Thursday, December 31, 2009

END OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION!

Santa came back to town and took me to Best Buy this afternoon for my late Christmas/ early Birthday present... a new Nikon. Then the Jolly Ol' Elf took Art and me to Famous Dave's BBQ where we enjoyed our last meal of the year... 4 different types of barbecue served on a trash can lid. Let me tell you, that food was soooo good, there was no place in the whole world I would rather have been at that time than right there eating off of that trash can lid! Pulled pork, brisket, ribs and chicken, with corn muffins, potato wedges, corn on the cob, cole slaw and baked beans. What a way to end the year. Seriously! I was so excited about my new camera, which I took into the restaurant with me, but I put it down long enough to absolutely pig out on bbq!
The after shot of the meal wasn't pretty. I still can't believe how much I ate. Even more unbelievable still is the fact that we actually had left overs and brought home a doggy bag! I know what my first meal for the new year will be... Yay!
Now, back to the camera... I can't tell you how depressing it was to work with my old faithful second hand Nikon, knowing that it was slowly dying. Well, not really dying, but it's auto focus motor is burning out. With my eye sight being as lousy as it is I rely heavily on the auto focus although I do most of the other settings manually so it was frustrating to say the least to have to manually focus my shots only to find out later that most of them out of focus. The new camera, a D5000, isn't a heavy duty camera like it's bigger cousins the D80, D90 or my dream camera the D2, but it is amazing and has so many cool little bells and whistles... like a tilt screen and video! But most of all it has a working auto focus. Yay²!
It was dark by the time I was able to get it outside to play and the battery only had a factory charge so I wasn't able to really mess around like I would have liked to. I do know that I love the camera and I hate that I have to go in to work tomorrow because there is nothing I would like better than to just play with the camera and all it's cool settings all day long!
Warning: heavy photo swarming may follow!
Happy New Year to all of my wonderful friends and family.
Thank you Santa, you rock!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Once upon a time...

The year is almost over and I find myself reflecting on the past months in a daze. For once I don't find myself wondering 'Where the hell did the time go?' For once I actually know where the hell time went... away! It went away so quickly that I am still reeling and gasping for breath. Forget trying to comprehend what has happened, I'm just happy knowing that something has happened and that the 12 months, the 365 days or 8760 hours have not been in vain.

Have those days been spent the way I wanted, not necessarily, but they have not been entirely wasted. A little 'pro-action' mixed with the standard and sometimes deperate 'reaction' has kept me some what balanced and moving in a forward direction. Life handed me lemons and I made lemonade. Life handed me limes and I made a margarita. Life took away my fruit and I drank my tequila straight. Then, as if that wasn't fun enough already... life changed the ending on my fairy tale leaving me to come up with an alternate ending. That is proving to be a bit challenging but not impossible.

So what now? How should the next chapter of my life go? My resolution; not just for the coming year but for the years to come... is to be an independent person. I don't want to settle for 'good enough'. I want the clarity to set a goal and the determination to achieve it. I want the ability to stay on the path but the vision to see beyond it. Most of all I want the strength to be myself and not become some bitter old woman with a closed heart and mind.

I will not settle for less than 'happily ever after'.

Friday, December 25, 2009

CHRISTMAS 2009

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. And of course Rudolph. But don't forget the cutest reindeer of all ~ Jubilee!
Merry Christmas from the House of Oompa.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dust Bunny Tip of the Day

I have always said that you can't believe everything you read on the internet to be true.  I base this on the fact that Al Gore invented the internet and I don't believe everything that Al Gore says.  So when I get e-mails with amazing tips and stories I tend to be on the skeptical side.  Sometimes, however, something will catch my attention and I will test it out.

I recently got a million times forwarded and reforwarded e-mail from my brother-in-law/friend (how cool that he can be both!).  Anyhow this particular e-mail contained several useful tips for around the house.  The one that really grabbed my eye though was the one about using hair conditioner as shaving gel.

Being as we always buy conditioner AND shampoo, but the shampoo runs out faster, we always have left over conditioner, and if we buy a different brand of shampoo or even the same brand but a different fragrance... goodness knows you can't mix and match the conditioner!  So we have all this extra conditioner that is just building up in the shower.

The downstairs shower that is.  Not the upstairs shower where I was when I decided to test out this helpful household tip.  The only condition in the upstairs shower was a bottle of Head and Shoulders Conditioner bought by accident instead of the shampoo.

But it was conditioner none the less so I squirted a handful onto my palm and smeared it all over my leg.  I scraped my razor up, down and around my legs.  I even did my pits and panty line.  And then for the test.

Silky smooth!

And now I can wear black without worrying about embarrassing flakes of dandruff showing up on my pants, shirts and panties!

So, this is proof that not all internet stories are false.  Try some out, you really might be surprised!  I know I was, and I absolutely love this particular shaving tip.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The end of a dream...

My Broncos have regained their composure and are back in the running for the Wild Card.  Dickidoo's Steelers are still stumbling.  Although Pittsburgh won against the Broncos, karma is paying off and they trail Denver in wins.  Their past record is indisputably impressive but lets face it, the Broncos are the better team this year.  Or maybe they've just played the worst teams so far... either way they have a better record thus far.  But Dickidoo has to crow about something and he's found a doozie.

Did you know that Howie Long was a Raider?  I did not.  Did you know that I hate the Raiders with a fiery passion with the exception of Lyle Alzado who was my favorite player when I first started watching football way back in the day... it broke my heart when he died.  In my defense Alzado was also a Bronco at one time, although it was long before I became a Bronco fan.  It was just meant to be... 

