Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Popcorn is a STAR!!!

Popcorn on a roller coaster

Popcorn was privileged to be Star of the Week at school. The first day she got to bring a poster with pictures of her at different ages, and she got to explain about the pictures to her class. She refused to bring scrap book pages from her younger years, because she "couldn't remember what it was about." I tried to explain she could say, "This is me when I was 2," but she refused to listen. I'm surrounded by hardheadedness, and I have no idea where it comes from...She agreed to use current pages from a scrap book, but no "little kid pages." *Pfpfpfpf* to that, I say!

Tuesday she got to bring her favorite book. She brought Skippyjohn Jones in the Doghouse. She planned to read it out loud to her class. We love Skippyjohn and have accents and tunes to the songs and everything...The teacher forgot she wanted to read it, and read it out loud herself. Bummer.

Wednesday I sent a letter to her in a sealed envelope for the teacher to read out loud how special she is. I wrote a sweet, sappy letter. Popcorn's response? "Mommy, your letter was really funny." Huh?

Thursday her classmates wrote compliments to her on a poster that the teacher laminated. Here are some of the quotes:

Isaiah: You are asome.
Anonymous: You are so sweet when I am hert you come to my side.
Hailey: She is a good friend.
Halee: You are my best friend i ever.
Maebree: Youa re a good friend you make me laugh you are funny you are nice and some time you and loveing.
Taryn: You are fun.
Anonymous: She is very nies
Faith: She is the best and she is my friend.
Elaiyah: You are the best friend. I am glad that you are my be friend
Danny: you are a good friend.
You are asum
She's nice.
You are nice
Addison: You are my best friend you are nice you are helpfull
Tatum: I am glad you are in my class. you are a good friend.

Isn't that sweet?

On Friday she got to bring her favorite treat. We made chocolate chip cookies. These cookies were the perfect excuse to show you another treasure I got from my mother-in-law. She had no idea why I wanted this particular plate. I wanted it simply because I like it. Isn't that bird at the top just precious? And I love the flowers. Basically, I just thought this plate was cute. Don't you agree?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Protecting her innocence.

Okay, before we go any further, I made Bookworm a promise. I promised that I would put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post that children should not be allowed to view this post. Its content is not appropriate for small viewers....

Moving on now that that's done:

Bookworm is an endless source of amusement for me. She is so earnest. She is very black and white. Her sense of right and wrong are very firm. I can't help it, sometimes I burst into laughter...

I know your curiosity is peaked. I know you are dying to learn some specific examples. Well, Gentle Reader fear not! I have two examples ready for you.

The first story involves this picture. My husband's company had their annual company picnic at Frontier City in "The City." That's Oklahoma City to all you non-Okies. Studmuffin was their with the girls by himself for the first few hours, as I was busy being the reflector girl for my niece Sarah at her photo session for my niece Molly.

I got there, and they had so many exciting things to tell me. Number one on Bookworm's list involved the Prairie Schooner. This is Frontier City's version of the swinging ship ride that so many of us know and love. Our conversation was as follows:

B: Mom, their is a naked lady on the front of the ship ride.
Me: Really?
B: Yes. When we were in line, I pointed it out to Dad. I knew he would want to know before we got on. (Understand, that this is all said in earnestness.)

Well, when I got in line to ride the ship with Popcorn (one time was enough with Popcorn. She nearly cried the first time, according to her) Bookworm made sure to point out the naked lady to me. I immediately snapped a picture and said I was going to blog about it. As I mentioned she made me promise to put a warning at the beginning. She was very upset by the naked lady. She pointed out it is very disappointing to have something like that in a family amusement park where any innocent children could see it. Again, I gotta say, I found all of this highly amusing. Okay. So maybe I cackled in my most terrifying Marilyn laugh (terrifying to me, because I fear it means I'm turning into my mother.) Maybe she shook her head at me, and didn't see the amusement in the situation....Maybe I'm an immature mother who found the whole thing funny...

Sunday my niece Sarah went shopping with Bookworm and me to find me an outfit for my high school reunion which is coming up in 2 weeks. We went to Old Navy. Bookworm came and got me. One of the modelquins was indecent. She was dressed in a camisole and a cardigan. Her camisole strap had slipped and her boob was about to fall out. I fixed the strap for her, and her relief was obvious. When we returned Sarah asked what we had been doing. I told her "Bookworm was on boob patrol, and I had to go cover one up." We both started laughing. Poor Bookworm turned crimson. And then, shock of shocks, I felt bad.

What the heck is wrong with me? Why am I teasing my child who is so determined to protect her innocence? Why do I chuckle every time she hides her eyes when people walk by and she realizes their t-shirts have inappropriate language on them (example: the zoo and a boy who was wearing a shirt that said I heart boobs. She was literally disgusted by that.) I love that she is so earnest in protecting her purity. I constantly talk to my kids about maintaining their purity. I forbid them to look at magazines in the check out. Of course I don't have to, because Bookworm often turns them over so they can't be seen...I make them leave or turn off the tv when I see inappropriate commercials....

Why in the world was I laughing at my child who is minding the Holy Spirit? We talk about when we get "funny feelings" and we think maybe we shouldn't be doing something, or looking at something, reading things, etc. I tell them that feeling comes from the Holy Spirit, and it is telling us to flee from whatever is tempting them. Then, when my precious child heeds the Spirits warning, I ridiculed her!

How humbling to realize that I was tempting my child to make light of the sin in our world. She's right. Nothing about that figure head was pleasing to God. It is an example of my heart being hardened to the sickness in this world. So, I had to ask her forgiveness. I told her I was proud of her for being so attentive to the Holy Spirit, and that I was sorry I had laughed at her. She, of course accepted.

Now. I need to pray and become more like my daughter. I need to learn to be on guard for Satan's sneaky ways. I know I have allowed myself to become numb. I have allowed my heart to be hardened. I don't know what to say. I'll just let scripture speak for me:

Hebrews 4:17-18
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts...
Hebrews 5:1-4
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving...
Hebrews 5:15
Be very careful, then how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The State Fair

Who doesn't love the state fair?

We took the girls last Monday evening to the fair. They had a great time.....

Speaking of loving the state fair:

Don't you hate, hate, hate the midway? "Winner Winner! Every kid is a winner!"

