November 30, 2008

A Wonderful Wonderful Time

One of the wonderful side benefits of blogging is meeting some truly wonderful people. Better still, meeting them and being able to call them a friend.

On Wednesday night, Erica came to dinner with my family in NYC. I didn’t realize it when we set up the destination, but it was over an hour train ride for her to meet us. (I met Erica first 2 years ago, but this was the first time she'd met my family. She's one of 4 bloggers who have actually met my husband.)

If you have not met Erica, she is warm and witty, can weave a wonderful story, and has a great vocabulary. I love listening to how ‘she puts things’.

How wonderful is Erica?

When she left us, Bones looked at me and said, “Mom, she is a really nice lady.”

I replied, “Yes, she is.”

He stopped, grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and said, ‘No, Mom, I mean she’s REALLY REALLY nice.”

Out of the mouth of babes, we love Erica.

And yes… Erica has met Bones. Heh. He’s such a funny little kid.

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Weather and Missed Notices

What’s with the frickin’ weather?

Good Grief.

I’m going to Atlanta this weekend for Morrigan’s baby shower, and its frickin’ freezing everywhere NORTH of me.

I’ll have trained so much in sub 40 weather, I won’t know what in the hell to do if the marathon is actually above 60 degrees.

I might die of heat stroke.

And who woulda thunk that any of you would have read THAT on this blog?

And… on a different note, when did Bombay become Mumbai? I must have missed the notice on that one…

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Puking Through New Jersey

This would be the kids’ title version of Sleeping in Seattle.

Nothing says, “Thank you for having us into your home”, like having your kids throw up in the host’s van, in their bathroom repeatedly, and then having one good hurl on the carpeted steps.

Where to begin. Where to begin.

We arrived at my sister in law’s house, in South Jersey, on Thanksgiving afternoon. Friday was slated to go visit family. Their aunts and cousins live in North Jersey, in towns called Butler and Wayne.

We got in the mini-van to make our way north, when 45 minutes into the trip Bones said, “I feel terrible.”

Five minutes later, he gave me ‘the look’ and said, “Mom, I’m going to puke!”

So my sil pulled the van over, on the side of the New Jersey turnpike, I opened my door, where he threw himself prone across my lap, head sticking out of the van, and proceeded to barf out the door.

Essentially the heavy traffic barreling down the New Jersey Pike, witnessed one little blonde head poking out of a van door, hair blowing in the wind, vomit spewing forth onto the side of the road.

There was light splatter along the running board… and along where the carpet meets the body of the car door.

Twenty minutes later, she was pulling the van over again, this time we had him more out the door.

The last time she pulled over, he actually sat in the grass and threw up.

He threw up the rest of the day… and it wasn’t until we were finished driving and he was STILL throwing up, that we realized he was not car sick, but was good old fashioned sick, sick.

By Saturday afternoon he was well and probably consumed 2000 calories per sitting, in some effort to negate the enormous expulsion of food that had occurred the previous day.

My eldest hadn’t felt well in awhile… although I feel certain that Bones didn’t get it from him. Still, Ringo had been under the weather and he just really didn’t have much of an appetite and hadn’t been himself in a week.

By Saturday at Noon, he was… done. I was out training and when I came home, I heard he had thrown up all over her stairs.

These would be the inside carpeted stairs that lead to her 2nd story, not outside steps that could be hosed off.

I was horrified.

My husband and his sister cleaned up the mess, but I knelt down beside him after he awoke from a nap, the event having exhausted him, and I swear to you this is the conversation I had with my 13 year old.

Me: Dude. Why did you throw up on the steps? Why didn’t you go for the downstairs bathroom instead of the upstairs?

He looked up at me and said: Mom, I was sitting in the middle of the steps and I felt terrible. I realized I was going to get sick, so I thought if I tried to make it to the downstairs bathroom and didn’t make it, I would throw up on THAT rug (he pointed to an oriental throw rug) and get it all over our luggage, or I could try to make it to the upstairs bathroom and possibly throw up on the stairs. I decided that rug was more expensive to clean and the carpet on her stairs was already stained…

And so that was that. The split second economic logic of a 13 year old and where one should attempt to vomit, realizing they may not make it.

My prayers, obviously, became on Saturday that come Sunday that we would all be well enough for our flight back.

We were blessed… doubly so since USAIR doesn’t have barf bags in the seat pocket in front of you. I had bags just in case, but does USAIR think that people don’t get sick in planes?

And on a side note… airfares have not increased, but if you fly USAIR, it’s a $15 charge per bag checked and you pay for any drinks or food you want on the plane. There is no more courtesy coke and nuts.

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November 24, 2008

Remember To Give Thanks

It's Thanksgiving folks. We have some men and women to be thankful for...

Did we just have another election... where there will be a changing of the guard and it will be peaceful?

Did we just have another election... where there was no bloodshed in the streets?

Did we just have another election... where all citizens were permitted to vote and fear did not permeate the Country?

How we have come to expect this... instead of cherish it.

Something so ordinary to us as Americans, so foreign in other countries, looking wistfully... wishing they could have it too.

It didn't just happen.

It wasn't free.

Men and women serving our country made it happen.

They made sacrifices.

Surely we can show them... how thankful we are.

Push the button. Every dollar helps... nothing is too small.

Really.

Happy Thanksgiving... and remember the men and women who made the sacrifices that help keep us free and continue to ensure that living in this Country is as great as it is.


Posted by Boudicca at 11:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Running Towards Thanksgiving

I saw my doctor today, after doing 16 miles on Saturday, 2.5 on Sunday, and 4.1 miles today, my sprinting the last minute today as I thought the rest of the training was completely sloggish.

For that last minute, I was running like a Kenyan. I was sprinting... and then I thought, "Holy crap, I'm going to die..." as I gasped at the end of my street, trying not to heave in my neighbor's yard.

No 5 minute miles for me...

And my doctor said, "You are healed!!!"

And I said, "NO! I cannot be! I cannot live without you!"

And he said, "No. Really. You are."

And I replied, "I know, really, I can't be. First, I'm in pain *here and here* and second, I can't believe I am... because I've been injured so long."

His answer? "You are training for a marathon. There are going to be aches and pains. You just have to learn how to differentiate now..."

Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

So now I'm going just once a week because mentally I have to. I have to do all the crazy stuff I do and hear him say, 'you're still healed!'

Notice he did not say, "You do not need me..." Not yet. But we'll get there.

I did all that the last three days and there was no K-tape, no damage, no swelling, nothing.

And so I am packing up my family and we are going to the great white north for Thanksgiving. We have family up that way, and we'll be visiting them as well as doing some site seeing, and if all goes well, we'll have dinner with a blogger I know and love... and she'll meet my family.

So.

Ciao.

I'm sure you'll hear from me intermittently as I might find computer access... then again... maybe not.

See you Sunday.

Be good.

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November 23, 2008

Time Warp

My husband has an old buddy with whom he did his doctoral work. They’ve known each other now for 25 years.

They’ve seen death in each other’s families, watched each other date multiple women until finding a spouse, were groomsmen in each others weddings, watched their families grow, attended religious ceremonies for each other’s children, and unfortunately, been there while one of them got divorced.

That one who got divorced was obviously not my husband.

Tough gig, bad things that happen to good people… and kids to boot.

So his buddy came by with his four kids and they spent dinner with us while they made their way home from a long weekend. His buddy lives a couple hours south of us.

At one point, all the kids were in the backroom singing.

I looked at my husband’s best friend and said, “You know, I bet in a million years, you never expected that one day, you’d be sitting in our home, watching all of our children singing, belting out, ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’”.

I had to laugh.

And yes, I walked in at one point and said to them all, “Needs more cowbell”.

I think I got a collective *blink* as they carried on singing their Blue Oyster Cult.

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November 22, 2008

Gator Ball

My boys are BIG Gator fans, in particular Mr. T.

The Gators played The Citadel today. There was much discussion about the slaughter game over dinner.

