Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Rea’s Fifth Grade class is participating in BizTown, a “mini-city“ which has civic leaders, businesses, criminals, you name it. Each student has a role in the “mini-city” and they will to to Nashville and spend the day learning about being grownups. Each student gets a checking account and a job. They spend the day in a cool building that is set up with pretend businesses with CEO’s, employees, paychecks and everything. Syd got to do this, I went her and it was a very neat experience.

BizTown 2008 Mayoral Elections were NOT a neat experience, they could give Hillary and Barack a run for their money!

Rea decided that she wanted to run for Mayor of BizTown. When I picked Rea up on Monday she insisted that we go straight to the grocery and buy brownies for her entire class. The Mayoral elections began at the class level and it seems that one boy, had brought brownies and Cokes for everyone in class that day. So, I’m thinking, WOW, that seems a little excessive for this, but…off we go to Kroger and since they had already had brownies, we bought two dozen cookies; I drew the line at the Cokes, and bought two dozen juice boxes. Next we stopped at Office Max for poster board so that her Campaign Committee (A & AC) could prepare posters for the next day. That night they also worked on a Power Point presentation. I thought they did a good job on the presentation, outlining her accomplishments at piano and soccer, then stating that Rea would try and be a Fair Leader.

But man, these kids knew how to up the ante! One little girl promised to vote for Rea if I promised to vote for her dad for State Senate!

The next afternoon when I picked Rea up, she was disappointed. She had placed second in the classroom Mayoral race behind PIZZA and COKE for EVERYONE plus his guitar along with a song he’s composed and sang. But, I must say she accepted this defeat gracefully.

Then Friday was the day for the runoff of the five Finalists. One of Rea’s BFF’s has made it to this point, so we were all rooting for her. And do you know that one parent actually hired a CLOWN?? Yes, you read that right. A CLOWN, complete with balloon animals, had come to school for this election to campaign for one child. Lord. Help. Us. (Rea was LESS gracious about this!)

Pizza Boy prevailed in the end. Guess clowns don’t have what it takes in the political arena.

I certainly hope that next year SANITY takes hold of someone at that school!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hershey Kiss

This guy showed up as a stray yesterday and hung out all day. We ordered pizza from Domino’s and when the delivery guy showed up Shelley, Nelson and the Visitor went running out to “welcome” him to the driveway. I was explaining that the Visitor didn’t belong to us and Domino’s Guy looked down and said: “Hershey?” And I swear that dog said “Hey Dude!”.

Seems Hershey had belonged to an ex-girlfriend but appeared to have fallen on hard times, Domino Guy said he had lost a lot of weight and was missing a collar. He asked if I would hang on to him until he got off at 11:30 and he would come back and get him – and he was a man of his word. Hershey was excited to see him again. I hope things work out better for Hershey at his new house. He was a sweet dog.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pause and Rewind!

We are TiVo people - there are three in our house, they are the real McCoy, and we love them. I’m completely hooked on TiVo (it’s a little like my computer compulsion), I think TiVo is user friendly, I love how I can record my favorite shows, then watch them when I want to, I love how TiVo records suggestions for me, I love the Season Pass feature, I love the Wish List feature, I love that I can FAST FORWARD through commercials, I love, okay, I know you get it. But, one more thing, I love that I can PAUSE-and-REWIND-and-REPLAY something when I don’t quite hear something or when I want to re-watch a snippet of a show. Don’t you just love that too?

However, this brings me to what I wanted to write about today. I wanted to know if those of you who have TiVo (or Moxie or DVR’s) are having an issue in your everyday life like I am. I want to REWIND the radio while I’m driving down the road, I want to REWIND someone in mid-conversation, I wanted to PAUSE and REWIND the pastor the other Sunday during church. A couple of friends and I were talking about this the other day and we all admitted that we were finding ourselves searching for the remote during these situations and trying to REWIND!

I’m just waiting for them come up with the technology so that we’ll all be able to walk around with a little remote so that we will be able to go “Oooops, Didn’t catch that” and point it at someone and back them up and have them repeat their last two sentences. Or maybe if they are really boring you could just put them on pause and come back to them later. Or at least FAST FORWARD to the juicy part!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bamboo Fork

Is there something in your house that your children fight over? A particular position in the car, a place at the table or some privilege?