"Please, please mommy can we play a game?"

"Okay, but only 2 games each." We approach the balloon/dart game...

"Every kid is a winner ma'am! How many chances would you like to buy? It's 3 darts for $5 or 7 for $10!"

"Your sign says 3 for $2...."

"They sign means nothing, ma'am. EVERY KID IS A WINNER! WINNER, WINNER!"

"Please, mommy! I want to play a game!" We had been perusing the midway for several minutes, and I had already realized that every game was a minimum of $5...But still, how hard is it to cover an old sign with stuffed toys?

"Okay..." Turning to the midway worker dude (that sounds more p.c. than carney, don't ya think?) "I'll take 3 chances please."

"Are you sure ma'am? You can get 7 chances for $10!"

"Well, didn't you say that every kid is a winner?"


"So, I think we'll stick with 3 darts..."

The kids rode the swings. They wasted money touring haunted houses and crazy factories, where half of the stuff didn't work....

We toured the barns and looked at all the different breeds of goats. We admired the Clydesdale horses...We went to a sad sea lion show with a giant blow up pool...

We ate chicken on a stick, corn dogs, chili dogs, and funnel cakes fresh from the grease with powdered sugar blowing all over our faces and clothes. We looked like we had powdered sugar freckles! We debated Indian tacos, but the wind was really blowing, and since every item purchased was being sampled 4 ways around, we figured most of the toppings would be gone with the wind, so we resisted. Then, Gentle Reader, I took the ultimate plunge. I splurged on a calorie mecca that I had been hearing about and seeing for a few years, but never felt it was worth the extra dimples in my thighs....I gravitated to the fried candy bar stand...They had fried Snickers, Oreos, and Twinkies.

The kind lady informed me that the Oreos were the best way to go. So, I ponied up five more bucks, and she blessed me with 8 Oreos, since there were 4 of us (the price included only 5.) She sprinkled them with powdered sugar then drizzled them with hot fudge. The breading was similar to funnel cake batter. It may have been funnel cake batter...

All I know is this: I literally moaned in delight. They were a calorie laden, fat swimmin', mecca of deliciousness. They were totally worth it. Would I do it more than once a year? Heck no. But will I buy them next year at the fair? You betcha...

After we had gorged ourselves on fried delights, we toured the various barns and made our way over to Centennial plaza. The Wild West Show was due to start at 7pm. We were very excited. The show was so cheesy, it was sad. They had some amazing animal acts, but they tried to tie them into Oklahoma's history, and the various phases of our past. Yes, the Indian dancers were great. I loved their costumes. Even this one who looked like he had a turkey growing out his butt...
As you can see, I didn't bring a camera. I didn't want to carry anything. In fact, I had even stuffed my cash in my bra. After we got there, I was afraid my short pockets were too baggy and gappy, so the bra was my only back up...But, back to the topic at hand.

I enjoyed the Indian who rode his horses through flames, and had them do all sorts of awkward things that is so counter to their nature...Very interesting, but again the dialogue was so cheesy, it was hard not to chuckle.

Then, they had this cowboy ride in on 2 Brahma bulls. Yep. Two Brahma bulls. This was done to signify traveling through the desert. The first bull died this slow agonizing death resulting in him lying on his side, all 4 legs out stiff, and his head bent back and over his shoulder. That bull did not even twitch. Then, in another dramatic death sequence the cowboy and other bull died draped over the first bull. That was pretty amazing. But again....Weird scenario.

Okay. Then they had a group of square dancers. People, I can square dance better than these poor people did. Their caller got mixed up, and you could tell they would expect one thing, but he'd call another, then they'd all get mixed up. It was so sad. I felt so sorry for them. Sad, sad, sad.

The show also had trick riders, trick ropers, and even a guy on a unicycle with a trick rope and a whip that he could use to snap cards out of the air...This with the wind blowing! Very entertaining!

But the very best part was the shoot out. Popcorn and Bookworm laughed and cackled and they were literally holding their stomachs at these fellows' antics. They had great slap stick comedy. Don't you miss slap stick? It made me miss Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, and Lucille Ball shows...

It was truly a good time. We left exhausted, yet keyed up...with empty pockets. But, the kids loved it. I loved it. I got to see all the freaks of nature that seem to congregate at fairs mingling with the common folk. You see people from all walks of life, and it is amazing to me how they all come together to dump inconceivable amounts of money into an evening of entertainment and food...For that small amount of time that we are all at the fair, we are all the same with the same goal in mind: Spend all of your money with nothing to show for it, and eat that special food that you can only get at the fair...Sweet corn with the husk still hanging off...Giant corn dogs...Fresh funnel cakes...Indian tacos...Cinnamon rolls...Barbecue...And all of it made fresh right before your eyes.

Yum. I can't wait for next year.

Hey! Did I happen to mention that I LOVE fair food?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Studmuffin's Friend

Okay, before I begin, I must use the disclaimer that I have Studmuffin's full permission to write this post...

Studmuffin has a friend from work. He is from Tennessee (I think), and he has no family here. Consequently, he and my man do stuff together. Kevin is a nice guy, who has never been married, but he has a girlfriend, who seems to be very nice based on the third hand stories I hear from Studmuffin...

Anyhoo, they frequently lunch together, and fish together on the weekends, and have attempted to plan hunting trips, but have been unable to coordinate free time for the trip. Kevin's girlfriend works 2 jobs and is in college, so she literally only has one evening off a week, and of course Kevin sees her then. Since they're such great friends, it came as no surprise when Studmuffin called to say he'd be late getting home, because he was going with Kevin to look at a house Kevin is thinking of renting.

They got to the house, and the owners weren't there yet. They looked around, noted that lots of people were plenty of people riding bikes, walking, and jogging...All signs of a friendly neighborhood. It's an older neighborhood, well established with lots of trees and character. Most of the houses were in good condition, but as in all neighborhoods, you have the places where you wonder what the heck people are thinking...

So. They're both standing in the driveway, arms folded across their chest, legs spread, pelvis slightly forward...typical man stance, right? Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them spit a few times....

The neighbors next door were outside, and came over to introduce themselves. Studmuffin was keeping quiet. After all, he's not the one going to live there, so he was leaving the conversation up to Kevin.

