to hail a cab to get home.
He: You’re not coming to NYC are you?
So Michele thought it was funny. I’m just not a city girl. I don’t like to fly and I don’t like big cities and tonight at dinner it came out… that it is a joke… between my husband and three boys.
Nice. I’m the brunt of their jokes. Surprise. Y’all probably knew that already. I’ve been kept in the dark.
We’re at dinner and my eldest says to my husband, with dripping sarcasm, “Ohhhh! I remember! Mom’s 2nd most favorite thing in the world is FLYING! She loves how everyone is all crammed together in those seats, sitting so close to one another. But I also remember her first favorite thing! New York City! She LOVES being around all those people!” And on and on he and Son#2 went, with my husband sitting across the table from me, refusing to make eye contact.
Finally I said, “You joked about all this with them?” Evidently the boys want to go to NYC.
Looking up from his plate with a grin he said, “Yup.”
Soooo…. Now it looks like I’ll be taking the boys to NYC in the next year or two. HOWEVER, I’m not dreading it so much because Michele is there. Sometimes… all it takes is knowing… there is ONE friendly person there… and it makes all the difference in the world.
New Phrase of the day: Voice-activated lap tops for our Injured Troops. Read it and remember it…
A worthy cause has come to my attention on many fronts. It is called Valour-IT. This stands for Voice- Activated lap tops for our Injured Troops.
That’s right… it’s a way for us to help the men and women who have served our country and came back to us injured. Veterans of this great country they are. Many have wondered what they could do to help our combat wounded men and women and this is a fantastic avenue.
Soldier’s Angels… there is so much good to say about this group. I have donated to them before. Their motto is: "May No Soldier Go Unloved" For those of you unfamiliar with them go HERE.
They send care packages to our men and women and make sure they realize that they are not forgotten. They also take on special projects.
Valour-IT is one of the projects undertaken by Soldier’s Angels and one that is already showing enormous success through the support of Americans throughout the world.
From the Valour-IT site:
Project Valour IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse. The experience of CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important this voice-controlled software can be to a wounded servicemember's recovery.
This is not about whether you support the war. Our troops deserve our support… they are American troops serving this country. I know what I’ve done to support them and what I will continue to do. If you have wanted to support, but have not known how, I suggest you click the links and read. Read all about it. Get your information and then think… Can you help this cause?
Click HERE to make a donation. It doesn’t matter how much you give. Trust me when I say they are appreciative of every dollar. To them $10 is as golden as $100.
I gave this morning. I’ll probably give again. I have a weakness in my heart for our Veterans.
Think about it.
I guess the 5th graders had to give their teacher three facts about themselves. They brought them home after she reviewed them. These are Son#1's Facts:
1. I like to glue ants to the ground with weed sap.
2. I'm acrophobic.
3. I like to make fires and throw ants in.
Lovely. Just... lovely.
I said to him, "You are not afraid of heights. Why did you put that?"
His reply? "Because I was reading my dictionary and I came across that word and I thought it was cool." (He even spelled it correctly.)
So now she thinks my son is an acrophobic pyromaniac that has a thing for torturing and killing ants. I hope she has sons...
I think… I have… a Wasabi addiction. I’ve been eating a lot of Japanese lately and over the last few months, I have decided I like a few of their rolls. With Wasabi. It’s getting worse. I have actually been craving the Wasabi… the roll is just a method it get it to my body. What in the heck is my body lacking that I would crave Wasabi???
The first time I ate a roll, I put just a bit on. Hardly a speck.
The second time, a bit more. And it is getting worse. If I continue this trend of more and more, I’ll eventually get to the point where I just eat the entire green glob… and blow out my sinuses.
I can’t do hot Mexican peppers. I CANNOT STAND pickled ginger. Blech. But hot Szechwan style Chinese food with their little hot pepper sauce or Japanese food with Wasabi… I become, “More… please?” I think my taste buds are dying off. I am feeling certain…
Well, I haven’t done a Google post in awhile. This is always good for some amusement… weird stuff I get Googled for. I’m too lazy to link the posts that these poor people got referenced to, but I will instead act as The Answer Woman. Their Google inquiries mean they’ve had questions. I shall provide my answers…
The phone number for the Home Depot in Royal Palm Beach is: (561) 478-0783. Yes. I really did get googled for that.
Best place to find Elmo Underwear is through Sears. They seem to have a plethora of Sesame Street stuff. Stop there… every city has one.
Any sports store carries jock straps. They carry them for kids too. Trust me. Been there done that. That inquiry came from THIS post when I was searching for one for my eldest... for you new readers. Funny stuff. Typical Bones being a pain in my neck.
Vince Vaughn is 6’5”.
Statistically, cars really are safer than aircraft. I don’t like to fly, for both logical and illogical reasons, but as my loyal reader George likes to say, ‘You’re more likely to die on I-95.’ For me… it’s just the thought of burning to death or falling 30,000 feet out of the air that scares the ever living crap out of me. Personal choices on how I want to die… aircraft accident being way way low on the list. That said… you’re safer flying than in your car.
Hairy Andy Garcia. OK. I’m not sure about that, as I don’t know if Andy Garcia is hairy. I got googled for that one as I posted once that my husband looks like a combination of young Al Pacino from Godfather Part I and Andy Garcia, with a bit of George Clooney in the eyes for good measure. No, ladies… I will not post pictures. He’s mine.
I have no clue what turns your sink green. I’ve not had that problem as I have a good water system and I keep my sinks clean. The only time they turned green was when one of my sons decided to make a potion in the bathroom sink, consisting of flour, green food coloring and some other substance… it may have been glue. Nasty nasty stuff.
And lastly, the winner of all the strange searches… if language offends, please move past this one: Fuck Barbie Six. OK. What is that? What is that about? Someone has a doll fetish? And wants to do it with her six times? Or they want to do six Barbies? Or they want to do Barbie from behind? (You know... check your six... behind... get it? Yeah. Moving along...) Can’t answer the question on that one. That one definitely got a raised eyebrow and a ‘Hunh.’
I slept worth garbage last night. I don’t sleep well when my spouse is traveling and he’s been gone since Wednesday night. I think I finally fell asleep around 1:00 AM.
As good fortune would have it, one of my little people decided to visit around 2:30 and ask for a drink.
Y’all know the drill. Typically they show up at my bedside and I try to pry my eyes open as it feels like my eyeballs and eye lids are glued together with some crazy sand mixture. Realizing I can’t see for squat, I extend my arm out, giving them the stop signal with my hand and I manage to grumble, “Wait. First, who are you? Second, what do you want?”
