Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nasal Constipation

I will never forget sitting in my grandma's hospital room. She had just been admitted and was being questioned by a burly lesbian about everything under the sun. You know, how do you feel, why are you here, would you like a Pap? Yes, she really said that, my grandma was in her 70's and I'm sure she was pretty excited about that prospect, aren't we all? One of the last questions burly lesbian asked was was she ever constipated. My grandma answered with an enthusiastic, "Yes, I was born constipated!" And, here is where my story goes...

I always have a sinus infection. There is always thick, green, yucky crap in my head, not my brain, just my nose and sinus cavities. Doctors have advised me to have it drilled because there is a blockage. Doctors have also advised me that it will provide some relief but will more than likely come back to bother me again. The likelihood of me having this surgery is about as great as me winning the lottery. It won't happen. Never. It freaks me out to think of someone drilling in my head, packing it with gauze to no doubt stop the blood and the massive amount of petrified boogers in my head from dripping all over my shirt. Just not having it. There are reasons that I have this blockage and or permanent supply of green stuff in my nose.

I am allergic to everything. Dogs, all trees, all grasses, all weeds, dust, dirt and probably a bunch of other things but I was tired of having the doctor inject things into my arms, due the all of the dripping blood, and made him stop. One probably wonders why they didn't poke my back a million times instead. They did, it didn't work so they brought out the big guns, big syringes filled with all kinds of toxic dirt. They injected me in the upper part of my arm. This was Christmas Eve, a snowy day, where I sat in an office with a big, drafty window, in a paper towel shirt. It was cold, I was bleeding from both arms and getting kind of pissed off that I was having to endure this. Come to find out, I should have been getting allergy shots, twice a week in both arms. Yeah, right. There was no guarantee they would even stop or alleviate the allergies, so I just dealt with them or rather, they dealt with me. No meds ever seem to work and if I am given an antibiotic, I get a yeast infection. Given that fact, I think a stuffy nose is better than a messed up who ha.

Lately, as in my entire pregnancy, I have been stuffy. Oddly enough, my darling husband, has also been stuffy. He has used a bottle of nose spray, while I sit jealously, wishing for a big huff of some Vick's goodness. Anything to help me breathe. Saline spray isn't doing the trick and Sudafed is just a red hot in a blister pack, that I can rarely open without a knife. We haven't experienced any relief. We agreed that an investment in a Neti Pot might be a good thing.

I began to investigate the claims of the odd little pot on the internet. I watched a YouTube video of a woman shoving a teapot spout into her nose and letting the water drain out the other nostril. It was frightening and my eyes began to water. I read how it is a great device to have for clearing sinus cavities and maintaining healthy nasal/sinus health. We decided to go for it. I waddled down in 5 degree weather to the Walgreen's for the pot. I hate the Walgreen's by my house. It attracts some odd characters and you have to wait endlessly for someone to wait on you, all while looking over your shoulder to make sure that no one tries to steal your purse. I have to be desperate to go there.

I wander around the cold medicine aisle. There is no Neti in sight. I try the humidifier aisle, nothing. I am starting to get mad and there is snot running down my face, begging for a big gulp of whatever you put in the pot. Luckily, I stumble onto an entire endcap of Neti Pots! All with $1.50 off coupons attached to them. I am amazed and grab one. I wait 10 minutes to check out.

I get home and hubby boils lots of water so we can clean our heads out. The pot looks remarkably like the Cinderella teapot that Mia plays with, sans phallic tip, which is the part you jam into your nostril. The water has to be semi-warm and then you add it to the pot with a saltwater packet. He goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. I anxiously await the news that his head is clear and he can breathe better than ever. He comes out, watery eyes and a big puddle on the bathroom counter. He doesn't know if it worked or not so we decide this must be a multi-step process. It is now my turn.

This time we are in the upstairs bathroom. He tells me to stick the phallic tip into my nose, lean over the sink and let the saltwater flow. I choke immediately, because my head is clearly not aimed the right way or it wouldn't go down my throat. I choke again when he makes me laugh. Some stuff comes out but nothing like the 7lbs. of stuff I figured. All in all, I can breathe but for how long?

I do this for 3 more days straight. The last day was the most unpleasant, by far. I am a pro by now, or so I think. I jam the deal up my nose and blood starts to pour out like a faucet. Luckily, I have a hand towel to mop up the carnage that is running down my face. I think I have passed a blood clot through my nose. It is really unbelievable, it looks like I cut my finger off. I can't finish the entire 8 oz nasal drink and start to do the other side. The water is cold! I only do about 4 oz before I give up and put the pot up. It is now sitting on the cabinet, looking a little forlorn about being left alone for so many days. Perhaps one day, we will revisit the Neti Pot, just not today.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I am sitting here at 710am waiting for Christmas to start. My parents will be here by 730. The coffee is brewing, the Overnight Caramel French Toast is sitting in its egg batter. I am the only one up. Where is the 4 year old? I can see why the 14 year old isn't up, but seriously, where is the 4 year old? I feel like a dork. I am wearing my holiday sweater and my pj pants because I have to go up and root around for some pants that fit the bun. She isn't even moving around so I am just sitting here. My mom is bringing champagne for Mimosa's and darn it, I can't have one of those either. I bought 7UP for the kids and I to mix with the OJ, at least we can pretend.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Yes, it is cold. What is the expression, cold enough to freeze a witch's boob? Something like that. I have lived in KS for 12 or so years and have never been this cold. I figured toting the bun would keep me extra warm, it really isn't and I'm sure she is probably mad that we are turning into popsicles. I don't have a coat to fit over my massive tummy, just didn't figure I would really need one because it never gets that cold here. I have been making do with my brown, fuzzy North Face jacket. It is warm, the part that covers me at least. The rest of the exposed stuff gets a long scarf wrapped around it. I look ridiculous, and am only somewhat warmer. I am about to go get a sleeping bag to wear.

Boots are not an entirely different story. I have a couple of pairs, one that has nice, fuzzy liners. Can't get them on. Neither of them. I looked at them and tried to give them a pep talk about how cold and snowy it was and how I could really use their cooperation in getting them on. They didn't budge. I got them over my ankle before I figured out they weren't going any further. I mentally tried to calculate how I could lay on my back on the bed and pull them up. I then made note that if I did that, how was I going to get off the bed? So, no boots. I found some thick socks and a pair of slip on shoes. Had to use a shoe spoon but at least they were on. I readied myself to start the car.

Got my jacket and scarf, keys and found I had no gloves. I waddle out to the car, slipping on the icy slope off the porch. Great, now I am injured. The gloves were in the car, freeze dried. I didn't care, I had to get the car started so put them on. They stuck to me like a tongue on ice. Not very warm. I knocked snow off the windows because I had no scraper. This isn't going very well.

Get the car going and proceed to bundle Mia up til she looks like a little pink snowman. I half carry her and her backpack to the car. She decides that she needs to make a snowball. NO! Get in the car, mommy is FREEZING! She complies, whining that she wants to make a snow angel before school. Maybe after or you will be soaked. She didn't quite get it but got in and we were off.

The streets were snow packed and you couldn't even see that any other cars had even driven over it. That is til we were nearly hit by a huge school bus. At least she waved before nearly sliding into us. Finally, after what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time, we were at Mia's school. Mind you, it is about 4 blocks from our house. We get out, and are standing in massive amounts of snow. Seems the parking lot hasn't been plowed. There are going to be approximately 60 kids coming to school and no one has bothered to plow? Oh, it is getting even better. I drop Mia off and get ready to head home.

I get back to the car and found that the plowing has begun. There are numerous cars in the lot by now and the guy plowing has managed to make a decent path but has left snow pretty deep around the existing cars. The snow is even deeper by my car than when we got there. Have I mentioned that I am not able to put my boots on? I get in, feet soaked and realize that it has sleeted and I can't see out the windshield. I am about to lose it! Seriously, I don't have a scraper. I sit and fume while I wait for the heater/defroster to do its job. Finally, I am off. I am exhausted and realize that I have to come back out in this crap to pick Mia up. I am wondering if I should just stay in the car and wait for her versus having to do the same routine again. Then, I feel like I have to pee. Guess I will be going home afterall.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bah, humbug

I like Christmas. It was alot more fun when I was younger, but now that I have kids, it becomes a way to play with toys that really don't belong to me. I can't wait because we got Mia a Leapster 2 and it looks like a blast. So, I don't hate Christmas.

What I really loathe is Christmas music. Not the music per se, just that it starts being played way back in November, even before Thanksgiving. All Christmas music, all the time. I hate it. My feeling is that there are only so many songs and way too many people that sing the same thing. I am going to mention a few of the ones I like and alot more of the ones that I don't. I really don't think that everyone should even be entitled to sing carols. They become these bastardized versions, with synthesizers, new beats and odd melodies. They become a hint of the traditional song, and usually suck.

These are a few that I love, goofy or not:
The Little Drummer Boy
Silent Night
Jingle Bells
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Anything by the Chipmunks, I know, not really classics, but cute!
That Hippo song, I know, I know, it is lame, but I like it anyway.
I love, love Same Old Lang Syne, but I love Dan Fogelberg, so I had to throw it in.

I feel like these are some of the classics and I'm sure I've missed a few, but these are what came to mind.

A look at some of the songs I loathe, really loathe.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the Dean Martin version, where he calls him Rudy and decides to bust into some Swedish accent while singing. Save it Dino, you screwed this one up, big time.

Wonderful Christmastime, by Paul Mccartney. There are no real words for this ditty, except LAME!

Santa Babyby Earth Kitt, Ok, I know there are lots of supporters of this song. To me, it sounds like Christmas porn. I see a scantily clad woman, with a glass of champagne, waiting for Santa in a slinky piece of lingerie. Hmmm, maybe that is really my mother.

Any song the Beach Boys thought would be a good idea. They just weren't.

I know these were for charity, but... We Are The World and Don't They Know it's Christmas make me feel about as good as a glass of old eggnog. The thought of George Michael sporting some tight Spandex while trying to festive, makes me really queasy. Who knows what his plans were after the song but I doubt it was something we would really want to know. I know that Sting, Duran Duran, Phil Collins and a host of other talented musical folks were there, but, I would rather choke on fruitcake then endure those songs ever.

