Thursday, August 30, 2007


The Outfielder is sneaking in.... she has the "ball" in her hand and is ready to pitch it....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Analyze this.

I have strange dreams. Everybody says that.... but....

I keep having a recurring dream about not having a foot.

Yup. Read that again.

No foot. Specifically... my right foot.... gone from just above the ankle.

Is that an odd dream?

I'm always happy in the dreams. Does my right foot somehow symbolize things that are wrong in my life? And joking.... I joke in the dreams. And it isn't uncomfortable at all.... in my dreams I have several different feet I can change out depending on what activity I am doing.... a dress foot, a jogging foot, a skiing foot..... I kinda like the idea of accessorizing with my prosthesis.

It is interesting because, many years ago, I did come fairly close to actually losing my right foot.... just above the ankle.... But I never had a dream about it ..... Until the last few months.

Anyone with any particular skill with dream interpretation out there wanna take a stab at it?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just a Bad Idea

Go ahead. Call Social Services now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We are Filthy Animals.....

I finally gave up Saturday and cleaned the car. It looks, well, it looks like we’ve been living in it for the last few weeks. Everything came out and was piled to heaping on the dining room table. Lifejackets, towels, spare swimwear, picnic baskets, water bottles, diaper bags, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, napkins, sand toys, drink cups…. You name it…. It was in there.

I found fried chicken. Specifically, I found a piece of fried chicken skin in the stroller. So out came the garden hose. Hosing off the car seats, stroller & floor mats yielded a gold mine for the dog (and not just because he loves to attack the water stream from the hose). Crackers & cereal in quantity came out of the nether regions of the car seat. Ew. I don’t want to ever consider my car seat’s nether regions again. Nasty. And now probably full of wet, pulpy cheerio ooge. Thank the stars for low humidity. It will dry into something sculptural. Right?

So now we are back to having the usual minimum of crap in the car…. Including, of course, the picnic basket… for those, um, unexpected picnics…..

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In which I refer to them as The Children....

The Children and I attended a ritzy sangria party on Friday night. Yes, I do like to accessorize with The Children. Did I feel bad about taking my children? No, actually, they were the only reason I was invited. Did I feel bad that taking the children limited me to one glass of sangria? You bet I did.

When I say ritzy I mean…. There wasn’t a Bud Lite in the area. The only potato chips were fancy Thai spicy ones. The crackers weren’t Ritz and there was no squeeze cheese. We had mozzarella balls. And bleu cheese stuffed olives. Rice crackers. Grape tomatoes. Olive tempanade. Smoked sausage slices with homemade spicy mustard sauce. Angelfood cake with fresh peaches and real whipped cream.

We arrived right on time with our usual entourage of stuff….. our pot luck offering, the stroller (doubles as a high chair!), diaper bag, sippy cups, toys…. I cast up a prayer to however is the patron saint of children at parties and turned the little ones loose…..

And they were angels. Delightful. Many adorable pictures of my sweet-as-sugar daughter gazing at flowers and posing, idyllic, but rock statuary. My son playing catch with the guys and using his “please, thank you, excuse me” best. My son, channeling Hank Williams again, standing on an ottoman, looking over his shoulder saying “let’s do it, boys” and singing a rocking new hit single about pirates. ARGH!! And cracking people up with his belly-stroking air-guitar strumming.

I love it when my kids make me look good

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finger Painting

Yes... this is the ultimate in edible finger paints...... Instant vanilla pudding and food coloring..... Do we know how to combine crafts and dessert or what??

Friday, August 17, 2007

Remember Eewoks?


Bonus Points for Anyone who can explain these photos......

To answer your questions:

8 pairs of underpants and one pair of jammie bottoms. Clean. Yes, she did this by herself. If I leave the unmentionables drawer open she will play for a very long time...... What does this say about her??


See the Gates opening??


Just outside my window.

Can you see both of them? Not sure why this pic is so hazy.....


I'm not sure if he's a rap star.....
Or doing some sort of modified military push up....

My Favorite Bedhead.....

Oral Hygiene.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Hot & Smoky. Nothing else to report.

Is it a Bad Thing when your child is making soot angels in the fire ashes floating down from the sky?

The Astronaut Farmer

Watched a movie. The Astronaut Farmer. Liked it. Rated PG.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Thursday Night Project....

So what do you do when you "inherit" a pile of canvas logoed bags and you have a lot of toys to store??? You get crafty.... hah! Large, zip-top logo canvas bag and heavy-ish weight fabric on clearance for $2/yd at Joann's.

