June 29, 2007

Sleepless Nights

During the 9 hour ride, I found myself writing the following. I sat down this afternoon and spilled it from my brain. The places your mind goes during a long drive.

When one has children, they are fully indoctrinated in the ways of ‘I was up all night’. Before I had children, when I heard parents speak of this ‘up all night’ I thought it had to be an exaggeration. Running on one hour sleep, days on end, surely, people were embellishing.

And then of course I had my own children and the first one took ill at but a few months old and was up all night. I found myself with his sweet little head upon my shoulder as I paced the floor of the hall, back and forth, up and down, for hours, occasionally his head would move down to my chest, scrunching up his tiny body, so he could hear my heart as he slept upon me, upright, mouth open, drool sliding down my nightgown. Every now and then I’d find a way to put myself up right on pillows to give my back a break, but after but 20 minutes or so, he would awaken, with the demands of being walked, his wails echoing off the walls at the late hours of the night blending into to the wee hours of the morning.

And then the sun broke and I had, in fact, been up all night.

When you have one child and are home, this sleepless existence at night can be rectified in some part with a cat nap during the day while they nap as well. I never found myself with the complete zombified expression of the parental sleepless until I had my second child and the all nights walking sick babies could not be offset with any form of sleep as there was always a child of which to take care.

I don’t remember much sleep after the 3rd child was born until he was over the age of 3. With a child in preschool by the time the last was born, germ warfare was in full force in our home, no matter how much bleaching, washing, and cleaning took place. Colds, stomach viruses in the most disgusting forms, fevers, and bacterial infections found their way into our humble abode every other week or so it seemed.

I worked part time until Bones was nearly a year old, going back when he was six months of age. I remember driving home from The Swamp (the nickname for the plant I worked in) praying I’d not fall asleep on my drive home. I remember driving home from the grocery store once and seeing a homeless man sleeping under an overpass and instead of thinking, “How did he get there? What put him in that state? Has he eaten?”, I thought, “He is sleeping. That looks comfortable.”

He was sleeping on cement.

I thought that for sure, one could die from lack of sleep. Obviously, I am living proof that one does not, but I often wonder why there are not more traffic accidents from sleepless parents behind the wheel.

But those times go away as children get older, their immune systems mature, they take a more active roll in washing of hands and cleanliness, and they cease to put every object they find into their mouths, as if the tongue should be used as a feeler instead of a taster.

“Oh look! What an odd object and it feels so peculiar! Let me put it on my tongue and see if it feels as odd there and check the taste out while I’m at it” seemed to be the thought du jour with my toddlers and preschoolers, although I’m sure it was not quite so verbose, but rather an impulse that required no thought.

It just was.

And for the record, cellulose does not digest, but runs through the digestive system only to exit in full form. There is nothing quite like changing a baby’s diapers only to think, “Wait! Is that last month’s Southern Living magazine?”

Nowadays, sleepless nights are attributed to hormones (mine) or a meal eaten too late or stress at work, or myriad other factors… rarely is it children having taken ill. Perhaps our children have made us ‘mentally’ ill and kept us up at night with worry, but the ‘physical’ sense of it is not something we deal with often.

Thankfully.

Last night, was probably the worst sleep we have had collectively as a family. Actually, it was the first time I ever remember, that five of us were up at 2AM, looking at each other in a hotel room and saying, “I am just not sleeping.”

Times five. Nobody.

We pulled into Gainesville at 11PM, with my proclaiming to my husband, “Last time we stayed at the Holiday Inn. It was horrible. Can we stay somewhere else?” only to find us pass a Fairfield Inn and have him say, ‘Sure. We’ll stay at a Marriot.”

It sounded good.

I’m not big on staying in hotels where the doors open outside. It’s not just a safety issue, but typically, if the doors are outside, there is… humidity. Perhaps this is a Florida thing as there are a few bloggers out there who laughed when I declared once that I don’t like to stay in lodgings with ‘wet sheets’.

No sexual connotation was intended. ‘Wet sheets’ to me means that the room is saturated with humidity. Pulling the covers back, you can feel the dampness from the room having permeated the bed linens.

But the choices were limited and having already stated the Holiday Inn was not going to do it for me, also a hotel with rooms outside, the Fairfield was the answer of the evening.

We got inside and I could smell the moisture. My mind quickly moved to other things when it became evident that the boys had forgotten their toothbrushes for this trip. Again.

Shame on me for not noticing last trip that they can’t seem to remember.

My husband lowered the a/c to near frigid temperatures, which did surprise me as this is the man I must beg to let me keep the heat off when the thermostat drops below 65, as I like to sleep in a cold bedroom. His thinking now was a hope to keep the dampness at bay.

I brushed my teeth, the boys were in bed, and I found my teeth chattering. My husband got out of bed to wash his face and get ready, and I quickly planted myself under the sheets on the warm toasty part of the bed in which he had been laying.

The boys found this funny.

My husband bent his head around the corner giving me the eye of ‘Get out!’ which sent the boys into peals of laughter.

He came back to bed, scooting my body onto the other side… the cold side… with my whining, “But you’re my husband! You’re supposed to keep me warm! It’s your job!”, bringing more laughter from the boys, with jeers of, “yeah, Dad, you’re supposed to keep her warm” and mutterings from him along the lines of “Phht. I don’t think so…”

We were in the ‘dark’ when I heard a voice from the other bed say, “Dad, turn off the light.”

Outside our door was a light, for the lit walkway, and our curtains did not close. Bright doesn’t even begin. We were tired and decided to deal with it. It was midnight. There were sounds from the other bed that I could distinguish as much tossing and turning. At 1AM we heard a cough.

Bones sat up in bed and my husband said, “What do you need” to which the reply was, “Dad, I’m puking…”. My husband countered with, “Don’t just sit there and puke in the bed, get up!” Up he got, with help from his father, carrying him into the bathroom.

Of course we were all up by then as the other boys were aghast they had been sleeping with someone who had puked in their bed. I quickly got washcloths to wipe up what I could. This is when I realized that the Fairfield Inn sheets are not necessarily made of cotton.

The boys looked on in amazement as the puke literally wiped right up, as if I were wiping off a kitchen counter. Yuck. I laid a towel over it and told them to go back to sleep, as I wandered back into the bathroom to make sure Bones was fine. I sat with him while my husband went back to bed. Its no affront to my spouse, but when the boys are sick, they really only want Mom.

I sat with Bones for awhile, rubbing his back until he felt better, and told him he’d sleep with us. If any of us had weighed but 20 pounds more it would have been an even worse experience than it already was… my husband, then me, then Bones, lined up sleeping straight as boards. A double bed is too small for three, in particular when you are used to sleeping in a King sized bed with two.

I looked over to the other boys and they were sleeping on opposite sides of the bed cleaving to the edges, with a gulf of mattress between them. There was no way they were getting anywhere near that towel and as my father said, “It probably didn’t smell too good either.”

I think we’d fallen back to sleep for all of 30 minutes when the buzzer went off on the alarm. But it didn’t sound like a buzzer… an odd noise emanated from it. My husband hit it and it stopped…

All five of us were looking at each other in the well lit room and muttering, “I cannot sleep.”

Only to have the buzzing scenario reoccur 30 minutes later.

He started to hit it again as I heard cursing and threats of pulling it out of the wall.

It was a horrible sleep. My arms kept falling asleep, my neck got a kink in it, I couldn’t move for fear of knocking someone off the bed. Finally at 7 AM my husband woke everyone up. He said since it was such a miserable sleep there was no reason to continue to try.

And it was funny, because as we all stirred, every person was saying, in one form or another, “I didn’t sleep at all” or “That was horrible. Why did we bother…”

So our sleepless nights have changed. No longer are they caused by sick children, although they still come into play, but now they’re caused by horrible hotels with wet sheets, alarms on clocks that randomly go off, curtains that don’t close… and I could go on.

The entire event was closed out by our leaving the room to wet shoes. I slipped on my wet sandals and looked at the other four and said, “Am I the only one with wet shoes? Did I walk through something last night unaware?”

Evidently during the puking sleep intermission, my husband deemed the room too cold and turned the a/c into the 70s. The humidity levels hit epic levels and we think, during our fitful sleep, it must’ve come close to raining. Our clothes and shoes were that wet.

We’re staying at the Holiday Inn next time. I think the room was dry… And the progress we’ve made. In a young family, the parents spend sleepless nights. In an older family… its the whole daggum family.


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June 28, 2007

Blogging, Squirrels and Gators

No blogging tonight and tomorrow may be light. I’m off to Pensacola for a week, then on to do our tour of the South, just me and the boys for the last half. It is always fun and relaxing.

I hit 200,000 hits this morning at 3:47AM on the old blog here. Some person from Austria googling for a picture of a squirrel. Alas, I think it might be better that he was googling for a squirrel than my 200,000th hit be for ‘boy pee jello’.

Speaking of squirrels, do they have them in Europe? I don’t remember seeing them when we lived in Taiwan, although we had a mother load of HUGE rats, I don’t remember squirrels. Do they in Europe? Is this why I get googled for their image all the time, someone wondering what one looks like?

Of course I have these images as Eric is an easy target. I get googled for squirrels from a post I put up taking a pot shot at him. He takes things in stride… always open about the things he hates (squirrels) and is afraid of (zombies) hence I think most of this inner blog world has posted at least once a zombie story directed at Eric. For me its squirrels.

And then there is easy targets and people who take things in stride… poor Jimbo. Good Grief. I truly never mean anything malicious. He too is open about the things he’s afraid of (gators) and I occasionally post about things he’s afraid of (gators) since I live in the ‘things he’s afraid of’ (gators) country.

And so this morning, I made a right hand turn into the development upon where my gym is located and had to stop short as a 6 foot gator was making its way across the road from one pond to another. I was pretty shocked, I mean we see gators, but its not often I have to stop to let one cross. But my first thought was, “Oh crap! Where’s my camera? Jimbo needs to see this!”

Alas, there was no camera, so my 2nd thought was, “OH! I have his cell number!” and so I picked up my phone and called him only to get his voice mail. Luckily according to the voice mail I received from him later, it was intelligible. I was worried. I think it sounded like this… “Jim *laugh laugh laugh* this is Bou *laugh laugh laugh* …” Heh. Although I did think later, “Oh, geez, I wonder if he knew who it was.” It is not uncommon as bloggers to relate first and foremost by our blogger name and I used my correct name on his cell phone.

I still laugh when I think of that gator. And I looked in my rear view mirror and the guy driving the truck behind me was watching this whole thing, and I swear his eyes were bugging out of his head. Meanwhile I just kept thinking, ‘I have to tell Jim!”


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June 27, 2007

Would You Grow Pirranahs in your Sink?

For those who have ever questioned it, I assure you, my husband is an infinitely patient man. I’m a bit of a twidget and constantly have something going on… whether our house is overflowing with Treasury books for the school, or storing 30 tea pots for a fashion show to take place 8 months down the road, or fabric all over because I got some great idea on a big quilt to make (more on that in another post) or… trust me. I always have some great idea on what I need to do next and he pretty much says nothing.

Yesterday we were at dinner and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection.

Me: Boys, there is a BIG tub of dirt in my refrigerator. How long is that going to stay in there?

(The tub of dirt takes up nearly a quarter of my bottom shelf.)

Ringo: Just a couple more weeks, Mom.

Me: WHA?! It’s been in there for FOUR WEEKS already!

Mr. T: I know. It needs more time.

Me: WHY. WHY does it need more time?

Mr. T: Because it is supposed to be like winter.

Ringo: It said 6-8 weeks in the fridge. We’re settling on 7. When we get back from vacation, we’ll be on 7 weeks.

Me: *blink* Winter. What in the hell are we growing again?

Bones: Plants that eat things.

Mr. T: You know, like a Venus fly trap.

(Keep in my mind my husband is watching this entire conversation, not saying a word.)

Me: We are?

Mr. T: yeah. YOU bought it for us, remember?

Me: I did. Sometimes I wonder what I’m thinking.

My husband, looking across the table from me: YOU think YOU wonder what YOU’RE thinking. Phhht. I NEVER get what you’re thinking.

Heh.

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June 26, 2007

Lifting Cars in a Single Bound

T1G had a short post today about moving books. It reminded me of a story.

It was 1971 and TGOO was stationed at NAS Mayport. I believe he was on the Saratoga at the time, doing the Med tour. Mom was pregnant with Morrigan. She had gone to the doctor’s that day and upon arriving home started to feel a bit poorly, but expected that as it sometimes happens after going to your once a week visits at the end.

Mom has a pretty high threshold of pain, as evidenced to the fact that ‘feeling a bit poorly’ translated to her suddenly having a baby at 4AM… in the house. And from what I understand, it wasn’t until the end when she realized, “Uh oh.”

The end being realizing a head was about to emerge.

And TGOO was there just in time to catch Mo. Gravity and Mom did the work, TGOO played catcher. He is listed on her birth certificate as the ‘attending physician’ I do believe.

Keep in mind, TGOO was a Navy pilot. The extent of his education was an engineering degree from Annapolis, Naval Post Graduate school in Operations Analysis, and flight training in Pensacola. Nowhere in that is anything medical. Sure, he’d been to SERE school, but they don’t teach the whole ‘birth thing’ during survival and evasion training.

And come to think of it, other than farm animal births, I don't know if he'd ever witnessed a human birth. He was doing the 'Vietnam Tour' when I was born and when TN was born, Dads weren't brought into the rooms for births. It just wasn't done.

I was awake for all of this, by the way, and listened from my room. I remember most everything. My parents biggest regret I think is that we, TN and I, didn’t see her born, but while all this was going on, one of Mom’s biggest concerns was that we would be afraid during the commotion, so they had us stay in bed, but kept assuring us everything was OK. I never heard anything scary. My folks always, no matter what was going on, made us all feel safe.

Mom never acted freaked that TGOO, the Navy pilot was delivering their 3rd child and TGOO never outwardly demonstrated verbally that this was any big deal.

Morrigan is the first baby listed as being born in base housing at NAS Mayport. Her 15 minutes of fame at such an early age!

I know you must be wondering how this pertains to T1G’s post.

At some point of course the Navy hospital was called and they sent an ambulance. And so the corpsmen came to take Mom and Mo to the hospital and they had to get the gurney into the master bedroom.

The house had a hallway and at the end on the right was my folk’s bedroom, where mother and baby were located. But at the end of the hallway, was a bookshelf, a short bookshelf, that had but two shelves, if I recall. Short and squatty, the book shelf probably stood 2 ½ feet tall by 3 feet wide. And it was full!

And not full of just any books, but of leather bound classics. Homer's The Iliad and the Odyssey as an example... big TOMES that you can get in a set.

I think I’ve said before, we’re not big people. TGOO stands at 5’6”. But in general the men in our family are extraordinarily strong. It is a lean muscular build and even at age 66, it would be wise not to tangle with TGOO. He has kept himself pretty fit in the gym and although he is not what he was when he was boxing at The Academy at age 18, he still has incredible stamina in comparison to the average man of 50 and maybe even 40. (And for sure if his knees were better... he'd be unstoppable if his knees were not shot.)

So as the gurney was being wheeled down the hallway, the corpsmen realized that they could not get the gurney in the room with the bookcase at the end… so… TGOO, lifted it up and moved it out of the way.

The entire bookshelf… loaded down with books, picked the entire thing up and placed it out of the way so they could get to Mom and Mo.

As I said… he never demonstrated outwardly verbally that he was nervous or anything else, but evidently there was one HELL of an adrenaline rush as he moved it all effortlessly.

The next morning, he realized he had to move the bookshelf back and went to move it and could not. He said he had to unload all the books, move the bookshelf where it needed to be, and then put the books back in. A couple at a time.

The things we remember…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 25, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

I believe in the whole ‘teach a man to fish’ theory. If my boys want to perpetually eat, they need to know how to cook. I’m not going to spend their teenage years constantly cooking for appetites that cannot be satiated. I spend enough time cooking.

So slowly I'm teaching them.

Today my eldest came in and said, “I want to make cookies.” He had a box of cake mix in his hand.

I said, “Fine, its time you learn…”

I make some cake mix cookies that are pretty good. I got the recipes off of the internet.

I took him into the kitchen, and as I was about to look for my recipe he said, “Mrs. Smith next door makes cake mix cookies, but she doesn’t put all the stuff in them like you do. She makes them like on the box…”

Me: Are you sure? There isn’t a recipe on the box. She just makes the cake mix and dumps it in clumps on the cookie shape?

Ringo: Yes. That’s what she does.

Me: Son… it is soupy that way.

Ringo: Mom… that’s what she does and they’re really good.

So I showed him how to use my mixer and how to soften a stick of butter and he threw it all together with some chocolate chips and water and eggs and followed the directions on the cake mix box. And he put it in scoopfuls on the baking stone and it looked not soupy... but not firm, but what the heck.

We put it in the oven for 15 minutes and… we got puddles of cake mix cookies. One big puddle. It was a cooked puddle, but a puddle nevertheless.

I cut them into squares and they were deemed a huge success. They tasted like… cake.

I happened to see my neighbor later and I said, “So you really just make the cake mix and put it in the oven like that?”

She looked at me puzzled and said, “Oh no. I have a recipe…”

Heh.

So far Cake Puddle Cookies are the new thing to eat.

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June 24, 2007

Born or Bred?

I woke up this morning, threw on my gym clothes and running shoes, and walked through the kitchen to grab something on the go while I drove to the gym when I noticed my second son sitting on the couch. I walked over, tucking myself in around him, pulling him to me as I looked to see what he was watching.

He was watching videos of he and his brothers when they were all small. The three of them in the bathtub, ages, 5, 3 and 9 months, the two older ones playing peacefully while Bones stood up, sat down, stood up, sat down, typical 9 month old experimental stuff, all the while his father held him from falling. I use to call that scene, “A tub full of weenies”.

I sat for 10 minutes, watching the old videos. We were all laughing. My babies… oh my Lord, they were so beautiful. Ringo with his soulful brown eyes, even at that age. Mr. T with his smoochy little cheeks and crystal blue eyes like pools of water in which you could drown. And Bones, with his big round head and duck downy fuzzy wisps of hair, laughing smiling face, crazy busy even at that age.

People used to stop me and tell me how beautiful my children were. We never once went out, even to Publix, when an absolute stranger wouldn’t stop me and first be completely stunned I had so many small boys with me, “are the first two twins?” and then some comment on how gorgeous they were.

And they were so sweet and so beautiful.

It’s so funny, but everyone knew they were brothers and nobody ever questioned, but I have now had two times in the last month where people have asked me if they all had the same father. I kid you not. Twice.

Never once did that happen when they were babies. Sheesh.

Anyway, as I sat there looking at pictures of my boys when they were babies and toddlers and preschoolers I thought about where they are now and what their future holds.

What kind of men will they be? I feel certain they will be good and honorable men.

But I wonder… did the mothers of people like Hussein and Hitler and all the horrible men who followed them lockstep into terrorizing people… did their mothers feel the same way?

Not that I think my boys will end up being awful humans. Not at all.

But when I saw today that the freak Chemical Ali has been sentenced to death by hanging, I thought, “His mother so did not see all his horrible actions in his future.”

No mother does. When you look upon your sweet baby, inhaling the very essence of them, loving them, playing with their fingers, running your lips across their sweet heads, one never thinks, “Oh, well, this one is going to be a loser. He’ll torture and extinguish hundreds of thousands of humans and think nothing of it.”

What occurs to people that they are so inherently evil? I’m not talking about good people making bad decisions. As many inherently evil people that are in our prisons, we also have those people who just got side tracked and did something really frickin’ stupid… like getting hooked on drugs and committing a crime. Not evil. Just… bad at a bad time.

(And before I get you to thinking I’m some softy on crime, I am not. If you do the crime, you do the time. If it is a crime against a child, you deserve to die.)

But there ARE people out there that are just evil and bad. And they seem to find each other, or so it seems.

Have you read the book ‘The Kite Runner’? The book spends time speaking of the atrocities of the Taliban. Gah! How do so many people do so much bad? The public stoning in the stadium… what kind of person would stone another? What has happened in their lives or to their souls that they think this is how one should conduct ones’ self?

And world history is FULL of masses of people doing horribly evil things to other humans.

And I don’t get it.

And as I said before, when you look upon your babies, you never think your baby will be one evil SOB. Yet some of them… will be.

There was evil born yesterday. It was born today. It will be born tomorrow. Or is it made? I do not know… I just know that it seems to perpetuate itself. And I find that scary.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 23, 2007

If a Frog Croaks, What Do Others Do?

My husband and I have a buddy who is from England. His family was Irish, actually, and they lived in Liverpool. My kids know him as well and the other day we were doing something that made us realize we might run into him.

I said to my husband, “Hmm. Will might be there.”

Bones: OH I know him! I like him! I like his cool French accent.

Me: *blink*

Will is what he describes as a ‘Scouser’. I keep forgetting to tell him that Bones thinks he’s French.

He’s going to croak when he hears that… Heh, or maybe he won't.

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A Day at the Movies

We took the boys to see Fantastic 4, Silver Surfer (or something like that) today. Fun movie, they loved it.

But to anyone who has seen it (I’m not giving anything away), that chick that turns invisible. What was UP with HER skin? It was bronzy. Like she had too much tanner on. It was horribly distracting. She had this bronzy café au lait skin and white blonde hair and finally I leaned over to my husband and said, “Wait, what ethnicity is this girl? I thought I remembered her as Caucasian…”

Every time she was on screen, I could not quit staring at her skin. So then I whispered, “Maybe they did this on purpose like ‘if you are invisible, you have to wear dark make-up so you aren’t translucent…’?” But that’s not it because she could become invisible with her freaky ‘too much bronzer’ make up.

Meanwhile my husband was completely distracted by her hair. “Look how WHITE it is.” “Wait. She’s a brunette. It’s not that white in this scene”. Whatever they did to her, it was distracting. She’s a beautiful woman. They need to back off in the make up department…

So previews came on and I heard Christopher Walken’s voice and I thought, ‘Hmmm, spooky movie?” and then as we watched it…

Good grief. It was for some movie called, “Balls of Fury”. It’s about competitive ping pong. (The trailers are here ) Now maybe there have been ads on TV, but since I don’t watch TV, this movie was completely new to me. It looks absolutely ridiculous.

And so the following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection:

Bones (whispering): Mom, Mom, Mom, can we see that?

Me (whispering a bit louder): NO.

Bones (whispering): Plllleassse.

Me (whispering with laughter): Your Dad will take you boys to see it.

Husband, looking at me (whispering): Yeah you say that, but if you remember, it was you and I who went to see Dodgeball, that you did NOT want to see, and you laughed yourself silly. You thought it was hysterical. This movie is going to be like that.

Phht. I have a feeling I’ll end up seeing it. All I have to say as of now is, “Why, Christopher, Why?” Everyone needs a paycheck… that must be the answer.

Next preview, however, was for a movie called, ‘The Golden Compass’. It immediately looked like a good movie… something rang of Narnia. Magic. Fun. And then…

Daniel Craig showed up on the screen and I thought, “Welll… helloooooooo, there.”

I leaned over to Bones and said, ‘I’’ll take you to see THIS movie… for sure!”

Heh.

I swear on my three sweet children, that I think there has not been an actor on the big screen like Daniel Craig in… eons. Good Grief. He is a honey and a half…

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June 22, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go

I was furloughed yesterday, so today I went in and cleaned out my in-box and emails to make sure I had space for the mail that will continue to come during my time off.

I knew it would happen at some point this year, and had blogged upon it, but we were caught a bit off guard this time, long story, not blog fodder.

It comes at a good time, however, as my family is about to leave on vacation. I’m not upset about it at all, other than how it did occur and the fact it is a huge reality check that I am going to need to find something a bit more stable eventually. For now I am fine… but as my kids grow older, I will need to find something that can be more reliable.

As I was leaving today my boss was assuring me that I would be back by Mid-July. I was in turn reassuring him and my tech lead that this was not inconvenient. I don’t want them to feel bad about it. Meanwhile, some engineers at Company X are sending down proposals with cash that would bring me and my other part time coworker back.

That’s cool. It would be some new work, more system type work I think, as opposed to some of the other stuff I’ve been doing… its hard to explain, but system work is a kind of a nice change.

I was in a meeting with Company X and the Wizards in Seattle when someone mentioned if they didn’t have work for us they’d lose us altogether… they needed to send us work. It was nice to hear someone acknowledge what we do… and acknowledge they wanted to keep us on the team.

It’s not that my co-worker (another part time Mom engineer) and I are brilliant people, as a matter of fact, neither of us are even close, but we’re hard workers and extremely conscientious and we both have a lot of integrity. And when we make mistakes, which we do, we’re both quick to own up to them, apologize for them, and get them corrected. Overall, I think we’re easy to work with and that makes them happy to try to keep us on.

I was also told today there is a possibility I could get pulled off this aircraft all together and placed into another program… one that is not currently flying or even in production. It’s not a paper airplane, but it’s not in the fleet yet either. You can take it from there as to what I’d be working.

I’m cool with that too. New stuff. Keeps the brain from turning to mush. Or at least offsets the mush factor that comes with having kids.

But on the flip side of this furlough, it also shows, that in my situation, it is a good thing to work for a company like I work for as if one group runs out of money, they can try to find another program for me to work on. We have big diversity in our company, so that leaves some options open. It is not reliable… but it can happen.

I will eventually need to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I have started to think that chopper work could be fun. I think Marine and Army support could be a whole dimension I'd thoroughly enjoy. I’ve only ever done fixed wing... USAF. I think rotor would be interesting. And then there are of course, submersibles. I’ve never done that either.

I don’t know… time will tell. Until then… my house is about to get really really clean. Heh.

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June 20, 2007

Brace Face

Ringo got braces yesterday. Top teeth only for the first 6 months and then the bottom set will be placed. In total, he’ll wear them for 18 months.

Not a bad gig. I did three years both sets. But luckily, his teeth are not like mine and so he got off a bit easier.

But braces are braces and today his teeth are sore. He’s not complained once, although I noticed he’s definitely pushing towards soft foods. I told him about a kid I knew once that convinced his mother that his teeth hurt so badly with braces, that whenever he got them tightened, he was exempt from eating just about anything but Krispy Kreme doughnuts. My son was horrified at the thought that someone would be that ‘wimpy’, so I think that has set the tone…

Braces have changed A LOT since I was a kid. Unless teeth are in a bad bad way, they RARELY pull adult teeth anymore. If I had braces now, I’d have two extra teeth in my head. From what I understand, in Europe, they never were into pulling the teeth.

I had brackets like he does… the solid silver bands that wrapped around each tooth were pretty much passé by the time I got braces… but now you can choose between metal brackets and white. We only had metal.

We always had those little rubber bands around the brackets that hold the wire in, but now you get to choose your colors. No more of the silver brackets with gray rubber bands around them.

And you don’t go every month anymore. He will go every OTHER month.

So I went into the back when they got them on and when he smiled, he had a big pink rubberband around his front white bracket.

The assistant looked at me and said, ‘He picked his own colors…”

Me: Pink. You picked pink…

Ringo: they alternate, black, blue, pink, black, blue, pink.

Me: You… CHOSE pink?

Ringo, raising his eyebrows to me: Yeah. I did. What about it?

Me: NOTHING. It looks great. Wow.

His brothers came in to see and immediately Bones said, “PINK?! YOU picked PINK?!”

To which he said, “Yeah, pink is tough. I picked pink. Move on.”

Or something to that effect.

Well this is where the whole ‘older brother hero worship’ comes in because the two younger boys were in the back of the asexual Mom-mobile today and I heard Bones say, “I want braces”.

Mr. T: I don’t. You really want braces?

Bones: Yeah. Braces look cool. I want braces with pink ALLLLLL over them. That looks tough.”

Later today Ringo said to me, “Mom, you know why I picked these white brackets? Because they blend. You can’t see them so much…”

Me: *blink* *blink* What? If you didn’t want them to blend why didn’t you choose WHITE BANDS instead of PINK, BLACK and BLUE!

He just grinned. I suspect that white will be next. I asked him if he was going to have them changed to school colors for the first day of school, blue and gold. He looked at me like I was a dork and said, NO, while rolling his eyes.

I asked him if he was going to have them red and green, alternating, for Christmas. He just looked right through me like I was a lunatic.

I continued, “Oh well, I guess you aren’t going orange and black for Halloween then are you?” His reply was a, “Right.”

So evidently we are not picking colors based on seasons or anything else like... school spirit. I’ll be interested to see his criteria from appointment to appointment.

Meanwhile, he was very very thankful for the lobster bisque I served for his dinner tonight. He has asked me to help him with his wax too. Some talents one just does not forget, wax placement would be one. He thought you wrapped the wax around the braces like a mouth guard. I had to show him how you press it in each bracket.

He’ll get the hang of it.

His biggest concern is going to high school with braces. He will be out by then but he has said, “Mom, I’m not even going to be 5 feet tall when I get to high school. I don’t want to have braces too.” Point taken. He should have them off by Christmas in 8th grade.

He can say what he wants though… but he is really really cute in braces. Really cute.

Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:58 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

Forget About the Kneecaps

As I posted yesterday, my eldest is in a golf camp. It’s just a two week camp and he’s enjoying it, overall, with the exception of one kid, a year younger than he, who is being a real creep. And the kid has HUGE ego as he shoots a 75. Really.

This kid from day one has picked on him, been in his face, called him names and my son told me yesterday, “Mom, I think he wants to hit me. And you need to know… if he hits me I’m hitting back.”

To which my reply was, “Don’t just hit him back, you take him out… but the goal is here for him NOT to hit you. Avoid the situation. If you think he is trying to pick something with you, you and I both know you will put a world of hurt on him, move away. Ignore him. Don’t seek the aggravation.”

The thing is, I know if this kid hits my son, the kid is history. My son is short for his age, a full head shorter, in some cases two, than the boys in his class, and so it gives the impression to some he is an easy target. The kids at school know better. But my son is also broad. He may wear a size 10 pants, but he wears a size 14 shirt. His shoulders are broad, he is barrel chested, and when he is a teenager and starts to lift, he will be strong as an ox and totally lean and cut. As of now, my son has good upper body strength, is agile and has three years of good Karate training under his belt. He knows what to do.

And he has no fear. He’s been hit. He knows what it feels like. He’s been hit hard by kids twice his size in sparring. He’s not afraid to take this kid out and that’s our rule, “My boys will never throw the first punch, but they WILL throw the last.”

Get in, get out, get it done. One blow. Make it count.

Anyway, that was background because there is a story that goes with this.

My eldest may not be afraid of the fight, but my 2nd son is the ruthless long range planner, who never forgets and who will seek revenge no matter how long it takes.

Hmm. Wonder where he got that trait from…

So we were in the car and my eldest was telling me all about this little creep and Mr. T kept interjecting.

“Ringo. What arm does he swing with?”

We weren’t intentionally ignoring him, but we were talking.

“Ringo. What arm DOES HE swing with?”

Me: T, we’re talking.

T, persistent: You aren’t answering. What arm does he swing with?

Ringo, exasperated: His right.

T, grinning from ear to ear: OK. That’s the one you want to break.

Ringo turned around to look at him, busting out laughing and he continued, “Seriously, he’ll leave you alone and he can’t golf anymore!”

Holy crap, we could not quit laughing. All four of us. He sounded like a little Tony Soprano, but he's this little bitty guy, with light brown hair, big blue eyes, and the sweetest little grin... Heh. He'll be the dangerous one...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

Golf, Gators and Boys

And so for Jimbo, my alligator story.

A little background, my husband took up golfing a little less than two years ago. He has a HORRIBLE slice and is really struggling with it. Some days he’s happy and improving, and others he comes in saying, ‘I’m going to frickin’ quit this game. Why do I bother?!” with lots of expletives thrown in for good measure.

I suspect most golfers are like this.

My husband also feels that if he hadn’t waited until age 45 to take up this game, that perhaps he would have had a better chance of being a decent player. He’s not looking for good. He just wants to play, have fun, and not embarrass himself.

So he decided my eldest boy should take now, while he’s young. Now I have agreed to this only because I think it is a good corporate skill and as long as my husband shoulders most of the burden of lessons etc, because… I’m pretty tapped out.

And I refuse to sit there and watch it either. Its not that I’m not supportive, but I frickin’ HATE golf. I don’t play, I never want to play, I dated golfers and used to ride around in their carts and hated it then, and I think watching golf on TV is the equivalent of watching paint dry or as I told my eldest the other day, ‘In my mind, if I have to watch golf, I might as well go to the local cemetery and watch the weeds grow. Same same.”

But I want my husband to acquire a hobby and I want my son to have this as a corporate skill, so I do think it’s a good idea for them. Plus, it’s a good thing they can do together… that all four of them can eventually do together.

My husband finds a ‘golf camp’ for Ringo, and as good fortune would have it, PGA National Headquarters is not far from our home, and they were the one’s holding the camp. Close to home for me to pick up, close to my husband’s place of business so he could drop off on the way to work… win win situation.

So we broke the cardinal rule I have in this house of ‘no camps’. Summer is summer and camp for us is Camp Mom, as in, we sleep late, eat late, swim, read, and just… exist. We all love it… and it’s FREE!

Now keep in mind… we live in S. Florida where it is a spaghetti map of canals and lakes and water masses all over. Some are used to manage our water resources. So our golf courses are pretty much surrounded by canals and the water traps although man made, are very S. Florida.

That means S. Florida wildlife can and will reside within the water… fish, Florida birds… and… gators.

On Thursday, I picked him up and he got in the asexual Mom-mobile and the following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection.

Ringo: I so suck at putting. I cannot putt to save my life.

Me: Practice. It takes practice.

Ringo: But I can drive GREAT… as long as I’m on the stupid driving range and NOT on the course. I don’t get it.

Me: Hmm. Me either. But this is your first time playing. Be patient.

Ringo: Hey, we got to the 12th hole and there was an alligator sitting right there in the water.

Me: Really? I think I know someone who needs to hear about this.

Ringo: Yeah. Really. But by then we were bored, so we started chucking golf balls at it.

Me: Um. How far away was this gator?

Ringo: Far enough that we could barely hit it.

Me: YOU actually HIT that alligator with a golf ball?

Ringo: Well, I think Shane’s hit once. The rest of us missed. But when Shane’s hit him on the back, the gator ducked back under the water.

Me: Look, gators are dangerous. Don’t be chucking golf balls at them. OK?

Ringo: Well… if it helps, we did leave after. We didn’t finish playing the hole.

Me: Yeah, that’s smart.

Ringo: But Mom, we were armed. We all had golf clubs. If he had come after us, we’d have beat him with our golf clubs.

Yes, we had a long talk after… don’t tease the carnivorous beasts… don’t hang where they are hangin’… and never get yourself in a situation where you think beating something with a golf club is going to be the answer.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:22 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 17, 2007

Wild Father's Day

Let me say first, before I start today's story, Happy Father's Day to my husband and to TGOO! I had a whole post in my head about the type of fathers they are, wondering how they became such truly great Dads, and then today happened and its a Bones story, and so we now have the following post.

I took the kids shopping for Father's Day cards. I never read what they pick, or usually I don't, as its so damn agonizing for them and I can't watch. I do my grocery shopping and a half hour later they're still reading every daggum card. It kind of makes me a little bit nuts, kinda sorta.

And so today, Bones was finished first as he's really really into cards that you flip open and they play songs. Really into. I got one for Mother's Day, and lo' and behold, there was one for Father's Day, pushing his card selection to a record time of 5 seconds flat.

'Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom,' he exclaimed, 'It plays Wild Thing!' as he opened it in the grocery store to have me listen.

I did a little dance in the aisle to the song and said, "Great card!" and threw it in the cart and continued my shopping.

Flash forward to his father receiving the card. My Better Half opens it up and starts to read it:

You are the ONE
Who makes my toes curl!

Me: *Blink* hmmmm

Better Half: Who makes my thoughts swirl.
Who makes my eyes twinkle.
Who makes my sheets wrinkle.

*pause*

Better half: Makes my sheets wrinkle?

Me *starting to laugh*: Oh holy crap...

Better half opens the card to hear Wild Thing playing: You make my days sing! You are my everything! Happy Father's Day.

Now at this point, Bones is grinning ear to ear, he is so happy with his card, the other two boys are jamming to Wild Thing and my husband is thanking him, kissing him on the forehead.

I had to look away to keep from laughing. Later on I said to him, "Wow. Sorry I didn't read the cards before I bought them..."

He replied, "Why?"

Me: Who makes my sheets wrinkle? Who makes my toes curl? That's not a card that is supposed to come from your kid... that's a card that is supposed to come from YOUR WIFE!

Better Half: OH! Heh! You're right! I was wondering where that sheet wrinkling came from.

I still can't quit laughing every time I see that card. I can't wait until Bones is 18 and I show it to him. Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:26 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

You are Feeling SLEEEEEEPY

I was out of town this weekend. My husband had a conference and asked the kids and me to tag along, which meant we hung out at a hotel pool and I read an awful lot. An excellent weekend.

I came back to find that Jimbo had frickin’ TAGGED me with this long ass LALOLKFATYK meme. Paybacks, my friend, are in the form of my newest alligator story that includes my eldest son and a game of golf. Oh to be 12 years old and immortal again. Heh. I’m still writing it in my head, trying to remember the conversation, but yes, it is coming…

And of course Erica is to blame for this. As a good New Joisey Italian friend of the family would say, “Cripes, Erica! Whatreya thinkin’?!”

Gah. So here it goes. Did I say it was long. Yes. It is. You may need No Doze.

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nope. And it just only occurred to me last year that I have a hippy name. I’m evidently not so quick at times. I was born in the 60’s and my first name resonates that. You don’t hear it often anymore.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Two weeks ago when I found out a woman I care very much for has Stage IV breast cancer. I was a total onion head for about 2 hours as I researched to the nth degree. Doesn’t look good.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Sometimes. My handwriting is not consistent. One day can look completely different from the next day’s, as if written by a different person. And oddly enough, some days it looks like my Dad’s and others like my Mom’s and others… who knows.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Ham.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Yup.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I think. My sister is like me but much funnier and spontaneous and outgoing, which actually doesn’t sound that much like me now that I think about it, and I like her.

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes. What is odd is having my 12 year old use it on me. It’s not like I can say, “He got that from his father.” It’s obviously my trait.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Nope. Lost those suckers at age 6. Thankfully. I was a pretty sick little kid. I thank my parents for giving me life and Sir Alexander Fleming for enabling me to live past age 6.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Hell no.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I don't do kid's cereal in general. Too many calories I'd like to spend elsewhere, but... if I were to pick from my childhood... Well… it WAS cocoa puffs. Now I’m afraid of them. Heh. Cocoa krispies. But I can’t eat chocolate or milk, so those are days gone by. While I’m on a roll, Honey Combs were great. And I liked Captain Crunch, but it tears up the roof of you mouth and leaves your mouth with a funky film.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Nope. I just walk right out of them and keep on walking, leaving them wherever they were. No kidding.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Compared to other women my size? Hell yes. Compared to a man my size? No.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Oh, crap. The name…. it’s made by Godiva and its vanilla with little chocolate caramel hearts. Mmmmm.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
That’s a tough one. Their face I guess. If it is kind… But mostly I feel vibes. And I notice men’s shoulders and forearms. Women… mmm… that’s tough… it is mostly vibes and body language. This probably explains a lot about why I am not good at remembering faces. I don’t focus on them.

RED OR PINK?
Red. Preferably a dark blue red.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My short fuse. I guess. But other than getting a lot of cardio to keep internal strife quelled, it’s not like I’m trying to actively change it, so I must not hate it that much.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
This is a tough one as it could imply some sort of favoritism. The answer though is unequivocally my mother in law. I wish my children knew their paternal grandmother. I find their never really knowing her to be tragic.

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Jean shorts. No shoes.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A bowl of bananas, strawberries and blueberries.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Nothing. It’s not uncommon for me to listen to absolutely nothing. No music, no TV, I enjoy silence. Although… it is summer. I guess I’m listening to my air conditioner.

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Black? Mmm. Maybe dark brown. Or a deep deep green.

FAVORITE SMELLS?
Christmas smells, cinnamon, pine, all that mixed together… baking, apples… happy smells.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My Dad.

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
College football, otherwise I don’t watch sports.

HAIR COLOR?
Very dark brown.

EYE COLOR?
Gray

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Hell now. I’m an eye phobe. I actually passed out in an ophthalmologist’s chair once when he tried to do a glaucoma test. This little thing was coming at my eyes. I blinked, felt it on my eye lashes, panicked and fainted. So. No contacts for me. Blech. Makes my skin crawl just thinking of it…

FAVORITE FOOD?
My Mom’s recipe for swiss cheese fondue. I’m still craving deep fried oysters like crazy right now, so I’m going to say, as of today, June 17, deep fried oysters are in second.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy. I don’t do scary. Ever.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Pirates of the Caribbean III

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Pink. The only one I own, actually.

SUMMER OR WINTER?
Living in Florida, winter. If I were to move north, it would be summer.

HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs.

FAVORITE DESSERT?
Oh God. Nearly 25 years ago I had this amazing chocolate cake… Black Forest Cake? At a restaurant in Ann Arbor (or around there) called Webers. That was the best dessert I’d ever had. (I also had the best stuffed flounder with crabmeat there as well.) Other than that, any chocolate flourless cake. Mmmmm I also like cheesecake. And my Dad’s blueberry and peach cobblers… I’m hungry.

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
VW

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Zonker

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
I don’t have one.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?
I don’t watch TV.

FAVORITE SOUND?
Children laughing. I LOVE baby laughter. They laugh with their whole bodies and will melt your heart.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Stones.

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Taiwan

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Not really. I can remember obscure facts about people, but I can’t remember their faces. Also, I can crack both my shoulders really loud. And I can wiggle my ears. I should join a circus, “Come ye, come ye, come witness the blogchick crack her shoulders, wiggle her ears, and recall obscure facts about people she’s never even met!” I won’t quit my day job…

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Oahu, Hawaii, Tripler Army Hospital

WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
The two I tagged above… plus I’ll add Jody of Iowa Geek to my list. (Scroll down at her blog for her inside out ice cream cake recipe. Holy crap.) I finally have changed her tag in my blogroll. And Pensacola Titan. He needs taggin’.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:44 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 13, 2007

Keeping the Books

So… you see a couple priests from different parishes embezzle from the flock and you feel enraged it could happen, wonder how it happened, and are thankful that is not where you go to church.

Because… afterall… unless you go to that church, it doesn’t really effect you, right?

Phht.

Do y’all remember the two Catholic priests down here that did that? Big headline news down here, as they embezzled a grunch of money, buying condos on beaches, keeping girlfriends, etc, etc, etc. Many of the parishioners suspected at one of the parishes and even went to the Bishop and to other Parish priests. The other Parish priests could do nothing. Each Pastor is like the King of his own little Kingdom. Nobody can interfere. And I feel certain the other priests did take these suspicions along to the Diocese even realizing that politics what they are, it could very well come back and bite them.

Anyway, it is what it is, and the Diocese has put in an auditing process now which should have been done A LONG time ago in my opinion. I think it’s a good thing.

Except.

It now effects me.

Lovely.

As the Treasurer of our Home and School board that means as the Parish church goes through its first audit (read 2 WEEK audit), our school will as well… which means… me too.

I guess I should be nervous, but I’m not. It starts Monday and this is my philosophy.

I told everyone from the get go I am not an accountant. I’m an engineer. I’ve never had a business class in my life, NOT ONE, business has always bored me to death and I never intend to take one. I have NO desire to learn anything about checks and balances and debits and credits and any other crap that comes with accounting or business.

But… since I am good with numbers, I can balance a checkbook, keep receipts, write checks, create a budget and I can act as the gatekeeper for people coming to us for money. That… I can do.

I don’t organize my files other than by month. My receipts are shoved in a manila file folder with the pertinent month written in bold black sharpie. The reconciliation statement is on top. That’s about as organized as each file gets.

I suspect that is going to make some accounting person nutso.

I sometimes work with banking/accounting people and wow, no offense to any of you that are like this but… they have to have all their money go in the same direction, all flipped up the same way. Now I’m cool with everything being face up, but I don’t give a crap whether Honest Abe is head up or upside down. That makes banking type folks crazy. I just want the money out of my hands because its so damn dirty.

My filing system is of the same essence. I’m finished with the receipt, I throw it in its file folder, I don’t care if it’s upside down or right side up, if its in the order it came in or when it was written… I… don’t… care.

Honestly? I’m just happy I remembered to file the crap. I frickin’ HATE paper.

Which brings me to… the accountant who had this job before me, an actual accountant, had me printing all this crap at the end of every month. I did that for four months and thought, ‘Screw this’. It’s all in the computer in files. It’s all backed up. Forget it. I’m not doing it. In the big months, like January, it was something like 100 extra pieces of paper. I kid you not.

I’m not gonna do it and they can’t make me.

So on Monday, I’m bringing three years worth of files (that is two big boxes), the checkbook, and the school computer with all the bookkeeping files in it, handing it to the auditors and leaving. Everyone can have at it.

And I’m not nervous at all because everything has been done properly… I’m as honest as the day is long. I’m the person who will realize there is a gallon of water under my grocery cart that didn’t get paid for, and I’ll go back and pay for it… even though I’m already at my car. But… auditors like to find stuff wrong and I feel certain that they’ll have suggestions on what they’d like to see in the future and…

Well.. see, if they are going to make my life more difficult… in a job that is voluntary and already takes 250 hours of MY time PER year, then they can all pound sand and I’ll quit. The worst thing that can happen is for them to say, “She’s got the numbers right, but she is not a bookkeeper… you should find someone else” and at that point I’ll say, “OK” and gladly hand the job to someone else and find myself with an extra 250 hours on my hands.

Gladly.

This should be interesting…


Posted by Boudicca at 09:26 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 12, 2007

No Post Becomes a Post

Well because I do not have time to blog and because... well... life is life... I give you this quiz. I saw it at VW's today. VW who is absolutely insane. (I sense this is turning into a post, don't you?)

She's got two little guys, ages 3 and 4. She wanted to sign them up for Vacation Bible School at a local church we send our children to preschool. (Bones went there.) They would not take her youngest, Tot, unless she worked it.

So.

She signed up for stage hand or something behind the scenes.

And they made her something like 'team leader', which equates to, she gets lots of children to lead.

VW and I did not score this same on this quiz, but rest assured, her personality and mine are not that different in that we are not into the whole 'kid' thing. Neither of us picked teaching as a profession FOR A REASON. We are both engineering types. Short patience for illogical and irrational people... where children often reign most.

So she told me this bit of news about the new job title and I think my response was either a burst of laughter or a raised eyebrow and a 'REAAAAALLY'. Or both.

And then I said, "Yeah, well, good luck with that. Large quantities of small children scare me..." to which she replied, "Me too!"

Heh. Yet, she's doing it. I'm figuring there are going to be BIG stories out this. BIG.

Folks, I know some of you rag on me about how much I volunteer and all the irons I have in the fire, but let me make it perfectly clear... man o man, I do not volunteer with the kiddies.

Oh. No. No. No. NO. Good Grief. No. Heh.

You scored as Albus Dumbledore, Strong and powerful you admirably defend your world and your charges against those who would seek to harm them. However sometimes you can fail to do what you must because you care too much to cause suffering.

Albus Dumbledore

80%

Hermione Granger

75%

Sirius Black

65%

Remus Lupin

65%

Severus Snape

60%

Harry Potter

60%

Ginny Weasley

50%

Draco Malfoy

45%

Ron Weasley

40%

Lord Voldemort

5%

Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with QuizFarm.com
Posted by Boudicca at 09:56 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 11, 2007

Forget the Food Pyramid

I don’t buy a lot of organic ‘junk food’ for my kids. If they’re going to eat junk, they eat it fully laden with chemicals… all the preservatives that come with it.

The favorite snack in the house as of late has been Cheezits. The 2nd favorite snack is goldfish. We buy goldfish in those BIG huge honkin’ containers. They go quickly. Bones will grab the box and sit and munch while he watches TV.

It’s not to say my kids don’t ever eat healthy; they eat plenty of fruit and today when we were at the mall, the only thing they wanted was a big salad from Salad Sensations. Although, dinner did not go over as well when I served green beans and they swore they would die if one touched their tongue. There was even a fake death or two at the table.

But overall… my kids do OK in the eating department.

The other day while in Publix, we were in the snack aisle and they by-passed Teddy Grahams, another fave, and ended up in the organic section where they noticed… Bunny Grahams… the organic equivalent.

Bones: Please, Mom, please please please, can we have Bunny Grahams?

I felt like a fool saying no as they were ‘organic’, so we threw a box in the cart. For a week they have been in the pantry… not even opened.

Today we had many many errands to run, possibly running into lunch, so I said, “Pack snacks! I don’t want to hear, “Mmmmooooommmm, I am sooooo huuuuuuungry!” NO. And you know what, grab those frickin’ bunny grahams as they’ve been in there for a week and you asked me to buy them and you’ve not even opened the box.”

And so the bunny graham box made it to my car, I backed down the driveway, I heard the box open… and then… the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:

Mr. T: Bones, want a Bunny Graham?

Bones: Ick. They smell awful!

Mr. T: They taste much better than they smell. Trust me.

Bones: OK.

He popped one in his mouth.

Bones: You’re right. They taste better than they smell. I’d eat these before I ate my own crap.

Me: Wait? What did you say?

Bones: I’d eat bunny grahams before my own crap.

Me: Nice.

So evidently there is a food hierarchy in this family, with eating crap being the very bottom rung. Bunny grahams seem to fall above crap. I know next time they give me grief over food… oh like greenbeans!... I’ll say, “OK, clarify for me. Where do these fall? Above crap? Above crap and above bunny grahams? Or between crap and bunny grahams?”

I so see that happening…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:29 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 09, 2007

Carbivore

Have any of you ever eaten Cinnamon Babka? Holy crap. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

And for any of you who have eaten it and disagree, let me remind you that I have not eaten dairy since the end of April... that means no whey or any type of milk form that might be in foods... hence eliminating nearly all processed carbs.

No cookies, no cake, no doughnuts, no pastry, no grabbing any loaf of bread off the shelf.

So anything sweet and carby is going to taste really really really good to me.

I'm fortunate that I live in a very Jewish community, so I find I have a selection of Parve foods, which for those of you not familiar means, that the 'food' does not have any meat or dairy products in it and has not touched it. For those who keep kosher, you cannot mix dairy and meat, so if they want a meat sandwich, the bread must be Parve. You can tell Parve certification as the food will have a U symbol on the packaging.

So I was in Publix the other day, meandering through the evil carb section also known as the bakery, when I noticed this loaf of Cinnamon Babka and I thought, "Hmm, that sounds Jewish... I bet I can eat that..." and sure enough, there was the U and I thought, "eUreka! A processed carb I can eat!

Whooo hoooo....

Yeah. I need to keep it out of the house. It is my new poison... good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:41 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Private School Money at Work

This past week was our first week of summer. Before that was of course... the last week of school.

Ours always ends with two half days. What... is...up...with... that?

I think its mandatory the kids be there so many days, hence the crap week. There is video and popcorn day. 'Read-in' day where everyone brings their sleeping bags and pillows and reads and munches all day. (They don't do that sleeping bag thing in middle school...) Then there is 'game day' where kids bring games from home and they play games all day. End of year field trips, and on and on... essentially a week of playing with the last two days being half days.

The kids have a great time, mind you, but my eldest said to me, 'What a waste. I'm going in for two half days where we won't do anything. Call it a year and let me sleep in, instead."

Ahhh, spoken like a true pre-teen. Sleep. And food. That's what its about.

So I asked him what they did the last couple days as we were driving home, his reading in shotgun. He lifted his head for a moment from his book, looked at me and said, "Played poker" and then continued to read.

Me: What?

Ringo: Played Poker.

Me: You know how to play poker.

Ringo: Of course.

Me: Really. And what kind did you play, Mr. Poker Player?

Ringo: Texas Hold 'em.

Me: Oh. You really did play poker...

Ringo: Yup. For two days, I've played poker in school.

Me: Lovely. How'd you do?

Ringo *grinning*: I won every time. Because I won so much, the teacher gave me a poker game as a prize.

Holy crap. I'm sure this wasn't going on at the local baptist middle school. I'm pretty damn sure...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Going for the Long Haul

I have a couple people who work on my car. In the past I’ve gone to the dealership as I have known them for 15 years, I know the mechanic who works on my car and the service guy who helps me is plugged into my cell. It’s a good dealership… I don’t buy my cars from them, but I’ve always been happy with the quality of their work. I know, it is rare to feel that way about a dealership, but my husband’s family has owned Toyotas for… forever, and this service shop has always done us right.

They helped me with that rat problem too…

There is a guy who owns a bay about 25 minutes south of me, who I love to use as well, but it’s a longer drive, I have to get on I-95 and… he does it as a hobby. He’s independently wealthy, and although his work is top notch, and we really really love him, it is hit or miss as to whether he’ll remember you’re coming and then there is the whole waiting thing… because there is only one bay. So… I don’t go there so much.

Then… there is a mechanic my husband prefers, the only one he will let touch his sports car, the one who helped to restore it after his accident, about 25 minutes south as well. Mary. Mary is a top notch motor head and I have really come to respect her. She knows her stuff. She owns the shop and may not pick up the wrench as much, the guys who work for her do most of the heavy lifting, but Mary is sharp.

I needed new rear brakes on my asexual Mom-mobile and my husband said, “Look, we can take it to Toyota, but they are insanely busy and you’ve grown to hate going down there, or we can take it to the other mechanic, but there is a wait as he has one bay… but I’d like to take it to Mary because its summer, things are a bit slower for her and she’s a great mechanic.”

Mary has a family, a couple kids about the ages of mine, and her husband, who is also a great guy and has a job outside the garage, rebuilds and races cars. Racing cars is not a cheap hobby and so Mary and her husband work like crazy to support their family and still participate in their hobby. It’s a cool family.

And so yesterday we took the asexual Mom-mobile to Mary for her to take a look at. I came to pick it up after she was finished and I said, “You know, I’d love to get 200,000 miles on that van before I have to get rid of it.”

She said, “That van? Bou, if you come in here ever 3000 miles to get your oil changed, you are religious, and you listen to me, I’ll get you 300,000 miles.”

I was stunned. I replied, “Mary, I don’t like buying new cars. I like to drive mine until they nearly die… they are a waste of money and strictly a functional tool. You can get me to 300K on this vehicle? I’ve never gotten over 180K before I get nervous.”

Looking me dead in the eye she said, “Yes. Every time you get your oil changed, we’ll go over it to make sure everything looks right and to keep it safe… but Bou, I will get you to 300,000 miles.”

Holy crap. That would mean Bones would be nearly 18. I’d not have to get another mini-van! As he was going off to college, I’ll be… looking at some little sporty vehicle that gets good gas mileage! Holy crap.

The gauntlet has been thrown. I told her I was taking her up on that and to be rest assured she would be seeing me every 3000 miles. She will officially be taking care of all servicing for my vehicle. I’m at 68K right now… we have 230K to go.

I’m looking forward to this ride.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:18 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 06, 2007

HB Bones

And so my youngest is now 8 years old. He’ll be in third grade. When I first started blogging, he had yet to start Kindergarten. I was posting on his having to get his Kindergarten shots and being horrified he wore Elmo underwear to the Pediatrician’s office.

And now he is reading, adding, asking questions that always surprise me, and going into 3rd grade.

It really does just feel like yesterday when he was just my smoochy little baby with duckling fuzz hair.

I asked him two days ago what he wanted for dinner and for cake. His answers were “Mom, your chicken pot pie and a white cake with buttercream frosting. Chocolate buttercream frosting. The one you made last year. It was THE BEST!”

Of course that caused me to think, “Oh crap! Where did I get that recipe? The internet? A cookbook? Which cookbook?!”

And as good fortune would have it, I guessed right, finding it in a Southern Living cookbook and fortunately, I had written on the recipe that it was Excellent with an added note “Add extra in between the layers as it makes about ½ cup too much icing.” It is a habit I picked up from my mother to make notes in my cookbooks, although I suspect my Mom’s notes are a bit more gentile than mine. Mine run the gamut of “Sucks” to “Excellent!” I think not one of her cookbooks probably says, “Sucks”.

He helped me make the icing this afternoon and according to the neighbor’s this evening, didn’t bother to wash his face before going over to play with their kids. He was ear to ear chocolate icing… it was obvious what he’d been doing. Licking the beaters of frosting is a past time that is passed down from generation to generation… one that will never go away.

My question though really was, how many eight year olds actually specifically ask for ‘chocolate buttercream frosting’? Isn’t standard fare, “Chocolate cake”? I think my other boys have NEVER been so specific, although Mr. T is starting to become more so. ‘Mom, I’ll have angel food cake, with that icing you make for Mimi on her birthday, that dark chocolate icing, and fresh strawberries all over it…’ Good Grief… to die for.

