Monday, December 24, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie Eve

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Hum that in your mind's background while you read this ....

Ah, Christmas Eve. I sit here, coffee at hand, relishing the fact that my two family holiday gatherings are behind me. And guess what? I'm not going to spew about either one. Can you believe it? Actually, they both went quite well. Even the one that PSIL attended. Of course, that was, no doubt, owing greatly to the fact that we spent a sum total of 3.5 hours with her this year. Ah, well. Works for me. My family gathering was even well-behaved. I would say that it was because it was Christmas and everyone was on their best behavior. But you know my two families better than that. Must have been some cosmic behavior-modifying misalignment. Whatever it was, they were both nice. And they're both over.

And, for the first time in I cannot remember when, we get to stay home on Christmas day. All day. I relishing the very idea of it. We'll sleep in, open gifts, play with our toys and go see a movie together in the evening. Doesn't that just sound like a little slice of Heaven?

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

Time is money, Friend!

Yesterday, I spent a sum total of three hours sitting around doctor's offices. Of that, one hour and fifteen minutes was pure wait time. As in the wait to even see the docs. It was my doctor that was the worst offender. I waited a full hour before I even got to see him. To me, this indicates some serious scheduling screw ups. Oh, I realize things happen. Emergencies. Urgent phone calls. Donuts in the break room. But this kind of wait is not unusual with my doctor. And I find it flat ridiculous. Especially since this appointment was at 9:30 a.m. How can you already be running an hour behind schedule a mere one-and-a-half hours after you start?

So, I have a solution. I think anyone with which you have an appointment should have a fifteen-minute grace period to allow for calls, patients who won't leave and random pastry emergencies. After that, they should take $1 off their bill for every minute they keep you waiting. I wonder how quickly they would get in to see you if they did that? I wonder if this would help cure their obsessive over-scheduling? I wonder if I can get my doctor to do it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

Snow Day
Day two of kids out of school due to icy conditions. *Heaves heavy sigh.* The roads were actually clear enough that they could have gone today. The ole school board jumped the gun a bit on canceling today, in my own humble opinion. Ah well. I suppose I really can't complain about a couple of extra days of sleeping late and not having a real schedule.

But I am sitting here hoping that all this rain coming down today will NOT freeze and that school WILL be in session tomorrow. Hey, Mommy needs her quiet time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

No, no. Let US do it. Really.

Whew! My sister bought a new house. As is the tradition in our family, on moving day, we all show up with our varied and sundry vehicles, start grabbing crap left and right, shoving it in, and hauling it to the new place. We did this for Deb on Saturday. We had quite a crew and quite a fleet of vehicles. The view from above would have greatly resembled an ant hill when there's a nice pile of crumbs nearby with the industrious back-and-forth trekking. We were a well-oiled machine.

Well ... most of us.

Deb's husband is not a born worker-bee. In fact, work puts him into a seriously bad mood. Work sends him into a tail-spin. Work blows his circuits to the degree that, for the most part, he stood around and watched the rest of us do it. We all made a mighty effort to ignore this. But it was hard. Damned hard. Especially when:

a) He would bitch us out that we weren't doing it properly.
b) He loaded the washing machine onto the dolly then instructed my 110-lb. niece to wheel it outside. He did generously offer to hold the door for her, though.
c) He stood in the doorway of the new house watching all the rest of us tromp back and forth with our boxes.
d) Those various and sundry times he was spotted sitting in his recliner while the rest of us continued to work.
e) After watching Steve and Jacob unload a cabinet cursed them out for laying it on its side.
f) After being asked where he wanted the TV, he shouted, "Take it in the F**KING HOUSE!"

I could go on but I would run out of letters and you probably get the idea anyway. I'm glad Deb got this incredibly awesome new house. I'm glad we were able to help her. I'm glad it's done. And, God forbid she ever moves again, she'd better be prepared to send that SOB away, or she'll have a mutiny on her hands.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

I survived!

Whew! I survived yet another family-filled holiday. And my family survived my cooking. The whole Thanksgiving four-day event began with me making my best effort to poison my family. I bought a 20-lb. bird. Placed said bird in the fridge Monday morning to thaw. On Wednesday morning, said bird was still pretty darned frozen. So, I fell back on the tried-and-true thawing method recommended by Ladies Home Journal and the ultimate turkey guru, I placed the turkey in my bathtub, filled with cold water. Might I add here that, if you've never thawed a turkey this way, it's pretty ridiculous looking. I offered the boys $5 if they would put on their swim suits, sit in the tub with the turkey and let me take their picture, but they both declined. Harumph. I left the turkey to thaw thusly, after carefully calculating thawing time per pound. Add the pounds, subtract the 7, carry the nine .... um .... ten p.m.!

The first thing I noticed when I got up on Thursday morning and stumbled to the bathroom was, yes, my turkey STILL swimming around in my tub. Crapola! Well, maybe it stayed cold enough? When I picked it up, it made a horrible sloshing noise. No, not water sloshing. This sloshing was coming from inside the sealed packaging. It sounded as if the turkey itself had started to liquefy. Well, that can't be good!