A few minutes with the iron and the sewing machine and ta-da..... storage for all of the various construction-themed toys in our house.

In my perfect world a few of these "theme bags" will hang on the pegboard wall (that hasn't been installed yet) in Sweet Boy's room.

Sweet Boy thrives on this kind of organization.... he can get out EVERY SINGLE grader, dozer, dumper, excavator, loader and any other toys that require a "bbbbwwwgggggrrrrr" noise from the back of your throat to operate..... and they are easy to pick up so the Toy Fairy doesn't take them.

The downsides to this project... I think my sewing machine is crapping out again... it's doing an odd stitch on the back seam. I can't cut straight. I can't sew straight. I hand-stitched the little pocket and it isn't going to stay..... I washed the bag and the canvas shrank but the webbing didn't so it is a bit funky.... but who cares? I spent about a $1 on it and SB loves it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Throwing It All Away….

How is it that I seem to ALWAYS be purging and simplifying and yet…. Still…. There is SO MUCH STUFF??? HOW?

My darling, fashionable and ruthless sister was here last weekend. She helped me cull my makeup. Now, let’s remember how much makeup I actually wear…. Almost none. So this should be easy, right?

Quote of the Day, “Well, this was old and this much used up when I gave it to you several years ago so I think you can let it go….”

Tossed: several eyeshadows, old bronzers, powder compacts with just a tiny scrape left on the edge, some funny smelling cover up, makeup sponges, a makeup brush I got for being in a wedding when I was in the 6th grade… the brush lasted a lot longer than the marriage did….

What remains:

The Aveda tinted moisturizer I wear every day… really, it’s usually all I wear.
The Bare Escentuals stuff my sister got me for Christmas (on my to do list STILL is watching the application video) I have the starter kit, a mini bronzer and a mini blush.
A fancy shimmery loose powder
My new Jane mascara
3 eyeliners (brown, blue & grey)
3 eyeshadows (brown duo, purple duo & silver)
An eyelash curler & a lash/brow comb & 2 pairs of tweezers
A few nice, clean brushes
2 lip liners
2 lipsticks and several lip glosses

I’m usually one to brag about not being attached to material things but in me there is an old soul that survived the Great Depression and that soul was crying out. I had to dump some leftover spaghetti on the stuff in the garbage to keep myself from digging out that makeup brush from the 6th grade….

We're having fun this summer, dammit.

So far this week, in pursuit of SUMMER FUN, we've been to the fancy new park and the grocery store.... what? The grocery store is one of Sweet Boy's favorite places. In the list of his favorite places to run errands (each assigned a finger) the grocery store is the thumb. Costco is his pointer finger and Target is his middle finger.... I like to say, "Ok, we are JUST going to Target" just to see that innocent little bird fly.

But, as I've long said was important, we will have fun, dammit.

So Monday night the car took over, drove around crazily, and ended up at the fancy park. I was a little nervous after Friday night's cut-short picnic trip.... but a good time was had by all. Last time we went to this park an odd little boy sort of attached himself to us and was kind of tormenting my two little ones.... jumping in front of them and generally being a pest. I wanted to be nice to him because he looked like he could use a buddy but, really, I just wanted to say, "Beat it, kid." How do seasoned mothers handle these things? I respond by making my husband work long weekends with a saw mill to mill boards to build our own swing set so my kids (and, more importantly, ME) don't have to be around other people. But hey, no one ever accused me of having social skills.

Tonight we are going to a local pond.... meeting Nana & Papa and having chicken & cheese sandwiches. Should be low key and we will all end up with sand in our shorts and smoke in our lungs.

In an effort to simplify my life (and redeem my position as "Best Fire Wife Ever") I've decided to start mapping out meals ahead of time again. Seriously, my kids never get sick because of all the antibiotics in chicken nuggets. So, for your dining pleasure may I present..... Week One.

Tuesday: Spaghetti. Pesto from the herb garden for me, crazy noodles for the kids with red wine vinegar, garlic salt & butter and jar alfredo sauce for Hot Stuff if he comes home.

Wednesday: Cheese sandwiches and spinnin' chicken. Leftover French bread from last night, cheese, grapes, baby carrots, fruit snacks... you get the idea.

Thursday: Hot dog wraps. Ideally I will make these Wednesday night and we will eat them cold at the pool on Thursday... or, cold on the porch... whatever.

