September 29, 2005

The Circle of Life

It is with great sadness that I have to post that our Fair Fiona is dying. She will probably pass tonight. I can only speculate what has caused it, but I’m going to say that I think her female parts just aren’t working right. She is hemorrhaging off and on.

The boys brought it to my attention this afternoon when I picked them up from school. I called three vets. Yes, I was on the phone calling frickin’ vets over a hamster. But nobody could see me today, so I placed her in a box with some paper towels, she huddled in the corner, and I let the boys stay with her in her final hours. Kind of a death vigil for a hamster.

Good grief that sounds ridiculous as I say it in my head to type it. Lord only knows what it sounds like to read it on a blog.

Anyway, Son#2, my tenderhearted son was a mess. I think he cried for 2 hours straight curled up in my lap. Bones started to cry near the end, but I think it was a case of ‘crying is contagious’ because when I mentioned a few minutes later that if he wanted, we could hairspray his hair red, something he has been begging to do since the boys convinced me to buy colored hairspray, he quickly quit crying and said, “Really?! Today?! You’ll make my hair red! COOL!” and off he bounced to find the spray.

Not so much grieving there. His biggest concern is that I’ll make them wait a long time to ‘get a new pet’.

Son#2, however, built this shrine to her, that big fuzzy thing that looks like a sheep is Fiona:

Fiona Death Vigil.JPG

(Click to Enlarge)

In between sobs he said to me, “Mom *sob*, I know when we get another hamster *sob* what we should name her *hiccup sob*.”

Me: What buddy? What should we name her?

Son#2: *sob sob sob sob* FIONA 2!!! *hysterical sobbing*

So much for origination.

Son#1 is taking it really hard. He’s 10. He fully understands that you cannot replace a life with a life. Fiona had almost become more of his pet. He helped me clean the cage, he fed her, and carried her around everywhere. He took her out on the back porch, had her sit on his shoulder, and every morning right before school, he snuggled with her in his hands. It was a morning ritual.

He has watched this whole ordeal stoically, not crying at all, until tonight. His bedtime is later than the other boys, so as I was putting her back in her cage, finding a good soft corner that she could lie down in die in, he saw her blindly hobbling around… obviously she is near death, and the sight of her struggling to walk and breathe was more than he could take. I laid in his bed with him, wrapping my arms around him while he put his head to my chest and worked through his grief of watching the end hours of his beloved pet’s life.

Her ‘casket’ has been picked out. The leftover shoebox from back to school shoes will do the job. I’ll be looking to make a tiny wooden cross for her. Funeral arrangements are being discussed amongst the boys.

Our hamster is going out with class. Now I just have to find a good place to create her grave and make sure I dig deep enough so that she doesn’t get eaten by some animal. That would just take the cake to see her gravesite desecrated by some animal grave digger. There’s been enough damage in this house today. I DON’T need that. For sure.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

NOT MY SON... this time...

I walked into school today to do some Treasury business, to find the principal and the staff looking at various security monitors, replaying something over and over… and laughing. They paused for a second as I walked in and I said, “Do I want to know?” and the principal looks back at the monitor and says, “I do believe that’s Bones!”

I damn near had heart failure right then and there. He definitely knows what buttons to push now.

Snickering he says, ‘I’m KIDDING!’ then he turns to one of the secretaries and says, ‘Do we have ANY clue who this kid is?”

It was a fuzzy black and white grained picture, of some kid quickly walking up to the camera, but not TOO close… and flipping it a bird.

I was there an hour as they discussed who it could be. It’s funny, because I’ve never been an ‘insider’ at a school office. And I’m still not really. But I do hear the inside jokes and I have to tell you, the principal and staff at my kids’ school are a frickin’ riot at times. I can go in there in the foulest mood and leave laughing with a tear in my eye.

Even when Bones got called in for the knife incident, when Bones was back with his class and I was leaving, they were teasing me relentlessly about my kid being the kid with the knife. Of course if I hadn’t taken the whole episode so seriously, if I had been flippant and dismissive, that would not have been the case.

So as the speculation and laughing continued about this middle finger giving child, I told them that Bones knows a lot, but he doesn’t know how to flip a bird yet. I’d know. He’d have flipped his brothers off and I’d have heard about it. Trust me. Besides, I informed them, I think that is more of a 3rd grade trait than a 1st grade. I could see any kid in Son#2’s class thinking, “oh! Video camera! I’ll shoot a bird!”

But first grade? They’re still fresh out of Kindergarten. I just could not see it.

Paying bills I went, laughing with the clinic nurse about slamming the garage door into my husband’s truck and inhaling a cocoa puff when I heard some teachers laughing in the hall. It was the 1st grade teachers. They had identified the culprit.

It WAS a 1st grader. The youngest of 3 boys. But it surely wasn’t Bones. Thank God. As I was handing the principal the checks to sign I was telling the staff, “I’m not wishing ill on anyone, but I’m glad it was some other mother's third son and NOT mine.”

It’s another Mother's turn to stroke out about the antics of their son at school.

The principal told me he has never seen so many 1st graders in his office as he has this year. Thankfully my family did their best to contribute.

One night at dinner, the week that Bones ended up in the principal’s office, I asked my boys “Are there lots of kids that go to the principal’s office and if so, why?”

‘Oh yeah, Mom! A bunch! Today two third graders went because we were in PE and they saw the sprinklers were on, so they ran through the sprinklers and got drenched,” said Son#2.

Son#1 gave me a knowing look and nodded saying, “Yeah, Mom, every day. Yesterday so-and-so went down because he cut off all his eyebrows in class.”

And the stories went on and on and ALL of them were boys and they were all mischievous stories… nothing malicious. All I could think was, “I could not have our principal’s job. Every day he must wonder what in the hell is going to walk in his door.”

Boys. Hmpf.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

Virtual Fiona?

From CaltechGirl, I adopted a pet. I'm not sure what she does. I'll update as I figure it out. I got her on that damn wheel, but now I can't get her off of it.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Update: Oh, she follows your mouse...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

VW and I and Politics

I've seen this just about everywhere now and I wasn't going to post my results as they aren't perfectly accurate. Yes, I'm a centrist, but no, I don't lean more liberal. However, I'm posting it for both VW and I since she and I scored pretty much the same thing... give or take 4% points.

How's that for being alike? And... she admitted to me in my comments that she scored Hobbes as opposed to Calvin's Mom because she said she'd eat the little boy on the doorstep... something I was so daggum tempted to put, but didn't.

So... our results:

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(41% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Posted by Boudicca at 08:42 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Health, Odds & Ends, and a 'Dating' Tip

Well, I'm still kicking. That damn Cocoa Puff hasn't killed me yet. And I haven't been crushed by a garage door... or flattened by an 8 foot 4x4. Always a bonus, folks, always a bonus.

Last night I decided not to get scoped. I decided my body would handle it. It was confirmed by Contagion in the comments. I must tell you, I did say to the doctor during our visit, "So, what do you think the half life is of a Cocoa Puff?" She laughed, but I think she was surprised to hear that question.

Anyway, as expected, other than three commenters who actually know me and have met me in person, most people caught onto the fact I have no gag reflex, as opposed to my super strength in keeping a double garage door open while maneuvering an 8 foot 4x4!!! *grin* VW was the one laughing and wishing there was videotape of me vs. the garage door and the piece of wood. (Told to me by phone conversation.) But then again... maybe you have to know me and how I move and how my garage is set up. In a high strung mood, I've been told I'm like Elaine from Seinfeld. So picture her crushing her husband's truck and fighting with a 4x4. That's probably close.

So... because of some of the responses to the gag reflex thing and knowing that some of these men are single (*ahem* Ogre), I thought I'd let you know how I think it happened and give you a little dating tip.

I feel certain I had a gag reflex when I was younger. But I was stricken with massive throat infections, one so bad that rendered me in the hospital at age 6, resulting in a lot of scar tissue and my tonsils having to be removed. I think all the infections and scar tissue probably did nerve damage, and the removal of the tonsils probably did not help.

I do gag on certain foods. It's a taste and texture issue with me... more of a strong signal from my stomach saying, "NO frickin' way are you putting that down here." Cole Slaw is a big one. I can't do cole slaw.

So... to my single male readers... should you be dating a woman and wonder... "Hmmm... gag reflex or not?" I suggest you find out a way to say, "So... have you ever had your tonsils removed?"

I am but one data point, but it all makes sense to me. Really sick little kid, no tonsils... may lead to no gag reflex. Hey, it can't hurt to try it!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:37 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

The World According to Bones

I was snuggling with Bones tonight and he looked at my wrist. I wear a purple bracelet for GI Bracelets. I donated to the Fisher House in our area. On it is inscribed, “For those who serve”.

So he’s trying to read it and he keeps insisting it read, “Support our troops”. After much wrangling over the words, I convince him that I’m right.

Finally I said, “Buddy, do you know where are troops are?”

Bones: Yup. They’re fighting.

Me: But WHERE are they fighting.

Bones, matter of factly: New Orleans and Texas.

Heh. Interesting.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

He Keeps on Ticking...

I work with a gentleman who I have referred to in the past as Mr. Magoo. Not standing much taller than I, he is of slight build, but carries himself tall. Perhaps it is his big personality that makes him seem larger than life to me at times. He can be a real crank and there are folks I work with that will shy away from him when he’s in one of his moods, but for some reason, I’m not one. I think he’s a riot, even when he’s out of sorts and I think he has a heart of gold. Even when he's being a bear and cursing like a madman, I feel great affection for him and have to resist this urge to hug him.

I met Mr. Magoo in 1991. We were working on a similar military program, he worked as an engineer in the engineering building, while I was in a department called, “Customer Support”. Our function in my department was to deal directly with the customers and fix their problems. And when you’re working in a high tech world of aerospace, trust me, there are many of them. It’s no reflection on the product, but mechanical things break… planes crash, but hopefully never due to mechanical problems. That one always sucks.

THIS post over at Army Wife Toddler Mom’s reminded me so much of Mr. Magoo. Her Dad is stubborn and after having surgery for his heart, they can’t keep her Dad relaxed. He keeps threatening to do things.

I remember just over 13 years ago, when Mr. Magoo had open heart surgery, I do believe a quintuple bypass. He was 50. Given a list of things he could not do, he was constantly testing the boundaries. We’d call him every couple days and hear things like, “Well, I bought myself a new tractor last week. I was out driving it… but my chest started to hurt and I could feel the breast bone moving, so I came inside. Maybe I’m not ready for the tractor…”

Hmm. Considering it said no driving and that his rib cage had been hooked back together with chicken wire, we thought this was a good idea. I’m not sure why he thought driving a tractor was OK, when driving a car was not.

Then there was the week he called and said, “Good God, I bought myself a big screen TV. I damn near had a heart attack. You should see porn on the big screen!” Heh. I told him he needed to come back to work or he was going to break the bank between the TV and the tractor. Forget the fact I’m sure his wife was ready to give him the boot.

What Mr. Magoo is most famous for is his work around solution to a horrible idea incorporated into our ccompany around 1990. Some brainiac at our company had this big idea that they should ban ALL smoking on our compound. Now, just to tell you, our compound was acres and acres. We had a test facility that was part of the compound that was 5 miles out. And we were located way out in the middle of the swamp… hence working there was called working at ‘the swamp’.

So all smoking was banned and a few people died. It was awful, but the company had made their decision, hoping to get people to quit so they could save on health insurance. All of us were horrified by it, even us non-smokers. But Mr. Magoo and some of his buddies had this thing down.

Every couple hours, he’d get in his car, and drive out the front gate, drive 5 miles down to the back gate, smoking the whole way, and then come back in through that back gate. It became known as ‘The Marlboro 500’. Fitting since that’s what he smokes.

The company eventually rescinded the decision to ban all smoking when our customers from countries where smoking is a given such as Japan and Saudi Arabia, had a real fit that they couldn’t smoke. Forget the employees and the grief it caused… it took the customer to complain to garner our employees a smoking section outside.

Anyway, I have never met a chain smoker like my buddy… and this is where my story really begins. It was 1992 and we were all up in the great white North with the Air Force, doing a massive tear down of our product. We would send teams up there, rotating people out every couple weeks. Although we could not smoke at our compound in West Palm Beach, you could smoke on the shop floor up North.

Heaven. The man was in heaven. You would think he was the proverbial kid in the candy store. For the 3 weeks he was there, I swear to you, the man took more smoke into his lungs than oxygen. He was perpetually breathing nicotine. An IV of the chemical wouldn't have been better. It was all psychological, I am sure. The fact he COULD smoke while he worked just could not be passed up. He had only just had his open heart surgery, just months before, and his chest was already hurting.

We started to kind of watch out for him… everyone was assigned a job. One of our guys, a former medic in ‘nam, was assigned with CPR. I was assigned running to security (no cell phones back then… not like now). One was assigned with keeping up with his general well being… in case there was an ER run.

Ahhh… good times.

Well when his stint was finished that week and we flew back to West Palm, his wife rushed him to the hospital where he was admitted. His cardiovascular surgeon saw him and when he realized what had happened, he said something along the lines of, “I worked 8 hours on you and this is what you do?! I’m done with you! You’re no longer my patient!” and with that, he was released from his care.

Flash forward to last week. I’ve been working closely with my buddy as we’re trying out a new system. He was on his way out for a smoke and the following conversation ensued between he and I.

Mr. Magoo: Whew. I had my annual heart check yesterday. Can you believe I passed?

Me: Not really! How longs it been now?

Mr. Magoo: 13 years since they cut me open. Whoda thunk I’d still be around.

Me: Hey! How’s that cardiovascular surgeon that kicked you out of his practice? Is he still around?

Mr. Magoo: Oh no. He’s dead.

Me: Dead? What the heck. He wasn’t that old was he?

Mr. Magoo: Ahh, he was about my age. He died of a heart attack.

I can’t believe he survived his surgeon… he’ll probably outlive us all.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

The Carnival of the Recipes is up. Tritcale- the wheat/rye guy is this week's host with a Earth, Air, Fire, Water theme. Go HERE. Good eats. Step out of the box. Try something new. You never know. You JUST MIGHT like it.

The new entry deadline is Noon, Saturday CST. That way the host has Saturday and Sunday to get it up. That's how big it's gotten. It takes time.

Remember, entries for bloggers and non-bloggers go to: recipe dot carnival at gmail dot com

Posted by Boudicca at 08:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Bones' Fault

Here's another quiz. VW and Sticks got Hobbes. I got Calvin's Mom. If you were Bones' Mom, you'd get Calvin's Mom too. Trust me.

Calvin's MOM!!!
You are Calvin's MOM! You are a good person inside,
though you like to do what any person would.
The average life.

Which CALVIN & HOBBES character YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Boudicca at 08:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Are We Really Different?

I think this is a first. VW and I ALWAYS score the same! This time... we differ. Hers is HERE.

You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not so Crazy for Cocoa Puffs

This home has been rendered Cocoa Puff free. Why? I’ll tell you why? Because I may very well end up with ‘Death by Cocoa Puff’ on my tombstone. I can hear my kids now, motherless, telling their friends, “My Mom was killed by a Cocoa Puff.”

Sit back folks. You’ll love this one.

The kids came home from school yesterday and were their typical ravenous selves. They wanted cereal for their after school snack and that being the path of least resistance, I said yes. Let’s face it. After a long day, I’m not too psyched about cooking up a dozen eggs and the what not at 3PM, only to turn around and cook a full meal for dinner.

Cocoa Puffs was the cereal of choice, so I poured the younger two each a bowl. Now, I’m not big on kids’ cereal. I eat some low calorie no fat cereal that is made of recycled cardboard with a fiber mixed in for taste. I prefer to waste my calories in other ways than kids’ cereals, but it looked good, being chocolate cereal… so I took a bite.

And that was my first mistake because… I inhaled a partially chewed Cocoa Puff. Yes. I felt it slide down my wind pipe and as it did I thought, “Hunh. This cannot be good.”

You can read the rest in the extended entry because this is long and only gets crazier.

I remember thinking, ‘My lungs… they are a closed system. How is it going to get out of there?” Then somehow I convinced myself not to sweat it, that it would take care of itself.

Fast forward to 4:30 AM when I awaken with this terrible chest pain… in the same exact location that I felt that damn Cocoa Puff come to rest. I got up, got a glass of water, and started to think. “Hmm. This is not good. I did breath that thing in. Will it break down? Will they have to go down my throat and get it out? Will someone have to shake me upside down and make me cough?”

Oh, for that last one, there is a story. See, we know this dentist very well. Very close family friend. It seems that one Thursday, he was putting in a porcelain crown when the patient flicked it with the tooth, and swallowed it. Dentist, assistant, patient, were horrified, as they got the patient sitting up. He swore he was fine and laughed it off. I’m telling you, that dentist was horrified. When he told me this story, he broke into a cold sweat again telling it. Anyway, he told the guy he’d take impressions and remake the crown.

The following Monday, the patient came back in with the crown in his hand. It seems he had been in pain during the weekend and went to the ER. They did a chest XRay and found his crown! So they had him upside down and made him cough and out it came. Intact. They caught it. So the dentist sterilized it and put it in that day.

So this is running through my mind by 5AM. Hanging upside down like a bat and coughing to dislodge a damn piece of children’s cereal. Lovely.

At 8:00 I call my internist's office. Do you know how stupid it sounds to say, “I think I need to be seen. I inhaled a Cocoa Puff.”? They got me in for 8:30.

The nurse practitioner came in… and she seemed to not believe me. She said, “I KNOW you think you inhaled this Cocoa Puff, but our bodies are made to resist things going into the air passages. You didn’t cough or gag or anything exhibited with something going into an airway, so although I won’t say it’s IMPOSSIBLE, you probably just swallowed it the wrong way.”

I told her the swallowed crown story. She couldn’t believe it. I swore to it. Even told her the dentist’s name and how I heard this story FIRST hand, it was not a 4th generation story.

Still, she felt certain I had merely swallowed wrong, but went to check with the doctor just in case, who informed her that said Cocoa Puff would not show up on any XRays and I probably really did just swallow it. Love that.

So we went through the whole thing of worst case scenarios and she was still a skeptic and I’m thinking to myself, “I’m a 40 year old woman. I know the difference between inhaling and swallowing.”

And I thought it was over… until… she said… “And… you have an intact gag reflex, right?”

I said, “Well, no. I don’t. I don’t have a gag reflex.”

Her face… she just looked at me blankly and I could see the wheels turning. So I added, “Watch” and I shoved my fingers down my throat. (I have obviously never suffered from Bulimia.)

She said, “You don’t have a gag reflex?” and she took a tongue depressor and started pushing at the sides of my throat. I sat there with my mouth open, staring at her, not even flinching.

Finally she said, ‘You have no gag reflex” to which I replied, “Yeah, that’s not something I advertise to my male friends much.” (Heh. I only BLOG IT!)

She laughed, but obviously that little piece of information changed things. Without this gag reflex, my body would not necessarily naturally fight off an airpassage intrusion.

We then went into the long term effects of the fact I did probably inhale this cereal. It is a fact in my mind now and I do believe hers. I could cough it up. Maybe. It could break up and slowly get coughed up. Maybe. I could run a fever and get pneumonia. Maybe.

Nothing firm. I like black and whites. Tell me what’s going to happen.

I told her I wasn’t going to stress over it… that I was sure old people in nursing homes everywhere aspirated food and lived. And I know toddlers did too… and lived. So I wasn’t going to obsess. I’m not.

But she gave me the name of a pulmonologist to see at my discretion, that they could do a bronchoscope.

I can just hear myself now, “I need to schedule a bronchoscope. Why? Oh, I inhaled a Cocoa Puff. That’s right. I inhaled a piece of childrens’ cereal.” Lovely.

And where I am more in the wait and see mode… lets just see what happens… and I am feeling compelled to go hang upside down on my kids’ jungle gym outside and cough… my husband is of the mindset that I need to go get scoped.

Yeah, that’s easy for him to say. He’s not the guy they’re going to put a scope down the windpipe.

Oh and when I was telling VW about this she said, “Oh, that’ll make your throat sore.” I said, “My throat? That is the least of my problems. I’m afraid I’ll have a damn anxiety attack as they try to snake this thing down my throat!” She replied, “Yeah, you’ll need to meditate.”

VW is excellent when it comes to meditation. She's got that whole thing down pat. Not me. I’m thinking I need drugs is what I’ll need. Good drugs.

All this for a damn Cocoa Puff. Can you frickin’ believe it?

And I LOOOVE the fact that this I am probably now known in my doctor's office as 'The Cocoa Puff Patient'. Great.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:20 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

I'm Not Feeling Like Superwoman

Some days, you just have to wonder if the universe has it in for you. The cliché ‘I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed’ rings true for today.

A nasty thunderstorm came through today, rendering my house without power. That’s not a problem… except… power garage doors are GREAT until you don’t have power. Then they’re a real pain in the neck.

I had to get my younger boys from school, my eldest was home sick with strept throat and my big huge double garage door was stuck in the down position. First, y’all know I’m 5’2”. Now I’ve been strength training to combat the inevitable osteoporosis for almost 3 years. I’m leg pressing over 250lbs and although I have had to watch what kind of chest training I do (I had to give up bench pressing for one) due to a problem in my left shoulder, I still do enough upper body that I am strong for my size.

Lifting with my legs, I got the garage door lifted to waist height and then pushed it up over my head, giving it a light toss to get it to stick up. Down it came. I repeated. Same result. Now I figure part of my problem really is my height. I just can’t get the damn door up high enough.

So I get a ladder.

Once again, lifting to chest height, I now step onto the ladder, only up to the 2nd step, but my leverage is all wrong and no matter how I push up, that damn door is not going to budge nor is it going to stay.

I’ve now done this about 10 times. Oh yes, and its pouring rain outside, so I’m trying to stay dry too. One last heave and in what must have been divine intervention, the frickin’ door stays.

But I look… and there’s NO WAY my van will clear it with my luggage racks.

And that’s when I got the great idea that my husband’s SUV will clear it. I could tell. It sits lower than my van. His sports car is fixed and he had taken the kids to school in his car, so that left me the truck. It was meant to be, I was certain.

And I’m sure it was meant to be… until I started backing the truck up and hear a ‘CRUNCH’ as the garage door falls at the back end of the truck. Sherlock Holmes, sitting in my backseat, pipes up, “Umm, Mom! The garage door fell on Dad’s truck!”

What would we do without observant kids? I mean… really.

So I am able to pull forward, hearing the garage door come crashing down. Literally. Upon inspection, there isn’t a huge amount of damage… but there is damage.

And I realize, I am so screwed. How am I supposed to get my two kids? I am now trapped without transportation. I decide to call my husband at work. That’s right. I’m now going to call the man whose truck I just crushed with what feels to me like a 10 ton garage door.

He couldn’t go get the kids (no surprise there), but told me there was a 4X4 next to the water heater and I should prop the door up.

Now folks, I’m a high energy girl, but it’s been a bad day and I’d already lifted that damn door 10-12 times. I was frickin beat and the thought of struggling with that door… again… did nothing for my mood. So I thanked him for the suggestion and hung up.

Walking over to the 4X4, I realize it is an EIGHT FOOT LONG 4X4. Wait. Did I mention I was 5’2? And tired? And do you have any idea how much an 8 foot 4X4 weighs… and the weight distribution of said long piece of work makes it damn hard to manage, especially since I am going to have to hold up what feels to me to be a 10 ton garage door, and maneuver this long ass piece of wood where there is NO room for wiggle due to my mini-van being in the way!

I don’t know how I managed, but I did. I called my husband on the way down the driveway and said, “I got it. I’m out.” His reply was, “Did you close the garage door before you left?”

He received a very short answer along the lines of “No. I do not have a death wish. YOU can deal with it when YOU get home.”

Posted by Boudicca at 08:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005

The Proud Blog Mama

Really? How could one be prouder? Blog daughter VWBug is a #1 Google Search for something we would never have guessed. Brought to our attention by Ted of Rocket Jones, VW took the spot and I suspect #2 won't demand a recount.

To see the post (completely worksafe and innocent) go HERE. Seriously, it started out talking about mathematics, then moved onto global warming, then about cow and pig farts... and then it just deteriorated from there.

And here is the obligatory screen shot. I'm just so proud. *sniff... wiping a tear from my eye*

Congrats, VW, you made the Big Time! *Big Grin*

Free Image Hosting at

(Click to Enlarge)

Posted by Boudicca at 09:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I Think HIS Dad is Tougher than MY Dad

Five third graders in my car. Today. All boys. Never having been an 8 year old boy, I cannot possibly conceive of how they think.

Stories. There were many stories. Stories that seemed probable… but then became larger than life.

There were neighbors who owned peacocks and a Dad who wrestled a big alligator that lived in a ditch next to the house. That one for some reason had some ring of truth to it. To hear an 8 year old say, “We had to call Animal Control…” just seemed too logical to be part of a made up story. Whether Dear Old Dad actually wrestled that gator is another matter.

A couple of these boys are really into watching BMX on TV as well as skateboarding. I heard names that are evidently legendary by their standards, but recognized only one, Tony Hawk, as I’ve seen computer games with his name on it. Otherwise, that name would have been lost on me as well.

And so the stories were told as we made the 40 minute haul to the Planetarium and the 40 minute haul back to school… boys who got stuck in the nose by fishing hooks. Boys who had enormous toads stuck in their commodes (that would be my boy, by the way). And one boy who said nothing, but just took it all in.

I kept prompting him, afraid he thought perhaps he could not get a word in with these 4 other chatty boys. He kept insisting, “I don’t have any stories.”

Heh. I can see why. Who can top Peacocks as pets and a Dad who wrestles gators?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Wake Me When It's Over... Please!

I’ve not been watching much Rita news. I’m on overload folks.

Allow me to tell you a bone quivering phrase that I heard on the radio yesterday, “Well folks, it’s September 25th. Only TWO MORE MONTHS of Hurricane Season!”

Holy crap.

Wake me when it’s over. Is it just me or is this the longest hell we’ve ever endured in hurricane weather. I cannot even remember when it WASN’T hurricane season.

So let me tell you of an odd thought… an unfortunate side note to Katrina. For now on… whenever a hurricane occurs, and people’s neighborhoods are totally decimated and their homes are destroyed… forever we will hear, “Well, it’s bad, but it’s not as bad as Katrina!”

For now on, bad will be gauged in a city that was BELOW sea level flooding and a thousand people dying.

If a thousand people didn’t die, then it wasn’t that bad.

Really? I ask you, if you are in a hurricane and your spouse dies during it, suddenly TO YOU, that hurricane is just as bad as Katrina.

If you are in a hurricane and a tree falls on your home, crushing your little girl, then suddenly to you, that hurricane is just as bad as Katrina.

If you totally lose your home and are forced to either leave, live in a FEMA trailer or live with people who have taken you in… then TO YOU, that hurricane is as bad as Katrina.

Let us not belittle the suffering of those in Lake Charles or Port Arthur or Creole. Just as the people of Mississippi appeared to always be overlooked, due to the flooding in New Orleans (and there were deaths in Mississippi… hundreds), the people that are victims of Rita will be overlooked too.

Already I’ve heard it, “Well, it’s not like Katrina.” Guess what? Thank God. But personal suffering and misery should never be belittled. These people lost. A lot.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

Additional Info?

I am asking for assistance for a fellow blogger. Christina of Feisty Repartee is going to make the drive to get her mother... who is in Lake Charles, LA.

If you know ANYTHING about the roads or gas situations from Houston to Lake Charles and immediately north, please let her know. Her post is HERE and you can leave something in the comments or if you want to e-mail her, you can e-mail her at justdotChristina (at) gmail (dot) com.

I told her no gas for sure for another week at least, but if someone there knows differently, please pass it along. It will be appreciated.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Katrina's Kidz

It has been awhile since I've talked of Katrina's Kidz. They continue to do great things with donations given by generous and wonderful people. I'm their data manager, and let me tell you, I've never seen such large quantities of pencils, folders, glue sticks, and paper!!!

Below is a letter that was sent out to many who have assisted. THANK YOU to all my readers and fellow bloggers who have been helping out with this worthy cause. I will be updating more as there is more down the road, but this is the status as of a couple days ago.

Hello everyone,

Lots has been going on at Katrina's Kidz this week and this weekend promises to be very busy in the Palm Beach warehouse!

Let me update you on what is happening.

1. The supplies mailed this week to Long Beach, Mississippi have started to arrive, and I received a call from their administrator who said it felt like it was Christmas. Not only did we send supplies for the kids, we also made special boxes for the teachers. They are so appreciative. We will be finishing up making the back packs for their 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades this weekend. The school opens on the 30th.

2. The other elementary school near Long Beach school is still not open, as it is a shelter. The Red Cross plans to close it soon, and they cannot start classes until it is cleaned up. We are on stand by to assist that school when the time comes.
Another private boarding school across the Bay from Long beach will be opening in January once they have rebuilt/repaired their damaged school. We am working on pairing them up with a similar private school here in Palm Beach County. Communication with these schools is challenging as they have no email or land phone lines. The bridge that crosses the bay between these two schools is down. So, we are using cell phones when they work! It has been a learning experience for us all.

3. The school in Texas was overly thrilled with their supplies as well. They only had 20 needy students. The rest were cared for by their Texan families. Glad we could help!

4. The Miami Dade Schools have approx. 240 new students and we will be working with the school board to provide those students with their necessary supplies. We will start making those backpacks this weekend. The Palm Beach County Schools recieved a similar amount of students, and we have the luxury of driving the back packs to these schools and meeting face to face with the guidance counselors. The children's stories are incredible and heart wrenching all at the same time.

5. Escambia County (which is the Pensacola, Florida region) received 720 students. With a large number of these students requiring supplies, clothing, and in some cases shoes. We were able to provide the students and their teachers with gift cards to Office Depot and Walmart. Shipping gift cards was much easier than the boxes of backpacks! The School Board Administrator for Community Involvement is in charge of the distribution of gift cards to the teachers for their students. I was especially impressed by this School Board. Having been through so many hurricanes in the last 3 years, they are truly organized for disaster assistance and have taken the lead in providing safe harbor for the families of New Orleans. Katrina's Kidz is thrilled to help them.

6. This weekend we are pleased to have volunteers in our warehouse from the Palm Beach Junior League. Their group is highly organized, and their focus is children's issues. They honor us with their donations and man hours of service. They have a group of ladies whose name is "Done in a Day," Their projects take on this meaning and we hope to get a lot done on Sunday!

7. Finally, we want to thank the tireless efforts of the moms and teachers and volunteers who have collected so many supplies and helped us put them together for shipping. Thank you to the tireless efforts of the kids (8-14 yrs old) needing community service hours! They worked hard. You should be proud of your work. Thank you to all those who donated products and services especially the United States Postal Service in Lake Park, Office Depot, Target, & the Timberland Company.

8. Our last thank you is a special one. I met a wonderful woman this week. She is an angel and remains anonymous. It is because of her and her husband that those 720 students/teachers in Escambia have what they need. I am still speechless at her generosity.

So many people have been generous with their time, their talent and with their donations. Thank you all.

Tonight, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of Rita.

Julia, Aida, & Dawn
@ Katrina's Kidz Inc.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pecking Hens

Wonder what I'm up to tomorrow while the rest of y'all are chasing after toddlers or punching the ol' time card?

Well, at the begging of my 2nd son, the son who truly thinks he has been short changed in everything in life, I am chaperoning a bunch of 3rd graders to the Planetarium. How could one resist, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, could you PLEEEEAAASE drive for our field trip? You never do anything for our school."

Oh, yes he said that. You see, being the flippin' Treasurer of the entire flippin' school is a low vis job, therefore, I must really do nothing. In his eyes. I did resist all urges to squish him like a bug.

Trying to see it from his view and realizing I have never chaperoned, but keeping in mind that I AM his FRICKIN' DEN MOTHER, I did say yes.

Oh and TGOO and my Mom are up in the mountains of North Carolina this week, vacationing. TGOO informed me that he saw a little sign in a store today that said,

"Having three sons is like being slowly pecked to death by a hen".

That about sums it up. Y'all are watching the pecking death on a daily basis. Front row. Ain't life grand?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sorting out the Engineers at a Young Age

I love the names people have for their Grandparents. In my family we have: Granny, Grandaddy, Nana, Poppy, Big Daddy, Mother (insert last name here), Mimi, Pippy, Nana-Nana and Granny-Gran. (My kids call my folks Mimi and Big Daddy. My Mom took the name of her Grandmother and TGOO took the name of his grandfather.)

Sometimes the pronunciations get all botched up and you get an odd, but very cool name. For instance, Army Wife Toddler Mom's little guy Dash, calls his grandpa (her Dad) 'Grampanio'. I just think that is the coolest name.

And for those who don't know, Grampanio had a heart cath the other day. It was a very scary ordeal... as they always are. I think all of us that read her held our breath for 24 hours until they could get his problem sorted out. He had a blockage that the docs fixed.

BUT, you have to go over and see Dash's get well picture for Grampanio and see the title. If that kid is not an engineer in the making... then well... I don't know what is.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I Love Fall

I hear fall is upon y'all. I say y'all because we're still strokin' out down here in the Pan of Florida at 90 degrees. That was 3PM. Hot. Blech.

So to all you wonderful people up north of me, where the temperatures are cooler during the day and cool and crisp at night... going to the Fall Festivals and celebrating all that is Fall, this is what you could do for me.

Eat something appley. Apple Fritter, Apple pancakes, Apple Pie, Apple tarts. Drink hot Apple cider. Apple stuff. It is fall.

Do fall things... and since I can't, you have my permission to do it twice. Once for you and once for me. Eat fall foods. Smell burning leaves. Have sex outside when its nice and cool and crisp. (Not in public. There are some decency laws you know...) Go hiking where the leaves are starting to change.

Do it all twice. You have my permission. Man, I miss fall. Even though we get the cool temperatures in January for one day, it just... doesn't... smell... the... same.


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September 23, 2005



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Posted by Boudicca at 10:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

It's Not a Classic in HIS Mind

I took my eldest to the library today. We went last week, checked out 5 books, and they’ve all been read and tested. (Ref THIS post and the Reading Contest.) Yes, he’s pretty much at 200 points, just shy. The teacher now thinks that he and his freaky reading maniac buddy will hit over 1000 points before the end of the year.

I’ve been so concerned that the kid wouldn’t read anything but fantasy. Well, when you know a classic is worth 28 points, suddenly it’s a desirable read, when you’re all about hitting 1000 points and his fantasy books either aren't on Reading Counts or are only worth 20 points. See, he changed his goal. 200 points in just a couple weeks is no longer sufficient. He now wants 1000+ points by the end of the year. I can tell he wants to be talked about in the halls of his school as the all time point winner for years to come. He sees great glory in this, I tell ya!