Quickly called the grocery store and determined that they do, in fact, have thawed turkeys ready and waiting. Yay! (Obviously, I'm not the only one that's ever needed a last-minute turkey.) Sent Steve running off to the store and started the other preparations. Family began arriving in the afternoon and we were having a fine visit. Time to check the turkey. Leg temperature read 170-degrees. Thanksgiving law says to took it to 180-degrees. Dotti, who was eagerly awaiting the oven to cook her sweet potato casserole, assured me this would be fine. Set the turkey aside to let it "set". I'm told they'll continue to cook so I assumed it would be okay. About half an hour later, Steve began to carve, checking the meat and it all appeared to be cooked well. But what's this? Its little plug hasn't popped. Ut-oh. But look! The meat looks done! That was, until he got down into the middle. I just don't think that turkey meat is supposed to be pink. *sigh* So we carved around the edges of this stupid bird and put the middle bits back into the oven.

I'm happy to report that no one died.

Oh, but this wasn't the end of the holiday! Had company for a while on Friday and then started getting things ready for our next foray into family festivities. Spent the weekend with the Russells. Their turkey was completely done, which was good. Everyone played nicely together, which was good. PSIL behaved almost normally, which was great! (Although that left me without my normal post-PSIL visit blogging fuel.) The pride of survival there comes from having endured 87.5 hours of football in two days (I'm not sure what it is but the laws of TV physics cease to exist at mom-in-law's house, at least as relates to sports viewing), being "cosy" with 12 people, one of which was a nearly one year-old, in one small room for an entire weekend and not having my own coffee/bed/internet. But we made it.

I also survived turning 44 yesterday. Except that I've decided I'm going to write it as .44. As in caliber. As in magnum. Just sounds better somehow. Lane thinks I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie


In the World of Warcraft, each class of character has three areas of specialization you can go into. Sometimes, you start in one then change your mind about how you want to play that character. Actually, I do this frequently. Yesterday, I respecced my Druid to the healing specialty. Quick, easy, cheap (at least the first time). So, this got me to thinking ... what if you could respec that easily in real life? Just make a quick trip to your trainer, pay them a bit of gold and, bam! new life specialty. Hmmmm. Interesting. If you could do this, what would you change?

Think about it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie


We returned from our annual trek to Branson, Missouri on Sunday evening.

Great things about vacations ...
and not-so-great things about vacations.

Getting out of town for a few days ...
but having to take your Mother-in-law.

Not having to cook, clean, or do any kind of chores ...
then having 87 loads of laundry to do when you return.

Getting to spend time together ...
in very close quarters.

Seeing all those gorgeous Christmas lights adorning everything ...
then coming home and still having Halloween decorations to take down.

Having someone kind and reliable to care for your pets while you're gone ...
then coming home to find that you accidentally locked the cat in your bedroom and all he had for a bathroom was a nice leather satchel.

Discovering lots of wonderful new places to eat ...
then having to cook again once you return.

That happy feeling you get upon returning home, glad to have gone, but equally glad to be back ...
then sending your Mother-in-law home first thing the next morning.

(Okay, that one was actually two 'greats'. I cheated)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie


Yes, I admit it. My hair has been going gray for some time now. I don't really mind. It's not THAT gray yet. Just random hairs here and there and, so far, it doesn't really look bad. The only thing I really mind about it is their texture. Why are they so WIRY? I mean, I'll be fixing my hair and have it all washed, dried, blown, coiffed, smoothed and then ... sproing! One of those grays springs right out of my 'do, sticking straight up into the air. What's up with that? Do they want to make sure they're noticed? Are they just rebellious? Are gray hairs the bad boys of the hairstyle world? Who knows.

I may be in trouble with the advancement of my grays though. I mentioned them yesterday and Lane reminded me of my long-term hair plans. Remember me saying that, when my hair got fully gray, I was going to let it grow super-long and start dressing like a hippie? Well, Lane does. And he reminded me of that. And he swears he's going to hold me to it. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

Yep, we're still freaks ...

Last year I revealed our Halloween freakishness to those of you who didn't already know about it. It hasn't abated. Some day I swear our neighbors are going to show up on our front lawn brandishing pitchforks and torches. Until then, I suppose we'll continue to be freaks. If you missed it (and if you care at all) you can see our decorations on my old blog:


It's all pretty much the same this year. I do try to add just one or two new things per year. This year it's this awesome skull that Carol made for me. Oh, and a lot more lights outside.

This cute little guy got added to the cemetery.
I have an idea for a ghost for the graveyard, but have been too busy (lazy?) to get it made. I actually started on it but it wasn't working out quite right so I stalled. Maybe that'll be my addition for next year. In the meantime ...


Thursday, October 25, 2007


When you are attending a concert or any other event where the expectation is that you will sit quietly and listen to the performers and/or speakers, please people ...


