Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I shall be waking up in Hawaii.  In fact it will probably be this same time, O'dark hundred, because my darn internal alarm clock doesn't adjust to days off and trips to Hawaii but that's okay.  I'll be close to my parents and siblings and the ocean.... far far away from the snow and cold.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get online to check in or not.  I don't imagine there will be any Internet connection where I'll be staying.  9 days offline.  That will be like trying to hold my breath for 9 days.  No doubt it will be easy the first hour or so, but after that I shall probably start shaking, gasping and going through withdrawals.  The company will more than make up for my loss though... and the absence of winter. 

My oldest sister is here.  We look a lot alike.  We're kind of similar personality wise as well.  She's like me... with a strong Southern accent.  I'm like her, with shorter legs.

Oompas, please be good for your dad.  His birthday was yesterday, he's old now (Happy Birthday Dickidoo!) and doesn't remember what its like to be a teenager.  No eye rolling and keep the attitude to a minimum.  And please try to pick up the laundry room before we get back home.  Auntie will be here for a week after Hawaii and she will eventually want to go in there.  I'd hate for her to get lost under the piles.

Dickidoo... patience.  Thats all I ask. 

See you all in 9 days.   


Saturday, February 17, 2007

MISSING IN ACTION and Dickidoo's birthday present

Dickidoo wasn't home when I got home from work.  He had dropped Becca off at the school for the Solo and Ensemble competition just before I got home and didn't come home until hours later.

The reason... he had gone to the Sportsmens Warehouse... without me!  How dare he!

While he was there he purchased a pellet gun, a bunch of pellets and a target.

"Happy Birthday sweetie," I said.  "It's the least I could do for you being as you bought me my plane ticket."


By the way, Becca and Art both ranked 'Superior' in their respective Solo and Ensemble competitions.  Way to go Oompa!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

MORE SNOW, Valentines and a puppy?

It snowed lightly off and on yesterday.  I watched it, thinking about Art's friend and her heart broken family.  The picture of the accident haunts me.  Its horror is contagious and I won't let the kids go anywhere while the killer ice is on the roads.  I don't want to drive on it either.  I have felt its treachery just recently when I myself slid into another truck.  Fortunately no one was injured and the vehicles only sustained minor damage.  I am weary from worry.  Yet as I watch the delicate flakes flutter gently to the earth, sparkling like diamonds only to melt silently against the warmth of my hand I am amazed by its simplistic perfection.  How could anyone fear and dislike something so beautiful?

Oh yeah, because its fricken freezing and I am sick and tired of being cold!  Grrrrrrrr!  Where is the spring?  Where is that groundhog Punxsutawney Phil ?  If I see him I'll shoot his hairy little butt, that stupid lying rodent! 

Is it time to go to Hawaii yet?

Dickidoo surprised me for Valentine's with a long stemmed rose, a gold wrapped bottle of Bacardi, a can of stinky smoked oysters (yummy, love those things, and I have a can all to myself!) ribeye steak for supper and Tirimisu for dessert.  In a strange reversal of roles it was I who gave HIM chocolate, in the form of a giant Hershey Kiss stuffed with even more Hershey kisses. 

Rocky called from her friend's house asking if she could have a puppy.  Nope.  These kids can't even take care of the pet they do have, and he's just a goldfish swimming in a little tank.  (Actually he's back in the pot until his aquarium gets cleaned out.)  Rocky pretty much offered to clean the entire house as a bribe and as tempting as it was, the answer was still no.  I'm just not ready for another Oompa, especially a four legged one that would turn the back yard into a mine field... and its a Rottweiler.  Rottweilers don't make normal doggie doodie, they plant canine WMDs!  (Henry's turds may be 6 inches long but they're less than 1/8th of an inch thick.)  Sorry Rocky, NO PUPPY!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


(Just had to share this because it gave me a very well needed laugh.)

Zack hates Valentine's Day.  Thats probably because he has never been in love... in real, true, deep and passionate love.  One day he will quite happily stand at the end of a very long line to purchase an overly reproduced saccharine sweet Hallmark card covered with glitter and the red cellophane wrapped heart shaped box of Russell Stover's chocolates melting between his sweaty hands for the woman of his dreams and he won't mind.  He won't mind one bit.

But not today.  Today he minds.  Today he  hates Valentine's Day.  He has however expressed a desire to play Cupid.

"I'd get a sling shot and shoot everyone with Hershey's Kisses,' he said enthusiastically, an evil glint lighting up his eyes.

I suppose I should be alarmed but I find that I'm just happy he is finally taking an interest in the most romantic holiday on the retailers calendar. 


I thought I was being clever to use love as the theme and to post it on Valentines Day.  Real unique huh?  I even had a mushy poem written out, full of sentimental clichés all neatly contorted and forced to rhyme.

But here I sit, after spending a sad night and morning with my children, and I find that my whole opinion of love has changed dramatically overnight.  Or maybe it has just enlarged and become more defined.  I am no longer satisfied with my original efforts but my mind is mush, I am emotionally spent.  My brain is dangerously close to freezing up and shutting down.  I cannot spout poetry, not even foofy sentimental clichés.  My words which until recently felt romantic now seem blasé, tepid and as sincere as the words in a 99¢ greeting card.  I found myself wondering if I really even knew what love was.

I'm 46 years old.  I've been married to the same man for 23 of those years.  That's half my life!  My parents and role models will be celebrating their 50th anniversary later this month.  If anybody knows love its me!  To prove this I began listing down all of my thoughts on what I believed love was.  I started with my most recent observations and worked my way back.  The list grew longer and longer and longer until I saw a pattern forming and I had to stop because I realized that I just didn't have enough time or space to finish my list.

The pattern was simple and very obvious.  I was entering a new item to my list for just about every single day.  At that rate I would have a list approximately 16,955 lines long.  That's a long list and a whole lot of love.

Love is #16,955:  Love is siblings putting aside their differences to comfort each other in times of great sadness.

Love is #16,956:  Love is a father's hand on a son's shoulder with the silent message that it is okay to cryfor a lost friend.

Love is #16,957:  Love is pretending you don't hear or smell someone's fart to avoid embarassing them.

Love is #16,958:  Love is blogging about someone's farts because all is fair in love and blogging!  (No more brats for you Dickidoo!)


Here is a list of participating Bloggers:

Love Story by swmpgrly:  True love is for the birds, really!  (photo entry)

Love Story by princessaurora:  First dates are over rated, its the second date baby!

Love Story by dpoem:  Taking a break on Valentine's Day (or maybe a time-out!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now get crawling!

Do you have a Love Story to share?  Leave your link in the comment section so we can crawl over to your blog.

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It was supposed to be fun day....

Yesterday afternoon I took the Oompas to the store to invest in some Valentines... in the hopes that they might give one to my future in-law and set the date.  It started snowing while we were in the store, that fluffy, flurry stuff I like so much.  It was cold, but it was pretty.  We left the store full of light hearted laughter, catching snowflakes on our tongues and sliding across the parking lot like graceful ice skaters.

Later we would learn that the fluffy flurry that we had played in was a wolf in sheep clothing.  While we were shopping for Valentines, while the snowflakes floated gently down to the ground, it blanketed the ice on the road with a deceptive soft white blanket, hiding the danger beneath.  On the drive home we heard of an accident that had occurred just about the time we left for the store.  I was extra cautious with my last accident still fresh in my mind.  It was a slow drive home, but the truck was full of laughter and Valentines.

It was a typical night in Loompaland.  The Oompas were chattering about school as they prepared their Valentines.  Zack was watching the History channel in between loads of dishes.  Dickidoo and I were in the den drooling in front of the Food Network.  It was a typical night until Zack came down with the news.

'I think you need to talk to Art and Becca, they're both crying.'

I found my high schoolers in front of the computer, staring at a MySpace page.  Art's whole body was shaking as he sobbed silently.  Becca hugged him protectively.  They didn't speak, they couldn't speak.  They just stared at the screen.

'I heard from a source that something terrible happened to Noelle.  Is it true?' was the question from Art's screen name.

'Yes' was the reply.

The fluffy flurry that we had played so innocently in, the gentle snowfall that blanketed the ground in a soft white blanket had taken the life of a good friend while the condition of another friend remains uncertain.

This morning the mood was somber.  Valentines were collected and shoved in Walmart bags almost as an after thought.  Red eyes brimmed over with tears without notice.  Hugs were spontaneous.  Conversation was soft, almost in a whisper. 

But then there was laughter, soft and almost sad, with lopsided smiles as the resilience of youth engaged its survival mechanism.  It will be a tough day, with many more bouts of tears as friends turn to each other for comfort, but these kids are strong and they will carry on.

I cannot even begin to comprehend the heartache her family must be going through right now, to wake up and realize that yesterday really happened and the nightmare was true.

You are loved, Noelle, and so very missed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Its snowing outside.  Not a heavy snow.  Not even a soft, fluffy flurry.  This is more like a freezing rain thing, the kind that melts almost as soon as it hits the ground.  The kind that forms a layer of ice on your windshield that has to be scraped off with a chisel.  I'm so sick of winter I could scream.

Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog supposedly didn't see his shadow on February 2nd and predicted an early spring.   Hello people, he's a rodent, not a meterologist.  Didn't see his shadow huh?  Thats because the sun was blocked by a snow cloud!  Look out your own darn window, its still there!  And chances are you won't see your shadow either.

Early spring my butt!

Thats okay.  In one week I shall be flying south for the winter.  Woo hoo.

Monday, February 12, 2007

DICKIDOO'S GIFT THEORY, and a healthy nap

Dickidoo gave me a combined gift the other day for our Anniversary, Valentines and my birthday.  It was my plane ticket to Hawaii.  Awww, how sweet.... except for the fact that I had paid for the ticket myself!  Well, he figured that since he had to buy the groceries because I spent all my money on the ticket so with that reasoning he had in essence bought the plane ticket for me.

Nope Dickidoo, it don't work that way, but good try! 

His birthday is coming up, I wonder what I can give him that he bought for himself.  Actually... hehehehe... one year he really DID have to buy his own birthday present from me.  It was the gum ball machine that sits on the bar filled with pistachio nuts... He really wanted it, and I really wanted to get it for him but I didn't have the money for it so I had to bum the money off of him.   (Oops, maybe that's where he got the idea from... my bad!)

I have to admit though, I like when Dickidoo does the grocery shopping.  When he shops, he buys good stuff, like steaks and fresh fruit.  He grabs the brand name rather than the store brand, and he gets the MEGA packs.  I'm always calculating in my mind and trying to make my meager budget last for 14 days... that means pretty much generic everything, except for my coffee of course.  He doesn't even keep track, he just dumps stuff in the buggie.

So anyhow, Dickidoo's birthday is 5 days after Valentines Day.  He's told the kids that he wants a clean house for his birthday (yeah right, like that's gonna happen!) or he'll cut them off from the computer and the video games (okay, that might work...) He also told me what he wanted from me for his birthday (rather bold considering what he gave me for MY birthday).  We'll have to see about that.  I'm sure I can find something he's already got that he can have from me.

A recent study suggests that taking a half hour nap three times a week may reduce the risk of heart attack.  I don't know how accurate the study is, but if it involves taking anap, hey, it sounds good to me!

So, being the health conscious person that I am, I must bid you adieu so that I may go and take a heart healthy nap.

*Nope, its still not my birthday (September 13... don't forget the truffles).  Dickidoo just has a lousy memory for dates so he likes to lump everything all into one gift and get it done and over with.

Friday, February 9, 2007


The Oompas have been talking about Frito Lay Cheddar Jalepeno Cheetos for months but I'd never seen them in the store until the other day.   The potato chip dude delivered a case and  highly recommended them so I bought a bag.  Don't let the name fool you, the jalepeno is more flavoring than heat, they really are very tasty... and addictive! The 9 ounce bag claims to contain 9 servings.  I ate the equivalent of 3 servings!

Fortunately I had also bought a trial can of Coca Cola's new calorie burning Enviga sparkling carbonated Green Tea Peach energy drink.  Its full of antioxidants and caffeine which not only burns calories but energizes me so that I could conceivably burn even more calories if I should choose to do so.

I chose not to.

In a moment of uncontrollable weakness I had gobbled down 1/3 of a bag of Cheddar Jalepeno Cheetos, but washed it down with a can of Enviga which cancelled out all of the calories from the junk food... It was as if the Cheetos had never happened.

Enter Coca Cola's Godiva Belgian Blends Dark Chocolate Mocha!  At 200 calories for a 9.5 oz bottle I'm not the least bit concerned.  I'll just drink another Enviga when I'm done. 

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Dickidoo was in rare form this morning, banging on doors and barking orders to the kids at O'dark hundred.  Even as I tried to make a phone payment he was at max volume into his 'rise and shine' speech that almost resulted in a set of keys to the side of his face as his ranting was picked up by the automated phone operator and interpreted incorrectly.  Lucky for him I was able to correct it.  Had I had to start the whole transaction all over because of his tirade there would have been an ignition key in his ear and the house key up his nose.  I do not like making those automated phone payments and do not take kindly to having to repeat them.

Zack walked by and farted during that call, long and loud.  He's lucky Miss Roboto on the other end didn't hear it and punch in the wrong information or he would have had a set of keys sticking out of his face as well.  He did that on purpose, I know he did, I could tell by the way he and Dickidoo sat there snickering as I tried to concentrate on the call.  Grrrrrrrr.......

I worry about the family during my upcoming trip.  I won't be there to protect them from each other.  I won't be able to interpret teenagers to Dickidoo and reason with him.  I won't be able to support his decisions when the Oompas unfairly decide that he is being unfair.  I am afraid I will return home after 9 days of blissful exile to find that all of the Oompas have been  grounded until they're 40 and Dickidoo suffering from PTS on the couch with his eyes bulging and the veins in his forehead ready to burst.

Hmmmmm... I may need to stock up on a couple more Mai Tais while I'm in Hawaii so I'm in the right frame of mind to deal with that when I get home... cos I'm sure not going to worry about it there.

For those who are planning on sneaking away with me in my suitcase... well, I don't have a suitcase, so you'll all have have to squeeze into a backpack and duffel bag.  The plane leaves on the 20th at 11:55am from the Colorado Springs Airport.  Bring your bathing suits, I hear the water is fine!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

MORE FISH TALES (edited with photo)

Fish are considered a lesser pet, usually enjoyed by the tankful rather than individually.  They aren't exactly the kind of creature that one would brag about at the work place or mention in the Christmas newsletter, so why would someone want to blog about one?

Well, when the fish in question was rescued after being abandoned by a previous owner one might be tempted to blog about it.  And when the rescued fish is then entrusted into a family's care by a loved one who just joined the military, one would surely become attached.  When said goldfish single-handedly consumes a $40 community of tropical cousins there might be some anger amid the growing attachment.  When the fish resides for over a month in a referbished stew pot because everyone was too lazy to clean out the aquarium, and held no resentment when he was finally returned to his glass home one might become endeared to the creature.   When a fish greets his 2 legged family every time they pass by, enthusiastically wagging his tail like a puppy he is no longer considered a lesser pet.  And when any creature can lay a turd twice it's length, I don't care if you don't want to read about it... that is definitely blog worthy and I'm going to blog about it.  

So imagine my alarm when I walked past the aquarium and didn't see our beloved goldfish's gaping smile magnified through the glass.  Aside from the decorative ceramic cave placed on the center of the gravel bottom, the tank was empty.  Henry the Goldfish was missing!

No he wasn't.  A minute motion through the unusually cloudy water caught my attention and I saw a flash of gold through the hole in cave.  Henry had squeezed into his old hiding place in the cave.  Henry hadn't fit in that little cave since he was 2 inches long... almost 2 years ago.  Now almost 6 inches long I have no idea how he squeezed his fat fins into the cave but it was pretty obvious that he wouldn't be squeezing back out.  He was stuck tight! 

The Oompas took turns frantically trying to free him but to no avail.  The goldfish was almost folded in half and was wedged in so tightly that he could barely move.  I knew what had to be done.  The Oompas protested, knowing the danger, but they also knew that the only way Henry would be able to get out of the cave was for me to break the cave, and soon!  The boys tried to do it gently but time was of the essence.  Becca ran upstairs, almost in tears, not able to watch as I laid the cave on the carpet, Art wedged a pry through the holes in the cave in front of the fish to shield it and I smashed the top.

Henry flopped free and Zack scooped him up, quickly depositing him back into his now unfurnished tank.  Despite a few missing scales, Henry is fine.  He stretched out, swam into my submerged hand and blew a couple of bubbles at me before going back to feeding.  This morning he greeted me in his usual way, as if nothing had happened.

Stupid goldfish.

Edit:  I don't know who took this picture of Henry but here he is from last month.  Notice the cave down below in the background?  Yeah, the little bitty cave that is way smaller than he is?  Yeah, that cave... well, its no longer in the tank!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


For some reason I got a wild and crazy craving for hot sauce today so at lunch time I bought some popcorn chicken and potato wedges and smothered them in Louisiana Hot Sauce.  It was scrumptious and I ate every bite. 

My stomach hates me now and is threatening to move out.

I don't ever remember having heartburn before.  I would have remembered something like this.  Peptol Bismol, take me away!

Zachary gave me an indoor electric turkey frier for Christmas.  I used it for the first time last night to fry up homemade chicken tenders and french fries.  Becca and Rocky did the chicken.  By the time they were done there were white flour hand prints all over the kitchen and dining room.  We always have so much fun cooking.  I credit my mom with that, she enjoyed cooking so much that helping her was more fun than a chore.  While I'm not quite as neat and organized as she, I have inherited her gift for culinary creation and have passed it on to all of my children.  Even Dickidoo and the boys can be counted on in the kitchen.

Except for when it comes to doing the dishes.  Nobody likes washing up afterwards.  Zack is my Dirty Dish Fairy, but he's only part time.  Now I remember why I started doing all those microwave meals and paper plate buffets... I HATE WASHING DISHES!

2 more weeks and I will get to eat some of my Mama's home cooking.  Yahoo!  And Daddy already has the Corona and truffles ready and waiting.  Woo hoo!

BLOG CRAWL 2: Love Story

In honor of Valentine's Day, I would like to announce the theme for the next Blog Crawl as 'Love Story'.  To participate just post an entry in your blog relating to the theme.  It can be a story, a poem, a photograph, a graphic design or just random thoughts.  You can even use an old entry.  Just come back here by Tuesday, February 13th and leave a link for your entry in the comment section.  Then, check back on February 14th (Valentine's Day) to view all of the participating blogs and start crawling! 

Monday, February 5, 2007


First of all, my team... the Denver Broncos, weren't playing so I really wasn't into the Super Bowl.  I still felt compelled to choose a team to root on and while I believed that the Colts were the better team, I really wanted the Bears to win since they once were the greatest and I wanted to see them go all the way again.  The game itself was in my eyes what football is all about... big, muscle bound sweaty men in tight wet uniforms wrastling in the rain.  The scoreboard kept me on the edge of my sofa, waving my hotwings like pom poms when either of the teams scored.  Prince performed at halftime.  Thanks to Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction a couple of year ago I was denied a glimpse of the Purple Highness's hiney through his infamous cut-out jeans (damn you Janet!), but my disappointment was short lived by his performance.  What can I say, I just love the guy!

Even more disappointing than the final score though was the sorry line-up of commercials.  Like many people I place just as much importance on the commercials as I do the actual game.  High expectations are placed on these multi-million dollar ads and we want to be entertained.  This is probably the only time that the viewers actually anticipate the commercial breaks.  As each commercial started I found myself eagerly wondering if the next commercial would be the best and just knock my socks off.  It never happened.  At best I let out a couple of chuckles and an 'oh, that was cute', but there were no gut wrenching belly laughs. 

Where were the Clydesdales?  I saw them in the 'I want to be a Dalmation' commercial but no where else.  No football playing horses.  Not even the Bud vs. Bud Lite bottles.  And since when is it acceptable to play last year's commercials?  You're supposed to make NEW commercials guys.  Come on, get with the program!  And what's with all the stinkin' local commercials?  Colorado make lousy, boring commercials, I don't want to see them during the Super Bowl.  Grrrrrr!

Okay, I've got that out of my system.  Now... on to my new hobby.


Oh my gosh, this is so much fun!  You get the GPS coordinates online, and track the location down using your GPS.  Of course, it helps to know how to read the dang contraption.  We didn't have a clue on Saturday and spent the afternoon walking around getting hot, getting cold, getting hot and then cold again.  The geocaching coordinates are different than the ones Dickidoo uses at work so he wasn't much help.   We never did find the 'cache'.  That night Dickidoo and I did our homework, we got new coordinates, figured out our GPS and Sunday, before the game, the family tried again.

We kept this trip simple, staying within a few miles from the house.  Two caches were ammo boxes with trinkets that can be swapped out with something we brought (we left 'spirit rocks' with tribal hieroglyphics etched or painted on them).  The others were 'micro caches' that just contained a log to sign.  Aided by little hints left by the cache stashers we were able to find all four caches.  Go 'Team Snowfoot.'  Woo hoo!

Anyhow, it was a really cool way to spend my anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Dickidoo.  Where are my truffles?

Friday, February 2, 2007

FREEZER BURN and the 23rd Anniversary tailgate party

All this cold weather is really starting to get to me.  We had a wind chill factor of -19 this morning.  I think I have frost bite on the back of my legs.  Or at least freezer burn.  At any rate my legs itch like crazy and I'm constantly scratching like a mangy mutt.  But that's okay, its nothing a good soaking in the salty Pacific Ocean won't clear up.  18 more days and Aloha Oe!  Hawaii here I come!  Aya Aya!

This Sunday is not only Super Bowl Sunday, but it is also mine and Dickidoo's 23rd anniversary.  Normally we celebrate at Macaroni Grill, our favorite Italian restaurant, with lobster ravioli, wine and tiramisu but this year we're celebrating at half time with a deep fried turkey and beer.  Rocky and I are rooting for 'da Bears' while the rest will be cheering for the Colts.  Okay... I'll be honest, since the Broncos aren't playing I'm really just tuning in for the half time commercials.  Last year my favorite was Budweiser's 'The Streaker' (remember the clean shaven sheep amidst the Clydesdales?)  But as far as teams go... GO BEARS! 

Thursday, February 1, 2007

THE UN-SNOW DAY (a mother's revenge)

It snowed last night.  There was 2 inches on the ground when we woke up this morning, but there were no Oompas crowding in front of the television to see if the school district was announcing yet another snow day.  This morning it was eerily quiet as my school aged children readied for school.

The reason was that according to the School District Superintendent, there were 3 snow days and 2 late starts which dropped the students of the district below the minimum required instructional hours for the school year.  The missing hours would have to be made up.  Rather than adding the days to the end of the year, which would cost more in extra salary and expense hours, the district has opted to add 15 minutes to the end of each school day until the end of the school year.

The weather channel is predicted another 3 inches or so over night.  There may yet be another snow day.  I figure that may result in even more time added to the school day.  The Oompas are not happy at all and for the first time they are actually dreading a snow day. 

I, on the other hand, am loving it!  Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

p.s.:  Thanks for the wishes, but it is not my birthday  (Sept. 13... truffles... hint, hint, hint).  I just feel older each day. 


Arthur's Poem

This poem was written by my son Art and dedicated to his brother Gabe and the friends he lost during his tour in Iraq.  It was inspired by the book 'Blackhawk Down', which is a favorite read of Art's.  This kid plays the tuba, he wears baggy pants (mostly because he's so skinny), he says goofy things like 'bow chikka bow-wow' and 'your face is showing!' and listens to loud noise he calls music.  Who would have thought he could compose something as emotional and deep as this.