July 31, 2006

No Left Turns

I was over at Charming Just Charming, where GuyK always has a funny joke or story, and I saw an article I absolutely loved. You can read it from the link he provided HERE.

I laughed. I got choked up. It’s a great story, a true story, written by a man about his parents.

And I sent it to my folks and to a dear friend of mine and I call it “No Left Turns”. That section of the story is what made me laugh so hard.

Why?

Because I hate making left turns. I read somewhere that more people die in traffic accidents making left turns. That was not lost on me, so if I am to cross 4 lanes of heavy traffic, without a stop light, to make a left turn, I will make a right, go to the next stop light, and make a left hand U turn at the next signal.

My husband thinks this is both funny and frustrating. I make all my turns at lights if I can. He grew up in the Newark area. Big traffic doesn’t bother him.

Now lest you think I grew up this way, you are wrong. Pulease. Being taught how to drive by a Naval Aviator goes something like this:

Me: Make a right here?

The Great Omnipotent One (TGOO): Yes.

*pause*

TGOO: NO guts NO glory! GO!

Me: Ack! OK!

But we were also taught to drive defensively, which goes something like this:

TGOO: When you’re the first car at the stop light and it turns green, watch traffic from both sides closely and count, one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, and then slowly move out. You never know when some shit bird’s going to run the stop light!

I don’t know how many times that lesson has saved my life. Or that of his grandchildren. Stupid frickin’ shit birds.

Anyway, so I guess I can be deemed a cautious but aggressive driver. But not overly aggressive. And I hate left turns, in particular against heavy traffic.

So go read the story. My favorite part is the section on calling it a bad day for 11 right turns. I laughed, I cried… I ident-i-fied. But what a wonderful story. All of it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I'm Running On One Headlight

I ended up running today. My knees didn’t hurt so I figured ‘what the hell’. Little did I know that according to The Great Omnipotent One (TGOO) they will hurt tonight. Great. He would know. He was a marathon runner, his knees shot now from years of running on pavement and flight decks... although I am sure genetics always comes in to play to some degree.

I have a new section in my iPod that is ‘Music to run to’. After my massive download the other day, I started moving songs into this new area. Nothing irks me more than to be running to a CD only to have to get out of the zone to skip over a song I can’t stand.

So… this post… I have taken one of my favorite songs to run to and incorporated the lyrics between paragraphs. Skip it if you find it annoying. This is a song I started pounding the pavement to three years ago, having just downloaded it onto my iPod this weekend… I hit it today as I hit my rush and I cranked.

There is so much to this song that I read into my life, although I feel certain it was not the intent of the song writer’s meaning, my interpretation. And sometimes I feel like I’m running my life on One Headlight. The name of the song, by The Wallflowers, written by Jakob Dylan… also known as the son of Bob.

I hit the rush at 2 ½ miles today, about 17 minutes into the run, just as One Headlight came on. I made myself stop at 35 minutes. I don’t want to press my luck especially since Tuesdays I walk for an hour with a girl down the street.

So long ago, I don't remember when
That's when they say I lost my only friend
Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease
As I listened through the cemetery trees

I don’t run every day. I am trying to do more cross training. My new schedule is as follows:

Sundays: run and bike
Mondays: run and weights
Tuesdays: walk an hour at night
Wednesdays: a day of rest whether I want it or not
Thursdays: run and weights in the morning, walk an hour at night
Fridays: a day of rest (I work on Fridays)
Saturdays: sometimes run and/or bike

I read through my running posts and I realize that to read these are probably more of an insight into my mind than my other posts which are usually stories about my boys. It is more exposure as to what makes me tick, if you will.

I seen the sun comin' up at the funeral at dawn
The long broken arm of human law
Now it always seemed such a waste
She always had a pretty face
So I wondered how she hung around this place

I realized long ago, that my internal demons loomed larger than the average person’s. My soul is just ever so slightly more tormented. I am OK with that. But I also know that my demons are infinitely smaller than some peoples… and for that I am thankful.

Chorus:
Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me & Cinderella,
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

I was privileged to run a few mornings with a former Marine when I worked for Company X. He was a Viet Nam vet… tunnel rat, having moved onto air combat, breaking his back in a chopper crash. He became a marathon runner. He’d run through enormous pain.

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade
But there's got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed

I could never imagine the demons he was conquering with every step. Shrapnel wounds and knifing scars evident on his torso as he ran shirtless, they were the obvious physical evidence of his past… I never questioned visible or invisible scars. It was not my place.

And I seen the sun up ahead
At the county line bridge
Sayin' all there's good and nothingness is dead
We'll run until she's out of breath
She ran until there's nothin' left
She hit the end-it's just her window ledge

But I will say that I could not keep up with him and it was not just his longer stride. His run was intense. His mental place was far different and darker than any place I could imagine. And so I ran… honored to be invited to run with him. I was content to run 3 paces behind, although I tried to run alongside. He wasn’t looking to lead me on the trail, but to have someone beside.

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me & Cinderella,
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

And I tried, and although I believe we both achieved the same sort of zone, I don't believe his rushes were more intense than mine, his travels to get there and the whys as to why he did it, were longer, harder, and bleaker than mine. He still runs. All that has been done to his body by the ravages of war and the aftermath of his dealing… and he still runs.

Well this place is old
It feels just like a beat up truck
I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn
Well it smells of cheap wine & cigarettes
This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn

I will not run tomorrow. It’s not my day and I know my knees will hurt. They are starting to ache now as I break out the ice. I remember about a year ago, some study came out that said something like, ‘People who exercise are less likely to end up on anti-depressants due to the natural endorphin rush one receives during exercise’.

I'm so alone, and I feel just like somebody else
Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same
But somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin' dreams
I think her death it must be killin' me

I remember hearing that and thinking, ‘No shit. Did they pay you to figure that out? Next time… call me.’ Stating the obvious… some of these studies… they are stating the obvious.

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There's got to be something better than
In the middle
But me & Cinderella,
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

I ended today with 200 crunches and listening to Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss, soundtrack from Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Nothing like a little Southern Gospel to calm the soul...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 30, 2006

Neither Fish Nor Fowl

When we were with RSM in Dahlonega, he let me take some pictures with his camera as I'd forgotten mine in the car. He took the boys panning for gold, which they loved. Even cooler was it was ‘in his backyard’.

Click to Enlarge

panning for goldsm.JPG

Later on, after we'd moved to the National Park RSM took us to, I saw my eldest boy in a stream up and I yelled down to him, “What are you doing?”

He stopped, looked up and said, “Altering the flow of the water, Mom”.

I sat there for a minute thinking, what in his mind thought had thought to do that? I mean, what was the thought process? I never look at a stream full of rocks and think, "I want to alter the flow of water.... I want to see cause and effect." And the way he stated it, “Altering the flow of the water…” I’m not sure, but the way he said it, it seemed older than his years. He didn’t sound 11.

And I sat there and thought, “Is this the same son that just hours before was acting like a 1st grader?” He does that. Sometimes he does things or says things and I look at him and say, “Hello?! How old are you?”

I was telling this to a friend of mine who has a son the same age. She’s a school teacher and her reply was, “Bou, he’s neither fish nor fowl right now… he is not a child, yet he is not a teenager. And you are seeing that.”

She’s right. He is neither fish nor fowl. I am keeping that in mind. And it makes it more pleasurable to watch, instead of frustrating.

The Professor isn't in these pictures, but he was playing as well. Bones was eventually drawn into this game of 'altering the flow of water', and so this is what they did, for nearly an hour, as RSM and I sat on the rocks and watched.

altering h2o.JPG

altering h2o 2.JPG


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The Run

It was everything I thought it would be and more. I started with 5 miles on the bike to warm up and then started my run. I’ve been wanting to run to my Blue October CD since I bought it. There are lyrics I love and a beat I can breathe to.

Today I did not run from internal demons but towards my ring made of unobtainium.

I hit my first endorphin rush in what must’ve been 2 minutes into it. I never get it that early, but I think the 5 mile warm up helped as when I hit that “I can run forever” feel, I realized it at 3 minutes 20 seconds and I’d been in the zone for awhile.

The rush lasted for nearly 15 minutes I think. I was in and out of it, hardly cognizant of the time… the pain non-existent. I was in the zone and nobody was in the room with me, of whom I was aware.

It was at that point I realized I was probably only 5 songs into the CD and there was no way this run would last only 30 minutes. I time my runs. I don’t go by mileage, I go by time. Sometimes it totally sucks, when that rush is ever so ellusive. I have to play mind games.

“If I make it to 15 minutes… I’ll quit then.” At 15 minutes, I look down and realize the meter is saying I burned 175 calories and I say to myself, “Well, I’ll even it up to 200 calories and then I’ll quit…” And at 200 calories I look at the time and I’m hovering at 22 minutes and I think, “OK… I’ll just run to 25 minutes…” and so it goes, until I’ve conned myself into the full 30 minutes.

But today, at around 17 minutes I realized I had 6 songs left on this CD and I was still cranking. The rush was gone, but I didn’t hurt and I wasn’t playing mind games and so I said to myself, ‘I’ll finish this CD…’

And I ran and cranked up the resistance and the climb, and ran and ran and ran and I hit a full blown endorphin rush again at 20 minutes. I was completely drenched and hit it full on and once again felt like I could run forever. Blissfully forever.

I ran for 40 minutes before my left knee started to signal I was pushing the envelope of what my body should do… so I ran for 5 more full on and then slowed it down for the last 5, giving me a 50 minute run.

I’ve never run that long before. Never.

I stretched for 20 and then did 200 crunches and some back extensions. I caught a look of myself in the mirror and I looked like hell. Like I’d run to hell and back, but I felt great.

As I was doing my stretches and crunches, cooling down to my newly downloaded Josh Grobin CD, trying to chill out and bring my heart rate down, I started to wonder if I’m not much better than I frickin’ crack whore.

What she does is illegal… using crack for her rush. And she’s burning up her brain. And her body. But she does it all for the craving of the rush.