Just to show you… yesterday I was talking to Son#2 and he was telling me about this girl in his class that reads during lunch. She socializes with nobody at her table, just sits there and reads. I kept thinking, “Geek!” So I said, “Really? She doesn’t socialize with anyone? She just reads? Does anyone else do that?” to which Son#1 piped up and said, “Oh yeah! Harry and I!”


Anyway, back to reading tastes and how they’ve changed. Amongst the books we walk today, looking for some classics. Treasure Island was checked out, so we got Call of the Wild and Gulliver’s Travels. On top of that we got another Vampire book of the series Cirque du Freak and three or four Animorph books. You can’t say the kid doesn’t have eclectic tastes in reading, even if they are somewhat forced by the point system. The two classics are big points.

We’re getting in the car, I’m holding onto the books because I know darn well if I let him hold them, he’ll read and walk to the car, getting so lost in his book, he’ll get hit by a car or trip over his feet. He looks at me and says, “Mom… Little Women was the MOST boring book I have EVER read in my life. I even failed the test. Now I have to reread that stupid boring book to get those points.” (He usually scores 100% on comprehension.)

I started to laugh. I called The Great Omnipotent One to tell him and he said, “Funny you should say that. I was just telling your Mom today how I was wondering how it was going with Son#1 and Little Women. When a book is that boring, it sure is hard to retain the information!”

Yup. No action in Little Women. He was never real big on reading my Little House on the Prairie books either, when he was in first grade. Yup... I still have my original books... sitting with my Little Women.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:29 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Data is Pointing to Staying

Boy this Houston/Galveston/Texas evacuation has been quite a mess, hasn’t it? They said something like 1.3 million were evacuating. That’s a whole heapin’ lot ‘o people as is evidenced by the massive gridlock.

Interesting that we’ve been able to witness it. Those of us who have either evacuated or who have watched up front and personal saw something like this coming, although I must confess I could not conceive of the magnitude of this Runaway from Rita fiasco.

Let me say that I think the local officials did the right thing. They did NOT wait until the last minute. Let me also say that if I saw what Rita was, 175 mph winds being directed at me, I would have had the urge of flight instead of fight. I’ve talked about it.

But, I also know about gas shortages and gridlock due to insufficient roads. We have two roads out of S. Florida on the east coast, I-95 and the turnpike and BOTH are two lanes just 15 minutes north of me.

Keeping these two lane highways in mind…

Now take 1.3 million people in TX evacuating. That was coastal as well as Houston. Now… picture a Cat 5 as big as Rita and Katrina aiming at the Pan of Florida. How many of us WANT to stay for that one? Nobody. How many people live down here? A helluva lot more than 1.3 million.

From THIS site, I found these Florida population statistics as of the year 2000… which means it’s off by a COUPLE MILLION people in 2005. Trust me on that. This is Metro Areas only and doesn’t include all the in betweens. Everything Orlando or south is bolded.

1. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater - 2,396,000
2. Miami - 2,253,000
3. Orlando - 1,645,000
4. Ft. Lauderdale - 1,623,000
5. Jacksonville - 1,100,000
6. West Palm Beach/Boca Raton - 1,131,000
7. Sarasota/Bradenton - 590,000
8. Daytona Beach - 493,000
9. Lakeland/Winter Haven - 484,000
10. Melbourne/Titusville/Palm Bay - 476,000
11. Fort Myers/Cape Coral - 441,000
12. Pensacola - 412,000
13. Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie - 319,000
14. Tallahassee - 285,000
15. Ocala - 259,000
16. Naples - 251,000
17. Gainesville - 218,000
18. Fort Walton Beach - 170,000
19. Panama City - 148,000
20. Punta Gorda - 142,000

Doing the math I come up with a little under 10 million people in 2000, from Orlando on south. Exclude Orlando and we get a little under 8. Palm Beach County alone has well over 1 million people. Miami/Dade/Lauderdale/Palm Beach County have 6 million as of 2003. (Different site for those numbers.)

So… that is why I say I will probably have to stay. I live inland, not on the coast. My house is built to Miami Dade code from AFTER Andrew. Too many people. Not enough evacuation routes. At some point, you just can’t leave.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

Houston We Have a Problem

Heh. And it's Jim Cantore because that's where he was this afternoon! Ack! Of course it's too early to tell, Jim is moving all over, but manoman, that does not bode well for Houston.

I put this in the comments of another post... I think that hurricanes will do for Americans and United States Geography what wars have done for Americans and World Geography.

I know a ton of people who had NO IDEA where Afghanistan was before we went to war there. As a matter of fact, I will even raise my hand and say I could not name every one of their neighboring countries before we went to war. First thing I did was break out the Atlas so I could get a better feel for airspace. I know, odd thing to think. I wanted to understand their neighbors.

Now, every time a Hurricane hits, Americans become intimately familiar with the various cities in potentially effected states. Everyone knew New Orleans, but did they know Slidell? How many really knew Pascagoula? And had y'all ever heard of Punta Gorda before Hurricane Charley?

Yup, these busy hurricane seasons are giving Americans quite a Geography lesson. Well... at least a Florida and Gulf Coast lesson.

And... if you have thought that the warming of our oceans was not having an effect on the strength of our hurricanes, if you were not a believer, go HERE. The math is all laid out for you...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:31 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

If I had 4 kids, Max Would Have to Die

At the beginning of school, Bones brought home his reading book. We use the books in our school for five years, and then they’re updated. I think that’s pretty standard. So when he opened up the first story, Max the Cat, it was like de ja vu. I’ve heard that story read to me already by two other boys. I have it memorized.

This is Pam.

She has a Cat.

He is Max.

Pam has a cap.

Pam has a mat.

Catch my drift? Holy crap. I’ve listened to two other boys stumble through this story, twice a day, for five days… I’d already heard it 20 times. I was now pushing for 30. (When my boys are learning to read in 1st grade, we have them read us the story in the morning in the car and when they get home from school… every day.)

Story after story, the last five weeks, sometimes it is so painful. I was not made to be a teacher. At all. But I smile and encourage, after all, he is my son and I want him to love reading as much as I do.

Today it occurred to me HOW MANY times his teacher has heard Max the Cat. Son#1 was the first year of those books. Max the Cat is read for one week. If every child in her class read it to her twice a week (which they do… each child reads to her individually every day, but they complete the story to her twice) and there are 30 kids in her class… that means she hears that story 60 times a year. This is year 5.

When they retire this book at the end of this year, she will have listened to kids stumble and fumble through Max the Cat, 300 times.

Blech. I think I’d rather poke my eye out with a pencil.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:16 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


It was inevitable that the story of how she and I met would make my blog. She has threatened in the comments of posts, where I’ve mentioned this story would be blogged upon, that she will put in the comments HER version as she likes hers better. More drama.

She cracks me up. Today seemed fitting. Today is her 39th Birthday.

A little about us:

I met her in 1980. August of 1980 to be exact. She became my best friend. Now 25 years later, she is a sister. She’s pulled me out of some bad stuff and we’ve gotten ourselves in some real binds. We’ve both laughed until we’ve nearly peed all over ourselves. If we lived in the same city, we'd be inseparable.

We go through streaks where we’ll talk every single day… and then a couple weeks will go by where we play phone tag. One time her husband realized we had not spoken in a few days and alarmed he said to her, ‘What’s wrong? Is she OK?’ As if by our not talking, I must be dead. But it’s always like we can just pick up the conversation where we left off. We know each other better than we know ourselves, I think at times.

We are so different from one another. I think people probably laugh. I am short and brunette. She is taller and blonde… beautiful silky blonde hair like you see on models in the magazines.

She has a sparkle in her face and a wonderful attitude about life. I am the cynic.

She has a pure heart of gold, a touchy feely sort who is full of hugs and doles them out readily, making all those around her feel special. I am far more reserved and untrusting.

She cries at Hallmark cards and Phone commercials. I struggle to get myself to grieve and cry over all the relatives who have died in the last 6 years. It is not that I do not grieve… it is just easier not to deal.

She is a wonderfully talented artist… a photographer with a born gift accented with a trained eye. Her house is painted beautiful colors on the inside. I am a mathematician who works to wear solids so I don’t clash and has every wall painted beige since I figure it is warm and will blend with anything.

She is even tempered and tries to keep her anger in check. I will fly off the handle and become a whirlwind of angry energy, lashing out at any and all who hurt me or those close to me.

Nary has a bad word come out of her mouth. I can cuss and make a sailor blush.

To say she has pulled me off that precipice of darkness once or twice would be underestimating the times. She is the optimism. I am the pessimism. She is the euphoric happiness and I am the sadness.

We are different. Yet… we are one. We compliment each other. I cannot imagine her not in my life. And how we met seems fitting.

I am 1 year and 2 weeks older than she… exactly. I was a sophomore in high school and she was a freshman. It was the first day of school. Although we didn’t live in the same neighborhood, we were to ride the same school bus. My bus stop was before hers. Our bus was overcrowded, having to sit 3 to a seat. He who got on the bus last had to figure out who they were going to squish in with. It sucked.

My neighborhood had some real low life kids who lived in it. A group of them got in considerable trouble with the law and were known to be doing drugs. Some of them were just down right mean. Mean as snakes. As luck would have it, the meanest one lived 2 doors down from me.

I was in high school marching band. Our school had the #1 nationally ranked marching band in America that year… we marched over 200 strong and practiced all summer long and for three hours after school… every day. As we pulled to the last stop, the bus already overflowing with teenagers practically sitting in the aisles, I watched as this freshman I recognized from summer band, got on the bus, carrying her saxophone case.

Slowly the cute young blonde freshman, who looked so quiet and nervous, lumbered down the aisle with her books and large case and as she set her case down in the aisle, the nasty mean girl that lived next door to me said something rude and mean to her.

I looked over at the nasty girl and told her to shut up and had the young girl sit next to me.

We became best friends. Now… to hear her tell the story, I slayed a dragon and fought for all that was right in this world, which always cracks me up.

You’ve seen her comment as PFB, which stands for… Pudding For Brains, for she says when she reads my blog she feels stupid. She is far from it. She has a brilliant mind. Y’all have seen her son… he’s Mr. Smoochy Pants.

Happy Birthday, PFB. We’ve known each other for well over ½ our lives and coming up on ¾. How did it all go so quickly, girl???

Posted by Boudicca at 07:47 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

What Historical Lunatic are You?

Oh I found this quiz. And about his wife, was she pregnant and birthed all 11 of those children or did his mistress help out? The mistress, I might add, that the wife found as her replacement in his bed then taking on other men in HER bed. By the way, how's THAT for progressive? Whew, and to have 11 insane kids. Holy crap. I can't even imagine.

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Question of the Day

Where is Jim Cantore?

For... if you reside in the city that is currently hosting Mr. Cantore and his crew... you are most certainly screwed.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Fighting Insanity Part II

As promised, last week’s events that nearly made me insane. Sometimes the chaos in my life is so large… it can only go in the extended entry. So… today, that’s where you have to go.

Keep in mind... the week got worse, if you can imagine that. I just can't blog on it. I'm not laughing at the few days following.

We have a rule in our house, if our kids are perpetually physically picked on, they’re supposed to tell the kid to stop, then try to move out of the situation. If those don’t work, then they have our permission to beat the ever living snot out of the kid, with my husband and I taking the stand to take the flack. This was particularly so because in 2nd grade, they instituted some touchy feely crap called ‘the peace tree’. If a kid hurt your feelings or picked on you… you took them to the tree to ‘talk’ about it.

The Peace Tree doesn’t work.

So that’s when we instituted the 3rd strike you beat the snot out of the kid rule. Third grade is different though, and I forgot about the transition.

A week ago Friday, Son#2 had a kid kicking him perpetually. He did as instructed… to no avail. Finally, he turned around and hauled off and punched the kid… just as his teacher turned around. Of course.

I got there a few minutes later and Son#2 was a mess. He said his teacher wanted to see him Monday morning and he was going to get in so much trouble… and on and on. We talked about it, I told him to give her my cell number, and then ended the conversation with, “But that kids not going to pick on you anymore is he?” Son#2 smiled and said, “No”. Case closed as far as I was concerned.

Move on to the weekend and I’m getting computerized progress reports from my eldest son’s school. It says his tests are all A’s, but he isn’t doing his class work, so other than Science and Math, where he has A’s, he has Cs and Ds in his other subjects, subjects that require work in class. Now this was a problem the previous week, and I grounded him and gave him the big ‘Come to Jesus’, but now the problem was not resolving itself and I was… coming unglued. By Sunday’s progress report I said to my Better Half, ‘I can’t look, I think I’ll stroke out.’

I e-mailed his teachers asking for a conference. They e-mailed me Monday morning saying that afternoon was great, the problem seemed to be, he’d rather read than do busy work.

This is where it gets good.

So I’m toodling along in my van, running Den Mother errands when I get a call from the school at 2:10 saying, “Mrs. L., could you please meet with the principal in his office after school at 2:40?”

This is not a tone I had heard. This is not about school money, since I am the School Treasurer. I could tell this was serious. Now I thought it had to do for sure with Son#2’s incident from Friday. So I said, “Ummm… which boy would this be?” and the reply was, “Bones.”

Lovely. Just frickin’ Lovely. This meant it was BAD. I’m picturing the F word dropped. Or a fist fight he provoked. I don’t know, but I know it has to be bad because for a FIRST GRADER to get a call home FOR MOM to come to the principal’s office… is NOT a good sign.

I was so oh unprepared.

I tell her, “Well, can I come now, because it appears my FIFTH grader can’t do his class work and is failing grammar, writing, and religion, and I have a meeting with HIS teachers right after school. So, can I come now?”

She actually laughed and said, “Sure.”

And two minutes later I was walking through the threshold of the principal’s office.

For 13 years I managed to avoid going to the principal’s or the Dean’s office. For 5 years we have avoided it with Sons 1 and 2. But now, I have a first grader, giving me my first appointment… my 3rd child who is going to be the frickin’ end of me.

I walk in to find out… that… during recess that morning, Bones and two of his little buddies had found a full sized pocket knife. That would be big. Instead of telling an adult or teacher, Bones picked it up and put it in his pocket. Offense #1.

Where it stayed for 2-3 hours. While he was in class.

After lunch, during recess, the three little boys were all huddled around. A teacher came up, thinking they looked suspicious and asked what they were doing. They hid the knife and replied, “Oh, we’re just playing with ants.” Offense #2.

At some point Bones’ two little buddies decide that Bones should cut a hole in one of their lunch boxes… so… he did. Offense #3.

And then… they got caught. Knife in hand… blade open… cutting a canvas lunch box. Lovely. Just frickin’ lovely.

So they call him in from PE, and he looks at the principal and I and throws his hands over as if in complete exasperation, eyes wide open and mouth agape and says, “WHA?!!! We already discussed this!” At which point I’m reaming him out and the principal says to him, ‘And we’re going to discuss it again. SIT DOWN.”

I have to say, I was completely amazed with how the principal handled it. He’s an awesome man. I was so horrified by the end of the story, for I did not know the whole thing until Bones was confronted with me in the room, that I didn’t know whether to laugh in horror or cry, but for sure, I wanted to melt into that floor, in particular with the drama with which he walked into the principal’s office.

He was in all sorts of trouble of course (he and his buddies), no recess for 3 days, lunch in the office for 3 days as well as his snack. The kid is SIX. In the public schools, he would have been expelled. In this school, well, let’s just say he’s on EVERYONE’S radar.

And it’s only September. The 5th week of school. I’m going to have a damn stroke.

The meeting with Son#1’s teachers went well. We’re back on track. Son#2’s teacher evidently “forgot” about what happened on Friday at dismissal, so he’s cool.

And Son#1’s teachers were funny. After hearing the stories of my day, they looked at Son#1 and said, ‘Listen to us. All you have to do is your class work and you ARE GOLDEN. You’ll have a halo. You didn’t punch anyone. You didn’t play with knives. Man, it is EASY for you TO SHINE!!!!” And we laughed. (My other kids were in the other room.)

On my way up to Son#1’s meeting, I saw the teacher that Bones lied to. I was dying inside. “We’re playing with ants” kept running through my head. I apologized to her profusely (the boys had run ahead) and said under my breath in a choked voice, “I’m really not raising Juvenile Delinquents.”

She looked at me and laughed gave me a hug and said, “I have three boys. Today I got called in because one of my sons FORGED MY SIGNATURE on one of my checks so he could put a scholastic book order in. I’m right there with you.” She may have saved Bones’ life. Barely.

And so it goes… I had an enormous migraine and ended up in bed… I’ve heard some damn funny stories from some of my friends who are much older than I, they have boys my age, and how they survived stories that actually make mine pale in comparison. We will live through this and I will not stroke out. And my boys… they keep me so humble.

For as I read in a book someone gave me: God’s Little Devotional Book for Moms,

“A mother is neither cocky, nor proud, because she knows the school principal may call at any minute to report that her child has just driven a motorcycle through the gymnasium.”

Bones would be riding that motorcycle.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:08 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

A Post for the Citizens of the Great State of Texas

If you reside in Texas, in particular East Texas, I suggest you listen up. There’s gonna be a quiz afterwards.

If you live in Galveston and have chosen not to evacuate, may the Lord be with you, because anyone with half a brain won’t be… and you’re probably gonna die.

If you live on the coast within that cone of probability of landfall and have chosen not to evacuate, I suggest you get on-line and look at some pictures of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula. Go HERE and take a look at some stuff… blow by blow on the coast. Click on the individual blocks. If that doesn’t change your mind, look at my advice for those from Galveston in the above paragraph.

For you Texans that live within 50 miles of the coast (maybe more… 50 miles was a SWAG), but are NOT considered coastal, here’s the deal. If it’s a strong 4 or 5 and you have decided not to evac… look up pictures of Ivan or Andrew and that’s what you’re facing folks. You are damn close to being too late to prepare if you have not. Gas, propane, water, food, cash, batteries, flashlights… a safe place to hunker down… get ready folks because you are all in for a ride that is making me reverberate just thinking about it.

There’s a difference between those who have been through hurricanes and those who have not. Those who have are filled with dread tinged with terror for both what they know and what they don’t know. As a pilot of one of the last C-141 squadrons said to me during an interview once, “Flying a C-141 is like being in a flight simulator. You know something’s gonna go wrong. You just don’t know what it is.” Likewise a big hurricane. Something’s gonna happen… something bad… you just don’t know EXACTLY what. Will you lose your roof? Will you lose windows? Will water pour in somewhere? Will a tree fall on your home? Will there be a tornado? When will you lose power? Losing power is the least of your worries.

Those who have never been through one… they are just scared of the unknown. They’ve never heard it, seen it… felt it. Words… words I have written here cannot do it justice. Until you experience, you cannot fathom.

If you are within the close proximity of this bitch of a storm… make a list of things you want to keep and get it in a safe box where it cannot get wet. Insurance papers, family photos, medical records, heirlooms… put them in plastic bags, double bag them, put them in plastic boxes. It is the best you can do. MAKE A LIST of what you do not want destroyed, then act on attempting to preserve it. Do not forget your MEDICATIONS. Think about provisions for them now. If they don’t require refrigeration, keep them with you in a bag. If they do require it, you need to start thinking long term on what you’re going to do.

Now… for you Texans who live in-land, but live in the path. This is for you. If you think because you live 100 - 200 miles away from the coast you are safe… allow me to awaken you from your little cozy dream world. Living that far out, you may not lose your roof, but rest assured, your life has the potential to be miserable.

How far do you think Orlando is from where Hurricane Charley made landfall. Over 100 miles folks and Rita makes Charley look like a toddler. Go on line and surf for pictures of Orlando after Charley. People without power. People lost their homes. They had damage. Trees still fell on homes. There was flooding. Gas stations stayed out of gas and street lights were gone.

Still not convinced? Still think you’re safe? Allow me to rattle your cage a little more. It is a 3 hour drive from New Orleans, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida. 166 miles between the two. My folks, who live in Pensacola lost power for TWO DAYS after Katrina. How far are you from where you think that eye of Rita is coming ashore?

Think about the winds. If you think your home can sustain 70 mph winds without losing power… good on you. If you think you will lose power, then I suggest you prepare for being without power for a long while. MILLIONS of Texans are about to lose power and if you think you’re getting it the next day, think again. Your power infrastructure is about to be decimated throughout the coast and in some big cities. It’s going to be hotter than three hells on Monday without air conditioning. You will have no stove to cook on and if you live on well water, you won’t have water either. YOU BETTER BE PREPARED.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. ‘Tis better to over prepare than not to.

The media did us a justice and an injustice during Katrina. The justice? As we all watched the vast destruction of Biloxi and Gulfport and Pascagoula, as we heard the death toll climb, those who lived in other coastal cities took note. People are evacuating. People aren’t staying. People are acting.

Katrina may have killed hundreds in Louisiana and Mississippi, but she may have saved lives in Texas. The cold hard truth.

But let me tell you of the injustice… nobody has seen the destruction inland… the suffering inland. It pales in comparison to the horrors of the coast, but allow me to assure you my Texas friends, it was still a horror show, just brought down a couple notches. By not seeing what occurred inland, people still don’t get it. Nobody is talking anymore about the number of people living in inland towns of Lousiana and Mississippi who still don’t have power. But they are there. And it is hot. Nobody is showing the trees on their homes or the roofs that came apart. But they are there.

So… here’s your quiz, as promised. Who within the 200 mile radius of this big nasty storm is safe from feeling any wrath?

The answer? Nobody.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

Fighting Insanity

I'm finishing the editing on a post for tomorrow night. Last week... it was the week from hell. When you read the post... it covered MONDAY. Trust me when I say the week got worse, but... unfortunately it is not bloggable as I'm still not laughing. I *am* finally laughing about Monday.

My boys... they will be the end of me. I'm going to end up a humorless old lady. Hopefully. If I don't have a daggum stress induced heart attack instead and leave them to their father to raise.

So I'll end this post with the following: I am REALLY REALLY way OVER Weird Al Yankovich. I think I'd actually pay the man NOT to make 'music' anymore.

And my eldest's favorite internet cartoon right now is THIS one. It goes with that whole potty humor thing.

I know I'll live through this. But they truly are making me insane.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:23 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Shoppin' with Mo

I know I have readers who have enjoyed my Morrigan and Boudicca stories when we get together. Well, this past weekend, Sissy visited my sister in Atlanta and they went to Costco. Go HERE to see their shopping experience.

I’m feeling pretty daggum certain that Sissy didn’t cover the half of it. Being with Morrigan… sometimes it just defies words. Truly.

No doubt in my mind I’d be laughing so hard, I’d have peed all over myself. No doubt.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A NEW Kind of B&B

One of my guilty pleasures is Southern Living magazine. I love pouring over the pages, looking over the beautiful gardens, wondering what it would be like to live in an area with four seasons and having a green thumb to take advantage of it all. I love looking through the recipes, seeing if I can imagine what something must taste like by just going down the ingredients list.

A practical magazine? No. Not really. It is fun. They have decorating tips I ignore since I have no touch for that, but wonder what it would be like to actually have the eye and the knack to make my home look like that. They have floor plans for homes that I like to go through and think, ‘Eck, that room is too small and that one there is not in an efficient spot’. Or likewise hit a floor plan and think, “How fun would it be to live in a house like that?” Wood floors, white moulding, gardens as far as the eye can see.

But then… there was this picture of this woman.. POURING MILK into a tub. A bathtub! (A clawed bathtub, no less, and I LOVE those.) I thought to myself, “What in the heck is she doing wasting a perfectly good pitcher of milk? That serves an entire breafkast in this house!” (Although truth be known, I've never put milk in a pitcher. I just set the milk jug on the table. Classless wench that I am.)

Then the article said something about milk being good for the skin and inferred she was going to BATHE in it.

Hunh. Maybe she can just add some Fruit Loops to that and kill two birds with one stone. It could be the new rage. Bathe and Breakfast.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Jack over at Random Fate had a post today on Context. How our perceptions have changed since 9/11… and they effect us. They are OUR perceptions.

From his post:

We need to remember that even within our own nation there are many people who do NOT view events within the same context that we have.

In my mind, I took his post and extrapolated that to what it is like here in South Florida. I don’t speak for everyone. I speak for me. My OWN perceptions. I am a long range planner, always concerned about things like getting my kids through college, my retirement, trying to prepare for potential obstacles and problems. That is ME, but… that is also many I know.

Our perceptions of every day life are completely changed. We no longer look at the future the same. Whereas the average American it is a given that they’ll get up, get the kids to school, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed… repeat…, that is not how we view our lives down here.

We go to bed watching the weather channel. We know it is possible our kids may miss some school the next week when we see a weather mass. We may have to miss work. We’ll miss pay. It is a given that our offices will be closed, that gas will not be available and that food average Americans take for granted will be scarce. We keep stockpiles of food and necessities.

We have to watch what we spend as we can go into a serious financial tailspin… not the fault of a bad decision, a poor investment, or poor financial planning for the month, but by the fault of our living where we live.

It used to be just Floridians… last year that was the thought. Before that, we didn’t live this way. But until Katrina, it was just a Florida thought. It has expanded to the Gulf Coast now. Parts of Texas may start to feel this way after this week as Rita makes her way.

Our perceptions of how we live our day to day lives, has totally changed.

But the rest of America's... has not.

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

September 19, 2005

Rodents in a Vehicle, but NOT Mine!

Two years ago in October, I had a rat infest my car. I think y'all remember that. I posted six posts... I, II, III, IV, and V and the Conclusion.

Now, when this happened, it was like I had leprosy to other Moms. Surely something had to be wrong with me and how I kept my vehicle that I had a RAT in my van. It was embarrassing. I'd tell people, "Really, there was NO food in my car other than that small bag of corn chex." Sure, they would nod, as if trying to appease me.

Mothers all over the county were telling their young, "Do not leave food in our car or we'll get rats!" As if this entire episode were truly my fault.

And it wasn't. We were having an addition put on the house, our water system got moved as well as all the plantings, it started to rain like hell that week, and the rat found itself displaced and my garage with the warm engine, was as good a place as any to nest.

Even my own spouse would look at me accusingly, although he knew better than to say anything. Imagine my smugness when a few months later he opened the hood to his pride and joy, his sports car, and was cleaning the engine, when he found a rats' nest.

To say I was throwing real zingers at him about it for DAYS or ANYTIME he washed his car, would be a serious understatement.

Since then, I have had people come up to me and say, "I had a rat in my car! He lived in my air conditioner!" Or "So and So had a rat die IN THEIR CAR" Eegads. My worst fear really was that daggum rat dying in my dashboard. Blech.

So... I watch with great interest as my newest blog sister Sarah of That's Not Very Nice, fights with mice... in her truck. HERE and HERE. My bets on Sarah, but I'm also betting those damn mice give her a run for her money. And here's to hoping it's truly mice and not a big 9 inch rat... that for the record will probably be a 2 FOOT rat in about 10 years. It's that whole fish story thing.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Ahoy There!

Today be talk like a Pirate Day! Argh! And as good fortune would have it, Ogre had a pirate speak translator so I could translate this entire post into pirate speak!

Go on over t’ Ogre’s, smartly. His ENTIRE blog be written in Pirate today.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Just a Couple Hurricane Questions for my Readers

I leave on a weekend ‘vacation’ with Ophelia and come back to frickin’ Rita. I missed the P in there somewhere. Dade and Broward County schools are closed tomorrow due to Rita.

This brings to mind a couple questions. The first is… when I saw Rita last night my first thought was ‘F--- Me.’ So here’s the question. Is this only a response of those of us who live throughout the Gulf Coast and Florida? Or does everyone in the US feel this way? I’m thinking it’s a regional thought.

And this next question is more convoluted. Over at Jeff Master’s last night he had this:

The Keys take a full 72 hours to evacuate, and now that New Orleans has been taken out by Katrina, the Keys represent the number one most vulnerable area in the U.S. for serious loss of life from a hurricane strike.

Ready for my question? If New Orleans WAS the #1 most vulnerable area in the US for serious loss of life from a hurricane strike, and the Keys WAS #2 (now #1), WHO was the old #3? HMMM? Folks who live on a damn peninsula next to a frickin’ Lake that has an old damn built circa 1930 suffering from serious erosion and requiring $230 million to shore up… money not in the coiffeurs? (read that real fast) Just wonderin’…

Now, I’m not allowed to link to our local paper., but I can’t tell you that you can’t use google to find the article I am talking about. They did a big article yesterday on what could potentially happen if a Katrina hit S. Florida, taking on Lake O. I know, my faithful readers are saying, “Bou, you have been harping on this for over a year already!” But, my friends, I now have in print, what I have been concerned about. Oh yes, it is not good news. Of course we won’t have 20 foot flooding as we don’t live in a bowl, BUT there will be VAST devastation. VAST. So… I cannot link it, but I can’t prevent you from googling palm beach post breach dike Katrina. And I can’t prevent you from clicking on anything that had a title remotely close to ‘if a Katrina hit here’. Just sayin’…

There are even graphics, if you have adobe… and in one of those scenarios, even I, who live out west, find my home under water or having water lapping at my door.

Love that. LOOOOOVE it.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:45 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

This Weekend Can Be Summed Up in 4 Words.

Hotter than three hells. Holy crap is it still hot down here. Sure, we’re cooling off at night. My little weather Pixie chickie girl is showing it to be 88 degrees as of 9:00, but this afternoon at 4:00, it was still 96 degrees in Orlando. We were so way beyond Mosty Toasty, that as we got into the car I looked at my Better Half and said, “I don’t even want to wash my clothes. I just want to burn them.” I call it Disney grunge. Sweat and grime from the heat combined with rubbing elbows with other sweaty grungy vacationing citizens… combined with an occasional spray of highly chlorinated Disney water should one choose to partake in rides such as Splash Mountain.

We stayed at the brand new Nickelodeon Hotel, owned by Holiday Inn. Let me say… if anyone is ever looking for a romantic getaway, this would NOT be the spot. We arrived at 5:30 and there was a ½ hour wait to check in. Scads of children and mini-vans as far as the eye could see.

The entire place is orange (Nick colors) with slime green as a highlight. Now, let me tell you, through college in the summers I waited tables. With the exception of the Chinese restaurant I worked in, I typically worked such classy places as Shoney’s and steakhouses. My first job was at a place called Quincey’s Family Steakhouse. It was owned by Spartan Foods… a company that also owns Hardees. One day they had a big wig manager come in and explain something about colors. It appears that some colors are more inviting… making people want to stay. Other colors make people want to eat and run. Orange would be one of those colors.

So, as we are standing in line to check in, and I am surrounded by screaming kids (not mine) and orange and bright colors… I had this urge to flee.

The rooms were decorated the same. I’m sorry, but bright orange rooms are unsettling. Add in the huge Sponge Bob painted on one of the rooms, yours truly had requested a Sponge Bob room, and you know you’re in for a high energy weekend.

I was not disappointed.

I think the first highlight was when I decided to do Magic Kingdom with my family before going to my symposium. Now, keep in mind, I had to get to my meeting, change clothes, and present to about 100 women, all of whom REALLY wanted to hear what I had to say. Trust me on this. They were there VOLUNTARILY. But, I wanted to spend as much time with my family as I could, so I packed my suit and cute little strappy shoes that require NO HOSE, in a garment bag, along with a brush and pressed powder. I figured if I had my make up done in advance, doing MK in the morning, I’d just need a bit of powder to take off the shine before my talk. I figured no major sweating early in the morning, pack light, no extra make-up I was set.

Oh how foolish I was… for… as we walk in the gates the first thing out of my eldest’s mouth was, “Splash Mountain!” If you recall, I’m a big roller coaster girl and Son#1 LOVES to go on roller coasters with me. I’m cool with getting wet, and going fast and crazy and sitting up front. My husband, realized if *I* sat up front, I’d get drenched, so he did the chivalrous thing and said, “I’ll sit up front with you. Your Mom doesn’t need to get wet before her meeting.”

So… they sat in the first row and I sat in the 2nd. And as we barreled down to the inevitable enormous plunge, my husband quickly ducked in his head as low as it would go… and the big frickin’ wave, came over the top and hit me instead. I would say 90% of my make up had to be gone. Had to be. Even though I too had ducked, but not quite low enough. Reflexes.

That was a highlight.

OH! And yet another highlight. I had not the time to eat lunch, so when I got back to the MK after my lecture, at 5:00, I had a massive headache coming on. I get headaches all the time, so I grabbed an Advil, realizing the only thing I had to take it with was Son#2’s slushy. I hate them, but took a sip. Imagine my revulsion when I called my Mom during this MK break (Son#1 and my husband were on Space Mountain) and I heard Son#2 say, “I Love these icy slushy drinks! I love to slurp the icy drink in my mouth, let it melt, then spit it back in.”

I thought I’d puke.

Oh there’s more… so much more… but for now, some pictures.

This is Son#2 and Bones and their icy slushy drink of chemical blue and coke. Blech. Obviously Bones was rooting for the Bucs for Tammi.


This is my Viking, Son#1, along with Son#2 and Bones… who are drinking icy slushy drinks AGAIN. Son#1 and I had ice cream instead. Who in their right mind would turn down a Premium Mickey Bar for a slushy? He and I don’t get it.


Oh and as we were walking down the street a Disney worker was teasing Son#1 about being a Viking and said to me, “Oh! You just picked up a stray Viking?” I laughed and said, “Oh yeah. My Italian son looks so Nordic!” There really is nothing Nordic looking about any of us… but I decided after going through the Norwegian tour/ride… I really really want to visit that country. In the summer.

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

One man's fish is another man's poisson.

There’s humor in everything, you just have to look for it and put it in perspective once you find it. Here’s a quote from my morning paper concerning looters in NOLA:

“They took everything--- All the electronics, the food, the bikes,” said John Stonaker, a Wal-Mart security officer. “People left their old clothes on the floor when they took new ones. The only thing left are the country-and-western CDs. You can still get a Shania Twain album.”

Posted by TGOO at 07:55 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 17, 2005

Put up or shut up

Today I planted my butt in front of my big screen and pigged out on college football. There were some good games, close games; two that I watched went into overtime. I couldn’t help but remember that one year ago tonight we had just watched Ivan pass through and devastate Pensacola. I couldn’t help but think of the folks to the west of us in Mississippi who are living now like we lived last year.

Katrina traveled up through almost the entire state. Winds at Meridian were clocked in excess of 100 MPH. The small rural towns of that state suffered unimaginable damage from Katrina. Who were the first responders to their tragedy? Churches from adjacent neighborhoods and from surrounding states rounded up volunteers and rolled in to provide succor to these folks and to help them survive. I imagine by now that FEMA has probably arrived and set up stations, but it was the church volunteers who were there first without any governmental persuasion.

The churches throughout the rural areas of our country comprise the social and moral fabric of the communities. Like me, you can be a non-participant in organized religion and still recognize the roll played by these congregations. What I haven’t heard of is assistance like this:

The ACLU setting up a feeding line.
The NAACP doing any work whatsoever.
People for the American Way helping in the shelters.
Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.

You get my point. If you’re gonna talk the talk then we expect you to walk the walk. Otherwise, shut up and take notes from the people who care and are involved in American life.

Posted by TGOO at 10:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 16, 2005

Just a spin around the block

Ah, the keys to the blog, and Boudicca in Ratville with the Rolling Ball of Noise. Life is good!
Let me post some food for thought. I watched LBJ sow the seeds for the Great Society in 1964 from his throne in the White House. Many of you were mere babes or not even thought of at that time. But now all of us have seen the fruits of the Great Society in all its ugliness, warts and all. The Great Society created the jobless, welfare-dependant, poverty stricken masses we saw being evacuated from NOLA, after their corrupt local and state governments let them down. Stories from relief volunteers in Texas are beginning to circulate, and they dampen the spirit of giving that overwhelmed us all. We have seen close up the results of a government meddling in the lives of its citizens at the grass roots level.

Now, we’re about to experience the largest give-away of public funds in the history of mankind, to rebuild a city that was more like a third world country than an American city. One of my old shipmates described it as a banana republic, without the bananas. There was crime, poverty, filth and corruption. You’ve all seen it now, not just those of us who visited there. The estimated $100 BILLION of our tax money the feds are planning to spend to rebuild the place should instead be spent on dump trucks and fill dirt to fill it to the brim, right up to the tops of the levies that hold out the waters from Lake Ponchatrain and the Mississippi. But that won’t happen, the politicians will try their best to put it back together and stuff all those escaped residents back in there.

Stop the train! I want to get off!

Posted by TGOO at 05:54 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

TGOO has the Keys

I have a small talk I have to give at a conference tomorrow, so while I do my share, my Better Half will be with the kids at the land of the Rich Rat. If I have to go to that hell hole called Orlando, I’m taking them with me.

So I am blogging early as I leave this afternoon and return home Sunday evening.

The only real thing I dread, other than the traffic, the expense, the heat, and the crappy food we’ll eat all weekend is… the fact I have to wear panty hose. Blech. It’s required I wear a suit with skirt to speak to the masses. I am hoping to avoid it by finding some strappy shoes at the bottom of my closet. They would reside there since I am a barefoot kinda gal and if forced to wear shoes I wear sandals or running shoes. Anything that smacks of ‘dress up’ is relegated to the back corner of my closet somewhere. After 12 years in the corporate world, I’m over this suits, hose and high heels thing. Way the hell over it.

AND, TGOO has keys to the blog. You NEVER KNOW what you’ll get when TGOO is here.

Posted by Boudicca at 01:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I'm #1!

I was checking my sitemeter the other day and found I am #1 on some search engines for some really weird stuff. And I got a screen shot! I listened to my blog father, Harvey, always saying, “get a screen shot!”

Yes folks, I am the #1 Google Search for: Zombie Fighting Lawnmower. OK, I will attest to the fact I have been like a Zombie before, a state induced by chronic lack of sleep after my 3rd born in 4 years. Typically though, I never referred to myself as a Zombie, but rather I preferred the term ‘zombaloid’. And… I don’t fight with lawnmowers. I’m married. That’s HIS job. One of the benies that came out when we divvied up household responsibility. He got the John Deere and I got ALL inside appliances.

zombie search.GIF

I am also #1 for ‘Don’t forget Mississippi’. Allow me to rant here for a minute. *deep breath* Why in the hell is a piss ant little blog like MINE #1 for ‘don’t forget Mississippi’? Why have none of the other big blogs picked this up and posted on it? Mississippi… they got destroyed during this damn hurricane and all anyone wants to do is talk about frickin’ New Orleans. First it was NOLA and how it was filling up and their people were dying. The horror of it all. I agree, it was horrible and tragic... and actually there aren't any real words to describe how frickin' AWFUL it was. But now, there is so much political wrangling on whose frickin’ FAULT it is that those folks in Mississippi who LOST EVERYTHING and are behaving with the utmost civility, are STILL BEING IGNORED! That pisses me off. Can you tell? Yeah, that really frickin’ pisses me off.

And one more thing while I’m on my damn rant, I don’t want one DAMN dime of my tax money to be spent on rebuilding New Orleans. Not one. If the State of Louisiana wants to have that city below sea level rebuilt, let THEM pay for it. The State of Lousiana has one of the most corrupt histories that I can remember. And it’s not too far back folks… remember when Edwards and Duke, slugged it out for GOVENOR of that state? Governor. A criminal and the former grand knight of the KKK. That’s just frickin’ Lovely. Don’t even get me started on the vast corruption that has been prevalent from the beginning of time in NOLA. Don’t even get me started on that.

I don’t want them touching one damn dime of my money to build their city. Let that town sleep with the fish. I want my money to go to Mississippi and the outlying towns of NOLA.

Off that rant.


I am also #1 for Pee Jello, which references my all time favorite post. I just have to wonder though why people Google for Pee Jello. Blech.


Posted by Boudicca at 01:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

What's French for Vomitorium?

Jack over at Random Fate has THIS very funny post about what he has found French words to REALLY mean, as opposed to what they seem like they MIGHT mean. (Jack is an American currently working and residing in France.) Bar Americain. I just would never have thought it. I figured it was a bar that served Coors, Michelob and Bud. Wrong.

By the way, if you’ve not been to Jack’s lately, he’s redone his site. Although I think the black background with white lettering is more his personality, the white background with black lettering is much easier on my aging eyes.

So his post reminded me… of my French classes. I took 5 years of French, 4 in high school and 1 in college. My high school French teacher was very very good.

There are certain things I remember, for instance, we had to memorize little dialogues. I was STUNNED when I was watching TV one night and two characters were quoting this same dialogue! I don’t know if any of y’all took French, but if you did, did you have to memorize this?

“Michel, Anne, vous travaillez?”
“Non, nous regardons la television, pour quoi?”
“Les DuPonts arrive en dans une heure.”

I think I got the spelling right. No spell check in French.

Anyway, there are some things I distinctly remember, besides all the curse words from high school French. She actually taught us this. One is that you never say, “I AM cold” or “I AM hot” as this actually refers to your sexual state of arousal, as in, “I am frigid” or “I am horny”. Yeah, she told us that.

And you never say the equivalent of “I am full” as it means, “I am pregnant”.

But the best was, I learned how to conjugate To Vomit, which probably comes in handy if you’re a French Mom with a stomach virus running through the family. There’s nothing quite like being able to say in French: I vomit, you(singular) vomit, he/she vomits, we vomit, you(plural) vomit, they (he/she) vomit.

Actually, that probably came in handy in college… during one of those crazy college French class parties I attended… but I can’t remember. I was too drunk.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Cubs, Camping, and Vertigo

I signed up for our first camping trip for Cub Scouts yesterday. There is still some question as to whether my Better Half will be attending as he may be lecturing that weekend, but I’m prepared to do this by myself… three boys in tow. Son#1 and I will be practicing tent set up soon, in the backyard. I need to make sure I can do this without having to rely on anyone extensively.

This is a cool campsite, located in Sebring, Florida, called Highlands Hammock. Every site has water and power. There are REAL bathrooms (a must) and showers (a big damn bonus) as this is a State Park. I reserved a site close enough to the bathrooms where we can get there, but far enough away that we don’t have to hear or smell them.

My only issue is that mine is a ‘back in’ site. As in… you park your vehicle at your site, but you have to back it in. I can’t do it. Well, I guess I can in a squeeze, but really, not really. I can’t parallel park and I can’t back cars into spots. I get vertigo just thinking about it.

As good fortune would have it, one of our friends is going with his sons and he’s a former Marine F/A-18 pilot. I figure if he can land a damn jet on a postage stamp, he can surely back my mini-van into my camp site. So, in the event my spouse cannot attend (he can do it if he’s there, he can fit my van anywhere), I’m putting ‘backing Bou’s Van into her Camp Site spot’ on our friend’s own personal ‘things to do’ list. I’m sure he’ll love that.

We had our first Pack meeting yesterday. One of my cubs… He made me a card… handmade… a card… thanking me for being his Den Mother. I could not thank him enough. I was so touched. I’ve got a good group of boys in my den. I’m very excited about the chaos and confusion the 7 of us can create… with me leading the way!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:14 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Drug Addicted Gypsies Would Do No Worse

It’s been a tough week. It’s not bloggable yet as I’m still not really laughing. I’ve written it and saved it, just a small taste of this week, but until I can laugh, it’s not coming out of its Word folder.

Just to give you an idea, I said to someone, ‘I’m trying to keep this in perspective. He hasn’t robbed a convenience store and he didn’t get any girls pregnant’.

The reply, of someone who knows my son, said, “That’s because… he’s SIX!”

Yeah, not a good week.

I have a plaque someone gave me and it states, “Heaven holds a special place for a mother of three sons.” Yeah, well, as of this week, I think my special place must be golden.

As I was sitting in the principal’s office (oh yes my friends, I managed to avoid that office for 13 years of my own schooling and 5 years of my other two sons’, but Bones MADE SURE I had a visit in the 5th week of First Grade) the principal himself the father of FIVE boys, I said to him, “This is not right. There was supposed to be a girl in this mix.” His reply to me was “Ahhhh, Mrs. L, they all have their problems. You know what they say about girls, they just harass each other until they get an eating disorder.”


It’s humbling. It truly is. To have my two eldest boys who are studious, behave, and never truly test the limits… and then to have this third that is just oh so different… it is truly humbling. People have said to me, “He was put here for a reason”. Yeah, well, if it was to humble me, I’m done. I was humbled when he was in Pre-K 4, then it was hammered home to me while he was in Kindergarten, and anything afterwards is just frickin’ overkill. I want to scream at my universe, “I GET THE MESSAGE! ENOUGH ALREADY!”

See, before I had Son#3, I would hear all these stories about these ‘other’ boys in the eldest two’s classes. Always in some sort of trouble, these boys were. I would think to myself, “Geezoweez, what are these mothers doing?”

Now? I have decided that I just essentially provide food and shelter and wheels. My input is really not that important in the big scheme. The eldest two could be born to drug addicted gypsies and they’d still be the way they are. Likewise, Bones could be born to the best parents IN THE WORLD (of which I am not) and he would still be like he is.

That’s my take this week. We’ll see how it goes next week. I take things a day at a time. One.Day.At.A.Time.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:10 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

HB, Mr. B.E.!

I don't typically post the day before someone's birthday. I do it the night of. But... for Harvey, an exception made as he has a gift coming to him.

In THIS post he requested the following:

I want pictures of partially-to-completely nude human female breasts.

Yours, your friend's, your sister's, your mom's - whatever.

Ummm. OK. It's going to have to be 'whatever'. I don't post my face... let alone... 'my white meat'. So... his gift is in my extended entry. Safe for work, kinda sorta, and...

Happy Birthday, Harvey. As of today, I am again, only 1 year older than you!


Posted by Boudicca at 11:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mama Bear and her Cubs

I had my first Den meeting today with ‘my cubs’. Bear cubs. I had the whole thing planned out, trying to think like the 8 year old boy I’ve never been. I figured I’d let them run outside on the field and the playground for 10 minutes after I gave them snack. They needed to burn off some of that pent up energy before we had our meeting.

As I gave them their snacks, one really cute little boy named Bobby said to me, “You know what? Josh said if you put a fire under a snail, it’ll squeal!”


I replied, “You know what? If you cook up that snail and serve it with garlic butter, it’s called Escargot!”

All the boys then started yelling, “ewwww!” and I replied, “It is true. This is a food originated in France. Escargot is French for snail.”

And as the little boy Josh walked away from me, I heard him mutter under his breath, “The French eat *Frog* legs.”

Heh. No kidding.

I finally gather up my cubs and get them in the class where we made our project called ‘wrestling men’. Very simple. Two clothespins with faces drawn on each side…,

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placed back to back…,

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twisted together with a rubber band…,

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the rubber band is then twirled around and the ‘men’ are placed back on the table to see which one ends up on top after the pins have flopped about. (Son#1 demonstrates with it in mid air as 2nd picture shows you what I kept getting when I tried to demonstrate them ‘in action’.)

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I’m checking on the boys as they’re drawing clothes and faces on their people. One little boy says, “I’m going to make mine a girl.” My ears perk.

I slowly make my way to the table as he is scribbling furiously. Bobby looks up at me and says, “Don’t worry Mrs.L, she’s not naked anymore. He put a bathing suit on her!”

I find something innocent and fun for them to make, ‘wrestling men’ and I get a kid making a boy and girl wrestling? And one of them… naked at one point?!!! Ack!

We made trail mix and discussed cowboys and what types of food you take when you go camping, you know… because I’m such an expert on camping. *rolling my eyes* Next month we’re making… Beef Jerky!!! The boys are excited about that one.

It was later in the evening when I received a call from our Pack Leader… I found myself saying to him, “My cubs…” Get that? MY CUBS. I’ve already laid ownership upon them. They are mine. I know now I’ve been hooked in and I have 3 more years to go. My cubs. My boys. They’re mine.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

All Hands and Feet

This is the time of year my kids start to play outside again in the early evening. This is the time of year where we’re fortunate and it’s only in the 80s at night. I’m writing this at 7:35PM EST, and my little weather Pixie is showing it to be 88 degrees. Nice cool nights…

You see, whereas the entire country was screaming how their city was the hottest this summer, and I was not disagreeing with how daggum hot it was getting all over the USA, at night, the northern cities cool. At night, at the end of this peninsula, we do not. If we hit 105 during the day, we were 95 at night. Sweltering 24/7, so as mid-September is here, here also is the break in the heat.

Which means… baseball. After dinner my boys go out and throw the ball with their Dad, if they haven’t opted to ride bikes instead. Every night, same routine, we eat dinner, I clean the kitchen and they go throw the baseball around.

It has been 4 months since they’ve done this… the heat was so intense from the end of May until now. And the first words uttered out of my eldest son’s mouth, as he put his glove on was, “Daaaaaaad, I need a new gloooooove. This one’s toooooo small.”

This summer, my eldest boy grew 1.5 inches, gained 5 pounds and his feet… increased THREE shoe sizes. The smallest kid in his class, the kid wears a size 5 shoe… he does NOT have the smallest foot. I just never thought to extrapolate to what had probably occurred to his hands.

So this new glove he got for Christmas, a mere 9 months ago, is already WAY too small. We’ll be going glove shopping soon.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

Peas In a Pod?

There is a moral to this story.

In July, I told my Better Half the only thing I wanted for my birthday was an Ipod. I figured it would make running easier, since as I was trying to increase my speed, my walkman would bounce too much causing my CD to skip. I can’t run without music. So I figured an Ipod would remedy this situation, plus I could listen to anything I wanted to, instead of being stuck with the one CD.

We were in the mall one day and I stopped by the Apple store with him. As the kids were playing at the computers, I looked at the Ipods and the following conversation ensued.

Me: Hunhead, I think this is it. I like the Ipod mini, but not the 4 gig, I’d prefer the 6. The 4 is too small, but I think the 6 is just right.

Him: Well, why don’t I get you the regular Ipod. For just $50 more you can have 20 gig.

Me: I don’t own 20 gig of music… that would be a waste.

Him: Yeah, but it’s a MUCH better deal.

Me: I could NEVER listen TO 20 gig of music…

Him: It’s just a better deal. Its only $50 more and you get so much more for your money.

Me (realizing that this is not about me, but about what HE wanted to get me, I acquiesce): Fine. I don’t care. Just promise me if you decide to change your mind and get me the mini, that you don’t get pink or green. I don’t want a color… silver or white is what I want. And should you forget, just don’t forget, DON’T GET ME PINK. I don’t want anything smacking of girly girl.

So the days and months go by and my birthday arrives and I get what I listed in THIS post, but from MY SISTER I get an Ipod mini, in silver, with the arm band that will hold it while I run. Oh and it’s inscribed!

My Better Half explains to me that she had called him in early August and said that she was going to get me an Ipod mini. And the following conversation ensued, although I was not there, I’m probably taking some liberties as I’ve heard this from two sources, but still 2nd hand.

BH: You can’t get her an Ipod! That’s the ONLY thing she asked for!

Morrigan: She asked for one?! Well, I had already thought of it, so I’m getting her one.

BH: Yes! She asked for a mini, but don’t get her a mini. Get her a regular Ipod, for $50 more you get 20 gig.

Morrigan: Do you not know your wife? Your wife is ALL ABOUT functionality. She would want an Ipod mini, 6 gig. 4 gig would be too small and 20 gig would be too large.

BH: So you’re getting her a mini? OK, what color?

Morrigan: YES I am getting her a mini. It’s easier for her to run with, so I’m getting her the armband too. And I’m getting her no color. My sister, your wife, wouldn’t want a color. She’d want silver or white.

Now I’m hearing this story and laughing my ass off. My husband and I have been married for 14 years this November, and we’ve been together for over 16 years. But nothing beats a sister to know how to get in your head.

So men, this is the moral of the story. If your significant other has a sister they are close to or if she has a best friend for many many years, then when gift giving, they can be a REAL asset to you. Seriously… let them help you. Chances are they can tell you exactly what your girl likes or needs. Down to the color. It works.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

It Still Feels Like Just Yesterday

Many are posting today about 9/11. Go through the blogosphere and you will find pictures, tributes… posts far better than I can provide. I wasn’t going to post anything on it… I find it all so painful, but felt guilty if I didn’t, as if by not posting on it was a failure to recognize that it did happen. Last year I posted on where I was when I heard... and who I was with... Son#2.

All of us in South Florida have ties to NYC. There appears to be a corridor between the two parts of the country. I think that of the people who are not native Floridians, those who live here, probably 80% of them came from NY or NJ. It is a guess, but I assure you, probably not a bad one.

Everyone either knows someone who died on 9/11 or knows someone who did. I am no exception. I had a bridesmaid in the first tower hit. She got out. Luck? Fate? Not her time? I do not know. I do know that many odd things happened to her that day, odd things that when people hear the story, their ears perk up. But that is not my story to blog. But every year on 9/11 I remember her story.

The little boy who I call Son#4, his Mom is one of my dearest friends. Her oldest brother lives in Jersey and his best friend died in the towers that day. Her brother is now the man that steps in for his best friend when his best friend’s children need a man to attend… need a man to support them. There are many people in that area, acting as a surrogate to children who lost a parent or perhaps both parents.

I know a man who is a fisherman, who watched it from the waters from his day of work. I know a man that was in a business meeting and watched it occur, knowing full well his best friend was in one of those towers... his friend died We all know someone who knew someone in NYC. I can go on and on with the stories as I know many who knew people in those towers. It is difficult for me to breathe at times when I think of the firefighters, the policemen… the people trapped in the towers.

It is the day that my generation lost its innocence in this country. It is a day that is gut wrenching every year. It is the week… I turned off the news. Unless it is the weather or snippets here or there… it has been 4 years since I’ve watched the news. It is one thing to read it… it is yet another to watch it either in progress or over and over. It is something I have found, I cannot cope with.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Noise and Motion

Yesterday, Bones was bouncing off the walls… nothing new. It was making me nuts. My patience is thin with him and there are times that I think I will surely snap and lose all control. Deep breaths usually work… but finally I said to my husband yesterday, “Maybe he really does have some form of ADD.”

I don’t know. It’s just amazing how he perpetually pings off the walls.

I monitor his sugar intake. For breakfast its bagel and cream cheese or eggs. His snack at school is fruit. For lunch he gets a sandwich of turkey and chips, more fruit rounds it out. He only gets water. My kids very rarely get anything but water or milk.

It’s just him. Perpetual motion.

And then… I get something like this morning. He crawled in my bed last night, sleeping between my Better Half and I. He unfortunately sleeps like I do, tossing and turning all night long, although I toss and turn as I actually ache in my sleep and have to move to keep from getting stiff.

We awakened this morning and he spooned his little body into mine, cuddling. I wrapped my arms around his little body, inhaling the scent of my offspring. He smells so sweet in the morning. We laid there for a good 15 minutes. He didn’t want to stir; he was so calm. I didn’t want the day to begin, so I let him just lie in my bed and slowly awaken. His eyes were open. He didn’t move, just quietly took in the morning.

Then… like a bolt of lightning, he was up and running to see what his brothers were doing. He didn’t slow down again until bedtime this evening. He’s like this tiny tornado of noise and motion and he absolutely… exhausts… me.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

Scout Training... I've Been Deemed Trainable

I don’t know how you spent your day, but my entire Saturday was eaten up by a requirement for Boy Scout training. I was oh so not happy. From 9-4 I was told, with a break for lunch, I was to be trained in the morning in ‘Scout Essentials’ with an hour for ‘Youth Protection’. After our break for lunch, I was to meet with trainers on how to run meetings for Bear Cubs. That would be 3rd graders.

The first half of the meeting, this Scout Essentials, damn near bored me to tears, but I needed to be there, and I understood. However, I will say, there were two trainers there that were so extroverted, I was truly uncomfortable.

I sat in the middle of the room, way off to one side. Now that I have a new prescription for my glasses, I no longer feel the need to sit up front. I ended up sitting next to a woman who was really really into scouting. How did I know that? She had TATTOOS of bear claws ON.HER.FACE. She had tattoos of all things Indian and scouting all over her body. She was a very cool lady and I enjoyed talking to her. I just wondered what possessed her to get the bear claws on her face.

But, the one trainer. Holy crap. Half way through her schpiel as she zinged candy at people as they called out answers, I’m talking “flying missiles potentially take out an eye” poor aim, I wanted to stand up and scream at her, “THEY MAKE DRUGS FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU NOW, GIRL! I THINK IT’S CALLED… RITALIN! NEXT TIME YOU TRAIN, DO US ALL A DAMN FAVOR AND STAY AWAY FROM THE CAFFEINE AND THE DOUGHNUTS!!!” She had so much energy, I swear on the souls of my sweet boys, that she reverberated when she was standing still.

She was so extroverted… that I was conflicted; I didn’t know whether my soul was trying to crawl out of my skin to get away or whether I should just crawl up into a ball and pray she would vanish. I chose to sit very quietly, trying to blend into my cushy black leather chair, arms folded tightly across my chest (it was cold in there anyway) and definitely giving off the aura of ‘do not approach me’.

She didn’t. I didn’t smile, I just listened. There were people there definitely feeding off her, but I just wanted her to back the hell off. Trust me, nobody slept, but damn, she scared the crap out of me. A good sedative would be her friend.

Then we had to go into this Youth Protection section. Youth Protection. Over an hour. Where I learned about looking for children who are victims of sexual predators, neglect and physical abuse. I spent the time mired in a swirl of complete revulsion and horror.

Let me make this perfectly clear… I tolerate NO abuse. I think sexual predators of children should be eliminated from the face of this earth. Do not pass go, do not collect $200… BAM! Shot on sight.

Should I find that any of the boys that are under my care are victims of any of this… I promise you, it will be a bad day for those who have perpetrated this act. I will make it my mission in life to make their lives a living hell until the day they die… or I do. That is a promise.

That said… I know the families of these boys. I have good kids in my den and they come from very good families.

It just makes me sick that our society has gotten to the point where last week I was sent home a notice informing me that all children in our school would be taught about inappropriate behavior from adults and I could ‘opt out’ if I wanted for my kids. I did not. And that I had to sit though 90 minutes of ‘Youth Protection’. It makes me angry.

OK… then the last half… it was good stuff, but once again… man, there are just some of us that don’t want to participate. We just want to absorb. I don’t want ‘rewards’ for asking questions. I just want to ask my question and get an answer. “Just the Facts M’am”.

Every time you asked a question, one of the trainers would hand you tickets. I guess there was some reward stuff at the end if you had the most tickets, but I managed to escape before finding out.

My goal? To accrue none. I wanted nothing to do with it. Just tell me what I wanted to know. Finally though, I needed some serious clarification on awards and merits and achievements for my boys, but I found myself actually NOT wanting to ask because of this frickin’ reward system thing.

When I asked my question, they went to hand me the tickets and I said, “I don’t need tickets. I just need my question answered.” At the very end, another woman said the same thing. Their reply to her was, “Please humor us.” For me, it was just nice to know I wasn’t the only one who just wanted answers and to understand. These two den mothers who were training us were great, very helpful, and made me realize that I will be woefully inadequate compared to how they handled their dens. These were some amazingly creative women very much into helping the boys get where they needed to be.

I on the other hand consider this an enormous obligation… a task for which I will check boxes. “Meeting in September? Check. Achievements met? Check. Go see it? Check.”

And… I won’t be wearing those frickin’ socks and shorts. NO.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

A Visit to Italy is in Order

We have a place in our downtown area called City Place. There are fountains and shops and restaurants. Tonight we went down there for pizza. My husband knows the gentleman who owns the place. No big surprise as sometimes it seems he knows half the owners of the pizzerias in the North County.

The owner is an immigrant from Italy, complete with thick Italian accent. He’s a super nice guy, my husband’s age. His entire wait staff, all men, all have the heavy Italian accents. They’re extraordinarily good looking men and I have yet to understand why that place is not just filled up with women. Attentive too… I had not one waiter that came to our table that didn’t check personally on me and make direct eye contact. Not one.

If I were a single woman, I’m telling you now, that’s the place I would hang. Then again… I obviously have a thing for Italian men…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The End is Near...

I don’t remember how I felt in 5th grade, I don’t think. I remember what books I was reading; I remember what I learned in Math, but I don't remember how I felt emotionally. I think it must be an age of confusion.

Tonight, we went out for pizza and as we were walking around the shops, I found my 10 ½ year old do a double take to a young group of girls. They looked to be about 14.


Not 5 minutes later, we were further down the street, his younger brothers hippety skippety next to their father, and he slowly slides his hand inside mine… holding my hand the rest of the way to the car. It always makes my heart warm when he does this. He’ll still crawl up in my lap in the evenings, put his head on my chest and watch TV.

I know, however, it is coming to an end soon. Every time he takes my hand I wonder, “Is this the last?”

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Katrinas Kidz

The push for school supplies via KatrinasKidz has really taken off. Boxes have been mailed to Pensacola, Florida and Texas. In addition, locally supplies have been sent to 3 elementary schools and 1 high school.

Supplies are being sorted and boxed for Monday's shipment to three more schools, one each elementary, middle and high school.

E-mails have been formally sent out to various school districts and they are just now getting a handle on how many students they are receiving. Kids started to trickle in this week, but I think next week the school districts will have a much better idea what their real headcount is going to be.

Unfortunately... there appear to be no more schools in Mississippi in 'the zone'. They're gone or destroyed.

Once again, if you are receiving students into your school district, please let them know what is going on down here. From what I read in the news, schools from Michigan to Utah to Idaho are receiving students from the evacuation areas. We'd like to help.

Tomorrow, Saturday, there is a one time drop off in Broward County and there is another drop off site in Miami. Take a look at the website under Donation Sites for more details.

KatrinasKidz- Getting Katrina's Kids back to school.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gifts from my Boys

Yesterday I was told by my boys to please go answer e-mail and write as they wanted the kitchen to themselves. They wanted to make my birthday cards. So I got out the paper and markers and came into my blog space and left them alone to do their thing.

Two minutes later Bones comes in with a pencil and scrap of paper and says, “Mom, can you write ‘I give my Mom smoochies all the time’, so I can copy it onto your card?” So I wrote it out, laughing to myself because it was just cute and funny. He copied it onto a large piece of paper and then covered it in red hearts.

Meanwhile, Son#2 decided to write me a story/poem. Oh, now don’t be thinking sweetness love and butterflies like Bones. No, no, no, because this is where the story turns and you see that I truly have boys. In his best handwriting he wrote the following story/poem for me and I have it here, misspellings and all.

In the right hand corner is a drawing of a butt with a big gaseous bubble coming out and inside the bubble it says the title “Son#2 did a stinky one in school”. Yes. That is the title. And the story goes as follows:

Son#2 did a stinky one. Every one that sat next to him fainted. One day he was walking in the hall and did a sinky one and Every one in the hall fainted. He was in the lunch room and he did a stinky one. Every one fainted at his table. He was at reses playing soccer. Every one near him fainted. He was in line going home. Every one near him fainted. He was waiting at the parking lot. Every near him fainted. He did a stinky one in the car. Every one in the car fainted. Never chang the way you are mom even if I do a stinky one.

Lovely, huh? I’m just so proud. I think I’ve said how the family joke is that he can pass gas that will peel the paint off walls. Glad he was able to remind me of that in my birthday story.

Oh… and then… I got a drawing from my eldest. Feel free for vast interpretation. I’m completely bummed my scanner is not working. To see it is to do it justice.

A big piece of paper, split in half… like two cartoon panels. On the left panel is a big beast with an arrow pointing to it and the words ‘mean beast’. In his mouth, he is eating people… stick people… who have arrows pointing at them saying ‘people’. Down on the ground the beast has two arms that have grabbed onto two more stick people… who have arrows pointing at them that say, ‘people’. There is a big building off to the right.

Under this cartoon panel it says, “A giant beast is attacking!!!!!”

Move to the right panel and the beast appears to be dying. In the lower right hand corner is a stick figure on one knee, with this enormous grenade launcher/gun, with an arrow pointing to it that says, “Mom” and she is saying, “Die sucka”. Off to the right is the same big building. Under this cartoon is the caption, “You won. Celebrate. It was what you were made for.”

Hunh. I was rather speechless. First, let me say, my boys have NO clue that I’m getting a gun. NONE. It is conversation that occurs when little ears are NOT around. And even so, they know the difference between a hand gun and a grenade launcher/machine gun.

So this leads me to… he must think I can do anything. Am I wrong? First thing I thought of was Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Then I thought, “Damn. I’d like my body to look like that though.”

But seriously, does he think I can protect them from everything? Or that I can take on anything and win? I have no clue. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it just was on his mind… something slaying a beast and since it was my birthday, it might have well been me doing the slaying.

But my last thought as I was smiling to myself, thinking how much I love my boys was, “I bet Moms of girls don’t get cards like these….”

Posted by Boudicca at 08:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Gifts from my Better Half

My husband done good. Remember that post on chocolate? And how I continued on about how Dark Chocolate is THE best? And how you have to try the Mom and Pop shops? Well, I got a huge dark chocolate candy bar from our local Mom and Pop chocolate shop called Hoffman’s Chocolate. That was the first thing I opened.

Then I received a day at a local spa. Time for me to be alone and just read and do my thing. That doesn’t happen very much. Typically I’d say I’m not a spa girl, but I’m feeling kind of ragged and beat up so I’m looking forward to this.

And then… I think my better half is even more adamant that I receive fire arm training and get a gun, than I am. He and TGOO go shooting; my Better Half has a 9mm and TGOO a .45. So knowing he and I are going to start going to the local range so we can figure out which gun suits me best, he bought me my own eye and ear protection as well as a case to carry.

So I am feeling very blessed. A lot of thought went into these gifts. He spent time thinking about functionality, I’m all about functionality, as well as doing something to help my sanity. Ummm… FYI… the gun stuff falls under functionality, not sanity. *grin*

Posted by Boudicca at 08:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Thank You For My Birthday Wishes

First, there are so many people I want to thank! Thank you to the WONDERFUL posts people put up for my birthday.

And thank you to all the people who left a comment in one of my posts from yesterday!

AND thank you for all the e-mail and internet cards… they were so funny and I was laughing at all of them. I even laughed at the one sent to me by my best friend from High School (I will have to blog that story of how we met one day), although a serious card, that stated that I’m the best looking 40 year old she’s ever seen.

VW and I went to breakfast with her Mom and boys. It was the PERFECT way to start the day. And Tater had me in stitches as he’d tell his Mom in private that he was going to sing Happy Birthday to me, but when I got near, he’d clam up. It reminded me of that Looney Tunes cartoon with the frog that will only sing for his owner.

I have a post on my birthday gifts tomorrow. Oh… to have boys. I got a story and a card and trust me, y’all just won’t even believe it.

So thank you again, from the bottom of my heart to the blogosphere for making this birthday such a great day.

AND, Happy Birthday, Ted. The Rocket Man and I share a birthday.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

My Mantra: Boys Not Saints

I went to dinner with my men today, three boys, my husband and my father in law. We went to what is now my birthday restaurant, the one from last year.

As I was sitting there basking in my Queenly birthday state much excitement over a family birthday amongst the young, boys were alternately sitting on my lap, whispering how much they loved me. Nothing melts the heart more than feeling two little hands take your face, pull your eyes down to theirs and to hear them say, “Mom, you’re so pretty.”

My little boys, being angels all through dinner. And it was that memory I held onto tightly… as they horrified me on the walk back to the car.

Son#2 and Bones walked with me, while the other three took a separate car, insisting on each holding a hand. Hand and hand we walked down the walkway, a 5 minute walk to the car.

Bones got a nasty blister about the size of a half dollar at school last week, from the jungle gym. The skin is healing nicely and it’s nice and smooth. Son#2 loves to tease him and tell him its ‘baby butt skin’. Nice. But it is smooth and new, and so on this walk, I am rubbing my thumb across this skin and figuring I can get away with the tease I said, “Ohhh… I like this baby butt skin.”

He got a bit torqued, so I told him I was teasing. Son#2 couldn’t leave it alone however. I told Son#2 to stop… and he did. For a short time.

Keep in mind, Bones does not talk. He only shouts. There are two levels, on and off. Although I seriously doubt he will ever be in the military (my boys informed me that if you go in the military you die, therefore it is not their career choice), the kid has the potential for drill sergeant lungs when he’s a man.


Evidently they continued talking about it and I, using this ability I developed to tune them out both audibly and visually, was no longer completely aware.

Just up ahead was a young man and his date walking to their restaurant. They looked to be in their late 20s, pulling up in a swanky red sports car, she wearing tight jeans and 4 inch FMPs.

Suddenly I hear Bones yell, which means it’s REALLY loud, “OH YEAH! WELL HOW WOULD YOU JUST LIKE ME TO CALL YOU A BABY POOP FACE?!”

Lovely. Just lovely. I am horrified, trying to hang onto that not so distant memory of two little boys smooching on me, professing their undying love and devotion to me. Now… at each other’s throats screaming about baby parts and excrement.

I just stared ahead, walking like my two little angels were being… angels. I’m squeezing both their hands HARD and I can see the girlfriend looking behind her as they walked into the restaurant, probably praying, “Dear God, please do NOT let those little heathens in the table next to me.”

And as I walked to my car, passing the restaurant, hissing, “Stop it!” I am thinking, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, that he did not yell something as awful as, “OH YEAH! WELL HOW WOULD YOU JUST LIKE ME TO CALL YOU A FECES FACE?” That would only be… because… he does not know that word.

My mantra: boys, not saints. I am raising boys, not saints.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Recollection of My Best Adult Birthday Ever

My favorite birthday as an adult was last year. Last year we’d just been hit by Frances. 75% of Palm Beach County probably still didn’t have power. I spent my day, up at the school packing up school supplies that hadn’t been destroyed when Frances rendered our school non-functional. But it was my favorite birthday.

In August, a little boutique where I like to shop, was having a big sale. I ran down there and found these two beautiful sweaters marked down 50%. All handwork and very fun, I wanted them and realized that combined, they were still over $100. So I bought them, came home and placed them in my husband’s closet. I said to him, “I bought my birthday gifts today. They’re in your closet. Don’t buy me anything. That’s all I want.”

I was met with a raised eyebrow, a brief pause and a, “You don’t really think I’m going to let you buy your own gift, do you?” I was pretty adamant that this was the way it was to be, so he finally acquiesced with a “I’m getting something to go with it. Your birthday will not be all gifts you got yourself.”

I just asked he not spend much money as I’d spent more than enough.

Frances came on Sunday the 4th. All day it beat up the coast, taking out all our streetlights, flooding our streets, and leaving all of Palm Beach County without power. By the 5th we realized we had significant damage to his business as a window had blown in, pouring water into ¼ of the office. Cell coverage was sporadic, there was no telephone… and every place of business was closed. All water was deemed not fit to drink for, I do believe, the entire County.

The 8th came and grocery stores were starting to reopen, but nothing was being restocked. No eggs, milk, or anything perishable could be found. The malls were still closed and the town was just kind of coming back to life.

Trust me, the damage was not like Katrina or Ivan, and I’m not trying to make it sound like it was, but even the damage we sustained was enough to turn lives upside down and stop a city cold.

That day I went to the school to clean up the mess. My husband… spent… over an hour… driving from grocery store to grocery store… looking for eggs. Power had been restored to our home and he was hell bent that he was going to make me a cake. He finally found some brown eggs in a Winn Dixie… I believe it was the 5th or 6th store he visited.

THAT to me was the best gift. The gift of thoughtfulness. He took the TIME because he wanted to. He WANTED to do for me.

He was bumming that day as he had intended on going shopping for me that Saturday or Sunday before my birthday, but instead we were being hammered by Frances. He had the sweaters in his closet that I had put there 3 weeks previously. The boys were unaware I had bought them for myself, so as the 4 of them sat wrapping them, he would say things like, “Boy! I sure hope your Mom likes these sweaters!” or “Hey, boys, you think she’ll like these? Do you think it’s something she really wanted?” All the while laughing to himself.

That cracked me up.

So, that birthday he bought me two brown eggs and baked me a cake… even though he knew his business was in potential shambles, the kids were in flux with where we would have them educated, we were trying to get our bearings, there was no gas in Palm Beach County to be found… he spent an hour driving around trying to find eggs to make me a cake. It is never the gift with me. It is the thoughtfulness.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

There Must Be a Little Woman Named Harry Potter

In my boys’ school, they have something called ‘Reading Counts’. They read a book, take a test and if they get 7 out of 10 right, they get points. Points are assigned based on the difficulty of the book. The average Harry Potter book is worth about 25-30 points. Their points accumulate as they read and pass tests. There are rules of course… you can only take the same test 3 times. If you continue to fail it, after the 3rd time, you get blacklisted from ever taking that test again. And you must read at or above your reading range. Your range is known by the computer.

Now, with these points, you can cash them in for things as you accumulate them like… picking any desk in the class you want to sit in. Or… with enough points… getting a free dress day. There are all sorts of little rewards. The big one is the top two kids in each class at the end of the year get lunch and a movie with their teacher.

Last week Reading Counts started. My eldest comes home and declares, “Harry and I are going to get 200 points in the first two weeks!” That is unheard of. The chart we got with point awards goes to 500, for the end of the year. But I do not doubt my son and his reading freaky friend. The two of them… they are bound and determined that they will win this and somehow rule the world.

How determined?

Son#1 gets in the car today and as he climbs in he yells at his buddy, “Don’t forget! I want to borrow Oliver Twist!” He looks at me and says, “Its worth like 40 points.”

I’m thinking, “We’re reading classics!!! Yeahhhh!!!!”

Son#1 continues, “I’m getting Little Women too. It’s worth 48 points.”

Little Women? My SON is going to read LITTLE WOMEN? Look, I read that book in 5th grade. It’s a great book. BUT, this is coming from the boy who TGOO and I COULD NOT get to watch The Princess Bride because…. It was OBVIOUSLY about girls. You know.. brides? Princesses? Girls.

And now, he is going to read a book called “Little Women”.

So I replied, “I have that book at home I think, Son. Let me look.”

“No, no, no,”, he said, “they have that book in our library. I’ll check it out.”

Holy crap. Not only is he going to read the book, but he has no hesitation in checking it out in front of his guy friends.

Afterall, it is worth 48 points. And he is determined to get to 200 points, immediately. He will be King of his world.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:26 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Katrina's Kidz Update

I've had e-mail and phone conversations with various people and bloggers with regard to Katrina's Kidz. Should you like to mail school supplies, you can mail them to the following address, where they have graciously volunteered to not only be a donation site, but to receive all packages Katrina's Kidz receives by mail or through shipping.

The Palm Beach Academy of Health and Beauty
1220A 10th Street
Lake Park, FL 33403

I will be posting as we start to ship!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:38 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The Great Bones the Brainiac, Adding Magician

Today I was helping Bones with some Math homework. First grade math… simple addition, 5+2, 3+4, etc. One page is all he had, so I sat next to him to make sure he knew what he was doing.

What I saw threw me for a loop.

I watched him as he’d look at a problem, he’d drop his pencil from his right hand, and up his hands would go… right hand slowly to the right temple and the left hand quickly to the left. Then he’d tap his left hand, closed up with fingers straight, against his temple and as he tapped, the right hand would fall down off the other temple, with a certain number of fingers out… and then, he’d pick up his pencil and write an answer.

I watched him… over and over… pencil down, hands up to the temple, left hand/fist tapping, right hand coming down with some fingers extended… pencil up, he wrote an anwer.

Over and over.

It was as if he were some great number magician. “Watch me! The Great Bones the Brainiac, Adding Magician, as I tap my temple with my left hand, a number of fingers will appear on my right… and Voila! I have the answer!!!!”

I almost laughed. But refrained.

So after watching this 4 of 5 times, and trust me, he had a rhythm going, and he was getting all the answers right, I finally said, “Little buddy. What ARE you doing?”

His reply, while looking at me with surprise that I did not do the same when I added, was, “Oh. See, I’m putting the big number in my brain, then the little number is on my fingers, and I’m counting the little number on top of the big number to get my answer.”

Why. Of. Course. He. Was. This must be that new math.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:27 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Oh But To Experience it all New... Again...

I was over at Sarah the Penguin's and THIS post just struck me funny. Can you imagine being allergic to something for 30 years, allergic to a food that many make a great fuss over, and then suddenly being able to eat it? One day you can finally partake and see what it’s all about? Can you imagine… that food being… chocolate?

Holy crap. I can’t even imagine being allergic to chocolate. That’s a damn staple in my house. It’s got its own frickin’ food group. And it’s not a ‘that time of the month thing’. No. It’s ALWAYS chocolate time in the House of Bou. Always. Oh… and dark chocolate… the absolute best.

Oh and all chocolate is not created equal. Oh, no, no, no my friends. Some of it has a paraffin taste. And some is too sweet. For instance, I was DYING for Hershey’s to come up with a Dark Chocolate Kiss. I thought they should make it a Deep Burgundy wrapper and called it ‘The Deep Dark Kiss’. Yeah. Perhaps I don’t belong in marketing… to much sex on the brain. Or maybe I do. Either way, they did come out with one, and put it in a purple wrapper, and… it’s too sweet. Blech. The Dove Dark Chocolates are better.

Dark chocolate is not supposed to be sweet. That’s MILK chocolate. Dark chocolate is supposed to have a bit of an edge to it. Hershey’s ruined it… although I do like their Special bars.

Hershey’s bars? The milk chocolate? No thanks. Paraffin. Nestle’s crunch? Paraffin with Snap Crackle and Pop cereal. I’ll pass.

High end chocolate rocks. Stuff made by Mom and Pop shops always deserve a great chance!

Oh… but I’ll take a Mounds bar any day. I’ll take a pass on Almond Joy; I’ve never liked those… Milk chocolate with an almond pales in comparison to its lovely sinful brother of Dark chocolate and coconut… without the nut.

When I was around 2 or 3 years old, my great grandfather, Big Daddy, (TGOO’s grandfather), would come to my Granddaddy’s house to see us when we visited. (Big Daddy is worthy of his own post… I’m going to have to think about this one awhile.) He would bring with him a full sized Mounds bar… for a child under 4. I remember it so well. They were SO BIG and it brought him such pleasure to give these big candy bars to these tiny little people.

I don’t know if that was the first chocolate I’d ever had, but it’s the first chocolate I remember and dark chocolate and I have been having a love affair ever since.

Mmmmm… Sarah has so much to look forward to! Oh to try chocolate for the first time again… I can’t even imagine. So much to choose from. So many firsts out there.

Read her post. She asks for recommendations of candy bars. It’s funny to read her perception of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Personality Meme

Ogre! Curse him! I got tagged with one helluva long meme. But... it's been ineresting. I could have put it off, but I wanted to post it as it's the last day I can post at age 39. So I scurried. My results are in the extended entry, as Ogre did, as it's long. And... who am I cursing with this? My blogdaughter VW of One Happy Dog Speaks, who will be blogging again shortly, Marie of Practigal, and blog daughter Sissy of And What Next... who shold be blogging again shortly!

That said, should they not want to do this, no biggy to me. It's a long Meme to put together. I think Memes need to be shorter to be the most effective. This one takes some work... although it was interesting.

And on the personality test, I took the short one and it definitely depends on the mood you are in when you take it. And it doesn't take certain things into account. For instance, it says I am disorganized. Not so. My desk is a mess, but I keep a notebook of exactly what I'm doing... where I've been... where I'm going... in sequential order. I'm a big list maker. It's the only way to survive with the schedule I keep. So, it doesn't take things into account like that.

Overview: This post is a community experiment with two broad purposes. The first is to create publicly accessible data about bloggers’ personalities, which may have sociological value in addition to being just plain fun. The second is to track the propagation of this meme through blogspace. Full details and explanation can be found on the original posting:
Instructions (to join in the experiment):

1) Take the IPIP-NEO personality test and the Political Compass quiz, if you have not done so already.

2) Copy to the clipboard that section of this post that is between the double lines, and paste it into your blog editor. (Blogger users may wish to use ‘compose’ mode to preserve formatting and hyperlinks. Otherwise, be sure to add hyperlinks as necessary.)

3) Replace the answers in the “survey” section below with your own.

4) Add your blog information to the “track list”, in the format: “Linked title - URL - optional GUID“.

5) Any additional comments should go outside of the double lines, including the (optional) nomination of bloggers you wish to pass this experimental meme on to.

6) Post it to your blog!


Age: 39
Gender: Female
Location: Palm Beach County
Religion: Yes
Occupation: Mom and sometimes Logistics Engineer
Began blogging (dd/mm/yy): 06/04

Political Compass results:

Left/Right: -2.1
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.2

IPIP-NEO results:

Friendliness 39
Gregariousness 18
Assertiveness 83
Activity Level 99
Excitement-Seeking 14
Cheerfulness 50

Your score on Extraversion is average, indicating you are neither a subdued loner nor a jovial chatterbox. You enjoy time with others but also time alone.

Trust 21
Morality 83
Altruism 52
Cooperation 34
Modesty 60
Sympathy 31

Your level of Agreeableness is average, indicating some concern with others' Needs, but, generally, unwillingness to sacrifice yourself for others.


Your score on Conscientiousness is high. This means you set clear goals and pursue them with determination. People regard you as reliable and hard-working.


Your score on Neuroticism is low, indicating that you are exceptionally calm, composed and unflappable. You do not react with intense emotions, even to situations that most people would describe as stressful.

..Artistic Interests.......50

Your score on Openness to Experience is average, indicating you enjoy tradition but are willing to try new things. Your thinking is neither simple nor complex. To others you appear to be a well-educated person but not an intellectual.

Track List:

1. Philosophy, et cetera - - pixnaps97a2
2. Majikthise - 6ea37d10-e9b9-11d9-8cd6-0800200c9a66
3. Ezra Klein -
4. Rox Populi -
5. Verbatim -
6. Black Currant Jam - - black7currant7jam5
7. TypeBlogs - (offshoot of
8. Ramble Strip - - kal97ramblestrip
9. basil’s blog - - basilandhisblog
10. My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy - - ctide12x1
11. Smoke Signals Blog -
12. Ogre's Politics and Views -
13. Boudicca's Voice-
14. Optional - Your Information Here

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

September 06, 2005

Kidz and Helpers

I continue to encourage people to think of the kids. Katrina's Kidz. See THIS post for details. We have many of our local schools on board doing School Supply drives. We've been in contact with schools in Texas and Florida to receive supplies for their new students.

If you know of schools in your area taking in displaced children or you would like to donate, e-mail at katrinaskidz2 (at) aol (dot) com. Or look at the site HERE. You will be informed on where you can drop off (if local) or mail your donations.

The site is being continually updated and now shows that our drop off sites go throughout Palm Beach County with one in Miami. There is an address for mailing donations as well.

Just remember, we do NOT accept Cash. NO CASH. Just school supplies and gift cards to Target, Wal-mart, or Office Depot. Remember your charity of choice for your cash.

And... speaking of charity of choice... My Mom told me of one she is giving to. It is called GreenCross. Their Katrina page is HERE. It is an organization that's motto is 'Helping the Helper'. An excerpt from their site:

Thousands of professionals and non-professionals have been deployed in the wake of this extraordinary natural disaster. A vast majority of those deployed -- mental health professionals, nurses and other medical personnel, first responders, and others who work with the traumatized -- will be working night and day under horrific conditions and being exposed to grotesque sights, sounds, and smells. Through their training they will be providing critical help to those most affected. Yet, who will be helping them. This is where Green Cross is vitally needed: To help the helper.

If you have not decided where to give your donation, consider the GreenCross. Those who help need help too.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bert isn't My Twin

As most of you know... the big day is coming. Two days to be exact. The big 4-0. I share my birthday with THIS guy. He must be one helluva guy to have my birthday! Heh.

Anyway, I think I've stated that I've not really started to gray yet and since my Mother, aka Hubba, is less than 10% gray and is past her 60th birthday, I don't think I'll be snow white at 45. Actually, graying is cool with me. I just want to keep my hair.

In my book: Gray haired woman is good. Bald headed woman is bad.

I feel certain that I blogged this before. I think I have about 10 gray hair, but while at my folks' house in July my sister, Morrigan, told me I have a whole heaping bunch of them at the back of my head, I just can't see them.

The next time I got my haircut, I said something to my hairdresser about wondering how much is really back there and she informed me my sister was yanking my chain.


Forward to this morning, I'm doing my weekly morning 'pluck and sneeze' which means, to keep from looking like Bert from Sesame Street, I pluck my eyebrows, sneezing about every 5th pluck. It's gotten better. It used to be perpetual sneezing with a pluck here or there.

As I'm plucking, I noticed that I'm getting gray eyebrow hair! That's what I'm plucking out. I'm looking at it thinking, "Blonde?" No. It was gray. WHITE!

Now that does not bother me... but I am wondering... is it possible that I am going to be a dark haired brunette at age 50 with snow white eyebrows? How freaky weird would that be???

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Are You REALLY Ready?

Blog Father Grau had a post yesterday essentially asking his readers “Are you prepared for a disaster?” As a Floridian, the answer is ‘Yes’. I say ‘As a Floridian’ because… we’re a different group of people now then we were two years ago.

We’ve been taking Hurricanes pretty damn seriously since Andrew 13 years ago. Before that, it was a laissez faire attitude. The average Floridian, S. Floridian anyway, had the attitude of ‘Yo! Hurricane Parrrtaaayyy!’ See, the average S. Floridian is NOT a native. Whereas I never had this attitude, having been through my first Typhoon at age 12, everyone down here around me did… including my Better Half… until Andrew struck.

My brother and sister in law lost everything but the walls of their home. The roof came off and water poured in. They lived in a place called Kendall in Miami. Kendall was beat up during Andrew. As I walked through the wreckage of their home with my spouse, I could tell an awakening had occurred.

And it has. Throughout the state. And this awakening has almost become a frantic energy now as something forms in the tropics.

We cannot wait 24 hours to stock up. We have to be prepared from June 1st onward. Hurricane Dennis ensured we’re all ready as of 1 June now.

If we wait 24 hours… we will find NO gas, NO food other than perishables, NO bottled water, NO batteries, NO flashlights, NO paper plates, NO garbage bags, NO ANYTHING. It’ll all be gone. It’ll be gone 48-72 hours out for that is when the frenzy starts. Hurricane Dennis hit Pensacola on Sunday. They were nearly out of gas by Thursday night.

We have learned. We are ready. We know when to evacuate and those who live in the zones do. Andrew was a hard lesson. But… it was learned. Katrina… I will tell you now… next big hurricane aimed at Florida, its going to be pandemonium. It’ll make our typical 72 hour frenzy of 10 million people reverberating out of sync look like child’s play.

This next time, we may be more dangerous to ourselves than the storm itself. I’m not taking chances. As I said at Grau’s, I’m ready.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Helping The Kids

I said yesterday that I had an announcement, so here we go.

Two awesome women I know started a group called Katrina’s Kidz. The sole purpose of this group is to get school supplies to the children that were victims of Hurricane Katrina and now find themselves in public school systems without school supplies. That’s it. We aren’t furnishing clothes and we aren’t taking cash. NO CASH. We are strictly helping the kids get back with school.

I say we… because I’m helping. Surprise!

So, this is the deal. Their website is HERE. Take a look. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in assisting us by sending school supplies, please send an e-mail to katrinaskidz2(at)aol(dot)com. (You know the drill for spam bots… replace the (at) and the (dot) with the appropriate characters.) They will tell you where you can mail your donation.

Here in Palm Beach County, we will have drop off points. The site will be updated as drop off points are added. So if you live in Palm Beach County and don't want to mail... click on drop off sites for our current three sites and I suspect by Thursday, you will find plenty more as more schools and churches climb on board.

In case you are wondering if we understand what we’ve gotten ourselves into… the answer is yes. My one friend is retired military. She’s done planning on a bigger scale than this. She has surrounded herself with amazingly competent people and my other friend is a CPA. Currently we have a 3000 sq ft storage facility donated for our use and they found someone to donate all shipping costs to the various schools accepting kids displaced by Hurricane Katrina. They’ve also been in contact with the various school superintendents from Florida to Texas.

We are doing big supply drives at our local schools as well as we have a local church youth group that is interested in helping too. There are thousands and thousands of kids who need our help. This is a start.

So… what are we looking for? School supplies for grades K-12. Paper, pens, pencils, crayons, color pencils, folders, binders, rulers, calculators, glue, glue sticks etc. If it is used in school, we need it to send. Backpacks and pencil pouches… they do not need to be new, but only gently used please.

We are also taking gift cards to Target, Wal-mart and Office Depot. These will be given to the schools themselves. WE WILL NOT BE USING THEM. Gift cards will be used for the schools to fill in the gaps. Additionally… many public schools require school uniforms. These gift cards will be used to assist in getting these children the uniforms they need for their schools. Gift Cards are being tracked by serialnumber and to which school it was given.

WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH. If you look at the website, you will find that for cash donations, please see the Red Cross or Salvation Army.


WE DO NOT NEED LUNCH BOXES. They have nothing and will be receiving lunches from their schools. So no lunch boxes please.

WE NEED SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!!! It is an easy way to help… and any little bit is appreciated. You can spend as little or as much as you want… and it will ALL be appreciated.

To my fellow bloggers… if you could help spread the word, I would be ever so thankful. Publicity has already been big here in Palm Beach County. The more who are able to assist us in giving to these kids, the better.

Update: Per the excellent request of Jack in the comments, a list of school supplies is in the Extended Entry.

School Supply Suggestions:

Pens, blue
Pens, red
Pencils, #2
Colored Pencils
Crayons (NOT the enormous boxes, either 8 or 16 ct)
Markers (Crayola makes some nice washable markers)
Erasers (like those pink kind we used as kids shaped like a parallogram)
Glue Sticks
Elmer's Glue
Rulers (both Metric and US)
Calculators (older kids)
Scissors (small kids require the rounded tip scissors)
Loose leaf Paper, both college ruled (high school) and wide ruled (elementary school).
3 ring Binders
Two Pocket Folder
Two Pocket Folder with 3 Fasteners

New or GENTLY used Pencil Pouches and Back Packs

Posted by Boudicca at 08:25 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

As Ready As One Can Be

Well this weekend was designated hurricane shopping weekend. Since I sent all my supplies up to Biloxi on Thursday, they needed to be replenished.

What was I thinking?

Holy crap. I spent 6 weeks shopping for those supplies first go round. It started in June… pick up a can of protein here and there… pick up packs of apple sauce and peaches… grab a box of pop-tarts, and Oh! One more jug of water!!! It was over a period of time that I had acquired all my juice boxes, snacky snacks, canned goods, and crackers. Now… I was going to do this in two days?

Yes I did, but I dread those grocery bills. Mainly because when I was handing stuff off to my friend Thursday, I realized what I had forgotten! Things like paper plates and plastic cups and aluminum throw away trays to cook with on your grill… essentials I had somehow overlooked in worrying about feeding three boys who declared their undying hatred last hurricane season of all things canned… such as protein and fake Italian food, even if it was shaped like Batman.

So I am stocked now and I forgot to tell you, when I was going through my supplies on Thursday, I realized that little hands had gotten into my plastic single servings of peaches. The rolling ball of noise and endless appetite had started to pilfer through my hurricane supplies! Instead of lecturing them, and knowing I’ll ultimately lose unless I keep it under lock and key, I bought double of the stuff I know they like so they now have their own private stash and are to stay away from mine.

One month. I have one month to keep them at bay from our storm food.

Meanwhile, TGOO is happy to hear… My better half purchased us a generator! Yahoo! It gets delivered on Friday and is propane. He’s building the slab for it this week; he’s a busy guy. And he got me a 6 gallon jug for gas in case I have to evac with the boys. I realized he has no intention of coming with us when he showed me this funky siphon gizmo he bought while saying, “I don’t want you having to lift this 6 gallon jug while trying to fill your car, so look what I bought you!” Lots of *you* in there.

I’m hoping we don’t end up in a situation where we have to evac… especially without him... I’m ready… but manoman, please don’t let it happen.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

Happy Birthday, TGOO!!!

Today is The Great Omnipotent One's Birthday!!! Yahoo!

Last year... I wasn't able to make a birthday post for him because I was in the midst of getting hit by Frances. That was his first venture into substitute blogging for me... his sitreps that y'all have become accustomed to by now.

I may have to just reprint those in a post for tomorrow. This 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Frances. Ahhh... good stuff. He's a funny guy.

So... right before the Hurricane hit, I got Blog Father Grau's home phone number. As she was making landfall, while we still had phone, I called my folks, wished TGOO a happy birthday, then called Grau, told him we were safe so far... then asked him to make a birthday post for my Dad.

This year... wow... the country is in the midst of the biggest hurricane mess ever. Doesn't pay to be born in September!!! (Those frickin' Christmas and New Years parties will get someone every time!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREAT OMNIPOTENT ONE!!!! From one of your four biggest fans. :)

And just for his birthday, I found this picture for him, and I will be making this in November for him as this is his fave. And for the record, mine looks better than anything I could find on the 'net.


That's a picture of Banana Pudding for those of you not in the know!

I LOVE You, Dad!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:59 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

All Over The Road With Katrina

I’ve been thinking today about this mess. I’m pretty angry even though I’ve not been venting it on my blog. I saw this coming, I posted it coming… and the horror I posted… never in a million years would I see it occur just on sheer incompetence of the greatest magnitude on every level.

So, anyway, off that, I was thinking… if the terrorists were really organized, this would be a time for them to strike us. Am I the only one going down that dark path in their head???

Onto something positive, very positive… I have a BIG announcement tomorrow. Very big. Well, big to me. No, I’m not pregnant. I said POSITIVE. Heh.

I’ve been blessed again to be able to help. I have an amazing friend who has been putting something together… and I’ll be putting the details out tomorrow. So get ready…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:38 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

Queen, Supreme Ruler of the Universe

How odd is this?

Over at Rocket Jones, he had this Job Predictor based on your name. With Boudicca I get, “Your ideal job is Satan”. With my real name, I get, “Your ideal job is a God for Everyone.”

OK… so this means… what? That as a blogger I am satanic, but in my real life I am Godlike? Hunh.

Or maybe I am just suited to both. Living with me can be either a slice of heaven or sheer hell?

Or maybe it really means that I should be Queen, Supreme Ruler of the Universe. Yeah, I think that’s it…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:14 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

I'm Not a Hellroebicizer

I’ve been doing hellroebics now since, what, July? I hate it. I frickin’ hate it. It has NO redeeming qualities. Last Saturday I almost passed out mid class because I let my blood sugar get too low. That’s not a good thing.

This Tuesday, I was so lost and frustrated, that a half hour into it, I picked up my step and left, begging out that I had to get to work. I quietly rode a bike for 30 minutes and then jumped in the locker room showers right before they dismissed.

Yesterday morning, as I’m plodding along, barely keeping up, I started thinking, “Why am I here? I Frickin’ HATE this.” So 40 minutes into it, I picked up my step, put it away, and left, begging out that I had to go to work.

I realized when I left it’s time for me to tell my friend I’m not doing this crap anymore. I gave it over 6 weeks and just absolutely hate it. I.HATE.IT. I hate the music, I hate the steps, I hate the fact I mindlessly go through it all trying to zen out and not think about how much I hate it. It’s to the point I’m starting to actually hate the people in the class and they are NICE people.

So this morning when I met my friend at the gym for our Saturday weight lifting I finally said, “I have to be honest with you. I truly hate aerobics and it is not for me.”

She: You aren’t going to bag on me, are you?

Me: Yes. Yes I am. It is just not for me.

She: Aren’t you breaking a sweat?

Me: Sometimes.

She: But it’s so GOOD for you!

Me: I would rather run, bike, swim… or… slit my own throat than ever do another aerobics class. I truly hate it.

I think that last statement settled in and she dropped it. So it appears that other than occasionally coming to a floor aerobics class just to add some variety, I am done with it, definitely done with step aerobics. She’s a GREAT instructor. She is KNOWN to be one of the best.

But it is just not for me. I truly truly hate it. And my telling her that I’d rather slit my own throat than continue with it… probably was not that much of an exaggeration. She has no question where I stand on this topic now.

What a relief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:08 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Minty Tasting Office Supplies

So Ogre has this quiz, and his result was very funny. I thought this was a standard office supply to be honest. We had them at my last place of work in every office supply room.

But.. mine? Since when did Altoid Mints become a frickin’ Office Supply? I thought I was going to end up something like an adding machine or flowchart software. But no… I end up as a damn tin of mints. Go figure.

And with the below write up! For the record… I have NEVER had any type of sex any place I worked. I would never even kiss someone at work… or hold hands. No way. There is a distinct separation between my work life and home life. Very distinct. No gray area. No blending.

And I have to wonder if part of this whole "I'm an Altoid Mint" is because I felt compelled to label myself a colorful individual even though I consider myself someone who blends. I was at work yesterday and I was talking to my Tech Lead. We were talking about some real grouches we have to interface with and I jokingly said, “Sheesh. If everyone were like me, man, we wouldn’t have any problems at all.”

He sat there for a minute, started to laugh, then looked at me and said, “Oh yeah. If everyone were like YOU, this would DEFINITELY be an interesting place to work.”

I took that to mean that I kind of keep everyone on their toes… so when I took this test, I put that I was as colorful as a box of 64 count crayons. And I ended up Altoid Mints. Go figure. Altoid mints are WHITE. Is it because they're spicey, as my boys call it? And I also put that if confronted with chaos, I would ream everyone out and get it all straightened up, pronto. And I ended up Altoid Mints. Is this because Altoid Mints stamp out bad breath? Kind of straighten out the whole breath department? I don't get it.

I am:
a tin of Altoids® mints
There are times when a good breath freshener can really improve the interpersonal atmosphere in an office. (Of course, these special mints might have been purchased to give an exquisite extra tingle to quickie oral sex in the supply closet.)

Which office supply are you?

Posted by Boudicca at 08:20 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Repeat After Me: I'm Raising Boys, NOT Saints

My eldest got in the car today and said, ‘Mom, don’t be mad, but I have to write a paper. I got in trouble during Mass today.’

The first Friday of every month, my kids’ school has a half day and they have Mass. They wear their Mass clothes which consists of their uniform shirt and long blue pants. The school attends collectively and many parents attend. (I don’t.)

Segue: The first Mass is in September and it is an absolute riot to see how nobody has checked to see if their pants still fit from the summer growth spurt. Inevitably, every boy’s blue pants are 1 to 2 inches too short. This morning there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth as the first pair of pants for my 10 year old couldn’t even be zipped! We sandwiched him into another pair.

So as I was doing pick up, I asked one of the patrols today, who is a friend of Son#1’s, if his Mom had remembered to buy his new pants before school started. He looked at me sheepishly and blushed and said, “No, M’am. See these pants? I had to wear my black dress pants. We forgot.” I laughed and said, “Don’t sweat it, we did too. Ask Son#1 if he feels like he’s busting out of his pants. He’s got to be miserable.” Ahhh… misery loves company.

OK, so back to First Friday Mass. Evidently Son#1 was laughing at the antics of a classmate during Mass and now has to write a one page paper on his behavior during Mass.

I told him I wasn’t mad. It’s his deal, not mine. But inside I was thinking, “Isn’t this lovely. Bones gets a time out for being the Drama King yawner during prayer yesterday and Son#1 has to write a one page paper on behavior at Mass… this their first Mass of the year.” I don’t think this bodes well…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

We Really Need To Catch a Break

I read there was a huge oil spill… tanks with capacity to hold 2 million barrels. I won’t even ask if this situation can get worse… because it feels like it could. We’re so far past the whole "I see dead people". I see potential economic collapse throughout the SouthEast, even though the experts say we’ll be fine. I’m just not impressed with how anything has been handled on ANY level, personal, local, state or federal.

Anyway, they’re running low or out of gasoline in places like Pensacola, FL. We think it may be the Alabamians coming across the borders filling up. (Boy that sounds so... so... evil phrased that way... but it's not meant to! They need what they need!) They’ve been seen pulling up to the stations with 55G drums and taking it home. Those folks throughout S. Alabama still don't have power. We feel certain that people throughout Escambia County are starting to hoard gas.

And from my Mom, this quote in yesterday’s post:

Molino Elementary is going to house 500 people for an extended period. Just returned from the store. Many shelves bare but they are being restocked and there's still no gas. This I hope will change within the week. People have to get to work. My jaunt out was the first since the hurricane. People are doing only what is necessary.

posted by Bou's mom on September 2, 2005 03:32 PM

On the more Southern front in Palm Beach County, great talk is of never letting your gas tank get below half a tank. I’m following that rule of thumb for 2 reasons. 1) I don’t want to get caught short. 2) Manoman, it hurts much less seeing the numbers for a half tank than it does for a whole! Geez. You can almost fool yourself into ignoring the fact you’re filling up twice a week and just concentrate on that dollar number!

Stay tuned folks. This is only going to get more interesting. And if you have not thought of it yet… allow me to assure you… that another hurricane hit on ANY part of FL as well as the Gulf Coast…and go ahead and throw in the Carolinas and Georgia, is going to be crippling beyond our imaginations. A nightmare of such gargantuan proportions for this ENTIRE country. Be aware, my friends. Be very aware.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

Praying for Sleep?

Today Bones said to me when he got in the car, in a most exasperated voice, "Moooom, do YOU think it's FAIR, that *I* get a time out tomorrow because I YAWNED during todays PRAYER?!"

Emphasis on words all his.

Knowing him, it was not just a little yawn while he was doing his prayer but a huge greatly exaggerated yawn. He does nothing in a small way.

So... I said... "Yes. I am sure."

His first time out of the year and he gets it for being an over dramatic yawner during prayer.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Opportunities Abound

Many people did evacuate from New Orleans. Now… they have no where to return to. Hundreds of families got in their cars and drove to Pensacola… following the evacuation signs and arrived at the Pensacola Civic Center.

The Civic Center has prior engagements. It needed homes for these people so an SOS was put out to the area churches to take the homeless in… and the churches have responded.

My Mom first told me this story yesterday. It was reiterated today again by one of my readers, Dixie Darlin’, who teaches in Pensacola.

Myrtle Grove Baptist Church in Pensacola Florida has taken in 100 refugees. Their children will be going to the school where she teaches. These people have NOTHING now. NOTHING. MGBC expects to keep these families for AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS.

If you are interested in helping, if this is a charitable opportunity you would be interested in, please give Myrtle Grove Baptist Church a call. I’ve linked to their site… It has information about the church as well as their address and phone number.

Also, if you are looking for a giving opportunity... go to Laughing Wolf or Ogre's today. They have organizations they have selected and their own incentives for readers to give.

I'll list more as they come...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I Was Blessed Today

I want to help… I want to help someone with a face. I am giving money… don’t get me wrong. I am finding a charity that fits what *I* am looking for and I will give plenty. I feel no rush as the big charities will take awhile to spend what they have. I can give next week. There will be people in need for months. Or years.

But I have been feeling this need to touch someone who needed my help and it happened today. At 4:15 I got a call from a neighbor. I had forgotten she was from the Biloxi/Gulfport area. Her brother had evacuated with his wife and children down this way, but her Dad and extended family had stayed. She found out TODAY they are all alive.

Her brother has lost everything… his home, everything, gone. Her Dad is more fortunate, he still has a roof. But her brother couldn’t sit here anymore. It was more than he could take, so he got a truck and told his sister he was going to get it filled and take stuff to Mississippi. They were calling all the neighbors.

I kept saying, “You’re only giving me two hours?!!!! How much can I do in two hours?!!” They kept reassuring me that this had been sprung on them and anything I could do would be appreciated.

So… I went through my drawers and closets and found clothes I had not worn… and put them in a bag. Shoes too. I went through our bathroom and grabbed bars and bars of soap and rolls of toilet paper. I went through the kids’ toys and stuffed animals and books. I went through their clothes. I grabbed all their old shoes… even soccer cleats.

I went into my pantry and grabbed every box that hadn’t been opened… every can that was a pre made meal, like soup… and put it in another bag. I grabbed all my hurricane supplies and loaded them into my van. All my water and juice boxes.

I filled my mini-van and then took it to her house. In her hand, I pressed enough money for him to buy gas the entire way. She started to cry.

Just then a guy showed up with flowers. She looked at me with a wide eyed, nearly hysterical look and said in a hushed tone, as if ashamed, “WHY would someone send me flowers? Send the money to Mississippi. We need money, not flowers.”

Neighbors showed up and they were able to fill the truck. Today I was blessed that I could help. On my way out I said, “You tell your brother to give us 24 hours notice next time. We’ll load him down. We just need TIME.”

Posted by Boudicca at 09:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack