November 30, 2005

Another Milestone...

Well... I should be hitting 50,000 on the ol' sitemeter in the next few days. That's on this site. I'm at over 30K on my old site I believe. It's still up and taking hits via Google etc.

Which brings me to Google. Really that is where the bulk of my hits take place. I look at my sitemeter sometimes and it'll read something really high for me and I'll think, "Wow. What did I post?" and then I look and it's all people searching for something on Google. I personally think it's funny. It's always good blog fodder.

So I'll be keeping an eye over the next few days to see who takes number 50,000... but I have a feeling it won't be a reader, but rather someone googling for 'Boy Pee Jello' or 'Teach Me to Burp" or "Poop in a Cup". No high brow googling on this site. NO sirreebob!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

This Old Lady Ain't Backin' Down

Off to the gym I went today, the goal to do 3 miles on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the bike, not lofty goals, but I had to get it done… get the blood flowing.

Only one machine was open, the tough elliptical. All elliptical machines are not created equal. Everyone avoids this one, but I figured, “I’m game. I’m not backing down…” and next to the machine was a young man, probably 25, less than 30 for sure.

And to any men I may have that read that are between the age of 25 and 30 (I don’t think I have any young male readers), no offense, but if I’m in the gym next to you, this old lady officially deems you a ‘young punk’. Seriously. No offense.

So I crank up Weezer, having downloaded it off of Morrigan onto my iPod, never having listened to the whole CD, and settle in for my warm up.

And Young Punk next to me is moving pretty quickly on his elliptical, giving me a quick glance out of the corner of his eye, he definitely makes me look hobbit size with his height and breadth.

And 6 minutes into it, I see him glance over and I’m starting to crank it out…

Ooo wee ooo, I look just like Buddy Holly, Oh oh, and you’re Mary Tyler Moore

I’ve started to move into a good climb and I’ve increased resistance, and I’m feeling nooooo pain and I see… I’m moving faster than the Young Punk and I’ve caught him glancing over… quickening his pace… and I thought, “You, my friend, can kiss my ass…”

And I cranked it up a little harder and I’m pushing it now, moving pretty quickly, going through intervals, sprints, and I’m sweating, but standing upright and acting like its no big deal, quietly laughing to myself as I think, "This old lady is going to so totally kick your ass tonight…”

If you want to destroy my sweater Hold this thread as I walk away…”

Not that I’m competitive or anything… really… but I’m cranking at full speed now, for sure as fast as I beat it out 4 weeks ago, and I’m standing upright and I’m sprinting and I realize… “Holy Crap, I’m at 12 minutes… I hope he quits soon or I might die at this pace…”

But he’s moving it out at this point too and I up it a notch, the Young Punk is now leaning over his elliptical machine.

15 minutes into this run, my lungs are burning and I’m starting to think, “If that cocoa puff didn’t absorb, it’s incinerated at this point…”

17 minutes, I’m still cranking and he is too and my left knee starts to hurt and I’m thinking, “Good God. Please let him stop soon. Holy crap.”

I’m still standing upright, by the way, moving to max incline every 2 minutes.
20 minutes into mine, his work-out stops and he gets off… so… I crank it up just one more notch. Heh. There is no way in hell I'm going to let him think I can't hang...

21 minutes, he’s gone, out of sight, and… I throttle way way back as my quads and my hamstrings are YELLING FOR ME TO STOP.

9 minute cool down, which means I was still running, just not sprinting at all… ever. And I jump on the bike, crank it out and read for 20 minutes. I can do anything if I’m distracted with a book. (Night Manager by John LeCarre… excellent.)

And I started to think… the difference between the Young Punk and this old Lady… really is, tonight he’ll go home, grab a shower, be ready for a 3 stretch inning of sex tonight and tomorrow morning, and bound out of bed in the morning ready to hit the new day head on.

Meanwhile, I came home, drank a big glass of water, I’m beat, and although that whole sex part doesn’t sound half bad to this 40 year old body, I’m hitting the rack and praying, oh so praying, that when I awaken in the morning… that I can actually… walk.

Holy crap. To be in my 20s again…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Small Oak Tree Speaketh

Sometimes half the fun of blogging is picking a title. Really.

Anyway, today I decided to try this whole braless thing as a test drive before my New Years resolution kicks in. So I threw on my tank top and put on my sweater. (It’s cold where I work. They keep the thermostat at 72 degrees. I think sometimes it might snow…)

I looked in the mirror and thought, “Oh no. I look like a boy…” See, when I wear a sweater, I wear a padded bra because I do have some vanity. On a day in and day out basis, I am happy being a small breasted woman. Very happy. But when I wear a sweater… eh, let’s just say I like to take full advantage of Victoria’s Secrets latest. I want to look decent in my sweater. Not like a boy…

So as I analyzed the situation further I realized, I truly am built like a small oak tree. I have NO SHAPE. None. The birthing of three big babies, left me without a waist. There is a 1 inch difference between my hips and waist… and not much more with my chest and that’s only because… during my three pregnancies, my rib cage expanded.

That’s right. When you’re 5 foot frickin’ 2 and you have 8.5 lb babies, that frickin’ baby has to go somewhere! So out went my belly and up under my ribs they pressed and my rib cage responded accordingly. And this is where my story really starts…

Flash back to Thanksgiving week when I was at my folk’s house. My Mom, Morrigan and I were on our daily walk and Hubba informs us that she saw on Oprah that 90% of all women are wearing the wrong bra size. Now me? I think I don’t care if I am. It’s a functional tool, if it keeps everything where it’s supposed to, I’m cool. It’s not like any bra I buy has a really big job. But I found this interesting and it was a funny discussion, as you can imagine with Morrigan involved.

But then I read the whole 36K article (which I am not going to link to AGAIN as it’ll show up in Eric’s trackbacks and I’ll look like a freak) and of course, being the engineering type I am, I had to do research. I mean, I had to know, exactly how BIG are 36Ks? Luckily one of his readers informed us that she knew first hand they were Watermelon sized.

Upon doing my research, however, I found this website HERE, that allows you to calculate what bra size you should wear. I thought, “ah ha! I know I’m resolving to NOT wear them anymore, but really, what size SHOULD I be wearing?”

So I got out my tape measure and measured in the two spots it said to (band 32 and bust 36) and it said I’m a… holy crap… all for the sake of blog fodder… I really am truly pathetic… a 36AA.

Now I’m wearing my tank top and I look in the mirror and realize, there are men with man boobs that look better than mine. Really.

And I also realize, I am built like a small line backer. I have no shape. I am built like a box… a rectangular box. (And just so it doesn’t make it sound like I’m totally trashing myself here… this is all in fun you know… I have had many men say they like my legs.) I have broadish shoulders, no waist, I don’t have big hips and I have no chest. Or very little.

I’m a frickin’ mini-linebacker. Or a Small Oak Tree. For sure.

So I call Hubba, of course, to thrust upon her my latest realization of the extent of my shapelessness and she informs me that the site is wrong and that on Oprah they said that it should be the small band I should be looking at… so that I should be a 32 something.

What? There is no way. That would make me look like a 32D, which trust me, may look good on paper to you Mammary Men, but I am NO 32D. That makes me sound small and... and... pokey. I'm not.

So for the sake of Science… and blog fodder… this weekend, I will be going to Victoria’s Secret to answer the mystery, “What bra size does Boudicca REALLY wear?”

I know. Mere words cannot possibly describe the great anticipation that y’all must be feeling right now. It’s probably more than you can take.

Is it a 36AA? Or will it be a 32D? Stay tuned folks! My only disappointment in this whole experiment is that Morrigan won’t be there to shop with me. Trust me, it would be very very funny. And NO, there will be NO PICTURES. Sheesh.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:18 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 29, 2005

This Isn't Right...

So you're humming through your day, doing the usual stuff... work, library for a kid, doctor's appointment, grab a bite to eat, thinking about when you can get in your next run, listening to Simon and Garfunkel (Still!)... you know, the usual day in and day out stuff, fill up the gas tank...

And you pick up the kids on this seemingly normal day. Actually, maybe you pick up an extra two kids. Friends of the family, a favor for the Mom. And the 8th grader, who is so fun to be around as he is like an adult now in his clear logical thinking, leans over during the ride and says without the kids in the back listening... Did you hear? Mrs. So-and-So. She died yesterday. Gun shot.

And then suddenly your day is not so normal. And in between deep breaths of trying to make sense of it all during your drive you think, "This is not right. Moms don't die. They aren't murdered. And they DON'T die between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And its only been a year since Joan died. A year. Two moms. One year. This is not right."

But although it is not right, it has been laid before you. And she is gone. And instead of decorating for Christmas and singing Christmas Carols and baking for her family... there will be a funeral. A big funeral as you feel she is not yet 40. A Mom. Three kids.

In the blink of an eye. Gone.

Just... Like... That.

And you think to yourself... "I just did this. Different circumstances... but I just did this. Has it really only been a year? This is not right..."

Posted by Boudicca at 10:18 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Sometimes Naughty Is Better than Nice

I found this over at Ogre's. For once I got something I liked. Sheesh. Last quiz I took I got frickin' Yoda... a short freaky green guy who never had sex in his life.

Oh and for you bloggers who keep score, VW got Yoda on that other quiz too... as well as... Naughty Santa! Whoo hooo! I think we're like 30 for 30.

Now... if I only looked like the damn picture...

naughty
you are one Naughty Santa. Your Santa suit is no
doubt skimpier than all the rest, you are
prolly sexy though I'll give you that... You're
fave catch phrase this year will be "Come
over here and sit on me lap"


What kind of Santa are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Of Boys and Poop

This is not for those with the queasy stomachs. It’s just so wrong on so many levels.

Son#2 had his GI appointment today, a follow up to the blood tests. The doctor sat down and said they were all negative. No Celiac Disease, ulcers, or whatnot. Everything in tip top shape in working order. Just super. Really. I’m glad. I sure as hell wasn’t wishing Celiac. But… now… we don’t know what the problem is and the doctor is dancing on that edge of knowing we’re about to have to go more invasive and he really doesn’t want to.

Now if you can picture it, he is my age and very personable. He laughs readily and is at ease with the kids, having four of his own. He was sitting across from me, I had received this ‘good news’ which to me is throwing me over the edge as I need an answer… it is time. I feel as if someone has brushed my skin with a wire brush, leaving me all raw with my emotions floating just on the edge of the surface.

I hate that. I don’t like feeling that strangers can read me when I walk down the street. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

The exam table is to the right of me, my son to the left, and I have my arm propped up on the exam table, and my head is in my right hand and looking back… I had the look of someone tired and stressed… depressed would be a good adjective. And he could tell. I was starting to get that far away look, trying to wrap my mind around the next step, fearing it to be something quite tremendously awful.

And then he says, “And… well, I don’t want to get crazy. Look, let’s try this last thing… let’s rule out blah blah blah blah. Let’s do a stool sample.”

Blech. I looked at him and said, “Oh. This will be lovely...”

And my son immediately chimes in and says, “What is that?” and the doctor explains. The following is the conversation that ensued, to my best recollection.

Son: COOL! You’re going to check my poop? Hey! Do I get a cool clear cup so I can see it?

Doctor, who is laughing: Yup. You get a clear cup so you can see it. It’ll be like a science experiment.

Son: Oh! I like this! We can call it, “The Mystery of Son#2’s Poop”.

Now I’m just sitting there, continuing to watch the banter between my son, who is 8, and this doctor and finally I said to the doctor, “This very well may be the highlight of this entire ordeal. A poop science experiment…”

Doctor: It would appear to be so…

Me: Hey, this could be a pivotal point in his life you know. He could now want to be a gastroentologist and it happened, right here.

We left the office and… this is what slayed me. My son says to me, ‘So, Mom, who gets to hold that cup under my butt while I poop?’

Sometimes, the absurdity of it all, truly leaves me speechless. I was oh so very tempted to say, “Your Dad”, but held back and said, “Nobody. We have to gather it and put it in the cups…”

Son: OH! Can I put it in the cups?

How gross is this?! This whole thing is so whack. And I don’t dare even think, “Oh, it can’t get worse than this”… because… IT CAN!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:03 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 28, 2005

It's all about the Rush

The endorphin rush has been elusive lately. Four weeks since I've had a good run. I'd get 10 minutes into a run, still feel like crap, still feel like I was running with cement blocks on my feet, and think, 'Screw this' and quit. Sometimes I'd bike 5 miles instead, but usually I just bailed.

We all have our 'addictions'. Come on. Everyone has something. Some drink. Some smoke. Some do drugs. Some shop. Some eat Chocolate (ok, that's mine too). Mine? I'm an endorphin junky. It keeps me in my happy place. If I don't get my fix, I can go to very bad places in my head. Bad. Dark. Not good.

And if I'm bummin' really bad, I can't get the rush in a run and then it becomes a downwards spiral that is difficult for me to stop. And we all know I've been stressing... just a bit... so it's been a frickin' feeding frenzy of bad vibes in my head as of late.

Last night I finally got my iPod working. And I could feel it. I could feel the end of the endorphin dry spell. And tonight I went running, knowing I'd have to throttle back as I haven't had a good cardio work out in 4 weeks.

I cranked out REM and it took me back to college. No responsibilities. No marriage. No kids. No job. Just School. Studying hard. Playing hard.

I kept pounding it out, tune after tune and I could feel the fingers of the rush... just starting to softly touch at my body at around 1.5 miles. I cleared my head. No mortgages. No Wicked Bad Weather. Only college football... Doug Flutie's Hail Mary. Miami Hurricane Football... I loved to hate them. We were immortal. No kids with medical tests. No pending surgeries. No death. No looking at Nursing homes.

I didn't watch the clock. I just kept running. Faster, harder, sweating, feeling the rush hit me at 2 miles. No more kids struggling in school. No roof repairs. No having to play nice with others at work when I didn't want to. No anticipation of the parting of friends. Just bummin' around in Jeans and a sweatshirt... lots of rum at McGuires, kissing the Moose, singing James Taylor. Weddings and no funerals. Laughing at our future. Ready to hit it head on.

Thirty minutes hit and I was suddenly at warm down, not having watched the clock. No dreading the run, waiting for it to be over... it just was. And it felt good.

For 30 minutes I was somewhere else. I wasn't an adult. I was just listening and remembering. I hope to fit another in tomorrow... but I think it will be until Wednesday.

I love my iPod. It may very well be a saving Grace.

And I really love my parents. During all those memories... they were the adults. They kept it glued together. I only hope I can do for my children, what they did for me. I should be so lucky.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:41 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

The Meeting of Some Blog Minds

There is a blogmeet scheduled to occur in the Chicago area January 8. I'll be 10 days post-op, so I won't be able to make it. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Forget the fact it may be something like 0 degrees with a windchill bringing it down to something so frigid, it is unfathomable to my very small brain.)

Anyway, Blog Brother That1Guy of Drunken Wisdom has the details HERE. Some of my favorite bloggers are going to be there. I'm so bummed. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Bra Burning 40 Years Too Late

I don’t do resolutions typically. I just don’t. I’m motivated enough in general, that I’ll just do whatever I set my mind to in the middle of some obscure month. But they are fun, these resolution things, so I’ve been thinking.

I think I resolve that my goal in 2006 is to quit wearing a bra. I hate them. I have started to hate anything that makes me feel confined. I already swore off pantyhose. I wore them twice 2005. That is twice too much.

I hate shoes, other than my very cool boots that make me NEARLY as tall as Tammi, I wear only sandals now or go barefoot.

I have been analyzing this whole ‘push against confinement’ thing wondering if it is to emerge as a trend in my life. I cannot control some things, but I CAN control what I wear. Boy, some shrink could make some serious cash off me, I feel certain.

So… no bras for me. I will be looking for tank tops so I can wear those under my shirts instead. That’s my goal. Thankfully I’m not a 36K.

And I'd hold a bra burning, but it would appear I'm about 40 years too late for that one. Hell, I appear to still be stuck in the 60s in my choice of music today. I did nothing but listen to Simon and Garfunkel. Hunh... I hope there is not another trend emerging. I think I remember from my Math classes that two points do not make a trend...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Bone Density is HIGHLY Overrated

A little background, I have low bone density. I don’t have osteoporosis yet, but I am on the path. At age 36, I had my first bone density scan. It came back that my bones were that of someone who is 56, which isn’t a problem IF YOU’RE 56! Everyone was shocked. The Radiologist’s office was all atwitter. “Never have we scanned someone so young! And we never expected this!” Ah well. What can I say? I have to be different.

I come by this low bone density honestly. Hubba has it. Diagnosed in her 50s, she probably had it when she was my age. It is the disease of small people, small white women of Northern European descent to be more exact, although others do get it.

And I have a bad habit of putting NOTHING in my body of pill form, unless of course I’m getting a migraine, then I’m ready to swallow the whole frickin’ bottle. So I was told to take so much calcium a day, no need to do the big drugs yet as I’m not menopausal… yet… and to make sure I try to get weight bearing exercise in. Like Running. Weight lifting. Karate…

See a pattern? All things I took up within 6 months of seeing the path on which I was traveling. But still, I did not take my calcium. I just couldn’t. It’s a mental block. I don’t smoke (never have), drink (did that too much), do illegal drugs (never have), or take vitamins. The good and the bad… I do neither.

But my reputation precedes me with all my doctors, in particular my OBGYN who has been my doctor for 15 years and is my age. I’m not a good patient, truth be told. I question everything and if they’re trying to get me to take drugs, I’m all over them as to whether there are alternatives. I’m not mean. I’m just rather… obstinate. And I am completely uninhibited around this doctor. I’m probably less modest around him than I am with my own husband. Hell, I entrusted MY LIFE and that of my three children with this man. He’s seen me in ways I shudder to remember. So I have no inhibitions with him. I’ll say anything, strip down naked and talk about soccer and our kids… and laugh about everything… and think nothing of it. His nurses think its kind of funny. I view it as anatomy. Who cares?

So in he walks in September and it goes something like this:

Dr: You’re overdo for this exam. You should have been here over 12 months ago.
Me: I know. I’ve been busy.
Dr: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you’re also overdo for your mammogram by a year and your bone density scan… by a year. I see a trend.
Me: Yup. I’ve been busy.
Dr: *big pause* OK. Look, have you been taking your calcium supplements?
Me: *silence*
Dr: Who in the heck do I think I’m talking to? I KNOW that answer.
Me: *silence*
Dr: Are you drinking milk? Adding anything to your diet? ANYTHING AT ALL?
Me: Umm. *searching for anything other than ice cream* Yeah. Sometimes I eat Yogurt for lunch…
Dr: BINGO! I’ll take anything from YOU at this point. A_N_Y_T_H_I_N_G. *shaking his head and writing Yogurt in my chart* I know you’re running and weight lifting and you took up Karate. Get your Bone Density. Get it this year. I want the results. Got it? And while you’re at it, get your Mammogram. ASAP.

So Thursday is the big Mammogram/Bone Density Day. (So much for ASAP. I’ve been kinda busy.) And this post is really about what happened when I called my Radiologist’s office today, a GREAT doctor, whose staff I now question the competence of. This is an abbreviated version:

Me: Hi this is Mrs. L, I need to make an appointment for my Bone Density and Mammogram.

Office Girl: Oh! I need your insurance information. (I provide it.) OK, Dr. Smith is your doctor…

Me: Doctor Smith? (she never asked who it was) Who’s that? No, Dr. K is my doctor…

OG: Oh. OK. OK, so you need a mammogram and a breast ultrasound…

Me: Pardon me? (she repeats) No. I have NO CLUE where you got that from. I need a mammogram and a BONE DENSITY scan.

