July 30, 2009

Internet Farming, Crop Rotations and Still No Goat

I decided to sit down with my son and find out what this Farmville stuff was all about. If he's that into it, I wanted to understand and see the draw.

I came in as he was getting ready to harvest strawberries. I asked him to give me a run down of this farming business and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection...

Me: So, why pumpkins and strawberries? And you need a goat...

Ringo: I can't buy a goat yet. Someone has to send me one. I'm still trying to figure out what this duck is going to do. Someone sent me a duck. Pumpkins will give me quick money. Strawberries don't give me as much. So I earned quick money in the beginning with strawberries, but now pumpkins I can harvest in 8 hours and I get more money.

Me: Why not artichokes? Look at those...

Ringo: Look how long you have to wait to harvest some of this stuff, Mom! Days. I need money quicker than that. When I get up a level, I'll plant different stuff. I'm just now moving into rice. I can make more on rice.

Me: Yeah, but you aren't looking at your return on investment. On pumpkins, it may be a quick harvest, but you're only doubling your money. Some of these other crops, you'll quadruple your cash.

Ringo: I hadn't thought about it that way...

Me: Look, we need to sit down and figure out what is truly the best investment, time vs. return on investment. If it's 8 hours and you're doubling your money, but 24 hours gives you five times, it may be worth it to wait that extra time... at least with part of your crop. I think you need to diversify...

I started looking to whom his farm abuts to and I saw CalTechGirl who is levels over him. As you go up levels, you can buy different things... that are locked out to lower levels.

He clicked on her farm for me. Her farm was very organized like his... unlike some of his friends who seem to have just thrown crap together. He said their farms would make him insane.

Me: What did CTG plant?

We zoomed in.

Ringo: Cotton. She has a field of cotton. It's locked out to me. I'm not that high yet.

Me: It'll destroy your soil. She must rotate crops. Can you do peanuts?

Ringo: *blink* Mom, it's not that involved. She doesn't have to rotate her crops to grow cotton. No, there are no peanuts.

Me: OH! But there are soybeans! Maybe she is doing soybeans next...

Ringo: Mom, she doesn't have to do crop rotation...

Me: She has bunnies. Are the bunnies going to eat her crops?

Ringo: *blink*

Me: How do you keep the animals out of your crops...

Ringo: Mom... really. It's not that involved.

Me: You will need fencing.

He has big plans. He is saving to double his plot size, 'family farm' he calls it. He has plans for more animals and he wants a fence for tidiness.

We were in the car yesterday morning as I drove him to work.

Me: Did you harvest this morning?

Ringo: yeah, I got up and harvested all my pumpkins and I'm trying to decide what to do next. I'm at the next level, but that only means I can send someone a sheep.

Me: Someone needs to send you a goat...

Heh.

As of last night he now has raspberries, he's sent CTG a note asking for a goat, and I'm going to wake his butt up because it's 11AM and he needs to harvest!

The draw to being the internet farmer... you don't have to wake at the crack of dawn.

And I think Teresa is right... the draw is the whole build and creation thing.

I'm still shocked every time I look at his farm and I don't find a sniper sitting in a cherry tree.

No snipers, foxholes, guns...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:20 AM | Comments (9)

July 29, 2009

Pimpin' my Kid

Bones asked to go to yet another week of Drama Camp.

I said yes.

It is the last week.

Tomorrow is dress in a Halloween Costume day... if you'd like.

He is dressing as a pimp. He even found a fake cigarette.

I'm not sure what they think of us here in our home... they being the folks that teach Drama Camp, us being... Bones' parents.

Good Grief.

On a side note, my eldest son had me watch this video. I did it to humor him, but I found it to be hilarious. It's kids' nursery rhymes set to rock songs, by Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Metallica and more. Very funny stuff...

I'll never sing itsy bitsy spider the same way again... And evidently, this comedian, Tim Hawkins, is a very clean and funny comic. There aren't many of those left anymore.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:47 PM | Comments (4)

The Killing Fields

I am unsure if I can do this story justice, how it will come out in print, but I'll try.

My son has a job on Mondays and Wednesdays. He volunteers at the local hospital in the lab and the IT department. He has a buddy he does this with and I pick them up on Wednesdays after their shift and take them to the Mall where they hang for few hours.

I always hear interesting stories when his buddy is in the car. His buddy is a complete extrovert. And, for the most part, anything goes in my car. If he's going to cuss... fine. I'm not going to correct him. That's his Mom's job, because quite honestly, I want to hear what's going on. If the kids feel like they have to watch themselves around me... there is much I won't hear.

For the most part, everyone keeps it clean, but still, I want them to be them around me.

And because of this... you would be amazed at the things I know. Sometimes it puts me in an awkward position. Sometimes I know things about someone else's kid that I know the parents don't know. So far, it's not a safety issue. When it comes to that, I'll have to make phone calls. For now, I'm just keeping a finger on the pulse.

And offer advice when any of the boys ask me for it... boys being my boys and their friends, and yes they ask.

So I live in this testosterone laden world, with only me as the lone Alpha Female and mostly, the boys like to play video games where people die.

Sure they play the sports games and what not, but they also love anything war related... Warcraft, something of Honor, and on and on.

They're all about blasting people or things (think Zombies) away.

Today I was in the car taking my son and his buddy to the mall when his buddy said something that sounded like "Farmville."

They were talking and I heard it again... "Farmville."

Now you Facebook folks are completely getting this, but I don't do Facebook and finally I said, "Wait, slow down. Exactly what are you saying and what is it..."

And his buddy said, "FARRRRMvillllle. It's a game on Facebook."

My son said, "I know it sounds stupid, but it's totally addictive..."

I said, "I have no clue what it is, let alone think it's stupid."

His buddy looked at him and testily said, "It is NOT stupid!" to which my eldest hastily retorted, "NO! It's not! I love that game. I'm just saying, when you say, 'Farmville' it sounds stupid."

I'm at a loss now. Farmville? My blow 'em up boy playing something called Farmville?

And with that, the two of them banter back and forth about buying their neighbors farms, planting strawberries and pumpkins, watering their crops, checking their crops at work, having a sibling check a crop during the day and watering... and on and on.

Was I in MY van? With MY kid? With BOYS?

No kidding, my son said this, "I had this crop of strawberries and I tried to switch it out for pumpkins because my pumpkins were doing really really well, but something didn't take and when I logged back on, ALL MY STRAWBERRIES WERE DEAD! It was nothing but a big dead crop! I was so pissed!"

To which his buddy replied, "OH man, that sucks. My pumpkins are doing really well. I'd be upset if I lost a whole crop..."

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone...

Good Grief.

I asked him tonight, he is very proud. He has a small crop of strawberries, some pumpkins, rice, a cow, a chicken and a duck.

You should hear him talk about it. It's cracking me up...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (13)

July 28, 2009

My Own Personal Army

Last night, at 1AM, when I felt like I could finally make my way to bed, after eating the very yummy but sugar and caffeine laden flourless chocolate espresso cake, the house was dark and my husband was sleeping.

I tip toed into the bathroom, flipped on the light and... found a roach sitting in my sink.

He wins.

A roach can have the room any day of the week.

I grabbed my night shirt, stood in the middle of the room, staring down the roach, slipped out of my clothes, letting them puddle on the floor, put the night shirt on and flipped off the light and closed the door... never taking my eyes from the roach.

No shower. No brushing teeth. Nothing. Got my bedclothes on and relinquished control of the bathroom to the 2 inch roach.

I crawled into bed and went to sleep.

At 7:30, as I lay on my stomach sleeping, I felt my husband kiss me on the forehead, bidding me goodbye as he left for work.

Hair mussed up, pillow faced, without opening my eyes, the first thing said in my groggy voice was, "There was a roach in the bathroom last night."