So, I know this list will rankle some people but we are all entitled to our opinions about the music we are forced to listen to at Christmas. I, for one, can't wait til 26 December.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A little bit of blood never hurt anyone...

Off and on for the past couple of months, Mia has been experiencing nose bleeds. They usually occur when I am in the depths of sleep that I rarely get. I hear a, "MOMMY!" Why she never calls for her Daddy, I will never know. It jolts me like an earthquake, my heart starts racing and every muscle in my body twitches. I fly out of bed and run to her room, where she is inevitably holding her tiny little nose. Blood is everywhere, all over her, the pillow, the sheets, her babies. I run for toilet paper or tissues and try to blot her endless flow. She won't let me pinch her nose, always says it hurts, so the blood continues. She shivers and I try to hold her and comfort her saying it will be over soon. I am wide awake by this time and know that I have little chance of getting any more sleep. Soon, the mess is done, soaking several tissues. Mia wants to sleep with a towel over the bloody spots and next to the tissue box. I agree, because even though I am awake, the thought of changing her bed is not something that I want to think about til the morning. I tuck her back in and she goes right back to sleep. I take all of the blood soaked tissues to the toilet and flush away her night's biohazard. Tomorrow, I will bust out the Oxy spray and try to remove the stains from her pretty pink sheets. She will be thrilled that they are clean, until the next time her nose decides to bleed and then we will do it all over again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bathtime for Mommy

I have been feeling very sore lately. Likely a combination of the stretching of the muscles in preparation for birth and the fact that the bun must weigh around 100lbs. I would love to take a bath, but seeing that we have an ancient, pedestal tub that I can't clean, the idea seems lost.

Last night, the hubby got down and cleaned it, so I could get in and take a leisurely, uninterrupted bath. I'm sure you can see where this is going. I have some strange rules when getting ready to take a bath. You see, while I'm not a filthy person, I find it imperative that I take a quick shower to get all the average grime off. I don't want to sit in any scum, my own or anyone else's really. So, I take a quick shower, turn off the water and move the shower curtains to get ready to fill the tub. If you don't move the shower curtains, they will wrap their cold, wet plastic around you and it feels worse than bathing in your own dirt. YUCK! I am standing there, freezing, while I get the temperature correct. It finally feels hot enough so I sit down, keeping my foot over the drain cover so it doesn't leak. Actually, the real drain cover is missing, so hubby improvised with a Gladware lid, that actually worked better, though I did have to keep my foot on it til the tub was filled. Anyway, I tuck into the warm water, which seems to be draining at an alarming rate. Seems, that the depth of the water, which isn't very high, is overflowing into the overflow drain. I am now understanding that back in the 1920's, when the house was built, that there were no pleasure baths, only get in and get out baths. I stick my foot over the bottom part of the drain and it seems to be halting the water. I try to relax.

This is not a big tub and while I am not exactly Liliputian, I don't consider myself that big. My arms either have to be at my sides, nearly under my body, or hanging over the side, and cold. My legs are bunched up, trying to keep the water in, or they too have to hang out the front of the tub. The bun isn't even wet, in fact, most of the top of my body is already dry and I can't turn over. I am not particularly comfortable.
Then, the unthinkable happens. My 4 year old busts in the door takes off her gown and demands to get in the bath with me. I tell her no, get dressed and go hang downstairs with your daddy and brother. This, of course, doesn't work. I'm not relaxing anyway, so I let it go. She gets dressed, points out that I am naked and decides I need something to play with. What she doesn't see, is that I am taking up the entire bathtub and there is very little water for anything. Like the good girl she is, she opens the cabinet and gets out her rubber ducks, tossing them into the tub and splashing my face with water. They play, we play, whatever, before she decides that my massive tummy would be a great island and sets the ducks on me, concocting this little story along the way. It is rather entertaining, however, not too relaxing. On top of this, I hear the words, "Eggnog," echoing from downstairs from Max. I decide the bathwater is too cold and tell Mia to collect her ducks and let me get out.

Getting out proves interesting. I need a stool to get in and out already, but being big and pregnant and having the stool not there, is another story. I hoof it over the side and grab my towel, get dressed and brush my teeth. Maybe another time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Soul mates

Just so you know, this isn't a happy, puffy piece on how you once looked at someone and decided that he/she was your soul mate. It delves into a little more than that, and it isn't going to be comfortable to read.

Soul mate can be defined as a person that is ideally suited to you in temperament, attitude and beliefs. You may like the same movies, the same food, the same sports teams. Or, you may not, but there is something there that clicks and you know it, right off. You may be content to sit in a room and read, something that is usually solo, but you are comfortable enough in your own skin to realize that it is time together, doing something you both like. It may be happily tinkering in the kitchen, trying new recipes, laughing, when it doesn't turn out the way it should. It is many things, and only you know the reason for the attraction.

In my early teens, I had a girlfriend that came to visit her sister in the summers. She was my age, maybe 2 heads taller and had a funny accent. She was from Pennsylvania and even though I am originally from Texas, her accent struck me as really different. She was funny and we clicked. We rode bikes and hung out. It was nice, because she was just next door. I also liked her big sister. She had a little boy that was a year old and my mom liked her too. We all hung out.

Eventually, as military families do, our neighbors moved and I never saw my friend again. I heard about her, from her sister, I knew she was well, graduated from high school and college. She also married and had a little boy.

The newspaper article described them as "soul mates," a couple that loved each other and their little boy more than words could describe. They shared a big, old brick house, that they lovingly restored. I know that they wanted to have another child but were having a hard time with it. My mom told her sister that it had taken us awhile but we had succeeded. She thought it would be good for her sister to hear that it was possible and to keep trying. She wouldn't get the chance.

On November 2, all it took was a handgun to end an entire families life. Not just the husband, that died from a single gunshot wound, but, a wife, that died of multiple gunshot wounds, and a toddler, that died from one gunshot wound. What could motivate your soul mate to take your life? There are claims of depression after a lost job. Whatever the reason, it will remain unknown, and never make sense.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't own a gun. I'm not saying that losing a job isn't a horrible thing to happen. I'm not saying that depression is funny. In fact, I'm not sure what I am really saying. All I know, is that there are two families struggling to understand and put their lives back together in light of a terrible tragedy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts of the past

Today, I was waiting for Mia to come out of preschool when I heard a song on the radio. "Summer Breeze," by Seals and Crofts, dating back to 1972. It seemed funny to be sitting in a fall rainstorm listening to a song about the summer but I guess they were trying to invoke some personal warmth in their listeners, and they did.

I was born in 1969 in Dallas, Texas. My mom was a sahm and my dad worked second shift. I don't believe there was a lot of jasmine blowing through their minds. Mine either, I don't even eat the brownies. We had a brand new house, that was painted in some pretty odd colors. The living room wall was bright yellow, a kitchen wall was bright red/orange. Later, my bedroom became Pepto pink. I had a dog, swing set and a blue tricycle, all the things that a happy childhood has.

I have memories about that time in my life, a lot odd snippets of things that don't make a darn bit of difference now, but that are still clear in my mind. One, is this song. I can remember my dad taking us to Monkey Wards, me not strapped into any type of child restraint, and hearing this song, the hot Dallas wind smothering me and stifling my breath. We were probably riding in the copper colored Buick we had, leaving precious skin stuck to the vinyl seats in the hell-like Texas summer.

I also think back to the gas shortage, where we sat, depending on our license plate number, waiting in a miles long line to get gas at the Gulf station a few blocks from our house. Once, again precious skin lost on a hot day to a car seat.

I think back to my elementary school, right across from our house. I went there for nearly 4 years. I can see it like it was yesterday. Being thrust into the first grade from a kindergarten class that spent most of the day painting and playing with blocks. I traded my blocks for bottle caps for learning to add and subtract, no more dress up and a hateful teacher that spilled paint on my dress.

I remember driving across a city that was shut down by an ice storm to see the Pompeii exhibit at the fairgrounds. It was neat and I learned a lot. Some of the exhibit was in the basement bomb shelter that the park had. The door was painted institutional green and was 4 feet thick and shut like a coffin door, over the stairs and the airless basement. I was terrified because I knew it was a fallout shelter and was worried that we would be stuck in there, or worse, we lived far away, how would we get there in time? Ah, the things a child worries about.

We moved to Colorado when I was 10. The times changed, the music changed, we all changed. And, yet, nothing really changed, the memories are all there, locked in the back of my mind.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Complete meltdown

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Mia goes to preschool at a nearby church. I have watched lots of kids have a complete meltdown when mommy decides to leave them. Mia has never done this, even on her first day, and I have been thrilled that she has been so cooperative and excited about going. Well... Today was an entirely different story! She wouldn't come into her classroom, wouldn't wash her hands, hang up her jacket or backpack, wouldn't do anything. It was frustrating because I have never, ever seen her do something so crazy. It was like she was a different child. I had to settle her down, which was hard, because she had her legs wrapped around mine like an anaconda. I got her hands washed and her backpack hung up and proceeded to tell her that I, of course, was coming back and that she was wanted for circle time. Nothing worked. Her teacher told me to give her the signal for when I was ready to escape and let her takeover. I felt bad, for all of us. There is always a little girl that cries when her mom leaves and I felt bad leaving Mrs. Martin with another hysterical child. But, I did. I was nearly in tears myself, but I figured it was the best thing for both of us.

I wasn't sure what kind of report I was going to get when I picked Mia up. I was a little shocked that 2 teachers came to the car. Apparently, Mia was fine after I left. I was relieved. Mrs. Martin said I got an A+ in parenting because I did what needed to be done and all was well.

