Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun Monday - Empress of the Universe

This weeks assignment, from Mommy Wizdom, is as follows:

The assignment: If you were ruler of the world for a day/week/month/year (your choice on the time), you would...

This was harder for me than I thought it would be. I considered legislating library funding but then decided I do not want the government after me to have the power to legislate libraries.

I considered being a smart-arse - surprising, I know - and just going with rude, crude and purposely shocking bumper sticker wisdom. You know - "Nuke the gay baby black whales for Jesus". That kind of thing.

I finally decided that I would like to take the schools backwards a bit. Back to the day when manners were an embedded part of any curriculum. Back to the day when children stood when an adult entered the room. Back to the day when any adult had the right and the responsibility to correct any egregious hooliganism they observed. Back to the day when any child knew that adults were to be obeyed and that your parents were gonna find out what you did because EVERYONE was gonna tell them what you did. Back to the day of "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" and standing with your hand over your heart when your flag passed by or your national anthem was played. Back to the day when "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" were heard substantially more often than public cursing. Back to the day when everyone knew that the correct answer to "how are you?" is "fine, thanks. How are you?"

The schools are already publicly funded and subject to all sorts of regulations, rules, and requirements. I foresee only one problem with this task. Where are we going to find young teachers who possess this knowledge, let alone the ability to pass it on?

Oh, well, it's my universe. Build a curriculum and they will teach it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Independence Day Parade

I was editing some pictures today and this one, from the 5th of July, made me smile. I just thought I'd share it.

My husband took it right after I offered Moose 20 points if he could nail his Grampits with a thrown piece of candy. Can you tell he made it?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pensieve Pies

Pensieve Pies

The combination of rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and vanilla transports me back in time to my mother's kitchen, to a pie cooked in her mother's old pie tin, from her mother's recipe.

The very slight joining together of my grandson's toes, just barely sort-of, almost but not quite webbed, like his mama's and her mama's and my ma's as he stands on tiptoe to watch the pie cooling.

The chocolate, peanut butter and cream cheese flavors of "the pie" which I cooked from a recipe so that my child could share with her child the recipes of her other grandmother and their traditions.

The metallic clang of a pie tin hitting the floor and the slurping of a very large dog tongue separating pie filling from the shell.

The soft white fur of the slobbery, white beast tickling the back of my hand as I grasp the dog's collar to shove her arse out the front door.

Roots - the Panhandle Version

There was a woman in the store today about my age. She was accompanied by her mother. Daughter came down the aisle where I was stocking shampoo, stopped by her favorite brand, and got shampoo, conditioner, mousse, and hairspray. She was still looking for something so I asked if I could help her.

She said that she was looking for root lifter.

Her mom said, "you know that's Viagra, Margaret".

Margaret said that she was talking about a different root and the conversation went forward into an all out discussion of various roots and how to lift them.

I think I have been given a glimpse into my future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Name Game

Lil Man will be entering the 3rd grade this year. He has requested that his mother and I no longer refer to him as Lil Man. I guess Lil Dude, ala his Grampits, is still OK, but no more Lil Man.

Ever supportive, I asked him how he would like for me to refer to him in my blog. With absolutely no hesitation, he replied, "Moose".

I offer this picture as evidence of why I think this may be a misnomer.

Moose doesn't care. In his mind, he is "Moose". When he was an infant, his mom bought him some lace up hiking boots and we referred to them as his "moose boots" because he just looked like a little lumberjack. Now? Not so much.

I tried. I suggested Bubba or Buddy or Charlie
(as in Charlie McCarthy) but no - it must be Moose.

Moose it is. Maybe it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and some of the tons of food that he eats every day will actually stay on his body.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life in the Sticks

Lil Man and I were watching the Barefoot Contessa on TV. She was making cheesecake and, after processing the graham cracker crumbs, started to put them into a spring form pan.

"Gram, it's a mini-stock tank. We need to get one."

You think we maybe live in a rural area?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wanna Make God Laugh? Fun Monday

There is an old joke: Do you want to make God laugh? Just tell Him your plans.

OK. Irish Coffeehouse wants to know our career dreams - what we planned to be when we grew up and what we would do now if retraining were no issue.

Growing up, I wanted to be a mom. I wanted the white picket fence, the hubby who went to work, and the kids who adored me. I started on this dream, to the detriment of my college education, when I was 18 and still knew it all. I married, had a child 1 year and 1 week later, and was widowed 4 months after that. Yeah, so much for plan A.

