Boudicca's Voice

Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes and a New Blog

The Carnival of the Recipes is up!!! Catch it at Prochein Amy's. I LOVE her blog, so stop by and take a look at the Carnival. I have been remiss in participating, but will be in the next couple weeks.

On to blog news... the munuvians have been good enough to welcome me into their blog clan. Pixy has my new site set up, all I need to do is fix it up to what I want it to look like and start to blog. I expect to convert over by 15 January. (My theory here is if I've announced the date, I have to do it!)

So to you bloggers that read me, if you ARE NOT on my blogroll, yet I am on yours, it is a mistake on my part. Please throw me your blog address and I will put it on my NEW blogroll at my new site. To my bloggers currently on my blogroll, your technorati profile may start showing a different site linking you. That will be my new site. Don't switch me yet! Yes, I will be doing my own Technorati research to see who all has linked me so I can link in return, I just don't want to miss anyone.

I will announce when I've made the final move... so you know and I'll have a link up at this site directing you.

Happy New Year

We leave tomorrow morning for our 9 hour trip back to Hell… oops, I mean West Palm Beach. The only thing I miss is our newspaper. I really like our newspaper. Oh, and I have some really good friends there. I’ve met some wonderful women, a Mom from Son#3’s preschool, women from where I used to work, neighbors, VW… but that’s it. Other than my friends, I could leave West Palm Beach in a heartbeat… and NEVER look back.

My husband seems to feel we can fit all this ‘stuff’ back into our van for the trip home. The Great Omnipotent One has always called this ‘shoving 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag.’ Yup. That about sums it up. That’s what we’ll be doing at 8AM while the rest of you folks are nursing your hangovers…

So in advance, be safe, do not drink and drive and

Happy New Year!

Let's Go, Ice Pilots, Let's Go!!!

My husband and I took our boys to their first ice hockey game yesterday. I know, the pro stuff didn’t happen this year, which was a great disappointment for us as we felt this was the year that all three of them were old enough for us to take the entire family to a Panther’s game. There are other leagues though, smaller leagues, other than the NHL and Pensacola has the good fortune to be home to one of those teams… the Ice Pilots.

Now for those of you NOT in the know, Pensacola is the Home of Naval Aviation. If you’re going to be a Naval Aviator, with few exceptions made, everyone comes through Pensacola first. Sometimes Pensacola is referred to as the Mother in Law of Naval Aviation as many young aviators meet their future wives while in flight training. So it is fitting that their team is the Ice Pilots.

Off we go to the downtown Civic Center to see their first hockey game, the Ice Pilots vs. the Carolina Checkers. And, by the way, the Civic Center becomes 'The Hangar' when the Pilots are playing. The Pilots play in 'The Hangar' not a rink, just so you're in on the official lingo. My husband had gone down earlier in the day to purchase our tickets in person since there were specific seats he wanted to see if he could obtain… season ticket holder’s seats. Sure enough, front and center, 10 rows max from the bottom, he got these great seats… and at normally 15 bucks a pop, they were on sale… two for one. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Husband on one end, three kids on the middle, dear old Mom sitting on the other end like a book end, we waited for the game to start. Funky fun music playing in the background, my kids were really getting into it. But that’s when what hockey is actually about, really kicked in… because, you know, it is all really… about…the…snacks. Everything is about the snacks. So my husband made his way to concession, Son#1 in tow, to come back with 4 hotdogs, 2 cokes, 2 bottles of water, and a saltless pretzel (mine). We spent more on snacks than tickets. All were happy and the game started.

It was great fun. We got to know the couple behind us, probably in their 50’s, 9 kids between the two of them, and 21 grandkids. They were rabid Ice Pilot fans, and he was a riot. At first I thought he was drunk, but then I realized he was just a huge extrovert. By the end of the game, he had my introverted 2nd son pumped up enough that he stood up and yelled, “Go Ice Pilots! Kick Some Butt!” I was stunned. Who was this screaming hollering little boy, with blue eyes peeking out from his green wool cap? Surely it was not the little boy who blends into the floorboards at school, quietly making his way through life?

I got to know the lady beside me, who lives with her husband in Navy Point and needs a new roof due to Ivan and sustained some serious water damage from the hurricane. We talked about the hurricanes and what we would do different for next year and both of us laughed and said we really hoped to get our roofs fixed before next season.

I know I say I am introverted, and I am at times, but when I am around good fun people, I can be very talkative and extroverted. That’s how I felt at this hockey game, which is probably how my 2nd son felt too, uninhibited to be ourselves around good people.

In between periods of this game, after the hockey players have left for the locker room, they have this little go cart thing that is made up like a Blue Angel airplane (Pensacola is home of the Blue Angels) and a guy inside it has this big tube that shoots t-shirts. As the theme from Top Gun plays, this go cart/Blue Angel guy as well as IceMan (the mascot, remember IceMan from Top Gun... they ONLY have the name in common, trust me... although if their mascot looked like Val Kilmer, I am sure there would be more women in attendance) throw t-shirts into the crowd.

At some point in time, another trip was made to concession, this time with husband and Son#3. Hot chocolate, some kind of chicken fingers, french fries... cotton candy at one point. It gives me heart burn just remembering watching them consume all this food.

It was just good clean fun. If I lived in Pensacola, I’d be a season ticket holder. But not a groupie. Blech. I was looking over the list of players and they all seem to have come from Canada or the Czech Republic. Can you imagine the scene, a kid really into ice hockey coming home and saying, “Ma! I got my big chance! I’m going to Florida to play Ice Hockey!!” Kinda made me laugh. Anyway, I know these young men have groupies, I think I saw a couple of them. I could never do something like that… Brilliance not Brawn has always attracted me (although I would have never turned down a good combo! Heh.) If I were going to be a young groupie, I’d have been more inclined to hang at the Math Bowl than the Super Bowl.

Small Town, USA... They Warm my Heart

While we were at the ice hockey game, they played the National Anthem. One young man forgot to take off his hat. The guy behind me, under his breathe, between stanzas, kept coughing, “hat”. The guy didn’t hear. Finally a woman leaned over, tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to his head. Turning eight shades of red, he removed his hat immediately. And you need to trust me on this, if he had been belligerent and disrespectful and NOT removed his hat, everyone around him would have given him some serious crap about it. Disrespect to the National Anthem or the Flag of the United States of America is not tolerated in Pensacola.

So this made me think… is this a Southern thing? Is this a small town thing? Or is this a Military town thing?

After thinking, I decided it is NOT a Southern thing. Although this is what I know and I’ve been seen it in Southern towns, I know enough mid-westerners to know that they wouldn’t tolerate disrespect either. You don’t really want to get me started on the NY City/NJ types… I’m a bit jaded on them since I live with so many of them in West Palm and have found so many of them selfish, rude, and obnoxious. (No offense to my readers from that area... seriously. I only know what I have experienced in my neck of the woods.) But they are the exception, so I believe it is NOT a Southern thing.

That brings me to my conclusion that it is a combination of small town/military town as to why the deep patriotism and intolerance to those who are disrespectful. From the time these kids grow up, they know, you wear a cap, you pull it off during the National Anthem. I’m surprised the movie theaters here still don’t play it before every showing. It would be kind of nice if they brought that back…

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Whew, Thank Heavens for Doctor Mom...

I awoke early this morning, around 4AM, with the beginnings of a migraine. Who in the heck wakes up with a migraine? I know if I don't do something about it immediately, there's no turning back, and I don't know about you, but I personally loathe vomiting. So I trudge through the house looking for good drugs in my folk's cabinet, to make the still low grade pain go away.

I thought it was over.

This evening, I was cooking with my Mom and suddenly I lost all peripheral vision in my left eye and got dizzy. It was if the peripheral vision were caught in a strobe light. I stopped what I was doing, took off my glasses and said to her, "You're not going to believe this, but I think I just lost vision in my left eye."

I covered my right eye and I'm trying to assess exactly what I can and cannot see. I'm in no pain, just getting dizzy and I realize it truly was only peripheral, but the vision left in that eye without strobe light effect, was pinhole in diameter.

Immediately my Mom said, "You're getting a migraine" and got Excedrin migraine in my hand and had me lie down. I kept saying, "But I'm not in pain!", but she was insistent.

Within 15 minutes after taking that Excedrin, it was gone. So I guess whatever it is, it's still lurking out there. I can't imagine how much pain I would have eventually been in if she hadn't been there and caught it.

Now I know.

Can't Judge a Book By His Cover

Harvey put a post out today with regard to rascism. I grew up in a Navy family and not until I got to high school did I actually realize racism existed. My grandparents used terms that were not acceptable in our home, but it was explained away as ‘older generations’ and so I didn’t think much of it. But in high school, it hit me full force. I found it repulsive and still do. I have friends of every ethnicity and every religion. A boyfriend I had in high school was Muslim (now an atheist). In college one of my summer flings was a young man of Chinese descent. I judge people by what I see in their character and their hearts.

However, that said, it is not to say that at 39 years old, I do not have stereotypes in my head. It is unfortunate and I don’t like it, but it is there. We are having a horrible crime problem in downtown West Palm Beach. Last I heard when I left West Palm Beach for Christmas, we had had 10 people killed by the violence. We are having a current problem with black on black crime, so when I heard of the violence, I knew that’s what it was. That bothers me that in my head I had jumped to that conclusion. (It is a black on black crime problem and the 10th victim was a toddler. It is horrible.)

But another example… when I hear mass murderer, serial r-apist, serial murderer, or some other funky whacked out awful crime… I immediately think ‘white person’. I NEVER think black person. How odd is that? But it is the data I have assimilated in my head from Jeffrey Dahmer, to Ted Bundy, to John Wayne Gacy. Weird horrible stuff… those are white people crimes. Blech.

