Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lookie lookie!

It snowed the other night and I forgot to turn off my headlights when I got to work. 5 hours later a co-worker asked if my truck battery still worked.


A dash out to the parking lot accompanied by a teeth chattering prayer was rewarded by silence when I turned the key in the ignition. Grrrr! Dickidoo gallantly offered to give me a jump when I got off of work at 11:30 that night. Unfortunately the short drive home wasn't enough time to recharge the battery and once again I was greeted by deafening silence the next day when I tried to start up the engine.

Dickidoo had finally had enough. He called the bank, got pre-approved for a loan and took me car shopping as soon as I got off of work the day after Christmas. He tried to talk me in to a surprisingly nifty looking mini van, but from the first moment I saw it I fell in love with a sporty little 2008 Impala. It was out of our budget but some fast talking on Dickidoo's part, coupled with the car lot's need to make a sale during the declining economy... and the sacrifice of Big Red as a trade in had me driving home in the Chevy.

I am still in a daze. But my daze has power steering, a working heater and the windows all roll up and down!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Guess I wasn't that bad after all.

Cos Santa brought me all kinds of goodies this year. Dickidoo was worried that it would be a meager Christmas for the Oompas, but we don't know how to do 'meager'. He should know this by now.

It started with the arrival of Gabe and Little Ryott. Believe it or not my little Grand Oompa recognized Dickidoo almost immediately while it took him a day to warm up to me. From then on though we were Bread and Butter, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Bacon and Eggs, Coffee and Hazelnut Creamer! We were inseparable! I taught him to blow kisses and raspberries. He taught me that one never really gets used to having someone else's (even a grandbaby's) snot wiped all over one's face, and even at 48 years old my heart can still grow to accommodate my growing love for him.

We made our annual trip to the mountains to find a tree. We took Arthur's Pink Haired Girlfriend and her family with us. It was a first for my nephew as well. It's always so fun sharing our traditions with others. I came home one night to find a slightly tipsy Gabe in the crawl space under the stairs sorting through the decorations and ornaments we had accumulated over the years. We spent another hour or so reminiscing over them and Christmases past. I hope one day he will know the pleasure I felt sharing with him when his own boys come to visit him on some future Christmas.

Gabe and Ryott left before Christmas, but it was a wonderful prelude to what would be an amazing Christmas. We did our Christmas shopping in the quaint shops of Manitou Springs rather than fight with the crowds at the Mall and my store. As much fussing and fighting that goes on here, I was amazed at how much thought and consideration went into the gift selections. They cooked, baked, decorated, sang, laughed and reminisced together. I knew it... they really do love each other!

We had a White Christmas this year. It didn't actually snow on Christmas day but we had a good blanket on the ground... The snow, as it turned out, initiated a chain of events which led to an extravagant gift that Dickidoo had no idea he was getting me. I'll save the details for later, but I will give you a hint. I no longer have Big Red, but nor do I have a mini van!

Here's hoping everyone's Christmas was as amazing as mine was!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Return To Sender, and the Tyrano-Truffle

We got this package in the mail
the other day. Anthony, our mailman, was very apologetic. Without knowing what the box contained, he understood the importance that it reach it's intended recipient. So did the others who had handled the package in an attempt to get it to Gabe. Their efforts were evident all over the front of the box. On behalf of the US Postal Service, Anthony sincerely apologized. It's all good though, Gabe is home. And thanks to the US Postal Service, Gabe will get his priority package tonight.

I spoke with Gabe yesterday afternoon. I still can't believe how good he sounds, and how good it feels to know that he is just a few thousand miles away rather than half the globe away. I could hear my Grand Oompas in the background giving their Momma a hard time. I miss the good old days when they were still here. At least Ryott will be here tonight. The thought of having him and his Daddy safe in my arms kept me up in the clouds all day.

When I got home from work I finally crashed. It makes no sense at all. My son has returned safely from that awful war zone. He and my Grandson will be here in a matter of hours. And what am I doing? I'm sitting here crying in my wine! It's like a dam just suddenly, finally, burst...

A dam full of jet black mascara which is now streaking down my face.

I'm getting too damn old for this. "Uncle Sam, I'm sorry but my son Gabe cannot go out and play with you any more."

Ah, if only it were that easy.

Who am I kidding? Gabe would go anyway.

Rocky made me a humongous truffle the other day. It was the size of a tangerine. I still haven't finished it yet. She made it out of Oreo cookies, cream cheese and chocolate almond bark. It's positively sinful. I don't mind though... it's worth it! I'm not on a diet but if I were that sucker would have set me back by a couple of years. If you haven't tried them yet and want to, let me know... I'll give you the recipe, and then we can all sin together!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Twinkie comes to visit.

The Oompas have been bugging me almost daily for a new pet. Every stray that comes by they feel compelled to adopt it. If I hadn't said 'no' each and every time we would probably be host to a menagerie of 5 puppies, 4 cats, 2 ferrets and at least 2 dozen snakes of various size. I am okay with the occasional pet sitting though, and today it's Art's pink haired girl friend's yellow haired kitten named Twinkie. I was surprised that he hadn't been dyed pink to match his human mommy.

Twinkie is adorable. He (I believe those are baby balls below his tail... I hope those are baby balls, other wise she might be needing a trip to the vet...) loves to snuggle and rub his cold little nose all over my face. He purrs like he has a little V-8 engine in his throat. And of course, he's just a baby so I check on him constantly. I mean, you wouldn't leave a 6 month old human baby alone in a room without checking in on it constantly, so you certainly shouldn't leave a 6 month old kitten alone without checking in on it.