I heard him say, "I'm sorry. Did you kill it?"

*blink*

I opened one eye, scrunched my face and replied, "Phhht. No. Of course not. I turned off the light and closed the door and came to bed."

He said nothing. Of course I did that. I don't do roaches. That's why I'm married.

Opening jars and killing roaches. That's HIS job.

He's lucky I didn't wake him up!

What is it? What IS it about roaches that skeeve me out so badly? What is it?

Their slick brown shell? The memory of the crunch they make when squished? The way their antennas move? The sound of their clicking on the wall or tile when the house is completely quiet?

Is it the way they... just appear?

They remind me of death.

They remind me of death and I don't know why and they scare the hell out of me.

It wasn't from the first memory of seeing one. We were in temporary family housing at NAS Jax, moving there from Washington DC. I was going into 4th grade. The buildings were old and white... we moved in and I remember my Mother cooking and my opening the utensil drawer and sitting in a serving spoon was a 3 inch roach.

I closed the drawer.

I look back in horror. I should have told her! She probably used that spoon!

Instead, so terrified, something cold to the core of my soul, I closed the drawer and walked away, willing it to be gone. Now I'd dump out all the silverware and boil it in bleach and water.

Roaches crawl anywhere. They have no boundaries. They crawl amongst the dead.

Pull back the cloak of the Grim Reaper and you don't find the depths of darkness, but a huge roach.

You don't even want to know how difficult it was to read the Metamorphosis in college.

My personal hell.

Tonight as I was cooking dinner, my two older boys walked in while I spoke to my husband of the roach incident. My 14 year old said, "MOM! You didn't kill it?"

I replied, "NO."

He shook his head, a throaty incredulous laugh escaping his lips as he said, "It could lay eggs now. We could end up with HUNDREDS of them because you didn't kill it."

My husband looked at him knowingly and said, "Exactly."

I shook my head and said, "I don't open jars or kill roaches... If you'd been home, I'd have gotten you. YOU can kill it next time."

Ringo said, "Of course you would have. Mom. A shoe works. Really." and with that, he and Mr. T left the room laughing at me, with each other.

I couldn't tell him how I can't deal with the crunch. I can't deal with the dead body.

It's absolutely irrational and they don't get it. Fortunately, there are four males in this house. I have built in roach killers...

My own personal Army.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:22 PM | Comments (17)

July 27, 2009

When Flashbacks Make Sense

My post on my father in law and his scooter reminded me of a story.

When Ringo was a wee lad, not even two years old, we'd moved into this house. I was greatly pregnant with my second son.

My eldest had finished watching whatever show he watched on PBS, I think it was Arthur. I had lunch on the table and sat him in his booster chair to eat lunch.

He was still facing the TV and I wasn't paying attention.

I had waddled off to clean the kitchen when I looked up from the sink and saw him slooooowly raising his arms and sloooowly putting them back down.

Again... sloooooowly raising his arms and sloooowly putting them back down.

I looked at him as he continued this exercise and said, "Little buddy, WHAT are you doing?"

He pointed to the TV and I stepped around to look and there was this exercise class for the elderly on PBS.

There sat some white haired people in their chairs, doing very slow exercises. moving their heads and limbs.

Sloooowly they'd lift their arms and ever so SLOOOWly lower them, doing the same with their legs.

I remember laughing hysterically watching my son do these exercises as he ate lunch.

Now? I just wish my father in law could do them. I just had no idea about the body... and how it ages.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:46 PM | Comments (2)

Well... Stupid Is as Stupid Does...

.... translates to... No sleep tonight.

A dear friend of mine has all three of my boys tonight. My husband had a gift certificate to a great steak house, given to him by a business with whom he does much work.

Tonight was the night to use it.

The food was fabulous.

As was the Flourless Chocolate Expresso Cake I had for dessert...

... and that will keep me awake until around 2AM.

Good thing I like to read... Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:30 PM | Comments (4)

July 26, 2009

Scooters

Consider this a public service announcement for any of you with elderly parents who are mobile with walkers.

When my father in law moved into assisted living, he immediately declared he needed a scooter. When living on his own, he just used a walker, but his home was 1000 sq feet and he could get to where he needed quickly and motorization was not something that he needed or could maneuver easily in his home.

Assisted living is spacious. Oversized hallways and doors, long distances to places to eat and to get from the room to leave the building, make scootering both more convenient and for those with difficulty walking, more of a necessity.

And so he got one of those sleek tech-geeky scooters that does everything but park itself.

And he loves it.

And now he's in a big place made for handicapped people and he uses it.

And so... I've noticed a marked decline in his mobility.

An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Combine those with... if you don't use it, you lose it.

The scooter has made him more... restful... less motion. He is more winded getting from Point A to Point B, even when the distance is short. He is more stiff. He is... deteriorating because of it.

I pointed this out to my husband and his brother a couple months ago. It's a marked decline.

This past summer, I saw the mother of my dear friend from college. When last I saw Mrs. P, last summer, she had foot problems so awful it makes me hurt to remember. A great Orthopede at U of Alabama rebuilt her feet, essentially, and she's doing great now.

So I asked her how bad it got before the surgery as when I saw her last, it was on the brink of pretty damn bad.

She said to me something like, "I was on a walker, but my doctor told me, whatever I do, stay off of those scooters! They are the beginning of the end and you'll never walk again once you rely on them. You know... you lose your muscle tone and strength..."

I shot a glance at my husband who shook his head in acknowledgement.

Listen... these scooters are great tools for folks who are crippled. It adds a tremendous mobility that they might not normally have had.

HOWEVER, if you have someone that could use a walker, they will quickly become wheelchair bound if they start relying on a scooter.

I'm watching it... first hand.

I give him less than 2 years and he'll be in a nursing home. The scooter is the beginning of the end.

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

July 25, 2009

Food Glorious Food...

Note to self: Teenaged boys will not eat chips with onion dip or nacho cheese doritos when teenage girls are around for fear their breath will smell bad.

Food gone through in six awake hours:

Four large pizzas
4 liters of coke/sprite
2 large bags of chips (Ruffles, no dip, and Doritos, after the girls left)
1 birthday cake
1 1/2 gallon of ice cream
14 eggs
2 cups of cheese
1 lb bacon
1 lb sausage
20 pancakes
3 peaches
4 bananas
1 1/2 gallon of OJ

I feel like I forgot something.

I need sleep... Locusts are exhausting. Very fun... but exhausting.

Paint balling was a riot. I did not partake, but the boys talked about it with my husband, as if in 20 years ago they'll be doing a 'Do you remember when....?'

I got to bed at 12:15 and woke up at 4:15 to go running. I'm fighting an injury again, so I ended up speed walking the 8 miles.

I called home during my drive; it was 9:30. My husband answered and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:

Husband: Hello?

Me, having been up for 5 hours, done 8 miles, and had breakfast: You're still asleep aren't you!

Husband: No... not really.

Me: Let me guess... you're laying in bed thinking, "Dear God, do I really need to face what's next?"

Husband, laughing: Yeah, pretty much.

Me: I'll be home in 20 to help cook for the locusts.

And he and I then whipped up a huge breakfast and sent the locusts to go prey on their own families...

A good time was had by all.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:04 PM | Comments (3)

July 23, 2009

Paint Balling Locusts

Shhhh.

Do you hear that?

That is the sound of potential blog fodder.

Tomorrow... my husband and I are taking 12 people paint balling. That would be my husband and 11 kids ages 10-14. Eight boys and three girls.

I intend to read.

I hear there are bleachers.

All eight boys will be sleeping over... three of them my boys, the other five all aged 14.