Mia, however, is not wanting to go back next week. I am trying to convince her that she belongs in school, that she always has fun and plays well with her friends. I am hoping it sinks in. I can't bare the thought of another day like today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Twilight series, again

Here I am again, going on about those teen books that have swept my friends, as well as myself into a reading frenzy. I am about 200 odd pages from being done with the entire series. I have invested a lot of time reading about these teenage vampires and werewolves. I lost some interest when the werewolves were introduced but plodded through. Now, Bella is knocked up by Edward, on their honeymoon even. I would have thought there might be some mention of birth control, vampire or not. I guess I was wrong. Anyway, so the story goes on. Bella is ravaged by her baby, whatever it is. No one really knows for sure what she is carrying. Now, I am pregnant and find this all a bit unnerving. Especially how she has to drink blood to keep her strength up. Again, when the they think the baby is going to eat its way out of Bella. A little too much for me right now, I guess. Once the child is born, Bella wisely names her Reneesme, or some spelling like that. Very odd. And, I haven't even touched upon the "imprinting". It disturbs me. Jacob, the werewolf that loves Bella, is now the "babysitter" for this blood drinking moppet, and perhaps forever. Imprinting deals with the soulmate theory. It is kind of oogy. Anyway, as Sara told me, it is light reading and certainly not to be taken very seriously. So, I will finish and move on, that is, until 21 November, when I will wobble to the theater with the other mom's to see the movie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I love comments on my blog, however, I don't like being hit with a bunch of idiotic statements by people that trash me. I supposed it is part of having an open blog but I would never trash someone's life, education or family by reading their blog. A blog is a form of free expression, something that is meant to be funny, make you laugh. If you check my comments, you will see that someone with little humor or common sense, for that matter, left me with snide, ridiculous comments. I love that they are posted anonomously, what a coward! The thing is, I don't care or I wouldn't have posted them. They speak for themselves. Ha, ha! They are funny!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

If I like Jacob, does that mean I am a pedophile or a zoophile?

I have to admit that I jumped on the bandwagon and read the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. A bunch of my mommy friends read them first, with the promise that they were quick to read and still rather enjoyable. I didn't know at first they were a series for teens. Oh, well... I read the first 2 books in 6 days. They are HUGE, for those of you that don't know. I liked them and was glad that I didn't have to purchase them for myself, all 4 books were generously loaned to me. Thanks, Sara and Tracey! Anyway, I am wondering if I will break down and see the movie. I am not particularly fond of the character that plays Edward. He played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter series. I don't like that. I didn't want to think it was Cedric that was hot. I don't even really know if I think Edward is hot anyway.

Here is a brief synopsis of what I have read so far. Bella, is a clumsy, beautiful girl with lots of bad luck. Edward is an old vampire that masquerades as a high school senior. He likes the way Bella smells. Nice. He doesn't hunt people anymore, he has become "civilized" and only eats animals that he hunts. Bella is drawn to his weird amber colored eyes and hard, cold body. He is fast and drives a sports car. Sounds like a winning combo.

Bella makes friends with a kid named, Jacob. He is a Native American and is described as tall, dark and brooding. Later, he turns into a werewolf, a concept that I couldn't really stomach. Of course, a vampire is totally realistic. You can see my point, I hope. Jacob becomes Bella's confidante, although he hates the bloodsucker, Edward. She appreciates his hard, hot body, and I'm not sure that I don't mean what you think I mean. There hasn't been any sex in the first 3 books, one can hope for the fourth book. All of this makes me sound like some sex-deprived school girl. I just think it would make things a bit more spicy, though, probably not appropriate for the teen set. She loves both of them, so who knows?

I can't offer much more than this because I am just starting to read the last book. I am betting that Bella and Edward marry and go on a honeymoon to the local blood bank. I don't know... I am kind of rooting for Jacob, though, I mean, he was human, right? A vampire typically sounds kind of sexy and romantic, while a werewolf sounds smelly and furry. Plus, I am allergic to dogs, so that may rule Jacob out. Hmmm... What to do? I guess I will finish the last book and let Stephenie decide for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

No foxes on Fox

I used to watch the local news all the time. I used to come home from work, get my dinner and sit down in front of Roger and Cindy. I have seen both in public and was shocked that they aren't nearly as tall as they look on the news. I guess the TV adds height as well as weight, though neither are fat. I have actually seen Cindy, early in the am wearing no makeup! Even newspeople go to Walmart, I guess. One person I thought was kind of hot was Michael Schwanke. He is pretty young, but that's ok. A few years ago, I lived across the street from a big crime scene. A lady was decapitated and burned. I saw a bunch of kids standing around a news guy. It was Michael Schwanke. I headed over, the oldest person by several years to check him, I mean, it out. He was kind of short but otherwise, was pretty cute. It reminds me of that ludicrous movie, "Wayne's World." Wayne and Garth would say, "Schwing," when they saw a hot girl. Well, let me say old Michael got a big, "Schwanke," from me!

Once I married, the local news fell by the wayside. Darling husband seems to be addicted to Fox News. It is ok, but I loathe politics and that is pretty much all they talk about. Or, they pull out some obscure story of a woman stuck on a toilet seat. Nice. Anyway, there are no, I repeat, NO hot newsmen on there. Let's have a look.

I have to say that CNN has the supreme handsome newsman. How can you not love that silver haired, Anderson Cooper? I have heard that he plays for the other team. That is too bad because he is a hottie. Fox? Um, I think that the only guy that can touch Anderson is Sean Hannity. While he is pretty hot, his hair is out of control! It looks like a wig, that needs to be pulled back, as it is meandering too much over his forehead. Still cute though, and pretty much the only reason to watch Hannity and Colmes.

Let's look at Alan Colmes. Maybe we shouldn't. He resembles a skeleton, and not a healthy skeleton. His hair changes color now and then, weird colors. He looks about as good as he sounds on his show, and that isn't good. I am beginning to think it should just be called, "Hannity." One of their guests is another scary guy. Dick Morris used to work for Bill Clinton. They had their spats and apparently, Bill got so mad at Dick, he chased him across the White House lawn and tackled him! I would have loved to see that! Anyway, poor Dick is sooo scary! He wears more makeup than I do and has some seriously puffy hair. I am inclined to believe that once his gig was up with Bill, he went the route of the drag queen. He must make it to Hannity and Colmes within minutes of his show, as witnessed by the swoosh of blush on his chubby cheeks.

If we take a look at the Fox women, we will see what the Fox stands for. Lori Dhue, is a busty, bleach blonde with gigantic, lusty lips. She isn't listed on the personality list anymore. I am wondering what it is that she will "do." Maybe Playboy called her, I don't know.

Megyn Kelly is attractive, though in need of a hairstyle change, like many of the Fox women. She is smart and pretty so she is easier to pay attention to. She is a lawyer and way better to watch than that smarmy Geraldo Rivera.

Uma Pemmaraju is pretty attractive. She is the first Indian/American newscaster. Like the others, she is very intelligent and has a long list of accomplishments. She also has eyes that could burn a hole in you. Literally, they are lasers.

Lis Wiehl is pretty close to Megyn. Both are lawyers, attractive, blond and in desperate need of an update in the hair department.

Yet another Fox blond, is Ainsley Earhardt. Did I forget to mention she is another blond? Didn't think so. She has a journalism degree and was named "Best Personality of the Year," in Columbia, SC. No lawyer, but I guess it doesn't matter when you are a guy, married or not, and want your wife/girlfriend to think you are watching the news to get something, other than a boner, out of it.

I really don't want to get into Ann Colter. I worked in a prison and she scares me. Personally, I think that she and Hannity are in the coat closet during commercials. She is smart, brash and has alot of blond hair. Like most of the other women, she wears short skirts. What is this all about? I don't see the men strutting around in Speedos and I suppose that is a good thing. Dick Morris in a Speedo would likely make me so ill, that Greta Van Susteren would probably start looking good. YIKES!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I know, I know, this isn't good, but I am going to do it anyway. First off, I am going to quit using the term "blogger," it sounds manly, and the people on my bloglist are all women. I am instead going to use the term, "bloggette," I don't care if someone else came up with it, whatever, I am going to use it. So, here I go.

A fellow "bloggette," Chantel, posted a desire to hear about the people that visit her blog. She has a few great blogs, about the kids, the twins, her photography, her life and gets hits from all over. She has asked that comments be left, regarding who you are and where you're from. I would also like to do this.

I get alot of hits from Wichita, obviously, but there are the others, that stop in from Bahrain, Qatar, Tijuana etc. I am interested in their stories.

Thanks, Chantel for letting me copy, well, you didn't know, but thanks, just the same!

Leave a comment and thanks!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Obama...

Dear Obama,

I think that it is great that you are going to be the next President of the United States! I thought I would give you an idea of why I think you are such a great guy and perfect for the job.

I am sitting here watching a DVD of my unborn baby. I am about 7 months pregnant with another little girl. She looks pretty good but I am feeling depressed and am thinking of having an abortion. I know it is late term but I have heard that you are a champion of women's reproductive rights. I hear that means that late term abortions are ok, as long as I get a doctor's note, saying that I am depressed and it is all because of the child I'm carrying. Well, I haven't slept much lately, so I am hoping to qualify for that note. Once, the baby is aborted, she will be thrown in the trash, even if she is breathing. What was that nurse's name that held that little boy as he died? I want her there, so at least there is some comfort for the child I killed. Thanks for your vote!

You know, I think I like Bill Ayers. He seems cool. Maybe I could start my political career in his living room. I am willing to overlook the fact that he tried to blow up police stations and the Pentagon and shows zero remorse. That is a tough guy and I would be proud to have him assigned to any government office. Maybe Secretary of Defense would be a good position. Mingle the domestic terrorists and the foreign terrorists. Maybe you could book a nice hotel for a big reunion/get together for all of the people that hate us in the world. I hear Hamas endorses you! That is great news! Congrats on that! Maybe you can invite them too.

I hear Acorn is quite the organization. Good for you for helping people get housing etc. I hear that they are having a bang up year getting people registered to vote. I can't believe that Mickey Mouse has registered! That is damn fine news. There are Seven Dwarfs, so that would be 7 more votes! They might need a place to live too. As far as I know, they are white, so maybe you could make an exception. If you need more cigarettes, let me know, I will go buy some at QT, so you can hand them out to those people that keep registering. I must say that cigarettes and cash will get you a long way. To be honest with you, that is how I enticed my husband into marrying me. I added a little booze, but figure it's all good!

You know, I agree with Michelle about how she is only recently proud of the US. We pretty much suck on all fronts and I for one am glad she has the balls to tell it like it is. Maybe she should have been your choice for VP. Let Biden go back to that restaurant he likes. Oh, I forgot, it closed a long time ago. It's ok because I hear his memory is failing. Something about a helicopter forced down. Yes, snowstorms are a bitch! Anyway, I am proud of this country more than ever. If we can get Mickey Mouse to register to vote, then hot damn, we are ready for anything!

