Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Computer Room Make-over

Okay, I've finally decided that its time to redo this computer room.  This is my hide-away room when its not a dumping ground for extra junk while we're having visitors.  Its clear right now only because my brother-in-law spent a week with us earlier in the month and slept in here. 

The thing is, this is my room, and yet it is so totally NOT ME!  The walls are covered with the original foofy pastel sage and peach wallpaper that existed when we move in, and the curtains are a coordinating baby mint green.  Eewwwww!  The carpet is absolutely prehistoric, and is stained from when the room flooded after the sprinkler was turned on next to the open window one summer when it was a storage room, and the damage was not discovered until a week or two later.  Unfortunately it now bears the colors of soggy construction paper and the various hues of mildew.

Call in those Queer Eye dudes cos this room sucks!  Okay, the stuff inside it is kind of cool, even though my husband hates my Coca Cola table and has given it to my son for when he finally comes to collect his stuff before moving out of town (whaaaaaaahhhh!  my baby is growing up and moving away.... FAR awayyyyyy!!!).

I'm getting a new desk, and a set of bookcases... a trade my husband is willing to make in exchange for getting rid of the Coca Cola eyesore (it really is a nice table set... I think he just doesn't like it because he didn't buy it!).  The color scheme is going to hard to choose though.  My room is a weird collection of Coca Cola, teddy bears (I don't officially collect teddy bears, I just have a bunch of really cute ones), fairies, time pieces, dragons and antiques like gumball machines and a vintage Royal typewriter.  Hmmmmm, okay, so nothing really goes together here, but such is my life!  My bobble-heads are either agreeing with me or disagreeing... I'm really not sure since their heads go up and down, but sway side to side.  C'mon guys, you're not helping me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Kids and holes

What is it about holes that kids have to stick things into them... to include holes in their face!  I came home from dinner one evening to find the babysitter frantic.  The two boys, then aged 5 and 2, had stuffed their ears full of popcorn kernels!  It would take over an hour for my husband and I to carefully ease the seeds out of their ears. 

When my daughter was a toddler she got hold of a pony bead, which is about the size of a pea.  And yep, you guessed it, up the nose it goes!  Getting it out wasn't the hard part, keeping the child still long enough to safely extract it was!.  By the time I got it out I was covered with drool, snot and tears.... and it wasn't all from the baby!

We left the south and I thought we had all outgrown this facination with plugging holes... until about 9 months later we noticed that the oldest boy was having problems hearing.  I peered in his ears which seemed clean enough but insisted that I should try cleaning them out just in case.  The left ear came out clean, my boy had always been good about swabbing his ears after his shower.  When I tried to clean the right ear my boy howled.  I was surprised since I knew I hadn't inserted the Q-tip in very deep at all.  I tried again and again he hollered in pain.  I grabbed a flashlight and peered into the ear, and something reflected the light back at me.  I asked what he had put in his ear and he insisted that there was nothing in there.  Well, eyes don't lie so I made him lay down and I pulled out my tweezers.  In just a few seconds, amidst his pained protests, I pulled out a pencil cap, that had obviously been blocking his ear for quite a while!  How long you may wonder?  Well, I bought the decorative pencil for him just before we left our old home.... 9 months ago... and he had misplaced the very day he got it.  Thinking back he recalled that his ear was itchy and he had used the pencil to scratch at it.  9 months!

Now that was surely the last of it, right?  Wrong!  My middle son came up to me a few years later with an embarrassed look on his face.  It took a little prying but he finally told me what was bothering him.  He had been playing with a little calculator battery, one of those little flat round ones and had stuck it up his nose.  When he tried to get it out, it only went deeper into his nostril.  Out came theflashlight and sure enough, way in the back of his nose was a tiny silver battery.  Out came the tweezers, but by that time the battery was all slimy, and wedged into one of the nasal cavaties.  My husband had my son lay on the kitchen table and he tried to remove it but it was in good.  I could just imagine the looks we would get in the emergency room as we considered our options.  One more try and we were going to hang it up.  My husband moved in with the tweezers and in the process touched the sensitive side of the boy's inner nostril, triggering a sneeze.  Do it again!  I suggested.  2 sneezes later a snot-covered battery shot across the kitchen.  Mission accomplished!  That was the last 'gee, what would happen if I stick this up my nose' incident we've had... knock on wood!

Thinking back I know my baby sister had the same facination.  I remember her once sticking a red vitamin tablet up her nose and when her nose started running it looked like it was bleeding, which really freaked my mom out until she realized the real problem.  Later the same sister stuck a bean up her nose.  Being the caring older sister that I was, I informed her that a bean plant would grow out of her nose if she didn't get it out.  That sent her screaming to my oldest sister who saved her life by removing the bean before it could sprout roots.  To this day though I call my little sister 'Beenie'.


Monday, April 26, 2004

Bye bye Bunny

The little cottontail died over night.  My daughter found it this morning just before we were to leave for school.  Those poor kids have had it so rough here lately.  But they took such good care of the little creature while it was here.  I'm suspecting one of several things, he was injured from the dog bite worse than we thought (although with the exception for tenderness by the wound he showed no other signs of being hurt), his diet (not what he was raised on), or that he just wasn't meant to be out of the wild.  What ever the reason I do believe he was as comfortable as he could be all things considered and this was just the inevitible.  Try explaining that to a 9 and 12 year old!  Even I was crying!  I still got them to school on time, but I warned the school that they were upset.  Chalk this up to another lesson in life.  But you know what?  This one really hurts.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

My Desk

They say you can tell a lot about people just by looking at the things they have on their desk.  Well, heres a little insight into 'Me'.

A Coca Cola Anniversary clock.

A Matchbox 1:43 Coca Cola 1967 GTO

A Matchbox Coca Cola  Diner and Delivery Truck Diarama

A Hardee's Coca Cola Snow Globe

A Coca Cola 1/2 gallon penny candy jar

A Coca Cola vintage art desk calendar

A Coca Cola bear sitting on top of a Coca Cola coozie

A pair of porcelain ferrets

Two kitchen fairies, one of them holding a pewter flintlock

A resin grizzley bear sitting at a computer (a gift I've owed a friend for over a year but haven't yet sent)

An old music box

An hour glass

A Precious Moment's pig-of-the-month for September

A smiley face solar bobble-head doll

A 'Wal*Mart Shopping Fund' bank (empty)

A Christmas ornament with Santa holding a shotgun and a duck flying overhead

A Christmas ornament from Pikes Peak with an elk, a humming bird and a snowflake

A porcelain figure of a little Eskimoe and a baby polar bear

A bobble head Hawaiian turtle

Okay, so what have you learned about me?  I like Coca Cola stuff, I work at Wal-Mart, I'm obsessed with time, my birthday is in September and I have this thing about guns and bobble heads!

Friday, April 23, 2004


I'm not really sure what this whole 'low carb' craze is about, but if it means eatting my burger wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun then count me out!  GIVE ME THE CARBS MAN!  No bun?  Eatting a burger hot off the grill... with a fork and knife?  Now whats the fun in that?  And no fries?  No way!  I eat red meat, I eat bacon, I eat pasta and potatoes... Yes, I really do!  And milk... I drink 2% just because I drink so much of it.  None of that fat-free or sugar free stuff for me.  I want to taste what I'm eatting!  I love eggs... the whole egg and nothing but the egg!  No substitutes, thank-you very much.  I was raised on real food, as was my parents, and my parents parents, and their parents parents.  We've all lived very long and healthy lives.  But.... just in case, I do wash it down with a glass of red wine (or 2 or 3).

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A real live dust bunny!

Okay, its not really a dust bunny, its a cotton tail, and a tiny one at that.  My daughter's friend took it away from their dog who apparently thought it was a chew toy.  There's no question of putting it back where the mama rabbit can find it, the dogs will devour it before that could ever happen... and there's the matter of a raw furless patch just above the tail that needs to be cleaned and taken care of to prevent infection.  The little guy is so calm and trusting and daggone cute.... the trick will be not getting too attached making releasing it back into the wild hard.  My husband suggested putting it on a spit and roasting it now... (yeah, sure, this is the guy that was trying to revive the hermit crab!)

Which brings to mind the Easter Bunny story!  (sorry, but this is a classic in my house!)

Its a well known fact that mine is a hunting family.  We hunt everything and anything that is in season.  One year my husband went rabbit hunting and brought home 2 cottontails which he laid on the garage floor until he was ready to clean them.  My daughters went out to see them, as they always do when my husband brings home game... and my youngest started crying hysterically. 

"Daddy killed the Easter Bunny!"

It took me a while to convince her that the Easter Bunny was fine and well, and these were just wild rabbits that we like to eat.  Well, that was good enough for her and things were quiet .... until Easter morning.  I had just started my new job overnights at the store and had to work Saturday night, which is when my husband and I normally did the Easter Baskets.  My husband wasn't too enthusiastic about doing it himself (5 kids!) so we decided that it could wait until I returned home the following morning.  I got off at 8 and when I got home my 3 youngest children met me at the door.  I was sadly informed that the Easter Bunny hadn't come.  Then my youngest started howling about how her daddy killed the Easter Bunny and that we ate it and that's why it didn't come.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  Instead I gave them all big hugs and kisses, then went to my room, quickly packed the baskets and sneaked them onto each of the childrens' beds.  When I came back the family was already sitting around the breakfast table.  When we finished eating I wondered out loud if maybe the Easter Bunny was just a little confused because we had moved since last Easter... and maybe he didn't know where to leave the baskets.  I had the children go to their rooms, and very soon after squeals of delight filled the house.  I looked at my husband and whispered 'Shame on you for killing the Easter Bunny!', and finally got to laugh out loud and long.  We tell the story every year now at Easter.  One day the kids will tire of it, but I don't think I ever will.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Things to Do List

Today is over.... somewhat, and so I plan for my day off tomorrow.  It starts with me getting up at 6 am to get the kids off to school.  Then off to 2 meeting at work... I hate having to go in on my day off, but its paid for so its not too bad.  It also gets me off early towards the end of the week, even better yet!

I've been doing pretty good with the dishes so that doesn't even warrant a line on the list. ( No new mold strains or hybrids to document or catalog.)  The clean laundry pile is actually taller than the dirty laundry pile so I guess that will go on the top of the list.  I'm about ready to make those kids go nekked for a week just to make them appreciate their clothes a little more! 

Next on the list I think will be yard work, which is going to be rough with all that stinking pollen floating around.  I'll have to find a good website on yard work, its been a while since I've been out there in the wilderness.  The last time I worked in the yard I spent all day pulling out the dandilions... only to find out that my yard was then completely bare and I had to replant the dandilions just to make it look green again.  I had grass when I moved in 5 years ago, I think its just hiding under the dirt. 

Finally I think I'll work on the hot tub, you know, a little preventive maintenance... maybe scrubbing the seats and checking the temperature and jets... gotta make sure everything is still working.  And maybe I'll check to see if that little drink float really floats with a drink in it.  Hmmmmm, maybe I'll move the hot tub to the top of the list instead.  Yea, thats what I'll do!


Allergy Season

Well, its allergy season again.  I knew that without even having to look out the window.  I couldn't look out the window even if I wanted to.... my eyes are so swollen and red I can barely see.  I look like a splotchy red Yoda.  Come to think of it, I kind of sound like him too.  I'm so wired on allergy pills that I can't blink and I can hear EVERYTHING! I may actually get some sleep when winter sets in... ohhhh, in about 6 months from now. 

I never used to have allergy problems, not even in the south where the pine pollen was so thick it looked like yellow nuclear fallout.  My first year here it was so mild I thought it was a cold, but with each passing year it got worse and worse.  "Go to the Doctor" everyone says, but why?  They'll just tell me what it is I'm allergic to which really doesn't matter because its not like I can just stop breathing until it passes.  As for getting prescribed medicines, yeah, I can get the good stuff I'm sure, but its so much cheaper to get the lousy stuff over the counter.

A couple years ago I narrowed my allergy down to the lilac hedge we had in the back yard.  It was beautiful and we looked forward to its blooming every year, but my dear husband, in his effort to make me more comfortable, tore it out.  It immediately made a big difference.... my back yard is now ugly!  Breathing was easier too.  But now I'm struggling for breath again.  I'm surveying the neighborhood for more lilacs so my husband can go and pull them up along with that cherry tree next door. 

I'm kidding of course, the neighbors can keep their cherry tree.  They're just a bit bewildered as to why all the blooms on the tree suddenly disappeared one night.  The fact that it happened just before the trashmen picked up an unusual amount of yard and garden bags from my house was purely a coincidence.


Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Lucky Bamboo Really Works!

Went to court yesterday morning.  My throat was sore and my body hurt.  I didn't sleep but maybe a wink or two... nerves no doubt.  They handle things a bit different in the city than they do in my town, so instead of walking in, accepting a plea, and walking out minus the fine a few minutes later it ended up being an hour and a half wait.  The charge for speeding was dropped to 'unsafe vehicle' which carried a 2 point penalty compared to the original 4 points.  For that I would wait!  By the time the judge got to my case my throat was so sore I could barely swallow.  All morning long the judge repeated the same dialog, changing only the name and the offense, barely even glancing up from his stack of files.  He read my charge and asked if I had read and agreed to the plea.  I leaned over to the microphone and agreed as I had practised over and over in my head... only this time my voice caught and all that came out was a very definate 'Ass!'.  If anyone was talking in the courtroom, they weren't now.  The judge shot me a look that dared me to repeat myself.  Horrified I cleared my throat.  Following his script the judge then asked if I understood the rights I was waiving by accepting the plea.  I cleared my throat again and forced the words out, but as before it merely squeaked out 'Ass Sir!'.  The beady eyes of the judge peirced me as he calculated whether or not my words were as intended.  I quickly glanced around the courtroom but the interpretor who had spoken for the Hispanic speeder was no where to be seen.  The judge continued to detail my fines but his eyes never left my face.  With a final 'Ank-uuuuu Ssssssssrrrrr'   I quickly stepped away from the podium and left the courtroom before the judge could change his mind. 

A glance at my watch indicated that I had been in there for 1 1/2 hours.  Unfortunately I had only put enough change in the parking meter for 33 minutes.  I prayed hoarsely as I hurried down the block to where the truck was parked, then slowed down when it came into sight, almost afraid to look for fear of seeing a pink parking ticket on the windshield.  But nothing!  I jumped in and took off before a cruiser could pass me, keeping a lookout for speed limit signs.  How I made it back to work without insident I don't know other than by the grace of my Maker and the Lucky Bamboo!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

RIP, the death of a hermit crab.

Rip Van Winkle was a one-eyed hermit crab.  He was a crusty companion for my kids for about a year, along with his friend Houdini.  His little life passed on last night, laying cold and naked in his little oasis in the girls bedroom.  My 3 youngest children cried as hard as they would over a family member and their forlorn wails broke my heart.  This wasn't the first time a pet passed away, we've got a whole cemetary out behind the shed where our hamsters, another hermit crab and a hedgehog were laid to rest.  There were also numerous fish, but they took the water-way express to Fish Heaven via the toilet.

We discovered the shell-less crustacean shortly after returning from dinner out.  My husband tried to warm it up, but it was obvious that the creature had just died.  I went from child to child trying to comfort their grieving, but to no avail.  Their father stood there as if trying to will the crab to revive and end the heartbreak, but it did not.  I was so touched by the bewildered, helpless look on his face.  He was so used to fixing things and righting situations, but this one was out of his hands and there was nothing he could do at the time to ease his childrens' pain.  So he just stood there, blowing warm air on to the cold, lifeless body of the hermit crab.  I think I loved him just a little more at that instant.

The children have accepted the crab's death well now and insist that Houdini, the remaining crab, needs a companion.  So we will go out and get another hermit crab.  My husband wonders about the wisdom because he hated seeing the children so hurt over the death of their pet, but I see it as a lesson in life.  They have already had to deal with the untimely death of a very dear family friend and it devastated them.  Perhaps this will help them to cope with inevitible future heartaches.

Friday, April 9, 2004

Lucky Bamboo

I bought a lucky bamboo plant last week.  Its still alive.  I guess it really IS lucky!  I think I will take it with me when I go to court on the 14th for a speeding ticket.  I don't HAVE to go to court, I can pay the ticket by mail, but that would be admitting guilt and I would be automatically assessed 4 points (it was a really FAST speeding ticket!).  Not that I'm innocent, cos I really was speeding as the officer said I was.  I just didn't know that I was speeding.  I honestly thought it was a 35 miles per hour zone.  It was  35 down the street and around the corner.... and about 15 yards infront of where I was pulled over....  I must have blinked when I passed the 25 speed limit sign there by the corner because I never saw it, so when I was informed that I was speeding I said 'Huh uh!'.  And when he said I was going 38 mph I said... 'So?'.... and then he said 'In a 25 mph zone!'  And all I could say was 'Huh?  Where?'.  So I'm going to court to plead my stupidity.... I really thought I was only going 3 miles over the limit.  I can afford to pay the fine since my cell phone bill is under $1000 this month but  I really can't afford the 4 points on my license.... Hopefully the lucky bamboo will bring me luck... if it doesn't die on me before then.  Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Spay or Neuter Your Socks!

Don't know what it is about socks but I never end up with the same number of socks after doing the laundry as I started out with.  I can wash a dozen pair and when I'm done folding the clothes I can have 8 matched pairs and 12 mismatches.  They multiply in the washer, thats the only thing I can think of.  Some get sucked down the drain, which will explain the water drain backing up from time to time.  And then all the illigetimate socks come out in the drying cycle.  I'd just as soon throw away the socks once they become dirty and replace them with new ones rather than go through the frustration of washing them and trying to find the mate to them.  I think that the sock manufacturer are in on this.... they must be making socks out of special material that disappears after so many washes, forcing us to constantly buy more socks.  And no matter if you buy the same brand, same size, same color...  they never match so you can't mix them up.  Its a conspiracy I say! 

Thursday, April 1, 2004

The Cell Phone Bill

Got the phone bill yesterday.  It was only $119!  Now some folks may think, "thats kind of high...." but let me tell you, I've seen 'high' before, and $119 is no where close!  That T-Mobile commercial where the guy drops a huge package on the table so heavy that the leaf extention breaks... thats my phone bill.  In fact T-Mobile is my carrier so I suspect it really WAS my phone bill.  We had been mislead into thinking we had unlimited evening minutes on our contract when in fact the service was not available in our area at the time. (I had signed up with trainees who had misinterpreted the contract so I doubt it was intentional).  For the first 5 months it was okay because we had stayed within the alloted minutes for our 3 lines, but then my son got a girlfriend and BOOM!  $1200!  And that wasn't even for phone sex!  And do you know what the phone company did?  They immediately cut off and suspended my service, and disabled my online access account... and this was even before the bill was past due!  I was being treated like someone who had bounced a check or just refused to pay the bill.  I was so mad that I threatened to drop them, and they just smiled... I know they smiled, I could hear them smiling!.... and they informed me that it would cost $200 per line for early termination!  With 3 lines that would be $600.  I have finally paid off the charges and the phones are back in service, but I'll get back at them... I don't know how just yet, but I've got until December to think of something.  In the mean time I am just ecstatic over my $119 phone bill.