That is all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie


My whole two regular readers had, I'm sure (??), noticed that I didn't blog much for a while. In fact, that's how Tuesdays came to be. I wasn't randomly blogging so decided to make it a date. I wasn't really sure why I was slacking off so much. I thought I just wasn't feeling talkative (HA!) or that maybe there just really wasn't anything going on worth talking about. This weekend, I had a revelation. I wasn't blogging less often because less was happening. I was blogging less because I'd had less fuel. Huh? you say. If you've read my blog for a while, you might possibly remember a few PSIL (psycho sister-in-law) posts from the past. After having a very brief encounter with her this weekend, the epiphany hit that the lack of exposure to PSIL had contributed greatly to my reduced urge to blog. After all, this is my space to spew. And, generally, any encounter with PSIL, creates a great urge to spew.

SO ....

Steve had two tickets to the OSU-KSU game in Stillwater this weekend. His family being great KSU fans, he invited his brother (BIL) to go with him as a birthday treat for BIL. And, surprisingly, BIL accepted. Now, I must clarify the "surprisingly" part. Always in the past BIL has refused Steve when he's been invited to games or pretty much anything that doesn't include PSIL. She keeps him on a VERY short leash. But, with her new grand baby, she's been busy lately. And here I really must divert again for a minute ... When I say grand baby, I mean the child produced by her 21 year-old, won't work, frequently on drugs and usually drunk son knocking up his 17 year-old, completely irresponsible, spoiled rotten girlfriend and, rather than be concerned over this, PSIL was thrilled. But, the birth of PCHNHFTFWTPSH (poor child having no hope for the future with the parents she has) has freed up lots of time for BIL as PSIL is, most weekends, either visiting the baby or has the baby at their home for the weekend. SO, BIL was allowed to go to the game.

It was a night game. It was 1.5 hours from here. It was late when it was over. Steve and BIL had a blast. They very rarely get to spend time together just the two of them and I thought it was great. PSIL had told us she was coming for the weekend as well. I'm not sure when that changed. All I know is that she seems to have stalled out at her sister's house 15 minutes from here and never made it. Oh well. Not that I was heartbroken but it seems like, when you tell someone you're spending the weekend with them, courtesy would dictate a quick call to say you'd changed your mind when you do. Then again, this is PSIL we're talking about so the general rules of polite society do not apply.

Then ...

Despite telling us THEY would be here at 8 p.m. on Friday, she didn't allow BIL to come until Saturday afternoon. Really, just about in time to grab a bite to eat and then head to the game. Then she called here at 10 a.m. on Sunday absolutely furious. Why? Geez. I don't know. All I know is that I answered the phone and she asked me if BIL was there. When I said sure, I'd get him. She very acidly informed me that she did NOT want to talk to him. Um, okay. Just ask him what his plans for the day are. Um, BIL, what are your plans for the day? BIL responds with a typically male non-committal grunt. I passed that on. Oh, well now she's REALLY pissed. (I still am not sure why but wasn't about to ask her.) So she huffily informs me that she'll just go run with her sister then. Um, okay. BIL finally left and went to meet his doom about two hours later. Poor guy. At least we were able to give him about 11 hours freedom from her. Even now, I have no clue why she was so furious. But I'll bet poor BIL found out in a hurry.

Ah, and just think ... the holidays are coming and we'll be getting to see her soon. Stand by for future spewing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesdays With Noirrie

Books ....

A little sad here. A couple of years ago (? - not sure of the timing and am too lazy to go look it up) Sue Monk Kidd released her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees. It was a WONDERFUL novel and if you've not read it, stop, go do so now. You'll love it. I know I did. That's why I was so happy when I noticed a new book by SMK on the shelf - The Mermaid Chair. Starting a new book is always just a tiny bit like Christmas anyway. First you see the pretty outside package, pick it up, perhaps even fondle it a bit. Then you crack open the wrapping and get your first glimpse of what lies inside. Finally, you read through it, discovering the complete gift. This delicious anticipation is even sweeter when said novel is a new one by a particularly beloved author.

I'm sad to report that Mermaid was a big disappointment to me. I can't pinpoint the exact reason. The writing was good. The story should have been good. But, for me, it was all just "okay". By the end I was wading through it, not because I was still interested, but because I had come that far and was determined to see it through. There was nothing at all that really captured me about it. In the case of this book, I excitedly unwrapped the gift only to find that it contained socks and underwear. And not the kind of underwear your hubby would buy you at Victoria's Secret. The kind your granny would give you. Anyone else agree? Or am I alone in this assessment?

I re-started a Stephen King novel last night. Or, more accurately, a collection of novellas ... The Bachman Books. Have you all read a SK book yet? If not, stop now and go do so. Do this before you read Bees. It's okay. This'll wait. Seriously. Even those of you who say you don't like scary books. Did you know that 90% of SK's books aren't scary? And quite a few of them aren't even all that weird (although I must admit that the majority of them are). I recommend The Stand for a first SK read. Yah, it's seriously long. Quit whining and just do it. If you want to be a big baby you can read the original, abridged version which contained only abut 2,847,938 pages as opposed to the later-released unabridged one which contains 3,469,324 pages. But if you're gonna commit, commit. Go for the unabridged. You won't be sorry.