Then, he started to tune into the conversation more, and thought to himself, "This conversation seems kind of weird." No sooner had he had the thought when he hears the prospective neighbor ask, "So, when do you two plan to move in?"

"Oh! OH NO! We're not gay! He's married with 2 kids, and I got a girlfriend. I mean, we like each other and all, but not that well....Yeah, sure we get together for lunch, and stuff, but we're just friends...." And Kevin's excuses just kept pouring out. Studmuffin was so shocked his jaw nearly hit the ground. Then, they both got tickled at the whole situation and started laughing like junior high boys. Complete with belly grasping and snorting...

When Studmuffin got home, he could barely wait for the girls to leave the table to tell me what happened. Only he finished with, "And guess what I was wearing? That turquoise shirt you bought me, that you swore wasn't gay!"

And then I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants...

BTW: That turquoise shirt is gorgeous. And he looks fabulous in it with his dark hair, eyes, and tan. So there.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sooner Born & Sooner Bred

Guess who got free tickets to the OU game this weekend? Studmuffin was offered some tickets for the game this weekend. It was against the University of Tulsa, and everyone told me it was in no way a sure thing...It was a shut out with us winning 45-0.

Guess who is totally NOT a football fan? Guess who has their best naps during football games? Guess who considers the Super Bowl an excellent opportunity to chat and snack nonstop? I gotta say, I felt a little guilty going to the game.

I got to see some celebrities while I was there. Okay, Oklahoma celebrities, but celebrities none the less! I got to see Sam Bradford, the winner of last year's Heisman Trophy. He is a lot taller than he looks on TV! Brian Bosworth was down on the field with the players. Remember "The Boz?" He was a football super star of the mid 80s. He went on to play for the Seattle Seahawks, and make an action adventure film titled Stone Cold. You can click here to learn more about his illustrious career.
Brian is behind the kicker's net thingy that he practices with...talking on his cell phone. Just to the right of the cameraman...

As I mentioned, you can click on the link above to learn about Mr. Boz. However, since I am now an expert on him (seeing as how I studied him from 8 rows up at a live football game,) I will give you all you need to know about The Boz, and you will never even have to lift a finger to click!
All You Need to Know About Brian Bosworth: An Expert's Review
1. He has no school spirit. Proof: He may have been standing on the sidelines with the team, but he was not wearing an OU shirt, hat, socks, underwear, shoes...nada. Instead he had on a t-shirt that was quite tight (the dude is huge) and had the name of a casting company on it.
Concession in his favor: He did raise his hands signaling touchdown when we scored.
2. He is a very busy man. He is so important that he has to talk on his cell phone from the sidelines during the game. Apparently, he decided this may be a tad obvious because he switched to a blue tooth...But he didn't fool me. I knew he was only on the sidelines to garner recognition.
3. Once he has garnered his attention, he makes himself scarce. He gave an interview to the Fox Sports Network, then moved on. Proof: He was nowhere to be seen after the first half was over. I'm sure he was in some luxury booth enjoying the game at a distance with no fans screaming "Hey Brian Bosworth!" trying to get him to react....And no, I DID NOT do that. I wasn't going to draw attention to myself that way! Remember, I'm not a football fan, and I was not about to make myself some unwitting target of mass Crimson revenge...
4. He spends lots of money on his clothes. His jeans appeared to be made for him. Did I mention the guy was huge? Anybody that tall and muscular has to have his jeans custom made to fit that well. Although we were close, I had a tough time deciding what type of shoes he had on. And, I had left my camera at home since it was pouring rain when we left. Studmuffin thought he had on those trendy "bowling shoes" as he calls them. I think he had on super expensive custom made snakeskin boots...
5. I gleaned no other facts about his life from my character study of him during the 2 hours he was down on the field...But 4 facts just seemed lame, and 5 seems much more credible...So number 5 is that he obviously has Viking ancestry. Proof: The guy is a natural blond with very strong features, and he looks like he's totally ready to kick somebody's tail at any second. Seems pretty Viking-ish to me!

Did I mention that this was our first OU game? Well, I had gone when I was a freshman in high school. I was in a group that sang with the Pride of Oklahoma Band. I can't even remember what we sang, who we played, or anything...But I do remember seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales for the first time, and being very impressed with them!

Anyway, as novices, we had lots of things to learn. And it was a quick learning experience because everyone around us were season ticket holders, and most of them seemed to know each other, and talked about things that they saw at previous games...But I think we caught on fairly quickly. When the kick off return is about to happen, you hold one finger up and shout "O" really long and loud, then drop down into a U when the ball is kicked. You yell "O" really loud every time the other time is on offense. You yell really loud at the end of every play: Cheering if it's good, and moaning if it's negative, and yelling at the refs if it's a call against us. Luckily, I was able to follow the crowd, so I knew just what to do! You must never sit down when the ball is in play. You will stand during the entire game, unless it's half time or time out. Otherwise, you will be on your feet. Of course, this is totally okay, because bleachers are havoc on my back. Also, I ran into Walmart and bought myself a Sooner shirt before we went. Thank heaven. I would have stuck out like a sore thumb if I did not have on a crimson shirt!

Interesting observation: More people knew and sang along with the OU Alma mater song than the state song, or the national anthem, or Grand Ole Flag. Oh! And at the end of the national anthem, instead of "the home of the brave," they all yelled "the home of the SOONERS!"

Did I mention our tickets were free? Did I mention that our tickets were in a rather costly section? You know I made observations about how to make a free game even cheaper!

1. Park 2 miles away. This means you will not have to pay $15 for parking. And you can burn off some of the calories from the brown bag special you got at Sonic with a coupon for only $7!

2. I understand that the rules clearly state no outside food or drink. I understand that you are not allowed to carry in bags (one small lady's purse is allowed.) However, I think that as a creative woman you can surely smuggle in a drink. It would have to go something like this...
Security: Ma'am? I'm sorry, but no outside food or drink is allowed in the stadium.

Frugal you: Excuse me? I don't have any outside food or drink on me!

Security: Ahem. Ma'am. I can clearly see that you have, err, something, stuffed in your, uuh, well, in your....top.

Frugal you: Stuffed in my top? No sir. There is nothing extra in my top...