So this brings me to a story.

A couple years ago, there was a story that broke national headlines for a guy who ran a crematorium out of Noble, Georgia. Ghastly story. The man hadn’t been cremating the bodies he had been given charge to, but instead had been burying them, shoving their bodies in septic tanks, etc, giving the families something like pulverized concrete instead of ashes. (It also appears this was a 'family tradition' as he took over the family business.) The authorities dragged the lake near his home, dug up all over the property and the things they found, skeletons, mummified bodies, bodies decomposed into one massive gruesome blob, it was enough to turn one’s stomach upon reading it… and leaving no doubt in my mind that many of the said authorities ended up in some serious counseling. You cannot erase from your mind horrors you witness, no matter how much you will it.

So I was reading the paper and ran across an article… and.there.was.a.picture. At the top of the article was a small square picture of the crematorium ‘owner/operator/potential Stephen King character'. I kept staring. Immediately I called my sister and said, “Hey. There’s a picture of that whack job from Noble, the dude that’s been storing bodies instead of burning them. There’s a picture of him. What do you think he looks like?”

Without skipping a beat she said, “Skinny, nasty, dirty, 'insert any name here for white trash here'.” Yup. That was my EXACT thought. I immediately think of too much inbreeding. But… NO. In the picture is a young black man. It NEVER occurred to me that he would be black.

Reverse stereotyping I guess…

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Losing Everything... The Real Perspective

How does one manage when they have lost ‘everything’? How does one find the will to live, to wake up in the morning and carry on? When I say ‘everything’, I don’t mean houses, cars, and clothes. Those are just ‘things’. I mean family, children, spouses… all of them.

Around 11 years ago, I traveled up to Troy, Alabama with The Great Omnipotent One. Many of his kin were from that area and when we visited the court house, making our way down the basement, we found pre-civil war papers on his family… my family. We found indications of where ancestors were buried, so we made our way back to the next floor, finding maps, showing us where these plots were located.

After driving around for quite some time, we found a very old cemetery; it appeared to be in someone’s backyard, an inactive cemetery if I recall. We parked the car and looked for the tombstones of my GGG grandmother and her spouse. There they stood, two large tombstones, side by side, but off to the right of hers were four little tombstones. Upon getting a closer look, I saw that they were tombstones of some of her children… babies… those of her children that died at the infant or toddler stages of life. I felt a vise like grip upon my heart, my throat ever so slightly closing off as I thought of losing children… I was not a mother yet, but even then, the thought was incomprehensible to me. The heavy heart and grief these people must have carried around with them for their entire lives.

Now we see it on television, hear it on the radio, and read about it on-line or in the papers… over 44,000 people dead and more expected as the fear of disease potentially continuing to ravage countries already devastated by vast death and destruction is becoming a likelihood. Cholera, malaria, diseases we don’t speak of in the US, but very much a potential reality in these grief stricken countries.

How can we not be sickened by this? Please tell me I am not the only one weeping for these people. I remember huddling in my hallway, at the doorway of the bathroom where my three young boys lay sleeping on the floor, hearing the winds howl about my home, roof tiles being picked off like sand, being hurled across my roof, banging and clanging. I was listening to the radio as a rescue team in a SWAT vehicle went out in the middle of Jeanne to rescue a family whose home had literally come apart around them. As I heard the screen porch coming apart, the windows creaking and the storm shutters literally being pulled off my home, I spooned up to my husband and said, “Oh my God, we’re going to f-cking die.” And then I prayed, I fervently prayed, “Please, do not take my children.”

I would die for my children. No questions asked. No hesitation. My life for theirs

And I read the accounts, and I watch the news, and I hear… I hear of all the families dying. A woman, age 41, two years older than myself, 11 children… all of them… gone. A man, looked to be around my age, lost his wife, his children, his parents, his siblings. One third of the dead… children.

And I am heart broken for them. How does one continue to exist when all that really matters ceases to?

A Christmas Gift to Myself

Right before I left for Christmas, I had this urge to call someone in particular. I e-mail various bloggers, I call my blog sistah Tammi all the time, I've known VW for almost 20 years and we talk all the time. But believe it or not, it takes a lot for me to get the guts to call someone I've not met in person. When Tammi got lost in space and I knew that blogbro _Jon was on his way to see her, I called him to see if we couldn't find a way to find her... but it took a lot for me to call. It was a deep breath moment on my part. I don't know why I get like this. I don't know if I get nervous that I'll disappoint someone, or I'm afraid I'll sound like a fool, or I'm afraid I won't know what to say, I just don't know.

Occasionally, however, something will happen in my day that reminds me of a blogger or blog sibling and I'll think, "Oh! They would think that is funny!" It has happened with one blogsibling in particular... and finally I decided that as a gift to myself, I would call her... and her husband, to wish them a Merry Christmas. That would be Sally and Alex.

I wanted to stay on for hours, but couldn't, because.... they live in England. I had only made one international call in my life and it did not go well. I was working in aerospace and I had to call a USAF base in Germany to talk to one of our field reps. I swear I punched those numbers as they were given to me, but I ended up talking to some construction worker at some construction company in Oklahoma. Not knowing what our field rep sounded like, I figured he could have been a good old boy, but the deep Southern Oklahoma drawl on the other end said, "Honey, I promise you, sweetheart, this is not Germany. This is 'such and such construction' in 'anyplace' Oklahoma."

So I was a bit gunshy. I couldn't get the call to go through first to Sally. I had to get operator assistance. I guess I had one too many numbers, but finally I got through and got their answering machine. It was a very proper English accent and I almost started to laugh because it sounded so... so... space age! It was one of the telephone company voices, so you know how they sound in America, "If you wish to page your caller, please press #5", but in a proper English accent, for some reason it seemed very new age.

After much e-mailing, we finally got a time and I was able to talk to both Sally and Alex. It was a wonderful talk and it made my day. They are the NICEST people.

So I am awaiting my phone bill. If it was $10 I'm doing it again in January. If it was $100, well, I have to wait a couple months and save for it.

A Question for the Women-Folk

OK, to my wimmen readers, please tell me I am not the only girl type that can get to laughing so hard she pees her pants. Geez. What a pain.

When the Blogosphere Infiltrates Your Life Part II

This one is for Ogre.

Harvey, Blog father extraordinaire and Evil Man that he is, posted THIS in mid-November. All Bad Example readers could not get it out of their heads. It was an awful thing. Ogre even changed his blog title for awhile, Ogre's Politics, Views and Llamas. I didn't post on it, it was being posted everywhere and I really didn't want to further the distribution of that horrible earworm, so I copied the link and sent it to my family in an e-mail. I mean, I didn't want to do evil to any of my readers... just my family. *grin*

Guess what song I have been hearing all Christmas? Yes, it is true, whilst cleaning Christmas dishes, I hear my brother and sister singing Llama, llama, duck... or various parts of the song. This entire vacation, that is what I've been hearing. My sister even pulled it up on the internet so my kids could hear it. ACK!

And so, for you Ogre, in playing Zoo Tycoon 2 today, my sister specifically looked to see if she could add llamas to her zoo. No such luck, llamas are not an option. The travesty of it all...

And for Eric, we have come to the conclusion that penguins are high maintenance birds that are never happy, many curse words have been thrown at those penguins, and if the adoption of a Leopard Seal were an option, her Zoo would have one... in the same cage as the penguins. I am awaiting the time in great frustration she takes down the wall that separates the penguins from the polar bears and simply puts up a rubber band fence.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Small Potatoes

Well...I was going to blog today about the massive clean up effort that took place here in Pensacola, all the trees downed, the buildings gone, the blue tarps, the people living in make shift trailers as they are still homeless, but....

I am now glued to the news as I watch the massive devastation in Asia with the tsunami that has killed over TWENTY THOUSAND people and leaving a million homeless. Suddenly hurricanes seem like a mere nuisance....

In One Ear and Out the Other

I’m having a bit of a problem with Son#3’s language. I’m always hearing he says bad words. Typically, however, it is ‘shut up’, ‘pissed me off’, or his all time favorite, ‘crap’. Now I realize these aren’t really bad words, but coming out of a 5 year old’s mouth, it is not nice.

Son#2 came up to me yesterday afternoon and said, “Mom, Son#3 is saying bad words again.” (Son#3 is not around... this is evidently waaaaay after the fact.) Giving him a blank ‘I’m so over this’ look, I reply blandly, “Oh really? And what words would that be?” fully expecting the stock answer of shut up, pissed off, or crap. But imagine my surprise when Son#2 says, “B1tch, B@stard”. I’m wigging. (I’m not sure what work sensors don’t like, so I’m not writing the exact words.)

Last night we are at the table, we’ve just finished dessert, and it is just Son#3 and I remaining. He is sitting next to me, finishing his chocolate cake and I calmly say, “I hear you’re using words I don’t like.”

Son#3: looking kind of shocked, obviously wondering what I’m going to say next, and also looking like the cat that ate the canary, “Really? Which ones?”

Me: (I’m kind of horrifed… which ones?!!!) B1tch B@stard. I’m pretty serious here. I don’t want you saying stuff like that. Consider this your first and only warning. It happens again, you’re in no kidding, big trouble.

Son#3: OK. Is crap a bad word?

Me: Well, not really, but I prefer you not use it. OK?

Son#3: OK.

Me: Are you finished with your cake? (He has some on his plate he is not finishing.)

Son#3: Yeah. I don’t like it. It tastes like crap.

And with that, he got up and cleared his plate, taking it to the kitchen to be put in the dishwasher.

I am in so much trouble with this boy. I’m thinking we are not far from the old soap in the mouth….