There are other things they fight over (the center roll out of the Sister Schubert's pan, is among them), but one object in our house, that both girls have seemed to covet highly is the BAMBOO FORK.

Lying in our utensil drawer, among the nice everyday stainless that I got as a wedding gift, is a lowly fork, in a BAMBOO pattern, that arrived in the mail once upon a time. You remember those mail offers? One piece of flatware would be glued down inside some rebate or something, perhaps from that Fingerhut company, and somehow the BAMBOO FORK is still around after all these years.

Many war has waged over who got the fork first, who had it last, whose turn is today, and many incidents of it being switched from one girl’s place setting to the other. Their Dad and I are not above joining in on this, often grabbing the fork from the drawer, just to say, “Nah, nah, I got the BAMBOO FORK!”

These days most everyone leaves the fork alone though. Sometime ago I asked Rea to set the table, she got everything put down, saved the BAMBOO FORK for last and proceeded to LICK every last inch of it. She then laid it at her plate and loudly announced what she had done – her competition for the BAMBOO FORK pretty much ended then. Syd never knew when the fork had been offended and she wasn’t taking ANY chances!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Only Difference in Men and Boys...

My husband always has a hobby of some sort – and they always seem expensive. He jumps from one to the next and it’s never a hobby like, walking, reading, jogging, or perhaps bird-watching. They are hobbies that run into big bucks and involve lots of equipment and always, APPROPRIATE CLOTHES.

His first hobby from childhood was rabbit hunting. We’re talking guns, LOTS of beagles and APPROPRIATE hunting CLOTHES. Luckily I’ve never had the good fortune to have a pen full of beagles in the backyard (you know, home owners associations and all). The first years of our marriage there was many a battle fought because he never attended any of my family Thanksgiving dinners because he was rabbit hunting, (somehow I always had visions of Elmer Fudd). And I always politely declined the fried rabbit at his Grandmother’s house.

Well, that phase passed and he briefly discovered a golf club and he toyed with that hobby for a while. That frustrated him, so it didn’t stick with that long. Although, there were several purchases of APPROPRIATE CLOTHES and shoes.

Then he moved to three-wheelers, first a Honda, and then a Yamaha. APPROPRIATE CLOTHES and equipment was required, first for the Honda (red), then for the Yamaha (yellow). This hobby involved lots of noise and dirty appropriate clothes. Eventually we moved to the "big city" and he had to give this hobby up, though I'm sure something else would have caught his eye soon enough!

A brief foray into tennis followed, it didn’t involve a country club, so the level of APPROPRIATE CLOTHES (i.e. tennis whites) wasn’t too high, and he and his partner in crime developed tennis aches fairly quickly, so this hobby didn’t last much longer than a summer or two. Whew!

Then the whopper of all hobbies - bass fishing. This hobby took him down, pardon me here, hook, line and sinker! Do you have any idea how expensive this hobby is? We’re talking rods, (not one mind, you, but at least 10, each rigged differently), plus reels, depth finders, GPS, lures, lizards, line and last but not least. A BASS BOAT. This hobby was so consuming that he actually WENT TO WORK for the bass boat company. I kid you not. (I guess I'm required to disclose that he did get a company boat, but I'm not quite sure they were an offsetting entry to all of the other hobby expenses, in accounting speak, if someone is reading this.). And, oh my, the APPROPRIATE CLOTHES level, he developed a need for Gore-tex, he needed all things Gore-tex. He wasn’t alone on this fishing tangent, several buddies were lured there too. They even had their own Bass-Masters style fishing tournaments.

Gradually, the bass developed a stench and we moved close to a golf course and the links came back in favor. Of course, new clubs were a must, plus new APPROPRIATE CLOTHES (shoes, shirts, gotta look sharp!) and the ever important GOLF CART (cherry red, mag wheels, waxed to a gleam). And...a country club membership.