OG: Oh. OK, so you have implants…

Me: Implants? (I am now looking down at my 34Bs) Uh no. I DO NOT HAVE implants.

OG: Oh. So how’s Thursday?

And now I wonder what I’m going to be greeted with on Thursday. Stay tuned folks, same bat time, same bat channel… will she get her bone density scan… or will she be set up for a breast ultrasound? And will they talk about implants and how ‘hers look so natural’?

Interesting. More than anything, I am interested in the results of the scan. I recently learned that all this impact exercise I added to my life probably only increased my bone density by 5% at best, I need that extra calcium. I’m keeping my fingers crossed… and preparing myself to start popping calcium. Blech. What I really want is to be able to thumb my nose at my doctor and say, “SEE!!!”, but I’m thinking that’s not gonna happen… Call it a hunch.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 27, 2005

Christmas at the House of Bou

We don’t do Christmas in a small way. My husband could compete with Ogre in his holiday lights. One year I called Florida Power and Light, inquiring about a power pole for our front yard. You cannot blow dry your hair in the guest bathroom when the Christmas lights are on or we lose power to that side of the house. That was even with the electrician giving us a new circuit breaker just for lights. (The power pole was too much money...)

My worst fear? That there will be a late hurricane one year, hitting us in December although it is not hurricane season, requiring us to take down 200,000 Christmas lights, reindeer, and door decorations. We are known to be The Griswalds of the neighborhood. For years, when we were truly at our prime and not bogged down and tired from hurricanes and life in general, kids would stop us in October babbling about our home and when we would start decorating.

And inside my home? I am like Hubba (my Mom). Everything gets decorated. In Hubba’s house, there are Christmas towels, pictures are replaced by pictures of Christmas scenes, Christmas pillows reign, and the regular dishes are replaced the day after Thanksgiving with Christmas dishes.

‘Tis the same here. I went so far as when I got married, a November wedding, I registered for Christmas ornaments and my Nikko Christmas China. I just put at the bottom of my registry, “Christmas ornaments”. Let the giver decide and that first Christmas, we had a very full tree, which was 15 feet tall, by the way. We still use those same ornaments, 14 years later. People thought it was fun and enjoyed buying us things for our First Christmas.

So my Christmas dishes are out and this afternoon my husband spent two hours hauling out the Christmas decorations from the attic. He is very organized with it, all Christmas decorations in big plastic containers, clear so we can see what is inside. There was of course the obligatory cursing heard from the top of the attic stairs, followed by a “I CANNOT BELIEVE it is Christmas already! Didn’t was JUST DO THIS?!!!” Heh.

This year’s dilemma? Christmas sheets. You see, I change out ALL OF OUR SHEETS to Christmas sheets. I have something more adult in our bedroom, something in the burgundy color scheme so it matches with the Navy/Burgundy jewel tones we have done our Master bedroom in.

The boys? They have flannel sheets decorated with strings of Christmas lights and the pillow each has an enormous reindeer. I bought them from Domestications, eons ago. When we had just two wee lads, I bought two twin sets. When the rabbit died yet again, and I had the boys sleeping in one room, a bunk that slept three, with two in a double on the bottom, I managed to find a double set.

But now, we added on to the house and I have them each in their own twin bed and I am on the hunt for another twin set. Do you think I can find one? NO. Not only do they not make them anymore, it appears to be impossible to JUST BUY CHRISTMAS SHEETS from Domestications. I must now buy… a bed in a bag.

I don’t want a bed in a bag. I don’t want a frickin’ comforter that I must store for 11 months out of the year. I JUST WANT THE SHEETS.

And they don’t have them. And the theme of this Christmas must be Christmas Puppies. I’m seeing those suckers all over the place.

I want ‘kiddish’, but I’ll pass on the puppies. Besides the puppies come with that damn comforter.

I found one called ‘Northern Lights’, but it just did not seem like enough ‘fun’. I want holiday cheer. Dammit. Plus, the cross stitch looking ‘heart’ will get a definite thumbs down from the boys. Any of them.

Then I found one called a ‘ski scene set’. It was pure white. Whose idea of a joke is that?

So by the time you read this, in the morning as I post at night, I am sure a resolution to this will have been found. It appears the reindeer is not the way to go this year, but we will not be having Christmas Puppies. I’m looking at Snowmen this year. Snowmen or Penguins.

I shall forgo the comforters. Flannel is hot enough in S. Fl.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:17 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Feeling a Bit Lonely...

Please tell me I am not insane. My sister and my husband have never heard of OMD. I kept saying to my sister, ‘You WANT this on your iPod. You’ll recognize it as soon as you hear it…’ and in I popped the CD and she listened to the first track, ‘Electricity’ and stared at me blankly and said, “Nope.” So I sorted through them all, my head bopping to all of them as I knew all the words and the beat and I started to think, “maybe I know these because I own the CD…” so I jumped to the 6th track which was Tesla Girls. I KNEW they played that out somewhere. I just knew it.

Once again, I was greeted with a blank stare and a “Never. Never in my life have I heard this…”

Mid to Late 80s. It had to be. I was in college. Why do I own this CD and KNOW it if it was not something I heard frequently and liked? Where did I hear it?

Anyone? Anyone?

So on the 9 hour drive home, at the end of the stretch, just for the sheer entertainment factor, I said to my husband, ‘Hey, you know of OMD, right?’ to which he gives me this look I have been accustomed to that says, “What are you up to this time?” and in I pushed the CD and on popped “Electricity” and my ears heard next, “Never. Never in my life have I heard this song.”

My husband is 5 years older than I. He has never really been into the alternative music I listen to or any of the 80s Pop; he listens to rock ‘n roll. The old hard stuff. That’s the difference of being a teenager in the mid-70s with older siblings, and being the oldest of three and listening to most of my music in the mid-80s.

But I don’t think OMD was classified as alternative. Wasn’t it more Pop? And was I the only one listening to them?

And for those who may be thinking hard about this, Electricity was pronounced "Elec-tric-ity". Broken into three distinct syllables. Hunh.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:29 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

An Answer to a Famous Question

Eric posted HERE on why he is banned from wearing a kilt. And it reminded me of a story. Surprise.

I played the bagpipes in a band here in town for a couple years. I was never good, so don’t think, “Wow! You play the bagpipes?!” Not really. I tried. It’s a tough instrument. It takes a lot of air and I just had a tough time. The Great Omnipotent One, however, he is a great piper. He’s been playing for nearly 10 years now and is in a band affiliated with his local Irish Pub. I had to quit when my husband and I became prolific, producing offspring at a rate of every 2 years.

So we would go on these gigs, the entire band, and we had this one piper who was such an extrovert, it would unnerve me. Surely, you’ve met people like that. They’ll say and do anything… in a loud voice. All the time. There are two volumes… off and on.

And so we would go on our gigs, and invariably, someone would ask, “What does a piper wear under their kilt?” and his answer would be to stomp up and down hard and say with great bravado, “See the tops of my shoes? That’s baby powder.”, but since we wore white spats, the baby powder could not be seen.

This went on, gig after gig.

Then one day, we were at a very good gig, where they fed the band and watered them too, unlimited supply of beer, not to mention the fact that most in the band had their own single malt scotch in a flask hidden in their sporran or in the waist of their kilt. And this loud piper had had just a wee too many sips of something and while clowning around, he tripped over his own feet and landed… kilt up.

And the man wore white skivvies under his kilt! Oh did he take a ribbing from the other men. As for me? I will say I shook my head and said I was sorely disappointed. I never did claim to be clothing free under my kilt. I wore biker shorts. But for the man who did make that claim, he never did live that down. I will admit, he had a nice build and it would have been fun to see ‘how nice’. *ahem* But ‘twas not to be.

It would appear that the women at Eric’s wedding, were much more… fortunate. *grin*

Posted by Boudicca at 08:24 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

November 25, 2005

Question for my Readers

Am I the only one getting a ton of crap in my e-mail? I mean TONS. Since every single piece has an attachment, I feel certain it's that damn virus of which I've heard.

No kidding, on my hotmail account that I use only for blogging, I'm getting like 20-30 a day.

And to all you folks out there who have considered blogging, here is a tip. DO NOT USE your regular e-mail address for blogging. On my personal account, that nobody but a few have, I never get this kind of spam. On my hotmail account that I use for blogging and for leaving comments, I am frickin' inundated.

And its much worse this week than ever. Usually I get only one or two e-mail from some woman in Nigeria dying of cancer and needing my money sent to some special account. This week? Blech.

Good Grief. So is it just me?

Posted by Boudicca at 11:01 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Planning for Twenty Years from Now

Well, while everyone else was kicking back and watching football after their great Thanksgiving Day feast, we over here at The Great Omnipotent One and Mom’s were… going through the family ‘stuff’ for their Will. It was on our list of ‘must do’s’ before we left from this holiday.

Talk about a real downer for a weekend. Nothing quite takes the highs out of a good family gathering like being handed a computerized list, room by room, of every family ‘heirloom’ and being told to decide who gets what ‘in the event of…’.

Blech.

From chairs to a spinning wheel, sleigh bed to pictures… it was all listed out, items that have been in our family some for the last 50 years, while others for probably closer to 150 years or longer. All sentimental, every piece had a story. While we’ve divied up the items, my folks have been tasked to write down what long passed family member owned which piece, so we don’t lose the emotional value, the story.

Instructions have been given, should one of us three not want the piece, it is to be given to a cousin. They are not to be sold. Our family items stay with family, and it matters not whether it is of the offspring of my parents, we only get first choice, or the offspring of their brothers and sisters. And the word is out to my cousins too… for there are family items that each of their parents have as well. Should my cousins not want something, they are to call us first, before anything leaves the family. Every measure WILL be exhausted before something leaves this family…

It has been said. Therefore it is so. We’re honorable people and this is how it will work. There is no lip service from us or our cousins. And as my parents knew it would be, my brother and sister and I sat down with the list, and talked about items, and readily gave pieces all future homes, without nary a word said that would be cross. We are not jealous or envious types… if a piece meant that much to one, it was a given that person have it, no question. The piece will still be with family. Besides, if we all loved a piece, we knew we had visitation rights…

See, we have had distant family that did not care about our family items, married into the family they did, and when our blood relation died, their spouses scattered our family treasures into the wind. Family silver, chairs, pictures and such… and nothing was said. It was just sold at an ‘estate sale’, but being we do not come from wealth, amounted to a ‘garage sale’, of that I am sure. And of that we are sickened.

That will not happen again. Not on our watch.

This has all been said for the future. 20 years from now, we are told. It was the only way the three of us could get through it all, as we love our parents so, it makes us physically ill to think of the prospect of their not being here. 20 years from now. It must be… because… there’s no frickin’ way I can fit all this extra furniture into my house right now! And three young boys should not live in the same house with an antique spinning wheel!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 24, 2005

Say It Isn't So- An MRE on Thanksgiving

Whoda thunk it? Really. All these great left overs, turkey, ham, cheese grits, some excellent squash casserole with swiss cheese, stuffing… you name it, we have a bit left over, and for dinner tonight, my eldest wants Cheese Tortellini MRE. There is just something inherently wrong with that.

We didn’t have one of those available, so instead, on this Thanksgiving Evening, the boys tried MRE #20, Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.

I wasn’t going to blog tonight. It’s THANKSGIVING! But, when something as absolutely absurd as your children requesting a repeat performance of an MRE for dinner, instead of Thanksgiving leftovers, its just begging to be blogged. And so… it goes…

Menu#20, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce came with repeat performances from many past MREs. You know you’ve eaten many MREs when you start to recognize items as staples. In the accessory pack we got coffee and the fixin’s for those who do not take it black, gum, and the cute little bottle of tobasco sauce. I’ve never thought of putting tobasco sauce on Spaghetti… Blech.

Wheat Snack Bread- This one was also fake shaped like bread. I was dead on serious when I said it looked like a big version of that Bread you remove from the electrified patient in that game Operation. It just needs to be white. And evidently, it was not a fluke. Wheat Snack Breads come ready made stale.

Cheese Spread- OK, this was not good. I think Cheese Whiz is better. The Cheese Spread is infinitely better with the jalapeno in it… this plain way, all of us took a bite and then shoved it aside. Hmm. No thanks. In retrospect, this is what that little bottle of tobasco sauce was for. Mix it in with the cheese spread and then spread it on the Wheat Snack Bread.

Charms candy- Big hit. Of course.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce- Two thumbs up. The kids said it tasted just like the stuff we buy in the can for hurricane supplies. Typically they don’t like Chef Boyrdee, but I think when the Chef happens to come in a Green Army Man meal, then that’s acceptable. The quote from Bones, “Hey! This is really good!” I think every dead Italian relative of my husband’s probably turned in their grave, but the point was made. It wasn’t bad.

OK… I saved the worst for last… because I suspect that there is something going on in the MRE Chef God test Kitchen of which our government needs to be made aware. I think that there are people in the kitchen that are exacting some sort of revenge upon our military.

Hear me out.

I think it’s the Soviets. See, they didn’t win the Cold War, so they have infiltrated our MRE Chef God Kitchen and have decided it may take them 20 or 30 years, but they will win by coming up with… Dairy Shake Powder for our soldiers. That’s right. Somehow this offensive ‘Dessert’ has made it past the taste testers for our men and women in uniform and THE ONLY THING I CAN THINK OF, is that someone pretty high up in the taste tester chain is working for the enemy or some past enemy to exact some sort of revenge or perhaps are delusional and think they can win it back slowly through poisoning our troops.

And don’t believe RSM. I’m officially afraid for him as of the comments in THIS post. Holy crap. Note to RSM: I’m sorry my friend, but it is time for us to find you a good woman who can cook so you realize that ANY DAIRY SHAKE POWDER in an MRE is 'not good'. I’m not sure if your taste buds havebeen damaged by Dairy Shake Powder consumption, or what, but perhaps you need to make your way down to West Palm Beach so my boys and I can whip you up a real shake… ‘cause MRE shakes ain’t it. *Big Grin*

Holy crap. Today’s MRE specialty was Chocolate Dairy Shake Powder. The Strawberry was so incredibly vile, I decided to use cold water from my folk’s refrigrator in hopes that the ‘extra cold’ might help. I was wrong.

First, that crap is not shakeable. You must use your special Army Man Spoon to get the lumps out. Second, I know I have texture issues, but this one, I tell you, it is like a barium swallow… chalky and thick. Third, I guess it was chocolate. Chocolate of the worst degree. Chocolate made by people who have never actually tasted it, but have only had it described to them.

I’m sorry, the dessert is just not edible. It’s not. Period. MAYBE it is edible if you just eat the powder. Maybe. But with water, no, my friends, it is not. Once again, the memories…although not as bad as the strawberry… the memories bring the bile into my throat. It is that bad.

So you cannot convince me that if Strawberry and Chocolate taste as atrocious as they do, that the Vanilla RSM swears to is any great shakes. No pun intended. Someone feed that boy!!!

As for this MRE, we give it TWO THUMBS UP. Just skip the shake or you’ll lose your dinner. Blech.

Sidenote: RSM is of When the Smoke Clears and has become one of my favorite blogs. (I met him at Eric's... he is Eric's blogson.) He knows I am teasing him. Kind of. I am a bit worried for him. Really. Vanilla Shakes. No thanks. I'll pass. *wink*

Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Today I am Thankful For...

...My Family.

From Mine to Yours, may you have a blessed, safe, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Boudicca at 07:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

I Am Thankful For...

...the friends I have made over the last 40 years. I have a friend or two I've made through every stage of my life.

And I'm thankful for my girlfriends. Although I have mainly hung around men most of my life, it is the women who have seen me through the tough times. I am thankful I have come to value what we women have to offer each other.

So today I am thankful for the people who have entered my life and stuck around...for those who have been there for me and I only hope I have been there for them as well.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:23 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Southern Gastroporn with a few MRE Shots...

For my blog sister, Sally, I am fulfilling a request for Southern 'Gastroporn'! So pictures of tonight's good southern dinner, along with a couple MRE pictures thrown in, is what we have in this post.

Remember, Click to Enlarge.

First we have some MRE pictures. These two pictures are what MREs look like unpacked out of their special Army Man bags, which by the way, must be cut open with a special Army Man Knife as this resealable stuff written on the bag is not true. I do believe a Bayonet would work as well...

MRE.JPG

MRE2.JPG

Next is MRE Wheat Snack Bread and Blackberry Jam. Note the 'bready' shape of this snack.

blackberry jam.jpg

This is a picture of... CHEESE! Cheese prepared to go into Mom's Cheese Grits Souffle.

cheese.jpg

And lastly, tonight's pre-Thanksgiving Southern Dinner of Ham, Cheese Grits Souffle, black eyed peas, and brocolli salad. MMM!

dinner.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 11:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Two MREs on Thanksgiving Eve

Today we have a twofer… two MRE lunches courtesy of the US Government. Double the culinary experience. There was some argument as to exactly what would be consumed next, so since one MRE really doesn’t feed all three boys, we opted to try two.

Menu#17 Beef Teriyaki and #15 Beef Enchilada. Now, I had originally thought we would not try the Beef Enchilada today as we were to meet Morrigan’s boyfriend and I figured a farting contest would not be setting the boys’ best foot forward, a contest that would be inevitable in my mind, after eating the MRE Chef God’s version of enchiladas. But, upon much begging from Bones, I acquiesced, and that became our 2nd meal.

Starting with the Beef Teriyaki…

Wheat snack bread- it came with one of those fresh paks that make me feel not so good for our troops. I know, our men and women serving our Country realize these aren’t home cooked meals from Mom, but honestly, there’s nothing like a 'fresh pak' attached to your bread to hammer that home… well that and the Army Green plastic bag the bread comes in… but I digress. The Wheat snack bread tasted stale, was preformed to be the shape of a piece of freshly baked bread (actually it looked like the shape of the plastic bread from the game Operation), but not bad. Really.

Blackberry Jam- this stuff rocked. It was just what the wheat snack bread needed. It would be awesome with that chemical Peanut Butter provided in Menu 13, Cheese Tortellini.

Accessory Pack- This one was not labeled, but contained black tea, sugar, non-dairy creamer, gum AND!!!!, that itty bitty bottle of tobasco sauce! We saved the tobasco sauce. It was too cute to eat. Oh and the coveted Army Man Spoon. We’re collecting them…when The Great Omnipotent One is not trying to throw them away.

Peanut Butter M&Ms- Heh. Is there any question what we thought of those? I think not.

Noodles Chow Mein- like the stuff you buy at the grocery store.

Beef Teriyaki- Eaten only by two boys, Bones wouldn’t touch it, he had a hankering for Beef Enchilada, it was deemed funky by one boy and OK for the other… giving it two thumbs up.

Shortbread cookies- Oh. The dessert was a major failing. They needed that blackberry jam in a bad bad way. I think the cookies took in the taste of that Army Green Plastic bag in which they came. Morrigan tried to convince the boys that the cookies tasted fine after bite #2, but they’d have nothing to do with a 2nd bite. My husband tried to convince them if they plugged their nose and just threw it down their throat, they would be great. The boys didn’t buy that either.

OH! And it came with Beverage Base Powder, Grape Flavor, that got two thumbs up. Kool-aid. I don’t know why they couldn’t just print ‘grape kool aid’ on the pack. I think pyschologically it would be much better for our soldiers… sounds like home… comfort food, good kid memories. One feels hesitant to drink something that sounds like it came out of Chemistry Lab.

