Saturday, December 29, 2007


Big Red's steering is shot and Dickidoo is tired of fixing my truck.  He decided to put the old Ford out to pasture and got me a new car.

A used new car.  An itty bitty teenie tiny car that I almost have to squat to get into.

But it has a working heater and power steering.

Never try to drive a new used car to work at 4 am in the morning without taking it out on a test drive first... in daylight. 

I wish I had thought of this yesterday.

I didn't know where the windshield scraper was so I pulled out my employee discount card to scrape the frost off of the windshield.  I was immediately impressed by the fact that I didn't have to climb up and lean over to reach the windshield.  I just leaned over and might even have been able to defrost the far side of the window as well, if my discount card didn't decide to snap in half.  Grrrrrrrrr!

With frozen fingers I felt around for the key hole in the door.  After considerable fumbling I found it and unlocked the door.  I fell into the car and slammed the door, struggling against the automated seat belt that strapped me back against the seat.  With a deep breath I leaned forward and tried to find the ignition.  I felt around on the steering column in the dark but couldn't find anything resembling the ignition slot.  No problem, I'll just turn on the interior lights.

Just as soon as I find them...

Okay, maybe I'll open the door since the dome light pops on automatically when the door is ajar. 

Great, not only does this new used car not have an ignition or interior lights, it doesn't have a door handle!

I had half a mind to call Dickidoo and wake him up so he could open the car door for me.  In fact I was in the process of flipping my phone open when the back light of the display lit up the tiny cab of the car.  Ah hah!  There's the ignition.  And the door latch!

I was 11 minutes late .  I would have been even later but I clocked myself going 60 mph on a 35 mph street.  I can tell how fast Big Red is going by the vibrations.  The Tracer doesn't vibrate.  To be honest I don't think the speedometer works, there's no way I could have been going 60 mph down the street and still been 11 minutes late for work.  Was I really locked in the darkened car for that long before figuring out how to turn the darn thing on?

Getting out of the car after work was a whole new challenge.  I had tossed my jacket on the passenger seat beside me and grabbed it before getting out of my seat belt.  The automatic seat belt disengages when the door opens and I found myself tangled up in the seat belt as I tried to get out with my jacket.

Did you know that long hair in a itty bitty, teenie tiny car with automatic seat belts generates a heck of a lot of static? 

Did you know that Medusa drives a slate blue Tracer?

Tomorrow I think I will give myself a few extra minutes to get to work.  11 extra minutes should do it.

I already miss Big Red!

The Tracer has a working heater (yay!) and power steering, but Big Red has class, and style, and oh so many great memories!  I don't see why we have to get rid of her, just because she's old, and her heater doesn't work, and she's a little hard to steer...

Please Dickidoo, don't get rid of Big Red, pretty please?

Friday, December 28, 2007

IF THE INTERNET ISN'T REAL, then why do I hurt so bad?

I think I have lost at least 10 pounds in tears this week.  But that's not all I've lost.  I've lost... WE'VE lost... two very special women.  Online they were known as mzgoochi and demandnlilchit.  In person they were Lahoma and Kimberleigh.  In my heart they were my friends.

The death of an Internet friend is hard to deal with because there is nothing to hold on to.  Individuals are separated by miles and miles of cable.  Often times family members who might otherwise know a neighborhood or workplace friend are unaware of cyber friendships and therefore are untouched by the loss.

I hurt.  I hurt so bad.  I want to scream.  I want to run as fast and as far as I can to get away from the reality.  I want so bad for someone to say 'Oops, sorry, they aren't really dead... my bad!'  Its happened before, I wouldn't mind if it happened now.  I would love for it to happen now.

Nobody has come forward to admit to a hoax.  I can wait.  I don't mind.  Please, someone come forward and admit to a hoax.


My brain is in defensive mode.  My heart is locking down.  No more friends.  No more caring for silly nonsensical  And just maybe I won't hurt so bad ever again.


I have met so many wonderful, precious people... REAL people here online.  I am richer for knowing them.  I cannot turn my back and heart on them, on you.

I just wish it didn't hurt so much to let go when one must leave this world.

God speed Lahoma.  God speed Kim.  I hope to see you both again.  Till then, missing you so much,


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Its not often that I have a full tank on a day off, with no prior commitments on my calendar, so I decided to take a drive into the city.  I live on the edge of town, close enough to have my zip code included in the city limits yet far enough out to avoid traffic and other big city headaches.

I ventured into the city today with one purpose, to find the ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district... where you must pay to park.  I didn't know the exact location of the shop so I took advantage of the many red lights I encountered en route to dig for change for the parking meters.

3 dimes, 1 nickel and a million pennies.  That should buy me about 20 minutes if and when I found the place.  I needed more money.

But wait, a bank!  With a parking lot!  Feeling like things were starting to fall into place, I turned into the parking lot and entered the bank lobby.  It was a credit union, but not the one I bank at.  I used the ATM, accepting the $1.50 fee, and grimacing for the hidden video camera because I knew my credit union would be tacking on a user fee of their own.  Of course the ATM only spits out bills, and there was no way I was going to stuff a twenty into the parking meter, so I entered the bank and stood in line.

Actually I was the line.  I waited patiently until one of the two tellers finished doing what ever tellers do when there is no customer standing in front of them.  She motioned me over and I laid the crisp twenty I had just retrieved from the ATM machine on the counter. 

'I don't have an account here but I was wondering if I could get some change for this?'

The teller didn't even blink.

'Actually we only serve members.'

I was still smiling but I swear I could hear my eyes blink.. 3 times... very loudly.  She however wasn't smiling.  She didn't care that I just paid $1.50 to get that $20 from her ATM.  I wasn't a member, I wasn't even a guest.  For all practical purposes I was an uninvited intruder. 

I wasn't asking to cash a check, or buy a money order.  I just wanted change for a bill I just got from the ATM in the lobby.  Change... that was all I was asking for.  Change for the parking meter because you have to pay for the privilege to park in the city. 

'Unbelievable'.  I said with a laugh.  'Merry Christmas!'

She didn't return my greeting.  No 'thank you' or 'sorry'.  No 'have a nice day'.  Nothing.

I don't belong in a city where one must pay to park to shop.  I don't belong in a members only city, where you must fill out an application WAC to qualify for a smile and courtesy, where a visitor can't even walk into a bank to get change for the dang parking meters. 

I can't think of anything I need badly enough in town to put up with that ever again.

Except for the  ultimate give for my son from a store that could only be found smack dab in the middle of the business district.  Grrrrrrrrr!

That city is enough to turn a saint into a scrooge!

Where I live there are no parking meters.  In my town the stores and restaurants have their own parking lots... where you can park for free!  (what a concept!)

Did you know that when you say 'Merry Christmas' to a complete stranger in Widefield, Security or Fountain Colorado, most people will smile back and return the greeting.

God Bless Smalltown, USA!

Merry Christmas everyone!  (yes, even the grumpy members only bank teller).


I have changed.  People tell me so all the time.

"Jojo, are you okay?  You look like crap!"

Not only do I look like crap now days, I smell like crap.  My Elizabeth Arden's Fifth Avenue is over powered by the fragrance of regurgitated Similac.  When I return to work after lunch I almost always have cereal, cookie, or baby burps smeared on my shirt. 

I have no need for eye liner since I now sport naturally dark circles under my eyes.  My vocabulary includes words like 'mum-mum', 'peek-a-boo!' and 'ewwww! Who made a stinkie?' 

There is no such thing as sitting down to relax.  Sitting down leaves one's lap open to immediate occupation.  Filled cups are fair game for little hands and thirsty lips.  Papers, especially important looking ones, become instant napkins and teethers.

Babies can sleep through loud TV shows, laughter and other screaming babies.  Babies could probably sleep through an earth quake.

Babies cannot sleep through a tip-toed exit and the quiet click of a door.

Babies may not understand English but they understand the sound of a tip-toed exit and the quiet click of a door.

Babies have an emergency warning system to alert other babies. Babies practice this emergency warning system frequently.  It works very well.

Crying is contagious.  So is screaming.

So this is grand-motherhood.

I'm loving it! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Inquiring minds wanted to know... so here's a picture of my garlic induced bruise.  It looks worse than it feels.  I swear the back of my leg never hit anything, I fell forward.  The witnesses (no doubt they're all laughing over the instant replay on the security cam) all confirmed this.  All I can say is Yes!  I would do it all again if given a handful of garlic tortillas to fondle and sniff!  Really folks, if you ever see a rack of Mission tortillas and they have their Garlic and Herb wraps, take a whiff (I recommend standing perfectly still when doing so to avoid a similar injury).


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

QUIET, and is it spring yet?

The Northern Oompas are spending the evening with their uncle (Kim's brother) in town.  For a little while all of the gates and barriers are down.  No hurdles for my stubby old legs.  Even Rocky ran a couple of laps around the upstairs in pure glee.

But its too quiet.  No ornery chatter from Cyrus.  No happy screeching from Ayden.  No little baby giggles and coos from Ryott(I must remember to ask Kimmie how to spell Cyrus... with a C or with an S... I've been spelling it both ways.)  It just doesn't feel right any more without them.  Grandma Connie must be missing them like crazy.  I know my poor little Zachary is missing his partner in crime.

We found an apartment just a few blocks away.  Its close enough to both Kim's brother and us so we can help her out at a moment's notice and yet still far enough for her to have her independence.  The management there is great with soldiers and Gabe is doing the application online from Iraq, how cool is that? 

We'll be driving up to the mountains to get a tree.  The little ones will be joining us in this family tradition.  Its amazing how little children can brighten up the holiday season.  Don't get me wrong, even with my teenage Oompas we have a great time celebrating but little ones add a touch of magic that excites everyone.

Being the uber-graceful person that I am, I tripped over a rack of tortillas at work while sniffing a pack of garlic tortilla wraps and re-injured my calve right where I almost tore the muscle in half about 4 years ago.  Although I fell forward and landed on a bed of tortillas, I am now sporting a huge dark black, blue and red bruise on the back of my calve.  Only me........  grrrrrrrrrr!

Don't know yet if we'll have a white Christmas, but I can say for sure that we currently have a white Tuesday.  We got a nice snowfall this weekend, and its been snowing very lightly all day.

Okay, that's enough snow for me.  Where's that dang groundhog?  I guarantee he won't be seeing his shadow today...  Come on, bring on the spring!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

LITTLE OOMPA LOGIC, ain't it great?

Over the years, as my litter of Oompas grew and matured (?) I seem to have forgotten about the fascinating simplicity of child logic.  It has entranced me since Gabe's 'grabity' - the earth's force that grabs things and pulls them down...  and Becca's front door and back door neighbors (neighbors in the front and back as compared to our next door neighbors who live on our sides). 

Logic is instinctive.  Little 1 year old Ayden doesn't speak, but I can see him thinking in his deep blue eyes.  Even Little Ryott's little brain is scheming baby schemes behind his smiling big brown eyes.  Syrus, who will be 3 on Valentine's day is more obvious.

I told him to 'throw' a can away.  The next thing I knew the can was sailing across the room and into the kitchen, landing by the stove.  Naturally I fussed at him about throwing things, until it dawned on me that I had actually told him to throw the can.  I decided to reword the command, with a 'Please put the can in the trash', and the Oompa obediently picked the can up and set it nicely in the garbage can. 

* Note to self:  choose your words carefully and literally!

When Syrus first arrived he was surrounded by a house full of towering strangers.  He was not overwhelmed though and solved the problem by addressing everyone as 'peoples'.  I corrected him when he was talking to Becca.

"That is Auntie".

The correction was duly noted and Becca is now known as 'Auntie Peoples'.

And Art, who wowed his young nephew with owl and dove calls, is known as 'Cool Guy'.

Big Zack patiently endures little hands grabbing on his legs with the casual tolerance of an old experienced uncle.  I have noticed that while he doesn't pick the little guys up, he makes an unconscious point of being within reach of their curious explorations.  He hasn't resorted to baby talk ... yet... but I imagine its just a matter of time.

Dickidoo is trying hard to get Syrus to say 'Grandpa' but for the time being its 'MoMo'  I wouldn't be surprised if the little guy can say it correctly but its so much more fun to watch Dickidoo trying to teach him the right way.

Rocky best summed up our relationship with the two older boys.

"They aren't Gabe's sons but they are my nephews."

Welcome to the House of Loompa!

These past few days have been a real test with first the Northern Oompas getting sick and now the Mountain Oompas.  Its a nasty stomach virus that takes about 48 hours to run its course.  At one point poor Kim had had all 3 boys plus herself down with it.  And just as it tapered off with them my gang got it.  Joy!

Hopefully this will guarantee a healthy holiday season.

Please Lord, cos this one really sucked!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Big Oompas, little Oompas, Oompas Oompas everywhere!

I love it!

It was very late when I arrived at my grand babies house and although Little Zack was awake, he was very sleepy and grumpy.  He stayed up late and sadly was still asleep the next morning when we left for the airport so I didn't get to really bond with him or even get a picture.  Needless to say I feel very disappointed when ever I think about it, but then the three little guys that came back with their mother and me quickly fill the void.

Its been years since I had little ones in the house.  I had forgotten how fun it could be, and how exhausting!

Just a few discoveries I have made during the past few days:

* There are muscles that you never use until you become a grandparent.  These muscles are located in the neck, back and arms (for hugging and holding).  If you don't stretch them out first before taking on the full time job of grand parenting you will HURT!

* The average 18 month old child has an arm span of 36 inches.  They have the reach of 60 inches.  Don't ask me how, they just do.  If they can see it, they can get it.  And remember, just because YOU can't see it doesn't mean THEY can't see it.

* Baby food and formula still tastes nasty.

* The easiest way to get a child to do something is to tell them 'NO!'  (Oh wait, I already knew that one.)

* Don't be fooled by the size, baby turds may be small but only because they are concentrated.  If anything they stink worse than big people turds

* Baby proofing often results in grandma proofing.  About the only one who slows down at the baby gates is me.  The little Oompas can get over them easier than I can.

* If it can fall, spill, break, tear, mark or stain, consider it done.  After all, grand babies may be precious but they are still just children and bound by the Kids Code of Opportunity.

* Just because they have a limited vocabulary doesn't indicate that a grand Oompa doesn't have the ability to plan and scheme. 

* There is no such thing as too much giggles and smiles.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cincinnati and a real bathroom . Ah! Now on to Cleveland.

Whoa! What a tiny airplane . I hope I fit in it!


Baby proofing the house of 3 teenaged Oompas and 3 adults has proven to be a bigger task than we thought.  Our intentions were good, but it can't be done.  We just have way too much junk and stuff and ran out of hiding places for them a long time ago.  We shall no doubt be on our toes constantly while the Grand-Oompas are here with us.

I leave for Ohio in a couple of hours.  A few hours after that I shall be hugging and squeezing Grand babies!  I cannot adequately express the excitement I am feeling right now.

Or the fear.

What if they don't like me?  What if I scare them with my big eyes and fluffy, squishy hugs?

I can't believe it.  I've been waiting for this moment for almost 3 years and now that it is nearly upon me I am nervous.  Not of the flight or traveling alone.  Not of the family (I've met the older sister and adored her).  I am nervous of meeting the little guys.  Unbelievable!  And its not because two of them are mini-oompas, although that fact is more than enough reason to be nervous of them.  No, its more like jumping into the middle of the game and being afraid of not fitting in and screwing up the team.

Ahhhh well, I'll just cross that bridge if and when I get to it.  In the mean time I have to get ready.  I have some Grand-Oompas to hug and squeeze!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I spent the morning and early afternoon planning on what I wasn't going to do today. 

Mission accomplished.

What I did get done was to straighten up my recipe bookshelf.  Once upon a time my cookbooks all fit on the bottom shelf of a cupboard in the kitchen.  Now they take up the two bottom shelves of my bookshelf in the dining room.  I suppose I should sort through them and get rid of the books and magazines that I don't use.  You can tell them from the ones I use frequently because they will be clean.  My favorite books and recipe magazines are covered with old dried on splatters and drips.  That's how I find the pages I'm looking for, I just grab the book I think its in and turn to the dirty pages, and poof, there it is!  Anyhow, the bookcase is nicely organized... for now.  Chances are that once I start digging for recipes tomorrow it will pretty much look like it did earlier.  But for now, its beautiful!

I hope everyone can find many good reasons to be thankful tomorrow.  I know I have.   I am thankful for my family and their good health.  I am thankful for the opportunity to finally meet my grand babies and be a solid part of their lives.  I am thankful for the support the country continues to send my son and the Armed Forces in harms way.  I am thankful for the One who watches over them and keeps them safe.

I am also very thankful that farts have sound so I can leave the room before the smell hits.  I shall be serving up hominy with smoked turkey for our more traditional Harvest Feast on Friday and for some reason it gets Dickidoo and the Oompas rootin' and tootin'.  Farts... in stereo, with surround smell.  Believe me folks, that's not something you'll ever want to experience in this house and you'll soon find yourself appreciating our Maker's considerate fore sight in adding a warning signal.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.  May your house smell of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, and not of smoked turkey and hominy the day after.


Monday, November 19, 2007


You can 'chose'  not to grow up, but you have no choice in growing old.  It just happens, whether you like it or not.  I'm not ashamed of my age and quite honestly don't give it much thought unless someone makes that tacky old age comment "Wow, you look good for your age!"

What exactly does a 47 year old woman look like?  White haired?  Been there.  Missing teeth?  Done that!  Wrinkles?  Bingo!  Over weight?  Heck, I aced that one ahead of time!

I have come to the conclusion that the comment really isn't a compliment at all.  Its just what people say when they are trying to cover up what they are really thinking...

"Damn, so THAT'S what 47 looks like!"

(I love telling the Oompas that they will all look like either Dickidoo or me when they grow up, its soooo fun to watch their sassy little faces turn positively sick with worry.)

And, just in case a glance in my mirror each morning, or the steady rising temperature in the room when the birthday candles are lit on a cake that grows larger each year to accommodate the increasing number of candles, doesn't give me a clue that I just might be on the downward slide towards the half century mark... now even my junk mail and online spam has adjusted to reflect my maturity.

I no longer receive offers for penile enlargers or sexual enhancers.  Now I get offers for free samples of cialis and hot flash relief.  Victoria's Secret has been replaced by Lane Bryant and I think the Gerber Life Insurance company may have sold my address to that new company that offers Alzheimer's Insurance... I kid you not, I got a brochure today!

'You are as old as you feel.'  That's a goofy saying.  Right now I feel stiff and creaky, a little achy, a little worn out.  I guess this is what 47 feels like. 

But I'm a HAPPY stiff, creaky, achy, worn out 47 year old!  (I hear grand babies will do that to you.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Got my e-ticket to Ohio for the 28th.  Got my Grand-Oompa's e-ticket to Colorado on the 29th, as well as his mother and two big brothers.  And hopefully I'll get to hug and kiss my older Grand-Oompa Zachary before I leave Ohio.   Yes, my grand babies are cousins/brothers... long story short:  Gabe met his ex's sister while visiting his son and they fell in love.  We tease him about it, but he and Kimmie are really trying to work this out and I am so proud of them.  Kimmie has two other children so I'm flying out to help out on the flight over.  More grand babies to love, WOO HOO!

Big Zack won't be returning to Florida.  Yay!  I mean... awwwww, that's too bad! The crew moved on to Philadelphia while he was here and there isn't enough work to warrant him flying over so looks like he'll be staying around here.  Its a good thing he didn't cut his hair yet.

If you had asked me a week ago I would have said that while I held no regrets, that my life in general sucked.  I'm a born again virgin, my husband keeps coming up with 'get out of debt quick' schemes that ironically take him far away and makes me a 47 year old single parent of among others two daughters who are going through teenage menopause and while I was a grandmother to two adorable grandsons, I have yet to hold them.  Today, however, nothing can keep me down.  I'd be walking on air if I wasn't so darn fluffy.  Today my smile is genuine.  Today is a good day.  Tomorrow is one day closer to even better.

Grandbabies... I get to hold my grandbabies!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Don't laugh, but I was sooooo desperate to remove that onion smell from my hands that I tried several remedies all at once.

Salt, lemon juice and a metal spoon. 

I poured about 2 tablespoons of sea salt into my hand, soaked it with pure lemon juice concentrate, and massaged the mixture into my hand with a large metal spoon.  All I needed was a glass with vodka and I'd be a human cocktail.  But guess what?  It worked.  I'm not really sure what did the trick, all I know is that the onion smell is gone.  So a big thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions.

Now... any suggestions on how to get a salty, slightly metallic lemon smell off of my hands?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ONIONS HAVE LAYERS... lots of stinky, stinky layers!

Hey, do you remember me mentioning my wonderful elderly neighbor who occasionally gives me boxes of chocolates and other such goodies?  Well, he also gives me boxes of onions!  The other day he gave me one that held close to 60 potent bulbs. 

You'd think I had struck gold or something!

I love cooking with onions and put them in just about every recipe that doesn't include sugar or some kind of sweetener, so when I see a box full of onions I'm thinking stir fry, stew, soups, chili, omelets... blooming onions!

The problem with getting a box full of onions is that despite the fact that I use onions almost every day in one recipe or another, there is no way possible that I could use 60 onions before they began to spoil.  But they're like gold to me, remember?  I couldn't let them go to waste.

So I chopped them up, all at once.

Well, maybe not all of them... and certainly not all at the same time.  More like about 30 of them, one at a time.  My eyes ran out of tears after about the 4th onion.

And now two days later I still smell like the condiment tray of a weenie wagon. 

I've tried every thing... soap, water, soap and water... lemon juice, a wash cloth, a scrubbie, shampoo, shower gel, lotion, even bleach.

Now my hands are squeaky clean, silky smooth and they smell like spring flowers... sauteed in onions.

Any suggestions?  I'm willing to try just about anything short of amputation.

p.s.:  We're baby proofing the house... Little Ryott, his mom and brothers are coming to stay with us in a couple of weeks.  Yipee!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


How can you screw up on a recipe that only has 6 ingredients?  Simple... just give the recipe to ME!  It was a basic bread recipe, flour, sugar, salt, shortening, water and yeast.  I was doing okay until I got to the yeast part.  I'm not a baker.  I think the last time anyone baked anything in my house was when my sister Lisa was here in March.  I seem to recall her saying something about my jar of yeast being a little old.

That little jar of yeast is now 8 months older.  For some reason I thought that a little pinch more would help just in case the yeast was too old and tired to rise.  Okay, maybe it was a little more than a little pinch, but the yeast was expired by over a year!

The dough was real slow to rise and I waited over 3 hours for it to double in bulk.  The soft dough was giving off a nice, strong yeasty aroma and I dug in to make my manapua.  The dough was real elasticky and when I stretched it out, it almost immediately shrank back to its original shape.  No biggie, I just had to work faster.

I stuffed and shaped them, then steamed them for 20 minutes.  Everyone's mouth was drooling by the time the kitchen timer buzzed.  The bare minimum time allotted for cool down and we dug in.

And then we spit it all out.

The filling was delicious, but the steamed bun tasted like 101 proof Everclear.  Confused I grabbed the ball of unused dough.  Even before I got it close to my face I could smell the fermentation and my eyes began to water from the fumes.

Is that normal?  Is that even possible?

Drunk bread.  I'm sure there's something I can exploit there, maybe a new  taste sensation.  But not for manapua

The Oompas went to bed hungry last night.

Tonight = Tobasco Steak.

Well, I've already screwed that one up too. I didn't have enough Tobasco sauce to marinade the meat in so I substituted Franks Hot Sauce.  Hopefully it won't matter too much.

Other wise the Oompas will go to bed hungry again.

(I felt so guilty that I actually got up early this morning on my day off and made them breakfast.)

Incidentally, as I sit here blogging and sipping on a glass of cheap boxed Zinfandel I can't help but notice the similarity in smell and taste of the wine and last night's bread... very interesting!  I'm going to have to try it again, maybe with a garlic topping and a little extra virgin olive oil for dipping.

Monday, November 5, 2007


For me a good day is a day without a call from a teacher.  I'd have the operator screen my calls at work, but I think the teachers have figured that one out and now make the Oompas call me themselves to give the bad news.

ISS = In School Suspension.

I may be mistaken but I don't think any of my teachers ever had to call my parents... Well, except for that honey bee incident, and that wasn't entirely my fault because I specifically told that stupid boy NOT to squeeze his hands together once he cupped them over the bee on the flower...

And that sprained wrist never would have happened if that other boy hadn't tried to run away like a sissy when I twisted his hand ever so gently behind his back and up to his shoulder...

All in all I think my folks got off easy as far as I was concerned.  But not me.  I've had the food fight call, the 'kicking the kid in the face' call, the unauthorized making of foil Star Wars fighting vehicles in Math class, the 'hasn't turned in any homework all year' call, you name it, my kids have done it and you can be sure the school/s have called me about it.

So yeah, does that old 'till death do us part'  bit in our wedding vows apply to the kids as well?

Okay, not really, I'm just kidding... but it would kind of be nice to know... just in case, cos you never know when the option might come in handy, one day, some day, after the millionth call from the school.

Only one call so far this week.  Of course this is only Monday.  And that was only one Oompa.  I still have two others in school, and each Oompa has 7 teachers.  That still leaves 20 phone call opportunities. 

I can hardly wait.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


According to sources (and the date of my last posting) I haven't posted here since October 17th.  Wow!  Has it really been that long?  Well, while things may have slowed down on the Dust Bunny blog, its been the exact opposite in the House of Oompa.

First of all, the Mesa Ridge Marching Band made it to the State Marching Band Finals and competed in Fort Collins where after 3 days of competitions they placed 6th in their division.  That's one place up from last year.  Yay Pride Of Mesa Ridge!  Way to go Becca and Art!

Zack is now a licensed driver... ohhhhhhhhhh, scary!  We're still waiting to hear if and when they want him to return to Florida.  The job now comes with conditions.  He will have to cut his long flowing locks due to the nature of the job.  (heavy machinery + long hair = safety hazard).  I'm trying to act disappointed for him, but truth be known I really don't mind him being home a little longer.

Rocky dressed up as a 'J-Rocker' for Halloween.  For those of you who aren't familiar with 'J-Rock', its short for 'Japanese Rock'.  Hello Rocky, you're Okinawan!  Okinawans don't pretend to be Japanese, they just don't!

So now Rocky is an 'O-Rocker', that would be short for 'Okinawan Rocker', of course!

I guess O-Rockers have purple hair.

Gabe says 'Hey' from Baghdad.  And his maybe not so ex wrote me an email saying that she was trying to move back to Colorado with the children... and my Grandbaby.  Yay Kimmie!  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but its hard not to be excited by the prospect of having one of my Grandoompas living near by.  And he has brothers.... more Little Oompas!  Hehehehe.  Allthat would be missing is Little Zack and Gabe.  (heavy sigh).  Who knows, maybe one day... some day...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I'm doing it again.  I promised myself I wouldn't, but I'm doing it again.  I'm prowling the web for information, anything... new or old, about my son, his unit, his base, and OIF in general.  I even visited the Final Roll Call site (so sad, I cry every time).  I need help!  And truffles!  Yeah, chocolate truffles.  And maybe some stinky smoked oysters.  And wine?  From a box?  Circa 2006?  Yeah, that would do the trick!  I'm feeling better just thinking about it.

Dickidoo is still in the woods with the Geriatric Hunting Club.  Thats what I call him and his little group of hunting buddies.  I keep threatening to get him a walker, cover it with camo duct tape and slap a gun rack on it, with maybe a little toilet paper holder on one side.  I haven't heard from him since the day he left last week.  They should be home today or tomorrow.  I hope he's over his cold by now.  Its been so peaceful in the house without all of his hacking and coughing.  Still, it'll be nice to have someone to pick on again.    The house really has been almost too quiet. 

Art and Becca leave for the State Marching Band Championship in Fort Collins tomorrow.  They are currently 8th in their division.  Yay Mesa Ridge!  Hopefully they will make it to the finals and Dickidoo will drive us up on Saturday to watch them compete.

Its been nice having Zack back home.  He's still a computer hog though.  He has a new laptop, but he doesn't like the little finger pad thingie so he's always on this thing.  What a guy!  I'm making him buy a mouse for the laptop today!  We only have him for another week or so.  Dickidoo's friend who got him the job is already calling to ask when he is coming back.  Hey, I just got him back!  Give me a second buddy!  Grrrrrr!  Oh well, they won't hold his job forever.  I just hope he has time to get his license before he leaves again.

Well, Rocky is home sick today, with the flu most likely.  I just fed her breakfast and now she's acting bored so I better go and give her a little TLC, poor little thing.  If she's feeling bad now, she's going to feel like kaa-kaa tomorrow!  Ah, but Daddy will be home by then.  Dickidoo tends to fuss over his little girls when they get sick.  Hmmmm, what about me Big Guy, huh?  What about me!  I was sick first!  I gave you the cooties, remember?  When do I get some of that TLC huh?  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!  I hate being self sufficient sometimes.  Oh well, where are those truffles?

Only happy thoughts for Camp Striker.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Kayla Woodhouse is a 10 year old with a rare condition that leaves her body unable to register pain or regulate heat the way an average human would.  A trip outside could kill her.  The warning twinge of pain that would stop any other person from touching a hot surface or sharp object goes un-noticed, potentially resulting in serious injury to Kayla.  Unfortunately protecting the vivacious 10 year old from the elements and herself does not come cheap.  Bills from a recent emergency brain surgery (unrelated) forced them to sell their home and the Woodhouse family found themselves in a financial nose spin that seemed unstoppable.

Enter a big hearted community, family and friends... and Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.  In a week's time Ty Pennington and his crew constructed a custom climate controlled home for the family, including a bowling alley, ice cream parlor and movie theater in the basement. 

1000's of spectators showed up for the reveal on Sunday.  The Pride of Mesa Ridge (the Oompa's High School Marching Band) was asked to perform and naturally I had to be there to witness their national TV debut.  Check out the camera checking me out, hey, I may even be on TV!  I'll be the one wearing the tan Bronco tee shirt on.  (the Bronco's lost, but I love them anyhow).

The Kayla Woodhouse, Fountain Colorado episode is scheduled to air sometime in December.

Did you know that Ty Pennington wears Calvin Klein?  Boxers I believe.

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Monday, October 8, 2007


Ahhhhhh, a sight for sore eyes.   Its so nice to have Zack back in the fold.  And OMG~ the muscles on that boy's arms are unbelievable!  I'm sure I can find something around the house for him to do to keep him toned before he has to go back to his job in Florida.

Its cold and flu season in Colorado, YAY! ~ Not!  I've been popping drugs all day.  The good thing is that I usually only get two bouts of the bug a season so this makes one down, only one more to go.  I can deal with that.  Dickidoo is starting to feel some of the early symptoms.  Needless to say he's not too happy at me for bringing the coodies home but he'll get over it... at elk camp this weekend.  Hahahahaha!  Oh, he is really NOT liking me right now!

"tell everyone i said hey. love yas
gabriel "

I love that he can get online even half way across the globe in a battle zone.

 13 Days Closer To Home!

Friday, October 5, 2007

HAPPY OCTOBER... bring it on!

I have been having a pretty ho-hum month, and its only 5 days old... but something happened this evening that just perked it all up.

#1:  Zack comes home tomorrow night, WOO HOO!  We don't speak the same language, he speaks 'smart' and I speak fluent 'huh?', but I sure have missed his intellectual conversation.  And maybe now someone will appreciate the suppers I cook while they are still hot!

#2:  The Tamale Lady has returned, and I actually had money to buy some!  Her tamales are a bit expensive at $1.25 each, but oh buddy are they worth it!  She sells them on the side of the road, still warm from an Igloo cooler out of the trunk of her car.  They are the best, and I love her for it.

#3:  GABE CALLED!  And he is in a safe location.  As usual he sounded great, like he was calling from right next door rather than clear on the other side of the world.  He's got a bit of a cough, due no doubt to the change in climate.  He had the same thing almost the whole time he was there the last time.  Cough and all, it was wonderful to hear his voice.

The Oompas are competing with the marching band again this year.  Rocky got to play the quad drums with them at the homecoming game and was tickled pink.  Becca is a flag twirler, oops, sorry... color guard, and Art is back on the tuba.  The Pride of Mesa Ridge has really made a name for itself and will be playing during the reveal for an episode of 'Extreme Home Makeover' that is being filmed just down the way on Sunday.  (watch for the upcoming Colorado episode).  And I get to be a chaperone on Wednesday when they go to the regional competition.  I was just going to drive along behind the buses to take pictures but the school did a background check on me and invited me to ride along on the bus with them.  How cool is that!  No doubt they decided after viewing the results of my background check that the students were actually safer with me in the bus rather than following behind in Big Red, but that's okay with me.  More photo opportunites and I get a free roundtrip ride to the competetion.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Happy Birthday ReBecca.  May this year just mark the beginning of a beautiful, wonderful future.

Love Mom~

Sunday, September 30, 2007

INSTA-THONG (don't try this at home)

I have to stop dressing for work in the dark.  I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if I were to get my clothes ready before I went to bed but most mornings find me feeling around in the dark for something similar to a khaki pants and  a navy blue polo shirt.  This morning my blind fashion feel resulted in a pair of jeans I haven't worn in years.

I didn't think they would fit this morning since they hadn't fit the last time I tried to squeeze them on, but hey, I have lost 15 pounds according to my broken scale so I thought it was worth a try.  A little shimmie, a little redistribution of my generous curves and I was able to zip up those Lee jeans.  Yes!


The one thing that I didn't consider while strutting around in my skinny pants was the consequence of wearing granny panties (full size women's briefs) under tight fitting jeans.  That would be the old excess panty displacement theory.  While rearranging my fluffiness to fit the jeans, the volume of fluff contained by my granny panties decreased, leaving a surplus of smooth comfort cotton blend sandwiched between my self and the straight jacket jeans.  While the snuggness of the waist band offered no discomfort, the seam line was another story... the butt and crotch seams to be exact.  For some reason they seemed compelled to seek out the path of least resistance.

The result:  Insta-thong!

I'm sure this could be the start of some bizarre new fashion trend, "convertible panties: one minute a full sized brief, the next minute its a butt flossing thong!",  but its not my style.  I spent the whole day fighting my self imposed wedgie.  Never again, Grrrrrrrrr!
lost again, but thats okay... maybe next week.

Greeting from Gabe in sunny Kuwait.

Friday, September 28, 2007

KLINGON DIRTY DISH FAIRY? (don't count on it!)

Its another Friday night home alone.  I'm starting to get used to these, but its still fresh enough to where I find myself sitting around doing nothing, just enjoying the peace and quiet.  I'll get organized, motivated and inspired... later.  Tonight I procrastinate.

Dickidoo is on a temporary late schedule for work which means he has the mornings off.  For any other red blooded American that would mean sleeping in, but not my Dickidoo.  He has been doubling as.... THE DIRTY DISH FAIRY!  YAY!  And this morning, after I had already gone to work, he got up and made the Oompas a hot breakfast before they left for school.  Yay²!

Today after work I found myself thinking about the growing pile of dirty dishes on the counter and how it would be a shame to waste all his hard work and let them get out of control like they had been recently but I just couldn't bring myself to get up off of the couch to wash them.  So I tried an old Klingon trick I learned from Mr. Spock years ago on 'Star Trek', the old 'washing dishes mind meld'.  Okay, maybe it was the 'Bewitched' nose wiggle or 'I Dream of Jeannie's' pony tail flip because the mind meld sure as heck didn't work.  Those dirty dishes are still there just as dirty as before and I think they might even be multiplying.   Grrrrrr!  Where's that Dirty Dish Fairy anyhow?

Oh lookie, I can add a poll on my journal.  How cool!  Hmmm, what can I poll? 

I know!

p.s.:  Did you know that Gabe is


Thursday, September 27, 2007


Trust the Oompas to brighten up my day.  Rocky drew this little dust bunny on the computer using a series of circles, lines and ellipses.  Cool huh?  (Thanks Rocky, its adorable!)

Zachary extended his stay in Florida for a few more days so he can finish out the work week and catch a motorcycle rally with our friends.  He'll be home on the 6th, but only for a couple of weeks.  I love how confident he is in his plans for the future.   I might have to take over his bedroom though, my computer corner is really getting crowded. 

Gabe took off for the land of my nightmares some time yesterday.  I don't know what time, it didn't matter.  I have decided that this time I won't keep track of time other than to say that he is that much closer to coming home for good. 

Let the countdown begin.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have been walking around in a trance these days, pacing like an expectant parent, so completely wrapped up in my own self pity party that I haven't been there for the kids, who are just as pained as I am. 

Becca and Rocky found this video online and seem to find comfort in the song so I would like to dedicate it to them.  We have a very long wait ahead of us but together I know we will pull through and before we know it, we will be planning one heck of a reunion.

Love you my Baby Dolls,


Monday, September 24, 2007


Hey Mr. Sun don't you hurry away.

Why must you always retreat with the day.

Who is the man who lives on the moon?

I'd like to ask him not to light it too soon


A simple poem, written by a teenager in simpler times.  I composed it years ago when my young nephew continuously bombarded me with questions I had no answers for.  I used to sing it to him on my hard earned Matrix round back acoustic guitar, out of tune and off key.  Eventually he learned the words and sang along, never seeming to notice or care that I hadn't really answered any of his questions.

Why do the rivers flow down to the sea?

Where does the wind go when it passes me?

Why can't I fly like a bird?

I wonder why can't I breath like a fish down under the sea?

The words were later sung to sooth my own babies to sleep. My babies... They have all grown up and today the song takes on a whole new meaning.

And they're just questions on their minds,

You know they're asking all the time.

What can you tell an innocent child

About life?

What can you tell anyone about life? 

That you cherish it.  That you protect it.

And that it does go on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Zachary flies home on October 1st.  I can't wait.  I have missed my intellectual son.  This shall probably only be a visit since he has decided to stay with the company for a bit longer in order to achieve some of his future goals.  That's okay, I'll take what I can get, starting with a big hug!  My baby is growing up... Yay! (sniff, sniff, sigh!)  I keep fussing about how I can't wait till they're all out of the house, but dang, I love my Oompas to pieces.

Uh oh, I feel a chocolate truffle and Corona moment coming on!  (Something tells me I'm going to have a lot of those moments in the months to come, thank goodness for good friends like you!)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I love the moon, especially the full moon. 

Never did I think that I might not welcome it.  Each night this week I found myself staring at the sky, in awe of the moon's soft beautiful glow, noting sadly how each night it is larger and brighter.  Like an hour glass filling with sand, time is running out.

This week, when the moon is at its fullest, please say a prayer or wish for Gabe and his friends.

Thank you.


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Is there such a thing as too much happiness?

I believe there is.

And when a person becomes too happy, the happiness is taken away.

Just when I thought that I could finally be a real grandmother, not just a signature on the bottom of a birthday or Christmas card, I get the news that things are not working out between Gabe and his fiancee... his now 'ex' fiancee, the mother of his new born baby boy.  He is heart broken.

So am I.

I want my son to find true happiness.  I thought he had.  I want him to know the magic of raising his own family.  I guess it just wasn't meant to be... not now, not yet.

I want to be the best grandmother I can but I can't help but feel cheated.

Was it really just last night that I posted those beautiful pictures of Gabe and his new family?

If you can't find anything nice to blog about, don't blog.

Excuse me while I don't blog.

Saturday, September 15, 2007



I've been spelling it wrong all this time, its Ryott Angel, and he truly is a Little Angel isn't he?  I can see his Daddy in him, but his good looks obviously come from Mommy.

Welcome to the family Kim.  Can't wait to meet you and all the little ones.  We're baby proofing the house just in case (super dooper hint hint!)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

TALKING TO AN ANGEL, and Dickidoo shared!

I got to talk to little Riot Angel (cool name huh?) last night.  He said 'Waaaaaaaaaahhhhh!  Uh.... waaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!'  I think that meant 'I'm hungry Grandma Jojo, tell them to give me my bottle!', but I'm only guessing since I couldn't see his facial expression.

Kim sounds great, she's such a proud Mother.  And Gabe, well, his heart just grew a little bit bigger to accommodate all the love he has now for his two sons.  Gabe has another year of service, which gives me a year to talk them in to settling a little closer to home.  Of course I would love to have Kim and the kids here while Gabe is deployed but her mother's health remains an issue.  Its so hard not to be selfish.  Personally I think the climate here would be better for her mother (hint hint Grandmother Connie).  And well, I know little Zack would love it here so maybe he could move his Mama and baby sister here too. 

Well, I can dream can't I?

Oh... and guess what?  Dickidoo shared his camera and I didn't even have to ask!  He just kept leaving the camera home for me.

Maybe he read my belly aching here, or maybe he was just feeling generous.  It doesn't matter, I took advantage of it.  I'll try to post some pictures on my photo blog tomorrow.  Man, I LOVE that Nikon D80Gotta get me one for myself!

I'll bet it could take some great pictures of my two grandbabies.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


It rained today, long and hard.  The raindrops pelted the rooftop and sounded like a timpani.

I cried along in harmony.

Its been a while since I last cried, I mean really truly cried, from the heart and gut... probably not since Gabe returned from Iraq.  These should be the happiest times of my life.  I'm a grandmother for the second time.  My children are healthy and happy.  My son survived the war in Iraq.  My Mama survived her own battle with cancer.  My husband and I survived each other.  I should be shouting for joy.

But instead I cried. 

My quilt was as wet as the ground outside.

The tears solved nothing.  I don't know when I will see either of my grandbabies.  My son is still going back to Iraq this year.  My Mama begins chemotherapy tomorrow.  I have a few more cobwebs... you know where... and I still don't have a camera.

But I sure feel better.  I feel like I can handle tomorrow and anything it has to throw at me.

More rain in the forecast.  That's okay.  The grass needs it, and so do I.


Congratulations Kim and Gabe.

Welcome to the world little Riot Angel. 

Love, Grandma Jo~

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I stepped on the scale with both eyes closed and waited a minute before sneaking a peak.  150.  Yay me!  I'm still mystified by how I could have lost the weight although Dickidoo is skeptical.  I hardly think its the scale because I don't hear anyone else rejoicing about how they lost 15 pounds as well when they weigh themselves... so it must just be me.  Woo hoo!

Maybe its all the stinky food I enjoy eating.  For instance last night I munched on smoked trout and green olives stuffed with bleu cheese.  Mmmmmm! but peeeeee-uuuuu!  I may be looking better but nobody is going to want to get close to me cos I stink!  I know, I know... it can't possibly be healthy, but neither were those 15 extra pounds I was packing so my Miracle Stinky Food Diet remains.  Pass the bleu cheese olives please.

Mama has a catheter type thingie that will be used to administer her chemo.  She talks about it like one would a side ache.  She's lost weight, and then put a little back on.  She wonders if she should cut her thick salt and pepper hair, just in case.  She doesn't know how to act like a cancer patient.  She feels bad because she doesn't feel sick and yet everyone wants to help her.  She feels like a fake...  her words not mine.

"Mama," I said, "people just want to help you.  It helps them to feel less helpless.  We can't cure you, so let us do what we can for you instead.  It makes us feel useful when there is nothing else we can do."

Her doctor still maintains that she can expect a full recovery.  She says she already feels like herself again.  Yay Mama!

The crayfish escaped yesterday and I spent the afternoon and evening tearing the foyer and downstairs apart looking for it.  My search attempt lasted hours and was in vain.  Art came home after 10 and found the mud bug almost immediately... in the laundry room floor drain.  After a difficult extraction, and some heavy duty TLC the crustacean is back in the tank with Henry Goldfish. Not surprisingly the crawfish doesn't seem interested in climbing up the plastic plants to the top of the tank any more.

Rocky was sick the other day so I brought home a couple of monarch caterpillars.  I think every child should have the opportunity to watch the magical metamorphism of a butterfly at least once in their life.  Rocky is feeling much better now and is out with her friends.  I watch the chrysalis alone.  Oh well.

I'm not really sure what's going on with Dickidoo and me now days.  We don't fight, we don't even disagree any more.  He just sits around waiting for me to morph into 'Suzy Homemaker Does Dallas'.  I think its finally starting to sink in after almost 24 years of marriage, that it just isn't happening.  Of course the smoked trout and bleu cheese stuffed olives don't help my situation any at all.  I do believe I now qualify for the 'Born Again Virgin' bumper sticker.

I passed a dandelion today, its bright yellow flower gone to seed and it waved its fluffy white head at me.  I knelt to make a wish and I found myself at loss for words.  I didn't know what to wish for.  I could ask for things to be fixed again, but then I would miss out on all the lessons yet to be learned.  I could wish for money but what fun is money spent without the added satisfaction of earning?  I contemplated happiness but happiness is a journey, not a one time event.  I have hopes and desires for others but who am I to force my wishes upon them?

So I stood up and looked back at the dandelion, still sporting a full head of fluff, then walked away, leaving the wish for someone else.  What I need cannot be fulfilled by a whimsical puff against a dandelion plume.

What I need I already have, I just need to remember how to find itagain.

Whoa... screech to a halt... STOP!  What was I thinking?  I LOVE to spend money I didn't have to earn.  That's the best kind of money to spend!  I want my wish back.  Where's that damn dandelion?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

DANG IT! and where I didn't lose any weight.

I didn't have beer and chocolates last night.  I did not celebrate.  I was sad because the camera repair center called to inform me that my Nikon was irreparable and they would be sending the body back to me for burial.  After that news I needed something stronger than beer.  I busted into Dickidoo's bottle of Maker's Mark and downed a couple of glasses to drown my sorrows.

