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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Large reflective silver letters, the kind you see on a mailbox, strung across the bottom lip of her trunk lid. DO NOT HIT ME. What possesses a woman to stick that onto her car, and does it really work? If so, should we then put warning symbols and messages on various parts of our car? Maybe a warning on the side of your car that says, “Don’t bump me with your door!” or perhaps “Don’t run over my head.” on motorcyclists helmets.

Do you happen to worry about that?  I see people tailgating a motorcycle and all I can think is… he's one pothole away from sliding out and having his head run over. Back off!!!  WIWWP. You may not be familiar with this set of initials... there is WWJD, LOL, FBI and WIWWP - What Is Wrong With People?

Saturday, we were melting in 90+ degree heat, and humidity that was almost to the comfort level for guppies, at my grandson’s 5th birthday party. Old people were fainting in the yard, mothers so slick with sweat babies were sliding out of their arms onto the ground, hello hugs were given with tiny fingertip taps on one another’s back in order to avoid actually touching a sweaty loved one.
We hooked the lawn wagon up to the quad, put about 4 inches of hay in it, to absorb the bumps for those bony little bums, and covered the hay with sheets to protect the little girl legs in their summer sundresses, and we called it a hay ride. 5 children fit in the 3’ X 3.5’ wagon. 2 - 5 year olds, a 3 ½ year old, and 2-one year olds. Could’ve fit 6, but one 3 year old little girl was wrapped around her poor mom’s blue jean decoupaged clad leg. We rode through the yard, down the driveway a bit, then took a trail through the woods to a large clearing, turned around and came back… Birthday boy shouting FASTER! The one year olds with their arms stretched out along the tops of the wagon as though they were old men riding on the back of someone’s golf cart. One last bumpy turn through the yard where we found my husband with his new water gun. (Target is clearancing their larger water guns, should you be looking for a good buy) "Grandad" turned our hay ride into a water adventure as we drove past.

Earlier a 5 gallon bucket had been filled with water so the kids could fill their squirt guns for a ‘knock down the cup’ game. On the fly, we found that the water guns weren’t powerful enough to knock down the cups, so they turned them on each other. And then… cups were found, and pandemonium ensued. Decoupage girl was hit square in the face with a full glass of water. She turned around and her cup was dropped dramatically to the ground, almost in slow motion as her disgust was fully displayed. I ran over, grabbed the cup, adventured to the bucket and filled it for her - so she might exact her revenge. As I turned to hand it to her… shplash… no good deed goes unpunished, one of my own grandsons emptied a full glass onto the small of my back.

The bucket was refilled at the hose, and moved back to where the children stood waiting, anticipating, water dripping from their drowned rat cute little faces. 2 refills later, the kids realized that the spigot was on, and all they had to do was twist the nozzle and… and… all hell broke loose. Birthday Boy started to innocently fill the bucket but then took to giving any squealing girl or nuisance 3 y.o. brother a good squirt in the face. Or a granny a squirt in the back as she stood talking to an adult… Bwahahahah - I could hear it inside his head.. He was pleased with himself.

When he learns to read - I’m putting those big reflective letters across my bum - DO NOT SPLASH ME, OR I WILL MAKE YOU EAT REAL FOOD FOR DINNER AT MY HOUSE!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, we were on our way to Florida. We stopped at Applebees for dinner around 4 o'clock.  I sat in our little booth, looking out the window at the parking lot and realized - there were no Jeeps there. (I'm missing my Jeep)  Then I realized why.  The Jeep people were out driving their Jeeps and having too much fun to stop for dinner.  I was so jealous.  Yes, I was getting to drive my husband's new company truck - gorgeous Ford F-250, blue with lotsa Chrome.

Chrome is capitalized because it's... well, it's Chrome!

