January 31, 2010

Sick

The fair is over and I'm decompressing.

The big awful news on my horizon is Bones has his audition for Voice to get into the local Middle School of the Arts and he is now sick as a dog, having caught a horrible cold. I have no idea what is going to happen to his voice by Tuesday his audition date.

I am absolutely physically sick about it. I am beside myself. So much has hinged on this and now...

I'm going to call the school to see if we can get his audition put off, but it says specifically that they need 3 days notice and tomorrow will be ONE. It also says I need written documentation from his Doctor. I'd like to just take him down there personally for them to see.

The kid can't sing. His voice is all cracky right now.

For over a year he has been taking private voice lessons to get into this school. For over a year, he has been singing and training. Over a year... trying to do the right thing to get him in the right school.

I'm so sick about it, I want to vomit. He so belongs in that school... and he so does not belong where he currently goes. If he doesn't get in, I am going to have to consider home schooling. That is what a potentially bad situation this could be. And I work, and I can't quit my job and...

I'm horrified.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:19 PM | Comments (7)

January 28, 2010

Would it be as Cool as Being a Teenage Werewolf? I think NOT.

I'm preparing for the annual school carnival, the one that makes me bat crap crazy, sending me on google looking for prices of sensory deprivation tanks after the whole deal is over.

I'm alive. Bonus.

I'll be off and on, depending on how far into overload I get this year as we've made some big changes to the side of the carnival I run, and if we can make it through with no glitches... well then... the Gods are surely shining upon me. If not, I'll probably end up in the fetal position come Sunday night when it's over.

But y'all know that.

So let me end this evening with what I thought was a funny story.

My eldest has had a sore ear for the last three days. Not sore on the inside like canal, but this soreness is on the part of the ear near the canal that is the scoopy part. Not the cartilage that forms the ear, but the base of that part.

It's been tender to the touch and I've examined it for clogged oil glands and what not. I told him, let's give it a few days and see how it goes. I thought perhaps he'd been bitten by something.

This morning he woke up and it was literally twice it's size, cauliflower ear, and the lymphatic tissue behind it was now inflamed. My first thought? Phew, he had his meningitis vaccine. My second thought? Dang, now I HAVE to take him.

He had a vocab test in English today, the very last class of the day. This teacher is a TOUGH teacher and although he is at the point he gets A's on papers he writes for her (he's very creative and an excellent writer), her actual tests, like Vocab tests, he struggles considerably with.

Today he didn't want to take it. His pede appointment was at 11:15 and for some reason he thought this would give him an out to take it tomorrow.

Right.

He kept saying, "I can study EVEN MORE!" to which I replied, "Tough love. You should be ready already. You're taking the damn test."

So that's the scene. Doctor's appt, vocab test, and his feeling like he needs to study more and my not giving a crap. I kept saying, "Suck it up."

We got to Dr. B's office and Ringo is STILL trying to convince me that he shouldn't go back to school. Hell, he tried to weasel out of going at all at 6AM. He was working every wicked trick from logic, to guilt, to persuasiveness to comedy.

None of it was working, although the comedy was working best.

In walks Dr. B, who we all love and with whom we laugh... a lot. Dr. B looks in his ears and notices the inflamed lymphatic tissue. And the following conversation ensues to the best of my recollection:

Ringo: I don't want to go back to school because I have a vocab test.

Dr. B: So I gather. I heard that going on...

Ringo: So this needs to be bad. It needs to be contagious. It needs to be... a flesh eating bacteria so I don't have to take my test.

Dr. B: *blink*

Ringo: Look, I have a HIGH B in that class right now which is the best I've ever had in her class. If I take this test, I could drop down... a lot. So flesh eating bacteria is best.

Dr. B, holding his hands like the hands of justice, weighing out the options: Hmmm, let me see... hmmm... a C or worse on a vocab test versus having half your face eaten away. Hmmm (moving his hands back and forth) Yeah, maybe I can see why this is such a difficult dilemma... (rolling his eyes and starting to laugh really hard)

Ringo, laughing: Exactly! You see my point. I need to have the flesh eating disease. I could actually pull an A in this class if not for this Vocab test...

And with that we all laughed... and he took his Vocab test.

Obviously he didn't have any flesh eating bacteria. Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:49 PM | Comments (4)

January 26, 2010

The Great Flambina is ONE!

It was one year ago today that y'all celebrated with me, the birth of my niece.

This Picture Made Me Cry.JPG

And now she is... one.

We are so in love with her. I get on skype with her and she toddles around, picks things up, babbles.

Whenever she cries I say, 'She's crying because she doesn't have any hair', where Mo insists she does. Mom and TGOO are up there now and TGOO says she has a lot of wispy hair, it just doesn't show up on our skype cameras.

This is her sleeping with her favorite Dr. Seuss character:

Pookie sleeping2.JPG
Pookie and Seuss

And this is my new favorite picture and I have it on my desktop at work:
snowday2.jpg

And to my niece, the Great Flambina, should all the children of the world be loved as much as you, the world would be a far better place, of that I feel certain.

Happy Birthday, Pookie!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (5)

Directions for Mo, Part 1.5

This is for my sister, Mo. She is 6 years younger, so I thought I'd lay it all out how it was to get from the Guest House to the Compound to see if I could jar her memory.

She was 6.

This was the Compound entrance as we saw it. It's owned by the Taiwanese Police or something now.

Compound.JPG

And Mo, this was the path. We used to walk to dinner on the Compound from the Guest House. As crazy as it was, it was always safe. The cafeteria had the same stuff over and over. As TN and Dad remember, we ate a lot of SOS and I remember a lot of jello, except for the hotdog vendor that served fantastic chili dogs right outside the cafeteria. Now I wonder if they were made of dog.

The NEX and cafeteria were right next to each other, in case you didn't remember.

The_Way_to_the_Guest_House with landmarks.JPG

Don't know if this helped...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2010

And They Say You Can Never Go Back, Part I

You're going to be forced to suffer through some odd things I've found from my past, some memories of my childhood. Actually, you're not forced, you can always go elsewhere.

But for those who choose to stay, I believe this will be a Two Parter.

For those who have been reading for any great length of time over the past 5 yeas, you know that I lived in Taiwan for ages 12 and 13. TGOO was stationed there working for what was called the United Stated Taiwan Defense Command. He did strategic war gaming for the Taiwanese military. My Mom ran the craft shop on the Compound, which was 1) not a small feat and 2) a very cool craft shop as they did ceramics, stone polishing, batik, and assorted very cool crafts.

I've had various posts regarding our time there from a post about my brother and I wondering about a cartoon we used to watch where a very large robot had 'boob-missiles', to my moving back stateside and one of my classmates asking if I was Chinese, and about our evacuation... a tough time for us.

The evacuation. We had 30 days. One minute we were there, the next my folks were getting rid of stuff, the next we were packed and in a hotel, and then... gone.

Being a child of the military, I often wonder what has happened to our 'homes' in the past. They say you can't go back, and you can't, but I still look back and wonder, as do my brother and sister, which brings me to my next two posts.