So… we give MRE #17 Beef Teriyaki Two Thumbs Up! It was totally edible and in some cases, pretty good. Just skip the cookies or… spread the jam on them first.

As for the Beef Enchilada… Wow. There was just so much wrong. Let’s save the worst for last.

It came with Beverage Base Powder, Cherry Flavor which garnered two thumbs way up! Cherry Kool aid! Yippee!!!

Vegetable Crackers- Very good.

Cheese Spread with Jalapenos- this was cheez whiz with jalapenos and was pretty good.

Accessory pack- same as Teriyaki except we got instant coffee.

Chocolate Chip Cookie- The kids took one bite and tried to pawn the rest of it off on Morrigan’s boyfriend. Not a good sign. The MRE Chef Gods need work on their baking skills. Perhaps with that cup of instant coffee... the cookie could be dunked in it to soften it up a bit.

And… the worst for last…

Mexican rice- Good Lord. This was the most foul thing I have EVER tried to put in my body. And I’ve eaten some nasty stuff. First, it stayed the shape of the Army green packet in which it arrived. There was not much hope in breaking it up. And when I did manage to break off a bite, something one does not expect to have to do with ‘rice’, I cannot even explain what it tasted like. And it wasn't stuck together like a hard brick, but rather like it was encased in lard. It was not salvageable with tobasco sauce. It was a consistency problem. Now, perhaps if I had heated it with the MRE heating element, it would have softened the residue and been easier to… break apart. If there is a next time, I shall try that.

Beef Enchilada- It smelled bad. Really bad. Morrigan said it smelled like Body Odor. By far it was the worst smelling of all the MREs. At one point, not realizing it was the MRE, she thought it was my husband, thinking to herself, “He always smells so nice and clean. I’ve never ‘smelled’ him before…could it be?” Heh. ‘Twas not. This was the meal Bones had been looking forward to. The other boys would not touch it. Bones nibbled at it, but said it was just not good. He was being kind.

Two thumbs down on the whole Enchilada. Blech. I couldn’t even tell the MRE Chef Gods where to begin in correcting this erroneous odorous meal. But, if pressed, I would suggest their starting with the Mexican rice though, as it truly was the worst offender.

And I did have to wonder, if a soldier did eat this entire meal, which I am sure they do as someone said to me, “You’ll eat anything if you’re tired, hungry and angry enough”, it would surely produce a gaseous aftereffect, as it is supposed to be Mexican food. Should that secondary gaseous effect be worse than the original smell that occurred during preparation, that secondary smell should be bottled up. Our military could use that as chemical warfare.

Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

I Am Thankful For...

The men and women who serve us within our own country… the paramedics, the firefighters, and the police officers. They are thankless jobs at times, probably more often than not.

But without them, the fabric of our society would not stay as tightly woven as it is, although it does feel frayed at times even with their great efforts. I am thankful for all that they do… and I am thankful that I have many in these three professions that I can call ‘friend’.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Will He Scream, "Runaway! Runaway!!!"

So the family is starting to converge upon my folk’s home for the holiday. My sister arrives with her boyfriend tomorrow.

Her boyfriend is meeting the family. All of us.

And I hear he’s excited.

I think he may be a lunatic.

My children have been known to make men not want children. It is true. She brought a man home once, someone she was somewhat serious with, he spent the weekend with us and when they got home, he realized that he did not want children. The Poster Children for Birth Control, my boys have been known to be.

Now I’ve met this boyfriend and I really like him. And my parents have met him and they really like him. Most importantly though is that *I* like him as I’ve been known to give her ex-boyfriends nicknames like ‘Bob the dick head’ or ‘Will the F---head’. Nice. But usually they got these names secretly while they were dating. I was just more vocal about it once the break up occurred.

This guy though, we like him. He just hasn’t met my brother, my husband, or my kids.

Meanwhile, my husband is all stoked about this boyfriend. He already has the two couples playing a game of basketball against each other. Heh. This should be fun. My sister is 5’ nuthin’ and I’m 5’2”. Athletics we are not known for, but as long as it doesn’t involve a bike, Morrigan should be fine. (Morrigan can’t ride a bike… she has a habit of hitting parked cars.)

Oh and my folk’s bought a badminton game for the boys, and my husband, in his head, has all of us out there swinging rackets.

I just hope her beau truly understands the lunacy he is about to be immersed in. I hope he doesn’t turn and run. It’s been known to happen…

Posted by Boudicca at 05:28 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Since When did Pepto Bismal become Dessert?

Today’s culinary delight, courtesy of the US Government, was Menu #21, Chicken Tetrazzini. What odd things they thought to pack with this meal…

Crackers- Same as the last meal, and this is the item that has the anti-oxidants added. Odd. Tasty crackers, but odd.

Strawberry Jam- Very good! Son#2 insisted on eating any crackers and jam anyone else did not want. It would have been good with yesterday’s peanut butter. I think in the field, I’d save the PB or Jam in a pocket in the event I ended up with the other next go round. You can never have too much PB&J.

Strawberry Dairy Shake- Holy crap. I’m sorry, but I do not see it is possible for the MRE Chef Gods of the US Government to have thrust anything worse upon our men and women in combat than this one single item. Folks, I could do a whole damn post on this one thing. I can feel the bile rising in my throat just thinking of it.

Opening up this package, it was a white powder, looking and smelling somewhat benign enough. I added the obligatory 6 oz of cold water, while mentally thinking, “No good can come of this.” Intuition said, ‘fake shakes are bad’. I was right. I shook it for the required one minute, and it turned a pink of the most foul. Pepto Bismal pink, not being the worst trait, but combined with the same thick flow of Pepto Bismal, I knew I was going to be hard pressed to take a sip.

But I did. All in the name of science. It was truly awful. Son#1 took one small sip and said, “No thanks and mine didn't get stirred very well” as he looked at the white lumps that had been poured into his cup. I think shaking is not sufficient. One needs that Green Army Man Spoon to beat out all the lumps.

Son#2 took a bigger sip, twisted his face up and said, “This is awful!”. Bones took a sip and said... “This is GREAT! Can I have Son#2’s?” Good God. It was so sweet, it tasted like something along the lines of what they gave me to test me for diabetes with the consistency of a barium swallow. Blech.

Don’t trust Bones. The Strawberry Dairy Shake sucks wet socks, which is what I would do if I were a soldier and was thirsty, instead of drinking this nasty pink crap.

Accessory Packet B- Oh this was a hit. This contained the tootsie rolls, instant coffee, creamer, sugar, ground red pepper packet and… the very cool coveted Army Man Spoon. Once again… No cute little tobasco bottle.

Chicken Tetrazzini- It got One Thumb Up from Son#2, who ate his and everyone else’s, and Two Thumbs Down from my other two. (We vote with three thumbs in this house.) I tasted it and it really really needed that red pepper packet that came in Accessory Packet B.

Oatmeal Cookie- One Thumb Up from Son#2, One ‘OK’ from Son#1, and a Thumb Down from Bones. I personally thought it would have been fine with a steaming hot cup of instant coffee, non-dairy creamer and sugar provided in Accessory Packet B.

So over all…I’m going to have to say that Menu #21, Chicken Tetrazzini, got the big “NO”, as it was a 2/3 thumbs down and… because I still want to vomit thinking of that Strawberry Dairy Shake. Someone should be court marshalled for that one… hung for treason for trying to kill our troops in the field. Blech.

Tomorrow’s menu? We do not know. After today’s fiasco, they’re still fighting over who gets to pick tomorrow’s lunch. It’ll have to be a surprise. I know… you can hardly wait.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:22 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 21, 2005

What I'm Thankful For...

I'm continuing this through Thanksgiving, having started it yesterday.

On a side note, Bones' first grade class sat down individually with their teacher and told them what they were thankful for, then they wrote it up, with assistance.

Bones is thankful for his Mom and Dad because they make him feel better and because they help him make good choices. That touched my heart.

I had to laugh at the little guy that was thankful for Tigers. I need to go back and reread some of those.

Anyway, today, I am thankful for the men and women who have and are currently serving our country in the Armed Forces.

They work long hours, put themselves at risk, and they don't do it for the cash. The monetary pay sucks. I grew up as a military kid. When I was a kid, there were enlisted personnel on food stamps. That makes me sick. I am hoping that has changed, but fear it has not.

So today, that is what I'm thankful for... Our Men and Women who have served our country and our Men and Women who serve today. Thank You.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Alarm Clocks

I got tagged with a Meme! An Alarm clock Meme, by my blog daughter VW.

1. Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?

No, I don't. My husband uses one and I wake up 15 minutes after he does. Actually, when I hear the shower turn off, I roll out of bed. I've never overslept. That said, I have an excellent internal clock, and wake up 2 minutes before alarm clocks go off, but then again we can blame it on the fact I just flat out sleep very poorly. I do use one when he is out of town.

2. What time do you set it for?

He sets his for 5:45 and rolls out of bed at 6:00. I get up at 6:15. When he's out of town, I set it for 6AM.

3. Do you hit the snooze button? If so how many times?

He hits it one time. I hit it twice when he's out of town.

4. Have you ever abused an alarm clock?

Nope. If I have an alarm clock set, I must need to wake up.

5. It’s time to spread some “It’s Blogcess” linky love.

Rules of the game, so I have been told:

First: Copy and paste questions #1 thru #4 to a post on your site. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Then copy #5 and include the link. (Make sure to link to: “It’s Blogcess”, which is the link in #5. Because it’s always polite to link to the one who started the linky love.)

Second: Link to my site (because it’s polite to link to the site that tagged you).

Third: Go and tag up to five other blogs, or more if ya like.

Fourth: Email the owner of, or post on the blogs that you have tagged, to inform them that you’ve tagged them.

So the following may consider themselves tagged... and my apologies if they've been tagged already. I'm tagging only two as I can't figure out whose been tagged...

Tammi
Sissy

Posted by Boudicca at 07:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Two Thumbs Up for Cheese Tortellini

Today’s great culinary experience comes courtesy of the US Government, from MRE Menu #13, Cheese Tortellini.

Now in this box for Menu #13, we had myriad MRE choices, beef teriyaki, beef enchilada, chicken with noodles, chicken tetrazzini, chicken with cavatelli, vegetable manicotti, turkey breast with gravy and potatoes, spaghetti with meat sauce, beef roast with vegetables, jambalaya, and meatloaf and gravy.

Having had roast with vegies last night, I saw no reason for the great MRE chefs of the world to have to go head to head with the cooking of The Great Omnipotent One. I also eliminated from our choices, vegetable manicotti due to the name. Soldiers may see the word vegetable and think “Hoooo Haaa!” but young boys do not. Spaghetti and meat sauce is on tonight’s menu, and twice in one day, although I feel certain the MRE spaghetti and meat sauce is nothing like the recipe my husband uses, is unnecessary. You know, too much of a good thing and all that jazz.

Jambalaya didn’t seem like something the boys would like, so I nixed that one. Same with meatloaf and gravy. Unless it comes with lots of ketchup, there’s no way they’d eat it. I make a GREAT meatloaf with Swiss cheese stuffed in, and they cover MY recipe in ketchup.

I may do the Beef enchilada for me. I thought it sounded good.

The remaining choices we will rotate through the various lunches we have remaining here during our visit.

So… within our Cheese Tortellini MRE we received:

Crackers- they were big.

Peanut butter- I have concern with all the additives in our soldier’s peanut butter. It was OK, but when I saw TGOO breaking out his own jar to eat with apple and I offered up the MRE peanut butter and was met with raised eyebrow and a mouthed “No…thank… youuuuu”, I knew it wasn't just me, it did taste kind ‘o funky.

Two pieces of gum- a big plus from the boys.

A roll of charms candy- a big plus from the boys. Red was the best, green was the worst. Green tasted like ‘ink’?

Apple sauce- 2/3 of the boys liked the apple sauce or found it reasonable. But me? Blech. It needed something. Maybe cinnamon. Plus I think this one is the packet that I read contained an ‘anti-oxidant’. Huh. I wasn’t aware aging and cancer were the big concerns of our soldiers in the field, but hey, good to know someone is looking long term. Anyway, perhaps this apple gloop, as one boy called it, was supposed to be poured over the Spiced Cake that was for dessert. Which brings me to…

Spiced Cake- It got two thumbs up from the boys, but I think that’s a psychological issue. It had ‘cake’ in the name. It could have been named poop cake and the kids would have liked it. I think it was icky dry and kind ‘o funky, and looking back, it needed that weird tasting apple gloop poured over the top. Next time, I’ll warm up the apple gloop in the MRE heater, and then pour it over the cake. Hmm. But, honestly, I think for me it was psychological too. I’m just not used to opening my dessert with a ‘Ageless Oxygen Absorption’ pack attached to it. I don’t know. It just wasn’t a ‘big plus’ with me.

Spiced Cider- I do believe we got the Fall meal here, in retrospect. Just in time for Thanksgiving. The boys loved this spiced cider. I just felt fortunate we didn’t have to ‘allow water chemically purified to sit 30 minutes’. At that point, said cider would have fallen into the same psychological place as the ‘ageless oxygen absorption’ packet.

Iced tea- They loved this, but said it needed more sugar.

Cheese Tortellini- This was as good as some of the stuff we buy at our grocery store. The MRE chef Gods did a good job with this one. Sure there is GREAT tortellini at the stores, but the average stuff we get at our stores, tastes no better, and maybe not as good as the MRE stuff. Not bad.

The big hit, of course, was the green Army Man Spoon. We saved it and will collect all three. Each of the boys wants there own.

The MRE heater was very cool.

We didn’t use the ‘ salt free seasoning packet’. I’m not sure what we would have used this on. Perhaps we would have saved it for some other meal in the future.

As I cleaned up our MRE lunch, one of the boys said, “I could eat like a soldier!” and the others chimed in that they could too. There was a whole lot of food, thankfully as our soldiers need the calories.

So I do believe, my three boys opinion of MRE menu #13, Cheese Tortellini was Two Thumbs Up!

Tomorrow… Chicken Tetrazzini.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:26 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Hypothermia... I MAY Be At Risk!!!

I go walking every morning with my Mom. I have found it has been clearing my head... getting the cobwebs out. I have a theory that I need cool weather for that, lest the perpetual hot humid air of S.FL grow mold inside the nooks and crannies of my brain.

The weather has been beautiful, yesterday with a high in the low 60s. It was probably 55 when we walked. I have acclimated and have been enjoying it.

But something happened last night, rain and cold came in. We have put off our walk in hopes that it would get warmer.

Holy crap. It's 42 degrees. I'm going die on this walk. I have fear that the moisture in my lungs will cause them to freeze when I inhale.

I hear that happens in Alaska, you know. Bad stuff this cold weather.

So Hubba and I are off to brave this artic blast that came through. Wish us well. I hear hypothermia is a bad way to die...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:30 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 20, 2005

I Am Thankful For...

I’ve decided to blog once a day until Thanksgiving on something I am thankful for…and I have much.

Today, I’m thankful for the bloggers and readers of blogs who helped with the Valour-IT push. I was out of town when it came to an end and was remiss in publishing the results here.

Army came in first in hitting the original goal of 21K. Navy came in a close 2nd. But at the end of the day, Navy collected the most! Yahoo!! (Go HERE and scroll down to see all the results.)

But… we all know…in the end, the winners were our soldiers in need. In the end, over $75,000 was collected for Valour-IT.

I was stunned.

So today, I am thankful for all who particpated in Valour-IT, who read my posts and took it seriously, for the bloggers I teased from the ‘other team’, and for the folks who put Valour-IT together. (And to that one person, who sent me an e-mail and warmed my heart by his donation, but apologized because it was 'late'... I was rendered speechless by your generosity. I thank you, my friend.)

I am thankful for good deeds done for good people who deserve it. Times like this provides me not only with a faith in humanity, but gives me reserves.

Thank you.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A New Culinary Experience

Oh we have big plans for tomorrow!!! Yessireebob!

See, when you go get in the FEMA line for ice, they don’t ask you if you just want ice. They have this efficient line down pat. Drive your car to the head of the line, pop your trunk and in they place ice and MREs… Or at least that’s how it was September of last year.

Heh. See this coming?

So during hurricane Ivan, even though The Great Omnipotent One and Hubba (Mom) had food and water to last for probably a month, no doubt, when TGOO got in line for ice on Day 4, he came home with ice and MREs.

Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to try MREs. Whooo hoooo! I am unsure of what our choice will be (he’s got a grunch of them, quite an assortment), but I will make sure you know of our selection, what we picked and why, and a full rundown of the MRE experience. Of course I realize its not quite like eating them in the field, but I don’t need the FULL experience.

Stay tuned. Hey, if the kids like them enough, we could end up taking some on our next camping trip. Somehow I don’t see that happening…

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

Of Boys and their Belching

We took the boys to see Zathura today. On a side note from this story, I very much enjoyed the movie, perhaps more so than the boys. I think the kid actors did a great job. And, yes, it is Jumanji in space. (Jumanji is a family fave.)

It was on at one of those stadium theaters where the arm rests flip up and you can pretty much lay all over each other in the seats, unencumbered by drink holding arm rests. My eldest is a bit under the weather with a cold, so he had leaned into me, with my wrapping my body around him in an effort to keep him warm. Meanwhile, the two younger boys were sprawled all over their father as if he were a big cushion on a couch.

The movie had yet to start when Son#1 and I heard from behind us, “BUUUUUURRRRP!” It was so loud, it could have been in stereo, surround sound we felt certain.

He looked up at me, I down at him and we quietly laughed to ourselves.

Meanwhile, behind us we hear a mother say, “Gabriel! That is the second time you have done that. I’m going to pop you in the mouth! I am sick and tired of it. Do you understand! All these people in this theater are thinking to themselves, “What a rude little boy!””

Heh heh heh. Not really. I leaned over to my eldest and whispered, “Sound familiar?”

My 2nd son is the burpiest little boy in the world. I accidentally taught him how to burp when he was two. See, I was trying to teach my 8 year old nephew, to get under my sister-in-law’s skin, but it didn’t work. Instead, my then two year old was watching intently as his mother gulped air and repeatedly showed this 8 year old how to belch, louder and grosser each time. This was one of my first lessons in ‘Two year olds are like sponges.’

Anyway, now Son#2 can burp on command and at times, does not hold back. It’s been 6 years and it bugs the ever living crap out of me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Karma and all that crap. I get it.

This is a common conversation in our home:

Son#2: Buuuurrrrrpppp!

Me: WHAT DO YOU SAY?!

Son#2 (giggling): Excuse me…

Me: It’s NOT funny! Do you hear?! I am sick and tired of telling you, no burping, in particular, not at my dinner table. Do you understand?

Son#2: (silence)

Me: I’m serious. It is rude, crude and socially unacceptable. KNOCK IT OFF.

And then it happens… the next day… at dinner… as if the original conversation never took place.

So it was very funny to me to hear a similar conversation to one I have, all to often, between a mother and her son.

When oh when will these boys learn the golden rule? “Do NOT burp in front of your mother.”

Sheesh.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:03 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 19, 2005

Less Is More and Other Revelations

Sooooo… I walked in the school Thursday to assist the kids with the Food For Families, as in carrying in the food. Most of the families participating did what we did, and unloaded their hurricane supplies.

It was interesting to see what people expected to eat during a Hurricane. Let me tell y’all something. In my mind there is NO REASON to suffer with crappy food just because there is a hurricane. Sure, after a week you may eventually find yourself in a FEMA line procuring MREs due to propane shortage and a lack of meat, but you can at least make it for a few days without having to resort to some of the stuff I saw people had stocked up upon.