Fast forward a lifetime. I am currently married to a man who adores me and I him. We have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We have cyclone fencing instead of pickets and I work outside my home, as does he.

What would I do if I could? I have no clue. I gave up making plans decades ago and my frustration level dropped immediately.

So now, go and have fun and read all the dreamers' posts. I'm gonna go sit in my yard with my sweetheart, watch my grandson ride his bike and pet my dogs.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fun Monday - a very unmerry unbirthday

For Fun Monday, Penny at Dungarees Ablaze would like to hear about a birthday. OK, no problem. We all have them, right? Not necessarily.

When my youngest child was 3, she was very stubborn and willful. When my youngest child was 3, I was very stubborn and willful. Plus, I was THE MOM! I would flippin' win. No 3 year old was gonna out-stubborn me.

That was the year that I learned to never threaten any consequence with which I was unwilling to live.
I do not even know what it was that Juls was doing that irritated me so. I know that I told her to stop and she failed to do so. I know that I told her, more than once, to stop and that she failed to do so. I know that I told her that if she did "it" again, I would take away her birthday.

She stopped, looked at me, smiled, and did "it" again.

I cancelled her birthday party. On the day of the anniversary of her birth, no one said "Happy Birthday". There were no gifts, no cake, no family dinner, no celebration of any kind, no joy. It was the longest day of my life. It turned out, also, to be a terrible tool to give a stubborn, willful child.

From that year until 3 years ago, whenever Juls would act a little less maturely than I thought appropriate, she would just look at me and ask me what I expected, since she was still 3 years old. Yeah.

So, 3 years ago, she turned 4. This year, I'm gonna SORAS her sorry butt. I am much too old to have a 4 year old - and she, at 4, is much too young to have an 8 year old!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Did you ever just have one of those days?

I got up this morning and took a shower and got ready to go to the "big town" with my child. We do this once a month, partly to deliver a payment and partly because we really like having a girls' day out.

Juls got off of work at 8 and came over around 9. We kissed the guys goodbye and went out to the car. I backed out of the driveway and thought that the car felt a little wonky. No, I did not run over a dog. It felt like a flat to me, so I went down to the next driveway and pulled into the business adjacent to my house. The rear passenger tire was off the rim. It was VERY flat.

I called Shorty on the phone and asked him to bring me the keys to the other car, which he did. I left him with a non-usable car and an 8 year old.

We went to the bank so that I could get a balance from the ATM. The ATM was out of paper. I did my banking and we left.

We went to the local stop and rob which has an attached burrito store so that we could grab a breakfast burrito. Yay, no probs.

We went to the Post Office so that I could get my mail from the box, write a check for one of the bills, buy a stamp, and put it in the return mail. While waiting in line to buy the stamp, I went to open another piece of mail and ripped open the envelope I had just addressed and ruined it.

We went to the Church office to get some paperwork regarding Lil Man's next year's school enrollment. The church lady, who had called me yesterday to tell me she had the paperwork, told us this morning that she did not.

Did I mention that it was raining?

So, we left for the big town. The car I was driving, not my first choice, has no cruise control and no climate control. I actually had to drive. How sucky! Also, the turn signals only work intermittently. Not my favorite vehicle for longish trips. Oh, well. As I was driving, I noticed a front end shimmy. I have not driven this vehicle lately. I called Shorty and asked him how long it had had a shimmy. He said that he didn't know. He thought it was just there and that I just hadn't mentioned it before. In case you are ever questioned about any such scenario, this would NEVER happen.

We stopped at a local sporting goods store to buy the Lil Man the 'as advertised in the Sunday paper radio-controlled submarine'. We parked, walked into the store, were ignored totally by the two sales clerks standing at the front register. I said, "Excuse me, could you please point me in the direction of the as advertised in the Sunday paper radio-controlled submarine". The girl looked up and, I kid you not, pointed at the corner of the store. We bought the sub, only because Lil Man had saved up his own $30.00 to buy this with. We left. We will not return.

We went to deliver the check and, when we got there, I went to check the front end of the car to see if I could see what was causing the shimmy. The hood was open. It was on the latch, but it was not closed. I closed it and we delivered the check.

We drove to the local IHOP so that we could have Machaca. This is food from and for the gods. Oh my gosh, it is good. We left the IHOP and checked the car again, deciding this time that the front tire on the driver's side looked a little low. Did I mention yet that you could also see the steel belt inside my steel belted, z rated radials? Yeah. So we went to the local gas station to put some air in the tire. It was 50 cents for the free air. I scrounged my pockets, my purse, the ashtray, the center console, the floor mats and Julie's pockets and came up with 17 cents. I drove to the next gas station in hopes of free air. Their air was 75 cents. Soooo- I used my ATM card to get the money so that I could have 50 cents for air. We put air in the front tires and decided to head for home.