During one of my 'checks', I lay on the bed and little Twinkie snuggled up against my neck, wiped his nose on my face, and then decided that 'hey, I have to sprinkle the kitty litter!', so he tiptoed over to the box, stepped in, squatted, did his deal and then stepped out and came back to snuggle against me.

But then he did the unthinkable! He put his little paws on my face!

Dude! I don't go splashing in my toilet after I piddle and then rub my hands on your fur without washing first so don't go wiping your paws all over my face after a little sashay through the kitty litter! You could at least lick yourself before touching me! Dang!

He began to purr apologetically, and what could I do? After all, he is just a baby. I forgave him... just this once, and let him snuggle back against my neck. In a minute he had purred himself to sleep.

Stupid cat!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Last evening a text message was forwarded to area high school students just as quickly as a 'Help Little Johnny' email on the internet. Apparently a boy over heard another boy telling some other boys that he was going to shoot up the school. The boy told his mother, who went to the police. She then set up a phone recording verifying the information for concerned citizens and skeptics. What wasn't clear to the general population was which of the three area high schools was involved.

We played it safe. The Oompas stayed home today. In the mean time it was reported that the scare was legitimate and a 15 year old boy from our rival high school just a few miles south of here was arrested. I am relieved that it was not one of my kids classmates, but it very well could have been.

We are trying to baby proof the house for little Ryott's arrival. Funny how quickly a house can become un-baby-proof. We had my 18 month old nephew staying with us until the end of October. Here we are just one month later and there is so much to be done. Ah, but it's worth it! I have missed my little Ryott and can't wait to hug him again. And Gabe too!

We had a White Thanksgiving. And yesterday I had to shovel the snow out of Big Red before I could climb in and sit down. We've had White New Years, White Valentines, White Easters, and once it snowed up in the mountains on the 4th of July. Maybe, just maybe, we might have a White Christmas this year. I hope so.

Yeah, I say that now, but when it happens I'll be fussing and complaining about shoveling out Big Red, and how the heater doesn't work and the window won't shut, and about snotcicles...

Did I ever mention how much I hate winter? Brrrrrrr!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pardon my French...

I say 'fricken' way too fricken much, I just realized that in my earlier post. I apologize. It could be worse, I could say the other 'f' word, but choose instead to say the fricken 'f' word. Actually I probably would say the other 'f' word more often but I can't afford the fricken quarter fine I would face every time I got caught using it within ear shot of any of the fricken Oompas. So I have to settle with the somewhat impotent fricken 'f' word. Again, I fricken apologize. It won't fricken happen again.

Until the next fricken time... (or I save up enough quarters to use the real fricken 'f' word!)

(14 fricken times in one post, wow, that's almost as fricken bad as Al Pacino in Scarface!)

Are people fricken crazy?

For the first time ever I was in a store when the sales began the day after Thanksgiving. Me and several thousand others... in my store alone. I was there because I was working. As for the others.... Are you fricken crazy? Seriously folks, are you crazy? I got pushed around and knocked around. I tolerated and took it, because I was being paid for it... but the others... yep, they were all just fricken crazy!

It started out years ago as a good time to kick off the holiday sales. It has since become an annual shopping frenzy that makes no sense at all. Retailers open their doors extra early and offer special limited time only specials to lure the customers in. And the customers come, in droves... and purchase items that they really don't want or need but can't seem to resist the special purchase price. And all those people they stood in line behind at the registers after standing in line to receive one of the limited mass produced quantities for, yep, they'll all be standing in line together again the day after Christmas to return or exchange the items they fought so hard to buy... because nobody really ever even wanted or needed them.

I heard that a fellow worker at another store, in another state, was killed during the shopping frenzy. I find the news appalling. Actually I find the whole idea behind Black Friday quite ridiculous. Under normal circumstances the average person would avoid crowds and long lines. So why this big fuss over Black Friday? If someone were to say on any other day of the year... 'Hey, everyone in America is going to go shopping at 5am tomorrow for stuff they don't want or need' most sane people would stay home. But not Black Friday.
And me... the one most likely to be considered crazy, does my shopping on any other day but Black Friday, because you know what? I'm not that fricken crazy!

I'm almost willing to bet that there was a greater turn out for Black Friday than there was for the Presidential Election. Perhaps they should have pushed the election back and set up the polls at all major shopping malls and retail outlets on Black Friday. There might have been a whole new outcome for President, and one of my fellow workers might still be alive.

The girls and I went to my favorite quaint little tourist town to get Dickidoo's presents. He is such a hard person to shop for. I don't know if he honestly forgets that he has been given a gift, if he purposely sets it to the side for safe keeping, or if he just doesn't like anything we get him, but unless it's food or drink, the gifts pretty much remain untouched. I used to joke that I only bought him things that I liked because I knew I would be the only one using it. Well, it's pretty much the truth. But this year I think... I hope... he'll actually be inspired to use the gifts we got him.

I'll get him a 6 pack of Coors just in case...

Gabe and Ryott will be here in 5 days! Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I woke up this morning tired and cross. Wait, scratch that. In order to wake up one must actually have been asleep, and I got no sleep last night. Dickidoo has the flu and he coughed and hacked like Felix Unger at his worst. It's going to be a long day at work.

But despite a little sleep deprivation, I can find so many things to be thankful for. Let's start with the fact that my son Gabe landed safely on American soil earlier this month. I have no idea what the future holds in store for him, but for now he is safe, and for that I am forever grateful.

With the exception of Dickidoo's current flu affliction and screwed up back, we are all pretty much in good health. For that I am thankful. I shall take the liberty of speaking for Dickidoo and say that he is thankful that he is not a horse, for if he was we probably would have put him down a long time ago. But he is not, and for that we are all thankful.

I am also somewhat thankful for the noise and chaos in my house, because it is in fact here in my house. I secretly dread the day when the sounds of sibling rivalry no longer echoes in the hallways of The House Of Oompa. It is only 8:30 am and already laughter fills the house. Yes, I think I shall miss this and will take the ruckus that comes with the package deal if it means I can experience the sounds of happiness just a little bit longer.

I'm thankful for Kellogg's for not discontinuing the production of it's tootie fruitie Fruit Loops, for over the years it's fragrance has had an instant calming effect on me when the pressures and stress of the present day becomes too over whelming. The brief mental escape into the carefree memories of yester-year have proven beneficial to me and, more importantly, to the entire family. They are more thankful than they realize for Kellogg's Fruit Loops.

And, as I always make sure to point this out, I am thankful to Al Gore for inventing the Internet, for without the internet I would not have met all the wonderful people I have over the years within the walls of The Dust Bunny Club Of North America.

Thank you all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's all good...

And Apple Jacks too! (thanks for reminding me garnett) And lucky for Art too because the counter and sink were still stacked to the ceiling with dirty dishes when I got home from work this evening. Apparently he had enough time to make his girlfriend some muffins though. I saw the dirty pans on the counter, and the mini muffins packed away nicely in his girl friend's casserole dish that was sent over a while back bearing a gift of brownies, or cake or something equally fattening and delicious.

I think I'm jealous. I'm jealous because my son does more for his girlfriend and her mother than he does for me. It's not fair, dammit! I carried him for 9 months (which felt like 9 years!) I gave birth to his big fat head! I changed his crappy diapers.

And he makes THEM muffins! (didn't even leave one out for me.)

Yeah, okay, well, they can have him.

No wait, then who will make me coffee in the morning, with just enough hazelnut creamer to turn it a perfect shade of dark tan... and who will play Gir's 'monkey' sound bite when I get all bent out of shape. And who will call me 'jerk' a million times a day.

Hey yeah, that jerk! They can have him!

But only if I can have his pink haired girl friend cos she's adorable! And so is her mom. So... Art can go to their house and they can move in with me. I wonder if they do dishes? And make coffee... a perfect shade of dark tan with hazelnut creamer.

I think I need to go snort those Fruit Loops again.

so angry can't think...

Mothers raise their daughters to be the woman they always wanted to be but never had the opportunity to be. They raise their sons to be the man they wished they had married. Sometimes they just end up with a mini version of the man they did marry.

Sometimes it's even worse.

Art needs to hurry up and get married so he can make some other woman miserable.

So I'm stomping through the house like a rabid rhino, full of compressed anger (the object of my anger has left the building and his brother has decided that it would be safer in his room), and a teenie tiny blip of hope shines through. I'm a very sensual person. Not sexy sensual... Dickidoo has all but put me out to pasture in that respect. I get my pleasure now days through my senses... touch, sight, sound, taste... and scent! Yesterday while closing a half empty box of cereal left out on the table I got a whiff of the tootie fruitie goodness from within and I was instantly transported to the happy carefree days of my childhood.

That seemed like a good place to be right about now and the little strobe light of hope shone through the dark clouds of anger in my mind... follow the light... follow the light! Like a child in a trance I retraced my footsteps to the cupboard and pulled open the double doors. I could almost hear the sharp squealing sound effects of a knife slashing through the Bates motel shower curtain... The cupboard was bare. Not really, but there were no tootie fruitie flavored Fruity-O's.

But wait... the empty box must be in the trash can! Yes, I actually dug through the kitchen trash can. But that too was in vain. No box of cereal in the cupboard, no empty package on the table, not even in the trash. Where were the fricken Fruity-O's? I didn't want to eat them, I just wanted to sniff the stinkin' box! I NEED to sniff the stinkin' box before I totally pop a circuit!

Today is not looking too good for me. I pity the fool who tries to steal from me tonight cos that sucker is going down hard and without mercy.

Unless he has a box of tootie fruitie Fruity-O's in his loot.

I just wanted to sniff the box, just a little whiff. Is that too much to ask for? Just a little sniff! It instantly takes me to my happy place, cos when I'm not in my happy place, nobody is in their happy place!

Art better have a box of Fruit Loops waiting for me when I get home tonight if he knows whats good for him!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I've been having some crazy craving lately. Today it's jelly filled doughnuts. Yesterday it was anything salty. The lasagna for dinner didn't satisfy me so this morning, after watching some kid chomp down on a powdered sugar coated raspberry jelly filled Dunkin' Doughnut that is all I can think about.

Well, not really. I've been doing a mental happy dance since the night before last. We made Gabe's flight reservations for next month. He and Little Ryott should be here on the 5th. Woo hoo! They will have to leave just before Christmas, but that's okay because we will obviously be celebrating early.

Winter is here. There has been snow on the mountains for a few weeks, and it even snowed for a few moments here in town but nothing really hung around until now. The temperature dips and stays down for days at a time now before shooting back up just to tease before dropping again. Driving Big Red really sucks now with the stuck window and broken heater. It beats walking 2.7 miles to work though. I'm looking forward to a new vehicle in the spring though. Something tells me it won't be a brand spanking new ride like I had hoped, but so long as it's not a mini van with a stuck window and a broken heater I'll be content.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My co-worker lost her battle with cancer three days ago. Her funeral was today. I could not go. It is not that I was not allowed to go, most of the old timers like myself went. I just could not bear to go. For some people fortunate enough not to be touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly, cancer is merely a pastel colored ribbon on the car in front of them at the stop light. For me it is so much more, and I was not ready to face it.

My mother and sister are survivors. In a way so am I for cancer is not a spectator's disease. It affects everyone within reach. While loved ones endure seemingly endless tests and painful treatments, their family members suffer silent fear and antiseptic scented hope. I found myself hoping that God still remembered me well enough to grant a wish and answer a prayer. I cried tears of relief when He did.

The guilt was sobering when I realized that three days ago many other prayers went unanswered. But faith is a strong and wonderful light that is both bright and warm. Through my sadness I realized that the prayers were in fact answered.

My co-worker won her battle with cancer three days ago. Her funeral was today. She is at peace and at Home. Her prayers have been answered.

God speed sweet Brigitte. I shall miss you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Noodles of fire! and yes... yet another blog!

My tongue is sore and swollen. It's all the Oompas fault. They didn't leave me any supper so I had to eat spicy udon when I got home from work. 'Spicy' was hardly the word for it. 'Positively flammable' was probably more appropriate. I'm still belching flames, and I don't dare fart... which is quite a challenge being as we had chorizo chili for lunch. (hmmm... I'm thinking my tongue probably won't be the only thing hurting come morning!)

I spent the evening roaming around the store, watching people. Tonight I saw a young boy, probably about 10 years old, alone in the toy department. He was sitting on the ground in front of a shelf, his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands, staring intently at a toy package. Suddenly he buried his face in his hands and sighed so deeply that you'd think the weight of the world was rested on his young shoulders. Then he straightened up and returned his gaze to the toy.

Oh, to be young again when the biggest worry on your mind was what to put on the top of the list in your letter to Santa.

As promised, here is the link for my guess blogger spot:

I will only be posting there about once a week, and being as I am just a guest I shall have to keep my act somewhat clean. If you have time, check out the other blog-mothers. They have some pretty diverse and amazing stories, I feel so ... ordinary in their company. And sooooooooo old, and fluffy! I should have at least mowed my eye brows before I took my picture. Grrrrrrr!

Friday, November 14, 2008

When 'strong' is 'too strong', and a new gig.

I never thought I would ever say this, but boy oh boy was I glad to see the bottom of my coffee cup this morning! That was some of the nastiest, strongest coffee I have ever tasted! I don't know what Dickidoo did but the coffee was so black that an extra helping of creamer didn't even lighten it up.

Shhhhh.... listen, I think I can hear the hair on my chest growing!

I've got me a new gig. I'm a guest blogger at the MA- Motherhood with Attitude website. It's pretty cool because the focus is on real moms, not the Suzy Homemaker stereotype mom with 2.5 children, a cat, a dog and a white picket fence. Naturally I fit right in with my 5.0 children, pet crayfish, 6 inch cannibal goldfish with a taste for expensive tropical fish and bent and buckled chain link fence. The unveiling for the guest bloggers page should be some time next week, I'll post a link then.

Rocky finally got new panties. No more un-thongs for her. Now she has those cute little boy cut undies that kind of look like boxers. They even have a little fly. Not really sure why anyone would put a fly on a pair of panties but it's there just the same.

Do you like my new picture? I needed a photo for my guest blog deal and the best picture I could find was that 4 year old shot of me with a bottle of beer, which depicts me perfectly but probably isn't appropriate for the mommy website so I took some with a coffee cup instead. No, my mug isn't empty, I was sucking down java like crazy in between shots. Notice the un-natural way I am holding my cup? Usually I just grab the mug around the center and hold it like that but I was trying to hide the Maker's Mark logo on the front... Kentucky bourbon is probably even less appropriate on a Mommy site than beer!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SIBLING RIVALRY (or tattling to Santa)

Dear Jolly old Saint Nicholas,

Hello Jolly old Saint Nicholas. This is me, Rocky!
I may of done some naughty things, but Becca did the mother load of bad, mean, naughty things!

That was the first paragraph to a letter I found tucked away in the file cabinet. I had the Oompas write letters to Santa every year while they were in elementary school. This one was written in 2003 when Rocky had just turned 9. That was also the year that sibling rivalry finally reared its ugly head. It's funny how the boys never really went through it. When one was in trouble, they were all in trouble. There was no animosity between them. One would come up with a bad idea, the other two would agree it was a bad idea, and they would all do it!

The girls, on the other hand, would be the first to rat each other out. And this picture from that summer... see how sweet they look riding around together in the go-cart? Becca has that towel on her lap because her baby sister made a point of running over every single ant hill in the area, flinging hundreds of ants into the passenger seat... and anyone unfortunate enough to be sitting there at the time. Yeah, sugar and spice and every thing nice... that's what little girls are made of!

Sibling rivalry is still alive and well in The House of Oompa, but I've noticed a subtle yet obvious change. The girls still nit pick and nag. But they are fiercely protective about each other, especially when the heart is involved.

"Mommy, tell Becca to stop making death threats to my friends."

"She's only doing it because she loves you..." I explain. (oddly enough it's true)

"Mom, will you please tell Rocky to keep her nose out of my life!"

"She's your sister, it's her job." I explain, silently applauding her baby sister for once again running interference on misguided friendship.

My boys were and still are very close friends with each other. The girls, well, they don't realize it, nor will they admit to it, but they are just as loyal to each other. It's just not cool yet... That won't come until they're much older.

I don't think my sisters started liking me until they got married and moved away. Hmmm, with Becca being 17 and Rocky just having turned 14 it appears that there are still a few good fighting years ahead of us. Oh joy!

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Monday, November 10, 2008


It's only the 10th of November and I'm already sick of Christmas songs. I hear them non stop at work, the same songs over and over and over and over.

And over and over and over and over....

And over and over and over and over....

One of the songs, a Celtic style melody, must be at least 24 hours long. I swear it was playing when I left the night before and it was still playing when I went back in to work the following day. It finally ended just before my shift was over. I'll bet it plays at least 2 times while I'm at the store tonight.

I can hardly wait. (add a heavy serving of sarcasm)

44 Days Until Christmas!

(Now for that I REALLY can't wait!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008



There is absolutely no toilet paper in the house. Not one square. All of the discarded cardboard rolls have been picked clean. Liquid intake has been minimized because nobody wants to get caught on the pot without butt wipe, and nobody wants to make the run to the store to replenish supplies.

I am on my second cup of coffee... I wonder if I can make it until 2pm when I have to be at work. I really need that third cup of coffee though.

Maybe I'll just go in to work a little early today.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A visit from the Lullaby League, and peach fuzz

I woke this morning to the sound of singing... I think. It sounded like the Lullaby League had escaped from Oz and were arguing in my hallway... some what in harmony. I glanced at the clock... 8:49.

8:49! As in 8:49 am... as in 8:49 in the morning! That was the longest I have slept straight through in months! Then it dawned on me... Gabe was safe in the states. I smiled and snuggled deep into my pillows and blankets.


I knew that sound, it was the sound of the hair clippers. It was the sound of someone getting a buzz cut. Dickidoo and my nephew should be out hunting, and my two sons at home both have long hair. Who was getting a buzz cut?

I heard the Lullaby League giggling and I sprang out of bed, tripping over the junk on the floor in an effort to stop them.

I was too late.

Becca was bent over Rocky's head with the electric hair clipper finishing up on a peach fuzz buzz cut. I could not make a sound, I just stood there gaping like Henry the Homicidal Goldfish.

"Feel it," Becca invited proudly. Her baby sister grinned from behind her angled bangs. I touched the back of her head, not able to believe that I was feeling my teenage daughter's hair. Finally I found my voice.

"Oh buddy, your daddy is gonna kill you both!"

But you know what? It's really kind of cute. Really! I can't wait till Becca turns 18 so I can put her through beauty school and get free hair cuts for the rest of my life. But until then I made her swear off any more buzz cuts on her baby sister.

Friday, November 7, 2008

psst... (edited 11/08/2008)

LETTERS TO GABE ← click here to visit Gabe's blog

Hey, would any of you folks like to sneak over to Gabe's blog and leave him a little welcome home letter? If you're interested, let me know and include your gmail email address so I can add you as an author and you can post an entry. I know he'll be tickled pink to read them.
Thanks so much for all your support over the past couple of years. It has been tough, and I've been a whiny cry baby at times, but it is finally over and my boy is safe in America once again.


He's in the air and should be in Kentucky by 9 pm!

Here I was thinking he still had another 60 days in Iraq and Kimmie just called to give me the good news.

Are you there yet?

Are you there yet?

I wish I could be there when he steps off the plane, but I am so very thankful that he is in fact going to be stepping off the plane in just a few short hours, safe in America and so much closer to those who love him. It has been a hard wait for me, but nothing compares to the time he spent over there so I shall be happy just knowing... he's coming home!

Love you Gabe, always!


What is the opposite of 'thong', as in underwear thong? I ask because I think I saw one the other day, sticking out of Rocky's jeans.

"Hey, aren't those my panties?"

"Maybe..." she said and lifted her shirt, exposing an amazing amount of excess fabric sticking out over her waistband. Sharing undies is just icky to begin with, but how on earth did that pip-squeak of a child with an extra small hiney think she could ever fill my ample britches? My pink and blue striped 'Hanes Her Way' were hanging out everywhere. How could anyone be that desperate?

It was the exact opposite of a thong. It was the un-thong, the anti-thong.

It was quite disgusting and disturbing, and not a sight I would like to encounter ever again.

I'm buying that girl her own panties on payday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

6:04 am


Through the fog of sleep I fumble for my cell phone, always close by in case my son Gabe tries to call from Iraq. Blurry eyes struggle to focus on the tiny screen. The digital clock reads 6:04 am. A little envelope and phone icon indicates that I have a text message.

1-800-Oompa1: Hey Mom

I try to remember how to spell 'hey', and numb fingers trip over the miniature keypad. Through crossed eyes I miss the [send] button and click on [delete] instead. I cuss and Dickidoo snorts in his sleep beside me. Did he just say 'quarter'?

1-800-Oompa1: Are you awake?

1-800-MOM: No, I'm texting in my sleep.

1-800-Oompa1: What's for breakfast?

1-800-MOM: Fingernails, boogers and spit.

1-800-Oompa1: Can I have lunch money?

1-800-MOM: No, eat left-over breakfast.

At times technology has it's merits, but not at 6:04 am, and certainly not for breakfast and lunch money. I spend way too much money on multiple cell phones on the family plan so I can keep track of my little army of Oompas... and the culprit for their existence... their father! I rarely have to call them, but I can almost guarantee that when I do need to contact them via the cell phone, they will not answer.

Except at 6:04 am, when the breakfast menu is in question.


1-800-Oompa2: Psst.

1-800-MOM: snoring!

1-800-Oompa2: lol. You should give me a ride to school.

1-800-MOM: No,I should stay in bed and sleep in.

1-800-Oompa: I'll make you a cup of coffee, you can have the last of the hazelnut creamer.

1-800-MOM: Start the truck, I'll be right out.

Yeah, technology sucks at 6:04 am. Especially when I didn't get home from work and into bed until 12:35 am! The moment Micro-Soft comes up with a mobile, electronic Mom I'm signing up for one, I don't care what it costs if it means that I can actually get more than 5 hours of sleep at night.