The Inmates Always Run the Asylum

Update on Zoo Tycoon 2...

My sister, tired of continually hearing how the animals are running the zoo, eating each other and paying customers, decided to start her own zoo. We're at dinner and she is carrying on how her zoo has won all these great awards and accolades. "My zoo is clean. People love my zoo. The animals are fed properly and I don't have overpopulation..." The boys roll their eyes and say something like, "Her zoo is boring. Nobody gets eaten."

We get up from dinner, she resumes her 'zooing' and I'm checking my e-mail on the adjacent computer. Suddenly I hear her yelling at the computer, "Where did all these tigers come from? I only had 3! Now I have 15! And why are those damn penguins always needing more space?! They are soooooo high maintenance. And OOOOHHHH NOOOOO! Amy Smith just got bitten in half! My Polar Bear escaped and ate her! (Zoo Tycoon allows you to get stats on all your visitors.)"

So much for easy zoo keeping. I think my boys philosophy was the best. They had the happiest polar bears. The penguins were caged next to the polar bears, separated only by a river and a white picket fence... the penguins would meander on over... and instant snack. The polar bears were never hungry and always happy.

Should I be Driving?

According to my performance in Super Mario Kart, I've been playing with my kids, I have no business owning a driver's license.

However, my 5 year old should. He's a regular Mario Andretti.

I think he cheats. I keeps beating me. I figured I would just keep watching him to figure out how he is cheating, but everytime I take my eyes of the road... I crash.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Cremation Sounded Very Warm

Eric of Straight White Guy quoted Robert Service yesterday. It was so funny… because I was JUST thinking about Robert Service…

I could not get warm. I.could.not. I was cold, the room I am sleeping in may work as a freezer box, my teeth were chattering, my body shaking, I.was.cold. Perpetually. Of course it would probably help if I wore shoes and socks, but that’s beside the point.

So teeth chattering, I got into the hot shower. I ould not get warm. I was frozen to the core and I was swearing I had never been so cold in my life and then a thought popped into my head, “Heh. I think I feel like Sam McGee .”

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee."

It's not the Gift, It is the Thought

My husband got me a 35mm automatic point and shoot ‘hand Jeff the film’ camera. I am very very happy! He also got me a new keyboard and mouse… it’s all cordless and it’s a media pack? I can’t remember the details, all I know is it’s very cool and I can’t wait to get it all plugged in and working. He said, “You spend so much time on the computer, I thought it was time you had something easier and nicer to use.” I was speechless. Writing is my outlet and the thought he would think of me… considering most of the time he is so busy running his business and being consumed with all that is around him, I didn’t think he ever noticed. Anything. So I was very impressed and it made me feel good.

Penguins and Understanding the 'Joke'

You know you might be a blogger when… normal conversation with your family takes place and you think of other people’s blog posts. For instance…

My 2nd son received Zoo Tycoon 2 for Christmas. The ONLY thing he wanted, I had my sister give it to him, making her the person of the year. In case you do not know, this is a simulation game; you make a zoo, run it, feed the animals etc.

Conversation at the Christmas dinner table went something like this:

Son#2: Hey Mom! Guess what? I have 5 tigers and a pregnant penguin!
Me: saying nothing, but could not get past my thoughts on THIS post, by one of my favorite bloggers.

WHENEVER I hear penguins now, I think of him. Well, that and squirrel sex. And Robert Service. I’m sure he cannot be thrilled, but the human brain is a weird thing. Associations. *grin*

So back to this Zoo Tycoon. After the thoughts of houses being run over by penguins leave my brain I finally say, “So, you got a pregnant penguin, do you know what you need for that to happen?”

I am of course baiting him. I love conversations like this. The adults at the table are saying nothing and Son#2 says, “Yup, you need lots of water, lots of food, and lots of space.” Hmm.

I look at Son#1, who is now IN ON IT, he loves the fact he’s kind of in on the adult stuff and he rolls his eyes and grins. Who woulda thunk it. Just 4 months ago, that whole conversation would have been lost on him. Of course, he probably thinks that penguins do it like donkeys… but really, that’s irrelevant.

The Things Boys Will Find to Amuse Themselves

As I said, my 7 year old got his Zoo Tycoon. Now if you’ve never played one of these games, they really are cool. The two older boys love playing Roller Coaster Tycoon. You have to set up the burger stands, hire janitorial crews, create the rollercoasters, etc. Here is an example of a conversation between the two older boys:

Son#1: You can’t do that! Listen, you can’t sell your burgers too cheap or you don’t make any money, you lose money. You can’t sell them for too much or nobody will buy them. The most you can charge is $2.50 a burger, throw a coke in there, and you turn a profit.

Did I say he was 9?

But the highlight to them is not running the burger stands. The highlight is seeing how many people they can make vomit on their rollercoasters. They can create rollercoasters so intense the visitors turn green, stagger from the ride and vomit. It’s true. I saw it. And if they don’t have the proper janitorial services, then your park gets full of vomit and you end up with the coveted award of ‘Year’s dirtiest park’ or something like that. You see the people walking around the piles of puke. Truly disgusting.

So when Son#2 received Zoo Tycoon 2, all I kept thinking was, “What can they do?”

Heh. Little did I know…

I hear at bedtime last night, Son#2 says, “Your tiger escaped. The fence didn’t hold him in.”
Son#1: I know, but he didn’t eat anyone.
Me: Wha??? Eat anyone? You mean your tigers can escape and eat someone?
Son#1: Yeah, it could happen.

I walk out and say to The Great Omnipotent One, “Did you know that in that new game, a tiger can escape and eat a person visiting the zoo?”

He replied, “Know it? Are you kidding, I saw him lifting people up and PLACING them into the lion’s cage and then the lions would flip them up in the air and eat them. They were using zoo visitors for food.”

How in the hell did I NOT see that coming? Forget turning profits. Forget taking care of the animals. It appears the cool part of Zoo Tycoon 2 is feeding the paid customers to the Lions.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas One and All

Merry Christmas to all my readers and fellow bloggers!

And to answer last week's question of the week for Blog Sister Tammi of Road Warrior Survival, 'What is your Famous Christmas Song'...

I wasn't able to answer immediately. I had to think. I had to listen... and I came up with the following, I have two. The first is The Little Drummer Boy. Do y'all remember that stop action animation Christmas Special that came on in the early 70s? I loved that Christmas Special and the sap that I am, even though I always knew the ending, I always got choked up and cried. The sincerity of the little boy who had 'nothing' to offer, his lamb dying and being brought back to life. Anyway, whenever I hear The Little Drummer Boy, I still get choked up... no matter who sings it... I love that song.

The other song I enjoy is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. It stirs my heart... I find it has great hope. Haunting depending on who sings it, it is one of my favorites.

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes

Here it is, Christmas Eve, I've got everything wrapped and ready, but I've been pulling my hair out. Meanwhile, Trudy of Food Basics has deftly pulled together our weekly Carnival of the Recipes! Take a look, HERE.

And a big Thank You to Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed, who thought of this grand idea and has kept us going. I personally think it's one of the coolest things in the blogosphere. So... from the bottom of my heart, Beth, Thank You!

Do They Have These Anymore?

Stuckeys. Do they have these anymore?

I was at the local orange growers stand the other day, buying my yearly half bushel of Indian River Navel Oranges (the best) to take home to my folks. On the counter as I was paying, I noticed these pecan logs. That took me back to...

Family trips. Cross country or to visit family... we always drove. Invariably, there would be a Stuckeys and we would stop. I have no clue why, I don't remember. I am guessing we would stop for lunch or something, maybe gas. Either way, it is irrelevant, because what I DO remember is we always got pecan logs. They are known in this house as 'Fart Logs'.

"Dad, Dad, Dad", we would yell, "It's a Stuckeys! We have to stop and get a Fart Log!"

See, these special pecan logs had a horrible effect on the digestive system... they caused gas. And not your silent odorless gas, but one of two kinds: ear crushing ripping gas or silent gas, both with a the horrible common denominator of the foulest, greenest, peel the paint off the wall, roll down the windows or we might all asphyxiate, screaming at the top of your lungs with regard to the putrid smell, smelling gas.

Awful. Seared in my memory Awful. And for some reason, it effected The Great Omnipotent One the most... and he would laugh that snickering laugh he gets, when he is doing something evil but he thinks is very very funny. (Kind of like Muttley from Dastardly and Muttley.)

Yet... we always wanted to stop. Blech. Sick twisted kids that we must've been.

So do they still have Stuckeys and if they do, do they still make Fart Logs? I often wonder how the Stuckey people would feel if they knew their pecan logs were known as Fart Logs...

Arrival in a Much Colder Land

It is completely amazing that I can remain in the same state, travel 600 miles, and go from 75 degree weather to 32 degrees. My boys were watching the thermometer drop in the car, yelling, "Hey Mom, is it gonna snow? Huh, Mom, huh? Is it, Mom, is it?"

My husband, my sister and I ran out to Target to get a couple last minute items around lunch time today. Actually, it is tradition in this household for the kids to receive a Christmas ornament on Christmas Eve that they can hang on the tree before they go to bed, and then when they get to be of age to move out of the house and start their own Christmas traditions, they'll have Christmas ornaments to go with them. Well... you know how inevitably you forget something when you travel? For instance, my sister forgot her coat, which I can't imagine since she frickin' lives in ice cold Georgia. My forgotten items... the Christmas ornaments for the kids. I bought them in July, from an American I met who lives in Australia and had set up a booth at a meeting I attended. Yeah, well a lot of good that did me as those Koala Bear Star ornaments are sitting on the top shelf of my closet. That is how we ended up at Target, the big "Oh Sh**, I forgot the frickin' ornaments!" (I actually got the replacements at Hallmark and am very happy. I got them ornaments depicting soldiers from every branch, which is fitting since we are at war.)

OK, so where am I going with this? My spouse decides we need gas, which is cheap as all get out here, btw at $1.69 a gallon, and as we pull up I'm yelling, 'Snow! We have snow flurries!' and my sister and husband are ganging up on me, like they always do (Meh! They read my blog!) and saying that it was rain and not snow flurries.

I quickly grab my cell to call my Mom so she can send my boys out and my husband is saying, "Look, it is not snow. Snow does not go 'tink' 'tink' 'tink' on a windshield. Snow goes like whooo, whooo whooo (he is making breathing noises)." I get my Mom on and I say, "Mom! Take the boys out, there are snow flurries!" and my husband is yelling from the back to the negative and I'm saying to her, "Ignore him! He has sound issues!". I get off the phone... and my sister verifies what I see! I'm so excited! My boys have never seen snow! But then... we realize... it is not snow.... it is... hail. Small bits of hail, hence the tink tink tink. :(

So I had to call her back and tell her not to bundle them up, it was only hail.

We are hoping for snow flurries tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Light Bulb Went on Almost Too Late

Heh. Guess what I did tonight... in my spare time? I had to buy a teacher's gift. I'm an idiot.

Every year for Christmas, I buy gift certificates to my favorite tea shop for my kid's teachers. It's a cool place for women, full of knick knacks and fun girly stuff, eclectic tables all over and wonderful tea, scones, pastries, and lunch should you so desire. It is so much aimed at women, there is a big sign over the cash register that says, "Your husband called, he said you can buy anything you want."

Tomorrow is the last day of school until Christmas break, so I went in and bought all my gift certificates. At 6:00 tonight, I was addressing them... when I got to Son#1's teacher. Damn. He has the most wonderful teacher... the teacher I call "Man Teacher".

I love Man Teacher. He's probably about 50 years old and a heart of gold. He is such a GOOD person that I commented to one of the Mom's during the Nursing Home field trip that I could never be married to someone like Man Teacher. I would be forever hating myself for having such evil thoughts all the time where this man... well... there is just no way he does! You should have seen him with these elderly people in that nursing home! And he's also a High School basketball coach. And he is awesome with kids. And he helps the poor. And on and on and on... he walks the walk and talks the talk of his faith. A very good man.

So here I am staring at this gift certificate to this tea shop realizing I had messed up. So at 7:00 tonight, I drove over to Sports Authority, and bought him a gift I hope he finds suitable, but am attaching the gift receipt so he can return it.

Makes me wonder what he's going to get from all these kids....

He’s Not Destined to be a Historian

That would be Son#1. He wrote an essay and from what I gather, it was supposed to be on someone he regards as a hero. After an explanation of the reality of the person he chose, you’ll find his essay, typed as he wrote it… exactly, except in red you’ll have my commentary on… the truth.

He chose my father in law, Poppy. Poppy is the same age as my grandmothers, there is a generational shift between the two families. Serving in WWII as a gunner on a DE, after he got out, he put himself through college and then went on to become a doctor. The man worked hard, but his wife worked harder as she worked full time, had the kids, and put up with him. And I say that with the utmost kindness. In his prime, my father in law made Tony Soprano look tame… without the connections. Loud, blustery and short tempered, I don’t believe nice would have ever been an adjective that came into play. As best I see it, his life became where he did what he did and everyone around him danced the dance to placate him.

As an old man, he has mellowed considerably, loving his grandchildren… doting, and loving his family… but the damage was done and he has become the proverbial hot potato as between the four kids it is now, ‘No, I don’t want him, you take him’, ‘Not me, I did my turn, you take him’. And so it goes.

Because of his ‘personality’ my Mother in law spent her life kowtowing to him and their relationship fell into a rut where he demanded and she complied. Then… she died. That left him overweight as he’s never taken care of himself, partially physically crippled and horribly emotionally crippled. And that… that is the man my son knows… an old man who loves his grandchildren to the point of fault, who has mellowed, but who does not WANT to take care of himself and expects that everyone will do for him… but he also knows the stories of WWII.

And now for his two paragraph essay, all misspellings are his, this is as written other than my commentary in red:

My gradfathers (at least 4 of them) went to war. My grandfather on my fathers side faught in world war 2. He was a sea captain that sailed an aircraft carrier.

(This is true, Poppy WWII, The Great Omnipotent One Viet Nam, my Grandaddy WWII, and my Poppy Army Air Corps. I don’t know of my husband’s grandfathers… I believe they were still in Italy. But that bit about his being a sea captain? Heh. Conglomeration. MY father, TGOO, is a retired Navy Captain who was a navigator on an aircraft carrier.)

During the war a jet droped a bomb on his ship and blew it up. Many bits of metal went into his hip and arms and even his legs. He was in water with sharks. Some of the men died and were eaten by sharks. He was in the ocean for a week. He became unconconcious and foated to shore people found him and took him into the hospital. Now he is a bit round eats too much is lazy and is afraid of water.

(Close, but no cigar. A kamikaze hit their ship, bouncing off the deck, and landing in the water… where but for the Grace of God, it did NOT explode. The ship never sunk. It took on water, and nearly sunk, but they were able to drag it in and save the vast majority of the crew MOST OF WHOM were in the water waiting for rescue. Men did die, I feel certain, but I don’t know how many and it was few compared to what my son is stating. This metal? No clue where that came from. Poppy is a cripple from arthritis in his hips. He has metal in it… but it’s titanium and is called… get this… ready?... hip replacement. Nothing to do with the war. He did get wounded, so he did incur shrapnel and debris damage, but not like described here.

They were off the coast of Okinawa at the time, and he does mention frequently they were afraid of sharks, but this part where they were eaten, the part that sounds like that scene right out of Jaws with Quint telling that horrible story to Brody and Hooper? That is taken from another true story. Poppy's ship had gone to rescue another ship in a similar location and men had been eaten by sharks. Poppy and his shipmates were very afraid of the same fate, and rightfully so.

And Poppy was not stranded for a week. I think it was 24 hours.

Poppy received a very well deserved Purple Heart for this incident. It's probably why the whole thing with Kerry pissed me off so much.

This unconscious bit? No clue. I promise he did not float ashore, being rescued. I’m at a complete loss as to where that came from… Perhaps a very active imagination? Funny, funny, funny, nevertheless. My husband and I are laughing at that.)

At the end of his essay, bracketing the last sentence about his being round etc, his teacher put ‘And your hero!’ Heh. I need to find her so I can tell her the real, but still very impressive, story. Can you imagine what she told her husband that night at dinner? "Wow, you should hear about this one boy's hero!!"

Monday, December 20, 2004

Do You Know What Your Child is Reading?

Blog sister Ana over at Rivers of Blood posted on having seen the new Lemony Snickets movie. She hasn't procreated yet, so she probably had not heard about the books as much as those of us with kids around 4th grade. Her review is that it was pretty cool although she thougth Jim Carrey got annoying...

Yup, that is what I've been expecting, so I will take my kids. But this post has been rambling in my head and her post reminded me...

I have heard NO LESS than three times from Moms who have taken their kids to see this movie because one of their kids has read the books, "Oh it was awful! It was depressing! I was disturbed!"


If you think the movie was disturbing... what in the heck do you think is going on in the books? PULEASE!!! Every Mom knows what those books are about. For those of you NOT in the know, here's a brief synopsis:

Kids' parents die. Weird Uncle they don't know gets custody. He wants to off them for their inheritance. Through cunning the kids continue to outwit sick uncle.

I think that's it. They are kids' books full of kids triumphing over evil and being smart and inventive. This one Mother said to me, "Did you know the kids' parents die?" Well... Yesssss, I did! Geez. So did Harry Potters.

What is with that? I've been having a big discussion with a blogger I respect greatly with regard to children's reading... I know, odd topic, but I am struggling with what to allow my '4th grader reading on a 9th grade level' to read. He runs through Lemony Snickets in a day. When he WANTS to read Lemony Snickets I know what's in those books. This other stuff he picks out... it makes me nervous. (I have a post about this topic alone rattling around in my head.)

So folks, if you're surprised by what you see on the big screen knowing your kids are reading those books, perhaps you should pick one up and give it a read. They're quick reads. They're written for 4th graders.

Wait! I Meant I Wanted SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE for Christmas...

Boy oh Boy. If you have not read about the funniest daggum Christmas surprise, you must do it... It has suspense, naive women, guns, police, airliners... Leave it to the Very Funny and Lovely SarahK to have a TRUE story that tops all stories! That's what happens when you date FrankJ. Not like HER life was dull anyway, SarahK is like me... we find amusement wherever we go... but Geez, add FrankJ and you're in for a ride... Funny stuff. Really Good Funny Stuff.

All I Want for Christmas Is...

A non-digital old fashioned 35 mm camera that I can point and shoot... and I want to be able to zoom in. Period.

I realized after our anniversary that I was not going to get away with getting nothing, that we were going to exchange gifts whether the budget allowed for it or not this year. (We have a roof and screened in porch to repair and numerous trees to replace and trust me... landscaping ain't cheap.) So this is what I want. And I told him. In plain English. The man can't read my mind, so if I don't tell him, I have nobody to blame but me.

But I've been here... A year and a half ago he asked me, "What do you want for Mother's Day?" and I replied, "Let's do our traditional 'get sub sandwiches or chicken' and go to the beach and have an early evening picnic with the boys. I don't want anything. The cards they make me are enough." Push he did, saying over and over he wanted to get me something so finally I said, "My camera is 10 years old. I've dropped it and it's got issues, so I'd love another 35 mm point and shoot."

