Saturday, December 02, 2006

If you knew dead like I know dead

I've often wondered how it will be for me when I lose someone dear to me. It's an inevitability of life, I suppose, but still not one that anyone looks forward to.

I was at work one night, minding my own business, when our intake guy looks over and says "I think you'll want to take this one right away." 1:30am, it was. I popped open my screen and saw the presenting problem "father dead and blue, wants to know what to do." I turned and looked at Intake Guy, mouth agape, and he just said "yeah." OYE.

He transferred the call to me, and a female voice greeted me. "Yes, my dad just dropped dead on the floor, and I need to know what to do." "Well," I said, "you'll need to call 911." DUH. "Oh no," she says, "I don't want all that. I'm a nurse. I know dead, and the man is DEAD. I just need to know what to do with him now."

"Uh," I said, "was this something expected? Had he been ill?" "Oh no, he's been in perfect health. We were just sitting at the kitchen table talking and he keeled over onto the floor." Still in shock at how calm she was, I said "You really still need to call 911," when she commenced to enumerate to me the reasons why she didn't feel he should be resuscitated: the good life he'd led, not wanting to see him in a vegetative state, etc. I was NOT gonna convince her to call 911, even when I told her that she still needed to, if only to have the police do a death report.

She hung up, still frustrated that I didn't have a better answer of how to dispose of her father's body. What'd she want? Directions to the Home Depot, so she could buy a shovel? Really. I mean, she was cool as a cucumber the whole time. Totally blew my mind. To this day I wonder if the man was put into a woodchipper, buried next to the petunias, or maybe sits in the freezer, next to a good leg 'o lamb.

Guess I'll never know.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Being a Tool Time Gurl in the House of Utter Chaos

I'm not afraid to work on stuff around the house. Hubby used to say that he fell in love with me because, shortly after we first met, I showed him how to put brake pads on his car. (We actually drove the exact same make and model of car when we met.) I used to change my oil and filters, and all that rot, all the time. No biggie.

Of course, now the hubby thumps his chest and declares his manliness by doing it for me, but I'm not complaining.

It should be no surprise to anyone that I fixed the refrigerator today. We had the same problem a few months ago. Water was leaking under the drawers at the bottom, and it kept freezing. When it first happened, I of course went to my good friend Mr Google, figured it out, and showed my boys how to do it. It involves a frozen drain, and you have to dump enough hot water down the little tube to unthaw it. No problem.

I went to Michigan this summer, and the same thing was going on at my mom and dad's house. They are still in awe that their darling baby fixed the fridge.

When the problem reoccurred today, it should've been a snap. Except no -- nothing about today was a snap. Did shipping -- it took ALL morning, and it's still not done, because some stuff is here, some's at the rental space, and some.........well, let's just say that there were some bad words involved.

Went grocery shopping with the ds12, to the tune of $300. Yep, $300. I haven't done THAT in a long time, but the cupboards were bare. It wasn't till that $300 in groceries was put away that I realized that the fridge was outta whack, so we had to unload said groceries, strip the fridge down, and get 'er done. Of course, I'm standing ankle deep in water when the car shop calls, asking why I didn't bring my car in today (had a car accident last week, but that's yet another story). Hubby called not once, but twice, mostly just to chat about our holiday plans.

By the time I was done, it was like the Great Flood in the kitchen, and water was everywhere. Kinda reminded me of the night dd put Dawn in the dishwasher. (That's definitely another story.) It took me about two hours to get everything back to where it was, and brown some hamburger for dinner -- because ds17 informed me that he wanted "man meat" for dinner, and "man meat" means beef. ::sigh:: By the time hubby got home, I had the look of an assassin in my eye, I'm sure.

He ordered Chinese takeout.

OYE. Just another day of Utter Chaos.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Secret Santa and the Jill House Rocks!

The VCA board on ebay used to have a wonderful Secret Santa exchange. This particular year, my vintie dd decided that she wanted to join in. We've had fun shopping for our SS's, with the fact that we too will receive presents in the back of our heads. I know who got her name, and it's so much fun to watch it happen. SS told me that she was mailing the first package to the dd on Friday, so I knew it'd be here soon.

Here's the way it evolved:

DD: “Mail’s here. Looks like junk.”
Mother: “Any packages?”
DD: I didn’t hear him leave any.
Mom: That doesn’t mean he didn’t leave any.

Mother, always knowing best, saunters out to the porch whilst dd heads upstairs to rock it with more AC/DC, Foreigner, and any other assorted number of bands that her mother listened to in hs. Mother finds package on chair on porch, just as she had suspected.

Mother wanders to stairs and calls up to dd – “Hey, I thought there weren’t any packages.” DD sticks head over railing and says “oh, sorry, I didn’t hear him leave it.” Starts to walk away until mother quietly says “it’s for you. ” “I’m not expecting anything.” Mother responds two little words: “Secret Santa.”

::sound of dd crashing down the stairs at lightspeed::

::dd looks at package with glee::

::sound of package being shaken by the dd::

DD, calmer now, trying to show the maturity that comes with her almost 16 years: “Shes from Florida. Do you know who it is? I guess I should to wait till Christmas to open it?” This is said as a question, not a statement.

Mother: “I don’t think you have to…..”
DD: “Then I’m opening it” DD is already halfway to the kitchen, searching for a knife.

::sound of tape ripping and box opening::

DD: Oh wow, she got me more than one present. Oh wow, look at this! I got a card. Look how cute it is. Look at all of these packages. Oh, this is FUN! Who is it?

Mother: Maybe you should open the card first.

::sound of card opening::

DD: She wrote me a poem. Isn’t this card cute? I’m gonna open the presents. Oh look at this little bag I love it and it matches the polka dot paper do you think she meant to do that and OMG I love the blue nail polish OMG the green is my *favorite* color and it matches my room and look at the orange and the purple and OH this is FUN.

::mother takes breath for dd::
::sound of paper ripping::

DD: Look how cute this purse is. I love it. It’s so cute.

::mother reaches for purse and dd takes it back, not so gently reminding mom that the purse is hers::

DD: Do you think she made this little drawstring bag herself.
Mother: I don’t know, is it a sachet?
DD: I don’t know what a sachet is, but I’m keeping that little bag because it’s so cute.
Mother: Well, you’d better open that bag because it feels like there’s something in there.

DD: Oh WOW, I love this bracelet! I’ve never found one like this. And it’s purple. I love it.

::slips bracelet onto her wrist::

DD: This is so fun.

::sound of paper ripping::

DD: Look at this Humane Society shirt. I love it. I’m going to put it on right after I do my nails I love my Secret who is it when will she tell me do I know her how did she know how much I love all this? My Secret Santa ROCKS.

::deep breath by mother::

DD: Maybe next time I should open the card last (finally realizes that the poem SS wrote for her revealed what the gifts were).

::wanders off to paint nails a lovely shade of lime green::

She's right. Secret Santa rocks.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Drivin' me crazy.

We're heading up to my parents' house today, when I get off work. Over the river and through the woods, you know. We'll do Thanksgiving tomorrow. Yesterday, we had leftovers for lunch, and the little family had soup for dinner whilst I was at work. Thanksgiving is like that sometimes.

Usually, on the day after Thanksgiving, the dh heads out to Christmas shop with our bratty girl. They get up about 4:30, and are on the move by 5, shopping for a few hours, then stopping for breakfast before Round 2. Apparently the brat didn't want to go this year -- which disappointed her dad a bit -- so they are just packing up to leave for Michigan as soon as I get off work.

They aren't bad car travellers, for the most part. DS17 just leans back and conks out with his iPod on. Worst thing about that is the shaking of the car as he snores, but hey, we all have our issues. DD will be asking if we're there yet by the time we get out of the driveway, and ds12 won't be far behind. But it all works out better since we got the van with the DVD player. Hubby will even stay awake for part of the trip if the movie's good. We've watched everything in there -- Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Moulin Rouge, Singing in the Rain, reruns of In Living name it. It helps the car travelling tremendously.

That's why, when people ask me if I've seen such and such a movie, my usual response is that I've heard it five or six times, but never seen it -- cause I'm usually driving. I bet I'd heard The Others at least a dozen times before I actually saw it. Same thing with Fellowship of the Ring -- heard it, didn't see it. Then my brother informed me that I couldn't see The Two Towers unless I'd seen FotR first -- hearing it didn't do it justice. There are some movies that I still haven't seen to this day -- but I've heard more than once. I'm almost always the driver and, quite frankly, I don't like the dh driving when the DVDs are on, cause he tries to watch AND drive. Homey don't play dat. I want to live to get to my destination.

DD suggested that when we go to Michigan, we drive that behemoth of an RV that remains parked in our driveway. I envisioned that as something straight out of Vacation -- without the dead dog dragging behind. I told her no way, and her father wouldn't even respond -- he's still in mourning over all the trouble he went to, just to watch the Broncos lose. I told him that he brought bad karma to "his people" because he was watching the game in an RV all decked out with Colts decor. He just glared at me.

No eye candy today, because I am at work, dealing with the crazies, so I can't post a pic. More fun and games when I get back home again, in Indiana.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is that behemoth doing in my driveway?

Hubby bought an old Town Car a few weeks ago. A 1990 Town Car. It's a beautiful car -- cherry red, and in mint condition. It was owned by an older gent who cared for it well. Hubby loves it.

But it's an aircraft carrier. I hate driving huge cars. I always have to test drive tons of cars before we buy one for me, so I get one I like. This one is HUGE, and thank God, it's not for me to drive. It fits into the garage with 1/2 inch of clearance, so I thought we had the biggest vehicle we could get into our driveway.

That was before someone pulled in tonight with an RV.

Hubby has been very crabby lately, because the NFL Network is showing the Broncos game on Thanksgiving night. Problem? We don't GET the NFL Network. He was ready to get rid of cable and get a dish -- and I'm not sure he still isn't going to. He even asked all of our friends if THEY get NFL network, so he could come over and watch the game. On Thanksgiving night.

Yeah, he's nuts. Especially about his Broncos.

But then he found out that a friend from church has an RV with satellite TV. Said friend said sure, he'd come and park it in the driveway, so hubby can watch the game in it. That's how we ended up with a behemoth in our driveway. It is so tightly packed in there that they a) couldn't pull it all the way to the back and b) can't get the door all the way open to get in and out.

