Monday, March 26, 2007


The lists about books on the sidebar aren't complete yet. I will keep adding a few a day until I catch up. As far as Outlander goes I wanted to add it twice because it was really disappointing. So many people recommended it. There were several post praising it at the Chicklit forums. With all of this build up I was excited when I found it at my local library. I read the first two chapters and had to stop reading and check the number of pages. I was giddy with excitement. Here was a book I could love. The characters were well developed and likable. The humor was dry and subtle. Then it hit me that this was a series of books. I practically peed myself. Then somewhere around the one third of the way through this book Diana Gabaldon must have hit a writer over the head and stole this manuscript. It went down hill and landed into a pile of predictable romance novel tripe. That wasn't quite bad enough though, she then took every easy way out when it came to her characters and plot. I couldn't believe this was the same book I had started. I was in so much shock I picked up the second book in the series to see if it started out as good as the first one. It didn't. The book was returned after two chapters. I was left a jaded shell of a reader at being denied my series of well written, thick books.


The pickings were getting slim around here, so I gave in and went grocery shopping last night. There are only two things that we don't have here in rural Kansas that I really miss. One is water. I really wish there was a stream, river, lake, or some body of water that we could swim in and picnic around. The second is fresh fruit and vegetables. With shopping trips only scheduled every two weeks I can't buy enough to last. So we spend one week eating fresh veggies and the next on canned. If I am out of town and have the funds I pick up milk and produce, but it is more likely that I will just call my mom and have her pick me up milk on her way home. This is really a small complaint. Not having to deal with traffic on a daily basis is worth the sacrifice.
There are many advantages to shopping at night. One is the crowds are smaller. Two, I get to go alone because it is past the kid's bedtime.
On my way there I decided to stop by the book store. Just a quick look, I told myself. I wouldn't buy any, just browse a few minutes. Yeah right. I did manage to stick with the bargain shelves though. For fifteen dollars I picked up four books. Two fiction and two biographies. I also picked up the girls each a gardening set for their Easter presents, also on clearance, but not included in the fifteen dollars.
The problem with shopping at night is that it is late when get home and have to put up the groceries. It was because it was so late that I went to bed hungry last night. The Rec. is sponsoring a biggest loser competition in town. The four person team I am on consists of myself, Godiva, Miss Universe, and Cass*. I need to lose around twenty pounds by August. Since there is a cash prize involved I honestly believe bodily harm could occur if I don't succeed. I am no good at following a diet, since I love to cook and eat, so I decided to just make a few rules for myself and see how that goes for a month. One of the rules is no eating after ten. I didn't get home until eleven-thirty so even with all of this food in the house, I went hungry.

* I haven't mentioned Cass before. She is Godiva's best friend. Up until last month they ran a daycare together and spent most weekends and evening with their two families hanging out. Now Cass works in the mornings, but helps with the daycare in the afternoons. I honestly don't know how they can spend so much time together. I love all of my sisters, brothers, and friends, but after a couple days together I need a bit of a break. I thought this might be just one of my quirks until one day Miss Universe said, "I just don't get it, I even get tired of my husband if I have to spend two full days with him." My only reply was, "Amen sista"

Friday, March 23, 2007


Curly Top and I drove Frio Chica to the doctor the other day. We saw the baby and now we can stop pestering F.C. with girl names and focus solely on boy names. It is funny how much more real a pregnancy seems after the ultrasound. At one point Curly Top whispered to me and asked if the baby was naked. After I answered she looked shocked, then stated firmly that we would have to dress it when he came out.
On the way home, it is fifty-five miles to a baby doctor, we pulled over so that several emergency vehicles could pass us. a few miles later at our turn off we saw what the problem was. There had been a car/truck accident with both vehicles landing several yards out in a field. The car was on its wheels and the back end was banged up. It looked likely that there could have been survivors. The truck was lying on its top. The cab was so smashed in that I didn't see much chance of the driver making it out alive.
Frio Chica and I started talking about how scary it is to drive. Sometimes I will be driving along when the thought hits me that I am responsible for all of the lives in the car. Some days the risk we take by strapping our kids in and heading out astounds me. These a fears better pushed back and left alone though. Around here if a person doesn't drive their lives are very limited. This conversation soon led to another one and we were chatting casually and laughing less than ten minutes later. In the back of my mind a thought crossed about how odd it is how quickly we have returned back to our normal cheerful lives while just a few miles away other peoples lives were changed forever. I left that thought unspoken and at the back of my mind. We soon returned home and went on with the business of living.
My brother stopped by and ate supper with us. We had not seen much of him lately even though he does not live too far from here. He explained that he had been going through a bit of a depression and hadn't been getting out much. It was to the point that he thought about quitting both school and his job. I felt guilty because I haven't taken much time to call him or stop by lately.
While he was there Anna called me to say that A boy in Curly Top's class had died in a car accident that afternoon. Suddenly I recognized the red car out in the field. The mother had grown up in Rolla. She was around Drama Queen's age. Diego was her oldest son. She and both of her boys had went to the doctor and found out she was pregnant with twins. On the way home she had moved into the turning lane and stopped. I don't know why the truck was in the wrong lane and didn't see her car. I only know that some reason it was and it slammed into the back of the car.
Please send out good vibes, or prayers out to both the Garcia and Hernandez families.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jason is thirteen