They all look and sound alike to me when I’m half asleep and it’s dark. Trust me, they aren’t the same height either, but at 2AM… I can’t distinguish anything.
For some reason I didn’t go through my typical drill. I just lay there, looking at him groggily, knowing it was Son#2. Throwing my legs over the side of the bed, I trudged behind him as he made his way to the kitchen… and then I realized… it was Bones.
It completely caught me off guard. And it really really bothers me that I could mistake another child like that for another. I actually woke up, got out of bed, walked halfway through my house, thinking I was following the WRONG child.
That truly is pathetic. I am so not a morning person.
We have a pool about 10 minutes away from us that I take the kids to. (Slathered in sun screen I might add and we only go to the beach after 5PM!) I’ve been taking the kids swimming at night to try and burn off excess energy. They carry on for a couple hours and I read… or print out one of those Sudoku and work one by the pool. (The easy ones I have down to nothing flat. I have a Medium one kicking my butt...)
I cannot believe the games these boys come up with. Half the time, I’ll be reading and listening… as they create all these scenarios. I know I had to be like that as a child. Where did my imagination go? When did it become wrong to play like that? Maybe that’s what I like about having kids… I can play legos, wrap a train track around the house, and play Uno, indefinitely. I’m a parent. You play with your kids.
When I had my first boy, I was inundated with all this stuff from parenting magazines and the media about toy guns and toy weapons and how you shouldn’t have them in your home. I had friends whose kids weren’t even allowed to have squirt guns. Although I did say there would be no toy guns/weapons, short lived by the way, I never took it to the extent of the squirt guns.
When did my attitude change? When I was quilting one night and my 4 year old took all my quilting pieces and taped them together and created a Bazooka 9 Thousand machine gun, none of which made sense to anyone but him. But, he had created a monster gun, out of fabric.
It’s a boy thing, folks, plain and simple. After that, I decided ‘Screw it’. We had toy guns when I was a kid, they’ll be fine. Come into my home now and I have plastic swords of every shape and size, toy guns and rifles, and every color light saber the toy industry ever made.
Today at the pool, they made up their games. There was the obligatory fart game. Rules for that game seem to change. I try to not pay attention to that game. Then there’s the Florida version of sharks and minnows called Sharks and People. No kidding. And then, I get the kid standing on the edge of the pool, another kid standing in the pool takes his thumb and forefinger and pretends to shoot the kid on the edge. The kid on the edge then grabs his chest and falls into the pool. A perfect death scene in their eyes.
I wonder what people think. I’m sure the Mothers of the small children we occasionally see are horrified. Obviously they either have girls or they just aren’t there yet.
But there is this one German couple I see frequently, sitting across from the pool. The other day, I thought I saw him laughing at my boys. Today I was sure of it. Women typically look at my boys’ antics and think, “Holy crap she’s busy.” The men… it appears they remember their childhoods. They always seem amused.
I officially met the new Mom I want to befriend today. She looked less anxious today, so I figured I could introduce myself… yesterday was all about our children.
We have a real problem with Smash and Grabs here in Palm Beach County. School, Church or Public Park parking lots… there are no limits as to where it can occur. Bad people can be very bold.
The thieves will smash a window, grab a woman’s purse or belongings if they’ve been left in the car, and leave. In May, there were over 200 of us milling around the parking lot and basketball courts at school… and a Mom who should have known better, got hit. We saw nothing. They stake it out and wait.
I NEVER leave my purse, cell phone, or anything in my car that would make someone interested in breaking in. NEVER.
Our school gives off the vibes of ‘peace, love, happiness… bad things never happen here’. Perhaps it is because it is affiliated with a Church. I don’t know. But it is a warm inviting environment for the families… as well as the bad people.
So I pulled the new Mom aside today, noticing she didn’t have a purse on her shoulder, and said, “I was hoping to see you today. The principal sent home a note yesterday, but you need to HEAR this from someone who has been here for years… We have a real smash and grab problem here. Do NOT leave your purse in your car.”
Her son’s old school was in one of the worst neighborhoods in the North County. Surrounded by drug infested neighborhoods, they probably worried about auto theft there too as well as drive by shootings. But still, she gave me a shocked look and said, ‘Are you kidding me? You have this problem HERE. HERE at THIS school?!!!’
I replied, “Bad people are everywhere… just looking for people to prey on.”
It is sad… but very very true.
My blog brother, That1Guy, had a post today on people who think their children do no wrong, HERE. He was talking about a friend of his whose parents never thought he did wrong and felt that it is becoming a more prevalent attitude in society. He also said his parents weren’t like that.
I’m not either.
Ask me about my boys and I’ll say, “I’m raising boys, not saints”. Boys get in trouble. It is up to me as a parent to guide mine to make sure if they make the incorrect choices, should the situation arise, they will make the correct choice next time.
Yesterday, in Son#1’s folder, I received a piece of stationery with a note attached from his 5th grade teacher saying, “I don’t know your child. Please write me some things about your child that you think I need to know.” She had suggestions.
I wonder how many notes she got that said, “Love, love, love, butterflies, rainbows and perfect children”. Bah. Not me. My note included sentences like this:
“My son will not be the one who will give you behavioral problems in class. He laughs readily, but is quiet.”
“Should you find that Son#1 is reading his textbook intently while you are teaching the lesson, feel free to walk up behind him and look over his shoulder, for more than likely, he will have a book within his text book, reading something not pertaining to your lesson plan. He is a voracious reader.”
“Son#1 is very bright. Our challenges this year will not be academic; rather they will be more along the lines of organization and motivation. He gets bored and will quit doing his work. He has poor organizational skills. My challenge with him this year will be to get him to be more organized and to ensure he does his work, even if he is uninterested.”
There you have it. There are things I know he won’t do. He won’t pick fights. He won’t intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. But if the last two years are any indication, come 3rd quarter, he’ll quit turning in his classroom assignments and will not do his homework. His test scores will be high… without studying… but his grades will suffer as he’ll just flat not do his work. Or he’ll lose his classwork in his mess of a desk.
I’ve let him know. His grades are HIS responsibility. I passed 5th grade. Should he choose to not do well for lack of trying, it is MY responsibility to make sure he sees the light. I have no qualms doing that. None.at.all.
I had a computer problem at work today. On Friday, I was changing my passwords and I botched something up. Or I thought I did. You have to change your system passwords in a certain order or you get locked out. The systems ping off each other. It's weird. Let me just say, our IT guys are very busy with password crap. I feel bad for them.