But the hubby is happy as a clam, and the kids are sleeping in it. Never mind that it's the RV that our friend takes to the Colts games, so he can tailgate. Never mind the Colts decor. He is going to watch the BRONCOS on the NFL NETWORK, baby. ::sigh:: I'll be at work, so he can do what he wants.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

God Save Me, I'm the Queen

Husbands and wives tend to have pet names for one another. Sometimes it's dear, or darling, or, in my dad's case, he calls my mom Babe.

Hubby calls me queen.

In the house, at restaurants, and even once, in Target, when he was just being him -- bellowing "QUEEN!" down every aisle, just to see if he could embarrass me. OYE.

A lot of people might think that this has something to do with respect, but it really has nothing to do with that at all. It has to do with a gay guy in Florida, who had a wild crush on my husband, before we got married.

His name was Vince, or Emmanuelle, depending upon what nametag he wore at work. Hubby was a McDonald's manager, and Vince was one of the crew people. I knew that he had a crush on him, and just verified it when I went to pick up the then boyfriend from work. He was talking to the crew, and when he was done, he went back to the office to get something. Vince was the one who stared longingly at him as he walked away.

Yep, he was checkin' him out.

Vince once told him "baby, if you would just let me dress you up and do your hair, we could go out and you could be my queen." Hubby informed him thanks, but he already had his queen, and her name was not Vince. Or Emmanuel. I think it almost killed poor Vince.

Vince actually danced for him at our going away party. We had decided to move to Orlando, and his crew had a little get together for us. Vince was the one who danced to Prince's "Raspberry Beret", whilst stripping down to his red bikini underwear. We died laughing.

So yes, that's how I became the Queen. God save me, that's how our life goes.


Monday, November 20, 2006

At the sound of the bell................

Most of you know that I am a nurse. I don't work in the trenches anymore; I work in a call center, answering calls for people who call hospitals and doctors' offices when they are closed. They call with questions, day and night. We never know what is going to happen when the phone rings, or the pager goes off.

But tonight was a doozy. Here's a little sampling:

"I have a few questions about oral sex. I was sitting here, thinking about foreplay and about receiving oral sex and wondered, can you get any STD from receiving oral sex?"

Guess she doesn't watch Monday Night Football.

"Oh, really? Well, maybe I shouldn't let anyone do that to me."

"How can you prevent getting an STD during foreplay or oral sex?"

"Oh, I don't think I should let him do that anymore."

"Oh, and one more question: a friend told me that if you are receiving oral sex, and a man blows into you (NOTE: apparently this does NOT apply to lesbians) that you can get something, is that true?"

"Oh, well, maybe I just shouldn't let him do THAT either."

Ma'am, the next sound you'll hear is the sound of the "you're too dumb to have sex" alarm. EVER. EVER.

ding ding ding

Kinda along the same vein as the call I had a couple of weeks ago, saying "he just gave me oral sex (NOTE: she used a much more crass term) and now my lip is all blown up and swollen." Mind you, this is NOT the lip she kisses her mother with. I go through all of the usual questions: how long ago ("about three minutes"), are you in pain ("hell, yes"), any chance that you're pregnant (let's hope not). When I told her I thought she would live to ahem, love again, she practically yelled "but what am I gonna do about this swollen up lip?"

ding ding ding

I mentioned it to my dearly beloved, and he said I should've told her to get with a vegetarian the next time.

Yet another one:

Page reads: "dead baby in tube". Test tube? Fallopian tube? Pneumatic tube? Sometimes you just don't want to know.


"I went to the doctor because I have this pain on the right lower side. They said I had an infection, and gave me antibiotics, but they didn't say anything about that maybe I have a dead baby in my tube."

"Oh, I had a tubal ligation a year ago, and now I am itching like crazy, and tearing my skin up till I bleed, and no one has said that maybe it's from a baby in my tube."

"And I have constant pain that only is there when I move a certain way, but the itching has me all broken out in sores, and I can't stop scratching."

"I don't have any sores, but I can't sleep and I need to make an appt to talk to the doctor about getting this tubal ligation reversed. I don't want any more kids, but I have to stop this itching, and if it means that I have to have the tubal reversed, then I will. If I get that tubal reversed, will that dead baby just pass, or what?"

Oh. MY. GOD.


This coming after the first call of the shift, when a mom said her kid was in the office today, had a shot of antibiotics, because "he's not good with medicines", and he's not any better now. Well, of course not, cause it takes antibiotics a while to kick in. But Mom wants the doc paged. Doc isn't on call. Doc on call doesn't know her child from Adam, but Mom wants to talk to the doctor. NOW.

No, he's not in pain. No, I'm not concerned about dehydration. No, he's not running a fever. "Ma'am, why is it that you need to talk to the doctor?"

"Because his body is eating all of his fat up." Now, the nurse asks, very gently (as the mother was irate before the first word exchanged): "How do you know his body is eating all the fat up?"

"Because (insert, you stupid b*tch nurse who obviously knows nothing), I can smell it on his breath."

Alrighty then.

I'll tell you one thing: if you can smell fat on someone's breath, I smell like Three Musketeers.

Are they vegetarians?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The not so jolly Gentle Giant

Well, I will say, after this entry, I don't think I'm going to blog about squirrels. Don't quote me on that, though, cause nothing is permanent at our house. Except laundry. And dirty dishes. And cleaning the bathroom. Ok, so you get my drift.

The other night, just after I had blogged about the squirrels, we had a trauma here. Jill let our dog, a sweet almost nine year old German Shepherd mix, out to do his business. My MIL calls him the gentle giant, and he's a big baby. Well, my big ole baby dog shot out the door like his butt was on fire, and went tearing down the driveway. Jill thought someone was out front with a strange dog, so she ran after him. (You have to see our yard to understand why we can't fence the whole thing in.)

When Jill arrived in the front, my sweet Timmy dawg had a squirrel in his clutches. A big, fat, screaming for his very life, squirrel. DD (the vegetarian, remember) starting screaming at the dog, almost as loudly as the squirrel himself was yelling, whilst the dog is going nuts. Dog finally turns tail into the backyard, squirrel in mouth, with dd chasing after him. She finally got him to drop it, and drug the dog into the house, screaming the whole way.

She tore into the living room where I was, pleading that I need to take the squirrel to the vet. Now remember, I am a triage nurse. I talk to people all night, and have gotten a fair share of calls about interactions with wildlife that did not go well. NO WAY I'm gonna touch that squirrel and get bitten, or scratched, or whatever. So of course, then I was the bad guy, because I wasn't helping out the hysterical dd. "Are you just gonna let it die," shouts the dd, with the most enraged look I've seen out of her in a while. And she's 15, so I have seen rage in her eye. ::sigh:: Yep, the dog eats the squirrel, and MOM is the bad guy. That's my life.

So she starts yelling about how the hubby is gonna go out and pop it on the head with a hammer to finish it off, and how we need to take it to the vet. Hubby is running around, looking through the toolbox under the bed (MY toolbox, mind you. The one he said I never needed, cause why would a woman need a toolbox. Well, it wasn't exactly there so I could clobber a squirrel, I'll tell you that.) Whilst Jill is screaming and hubby is rifling the toolbox, Thomas was standing there, laughing like a hyena about how our sweet dog nailed the squirrel.

And into the midst of all of this wanders the totally clueless Seth saying "I thought we were going out to eat." Yes, he is blonde.

And there I sat on the couch, mouth hanging open, wondering why in the world anyone would call our house anything but Utter Chaos.

Five minutes later, hubby found the hammer, and went outside, only to find that the squirrel had already gone on to its eternal reward. Half an hour later we were sitting in Damon's ordering dinner. With appetizer AND dessert. ::sigh::

And the dog still wonders what in the world all the hubbub was about.

So, the answer to "why did the squirrel cross the road," the answer: to get away from the dude with the hammer.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wild Cows

As I mentioned yesterday, my little family is hopelessly city. The youngest ds will NEVER live anywhere close to a barn, as he is very sensitive to smells, and lets anyone within shouting distance know about his dislike of the odiferous nature of the city. Nope, he'll live in the city his whole life.

DS17 said once that it is his entire goal in life to never go outside, given the chance. He hates the outdoors -- but I will say that he does like camping. (See archived posts for his camping adventures -- he brings a unique, masochistic angle to camping.)

But now dd will likely live out her days in the country. All she needs is a cowboy to pay her way, and off she'll go. She loves animals of all kinds, doesn't matter what it is. Loves 'em more than people, most days, and will have a veritable zoo when she's on her own. Actually has the better portion of a zoo, even here.

She knows a lot about animals too. Watches the dog shows pretty regularly and will almost always correctly choose the winner. Had an animal rescue for a while, and adopted out over 100 cats, on her own. She's an animal lover, through and through.

But the one animal moment she'll never live down is her experience with wild cows. She was seven, and I was driving to my sister's house, south of St Louis. I had three kids and a large dog in the car with me. We had just driven out of St Louis, when she looked at me, with that awe that only a small child can have, and announced excitedly "MOM! You are NOT gonna believe what I just saw. I just saw either a wild horse, or a wild cow." Cracked me right up. I'm not sure what was funnier -- that she couldn't tell the difference between a horse and a cow, or the wild element she brought to it. Still cracks me up, to this day.

But then she went on a youth group trip last month, to a farm owned by one of the kid's grandparents. A farm where the neighbors reportedly have a pet lion. Crazy enough, but then, when they got ready to go out to the pasture, the grandparents warned them "don't get too close to the cows out there. They're kind of wild, and they might hurt you." Feral cows. Who'da thunk it? Ya go to the country, and figure it's the neighbor's lion that might eat you but no, it's the wild cows you have to worry about.

But it made dd happy, so we're all happy, cause when the teenage dd is happy, the whole house is happy.

The Outlaw Josie Wales

I've mentioned before the hopelessly city nature of my little family. They are fairly clueless of most things country, and it can give me a giggle, from time to time.

It's kind of funny how the men of my house are, when it comes to horses. We used to vacation in Tennessee pretty regularly, and one of the thigns dd liked to do was horseback ride. The youngest ds was four, the first time we did it. We have pictures of him sitting on the back of a horse, looking VERY serious, but at least he did it. Hubby and oldest ds went on a cave tour whilst we rode, because they do NOT like horses.