And then there was Ringo two years ago who said he’d pass on cake if I’d just make him a peach cobbler and a blueberry cobbler. That was a most excellent birthday…

Anyway, back to Bones. He is 8. He loves Sponge Bob, playing with his brothers, swimming, blonde haired little girls (no Oedipus complex… I am wondering if I should be offended that my hair is so brown it is nearly black and he goes for girls with hair like spun corn silk. Is he telling me something?), his scooter (foot powered), playing in dirt, throwing rocks, looking for bugs, playing with sticks or anything else that can be a sword/weapon, making faces, laughing at farts, telling potty humor jokes, licking beaters of frosting and bubble baths.

This is Bones at the wedding rehearsal last month.
Bones almost 8.jpg

And this is Bones with his eldest brother making one of the many many faces he is perpetually making. This picture, which is missing Mr. T, is probably a classic example of why that bakery assistant at the grocery store said, “Same father?” Lovely.

Same Dad.jpg

Happy Birthday, Son. You walk amongst the blessed and may you always realize, to have so many people who love you the minute you are born, as much as we do… is a blessing in itself.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:02 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 05, 2007

Ups for the Down

Lest anyone think that I never have a bad or irritating day at work, WRONG. I've had a string of big frustrations at work as of late... not the company I work for as they're great, but with my interactions with Company X. I get sick of the infighting and politics. Some things never change.

Today I wanted to scream, "Don't F*ck with me! I have three kids and I have no fear! I'll take you down!" But I didn't. As much as I wanted to.

Luckily I have 12 more hours to calm down before I send out some scathing emails.

Bones' Birthday is tomorrow. He will be 8. Good Grief. My funny little man. I got his teacher and her assistant some very good quick bread mix from William and Sonoma for their end of the year gift. I always try to do consumables and I like good high end mixes as they may not spend that kind of money on themselves and it won't go bad. They can make it whenever they want. Anyway, they both wrote thank you notes and the assistant actually wrote to Bones, 'I am going to miss you. You say such funny things!"

Cracked me up. It's not always what he says, but the delivery. The facial expressions, the intonation, the whole body movement. He's very expressive. Think Jim Carrey as an 8 year old. That's Bones.

I read what I thought was one of the funniest posts today as I was trying to play 'blog catch up'. I love to hear an outsider's take on Florida and NOBODY, absolutely NOBODY does it better than Jimbo. Holy crap. First he ranks on alligators and now he has a new Florida aversion, courtesy of his last vacation here. The Love Bug. Funny stuff. Now he just needs to meet our flying hissing nasty roaches.

Oh and he has a new post that is cracking me up on canoeing in what he calls Evergladey water with alligators. Good Grief. I think its the wide eyed horror of our 'wildlife' (read gators and lovebugs) that crack me up. You think we live in the wild wild west or something. I can't quit laughing...

And from my brother... as football season is but 3 short months away, we have 30 things you'll never hear an SEC fan say in the extended entry:

30 things you'll never hear an SEC fan say:

1. I'll taste before I salt.

2. I'll Take Shakespeare For $1,000, Alex.

3. Duct Tape Won't Fix That.

4. Come To Think Of It, I'll Have A Heineken.

5. We Don't Keep Firearms In This House.

6. We Don't Feed That To The Dog.

7. No Kids In The Back Of The Pickup,It's Just Not Safe.

8. Wrestling's Fake.

9. We're Vegetarians.

10. Do You Think My Gut Is Too Big?

11. I'll Have Grapefruit & Grapes Instead Of Biscuits & Gravy.

12. Honey, We Don't Need Another Dog.

13. Who Gives A Damn Who Won The Civil War.

14. Give Me The Small Bag Of Pork Rinds.

15. Too Many Deer Heads Detract From The Decor.

16. I Just Couldn't Find A Thing At Wal-Mart Today.

17. Trim The Fat Off That Steak.

18. Cappuccino Tastes Better Than Expresso.

19. The Tires On That Truck Are Too Big.

20. I've Got It All On The C Drive.

21. Unsweetened Tea Tastes Better.

22. My Fiancee, Bobbie Jo, Is Registered At Tiffany's.

23. I've Got Two Cases Of Zima For The Super Bowl.

24. Checkmate.

25. She's Too Young To Be Wearing A Bikini .

26. Hey, Here's An Episode Of "Hee Haw" That We've Not Seen.

27. I Don't Have A Favorite College Team.

28. You All.

29. Those Shorts Ought To Be A Little Longer, Betty Mae.

30. Nope, No More For Me. I'm Driving.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 04, 2007

Sleep and Food... Is he a Bear?

Today was the first day of summer. Good grief. When did I get an almost teen in my home? How did this happen?

At 9:00 I walked into ‘the cave’, where my eldest son ‘resides’. He was sleeping and I nudged his shoulder and said, “Dude, you gotta get up. You have a dentist appointment soon, so get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and brush your teeth.”

He half way rolled over, opened one eye and said, “Why so early?”

Me: It’s 9:00!!! Your appointment is at 10!

Ringo: Like I said… why so early?!!

And with that he rolled over and wrapped himself in the comforter in an attempt to make it all go away.

He is getting braces in 2 weeks. This should be interesting.

Today, around lunch time, we all went to the grocery store where I picked up things we needed, items for dinner, and a thing or two the kids had requested. As soon as I pulled in, my eldest was out of the car, assisting me with the groceries. Usually I have to remind everyone to help me.

I said, “Wow! Thank YOU for helping!!!”

He smiled at me somewhat sheepishly and said, “You’re welcome.”

I continued, “I usually have to remind everyone, but you were practically grabbing groceries before I even got here.”

He looked at the three bags in his hand and finally said, “Mom, I have to be honest. I’m really really hungry, and this bag right here contains all the stuff I need to make a GREAT sub sandwich.”

Who said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? When some sweet girl figures this out about my son, he is doomed…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:29 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

'Cane Prep

QW wrote in my comments HERE about her Mom staying the entire year this time, through Hurricane Season, down here in Florida. These are the things I have handy for hurricane season. Lists are constantly put out by all supermarkets (Publix probably has one at the counter to give you) and they have it in the paper too.

** UPDATE- I completely forgot to put money! It is on my home list, but Writersblock put it in the comments. (Read the comments for more ideas.) Money, however is exceedingly important. There is no power, banks are closed, ATMs don't work and credit cards can't be taken... you need cash. Make sure you have small bills. Businesses may not be able to break the big bills, so I usually get cash all in 1's, with a 5 here or there. Also... if you have pets... remember them! (We don't, which is why it didn't end up on my list...)**

A plug in phone. No power means cordless phones don’t work. Phone goes out within 24 hours of power going out, or so I’ve found, so make sure you make your important phone calls to tell people you are safe immediately.

Car charger for your cell. I always get cell coverage back before I get my home line back.

I watch the weather constantly. The minute I find a storm is brewing with even a remote chance of coming this way, I never let my gas in my car get below ½ a tank.

Five gallons of water per person in a home. This is drinking water plus water you’ll use for anything else… washing hands if you will, etc. For us, since I am on well water, I don’t have water with no power, so I fill up my tubs and my washing machine (obviously not a front loader) and use that water to flush my commodes. On day 3, I usually start wishing I had a swimming pool for flush water. Hurricanes hit in the summer time. It is hot. You will be drinking water like crazy and you’ll need it to cook with as well as brushing your teeth. If you’re on city water, you’ll be taking cold showers. If you’re on well water, you’ll be using this water sparingly also to bathe. You can’t really have too much water on hand.

Food for 7 to 10 days. For a family of five, that is a bunch of food. Start thinking now about what you will and will not eat. Spaghettio’s may be on sale and look like a great thing to stock, but when push comes to shove and you’re forced to eat them, you may wish you’d bought those small cans of tuna or packets of chicken instead. There is nothing really healthy about hurricane eating. Fresh fruit and vegetables go quickly and are hard to replenish. Bread… buy what you need in bread that you think will last you the first few days, put a loaf in the freezer. Make sure you have crackers. They are a ‘safer, non-stale, do not mold’ bet. If your family drinks juices and coke, have it in stock. The key is to not have to waste any gas going to the grocery store for incidentals that they won't have anyway! Shelves will be BARE. HAVE IT IN STOCK. If you drink, stock up on alcohol as they will not sell alcohol for a few days after a hurricane. I’ve seen close to spouse abuse in the beer section of Publix as the alcoholic realized he couldn’t buy beer and ‘his woman’ was the closest object to take it out on. That was lovely.

Sit down and make a list… breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. Think about what you would eat. Soup, canned goods, meats, canned meats, poptarts? Cereals? Parmalat milk for cereal? Seriously think about every single meal and what you could and could not see yourself doing. PLAN ahead. The first two days there is NO REASON to have to feel like you have to eat crap. You can eat very very well the first couple days… before the stuff in your freezer starts to go bad… and before all the fresh fruit and veggies are gone.

Think about hardboiling your eggs in advance. Bake. Convert your eggs into stuff. Cookies, muffins, breads. I did that last time, baking muffins and breads and throwing them in the freezer, knowing they would keep. Breakfast foods is what I really baked and we were all very happy I did. (All those old frozen ripe bananas I had suddenly became banana muffins and bread and fed us for breakfast for two days. Its hard to dread eating when there are homemade goodies to eat.)

Take bottles of water and pour about ¼ to 1/3 into another container and FREEZE the bottle. Do that to many many bottles of water. When you don’t have power, but you have water, and it is hot, pulling a frozen bottle of water out of the freezer and adding water to it… making ice water is really really nice. You’d be amazed at how happy it makes you!

The more stuff you have in your freezer, frozen, the better. It all stays colder. If you find your freezer is half full and that’s how you like it, fill Tupperware containers full of water and freeze them so it fills space. Half filled bottles of water will do that trick too.

