Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deepest Dreams

Tonight my husband and I were sitting on our swing, watching the sun set over our lake-not-a pond when I confided my deepest, most desperate longing to him.  Well, maybe not my deepest dream, but definitely in the top ten. 

After I told him I needed a new truck because our 99 Dodge Ram was losing it's pulling power going up hill (poor thing has more miles on it than Mater), I added that maybe we should just go ahead and get a new trailer too.  And no need to be stingy, because of my dream, you see.

I want to competetive trail ride someday.  Oh sure, it'll be when the kids are older.  Shucks, Ainsley's only nine now.  Soon as I get her out of diapers, I'll be ready to head for the open trail.  Whoa, she is out of diapers!  I want that truck and trailer combo lickety-split, baybee!  I'm partial to blue, but green is okay in a pinch.  The trailer should have one of those swing out saddle holder thingees.  And a bathroom.  I'm so done with public restrooms. 

Peter interrupts me.  Excuse me, where did he come up with that?  It's rude, and just when I was spending his money.  He says he'd like to try some of the Extreme Cowboy race stuff.  Puh-lease.  That stuff costs money, and if anything is going to cost money around here, it's going to be spent on me. Duh.

Besides, it's my dream.  Butt out, Mister. 

Our marriage is built on a solid foundation.  He makes the money; I spend it.  Or, as I like to sum it up:  what's mine is mine, and what's his is mine.  It's all so easy.  Why's he want to go messing with that with his silly dreams for, anyhow?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Battle of Wills

I'm watching a battle of wills, and I think there's a clear victor.  Ainsley has decided to clean her horse's feet.  Her horse, Sweet Baby Jane - whom I think was named by someone with a perverse sense of humor - has decided that she likes her feet just the way they are.  So 49 pounds versus 849 pounds.  It's been amusing to watch. 

Ainsley runs her hand gently down Jane's leg, just like I've taught her.  I can see her mouth the word "foot" from where I sit in the dining room, and I'm pretty sure I can see Jane snicker as she shifts her weight to said foot, refusing to budge.  Ainsley tugs, then pulls, harder and harder still, until Sweet Baby Jane turns her head and bites her in the butt.  Ainsley stands up and slaps her on the neck, mouths a word I'm fairly sure she's not supposed to say, and shoves the horse to the side.  Or tries to, rather.  It has the effect of a gnat running into a brick wall. 

So she tries another tactic.  She goes to the Janie's head and sweet talks her.  Murmurs some sweet nothings in her ears, strokes her blaze, and I'm sure compliments her only eye as bright and lovely.  Walks back around to try the foot again.  Nothing.  No response. 

She jumps up and down a few times, screaming in rage as I howl with laughter from the table.  Jane stands stoic at the trailer, swishing her tail in victory.

Ainsley rallies, narrows her eyes into Slitty Eyes of Death, and walks to Jane.  Her fists are balled by her sides and shoulders are hunched.  I don't know what she says, but Jane picks her feet up before Ainsley even touches her.  Maybe she wants to keep her only eye?  What I do know is this:  Ainsley can be scary when she wants to be.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sugar Rodeo

As most of you know, we moved this week, and we're now in our new home.  We don't have a stove, microwave, or heat, but we're in, and that makes us happy.

Last night, Sugar joined us on our second night here. We made the decision about five years ago that if we ever moved, Sugar would become an outside dog.  She rolls in mud and then comes in our house and lays on our couch.  We love her dearly, but we love our new living room set more.  So sue us.  This house is beautiful and we want to keep it that way. 

Last night, due to an abundance of french doors along the back patio and a lack of curtains, we were treated to beseeching eyes begging to be let in and an adorable pink tongue that would be better suited to a fluffy puppy than our 80 pound half black lab/half pony.  Feeling guilty, but sticking to our guns, we moved "her" couch to the sunroom, which was surprisingly warm, so she wouldn't freeze to death under her piles of blubber. Then we gave her a blanket, tucked her in, and called it good. 

She didn't.

We woke up to accusing eyes at the bedroom french doors.  I'm wondering if we're going to be trapped in the house by Cujo now. She looks affronted.

Ainsley let the other dogs out to do their business, and that's when the rodeo began.  I heard a shriek by the front door and looked to see Ains hanging on to Sugar by the neck, clinging like a tick to her back.  Sugar zigged and Ainsley listed to the side, sliding under her.  I dodged couches and jumped over boxes to get to them before Sugar could become free and dirtify my beautiful new home with her presence. 

"I've been injured!"  Ainsley shrieked when Sugar trampled over her on her bolt to freedom.  She'd fought the good fight, and now it was my turn to take over.

I caught Sugar as she galloped through the kitchen - no furniture there, just sharp knives - and tried to tackle her.  She tried her zig zag routine with me, but HA! I'm not a 50 pound ankle biter.  I won.  She was push/pull/dragged out the back door, where we faced each other through the glass and she gave me her best hairy eyeball look and I stuck my tongue out at her.

Human trumps dog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dog Life

My children have reached the age - finally - where they no longer follow me from room to room all day long.  Instead, they have passed that torch on to the dogs. Now I'm followed from the moment I wake up in the morning by the click click of little nails on the floor as we walk about the house. 

Are you going to the potty, Mama?  Not by yourself, surely?  Do you want me to keep you company? 

As I shut the door in the sad puppy's face, I have a moment of guilt before I'm flood with a sense of freedom.  It only lasts until I open the door again to be faced with not only the one rebuffed dog, but the rest of his tribe as well.  Three pairs of eyes stare reproachfully at me.  How dare I do my business without them?  Such selfishness. 

Are you going to sit on this couch, Mama?  I call shotgun! 

No, I called shotgun first!

No, me!

Nuh uh! Stupid!  I'll bite your face off, you rat-face!

Weiner dog!

Maybe I should have just kept have kids?  It's really not any different. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Day

I'm going to tell you alllll about my day.  You can thank me later.

First, some insights:  I don't like this packing business.  Nope, not at all.  And I've come to the conclusion that we have too much STUFF.  Mostly Peter has too much stuff.  My stuff is cool.  He called me a book whore earlier today, but after packing four boxes of HIS books, let the record show I think the pot is calling the kettle black.

I maybe over=scheduled my day just a bit.  I was a little high on my Supermom skills and forgot to figure in stupid drivers.  I had a dr's appt for Scotlyn in Covington, followed by a cross country meet in Hammond for Pierson at the exact same time that I was supposed to drop Ainsley off for dance in Franklinton, which is 40 miles away.  Then we had Awanas, also in Franklinton.  I was rescued by my friend Lori, who kept Ainsley for the afternoon (vacay from Ainie!!!) and took her to dance, so that freed me for everything else.

After the dr appt in which I was told there is no cure for having a teenager, we headed to Hammond on I12.  I12 is a bad bad place, in case you ain't from these here parts. It has Louisiana drivers on it.  We passed a wreck that had already happened.  It was cleared off the road, and traffic was flowing through.  We were completely clear of it by several hundred yards, when the idgit two cars in front must have gotten a wild hair to rubber neck around and take a lookie-loo.  He/she/it came to a full and complete stop from 60 mph.  Car two missed them by inches, and I (car three) missed car two by a foot.  I didn't realize how bad it could have been until I saw cars four and five slide past me - sideways - in the median.  Looking in the rearview mirror, I saw three more cars skidded at various angles behind me.  I've been hankering for a new VW Jetta, but this is not the way I want to get it.  And this crazy person in the blue car number one was still sitting there, completely stopped.  If only I'd had a gun...

At the cross country meet, Pierson's coach heard me saying that he'd fun a 28 minute 5k.  I'm not sure how she overheard me, except maybe how I told everyone.  She gave him the hairy eyeball and then a little peptalk about how if he can run three miles in 28 minutes, he can run his one mile quicker than 8 minutes.  For crying out loud, he lopes through the race like a giraffe out for a Sunday stroll.  When it came time for his race, he was told to run the first 1/2 mile at normal pace, then really give it his all in the second half.  She actually expected him to break into a sweat today. 

Well, my boy beat his own personal record by 47 seconds and won a medal.  And then he came *this close* to puking himself.  Now he knows what it means to leave it all on the field, and I don't think he's impressed.  *singing* My boy has a medal, my boy has a medal....

Left the race and headed to church.  Construction. Dead stand still on the interstate.  My life bites. Finally it started moving again and my life quit biting as much.  I made it to church, dragged myself up the stairs, yelled at kids to say their verses on patience and fruits of the spirit, picked Ainie up from dance, got milk, came home.

Good night.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Diva's Diatribe

Mama says I have to write a report on yesterday's field trip. I don't know why.  I think it's STUpid. I mean, like, really, it's not like I need to learn anything.  I'm pedigreed.  If I wanted to know anything, I'd just make one of the grade horses look it up. They're my minions.

Mama decided that because the weather was "so lovely!" (gag) that we were going for a trail ride.  She didn't even bother to ask me how I felt about it, like she didn't think my opinion counted. Rude. And, as usual, she invited some strange person to ride with us.  At least this time she didn't make the strange person - in this case, Hannah - ride me.  I got stuck with Evil Blonde Girl (Scotlyn).  Scotti isn't all bad; she feeds me a lot, but personally, I don't think that gives her the right to just throw a saddle on me whenever she feels like it.  I have rights. You know why Mama never rides me?  Because she has to ride her "sweet boy" (blech, right?) Blitz.  He thinks he's so perfect, and he's not even registered.  Can you imagine?  And Mama just thinks he's sooo wonderful.  Pffft, not even!