Oh, and when reading any SK book, always read the prologue. I don't always read these in books. Mostly, they're boring. I usually start them, just in case they contain information I need to have to enjoy the book, but get bored (impatient?) before I finish so skip the rest and hop into the novel. Never, ever skip the prologues in SK's books. They're as entertaining as the books themselves.

I'll expect a report in two weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

World of Warcraft ...wha huh?

I couldn't believe it when I saw this commercial on TV this morning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesdays with Noirrie

BTW, that name does make sense. You know the book. My main WoW character is Noirre (that's her on my profile - ain't she pretty?). So ... Tuesdays with Noirrie.


[Brought to you by a long-ago SS blog challenge that I didn’t do at the time.]

ARCHAEOLOGY: the study of material remains

My house is already well on its way to becoming an archaeologist’s gleeful find. In recent years, I’ve tried to be very good and clear out the various no-longer-used debris of a normal life. And yet, there are things that escape my cleansing frenzy from time to time. There a number of elderly items that have been saved on purpose … the Little Bo Peep Storybook doll my mom had as a girl and later made into a Christmas tree angel, the “squaw” dress my great aunt made and wore when she was 15, the various family heirlooms my mother-in-law has been passing on to us for years. And then there are those ancients which need not stay, but have escaped my notice. A pair of size 4 jeans tucked away in the top of Levi’s closet – what are these doing here? My home is a haven for both intentional and accidental artifacts.

BIBLIOLOGY: the study of publication

Ah, books. You will find books in literally every room of my house. Even the bathrooms. I’ve tried more in recent years not to collect quite so many of them. But some books must be kept. I own every single book Stephen King has ever written. Most in hard cover. There are a few other authors I collect – John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, Terry Goodkind - but none so prolific as SK. If I were only allowed to have one book, ever, for the rest of my life, I would have to keep SK’s The Stand. If you haven’t read it, do.

CARDIOLOGY: the study of the heart defines heart, amongst other things, as:
* The center of the total personality, esp. with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion.
* The center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect.

Much as I hate to admit it, I’m an emotional creature far more often than an intellectual one. Oh, in many circumstance, my head plans and organizes. In all too many others, my heart leads a blind charge.

PHYSIOLOGY: the study of physical function

Average height, average weight, average brown hair, average, average, average. Seriously, I could probably rob a bank and no one would remember me. Should the coroner ever need identifying marks, I do have a few scars. Never seen them? Probably never will then.

AXIOLOGY: the study of the nature of values and value judgments

Values. Those are trickier when raising kids than one might think. I’m a mostly honest and law-abiding citizen. Gasp! Mostly?? Oh, come on, are you really telling me you don’t speed on occasion?? Are you telling me you’ve never picked a grape in the produce aisle at the grocery store and quickly popped it in your mouth? Never fibbed to someone when they needed reinforcement, not honesty? But, when your kids are watching you, these little dishonesties are examples of correct behavior. Or incorrect behavior. But, when they see you doing it, they assume it’s right. Or, at least until they, say, take driver’s ed and then constantly monitor your speed. I never have to worry about speeding again with my own, private on-board speed limit consultant. But having kids does make one examine one’s own behavior a little closer. And such scrutiny is not always comfortable.

TECHNOLOGY: usage and knowledge of tools

I used to be much more technologically adept than I am now. Oh, I’ve never been a whiz at any of that stuff, but I could at least program the VCR and perform the functions of the average tech consumer. And then Lane came along. He’s just so darned quick with that stuff that I’ve allowed myself to become lazy and just hand those things over to him. I don’t know what I’m going to do when he leaves for college. Have to find my own two technology feet again I suppose.

GENEALOGY: the study of relationships within families

Family … both the blessing and bane of my existence. I come from a biggish family – five kids. Most of us get together on a regular basis. The ins and outs and ups and downs of our relationships are ever-changing, endlessly annoying, continually interesting, and forever precious. Still, I won’t deny that there’s days I wish I were an only child. And an orphaned one at that.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My day

Well, this is handy. I no longer have to recap my day when someone asks what I did. I'll simply refer them to this video.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tuesday’s With Noirrie

I have been a very bad blogger for some time now. You know it. I know it. What’s the reason for this? Hmmm, I’m not certain. Perhaps I’ve been lazy. (Who, me??) Perhaps nothing much has been happening. Perhaps the blogging muse has simply deserted me. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’ve spent so little time with Psycho Sister-In-Law recently that there’s been no fuel for my fire.