Anyway, while I was out on Tuesday, the company I subcontract to migrated me over to another platform on their system. Let us call the company I work for, Company Bou and the company we contract for Company A.
I get hold of my IT guy at Company Bou and after I've let him drive remotely from his desk, he realizes we have big big problems and we have to conference call the IT department at Company A.
When you call Company A with a computer problem, and you are one of their employees, they ask you for your computer number... or the number on your Asset Tag. If you're not with Company A, then you have to tell them up front that your hardware is not theirs, but you're a subcontractor.
So my IT guy is on the phone with me and we call Company A's IT guy. Company A's IT guy thinks it is the two of us on the phone because he just immediately robotically goes through the usual drill, "Name, clock number, Asset Tag number" to which I reply, "My assets aren't attached to Company A..."
I sat there for a minute and said, "Wait. I didn't just say that did I? That didn't come out right."
Company A IT guy starts to laugh and I said again, "Oh, well, the best part is, I said that in front of MY IT guy too..." at which point my IT guy starts to laugh.
Nothing like a little humiliation to start the day off juuuust right.
The first day of school went well. Everyone got wonderful teachers and Bones got the one I requested.
This year we have some new students. The Catholic School about 20 minutes away from us closed at the end of last school year. It was not in a good neighborhood and was being heavily subsidized by the Diocese. It couldn't make it on its own and being in the bad neighborhood, it was having a hard time attracting families.
So... business reasons and all that... it was closed.
Twenty five of the students are coming to our school. I've been rather excited about it. We have a few black students at our school, but not many. I look at this as a great opportunity for diversity. Going to an all white Catholic school is not the real world by any stretch of the imagination.
So I've been looking forward to this, while still being nervous for the new kids as they're going to a new school, they loved their old school... and they're going to be minorities. They weren't a minority in their old school. They blended there.
I've been there. I've been the minority. I've been the new student. It's tough.
As I'm standing in Bones' classroom, I notice one of the new kids was at his table. I made sure Bones met him and told him he had to make the new child feel special as it is hard to be the new kid when everyone knows everyone else.
That goes for parents too.
I looked over in the corner and there were his folks... and they looked awful. She was practically wringing her hands. He would speak to the teacher, speak to his son, go stand by his wife. Then SHE would speak to the teacher, speak to her son, and go stand by her husband.
They weren't going to leave. They were sick about how he would fair. One black child. Twenty-six white faces. A new school. All strangers around him.
So I walked up to her and whispered in her ear, "I promise you, you got one of the best teachers in this school. I have requested her for all my children. I love her. She is affectionate, she teaches, she is structured... and she loves children. She never yells. She is always calm. And she loves her children. And her assistant hugs on the kids... all... day... long."
She got kind of teary and in her beautiful lilting Jamaican accent, she said something like, "Thank you so much for telling me that. I worry so. Look. He is the only black child here."
I replied, "Yes he is, but we love that he is here. I went to public schools and I want my children to be with children from every race. We have been looking forward to your coming."
I have high hopes. At these young ages, things aren't looked at the same way as when people are older. My sons asked me once why my next door neighbor's skin was so dark. My response was "Because his Mom and Dad's skin was. Just like you have blue eyes like I have blue eyes. Or you have brown hair like I have brown hair. The color of anything doesn't change who you are."
I am hoping to befriend these parents. They were nice. I have high hopes for this school year. Very high.
Today I went to the dermatologist. I went in March and got a clean bill of health… actually an over the top, ‘I can’t believe you spent your life in the tropics and your skin looks so young’ type bill of health. Yeah. He spoke to soon.
I do have to say, I was surprised that as I approach my 40th birthday, that my skin is not leathery and wrinkled as I spent many a day lying poolside in a bikini having slathered myself in baby oil. I’d just lay there and… bake.
But, good genes, thanks to my Mom, have saved me to date. The Great Omnipotent One gets stuff cut off every 6 months I think. Didn’t they write a song about that, “With a cut, cut, here and a cut, cut there… here a cut, there a cut, everywhere a cut cut….” Hey, it sounded right.
Anyway, beginning of July, I noticed on my cheekbone a raised mark, bigger than a pencil eraser with jagged edges and discoloration… didn’t bode well for my face thinking back to that ol’ skin cancer card he gave me at my last visit. My Mom noticed it separately and made me realize, it really didn’t look good. So, I made an appointment.
I called the office and it went something like this, “I have something on my face that does not look good… “, and I proceed to describe it.
She says, “No, that doesn’t sound good. Where did you say it was?”
Me: Middle of the left half of my face. On my cheek bone. Look, I just want him to cut it off. I want it gone.
She: Well… *pause*… he may want you to see a plastic surgeon.
Wha??? I didn’t want to see a plastic surgeon! If they think its cancer, I want it GONE. YESTERDAY.
So I’d been mulling this whole thing over. Plastic surgeon vs. letting him take it right there if he needs a biopsy. I decided, screw the plastics guy, I want that bad stuff off my face.
Luckily, that was not an issue. Yes, it was pre-cancerous. But he burned it off with this funky cold blow torch thing, leaving me with what looks like a soon to be volcanic zit. Yeah. Real attractive, but I don’t care. I don't want pre-cancerous cells on my face any more than I want cancerous cells. If has cancer in the phrase... I DO NOT WANT IT.
I was told to go back in 4 weeks if it isn’t cleared up because by then they WILL do a biopsy and it’s not a good thing for it to not go away. Oh… I’ll be back… but only because it’s the threat of skin cancer.
It will take all I have not to cut that bad boy off myself. You think I jest. I.DO.NOT. My sister said I shouldn’t tell this story, she thinks its awful, but I am. And a little background… I have a thing about hands. I notice people’s hands. It’s one of my things.
I was a senior in high school and I had this massive wart on my small finger, left hand, in between the top and middle knuckles, outer edge. I hated it.
I used that over the counter ‘wart be gone’ stuff. Nothing.
Mom took me to the doctor and he put some cold fluid on to burn it off… Nothing. That wart was not going to leave.
So finally, one day, I took my pocket knife and I cut that awful wart off my finger. Did I say it was big? Oh yes. And I bled like a stuck pig. I wrapped it tightly and my only regret about the entire episode is that I had not thought about sanitizing my pocket knife before my self surgery. I could have gotten an infection.
I can be rather impulsive. I sat there, looking at my hand, hating how it looked, so I grabbed my pocket knife and cut off the wart. No thought, just did it.