Security: Ma'am. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to remove the water bottles from your top!

Frugal you: Water bottles? What water bottles? (Now it's time to break into tears...) Are you referring to my unsightly jugs? I understand they are awkward looking. This is what happens when you hit an all night plastics guy in Mexico while you are on vacation with your sorority sisters from college....Boohoo! Sob! Sniff! Waa!

I'm pretty sure this will result in the security officer being so embarrassed that he will drop the subject and let you through. Yes, it will be humiliating. Yes, this will likely draw attention to you. But, I ask you, what's more horrifying: Eight bucks blown on 2 measly bottles of water, or public humiliation?

3. I also discovered that you can eat all you want for free at the game! Isn't that amazing? I was so pleased to discover the handy dandy condiment stands located so conveniently around the stadium. Seriously, one could eat all of the pickles, relish, and if you need a kick of variety there's even jalapenos, ketchup and mustard! Isn't that fantastic?

4. Last but certainly not least is child care. Now, we had arranged for a babysitter, and we were planning to leave early to take Popcorn to a birthday party. I was weary of the party because I didn't know the girl's parents...Ta-da! The solution to all of my problems came in the form of a sleepover! The little girl from the baby sitter's called to see if they both girls could stay the night with her. I carefully phrased the plan change to Popcorn, "Hey, Popcorn, do you want to go to Halee's party for a few hours, or would you rather have Emilee's mommy come get you and stay ALL NIGHT with her?" Thankfully, she followed my prompting, and made the right choice. Of course, Bookworm wasn't sure she wanted to go, to which I responded, "Oh, you're going. You'll have a blast. Trust me." Then I turned and walked away, leaving no chance for a denial....heh, heh, heh!

So, we had the babysitter come to watch them until Emilee's parents could come get them. Next time, hopefully, somebody will invite them over before I arrange for the sitter!

Well, there you have it Gentle Reader. The excitement of going to an OU game, as a non-football fan. Note: I actually took more pics with my phone, but could not figure out how to transfer them to my computer, and that one was the only one Studmuffin could get to open when I blue toothed it to him, so he could email them to me! Oh, well...

Friday, September 18, 2009


I need to blog...

I'm sure my loyal public is disappointed with my poor blogging lately...

I'm just sorta dry...

I start to blog.

I try to think.

Then my brain freezes up; My fingers tremble and my upper lip starts to sweat, and my eyes start to quiver...And that's it. I halfheartedly start a draft, then I walk away...

But today at work, I became determined to post a blog tonight. What with running from point A to point B, scrambling to complete one piece of paper before dashing off to help someone start an IV, and I was tired, and cranky...

Then I had to run to the CT department to discharge a patient for them...

And, God Himself smiled down on me. I got there, and the patient had to wait on their films. And it was one of my friend's last day...Someone had brought cupcakes to say goodbye. Since I couldn't slap my patient and wheelchair and send her on her merry way, I had to stop. I had to wait. I had to stop. And eat. A banana cupcake with butter cream icing.

And for those 5 minutes of waiting, all was right with the world.


Turned out that was a good thing, because if not for that cupcake I would not have gotten a single crumb of sustenance for the whole shift. Go ahead. Pity me. Feel sorry for my poor, under nourished soul...My poor, hungry, tired, cranky soul...

Why was I tired? Why was I cranky? Well, Gentle Reader. It is a sad tale. Very sad indeed.

Did you know I have a sister? Well, actually I have 2 sisters. But only one sister is to blame for my suffering. MY SUFFERING, I tell you.

Dawn. Dawn is the perpetrator of this torment I've been suffering. Did you know that I used to feel sorry for her? Oh, yes. I did. I pitied her. She used to tell me of her inability to sleep. She would tell me stories of being awake in the middle of the night for no particular reason, other than perhaps it was somehow related to her...shall we say...cycle? I always felt so sorry for her, even as I silently breathed a sigh of relief that I did not suffer from such an affliction.

Have I ever mentioned how alike Dawn & I are in some aspects? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not a cleaner, organizer, researcher like she is. But we have other traits that we share (other than the obvious outward resemblance.) We both got glasses & braces in 7th grade. Yep, the ugliest, most awkward year of most kids life was amplified by the addition of glasses and braces... As a matter of fact, any time she makes a complaint about certain things, like her hair, her skin, whatever, I inwardly flinch, because I know that as she ages, she is dragging me right along with her.

So. You can guess what happened, can't you? For the last year, I have developed insomnia for about 4 consecutive nights of every month. I did not sleep through the night from Sunday night until Wednesday night. Last night I actually slept from 10:30pm until 5am. The other 4 nights I woke up nearly every hour. I would lie there awake, unwilling to climb out of bed. I was afraid the tv or internet would stimulate me, and make my insomnia worse. I didn't dare start a book. I'm famous for cracking a book and staying up all night to finish it. Tuesday at 3:30 am, I was seriously considering getting out of bed and sweeping & mopping. But, I finally fell asleep. To wake up with my alarm at 5am.

Today, I was so dad gum tired, that it took all of my energy to keep a thin veneer of cheerfulness in place. And we all know who to blame. Dawn.

Dawn is to blame.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Now. I'm going to bed. I plan to sleep. I plan to sleep the entire night.

So help me, if one of my precious offspring so much as lets out a whimper of "Mommy," I am physically kicking Studmuffin out of bed. Yes I am. I am going to take my feet, and shove his rump out of the bed and onto the floor. Do not doubt it for even one eensy teensy second.

Good day and good night Gentle Reader...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farm Ponds

My dad has been trying to get a pond he built to silt in and hold water for several years. Earlier this summer I was riding the horse and noticed that it was doing better than I'd ever seen it. Now, I'm totally astounded to see the size it's grown to. It went from a mere puddle, to a small pond, to a good sized pond that can actually be putted around on in a john boat, and fished out of! Apparently, my youngest nephew does not trust his 11 year old big brother steering the john boat around the pond. Apparently, turns are a little abrupt with him at the helm. Needless to say, Dad's new pet project gets stocked with fish every time the family gets together and fishes at the creek on our land.

My sisters, my brother in law, and my niece Molly jumped in the pickup for a little field trip to admire Dad's newest attraction.

We all properly ooh'd and ahh'd, and then we got to wandering around....