The next year, we went to another place that wouldn't let ds ride alone. We popped him on the horse with me, whilst dd rode another horse. The other ds, and hubby? They rode in the Cinderella carriage, behind us. It was just wrong, in so many ways.

Since then, hubby has made it very clear that he had no intention of riding a horse. He just doesn't like them. Doesn't even like to watch dd ride, in her lessons. He even came home one time, swearing that dd was galloping in her lesson. "No, dear," says me, "she was probably trotting, or maybe even cantering, but NOT galloping." He still swears to this day that she was, indeed galloping. Then there was the day that she fell off the horse, due to a saddle malfunction. He scooped her up and brought her home -- even forgot to pay for her lesson. Into the house she walked, crying. When I asked dh if he made her get on the horse, he said no way -- he took her home, because he wanted to make sure she hadn't dislocated a hip or something.

TIP: if you dislocate a hip, you would NOT be able to walk.

So, when dd bought a horse a month or so ago, we figured we'd be lucky to get him to the barn, but to actually RIDE the horse? No way. But this past week, he told her he was gonna ride. We all said we'd believe it when we saw it. DD called me on Sunday afternoon, asking me to take her to the stables, cause he had changed his mind. "No way," says me. "Make him take you, cause he said he was going to ride."

And ride, he did. I think dd led him around like a pony ride at first, but he demanded the reins and took a walk around the ring. DD called me, amazed that the big man had actually climbed in and was riding. She's telling me all about it, whilst the dh is yelling "I'm the outlaw Josie Wales, baby," in the background.

One ride, and now he's Clint Eastwood. LOL But at least it's progress. Now if we can just get ds17 outta the Cinderella carriage, life will be complete.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The whole world's a squirrel, and my family is nuts

Winter is coming, and the squirrels are out in droves. More than one in our neighborhood has gone on to meet his maker, when trying to answer that fateful question - why did the squirrel cross the road? (Answer in our neighborhood: cause he had a death wish.)

The squirrels make me crazy, because I not only have to play dodge 'em with them when I'm driving, but our dogs think it is their mission in life to rid the world of squirrels. This means that instead of performing the intended functions outside, at the first sound of a squirrel, they will barrel over our 5+ foot privacy fence, and make for the trees. I'm left chasing after them, at 7 in the morning in my bathrobe, swearing my intentions to either euthanize the idiot dogs, or eat them. I'm sure the neighbors just love it. It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you.

But the squirrels aren't the only ones here storing up for the winter. Food has been disappearing here at an alarming rate. I made a pan of brownies last night -- a 13 X 9 pan, I might add -- and it was gone in less than an hour. Mind you, there are five people in our family, and I didn't eat any of them. But of course, bring it up to the little family, and they do a Hallelujah chorus of "I didn't get any either." Right.

My family hides food everywhere. I keep telling them that they are all headed for eating disorders, because there is food squirreled in every corner of the house. I've never seen anything like it, and the dh is the worst. I can't tell you how many times I have opened his sock drawer to put things away, and found Twinkies or cookies or Blowpops. I always know if the kids have found his newest hiding place, because I'll hear a cabinet or drawer open, and the next thing I hear is him muttering "d*mn kids. I can't keep anything around here."

Now, we get an unbelievable amount of trick or treaters at our house. People import them from the neighborhoods around us, because we have a nice neighborhood where people feel safe -- and we are surrounded by the ghetto. I'm never quite sure how much candy to buy for Halloween, and I have to buy it at the last minute, lest it disappear into the depths of our house somewhere, never to be seen again. This year, I went to the store and bought candy to the tune of about $40, and told the dh he was, under NO circumstances, to open any bags until they were needed. I kept track of those bags, because I caught him trying to make off with one within ten minutes of it coming in the door. He and the kids agreed that the "good", aka chocolate, candy would be opened last, and were horrified to hear me say that if it wasn't used, it was going back to the store, because NO ONE in this house needs any more candy.

We had three bags of chocolate left over, which I put on the table and told the little family, under no circumstances were they to touch. I was going to return to the store the next door. Went to let the idiot dogs out, came back and the candy had disappeared into oblivion. Of course, NO ONE knew where it was, with the dh denying having taken it the most vociferously -- so, of course, I knew it was him. I looked in all of the usual places, with no luck. Oh well, I figured it was long gone, into his van, his workshop, or his belly. Who knows.

So last week, I was straightening up our bedroom, getting ready for a photo shoot. Picked up one of his shirts and almost yelled, because I thought I'd found a mouse nest, right in our room.

It was a piled of empty Snickers wrappers.

Not too long after that, I came upon his stash. When I mentioned it to him that night, all he could do was grin. While eating a Three Musketeers AND a Snickers.

I live with a bunch of squirrels.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hoosier mountain biking

My hubby likes to live on the edge. He's calmed a bit over the years, but still likes to push the limits. He says it's his Sagittarian ways. I say he's either brave, or stupid -- with love in my heart, of course.

Several years back, he did a lot of biking. Not on a motorcycle, mind you, but bicycling. He rode his bike to work, took long rides on days off, and would do a bit of mountain biking with friends on the weekend. Indiana doesn't exactly have mountains, but he did ride a bike through the woods and the hills -- mountain biking, Hoosier style.

The guys he rode with had a trophy that was passed amongst them. Constructed of a part of a bike, embedded in a stump, it was given, at the end of the day, to the guy who had the most spectacular wreck. It was the responsibility of the winner to display it "prominently" in their house -- if any of the group didn't see it when they visited, there were penalties, though I never knew what they were. (Some kind of man law thing, I suppose.)

Before the next bike outing, the winner was responsible for adorning it with some type of piece that was appropriate for the subject. It was covered with bandaids, stickers, and some brave soul added an athletic cup. I never asked whose bright idea that was, but the guys loved it. I marvelled that we hadn't had the trophy at our house. Hubby claimed it was his expertise in riding; I called it dumb luck. Till one fateful day.

Hubby gave me a smooch and headed out, planning to spend most of the day biking. I went out for a while, and was surprised to find him in the recliner when I got home. I greeted him with my normal question, "did you win the trophy?" He logrolled over my way and said "no, but I almost died." Oye.

It had rained in the days before, and the woods were muddy. Hubby apparently went to jump a creek, didn't get the front wheels up in time, and when the tires embedded themselves in the mud, he went flying over the handlebars landing, as I'm told, vertically in the creek, on his head. The other guys came flying through the woods and helped him up, got him in the van, and drove him home. Of course, this was not until one of the riders showed him how to properly jump the creek. Again, man law.

He arrived home with numbness in both arms and toddled off to Medcheck with his loving wife, where he was told that he had pretty much done the same type of thing that Christopher Reeve had done, but that the water had absorbed much of the blow. Bruised his spinal cord and his ego, but he was at church the next day -- where the guys all came to check on him during the passing of the peace. I expected it to be the passing of the trophy -- must've been a pretty spectacular fall, for all of the guys to show up like that. They all agreed that he had won the trophy for life.

He hasn't biked like that since, though he still does hit the pavement now and again. With a helmet on.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Snow Queen 4, Hubby 0

My husband has a thing about keys. He can't seem to keep them in his possession. This man, the love of my life, lost his keys in the snow outside my apartment in the first month that we knew each other. That was November, and those keys didn't show up till spring. I should've known.

Actually, I should've known the night we met, because he left his wallet behind in the club where we were, and when we went out to eat, guess who had to pay. That was in the first few hours we after we met. Yep, I should've known.

He had his twentieth anniversary of losing his keys to the snow queen a few years back, and celebrated by, yet again, losing his keys in the snow -- this time on the campus of Butler University. Never found those ones, either. ::sigh:: Some things never change.

Hubby gave me some ribbing a couple of weeks ago, when I locked my keys in my van when we were visiting dd's horse. Of course, I gently reminded him of the time that I had to leave work, because my beloved had locked himself out of his van while standing outside the bank -- with the van running. In the middle of winter. He head just left the YMCA, so there he stood, in shorts, with wet hair, shivering. A hapless victim of the snow queen, yet again. At least I chose warm weather, and had somewhere to get out of the weather, even if it was a barn full of horses.

But the real kicker was the time that we went to the American Heart Association's Bowlathon. We went with another couple, and bowled to our heart's content. (Pun intended, or not, you decide.) As I recall, I won a cookbook, too. But the highlight of the night was when we left. It was about 1 am, and the north wind was blowing cold -- it was about 20 below. No joke. The coldest night of the winter. We go out to the van, and discover that it's locked -- I don't have the keys, so I look at him. He points inside, where I can see my keys dangling from the steering column. "I left them in there for safekeeping." Yep. The best way to keep your keys safe, according to my dear darling husband, is to lock them in the van. On the coldest night of the year. I look at him and say "just how are we supposed to get in?"

Well, my Mensa wannabee husband says, with a rather hoity tone, "we have keyless entry," and plugs in our four digit code, and was met with......nothing. Several tries later, he realizes that he had left the headlights on when we went inside, so now the battery is dead, with our keys inside it. And we are 45 minutes from home. At 1 a.m. With the bowling alley closing. Yep. It wasn't pretty.

Ended up having to call a cab, in order to get home. We made the hub sit up front with the cab driver, who listened to the defendant tell the story, looking for a sympathetic ear. He didn't get it. I'm not even sure the cab driver spoke English, but even he looked at the man like he was nuts. And Marty, our friend, who was best man at our wedding, just calls up to the front seat and says, "hey man, face it, you screwed up."

Silence, the rest of the way home, except from the hubby, who to this day still thinks that the real problem wasn't that he left the keys in the car for safekeeping, but was that the headlights got left on, leaving the battery dead. The Snow Queen won, yet again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

If it's a boy, it must be Turkey

My youngest has a birthday coming up. Hard to believe he's going to be 12, but life does tend to march on. Next year, I will officially be the mother of three teenagers. Pray for me.

When I was pregnant with ds, I had a rotten gallbladder. Due to a mixup at the doctor's office, I was given this diagnosis six months after I had the testing done -- and by then, I just happened to be six weeks pregnant.

That pregnancy was a roller coaster ride. I was in and out of the hospital, and my mom came up from Florida several times, to help with the other two kids. I had preterm labor, so I was on bedrest for twelve weeks. Basically, I told my friends that if I ever mentioned that I wanted to get pregnant again, that they had my permission to shoot me.

