November 30, 2006

Leave it to the Little People

Talk about keeping it in perspective. For those of you without little people in the house, there is an Australian children’s group called the Wiggles. The guy in the Yellow Shirt, Greg, has to leave due to health issues.

I was kind of taken back when my bro sent me the article. Bones was a Wiggle addict. No big surprise there. Mr. ADHD, the King of Drama, addicted to a show with crazy singing and constant jumping and dancing? Nooooo. Say it isn’t so!

I can still sing all those songs in my sleep… Hot potato hot potato… Fruit salad, yummy yummy…and on and on.

So I saw another article today and wondered what had actually happened to this very young man, that would have him step down. Greg, who is only 34, was a fixture in my house for a couple years. All of them were. Hell, for the longest time Bones didn’t pronounce the guy in the purple shirt’s name as Jeff. He called him Jiff, with a heavy Australian accent.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. I want to watch Wake Up Jiff.” Jiff is a narcoleptic, although they never say that in the show. It’s obvious to all us adults watching.

Anyway, these guys are hugely wealthy singing and dancing to children. Big big money. Big.

And you’d think it would go to their heads.

No.

And this is where I’m loving the perspective thing. These guys met in college while studying childhood development. My favorite Wiggle (yes I have a fave) was always Murray, the tall blonde/red haired Wiggle who wears the red shirt. And Murray was quoted today as saying, “Children tend to center on one thing so if he's wearing the yellow skivvy (shirt), he's got black hair — he's pretty much Greg."

Good Lord. How true that is. Nothing is probably more humbling in the performance industry than performing for or with children. They’ll put you in your place every time. There can be no ego with children. God only knows I’m humbled every day by my children… sometimes every hour. Or more.

Heh. Cracked me up…

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Christmas is Coming and Mama's Getting Fat

My 2nd son. You’ll never guess what he asked for Christmas.

Never.

Ever.

Ready?

An ice cream machine.

That’s right. It’s #1 on his list. He’s been wanting one for a long time. And every time he’s said something, I’ve replied, “Ask for it for Christmas.”

And now. Here it is. And it’s on his list.

Dammit.

Do you think I NEED an ice cream machine in this house?!

NO.

I do not.

I have a wedding I’m going to be in on April 28. The lone attendant I might add, where there will be a kajillion pictures taken. Have I said lately how my sister looks like one of those faeries from Lord of the Rings? Yeah. She does. I do not.

I don’t want to be thin. I just want… a waist. A waist for a day. That’s it.

And this CANNOT be accomplished with an ice cream machine in this house as ice cream is one of my downfalls. I intentionally don’t buy any flavors I like so I don’t have to deal with the issues of it calling my name at 9:00 at night whilst I blog away.

Mayfield’s Moose Tracks? Kiss.of.death. Holy crap. I could sit down and eat an entire half gallon and then say, “Please sir, can I have some more?”

Coffee ice cream? A bowl a day will keep the waist a way.

Coffee ice cream with hot fudge sauce? Good God. Nearly as good as sex. Coffee ice cream with hot fudge sauce after sex?! Life is good. Very very good.

Yeah, so ice cream is not good in my home, but I told him he should ask for this horrible machine, when I was obviously not thinking and now I realize… Santa will be bringing him an ice cream maker.

Off I went to Target today to look for said machine. They had one. It advertised that it was an old fashioned wooden machine and it had a crank so that the kids could see what it was like to make ice cream in ‘the old days’. And as an added bonus, it also had a motor so that when the wee kiddies were tired of crankin’, Mom could crank the motor and Voila! Instant poundage in a frozen bowl.

Other than the price that made me inhale, after all, we are talking about the woman who after ending up in Bed-Stuy from taking the wrong subway in NYC declared, “But, hon! It only cost us FOUR BUCKS for all that traveling!”, the part that made me think, “Um. No.” was the part that said… four quarts.

Folks, the one thing I need LESS than an ice cream machine is a FOUR QUART ice cream machine.

Holy crap. That’s a BUNCH of ice cream. That’s a GALLON of ice cream.

No.

Why don’t I instead just take all that ice cream and spread it evenly all over my butt, thighs, waist, and back? I mean, that’s where it would all end up eventually anyway. Good Grief.

So I left, having obtained a pack of underwear for my oldest and a couple things here and there I needed, so the trip was not for naught.

Off to Wal-Mart I went. We have a new one and I’d never been. Let me state first, however, that the people at our Target are wonderful. I LOVE them. They are helpful and kind and they laugh. As I was making my way to the cash registers, one walked out of her booth and SMILED at me and said, “If you’re ready, I’ll take you right here!”

We ended up laughing about our kids and how our sullen quiet 11 year olds, who think we Moms have caught a case of the stupids, are about to drive us around the bend. I love our Target.

Anyway, I wasn’t really sure where the new Wal-Mart was located, but knew the general direction. I called home to talk to my better half just to make sure I was going in the right place.

BH: Wal-Mart? Why are you going to Wal-Mart at this time?

Me: because Target didn’t have anything but a four frickin’ quart ice cream maker and they didn’t have any Sponge Bob Underwear for Bones.

BH: Hun. You know… that’s on the cusp of a really not so good neighborhood.

Me: Um. Yeah. I am becoming painfully aware of where I am right now. This sucks.

I seem to be in the ‘bad neighborhood once a week’ plan.

In I went and the place was HUGE. It’s one of those Super store places. Vast. Big. Huge. Very big. And as I walked around, I started to think, “Uh oh. If they have registers on more than one wall of this store… I’m NEVER going to find my car when I leave.” Luckily they didn’t. So I found my car.

The clientele was not quite the same. The employees either. I walked around aimlessly only to find… they don’t carry ice cream makers. Wha?! This is South Florida! We eat ice cream OUTSIDE all year round. Gah!

Fortunately I found Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo underwear so it was not a complete bust.

I’m off to the Big K this weekend to see what they have… and Sears. Otherwise, I’ll be shopping on-line.

There will be no 4 quart ice cream makers in this house. Someone said to him today, “Where are you going to keep this ice cream machine? In your bedroom?” and he replied, “On the kitchen counter.”

Greeeeeat. Lovely. Wonderful. Because I know… his ice cream machine will become MY ice cream machine. I just want to find one that makes small servings. Cone size. I want a cone sized making ice cream machine.

Yeah. Good luck with that.


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

November 29, 2006

Taking it ALL in

And so on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we had gone to Ellis Island and we had paid our respects at Ground Zero and it was suddenly the afternoon and it was cold and rainy and windy and the kids were tired of walking.

Bones had taken to crouching at every street corner while waiting for the walk sign, humming to himself. (He was very cold.) I’m not sure what he looked like to anyone else who didn't know him. Everywhere we stopped, two feet from the curb he crouched, humming, slightly rocking. We laughed. He looked like a small humming toadstool. And as long as he wasn’t whining, I wasn’t going to stop him.

When Bones is Happy… everyone is happy.

It was 3:30 and we were in the heart of the financial district and there was not a cab to be found. Every single cab was off duty. I think we had walked the streets or stood on curbs for well over a half hour and to no avail.

Finally I said, “Let’s take the subway! Another life experience!!”

My husband was not thrilled. The kids were ecstatic. I won. We were taking the subway.

Down into the bowels of NYC we walked to find out what train to take. We were pointed to a train and were told to ‘take the #3 train to 49th and then get off and take the #1 to 57th.” I think that’s what I recall. And as good fortune would have it, she was pointing to the #3 train!

As we made our way to the train, I looked at my husband and said, “How fortuitous for us! And look! This entire thing is only going to cost us FOUR DOLLARS!!! Cabs are so expensive!”

Onto the train we went, thinking nothing of it. What do we know?

There were no seats as everyone was going home to celebrate Thanksgiving. I noticed a woman next to me, standing, arm on the rail, eyes closed. Sleeping. Or zoning with her eyes closed. Women in every seat… sleeping or zoning. The men, stared ahead. Some women too. A blank expression. A stare that landed thousands of yards away into nothingness.

The five of us stood close. The trail lurched through the tunnels from street to street, and not being from NYC or being able to see the map that was hidden by the masses on the train, we could not see the route of the train.

Few people were getting off. Many many were getting on. The train was getting more and more crowded.

And we so did not look like we fit in. At all.

We were squished in closer and closer, my kids were getting antsy and were starting to rumble in the train. Bones was getting on the other two’s nerves. Pushing. Poking. Touching. Just being his normal self.

In close quarters.

It was not good.

More people squeezed onto the train. I could hardly breathe. The front of me was pushed up against the back of my husband’s black wool overcoat. I laid my forehead on his back and closed my eyes. If I closed my eyes when I opened them the ride would be over. I found that when I closed them and zoned out… nobody was there.

I had found the subway secret.

The train was full of bling. We stood out in so many ways its not even funny. Our dress. Our mannerisms. Our looks. Everything. There was no blending. My husband… he blended even less. No matter where he goes… he looks like a member of his profession. The way he dresses and carries himself.

I could feel him tense as the ride carried on. The train practically emptied at a stop called Nostrand. It didn’t ring a bell to me.

On the train went. We were no longer underground and the neighborhood looked… not so good. We saw a stop for Utica Avenue and my husband said to me quietly, “That’s it, we’re getting off at the next stop.” I said, ‘Are we calling a cab?’ and he said, “NO. We will get on the train going in the opposite direction. I need to look at that map…”

We got off the train and looked on a map and my husband figured out what trains to take to get home. We were back at the hotel 45 minutes later. The trip had lasted about an hour and a half.

For Four Bucks mind you.

I say that and my husband now rolls his eyes.

The type of people on the train back to the hotel was markedly different. It was more of a mixture of ethnicities, with no bling.

Upon telling the guys at work the story, one of them who grew up in NYC, upon hearing where we got off the subway, his eyes widened and he said, “Bou. You got off in Bedford-Stuyvesant. That’s a horrible neighborhood.”

I said, “Well, at one point, my husband, who has an excellent sense of direction when above ground, when we first popped out from underground thought we were in Harlem…”

My co-worker’s reply was, “Harlem might have been better than Bed-Stuy.”

I’ve read up on it since and yeah… not so nice place. But everyone on the train was very pleasant. My only issue was how close we all had to be. And the fact I had no idea where we were.

I told my husband that night that I heard we were in Bed-Stuy and he said, “Yes. I knew it was bad. That’s why I said we weren’t taking a cab. First, I didn’t want to be in the streets of that neighborhood. Second, there was no way in hell there was a cab there.”

On our train ride back, when we were sitting and Mr. T was sleeping, and there was much room, I sat next to a woman and engaged her in conversation. I did this occasionally in the city. It’s not in my personality to be so extroverted with strangers, but for some reason, I felt compelled.

And what I found in NYC was… the people were so warm and friendly. They did not initiate conversation, but once engaged… they were wonderful people.

I told my husband that next go round, when we do NYC again, and we will, that I will be the Subway Queen. I am going to KNOW those subways. I am not taking one cab. I hate those things. I am going to know what train to take and where and when to get off and I’ll have a map and we’ll get around the city on 4 bucks.

No more cabs. Bed-Stuy or not… the subway is the way to go. During the day at least…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:54 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 28, 2006

More like Mercury and Pluto

I really do wonder sometimes what I am thinking. What planet do I really live on? Do I have a firm grasp of things?

Sometimes? Not so much.

For instance. I read about going to the parade repeatedly. I heard that the night before the thing to do was to go to Central Park and watch them blow up the balloons. I was beyond excited about that.

There were only three things on my list of things to do in NYC, besides the parade.

Ellis Island/Liberty Island.

Ground Zero.

The Balloon Blowing Up Thingy the night before.