But it wasn't my new used Jeep.  I'm concerned about Jack, my Jeep.  My Civic was the ultimate in mouse housing, it would seem.  I moved a family of babies out of my spare tire, and ultimately killed 10 of them.  Another soon moved in, and it was a constant battle.  I'm thinking of undercoating Jack so that the smell deters the nesting instinct of the more discriminating mousketeers.  Does anyone have any tips for mouse annoyance?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The New Jeep

I drove the Honda to the car lot last Thursday.  Our last ride together on the way to pick up my new used Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Sinead (that's the Civic's name - yes, my cars have names and so does my piano) hugged the curves and zipped along - that's what Civics do - they zip.  A camaro zooms, a corvette sails, and a Jeep... a Jeep?  A Jeep powerfully climbs over the pavement.  Just the word Jeep makes you feel like you can climb mountains inside your vehicle.  Air conditioning suddenly seems sissified.  I'm thinking that because for the first time this summer, on a really hot day, my husband put all the windows down, opened the sunroof and turned off the A/C for our ride Sunday.

Yesterday my Jeep & I rumbled down the interstate to visit a relative in the hospital.  I realized that if I wanted to, I could back into a space simply by pulling in and just climbing over the two parking "stoppers" into the parking space in front us.  I could easily clear them.  I didn't do that (the lot was too full), but I COULD have!  I felt unstoppable.

I have a tow hitch on the back.  This means that I could just go buy a boat, if I had the money, and tow it myself.  No more bothering my husband to pick up stuff in his truck... I could buy a little trailer and haul it myself!  I could chain my Jeep to the decorative pillars on a mean person's porch and just pull them off, if I wanted to.  Yes, that's what I said. 

I can go to town this winter in 4 inches of snow, where the Honda wimped out in 1 inch.

I have a bad feeling that I'm going to run the wheels off this Jeep because it's just too fun to drive.  I wake up trying to think of places I need to go to, instead of procrastinating everything into one practical trip.

I think I need to drill for oil - this Jeep could get a little expensive, but Oh is she worth it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Who Are You? Do You Have a Purpose?

I don't have a job.  Not to say I don't work, but no taxes are taken out of my income and if I were to collect my Social Security payment now, it would cover only my utilities.  I've had numerous jobs in my lifetime, but apparently when you average out that income over the years that I haven't had a paying job, the numbers aren't in my favor.

The most important work that I've done in my life, to date, was raising my daughters and being a part of my amazing family.  Have you done that?  Have you placed value on your contribution to your family - your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, nieces and nephews?  Building people is the foundation of everything else that is built, discovered, and invented.  If you haven't worked outside the home - never say, "I was just a homemaker" or "I was just a stay-at-home-mom" with apology in your voice - look around at all the kids today who would love to come home to their mom every day instead of a daycare or babysitter.  Building children is a very hard job and many parents today aren't up to the task, or haven't had the luxury (oh, it was anything BUT luxurious at times, I know) of being a full time parent. The extended family is that much more important to the lives of those children. 

My daughters are grown, my husband has risen to a position that emotionally exhausts him, but makes an income that covers what we need and want.  I've dabbled a bit, with several businesses of my own, but a couple years ago, I closed my book selling business in order to devote some time to important events in our family and it just never seemed the right time to start it up again.  So, I've grand parented some, spent excessive amounts of time on the telephone talking with the women in my family - up generations and down generations, kept the home fires burning (literally - we heat with wood to a large extent), the dogs fed - trained - walked, contributed to my veterinarian moving up into a higher tax bracket - my animals like to go visit the vet on Sundays - in a very fast car - this usually involves porcupines or vomiting or bleeding.  I take responsibility for making sure my husband is fed healthy meals, pay our bills, run all the errands, plant the gardens, harvest the gardens, volunteer here and there, and I work hard to give my husband a home and wife that feel good to retreat to after his hectic work days. Not having a paying job that demands my time elsewhere allows me to be and do all of that, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity.

But it's a time for change in my life.  A shifting of responsibilities to allow time for a different "purpose".

I've known for decades that I need to write.  I don't know what I'm supposed to write (this makes for some rambling rough drafts) but I know that I need to write.  I don't know what the end result is supposed to be, but I figure I'll just keep writing until I satisfy the purpose in it.  It may have nothing to do with the reader and everything to do with me.  I'm trusting God to make sense and purpose of it, as I ramble onward.

What do you need to do?  What is your purpose?  What is your passion?  I think the mundane can anesthetize us into a life on autopilot.  We handle problems as they arise, we go to work, we pay our bills, we get the car fixed, we eat our dinners, we procrastinate our fitness programs, we buy new stuff, and then fall back to regroup before handling those steps of daily life again.  Is that living?  It seems more like one of those car rides at the amusement park - you can press the gas or the brake and steer - as long as you don't veer too far from that metal rail down the center... you don't really choose a direction or path of your own.

I would love to hear replies to these questions - not because I need to hear them, but because you need to acknowledge that you know the answers.  Who Are You?  What is your passion?  What is your purpose?  How do you impact the world?  I can't think of more fascinating comments to read.  It's exhilarating to be in the presence of a person with purpose.

Maybe you've never asked these questions of yourself.  Perhaps you think it's a selfish endeavor, but I assure you, it isn't.  Imagine if the great minds of our society refused to use their natural, (I believe God-given) talents because it felt self centered to focus on their own genius and allow it to expand and grow.  Someone in this world is counting on YOUR talents.  One day, at your funeral service, He or She could stand up and give gratitude for the significance you had in his/her life simply because of your selfless use of your distinctive and inherent You-ness. 

It would seem selfish for you to decline to use the gifts, opportunities and access that you alone have to be a person of impact, wouldn't it?  

Monday, July 12, 2010

This morning I was reading this article over at Guilty Squid.  It is about a man's exciting reunion with old friends and the deterioration of his shoes due to battery acid or perhaps glue meltage.. ?  There are pictures available if you're tired of words after reading this lengthy and adjective filled post.
It contained this quote, "Honestly at this point in the story as he’s telling me I’m only half interested much like you reading this right now." And this started me thinking...

I used to complain that my husband couldn't remember things that I'd had 5 minute conversations with him about. I've joked that - to my husband - my voice must frequently sound like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Wa waaa, wa waa waa waaa."  In all seriousness, the man was making noises during the conversation of some sort, because I demand it.  "Could you make a noise so I know you hear I've paused in my fascinating story and to indicate you're still with me!?!?!?"

Apparently, it's contagious because I hardly ever know what he's talking about now, and I've come to hear his voice as background music... I may hum along, but I don't really know the words because.... I'm thinking about other things. While I have a love affair with adjectives of my own, I've found that I like him to "get to the point."

He has also picked up on an annoying little habit from ME, which ends a long bunch of information with a question. Not just a question like, "What's for dinner?" (Which he asks me every morning at 7 o'clock, as though I even care about dinner before my morning coffee fix.) No, this is a question that can only be answered by a good wife - one that has paid a smidgen of attention to the last 5 sentences that he was sharing with me. In other words... the TRICK question.

I've been springing those TRICK questions on him for years. Lately, he's been getting better at answering them because he's been beaten into submission by accusatory noises from my throat  I've become even more fascinating.  Evidently, he has learned to expose my selective attention span and hypocrisy help me find him more fascinating as well.

So, my tricks are backfiring on me.  I'm making a conscious effort to NOT influence him to becoming more visually observant.  The last thing I need is a husband that has looked at me hard enough to see that my makeup hasn't covered the blemish that is in some kind of time warp that brought it from the 80's onto my 46 year old chin, and the skin on my forearms does ugly things when I pinch it just like this....  see that?  UGH! 

So, the next time I walk through the living room with my robe on over my jeans, dragging the 3rd shirt out of the laundry basket, I'm going to resist the fun in asking him how I look, just so I can catch him saying "Great!" without looking my way.  This game is not going to become more fun as years go by if he starts to really look at me!   

In fact, I believe it would be risky for him to get that Lasik eye surgery he's been thinking of.  I have a permanent airbrushing going on as long as he takes off his glasses, and I think  I   he might only appreciate that more in the upcoming years.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My youngest daughter is a cleaning maniac. She has 4 children. She's been known to do dishes at 6:30 a.m. and to drag out the rug shampooer multiple times in a week due to the occasional spill or a 3 year old that has taken to "marking his territory" behind the left arm of the couch in the toy room. Never has another species of God's creation ever had so much fun with urination as the 3 year old boy.

I swear she was not this tidy when she lived at home. In fact, their room (the one she shared with her sister/s) was notoriously a mess of epic proportions. She says this started when she had her first child and didn't want to be the mom with a messy house... ???!!!! (I would have appreciated this kind of conscience when they lived at home and I was constantly closing their bedroom door to prevent guests from seeing the heinous crimes of filth that were taking place in there.)

I believe parts of the cleanliness illness started while she was in the army. It was while she was in the army that ironing was introduced to my youngest. When she came home, she ironed (and starched... yes, I said starched) her t shirts, she ironed her jeans, and to this day - you will not see a neater looking t-shirt in the tri-state area. (There is apparently no correct way to spell tristate/tri state/tri-state) She visited her single sister and was overcome with a desire to iron the clothes that have a permanent residence in the clean clothes basket. Her ironing board is set up in the living room... at all times.

Let's take a trip back... back into time... I'm younger and less dimply, and look tremendous in the midst of those wonderful 30's, putting various teenaged apparel into the washer when I realize that some of the clothes are folded.

"Are these dirty?"


"They are folded. Why are you folding your dirty clothes?"

"We aren't. You folded them."

"I folded them when they were clean."

"Well, they were on the floor, hanging out with the dirty clothes... so... they are dirty again."

I'm trying to be a clean, non-cussing blogger... so we will leave my reply up to your imagination. Please be sure to include in your imagination that I had 2 teenaged daughters still at home, and that they wore at least 2 different outfits every day. My eldest daughter would've been considerate enough to rumple the clothes thoroughly before putting them back in the hamper. Consideration is relative term in the world of teenaged daughters.

Here is a great place for a sock tip. You know how your kids always lose one of their socks? Perhaps you have kids that fight over their socks... one child shoves all of her dirty socks under the bed, the other one puts only 3 pair in the hamper and then a loud physical altercation takes place when both claim ownership of the 2 1/2 freshly laundered pairs of socks (no matter what, one sock always wandered off)... I wrote her initial on the toe of each sock, then provided safety pins to attach one to its mate before dumping into hamper - you have no idea how long it takes to match socks for 3 teenaged girls when each deposits only 1/2 of each pair into the hamper and then one screams because she has one of her delicately worn and not at all ever smelly blue socks paired up with one of her sister's big stretched out smelly, she wore them outside on the porch, blue socks. Voila - tattoed and matched up. It was a thrilling 30 day experiment, after which I had to buy more safety pins because they mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Your mileage may vary.


"Hey, I was putting your clean clothes on your bed and I stepped on something in there. You girls need to clean that room, I'm breaking stuff that I'm sure is buried at least 4 inches deep!"

No reaction.

"Didya hear me?!"

"Oh, yeah. It's ok."

"How do you know it's ok? You don't even know what I broke."

"Well, it's the "on the floor" rule. We decided that if we step on something and it breaks, we don't even look at it. If it was important, it wouldn't be on the floor, so no sense in looking for it and maybe finding out it shouldn't have been on the floor."

The one time they work well together and this is the result.

If this sounds unbelievable... OH YEAH!!! I was hit with stone cold disbelief, thank you very much! I paid for that crap that was no longer even worth looking for! I had wondered why so much stuff was piled permanently ON the foot of their beds. I thought perhaps they had some weird thing they were going through where they needed to sleep up close and personal with their most beloved worldly possessions. Nope - just the last safe place in the room.

So, about 5 weeks ago, my baby girl gave birth to her youngest son. We were sorting clean clothes on one of the days that I stopped in to help out.

"Ok, the clothes with green marker on the labels go in this pile to get ironed, the ones without are play clothes and go in that pile." She instructed. "I iron all of the adult T-shirts."

Her children are - boys ages 4, 3, & 1 month, and a girl of about 16 months.

"You iron the kids' clothes?"

"Only the ones I hang up."

"You hang up size 3T clothes?"

"Only the ones that aren't play clothes."

"You iron this Penguins T-shirt?"


I just didn't know what to say to that.

A Picture of Edward for the Bellas of the World

This is a picture of Edward, 9 years ago, when he was only 100. Apparently the bloodwork has improved his looks, and thus makes him the object of your desire... but inside... yeah, he's still 100.

NOW does it creep you out, like it does me?