Thursday, March 29, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For the past couple of months I have been whining and belly aching about winter and how badly I wanted it to be done and over with.  I was sick of snow, and cold.  I wanted the warmth of spring.

Apparently the Great Maker heard my whine... er... wish, and decided to grant it.

Poof!   Its springtime in Colorado.

Springtime in Colorado is a time for rebirth and regrowth.  Its warmth and sunshine.  Its brightly colored flowers and lush green trees.  Its the birds and the bees, and baby animals.

Its pollen and hail storms, rain and mud.  Its mosquitoes and flies.  Its warm manure piles cooled by southerly winds.  Its cold and allergy season, and I am currently suffering from both. 

We had a short hail storm the day before yesterday with dime sized chunks of ice pelting us at 50 mph.  This evening's forecast... 40% chance of snow.  The same is predicted for tomorrow night.

So tell me again, why was I so excited about the coming of spring, because I seem to have forgotten.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

BLOG CRAWL 3, Before Computers

I tried to remember life before computers... I tried.  I sat and I thought, and then I thought and I sat.  Nothing.  A complete blank.  And so, as I often do when I have no where else to turn, I logged on the computer and Googled 'Life Before Computers'.  There was a bunch of ads from Amazon and dozens of links for joke sites, but no quotable research.  Therefore I can only conclude that life before computers did not exist.  It was a myth, a joke.  End of story.

Now, life SINCE computers, well, thats a whole different story!


 Wake up... grudgingly, (but then I remember the computer and I bounce out of bed.)

 Do my 'duties' in the bathroom, (quickly because the computer calls to me)

 Turn on the computer (this is a maneuver that can be completed in the dark thanks to a cyber-magnetic homing device in the tip of my right index finger)

 Pour a cup of coffee while waiting for Windows xp to load.  (too bad the computer doesn't load as fast as the coffee brews).

 Log on to AOL.

 Experience a feeling of peace and well being.

 Read e-mails from children who must forward any requests for funding or mediation.  This is the preferred method of communication since volume can be controlled and screen names can be ignored or deleted if need be.

 Read emails from spouse and wonder why he is fwd'ing a link to  Can't he see, I'm too busy to get a job!

  Check my horoscope so I know how I'm expected to behave today.

  Check lotto numbers to see if I'm a multi-millionaire yet.

 Realize that I am NOT a multi-millionaire yet.  Delete shopping cart at Macy's.

 Search for German bbq recipe to use for supper.

 Accept the risk of 7 years bad luck for deleting another Little Tommy chain letter.

 Consider ordering from the spammed penile enlarger catalog and switching them with spouse's One A Day vitamins just to see if it really works. 

 Log off as spouse's car turns up the driveway and turn on dishwasher to simulate work in progress.

 Intercept spouse on landing with beer and a promise to bring supper down while he relaxes on sofa infront of the TV.

 Rush upstairs and toss some frozen hotdogs into a pot on the stove.

 Log back on to AOL.

Here are this issue's participants:  Click on their links to read their memories on life before computers (oh, the horror!)

*pharmolo:  Blogcrawl - Before Computers ; Pencil, paper and 35mm film? 

*cmarlow330:  My very First Blog Crawl!!! ; (This guy was weaned on Windows!) "I use to know before we had one and I was miserable I cant belive I found ways to pass the time by hahahahaha when I was a kid with no pc.. lol"

Just a couple entries this time, but some amusing comments, take a look:

*swmpgrly:  "omg life without a computor. I d have to find a"

*ambassadorsinte (my dad):  "Now I do know what life was like before computers.  It was very noisy.  Everything was analog and was hooked up using gears, wheels, much frustration and sweat.  But it got me to the North Pole (Almost) and back, kept us on course with DRT using guitar strings and very good navigators.  I saw my very first real computer in 1961 and it was the size of Dornbrau's living room and used peanut tubes.  Came the transistor and diodes............came smaller computers that could be carried in a box (big box).  Yep, been there, done that."

*glensfork4:  "I remember BIG HUGE computers when I first started working at my first job, We had a seperate room for them. When the Fax machine first came out we were all so hyped up about it. We kept inventory counts on long metal trays and did all "update" manually....Orders by telephone, problem-solving, etc. But I will say I do love how convienent this generation is regarding PC's & such, but personal contact is LONG GONE for most. "

*hestiahomeschool:  " Lord, I remember all of those...and homeschooling was SO much harder without a computer..and we had to use a phone tree to communicate with all the other moms in our group, which was a pain."

*aiibrat:  "i remember windows 3.1 and my room-mate's/bestfriend's boyfriend would crash my computer.  ironic, i was always able to piece back together, but he couldn't.  more ironic that he works for google and makes millions and i'm merely an extraordinary peon.
i think i had more of a life before computers.  but, i have more fun with a computer."

*helmswondermom:  "{{shudder}} Yes, I do remember....but I try not to think about it!"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

BURN OUT and Hominy

Today is my first day off in 6 days, and I'm burned out.  I've been taking a healthy nap every afternoon when I get home, and yet I'm still dragging by 9pm, and whining for more sleep at 3am.  Maybe I need a longer nap.

Hominy... I love hominy.  Did you know that hominy is related to yellow corn?  Actually hominy IS corn, dried corn that has been soaked in lye to remove the outer casing, which is supposed to make it easier to cook, more tasty and (get this) easier to digest.  Wrong!  I made a lamb and hominy stew last night inspired by a Hopi mutton stew we ate in Keams Canyon, Arizona, and while my version was quite delicious, there was no doubt this morning what I ate the night before. The same 'chew your corn' advisory pertains to hominy. 

I made a dash into our local neighborhood over priced supermarket this morning to get some comfort food for one of the Oompas who is home sick (Get well Becca Bee) and was stuck at the end of the cue for the only register open.  When another lane was finally open I quickly moved over.  The bubbly cashier babbled about how she irritates her bosses while the stoic bagger methodically placed my fruits and vegetables into a plastic bag.  Their demeanor immediately changed when they realized that I worked for Wally World.

"I have NEVER seen ANY ONE there smiling." the bagger blurted out, speaking for the first time.  "NEVER!" he emphasized, his expression never changing.

Hmmmmmmm, so to sum up my morning shopping experience:  1) Only one checkout lane at 7:30am;  2) Backup cashier feels compelled to fill customer in on the store's short comings;  3) Customer's own store was also insulted by both fill-in cashier and bagger... who never once smiled;  4) if I actually needed all of those Tampax and Kotex coupons spit out to me by the auto checkout coupon dispenser I would have bled to death years ago.

But you know what... I really love that  overly priced neighborhood supermarket, ditzy backup cashiers, unsmiling baggers and all!  Its one of the pluses of living in small town USA.

Don't forget the BLOG CRAWL 3: BEFORE COMPUTERS.  I'll be posting the participating entries later this evening.  Its not too late to get listed.  We're looking for stories, poems, photos and/or graphics describing life before computers.  Leave a link to your entry in the BLOG CRAWL comments and come back later to read the entries of other participants.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


It has come to my attention that today is a very important date (besides, of course for being World Fart Fest Day). 

On this day, 3 years ago... on March 18th, 2004,  "Dust Bunny Club Of North America" was tentatively entered in the space allotted for a new journal's title.  The first entry  I GOT BROADBAND! was written as a test entry.  The journal was intended to be a way of keeping my parents, siblings and in-laws up to date on the happenings of my family without actually having to call or write to each one individually. 

Three years ago.  36 months.  1243 entries.  (1244 including this one).  2 ViVi Readers' Choice Awards.  Three years of my life.

Thank you for sharing it with me.  Thank you for all the support you have given me and my family.  Thank you for laughing with me, and crying with me, thank you for praying for those I care for.  Thank you for stopping by and being a part of my dusty life.  Thank you all.



Yesterday, in a frenzy comparable only to the rush on the annual Thanksgiving turkey, shoppers converged on grocery stores for corned beef brisket and green cabbage to top off their Saint Patrick's Day celebration.  I was among those crazed shoppers.  As many of you already know I am not Irish although based on my father's 'Heinz 57' description of his heritage I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a little bit o'blarney tossed into the mix somewhere along the line.  Not that being Irish has anything to do with celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  In fact the traditional St. Paddy's Day dish, corned beef and cabbage, actually originated right here in the good ole US of A.

After searching unsuccessfully a day and a half for the elusive green cabbage head I was just about to throw in the dish towel and and settle for red cabbage instead but Dickidoo was adamant.  It had to be corned beef and green cabbage or nothing at all.  We tried one more store and was rewarded by a lone produce crate full of the smooth waxy leafed vegetable, quite possibly the last in the country. 


We ate bowls full of the spicy meat covered with chopped green cabbage, potatoes, onions and carrots, and topped off with a generous squirt of yellow mustard.  If my stomach had lips it would have been smiling.  But it doesn't so the lips on my face smiled instead.  Today, after work I had yet another generous helping of left overs.  Judging by the level in the pot I wasn't the only one to do so.

Just think of all the people in the country, nay... in the world  who enjoyed cabbage with their corned beef last night, and maybe left overs today.  Think what the Global Air Pollution Index must be reading by now.  


I think I just solved the mystery behind the cause of Global Warming... its the result of millions and millions of people on the earth eating corned beef and cabbage every year on March 17th and then farting for two days following the meal.  An annual global fart fest if you will.  There just hasto be repercussions.  The gas has got to go somewhere.  After smelling some of the stuff wafting around here I can see how an unusually excessive barrage of methane could have an effect on the earth's atmosphere... thus... Global Warming!

"What... the Nobel Prize?  For me?  Aw, shucks, it was nothing but a little bit of cabbage gas!"

Hahahaha!  I love corned beef and cabbage!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Check it out...


As far as the eye can see!


Thursday, March 15, 2007


April multi-tasking... she spent more time on my cell phone than I did.

Meet April, the littlest of the Island Oompas.  She is my brother's youngest daughter, but don't be fooled by her tiny, angelic appearance.  This one is a firecracker, and a very intelligent one at that.  Being the smallest in a house full of giant Aunties can be intimidating for anyone, but not for April.  One night she came down the hall of the cabin with her dinner plate in one hand and her other hand on her hip.

'I can't eat in the bedroom cos no one will let me, but can I eat at the table?  NO!  Because there is no room at the table.  And can I eat on the sofa?  NO!  Because there is no room on the sofa!  I can't eat anywhere!'  she said indignantly, stomping her little foot.

Knowing she had a legitimate complaint didn't help me to fight back my laughter so I hid my face as I made room for her at the table with the Aunties. 

What fun if the Island Oompas, the Mountain Oompas and the Southern Oompas were ever to get together.  It would almost be as fun as when my brother, sisters and I get together.... Almost but not quite.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

LIFE WITHOUT LISA, and tasty farts

Its been a week since Lisa, aka the Dirty Dish Fairy, left us.  For the most part Zack and I have tried to fill her shoes, but lets face it, washing dirty dishes is a dirty job.  I hate it!

And of course along with missing her company and housekeeping skills I find myself missing her baking skills even more.  No more hot, fresh buttermilk biscuits in the morning.  No homemade cookies.  There is only half a jar of her strawberry freezer jam left.  It makes the Smuckers in the jar beside it look dull.  I may have to start rationing the sweet ambrosia.  Perhaps I can stick some of that Smuckers into a similar mason jar and trick the Oompas into believing it's the freezer jam.  Of course one taste and they'll know... but it just might slow them down a little.

Do farts have taste?  Yes, most definitely and emphatically YES!  I tried to hold my breath after Rocky cut one loose this afternoon, believe me I tried but couldn't hold it long enough to make it across the polluted room.  It was as if I was running in slow motion for the door and freedom.  At the last minute my lungs gave out I took a long, deep gasp... but I wasn't far enough.. agh!  Nasty!  Even gargling couldn't get the taste out of my mouth!

The memory of the taste still lingers in my mouth.  From now on that girl is going to eat nothing but candy and flowers.  If she has to fart, at least they will smell sweet!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SPRING THAW and where's my fricken shoes!

It was 74° this afternoon.  I walked around leaving a trail of wetness as I slowly thawed in the warmth of the sun.  Warm... I had almost forgotten what it felt like.  I like warm.  Warm feels soooooooo good.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!

The girls are always accusing me of loving the boys more than them.  That is, of course, just not true.  I may 'like' the boys more, but I certainly don't 'love'  them more.  The boys may swipe my Cokes, but they leave my chocolate truffles alone.  And the boys don't wear my shoes.

I am seriously considering placing a hex on my two daughters.  I wasted 20 minutes this evening looking for something, anything to stick on my feet so that I could go to the store.  I'm not normally a vengeful person but I really hate wanting to go somewhere and not being able to find my shoes where I left them.  I am thinking about cursing them with mega large feet, so large that they can no longer borrow my shoes.  I wear a size 7 1/2 to 8.  I haven't got small feet so for my girls to have larger feet would really get the message across.

Hmmmm... come to think of it, I have much larger feet than my own mom's.  I wonder............  Nah, she would never have cursed me... would she?  Mama?

This is the six of us at Nimitz Beach at Barbers Point, Hawaii.  George is my little and only brother.  In front of him from left to right is Lisa the eldest; Naomi the second eldest; and Val the third.  In the very front is me and my baby sister Vina.  (That was Lisa and Val in the bed with Mama a couple of entries ago... not me although it is easy to see why some people thought otherwise.)  Yes, I really do have the largest hands and feet of all of the sisters but I'm sure it had nothing to do with me borrowing Mama's shoes without permission.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It rained last night... a nice, quiet, gentle, thirst quenching, truck seat soaking rain.  Under normal circumstances I suppose I would have been upset to find out that I had left Big Red's window open and that my seat was sopping wet but I was just so happy that it wasn't the colder, frozen snow or sleet that the dampness of my seat really didn't bother me.  Is it spring yet?

Its Daylight Savings Time.  I hate Daylight Savings Time.  I think I'm the only person in the state of Colorado who has to 'spring forward' on the way to work.  Everyone else is 'sleeping forward' while I'm trying to convince my sagging eyelids that there has been no mistake, I'm really supposed to up at this time.  Hawaii doesn't have daylight savings time.  Hawaii has a time system all their own.  Hawaiian time is 'we get there when we get there'.  I like Hawaiian time.   My eyeballs like Hawaiian time.  If I were still in Hawaii I'd be in bed.  But no, I'm in Colorado and I think I'm the only person in the entire state springing forward.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


This month's theme is: Before Computers

Write an entry, post a photo or graphic, link to an old entry, what ever tickles your fancy.  The theme is entirely open to interpretation.  Leave a link in the comment section of this entry by... oh, lets say Thursday, March 22nd and I'll try to have the list of participants by the following day so we can get crawling (that's the fun part).

Here's an old entry of mine from Bloggers Anonymous to get you in the mood:

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

Thursday, October 21, 2004
12:19:00 AM EDT




* 5¼" floppy disks

* when hard drives were measured in MB's.

* When your monitor could fit on top of the CPU.


* Black and white monitors.

* Windows, not 98, not XP, just Windows. 

* the sound of a dial up modem.

* a 4 character password for AOL.

* what life was like WITHOUT a computer?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Do you know what really lies at the end of the rainbow?  Why... coffee, of course!  I followed this rainbow and it ended in this coffee plantation.  Yes, Hawaii truly is paradise.

I took every opportunity to send pictures of my meals back to Dickidoo via my camera phone.  He called me 'mean' and 'cold'.  On the contrary, I was merely sharing my experience with him... with a healthy helping of envy!  Hahahahaha!

The food was heavenly and non-stop!  Almost every night meant a huge pot luck at one place or another.  Old friends and relatives kept making surprise appearances, some I hadn't seen since my own wedding 23 years ago.  Memories and laughter flowed like cheap wine that had us all heady with nostalgia.  One person would say 'Oh... remember when...' which would in turn spark another person's memory.  Too fun, too fun!

Having the entire family back together under one roof was like a trip back in time.  My parents are timeless, ageless.  They have changed very little over the years expect that my mother moves a little slower and her once jet black hair is now silver.  Daddy has a hairier face.  He still wears socks with his sandals.  (hehehehe).

It is the siblings who have changed.  We've aged, expanded (mostly against our will), endured our own hardships and successes, and yet when we all got back together we found that our paths still moved along the same direction.  We still smile easily and laugh spontaneously... especially at ourselves.  No wait, especially at each other!  And we all pack gas like tankers!  On the nights when we were all together at the cabin it sounded like the tuba section of a marching band.  It must be a genetic thing.

Nights were late and short.  Giggles filled the rooms as warning were issued about groping boobs and safe directions in which to point one's hiney when a natural gas leak occurs.  Mornings came early, usually with the first trip to the bathroom and once again the whispers and giggles would resume anew.  Before we knew it, it was time to go home.

But guess what?

The Dirty Dish Fairy followed me home!  And she bakes too!

My oldest sister Lisa came home with me and spent the past week spoiling us with her cleaning and baking skills.  She left this morning before sunrise.  Sadly I found myself staring at the half full pan of her luscious mint chip cookies, wondering how long I could make them last before begging her to visit again.

I only hope the Oompas have the fortune of a great relationship with their parents and siblings after they all grow up and move away.  It has truly been a blessing to my life.  Oh gracious, can you imagine Dickidoo, myself, the Oompas and their spawn all in the same house at the same time 10 - 20 years down the road?  I hope everyone brings lots of toilet paper... and there shall be absolutely NO BEANS on the menu!

Friday, March 2, 2007


Yes, sadly I have left Hawaii, the land of sun and sand and am once again at home in Colorado, the land of snow and dustbunnies.  I had such a wonderful and relaxing visit with my parents and siblings.  And guess what?  Apart from a few unique characteristics for the most part we are very much alike.  Can you imagine being stuck in a cabin for 8 days with 8 'Dornbraus'?

A lot of silly things happened and many pictures were taken.  I'll share some once things get back to normal.

Normal... that's a funny way to describe the average daily routine around here.  What was abnormal was walking into the house after returning from my little vacation away from the Oompas and Dickidoo and finding the place cleaner than it was when I left.  Even the fridge was cleaned out.  Wow!  For a second I thought I was in the wrong house.

Until my sister Lisa who followed me home called out from the downstairs bathroom for some toilet paper.  A quick inventory revealed the total absence of Charmin in the House of Loompa.  Yep, I was in the right house.

Zack had to run next door to get a roll from a neighbor.  By that time I decided I needed a soothing cup of coffee.  I was already suspicious when I lifted a deceptively light canister of coffee.  A tentative peek under the cover confirmed my darkest fears.

We were out of Folgers! 

But there was no shortage of homecoming hugs. 

Ahhhh, Home Sweet Home!