So anyhow the other night after Sunday Night Football Dickidoo and I were watching the Post Game show and Howie, my favorite commentator was talking.  Suddenly it dawned on me that I had no idea what team Howie had played for so silly me asked Dickidoo.  The only thing he knew for sure was that Howie was not a former Steeler so he googled 'Howie Long'. His laugh was long and evil.

Howie was a Raider!

To say that I was devastated would be an understatement.  I was and still am totally disillusioned.  I cannot even watch those Chevy Truck commercials any more without hanging my head in utter disbelief.  It's a feeling that can only be described as what a child might feel when he finds out that his parents are really Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny as well!

Dickidoo has offered to buy me a Howie team jersey.  He has never offered to buy me a Bronco jersey, not Henry or Bailey, Marshall or Elway, but he really wants to buy me a Howie Long Raider jersey.  What a sweetheart!

I suppose I probably shouldn't have hung Pittsburgh Pete over the toilet during the game huh?

Howie... a Raider?!  Life is so cruel!  I'm going to wake up and it will all have been a nightmare.  When I google 'Howie Long', he will show up as a Bronco.

Or not...(sigh)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

THERE'S JUST NO PLEASING ME

I have to say... my new work schedule isn't very family friendly.  I start too early in the day to do anything before work. I don't have enough time to cook supper before I leave so the family has been eating bachelor food for the past week. I get off too late to do anything after work. I work straight through the weekend. I have no social life.
 
On the plus side I actually get to say good-night the kids as I walk in the house and pass them on their way to bed.  You'd think that the current situation with it's time constraints would get me off the hook for fight mediations and general nagging.

Nope, that's what text messaging cell phones are for!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shhhh...

Did you hear that?

That was the sound of me snapping out of it.

I giggled yesterday.  I actually 'giggled'.  Girls giggle, not 49 year old grandmothers.  But I giggled, and it felt good, and I didn't care who heard or saw me giggle because it felt that good.  It was as if I had opened up a box stashed away in the corners of my memories and found a long forgotten treasure.  I lifted it up, shook it out and tried it on, and it still fit!  I looked in the mirror and I saw it...

A smile that reached my eyes.

Silly girl!  Hehehehe!

No, I'm not drunk.  I'm alive!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lessons learned

I sneaked into my old room last night after the game, shooting Dickidoo a message warning him of my presence so he wouldn't think I was some intruder who had hidden in his bed while he was at the game. 

'Possession is 9/10th of the law,' I texted as I burrowed deep into the fluffy softness that I once took for granted.  Despite the disappointment of my team losing to his team, sleep came easy.  I was awakened some time later by his voice.

'Does this mean I have to sleep on the couch?'

'No, but you can if you want to.' I replied.  I waited for the goading, the heckling and harrassment that I certainly would have dished out had the Broncos won... but he merely commented on the good game, fussed about parking and was snoring within minutes.  Just like the old days, I thought before my snoring joined in the chorus.  Dang, I miss that bed.

I'm looking at life differently now days.  It's not so complicated any more.  Happiness is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Ecstasy is two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Friends and family think I need a guy in my life to be happy.  Why?  I've got a fresh loaf of bread, a jar of Skippy and some blackberry jam.  I'm good!


The moral of this story is:  Enjoy life's simple pleasures, don't take anything (especially your mattress) for granted, and NEVER let me babysit your mascot when your team is playing my team and you go to the game without me!

Disclaimer: Gno gnomes were harmed during the making of this or the previous post.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jealous, who, me?

Dickidoo's friend gave him a ticket for tonight's game~ Broncos vs. Steelers at Invesco Field in Denver. 

'Sorry, I wish there was another ticket for you.' he said. 

(Yeah, right, I'll bet you do!)

But he didn't call to brag.  He called to ask me to pick the ticket up for him.

Say what?

Yeah, okay, I can do that.  And I can even babysit Pittsburgh Pete, the Garden Gnome for you while you're at the game. Don't worry, he'll be safe with me!  I'll take good care of him!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

RESURRECTION

resurrection: (n) 1.The act of rising from the dead or returning to life.
2.The state of one who has returned to life.

I had a nasty bug this weekend.  No, it wasn't H1N1 or the Swine flu. No fever was involved, and no coughing or head aches.  Just gosh awful cramping, nausea and a whole lot of running to the bathroom.

Art:  Hey mom, what's the past tense for 'When Pigs Fly'?
Me:  I haven't a clue.
Art:  Swine flu....  Pigs fly, swine flew... get it?
Me:  Grrrrrrrrr!

We ran out of Immodium AD (wonderful little pill, works wonders and so easy to swallow because it's so tiny!) so I started popping Peptol Bismol caplets.  By the end of my illness I had taken so many of those pink pills that I half expected to be ... well, you know... doing it in pink!

'Actually the ingredients in Peptol Bismol would turn it white,' Rocky's adorable Cello Playing Boyfriend informed me.  Simply adorable.  See why he fits in so well with our family?

The house is a mess.  Dickidoo has been gone all week so I can't blame it on him.  The Oompas are all teenagers and insist that they clean up their own mess (when did they start doing that? It must be a new thing), and I've been way too sick to do anything let alone wreck the entire house.  I guess that leaves the pets.