You know, I wanted to point out that I am not a huge fan of McCain either. He is an old man, a guy that was tortured daily, while in the Hanoi Hilton. Man, I hear Hilton's are really nice! Maybe I will ask my husband if we can go to one. We should have plenty of money, after all of his earnings go to pay for everyone to have healthcare. That reminds me, I am willing to give up my choice of doctor's just so your plan will work. If I get really sick or one of my kids does, I am totally willing to wait months to see whatever doctor will see me and if I need surgery, I will wait as long as it takes. Man, Socialist medicine ROCKS!

In conclusion, I am thrilled that you are President! Just so you know, I don't care if you are black either. I certainly don't consider myself a racist, anytime a person with little political background and shady friends want to run for office, I will show them my support, no matter what their color. As for Sarah, she may have better legs, but you have better policy.

Thanks and have a nice day!


I was tagged by a fellow blogger to post a picture from my sixth album. Well, I don't even own six photo albums, so was a bit stuck. I had to email Diane, the tagger, and get some clarification. Yes, I am a dork! Anyway, this is a picture of Mia, when she was but a wee tiny girl, about a month old. She is sooo tiny, still way under 6lbs. It is so cute because her daddy is a big guy and she is such a little baby.


Friday, October 10, 2008

My cat




I have had my feline, Sofie, for almost 10 years. Because she is a cat, she owns me, not the other way around, I suppose. The Sof, Sof the Flof(those rhyme), Flofious are all names she is called. I got her because I was having a huge amount of stress at work and read that a pet could be very relaxing. I'm allergic to dogs so a cat, which seems much less work, seemed to be am option worth exploring. So, I went to Petsmart to adopt a cat.

The cats are behind glass doors, like a cat shop or maybe a cathouse. They are all in cages and you have to ask to go in. There were a bunch, mostly sleeping, others yawning, bored but pleased in their own cat way. I came to the cage that belonged to the Sof. She was fat, black striped with brownish fur and a cute, pink little nose. She seemed to actually have interest in me. She meowed and stuck her paw out at me. I had the girl open the cage and the Sof jumped out into my arms, wrapped her arms around my neck and started to purr. Apparently, I was going to be leaving with her. I signed the forms and packed her off.

She is a very sweet, fat kitty. She would always sleep at the top of my pillow and occasionally go for a snuggle under the covers. All that changed when I married my husband. Dogs and cats just don't care for each other. The dogs took over the bed, even the undercover snuggle part. We don't have the dogs anymore, so the Sof makes herself comfy next to me again. Now that I am pregnant, Sof cuddles in the curve of my even expanding tummy. I am guessing she thinks that is her female kitty duty, to keep me and the baby warm. I like it. I don't like the early morning kisses where her little tongue lodges into my nostril. The eyelid kisses also become a little painful.

All in all, Sofie has been a good cat. She is friendly and outgoing, where most cats are standoffish and aloof. She likes to be in the action and will go for a tummy scratch on whoever's lap she thinks looks appealing. Sofie is probably the best pet I have ever had. I will miss her terribly when she is gone.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jobs-Part 1

I have had many, many jobs, some interesting, some dreadfully boring. What better place to share all of my occupational woes!

My first job came at 17, right after high school. I wasn't allowed to have a job during high school so that my grades would remain good and to allow for all of my extracurricular activities, dating and drinking. The last part isn't serious, my parents didn't really know about the drinking and I didn't really date all that much. Anyway, after I graduated and got the cast off my ankle, I was expected to get a job. Trouble is, I really didn't know how to do anything.

Wendy's was hiring and somehow I finagled an interview. I was hired on the spot to be the salad bar girl during peak lunch times. I had to wear navy blue pants, that could have walked on their own, and a baby blue/white striped polyester shirt. Who doesn't love polyester? I also had to wear a hat. Not a big problem but this was the 80'2 and I had hair out to THERE. I put it into a ponytail and stuffed into my hat.

I showed up on the first day and was told that I would be trained by a girl a bit older than me, named Annette. That would be fine until I found she was deaf. She could speak a bit but I knew no sign language. We embarked on our journey into the freezer, where I would spend most of my day. We took a cart that was filled with several beige, plastic containers, all of which held the salad bar items. I would like to mention that I did not wear gloves, had few spoons and wore no coat. I was covered in Ranch dressing and potato salad. I was cold too. We hauled all the stuff out there and placed it in the iced salad bar. I looked like I had taken a bath in salad dressing. I even had it in my bra. It was a mess!

Time to get the lettuce. I had no idea where it was kept, not in the freezer, I knew. Annette gestured towards a gigantic yellow trash container. It was on wheels so I attempted to move it. I couldn't. It was full of water and lettuce. Here is where it gets interesting. I was to take a big salad bowl, dip it in and make sure it was full for the salad crowd. I don't think the salad crowd would be excited to know that the lettuce was recycled. I know I wasn't thrilled. I set it in the lettuce bowl place and went on with my business, knowing that recycled lettuce was probably the least of my worries.

I was also in charge of baked potatoes. I had to scrub them with steel wool. Little pieces of it stuck to my fingers and the potatoes. It was kind of scary, the thought of steel wool in your baked potato but I pressed on. Thank God, I didn't have to peel them. I went to put them all in foil, when I dropped one. Oh, the horrors of a Wendy's floor. Annette gestured that I wrap it up and send it on its way. I did.

Ok, so I am running the salad bar and on potato duty. Turns out, I am also in charge of chicken frying. Now, the other girl that started the same day I did, was making fries. Making fries, that is it. Meanwhile, I am running the gauntlet of salad bar, potatoes and chicken frying. Nice.

There are alot of things scary in a fast food restaraunt. I believe anything with hot oil that has the potential to singe your armhair, eyebrows or melt your skin is dangerous. I wasn't thrilled with having to toss frozen chicken into a fryer. The ice crystals basically blew up on you, no matter how far away you stood. Once, I dropped one of the patties on the floor. I figured I would throw it away. Nope, toss it in, the hot oil would kill the Ebola found on the floor.

Working at Wendy's during the lunch rush pretty much sucked. Guys would try to talk to me and ask me out. I'm not sure why, when I was covered in various vegetables, dressing, jello, steel wool and grease. I was nice but never accepted one of the tempting offers. I worked at Wendy's for 3 or 4 months. It was about all I could stand. No more food service for me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A job for today

Last Thursday, my wonderful hubby came in the door, hot(he's always hot) and mumbling that we had to take his truck to the repair shop NOW! As I scrambled to get Mia and myself, purse, keys, phone and whatever else into my car, I asked why. Apparently, the brake warning light came on, they weren't working that well and I guess there was a smell. Ok, good enough. We get to the place, it belongs to a former neighbor and someone we trust with our cars. They trusted us with their cat so I guess it's all good. We get there and they are closed, locked up, so we throw the keys in the little slot and off we go.

I get a call the next day, while sitting in the OB/GYN's office, no less, that there are brake problems. Ok, obvious, call my husband because I am about to be inspected by the doctor himself. I hear later that the truck will be done around 230.

Flash forward. I am now 8 days without wheels. Apparently, the part came and they broke it! Nice, I thought you were qualified mechanics. I ask hubby if I can call and "vent" nicely about the situation. He says ok. I am beyond po'd at these people. I explain to the guy all of the stuff I have, teen, toddler and a bun in the oven. He apologizes, but not profusely by any means. I want some honest, begging apologies. I don't get it. I question why we had to wait 1 day for a part and now we have to wait 5. He says the shop will be closed Thursday and Friday but would I like to rent a car for $25? Hello? NO! I think at this point, you should give me one and be done with this. You have alot of nice Range Rover's sitting there. Get in and get over here. Nope, nothing. So, maybe the truck will be done on Monday, maybe not. The owner won't be back until the 10th, so we can't even complain to him. I am housebound. We had places to go and people to see. If it isn't done on Monday, there will be a pregnant woman in the shop giving them a lashing they will never forget.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I was blow drying my hair this morning and I saw something that was a bit startling! I was trying to do all of the fancy blow dryer moves I've been taught, yes, I suck at them, but I still make an attempt, when I saw SOMETHING in my hair. I am pretty blind and the mirror is pretty far away but it looked like, like dandruff! Not pretty, since I tend to favor black shirts and I was wearing one at this time, so really not pretty. I stop blow drying and get up on the sink to get a closer look. Yes, I am 6 months pregnant with a ginormous stomach but this was something that required a much, much closer look. I start moving the brush around and yup, I see something. It isn't really white, more like silver. I am not to used to seeing dandruff, but silver dandruff? I need an even closer look. I get down off the cabinet and begin to hunt for my 100X magnifying mirror. I haven't used it in a long time because it literally shows everything, including my clogged pores and hair that has moved from my head to around my lip area. It is ghastly, to say the least. I plug it in a prepare myself to see this silver dandruff. I lift my hair around and try checking for the sparkling confetti that apparently is littering my head. I see it. It isn't dandruff, something that I believe is curable with some Head and Shoulders or a mohawk. It is much, much worse. There is a healthy crop of silver hair shining in all its glory at me. Hmmm... Guess that it is time to hit the bottle, a Clairol bottle.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Up all night

Last night was a really bad night. I didn't sleep because I had to pee about a hundred times, couldn't breathe and had a sore throat. Mia started to cough, so I got her a drink of water. Of course, I can't ever get back to sleep, so I started to think about useless things that would essentially waste my sleepy time.

Have you ever thought about an old TV show and who its characters were? I remember one time, pre-Internet, that a roommate and I stayed up half the night trying to think of who the nerdy girl was on "Head of the Class." We could name every person by character name and most by real name but could not remember her character name. We stayed up til past midnight and discussed other shows we used to watch. We gave up, after wasting precious ZZZ time, and went to bed. About an hour later, as I was drifting off, my roommate opened my door and said only, "Janice." I knew what she meant and promptly drifted off.

Last night, I got up thinking about "Eight is Enough." Why? That is the big question. I was thinking about how many kids of each sex there were. Was it like the Brady Bunch, 4 and 4? Well, I could only account for 3 boys, including that nasty Willie Aames, and 4 girls. I could have easily gotten up to check one of many Internet sites, but I didn't because I figured I would have to go to the bathroom. So, instead I agonized over who the fourth boy was. I could remember that the oldest girl, died of a drug overdose. That didn't really help me though. So, I just laid there.