My parents were planning an overseas trip, about the time I was due. The closer the time came, the more my mom fretted. She told me that I needed to tell my doctor to induce me, so that they would know that everything was ok. They were going to Turkey, and didn't know if there were going to be phones there, to get the happy news. I told her that I couldn't just demand to be induced.

Then, the morning of their departure, my water broke.

I called hubby and told him to come home. He called back to check on me, and didn't even recognize my voice, bellowing "WHO IS THIS?" into the phone. Geez, honey, just come home! Called my mom and told her that it looked like the baby was on his way. They were just getting ready to go to the airport, so she said she'd call me from the airport in Tampa.

They did. "Ain't nothin happenin' but the rent, Mom." Ok, she said, she'd call me from the airport in DC. Which she did, as soon as they arrived.

"Ain't nothin happenin' but the rent, Mom." Oh for heavens sake, says Mother, I'll call you right before we get on the plane. Again, "ain't nothin' happenin' but the rent." Mom was coming slightly unglued.

So, push comes to baby, and everything was fine. Then, our secretary called into the room. Rather hesitantly, she said "Lisa, your parents are on the phone." Long pause. "They're calling from a plane."

So, my parents got the happy news whilst somewhere between here and Constantinople. And that child has given us nothing but excitement ever since.

Monday, November 06, 2006

You show me yours, I'll show it to my cousin.

Some people are just really stupid. I'm sorry, but it's the honest truth. And I've taken care of a lot of them.

One time when we lived in Florida, I got a new admission in the ICU. Something new: a rattlesnake bite. I'd never taken care of a patient with a rattlesnake bite before. I went in to do an initial assessment on him -- this guy's arm was at least three times its normal size. It was a sight to see, believe me.

I'm a chatty person. OK, so I talk too much, but it helps a bit, when you're a nurse. You find out all kinds of things if you know how to talk to people. One time, the neighborhood hottie was at our house. He ended up staying for 2 1/2 hours, telling me everything from his middle name to how he almost got arrested, to how he duct taped a kid to the flagpole at school. DD asked, "how in the world did you get him to tell you all that?" It's my job, ma'am.

So, I was talking to my patient whilst I settled him in. He was from Tennessee, and had an accent to prove it. We got to talking, and I asked him how in the world he got a rattlesnake bite on his thumb. Here's what he said:

::imagine slow Tennessee drawl::
"I was walking down the road to my cousins, and I saw this ole rattlesnake, just lyin' there, so I decided to take it and show it to my cousin. Picked it up, and it bit me, right on the thumb."

I asked, "What'd you do next?"

Reply: "I kilt it with a rock."

Me: "Well, then what'd you do?"

Einstein: "Took it and showed it to my cousin."

OYE. That guy probably has a whole bevy of children who all look like him by now.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

But Mommy, I don't wanna live in the shelter!

We love our neighborhood. As a matter of fact, my hubby used to ride his bike through our neighborhood when he was a kid and wish that he lived here. We live exactly eight blocks from the hospital where the old guy was born. We will likely never move from here.

I grew up moving all over the place. My parents are part gypsy, I believe, don't like their blonde and red hair fool you -- the people just love to move. As a result, I moved 12 times by the time I was sixteen, and went to four different high schools. Hubby, on the other hand, lived in the same house that he was brought home from the hospital to, and his parents lived there for about five more years after he moved out. The man is ROOTED.

I told hubby that once we had kids, I didn't want to ever move, because I wanted the kids to know where home is. I even have a clipping from an old Oprah magazine that says "the most important gift in life is roots." And I firmly believe that.

So, I was a little unnerved a couple of summers ago when we had three -- count 'em, three, offers to buy our house. Mind you, it was not for sale. No sign, no mention of a sale, nothing. But yeah, three people seriously wanted us to sell them our house. One couple went so far as to send their agent over to look it over, and when we told her no, we love our house and don't want to sell, she ended up calling back a couple of weeks later saying that the couple said we could name a price, and they'd buy it. (We met that couple last year -- she really was serious, they really wanted it, but had to buy a block over when we wouldn't sell.)

Hubby said "let's just name a crazy, exhorbitant price, and see what happens." I just looked at him and asked "where exactly are we going to live? In the shelter? Homey don't play dat." ::whapped hubby firmly on the head::

About that time, one of the kids walked in and quite firmly announced "Mommy, I do NOT want to live in the shelter." Alrighty then.

Fortunately, he wasn't serious, and neither was I, so here we are, thirteen years after we moved in. I'll probably be taken outta this house feet first, but that's ok with me. We all know where home is.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Vintage Terrorists: take a picture, it'll last longer

We did a photo shoot yesterday, with a wonderful model. I was terrified, not knowing what to expect. I've never worked with a model before, so it was a bit unnerving, wondering if anything would fit, would the clothes get damaged, was she going to think I was the end, it was like a big party.

We met at Starbucks. I walked in with armloads of vintage, and we let her try them on, one by one. We had one lady ask if we were doing a wedding, and one man who walked up and told us his son was a model with A&F and Budweiser. Then, of course, there was the very odd lady who rubbed dd's head whilst talking about Project Runway, and when Kailly walked out, kept touching the clothes -- while they were on her. I knew there's a reason I don't go to the north side of Indy much......

I didn't know what would fit, or what would look good, so I took a bunch of stuff. Started out slow, with a striped day dress. I was so happy to see that it fit her great, so I got out some of the great 50s stuff we have. She was in love!

Next, we moved on to the Central Library, which is downtown, in a huge marble building that once was the Indiana State Museum. Marched right in, through the metal detectors (who wants to terrorize a library, I ask you?), once again carrying armloads of vintage, crinolines, purses, anything we could carry. Marched straight into the privvy and set up shop.

We had a professional photographer for this part of the shoot, and got pics on the stairs, amongst the books, all over. Until security showed up and informed us that "you can't take pics in here." Guess they thought we were gonna bust some caps. Oh well, didn't want to get security's crinoline in a knot, so we went back out, followed closely by security. She parked herself on the steps, watching to make sure that the Vintage Terroristas left. What she didn't know was that we just took Kailly, now in a strappy beaded number, exactly like a Laura style from Project Runway, and went into the alley behind the library. Put her up against a chain link fence, and started shooting away.

There were guys on the third floor fire escape, who sat and watched the whole thing. Sulking, I might add, after they yelled down "can we get our picture taken with you?" and were told a firm NO. They watched, then went in and got another friend. Then did it again, several times, till we let poor frozen Kailly get dressed and left the alley.

So now, I'm not freaked out to use a model, can't wait to see the pics, and am looking forward to doing it again. WOOT!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cooking for Dummies

I love cooking. I've cooked since I was a little kid, making cookies, pies, Caesar salad -- you name it. But I hate cooking for my family.

DD has been vegetarian since the age of 9. I don't mind that -- I can usually work around it pretty well. I don't make two different meals, I just make stuff and leave the meat out of hers. When ds found out she wasn't eating Babe anymore, he said "she's not eating meat? Pass me hers." It's been like that ever since.

I believe that ds has made a vow of some type, to never let a vegetable pass his lips. He doesn't like pasta or rice really well. He hates chicken with a passion. He has his own case of mad about cow disease. He loves beef, and has probably singlehandly depreciated the bovine population by a significant amount. If it's vegetarian, he won't touch it.

Hubby doesn't mind vegetarian, but, if I make something veggie, he thinks he's starving about two hours later, and heads to Wendy's.

I can sneak in something veggie from time to time. Those Boca crumbles are great! DD and I have a high sign we give each other when it's something meatless. DS started getting it for a while, saying "is there meat in here? Well, then why is she eating it?" My reply?

"What your sister does or does not eat, is of no concern to you. EAT." Purposefully nebulous. It works every time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Invisible Poop Monsters

Potty training isn't fun. I know that there are those who say that a child should be potty trained by 2, but I beg to differ. You have to have some modicum of cooperation, or it just ain't gonna happen.

The names here have been changed, to protect the potty trained.

We have a photo of one of our children, sitting on the potty, "reading" (upside down) a book called "Chemotherapy and You." Yep. Hubby is an oncology nurse, and aforementioned child wanted a little light reading when nature called.

But the one that takes the cake is the child who decided that he just was NOT going to poop in the potty. And I mean, this child was determined not to use the potty. Just wasn't gonna happen. Now, putting pee in there was fine. We sunk a LOT of Cheerios -- the best way to teach the young 'uns to aim, and got that job done. It was pooping that was problematic.

We tried everything. Bought Spiderman undies and tried to get him to keep em clean -- no problem, he just wouldn't go at all. Tried sitting on the potty in a diaper, and then he refused to go anywhere near the bathroom. Tried prunes, raisins, bribes, and praying to the poop god. No go. He'd actually bring me the diaper, lay down on it, and all but hook it up himself, then go in our room, close the door and let it rip. If we forgot he was in there (or didn't know), we'd go in, and he'd be behind the door, pointing a little finger at us, whilst saying "go away." He was seriously freaked out.

Finally, when he was a little past four, the doc decided that the situation was nuts. Or maybe just that our child was nuts. Sent him to a psychologist who was promptly christened the Poop Counselor. Well, Dr PC was humored by the situation. I could tell from the look in his eye that he thought he was going to cure this situation in about two minutes flat. Asked said child why he wouldn't poop in the potty. Child, who was sitting and coloring on the floor, looked up furtively, said "monsters," and went back to coloring. Geez. That was a new one on me. I hadn't been told of the monsters, but now the truth was out. "Well," says Dr PC, "I have just the solution for that. I have invisible monster spray that'll cure it."

He left the room briefly, then returned holding not one but TWO cans of invisible monster spray. Asked ds, did he want to see how it worked, and we headed off down the hall. He showed us poop warfare, asked ds if he thought that would work, and got an answer in the affirmative.

Dr PC looked rather smug as we headed out the door, with me holding the two cans of Invisible Poop Monster Spray. The first set of double doors had scarcely closed behind us when ds turned, looked me straight in the eye and firmly stated, "monsters aren't real, that spray isn't real, and I'm not pooping in the potty." All righty then.

