Thursday, September 28, 2006

THE DAY AFTER and lessons learned (or not)

Rocky woke with a sore throat this morning.  She's already missed a few days of school because of a virus that has been hanging around town for a couple of months and I really didn't want her to miss any more but her tears plucked at my guilt strings and I sent her back to bed after a healthy dose of TLC.  At lunch time she decided that she was feeling better and we decided that she should finish out the school day.  With yesterday's tragic events still fresh on my mind, I stepped into the Jr. High School, expecting to be stopped by a faculty member but instead I encountered only a vast empty hallway.  To the left a class was in session, Spanish I believe.  I didn't see anyone through the glass walls of the main office where the secretaries sit.  It was a still as a ghost town.  It wasn't until I stepped into the attendance office that I saw anyone... the principal greeted me from his inner office and the attendance clerk looked up from her desk.

To say I was disturbed would be an understatement.  I numbly signed my daughter in and left in a daze.  When Dickidoo came home I voiced my disbelief.  His reaction was the last thing I expected.  The teachers aren't paid enough and the school districts don't have enough money to hire extra security.  It just wasn't going to happen.  He said I was being understandably emotional but he was just being realistic.  Naturally I denied his claims vehemently.  I told him that I had expected something to be learned from yesterday's tragedy, and I certainly expected more from him as the father of my children than a pessimistic 'It ain't gonna happen'.  He let me vent but never apologized.

At what point in our marriage did it no longer matter who won the debate so long as the point was made?  He didn't change my mind any more than I did his, but we said our peace.  We spoke and we listened.  I guess I can see his point although I don't agree with it.  There was no winner, no loser, and no hard feelings.

Although, technically, because I am the woman and I am older I win by default....

I mowed my legs this evening.  I don't know why since I had just done so last week and my bikini season ended years ago.  Maybe it was frustration, who knows... who cares?  Anyhow, I pulled out the sharpest razor and went to work.  I'm a creature of habit... mostly bad habits, but habit none the less.  I always start with my right leg.  The new Venus razor made short work of the 5 o'clock shadow that adorned my leg.  I inspected the razor head and noted with satisfaction the dark stubbles that I had scraped away.

I wasn't prepared for the length of the follicles I chopped off of my left leg.  I could have braided them!  How could that be?  The last time I had encountered a length difference of such drastic proportions was when I had gone into labor with Zack and discovered in mid push that while the leg in the right stirrup was neatly shaved and smooth as a baby's bottom, the left leg was as hairy as a Sasquatch's behind.  Clearly I had yet again shaved only one leg and neglected the other.  Grrrrrrrrr.... I hate when I do that.

Tomorrow is Poisoned Blackberries Day... how goofy is that?  I have decided to boycott Poisoned Blackberries Day and will instead observe another, more reasonable holiday of my choosing.

I here by proclaim September 29th as Hazelnut Flavored Coffee  and Chocolate Truffles Day, to be followed by the International Night of Beer Binge-ing.  Yeah, now there's something to celebrate!  (Poisoned blackberries?  Sheesh, give me a break!  Who thinks these things up?)

OH NO, not again. (edited)

Another shooting at a Colorado high school, another senseless death... the murder of a life that had just barely begun, a future snuffed out before it could be realized.  How could this happen again?

How could an adult slip into a school unstopped, take over a classroom, and before its over take an innocent life along with his own, leaving the survivors in a nightmarish haze that may never clear.

I saw the news ticker on the bottom of the screen last night.... 'Shooting in CO high school leaves gunman and one female student dead'.  I sat upright in the chair, sure that I had read it wrong, hoping that I had read it wrong.  Would it have been better if it had taken place in another state?  Of course not, but having two children in high school and one in Jr. high , and with Columbine still an open file in my memory, this was too close. 

The gunman, the murder, is dead by his own gun and no longer a threat yet I wanted to keep the kids home today.  It wasn't so much for their safety as for my own piece of mind.  I trust the security of the schools.  The entrances are monitored by campus security.  I'm sure the other school had measures in place as well but our schools are safer I convince myself.  They would have noticed a stubble faced man trying to sneak in with the sea of young faces streaming into the school halls, they would have stopped and questioned him.  This would never have happened in my kids' schools.  Or so I tell myself because I need to believe it, just as, I'm sure, the parents of Platte Canyon High School believed of their children's school... until yesterday.

I saw the news reel as parents rushed in to collect their children, the fear etched across their faces replaced with tears of joy and relief as they were reunited with their teenagers.  Sadly one family would not know the comfort of holding their child safe in their arms.  There would not be reunion for them, and their nightmare would not end there.  It was only beginning.

Becca wanted to take the cell phone to school today.  It was hard to tell her no. 

"Fine, and if I get killed, I won't call you", she said, trying to be funny and failing.

It was harder to let her go to school, but if I fall apart how will she keep it together?  Instead, I gave her a little talk in the street and sent her off with a hug and a kiss.  She gave me her cutest smile and bounced off to join her waiting friends, her concerns already fading.  No doubt they will be revived once more during the morning announcements.  No doubt security will be beefed up even more.  In time, complacency will replace caution and somewhere in the country something like this will happen again.

And the country will shake its head in unison and ask 'Why?  How could this happen again?'

Or perhaps, stricter measures will be enacted to ensure the safety of our children while they are in school so that a little good might come out of this horrific tragedy. 

I pray that the family of Emily Keyes can eventually find peace for their broken hearts but the mother in me cannot imagine how that would ever be possible.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

SPINACH BAD FOR YOU? Who would'a thunk it?

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
Popeye the Sailor Man
I'm strong to the finich, 'cause I eats my spinach,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man

Copyright 1933, by Sammy Lerner

Colorado grown spinach has been cleared for safe consumption but until this whole E.coli out break is brought under control I think I'll pass on fresh greens.  I haven't even bought lettuce since the story first hit the airwaves.  I never used to be this paranoid about food scares, but we're talking permanent kidney damage and possibly death.  With the amount of tragedy I have encountered over the past few years I think my eyes have been opened to how fragile life really is and I find that I am not willing to take unnecessary risks where my family is concerned.  I believe even Popeye Doyle would agree with me on this one.

There's snow on Pike's Peak.  Winter is in sight.  Our swimming pool, which didn't get nearly as much use due to the constant rain and electrical storms all summer long, still stands in the middle of the back yard.  It seems a shame to waste all of that water.  Maybe we'll just leave it up through the winter and do a little ice skating once it freezes over.  Bummer for whom ever bumps into the side and falls over though, that's a four foot drop.  If they're lucky there might be some snow on the ground by then to soften the landing. 



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

HELLO, GOOD-BYE, Western Oompa and Broncos!

4 days have come and gone in a blink of an eye.   Where did the time go?  One minute I was staring with disbelief at my oldest son Gabe, who wasn't expected for another 3 months, and the next thing I knew I was waving goodbye to him yet again.  But at least this time he is going to stay in country, at least for a little while.

My sister-in-law and her family are going to be vacationing in Estes Park this coming week.  We'll be visiting with them in shifts due to our mixed up work and school schedules. My sister-in-law's son is Ian.  He is one of the 'Western Oompas'.   I love my sister-in-law and her husband, but its Ian I can't wait to see and hug and squish again.  He's 8 years old now.  I hope he still likes hugs and squishes. 

And how about them BRONCOS?  Now, before anyone gets all excited and tries to talk stats with me, forget it.  I don't have all of the NFL teams memorized, I can't tell you who holds the record for career touchdowns or who tied who with season rushing yards.  What I can tell you is that I'm a loyal hometown BRONCOS fan, win or lose.  Sooooooooo, how about them BRONCOS?

Friday, September 22, 2006


A friend at work called me to tell me that she needed to talk to me about something and was on her way back to see me.  When I turned around a few moments later a familiar but unexpected face greeted me.  At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but after several tight hugs and kisses I knew for sure that it was Gabe, my boy was home!  Really HOME!