Then, I got to thinking about the vile Willie Aames. Something about his mop of creepy curls got me going. I was thinking of that show that he was on with Chachi. Seemed like it was on for a long time but because of old Willie Aames, I couldn't bring myself to watch it. And what about Scott Baio? What is his problem? That was a hottie back in the day. He is kind of hot in that 40's way now. I know that for some odd reason, that he and Joanie hooked up in real life. Now, there is someone with a mop of weird curls too. Maybe I have some kind of curly bias. I don't think I do, but those two really creep me out from a hairstyle type way. I guess that VH1 eventually helped him find love. I don't know because I never watched that either. Maybe they have moved on to that guy from Poison.

Here is someone else that I saw the other day, Biz Markie. He apparently is now appealing to the younger set by spitting and sputtering around on "Yo Gabba Gabba." Man, what was that song he sang about a 100 years ago? I thought about that for awhile but moved on, figuring that "Yo Gabba Gabba" is a lot more interesting to try and analyze. I majored in psychology in college and I still can't figure that mess out. There is the pink girl, who looks like garlic, the yellow robot, the green, fuzzy thing and then that odd red deal. You can't miss him, he is of the phallic orientation with studs. Hmmm, somehow Freudian, and studded for her pleasure. I forgot that blue one. And, what about this DJ Lance? Oh, my.

In the end, I was up about 4 hours, yet never got out of my bed to check any of my missing info on "Eight is Enough." The next morning, I did check and there were only 3 boys on the show. I had missed a girl. She had frizzy, curly hair. How could I forget?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shoe blog

If you know me, you know I love shoes! My feet don't grow, at least not much, so I can buy a lot of shoes and not have to worry. I am particularly fond of the Shoeshine blog. A friend from the mommy board I read faithfully, filled us in about this blog. The featured shoes are always amazing! One of the high points, is that nearly all of these shoes are what I call cost effective, or you can buy a bunch because they are on sale! You have to love that!

I recently bought a NWT(new with tag, for you non-shoppers)pair of Merrell tennies from They are an army green suede. Merrell's are expensive so I was pleased to find them for such a good deal. I won the auction and am excited to get them.

My mom is also a shoe junkie. We used to wear the same size, but sadly, we don't anymore. I grew, what a shock. We love Born shoes but can't switch anymore. Bummer.

No one wants to trade shoes with me and that makes me sad. I am hoping that one of my daughters will have the same size feet as me and will have excellent taste in shoes. I also hope I'm still cool enough to share with them. I can just hear them, "Mom, get out of my closet. You can't borrow my shoes!" I will then get my walker and hobble off to my room to sulk.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Share the blog wealth

I have been cruising lots of blogs, looking for some to pick up, so to speak. There are so many talented, crazy, caring, creative mom's out there, that you can't help but want to link to their blogs and have a gander. I have added a couple that I had a look at, that were fun. How can you not get a laugh at a mom that has lip balm, scrapbooking, photo, sewing and jewelry supplies hanging around her house? Of course, you aren't really laughing because you have the same crap somewhere in your house and if you had the time to find it and sort it, you would. Maybe, anyway.

So, please have a look and leave a comment, that is what us bloggers like. Share the wealth and add them to your blog read list. It will be appreciated.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The village called. They are demanding their idiots back NOW!

We packed alot of fun into our 2 1/2 days in Las Vegas. There were alot of highs and alot of lows. The heat, the constant need for water, the constant need to pee, and the heat all played into how we spent our days. I don't regret going, even though it was probably not the smartest move on my part. I will always remember our "babymoon."

We had to get up too early in order to make our flight. McDonald's and Starbucks were in the hotel food court, so we grabbed our food and then grabbed a cab to the airport. It was already hot, not that we were shocked by that. I knew that I would need a snack and water bottle for the flight, unless I wanted to pay an exorbitant fee on board. I was through the security checkpoint, when I was told that if I didn't drink my water, it would be confiscated. I couldn't down that much water, lest I need to pee 20 times on the flight. Whatever. I later heard they let a guy bring a coconut on board. Nice.

In the back of my mind, I was wondering about Clay Center's finest from our original flight. I had already seen several of the other Kansas people in the terminal and figured that it would probably be sooner rather than later, that we would be reacquainted with the Fab 4. I was on my way to the bathroom, and I heard him, the guy that sat in front of me that acted as though he had never been on a plane before. I ducked in before he saw me. He had a t-shirt indicating that he had played in a poker tournament in downtown Vegas. I had to wonder if prostitutes had been involved along with all of the free drinking I'm sure they did. I wanted to hurl just from the thought. Not suprisingly, he went right for the airport slots. I have always heard that you never play the slots there, as there is little return. I supposed it would have been polite of me to inform him, but decided against it. I wasn't feeling very charitable that morning, it was too early.

We were called to board and sat in the next to last row. We heard the guys get on, heck, everyone did. We were spared the details of the trip since they sat in the front. I hope they had good luck.

I fell asleep shortly into the flight, when it was announced over the intercom that there was a passenger with a medical emergency and were there any medical types on board. I worked for a couple of 911's and a prison and knew how to administer CPR, deliver babies and a host of other things. Hubby refrained me, saying he knew CPR and wasn't jumping out of his seat. Apparently, a female passenger had passed out due to anxiety about flying. The flight attendant put back the paddles, thank goodness, and assured us rear passengers that the woman was ok. No baby delivering today, darn it.

All in all, it was a great trip. I am hoping that when the girls are grown, hubby and I can go on another weekend trip. I am figuring we will be about 50. Then, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. (Horrible cliche, I know! LOL!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bags, Bags and More Bags

I like purses. Call them what you like, bags, purses, handbags, whatever, I love them. I know that I am hardly alone in this intense love of that thing that carries all my crap on a day to day basis. I don't get too crazy. I rarely change my bag to match my outfit, there is too much stuff to move, too much loose change, too many lipsticks floating around in the bottom. I just stick to what I like and change when I get bored.

My purse of choice is Coach. I first encountered the Coach brand in 1992. I was working at Spiegel, the catalog place. In our customer service training, we looked at real orders and pretended to fix them, answer questions etc. One of the items listed on this order was a "Coach Station bag." No one knew what it was. I quickly found a catalog and determined that it was a nice leather purse. I looked at the others and decided that I had to have a Coach Station bag. It was admittedly pricey, over $100. I had never owned a purse that cost more than $20. I never thought about it, I guess. Now, I had a 40% discount and was more than eager to use it!

A few days later, I got a notice that something was waiting in the mailroom for me. I tore into the box like it was Christmas morning! Wrapped in Coach imprinted paper was my navy Coach Station bag. I loved it and put all of my stuff into it immediately, no matter that I was supposed to be working. Work could wait, this was the bag of a lifetime and nothing could keep me from it. I felt the nice leather and played around with the brass hardware. I was in purse love.

Several Coach bags followed this initial purchase. Some with the discount, and when I moved on, I paid full price. I can't count how many I have had and fear that the knowledge would shock me. I have my favorites. My Ali was a thrill that nearly made me pass out. My husband and I took a weekend jaunt to Chicago, one February. I wanted to see this bag. It was beautiful, heavy leather the color of a baseball glove with sturdy brass hardware. We looked like crap, it was cold, we were windblown and red nosed. Hubby was fighting off SARS or some other snotty disease. I approached the salesman and asked if he had an Ali. He looked me up and down and said they had been removed and were only at the flagship store, 3 blocks away. We left, I felt scorned by the hoard of gay salesman. We grabbed a cab and went to the flagship store. I was impressed. There were saleswomen all over and it was a 2 story store! We were approached and I asked if there was an Ali to be seen. I was shown the shelf and there she was! Amazing. My desperately ill husband said to me, "Why don't you get it? I know you have had your eye on it for awhile." I nearly lost conciousness. Before he could come to his senses, it was wrapped and we were in line to pay. Grabbing the bag, I ran out before he could change his mind. I held that bag like it was full of gold. Upon return to our hotel room, I dumped everything out of my other purse, a Kate Landry, and stuffed everything into my new bag. I don't know what caused my husband to give into my Ali whim. I am thinking it might have been too many coffee's from Starbucks. The caffeine somehow muddied his thought process.

Not too long ago, I read a book about purses, Hermes specifically. It was called Bringing Home the Birkin, by Michael Tonello. It was a thoroughly entertaining read. Mr. Tonello chases the Hermes Birkin bag, a purse that costs more than most cars, at least cars that the average person can afford. He has a very successful career eBaying Hermes merchandise, spending over a $1,000,000 to supply his clientele. His trials and tribulations are detailed in this humourous book, all encased in a croc look cover. Wanna read it? I have a copy to give, granted, I read it first, but I don't have Hermes or Coach sponsoring my site, or sending me anything free, so a second hand copy will have to do. If you are interested, leave a comment or picture detailing your favorite bag and what it cost. It doesn't have to be a Coach or even a designer bag, just one that you love. Tell me why you love it, where it was purchased and for how much. I have a purse from Goodwill that I love(almost) as much as my Coach collection, so anything goes. Leave your comments and I will select a comment on September 15th. I can't wait to read the comments! Please leave your name and email address.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The damn, dam tour.

Hubby and I thought it best to rent a car to drive ourselves to Hoover Dam. In reality, the dam isn't that far from Vegas and would afford us more time on the tour and in the visitors center. There are lots of interesting things to see, and I missed quite a bit last time I went, due to an unforeseen event, so I wanted to see it all.

We got out of Vegas, somehow, and found the highway that would lead us to the dam. We pulled out the GPS because we missed the turn. The GPS was not functioning and kept giving the message that no satellite could be found. Hello? We were still in town, not in the middle of nowhere, so why wouldn't the darn thing work? A call to computer guru brother in law, would solve the problem, we hoped. Nope, he wasn't sure why the darn thing wasn't finding the satellite either. We had a nice chat with him anyway.

It is a nice drive to the dam, if you like looking at nothing. It is just a bunch of rocks, maybe like a really hot moon. Nearing the dam, we could see the new, scary bridge across the river. I won't go on it but it is supposed to alleviate the congestion that the bridge road has. It looks like something that would fall down in a strong wind, though I'm sure it is a bit more safe than that. I still won't ever go on it.

We pay the parking lady $7 and park the rental car. It is hot and we are sweating before we get into the sun. I, of course, have to pee. There is, of course, a line a mile long in the ladies room. There are no bathrooms in the dam so you are out of luck. Have I mentioned that it is scorching hot???