I shook my head at the score, saying it was like the Gators playing Navy. Mr. T wanted to know who this school was… Citadel.

We have the Gator schedule on the fridge and earlier this week, Bones had asked who the ‘Kit-… ah… dal’ was.

And T’s question at dinner brought up a huge discussion in itself. What a great frickin’ school.

I finally said to my husband, “Hey, it gives The Citadel even more exposure their playing the Gators.”

And my husband said, “And you know what? They may have been beaten badly, but I think their whole goal was just to score and not only did they score, but they probably scored more points than just about any other team against FL this year.”

He was right. Only LSU and Ole Miss have scored more.

Not too shabby.

Honestly, as much as I’m all about the SEC, I’d probably have found myself rooting for The Citadel in that game. My husband and sons would be aghast to know that, but it is what it is.

I’ve got a funny story about The Citadel. I guess its time to post it. Everyone who knows me knows this story… later in the week I’ll toss it up.

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On My Planet, I'd be a Chocolate 'Ho

I did 16 miles today. I looked it up on Runner’s World, using the tool to create a route. (If you’re interested, email me and I can show/tell you how it works… great tool.)

My coach thought it would be 16 miles. She was spot on.

So the good thing is… I did 16 miles.

The bad news is… I did 16 miles and holy crap I hurt. I had places hurting I had no idea could hurt.

It was a GREAT training… with running. I completed averaging a 14 minute mile, something I think I can bring down if I remain injury free. I didn’t run at all the last 4 miles. I was already ‘done’.

I'd like to take it down to a 12-13 minute mile, but I think I'm a bit late in the game for that and... I'm nursing this injury.

When I left the doctor’s office on Thursday, I left… untaped. It is the first time in 5 weeks I’ve not had K-tape. My doctor said, “Let your muscles do what they’re supposed to do now…”

It absolutely freaked me out. It is amazing how emotionally dependent you can get on something that is helping you heal.

I had plenty of food for refueling, plenty of fluid. I need more fluid for more than 16 miles. The weather was beautiful and in a long sleeved tshirt and my TNT shirt and shorts, I was comfortable.

I lost a pound… in sweat. I’m replenishing.

So what I’m thinking about now is… how I’m going to handle the rest of my day after completing 26.2 miles. My feet have blisters (not painful) and although I’m researching ideas to keep that from happening, I have to assume I’ll still have them.

The arches of my feet are tired and I don’t want to walk. I want to just lie like broccoli.

Actually, Bengay and Advil have been my friend and I’m pretty mobile. I’ve been busy around the house, paying bills, doing the books for the school. I have pretty much no appetite still and really don’t want to spend hours on my feet.

I like being shoe free right now…

But this marathon is at Disney and I know my kids will be doing the parks and I’ll want to do it with them… so I’m left wondering about shoes and how to handle that after the race… I’ve got some thinking to do.

Next week’s challenge is… training in NJ!!! It should be 35 degrees when I arrive at our training spot.

Quit laughing!

And I have nine more pounds to drop before race day. I've been eating CLEAN for the last week and I'm craving chocolate like a crack 'ho craves crack.

This should be interesting to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas while trying to drop nine...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

November 21, 2008

Picture, 1000 Words, Blah, Blah, Blah

I downloaded pix from my camera.

Thank God for the holidays so I can paint my toe nails a dark color. The light pink I use in the summer just would not hide that black toenail.

black toenail.jpg

For some reason, the flash fades it out. Trust me… the toenail is BLACK at the base. Love that nasty blister callus on the right foot.

Not quitting my day job to be a foot model...

And for TGOO, a picture of Mr. Fluffykins, my car mascot. Every child, teenage or not, who has ever ridden in my car, knows Mr. Fluffykins.

Mr fluffkins.jpg

Mr. Fluffykins was acquired at last year’s school carnival and just never seemed to leave…

And last but not least, every car needs a Popsicle catapult. This was made as Bones was working on his Engineering Merit Badge for his Arrow of Light.

popsicle catapault.jpg

The catapult has been removed. I could see things being flung in the car and that just wasn’t going to happen on my shift, so its now safely in the house.

Did I ever show y’all my crushed tent? This was from the camping trip from hell… the one where we slept in the van for fear the wind storm was going to snap a pole, collapsing the tent upon us, forever emotionally scarring Bones more than the very first camping trip from hell.

Camping at its finest.jpg

Obviously… it snapped a pole. I think it was 2AM…

I need to dig out this picture for the boys as proof I did some 'mom award' winning things for them when we all end up in therapy in 20 years...

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Training Nerves

I’ve been released to run, intervals. I’ll do 5 minute walk, 1 minute run.

Tomorrow I’m logging 16 miles. I’m a bit nervous as I always get nervous for the long trainings. Will I have to go to the bathroom? Will I be in pain? Will I overheat? Will I have to dig deep because of total suckage? Will my feet handle it? How will I deal with all the clothes? Will I have enough calories to continue to refuel?

All of the above have happened to me at some time during a long training… the need to pee so bad I was nearly willing to pee in the street. I’ve been so hot and thirsty that I could hardly go on. I’ve not had enough calories and hit a blood sugar low that was miserable.

It has sucked so bad that I’ve been unable to talk to my training partner, having to totally zone into myself to keep me moving.

But now we’ve moved into the cooler temps in the morning and I know after about 15 minutes, I’ll be peeling clothes off. After 15 minutes I’ll wish I was training naked, even if its 50 degrees.

So I’m nervous. I never know what challenge will be in store. Who woulda thunk that getting up at 4:15AM would not be my biggest challenge???!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2008

Veggie Tales on a Different Level

My eldest got a Math test back… Algebra I... and he failed it. Big. Big. F.

Evidently he’d done all his homework, but I’d not been looking at it as he’d not asked me to, and he did a lot of it wrong, probably zoned out in class and didn’t realize how much he didn’t get and then completely TANKED the test.

He got in the car and told me.

I took a deep breath and said, “Your punishment is you own that F. Your next punishment is I’m officially in your sh**. I need to see your homework every day now. You hate it when I live inside your life, well, its official, I’m there.”

There was no yelling and carrying on. He was actually surprised he failed. He truly thought he got it.

That’s far different than not studying.

To me, the most important thing is that he grasps the concepts he missed. He got the F, and WAS carrying an A in the class, it’s done, we can’t change it, move on, learn from our mistakes. So I’ve spent the last two nights teaching him the information and really coming down hard on organization and the exactness of math.

It will help him in the long run.

Meanwhile, he has one buddy who has a tutor, failed it just as bad as Ringo did, his Dad completely flipped out, took his phone and guitar away. I’m trying to figure out what the message is there since the kid studied.

But he has another friend, whose Dad makes us laugh and who may very well come in second to TGOO… explanation later.

His buddy has learned not to tell his Dad he failed a test while his Dad holds anything heavy in his hands. It would seem that said buddy failed a test once while Dad was putting on his shoes and Dad threw a shoe at him.

Lesson learned: Fail a test, tell Dad when he has something soft in his hands.

I’m not sure his buddy did his homework or studied for this test. I don’t know, but I do know the kid is a smart boy as evidence in the fact he picked dinner time when his Dad was eating a salad to tell his Dad about the F.

Dad started to throw cucumbers at him… perhaps a tomato or two.

He was irritated though, as he threw the vegetables and told his son no more computer, iPod, phone… electrical restriction.

I guess his son was laughing, he was being pelted by vegetables, when his Dad said, “This isn’t funny! That’s it! You can’t even turn on a light without asking me!”

Heh.

Full electrical restrictions, can’t even turn on the lights without asking Mom or Dad.

My son’s friend said he wasn’t sure at first if his Dad was serious, but just in case, he didn’t laugh… and his Dad was serious, and now all his friends are laughing.

Because… it is funny. My son said to me today, “Mom, I think I am seeing a glimmer of his Dad’s sense of humor in this…”

It just reminded me of the time that TGOO was so frustrated that I wouldn’t clean my room, that he took the door of my bedroom off the hinges. My girlfriend STILL laughs about that… classic TGOO.