My co-workers sent me home early, which was agonizing for me since Gabe wanted to surprise everyone so I wasn't able to call and share the news.  He showed up at Rocky's school and the principal personally fetched her, making her think that she was in trouble.  Art and Becca were at band practice.  Becca didn't have her glasses on so it took several glances before she recognized her big brother.  Art, I found out, was in on it all along.  Gabe sneaked up on Zack while he got ready for work.  I've never seen Zack so excited.

Dickidoo was the tricky one to surprise.  He was out hunting and wasn't due back until after 9pm.  I tried calling him with some bs about having to get my camera from him so I could fill in as photographer for a friend's wedding, but he didn't get my message until he got back to his truck.  Fortunately it had rained all day so he came in early to dry off and warm up.  So, he was on his way home and we were all set to surprise him at the house until he decided to pick Becca up from practice.  Becca wasn't aware that her father didn't know and would probably give the surprise away so I had to speed Gabe to the high school before Dickidoo got there.  When Dickidoo arrived just moments later, Becca asked if they could give her friend a ride home.  Dickidoo looked at the guy all hunched over with a hoodie pulled over his head and was about to say 'no', when Gabe threw back his hood and said "What, you can't give your own son a ride?"

We only have him until Monday, but that's fine alright with me since I was prepared to wait until December to see him.  He still plans on coming out at the end of the year, hopefully with my little grandbaby, but this was a very wonderful surprise to tide me over until then.




Wednesday, September 20, 2006

UNITED NATIONS and international gas

"The devil came right here... And it still smells of sulfur today."

Someone farted at the United Nations today.  He who smelt it dealt it!  Hahahahaha!



How much should you weigh? Just put an X in the boxes to identify the foods that you like.
junk -
[x] chips
[x] fast food
[x] soda
[x] popcorn with butter
[x] pretzels
[x] peanut butter
[x] ranch
[x] chicken wings
[x] pizza
[x] burgers
[x] hot dogs
[x] grilled cheese
total - 13

vegetables -
[x] cauliflower
[x] green beans
[x] beans
[x] onions
[x] tomatoes
[x] pickles
[x] cucumber
[x] zucchini
[x] celery
[x] peppers
[x] peas
[x] potatoes
[x] beets
[x] brussel sprouts
[x] spinach
[  ] lima beans
[x] lettuce
[x] corn
total - 19

fruit -
[x] oranges
[x] strawberries
[x] apples
[x] pineapple
[x] pears
[x] peaches
[x] grapes
[x] plums
[x] grapefruit
[x] clementines
[x] tangerines
[x] raspberries
[x] blueberries
[x] limes
[x] lemons
[x] mango
[x] cherries
[x] watermelon
[x] cantaloupe
[x] honeydew
total - 21

meat -
[x] ham
[x] chicken
[x] lamb
[x] pork
[x] steak
[x] turkey
[x] bologna
[x] fish
[x] deer
[x] bird
[x] salami
[x] pepperoni
[ ] alligator
total - 12

dairy -
[x] milk
[x] cheese
[x] yogurt
[x] cream
[x] butter
total - 6

desserts -
[x] brownies
[x] ice cream
[x] chocolate
[x] sorbert
[x] sherbet
[x] cake
[x] cup cakes
[x] cookies
[x] toffee
[x] caramel
[x] mousse
[x] whipped cream
[x] chocolate covered strawberries
[x] pie
[x] creme puffs
[x] jello
[x]chocolate covered pretzels
total - 17

wheat -
[x] bread
[x] pasta
[x] cereal
[x] bagels
[x] doughnuts
[x] crackers
total - 6

Now add up the number of x's and multiply by 3 to get the weight that you should be.

According to this survey I should weigh 282 pounds, which means that I am way under weight!  And since I found this survey posted on the internet it must be true, right?  Woo hoo!  Yeah,  I'm under weight!  Guilt free calorie consumption here I come!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Well, my hunting season came and went with no big bang, nothing to brag about, nothing to fill the freezer or hang on the wall.  About all I have as proof that the season ever even happened are the countless mosquito bites scattered about my body.

That's Dickidoo up there on the left and me on the right.  Yesterday was my last day to hunt but Dickidoo is hunting with a bow so he still has one week left to try and bag an elk.  Notice the nice woodsy camouflage and how our clothing sort of blends into our surroundings?  Notice the bright, fluorescent orange hat and vests that make us stick out like neon pumpkins?  And we're supposed to believe that the animals can't see us in that?  Riiiiiight!

I wore a mosquito net over my face to keep mosquitoes from biting me there but what the net really did was keep the mosquitoes from getting back out once they infiltrated the protective covering.  Several times they tried to use my nose as an emergency exit.  NOT COOL!

Dickidoo is an excellent scout and guide.  It just wasn't meant for me to drop an elk this year.  I did spend many quiet, reflective hours in the woods with my husband, the peace only interrupted by the swarming buzz of the mosquitoes, and it finally dawned on me why he had been so enthusiastic about me hunting with him.

When we hunt, we spend a lot of quality time together.... and I have to be absolutely silent the whole time.  Since I'm with him I can't nag him about not spending enough time with me, and when I'm with him I have to be quiet.  Very clever Dickidoo, but guess what?  My  hunting season is over!  Let the nagging begin!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A HUNTING WE WILL GO (or something vaguely like it)

Today is my first day off in over a week.  I'm not sure if I like the hours of my new job mostly because I'm usually half asleep during the first half of my work day.  To be honest that probably really isn't a bad thing.  By the time I'm finally fully awake its near time to go home!  But today I got to sleep in until 6am.  Unfortunately I had to wait for my coffee.  The kids unplugged my Bunn-Omatic Brew-Omatic to plug in the old computer, and forgot to plug it back in so I had to wait until the reservoir heated up before I could brew my coffee, and that took another 10 minutes... NOT COOL KIDS!

I was mean the other day.  I cursed the grumpy lady down the street with a case of funky flatulation.  I made 'bachi', or in effect I jinxed myself.  I have no idea if she actually developed bad gas.  I do know that Dickidoo sure did and I was stuck walking behind him all day yesterday, gasping and gagging in my retribution.

So.... about my hunting adventures, if one could actually call them such.  Saturday was to be my first day out but Saturday never happened because Dickidoo was tracking a huge bull and therefore was unable to pick me up after work.  Since we had loaded everything into his truck the night before, while I could get out there, I had no license or means to hunt with, so scratch day one.

Day two would have been better spent at home as well.  It had rained heavily off and on all week so the roads were washed out.  We found ourselves slipping dangerously close to the edge of some very deep gouges in the dirt roads.  Under normal circumstances it would have been a good idea to just turn around and take another road but there was no space to turn around, and reversing back down that mountain road was out of the question.  So onward and upward we went.

I guess the elk had better sense than we did because they didn't even bother going up that particular mountain and we were all by ourselves up there.  Well, almost all by ourselves.  We were greated by a squadron of mosquitoes who stayed with us for the rest of the evening, buzzing and biting.  I was covered with 100 DEET but I guess it was the flavor of the day because if anything it seemed to attract even more of those blood sucking buggers.

After a non-productive hunt we began our trip home.  There was no way we were going to attempt to go back down the way we came in the dark being as we have to drive without headlights while hunting in the military training areas per post command.  Instead, we took the back way down which was still hairy but not as bad.... Or so we thought.  We made it down with a lot of prayer and luck and I was in the process of congratulating Dickidoo for his skillful driving when we hit a puddle in the middle of the dirt road.

A little bit of mud never hurt anyone, but this wasn't mud.  It was thick mountain clay, and we were in it two feet deep!  It took us almost two hours to get out of the sticky clay bed which stretched for what seemed like miles on all sides.  I was covered with muddy clay, I was wet and cold to the bones.  I was never so happy to feel solid road beneath our tires... until I realized that the little Nikon was no longer in my shirt pocket.  We searched the truck high and low until there was no avoiding the obvious, I had dropped my digital camera somewhere up there on the mountain of mud.

Dickidoo and his friend drove back up the next day, getting stuck along the way, but they found the little camera.  All that was showing through the thick clay was the strap.  The camera was completely covered.  Dickidoo handed the camera to me with an apologetic look on his face but I was actually hopeful.  I cleaned it up with a paintbrush and a soft cloth.  The clay had protected the camera from the rain just as I had hoped.  With the exception of the lens cover which no longer closes, the camera works just fine!

Day three... as if I hadn't had enough punishment from the previous days... was also a wash as far as hunting goes.  My once silent boots now squeaked loudly from their recent mud bath and subsequent rinse.  Word was out about the irresistable taste of Deep Woods DEET 100 and the mosquitoes were waiting by the hundreds for us when we stepped out of the truck.  We were the meat and the DEET was the gravy!

To make it worse, Dickidoo had gas bad (my bachi).  Atfirst I thought... Good, maybe the fumes will keep the mosquitoes away, but I'm never that lucky.  The mosquites would merely all sqarm around me until the air around Dickidoo's butt cleared.  By the end of the night I had mosquito bites on my mosquito bites.  I found myself brushing against cactus just to relieve a little of the itch.  At times I'd find myself scratching so bad that I'd be breathless afterwards and craving a cigarette for some reason .

Anyhow, day three was how I spent my birthday.  Despite my subliminal messages in previous posts here, Dickidoo forgot and quickly sang a cheesey off key 'Happy Birthday' to me in the truck to make up for it.  He did offer to take care of my elk if I should happen to actually see and shoot one.  Add a box of truffles to the deal and I might forget that he forgot! 

Gabe wasn't able to surprise me for my birthday but the fact that he is safely in the states is good enough for me.  He only has a weekend pass so he's going to fly up and see his son.  This gives me time to start saving in the hopes of getting both him and my grandbaby out here for Christmas.  Big Zack took his sisters and I out to Applebee's to celebrate my birthday.  Oh My Gosh... I couldn't believe how much those Oompas ate!  Oh to be young again with a hyperactive metabolism.

The clouds are starting to move in and I can hear thunder in the distance.  No doubt this will be another wet night of hunting.  Maybe the mosquitoes will stay out of the rain.  Heck, they should still be full of me from last night.  Ahhhhhhhh, but it feels sooooooooooo good to scratch those bites, its almost orgasmic!

Sorry for all the typos but my journal spell check hasn't worked for a couple of weeks now so you are at the mercy of my public education.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Rocky got into an accident while riding her bike the other day.  Oh, she's okay, but she rode into a parked car and busted the running light cover on the Buick down the way.  She also put a scratch in the paint on the rear bumper.  I spoke with the owner and after apologizing profusely, assured her that Dickidoo would be down sometime to work out the repair plans with her. 

Unfortunately Dickidoo didn't get over to talk to her quick enough.  He didn't even get home until after 9pm that night and went hunting the following day until after 10pm... so the woman called the police.   Apparently my word that we were going to take care of the repairs wasn't good enough for her and she told Rocky that she was going to call the police. Of course the police showed up while we were still out and poor Rocky was afraid that either she or her father was going to go to jail.  She called me in tears.  

That woman had every right to file a complaint about the damages even though I had already discussed it with her and had accepted responsibility for the repairs, but sending the police over to our house right after my daughter told her that we weren't home, knowing that Rocky would be there was just plain mean and un-neighborly.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I curse her with a week of funky public flatulation!

Friday, September 8, 2006


Yes, I'm still working at the store, but I'm now in the back warehouse in processing vendor stocked groceries and outprocessing damaged goods.  Pay increase... Yay!  40 hour weeks... Yay!  Two days off in a row... Yay!  Getting off at 1pm, double Yay!  Getting up at 3am to be at work by 4am.... double BOO!

I have been an absolute zombie for the past week.  I only have enough time for one cup of coffee before I leave for work.  I'm used to guzzling 3 cups before I can function during the day.  I am going through withdrawals. 

This morning when the alarm went off I swung my arm around to shut it off but it wouldn't turn off.  I rolled over and tried again, and then proceded to beat at it with both hands.  By that time Dickidoo was awake and trying to shut it off as well.

I don't know how long that went on before we both realized that it was the phone ringing, not the alarm clock.  It was just Zack asking for a ride home.  I got dressed, still thinking it was 3am.  It wasn't until I was returning home with Zack that it dawned on me that it was only 1:30am and I still had an hour and a half before I had to get ready for work.

What I should have done was start my coffee binge, but instead I jumped right back into bed.  Had I decided to stay up I would have known earlier that while my coffee and creamer supplies were replenished, I had no filters for the Bunn-Omatic Brew-Omatic.

My coffee maker is huge, so it needs super dooper, mega sized coffee filters.  This filters can only be found at Sam's Club, which is not open at 3am.  And while we have often used the super dooper mega sized coffee filters (French napkins as the Oompas call them) as napkins, I have discovered that paper napkins make rotten coffee filters.

So, what to do, what to do?

I shook the grounds off of the filter, rinsed it out and gently replaced the filter in the basket.  In two minutes I had a aromatic pot of Folgers steaming on the heater plate of the Bunn.  I held my breath as I poured the first cup... but to my relief no grounds ended up in my mug.  Ahhhhhhhhh!  Life is good!

I begin my elk hunt tomorrow.  I'll be shooting my flintlock muzzleloader.  Because of my job schedule I will only be able to hunt in the afternoons but thats okay because the only thing worse than getting up at 3 o'clock in the morning is walking up the side of a mountain at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I love that my entire family reads this journal.  (september 13)  It has been a great communication tool for me (birthday cake) being as our schedules often find us passing each other in the driveway.  Sometimes even though my family may not be the direct subject of my post (chocolate truffles), they may have provided the train of thought that eventually lead me to my entry.  So while this may be MY journal (don't EVEN think about candles), this is really a diary of OUR lives.

I'm still waiting to hear of Gabe and little Zachary can fly out.  (I'd settle for a birthday phone call although I'd prefer a birthday hug).  I will be marking my one year anniversary at the store (anniversary presents are nice too) and should have some accumulated vacation time that I can use to go out to visit my grandbaby if he can't make it here.  I just know that my arms need to hold that little guy before he gets too big.  Maybe I'll make it out for his birthday.

So anyhow, guess what I did when I got home from work today?  After running around to take care of some last minute things before elk season opens tomorrow... I laid down on the couch in the den and passed out.  Guess what I didn't do?

I didn't go to Sam's Club to buy some super dooper, mega sized coffee filters for the Bunn-Omatic Brew-Omatic.  Grrrrrrr!  I wonder if those super dooper mega sized filters can be washed and reused for a third time in a row.  I guess we shall see in the morning at 3am.

Friday, September 1, 2006


I could understand women lining up to share Johnny Depp or 'still sexy after all these years' Travolta and muscle bound Wesley Snipes... yum!  But no, we get pasty, goofy looking Warren Jeffs.   I don't care if he says he's the son of God... I mean, come on, does he look like Jesus?  No, I didn't think so.  Do his followers really, truly believe that what he preaches is God's will?  Or do they just 'want' to believe?  I suspect it is the latter.  I'm glad he has been apprehended.  I hope the children of his cult are safe from his bigoted and abusive teachings but I doubt it.  Rumor has it that his brother may take his place in his absence.  After all, if Warren is the son of God, then his brother must also be the son of God, or at least the brother of the son of God, right?

 I'm still laughing over the irony of this one... Victor Willis, the original Village People cop, being arrested for drug possession.  And this wasn't his first offense!  Yes, I know he wasn't a real cop, but its still funny.  In fact its almost as amusing as Peter Coors, of the Coors Brewery pleading guilty to DUI charges.