Took another six months, but the child finally broke down and did it--while I was at work. After all that work, I still can't take any credit. I still have the email I received from ds, announcing touchdown. It's in a certain baby book actually. I was told later, by one of his siblings, "I just told him he was going to sit on that potty, and I was gonna read to him till he pooped, or he wasn't getting up. We prolly read 50 books, but he did it." Like I hadn't tried every trick in the book that every friend, co-worker, doctor, and internet bulletin board had recommended. Heck, we even read "Everybody Poops."We had a whole poop reading club of books that'll never make Oprah's list. Turns out, dd wanted to have the poop party that we had promised him, once he reached the age of reason. And party we did.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What goes around, comes around

I am the youngest of five. By the time my parents got around to me, they likely were having a little trouble naming kids. My grandma did. Of course, anyone would have trouble naming 18 children.

My grandpa named my mom wrong, behind Grandma's back. They planned the first and last names, but at the last minute, he switched the middle name to the first name. They still called her by what was actually her middle name -- and she didn't even know that that was her name, till she got her first job.
They named one of their sons a name pulled from the obituaries, the day after he was born. And two of the boys have the same middle name. When I asked why, they said "if you had 18 kids, you'd forget that you already used the name, too." Yep, I'd have to agree with that.

I was kind of named after Lisa, on As the World Turns. Not EXACTLY after her, but my mom did like the name. Years later, Lisa (who had been married about eleventy thousand times) got married to a man named Earl. I had just gotten married too, and when I watched an episode (cause I had been watching it since conception), Lisa introduced herself to someone. I thought to myself "why does that name sound familiar?"

She had MY name. Earl had the same name as my maiden name. So, I was once named after her, but then she ended up named after me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Loose tooth fairy.....or tooth fairy on the loose?

Hubby is really good at Wheel of Fortune. Tonight was Best Friends night on the wheel, but hubby was handing out candy to the trick or treaters, so I was watching it pretty much alone, whilst I kept the dogs from eating a small child. Hubby wondered why I was laughing when he came back in the room, till he saw the puzzle on the TV. It was one of those Before and After puzzles, and the answer was "Loose Tooth Fairy." Gave me quite a giggle, to think of the tooth fairy as a loose woman/fairy.

The tooth fairy is a bit warped at our house. First of all, my children must want keep their teeth till Jesus comes, and usually end up having the last ones pulled, lest they drink their first legal beer with baby teeth still in their heads. I lost my last tooth when I was 16, so the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Anyway, the tooth fairy took a detour once, on the way to our house. Actually, she wasn't invited, because there was no tooth. No tooth, no proof. We told dd (about 9 at the time) that, if she didn't have the tooth, she'd have to write a letter to the tooth fairy. Little did I know what she would write. Holy moly.

When I went to get the note from under the pillow, it was a full blown letter. Here's an excerpt:

"Dear Tooth Fairy,
I am sorry that I don't have the tooth I lost. I lost it when I bit Vince's shirt, and it was lost in the grass. If he didn't run away when I was biting him, I would still have it. I am sorry. Are you a boy or a girl? Do you have a boss? What do you do with the teeth? Do you have a name? How do you get to the houses? What do you wear? Why can't I see you?"

And on and on and was two pages of nothing but questions. Two pages that I found at 3am, when I had gotten off work, and was more than ready to go to bed. When I was too tired to write out a two page response. So, being the creative, computer nerd mom that I am, I convinced the tooth fairy that the proper response was to email her.

DD received a two page response, from After that, we told her, no tooth, no proof, no money.

So, in honor of the loose tooth fairy, here's a fairy costume from Purse Diva Vintage. Hubby probably saw more than one tooth fairy on the loose, whilst giving out candy tonight. Me? I'm just wearing my "Don't Make Me Get My Flying Monkeys" shirt. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's a dog's life

One of our dogs is sitting next to me, with his paw in my lap. He snores. He's really cute, especially when he's half asleep, but he's one wild man when he's awake. Boundless energy.

As opposed to our other dog. About 60 pounds, his name is Timmy, of all things. DD named all of her dolls Timmy, Brian and Peter, when she was very young, so of course, she named the bubba dawg Timmy. Timmy is about 8, and is a big ole sweetheart. MIL calls him a gentle giant. But he's a butthead, too.

Had to take him to the vet today. He's getting his disgusting teeth cleaned next week, and because he's getting old, had to have labs done before anesthesia. He was none too happy -- he hates going to the vet. Drug him in, got it done, drug him out. In the rain, I might add.

I stopped by the thrift store on the way home to drop some stuff off, and decided to take a peek inside, too. When I came out, Tim was looking really guilty. I couldn't figure out why, till he got up and moved, and under his big butt was the remainder of a bag from Taco Bell. Big dummy got in the car's trash, ate it up, and decided to sit on the evidence. ::sigh::

Pouted the rest of the day that I actually figured it out. So now he's asleep, and his buddy is lying here next to me, snoring.

All in all, it's a dawg's life.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Getting Married, Commando Style

I've mentioned here before that the road to our wedding day was fraught with potholes. Among other things, I virtually totalled our car the day before. On the way to find my lost wedding dress (another story entirely), I got lost in the ghetto.

I remember that the theme song from Beverly Hills Cop 2 was on the radio. I was laughing at my friend, a bridesmaid, who was not willing to stop for directions. Started to pull through the intersection, but couldn't see, because a car was parked illegally on the corner. BAM! Got T boned in my brand new car.

I buried my head in the steering wheel and cried. Friend says "get out of the car." "NO." "Get OUT OF THE CAR. People are watching and they think there's something wrong with you." "It's the worst day of my life, I can cry if I want to, and I'm NOT getting out of the car."

I finally did.

Turns out the guy who hit us was driving his girlfriend's (uninsured) car, was speeding, and was pretty well lit. At 2 in the afternoon. Maybe I should've been too, as I sat on the curb and looked at the remains of my car -- not knowing where my wedding dress was. Drunk guy came over to console me, saying "it's ok, honey, I'm sure he'll still marry you." Then looked at his car and said "S**t." Several times. Then pats me on the shoulder. "It's ok, I'm sure he'll marry you."

The next day, dad pulled me aside and asked "are you sure that you should do this? Maybe all of this is a sign." Sure Dad, I'm sure, I said. Went in to get dressed, and realized that my brand new, wedding underwear was way too small. Of course, I didn't realize this till after I was already dressed, and I was NOT going to undress again to get them off, but you can't wear a $600 dress with underwear that's too small. So, we pulled my hose part of the way down, and chopped them off. Eleven dollar underwear, in shreds.

My mom walked in in the midst of this. Imagine: your baby child's wedding day, and your first view of her in her wedding dress is of her getting her underwear cut off.
I'm sure it's a memory she'll never forget.

Our wedding night was equally eventful, with the best man calling our room, looking for his car keys. ::sigh:: But that's another story.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Give it to Danny -- he'll eat anything

My husband is an eater. He will eat anything. He eats all day long, and most of the night. My mother remarked, when last we saw her, about how he never seems to stop eating -- but is quite thin. One night, I kept a running log of what he ate, then emailed it to her. It included everything from pork chops to cheese and crackers, ice cream, olives, chips, and chocolate. Guess he thought he was at some kind of Roman feast -- but this is an every night occurrence.

One time, we went over to the in-laws house. Of course, walking into his mommy's house, he acted like a teenager and headed right for the kitchen, where he proceeded to spoon up a big taste of what was in the crockpot. He promptly spewed it into the sink, saying "what IS that sh*t?"

"Potpourri," says his mother.

Yep, he ate outta the potpourri pot. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised when he walked into the living room last night with a Tupperware container in his hand. "What in the world is this?" he asked me -- with a very weird look on his face. I asked, did he try it? "Yep," he said, "and whatever it is, it's awful."

He was none too happy to find out that he had just sampled the horse treats dd had made for her horse. ::sigh::

Yep, give it to Danny. He'll eat anything.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let them eat burgers..........

We went to Paris on our honeymoon. We decided that after the wedding, we would take the trip of a lifetime. One that we would never be able to do once we had kids. We spent three wonderful weeks in Paris and the south of France. It truly was the trip of a lifetime.

When we decided to go to France, I had a whole list of places that I wanted to visit. The Notre Damecathedral, the Louvre, wine country, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. Also high on my list was the palace at Versailles. We saved that one for the end of the trip, and I was really excited.

We were so tired from all of the sightseeing that we had done that we ended up sleeping in. We took our time getting ready, then realized it was getting rather late. Grabbed a train to Versailles, but I knew we'd be cutting it close -- the tours don't go on 24/7. I was sweating it a little bit, because I really wanted to see the palace. Then, on the train, my new hubby realized that he hadn't eaten breakfast.

Nothing is allowed to get in between my hubby and his food. Nothing. He decided that we had to eat something before the tour of the palace. I protested that we were going to miss the tour, and he could eat when we were done, but he insisted that we had to eat before the tour. We ended up sitting in a little restaurant in town.

I speak no French. By the end of our trip, I could understand a lot of it, but I definitely can't speak it, so I relied on hubby to order for me. He ordered burgers and fries, whilst I sat there, ready to rock and roll. When the food arrived, I was totally confused.

What hubby had thought was going to be a burger and fries ending up being a burger with a fried egg on top of it. To this day, I still don't know if he ordered wrong, or if it was the special du jour.

In either event, when we got to the palace, the last tour had just left. Yep -- I missed the palace at Versailles, for a hamburger with an egg on top of it. Needless to say, Versailles is at the top of the list of places I want to see when we go back for our 25th anniversary.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Old Yeller and the Dead Dog Warning

My daughter is an animal person. An almost-PETA animal person. She's been this way since birth. I used to tell hubby that she looked like ET in her crib, surrounded by so many stuffed animals that you could see her amongst all the critters. It should be no surprise that our house consists of two dogs, two cats, two guinea pigs, a horse, and now she's trying to get us to agree to an iguana -- which simply ain't gonna happen.

Growing up, she watched basically any show/movie/tape that had a dog in it. If we wanted to surprise her, we'd go to the video store and pick out any movie with a dog on the case. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes it didn't, because, as we found, the mortality rate of animals, especially dogs, in movies is pretty high. If you were a dog, you wouldn't want them to make a movie about you, because odds are, you'd end up dead. This was very disturbing to dd, depending upon the situation. "My Dog Skip" was ok, as she said, cause Skip was old when he died, and had lived a nice long life. "Where the Red Fern Grows" was a disaster -- how in the world was I supposed to know that the dogs died? DS watched about half of it, then left the room to go play chess online. When I went in to say hi to him later, he asked how the movie ended. When I told him, he said, without looking up, "oh dear, I'll bet that didn't go over very well." I thought that the girl was gonna have to have therapy.