It didn't work.  The camera is still dead this morning.  I feel as if I have lost part of my sight, that my vision has diminished somehow.

Yoo hoo, Dickidoo... SHARE DAMMIT!

Anyhow, while under the influence of Maker's Mark, I decided to experiment with my old wardrobe.  Yep, my blouses fit much better.  The buttons actually reach the button holes in some.  And jeans long discarded with defective zippers that don't close were miraculously fixed and I can wear them again.  Yay me!

The next experiment... the Oompas clothes!

I'm a skirt kind of gal so I grabbed a couple of skirts that had accidentally been hung up in my closet.  The first one slid on with no problem and I pranced around in it quite happily for the next 5 minutes.  Next up was a floral skirt.  This one was fitted in the front but gathered in the back.  It looked a bit small but hey, it had elastic in the back so I eased it down over my head and around my arms.  It fit beautifully and once again I pranced around like a child, until it was time to take the skirt off... and it wouldn't slide back up over my arms.

No biggie, I'll just slip it down over my hips.

Okay, so now I know for a fact that the amazing weight loss that I experienced over the summer did NOT include my big butt.  Its still big.  Too big in fact to fit through the opening of an elastic waisted skirt.  Grrrrr!

It took me about 10 minutes to wiggle out of that dang skirt.  It was a slow process that had me easing this side a little then going to the other side and trying to push the outstretched garment over my even more outstretched cheeks.  That gave me lots of time to view the whole vision in the full length mirror on the wall in my bathroom.

I have the dark bronzed face, arms and legs of an island girl but the belly, boobs and butt of a white woman.  I need to even out my tan.  I need to skinny dip!

Hmmmm... I wonder if all my neighbors in the back work during the day?  I hope so because its time for a little indecent exposure!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DON'T KNOW WHAT, but I must be doing something right.

I bumped into a friend while grocery shopping and she proceeded to brag about how her dog had lost 32 pounds on the diet he was on.  A dog lost 32 pounds! 


The secret?  Simple, the dog eats what my friend feeds him.  He is at the mercy of what and when she feeds him.  There is no will power involved... which was promising since will power was a strength I never quite developed.

Inspired by the dog's weight loss, I rushed home, emptied my bladder, removed all excess clothing and stepped on the bathroom scale to log a starting point on my latest weight loss attempt.

Holy canolli!  That can't be true!

I hopped off, then stepped back on.  I rubbed my eyes and backed off.  I tapped the scale with my foot, then kicked it for good measure.  The needle rested precisely on 0.  I drew in a deep breath and got back on the scale one more time.  The wheel swung to the right, then to the left, and then settled exactly where it had the first two times.

I am forced to accept that the scale reading is accurate.  (bite your tongues all you party poopers who might suggest that the scale may actually be broken).

I have lost 15 pounds since the beginning of summer.

Its probably the average daily temperatures of 90+ degrees that is causing my fat to melt away because it sure isn't exercise.  Perhaps I've discovered this summer's new beer and chocolate fad diet. 

Or maybe it was all that humus I ate this week~

No matter, what ever the reason at this rate I shall surely catch up with my friend's dog.

15 pounds!  Do the math, that makes me 150.  Dang, I haven't been this light since I was 7 months pregnant with Rocky... 13 years ago.  I feel sexy!

Well, as sexy as one can feel while still haunted by yesterday's humus.

And being as I have lost all those pounds without even trying, I see no reason to change my eating or exercise habits.

Tonight I celebrate with beer and chocolates!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Its the first day of school, that's what it is.  Listen, what do you hear?  I'll tell you what I hear.  I hear me, myself and I.  And nothing else.  Nobody else.  I had to work but I observed a moment of silence at 7:25, about the time the first bell would be ringing.

I took a picture of the remaining Oompas last night as they prepared for school.  I'm sure all of their teachers will just be tickled pink to have them in their class this fall.  

By the way, for those of you who find yourself wondering, no those aren't the Oompas real pearly whites.  I bought the Bubba Teeth for the girls to wear the next time the men on the construction crew working down the block try to flirt with them.  Quite obviously nobody has warned them not to mess with the Oompas.  (and if the sweet Bubba smiles don't work, there's always the old Dickidoo Intervention and Intimidation routine.  That will make a believer out of anyone!)

Monday, August 20, 2007


Zack called and is feeling much better.  They kept him in the ER for an hour, treating him for an unknown allergy.  He is taking two different kinds of meds and is feeling much better.  The swelling has gone down but he is still very sore. 

He is very sure that it isn't seafood related.  He's always been very careful to avoid any kind of seafood, much as he loves crab and shrimp.  The weird part is that only the areas exposed to the air were affected, his face, neck, arms and hands.  That his tongue swelled as well makes me think it was airborne. 

At any rate he's doing much better.  The guys at work are teasing him that he's just homesick (awwwwwwwww... I miss you too Zachary!) but I'm pretty sure its something more complicated than that.  I'm just relieved that the medicine is helping, even though the cause is still a mystery.

Thanks again folks.  As always, you have been a great source of comfort and support when things go a little wacky here in my life.  Love you all,


Oops, in a good way...

Don't know how it was possible being as I was counting down the days until school started since the first day of summer vacation.  Last night over a combined birthday dinner for Art and Rocky I remarked that the kids had one more week of freedom only to be corrected by a surprised Becca.

"Mom, school starts on Tuesday... as in the day after tomorrow Tuesday, not next week Tuesday!"

How could I have lost track of time so bad that I lost an entire week?  How could I have made such a huge mistake?  A huge WONDERFUL mistake!  School starts tomorrow.  Woo Hoo!

So anyhow, I wanted to do a little birthday video of Art, and Gabe's birthday was on the 17th... and I totally spaced those out too so here are a couple of re-runs.  Three kids born in the same month.  Can you guess when the coldest month of the year was for us in '83, '88 and '93?


The only problem with having school start one week earlier than anticipated is that I had to do my last minute school shopping before payday instead of after payday.  Dang, that hurt.

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

Hmmmm, just got off the phone with Dickidoo.  Seems Zack is in the emergencyroom in Florida.  He's having some kind of bad reaction to something.  All Steve could tell me was that Zack called and said his face, arms and tongue were swelling bad and they don't know why.  And all I can do for the time being is to sit here by the phone and wait for a call.

I hope he didn't eat any seafood.  He's always avoided it because he said the last time he ate it (about 5 years ago) it made him feel funny.  What ever it is, I hope its nothing serious.  Man, I wish Florida wasn't so far away.  Grrrrrrrr!