Ten to one says that in 10 years, Ringo will be saying to his buddy, “Remember when you failed that math test and your Dad grounded you off all electrical to the point you had to ask to turn on the lights?”

Heh. We keep laughing…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:34 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 17, 2008

Running Through My Head

It’s wonderfully cool today. I have found that I like to train in this kind of weather.

Marathon Day… optimally will be between 50 and 60 degrees.

I know, y’all are thinking, ‘She’s our Florida girl! She’ll freeze!!!’ What I’ve come to learn recently though, is I am fast and full of energy when I’m training in cool weather.

Add heat and humidity and I’m slogging through…

Something about the weather though reminded me of college, my senior year. It put me in an Outfield mood. I’ve been listening to The Outfield all… day… long.

I think that scream’s 80’s girl…

I could run to Say it Isn’t So for miles.

Which brings me to… I’m up for 15-16 miles on Saturday and I still can’t run and as of today, its starting to play some serious mind games with me.

I don’t know if its because race weekend is 8 weeks away or if its because of the damn weather, but I want to run and I want to run bad and its taking everything I have to continue to stay ‘up’ over the fact I’ve been relegated to only walking fast.

I’ll be bartering on Thursday for 5 minute walk, 1 minute run.

It’s starting to make me a bit nutty.

I have a buddy who is a true no kidding great runner. He does half marathons all the time, 5ks, 10ks, and one marathon a year… the Disney. With his smaller races, he runs with his dogs. He has a bunch of dogs and when he runs on his own, he takes a couple dogs and they run the trails.

His dogs have got to be in frickin’ Heaven. I told him if I get reincarnated, I want to come back as one of his dogs.

Anyway, he runs in some races with one of his dogs (he only takes one on a race, but he alternates as to which dog he takes) and he’s pretty well known in his area, so people are happy to see him and his running companions.

He tells the funniest daggum stories. They always make me laugh.

But one story that always makes me laugh is how he’ll be coming in a few miles from the end of a race, starting to slow down, really tired, starting to slog, and his dog will smell the hamburgers from a few miles away at the end of the race and will start pulling like a sled dog to get to the end to eat hamburgers.

I can picture all of this in my head, tired runner, coming to the last few miles, ready to shift down a gear, dog smelling the burgers, and picking up the speed instead, pulling him to the end.

Today… if I’d been harnessed, I’d be pulling like a sled dog. I want to run and I’ve not run in five weeks. It has been FIVE weeks and I’ve not cheated.

I’m itchin’ to run. I don’t have to run a lot… just a little… just a minute here or there.

This is the time my doctor says we have to be the most careful, where I’m nearly healed and feel great.

I get that…

… but I want to frickin’ run. I want to run like a sled dog.


Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Bad People Amongst Us

There is a bad person living in my neighborhood.

Bad person… the kind we talk to our children about.

He is the 2nd bad person we’ve had here, the last one sent back to prison when a routine random house search by those who protect the citizens found bad stuff on his computer dealing with children.

I think when the average person thinks of the bad people and where they reside, they think, “not in my neighborhood”, but here’s the deal… they move to everyone’s neighborhood.

They can live amongst the poorest of the poor or the richest of the rich and with all of us that live in between… because what I’m finding is when they get out of jail or prison, they have no place to go and move back in with family.

In both instances, the bad people have moved back in with their parents.

My attitude is ‘at least we know where he is’.

Am I happy he is here? Absolutely not.

But… I can do nothing about it.

Here’s the deal though, IF 1% of the population are deviants of some sort, and there are 250 homes in my neighborhood, assuming 2 adults per home, that’s 500 adults and that means there are 5 deviants… and I know where only ONE is.

The other four are living amongst us and we have no clue what their deal is, where they reside or who they are.

I KNOW where he is, what his gig is, and exactly WHO he is. I know just about everything about him.

That’s not the attitude of a very vocal group in our neighborhood who are absolutely insanely beside themselves pissed he is here.

And what should have occurred where a neighborhood banded together to protect itself, has instead turned to neighbor against neighbor, accusations, letters in mail boxes, emails, harassment, threats of violence (police intervention), and the annual POA meeting tomorrow night, that promises to be an absolute disaster.

I’m not going.

I told my husband he can go. I’m not going to deal…

Suddenly I’m getting letters in my box about unsavory dealings in the neighborhood, hearing rumors of prostitution rings and drug dealers. Rumors taking on lives of their based on anger and hearsay and not much fact.

Every time someone stops me in the street and tells me these things, I find myself looking at the homes around me and doing a *blink*.

Evidently when homes come up for rent, people can pool their money together, get a nice home, and if they keep it quiet, can do all sorts of things. In particular if a neighborhood’s covenants don’t stipulate otherwise.

So I don’t know what is true and what is not, I just know there are a lot of angry people, and they’ll all be in one room tomorrow, fueled initially by the bad person who moved in and a negative energy that has taken on a life of its own, and I’m pretty tired of the anger of politics, so I’m staying away. If I have to go, I’ll stay in the back and just watch.

I called someone I know that was on the neighborhood board for years, who has lived here as long as I have (we’ve lived here longer than just about anyone), and said, “How bad is this going to be tomorrow?”

He filled me in and I responded with, “Will the Police be there… just in case?”

He said he thought it warranted it, but suspected they would not be.

I look at my neighborhood and don’t even recognize it. Homes being foreclosed upon, homes being rented to ‘groups’ of people, homes not being kept up, neighbor against neighbor, any modicum of civility gone, and I wonder… how much worse it will get?

And I’m not really sure I want that answer…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 16, 2008

Living the Creed

“I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

-William Tyler Page, 1917

–Accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

I recite this no less than 10 times a year… sometimes more.

If you’ve not heard it before, its call the American’s Creed.

The part I always like reciting best is, “established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.”

You should hear it with 500 women reciting it. Its a good feeling.

That part about sacrificing lives and fortunes… that always rings for me… “for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes…”

That doesn’t just apply to the Revolutionary War, although when I recite it with others, it is typically looked upon that way, but this applies to every person who has ever sacrificed for the greater good of this country.

… “sacrificed their lives and fortunes”…

It does not matter what word you emphasized, ‘SACRIFICIED their lives and fortunes…” “Sacrificed their LIVES and fortunes”… “sacrificed their lives and FORTUNES”… it hits my heart.

Every time.

I prefer all the words to be emphasized.

If you were to read the mainstream media, you would think that America has lost a lot of what the American’s Creed stands for. I think that’s sad and untrue.

We have people around us every day living the American’s Creed.

Every day.

“and to defend it against all enemies”.

Perhaps that is going to be my new favorite line. Perhaps I do like that one best.

Sometimes the sacrifices American’s make in ‘defending it against all enemies’ is not fortune or life… but a way of life. Sometimes in living the American’s Creed, the life may not be taken, but the body is not what it was, altering how the life is lived.

And then we get good Americans like the folks over at Soldier’s Angels, who help put together ways for us to help the men and women that do live the American’s Creed, men and women who have made great sacrifices for us.

A few years ago, when Valour-IT first came out, when we had our first blog push, it was all about voice activated lap tops for our wounded.

How happy I was the other day when I saw how much this has grown!

It’s no longer just lap tops, but other technological assistance to help with physical therapy and in aiding in daily life issues, like short term memory loss. GPS items, Wii, hand held assistance… things our kids use or that we may have that we take for granted as just fun or a nice to have, are items that can make a profound difference in a Wounded Hero’s life.

Go to Valour-IT and take a look at what they’re doing.

I’ve joined Team Navy (of course) and although this is not the full on competition that we’ve had in the past (we're coming off an ugly election, let's keep this positive, even though I hope Army eats our dust *ahem*), we are pushing this to the forefront of people’s minds…

… do not forget the Americans who have sacrificed by defending us against all enemies.

Valour-IT… Go HERE to join Team Navy, Go HERE to join one of ‘those other teams’, but most importantly, to donate just hit the button at the bottom of this post.

… “and to defend it against all enemies.”

I like that one best.

Thank you.

P.S. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if all our school children recited the American’s Creed every morning in school. Perhaps it would hammer home some things I think our kids are missing…


Posted by Boudicca at 08:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 15, 2008

Why I Am A Sucky Wife, #578411

My husband is traveling. We were having a discussion on the phone about some family business. It wasn’t a completely pleasant conversation, mostly because I was beat to hell from my day at SAW (see below post) and because I was just… frickin’ hungry.

Some days it’s the little things like needing to eat, that can put one over the edge.

Anyway, my husband said to me, and I swear this is what happened… to the letter, “… and they canceled all those middle flights so I don’t leave until 4 now…”

Me: I know.

Husband: …and that means I won’t get in until 7 and I know its our anniversary…

Me: *blink* (thankful he could not see my expression)

Husband: … but since they canceled those mid flights, I can’t get in until then.

Me, recovering and feeling thankful I had not gasped: Hey, its OK. Don’t sweat it.

Husband: I know, it just makes me feel bad.

Me, still glad he couldn’t see the horror on my face: Look, we’ll go out to dinner another night. I’m not upset at all. These things happen, its out of your control. Besides, we got a new oven for our Anniversary. Happy Anniversary.

Husband: yeah… still.

OK.

So I forgot.

Again.

Holy crap.

First, we got a new oven because I’m tired of repairing this one and three days ago, Ringo was going to cook something and there was a *POP!* as he turned the front element on, and the element would not shut off.

It’s in a permanent closed circuit position and the only way I can shut off that element is by flipping the circuit breaker.

SEARS is having a sale and a 1 year interest free… I was all over it today. Hence, the Anniversary Stove.

Now, in my defense, concerning the missed date… again… I knew it was coming, I remembered the date, and even know how many years we’ve been married, I just didn’t realize today was the 15th and tomorrow was the 16th.

So… let us catalogue, shall we, how many times I’ve botched this up?

For the first few years we were married, my Tech Lead sat behind me at Company X, and used to remind me of my anniversary. The year he changed jobs… I screwed up. I still blame him for being an enabler and creating an anniversarial codependent relationship with me.

That was the year after Ringo was born, I got us reservations at a nice restaurant, called my mil and asked her to watch our son, and we went to dinner. We walked in the door AFTER dinner and my mil said, “Why did you go to dinner tonight and not tomorrow night on your anniversary?”

Nobody had said a damn word to me.

NOBODY.

I looked at her and said, “Tonight IS our anniversary…”

To which my husband replied, ‘No its not. It’s tomorrow…”

I was kind of pissed. I’ve not taken the initiative to plan another anniversary dinner, btw.

That was 12 years ago, I guess. We were married 5 years… are you still newlyweds at 5 years?

I think it was pretty uneventful for about eight years.

Then five years ago, we were out for our anniversary and stopped by some friends’ house as they were sitting Shivah for his father and we wanted to pay our respects, and all the family asked us how long we’d been married and I said, “13 years!” and my husband looked at me and said, “No… 12…” and we argued until he said, “We were married in 1991… do the math.”

Right.

I think I said something like, “Wow… it feels longer than that…” D’oh!

And then this year, which so far I’ve been able to hide, but since I’ve now posted it, I’m sure he’ll find out.

Crap.

I can’t believe I forgot…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:01 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Of Boys, Electricity, Funky Smells, and Dirt

Today was a tough gig for the matriarchal type at the House of Boudicca. My husband is traveling again, and the boys had what we call Scout Advancement Weekend, otherwise known as ‘SAW’.

All three boys were going, one as a Cubbie and two as Boys, and I had no intention of going, but rather pound out 12 miles this morning, (further tendon stresses have me banned from doing any more than 12 this week… no, I am not happy), but realizing the conflict of my partner out on business and the kids having to get to SAW, that left me pounding out the 12 tomorrow… ALONE… which will most certainly suck sewage laden scummy pond water… getting up at 0’Dark thirty this morning to roust, feed, and drive the offspring.

That was one long sentence, by the way.

I realized said schedule conflict last week and so when I received, from one of our Boy Scout leaders, a quick note saying ‘he’d love help in the Engineering Merit Badge for Webelos’, I thought, “Hell… I can do that.”

Right.

Not that assisting in electricity was a problem, understanding open and closed circuits, having had one EE class in college, and afterall, I was to teach 9 and 10 year olds.

Except that I wasn’t supplied with the supplies I needed and for some reason, was given a battery pack, many of them in fact, that kept shorting out, smoking, melting the plastic, and nearly starting small electrical fires.

Repeatedly.

Requiring me having to pull hotter than hell batteries from said melting packs.

Repeatedly.

The boys thought it was GREAT. Me? Not so much.

Speaking of hotter than hell batteries, it is S. FL and it was hotter than three hells today and I was in the sun.

It was hot, it wasn’t organized the way I will organize my section next year, I was standing all day, which hurts my ankle…

… and… mmm… oh wait… I forgot.

I don’t like kids so much.

200 of them.

This evening Bones seemed so calm. Nothing has changed, he is just calm compared to 200 boys, maniacs. There is a reason I’m not a teacher…

By lunch, I met back with Bones’ Cub Scout Pack, sat with the parents, and faked crying at the end, fake sobbing, ‘DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK!!! I NEED… A SEDATIVE!!! PLEASE!!!!’

I went back, no sedative, actually I’ve never even had a sedative and wouldn’t know where to acquire one, and it was hotter, but I had hope.

I had hope because I got hold of a buddy of mine who was working a VERY cool part of the Engineering badge in teaching the kids to build a suspension bridge, which he did using a piece of a cardboard pizza box, some pins, and some straws.

He happens to be a true brilliant Rocket Scientist. Not because of the pizza box/straw/suspension bridge, but because… he just is.

I explained my frustrations with the disorganization, how the kids who came to electricity were miserable (not my fault as there was nothing hands on for them to do) and how the battery packs were shorting, smelling of burning plastic and cooked skin...mine.

He helped me come up with a better demonstration… keep it simple.

It was still a disaster, but I am now making a list of the supplies I need for next year, will slowly start purchasing what *I* need to make it work and make it fun, and even though it will be out of MY money, I will have what I want when I want it, rather than relying on Boy Scouts to maybe get me what I want at the last minute.

By the end of the day… I was DONE.

Next year will be better.

But damn, it was hot and filthy and I came home smelling nasty, with a dirt ring around my socks, and with dirt oozing from every orifice as I showered. I can’t believe I was actually able to breathe.

Yes. I said next year will be better. I have a plan…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 14, 2008

War Games

My Mom sent me an email a couple weeks ago, asking me what we’d all like for Christmas. Today was the day I took the boys to Toys R Us so I could get an idea as to what they are interested in.

Mr. T loves Nerf. I think I’ve posted on it before. We have boys come over and there is a full on Army game played in my house… all in Nerf.

So we were near the end of our browsing when we came upon a new Nerf weapon called Nerf ‘n Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster.

The boys were in awe.

Notice it has a tripod… and it shoots a lot. Fast.

They were oggling over it when one of them noticed that there was some sort of battery operated motorized black vehicle behind it. It sat two.

It could pass for a plastic looking armored vehicle with no top.

Next thing I knew, Ringo was sitting in the front seat, pretending to drive when he said, “Hey! We could mount that gun right here on the hood! We could take people down as we were passing by!”

I sat there as the testosterone hit in full force, their planning attacks, Nerf wars on wheels, and on and on until someone said, “Oh and we could use this vehicle as an assault vehicle for our airsoft wars!”

As it is, in the winter and spring, my backyard is an airsoft warzone with my patio furniture cushions turned on their sides as barricades and their old sweet swing set with fort, turned into a fortress for a sniper.

Now they’re looking to add a motorized vehicle.

Folks, these little battery operated cars are for young children and don’t exactly have high horsepower.

I’m not even sure they have low horsepower.

I continued to watch as this war gaming strategy took on a life of its own… when Ringo finally woke up and said, “Hey, this vehicle won’t cut it. Hey, Mom, can you buy us a golf cart?”

Right. No way in hell was I about to pay for a crappy battery car, let alone a golf cart.

Sometimes I wonder what they’re smokin’… and maybe they can pass it to me.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 13, 2008

Inevitability

So my husband got the phone call we’ve been waiting for, from one of my fil’s doctors yesterday.

He can no longer live alone.

There is much I cannot put out here, as much as I’d frickin’ LOVE to, but let me just summarize to say that the pending situation has absolutely NO redeeming qualities.

None.

No good can come of this.

You have to know the family dynamics, the players, the family history to know, this has the potential to suck the scummiest pond water imaginable.

So, any positive thoughts, prayers, wishes you want to throw our way in the next few months will be much appreciated.

My husband should be up for sainthood. Just trust me on this…

**Update- NO. He is not coming to live with us...**

Posted by Boudicca at 10:11 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Changes it Latitude

I work in the Defense industry. The guy who won this last election isn’t exactly the guy who is best suited for my job security.

We’re all wondering what’s going to happen in my office.

I heard yesterday that the guys in the adjoining room are all being let go at the first of the year. We’re all very well aware in my office, that any of us could be next. (Their jobs are being outsourced to an even cheaper outsource company out of the US. Loooove that.)

My office is comprised of two aircraft projects, both fighter. One of them is what I still consider a paper airplane. It’s not doing its thing yet, although it’s not really still on paper. There are prototypes. The other aircraft is fielded.

Both are perpetually on the Congressional chopping block.

Today I saw my big boss come in our room and talk to my regular boss and I heard my regular boss say, “We never turn down work…”

My big boss walked out.

I’ve been in the midst of a project panic the last couple weeks and have been for the most part, when not saying incredibly stupid things, stuck in my head, glued to my computer screen. So I completely missed what was going on…

… until my boss said, “Does anyone have any experience doing ABC work on aircraft 123?”

I wasn’t answering, barely listening, not completely understanding what he was asking, until I heard someone in my office say, “Bou worked on that aircraft for 8 years…”

Now I was in the conversation. I hemmed and hawed some as to how much experience I had doing that actual type of analysis.

Finally I said, “Look, as long as you aren’t asking me to design anything, I can figure it out. I have three kids to put through college, two kids to finish putting through Catholic grammar school and at least one kid to put through Catholic high school. I don’t turn down any work on… bring it on.”

And so my work may change soon. I may go from working fighters, which has been fun and I’ve developed some FANTASTIC relationships with the folks up at Company X, back to cargo, which to be honest, is my first love.

I love the cargo community.

Jack of all trades… master of none. That’s cool… it may be what keeps me gainfully employed over the next 13 years.

That’s what I need… 13 more years.

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

November 12, 2008

Forget Warm and Snuggly

So the boys’ latest assignment in Language Arts deals with writing about their favorite toy from childhood.

Mr. T wrote about his trains and train track.

Ringo had no clue what to write about, so he made up a toy, a stuffed chicken, he named Corn Cob.

But this led to a discussion today at dinner about their favorite stuffed animals as children.

Ringo had a Beanie Baby crab, we called Crabby. Crabby was lost at a hotel and when he was eventually replaced, Ringo was over it.

Crabby’s loss, however, spurred me to buy at least five Piglets and Mr. T had a Piglet no matter where he went. When he broke his arm at age 4, he went into the OR with Piglet, and when he came out from under the anesthesia, Mr. T had a cast on his left arm and Piglet had a little cast made of gauze on his.

Bones slept with Ernie of Sesame Street fame for years. We called him ‘The Ernster’. However, when he was 4 he received for Christmas, two Pokeman stuffed bunny things that are positive and negative… positive having little pink positive charges on the cheeks and negative having blue negative charges on the cheek.

If you recall, Morrigan took to calling them “Pregnant and Not Pregnant”. The names have stuck and my 9 year old is truly the only child in this world that has on each side of his pillow every night when he sleeps, stuffed animals we all call, “Pregnant and Not Pregnant”.

Those are their names. He refers to them as that as well.

And at dinner tonight Morrigan said, “Who slept with the big ball bearing?”

Me: *blink*

Mo: Remember? I think it was Ringo.

Me: Where is my bearing?

Ringo: What bearing.

Mo: It was a jet engine bearing… one of you slept with it. I remember your Mom telling me this story.

It was vague to me…

Ringo: A jet engine bearing?

Me: I think it was Mr. T. Yeah, it’s an old bearing off of a C-17 engine.

Nothing says 'sleep well' quite like sleeping with a golf ball sized cold metal bearing.

And, in case y’all are wondering, no I did not pilfer one from the shop. I happened to be in the shop one day during a tear down and they had a bunch of bearings that were corroding. The bearings we used had to be handled with gloves, skin contact can cause corrosion.

Anyway, they had a big bunch of bearings to be scrapped and asked me if I wanted one. I said, “Sure!”

It sat for years next to the failed igniter plug, until the bearing became, evidently someone’s sleep aide.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:32 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Think Before You Speak

Some days it is better to just open the mouth and… say nothing.

There is a guy we work with that can be a real jerk. He doesn’t sit in our room, but rather an adjoining room. He was pegging the jerk-o-meter today and the following conversation took place between me and the two bookends, to the best of my recollection.

Mr. Magoo: He’s such an asshole.

Me: Well, at least he sits over there and not in here with us.

Joe: Yeah, you only have to deal with me being the asshole then.

Me: That’s OK. We like to pick our assholes…

Joe and Mr. Magoo:

Me: *blink*

Joe and Mr. Magoo:

Me: I think that didn’t come out right.

Joe, laughing: You think?

One of the other guys in the office poked up from his cube and said, “What kind of conversation are you guys having?”

Me: Not a very intelligent one. Forget I said anything… good grief.


Posted by Boudicca at 09:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 11, 2008

Veterans and the Significant Others

I know this man.

I adore this man.

They did an excellent article on him today on the front page of our paper. (The link above.)

I have referenced him many times in the last four years, never by name, as I’ve blogged.

His wife is a dear friend of mine.

They are truly two of the most amazing people I know. I love hearing her talk about WWII and post WWII from the wife’s perspective… being stationed overseas with the kids, practicing driving escape routes in the event her husband was gone and she had to flea with the kids, knowing what to take with them… passports, records, family pictures.

He has motivated me in times of great frustration, telling me he regards me as the Man in the Arena.

She has given me advice when I’ve needed to talk to someone who has been there and done that.

I could listen to them for hours… they are both libraries of human experience, living and information.

And this Veteran’s Day, as I remember the men and women who so faithfully served our country, I also remember their spouses, who stood beside them, worried, planned, and kept the home fires burning.

Thank you to our Veterans and all you’ve done and to the women and men who stood beside them.

Thank you.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Rascally Runner

Morrigan is supportive of this marathon, but not much beyond it. She thinks once I’m done with this, I’m done.

I am not so sure about that.

We had a bit of a ‘squabble’ about it last night. It went something like this when I spoke of maybe doing another marathon next year:

Mo: You won’t be able to walk when you’re 60. You need to keep that in mind.

Me: I’ll be fine.

Mo: No. And I’m going to say to you, “I told you so”.

Me: I take it that means you won’t push me in my wheelchair?

Mo: NO! You’ll have to get yourself a rascal!

Nice.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 10, 2008

Cankles

Bones had a field trip today to a local Catholic school that only teaches migrant worker's kids. Its a GREAT school that we support and our 4th graders go every year and the kids play all day for a field day, and get to know each other.

I love it as... its two distinct cultures coming together and the kids not realizing... that they are considered different in our society. They start out different, different uniforms, both speaking English, but one group heavily accented, different color skin and hair texture... but within an hour, there is no difference.

Everyone is on the playground, everyone introduced to everyone else, and suddenly the difference is only that their kids wear green shirts and ours wear gray.

Kids playing with kids and it is a GREAT time.

I had a group of nine kids that I helped with, five from our school and four from theirs, four boys and five girls.

We did a big Field Day, and my group went to the Tug of War, with directions on my sheet that said, "No boys against girls."

What do you think happened?

The five boys got on one side and four girls on the other and the girls struggled as the boys proceeded to slowly slowly slowly pull them across the center line.

I stood there saying, "Hello? Nobody is listening to me. Mix it up, this is not boys against girls."

Still they ignored me.

Finally I said, "Fine" and I went to the girls' side and proceeded to pull the boys across the center line and across the field.

I dropped the rope and said, "Are you going to mix it up?"

And the boys thinking it was a fluke said, 'no way. We'll try it again."

The girls grinned, everyone took the rope and the girls and I (mostly me again) pulled the boys across the center line, into the dirt, I pulled hand over hand, took two steps back, pulled hand over hand, and dragged their butts across the field.

A male teacher watched this whole thing, evidently laughing, knowing what was going on.

So he grabbed the boys end of the rope, while laughing, and pulled me and the rest of the girls, back across the field, across the center line and it did not matter how much I dug in with my heels and pushed with my legs (I have extraordinarily strong legs), I could not compete against the 29 year old man/boy teacher.

And after we finished, all laughing, he told the kids, "You have to mix it up".

So tonight, my ankle is swollen. I said to Morrigan, "I think it was wearing these damn sandals to protect my toenail tonight." (I wore my magic shoes to Field Day.)

She said, "It could be..."

I replied, "but it could have been the Tug of War today... when I pulled the boys across the field."

Mo: *blink* You think? I'm thinking it was not the sandals...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More Banana Humor

We bought more bananas today.

Morrigan and I stood in the aisle as I picked up a banana that had a sticker that said, "Let's Play".

We looked at each other, looked back at the bananas, looked back at each other again and Mo said, 'No. It... does... not."

Oh it did.

Who's operating Chiquita's marketing department???

Posted by Boudicca at 09:36 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

November 09, 2008

Banana Jokes

We are getting ready for bed and Morrigan was in my kitchen getting something to drink. She saw the hand of bananas we just bought, sitting on the drain board, as they'd just been washed.

She picked them up to put them on the banana hanger thing when she said, "No. Your bananas do not have a sticker on them that say, "Pocket sized fun"!"

Me: What?

Morrigan: I'm not kidding. Your bananas have a sticker on them that say, "Pocket sized fun".

Someone has a sense of humor...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Magically Ugly

Pictures do not do them justice.

They do not.

Morrigan is in town for a few days on business. I was wearing my magic shoes.

She saw them and laughed.

I walked into work the other day and my boss looked at me and said, “You have your shoes on the wrong feet. How do you walk like that?”

I looked down and said, “No, they’re on the right feet…”

Mo calls them my ‘Magically Ugly Shoes’.

It doesn’t matter how many pictures I put up, you can’t get the full effect unless you see them in person.

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

Officially an Endurance Athlete

I am officially training for an endurance event.

Tendonitis was not the proof.

The running shoes didn’t do it.

The new race ready shorts that I pack full of food for refueling during the longest training sessions were not proof enough either.

It’s the purple toenail I have on my left foot that is proof.

I’ve arrived.

I did 13 miles on Saturday. THIRTEEN!

Whoo hooo!

No running. I’m still banned from running. But I fast walked and finished on average of just under 15 minute miles. As soon as I can start running again, I can pull the time down to 13 minute miles.

As I’ve said, I’m not running this whole damn thing.

Anyway, during the 3 hour and 15 minute time I was out, I got two nasty blisters and a bruised big toe nail that hurts like hell but…

… but…

I did 13 miles!

I view all this time as training time… I’m to learn so I don’t really hurt myself on race day.

So I have learned… I need thinner socks, I know where the new hot spots are in my shoes (no more magic shoes… I’m back in my neutral shoes with my new orthotics), I need more food for the long trainings, and I have to keep my feet lubed up in case of rain.

Food… I had with me 1 cereal bar and two half bags mixed of Sports beans… caffeine and no caffeine. That’s good for 12 miles. If I’m doing more than 12 miles, I need something else with substance.

So next week I’m slated to do 15 miles (hopefully with some running) and will add a small bag of goldfish to my arsenal of food.

Let me tell you, by mile 12 on Sunday, all I had left were 6 Sports Beans and I had to choke them down. I was not hungry for sugar or anything electrolytie. I wanted crackers, cereal, pretzels, something.

Something crunchy.

Evidently that’s normal, I’d just not trained this long… my longest previously was 12 miles.

So now I know.

Meanwhile, Morrigan told my boys, as she looked at my feet tonight with blisters, peeling calluses and purple toenail, that I’ve never had good looking feet and I’m evidently working to just further the cause of ugly feet.

I won’t be looking for a job as a foot model after I leave my stint as engineer. The title of my life story could never be, “Engineer by day, foot model by night”.

I hope I don’t lose my toenail… but I’m hearing I will.

But hey, I did 13 miles! Whoo hooo! That’s all that matters!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

November 07, 2008

Pay Up

As most of you know, I had a wager on this election. It was a picture wager... if McCain won, there would be me, in heels and a bathing suit, ala cheesecake.

If Obama won... then Knine would pose for everyone on HIS site.

I won.

There is no surprise there as I never make bets that I think I could lose or that I truly think losing could be fun.

I didn't think losing this would be fun. I just saw too many factors leading me to believe I'd win. I was damn sure.

So... with that... Knine's pay up of the bet... Heh. Go HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:08 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Dazed and Confused

Falling under random thoughts...

It truly sucks to be Cuban on so many levels. How many times have they been hit this year? Four? I think this is #4.

I asked one of the guys at work, 'Is Fidel still alive?" and he answered in the affirmative.

I replied, "Maybe this is God's way of trying to finally get rid of him... eventually one of these hurricanes will turn off his life support permanently."

sucks to be Cuban.JPG

Meanwhile, I got this from a buddy of mine today, and thought it was hysterical. My eldest boy did too... his favorite part was at the end, the subtitle concerning Human Rights Activists.

Go watch the Onion Video HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 05, 2008

Cars and Quiche

I forgot two things in my car!

Mr. Fluffykins, a stuffed duck, that is my car mascot.

A catapult made of popsicle sticks.

I can’t believe I forgot Mr. Fluffykins and the catapult… I mean, every car needs one. Surely.

Tonight I made quiche for the boys. Bones ate HALF all by himself. I went to the gym to work out, and the quiche was gone.

In essence, Bones ate for dinner, 1.5 cups of swiss cheese, 1.5 eggs, ½ can of evaporated milk, and ½ lb of bacon… not to mention ½ a pie crust.

I made it for dinner, fully expecting they’d have it for breakfast too. (I ate with them and then went to the gym.) I came home from the gym to find an empty pie tin and a 1 inch x 1 inch x 1 inch piece on his plate.

I looked at the tin and at his plate and said, “Did you finish the quiche?”

Sheepishly he said, “Yeah, but I couldn’t eat that last bit. Do you want that last part?”

*blink*

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

My Own Brand of Hope and a Request

It is my turn for hope. Hope that this will not be as bad as I think it could be…

So what is it exactly that I hope for?

That the double standard will finally be recognized and condemned.

If a K-K-K member had been standing out front of a precinct, intimidating black voters, I think there would have been immediate condemnation on both sides, black and white, and absolutely there would have been riots in the street.

If white people went out in droves, pulling out only white voters, off the streets, out of nursing homes, just to make sure they’d vote for someone white, there would be holy hell to pay, on levels that are not even fathomable.

I’d like to see the stats on if Mr. Obama would have won without Acorn. All those new voters… if their votes had been eliminated, I suspect things would be different right now.

I hope that perhaps with the rise of a black man, to the biggest and most power position in this world, that he can pull the black community together and have them start acting with some self respect. No more rioting in the cities, an intact family as the norm and not the exception, of men sticking around to father and not leaving the women to hold the reigns… and do it all.

That maybe, he can really get some foreign powers to talk, that over the last 50 years, every other leader has failed to make happen.

Maybe he can join the American public together and get rid of the divisiveness, some of the worst I’ve ever seen.

We seem to forget we are Americans… all of us… no matter how we vote.

My boys have asked me repeatedly about certain people they know who were voting for Obama, a look of disdain. I tell them always, “We all walk in different shoes and on different paths. Their lives and what they’ve seen and done led them to their choices, just as my life and what I’ve seen and done, have led me to mine.”

Very simple…

A guy I work with said someone told him that the day after elections should always be a National Day of mourning, as nearly 50% of the Americans are mourning their loss on who they thought should be Commander in Chief.

He’s right.

But we’ll get through this and this should be a learning experience to many. I’m a bit horrified by things I saw and heard over the last few weeks… some of them true, some of them not.

But I have three children that will be adults soon... within the next 5 to 9 years… and I have to have hope for their future.

I have to have hope that we can endure the worst that can be thrown at us from this upcoming administration, and hope that it will not be as bad as I think it could be.

My expectations are exceedingly low for the next four years, so to the President–Elect Obama I say,

“Beat my expectations. They aren’t lofty. From what I know of you and your experience… they are low.

Beat them and I could possibly be content.

Be the better man than I suspect you are.

Remember ALL of our children, and don’t pick and choose.

Be a man and make people take personal responsibility. Remember John Smith’s quote “He who does not work, does not eat”. Do not allow America to be lazy, not even the segment that came out in droves to vote the first time ever... just for you.

You are leading all Americans, rich, middle class and poor, black, white and all shades in between, citizens who own small businesses and work for big businesses… you do not have the luxury of serving just who you want. You serve us all.

Beat my expectations.

And don’t get us killed. That is all I ask.”


Posted by Boudicca at 08:53 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 04, 2008

Missing the Partridge and the Pear Tree

I looked around my car this morning and thought, “What a bizarre bunch of crap I have in here.”

If I were to get in my husband’s car, it would have seating for five and an umbrella.

Me?

Wow.

So here you go, the run down of the weird and whacky, that is currently being stored in the asexual mom-mobile, this day, 4 November.

1. Voter’s Registration Card

2. Sunscreen

3. Advil

4. Two empty bottles of water. (In my defense, one is from today.)

5. One Trigonometry book with five pages of notes

6. One HP calculator for when I’m tutoring Trig.

7. One empty Halloween bucket, black plastic, shaped as a cauldron. (They used my vehicle for Trick or Treating.)

8. One trombone, music and stand.

9. One squeeze bottle of Aquaphor, used to lube my feet before training to prevent chafing and blisters. (Eight+ miles is a long way to put on your feet…)

10. Two half eaten bags of Sports Beans, one with caffeine and one without. (I can’t eat two full bags when I refuel during training… blech.)

11. One ace bandage for wrapping my ankle.

12. One ice bag from this morning, as I ice my tendons (left leg) while driving the kids to school. Multi-tasking as an athlete…

13. One small cooler for ice when I train… icing must occur immediately after stretching.

14. One sweatshirt in case it is cold at the 530AM training.

15. Four books for casual reading. (Two are mine… two are my eldest’s)

16. School checkbook

17. A DS… just in case there was a long line for voting.

18. Boys’ random clothing… I don’t know why. Bonus... no underwear or smelly socks.

19. An article entitled, “Understanding Iran” by Michael Ledeen. Interesting if you get a chance…

20. Various road maps, AL, TN, GA.

21. One umbrella

22. A bill for my property tax.

Time for me to clean it out… and pay my taxes. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Don't Blow Smoke

I breezed in and breezed out, voting was a piece of cake.

In 1996, I voted and I had with me an 18 month old. I kept him occupied in his stroller while I voted. He got an “I voted” sticker for his little outfit.

We voted by punching a pin through a hole.

In 2000, I voted and I had with me, a 5 ½ year old, a 3 year old, and a 16 month old. My 5 year old hovered as I explained what was going on, my 3 year old stayed close, and my baby stayed in his stroller.

We voted by punching a pin through a hole… it was easy, the ballot was self explanatory, imagine my surprise when my County became embroiled in a mess with hanging chads, idiots not paying attention and claiming they voted for Pat Buchanon instead of Al Gore, and people who want way too much hand holding in all that they do.

No personal responsibility.

All my boys got “I voted” stickers.

In 2004, Palm Beach County, forever being afraid of hanging chads, switched to an electronic voting system. I had a 9 year old, 7 year old, and 5 year old… they all stood and watched from behind as I slid in my electronic device and voted.

All my boys got “I voted” stickers.

Since then, it has been determined that electronic voting machines do not leave a paper trail, and so they changed this year to ‘fill in the arrow’ ballot. It is one page front and back, and then a single page.

I think it does not bode well… a front and back page. We’ll have hell to pay for that one.

As we crossed the parking lot to enter and vote, I stopped and said, “We do not discuss who I’m voting for while in the booth. You can ask me about amendments, about the various people, but in a hushed voice, but you cannot discuss my choices until we are in my car.”

And so Bones and Mr. T stood on each side of me, watching and reading, Ringo stood behind me…

We all got “I voted” stickers, Ringo didn’t put his on.

Next election Ringo still will not be of age to vote. However, the election after that, two of my boys will.

I have family who sacrificed for our citizens to be able to vote. I have at least 13 ancestors who participated in one way or another, in the Revolutionary War. I have an ancestor that came over on the Mayflower.

I do not take any of this lightly, nor I think should my boys.

I have voted in EVERY Presidential election and most elections in between. It is our right to do so… and although it is also our right to choose not to, and I get that… perhaps a case of not liking who ran, I get that, it does bother me when people make excuses because it was a hassle.

I vote in the middle of the sticks. I vote so far from my home, that I have to mapquest it each and every time. I vote so far away, and out of the way, it adds over an hour to my day… if there is not waiting. (There was no waiting today; I breezed in and out.)

I have voted with babies, toddlers, preschoolers and now children who are cognizant of what is going on around them.

Trust me, there is not a bigger hassle than voting with three kids, when two of them are but babies.

So if you didn’t vote, just say it like it is… you didn’t want to vote, because the excuse of it being a hassle falls short with me. I have no patience for it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 03, 2008

VOTE!

In case you were wondering if you should vote... listen to this little guy!

Sent to me by my Mom...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The Last Hurrah

And so tomorrow is the big day… Election Day, although many of the masses have voted already.

I didn’t do early voting. First, the lines were long. Second, mostly Obama supporters voted early. Third, I don’t trust Palm Beach County to get early voting right. To vote early in Palm Beach County is just begging for your vote to be lost...

A girlfriend of mine, a true Conservative, whereas I am in Independent, voted early the other day. I was aghast at her stories.

As suspected, she was the quiet lone supporter of McCain. Ahead of her were lots of young white women, holding babies on their hips, babies all clad with a bib that read, “My Mama voted for Obama”.

Around her though, immediately around her, were all African Americans, all voting for Obama.

That’s cool. I think, however, the real test of this election would have been if McCain and Obama had BOTH been black. That would weed out the racists on both sides… those who won’t vote for a black man and those who will ONLY vote for a black man… both equally racist in my mind.

But what was disturbing about the conversation swirling around her, was nothing that applied to Obama, the Chosen, but rather a race we have down here between two men, Mahoney and Rooney.

Mahoney, the Democrat, won his seat after the Foley disaster, declaring himself honest, trustworthy, blah blah blah.

Politicians say that and my eyes glaze over.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mahoney is now getting a divorce, after it was made public that he not only had many affairs, but paid one of the women off… of course not with public money, because he’s independently wealthy.

Of course.

I wasn’t voting for Mahoney anyway, as I have vowed to vote out all Incumbents, but when his indiscretions hit the news, most everyone backed away…

… with the exception of what I hope is a small cadre of people, declaring to each other, in front of my friend, that they didn’t see what the big deal was because, ‘That’s what men do’.

Really.

My friend sat there quietly aghast. She oh so wanted to say, “Maybe that what YOUR men do, but that’s not what MY man does.”

Not meaning to paint it with such a large stroked brush, but in the African American Community, where they struggle to keep a family unit, it is viewed as ‘That’s what men do’.

In the Caucasion community, where when one thinks of family, they think of a marriage and truly pray it will work, have 2.5 children, a dog and a white picket fence, it is NOT viewed that way… the philandering is viewed with shame. Women still look at the men who cheated as scoundrels (mostly) and men shake their heads (mostly). (Exceptions, of course, are made... as always.)

It becomes along the lines of, “Was the sex truly worth the possibility of breaking up home and hearth, of hurting your children and destroying the family unit?”

The entire voting early discussion my girlfriend was privy to, lent itself to debate at work.

Interesting, that.

And so we go vote tomorrow, I’ll cast my vote against Obama, and Obama will win, as the masses are angry at Bush, taken in by Obama’s oratory skillz, and the media has canonized him.

Who is watching the henhouse? Democratic President, Democratic Congress, vastly liberal Media.

Interesting, that too.

I see only the American Public as the biggest losers… but we always are, are we not?

And I am going to find some perverse pleasure when the American masses are sorely disappointed when they realize that Hope and Change are not what they expected.

When the man they elected is shown for who he is, a corrupt Chicago politician.

When they see Washington doesn’t ‘Change’.

When an empty suit who has done nothing, continues to do… nothing.

I will sit smugly… and say, “Hey, I didn’t do it…”

Then again, perhaps it will go well. Perhaps he won’t be the next Jimmy Carter, but some great President we look to and think, “Thank GOD he came along…”

But I suspect that is not the case.

But will be more interesting is whether the media really reports… that their Chosen one… is not what they said he would be.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 02, 2008

Marital Conversations

My eldest boy wants to attend the local Catholic High School next year. Today was the Open House with Mass at 9AM.

Background, my husband graduated from said high school 30 years ago this past June. He’d not set foot in the high school since he graduated and as we sat in the gym, he confessed it was rather surreal.

Graduating… 30 years ago… attending an Open House so his son can attend as well.

We sat side by side before the pre Open House Mass commenced, reading the brochure they handed us on the schedule of events. Listed were the various clubs, sports, and classes you could see… like the Biology lab that had their microscopes turned onto plankton.

Looking through the brochure, we saw that Art from the students was displayed all over the gym foyer.

My husband is extraordinarily artistic. It is a gift he has…

He said to me, “My art was always displayed in the gym.”

I deadpanned, looking down at the brochure and not looking at him, “I didn’t know Catholic Schools displayed nudes…” and I kept on reading.

Through the corner of my eye I could tell he was looking at me, and he retorted, “I wasn’t doing nudes then.”

I looked up at him, staring him down, saying nothing.

He grinned, looked ahead and said, “OK, I was. I just didn’t submit them…”

I returned my stare to my brochure and said, “Yeah, I thought so…”

I often wonder how his mother didn’t know half the crap that was going on in my husband’s life. Then again… I have three boys. It’ll be interesting to find out of what I am ABSOLUTELY… clueless… if I ever do.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 01, 2008

Weekend Oddities

Evidently Florida and Georgia were supposed to play this weekend.

Georgia forgot to show up.

Good Grief.

For you women readers, I've started a new book I think I like. It's called 'The Wednesday Sisters'.

I'm only on page 33, but so far, it seems like its going to be a good book, about 5 women who met on a playground in the 60s while their young children played, and how they grew together.

I found it in the library today under new releases. Just thought I'd throw it out there...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:34 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Mac Candy

The kids raked it in last night for Halloween. I swear, they have NEVER come home with this much candy.

Three plastic grocery bags FULL, one half full, and two quart sized zip locks.

Random Question… am I the only one who sits down and sorts their kids’ candy? I sort it so all chocolate bars go in one bag, all M&Ms go in another, all Reeses’ go in another, gum goes in a zip loc, suckers go in another bag… and all the rest of the candy, non chocolate goes in another.

This way people know what they want, they don’t have to dig through it all. Besides, if I sort it, I can find those random pieces that are my fave.

On a down note… the boys did not receive one Mounds bar, my all time fave. On the upside, Bones was happy to get Milk Duds, my 2nd fave. He gave them to me.

The evening started with them at a neighborhood Halloween party. I stopped by for a few, just to make sure everyone was settled and until my husband arrived, as he had an emergency at the office.

I did not dress. I do not really do Halloween parties. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not into costumes… not this stage of my life. It could change. But I won’t even buy a Boy Scout leader uniform… I told them, “I don’t do uniforms”.

So when the hostess/Mom saw me, she said, “Where is your costume?”

Just having come back from the gym, as I truly was just going to drop them off until my husband arrived, I said, wearing my running shorts, shoes, calf K-taped, and t-shirt, “Oh, I’m going as an injured marathon runner…”

I got a blank look.

Hey, I thought it was funny.

Later on, a couple Moms were talking to my husband and me after he arrived and my one neighbor Mom said, “Bou, LOOK at your legs!”

I looked down, wondering if it was the K-tape she was talking about.

I looked back up and she said, “Look how HARD they are!”

I looked down again and upon looking up replied, “Umm… I’m training for a marathon…”

She has donated to the cause, and she said, “No, I can’t believe it. They are really hard. They look GREAT!”

I kind of smiled, my husband looked at my legs and she looked to him and said, “Don’t you agree? They look great!”

OK, this was almost akin to a 3rd party, “Do I look fat in this dress?” question.

My husband notoriously fails all those tests. Always. There have been times where my husband has said something so flagrantly bad, VOLUNTARILY… without being prompted, that TGOO’s eyes have bugged out, and he’s turned away, wondering what was going to happen next.

Its kind of funny… my husband can just be very clueless. It’s completely innocent… and clueless. I don't even get mad anymore... just take a deep breath and realize he's clueless.

So I look to my husband, who has his head cocked to one side as he’s kind of analyzing my legs and he says, ‘I think they look the same…’ and then he looks to me and says, “Don’t you?”

My neighbor was emphatic. “NO. They are just really trim… they look great…”

My husband was still looking and finally I grinned and said, “Hey, I’m just his wife. He just sleeps with me…”

I completely meant it as “he just has sex with me”, but I toned it down.

And the other women, both did not laugh, initially, the blank look, and then they laughed… a little.

Once again, I thought it was funny…

So the two older boys went as scary things with robes. Ringo had some Dementor costume with a mask and Mr. T went as something with white flowing robes.

I told TGOO this and he said, “Really? Was his hat pointy?”

Heh.

So just to show that my son did not look like he was part of the K…K… K (don’t want to be googled for that)… here is a picture of Mr. T and Bones. (And you can see the inside of the Asexual Mom-mobile, where I spend 99% of my life.)

Bones and T, 08.jpg

Note that while the two older ones were scary, Bones went as Mac Daddy… complete with Bling. He so needs a haircut...

Here is the solo picture of Mac Bones. He thinks he’s so cool… it cracks me up…

Mac Bones Crop.jpg

Here's one of all three:

Halloween 08.jpg

OH! And the cutest trick or treater award went to a little blonde haired blue eyed bubba who was about 18 months old and dressed as a turtle.

I wanted to smooch his little cheeks.

Instead, I put a piece of candy in his bag, and then put in his chubby clubby little fingers, the favorite candy of the night, chocolate eye balls.

His sweet little fist, tightened around the little ball and he turned and toddled away. I yelled after the mother, “It’s going to mellllt!”

I could just envision that little mess…

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