And as I warm down, I am thinking, that what I crave is that endorphin rush. I need it. I have to have it. I’d run every day if my body let me. I’d run twice a day if my body let me and if I did not have a life that I must tend to. I’ll run until my knees are shot. I know I’m destroying my knees.

Yet I cannot stop. I have switched to the elliptical in an effort to stave off the inevitable. I have great shoes and expensive orthotics. All in an effort to save my knees and feet.

But I cannot stop.

The difference being… I consciously have the control to not run when I cannot… I can actually control whether I seek the rush or not…where the crack whore cannot. And running is not destroying my life… just my body.

I know that in today’s run, I have sacrificed tomorrow’s. I won’t be able to do it tomorrow as my knees or some other part of my body will step up and say, ‘No’. But I also know… that if my body doesn’t tell me ‘No’ tomorrow… I will seek that rush again.

And I asked myself today, what Tammi put in my comments to the below post, what will I do when I cannot run? What will I do to get that rush when running isn’t it?

Swimming doesn’t give me the rush. And although I try to always go a full mile when I swim, after a ¾ of a mile, I am sick of myself. I am sick of listening to my heart, the sound of my hands hitting the water, the sound of my controlled breathing, thinking of my life, thinking of my next stroke. I am sick of me. But I am adding swimming back into my regime soon. Very soon.

But running... I am starting to wonder now, which run will be my last? Is it on the horizon? I am not taking it for granted. I know not what I will do when I can no longer run…

So for now, I bask in every rush it provides and look forward to the next…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:51 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 29, 2006

Hipless in West Palm Beach

Bones wears his pants slung low. I don’t know why, but I think there are a couple reasons. I think the first is that low slung pants have been around since his conception and as a preschooler, that's what we found in stores. The second is the kid… he has no hips. We call him Bones for a reason. So his pants have always hung, there is nothing to keep them up.

My other boys are not shaped as he is. No kidding, he is rail thin… which makes sense as he is in perpetual motion. That hyperactivity thing he has burns those calories.

So earlier this week I had him try on his school shorts for the new school year. Last year’s shorts no longer fit, so I had him try on The Professor’s. We suspect Bones will be taller than The Professor within the next couple years, but as of now, we’re safe with handing down. And The Professor in turn will be wearing Ringo’s shorts and Ringo is getting… new shorts.

Bones would put on a pair of The Professor’s shorts and pull the waist band down to his hip bones. If it was tight, they were deemed too small. Forget the fact that if he wore them as they were made to be worn, they’d fit.

He walked over to show me and I said, “Dude, the crotch is hanging down to your knees…” and he said, “I know! This is how I like them!”

And so I have my child who goes to private Catholic school, wearing his pants like a gangsta, except his shirt is tucked in and his undies don’t show.

There is no showing of the undies in Catholic school.

Two nights ago I was rewatching one of my favorite movies with my family, Field of Dreams. I love that movie. I always cry.

Wait. I don’t like it because it makes me cry. I hate crying. I just really enjoy the movie and on a side note, it makes me cry. I become a total onion head by the end of that movie.

Anyway, so Bones is watching it with me, his little body spooned into mine, and all the old timey baseball players are playing their game and at one point, they all walk up to the sideline and the camera does close up shots of them in their uniforms and Bones says:

“Wow. Look how high up they wear their pants. I’d hate that. I could NEVER wear my pants like that…”

It was just so funny. I guess their pants look a bit higher than even we adults wear ours… but not much. To Bones, however, they were HIGH. Really high.

I wonder how he’s going to adjust as an adult in the suit and tie world or the military… where people don’t wear their pants off their hips…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

A Rush for Tomorrow Morning

Running… sometimes I think it is a sickness. The secretary at the kids’ school is a runner and while we were working the money room at the last big fundraiser this past January, holed up in the back, not seeing sunlight for what felt like three days, a song would come on the radio and she and I would immediately say, ‘I could run to this!’

It was so odd to find someone who related. We still laugh about it. And we compare running injuries too. I’m not sure that is a good thing…

I need the music to run now. I didn’t used to, but I hate it worse now than I did then… and the music seems to quell the pain of running. I can push through anything if I can zen out to the music. I actually *think* with the music on… but I just need the instrumentation and rhythm to push me through, the words sometimes as well.

And I have to run. I have to run whether it is from my inner demons or towards my brass ring that is not made of brass, but rather made of unobtainium. I must. It keeps me sane. It keeps an inner peace. It keeps the bad at bay. I need the endorphin rush.

I’ve been running off and on for nearly 15 years now. The elliptical machine has saved my knees although I suspect my left knee will give on me first. I think swelling to twice its size, which has not happened in three years, thankfully, is a good indication that all is not right.

But it has become my mental addiction. I crave the run. I crave the endorphin rush. I must have it. It is my drug. It is my sanity. And the music goes with it hand in hand.

I have spent the last two days updating my iPod with music I’ve not been able to add for computer reasons, as in I’ve been having technical problems.

And you know that you might be addicted when… you absolutely cannot wait for the next run because of the new music you can run to!

Holy crap. I’m so excited I’m beside myself. I said to my husband in the car tonight, “I cannot wait to go running tomorrow morning!!! I have some new music I cannot wait to run to!” He looked at me as if I might be insane.

But it is true… I cannot wait until tomorrow’s run… Blue October, REM, Cold Play, Ben Folds Five, Blink 182, Maroon 5… just to name a few. I cannot wait.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:58 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 28, 2006

Spam

If you are a munuvian and you are getting slammed by spam, drop me an e-mail at boudicah (a-t) hotmail (d-o-t) com. I have some code you can put into your template that will keep it at a minimum.

I got it from Eric who got it from Phin. It works. I was so frustrated I was contemplating closing all comments permanently or stopping blogging altogether. I was that frustrated and pissed.

So if this applies to you... drop me a line.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

A Card for a Sweet Thing

I was over at Practigal's today and saw THIS.

Folks, it is not a hoax. It is for real. She has proof.

Go over and read. See what Practigal has to say. What a wonderful thing to do for such a sweet little girl who is so ill. This sweet thing is but a year younger than my Bones. I cannot even imagine.

Go read. I'll be sending my card ASAP.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Tammi!

Today is blog sister, Tammi's birthday.

Hmmm.

I had a difficult time trying to figure out what type of picture to download for her. I know she has a thing about candles. And she's posted a picture of some seriously hot beau hunky firemen in the past... so I thought a combination of the two would be great.

Look what I found!!! Fireman candles!!! Heh heh heh!!! Frisky ones at that!

Heh!

tammi bday.jpg

I cannot quit laughing. I crack myself up.

Happy Birthday Tammilicious!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

Vacation Pix

Pictures from parts of my vacation are emerging as I get film developed and I receive pictures from people who also took them. I'll start with Eric's house.

Some he sent... some I took. His are better.

Click on all to Enlarge.

This is 'The Professor' at Eric's home when we stopped by for dinner.

Great Hat.JPG

Here the boys and I are at a waterfall at the Tellico River. It was a short walk to the top so we took the path without much weeping whining and gnashing of teeth from Bones. I wanted to go to the top to see the waterfall anyway, but also to clear Ringo's shoes from some horse poop he stepped in. That whole killing two birds with one stone thing...

visit_waterfall.JPG

We made our way down the river to take a look for crawdads, and here's a shot Eric took of the Tellico.

visit_tellico_river.JPG

Here are a couple shots of Ringo:

King of the world.JPG

small boy big river.JPG

Boys on the river:

smallboys big river.JPG

Their big search:

searching for crawdads.JPG

At the end we went to the fish hatchery and there were scads of butterflies. The boys are here trying to entice them to land on their hands. Butterflies are not stupid. 'Smelly boy' is not a place on their 'must land here' radar.

catching butterflies.JPG

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July 26, 2006

Nuclear Math

I don't do politics. Others do.

I've been genuinely concerned about someone going nuclear in the Middle East.

Blog Brother _Jon of We Swear has some statistics on nuclear fall out if someone did go nuclear over there. Interesting read... go HERE. (Don't let his title fool you...)

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

Soul Sistah

I found this quiz over at Tammi’s and Leslie of Omnibus.

It’s kind of funny as I just posted on my dream paying job…

And its pretty spot on for much. I do crave comfort. I tell people that when I dated I hated the beginning of relationships. I like that old worn in loafer feel in a relationship… and that is how I am about my life in general. I’m not a live on the edge kind ‘o gal. I’m into comfort.

What Your Soul Really Looks Like
You are very passionate and quite temperamental. While you can be moody, you always crave comfort.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you for how you are, not how you look. But deep down, you know that's not exactly true.

Your near future is a lot like the present, and as far as you're concerned, that's a very good thing.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.
Inside the Room of Your Soul
Posted by Boudicca at 09:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nicknames

Raging Mom has pointed out to me in my comments that I need a name for Son#2. And she's right.

I’ve toyed with names for him on my blog before, but they’ve not stuck. The names that seem to stick most with me are the ones we use with my kids in real life.

There is only one name currently used with Son#2 and that’s The Professor.

My father in law’s best friend, Joe, hangs with us all the time like family. He’s like one of those unrelated uncle types. My kids love him as if he were blood. And Joe loves my boys likewise, having no children as his own, he views them in a grandfatherly fashion.

And Son#2 and his exactness completely cracks Joe up and so about three months ago, Joe started calling Son#2 ‘the Professor’.

But I don’t know. I may call him that here on my blog. But I may stick with Son#2. I just kind of know when its right… and the name Ringo may not stick for Son#1 either as that’s just a passing name here in the house.

Bones is easy because… that really is his nickname.

We'll see... I'm easy peasy. We'll see how it goes.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Hollow Dreams of my Future

This is an atypical post for me. If I bore you to death with it, of which there is a fairly high probability, feel free to skip to the end and read the question I have for you…

Yesterday was a pretty sucky day at work. A Bones phrase would be ‘The suckiest of sucky in sucktown.’

Of course the highlights are the guys I work with in my office. I love the men I work with… as in my officemates.