1-800-Oompa3: Mommy, I don't feel good.

1-800-MOM: What's wrong?

1-800-Oompa3: My throat hurts and I feel like I'm going to hurl.

1-800-MOM: Drink some hot tea. You'll be fine.

1-800-Oompa3: What if I barf?

1-800-Mom: I'll buy you some ice cream.

(1 hour later)

1-800-Oompa3: Mommy, you owe me some ice cream.


Question: Who is as bad as a rotten politician?

Answer: An uninformed voter.

I am embarrassed to admit that when I took my place at the voting booth, I was every bit as bad as the politicians and the rhetorical rubbish they have been spewing into the air with increasing density over the past months. I didn't do my homework. When I encountered the brief but confusing language of the ballot amendments I attempted a crash course in self-taught political ho-hum and started scribbling in each appropriate bubble...

0 Yeah

0 Oh Hell NO!

I was going to town with the 'Yeah' bubbles, dropping down for the occasional 'Oh Hell NO' when something didn't sound right.

Last night while waiting in one of the many lines I endure in the course of my day, I spoke with a gentleman who was directly affected by my winning 'Oh Hell NO' vote. He was a volunteer for a program that benefited mild to moderately mentally challenged adults. The extra taxation they were asking for would have provided much needed funding for the severely under budgeted and over populated programs and services provided.

I wish I had done my homework and read up on everything that was on the ballot. I wish I wasn't so susceptible to all that political rhetoric. Even not casting a vote for something would have been better than casting the wrong vote. I wish I had spoken to that gentleman even just 24 hours earlier. I couldn't even admit to him that I had voted against the increased taxes.

I feel so bad.

I feel like a rotten politician!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

MY FIRST (and quite possibly my last) COURT APPEARANCE

With my new job I occasionally get subpoenaed to appear in court. Very exciting! Yesterday was once such time and I dressed appropriately. Upon my arrival the movie star gorgeous young prosecutor informed me that he probably wouldn't need to call on me after all but I should stick around just in case.

So I sat with my co-workers and the police officer who had responded to our call. We waited for our case to be called but the other attorney had been tied up in another court and was delayed. When he finally appeared, what little professionalism I had immediately evaporated. It was another movie star attorney.

Oh my God, he looked like that Vogon guy from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!

I kid you not! This guy had scruffy white hair, he was broad shouldered and his arms hung down almost to the floor. I mentioned this to my co-workers who rolled their eyes at me. The defense attorney shuffled over to the table and cleared his throat.

Oh my God, he even sounded like that Vogon guy from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!

Every time the poor man cleared his throat or finished a sentence he made a muffled 'humphing' kind of sound. By now even the police officer in the front row was snickering behind tight lips. The movie star prosecutor walked over and shook his head with an exasperated smile.

'I don't know if I should call any of you.' he said .

'We'll be okay,' I promised. 'Just don't let him read poetry!'

(Relax Dickidoo, court was in recess when the Vogon... er... defense attorney came in so I was not disrespectful in front of the judge.)


I voted yesterday as did Dickidoo. Zack risked a 3 and a half hour wait to vote early but he voted. My friend in the deli voted for the first time after gaining citizenship (she was as excited as a kid in the candy store). Gabe probably didn't. There is so much involved in getting absentee ballots to the soldiers overseas that despite the importance of their votes, they often go uncast.

I won't say who I voted for, I will only say that my candidate did not win. I hope that I was wrong about the other candidate and the majority of Americans were right. But if I may have the luxury of even the briefest of sore losership... "Be careful what you wish for..."

That is all.

(If this guy were running for President I would have voted for him)

Monday, November 3, 2008


My nephew came downstairs while Dickidoo and I were watching Green Bay getting beaten by the Titans. He glanced at the tv set during an instant replay.

'What you watching?' he asked.

'Hockey' I said without looking away from the screen.

'Golf' Dickidoo said at the same time.

'Golf', I corrected myself.

'Hockey', Dickidoo said at the same time.

'What? I didn't know, it could be something else.' my nephew protested.

'Its a bunch of huge men in helmets running around a field chasing a little pointy brown ball, what else could it be?' I asked, trying to concentrate on the action on the field.

'Golf ?', Dickidoo suggested.

'But I didn't know... I don't know what Green Bay is!'

'You're right, it could be the finals for the Martha Stewart Cookie Baking Championships.'

The Southern Oompa left us with a disgusted 'humpf!'. I, on the other hand, had a sudden craving for decadent chocolate chip cookies.

The girls and I went house hunting yesterday. We ended up down the street from the house featured in the Colorado edition of Extreme Home Make-over. I fell in love with the floor plans. Rocky fell in love with the furniture in the model homes. Becca fell in love with the neighbors, especially the cute 20 something blond one in the blue pick-up truck. We toured 6 houses, moving into each one in our minds. It was with heavy footed reluctance that we finally turned in the last set of keys and headed back to where our 40 year old cluttered and over crowded bi-level awaited us.

After supper we simmered in the hot tub, just us girls. We talked about girly things and laughed about silly stuff. We made wishes on falling stars... or maybe it was falling space trash. Art joined us outside later, but refrained from entering the hot tub. I guess he figured it was too hormonal for a lone male so he kept his distance. It was nice though, to sit out there with the Oompas and talk about everything... and absolutely nothing, out there beneath the stars.

"Okay, so tell me again how I'm the coolest, most awesomest mom in the world?"

(I don't think I've reached the status as the coolest, most awesomest Aunty in the world yet, mostly because of my low tolerance for stupid questions... but I'm working on it.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


But don't worry, it only weighs 40 pounds!

Tariq Malik, Space.com
Scientists expect a 1,400-pound tank of toxic ammonia coolant that was thrown from the International Space Station a year ago to plunge through the Earth's atmosphere Sunday. One NASA expert says it's unlikely that the debris will hit anyone.

NASA expects up to 15 pieces of the tank to survive the searing hot temperatures of re-entry, ranging in size from about 1.4 ounces to nearly 40 pounds.
If they reach all the way to land, the largest pieces could slam into the Earth's surface at about 100 mph (62 kph). But a splashdown at sea is also possible, as the planet is two-thirds ocean.

Okay, I feel better knowing how unlikely it is that the debris will hit me... And even in the unlikely chance that the debris should hit the 1/3 part of the planet that isn't covered by ocean, the 1,400 tank should break up upon re-entry into the earths atmosphere and experts expect only about 15 pieces, the largest being no bigger than 40 pounds, to survive the searing heat.

Being hit on the head by a 40 pound piece of debris traveling 100 mph is definitely better than being hit on the head by a 1,400 pound piece of debris.

Yeah, I feel so much better now.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The phone has been ringing non-stop today. I let the answering machine pick up the calls. So far of the 20+ calls, only one was a real person... the high school secretary. (only one call from the school today, that's a first!) Obama, McCain and Palin all called. Biden must have lost my number but I anticipate his call by supper time. One of the 200 'Janes' from ARC wants my gently used clothing while 3 different Veteran organizations preferred 3 easy monthly installments. Dan from the police auxiliary thanked me for my generous donation that I didn't make last year and asked for my continued support, and I received my second and last notice of my truck's warranty had expired (for the 100th time) and would like like to renew it? Obviously they have never seen Big Red!
Zack's new used car broke down yesterday so Dickidoo and I made plans to go and pick him up before we left for the concert. I tried to sneak a nap in before we had to leave to get my son but Dickidoo had other plans for my time. Frustrated, I fussed while I tried to find Zack's number to call him and make plans. I remember saying something about someone being a *bleep* head and then I heard a distant voice coming from my phone: 'Jo, are you waiting for me?'. I had forgotten to hang up before trying to make my next call and when Dickidoo tried to make another call immediately after talking to me, we were still connected.
Did he hear my loving endearment? I figured if he didn't offer to buy me a tee shirt at the ZZ Top concert then the answer would be obvious.
We decided to take Big Red down to pick up Zack. I thought it would be a good idea to top off the truck's fluids since she tended to smell on the hot side after even short runs even though the thermostat read normal temperatures. I touched the radiator cap and decided that it was cool enough to remove.
I thought wrong. The cap shot off and radiator fluid spewed everywhere... including into my gaping mouth. Yeah, I know its highly toxic. Dickidoo almost got lucky, but I didn't swallow! By the way, yes, I did in fact get a really cool ZZ Top tee shirt!
The mouse population is down by 3 more residents. Art filled in as exterminator while Zack was gone. He's confident that he has gotten most of them, with the exception of one particular mouse who lives under the kitchen sink and mocks him with its incessant gnawing. I came home the other night and found my youngest son lying on the floor staring at the cupboard, clutching a large hunting knife, poised and ready to make a little mouse-kabob. He has as of yet been unsuccessful.
Guess it's about time to get the apple cider simmering. The little ghosts, ghouls and other costumed candy hunters should be making their rounds in about 3 hours. We've been serving hot apple cider to shivering trick-or-treaters for the past 13 years. Some of the older kids have grown up and now bring their own children to our house, sharing their memories of when they stood on our porch sipping the steaming juice. Family traditions are so cool, but even cooler still is to hear how your own traditions have impacted other families as well.
Happy Halloween~ don't eat too much of your kids candy!


When the Oompas were little I prided myself for being a very open and intellectual mother. When the children had questions, even the difficult ones, I tried to answer honestly but in a context that they could comprehend.

'Boys are made of snips and snails, and puppy dog tails. Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. And a stork with a little blue hat drops them off on the front porch step.'

The Oompas are older now and are ready for the real truth about how babies are made.

Babies are made from kissing!

All of my pregnancies were preceded by kissing, which eventually lead to other things. For that reason I do not allow the kids to kiss their boyfriends and girlfriends. Hugs are fine, hand holding is cute, but kisses are out of the question.

At first the Oompas, who are smarter than their report cards reflect, scoffed at my theory. They had all taken the standard sex ed course in the 6th grade. They knew that procreation wasn't about the birds and the bees but about Sammy the sperm and Ella the egg. However I made them see the broader picture. What happened before Sammy swam the channel to have dinner with Ella?


And what happened before each of my children were conceived?


I rest my case. Kissing makes babies! The rule stands. No kissing!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


  • You wouldn't take a toddler to a bank heist so why the heck would you take one with you when you steal from a store? Great role model mom! That child will be shoplifting from Toys-R-Us by Christmas!
  • Size 3XXX thong... really?
  • If you're gonna 'sag' your pants, make sure you have clean boxers underneath... please?
  • Are all cops deliberately issued uniform shirts that are 2 sizes too small? (Oh wait, that's not a rant... I like cops in shirts that are 2 sizes too small! Sometimes it almost makes the ticket worth it.)
  • Who ever says "I don't need deodorant because I never perspire" never stood beside themselves in the summer. (Try this trick, at the end of the day take your hand and stick it under your armpit... rub your pit with your hand and then take a good whiff of your hand... Then apply antiperspirant liberally because you know you stink!)
  • I don't care how soft and fuzzy my sweater looks, don't touch it when I'm in it! (unless you look like Tom Selleck in a shirt 2 sizes too small and sound like Sam Elliot ... in which case would you like to see my size 3XXX thong?)

Okay, whew, got that off my chest, now I can go to work. By the way, I don't really wear a sized 3XXX thong, mine are a wee smaller, but mostly I just grab my regular old granny panties, yank 'em up and presto amazo, Insta-thong!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Does one ever really out grow 'stupid'? I suspect not. You don't put dish detergent in a dishwasher or washing machine (done both), sugar does not counter-act salt (tried it), table salt is a lousy windshield de-icer (don't ask, just take my word for it), and body soap should not be used as hair soap. Especially 'Yougert Vanilla Honey' body wash. I was desperate since once again someone had grabbed my bottle of shampoo from my shower, leaving me just a bar of soap and a container of extra moisturizing body wash. Already having experienced the scummy residue bar soap leaves on hair I opted for the body wash. I waited until the last minute to brush out my hair after showering. By that time it was too late. I had to go to work with hair that looked like it had been bathed in yogurt, vanilla and honey. I was just waiting for someone to come up to me and ask 'Hey, is that yogurt, vanilla and honey in your hair?' Grrrrrr! Remind me to find out who snatched my real shampoo and stick some 'Yougert Vanilla Honey' body wash into their bottle of shampoo.

Last night I heard a familiar squeak. I guess Zack's little trophy wasn't ABC Alphabet Soup after all. I was tempted to wake Becca and give her the good news but decided to wait until morning. Unfortunately Dickidoo had invested a small fortune in mouse traps of various types and models. Even more unfortunate still... ABC Alphabet Soup ended up on the up side of a glue trap. We were awakened by Rocky's frantic announcement that Becca had been bitten by a mouse. She had been trying to free the little critter who was stuck fast and squeaking so sadly.

Don't ever buy those glue traps. They are horrible! I think being stomped to death by Zack's size 10 boot is more humane than those sticky death traps. I had to bag the poor thing up and throw it into our outside freezer to put it out of it's misery.

Dickidoo goes to the doctor this morning to get his back checked. He's always screwing it up right around this time of year each year. If he were a horse we'd have shot him a long time ago. I suspect the subject of surgery will be coming up soon. He's put it off for several years but I can't imagine going through that kind of pain on a daily basis. I think we both have a problem with the odds though... it's one of those deals where he has a 50% chance of getting better and 50% chance of getting worse. There is no in between, not even a 'no difference', it's either better or worse.

I'm thinking he's more worried about the possibility of not being able to hunt than anything else. This much I know for sure though... it something happens and he cannot get around on his own two feet, he will have a four wheeling', off-roading, tricked out and camouflaged wheel chair with a gun rack and a toilet paper holder before opening day of the next hunting season! There's no keeping that guy home during deer season!

Which reminds me... my elk season begins this Saturday. I'm not taking any extra time off so it will just be for a total of two and a half days, but that's already more time than I had out in the woods last year. A huntin' we will go.... woo hoo!

Not enough time for a tricked out wheelchair. Dickidoo will have to settle for a walker covered with camo tape.

Monday, October 27, 2008

5th In State!

The Pride Of Mesa Ridge took 5th in their class during the Colorado State Marching Band Championships. Way to go Art, Becca and Rocky! They performed at Invesco Field. Becca, who is pretty much as anti-Bronco as I am pro-Bronco, even stopped in the end zone and picked some grass for me before leaving the field.

Watching the Oompas compete was the highlight of my vacation. The rest of the time was pretty much a blur of non-accomplishments. Normally a vacation spent doing absolutely nothing would be a good thing, but I had so much that I wanted to do, and needed to do, but other things came up and my to-do list has gotten longer if anything.

Zack, the Great House Mouse Killer, is in trouble. Becca befriended one of the furry refugees and even gave it the name "A B C Alphabet Soup" (please note a slight concern on my part as to her potential choice of names for my future grandbabies). Zack spent the weekend with us so he could watch his siblings compete. He was introduced to 'A B C Alphabet Soup' by his frantic cousin who was startled by the rodent in the bathroom (think it was my little peeking tom?) His hunter instincts kicked in and Zack promptly stomped the poor little critter to death. Becca was devastated (sort of) when she heard the news, until she discovered that 'A B C Alphabet Soup' had relatives living with us as well. Zack went back to Florence last night and won't be back until next weekend, which means the mice will be running rampant until then. Just Jim Fricken Dandy! Hopefully they don't breed as fast as dust bunnies.

It snowed the other night... not enough to stick by morning, but the Peak got a nice dusting. Unfortunately I have been having to deal with frost on the windshield for a week now, which under normal circumstances would not be a problem but I'm driving Big Red, who should qualify for a handicap parking stall herself. She has no power steering at all... not right nor left so now both of my arms are quite muscular underneath all of my flab. I've decided that with the cold weather setting in... the window is definitely stuck half way down! And that is especially sucky since neither the heater nor the defroster work. If I survive the winter Dickidoo has promised to buy me a new vehicle when he pays off the Hemi in the spring. That's 'if' with a capital 'I F'.

Dickidoo is still convinced that I should drive a mini-van. I am still convinced that I should not. Besides seating capacity and mileage the mini-van has nothing I want or need. I'm not sure why he is so insistent about it, perhaps he's hoping that even this late in the game I can still be converted into a Stepford wife type soccer mom, but buddy, that just ain't gonna happen. I want a car, an SUV (which get great mileage now days) or a small truck. If he wants a mini-van he can trade the Hemi in for one himself. I want a vehicle with balls! Like maybe a little 2008 Dodge Challenger....

Can you see me in one of those? I can!