Thursday, August 31, 2006

A weekend at home

It was so nice to have a weekend at home. I wish I was a better writer so I could convey the amount of craziness that takes place at our house. I'll try in a minute, but I'm not expecting the result to be outstanding. Every parent thinks their children are amazing so I'll try not to get gushy. As my children get older they are even more fun to be around. Lee and I went shopping last night and had a great time. I don't like shopping at the level most women do. Lee is the type of boy who loves shopping for himself but is ready to leave once his stuff had been found. At shoe and clothing stores I am always ready to leave before he is. That boy has a like for shoes that rivals my sister's. At the book store, he found a couple of video games and then breathed down my neck as I looked at the bargain books. We both love grocery shopping though. We laughed the whole night. The great thing is that I would have had just as much fun with any one of my boys. Here are a couple of conversations from the weekend.

Dh is at the computer playing poker. Jason is standing beside him, offering unwanted advice.
"Go away"
A few minutes later
"Get out of here!" this is shouted
"Okay I'll go, but I'm putting a curse on you." Jason utters this in a calm and serious voice. "You will lose the rest of this tournament." He walks away.
Three more hands are played. They are all lost.
"Please take the curse off me." Dh asks nicely.
From the kitchen Jason answers. "You had your chance to be nice, it's over."
Dh plays one more hand, loses.
"Please take off the curse. I'll let you stand by me."
"Anytime I want?"
"Yes, just hurry." dh pleads
"Okay" Jason agrees
"Why am I losing this hand? Didn't you take off the curse?"
"You started this hand before I removed it. You'll have to wait until the next hand to see results."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."

On Sunday I was laying in my bed reading. In walk Lee and Jason being very loud. "Please leave." I say. They get louder. "I am trying to read!" I scream. They leave. I settle back on my pillow and start to read. Not even a paragraph is finished before they return.
Jason is holding a guitar. Lee has a set of maracas. They start playing. Jason is singing. He sounds like a mixture of Jack Black and Adam Sandler. At first the song is random. Then they find a topic they can stick to. Jason is singing about his large crotch. Lee picks up the back up lines. Lane, Princess, and Curly Top come in the start jumping on the beds and dancing to the music. I am reduced to a pile of giggles on my bed. The book is discarded. They have stamina. The concert lasted a half an hour. That is a long time to sing one song on the same subject. Finally they leave and I pick Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler up and read. I love my kids.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Overbearing annoying boss

I have been working more than usual lately because my boss is sick. This is my first morning off in a week. When the alarm went off at ten till seven this morning I freaked out. I have to be to work by seven fifteen. Then it hit me like a pleasant wave. I don't have to work until afternoon today. Once I wake my kids up I can crawl back into bed for a while. I am babysitting this morning, so I can't just lay around and read like I want to. I don't mind though because at least I'm not at work. My boss is a real pain in the ass. A year and a half ago my boss moved to a new office. I was happy for her because she is a great lady and this was a promotion she deserved. I wasn't happy about her replacement. I didn't apply for her job, because I'm trying to retire without ever having had a full time job. My current boss is someone I met when I was eighteen. I have known her for years, and there is a reason I quit hanging out with her. Now she is my boss. Great.
I will describe her and everyone of you will know someone just like her. She isn't even an original pain in the ass.
She is smart, but insecure. She tries too hard to make sure everyone knows she is the smartest person in the room, which she usually isn't. If someone asks somebody else a question she jumps in with the answer, right or wrong. If something goes wrong she quickly points fingers and shifts the blame. On top of this she is a horrible gossip, even worse a two-faced gossip. When we were younger she would come over and hang out with a group of women and our babies at my house. We laughed and had fun. One day my neighbor, another one of our group, said to me. "Do you want to know what she said about you the other day." I answered "Only if you want to hear what she said about you." As I got older I realized I have some great friends, so why mess around with one who isn't that great. I put some distance between us that lasted years, until she became my boss.
Luckily we don't work together very often. I am her fill-in so I usually work alone. The other day she came in and was standing on the other side of the counter talking to me when a customer came in. I started the transaction, but hadn't got very far when she took over asking the questions. She made it clear she thought she could do a better job than I could. I bit my lips and let her go, but visualized myself jumping the counter and choking her. I am really considering changing jobs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I guess I'm not a lesbian

After we had been in Manhattan for a few hours it started to rain. The games that were supposed to be played that night were postponed until the next morning. We hung out in one of the hotel rooms drinking beer until around midnight. It was fun but we could have done that without the seven hour drive. The next morning it was still raining. The tournament was cancelled. No one I know has ever heard of a state tournament ever being cancelled before, but we were there, it happened. Mr. Ice cold Had been so excited about playing at state I was afraid he was going to cry. Several people offered him hugs. Once he had swallowed the lump in his throat and could talk again he said, "I came here to do two things play softball and see some strippers. I'll be doing one of those before I go home."
He and his wife decided drive to Wichita and stay the next night there. They had already paid for a whole weekend of babysitting, so why not. We had two of our kids with us and the other one at Grandma's for the weekend, but dh was opposed to the idea. My sister and her husband decided they were going to Wichita too. Then the couple who had rode with us decided to ride with them so they could go out also. We all went to eat at Famous Dave's BBQ before we left town. Which was amazingly good. I'm not a big BBQ fan, but this was great. Before we left dh changed his mind and we headed to Wichita. The bartender at our hotel was an great lady, she said she was 60, I would have guessed 45. She laughed and joked, we loved her. She ended up slipping us a 12 pack to take up to our room when happy hour was over.
My son picked hooters to eat supper at. I'm worried I may be over exposing him to this softball crowd. Most of them are family though, so what can you do. After we had fed the kids, and settled them in a hotel room with a movie we headed out on our search for a strip club. Some of our party were underage, but they made it in with only one minor complication. A young man with the promise of nudity soon overcame that complication.
Growing up I had many different images of what my adult life would be like. One of those images was me living with my lesbian lover in an apartment with a beautiful view over Portland. A small part of me has never let go of this fantasy. It always seemed to me that life would be much simpler without the drama men cause. Unfortunately, for that dream anyway, I have a very strong attraction to men. I-along with a large number of men-have always wondered though if a women could simply fall into a lesbian lifestyle if they tried it.
Watching the dancers instead of finding myself attracted or even curious I was more amused by the antics of the men around them. I was pleased too, because these women didn't have the perfect bodies Hollywood presents us with they, were just normal women. The men seemed perfectly happy, they were excited by these women. This gave me hope in men in general.
At one point Mr. Ice Cold bought one of the women a lap dance. This woman is a lot of fun, but not really the lap dance type. At one point the dancer lifted up the lady's shirt and fondled her breasts. She started to hyperventilate. To make it worse some of her former students were with us. She was a little freaked out, but put up with it admirably. Later he buys his wife one. Now Peggy prides herself in being cool. She put on a face that was very calm for the whole thing. Her husband went and sat in a chair right next to her. It was funny to watch. I'm just glad I didn't have to do it.
I did however, at the insistence of the first lady, have to put a dollar in my teeth for a dancer and let her rub her breasts in my face. It wasn't sweaty and unpleasant like I thought it would be. It was more like washing your face,not horrible, just something you do and can't wait for it to be over. I closed my eyes and waited for her to finish. The breasts did nothing for me sexually. I had no urge to reach up and feel them, I am officially not a lesbian. Once again I find myself waving goodbye to a dream.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rain, rain, and more rain.

My niece huggy bear is making it very hard for me to type. I watch her a few days a week when her parents work. Right now she really needs nap and is expressing that by throwing everything she can get her little paws on. I can't be irritated though because she is the cutest thing. A very petite one year old with thick dark hair and huge green/brown eyes. Now that she has calmed down and is hugging me and falling asleep on my chest I can't imagine anything sweeter.

I spent a good part of my childhood in the northwest. The grey skies giving up nice gentle rains that I probably love now more in memory than I actually did then are exactly what I see when I look out my window today. It has been like this for the last four days and I'm loving it. My son, Jason loves this weather. He always says he likes days like this better than sunny days. He is living in the wrong spot. Here in the Midwest we never complain about rain, we just don't get enough to afford ourselves that luxury. Most days can be described as hot, dry, and windy. Our rain usually comes as explosive storms full of thunder, lightening, and tornado warnings. Usually. Last Tuesday we woke to cloud cover. Then the rain started. A nice gentle rain. Around noon I decided I had better do some grocery shopping before we starve. I dropped the kids off at my sisters. Snuck home to finish one last cup of tea and a couple of chapters in a book. When I did leave town it was really raining. I started to speed up to highway speed then remembered my back tires weren't looking so good. I slowed down a bit. Then I noticed I was slowly sliding towards the ditch. The ditch had a few feet of water already collecting in it. I turned my wheel back towards the road, no good I was hydroplaining. Right here I should have straightened my wheel back out, didn't think of that. Then my wheels caught some dry ground. I shot across the middle line. "stay in front of your rear end." I said to myself. I notice a truck coming towards me, he was still a little way off. I swerved back and forth between the lanes trying to get control. The truck was getting closer. I had slowed down quite a bit by now. I headed for the shoulder. When my tires hit the muddy ground I started sliding towards the ditch again. I turned back towards the road and stopped perpendicular with it. After catching my breath and stopping the shakes I pulled out, in low because I was stuck, and headed back home. Later that day I drove the kids around to see all of the water. There were several times when we had to turn around because the roads were under a foot of water. The canal type drainage ditch on the west side of our property was full and the water was two feet deep across most of my yard making it look like one large pond. Jason and Lane built a raft and floated their cousins across it. They were having so much fun I couldn't make them stop when I left for my school board meeting. I called twice to make sure none of them had drowned. 7.5 inches was the final count that day. There are a lot of places where that would be normal, not here. I have been listening to the some of the older people in town and none of them can remember ever getting half of our average yearly rain fall in one day before. Back in the seventies we had five inches in a day once, but we have only had paved roads since the nineties so drainage wasn't as big of a deal. With the paved roads we had a flooding problem in some parts of town. Not enough to rival the places who get real floods, but here where the land is flat knee deep water is impressive. For those of you who have never been to Southwest Kansas let me explain. If you were to come into Kansas from the east you would say to yourself 'It's not that flat. Sure there are no mountains, but there are sloping hills and trees.' Keep driving. When you get out here there are a few rises and slopes, but I can see the lights of towns seventeen miles away at night. When driving on the highway, I can clearly see if I have time to pass a couple of trucks at once. The air and ground are usually so hot and dry in the summer that a couple of hours after a really good rain you can walk out and not even get muddy. Water just seems to soak in and leave no trace. One of my high school teachers once said that she always got cranky as a child when they drove into 'colorful' Colorado and it looked just the same as it does here. You have to drive west a bit before you hit the colorful part of Colorado, and yes we get a bit of a complex some times. I love living here, but I would like a little more water. A river that had actual water in it and wasn't just a sandy river bed with Elms and Cottonwoods would be great too while I'm asking.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The return of Curly top and Princess

I knew it had been a while since I last posted, but I didn't realize it had been eleven days. Part of the confusion is that I have composed a few posts in my head, apparently they never made it here. I'm not sure how to get them all included now. Should there be several separate posts with different topics, or one long rambling post? We'll just have to see how this goes.

I'll start with the return of Curly top and Princess. We went out of town for the weekend. Dh had a state softball tournament in Manhattan, no not that Manhattan. We managed to fit the whole team and their families into four vehicles. Friday morning we loaded up and drove the seven hours. A couple, who are friends of ours, rode with us, so the time passed quickly. The satellite radio helps the ride seem quicker too. When my kids went to Az. They took the radio with them. I had forgotten how much our local radio situation sucks. Electronics have made our life much more interesting. Well, in most cases anyway. Now that cell phones are so common the need for a caravan is gone. Car trouble, just call. Lost, need directions, just call. We could coordinate to meet for lunch with just a couple of calls. They do, however, lead to some silly calls.

"Where are you"
"That spot where trees line both sides of the road."
"That helps"
"Oh, there is a marker. 230"
"I think your a few cars behind us. Tell me when you pass the feedlot sign"
random chatter for a minute.
"There it is. We passed the sign."
"Are you right behind a truck?"
"We are behind a blue pick-up that is behind a truck."
"We are two cars in front of that truck."

Do you think this is what the inventors envisioned?

When we arrived at our hotel my sister walked up to our van. "You got your wish, the girls are coming to live with you." I'm still not sure why she knew about it before me. It doesn't matter, I just wonder if other families work like that. My mom was on her way to pick them up before I was even told. I actually take it as a compliment that nobody felt a need to ask me before they made arrangements. They all knew I would be happy to have two extra kids. Even better their mom, my little sister, is going to move here. I have been trying to get her to do this for a year. My sister is a great mom, but she has chronic depression that is aggravated by substance abuse. When she lived in the same town as me I helped her with free child care, support and I could check on her and the girls regularly. I am so glad she is coming back. Not just for the above reasons, also because I miss her.

My sister and my little brother both prefer to live in cities. They say there is more to do and there are more opportunities for their children. I do partially agree with the latter. My children don't live near an ice skating rink, or have opportunities to play lacrosse or any sports other than the basic five, but those five keep us busy. Oddly though we always seem to be much busier than they do. In a small town most kids participate in everything. There is no pay to play program, no try outs, if you want to play they are happy to have you. On occasion you may even be begged to play. The only thing they do more than us is eat out. When I'm dead tired and supper needs cooked I wish we had some fast food joint down the street, but I'm glad we don't. I'm having enough trouble with my slowing metabolism.

It looks like a compromise several long and rambling posts.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


My oatmeal is too hot and I have burned my mouth. With that as my starting sentence I bet you can guess I have nothing interesting to say. I mentioned yesterday that my kids are gone for the week, well without them my life seems pretty boring. The man is gone tonight too, so I honestly thought I should find something exciting to do. Instead I cleaned my bathroom and watched Mean Girls. In a few minutes I'm going to a friends house to drink some wine and probably get a bit of a buzz. I hope I can think of something interesting to say to her.

I am very bummed out today because the best site is closing down. Goodbye chicklit, I'm sure I won't be the only girl out here missing you when your gone.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On Monday night I got an unreasonable craving for chocolate chip cookies. At midnight I decided to just go ahead and make some no matter how much it overworked the a.c.. Of course I was out of brown sugar. Luckily my sister's household is run on a twenty-four hour schedule, or lack of schedule, like mine so I ran over and borrowed some. Earlier that day I had given a bottle of corn syrup to a friend so she could make some cookies. Earl is right that karma knows her stuff. Let me tell you, at one-thirty in the morning cookies hot of the pan with a cold glass of milk are near perfection.
My kids went to bed as I started mixing the ingredients, but not without giving me big hugs. The thought of cookies for breakfast had put them into a euphoric state. I am now very happy that I gave into impulse and did something that made them happy as well as satisfying myself. About two this morning they jumped into a car and headed to Tucson with my mom and sister. Four days without them stretch ahead of me and look really long from here.
While I was baking I had a few thoughts somebody may be able to answer. Why do we have to pack brown sugar? Measuring purposes I'm sure, but could we all just start measuring it loose? On the back of the cream of tartar bottle is says to use 1/8th a tsp. per egg white in meringue. It warns never to use more than that. What happens if you do? Will the world end or will it just be a bad taste? Baking at night may not be a good idea, to many questions.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I worked at the election table on Monday. I was the lady who said, 'Please state your name and address' to everybody who came in. Living in a town of around four hundred people I felt pretty silly. I must not have spoke with much authority because about one out of twenty actually did it. They all just reached down and signed the book. I didn't mind, who would want to hear 135 people I know say their names. I don't know if 135 voters is a good turn out for a primary, but it seemed like a good number. Just as we were finishing up our power went out. It was out until 6:30 the next morning.
I couldn't wait to go for a walk once it night came. With no street lights or stars, it was cloudy, the dark wrapped everything like a wool blanket. After I had been walking awhile my son called me and me to come get him and his two friends so they could walk around town too. We were probably too loud for that late at night, but it was too hot to sleep anyway. When we got home the boys slept on the porch. I thought about joining them, but I was too tired so I laid in my bed and was glad to feel the occasional breeze coming through the open windows.