Turkey hunting was next, and boy, was there a lot of funny looking APPROPRIATE CLOTHES that went along with this one! There were videos to watch, turkey calls to purchase and PRACTICE (in the house). The highlight of this hobby though was the construction of the turkey blind in the garage. Someone failed to measure correctly and when it was time to remove the blind from the garage – it would NOT GO THROUGH THE DOOR. Of course, I didn’t laugh at all, not one bit.

Skeet shooting has come on the scene, why, I’m not sure, but it has. But, boy howdy, is it hot at the moment. He’s selling stuff right and left to buy skeet and trap guns, he’s making play-dates with new Skeet Friends. He’s plumb giddy. He's watching skeet shooting videos, cleaning his guns, researching guns on the internet and the Fed Ex man is stopping almost daily. I’m just waiting for the new APPROPRIATE CLOTHES. By the way, do they make skeet shoes and skeet socks?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Always and Forever - Prom 1980

How's this for a blast from the past?? I have this picture hanging on the bulletin board in my office, it makes me smile when I see it, get a load of those hair-do's (both sexes, thank you very much!) We thought we were in tall cotton, had been to dinner at DeVanti's, had survived Grand March (a tradition I wish our local high school observed) and were on to other things that probably don't bear discussing here.

The most important thing about this picture is this, all those young couples that you see smiling at you actually went on to marry one another within a couple of years, and here is the even better part. They are all still together and are still very, very, very good friends. Two important people are missing from the picture, Frankie was with She Who Shall Not Be Named and Debbi was not part of our group - but now we can't imagine them not with us. They fit. Just. Right.

That's been many moons ago, lots of water under the bridge, seasons passed, LOTS of good times enjoyed by all. Hard times - you bet. Some of them brought us to our knees. But we are still here. For better, for worse. Still smiling most days. Laughing alot. Trying not to cry some days. But here we are CCHS Class of '80 - friends Always and Forever.

3rd Shi Zhu Brigade, 5th Squirrel Squadron

Our mission: Keeping our yards rodent free day after day. BOOYAH!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Frog Summit

Remember a day or two ago I told you about the frog purchase that some adult failed to supervise? Well, that adult thought she was buying a DWARF African Frog, like the size of her pinky nail, and that it was going to swim in water, and eat fish flakes and be all cute and stuff. Well, that adult was too busy commiserating over the homeless cats to go look at the LEOPARD frogs and let her eleven year old purchase a frog the size of a TOAD. The frog ate crickets and meal worms and earth worms and probably cockroaches too. Rea was trying to house this thing in her tadpole habitat and from the looks of things it was going to outgrow that habitat pretty fast, like Clifford the dog, but in a Clifford the FROG kind of way.

I was not happy about this frog purchase and readily admitted that I had dropped the parental ball and after much negotiation, Rea and I reached an agreement to return the frog to the pet store. So, yesterday after church we drove and hour (yes, an hour, for a $5.00 frog, with gas at $3.47 a gallon, you do the math). When we walked in with the infamous white box the staff immediately thought they had an expired pet on their hands, but alas, it was just a matter of a poor pet fit. They accepted the poor leopard frog back into its previous home with open arms and happily refunded us our money. Now came the time to pay the piper.

My deal with Rea involved a replacement for the leopard frog. First she suggested a tree frog, after further investigation I determined that they too required LIVE bugs to survive, and a large habitat with DIRT and such and the answer was nope. Next she moved on to a beta fish, which I know would have been very easy, but has anyone but me noticed how lonely those fish look? Living in that little bitty bowl day after day, I just didn’t want to have to look at it so I suggested that she look for something else, something with FRIENDS. Then she moved to goldfish, I was kind of open to them, but remembered having them before and that they really pooped A LOT. So I steered her toward the guppies.

We are now the proud owners of six (oops, five) guppies, in a brand new aquarium, complete with new rocks, a plant, a NO FISHING statue, a net, food and water treatment. Don’t ask for the first guppy babies because I have already promised the first ones to my niece - just ask my Mom.

There should be plenty for the rest of you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Still A Mom

I was looking out the backdoor Friday morning, enjoying the beautiful spring day and noticed a squirrel, running across the yard with something large and round in its mouth! I called for Rea and we watched as it struggled towards the woods lot. Just as it was nearing the edge of the yard, Nelson noticed it too. He gave chase and about three feet before safety the squirrel dropped the object and that’s when we realized that it was a mother squirrel and she was struggling to carry her baby across the yard!

Pandemonium broke loose because, Nelson, the Shih Zhu, nabbed the first prey of his life and Rea and I began SCREAM!! NOOOO!! NELSON!! NOOOO!! We ran to the back yard, in our PJ’s and barefooted to the baby squirrel’s rescue. By this time, Nelson was so startled by the screaming that he had let the baby go and it was able to run into the underbrush. However, Nelson was quickly back on the trail and was rooting around trying to recapture his loot.

Meanwhile, the poor mother squirrel was hovering on a tree just above, nervously twitching her tail, obviously very distraught over the plight of her baby. The area where the baby and had hidden (and where Nelson was intently snooting her out) is completely overrun with blackberry vines. Remember, Rea and I are both PJ clad and barefoot, so neither of us is anxious to wade in to pull Nelson out; and he refuses our pleas to please, please COME!!

By this time, Syd has noticed the commotion and joins the Search and Rescue and wades into the underbrush. The squirrel is so desperate to rescue her baby now, that she comes down the tree within a foot or so of Syd, she is frantic and worried and will only go back up the tree about four feet or so, she is pitiful. Finally, Syd is able to get her hands on Nelson and pulls him out of the underbrush backwards, the whole time he’s whining and scraping, trying to get back to the baby squirrel.

The moment that we stepped away from the brush pile the mother squirrel came down the tree and the baby emerged from the brush pile UNHARMED! The baby quickly followed her up the tree.

Over the next ten minutes over so the mother squirrel patiently coaxed the baby through the treetops, jumping from one tree to the next. When the baby wouldn’t follow her because the footing was treacherous or the distance too far, mom would find a new path, or would return again and again until the baby’s confidence was enough that she too would jump and follow her.

I’m still wondering what caused her to try cross the yard on foot. What was worth the risk? Had the baby fallen and was she trying to get her to safety? Was it quicker and did she think the coast was clear because it was early morning?

I’ll never know. But what I do know is this, she might have been only a squirrel, but she loved that baby just as surely as I love my girls. And she would have walked through fire to keep her safe.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frog Legs Anyone?

After Christmas, Rea my youngest daughter, bought an Uncle Milton’s Tadpole Habitat with some of her Christmas money.

You remember dear old Uncle Milton, he’s the dude that provided years of torture for parents with his ant farms. Now he’s branched off into tadpoles, and just like the ant farms, you are on your own when it comes to finding residents for said habitats.

We have ordered tadpoles online TWICE to the tune of $16.95 a pop.

After about a SIX WEEK wait, two tee-tiny tadpoles arrived. One was DOA in his little glass tube. The other went to meet his maker the following morning.

DOA’s replacement, plus two buddies, arrived in the mail about two weeks later. They went to the great pond in the sky the next day as well.

Not much can be said for our tadpole nurturing skills.

So today we happen to be in Petco. I’m totally preoccupied with the homeless cats that are available for adoption (imagine that). Rea comes over and says “Mom, they have African frogs, they’re $5.99, can I have one?!?!). At this, point, after this much money, I’m thinking, sure, why not? Let’s skip the tadpole stage. Cut to the chase. Just get the frog. Buy a tee-tiny little frog. Tee-tiny little life span. No problem.

Rea goes to get the frog, I continue to fret over the cats, we go check-out (I have to sign a form - Can anyone say red flag here?). Said frog is in a white box, we get in the car and come home.

This is the frog. There should have been an adult present for this purchase.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dogwood Winter

Sources say that the folk term for Dogwood Winter is "a colder spell of weather when the dogwoods are in bloom".

Let us pray that this spell is over because I am sick and tired of the cold!

These beauties are from my backyard. Enjoy...

Hometown News

My hometown newspaper has a message board and it never fails to provide amusement. Wish my local paper had one.

This little gem appeared last week:

"I see that KY, along with some other states has a bill to let non violet people out of jail and prison. My question is why waste the time and money serving warrants or taking people to jail if they are going to let them right back out. What purpose is served? Wouldn't the time and gas be better used to go after people that they know are violet. I mean, after all, police do have common sense and know the bad ones from the non bad ones without having to waste the time in court. If I get a ticket and I don't have a job or own anything, well I can't pay it so why take me to jail. In a perfect world, yes, I would deserve to go to jail or pay a fine but since gas is getting so high and making everything else go sky high, also, is there any need driving 20 or 30 miles to make 6 or 7 dollars an hour."

Well, I just couldn't let this one pass, I emailed it to friends with a little comment that said, "Who knew that being purple was a problem in the Commonwealth?"

Imagine my complete delight when DMC posted this comment a day or two later!

"I think violet people should be let out of jail. Life is hard enough when you to go through life as a bright shade of purple. Just like those blue Fugates in Eastern Kentucky."

I think we were separated at birth.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tardy Again

Besides canine children, I also have two human children - girls in fact. We won't even go into the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, hormones and the like now. That's fodder for a multitude of other posts that I'll save for other days.

My eldest daughter, Syd, recently got her driver's license and no longer requires my services as a taxi driver to school. I always knew she was pretty independent. She's been waking up on her own since fifth grade or so, coming down for a quick breakfast, then getting dressed and would be the first one ready to get in the car.

What I didn't realize is this; SHE was the glue that held our morning routine together. Who knew?

Rea and I are now like a couple of cats wandering aimlessly about the house. We need Syd back to keep us on task. We need her to point out the time, (again and again). We need her to let us know what the weather is, that lunch money is due and to tell us once again that WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!

Syd used to be quick to point out that Rea had turned on the television and was watching Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. She also would prod Rea in a sweet (NOT) sisterly way to brush her hair and her "nasty" teeth.

But now Syd has no vested interest in our morning routine, (or lack thereof). She has a pretty blue car to zip off to school in. So, she goes about her business - and you'd better believe she's there in plenty of time for the bell.

Meanwhile, Rea and I are languishing at home, headed for one more tardy slip, while our fearless leader heads off to high school.....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shelley's Mama Too

Now, I don’t want any of you or Shelley to think that I’ve forgotten her in her dotage. Just in case she’s gotten internet access in the last day so, or perhaps Nelson has decided to do the old “Mama Loves Me Best” ploy, I’d like to take a moment to explain here.

My Boy Nelson was all about finding a unique domain name, you understand, Shel? I needed to find something that hadn’t been used, something that kinda protected my privacy. The Shelley/Sheltie things were used so I went with the Nelson scenario. It doesn’t mean anything. Promise. I don’t love you any less. You’ve been a wonderful, faithful, if somewhat, neurotic companion, ‘lo these many years and I don’t know what I’d do without you!

I swear, this has nothing to do with those carpet stains and that $459 Chem-Dry bill. Or the way you circle the lawnmower, or try to attack the leaf-blower, or the Weed-Eater, or herd small children and the completely psychotic way you do the Sheltie spin when we slam the back door.

Not to mention your insistence on sleeping upstairs, even though you have developed debilitating arthritis and climbing the steps takes FOREVER. And I listen and hold my breath when you come down, because I just know you are going to fall, and I know what heartbreak that will be.

Oh yeah, you have chronic halitosis. And gas, Sweet Jesus, do you have gas.

Love you girl!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Addiction

Before Christmas my computer addiction was ramping up and was already threatening my day to day activities in a major way. If computers were a drug I would already be in Betty Ford and in a twelve step program, but since they aren't a chemical I'm still here with my family.

Then my husband, the enabler, bought me a BEAUTIFUL laptop for Christmas. This computer is the bomb, it's red, has a huge screen and best of all, has a built in 10-key numeric pad. You can tell an accountant bought numbers across the top for us. We want those big old numbers on the right, so we can go to town while we're ciphering, and best of all, entering our credit card number!

Just before I got my new computer I discovered blogs. Apparently I'm really late on this discovery, but it's been fun, and I've wasted lots of valuable time finding ones I like and then reading ALL of their archives. I also have annoyed my friends by emailing them the ones that I like (which have been QUITE a few).

One very, very dear friend, has been encouraging me to start a blog of my own, so here it goes. This will be nothing more that rantings, ponderings and mostly things that I find funny, because that's what I love, funny stories.