Easy enough, yes? I've told him repeatedly how I never wanted to own a digital camera. And I explained why. I LIKE FILM. I LIKE PICTURES. I LIKE taking film in hand and stopping by my favorite Mom and Pop camera shop and putting it in Jeff's hands and saying, "4x5, doubles please, I'll come by in 2 days." I love picking up the package and going through the pictures, laughing and remembering. I love labeling the picture envelopes and putting them in their special box for the year. I have a box for every year and in chronological order, I store every picture taken. I love going through the boxes looking for something and stumbling across pictures of babies in a bathtub or children dressed in raincoats in hopes they'll be protected from a wasp that flew in the house. I love the smell of photographs and I love holding a year's worth in my hands.

In essence, I am not a digital girl in a digital world. I am an old fashioned girl trying to keep things status quo, and until now, I have been losing this battle.

Mother's Day arrived and there was a small rectangular box. I was so excited! I couldn't wait! I open it up... and to my utter disappointment, it was a digital camera. I didn't bother to fake it. I fake nothing. I looked at him and said, "It's digital. I wanted a regular 35 mm point and shoot, 'hand the film to Jeff', camera." He said, "I know. But THIS is better. Trust me."

Hmm. Better to whom? My husband does a lot of photography in his work. He has only digital cameras... top of the line for what he needs and he loves them. For some reason because HE loves them, they must be great.

For 6 months I did not touch that camera. I refused. Yeah, I was a bitch. Bite me. I made a point of taking out my chipped up and dropped 35 mm point and shoot 'hand the film to Jeff' camera, everywhere we went. He took my new camera.

Finally over time, being tired of feeling like the old person who cannot adjust to modern times and the bad guy (trust me, he was getting his digs in), I said I would try it. So for over a year, I've been carrying that camera around using it, hardly touching my old 35 mm point and shoot, 'hand the film to Jeff', camera.

I was getting, "This is so much easier. See, you just download it into the computer, and if you want it you print it. You can burn it to a disk and still hand it to Jeff. He'll still make you pictures."

Now am I the only one here seeing EXTRA work? Because NOW, in my spare FRICKIN' time, I have to sort through the pictures, put them in folders, burn them onto a disk, then hand them to Jeff and he can make pictures for me. Or I can use my husband's new color photo printer that he is so in love with and wait HOURS for it to print all my pictures and let me tell you, that ain't no bargain either. Printer cartridges are expensive and so is the damn paper.

Guess what I did before the Hurricanes? Went through and backed up all my photos because if I didn't and I lost my computer, I would have lost a years worth of family pictures.


So for one year I have done this. 30 days makes a habit, right? I figure give it 12 months. Birthday parties, holidays, field trips, and class plays, I have carried this thing with me and let me tell you my final answer: I F'in hate it. HATE IT. The ONLY redeeming quality it has for it is blogging... I can snap a picture and post it. And how often do I do that? Not often.

I want a new 35 mm point and shoot, 'hand the film to Jeff' camera, that I can just blindly drop off film, pick it up, laugh in my car at the pictures and sort through nothing. Bah.

Let's see what happens. I'm a working woman now. If I don't get one, I'm buying it for myself.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sir, He Was Big And Brown... And His Face was as Big as a Dinner Plate...

Yeah. Wondering where I'm coming from with that title? Well, that's what I would've had to put on the Police Report, as if there would be such a thing, if... well... see... I was almost s-exually assaulted by a dog last night. That's right. A 140 pound horse dog. And I don't mean 140 pounds of fluffy dog... I mean 140 pounds of muscular big dog with a face the size of a damn dinner plate.

I'm thanking my lucky stars for my speed, agility and commanding Alpha Female voice. 'Twas what ultimately saved me... oh, and the fact he really is a good dog, he is trained well and listens.

So there I was at a friend's house, playing with her kids. Now from the minute I walked into the house, Horse Dog was sniffing at me. I was getting goosed all over the place. Geez. I was happy I wasn't wearing a skirt. But he's a dog, this is what dog's do and I just would tell him 'No' and push his face away.

I needed to distract the eldest, who is 2, and I yell over to him, "Come on over here and play with me! We'll wrestle!" Kids love that stuff. I lay down on the floor and unbeknownst to me, Horse Dog is watching this whole thing. Now he sees me laying on my back, flailing my arms and acting like an idiot... the boy is laughing by the way... and Horse Dog leaps up and decides I am vulnerable. Out of the corner of my eye I see Horse Dog making his way at me and from looking at his body, I could tell, he had just one thing on his mind... and wrestling was NOT one of them. He wanted to have his way with me. Period.

I leaped up off the floor onto the couch where... he followed me! I now had paws on my shoulders, I'm pushing on his chest and... well, at some point I yelled that he needed to go lay down... and he did. Dejectedly, he got off me and slowly walked to where his favorite blanket is and he sucked and pawed at the blanket is some sort of frustration for about an hour.

He looked like a dejected teenager. "I can't believe she said NO!"

And I can't help but think, what in the heck would have happened if I had not been so quick to get off that floor? There is no way in hell I could have pushed that big dog off me if he had caught me prone. Yeah, I strength train, but I'm stuck in this stupid plateau of not being able to bench press more than 85 lbs tops. And...I just never pictured myself having to use my self defense techniques on a dog.

Did I say this dog is sweet? I LOVE this dog. Really. You can't ask for a better dog and I'm just damn happy he's so well trained.

Wow. So I'll go into work tomorrow and they'll say, "What did you do this weekend" and I'll say, "Oh the usual... decorated for Christmas, finished my Christmas shopping... and I was almost s-exually assaulted by a 140 lb horse dog... you know, the usual!"

DON'T Pass Me the Marshmallows... Blech!

I post so much junk, I never know if I’m retelling a story. I’m getting old. Pretty soon it will be, “Bou, we heard that one already. Move on.”

Blog Bro T1G’s post on mushrooms reminded me of this. I was emotionally damaged by a marshmallow. Yes it is true. And because of the incident, I now can not eat anything with certain textures… I cannot eat marshmallows, cool whip, whipping cream, marshmallow fluff or whatever that stuff is… some custards I can take, pudding seems to be OK. In college I used to joke that if it was white and gooey, Needless to say, that usually got a few laughs.

I remember the incident as if it were yesterday. I was just a little over two. My bro was a baby and my Mom had emergency gall bladder surgery. Her Mom, Nana, came to stay with us. She set me on the counter to feed me ice cream. I thought it was chocolate and being the chocolate freak I am, and evidently was then, I was very happy. But then it happened. She fed me a spoonful of this wonderful chocolate ice cream… and someone had put something squishy in it and I was freaked. Squishy things do not belong in ice cream. I remember it all… the sucking the ice cream off the spoon, the chocolate ice cream melting ever so slowly over my tongue and then… there was ‘something’ left. And I bit it. And it squished. And I got skeeved out. Permanently.

The ice cream was Rocky Road. To this day, I walk into any ice cream store and see Rocky Road listed and my skin starts to crawl. Who in their right mind puts white squishy stuff in good chocolate ice cream? Who?!

No, I do not do toasty marshmallows over a campfire. I will eat the brown skin off of them, leaving the white goop for someone else. I cannot do S’mores… well I can, if I can have just graham crackers and melted chocolate.

I do not get whipped cream on ice cream sundaes. My order goes like this, “I’ll have a hot fudge sundae, vanilla ice cream, no whipped cream, no cherry” and sometimes the reply from the wait staff is something like this, “Oh, so you just want vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce?” Yeah. There you go.

Harvey & Co. joke about the Redi-Whip at the comment parties and I will go along, but you will notice, I always talk about chocolate sauce. You wouldn’t catch me dead with a can of Redi-whip, not unless there was some reason to induce vomiting. Blech.

No Whipped Cream on Pumpkin Pie. And I don’t eat those sandwiches called Fluff’n nutter or whatever they are where people put peanut butter on bread and then ruin a perfectly good sandwich with marshmallow fluff.

Nope. Nope. Nope. I’m damaged, folks. It’s been almost 37 years. I never told Nana. I was always afraid that it would hurt her feelings to know she and Rocky Road made me a White-Squishy-Thing phobe.

I Took a Left at the Fork in the Road and Ended Up with 3 Kids...

It’s the little things… I went to a very small university, enrollment was around 8000 when VW and I attended. I loved it and had a great experience. I loved my professors, the facilities, the people I met. I made some lifetime friendships there, people I think I could still no kidding rely on if the proverbial doo doo hit the fan. Don’t think for a minute I would go back to that time in my life… no siree. I worked my ass off studying, but the pay off was well worth it and I did have fun while doing so. I give money to my alma mater and if I won the lottery, they would benefit. I look back on the path my life has taken, at all the forks in the road and the directions I chose and I think, no… I KNOW, that my transferring to that small university over staying where I originally started, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was a pivotal point in my life and it made me a more confident person…and I feel certain I received a better education.

That one little thing… look what it has done… I transferred to this small school, where I met up with a guy I knew in High School. (He hung with the same group of guys I hung with and they used to roll my house, as in toilet paper.) Anyway, he made sure I met everyone he knew, which means I met his girlfriend, who was VW (they got married, but it did not work out). I hung out with them and their friends for the last 18 months of my education, attended their wedding, and when he got a job down here in S. Fl, he was adamant I get my application in. Adament is not a strong enough word. He mailed me an application with a note telling me I would apply. I did. I got a job. I moved down and eventually met my husband. They kind of screened my husband… looking back on it. Actually, VW and her ex really took care of me when I moved down here knowing nobody.

It’s just kind of odd how something like transferring schools in the long run has such a major life altering impact upon one’s life… I wouldn't have ended up down here, meeting my spouse, having these great kids...

That said, I received a note in the mail yesterday saying something like, “We are currently updating our files to publish our directory… blah blah blah… please call so we can confirm your biographical information.”

Well. Damn. Could this have happened at a better time?! I am a WORKING WOMAN now! Now I can put Mom as well as employee. Life is good. Very good.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The RatMobile: Conclusion...

This is the conclusion of the Rat story! Finally!!! The previous installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October, 2003

I was VICTORIOUS last night. I woke up this morning, checked the trap outside the car, saw his dead body lying underneath it (the trap was flipped over), closed the door, and called my husband for carcass removal. I have no problems trapping them, but body disposal is more than I can stomach. Isn’t that a fringe benefit of being married, bug killing and rat disposal?

I promptly called Toyota to forewarn Steve that I would be showing up with a chewed on mini-van. The first thing he said was, “Are you sure you got him?” and I replied, “Do you want me to bring the body to show you?” He declined, thankfully. The full extent of the damage was not fully understood until 11:00. The mechanic, Jay, had me come out to the car and realized his original estimation of 3 hours was wrong when I told him to remove the panels covering the wiring harnesses on the passenger side too. There was silence. The rat had chewed through 2 or 3 wiring harnesses; the connectors were still hanging on by one wire in most cases. On up the wiring harnesses, he had discriminately chewed only the yellow wires. Every yellow wire was shredded. To get a better look, Jay removed the insulation and rat poop and chewed wired fell out all over. I looked without emotion although I thought I might vomit. I didn’t want to be labeled, “A Girl”. He looked emotionless and kept working like this happened all the time. When we spoke later in the day after I had gotten to know him, he told me he was quietly freaking out, but didn’t want to alarm me. We both agreed that a full can of Lysol was in order before he touched anything again. What more damage could he do??? Everyone agreed they had never seen anything like this. The service folk at Toyota have taken to naming the rat, “Mighty Mouse”. I told them I preferred my friend’s nickname, “Rat Bastard”. The dash must be removed because the major wiring harness that runs between passenger and driver’s side has been irreparably damaged. There is no way to fix this, there would be too much splicing involved. Everything must be fully replaced. I have a car rental now and we expect it to take a full week for the repair. Jay thinks tomorrow when he removes the dashboard he’ll be able to see better if there is more extensive damage. He said it’ll take 2-3 hours to assess the damage, cross reference the parts, and put the order in. They have never ordered wiring harnesses for my vehicle. They’re built to last the lifetime of the car.

Toyota is keeping my car also because this has been deemed a safety hazard for me to drive it. I was the most concerned about wire harness chafing and a potential fire hazard. They were the most concerned about not knowing what all the wires were connected to and one good bump, things could quit working that are working now. For sure we know that nothing on the passenger side works. We can’t lock the doors or roll down the windows. The ‘open door indicator’ light is still on, but I grew concerned that a short in the air bag could cause my air bag to go off and we don’t even want to go into how that is my biggest fear being a 5’2” woman, not much bigger than the average 12 year old. If a car wreck doesn’t kill me, the air bag will.

So that’s where I am. The rat is dead. My car is a mess. I’m driving a rental.

On the positive side, every man I have worked with through this has been great to me. The folks at Enterprise are giving me insurance rates on the van rental even though I don’t have rental coverage on my insurance. The mechanic and service guys at my Toyota dealership are going above and beyond. When I had to pick up my kids from school, the manager of the dealership let me borrow his van to get the kids and run errands, with the only stipulation I be back before he left at 5:00. There are some truly great people out there and incidents like this keep my faith and hope that all is not lost on this planet.

That said, here are a few things that have happened via e-mail. First, this is not uncommon. I have heard from many people now (including Toyota personnel) who have related stories of mice getting caught in car A/Cs and dying in there, leaving an awful stench. No thank you. I have heard of another person who had a rat and had their seats eaten into. For some reason, this brings comfort to me. Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

Second, a friend of mine jokingly said she would use her Glock to take out the rat, setting an example for others and to take out his whole rodent gang too. So do you think she may be half Italian? ;-) There will be no target practice with rodents in my garage. My POA would have a fit and of course I would miss and the bullet would ricochet and kill me instead, insuring the Rodent’s win in this life or death contest. I preferred his death over mine.

Third should any of you meet my sister, Morrigan, please let her know that rats truly are more disgusting than squirrels. She informed me the other day that “The only difference between a rat and a squirrel is a squirrel has a better outfit.” Nope. It isn’t an outfit thing, I promise. Rats are just creepy gross. I could watch a squirrel battling my Dad’s birdfeeder for hours. I couldn’t watch a rat do anything… for even a nanosecond. Ick. I think I may be scarred for life.

And in case any of you had any doubt as to whether I was obsessing over this (I assure you, I was!), here is a key indicator… this had seeped into my subconscious. I awoke Tuesday night to a nightmare. I dreamt I was sitting on the hood of my car in my garage, waiting for nightfall so I could see the rat come out and kill him once and for all. It got dark and suddenly all these rodents crawled out from under my car and the garage shelves, mice, a rat, hamsters and gerbils. All I kept thinking was, “Oh My God! I don’t have enough traps!” Yeah, I would say I was a little obsessed.

Now he’s dead. Now it’s over except for paying the bills. Hopefully my insurance company will pick up a good portion of that tab. –D.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Lovely SarahK and the Carnival of the Recipes!

The lovely AND funny SarahK, girl Blogger extraordinaire, is the Hostess with the Mostess this week for the Carnival of the Recipes!!

You'll love her post. She starts with rhyme and then breaks up each group with little rhymey jigs and they are hysterical. So go on over and take a look... You WILL NOT regret it!

Apologies, Excuses and Requests...

I have been negligent, but it is out of stress. I haven’t been going through my blogroll like I like to, I’ve not been answering e-mail, I didn’t blog last night and blogged something pre-written and ready the night before… I’m just a little stressed.

Too much on my plate, the holidays are throwing me over the edge, and I’m coping… riding that fine line between insanity and quiet nervousness. This was the week of my son’s concert, which meant I had to perform as well as be the nervous Mom while he performed and of course the obligatory night rehearsal, this is the week I had to go ask the priest of a whole lotta money for teacher bonuses since our school was destroyed due to two hurricanes, this was the week I had to finish Christmas shopping (and I love shopping for my family, I was just trying to fit it all in), this is the week that I needed to work more at my new job as we have a deadline of 31 December, this is the week of my husband’s company Christmas party that I did NOT want to attend, but had to, this was the week of a school board meeting which meant lots of reports and explanations as to where we are and where we’re going financially… and the news is not so good, and this was the week I had to get packages mailed out…

And it may all sound trivial, but trying to keep it organized while still running my family, cooking meals, doing laundry, playing chauffeur, making sure everyone feels loved, grocery shopping done, just the usual Mom stuff… it has been a bit hard on me lately.

A few people have said to me, “You’re the only person I know that has a full plate and then gets a job… right before Christmas.”

So my apologies for the lack of blogging, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, my apologies if I have not been to your site lately, for it is not that I don’t want to be there, but I am having problems staying focused…

That said, all my readers who are bloggers, if you have me blogrolled and do not see your blog on MY blogroll, … I may not know it! Please please let me know. I WANT to reciprocate. E-mail me at boudicah at hotmail dot com. I will be updating my blogroll this weekend and I WANT to read you and I WANT to know about you!

And to all my readers, thank you for your patience!

Sweet Perspective

Background: My eldest son’s class went to a Nursing Home this week and I chaperoned… in my spare time. They do this once a quarter and he hates it. These are 4th graders, trying desperately to connect with some seriously drugged up elderly people. These aren’t people like their grandparents, these folks are in some bad seriously bad shape. It’s difficult to watch the kids try to communicate, trying to make sense of it, really seriously trying, but feeling very uncomfortable.

For instance, my son picked this one woman and walked over to hand her the card he made. She was barely cognizant of his presence and then her face fell over and a cup of drool poured out of her mouth. He jumped back and stared at me with a look of total horror and revulsion as I stood across the room watching… feeling awful for him (she was completely doped up and unaware of what had occurred), but also in some way kind of laughing inside at the whole situation because of his expression and I'm nervous for him and… I am a bad mom and I know I’m going to hell… so no nasty comments please.

Last night I had to go to my husband’s company Christmas party and I didn’t really want to go because I’m really stressed, I don’t feel like I fit in, and because I just wanted to crawl in bed and go to sleep instead. We’re in the car after school and the kids are trying really really hard to see if they can make me go nutso enough that my head may twist around at a full 180 spewing bile and bugs at them. I’m losing it, really losing it and finally I said, “Guys! You are so pushing your luck. I have a lot to do and don’t mess with me anymore! I have party I have to go to tonight that I’m not thrilled about… and on and on and on…” Of course this is all at shouting level… loud enough you could probably hear me over jet noise.

I finish my psychotic rambling and my oldest quietly says, “Whose party is this that you don’t want to go to?”

I replied, “It’s just a party that I don’t feel comfortable going to…”

And through the rear view mirror I see him look at me intently and as serious and heartfelt as a 9 year old can get he says, “Mom. Is your going to that party the same way I feel about going to the Nursing Home?”

I love my boy.

Busting Out of a Stereotype...

I was at a Home and School Board meeting on Wednesday night. I was having to give my Treasurer’s report, which is always depressing. At least they don’t believe in shooting the messenger.

Anyway, the middle school kids have dances once a quarter. It’s funny to hear the parents talk about what their kids say. I must admit, I am kind of dreading this school dance thing. It was very funny to watch the 8th grade teacher and the Principal imitate them dancing.

So one of the board members asks the principal if it is OK if instead of hiring a DJ, if the 8th graders could do it, alternating. It was an emphatic NO. I said nothing. I am just watching and listening as teachers chime in. Good stuff.

But the best, by far the best and most eye opening was when the explanation was given that they could not allow 8th graders to DJ due to music choice. With that, a Kindergarten Teacher who I think the world of, who is old enough to have been MY kindergarten teacher, says, “I can hear it now… they’ll pick songs like ‘make a little love, give a little love, get down tonight’…” and she starts doing this disco move. I don’t know what to say folks. It was the funniest thing to see… but that wasn’t it…

Our Principal, who is old enough to have been MY Principal says, “No, they’ll play that, “I’m too sexy for my body” song…” and he STARTS SINGING it and IMITATING it. Now my mouth is agape and my eyes are wide wide wide and I am laughing…

I’m sorry, but kindergarten teachers and principals aren’t supposed to joke about s-ex. They.just.aren’t. ‘Cause, you know, they aren’t, really, like, they aren’t really HUMAN! They are KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS!!! Geez!!!

Part V of V (excluding the conclusion): It's NOT a Mouse!!!

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October 2003
Holy Sweet Mother Of Jesus! It is not a mouse! It’s a rat and you are officially getting a play by play. OH MY GOD. I am having a damn heart attack as I write this. OH MY GOD.

I was at my car putting in my freshly cooked bacon. I was at the passenger side door. I placed the bacon in and was gingerly closing the door. I don’t want to do anything that might trip those traps. I want it loaded for him. Out of the corner of my eye I see something quietly moving along the kid’s bikes. The garage light is on, mind you. It is not afraid. I look over and it is a damn rat and he is big. I swear on my three boys, that here I was between the truck and the van, 12 inches between each, and the next thing I know, I have crawled up between the two of them up to the windows. I have a foot on each side of the car and I have literally walked up both sides of the cars, not breathing, staring at the biggest damn rat I’ve ever seen other than the one my Dad bludgeoned to death with a flashlight when we lived in Taiwan. (That is a whole other story.) I am my father’s daughter, but I am not bludgeoning this thing to death. I can’t bring myself to get that close. I might vomit.

My husband isn’t home. I refuse to go back in the garage. When he gets back, we’ll set multiple traps. I am so not happy. I only have two rat traps and three little bitty mouse traps. That bag boy/man at Publix was right. Oh this is bad bad bad, very very bad. -D

Conclusion tomorrow!!! Who won? Mom or Mouse? Stay tuned! Same rat time, same rat channel...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Part IV of V: Mouse 3, Mom 0

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October 2003
He won. The Patron Saint of Mice must be looking after this little bugger. He got some bait, he chose my husband’s cheese over my peanut butter and sunflower seed, tripped the trap, but got away. We’re at war now. My husband thinks the trap tripped itself and the mouse is gone. I know he’s in denial. Been there, done that. I know better. The mouse is there, waiting for nightfall so he can continue to chew through the foam in my seats and gnaw at my wiring. I realize at this point that the mouse has a cheering section now. Yes, I have received e-mail that some of you are now cheering for the mouse. You must know, he is going to die. I am taking extra steps….

Today I called Toyota. Luckily my favorite service guy, who has become a kindred spirit of mine over the years, was available. He has helped me through all sorts of jams from my calling him from my garage so he could listen via phone to some funky start up noise my car was making to the time my kids used my CD player as a juke box and filled it with 16 cents in change. I get hold of Steve and tell him what my problem is and ask him if there is anything he can do. He is speechless and says, “D., there is nothing I can do until you get it out of there. I would fog it out.” I tell him that is not going to happen; I don’t want to take any chances that the daggum thing might die in there. So he starts openly consulting the mechanics and service attendants around him. I can hear them all through the phone. Laughing. Someone yells, she needs a rat trap and he yells back, “She did that.” Another guys says, “Yes… but did she use bacon?” Steve gets back on and says, “Use bacon. You know how we love bacon, well they do too.” Since when did we start to relate to rodents??? I thank him and tell him I’ll see him in a couple days as I know that the ne’er do well has eaten not only through the wires of my “Open Door Indicator” light, but also he’s munched on some stereo and speaker wires. No telling what else he’s eaten.

I decide I need MORE mouse traps as well as bacon. I’m in line at Publix and I see my favorite cashier, Barbara. We start to talk and I tell her about the mouse. It just so happens that the bag boy/man knows something about trapping and tells me I need to take a fire to the bacon in my car so it smells like bacon throughout the car, before I wrap it tightly to the trap. This ‘wrapping tightly to the trap’ thing seems to be a common sentiment. One of the mechs at Toyota said the same thing. I don’t want him feasting yet again and not getting trapped. I guess I want him to wrestle with it to his untimely death. Tonight I will cook a little bacon in my car. Yes, I am resorting to that. I am ignoring the bag boy/man’s thought that I have a rat instead of a mouse. Heavily accented, I have no clue where he’s from, I get from him, “Ohhh myyy, ‘e eez eateeng your seats? You ‘ave a rat, not a mouse. Deese eez a rat problem.” Great.

Meanwhile I have told my boys. You are thinking, “Why?!” Well I had to tell my carpool neighbor. I can’t haul all the kids in the truck. (I am no longer driving my van.) I can’t carpool until I kill this thing. I told everyone at my Auction dinner table on Saturday night because, let’s face it, it makes a damn funny story and there was great laughter. I’ve sent out an e-mail. My kids are going to hear about it eventually. So I told them. Son#3 is a pain in my neck and must take after my sister, Morrigan. He now walks into the garage and sniffs the air and says things like, “Hmm, I smell mouse poop. That must be coming from the car.” Trust me, there is no smell of mouse poop in my garage.

And for those of you who knew I was having lingering feelings of ‘ick’ about killing a mammal or rather, openly plotting to kill a mammal, those feelings are gone. He dies. Tonight. Let’s just hope he is not a ‘she’ and isn’t having babies in my dash. –D.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Trying NOT to Embrace my Dominant Side

Honestly, I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. Beat, I tell ya, beat to hell. This job/Christmas/parenting gig thing I got goin' is gonna see me to my grave. But it's not enough to keep me from posting... almost, but not quite.

OK, so I think my new saying is, "... Next time, I think I'd rather drink a cup of Drain-O, less painful, I'm sure." I heard myself say it today to my co-worker K. He's the cutie who was one of my best buddies when I worked for pay and he got me this job.

K. is ahead of the monetary end of our project. He's got the manhours down, he's got the goals laid out, he knows the money situation. We have some big serious deadlines coming up and being the task oriented and punctual person I am, I'm working like hell to earn my keep. But today... today I got stuck on a task that I could not get far enough back into the recesses of my memory to figure out the answer.

After about 30 minutes of research and racking my brain, one which has significanly fewer functioning brain cells since I had children, mind you, I realize, I am going to have to ask for help and given my buddy K. is fighting a bad cold, I decide to ask... THE ONLY Alpha male I work with... he was the highest probability of really knowing the answer.

What was I thinking?

Did I post that I work for NOT ONE Alpha male? Not one. It kinda makes me nuts, but not in a bad way. Here I am this dominant female and I spend my 10-15 hours trying to reel it in... I DON'T WANT to be the Alpha Female in this group. I'm over that crap. I'm tired of running the show. I just want to go with the flow. But damn, instinct is hard, folks, it hard to fight. And I love working with these guys, I really do, but not one of the guys running it all is the aggressive sort.

So with paper and pen, I go see Alpha Male (btw, the only AM of about 20 guys I work with, go figure). My issue with AM is that he is very hard headed and set in his ways. If he's going to show you something, he must start at the beginning and work through the entire process and all the details. Every time. It doesn't matter if you're stuck on step 5 and there are only 6 steps, he MUST start at step 1. Period. He can't start in the middle.

I dread it. He's a great guy, but man, it frickin' makes me nuts. Something that really should have only taken 10 minutes, took... TWO HOURS and I DON'T HAVE TWO HOURS! Geezoweez, I only work 10! I needed my answer and no matter how much I tried to redirect, no matter how many times I said, "Ger, I really really only need this...", Boom, we'd be off somewhere else. It was frickin' exhausting.

Next thing I know, we're pulling blueprints on a frickin' pin. I told him I'd go pick up the prints knowing I could stop by K.'s cube. Prints in hand I walked over and just stood there, blank faced, staring him down. He started to laugh and reading my mind he said, "I am so sorry. If I weren't so sick I'd go over it with you."

And I replied, "Next time, I'd rather drink a cup of Drain-O... less painful... I'm sure."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, in case you're wondering, I learned/remembered a lot with him. I'm just sitting here reflecting upon my day wondering if the pay off of having to sit through 2 hours was worth it. Jury's still out. It would have been a helluva lot easier if he smelled really really nice. Luckily, he looks kinda good in his jeans. Heh.

Part III of V... Mouse 2, Mom 0

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friend in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. The 2nd installment is HERE, and the first is HERE. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and I've now set a big ass rat trap with peanut butter and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

Last night he got yet another free meal. My husband checked the trap this morning and it was not only NOT tripped, but he had gotten one of the sunflower seeds. I fed him again, like a pet. I could not figure out for the life of me what I was doing wrong. I have to lay blame on two things: the directions for the trap and my memory. I lay blame for the directions because they DO NOT show you how a trap gets set. There are no after pictures. They don’t show you what it looks like baited. If that were not bad enough, they don’t give directions either. This is a sample: Pull lever back. Bait trap. Set trap. That’s it. Hulloooo???? So I did all this, but I put the bait on the board. I worked at in the high tech world of aerospace too long. For some reason I thought this trap must be pressure sensitive or something. I figured the mouse just had to lay a foot on it and BLAMMO, he was dead. Nope. There is this little trigger mechanism that you have to put the food on and trust me, it doesn’t look like anything you put foot on. It’s this bent up piece of metal with a hole in it. Don’t ask what the hole is for. I have no clue. The first time I set it out, I thought that’s where the rod went when you set it. Wrong. Since it isn’t a high tech pressure sensitive piece of equipment, my new pet got to eat to his heart’s content and not worry about being decapitated or whatever it does. I guess it isn’t a guillotine, but I figure it’s got to be ugly. Anyway, I blame my memory because the only thing I can remember from setting rat traps is what I saw from Tom and Jerry cartoons 25 years ago. Maybe that’s why Jerry always got away. I could swear they placed the bait on the wood part of the trap… but I think perhaps my memory has failed me and I am wrong. Jerry was just smart.

Today I have two traps. Tonight is the night. Tonight he dies. On the driver’s side I have his choice of a trap with cheese and on the passenger side he gets last night’s entrée of peanut butter and sunflower seed. It is all set properly now and the bait is in the proper place. I don’t see how he can get out of it this time. I think it’s a done deal. I feel so certain, that I got a sitter for tomorrow so I can drive my van to Toyota so they can fix the wiring mess. I’m kind of afraid to see what all has been chewed on. I am pretty sure my stereo and speaker wires got munched.

On a lighter note, my dear friend E. is married to a retired Army General. He rode with Patton while liberating a concentration camp in Germany during WWII and was a General during ‘Nam. The man has seen everything. So she sends me an e-mail informing me that next time I need anything trapped to call her and she’ll send him over. It seems he’s quite the expert on trapping things. I don’t know. Calling in the General, although tempting, makes me feel like I lost. I just can’t literally call in the troops for a mouse. I’m going to win this, without the cavalry. –D.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The True Difference?

I’ve been mulling this post over and over for awhile. For some reason tonight is the night.

I have been keeping up with the ‘saga’ of Viktor Yushchenko. Horrified is probably the first emotion that comes to mind when I saw pictures and heard the story. A morbid fascination perhaps is what it has become, I read about it and have been doing internet research on Dioxin. It is an incredibly awful thing committed by those who will stop at nothing to win... those whose souls are fueled not by the need to do the right of the people, but the selfish need to win at all costs for their own egos… souls fueled by evil.

So I ask myself, “How many Americans are watching this story unfold and thinking to themselves, ‘Oh! Thank God I live in America! This would NEVER happen here!!!’?"

Well folks, if you are one, please step down off that Ivory Tower for that fall is a great and nasty one.

In 1988, my best girlfriend from college married a Marine Corps pilot, a wonderful man. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and I knew, that if I needed anything, he would go to great lengths to help me for when he married her, he got me as a package deal.

In 1991, January to be exact, he was shot down while on a bombing run in Iraq, during the first Gulf War. He was held as a POW, captured, tortured, beaten, starved. I remember when the Iraqis released the videos of the captives (his video was not one, we were led to believe he was dead until the Red Cross received him after the war), and I saw the faces of our soldiers and pilots, faces of beaten men, I remember thinking, “Those savages! We are Americans! We would NEVER do something like that to our prisoners! NEVER! What evil people reside over there.” Yes, I truly thought we were better than they. We are a civilized people of course and evidently, they.were.not.

But then the scandal at Abu Gharib occurred and I realized, there is evil everywhere, just because we are American, does not mean we are exempt. The beautiful thing about living in America is that those who committed the atrocities WILL be punished. Those who committed the crimes against my friend, will never be. I do take solace in the fact that those fueled by evil at Abu Gharib will get what is coming to them.

That said, do not think what happened to Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukraine could not happen here. I no longer believe that. Not for a minute. Bad people are everywhere. America is not exempt. It is how we deal with the aftermath, which is what hopefully makes us a cut above.

I look forward to see how this election plays out for Mr. Yushchenko; I do hope the people finally get what they want. And I fervently hope that the evil people who did this to him, will be found and punished. I pray for him and his family most though as the potential long reaching effects of Dioxin is terrifying. It did not kill him at the time of poisoning, but it very well may in the end.

Amazon Kate and SoA

Amazon Kate has today's Spirit of America Post. Take a look.

Here's an excerpt:

When I received an invitation from the Imperial Armorer at Castle Argghhh! to enlist in the Fighting Fusileers and participate in the Spirit of America Bloggers Challenge it was a no-brainer decision to make. Across the banner of The Last Amazon is a quote by Victor Davis Hanson: "It is never wrong to be on the side of freedom - never." I believe in that with all my heart and soul but belief is only the first requisite of that creed. More important than the belief itself is the manifestation of that belief into action; for what is faith without acts? In that spirit I ask that you help with a donation in whatever amount you can spare for those who continue to work unceasingly to improve lives that are less fortunate than ours.

Draino Sounds like a Better Option

I had to go shopping today. No, not Christmas shopping. Yes, I'm a stressed about Christmas shopping because I usually do it in September, but we all frickin' know what I was doing in September, so I'm way behind for Christmas in general. The holidays are supposed to be fun, right? Yeah, I keep telling myself that as I continually take deep breaths to quell the anxiety rising from the depths of my stomach, threatening to close off my throat. It was a damn bad time for me to find a frickin' job...

But, I digress. I am realizing that I do not have clothes for work. It is thankfully casual. I wore a suit or dress and hose and heels every day when I worked at my old job. This job, I show up in jeans and a black blazer with low black heels and the guys are saying, "Wow! You look great!" Heh. That's what happens when there are no other women to be compared to. Anything feminine looks good regardless of what she's wearing.

Anyway, I cannot get away with jeans and t-shirts like I wear at home. I'm a casual person in dress, but not THAT casual. So today while I was at the mall I went clothes shopping for me. Let me state right now... I HATE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES. HATE IT. Got it? H-A-T-E I-T.

Shopping for clothes for me means I am going to take clothes into the dressing room that were probably my size before, but now that I've gained 5-10 since the hurricanes, are NO LONGER my size. That makes them tight. That fills me full of self loathing. Even if I'm not carrying an extra 5-10, nothing every really fits that great. I'm short, so unless it has the stupid 'P' for Petite, I look like a little girl trying to wear big girl clothes.

But that's not why I really hate clothes shopping for me. I really hate it because it forces me to stand in a very small brightly lit room with mirrors on all three sides of me... and that in turn forces me to look at my 'almost 40 years, bore three children, everything is starting to sag body' from all three angles. Angles I have no business seeing. I really did not NEED to see what my ass really looks like. I could have REALLY forgone what seeing two profiles of my abs. Yeah. No thanks. I had a pretty good idea how bad it was... but seeing it in that bright light with plate glass sized mirrors is truly more than I can stand.

Next time, I think drinking a big cupful of Drain-O, burning my throat and esophagus, and dying a painful horrible death may be a better option than what I did to myself today. No thanks. I declare my shopping days officially over.

Part II of V: Mouse 1, Mom 0

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friend in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. The first installment is HERE. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and I've now set a big ass rat trap with peanut butter and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. -Bou

October, 2003

Right now the mouse is winning. I am surmising that he is too small to trip the big rat trap I bought, so now I will buy a mouse trap and set it tonight. I thought he hadn’t even touched the peanut butter since the trap looked untouched, but when I got in the car this afternoon, once again, there was insulation at my feet and in the passenger side, there was torn up foam, which tells me he is trying to eat inside my seats!

I called my sister and said I had to change strategies, that I needed to buy mouse traps and that I was thinking of putting sunflower seeds on top of the peanut butter in case he remembers the peanut butter from the night before and wants something different. She is such a smart ass. She said, “Oh yeah, -D., because that’s how mice think. They say things to themselves like, ‘Oh, I remember that from last night. No thank you, I’ll pass on that. Oh, but wait! There are sunflower seeds now! I must try it!’”

I’m putting less peanut butter on the mouse traps. The thought of having to clean up a ¼ Cup of peanut butter from the carpets of my car is unbearable. My Dad said I over did it and that really only a tsp or so would do the trick. I’m not kidding. I put ¼ cup on that stupid rat trap. And he didn’t even trip it!

Needless to say, when I was driving the kid’s the birthday party this afternoon, looking at the evidence that this mouse is still in my car, I was driving stiff again. I must look like a lunatic on the road. My husband gets back tonight, luckily. I’m driving the truck tomorrow. -D

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Last Carnival of the Pajamas!

Harvey's last Carnival of the Pajamas is up! Take a look. It's always fun to see what people come up with. There is ALWAYS good eye candy for the men!

Poking Fun at the French for a Good Cause

Jack of Random Fate was today's assigned 'Post'er boy for Spirit of America. Go HERE to see him take a funny jab at the French and the evil Northern Alliance. It just seems funnier coming from Jack since he lives amongst them.

But not to leave it at that, he has a serious post HERE, that explains what it's all about. If you haven't read Jack before, you are missing out. Thought provoking, smart, and well written, his blog is one that you should use as daily visit, but be prepared to have to analyze and think... he is not light reading.

Another Rodent Type Post

Over at Beth's of She Who Will Be Obeyed, I found THIS. When I plugged in Boudicca I got "Doctor Wobblebottom". When I plugged in my real name I got "Nutty Nibbles his Nuts". Nice, huh?

But you know what this Squirrel name generator really reminded me of? Well, it did remind me of The Great Omnipotent One and his great ongoing 30 year battle against the squirrels (HERE), but it also reminded me of THIS guy and THIS post. :)

Oh and below, you will find the first installment of my rat post. My sister said it was time after we lost Fiona in the walls of my home. BTW, it happened again this morning. We were awakened at 6:30 AM with her sharpening her two little front teeth against the stud between the shower and vanity. We had her in a wire cage and she pushed the door open. The wire cage is no longer to be used.