Portable radio (some folks like portable TVs, you can get them at Target and Costco) with plenty of batteries to go with it. Plenty is key as you’ll probably have it on a lot.

Portable lights and not just flashlights, but little battery operated lanterns. It gets very very dark at night with no power, so if you eat late, or intend to play cards or games before you really go to bed, you’ll need light. We have a flashlight for each kid and 3 or 4 battery operated lanterns. DO NOT use gas. Have PLENTY of batteries!

Books, games, cards… or something to do at night unless you tend to live on farmer time and sleep when the sun goes down and awaken when it comes up. I will say I hear there are a plethora of babies born 9 months after a hurricane…

Think camping… think that if you go camping and do not have hot water to wash your dishes, you are going to use disposable. You want paper plates and bowls, plastic forks, knives and spoons, paper towels, wet wipes to keep your counters clean as there is no hot water, anti-bacterial soap for your hands if you can tolerate it (I’m allergic), disposable aluminum pie plates and such to cook on, aluminum foil, napkins, toilet paper, etc. Think living in a tent and what you would need to survive without running hot water, but yet you still have gas to cook with… I cook in my disposable aluminum so I can just chuck it when I’m finished, rather than it sitting in my sink to be washed when I have hot water.

Gas Grill… get your propane filled for that NOW. What a mess it is when the storm is 3 days away. Everyone suddenly has the bright idea that they need Propane. Get a couple tanks because this will be the source of any hot water you need to boil, as well as your cooking.

Do all your laundry in advance. You can’t do it without power. By the time a hurricane hits my home, every sheet has been washed, every towel, there are no clothes in the hampers. It may not all be folded… but its all washed and dried. With no power… there is plenty of time to fold laundry.

A big cooler. If you have a spare freezer in your garage, buy ice early and just shove it in there until you need it. You will not get ice when a storm is coming. Ice is a commodity. And this is where BIG planning comes in. I only open my freezer once a day. In the morning. I have a big ice chest and everything we need for the day, goes in that chest. This is where ice and an extra freezer are really a good thing. I plan out what we need for that entire day, and pull it out and put it in the cooler. NOBODY goes in the freezer or fridge after that. Everything stays nice and cold that way…

You can buy all sorts of solar stuff now to charge the battery on your laptop or on your cell phone. I don’t own any of that. We’re pretty much ‘unplugged’ when a hurricane hits. But there are those options, just look on-line.

We have items in our garage to do quick repairs if we need to… board up a broken window or cut down branches. We have a lot of yard bags to pick up all the limbs and debris. Garden gloves are my friend the day the storm passes. Typically, as soon as the weather clears, everyone is in their yard clearing out, moving fallen branches, raking. Rubber boots are nice to have, as the ground is squishy, but don’t do black. I did that and my feet burn up. White rubber boots.

Of course all this hinges on the thoughts you don’t have a generator. If you have a generator, you have ice, a working refrigerator, stove, oven, etc. We don’t have one yet… it is a work in progress.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

June 03, 2007

No Beans or Broccoli... please

Do you remember that Bill Cosby stand up show he did where he talked about passing gas? I think it was along the lines of Moms Don’t, but Dads Do.

Is that in every family or just mine?

Not that my husband is a big ‘pull the finger’ kind of guy. No, actually, my husband is a pretty modest kind of guy.

I’m talking about Moms here.

I overheard one of the boys say yesterday, while in the back of the car, “You remember that one time when Mom farted?”

And the reply was, “OH yeah, I remember that.”

Wait. There is something SO VERY WRONG with that.

First, why is this something one should file in one’s memory bank? Of all the things witnessed in a day, in a week, in a year, Mom farting is a memory to be cherished? Something to be remembered for a LIFE TIME and… discussed? Discussed as if it were a BIG EVENT?

WHAT. IS. THAT. ABOUT?

Good grief.

Second, why in the world would they think I DON’T? Just because I don’t do it 1) at the dinner table, 2) intentionally directing it at somebody like a weapon, and/or 3) announce it for everyone to know as if accolades should come my way? Like three other people I know. Who do ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Sometimes at the SAME TIME!!!

Good grief!

I am losing hope...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Slowly starting to see the Bloom

We took the kids to see Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday afternoon. I know many people who did not like it, and it did drag in places, but we enjoyed it.

I have never thought that Orlando Bloom was particularly good looking or a ‘hottie’ as I’ve heard some women describe him. He always just looked too… boyish to me, I guess.

Lord of the Rings? I’ll take Viggo Mortensen please and I’ll pass right by Mr. Bloom.

All the Pirates of the Caribbean? Johnny Dep all the way, if anything for his pirate quirkiness that cracks me up, and I’ll pass right by Mr. Bloom.

And with this new movie? I’m a big Chow Yun-Fat fan. He and Johnny… yes. Orlando Bloom? No.

I have no clue what changed, but by the end of the movie, the last few scenes, suddenly I was looking a weeee bit closer. Perhaps he has grown on me? But at the end of the movie, his character seemed like a man that could hold his own. I don’t think he’s come across that way to me in either role I’ve seen him play in the past, and that to me is somewhat off-putting.

At the end of this movie, however? Yes. And he has a nice chest. I noticed. But he needs to play some roles, in my mind, where he’s a REAL man and not so much a follower looking for his path. I think that’s been a stumbling block for me wanting to see him on the big screen. He always looks too wide eyed at the world... too naive.

But I do think, however, I am now a believer… Time will tell.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

It's here... Again

A couple nights ago I spent an hour looking at all my weather links.

Dammit.

Two days ago was the first day of Hurricane Season and we’ve already had frickin’ B is for Barry.

Now I know a busy early season is not supposed to be indicative of a busy late season, however… when the forecasters tell you it is going to be a very active season, and when it is 1 June and you’re not only staring down the barrel of that thought but you’re already on frickin’ B is for Barry, it is mentally unsettling.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy we had B is for Barry. Let us have many many more Tropical Depressions. Lake O is now officially at an all time low. How low did it go?

Low enough that part of it caught fire, *ahem* a part with no water obviously, which is supposed to be ecologically good for the Lake… gets rid of all the plant riff raff.

Low enough that… ready for this? Because this is way cool… Low enough that they have found remains of civilization that may be around Ponce de Leon, the early 1500s… bodies, hand carved wooden boats, a frickin’ archaeological find that is astounding. Lake O has been preserving all this! And the loss of the water, bringing it to new lows, has opened up a history of which has not been seen in this area, probably ever.

Very cool.

But we need rain and tropical depressions bring them and I welcome that. I think all of us do.

But I don’t welcome the hurricanes. And it’s not because I hate being without electricity. I’m a low maintenance kind ‘o gal. No power is an inconvenience, not a show stopper.

And it’s not because there is no school as we always make it up and I actually like having my kids at home.

And its not because they don't sell alcohol, because I don't drink.

I don’t look forward to the throngs of people who will whine as they did not prepare and expect FEMA is going to come in and take care of them. That annoys the ever livin’ frickin’ stew out of me.

I don’t look forward to the potential of what people in high places have awakened to… what I’ve been screaming about since I started to blog. A big storm hitting Lake O. Unfortunately, it is not me who awoke them of the perils of a big storm coming to Lake O and killing a mind boggling number of people… it was Katrina that did it. When Katrina occurred suddenly people high up started to think, “Ummm… could that happen here?” And for those who thought it could and nobody would listen, the politicians suddenly woke up with Katrina and now money is being supplied to attempt to shore up the dike to 50,000 people don’t die if/when the big one hits.

I always start to reverberate when I think of nasty storms hitting the lake.

But really what scares me on a personal level… is the massive devastation to this area, where we could lose everything… our family business, our home, everything. Every year I think, “Is this it? Is this the year we lose it all?” I hate living like that…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 01, 2007

Bad Mom Of the Year

Folks, I just can’t let the bumper sticker go. I can’t quit laughing at the thought of something awful like that on my mini-van.

I told Morrigan when we were IMing, first, I’d have to explain it to my kids.

Holy crap. Can you imagine? Then again, since Ringo only thinks people do it like animals anyway, it would just go along with the rest of the story…

Second, people would think I was THE WORST Mom, ever. I’d be the skankiest ho-iest Mom in skank ‘ho town.

Third, I’d probably get banned from the school parking lot. I can just imagine pulling my asexual Mom-mobile into the pick up line, only to have a little first grader, behind me in his Mom’s car, just learning to read, “Mom! It says… If youuuuuu arrrrrrre go-----ing to tailll gaaaaate (magic, ‘e’, right Mom?) meeeeee…” Heh. Lovely.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Some Things You Cannot Escape

Tonight’s grueling, near vomit inducing, run was brought to you courtesy of the theme, “Running from my Mortality”.

Pop came for dinner tonight.

Gotta love that reason to run. I came by it honestly, however, from TGOO. Nature or nuture? Instinctive or environmental?

I remember being a teenager and TGOO would get off the phone with my grandfather, his Dad, and he’d grab his chest and say, “He makes my chest hurt. I feel like I need to go run 5 miles.” My grandfather had lived his life hard and it caught up to him early, giving him diabetes and heart disease. Even if he had realized that a well balanced diet, not consisting of most of what he ate, along with no smoking, and good cardiovascular exercise would have prolonged his life considerably, I suspect he’d not have done it. He always seemed to me to live in the moment.

Anyway, I remember those days of TGOO’s marathon running well.

And tonight my father in law came over for dinner and after picking at my food and eating what I felt I needed to eat I suddenly pushed my plate away and said, “I’m going running” and I cleared the dishes and left.

It is my salvation, the cleansing of the soul. It sets me free… and keeps me sane. My Mental Adjustment.

And God love those frickin’ endorphins. Nothing beats a good endorphin rush to put one in one’s happy place.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack