Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yes, I'm laughing at Studmuffin's expense....

Studmuffin graciously read my post this evening...and he promptly asked "You didn't mention me falling off of the boat?"


What is wrong with me?! I completely forgot to share his humiliation...AHA!!! Payback for the beating from the tube ride...Christian virtues, out the window, prepare to laugh at someone other than me...

So, we pulled into a lovely little cove to eat our noon meal. The scene was idyllic, no other boats around, nice break from the wind....

"Hand me the anchors, Babe."

"Sure thing Studmuffin!" I tremblingly (hey, a new word) hefted them out from the cargo space under the front seats. He threw the first one in off of the back and secured it. I began preparing our lovely meal of premade sandwiches, apple slices and Nacho Cheese Doritos...


Man, that anchor sure mad a loud splash, I thought to myself. I continued about my Proverbs 31 duties...Her children fear no hunger...


"What?!" And I looked behind me, and sure enough, he was gone....And he wasn't coming up....So, I waited.

And waited.

Started to get a tad concerned....


It seems that he accidentally fell in when a passing boat's wake knocked him off balance. He was afraid of losing his $12 anchor, so he held on for dear life and swam to the surface....

Gentle Reader...He has increased his ranking as the King of Cheap....

He would rather drown than lose a $12 anchor....

His obituary would have read, "He was found on the bottom of the lake clinging to an anchor. His wife reported that she heard a loud splash but was too busy preparing lunch to take note of her husband's unfortunate plummet."

You wanna know what's sad? He was in 7 foot of water....The anchor had a 30 foot NYLON rope attached. I suspect it may have floated to the top even without his help. It seems that was a risk he wasn't willing to take.

More on Studmuffin's tendency to fall out of the boat:

2 years ago he bought a casting net. He had never used one before. He went to neatly toss it out, and fell in right behind it. The water was so shallow he landed on his butt on the bottom of the lake. His buddies with him said, "So, did you see any shad down there?"

The second time he fell in was a whopping 10 minutes later....casting the net again.

So, it seems he has mastered falling out of the boat!

Summer Fun

We made our first trip of the summer to the lake yesterday. You know you're getting old when you jump on the tube from the boat so you don't have to attempt to clamor on from the lake, look like a fool, give up, then swim back to the boat to get on the easy way. This year as I stood on the boat preparing to seat drop onto the tube I gave my list of instructions: "Not to fast. Be nice. Remember I'm going to pull you next, so think of paybacks. Be nice. I want to have fun, but not TOO much fun. Remember to be nice. Did I say be nice?" Studmuffin just smiled in his sly, devious way, and handed me the rope to let out as he slowly eased forward to take up slack.

And we were off. Okay, so he held up his end of the bargain, on "not too fast," but he immediately started a zig zag pattern designed to make me fly over the wake again and again and again. I started screaming at him and shaking my head, and screaming at him some more. I was hanging on for dear life, so I couldn't do the universal thumbs up for speed up, down for slow down, or palm out flat for stop. He just kept looking back and saying "I can't hear you," and Bookworm kept holding her arms up in the universal shrug of "I have no idea what you're saying." But did anyone think to stop and ask me what I needed? Noooooo.

And this is how I know I must be getting old. I was too scared to let go and skip across the water to end the torment because I knew that would really hurt too. So, I just held on for dear life, and suffered the whiplash of a roller coaster, only not the fun smooth coasters, think the old wooden coasters that dare you to walk again after you finally get off of them.

When we finally stopped, he asked what I wanted. I explained the beating I was taking jumping those wakes. He laughed and said, "Oh no, now it's time for revenge." But, I decided to show the mercy of my Lord, and I was very gentle with him. Yes, my Christian virtues are astounding, aren't they? Amen.

When we lived in Texas we could go boating on water as smooth as glass, there was so little wind. That is not possible here. There is always a little bit of chop, and if there isn't white caps on the lake, well it's ski worthy. But I've noticed that flying around at high speeds on the tube is a lot more terrifying because it's an endless barrage of beatings, not the occasional, "oh no, there's a big wake and he's about to send me flying over it."

So, after the girls had enough abuse from tubing themselves, we busted out the skis. Okay, so I'm not sure if I can hardly move due to the skiing or the tubing. I'm pretty stable on my skis, but it was a beautiful day and there were tons of people out. That makes for more wakes you have to maneuver over on your skis, and plus we had the standard Oklahoma chop to contend with. Then, one time Studmuffin said "I'm going to turn around as soon as you get up, because there's too much traffic this way."

I agreed, and I noticed he had the prop turned a little to the right, but I figured, "I'm a strong skier, I can hack it." I was barely up and he took a hard right to avoid a boat that came up on us unexpectedly. The rope got so much slack it was in the water. I tried to rally and hunker down. Unfortunately that just lead to me doing a giant face plant in the water with both skis flying off in opposite directions....

So, when we got home last night my pinkie toe was kind of hurting. The only thing I can think is that it got hurt when my skis flew off... Then it woke me up, it was throbbing so bad. I took some ibuprofen, and it continued to ache. I'm limping around today, and my arms and shoulders are sore from the beating from the tube and hanging on to the ski rope.

I'm telling you, I think I'm getting old. Just a few summers ago, I would race back and forth on the skis, jumping the wake the whole time, and if I took a spill, no biggy, I'd shake it off and continue on. I would usually end up with bruises on my shins that I wouldn't really know where they came from, and I would hurt from head to toe, but be ready to go back at it as soon as possible. Yesterday my neck was hurting before I even stepped into skies, so I pretty much played it safe the whole time. The good news was I didn't fall even one time (excluding the previously mentioned face plant that was totally not my fault), and I even kept a fishing hat on the whole time, so my scalp didn't burn!

The hat really ticked Studmuffin off. He said it looked like I was showing I was so confident in my abilities that I wouldn't even lose a hat. Okay, I got the hat at Walmart when I was pregnant with Bookworm. Really, there was no tragedy if I lost it....

Which I didn't....

Because I am awesome....

Or because I played it safe and didn't let him pull me over about 25 mph....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Hey, did everyone have as much fun over Memorial Day as I did? I got to see my cousins. I hadn't seen most of them since last Memorial Day, and that was very briefly. It was great fun getting our kids together and remembering the fun we had growing up. It was a high time of cotton wood trees blowing until it looked like snow, ticks, and mosquitoes! Just kidding...We had a great time.

We went to a municipal park near the town where Studmuffin grew up for Memorial Day. It's a beautiful park with camping, a natural spring fed pond for the kids to fish in, golf for the adults, and nature hikes! My girls had great fun spending time with their cousins (my cousins kids.) And, anyone who is wondering who the cutie in the orange stripe shirt is, she's my Aunt Christina's niece. But, she's a cousin as far as everyone here was concerned!

Sadly, my sister Paula was unable to come, so this handsome little guy was totally outnumbered. It was slightly improved when my cousin Dusty arrived with his little guy. However, he doesn't seem to disturbed to be surrounded by a gaggle of girls does he? He is truly one of the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. He will definitely be a heart breaker.

Now, this group was trouble. It was great seeing the old gang together again. We all grew up together (obviously, since we're cousins. Duh) We used to spend so much time together in the summer. I remember I thought my Aunt Christina was the most patient woman alive, and that she never lost her temper. Actually, I still think that. When we would all get together at my grandparents, we ran around like wild Indians. I got tickled at my Grandma Dolly this weekend. She kept scolding us that we weren't watching our kids closely enough. We ran all over the place growing up, and certainly no grown up was keeping an eye on us! One time my cousin Matt was showing us the dangers of a spring trap. He took a stick, just like Grandad Pat showed him, and sprung the trap to show us how tightly it could snap and break the stick. Unfortunately, he chose a short stick. The trap sprung...Right onto his hand. We had to run find an adult for that one. None of us were strong enough to get it off. Woops. Another time we found a machete, who knows where, and we were cutting down some small saplings or something to build forts. We got caught, and our fun was ended before anyone lost a finger. Then one time we were walking to the cliffs north of my parents house and my cousin Ben came to an abrupt halt. There was a rattle snake coiled on the ground right in front of him. He was afraid to move because he thought it would strike. We finally convinced him to move and we ran the whole way home to get my dad, who came and killed the snake. Do you see a pattern here? We ran off, no adults present, got into trouble, ran to an adult for rescue...Okay, so maybe Grandma was right to fret!

We also got to spend time with Studmuffin's family. We get to see this gang a little more often. The little princess in pink told me she had a new butterfly swimsuit and Tinkerbell flip flops, so she is ready to come see me and swim in my pool. As a matter of fact, they will all get to join us doing that very thing next week! Do you know how hard it is to get 6 kids to look at the camera and get a decent picture when there's 4 dogs running around, and the sun is in Bookworm's eyes, and they suddenly have 12 conversations that they must have that very minute? And that letter "L" cap just brings a tear to my eye. That is a cap from my home town, home of the Tigers. My nephew is playing ball there this summer even though he is from the rival town (yep Studmuffin and I grew up in rival towns.) Of course, he's still wearing OSU clothing, but someday I'll convince him he should cheer for the Sooners, if for no other reason than Crimson is way prettier than orange! And for those of you who don't realize, yes, my number one method for choosing a team must first revolve around colors. Hey, I just can't cheer for a team that isn't complimentary to my skin tone! We were sadly missing several cousins for this snapshot too. My in laws have 20 grand kids... But since we're scattered all over it's hard to get home at the same time.

Well, that's all the ramblings I have for you today! Have a great day!

Hey! I was just looking at the top picture and had a flashback! There was this group camping next to my family, and the man kept teasing the kids about bears and lions in the trees. It was late, and the kids kept running screaming through their camp ground. You'd think some responsible adult would have stopped them, but we were sadly lacking in those that day. Anyway, one of the little ones ran up and said, "Hey! That nice man that's been teasing us about bears and lions just gave us candy!" A nice man just gave my kids candy....Isn't that sort of opposite of what you want to hear come out of a kids mouth? Of course, he was a nice man, and he was just being nice, but considering we had also had the little ones playing on a homemade slip and slide made out of a sprinkler and a blue tarp, and they were running around in t-shirts and underwear...very little could phase any of us at that point. My cousin Matt pulled up, saw that we had his kid running around in a sprinkler in his underwear, and said, "So, I guess it's okay for an 8 year old boy to run around in his underwear at a public park now." Hey, they are just kids...let'em have fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is Popcorn a Texan?

Here are a few samples from her journal from school.

The best thing about the field trip is the thang that has a maze. I whant to go thare agen. My Mom disided next time. But I lik the viode (video) beter.

A doctor takes care of us. I want to be a doctor when I grow-up. Some doctors take bloud (blood) it is groes. (gross) My bloud got took befor. Vets are not a porsn doctor. They take care of pets.

A judge is aperson who judges people. I whant to be a judge. I thank judges use a thaing that looks like a hammer. they have a desk and a pen. They also have a dror that holeds a lot of papers. (this entry was complete with a picture of a desk, drors, and hammer thaing.)

A policeman arestes peopole. When I grow up I will probly be a policemen. But police men only arest popole who do crimes I hope I don't get arested ever. I hope you don't get arested ever. (this also had an illustration of a man with a bag saying "whuhuhuhhhhuhhh" It was complete with a woman crying for help, the police arresting the man, and him going to jail with the victim thanking the police officer. Sorry my scanner doesn't work, the pictures really complete the scenario.)

The wind is cold. some peple say that it is very cold. But I thank it is just cold.

Well, that's all for now folks. I'm off to bed. I'm fighting a cold. Do you think I have H1N1?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm easily confused with ...

So I had to go to the doctor the other day. I had to give the receptionist my license and insurance card. "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Linda Carpenter in this picture?"

"I have a very generic face. Everyone says I look like someone they know...But never Linda Carpenter." I replied. And this is true...

So, I sat down to fill out my paperwork, and didn't give it much thought. Until I was strolling through Target. And then I thought, "Who the heck is Linda Carpenter? Wasn't she some sort of 70s folk singer? Do I look like a 70s folk singer? What does that say about my hair? My wardrobe? Or does she mean current Linda Carpenter, whoever she is? Do I look old? Maybe I need bangs to cover the giant crater that is appearing on my forehead..." And so on and on it went, until I had an epiphany....

Wait! I'm getting ahead of myself. The epiphany did not occur until the next day at work. A coworker said, "Hey Andi! Leslie and I were watching a show the other day, and we decided you looked like the girl....Who was it? Ummm, Oh Yeah! Have you ever seen Chelsea Lately?"

"What? I look nothing like her!" Notice I did know who this is, but I really don't see any resemblance there. Kristin then elaborated that they both think I make the same expressions as her....Considering I've only seen the show one time, I'll concede defeat on this one....

So, she and I started chatting (I love chatting, especially pointless chatter.) Her comment reminded me of the Linda Carpenter comment. Of course I shared with her (I also love sharing.) Then the epiphany came.....

Before I reveal the epiphany, I will tell you that we decided to google pictures of both and see what we found. Okay, let me say we were unable to do a fair comparison because it seems my hospital blocks viewing photos of Playboy centerfolds....

Yes. A Playboy centerfold....

But the OTHER lady, well, we were very very successful. Tell me if you don't agree, Gentle Reader. The resemblance...Well, I don't want to brag, but it's well.....It's ummm....Okay, just see for yourself. And prepare to be amazed.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?


Here it is.

Now, I realize you will have to look very closely to tell which is me and which is Linda Carter.

Hint: Look for curly hair.

And freckles. But I refuse to tell you which of us is which. You just have to figure it out yourself.

Check out that lasso control!

Disclaimer: In no way was the real Linda Carter harmed in the making of this post....

And, oh yes, I did google a picture of Linda Carpenter for this post...I must say I personally feel there was no resemblance, other than dark hair. Her features are more...elfin? I don't know how else to describe it, but her other assets are also very different from me....Unfortunately, we were unable to do a comparison photo shoot. I felt her wardrobe was somewhat, errrr, lacking shall we say?

Another post note: Studmuffin tried to rein me in for this post. He said, "Now, you don't want to disgrace yourself!" Not disgrace myself?! Pshaw, I say! Where is the fun in that? And the hooker boots? Can you believe he tried to dissuade me from buying those too? Let me tell you, Studmuffin is the rain on my parade...Fortunately for you I carry an umbrella, and I have no shame. Click here to learn more about that....and here....and here. Honestly, there's probably more, but that's all I can remember for now.

Also, in hind sight, putting on hose may have added a certain element of....Well, non-albino-ness to this post. *sigh*

Friday, May 15, 2009

So you don't believe I live in a castle...

I'm shocked.



In a tizzy.

An ABSOLUTE tizzy....I'm tellin' ya.

Yep. My panties are all in a wad.

I hate when my panties are in a wad. It's so uncomfortable!

What on earth has me all in a dither?

Well, I'm gonna tell you.

Really I am....

Some of you actually doubt that I live in a castle....I refuse to name names or point fingers....I'm just not that kind of girl.

Well, I'm here to give you not only a piece of my mind for doubting my rambilngs, I'm here to give you proof!!!

This first one was taken from inside my front door. It was still raining.
Every castle has a moat.

Ummm....Excuse me, God? Did I miss a message about an ark somewhere?

So, there you have it. My proof that I do indeed live in a castle. A modest castle...But it's obviously a castle...Why else would I have my very own moat?

Why indeed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm totally ready to live in a castle now

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be as a princess. I have discovered the grueling work of hauling water. What does hauling water have to do with living in a castle, you ask? Well, you see, I was emptying the girls bath water last night, and I had this thought: Thank God I don't live in a castle! Those poor maids had to carry buckets of water up the narrow, stone staircases, then heat the water over a fire, then poor it into the massive tub that I'm sure the king felt he deserved...

Wretched king.

Who the heck does he think he is? Making those poor maids carry all of those bloody buckets of water up the steps. Then, they had to get all of that dirty, dingy water OUT of the tub...I pity those maids...Truly I do.

So, it was with these bizarre thoughts (which I have more often that I can admit) that I realized how similar my situation is to castle life...Or perhaps life on the frontier....But I like the castle fantasy more right now.

So, today I'm going to share all of my vast knowledge of castle life...Aren't you just too excited for words? I thought so.....Moving on...

How to wash dishes in your castle:

Place a large mixing bowl of water in both sides of your sink. Fill one with hot soapy water and the other with clean hot water. Wash your dishes as usual. Pick up the bowls of water. Dump them into your large 14 qt mop bucket. Carry the bucket out to your front yard and dump it.

How to wash your hands in your castle:

Place a medium sized mixing bowl in all of your bathroom sinks. Wash hands as usual. Keep your mop bucket handy. When the bowl is full you will simply empty the contents into your handy dandy mop bucket. When the bucket is full carry it to your front yard and dump it.

How to bathe your kids in the castle:

This one is easy on the surface. However, you may have realized by this point that carrying all of those blasted buckets of water can be tiresome. Consequently, you will suddenly begin to assist your children in all bathing. Turn the water on. Wet hair. Turn water off. Shampoo. Turn water on. Rinse hair. Turn water off. Condition.......You get the picture. This method is relatively effective in the sense that you will only carry approximately 10 mop buckets of water to your front lawn for emptying. Plus, by this point you are filling 2 buckets at a time to save time and trips. Amazingly, this helps to not only develop your strength, but it also develops balance. You will quickly learn to stand on one leg, raise the other and use your knee to push the lever on your storm door....Talk about multitasking!

How to brush your teeth in the castle:

Seriously, I doubt this needs further explaining.....

How to wash 10 loads of laundry in your castle:

Gather all of your laundry that you have been procrastinating doing since you are on water rations. Perhaps it's better to phrase it "waste rations." Go to your local bank and get $30 in quarters. Realize you left your soap and dryer sheets at home. Return home to get these supplies since you can't see dropping any more money on laundry. Spend 2 hours at the laundromat. This is actually pretty impressive considering you got 10 loads done! Plus, you will actually fold all of your clothes on the spot. And, as I've mentioned before, when you do laundry at the laundromat, laundry is all you will do. No housework nagging at your conscience when you really just want to sit and read a book.

I can totally feel the outpouring of pity from you, my Gentle Reader. I'm okay with that. I will take your pity. I'm pitying myself right now. You see, it has continued to rain every blessed day except Saturday. Our septic tank has not filled up yet (since we last dropped big bucks to have it emptied TWICE in 3 days), but last time we peaked it was 2/3 full, and I knew 400 gallons of water (40 gallons per load of laundry) would probably cap the darn thing off, and I'm guessing the laterals are still pretty saturated with rain water. So, for now, I'm hauling water out my front door, at the furthest point from my laterals to avoid another drop in the financial bucket.

But there's good good news! All of this work is sure to build up my arm muscles. I will continue to make this sacrifice as long as necessary, because as long as I'm conserving water waste




I can flush the potty!!!!!




Yes, that is the hallelujah chorus you just heard in the back ground.

By the way, I just finished the book I bought for my laundry time. It was James Patterson's "Sundays at Tiffany's." It was a really fun read, and it's easy and fast. I totally recommend it.....

Monday, May 11, 2009


Remember Holly? The sweet little puppy that is solely responsible for demolishing dang near everything in my yard? The same dog that will pull against the leash for TWO HOURS on a walk, and never stop pulling to the point that she gasps for air? The same dog that has eaten a perfectly lovely bush, dug up every flower bed she can get to, and the same dad gum dog that dumped out all of my planters and ate the roots of the clematis? It's all coming back to you now, right? Well, when we got home from our walk this evening, she was dashing around the yard like a mad thing, and she tripped over one of her own holes. She tumbled head over heels, and I gotta tell you Dear Reader, I laughed. Sweet justice....

Then this evening I was sitting on the couch watching "Dancing with the Stars," and I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. It was a fairly normal sight. I saw Oliver, the cat climbing down from the roof of our house. Remember Oliver, aka, Lord Fluffy, The Big Fluffernutter, Sir Fluffalot?

Well, Oliver climbs up the gazebo frame on our back porch and perches on the roof where he surveys all of his domain...."Everything that touches the light, Simba, that is our territory." I know he is considering all that he surveys as his own...When he is finished observing his minions, he climbs back down the gazebo frame, drops very daintily to the ground and strolls away.

I chuckled to myself, and then I had a flash...A flash of Oliver climbing down that gazebo. The same gazebo with four plant ledges that I have planters with morning glories in. There is one pot in particular that has been dumped 3 times, when I finally gave up and left it half full of soil with no seeds or anything enticing to Holly to need to investigate. I've been trying to figure out how the heck she can reach the pots. At first I thought the chairs were too close. I figured she must be climbing on them, then getting to the pots. I moved all of the chairs far away from the pots. But the pot still got dumped...

I think that poor Holly is not guilty of this one crime. I think Mister Flufferpants is guilty of knocking down the pot on his way off the roof....Woops.

So, it seems Holly has been wrongly accused.

Do you know the life lesson to be learned here?

If you repeatedly commit crimes, eventually you will be held responsible for all crimes in your vicinity.....

After all, who the heck is going to think this big ole ball of fluff did anything ambitious?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mom

Well, typical of me, I'm posting a Mother's Day message at 10 pm on Mother's Day. Hey, I did call her today. No, I haven't mailed her a card yet. *Gasp* I should not have admitted that. Cards are just not my thing. It's not that I mean to be inconsiderate...I just never think about it.

Ummmm....Is that the definition of being inconsiderate: Not considering others? AKA, never thinking about it. Let's not dwell on that.

On to my mom...The original purpose of this post.

Things I learned from my mom:

How to sing. She always sang while she did house work. I remember listening to her sing to my nieces Sarah and Molly. I used to daydream about having my own babies and rocking them and singing to them.

How to forget to send cards for various holidays. Hey, I have to justify myself here! But you know it's true, Mom. Okay. I'm through picking on you.


How to laugh really loud, so the entire auditorium hears you. That is a very important family trait. You might as well share your joy with the other 998 people in the room! And the laugh must be very distinguishable so your teenage children are shrinking down in their seats in humiliation. It builds their character. I've pretty much got that mastered, and can't wait to pass that particular joy onto my girls...

Being a mom means making sacrifices. I'm pretty sure she was better at this than me. When I was growing up I was in this entertainment troupe called Oklahoma Kids. We traveled all over the Oklahoma, and parts of Texas and Kansas doing shows and competitions. She drove me someplace darn near every weekend. And made me costumes. And paid my entry fees. And paid for music. Did I mention she drove me all over kingdom come nearly every weekend? Just the thought of that annoys me!

She taught me how to serve God. Mom always taught Sunday school at our little church I grew up in. She used to get up at 5 am to have her quiet time before her busy day started of being a farm wife, mother of 4, and school bus driver. I'm tired just thinking about it.

My mom taught me how to love. I know there is still nothing she wouldn't do for her children, even as adults.

Memories of my mom

Mom, do you remember the infamous prom dress of 1993? It was terrible. I went with some friends to buy a prom dress. Friends that were not the best influence on wardrobe issues. I paid for the dress, and had it altered. A few weeks later I picked it up, brought it home, modeled it for my parents, and Dad said "You look like a hooker." And he forbid me to wear it. In memory it was indeed pretty bad. I have no idea what I was thinking. But, you were supportive and wrote me a beautiful letter about how smart I was and how everyone makes bad decisions. Then you found me a dress to borrow from a distant cousin. No recriminations. The deed was done, I was ashamed, and you just helped me clean up the mess. Thanks Mom.

Do you remember cutting my hair off when I was a freshman in college? You had been begging me for years to cut that stuff off. I was determined it was my only vanity, and I could not part with it. However, that year I decided it had to go. However, I couldn't find any hairdressers to cut it. You took me in the bathroom and cut it all off. And cried the whole time because you were just sure I would be mad at you for doing it. I loved it.

Another hair memory: Do you remember when I got head lice my senior year? It was awful. I had been determined I had lice for weeks. You could never find any. I found a bug on my bed, and you finally conceded I had it. At that time I had my "Pretty Woman" hair. It was big and long and thick. I thought it was wonderful! You and Dad stayed up until after midnight combing through the massive amount of hair I had to get rid of the critters. Yikes. You begged me to just let you cut it so you wouldn't have so much to comb through. I refused. And, of course, a year later I insisted on you cutting it off! Typical.

Speaking of hair: Remember New Year's Eve when Sabra & I decided to color my hair? We gave no indication of our plans for that night. I came home with red hair, but what's more I had a red scalp. All you said was "Well, it looks like you had fun tonight." You are apparently much better at refraining from laughing than I am....

Remember when you and Dad were out of town, and I had a wreck? I decided to wait until you got home to tell you, so I wouldn't ruin your fun. I was such a thoughtful child... Like a typical dorky teenager I went to drag main with my friends the night you were expected home. By the time I got home, you had already heard about the wreck. Never underestimate the small town grapevine. I had decided I would wait until the morning to tell you both at once, since Dad had already went to bed. You kept asking "What else happened while we were gone?" I finally broke, and said "How did you know?" Procrastinating did not serve me well on that occasion... But in hindsight, your patience amazes me. I probably would have ripped into me the second I walked in the door if I were you.

Remember sitting up and talking to me when I got home at night? You would always sleep on the couch until I got home, then you'd sit up and talk to me about all my adventures for the evening...

Remember how cranky I was (read here: am) in the mornings? You used to come in singing "Good morning, Good morning!" And I would be rude and mumble and roll over....You used to let me eat whatever I wanted for breakfast...As long as I actually got out of bed and ate it. I remember eating lots of chocolate cake for breakfast.