I know for a fact that the shit-hound unstuffed the sofa cushion and that the cat helped to distribute the stuffing through out the house.  There is evidence of trash can raids in the kitchen, bathroom and all remaining corners of the upper level.  The goldfish glare accusingly every time the cat and dog enter the foyer where the tank sits.  Henry the homicidal goldfish waits, his little goldfish cheeks fully loaded with stinky tank water, poised to shoot if the cat even so much as thinks about jumping on the aquarium to knock down the fish food for the dog to chew open.  The stairs leading to the lower level of the house still bear proof of the last such conspiracy.

Yes, it is quite possible that the cat and dog actually did trash the house without help from the Oompas.  It probably took them just a few minutes to do so.  It will probably take me all afternoon to clean it up. (Art, a little help here? I think you owe me after that swine flew joke.)

And I wanted a cat and a dog... why?

Note to self:  next time I decide to get a stomach bug and die for a few days, send the critters to a kennel.  This is just crazy!

But other than that, I feel mah-valous!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Man-Camp

Dickidoo is going hunting with his buddies for a week.  Elk camp, deer camp, man camp... they can call it what they want.  I call it what it is.

Vacation!  Woo Hoo!  And I get the queen sized Serta for a week!

I've been cooking and freezing like a crazy woman to show my appreciation.  Elk chili.  Elk-a-roni.  Elk stew.  Tomorrow I'll whip up a batch of elk curry.  If nothing else those guys are going to be eating good.  Or... they'll be so sick and tired of eating elk that they won't even bother to take a shot when one walks by them.

I got a scary email from my Baby Sister yesterday.  She's recently been diagnosed with some kind of spinal disease that may require surgery.  In the mean time she's popping 18 pills daily to deal with the pain.  18 pills?  I couldn't imagine it.  I couldn't even manage popping a birth control pill once a day thus the 5 Oompas, so there is no way I could do 18 pills.  With surgery there is always the risk of paralysis but she is young and strong.  She's scared but she'll never let something like this slow her down.

And here I am belly aching about how bad my love life is.  All of a sudden my problems all seem so insignificant. I really have it easy. 

Last night Rocky's boyfriend told me that he thought she was mad at him.  She later told me that she thought he was mad at her.  I told her that they were both over reacting to something silly.  All they needed was to be a little more sensitive to each other's feelings and learn to let silly little things go.

Even as I was saying those words I realized that it was probably the best advice I could ever give myself.

"Be more sensitive to each others feelings and learn to let the silly little things go."

(Yeah, okay, fine!  But I still get to decide what is silly and what is not!)

I should probably make the guys some cookies or something sweet like that.  I don't want them to get hungry and have to pack up and come in early.  Maybe some brownies, and I'll get them some hot cocoa mix.  And lots of toilet paper, enough for a couple weeks just in case they should get snowed in or something equally wonderful like that.  Yeah, that sounds like a plan!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pride Of Mesa Ridge


The High School Marching Band season ended on Saturday, highlighted by the State Championships.  Becca's participation this year marked her 4th and final year in the Color Guard.  She was the only 4 year Guard member and for that accomplishment she was given the honor of carrying the American flag during the retreat at the end of the night.  This is only Rocky's 2nd year but she is as dedicated as her sister. Rocky may be one of the tiniest members of the band but she has big ambition and she absolutely ROCKS! Last year the Pride of Mesa Ridge took 5th Place in the State Finals.  This year they placed 4th.  Way to go Oompas!  Way to go Mesa Ridge!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And now... back to our regularily scheduled programming.



Zack left for New York this morning.  He's going to try his hand at yak wrangling at my sister and brother-in-law's farm.  He's been looking forward to it ever since they accepted his offer to work there for room and board... and the opportunity to mess around with the welder, and maybe the tractor or other large machinery.  I'd rather see him in a regular paying job, but this is a wonderful opportunity for him to gain some new experience and it certainly will be helpful for his aunt and uncle to have the extra help during the winter now that all of their own children have moved away.  Poor Val, just when she got rid of her last child I start sending her mine!  What a brilliant concept, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!  (kidding Val, just kick him out and send him back here if he gets too much for you.)

"I think you'll have fun, except maybe for the mud and poop which all kind of looks the same there."  I told Zack before he left this morning.

I sure am going to miss his intellectual banter.  I am not going to miss trying to get him to share my computer with the rest of the family.  He's hooked on Bejeweled and can play for hours!  I think he was trying to get in as many games as he could before he left because he won't have unlimited access to a computer once he gets to the farm.  Poor guy's going to go into Bejeweled withdrawals. Game over! 


And how about them Broncos?!  6 and 0, yeah!  As for the Steelers... the Super Bowl Chumps  Champs, they're 4 and 2.  Awwwww, what's the matter with your team Dickidoo? Maybe they're just too old for the game.  6 championships is a good legacy but it's time to let a younger... BETTER team take over! Go Broncos!

ps: 64 days until Christmas!  Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A huntin' we will go... 2009. (edited)



With the change in my current lifestyle it is safe to assume that this fall would be my last season for hunting.  With that in mind I was determined to fill the freezer one last time, to prove my worth as a provider for the family. 

My friends all thought Dickidoo was either very trusting or very stupid for going out in the wilderness alone with me... with a loaded rifle, and for good reason because for the first time in our 25 plus years of marriage he is actually worth more to me dead than alive.  But with kids like ours, even as old as they are, I don't relish the thought of being a single parent and it suits me to be able to say 'Go ask your father!'

Preparation is a ritual.  I washed my camo and blaze orange gear in hunting soap... which smelled like dirt.  I then showered with soap and shampoo that also smelled like dirt. (I suspect it is so difficult for hunters to spot elk during the season because the elk can spot hunters from miles away... we all look like big fat blaze orange pumpkins and smell like dirt!)  At o'dark hundred we were up and out in search of the elusive bull elk.

Dickidoo had the perfect spot in mind.  We arrived early, got set up and waited. We weren't the only hunters in the area but that was okay, we didn't mind sharing.  Too bad the other hunters didn't feel the same way.  They didn't think twice about talking loudly, walking around us and then walking right through the field in front of us.  Jerks! 

It was pretty obvious that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time so we began to look for signs and tracks.  'Signs' in hunting speak is 'shit'. 

Deer shit, elk shit,
Oh shit, bear shit!

Dickidoo knew where the elk would pass through so we set up a make shift blind.  If the elk showed up as planned I would be filling the freezer. Unfortunately a couple of helicopters doing low altitude maneuvers decided our little area was the perfect area to train.  "We appreciate your service guys, but seriously, go away!"  Of course, they did not.  They circled until all of the animals in the state of Colorado had migrated at full speed to Kansas.  Not cool!

Time for Plan B (or was it Plan C?).

Plan B incorporated the assistance of Dickidoo's friend who was hunting up the way who would be in communication with us via a two way radio if he happened to see anything moving in our direction.  There's nothing that makes one lose the urgency for relieving one's self in the woods than the thought of some guy with high powered binoculars up the hill behind you and some guy with his son scouting around in front of you.  I had to go soooooo bad that I thought I would pop, but there was no way I was baring my full moons with that much traffic all around!

Day one was what I call a 'Murphy's Hunt', when anything that could go wrong did go wrong.  Day two could only get better, right?
Not so much.... There was no fresh sign anywhere, except for bear scat. And let me tell you something about hunting in Colorado.  Colorado is in the Rocky Mountains.  'Mountain' is another word for 'up'.  In Colorado everything is up.  Even down is up.  To get to the top of a mountain you must go up.  To get back down you still must go up.  And no matter how up you are, there is still upper and then it's all uphill from there!

I don't like up.  I really don't. 

So when Dickioo suggested that we wait in a nice little scrub oak hollow looking out over a meadow, with very little up involved, I was ecstatic.  We visited the grave site of an 8 year old boy who died in 1886.  Dickidoo affectionately calls him 'Jimmy'.  We would be hunting in Jimmy's meadow.  Dickidoo is a spiritual hunter.  He asked for Jimmy's permission and then he asked for Jimmy's blessing.  I had a hunting prayer that I whispered over and over.  'Let me be swift and sure.'

It was almost sundown when Dickidoo spotted the antlers among the scrub oaks.  He followed their progress patiently through his binoculars.  I sat by impatiently, waiting for a glimpse of the big bull Dickidoo promised was coming.  Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, the bull crested the hill.
It was a decent sized elk although not so much wide as tall... I admitted aloud.  My future ex gave me an 'are you fricken kidding?' look.  He uses that look on me a lot although I'm not exactly sure why.

Steve jumped into gear and began a new plan of action.  The bull had disappeared behind a dam with 3 possible exit routes. We moved into place... and waited.  And waited.  And waited.
It was almost sun down.  I was running out of time so we began to run as quietly as we could through the cactus minefield to peer over the dam and possibly spot the bull.  Just as I got to the base of the dam Dickidoo hissed for me to look to the left.  I turned right and only saw my husband's excited face.  'Left, left!' he hissed again, running over.  I peered over his shoulder and he grabbed me by mine.
'Your other left!' he growled, physically turning me to my left, and then I saw it standing just 100 yards away.  It was a picture perfect pose, broadside and motionless.  Not so much wide as tall.  I dropped to one knee, took aim and squeezed the trigger.

It was a picture perfect miss.  How could I miss at 100 yards?  I'm dead on at 300!  I quickly reloaded and shot again and this time hit my target.  The bull spun and took off back behind the dam.  Dickidoo grinned and congratulated me but I was worried because I could no longer see the elk.  A few moments later we spotted the him laying down near a pinon tree not far way.  It jumped up and took off again, disappearing near the tree line just off to our right (the right right, not my left right).  It was getting dark.  Dickidoo left to get the truck and I waited, listening for any sign that the elk was leaving the wooded area we had seen it enter, hoping that it had bedded down.  Aside from the wind and my constant prayer it was silent. 

'Swift and sure, please don't let this life have been in vain.'

Dickidoo returned a short time later with a couple of friends to help track and retrieve the elk.  In the dark it was almost impossible to find any tracks or blood trail but these guys are good. Dickidoo found two small drops of blood, nothing more, and there were no fresh tracks.  It was as if the elk had been walking on air... or tippie toe as I suggested. Steve's friend was the one who found the bull, tucked in next to a pinon just 100 yards from where we last saw it.  The guys told me where to place the final shot and it was over. 

Some people think hunting is cruel.  I respect their stance.  I, however, hunt without regret or remorse.  I hunt for food.  I will get about 400 pounds of meat from the bull.  That will feed my family for many months, and it sure beats hotdogs!


The bull, which I refer to as Jimmy's Bull, weighed about 700 pounds on the hoof and carried a 6X6 rack that the guys are guestimating will score over 300 in the Boone and Crocket thingie, which means nothing to me but Dickidoo insists that it's 'one fricken big bull!'

We have a standing rule in our family... 'You kill it, you clean it.'  I started that when Dickidoo used to bring home fish for me to gut (yuck!).  It sounded good at the time... until I began hunting.  After my first kill I had to gut my own kills. Dickidoo was in a good mood though (or maybe he realized that it would take me 4 times as long to do something that would only take him 20 minutes to do), and he offered to field dress the bull. I weenied out and jumped at his offer.  Hey, I may not be able to tell my left from my right, but I'm not entirely stupid!  (Thanks Steve!) 

Not only did he clean the elk for me, he also took it to a butcher to process the meat so I didn't have cut and wrap the meat myself, and he's having the antlers mounted (European mount.... I won't have room in my future home for half an elk to hang on my wall.)

While this was quite possibly my last hunt with Dickidoo, it was probably my best hunt ever.  Nothing but good memories.  Murphy's Hunt... anything that could go wrong did go wrong, but it ended up perfect. It was the hunt of a life time with the bull of a life time, (although not so much wide as tall)

Thank God, thanks to the Spirit of the Elk, Thank you Jimmy.  Thanks Dickidoo, that was amazing!

Edit 10/21/09: Dickidoo suggested that I rename the bull 'Jimmy's Bull' in honor of Jimmy McGlothlin (January 10, 1878 - October 3, 1886) whose spirit watched over us that afternoon.  In actuality it wasn't a "Murphy's Law" kind of hunt at all.  It was a "Jimmy's Law" hunt, when everything that could go right did go right. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mantra (if you say something often enough you're bound to believe it eventually)

Ahhhhh-tumn lasted all of 5 minutes in Colorado. It is now winter. Winter for me has always been cold, crisp mornings when you can see your breath, sunlight reflecting off of diamond tipped snowflakes and a crackling fire in the fireplace at night as the family sits around reminiscing about winters past.

Although the mountains are capped in white, the snow has yet to stick down here in the foothills. The chimney remains clear, the hearth is cold and dark. Everything is different now. Everything has changed. The family is split in different directions as all growing families do but I fear that the bridges we cross are being burned behind us. Sometimes I ponder the classification of 'family' and wonder if we even qualify any more. Life has become a mosaic of technicalities.

I am, therefore I am.

I miss the sentimentalities of the past. I miss laughter that comes from the heart and reaches the eyes. I miss spontaneous hugs and holding hands. I miss the comfort that comes with naivety and the peace of innocence. I wonder where I went wrong. Did I zig when I should have zagged?

My daughter quoted me the other day... 'No regrets,' she said, mimicking my voice as she repeated my mantra.

No regrets. That thought has kept me from drowning in self pity many times during my 49 years on this earth. If I had zagged instead of zigging... where would I be today? What of my life now would I have achieved? What pain would I have avoiding, what joy would I have missed?

No regrets indeed. (thanks Baby)

It is a good motto, but now a new thought enters my mind. One day, when I look back upon these events, what will be my take-away, my silver lining? What positive thing will emerge from these past few months to make me believe without conviction that I have no regrets? Try as I might I cannot think of anything right now... I haven't a clue, but experience has proven that there is always something if one is willing to step back and look at the big picture so I shall keep my eyes and mind open to the possibilities.

I still miss the way we used to be... and but it was all just a part of the path we took which has led us to where we are today. What now?

I guess a nice fire in the fireplace is as good a place as any to start.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Brrrrr.... (but in a good way)

Baby, it's cold outside.... 

In fact it's down right nipply!  I love it!  It tried to snow earlier.  The heavy snowflakes melted just before they hit the ground.  The sky remains grey and over cast.  My nose sniffs in anticipation, searching for the scent of a crackling fire in the the fireplace; steaming cocoa laced with peppermint; and pine.

78 days until Christmas!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Something to smile about...

After months of procrastination the boys have finally begun to pull up the carpeting in the upper level of the house, revealing what promises to be a beautiful blond hardwood floor beneath. I find myself pacing barefoot on the unfinished floor with the same enthusiasm I experience when walking barefoot on a wave dampened sandy beach. If my feet had lips they'd be smiling. My face does have lips, and believe me, it's smiling from ear to ear. Thanks guys, but don't stop now, you still have the rest of the house to do!

We celebrated Becca's birthday a couple days early since she and Rocky will be at a Marching Band competition on Saturday. The boys have always seemed ageless to me, with their easy tempers and laid back attitude. The girls are more emotional and every day is a major, dramatic occurrence of one sort or another. Is Becca really going to be 18? Did Rocky really just turn 15? It feels like they should be older, like maybe 30 and 25. When the boys were little I could get away with answering the question 'Why?' with 'Because I said so, that's why!', and that was good enough. I never even heard the phrase 'But Mom....' until the girls came along. It would be very easy to assume that it is a girl thing, but I was once a girl, and I know for a fact I was never EVER that bad. (Save it Mom and Dad, nobody would believe you if you were to disagreed with me here!)

My big sisters have been nagging me about getting some of my scenic pictures up. I kind of lost my enthusiasm for photography when my camera crapped out on me and Dickidoo proved to be very reluctant to let me borrow his. My second hand camera has issues that kind of take the fun out of photography, but in the end my thirst for preserving the beauty of the world as I see it took over and I'm back behind the lens, snapping like a crazy woman. I have, however, decided to retire my old photo blog 'Through the eyes of the Beholder', and feature my new photos in a different blog, one I started in 2007 to feature some of my favorite photos but kind of lost interest when my camera died. It's a different format, the photos are really large, and some of the files have been X'd out (I might be able to fix them once I get more coffee in my system), but I think over all it's a nicer presentation. Here's the link: COLORADO AT THE SPEED OF LIFE

In other news... How 'bout them BRONCOS? Yeah!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Pictures~


Art's Aspen Haired Girlfriend


Pensive


Aspen Gold~


You can't see them but she is wearing Converse Hightops
with her dress.


A rare photo of Art.

Photo Shoot~ Pikes Peak


Papa-rrazi


Father, daughter


Waving to the tourists... I think they thought she was a celebrity.


Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend.


Becca, the Snow Princess~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Because it's my day off and there is nothing worth watching on TV....

  • While engaged in surveillance in the baking aisle yesterday I discovered that at $2.88 an ounce, pure vanilla extract runs $368.64 a gallon. If you think paying $2.34 a gallon for gasoline is bad, just be glad your car doesn't run on vanilla!
  • Vanilla extract is commonly stolen and consumed in grocery stores as a tasty alcoholic beverage. It's an easy target for alcoholic shoplifters but if you were to buy it by the pint as one might in a liquor store we're talking $46.08 or $97.92 a liter! It would be cheaper to buy Hennessey.
  • There are 28 messages (and counting) on our Comcast voice mailbox, but we don't know how to access the messages... so if you left us a message, we didn't get it.
  • I have 467 unopened emails in my AOL mailbox, so if you wrote to me there, I didn't get it. I remember when I used to stare at the little mailbox and wait for the mailman to say 'You've got mail', then pounce on the little envelope to see who was writing to me. I am no longer excited by promises of penile enlargement.
  • Foamy rocks! <-- clicky (warning, heavy sarcasm and profanity)
  • So does Mr. President! <-- clicky (re-post, but I really REALLY love this)
  • Bush wasn't a popular president (I liked him), but he's looking better and better every day.
  • With just 85 days until Christmas there is still time to make it to the Nice list. Quick, send me chocolate and I'll put in a good word for you.
  • Of all the possible letter, symbol and space combinations, this is what I found today. Beware, tomorrow is another day off!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bleep.. bleep, bleep (censored)

I have been blogging about my life for over 5 years now. I blog about every thing, the good, the bad, the ugly and the smelly in my life. I blog about work, I blog about my football team (go BRONCOS!), I blog about my pets... the goldfish eating goldfish, the shit eating dog and the dog eating cat... I blog about the mess in my kitchen and the absence of toilet paper in my bathroom. But mostly I blog about my kids, my husband and myself.

And more recently I have blogged about how my chaotic, imperfect but for the most part happy life was turned upside down. Blogging has been therapeutic for me. It served as a vent and helped me through this extreme life changing event.

But I have been asked not to blog about this particular subject any more because it has upset the delicate balance of parallel lives.

Interesting.....

Can you say 'tough titty'?!

Yeah, well, apparently I can't and I agreed not to blog about... that which I have agreed not to blog about.

Which leaves me little else to blog about except for the same ole, same ole!

(Sorry gang, not my fault!)

So, here goes Dust Bunny, censored edition:

Rocky brought home some little goldfish she won at the Colorado State Fair and we placed them in the tank with Henry, the homicidal goldfish. Nobody has seen the littlest one for over a week. Ironically Henry seems to have grown a little and he appears to be smiling. In other news, we are down to 4 rolls of toilet paper from the 24 pack Santa (aka Gabe) delivered 9 days ago. That's more than 2 rolls a day! Amazing.

And how about them BRONCOS!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Christmas in September?

Santa Claus visited the House of Oompa sometime after midnight, bearing gifts of Fruit Loops, 2% milk, boxes of Mac and Cheese, cans of Spam and Corned Beef Hash and tons of Gatorade.
And coffee creamer... lots and lots of coffee creamer!

He also brought bottles of shampoo, body wash and a couple of razors. Girl razors. ("So the girls will leave my fricken razor alone!" grumbled Santa)

Anyhow, it was a welcomed visit and the fridge and cupboards are full of junk. Good junk! But best of all, he also brought a 24 count family pack of toilet paper. That should last us through the week end.

Thanks Santa. You're a good son!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Because somebody asked...

No, I don't make this stuff up.

If I were, for starters, I'd make myself happy and with the body of a 20 year old. Not fat like I was at 20, but a boobilicious 20 year old, with perfect teeth, a perfect body, a gorgeous face and no split ends.

I would drive a really cool car, like a '65 Mustang, or a 2009 Challenger... I'd have a loving husband, my kids would be honor students or CEO's in million dollar corporations, and I wouldn't have to work other than to pull up my stock portfolios once daily to see how much I'm worth. And of course I'd have a new camera, a Nikon D5000 would be nice.

No, this is all factual. If you were to show up on my door step right now you would find my house exactly as I have described it... messy, noisy and smelly, with a shit eating dog, a dog eating cat, a goldfish eating goldfish, 5 kids of various ages, sizes and shapes, a husband on the couch with one eye on the TV and the other on his computer, the remove near one hand and a cell phone in the other. And I would be banging on a dusty computer keyboard instead of getting ready for work, which starts in less than half an hour. My hair would be unbrushed, my feet bare and I'd be trying to remember whether I put on deodorant or not. But supper is done so the family will get to eat tonight... although only time will tell if I get to or not... it depends on who all shows up at the door step at supper time and if they leave any left overs for me.

Yes, this is my life, and it is all real. How about yours? Think about it, is it really as good as you think or is it just wishful thinking? Don't ask me, listen to your heart, it already knows the answer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

All about me....

I need:


  • A good night's sleep.

  • Beer and truffles.


  • A quiet place to think.


  • A sound proof room to scream in.


  • Scratch the beer, I need Absolut Black.


  • And truffles!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just a little ventilation.



I have chronic 'Foot In Mouth Disease'. It's incurable, and my prognosis is bleak. I open my mouth and speak my mind then almost in slow motion yet always way too late, I realize what I have just said but the damage is already done. When will I ever learn that sometimes what's on one's mind is best left in one's mind.
I said that some woman 'either has big balls or no balls. Either way, if I were her, I would not be in her position.' What I was attempting to communicate was that in her place I would have handled her situation differently. Compliment or poorly veiled insult? I'm not even sure myself how I truly intended it to be, but judging by the ensuing silence after the sharing of said comment, it was probably taken as an insult.
It's not that I mis-spoke, I just should not have spoken at all. I should have kept it to myself. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda! Grrrrrrrrrr!
Oh well, c'est la vie. Such is life. Grow some balls but keep it real! Here's some violin music to go with that whine!
Uh oh, I think I just did it again. Damn! See what I mean? It's chronic!
By the way, that's Becca in the picture down by the pond yesterday. She took last year off from Orchestra so she could concentrate on other classes but as promised she is back in Strings this year. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Becca was born with a violin in her hands, they were just meant to be together, her and the violin.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Steaks, wedding gowns and sunflowers... oh my!

I'm supposed to be Memorial Park taking pictures of hot air balloons. But then again, it's supposed to be sunny but it's not. It's over cast and gloomy. I'll try again tomorrow morning. Besides, I'm sore. I got in a tussle with some huge gorilla of a man who wanted some steaks but didn't want to pay for them. In the end I got my steaks back, and his shirt and hat. I also got a very sore body, but apparently I kicked him in a tender spot so I'm thinking he's feeling a whole lot worse than I am and that makes it all better as far as I'm concerned.

I saw an acquaintance, the ex-wife of a friend, at the store yesterday in a wedding gown. I took pictures for her at her last wedding. That was just 3 years ago. At first I was shocked but then I realized that it was really no big deal. Some people get married just to be married and love is just a 4 letter word. The first time Dickidoo asked for a divorce was during our 4th year. Who knows where we would be today if we had just given in then and called it quits right then and there. Would we be happier now? Would we ever realize what we had lost because we didn't want to work on our relationship? The girls wouldn't even exist. He would ask for a divorce 5 more times before this (you'd think I'd have gotten the hint by then) but we always seemed to work things out, for the kids. Well, the kids are grown and it's no longer about them. As much as I resent being replaced by an upgrade, I've finally gotten the message. I'm just glad it took me 25 years to get it.


Art has a garden on the side of the house. We have more zucchini than we know what to do with, and there are more on the way. Plus we have fresh green onions, green leaf lettuce fresh off the stalk and cilantro... with pumpkins and watermelons on the way. Sadly the strawberries, rosemary, basil and thyme never even sprouted. But the sunflowers, oh my goodness, the sunflowers! Who needs roses? These are gorgeous, and almost as big as my face! The birds in the neighborhood are very appreciative of Art's gardening skills and have been pecking at the blossoms ever since they bloomed. Every afternoon I can hear Art outside, shouting and shooting at the feathered fiends with his air soft gun like an armed scarecrow. The pellets just bounce off the birds feathers but they get the message and fly away... until Art leaves, then they're back again feasting on sunflower seeds.
Not sure what will be for supper tonight but I'm thinking it will probably have something to do with zucchini.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oops, I did it again.

I'm in the dog house.

Not the shithound's house, but the metaphoric dog house although I think I would prefer the literal dog house which is actually a plastic travel kennel on the side of the house.

I accidentally tipped my glass of wine on Dickidoo's old laptop while shopping for a lense he had offered to buy me for my birthday. The machine sizzled to an abrupt stop... no error code, no blue screen of death... just the black screen of 'Oh My God, What Have I Done?' That wasn't the first time I'd splashed my drink on the laptop. Last month I spilt a little bit on the bottom corner... not in the keyboard, but Dickidoo had asked me not to put my drink near the computer again. I forgot.

How come when I do something wrong, disaster almost always ensues yet when anyone else does something wrong nothing really happens and nobody seems to notice? I guess I'm just lucky like that. It sucks!

I confessed to Dickidoo as soon as he got home and he sat there with his arms crossed, glaring at me the way he does when people screw up around him. It's really an intimidating sight. I felt like a child standing in front of the principal. For a second I wished I had taken Rocky's advice to blame it on the kitten.

'I'm sorry', never felt so ineffective.

Oh well, what can he do, divorce me? I'm thinking I won't be getting that lense for my birthday though.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Meteors, birthdays and hair removal

Spent the night simmering in the hot tub in the hopes of seeing some meteors from the Perseid's meteor shower. I saw 5 two nights ago, including twins that streaked through the night sky side by side in a perfectly paced race into the atmosphere. In an instant, like the others before them, they were gone, leaving me wide eyed in awe. Did I really just see that? I would have missed it if I had blinked. Last night I must have blinked at the wrong time because without my glasses on, I saw only the brightest of stars.

Not true... I did see 3 shooting stars. I'm pretty certain they were not part of the meteor shower since they were traveling in the opposite direction. Not one to waste wishes I closed my eyes tightly and wished the same wish I've been wishing on ever falling star I've seen for the past month.

My wishes have been coming true because I have made through yet another day and night.

We celebrated Rocky, Gabe and Art's birthdays last night. It was nice to have the entire family (along with significant others) together, laughing and enjoying each other's company. These moments are becoming more and more precious with each passing day and I hesitated to leave the restaurant because I knew that with the moment passing into our memories, we took one step towards the future and the inevitable.

I'm still trying to decide how to spend my 49th birthday. For some reason the excitement has kind of left me (duh!) and I am no longer in the mood for a celebration. I am not, however, going to let an opportunity to consume beer and truffles pass me by, so I imagine that what ever I decide to do, it shall include a 6 pack of Coronas, lime wedges and Godiva truffles.

Tip for the day: Be sure that the adhesive strip on your panty liner is fully adhered to your panty before pulling the garment up and on. The result, though not necessarily immediate, can be quite painful. And to think some women pay $$$ to have a similar hair removal procedure done. It felt like my eye balls were being ripped out of my head by the roots of my bikini hair! I cried, I kid you not... I sat there trying to carefully remove each hair one by one from the adhesive strip, blinded by a steady flow of tears.

Just 24 more cycles!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where have all the children gone?

I hardly ever see the Oompas any more. The best time for possible sightings is 0'dark hundred, which is usually just a couple of hours after I get into bed... and they hover over me, asking questions in a language that my sleep muffled ears cannot decipher. They're gone by the time I get up. Or maybe I don't get up until I hear the front door slam for the 5th time... At any rate, I hardly ever see the Oompas any more.

The honorary Oompas, the four legged, long tailed ones, on the other hand, are constantly under feet.

The cat thinks it's a dog. The dog thinks it's a cat. They both think they own the house.

I think they are both pains in the behind.

The dog is starting to think the same about the cat, who has just discovered the dog's nipples and decided to start nursing again. Jubilee is just a baby herself and doesn't really appreciate that kind of attention so she just bites the cat's head. And the cat meows and the dog barks, and I growl... Grrrrrrrrrrr!

I should have stuck to having kids. At least they speak English!

So... the cat and the dog are in time out, again! And the Oompas are off to the four winds.

How did I ever get suckered into this?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another 'wtf' moment

I woke up this morning on my own. No Oompas barging into my room to borrow my clothes, no dog whining to go outside, no cat whining because the dog won't play. It was quiet, as if nobody wanted to disturb me. Dickidoo was in the den watching TV but the volume was set low.

"This is why I shouldn't go to bed with wet hair," I apologized as I tried to force my Medusa doo down. My future-ex laughed but then grew serious.

"No coffee." he said without further ado. How like him not to beat around the bush.

Of course I didn't believe him and ran upstairs to see for myself. I looked high and low but to no avail. I even peered inside old coffee cans, maybe I could scrape up enough grounds to make a pot... Nope, I drained them the last time we ran out of coffee. Then I remembered all of the MRE condiment packs that were accumulating in the cupboard. MRE's always come with a napkin, moist towelette, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, gum or candy, powdered drink, sugar, creamer and instant coffee!

And more recently... tea?

I kid you not, tea!

We feed our soldiers these meals. They eat these before going into battle. They need something to give them strength and energy... something to put hair on their balls.

They need coffee, not tea! I need coffee, not tea!

"The English won the war with tea," Dickidoo reasoned.

"No they didn't, they lost the war... and the Colonists threw the tea into the ocean because they wanted COFFEE!"

Dickidoo is almost as addicted to coffee as I am, so I wasn't too surprised when he offered to go to the store to buy some. Unfortunately my over-worked Bunn-Omatic coffee maker is starting to show it's age and it keeps popping the circuit on my power stick so when the pot was ready, the coffee was only luke warm. It would take another 30 minutes before we had a pot of hot coffee. But we did get our coffee and once again there was peace in the universe.

In these changing times you take happiness when and where you can get it, even if it's just a fresh, hot cup of coffee...

Or a can of Febreese... the damn shithound has gas again! Grrrrr.... Gag!!!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pets, pests... same difference.

The dog is in the dog-house because she ate the can of gold fishes food (including the can). The cat is in the dog-house because he knocked the zucchini bread batter off the table and all over the carpet. They're not precious little pets, they're just hairy, 4 legged Oompas with tails.

Rocky woke me up this morning at 8am. She knew it was my day off and that I wanted to sleep in but she had good news that just couldn't wait until she got home from Band Camp later on this afternoon.

"Mom, you'll be glad to know your jeans fit me good!" she said holding up my favorite faded black jeans, which had been neatly folded in my laundry pile yesterday but now showed obvious signs of wear.

"No they don't, they're baggy on me, they'll fall off of you!"

"I just need a belt."

Just because she can fit into my jeans doesn't mean that they fit her, but she and Becca have been my biggest supporters during my battle to lose inches and especially lately she has taken every opportunity to make me feel good about my accomplishment.

The only drawback... now that the girls can fit into my clothes they are always borrowing them and I still never have anything clean to wear.

This pay day I get to go on another shopping spree... for smaller undies. I'm finally out of the Granny-panties. Even my bra size has gone down. All I need is the right push 'em up bra and I'll be looking good.

Ha! Looking good for what, for who?

Actually, now that I think of it, I'll be looking good for me.

Maybe some black or white lace....

Song of the day: Stronger Woman by Jewel