I’ve made an attempt to keep this blog from becoming a what’s-been-happening forum. Why? Dunno. It started out as my forum to blow smoke when I needed. It’s my place to mull over things that pinged my radar, that got my hackles up, that struck me as particularly incongruous. But, either those things haven’t been happening lately – and, really, those things do happen often – or I just simply haven’t been taking time to write them down. More likely the latter I suspect. So, in order to rectify this, I shall attempt to blog, at the very least, each Tuesday morning. Why Tuesday? Oh, no particular reason. I’ll just say that Tuesday’s tend to be my productive mornings. No special reason for that, they just are. Okay, FINE, damn you! Tuesday’s are Warcraft maintenance mornings so I usually get loads of miscellaneous chores done, including most of my computer updating of calendars, correspondence, etc. Anyhoos, since I’m usually here and not in Azeroth, it might be a good plan. We shall see.

Thought for the week … I really, seriously, desperately need to get a king-sized bed for Steve and I. Or, even twin beds. Better yet would be separate bedrooms but that’s not possible until we kick one of the kids out. Now, I know that sounds sad to you singletons or short-time marrieds. Trust me, give yourself several years of marital bliss and you’ll probably understand. It’s not that I don’t love him. It’s not that I don’t want to spend any … um … “awake” time in bed with him. I just don’t much want to sleep with him any more. He was out of town all weekend. I sleep sooooooo well when he’s gone. And then, in the morning, I just have to smooth the blankets down a bit and the bed’s all made. When he’s home, he and/or I tend to toss and turn all night. For one thing, he has developed the habit of late of scootching over to my side before I come to bed. Oh, did I mention that I don’t like him touching me when we’re actually sleeping? So now I have to make the decision to lay there and put up with it, meaning I can’t fall asleep, or try to push him over to his side, thus risking waking him which makes him grumpy. In the mornings, the covers look like a WWF match has taken place in them. A king-size would greatly reduce most of these problems. Not eliminate, but alleviate to some degree. Now I just need to figure out how to convince him that we really, truly, desperately need a king. Maybe I’ll go out of town for a night or two, hope he sleeps really well when I’m gone, then make a full-court press for one as soon as I get home while the memories of those blissful nights are still fresh in is mind.

Hmmm, that’s actually not a bad plan. Now just to figure out where to go. Anyone want a house guest for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And the clouds parted …

… and a light shone down from above and lit the face of a humble hunter. And it was good.

I don’t remember how I first found Big Red Kitty’s blog. But, since that date, I have become an avid reader. BRK is not only highly informative, but he’s just plain amusing to read most of the time. Being a total non-gamer, there’s zillions of things in WoW that I don’t fully understand. I play, I learn, I grow. But, often, there are questions I don’t even realize I should be asking until someone answers them. BRK is a good source for just such answers. A couple of days ago I linked BRK’s blog here. And then … BRK his mighty Dwarven self posted a comment! I am humbled. I am blessed. I have been touched by the Big Red Hand of Awesomeness. (And at the same time I vaguely wondered how he knew I linked him? Does his all-knowing, all-seeing eye reach even beyond Azeroth? Apparently so.)

Of course, reading BRK’s blog makes me realize on a daily basis just how little I really know about WoW in some ways. Oh, I’m a soloing demon. One doesn’t make all those trips to the cemetery without learning something. But, honestly, I’m pretty much a Carebear. I like to instance but don’t often get the opportunity to do so. Even so, I feel I’ve learned even more through these grouping ventures. But reading BRK’s discussions of end-game groups, stats, recommendations and, well, all of it, makes this little Draenei’s head spin. It makes me realize even more that I really have no business in this game. If I could change my character’s name, I swear I’d change it to Stillanoob.

Am I ready for end-game? Not even close. Then again, hunters are one of the (“the”?) most highly played classes and, in fact, two of the three 70s added to our guild recently have been hunters. Those to be added to the several 70 hunters we already had. I highly doubt my services will be needed. I’m coming to realize more and more that level 70 represents end-game for me in a different manner than it does for most. For me, it’s pretty much going to mean the end of the game in some ways. I’ll finish skilling up those professions, get some decent gear when others need help in the regular 5-mans, feel powerful when helping lower guildies and then …. ?

But, as usual, I digress. If you play WoW, especially if you play a hunter, check out BRK’s blog. Kitty is good ... Kitty is wise ....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And they're OFF!

Ever since the boys were big enough to be involved in activities, I have wanted to slap the holy crap out of the person who coined the phrase the "lazy days of summer". Our summers have been packed full, possibly even fuller than the school years. It never really seemed like we had a true break from the busy-ness of the rest of the year.

And then came the summer of 2007.

We actually have had a lazy summer overall. Lane worked a lot during the first half. But that meant working 5-6 hours a day. That left the rest of his day free. And even that didn't affect me much as he can drive himself to work. Levi went to 4-H camp. Again, just another mini-break for me. Even our vacation was somewhat lazy as we didn't really do a whole lot. I've even been very lazy about blogging as I'm sure my one, lone reader will have noticed.

And then school started ...

Thursday - school, open house at the middle school
Friday - school, youth symphony rehearsals
Saturday - youth symphony rehearsals all day
Sunday - an actual day of rest *sigh*
Monday - two orthodontist appointments for Lane in Wichita requiring us to stay there all day
Tuesday - school, orthodontist appointment for Levi
Today - school, guests for dinner which has sent me into a cleaning frenzy (because, to be honest, I've also been pretty lazy about cleaning this summer)

Whew! Ever hear of easing into things? Instead we kind of got SLAMMED into our new schedule. I guess you'd call this the immersion technique. I'm sure we'll get used to it, well, because we're going to HAVE to get used to it.

In the meantime, I think I'll take a little nap.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Funny Fourteen

Levi turns fourteen today. I'll dub him Funny Fourteen. As in it's funny how quickly these fourteen years have gone by. As in, he can be really funny (when he wants to) with that quirky sense of humor of his. As in, funny ... I don't remember him getting taller than me. As in, what's that funny smell coming from his shoes? As in he's really funny about some things - like the tendency to wear long-sleeved shirts, often layered UNDER a t-shirt, even when it's 100-degrees outside.

He's funny, but he's mine and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The boys are very much math and science guys. Neither cares very much for writing. And, as we all know, we usually do better at those things we enjoy. Still, they sometimes surprise me with their ability to write well.

A Life Destroyed
By Lane
8th Grade

A life destroyed.
No – not by drugs, nor by homicide,
but by self.
The criminal – the careless procrastinator,
destroying life by sloth.

But I – I choose to be different.
I choose to do my best.
I will not laze about like a dog near death.

As I grow older, I will watch the sloths and the “cools”,
fulfilling their pointless and insignificant lives.
I will be different
I will be my best
I will not be the guy
holding the “Oil Change $19.99!” sign.

I Am
By Levi
7th Grade

I am a silent guy who loves music
I wonder what my life will be like
I hear the orchestra play a thousand days
I see the music dance in my eyes
I want to be able to play anything
I am a silent guy who loves music

I pretend to play perfectly, never faltering
I fell the strings vibrate and make sound
I touch the sound and make it beautiful
I worry my ears will be damaged
I cry for those who can’t see its beauty
I am a silent guy who loves music

I understand music is the voice of the soul
I say it is the sound of a spirit
I dream I will be able to play music all my life
I try to play better, always improving
I hope my dreams will be true
I am a silent guy who loves music

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Things I love and hate, or love to hate, or hate to love or .... whatever

[Brought to you by the weekly SS blog challenge.]

I LOVE ...

... the SIGHT of my freshly-mown lawn. Mostly because that means I won't have to do it again for at least a few days.

... the SMELL of my freshly-mown lawn. [See reason above.]

... the TASTE of a really great latte. [Brief related hate - I hate the fact that living in a really small town means that there is no place to get a really great latte.]

... the SOUND of silence. It means the guys are all gone and I have the house, and the computer, all to myself.

... the FEEL of that first warm spring breeze on bare skin. No, you perverts. I'm not running around outside naked. I'm talking about bare arms, those first sweet days when you can go outside in short sleeves.


... the SIGHT of long grass in my lawn. It means I need to get my butt out there and mow it.

... the SMELL popcorn. There, I said it. Flog me if you will all you popcorn lovers. It makes going to the movies much less pleasant than it otherwise would be.

... the TASTE popcorn. [Ditto above.]

... the SOUND my dog barking, because she Won't. Freaking. Stop!

... the FEEL you get after you spot a spider near you and get that creepy-crawly feeling like one of them is on you.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hmmm, maybe I should re-think that?

Lane is a typical teenager. IE: Anything Mom says, does or thinks is lame. I don't mind. That's his job. That was my job when I was a teenager. However, when I told him what my retirement plan is, he actually said that sounded cool.

To fully understand (or probably completely NOT understand it), you have to know me now. Nice, middle-class Mom. Nice, middle-class home and minivan. Doesn't work outside the home in order to do the kid and family thing. In the PTO. Attends every concert, soccer game, track meet, etc. snapping photos all the way. Volunteers. Fund raises.

So what does that have to do with my retirement plan?

My plan is this ... when my hair starts getting grey, or at least a lot greyer than it is now, I'm going to start growing it long. By the time it's completely grey, I want it to be really long. I'm going to wear it loose, or maybe in two braids. I'm going to start wearing those long, flowy peasant skirts and sandals. I'm going to move to Colorado Springs and open a little shop in that totally hippy area of Old Manitou Springs and sell beaded jewelry to the tourists. Heck, I might even start smoking pot. This has been my plan for a good long time.

And when I told Lane my plan, he thought it sounded really cool. In light of that, I'm wondering if I should re-think the whole thing?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Power of Words

[Brought to you by the weekly SS Blog Challenge:
Words can be powerful. Think of an occasion when someone blessed you with their words. (Conversely, words can be powerfully hurtful, too. Write about one of those instances if you must, but try to think of a positive memory instead.) Describe the circumstances surrounding the words that were powerful to you. Who said it? How did you react? How does it affect you today?]