This pickup was the very first pickup my dad ever bought. Doesn't Molly make a great pinup model? With more clothes on, of course!

Molly, being young and carefree, and having a sister who walks around with a camera permanently attached to her neck is always willing to let you snap a photo!

Hey! Here's a drastic subject change for you:

The summer of 2007 it seemed to rain every weekend. One weekend we were at the lake with our friends Wayne & Jennifer from Arlington. We were their official vacation spot when we lived near San Antonio. We could see a storm coming, but we played until the last possible moment, and headed to the shore with 3-4 ft swells crashing over our little fish & ski hull...

Wayne & I held the boat over to the side at the dock while Studmuffin ran to get the pickup and trailer. Jennifer had rounded up the 5 kids and was waiting in her van with them. By now the rain was there, and we were getting poured on...Suddenly, a little john boat with a 5 horse motor comes putting up to us. Two young guys, maybe 18 or 20 years old crawled out of it on shaking legs...

"Were you guys out there in THAT in this storm?"

"Yeah," they agreed with nervous laughs.

"Where are your life jackets?"

Avoiding eye contact: "We didn't have any. We were tied onto the wall fishing, and suddenly all of the boats just took off."

I couldn't believe it. All of the bigger boats took one look at the storm coming, and left these poor kids behind. And, several boats buzzed right past them, never checking if they were going to be okay in their little boat in those big waves....

Of course, Studmuffin gets frustrated with having to stop at every accident we drive by so I can make sure nobody's injured. I just don't understand how people can drive by something like that. Of course the tale of driving backwards down I35 south of Fort Worth, and stopping to help a lady in anaphylactic shock will have to come another day...

This post is too long already...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Agony of Her Art...

Popcorn has decided to become a song writer.

Aren't you just dying to read what she's written so far?

Well, I'm about to share it with you, but I must warn you she labored over this song through an entire sermon, and for about 5 minutes at home. "Daddy, it is so hard to write a song. I am just worn out."

I chuckled when I heard her talking to her Dad about it, but didn't have time to read it right then. This morning I decided to read her masterpiece, and I was so impressed, I decided to share it with all of you:

Popcorn's Song

You are my angle. I have loved you all my life I chrid to keep you out of danger. So will you come back for me? I want you back plese.

Come back.
Ooh come back.
Come back.
Come back.

My song, mack it lode tell me wate you are talken bout.
Why? Why?
Because I side and side that's why.
So just do it and do it agin and agin.
Do it and do it agin.

So just come back...pece.

Why are you here angl? Because she rasd me that's why
So just follow me or esee nothing.

You will get nothing, that's what you'll get. You can chang your mind, you can chang yoru clots, noting can chang yoru world or can take out God.

by: Popcorn

Is that just amazing or what? I tried to type it completely as she wrote it on the back and front of 2 bulletins and one note book paper, but I did try to make it into correct phrases. She did the punctuation, even the dot dot dot. She also did her own periods and apostrophe's! Hey, her spelling needs some work, but not bad for a 7 year old, who is not listening to the sermon, eh?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My "New" Mixing Bowls

I got some "new" stuff when we visited my in-laws last weekend. Remember: It's a good idea to visit your mother in law when she has been cleaning out cellars and attics. It inspires her to thin out some of her stuff. See the thermoses? I've actually had those quite a while. I got those from Brent's Aunt Aleta. They were his grandpa's thermoses. I love red. I love these thermoses! The glass jars are from the cellars at the house Brent grew up in. She had lots of these jars. I wanted more, but I'm going to have to make a repeat trip because I was out of room. I got the round grater at a garage sale for free. I bought an old scale from the family, and they threw the grater in because they wanted to get rid of it! Apparently they sensed my love for free stuff!

Isn't this blue bowl beautiful? I love blue.

I made Pioneer Woman's Coffee Cake Literally the other day. Of course I was ready to jump on the chance to use my new bowls! Don't you love this green? I love green.

Isn't this a great yellow? I love yellow. In fact, I love most colors. That's why I have 9 different colored place settings of Fiesta Ware, and even more colors in serving pieces...And there are so many colors I'm missing out on!

Know what I don't love? Cleaning the kitchen after I baked a cake and cooked dinner at the same time that I was nagging my kids to complete homework and piano practice.

By the way, the coffee cake was fabulous. I totally could have snacked on it all day. Luckily we were so busy at work that I was only able to heat my lunch and eat it in a 5 minute time period. Yes, I heated my food and ate it in 5 minutes...Then I grabbed a bite sized piece of cake and crammed it in my mouth as I was heading down the hall to throw some lead on and start the next case...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Games Rednecks Play

My dad has a toy. Can you guess what it is?

I'll give you some hints.

It's so exciting that the whole family loaded up to come see the excitement.

It makes a really loud noise.

So much so that you feel the need to duck and cover every time he uses it. And he required every grandkid to have a set of ear protection...

It's guaranteed to kill large amounts of rodents in a few seconds.

It can make the ground shake beneath your feet.

It involves an explosion...

Can you guess what my dad's toy is?

It's called a prairie dog gun. He and 3 of his friends went together on the purchase of it after a traveling salesman (did you know they still have those?) did a demonstration for their community. Prairie dogs are a real problem for ranchers and farmers. Where you see a prairie dog town, you can expect to see very little grass and too many rattle snakes. Not to mention that your livestock incurs from stepping in their holes. A piece of land with prairie dogs on it is virtually worthless unless you're marketing it as prairie dog hunting land. Of course, I don't know anyone that's actually been successful in marketing formerly good farmland as a prairie dog ranch!

So, my dad and his friends are always on the lookout for new ways to destroy their nemesis. We have people that come from New York, or some other Yankee place to hunt "dogs." My dad doesn't even charge them. They show up with a table with an umbrella for shade, their cooler, and spend a day or two in demolition heaven. Men are a mystery to me, I'm telling ya.

At first, Dad was having trouble getting his gun to "fire." As a matter of fact, the hunters gave up and headed to a pond a few miles away to do some dove hunting. Of course, I realize in the above picture Logan is holding a rifle, not a shot gun. Hunters never leave home without a rifle. Never know when you might see a coyote that needs to be taken care of!
It turns out one of the neighbor kids was hunting on his family's land next to the prairie dog town we were in. He came over to check out the gun shots he had been hearing (Popcorn had been learning to shoot a gun, or rather to fear shooting a gun, and my nephew Logan had been target practicing while he was waiting on the show to begin.)

Poor Levi showed up just in time for Dad to have figured out where the problem was. It turns out that the instructions on the handle of the gun are important. He had inadvertently flipped his oxygen and propane ratios. Apparently that's pretty important...Once he figured it out, it was BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Levi, being a guy, and therefore enamored of all things explosive, was eager to learn the ropes. My dad, obliging fellow that he is, gave him a quick lesson, and let him have at it.

Levi was euphoric after his turn at creating an explosion big enough to shake the ground under his feet. And big enough to make me huddle down to the ground.

I was the only one who stood by Dad to see his gun in action. Everyone else had moved on with their lives. All I can say is "I'm there for you, Dad. You can count on me! Umm, but no, I still refuse to fire it myself." I personally, had no desire to fire it myself. I felt the desire to huddle to the ground and cover my head every time it fired!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Horrible nursing moments...

As I was remembering the various things I've done with nursing, I started reminiscing about my days as a floor nurse. The constant busyness. The endless medications. Talking to 12 different doctors on a daily basis, sometimes all for the same patient...Toileting. Toileting. Toileting. Did I mention toileting? The continuous adrenaline rush I had become accustomed to, and apparently a little addicted to... I had a hard time adjusting to the relatively stable environment of Interventional Radiology. When I first tried the area, I felt like I wasn't really nursing because I wasn't constantly adjusting medication drips, cleaning up body fluids, and basically chasing my tail all day. Isn't that kind of sick? Anyhoo, I started thinking about some of my experiences, and I decided to share some of the more horrific ones with you. Aren't you excited?

Last year I was studying for my ACLS course, and my niece Molly asked if I had ever had to do any of that stuff....I guess she never thinks of me in life and death situations, because when she usually sees me I'm either stuffing my face, or wondering when the next opportunity to eat will be.

Unfortunately, I have dealt with those situations. The bad thing is, they really are scary. The good thing is, that in a hospital you are never alone. A whole team of people arrives to help you out, and hopefully your patient will be okay...

Of course in the stories that are burned into my brain, and have played themselves over and over, the patients have not been okay.

Okay. Are you ready? Because this is pretty awful. I'm not joking. It is truly, horrifyingly, awful. That's my warning to you.

Mrs. "Smith" was an elderly patient (I think late 80s) with end stage lung cancer. She was gray haired, and had that gray skin tone that patients often get when they are extremely ill, and their demise is imminent. Even worse: I remember she was alone. She was in a semi-private room with a comatose patient (see, I told you this was awful) and she had been hallucinating all day long. She would scream and yell. "You are killing me! Why are you trying to kill me? I can't breathe! I'm suffocating! I'm dying! Help! Help!"

And it went on and on. For 12 hours. It was truly awful, because this is not at all a normal occurrence. Yes, we have confused patients. Yes, they yell and holler. But to be endlessly spouting doom and gloom, and to have the patient screaming at me that I was killing her? That was horrible. I tried every sedative under the sun that wouldn't completely knock out her respiratory drive. I tried pain medication. I tried breathing treatments. Her heart rate was very rapid, so we tried fluid boluses thinking she was dehydrated. I called the doctor at least once an hour for the entire shift. I bullied him into coming to see her at least 4 times during the shift. "Andi, she is dying. There is very little we can do for her at this point, but try to make her passing as peaceful as possible." I kept wondering what was calm or peaceful about any of this for this poor woman, or, selfishly enough, for me.

Finally, the end of my shift was nearing. I had paged the doctor to come see her again, and he had instructed me to call the intern on duty (read here: first year out of medical school being bathed in fire, as all doctors must be.) The intern arrived. I drug her in to see the patient, who immediately began to scream at us that we were killing her. I began to explain everything that we had tried, and the results (lack thereof in this case.)

Suddenly, Mrs. Smith sat bolt upright in bed. Her face turned an awful shade of grayish blue. She opened her eyes wider than I thought possible and contorted her face into a silent scream. Her lips were pulled back so that every tooth was showing, and her mouth was open as wide as it could go...

And she collapsed onto the bed. Dead. There was nothing we could do.

It was truly the most awful moment and most horrific thing I have ever witnessed. We are guessing that she died of a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE is a large blood clot, tumor, or air that travels to your pulmonary artery, and if it's severe enough completely obstructs it, and when that happens, there is nothing to be done. The death is quick, but not usually this horrific. Usually the patient turns blue and collapses. The silent scream and horror movie experience seem to be specific to this patient. Thank goodness.

Of course this was a learning experience for me: The three hallmark signs of a pulmonary embolism are: rapid heart rate (tachycardia), rapid breathing(tachypnea), and sense of impending doom.

This was a horrible, horrific thing. But guess what? I have caught 3 pulmonary embolisms (PEs) before they even entered the doctor's mind since then. Of course, I'm at the bedside, the doctor isn't. As soon as a patient would develop that sense of fear and their heart rate and breathing would kick up (they each had other risk factors that had my radar up too,) I started calling doctors and making a general pest of myself until they ordered what I wanted. We did the test that is used to diagnose PEs, and we were able to treat the patients with clot busters and save their lives. Of course, these PEs were relatively small too. But, still, if I had not been so terrified by my first experience with one, I may not have caught them so soon. So, through one truly awful, nightmarish event, I learned something very valuable to my nursing career, and I've been able to help save other's lives.

And why I'm sharing it with you now, I have no idea.

But there you have it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't be taking me for granted.

We need some more staff for our department. We were approved for another radiology tech and an additional RN in June. Alas, we have not found either one. So, in addition to having an employee out with a death, we are technically down a nurse every day.

At lunch we were discussing our staffing issues, and the likelihood of turnaround in our department...

"Julie just put her son in private school. She's not going anywhere."

"Donnie just gained himself a mortgage. He's here to stay."

Jared piped up, "I love you guys. I'd work here for free if I had to." Okay, we all busted up at that, because that is a wee tad stretch, of course....

"Andi only has to work a few days a week. Why would she be going anywhere?"

"Ahem!" I felt compelled to join in, when I had previously been inhaling my sandwich. It was from Jersey Mike's, and I love me some Jersey Mike's, even if it's a day old...

Please hold for sidebar:

Have I ever told you of my nursing background? I started out doing Telemetry and Stepdown. Basically that meant that my primary focus was cardiac. I love the heart. I love heart meds. I love figuring out what to try for improved cardiac function...I guess you could say I heart hearts!

I spent nearly 4 years as a float pool nurse where I worked, ortho (that's joints for you non-medical people, and that would be the bottom of the totem pole for my choice in specialties.) I worked general med/surg. You name it, you will see it on a med/surg floor. I did a teeny bit of oncology.I worked a progressive care unit, which is sort of like a minor step down from intensive care. So, to make a short story longer than necessary, I've done a little bit of everything. Jack of all trades, master of none as they say...

Return to lunchroom conversation:

"Carol has been convincing me to work most days, instead of a few days....I worked 4 last week, 3 this week, and 4 next week. Do not be taking me for granted, because I am totally unafraid of expanding my horizons to new areas of nursing."

Did I happen to mention that my boss, Carol, was at lunch too? You could hear crickets chirping, if we had crickets in the hospital, which thankfully we don't....

Then everyone burst into conversation.

"You don't have to pick up all of those shifts!" This from a tech who is relatively unaffected by the lack of nurses, unless it means he can't move to the next procedure as quickly...

"You can just pick up a 3 hour shift if you want! I will take whatever you will give me." This from my boss. Okay, seriously. Who wants to come in for 3 hours? That would end up being frantic to get as much done as quickly as you can, and good luck finding a relief nurse so you can skedaddle...

"What do you mean branch out? Why would you ever leave us?"

Well, Gentle Reader, at least I know I am loved and my sacrifice is appreciated...


Is it considered sacrifice if I'm getting paid? Because, let me tell you, I would never even joke about coming to work for free...

And at least now they know not to take me for granted...

And how awful am I that I got a giggle out of their joint worry?

Now, to make it up to them, I'm off to bake Pioneer Woman's Coffee Cake Literally. I will take it as a peace offering for my coffee swilling coworkers, since nobody in this house will appreciate it, but me. And let's be real...My thighs just can't handle that much cake. Even if it does have coffee in it!

Confession: They really don't need to fear me leaving. I work cream puff hours compared to the 12-13 hour shifts I did before, with very few weekends, no call, and no holidays. Seriously. Why would I leave? But don't tell them that...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This morning a friend asked me to watch her girls for her. She had to go to work, and just needed me to take her 1st grader to school when I took my girls, and her 3 year old to Mother's Day Out at nine o-clock. No problem!

It was an interesting experience having a 3 year old here again. Cassidy is just as cute as a button. She told me about her daddy "who has a dad and a mom, but he's a dad too, and now he's all growed up, and he's really tall."

I went in the bathroom and found purple glitter in the sink. She had purple glitter all around her mouth. "Oh, how sweet, she found the girls play makeup. I'm leaving that on her for her mommy to see." Don't you think Melissa will love picking up her beautiful little cherub with purple glitter all around her lips? I was a little disturbed when I got home and went to clean up the mess and discovered it was not lip gloss. She had gotten into Bookworms art stuff and grabbed her purple glitter glue. Oops. It says it's nontoxic...

Then she was asking me about my salt and pepper shakers. They are Fiesta, so I guess she'd never seen any shaped like that. I just discovered that she shook salt & pepper all over my kitchen counter. It seems she didn't believe me when I told her that was what was in them. She needed to see for herself!

Hey, guess what? I'm slowly doing a mini bathroom remodel. I bought mirrors way back in February. Monday, I manipulated Studmuffin into helping me hang them.

"Hey, Babe? Can I borrow your screw driver? I'm going to take the mirrors in our bathroom down, and hang the ones I bought." And, presto! He was there helping me hang them.

That led to all sorts of stuff. We pulled down our old nickel brushed towel racks. We removed the 4 robe hooks the previous owners had mounted and the 2 hand towel rings that were inconvenient, so they were never used. Today I'm going to Lowe's with a friend to pick out some oil rubbed bronze accessories. Next month I'll replace the light fixtures. And the month after that I'll buy new faucets. Then everything but the tub nozzle and shower nozzle will coordinate. I don't dare grab the tub nozzle yet. That involves a bit more work, and Studmuffin will be complaining enough about having to do faucets...AGAIN. I can't help it. If we wouldn't move into houses that have bottom of the line faucets, I wouldn't feel compelled to upgrade them! You see, Gentle Reader, this is totally not my fault! It just happens this way....

This morning I had to strip and wash every bit of Popcorn's bedding. She had a major nose bleed. It seems that her mother neglected to giver her allergy medicine to her 3 mornings in a row, and now the price must be paid. Someone should seriously smack that child's mother...Of course treating all of the stains and doing extra laundry may be punishment enough....

That led to me deciding to do all of my bedding and Bookworm's bedding today, too. Isn't it funny how one chore always leads to another?

Well, my friend will be here any minute, and heaven forbid she catch me blogging and not diligently cleaning house, or folding laundry, or whatever...I have an image to uphold y'know. So, I'll ramble at ya later!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Self Healing Coffee Pot

My coffee maker has been giving me fits lately. After I brew coffee, it turns off immediately, and it won't turn back on. I've had to resort to reheating my cup of coffee in the microwave.

"I can't live like this!" I lamented to Studmuffin....

"Well, you can get a new one, but it has to come out of your allowance."

"What?! A coffee maker is for the HOUSE...It should come out of the HOME REPAIR envelope!" I desperately pleaded my case...

"Sorry, babe, but you are the only one in this house who drinks coffee, therefore, you have to buy yourself a coffee maker out of your envelope." He was heartless. Utterly and purely heartless.

Perhaps he doesn't realize the importance of coffee for my day. Perhaps he is blithely unaware of the importance of coffee to my mental stability. Perhaps he is blind to the fact that coffee makes me a better person all around. Perhaps he forgot that if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy....

Thankfully, Gentle Reader, the coffee pot has healed itself. I brewed a cup yesterday when we got home, and it stayed on until I poured my cup. I was so happy. Then, this morning, it stayed on until I turned it off!

So, apparently, my coffee pot has healed itself.

Now my family will avoid the imminent disaster of a caffeine free mommy....

Or... *shudder*...it's behaving like a dying person, and having one last burst of energy before it totally kicks the bucket (sorry, but nurse's brains just work that way.) But never fear! I bought some instant coffee the other day to make a coffee cake. I can resort to that in desperate times. Or, I can use my percolator...

Can anyone tell me why the ladies in my parents community bought percolators for the young brides they threw showers for?

This is a question I've pondered for many years...

Hey, and check out my cool "new" jade Fire King coffee mug, and my "new" milk glass cake stand. For anyone who's interested, I highly recommend visits to your mother-in-law after she's been helping clean out 2 cellars and an attic with 100 years of accumulation in them. She suddenly feels the need to purge her house of some of her "junk." (More posts to come on my fascinating treasures.)

And, mooch that I am, I was very happy to oblige...

Oh, and for my mother-in-law, and anyone else who is freaking out...No, I'm not putting my Fire King cups in the microwave.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How may I help you?

I need to help people. Wait! That came out wrong. What I meant to say was people need my help. Unfortunately for them, they don't always realize it.

I picked up an extra shift yesterday. One of my coworkers has a mother who is terminally ill, so of course we need help to cover her. I'm your gal for that! Oh, and another coworker wants a long(er) weekend this weekend. So, I picked up her Friday for her. Of course, I'd already agreed to pick up her shift when I was asked to help my other friend, and how do you reneg on helping?

Then I help our music minister get music ready for Sundays and Wednesdays. No big deal. It only takes a few hours a week, plus I get to chat with my friend, and we go eat together. Glad I got to help out there!

What is truly sad, Dear Reader, is that many of you do not even realize the help that I can provide you. I went shopping Saturday with my niece Sarah. She needed new cowboy(girl?) boots. I had a wonderful time spending her money for her. She said from now on I am her personal shopper. No prob!

We were in American Eagle, and I was fiddling with some moccasins (I love moccasins). I stepped back to see Sarah in her jeans. Another lady was trying on jeans, and consulting with a random stranger (to her and me) about the fit. Of course I chimed in. The jeans were stretch. They looked great on her, but I reminded her that stretch jeans grow, and sometimes by the end of the day they are a nuisance to try and keep in place. She totally ignored me and bought them anyway. Pfft! Did she not realize I was helping her?

Later we were in Old Navy. Sarah was again trying on jeans. All of the clearance was an additional 50% off. Sadly, I was completely out of money, so I had to avoid even looking. However, there was a group of women shopping together. The music was blaring, and they were all talking at once. One friend was trying on clothes. They were all giving her advice. She couldn't decide between 2 pairs of pants. I pointed out (because I'm helpful) that they are an additional 50% off. So, really each pair was only $7! She bought both pairs...

Then another of the group was trying on the first girl's rejects. She really loved this red skirt, but was unsure of the waist band. It was a little muffin top-ish. But, the print was adorable, and it was red. I love red. She was trying to convince her friends that she needed the skirt, and with a looser shirt it would look okay (the waist was elastic, so it was really more a matter of where she put it on her hips.) Of course I chimed in. How could I resist? "You know, it would look great with a denim jacket," and she finished for me, "with the sleeves cuffed!"

Her friends rolled their eyes and said she didn't need any more clothes in her closet. She pointed out it was only $4. I said, "You could totally own that skirt and never wear it for a measly $4!" She, the wise woman that she was, also took my advice, and bought the skirt!

I tell you, I love helping people. I can't seem to help myself. If I'm in the store, and I see someone debating 2 brands, looking at labels, and I myself have any crumb of knowledge about either item, I feel compelled to chime in. If someone is struggling to reach something on a high shelf, I feel compelled to offer and grab it for them...the list goes on and on.

I open sodas for people as I hand them over. I have been known to butter and jelly perfectly capable adult patients toast. I will even start adding salt and pepper to their food and cutting it up without thinking! I get towels and drape them across their shoulders so they don't spill food on their gowns. I hold their arm and brace their lower back as I escort them to the bathroom. I fluff their pillows and tuck their blankets, and heaven forbid if they don't want at least a sheet. That drives me bonkers! Every time I look at them, it is as if they are naked, and they really need a sheet to be fully clothed.

WAIT: Total topic change, but I need to make a public service announcement. Men, please, please, please, by all that is good and gracious, when you are in your hospital gown, and you sit on the edge of the bed, you simply must drape a sheet across your lap. I don't care if you are not the least bit cold. It is for your own good, and the peace of mind of every nurse that walks by and worries that you are, well, you are, ummm, we're afraid we might catch a glimpse of well, you see, umm, uh, well...you get my meaning surely? Please, just wear the sheet. It truly is for the better of all society if you do. Thanks.

Return to topic:

My need to help others: It's a sickness, truly it is. I've had people look at me as if I'm crazy, and mutter a "thank you," as they run away from the crazy lady who suggested they try the whole grain Goldfish crackers, which are the same price, tastes as good, blah, blah, blah, as quick as possible. I've embarrassed my husband when I strike up conversations with random strangers in the spaghetti sauce section. *Lucky for him, he's gotten over that.* I offer assistance and advice at the check out, the gas station, the grocery store, school, church...You name it, I've probably stuck my nose in, er, excuse me, HELPED a person there.

So, that's it. I may have a sister who suffers from "one more thing-itis," but I totally suffer from "may I help you-itis"...Or maybe it's "I'm going to help you, so deal with it-itis." Whatever it is, I know I'm perfectly capable of walking away from mountains of chores...Like I did today to have lunch with a friend. Oh, and the chores are still all there...Because I'm about to wrap up this post and head to dinner at church...which means they will still be there next Tuesday because I work the next 2 days, and then we will be gone, and I am usually exhausted after a day at work, plus my back hurts because yesterday I helped move too many patients over the 300 pound mark, and now I'm paying for it (but what the heck else can you do when the patient has to be moved and can't move themselves). Anyhoo, my back hurts every time I stand up, so housework is really unappealing right now...

Hey, maybe I suffer from "why I can't do my houswork-itis" instead of "how may I help you-itis!"