My brother found a blog on USTDC that was put together by a gentleman who was stationed there in the 70s. He posts pictures of what used to be there, talks about the Compound, and what it was like to be there during that time. In turn, people send him pictures and stories. Needless to say, it has brought back a flood of memories.

It started with THIS post that he wrote about a new hotel that had been built right across from the Compound, one that my brother readily idenitified as the hotel we spent our last 30 days. And from there the email started flowing, we found ourselves on Google Maps, and back we went... for free... no airfare involved.

And so what you'll have over the next couple posts is... my going back.

Starting with the first picture that started it all:

The Grandee Hotel.JPG
The Grandee Hotel, we lived here for 30 days. The elevator sucked, we got stuck in it as a family once, it jumped up and down rattling us around like popcorn and then stopped, only to have TGOO open the doors and finding us stuck between floors. I'll never forget looking at that wall...

All the military families were there. We were all told to leave and we were all living there awaiting orders, I believe all of us passing through Hawaii. We ended up living in Hawaii for about six months. Anyway, this was it. This was also the hotel we lived in when TGOO gave up smoking for us... Valentine's Day, 1979.

I call this next one: Grabbing the Ghost.
Grabbing the Ghost.JPG
This picture is for Mo. Remember this intersection, Mo? This was the intersection where Mo accidentally dropped this little paper ghost she'd made in school and it floated down the highway and she started to cry, and I felt bad, so I ran out in traffic and got it.

I remember that intersection clearly, except there was a median, which is now gone. And there were a lot of busses... and the cars are much newer now.

Anyway, during the emailing I said that the Guest House we lived in for the FIRST 30 days was also nearby, but not speaking or reading Chinese at the time, none of us remembered what street it was located on and we had to go by landmarks. We walked the street often as the Compound was at the end of it.

So as we walked the street, my brother, TGOO and I, on Google Maps, we found...

Buddhist Temple Not There.JPG
This Buddhist Temple that was most certainly NOT there. I don't remember what was there before the temple, but evidently it wasn't important, and I feel certain it was some type of building because Taipei is elbow to elbow buildings like any other city. So walk down the dirty nasty streets of beige buildings and BOOM! there's a Temple. (Regardless, I'd like a tour, please.)

Walking further down the street, I assured TN and TGOO that to find our Guest House, we had to pass The Imperial Hotel. I remembered it big as day, except I don't remember the cars able to drive under cover. I think TN remembers hostesses smiling at him. That didn't happen to me... then again I wasn't blonde haired and blue eyed. He always drew attention.

Imperial the same.JPG
The Imperial Hotel today.

TN and I both remembered a candy store on the corner of our alley. Remember, this was 30 years ago, so who even knew if the candy store still existed? Hell, there was a huge daggum Buddhist Temple now in the middle of a block, who knew what happened to the little store where we could buy American candy like Pop Rocks?

But... it was there, but bigger and better. Holy crap...

Candy Store.JPG
It most certainly did not have big orange signage 30 years ago. Evidently they've done... well.

And that takes us to our alley.

My Street for 30 days.JPG
This was my street for 30 days. There weren't so many cars, but it was still crazy. I wish there was a scratch and sniff feature so you could smell the scent of it all... or sound so you could hear the city noise that sounded like our city noise... but not.

And TGOO was the one who actually found our Guest House. There is a Blue Girl sign on it now.
The Guest House.JPG

Entrance to Guest House.JPG
This is where we lived and it's the same... but different. Peering through the door you can see steps and in the back, to the right was a guest room and to the left was a room, two rooms per floor. It looks so daggum nasty now, and trust me, it was not exactly the Ritz, but it wasn't like it is now.

Young men ran the Guest House and I remember when we first arrived, we turned on the bathtub and muddy brown filthy water poured out. TN jumped on one of the beds only to land, THUD. It was some thin mattress on top of plywood?

I remember the first day we were there, we heard the sound of the ice cream truck and we ran outside only to find... the garbage truck. The garbage truck, a great open topped truck with a man wearing a coolie hat inside stomping down garbage like Lucille Ball stomping grapes, would ride down the street playing ice cream truck music and Taiwanese people could come out and throw their garbage in the back of the truck while American children would run outside looking for treats that were most definitely... not there.

I immediately had to look up to the windows:
balconies.JPG
I'm still trying to make sense here. We used to peer out the windows and throw things off the top of the building. The windows weren't all grated and I think the windows on the far right were all in the hallway. I'm trying to space it in my head and it's not working.

Why am I spending so much time on the damn windows? Because it was from these windows that we kids would gather to peer out at the man across the street taking a shower.

No Naked Shower Guy.JPG
Notice there is no naked man. Every now and then, a white male would be on that 2nd story floor, right above the green sign, with what looks like white metal work on the window (not there then) and take a shower. There wasn't a green sign there then either, so it was a full view of the window.

Why his shower was up against the window was beyond me. It's not clear glass, it's foggy glass, so maybe he thought it was safe, nobody could see in, but see in we could, and someone would give a holler when he was showering, and all the kids in the Guest House would clamor to the 2nd floor window to watch.

There were A LOT of kids. A LOT.

We were all military families and I think there was not a family with less than three kids and there were two apartments per floor... so you do the math.

All watching this guy shower.

I've since wondered what the deal was. Did he live up on the 2nd floor? Why did we never see him go in or come out? Was he military renting an apartment? What was the deal?

And thankfully he always showered alone! We were mostly pretty naive back then still. We hadn't extrapolated to sex and people showering together. Good Grief.

Funnier still... we were all emailing back and forth and I brought out the fact that I found the window the guy showered in front of, and this was evidently news to my dear Mom, and the conversation between my Mom and I went something like this:

Mom: Wait. You were window peepers?

Me: You make it sound so ugly. I prefer the more classy French word: Voyeur.

Anyway, that's where I lived in Jan/Feb of 1979 and August of 1977. It looks like a hell hole, and it probably is now, but we have some really fond memories.

I just wish we had scratch and sniff...

Wednesday you get our old home, neighborhood and meat market.

And I got to go back... for free.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 PM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2010

Clocks

I have some odd posts brewing, but today you are stuck with a post on my workplace.

I have been there for five years as of November. I can't believe it is that long and although the bloom is most definitely off the proverbial rose, I am still thankful I have a job, as I NEED it and the flexibility it provides.

Even if I am now only allowed to have one calendar and three pictures in my cube. Total. And there are inspections.

It's all good.

Whereas most companies give out pens or pencils for five year anniversaries, with cost cutting measures in full swing, my company has eliminated that has taken to giving out gift certificates to a web site that sells stuff with the company logo on it.

I wanted a clock.

I wanted the five year clock with the hands that move, with the logo, that I could display on my desk, still allowable... I think.

That is not a choice... now I have a choice of weird crap on a website.

Being the only one in the office that has hit five years since the new policy, I came into work and told our assistant about it the other day, her five years being next year, and the following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection:

Me: Yeah, you get a gift certificate for 75 bucks, which is great except that the big ticket items are all clothes with our company name on it and I'm not walking around with an oxford with "Company B" on the breast.

E: You're kidding. Right?

Me: No. Serious as a heart attack. Let me show you. You know how hard it is to spend $75 when you don't want anything expensive? I bought 15 pens, 10 post it notes, a coffee cup, a travel mug, and 25 company golf balls for my husband. With shipping, I nearly hit $75. If I didn't buy the golf balls, that would have been a helluva lot of pens...

I pulled up the site to show her the clothes.

E: Bwhahahahaha! You're not kidding!

Me: Hey, you can buy the company wool varsity jacket, living in S. FL, you'd get so much use.

E: Bwhahahahaha.

Me: Two years ago, I got the company fleece. I figured if it got cold, I'd wear it, no sweat with the company logo, except it's not made out of warm material. It's made out.... something like polyester. If you get too close to a campfire, it might melt into a ball. Don't do it.

E: There's nothing...

Me: Pens. We'll all have lots of pens...

I wanted a damn clock.

Next time though, I'm just buying as many golf balls as I can. My husband will get use out of them... forget the damn pens.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:08 PM | Comments (6)

January 21, 2010

Eventually You Have to Laugh

This came from TGOO and I'm tossing this out out to my buddy, Eric, who officially hates Lane Kiffin more than I do, but I still hold the trophy for hating him LONGER.

lane kiffin is a jerk.jpeg

Posted by Boudicca at 05:38 PM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2010

And Then... There Were Two

Today is Mr. T's 13th birthday. I now have two teenagers in the house.

In the big scheme, it is easy to have my two eldest as teenagers; it is when Bones becomes one that I will be insane.

Or more so.

He's my organized son, the driven one, the one who has his life planned out. He informed me a couple weeks ago, "I'm going to have my children by age 28. I don't want to be old." This was more of an observation of watching my brother in law, aged 46, with his baby.

This is his plan, apply to the local High School that is ranked very high nationally, get in, do well, go to Georgia Tech and major in engineering, graduate and get a job he likes, get married, have kids by 30.

I have contingency plans for him through most of it until... the get married part. Can't help him with that gig...

Funnier still is the fact he is a HUGE FL Gator fan, but has no desire to go there. NONE. At.All. His first choice is MIT, then Georgia Tech, and then any other small engineering school with a great reputation... not UF.

He's a straight A student except for Religion, where he can't seem to pull better than a B+. I told him not to sweat it, that in my book, he's a straight A student.

Give me a break.

But, when in Catholic school, you gotta do the religion thing. (He's doing better now that I'm helping him study, which is a joke in itself that I'm helping him with religion, but we won't go there.)

Anyway, he's a great kid. I don't think the kid has ever been on restrictions. I've never had to take anything away from him for bad grades, poor behavior or anything. He's the middle child I watch for, for fear he'll get lost in the shuffle of his elder brother who went through some seriously sh*tty times in Middle School and his younger spaz crazy brother.

His favorite birthday cake is the same as my Mom's, Angel Food Cake with fudge frosting and strawberries. For dinner every year he gets my chicken pot pie. Why mess with something that works?

My traditionalist.

And so to Mr. T, on his 13th birthday, I say, “Happy Birthday my 2nd son. Should all the children be so blessed to be as loved as you are… for if they were, I suspect the problems of this world would be so very different… We love you so.”

T Cake.JPG

His Cake.

football boys.JPG

Playing ball this Thanksgiving in his grandparent's backyard.

whoopie cushion.JPG

Halloween. I never did post these pictures did I?

Posted by Boudicca at 11:08 PM | Comments (19)

January 19, 2010

Understanding Slippers in Florida, Good Grief

During knot tying in Scouts, my eldest wanted to learn to make a noose.

During the Leatherwork badge in Scouts, he wanted to learn how to make a bull whip.

When my son got his first Periodic Table of Elements in 6th grade science, he got in the car and wanted to immediately know how to build a nuclear bomb.

I'm thinking... this is all boy stuff, right?
-----------

On to Bones.

I cannot do this story justice, but I'm going to try like hell and if anything, my family will laugh. To get the full scope, think of Bones like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. If Calvin came to life as a boy, it would be Bones.

Some background, I frickin' HATE to be cold. All y'all who have been reading me for awhile know this. I HATE it. VW likes to taunt me about it. Yet as much as I hate being cold, I refused to turn on the heat in my home when the cold snap hit, because as much as I hate the cold, I hate spending money more on things I deem near ridiculous.

Heating a house in S. FL falls into the ridiculous expenditure of money realm.

And although my marriage survived the cold snap, and I personally survived the potential death threats from my children, I was still damn miserable.

I learned two things during this last cold snap, well three things if you include the face I think that all those who hold a Y chromosome in this house are wimps, 62 degrees in a house is liveable, miserable, but liveable.

I learned: I need more socks and I need slippers.

When at Gander Mountain with my folks this Christmas I found these horrible blue slipper boots that I had to have. Fuzzy, blue and white stringy, boots. Slippers.

I was in love.

Fashion is not my forte. Afterall, on Christmas I wore a big old sweater with a huge Christmas Tree on it.

Cold snap over, I realized I needed to actually prepare for the next cold snap and get some slippers. As good fortune would have it, I had time this weekend and I only had Bones as the two older boys were out camping in a swamp somewhere with Boy Scouts.

Off we went to Gander Mountain, Bones and I, as I felt certain those slippers had to be on sale. Seriously, they look like dead blue muppets.
blue slippe boots.jpg
You're Jealous. I can Tell. I'm damn mosty toasty in these dead muppet slipper boots.

And as I picked them up, realizing my feet would be forever warm, I said to Bones, "Do you want a pair of slippers?"

Bones answers everything on impulse. Absolutely, he never thinks. "Is the sky green?" "Sure!" "Is the grass blue?" "Sure!" "Did you have a great day at school?" "Sure!" "Wait... I heard you got a detention..." "Oh... well, maybe it wasn't such a great day."

And so the answer was, "Yeah, Sure."

I found boys' slippers and there were not much to choose from. I was hoping to get him something like mine, like Mother like Son, but the Fashion Gods were shining upon the poor lad, so he was spared. Instead I found... camo slippers.

We were... afterall... in Gander Mountain.

And the following conversation ensued with my FL boy... who doesn't get ... slippers.

Bones: Hunh. I can't sleep in these.

Me: No. You sleep in socks.

Bones: But, they are hard on the bottom...

Me: They're slippers. They're shoes. Yes, they're hard on the bottom, so you don't slide.

Bones: Hunh.

Me: They are fuzzy inside, see? You slip your feet in and they stay toasty.

Bones: Wow. They're fuzzy!

And then the next day:

Bones: So exactly what do people do with slippers... when they sleep?

Me: *blink*

Bones: Do they just put them beside their bed so when they wake up their slippers are there to wear?

Me: Um. Yeah.

Bones: Hunh. OK. That makes sense.

We have now mastered the concept of... the slipper. He is 10. This is pathetic.

And so we came home with said camo slipper shoes with the fuzzy insides. He loves them and wears them every morning, which is where it starts to get funny. Keep in mind, Ringo and Mr. T were not home when the slippers were bought.

Monday morning the boys are off from school. Mr. T has been up for hours and is on his second breakfast, a big bowl of cereal when Bones comes dragging into the family room, wearing nothing but... Sponge Bob underwear and camo slippers.

I was standing in the kitchen and turned just in time to see the sight of truly the spindliest legs known to children, sticking out of Sponge Bob underwear that sag as he's so skinny, and... camo slippers... that, as Ringo informed me today, look like Camo Loafers. Hair smashed all over, Bones made his way to flop on the couch.

I looked at Mr. T, who I swear to God, was about to snort milk out his nose. He had spoon mid air, mouth open, with the edges of his mouth twitching in a smile, and if anyone has ever said they've seen eyes laugh, Monday morning Mr. T's eyes were not just laughing, but howling.

He was speechless, frozen in time as he watched his younger brother wander through the house looking like the village idiot.

I caught his attention and mouthed, "Don't you dare laugh at him!" to which he covered his hand in his face, composed himself and mouthed back, "I'm trying not to!"

Now flash forward to today, Ringo and I were alone in the car when out of the blue he said to me, "Mom, what is with those camo loafers Bones has?"

Me: They're slippers.

Ringo: Yeah, I gather. He told me that when he came in Monday morning. Mom. I didn't know what to say...

Me: Was he in his underwear and camo loafers?

Ringo: YES! Do you know how hard it was not to laugh at him?

And the conversation progressed, our reliving the morning, until Ringo was laughing so damn hard he was nearly crying.

The camo slippers:
boys camo slippers.jpg

Which with normal clothes, are great, but with just Sponge Bob underwear... they are funnier than hell.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 PM | Comments (8)

January 18, 2010

Tossin' Out a Few Good Vibes

I think everyone is pretty well aware now of Denny's accident. Denny is our blog friend who happens to be a paraplegic. I say 'happens to' because it's a side note when it comes to Denny.

His losing the use of his legs has not defined him. Don't get me wrong, it's a major pain in the neck for him, and if he had a do over, he'd make sure it didn't happen, but it's not what defines Denny. It's not him. He is him and 'by the way, his legs don't work'.

For those that don't know, Denny lost the use of his legs when he fell out of a tree and broke his spine. Since then, he's flown airplanes, took up scuba diving, and took up skiing as well. Not having the use of his legs hasn't kept him from doing what he wants to do.

And even though his blog is Grouchy Old Cripple, and he's very upfront about being a crip, that's not WHO he is.

He is Denny who retired from IBM, is an expert on wine, goes scuba diving in the summer, skiing in the winter, and travels in between. guitar player, singer and kazoo blower.

I think the funniest post about his accident has been over at Erica's, where she calls him the Chuck Norris of cripples. My eldest son and I have been laughing about that.

My kids know Denny. They also know that he got hurt in a skiing accident. They know that nothing has kept Denny from... being Denny.

And I honestly had never given thought as to what it was like to be a paraplegic until Denny wrote THIS post, with absolute brutal honesty as to what it's like to be him, the concerns, the trials and tribulations of every day life. If you've not read it, Go Read It. Singlehandedly, one of the most moving posts I've read in a long time. It gave me a glimpse into a world... he makes look so easy.

So there are pictures here and there of Denny, and I don't have one of him with me and Denny, something that needs to be corrected, but I do have one from a couple years ago when we all celebrated the October birthday's at Eric's home.

I believe I call this picture "Birthday Cake in Flames".

birthdaycake in flames.jpg

I sent Denny a text earlier today just to let him know I'm thinking about him. I know not where he is, or of the status, or whether he actually RECEIVES texts as I usually just call him, but just in case, I thought I'd tell him.

Denny, a devout atheist, would more than welcome your positive thoughts, I feel assured. You can throw a prayer out there too... I'm sure he's cool with that as well.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 PM | Comments (6)

January 17, 2010

Today's Take: Good to be, Sucks to be

Sucked to be my elder boys this morning. They were camping with Boy Scouts, earning their engineering badge while camping on secured property owned by an aerospace firm some 10 miles in the swamp from here. It started to rain HARD as they broke down their tent sites.

Good to be my elder boys this weekend as they had a fantastic time and got to see some cool 'machinery'.

I'm perpetually amazed at how much my boys have learned in leadership and life skillz.

Give my boys a budget, the number of people, and what meals need to be planned and they can do it all... including the cooking. The boys in their Troop love when my boys cook. It's not junk out of a bag, but shrimp scampi and the likes. (Shrimp Scampi on the menu means cuts elsewhere to stay in budget. Cereal and milk for breakfast instead of omelettes will mostly offset said cost.)

Mr. T won 2nd place in a cook off at this Camp out with at least 10 other Troops in competition. He was beside himself pleased.

Sucks to be me as on Friday I must attend a gala with my husband, in which I will know NO ONE. It is in support of a friend of my husband's... a friend and client. I know it will be wonderfully done, but that whole, 'walking in a room and not knowing a soul other than my spouse' gig always puts me on edge. I'm not so trusting... in particular as the last time I did this I had some nasty old bat make a cutting remark.

We won't revisit that.

Good to be me today as I was afraid the gown of choice would not fit as I've been rather sluggish and not exercising, and have not quite cut back the caloric intake. Tried on the gown... and it fit... fit well in all the right places. My favorite gown to boot as it is black velvet with a high neck, appearing so very conservative, yet there is NO back. Much lower in the back and I'd be showing parts that shouldn't be shown in public. With my hair up and good earrings, I will actually feel pretty for once... which is a huge rarity for me since I'm not all into the 'girl thing'. I'm almost daring some nasty old woman to say something.

Almost.

I take that back, I will know two people at the gala, soon to be Eagle Scouts in our Boy Scout Troop. Their mother is helping to put the gala on. I don't think they're going to recognize me and I can't hang with them as it would be odd to have a 44 year old woman only hanging with two 16 year old boys. (Twins.) So essentially I'll know... no one.

Speaking of the twins, I am the badge counselor for Family Life in our Troop and this was the last Eagle badge the boys needed before sitting for their Eagle Board of Review. They called me last week to make sure they could sit with me for sign off, a list of questions they had to answer.

To them both I said, "Read your book, prepare yourself, because the last question is regarding the purpose of a Father in the family and if you come to me and say, "He earns money so we can have a place to live and food to eat", I'm going to fail you."

They did as told and came with a list of what a Father brings to the table, but I added to it... of course... telling them that their Father was their first role model on how to treat a mate, that if their Father beat their mother, that is what they'd know, following in his footsteps or breaking the trend... either one... it would be what they knew, and likewise, their sister would seek out men like their father. Smart boys, we discussed this at great length... and it made them think. They're good kids... I strongly suspect they are going to do VERY well in life.

VERY well.

If you ask my eldest this same question, he is in the process of earning the same badge so we've been having discussions, he thinks the most important role of the father is 'options'.

'Options?" I queried.

"Yeah, because if you say no, you won't drive me somewhere, maybe Dad will...", came the reply.

There is that.

Sucks to be USC, but they don't know it yet. They have that dirtbag Lane Kiffin and don't realize what a lying, cheating, SOB they have on their payroll. They get what they deserve, BTW.

Good to be UT, but they don't know it yet. The best thing that could happen to them is getting rid of Lane Kiffin. Until the end, I don't think they realized what a lying, cheating SOB they had on payroll. Now they know. There's no where to go but... UP. It may be a rebuilding year, but I think they'll be just fine. And I'll root for them too this year, except for when they play UF. Every Game.

I guess that'll do for randomness... galas, scouts, SEC ball. Oh and our closets are cleaned to ship the clothes off to Haiti. So I got Natural Disaster in that too.

Posted by Boudicca at 03:10 PM | Comments (6)

January 16, 2010

Getting Help to Haiti

I made a mistake. Our young family friend is in Haiti. I thought he was still at home, but I misunderstood my husband. He just wasn't in Port Au Prince at the time.

He is there now.

He works for an established group there called Hope for Haiti. Throughout the community donations are being taken to get to his organization.

Meanwhile, a girlfriend of mine is gathering essentials that a local church, already well established in Haiti, is getting to their sister church. That is my task for tomorrow.

My closet has been breeding running shoes. I was cleaning it the last week of Christmas vacation when I found no less than five pairs of running shoes all with too many miles from marathon training, but still good shoes. They don't have the support to run, but they are plenty fine for foot coverings. I've been wondering what to do with them as one only needs so many pairs of 'yard shoes' and afterall, I have those sexy black rubber boots.

My question has been answered. My old running shoes are going to Haiti, along with all the clothes in my closet that I no longer wear. Surely I'm not the only woman with clothes in her closet that fit the category of "When I lose that last 10 pounds, I'll wear that again..."

No I won't. If I lose that last 10 pounds, I'll buy new smaller clothes. The women in Haiti get those clothes now. It's all casual, but all still wearable for warm weather.

I'm going through my boys' closets too. I suspect I'll have quite a bit of clothing for the church. The last time we cleaned our closets like this was Hurricane Katrina. I sent bags and bags of clothes to Mississippi... and I know it all got there because it was the brother of a neighbor who lived in one of those stricken towns that drove it, in a borrowed truck from a neighbor who owns a produce company.

It's all about pulling together.

So that's what we're doing tomorrow... cleaning closets and packing it up. It may take awhile to get there as Haiti is inundated with flights trying to get in, but it will get there eventually and those folks are going to be in need... for a long damn time.

If you happen to live in the Naples, FL area... this link will show you what they need. Hope for Haiti will get it there. Go HERE.

I believe there will be a drop point in northern Palm Beach County as well. If you live in this area and can provide anything on that list, I'll get you the drop point. Email me...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:19 PM | Comments (4)

January 15, 2010

More Sadness Than One Could Ever Foresee

Randomness on Haiti:

This horror in Haiti is unimagineable. Just like everywhere else, we're all collecting and doing what we can. Living in S. FL, we all know people from Haiti.

The thing is... I just reconcile myself that whenever I give, it's not getting there. There is so much need... so much corruption... so much sadness... so much poverty... so much... wrong.

Have you ever looked at Hispaniola on Google Earth? It's that big island that splits Haiti and the Dominican Republic. A couple years ago I pulled it up so I could show Mr. T the vast deforestation that has occurred. Pull it up... you can see.

Haiti: Brown brown brown.

Dominican Republic: Brown and green.

So much pain and sadness and death... for so long. I've never completely understood why it was OK for Cubans to be able to have political refuge here, but the Haitians not. Every year, those folks risk their lives to come to our shores... only for us to send them back. People dying at sea, being taken by traders who care nothing of their lives only their cash, dying on ships in cargo crates... roasting to death or suffocating. We read about that here... all the time.

This is just the next chapter in that horror show. A most awful chapter I could never have fathomed.

I think that if there is such a thing as reincarnation, anyone born in Haiti must've been a real SOB, a wife beating, thieving, child abusing, SOB to have come back and been born there. That's truly how bad their everyday life is for the average citizen... and now this.

My sons being Catholic and going to Catholic schools, my eldest has children in his classes that are Haitian. I cannot imagine going to school every day, wondering if my extended family was even alive.

It boggles the mind, it does.

We had a brief scare as a friend of the family does work over there getting medical to the people. He's a young man, a brand new graduate of Georgetown, speaking multiple languages... one of which is now Creole. Haiti is his calling.

And when the quake hit and I realized what had happened, that was my first panicked thought... was he safe? And he is. I feel certain he's one of the many who will be going over to help. He knows the lay of the land...

So much... heartache.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:50 PM | Comments (7)

January 13, 2010

Tree Launch

So to all my rocket launching blogger buddies, to all you rocket scientists and wannabe rocket scientists, I give you...

Rocket Launching a Christmas Tree.

Hat tip to my buddy at work who sent this to me. (Yes, he reads and must think I am half insane... but I suspect he knew that anyway.)

And my favorite part of this video? The last 5 seconds when they are questioning whether Mom knows about it... Classic.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:59 PM | Comments (13)

January 12, 2010

Non Linear Thinking Day

Crazy day.

I have a headache.

I hated Geometry 30 years ago. I still hate it. If I have to mentally move one more triangle in my head, it might explode.

My head.

Not the triangle.

Bad news is my son hates it as much as I did/do, although I keep up the cheerleading crap I'm getting so good at and keep saying, "Hey! This is GREAT!" and inside I'm thinking, 'HEY, this so f*cking sucks sewage laden swamp water."

Good news is he is better at it than I was. He actually pulled a B in it for the term. We won't discuss what I pulled when I took it. I told him our goal for him is a solid A.

I'm bound and determined to pass Geometry at some point in my life.

I have a headache.

I said that.

This morning was spent waiting in a long assed line trying to get Bones into our Middle School of the Arts. I had to sign him up for auditions. The notice said be there from 9:30 to 11:30 and I took that to mean, 'Please be here by 9:30 as we have some things to go over with you."

It also said 'do not be here before 9AM' and I thought, "Who in their right minds would be there before 9AM?"

Right.

I pulled in at 9:25 to find they had run out of parking and had us park in overflow which amounted to parking in a fire lane on the other side of the school, only to find that when I finally got to where we needed to be, there was no 'assembly' for us to attend, but a line of... 500? 800? parents all waiting to sign their child up for auditions.

Holy crap.

And this was DAY ONE. DAY ONE! There are two more days... all of this to get our kids an audition, in hopes they will pass, and end up in a lottery, to get into the best middle school in the county.

Or at least the best one for those of us who have kids that are a little... different.

I saw a girlfriend of mine there, and we were laughing at the absurdity of it all, while admitting to each other that we could both get so crazy stressed about it, but we're trying to keep it all in check.

We just want what's best for our children... as did the other hundreds of parents that were there.

It just... shouldn't be... so hard.

Bones is singing as his first choice and doing theater for his second choice. He has been with a voice coach for a year and memorizing a monologue for the past few months.

This so needs to work... and it's not that where he goes now is not a good school; it is a very good school. It's just for middle school it is not a good fit... for him.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (4)

January 11, 2010

From Dork to Viking in a Few Clicks

It's been hectic here, I have a moody teenager in the house and it's kind of bringing me down, and I wasn't going to blog.

Until.

I was surfing the blogs and came to El Capitan's at Baboon Pirates and saw some photoshopping and I cannot quit laughing.

Holy crap.

I became a Viking.

A little background, I have met El Capitan a couple times, this latest at the Hysterics at Eric's this past October. El Capitan is the greatest guy. He has a great sense of humor, a wonderful heart, and a quick mind. And he has a rule... if you put a photo on your blog, it's fair game for photoshopping.

That completely escaped me when I wrote that decade in review post. Completely did not cross my mind... at all.

Now on an unrelated side note, when I bought those horrible black rubber boots, I absolutely was not using logic. All I thought was that I couldn't use my running shoes for hurricane yard clean up as they'd get mushy (lots of water) and dirty (lots of dirt).

What I didn't think was... hurricanes happen in the summer, it is 100 degrees during clean up... and black rubber boots are STUPID.

Holy crap. I thought my feet would fry right then and there.

Moral of the story: When buying rubber work boots in FL, buy WHITE. I just thought the white looked so stupid. And that's a FIRST that I would think any fashionable thought AT ALL, let alone try to relate fashion to rubber work boots.

Good grief.

There truly is not hope.

And I ended up with that truly sexy outfit. Nothing screams red hot Mama like running shorts and black rubber boots and a rake.

Hey, but El Capitan fixed that! He made me a Viking Warrior! Woo hooo!

Go see...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 PM | Comments (12)

January 09, 2010

A Certain Kind of Cold

My thoughts today, "Family, you can't live with them and you just can't shoot 'em'."

I have family in town. Not my family. I'll leave it at that.

It's to get to subfreezing weather tonight here in S. FL. For most of you, it's not a big deal, but for those of us who live in Citrus Country, it's got potential to be a very bad thing. It's not good for the crops, so forget the fact I can't take the cold, it's not good for the farmers.

Now that we have solar hot water, I have to drain the panel any time it gets below 34 degrees. This is the 2nd time this week we've drained the panel, not a big deal, but just one more thing of which to be aware.

Meanwhile, for the past week since the first cold front, we've been arguing about the heat. I refuse to turn it on. I'm the air boss.

It is making my husband and boys absolutely bat crap crazy. My expression through the week has been 'Suck it up and put on more clothes.' The thermostat has been hovering around 64 - 65 degrees.

The hysterical thing is that my girlfriend, VW, called here the other day and my husband answered. I think she was calling to tease me because it was going to be getting colder and she knows how much I HATE the cold.

I hate it.

And evidently the conversation took place as my husband had on two layers of clothing since I refuse to turn on the heat, and he said something like, "Are you kidding me? She loves the cold. She won't turn on the heat..." to which she laughed and informed him that I don't turn on the heat, not because I like the cold, but I'm too damn cheap and I don't want to have to pay to heat the house.

For some reason I thought this was hilarious that my girlfriend had to tell my husband why I don't turn on the heat. I figured he knew.

Heh.

As I said to him, I pay the bills.

Anyway, the heat is on. The house keeps getting colder and colder and I got tired of the whining. Add to it that we have guests... well it seemed the right thing to do.

Update: The way this works with solar is... we have a panel and then pipes that run into our tank located in our garage. Our very insulated tank holds 120 gallons and stays hot. We can't get hot water via the panel anyway through the evening. So we drain it so the residual water that is in the panel doesn't freeze and break the panel.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:55 PM | Comments (13)

January 07, 2010

A Quilt for Kyle

I'm not watching the BCS bowl because Colt McCoy got hurt and it's not a fair game anymore.

It's cold here in S. FL. It's not cold here like it is where the rest of y'all live, but it's cold enough that for the first time we've been having to drain our solar hot water panel on the roof of our home for fear it will freeze.

I was slated to run the Disney Half on Saturday, but am still recovering from an injury from the Halloween Half. I can't remember the last time I was so thankful... I think it might snow during that race. It's going to suck. I'll be here. Woot!

So. What did I do this Christmas vacation?

I finished Kyle's quilt.

When I did the Virginia Beach Half for Team in Training, I did it for a young man named Kyle. Kyle was diagnosed with Leukemia nearly 8 years ago. He had a bone marrow in 2006, after relapsing multiple times using chemo. As if fighting cancer were not bad enough, without going into detail, he got a bad infection and has been fighting for his life ever since.

The cancer will not take him... if anything does it is the after effects.

And so while Mentoring this team, I thought it would be nice if we created a quilt for Kyle... something for him to keep to remember that he was our Honored Hero. There were 15 of us... half doing the VA Beach Half (did I mention I could live in VA in a heartbeat?) and the other did the Nike Women's in San Fran (I couldn't do San Fran).

I cut the squares, handed them out with directions, and asked only that people create a message for him. Unfortunately, only seven people participated. So I downloaded logos and created squares to fill it in and what you see below is the finished product. (His mother was a Mentor on our team... you can see her in the middle of the quilt in a picture she gave me of the two of them.)

I think he was happy when I delivered it tonight. They are moving to Duke this month... he gets far superior care at the Duke Medical Center and there is hope that they can save him. He said he wants it hung on the wall of his room at the hospital.

He turns 22 next week. He has been fighting this since he was 14.

My great pride? I was able to make this quilt for $10!!! I have so much dang fabric around this house, I had only to buy something to iron on the pictures and I did purchase the blue fabric (Kyle's favorite color) which cost me $1.33. All the rest of the fabric, from the white squares to my favorite batik fabric (I love batiks)... I had!

Keep Kyle in your prayers please. He is such a good kid... and the horror show continues. A young man who has never kissed a girl, never held her hand, never been on a date, never went to high school and messed around like other kids, never... has done so much.

This may be a better picture for color... it is a deep purple around the pictures.

Picture 78.jpg


Posted by Boudicca at 11:07 PM | Comments (10)

January 05, 2010

Skipping the Mascara

She died on New Year's Eve, minutes before the clock struck twelve. The old decade would end with her, the new would begin without her.

And all the mothers, teachers, and womenfolk gathered around the family like all the king's horses and all the king's men, and as in the nursery rhyme there is no putting that family back together again. So they did the only thing they knew to do, and they cooked and baked, and had an enormous celebration after her burial.

I had a funeral director say to me once, "Never should a good person go to their final resting place without a few good words said over their body."

I shall add to that, my own corollary, "Never should a good person go to their final resting place without a celebration of their life following."

This is what her children would remember... the gathering of so many who loved their mother.

Originally there was to be nothing, and I kept texting my girlfriend, "Are you SURE there will be nothing? Please tell her mother... I will bake." And she in turn quietly persisted with the family... until there was going to be a small gathering at the home after and then suddenly a larger hall was acquistioned.

My other girlfriend, who is a teacher at the kids' school, started a phone tree and suddenly teachers were bringing food. I was cooking, baking, making a few phone calls, listening when listening was all that could be done, promising it would come together.

The Mass was lovely. We pulled our children out of class to attend, a bonus when the church and the school reside on the same property.

Mothers wept openly... weeping for many knew her as a child, grew up with her, others had daughters that were friends with the daughter of the young dead mother, whilst others cried for what could have been, but never will be and for our worst nightmare coming true before our eyes... a mother dying when her children are still young.

It is not the natural order, to die when one's parents are alive and when one's children are still... children.

This is the third parent in ten months, various forms of cancer, mothers and fathers, black and white, 30s and 40s, different neighborhoods, not even the same parts of the county, nothing common except the horror of leaving behind children. A horror so vast the rest of us are left wide eyed and terrified, trying to comprehend, and going into overdrive to help because we can't make it go away and because... hopefully someone would do the same for our families should it be one of us... next.

The ghastliness of it all creating conversations between spouses you never dreamed of having, such as, "Will you sit by my bedside should I lay dying?" "Please do not let me die alone..."

And there were two hams, two baked zitis, a lasagna, rolls, two mac 'n cheese, a huge hash brown casserole, 100 Chick fil A nuggets, taco dip with chips, brocolli casserole, potato casserole, sweet potato casserole, smokey chicken noodles, cold pasta salad, 40 turkey and cheese spiral wrap slices, fresh fruit, tuna salad, and desserts... homemade. And nearly all of it eaten, with a couple days worth of dinner left for the family.

The smartest thing my girlfriend did was spontaneously order an enormous tray of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A for all the kids. I'm remembering that one.

The smartest thing my other girlfriend did was suddenly wondering if one ham was enough, and spontaneously ordering two. If there is leftover ham, it will always get eaten. There wasn't much left over.

The smartest thing I did was cook two big pans of baked ziti. I was so afraid they'd be eating on it for a month. There wasn't anything left.

And odder still was standing in the kitchen with the Moms, discussing how this woman died of cervical cancer, only to hear two of them chime in that their insurance no longer covers that exam... and one person's insurance no longer covers any yearly exam for her.

Nice.

I wonder how many women have to die of cervical cancer before people will be up in arms that insurance isn't carrying a basic test that could save our lives?

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

January 04, 2010

PSA: Talk

They had an article in yesterday's paper about a gentleman I do not know, but who is very well known in my work circle, who received a heart transplant in November. It saved his life. He has three kids.

He is 39.

And it made me wonder, other than faith, why do people resist being organ donors?

I don't get it.

As soon as I got my Driver's License at aged 16, I signed the Organ Donor forms and had them stamp Organ Donor in the corner of my Driver's License.

16.

There was never any doubt.

Why would I want to die without giving someone else the ability to live?

It makes no sense to me.

And that brings me to a couple stories here... one of them personal, and one of them not.

Starting with 'the not', I was at a meeting about 12 years ago for a women's organization I'm in, and the speaker was a woman, looking back she was probably in her mid to late 40s, and she spoke to us about organ donation.

This was HER cause. She was going all over and speaking where people would have her and she was fortunate to have been blessed with fantastic orator skills. She was fascinating, never boring, full of facts... she was wonderful.

She didn't speak as a recipient. This was not a woman who had the kidney of another in her body or the receving end of a cornea transplant.

No.

This was a woman who was the mother of... a donor.

Hearing her speak, listening to her story, it has 'haunted me' for lack of a better phrase. It has a home in my memory box, and I have told her story so many times and also use one of her phrases.

Her son died in a motorcycle accident. Hooked to life support, he was brain dead, but his strong young heart kept beating. She was devastated and she said that's when she was approached by the doctor, who was 12 years old, and he looked at his feet, and he shifted his weight and he nervously looked to her and finally she said, "What do you need?" and he eventually stammered, asking her if she'd like her son to be an organ donor.

Her response? It was along the lines of, "You were afraid to ask me that? There is NOTHING you could have said to me that is worse than 'your son is dead'. NOTHING. Asking me if he would be an organ donor is is nothing..." And with that, she signed the papers and her son's heart, liver, kidneys, corneas, and any other viable organs I may have left out, went to help others live and see.

I carry her story with me often, knowing she was right, hoping I would be so strong, praying I never have to find out, and seeing an angel... who better to speak on organ donation than a mother who has seen the worst of the worst?

And it is from her I took the expression about the 12 year old. If you recall, I asked the guys I worked with the other day when we started to hire 12 year olds. It is an expression I use frequently referring to young doctors and such.

Anyway, many women that day signed up to be organ donors. She really hammered it home.

But that brings me to my personal story.

It was a day short of ten years ago; my mother in law had had a massive cerebral hemorrage. Not understanding the full depths of what we were looking at, the family had her hooked to life support to determine if there was anything that could be done. Could brain surgery bring her back?

It wasn't long before the answer came back NO. That's another whole awful story, but eventually it was realized and we were left standing bedside making decisions before the proverbial plug was pulled.

My husband and his family included me and the other 'in-laws' in the decision making. All family meetings included me and the other spouses, which I thought was pretty amazing as I'm not sure I'd have been so open. We didn't have the final authority in decision making, but we were consulted for our opinions... perhaps we saw something they did not? Perhaps we'd had a discussion with her that they didn't know of? Perhaps our not being so emotionally vested gave us a different perspective? (Yes, we loved her, but she was NOT our mother. It is different... it is.)

And so I found myself at my mother in law's bedside, stroking her hair, my father in law beside me and my two sisters-in-law standing on the other side of him, with the last standing at Ma's feet.

I looked up and said to Lee, "Was she an organ donor?"

Lee shook her head. In exasperation she said, "Bou, Dee and I have looked through her pocketbook. We looked in her wallet. It's not even on her driver's license. Don't you think it would at least be there?"

Speaking from experience I replied, "No, it would definitely be there."

Dee chimed in, "It's not like her to not do something like be an organ donor. She was a huge environmentalist and so giving." (Dee is a hippy.)

Lee was thinking and finally replied, "The only thing I can think of is that she thought it was against Catholiscm because for so long it was."

I looked at them both and said, "Well, as family, you can sign it. Call the doctor in and you can have her organs donated. If you think it would make her happy, you can sign."

At that point, my father in law, who had been sitting there quietly never saying a word, SHRIEKED, "FINE! IF YOU WANT TO CUT HER UP, JUST DO IT! FINE!"

The room went quiet, with only the rythmic sound of the life support system. I looked at Lee with both eyebrows raised, she and Dee looked back at me wide eyed, and I said, "Well, I guess that settles that..."

And Lee said, "Yup, so much for organ donation..." and that... was... that.

Looking back, the doctors would probably have said no anyway. A 74 year old woman is not exactly prime donor material.

I use this story, however, to illustrated the importance of TALKING.

TELL SOMEONE YOUR WISHES.

Think about organ donation.

And should you think this is something you would want, sign up or at least... TELL YOUR FAMILY.

You could save a life...

Posted by Boudicca at 12:07 PM | Comments (10)

January 03, 2010

Days in a Year

My insurance company is USAA. I really like them as an insurance company; they're good to us. There has never been a threat of their dropping us due ot where we live, they are fair and helpful. It's always felt... right.

One of the many perks was that every year we'd get a wall calendar. Each month would have a military picture, depicting one of the four branches of service, doing what they do, from ships to aircraft, to repelling to Coastie stuff.

Very cool.

And each year, I'd take it to work and have it in my cube. In the event I forgot to turn the page to the next month or if I was not there when the month changed, someone would always switch it for me.

Everyone knew my calendar. It was a cool calendar...

I say 'was' because evidently the calendar got cut during cost cutting measures for the bad economy.

I'm very sad.

I put a call into them asking for it and they said it was no longer, but she made note that yet another client had asked for the calendar. Hell, I said I'd PAY for it.

I loved that calendar.

So I did the next best thing and got a Chick Fil A calendar for my office. Now instead of Men and Women in Uniform serving our Country, I have cows dressed as characters from literature, like The Three Muskateers, except I think it's The Three Moosketeers.

Not quite the same. Very funny... but not the same.

Here at home I have my Soldier's Angels calendar. Not realizing it came in and wondering if they had cut theirs too, I went to the store this evening to look at other calendars.

I found some for 50% off. My husband was standing beside me and said, "Hey, you could get a Playboy Bunny Calendar!"

I rolled my eyes and said, "Right, how about I get this Porn for Women calendar instead? I think it has men cooking and doing housework..."

Honestly, I looked at the back to see the months out of curiosity, I had no intention of getting anything like that for my kitchen for God, Country, and Guests to see every minute of the day, but I was curious.

It is not porn for women for me unless there is a picture of a man driving a mini van carrying a double bass, an electric bass, a trombone, three backpacks, three lunch boxes, and three boys trying to beat the ever loving snot out of each other while barreling down I-95.

As good fortune would have it, my Soldier's Angels calendar HAD come in. My husband had hung it behind my old one... and completely forgot.

He's turning 50 in February. I'm cutting him some slack...


Posted by Boudicca at 10:42 PM | Comments (6)

January 02, 2010

Let's Call it "Blog Stew"

In yet another entry from my totally random brain, there should be something for everyone here. Football, Tiger, make-up that burns, funerals, porn calendars... or not porn calendars..., sad, happy... it's all here.

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

Let's talk College Ball for a minute.

They so need play offs. It has really started to piss me off.

Listen, I love Tim Tebow. I think he's a great kid who has been given many gifts. Do I think he'll make a good pro-player? No clue. I think, however, he has a shot at being a good coach.

So as much as I love Tim, there is absolutely no reason he should have been able to set the BCS records he set last night. None.

It comes down to the fact that the Gators were so incredibly mismatched against Cincinnati, that it was allowed to happen.

I know some of you are from other places than SEC ball, but SEC ball is not the same as Big East Ball. Bring it on... the SEC will continue to prove it.

The SEC eats their young every year... and there needs to be a play off system.

Meanwhile, I watched the game, waiting for Urban to blow a heart valve. Evidently it didn't happen or it would have beaten out Tiger Woods for headlines.

Which in all my randomness today brings me to my favorite quote of the last month, from my brother who said to me on the phone about Tiger Woods, "You know if there are 11, there are 35. The other 24 just don't want to look like Whores."

That cracked me up.

Anyway, back to Urban. My husband was expressing dismay at Urban's complete lack of thinking things through when he did his 'I'm retiring/no I'm not' stint.

My reply?

"Hun. You are giving him too much credit. He is a COACH. If he hadn't made it to the big show, he'd be coaching high school ball and teaching driver's ed".

So I nominate both Urban and Tiger for this year's award of 'Needs a better set of advisers' or "Listen to your advisers/friends in 2010". Urban because his decisions effect too many others and Tiger because... you can't convince me he didn't have folks in his inner circle knowing what he was up to. If they were condoning it... he needs to drop them like a bad habit. If they weren't, he needs to listen.

Good Grief.
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I was putting on my make up the other day when my lips started to burn. First thought? "I have an allergy to this new lipstick".

It was one of those freebies you get when you buy make up at a counter. (Note to guys: yes, they give us freebies at the make up counters. It's to keep us coming back. It doesn't work for me.)

I figured within an hour my lips would be swollen, giving me an Angelina Jolie look. (Yes, I know who she is...)

Alas, it did not happen, the only benefit I could possibly see in having an allergic reaction. Actually, my lips quit burning within 15 minutes.

The next morning? I forgot. I put it on and BOOM! I remembered, as I expected small flames to leap from my lips. I looked at the lipstick name and it said, "Rouge Sensation, Ginger Root Velvet".

What?

WHO WANTS their lipstick to burn? Hell, if I'd seen Ginger in the name, I'd have tossed it right then. Ginger BURNS, hence I don't eat it with sushi.

Two rules here: When I eat, I don't want my mouth on fire. When I wear make up, I don't want it to hurt.

Simple.
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I'm glad FSU won their game. I like Bobby Bowden. A lot. It was time for him to go, but I like him.

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I have a funeral to attend on Tuesday. She died New Year's Eve, just before Midnight. It's going to suck. I'm not going to wear mascara.

January makes me nervous. Death seems to visit my family more in January... one grandfather, one grandmother, my mother in law... always in the first week of January. If I can make it to week two, I should be in the free and clear.
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Hunh. I had another thought regarding porn calendars... but it needs its own post.

That'll be all now donkey.

Posted by Boudicca at 01:20 PM | Comments (7)

January 01, 2010

New Year's Goals

I've never been one to make resolutions. I just haven't. Usually I just do what I think needs to be done, when it needs to be done.

But I'm also a list maker. I like to check things off as I accomplish them.

So this year, I'll not call them resolutions, but goals for myself, starting at the beginning of the year as they'll take all year, more than likely, to accomplish.

1) Closets. It's time for me to get rid of crap. I have four closets that I intend to go through and dump crap that we don't need... old pillows, bed covers, and blankets. Just... junk. I suspect that two of these closets will be cleaned out by Monday...

2) Quilts. I'm going to finish Mo's wedding quilt. I can't hide it anymore. This red patch I think will run when she washes it... I have to just realize it is what it is and finish it. My goal for that is July... so I'll start it soon.

Also, I was going through my scrap fabric and I found a quilt top I finished... five years ago? It needs to be quilted! So I'll get doing that this year too.

I'll be finishing Kyle's quilt this week. I need him to take it with him when he and his Dad move to Duke. He is going on years 8 of leukemia, our Honored Hero from my last race. I have a quilt I've been making for him and I'll have it finished up.

It could be the year of quilts. When going through my scraps, I realized I definitely adhere to the adage, "She who dies with the most scraps wins'. I think I have a problem...

3) Chocolate, cheese, and me. I've put on some weight in the last 5 years I would really like to take off. I couldn't while training for the endurance events because that is the kiss of death, a sure sign of failure if you cut your caloric intake and then try to run a half marathon or full. During training, I heard story after story of even coaches making that mistake.

"Oh, you remember so and so? She went on that cookie diet and then passed out at mile 12."

Right.

I'll pass on cookie diets and anything that is going to make me faint.

I have a bad habit of saying, "Oh! I ran 5 miles today! I can eat that!"

Umm... no I can't.

So I decided I'll get my nutrition under control over the next three months and then slowly add cardio back in... I'll be doing some core exercises though to build up some core strength.

On a side note, we've been watching the Gators kick the crap out of Cincinnati. My husband and sons are watching because they love the Gators.

I'm watching to see if Urban has a massive heart attack on the sidelines.

Maybe if they were playing an SEC team...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:46 PM | Comments (9)