Words are powerful things. They can boost, they can crush. They can titillate, stimulate, irritate, motivate and a multitude of other 'ates'. This challenge reminds me of a poem I once read.

A Choice of Weapons
(Phyllis McGinley)

Sticks and stones
Are hard on bones,
Armed with angry art,
Words can sting
Like anything,
But silence breaks the heart.

Some of the words that have had the most impact on my life were bits of advice given to me in my younger years by older, and infinitely wiser, friends.

The first ...
Buddy Deane once told me there are two things a person should never, ever say unless they truly mean them. 1) I love you. 2) I want a divorce. I've had men tell me the former when I knew it wasn't true and it deflated my opinion of them. My Mom was married before my Dad and her husband told her the latter every time they argued. She finally got tired of hearing it and agreed. I agree with Bud. Never say either of these unless they are meant.

The second ...
When I was debating leaving my job at the bank to become a stay-at-home Mom. I wanted to do it, but giving up the security and seniority of that job was daunting. I was talking this over with Mabel, one of our CSRs. She told me, "You are a very valued employee of this bank. They trust you, they rely on you, they need you. But they can replace you. And, if you leave here, in five years half the people here won't even remember who you were. But you will be known the rest of your life for the kind of kids that you raise." And she was right. I go in the place now and don't know most of the employees I meet. And the ones that matter to me, I still see. But every day now I am doing a job that's more rewarding and has more long-term benefits than anything I could have done there, even if I had been the president of the place. And I love it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Things I don’t get …

Not things I don’t know. That list would be unfathomably endless. And, let’s face it, for the most part I won’t know that I don’t know them until the occasion arises that I need to know them and then realize that I don’t. So, in the meantime, here are a few things that I don’t “get”:

• The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Look at those people. They’re gorgeous. How hard is it to get them paired off?

• Flip-flops anywhere outside of the beach. Especially in the winter.

• Pretty much anything my sister-in-law says, thinks or does

• Nascar

• Thongs that show above your pants

• Flesh that shows above your pants if it’s not completely firm and pudge-free.

• Being more concerned about the quality of your house than the quality of your life (no shoes, no food, no pets, no fun!)

• Not attending your child’s events if you’re able at all

• Not taking photos of your child’s events even if you do attend

• The fuss over Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched it. Seems like just another medical show to me. I've obviously missed something.

• Why my dog barks at those of us who live in the same house she does. Every. Single. Time. We. Come. In. Sometimes even when we just come out of the bathroom.

• People who don’t read books. And are perversely proud of that.

• Why the 15-pound, fully-clawed cat allows the 8-pound, de-clawed cat to torture her. Why doesn’t she just kick his ass?

• Why I’m always amazingly productive on Tuesday mornings. Oh, wait. That one I DO get. That’s the morning Warcraft is down for maintenance.

• How otherwise rational adults can become utterly hooked on a computer game. Wait. I actually get that one, too.

• Purse pooches. WTF? Oh, I know who started that ridiculous trend. But even more unfathomable to me is why anyone would want to emulate her.

• Women, or men for that matter, who love shoes. I know I’m in the minority here, but I still don’t get it.

And that, really, is just the tip of the Things I Don't Get iceberg.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Finally! I'm cool

I was never cool in my school years. I wasn’t cool in my 20s. I wasn’t cool in my 30s. But, finally, at the ripe old age of 43, I am finally cool. I know this because I have the official endorsement of five 7th and 8th grader boys. And if teen boys don’t know cool, who does? Levi’s SAGE group had a Robotics competition Saturday. I scored big points right off the bat by bringing donuts. (And, not to change the subject, but it was amazing how six boys plowed through 2-dozen donuts in about, oh, 30 seconds.) But then the other boys found out I play Warcraft. I was quite amused at the shock and awe that greeted this information. And surprised at the numbers of questions they asked me. The idea of a MOM playing WoW was obviously completely beyond the scope of their reckoning. I was told more than once that I am “cool”. Levi was told that his mom is “cool”.

Ah, after all those years of nerddom, I am finally cool. I have to admit, it feels pretty good

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I always think of the moms ...

It's amazing how much becoming a Mom changes your perspective on things. In some arenas, it's changed my entire way of thinking. Even after the boys were born I never would have seen myself in the role of stay-at-home-Mom. I was busy climbing the banking ladder, doing well, and making steady progress. I had a wonderful sitter who the boys considered to be a third grandma. They were well cared for. And I was doing my thing. And then, one day, when work interfered yet again with my Mom-job, it hit me that I was in the wrong place. And now here I am. Being a Mom has not only changed thinking, but my entire way of behaving at times.

Last year when Cameron died, I was filled with grief for his family and friends, especially Lane. But, more than anything else the thought of what his Mom was going through tortured me.