Ellis Island/Liberty Island and Ground Zero are extraordinarily important parts of our history. It was just not even a question that my boys learn about these two parts of NYC and I had to pay my respects at Ground Zero. And I think they did… understand…as best as children can. (More on this in another post.)

The Balloon Blowing Up Thingy though… I think in my tiny little mind I thought, “Oh. Parade. Big Crowds. Blowing up Balloons? Not so much.”

Hunh. Hence I question my IQ at this point.

In my mind, going to The Balloon Blowing Up Thingy was strolling through Central Park while we just wandered over and took quick peeks at various balloons. In my mind, there were few people doing the same.

Reality?

Phht. Picture one million people wanting to watch them blow up balloons, so they all walk in a 5 mile stream of people, shoulder to shoulder, 10-15 people wide as they pass the balloons.

I said to TGOO on the phone after, ‘I thought there would just be a few people?’

He said, “You are in NYC. There is no such thing as ‘just a few people’ ever.’

Evidently.

So with the masses we walked, the line of people snaking through the streets until it got to the balloons. It was cold and windy and rainy. ‘Twas an omen of the day to come.

I was excited. My Mom has had us watch the Macy’s Day Parade every year since I was a wee lass. I was going to see the big balloons UP CLOSE!!!

Meanwhile… the kids were not amused. Ringo didn’t say much, but Mr. T kept talking of how hungry he was as we’d not had dinner and Bones? There was weeping, whining and gnashing of teeth the entire way.

“Moooom. I’m SOOOOOoooooo huuuuuuuungry.”

“Mom. I don’t want to see these stupid balloons. We’ve been walking ALLLLLLL day. My feet hurt!”

“Mom. I have to pee.”

“Mom. I’m cold. It’s raining. I doooooooon’t want to be here.”

Each step my husband and I coaxed them further. Yes, we had not had dinner. Yes, we had walked in the cold rain most of the day. Yes, we were tired. But… this was a once in a lifetime thing and they needed to get good attitude!

But Bones was Bones and when we finally got to the balloons, he still fought me. Occasionally I could distract him. I was the frickin’ cheerleader. The entire walk. And those that know me well know that ‘cheerleader’ is a big frickin’ stretch for my personality.

Big.

Me, “Look! What is that? Does Dora have… a snail on her back?”

Bones, “No, Mom. That’s the map. I’m cold.”

“Hey! Is that chicken little?”

“No, Mom. I think it looks like Humpty Dumpty or something. I have to pee.”

And on and on it went, until we were finished, walking back to the hotel, making the infamous pit stop at Bergdorf Goodman’s bathroom.

That night, the boys lounging in bed, the TV was on and we were watching the local NYC news talking about the balloons and the weather. Bones sat straight up and said, “MOM! LOOK! We saw that balloon! It’s Big Bird! We saw that!!!”

And the three of them talked animatedly about the balloons.

The rest of the weekend they talked about those balloons… like it was one of the most fun experiences of their lives. Warm fuzzy memories.

Holy crap. Did we even attend the same event?!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 27, 2006

Truth... Not Fiction

Is it just me or is anyone else staying riveted to this former Russian spy's death?

Holy crap. Maybe I've read too much LeCarre...

I can't quit reading. I may soon be an expert on polonium-210.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Perhaps His Last Name is Crapper?

Ringo is on the cusp of the age where he eats big 24/7. Anywhere we went, he was ready to eat. Even if he thought he wasn’t. Breakfast yesterday at the airport? “Ringo, do you want anything?” “No, I’m not hungry.” We ordered, ate and then he finished anything and everything left on anyone's plate, in particular, bacon. He was ready to go and eat the entire trip. And he would have been content to ice skate through the entire trip too… checking out skating rinks in every place we stopped.

Mr. T on the other hand… that boy could sleep on the back of a pick up truck full of shovels. He can sleep anywhere… anytime. And if there is motion from transportation involved? Even better.

He slept on the plane to NYC. He slept on the subway. (We have a subway story.) He didn’t sleep on the Ferry, but that is only because he was standing. He slept in cars when we traveled. He even rolled up in a little ball and slept in the hotel lobby, SITTING UP, while my husband attempted to hail a cab. He started to roll off the bench he was sitting on, so I held him up while he slept. We kept some later hours than he is used to and he was up early.

Sleeping in the subway.
NYC 026.jpg

Sleeping in the hotel lobby.
NYC 030.jpg

Bones, meanwhile, must’ve felt some primal need to leave a mark wherever we went. Or to check out every bathroom. Everywhere we went, he’d grab himself and say, ‘Mom. I need to pee.”

Ellis Island for starters. If there had been a potty actually in the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, I’m sure we’d have stopped there.

Penn Station, which was the only reason he didn’t pee on the train.

We did the balloon blowing up thing the night before the parade and the entire walk Bones was whining, “Mooom. Can’t we stop?! I have to pee!” By this time I was annoyed (another story), so I was telling him to hold it. Finally as we were walking back to the hotel he said, “Mom. There are ALL THESE STORES. You can’t convince me they don’t have a potty!!!”

So. We stopped. In Bergdorf Goodman. They have a nice potty. Oh yes. His claim to fame for the trip, he peed at Bergdorf Goodman.

If the subway had had a potty, he’d have used it.

The best was the airplane. We were on our way home and he looked at me and said, “Mom. I have to pee.” I took him to the back of the plane where we waited patiently.

I personally hate those bathrooms. With every bit of turbulence I think to myself, “It isn’t bad enough that I’m in a frickin’ tube that is nothing but potential for a great flying coffin, but to plummet to one’s death in an airplane bathroom truly would suck.”

Anyway, I opened the door and he peered in, looked back at me and said, “It’s so… small!”

I pushed him through the door, following behind, closing the door behind me.

Me: It’s an airplane, sweetie. There’s not a lot of room. How big did you think it would be?

Bones: Bigger than this. *big pause*

Bones: Mom. This is a flying port-a-potty!

Bones. Toilet expert extraordinaire.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:10 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Selective Memory

As good fortune would have it, my best girlfriend from when I worked at Company X is in town with her fiancée. They extended their vacation an extra day so I could meet them for dinner tonight. I absolutely adore her fiancée and I’m very excited about their upcoming nuptials.

So she and I were discussing where we were going for dinner and she asked me about a particular restaurant and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:

Me: Oh. Wait. We went there when you and your sister were in town!

DK: We did?

Me: Yeah! Someone had the trout with the mashed potatoes and goat cheese.

DK: I can’t believe you remember that.

Me: Yeah, and one of you had something with mushrooms. I think it was your sister…

DK: I just now remember that’s where we ate. I can’t believe you remember ANY of that!

Me: Just don’t ask me where I parked my car…

My brain is sick. There must be something wrong with it that it is filled with this trivial stuff. Why would I remember what people ate from THREE years ago? (Although I do think her sister may have said, "I don't want anything WITH mushrooms..." Tough to recall.)

Thankfully it does come in more handy when I play games like Cranium. I was playing with my sisters in law; I was paired off with my niece, and we won, by the way.

The question was: “A football formation” and we had to fill in the missing letters.

_ _ OT _ _N

My niece looked at it (she’s a freshman in college) and said, “I have no clue.”

I stared for a minute and said, “OH! Shotgun!”

All three of them looked at me and said, “Wow. You know football. We’d never have gotten that…”

I said, “What a disappointment I’d have been to my family if I’d missed that! Whew.”

But don’t ask me where I parked my frickin’ car…

Posted by Boudicca at 11:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 26, 2006

We Make Our Own Way

Just so you know what’s coming…

Ringo ate his way through New York City.

Mr. T. slept his way through New York City.

Bones peed his way through New York City.

Stories to come. I have GOT to remember them all…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Best Thanksgiving Dinner EVER

This Thanksgiving marks the year of the best Thanksgiving Dinner I have ever had in my entire life. That’s a pretty big statement, isn’t it?

Trust me, no slight is meant to my dear Mother, who always prepares a fantastic feast. No. Not at all. But this year, this year will go down as one that I savored every bite, looking at the cook (my brother in law) and saying while in rapture, “THIS IS the BEST Thanksgiving Dinner, I have EVER had. EVER.”

It was Thanksgiving Day. The family and I had just sat through the Macy’s Day Parade, cold, wet, windy, rainy, we had a wonderful time but we were tired and ready to get to family in New Jersey and enjoy a meal with those we love. In a warm dry home, I might add.

We had a 1:05 train reservation to take us to Trenton. Knowing the city would be pandemonium at best when the parade let out, we had left the parade early, changed out of our cold wet clothes, and were seated in the lobby of our hotel by 11:20, awaiting the arrival of a pre-arranged car to pick us up at 11:30 and take us to the train station. We knew getting a cab would have been next to impossible, so the hotel arranged a car to take the five of us and our luggage to Penn Station.

11:30 came and my husband, standing in the cold, wind and rain, in front of the hotel, called the car company to find out the status of our transportation. There was no answer.

At 11:45, the lobby was full of people, everyone was trying to hail a cab, and still, our car had not arrived. My husband called again. He was informed that they would call him back. They did.

At 11:50, upon returning his call, they informed him they had no cars and nobody would be coming and we were on our own. If we had known at 11:00, we’d have already had a cab while people were still at the parade, but as we suspected, our half of the city was in complete mayhem and there was not a cab to be gotten… by anyone.

By Noon I realized we weren’t going to make our train. I called TGOO and my Mom and said, “I think that Thanksgiving Day dinner is going to be grilled cheese sandwiches in the lobby of this hotel.”

Quickly I called Amtrak and changed our reservations to 2:00.

My husband was beyond pissed. He was talking to the concierge who had gotten us this car to begin with, and the suggestion of taking the subway was out of the question with the stairs and the bags and the kids. Not to mention the fact it was cold, rainy and windy. One bag in particular was 50 pounds and we knew the subway had to be packed as well as the thousands and thousands who had attended the parade were all using any method to leave the city.

But the concierge could do nothing for us in obtaining a car.

My husband came to me, despondently, and said, “I think we’re done. There is no way in hell I’m getting us a cab. I’ve been out there a half hour and have seen maybe ONE cab. I’ve walked the streets, nothing. We won’t make the 2:00 either.”

So my husband went outside and for an hour and a half and tried to hail us a cab. Keep in mind, my husband is in NYC frequently for business and he grew up in the area. He knows NYC.

The last half hour he walked a few blocks away from the hotel, in the cold nasty rain, and finally found a cab driver, got in the back and had him drive to the hotel while he called me on my cell and said, “Come outside with the kids and bags NOW.”

I grabbed two bags and the kids and ran outside, putting the kids in the car while he ran in and got the last bag. He loaded the trunk while the cab driver sat in his dry warm cab. As my husband loaded the bags and I got the kids situated, a cab driver in back of us jumped out of his car and started to yell, “Do NOT tip that driver! He is lazy! He sits there in his nice dry car while you load your bags and your family! DO NOT TIP HIM! HE is worth NOTHING!”

Our cab driver was non-plussed. He had his fare. And us? We were just damn happy he let my husband hail him three blocks away and came for us.

Yes. We tipped him.

It took forever to get to Penn Station. The traffic was hellish at best. We finally arrived, and walked in and… had NO CLUE what we were doing. If you don’t travel by rail, it is not intuitively obvious.

I went to information who provided me with information that made me nervous. “Your train doesn’t leave until 2:05, we’ll call for boarding and announce what rail at 1:50”.

Boarding? Where? What Rail? Where were they?

I went back to my family and my husband said, “Fine, then lets get something to eat.” The kids were starving. We grabbed some Nathan’s hot dogs and while my husband and the kids sat, I ate standing up. I told him, I was too nervous. I couldn’t sit. I paced and ate. I just had this horrible feeling we were going to miss our train, in all our ineptitude with the train station.

As we finished lunch I said, “Until I’m sitting around Steve’s table, eating his turkey, his dressing, and his gravy, I will not believe that Thanksgiving Dinner is any more than a Nathan’s hotdog and a couple fries. Until I’m sitting there with your family, I will continue to believe, we just ATE our Thanksgiving Dinner.”

We made our train. My brother in law (married to one of my husband’s sisters) picked us up at the Trenton station. In Trenton we were supposed to get on a New Jersey transit train and take a train closer to their home, but Steve was so horrified by what we went through to get there, he was determined he was bringing us home the rest of the way.

I was very thankful. In particular as the weather sucked wet socks and the changing of the trains was not going to be as seamless as we had thought it would have been.

Steve is a chef. He owns his own restaurant on the shore in South Jersey, a very very successful café. His Thanksgiving Dinners are standard fare, he does nothing fancy, but as I sat to his right on that Thanksgiving Day, I said to him, ““THIS IS the BEST Thanksgiving Dinner, I have EVER had. EVER.”

And I meant every word.

It sure as hell beat grilled cheese sandwiches in the lobby of a hotel and Nathan’s hotdogs in Penn Station.

I savored EVERY damn bite.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:58 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

City Life

Hubba and I just got a call from Bouddica in NYC. Her family had just stepped off the ferry onto Liberty Island to visit the Statue of Liberty. To New Yorkers the weather is a typical balmy fall day. Not so for the troup from southern Florida. The lads are bundled up like the kid in The Christmas Story, except for Ringo, who apparently inherited the hot blood of his maternal great grandmother, Nana. Ringo is comfortable in a hooded sweatshirt.

This morning Hubby hailed a cab to take them to the ferry landing. It was a mini van. Bones' comment: "This van is a lot cleaner than mom's." Heh!

More as it comes in.
TGOO

Posted by TGOO at 12:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 19, 2006

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

This is my last post for a week or more.

I’ve not posted on it yet, although I’ve known for a year because… well, I keep forgetting. It is not that it is irrelevant, it’s just when posting time comes, I either have a ton of stuff in the hopper already or something happens during the day that takes precedence.

We’re taking our first real vacation as a family this Thanksgiving. Actually, we’re still spending Thanksgiving afternoon through Sunday with family in the Garden State, but as of Tuesday night… we are taking our first vacation and flying to New York City to watch the Macy’s Day Parade.

What prompted this? Well we have a family member that had tickets to the parade and asked if we wanted to go. I said, “Hell yeah!” Life experience. I’m all about the Life experience.

We’re flying out Tuesday night, late, we have reservations in NYC, we’ll be visiting Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, and my husband wants to take the boys ice skating in Rockefeller Center. (I don’t skate.) The parade is on Thursday and then we’ll take the train out of Penn Station to New Jersey. I’m pretty excited.

My kids have never done the big city thing, never been on a plane, and the whole ‘take the train’ thing sounds like fun. Some people do these things every day… but we don’t. So I’m excited about experiencing something some people think nothing about, but is kind of mysterious to us.

It would be cool if it snowed, as my boys have never seen snow either. But it will be a mild Thanksgiving week, which is actually great since we all know I don’t do well under 65 degrees. It’ll be cold enough for me in the 40s and 50s.

And my boys actually own… GLOVES! We bought coats, hats and gloves. They’re pretty excited about their new wardrobe.

So y’all have a great week. I am off. Too much to do really for me to post. I have a lot of packing, cleaning and preparation, not to mention trying to cram my work hours into two days and doing the Thanksgiving Day thing at the school with the kids.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be Safe. Have fun with your family. And eat lots of pie.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:22 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

A Mom of Very Little Brain

I don’t know why I just remembered this.

I got in the car the other morning to take the boys to school and sitting in my seat was a red whoopie cushion.

Did they REALLY think I would not notice this RED whoopie cushion sitting on my TAN seat?

Really?

So. I acted like I didn’t see it and I sat on it and they laughed all the way out of the neighborhood.

Some days it takes so little to entertain them. I can’t believe they truly think I’m that stupid…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Space Cadets

We had the Space Derby today for Cub Scouts. As if the frickin’ Pinewood Derby were not enough.

I know… all those Dads out there are remembering fondly their own youth or are currently participating with their sons and they’re thinking, “WE LOVE THE PINEWOOD DERBY!!”

I hate it. It’s one more thing on our schedule to do. And the stupid idiosyncrasies of making your car faster. There are Dads that LIVE for it. Luckily I don’t hate it too much as my husband does this with the boys. They all get into it. So I should rephrase it. I only hate it when he’s out of town. Then I really really hate it.

He was out of town this weekend, not returning until some God awful time late this evening or early tomorrow morning, so that left me with the Space Derby. He glued the two pieces of soft wood together, shaped them, and said, “OK. They just need to decorate them now.”

I didn’t do this last year. Last year was our Pack’s first time ever doing the Space Derby. So I didn’t know all the ‘problems’ that come with it.

My boys finished painting them yesterday and that left me to glue on the fins and hanger. I was fine with that. I went through the parts list, methodically matching them up in the directions and noticed… I had an extra piece.

I threw all the pieces in a baggy and took them to the derby today to find some Dad who had done this last year to explain why I had more pieces than those called out in the directions.

It turns out… the directions suck. They suck wet moldy stinky socks.

We got it together. Or rather, I got it together with guidance from one of the Dads, who had special tools… like a long hanger he had bent a hook on the end of, to pull all these frickin’ rubberbands through the space ship. (It is a rubber band propelled ship. You can see examples at THIS site. Its not my pack, just some random pack I found on Google.) As I looked around the room, I noticed all the boys playing and carrying on while all the Dads (and me and one other Mom) made finishing touches on this frickin’ space ship.

The boys and I took the space ships up to the place to race, with my winding the rubber band, and one of the little boys in Bones' den said, “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, wait! I want to race Mrs. Bou!!!”

You know… he really had it right. We all laughed about it. Push come to shove, it was the adults racing the adults. It always kind of is…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 18, 2006

reincarnation

I've got insomnia again. I went over to that Atlanta Panda Cam. That baby is sleeping... again.

I'm telling you... I'm coming back as a panda.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:55 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Home Alone

Filed under ‘I can’t make this stuff up…’

Dinner tonight was Cheese Fondue, my Mother’s recipe. It is something we eat when my husband is out of town as he deems cheese fondue an appetizer and not a real meal.

He called during dinner and I told him I’d call him right back. I wolfed down my dinner as quickly as I could, knowing he had an evening meeting as well. When I was finished, a combination of eating too much too quickly thereby taking in air, along with all that cheese and wine, and before I could stop it, an enormous burp erupted from my digestive system, creating howling laughter from the boys.

I said, “Excuse me!” rather wide eyed. The boys laughed even harder and Mr. T said, “Hey! Mom burped!”

Me: Yeah… well…

Mr. T: You know how!

Me: You forget I’m the one that taught you. Still… yeah, that wasn’t good.

Bones: You burped!

Me: I know. You didn’t think I knew how?

Bones: Nope. But I know you know how to fart.

Me: *blink*

Me: Um. And how would you know about that? It is not like I go around farting around you.

Bones: You’re right. You don’t… I bet that’s why you don’t go to church with us!

Me: What?

Mr. T: He’s right. It’s your time alone…

Me: To fart?

Bones: Yup. You don’t go to church so you have time alone to fart. That way we don’t know that you do…

Well. That mystery is solved, evidently. If you happen to go to Mass and see my husband with the three boys, and I’m not there, as I never am, you know what I’m doing at home. I can’t believe he let my secret out… and here I thought they were fooled by my going running in the gym.

I can’t sneak anything past my boys.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May I have a Flashlight, Please?

So just how big is this rock under which I live?

Pretty daggum big. Let me show you how…

Keep in mind, I don’t watch TV, except for my addiction “24”, which starts in January. I get my news from various sources and I just don’t tune in. Those who read me will recall this happened the week after 9/11. Instead of just permanently turning off the news… I turned off the whole damn thing. I have to be able to control my input now and TV does not offer that to me.

Anyway…

I was over at Sgt. Hook’s and he had this post on a new Army campaign, Army Strong.

Imagine my surprise when I realized this was Army's new campaign! I didn’t even know about Army of One. I was still stuck on, “Be… all that you can be…” which is what I grew up with.

No wonder I’d not seen those commercials in eons. Or overheard them when the kids were watching TV. It wasn’t ‘in’.

During Valour-It, many of the folks on team Army were putting in their posts “Army Strong” and I thought, “Wow. How cool is that? Someone even came up with a little slogan for them. I wish someone on team Navy had come up with something like that…”

No kidding. I thought it was their Valour IT slogan.

Little did I know that its Army’s BIG campaign slogan, which, for the record, I think rocks. They really did a great job coming up with that. Simple and gets the point across.

Someone needs to hand me a flashlight for this rock… it gets a wee bit too dark under here sometimes.

And my all time favorite commercials have always been the Marine commercials. I love those.

And in high school, when the Navy commercials would come on, they’d have the guy on the flight deck waving in the plane with those light thingies in his hands and then he’d kick up his leg like he was having a great time. I used to say to TGOO, “I want to be that guy who kicks up his leg” and TGOO would say, “No you don’t. It's hot and loud and...”

It sure looked like fun on TV.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Are Ya Ready to Ruuuuuuummmmble?!

m go blue.jpg

Update:

I didn't get a chance to blog this morning as we had our last baseball game of the fall and we had to get up and out. My husband is traveling again, so things are even more chaotic than normal this week/weekend.

My Mom went back to college while I was in college. TGOO had his last tour at the University of Michigan and during that time, my Mom finished her Bachelor's degree. During the summers I would come home and wait tables. My last summer there I worked at a Chinese Restaurant as a hostess/waitress/and sometimes bartender.

Bo Schembechler used to occasionally get take out from the restaurant that I worked. That was a big highlight for me being able to say I handed THE Bo Schembechler his dinner. He was Legendary, even then.

The only person cooler to have been able to hand food to would have been The Bear, followed by Joe Pa.

There are certain greats in college ball you don't forget, and Bo was one.

So we're big Michigan fans in our home. It's not a random team picked, but Mom went there and its personal. It's one of the big games to watch... Michigan vs. Ohio State and Army vs. Navy.

This year, however, the Michigan game is even bigger.

M Go Blue!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:25 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 17, 2006

New Meanings

I hereby promise that should I ever have a pair of barber sheers I will never try to touch Jimbo’s great farookin’ hair! Heh. (Comment to my Bones' hair post.)

Today Bones and I were walking from Publix back to the car and I said, “So, did anyone notice your hair cut?”

I didn’t cut that much off, but I think it’s noticeable in the back.

He said, “Nope. You didn’t cut THAT much off, Mom. They just noticed my typical great hair.”

Heh. He loves his hair and he’s so funny about it. So imagine my surprise when I had him sitting on the commode lid, facing backwards, with his hair wet, head bent down so I could trim up the back, pieces of his hair were falling around him and he said, “Mom. My hair. It is the color of poop.”

That certainly gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase, “shit head”, but I bit my tongue, grinned and kept trimming.

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

All Polticians Look Alike In the Eyes of a Child

I had the Webelos at my home last weekend, working on getting their Webelo badge. To earn this first badge, there are a couple things they have to do and one of them deals with Citizenship.

I had the boys over, they were eating and we were discussing government. I’ve decided the best way to keep them interested in a conversation is to do so while they are eating. This time I showed them how to boil an omelet in a bag for future camping trips. So while they were eating an omelet, we had our discussion and the following is to the best of my recollection… setting: my dining room, three boys and me, they’re eating omelets, I’m kicked back reading out of the Webelos handbook about our government.

Me: Who’s our President?

In unison, the boys: George W. Bush!

Me: Yes! Who’s our Vice President?

In unison, the boys: *blink*

Me: Come on. Y’all know this.

Side note: The other two Webelos’ families are like ours… we are all very active in voting and know what is going on politically. Their families are very conservative, much more so than I am, but about as much as my husband.

Robert: Bill Clinton?

Me: What? No.

Mr.T: I have no clue.

Justin: John Kerry?

Me: What?! Come on… No.

Robert: No clue.

Silence.

Justin: Oh! I know! It was that guy who shot someone!!! He went hunting and shot that guy!

Me: YES!

Mr. T: Ted Kennedy!

Me: NO! We have been down that route before. He DROWNED someone. Not shot her. No. This guy’s name is Dick Cheney.

Boys: OK.

Me: Who’s our Governor?

Boys: JEB Bush!

Me: Who’s the newly elected Governor?

Boys: *blink*

One of them: Bill Clinton?

Me: NO! sheesh. No.

One of them: John Kerry?

Me: Ack! NO! Charlie Crist! OK, we have a Presidential election coming up in two years and George Bush can’t run again.

Boys: OH NO! Why?

Me: The 22nd amendment to the Constitution states that a President can only run for two terms. (Side note: Why I remember that piece of information but cannot remember where I park my damn mini-van in the mall parking lot is beyond me.)

Justin, with great angst: OH NO! I don’t want John Kerry to be President!!!!

(I have no clue where they come up with this stuff. It became obvious not one of them understood the process… this being three boys that come from families that discuss government.)

Me: Don’t worry, buddy. As of two weeks ago, I am very certain we will NEVER EVER have to worry about John Kerry running for President…

Later that evening, I said to my husband, “Did you overhear that entire political discussion I had with the boys?”

My husband: yeah, what is the deal with their thinking Bill Clinton was the answer to everything?!

I don’t get it. I am thinking they just know he’s a politician and they were trying to think of someone, anyone, who MIGHT be the answer to the questions. Interesting. They were all three years old when he left office…

Posted by Boudicca at 11:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 16, 2006

Days

There are days when I feel like its me against the world… and the world wins.

There are days when I feel like its me against my boys… and the boys win.

And there are days when the world AND my boys win.

Today would be one of those days where I was on the losing end.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:14 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 15, 2006

Does He Think He's a Modern Day Samson?

Last month Ringo was sent home from school with instructions to get his hair cut. His bangs were too long and not within school code. I raised an eyebrow and said, “I told you this was coming…”

The next day I said, “It’s too late to get in with Dawn (our hairdresser) so we have to go to Super Cuts or… Hey, I can just do it.” He looked at me and said, “You do it.”

My boys have way too much faith in me. It really is scary.

So I went to the kitchen and grabbed a pair of our household scissors which means they are the standard silver scissors that one uses for cutting cardboard, wrapping paper, all art projects, and God only knows what else, and these scissors have been doing just that for about… oh… 15 years? Maybe more. I wet his hair and ‘Chunk!’ I cut this huge chunk out of his bangs.

Holy crap.

His hair shrunk up to over his eyebrow! I just stood there, speechless, eyes wide open and eyebrows raised. Good Lord! They… sprung! UP!

Finally I said, “We have to call your Aunt. She needs to fix this… Your hair is springy!”

He looked in the mirror, looked at me, looked back in the mirror and said, ‘I cannot even believe you picked those scissors, Mom. They don’t even cut paper anymore.’

(I am sitting here laughing as I type this. You may have had to have been there…)

I have posted on Son#4, whose Mother is a DEAR friend of mine and Bones’ Godmother. She is a teacher now, but in her youth was a hairdresser. I said, “Hey. Um. Well. Could you come over and fix a problem? Or I’ll go over there! I cut Ringo’s bangs and I’d rather you fix them then some person I don’t know.”

Her reply? ‘You know, you really should leave the hair cutting to me and you stick with hoses and tubes in the aerospace industry.’

Eh. Point taken.

She came over and we made a day of it, having the kids play while she trimmed up all of his hair. He looks good, not so shaggy.

His hair had grown out funky this last time. His bangs were down to his nose, but they would flip way out. One of the boys told him it was a ‘homemade visor’. It was a badge of honor of some sort is what it was. So he went back to school after this latest hair cut this girl I suspect he is sweet on said, “Ringo, I liked your hair how it grew out over the summer most.”

Wow. That did it. He got in the car with me earlier in the week and said, “I think I figured out why my hair didn’t grow out crazy this summer. Remember when you made me get my haircut and I didn’t want it, so Dawn cut it just to appease you? She just trimmed it up? I think that whatever she did shaped it so it grew out the way 'the girl he might be sweet on' liked it…”

And suddenly, Dawn is in like Flynn and he WANTS me to call her so she can trim it like she did last time so it’ll grow out the way 'the girl he might be sweet on' liked it best. Holy crap.

Boys. Humpf!

Meanwhile, Bones’ hair is OUT OF CONTROL. And he won’t let me do anything to it without a major fight. They all know, it has to be above the collar and above the eyes. But Bones with his fluffy multi colored hair (red, blonde, light brown) is determined to look shaggy. Ugh.

Today I said, “It’s too long in the back and you have a choice, I can take you to Super cuts or I’ll cut it.”

Bones: You cut it.

Ringo: *wide eyed*

Bones: What?

Ringo: Well. I guess you’re safe. Just don’t let her cut the front…

Heh.

So off to Sally’s I went today and bought a pair of barber scissors, having not a clue how one really cuts hair, remembering the last disaster as well as the last admonishment of my sticking to ‘hoses and tubes’.

Bones was excited, bouncing all over. I had him go into the bathroom to wet his hair, measured it up and cut the back. And… it looks REALLY good! He even asked me to cut his bangs. And they came out pretty good too. He has decided I should always cut his hair.

I have decided he is wrong.

I have no business cutting anyone’s hair… in particular not a little boy that looks like THIS when he gets out of the shower. I’ll stick to hoses and tubes.

bones crazy hair 003.jpg

bones crazy hair 002.jpg

Wait. Did I tell you he told me he wants to be an actor when he grows up? Yeah. Interesting…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:46 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

With Love. From Mom

I was about to power down my machine and go to bed when I got an email from my Mom. She sent it to a few people.

ATTENTION:

ALIENS ARE COMING TO ABDUCT ALL THE GOOD LOOKING AND SEXY PEOPLE.

YOU WILL BE SAFE.

I'M JUST EMAILING TO SAY GOODBYE

I couldn't quit laughing.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:05 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

I Hate Men

We went camping two weeks ago and I was doing the grocery shopping. I said to my Better Half, “What kind of coke to you want for this trip?” and he replied, “Oh I gave up all soda. It really is bad for you. I’ll just take a jug of unsweetened tea.”

My reply? *blink*

We have been married for 15 years on Thursday. We have been together for almost 18. The man has always drunk carbonated beverages for ever meal. Always. And at the age of 46 5/6th years he has decided suddenly that they are bad for him? Hello?

So… I bought a big jug on unsweetened tea. So be it. I’m happy. That stuff really is bad for you.

We got to the campsite and he said, ‘What’s with all the chips?’ and I replied, “That’s what you always snack on. You like chips, so I bought chips.’

His reply, “I quit eating chips. I guess I didn’t tell you…”

My reply? *blink*

We have been married for 15 years on Thursday. We have been together for almost 18 years. The man has eaten chips for a snack every daggum day. He snacks on salty crunchy stuff. Its… what… he… does.

So, fine. So be it. Its not all that good for you anyway.

Two days ago he said to me, “Did I tell you that a couple of weeks ago I felt fat?”

My reply? *blink*

My husband is 5’6, broad shouldered, small waisted and in high school wore a 29 inch waist… and now its 30. His stomach is still relatively flat and he looks like he could model clothes for a magazine.

He continued, “Yeah, I got on the scale and sure enough, I’d gained 6 pounds. So I cut out soda, chips, ate salads for lunch, cut out any extra bread and haven’t eaten fries. I lost 6 lbs in those two weeks. I just stepped on the scale.”

My reply? *blink*

I had a knife in my hand. He’s lucky I didn’t slit his “Oh I cut out soda and fries and lost 6 lbs in two weeks” throat.

Holy crap.

What…is… that… about?

Women have to frickin’ starve to lose 2 and men cut out the weekly frickin’ Friday doughnut and they lose FIVE.

Do you know what I have to do to lose 3 lbs in one week? I have to keep my caloric intake up just enough that I have to graze every two hours, watching every single thing I put in my mouth, lots of vegetables, easy on the fruit, SMALL portions, and a TON of water.

For me to lose 3 lbs in one week, I have to monitor what I eat to the point that I have to take a frickin’ protein bar with me while I run or I can’t complete my run and bike. I have to eat in between or my blood sugar gets too low and I get sick.

I can’t lose more than 2 lbs a week and I’m best at 1. And it is a STRUGGLE.

And he cuts out frickin’ coke and by my calculations lost a pound a week just from that one SMALL diet alteration.

Pisses me off…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:11 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

It's COKE!

It would seem my blogbro That1Guy thinks that I made up this quiz just because I actually had the guts to tell him the Emperor was not wearing clothes! The boy has an accent. He just THINKS he doesn’t have an accent!

See, one of the oddities of growing up as the child of someone in the military is… you have no accent. I’m pretty good at detecting them, but me? Accent? Not so much. If anything it is a hint of Gulf Coast Southern, hat tip to Pensacola, that comes out occasionally.

Looking at the code I’m 100% midland and 82% South. I don’t get that Philly connection. The closest I’ve ever been to Philadelphia was eating a Philly Cheesesteak.

T1G cracks me up. And it’s not Pop or Soda… everything is COKE and THEN you ask, “What kind of coke would you like?” Heh.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

Philadelphia
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
The West
Boston
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes
Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Timelines of our Lives

We have a tradition in this house that started by accident when I was a kid.

Every year, school pictures would come and The Great Omnipotent One would take down each kid’s framed school picture that hung in the house, and he would open it. In that frame he saved every year’s photos. So as he would place the new photo to the front, you could see the changes through the years as he splayed them all out from beginning to current… you could see not only the physical changes from one year to the next, but also throughout the years.

And I started this with my children as well.

School pictures came last week. Bones and Mr. T remembered to bring them home… Ringo left his in his locker, which I will confess irritated me as school pictures are expensive. I've seen his locker. I was afraid they'd come home bent.

As soon as they came in the door Bones was bouncing off the walls, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, put the pictures in now! We want to see! We want to see all the changes! Mom, mom, Mom, now please. Now!”

To which my reply was, ‘Nope. Not until Ringo brings his home too… we do this ONCE.”

The next day Ringo had his pictures. A little peer pressure never hurts, plus he loves this tradition as well.

As soon as he got his pictures out of his backpack, the three of them, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, get the pictures down! We want to compare!"

There are so many pictures now I have to spread them out on the floor. The kids get a kick out of it.

So… here we go… all in the extended entry:

This is all three boys on my wall.

The boys on the wall.jpg

This is Ringo the last two years.
school pictures 001.jpg

Ringo this year and in Kindergarten.
school pictures 003.jpg

This is Ringo through the years.
Ringo through the years.jpg

Mr. T last year and Kindergarten (I don't know why I don't have a two year comparison...).
school pictures 005.jpg

Mr. T through the years.
T through the years.jpg

Bones the last two years.
Bones1and2.jpg

And... I love this one, Bones when he was 8 months old and 3 years old.
school pictures 006.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 09:48 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

November 12, 2006

Goals Attained

Valour-IT. Holy crap. If you've not seen the results, go HERE.

I cannot speak on behalf of anyone other than myself, but I was completely floored by the generosity of so many people... whether it be $1 or many dollars... it added up and the goal was met and then some.

We cannot forget the men and women who have served our country. As I said in a previous post, there is no reason for them to go through this alone. I have to believe that our donations are going to help... I have to have hope for them.

So... Thank You.

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

Fourth Time is a Charm.

Once again, my husband and I have proved we are capable of passing 2nd grade when it comes to the Native American Indian portion of the curriculum.

What IS IT with these frickin’ school projects that require parental participation. It makes me NUTS.

Every year the 2nd grade class is divided into teams and each team has a regional area of the United States. For insance, Bones’ team was assigned the North Eastern Woodland Indians. Then each team has something assigned to each child.

Four years ago with Ringo, he was assigned to take in a bow and arrow, mask, or some other item. My husband and he made a bow and arrow as that was what my son REALLY REALLY wanted to take in. Tell me, how much can a 7 year old help in a project such as that? He helped… but the bulk of it fell onto his father. My son was successful in writing the paragraph that *I* did the research on from the internet. A 7 year old is not able to easily grab the information they need nor are they able to determine what is really important and what is not.

Some 7 year olds might, but mine can’t.

Two years ago, I posted on my 2nd son’s very funny project HERE. Yes, he did most of it, but trust me, there was plenty of parental participation as I so note even then. He was to create a dwelling his tribe used. (I look back on that post and realize my feelings for this frickin' project have not changed... at all.)

This year, Bones was to draw a map of his region and show all the mountains, lakes, rivers, etc. Right. My kid is going to draw a map showing from Minnesota to Maine down to Virginia with the Great Lakes and 100 miles north into Canada? Yeaaaah. I.Don't.Think.So.

And I’m not artist. I suck at drawing. So I downloaded pictures, got out the Atlas and told my husband who IS very artistic, what he needed to draw so Bones could color it in and we could figure out together where all this topical crap was located.

So yes, my husband and I are capable of passing 2nd grade. Good thing. This is our 4th go round if we consider our own individual 2nd grades. Thank God we didn’t have more kids… I’m really sick of this Native American Indian project.

And I hate Johnny Appleseed too...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:44 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Good Life

If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a Panda Bear. What a GREAT life! And they seem so mellow…

Have you been to the Atlanta Panda Cam? It’s a live stream feed of their baby Panda. My Mom sent me the link first, and then Morrigan reminded me of it. It seems Morrigan is completely addicted, leaving the live feed up on her computer constantly. And my Mom is addicted as well with TGOO having put a link on their desktop so she can just click and see the fuzzy little fella.

I showed it to the boys the other day and Mr. T cannot get enough. It is all he talks about, this baby Panda. I showed him all the little pre videos of the birth, how it has grown, while it sleeps. He is fascinated.

Morrigan said to me the other day, “Tell the boys that TODAY I saw the baby Panda poop and pee! The zoo keeper came in and cleaned it right up!”

Of course I told them this during dinner. The response? “Aunt Mo must have to watch that constantly to see that. We’ve NEVER seen it poop.”

But of course the entire conversation degraded into all the animals they have seen poop. Of course.

Anyway, so I’ve watched all these videos and the one in particular that I can’t quit thinking about is the birthing video.

Folks… there is something inherently wrong with the ecosystem or whatever when an enormous frickin’ panda bear, that varies from 5 to 6 feet and weighs from 175 to 275 lbs can give birth to a .25 lb baby the size of a STICK OF BUTTER. Did you read that right? Yes. ONE QUARTER OF ONE POUND. Small. Stick of butter.

Meanwhile, a 5’2” 120 lb (pre pregnancy weight) woman gives birth to an 8.5 pound baby with a head the size of a frickin’ bowling ball.

I watched that video and there was no pain involved. She just stood there and ‘plink’ this fuzzless thing was suddenly sliming on the floor. Mr. T said, “Mom, it looks like a naked mole rat!”

He was right.

I didn’t have one birth like that. Even my most simple birth, Mr. T himself, who was 8 lbs and only had a normal sized head, and who had only a 3 hour labor, and I did it with NO drugs AT ALL, sucked FAR MORE than that old ‘plinky Panda birth’.

Bah.

So I’ve started to mentally compile a list as to why I want to come back as a Mama Panda Bear. And I’m sharing it with you. I know. The things I do for y’all…

1) Child birth. Holy crap. It’s a non-event! Just wherever you are, it just slimes right out!

2) No weight to lose after childbirth. Good grief? Did she gain anything? Impossible. I mean, if the baby was the size of a stick of butter, the placenta was the size of.. .what? A golf ball? Please. I saw no maternal fat store gain… then again, could you even tell?

3) No stretch marks. Good grief. How big could her tummy have gotten? And if it did get big, she’s got all that FUR to hide any marks not to mention any saggy left over skin! My body looks like an old worn out crumpled brown paper bag. Her body looks the same!

4) I’m not seeing any engorged breasts in those videos and pictures. Nope. I bet she doesn't smell like sour milk... which was my perfume du jour for about six weeks after each birth.

5) Somebody else is cleaning up that baby poop! How Suuuuhweet is that? Mo can vouch, she saw it.

6) How many sleepless nights are there with this Mama Panda? I’m thinking… None. And… if there were, they frickin’ sleep all day anyway, so WHO CARES? Which brings me to…

7) That baby sleeps. All.the.time. Every time I look? That baby is sleeping. Don’t get me wrong. My newborns slept… in particular if they were using me as the human pacifier. I think that lasted maybe 6 weeks. After that, my babies were awake during the day, MAYBE taking two naps. I had very awake babies. I was a very tired Mama.

8) I don’t see a big whine factor there. That Panda baby isn’t going to grow up into something that whines at age 2.

9) Where is the 5:00 bewitching hour? There isn’t one! And even if that baby Panda freaks every day at 5:00… it doesn’t matter because… she doesn’t have to cook dinner!

10) And the best reason to come back as Mama Panda is… she doesn’t look like she craves chocolate, hence she can keep her nice girl bearish figure. I bet all the boy Pandas think she’s a hottie!

Don’t be bamboozled. A Panda’s Life is the Way to Be. I want to come back as her...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:35 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Joy

This is the fourth of five poems. The part about the chocolate bar? He said, "Mom, that is definitely you..." Heh.

Joy
Joy looks like yellow, orange, and red sunset in Colorado.
It smells like a rose with a lot of nectar and honey.
It tastes like an everlasting super chocolate bar.
It feels like the softest and fluffiest hamster.
It sounds like the ocean waves roaring in the blue, green, and purple waters.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day- Someone You Should Know

It is Veteran’s Day.

Blackfive is known to do posts on ‘Someone You Should Know’ and he does a fantastic job speaking of a man or woman who is serving our country in our current war. I feel certain that Blackfive will be fine as I temporarily borrow his theme for my post and apply it to a different war.

Vietnam.

Ed Davis.

My Mother had two POW/MIA bracelets. One of them I have and keep on my bathroom vanity. I have written of it before… Captain Cushman did not come back. But my Mother had another, that of Ed Davis who was a classmate of TGOO’s.

The then ‘Lieutenant’ Davis was shot down and held as a POW for 7 ½ years. He was the 21st pilot captured when shot down over North Vietnam, August 26, 1965 while flying his 57th combat mission. He was flying the A1H Skyraider, assigned to VA-152, flying from the deck of USS Oriskany. And because of the way he was shot down, the way his plane met its fate, his wingman could see no way Lt. Davis could have gotten out alive. He was listed as KIA for two years.

How does one thank someone for something like that? A form of ultimate sacrifice he gave to his country, a country I hear was exceedingly ungrateful.

I say ‘I hear’ because that is something that was foreign to me. Lt. Davis was shot down two weeks before I was born. He was released when I was going into 3rd grade. My life was very sheltered. I lived in a military family, lived in military housing, hung out with military kids, and visited homes of military families. I don’t remember demonstrations or the nastiness that greeted our POWs and men and women who had served our country as they returned home.

And I’m glad. That was a terrible time in our history, how this country treated our Veterans and military personnel.

Lt. Davis eventually became Captain Davis, as he continued his service in the United States Navy, retiring after making it a career. Many of you who are old enough to remember Vietnam remember Captain Davis upon the release of the POWs. He was the POW that came home with a dog. I read a quote of his upon coming home, “I do not want either my dog or I be to taken for something we are not. I am an Ex-POW. She is a lucky dog. I think you understand my point. In short, I am only one among many.”

And that is how most of the Veterans feel that I speak with… ‘nothing special, I was doing what I had to do, I am only one among many’.

But that is not how I feel about them nor is it how most of us feel about our Veterans. We take this day to remember those who have served us and to acknowledge those who we still are able to acknowledge.

And… no matter what I say, what I write, it always seems so woefully inadequate to me. Today is no different.

To you who have found this post, who have served our country, I thank you. I have not forgotten you whether it was WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, our current war, our conflicts in Grenada or Bosnia and the like, and our peace time Veterans as well… for during the peace time, our military still must run and be ready.

And to Captain Davis’s family, I extend my heartfelt and sincerest sympathy in your loss of such a great man.

He did not make it to this Veteran’s day. He passed just a few short days ago, of pancreatic cancer. My heart breaks for them today.

A man we should all know. And in his eyes, he was only one of many.

Edward Anthony Davis, Captain, USN (RET)

Captain Davis was born in Philadelphia. His early education included St. Joseph's College Preparatory School, Villanova University and appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1962.

He underwent Naval flight training, with assignment to VA-152, an attack squadron based at Alameda, California. Deployed aboard the USS Oriskany, he was shot down over North Vietnam on August 26th, 1965, during his 57th combat mission. He returned home on February 12th, 1973, after seven and a half years as a Prisoner-of-War in Hanoi. Accompanying Captain Davis home was a tan puppy named Ma Co, which he had liberated from his captors.

After repatriation, Captain Davis completed graduate work in International Relations at The University of Virginia, serving as an associate professor before returning to Washington as the Navy's Director of Advertising. He was later appointed Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District, Harrisburg, where he served until his retirement in March of 1987.

After retirement he served on the Board of the Lancaster Municipal Airport Authority and as POW Consultant to the National Vietnam War Museum. He also served as Director of the Penn Manor School District for nine years.

His personal military decorations include: Three Silver Stars; the Legion of Merit with Combat Citation; four Bronze Stars with Valor Device; five Air Medals; two Purple Hearts; three Navy Commendation Medals with Valor Device. He was also the recipient of numerous campaign, unit and meritorious service awards.

He has been awarded medals by the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution and the key to the City of Lancaster. He was an active Sertoman and a Paul Harris Fellow and Life Member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Red River Valley Fighter Pilot's Association and the Fourth Allied POW Wing.

He gained national recognition as an impact speaker and lecturer, having spoken internationally to governmental, educational and private sector groups on subjects of leadership and management under difficult circumstances, coping with change, and the value of patriotic and humanitarian service. His moving presentations were marked by insight and humor that was distinctly American.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:53 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 10, 2006

231 Candles?!

What to do, what to do, what to do.

What in the world do you get the Marines for their birthday?

I’ve been thinking about this all week. *tap tap tap* (That’s my fingers tapping on my desk.)

And then! Holy crap! It happened! An epiphany by way of my mail box! I got this magazine and in it I saw the PERFECT gift!

I mean, the Marines… they’re the guys out front. The Knights in Shining Armor if you will. Right? Everyone always says, “Call in the Marines!” or at least they do in the movies, so I figured it’s a good analogy.

Marines of today, the Knights of Yesteryear?

Yes? No. Go with me here, folks, because this is a GREAT gift.

I found this:

Marinegift.JPG

That’s right, a Gothic Commode. Read the print. It says it even has real chainmail in the clear Lucite seat! Their own thrown! Kings of their castle.

I’m so daggum proud of myself! Heh heh heh…

On a serious note... To my Marine Corps blog buddies, The Straight White Guy, That1Guy, Ogre, The Confabulator, I say:

Happy Birthday and THANK YOU for your service to our country.

And to the rest of you… the best gift actually would be a donation to Valour-IT to the Marine Team. Navy hit their goal (Yahhoo and THANK YOU to everyone who donated!) so lets help the Marines.

If you’ve not donated, but have been thinking about it, a donation to Valour-IT is money much better spent than the chainmail commode seat, although I think that Gothic Toilet Seat is pretty damn funny.

Just hit the donate button below and help a wounded Veteran.

Go Marines!

And... Happy 231st Birthday!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

More Uses for Duct Tape

So the cut no longer bleeds. And it doesn’t hurt. It never did really. It was a nice clean cut, even if there was mayo involved. (Really that is the only thing that has bugged me was the germ factor.)

Who’s the ghoul now? I keep looking at how deep it is! It won’t stay closed, it stays open so I can see way into it. It’s not a long cut, but rather small… just kind of deep. I’m fascinated with it, trying to see how far it goes, squishing it open, looking at all the layers. I’m obviously not helping the healing process…

Today at work I said to a few I work with, “This is going to heal? Look at this! You can see way in there!”

My Tech Lead looked and said, “Wow, that’s kind of deep…”

Me: Yeah. I know. I find it annoying. What do you think of super glue? Maybe I should pour alcohol on it one more time, make sure its good and clean and then just glue it shut.

TL: You’re serious.

Me: Yeah. I think it’ll heal quicker. *under my breath*... maybe I'll leave it alone.

TL: Why don’t you just use duct tape.

Me: *blink*

Female engineer I work with and who is a really good friend: First, don’t use super glue. You sound like my father in law. He frickin’ super glues everything. Second, (directing this at our TL) she can’t use duct tape! That’ll hurt the MOST to peel off… And by the way, super glue will get clumpy and you’ll be at some Christmas party, shaking someone’s hand and there will be this big clump of super glue on your finger and… that’s hard to explain without sounding stupid. Don’t do super glue.

I’m leaving it alone. It’s healing already. I can feel it.

Frickin’ duct tape. Made me shake my head. What a goof.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 09, 2006

Why I Support the Navy

We’re in the home stretch here for Valour-IT. It ends tomorrow… the day before Veteran’s Day.

So tonight’s post is why I picked Navy. I think most of you know. I grew up as the eldest of three children of a career Naval Aviator. Graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he flew P-2Vs and then P-3s, did his stint in Naval Post Graduate School, and worked all over including the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratories. TGOO did Strategic War Gaming, which is actually what put us in our two year stint in Taiwan in the late 70s.

In the Navy, deployment is par for the course. Six months in and six months out for two or three years for ‘sea duty’ which means you can be with your squadron or you can be on a ship and if you fly jets or choppers, it means both.

The Saratoga was the first carrier I remember. While you Navy veterans may not have such fond memories of aircraft carriers, it was aboard the USS Saratoga that I consciously remember my first visit with Santa. At night, the ships lined up in Mayport, Florida were all decorated with lights. During the day, there was a big Christmas party aboard the ship. TGOO took us in all the spaces, the first time I'd ever walked through a hatch, and then below, next to one of the big aircraft elevators, sat Santa. Santa had a gift for me… and I think it was a doll.

Only a Navy Junior thinks of Santa and thinks of the smell of oil and JP5. To this day, my comfort smell is aircraft carriers. When I went to work at Company X, deep in the shop, it had that carrier smell. On my most stressed out days, I’d grab my binder and head out to the shop to take a deep breath and forget what was going on around me.

Shore duty didn’t mean TGOO was home much just because he wasn’t deploying. There was still an awful lot of travel. Meetings, schools, and just ‘Navy’ stuff.

Mom did it pretty much alone. Three kids and Mom. At the commissary, the paper bags in which our groceries were bagged had printed on the outside, “Navy Wife, The Toughest Job in the Navy”. I’m sure it said the equivalent at the USAF, Army and Marine Corps installations. And where I am sure it is true of the wives of other branches of the service… I KNOW IT TO BE TRUE of the Navy Wife.

I remember sitting at the port, waiting for carriers to come in, sailors lining the deck. The excitement of the families, the kids bouncing, beside themselves that Dad was coming home… wives and girlfriends dressed up and anxious. When I was young, we’d peer up to the thousands of faces on deck looking for TGOO, and of course could never find him. When I was in high school it was easy as he was the Navigator and had a Primo Seat. He’d wave down from the bridge and we could pick him out.

I remember my siblings and I making posters for him when he came home from 6 months in Keflavik or Sigonella, waiting at the hangar for his Squadron to fly in, plane after plane, rolling in… waiting for them to stop, running to the Tarmac, waiting to see which plane my Dad emerged from.

It is an odd feeling. You are so elated… but there are tears. I cry as I write this remembering, it is a warm feeling that constricts your heart and throat. It is a feeling I don’t have words for it is so overwhelming… I can’t watch reunions on TV or look at the pictures in our newspaper of Navy families being reunited. It evokes all the emotions… as if they were being felt fresh, as if I was the one standing there, hugging my Dad as my Mom hugged him tighter.

TGOO used to create advent calendars. We’d receive them 30 days before his return and he’d have spent hours and hours cutting out little aircraft carriers from light blue paper, and gently gluing them onto this sheet and under each carrier was the number until his return. We’d pull them off every day. Some deployments it would be a little airplane he’d have spent hours cutting out… probably with cuticle scissors. He’d have to have used something small.

It was my life. It is what I knew. It made me who I am.

And so… some pictures!!!

TGOO Boxing for The Academy in his Plebe Year.

TGOOkickingbutt.jpg

This is TGOO... his last year? I'm not sure. All I know is he's REALLY REALLY young here!

Midpicsm.JPG

This is TGOO, I believe when he was CO of his Squadron.

TGOO.JPG


My Dad always came home. I have friends whose Dads did not. My Dad came home physically intact. There are Dads that don’t.

Valour IT. Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. Veteran’s Day is coming. Don’t forget our men and women who have made a sacrifice for this country. I haven’t. I won’t.

So… go HERE and pick a service under which to donate. It all goes to the same place folks. It’s all goodness.

Or go below and click on Navy to donate. I did and now you know why. The men and women in the Navy will always have my heart as it was in the Navy my father served and the experiences that helped to make me who I am… good and bad.

Go Navy!

P.S. It’s Lex’s Birthday. Go wish the Good Captain a Happy 46th!


Posted by Boudicca at 08:50 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Loneliness

Ahhhh... more poetry from my 2nd son. Obviously there is a theme... a formula the kids had to adhere to. Provided structure or not, I like what he came up with.

I hope he does not end up like me... I find myself perpetually lonely in a crowd. This was one of my favorites.

Loneliness

Loneliness looks like a mansion with nothing in sight.
It smells like a dusty old beach.
It tastes like wet cardboard.
It feels like a wall with no paint.
It sounds like a clock ringing.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My Band of Ghouls

The big highlight this morning occurred while I was preparing the boys’ lunches. While cutting the roll for Bones’ sandwich, I sawed right through the bun and into my left index finger.

Blood bubbled up and it was like a daggum red river. OK. A small tributary. I grabbed a paper towel to get the bleeding to stop. I had a breakfast I’d not finished making and that one lunch to finish up. What a pain in the neck.

I’m absolutely amazed how a little bit of blood can sometimes look like a WHOLE LOTTA blood. Blech.

I did wonder at first if I was going to need stitches. I had a problem stopping the bleeding. But my main concern of course was… there had been mayonnaise on that daggum knife. Germs. Ack!

Now upon hearing what had happened as it was obvious something was not right as they could hear me saying to my husband, “This sucks. I don’t have time today to get to the ER if I have to get this damn thing stitched up…” my boys were full of questions. As if it weren’t bad enough, trying to stop the bleeding while making a lunch and a breakfast, I was dodging the hailstorm of questions.

Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, how bad is it?

Mom. Let me see! We all want to see!

Wow! Look at that paper towel! It’s full of blood! There’s no white left!

Mom, Mom, Mom, do you think you cut it off? That would stink, wouldn’t it? (Yes, that was from Bones.)

Mom, bring your hand over here to the breakfast table so we can watch.

Mom, Mom, Mom, can you open it so we can see how deep it is?

Frickin’ ghouls. The entire lot of them.

I got it to quit bleeding long enough for me to run into the bathroom to brush my hair as a little girl down the street was coming over to ride with us to school. (I didn’t seem to care I was covered in blood… God forbid should I not brush my frickin’ hair.) Evidently I popped the cut open again as… I felt wet on my foot, looked down and there was blood all over the bathroom counter, my foot, the floor, my pants. I think I have short term memory loss. I just cut it, just got it closed… and then completely forgot this was an issue and was SURPRISED when I saw it looked like someone had been frickin’ axed in my bathroom?

My husband got me a butterfly band aid so I could attempt to keep it closed after I got it cleaned out. I grabbed the alcohol to pour it in, walked to the kitchen sink and said to my band of ghouls, “Wait. Watch this. I’m… NOT… going… to cry!”

It’s a big joke. My second son makes a spectacle of himself every time his foot falls asleep while riding in the car. There is always much weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth. This last time he fell asleep in the car, I left him there, came in and sat down to read the paper. Five minutes later, he can stumbling in the house, dragging his left foot behind him, throwing himself into my lap and wailing at the top of his lungs, ‘My FOOT! *sob* I can’t walk. *sob* *sob* *sob* It won’t stoooooooop! *sob* It’s asleep!!!! *sob*’.

Me? I patted him on the back and just sat there reading the paper while he carried on. I gave one brief vocalization of sympathy and then… ignored him. Sorry. I can’t play into the drama.

And now it’s a joke between the three of them, even he jokes about it, dragging his foot through the house, pretending he is wailing as if someone has actually cut OFF his foot, “My fooooooooot! My foooooooooooooot!!!”

So that was from where I was coming as I poured the alcohol and they all knew it as they laughed and poked at their middle brother, the wailer.

But even with the alcohol, I am concerned it is not clean enough. I went into the bathroom to get some Neosporin and found… NONE. Why. Why. Why. Do I still have three tubes of Desitin in this house? Why, since I have not had a child in diapers in FIVE YEARS do I still have Desitin and diaper rash Aveeno? And not just one tube. No. But FOUR TUBES TOTAL. Cluttering up that bathroom drawer.

The medicine cabinet is full of band aids with every daggum character you can find except Dora and Barbie, and bottles of Tylenol, Motrin, and cold medicine. No Neosporin.

I could not believe it. I KNEW I had some. I remember buying it! Just recently! So back into the Desitin drawer I went, looking for the hiding tube, when I found it.

And I didn’t buy it as I remember… recently. It expired 3 years ago. I figured ‘screw it’ it was better than nothing. It’s on my list of things to do today, to buy another tube.

Side note: All those tubes are still in the drawer. I left the room and... it left my radar.

I went to the gym, went running, came home, took a shower, removed the bandaid as I find them exceedingly annoying, and got ready for work. On my way to work, I could feel my finger starting to pulse again. Great. I could picture getting blood all over my keyboard. Thankfully it’s black. My keyboard. Not my blood. Contrary to how some may believe… in particular some old boyfriends.

When I got to work, I rummaged through my purse and found my single band aid remaining. It was a skull and crossbones bandage that RSM gave me when I saw him in July. It was for the boys. Heh. Not anymore. As I pulled it out of my purse and adhered it to my finger, one of the guys stood there watching and then finally said, “You know Bou, I have an adult bandaid if you want it...”

I grinned and said, “No thanks.” I like my Bones Bandaid. Heh.

And do you know my biggest fear right now? That I’m like TGOO. In two days, someone will say, “Hey, what did you do to your finger?” and I’ll stare blankly at it and say, “I don’t remember…” only to hear one of my kids pipe up and say, “You cut it with a kitchen knife making Bones’ lunch. Remember?” And I will… vaguely.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:25 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 08, 2006

Past and Present

I’ve been using old posters from WWII as my theme for my Valour IT posts. Continuing with my WWII theme we have my two newest Poster Boys. My grandfathers.

First I have my Poppy, which is my Mom’s Father. He was in the Army Air Corps during WWII. Of all four grandparents, I most resemble him. I look nothing like the other three. And that would be because… I resemble my Mother, who resembles her father. He passed when I was 9 of lung cancer. Although we found out later it was due mostly to the working conditions of the glass factory in which he worked, he is the reason a cigarette has never touched my lips. A man I barely remember, his death had a permanent impact upon my life. Never once have I wavered in my instant decision at age 9 that I’d not smoke. I wonder if I’d have been so steadfast in my decision if the horror of his death had not permanently been imprinted on my young mind.

Poppy.jpg
Poppy

Second I have my Granddaddy, who is The Great Omnipotent One’s father. I’ve blogged on Granddaddy before. He reminds me of Jerry’s Dad. (Personalities are so daggum similar I have to wonder if they were related!) He was a young electrician when he was called into the Navy and became a Seabee in WWII, and I could swear he told me he was on Peleliu. One of TGOO’s first memories was hugging his Dad’s leg while he left for war. It has been 16 years since Granddaddy passed… coming up on 17. It never feels like yesterday, but it doesn’t feel that long ago either.

And if you think that looks like the glint of the devil in his eye, you're right. There are STORIES!

grandaddy.JPG

Granddaddy

We were fortunate in our families… during this big war, both my grandfathers did not have any harm come to them. They came back to their families and continued their lives, never missing a beat.

Not everyone was so fortunate.

And today we have men and women serving our country… some don’t come back. Some come back and have not been physically harmed. And others… come back with their lives physically permanently altered. They will be strong and they’ll learn to cope and they’ll continue on with their lives just as the Veterans of our previous wars did, but there is no reason they should do this alone.

We can help.

Valour-IT. Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. We are in the home stretch. It ends on 10 November, the day before Veteran’s Day. The Navy is still in the lead… but what matters is we are trying to reach a goal collectively of $180,000. That’s big money… but one dollar brings us one dollar closer.

There is a site where there are some items for auction! Flight suits, books, pictures, a helmet… go take a look HERE to see what they have. I do believe Lex has been the big donor in these items. I emailed him, telling him how appreciative I was that he was donating these items as I have nothing to auction. I have an igniter off an old F-16, but… its my favorite paper weight! It’s still in use!

But seriously, it is always appreciated for what the good Captain does for this cause, one that is obviously dear to his heart or he’d not do all that he does.

So. Where does that leave us? Go look at the auction items. Or go HERE and see what team you’d like to donate for in this inter service rivalry as we all push to meet our goals.

OR! Be impulsive and just hit that donate button below and donate for Navy! But really, you are donating for our Veterans. What a great way to celebrate Veteran’s Day.

Oh. And… Go Navy!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:47 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Excitement

My second son, who is in 4th Grade, has been writing poetry for school. Any talent in the poetic area he may have, did not come from me. The only poetry I’ve ever written was HERE, when I was strung out on narcotics after my surgery last December.

He was bummed as he wrote four and was to only turn in one. He liked all of them. So today I told him I’d publish them all on my blog.

Here is the one he is submitting, Excitement. I will publish the others throughout the week.

Excitement looks like the Great Wall of China.
It smells like the breeze at night on the beach.
It tastes like golden honey fresh from the hive.
It feels like bunny’s soft and fluffy ears.
It sounds like bells of Santa’s sleigh ringing.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:49 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Always Thinking Ahead

Last week my boys had thrown me over the edge. It was the incessant bickering. So I sent the younger two to their rooms and as they left I yelled after them, ‘And you can’t come out until your father comes home! I am DONE! Don’t even THINK of asking!”

It was an hour later when he walked in the door and I heard the pitter patter of little feet as the boys quietly came out of their rooms to see if it ‘was safe’.

This morning as we were pulling out to go to school, I noticed my husband had his suit coat in his hands and was hanging it in the back of my car. I rolled down the window and said, “Oh wait. You have study club tonight, right? You’ll be home late?”

He answered, ‘Yeah, I’ll be home around 9… probably 10.”

As I rolled up the window, I heard Bones say, ““Whew, we surely don’t want to have to go to our rooms until Dad gets home tonight!” Heh heh heh!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 07, 2006

Man The Guns!

This is one of my favorite WWII posters! Good Lord. Look at the body on that poster boy. Nice shoulders, nice arms. Mmmm. I love this one.

man_the_guns.jpg

Kind of nice that it’s for the Navy as well, is it not?

I came home from work today and… HOLY CRAP! Navy had pulled ahead in our big fight to the finish for Valour IT! Wahhh Hoooo!

It is not too late to give folks. We have a goal to meet and we are soooo…. Soooo… close!

But it is a goal to meet over all… every branch to hit 45K. So please think about this worthy cause. You can read about Valour-IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops)
HERE.

It’s tax deductible.

Two Dollars! We want your two dollars! (obscure reference) Seriously, any dollar helps. They all add up… and they all add up to help our wounded veterans of this war.

Go HERE to pick a branch to donate to… or… really… you should just HIT the Donate button below for Navy and help us sail to victory!!!

GO NAVY!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Reasons to Vote

I voted as I said. I may vote early next time if they keep my polling place in the same location. I made a wrong turn and my precinct is located at a school, which was a mess. I always take my kids so I can model the behavior. If I want them to vote, they should see me vote. They come every time. So today had to be after school, and since my precinct is at a school, it was hellish, not to mention it was bad enough trying to find it, while grinding my teeth and cursing under my breath as I passed many many precincts along the way.

Anyway, by the time I went to vote, my butt was dragging. And I’ll go into one of my big motivating factors as to why I HAD TO VOTE in this election in a minute, but let me state, I have NO PATIENCE for anyone who says to me, “I was too busy to vote.”

No.

I was up at 5:45. I made breakfast for three boys, packed three lunches for them, packed my own lunch, took a shower, got ready for work, left the house at 7:10 to drive the kids 30 minutes to school, dropped them off, paid bills at the school (I’m the school treasurer), went to work, had a telecon with Company X and the Wizards in Seattle, got a call from the school that my eldest was sick, drove to the school, picked him up, drove home 30 minutes, got him settled in, drove back to work as I realized whatever he is catching didn’t require my being with him as long as we spoke on the phone constantly, worked, picked up Bones from school (Mr. T had Art Class), drove Bones to get a snack, walked a neighborhood assigned to us for Cub Scouts to put door hangers for Food for Families on 20 doors, picked up Mr. T (all the while calling home every hour to make sure Ringo was fine), drove 50 minutes to vote, voted, drove 20 minutes back home, read my email, helped Mr. T with his homework, made dinner, drove 30 minutes to take Mr. T to baseball, got home at 9, helped finished cleaning the kitchen while catching up with my husband’s day, and then sat down at the computer to read by 9:30.

I don’t even want to hear that someone was ‘too busy’. I seemed to be able to cram it in my schedule.

It was that important.

Now, as I said yesterday, I view it as a personal responsibility. It is a privilege to be able to vote and I do not take it lightly. That said… one of my biggest motivating factors to vote was… OK, get ready because I NEVER blog politics… to make sure I voted against Katherine Harris.

If you looked at how I voted, I did not vote Party Line. I never do. I’m an Independent that just happens to be registered in a party. In the State of Florida, you cannot vote in the primaries if you aren’t registered in a party. I do tend to lean towards more one party than the other, but for the most part, my voting ballot always looks like scrambled eggs. There is a mixture of Independents, Dems and Reps that I will vote for/against.

I’ve not been excited about our choice for Governor. I voted. I wasn’t thrilled. But I did it.

Our Senate slot? It was between a Democrat named Bill Nelson and a woman who most of you know, Katherine Harris.

I have watched this woman for years and my opinion of her? El Flake-O. Good Lord. I was at a meeting in September with a group of women from all parts of the state. At our table was a good mix of political views. And at our table also was one husband. He started talking about something… in which we all were listening intently… and then he started singing the praises of Katherine Harris and I quickly looked around the table and saw EVERY woman sit straight and suddenly tune him out.

I have read that God has told her she should think about running for President one day. I read whatever the quote was and thought, “Sweetie, that’s called Schizophrenia, and they have drugs for that… and some of them work.” She is carrying on about how she is going to write a tell all book about how the media has been out to get her and how various people who worked on her campaign have been out to get her and my response upon reading this?

Yawn.

No thanks. I’ll pass.

And so that’s been my big motivation to vote, as well as most of the people I know around here, is to make sure our votes count and she does NOT get into office. I’d be so horribly embarrassed to have her represent our State on a National level. Good Lord. Say it isn’t so.

And as of now, she is being soundly beaten by her opponent.

I wonder how God feels about that?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 06, 2006

Privileges Not Taken For Granted

And so tomorrow I will go and do what I have done on every occasion since I was 18. I will vote.

And tomorrow I will do what I have done every year since… voted against the biggest jerk.

I understand how fortunate I am to live in this country that enables us to vote for our representatives. That was hammered home to me again last week.

There is a woman I know, a few years younger than I, who is from Peru. We were speaking last week and she said to me in her heavily accented, but grammatically perfect English:

“So do you HAVE TO vote?”

Me: Yes. Of course!

Her: So there is a fine if you do not vote?

Me, puzzled: A fine? Oh no, no, no, I don’t HAVE TO vote as in it’s a requirement, but I HAVE TO in the sense that if it is a privilege of mine as an American, it is inexcusable not to… even if I seem to hate every person running.

Her: Oh. I went to the Embassy recently to make sure my papers were still in order. I apply for citizenship soon. They told me, “We have had three elections you have not voted in. You owe us $300.” We have to pay a fine if we do not vote.

Me: Holy crap. No. It’s nothing like that here. It is your RIGHT to vote. Nobody makes you. So did you pay it?

Her, laughing, even her laughter sounds Peruvian if that makes sense: Of course! I want my papers to stay up to date! I want to become a citizen of this country!

And I thought about this at great length, this mandatory voting and fines if you don’t. I explained to her about the apathy we have in this country, how voting is down, in particular when the candidate choices are so poor and when everyone is so jaded with the parties. And I said it was our right to not vote as well as to cast it.

I have spent considerable time wondering what the long term ramifications upon a country would be, with such a law… fines if you do not vote, which I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say, even thoroughly disgusted with my choices… again… even trying to remember back to see if I was as disgusted last time as I am this (I do believe the answer is yes, although my heart is saying no), I will vote. I will always vote.

And I will vote even though they’ve moved my voting precinct to some place I cannot locate without Mapquest.

Even though I feel certain there is the sound of banjos that resonate through the air as I try to find it, so far out in the sticks this place is located.

Even though there are no less than 5 other precincts CONSIDERABLY closer to my home.

Even though my precinct is in the OPPOSITE direction of town, a place I NEVER travel.

Even though it is going to be horribly inconvenient with the kids’ schedules, my work, its location and the fact I will invariably get lost.

I will vote. I’ll be pissed as hell as I vote against the biggest jerk.