Remember taking walks and looking for rocks and arrow heads?

Remember sticking our feet in the Kiowa and feeling the minnows nibble on our toes and ankles?

Remember eating Schwann's ice cream bars on the back porch on a hot summer day?

Remember when you let me buy the trampoline? I swear I was more ecstatic over that crazy thing than my first car.

Remember laying on the trampoline and watching the stars. I had the best conversations with you and Dad on that trampoline.

Hey, Mom, I have tons of other memories, and I could ramble on all day. But, it is getting late, and I'm struggling to make sense. Keep your eye out for more "Mom" memories.

After all, I gotta make up for the lack of a card in the mail!

Oh wait! I'm not through picking on you yet! You also taught me the skill of the guilt trip. There is something to be said for a skillfully laid guilt trip. It's amazing what can be accomplished through a few well chosen, gently spoken words! "Pack your bags....We're going on a guilt trip!" Oh, I crack me up...I think it's the delirium...

I love you, Mom. I thank God that he picked you for my mommy. I hope you had a wonderful day with your mommy today. Talk to you in the morning!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


With Mother's Day on the way (tomorrow in case you forgot...) I was thinking about Mother's Day last year. Studmuffin had already moved to Oklahoma, and the girls and I were still living in La Vernia. They had lots of sweet cards and homemade gifts. The best kind.

Bookworm cooked me breakfast and served it in bed. And she cleaned up her mess in the kitchen. Pretty impressive for a 2nd grader, eh?

Popcorn was determined she was going to take me to eat. And she would pay. She was wanting to treat me to some treats and eats at Dairy Queen (DQ, I miss you...)

I was skeptical about this whole procedure, but she was very excited about the plan. We headed to DQ after church, and placed our orders. The time of truth was at hand. Popcorn turned around and said "I need your debit card, Mommy."

"What? I thought you were going to pay!"

She promptly replied "I am! But I need your debit card to pay!"

Okey Dokey.

But, seriously, that was the best junior cheeseburger and onion rings I'd had in a really long time.

Now on to more serious beeswax....

My niece Sarah recently told me how she cleans toilets. It has revolutionized my life. Seriously. If you had been on minimal toilet flush the way we were the last week or so, you would understand the value of a truly clean toilet....Can you say if it's yellow let it mellow, but if it's brown flush it down? That has been our motto for about a week. Now that we are officially flushing our toilet without fear of it coming back up, I felt that we needed a really sanitary throne. As I was scrubbing the girls toilet, I got to thinking of all the years I never even knew about this cleaning method...

And I realized I simply must share it with everyone in Bloggerland! I know you are so excited to learn about this....

Step 1: Make sure you have the proper attire. An old t-shirt with bleach stains and a faded logo works well. Perhaps even more important to your wardrobe is frizzy hair. This is an essential part of every toilet scrubbers wardrobe. Trust me on this.
By the way, the shirt I'm wearing in the above pic was a nurse appreciation gift from a hospital I used to work at. One time I wore it to a liquor store in La Vernia. My next door neighbors owned the liquor store. I swear, the way they gushed over me when I walked in, you'd think I was the prodigal returning home. When I got home Studmuffin said, "Did you wear that to the Liquor Haus?"

"Yeah, why?"

He just laughed and said, "Read your shirt babe."

Okay. Maybe I wasn't very Baptist that day....

But back to cleaning toilets.

Step 2: Take a rag and push the water out of the bowl. Seriously. Put your hand in the bowl, use a rag, and push the water out of the bowl. I don't know how that works, but it does.

Step 3: Now that you have an empty bowl, take your favorite scouring product and sprinkle it all over your bowl.

Step 4: Scrub away! The beauty of this is you know that you have gotten every nook and cranny of that bowl. Especially up under the rim, where I've always thought that commercial toilet scrubbers never really get.

Step 5: PRAY~Please God, let this all go down...Hey, I will never take a toilet flush for granted again....
Step 6: You're all done! Admire your shiny potty and know that it's as clean as it can get.

Now, don't you just feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Me too.

NOW GO WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!! For heaven's sake....Do I have to tell you people how to do everything?

Oh. I just realized something. Many of you are having nervous twitches over my lack of gloves. Yes, gloves might be advisable. Cleaning products are hard on your skin. I have nurse hands. AKA, dry cracked skin, unpainted fingernail, short cropped nail hands...They can't get much worse than they already are..

Do you know how you can tell somebody's a nurse? She's the one who washed her hands before she went to the bathroom....And of course again after.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Conversations with Bookworm

Bookworm had a scrimmage last night against a 10 and under softball team (she's on an 8 & under team.) On the way she said, "Are you sure I'm supposed to be in my uniform? If no one else has on theirs, I'm not getting out of the car."

I said, "Honey, if anyone asks why you have it on, then say, 'My mom doesn't know what she's talking about, she made me wear this.' But I think everyone will be wearing a uniform. How else will you know who's on your team?"

Okay, that was a dumb statement...It's softball...Either you're on the field or at bat. DUH.

Well, we pulled up to the field and all of the other team wore their uniforms, but nobody on her team was wearing one. A little girl named Haley (she has 4 Haleys on her team) ran up to her. The first words out of Bookworm's mouth were, "My mom made me wear my uniform," before the kid could even say "hello." Then she looked at me like I was the craziest person in the world.

I swear, I'm clueless as a mom sometimes....It's a burden I'm sure all moms must bear....

Or is it bare?



Heck...who knows. It's a burden that I have...I know I spelled that correctly!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Conversations and random facts

Today I was pulling Popcorn's hair up in a pony tail. She had one of those pony tail holders with the big balls on either end. She was swinging it around on her finger pretending that someone was getting shot out of it like a giant sling shot...I was having a hard time understanding all of the details, so I asked "Are you pretending it's a sling shot for your Barbies?"

Popcorn, with a sigh of patience and a roll of her eyes: No, Mom. I'm pretending there's bad guys after the Barbies....Barbies can never be the bad guy when you play. They are always smiling.


Silly me.

And now a section of informative facts for your enlightenment....

It has been raining for 10 days straight.

We have had no clear skies, as determined by the National Weather Service since April 21.

It is supposed to "clear off" this afternoon.

It is supposed to rain again tomorrow.

My garden has a beautiful batch of grass growing in it....

I refuse to weed in red clay that sticks to your shoes like glue.

Going to the laundromat can actually be a very liberating experience....You have no excuse to be doing anything but reading because it's not like you can clean house while you wait for the clothes to finish washing! I think I just heard an amen from a few of you out there.

Many people said we'd have a black president when pigs flew. They were wrong.

100 days in to Obama's presidency: Swine flu....(Go ahead, laugh, you know it's funny)

Reading the Old Testament prophets is actually pretty fun.

Until you get to Isaiah and he is preaching judgment for all nations.....But I'm holding fast until I can get to Chapter 25 (I peaked ahead in desperation) when he resumes praise and promise of redemption....

My dog hates to be wet.

My cat hates to be wet.

Studmuffin's dog is even getting tired of being wet.

Popcorn has been playing outside in the puddles every time I turn my back.

Bookworm is reading Charlotte's Web for the umpteenth time in desperation for distraction from the endless rain.

Studmuffin is considering joining the YMCA so he can be guaranteed an available shower...

The YMCA is 15 miles away.

Today is National Nurse Day.

Stick a fork in me...I'm done for now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Before we begin today's whining, let's have a moment to laugh together.

Popcorn: My friend Betsy speaks Spanish! But she doesn't know how to say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in Spanish......

Bookworm on the way to her softball game: Leave me alone, Popcorn! I need to rest up for my game. You know I'm wimpy so I need to save my strength!

Now on to my drama:
Woe is me! I feel flushed....Wait. I can't flush.


We're waterlogged again today....

With possibly 3-4 more days of rain....

It got me to thinkin'....

This is not the first time we've had water issues in a house.

We lived off of a beautiful creek in Arlington, called Rush Creek. The first summer we were there we had 15 inches of rain. The creek is not nearly as pretty when it's up to your back fence and thundering along. Picture raging waters worthy of white water rafting. And then the rats seek refuge in your yard. Seriously. Rats. On my deck. Looking at me like they owned the place. Because they'd rather face possible death with me than certain death by drowning....

Then we lived in La Vernia. The area we lived in had primarily sugar sand. This is great sand for digging in. Just ask my dog Kelsey. It typically made for great drainage. We seldom had water standing there. Of course, we did have flooding occasionally. Several times the water would be up to the threshold of our front door before it would stop. That was a tad stressful! But one of my most vivid images was the geyser in my back yard.

That's right.

A geyser.

In my back yard.

Do you remember my previous posts when I mentioned Kelsey loved to dig for gophers? Well, even though we did not have any gophers in our yard, but only because Kelsey loved to catch (read here: dig ginormous holes that could easily reach 2 feet deep and 6 feet long; I swear our yard resembled the surface of the moon at times) and eat them. However, we still had tunnels under the yard. You know, they have a pretty intricate network of tunnels that you would never suspect. These tunnel systems lead to a geyser during one of our heavy rains. I looked in the back yard, and I kid you not there was literally a geyser of water shooting out of the ground! I was so confused. No comments about how easily that is done, please. Thank you.

After it stopped raining I went out to investigate. To the side of my house there was a giant trench that had sunk in. It was a series of gopher tunnels that had collapsed in, water dumped in them, then found it's escape route out of an old hole in my yard.

So, there you have it.

Now, if only the stupid laterals to my septic could find an escape route to anywhere but my backyard....

I swear, the next time Studmuffin makes me move I'm totally examining the drainage issues.......

But for now, I'm going to the city tomorrow to ask if they can/will do anything to help me in my plight.....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just What I Needed

This morning was not one of my finer moments. It was actually one of my worst. And it left me feeling sick inside.

We have been having rain since last Wednesday. It stayed away Sunday, but it has rained all afternoon today. The genius who laid out our subdivision decided to direct all drainage to the back of our yard and supposedly out into a field...that is higher than our subdivision. It works exactly how you'd expect. So, dump 6 inches of rain in a neighborhood, that all drains to my laterals to my septic, and guess what you get!? A full septic tank.

A tank that's been virtually full since Saturday. We called the home warranty company. We would have to shell out an extra $100 of our money to pay for it to be pumped on the weekend. Since we are tightwads, we decided it could wait.