At one point one of the more temperamental systems crashed, again, and just as I was about to scream in great frustration, a guy a couple cubes down from me who is our resident IT expert, sensing all was about to not be right in anyone’s world as I was done with mine, came over to try and massage the system into working for me.

Finally he said, ‘See. It’s working now’ to which I replied, ‘That’s because you have that magic touch…’

Well… evidently, there is a song about a magic touch? Perhaps written in the 50s? Because suddenly Mr. Magoo and the guy who sits next to him, both of them behind me, so it was if in stereo, started to sing, in unison, “You’ve got that magic touuuuch, do waaah, dooo wahhhhh”.

There was a lot of singing yesterday, probably in some great effort to offset all the cursing that was coming from my desk.

Bad day. And systems crashing were the best part of it.

I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day, even bringing it home with me, which is a rarity as I am good at compartmentalizing. My personal life does not bleed into work and work stays at work.

I started to think about what my dream paying job would be, something I know full well will never happen for myriad reasons, but it is nice to dream. For now, for a good long time, I have to stay where I am. The company I work for is good to me. My officemates are good to me. The pay is good. And it is a way for me to meet what we need financially at home.

But that is all it is. The aerospace industry lost its luster long ago. Where I had great passion for it before, it is but a job for me now. I am like the guy on the assembly line who puts the same rivet in the same hole, day after day, year after year. He does not like his job, but it does for him what it needs to do.

I receive an engineering change across my desk.

I fix it. Kaaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I get a repair across my desk.

I incorporate it where it needs to be. Kaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I get a call from the Wizards in Seattle, asking for clarification or assistance.

I clarify and/or assist. Kaaaaching, thank you for the paycheck.

I give 100% when I am there, and never less. Never. It is a free exchange… my brain and 100% effort, full on press, for their money. I have prostituted my brain and capabilities.

And I am making peace with that.

I have more capabilities than will ever be used at my job. Where I am now… they will never push me to my intellectual limits. They will never be able to foster my true talents. They will never reap the rewards of what I can really do. It is no fault of theirs… it is what it is... it is our situation.

And I am making peace with that.

I will never have passion for what I do. I will punch the clock, do as I’m told, smile sweetly, and press on. They meet needs of mine that are far more important than my selfish intellectual needs or my selfish wants of psychic income.

They meet my familial needs. They are good to me, they pay me a fair wage, and they meet my familial needs.

But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about what my dream job would be. I should be working as a logistician. That is where I am the most at home and where I perform at my best. I am good at it. I excel.

Long range planning. Procurement. Foreseeing potential pitfalls in the plans. Efficiency. I worked in Logistics Planning for six years… it is where I belong.

I have thought that perhaps I would like to ply those skills in ocean transport or railroad. Ocean transport has my curiosity piqued. That is where my head is as of late when I think of my dream paying job.

Logistics planning in the ocean industry.

So my question to you is, throw out educational requirements, forget what you have and do not have on your resume, ignore your past job experience… what is your dream paying job?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

Taxi Driver for Life

Keeping in mind that my three boys are within four years of each other, ages 7, 9 and 11, respectively, and that their birth order from youngest to oldest is Bones, Son#2, and Ringo, and that there is much discussion about turning 12 as in Florida you can ride shotgun when you are 12 years of age…

On our way to dinner tonight, Bones took my hand and said, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, when I’m 21, Ringo is 72, and Son#2 is 84, who gets to ride up front?”

Wow.

Let’s see… we got the birth order… wrong.

We got the distribution of ages… wrong.

Evidently nobody is driving at 21 or even… into their elder years.

Assuming Bones’ age would be right, I’d still be hauling everyone around at age 56.

Assuming Son#2’s age would be right, I’d still be hauling everyone around at age 116.

Scary.

BUT! On a positive note… he did get everyone’s names correct.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Wagon Wheel

It has been my experience that nearly every married couple has… a wagon wheel.

OK, maybe not an actual wagon wheel, as Morrigan and I use ‘wagon wheel’ as a symbol. Do you remember the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally’? In the movie Harry and Sally’s best friends hook up and get married and Harry’s buddy owns a wagon wheel table that Sally’s friend finds hideous. She refuses to have it in the house and he refuses to part with it.

He parts with it.

In the early months of my marriage, our wagon wheel was… my husband’s water bed. It was dark and big and had built in shelves in the headboard. Masculine and dark. But that wasn’t the bad part; the bad part was, I flat out couldn’t sleep in it. It hurt my back. It was way too soft.

I HATED that waterbed.

And he could not part with it. He’d slept on it for years and it was his. Perhaps it was a symbolism of his bachelorhood, I have no idea, but he really did not want to part with it.

We didn’t argue about it really. I stated my case that it had to go. I stated it a couple times, but I am not a nag. He stated his case that it was a perfectly good bed and would stay. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and tell him it was a hideous piece of furniture reminiscent of the late 70s or early 80s, but I truly hated it. Add to the fact I had moved into HIS home and didn’t exactly bring a bed with me to the table, and I felt pretty stuck.

For a couple months. Until my back couldn’t take it. I was miserable.

So, one night I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and laid down on the floor, informing him that I refused to sleep in that bed one more night. I’d sleep on the floor or the guest room, but I wouldn’t suffer through another night’s sleep in that bed.

And I was serious. I wasn’t budging. Ever.

We got another bed that weekend.

So as Morrigan and her Beau start going through their things they have found their own wagon wheel. And it’s Mo’s. It’s what we call ‘The Fork and Spoon’, brought over from Okinawa while The Great Omnipotent One was deployed there in the 60s.

Click to Enlarge.

IMGP0539 (Small).JPG

They hang on her dining room wall and her Beau hates them. Ok. Maybe hate is strong, but he said they could go in the basement. Heh.

My eldest has called dibs on them. He said he really only wants the fork for his bedroom, but he’ll take the spoon if he must. Mo informed him ‘one does not separate the husband and wife’. Fork and spoon are a matched pair.

But for now they stay with her. Her Beau has said definitively they do not go in the dining room. I’m laughing off to the side as The Fork and Spoon have always been a bit of a joke. And Mo got them! Heh. And Mo keeps telling him they’re fashionable now, digging out Pottery Barn magazines to show him.

Beau’s not buying it.

We shall see what happens. Worst case they end up in my eldest’s bedroom. I suspect best case is they end up in her basement in their new home.

And my question is… What was your Wagon Wheel?

Posted by Boudicca at 08:48 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

July 24, 2006

Bones the Cat

When Bones was 22 months old and I was coming off a scare, after telling the story I remarked, “If this child has nine lives, the rate he is going, he will be dead around 4 ½. He’ll never see his 5th birthday.”

The boy was burning through lives at a rate of one every six months while taking time in 10 year increments off the other end of my own. It started when he was just over six months old… this keeping me on my toes… and he’s not stopped since, although he quit burning through his ‘lives’ at that last incident occurring at nearly two years of age.

It was the 2nd week of January, putting Bones at nearly 8 months old. My mother in law had just passed and we had just taken down the Christmas tree. Typically we take it down on the Epiphany, but since she died that day, we were running behind, worn out from funeral plans, grief, and the fact my husband had caught some hideous hospital strain of that year’s flu while sitting vigil with his dying mother.

We had berber carpet at the time and deep in the folds of the carpet, under the couch, at crawling baby level laid a bright green shiny Christmas tree sequin. Some of our Christmas tree ornaments were handmade from pre-school by the older boys and one of the sequin decorative parts had come loose from the glue and gotten stuck in the fibers of the carpet.

With his little chubby clubby fingers, he clawed at it until he got it out and… popped it into his mouth. I had turned my back for just a second as my father in law was over, and I found my baby choking. I immediately did the mouth swipe and found nothing.

Still he choked, so while I did it again, I called 911 and talked to the paramedic who was about to dispatch a truck while I swiped again and again, finally dislodging the sequin, which was too big to go down his throat, in a cough of sputum, blood and Christmas green.

The paramedic on the other line and I were both drained from adrenaline… I could hear it in his voice and feel it in my body.

That was life #1.

Six months later, my husband was traveling on business and Bones at around 14 months old, was jumping on the couch. I went over, sat him down and told him if he jumped on the couch again he had to get off. He sat.

I walked out of the room to get something, I swear I was gone for no more than 30 seconds, when I heart a crash.

He had commenced jumping on the couch, bounced too hard, bounced off the couch, slammed into the sliding glass door, bounced off the door and took out the lamp and the table it sat upon. He hit the top of the lamp with his cheek, just centimeters from his eye, giving him a well formed bruise, instantly, the exact shape of the top of the lamp.

I found him on the floor, next to an overturned table, a lamp that miraculously did not have a shattered bulb, and with what I thought at first was a gaping hole in his cheek, only to find it was an immediately black bruise. But in the split second I thought it was a hole, time stood still as I wondered why blood wasn't pouring out and also wondered if I needed to do 911 or if I could take him to the ER by myself.

That was life #2.

And now we come to life #3, which is the real purpose of this post. The last life he tore through, thankfully.

Bones was 22 months old.

I was cooking dinner when Bones came up to me, motioning that his belly button hurt. I thought nothing of it, someone always complains something hurts, so I picked him up, put him on my hip and cooked dinner one handed.

After a few minutes he was fine.

He came back in later complaining that his lower belly hurt. I picked him up, put him on my hip and continued to cook dinner.

After a few minutes he was fine.

So as I continued to cook dinner, I heard the boys yell, “Mooooooom! Come change Bones! He smells like Poop!”

I stopped what I was doing, grabbed him up, and when I opened his diaper, in it was a Lego, not a small one, but one of those bricks that is a 2 by 3 nubby kind, immersed within his poop.

I nearly stroked out.

Immediately I’m thinking bowel perforation and I started looking for blood in his stool or diaper. Nothing. I’m looking at his little buns for signs of damage… Nothing.

He was fine, I was hyperventilating at the thought of what could have been, and he’d passed a huge Lego. I’d seen everything at that point… pieces of Southern Living magazine baby poop (cellulose does not digest), bits of crayon or play doh speckled poop, but the Lego thing scared the crap out of me.