The extended tour was leaving soon, so we paid and got our tickets. Only, it wasn't a ticket, it was a yellow plastic hardhat. Not even a real one, a Bob the Builder type, flimsy. I laughed at the people that actually wore them, I, at least at the forethought to ask if it was mandatory.

The tour begins and I already have to pee. The dam guide stuffs a million of us in the elevator and off we go. People are manhandling my pg tummy and I didn't like it. I could barely breathe. We are led around like a group of preschoolers, examining nooks and crannies that should have been left to rodents or at least something smaller than the average human. I had to duck in places and I am not a shining example of height.

The guide points out all of the fine Art Deco details. I must ask, why does the, damn dam have to have terazzo floors? It is all very nice but I still have to pee and believe that there are more elevator rides to endure. In one place, we walked down a narrow, rounded tunnel to an open set of louvers. I wouldn't have minded having a gander, but there was this grate covered hole that you had to cross. I looked down it and could not see any trace of a bottom. Sorry, unless you want to back everyone up so I can take a running jump over it, not happening for me. I hung back, sweating and needing to pee.

Don't know if I mentioned that it was hot! My back was sweating and I am horrified to mention this fact.

Finally, we were all wedged in the damn dam's elevators and deposited in the middle of the dam, on the road. It was hot! I took a quick look and sat down. Yep, right down on the sidewalk in the blazing sun. The guide pronounced the tour over and I bolted for the nearest building with a bathroom and AC. Turns out it was the original visitor center. It was cool and that is really all I was looking for. Once my sweaty husband caught up with me, it was time for the show to begin. All 4 of us that showed up, sat in chairs that hadn't been replaced in 50 years. They were hard and we had no room to stretch our legs. This was a place that was built when the average American must have been barely 5' tall.

A huge, and ancient, topographic map lit up and told us the story of every damn, dam for several hundred miles. It was nice to get some air but the story wasn't that interesting. Maybe the new visitor center would be more interesting.

I have to waddle across the street and traffic to get to the new place. It is pretty neat and has a bonus elevator to get to the top. You could see the scary new bridge and straight down the dam. It was neat but hot so I went back in and sat on a bench that was conveniently placed on a vent! Bonus! Pretty soon, there was the sound of a siren. I have to believe it was an ambulance sent to help a pregnant woman that was dehydrated and needed to pee.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eating for 2 or 3, or maybe even 4

One of the greatest things about Las Vegas is the food. Yes, the food was one thing I was looking forward to. I have been to a few of the buffets and enjoyed them. For instance, the Rio breakfast buffet features all of the customary breakfast food and then some. I vividly remember eating cannoli for breakfast. Although I love cannoli, I love something on the Rio buffet better than that. They had Eggs Benedict! I love, love, love Eggs Benedict. I could eat several for breakfast each day, no matter that my arteries are hardening and am nearing heart attack stages. Yes, they are that good. We have made them at home on occasion, but it just doesn't compare with the fact that I could eat 10 at once and more would just magically appear in the tray. We didn't make it to the Rio's eggs Benedict feast, I have to admit, I was a little bummed. The buffet wasn't too shabby at the Monte Carlo, and it was free! You can't get better than that.

Ah, the Bellagio! The fountains are beautiful, the shops loaded with stuff I can't afford, and don't really want, the buffet, GIANT! Hubby and I got their early, my guess was that we would have to wait. We had our tickets for Mystere and didn't want to be late and wanted enough time to fill our faces. Upon arrival, there was a line. It wasn't bad and became even better when a random guy gave us the nod and said it was every bit worth the wait. We forked over the $80 and were led to our table, just a few steps from what I can only call a culinary heaven. We grabbed our plates and went off in search of sustenance. WOW! I started off with about 100 pieces of different kinds of cheese. Wound my way around the massive place and added Chicken Wellington, tortellini, steak, peeled shrimp, and the best, crab legs! They were actually already split so that lifting the sweet crabmeat was easy and didn't require a million Wet Wipes. We ate with the relish of a death row inmate. While hubby was off reloading, I managed to suck in a piece of the delicate crust of the Chicken Wellington. Now, here is the dilemma. Hubby and I went to Abuelo's one night. They have good chips so, of course, I was loading up. One sliver of chip lodged in my throat. I could talk etc but could feel it poking me in the throat! No amount of coughing could dislodge the piece. At this point, I am thinking I am going to die at Abuelo's. I excuse myself and race to the ladies room, dodging the unsuspecting patrons waiting to get a table. A lot of them didn't bother to move for the woman holding her mouth and dashing around like an idiot. How rude. Anyway, I get into the stall and proceed to throw up the offending piece of chip. Cheese comes out of my nose. I am disgusted. I don't throw up, that's a fact, this time I had to make the exception or risk death, or you know, puking on the table or something. Back to the chicken, I wasn't sure what to do. I drank a bunch and cleared my throat so much that I thought the Asian family next to me was going to move. I started to get a little irritated when the all pulled out their cameras and started snapping pictures of the pregnant, choking American woman. Nothing against anyone Asian, mind you. Eventually, I somehow managed to swallow the offending piece of crust and went back to the buffet for seconds or maybe it was thirds. The family actually asked my darling husband to take their pictures! I guess they figured it was the least they could do since we were practically related. It isn't every day that another tourist hacks up all kind of phlegm in your direction.

We finished with dessert/desserts. They were all such cute little designer treats. All in tiny little, ruffled cups, so small that I could easily line a dinner plate with 10 and still have a little room left over.

You can't beat Vegas for eating. Not everyone gambles, but everyone eats. And eats, and eats and eats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Alone at last!

I dropped Mia off at her first day of preschool. I was nervous, of course, it is a big step for both of us, even if it is only 2 1/2 hours, twice a week. We packed her up, took some pictures and she was ready to go.

I am shocked that she goes in, kisses me goodbye and begins to play. I am happy but sad still. She is my little girl and I miss her.

I head off to get the dry cleaning and a free iced coffee at McDonald's, all is well. I get home, and... Nothing, I am alone and don't know what to do. I decided to play a bit of Scrabble and lose miserably. Reading doesn't sound interesting and I don't like TV. I try to think of something to do. I could run around naked, maybe put on some music? I could sit on the sofa and just throw out some swear words? Um, I could read my email? I need to clean the kitchen. Well, that doesn't sound very fun, so I don't.

I have brainstormed alot and have come up empty. Hmmm... It is now time to go get Mia. Where has the time gone?

Open House

I am going off my Vegas rant to share a little about middle school open house. I am attending tonight, alone, my husband giving me a night out, so to speak. Plus, now that I am pg, I can use it to sneak away, with the excuse that my water broke or something like that.

To say that open house is exciting is really a lie. It is boring, filled with the same monotone headmaster that has been there for years and still has nothing interesting to say and no interesting way to say it. We get our folder of info and are supposed to head out to the classrooms to meet the teachers. The teachers haven't changed so I am going to skip that part of the evening. At this point of the year, 3 whole days, the kids don't have art or anything to display. I have never understood why open house is so early.

The fun part is the introductions of the new PTO officers. I don't know these woman at all. No idea how they got elected and for the most part, don't want to hear them speak. No offense, there really isn't anything interesting for them to say. It is very cliquey, I understand, but come on, no one really cares about how you are good with keeping your crap organized. KWIM?

I always look forward to the yearly ice cream social. While I'm definetly not social, I do like ice cream. Yeah, I know, for what we pay for this event, we could go buy several gallons of whatever flavor we choose, but it is for the school so we suck it up and eat a ton.

Another big event at school is the winter carnival. The school goes all out with neat decorations, lots of games and bouncy houses. Now, I have a little bit of experience with bouncy houses. I think they are a blast, but can't convince the other parents that maybe they could let off a little steam, let there hair down from their normal snobbishness and have some fun.

Then, there is the dreaded cake walk! Just the words "cake walk" puts the fear in all parents. It is the worst job at the carnival. Kids, and some adults, can't figure out that you walk in a circle on some numbers, when the music stops, the number called wins the cake. Hello??? There are clearly people that need to come out of the cake walk cave and get with the program. I am going to leave the details at that because just the thought of how hubby and I worked the cake walk for 2 hours is enough to make me want to find a small place to hide in.

Then, there are the donations of everything needed to run these yearly events. You name it and it is needed. Don't get me wrong, it is all for a good cause, I don't mind. I can always donate a cake or some cookies. Never a pie though. Pies seem to make the headmaster a little giddy. One year, he brazenly announced, "Men, bid on your wives pies. You don't want another man to eat your wife's pie!" Well, no, certainly not! I have never had to stifle a laugh so hard as I did right then. Of course, none of the parents moved a muscle, yet again proving that I am not meant to be in the prescence of such proper people.

So, tonight, I am off to open house. I will be sitting with all of the other parents, trying not to doze off, fart or do anything else that might repulse my neighbor. I will probably somehow get signed up for the cake walk again. I hope there are no pies!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Timeshare:HA, HA!

Hubby and I had just exited the Monte Carlo, when we were accosted by a pregnant woman, offering free buffets at our own hotel. Well, we like to eat so that looked appealing. After being corralled over to a small building, we were assailed by a spiky haired, young, smooth talking guy. Why we could see a free Vegas show if we would visit his property and give him our opinion. We demanded to see the show list. There was Lance Burton, La Cage, Follies and one that piqued my interest, "Mystere." Mystere has been in Vegas for quite some time and has won rave reviews. Ok, what do we have to do??? Just offer and opinion is all it will take to get the tickets. If you know me, you know that I am not short of an opinion on anything. I was perfect for the job. Now, darling husband, is the pragmatic one of us, doesn't normally get crazy over anything, and would, in general, prefer I keep my big mouth shut. Dang, this will be fun, with free stuff to boot!

The next morning, we wind our way through the casino to the place we are assured we will be picked up. This resort is next to Mandalay Bay. I can see Mandalay Bay but it is about 10 miles by walk. Not really, but a Las Vegas block is easily the equivalent to 6 regular blocks anywhere else. We wait with the other suckers and hope that this shuttle comes before I pass out from lack of water. I am near passing out from the heat and the sheer boredom. The big fun was yet to come!