But I will vote.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Sleep

It is not that I don’t sleep well when we are camping it is that… I CAN’T sleep well. I am too lost in listening.

This weekend it rained at night and a heavy wind blew throughout. We were snug in our tent, the boys sleeping soundly as they’d been running and playing as kids should. But I lay at night and listened.

Every now and then I could hear the mammals in the underbrush mating. Raccoons I felt certain. I must say that when raccoons mate, it does not sound like both parties are enjoying themselves.

But mostly…I could hear the wind whistling around the tent with ghostly noises. The gusts at the tops of the 100 foot slash pines, the rain falling on the rain fly. The rain was intermittent and the rustling of the wind gusts at the tops of trees made a perpetual sound of impending rain.

And in the dark, I would lie on my back, looking up to the clear tent top where the moon was just visible as it peeked through the rain clouds, listening to the wind and the rain.

I don’t think I could get enough of that…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Scenes from the Past

I love the old WWII posters. I usually save them and post them for my Valour IT posts, starting last year. You’ve seen two already, and I have a couple more I’ll post. (By the way... Donate HERE!)

I was trying to figure out last night what it is I really like about those posters. I think it’s that… the women are women. They are feminine and curvy. Sure, they’re cartoons, but they depict what society liked about women then. An innocence in some… a strength in others… a great sexuality either way. They are buxom and curvy; they appear to have everything in all the right places. Unlike our society today, where in the magazines the women are stick thin. Any breast tissue has been implanted there as bodies that thin don’t have it. Breast tissue is body fat. Our society upholds that young is beautiful… young models whose bodies have yet to fully develop while they starve themselves or take appetite altering drugs to keep themselves rail thin. This starved waif look is what our media has us holding to our ideals for women. I hate that. But in WWII? No. Women were shapely. They had tummies and thighs and bodacious ta-tas. They were soft and feminine.

I like that. I wish it would come back. Although I personally still wouldn’t exemplify WWII poster type qualities of the ultimate woman, I’d be a far cry closer than I am now!

Meanwhile, on the man front, the men were manly. They were heaving and hoisting or kissing their women. They weren’t young 16 year old kids who looked like they were strung out.

At this point, I think our media has done more damage on the woman’s end than the man’s, but it is coming. I can see it.

And I liked the colors used in the WWII posters. There is just something striking about the art.

Anyway, as I was perusing the WWII posters, looking for something I thought applicable, I found the following and laughed myself silly. This is GREAT!

wwpost6.jpg

I keep hearing in my head, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD!" heh heh heh. Great stuff.

Looking at the picture, do you think their prostitutes really looked like that? All round faced and sweet? I don't know... I see their point, but the whole thing does make me laugh.

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

November 05, 2006

we-can-do-it.gif

I was off for the weekend and came back to see how things were going with Valour-IT. I was excited to see how Navy was doing!

Alas, I looked at the totals and we’re still in dead last. Bah! But… it’s for a good cause, and really, it doesn’t matter in my mind who wins as the winners are the folks at the end.

You must know, however, it warmed my heart to see that the Marines had pulled ahead. If Navy isn’t going to pull it off, I want it to be the Marines!

Veteran’s Day is coming… the end of this drive is getting near and we still have a goal to reach. Every dollar counts. No amount is too little… in the end, it all adds up.

Think about this worthy cause. Valour- IT. Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops. Read about it HERE. Understand the organization.

Think about donating. Go HERE to see all the teams and donate.

OR! Just click on this button and donate for Navy!


Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Camping Observations

Well… there were many observations while camping this weekend.

When the weather says scattered showers, it means only where I am camping. The rest of S. Florida will have NO showers.

Breaking down camp in the rain… kinda sorta sucks a little.

Camping is dirty, but camping in the rain is REALLY dirty. This does not bother me. At all.

My husband tolerates camping. His toleration when rain/mud/dirty boys are involved is nearly pegged out.

Many of the Dads seem to only tolerate it, which surprised me as I thought this whole ‘camping/y chromosome’ thing was interconnected.

My husband was informed this morning, too late, by one of the other Dads that beer was the magic elixir for camping tolerance. My husband has decided he’s bringing a good single malt scotch next go round just to take the edge off.

Many of the Moms refuse to sleep over… they go home to sleep with myriad excuses such as “We have dogs I have to let out”, but every now and then there is one honest Mom who says, ‘I have a bed 15 minutes from here. A bed I LOVE. I’m not sleeping on the ground when I can sleep in my bed.’

Cleaning up after camping in the rain is a pain in the neck. I had to wash everything down and let it dry in the sun. A bonus is… this is FLORIDA! It’s sunny here. Everything dried in my driveway within 10 minutes.

I took my shower when I got home and smelled… this wood/hickory/smokey smell. I thought, “What in the heck? Why am I smelling BBQ in my shower?!” Then I realized… “Oh. That’s me.” The smoke had stuck to my hair in particular, but also my skin. Even after nearly burning my skin off in the shower, soaping my body down and washing my hair… I still think I smell like a BBQ pit.

I washed all our camping clothes as soon as I got out of the shower. My laundry room smells like a BBQ pit now.

The kids had a fantastic time. They take off with the other scouts playing man hunt, their favorite in the dark, while yielding flash lights and glow sticks. Boys and fire… I’ll never get that whole thing, but if you see a fire pit, chances are, there will be lots of boys. Crunching through the woods, playing, riding scooters and bikes (it’s a State Park), up at the crack of dawn, coming in just to eat, crashing at 9:00, it reminds me of when we were kids in the summer…

I can’t get the smell of smokey BBQ off my skin… I wish I was sleeping out there tonight.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:39 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Random Thought

My car smells like someone held a BBQ in it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

They Both Start with ENG

Funny conversation while the parents were mellowing one night, kids off playing ‘man hunt’. Two of us wives are engineers… one of them a chemical/petroleum engineer who is now a stay at home Mom of three and I, the mathematician in an engineering role, who was a stay at home Mom but now works part time. This Dad was talking to us, we’d not met him before, and although he was talking to everyone, he was directing it at the two of us.

Dad: I started majoring in engineering.

Me: And? What did you major in?

Dad: English.

Me: *blink* Wow. That’s a difference.

Dad: Well… I realized just because you can repair something with duct tape, doesn’t make you an engineering candidate.

Me: Um. No. That makes you a man.

He thought that was pretty funny.

I could not quit watching this guy as he talked. I meet people occasionally that remind me of my brother, their personality, but this guy… holy crap, he moved and had facial expressions like my brother. TN was an English major as well. It was kind of weird.

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

November 03, 2006

What Have We Done for THEM Lately?

It’s November. Veteran’s Day is around the corner. I could not believe the year went so fast.

Have you heard of Soldier’s Angels? Do you remember last year Valour-IT? I have and I do. There are some people and some things you don’t forget. I just couldn’t believe it was November again. Time went so quickly this year!!!

And so… the gauntlet has been thrown again, with the four services competing against each other to see who can hit 45K first! And what I ask is for you to think about giving, just $5 to the cause.

Nothing big. Not major stuff. I’m not asking for c notes. I have a belief that if you watch the pennies, the dollars will watch after themselves. EVERY penny. EVERY nickel. EVERY dollar… counts. They all add up.

And they all add up to help a most worthy cause.

We know what our troops have done for us lately. But what have we done for them?

Valour-IT. (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) Read about it HERE. Understand the organization.

Think about donating. Go HERE to see all the teams and donate.

OR! Just click on this button and donate for Navy! We’re BEHIND!!!

Go Navy!!! WHHHHAHOOO!

IwantyouforNavy.bmp

Posted by Boudicca at 10:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Rivers and Fish

And NOW, the answer you all have been waiting for!

Salmon is the Correct Fish!!! Bing Bing Bing. He got that right.

The river is... drumroll please... The Columbia River in Washington State!!!!

I have no clue how he got the Mississippi out of the Columbia except they both contain an i and an m. Absolutely clueless...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:13 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

A Camping We Will Go

And in the craziness that is my life… I’ve been baking, cooking, getting ready to go camping, while keeping one eye glued to the weather. I really really hope it does not rain.

My husband is already talking about how he is not looking forward to the rain. I’m not either, but I’m not going to bail on this thing unless the weather is BAD. I told the boys we’d go camping and camping we will go.

We will return Sunday… unless of course the weather is REALLY REALLY bad, and in that case, it will be sooner.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Under a Musicless Rock, Evidently

I have a hotmail account, so I’m usually on MSN a couple times a day, perusing the headlines.

Lately a small byline has been about some guy names John Mayer who is in some sort of concert.

Should I know who he is? They act like I should. And I don’t.

Now I am asking myself… do I care that I don’t know who he is?

The answer that resonates through my head is…No.

I shall now return to that rock under which I appear to live…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

Camping

We are Cub Scout camping this weekend.

It’s all about the snacks.

I made our grocery list and have our supply list as well. I’m all about the lists. Essentially camping means, I do all the shopping, packing, and loading. Then we camp. Last time I proved I could set up camp by myself as well, and although it was very doable, it was a pain in the neck. Fortunately that is not the case this camping trip. My husband is going with us.

And as good fortune would have it, when making the s’mores list I realized, “WE HAVE CHOCOLATE!” Halloween was last night! Whoo hooo! So I only have to buy the graham crackers and the marshmallows. Even better is we’re getting rid of pounds of Halloween candy at the same time! Life is good. Very Very Good.

So the blog will be going dark from Friday until Sunday afternoon… where I will be living in blog fodder. Perhaps some pictures will surface. More than likely not. When I’m with the boys like this, I forget I have a camera.

I’m just praying this rain stops. We’ve never camped in rain and I don’t want this to be our first. As I was looking at sites with a girlfriend of mine (there is always a family we camp with, they have four boys) I said, “Mmm, look at these sites to the south. They say they flood.”

Her reply? “Bou, this state park is close to home. If it’s raining like that, you need not worry about flooding. We’ll be at home.”

Oh yeah. I forgot about that!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Phone Calls

I left work early today to pick up Bones from school. He was as white as a ghost. Even a half hour since he’d entered the clinic, having lain down for 30 minutes with his feet up, he was still scary white. The school nurse said he looked better than he had, which I’m not sure seemed possible.

We’re not sure what happened. He just suddenly felt awful, went white, and started to cry… during Mass. The Bish said Mass today and it was a full 90 minutes. I must wonder what would possess someone to come say Mass to a group of kids, and drag it out to 90 minutes, even if there was a Q&A for them to participate in. Ninety minutes is too long.

My eldest said it was probably one of the most boring things he’d ever attended.

My 2nd son, the one who once said he was thinking of being a priest, said he thought the event torturous, in particular as his lunch was cut to less than 10 minutes. (Mass ran into their lunch.)

Bones went white and almost fainted and said if he was ever a priest he’d never do that to a bunch of little kids.

I understand it is Catholic school, but I must question what the Bishop thought these kids were getting out of this? It’s a ‘know your audience’ thing. It really is.

I summed it up for the boys in the car. “You get a day off every time the Bish says Mass at the school. Consider 90 minutes of torture for a day off of school.” That seemed to make them feel better about the situation.

Anyway, this event, as I was driving to pick up Bones reminded of the time I received the following phone call from the School Nurse:

“The good news is… he never lost consciousness…” Loved that one.

Today’s was, “Bou, I think you need to come get Bones. He passed out during Mass…”

Oh then there are the calls that go like this, “Bou, this is the school. Mr. H needs to see you immediately.” That usually means it’s about a boy and a deed and it’s yet to be a good deed… I don’t like those calls either.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Jon Carry

I know I don't do politics, but I received this from The Great Omnipotent One and felt the need to post it.

I love our military. No matter how absurd or bad things get, they will find a way to laugh.

THISisfunny.bmp

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