Good Lord. One family brought in A BOX, a full size box, full of Ramon Noodles. Did they really expect they were going to eat Ramon Noodles for two meals a day for weeks on end?

Allow me to share… my kids would go on a hunger strike after day two of Ramon Noodles. And they like Ramon Noodles. Hell…I’d have gone on a hunger strike. Blech. You can only eat so much of that noodley goodness before your body rebels and your arm instinctively pushes that bowl aside, with brain screaming “NO MORE!”

Too much of anything is not good. Less is more. Bigger is not better… oh, I digress.

And as we were making the trek up here to Pensacola, my husband’s cell rang. It was Pop telling us how Tropical Storm Gamma was forming and would hit S. Fl. With his being prone to great exaggeration, I listened to my husband’s end of the conversation and rolled my eyes… Until… VW called me to tell me. That’s right, my phone rang as my husband was talking to Pop and when I saw it was VW I thought, “F*&$. There is one.”

Of course it is not how it is being hyped, she assured me. It is a storm. Not a ‘cane. But J.H.C. I am so frickin’ sick of this crap. Who woulda thunk that at Thanksgiving I’d be looking at Wundgerground and thinking, “Crap. I didn’t bring in the porch furniture before we left…”

So now on my checklist before I leave sunny S. FL to travel in November I shall add, “Secure back porch in case a freak storm hits”. If I have to add that to my December list, I’m gonna be pissed.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Thankgiving in Pensacola

Greetings from Pensacola, Florida, home of massive hurricanes, beautiful white beaches suffering from beach erosion and the Blue Angels!! Too bad there's no show this weekend. Watching the Blues from the beach is always a highlight of anyone's day/week/year/decade.

I will say that I'm not dead from the cold yet, although it was touch and go there for awhile last night. We got back in the car after having stopped in Ocala for dinner, and I bundled up the kids in blankets and my wool overcoat to get them toasty for the rest of our drive.

It was 58 degrees.

But the boys have acclimated already and have been outside since 8AM playing basketball and badminton in shorts and t-shirts, although my husband proclaimed that Bones is the most like his Italian blood, not warming up easily. Bones wore a jacket, a wool cap and fell in love with my Mom's gloves... they are black, trimmed in faux leapard fur. He's quite the sight playing basketball in those.

The US trucking industry seems to be alive and well in Florida. I think there were more trucks on the road than cars.

Of course the boys were up early, with The Great Omnipotent One fixing them a big breakfast, one of their highlights of coming up here. I used to love it when Granddaddy (TGOO's father) would fix us big ol' Southern breakfasts when we would visit. Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease, bacon, toast and grits, Blue Grass or Gospel music playing on the old transistor.

No Gospel or Blue Grass playing for the boys with TGOO cooking. (They know Mom and TGOO's home for great Celtic and native American rhythms.) Just lots and lots of good food. TGOO's breakfast repetoire is far more extensive than Granddaddy's was, with fresh blueberry muffins, pancakes, biscuits and eggs. The boys hate grits. I'm still working on that.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 17, 2005

Train Wreck 'O The Day

Well… it’s not that I regret posting it… in hindsight, if I had to do it again it’s a toss up. It was definitely cathartic. I felt good getting it out there, but I type a lot of what goes on in this crazy head of mine and then delete, and surely I could have done that too.

But I didn’t.

So a bit more of me was exposed than I generally like. Nothing like having your blog be the ‘train wreck ‘o the day’. Looooove that!

I turned comments off for two reasons. First, because it was a stream of conciousness… what you read was first iteration, no editing. A complete core dump onto the computer followed by an impulsive ‘publish’. I wondered if in so doing if I was going to get a comment from someone saying, “Quit your bitchin’, you got it easy. My kid’s got ‘insert some awful thing’ here, my spouse left me, my dog got hit by a truck, I lost my job because my boss was bangin’ my ex-, my teenage daughter is pregnant and in love with her gym teacher, and I’ve got some new strain of VD not even in the medical journals yet.”

Hey. It could happen.

Nevertheless, I know how blessed I am. I have a great husband, great kids, supportive and awesome parents and siblings, a good solid education that has enabled me to always be employed when I needed it, a home with a mortgage that is just right, and… the most amazing friends.

That last one… that one is key. I want to thank all of you for the phone calls, e-mail, and comments. Yeah, that’s right comments. Because when I turned comments off, my dear friend Tammi… she turned them ON, at HER blog. And people wrote wonderfully nice things that warmed my heart and left me with a lump in my throat and salty burning eyes.

See, the second reason I didn’t turn on comments is… I didn’t know how I would react to the nice things said. I’ve been blogging for 18 months. There was no doubt that people would offer support. And I didn’t know whether I had it in me to accept it for what it was or be embarrassed by the fact I freely admitted I felt like I might be drowning and overwhelmed. I’m kind of a private person.

But Tammi knew. She knew I needed to hear nice things and so she posted and it happened and it helped. A lot.

So… to all of you who wrote me, called me, posted at Tammi’s or quietly thought good things and sent prayers my way, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

And the train wreck is over. We're back on track, full steam ahead, all systems are GO!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:28 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

The Day I Almost Died of Hypothermia

We’re off to Pensacola tomorrow. It’s cold there. C-O-L-D. I mean 30s type cold. And those who met me in Tennessee know I can’t take the cold.

For instance…

Sissy and Morrigan and I went to dinner at this great little restaurant in Atlanta… very fun food. (Yes, food can be fun.) I had on jeans, a sweater and my jean jacket… OH! And my boots that make me really really tall… and as we walked to the car, the cold hit me like a ton ‘o bricks.

By the time we got to the car, I was chilled to the bone. I was miserable. I crawled into the backseat corner of her cute little car, huddled in tight to preserve any body warmth I might have, and my teeth started chattering and my bones started shaking and I was… cold.

Cussing up a storm I was, telling them both I thought I might, “F-ing die.” That it was so cold it wasn’t natural for people to live like this. And so I took my wool overcoat and wrapped up in it as Sissy started to laugh as my teeth were chattering so loudly if my tongue had gotten in the way, I would have bitten it off.

And Mo started the car and it read… 58 degrees. Heh.

I hate the cold. This could be a long week.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Of Beef and Dead People

Eric had a post HERE on the castration of bulls. (You gotta read the comments. The post is great, as always… I mean, we’re talking about ERIC, you feel like you're there, but the comments are priceless too.)

Now when we were in Tennessee at Eric’s, Eric and his very funny cousin, Brad, were shootin’ pool, while Morrigan, Sissy and I were perusing Eric’s tunes. And I do believe that Denny was there too, so he can attest to this story.

Brad and Eric were telling us how they castrated bulls, in great detail. I’m not sure I breathed through the whole story. I think I just stared, mouth agape, willing myself to breathe and I know, I had my legs crossed because even though I’m of the girl persuasion, it just hurt the lower half of my body picturing the whole scenario.

If you think Eric is funny on his blog, in person, the man is a damn riot. Add his cousin Brad, and they could take that show on the road. And Brad was imitating the bulls' faces, all wide eyed as someone grabbed this bull by the nuts and then… well you know what happens next.

Meanwhile, we girls (if I recall Denny wasn’t saying anythin’ so I don’t know if he’d heard it and considered this every day or if he was in shock, but knowin’ Denny, it was no big deal what we were hearin’) were gasping, yelling, covering our ears, and just carrying on about how awful it was and Eric and Brad laughed and told us more… there was horn cutting too. Ick.

We all realize of course this stuff happens. It’s the behind the scenes of the industry for carnivores. I’m cool. Really. I just prefer to pick up my beef wrapped in plastic, at Publix, and not give any thought to what kind of life this cow led. I don’t want to get all touchy feely with my dinner.

And it reminded me of this story. I may have blogged this. The disease AIDS had not been out very long. Maybe 6 years at best that it was in the public eye, perhaps late '80s. Maybe not even that long. I was home in Pensacola for the weekend, already having started my engineering job at Company X down here in Palm Beach County.

I broke open the Pensacola News Journal where they were interviewing various funeral homes as to how they dealt with the deceased who had died of AIDS.

They approached a few of the big funeral homes in the area, all owned by white people. It was a cut and dry business to them, they weren’t going to say anything that disturbed anyone… and their answers were all the same and all politically correct. Answers such as “We counsel the family. It is such a tragic time. We handle the deceased with the utmost care and respect… blah blah blah.”

I’m reading this article rather fascinated in a morbid kind of way, as I can be at times, and then they get to this very well known character in the Pensacola community, who shall remain nameless, but the Pensacola people reading this will know of whom I speak. He owned the black funeral home in town. And when they got to him, there was no dog and pony show. There was no smoke screen about death… he flat out told it like it was and it went something like this, “We put the body in a big tub and wash it with 1 part chlorox and 2 parts water…” and on he went on how they prepare the bodies.

My eyes bugged open and I thought, “Yikes! Did I need to know this?! Holy crap!” and then… I could not quit laughing. I just like my dead people to be in a coffin or urn. I don’t need to know how they got there… or how they were ‘prepared’.

My beef and my dead people. Give ‘em to me ready to go… I don’t gotta know how they got that way!

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

November 16, 2005

Some Days... It's Hour By Hour

My son does not appear to have a milk protein allergy. You would think I would be happy. I am not.

We’re undergoing blood tests now for a bacteria that causes ulcers as well as celiac disease, among other things.

I just want to know what the problem is, as I fully understand he is getting worse. He is more vocal about the issues now, it is more pronounced to me now that I know he is ill, but I can see also, it is getting worse. And I feel helpless to do anything until the tests come back, and even then… I wonder, will I be helpless again, a spectator in this 'participation required sport' of parenting?

Last week Bones, my 3rd son, had a massive croup attack that I could not control. Have you ever watched your child struggle to breathe? Have you ever held your child in your arms, doing all you know how to do, talking calmly as to not make it worse, while he flails for breath? Just one breath? Have you ever watched your child's chest retract as he gasps for air, watching his lips go pale, listening to the heavy wheeze as the airways are closing shut? Only to listen to the loud bark as he exhales… causing him to want to inhale yet again… in this downward spiral feeding on itself?

Have you ever done all you know how to do, the hot steamy showers, the change in temperature, trying to keep him calm… only to realize… its not working… and you don’t have the drugs to help?

Have you ever realized you have gone beyond your own capabilities as a parent and had to call 9-1-1, waiting for the longest 15 minutes of your life, cursing under your breath that you chose to live in the sticks… away from it all, quietly telling your child, it will be OK, 'the men who can help you breath will be here soon'.

All the while multi-tasking in prayer.

When it’s all over, the next day your child is running around your home like nothing has happened… but you… you are drained for a long time. It’s not something you just snap out of.

I had been told in February when I rushed him to the ER on my own, in what we thought was a fluke croup attack since he was nearly 6 years of age, to call 911 next time. It’s a long drive for me to a hospital and they told me to just call.

And I did this time.

So I asked the attending physician last week, “How many patients do you get in here that have had to call 911?” and he his reply assured me I made the right choice.

“Most parents live close and just drive in. 95% I send home with their child breathing normally like I will you tonight. 4% we keep over night. Then there is that 1%, that 1% like that little guy I have upstairs that ended up having a stroke and is now in a coma…for 18 days, his parents have been sitting vigil. Tell me, did you make the right choice? Would it be worth it to find if you were that 1%?”

I never doubted I made the right choice when I had my husband make the call. Never. I don’t mess around with air. I don’t like to see my children fighting to breathe.

It is not the first time I’d had to call (an asthma attack was the first call), but I pray last week’s call is the last. I have the drugs now. I feel like we can get through it next time.

And in the ride in the ambulance, the weight was on my shoulders… a child who struggles for air and a child who has some unknown illness that we have yet to get to the bottom of. A paramedic looked at me and said, “Mom. Can I get you something?”

He was asking me if I wanted a sedative. I realized as I clutched my son to my chest, as he breathed in the cool mist of the nebulizer, that I had that blank far away look, staring ahead, having fully retreated into myself. I could see the paramedics looking at each other through the glass as I said, “No. I’m fine.”

But some days… I’m not. I want it all just to go away. I want to know that I won’t be awakened at 2AM with a kid who can’t breathe. I want to know what is wrong with my 2nd son.

I want the answers and I want the assurances and there are none. And it wears on me. I have parents at school say to me all the time how I can handle anything, nothing fazes me, I am competent and collected. But… I’m not. I cannot handle it all. I get through one day at a time like everyone else in this world. And there are some days… it is hour by hour.

Comments are off.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:44 PM | TrackBack

Yet ANOTHER Missed Opportunity!

They did an article yesterday in our paper on the shortage of handymen in the area. There’s just a general shortage of people who do anything for anybody… lawn service folks, roofers, porch screen repairers, handyman, you name it. If it is something required after a hurricane, we are short it here in South Florida.

So I read this article and thought, “Damn. Yet another missed opportunity.” You see, if The Great Omnipotent One were down this way, instead of living up in God’s Country, he and I could start our own Father/Daughter handyman business. We’d be a hit. I’m telling you.

Sure, I don’t know how to fix everything, but HE does. I could learn and then eventually between the two of us, people would be shouting our names in great praise, thanking the universe for the great handyman talents of TGOO and Boudicca.

Lights. Our names would be in neon lights! Our names would go in the annals of great Handyman. Wait. Do they have annals for that?

Heh. Maybe not. Maybe it would just be fun. And I could get out of that office I sometimes dread going to… And TGOO and I could laugh at the absurdity of life.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:27 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

A Funny Poem for Floridians

There are some talented people in this world folks. I am not one. I wish I could give credit where this is due, but I do not know the author. This is going around via e-mail to all us Floridians.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE HURRICANE

'Twas the night before the hurricane
When all through the state
Not a gas pump was pumping
Not a store open late

All the plywood was hung
On the windows with care
Knowing that a hurricane
Soon would be there

The children were ready
With flashlights in hand
While bands from the hurricane
Covered over the land

And mamma with her Mag-Lite
And I in my cap
Had just filled the bath tub
For flushing our crap

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
I sprang from the closet
To see what was the matter

The trees on the fence
And the neighbor's roof torn
Gave the fear of us dying
In this terrible storm

With a little wind gust
So lively and quick
I remembered quite clearly
Our walls weren't brick

More rapid than eagles
Her courses they came
And she whistled, and wafted
And surged all the same

Off shingles! Off sidings!
Off rooftops! Off power!
Down trees! Down fences!
Down trailers! Down towers!

In the south of Florida
She continued to maul
Screaming Blow Away!
Blow Away! Blow Away All!

As wind ripped and tossed
The debris through the sky
I peeked out the shutters
At cars floating by

So go to the safe-room
My family did do
With a portable radio
And batteries too

And then, in a twinkling
I heard on the set
The end was not coming
For a few hours yet!

As I calmed down the kids
And was turning around
Through the window it came
With a huge crashing sound

A tree branch it was
All covered in soot
The wind blew it smack-dab
On top of my foot

A bundle of twigs
Now lay in a stack
And my living room looks
Like it was under attack

The wind - how it howled!
The storm - very scary!
Myself and the family
Were all too unwary

The dangers of hurricanes
Are serious, you know
They are taken for granted
As Charley did show

With the winds dying down
And the danger beneath
I noticed my tool shed
Was missing its sheath

So I grabbed my last tarp
And nailed it on down
Then I got in my car
And I headed to town

The traffic was awful
And stores had no ice
My five gallon cooler
Would have to suffice

Generators were scarce
Not one left in town
There were trees on the roads
And power lines down

FEMA was ready
With people to work
Electrical companies
Came in from New York

And in the midst of
This peculiar routine
Another storm emerged
Just out in the Ocean

I sprang to the car
And gave my family a whistle
Then away we all went
Like a Tomahawk missile

You could hear us exclaim
As we drove out of sight
"The heck with this place,
Vermont seems just right!"

-Anonymous

Posted by Boudicca at 06:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 15, 2005

Musical Fruit for Thought

Morrigan and I are swapping CDs for loading onto our iPod minis. She got me one for my birthday and then purchased one for herself. When I saw her on our trip to Tennessee, she had me take home any CD I wanted for my library, to return to her at Thanksgiving. In turn she gets mine at Thanksgiving to return whenever.

So I have been a music loading fool.

She has the best music. I fear she will be so disappointed when she sees mine. I am such a girl of the 80s.

While her 'albums' are Weezer, the Cranberries, Morrissey, Tori Amos, with a little James Taylor (LOOOOOVE HIM!) and Andrew Lloyd Webber thrown in, mine is just... not so cool. Well other than my running music like Boxcar Racer and Blink 182.

I started loading mine and thought, "Other than my extensive collection of female angst music, which I seem to have cornered the market on, she is going to laugh when she sees my musical choices."

Outfield... two CDs. Did they make more music than that?

Sinead O'Connor... two CDs. I do believe she has hair now. Hair and a kid.

The Cars (I frickin' LOVE this CD)... she'll like this. She likes the Cars.

Roxette... yup. Did they make more than Look Sharp!? I would not know.

REM... she likes REM, but I have a lot of REM. I need more.

Modern English. I still like "I melt with you". It's why I bought it.

OMD... I told her I had OMD and she said, "Who in the hell is that?!" Heh.

The Police... Sting is still day pass material. He'll be day pass material when he's 80.

Fine Young Cannibals... She laughed at me when I told her that one.

Spandau Ballet. This CD brings back NO memories. I can't figure out why...

The Spin Doctors. I really don't remember buying this one, but I think I remember liking it... and she laughed at the thought of my owning it. Comic relief is what I am.

And I could go on with my odd selections, but will stop there.

Oh, and there is not a woman in this world that owns more Celtic music than I do. I think I own 12 CDs full... and that EXCLUDES my two Enya CDs. Anything to keep that inner anger I run on in check is a good thing.

Of course we have similar tastes... Alanis Morrisette, They Might Be Giants, O Brother Where Art Thou, and Squirrel Nut Zippers.

But those are really few and far between. 'Twill be interesting to see if she really listens to anything I have.

I'm missing INXS and Greenday. I need to go CD shopping.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:06 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Sometimes in Giving... We Receive

It's easy to get caught up in one's life. The day ins and day outs can get one down, all by themselves. Throw in a few curve balls and there are surely days that none of us REALLY want to get out of bed. It happens. Things seem overwhelming.

I look for things to pull me out, distract me, while I still face my issues head on. Music is one. More on that in another post. The other is blogging. That's why I blog. No offense, but I don't blog for my readers. I love y'all, I really do, but I blog for me. I like to sit down at the end of the day and laugh at the crap that's been thrown my way.

And... I spend time thinking about how blessed I am, even when it feels like I'm in a poop storm of Cat 5 magnitudes.

So today, knowing Food for Families was upon us, I did what I do every year, but I did it a little bigger this year. Every year I donate all my leftover, non-glass hurricane supplies to Food for Families.

This year I cleared out my pantry too. If I had a box or a can in my pantry, and didn't remember buying it, I tossed it in a bag.

Y'all know I prepare big for hurricane season. Every year it gets bigger. I shocked myself when I emptied the cooler in my laundry room, where I keep our supplies, and went into the nooks and crannies, looking for extra supplies I had stashed when my cooler became too small to accomodate my buying and found I had enough food for 10 days for my family. No kidding. And that's with our having eaten on them for four days with Wilma.