Hubby and I had discussed how to handle these hard sell, timeshare sales idiots. We thought of saying that we were buying at the condos next door to the Monte Carlo. They were $650,00, yes, American, to start. I thought I could say I was a Koch but figured they wouldn't know who I meant. We had some pretty fabulous stories cooked up, we would have to see what game they played before we played ours.

We are escorted with all of the other suckers into a waiting room filled with oddly dressed women and Hawaiian shirt clad men. They called us to meet and move to the room where they put the screws to you. One of the guys, Hans, had a fake tan, with slicked back bleach blond hair. I have never laughed harder at someone, that probably isn't true, but I had to stifle myself when he got onto the elevator with us. When he mentioned there were "nibblies," I nearly lost it. Our guy was named Steve. Not very interesting, but worthy of the game we thought we might play.

There was a lot of small talk. Blah, blah, blah. Steve said he had been in the Air Force for 20 odd years. Then, he found out he had the "Big C." I really had to search my brain for what the Big C was. Clearly, my brain wasn't functioning in the heat because I it took me forever to figure out what he was referring to. Idiot, doorknob, jackass, goofball, none of those start with c. Oh! He meant cancer! He was actually joking about having cancer. Now, that is something to get a hoot over. NOT!

After a ridiculous spiel about who knows what, we watched a cool video about the destruction of some of Vegas' greatest landmarks. I still don't really know what they were getting at but I was eating a huge chocolate chip cookie and really could have cared less. Some old guy, proclaiming to be a former Vegas weatherman, gave us a canned lecture that required alot of canned applause from the idiot sales staff. Man, the things we will endure for some tickets to a show.

After what seemed like forever, with promises of trips wherever we wanted, or at least to all of the places this place shared with, we were released with Steve to have a look at the grounds. There was a fabulous pool with a sandy beach, cool. We were escorted into the models for a look see. Granite counter tops, stainless appliances, flat screen tv's, a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom, all very nice. A stack washer and dryer in a closet. Ok, when I take a vacation, I sure as heck don't want to see a kitchen or any type of laundry facilities. I want a fancy lobby, a half dozen restaurants, shops that sell a bunch of stuff I either don't want or can't afford, something that doesn't look like an apartment that I lived in 5years ago. I explained this all to Steve, who proceeded to treat me like an idiot. Just close the door to the laundry closet, just don't cook. I told him that he clearly didn't understand what a vacation was to me. Hubby was wisely letting me voice my opinion so we could get the hell out of Dodge. I explained, that if I had to cook, do laundry and drive 5 miles to Starbucks, then that was a typical day, not a vacation. Well, Mr. Steve's attitude changed. He wasn't very friendly anymore. In fact, he called in one of the big guns. A guy, wearing a turtleneck that had a better manicure than myself. He tried to wheel and deal with some fancy figures and assuring us we would qualify, no credit check necessary. In a nutshell, we told him to take his 17.9% loan and shove it in his stack washer and dryer.

Five minutes later, tickets in hand, we were on the shuttle back to the life of a vacationer. Lots of AC, restaurants, shops with $30,000 purses and a Mint Mocha Frappuccino with my name on it. Just how I like it!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love, love Sephora! My first jaunt into the store, left me $200 in the hole. I bought some makeup, and had it applied. I asked for a vanilla scented fragrance and was shown a wall of perfume. The saleswoman narrowed it down to 4, one of which I got and have used faithfully since. It is a wonderful, light smell. I could huff and get a little vanilla high, it so yummy. Anyway, I was thrilled at the prospect of shopping once again in a store that has so many makeup brands that your head spins.

My favorite store is the one next door to the Venetian. The Venetian shops have expanded so much since the last time I was in Vegas, that we realized we were going to be late for our dinner reservation. Hmm. Well, there were other Sephora's so I guess I would have to suck it up and try the one across from our hotel, at Planet Hollywood's mall.

I wouldn't recommend deviating from a store that offers so much to a store that offers very little. The Miracle Mile's Sephora offered little, and I was sorely disappointed. First off, the store is small, as in way tiny. There was no block long wall of perfume, no well stocked cases of any makeup brand you can think of. For instance, I wanted some of the NARS Orgasm products, the Multiple, polish and gloss. What I found? Nothing but empty spots of the shelves and a sign that the polish would be available soon. Hmmm... I know it was available on their website. My husband, who would barely sit foot in the door, yelled at me from outside to ask someone. There was a long line at the register and not many someone's to ask. I finally found someone to ask. It was a nearly 6 foot tall blond, wearing the usual black shirt, black pants ensemble. She had a long ponytail, pulled neatly. I approached. She turned around. I was shocked. The 6 foot blond was a MAN?!? Well, maybe not 100% man but still manly enough. I didn't want to get his makeup opinions so I left. It wasn't really because of him that I left. I was angry that I didn't go to the store of my choice, angry they were out of everything that I wanted and angry that my husband was not standing by me, helping me pick out stuff that I really don't need. I was also hot and thirsty and bitchier than usual, so it was time to go. So, we did.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


That is all I'm saying. Vegas is really, really HOT!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back away from the pregnant woman

We are officially in Sin City! Of course, we have the normal airport business to take care of, mainly, I have to pee. We get on the tram, surrounded by a million other crazy people, willing to brave the oppressive heat for a little fun. I am crammed into the tram, laying all my stuff on a man with an expensive watch, holding the largest cup Starbucks offers. I know all of this because it was right in my eye. If the tram would have lurched violently, I would have had my face washed by his iced coffee.

Our luggage appears and we are off to find a way to our hotel. We are staying at the Monte Carlo, home of Lance Burton. He is a magician but looks like a wax dummy, really, he wears more makeup than most women. We get out, get to our room and, darn it, it is so hot! I lower the AC to a much more desirable temp, at this point, a meat locker wouldn't have been cool enough for me. The room, while tastefully decorated and comfy, never felt cool to me. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't feel any air on my skin. Of course, I had 20 pillows in bed with me, besides Bobby, so I'm sure all of that was hampering my temperature issues.

This was also a handicap accessible room. We had a gigantic bathroom. Of note, is that apparently a handicapped person needs to have a bathtub that sits several feet off the floor. I had to use all of the rails because getting in and out was nearly impossible. Getting out of the shower, wet, of course, at a high altitude on a polished, tile floor, makes for an interesting time. If you have some kind of physical issue, I don't recommend going to Vegas anyway. Not to be mean, but it is too crowded. Just being pg, I was jostled by many in elevators and buses. No fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The village called, they want their idiots back

We returned from Las Vegas yesterday. I have so many stories and so little time. I will get started with the plane trip. We left Wichita after lunch. People around us were milling about, chatting on the phone, chatting with each other, you know, what you would normally do while you wait. Then, there are the "others." I would consider them to be social misfits, guys from the farm, that perhaps like to indulge in fantasy of the farm animal kind. There were 4 of them, all wearing t-shirts that said the most asinine of things. For instance, one shirt read, "What happens in Clay Center, stays in Clay Center." Nice choice. Maybe it should have read, "Hey, I'm a dumbass that has never been out of Kansas." Or, "Kick me because I am gambling on heads or tails off a quarter before we get on the plane." Maybe that second one is too long, but, unfortunately, true. The guys all sat on the floor, there were chairs, so I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this. One pulled out a quarter and for the next hour or so, they played heads or tails, all while throwing big bills out. Couldn't wait the 3 hours til we got to Vegas. Ok, so we get on the plane. We sit next to 2 of them, the others, sit in front of us. Not one of them removes their odd, wavy shaped Oakley's. One guy drops quite a bit of cash on drinks, which are $6 a piece. Everything costs on an airplane now.

We are nearing Vegas and are starting to see landmarks, mainly Hoover Dam. I mention this to my sweet husband and immediately the guy's head snaps around and he begs me to point it out to him. Then, he demands to know if I know where the speedway is. Um, no, sorry, it isn't really my cup of tea. Instead, I tell him that Chanel is at the Bellagio and that I can't wait to go to Sephora. He gives me a blank stare. No, I really didn't say that, but I wanted to.

Finally, we land. They all announce how lucky they are that they only have carry on luggage, so they were off for more beer and some gambling. Thank God that was the last of them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blow my dice, or, whatever

Darling husband and I are on our way to Vegas today. It is supposed to be 108 degrees! Did you hear me, 108 degrees?!? Of course, Kansas is supposed to be rainy and 20 degrees cooler than normal. Hmmm... Maybe I would like to stay home this weekend instead. No, this is the last chance that hubby and I will be able to get away, just the 2 of us. With a baby coming, it is unlikely we will hopping on a plane anytime soon. That is ok, there are trade-offs in life and I am willing to make them.

I am expecting to eat like a queen and walk a bunch more than I probably should. I love to eat and in Vegas, our choices are endless. We are eating at a seafood buffet tonight. They ship in 30,000 lbs. of crab legs for this buffet. How can that not be enjoyed? I fully expect hubby to take 15,000 lbs, leaving the rest for me!

Tomorrow, we are renting a car and touring the Hoover Dam. It is interesting, and even though there is no buffet for miles, I'm sure we will do fine. Of course, I will have to pee endlessly and become massively dehydrated, this, no doubt, making the tour much more entertaining!

We will be doing alot of walking up and down the strip. I always enjoy people watching, and Vegas is pretty much filled with freaks! And, I'm just talking about the normal tourists. One year, I was there, there was a pack of young, Asian teens milling about outside of Caesars Palace. What I found most interesting was that one of the girls was wearing a wool sweater and tights! Hello? It was 90+ degrees. I certainly not knocking anyone Asian, just wow, she must have been hot!

I am not a big gambler. I will put a couple of quarters in a slot machine but other than that, I will probably avoid the tables. My gambling husband has been reading a book about craps. I say, "Good luck and don't loose any money." He actually asked me if I wanted to be his good luck charm, wear something daringly low cut, and blow his dice. Blow his dice, seriously. I opted out saying that I would much rather go shopping while he blew his own dice. Sephora, here I come!

Sephora will be very exciting! I discovered my favorite perfume there. I love, love, love Sephora. I could easily spend all of our gambling winnings there. Oh, wait... There aren't likely to be winnings. Oh, well, I will spend our real money there. Unlikely.

So, the countdown begins. Hubby will be home in 1 hour and we will speed over to my parents so we can leave Miss Mia. I will miss her! Maybe I will get her a little Vegas surprise. Do kids like poker chips???