This morning I hit my wall on waiting. Studmuffin took a shower. I haven't showered since Saturday morning. Lovely. The girls tried to flush the toilet. It didn't go down. Surprise. At least it wasn't backed up in my tub, like I've been fearing. Anyway, I went totally postal on Studmuffin. I yelled at him like a shrew for not turning the water on, getting wet, turning it off, soaping down, then turning it back on. He let me rant and rave, and then said, "Do you feel better now?" I swear, if I'd have been holding a skillet or rolling pin I'd have smacked him in the head.


I told the girls as soon as I woke them up, "I'm in a terrible mood, so just do as I say this morning." What a beautiful way to begin their day. Of course, I still yelled at them at some point. We had to run water in bowls to wash faces and brush teeth, and spit in, then I'd carry it out and dump it. Same with any dish water. Or leftover drink. Or whatever....Anyhoo, I seriously lost my temper.


I hate being a harpy. I apologized to Studmuffin before he left. He is always kind and accepting of my apologies. I asked the girls forgiveness, and as we said our prayers on the way to school, I asked God to give them a fresh start as they headed out the door. But I still felt sick.

They came and drained my septic this morning. He drained it, and it filled up again from my laterals dumping back in it. So he drained it again. And it's been raining all afternoon....I hope it doesn't fill the darn thing up again. The warranty only allows one emptying a year...

Studmuffin called me at noon. He thanked me for being such a wonderful wife.


It seems he was in Walmart behind a couple. The woman nagged and griped at her husband nonstop. He said it was so awful, and he kept thinking he was so glad I don't do that to him.

*sigh* He's so kind. We ended up laughing as he imitated the lady nagging her husband on everything from not buying a magazine she wanted to how much he spent on bullets. He kept switching into an old lady nagging voice, and we were both laughing together. It helped me feel better about my monstrous attitude this morning.

But I still felt a little sick at my stomach. You know the knot that just sits there and makes you uneasy. Your shoulders tense up. Then your neck. Then comes the splitting headache.

I was at headache point as I was leaving the store for my grocery shopping. There was a woman sitting outside selling things. It was pouring down rain. She was huddled as close to the building as she could with plastic bags over her shopping cart to keep her goods dry. I offered to get her a hot drink. She said she just had a hot chocolate and spilled it all over her, then laughed as she showed me her stain on her skirt. I chuckled with her, then said "Have a nice day" and headed to go get the girls.

After I picked them up, I told them about the lady in the rain. She looked like Aunt Jemima, complete with head scarf, except she had on a navy sweatshirt, but she was wearing a calico print skirt and tennis shoes. We decided to go to McDonald's and get her a new hot cocoa and cheeseburger. It was still pouring rain when I pulled back up to the door of Walmart. I said, "I know you said you didn't need anything, but you looked cold. So here's some food and cocoa." Her face lit up, and she gave me the most beautiful smile. "Bless you, precious child."

Then she gave me the biggest warmest hug. I almost cried. It felt so good. It was the perfect "mama" hug. All soft and warm and generous and squooshy. Perfect. I smiled at her, and said goodbye.

As I was dashing back to my car I heard her saying "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."

And the sick feeling went away.

And I felt joy.

So, God allowed me to be blessed with a wonderful lady today who gave me a wonderful hug just when I needed it most.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 103:8-18

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Ta Da!!!

Dear Reader, after a mere six weeks of blood, (Studmuffin's), sweat (also Studmuffin's) and tears (mine as I threw a few minor tantrums) the back splash is finished. This means my kitchen is officially finished! Well, finished until we get around to redoing the floors in this place...and replacing all of the appliances for new ones...Of course about that time Studmuffin will accept a position somewhere that will require me to move. Us to move. Boy, that was Freudian slip of all about me wasn't it! I'm just going by history of previous homes and previous remodel endeavors.
My darling niece Sarah took some pictures of it when she was here last weekend. Studmuffin asked me to have her take pictures. Umm, excuse me, I know she's like some sort of photographic genius, or something, but I think I can point and shoot with my camera! Hmpf!

But I never would have thought of all these great angles to give a nice perspective of the sink. The cast iron sink that we decided to keep to save a penny. The same sink that weighs approximately 438 lb, and Studmuffin heaved out of our old counters and carried to the garage, sat on the floor, and then picked back up and put in place after the new counters were put in. He asked me to help, and I tried, but mostly I just fluttered my hands and whined about my poor aching back, then sat back and clutched my chest in awe at his fetes of strength. This picture also shows the beautiful new faucet. I love oil rubbed bronze. You may notice we also put knobs and handles on all of the cabinets and drawers. Isn't it amazing what a difference hardware makes?

Just in case you needed a refresher, here's the kitchen before the redo. What you can't see is the burn marks on the counters. Or the laminate peeling loose. Yes, this picture is much brighter. Please understand that this was taken on a bright, sunny day. Sarah took the other pictures in pouring down rain with no extra light. We need to add more lighting to the list of more things to do for the kitchen....No, it will never end. It's a sickness I have. I think the professionals call it remodelophilia. Or maybe same-ophobia. Perhaps nag-o-mania. Poor Studmuffin. Pray for him.