No pun intended.

The day before the two older boys were playing Legos as I watched. Bones was doing empty fill. Empty the bucket of Legos, fill the bucket with unused Legos, empty the bucket of Legos, fill the bucket with unused Legos.

If the need for variety in toddlers is the sign of high IQ, Bones was destined for the short bus.

He was also teething and I must’ve turned my back or spent too much time focusing on helping the two older boys, when I think he tried to bite the 2 by 3 Lego with his back gums, against his molars, and swallowed it.

He was actually never an oral child and other than the sequin incident he never put things in his mouth. That was his older brother, who had to feel everything with his tongue, as if it were an antenna.

But not Bones.

There are things you never forget. That was life #3.

And what prompted this post? Over at Army Wife Toddler Mom’s she had THIS post about it being time to go to Legos for Dash. My kids love Legos. My only recommendation is keep them from teething toddlers, of which she has none!

And if you can, keep AWTM in your prayers. Tough times have been in her life journey as of late. I am fortunate enough to feel that I can call her a dear friend of mine now… speaking to her regularly on the phone and feeling as if she is a kindred spirit.

Positive thoughts and prayers her way would be much appreciated by me.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 23, 2006

Billy Goat Gruff

While at my aunt and uncle’s home in Alabama, we went for a boat ride. My aunt rides horses and my uncle is into boats. So off we went one evening, down the Tennessee River.

It was a beautiful night. And as my uncle navigated the boat around the river, my boys begged to go under one of the bridges and that is when my aunt reminded them of the story of the Billy Goat Gruff.

As we approached the bridge, my aunt said to my boys, “Hey, lets all see if we can call out the Billy Goat and see if he’s living under this bridge.”

Now we all knew she was playing, but it was all in fun, so as we went under the bridge, while my uncle quietly watched, the three boys, my aunt and I, all started ‘bleating’ like goats.

Bahhhh! Bahhhhhhh! Bahhhhh!

And of course it echoed under the bridge, so as if the five of us were not loud enough, the sound of the five various goat imitations bounced under the bridge, magnifying the sound.

And as we made our way to the other side of the bridge, we found that on the bank stood a group of man/boys fishing, standing there, rods in hand, staring at us like we were a bunch of lunatics.

We could not quit laughing…

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

I Want a New Title

So Morrigan’s wedding is in April or May, date to still be determined. For those of you who have not met my sister, my sister can have an ethereal presence about her. I don’t know whether it is the type of hair with its rich auburn color or her hazel green eyes... or a combination of body, hair, eyes, skin… but she can very much look like one of those fairies from Lord of the Rings, like no other woman I have ever met.

She’s picked out her dress and I am the lone attendant, one Matron of Honor if you will.

Matron.

I hate that word. I hate it more that it is applying to me! Who in the hell thought of such a horrible thing to call a wedding attendant? And it doesn’t matter where I put the accent, its still a horrible word!

MAT-ron.
MATR-on,
MA-tron
ma-TRON
mat-RON

It doesn’t matter. No matter how you say it, the word conjures up negative images. It implies wide girth, apron and baking cookies. At best.

I can bake cookies.

I prefer to pass on the other two, although I have been known to don an apron every now and then. I’d wear an apron more often when I cooked if I had one I really liked.

Matron. Who…in the hell… came up with that word?! The men get Best Man, married or not. The women get Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor.

This needs to change. In all its awfulness, I can’t believe it’s not been changed. I thought of just ‘Attendant of Honor’, but that sounds like someone who should be walking up and down the aisles of the guests before the wedding starts, asking if they want peanuts or pretzels and whether they want coke, OJ, or water.

Best Lady? Best Woman? Best Female? Best what?

Sure, Morrigan could change it and say I’m her Best Sister, but that’s a given as I’m her ONLY sister.

So it appears I am stuck with this title of Matron of Honor. And I frickin’ REFUSE to give into this girth thing, even though with every month my body accrues it is a bigger battle.

I shall be slimming down for this wedding, vanity weight or not, it must go. Goal in mind of 5 lbs more than I weighed when I graduated from high school. I have to take into account that I lift weights now… an additional 5 lbs added for that.

I started last week by altering my diet and today I started back running after taking 3 weeks off. Thirty minutes cycling and 30 running today. I will be adding swimming back into the mix. It will come off. I am very driven.

I just want a different title… dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

Ice Cream, Cow Pies, and Grasshoppers

While we were on vacation, my Aunt and Uncle took the boys and me to see some distant cousins of ours in Geraldine, Alabama. Farm country.

This man and wife have been married for 61 years, marrying when she was 16 and he was 21. He’s a cattle farmer with some crops now, not like he used to have, but nearly 50 head and still bailing hay. He’s 82 and just as ornery and active as they come. He doesn’t look 82 and he sure as hell doesn’t move like he is. Good genes and an active life style have given him the proverbial fountain of youth. He’s the one that shares my maiden name.

His wife has a tougher time getting around. Her knees are shot, but it doesn’t keep her from moving and doing things. She’s a master quilter if I’ve ever met one and I spent my time in awe of the work she allowed me to see… an honor it was to have her share with me the great works she has created over the last 61 years. She quilts by hand. Her work is art. Words don’t describe the quilts she showed me and even though I’m a beginner quilter, I hang with some women who are very accomplished and I’ve seen some tremendous work and theirs pale compared to what I saw that day.

My cousins had daughters who in turn beget granddaughters and so there home has not often had stinky noisy boys running amok. They were ecstatic to have my ‘city boys’ visit and he showed us around the farm, taking the boys on a hayride, showing them the cows, showing them cow pies, and having them taste crab apples. My boys got up in a hayloft, rode through his orchard on a golf cart, and saw crops for the first time, up close.

I had to have faith that my cousin John would take care and not endanger my boys… he’d been taking care of live stock all his life and had raised kids of his own, so although I felt a knot in my stomach at some suggestions, I let John take them out and about.

He let my older boys drive the golf cart and when they came in Bones the Drama King declared to me, “I almost died! John saved my life!!!” Evidently one of the boys took a turn too fast, sending Bones nearly flying out of the golf cart and John grabbed him up by the arm and held him tight. I stood there mouth agape. John laughed.

The boys still talk about it.

And of course John is remembering the entire time what it was like to be a boy… remembering what he liked to do and egging my boys on. Things like… eating ice cream during the middle of the day. We’d been there an hour before he started saying to my boys, “Boys! You want some ice cream?!!!” He’d have fed them the ENTIRE carton if I’d let him.

During our walk through the cow pastures, the boys found grasshoppers. Immediately they took to catching them, asking me if they could take them home. John heard me say to them that they weren’t allowed to take those grasshoppers in my uncle's truck. John was standing right there.

Flash forward to the next morning, we were back at my Aunt and Uncle’s home and the kids were getting ready in the morning when I saw Son#2 with a Ziploc baggy in his hand. He was sealing it.

I walked in and said, “What is that?”

Son#2, big eyed and innocent, oh so very obviously lying: Nothing.

Me: Nothing? Phht. You lie. What is it?

And with Bones behind him frowning, Son#2 sheepishly handed me his Ziploc bag which carried no less than five grasshoppers.

Me: Where did you collect these?

Son#2: On the farm.

Me: What?! WHO gave you this baggy?!!

Son#2: Our cousins…

Bones: I stuck the baggy in my pocket. (He was wearing cargo shorts and used one of those handy dandy side pockets.)

Nice. Evidently John went inside and had fetched my boys something to collect those grasshoppers in, which they did, then Bones carried them around all day in his pocket, and then they stashed them in their luggage until I FOUND the boys checking on their treasures the next morning.

I should not have been surprised. Hell, John was surprised when I wouldn’t let my boys track mud and God only knows what else from the bottom of their shoes through his home! Of course his wife didn’t want that stuff on her floors… but John just loved watching them be boys.

We’ll go back next year. They’d like my eldest to spend the night, but when Bones said he wanted to, John’s wife said, “Oh! You have too much energy!! We don’t know what we’d do with you!”

She’s a sharp woman.

We will be back next year, for sure.

At one point during our visit, standing in John’s apple orchard, Bones said to me, “I sure am lucky to have a cousin that’s a farmer!” And he really really meant it.


Posted by Boudicca at 09:30 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 21, 2006

The Day the Circus Came to Town

Evidently Monday was act like a pirate day and nobody informed me. Only my second son, who demonstrated his pirate faces to Zonker at lunch on Monday, received this important piece of information.

Lovely.

Meanwhile, my eldest thought it the coolest of cool to keep his napkin intermittently wrapped around his face like a bandit… when he and my 2nd son weren’t whipping their napkins at each other.

The three of them were perpetual motion through lunch. Good Grief.

I often tell people when I walk in with my three boys, “the circus has come to town” and on Monday… it was oh so true. Ack!

Luckily none of this seemed to phase Zonker in the least. He was THE BEST.

Well… I kinda knew that going in. Zonker is funny and warm and I just truly enjoy being around him. I’m hoping next time I get more than an hour. One hour is not enough Zonker time.

And was there a Bones moment? Oh yes. Zonker had walked us to my mini-van and the boys had climbed inside. I stood near Zonker’s car saying goodbye, chatting for a second without the commotion of my pirate, bandit, and Tasmanian devil, when out of the van, through a side door Bones’ hung yelling at me, “Mom! Don’t you know the skin is burning off my bones in here?!”

Lovely.

Next year, I’m hoping for more Zonker time!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Quote of the Day

From Bones. Of course.

I went to the gym this morning and have been so busy cleaning house and cooking, I had yet to find the time to shower. Bones was going to bed and came up to me to kiss me goodnight and said,

“Mom, can you snuggle with me tonight? I don’t care that you’re all stinky…”

Heh heh heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Waffles are to Pancakes As...

Today at dinner, discussion of food and how others prepare it came up. We were having pot roast and I used a recipe the boys seemed to have liked at my aunt's. It turned out that they were just being nice. They hate pot roast. According to them, it doesn’t matter how its prepared, it ‘grows in their mouth’.