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Not funny, for now

I enjoy writing my blog. I use it as a release sometimes. I know that it isn't always funny. In fact, lately, it hasn't been. I'm sorry for this. Things happen. Maybe I will be funnier tomorrow.

If you like a funny blog, I highly recommend Jen Lancaster's, "Jennsylvania." She is a real hoot and has a bitch streak that I admire and would most certainly cultivate if I wasn't forced to be nice to so many people.

I do have a couple of habits, bad or good, that are similiar to Jen's. I love my Crocs, ugly or not. My entire family loves them. I figure that when my feet are swollen from being pregnant, I will turn to my Crocs, the Mammoth type specifically, to ease my uncomfortable feet. The Crocs people sent Jen a rather exciting bunch of shoes from their fancy line. I can't afford the new line, and while I would love something free, even a coupon, I doubt I am big on the Croc people's blog list!

I also love Chicago! Jen lives there in, what I would guess, is a stylish, loft type place. I am envious, to a point. Having kids there is something I can't imagine. When we were in Chicago, we walked everywhere or took the El. I can't fathom how I would get a toddler and infant onto bus without losing my mind. Walking isn't always great with little kids.

We enjoyed our trip to Chicago very much. We ate great food. Who doesn't like a steak from the Chicago Chop House??? I guess, vegetarians, but I can't imagine who else. My favorite stop was at the Coach store, where I got my Ali bag. I still keep the thank you note from the shopgirl we purchased it from. We also visited the aquarium and I found it to be top notch. I could sit and watch the beluga's all day. Hubby and I are hoping that we can go back and do some other fun things. But, with a baby on the way, we may be too old to walk around much without walkers.

Someday, my sense of humor will return. Until then, I will be celebrating my birthday this weekend, that should bring about some laughs. I'm 39, oh, what the hell, I'm really 29!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Past-Revisited

I lived a different life, much different than the one I live now, back in the 80's. First, I was young and a hottie! Well, I was young, anyway. When I think back, it seems like it was a secret life, a life few of my friends know about and a life that, while etched in my memory, I don't always like to recall.

I married an Air Force Academy cadet. I have to admit that it wasn't the best plan I could have come up with. I was young, too young. And, dumb. Yet,that didn't stop me from moving from wonderful Colorado, to steaming hot Texas. I remember my apartment, new and crawling with scorpions. One day, I came home and found a gray, furry tarantula on my front door. After I got in the door, there was a scorpion on my couch. Nice. That is nothing compared to what I was considered, an Air Force wife. Not just any Air Force wife, but one whose husband was in Undergraduate Pilot Training(UPT). There were a barrage of parties, mixers, get togethers and what have you, that I had to attend. There was no choice in the matter, none. I went where I was summoned. Granted, I wasn't summoned by the commander, just his wife, and in some cases, it was just as bad. The Air Force looks at the "wife" as the posession of the husband. Those that know me, know that isn't the way I operate, but back then, I did. If we were to go to the O Club, we went. If we were supposed to go to a dinner, we went. We edged our lawn, parked our cars, mingled with friends, had sex, all by the book of the Air Force. Failure to do so... It just didn't happen, at least with myself and former spouse.

UPT is a program that lasts 1 year. It is grueling for the pilots. It is grueling for their wives. There are the 4am flight weeks, the 8pm flight weeks. There was the chamber, egress training and memorizing countless things about flying and the plane. Failed check rides and failed marriages occured frequently, too frequently. While the husband's are dutifully flying around, the wives are left on the ground, to commiserate with their forced friends about how they miss their families, miss their friends, miss their jobs, all to fulfill their husband's dreams. It is admirable but stressful enough for miscarriages and falling apart marriages. In esscence, you gave up everything and UPT is now your life, as well. You remember little acronyms for things, you sew patches on new flightsuits, you are able to recognize and name the entire inventory of Air Force planes. You and your spouse are owned by the Air Force and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Graduation from UPT approaches and the Air Force has decided your husband is worthy of flying one of their multi-milion dollar planes. Maybe you will escape this hellhole called Del Rio, maybe not. We didn't, not for 4 years. I lived through 4 years of hot as hell conditions, very few places to get a decent meal and absolutely no shopping! And, tell me what did I do it for, a divorce. Apparently. My former spouse loved flying and was a great instructor, but his love for me couldn't/didn't have any priority for him. I, was in fact, his mistress, his first love, the Air Force and flying.

I don't regret those times, they have shaped me into the person that I am today, not that that is saying a bunch. I made friends that I think of today. Occasionally, I Google them, hoping to find that someone I knew, is having the life they dreamt of, something that they took away from that time in the 80's in Del Rio, Texas.

My last Google forway was today and what I found, hurt me. A guy that was an instructor pilot with us in Texas, was killed on 30 July at Nellis AFB, NV. He had been flying in an exercise and crashed, he died on site. He had been married to the same girl I met, way back in 1990. They had childen, they have a mom, but no dad. Reading the obituary, I saw that he was an accomplished pilot, with many missions, with many aircraft. Many, that at the time I knew him, he only dreamt about.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Moment of Silence

A girl that I have been in school with since the 7th grade, died recently. I read her obituary in the paper, where I grew up. I was shocked to see her picture. She was 39, just like I will be next month. It sounded like she was ill and died, no bad car accident, like another girl in my class had. They both left young sons.

I remember this girl for a couple of reasons. She loved gymnastics and she had big thighs. Maybe not the best things to be remembered for. I always thought of her as mean. Not to me, we weren't friends, but I got the feeling she could probably whip up on someone bigger than her and they might live to regret messing with her. Probably not another great memory that I have of her.

I feel upset and sad upon reading of her death. I don't really know why. I don't believe that I am going to die anytime soon. You know, at least I hope not. I guess the thought of losing classmates is really hard. I lost my then best friend when she was 25. I still think of her today.

I am asking you, that if you read this, say a small prayer or have just a moment of silence for people that have passed away that you went to school with. We keep our loved ones in our memories but sometimes we forget others that have slipped away.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cockroaches of the Sea:How the Lawrence Men Will Do Anything for Dinner

I believe it is my nephew, Aaron, that coined the phrase, "Cockroaches of the Sea," for those strange, yet tasty, things we call crab. With the Puget Sound literally in their backyard, my sister in law and brother in law, drop the crab pots and hope that no one steals their haul. It starts out easy enough, you load the crab pot with some type of bait that the crab will flock to eat, and then they are caught in the trap. In most cases, the crab really seem to go for turkey legs, raw. Very odd... You put the pots in the boat and set out to put them somewhere where you can see them bobbing and then you wait. A crab pot, for those of you that don't know, and I didn't til I went to Seattle, is not a pot at all. I assumed, incorrectly, that it was a cylindrical object possibly made of clay?!? In actuality, it is a metal, mesh looking cage with a hole for the crab to get in. I think that it has a nice little area for the bait, but I may well be wrong. Ok, so you are in the boat, you go out a little ways and throw them in and wait. A lot of people throw their pots out. A lot of people will pull up at your pot, dump the crab in their boat and then take off. This is not a good thing as witnessed on our last trip. Let's just say that someone was rowing nearby the pots and from way high up, apparently looked like they were trying to get our haul. There was yelling and mention of reporting boats to the proper authorities. I'm not really sure what authorities respond to a crab heist but my guess is they respond with guns drawn and the order to, "Drop those crab or I will shoot!" Anyway, one would think that dropping the pots one morning and checking them in a few hours, a couple of different times of day would be speedy and sufficient. Well, you haven't met the Lawrence's.

The mention of boats and crab makes the male Lawrence's salivate with the anticipation of a feast. At Thanksgiving last year, they donned several layers of winter gear, took the boat out of winter storage and dropped the pots, like it was a warm summer day. There were lots of wet clothes and cold men. We had crab, one of which I actually sacrificed for the sake of dining enjoyment. I might make mention of this later, but maybe not, as it is not for the faint of heart. Anyway, our summer trip started out much like our Thanksgiving trip. Since I have no boat knowledge, I am going to give my opinion of what happened, although the use of technical boating jargon will be avoided. My brother in law pulled the truck near the boat trailer. I guess you have to attach the boat to the hitch with a winch that requires cranking. The crank broke, leaving my husband and 18year old nephew having to manually put the boat on the hitch. I don't think that boats are light, but I may be wrong. Turns out the battery was dead so then the motor wouldn't start once they got the boat in the water. A new battery was attached and the boys were off to drop off the pots. It was a go for crab!

Ok, well, not exactly. At one point, the tide was coming in and there were whitecaps. Turns out that tying the boat to the bouy wasn't going to be that easy. Then, there was this little matter of getting everyone into the dinghy. That is a rowboat, come to find out. Four big guys in a little boat, is quite an interesting feat. I'm not sure they actually did this, though. Apparently, they decided swimming back to the shore in 48 degree water made more sense. Shrinkage be damned! Fearing for the fate of the "Lawrence's Deadliest Catch" crew, I don't truly know all of the gory details surrounding this last foray and I don't think that I want to know. They all returned safely, with very low body temperatures. After some showers, hot chocolate with a dash of Bailey's, they seemed somewhat recovered.

Soon, it was time to haul the catch up the 7000 stairs from the beach to the house. There aren't really 7000 stairs, but there are a bunch. The crab get lined up, whacked and thrown in the boiling water. They are screaming and flipping the crab bird at us through the entire process. I am making this part up, of course, they can't flip the bird. Ok, ok, no one call PETA on me. For the record, I didn't hear any screaming.

Actually eating the "cockroach of the sea" isn't an easy task. There are many tools involved. I saw nutcrackers, small little crab forks, and sometimes kitchen shears. My nephew, just uses his teeth! Removing all of the meat can be time consuming and messy. It is worth it, though. There is nothing better than dipping freshly caught crab in hot butter. A new Coach bag is pretty close, though. Anyway, at Thanksgiving, my nephew cracked me a fine pile of crab and I didn't even have to slip him $20. Thanks, Michael!

All in all the crabbing went well. There were the usual scrapes, attacks from rabid barnacles and a lost oar, but no one was seriously injured. No trip to Seattle would be complete without a crabbing adventure. Maybe with practice, they will get better, but what is an adventure without a little blood, sweat and tears?