On the way, because it WAS on the way, we stopped and went furniture shopping. Not buying, just shopping. We found what we wanted, both of us! and got back in the car. I left via the rear driveway and turned west on the surface road. I wanted to go to a particular street and discovered that the surface road that I was on stopped one street short of the desired road with huge "DO NOT ENTER" signs. The only turn available took me into the parking lot of a 'room by the hour' motel. I was sure that we were going to be arrested just for being there!

I finally got back to the road that I wanted. We headed home, with only one more stop at the WalMart for shampoo and some 20 for a $1 spiral notebooks. 16 cash registers and 1 cashier. Whoo hoo! We went to the self-serve cash register and then had to wait for assistance to ring up the 20 notebooks without scanning one 20 times.

We headed home, the shimmy getting shimmier. Julie started talking about how she had never been in an accident where she wasn't driving and we were discussing what kind of car to buy with the insurance payoff. So, do you go for the bar ditch or the median? Decisions, decisions.

In the end, it was irrelevant. When the driver's side front tire blew at 70 mph, the car barely wobbled. I steered her onto the shoulder, slowed it down, and made it to a wide spot. I called Shorty and left him a message with our location. Juls and I, each of us taught at the age of 16 to change a tire (me by my dad and her by her paternal grandpa) decided to see what we could do. Neither of us had ever actually changed a tire, but how hard could it be? We both watch the NASCAR pit crews. Besides, some kind person would stop. 17 minutes later, the donut was on the car and we were headed home again. Juls was pouting slightly because I busted 3 out of 4 nuts and now I am a bigger nut-buster than she is! So there, Ree!

Just for info, no one stopped. So, either we looked incredibly competent or else I do not look old enough to need help and Julie does not look helpless enough to need help. Or - and this is my guess - most people recognized my car and know that I live next door to the tow truck!

Anyway, we made it home. The tire on the Lincoln had been replaced by the time we got home (thank you, baby) and the tire on the other car will just have to wait till next payday. Have you priced z-rated tires lately?

All in all a good day. We were still giggling when we got home and Julie actually her hands DIRTY!


We were on our way home from dinner. Lil Man said that he thought the thunderheads looked like "paused avalanches". I could not have said it better.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Army Wives - who knew?

I did not watch Army Wives last year. I tend to not watch shows that are hyped really hard on TV. This year, my husband and I did start watching at the beginning of the new season. It is an OK show - a little too soap-opera-y for my taste in nighttime TV - but OK.

Last night's episode? Rocked.

The premise? PFC overseas shoots bad guy, gets wounded, comes home as a hero. I have no problem with any of this.

The side story? Body remains identified as an MIA from the VietNam War and returned home, also as a hero. Still no problem.

The kicker? Hero #1 heaps all of the glory where it is truly deserved - directly on the shoulders of all of those unnamed and underappreciated people at JPAC (Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command). These are the guys who never give up. The guys who are determined to find, identify, and bring home each and every one of our heroes. Hero #1 last night was right - they will probably never get a medal. They certainly do deserve it.

Awesome episode.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not a good year for the dogs here

No one else is dead. I thought I would get that out of the way to start with. Julie's dog, Roxi, had a litter of 16 pups, who all died of parvo.

I ran over Buddy, who died.

George is gone. He is not dead but he is gone. He and Holly could not come to terms. She got more and more jealous as he got more and more comfortable. She was here second and did not ask for any other dog to ever share her space. She shares her space with Duck because she has no choice. It is Duck's space.

She kept sniping at George and, for the longest time, he did not respond in kind. Then the day came when he did. Not very fiercely and not for very long, but it became more and more common. I did not want George to lose his lovely disposition and no amount of anything on my part was changing Holly's mind. So George went to live elsewhere.

So now, there are two. Actually, there are six if you count Julie's four. She still has Roxi and Bo and Bug and her new addition is Lexi - I guess to replace the pups who died - or maybe even to help fill the Alex space.

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of Buddy's last day on earth. It was a good one.

Better Living Through Chemicals

I know that I have been M.I.A. and I should probably come back with something other than this. However, THIS is what made me laugh out loud last night in bed.


It is in two parts, so please watch both. I have been a Jack Hanna fan for years but Jack Hanna on meds is friggin'a hysterical!
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