Friday: Hobo dinners on the grill. If I can get over my fear of lighting the county on fire with the bbq. Hot Stuff says bbq in the shop... yeah, with the two cans of diesel for the tractor, 2-stroke fuel for the chainsaw, several gas cans for the lawn mower & that funny little mix that goes in the weed eater.... a giant flameball will start a forest fire just as easily as a stray spark from my cooking.

Saturday: Steamed buns. I've never made these but I'm going to try them.

Sunday: Stroganoff. What a great summer meal?!? But I have a bunch of stew meat in the freezer and this was all I could come up with....

Monday: Some form of sandwiches again.... at a park somewhere.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sept 2004

The shit-our-house-could-burn-down semi-reality has me looking at old photos and I'm so happy I found this one. September 2004. 4 Generations. Gram wearing a grin and her usual LOUD clothing (well, as she once told me, "It's ok for me to wear loud clothes... I'm deaf.), my mom sporting short brown hair, me looking dazed but pretty good for having a 3-month-old baby, and SB... well, he was a cute little noodle, wasn't he?

I miss you Gram.


So we headed into FUN SUMMER WEEKEND.

SB went to Nana & Papa’s several times…. Turns out they let him watch cartoons and eat chocolate chips & almonds. He also gets to play with guns and cheat at cards. If I find out he’s been smoking cigars I’m drawing a line.

The creek is getting lower and lower. There are now many more “Islands in the Stream” than before…… Go ahead, try to get the Dolly & Kenny song out of your head now….

SB tells his daddy, “Yeah, we were whapping grasshoppers with sticks and then picking them up.” Um, well, yes. He & Papa figured out they could get BIG FISH to strike if they tossed them in the creek. And he still hasn’t caught one with his metal mesh strainer.

We practiced with scissors on the picnic game from Wonderland’s website. I’d link it if I wasn’t so lazy.

We played play-doh. We have a giant 50th anniversary tin (from Costco) and we played for about an hour… just makin’ stuff. Sissy sat in her high chair and made dots on a piece of paper (and her face & the tray) with a crayon. Pointalism. She’s so advanced.

We played Rumikub. Well, our version of it. It is a little difficult for the time being but SB is getting better at number recognition so he’s figuring it out. (Oh, hear me sound like a mommy who actually knows what she is talking about…) I stacked tiles for Darling Girl and she practiced gravity on my stacks.

Our next big craft project is to make beads (out of that sculpty clay…. On sale for $1 each at Joann’s recently) and then string them into… something. I realized all the clay we got is various shades of green…. Because that is SB’s favorite…. And this makes me happy because my brother & SB’s father (two DIFFERENT people, I must point out… we’re Rednecks… we aren’t Arkansas Rednecks) are red-green color blind and, indeed, none of the “green” clays are actually red so, as far as I’m concerned, he will have no trouble with stop lights in his future.

I transplanted some plants to the flower bed I’ve been fixing. Yeah, August is a great time to transplant things…. But the deer were kicking the hell out of my strawberries and this new bed has a lovely cover of deer net. And my poor asters (transplanted into a shady spot when we moved here (3 YEARS ago) and told to, “Hang in there, guys”) finally have a sunny location with deer protection and my lovely pincushion flowers finally have a home. I might sow a late crop of spinach in the edges just to torture the deer… ‘cause I’m like that.

SB & I had remote control car races in the garage. The little sneak gave me the car with half-dead batteries. I retaliated by squirting him with the water squirter… no, not really… well, ok, yes.

I mowed the “back” yard while DG napped and SB watched Qubo Saturday morning…. The other 2 sections of yard look fine to me so I skipped them. I was trying to make the mowing a workout… because the smoke has been preventing much walking or exercise around here. Not sure on my logic on that one…. ‘cause mowing-exercise and walking-exercise are different to the smoke, right?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t show up this weekend. I was expecting them. They stop by about once a month and are actually quite lovely people…. I know the gal from some work stuff I do and I love calling my mother-in-law and whispering, “They’re Coming.” Just to freak her out.

We mostly just ate hot dogs and bagels all weekend… although I did do some burgers on The George Sunday night (what? I’m scared to use the bbq…. I don’t want to be The One who starts The Fire….). We NEED to get more ice cream…. That’s what SB says.

Evenings involve avoiding the TV (reruns of The Singing Bee?) and sitting on the deck now that the weather is cooler…. In August. Hot Stuff has taken to smoking the occasional cigar and SB is horrified that he is putting “Daddy Candles” in his mouth….

Photos coming some day of the kids playing in the big sandbox and SB singing on “stage rock” to his millions of adoring fans.