Jason turned thirteen on the eleventh of this month. I am now the mother of two teenage boys, and I have a lump on my head to prove it. Last night Jason tossed a deck of cards at me. I was laying on the couch, not paying attention and it hit me on the forehead. Later that night when I was brushing my teeth I noticed it had left a knot. I went in and showed Jason and the poor kid felt horrible. He came into my room before I went to sleep and apologized again.
The first thing most people notice about Jason is how flat out handsome he is. Girls his age are always telling me he is hot. One day at a party a friend of ours, who is twenty-two and very attractive, had drank a bit too much. She leaned down and whispered something in his ear and he replied "no thanks, I have a girl friend." She laughed and announced to all of us that she had been turned down by a twelve year old.
To me though the most notable thing about him is how kind he is. He hates the idea of hurting any one's feelings, and really cares about people. Where I am cold he is warm. Last night as I was climbing into bed with no thought of anybody else, only of reading my book, I heard him call Dh and ask how Grandpa was doing. I won't go on about my child much more, because I know I approach the Kathy Lee Gifford level of gushing parents, but I really am proud of this handsome, kind, smart boy I am lucky enough to call son.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

games, games, games

It is spring break time here. For the first few days of the week the weather has reflected the title. Today it has turned cool again. I won't complain though because the cool weather is perfect for sleeping in and then browsing the Internet with a cup of Earl Grey. Monday and Tuesday I had to work. So while the sun was warming up the town I was stuck in a dreary, nearly windowless office. The up side is that I finished the book I really haven't had time to read lately. Yesterday I spent as much time outside as possible. Frio Chica* and I went with my boys to the football field and played soccer. We seem to be on a game kick this week. For the last few evenings we have been playing cards. Last night we played Clue and Encore. My mom won at clue and Frio Chica and my mom won at Encore. I wasn't having a winning night. I remember when I was pregnant with Lee, it was reassuring to go to my mom's house and play games with her and my siblings. Now Frio Chica is pregnant with her first child and she seems to enjoy coming over and playing games with me and my children.
I started this post yesterday, but then the boys woke up and I needed to go to the office for an hour, so I never got back to it. Dh's dad is in the hospital with pneumonia. Years of smoking have left him with copd. Dh, Lee, and Lane went to Woodward last night to visit him. Jason and I stayed home since we are planning to go down weekend for his birthday. I think it may have hurt Dh's feelings that we didn't go with him. The two of us are so different in that respect. Whenever I go visit family, no matter how far away it is, I don't expect him to come. If he wants to that is great, but if not I really don't mind. He has canceled trips to Woodward just because I couldn't make them. He also calls a lot when he is out of town. I have to remind myself to call home once a day to check on the family. It is probably hard to be married to such a cold woman.
Jason called Frio Chica yesterday and asked her to come over. He wanted to play tennis, but we both vetoed the idea because of the cold. We played Rummy and Scrabble instead. We called my mom and had here pick up pizza when she got off work. Then we called her back and asked her to pick up ice cream and root beer also. None of us would have driven seventeen miles to get out of cooking, but since she was already out of town we would ask her to run our errands.

* I changed my baby sister's nickname. Originally I had called her the bitch, which I have no problem calling her person, but I could never bring myself to type it. It was harder than you might think to come up with another name for her. Immediately shrew came to mind because often it is used in place of bitch, but in the dictionary shrew and all of its synonyms suggested a hot temper and fiery personality. That is not her at all. Here is an example. On the night of her twenty-first birthday all of my sisters went with her to a bar. It was karaoke night. There was a goofy young man there who kept picking love songs and singing them to her. She did nothing to give him any encouragement. He spent most of his money and bought her a shot of something, and set it in front of her. He then picked up the mike and started to sing another love song to her while standing inches from her. She picked up the drink swiveled around in her chair and started talking to us, ignoring the boy singing to her. I was impressed because had it been me I would have felt obligated to listen to the song, then let the boy down gently, and offered to pay him back for my drink. Her way was much more effective, and really should women be obligated to be nice to a men who are showering them in attention they did not ask for.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Chicken pies and bingo

That title just doesn't have the same ring to it as pork chops and applesauce.
My house is filled with the smell of boiling chicken. This is a good thing if you like the smell of chicken, I do. It would be better if there was also the smell of baking bread, but there isn't. I returned a jacket to my niece, Mon, one day and she burrowed her face in it and said, "This smells like your house." "
Is that good or bad" I asked.
"Good, it smells like cooking food." I was relieved because sometimes I think my house may smell like all of the shoes we discard at the door.
The other day my mom told me that Princess had told her I make the best chicken pie in the world. So that is what I am making her for supper today. Last night we had stuffed peppers and I don't think she appreciated them at all. She stuck with the baked potatoes, which she eats just like I do, covered in olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of butter. I am going to miss those girls when they move back in with their mother. I have already started to worry about the three of them living in the city alone. It is hard enough to be a single mom, but in a city where they don't really know anybody it is going to be tough. Really I shouldn't be worrying about that yet, that is a worry for the future.
We are planning a bingo night as a fundraiser for Lee's trip. What I don't know about bingo could fill an book. My neighbor offered to donate burritos and tamales to sell at the concessions that night. So now I just have figure out the rest of the menu, and prizes, and what a card should cost. Really, the next time I'm working so hard to raise money I better be getting a trip too.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Okay so I don't do Wednesdays

My voice is slowly coming back. Today I have a low throaty voice that I kind of wish would stick around. So for today when you read this you can hear it in Lauren Bacall sort of voice instead of the Mickey Mouse sort you normally should.
Curly top lost her first tooth last night. She reminded us of it every few minutes and everybody had to look at the tooth and admire the gap it came out of. All this talk about that tooth last night and the tooth fairy still almost forgot to stop by. Luckily my subconscious was aware of the problem and I dreamed about it early this morning. I woke five minutes before the alarm went off jumped up to beat the kids out of bed. Not that I really needed to run. It was one of those mornings when nobody wanted to get out of bed. Three out of five kids tried to fake sick. Lee didn't even have the decency to act sick. He just flat out asked if he could sleep for an hour or two and then go to school. Finally I managed to get them all out of the house while keeping Huggy bear asleep. My reward for that is a couple hours to myself.
I was looking over the activity calender last night and got flat out giddy. As of today my children have no sporting events for the next month. On top of that Girl Scout cookie sales ended yesterday. We have only three more deliveries and that is behind us for at least a year. March may now become my favorite month. I better enjoy every minute of it to because with April will come track, golf,and baseball. Don't get me wrong I love following around my kids and supporting them, but no parent in there right mind isn't ready for a break after a season where there were three different levels of basketball and two levels of scholars bowl all overlapping.
Now if I could just get a break from Wednesdays. I honestly have caught myself saying, "It must be Wednesday, I never could get the hang of Wednesdays." Two Wednesdays ago I knew I needed to go to the Economic development office to get Lee's passport. Why I went to the Extension Office I don't know. I do know that I felt pretty silly when they explained to me that they didn't do that here and I looked around to see where I was. Later that same day I drove the Awana bus as usual. This is something I do this almost every week and every week it is the same kids I pick up. I pulled up at a friends home to pick up their boys. This family has lived in the same house for almost a decade. Not only do I stop here every week, but I have been here for poker nights and cook outs and countless other reasons. So why was some other guy who I also know, sitting in their armchair playing with his kid and looking at me through their picture window? Just a few feet away from this window I paused and looked at him. Then it hit me, I was a house too far south. So I waved at this guy who looked very puzzled and walked next door to where I was supposed to be.
This last Wednesday I drove thirty miles to watch Jason compete in a Scholars bowl meet only to arrive after the award ceremony. I had checked the school's channel that morning to make sure of the location and am still not sure how the start time escaped my notice. That evening I parked the van at the church and left it running. I ran around to help the kids unload. When I tried to get back in the door the whole thing was locked up. Yeah, I need some help with Wednesdays.