This shift is never more emphasized than at times like now. When I saw the first news reports of the horrific events that happened at Virgina Tech this week, I was filled with shock and sorrow like everyone else with any human feeling at all. But immediately, on the heels of that, I began imagining the Moms. Those Moms across the country who have kids there. I could imagine one of my sons being at that school, seeing those reports and not being able to reach him to know that he was safe. How torturous were those minutes and hours for those Moms? And I can't even begin to imagine how the Moms, those Moms for whom that 'I'm okay' call never came, are coping.

Being a Mom is a wonderful job. Well, most of the time. But sometimes it's a heartbreaking job, even when you are not the one directly affected. But we're all affected to a degree. My prayers and tears fall for the families of those students. Especially the Moms.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Does this mean I have to forgive him?

Lane turned 15 last month. Lane got his restricted license last month. I wanted to get him a cell phone for his birthday as the RL meant he'd be driving to and from school and work alone. Steve was opposed to this idea. After all, he 'never had a phone when he started driving'! Um, true, dear. On the other hand, you barely had a house phone back when you started driving! But I wanted Lane to have one, mainly for my convenience and peace of mind.

So I got him one.

And it's way cooler than mine. I always get just the basic, makes calls, receives calls kind of phone. But Lane's was to be a gift so I got him a nice little slider. It has a camera. It has games. It can show a photo of who's calling if you have it programmed right.

But the worst cut of all?? The absolute you-suck factor?? He was able to download the ringtone I really, really wanted ... Wizards of Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Harumph. That was the last straw. I was actually a teeny bit pissed about it. (Yeah, I know that's silly but ....)

But I guess I have to forgive him. Yesterday he fooled with my phone a bit, updated the Ringtone Jukebox and, in a very few minutes, had TSO's Christmas Eve in Sarajevo as my tone.

Who's gonna fix my crap when he leaves home??

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

And the slap on the head goes to ....

Our local newspaper recently had an article about the controversial PPV vaccine. This isn’t about that. Although I do have pretty strong viewpoints on that subject and will happily share them with you in person if you ever care to know them. The article didn’t contain anything new as far as the PPV debate goes, but the following caught my eye:

“And one also has to wonder, if Merck had first come out with a version of the vaccine intended for boys – who, after all, are involved in passing the virus to girls – would the pressure against the drug be the same? I think not. The idea of young men having sex simply does not cause the same sort of panic, the same sort of hand-wringing protectionism.”

Now, if this were the first time I had seen or heard such a viewpoint expressed, I would simply shrug and pass it off as the author, Ms. Mary Sanchez’s, off-base opinion. Unfortunately, it is not. And I have heard such all too often to believe this is simply one author’s naiveté, ignorance or just plan lack of having sons of her own. And I do hope those who express this opinion are not parents of boys. If they are, that makes this sentiment all the more frightening.

You see, I do have sons. Teen sons. And I worry every bit as much about them having sex as you parents of girls worry about your daughters. Long gone are the days when a young person’s biggest risk from sex was an unwanted pregnancy or an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition that could be cleared up with a round of antibiotics. Nowadays, one can catch things that can kill. I worry about that.

There is a seventh grade girl at my younger son’s school who is pregnant. My first reaction upon learning this was shock followed by a profound sadness for that child. And, at 12 or 13 years old, a child she is. Would I be horrified if she were my daughter? Of course I would. Would I be equally aghast if my seventh grade son were the father of that baby? You bet your ass. You see, there are some of us who believe that, if our son should make a girl pregnant, he is every bit as responsible as she is. And do I want my 13 year-old son suddenly burdened with the responsibilities of a child of his own when his biggest worries should be passing his next algebra test? No way.

Putting the risk of pregnancy and disease aside, there are other ramifications. While my boys might be physically ready for sex, and that only in the strictest biological sense of the word, I know they are in no way intellectually or emotionally prepared. If for no other reason, I hope they will wait until they are a good deal older before they begin having sex.

As a mother of boys, I am thoroughly sick of hearing people say that no one worries about boys having sex. Yes, people do worry. Parents of boys worry. School administrators worry. Health care professionals worry. And, I’m guessing, parents of girls worry. After all, if my boys are having sex, who do you imagine it will be with?

Please, people, join us here in 2007. Those 1950s attitudes about boys and sex were outdated, oh, a few decades ago.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Starting Over

Okay, I'm going to try this again. Had a Blogger account and things were working fine. Tried the beta. Things were still working fine. And then things weren't working fine. Had to find a very round-about way of even getting in so I could post. Okay, I could deal with that. Then, when Blogger switched to the new format, had to find a round-and-around-about way of getting in. This was getting nutty. Still, I dealt with it. Then, one fine day, after taking that very circuitous route into my blog, I discovered that I had lost the option to format font size, etc. All righty. I know defeat when I smell it.

Here I am with a brand-new blog. So far, this one seems to be working fine. Then again, this is my first post. :/ We'll see how this one goes.

So, new blog...
... same old crap no one wants to read.