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.