And so… I have this burned spot on my face, that will heal. But if it does not… only the knowledge of knowing I have to make sure it’s not the big C will keep me from taking my pocket knife to my face. Well… that and the fact my husband would have a FIT if I did any self surgery. This is going to make me nuts.
School starts tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Ack!
Much going on here... much blog fodder, I assure you. But... no time.
Tomorrow should be interesting... to say the least.
Bones woke up this morning at 9:15. Holy crap this child is going to be in trouble come Wednesday when school starts. It’s a 6:30 wake up call for school. He’s going to bed early enough now; he just loves to sleep late.
So he comes stumbling out of his bedroom while I was at the breakfast table with the other boys, I was showing them how to do Sudoku, my own little form of internet crack. (A pox upon you Anita, for telling us about these on your blog!!! *shaking fist at Fighting Inertia*) Bones crawls up in my lap, wearing only his undies, I was kissing all over his little neck and face as he smells like warm toast in the morning. Well, except for the dragon breath that I can now seem to deftly avoid.
As he’s sitting on my lap and we’re cuddling I said, “Boy, what are YOU going to do come school. No more sleeping until 9AM. Your buns are up at 6:30.”
Now Son#2 is my child who rises early. The boy is up at 6:30 every morning, weekend or week day. I suspect he got this mutant gene from The Great Omnipotent One, who is also an early riser. Son#2 also is crashed by 9, sometimes as early as 7:30… and he was my child that didn’t stop napping until Kindergarten. This was VOLUNTARY napping. And to this day, any time we get in the car, ‘Fwap!’, the kid’s out. He may get up early, but he is THE KING of power naps. And… he’s the most well rested of my children. He’s very in tune with his inner clock and its requirements. If he’s tired, he’ll go to bed. The other two will fight it.
So as we’re speaking at the breakfast table about school and sleep habits and prying little buns out of bed on Wednesday morning, Son#2 says, “Don’t worry. Everyone knows you can sleep during movies at school.”
I looked at him and said, “Really? You can? *Who* does this?”
We all laughed because we are sure nobody else sleeps during the movies at school, but if the lights are out, Son#2’s body says, “Time to sleep!” and he crashes.
Bones has had this fascination with watching Men in Black II as of late. He found the DVD in his Dad’s collection and that’s all he wants to watch.
Now, we’re still doing the whole ‘talk about getting a dog’ thing. Just because I haven’t blogged it doesn’t mean it’s gone away. I’m trying to convince them that an adult lab is the way to go, but I’ve not won them over. Plus, I don’t want to do anything that will readily give our hamster a heart attack. I’ve grown rather attached to Fiona. Rodent or not.
So as Bones is watching MiBII today, he comes running in and says to me, ‘Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, I want you to come see this dog. THIS is the kind of dog I want.’
I walk in and it’s Frank the pug.
I’m looking at this dog, with his smushed in forlorn face and I say, “You want one of those?”
Bones reply was, “yeah, yeah yeah, look how CUTE he is!”
I sat there for a minute and finally said, “You *do* realize, that pugs don’t really talk and if we were to get a pug, he’s *not* going to talk to you, right?”
I got the rolled eyes, “Of course” look.
Yeah. Right. I don’t believe him for a minute. In that little head of his, he’s hoping for a Men in Black II pug dog that talks. That’s what he REALLY wants.
He can’t fool me. When his oldest brother was 4, his brother said to me, “Mom, Mom, mom, mom, mom, can we get some fruit gushers?”
The commercial was on TV. In the commercial, someone eats something that tastes like a watermelon and “Blammo!”, they’re a big watermelon head. Their face is there, but red, and their head is shaped like a big watermelon.
I looked at him and said, “We can try them, but you do realize that your head won’t turn into the fruit you eat. You won’t become a watermelon head or a lemon head.”
He looked truly despondent and said, “Oh. Nevermind.”
Now… the thought of eating something and having my head turn into a gigantic watermelon or cantaloupe or lemon or anything else… would scare the EVER LIVING CRAP out of me. That’s just not on the list of 100 things I want to do before I die, eat something that changes me into a big fruit head.
It just isn’t.
But my son? Oh he wanted to try it. And was disappointed when I told him it wasn’t a possibility.
I’m not sure about my kids sometimes.
So this dog thing, Bones may say he doesn’t expect the dog to talk, but I don’t believe him. I think I’ll stick with the thought of a Lab.
The quantity of milk consumed in this household in one week is directly proportionate to the number of new cereals the boys have coerced either their father or me to purchase from Publix in the same week.
My husband and I went to see Wedding Crashers last night. I’ll refrain from reviewing it (yes, I laughed) and won’t give away any details of the plot. This is just my typical personal observations on… the actors.
First, it has become apparent to me that I have inherited The Great Omnipotent One’s innate disability in distinguishing between faces… in particular of the Rich and Famous. Actors and actresses to be exact. It has been a family joke for years, the name of an actor or actress coming up and TGOO saying to my Mom, “Oh! I know who he is. He’s the same guy who played in Such and Such a movie.”, rendering my mother speechless and laughing as she retorts, “Ummm, noooo, the guy who played in that movie was short and bald and was missing half his face. This guy was tall, had black hair, and was very good looking.”
Yeah. It’s about that bad.
And I have gotten that wonderful trait, along with my Mom’s most wonderful trait of not being able to think of words… or botching up clichés. And since I have inherited the absolute MOST absurd from BOTH parents, oh no no no, I couldn’t get just one of these, I had to get them BOTH, I think I am officially… the biggest dork of the three offspring.
Case in point.
One quarter into the movie last night, is an actor who plays a minister. I look at my husband and say, “Hey. I know him. He played the Martian guy in My Favorite Martian.”
My husband looks at me and whispers, “No. He.did.not.”
Me, whispering: Are you sure? Because it looks JUST like him.
Better half, whispering: Hunhead, it looks NOTHING like him. He’s a famous actor, but he didn’t play him.
Me: Hmm. Maybe he played in Lost in Space.
BH: No. Watch the movie, hun. You’re way the hell off.
So of course I am determined that I am right, as I always am when it comes to these disagreements about actors and actresses… and yet, I’m ALWAYS wrong. This morning I jump on IMDB with my sister, Morrigan. We’re going through cast and crew and I find that said actor… was NOT in My Favorite Martian… or Lost in Space. He was in Laugh In. And The Blues Brothers. His name is Henry Gibson. Henry is short, has white hair and looks rather elfish to me. Ray Walston of My Favorite Martian was tall and thin and didn’t look elfish. I still see a distinct resemblance, but Morrigan kept saying, “You are so wrong. They look NOTHING alike!”