So I said something like, “Well, I thought I’d try to make this meal another way…”

And my husband chimed in, “I like this pot roast, but I do believe I like Big Daddy’s (TGOO) and yours better…”

And Bones said, “Big Daddy puts croutons in his waffles!”

The four of us stared at him, saying nothing and doing one big *BLINK*.

Finally he said, “Oh wait. No he doesn’t. He puts pecans in his pancakes…”

I have NO CLUE where that first statement came from. NONE.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Touring In Dahlonega

After breaking the fast with Elisson and his wife, the boys and I headed up to Dahlonega to see RSM of When the Smoke Clears. (His post is HERE.) It is a beautiful drive as it is God’s country up there. Gorgeous.

I’d spoken to RSM on the phone before and had met him VERY briefly last year at Eric’s, but had not had the opportunity to speak to him at any great length. And if I recall, the prior conversation I had with him at a blog meet as we all played, ‘pass the phone’ was mainly me telling him how he needed to take his vacation and quit living at work.

Motherly advice. That kind of thing. (He has a passion for his work though... that is the type of job to have!)

RSM lives in a cabin up in the mountains. Secluded, he still has more neighbors than I thought he would, but nobody you can directly see from his property. The downstairs of his cabin overlooks a stream and trees that you KNOW are just teeming with wildlife. A slice of heaven for sure.

He had asked me to call him as I got to Dahlonega so he could have me follow him the rest of the way to his domicile and when I called he said he’d meet me in the town square. I quietly freaked out.

Town Square? We don’t have no stinkin’ town squares in West Palm Beach! Ack! But he assured me that I could not miss it, that I’d know it when I got to it.

And being from a largish city, its not that I didn’t believe him, but I just could not imagine that I’d just *know* it was the town square.

Guess what? It was obvious. It was in the center of town and was… squarish. And all the traffic went through it with… four or so stop signs like a… square. Then I got nervous that he’d not find me. That whole ‘hide ‘n seek’ thing.

Pulease. It was nearly immediate. It's hard to play hide and seek when the town square is one block by one block... I need not have worried.

We followed him up to the little house in the big woods, took a tour of his fabulous abode, and then took the boys down the hill to play in the stream and look for crawdads, fish, and… pan for gold. RSM had the pan and showed them what to do, so while Ringo panned, Son#2 hunted for flat stones as he was still hung up on skipping stones after skipping them with Eric, and Bones looked for live things he wanted to take home.

In particular, Bones was hell bent on taking home some nasty looking black water lizard thing. I’d rather have had a crawdad.

Bones didn’t really want to leave, but we made our way to Amicalola State Park so we could see the waterfall. RSM had the foresight to know there was no way we could hike to the top. As he put it, “Your boys are flatlanders…” Oh yes. I think that became apparent when the Drama King, aka Bones, got half way up the hill to RSM’s cabin, leaned on me and told me he thought he might die. I ended up dragging/pushing/hauling him the rest of the way up.

So RSM drove us to the top to look down and then took us to another stream where my boys spent the better part of an hour moving rocks. I said to Ringo, “What are you doing?” He replied, “Altering the water flow…”

Bones was… Bones. He spent the first half complaining he wanted to go back to RSM's so he could catch one of those nasty lizard things. Finally when he realized that he was actually having fun with the stream, contentment was achieved. I told RSM, “when you find contentment with him… you want to bathe in it.”

So we stayed put, letting them play and RSM scrapped the other plans he had made for us.

RSM is very... adaptable, always thinking ahead.

For instance, Bones was picking up rocks and I was holding them. The quantity of rocks was increasing exponentially and I looked over and RSM, who is always prepared from a medic standpoint, has taken out a tin of band aids (very cool ‘Bones’ band aids as Bones called them) and emptied the band aids into his pocket and gave me the tin in which to carry Bones’ treasures. I just thought that was very cool.

We had a wonderful time with RSM, he is a GREAT guy, and next year I hope to spend more time in Dahlonega. I’d like to take a tour of where he works. And Bones is determined to catch one of those black icky water lizard things. Blech.

Tomorrow: Lunch with Zonker!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

Jolt into Reality

Nothing quite says welcome home like opening the mail and finding you have a jury summons…

Love that.

Add to that the immediate realization that you’re about to once again put your marriage through yet another test by attempting to agree on fabrics to recover couches, and it makes one long to return to vacation.

I arrived home to find that the upholsterer had dropped off 15 books of fabric. My taste and that of my husband’s can vary wildly. Add to the fact that we are like any other married couple and communicate as if one is standing on Mercury whilst the other stands on Pluto, thankful we are at least communicating in the same solar system… this time…, and it adds for a level of potential strife I can do without… after being on vacation.

I’m missing the mountains and foothills right now. Bah.

Sidenote: I take my American Civic Duty very seriously and will happily serve as I am thankful to live in this country and have the opportunity. It was just funky timing... Hey. As a bonus, it's all blogfodder for Sept 14. *grin*

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

It's About the Babies

I am feeling for those American families in Lebanon right now. I cannot imagine how nervous they are. On the front page of our newspaper today was a picture of a Marine helping a woman with her two small children. (The link is here, click on Wednesday, but will only be good for a short while. It’s a PDF file of the front page of our paper.) Each child was wearing some sort of helmet and Marine green life preserver. Cute as a bug the forward child was… it made me want to be able to reach into the newspaper and smooch their cheeks.

Their Mother? Looking calm and strong, yet concerned, following directions, I thought to myself, “Please God take care of this woman, this Marine, and those babies.” The babies. The children are the ones I worry for most. We as adults make our decisions, and it is the children that endure them.

Winter of 1979, we had just been told we had 30 days to leave Taiwan. My Dad was doing strategic war gaming for the Taiwanese military, President Carter had just broken relations with the country and the military was being pulled out. Police escorts to our schools and for TGOO when he made his way to work. Demonstrations throughout downtown Taipei and in front of the American neighborhoods were the norm.

I was never afraid. My parents were the epitome of cool, calm and collected. They methodically went through the house, got rid of things, made lists for movers, got us packed up and… we left. One minute we were celebrating Christmas and the next minute Mom had us packed up and living in a hotel, awaiting word as to TGOO’s next duty station. My folks had made back up plans for us kids to live with my Aunt for a year (the one I just visited) should we have needed to. She had us ready to be enrolled in her schools and had made the proper accommodations to take in three military children.

I was never afraid. We felt certain our house had been bugged. We didn’t know where we were going or if it would have to be expedited. My Mom and TGOO had it under control.

Instead, what I thought was… Thank God we do not live in Iran. The fall of the Shah was at the same time and those Americans had 24 hours to pick up their stuff and leave. Suitcases were packed and their belongings left behind.

Twenty four hours.

We got thirty days.

We were lucky.

I feel for the Americans evacuating. Really I feel for the Americans with children. I cannot imagine how scary it is for them. I pray for their safety. I pray for the children. But they too have been lucky. They are evacuating in a week. They didn’t have that kind of time almost 30 years ago in Iran. At least not that I remember.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

Bad Driving Capital of the USA?

I have now driven all over most of North Atlanta and into downtown Atlanta a number of times and of all the places I've been, today was the worst. I am here to tell you... I frickin' HATE I-85.

Good God.

I tried to get off I-85 at some hellish intersection called Pleasant something or other... Pleasant Hill maybe... and it was NOT pleasant. At all. By any stretch.

I thought we might die. Road rage. Or get knocked into kingdom come by some idiot who thought he knew how to drive.

So here's the deal folks... I personally think that it is not too extreme to think that the urban planners in Gwinnet County (I may have spelled that wrong), should be rounded up and shot.

And perhaps as many as 50% of the drivers in that county should have their licenses revoked.

It made me long for driving in frickin' Miami. And I hate driving in Miami.

It sucked. It truly sucked.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:54 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Bou's Boys Southern Tour Continues

The last two days have been a whirlwind. We have been at ‘GO’ since Saturday night, when Morrigan, the boys, and I went to Denny’s for dinner. (His post is HERE.)

Morrigan and I love Denny. He has a great outward attitude about life. He is like anyone else and there are things that bug the stew out of him too, but his overall outlook on life is great… he has things to do and he does them. Period.

His home is beautiful and I LOVED going through his library and seeing books that are so familiar. We read similarly (Clavel, Ludlum, LeCarre, and on and on), although he reads more non-fiction history than I do, which is not hard since I only read fiction. But Denny’s got a wide assortment of books and I was impressed with his historical reading depth.

Our dinner was fantastic, starting with his crab cheesecake with pecan crust as an appetizer. We had his lasagna for dinner along with sautéed vegetables and a salad. There is no doubt in my mind that the wines he served were the best, but since I don’t drink, I wasn’t able to indulge! Morrigan assured me that she enjoyed every single glass.

Later we had a peach cobbler than I brought with me, unfortunately not made of Georgia peaches (GRRR), and we informed Denny he had to play Clue with us. We ate dessert and played Clue and that would be when Denny had his Bones moment.

When we first walked in, Denny said, “Are we going to have a Bones moment?” and Mo assured him he would. He did. Vast humiliation at some point is always expected when I take the boys out. Bones did not disappoint.

And Bones is IN LOVE with Denny’s cat Ashley. I left covered in fur as Bones would love all over Ashley, then come love on me. There was a hair transferal.

We didn’t leave Denny’s until 11:10, which is late for us as my boys go to bed much earlier than that. We just had a fantastic time and I could not thank Denny enough for his hospitality.

The next morning was TOUGH to get up. We were to meet Elisson and his wife for breakfast. (His post is HERE.) Now Mo and I had both met Elisson before and we both loved this man. There is nothing NOT to love about Elisson. And although we had both heard wonderful things about his wife, you really never know until you meet someone.

And… his wife… is a peach. Two thumbs up from Mo and Bou for She Who Must Be Obeyed. Smart, funny, kind… and frickin’ beautiful. How beautiful? This morning I heard Mo talking to my Mom and I overheard her say, ‘And his wife is gorgeous’. Heh.

