Wednesday, August 31, 2005

TOUCHED BY KATRINA, updated and the boys night out

I came home to good news today.  My sister heard from her friend, who is safe with family.  And my friend finally heard from his daughter.  She made it safely back to her house, which incredibly suffered only minor damage.  Her neighbor wasn't as fortunate, they lost their roof.  Right after he heard from his daughter, my friend's son-in-law called to say he was okay and to ask about his wife whom he hadn't been able to contact.  So Katrina's effect, at least in human terms, was minor for my little circle.  Sadly the same cannot be said about countless others.

I am healing quickly from my weekend trip (literally!)  I still have some cactus embedded in my face.  I have a bruise on my chin from where I hit it on something a little harder than the cactus.  Apparently I was too engrossed in the feeling of hundreds of spines peircing my skin to notice the pain of my chin slamming against a rock.  I also have a bruise on my torso in the shape of my camera.  My foot is bruised and scabbed but at least the swelling has subsided and my shoe fit again.

Needless to say I have been extra careful to avoid any and ALL cactus and barbed wire.  Unfortunately that didn't guarantee my safety.  As of yesterday afternoon I am now sporting a pretty deep gash on my right middle finger.  I suppose you're wondering how I managed to cut myself, and I suppose I should be embarrassed, except to this moment I still can't believe what I cut myself on.  A banana!  I cut myself on a banana!  Okay, it wasn't a mushy banana, it was a banana chip that I was trying to brush out of my truck, but it was still a banana.  I've been pouring the anticeptic on it like it was going out of style to prevent an infection.  The last thing I want to do is to go to the clinic and have to explain the infection on my finger.  "Well doc, I cut myself on a banana."  Yeah, that will go well with all of the other rediculous entries in my medical file.

Shhhhhhhh........... don't tell anyone, but my two big boys are going out tonight.  Gabe is  taking Zack out for a belated 18th birthday celebration.  They're going to Gabe's old work place, the boobie bar!  It was Dickidoo's idea although Gabe has been thinking about it for a while.  I suppose a good mother would be shocked, but I just told Dickidoo to give them some $.  Zack is so shy, goodness, I hope this doesn't totally corrupt him! 


Katrina came and went without so much as a wisp of breeze through my hair.  I was safe within the embrace of the mountains. I was untouched.  Or so I thought, until I sent a casual email to my friend, inquiring how his daughter, whose husband was stationed at the hospital at Kessler AFB, was faring.  I was not prepared for the reply that the couple had been separated because of duty (the husband is a doctor.)  His daughter had safely left town with her father-in-law but the last my friends had heard from her was in the morning of the 29th as they stopped at Montgomery, AL on their way back in to Mississippi.

I'm sure that they are all okay, and communication with my friends will be made as soon as phone service has been restored.  Until then though, I like hundreds of thousands of others, will wait on pins and needles to get word of the safety and well being of family and loved ones.

My friends are especially anxious.  I photographed their daughter's wedding in late July.  The young couple have been husband and wife for just a little over a month.  But the 29th, the last day he heard from his daughter, was the 5th anniversary of the death of my friend's only son.  And today, the 31st, would have been his son's birthday.

The stories of tragedy, of triumph, of faith and hope are everywhere. My sister is still waiting to hear from her lifelong friend who lived in Mississippi, in an area that was devastated by the storm. 

I tried to put my hopes into a prayer this morning but could not find the words.  The destruction is so devastating, the human toll so high.  I believe even the Angels are weeping at the enormousy of it all.  For those of you who wait for word from loved ones, for those who already know their fate, for those who help in any way and every way possible, my thoughts are with you today.  America will rebuild, she always does.  It is our unity and human compassion that will get us from this over whelming moment of grief and disbelief, of pain and weakness, to the point where we can begin to rebuild.  We are our brother's keeper.  We are America.  It is what we are, it is who we are.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


August 30, 2004

BUBBLES:  Hot tubs are great, aren't they.... cos you never really know where the bubbles come from.

Monday, August 29, 2005


I spent every quiet moment today lost in thoughts and memories of Nolan.  I almost feel guilty as the pain has dulled slightly.  I still miss him but there were no tears today.  That surprises me now as I think about it.  This is the first year since his passing that I have been able to retain my composure on 'the day'.  I think it helped to bring my feeling out in the open last month and then when Gabe returned the other day we spoke about Nolan.  We only have 3 pictures of him displayed in the house.  His father took the fourth one of him in his dress uniform home to reframe it. I don't miss the picture.  I have always hated that picture.  The only time I had ever seen him wearing that uniform was the day I saw him lying in his casket.  In the picture he wasn't smiling.  He ALWAYS smiled.  That picture to me is the picture of his death. Looking at it again today was hard and yet maybe a little healing.

I lied.  I am crying now. And after 5 years I still don't understand how this happened.  The worst part is that I don't think Nolan even understood what happened.  And I pray that lessons learned from his tragedy can prevent this sort of thing from ever happening to another young person. 
NOLAN, the story of my broken heart.



My cactus catastrophe was my own fault but I am convinced that I was set up by the turkeys.  Upon further examination I have discovered their diabolical plot.  Do you see the pole on the right hand side of the first photo?  That is the pole the barbed wire USED to be strung on.  Now we all know, that barbed wire doesn't just fall off the pole by itself.  And what a coincidence that the turkeys just happened to run past it.  But did they disappear into the ravine to the side?  No!  They stopped and waited for me to catch up!  Why would they do that, unless they wanted to make sure I followed their exact path!

My theory is that those Commando Turkey Platoon removed the barbed wire to create a trip-wire, and then lured me over it so that I would trip over it and become entangled in it.  Well, I didn't trip, after the cactus, and with a gazillion spines still embedded in my face, there was no way I was going down again to risk more spines and hammering the previous batch even deeper.  But they snagged me with their trap and they knew it.  I heard them laughing as I limped back to the truck... Damn turkeys!

Sunday, August 28, 2005


First of all, let me just say that its not as bad as it may look.  I took a little spill and fell face first.   I was so busy trying to protect my camera that I couldn't protect my face.  But don't worry, a cactus plant broke my fall! I had to yank my face loose before I could stand up.  I was covered with hundreds of spines.  (if you look closely at the picture you can see some of the bigger ones).  I even had them in my lip!  Fortunately I had worn my glasses instead of my contacts, and my eyes were protected.  Steve and Gabe pulled out as many of the big spines as they could but we had to call it a day so I could go home and pull the rest out.

On the way down the road we passed some turkeys so I jumped out of the truck and took off after them, still covered with cactus and blood.  I was so busy avoiding more cactus that I didn't see the barbed wire!  I'm thinking I may have to go get a tetnus shot, I can't remember when I last had one and the top of my foot is really aching.

Did you know that if your face is covered with hundreds of cactus spines and the wind blows on them from an open window while the vehicle you are in is going 60 mph, that you can feel each and every spine as it wiggles deeper into your flesh, piercing nerve endings and sending jolts of pain to your brain?  I know that now.

I still have cactus in my face, in my hair and eyebrows.  My foot is throgging.  I am covered with mosquito bites.   But the very worst part is that my 70 mm lens was damaged in the fall and no longer focuses properly... my poor baby!  So now I will take my pin-cushion face to bed and hope for the camera-fairy to come by and fix my lens.  Maybe while she's at it she can drop a little fairy dust on foot, and remove the cactus so my pillow doesn't stick to my face anymore.


He's home... woo hoo!  And check it out, he's growing out his hair.  He said: 'Mom, my hair is getting long!'  I said: 'Your eyebrows are still the longest hair on your head!'  I'll never get used to seeing him without his beautiful long hair, but looking at this picture... I couldn't imagine him WITH long hair.  My son, the Big Bad Cav Scout went out with his friends to a party in his honor, and what did he wear?  An old shirt from his county maintenance job!

I love listening to Gabe and Steve talking, they're like old battle buddies!  They have so many similar experiences, but there is 22 years between them.  I guess the Army basically hasn't changed.  It suits Gabe though, just as it suited his dad.  And I guess I was just destined to be a military daughter/ wive/ mom.

Gabe was telling us about the place he was shipping out to, and I was just freaked out!  'Oh no no no!'  I said, 'Thats just not safe!'  I know its a war zone, but good golly, the only way it could get worse is if they were to all stand in the bulls eye of a giant target with 'Shoot Me' signs taped on their backs! 

I guess this is why they don't let Moms visit their kids in the war zone, the elite Mom Squad would infiltrate the battlefield and clean everything up to make it safe for our children.  Okay, maybe I wouldn't be one of them trying to clean up, but I would definitely be blowing things up to make it harder for the bad guys to get to the good guys.  I thought being a mom was hard while raising little ones and then trying to get them through school.  Nothing compares to trying to get them through a war.  Sometimes I find myself secretly wishing my boy was still working at the Boobie-Bar, but there is a painful, almost guilty amount of pride for him and his current occupation.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I finally sent Gabe a text message and was about to call him when he returned my message.  He was awake and waiting for his ride to the airport.  He didn't even waste time on sleep, he stayed up all night.

He called me later from the airport.  He was the first in line at the ticket counter, but was told that he had too many #'s in his e-ticket itinerary number and he was forced to step aside while the agents helped the others.  He was understandably upset, but I had his itinerary on the computer.  It didn't make sence to me though why they couldn't pull up his account by his name but I got the number for him.  Just as I started to give it to him, I heard someone in the background ask for his name.  A second later he told me that everything was okay.  Now why couldn't they do that to begin with?

The delay had him rushing to the gate.  But 'ding, ding, ding.... !'  He was the lucky customer who got picked for a full search.  He ended up having to run to the departure gate with his shoes in hand.  But he made it. 

So anyhow, I might have gotten an hour of sleep.  My eyes are in shock.  They won't blink.  When they do, they won't open.  I stumbled straight to the coffee pot.... coffee pot?  Where is my coffee pot?  Oh well, its not like it would have done me any good, because my can of coffee grounds was missing as well! Okay kids, this is so un-funny!  I finally found the coffee in the dish rack in the kitchen.  I don't even want to know how it got there.  I don't care.   I've got caffeine in my system.  My son will be here in an hour.  Life is good!

Friday, August 26, 2005


I'm afraid that if I go to bed, Gabe will miss his flight.  He is supposed to fly out of Nashville at 6:10 am, which means he has to be there by 5:00 am.  As of yet he has not opened the email that has his itinerary in so he can print it out.  He hasn't got a computer so he will have had to borrow someone else's.  He doesn't have to have a printed itinerary... I hope...  I gave him all the info on a text message over his cell phone so as long as he has his phone with him, he has the flight number and itinerary number.

I'm just worried that he won't get up and make it to the airport in time.  5:00 is pretty early for a Saturday morning.

I priced his flight last night but didn't book it because he wasn't sure if he was going to drive or fly at that time.  Today when I booked the flight for him, the price had gone up by $200!  For anyone who hasn't already realized this... don't wait until the day before your departure to book your flight!  I could have gotten 13 cases of Corona for that amount.  Or 33 cans of Folgers, or 200 Whoppers on Wednesdays and weekends.  Or maybe 1 gallon of gas!


Dickidoo switched on the bedroom light this morning and rudely yanked me from my dream.  I was cross because he woke me up.  I glanced at the clock and was instantly crosser because he woke me up late!  I rushed out and woke my daughter, apologizing for being late.  She looked at her clock and flashed me a sleepy smile.  'Oh, its only 8 minutes late!'... just like that.  I wish I could wake up in a good mood... even just occasionally would be nice.  I hate waking up though.  My day would be perfect if I didn't have to start it by waking up. 

Rocky is still sick, she spiked a fever last night.  She had gotten bored with laying in her bed so we let her lay on the couch and she laughed and joked with her siblings, all the while she was running a fever.  Kids are amazing.  When I am feverish, I don't want move, I don't want to talk or laugh.  I just want to lay there and be miserable.  Of course, as a mother and wife I don't often get the luxury of staying in bed and enjoying the misery of being sick.  I still have to take care of the family and cook the meals.  Now I remember why I hate being sick.  Its not that I feel bad, but that I still have to take care of things while I'm feeling bad.  Now Rocky I think will make a great mother and wife because even when she's sick with a fever, she doesn't let her illness slow her down.

Its almost 8:00 and I still haven't had a cup of coffee yet.  That is probably because I haven't made a pot yet.  My system is all haywired right now.  I better shake out of it, I've got a son coming home tomorrow!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Well, Gabe finally called and hopefully we will see him this weekend.  He's still not sure if he will be flying in or driving.  Flying would definitely be faster and will save him 3 days on the roundtrip, which is a lot considering he only has 10 days of leave.  Sadly he won't be able to bring little Zachary, but I don't really blame his ex.  I wouldn't let my baby go clear across the country without me.  Heck, Gabe was 20 before I let him go!  Its a mommy thing, and I completely understand.  I'm disappointed, but I understand.

I know I said I didn't want to know, but I had to ask when he was deploying.  Guess what, it will probably be on my birthday. 'Happy Birthday Mom, I'll see you after the war!'  Wonderful! Now I wish I didn't know.

So I'm talking to my son, the big bad Cav. Scout, while he's walking back to his barracks and he starts talking to this toad that he found in the grass.  He claims that he and the toad are buddies, he's caught it before and now it just chills on his hand when he picks it up.  And he's carrying on a one sided conversation like he would with a human, except I know he's talking to a toad because he told me!  He's still my little boy, no matter what kind of combat skills he has.

Well, I've got to hit the sack, I've got to get ready for a home-coming!  I think I shall actually sleep tonight!


Rocky was harassing her brother the other day and tried to make reference to his underwear but couldn't think of a name to call them.  Her solution:  man-panties !  So that is what we call them around here now.  Wish I had thought of it!

Rocky is sick today and she stayed home from school.  It never fails, the kids are healthy all summer long, but a week or two after they start school they come down with a cold or virus.  This happens every year.  My kids hate missing school but today Rocky didn't argue when I sent her back to bed, thats how bad she was feeling.  When she feels better she'll be mad about no longer having a shot at Perfect Attendance.

Zack had his 2nd interview with Walmart today.  Poor guy will be working at a store where everyone knows his mother!  The cool thing is that his schedule will allow him to attend classes at the community college next semester.  On his birthday card last month I wrote 'Go to school, get rich, buy your mama a Mustang'.  If anyone can do it, Zack can!  I may yet get my '65 Mustang.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


A week, thats all it took before the teachers started calling the house.  I've got 3 children in school, the older 2 each have 7 teachers and the youngest has 3... Every teacher gave my children at least 2 papers for the parents to read and sign.  Thats approximately 34 forms that I had to read and sign.  Do I remember which ones I signed?  Did I really even read each and every one?  Are you nuts?  So when this teacher says 'Do you remember the paper I sent home for you to read and sign because your daughter hasn't returned it yet,'  I actually stammered when I said 'Yes, I signed it the other day.  I'll make sure she turns it in.'  Good grief, I felt just like I did back in school when my own teacher would put me on the hot seat for not turning in my homework.

Unfortunately the form is no where to be found.  Wonderful!  I suppose I'll be getting another call today saying 'I thought you said you signed the paper and your daughter would be turning it in today!'  Thank goodness I don't have call-waiting.  The teachers are just going to have to wait their turn.  After all, I'm a very popular parent.  They'll probably all have my phone number on speed dial before the 1st quarter is over.  I knew there was at least one reason I was glad school was out for the summer... it sure was nice not having to worry about which teacher would be calling and for what.  Well, at least I don't have to worry about running into them at work anymore.  They used to corner me at the store... I'd be standing there in my bright red vest and they'd come rushing up, tattling about one of my children and all I could do was smile and thank them for their concern while my customers listened in, shaking their heads like Oprah's audience.

No sign of the snake, but the paper plates are still laid down throughout the house just in case it gets thirsty.  I stepped on something in the dark the other night and there was a popping sound.  Oh gracious, I was hoping it wasn't the snake.  Fortunately it was just a bag of cottonballs that had fallen and the cottonballs shot out all over the carpet when the bag burst.  It could have been way worse, it could have been snake guts all over thefloor and wall!

I now know what it feels like to step on a snake!  No, not the little runaway snake, but a big bull snake at the pond.  I didn't actually see it, but I felt it moving under my shoe.  I didn't need to see it to know that it was one very unhappy snake!  I high-tailed out of there as fast as I could.  I don't know who was happier when I got to the path... me or the bull snake!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


1. The first one involves what you'd call this set of questions. 

2. Are there any certain AOL Journals that you can't do without?  List a few of your favorites.
I have dozens of journals that I read regularily, but these are always the first on my list. 

By The Way... (This was the very first journal I read.  He made it look so fun and simple).
For Family and friends (Angie swears we are twins, separated at birth.  I tend to agree.  She made me realize that it was okay to be the way I was, because she was exactly like me!)
(sometimes)photoblog (Steven has been my unofficial mentor.  His pictures have challenged me and little by little I am becoming the photographer I have always dreamed of becoming.)
JerseyGirl (Nettie is one of the most inspiring photographer I have ever had the honor to know.  Her eye for beauty in the everyday world around her has taught me to view my own life with eyes wide open so as not to miss the beauty in my own world.  There is a sadness behind her smile that I would love to erase, but that is all part of the beauty that is JerseyGirl)
Lahoma's Laments (I first met Lahoma as FuzzyPanda.  The little dynamo has the mouth of a sailor but the heart of an Angel.   I believe she was  my first reader.)

3. What is the best and worst things that happened during J-land year 2004-2005?
The best I've seen is the bonding of some very special people as they get to know each other through their journals.  Its amazing the impact a journal can have on one's life.  I can think of many positive things that I've learned and done directly because of my involvement with fellow bloggers that I would not have done or achieved had I not started my journals.
The worst is the pain and sadness that flows through the fonts as lives are shared.

4. What changes would you most like to see made to AOL Journals during the third year?

5. Has one of your favorite reads disappeared?  Who would you most like to see return to AOL J-land during the third year?
I miss silly Vincci and her Pink journal.  She has a e-zine called Pinktify, but its not the same.  Also LadydriverSammie from MovingOn.

6. What's the silliest/stupidest/most embarrassing mistake you've ever blogged and overlooked?
Just recently I was bragging on how I could fool my husband, Dickidoo, into thinking that I had been working all day even though I had been on the computer all afternoon and would rush around cleaning just before he got home.  He read my journal at work and left a comment...

7. What's the newest journal you've discovered that you've put into your daily rotation?  (Not necessarily the newest to J-land, but the newest to you.)
Enough is Enough  (This is Scott from Stories From My Ambulance 's big brother.  He just started his journal but I already love it.)


I woke up to a cold house this morning.  What a glorious feeling!  The air outside is crisp and clear, having been washed by a good downpour yesterday.  Even the birds sensed the renewal and they chirped happily. Somewhere in the back of my mind Cat Stevens crooned 'Morning Has Broken' followed by Johnny Nash's 'I Can See Clearly Now'. 

I almost waltzed as I made the coffee.  Almost faster than the speed of thought it was ready, filling the air with its tantelizing aroma.  I poured a cup and sipped with my eyes closed, enjoying the moment.  The taste of rich coffee sweetened by a tincture of hazelnut transported me to the peaceful meadows of Calgonia where butterflies fluttered past in a warm, gentle breeze.

"Mom, I said whats for lunch?"

Johnny Nash screeched to a halt like a needle dragging across a record and my eyes flew open.  My daughter stared up at me, still chomping on a heat-n-serve pancake, her hair a tangled mess, her feet still bare.  Behind her the dining table still bore evidence of last night's supper, now joined by breakfast dishes and forgotten school books.

I blinked twice and twitched my nose.  Dang, it worked for Samantha on Bewitched... why not me?  With a heavy sigh as reality washed away the last wisp of inspiration, I trudged down the hall to gather the loose coins I had scrounged up for lunch money... watching carefully not to step on the runaway snake.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Okay, here's a question, how does a cow pick it's nose if it doesn't have any fingers?  (I swear I didn't notice the tongue until I got home and viewed the pictures).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

THE GOOD LIFE, and the snake update

I have my computer back, I have my broadband back, I have all of my pictures back, the Frankenputer is working again so the kids don't have to touch my computer again.  I don't have to share anymore.  Life is good! 

Well, almost.  The snake is still missing.  Actually, its missing again.  Art found it yesterday morning and Becca put it back in the tank, but it got out again and has been loose since yesterday afternoon... sometime.  My house is like a minefield with paperplates of water laying around so the little critter doesn't dehydrate before we find it or it makes its way out of the house... or we (gasp) step on it.  The phrase of the day is 'Watch where you're stepping!'  I've already warned Becca that if and when we find it, the snake is going to be released back into the wild where it belongs, so if it dies it won't be on my conscience.

Went to the Indy 225 race at the Pikes Peak International Raceway.  The prize money for the racers seemed to be pretty awesome considering all they did was drive around in circles.  They didn't even have to get out of their cars to change their tires or pump gas, they had people there to do it for them!  All I can say is... I want a pit crew too!  I think I was more impressed by the guys in the pit than I was with the drivers.  But wow... to drive 170 miles per hour.  What a rush that would be.  But not in Big Red.  My truck doesn't like going faster than 80.  In fact she starts shaking at 70, which is good because I can always tell when I'm speeding on the interstate, which isn't hard to do when you're driving past the racetrack!

Well, the laundry should be done so its bed time for me.  Hopefully a wayward snake won't try to crawl up my nostils while I'm sleeping.  I know its harmless, but I just don't like the idea of it slithering around loose while I'm sleeping.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Wanted:  preferably alive.  Juvenile garter snake, 9 inches long, brown and beige with dark brown head.  Escaped from minimum security compound during the afternoon of August 19.  May be joining up with previous escapees still at large.  Fugitive is not armed, although it does have a very long tail.  Reward for apprehension if run-away is captured before it gets into the ventilation system.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Check me out, I'm FAST!  I'm "High Speed Internet!"  Yes, I'm still on the Frankenputer, but I have my Dhell back, I just have to set it up and install a network adapter so I can go online with it.  It cost a bunch of $ to fix, but not near as much as it could have so I'm not saying a word except 'Thank you Dickidoo... uh, dear, sweetheart, sugar pie!'  Tomorrow, after boobie trapping my computer, just incase the kids didn't take my threats seriously, I should be back up and running on my own computer, with all my beloved pictures.  And yes, I have learned my lesson... I will start backing up all of my files like a good little geek-type-person.  Actually I had started and got as far as March of this year, but everything since then has not been burned to a cd yet.  Can't procrastinate this time, this was way too close of a call.


Today is Arthur's birthday.  Yep, that makes 3 of my spawn born between August 14 and August 19... and now you know how I kept warm during the chilly month of Novemeber!  Happy Sweet 16th, Art!

Dickidoo told me my Dhell  was totally fried, dead, kapoot, bye-bye! He told me to choose between the Frankenputer or the e-machine so we could set it up and child-proof it to avoid another catastrophic crash.  I refused to believe the Dhell was gone, not my baby!  Not my picture files! Fortunately sweet ole Dickidoo was just messing with me (that turd!) His buddy is still working on it but it looks like only a few files have been lost. The modem is definitely shot.  I can live with that. They did find a few surprises though... a whole mess of sex videos! Huh uh, don't look at me, I didn't download them. I guess I'll need to figure out how to lock up access to the computer. I've got parental controls on AOL, but the kids just go to IE when they want to access a restricted site. Puppies.... I should have had puppies instead. Puppies don't get up in the middle of the night to download sex videos off the internet.

And Holy Bat Butt.... one whole roll of toilet paper in less than one day! Thats what my kids used yesterday. I put a new roll in there yesterday morning after they went to school and this morning all but maybe 5 squares were gone. That was not even 24 hours later... and 7 of those hours were spent at school. What are they doing with it, I just don't get it!

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Guess what, Dickidoo reads at work some times, so get to work!!!!!
Comment from
navakukus - 8/18/05 3:21 PM

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I found this comment on my 'Countdown to Christmas' entry.  Care to guess who it was from?  Yep, it would be none other than my dear sweet, wonderful, loving and very handsome husband Dickidoo (lame and desperate attempt at flattery.) I am sooooooo busted!


Do you realize that there are only 128 until Christmas 2005?   Are you ready yet?  It will be different for me this year.  This will be the first year that I won't have all of my children together at the house.  In fact this will be the very first year that the whole family won't be together on Christmas morning, even when Dickidoo was in the military for all those years.  But.... I get to shop for my Grandbaby, what fun that will be!

It is quiet in the house, the kids are all in school so guess what I'm going to do?  I'll give you a hint, it has nothing to do with dirty dishes, laundry or calorie burning.   I'll have time just before Dickidoo gets home to rush around and make it look like I've been working hard all day.  For now I'm going to take a little nap on the couch.  Why?  Because I can!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


You can't see it but I'm doing the Happy Dance over here.  By 8:00 the last of the school-aged Oompa Loompas had left for school.  (Was it my imagination or did all the teachers on the playground look a little depressed?)  Now its just me and Zack, and I am soooo happy!  I got the Frankenputer back online, although my broadband modem is still fried.  I never thought I'd be happy to hear the screeching sound of a dial-up modem, but it sure was nice to get it back up and running.  My poor little 'Dhell' is still sitting on the other desk, all its wires disconnected, waiting for the para-technics to take it to the operating room.  I hope its not a long procedure, and I hope that it doesn't involve a transplant.  I have literally  1000's of picture files on the hard-drive, I will probably cry if they are lost.

I got absolutely no sleep last night.  I remember glancing at the clock once at 2:45 and then again at 3:30.  It didn't help that Dickidoo was snoring happily beside me.  He wasn't even loud so I can't blame my insomnia on him.  I just hate when he can sleep and I can't.  It makes me just want to kick him awake.  But I was good, I let him sleep, because I can take a nap now that the kids are in school!

Today is my oldest boy Gabe's 21st birthday.  We are still waiting to hear if he will be able to visit us before he leaves for the Gulf next month.  If he can't then I will probably go on a road trip out his way.  I don't even know when he is leaving... I don't want to know... but I can feel the seconds slipping through my fingers at an alarming rate.  I keep thinking that if I don't think about it then it will slow down and maybe even go away, but that hasn't happened yet.

Happy Birthday Gabe, wish I could be there to celebrate with you today.  Hopefully we'll get to have that drink when you get here in a couple of weeks.... See you soon... Suger Booger! 

For now, I will lounge on the sofa in front of the TV with the remote, a stack of dvd's, a bottomless cup of coffee, some peanut butter cookies (thank you Rocky) and Belgian chocolate!  Ahhhh, the life of a stay-at-home-mom!  It doesn't get much better than this!  (well, having my broadband and computer back would be nice).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


In my opinion there is only one thing worse than pmsing, pre-menopausing and dial-up at the same time.  That is pmsing, pre-menopausing and NO COMPUTER AT ALL, not even dial-up, at the same time!  Throw in the fact that we used the last of the coffee grounds the day before and you have the perfect senario for a total psycho meltdown. 

I don't for the life of me know what those dang blasted Oompas did but my Dell is DEAD, and I'm just too hormonal to try and figure it out.  I tried re-booting off of the main disk but the Wizard of Odds behind my monitor screen wants to reformat the whole partition.  That would be easy enough except that is where all of my pictures are.  I guess this is evidence that I am not a geek, a geek would have a back-up disk and would have saved a copy of all of the picture files as they accumulated.  Somehow I don't feel better knowing that I am most definitely not a computer geek.

School starts tomorrow.... they couldn't wait just two more days, they had to,mess around yesterday morning when they shouldn't have and POOF!  Did anyone, upon sensing the danger, volunteer to run to the store to buy some coffee to defuse the situation?  No!  Not even a Starbucks!  Not even a 7-11 cappucino!

Dickidoo shines brightest in the darkest of hours.  He recognized my distress when he called the house yesterday and suggested that instead of killing anyone or anything, that I get out of the house.  Maybe it was my manical laughter but he clued in on the danger.  Okay, taking the kids with me wasn't the best part of the plan, especially when I would be passing many acres of rural wastelands, but in the end I was able to calm down and even enjoy the day.  When Dickidoo got home he came with the news that he was going to try to find someone to fix the Dell.  My tool box consisting of a hammer and duct tape obviously was cause for alarm.  Then he took me out (away from the proximity of the 'body') and replaced my supply of coffee grounds, along with a new bottle of hazelnut creamer!  I woke up this morning refreshed, re-caffeinated and ready to take on anything.

So what now?  I have infiltrated the web via Dickidoo's Inspiron Notebook, which is way too tiny and delecate for my clumbsy fingers.  Zack is busy working on the Frankenputer, which is having modem problems but I am able to work on my pictures with ease.  And tomorrow.... tomorrow my house will be clear of all Oompas, save one and I will be in the cul de sac at 8:20 am dancing my foolish heart out with the other parents.

21 hours ! 

Sunday, August 14, 2005

PMS AND PRE-MENOPAUS, a dangerous combination.

Today started out bad.  It has only gotten worse.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude since it is my daughter's birthday, but somethings are just unacceptable.  Not replacing the toiletpaper, a normal occurance in my house but today it is one of the many straws that have pushed me on over-load.  I turned off the coffee pot when there was still coffee in the pot, something I denied but there were at least 2 witnesses who insist that they saw me do it.

'Hey, I am PMSing and PreMenopausing' I said.  Dickidoo decided that was a good time to make a snide comment about excuses.

'That was not an excuse, that was a warning!' I corrected him. 

I think their silence indicates that they have finally gotten the message.


Today is Rocky's birthday.  Oh my goodness, my baby is growing up!  With each day she grows more and more like me, its terrifying !  I've been racking my brains lately for any kind of memories that might help me with any preemptive actions I can take to avoid what my parents went through with me.  I fear, however, that the warning has come too late.  Rocky has become... ME.  Its not all bad though, she is also a die-hard Bronco fan.  GO BRONCOS!

Happy Birthday Baby Doll.  I love you!

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Guess what?  Yep, its that time again and tonight is the first pre-season game for my beloved BRONCOS!  Got my beer chillin, got my penant, my pompoms, got my jersey (oops, only a teeshirt), I'm ready!  Okay guys, lets play some football! 

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I've got the 'blahs'.  I've had a bloody headache parked behind my right eye for 2 days now.  It seems to feed off of non-asprin pain relievers.  It favors Corona.  It is impartial to coffee and it is non-receptive to chocolate.  It has made me grumpy and unreasonable.  Being stuck on dial-up isn't helping any either, but I'm too irritable to even mess with the dang computer connections.  I'm afraid something bad will happen, I will totally freak, start ripping things off, throwing things around, totally demolishing my Dell... and a guilt trip is the last thing I need right now.

So anyhow, I've got to make this trip online quick since my phoneline is being tied up.  Unfortunately, and anyone who has dial-up can appreciate this oxymoron... there is no such thing as a quick trip online with dial-up. 

The comic hypnotist show last night was awesome.  I think the guy must have hypnotized me the last time into thinking that he was the sexiest hypnotist I have ever seen, because DANG!  Dickidoo didn't volunteer this time although he did ask me if I thought he should.  I was feeling so grouchy last night that I probably would have done or said something really mean to him if he did, so I didn't encourage him but we got free passes for this weekend and I will try to get him up then, when I'm in a better mood.  Truth be known, if Dickidoo were to relax enough to go under I think he would be a blast to mess around with!   

School starts next Wednesday.  I've got a good list of chic-flicks to choose from (thanks for all the suggestions!), gonna stock up on cookies and gourmet coffee, I've got a case of European hazelnut chocolate (a gift from my neighbor), I am set!  I can sunbath in the hot tub, take uninterrupted candlelight bubblebaths, oh the possibilities!

ERK!  HOLD EVERYTHING!  Dang, I just remembered I've still got Zack home... he's taking a semester off before jumping into college.  Okay, scratch the sunbathing in the hot tub for the time being.  Maybe we can get him a job during the day....  Oh well, I'm still having my celebration onWednesday morning!  Someone asked me yesterday at the grocery store when the kids go back.  When I told them exactly how many days were left, the person laughed at how I had already started counting down.  Are you kidding?  I've been counting down ever since the last day of school at the end of May!

6 more days!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I hate broadband, it sucks!  I can never count on it to work.  One day I can be surfing happily along, and the next day I'm cussing and fussing as I try to manipulate the web with my dial-up.

I hate dial-up, it sucks!  Its so slow, and my pictures never look right if and when they finally load.  I have to reload almost every webpage in order for it to load.  Is there a record for the number of times a user has seen the 'Error- Website not responding'screen in one session?  And while nobody ever calls the house on a normal day, you know they're all dialing my number like crazy right now... Why?  Because I'm on dial-up!

I'm going to see the hypnotist this evening.  Gonna try to talk Dickidoo into going on stage again.  He almost went under the last time, and he was just sitting in the audience.  Maybe he'll go all the way this time, oh buddy, I could have sooooooo much fun if he were ever to fo under!

7 more days!

Tuesday, August 9, 2005


I am Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable.  At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty. You drink coffee when you can get your hands on it.  Your caffeine addiction level: high (no, ya think?)

What Kind of Coffee Are You?


My broadband is down... AGAIN!  I pay way too much money for cable only to have to acess the internet through my phoneline.  Yay Adelphia!  And they want me to combine my phoneline with my cable... and have no way to communicate at all?  They're nuts!  Usually this way I have at least one or the other to fall back on.  Agh!  I hate technology!

8 more days until school starts!  Woo hoo! 

Monday, August 8, 2005

FROG PRINCE, late and eye boogers.

Rocky finally found her frog, but is it a prince?  Preliminary field tests concluded that it was not.  It was a beautiful Northern Leopard frog, which gets its name from the spots on its back.  Rocky wanted to keep it as a pet but I made her release it.  I'm holding out for the frog prince,  she has a prophecy to full fill after catching the bouquet at the wedding the other week.

I woke up this morning to the sound of 'Oh S**T!'  I glanced at the alarm clock as Dickidoo scrambled out of bed.  6:10 am.  (Funny, I don't remember the alarm going off.)  He should have been on his way in to work by now.  It sucks to be him!  I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.  Hey, I've only got a few more days to langour in bed so I'm going to get in as much down time as I can!

When I did finally get out of bed, two hours later... my eyes were almost stuck shut.  Dang it, I wore my contacts to bed again!  I hate when I do that.  Now my eyes are full of eye boogers.  It sucks to be me!

9 more days until school starts!  I think I will celebrate with gourmet coffee and Pepperidge Farms cookies!  And that first day I think I will watch a bunch of chick-flicks.  Any recommendations?

Sunday, August 7, 2005


I have no life and therefore I must journal.  Check out my new blog called 'Away Messages'.


Saturday, August 6, 2005

APHRODISIAC, almost adult and the countdown continues

Dickidoo flatulated this morning in bed.  I'm beginning to think its like an aphrodisiac to him.  I'm not really sure if its the smell that gets him going or the sight of me gasping for air like a fish out of the water, but I can almost guarantee that even as my eyes are rolling back in their sockets from the toxic odor, he's scooching over to whisper suggestions in my ear... Half the time I don't hear him because even my ears slam shut against the smell.  Chocolates, Dickidoo, have you ever considered chocolates?  Or flowers... beautiful, sweet roses?  What about music?  KennyG would be nice.  Can we get a little romance going here, please? Sheesh!    And people wonder why I mention farts in my journal so often.  Because my life is filled with them, thats why!  And half of them aren't even mine.

My son Gabe called today.  He's trying real hard to get back here at the end of the month.  He'll be 21 by then, his birthday is on the 17th of this month, a legal adult.  Funny how you can join the military, drive a tank and shoot an M-16 during a war on a foreign country, but you can't drink a beer until you're 21.  I plan to have a beer with my son when he visits.  And hopefully I'll have a glass of milk with my grandson as well.

10 more days until school starts!  The house to myself!  My computer to myself!  My coffee creamer to myself!  I'm almost giddy with excitement.

BLOGATHON, Blogging for American Cancer Society

Just in case you folks aren't aware, there is a Blogathon in progress at this very moment.  One of the participants, our nutty-buddy Pete from The Badinage, is participating with a bunch of his halarious friends.  They are blogging to raise donations for The American Cancer Society.  Go check out their blogs and if you can, click on the link to make a donation for a very worthy cause.  I think many of us know at least one relative or friend who has been touched by this disease.  This marathon of blogging will continue through July 7 at 9 am. 


This was the site of a Computer war last night.  This, as in THIS computer... MY computer!  Zack and Becca were fighting over who's turn it was, and the ensuing argument resulted in my monitor being shoved off the desktop and against the wall.  Fortunately for them, my computer is none the worse for wear.  Unfortunately for them they are now both indefinitely restricted from using said computer.  With Art being grounded from its use as well due to a 'consuming food at the computer' violation, I now only have to share online time with Rocky and Dickidoo.  With school starting in less than 2 weeks (11 days to be exact!) I shall have the computer all to myself during the weekdays.  Ah yes, life is good!

Thursday, August 4, 2005

NOLAN, the story of my broken heart.

Last year I made reference of a dear friend who died tragically during Basic Training and a few readers wondered about it but compassionately refrained from pressing for answers.  They knew I would share the story when I was ready.  I am ready now.  I am hoping that by writing this I will be able to find some kind of acceptance and closure.

Nolan was the son of our very close friends.  We shared many hunting trips and blackpowder campouts together.  Nolan was the big brother Gabe never had but always wanted.  The other children looked up to him as an older brother as well.  And he was like a son to my husband and I.  He joined the Army Reserve and was already attending drills when he left for Boot Camp.  He was so excited.  His father had served in the military, and many of their friends still did.  He was going to join their ranks.

His father kept us updated on his progress.  Somehow there was a mix-up and he ended up spending more than the usual time in Reception holding.  During that time he had suffered a severe sunburn, so bad that his freshly shaven head was swollen.  We didn't think too much of it at the time since he had been to the clinic to get treatment, but he would never be the same after that.

When Nolan finally started his training, naturally his communication with his family became limited.  But as the time wore on, these communications became disturbing.  He was obviously stressed out from the rigorous training, and at first it was just attributed to having to adjust to the severe discipline, the mental and physical requirements placed on the recruits.  His father would call us after the phone calls and the uneasiness and concern in his voice grew with each call.  Change was expected in one's personality, but Nolan was changing dramatically into someone that was not even a shadow of the mature and eager young man who had left for boot camp less than a month ago.

I remember one night in particular.  We were sitting upstairs watching TV when our friend called.  He said his son had just called.  He had sounded confused and was stuttering, which wasn't normal.  He had been placed on Unit Watch, his boot laces and belt had beenconfiscated. He couldn't sleep, he wasn't drinking water because he was having control issues.  He was seeing the Chaplain and a social worker for having suicidal thoughts.  He had apologized to his father for letting him down.  There was no sign of his normal self confidence.

I was crying openly the whole time, saying over and over again... 'get him to the emergency room!'  My husband told our friend to contact the Red Cross and have them intervene.

They did.  The recruit was taken to the emergency room and tested.  The tests were inconclusive but it was determined that he was not dehydrated.  He was returned to his unit.  At that point the military determined that he was just trying to get out of fulfilling his basic training commitment but was becoming a danger to himself and those in his unit.  The decision was made to release him, but the process would take a couple of weeks.  My friend spoke to his son after the unit called on his behalf.  Again Nolan apologized.  At this end, hundreds of miles away, we agonized that the ordeal would be dragged out for another two weeks.  We just wanted him back safe with us.

It was only a couple of days later but it seemed like a lifetime.  I came home for lunch, knowing that my husband who had only just recently returned from duty in Korea would be there.  The carpet cleaner stood in the middle of the livingroom where he had been working but stopped for some reason.  Shrugging, I went down stairs to watch the news.  He came in the front door a few minutes later and I went up to meet him.  I was still getting used to having him back after the 2 year separation... but he didn't return my happy greeting.  He just took me in his arms and hugged me.  I remember feeling his body shaking, and thinking... this isn't right, something isn't right.

'Nolan is dead.'

I stepped back, so sure I had heard wrong but the tears streaming from his face confirmed that I had not.  I don't remember much more.  But I remember learning how it felt to have my heart ripped from my body.  I cried harder then I have ever cried in my life.  I hurt more than I ever knew was possible.

Telling the children was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.  How do you comfort 5 heartbroken children when you can't even comfort your own grieving heart?  How do you explain that which you can't even comprehend? What do you tell them when they ask 'Why did he kill himself?  Didn't he love us any more?" 

And that was the hardest to understand.  Nolan loved life.  He loved the military.  He loved his Reserve Unit.  He was an avid shooter and outdoorsman.  He was used to roughing it.  He wasn't some overly protected young man who suddenly realized that he had bit off more than he could chew during basic training.  He had asked for help.  He had been denied.

Steve flew to Fort Leonard Wood to bring Nolan home.  Nolan's ashes were scattered over the land that he loved.  My husband and son hung an eagle feather high in a pine tree over looking the area in his honor. 

A make-believe investigation was conducted.  Death was ruled as a suicide.  I call it an assisted suicide.  There are even whispers of homicide, but those are quickly hushed.  There are so many questions that have never been answered.  There were so many warning signs that were ignored by his chain of command, obvious signs.  Nobody took his condition seriously.  When his buddies went to the Drill Sgt. to voice their concerns, it only resulted in public humiliation infront of the platoon.  His cry for help was heard but never acknowledged, only mocked.  If anything, it increase the mental punishment that was placed upon him, until he could not take it any more.

There are many questions regarding the circumstances of his death.  If it had not been a death on military property it probably would have resulted in an indepth investigation.  So many clues, so many mysteries, so many questions but no answers forth coming.  Am I still in denial?  Yes, I probably am.  Do I have grounds to doubt?  Yes, I do believe I do.  But my doubts are in the jurisdiction of the military which means they will probably remain unanswered.

So, imagine my dismay when my oldest son announced his decision to join the Army.  I had actually encouraged him, saying that it would do him good, but once the reality of him going through the same training Nolan did before he ended his life sank in, old wounds were reopened and created fresh fears.  What if Gabe stumbled like his friend did?  What if the same thing happened?  What if he had to deal with the same uncaring and incompetent people?  When I voiced my fears, people tried to comfort me by assuring me that Gabe would never do something like that.  Neither would Nolan.

Gabe had his moments, but his memory of Nolan kept him driving on.  When he saw fellow soldiers falter and show signs of weakness, he would step in and help them out.  He encouraged the weary, he patiently tutored the slow.  He persisted with his own demons and obstacles.  I don't waste too much time on 'coulda, shoulda, wouldas' or 'if onlys', but boy, but I wish Gabe could have been there with Nolan, for Nolan.  As fate would have it, he could not be there.  But he was there for his fellow recuits, and that was just as important.  Fate served the new recruits through Gabe's memory of his friend and his fate.

The sad anniversary of Nolan's death will soon be upon me.  I rarely sleep during the month of August.  And now I must also deal with the knowledge that my son will soon be placed in harms way to secure a distant country for its people, from its people.  I am filled with both pride and fear.  There is a little shadowy corner in my mind that I dance around and refuse to peek into for fear of what I might see.  I can't allow those thoughts.  An online friend recently went through the unthinkable and her grief only increased my own fears.  I have felt the heartbreak of the loss of one very dear young man who was as close to my heart as my own son.  That is more than enough pain for a lifetime.  This will be a difficult month for me to get through, I often have to force the smiles during this time, and the end of the month, the 29th... is always the hardest. 

I refuse to ask my son for his deployment date, but my heart sences its approach.  One day at a time.

Here is an article written about the life and death of Nolan.  I still have not been able to read it in its entirety.  I found some of its graphic descriptions too much to bear.  Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, or at the very least, the lessor of two evils.

5280 Magazine - June/July 2004 - Private Stites Should Have Been Saved

CEREAL BARS and coffee creamer

I went shopping yesterday and grabbed some Special K cereal bars for my morning meal.  I'm not really a breakfast person, but I'm trying to get healthy here so I'm trying to start a routine.  Cereal bars seemed like a good start.  So anyhow, I get home with my little prize and decide... hey, lets try these little puppies out and see how they taste!  It was Peaches and Berries... mmmmmmmmmm!  I should have read the wrapper.  If I had, I would have seen that the bar only weighed .81 oz.  Then I wouldn't have been surprised when I ripped open the packaging and revealed this teenie tiny bar that couldn't be but maybe 1x3.... inches that is!  Its not even a full ounce for crying out loud!  It has maybe the equivelent of 3 spoons full of cereal.  But.... it did smell amazingly good, and after I scarfed it up in 4 bites, I was surprised to admit that yes, I was satisfied!  And so I give my unpaid and unofficial product endorsement to Kellogg's Special K cereal bar, light (.81 oz!), satisfying and only 90 calories!  Shoot, come to think of it chocolate cake would only be 90 calories if you cut the serving down to a 1x3 inch slice!  Yah know what... I may be on to something there.... diet breakfast chocolate cake!

I got some coffee creamer while I was shopping.... LOTS of coffee creamer.  And the real stuff, with all the fat and sugar and carbs a growing body needs!  Dickidoo keeps buying the Fat-Free and Sugar-Free stuff.  He acts like its an accident, but I know better!  He wants me to slim down so he can play with my 'super-model' body.  Yeah, well, buy me a membership to Curves, but don't mess with my coffee creamer!  In the mean time you better get used to my Super-Sized-Model body, cos its not going any where any time real soon.  I read somewhere yesterday that I'm 'volumptuous', not fat!  I like that... volumptuous!  It sounds like a loaf of soft bread, fresh from the oven... with lots of butter dripping over the top! Okay, you know what, this cereal bar is not cutting it.  I need more coffee!

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

STUDENT DRIVER, student baker and racketball.

I took Zack out driving yesterday.  Now theres a scary thought... Me instructing another person how to drive!  Be afraid!  Be very afraid... to drive on the streets of Colorado!  Hahahaha!  He did pretty good until we got to the parking lot and he took out a dozen or so 'imaginary' cars and trucks parked near by while trying to park and reverse from the parking space over and over again.  But thats okay, they were 'mini-vans' and 'Avalanches', they deserve to be hit, even if its just hypothetically.

Rocky decided she was going to bake cookies ALL BY HERSELF!  She wanted to make biscotti, but I told her I would have to help her with that one since it involves a hot baked good and a long knife.  She was still in the mixing phase when she came over to me and said 'Mom, I think I accidently put in 1½ cups of baking soda instead of 1½ teaspoons.'  WOW!  I tried not to laugh but that was a major mistake.   I could have let her go ahead and bake and taste them just so she realizes just why it is so important to be accurate with the ingredients... you know, like what happened to me and my biscuits.. and let me just say that I've never made THAT mistake again... but she was trying soooo hard.  Unfortunately she had already mixed the baking soda in with the flour, and that was the last of it.  I sent her next door to borrow some from my neighbor and friend, and a short while later... tasty success!

Dickidoo played racketball after work... for the first time in about 10 years!  Before he left at lunchtime with his clothes and racket I reminded him to stretch before playing, drink lots of water and to make sure there was an EMT on standby.  He called later and my first reaction was "Are you okay?  Do I need to pick you up from the hospital?"  Yes, he was fine, but he wanted money to buy some beer, which he really REALLY needed!  Later, when he had revived, he laughingly admitted that he had found rust on his racket.  What, no cobwebs?

And what about me and my exercise routine?  You know what they say about it being the thought that counts.  Well, I 'thought' about it, and thats what counts!

Monday, August 1, 2005

WEEDS, old friend and crawfishing... again!

The Oompa Loompas were in rare form this evening and Dickidoo looked across the dinner table to voice his condolences to me for having to put up with them all day long during the summer.

'Have them go out and pull weeds tomorrow,' he suggested. 

'What?  And pull up what little green there is in the yard?  Are you nuts!'  I couldn't believe Dickidoo would suggest such a thing.  But then I had a wonderful idea.  'Hey, lets have the kids pull the weeds out of the NEIGHBORS yards and replant them in OUR yard!'  Bad idea, the neighbors don't have any weeds.  We already have them all!

I got in touch with a long lost friend this evening.  We used to go crabbing and strawberry picking together in Virginia, we'd turn over couch cushions looking for coins so we could buy a 3 liter jug of Carlo Rossi wine (the good stuff, with a screw on cap so you can keep it fresh in between glasses!)  And she was there when my boy Zack was born (Dickidoo was still on the plane flying in from Germany), I thought she was going to knock out a nurse or two because of the stupid mistakes they were making while I was in labor.  Ah, those were the days.  And she still sounds the same after 18 years, how does she do that?

I spent almost an hour this evening looking for a crawfish who had gone AWOL from its tank in Rocky's room.  I think it was the one named 'Gumbo'.  Or was it 'Jambalaya'?  Hey, they all look the same to me.  I finally found it under my computer desk, believe it or not.  It was safe, it got a taste of life outside of the tank which may deter any future excursions and we got Rocky's bedroom floor all picked up during the search.  I'd say all in all it was a good evening.

15 more days until school starts!

CRAWDAD FEAST, great ideas and more good news.

We ended up having the crawdads for supper instead.  By that time it was so dark outside that we had to eat inside because there are some little surprises on a crawdad that you might not want to eat accidently in the dark!  The traditional guidelines states that you should allow approximately 12 crawdads per person.  I do believe I ate enough for maybe 2 or 3 people!  If you've never tried a crawdad before, they're kind of like a cross between shrimp and lobster taste wise, but the flesh is much more tender than either.  I like mine dipped in butter and hot sauce.   Some of these guys were so big that we could even eat the meat from the claws.


Art and his best friend were scrounging up money so they decided to sell... Great Ideas! ($1.00 a piece).  Rocky talked them into a discount so they sold her a great idea for a quarter.  Their great idea for Rocky... 'Buy another Great Idea!'  I made them give her a refund.

My brother called yesterday.  He should find out today if he is re-enlistable.  I've got my fingers crossed because he really wants this.  He's really worked hard so far and even lost 40 pounds since February!  Goodness, I wish I could lose that kind of weight but that would involve exercise and maybe even a diet....  I'm a little light in the will-power department.  And sadly, no, it won't be Gabe's unit he would be attached to if he does make the cut, but my nephew's (who is in the Army Reserve Basic Training Camp even as I type this).  Thats still great so I've got my fingers crossed.

Gabe called also.  He's really trying to get some kind of leave before he deploys and is hoping that Zachary's mother will let him bring my grandbaby over for a visit.  That hope keeps my fear of his upcoming departure somewhat at bay.  I slept 6 hours last night.  I think thats the first time in weeks that I've had a good night's sleep.