So between my leftover hurricane supplies and my pantry items, I filled up 9 bags of groceries, to be divied up evenly between my three boys to take to each class. They're having a Food for Families competition in their school.

If you live in Florida, please consider donating your leftover hurricane supplies, if you have any. (It doesn't appear that Gamma will be a threat to us!)

Today I remembered those less fortunate and did something about it. Sometimes by giving, we receive. Today I felt blessed and worthwhile.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The Grinch Should Have Owned THIS Dog

Eric’s little foray into the world of Seuss by adding a new twist to the end of The Grinch, reminded me of something when I was camping with my family. It’s the beagle. The beagle of which Eric speaks that reminded me of this.

While camping… I saw… THE FUNKIEST dog I have ever seen in my life. Folks, I kid you not, that dog had a heapin’ bad case of the funky uglies.

Now I couldn’t figure out what it was and I sure as heck couldn’t say to the owner, “Wow! What a beautiful dog? What kind is it?” But I had to know. I HAD TO. So I said, “What great colors that dog has. What kind is it?”

To which the answer was… “Oh, it’s half basset hound and half beagle.”

That’s right. Half basset hound and half beagle. It had the beagle’s color and nose and ears, but it was all elongated, but thick around the middle like a hound and had short stubby legs, I bet 4 inches long at best and the short bristley coat of a beagle. But it was BIG like a Basset. It wasn’t all fat like hounds can get, it was taught like a beagle, but stocky… very wide… like a furry sewer pipe with short stubby legs.

The damn thing reminded me of CatDog from Nickelodeon. It was a like a train wreck. Every time they walked that dog, I couldn’t quit staring.

My apologies to any of you that own one. But… your dog is funky ugly. Loveable, that I am sure, but funky ugly.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 14, 2005

SiteMeter Time!!!

Damn. Sitemeter is good for some really good blog fodder. I'll save the best for last. And for those of you who read and are not bloggers, Sitemeter is this little software package we bloggers get for free and it shows us who visits and why. So if we're googled, it will tell us what we were googled for.

And hence... the great Google blog fodder.

Drum roll please...

I am #9 on MSN for How To Make My Own Power Ranger Ninga Storm Morphed.

Wow. I'm not sure what to say except... I really don't know how to do this.

I'm #3 on Google for..."You're about as useful as a Poopy flavored lollipop."

Yeah, I'm not happy about that. I can thank both my parroting son and his father who allowed him to watch Dodgeball, for that one.

I'm also (my brother will like this one) #1 For: Boob Missiles!! Yeee Haaa!

That comes from THIS and THIS post where my brother and I were looking for the name of a cartoon we used to watch when we were living in Taiwan.

And last, but not least, and saving it for the end...

I am #5 on Google for.... "New Jersey is Satan's Asshole."

Wow. So many people to thank for that one. Like all those people above me so I was not #1. Oh and for blog father Grau who put in my comments that looking up at that tornado was like looking into Satan's Asshole, which, by the way, completely cracked me up when I read it. It was a drink alert comment.

I'm not sure where the Jersey thing came from. I am sure that a certain blogger might disagree with this assessment... Heh!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:31 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Air Mattress Fiasco

Blog father Grau left a comment in my camping post about air mattresses and how cold they can get, which brings up a story I didn’t blog upon.

Friday night rolled around, the tent was set up. I had a tarp under our tent to keep moisture out. Air mattress was shoved to a side for my better half and me, and I had a blow up raft for each of the boys. I’m thankful I did this as our campsite was rather ‘rooty’. There were a ton of tree roots. That’s not good sleeping, no matter how old you are.

Now my three boys have play sleeping bags. Sponge Bob, Harry Potter, and Scooby Doo, they’re good for sleep overs and no big deal for the non-primitive camping we were doing. Unfortunately, my eldest had outgrown his sleeping bag unbeknownst to us until Friday evening when slipping into it, it came up to his chest.

He had a fit and there was no way it could be made right. I hadn’t brought any extra blankets. So finally in exasperation my husband said, “Fine. Take mine. *I’ll* use yours.”

And so I slept in my new sleeping bag, good for 30 degree weather, with my husband sleeping on the air mattress next to me, using a Harry Potter sleeping bag as a blanket to keep warm.

Which worked.

For an hour.

Until the temperature dropped into the 50s and so did the air in that air mattress and he started to freeze. Now I was up for the most of the night listening to critters, campers, and babies, but mostly due to being bounced around. Every time he moved, I became airborne. But I never asked why he was moving so much. In retrospect, I should have.

Around 5AM, Son#2, my early riser, a trait I believe he inherited from The Great Omnipotent One, but one that I do not carry myself, fortunately, awoke, came to the side of the bed and said, “Dad. I’m bored.”

It was dark. He was awake and there was nothing to keep him occupied without waking all of us. No reading, game boys, TV, nothing. (Not that TV was an option anyway…) So my husband says, “Come up into this bed with me and snuggle with me… and bring your sleeping bag…” The two of them snuggled together, with Son#2 falling back to sleep, and my husband being warm for the first time that night.

The next day, he went out and bought a new sleeping bag for my eldest and the next night’s sleep was much nicer.

So yes, we learned the lesson Grau spoke of. Foam will be on our list for January's camping excursion. An air mattress will suck the warmth right out of you.

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

I Can Tell you How to Inspect a Nozzle on an F22... But I can't Jump Start a Car

Things have been stressful the last 6 weeks here in my home. It’s been bad enough as of late that I am starting to fray. Little things are starting to make me quiver. Like today. I awoke to finding out my eldest’s bedroom is infested with fire ants. Just one more thing to worry about in my book. And that whole conversation with the exterminator of 11 years was so typical of me. It went something like this:

Me: Hi! This is Boudicca. I’ve got a problem. We have been fighting fire ants in my home since Hurricane Wilma. Now my eldest’s room is infested. Can you have Bob come out?

Receptionist: Oh, he’s out of town… we’ll have one of his guys come out.

Me: Hmm. Can you do me a favor? There is this older gentleman that’s been coming out for the last 8 months. I have tried really hard, but… I just do not like him. I feel awful saying this, but he creeps me out. He’s difficult to communicate with and it’s not just me. My husband agrees.

A hush falls on the other side of the phone and she whispers, “That’s Bob’s Dad…”

D’oh! That’s lovely. Just frickin’ lovely. I basically just told my favorite exterminator that his Dad is a creep.

And that was just the beginning of my day... and the rest of the day revolved around my foray into new car maintenance territory.

So I go out to the car to run some errands to find it dead. Dead as a doornail. Not an ounce of juice in the battery. Dead. I find my husband’s keys in the ignition, turned to auxiliary. He’d left them there overnight, having forgotten them after pumping up the kid’s bicycle tires.

Now I am capable of many things. I am completely self sufficient, maintain my own cars, talk to all the specialists when my kids are really sick, talk to teachers and help solve the problem when my kids are having trouble in school, I speak intelligently with the workmen who come to my home to fix various things like air conditioners and dishwashers, I do the odd jobs around the house… I’m not afraid of things like plumbing, like I should be. I’ll try anything once. With direction.

But… I do not jump start cars. It is a borderline phobia for me. I have cables, but I can’t use them. I’m afraid I’ll blow out an engine or electrocute myself or someone else. I don’t do high power. I don’t do electricity.

Now before any of you carry on about how easy it is and how it is silly I say to you, ‘Get off your frickin’ Ivory tower because I guaran-damn-tee you that I can do things you can’t.’ So move on.

AAA was not an option as I live out in the sticks and it would take them 6 hours to get out to me.

I call my husband, who was lecturing today at the local college and not at his office. He tells me I’m on my own and jump it with his sports car that I have since deemed a COMPLETE piece of shite (POS) even though all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put that damn POS back together again after it was totaled last year. If it weren’t my husband’s pride and joy, I’d have a junk dealer come haul that POS away forever.

I called The Great Omnipotent One, as I am apt to do for any household emergency not involving the kids, to have him talk me through this whole jump start the car thing as I’m starting to freak out. Reverberations for sure. I’ve also got out the car manual and I can feel I’m starting to breathe heavy and I’ve broken out in a cold sweat.

TGOO: You can do this… (and he proceeds to give me directions that I write down)

Me: Holy crap.

TGOO: Just remember, DO NOT touch anything with blah blah blah after blah blah blah, because they’re still highly charged.

At that point I wasn’t sure whether to just say thank you and hang up or say thank you and then throw up.

So I did the former. And putzed around in the garage. And moved my husband’s POS next to my van. And putzed around the house. And popped the hoods. And threw in a load of laundry to wash. And stared at the engines. And walked back in and checked my e-mail. And pulled the red caps off the positive. And then… decided I would drive his POS for the rest of the day and he could jump start my van when he got home.

That’s right, I chickened out. And I paid for it too, because driving that POS today was my own personal hell in itself.

In my mind, cars should be reliable. END.OF.STORY. I turn the key, the engine turns over, life is good. Period. There should be no coddling or playing with the gas or turning on the windshield wipers to make the engine turn over. No pulling on a choke or mashing the gas to the floor first. Nothing funky. Turn the key, they go. Period.

So I’m toodling down the road and I get to the first stop light and his car with his low growl starts to sound like it’s skipping, like it’s going to stall out. Rumble, rumble, rumble, skip, rumble, skip, rumble, skip, cough… and suddenly I was back in college with that POS I drove that would stall on me early in the morning as I was trying to cross two lanes of traffic to get to class.

Flashbacks. I had frickin’ flashbacks.

I call my husband on the cell.

Me: This car is a POS. It’s going to stall on me!

Him: You’re driving MY car? In the rain? (pause) No, it’s not. It just sounds like it.

Me: Yes, I’m driving YOUR car in the rain. NO! I KNOW when a car is going to stall and if I have to sit in any kind of traffic, I’m toast. This car is going to stall.

Him: (I can tell he’s thinking about his car getting dirty.) Put it in park at the light, and lightly press on the gas. It’ll keep it going. No biggy.

YES! IT IS A BIGGY! This has immediately deemed his car a COMPLETE POS. Unreliable. I don’t do unreliable.

Me: What is causing this?

Him: The idle needs adjusting. I keep forgetting to have them fix it…

Me: This is not good that you have grown used to it. This is BAD. Do YOU UNDERSTAND? This is VERY BAD.

Fine. I drive out to get my kids from school and a big red exclamation point pops up on the dash with yellow lights that say, ‘Trac Off, Check Engine.”

Holy crap. The frickin’ check engine light is one. WTF else can go wrong? So I pull into the Publix parking lot and call him again.

Me: The FRICKIN’ Check Engine light came on with a big red exclamation point! Holy shit. What is this about?!!!

Him: Oh. That happens. They didn’t fix that wire yet. Don’t worry. It’s normal.

NORMAL?! It is not NORMAL in MY life to ride around with a warning indicator light on. It is NOT NORMAL in my life to drive a car that sounds like its going to stall.

So I picked up my kids and then drove promptly to his office (he was back from lecturing) walked in and said, “I’m done. I’m driving the truck.” And I handed him back the keys to the POS (for those that do not know it is a twin turbo 1994 Toyota Supra in mint condition other than it’s a frickin’ temperamental POS until the bugs get ironed out from a massive collision he had with a bridge earlier this year… not his fault, I blogged it HERE) and took the truck keys from him and left.

NEVER AGAIN. Never again will I drive that POS. God only knows why he loves it so much. Men and their cars. I don’t get it.

Tonight I had him with me in the garage, showing me how to jump start a car. I did it all, with his direction. He'd tell me what to do, I'd get all aggitated asking a ton of questions, and he'd calmly answer them, and this continued until the car was started.

At the end, with my van finally running he was rolling up the jumper cables to put back in my van when he started to laugh and said, ‘I am so sorry. I just always thought you knew how to do it. You do EVERYTHING else. You can change oil, you maintain your car, you fix things in the house, I just thought you’d done it before.' I replied, “yeah, but I can do it now.” After a pause he laughed again and said, “I just don’t view you as the average woman.”

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

And to think I thought I was Heartless...

My blogfather Grau and blogdaughter VW, have nominated me for a Heart in the Blog Deck of Cards.

There are some GREAT women up for this honor. Go over and vote HERE. Remember, you only get one vote, so vote wisely.

Yes, I voted for me. If they thought enough of me to nominate me, I wasn't going to cast my vote elsewhere.

And thank you to Grau and VW. That you would think I am worthy warms my heart. No pun intended.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 13, 2005

I'm Back and Lived to Tell the Tale

Camping was GREAT! I had THE BEST time! And I think my husband did too. Surprise!

The first night’s sleep was a complete disaster. I awoke saying to all the parents, “I do believe that was the worst night sleep of my entire life.” Holy crap.

First lesson on sleeping on a queen size air mattress that is not fully blown up (my fault, I thought it was), "he who weighs the least gets bounced the most when the other person moves". Every single time he got up or turned over or moved, *boing!* I was airborne. Or close to it.

The folks next to us were laughing the next morning as I told them the story because the husband is 6’5” and weighs 230 lbs. If I’d been married to someone like him, this hobbit would have gone through the ceiling of the tent.

And that first night… I heard EVERYTHING. Raccoons rustling through people’s garbage, dogs fighting, babies crying at all hours of the night, coughing fits, you name it. I heard it. The next morning, if I hadn’t been so excited to be in the middle of the woods, I’d have been the walking dead.

Of course everyone was aware that my husband is a big city boy. Not only has he never camped or had the desire to do so, it was a joke with all who know him that I was dragging him. His siblings were having a field day with it. I had started telling people I was concerned that camping with him might be like camping with ‘Monk’ from the TV show. He’s just a little bit of a germ phobe… and has to have things ‘just so’. Orderly to the nth degree.

So all weekend people would come up and whisper to me, “So? How’s he doing?” and I’d laugh and say, “He’s doing GREAT!” He really got into it. To the point, he decided he’d have the BEST fire of all the men, in all the fire pits.

One of my favorite Moms is a single Mom from Vermont. She came over the first night and saw our woefully inadequate fire. She tried to save it and sort of did, bending down and blowing on it, moving wood, but he just had not stacked it correctly. Finally she said, “Do you have a hatchet?”

We looked at her and said, “A what?”

“A hatchet”, she replied, “So we can split some of this wood and make it smaller.” (The park had supplied a bundle for a small fee.)

Of course we did not. Phht. We’re city folks. A hatchet. But, she did have one and appeared and split our wood, saving our fire. My husband helped her, bound and determined to learn from her. At one point, she was afraid she was interfering too much, hurting his ego. He looked at her and said, "I am a humble man. If you are the expert, feel free and I'll learn." She thought that was hysterical.

But now my husband had the bug and had to master this ‘fire’ thing. As the 6’5” Dad next to me said, “Your husband has fire envy” and the race ensued between the two to have the best fire.

Off my husband went to Walmart, to get another sleeping bag (my eldest had outgrown his unbeknownst to us and we needed another for him) and to purchase said hatchet. While he was gone, we were all sitting around and someone said, “So… do you think he’ll come back?”

Much laughter. The next said, “I bet he went to get a hotel room so he could have his own private shower!” We laughed more.

When he arrived back to the campsite, I was telling him of our jokes and he said, “Don’t think for a minute I didn’t consider any of that. But high on my list was finding a real Italian pizzeria. Man, I could go for a good slice of pizza right now…”

Hatchet in hand, he spent the better part of the afternoon getting the wood ready for his big fire. It was HUGE and it was nice. So the neighbor built his and upon realizing, he needed to fan it more, the neighbor broke out the battery pump that blew up his air mattress in his family’s tent and every 10 minutes or so you’d hear, “WHIIIIRRRR!” as he blew air on his fire to keep it going. Male ingenuity at its finest. He said, “I was tired of blowing on that damn thing to keep it going.” A man and his fire. He was happy.

When we awoke on Saturday morning, my husband said to me, “If it rains, we are so out of here…” Obviously we are fair weather campers. When it started to sprinkle that afternoon people were joking, “Watch out, he’s going to break down the campsite and leave!” I was kind of hoping for a little rain that night, rain on a tent while we slept, although I realize packing up a wet tent would not be a good end to our trip.

Our next trip? I do believe it is in January. It’s on a little island that is a state park. I’m game. The kids are excited, having played so hard over the last two days. When we got home they were the dirtiest kids I’d ever seen. Collecting bugs, riding bikes, playing in the woods, they had a blast.

But… I was told, if it is a cold January, my husband is not going. I said, “Fine. I am. I’ll go with the kids by myself.” And I intend to, although I do not look forward to it. That 8 man tent takes two to put up.

OH! And there was no cursing or arguing during tent set up! We were the happy couple just like on that Coleman tent box! Go figure.

This weekend away from the city, it is what I needed. I am a small town girl living in what is becoming a big city. Camping is what I need to rejuvenate. I am not looking forward to my real life... starting tomorrow.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:40 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

I Almost Failed First Grade Today

I volunteered with the 1st Graders today, in Bone's class. My job? To make cornmeal journey cakes with another Mom. We were to get three groups of 2 children, a ½ hour each, and in that time, we would make these journey cakes, have the kids make a beaded necklace, and then if there was time, go over some reading flashcards.

Sounds simple enough, does it not? Now perhaps it would be, for a Mother who actually had her head in the game, but it’s not been a good week for me. I’m still feeling rather frayed since Monday night’s ambulance ride and trip to the ER with a kid struggling to breathe, quite frankly, and this upcoming camping trip hasn’t helped. Evidently going camping is a spectator sport to my spouse. Heh.

To say I’m on the border of becoming a zombie is a severe understatement.

And this other Mother I was paired off with, she’s just as goofy as I. Great combo. I think, however, the teacher realized her error early on.

Griddle set up and sprayed, we looked at the recipe. It called for 1/3 cup of cornmeal, ¼ tsp salt and ¾ tsp sugar… and 1/3 cup of water. Before I arrived, Goofy Mom #2 had been told not to use all the water, just to pour it in a bit at a time, until everything was moist.

The sweet kids came to our table, a boy and a girl, and talked to us as I had them measure out and pour the ingredients… but I misread and had them pour in ¾ CUP of sugar. And then… Goofy Mom #2, just dumped the ENTIRE 1/3 cup of water into the batter.

She poured it on the griddle and it spread out in a watery cornmeal mess, bubbling and hissing. The kids stared and said, “Its not supposed to do that.” Great. We have NO IDEA what these things are supposed to look like. I’ve never seen a ‘journey cake’ in my life and I don’t even think there is cornmeal in my kitchen. I think the last time I touched cornmeal was when I dated a Texan and we poured some on the floor so it would be slick and we could two step better.

I quickly added more cornmeal to the batter, trying to thicken it up. Goofy Mom #2 poured it on the griddle. Same effect. A little boy from the back of the classroom says quite loudly, “It didn’t look like that when MY MOM came to do it with the class yesterday!”

Great. Goofy Mom #2 and I look at each other and I whisper to her under my breath, “This is great. We so suck at this.” And she replied, “We’re going to get fired…”

More cornmeal was added and poured, same freaky mess appeared on the griddle. Goofy Mom #2 turns to the little girl sitting behind us and says, “Sam, what did yours look like yesterday?” to which Sam says, “They were puffy.”

Puffy? Since when does cornmeal get ‘Puffy’? Pulease! And ours was… yellow and runny and truth be told, it looked like breastfed baby poop. Yellow and seedy. It was nasty.

Our two ‘victims’ are just watching us, saying not a word. Finally Goofy Mom#2 and I tell them that we felt certain that OUR journey cakes would have turned out much better if we had actually been able to grind OUR OWN corn into cornmeal. That is met with a raised eyebrow from the boy and a sympathetic look from the girl.