We had a great breakfast and Elisson had the honor of sitting next to Bones. He is great with kids and had me laughing through breakfast and, like with Denny, his personality is warm and his attitude infectious. When with Denny or Elisson you WANT to laugh. And like with Denny, Elisson has such a sharp mind, its always interesting to see what comes out of their thought processes.

And SWMBO is no slouch in that department either. Smart, laughs readily, she and Elisson are just a great couple to meet. Morrigan and I had a great time and the boys, although not understanding the conversation as much, really enjoyed their meal.

Oh and as we were on our way out Elisson called me on my cell and left a message that he was standing outside a Publix eating a GEORGIA PEACH! Egads! Evidently not all Publix's are created equal. Sheesh. I'm driving to his side of town next time!

From breakfast I drove the boys to Dahlonega to meet RSM and our trip with him as well as meeting Zonker for lunch are for tomorrow’s post.

As of now, I am packed, the kids are sleeping and I’m getting ready for the 9 hour trek back to West Palm Beach, plans to leave at 0900.

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July 15, 2006

Hallmark Won't Be Calling Him for a Job

Sissy came to visit last night and it was an early celebration of her birthday. Morrigan had planned a special meal for her and had the boys make cards.

Hmm. Boys and cards… you never know what you’re going to get.

Evidently, while making the cards Bones had a meltdown that he didn’t know what to draw. Keep in mind, he has two older brothers he is constantly comparing himself to and its not really right. What an 11 year old can draw is far different from a little boy who is seven, let alone a seven year old with not quite average fine motor skills.

Bones is a typical boy, great gross motor skills good for climbing, running and bouncing off the walls. He’s had no time in his world to master fine motor skills with such mundane tasks such as… coloring. He has no time for that.

But my two eldest? They have always been into arts and crafts and drawing. They have great focus and love to create.

So there is no comparison between the two eldest and the youngest as there should not be, but it doesn’t matter what I say, Bones cannot help himself.

Making cards with his brothers, he was having a fit over what to draw. Finally Morrigan said to my two older boys, “What is he good at drawing?” and the response was… ‘bunnies’. Well not just any bunnies, but bunnies that have blood dripping from their mouths.

Lovely. I’m so surprised we haven’t been sent to therapy yet.

And so Bones, suddenly seeing the lightbulb that he could make a bunny with blood coming from its teeth for Sissy’s card drew one in the center.

But he watched his brothers as they drew sea serpents and war scenes and decided something needed to be added. “What do dragons have?” he asked.

“Spikes on their backs,” replied Mo.

Bones: I already added those.

Morrigan: *blink* You did?

Bones: Yup. I did.

And so said bunny had spikies all over his body and had a gun on his hip and when I looked at the bottom of the card, I saw this pork chop looking thing in red.

Me: What’s that here at the bottom of the card?

Bones: A puddle of blood.

It was entitled, ‘Man Eating Bunny’.

Nothing quite says Happy Birthday like a birthday card with a spikey gun toting man eating bunny hovering over a puddle of blood.

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Oranges and Peaches

I’m going to vent for a minute.

I really enjoy shopping at Publix. For those of you not in an area with a Publix, let me just say, they are typically very clean, have pretty good produce (nothing rotten sitting on their shelves), their meat selection is pretty good, and they have a good overall selection.

Of all the supermarkets I’ve shopped at over my adult 20 years, Publix is my favorite. Top that with the fact they were very good to my best friend when she worked there, and they’re golden to me. Employers who are good to people I care about, people I KNOW for a fact are hardworking, loyal and honest, are companies I want to support.

Publix is one.

Here’s my beef. Today I went to buy the ingredients to make the peach cobbler I was to take to Denny’s for dinner tonight. I ran to Publix with my list and… they didn’t sell Georgia peaches.

WHAT is THAT about?

There was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to a home in Georgia and take a homemade peach cobbler made with CALIFORNIA peaches. NO.WAY. They grow THE BEST peaches right here in this state and I’m going to buy second best peaches for my cobbler?

I.don’t.think.so.

So I parked my cart and took my list to Kroger, in hopes of finding some Georgia peaches.

The best I could find was a sign above some peaches that said, “Peaches Grown in the South” which means they are probably Mississippi, Alabama or Tennessee peaches, if those states grow them, but still, that’s better than buying a peach that’s been trucked across a continent.

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

And along the same line of thinking, there is not an orange in this world that tastes better than an ice cold Indian River navel orange. Oh.My.God. Just thinking about them makes me wistful for November and December when I can go down to my local orange market and buy a ¼ bushel at a time.

And why do I not buy them at Publix? Because THEY DON’T SELL FLORIDA ORANGES IN PUBLIX!

NO!

They only sell California oranges. I LIVE in orange country. And, holy crap, my supermarket sells the California oranges.

A travesty, I tell you, a complete travesty.

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Cold Hearted Exec in the Making

When we come to Morrigan’s home, we play games… games we don’t own at home such as LIFE and Clue. She keeps them here for us and we break them out and play every night.

It can get pretty intense with the boys when playing LIFE, competing for jobs, not wanting children, trying to get the best home, investing when they can. I wish I had a tape recorder so I could put the dialogue out there.

Today they were cashing out and Morrigan beat out my 2nd son by 20K to win the game. From my dear sweet saintly second son I heard, “Can’t I cash in my wife and kids? I have the most kids in this game! If they’ll give me 100K for each kid and 200K for my wife, I’ll win!”

Nice.

Nothing like family values.

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July 14, 2006

Telephone

The boys and I were at lunch with Eric when Bones started to mess around with his drink.

I said to Bones, ‘If you spill that drink, I’m getting you a baby cup.’

Bones sat there for a minute then said a bit incredulously with a very somewhat shocked expression, raised eyebrows and wider than normal eyes, “Did you say you were going to break my neck?”

I replied, “NO! I said I’d get you a BABY CUP! Sheesh!”

Eric laughed and said, ‘You can tell the boy has gotten his share of threats…’

True, very true, but damn, I’ve never threatened to break his neck or even anything remotely close! I swear!

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Of Boys, Crawdads and Tennessee Mountains

From the minute I hit Guntersville, Alabama on Sunday until I left Etowah, Tennessee on Thursday afternoon, I had virtually NO cell service. If I stood at the far corner of my Aunt’s home, pulled the antenna outstretched, and held the phone as far as my arm could reach it, towards the ceiling, I would get one bar, MAYBE two.

Although I actually don’t mind being totally unplugged from society, it did kind of make me nuts.

Eric of Straight White Guy and his wonderfully sweet wife had us over for dinner when we got to Tennessee. As soon as we got there, my boys were outside in his backyard running around. We weren’t there very long when they yelled, ‘Eriiiiiic! Come out and throw with us!’ At which point, I do believe, Eric informed them they should take it easy on him as he’s an old man.

The boys were still bouncing all over the backyard when Eric came back in completely drenched in sweat. His wife and I were laughing.

Not much longer, they were calling for Eric as they were hunting for frogs. “Eriiiiiic! Come out and help us catch frogs!!!”

So essentially the night was spent with my being able to speak with Eric’s lovely wife while he played catch and caught bugs and frogs with my boys.

The next day (Eric’s post on it is HERE), we were taken to the mountains where we hiked up to a water fall that was absolutely beautiful. We stopped all the way up the mountain so the boys could catch crawdads… something Eric had informed them of the night before. They were hell bent that they were going to catch a crawdad to take home, and since Eric had explained to them where they could be found, they had us stop at God only knows how many stops as the boys and Eric assessed whether it would be good searching grounds for their prey.

Now Eric thinks that I was freaked about taking crawdads home with me. Not so. I’ve had stuff ferment in my van. Hell, I’ve had a rat in my van! What I was freaking out about was the prospect of this plastic container in the back of Eric’s AUDI with river water, bugs, and crawdads.

Let me assure you, if they’d made their catch, the three boys would have been in the back of the car, talking about the crawdad and next thing we’d know, someone would have taken the top off and then river water would have gotten into his car, and of course the crawdad would have been flopping all over the backseat.

THAT was the thought that horrified me.

At some point at the river, one of my boys said, “Eric, how old are you?” Eric told them he was 33 and Bones said, “Why, Eric, you’re a young man!”

That made me laugh. He really did phrase it that way.

I have pictures I’ll download when I get home… pictures of their failed attempt to catch a crawdad as well as their attempt to catch baby fish, their new mission when they realized there were so many fish and NO crawdads and when Eric informed them they should use their crushed up tortilla chips as bait.

As the kids got back in the van to make our way to Atlanta, having told Eric goodbye, they all yelled after him, ‘REMEMBER ERIC! YOU AREN’T OLD!!!”

The warm hospitality of the Straight White Couple as well as the beauty of the Tennessee mountains made for a truly wonderful time. I will say that the river looked so clear and the water smelled fresh, HOWEVER; Morrigan and I were in my van last night and it smelled AWFUL.

Holy crap.

It smelled like something had died in my vehicle.

I finally started to clean out my van when I found Bones’ wet socks. Oh My God. That was it. That river water smelled wonderful while running through the mountains of Tennessee, but it smells RANK when soaked into a little boy's socks.

Blech.

Tomorrow night? We dine with Denny of Grouchy Old Cripple. Morrigan and I can't wait!

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July 13, 2006

They're Wired, Mom is Wasted

I’m in Atlanta. I’m beat. My van smells like swamp water. And I don’t understand how three little boys can be up at 7:30AM, spend ALL day hiking up to a waterfall and hunting for crickets, crawfish and minnows and still be completely wired for sound at 10:30 in the evening.

Going to bed… stories tomorrow, of which there are many. I assure you.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 09, 2006

Shhhh...

Before I start this post, I have procreated again! *grin* Y'all have seen my buddy from high school commenting here as Pensacola Titan. And he has set out his blog HERE.

His latest post has me totally skeeved out and I just can't picture the quiet shy boy I knew in high school wrapped in nothing but a towel, at the front desk of a hotel, giving them hell. I had to laugh my ass off. Not that they didn't deserve what they got... and more... but I am laughing. That whole post... Blech!

