Monday, December 31, 2007

Appropriate Reflections and Visions

As I start this post, there are 39 minutes left in 2007 (according to my computer, at least). My children are fast asleep, as they always have been this time of night, this time of year. They don't even try to wait up yet, and are happy enough with "When you wake up tomorrow, it will be 2008!". Big Boss Man has travelled to Tennessee, where he will stay the night with his brother, then travel to Florida early tomorrow morning. BBM's dad is having surgery tomorrow, and although it's considered pretty routine (double bypass is considered routine these days, isn't it?), prayers would still be appreciated.

The year comes to an end. Some positives, some negatives, but no regrets. Hopes for the future, near and distant, linger in my mind like rose petals atop a swirling river. 2008 promises to be a year of growth and discovery...and my faithful followers will be here to share it with me (all 4 of you!!! {ahem} {cough cough}). I feel there may be great change in some areas of my life. Some of them I've touched on here before, some I've kept private. I will share with you the happenings as I explore this great expanse that is life, and as ideas and plans of action come to fruition (or at least as my efforts yield more noticeable results).

To all of you, I wish nothing but the best in the year ahead. Cliché as it may be, may all your dreams come true. If dreams don't come true, may you have the initiative to keep dreaming, the courage to take risks, and the strength to keep on keepin' on.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hootie HOOOO!!!

Well, after much playing, fighting, cheering, tearing, winning, and losing...

The Skins have made the PLAYOFFS!!!!!


So we will be waiting with baited breath for next Saturday, when the Skins will play the Seapukes. I can only imagine what that day will be like. Let me just say this: there is a chance that Big Boss Man's Skins will play Peyton Manning and my Colts in the Superbowl on February 3rd. Let me also say this: we are hosting this year's SB party on that fated day. I can already see one of us sleeping on the couch that night. (And yes, I'm cheering for the Skins right now because BBM adores them, and because the Colts have already secured not only their playoff spot, but also a bye in the first week.)

In other news, I've been doing laundry all day long. For some reason, I put off washing extra blankets, usually for lack of gumption (the dirty clothing takes it all out of me, let alone blankets we only use for making forts or covering up out on the couch). Sometime tonight, however, my dad arrives for a visit from Minnesota, and he'll be racking out on our couch. This means he'll actually need bedclothes. This means I actually have to wash bedclothes. Thus, my 9th load of the day is in the washer. Thankfully, I also took the day off work tomorrow, as dad's in town, and as I have to work New Year's Day.

And an update: the rocket is still in the tree out back. It spent most of its day taunting me; spinning this way and that, appearing to loosen it's death grip on the tiny branch that held it's place, but deciding at the last minute that its newfound home was just that...home (at least for now).

And last but not least, I've been working on a menu. I'm hoping to start the upcoming year with at least some semblance of order and organized chaos in this house. Plus, with recipes like Scrumptous---and I do mean scrumptous apple pie, The best lasagna. Ever, Cinnamon rolls, and Marlboro Man's favorite sandwich at my fingertips over in Ree's kitchen, I have absolutely NO excuse.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday happenings at the Lodge.

Yes folks, this is what happens when you have 2401 things to do over the weekend. You decide to launch the last of two Christmas rockets. We won't talk about the first one, other than to say it was a really really windy day when it was launched, and we now only have one rocket remaining.

Now I will tell you this, the video just doesn't do this justice. The end displays a similarity to Apollo 13, when they're waiting at the very end of the movie...waiting to see if the heat shields survived the explosion...waiting to see if Lovell, Swigert, and Haise were able to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the Command Module. Except in our experience, there was no life in danger, unless you count any birds flying overheard during the mission (there were none at the time of launch).

Oh...if anyone has any {cough cough} bright ideas on how to recover, uhm, pieces of rocket and {cough cough} parachute from a nearby tree, contact me at

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Miracles do happen!

Everyone knows how much we love Dexter here at Whirlwind. Even when he's crabby, we still love him. Right after we got Dexter, he "escaped" from our loving home, and I am almost embarrassed as to how I bawled when we couldn't find him.


He's as much a part of this family as Big Boss Man, Monster, Bean Pole, Little Linebacker, or I. He knows this, and he eats up the attention he gets.

That being said, here's a story that gives me hope for all future escapes. Cats are amazing animals, and I wouldn't trade ours for anything.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Well well well.

Ever since I posted this post, I've been getting lots of s.i.n.g.l.e.s. ads on my google ad dealies. I don't actually want to type the word out, because they'll just recognize it and show more. I'm sure there is some way to control this, and I'm going to explore adsense a little bit later on tonight, but in the meantime, it's really annoying. You'd think they would make it simple: choose what rating you want your ads: G, PG, PG-13, or R.



And yet, it's not that way, because I've looked a tad on the site, and can't find anything, short of either blocking websites one by one as I see them, or adding which websites I'll allow. I don't mind the latter, but I need a list...I don't want to have to think of sites to allow, I want to choose from a list. I'm picky like that.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Partial ritual, but early.

I went to the library early this week, last night as a matter of fact, for one reason: I went online to order some books that I'd found on (order them from the library I mean. Duh...why would I spend money on them if I haven't read them first?!?). So I sign into my library account, and BAM!! I get hit in the face with 11 books (10 books and 1 dvd) overdue. Wha?? I know I turned all my books in. Oh wait.

Am I married? Is that my husband that's always wandering around the house? Whose socks I unfold when I wash them?

Yup, that's him. Big Boss Man.


So I head to the library, stopping at Walgreens first to get some soda and get cash back to pay off this enormous fine (or at least pay it down to where I can actually check out books again), then head to the library.

First I can't find the one book BBM requested I check out for him. I had to ask for help in the library for the first time since 3rd grade. But lo and behold, they have it! Then, off to the computer to refind the books I was trying to request earlier in the evening. I have a list of 13 books. I'm sure they won't have all of them at this location, so I'll get what they have and request a location change for the remainder.

They have one. Count it: ONE book (mwua ah ah).

{sigh again}

It's not like they have the books at different locations and I have to have my patience tested (of which I have little when it comes to things like this)...they don't have any of them even in the library system. The very lovely woman at the counter tells me I can request that the library acquire them though, online when I get home.

Then I go to pay my fine. $41.15. Who owes $41 to the library??? Well I did. And I don't anymore. I brought it down to a reasonable $10 and some change, which made the librarian very happy, and made my cheeks turn less reddened than they were when she told me the total.

So I get the book. It's hysterical so far. It's called Mommy Tracked by Whitney Gaskell. Great read. Go. Check it out. I'll be here when you get back.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I've led a sheltered life. Big Boss Man will attest to this, and reminds me of it when I read an upsetting story about kids smoking pot or 12 year old girls having sex and getting pregnant. I'm naive in the worst sense of the word; the slightest things shock me.

That being said.

We went to a mall tonight and walked around. It was my birthday today, but my "party" (gambling and mayhem at the casino) isn't until tomorrow night, so we went just to get out tonight. We got The Boys new shoes (can you say "stinky" and "holey"? Those are the only two words that can describe their old shoes). Then we just walked around, and not people watching is impossible when you're in a mall on a Friday night.

What I saw put a fear in my heart that I've never experienced before.

I didn't fear for my life in a physical sense. I didn't feel the need to have my hand hidden in my purse, resting on the grip of a Kahr PM9. I did fear for the futures of my children. As we were sitting down to save a table at the food court, two girls (couldn't have been older than 13, maybe) jogged just past our table to a few older guys. They were dressed as I've never seen girls that young dressed before, and one of them spoke up with a "Hey!" shouted to the guys. "Do you want my friend's number?"


Did I miss something?

"YEAH!" the guys said back, and the girl went on to ask if they had cell phones. Of course, they did, because children of all ages have cell phones in contemporary times {insert eye rolley thing here}. She rattled off the number like water off a duck, and then her and her friend sauntered away, butts twitching like they'd been paid to shake what their mama gave 13!! I think my heart may have actually stopped right then and there.

So BBM came back to the table. He proceeded to give me CPR to jumpstart my ticker. I told him what I'd witnessed, and he acted surprised...not surprised that it had happened, but surprised that I seemed so shocked by it all. Obviously I haven't been to the mall in...well, years.

So we continue to eat (and people watch), and we see so many things. So many things that I can't even write them all down here, as I really don't want to relive the experience. But I do have a couple questions:

1. What, exactly, are young people expressing when they choose to wear dark eyeshadow and black eyeliner that, quite honestly, makes them look like football players who don't quite know how to put glare paint on their cheeks? I don't get it. And I'm not just talking girls here...some of the young men we saw could give drag queens lessons on application. I get that they're individuals, and they're exercising their right to be an individual, and they're expressing "who they are", but who does that? Who are they? If their expressions are shining through, I ain't gettin' it.

2. If children are so insistent on being individuals, why did we see groups (and I'm not talking one or two kids, I'm talking groups of five, six, seven kids) ALL. WITH. THE. SAME. HAIRCUTS??? Isn't that a little hypocrisy, or am I just old? It was something I'd never seen before...all of them the same with maybe a difference in hair know, some pitch black, some bleached white. Because that's individual.

3. Who on God's green Earth is sitting at home with these kids, telling them they look "great" or "nice" or "cute" or "hip" or whatever the word of the year is, packing them in the car, and dropping them off at a busy mall for the evening??? Is having a night alone without the blaring music of your pre-teen, tween, or teenager really so important that you'd risk ditching them at a haven for sex-hungry predators? Because from what I saw tonight, sex-hungry predators are not just dirty old men watching little girls from they're kids that are the same age as our children, going to the same school. My soul shivers at the very thought of it.

What can parents do? I am a member of a couple mothers' groups, and I can honestly say that NOT ONE of the women in these groups would let their kids hang out in an environment like this. So why are there so many children still at the mall?? Why is it so hard to stop this 'epidemic of individualism' from taking over? I want to take my children out of school. I'll home school them until they are old enough to get their certificate, at which time they'll be shipped off to the military, where they'll learn respect and discipline for 4 years. Either that, or I'm going to start a town for people who don't want their children to succumb to the temptations of this day and age. You have to fill out an application to get within city limits, and I'll have a One Strike and You're Out policy. No bad apples to spoil the barrel. Since neither of these options are viable, I'd like to end with a thought (or another one, since this post has been nothing but my thoughts): I'm all for expressing yourself. Go get a pencil and some drawing paper. Get a paint brush and a giant canvas. Not artistic? Grab a guitar, or maybe a piano or an accordion, if that turns your spokes. Music not your forte?


You can express yourself all you want.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Where have I been all my life?

Okay, well, at least for the last 5 days?!? Time is flying by, as it does during this time of year, every year. Once Thanksgiving comes along, the days just buzz along whether I'm at work or at home.

So after dealing with some personal stuff that is not to be discussed here yet, I'm back, and raring to go! I've started this weekend with laundry and paint.

Yeah, that's right. Laundry. Typical. I think you've heard this story before. I will get it done. I will get it done. Oddly enough, it's not getting done, because I'm multitasking...and when I multitask, I end up doing way too many things at one time and not really doing any of them. But I still do it. I still try.

And I finally bit the bullet and went to our friendly neighborhood hardware store to buy the fixings to paint. I still haven't picked out colors yet, which tends to be the hardest part for me, but I've at least got the beginning supplies. Since I live with a coupla budding artists, I have to prime. I have to prime everything before I can put a coat or two of paint up. Crayon, permanent marker, these colorful little gel pens that's all gone (okay, so it's all gone on one wall...I can only do one at a time so I don't have to lock the cat in a bedroom for too long at once). But my goodness, does it look about a bajillion times better already, and it's just plain ol' white!

I'd post before and afters, but really. It's that embarassing.

I'd also like to share that we have critters...really large-sounding ones, in our attic again. We've had our share of squirrels, who we've watched as their little squirrel heads peek out of the holes they gnawed just below our overhang. But if these are squirrels, they're some ginormous squirrels! And of course, Big Boss Man is out of town. I refuse to even stick my head up in our attic access, for fear of some psychotic, gigantic rat with a bushy tail taking me out and then running rampant through my home. So it will have to wait until BBM gets home. I wouldn't really even mind them being up there. After all, squirrels need somewhere warm to live in the snow, right? But they're nocturnal! I don't know if all squirrels are nocturnal, but these certainly are. And they live right above the bed in our bedroom. I feel like I'm back to my apartment-living days (except, uhm, there's no sqeaky mattress sounds). So BBM will have to evict these tenants right quick after his return arrival.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Did someone say "Contest"?

Alas, I did not win Patriot's BEKA Giveaway, but a really cool chic, Park Wife, won, and that makes the world a better place.

This week, he's giving away a Tazza Transparent Rainbow Glass's stunning, truly stunning, even in the photo. So...yes...Go. Enter. Read. Now. Return.

Patriot's Tazza Glass Ornament Giveaway.

Are you back? Good then. Now I have another one for you. Pioneer Woman, as I've said in practically every post in some shape or form, is another cool chic. She's having a Surprise Give That Photo A Name contest today. It's supposed to be a surprise, but she spilled the beans a few days ago. Now she's teasing us, because as of 8:40am, it's still not posted. Ugh! Except that I just went to double check that, and it is posted. So Go. Now. Enter. Read. Don't-be-as-clever-as-me. Return.

P-Dub's Give That Photo A Name Contest.

Are you back again? Excellent. And now? The news. I just want to say that homes are not all they're cracked up to be when you view them online. I spent a good while in the past few days searching for homes for sale in certain areas of southern Illinois, and found a few that were actually in our price range and that looked "nice" in the pictures.


Apparently, realtors are realtors because they are actually magicians, but there are no magician positions open with their company. Did you know that they work magic with a camera? I'd swear to it. And they know when to take pictures of homes when the grass is cut...and when the windows are all intact. I actually read a description the other day that said something along the lines of "All window coverings present". I imagined a classroom full of windows:

Teacher: Front family room?

FFR: Here!

Teacher: Side kitchen?

SK: Here!

And so on, and so forth. Then I actually may have teared up, because this home was so bad, or in such a bad neighborhood maybe, that they felt the need to report that all the windows still had their least the last time they'd been there.

So I grabbed my mom, tied her hands, gagged her, and forced her to come with me into what would become one of the most terrifying experiences of my adult life (the basement of my current home still has it beat, but not by much). She actually volunteered to go, but I don't think she had any clue what I was getting her into.

I came out of the experience with a higher understanding of homes and the pricing of them, a greater knowledge of the backroads of a certain couple of towns across the river, and a newfound thankfulness for my life. And one, count it, ONE home left on my list to actually call on.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jingle All The Way

The ABC Family Channel is having the 25 days of Christmas, which means they're showing nothing but Christmas movies from now until, well, Christmas.

So someone PLEASE tell me why Jingle All The Way (yeah, the one with Arnold Schwarze himself) just made me cry?




There's something SO not right about me.