I got last pick on the saddles too, like I'm the least important horse or something.  I got stuck with Daddy's ugly, heavy, roping saddle.  I hate that thing!  It doesn't fit right and slides around, and it rubs my lovely high whithers.  I told Mama I didn't like it when she saddled me, but she just slapped my neck and told me to suck it up buttercup.  She didn't even blink when I tried to bite her.  Hannah was impressed, at least.  She thinks I'm mean.  I laid my ears back at her just for fun, and she almost fell backwards trying to get away from me.  That was fun.

When it was time to get in the trailer, Mama said Blitz got to go in first.  Probably because Blitz is perfect.  What am I, chopped liver?  Moonshine, the village idiot, got to stand next to him in the front. 

"Yay!"  She whinnied.  "I get to stick my head over the top and my nose go all ..."  and she flappled her nostrils like a kite.  Like I said, village idiot.

Blitz just stood there without a word, like the king of the horse trailer.  Like he deserved to be at the front of the trailer.  Like he was king of the stinking trailer.

Next Mama loaded me, right behind him. Great.  Blitz does his business in the trailer, like, a lot. Always a pleasant experience.  Jane always gets loaded last.  Mama says it's because Jane has EDA rights.  That's Equines With Disabilities Acts, in case you didn't know.  She had a sarcoma on her eye, so instead of paying boatload of money trying to save the eye, Mama and Daddy decided to feed the kids and pay the mortgage instead and *pop* out came the eye.  Now we call Jane "Cyclops", but only when Mama doesn't hear us.  She's all about being PC.

"Diva Louisa, move your red butt over," Mama said.  I didn't like her tone, so I moved my butt over all right. I moved it more to the middle. She stood right behind me (brave or dumb? - you decide) and shoved me the other way.  I don't put up with that, fer sure.  I lifted my foot and cocked it to let her know she better behave herself or else.  "Put your donkey foot down, afore I shove it somewhere unpleasant," she said, giving me another shove. 

Oh no she didn't!  Did she just call me a donkey?!  She did, didn't she? I'm a registered Half Arabian/Half Saddlebred!  I am no donkey, I tell you what!  I am a National Show Horse, worth like a gajillion dollars. I was so mad at her that I stomped my foot and bit Blitz on the butt.  That'll show her.  Blitz woke up from his slumber and passed gas right up my nose, and all mama did was shove me again.  She didn't even apologize.  I will not put up with this treatment.  You just wait, she'll get hers. 

Once we got out on the trail, things went okay for a while.  I like getting away from the house so much that it's worth putting up with people, at least once in a while. And Scotlyn was riding me, and she ain't near as uhhh, Mama.  That woman nearly makes me swaybacked. 

I had to admit it was a pretty day.  It would have been perfect, if not for Ainsley sobbing hysterically behind us that she wanted to go back and Mama yelling even louder that nothing was going to happen so shut up already. At least Mama talks to everyone like that, and it's not just me.  Except Blitz - she never talks to Blitz like that. He can do no wrong in her eyes. I hate him.

We'd been riding about half an hour when Ainsley's wounded-moose wails took on a shrill quality of the breaking glass type.  We all turned to look and saw Jane flop to the ground with Ainsley still on her back, mind you. 

"Just step out of the stirrups, Ainie,"  Mama said.  "No sense making a big fuss."  She turned to Jane, who was desparately trying to rid herself of the saddle by rolling from side to side and said, "This is really getting old.  You're a horse, for crying out loud.  A beast of burden.  Get up and walk." 

"Carry me,"  Jane whined.  "I'm can't go any further.  My legs hurt.  My back hurts.  I have a headache."

And they call me a drama queen? 

So Ainsley refused to get back on Jane (go figure) and rode double with Mama on Blitz, while Mama sang his praises about what a good horse he was all the way back to the trailer.  Like he was the first horse in the history of the world to ever be ridden double, seriously? Ugh.

This is what I have to put up with.  I should be living in an air conditioned stable, attended to by grooms and stable hands, fed a special brand of mash, and have my mane braided daily.  Instead, I'm thrown in the pasture with prehistoric horses of limited intelligence and we all have to share one stall, which Blitz gets dibs on.  Our feed buckets hang on a fence and we get a scoop of Stock and Stable 12 thrown in it.  If I maybe happen to spill it, I'm expected to eat it off the ground.  The ground!  But ...I get kisses on the nose and scratches behind my ears.  Mama usually calls me "pretty girl" when no one is looking. 

I guess it's all good.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homeschoolers Unite!

Yesterday I took the birthday girl shopping for an outfit.  I've learned never to buy her anything without her present since her responses tend to range from comments like "You think I'm going to wear that?" to sticking her finger down her throat and making a lovely impression of puking her intestines out. 

We found ourselves in Old Navy at noonish time. I walked around a rack with my head turned backward, yelling at one of my spawn (as per usual) when I tripped over some kid.  A kid! In Old Navy! During school hours. Hunh. The kid, a cute little youngin of about five with her hair in ponytails and matching clothes - clean, even - darted away before I could stomp on her, and an older boy about 11 grabbed her arm and they scurried away like mice.  I was intrigued.  What are kids doing in Old Navy during school hours, I wanted to know.  Never you mind that three of mine were climbing the walls and hanging from the light fixtures; that's irrelevant to this story.

I found a woman that must have been the mother.  I deduced this because the kids were huddled behind her as she searched through a rack of shirts muttering about how they never had anything in her size.  Her children were both neatly dressed but she looked like she'd been run over by a street sweeper.  It was like looking in a mirror, except my kids were not neatly dressed.  They were street swept too. 

"Are you a homeschooler?"  I walked right up to her.

"Y-yes," she said.  "My son had a doctor's appointment today, so I just thought it would be okay if we did some shopping while we were out. We're going to finish their work when we get home.  They're on grade level in every subject, honest."

"What's your name?  Where do you live?  How long you been homeschooling? Will you be my friend?"  I'm shy usually, so this was hard for me, but I didn't want her to feel like I was snobby or anything.  I grabbed one of my urchins.  "This kid -"  I looked at the one I grabbed to see which one it was, "yeah, he's mine.  He's about your kid's age.  Maybe we can get them together for a playdate sometime.  Does your son like karate?"  I looked at the boy, shaking and sobbing in the corner.  "Well, do you?"  I turned to Pierson, "Pierson, go play with that boy, while I talk to my friend." 

I have no idea why that woman grabbed her kids and ran out of the store.  She must not have been from these parts.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bookends and Middles

I have two kinds of kids:  Bookends and Middles. Clear as mud?  Let me explain.

I have four children.  Chad is the oldest and Ainsley is the youngest.  They are my Bookends.  I also have my fair-haired blondes Scotlyn and Pierson.  Those two have eyes as blue as the sky.  As neither Peter nor I have blue eyes, we really beat the odds there.  All of my kids are unique (weird) individuals, but since the last one popped out we've noticed some striking parallels with the bookends/middles. 

The middles did all the baby milestones at the same ages.  They had the same sensitivities and a lot of the same psychotic hang ups.  They were often mistaken for twins, despite the two year age difference.  That's probably because Pierson is a hulk of a kid and Scotlyn was a dainty pixie child.  Don't ask if they're twins now, though, because Scotlyn carries a knife. Fifteen of them actually, and she's been watching Swamp People a lot.

And then there are my bookends. They're like Siamese twins separated by nine years. These two are proof that God has a sense of humor and He's not afraid to use it.  We had planned to stop with three kids and decided to have one more.  I guess God decided to show us, huh?  Not that we're complaining.  Life would be awful boring without Itty Bitty Ainie.

When Chad was a baby I was a single mom.  We lived in a tiny, adorable two bedroom house and as Chad walked through it, things would levitate around him and crash to the ground.  We had plastic dinosaurs everywhere.  There were some that I swear I had never seen before that just appeared out of thin air.  And Hot Wheels.  He didn't even have to touch them, and they would fall to the floor.  And tantrums.  Oh my goodness, the tantrums.  And then he'd start and we'd both we wailing away.  I was at my wit's end.

I read James Dobson's book The Strong Willed Child when Chad was 20 months and I thought, "Aha!  Here's the answer!  I must not let this terror control me.  I will boss him around!"

So, the next time he threw a toy on the ground, I very calmly and lovingly (as Dr. Dobson urged) said, "Chad, pick up your toy and put it away."  He laughed at me. Laughed!

Well!  That was a swat with a wooden spoon, right there. By the time the weekend was over, we had spoons in every nook and cranny in that 800 square foot house, but he had picked up that toy.  I. Had. Won. Thank you, Dr. Dobson!  (I'd like to note here that I met Peter just a few months after this episode, so I had reinforcements from here on out.)

It must not have taken very well, though, because I distinctly remember a time when he was nine that he spent the weekend with Nana and Papa, and Peter and I filled three 30 gallon garbage bags of crap in his room.  He came home and threw a hissy fit because "he was gonna clean if we'd given him a chance". Pffftttt.

So how are our bookends similar?  I just cleaned the girls' room.  I filled three garbage bags and two laundry baskets and not one thing was Scotlyn's.  And I only cleared one corner of the room.  As for the boys' room?  I don't think there's a floor anymore, but my sweet Middle has all his clothes neatly put away and his books lined up on his bookshelf.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I dedicate this to my precious cousin Joshua Oakes and my big brother Shawn Everett.  I wish I could change things for you.  I love you both so much.

I hate suicide.  I think I hate it more than anything else.  I want to take the one that did it and wake them up, shake them, and tell them to look around.

Look at your mother.  Does she look better off without you?  Look at her face.  Look in her eyes, in her blank, expressionless eyes.  There are no tears.  Do you know why?  Some pain is too deep to feel.  Do you think you did her a favor?  Her life will never be the same without you in it.  Twenty years from now, she will still have moments when she gets that lost, faraway look as she wonders, "why did you choose the darkness?  Why didn't you stay with me?"  Did you doubt her love for you?  Look at her now.  Do you still doubt her love for you? 

Look at your other family members, at your friends.  Do you think even one of them is better off without you in this world?  What about your children?  Children need their father, even flawed fathers.  Because a living, flawed father can get help and learn to be a better dad.  A dead one is just...dead.

I understand wanting to end it all.  I've thought about it before.  I've even half-heartedly attempted it.  I'm so glad I didn't succeed.  God gave us this gift of life, and we are to use it for His glory.  It's easier said than done, yes. 

If you think no one will care if you end your life, I'm sure you're wrong.  But let's just say that there is not one person in this world that cares, and maybe you're right.  But there is One that would care very much, and shed many tears if you threw his precious gift away.  And He matters most of all.

The Puppies Are Coming!

Well, that was fun. I was barely awake this morning, and if you know me, that means I'm communicating with a series of grunts, at best, and my eyes are still at half mast.  Do not - NOT - bother me yet.  But herecome these annoying little children that dare to call me mama. 

"Mama, Mama, I hear Mazie barking but can't find her! I think she had her puppies!"

I grunt.  GO AWAY.  She won't go away.  I tell her to go look for Mazie.  That got rid of her for a little while, but she came back.  Ugh.

"I can't find her anywhere, Mama! She had the puppies and what if someone eats them?"  I can understand eating your young sometimes. She enlists the older kids to help her look.  Nothing.  No Mazie. 

My day is off to a cuh-rappy start.  I haven't even had a full Dr. Pepper and I'm facing the loss of my Buddy Puppy.  The whole reason we got Mazie was to breed her to Buddy and get a puppy from him before we did a snip snip on his boy stuff.  I hate to sound harsh, but there you have it.  Mazie's going under the knife too, after I get my way with her.  The puppies aren't due until Tuesday, so they shouldn't be born yet.

I lift my carcass off the couch and pull on my blue Fat Babies.  Don't tell me you don't know what Fat Babies are, because I know you're just jealous that I have them and you don't.  They're the coolest boots ever and I have them and you don't, so there. We've looked everywhere and decide the only place left is....

Under the trailer. And guess who gets to climb under the trailer to find her?  Yes, me.  Kids ain't good for nothing when it comes to fire ants and spiders, I tell you what.  I grabbed a hat, Peter's favorite - sorry, dear, but better than my hair - and one of those headband lights, and through the dirt I crawled. 

Let me say this:  NASTY.  Next time a dog wants to give birth under my house, she can rot for all I care.  I wasn't doing this for her; this was for my Buddy Junior.  On the upside, I found out that we have not one, but no less than three leaks under the house.  I hope Peter plans on fixing it, because I'm not going back under there. No, I'm not.  I had to belly crawl, as apparantly my butt is too big to fit under the cross beams on my hands and knees.  Zero points for my ego.  Did you know that black widows love to congregate under trailers?  True story.

No Mazie, not anywhere.  As I lay there ruminating, imagining multiple spiders and ants, and the odd snake, slither up my jammie leg, Pierson peeks through the hole in the skirting and says, "You can come out.  I found Mazie.  She's sleeping under my bed."

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Novel Idea

I started reading this new book called A Novel Idea and for the first time in - well, history - I read the foreword.  So even before the book really started I get to this paragraph with questions...

Question #1.  Have you long sensed an urge to tell stories?  I have a mental flashback to me sitting in Mrs. Eatinger's 3rd grade classroom waving my hand wilding in the universal signal for "Pick me! Pick me!"

Question #2.  Do you delight in capturing words and turning them into images on a blank page?  I usually keep it in my head until the voices drive me crazy, but...yeah, sure.

Question #3.  Do others often tell you, "You should be a writer"?  They usually tell me the same thing Mrs.  Eatinger did: "Kerri, please be quiet, I beg of you."

Question #4.  When given the oppurtunity, do your thoughts and feelings come together to weave stories that stay tucked away inside?  YES!  That's exactly it! 

I think I'm going to like this book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Where Is My Hairbrush?

I was reading one of the "How To" books for idiots not long ago, about keeping your house clean.  It was laid all out for me like I was a five year old.  I still found it a little difficult to follow, but some things managed to stick in my cluttered gray space. It had things in it like "take your shoes off where you want to find them tomorrow".  That works for me, except I can never decide if I want to find them in the bathroom, beside my bed, by my chair in the living room, by the front get the picture? 

Well, anyhoo, one thing that happens in my house a lot, and just drives me batty(er) is that I can never find my hairbrush.  I get out of the shower and after the ten minute search for clean clean undies I'm already worn out.  I want my brush on the counter by the sink.  Is that too much to ask? 

I have two daughters, so the answer to that is yes.  Let me be clear here.  I have bought my darling angels hairbrushes.  I have bought them enough brushes for them to have one for every day of the week, each.  But no, they must have mine.  Mine seems to hold an allure that theirs does not possess, even though I've gone so far as to by them fancy ones from Walmart, and mine comes from Dollar Tree.  I live on a budget, all right?!  Walmart is fancy for this house.

So back to the Idiot Book.  The author of that book must have borrowed my two girls, because she handcuffed her brush to her sink.  Yes, she did.  It got me to thinking.  I don't like the idea of tying my brush to the sink so much, but I had a better idea. 

I sat my lovely girls down and looked them straight in their conniving little eyes.  "Today,"  I said,  "We start a new rule.  From now on, if I get out of the shower, and I don't have a brush ready and waiting for me, I am going to walk butt naked through this house until I find one.  Is that clear?"

One pair of ice blue eyes and one pair of chocolate brown eyes stared at me in horror.  The little mouths under the eyes dropped open in perfect "oh's". 

"You wouldn't really make us look at that, would you?"  whispered Ainsley.

"Yes, I would."

"That's just..."  Scotlyn took a deep breath and shuddered, "disturbing."

"Then I suggest you find my hairbrush and leave it in my bathroom.  What say?"

They nodded frantically and went searching.  By the time they were done, there were eight brushes in my sink.  They nervously asked if that would be enough. 

I had no idea that could work so well. 


You realize, of course, that it didn't last, right?  Just last week, there was no hairbrush to be seen.  I noticed before I got in the shower. 

I hollered out the door, "If I ain't go a brush in here by the time I get out of the shower, I'm coming out in my birthday suit!"  I was kind of looking forward to this, because this was a fun game. I hadn't grossed my kids out this bad since I informed Ainsley, when she was four, that when she was a baby she drank milk from mommy's breasts.  And when I told them where babies came from, but they didn't believe me, so that didn't really count.

I was in the shower when the first brush zinged across the floor and pinged off the tub.  I opened the shower door just in time to see two more be slid under the bathroom door, and then after a pause, my horse's mane and tail brush was slipped through. 

I think they believe me now.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Migraine Day

It's a good day for a migraine, I think, as Tropical Storm Lee leaves me disappointed once again.  I missed Katrina by six months, not moving here until March of '06.  Then when Gustav came in with promises of havoc two years later I got all atwitter for nothing.  Peter was active duty Air Force back then.  He had orders to evacuate, which included his family.  I felt like a big ol' titty baby packing up and leaving like a dog with its tail tucked between its legs.  And for what, I ask you?  A whole lot of nothing, that's what. Gustav whimpered through with nothing but a couple of inches of rain.  I've taken more dramatic showers.

So, I'm sitting here, watching out the windows at the few piddly showers we're getting spit across the pasture. Big woop.  I'm not impressed.  Not a single tree branch has gone flying by, much less a cow like in the movie Twister.  I'm thoroughly disgusted.  I never get to have any fun.

We made an offer on a house yesterday, but because of the stupid holiday weekend we'll have to wait until Tuesday to hear anything.  My life is so boring; I don't know how I survive sometimes.  Ainsley just asked if we move, does that mean she has to clean out her closet?  I don't know, what do you think?  I'm thinking we should just get a shovel and back the truck up to the window and dump it all out.  Only the good Lord knows what's in there.

Can you imagine, a six bedroom house?  And for the first person that says we can have more kids, just know this:  I will slap you silly. I've got these'uns near grown and I ain't getting no more.  Notice these gray hairs that I've so artfully covered with buckets of hair dye?  Well, then.

In the new house, my sweet boy (that's Blitz, not Peter) gets his pasture in a blueberry patch.  Ain't that the sweetest thing?  There's about an acre of blueberry bushes, and my sweet boy will just love it.  My old geezer (that's Peter, not Blitz) gets a lake with a floating dock, so he can be happy too.   I guess if he's willing to work on a tugboat in the middle of a hurricane, I should be nice to him.  I should, right?

Well, anyway, I guess that's about it. I have a sick kid, feel a migraine coming on (really I just want a nap), and my house is a wreck.  That means I need a bigger one to stow my stuff. Six bedrooms should do it.

Happy napping, y'all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Scooby Run

Earlier I took Pierson to Emergency Road to run, since he's in cross country now.  Next thing you know, sisters, dogs, and bikes all jumped in the truck with us and we're toodling through town with windows down and tongues lolling (dogs, not necessarily me). 

While the kids are dumb enough to run in this heat, I'm not. In fact, my idea of exercise is watching those Zumba videos. Those are so much fun! I followed behind them in the truck to make sure no one got hurt.  Even this was a bit too much exertion for me, as my dear Bubba Wayne Jr. doesn't have air conditioning.

So, you're following me that the windows are down, right?  That stupid five pound rat terrier, Scooby, has been yipping his annoying yip since the kids left the truck.  "Take me! Take me! Take take take me me me!"  Before I could slap the rat out of his terrier, he leaped over me and out the window.  Let me make it clear, Bubba Wayne is not pantsy waist truck. He's a 4x4 with a lift kit. Scooby is six inches tall and five pounds of annoyance.

With my awesome reflexes, I grabbed at Scooby as he sailed past my nose, not because I wanted to save him necessarily, but because I didn't want my kids to think I was a Scooby killer.  I know they would have thought I chucked him out the window on purpose. And maybe it had crossed my mind, but I'm not admitting to that, okay?

Well, I grabbed something warm and squishy.  Teensy tiny Scooby balls. Ewww!  In reflex (I swear not on purpose), I flung him far and wide. He hit the pavement and did one of those squishy ball imitations - you know, completely flat, like in cartoons?  Then he popped right back up, smiled cheekily at me, and with tongue sticking straight out he took off and did a  full-blown Scooby run for the kids. 

At the pace those little legs carried him, he caught up with the kids at the finish line.  They oohed and aahed over what a superb athlete he was until I pulled up, then all three kids turned to me as one entity.  "How could you? He could have died!"  Yeah, well, not for lack of trying.

The house was quiet.  The kids were out playing by the pond and my mother was at the grocery store. Peter was working a temporary job on an Air Force base about four hours away, so we only saw him on weekends.  We were living in a twenty year old rv parked my parents' backyard until we found out where we going to be permanently located with the Air Force.  It was a trying time, living day by day with no answers.  But it was a good time too. Lazy days spent fishing with a few hours of homeschooling and lots of Maw Maw and Paw Paw time for the kids.

The phone call came about mid morning.  Uncle Jim stated, plain as day, "Your dad passed away last night."

I was in the kitchen, and I looked around at the shelves by the ceiling decorated with old tin cans and boxes of Ritz Crackers and Cracker Jacks.  "Oh, okay. Thanks for letting me know." 

He paused a second and seemed a bit baffled when he said, "When are you coming up?" 

Looking at the red and white ceramic salt shakers of a fat old man and a fat old woman kissing, centered perfectly on the small round kitchen table where so many meals were shared, I said, "I'm not."

He didn't say anything, I didn't say anything.  Finally, since he was just trying to be nice, I added, "I already told Aunt Connie I wasn't coming back."

"You're not coming to your own dad's funeral?"

"No." I'm a talker, so this brevity is a shocker, even to me. But I didn't feel the need to elaborate.  I felt nothing. "But thanks for letting me know.  Please tell the family I'm sorry for their loss."  The family. Not me. I'm not family.

We hung up, and I started to head out the back door when I saw him. On the porch. My stepdad was sitting in his favorite chair, the gnarled bare feet obtained from the lifetime of hard work propped on the rail, sipping his iced tea and fanning himself with his silly straw hat.  My armor cracked a little.

"Thank you, Father.  Thank you for not taking Donald. He's my dad."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation or Field Trip?

The following conversation was relayed to me:

Ainsley:  This week we're going on vacation!  We going to the beach in Alabama and we're going swimming and staying in a hotel with a pool and everything!  But first we have to go some place called Tuskegee and spend a whole day learning about some dead guy that grew peanuts.

Luke:  How come your mama is always trying to make you learn stuff?  Everytime you go somewhere, you have to learn something.  Why can't you just have fun like normal people?

Ainsley:  (glumly) I dunno.  It's just the way my mama is.

Make no mistake, my dear readers. The purpose of our trip is to learn about the dead peanut grower.  Out of the kindness of our hearts, Peter and I decided to detour through Gulf Shores on the way home, pay for another night in a motel, and let the kids have a day at the beach. Otherwise, there would be no "vacation", no beach, and no pool. This here is a glorified field trip is what it is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Computer crash

*Disclaimer - I wrote this on Saturday*

There’s something wrong with my computer!   The internet won’t work.  Sure the computer has been telling me for days that there’s something wrong with it, with little pop up windows and warning flags with skulls and crossbones on them and big “DANGER!!!” signs, but I thought it was just joking.  Now I can’t even get into the internet because it says I have malicious spyware/security breach/hacking stuff going on.  I’m currently running my McAfee (that I already had and didn’t say a word, not even a whisper).  So far it’s found 56 cookies violations, at 22% scanned. Nice to know I’m “always” protected. Geez.
Anyway, at the first sign of problem – and by that I mean the first time I couldn’t get into Facebook – I called my hubby-man.  He’s offshore working 12 hour shifts and usually longer so I can hang out on the couch all day with my laptop, remote control, and Dr. Pepper.  A good man, he is.  Anyway, as usual, I expected him to drop everything and help me with my problem as this was a real emergency, much more important than the safety of the 256 employees on board his glorified tugboat.  He’s an IT/ET (that’s and Information Technologist/Extra Terrestrial, for those of you not in the know) so he’s knows about computers, and how to communicate with me. 
He told me not to run the pop up windows because they are actual viruses, and if I click on them they’ll actually invade my laptop with the viruses they claim I already have.  Well, duh!  I already know this; I’m not dummy.  I learn quick and I found out after destroying the last three computers that the warnings were bogus.  My problem is that until McAfee stops running and fixes the problem, I can’t get into the internet.  How am I going to play Gardens of Time?  What if my Coliseum is ready to upgrade?  What if I waste my energy?  What if - *gasp* - someone passes my level because I haven’t been keeping up?  I just can’t live with these thoughts.
Peter the Jerk is not the least be considerate of my dilemma and says something to the effect of “get a life” and how he has to go because he’s working and how I should try it some time.  I’m working!  I’m building a huge garden complete with Roman guards and a coliseum.  ‘Tis no easy feat.  So I don’t understand what he’s saying.   There seem to be some undertones there, but what I’m not sure.
I try to pass the time quicker by watching a Lifetime movie.  I’ll be locking my windows tonight, for sure. And checking to make sure my guns are loaded.  And I’m thinking a German Shepherd named Cannibal might be in the plans.  After the movie, I check McAfee – 30%.  Good grief, I’m bored out of my skull.  At this rate, I’m going to get so bored I’m going to resort to the lowest of all forms of entertainment….laundry.  Say it’s not so.
My inner conscience says to toss a load in and fold a load and then check the status of the scan, but my out conscience beat the crap out of the inner self until the urge went away and I played a few games of Freecell, checked again – 33%.  I closed the laptop and beat it against my head for a moment and decided to write my deepest feelings about my experiences. 
I wrote this. Checked McAfee.  93%!!!  We’re in the home stretch!  Yes yes  yes!  Pretty soon I won’t have to care about my feelings anymore and I can just gossip with other people about my dog eating the guinea pigs and my kids annoying me and more interesting stuff than that. And then maybe at some point I’ll wash enough laundry that my kids can have clean drawers for church tomorrow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Doctor Visit

I went to the doctor's office yesterday because of the disgusting cough I've had for a month.  It's my three-pack-a-day-chain-smoking-trucker's-wife cough, as I so fondly like to call it. I had to see a new doctor, since mine heard I was coming and took a vacation day. It was an interesting visit.  The "new" guy, who didn't want to share his name or where he usually practices, peeked his head in the examining room cautiously, then burst in real quick, shook my hand so fast I thought I'd imagined it, and asked what the problem was. 

"Well, I've had this cough -" I started, and I was gonna explain and maybe work up a good hacking cough for example, but he jumped up, told me to hold on, and he'd be right back in two shakes of a lam'bs tale and he was back out the door.  He was back in less time than it me took to work up a good hack and shoved some literature at me about middle-age women and their health. I was not amused.  "Sounds to me like a low grade infection left over from that last cold you had.  You need an antibiotic."

Shyeah, right!  What a quack.   I don't need an antibiotic.  He probably went to Micky Mouse Medical School.  I started to explain my theory that it was GERD caused by my acid reflux, which has caused my esophagus to erode, or at become inflamed, causing me to cough.  The second option is cancer.  I'm shooting for GERD because it's outcome is a little more optimistic and I don't believe in being an alarmist.

I explained all of this to him in terms a five year old could understand, and the whole time he just kept writing out my prescription for an antibiotic and a cough medicine.  When he was finished, he tore it off the pad, waited not-so-patiently for me to finish, handed me the script, and said, "I'll tell you what.  How's about we try this first, and if this doesn't work in a week, we'll try your theory?"  And he walked out the door, totally leaving me hanging before I got to tell him about my big toe hurting. Donald Duck Quack doctor. Went to college at Disney World, I bet.

As I was checking out, he rushed out of another exam room and hollered, "Call if you aren't better in a week!" and ducked around a corner before I could thrown something at him, like the bird.

But I filled the prescriptions today, and I must say after my first dose of antibiotic (at least he noticed I'm allergic to penicillin) I haven't coughed at all.  Maybe he's not all bad.  But next time I want my doctor back that at least listens to me. Sheesh. My insurance pays for that hour and a half of his time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reasons Chad Makes Me Go Aaaahhhhh

Have  mentioned Chad before? I'm sure I have.  I have an 18 year old. Yeah.  He thinks he's an adult. I'm not sure I agree, but I'm thinking I'm starting to like the idea of missing him. I love the boy/man. I do.  When he was born he was the cutest thing. Well, except for that conehead.  A movie was made about it years later.  He was a fun child to raise, if you enjoy shaking your head in puzzlement a lot. And stepping on plastic dinosaurs.  And finding your best dishes in the sand box.

But now he's 18, and all grown up he is, all five foot seven of him. I thought I'd walk through the house today and take a few pics to show how well he's ready to take on the world.

When he gets ready for his day he puts his contacts in and leaves the cases in the sink instead of the trash can that sits NEXT to the sink.  Difficult, I know. And he occasionally shaves the scruff off his chin, thus leaving what looks like a deat, drowned rat on the faucet. I have my own bathroom, for which I am eternally thankful, and would never have known about this situation save for the grossed out shrieks eminating from the queen of divas, Scotlyn.

Next on my stop was his bedroom, which I haven't dared to enter in quite some time. Surely you can understand why?

But then again, I tell myself, maybe he's not all bad.  He doesn't do drugs, drink, smoke,or cuss.  He doesn't shoot people or hit little old ladies when he steals their purses (he's very polite about it).  He's almost always respectful to his parents except about cleaning his room.  He's kind to small children and holds the door for ladies.  So what if I'm still tryin to teach him to chew with his mouth closed?  How important is that, really?  And does it really matter if his underwear are growing green fuzz and breeding under his bed?  He's hardly ever been arrested, for crying out loud! I need to keep things in perspective. 


He and his friend just came home from a mission trip to Missouri where they led worship for a youth camp.   So yeah, with a good job, an understanding wife, and an army of maids, maybe he'll turn out all right after all. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I feel like the worst kind of person tonight. I have left poor, defenseless Mazie locked up and alone in the barn.  And her sin is only this:  she is a woman.  I am the worst kind of hypocrite.  When it's my time to "be a woman" as I so delicately put it, I like to get back rubs unless I prefer to not be touch lest I rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump, eat chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream, cake, cheeseburgers/whatever floats my boat while languishing in bed, moaning at the top of my lungs how I want a sex change operation and that me and Eve are going to have a Come To Jesus meeting when I get to heaven.

And here I've done pushed my delicate little lady out into the cold hard night (it's 85 degrees, but you know what I mean).  Now, lest you think I'm some sort of monster, she's in a 10x10 dog run that my wonderfully strong husband put up inside the horses' stall - poor Blitz is out in the cold/heat now.  She has a bucket of water, fresh food, a horse blanket and a pile of hay.  The radio is crooning country music ballads from her favorite radio station, 101.1. And still she howls, barks, and yips.  It's times like these I'm so thankful for hearing aids.  Take those babies out and it's instant silence. I called the neighbors to make sure they couldn't hear her.  They can't.  The kids can, loud and clear, but they can just deal with that. I don't care about making my kids happy, just my neighbors.

I went outside and had a heart to heart with Mazie, explaining how being in heat wouldn't last forever and then she could come back in the house. Next heat she could get her some, if you know what I mean (she didn't), and it would end early.  Then she'd have a short pregnancy, pop out five or six wee ones (no more, please), and wam bam thank you maam, we'd get her spayed and it would all be behind her.  She listened well enough, but as soon as I stopped talking, she set back to howling, "Whyyyyyy can't you make Buddy stay in the barn and I stay in the house?"  Well, because he isn't bleeding, genius.  That's a practically new couch.

So I'm inside feeling rather guilty while Mazie sits in her dirt floored pen with no Midol/Dr. Pepper/chocolate/DirecTv.  I'll just have to deal with my feelings though, because no way am I sleeping out there just to make my guilt go away.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I want my own room!

"It's not fair! I want my own room!"

"Well, I want my own room more!"

"Mama, we need our own rooms.  We can't stand sharing any more.  Can we have a bigger house?"

Yeah, sure, I'll add that to the grocery list, right between laundry detergent and milk.  Extra bedroom, preferably pink. Check.

And when the big sister is not home for the night, what happens?  Little sister is afraid to sleep by herself in the scary bedroom, so she talks big brother into sleeping with her on the couch.

And she wants her own room? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Convo with Ainie

Ainie cornered me in the closet putting clothes away a few minutes ago. 

"Mama," she demanded with her hands on her hips, toe tapping, "Why do me have to clean today?" 

We've already had variations of the conversation about a million and two times, so for the million and third time I answered her, "We're cleaning, my dear precocious child, so we will have a clean house."

"Why?  No one's coming over."

"Some people actually live in clean houses."

"Not us."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chad's First Big Boy Trip

So Chad went away on his first alone trip and turned 18.  How did this happen?  I didn't allow it, that's for sure.  I know I was just changing his dirty nappies last week (that embarrassing enough for you, Chaddy-boy?).  Anyway, it appears he was having the time of his life off on his own, which just served to add insult to injury to me, his poor beleagured mama. He sounded, I don't know, happy or something.  Again, not something I would ever allow.

Today he's on his way home!  Yay!  I can yell at him to clean up his room/mow the yard/take out the trash/everything else he never does anyway.  I've been rather bored all this week with only the younger three kids to yell at, and since they DO their chores (CHAD!) I don't have anything to yell at them about (CHAD!) but I do anyway just for the fun of it.

I got a text a bit ago. 

"Had a flat tire"

Oh good Lord, heavens to betsy.  My son is going to die.  I saw this very thing happen on TruTV.  A guy was changing his tire and some neanderthal done hit him and kilt him dead.  So I called my mama to tell her my baby had a flat tire.  And she reassured me like a good mama should. 

"And this is a holiday weekend.  Lots of drunks out."  That helped.

Oh my goodness goodness gracious.  What kind of mother was I to let my precious child, born of my blood, to go out into that wild vicious world without his mama?  Did he even know how to change a tire?  Did he even know what a jack was?  It was then I realized that I had an uncle that I never met that was pulled over and got hit by a car and died and that car never even stopped and he died and his mama was never the same again and God help me I was hyperventilating now.

Peter paused the DVR long enough to ask what my problem was.  I said Chad was dead and I missed him.  He called me a drama queen - can you imagine? - and said "the boy" would be fine, and to call him back if I was so upset.  Well, duh, he can't answer because he's dead, you big dummy.

Just then my phone rings, and it's Chad of all people.  Probably the state trooper had found his phone next to his bloody body and was calling to tell me the news, but it was actually Chad's voice. 

"Just wanted to let you know we have the spare on and are headed home.  We'll have to drive slow, so don't worry."

Don't worry, he says.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Buddy's Wife

Interesting day here.  We found Buddy a wife.  He got to help choose her, and he was quite happy, judging by his reaction.  I don't believe his nose ever left her crotch for the first five minutes of the nuptial meeting. We enjoyed meeting Samantha, along with talking with her humans, Hazel, Hannah, and Joseph, while Buddy and Sam got to know each other in more appropriate ways, considering they were in public for goodness sakes.

Upon arriving home Samantha was greeting with a variety of manners.  Buddy showed her off to his canine sibs with a hefty dose of masculine pride.  "See here, folks? This lovely mutt is mine all mine."  Maxine snapped and snarled.  She is a Diva Doxie, after all, and must keep up appearances.  Scooby hid, channeling his inner terrier.  But only briefly.  I'll get into that in a bit.  Sugar did her sugar act.  She lay on her throne - her very own couch covered in her very own sheet that no one may dare come near - and ignored everything as beneath her.

Well, as I was saying, Buddy was quite excited to have a girl dog with working girl parts, although Samantha is a tad young and will just have to wait a while to put them to use. She's only about 8 months old by our best guess.  I have no idea how I'm going to keep her separated from Buddy when she goes into her first heat, but I'm going to try my goodest fer sure. But now we have a problem.  After all was said and done, and things had calmed down. Scooby realized that she had working parts too. 

And his inner doberman took over.  He tried to mount her.  Since he's only 5 inches tall and weighs in at 4 pounds, this didn't really work well, but he wasn't giving up.  He looked around (for a step ladder, I think) and got to work on her hind leg.  She wasn't appreciative, being a one Buddy dog, so she grabbed him with her mouth, shook him a few times - bad rat! - and threw him away. He bounced off the wall and walked in a circle for a bit, but seems fine now.   Ainsley's a bit put out, since Scooby is her dog, and now she's not so sure she likes the new interloper in our midst.  I just think it's funny. Imagine, Scooby thinking he could have such a fine lady as that?

Buddy and Scooby have always been best friends, but now I'm not so sure.  Could a girl come between them, after all this time? It happens to the best of them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lightning Strikes

I was driving through town, just my boy and me.

No, that's a song, isn't it?  Ok, here's what really happened. My small nuclear family had gone for a visit to Indiana to visit Peter's children, Stephen and Sarah, who were then only eight and nine years old. Chad and I came in our beat up Dodge Caravan (not even the Sport model - how sickening is that?) from Mississippi by our lonesomes because Peter has some sort of training class and he got to fly from the great beyond into Indianapolis.  He was always the lucky one.

By the time I got to Kokomo, I had vomited over most of the 900 miles between my driveway and inlaws'.  Did I forget to mention I was 2 months pregnant with Scotlyn?  Lovely time, that. Well, feeling a little weak and faint, I called my ex-inlaws to see if they would mind driving to Kokomo to pick Chad up for a visit, rather than me driving back to Indy the next day to meet them.  My ex-father-in-law chose that moment to grow horns and breathe fire, insisting that since I had previously agreed to drive the hour to Indianapolis, I had to keep my word and do it.  Slightly stunned by his less-than-stellar behavior, I sweetly agreed I would, then proceeded to tell everyone I could how evil he was.  It's the Christian way.

So my story actually begins the next day, Saturday, as Chad and I leave Kokomo just as the grandaddy of all storms starts brewing.  I'm pretty sure Zeus and one of the other head honcho gods were duking it out upstairs, cuz there was some kind of lightning going on, winds a wailing, rain enough to dunk Noah's Ark like it was a bathtub toy.  You get the picture?  To this very day I ain't never seen the like of that storm. 

Chad was strapped in his car seat (see what a good mama I am) in the front seat beside me (or not) so we could jam to the totally cool factory-installed am/fm radio that came with our rocking soccer mom van.  Now, before you report me to the authorities for past child abuse, I just want to point out that there was no air bag. 

The rain was blinding and the wind blew so hard that poor POC (the van's name, Piece of Crap.  Well, hey, it's better than the alternative.) nearly went off the road.  POC sputtered a bit, so I decided we'd pull over and wait out the storm.  I mean, seriously, how long could it rain with this intensity? Pffftttt.   I guess I forget I was in Indiana.

I remembered my basic Don't Be An Idiot classes and didn't park under a tree so that when said tree got struck by lightening it wouldn't fall on me.  (There's a flaw to this thinking though.  If you aren't near the highest point of something to get struck, you are the highest point to get struck. )  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I didn't want to get bored, so while I turned the van off, I left the radio on, pulled the cell phone out (picture this - it was still the approximate size and weight of the 1828 Websters Dictionary) and called Peter, who was visiting with his kids and parents. We're chit-chatting about the lovely weather when...


I saw sparks.  And heard loud explosions.  And smelled burning electrical gizmos and rubber.  Pretty much all my senses were on overload.  The cell phone dropped from my hand, nearly putting a hole in the floorboard, and Chad started screaming, "We're going to die!  I'll never get to watch Barney again!" And then, silence. The rain was down to a steady downpour, the wind wasn't roaring. It was like the whole universe was holding it's breath, and I was fairly sure it was just waiting....for my van to blow up and kill us all.

"Ok, Chad, it's going to be all right."  I said this, but didn't really believe it, not at all.  I was just looking for the nearest shelter, ditch, guardian angel, really anything to save us from our imminent death.  But all I saw was corn. Corn, corn, and more stinking corn. There!  There was a cop!  I waved frantically at him as he came close, but he flipped me the bird and sped on by.  I remembered why I disliked Indiana so intensely.

The cell phone had been knocked out during the blast/explosion/whatever in the world that was, but after a few minutes I checked it again and had a signal.  Another call to Peter, who was happily playing Monopoly and didn't care that his wife nearly met St. Peter, not to mention his youngest child and unborn child dying and leaving him sad and alone for the rest of his born days.

"Hey, babe!  Why'd you hang up on me earlier?"

"I got struck by lighting."

"It's funny how you're always joking around.  Listen, I gotta go. Stephen keeps landing on my properties and if I don't pay attention he won't pay rent.  Call when you get to Indy so I know you're safe, all right? Love you."


"What?  Did you really need me?  Stephen, you are paying me $28. Don't you dare try to cheat."

"I really did get struck by lighting.  The car is broken down and won't run and something smells like it's burning and I don't know if I should get out or stay in and the stupid cop just flipped me off and I hate Indiana and I need you to come get me now so hurry up!"

"You got struck by lighting?"  Wonderful grasp of the obvious , my man.  He's very intelligent normally, but trying to play Monopoly takes all three of his brain cells.

In the background, my father-in-law Gordon yells, "Cars can't get struck by lightening. The tires ground them."  He takes the phone from Peter, repeats that, and we get into (another) argument, which is pretty much what we do about everything we talk about.  Like, "the sky is blue"/"no it's not" type conversations. Very relaxing. I highly recommend the next time you're in the mood for a nervous breakdown.

Finally I snapped and agreed, "Fine, I wasn't struck by lightening, but I am stuck on the side of the road in a storm, so can someone come get us? Please?" The please was said was seriously exaggerated sarcasm.

Twenty minutes later, they all show up, the whole dog and pony show.  Peter, his parents, and his kids (who, by the way, HATE my guts thanks to their mother telling them that I broke up their family.  That's right, people, I am all that!)  Gordon walks up to the van loudly given scientific explainations as to why my car wasn't struck by lighting (he has a PhD in physics - like that's not annoying).  My husband has enough sense or training - whatever - to walk straight to me and say with almost-sincere concern, "Oh, baby, are you okay?" 

Gordon has climbed on the roof of the van, finds the five holes caused by lightning and exclaims, "Kerri, you were struck by lightning!"

Duh.  Anyway, the damage was:  fried transmission, melted tires, and a fried radio.  Insurance fixed the transmission and I think the tires, but didn't seem to care about the radio.  Poor van was never the same again. And that's just sad, because it kind of sucked to begin with.

My theory was the cell phone attracted the lightning, since the strikes were directly over where I had the three foot antenna aimed. And something good did come from the whole shebang.  My stepson, who previously wouldn't speak to me if his leg was cut off and I held the bloody limb, thought it was so cool that I got struck by lightning, that he asked if he could ride around with me to see if it would happen again.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blitz Here

Hay y'all. Get it?  I said "Hay" and I'm a horse?  Ha!  Did ya get it? Ah, nevermind. 

I wanted to tell you about my trail ride earlier this week.  Mama rode me, of course, and Scotlyn rode Moonshine and we also took the Drurys.  Have you met the Drurys yet?  No big loss.  They're way weird.  They like beagles.  Those are those funny looking dogs, even weirder than Buddy, that chase rabbits.  Rabbits! Can you imagine? 

Anyway, the mama Drury, Pam, rode Diva, and she wasn't none too happy about it. "Why do I always get the old ladies?"  she wanted to know.  She was stomping her feet and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  It was a sight to behold.  I was just standing there, secure in my own world that no one would dare ride me.  A couple weeks ago, the teen Drury girl, Maranda, tried but I sure showed her. I ran her through the cars, then jumped through a mimosa tree.  She got right off mighty quick and I don't think she'll be crossing my personal boundaries again.  I'm a Mama's Boy, make no mistake.

Today, the teen Drury had to ride double on Moonshine, who was as usual in a good mood.  "Isn't this going to be fun?!  We're all going to have a great ride!"

"You're stupid!" snapped Diva.  "It's already 95 degrees out here and still rising.  We're going to get heat stroke and die."

"You don't think I'll sweat and mess up my pretty white coat, do you?"  asked Moonshine.

Diva just laid her ears back in disgust while I flopped mine to the side and dozed, trying to look as much like a half-dead mule as possible. I heard the mama Drury comment that I didn't look nearly as hyper as I had last time she saw me.  My evil plan to lull everyone into a false sense of security is working.

Jane is being ridden by the younger Drury child, Emily.  She's none too happy either.  She's claiming the Equines with Disabilities Act.  "I just lost an eye.  How am I supposed to go on a trail ride?  What if a branch hits me on my blind side?  Or worse, what if one hits my good eye?  I could go completely blind.  This just will not do. I should go home and rest."

I haven't had much to say all morning.  As the only male on this all girl ride, including both riders and horses, I'm feeling rather put out and am reacting in the way all men react when they don't get their way. I'm pouting.

We load up and head out. I must admit, it's a rather pleasant morning.  It's early enough in the day that the bugs haven't woken up yet for their morning bloodfast and the breeze is blowing.  The birds are singing and the sky is blue. I'm practically waxing poetic here, but I do wish my mama would shut up.  All she does is yack yack yack. She and Ms. Pam are comparing childbirth stories. Um, hello....gross!  Can't we just listen to the birds singing?!

Jane broke the diatribe, thank goodness, by deciding that a newly plowed field looked like a great place for a nap, and laid down, Emily and all.  That got the women to quit talking about childbirth for a few minutes while they yelled at Jane to get her stupid carcass off the ground and start walking again.  Jane heaved herself up and shook the dust off, looking mighty pleased with herself.

"What was that all about?" I couldn't help but ask.

She smirked.  "I got them to shut up, didn't I?" 

Maybe she's not so bad after all.

But it didn't last.  Now they started talking about nursing their babies and what size bras they where.  Hae they no pride?!  I'm so glad I'm a man, even if I did have the snip snip surgery done before I was fully a man. Sheesh.

After an hour, Mama looked at her watch and yelped.  "Goodness, we better head back!  I've gotta pick the littles up from music camp soon."  She dug her new handheld gps out of the saddlebags and tried to figure out how to get back to the trailer, but it said to turn around and go back. So she called it stupid and said she knew a better way. We kept going. And getting further from the trailer.

Finally, we got on a road that would take us back to the trailer (it was kind of like taking the short cut through Canada to get to Florida, if you know what I mean), and we were running way late, so we decided a little run might be in order.  I took off like a two dollar pistol and we left the others in the distance.  Mama must be getting immune because I didn't hear her pray or cry or anything, not even once.  She didn't even scream, "I'm too young to die!" or "I'm too old to ride like this".  I was so proud of her.

After I got tuckered out a bit we stopped and waited on the others and Mama went to get the gps out to see how far we'd run.  Well, guess what?  She'd lost the gps because she hadn't zipped the saddle bags. She said we had to go back to get it.  I said "nuh uh" and shook my head.  She said "uh huh" and nudged me ahead with her spurs.  Spurs! What an insult.  I hate that she's gotten wise to my ways.  She made me go all the way back to where we started to get that stupide gps, all because she paid 149 measly dollars for it.  But at least she let me run again.  And we STILL beat all those other slow pokes.

I guess trail rides are pretty fun after all.  I just wish my mama would quit telling her childbirth stories.  It's just icky.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shark or Dolphin?

Did I forget to mention that Peter and the kids saw dorsal fins while at Grand Isle last week?  I did, didn't I?  They had gone out a ways, while I meditated on my next chapter on my Great American Novel (read:  dozed on the beach) when they saw two dorsal fins. 

"Look, Daddy!  Dolphins!"  Squeals a kid.  Who cares which kid? I wasn't there. Peter looks.  He's pretty sure they're dolphins.  Wouldn't it be cool to swim with dolphins, and for free?  Awesomeness.

Then again.

A dorsal fin is a dorsal fin. Was he sure they were dolphins?  What if he reached out to pet the nice cuddly dophins and drew back a bloody stump?  Instead of swimming with the dophins he could be swimming with the fishies.  Maybe it would be a good idea to head back to shore.

Like now.  He gathered his brood of chicks and calmly convinced them to head for shallow water before Jaws wanted dinner. 

They told me this story later, and I proudly proclaimed all my factual knowledge that dolphins have a slightly curved fin, thanks to my Apologia Exploring Creation, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day homeschool book learning.  Peter asked if I was positive, and after some deep thought, I decided I wasn't so sure I'd bet the morgue on it, so he looked it up, and as usual, I was right. Go brain.

So folks, now you have it.  Dolphins have a slightly curved fin, and as a bonus they are more likely to travel in groups, where sharks don't like to compete for their tourists.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My children

Do you ever just look at your kids and think WOW?  How did that come from ME?  What did I do to deserve them?  I'm sure my mother thinks the same things about me, but maybe not with the same intonation. I look at my kids sometimes, and the love nearly bursts from me.  And other times, well, let me be clear. I'm writing this blog just moments after begging my youngest two children to please be quiet and stop talking for just five minutes pretty pretty please.  My ears hurt and brain is so tired.

I'm not a nurturing my mother.  My darling daughter Scotlyn doesn't like to wear shoes.  Saves me a lot of money, so I don't mind.  But she comes in the house with a splinter in her foot, whining like a titty baby.  My response?  "Well, if you had the sense God gave a goose, you wouldn't be wandering around barefoot. Go get your own splinter out."  Once, I let my son Chad ride on the bumper of the van down the driveway. He fell off and broke his leg.  I didn't know it was broke and thought he was whining, so I told him to put it up for a "bit" while I took a nap (I worked nights at the time).  Six hours later, I took him to the ER. Yup, broke. I felt bad.

I'm not a patient mother.  I tell my kids to do something, but golly they better do it.  And they better not sass me, lest they want to wear their teeth around their neck.  I just don't like sassing. I even get on strangers' kids about sassing their mamas.  Where is respect these days?  If you don't respect your mama, who are you gonna respect? Well, anyone, what was I saying?  Patience?  I ain't got it.

I'm not a huggy, kissy, cookie baking mother.  I don't sew my kids matching clothes - although I went through that phase.  The girls had matching dresses...although come to think of it, there may have only been one girl at the time. And the boys had vests.  This memory came to mind because I recently saw the material used as curtains at Cafe' Bouche when I went to lunch with a friend. How I love yellow and blue together. Lovely combination, that. I don't bake bread from scratch, or garden (tried last year. The weeds did great!), or really anything at all worthwhile.  I hardly even do laundry. Or dishes.

Know what I do do?  (My kids think that's hysterical when I say that.  "You 'do do'?  Muuhahahahah!" They really need to get out more.)  I love my kids.  Love 'em with everything in me. I'm so proud of 'em I could bust. I look at them sometimes and tears fill my eyes with gratitude to God for how much he's blessed me with them.  My oldest two - growing up to be so kind and caring and giving.  They aren't selfish and "rebellious" teens.  They aren't perfect - how boring would that be?! - but they're REAL.  My younger two.  Silly. Growing up too fast. Changing every day. 

To time passing by:  Stop it already!  You're going by too fast!  I need my babies a while longer.  Pretty soon they'll be gone, and what will I be?  A crazy horse lady? Certainly not a crazy cat lady. I don't like 'em. 

To my babies:  Go on.  Keep growing up.  I'm enjoying every moment of watching it. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Graduation Day

As Graduation day dawned this morning, I woke up with a sense of, if not peace, then at least not utter panic.  I did not wake up by shooting straight up in bed reaching for my little brown bag to hyperventilate into as I have every other day this week.  I didn't reach for my valium lollipops or a large bottle of vodka (joking, really...heh).  Instead, I woke up with a sense of alertness and even....could it be?...happy anticipation.

I think I know what's caused this change of heart.  First, the van is loaded with all various and assorted graduation items:  his exactly four foot long table, white sheet to cover it, maroon sheet for a colorful drape, items of interest for display (including $200 scrapbook - please notice each and every page, would you?) and his guitar case full of music junk.

But really I think what made the difference is that while my house husband was dutifully ironing said sheets, the graduation gown, and ceremony clothes late last night (he irons because he has long ago given up on me learning how to do it) I had an epiphany.  What does every graduation need?  No, really, what does EVERY graduation need? 

A gown is nice. It's being ironed.  Check.  Cap?  It's under the visor on Chad's feep.  Check.  Tassel... Hanging from the rearview mirror. Check.  Anything else?  Anything?  I ponder this through a few crime scenes on The Mentalist.

AHA!  A diploma!  That's what every graduation needs!

OH MY GRAVY!  Where's the diploma!  Did I get one? I forget to get a diploma!  I'm going to real quick write him up writ of something on a piece of tissue paper (unused thankyouverymuch) and roll it up real purty, tie it with a ribbon, and hand it to him in the ceremony. No one will notice, right?

Now wait a minute.  I'm the one in charge of ordering the diplomas.  I got them with the caps and gowns.  Everyone else got one, so it stands to reason I did too.  Where did I put that sucker.  I'm still watching The Mentalist, where Lisbon has now woken up with a bomb strapped to her chest. I see her day is going about like mine.

Where are my best "put it where you won't forget it" places?  Filing cabinet? No, I was just searching for our income taxes and it's not there. Bookshelf 1? No. 2? Nope. 3 through 6? Not a chance.  Freezer?  Breakfast bar?  Hope chest?  I give up. I'll never find it.  Some diploma stealing fairy snuck in here and took off with my baby's diploma.  The nerve.

Wait a minute. The Homeschool Paper/Misc Crap Chest!  Maybe that's it?  First drawer I opened, and there, shining like a beacon of light, lay that gorgeous diploma, complete with it's cover and gold foil seal.  It's now filled out and signed by the teacher (me) and the principal (Peter) and my life is complete. 

I figure we have a cap, gown, tassel, and diploma. Everything else is just gravy.  Let the graduation begin.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Horse snobs

Not much annoys me more than horse snobs.  I met one today, and she ran pretty true to form.  I was at the pet store getting my kids some new hermies (that's hermit crabs for you not in-the-know people).  We're down to three hermies and with a 20 gallon tank, that is just not enough to keep us entertained.  They were out of normal sized hermies and only had some African kind of herms.  They were like regular hermit crabs, but pumped up on steroids or something. Let me just say I'll be handling them with gloves for a while.  Yowsers.  I've been wanting a bearded dragon for a while too, even trying to con the soon-to-be birthday boy into wanting one for his birthday (nope, the traitor wants a DS) so the pet store employee and I got to talking about animals of different kinds, and as I usually do, I turned the subject from whatever was at hand (bearded dragons in this case) around to horses. 

I told her in my fake modest voice that I didn't know much about reptiles because my forte' was horses.

"I have horses too," she responds.

I perk up.  "Really?"  I ask. "How many?"  Not that I didn't believe her or anything. And not that I would challenge her, but you know, this is an important question.  "I have five."  I don't really.  There are five in the family, sure, but my girls claim theirs and I'm left with the plain red ones, Blitz and Diva. 

"Well, I have three."  She sounds sort of challenging there.   Hmmm...  I eyeball her a minute, wondering if she's telling me an untruth.  Nope, she pulls out her iphone (newer than my Blackberry, darnitall) and starts to show pics.  She has pictures of miniatures on there and proceeds to tell me that minis are small horses.  No kidding, really?  I never would have guessed, even if I hadn't already known.  I'm starting to not like her so much. 

When I could get a word in there edgewise, and after I'd ordered Scotlyn to go to the car to get her phone (with pictures of Moonshine (and after I'd made a snarky comment about not having time to take pictures of my horses on my phone because I was busy doing important things like educating my children including my son that got into college a year early on an honors scholarship)) I started bragging on how Scotlyn used her birthday money to save a colt from slaughter and was nursing him back from the brink of death.  I wasn't lying exactly, just...embellishing a touch.  She cut me off!  Cut. Me. Off!

"Did you give him Strongid yet?"

"Yeeessss,"  I answered in my annoyed voice when someone has crossed my personal boundaries by insulting my intelligence.  "He's finishing up his fifth day of Power today." 

"What's 'Power'?"  HA!   Hahahahahaha!!!  She doesn't even know what Strongid Power is, and she's trying to tell me what to do to save my deathly ill, nearly slaughtered colt?  She don't know nothing! NOTHING! Then she says, "Now you need to Ivermectrin Gold."  Really?  Is that a fact?  Why? So we can rip his innards clean out of him?  So his innards can be his outtards?  You're some kind of Einstein, ain'tcha huh? 

So now I use my you're-an-idiot-that's-too-stupid-to-convert-oxygen-to-carbon-dioxide voice on her.  "You can't use two different wormers that close together.  Especially when I used a five day wormer on him." 

"Well, I know that.  You have to wait a month or it could kill him."  She looks at me like I shouldn't be allowed to raise baby snails and maybe she should take the hermit crabs back.  By now Peter has taken hold of my arm and is not so gently leading me toward the door. 

There may have been some other comments like:

  • Oh, you keep your horses in your backyard?  I keep mine in a reputable stable.  I pay $300 a month per horse so I have a well-maintained arena available to work my reining and/or pleasure and/or barrel horse in at all times. I don't want them just sitting around doing nothing.
  • And maybe I had to return with something like:  Well, I like to be with my horses for companionship and not just for what they can do for me.
  • I have a horse worth $10,000.  All of mine are registered Quarter Horses.  What do you have?
  • Mine are priceless.  I don't believe in putting pricetags on my family.  (said with a big smile and lots of teeth.)
  • I show my horses and they win at everything.
  • I only ride my horses on trail rides.  (no more big smile)
  • I know a big trail ride coming up tomorrow you could go on. 
  • Actually, we've found we enjoy going as a family instead of in large groups.
  • Oh, your horses don't behave well, huh? 
And that was said as Peter forcibly propelled me out of the store.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mama Musings

This next two weeks (twelve days, actually!) is going to be some of the most important and exciting days of my children's lives, other than their births of course.  We are on a countdown of epic proportions and each day holds something important.

  • Tomorrow:  open house for local seniors at the public school.  Since many of these kids are a big part of my family's life, we'll be there with bells on.  Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.
  • Wednesday:  Awana awards ceremony!  'Nuff said.  And Ainsley has her last dance class before recital.
  • Thursday:  Franklinton High School Graduation!  Not sure I'm going to it, since Scotlyn will be at dance, but I've known these kids since 7th grade.  No way are they ready for the real world. Nuh uh. And Peter comes home that day.
  • Friday:  I haven't got anything on the calendar yet, but I'm sure that'll change. Probably do something with the old man.
  • Saturday:  Dress rehearsal for the church play in the morning and a graduation party in the afternoon. 
  • Sunday:  Church, church play at 5, mission trip meeting after play
  • Monday:  Grad practice for Chad - last practice before big day *hyperventilating*
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: get ready for graduation and arriving family (refill anxiety meds)
  • Thursday:  family arriving

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mysteries of Life

For Mother's Day this year I would like answers to some of the greater mysteries of life.

For example, I would like to know why, after searching for months for all but two of my bras, I finally caved and went on a shopping spree for new ones - to the tune of $68 EACH!!! - only to have the missing culprits magically reappear in my drawer the next day.  Now I'm overloaded in bras.  My girls are happy, but neither my checking account nor my husband is.

And why oh why does my daughter feel the need to take her board games with her into the bathtub.  Yes, you read that right.  I'm still fishing dice out of the drain.  And the the hat and moneybags from Monopoly.  When's the last time you got an overwhelming urge to take over Boardwalk while sudsing up by yourself - I hope she was by herself! - in the tub? 

And if the toddler years are proof that God has a sense of humor (of this I am convinced), then what are the teen years?  Adam and Eve eating of the forbidden fruit come to mind.  "You can do anything you want but text while you drive."  "Okay, I'll text on my way." "NO, wait until you get there."  "Ok, I'll text when I'm almost there."

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Buddy's Story Part 2: Buddy's Side

Hey, I'm Buddy.  My Mama exaggerates.  Just wanted to tell you that.

So the other day I was out hanging with my pal slash nemesis Sugar and we went next door to the weeds.  Sometimes there's bunnies in the weeds and I'm the best derned bunny chaser ever, yessirree, that's me. One time I even bit the tail fluff right off this white tail rabbit and it was the funniest thing I ever did see. He was so mad...well anyway, I'm getting away from my story.

So me and Sugar Booger (I love calling her that cuz she hates it) were sniffing around in the weeds, talking and laughing about how we knocked over the trash in the barn and ripped it all up and Mama didn't even knowed it yet, when I saw this movement in the bush in front of me.  First, I thought it was a rope but it moved and I was like, "Whoooaaaa, dude!  Check it out!"  I jumped at the moving rope and moved even faster.  Scared me so bad that I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but, well, I may have tinkled a little, but you would have too! 

Sugar laughed at me and called me a sissy.  I ain't no sissy!  No one calls me a sissy.  I went back after that rope and jumped right on it's tail.  The front of whipped around at me and hissed something awful.  But I wasn't letting go, no I wasn't.  I'm not a sissy. I'm a guard dog, and no little moving rope is gonna scare me! 

Well, I'm fixing to tell you something that is gonna shock your shoes right off'n your feet.  That rope can talk.  I ain't lying to ya.  Just ask Sugar.  She'll tell you.  The rope, it's sez, "Get off my tail, you dumb mutt, or I'll bite you so hard your mama'll feel it!" 

"Ha!  Shows what you know, you dumb rope.  I'm adopted!  'sides, ropes can't talk!"  So there.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  No one messes with the Budster and walks away unscathed and.....OW!!!  OW OW OW!  What the...!

"I tried to tell you. Now get off my tail." 

"That hurt!  Why'd you go and do that?  I never did anything to you.  I was just talking nice like and you went and -....OW!  You did it again!  Why'd you bite me again?!  That's not nice!"  I was still standing on the mean rope's tail and it was rearing back for another lick at me, and I knew I was done for, good as gone, but that ol' Sugar's good for something 'sides knocking over trash cans and digging holes in the front yard and bossing me around.  She ran slap into me and knocked me over just as the rope tried to strike.  It missed this time, thank the Good Lord, as my mama calls him.  The rope hissed at me as it slithered down to the creek that next time it wouldn't be so nice.  Nice?!  I'd hate to see mean, for gracious sakes.

"Come on, Dummy.  Let's get you home."  Sugar almost sounded nice, and she saved my life too.  Maybe she's not all about eating, sleeping, and getting me in trouble for her intestinal issues.  Most likely she wants me to live so she can have someone to blame, but whatever.  I start home.

The pain!  Oh my word, the P.A.I.N!!!  The neighbor dog Bella said labor is the worst possible pain but I'll trade her birthing 10 puppies and give her this rope burn any day.  I laid down, right there with my home in sight, and told Sugar to go on without me.  I'll just die in agony and no one will care if I'm gone. She can have my dogbone and my chew toy. 

"I don't want your nasty Dollar Tree toy with your nasty boy slobber on it.  Get your scrawny, sissy butt up and walk three legged like a man. Go on, get up!  March!"

Did she just call me a sissy?  After what I went through? The nerve!  I'm telling my mama.  Well, I tell you what, I marched my yellow and white self all the way across the field, through the horse pasture, even offering a greeting to the grazing beasts (although I didn't snap at their heels as usual), climbed the porch steps, and barked to be let in.  I'm so glad I have my human children trained.  They always jump up and let me in right away, probably because if they don't I scratch at the door until I tear the paint off. I couldn't have scratched today, but they didn't know that. 

Next thing you know, I hear Ainie screeching in that window shattering voice of hers, "Mamaaaa, Buddy's bleeding!"  It was the sweetest sound I could have heard right then.  Sugar went past me to "her" couch (she has her own couch, which I think is totally unfair) laid down, and told me I'd been very brave.

I knew everything would be all right.