So please welcome my newest blogson... I still obviously haven't found that blog prophylactic yet. heh heh heh. Maybe I'm trying to compete with Harvey for World Domination. Muwahahahahahaha!!!

Today I continue on what has become my annual ‘Tour of the South’. Next stop is Guntersville, Alabama, where I will be staying at my Aunt’s home, TGOO’s older sister, and she will show us around the area where I will scope it out for retirement potential... as in mine.

On the way to my Aunt’s, I’ll be stopping by the cemetery in Birmingham, where my Dad’s younger brother, my grandparents and great grandparents are buried. I’ve not been since we laid my grandfather down at his final resting place 16 years ago, having missed my uncle and grandmother’s funeral, all within the last five years. So I feel compelled to go… to pay my respects… and… of course… to pay homage to The Bear who is also buried at the same cemetery. It’s a tradition of sorts in the family, go to the family plots, pay homage to The Bear. Package deal.

(Sidenote: I provided a link to The Bear as I no longer assume everyone knows who he is. It was January of 2000, I was talking to a young engineer who had just started at Company X, a kid from Massachusetts. I don't know how we got onto college sports, but I mentioned The Bear and was met with a blank stare. I was absolutely stunned. But, there are people who really don't know who he is, as hard as it is for me to fathom. It is what it is.)

I’ll be staying at my aunt and uncle’s for a few days before I make my way up to Lookout Mountain with the boys. After I’ll travel up towards Eric’s where we will visit with he and his lovely wife.

On Thursday evening, I’ll be back at Morrigan’s. That’s the first time I expect to have internet access. And I’ll probably be tired. So I probably won’t log on.

Which means…

This old blog will be dark until sometime on Friday. At the earliest.

So y’all have a good time, play nice, and I’ll be back, hopefully with stories. I do have a laptop, so I’ll still be writing as I usually do, in WORD as I am apt to do, and if any of it is deemed blogable, it will make the internet.

Peace Baby. Boudicca’s Voice is Silent.

Oh... and if you've not seen this video... this is funny stuff: HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:33 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

HB, T1G!

Today is blog brother, That1Guy's 39th birthday. (Click on the link to see all the trackbacks... T1G should have a whole lot of really really funny birthday wishes coming his way. You don't want to miss them...)

I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what he needs to get him through this 39th year, which personally I hated. I love being 40, but I thought 39 sucked.

So I went on-line trying to find pictures of female Marines... perhaps there was a calendar? Nada, zippo, nothing.

But... I did find a woman in uniform page and found this:

T1G.jpg

That's just one though. The man needs an ENTIRE calendar, something to get him through every month and that's when I found THIS link! (Yes, it is work safe.)

That's what he needs. A different hottie for every month.

Happy Birthday, T1G!

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July 07, 2006

Sealing the Deal

Mo’s Beau closed the deal tonight. It would appear I have about 9 months to lose the weight and keep it off. Whew.

Mo said, “It is going to be a small wedding…” as if the ‘small wedding’ thing would take the pressure off my trying to slim down and get more fit.

My response was, “Yes, but those pictures will be around FOREVER.”

Luckily I know it will not be any sooner than spring as when the discussion of dates came up, Mo’s Beau said, ‘Not Winter. Winter is yucky.’ And Mo replied, like the good daughter of a southern man, “And the fall is out… football season.”

It was said very matter of fact. Made me laugh.

The bad daughter *I* am planned my wedding on the date of the FSU/Miami game, without ANY REGARD to the football schedules. A mortal sin I did commit, thankfully saved by one Hail Mary caught in the fact it was a day game and an evening wedding… Phew.

Anyway, my better half and I took the boys to play Putt Putt tonight and so after they got engaged, Mo and her Beau met us up there for frosty drinks. Mo said to them, “Hey, boys! We’re going to get married!”

My eldest said, “Cool! I can’t wait to tell my buddy that I’m going to have an uncle with the same name as his!”

My second son said, “Yay! I love your ring!”

And Bones? Oh I swear this to be the truth. Bones looked at them and then us and said, “Can we play a 2nd round of golf?”

Heh.

As wedding plans congeal, I am sure there will be much blog fodder. Fully expect there to be frequent posts on what kind of frickin’ running music I am listening to as I shed that last 15-20.

And lest you wonder… we all love Mo’s Beau. She done good.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:02 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday, Hubba

Today is Hubba’s birthday. The big 6-5. Trust me when I say there are 55 year old women out there that would die to look like my Mom. She looks great.

Tonight we had turkey pot pie for dinner with angel food cake with fudge frosting. We all chipped in (kids/spouses/grandchildren although the grandchildren have no moolah) and got her smelly things for her bath, wine, a spa day, and various items that we know she enjoys.

The boys had picked out cards for her, Bones’ card being a hit. It had this frog and its arms were folded in and you unrolled the folded arms over and over and over to show that the frog loved you ‘thiiiiiiiis much!’

It was cute. Really.

The catch? He picked up the card at the store and said, “Mom, I like this card…” and I read it and it said, “To my Wonderful Wife….”

Hmmm.

So I said, “Great! This is a GREAT card. Mimie will love it.”

It was the thought. It’s like yesterday, when he was picking out cards for his uncle and he picked up one he liked that said, “Happy 100th birthday!” I told him to get it! I thought it was great! I knew TN would laugh, but he opted for another card instead, which was still funny, but still not as funny as wishing his dear old 39 year old uncle a Happy 100th Birthday.

Anyway, back to ‘the Mimster’ as the boys sometimes call her. So Bones got the “To my Wonderful Wife” card and at the last minute said, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, can you cross out wife and put Mim?” And so it was.

It’s been the big hit around the house. I think it’s my favorite. The arms outstretch 5 times the size of the card.

The boys love their Mimie.

So happy birthday to my Mom, also known as Hubba, Mimie, Mim, and The Mimster. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 05, 2006

Thoughts and Prayers

I awoke to the news that Christina and Dash have suffered an enormous loss... they have lost nearly everything in a house fire. Lightning.

I cannot even imagine.

I spoke to her today and she is doing what needs to be done. They all are. And really, what else can they do?

They have an enormously positive attitude as they are feeling extraordinarily blessed with their family and friends and those who have reached out to them... and the biggest blessing of all, that everyone is safe.

I'm keeping them in my thoughts and prayers. If y'all could too, I know it would be much appreciated.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Let's All Get Drunk And...

Tonight at dinner, my second son was playing around after Bones made a quick mental error in forgetting who TGOO and Hubba’s offspring are. He said, “If TGOO and Hubba are married, why don’t they have kids?”

He was met with a stare.

Finally I said, “He does… me, Morrigan and TN.” He responded with a ‘That’s right, that’s right, that’s right!’

So from there my second son started making up where we all came from, as evidently we didn’t come from Hubba and TGOO.

“Mom came from a jelly bean…” to which we all just kind of nodded and continued with our adult conversations.

“Aunt Morrigan came from a peanut…” to which we all just kind of nodded and continued with our adult conversations.

“And Uncle TN… he came from a screw…”

*silence*

Finally Morrigan said under her breath, “Well… yes. He did get that one right…”

I think every adult at the table was trying hard not to choke as they quietly laughed.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:35 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 04, 2006

4th of July Quote of the Day

Today’s quote is from Bones. Surprise.

We were at the long tables eating our dinner and sitting next to me were my Aunt and Uncle who really don’t cuss. At all. And down from them were my cousins and in-laws who are in various professions, including child psychology.

In total there were four children, my three plus a two year old cousin. Bones, with a smaller child around, thinks he is a big kid.

The lines from the Black Knight scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail, the boys' selected performance for the ceilidh, had been printed out for the boys, and they had been rehearsing.

At dinner, out of the blue, Bones says, quite loudly as my son is incapable of speaking in normal tones, he only shouts, our Quote of the Day.

“Did Big Daddy want us to say RASCALS because we can’t say the word BASTARDS?”

Silence hung over the table. I think I may have choked. Everyone else kind of stared in mid-chew.

In the ensuing silence and lack of response, Bones continued, “I get it. Because we shouldn’t say BASTARD around the little kids, right?”

There was so much wrong with that on so many levels.

Pictures to follow soon…

Happy 4th of July!

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July 03, 2006

An Annual Affair

And so tomorrow shall be… the annual butchering at the ceilidh performed by The Great Omnipotent One and me, he on the fiddle and I on the flute.

This year’s musical selection, which is always selected from a vast array of bagpipe music that TGOO has, is When the Pipers Play. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Oh yes.

But leave it to TGOO to find an arrangement that is more complex than the normal arrangement of this tune, which is also known as ‘The Water is Wide’. I don’t play my flute like I used to. I pick it up once a month… at best. Probably once a quarter, typically a big ‘oh shit’ when my son’s band director has asked me to play with his band. And TGOO picks a tune that is riddled with lead off 16th notes and 16th notes tossed around on the off beats like it’s a piece of cake.

Its not.

For me.

We have practiced it and its acceptable. Nobody will really know the difference. They’ve all come to know it’s the annual butchering at the ceilidh.

We suck.

Or rather, I do.

Meanwhile, TGOO has made 'helmets' for Ringo and Bones, and a crown for the middle son, and they have been practicing their Black Knight skit from Monty Python's Holy Grail.

A coconut has been cut in half and hollowed out for TN in his role as King Arthur's faithful servant, Patsy.

Pictures. There will be pictures.

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An Open Letter to my Best Friend PFB

Dear PFB-

I know you read this. Heh heh heh.

I wanted you to know that I did in fact tell my parents hugs and kisses from you and that you miss them.

I also told TGOO that you are going to learn to play the banjo and will be showing up to the ceilidh one 4th to participate. He said to tell you that if you learn the banjo, you have to teach him because he's always wanted to learn.

So let us run down the instruments that TGOO currently plays:

Trombone (high school), piano/organ, recorder, tin whistle, fiddle, highland bagpipes, indoor small pipes, dulcimer, and he has working knowledge of the flute.

And now he wants to add banjo.

Lovely.

By the way, I tried TGOO's small pipes yesterday and I suck at that too. I have some serious coordination issues. Never in my life did I dream that the regular pipes would be easier than his small pipes. Blech.

So the message has been delivered. I figured if its in print, right here, you will know it to be true. ;-)

Hugs and kisses to Mr. Smoochy Pants for me.

Your best friend-

Bou

**This blog letter was written as I so suck at communicating with her as of late by cell. Phone tag isn't even the half of it.**

Posted by Boudicca at 03:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 02, 2006

Under the Bus

I walked into TGOO's computer room, just having finished putting up my Banana Pudding Post when Morrigan walks in and says to him, 'Keep up Bou's blog. I'm behind in my reading..."

TGOO: Oh good. You can see where she threw you under the bus...

Mo: WHAT?!

TGOO: Yeah. You and your Mom. Under the same wheel of the same bus.

Mo: What did *I* do?!!

Heh. I love blogging from home...

...as she and I currently sit across from each other on different computers retorting to each other.

Posted by Boudicca at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Da Land 'O Da Munchkins

T1G of Drunken Wisdom was in Pensacola yesterday to meet up with some other blogger buddies. Since we were here at the same time, I had him stop by TGOO and Hubba’s house.

That’s right T1G is the first blogger to meet the entire family. He already knew Mo, my kids and spouse, but now has met TGOO, Hubba and TN.

My blog life and real life seem to have actually fully intersected… how very odd! Very fun, but very odd!

T1G is a big guy. I think I’ve posted that before. And we’re… not. None of us. While in our kitchen, Mo said to him, “So, do you feel like you’re in the land of the Munchkins?” Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:54 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

I Love Terry

Hubba had rented Failure to Launch for us to watch a couple night’s ago. It’s a movie with Matthew Mcconaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Just as a side not, Matthew Mcconaughey does not do anything for me. I don’t know why. I suppose he’s a good enough looking guy, but I don’t know whether it’s his on screen personality or his looks or what, but I just feel absolutely NO attraction to the actor. None.

Mo, however thinks he’s all that and a bag ‘o chips. Yet another difference between Mo and Bou. She thinks this guy sizzles, a real ‘hottie’ and I say, ‘Who?’ Resurrect Yul Brunner to his 30s and 40s and I’d be a happy gal.

Anyway, this movie had Terry Bradshaw playing Matthews’ Dad.

I love Terry Bradshaw.

I don’t remember NOT loving Terry Bradshaw. I used to love watching him when he did guest appearances on Johnny Carson. He just looks like someone I’d like to hug. He’s funny and endearing and… he just seems like such a decent human being.

I’ve read about his struggles with depression. That hurt my heart.

Anyway, back to the movie. He was the highlight of the movie. There is a scene where he has a ‘naked room’ where he just hangs around naked that completely cracked me up. And yes, Terry was naked. Every single scene that Terry was in, was completely stolen by him.

I said to TGOO: I LOVE Terry Bradshaw. I didn’t know he was getting into acting! He should act more…

TGOO: He’s just playing himself…

Me: I know! And I love him! I wish some big movie producer guy would realize that Terry Bradshaw is great on the big screen and capitalize upon it.

I don’t know if an entire movie could be carried by Mr. Bradshaw, nor do I know if Mr. Bradshaw would even want to do that, but he’s a funny as hell supporting actor and I’d pay to watch movies knowing he was doing his thing… playing a father, friend, grandfather, crazy uncle or loveable neighbor. I’d pay it.

He’s just a breath of fresh air.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:50 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Banana Pudding

Per THIS post, you will remember that today is Banana Pudding for dessert night, according to The Great Omnipotent One’s Meal Spreadsheet, and No, were were not joking about the spreadsheet. Ask T1G of Drunken Wisdom. He was here in my folks’ home. He saw the spreadsheet.

I’m posting my Banana Pudding recipe for Marie of Practigal for a reason explained further down in this post. But first… a couple rants.

I think I’m pretty good about change. Really. I am. But there are some things that should not change. We ALWAYS have cheese grits and ham on Christmas Eve. We always go blue berry picking the Sunday before the 4th of July and we always take a grunch of pictures.

And… Banana Pudding is always made in the same yellow casserole dish that my Mom made it in when I was a kid, probably one of their wedding gifts, making the little yellow dish 44 years old.

So whilst I putzed around my mother’s kitchen getting ready to make TGOO's Banana Pudding (yes, in this house, Banana Pudding is a proper noun), I realized the first ‘change’ was Mom having the audacity to change her kitchen around and no longer keeping her double boiler in the same place. She found it for me to which I replied with arched eyebrow and a slight snit, “You mean you CHANGED your kitchen since I’ve been out of this house for the last 20 years?! WHAT were YOU thinking?!” Humpf! (I was kidding, folks, just kidding!!!)

OK, minor offense. But imagine, the horror of all horrors, when I said to Mom, “Where’s the little yellow Banana Pudding casserole dish?”

*silence*

Me: Well? It’s a tradition. Where’d it go?

Hubba: Your sister has it. She didn’t have casserole dishes at her townhouse.

Me: What? She makes enough money, she can BUY her own casserole dishes. I bet she’s never even MADE Dad Banana Pudding in that dish! Humpf!

So I’m making it now in a clear glass dish. The sacrifices we make for our younger siblings. Jeezoweez.

Anyway, the recipe that is used in our family was always found on the box of Nilla Wafers, but Nabisco sold out to America who craves the easy way out of everything and they now have a recipe using store bought Jell-O pudding. Phht. Forget that.

So this is the recipe I use. It’s the family fave, made by my Mom for TGOO for years on his birthday and now I make it in July since we’re no longer here when his birthday rolls around.

Banana Pudding
Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 20 minutes

¾ cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup flour
dash of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
½ tsp. vanilla
45 Nilla wafers, divided
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 ½ cups), divided

Mix ½ cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, sitrring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Reserve 10 Nilla Wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 ½ qt casserole; cover with layers of 1/3 each of the wafers and sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

Beat egg whites on high speed of electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of custard, spreading to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. (If your oven cooks quickly, check after 10 minutes and bake in 5 minute increments.) Cool slightly or refrigerate several hours until chilled. Top with wafers around the edges.

Makes 12 (2/3 cup) servings.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 01, 2006

Only in the South

My kids are learning to play the dulcimer. Pix to follow… of that I am sure.

Nothing like watching Ringo play the dulcimer…

**Note: For now, Ringo will be the name I call Son#1. That's what we are currently calling him around the house. Oh and I'm not battling with him about his hair...just gently prodding. His father had hair mid back through the mid 70s.**

**Note#2: Currently in TGOO and Hubba's home we have 1 flute, 1 trumpet, 1 pan flute, 1 organ, 1 dulcimer, 1 violin, 1 set if highland bagpipes, 1 set of small pipes (indoor), an African drum, bongos, castinets and... various handmade Native American flutes as that's what TGOO does as in making for a hobby. Beautiful work with magnificent sound I might add. And yes, all these instruments get played. A lot. Even the castinets. Odd story. **

Posted by Boudicca at 04:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A Conversation Between Hubba and Bones

Hubba, Mo and I were in Mo’s bedroom talking when Bones walked in. He laid himself at the foot of the bed, arms under his head, body stretched out looking all cool as the women talked amongst him.

Talk came to his reddish blonde straw hair and his general disposition and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection, which is pretty good this time as as soon as the conversation took place I lifted a finger to Mo and said, ‘I’ll be back’ and mouthed something about ‘blog fodder’:

Hubba: Your hair is sometimes like straw.

Bones: Yup.

Hubba: I think you’d do very well on a farm. Have you ever been on one?

Bones: Nope…

Mo: It would keep you busy, up early, around the farm all the animals…

Hubba: Have you ever seen a cow?

Bones: No. Oh. Yes I have. I saw a cow on King Arthur on TV. Patsy gets crushed by a cow.

Hubba and Mo: *blink*

Me: I’ll be back (blog fodder…)

The only reference my 7 year old can think of to cows is Monty Python’s Holy Grail when Patsy gets smushed by a cow?

Yeah. I need to get the kids out of the city. This is killin’ me.

Posted by Boudicca at 04:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pluck Pluck for the Fun of It

I was getting ready this morning when I glanced in the mirror and realized my eyebrows needed plucking. I have no clue why I didn’t notice before, maybe it just had to get dark and unibrowish enough for me to notice.

I rummaged through my make up case, which is big enough to carry every life saving medical supply to any 3rd world country, only to find I must’ve removed my tweezers from my case.

Into the kitchen I walked to ask Hubba if she had tweezers. There is not a lady in America better groomed as my Mom. She looked at me and said “What for?” and I gave her the look, putting a finger across my eyebrows signalling “Unibrow”.

As we walked off TGOO was saying after me, “Wait! Wait! I have tweezers” as he reached into his pockets and broke out his Swiss Army “all purpose I can save the world and tweeze your eyebrows all in one” knife. My eyes grew big and at the same time Hubba and I said, “Uhhh, no thanks…”

We walked into her bathroom and she has decided she has the perfect pair of tweezers for me. Did you know there are different kinds?

Evidently.

“Here”, she said, “These are great. You can be very exact” as she handed me a pair of tweezers akin to a pair of needle nosed pliers.

Replied I, “Mom. Look at my eyebrows. I don’t need exact. I need a pair that will pull out hundreds, one big swatch, in a big pull.”

Said Mom, “Oh! This will do it! Just pull really really fast…”

As she walked out, I couldn’t quit laughing. Mo and Hubba need a pair of needle nosed tweezers to pull out the exact eyebrow hair they need removed.

Me? I need something that will pull out one big chunk at once, akin to waxing. I forget about my eyebrows. Plus, I have a sneezing problem when I pluck. If I pull out chunks at once, I only sneeze a few times…

…if I have to sit there and pull them out individually, I’ll end up in some sort of sneezing fit. I’ll stick with chunks. Thanks.

Posted by Boudicca at 04:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack