Thursday, June 30, 2005


My plans for getting back into shape over the summer have been pushed somewhat to the back burner.  I did managed to get some eye exercises done last night though.  I stared at the treadmill for a full 20 minutes!  I don't dare pull it out or I will have half a dozen little humans stuck to me like velcro as I try to keep my balance on the belt.  Sometimes I really feel like a Human Ionic Breeze!  Those kids just cling to me pollen spores and no matter how hard I shake, they keep coming back.  I have completely forgotten what it is like to go to the bathroom uninterrupted.

"Mom, whatcha doin?"  (duh... I'm in the bathroom on the toilet... What do most people do when they are in the bathroom on the toilet?)

"Auntie, I need you!"  (can you pleeease wait to need me until AFTER I go potty?)

When I was a child my favorite condiment was soy sauce, no doubt because of my mom's oriental upbringing.  Dickidoo introduced me to the versatility of ranch dressing, he even puts it on steamed rice... yuck!  And then there is Tabasco sauce which goes on what ever the ranch dressing doesn't.  My children have inherited both of our tastes, so our dinner table Lazy Susan always sports a bottle of Tabasco sauce, soy sauce and ranch dressing.

Enter the Southern Loompas.  And to the Lazy Susan add Frank's hot sauce, ketchup and peanut butter!  One neice puts Franks on everything that doesn't have sugar in it.  My nephew dips everything into ketchup, even brussel sprouts!  (Now thats just gross!  No wonder he didn't like it!)  I suggested that next time he try dipping it in Ranch.  And then there is the Littlest Oompa.  She is my Peanut Butter Oompa!  I made a ham and cheese sandwich for her the other day, but she would not eat it until I spread some peanut butter and jelly on it.  And yes, she ate the whole sandwich!

I hate where my computer has been relocated to.  Initially I was excited because of its proximity to my Bunn-Omatic, but its right next to the television set in the upstairs livingroom.  Right now I've got Bear and the Wiggles screaming in my ears.  As obnoxious as they are I find myself getting distracted and tapping my toes along with the little songs about everything they see in forced rhyme.  I am in a Romper Room nightmare, stop the music!  Agh!  Time to vacate this seat and go downstair for some serious news.  If I hear someone sing the word 'happy' one more time I shall surely hurl.  At least its not Barney, or the Telly Tubbies!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

AUNTIE MOM and wet water.

They call me Auntie Mom.  I am supreme ruler of Loompa Land.  Loompa Land is inhabited by two different yet very similar clans, the Mountain Loompas and the Southern Loompas.  I am their leader.  I lead where they follow.

The littlest oompa stood there, in the middle of the swimming pool, crying.  She was crying because the other kids in the pool were getting her wet.  I wasn't sure what was expected of me, but as supreme ruler I had to do something to make her stop crying and restore peace.

I told the other children to stop splashing and getting her wet... as she stood there in the middle of the swimming pool full of water.... full of wet water.  The oompas looked at me with uncomprehensive disbelief.  But I am Auntie Mom, supreme ruler of Loompa Land and my word is law.  There was no splashing of wet water for the next 30 seconds. 

THE CONTRACT and melon overload.

I was busy in the diningroom sewing costumes yesterday afternoon when I heard all kinds of giggles coming from the livingroom.  Now I don't know about most parents, but in this house I get very nervous when I hear giggles.  Silence is worse... but giggles usually indicates Michief in Progress!  I looked over and saw my nephew sitting in front of his sister and cousin, with their feet thrust in front of his face.

'Massage our feet!  Now!  And don't tickle them, massage them!'  The poor boy complied for all of a minute before he shoved the girls feet down and ran down the stairs.  Naturally they followed, quoting the contract that had been signed a few days earlier.  He ignored them and they came up tattling, and scheming.  An hour later he decided he wanted to ride the bike bad enough to honor the contract but this time I put my foot down and voided the contract all together.  Naturally I am the bad guy now, but my nephew doesn't realize that I may have saved his life.  They may be miniature females, but they are still female and no male is safe when they start running in packs.  There is no telling what they would have demanded of him next.

I got a lesson on how babies are born last night after supper.  The littlest Oompa went into great detail on how she was pulled from her mama's bottom.  Heck, if I had to deliver my babies by pulling them from my bottom I probably would have stopped before I had 5 of them myself!  Ouch!

Little Rocky woke up sick this morning.  She says its the stomach flu, I say its probably a clogged pipe.  She ate more watermelon yesterday than is healthy for a human her size.  She proudly showed me each and ever cleanly chewed rind as she finished them yesterday.  I warned her then that if she ate too much of the rind that she would get sick.  When will they ever start listening?  And now I know the other side effects the melon has on her kind, so I am suspecting that she has a blockage somewhere and is suffering from some kind of overload.  Tell you what, I don't want to be anywhere near by when she finally clears the obstruction. 

I am wondering if it is just a coincidence thatthere are so many earth quakes in California this summer right at the start of watermelon season.  Just for fun I'm predicting a tremor in Southern Colorado sometime this afternoon.

WATERMELON, (reprinted from June 26, 2004)

Its watermelon season so this seems like the perfect time to reprint this entry from a year ago, especially in light of the new problems I am now encountering with the offensive melon and its side effects.  


We had honeydew melon with breakfast.  Melon is a favorite of my family and the kids would eat it morning, noon and night, 7 days a week if I would let them.  I will not, and here is why.

My neighbors all know how much my children enjoy melon and are always sending them over when they are in season.  A couple of summers ago I had just purchased a huge watermelon when my neighbor sent over an even larger melon.  My kids eyes were wide with anticipation.  I cut the two melons up and put them in my biggest Tupperware (unpaid product endorcement) bowl, and told the kids to eat the melon up before it went bad.  Not a problem.  So they ate and ate.  It took them 2 days to put away about 15 pounds of watermelon.

It was the evening of the second day of the watermelon feast that my oldest boy called me over to the bathroom.  His naturally dark face was as white as a sheet.  'Someone is bleeding' he whispered, pointing to the toilet.  Puzzled, I looked inside and was horrified by what I saw.  The toilet bowl was bright red with blood and ooze.  There was so much I almost passed out with fear.  I yelled for the other kids to come over, and demanded to know who had last used the bathroom, assuring them that nobody was in trouble.  One of my daughters stepped forward and apologized for not flushing the toilet. 

I was almost in tears as I checked her over, pressing on her tummy, checking her forehead for a fever, checking her eyes.  Did she hurt?  Was she dizzy?  Did she feel nausious? 

"No, I just think I ate too much watermelon" she replied.  It took me a moment to comprehend and  then I began to laugh almost hysterically.  My kids looked at me like I was nuts, which I am, but at that moment I was only relieved.  I looked at my daughter and asked her to slow down and chew her watermelon the next time to help with the digestion process.

So, add watermelon toyour list of foods that will pass through your system without digesting if not chewed thoroughly, along with peas, corn, nuts and greens.  And macadamia nuts will float, making it necessary to cover them with toilet paper to get them to flush.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

WALLERMELON, and Dickidoo's death wish.

The tent comes down today.  My excuse... its been up for 2 weeks and we need to let the grass beneath breath.  The real reason... we need to let ME breath!  Watermelon... thats what they ate last night... bbq ribs, and watermelon.  And still they pooted, in stereo, from both sides of the tent!  I had to roll over onto my stomach and hide my nose in my pillow!  Farts happen, this I know, but that was ridiculous!  That can't be normal.

Wallermelon , thats what the littlest one calls it.  She had everyone saving the seeds so we could plant them.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that her Auntie's horticultural skills are limited to various species of refrigerator mold.  And in this case I almost hope my curse holds because otherwise my yard will be over run by hundreds of wallermelon plants, and after last night's experience with the potent after-effects, I think I could do without an endless supply of wallermelon!

Today I begin another domestic abnormality for myself.  Today I begin sewing, the sewing of the costumes for the fair to be precise.  This weekend we are going to the Renaissance Festival and I have to make outfits for all of the children.  The girls will be easy, I'll just adjust a few of my old skirts and dresses.  The guys... hehehehehe.... maybe I'll just get a bunch of green tights and they can go as Robin Hood, Men in Tights! 

Dickidoo has a death wish.  He just graduated from college, he has his fancy, schmancy degree, the world thinks he's smart, his diploma says he might be... and then what does he ask me at the store? 

"Can I borrow the Bunn-Omatic for this week's training session?"  I just stood there laughing at him in the coffee aisle (I love the smell of that aisle!)  I guess between my demented cackling and the look on my face he got the message and decided that perhaps he would just take the coffee pot from the breakroom.  What is wrong with that man?  Doesn't he understand that he can't just take someone's coffee pot like that withouthaving serious reprecussions?  He insisted that the pot in the breakroom was unused.  For his sake I hope thats true because otherwise he will have a riot on his hands when his co-workers discover that their caffeine supply has been cut off.  My supply line has been defended though, and thats what matters.  Keep your hands off my Bunn!

Monday, June 27, 2005


I just read my post on what the Dust Bunny Club is, and guess what?  I didn't say a word about what the Dust Bunny Club is!  Sorry folks, I type the way I talk and as you can see, I am very easily distracted.

The Dust Bunny Club is more of collection of my life's works.  By 'life's works' I mean my experiences, spotlighting mostly on my children who are in my eyes my greatest masterpieces.

One of my sisters, who had stayed with us for a while when her husband was deployed overseas with the Army, once remarked in almost total exasperation:  "I just don't get how your mind works!"  Well, this is it.  This is what I am, who I am, and if you read it all, you may even begin to understand why I am.  If after clicking through all this goofiness and madness you still don't understand, don't feel bad.  I think poor Dickidoo still doesn't understand me entirely either and he's been married to me for 21 years!


This journal is currently being featured by AOL's Guest Journal's Editor Plittle as one of the Journal Pick-Of-The-Week so for the benefit of any new visitors to my journal (and possibly to the chagrin of my regular readers) I offer this brief description of what exactly the Dust Bunny Club of North America is.

First and foremost, yes, Dust Bunnies is a real club.  As of yet I am the only member, which naturally makes me the founder, president, chairman of the board, spokes person, and membership officer.  Membership will be open to the public once I get my house cleaned up enough to hold meetings here... but then in doing so I would have to eliminate the breeding grounds of the rare North American Dust Bunny, which while endangered in most parts of the continent, seem to florish in my home.  Clearly the Dust Bunny habitat must be preserved so until a new meeting site can be secured, the membership drive is temporarily postponed. 

A few words and terms you may encounter during your visit here:

Dickidoo:  when your stomach sticks out farther than your dickie do!  (nickname I gave my husband)

Boobidoo:  when your stomach sticks out farther than your boobies do!  (I didn't really give myself this nick name, it just kind of found me).

Butt burp:  fart

Pee punch:  the fragrant concoction that results when more than one person uses the toilet without flushing.  Do not, I repeat... DO NOT drink this punch!

Oompa Loompa:  this is the name I have given all the little people who reside in my house.  Currently there are two sub-species, the Mountain Loompas and their Southern Loompa cousins from Kentucky.  No, they are not orange with green hair, but they can be quite disturbing at times.  You do not want to feed Loompas bean products of any kind, especially if you are to share cramped quarters with them.

Agh!:  this is a term I use when I find myself at loss for words.  I have learned a small level of self control.  This is it.  To use a cuss word or to say what I REALLY mean could result in getting fined a quarter for every expletive by my daughter who has set up a Cuss 'n Fuss fund, getting in severe hot water with Dickidoo who reads this journal (Hi sweetheart, how are you darling, sugar booger pie?) or worse... getting TOS'd by AOL for violating community standards. 

A little about myself:   I just recently stepped down from a job I loved to spend more time with my children and to help them with their education which at this point is more important for their future than my career is for mine.  There are no regrets, the benefits were immediately obvious.  I have been married to Dickidoo for 21 years, during which he retired from the Army and has just recently graduated with a Bachelors in Business Management.  We have 5 children.  My oldest is a Calvary Scout with the US Army at Fort Campbell.  He also presented me with my very first grandchild!  (I was SOOOOOO ready to be a grandma!)  My second son just graduated from high school this year, and the other 3 are still in school.  There has been a lot of confusion as to my ethnic background based on my picture there in the About Me section.  I am half Okinawan (on my mother's side) and half what ever the heck my dad is.  He just simplifies it by saying he is 'Heinz 57'.  I am not Mexican, however I am Indian by injection.

Thank you all for the congratulation messages.  I appreciate them more than you know.  Paul, thank you for this honor.  And thank you for seeing what I have tried to convey with my words and stories. 

I still remember a comment I received when I first started this journal over a year ago, the reader wrote 'Get a life'.  Well, this IS my life.  For the reader who was not impressed with my life,  I'm not here to impress anyone. Thats what YOUR life is for.  This is my life, plain and simple, whether anyone approves or not.  Of course its always nice to know when someone does enjoy sharing yours, and so thank you all again.

Dust Bunny Club of North America

Sunday, June 26, 2005

SLEEPING IN and the Great Wall of China

Today was my 'sleep in' day.  Hello, Dickidoo.... 'sleep in' means to SLEEP!  Agh! 

I made a discovery.  The bags under my eyes are not bags at all.  My eyes are just the only part of my face that hasn't had the energy sucked out of it.  The cure?  Do I really need to spell it out?  Coffee!  After the 2nd cup my face should start filling back out nicely.  I would be completely back to normal right now, but my caffeine facial was delayed by the weekend construction of The Great Wall of China that runs right through my kitchen.  Okay, its not really The Great Wall of China, its more like The Great Wall of Corelle, Stainless Steel and Tupperware, but it's probably comparable in size.  It has completely blocked access to my kitchen sink, thus delaying my caffeine seeking expedition.  Not good!

I'm supposed to be making breakfast burritos for the kids.  I forgot that I also promised that they could sleep in the tent tonight.  When the kids sleep in the tent, an adult has to be there in the back yard with them.  Dickidoo has work in the morning which means that I'm the camp counselor and there is NO WAY I am spending the night in a tent with the Oompas and their lethal burrito induced butt-burps! So its pancakes for breakfast instead.  Which means I must tear down that wall of china in the kitchen.  Oh joy is me!  NOT! 

Isn't that coffee done yet?  My Bunn-Omatic isn't quite the -Omatic it used to be...  Must have coffee FASTER!  Do you think a person can really get coffee intravaneously?    Gimme a coffee IV.  Slap the drip bag in a little backpack thingie so I can carry it around with me and I'll be set for anything! Hook me up baby!

Ahhhh, the Bunn-Omatic Brew-Omatic is done at last.  Peace is restored once again to LoompaLand.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

MARSHMALLOW ROAST, (a photo entry)


Normally I don't put a photo entry here but these really belong here being as they are my beloved Oompa Loompas.  Having the Southern Loompas here has reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten.  For example, when you are 5, life is a song and there is a song for everything.  Did you ever hear the 'Smarshmellow' song?  Me either until tonight.  I also learned that the best way to eat roasted marshmallows is not between graham crackers but right off the stick.

My nephew discovered that it is more fun to roast marshmallows than it is to eat them.  We finally had to tell him to stop roasting them because we couldn't eat any more.

Rocky is testing the flatulant gas flamability theory.  Yesterday's bean burritos helped with the experiment.  Unfortunately the results were inconclusive.  Further research is required.

Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea. Hey Pepto Bismol!


"My cousin smells strange, he's from Kentucky"  (explanation for why the neighbor's dog jumped at one of the cousins)

"It doesn't hurt but it will make your tongue feel weird for 2 days" (Didn't I say specifically NOT to lick the 9 volt batteries?)

"My grandma says I can't be a doctor because they have to clean up poop so I want to be a veternarian.  I saw one on Charlies Angels pull out a baby horse, it looks fun."

"My daddy says I shouldn't wear those" (comment repeated for each piece of clothing in her suitcase while trying to dress the littlest Oompa after her bath).

"But you PROMISED I could ride the bike in the front later, and its later now!" (shouted above the noise of a summer thunderstorm).

"I'm bored, there's nothing to do!" (it was 6:30 in the morning).

"Why does that lady keep talking?  She already said that stuff before and I'm hungry!"  (during Uncle's college graduation ceremony).

"Joseph signed a contract and he didn't even read it first!" (the contract written by the two girls states that Joseph can ride Rocky's bike for two weeks, but in return he must do everything and anything Rocky and his sister demand.  Failure to abide by the contract will increase the length of the contract by another two weeks!)

Photo credit:  Dickidoo

p.s.  I fixed my broadband.  Don't know what I did, but it works.  I guess I wiggled the right wire or something.  I'm a genius, what can I say?


My husband graduated today with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management.  I'm not sure what he's doing to do with that degree now that he has it.  He mentioned something about going after a Master's.  I laughed because I was hoping he was kidding.  Him going to college while maintaining a 9-5 job was really hard on our family life.  When he wasn't working, he was in class, at class meetings, or buried up to his forehead in homework.  If he was serious, at least I am home with the kids now.  

He presented me with his Stole of Gratitude (the sash draped around his neck) for supporting him through these past 3 years, because he said I had earned it.  I think that has to be one of the nicest things he's ever said or done for me. 

Congratulations Steve.

Friday, June 24, 2005


I don't.  I woke up this morning and could not log on.  That was such a critical situation that I even neglected to make my coffee.  I tried everything I could, I disconnected and reconnected connections, I wiggled wires and pushed buttons.    I rerouted routers and even tried connecting the laptop to the cable modem.  All to no avail.  Dickidoo even gave it a try.  My modem is winking and blinking, but it is not passing on any information.  I fear I have fried it.

So I am on dial-up.  I had forgotten how slow dial-up can be.  I gave up trying to load my photo journal, I have places to be tomorrow which is the projected download date.  The phone line is running across my kitchen and livingroom floor like some kind of techno-spaghetti, and the noise, the beeping and screeching of the modem as it tries to connect!  How did I ever survive before? 

The only good thing about this is that ever since I logged on  I have not received any calls for charitable donations.  Trying to resolve this problem with kids hanging all over me like little monkeys is impossible.  Much as it pains me to have to step away from the Internet, nothing will be accomplished under these circumstances so for the time being  I will throw in the towel and throw myself to the mercies of the Oompas.

I must also free up the phone so that I can ask the next charitable organization that calls to send ME a donation.  I need to get a new modem.  Ohhhhhhhh, woe is me!  I miss my broadband!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Did you know that baby carrots taste different than round, sliced carrots?  I didn't.  I was informed that they most certainly do.  My logical explanations were wasted on ears that in their 7 years already know better than I do.  He insisted that while he likes round boiled carrots, he doesn't like baby boiled carrots.  Enter Art, the Wise and All-knowing.

'Did you know that your taste changes every 7 years?' he told his cousin.  'That means what you don't like now, you will probably like in 7 years?  So when you're 14 you'll love baby carrots and broccoli.'  My nephew gave me a 'see you in 7 years' grin and left me with a 'what the heck just happened' look on my face.

Many things have changed recently concerning food.  When I was younger a carb was something that was found in a car.    Nutrition was based on 4 basic food groups, not a whole fricken pyramid.  Starch was a welcomed ingredient in the basic 4. Butter was good for you.  So was red meat.  People counted servings, not calories and carbs.  Dessert was part of the meal.  Healthy food didn't turn your toilet green.  Vitamins were the supplement, not the meal.  You didn't have to be rich to be able to afford the safe and healthy cuts of meat, it was all good.  When you went to a fast food restaurant, you weren't forced to choose from a menu that limited your choices to what health-conscious advocates have decided that junk-food addicts should eat.

My mom and dad are in their 70's.  They have never jumped on the health-food band wagon.  In fact I'm willing to bet all those health guru's would totally freak out if they could see a list of what my parents eat on a daily basis.  Rice is a big part of it.  Mama cooks with real butter if the recipe calls for it.  She fries food... in oil!  Daddy loves meat... red meat!  And don't hold back on the gravy for his potatoes.

I try to adjust with the changing world, but I hesitate with the changing fads.  I still believe in the basic 4, in moderation.  We haven't had whole milk in the frige for close to 10 years, but I won't go lower than 2%.  I eat red meat and drink red wine.  I serve my kids dessert, but only after they've eaten their vegetables.  And yes, make my fries super-sized.  I don't eat out often, but when I do, I want my money's worth, and I want my hunger to be satisfied.

In 7 years I will be at my nephew's house with a pot of boiled baby carrots to see if his taste has changed.  Of course by that time all of my children will probably hate baby carrots in favor of lima beans.   (yuck!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


My home has been turned into an amusement park.  I call it LoompaLand.  In the back yard we have a huge inflatable swimming pool, a trampoline, a tent, a hot tub, several mini-recreational vehicles, a fire pit, a smoker, a camp stove and a grill.  In the front are 2 bikes, a skate board, roller skates and a jumprope.  Inside we have 3 video game systems, a dvd player, a vcr, a stereo.  Someone is singing Christmas songs on the karaoke machine down the hall.  I'm thinking about charging $15 admission and $4 a hot-dog!  We popped 3 bags of popcorn today and ate 16 hotdogs, I could be rich!

We had an accident in the pool yesterday.  I've always said that the easiest way to get a child to DO something is to tell them NOT TO.  Well, silly me, I said NOT TO stand on the boogie board, so guess what happened?  Someone stood on the boogie board, fell onto another child and split that child's chin open.   I can slap a butterfly on a cut on any of my children blindfolded and with both hands tied behind my back, but this wasn't my child's blood and I freaked!  The victim survived although she will have a slight scar under her chin.  The pool is off limits for ALL until the wound has healed. 

The boys moved the tent to make room for the swimming pool.  Not only were they able to find a smooth patch of ground free of rocks, but they also gave us a beautiful view.  When the flap is open we have a perfect view of the evening sky.  The wind blowing through the pines and aspen echoed the sound of the ocean from the islands and I slept like a baby in its mother's arms.  Tomorrow night should be perfect with the full Strawberry moon.  There will be no camping out tonight.  We have been having thunder storms all afternoon.  The southern oompas said they were afraid of thunder and lightning, but they've been so noisy and busy today that they forgot to be afraid.  At one point I actually had to tell them all to be quiet so I could hear the thunder.

Zack and Art both have ADD.  They are not embarassed of what they are any more than they are ashamed of who they are.  They found a quote on the internet that they thought was cute and shared it with me today.

"Hi, I have ADD.  That stands for Attention Deficit.... Lets go ride our bikes!"

I've spent the day trying to convince the Oompas that the daily news can be funny and entertaining and therefore they should watch it instead of all those cartoons they have been watching.   The war and all those dang politicians are making my job very hard.  If I see 'Spirit' or 'Shark Tales' one more time I think I will be sick.  Now, I must go, I have a dinner date with 7 oompas and Scooby Doo.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, and the Loompa's beach front condominium.

Today is my son's first Father's Day, and wouldn't you know, he's in the field.  Well, thanks to modern technology he has his cell phone so he was able to call us.  Unfortunately he was not able to hold his own son in his arms.  I would have wished that for him.  This is the very first photograph of Gabe and his son Zachary together.  This was the moment that they met.  When I look at this picture I think of love at first sight.  I have to say that this is my most cherished picture in the whole world.  No, I did not take it.  My husband, the proud father and grandfather, did.  A photograph of love, taken by love.  Perfect.

My brother-in-law Jay was also unable to hold his children in his arms this Father's Day.  It was a big sacrifice for any parent to make to send their children off to the other end of the continent for several weeks and I feel deeply for my sister-in-law and her husband but I know it is for the best under the circumstances.  I, on the other hand, would joyfully send my children to any relative who was naive enough to volunteer to take them.  Unfortunately  no such relatives exist any more.  All of my relatives have met my spawn.  There are no volunteers.

Do you know how hard it is to get a pack of Oompa Loompas to smile for a camera?  I don't.  800 exposures later and I have still not gotten a shot where all 7 of the children are smiling serenely for the camera.  This picture was taken at Rampart Range Reservoir.  No, the Loompas didn't really build the shelter although I did threaten to leave them there if they didn't behave. 


Saturday, June 18, 2005


I have bags, nay, SUITCASES, under my eyes.  I have never seen them that bad before.  I look old!  Heck, I FEEL old!  I spent the night laying on every rock in the yard.  Becca pointed to the 1 inch thick foam mattress pad and informed me that it was to be my spot since I was the oldest one.  2 hours later I was still wide awake as I relived the tale of the Princess and the Pea and I wondered painfully if this may have been part of some sick kind of strategic planning.  They are, after all, evil little Ooompa Loompas. 

Just as I was falling asleep, one of the two who had fallen asleep in the house, came wailing like a banshee outside the tent to be let in.  An hour or so later the second one woke and cried for me from inside the house.  Once again I stepped over bodies, fought with the zipper, ran across the damp lawn and rescued the little damsel in distress.  Back in the tent she smiled, snuggled up and was asleep in less than a minute.  That was because her spot on the ground was soft.  All the rocks were underneath me.

Yesterday was our 'stay in the house' day to allow the children to become a little more acclimated to the altitude before we attempt our trip up the mountain today.  All day long my house smelled like boiled cabbage.  Ironically I haven't cooked cabbage since St. Paddy's day.  Last night we had some awesome spaghetti (thank you, thank you very much!) with garlic bread minus the garlic!  The kids noticed immediately and inquired why their bread was naked.  Are you kidding?  I'm not fueling their engines if I'm going to be sharing a tent with their little exhaust pipes!  My plan failed.  Mumma4evr hinted that kids can make gas from anything they ate.  She was right.  I should have taken her advice and only fed them water yesterday.  I think its only fair that Dickidoo should spend the night in the tent tonight.

As for me, I'm going to get some coffee in my veins and unpack these bags under my eyes.  We've got places to go and things to do today.  And tonight... we're making Some-Mores!  Nothing like a bunch of sugar before bedtime to get a good nights rest!  Hey, I'm not sleeping in the tent with them tonight so I don't care!

Friday, June 17, 2005


Oompa Loompa training camp is in full swing.  The older loompas from the mountain have taken the role of mentor but it is obvious that the two different regional breeds share the same bloodline.  Communication was established immediately and the chattering has been non-stop and deafening, pausing only briefly when their mouths are engaged in the consumption of nourishment which replenishes their already maximized energy levels.  They even talk in their sleep, I kid you not!

The Southern Oompas are cleaning up the livingroom even as I type.    Cleaning up means taking everything that is laying around the room and stacking it in a precarious tower by my feet.  This tower will no doubt end up scattered across the floor the moment I try to get up from this chair but I'll deal with that later.  I guess its obvious which side of the family the dormant domestic gene comes from.  The Mountain Oompas (who by the way are still asleep) would never volunteer for such a task.

I took all of the kids to the zoo yesterday.  When we got to the reptile house my nephew decided that he wanted to touch the pythons and anacondas.  NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!  I think he believed me after the 3rd NO! but I just wanted to make sure.  My hero status may have been revoked because of my unwillingness to accomodate his request but we will both live and that is what matters. 

I managed to steer clear of the monkey house.  I entered the zoo with 7 children and if I went to visit the primates I may have been tempted to leave with a few less of my own.  The last time we came a female lowland gorilla took a liking to Rocky so I know for a fact I can get her adopted out with no problem.

Today will be a 'chill out' day.  The cousins are not quite aclimated to our altitude so we will just hang out here in the house for the day.  And tonight we will have a back yard camp-out.  The weather should be nice, but I guess I should have checked to see if the moon would be full, that could be a bad thing!  In anticipation of sharing the confines of a small dome tent with the Loopas, all meals will be neutral and bland, with no gaseous after effects.  Maybe if I feed them cake all day it may be safe to share the tent with them tonight.  This will definitely take some careful planning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Its just after midnight and the house is quiet for the first time in days.  Its a nice quiet.  I almost didn't recognize it.  With my youngest child being 10 I had forgotten what it was like to have little ones around.  My 7 year old nephew woke up at 6:30 this morning, then informed me that he was bored and needed something to do.  I suggested he go back to sleep.  He ignored me.  He suggested another snake hunt.  I ignored him.  Needless to say I'm running on empty at this point.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the kids have been asleep for about 2 hours now, I've just been enjoying the peace.

My two neices are little dolls.  The youngest one informed me while we were placing an ice-cream order at Sonic that she wanted a burrito, fries, a drink and a cone.  This child is only five and weighs little more than a whisper.  I told her that was too much since she had just eaten lunch.  She settled for the ice-cream cone, but later, at supper, she ate 3 drumsticks.  I felt bad about not getting her the burrito and fries.  (okay, not really, I've smelled what her but can dish out!) What I would give to have half her metabolism. 

Her 9 year old sister is probably the most mature, intelligent 9 year old child I have ever met.  She must surely be her mother's Mini-Me, and is cute as a button to boot! Her first words to me were 'Hi Auntie Jody, mom says I should help you around the house.'  I made her turn around because I just knew she had Angel wings.  Between her and Becca, my job has been so much easier than it could have been.  I had completely forgotten what it was like to have little ones around who need constant attention.

Becca refused to use her bathroom this evening because someone had forgotten to flush.

'It even says something Mom, it says Flush Me.' she insisted.  I looked and decided to do as the mystical turds has instructed.  I flushed.  I know for a fact it wasn't one of my kids, the culprit had used toilet paper.  I'm still impressed, I've seen a lot of things in my times, but I have never seen little turd squiggles spell out a message before.  This was definitely a first.  Relax, I didn't take a picture although the thought did cross my mind.

Okay, I lied.  Its 12:15 and there are giggles being giggled in the room down the hall.  No, I'm not going to say anything.  I can still remember summers at my aunt's house, and giggling long into the morning hours with my cousins.  Who am I to deny these memories?  But like my aunt, I will be banging the frying pan for them to get up by 8, whether they're ready to wake up or not!  Hey, why not?  Its MY turn!


Our first excursion with the cousins was to the ponds and creek.  Becca was wonderful with the little ones on the trip cross country and is viewed as a sort of big sister by them while they are away from their parents. 

Did you know that Oompa Loompas hunt in packs?  Did you know that they don't sleep?  Did you know that these little troll-like creatures constantly chatter in a mono-tone of SHOUT?  They have no 'indoor voice'.  And Oompa Loompas from the south fart just as bad as Oompa Loompas from the mountains.  My house was positively flammable yesterday.  Fortunately for us the EPA had already conducted its air-quality tests for the month, otherwise this house would have been condemned!

Yesterday I gained 'hero' status after catching a huge garder snake for my nephew.  He is facinated yet terrified of snakes, and when we went to the ponds, that was his goal, to see a snake.  Once he saw one, he wanted to touch it, but he wanted ME to catch it!  And now... he wants to take it home!  Yeah, I'm sure my sister-in-law would love me for that one!  So I made him a deal, if he asks his mom, and she tells me in my ear over the phone that he can have a snake, then I will try to catch another one for him... but just between us I don't see that happening... call it a hunch!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I think for the first 11 years of my life my father was almost just a polite stranger in our house.  To my young mind he seemed to be gone more than he was home, thanks to a career in the Navy.  I knew he worked on submarines, and then later on sub tenders, but I didn't ask many questions back then.  Later, when he retired, I didn't care.  By that time I was hitting my teen years and it no longer mattered in my world.  Life for the moment was all about me.

I had a mission, it was to defy authority and free the oppressed teenagers, starting with those who lived in my house.  I had learned from my friends at school that I had an opinion, and that it superceded any other opinions, regardless of the chain of command.  Unfortunately for me my father, with his strict upbringing and disciplined military training, totally disagreed with my new found ideology and thus began the dark ages.  In my defense I honestly believed that I was justified in my persuit of self righteousness.  At one point my father gave me the nickname 'Butt-in-ski'.  Can you say 'grounded'?  Trust me when I say that my father could.  I think I spent half my high school years confined to the house, or in the case of worse offenses, to my room! 

After my graduation I didn't realize it but I was slowly being molded into a more responsible member of society.  My parents constantly volunteered me to help with various Scouting events that taught me not only to respect authority, but also how to earn it.  My father helped me find my dream job as a typesetter and graphic artist at the local print shop.  He drove me around town as I invested my first pay checks in a magical roundback acoustic guitar and my first camera, a Pentax K-1000 35 mm SLR with interchangeable lenses.  I didn't realize it at first, but the polite stranger who dared to oppress my individual freedoms was instumental in taking my dreams and turning them into reality.

The turning point came at my wedding reception, when my father and I danced for the first time in my memory.  I was already walking on clouds and was able to focus on only one face... that of my new husband... until my father took me in his arms.  I looked up and his words faded as I saw something in his eyes that I had never noticed before, pride and love.  And tears!  At the end of the dance he kissed my forehead and told me that he loved me.  And when I told him that I loved him too, I meant it more than I ever had before.

Today my father is a familiar voice on the telephone, he is inspirational emails in my mailbox, and a welcomed visitor to my house where he entrances his grandchildren with his exciting stories from the sea.  To my kids he is a hero and they listen in awe even when a particular tale is a little taller than the last time he told it.  I regret that I did not allow him the chance to be my hero when I was their age, but in retrospect I think he always was, I just didn't realize it at the time.

And I probably don't say this often enough, but I love you Dad.  Happy Father's Day.

The photo was taken in Scotland in 1971 when my father retired from the Navy.  From left to right, starting in the back:  My oldest sister Teresa (Lisa), 2nd oldest Naomi, Brian (Lisa's friend) Front:  Dad, Mom, brother George, Myself with my baby sister Davina infront of me, 3rd oldest Valorie.  In the foreground... some important Navy guy, probably the ship's commander.


(This is the comment my father left in my journal after reading this entry)

Dearest Daughter:

I had a hard time reading your "Tribute" because I couldn't see through the tears.  Mom was at my shoulder as we read from start to finish including the comments.  
I'm so very glad that the "Contagion of The Old Man of The Sea" did rub off on you early or later.  That's what Fathers are for, sweetie.  Glad I could steer you on toward where you are today.  My job feels almost completed now, but not quite ready to quit just yet.

I Love you too, my very own "DORN"
Comment from
ambassadorsinte - 6/14/05 11:49 AM

Monday, June 13, 2005


Rocky's hair was a mess this morning.  In our frenzy to get the house somewhat presentable for our young visitors, I neglected to make sure that she had been brushing her hair daily.  She's 10 years old, she really shouldn't have to be reminded, but knowing her as I do, I should have remembered.  I do not think her hair had been brushed since the last time I brushed it, which was probably Wednesday.  Today it was like one big poofy dread lock.  Thats singular, as in one big tangled mass.  I gave up trying to brush through it after 1 hour.  Tomorrow morning should be a real blast.

Someone stole the toilet paper from my bathroom, again.  I know there are some people who believe that I am obsessive about toilet paper, and maybe I am, but this time it really was stolen.   If someone in my house had used the last of the paper on the roll, the roll would have remained on the roller, and the new roll of tissue would have been balanced on top.  Today when I reached for the quilted softness, there was nothing on the roller, not even the bare cardboard tube.  Nada!  I now understand the logic in the locks on the toilet paper dispensers in public restrooms.

My camera is safely back in my loving arms again, and the pocket yahtzee is tucked away in the vanity drawer where it belongs.  My house is now crawling with Oompa Loompas.  Why do I call them Oompa Loompas my father wondered.  Well, its mostly because while they are small and appear childlike, they are really sly, conniving, calculating, intelligent, devious little candy-craving creatures that should never be taken for granted.  I have my 4 and now they have their 3 cousins... the Oompa Loompas In Training as I call them.  I didn't think they would ever go to sleep this evening.  At first I thought how wonderful it was that the children all got along so well, but then I realized that they all got along too well, and suddenly I was afraid!  I was very afraid!

Dickidoo and Becca took over 500 pictures of little Zachary.  I am still going through them all.  And I am so jealous that I wasn't able to hold him.  The most important thing was that Gabe was able to hold him, and the look on his face in the pictures as he holds his son is the mirror image of his own father holding him when he was a baby.  I have so many favorites, but there is one that Becca took of Dickidoo holding his grandson, and each time I look at it I just have to laugh for it represents what being a grandparent is all about.  That little guy has his grandfather by the heart, wrapped around his little finger, and by the hair on his chinney chin chin!


This is a true story, and I dedicate it to my Mother, who has always encouraged my story-telling.

Once upon a time, long ago, lived some children who moved from town to town quicker than they were able to make friends.  With their father traveling away from the family so often, the children spent much of their time indoors.  Money was tight but they barely noticed for Mother had given them each the gift of imagination.

One child in particular used her gift to weave stories.  These stories were woven rather than told because they were constructed as the story went along and listeners were encouraged to give suggestions to help with the direction of the fantasy.  In the beginning these stories were created on a big, shared bed, crowded with fluffy blankets and feather pillows.  Before long the bed became too confining for such imagination.  Enter Mother and her Blanket Tent.

The Blanket Tent was a simple structure that varied from time to time.  Sometimes it was a chinelle bedspread with long twirled fringe.  Other times it was a thin sheet in which the moon could be seen through if it was full enough.  But it was always a place of intrigue, of comforting closeness and bursting with imagination.

The Story Weaver was more or less the middle child.  She wasn't the smartest by any means, but she had a way with words that even drew the Parents to the door of the bedroom to listen to the progressing tales that were being told from beneath the blankets and sheets draped over beds, chairs, sides held up by dresser drawers and anchored by story books that had lost their appeal.  As the years passed, the blanket tents became more elaborate, and were no longer confined to the bedroom.  Occasionally Mother would turn a blind eye as multiple bedspreads were draped over the dining table.

The tales never used real names, the characters were fictional, and yet they were molded by the occupants of the Blanket Tent.  The stories were never the same either, once there was a trip into town in a childsized car, which was unheard of in those times.  Another time focused on chocolate chip cookies, which just happened to be the favorite food of the Story Weaver.  Special detail was added when the cookies were described as being slightly burnt.  The Story Weaver preferred her cookies that way.  The first and last batch of cookies made by the Mother were almost always burned and the Story Weaver had discovered that because the other children found them distasteful, she would almost always get the first and last batches to herself.  Did I say she wasn't the smartest?  Perhap not, but she was smart enough.  Unbeknown to her at the time, her Mother was not a careless baker, but often deliberately left a batch in slightly longer than required to achieve the desired color for the Story Weaver.

The stories almost always included a very detailed description of a meal.  The food would depend on the family's location at the time.  While in Connecticutt the favorite fantasy meal included warm dinner rolls (Mother made them from scratch) washed down with a bottle of Hostess Cream Soda.  In Scotland the meal was almost always a crusty afternoon roll such as the ones bought from the bakery a few doors down, slathered with butter and topped with a slab of thick cheese, washed down with Ginger Beer (Ginger Ale).  The audience would listen to the Story Weaver with big eyes as the meal was described, giggling when someone's stomach rumbled uncontrollably.

And outside the walls illuminated by a single flashlight, the Mother stood silently, with a smile on her small dark face.  She knew one day that there would be no more stories shared beneath the Great Blanket Tent, that the children would no longer whisper and giggle at shadows cast against its sides.  But she hoped that the Story Weaver would never forget her gift and would some day weave stories for her own children.

Years later and thousands of miles away from Mother, giggles fill a darkened house.  In the diningroom a warm gentle glow illuminated through the blankets draped over a large wooden table.  From within the walls of the blankets, five pair of eyes peered eagerly at the Story Weaver who held a single flashlight.  The Story Weaver spoke in a soft voice but it was full of excitement as she described the cool, salty air by the ocean's edge.  The children never took their eyes from her face as they nibbledon simple, crusty rolls slathered with butter and stuffed with slabs of cheddar cheese, washed down with small bottles of Coca Cola.  Occasionally a child would make a suggestion which was immediately woven into the story.  And the Story Weaver smiled as she looked back at the young faces before her, flashing back to an earlier time when it was her brother and sisters faces that stared back at her with anticipation.  She wondered as she saw the magic of imagination play across her childrens faces if any of them would carry on the legacy of Story Weaving.

Her question was answered when late one evening when the house was unnaturally quiet.  She walked through the rooms, looking for the children and found them huddled under a lopsided Blanket Tent, the sides illuminated by the soft glow of a single flashlight, the voices of her children within taking turns weaving a story.  She stood there for a long while, just smiling.  Before the story was finished the Mother moved away from the doorway so as not to break the spell.

The children are older now, and there are no more Blanket Tents.  But the Mother is confident that her children will rekindle the magic with their own children and once again the stories will be woven in the Great Blanket Tent.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

DAY 4 1/2

The excitement still hasn't worn off, I am constantly finding myself pulling up the pictures and then just melting with emotions as I gaze at that little face.  There's something else too though... I have come to the conclusion that the giddy feeling in my stomach is more than just emotions.  At first I thought it was nerves or stress, and a bit of exhaustion.  But now I'm sure its just down right sickness!  Don't know what I've got, but it is sucking the energy from my body.  This bites!  There's still too much to do around the house, I don't have time to be sick!  Going to have to mark the calendar for this.... 'plan on being sick on Friday through the weekend'.  Any time before is just not possible.  Agh!

I've been keeping an eye on the weather along the I-70 corridor.  Dickidoo will be driving back that way and doesn't want to be caught on the road when extreme weather conditions are in the area.  He's got too precious a cargo to be caught in a tornado.  The good thing is he's given himself lots of time to get back so he won't feel the need to rush back and take unneccesary risks. 

Been working on laundry all day.  How can we have so much laundry?  Art suggested lighting a fire in the fire place and just chucking everything in it.  Sounds tempting, it really does.  I keep saying that once I get caught up on the laundry I will stay on top of it, but I've been saying that for 21 years now and its never happened.  Perhaps moving into a nudist colony would help.  Of course our neighbors might complain about the scenery, but I'll never have to mess with laundry again!

Goodness, 10 minutes have passed since I started writing this entry.  Thats 10 minutes that have passed without me seeing my little grandbaby's picture.  Gotta go!  I've got a lot of lost time to make up for.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


I can't even begin to describe the joy I am feeling at this very moment.  (yes, I am crying, I have been since I opened the email about 30 minutes ago). Look at that precious little face.  And he has teeth!

Kayle, thank you so very much for sharing Zachary with us.  He is beautiful.  Thank goodness he has your head shape rather than his father's!

DAY 3 1/2

Okay, now I feel like a dope.  They didn't call because they were a little occupied.  Seems someone locked the keys in the truck (don't worry Becca, I won't tell anyone!) and Dickidoo was frantically trying to find a way to get in.  Our insurance company offers lock-out protection, but wouldn't you know... we declined it when we started the policy.  Enter the Cleveland Police Department, who managed to break in to the truck (legally!). And with all that going on they still managed to get 500+ pictures of my grandbaby!  Woooo hooo!  Now.... hurry back home so I can see them! 

Actually I really am feeling bad.  They  have a 9 hour drive back to Kentucky.  Then after a night's rest, Dickidoo has to load up the truck again, this time with 3 little ones, and make the 16 hour trip back here.  Only this time it won't be 16 hours!  He's not anticipating getting here until late Monday evening.  I can almost guess his first stop... the hot tub!  He'll be soaking by himself though, cos I'll be right here loading up all those pictures of my little grandson.

DAY 3 (going nuts, but its not my fault!)

Okay, they are there... I hope.  I hope that they are hugging little Zachary, and telling him how much he is loved.  I hope they are taking hundreds of pictures, and when the memory card is full, that they unload it onto the laptop and take hundreds more.

Of course I don't know what they are doing, because they haven't CALLED!  They were supposed to call last night.  Thats the rule, call each night before bed so I know where they are.  They did not and I sat up crossed eyed and weary with worry.  This morning by 10, still no call so I called them.  'Sorry, we got in late and went straight to be!'  Must have been nice to sleep... while I was wide awake worrying!  But I say okay, just call me later.  Well, its later... Hello?  I don't hear my phone ringing!

Theres probably nothing to worry about, but how would I know?  Nobody calls me!  Agh!  I should have gone myself and left Dickidoo to clean the house.  No, of course I'm not jealous that he gets to hold our grandchild before I do.... what ever gave you that idea?

(I'll bet he smells Heavenly.  Angels smell like a newly bloomed flower after a morning rain, like the wind over fresh fallen snow, they smell like dew, and sunshine.  Angels smell like moonlight and fluffy white clouds.  Angels smell like babies. I miss that fragrance.)

By the way, if anyone got an alert for Dustbunnies entitled 'Grand Canyon', but clicked the link and it wasn't there, that was Dickidoo's fault.  I am suffering from sleep deprivation due to worry and posted my photo journal entry here instead of on my photo journal.  I moved it over and the pictures can be view at Through the Eyes of the Beholder..... .  I apologize for the confusion, because I care and wouldn't want anyone to worry... unlike SOMEONE else that I know!

Friday, June 10, 2005

DAY 2 1/2

I am suddenly revitalized.  Dickidoo just called from Fort Campbell.  He picked Gabe up and they called his ex-girlfriend.  She has agreed to let them come up to see little Zachary so they are on their way up even as I type this.  I am soooo happy that I let them take the Nikon after all.  I shall get lots of pictures now, even though I won't be there to hold my little grandbaby in person.

'I wish I was with you.' I almost cried on the phone to my husband, but then reality quickly sank in.

'Okay, maybe I don't wish I were with you RIGHT NOW, cos that 9 hour drive is going to suck, but when you get there.... I wish I could be there then.'

I do believe there is a spring in my step now.  Take as long as you need guys, just get lots of pictures and give little Zachary lots of hugs and kisses for me.

Yahtzee can wait a little while longer.


Its been 25 hours and 4 minutes since I last saw my Nikon.  I have not taken a single picture in more than a day.  Instead I have filled my time with filling trash bags and rearranging rooms.  My daughter presented me with an adorable photo opportunity but I could not capture the moment.  I felt impotent, useless, less than whole.  And without my pocket Yahtzee visits to the throne are no longer enjoyable.  I'm in and out in less than a minute.  I find myself pondering the meaning of life.  I find myself pondering the meaning of ponder.  I wonder, does it matter?  Who cares anyhow?  Whats the use?

Dickidoo called when they stopped for the night.  They were in Mount Vernon, Illinois.  Becca assured me that all was well and she was getting some awesome pictures.  They've never been that far away from me and for so long.  I am counting the hours until their return.  In 3 days I shall have my camera and Yahtzee back in my hands where they belong.  Becca, Steve,  keep the potty breaks to a minimum, think about me, what about MY potty breaks huh?  They just aren't the same without my Yahtzee, bring it back ASAP!   I'll bet you didn't tuck the Nikon into its case before you went to sleep did you?  What about the battery?  Did you put in a fresh one and recharge the used one?  Did you download the memory card?  Probably not! 

72 hours, 58 minutes and 7 seconds....

AMUSING MEMORIES, Weekend Assignment

Last summer we were fortunate to be able to visit Disneyland and Magic Mountain while visiting relatives in LA.  The biggest amusement park the family had ever been to up until that point was Elitch Gardens in Denver.  Stepping into the Magic Kingdom was like passing through a doorway into another world.  Even I as an adult couldn't help getting caught up in the fantasy.  And while Magic Mountain wasn't as scenic as Disneyland, the rides were outstanding.  I even got over my fear of roller coasters and found myself rushing ahead of the others to get back into line.

We went to Magic Mountain the day before we left California, and we were already on the edge of exhaustion, but the rides beconed us and we waited in line for what seemed like ages to get on a 3 minute ride.  While nearing the 3 year mark in the cue for the X, my little Rocky got bored and started messing with the landscaping plants.  I chided her but she insisted that it was just a weed.

'Perhaps, but you don't know what kind of weed it is.  For all you know it could be poison ivy'.  I pointed out.

'Is it?' she asked.

'No, but thats beside the point, you don't know what it is so you should leave it alone.'  I replied in my best mommy voice and bystanders smiled with approval in the way I handled the situation.  My pride was short lived though because Rocky plucked a branch of leaves from the plant and scrubbed it against her cheeks!  I couldn't believe the audacity of the child, the total disregard for what I had just said, the disrespect... I snatched the leaves from her hand and warned her that the Park officials could throw her out for destroying their property.  It was NEVER okay to just pluck a plant like that, especially when it was someone else's property.  It was also irresponsible and stupid to rub it against her skin, not knowing what it was!  By the time I was finished with my lecture I had regained the repect from those around us.  My child had defied me, but I was once again a respected Mommy in the Long Roller Coaster Line Community.  Rocky pouted for the next few turns in the line, but forgot about the whole incident by the time we got on the ride.

She would remember the incident vividly when she woke up the next morning and discovered her face covered with rash!  I tried to be sympathetic, I tried to be a caring mother, but I couldn't!  I laughed long and hard every time I saw her blotchy little face.  At one point she was even in tears... not from pain or discomfort, but from embarassment.  All those warnings I had given her... and what does she do?  She deliberately defied me, and this was the result.  I think once her resentment wore off and the rash subsided, Rocky had a new respect for me and my advice.  Of course she had all but forgotten it by the end of the summer.  But thats okay, because I've got pictures!

The scariest ride I have ever ridden on was the X at Magic Mountain.  Now I've always been terrified of roller coasters and only recently over came the fear while at Disneyland a couple days earlier, so I was still very apprehensive.  However, the recent discovery that I was an adrenaline junkie despite my phobias, had me rushing back in line, pushing my own kids out of the way in an affort to get on the ride sooner.  The X started out slow, but after it takes you to the starting point, it flips the carriage upside down and the riders plummet over the drop backwards!  Nothing but sky!  Absolutely terrifying.  In fact it was so terrifying that I had to ride it again just to make sure that I was really scared.  I think the second time around was even more thrilling because of the anticipation factor.  At any rate, the X was both, the scariest and the best ride I have ever been on.  Would I go on it again?  You betcha!

Weekend Assignment #63: Amusing Amusement Park Moments

Thursday, June 9, 2005


They left this morning at 8:00 am, my husband, my oldest daughter, my Nikon and my pocket Yahtzee!  Nooooooo!  'Be safe' I told them with hugs and kisses, 'And hurry back!'.  I meant that.  4 days without my camera, I'm getting the shakes just thinking about it.  And no pocket Yahtzee?  Oh, this is not good at all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005


My son is in the 3/187th.  He was initially to be assigned to a new unit but instead was put into a unit with a long, distinguished history and was almost immediately put through Air Assault School.  The 3/187th served during the Korean War.  Gabe was recently chosen as an escort for a ceremony honoring veterans of the unit during the Korean War.  His Grandfather Ronald was also a Korean War Vet, and his great Uncle Hashin was killed while serving in Korea so it was a great honor for him to serve as an escort at this ceremony.  I try not to think of the steadily approaching time for his own deployment into the battle zone. 

This picture was taken by Jane Renninger of Asheville, NC who took the time to befriend my son and some of the other escorts.  Gabe didn't know much about her but thinks she might be married to one of the honored Veterans.  Mrs. Renninger, if you see this, thank you for the lovely picture and for the wonderful note you sent to Gabe.  To Mr. Renninger, thank you for your service and dedication.   And thank you for giving my son a history to be proud of.


I've spent the past few days child-proofing the house in anticipation of my neices and nephew's visit.  Okay, honestly I haven't even gotten to the childproofing yet, I'm still in the rearranging of rooms and removal of garbage stage.  My computer has finally been moved upstairs to the livingroom.  There goes the last vestige of privacy for me.  Now when I sit down at the computer, I have at least 2 sets of eyes peering over my shoulders like vultures, and they pounce upon my Dell the moment I step away.  The only good thing I see in this move is that the Bunn-omatic Pour-Omatic is now just about 10 feet away from my Dell-Omatic! 

Gabe finally got through to us yesterday after over a week of silence.  He had participated in a Korean War Ceremony and I believe he escorted former members of his unit from that war.  The wife of I believe one of these past soldiers had taken a picture of Gabe from the ceremony and sent it here to the house.  He was dressed in an old uniform and looked sooooo cool.  I'll have to post it once I get the scanner set up.  I'm jealous that Dickidoo and Becca get to see him this weekend, and maybe even little Zachary.  That still hasn't been arranged and we may have to wait until the return trip later on in the summer, but I shall be able to go then.

So, anyhow, back to cleaning.  This is crazy!  I pulled 2 bags of waste paper out of the computer room alone!  Art slept in there last night, but he still has his bed frame, his dresser and all of his other stuff in his old room so we can't even start on moving Rocky into her new room yet!  Hopefully that will happen today.  The kids will all be splitting up this weekend, Becca will go with her father to help with her cousins on the trip back from Kentucky.  Zack and Art will be going north with our friend Singe to participate in a flintknapper's get-together.  This will be Zack's 3rd time, but its Art's first.  Anyhow, that leaves Rocky and me home... to finish cleaning the house and getting it ready for our visitors.  Yay!  Thanks guys, you shouldn't have.  No, really, you shouldn't have!  And I shall be Nikon-less all weekend... its a cruel life that I live.  Woe is me!

Sunday, June 5, 2005

HOUSE GUESTS, and an extreme sacrifice.

My sister-in-law is under the weather and trying to adjust to some new medication she is taking for chronic pain.  She is so young, too young to be this miserable.  Anyhow, with school out for the summer we have offered to take her 3 children for a few weeks to let her rest up and get used to the medication without having to worry about her children.  Dickidoo is driving out to get our nieces and nephew.  I'm excited because I have not met them yet.  Dickidoo is also going to try to see our grandbaby.  I can't go along because Art has summer school, but Dickidoo will be taking lots of pictures if he can arrange a visit.  Lots of pictures with... my Nikon!  Nooooooo!  He can't take my baby, I've never been without my baby.  We've never been apart since I got it.  What if something happens to it, who will protect it, who will wipe it down and recharge its battery?

I'm already going through anxiety issues and he hasn't even left yet.  What will I do with myself if not clicking my exposure button?  I shall surely go mad.  Truth be known its probably a conspiracy, a trick Dickidoo has come up with to get me to actually do some housework instead of galavanting around town taking pictures.  But thats okay, I will make the sacrifice if it means getting a picture of my grandbaby.  And just maybe I will be able to make the trip back east when our neices and nephew goes back home, and get to see little Zachary with my own eyes, and love him, and hold him.... Got my fingers crossed on that one, and my toes crossed, my arms and legs crossed.  I even have my eyes crossed!

But in the mean time, what will I do with myself without my camera? Ahhhhhhhhhggggggggg!

Friday, June 3, 2005

SUMMER VACATION? Who? What? Where? When?

75 Days Until Schools Starts!

Its a challenge being in the same family with my 2 daughters, let alone in the same house with them!  Now that summer is upon us we have more quality family time than I can stand.  I try to get the kids outdoors, but that usually entails a trip in the truck's close quarters for a period of time before we reach our destination.  Close quarters are BAD when you are sharing it with juvenile sisters with just 3 years separating them. 

Yesterday, in a souvenier store, Rocky scowled at a little plaque that had a 'World's Best Sister' poem engraved on it. 

'That is such a lie!' she said.  'They obviously don't know Becca.'

'Actually I think that is for older sisters, who have grown up and learned to love each other' I pointed out.  Rocky rolled her eyes and left the store.  It was too mushy for her.

Later that day Rocky came running to me with flashing eyes, a grinning Becca close behind her.

'Mom, make Becca shave her pits!  They're as hairy as a jungle and they stink!'   Becca took advantage of my confused silence and gave her baby sister a big hug, making sure to wrap her arm around Rocky's face, strategically placing her armpit over Rocky's nose.  Rocky screamed and tore out of the room with Becca in persuit.  I raised my own arm, took an experimental sniff and decided not to get involved in that arguement. 

I grew up with 4 sisters.  Funny, I don't remember us ever being that bad!  Sometimes I feel sorry for Rocky, being the youngest of the 5 siblings.  But if she is anything like I was, and recent indications show that she is, then she will figure out a way to get her revenge.  I'll just let nature take its course till then.

Only 75 more days of summer and then everything will be back to normal.  I can't wait!  I'm already practicing my happy dance!

Thursday, June 2, 2005

MY WORST BAD HAIR DAY, Weekend Assignment

I went to a ball before, it was a Unit Ball when my husband was still active duty.  It wasn't just the usual dining out, it was a BALL!  And I was expected to wear a gown or formal, there would be no blue jeans for this party.  I had never been to a ball before and in fact I hadn't even been to a high school prom, so I was very excited.

My husband bought me a beautiful purple lace 2 piece formal skirt outfit.  It was the most beautiful outfit I had ever worn besides my wedding dress.  I wanted to do my hair up, but the last time I had my hair done it cost $72 for a do that wilted half way through the party, so I decided to do a temporary home perm.  I bought the rollers, the solution, and got to work.  Unfortunately when your hair is 3 feet long it takes a long LONG time to set.  Hours later my husband had to help out because I thought my arms were going to drop off.

So, while I'm waiting for my hair to dry, I began to get ready.  Next thing on the list, press on nails!  I use super glue to make sure they stay on good, and then I polished the nails a deep wine color that matched my outfit.  Next came the application of the prefab face.  That went on without a hitch and I was actually ahead of schedule, which was good being as I was about to encounter every problem in the book.

Did you know that it is almost impossible to put on control top panty hose with press-on nails?  I learned that the hard way.  In the end I had to enlist the help of my husband.  I went through 2 pairs due to popping holes from my perfect plum colored Lees.  And... if I thought rolling my hair was hard, I was about to experience something even worse... UNROLLING my hair!  After the last curler was removed I looked like Bozo the clown!  I tried wetting down my hair but it hardly made a difference.  It didn't help that my husband stood by barely able to contain his laughter.  I would have cried if I wasn't afraid of streaking my layers of Maybelline.  I had the biggest, wildest, highest afro I had ever seen!  Link from the Mod Squad would have been jealous.

I cemented my hair with a mixture of mousse, spritz, gel and hairspray, and then anchored it with barettes.  The end result was rock-hard and flamable but it looked well groomed and intentional so I still went to the hotel feeling good about myself.  We sat with people I had never met before, but I had on my Lee Press-on nails, my highly combustible hairdo and I felt mahvalous !  I ate my dinner in between animated conversations in which I waved my hands and flashed my beautiful nails.  Towards the end of the meal I excused myself to go to the restroom.  When I moved to wash my hands I saw to my complete dismay that my nails were full of baked potatoes and sour cream from my dinner.  Not being used to the extra length of my new nails I had evidently gouged the spud on my plate more than once and was no doubt flashing it around the table during my dinner conversation.  No wonder everyone was laughing.  And there I was thinking I was being witty.

Some people were never intended to dress up and step out.  I am one such person.  I can handle jeans and a button-down shirt but anything fancier invites disaster.  As for my hair, well, it hangs in a long pony tail most of the time now.  If I feel sophisticated I'll braid it or twirl it up in a bun, but I avoid curlers at all cost!

Weekend Assignment #62: Hairstyles from Hell

Wednesday, June 1, 2005


Rocky:  plastic handcuffs (keys are missing)

Becca:  Nail polish ( nothing beats a campfire manicure, its the latest trend! )

Art:  Portable cd player (no batteries... it remained in the truck all weekend.)

Zack:  Drawing pad for starting sketches he never finishes.

Dickidoo:  Tee shirt 2 sizes too small.  'Pack?  I thought you were packing for me!'

Boobiedoo:  My camera, of course... and lots of coffee creamer!  Squeeze clothes in the extra space if available.

Actually we did pretty good, we only had to go down the hill once to replenish the ice supply and get Steve a larger shirt.  We drove all the way home so I was able to download my camera and refresh my battery during the stop-over.  With only 505 exposures on my camera's memory card I was afraid of running out of room.  As it turned out, I only took a total of 487 pictures.