Isn't inviting five teenage boys into one's home the equivalent of having locusts pass through? Pizza. We're doing Pizza, chips, cake, ice cream, and then hauling their asses to paintball.

Two mini vans full of kids. The fun starts at 8PM.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (8)

Quilting: Cycling as Knitting: Running

I said to my husband tonight, 'I have to finish this damn thing. I want it out of my house. I want to deliver it Thanksgiving.'

He laughed.

Bones said, "Hasn't it been like... three years?"

It wasn't even worth a response.

I am speaking of Mo's Wedding Ring Quilt. Good God. The quilt that will not end.

As I hauled it out of the closet I thought I was 50% finished with the quilting.

What in the HELL was I smoking when I thought that? I'm 25% finished with the quilting.

Holy crap.

And as I started on it... again... folding and rolling as it's a big ass quilt and I've got to manage all this daggum quilt as I quilt it in my machine, my machine jammed up.

Folks, I am here to tell you, if you meet a woman who sews, you have met a woman who is mechanically inclined because... without a doubt, that woman pulls that daggum machine apart to fix feed dogs, bobbin holders, threads caught in areas you did not know threads could get, and what not. I have had this machine a year, and already I've taken a screw driver to it.

If she tells you she is not in the least mechanically inclined... she is lying to you.

Sewing machines are simple machines. They don't scare me. But they are still machines.

I spent 20 minutes with it pulled apart, cleaning lint from every nook and crannie imaginable. Long tweezers, screw driver, flashlight, pain in the neck. And don't bother to look at the book to make sure you get all the parts back where they belong because they evidently don't want you to take your machine apart... they give you NO advice.

NONE.

And I've come to the conclusion, the reason my sewing machine repairwoman opened her shop was because she was sewing sewing sewing, doing her thing, and had her machine apart so many times she thought, 'I should do this for a living.'

I'll have to ask her.

And so tonight, as I cleaned and adjusted my machine, so I could finally finish the quilt that will not stop, I realized that quilting is to cycling as knitting is to running.

When we were out last weekend at our Mock Race, Team in Training had the tri-athletes and the cyclists out there too. (There are many different Team and Training events every season. There is a Tri as well as a Century Cycle event where they bike for 100 miles. Yes... I want to do it one day.)

So I'm standing there in my running shoes with my teammates who are all like me, in their running shoes, and we looked over to find a cyclist pumping air into her tires. We all just stared.

It was a rather clannish deal... the runners hung with the runners, the cyclists with the cyclists and the Tris with the Tris. So much for getting to know the rest of the teams.

We watched this girl and I whispered to the girl standing next to me, "WHAT a PAIN.IN.THE. ASS".

She whispered back, "Don't you know it. I just sat there watching a group of cyclists spend FIVE minutes BALANCING A SEAT!"

Someone else whispered, "Damn, I just grab my shoes and go. Those sports are too high maintenance for me..."

We all laughed.

It's true. We grab our shoes and go. They have to worry about clippy shoes into their clippy pedals, and tire pressure, and seats, and sharks (the tris), and drowning (the tris again).

Blech.

And as I was cleaning out my machine I thought, knitting and crocheting are so much more low maintenance. Any time you add a machine to something... you are doomed to add time and frustration.

Doomed.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:21 PM | Comments (7)

July 22, 2009

Bathroom Thoughts

Since I've not been working for pay the last few days, due to lack of work, which I hear is clearing up on Friday, I decided it was time to clean house.

Have you ever wondered what a House Wife thinks while she's cleaning? Ever wondered if her mind just blanks out and she does it mindlessly or if she is escaping somewhere to some dream house with servants?

Ever wonder?

OK. This is what this sometimes House Wife thinks about when she's cleaning.

These are today's thoughts while cleaning... bathrooms.

First:

Why.

Why?

WHY, is it that my boys are potty trained yet their bathroom still smells slightly of urine? I ask this because my boys are pretty neat about their business, yet... still... I have this smell issue that makes me insane.

It's not bad... it's not always... but it's there sometimes.

When my kids were small, friends of mine used to COMMENT on how neat my boys were in the bathroom. That is because *I* potty trained them but THEIR DAD taught them about getting it where it needs to get.

My husband is fastidious.

Leaving me wondering WHY?!

As good fortune would have it, Mr. T was the only of my children in the house. Mr. Clean himself. I knew it wasn't him... or his older brother for that matter.

I called him in, "T!!! I need to talk to you!!!"

He came in, picked up the windex and started doing the mirrors as I kept scrubbing.

"Why," I asked, "does this bathroom smell of urine when I get to the commode. Is someone missing? Is it Bones?"

He replied, "Yeah, it's Bones. Mom, it's that deal when he wakes up. You know, he slowly comes into the bathroom, lifts the lid, rests his head on the lid and keeps sleeping while he pees..."

GAH!

NO!

We have told him not to do this. We are a bit germ phobey in this house. My husband is far worse than I am, but still... I have it too. We don't use anti-bacterial soap as we think that is BAD (plus, I'm allergic), but we are all about eliminating germs and washing hands.

Do you have any idea how much it skeeves us out to walk into the bathroom to see my son leaning on the lid with his forehead while he pees? ANY IDEA?

Only a very short drunk adult could ever attempt to pee like this. Seriously. Or a kid. But we're horrified.

Evidently he's still doing it and peeing with one's eyes closed, first thing in the morning, doesn't work. NO.

Second, four years ago, I spent the big bucks buying my boys each their own bath towel. I'm not talking some cheapy towel (like I use) that is thin. I mean I bought them thick fluffy soft towels, each in a different color that THEY picked.

They get washed once a week.

Why?

WHY?

WHY, is it that I still find them using thin crappy beach towels? WHY are they not using bath towels?

I clean the bathroom and I find one good towel and then a 25 year old beach towel from when my husband was in college, thread bare, and some thin crappy, but not cheap, Disney towel we were forced to buy when everyone got too wet on some water ride. (We now pack rain ponchos.)

I don't get it.

Third, my older boy appears to have run out of room. The three of them share a bathroom, yet most of the stuff is his.

This must be a teenage thing. I mean, hair product, tooth brushes, flat iron (he hates his hair, Greek God or not), combs... it's insane. He's slowly moving his stuff into the guest bathroom I noticed.

I think he was banking that I wouldn't. Good Lord.

And lastly, WHAT is with EATING IN THE BATHROOM?

NO.

I have rules. We eat in the kitchen only. That keeps the mess down in the rest of the house.

Did I really HAVE TO STATE, DO NOT eat in the bathroom?

Really?

I dumped the garbage and found Reese's cups wrappers in it.

'Oh, I have to go to the bathroom... I'll just kill two birds with one stone and snack while doing so.'

NO.

Good GRIEF.

I am raising animals...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:15 PM | Comments (8)

July 21, 2009

Change I Didn't Want, but May Be Best

So.

I got to work and there were no panics.

I spent two hours clearing out email.

I spent another hour making sure all my projects were status quo.

And then I left...

... because we have no work.

That sucks.

And yes, if Obama's latest military cut goes through, there is a high probability I will lose my job. Company X will pull all their outsource work in to save their own, which is the right thing to do, and I'll be laid off.

How do I feel about it? If the military firmly believes they don't need any more of what I work on, then it needs to be canceled. I will eventually find more work... and maybe I'll get out of aerospace altogether. Maybe it would be time for a change.

I don't know.

But it will be interesting...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (7)

American Spirit

I read THIS article today and finished feeling...

...

... that there is good in this Nation.

I finished feeling that I had read about a man who personified the American Spirit.

And when you read the article (or this post) you will see it is as far from what you would stereotypically think as you could get.

He was practicing his job. He only wanted to get better. He had a family to provide for.

He found things he did not like. He took it to his management, who blew him off and told him to leave it alone.

His job was threatened.

He got angry as he only wanted to provide for his family, hold a job. He didn't want to be on welfare. He didn't want handouts.

He only wanted to earn a decent days wage to support his family and he was being threatened for seeing things he... should not have seen... in a place I'm sure he felt... everything would be on the up and up.

A man willing to toil in the sun. A man practicing his job. A man threatened by others for understanding what he was seeing was... wrong. A man subjected to rascism... from those of his own community.

A man who would take no more and took a stand.

Never threaten someone who has everything to lose or nothing to lose.

In this man's mind... he had everything to lose. To those who were around him, he was nothing but an uneducated gravedigger that garnered no respect from them.

They were mistaken.

I wish only good things for this man. I had hope when I read the article. It is easy to get bogged down on all that was wrong, but if you really read the article, you see... all that is right.

Read what he did for the other families to ease their mental suffering. He didn't have to do that... he could have looked away. It wasn't his job.

May he and his young family be blessed... and may he always stand up for what is right.

There are so few...

May he always have a job... for he was quoted as saying, "I ain't the type to go out in the streets and sell drugs," he said. "I'd rather work. I'd rather not collect unemployment."

I have hope.

Posted by Boudicca at 06:59 PM | Comments (3)

July 20, 2009

Sleepy Links and More Randomness

I am hoping for no reoccurrence of last night's insomniac events.

Reading the comments... Yes, I do think Diamond Dave is right and I have mattress problems. I think that contributes to my lack of staying asleep, actually. Our mattress is 17 years old. (Tammi is doing a *GROOOOOAN!* heh.) I have a TOUGH time sleeping on a bed that is tough for my body. Our bed is pushing the limits.

I think Teresa is right too... about diet. I'm going to have to start watching the carbs at night. I too wake up in sweat. Also, I went over what we ate for dinner, and I'd made a coca cola cake and the sugar, coke, cocoa (chocolate icing), may have contributed to it all. I am eating nothing after dinner now to see how it goes.

And Writersblock could be right, it COULD BE a moon thing!

And thankfully GuyK thinks I'm too young to require much sleep, however, I will say, functionality was high today and my eyes popped open at 6AM, and I was ready to roll.

Fortunately I'm not having any serious muscle problems like QW because that kind of sleep SUCKS!

And I have considered doing a sleep study, because Amy's suggestion of Sleep Apnea has crossed my mind. I've actually woken from a sleep before having a dream that I'm not breathing.

More randomness---------------

People who do not believe we landed on the moon... how in the hell do they actually function in life?

Really.

People that stupid... did they breed? Please tell me... no.

------------------------

We had family dinner last night. My father in law always brings his buddy Joe. We love Joe. He's an uncle to my kids, an uncle to me... I love him dearly. Both men are in their 80s.

He speaks with a heavy NY accent that is laced with probably an Italian and Albanian accent, because I have a TOUGH time understanding him at times.

Anyway, as a sidenote, whenever someone talks about 'colored people', I have this extraordinary urge to ask, "What color are they?", but I never do.

So we were sitting at dinner, and I kid you not, Joe says to me, "And Bou, here I was, standing out there and it was pouring, and this colored lady…" he looked at me and said, "… black…" and then he continued.

What in the hell color did he think I thought she was? Yellow? Red?

Good Lord.

As soon as he said it, I thought, "Daggum it. You can't make this stuff up..."

------------------------

And for Peggy U, a picture of my molted niece with her new peach fuzz. I love her little head. I had to take a picture or two of the back...

IMG_1410.JPG

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

Searching for Sleep

I have the worst case of insomnia, I think I have ever had.

It's bad.

This time at least I know it's not chemically induced. It really was decaf coffee... I am the one who made it.

My sleep issues are getting worse and worse, so bad, it can take me 10 hours to feel rested. Ten hours is a long damn time in a bed.

Ten hours I don't have... so I typically never feel rested.

I am sleeping better since I'm running again... but better is subjective.

This is very sucky... I'm off to wander my house and hope that a couch looks enticing.

I wish something exciting would happen in the news right now so I could blog on it before everyone else that is EST time zone and look like I'm so on top of things. Like I don't live under a rock...

Right.

By the way, the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes out in America in less than two weeks... I'll be at BN waiting...

Posted by Boudicca at 12:08 AM | Comments (6)

July 19, 2009

Odd Thoughts

Just some randomness...

It's BEULAH... NOT Pensacola. Beulah. And the rumor mongering needs to stop, the media needs to go away, and the family needs to be left alone to grieve.

People who try to criminalize victims should be shot.

The Escambia County Sheriff will let everyone know when it's time, what transpired and why. And... the victims were victims.

Leave the family alone.

/rant
----------------------------------------

I'm in the process of trying to find new music to run to this season. I have decided that my favorite musician to run to is Pink. Her music has a great beat and I think the lyrics are edgy.

I like Bad Influence.

I wish my body looked like hers. I could lose 25 pounds, lift weights and tone and I'd never look like that. Good grief.

-------------------------

I miss my niece.
-----------------

My husband's younger brother came to dinner tonight with his family. He has a baby that is 9 weeks old. I held him a lot tonight... he is a moose.

I call him... Moose-Man.

-----------------------
My eldest boy hates his hair. When he hit puberty, it got all crazy curly.

He wants to look like everyone else. He borrows my flat iron and irons his hair straight when he's going out with his buddies.

It makes me sad.

We were in TN, driving to the river when Eric told my son that he could not understand why he hated his hair so much since all the Greek Gods had hair like his. All the old artists always depicted the young God men with hair like my son's.

I told everyone that at dinner tonight. They were in agreement with my sister in law picking up this new theme. We took it a step further... Think of the statue of David... that is my son's hair.

I am hoping it sticks... and he eventually views his hair as a blessing and not a curse. It is lovely.

-----------------

I miss my niece. I think I said that. She is bald now... she molted and the new hair is growing in. I like to zoom in on the fuzz when my sister sends me pix. I took pictures of her back of her bald baby head when I was visiting.

She is smoochy.
-------------------

I called into work frequently when I was out, not because I'm a control freak, but because I didn't want to be blind sided by anything. I wanted to mentally brace myself for what was waiting.

I think... sometimes... there is not adequate preparation. I go in tomorrow... I hope I remember all my passwords. I hope I have little email. I hope there isn't a storm waiting. There wasn't on Wednesday.

Lots of hope...
-------------------------------

If you have boys, do not let them buy/rent Madden 09 for their gaming system. We have NEVER had so much fighting in this house.

Thankfully we rented it. It can't go back fast enough...
--------------------------------------------

Yes, I am aware that my son's new facebook icon has him and five girls, one of whom has their arms wrapped around him. They were at the Mall at the Apple Store. Good Grief. (I am watching carefully, this little girl with her arms wrapped around him...)

--------------------------------------

Bones has Drama Camp again this week... this could be interesting.
------------------------
It is 12:15 and I have one of the worst cases of insomnia that I have ever had... and I have to work tomorrow.

It's going to suck.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:07 PM | Comments (3)

July 18, 2009

Why I May Have to Divorce My Husband Or...

... Shoot him.

I swear this conversation occurred today. Holy crap.

We were getting ready to see Harry Potter when I decided to change into a pair of jeans. Slipping them over my hips, I struggled to zip them as I sucked in my stomach.

They weren't 'lay on the bed on my back, get a pair of pliers to pull up the zipper' tight, but it wasn't good.

And the following completely awful conversation occurred to the best of my recollection:

Me, struggling with my zipper: Holy crap these are tight. I gained 3 pounds while we were on vacation.

Husband (for now): I gained eight.

Me: OK, I confess. It was four.

Husband (for now): Fortunately I've already lost two.

Me: *blink*

Me: You've only been home five days. You've already lost two?

Husband (for now): Yeah.

Me: WTF did you do? How in the HELL did you lose two pounds already?

Husband (for now): I just ate right. Salads, no snacks, small portions at meal time...

Me: I can't frickin' believe this... do you know...

Husband (for now): Stop. Our bodies are different. We're going to be late. Let's not cover this again...

He just... ATE RIGHT? He just ate SALADS and SMALL PORTIONS?

ARE YOU FRICKIN' KIDDING ME?!

Do you know how long it is going to take me to lose this four pounds? It could possibly take me EIGHT WEEKS. EIGHT.

Not Eight Days. Eight WEEKS.

And I'm going to be eating salads, eating small portions and RUNNING.

I ran 7.5 miles today. My husband doesn't exercise AT ALL.

NO.

I run, I go to the gym... and at the BEST it will take me three weeks to lose the four pounds, but will probably take me between five and eight weeks.

And he'll have all eight pounds lost in three weeks. Double the weight to lose, and possibly half the time.

I'm not sure I can stay married to him anymore.

I'm debating...

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (6)

Joe Jogger

We are off to see Harry Potter. I'm looking for my happy place.

We did 7.5 miles today in a lot of heat. We didn't start until 7:15, which means it was 90+ degrees when we ended.

And nothing happened that I didn't already know, but confirmation that... my body was built for endurance.

Period.

That quick fast stuff does nothing for me.

There was a coach from a different event, that was assisting with today's mock event and when he saw me at mile 6, he said, 'I want to give you tips to pick up speed. You look GREAT, and you're fast for what you do, but I can shave 20 seconds off every mile."

Bing! Bing! Bing! He wins. I'm all about efficiency and shaving off time.

But after the event was over, we talked about theory, and I said, 'I HURT, for the first few miles. Every part of my body does NOT want to run or walk.'

He said to me, 'What happens at mile 4 or 5? Do you feel great? Get into a zone?'

I exclaimed, "YES! That's exactly what happens. If I can just get to mile 4 or 5, I'm good as gold. I can feel like I can fly...'

He said it's because my body was truly built for endurance and that what we'll see is I'll start picking off some of these runners, folks not doing interval training, but only running, a runner at a time.

He said, "You watch, eventually you'll pick them off in groups. By mile 7, you're cruising and they're starting to die. Just listen to my advice..."

And so I have. I start changing my stride come Monday. I want to implement what he told me and see what happens. If I can get myself down to an 11 minute mile... I'll be very very very happy.

Have you ever seen that cartoon with Snoopy Jogging... he's jogging and all his body parts are complaining that they hurt. They're arguing amongst themselves as to who has it worse.

That is me... the first four miles. I need to find that cartoon...

Posted by Boudicca at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

The Beginning of the End for Small Businesses

Just a little FYI political post... I don't have those often.

I was sitting at the table trying to keep my blood sugar up since after days like today's training all I want to do is eat, when my husband informed me that he spoke to his brother, and the following awful thing was in the new 1000 page bill that our Elected Representatives did not read before they passed it:

(Sidenote: I think I forgot to tell my husband I'm the Obama Ostrich, because he keeps telling this stuff that makes me want to stroke. He and I have to have a talk.)

It used to be that when you fired or laid off an employee, they had the option to keep COBRA, but they had to pay for it... for a max of 9 months, I believe.

NOW, the business must pay for it.

So.

To all you small business owners out there that voted for Obama, I hope that you end up with a lot of crappy employees that you have to get rid of and that you're stuck footing the bill for their COBRA... for the full 9 months.

A pox upon you. May you rot.

(Yes, my husband and his brother are small business owners. Why do you ask?)

And for the record, not one of these jerks that voted for this bill will get voted out. NOT ONE.

Why?

Because everyone thinks that EVERYONE ELSE'S representatives suck and should be voted out... but not their own. OH NO. It's everyone else's representatives fault.

Love that.

Posted by Boudicca at 03:28 PM | Comments (6)

July 17, 2009

Playing Ostrich

Tammi had a post up the other day that reminded me of something that happened on vacation.

Tammi's post is on how much she cannot take Obama and all he stands for. She thinks she's become THAT person, the person who hated Bush, but in reverse. (Good post... go read.)

I was in the kitchen with my Aunt, in Alabama. They are a very Conservative Christian family. My cousin works at the church, her husband, although not a practicing minister, I think can be a preacher. (TGOO can correct me on that.) Most of their social activities are around church and their friends.

That's how the entire town is... Churches for every denomination, and everyone goes.

So we were in the kitchen, where we do most of our talking, and something came up about Obama and I confessed to her, something I have not put on this blog.

I'm an Obama Ostrich.

I don't acknowledge him.

All that he stands for physically repulses me so much, that I have never once watched him on TV, I change the radio when he comes on, I don't read anything ABOUT him and try to stay away from his policy.

I flat don't acknowledge him.

I don't think about him.

In my head, if I just pretend he does not exist, then he'll go away.

I just have to keep it up for 3.5 years and to be honest, I don't see any problem with it.

My Aunt thought it was hysterical.

Self preservation?

This is so unlike me. I'm a total hit it head on person. Absolutely. And now, I'm an ostrich?

I think it's because I can't fight it... and I'm so disturbed... so upset... that if I ignore it, I won't stroke out.

I never felt like this with Clinton. I'm an independent. Clinton irritated me, Bush irritated me.

Obama just scares the ever living sh-- out of me... and the feeling isn't going away.

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

Brownies

It happened. The shoe fell as to why I've been nervous about this race. I can't go into it... but I realize what it was now and it's done.

I'm going.

Do you ever feel like sometimes you're surrounded by pinheads?

The question becomes... do you let it piss you off or do you just realize that some people are pinheads, take a deep breath, feel a bit sorry for them, and let it slide?

I remember when I was at Company X, I was on a team that was pissing me off. I would leave bodies in my wake. I do not suffer smart fools or laziness lightly.

During my performance appraisal, my boss, who I loved dearly and was showing me the ropes for management, said to me, "Bou, you can't hold other people to your personal standards. They will always fail and you'll be perpetually pissed off."

I'm not sure he was right, but the point was taken.

I was visiting one of my best girlfriends recently and we were talking about a guy friend of ours whose wife we do not like. (Read: imminent divorce.) This chick's family tree doesn't fork.

There are severe intellectual issues...

I said to my friend, "Next woman he picks out, we get say. I want to be able to hold a full intellectual conversation with her. Toe to toe... I'm not kidding."

My girlfriend replied, "That's not fair to her... Dead serious. No."

I finally said, "Fine. But no more of this crap where we say she's fine because she's sweet. I'm done with that."

Here's my deal. I'm not brilliant. I'm just smart. I'm a hardworker. I think a lot. I do what I'm say I'm going to do. I'm up front. No sugar coating.

And I find myself perpetually surrounded by pinheads, and quite frankly, I've hit my pinhead fill as of late.

My pinhead 'o meter has been pegged.

And I must leave it at that.

On a much lighter note... when you make brownies, and the box give you the choice, do you make fudge or cakelike?

That's the question of the day... fudge or cakelike brownies.

My answer below the fold.

Cakelike.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:50 PM | Comments (9)

July 16, 2009

Airplanes, Running, and Magic

I did it. I bought my plane ticket to the VA Beach Half. As a non-fundraising mentor, I'm responsible for my own airfare.

I've been delaying purchasing it for a number of reasons. However... it was time.

I have trepidation. I don't know why. Been there, done that, I can do 13 miles in my sleep.

But something about this Half is making me nervous.

Meanwhile, one of my mentees is injured. I am concerned it's ACL. She's been emailing me while I was away and I've been giving her alternatives. If you get injured while training, you can push your fundraised funds to another event.

You may be asking, as I struggled with the Marathon earlier in the year, why I didn't do that. Why did I not just let myself heal and do the next event?

That would be because my fundraising for Disney was $2400 and the event was 2.5 hours from my house. The next event was in June, required $5000 in fundraising and was across the country.

Think Washington State.

No.

Anyway, I've been talking to her and we'll see what happens... but I have to say, she was my favorite, more my pace and this has kind of put me back mentally.

I've gained weight in the last two weeks on vacation. Everyone is rolling their eyes saying, 'Big Deal', but it's a big deal when you have a race to run. That's more weight on your knees, your hips... think physics.

So I'm going to be eating like a caveman the next few weeks to try to take it off so I can get back on track for race day.

Meanwhile, my hair is in the process of getting out of control long, and after talking to my sister, I decided to get it trimmed and then let it grow another few inches and donate it to Pantene. They take hair for wigs for women with Cancer. I would do Locks of Love, but they need more hair than I think I can grow healthy.

Who knows. This could be my new kick. Grow my hair for wigs. Grow it out 8 inches, chop it off. Rinse and repeat. Next gig would be for Locks of Love.

We're on our way home tomorrow. This was literally a hit and run visit. I had to cut it short since I have a mock marathon on Saturday. We're doing a mock event so any of our folks who have never done an event can understand what to expect: check in, bibs, water stops, etc.

Kicker... the sucker doesn't start until 7AM. It's going to be 90 degrees before I finish my race.

Shoot me.

I'll be saying over and over in my head, "Chemo Sucks. Chemo Sucks." If they can do chemo, I can run in 90 degree heat.

So on a last kind of funny note...

Telling a small tale out of school, Mo and her husband, Flam, refer to her nursing as 'the magic boob'. If the Flambina needs to sleep, attach and BLAMMO!, she's asleep.

Hence, the magic boob.

I think it's hysterical, having been there and done that... just a few times.

Anyway, so tonight, she was going upstairs to pump and Bones saw her with all her pumping stuff and he actually said to her, "So, you just stick the magic boob in there and it sucks the milk out?"

I nearly spit. It was just daggum funny...

Ciao for now. Nine hour drive tomorrow.

Pix and stories to follow...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:53 PM | Comments (4)

July 15, 2009

You Might Be a Redneck If...

Just a little background information, Bones has a little boy in his class whom I will call Luke Smith, that has crazy red hair.

Present time.

I am in Atlanta again, using Atlanta as a homebase, in this extraordinarily hectic vacation. My boys have things that they MUST do now every summer.

One of them is to harrass poor Eric, and have him take them up to the river about 30 minutes from his house.

Oh it's not just a river trip.

There are traditions now, in my boys' mind.

We have to get up, pick Eric up, stop at a small bakery they love, play at the river, and then stop at this place Eric calls The Beach, which is also along the river and sells hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, chili cheese corn dogs, and all that you can imagine that is guaranteed to clog the arteries, to be topped with Mayfield Ice Cream (my fave).

And THEN, we MUST stop by some little gas station just at the base of the mountain and buy cokes in a glass bottle. Root beer, coke, sprite... anything in a bottle. It is a novelty and a VERY BIG DEAL.

So we were making our trip up the river when my eldest son decided that Eric needs to play the drums. Eric is fine not playing the drums, but kids being kids, this seemed to be the topic of the hour, for them to collectively convince Eric that he should take up the drums.

Eric said, "WHY should I take up the drums?"

Ringo replied, "You LOOK like a drummer..."

To which Eric retorted, "And exactly WHAT does a drummer look like?"

And to which Bones bursted out with, "A six foot two redneck."

I just sat there.

I wasn't sure what to say. Now I know that being a redneck, if you're a redneck, is kind of a badge of honor to some, but I've known Eric and his wife for nearly four years, if not longer, and there is nothing rednecky about them, in particular his wife who is of Scottish descent... as in... just came to America within the last eight years.

I was kind of horrified. Eric, of course, laughed, as he takes everything in stride. My boys poke, prod, tease, blurt stuff out, some of it over stuff they completely know is not true, just because... they can be as obnoxious as all get out.

I am always aghast. Most laugh.

So we got home and we were sitting at Mo's table having dinner with our friend, Sissy, when I relayed this story, probably because I needed to process the horror of it all... the things my kids say.

GRRR.

And Bones, listening says to us, "What? He IS a redneck!"

I said, "No, Bones, he is not..."

And he said, quite testily, "YES HE IS! He has orange hair and his neck is red."

*blink*

We said, "What?"

He said again, "You heard me. Yes he is! He has orange hair and his neck is red!"

We were busting out laughing and he continued, "He's a redneck and so is Luke Smith. Luke is too!"

I said, "No, Luke is NOT a redneck. He just has red hair. I don't think you know what a redneck is."

We explained it to him and he sighed, "Then nobody in my class knows what a redneck is either, because they always tell Luke he's one..."

So there you have it. Life according to Bones. If you have red/orange hair, you're a redneck.

Bones is going to be in 5th grade. I wonder if I'll ever be smarter than a 5th grader?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:52 PM | Comments (10)

July 13, 2009

Where's Bou?

Doing more of an ADHD version of my Southern Tour, never staying in one place for very long. It's crazy this year, bobbing and weaving.

My husband was with us until this evening when he left to... earn our keep.

We've spent a good portion of today with my niece, who in the last week has changed so much, I wish we had it recorded on video. Last week she was sitting up a bit and looking around, responding to her folks, but this week, she responds to everything.

It's a great age with her looking around, laughing, sucking on her fist and the toes of her jammies.

We went to the Coca Cola museum... again. My husband had not seen it yet, and so we toured it with him, with the big finale being tasting all the funky cokes at the end.

Me?

I'm boring. Whenever we go, I sip orange, grape, or strawberry Fanta. I sit back and watch my kids (and husband), try various types of coke, commenting on coke from the inhabited continents. Evidently cokes from Europe taste similar to ours, a coke called Ice gives my eldest son reason to move to Korea, and all coke from Africa is funky... and can be easily passed up.

We wonder what the people of Africa eat on a day to day basis that they think this stuff is good. Blech.

Meanwhile, what is it about boys and having to jump to touch stuff?

WHY? Why is it every place we go, my older boys, in particular my 12 year old, have to say, "Wait! Watch! I can touch this..." at which point he leaps up in the air and touches some low ceiling, some sign dangling, or the top of a door jam.

It makes me nuts.

I'm waiting for them to get used to their new 'height' which is not great, trust me.

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

July 08, 2009

Once a Pinhead

And so we got home to my folks', kissed and hugged my brother, and then my folks got in the car with him and took him to the airport.

Not one minute later, Bones came out, 'Mom! Mom! Mom! Uncle TN forgot his razor!"

I looked in Bones hand and he held an electric razor that had been charging in the bathroom.

How could he forget this? He doesn't exactly travel any other way than 'light'.

I grabbed the razor, threw it in my car, and decided to try to beat them to the airport. I called TGOO on his cell phone... he didn't have it on.

Dammit.

Like a bat out of hell, I flew through Pensacola, hoping to catch them on the way, leaving messages on TGOO's phone that I had TN's razor and was trying to chase them down.

I got to the airport... and they'd beat me. They had too much of a headstart and I felt certain that TGOO took every shortcut, bobbing and weaving through the traffic that is second nature to him, but now foreign to me.

Defeated and resigned to the fact that we'd have to package that sucker up and mail it, I left the airport and started off to get my oil changed instead.

I called my sister to talk to her about it. I had hoped maybe TN kept an extra razor at my folks' and this was it.

I was bummed.

I got to the Jiffy Lube (an interim fix until I can figure out what to do now that my mechanic has died) and sat in the waiting room reading... when my phone rang.

It was TGOO.

Said he, "You didn't just give my razor to your brother did you?"

Said I, "No... y'all beat me by too far. I missed him. It's yours???"

"Yes," he replied. "I was charging it in their bathroom for the big trip tomorrow."

I promised to get it back to the house so he could finish charging it.

It almost made it's way to California...

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

When Three Crazy Boys Aren't Enough

I have a girlfriend from college that I see once a year, when I come home to Pensacola in July. She has three boys, triplets, the same age as my middle son.

The six boys together just... fit.

For her and me, it is one of those friendships where we have had to go months and sometimes years without speaking and when we pick up the phone, we just continue the conversation where we left off.

There is never any awkwardness. Never worry about who has changed and what has occurred in the years we've known each other. No judgment.

We just... are.

Her husband has explicit instructions that if she gets sick, really bad sick, he's to call me so I can give him the run down on her medical history as I have it all committed to memory... and it's quicker than his trying to look it up. We laugh about that.

Now that they are in town, and all of our children are bigger, we make a point to get the six of them together to play or 'hang' for a few hours once a visit in the summer.

Yesterday was that day.

It is a rarity to have three children and to have them get with three other siblings and have them all get along. And I mean, truly get along. It's not a case where one of their children is not liked. We don't come home to a shrug when we talk of getting together again or a 'I like two of them... but that one boy...'.

It's a collective like and it is mutual.

It is nice.

My girlfriend's husband is a retired Marine. You have no idea how odd that is to write 'retired'.

It seems like yesterday he had just gotten his wings. Like yesterday he was going to flight training for the aircraft he had selected for. Yesterday to hear he'd been released from Saddam's henchmen.

We blinked again and we have six kids collectively, she's got her Master's, and he's retired.

I'm not sure where the time went.

We were sitting on her back porch, watching the six crazy boys in the pool climbing all over each other like puppies.

She said to me, "Did you see this coming? Look at us..."

I said, "No. I didn't see this coming at all. And...I do things all the time that surprise me. Camping alone with my boys. Taking them on the slopes... alone. I mean, if you'd told me this 20 years ago, I'd have told you that you were full of crap."

My husband rolled his eyes. (Her husband was at work.) "Please," he continued. "We're talking about you. Of course you can do all this."

My girlfriend and I looked at each other and kind of laughed. She said, 'I get it.'

I replied, "No, seriously, think of who *I* was 22 years ago when we first met... did you see this?"

We met in a EE class. I was minoring in IT, her major. Actually, our school didn't offer a minor in IT, but my professors in my major were having me take all my electives in IT to make me marketable.

I'm a helluva programmer... in a language that never came to be. PASCAL. We won't go there...

That was the only class she and I had together, this EE class. Her classes, like VW's who went to school with us, got mired in real time programming, database management, etc, while I stayed in programming and software classes. They developed and understood the insides... I just used it.

But that's where we met, and we became friends through hanging through mutual people in the computer lab.

We were so young. And thin. And fearless. The world by the tail and all that.

She married a Marine and forged a career for herself as he moved from base to base, not an easy feat.

I went to Company X.

We had families.

And now found ourselves sitting on her back porch, watching our six boys grow to become friends.

I looked at her and said, 'We went skiing in Colorado. My husband got sick as a big dog. I got up, fed the kids, made sure we had all our stuff, got everyone into their gear with all the griping that comes with it, got them to the slopes and their lessons, met them after and we all skied for a couple hours together. I got us out of our equipment and got us home for dinner. Alive. Not missing anyone. No detours to ERs. And everyone was happy."

She grinned. "Troop movement. The biggest task... getting everyone there AND back, with all the equipment and all that comes with it. Troop movement. It is daunting."

YES! That was it. Troop movement. I thought that was hysterical.

Of course it was aptly named coming from the Marine Wife.

We'll blink again and we'll be at a swimming pool with our grandkids.

I'm trying not to blink...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 AM | Comments (6)

July 06, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday!!

Her favorite cake is an angel food cake with a fudge frosting. Good Lord, it is sinful.

The boys were excited, spending an hour picking out a card for her. Fortunately, the cards were more quiet this year and were clean...

Bones had picked up a card that had a couple nude people from behind. The card said something like, "What, surely you expected a card with a couple wise cracks in it, right?" Great.

He got her a sweet card instead. Thankfully.

So Happy Birthday to my Mom! Whoo hooo!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 PM | Comments (10)

July 05, 2009

Purging Memories

I think the worst part about traveling, in particular in the summer time, is trying to get a run in.

I need to get 7 miles in within 24 hours this weekend and it's hotter than three frickin' hells out.

I got 4 in last night. I'm waiting for it to cool down or rain or something so I can get the last 3.

My coaches from last year told me as long as I got the mileage in within the same 24 hours, my body would see it as getting in what I needed to get in.

Last night, I was motivated by the fact my brother has become more health conscious and has taken up running. He said he'd go with me. Bad part for him, he hurt his foot. Good part for me, I told him we'd speed walk, which is what I do for interval training.

When I'm not hurt, I do at 3:2, run:walk. When I am injured or coming off of one, I do a 5:1, walk:run. I'm currently coming off an injury. I told him we'd be fine walking for his foot.

I also told him that my cardinal rules are as follows: I obey my intervals, but all downhills get run and all uphills get walked. (It would suck to be me if I lived in San Francisco, being the flatlander that I am.) All intervals go out the window when hills are involved.

So we got to our first downhill, and we're running, probably doing better than a 9 minute mile as we were moving it. We got 3 quarters of the way when he said, "Crap. I ate cobbler just before we left."

I thought he was going to bend over and vomit.

We took it to a quick walk as I had no desire for him to vomit in a neighbor's yard. I could hear the phone call to my parents from the neighbors, "Hey. We saw your kids today. Your son threw up in our yard..."

We're in our 40's now. Mom and Dad don't need to be receiving odd phone calls like that anymore.

So we'd get to the top of a hill and I'd say to my brother, "Will the cobbler let you run?" and we'd run according to the hurl factor... if it was low, we'd run, if it was high, we were walking fast.

We passed a gentleman after the downhill the first time. We waved. He was walking the opposite way.

About a half mile from the end, we'd found another hill to run down, we're going at a good clip, when we see the SAME guy!

Without missing a beat, as we passed him, TN yells over to him, "She's trying to get me to throw up my cobbler, but I'm NOT gonna do it!"

I know this guy knows my folks. I know it. He just doesn't know who we are and we don't know him... so he won't be calling my folks to tease them about seeing their crazy kids on the streets of the neighborhood.

Not like the old days... when we knew everyone and they knew us.

I miss those days...

Posted by Boudicca at 04:19 PM | Comments (6)

July 04, 2009

Living A Sponge Bob Episode

Didn't Sponge Bob do an episode about not being able to find his pants?

For clarification, it's my pajama pants I can't find. Not that that makes it any better... the fact it's my pajama pants elicited a raised eyebrow from my brother and a snicker from my father.

Please.

It's not like that.

When I come to visit my folks, I bring with me long pajama pants and long sleeved pajama shirt. The first night, we went to bed, all was good.

My husband goes to bed before I do when we're at my folks' house. He sometimes has a 6AM tee time and I'm up late playing with Mo and/or the boys. So as he gets ready for bed, I get all my stuff out so I don't awaken him when I come to bed.

Last night, as he crawled into bed, I tore the room apart saying, "WHERE are MY PANTS?"

Nowhere.

I've lost my pants.

At one point I showered and changed, wearing only my pajama shirt and underwear, and sat down with Mo while she played Pictionary with my boys. I was giving my boys the rundown on the following day's schedule. They looked at me, Mo looked at me and I said, "I can't find my pants."

The boys just shook their head. Mo said, "Hmm. Good thing your Mom doesn't wear thongs..."

I'd not have come out if I did! In my defense, my shirt is more long than short, but still obvious I'm not wearing pants.

Their game over, I was in the kitchen getting a glass of water when my brother walked in.

TN looked at me, raised an eyebrow and I said, 'I can't find my pants' to which he kind of shook his head.

Mo said something to him and he said, "Oh, you'll have to ask Flam." Ask Flam? As in... Flam was awake? I was horrified!

I quickly said good night and went to bed.

Mo says if Flam had walked in with me wearing my pajama shirt and underwear, she's have laughed her ass off. I'd have died a thousand deaths.

It reminded me of the time we ran out of bed space in the house so she was sleeping on a blow up mattress in Bones' bedroom, on the floor. Bones woke up and said he didn't feel well. She told him he'd be fine, picked him up, where he promptly threw up in her hair and all over the tshirt she was wearing.

I told her, "When a kid says his stomach hurts, you don't pick them up. You get them into the bathroom. That is one of the major rules..."

So, back to Bones and Mo. Mo covered in vomit, gets him to the bathroom, and back in the bedroom, the wee hours of the morning, thinking we haven't heard the vomiting commotion, she goes to strip down.

That would be, she had her hands on each end of the bottom of her shirt and was about to pull it up and over her head, when my husband walked around the corner to make sure Bones was OK.

She does this imitation when she tells the story, hands on shirt, eyes wide open, deer in the headlights "D'Oh!" declaring her great fortune that if he'd come around the corner just 2 seconds later, she'd have been shirtless.

Honestly, that would have been worse than if Flam had walked into the kitchen with me wearing my pajama top and underwear.

Not much.

But it would have.

Meanwhile, I still can't find my pants. TN says, it's very weird. Who in the hell loses their pants?

At home?

The search continues...

I wear shorts now.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:15 AM | Comments (4)

July 03, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Mo

So as I said in my Dork Boy post, Bones has this long hair he insists on parting in the middle.

I have styled it for him with a side part.

His father has styled it for him with a side part.

His brothers have cajoled him that it looks better with a side part.

Each and EVERY time we were met with a "NO. I hate this. I look stupid. I like my part in the middle."

Whereas we rolled our eyes collectively because parting the hair on the side was NOT what was making him look stupid.

'Lo and behold, we come to my parents' home where my sister is visiting as well with her family, and Mo brushes his hair on the side, and... he loves it.

He came bounding out to me, "Mom! Mom! MOM! This is how I will wear my hair for now on! Doesn't it look GREAT?!"

It doesn't look ANY different than what we did.

But Mo did it.

So it's cool.

Go figure.

At least someone got him to change. The part in the middle was killing me.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:31 PM | Comments (4)

Summer Hail Storms

We are here in Pensacola, where last night, we traveled in the worst storm I have... EVER... in my life had to endure while on a highway in a car.

Holy crap.

Hail. There was quarter sized hail pelting my vehicle. The rain was coming down when we started to hear the smacking of the hail upon the metal and the passengers within the vehicle went dead dog silent.

I started to laugh. It wasn't funny. None of it was, but it was a nervous laughter of the 'Oh sh--, could we possibly lose the windshield' kind.

My husband had slowed the car WAY down, but still, as we watched the ice falling out of the sky coming towards our car, sitting in the front seat, I had to fight the instinctive impulse to duck.

My windshield has two dings in it that need to be repaired. I need to go look at the hood. TGOO says it's fine, but to be honest, I don't know how it could be.

Good Lord.

Evidently we made it safe and sound and we're here with the baby. I played with her most of the morning, making funny faces with her, kissing on her toes, bubbling my lips and seeing her try to imitate and succeeding.

She LOVES fingers. I don't know what it is, but if you take your fingers and move them around, she is absolutely enthralled and will start to give a little laugh.

Fingers.

Whoda thunk it. Should all the world be so easily amused, I suspect our world would be do different.

We can't quit kissing on her. Mr. T is the worst. Every moment he can, he has his face buried in her cheek or neck, smooching her. Her bald little head has gotten more kisses than are countable.

Good Lord... she is so yummy.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:28 PM | Comments (5)

July 01, 2009

Dork Boy

Bones' hair looks like crap. I hate it.

I'd make him get it cut, but the summer is his as during the school year it has to be kept a certain way. It's a deal we made...

... which was fine until THIS year when he decided to go all 'long hair' on us.

His hair is fine and so long, it can get very stringy looking. He doesn't have any shape to it and he's decided to part it down the middle.

I can't decide whether he looks like a dork or like white trash.

I've not held back.

But he is adament that this is the way he wants to wear his hair until the 2nd week of August when he gets it hacked off.

I keep telling myself 'it's just hair', and trying to move on.

Today we were at his voice lesson, waiting for his teacher, and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection:

Me: Bones, did you wash your hair last night?

Bones: YES!

Me: It looks oily.

Ringo: It does.

Bones: I washed my hair! I'm using that new shampoo that you and Ringo love!

Me: Well, it's not good for your hair. Your hair is too fine for it. Use one of the other 30 little bottles you've been hoarding in there.

Bones: Fine.

Me: You really really need a cut.

Bones: Mom. Listen. I want to grow my hair long and keep it long. I know I can't for school, but through the summer, I want to enjoy it.

The sales pitch was in full swing. I could feel it.

He continued: See, one day... I'm going to be bald. I'm not going to have ANY hair so this is the time of my life, where I need to enjoy my hair, keep it long, and enjoy that I have so much.

Ringo and Me, I swear: *blink*

We busted out laughing. I'm telling you, TGOO is reading this and laughing, as he's bald. I can't make this stuff up.

But if he's not enough of a fashion disaster regarding hair RIGHT NOW, I have the beard thing to look forward to. (Keep in mind, this is the child who says he wants to lift weights on only one side of his body so one side is twice as big as the other.)

My husband is very hairy. TGOO is very hairy. My boys will be... very hairy. If you recall, I said a few years ago to Bones, "You look so much like your Dad" to which he replied, loudly, "NO I DON'T! Dad looks like a WOLF!"

Eh, he's not wolfy, but he's definitely Chia Petty. He shaves and POOF, he's fuzzy on his face.

Mr. T was commenting on how Ringo's face is getting hairy, but a soft hairy, peach fuzz hairy, not whisker hairy.

So I inquired today over dinner, how this 'hair on the face' thing starts. I don't know. That's not a path I traveled.

I said, "Do you just get one whisker? And then two? And then slowly you have a beard?"

My husband shook his head and said, "No. You suddenly have a full on beard."

I said, incredulously, "REALLY? You just wake up and your face is whiskery? You have a beard?"

He said, "That's how it happened with me. I just had a beard..."

The boys were laughing cracking jokes, there was wonder if Mr. T and Bones would be quite the same, being so much fairer than my husband.

Suddenly Bones said, "I'm going to braid mine. I'm going to let my beard get this long," extending his hand 6 inches from the bottom of his chin, "and then I'm going to braid it."

The room grew silent.

He continued, "Yup, I'm going to grow it long and braid it... into THREE LONG braids."

Gah!

I'm not going to be seen with my son when he's an adult and is making his choices freely. He's going to have long stringy hair parted down the center, one side of his body twice the size of the other, and a long beard in three braids.

He is 10.

I am praying every night that he notices girls and actually WANTS them to like him. I want him to realize to look like dork boy is just not what the girls are going to want.

... at least none that he needs to be bringing home to meet his Mom...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:37 PM | Comments (14)