I’ve now thickened them up considerably, but they are still ‘not right’, but what are ya gonna do? So while our version of journey cakes cooked, we had them start on their beaded necklaces. Each necklace had a ‘bear claw’ to string. It looked like a big tooth to me and before I handed them out, I put them up to my mouth and said to them, “Look! Fangs! I’m a killer rabbit. Runaway! Runaway!”

They looked at me like I was nuts. No sense of humor these kids nowadays. Their parents must not be Monty Python fans. What a shame.

Somehow we managed to scoop our baby poop cakes onto their plates, hearing from little voices behind us that we were supposed to ‘flip them’ when cooking. One does not flip baby poop. One squishes it into a pile and turns it over as one would flip a dog turd.

There was syrup for the kids to have on their journey cakes, but upon tasting them, both kids said “no thanks!” and then decided they weren’t hungry anymore.

They left and the 2nd shift of victims filed over… and this is when I reread the recipe and realized that it was only ¾ TEASPOON of sugar NOT a CUP! Holy crap. No wonder they didn’t want syrup.

I also took control of the mixing of the water and created an excellent consistency that not only puffed up when cooked, but was flippable. We were in the journey cake business and out of the cooked baby poop business.

Goofy Mom#2 and I made sure we made two extra and we had the poor kids who endured our Vaudeville act and attempted to eat the crap we put on their plates to humor us and be polite, come back for REAL Journey cakes.

As I left, the teachers were laughing at us. I’m just wondering if we’ll ever get asked back… And I really really like Goofy Mom #2. What a trip.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:38 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Marine Corps!

I love the Marines. Most of my readers know that. Growing up in a Navy family, there were always Marines around. Of course, usually we made fun of them… but not in a bad way. It was usually some Marine who did something off the wall and funny, getting in some jam, and that would get a ‘roll of the eyes’ from the family and an unspoken, “It’s OK. He’s a Marine…”

Oh the funny stories.

I told my first story of Marines HERE, when I first realized I really liked these men. I will freely admit, it takes a lot for a man to live up to my father in my eyes. Very few have accomplished that, but those that have, many have been Marines. I’ve said of some of my closer Marine friends, ‘If the world were going to hell in a handbasket, I want to be next to HIM!'

When I worked for Company X, I would either go walking or running every morning at a running track that Company X had carved out in the middle of the swamp. Usually I went with VW before work, showering at our Fitness Center. Sometimes, I would meet up with one of my supervisors, a former Marine and tunnel rat in ‘nam.

One morning, he got there early, and by the time I arrived he’d clocked a couple miles under his belt. He’d taken his shirt off as in S.FL, even in January, it’s humid as all get out. I joined up beside him to start my run and noticed the shrapnel wounds… the healed over wounds from the stabbings. He had also broken his back in a chopper crash, they’d been shot down. But every morning he ran.

I had known of his scars, he had openly spoken of them to me. I never asked questions. He knew if he wanted to say something, I’d listen, and it would stay with me, but it was not my place to ask, so I did not. Ever. So I wasn’t surprised when I saw his battle scarred body. Not one bit.

But I was humbled. It was a humbling run for me. It’s always humbling to run next to a Marine in general, but it was more than that to me that day. I was running with a man who had been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country and had the scars to show for it. Unfortunately, some wounds… you cannot see… and some never really heal.

So to the Marine Corps I say… Happy Birthday and I thank you for your service! It just sounds so hollow, although I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Veterans Win!

The Army won. Oh yes they did. At the last minute, they pulled ahead and beat us by minutes. An ENORMOUS congratulations to Team Army, led by their Fearless leader, Blackfive!

As we all know… there are no losers in this. It’s about the Veterans and no matter what we do, they win.

Our goal now is to see how high we can get by COB Veteran’s Day. That would be Friday for those of you not in the know. Heh. I can’t imagine living that far under a rock.

Join Team Navy for this last push to show Army who really rocks!

man the guns.jpg

Just click on the donate button below. It’s about the Veterans. What an excellent way to show your appreciation… donating on Veteran’s Day! Valour- IT, a worthy cause!







By the way, that guy in the poster… I wonder if I can get one of those for Christmas. Maybe my spouse won’t notice. Day pass, anyone? *Grin*

Posted by Boudicca at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2005

Funny Stuff Now and Upcoming

We'll start with the upcoming. Y'all know... I told the Cub Scouts as a Den Parent I'd go camping. That's THIS weekend. No joke. Boudicca and the Boys are going camping. And... even funnier is my husband is joining us. (Past camping prep and cub scout posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

I was trying to describe how funny this is, because you really have to know him to understand. Army Wife Toddler Mom described him best. He's a city boy from Jersey. And he's going camping. And everyone who knows him, including his siblings think it's a riot. And he's not really looking forward to it, I think he is doing it out of guilt. Kind of a, 'What kind of man would allow his wife to go camping with their three boys and a bunch of cub scouts, alone?'

Heh. So much for having to get my buddy the F/A-18 pilot to back my van into our camping spot. Hey, as I said in that past post, if he can land a jet on a postage stamp, he can back my van in a camp site and since I am incapable, I'm all about contingency planning.

I have our tent and I'm doing some last minute shopping. Blog fodder folks. It's all about the blog fodder. So you can expect some stories.

Oh! And before I forget, I have had NO LESS than three Moms say to me, "You know, I am only going because I heard you're going..." Wha?!!! Let me tell you, oh loyal readers, I am not 'Miss Social Butterfly' at school. I'm not the person people flock to. But I'm having Dads come up to me too and say, "Yeah, my wife is going. When she heard you were going she said OK."

Great.

So I called Morrigan and said, "WTF is up with this? People are going because *I'm* going? Give me a break!"

And her reply was, "They didn't want to be the only woman. When they found out another was going, suddenly it was OK."

Oooookaaay then. Being the only woman never stopped me from anything. Only female in a bagpipe band? Been there. Only female in a college class? Been there. Only female in a business meeting? Been there. Only female in a Karate class? Been there.

Whatever.

OK, funny things today. Blog sister Tammi had THIS post dedicated to me. I had to laugh!

Eric has THIS post that had me shaking my head. Only Eric.

Jim of Parkway RestStop has THIS post... potential letters of Congratulations to Corzine, the new Governor of Jersey.

ArmyWifeToddlerMom has THIS post about what she won't buy Pink Ninja for Christmas.

And... for the men... the Mammary Men in particular, go HERE on Saturday (I'll be camping and can't remind you), where one of my favorite Navy men, Denny of Grouchy Old Cripple will have his weekly Saturday Boobage. I'm thinkin' not worksafe. But I had to keep my male readership in mind.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

It's Like a Horse Race!!!!

Whoo hooo! Navy has pulled ahead! But it’s not over! Oh no, my friends, it is not over! Nobody has been the first to cross that finish line. Not yet.

The good Captain of Neptunus Lex has four hats left to auction off… USS Reagan hats. For $100 you get the hat with scrambled eggs. (No, it doesn’t come with breakfast… it’s the senior officer décor on the bill…) See details HERE.

And while you’re at it, go HERE, and wish the Old Man a Happy Birthday. Lex turned 45 today. Happy Birthday, Lex!

So back to business, Go Navy! We can’t let our guard down or we just KNOW those rascally Army guys will try to run us over. ORRR, those sneaky Marines will come from behind! AAAAND, you never know when those Air Force guys will attack from the air!!!

Come Join the Navy Team!

usnavy.jpg

To Add your blog to the Navy's Team, go HERE.

It doesn’t take much folks. In all seriousness, Valour-IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops), it is an excellent cause. Veterans Day is Friday. Five bucks. Five bucks and remember a Veteran. I’ve made my donation. Think about this cause. Five bucks. You won’t regret it. Just hit the donate button below. Or, go HERE, a Valour IT auction site. You may find something you want to buy!






Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky.
We'll never change our course, so Army you steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll up the score, Navy, Anchors Aweigh.
Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.

GO NAVY!!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Six Year Old Boys. Good Grief.

I was talking to the principal of the school one day after Bones and his buddies had been caught playing with the pocket knife they had found on the playground, when he said, “You know, I’ve never had so many 1st Graders in my office… all boys.”

I think that was the day that I walked into the front office to find him and the secretary watching a video on the security monitor. He was two inches from the monitor, having shed his reading glasses, squinting and saying to the other secretary, “Rewind! Rewind! I have to see it again!”

They were trying to identify the 1st grader who had been caught… flipping off the security monitor. The whole scene was just so funny, watching them try to identify this wee lad by the way he walked as the kids in our school all wear uniforms and being a Catholic school… most are of either Italian, Hispanic or Irish descent. In essence, they all look alike on a black and white monitor.

Of course when I walked in the room, immediately the principal looked from the monitor and said, “Look! There’s his Mom!” I gasped in horror as to what else my son could have been up to that these people were gathered around the security monitor.

Luckily, the guilty party was the third son of ANOTHER family of three boys. Good. Let someone else deal with that crap. I’d had my share by the 4th week of school. And the punishment for the 1st grader found flipping off the monitor, was a heart to heart with his teacher… and the kid was sobbing and genuinely feeling poorly about it, so not a word was said to his parents. Knowing the child, who is sweet, and his hellion brothers from whom he learns too much, and other factors I will not go into… a good choice was made.

Anyway, so those words rang in my ears yet again when last night at the School Board meeting the principal said to us, “OH! I have to tell you the latest story, something that happened today, about one of my 1st grade boys!”

Of course everyone immediately stared at me and I threw up my hands and said, “It wasn’t Bones! He was home sick today!!!” And they accuse me of being defensive… I wonder why.

It seems that the 1st graders were making Indian necklaces yesterday in class and one of the boys picked up a bead and decided to see if he could ‘breath through the hole’ so he held it up to his nose and ‘Sniff!’ and then “Plink!” up it went… into his nostril where it stayed.

Blow he did, and that bead did not move. So, they sent him to the clinic, where my good friend the school nurse, who I know very very well for many many reasons, called his Mom to come pick him up.

Work on that bead he did, trying to push it from the top down with his finger to the side of his nose, until just before his Mom walked through the door, the teacher popped her head in and said, “You should try blowing it one more time.”

And thus, the wee lad, closed off one nostril, blowing through the other and “Pop!” the bead plinked out his nose, bouncing around the room. The school nurse caught it and put it in an envelope for a souvenir, handing it to Mom as she walked in the clinic, just missing the Big Blow.

Upon hearing the story the Mom shook her head and said, “He is so much like his father.”

Good Grief. How many times have I said that? In particular relating to Bones…

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

November 08, 2005

Blogger Deck 'O Cards

Aaron has started a Blogger Deck of Playing Cards. Nominations are being taken. I'm not going to post about all of it... it's long and very cool. It should be interesting. For rules, better understanding, and VOTING go HERE.

As of now, the mil-bloggers are being voted upon. Mil-bloggers get the Clubs. The top voted mil-blogger is the King and then the ones following are next. Go to the left sidebar of the link above and vote for your favorite mil-blogger. You can only vote once.

Now, just so you know, the following mil-bloggers from my blogroll are on this list. Take a look, go over and vote. (Look on my sidebar for their links.)

Blackfive
Neptunus Lex
Sgt. Hook
Castle Argghhh!
Straight White Guy

Folks, let me tell you, these are all great guys. They all deserve to be King. It's a tough one. Really.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:42 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

An Insider Looking Out

All this stuff going on in France. I read about it. I read it about it from various MSM sources. I see it written up in blogs.

But what I really wanted to know was... what someone thought who LIVED there. And as good fortune would have it, Jack Grant of Random Fate, resides in France, an American working abroad right now.

He has been posting considerably on it, but the post I found most insightful was HERE, his guest post at The Moderate Voice. Take a look. It's a long read, but insightful and I do believe you'll find it makes some excellent points.

And for a chronological history of his posts with regard to the rioting, go HERE. He lists them all.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Valour-IT Important INFO

I've been writing about Valour-IT all week. We're coming up on the finale. More tomorrow. I was over at Blackfive's and found this...

The below is from Captain Chuck "TCOverride" Ziegenfuss a partner in Valour-IT, wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005. Read more about Valour IT and how it started HERE.

Mkay... I dragged my drugged and temporarily one-handed body out of the hospital bed to tell ya'll about something most important.

Carren is gonna be on national TV (and live national TV at that) to let everyone know about Project Valour-IT. She will represent me (the nerd who thought of this project), and the many people who have made this project a success.

She is going to be on "Connected coast to coast" a show run by MSNBC. Don't know how long she'll be on, but for the love of god, please tune in, put your hands on the top of your TV, and talk to Jebus when the show is over. The show runs from 1200-1300 (noon to one fer ya civlians out there)(and that's eastern time) My beloved is supposed to be on around 1240, but I will rest assured that her looks, personality, and general charm will either get her on early, or the show will go into extra rounds like Rocky and the Big Ruskie in Rocky IV.

Here's how you can help. Send this to every one you know, post it on your blog, get them to post it on theirs. One side will say it's a failure of the gummint to not prvide this for the soldiers, others just see it as a way to help our brothers and sisters who have fallen but will be getting up. However they spin it, just get the word out.

There's less than 18 hours to game time, so let's get our blog on!

--Chuck

Posted by Boudicca at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Canes Win... Hands Down

I need some help from my Tornado expert readers.

First, let me say, tornadoes scare the ever living hell out of me. It is the tornadoes spawned during a hurricane that make me shudder. (Although hearing my roof being pried apart by excessive wind does that too…) When we survey hurricane damage, we can sometimes tell where a tornado has been spawned. I will say…the tornados we get during hurricanes, however, are not like they get in Tornado Country. They’re just not.

Now I was over at Beth’s (SWWBO) and she was talking about tornadoes (here) and I was commenting that they scare me much worse than hurricanes. (She and her husband live in Tornado Land.) Then John was explaining that much money has been spent to try to assist in the warning of the populace with regard to the arrival of a tornado. He also said something about the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t.

And so much has been running through my head as I watched the news last night. (I know, I don’t watch the news, but I was stuck in the ER with a sick kid at 4AM, and the pickings are pretty slim.) They started talking about this tornado being the width of 5 football fields.

This is where you, my tornado expert readers come in, ‘cause I’m not gettin’ somethin’. What in the heck? 500 YARDS? Holy crap. What part? Is that the TOP of the funnel? The base? The length? What IN THE HELL are they talking about, because the enormity of THAT, is just unfathomable to me. Really.

I know, y’all have seen me post on hurricane after hurricane, blogging each time we took a hit and my folks took a hit. Talking about preparation, warning, aftermath. Been there, done that, being a Navy kid, you live coastal. Typhoons and Hurricanes ‘R Us.

But tornados. Holy crapanoly. I see the destruction. I hear what they’re saying and I UNDERSTAND that there are weather radios and TVs that just pop on with warnings in the middle of the night. I get it. But that doesn’t make me feel better.

With Wilma, I knew it was out there 1 week in advance. I knew we were going to get tagged on a Wednesday and it happened on Monday. We were ready. I get nervous. Sure I do. Some have called me a witch, but trust me, I don’t own a crystal ball. I’m just as afraid of the unknown as the next.

I know if we can’t evac, that if there is a Cat 5 here, we’re going to die. That’s understood. But, the probability of that is pretty low. We’ll take beatings of 4s and below. AND… we’ll have good warning. LOTS and LOTS ‘O WARNING. We have a safe room we can STAY in with PLENTY OF WARNING. See a theme there? Something about warning.

So I’m picturing myself in my home sleeping, in Tornado Land, my split floor plan house where my kids sleep on one side and I sleep on the other and I hear this siren or weather voice person telling me a big tornado is coming. At which point I will bolt out of bed, adrenaline flowing, and race ACROSS MY HOUSE and grab my kids and then race to some safe room. Right? How much warning does one get? Fifteen minutes? Five minutes? A Two Minute Warning with a buzzer?

Good God. That’s just scary folks. S-C-A-R-Y. Big scary. First, I think we can be assured I’d have a heart attack, probably after, but it would probably happen. Second, wouldn’t that just suck if I woke up in one of those ‘I can’t figure out where I am and who is this man and why is he in my bed?’ funks I occasionally slip into. That would be bad. Third, do people really have enough time? And is it like Oz where they have to run outside and find some big doors that lead to a hole in the ground? Or does everyone just have a basement?

I’m sorry. I’ll take a hurricane. Yeah, I know. They suck. They suck wet socks. And they scare the ever living stew out of me as I have told you before, I remember spooning with my spouse in the safe room, listening to cement tiles of my roof peel off, hearing the radio station talk about SWAT teams rescuing families whose homes have come apart and I whispered in his ear, “Oh my God. We’re going to die.”

But I can’t think of what just happened in Indiana. It boggles my mind. It is too big for this small brain. Big Tornados. No thanks. I won’t be moving to Tornado Land. My heart can’t take it. I’ll take the ‘canes.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Don't Give Up The Ship!

Ack! Army pulled ahead!!! Holy crap. I think I’m going to have a heart attack. I’m channeling Fred Sanford here, “Ohhh...this is the big one. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm comin' to join you honey!”

And I know, I ABSOLUTELY KNOW, that those Marines are planning some sort of sneak attack. They’re just waiting and then *POUNCE!* they’ll be all over us. It’s what Marines do. Their reputation preceeds them…

Oh and then we have Sgt. Hook, Mr. Funny Guy, with THIS post. Ack!

And to all those who have joined Team Navy and to those who are still pondering, I say, “"Don't give up the ship!"

We must win this!!!

Wow. Y’all think I’m hyper about this, you should see me hopped up on caffeine during the Army-Navy game. Sheesh.

Anyway, Smash has offered up his wife for a mere Twenty-five bucks. That’s right. It was a ‘Take My Wife! Please!’ Or something like that. Or maybe he’s not REALLY offering her up, but maybe her likeness… I’m telling you, Mrs. Smash is a hottie. She may be the reason we pull this thing out in the end! Go HERE for details with regard to the Smash’s and what they are offering.

I was thinking, after a day like today has been, I could offer up Bones for Five Bucks, but I think there are laws against child trafficking. Very frowned upon. So I ‘got nuthin’.

Then Da Goddess, who is obviously a very fine photographer, put up her offers of photography, sitting sessions and the like HERE. How cool is that?! Go to her site to see her offer.

And I was thinking again… I am THE LEAST creative person in the world. I can’t draw, I can’t paint, I can’t sing, I can’t dance. Nuthin’. I got nuthin’. And for the record, there is a very big creative gene in our family, I just didn’t get any of it.

So… that said… the only thing I have to offer you is… my undying gratitude for donating to Valour IT. Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. A most worthy cause.

And even more so, if that’s possible if… YOU DONATE TO TEAM NAVY!





To Add your blog to the Navy's Team, go HERE.

(If you are a blogger for Team Navy and are offering something up, e-mail me and I'll put it in a post!)

Yahoo! Go Navy!

navygoat350.jpg

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."
-General George Washington, 15 November, 1781.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Where IS that Yoga Pod Farm?

From where do these Yoga People come? Really. My gym has lost another Yoga girl, only to find one to take her place, with what appears to be not great effort.

And this one is just as happy, smiley, kind, bendy, and thin as the last. These perfect bodies… no body fat, you can see little muscles (they aren’t muscle bound women), toned, perfect skin, bendy bodies, great hair.

They walk in the room (as in the gym… I don’t go in Yoga rooms) and it gets quiet as everyone watches them float across the floor.

I bet they don’t cuss or have an ill thought about anyone. They don’t sweat either. They perspire.

From where do these people come? These bendy perfect people? Do they grow them in pods somewhere? Is there some pod farm harvesting these long lithe sweet Yoga People? Pod Yoga People?

Just wondering. ‘Cause if you’ve ever wondered what I look, act, and sound like… think the polar opposite of Yoga People. I’m not bendy either. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Be Careful From Where Your Data Comes

I got a comment this morning on one of my posts from a very polite and nice young woman who was doing research on Boudicca. In her comment, she thanked me profusely and said I was of help to her research paper.

I did not e-mail her back, although I may, but I am praying fervently that she just used the links I had in my Why Boudicca's Voice and did not take anything I said as fact. Holy crap. I’m not an expert on anything. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zilcho. The big Zee-roh.

Capisce?

Folks, if you are new to the blogosphere, you need to understand, that very few people here are experts on anything. It is a personal web diary. People’s opinions. And even scarier to me, is some of them get quoted here and there as factual, when in fact, they don’t really have to do any research.

I don’t get my news from blogs. I get it from various main stream media sources. I compile my own opinions from myriad sources. Yes, I may first hear of an incident while reading a blog, but I’m an independent thinking person. If you tell me ‘black’, I will nod, and then quietly check to make sure it is. Skeptic? Perhaps. But I just like to formulate my own opinions and the blogosphere, I have found, where there are some good data points, there are an awful lot of outliers too. And… you have to figure out which ones are the outliers. It’s not readily apparent.

So… be careful out there folks. I have read this in many places, much is being put on the blogosphere as a new source of news. Let’s remember what it is. Mostly, they are people’s personal opinions, opinions that are going to be biased to the paths the writer has walked and the shoes they have worn. Research is not required. Same as the MSM… everyone has an agenda.

And… Good Lord, please whereas I am honored that someone would think I could provide them with good information, let this be my own personal disclaimer, I am an average girl, of slightly above average intelligence, living an average life… I am an expert on nothing. Not even on myself. I promise.

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

Navy- No Time to Rest!!!

Holy crap. I was almost afraid to go to sleep. Navy is still ahead, but we’re hanging on by our fingernails here as Army keeps creeping forward. And… we have to hang on until FRIDAY! ACK!

The Marines have made a mighty surge forward and I think they’re lying in wait under the cloak of the Army, waiting for a sneak attack at the 11th hour. Those Marines are a sneaky bunch.

And the Air Force, whereas they were lagging in the beginning, my suspicions are an assault from the air before the 11th!

Have you thought about Valour-IT? Have you thought about donating to a cause worthy to honor our Veterans? It’s OK if you’re just thinking, if you’ve not decided. We have time still… but keep in mind… it doesn’t take much to contribute. We’re not asking for the big bucks here. Five Dollars. Five Dollars is all it takes. Every dollar counts, no amount is too small.

And some may wonder why I’ve picked Navy. Well, considering The Great Omnipotent One was career Navy, a veteran of Vietnam, that is obvious. It is what I know and love, even though in my day job I tend to support those men in blue.

But I don’t know how many know or remember, my father in law was Navy, WWII. I wrote about the very funny story HERE of my son writing a paper on Pop, Pop being his hero. Pop was on a DE that was hit by a Kamikaze while out in the Pacific, nearly sinking the ship. He was a gunner, and tells the tale of watching the Kamikaze come in, the panic and horror of wondering where it was going to hit, every man knowing for sure the bulls eye was on him. The plane hit the side of the ship, bounced off, leaving a gaping hole in the hull. They were rescued, but he left that war with a Purple Heart and a very healthy fear of sharks.

Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine, they all have served us honorably. And just as importantly, let us not forget our oldest continuous sea-going service, the Coast Guard!!! Although they have not been spiked out on their own in this friendly inter-service rivalry, I hope if you support the Coast Guard and are looking to donate to Valour-IT that you’ll consider donating to Team Navy!

So think today about what you can do to help our Veterans, this Friday a day of observance just for them. They’ve helped us, it’s our turn to help them. Valour-IT… Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. Go HERE to read more.






To Add your blog to the Navy's Team, go HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:33 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 06, 2005

Probably not Other Womens' Poster Boys

I was paying bills tonight while sitting at the kitchen table. Balancing the books... the monthly chore. My husband was watching the movie Dave.

I had to stop and go over and watch. I love that movie. LOVE IT. It's just a 'every day guy does good things/happy ending' movie. It's a feel good movie, no matter how improbable it is. Guy makes the world better, bad guys get caught, guy gets the girl at the end, girl finds a really good guy who really loves her... all at the end. That's what I like. Life is too sad in general. Give me the fluff and fun if I'm going to take time out of my life to watch it. The Emperor's Club. Another one of those films I could watch again and again.

And I like Kevin Kline. Kevin Kline and John Cusack. I like the characters they play, the average guy trying to do the right thing. Nothing heroic. As much as I love the Martial Arts flicks, I do prefer to watch Mr. Kline and Mr. Cusack. I find them sexy, too.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Not Music to MY Ears.

Blog sistah Teresa of Technicalities has an eye opening post today. Holy crap. I didn’t know whether to be really pissed off or seriously afraid to listen to music on my PC.

Time for me to see if any of it is Sony produced...

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

What Type of Soldier?

From Elmer's Brother, I found this quiz. (Elmer's Brother is a fellow Valour-IT Navy supporter! Go Navy!)

I had to laugh. Did I nail this or what? Military Engineer. (For those who don't know, I'm an engineer in the military aerospace industry.) And man, I have some good stories about duct tape... in particular, one should not put duct tape on a jet engine. Heh. Luckily that was NOT me. We had this engineers' 'wall of shame'. A roll of duct tape promptly found itself affixed to that wall.

Ahh... Good times. Especially when they're at someone else's expense.

As far as Combat Infantry, however, Eric and Matt may disagree with that one. We went shooting while at Eric's and Eric instructed me in the ways of the 9mm while Matt instructed me on the ways of the AK-15 (thank you for the correction, Eric!). Every time that rifle was fired, I nearly jumped out of my skin. That said, I think I'd like to try again one day. Truth be told, it was a helluva lot of fun. (There's a blog story in there... I just have to write it.)

You scored as Engineer. Military Engineer. Your job is usually overlooked, but without you nothing gets done. While you sometimes annoyed at this, and you know the only time people come to you is when there's something wrong. You understand that you are the heart and soul of any organization with honesty and nice work ethic to boot.

"I need more Duct Tape!!!"

Engineer

81%

Combat Infantry

75%

Support Gunner

50%

Special Ops

50%

Officer

44%

Artillery

38%

Medic

31%

Civilian

6%

Which soldier type are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

I Hope I'm really NOT what I Drive

Eric had a listing of the cars he’s owned in his life. My list looks like a list of functional tools. I am so boring.

1987 Mazda 323, first car I ever owned. Stick shift, with the only extras being air and AM/FM/Cassette. Everything else was bare bone basic, roll down windows and manual steering. I miss that car. Or maybe I miss the simplicity of my life back then...

1996 Ford Explorer, I love trucks. We needed this for two kids. Two baby seats didn’t fit well in my Mazda and my Mazda had 150K miles on it. It was on its last leg and needed a new radiator. So we bought a new car.

1997 Toyota mini-van… I had to get rid of my truck that I LOVED and get a damn van. Talk about a blow to the ego. I call it my ‘asexual mom-mobile’. Nobody ever looks in a mini-van to check out whose driving it. Humbling, very humbling. We couldn’t fit all those toddler/baby seats in my truck and hence, the mini-van.

2004 Toyota mini-van… and my next car will be a 2011 mini-van and so on and so forth, as when you have a bunch ‘o kids, you drive a mini-van for the rest of your life. I just wish they made it in stick shift. It’d be a bit more fun to drive.

More fun, however, are the cars I drove in high school and college. My folks owned a 3rd car that we kids could drive. The car I learned to drive in was a 1970 Lemans Pontiac with a 350 engine. That car was sweet. Dark green and heavy as hell, that car could haul some serious ass. More than one time I had boys try to drag race me down some back roads of Cantonment, Florida. More than one time I won.

It was big. How big? That car was so big that when I was learning to parallel park, something I have confessed on my blog in the past that I still am incapable of doing, I inched her over and over into that space, hitting the curb over and over until finally the driver’s license tester, opened the passenger door, gave a big sigh and said, “You did it.” I used to say when I pulled into a parking space, “We’re docked”. Big. I loved that big car.

About two years ago, one of the elderly ladies I would sometimes check on (she was 92), needed to quit driving. All of Palm Beach County needed this woman to quit driving. So… her man friend who looked in on her told her that her car was too old, it was an antique and they couldn’t find the proper brakes for it. She accepted his answer, but it led me to wonder, what was she driving, a Model T? Imagine my surprise when I found out it was a 1970 Lemans. I kept saying, “You are kidding! I drove that car as a kid! It’s an antique?!” Crap. I hated that.

Then in college, while I was at University of West Florida, my folks had a 1974 Dodge Braughm for me to use. The car was very cool, don’t get me wrong. It had some serious character. All the guys loved my car too. And it was spacious! It had ‘issues’ though, issues that The Great Omnipotent One had fixed, but not before I thought for sure it would be the cause of my demise. It had a stalling problem. I’d be on a highway and it would stall out. I have an anxiety attack just remembering the horror of it all.

Anyway, my sister, Morrigan, later drove that car in high school. I am six years older and had moved down here to West Palm, having started my career in aerospace. She had Mardi Gras beads and some funky monkey hanging from the rear view mirror. My brother used to sing some Big Top Circus clown song whenever she pulled up.

She put a bumper sticker on it that said, “Don’t drive too close or I’ll flip a booger on your car.” She loved that car and that sticker. TGOO however, was not so enthusiastic. He had to drive it to work one day, out to NAS Pensacola I believe, and took a piece of brown paper bag and taped it to cover the offending sticker. She was agitated, “I cannot believe you’re covering my bumper sticker! It’s GREAT!”

Meanwhile, the rest of us are rolling our eyes. I just couldn't see a Navy Captain driving on base with a low life bumper sticker like that on his car. Now, I can't see any mature adult. Funny thing, we saw that same bumper sticker in Atlanta this summer. I pointed it out to Morrigan and said, “Hey! Would you drive your car with a sticker like that on it?!” and she replied, “Hell no! I’d never have something like that on my car!”

Heh. How times change…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 05, 2005

Navy Still Eeking it Out

The only real winners in this… are the Veterans. We bloggers are having a good time, in this jokey inter-service rivalry. The Navy has pulled ahead, with Army breathing down our necks. Seriously breathing down our necks. Being on the Navy team, its fun to do a little happy dance in the ‘rivals’ comments. I have to say though, I should have watched myself… if Army beats Navy in THE GAME of the season (December 3, kick off at 2:30PM, just sayin'), I may end up taking some heat in my comments.

But it is in fun. We all want every team to reach goal, we just kind of sort of want to get there first.

And to tell you how serious I am, that it is all about the Vets, I’ve gone so far as to e-mail friends of mine who do NOT know I blog, telling them about Valour-IT, and giving them links to the four different teams. I tell them, ‘It matters not to me, which team you join, just consider donating to this cause.’ As far as I know, they’re contributing to Army, Air Force, or Marines. I’m cool. It’s not about Navy sinking the Grey. We’ll save that for THE BIG EVENT in December (*GRIN*), it’s about the Veterans.

We’re all on the same team. I just like to poke a bit.

So to my readers, although I would LOVE for you to join THE TEAM (that would be team Navy *ahem*) by clicking on the donate button below, I am listing the heads of all four services in this inter service blog rivalry for Valour-IT.

Please consider donating to Valour-IT. Read about it HERE. Veterans Day is coming. Consider giving in honor of a Veteran you know.






To Add your blog to the Navy's Team, go HERE.

For Navy, click the Donate button I have on my page, or see Mrs. Smash. She's our fearless Leader.

If you want to donate for Army, Blackfive is da man.

Marine Corps is lead by Holly Aho

Air Force by Greyhawk of the Mudville Gazette.

Oh… and Go Navy! Beat the Other Guys! Yahoo!!! We still have a week to go. ANYTHING can happen!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Writing our Own Lines

Bones. Tammi told me over the weekend that she thought that Bones is like my sister Morrigan when she was a child. It's his wild and crazy personality. You have to know them both to see it. (She's not wild and crazy, but she is funny as hell.)

Bones is 6 now and the kid is like a cartoon, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams morphed into one tiny body. The facial expressions, the way he contorts his body to make a point, the mimicry and the voices. I do laugh at him, when I'm not afraid he's going to stroke me out from making me nuts.

Remember when I posted that Bones has this habit of quoting dialogue from Dodgeball?

The other day he said to me, “Mom, what’s urine?” He had no idea what he’d been saying this entire time. When I told him, he screwed up his face and said, ‘Blech. That’s gross.’

The kid is quick though. Oh so very quick. My husband was going to the Miami car show with the boys and they were talking about car horns. People were honking them. Son#1’s buddy who was in attendance said, “But are they necessary?” to which Bones replied:

'Necessary? Is it necessary to honk my own horn? No, but I do it anyway because its fun and I LIKE the noise.'

Off the top of his head. My husband said he did a double take. He’s definitely getting the whole ‘comedy’ thing down.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Do They Speak Like Pirates Too?

I found THIS in today's news. Holy crap.

Can you imagine? You're vacationing around the open seas, exotic locations your destination, eating all you can eat buffets, sunning on the deck of your cruise ship, pina colada in hand, and suddenly you're attacked by Pirates???

And are cruise ships armed? I mean, other than 'speeding away' how does a cruise ship fight back?

"Stand back, before we pelt you with ice from our frozen drinks!"

"Back Off lest we shoot a shuffle board disc at your mighty ship!"

Oh I can hear the pirates now, "Runaway! Runaway!"

Good Lord. Unless I was on a ship full of military men, Delta Force, Rangers, Marines, Green Berets, Navy Seals and the like kind of make the top of my list, I'm thinking I'd not be feeling so protected.

And I think if I had the bucks and the time to go cruisin' around, I'd stay away from the Coast of Somalia. No thanks. I'm very in tune with my mortality. Being killed by Pirates on vacation sounds too Old World to me. I'll stick with the modern deaths we have... heart disease and the like... preferably around... oh... say age 90ish. Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More Adventures in the Land of No Milk

‘No milk’ statistics of the day:

Rice Milk “tastes like crappy rice”. Nice visual there. Then he changed it and said "it tastes worse than crap". Well, since he has obviously become our resident expert this week on how crap tastes, I will have to take his word for it.

Ginger dressing tastes good (he’s been bumming as he LOVES bleu cheese dressing), but we need to find a different one. The one I bought was too ‘smokey’ tasting. More sweet, less smoke. The bonus on that one is its low fat, so *I* can actually use it on my Jack Sprat diet. I haven’t eaten salad dressing since August when a bleu cheese dressing made me sick as a big dog.

Hot dog buns, Italian bread, and Cuban bread do not have milk, whey or any other milk by products. At least not the ones we bought. Life is very very good.

Whole Fruit Sorbet seems to a great substitute for ice cream in his mind. I whip it up in the blender so it’s like a slushee and he’s very happy. He's decided he does not like ice cream.

I found a pareve spread that tastes like butter… and it says I can cook with it, so I may be able to still make food with butter. We’ll see.

Two favorite quotes of the day with regard to our venture into ‘no milk’ land. I came home from the grocery store with this new ‘milkless butter’ and his strawberry sorbet and Son#2 said to me, “Wow, Mom. You just keep buying all these really special things for me!”

I like that. The glass is half full. He’s not dwelling. It's easy to be a cheerleader when your team is actively looking for a victory and not dwelling on past losses.

And I found this funny as all get out, but we were sitting at dinner, remember my boys are Catholic like their father, and suddenly he says, “Hey Dad! Does the body of Christ have milk in it?!”

The conversation at the table came to a standstill (we had guests), as this was questioned, but I thought it was frickin’ hysterical. I was laughing, but everyone else just looked kind of stumped. And we decided that ‘the body of Christ’ is milk free… unleavened bread and all that jazz.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:59 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 04, 2005

Just Say No

My husband took the eldest and youngest boys to the Miami Car Show. My 2nd son decided he wanted to stay home with me, eat out, then snuggle on the couch.

He wanted Japanese food so I took him to the local Hibachi. Oh how our life is going to change with this new 'no milk' thing. I'm just thanking the Good Lord that we don't have a problem like some of my commenters have posted. I read how bad some of them have it, and my heart absolutely aches for them.

Anyway, I figured we'd be safe with Japanese... until I saw the cook throw a big slab of butter on the stove top and start to cook with it. Ugh. However, my son has not ever had a reaction to butter and he was SO LOOKING FORWARD to his meal, I hadn't the heart to say, "Uh, excuse me, we can't eat this."

He ate it, he's not sick, but now I know. If he really has this allergy, Hibachi is out.

The list is growing.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Search for a Good Milk Continues

The search continues for milk and bread that Son#2 will eat. I do believe that Son#2 is of the same mindset as Caltechgirl’s husband, that soy milk sucks ass. (See the comment to THIS post.) I’ve done Silk vanilla and I’ve done Silk regular and he told me both times, “Mom. Soy milk really tastes like crap. What else can we try?”

VW gave me some small containers of rice milk to try and today, we tried a store new to our area, on that held its grand opening 2 days after Hurricane Wilma hit, Whole Foods.

Son#1 had band practice (he plays the trumpet) and Bones had Tiger Cubs, so I thought it was a good time for Son#2 and I to walk through Whole Foods and see what they had to offer. He was excited and I figured if I kept talking about how healthy way is to eat, that perhaps he’ll be more cool with it. (I’m all about being the cheerleader if that’s what it takes.) His comment to me was, “Mom. If I eat healthy like this the rest of my life, does this mean that I will live longer than Son#1 and Bones?”

Talk about competitive.

We found what we needed, suitable substitutes for the foods he likes, we hoped. I looked at my four items and saw we had: organic bread, Toffuti Cuties (they look like ice cream sandwiches and they had chocolate, so we thought, ‘What the hey”), Goats milk (we’ve had to push past soy and hope the goats do it for us), and I threw in a Pomegranate as my kids had never had one and I thought they should.

As I looked at my items I thought, “Whose groceries are these? When I did I start shopping like I’m Earthy Crunchy?”

The verdict? Goat’s milk made his tummy hurt more and tasted funky. Toffuti Cuties taste like crap. He ate the whole thing, so he did give it a try. I came home from Karate last night, finding he had eaten one for dessert. I was so excited. I yelled over to him, “So, buddy! How was that Toffuti Cutie?”

The reply? A deadpan face and a “Mom. They need milk.” Heh. Not so good. He told me tonight… “Mom, they taste like crap.”

Like I serve crap at this house and he knows what it tastes like. Evidently he’s been eating a lot of it as of late.

AND, to all of you leaving comments who have similar problems, THANK YOU. I am taking notes. You are NOT leaving them in vain. I’ve made a list of products that y’all have said work for you or don’t work for you, and I know now that one day he’ll need to stay away from Icehouse beer. *wink* Hey! These things are good to know!

I finally told him today when he and I were doing a Mom/Son day at dinner, “Buddy, you need to understand, nothing is going to taste like milk. None of it will have the same texture. We just need to find something that you think you can get to like.” We’ll see. He is funny as hell and has a GREAT attitude.

We laugh together about all of it. I take his lead. If he can joke, I’ll make it a bigger joke. But as much as I laugh on the outside with him, taking him from store to store, creating big adventures of just Mom and him, carrying on saying things like, “Whoo hooo, buddy! Let’s try this one!” and hearing him say, “yeah! Cool!” inside… I am crying.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pam's GREAT Hurricane Diary

Pam over at Pamibe has a written diary she has kept on her 11 days without power after Wilma. See it HERE.

Holy crap. I've not been without power that long, but my folks have. I don't need to experience it to know it sucks wet socks.

Have y'all ever read that e-mail about the Southerner who moves to the Great White North? In the beginning he is 'love love love, rainbows, and butterflies, I love the north, the snow, the smell of winter' and at the end he's thinking of killing the snow plow man and he is going nearly insane?

Well, this would be Pam's diary. The first three days, it's more of a inconvenience, but completely doable. She cracks me up, really. The first part starts with:

I’m enjoying the aftermath, in a style. Almost feel guilty thinking that, but it’s true.

By the last day we have this:

Since the FPL trucks disappeared, I set out on foot to find them.

Only Pam. Good stuff.

By the way, she was oh so close to my house! Maybe 15 minutes! And the owner of the gas station she was writing about, he was on our news!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Valour -IT, Go Navy!

Yeeeeahaaa! As of right now, 0725 on 4 November, the Navy has pulled ahead! I'm hearing strains of the song 'Blluuuue Bayouuuu' running through my head as I look at the other services.

Blue Bayou. Blew By You... got it? OK, so I'm kinda lame on the Friday morning Jokes. I won't quit my day job in the propulsion industry.

As I suspected would happen, one of my new Fave Bloggers, Lex of Neptunus Lex has a great post HERE as to what you do with $5.00 on a typical day, but how it can help Veterans. 'Cause folks, it's all about the Veterans.

Valour IT- Tax Deductible. Read about it. Go through their left sidebar, and gather data. It is a good cause.

Five bucks. Every five bucks counts. That's all we need folks... Five Bucks.






To Add your blog to the Navy's Team, go HERE.

And to those of you who have donated already... whether it be to Team Navy or the other three teams... I thank you. You've made a difference. You have.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

Florida Blogger Map

This is the latest version of the Florida Blogger's map. If you are a Florida blogger, read carefully. There will be a quiz afterwards.

Between no power, no DSL, and being gone over the weekend, I had over 200 e-mail and many of them were Florida Bloggers asking to be added. I WANT TO ADD YOU IF YOU REQUESTED IT! If you find your blog is not on this map one of two things happened... either I could not figure out where you were located or... I overlooked your e-mail.

If you have been left off, it was NOT intentional. Please e-mail me again and you'll be on there.

When I look at this map, I think the State of Florida needs some Blogging Birth Control. Holy crap do we have some bloggers!!!

Now for the quiz... if you're not on this Florida map and you want to be, what do you do?

Answer: E-mail me at boudicah (at) hotmail (dot) com. Trick answer. I wanted to see if you could think outside the box.

As always, click to enlarge!

fl blogger vs 12.JPG

I'll give this a week, and then I'll publish it as a stand alone and put it in my sidebar. Y'all FEEL FREE to copy this over and keep it for your blog. 27 days and hurricane season is over. 6 more months and 27 days and this crap starts again.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Bad with the Good

Other than the Florida Map and updating my blogroll, not much blogging tonight.

I had a really bad night in Karate... the kind that makes me wonder why I've bothered to start back up. I'm tired of worrying about what I eat all the time and I was nearly sick in tonight's class. Poor food choice before I attended class. That mistake will not be made again.

I'm stiff and sore. I haven't run, biked, stretched or trained in 2 weeks. I can't live that type of sendentary life. I need an endorphin rush almost every day or I'm in a bad place. So Karate was that much worse tonight... I didn't click on any level with anything I did. At all. Essentially, I sucked.

And to a certain white belt who is not fessing up to taking, we all feel this way at times... white belt or brown belt. There are good days and bad days.

Today was my really bad day. On every front.

And I'd take some cheese with this whine, but it might cause a gall bladder attack and I'm really trying to stave that off.

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

November 02, 2005

Go Navy! Help the Veterans!

The gauntlet has been thrown. It is a friendly service rivalry… Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. We’re raising money for Valour IT.

I was scared there folks, scared I was going to have to go Army. I would have. I’d go Army for Valour IT, but being of the Navy kind, being how I have been yelling Go Navy! Beat Army! my entire life, it was going to be a tough pill for even me, the one without the gag reflex, to swallow. Sheesh. See, Navy didn’t have anyone to head them up.

But then, Mrs. Smash stepped up to the plate and is leading the Navy… leading us to Victory! Yeah, Mrs. Smash!

So what’s this about? It’s an on-line competition to raise money for Valour IT. And to show you, that I’m not really all about Navy beating Army, but I’m really about Valour IT being the winner, here’s the facts as quoted by Blackfive… whose heading up the Army ranks.

WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT. WHEN: November 2nd through Veterans Day (the 11th). WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else. WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world. HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."

I encourage two things… read up on Valour IT and what they do HERE. Blackfive has excellent information HERE. Mrs. Smash is HERE. From the Valour IT site:

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers.

And the second thing is… give. Seriously consider giving to this worthy cause.

OH. I lied. There’s a third thing. Give to the Navy side! Yahoo! Go Navy! Beat All Those Other Guys!!! Click HERE to give on the behalf of the Navy team! Just click on the Donate Button and you're in!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:41 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Bloggers Part III

This is Part III of my blog meet… and finishes out the bloggers I had not met. Part I is HERE and Part II is HERE.

Sissy of And What Next... I'm including her as although I'd met her, it had only been for 15 minutes and... she is my blog daughter! Sissy is an awesome girl and it really didn't bother me at all that I'm only a year younger than her Mom and 3 years younger than her Dad! She got a GREAT hat for being the youngest blogger that I cannot wait to hear about her escapades while wearing. ;-) It's a hat with horns. And... it was good to see that I'm not the only one who thinks my sister is a nut. Morrigan got Sissy and I to laughing so hard, I thought we might suffocate. It was good to hang with my blog daughter. We walked up a mountain near my sister's, to get breakfast, and I nearly stroked out, we hung out at Ed's World of Concrete, and we did a blog meet. You can't pick a better time to spend with blog spawn!

John of Castle Argghhhh! He was one of the first blogs I ever read, so I was excited to finally meet the man with so much historical knowledge. I think what surprised me most about John is how strong he must be. Honestly, that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I met him. He has a tremendous upper body and forearms. Anyway, John is the man who absorbs all, I could swear I could hear him thinking. Unfortunately, I did not put my best foot forward, as I do believe his first exposure to me of any great length was my succumbing (at great prodding from Red Hot Martha Stewart) to recounting the great tale of woe with my aspiration of the cocoa puff. Nothing like making yourself look like a dork right off the bat.

Princess Cat of A Swift Kick and a Band Aid- This girl can give some massages. I didn’t get one, but I’m telling you, the men were nuts over it. I was waiting for them to roll over on their backs so she could rub their bellies! I wasn’t able to spend as much time talking to her as I’d have liked, but she was having a great time and I could tell she is full of mischievousness.

Brad, Eric’s cousin, was a trip. He is a funny man and I think there was a good amount of time on Saturday night spent recounting this man’s antics from Friday night. Holy crap was he funny. But as hammered as he got Friday night, he was never disrespectful or rude. My only fear was that he was going to get so blotto that he’d fall over and crush me to death. Yes, yet another person at the blogmeet that had me looking like a hobbit in comparison. See a trend here?

And last, but not least, Eric’s buddy Jason, from his Eagle Glen Social Club. He’s the man who must surely think I’m an idiot for thinking he wanted a lighter to light the top of his beer (expansion/contraction, make it looser?) when all he wanted to do was pry off the top. But my classic story about Jason is… we were all in the kitchen and someone had broken out some Moonshine. And suddenly that part of my personality that I try to keep squelched, that one that wants to try anything once, came out… and I had this urge to try Moonshine. I don’t drink. So shots were poured and then that other part of my personality that I try to keep squelched, the ‘Hell yeah!” part, started to rear its ugly head. And as some were urging me to just do the shot, and I was giving way to the impulse, I think Morrigan may have given a look and he suddenly asked, “How much do you drink?” and when I replied I didn’t, he pulled it back and said, “Nope. You can take a sip. But don’t do the shot.” The voice of reason… that was pretty much all I needed to hear to have all those ‘not so conservative’ parts of my personality go back to where they belonged, neatly tucked away. Jason is a good guy. And many thanks to him… as he let this wayward crowd shoot in his backyard. I’m not so sure I’d have been so gutsy!

Tomorrow, a round up of bloggers I'd already met... but got to hug again.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Soy for the Boy

I went grocery shopping with Son#2 today. I was informed this morning that the Vanilla Soy milk we had selected at last night’s excursion ‘tastes like crap’. So we’re trying the original flavor now.

We’ve had a few issues today with this milk free diet, but life seemed to take an ENORMOUS turn for the good when he found out he can still eat Fruit Loops and Marshmallows.

Oh to be 8 again.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Maybe One More Mammal...

We need a dog. All this stuff to blog on, superceded by the fact I must post on my realization that we need a dog.

I know. I know. For how many years, perhaps since the birth of my last son, I have declared, “NO MORE MAMMALS IN THIS HOUSE! I take care of ENOUGH mammals.” We have settled for hamsters, which I’ve grown way too attached to. But today, after reading some articles in our local paper about people and their dogs, I’m back to the realization, we need a dog.

I can hear The Great Omnipotent One yelling at his computer as I write this, “NO! You DO NOT need a dog. You need a dog like you need a bullet in your head!” Heh.

To you readers, should we finally bite the bullet, it just means more blog fodder, because we all know… I don’t have enough.

Oh and I can hear VW now, smacking her forehead and saying, “Good God. What is she thinking? I KNEW it. I KNEW she would find yet another thing to soak up her time. Another time sponge! This is what she does when she is stressed. She finds MORE STUFF TO DO!” Heh.

But we have this hamster, Nibbles. This hamster whose sex I am unsure of. I know, I posted that it was very obvious to tell males from females. I posted that when I saw my first male hamster, it was like a bad train wreck, I couldn’t stop staring. And I posted that if human males had balls proportionately as large as hamster’s balls are to hamster bodies, human males would walk with their balls in a wheelbarrow in front of them. Men would not run. Men would not play basketball.

But there is something not quite right about Nibbles. It is as if she has two non-descended testicles or something. She has these two great big bulges at her backside, yet they do not hang as those parts are supposed to hang. Hangin’ loose she ain’t. My boys just keep saying, “Mom, she’s got a funky butt.” Fortunately Caltechgirl has volunteered to help me with this, should I get a good picture.

Yes. I am resorting to taking pictures of hamster genitalia and e-mailing it to a brilliant woman with her Phd in neuroscience so I can answer this question that lingers in our home… Is Nibbles a he or a she?

That’s about 1 step up from the fact I’m posting on it. My life truly is pathetic.

Anyway, we need a dog, a dog that won't eat a hamster. And I want a dog whose sex is readily apparent. And I don’t want a puppy. Puppies have too much energy and I can’t do that. Actually, it comes down to the fact… I never want to potty train another mammal for the rest of my life. Ever. Ever. Again.

We need a dog. It is coming.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:54 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

November 01, 2005

I've Got One Up on Jack Sprat

My second son has had stomach problems for a long time. It’s been 18 months. I’ve been monitoring it myself as there has been talk about an endoscope and I got kinda wiggy about that. I noticed this summer his stomach never hurt. It doesn’t hurt on the weekends. He never complained the week off they had from Wilma. It is obviously stress related.

He is my tightly wound son. He’s a big feeler, more emotional than the other boys, and is my tender hearted one. He is tightly wound, however, my perfectionist.

This is the boy that had to make is own costume for Halloween and wants to improve it next year by wearing wooden shoes. (Which, btw, The Great Omnipotent One has decided he may help him with this and cut him some plywood the size of his feet. I am really hoping Son#2 realizes the error of his ways before next Halloween. Wood shoes. Ick.)

Anyway, we saw a gastrointologist today. It has gotten that bad. And after he heard our history, instead of hearing that he wanted to do an endoscope (not something I was looking forward to), I heard, “I think your son has a milk protein allergy”. Great.

Now this child is lactose intolerant and we’ve been using lactaid when he eats pizza or lactose free milk for almost 2 years. Before we started that, this child’s gas was so bad, it turned the air green and peeled the paint off the walls. I’d be driving down I-95, he’d cut one loose and I thought for sure I’d swerve off the road, killing us all as I gagged if we did not die of asphyxiation first.

But the doctor said it could be more serious than that. Milk protein, not the carb, could be the culprit and for the next two weeks we are to eliminate all whey, casing, and milk from his diet. That is more than just switching to soy. Milk byproducts are used in most foods to improve taste. Basically all breads have something like that in there. What a bear it was to find ONE bread he could eat when we went shopping tonight.

I’m back to reading labels, as I did when I had gestational diabetes. Let me say, it is a lot easier to change your own diet, than having to do it for your child. Every other child can eat ice cream, pizza, cake, brownies, and cookies… but my kid can’t. No milk chocolate, very little junk food, and no yogurt.

It’s funny because the doctor has obviously done this before, this breaking the news to Mom of the new lifestyle. He started off talking about no dairy, going to soy. He’s got the same issue, so he identifies. Then he slowly walked me down the path of no whey, no processed carbs. I knew it. One of my best friends has this with her little man, but I wasn’t ready to hear it. By the end I was fine. I was ready to take this head on and make it right.

As I walked out of the building, hand in hand with my son, telling him this was perfectly cool, that he and I would do this together, laughing and trying to be uplifting, while inside slowly filling with dread, it hit me what I’ve got on my plate.

I have one kid who can’t eat anything that contains anything that smacks of dairy.

I have another kid who cannot eat processed sugar due to a potential issue with ADD.

And we have me, on my frickin’ Jack Sprat diet, due to a 2.5 cm rock in my gall bladder and my inability to process fat properly. (Surgery sched is 30 Dec.)

I feel like I’m living some seriously screwed up Nursery Rhyme. I told TGOO that for the next 2 weeks, we’re going to be eating like cavemen. Meat, natural carbs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. I feel like Mother Earth.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:07 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

When Honesty Isn't the Best Policy

Holy crap. I went into work today for just an hour, and found on my desk a note from HR that said something like, “Congratulations! You are approaching one year with our company! We need you to fill out this performance appraisal…”

Crap. Did I say that? I did? Make it double triple quadruple crap crap. I said to my boss as he walked by my cube (I used to work with him at Company X), ‘You MUST be kidding me. We have to do this crap here too? Performance appraisals? GRRRR.” His reply was, “Trust me. It will be worth it to YOU. Just do it.”

I hate that stuff. It’s just frickin’ BEGGING you to lie. I can’t possibly be honest. And I hate lying. HAAAAATE IT. I am in your face, what you see is what you frickin’ get. But… I can’t do that in my performance appraisal or it will be the kiss of death, on many levels.

Heh. But I can here. This is what I’d LIKE to write.

“What have you accomplished this year?” I went from completely and totally incompetent in every way, except from knowing how to turn on my computer, to now finally understanding how to change my password in 15 different military and civilian systems without having to call IT. I think. We’ll see next month.

“What are your goals?” I have none. When money runs out, I am gone, so I will continue to try to fly under the radar (that mix up with security really was just a mix up… who in the hell ever heard of a company that didn’t allow it’s employees to come back in the evening after hours to get more work accomplished?), try not to piss anyone off needlessly and try to play well with others when I really want to reach through the phone and pull their incompetent asses through their throat. I will continually try to resist the impulse of ripping off someone’s head and shitting down their throats due to their arrogance… when they are not entitled to be arrogant as there is a paper trail of incompetence that follows them… that we’re ALL aware of.

And I think I might deserve some monetary compensation for that considering this is new ground for me. Never have I worked an entire year, without actually getting in someone’s face for needless boorish behavior and attitude. That could be because those exhibiting the rude behavior are our customer base. The guys at my workplace are the crème de la crème and treat me with the utmost respect and kindness.

"What do you feel you need improvement on?" My whole damn job. All of it. I’m so far from competent, it’s not even funny. And don’t listen to my tech lead, he’s bias. He’s been one of my best friends for 18 years. He doesn’t count.

"What are your plans for assisting in your improvement in these areas?" Time. It takes time. And I asked for some books so I could bone up on the newest product, but they haven’t been published yet. I’m not sure yet how I’m supposed to help the maintainers if I can’t even tell them about the idiosyncrasies of this product. A trip to Connecticut in the spring could help… heh. Forget January. This S. Florida girl would be the new main character in the Cremation of Sam McGhee.

I think that about covers what they asked. Too bad I can’t be honest. It’s a lot easier. A helluva lot easier. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:02 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Meet The Bloggers Part II

Now I’m just going through the bloggers I’d never met! Part I is HERE.

Zonker of Thunder and Roses- I had heard so many wonderful things about this man from other bloggers who had met him. Although I had not been to his blog, his comments on other blogs usually had me either laughing out loud or grinning. Of course I had seen pictures of him, and the pictures do not do him justice. You can’t see how his eyes laugh when he laughs. You can’t hear the delivery of the story. He has a good soul, this man, and you can feel it in his presence.

Matt of Blackfive- Let me just say, that if you ever get the chance to have Matt instruct you in the ways of a rifle (or any weapon for that matter), you are a fool not to take him up on it. There is an underlying natural calmness about him. The shooting with Matt and Eric is worthy of a post by itself. And I will. Anyway, you have to read Matt for awhile to get a feel for him on his blog except for his love of the troops, since his blog is not a life blog like mine. In person, he is what you expect of someone who writes as he does, however. Articulate, intelligent, quick wit, and so at ease with himself and who he is, that you in turn are at ease in his presence. He is a gentleman, a good family man, and… I decided… that if we were all going to hell in a hand basket, I’d want to be next to him! (or Eric!)

That1Guy of Drunken Wisdom- I almost forgot to put my blog brother in this section of new bloggers I met… as I already felt like I knew him! I’ve been e-mailing or talking to T1G for 18 months now and there is NOTHING not to love about this man. Sweet, funny, humble and gracious, he is a big man with a big heart. I am definitely hobbit size next to him. He is so huggable, I had to actually will myself not to hug on him for fear of invading his personal space too much. And… he gives good hugs. As I suspected. ;-)

Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed- I had the best time talking to this gal! She has a genuine warmth about her that makes one feel welcome and at ease. I felt like I could talk to her about anything. She was able to fill me in on a few songs I did not know when ‘The Elderly Brothers’, as Jim calls the guitaring dynamic duo, were strumming and humming. She knew them all… she has the mind like steel trap and a great laugh! It was a true pleasure meeting her.

RSM of When the Smoke Clears- I didn’t speak with RSM as much as I should have, an enormous error on my part. I met him, I watched him with the other guys, but that was the extent. Truth be known, I spent most of my time with my sister and anyone within our vicinity. She’s kind of my safety net. But I’ve been through his blog since I came back, he’s Eric’s blogson, and I am truly disappointed that I did not MAKE time to talk to him. (Read his About Me.) That is my biggest disappointment of the weekend. I will say from the brief conversation that I had with him, that he just has a kindness about him and he has beautiful eyes.

More tomorrow. I’m still not finished with those I’ve met. Then I’ll move on to those I already knew!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:59 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack