Wednesday, May 31, 2006

GRRRRRR....... and then 'awwwwwwwwww!'

Isn't it funny how when everything else goes along as planned, you can almost always count on the weather to blow a fly in the soup.  Much as it broke our hearts not to be a part of the special reunion between father and son, we were grateful for the opportunity that Gabe had to spend time with Little Zachary.  And it was a wonderful visit according to Little Zack's account over the phone.  Selfishly though I impatiently waited for my son to return home with the pictures of my grandson so that at least my eyes might witness in a small way the joy that is my son and my grandson.

Enter... the fly, in the shape of a severe weather condition, ie: rain!  At first it looked like it would just be a slight delay, then hours.  All flights in were diverted.  All flights out were grounded and eventually cancelled.  Instead of spending the evening with us pouring over his treasury of pictures from the visit, Gabe spent one of his precious last nights in country... in a hotel next to an airport somewhere in Ohio.

Here in Colorado we were in the middle of an electrical storm ourselves.  Once I got over the disappointment of lost time and accepted that it was better to be safe than sorry, I pulled the blinds up in the bedroom and enjoyed the light show.  We didn't get the much needed rain, but the lightning and thunder was spectacular.

And how is summer with the Oompas?  Thus far there have only been a few petty fights, like who gets the last cheeseburger, or who had more soda than the other.  Yesterday I caught Rocky trying to run Becca over with the huge rolling curbside trash can.  Of course the fully loaded trash can probably weighed more than both girls combined so Rocky was having a hard time maneuvering it and for the most part Becca just stood on the driveway laughing from a safe distance.  We put a swimming pool on layaway.  Hopefully we'll be able to get it home and set up before the Oompas actually succeed in harming each other.

Gabe called early this morning from the airport.  He figured I might need a little 'grand baby fix' to help me through the day so he had emailed some pictures from the hotel.  Oh, I love my little Wild Child!  Isn't he just adorable?

Hello, Zachary... don't forget, tell mommy you want to visit Grandma Jo... SOON!  Call me!  Love you Sugar Booger (yes, I have another Sugar Booger, like father like son!)

Monday, May 29, 2006


All across the country Americans were celebrating Memorial Day with backyard barbecues, camp outs, picnics and parties.  Stores and businesses all took advantage of the long holiday with sales and specials to lure in prospective customers.  Sadly it seemed to me that the whole purpose of the holiday had been obscured by commercialization.

I had the day off.  We could have gone to the lake, or up to the mountains.  Instead we went to Memorial Park to pay our respects to the country's fallen service men and women.   In the past I paid homage to an Uncle who died in Korea long before I was ever born.  I would also say a silent prayer for all of the other fallen Americans.  But this year it was different.  This year I knew the names of some of the more recent patriots for whom this day of remembrance is for.  This year it was personal.  This year I paid my respects to 3 of Gabe's buddies, as well as the son of an online friend.

I found comfort and pride in the sight of my children walking through the various memorials in the park, reading the markers with sincere interest and understanding. They were not the only youngsters there.  There were young and old alike, strolling slowly and quietly from statue to statue.  It was easy to spot the Veterans, for they wore their patches and scars with dignity.  It was easy to spot the family members for they did not hold back their tears.  It was easy to spot the Americans, for they were everywhere and they wore their patriotism with pride.  And I was proven wrong.  For all fuss about the long weekend full of fun in the sun, Americans still remembered those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.

From one grateful patriot, to the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present, I thank you, with all my heart.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A JLAND REUNION, of sorts.

When the Mountain Oompas and the Wild Women of Hestia Collide....

I am very hesitant to meet 'strangers' from the internet.  I am even more hesitant to expose my family to people I know only through what they write online, but for some reason there were no reservations when Kas told me that she and her family were coming to Colorado.  We have been blog-pals for 2 years now.  Unless we were incredible liars, we pretty much knew everything there was to know about each other.  Even Dickidoo agreed to the meeting without question.

In both households mothers were shaking fingers and begging the children to behave.  In both households the children shook their heads in an agreement that would be forgotten with the very next brain wave.  It didn't matter for they were about to meet kindred souls.

Kas is impulsive.  She must have hugged me a million times.  I didn't mind.  She is just as I had imagined, vivacious, precocious, hilarious, maternal, a small bundle of dynamite.  A short walk to the beaver pond and back had her laden down with rocks, sun bleached bones and discarded trash.  She'd stop every few feet to poke at a pile of animal scat and try to identify the maker of the by-products as well as the meal it had consumed to create such a furry, feathery turd.   And who would marry a woman like that?  A tall, soft spoken man with the patience of a saint and the sense of humor of a seasoned comic.

Dare I suggest that there are children so similar to the Oompas that they could be siblings?  The Wild Women and the Oompas bonded instantly.  They all draw, they all know the same silly songs, they can't keep their clothes dry or clean, they eat pizza like its their last meal, they have no volume control on their voices, they think the answer 'no' means 'I'm sorry, I didn't hear your question, please repeat', and they love to laugh... loud and hard, but mostly LOUD!

For those of you who expressed envy at my opportunity to meet this wonderful family, you are justified to feel that way.  It was such a pleasant experience, and it just felt so right.  There wasno awkward silence as we got the feel for each other.  Actually there was no silence at all, it was loud from the minute the truck doors opened. 

All I can say is:  Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet so that I could meet Kas and her wonderful family!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Rocky graduated from the 6th grade on Tuesday.  The day marked the last time this generation of Oompas would walk the halls of the elementary school as a student.  Since our arrival in 1993 there has always been an Oompa in the roll books.  Gabe was the first, and he returned one last time to watch his baby sister walk across the stage, quietly marking the end of an era in elementary education.  I have no doubt that the 'quiet' was broken after the final school bell rang and the teachers watched as the last of the Oompas left the campus for the last time.  And then there was a loud, collective 'hip hip hurray!' and dancing in the faculty lounge.

All my life I have countered my children's declaration of how unfair something was with the fact that life isn't about 'fair'.  Well, here I am, whining myself about how unfair life is for me right now.  I've waited for 8 months to get my son back home.  I've waited even longer to hold my Grandbaby.  We've hoped and we've prayed, we've wheeled and dealed.  We've begged and we've borrowed, we've juggled and fast-talked, and yet, this morning I found myself once again saying goodbye to my son so that at least he himself has an opportunity to see and hold his son before having to return to Iraq.  The disappointment in not only missing out on the chance to meet my Grandson but also in losing much of the precious little time my own son has here with us in the states is immense.  In the silence of my mind I scream out 'ITS NOT FAIR!'  But I know, for I have said it often enough... Life isn't about 'fair'.  To that I say 'poohy!' 

I get to meet Kas 'hestiahomeschool' and her family today.  The Oompas and the Wildwomen together in one place, that should be real interesting.  If I don't post anything about the meeting this evening, you'll probably hear about it later on the 11 o'clock news.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


After several attempts I pretty much gave up all hopes of getting a picture of the guys in which ALL of them had their eyes opened.  Quite obviously, as in Dickidoo's case, that might have been a good thing.  Oh well.  Thats our good friend 'Singe' there on the left.  I won't go into how he came to be called that at this time, but I'll give you a hint, it has everything to do with his beard and fire, and on more than one occasion!

I talked to Kas, aka 'hestiahomeschool' the other night on the phone.  She and her family are vacationing just outside of town in the mountains.  Hopefully we'll be able to get together on Thursday.  Gabe will be on his way out east to visit his son, but the rest of the family will be driving out to meet them.  I can't wait.  It will sure be interesting to see what happens when our two families get together!  Look out Colorado, hold on to the hand rails, its a JLand reunion!

Today is the last day of school.  The bell will ring while I am at work, but I will feel in, deep inside of my 'mother's heart'.  It will be marked by a sudden sense of sadness, and doom! 

86 more days until school starts.  Oh Lord, please give me the strength, patience (and Bacardi) to survive!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

MORNING STRETCH, and blah blah blah

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you can sleep in but for some reason your body wakes you up.  So you get up, notice that its still dark outside, glance at the clock and see that its only 6am on your day off so you roll over thinking that you can go back to sleep when the reason you woke up in the first place returns and kicks you in the gut... the bladder to be exact!

So there I was, at 6am, on my first day off that coincided with everyone else's day off so there was no reason to get up early... and I had to pee like a Russian racehorse!  I hate getting up to use the toilet.  Usually I trip over the junk on the floor while making my way around the bed, doing the potty-dance the whole way since I always wait until the last possible moment.  I stumble into the bathroom, hit the corner of the vanity in the dark because I don't want to be blinded by the light and almost lose it right there, 3 feet from the pot!  I drop my drawers and sit almost in one motion.  The next motion usually consists of me jumping up when my cheeks touch water, I never remember that Dickidoo never remembers to lower the seat... until its too late.  Thanks dude, no really... thanks!  I love waking up and taking a dip in the stinkin' commode!

But this morning was different, I have been running on empty for too long and I wasn't getting up for nothing.  I tried to ignore nature's call, but it was becoming more and more difficult.  I finally accepted the fact that there would be no sleep until I took a walk.  But the bed was soooo darn comfortable and I just didn't want to get up...

In a final goodbye to my comfy mattress and fluffy blankets, I stretched out, cracking every taunt joint in my body.

And guess what?

Well, one of two things could happen at that point.  There could be a flash flood, or.... the levels in the reservoir could lower as new paths opened up with the stretching.

Shazaam!  That stretch bought me one more hour of shut eye!  Ah yes, the body is truly a wonderful, mysterious thing.

My days have been a mad scramble of work, time with Gabe and the other Oompas, cooking as much of Gabe's favorite foods as he can eat in this short amount of time without making him sick, and compiling pictures we took at a wedding for our friend's daughter.  But the nights are spent in pensive thought and sadness.  I want to scream out at the unfairness of it all... of EVERYTHING!  Selfishly I wonder what I could have done to deserve this.  I want so bad to share my frustrations, but even now... even this is cryptic for fear of making matters worse.

Dickidoo caters to me like a protective husband, Gabe like a protective son.  His comic solutions keep me laughing but the tension continues to build.  I didn't realize how close I was to just completely losing it until they each in turn but on separate occasions told me to slow down and relax.  Becca is astute.  She made chocolate cake yesterday.  I think I need some chocolate cake right now.  That always helps.

Becca was just reading over my shoulder.  She may be astute, but she's not very word-wise.  She has no idea what 'astute' means.  I annunciated each syllable for her.  'ass-toot'  She hit me, can you believe that?  I was complementing her and she hit me!

Main Entry: as·tute
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: &-'stüt, a-, -'styüt
Etymology: Latin astutus, from astus craft
: having or showing shrewdness and perspicacity <an astute observer> <astute remarks>

Thursday, May 18, 2006

DICKIDOO JR (thanks plittle)

I keep telling Gabe that he will be his dad in 20 years.  They have the same hair line.  They have the same inability to grow a full face of hair.  And they are the only guys I have ever known who actually went to war and gained weight eating MREs.

Things have not worked out in the 'meet the grandbaby' department.  I guess it just isn't my time yet.  Instead of them flying out here Gabe will fly there and spend several days with his son.  I think I am being tested here.  I'm trying, but I'm not a very good test-taker.  This really sucks, but at least Gabe and Zachary will be able to be together for a bit.  Needless to say I shall be sending the Mini Nikon with Gabe so he can take lots of pictures for me!

I turned in Rocky's rented snare drum today.  That is probably the only good thing about the end of the school year as far as I'm concerned.  No more 'rat a tat tat' all day long!  Nope, now its just the constant, non stop jibber jabber of the Oompas as they refine their 'lets drive mama nuts' skills. 

91 days until school starts!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The waiting is over... finally!  In fact it would have been over sooner if we had checked the updated flight status because his flight landed early and Gabe was already at the baggage claim area when we got to the airport.  What a sight for sore eyes!  All the stress and fears I have felt since the start of his deployment instantly fell away.  My boy is home!

And oh the stories he has.  I suppose I was staring a lot but I still can't believe he's home with us.  He has an accent.  He's from Colorado.  We don't have accents here.  I guess the diversity of the military is starting to rub off on to him.  But my goodness, what a potty mouth!  At last count he owed Rocky over $40 for the Cuss & Fuss Fund.

All the hugs we've been saving up over the past months were redeemed today.  I kept the Oompas home from school so they were all waiting at the door when we drove up.  I can't remember when I last saw such unanimous joy on all of the kids faces, all at the same time! 

We had to regroup as far as Little Zachary goes.  I was totally devastated last night.  Poor Gabe was hoping that we were kidding and half expected to see his little son waiting for him at the airport.  Now we are making arrangements to fly Zachary and Kayle out here next week.  We are bound and determined to get them out here one way or the other.  Keep your fingers crossed for us that this plan works out.

Gabe spent the entire day at home with the family.  Later in the evening some friends came over to visit for a while before they kidnapped him and took him out to celebrate.  Its good to see him laughing and having a good time.  Its so funny listening to him talk.  Little things we take for granted... like fresh air, he marvels at.  Every time he walks past the fish tank he says hello to Henry the homicidal goldfish he gave the kids when he left for boot camp almost 2 years ago. 

Well, its been a very long day and I'm completely drained.  I have to go and recharge so I candish out more mama-fussings tomorrow. 

The Oompas and Mama looking at pictures on Gabe's laptop.  This is the closest they have been in ages without trying to inflict bodily harm upon each other. 

GABE TRACKER, and the Dirty Room Fairy

Gabe has landed safely in Dallas, Texas and will be leaving for Colorado shortly after he gets a bite to eat.  Some very nice person let him borrow his cellphone to call us as soon as they landed.  Thanks Very Nice Person!  Its so nice to hear Gabe, and know that he is back in the States.  He sounds like the old Gabe.  I know he isn't, but he sure sounds the same.

This is a rare photograph of the Dirty Room Fairy.  She doesn't make housecalls here very often but I caught her during a surprise visit last night.  Yay for the Dirty Room Fairy!

1 hour and 35 minutes until touchdown!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

GABE TRACKER and a big disappointment

I got a call about an hour ago from a very tired Gabe... in Ireland!  He should be here sometime around noon tomorrow.  Thanks to the generous donations from patriotic and supportive Americans he will not have to pay for any of the flights.  So, for any and all of you who have contributed in any way, shape or form to the members of our Armed Forces, this grateful Mom sends her heart felt appreciation.

I didn't recognize his voice at first.  Funny how for the past few days I have haunted the phone, hanging over it like a vulture and pouncing on it every time it rang in the hopes that it might be Gabe, and when he finally calls, I answer in a grumpy tone.  Why grumpy you ask?

Steve got a call a couple of hours earlier from Kayle.  They wisely had a mechanic give their car a last minute inspection and he advised them against the trip.  The news completely devastated me and I have been so close to tears all night long. But I would hate for them to break down on their way cross country so I try to swallow my disappointment... Hearing Gabe's voice delivering the news that he would be home around noon helped.  I hated having to give him the bad news, but one way or another we will get him to see his little boy before he returns to Iraq.  And in time I will also be able to hold my Little Guy, its just not my turn right now.  I'm just glad Miss Connie had the foresight to get the car checked out before attempting to take such a long trip.

So yeah, its been an emotional roller coaster for me this evening.  And tomorrow my boy will be home..  Yahoo!

ANTICIPATION.... its driving me NUTS!

I have no idea where Gabe is.  The last I heard he had left for Kuwait on the 14th.  What I DO know is that for the first time since he's been over there I have not felt a tightness in my chest as I see the ever climbing number of American casualties in the Gulf, no sense of dread as I click on the link that transforms the numbers into names. 

The Oompas have tied yellow ribbons haphazardly but lovingly around the yard.  The task began with a fuss over who got the roll of wide ribbon, but Mama laid the guilt trip on thick this time and soon they were laughing and singing as they tied the ribbons in the old Spruce. 

And Daddy and I hover like expectant parents over the phone.  Dickidoo, who is a sound sleeper, heard the phone early this morning even before it rang.  Nothing major, but no Gabe.  My cell phone spent the night under my pillow, just as it did the entire first month he was deployed.

I hate that I have to go in to work today.  I hate that I have to be there until 6pm.  I hate to have to tell my boss that I'm leaving if I get a call from the airport, because you know I will in a heart beat!  There is nothing that I can sell to anybody today that is more important than Gabe's homecoming.

Little Zachary and his mom leave tonight with his other Grandmother at the wheel.  God Speed, Kayle.  Drive safely Miss Connie, and thank you for doing this for Gabe and for us.

Monday, May 15, 2006

LINE DRAWN IN THE DUST, and the waiting begins.

Poor Dickidoo was worried that I wasn't satisfied with the Housekeeping Fairies.  (I think he was afraid I would blog a nasty entry about it.)  On the contrary, I was thrilled!  And he was thrilled that I was thrilled.

He should have stopped there and left well enough alone.  But no, Dickidoo being Dickidoo had to cross the line and grab for the whole mile when I offered an inch.

"And once the house is picked up, don't get mad and snap at me when I remind you to clean up after yourself!"

WHAT?  Yeah, well, back at you Bucko!

So he says that yes, he wants me to get after him if he leaves his things out and around, but he says it in that tone that implies that he would never leave his things around.  Okay, we'll just see about that.  And so he doesn't conveniently forget his request to be reminded, I'm posting it here, in public, so I can show him if he should ever nag about my nagging.

Actually he's right though, if we could just get this house in order and everyone picked up after themselves, we might actually have a house worth calling a home, rather than this overpopulated dust bunny sanctuary.  We just have so much junk!  I drool over the model homes in Better Homes and Gardens and I can't help but wonder... where do they keep all their stuff because there's nothing setting out on the tables, no piles in the corners, no laundry on the sofa or dirty dishes on the counters.  Do people really even live there?

Oh well, I guess I should get busy.  My Dirty Dish Fairy took the morning off to go to school so I have to finish up in the kitchen.  And I better hang up my laundry before Dickidoo turns into Martha Stewart on Steroids and bites my head off!

My numbered countdown is over but now the waiting game begins and this will be the hardest time to pass.  Agh!  I HATE waiting!

Sunday, May 14, 2006



My mother made motherhood seem easy.  She raised 6 children for a good part of the time on her own while my father served in the Navy on submarines and sub tenders.  She didn't have a driver's license but that didn't keep her confined to the home.  She would pack us kids up and we would go on trips as far as a taxi, the bus, a ferry or our legs would take us.

I don't remember how we celebrated Mother's Day back then, and that saddens me.  I hope that my mother knew how much we appreciated her.  She was, and still is, phenomenal.  She was, and still is my role model.

Happy Mother's Day mom.  I love you.

And so what did the Oompas do to show their appreciation for me on Mother's Day?  What did I get for Mother's Day?

Well, I got to make my own coffee while everyone else slept in.  I got to make my own breakfast before I got to go to work for 8 hours.  And after returning home from a full day's work where I sold over $8,000 worth of flower bouquets, greeting cards and chocolates, I got to cook dinner.

But more importantly, I got a brand new Dirty Dish Fairy, a new and improved Dirty Laundry Fairy, and a never before seen Clean Room Fairy. 

I came home to the Oompas rushing and fussing around the house like busy little bees.  This may not happen again until next Mother's Day, so I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can.   Even Dickidoo was knee deep in laundry.  He gave me a melted and deformed candy bar.  It was the very last of the Reese's Fudge Bars.  He found it in a pair of jeans pocket just before he threw them in the washer.  Ah.... an almost clean house and a Reese's Fudge Bar, life is good!  Its times like this that I love being a mother.  But it might be better if none of my children view me as a role model the way I view my mother.

1 Day And A Wakeup!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Last year, for Mother's Day I received the news that I was a grandmother.  This year for Mother's Day I will be afloat with anticipation of actually meeting my grandbaby, and the brief return of my first born to my loving maternal arms.  What more could a woman, a mother want?

Nothing! (Reese's Fudge Bar).  These days find me with a constant smile of contentment (Elizabeth Arden's 5th Avenue Cologne) as I waltz through my daily routine with confidence and ease (Russell Stover's Truffles).  I have finally come of age with my womanhood and motherhood, and I wear the badge with honor (shiney, dangly earrings).

Many people have commented on my ability to take the chaotic life with 5 children (Bacardi Gold) all in stride.  I laugh and insist that its really no big deal.  (clean kitchen)  For me, growing up in a large, loving family made raising one of my own just that much easier.  (New Dirty Dish Fairy).  And I have learned to take the bumps in the road with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.  (Tirimisu)

What makes ME a good mother?  (Gourmet coffee)  My kids do.  If they weren't such great and vivacious kids I wouldn't be inspired to be the mother I am today.  (More Calgon to take me away).  Their zest for life, their quest for adventure, their constant wonderment (gardenia plant) keeps my mind youthful even as my body begins to show signs of aging.  My mother was the ideal role model.  (Coca Cola stuff)  She taught me that role of a mother did not have to be limited to that of a disciplinarian and teacher, that parents could actually have fun with their children and maybe even establish a lasting friendship.

And where would I be without the support of my dear husband? (dinner at Macaroni Grill)  If ever I doubted his importance in the family, the many deployments away from us cured me (Corona).  I don't need fancy gifts from him (new cookbook), all I need is his continued support and love (DOGHOUSE!) 

Friday, May 12, 2006


I just got off the phone with Gabe.  Everything is still going as planned, he's just sitting around now waiting for word for him to catch the transport.  Woo hoo!  And he sent this picture of him in his 'Full Battle Rattle'.  (Can you tell he's excited?)

FLUBBER DUCKY and the Toy Fair

Rocky had her Toy Prototype Fair last night.  The project:  design and create the prototype of a toy and then market it to the parents.  Rocky's group engineered the "Flubber Ducky" flying rubber duck with GPS tracking, video recorder, two-way radio communications and it swims and flies.  Rocky used the 'carnival barker' approach to sell the flubber duck.  Her gimmick:  'Flubber Ducky, the amazing Flying Flubber Duck, come on, you know you want one!'  And I guess it worked because she was getting orders left and right from highly impressed prospective buyers (parents).

Other toys that caught my eye, The Wonder Pen: an automatic pen that writes by itself, guaranteed to get you a B+ or better on all of your assignments.   The DNA Bank, so secure that it can only be opened by the person who matches the programmed DNA (submitted through saliva sample).  Lick the security DNA analyzer to open the bank.  Unauthorized users get zapped.  And my personal favorite, the RoboRoom:  Robotic Room Cleaner, cleans a room in seconds.  Quite seriously I hope these kids can find a way to actually invent such a thing because I'll buy a couple in a heart beat!



Thursday, May 11, 2006

UH OH.... OH NO!

Over the past few weeks I have been so preoccupied with Gabe's pending homecoming that I completely overlooked another, more ominous countdown... the last day of school!  On May 23rd the Oompas shall run screaming from their perspective schoolyards and will haunt my home for the next 12½ weeks.  At the elementary school the staff is already rejoicing as they prepare to bid farewell to the last of the Oompas.  Over the years they have been entrusted with the education and incarceration of all 5 of the Oompas and they look forward to the upcoming school year only for the fact that for the first time in 12 years they will be Oompa-less.  I also look forward to the new school year so that I may know the peace and tranquility of being Oompa-less, even if only for a few hours a day during the week.  But before that, I must survive yet another Summer Siege in Loompaland.  (and people wonder why I drink so much coffee!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

6 PACK OF BLOGS (even better than a 6 pack of beer!) edited

This is a repeat of my new favorites from my photo journal 'Through the Eyes of the Beholder' .  I prepared this list for the first edition of '6 Pack' but was too late.  Heck, I should have been the first one to turn in my list since it was already compiled and posted, but NO, being the procrastinator that I am, I've waited until the last minute... so... before I miss the deadline again, here is my 6 Pack:

PAPARRAZI BY PROXY:  My husband Steve (more commonly known as 'Dickidoo') has always had a good eye for photography and I finally got tired of his constant suggestions that I should shoot this or do that, and I handed him my camera with the suggestion that he take the picture his own darn self.  He did, and he did it well.  And now I have to fight to be able to use my own camera (I don't share well).  However, I am always eager to see what he has captured during his outings and am rarely disappointed.  While I am the actual author of the journal, all of the pictures are the works of my husband.

Retrospect USA: Meet my older sister 'Redbird'.  She began her passion for photography several years ago with a 35mm SLR camera and recently evolved into the world of digital photography.  I love how she uses color and angles.  During a visit over the summer, she and I took our cameras out to a favorite scenic location of both of ours, the Garden of the Gods, and I was amazed by how differently we both captured the same subjects.

Anywhere Is....:  This is a brand-spankin'-new find for me, and I instantly fell in love with the earthy talent of Shutterbug.  When I first clicked on this link I was completely in awe, and the feeling remains with each new entry. 

Photo Trek:  Radar calls himself a 'hobbyist photographer', but do not mistake that for being amateur.  There is nothing amateurish about this guy.  His pictures are fabulous!  Don't limit yourself to his journal, check out the links to his galleries.  You won't be disappointed.

Involuntary Motion:  I have mentioned this journal before for its written words but would be amiss to neglect mentioning the breathtaking photography found within the entries.  His pictures reflect the simple yet beautiful lifestyle he has chosen to live.

YouTube: Dornbrau's Videos: This isn't actually a blog but a listing for my videos.  I have a video blog where I display my videos and slide shows but the video hosting site is under construction and the embedded movie players are not working at the moment, so I've substituted with this emergency link.

Edited:  My embedded video links are working again so you can check out my video blog here:  Sights and sounds of My Life



YouTube - TWILIGHT DANCE < New link for Becca's Video.  Wouldn't you know, the day I post my debut masterpiece online they decide to do maintenance on their website and all of my embedded links went dormant.  Thanks a lot YouTube!  I'm on the verge of creative greatness and you're screwing around with my links!

Okay, phew.... got that out of my system. Now, where were we?

Oh yeah.....

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Now, what would you do for a Reese's Klondike bar?

Yeah, me too, and it was worth every bit of it!  Zowwie, those things are GOOD!

Its snowing outside.  Its May 10th, there is a federal no-burn policy across the state due to extreme arid conditions and its snowing in Colorado.  The pollen has been forced into emergency hibernation so for the moment at least I am allergy free.   Man, I love this state! 

And guess what else?

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Check it out, a 'ghost orb', invisible to the naked eye but this talented Roving Report/ Music Video Producer/ and Photographer of Poltergeists Extrodinaire was able to capture the ghostly image of a lost soul drifting aimlessly through eternity at the Cattail Marsh. 

My mood has been swinging between extreme extremes these past couple of days.  My son Gabe and grandson Zachary should be on their way to my awaiting hugs in less than a week which keeps me in an almost constant state of anticipation, and yet I am acutely aware of the sad realities of life and just how fragile it is by an event I had blogged about so lightheartedly just a couple of days ago.

When Steve got called in to work on Sunday it was because of an accident that had occurred in a training area he helps to patrol.  What I didn't know at the time I made the entry was that the accident had resulted in a fatality of a young soldier.  Soldiers aren't supposed to die in the US, on routine training exercises.  But they do.  They are just as vulnerable to everyday life as any other person.  My heart aches for his family.  I don't know them, I don't even know his name, but for some reason this one really cut me to the very soul.

But back to happy thoughts, Gabe will be leaving Iraq in 6 days.  Hopefully Little Zachary and his mom will begin their journey right about that time as well.  I am floating on air from infinite happiness and fluffiness!

Note:  Link to MY VIDEOS added to Other Journals on right margin.

Monday, May 8, 2006


7 Days And A Wakeup!

Trust one of my Oompas to be inspired to dance to my cell phone ring tone!  Becca amused herself, and several hikers in the park, with her twilight dance.  The geese and other wild creatures have learned to ignore the Oompas unless they come bearing gifts of food.  My new hobby: Music Video Producer Extrodinaire!  Click on the following link for my debut video.  Twilight Dance

Just a week now until Gabe leaves for home, Woo Hoo!

Sunday, May 7, 2006

TO THE BATMOBILE! and a letter from Gabe.

The phone rang at 7:30 this morning.  It was the 'office' calling for Dickidoo.  Another accident.  He jumps up and rushes around getting ready.  He's like a fireman on call, except he's not... he's a range inspector, but he's still important!  I'm sure the call first came in on his Super Government Bat Phone, but he left that down stairs.  (I'll bet he sleeps with it from now on).  No time for coffee this morning.

'Can I take the camera?'

By 'camera' I knew he didn't mean the mini Nikon.  He wanted my big baby.

Nice as the little CoolPix is, my Baby is definitely the superior camera. No biggie.  I work until 6:30 this evening.  He should be finished saving the world from itself, debriefing with Norad and the President and finished up the press conferences by then. 

But hear me now Mr. Dickidoo... on MY days off, I get MY BABY, got it? 

Got a letter from Gabe this morning.

>>hey hey hey. yeah i know its only just a handfull of days left now. im getting more and more excited to. well they left me back __ today cuz they didnt need everyone today. so that was cool. one less day i have to roll the dice. lol you better enjoy the quietness now. lol cuz its going to be a rodeo when i get there. <<

It will be so nice to have him home, even if just for a little while.  God give me the strength to let him go back, because it will take more strength than I possess to do so.

Free banners - Animation Online

Saturday, May 6, 2006

A NEW CAMERA, and a new hobby?

My life as a Roving Reporter Extrodinaire and Teller of Wonderful Life Stories was short lived.  I returned the camcorder because in order for me to upload my video stories online I would have to install a new component on to my computer.  Asking ME to install ANYTHING on to my computer is just a very bad idea.  I traded the camcorder in for a digital camera that has audio video capabilities.

Dickidoo hated the JVC camcorder.  But he loves the new digital camera.  That is a good thing because now maybe he will leave my baby alone and take the new little pocket sized digital with audio video capabilities.  And there will be no more talk about joint custody of my baby.

Did I mention that the new camera is a Nikon?

But what shall I do as a new hobby?  Any suggestions?

Check it out, we're in the single digits!

Graffiti Generator

Friday, May 5, 2006

ROCKY'S DEBUT and 10 days... again.

The school held a talent show last night and Rocky performed during the opening number, singing a clip from 'My Country Tis Of Thee'.  She had originally planned on singing a very difficult Evanescent song but forgot her cd on the day of the auditions and had to make an emergency substitution.  Talk about destiny!  This girl can sing!  She has the voice of a diva.  In her nervousness she sang a wrong word but nobody (except for her older sister, of course) seemed to notice, they were too captivated by the big voice coming from such a little bitty girl. 

And where was the Roving Reporter Extrodinaire?  Oh, she was there, still trying to figure out how to use the new video camera.    Luckily Dickidoo was there to snap a few still shots for posterity.

Create your ninja animation - The Ninja Text Generator

Thursday, May 4, 2006

NEW HOBBY, and the Adjusted Countdown

Okay, I gave the Psychic Extrodinaire and Reader Of Good Fortunes a shot, and while I was able to make accurate predictions (ie.: the RR xing barriers lowered and held me up as I predicted, and even though I threatened the manic toilet not to do so, it flushed on me, as I guessed it would, before I could stand up and protect my derriere) I found that the knowledge gained often tempted me to attempt to change the future so that my more unpleasant predictions would be proven wrong (see the afore mentioned examples) but in essence, with fate being fate, no matter how I tried to change and manipulate it, the inevitable predictions occurred, just as I had seen them.  So did I actually create destiny in my attempt to avoid it?  Would the outcome have been the same no matter what I did to prevent it?  Thoughts like that give me a headache.  And so I have decided to hang up my mystic's hat before I do some real damage.

But... guess what?  I picked up my new video camera today.  My new hobby.... Roving Reporter Extrodinaire And Teller Of Wonderful Stories Of Life!

Story at 11.

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sorry i havent been keeping you guys posted much but i am horrible at writing and all that good stuff. just wanted to thank everyone for their support and prayers. today will be 11 days. its the 4th out here
Comment from
nativehopi - 5/4/06 5:04 AM

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ADJUSTED COUNTDOWN:  11 Days And A Wakeup (May 15th... Woo Hoo!)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006


* Beetles are not digestible.

* Watermelon is not digestible when eaten in large quantities (as well as corn and Macadamia nuts).

* The longest lasting batteries can be found in the noisiest toys and in lost watches with built in every-hour-on-the-hour beepers.

* A 16 oz. bottle of baby powder can coat an entire 3 bedroom apartment when vacuumed up with an old fashioned suction vac.

* 2 eggs will blow up a microwave oven in less than 3 minutes.

* It only takes 3½ minutes to microwave popcorn and 4 minutes to burn popcorn in a microwave but it will take a week to get the smell of burnt popcorn out of the house.

* Super glue works on lips.

* Shampoo smells better than it tastes.

* Shampoo makes a good laxative.

* Never say 'okay' when a child asks if he can call Santa.  You may end up with a $60 charge to Madagascar on your next phone bill.

* Snakes should be kept in a box that is taller than the snake's length.

* Hamsters can squeeze through holes smaller than their head.

* Be specific with restrictions.  To a child, just saying 'No Nintendo' implies that playing the Sega is okay.

* Furniture polish should not be used to shine the floor.

* Nail polish remover will strip a wood table clear down to it's natural surface in a matter of seconds.

* A quiet house full of children in the middle of the day usually means trouble.

* Always be suspicious of silence.

* Black widows do not make good house pets.

* Crickets also make lousy house pets.

* Check with your spouse before offering to bribe a child to insure that you aren't both paying the same child for the same job.

* The principal's office is still intimidating when you are a parent.

* A child will forget a promise they have made a whole lot quicker than they will forget a promise a parent has made.

* An entire wardrobe of dirty clothes, two years worth of school work, 6 pairs of shoes and a life's collection of toys can fit underneath a twin sized bed.


Tuesday, May 2, 2006

AGING and the pursuit of a new past time.

"People are always telling me that I look good for my age, especially after having 5 kids.  I look at them and gasp!  Goodness, if 'this' is good, just how old do they think I am?"Graceful Aging)

I am 45, 45 and a half to be more accurate, but I gave up age fractions years ago when I hit 21.  Now days I like to hang on to the whole number for as long as I can.  I shall still be 45 on September 12th.  I must remember to check my birth certificate to find out exactly when I was born so I don't age myself prematurely.

My parents are ageless.  Seriously.  And not just because I can't for the life of me remember just how old they really are, its because in my mind's eye they have never changed.  I've been accused of never growing up, but I suspect that might be a different thing altogether.

So anyhow, here I am, at the age of 45, wondering what I've accomplished with my life, and what is still in store for me in the autumn of my life.  I have given birth to and raised (somewhat successfully if I may say so myself) 5 wonderful children.  I have married and raised (somewhat successfully if I may also say so! ) a fine husband.  I have dabbled in a variety of careers, have lost and then found some old hobbies, have very successfully resisted the restraints of domesticity and have defied society's laws of decency.  What is next in what is left of my life?  What challenge can I accept to keep my life blog-worthy?

I could take up a new sport, but sports induce sweating and sweating draws flies, and you all know how much I hate flies....

No sports.

I could take up knitting and crocheting, but having hooks and sharp needles during this phase in my life where my hormonal balance is so far off its axis is probably not a good idea, for Dickidoo's sake at least.

Scratch yarn art.

Gardening?  Yeah, okay... I have a 'gangrene thumb'.  Plants hate me, no matter how good my intentions.  Music... just because a person loves to sing and play does not necessarily mean that they sing and play well, or even partially well... or even close to almost-good.

So what to do, what to do?  What can a 45 year old woman of limited financial resources and questionable physical condition do when her favorite saying is 'I'm too old for this sh:t'.?

Beginning today I shall experiment with new hobbies and past times.  Today I shall try:

Psychic Extrodinaire and Reader of Good Fortunes!

11 Days And A Wakeup!

Monday, May 1, 2006


Happy May Day everybody!

I still can't believe how way off my countdown is.  Its not 1 day off, its 2 whole days off!  I have decided that there must be some kind of psychic powers at work here (or maybe wishful thinking).  When Gabe wakes up on the 15th, he will be on his way home, and according to my countdown thats just 12 days and a wakeup away.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  I have to set my clocks 5 minutes ahead because I'm such a procrastinator that I always wait until the last minute... by setting my clocks ahead I actually have 5 minutes more than I thought.  It doesn't quite work, I'm still always late for everything.  I'm just not AS late as I could have been.  (no, my boss isn't impressed either)  Maybe I need to set my clocks 10 minutes ahead.  Or maybe I should just go by my countdown calendar.  If I am 2 whole days ahead of schedule, I'll NEVER be late!