Same goes for the guy who played in Lost in Space... Jonathon Harris. And I'm obviously way out of the loop as Harris and Walston are... dead.
Heh. OK, more on what I thought of the people in the movie. No links because as I was searching IMDB, they were trying to load all sorts of spyware on my computer and it pissed me off. I ended stopping my writing so I could get rid of all the frickin’ cookies and run my anti-spyware. So if you’re curious, you can look these folks up on your own.
Owen Wilson is a cutie and I don’t know why. Hunh.
Vince Vaughn. Wow. OK, he did make me laugh… in the LAST HALF of the movie. The first half, every time he was near food, in particular wedding cake, I felt myself cringe and close my eyes. He made me want to vomit. Blech.
Christopher Walken… I like him as a character actor, but there is something about his face. He always looks so cool calm and collected, but you wonder what in the hell is going on in his head. Even when he plays a good guy, you wonder what he’s really thinking.
Rebecca De Mornay… we had a discussion about her, that I kind of won. I thought she was younger than my husband did. He thought she was 50. Turns out she’s only 3 years older than I. Then he was saying how she really doesn’t look that great and I was about to agree when I thought… wait… it’s not as if *I* ever inspired pin up posters in my youth. Who in the hell am I to talk? She looks great, folks. She’s a pretty woman.
Dwight Yoakum… he was with Rebecca in my favorite scene, the first one. I didn’t recognize him. Then again, I have issues with faces.
Jane Seymour… she is a beautiful woman. She is 14 years older than I, and if I looked like her now, I’d not be complaining. She’s doing something right. Seriously.
And lastly, Will Farrell (6’4”) has a bit part. He’s one of my favorite comedians, but I just do not find that man attractive at all. Same with Vince Vaughn (6’5”). And I’m wondering… does this have something to do with some offshoot of a Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest? Small women (5’2”) do not find really big men attractive for fear they may get crushed to death? (read between the lines there, dear readers) Or is it just these two actors? Perhaps worthy of some study… but not by me. Happily married and all that stuff.
Son#4’s Mom asked to have my three boys spend the night last night. As we were on our way to drop the boys off, Bones said to me, “Mom, do people ever go to sleep with scallops over their eyes?”
Wha??? And thus yet another amazingly bizarre conversation was begun… always as a surprise.
Me: Scallops? You mean… like… fish? Do people go to sleep with fish over their eyes?
Bones: No… not fish.
Son#1 very quietly in the background as he’s reading: Cucumbers. I think he means cucumbers.
Bones: Not fish. They have lots of seeds in them and are round.
Me, silent, afraid if I open my mouth I might laugh.
My better half: No. You don’t sleep with cucumbers on your eyes unless you’re going to spa day.
Bones: Do you do spa day, Mom?
Me: Nope and the times I have, I didn’t do the whole ‘cucumber on the eye thing’.
Bones: So… when these people go to spa day and have cucumbers on their eyes, do they get seeds stuck in their eyes?
Much conversation ensued amongst the boys about cucumber seeds in eyes, and ‘what do you think would hurt worse… to have a cucumber seed stuck in your eye or…?’.
I sat there thinking, “Oh… blog fodder. I’m blogging this.”
I think my Better Half was thinking, “What turn did I make in my life, that I’m sitting next to a woman that perpetually runs on that hairy edge of insanity, and I have three crazy boys in my back seat… talking about people getting cucumber seeds stuck in their eyes?”
Now if anyone can tell me the correlation between scallops and cucumbers, I’d appreciate it. In my head I just keep thinking… a scallop is to a cucumber as a ‘blank’ is to a ‘blank’. Clueless, I am. Totally clueless.
I knew the day would come when I blogged this. My best friend from high school is going to laugh when she realizes it’s been posted… as will my family. She will laugh… for… The Great Omnipotent One became revered in her Step Father’s eyes after this incident. A stroke of genius, his action was declared. A battle won against a teenage daughter, putting him in the annals of history in Parent vs. Teenage Slob.
I was 16 and the typical teenage girl. My bedroom was a complete disaster. I had two twin beds. One was for sleeping and the other for ‘stuff’. Clothes (all clean), books, papers, and just stuff in general, ended up HEAPED on the spare bed. Shoes were scattered on my floor as I had this habit of walking out of them as I entered the room, leaving them at my last footstep. Dirty clothes were there too, I am certain. (No food. I never ate or drank in my room.)
Now my room was on the opposite side of the house from the rest of the family’s. Off the kitchen, it was built as a guestroom, with its own private bath. So if I left my bedroom door open, from the kitchen, from the table, you could see my slovenly bedroom. But with the bedroom door closed I had the privacy a teenager loves. I could sleep without being distracted by dishes and conversation. It was my hide out to read or just disappear from society when I needed it. (I did not have a telephone, TV or stereo in my room… so I mingled with my family a lot. Gladly, I might add. Good move on my folk’s part and something I am following with my own children.)
Tired of repeatedly telling me to clean my room and my not listening, TGOO decided… to remove my bedroom door from the hinges. I had no privacy. The door went into the garage until I cleaned my room.
Let me tell you… a bedroom door absorbs A LOT of sound. Suddenly there was a distinct echo to my room. And the whole thing was just… icky. I had no privacy at all. And although I actually didn’t keep my door closed that often, I did do so occasionally and suddenly it was not an option.
I waited a few days. I did. But then... I cleaned my room. The door came out of storage from out in the garage… and the battle was won. And although my room was never neat as a pin or totally ‘squared away’ as he wanted it, it really never got that bad again. The realization that he would in fact remove the door from its hinges again, perhaps permanently, never left the back of my mind.
And so you are now wondering… what is prompting this posting? THIS post by the bitingly funny Veloci-man reminded me of my slovenly teenage years. It just seemed like something TGOO would have written if he had a blog when I was a teenager. I sent my family the link, and they agreed. I think it was the socks and the hamper statement that did it. No way TGOO would have trusted me with those paddles...
I cannot keep up with all the birthdays. Good Grief. It is quite apparent to me that Halloween and Thanksgiving are quite festive holidays as there is such a plethora of July and August Birthdays!
Happy Late Birthday to Jim of Snooze Button Dreams. His big day was yesterday.
There are two birthday’s today… first is Pam of Pamibe. Pam is the fifth blog I ever read… and the designer of my blog. She does an awesome job with logos and banners! Happy Birthday, Pam!
Second is VW, my blogdaughter of One Happy Dog Speaks. Many of you may not know my history with VW. We’ve known each other since Fall of 1986. I came back home to finish up my studies at the local University and VW was in attendance. We met because I knew her then boyfriend… he and I went to high school together.
I spent the last years of college hanging out with the Computer Engineering majors in the Computer Lab. Although it wasn’t my major, the Math and Statistics departments were in the same building and since I was full on in my major, all my coursework was either Math/Stats or Computing. I took enough Computing classes for a minor whereas all my Computing friends took enough Math classes for a minor.
And there it was, that I started hanging in the Computer Lab and I hooked up with my old friend from high school and his girlfriend, VW, who ended up being his wife. I attended their wedding. It didn’t end up working out for them, even relationships with two GREAT people can go bad, as was the case, but in the end, they both ended up with wonderful mates that fit them, so it has a happy ending.
They are the reason I got my job down here in West Palm and therefore the reason I met my husband. VW and her ex- are a year older than I, so while I finished my senior year, they had gotten jobs as engineers for an aerospace company. Her ex- was firm with me that I should apply with their company and he’s not one to be argued with! So I applied, they accepted me, and I got a job. One resume, one job. Piece of cake.
So the company sent movers to my folk’s house to pack up my stuff and I made my way down to the south end of the State, knowing NOBODY except VW and her ex-. And they looked out for me.
On weekends they had me come over and play. I met their friends. They had me over for game night. I didn’t cook then, so VW would have me over for a home cooked meal. (We swap recipes all the time now, which makes me laugh.) It was then that I had her Chicken Tetrazzini that is to die for.
Essentially they were family to me where I had none. They looked out for me and my general well being. They couldn’t stand my then boyfriend, but gave me two thumbs up on my now husband.
They were the first people outside of my family to see my first son after his birth, coming to see me in the hospital.
And although it was her ex- that was my friend since 1979, a freshman in high school was I and he a sophomore, both taking French, he was in the clique of guys I hung out with, it is VW and I who then became fast friends and have stayed in touch through all the years.
It is the simple fact that… as I grew older, I realized I needed girlfriends. She has always been there for me. 19 years.
And in the last few years, VW met her wonderful husband, I attended their wedding, and they have had two little boys of their own.
Happy 41st Birthday, VW!
I got an e-mail from a local reader of mine who I’ve gotten to know pretty well. He said to me he feels bad now that he’s gotten to know me as he can’t wish all those hurricanes up into the Panhandle… my folks live there. I had to laugh.
We all do that. We wish it elsewhere. And I’m stuck now as I know too many people in too many places. I know people in every part of FL, so I can’t wish it anywhere away from me in this state. (Just look at my FL Blogger blogroll and you can see…) I know people in S.C. as I spent a lot of time at Charleston AFB. I know what Hugo did. And blog daughter Sissy lives there. So I can’t wish it there. I can’t wish it into Georgia as my best friend from high school and my sister live in Atlanta as well as Jim at Snooze Button Dreams. And North Carolina is out… Ogre’s up that way. And you just feel kind of bad wishing it anywhere… kind of… a little bit.
Of course the first thing you wish is ‘I wish it would just dissipate. Break up. Fall apart. Go away. Spin out into the ocean.’ That’s the first wish.
Then it starts barreling down on you and if it’s a Cat 1, you think, “This sucks.”
If it’s a Cat 2, you think, “Holy crap, this sucks.”
But then… the realization that it’s a 3 or a 4, or God forbid the Mother of all Hurricanes… a FIVE!, and you start praying, “Dear God. Please do not let it hit us. Let it hit… ‘insert name of other state/country here’.”
And as that 3, 4 or Dear God NO, Mother of all Hurricanes 5!, is really really coming at YOU, your prayers become a little more refined as you start thinking things like, “OK… maybe you can take out ‘insert name of town that is an hour away here’. Just don’t let it hit me.”
It is truly amazing how selfish one can become. Oh trust me, you are empathetic as your neighbor takes the beating… really, you are… but it’s as a bystander and a ‘Wow… let me help them… let me donate money to Red Cross… let me take them ice…Wow… I’m glad that wasn’t me.”
It’s true. I’m telling you… it is oh so true. Are you from Mobile? Well, you’re about to hate me because let me tell you something… as Dennis was hurling itself at my folks in Pensacola after the disaster that is yet to be recovered from called Ivan, I was praying, “Let it hit Mobile.” Oh.Yes.I.Was. Selfish bitch that I am.
It was an inevitability. Someone was about to get spanked. I just didn’t want it to be my family.
So I kind of picture my Judgment Day going something like this. In my hands I have two tickets. One is my ticket to Heaven and the other to Hell. Each has been punched every time I’ve done something good and every time I’ve done something bad. And the good ticket has just a couple holes and the ticket to hell is all ratty… the holes are labeled explaining the good deed or offense on each ticket.
Lord: What is up with this ticket to hell? I don’t seem to recall your murdering, raping, or pillaging.
Me: Oh. Those are hurricane wishes. All the times I wished those big ones on someone else.
Lord: Holy crap! (my Lord would say that) I remember them, but sooo many!
Me: Yeah, that would be the years 2004-2006. I remember them well. During Frances, when we were going to get hammered, I wished it on Fort Pierce and Stuart. During Jeanne, during the repeat performance, I wished it on Boca Raton and south. I felt like it was their turn. And during Ivan… I wished that on Alabama and/or Mississippi. Anywhere West in Alabama or in Mississippi as Florida had already taken hits with Charley and Frances. It just seemed ‘fair’. Mobile wasn’t far enough away. Oh and Dennis. I wished that on Mississippi and Alabama too. You aren’t a ‘Bama or Ole’ Miss fan are you? Yeah. Sorry.” (Sidenote: My Lord also likes southern football…but I think he may be partial to the ‘Noles. Just sayin’…)
Lord: What’s with this one single lone hole in the Heaven Ticket? It says Ivan too. I don’t remember that one…
Me: Oh that was when I said to myself, “Dear God, please don’t let New Orleans get hit with Ivan. They don’t have enough body bags…” I decided I’d rather take the hit than have one that big travel up the Mississippi river. New Orleans is nothing but a big bowl. I guess I got a punch in the good ticket for that one.
Yeah. If hurricane season is an indicator on where I’m spending eternity… I got me a first class ticket to hell, folks. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I’m there.
Continuing my observations with my Weather Pixie… as of now, 8:43 PM EST, she’s wearing some little flimsy shift and there are lightning bolts behind her. She looks like she’s capable of whipping up a good storm…
In the following post, I speak of aircraft accidents only. This does not include terrorist attacks, bombs, people flying planes into buildings. This is strictly 'accidents'.
Today when I was getting my car worked on, the news was playing the aircraft accident that occurred in Canada yesterday with Air France. Wow. Sucks to be them. And to think they all got out… absolutely amazing.
As I was watching this, while reading… so my attention was not totally transfixed to the tube, they had this quote, “The NTSB says that 96% of all passengers survive an aircraft accident”. I wish I could find the exact verbiage as that’s REALLY important. Statistics can be twisted.
First thought when I read that was, “Yeah. Tell that to the folks that wandered out of that Iowa cornfield when that fan disk liberated.” 61% survived, although, I will say that any survivors of that accident are still viewed by me as a miracle in itself, even though I know why they survived. (An interesting read on that is HERE. It has the transcript and is a talk given by the pilot.)
But then I started thinking. What does the NTSB consider an accident? Their definition and mine are probably distinctly different. I’m sure that my definition is a subset of theirs, but theirs encompasses incidents I would NEVER contemplate. A hard landing resulting in bent landing gear isn’t on my scope, folks. Falling 30K out of the air and a big damn ball of fire is.
Of course airline crashes are going to make the news… and as I’ve said in the past, I don’t like flying. Loathe it. I become extraordinarily religious when I fly. But from what I understand, what made the Sioux City crash such a big deal to the public… is it was the first crash when there was a television crew on scene. There were television crews there through the entire event. What made it a big deal for those of us in the aerospace business was for engineering reasons; it had a serious effect on maintenance from an engine standpoint.
Anyway, I did some research. Of course I could find nothing on-line that showed the NTSB’s claim, which I don’t doubt. I don’t. I just want to know what they consider an accident. The best I could find was THIS… remarks from a symposium in 1999. I contend that he has some excellent points, although I wonder what their definition of 'substantial aircraft damage' is.
No offense, but a plane SITTING on a tarmac, at idle, not even making it down the runway, liberates a turbine blade, cutting through the fuselage and killing a couple people… that’s not an aircraft accident in my book. That's an aircraft incident. I’m sorry. It is an exceedingly unfortunate event that killed some people.
See... the number of people that rogue blade could kill was directly proportionate to the number of people sitting within its path as it tore through the fuselage. The plane wasn't moving. So you can't jack up a survivability rate with an incident when the survivors lives were never in jeopardy.
Accidents occur at take off and landings… they happen when something malfunctions in the air. I am sure my stats of survivability with only those accidents would be different. Once that plane is at full throttle barreling down the runway, the chances of living through something has taken a drastic plunge.
So I give them their 94% or 96% survivability, but it provides me no comfort… as their defintions for pulling data are different than mine... and it really really sucks to be that 4-6% that died.
Is it just me or has my Weather Pixie's attire become more... provocative?
As of 9:00 PM EST, she is wearing some little white skimpy one piece nighty thing... low cut top, tight, and highish around the hips and... heels.
Every now and then I log on and think, "Yikes!" Where'd she get that get up?
Yeah, folks, don't get any ideas. I'm a big t-shirt kinda gal. I don't channel the Weather Pixie when I choose my attire for the day. Just sayin'...
I heard Bones say to Son#1 the other day, “Stop it you Cat Face!”
I sat there thinking, “Wow. We are making progress. We’re getting passed the crude and moving into the innovative for name calling.”
A minute late I hear him shriek, “You big Cat Face! I told you to stop it!!!”
Feeling very proud of myself, I was thinking, “This is great. I’m starting to finally sink in and the rough edges are coming off…”
So I look over at him and say, “Hunh. Cat Face. That’s an interesting selection. How in the world did you come up with calling him a Cat Face?”
He looked at me with the one eye brow raised and replied, “Cat Face? I didn’t call him a Cat Face. I called him a C-R-A-P Face.”
Good feeling gone. I guess I should just be happy it wasn’t feces face.
I was cooking dinner this evening and opened my freezer. There in every possible square inch of empty space was stuffed… a small blown up balloon. There must be 8-10 balloons in my freezer, some filled with water, some with a couple tablespoons of water and some empty.
As I pull out the vegetables I yell over to them, “Yo. What’s the deal with the balloons in the freezer?” to which the reply came, “We want to see what happens to balloons when you throw them after they’ve been in the freezer.”
Wha??? What.would.possess.them.to.think.of.these.things? What?! I am thinking it is a y-chromosome issue, of which I will never understand.
I am so outnumbered in this house. Every day… it becomes a bit more apparent.
I crashed a system at work today. I’m not sure what pissed me off more… the fact that the system was so incredibly unstable that my exiting out ‘in a rush’ as the IT guy explained it, crashed it, or the fact it was announced to a group of people that *I* did it. Or perhaps it was the humiliation knowing I had to make sure everyone was logged off so the IT guy could rebuild.
Blech. The whole thing put me in a really crappy mood… of which I was in anyway since I didn’t sleep well the night before. I hung in my cube most of the day… I don’t like to be around people when I’m not feeling like myself.
But… in general, I’m not so social anyway. I know the 10-15 people I used to work with at my old job… and that’s it. I have made no steps to meet anyone new. I don’t feel comfortable meeting new people at work and I know enough people. That sounds so… cold, I guess.
It became a joke today, my lack of meeting new people at work. When it was realized that I had crashed the system, I went around to all those I knew and said, “Log off. I crashed it. We have to rebuild.” Then I came back in and the IT guy said, “Did you tell EVERYONE?” to which I replied, "Only those I know." He gave me garbage and I said, “I don’t KNOW them. I’m NOT going.”
For some reason, he thought this was a riot. And… it would not die. On and on it went about how I’d been there since November and still knew the same handful of guys… until finally someone came up with an idea. They thought I needed a ‘coming out party’… a Debutante ball… to come out to the other employees.
Nice, eh? Did I say I work with mostly men? Yeah. It was the guys giving me hell. I got the “Why do you ONLY know us? Why are you NEVER social?”
And I said to them, “Because… I like the worn in loafer feeling. I don’t like the pinch of new shoes.”
One of them looked at me and said, “Loafers? We’re worn in loafers?”
As I walked out, I said over my shoulder, “Yup. You’re a bunch of loafers. That’s what I like.”
There was a picture of Lyle Lovett today in our paper as he was in concert here last night. I remember when he married Julia Roberts and the press and such were carrying on about how she could marry him… they deemed him ugly if I recall… beneath her in looks.
Now… I never really understood that mentality. Why is that a good looking person on the outside… is expected to be with another good looking person? I know plenty of wonderful ugly people and more than plenty of jerk-faced beautiful people. I don’t know what happened to their marriage, nor do I care, I don’t keep up with that stuff, but I will say… she evidently saw something in him that she loved. I like seeing people who obviously see below the surface.
I made a list before I got married, on what I was looking for in a mate. I didn’t have to get married, but if I was going to, there were some things I felt were important to me… items I knew I needed to keep an eye out for. There was nothing superficial like, “Must own a boat”. They were all around what I wanted long term like, “Wanted kids.” “Gets along with MY family” made the list too since I’m pretty close to my crazy family. “I get along with HIS family” made my list as well. I don’t look to bring psychos into my life. They seem to wander in on their own well enough, thank.you.very.much.
I didn’t have anything on my list about looks. I only had that I had to be physically attracted to him.
Could I be physically attracted to someone like Lyle Lovett, who by the way I do not think is ugly? (As a matter of fact, I think he has a rather dignified gentlemanly way about him.) Absolutely. NO QUESTION. If he was smart, if he made me laugh, if he genuinely cared about my best interest… if he had a kind heart, but had no qualms about standing up for what he felt was right… he’d have me at hello.
Luckily… I don’t have to worry about all that anymore. I hated dating. I like that soft shoe loafer feel… I like fitting together like hand and glove. I didn’t like that suffocating feeling of being in love… the nervous butterflies one gets in the anticipation. I didn’t like worrying I was going to say the wrong thing (that’s a given) or being so overcome with HIM that I don’t know what to say (also another given). I hated all that. I spent the first month of every relationship wishing that stuff away, thinking ‘if we can just get through these four weeks, I’m home free’. I distinctly remember hating all of that.
Some people thrive on it… I did not. It is good that I am where I am.
The Karnival of the Kids is up HERE and is being hosted by everyone's Favorite Bad Uncle... Harvey.
Yeah, I won't be leaving my kids unattended.... with him. They get into enough trouble with their three minds. That adage, "What one doesn't think of, the other will"? Yeah, that holds true in our house. I don't need ol' Uncle Harvey adding to it...
Loyal reader George brought to my attention an article our paper did the other day on the boom of babies being born in May and June. (I like our local paper.) Anyway, most of it was refuted by experts saying that the increased birth in babies is due to more people moving to S. Florida, a potential overall baby boom starting etc… but there is a thought that it could be caused by… the hurricanes 9 months previously.
This falls in line with the adage of “We didn’t have TV back then” when I speak to some of the older people I know who have a plethora of children. They always say it jokingly and it is usually in response to my, “Wow. Six kids. I have three and think I’m going insane.” That’s when they reply with, “Yeah, six kids. We didn’t have TV back then to keep us occupied during the evenings.”
I don’t think they had good birth control back then either.
Which brings me to… whenever there’s a big blackout in a major city, there appears to be a rush of babies being born 9 months later. Evidently this MAY be the case with the latest batch of hurricanes.
I don’t get it folks. I’m all for ‘keeping one’s self entertained’ in any way possible when there is no power (heh, power or no power I’m for it… all the time)… but folks, come on. Losing power doesn’t mean suddenly one gets the urge to NOT USE BIRTH CONTROL. Good Lord.
I’m picturing these conversations, it’s dark, the house is lit with candles, there’s not much to do and you and your spouse are sitting in the candle light, feeling amorous and… “Hey! We have no Power! We don’t need birth control!”
In case any of you kind readers may be confused… allow me to let you in on a little secret. When the power goes out… you can still get pregnant. Electricity is not a form of birth control.
End of story.
Came from my eldest last night. “Mom, what’s humping?” I nearly croaked. I told him ‘its slang for sex’, thanking the Good Lord that we had had the sex conversation already.
This is the 2nd time I’ve been asked about a slang word for sex. So this time… I decided to list a bunch for him so he’d be more informed. Yeah, I know, my sister is reading this and saying to herself, “You did what?!!!”
Yup. I did. I said, “Phrases you will hear besides fucking and humping, which you’ve already asked about are ‘screwing’, ‘doing the dirty deed’, ‘getting it on’, and ‘going at it’. You’ll hear more, but for sure, you’ll hear those.”
So far he has had no qualms about asking me questions. He knows my rule… just don’t ask in front of his brothers.
I’m not up for the Mom ‘O The Year Award am I?
Bones thinks he is the ages of his older brothers. I was pleading with me last week to have a friend over. The problem is… I never bothered to get to know any of the mothers from his class. Not that I didn’t want to, but… well… I didn’t want to.
So how do you call a Mom you hardly know and say, “Can I have your 6 year old for 3 hours?” Blech.
I picked a boy whose house I’d been to for the little man’s birthday party. My husband had met them at various birthday parties he’d taken Bones to, so I thought it might be safe.
I called her, apologizing profusely and telling her I understood if she had trepidation and that she could feel free to stay if she wanted to. She did say she wanted to drop him off as well as pick him up. I’m cool. Trusting someone else with your child in their car is a big deal. Plus, this gave her an opportunity to check out the House of Boudicca, to make sure it was kid friendly.
I was explaining to the kids that she might stay, she didn’t know me, she didn’t know what kind of Mom I was… and I hear them shouting back at me, “But Mom!!! You’re a GREAT MOM! Doesn’t she know that?!”
Heh. Let’s see if they say that after we get through their teenage years.
Meanwhile, the Mom came right after I got back from the gym. I didn’t have a chance to shower. I refuse to shower when my kids have friends over. Any Mom will tell you… you might as well erect bleachers in the bathroom when you have kids. If you’re in the bathroom, your children will follow.
I must have 15 different conversations when I’m in the shower and I wish I could say they were with myself, but it’s with my 3 kids perpetually coming in.
“Mom, can I have a snack?”
“Mom, can so and so come over to play?”
“Mom, what are we having for dinner?”
“Mom, where are we going on vacation in 5 years.”
“Mom, what are we going to have for dinner on my birthday when I’m 15?”
There is no doubt in my mind that Bones would drag one of his friends into the bathroom with him if he wanted to ask me some ridiculous question while I was showering. No matter how much I told him it was inappropriate, it would happen. He has no modesty, so why should I?
So no showering when friends are over. They just have to deal with me smelling like gym sweat.