One time, I got a movie for her, and watched part first part of it, then had to go to work. Later, I asked ds how it ended he said "can't you please just check for the dead dog warning before you bring these movies home? Cause you know, if there's a dog on the cover, it's gonna be dead, if there's not a dead dog warning on the case, there should be."

Then there was the night that hubby brought home "Old Yeller." Now, I haven't seen it, but I know it's an emotional trainwreck for anyone who watches it. I didn't even let the poor man in the house with it -- made him turn around and take it right back to the video store before he even put his keys down. I don't think she's seen it, to this day.

It's not just dog movies though. "The Yearling" -- she didn't speak to me for a day or two after that debacle. And "Bambi?" Oh dear Lord. When Bambi's mom died, she turned to me, terror stricken, and said "what happened to Bambi's mom?" Before I could reply, her three year old brother said, in his most booming voice, "She's DEAD. DEAD DEAD DEAD." This said, repeatedly, whilst marching around the room. "DEAD DEAD DEAD." Lord have mercy, she cried for an hour and a half AFTER the movie was over. I almost needed therapy after that one.

She's gotten a bit better nowadays, but I'm still thinking that her brother may be onto something -- perhaps the Dead Dog Warning could be his widget. Make him millions of dollars, and he can take care of mom and dad in his old age. And pay for his sister's therapy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I am a lady of the night

Being a nurse, I work a lot of weird hours. I've worked days, nights, and everything in between. I've done 4 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, and my share of 16 hour shifts. I did a double the night before our oldest son was born. It comes with the job.

I think I average about 3 hours of sleep a night, when things get really nuts. This week, I'm working 11pm-3am whilst our night nurse is on vacation. She is living it up in NYC, whilst I take calls. Every night, hubby looks at me and says "what are you doing?" "Working," I reply. "When are you ever gonna live a normal life," he mutters. I'm thinking probably never. It's been this way for 23+ years as an RN, and even before, so maybe this is normal for me, I don't know.

There are some bad things about working nights. Back in the days before direct deposit, I got a speeding ticket after working nights, because I had forgotten to put my check into the bank, and tried to do it with no sleep--that cost me about $100 bucks. When we first moved into our house, our cat got angry with me for closing the basement door where her box was -- so she peed on me. Talk about the ultimate disrespect: that cat climbed right up on me, kneaded around a little like they do, then peed right on my hip. TWICE. And then there was the drunk who used to call me and sing "Strangers in the Night" on a pretty regular basis.

Hubby cut a hole in the basement door that's there to this day.

One of the worst experiences I had when working nights was when I had a serial obscene phone caller. He must've figured out that it was fun to talk to someone who is nearly in a coma, because he would call me every Sunday morning. I had no idea, till I work up actually talking to him. Happened several times before I learned to leave the phone off the hook when I sleep.

So here I am, till 3am, killing time, but hopefully not killing any callers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I've seen dead people

As a nurse, I have seen a lot of dead people. When I decided at the age of seven that I wanted to be a nurse, I don't think I ever considered the death element. I mean, Consuela, Marcus Welby's nurse, never had a dead patient. Nurses wore white, took orders and fluffed pillows. No one ever died whilst getting their pillows fluffed.

The first night shift I worked in the hospital as a student, three people died. It's the only time in my career that three people died in one of my shifts. Mind you, I wasn't even caring for them, but good heavens, they were dropping like flies. The first time it happened, the staff wouldn't let me in the room -- tender sweet thing that I was. Heck, I was proud that I actually walked by the room of a dead person. Second one died and I actually set foot in the room, in awe of death. By the time the third one dropped, I was helping bag 'n tag, as hubby calls it. I was a pro.

The hospital I worked at had a really creepy morgue. The freezer there would only hold four bodies, and man, I hated opening that freezer door. You just never knew what you'd find in there, cause the ER would just bring 'em in there in all kinds of conditions. I found one in there one night actually sitting up in the wheelchair. Never did figure that one out.

When you walked in the door of the morgue, it was so creepy, because you walked in through the autopsy room. It was literally like Frankenstein's lab, with clear jars of various body parts lining shelves in a cabinet that went to the ceiling. I hated that place.

We were never really anxious to go down to that morgue, but one night we had to go twice. I went down to the morgue with both patients. A co-worker went with me, cause you just can't put a body in there without some help--there's a reason it's called dead weight. First time, she decided to check things out. Across the room from the freezer, there was a Frigidaire refrigerator, just like you and I put milk and eggs in. She started reading the sign on it. "If you put a leg in here...." it read. That note had a whole list of things to do if you needed to drop off a leg. Ewwwww. Well, Cindy decided to look and see if there was, indeed a leg in there, and was sadly disappointed that there wasn't.

Next time down, we were talking about how creepy the place was, being in the belly of the basement, gallbladders lined up, legs in the fridge and all. We were trying to get the door unlocked when a palmetto bug the size of my hand came crawling out from under the door. We both screamed at the top of our lungs, when suddenly a booming voice from behind us quietly said "can I help you?"

I almost passed out. I'm pretty sure I left a puddle where I was standing. That was the point at which we found out that maintenance was just across the hall from the morgue, and the maintenance man, on a break, had just popped over to see if he could help.

Yeah, help me get my heart outta my throat. That would be helpful.

And so, in honor of the creepiest morgue I ever experienced (and I've seen several), here's a great corpse bride costume offered earlier this month by by Vertical Vision Vintage, at Main Street Vintage Mall.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wake me up when the baby's done drying

When the kids were little, hubby and I worked opposite shifts a lot. He was in nursing school, as well as working part time at the hospital. I worked 12 hour weekend shifts so I could be home during the week. Hubby was pulling a lot of all nighters, studying and writing care plans for school. We were both exhausted all the time.

Having two toddlers who were only a year apart will suck out your brain cells on a good day, but add nursing school to it, and we were both nuts. The youngest didn't understand the concept of sleep at all. The oldest was a good sleeper -- but then again, there was the night that we found him in the living room, shouting out responses to Dick Clark on $100,000 Pyramid at 2am. We worshipped at the altar of sleep, and would grab it whenever we could.

I was working in the Special Care Nursery at the hospital, and would get off work at 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays. I walked into our apartment one night after work and immediately tried to assess the wreckage: hubby was fully reclined in the La-Z-Boy, snoring. Looking at him, I tried to figure out what in the world he'd been doing, because he had these weird black lines on his face and all over the sleeves of his new IU School of Nursing sweatshirt. Kinda like a sleeping Braveheart.

Off I went to find the kids, and immediately see the oldest, two years old, walking down the hall toward me. "Hi Mommy," says he, in that little baby voice that makes a mommy melt. "Where's your sister?" No response, but I hear this weird noise next to me, in the little utility closet where the washer and dryer were. Over he walks, opens the dryer door, and out pops his baby sister. "Hi Mommy!" she says.

Yep. He had put her in the dryer.

I walked in and whacked hubby on the leg. He promptly woke up saying "I wasn't asleep, I wasn't asleep." Right.

So, I asked him what his racing stripes are all about, and he had no idea--didn't even know that they were there. We went upstairs to change clothes, and found that the kids had emptied the laundry basket, flipped it upside down, then used it as a stepstool, and climbed up on the counter. They then apparently proceeded to ransack my makeup bag, dumping out a container of foundation all over the counter, then took my mascara wand downstairs and painted Daddy with it.

Yep, honey, you weren't asleep.

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Jaws of Life rule

I do have a few rules to live by. I'm pretty laid back, most days, but some of my rules are: no camping in the rain with my hubby, the true test of a marriage is putting up wallpaper together, and the Jaws of Life rule.

Many people are probably unaware of the JOL rule, because they are lingerie challenged. Word is, most girls nowadays don't know what a slip is. Let me tell you, I hated wearing slips when I was a kid. Truly hated it. I loved feeling the silky touch of my mom's slip, but didn't like mine at all. They tended to ride up on my rubenesque frame, and I always go zapped with static when I wore them. Guess I just wasn't a lingerie girl.

I did love the 7 days of the week underwear that I generally found under the tree every Christmas, but was confused. Is it really ok to wear Tuesday on Friday? Would lightening come down and strike me if I did? To me, it kind of was the equivalent of the "make sure your underwear doesn't have holes in it" argument that most moms would give their children, back in the day. "Just in case you get into an accident," they say. Riiiiiight.

Hubby used to have an interesting theory about lingerie. He didn't know what a pap smear involved, when we first met. (He wasn't a nurse yet.) He asked me one day, after I mentioned that I had my appointment the next day, what a pap smear involved. I told him, well basically, they put you up in stirrups, ram a long metal spear up to your tonsils, rummage around down there for a while, then tell you you're fine. "Oh, he says." Couple of days later, he comes up to me, out of the blue, and asks, "what are you wearing when this pap smear thing takes place?" Says I, "a little paper dress that goes down to my belly button, if I'm lucky."

Thought he was gonna pass out. When he got his head out from between his legs, I asked what the heck he thought I would wear. "I don't know," he said, "I thought maybe some special underwear." Well honey, sure, that's where crotchless undies came from.

Yeah right. So, let me share my Jaws of Life rule with you. It's one rule that nurses, paramedics, and other medical staff live by.

When the Jaws of Life are out, no one cares what color your underwear is. Doesn't even matter if you even have them on, as a matter of fact. Perhaps the staff might vaguely notice if you are wearing bikinis, if you're Eddie Murphy, or Marv Albert. Heck, they might even noticed if my hubby wore his Viagra/Mark Martin Viagra boxers -- given to him by a drug rep several years ago.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wild horse, or wild cow?

We have a new addition to our family. He's an appaloosa named Speck, and he's my dd's new favorite animal. She babysat all summer -- three girls, so she is now a saint, awaiting canonization -- in order to get the money to buy him.

I remember one time, when she was about seven. We were driving to my sister's house in Missouri, and were about 1/2 an hour outside of St Louis, when she suddenly looks at me, wide-eyed, and says "Mommy! You are not gonna believe it, but I think I just saw either a wild horse, OR a wild cow." Cracked me up.