Last Week

In an attempt to keep the whole “swimming is fun” theme going now that swimming lessons are over we tricked Nana into hitting the pool with us on Thursday night. I wasn’t sure how it would go after my accidental dunking of SB & I on the waterslide on Monday. But we were testing a new device….. a barrel floatie suit. It came out of the hand-me-down box and was U-G-L-Y…. I’m not gonna lie. Faded, pilled and sportin’ some odd cartoon whale.. it was not cool… but it floated the kid and got him paddling around the pool…. ON HIS OWN. He even got brave enough to bail off the diving board twice… something that was no problem last summer but has been impossible this summer now that he knows he is mortal. I also improved my water skills by putting my face in the water numerous times… no small feat…. Yes, I lead by example… but don’t expect to see me up on that diving board any time soon.

So I’ve been promising Sweet Boy a life jacket for over a month now and I finally bit the bullet and got him one at Target on Friday. No, they weren’t on clearance… what the hell? I am accustom to summer stuff going on sale July 1st… what’s up? But it was the last life jacket that was approved for boat safety (yeah, those cute little Speedo ones aren’t) so I dropped a whopping $25… all for love. And, yes, in spite of my hypocritical dislike of licensed characters…. He got the spiderman one. He’s going to be wearing it until he’s 5 so he better get one he likes….

So then, continuing the “let’s make summer fun” lesson… we went to ABC’s (that’s Applebee’s for those of you who don’t speak toddlerese) and got takeout and went to the park. We had plans to meet some friends doing the cancer walk and do a few laps and then head home… because, well, Hot Stuff is working every and all hours and I am determined to make fun summer memories… right?

So I call Hot Stuff to tell him where we are on the off chance he gets done with work by 18:00 and wants to meet us…. He asks if I can see smoke. WTF? There are wildfires everywhere… yeah I can see smoke. There has been a smoke report fairly near our house.

End of fun.

We head to the house to get the dog and see if we need to leave. I’m not gonna lie… there was a little adrenaline pumping.

Turns out it was a false alarm. There could be a fire 500 yards from my house and I bet I wouldn’t be able to tell… it’s that smoky everywhere.

And I just noticed I reported the time military-style…. That’s how consuming fire season is at our house.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Turf Tires

This is a tutorial in what happens when you try to "mow a path to the creek" with turf tires.... the bush whacker says "yes" but the tires say "no" and you just about drop your son-in-law's tractor off a ravine into the creek bed. The pictures don't really do justice to the drop off....

Uh-oh. Let me just put on my thinking cap for a second....

Go ahead, take a bow....

Yes, that's my brother UNDER the pickup..... Dad is supervising....

Ok, now drag it out....


I'm now pumping "for comfort" at work... and I can't wait to be done. Of all the parenthood things... pumping is my least favorite. Even a dirty diaper can be funny, but pumping? No redeeming qualities.

So why do I feel so guilty?

Let’s talk about character licensing for a moment.

Up front I will admit to being a hypocrite. I’m ok with super heroes… spidey and batman are on my son’s underpants. He has (granted, they are hand-me-down) spiderman shirts. I think he even has an Incredibles t-shirt. And we are fairly inundated with Winnie the Poo… although I try to cull most of it to the give-away box… but I’m still in love some of that classic poo baby stuff…. Sorry, but you can’t go dissin’ AA Milne just because some crook is pimping him.

So before I go further, in the interest of full disclosure, I will take an inventory…. We have a few hand-me-down Sesame Street toys and a Diego DVD and some Bob the Builder stuff. Several pieces of the “Cars” collection and some spiderman junk. We have a “my first book of princesses” Disney board book that I am forced to pull out and display prominently whenever the, ehem, gift giver is in town. We have a wooden Thomas set, DVD & Big Loader. And we have I-don’t-know-how-many McDonald’s toys that are licensed character themes…. “Engine” turtles, Flushed Away & something with penguins come to mind immediately.

Here’s a crazy thought… what if we got rid of all the plastic, battery-operated toys and only had classic, wooden toys? I’ve heard of people who do this. Oh wait, we tried that…. Remember the Thomas lead-paint recall? Yup, I had a “classics only” mommy moment and insisted if Nana was getting him Thomas for Christmas I wanted the wooden set….4 of the 6 pieces we have got mailed away… sigh.

So I was patting my self on the back… we have very little Sesame Street, no Sponge Bob, a Dora hand-me-down potty seat (yes, hand-me-down potty seat....), Diego on DVD only…. And then I see THIS….

Oh LORD, I forgot about the Elmo Guitar. Somebody hand-me-downed this to us…. Oh what a dreadful toy…. And now I have to feel guilty about whoever bought it from the thrift store. (Further reading leads me to believe it is ok because it was made before May 2007… whatever… I’m still responsible for destroying the sanity of some poor parent by exposing them to the horror that is Elmo-on-reverb guitar.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Can you see the baby?

Look closely....There's a baby in this photo.... Yes, she's wearing camo.... with ruffles.... doing a commando crawl.... I think she's stalking an elk. I'm not sure how I got my brother's knee in the photo.... I know it's my brother because who else wears Wranglers in 103 degree heat?

Movie Review

I haven’t done a movie review in quite a while because, well, we haven’t watched many movies this summer. Duh. We did watch several episodes of Deadwood Season Three…. I love that show…. It definitely should win an award for most creative use of the word cunt.

Ghost Rider. Sam Elliott. Need I say more? Ok, how about Nicholas Cage with his head on fire? Silly, silly movie but for some reason I enjoyed it.

Premonition. I love Sandy. But this movie? Sucked. I didn’t like the ending… either one of them… and, well, the concept was weak. I won’t say more or I will spoil it.

300. LOVED IT. Yes, it’s gory…. And if you know anything about history you know how it is going to end. But I can’t get enough of this style of cinematography….. the computerized effects, the shading, the freaks and rhinos…. And there are boobies…. way more man boobies than woman boobies. And, once I got over being mad they used Hot Stuff’s body as a model AGAIN without royalties, well… I thoroughly enjoyed the man boobies. And abs. Did I mention the abs? And the king… he is rocking the best beard I’ve seen in a long time. So go rent it. Heck, consider BUYING it.

Why are you still here? GO.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


If you've sent me an email in the last, oh, two months or so.... my apologies.

We are waiting for a phone call.

Perpetually. In perpetuity. Continually. Continuously. Constantly. And always.

Hot Stuff is on call 24/7 and I can't tie up the phone line longer than about 10 minutes without making him twitch.... so I haven't checked my email (I'd rather throw up posts here... and, if you've read many of them... you know "throw up" is a good term.... ew.)

SO until I win the lottery and can get satellite internet service... this is all you get.

Fire Sex

Or, more appropriately titled… Married Fire Sex

I’m sure you are all thinking… well, now the baby is in her own room and I bet there is some trapeze-swinging wild sex going on at The Homestead. And I hate to burst your bubble but… not.

Firefighters are among the sexiest men (and women) in the world. There is nothing hotter than a smoky guy in fire pants. I’m so in love with the smoky-sweaty thing…. Mmmm…. Just like BBQ potato chips.

The problem? Along with the smokey-sexy comes the exhausted. Totally, bone-weary, hiked up a hill in 103 degree heat and battled a Really Hot Thing exhausted.

Usually Hot Stuff gets home around 10 and we watch the first part of the news together… then I go upstairs and read while he watches the weather. We do like most married couples… snuggle a few minutes, fight over the covers and fall asleep.

But last night I was reading Harry Potter and eating oreos in bed and planning to stay up to see if Harry can find the third Horacrux. Hot Stuff snuggled in beside me and then started giving me the, ehem, Extra Snuggles.

In my mind, like any reasonable married woman, I think, “Damn, I wish I hadn’t eaten oreos & milk after I brushed my teeth. Oreo breath… and what if the milk gives me gas? Are the kids asleep? Should I turn off the baby monitor? Oh, wait… she can’t hear us… we can hear her…. I should have shaved my legs… wait, we’ve been swimming a lot…. I DID shave my legs! Hurray! I wonder if he noticed. Shit, I think the sprinklers are still on…. Can I go outside naked after sex and turn the sprinklers off? I love my new haircut. I think I feel a little sexier since I’ve been walking…. Hey, wait a minute…. I feel A LOT SEXIER since I’ve been walking… or wait… maybe that’s because… I… uh…. There….. that…. Yes….”

Ok, I’ll stop now because I know my brother is reading… (Hi Bro!)

And then, of course, there is the married-haven’t-seen-each-other-much-lately-post-sex conversation….

Where are my pants? Did you shut the sprinklers off? Did I tell you I couldn’t figure out how the dog got out of the pen? What? I didn’t even tell you the dog got out of the pen? Yeah, that’s why he’s been in the house…. Well, that and the heat. I got you some nectarines for your lunch. Oh, by the way….

I love you and you are amazing.

(Honey…. I do love you and you are always worth the wait! Let’s Extra Snuggles again soon, ok?)