A few years back, we took a vacation to Chincoteague Island, in Virginia. Of Marguerite Henry horse book fame. They have a herd of wild horses on the island, and dd was enraptured. LOVED those horses and, I'm sure, spent most of her time figuring out if a) one would fit in the back of our van and b) if not, how she could get rid of her brothers to make more room for it.

This big fatty fat pants horse is eleven, and his name is Speck. He's a real cutie, and dd's in love.

And at least we know he's not a wild cow.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Steven Seagal's Asian Experience

If you have teenaged sons, you know that they are a different breed of animal from anything or anyone else on the planet.

DS had his birthday two weeks ago. 17. Unbelievable to me--seems like just last week that he was a cherubic little towhead, and now he shaves more often than his dad does. So, what do you get the 17yo who buys himself anything he wants? We got him new speakers for his (old) car. He was pretty happy, but the highlight was this: Lightning Bolt: Steven Seagal's Asian Experience. It's this energy drink he's been desperately wanting for quite a long time. If you ask him why, he'd say "Mom, wouldn't YOU want to try something called Steven Seagal's Asian Experience?"

Anyway, it's supposed to be sold at 7/11, which are few and far between here - -and they don't have it. So, when we were in Vegas, we stopped at like 20 7/11's, cause they are on every corner there. No Asian Experience -- at least, not the drinkable kind. Come to think of it, it kinda sounds like a condom, but I digress.

So, I went online and ordered him some. Totally didn't expect it, so when he opened it up, he lit up like a Christmas tree. He was soooo happy.

So I IM'd him later (he was upstairs and I was surrounded by patterns) and asked him how it was. He told me "it's really good. Strangely, it tastes like cranberry juice and beer, without the aftertaste."


So, the mother asks, "how do you know what beer tastes like, dear?" Long pause, then "ummmmm............awkward moment"

To which my response is, "don't ask, don't tell, cause I don't want to know. Don't drive drunk, don't get in trouble, and don't let me catch you, or you will be in big trouble." My thing has always been: call me at 3am and ask me to pick you up from anywhere, but if you tell me you're calling from jail, you'd better be telling me you're getting comfortable for the night.

He in response to my motherly suggestion, he responded, "OK Mom, that's cool."

Later, I tasted the stuff -- and he is right on -- it DOES taste like cranberry juice and beer, without the aftertaste. Blech. So now, his buddy is driving me nuts to get HIM some, cause he wants to take it to school. He attends a $15,000 a year prep school, and resells stuff like that for profit. He's an entrepreneur.

Teenaged boys. They are nuts, but ya gotta love 'em.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Where did all the demure women go?

OK, I'll admit it. I'm a mouthy broad.

No one would ever call me quiet, shy, or retiring. I'm not coy, and I'm surely not demure. I am temperamental, I talk too much, and I laugh too loudly. I'm very opinionated, and not afraid to show it. But I think I'm ok. One does ponder the idea though: where did all the demure women go?

I mean, really. Looking at ads from the 50s, it looks like these girls sat demurely with their hands in their lap, waiting for the tea to be served. They didn't even cross their legs. No jeans -- beautiful party dresses, afternoon dresses, day dresses, and even house dresses -- there was a dress for every occasion.

And lingerie. Girls wore slips. Most high school girls -- and, I daresay, twentysomethings even -- don't even know what a slip is. I remember that I hated wearing them, but loving the feel of my mom's silky slip. My youngest took a shining to a silky nightshirt I used to have, and would carry it around everywhere, sucking his thumb contentedly.

Back in the day, women sewed. They cooked -- there is nothing like a meal cooked by one of the church ladies, who grew up cooking like they did back then. ::sigh:: Makes me hungry, thinking of it. They wore aprons that functioned as washcloths, purses, and baskets to carry things in from the garden. And they blotted their lipstick -- our trash was always full of small pieces of tissue, permanently marked with my mother's favorite shade. I thought, and still do, that my mother was one of the most beautiful women on earth.

The women in these ads look so content. Ads today just look like the women just vo-dee-oh-doh-doh-ed, as Laverne and Shirley would've said. What happened?

That's why I love vintage. It brings back the days where people were content with small pleasures - 50 cent matinees, playing kickball in the street, and lemonade stands. The smell of burning leaves, and roasting marshmallows. My idea of romance was thinking about holding hands with a boy during a hayride -- mind you, neither of us having the nerve to actually hold hands, but the thought of it made me happy.

So this fall, indulge yourself in something demure. A sweater like Lana would wear, a pillbox hat, whatever makes you feel like a girl. And have a caramel apple, while holding your honey's hand during the hayride. It's good for the soul.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just stay alive!

We are watching Last of the Mohicans. For the 4,000th time. At the very least. It's one of the hubby's favorite movies of all time.

I'm not one to watch movies with weapons. As a matter of fact, I avoid them like the plague. When the yucky parts come, I go make popcorn. I make a lot of popcorn in this movie. They scalp people in this movie. They cut their hearts out. The slice 'em ear to ear. But, if you ask hubby why it is, in his opinion, one of the best movies of all time, he will tell you "it's about history, and love, and honor."

He can recite some parts verbatim. As I started to type, the infamous waterfall scene was on......"just stay alive, no matter what occurs, I WILL FIND YOU." He recited it along with the movie. He loves this show.

Last of the Mohicans has some pretty powerful music. I love the soundtrack, and bought a tape of it for the hubby at the goodwill a couple of years ago. But you know, Daniel Day Lewis looks pretty good in it too. A fine actor he is, and great with a muzzle loader - and just in time for hunting season.

Monday, October 09, 2006


It's quite loud at my house tonight. In case you don't have a nut in your house, I'll let you know: the Broncos are on TV. My house is decorated for what is considered in our house to be a Holy Day.

It's not often that Denver is televised in Indianapolis. The Colts dominate our football telecasts, despite the fact that they just can't make it to the big dance. So, when the hub's "people" are on, it's nothing short of Mardi Gras.

Here's what it looks like here:
  • Denver scrapbook is sitting upright on a box in the corner of the living room.
  • Denver beach towel is on the rocker in the other corner.
  • #1 Broncos fan license plate is under the TV, on the entertainment center.
  • Three Broncos hats on top of the TV.
  • Broncos tie dye shirt is hanging from the living room drapes.
  • Denver flag is hanging from the front porch eave.
  • Hubby has on his Broncos shirt AND lucky Broncos socks.
  • I am sitting on a Broncos blanket.

    The flowers hubby brought home from church are on the mantle -- I thought he was just being nice, till I realized that they are orange.

    No one can say that the man is not loyal. I can't even go to bed, because he has a box of Broncos stuff on the bed, and his tennis shoes -- spray painted orange, with Elways, and Davis' numbers on them, are at the edge of the bed.

    I, of course, bought into it and bought the man orange and blue M&Ms. He responds by bellowing "IN-COM-PLETE!" every time the other team fails to complete a pass, and by yelling disparaging remarks to both teams at every turn. The neighbors probably wonder what's going on, because the dogs start barking every time he starts carrying on.

    He's a little nuts, but ya gotta love a fan.

  • Sunday, October 08, 2006

    Our version of an Amish Barn Raising

    You know, I always say that you don't REALLY own your house, till you've seen it without a roof.

    We've been in our house for 13 years. It's the first house we bought, and I'll probably only leave it when they carry out my cold dead body. I love it that much. It's an older (70 years old) house, in a historical neighborhood. Gorgeous place, 'tis -- but surrounded by ghetto.

    Few years ago, we had to replace the roof. Replace, meaning, strip off the old layers down to the rafters, and then put it back up. There is a custom at our church: whenever someone in the group needs a new roof, or some big project, the guys would get together and do the work. The homeowner just supplies the materials, and lunch. I call it an Amish Barn Raising.

    So, the first of the guys arrived at 7:30am promptly, and within an hour or so, they were all hard at work. I made lunch whilst shingles flew. When we sat down to break bread, I asked, very nonchalantly, who would be the best bet for an injury. (These guys all biked together, and had a trophy that went around, involving bike wrecks. But that's another story.)

    Dave raised his hand, admitting that HE was the best bet.

    Next day at lunch, I remarked how wonderful it was that we hadn't had any injuries or accidents. Come to find out, Dave had slid off the roof earlier in the day. Didn't get hurt, but definitely slid from the top. ::sigh:: THEN, hubby shares his now broken, very crooked finger. A finger which is still crooked, to this day, because MEN DON'T GO TO THE ER. Even when bones are almost sticking out. ::sigh::

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    My name is Snow White

    Sorry all, I've been gone, playing nursey to my mom, who had surgery. She's better, and I handed over the reins to my older sister (aka Nurse Ratchet), and now I'm back for more fun.

    Halloween is fast approaching, and my thoughts turn to costumes. You know my feelings about it -- Halloween is the holiday created to punish un-creative parents. But I came across this Snow White Costume, from Red Pony Enterprises. Reminds me of a story.

    When I was 22, I moved to Florida with my (not yet) hubby. Just went down on a lark, for a change, and to see if the relationship would work. (Not yet) hubby moved in with me, and we had a fine time in the Sunshine State. I was a young nurse, working in Intensive Care, with a bunch of nurses who had migrated to Florida from all over. We had one husband and wife team who worked there.

    I use that term loosely, because though they were married, the hubby was a bit generous with his affections, and was sleeping with a co-worker. Never was quite sure what the wifey-poo thought of it, but it was pretty common knowledge around the unit.

    Anyway, said male nurse found out that I was living with (not yet) hubby, and expressed his dismay, saying that I looked too young and pure as the driven snow to be indulging myself. Ironic, huh? Anyway, he tagged me with the nickname Snow White, and proceeded to call me that at every turn.

    Including the day I was assisting a dermatologist -- who did not know me from Adam, cause you don't see many dermatologists in ICU -- with a skin biopsy. In full isolation gear: gown, mask, gloves, hat, the works. Anyway, Don Juan pops his head in in the middle of the procedure and says "Hey, Snow White, when are you going to go to lunch?"

    Imagine the doc's confusion here.

    Whenever I saw him in the hall after that, he always greeted me with a "hi, Snow White," which was very strange if we were in the elevator with visitors.

    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Mayday! Mayday!

    I hate carrying a purse. I guess I'm not the "normal" woman that way. Of course, many people would say that I am not a normal person period, but I digress.

    My dd LOVES purses. It's become something of a joke at school about how many purses she has. She has them in all styles and colors, new and old. I have one.

    My last purse was pretty cute. Woven in a taupe color, with some stripes on it -- it wasn't anything fancy, but was very functional. A bit too small for my taste, but it worked, and people liked it. Then one day, the strap broke. Now, it can take me weeks to find a purse that I like, so dd was appalled when I was sighted carrying it around with the strap tied together.

    I guess it is a reflection on the entire family when the mother's purse is incorrect, because she went on a mission to find me a new one. I bet her that I could find one at the thrift stores, to which she simply turned up her nose and shook her head. I looked for days in thrifts and out, alone and with dd, till I gave up the ghost and told her that I was simply going to have to shop with her dad or her little brother, and they would find me one. She was even more appalled at hearing this, as she is the stylist in our house. (For whatever that is worth. If you saw us, you'd see how hopeless her job really is.)

    I personally think if you want a good purse, take a guy with you, because guys think about pure function. Forget cute -- a purse needs to WORK.

    I explained that her father is excellent at picking out purses, and ds must've gotten the purse hunting gene, because a few years back, I had him pick one out for me. I had been looking for two weeks and finally took him to Kohl's with me. He almost immediately found a great one, and when I asked him what he liked about it, he informed me, in his 5yo wisdom, that it was the color of poop.

    I carried that purse rather gingerly after that, but it was a great purse. It really shouldn't have surprised dd when this time, I took ds out with me, and he found me a purse in about ten minutes flat.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Orange Crush Part 2

    I am a football widow. My husband, despite living in Indianapolis virtually his entire life, is a rabid Denver Broncos fan. He loves football so much that I think his little family could disappear from the face of the earth, from August to February, and he would likely not notice.

    He has a bevy of Denver memorabilia. He loves to wear his Denver hats, shirts, and socks. He’s been known to drape shirts all over the living room during games. He used to have a Denver flag, but now it’s gone.

    After winning their first Superbowl, hubby took his beloved Broncos flag and staple gunned it to a tree in his brother’s front yard. His brother and family are Colts fans, except his SIL, who is a big Raiders fan. SIL was not happy about the flag incident,
    but the strangest thing was what happened to the pictures he took of said flag, whilst it hung proudly in the elder brother’s yard.

    The pics came back with swirls all over them – around the flag, but not touching it. Hubby put the pics in his brother’s mailbox, with a note saying “here is proof of the Raider’s spirits being exorcised from your house.”

    SIL didn’t speak to him for quite a while, and we never saw the flag OR the pics again.

    Saturday, September 23, 2006

    Yes, it's true.....I hate Halloween

    I hate Halloween. It's the only holiday designed to punish parents. You really can't screw up at Christmas, because kids like presents. Birthdays are a piece of cake. But Halloween? I hate it.

    My brother was born on Halloween, but that's fine. Someone cut our cat's tail off on Halloween when I was five or six. But I think it all goes back to Damnations.

    DD loves dogs. Always has. She REALLY loves dogs. When she was tiny, she used to sleep in her crib like ET, surrounded by tons of stuffed animals. You couldn't see the girl for the animals. Plus, on her first Halloween, 101 Dalmatians was the newest big thing, so we decided to dress her like one.

    We were pretty strapped for cash, with hubby in school, and two babies at home, so we put a yellow raincoat on ds and called him a fireman. DD got a white cardigan, with polka dots cut from black duct tape, and she was instantly a dalmatian. We only planned to go to grandparents' house and a couple of other places, anyway.

    Then we went to dinner. The salads arrived just in time for DD to upchuck green stuff all over her outfit, me, and everything in her path. That was no treat, trust me.

    By the next year, she was talking fluently, and every time she would see Disney's masterful marketing in the store, she would yell, "Look Mommy, DAMNATIONS!"

    You're telling me, honey. You're telling me.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    I didn't do it!

    Kids are nuts. They will do anything -- to themselves or each other.

    Our first two kids are just over a year apart. Hubby was in nursing school when I was pregnant with dd, so things were pretty nutty at home. I was working 12 hour weekend shifts so that I could be home with the kids during the week, while he was gone to class.

    Hubby worked part time at the hospital, tutored at the university, and pulled a LOT of all nighters, studying. Needless to say, we walked around in a blur, most days.

    I got home from work one Saturday evening, opened the door to our apartment, and saw dh asleep in his recliner. With a not quite one year old and two year old at home. I walked by him, to see where the kids were. DS, just turned two, was walking down the hall toward me, laughing. I heard something odd to my left -- a muffled sound that I couldn't interpret.

    Opened the door to our utility closet, and realized that DS had put DD in the dryer. It wasn't on, and she was perfectly content when I pulled her out, but still........what would the Maytag man think?

    I went back to hubby, snoozing in his chair, and realized that he had black stuff all over his face and brand new sweatshirt. I followed a trail upstairs, and found that the two monkeys had emptied a laundry basket, flipped it over, used it as a ladder, climbed up on the bathroom counter, pulled my makeup bag off of a shelf, opened up a jar of foundation, dumped it on the carpet, then made their way downstairs to paint Dad with a mascara wand.

    I smacked DH's foot and said "look what your children did," to which he responded, "I wasn't asleep." Yeah right. When he's painted black, like Braveheart, with mascara.

    The sweatshirt was ruined, and to this day, dd, now 15, says "tell me about the time that DB put me in the dryer."


    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Sometimes you have more cents than you think..........

    My youngest is very accident prone. As a matter of fact, he's so accident prone that he broke both arms before he was two and a half. That's one of the reasons I call him Monkey Boy.

    We were at Animal Control one day when he was six, visiting a puppy we were thinking about adopting. When we came out into the lobby, he had a guilty look on his face. I asked him what he had in his mouth, and he just stuck out his tongue at me -- and there was a shiny quarter. I told him "put it in your pocket, or it's mine." He did.

    Half an hour later, we were at Jiffy Lube, near our house, dropping off oil to be recycled. Hubby went in with the oil, and suddenly, I hear a gawdawful noise from the back end of the van. DD was sitting behind me, and I couldn't see DS. I ask, "what in the world is wrong with him" and dd just looks at me with her huge blue eyes and starts bawling. I jumped out and ran to the other door, yanked it open and see ds, hanging onto his neck for dear life, choking out the words "I swallowed a quarter."

    Hubby came out, and we raced to the ER, which was only a mile or so away. Mind you -- we had our 75 lb dog with us, so I dropped the hubby and ds off at the ER door, then drove a few blocks to our house. By then, dd was hyperventilating, so I rushed the dog into the house and got her a paper bag to breathe into. We walked into the ER with her gasping into the bag, so of course they thought SHE was going to be the patient. "No, no, no," I said, "She's fine, but you're gonna have to let her see her brother, cause she thinks he's dead." Turns out, she gave him the quarter, so she thought, in her then ten year old wisdom, that she had killed him.

    Ended up that ds vomited every ten seconds or so until they could get him to surgery -- three hours later. The constant retching was interspersed with ds saying "I don't have any sense." BLCHHHH "I should've listened to you." BLCHHH.

    "Well baby, you have 25 cents," we said.

    The doctor asked "are you sure it's a quarter, cause we take bets on this stuff, and this doesn't look like a quarter." Sure enough, he walked out of surgery afterwards, jingling a specimen cup that held a shiny 1994 quarter -- the year of ds's birth.

    It is now in my bottom drawer, along with the hospital bills associated with it. I call it the $3000 quarter.

    Moral of the story: usually swallowed objects will pass, if they are smaller than a quarter. Six to ten year olds are the ones most likely to choke on stuff, we were told, not toddlers. And believe me, if it gets stuck, you will know it IMMEDIATELY.

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Painter vs Phone. Phone loses.

    We live in a cell phone nation. We're not big on electronics, though we did have a cell phone back in the day when they were laughably huge, got rid of it for several years, and got one for each of us a few years ago. We don't have IPods, and I can barely work the DVD or VCR remote. No Palm Pilot or Blackberry. Just cell phones and a computer. That is the total of our electronic milieu.

    I had to replace hubby's first phone after he ran over it with his paint van. Yep -- he ran it over and killed it dead. That was #1, not counting the one he had already dropped in a gallon of paint. That was his mulligan.

    When I ordered him a new phone, they had a great deal on camera phones, so, what the heck, I got two: his and hers. I loved that little phone, cause I could read the news whilst waiting for ds to get out of Algebra, or take pics at Little League games. That phone was fun -- till I had surgery. Hubby (who is also a nurse, btw), was waiting for me in my room, tucked me into bed, then decided that nature called. Next thing I knew, I heard him yell, and the sound of water splashing.

    Yep, nature called, and he dropped MY phone, which he was holding while I was under anesthesia, straight into the toilet. Comes and puts it on my table, like I will ever touch it again. That was #2 (no pun intended, trust me).

    I ordered a cheapo replacement phone for myself and went on with life, till we got ready to go to Vegas. First trip we'd taking without the kids in a while, so I had Xanax ready. (I don't fly well.) Little did I know how I was gonna need it.

    I had to drop my car at the shop to be repaired. Hubby was a few minutes late picking me up, and when he arrives, he informs me that he dropped his camera phone into his newly perked Starbucks when he was getting ready to leave the house, and it is now dead.

    That's #3.

    He informs me that he needs a phone in order to run his business, and can I please order him one asap, so I get on the horn to order it while we are on our way home from the shop. Right in the middle of the order, some silly soccer mom pulls out in front of him and crashes into our van. The poor T-Mobile guy heard the whole family yell, "oh, we just had a car accident," I say. I'm so used to this nuttiness happening to us, that I didn't even miss a beat. "Is everyone ok? Do you need to hang up," he says. I tell him to hang on, do a quick triage on the little family, each of whom is comparing how THEY shouted when it happened, and go right back to the order -- he had NO idea what it took to get through the menu to a real live person, and I was NOT going to hang up on that call.

    How do you think our odds in Vegas looked, at that point? Turned out, hubby didn't win one thin dime, and got food poisoning, to boot. And then complained that he didn't get a camera phone; just a cheapie one that will just make a call. Cause they haven't invented a phone yet that will survive a painter.