Friday, November 30, 2007

When Contacts Attack

One of the unexpected benefits of living out in the boonies is the drive home after work. Not only does it give me 30 minutes a day - by myself no less - to listen to the Backstreet Boys to my heart's content, but I also get to watch the sun set every day.

I had forgotten how stunning a West Texas sunset can be.

In the last month, I have had my breath taken away so many times as the sky glowed with all the muted colors you could imagine. It has become a highlight of my day. Yesterday I had to stop at the store and pick up milk on the way home, and missed the sunset. I could not believe how disappointed I was.

Next time the kids can just wait another day for milk.

Yesterday morning while putting my contacts in, I discovered that at some point I had somehow switched the caps on my lens case. So for who knows how long I've been seeing out of the wrong eyes. I wear gas permeable lenses (as I am as blind as Mr. Magoo and soft contacts simply do not correct my vision enough for me to see clearly. And not seeing clearly would interfere with all kinds of things. Like seeing sunsets. And you know - driving.) so you think I would have noticed sooner.

At least now I know why I've looked like an extra from 28 Weeks Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alas - I have nothing else interesting to post. Other than I have no idea what to get my husband for Christmas. Every time he wants something, he just buys it. (After comparing prices from a gazillion places and then buying it used somewhere. Ah - the life of a wife of the thrifty man) So I'm stumped. If anyone knows of a good gift for a man who loves hunting, fishing, and giving me a hard time, for heaven's sake - leave a comment.

(And if you have any idea where I might find a Wii console without paying eleventy billion dollars on ebay - drop me a line. Because we didn't come up with the brilliant idea to buy one until THANKSGIVING and as you all know - the US is sold out.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sports, Band and Trees - Oh My

Let me begin by just stating - I am a sports fan. Even more - I am a hockey fan. I completely understand how a person can get caught up in a game and lose perspective.

But you would think parents would be able to behave better.

Last night, E had his 2nd basketball game. We played at home. We played a team from a prep school nearby, and we were obviously playing their A team. E, since he did not play last year, is on the B team for Hicksville Middle School. The team they were playing was very good. They came out to rousing start and quickly managed to lead by over 20 points. Their kids made fancy jump shots from all over. They had fancy passing patterns and executed them flawlessly. And the parents were very enthusiastic in their support of their kids. I have no objections to that. Truly I don't.

I do have objections to those parents taking up the home section of the stands. We have a very nice visitor's section. I fail to see why the parents couldn't do all their whoopin' and hollerin' from that section, instead of insisting upon sitting in our section and being obnoxious.

Not only that, but if you're going to sit in the home team's section of the stands, and make a spectacle of yourselves when your team is winning, do not get annoyed when our little ole B team manages to come back in the 4th and WIN the game, ok? I mean really - if you can whoop and holler, so can we. And we're hicks - so we're *expected* to act that way. You people are the ones who send your hot shot kids to a fancy prep school - show some class already!

This concludes my fan rant.

In other news, the mom-in-law is doing great. She is scheduled to have a PET scan, and we are cautiously optimistic that the scan will come back clear. For the one or two folks that read my silly ole blog, please continue to keep her in your prayers.

E's football season ended with him scoring a few extra points, and the team winning district overall. The high school team made the playoffs, and won the Bi-District title, but then lost last week. It was still an awesome year for them. The band qualified for the area competition, but failed to make the state competition. We are still very proud of how well they did this year as well.

J is having a rougher year as a middle schooler. He just doesn't see the point of not only doing his homework, but turning it in. Consequently, he has been grounded until those grades come up. *sigh* It would be one thing if he just didn't get the material - but he aces his tests. He just doesn't like homework. He's also been branded "weird" by the oh-so-knowledgeable 6th grade girl club. J has always been an individual, with a highly active imagination. Apparently that's not appreciated by middle schoolers out here. If anyone has any advice on how to comfort a sensitive, kind 12 yr old boy who thinks "any girl would be crazy to like me," I'd sure appreciate it.

The days are getting cooler out in the boonies, and the nights even colder. My beautiful ceramic tile in the kitchen is pretty darn cold in the mornings, so I picked up some slippers at Target during the big ole Black Friday sale. My boys (all 3 of them) are pretty amused to see me padding around the house rockin my new cheetah print slippers and red fleece with snowmen robe. Pfft. *I* like 'em. And they're warm. So there.

The tree is up, although I forgot to put the garland on before I put all the ornaments on. It's still pretty. I've been hanging fake pine garlands all over the place where I can - oddly enough, lengths that were perfect for my old house seem kinda short in this one. I'm making do. I may give in and buy a couple of new ones. But until then, I'm just having fun finding new places for all my Christmas stuff. I've started my Christmas shopping, and I'm *hoping* that I'll be done before the middle of December. Yeah - I know, but we all gotta have dreams, right?

We have planted more trees on our land, and just ordered a ton more from the Soil & Water conservation people. Someday we'll have a windbreak. Until then, the porch will be deserted until spring arrives. I'll miss watching the sunsets.

Here's hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hate. Fear. Strength. Faith.

I hate Cancer.

I hate that the treatment for it is almost as bad as the disease. I hate that my sweet little mom-in-law has to spend weeks in the hospital with sores in her mouth and throat while waiting for her stem cells to graft and start producing nice little white cells so she won't be in so much pain. I hate that my husband has to sit in a hospital room for hours on end, seeing his mother in pain and feeling helpless to help her. I hate that he has to worry when after 10 days she still hasn't started producing white cells - and that this latest course of treatment might not work. I hate that after losing his favorite uncle, he now has to worry about losing her. I hate that my kids have to be without their dad most of each week because he needs to be with his mama.

But most of all, I hate the fear that creeps over me every time I even think of the possibility of losing the mom-in-law. Not necessarily how the loss will affect me directly. I do love her, and I would miss her terribly. But I am terrified what it will do to M. He tries to be so strong, but a man can only take so much. And he is on the very end of his rope lately. I'm afraid what will happen if he happens to slip off. And I hate being afraid.

You see - I'm the tough one. The one who can handle anything. Really - ask my friends. I'm the "normal" person in the group - the one with the great marriage, the so-called normal kids, the job she enjoys - the one who never has a crisis. When my grandparents died within 45 days of each other, I handled it. When my youngest broke his arm and had to have surgery, I handled it. When he had meningitis, I handled it. I'm a strong person, and I handle things. It's what I do.

So when I start fearing things, it pisses me off. *I* don't get scared! But I am. I worry that my strength isn't enough to hold my husband together if the worst happens. I've seen him fall apart before. I'm afraid he might again. I wonder if I'm still strong enough to handle it this time.

Of course, I don't have to handle it by myself. I know that. I know I should let go, and Let God. Sometimes that's easier said than done. It was easy to do when it had to do with our mongo house project. It was easy to do when I sent my kids off to school. For some reason, when it comes to my husband's sanity and peace of mind, it's much harder to do. I'm not sure why. I consider myself a woman of faith.

Lately though, I feel more like a woman of fear. And I HATE that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Never Forget

Originally posted on September 9, 2006.

It's weird what you remember about events. I remember most clearly what I was wearing. It was my favorite pantsuit - when I put it on that morning, I remember admiring how well it fit me, and how it managed to make me look slimmer than I was. It was black, with coral trim on the lapels and coral buttons down the front. And I wore my black boots, the ones with the super high heels, because the pants were a little long for my little 5'3" legs, and the boots made the whole outfit perfect.

How oddly appropriate that I wore black that day.

I was sitting in my office - on my computer, checking my message board and planning my day. One of my students came into my office and began the shattering of what I thought I knew about the world.

"Mysti - do we still have that TV?"

"Sure - it's in the file room - why?"

"A plane just flew into the World Trade Center"

"No s***? How'd they not see that?"

At that time - when he said plane - I thought a little prop plane. Because surely it was some inexperienced pilot that ran into the World Trade Center. And I had no idea what the day would bring - what kind of horror would be visited upon us as a nation that day. It was just a little ole plane, right? I figured maybe a few offices worth of damage. Tragic to be sure, but there was no way I could know what was coming. It was probably just a little prop plane. I mean hell - it never ever occurred to me that it could have been an airliner. Those pilots know what they're doing, right?

Did they ever. >:<

So we went to the back, turned on the TV and saw the billowing smoke. We marveled over how someone could have missed seeing the building, then I went back to my desk and send an ICQ message to someone - Rog, Jen, I don't know. Someone. About the plane. Then I went back to check on the news coverage. And found Todd standing there staring at the TV in shock. Because another plane had hit the other tower. And as we stared at each other in dismay, we realized that maybe the first plane wasn't an accident. And maybe it wasn't a prop plane either. About that time, I pulled the TV out into the main office area. By now everyone knew what was going on. And we watched in horror at the billowing smoke, and heard Matt Lauer talk about people jumping, and the flames, and how the fire department was responding. Never dreaming what was coming.

Then the tower fell. And we watched in horror. Not knowing how many people were still inside the buildings. Amazed at how the tower fell straight down. Exclaiming to each other "Oh my God...oh my God." Then it hit me. Not only all the people in the buildings. But the paramedics. The firefighters. The policemen. And I bent over - in anguish, nauseated, physically nauseated at the loss of life, trying to control my tears, pacing back and forth between my office and the TV - unable to tear myself away, but hardly bearing to watch. Other faculty and students came out of their offices - as we watched replay after replay of thousands of people dying. Unable to not watch. And as we were watching another replay, Gopal (one of our professors) said something that made my heart stop.

"Is that the first tower? Are you sure?"

"It's the replay - they keep showing it over and over and...."

"No - look - there's not another tower there - the second tower just fell!"

"Oh God. Not that one too."

Yes. That one too. And the horror ...well it refreshed itself. Seeing one tower full of people fall was bad enough - but BOTH of them? It was almost too much to bear.

And through all of that - we never thought it was anything more than a couple of crazies. We knew it was on purpose - all you had to do was see the footage of the second plane flying into it's tower and there was no doubt it wasn't an accident. But a well coordinated attack on our country? Like the rest - it just never occurred to me. That day was full of assumptions I made based on the world I thought I knew. Not that I hadn't heard of Bin Laden. I actually had. A couple of years before I read a Reader's Digest article that was an interview with former president Clinton. Someone asked him what was the biggest threat to the US, and he replied "Osama Bin Laden." And elaborated. So I had heard of him. I had read about him. I knew he was a fanatic. But it just never occurred to me that he'd plan THIS.

Then someone on the news said that a plane had flown into the Pentagon.

And I said out loud, "That's it. Oh my God, we're at war."

And we were. And I finally learned what the phrase "and her blood chilled" felt like. It wasn't a fun feeling. I thought of my husband, my kids...where they were, what they were doing, were they safe? Would they stay safe? Were planes about to come raining down all over the country? I know I'm in Podunk, TX, but Pantex is just a couple of hours up the interstate....all these thoughts raced through my head, as I watched everyone run, listened to the folks on TV say what all of us were thinking, saw the people with the gray faces, shocked and unbelieving... and I continued to pace. I could hardly sit down. I'd sit at my computer, post another message on my hockey board, then it was back to the TV. I'd try to work, but I couldn't. How could I concentrate on accounts when the world was falling apart around me? When we were under attack!?

I remember the TV saying that all planes had been grounded. I remember hearing about the flight that went down in Pennsylvania. And I watched TV. And paced - in my high heeled boots. In my favorite black pantsuit. All I wanted to do was go pick up my children and hug them and take them home. Where they'd be with me and safe. And when 5 o'clock finally got here, I left work - and went to pick up my children. And nearly ran into the after-school program and hugged them. I realized that while they knew something had happened today, they didn't seem to realize just how drastically our world had changed. When we got home, we sent them off to watch movies in another room, and Monty and I watched TV some more. Heard the story of someone who had ridden the debris down and survived - then the retraction when it was proven wrong. Hoped they'd find survivors - and felt the overwhelming sorrow when everyone started to realize that there just weren't many. Watched them try to dig through the debris to find survivors - and watched them run when someone thought there might be a shift of the wreckage - or another building came down.

And listened. You could still hear them. It's a sound that I'd never heard before 9/11. And when I hear it now, it still sends chills down my spine. Granted, I only hear it when watching Rescue Me, but the sound of the alarms - the ones that the firefighters wear that only go off when they're motionless......hundreds of them.....once I knew what they were, what the sound was, and why they were much Lord? How much can we all bear? Those were the thoughts in my head.

I stayed up too late watching the cable news channels. Trying to accept? adjust? to what I was seeing. And got up the next morning, and turned the TV back on. Went to work, and had the TV on...hoping that they'd find more survivors. And in the ears adjusted to the fact that there were no more planes in the air.

Several days later, I sat in my office and heard fighter jets go over our campus. (We had an Air Force base just outside of town most of my life - Reese is closed as a military base now, but I know the sound of a fighter when I hear one) Never before had that sound scared me. It did that day. And to this day - when hear a low flying jet, I tense up. I've flown once since that day. I didn't like it much. But I did it. Because no stinkin terrorists were going to stop me from living my life as I see fit.

But I don't wear that pantsuit very often. I still have it. But every time I put it on, it doesn't seem to fit anymore. And not just because I've gained a few pounds in the last 5 years. Rather - the person that wore that pantsuit on the morning of 9/11/01 isn't the same one that tries it on now. But I still have it. And the boots. And every time I look at them, I remember. Because this Redneck Texan will never forget that day. And how it changed everything.

Rocks In My Dryer
hosted an I Remember 9/11 day at her site last year. I'm not sure if you can find the link, I haven't checked. But just in case, drop by. So no one forgets those who died that day. Just for going into the office, or getting on a plane.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The End of Summer

Today is the first day of school in Texas, and that includes Hicksville. I made a point of getting up a full TWENTY minutes earlier than usual to make sure the boys were up and ready in time to get to school before the bell rang, and still managed to be 25 minutes late to work. Of course, that was thanks to the lovely road construction around Big University where I work. I do wish they would tell us ahead of time that they are taking out a *major* section of my normal route to work. Sheesh.

I will be a nervous wreck this afternoon, as they are taking the bus home for the first time since the move, and I've totally convinced they will somehow get on the wrong bus and get left in the middle of nowhere and it'll take me days to track 'em down. I hope E remembered to take his cell phone. I know - it's silly. I mean really, when I called to find out what bus they need to ride home, I was told it was bus 3. THREE. Even when I went to school in AlmostHicksville right outside of Big Town, the buses had more numbers in them! So it's not like they have too much of a chance of getting lost in the multitudes. But still.

You just never know.

I just hope they are not traumatized by their lack of actual trapper keepers that they were to have today. I sent them off at the WalMart to track one down, and last night discovered what they came back with was not a trapper keeper, but rather some kind of expanding file folder thing that just will not do. Unfortunately, before I could give them the lecture about sticking to what the school supply list says, we discovered I had purchased two each of several colors of the WRONG folders that were listed. There goes *that* life lesson, eh?

After all the fun we had procuring school supplies, I decided that I had entirely too many ripe tomatoes and made a batch of hot sauce to can. Once again, despite following my grandma's directions *exactly* - I ended up with 5 pints instead of 8. I have no idea why, but it happens every time. I also decided to put on the big girl panties and cut up my own jalepenos instead of making the hubby do it, then spent the rest of the evening trying to stop the burning fires of hell that was underneath my finger nails, and not rub my eyes at any time. This even after coating my hands in olive oil before starting to cut them up. Hmph. Next time M can do that. Because that was not fun. At all.

Last weekend I attempted making dill pickles. They certainly *look* like they'll taste yummy, but I'm too chicken to open them up and taste them. I think I'll wait until our friends come out and get one of them to taste test them for me. Preferably P. As a former hockey player, I'm pretty sure he'll pretty much eat anything.

The cantaloupe finally ripened and we've been enjoying those for the last couple of weeks. Sadly, one of our vines just died and we don't know why, so I'm hoping the other two manage to stay alive until the fruits on their vines ripen up. We also have about eleventy billion watermelons to eat now. I'm thinking we'll be leaving some of those with the yellow squash in any unlocked cars we come across.

Drat - we went to church in Hicksville yesterday, and I forget to check the cars. No wonder I still have that squash!

I did manage to write out a menu plan, but I forgot to look at it this morning before coming to work, so I'll post that tomorrow. It's the first week of classes here at Big University as well, so I had better get some work done. I'm thinking this grad students are getting a little cranky waiting for their fee waivers to show up.

Y'all have a great week!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hey! Who turned off Spring?

After months of pleasant weather, it seems as though the dog days of summer have hit West Texas, and hit hard. You would think after 30-something years of living out here, I would be used to the heat and it wouldn't bother me.

You would think wrong indeed.

I was enjoying being able to work out in the yard each evening after starting supper. I enjoyed (oddly enough) cleaning my pool in the evening. Listening to the birds. Watching the bunnies frolic and eat my new expensive grass. I enjoyed sitting on my ginormous porch and reading without worrying about heat stroke.

Pfft. Those days are over for a while. Holy cow. I had forgotten how bloomin hot it gets in the summer!

Luckily, my garden seems to like hot. I have cantaloupes that have been almost ready to harvest for a week now (and honestly, I think they are purposely finding some way to stay green just to taunt me because I love me some cantaloupe). I have watermelon that continue to grow and grow. I have so many green tomatoes on the vine that I'm already mentally counting to see if I have enough pint canning jars for all the yummy hot sauce I will be making come September. My four acres one row of pinto beans, on the other hand, only produced a measly 4 plants, but those plants put out alot of green pintos! And like all West Texans, we are cruising parking lots in the evening, searching for unlocked cars to gift with yellow squash.

Because I can only eat fried yellow squash once a week. And our 4 plants are putting out enough to feed Afghanistan. And Ethiopia. I think we could make a dent in Pakistan as well.

Out of all the flower seeds I planted, only the zinnias came up. They are now blooming prettily along my porch, along with snapdragons and marigolds. I lost one of my lavender bushes, and I think my spanish broom has bit the dust, but I finally found me an old fashioned purple Texas lilac bush that is adjusting well. As well as honeysuckle, purple lantana, and a gorgeous red crepe myrtle that will look lovely against our buff colored brick. One of these days, maybe if I can get M to mow the lawn this weekend, I'll take pictures and share. But you'll have to promise to ignore the weeds around the edges of my landscaping, as they seem to love this hot hot weather as well.

Not to mention my ugly not-so-easy set up Intex pool.

The boys claim they aren't ready for school, but E has already started marching band practice in Hicksville, and seems to enjoy that. I think they have really enjoyed their lazy summer. I know they've enjoyed sleeping until 10 or 11 am. I know *I* would enjoy that. I've started waking them up around 9:30 am so they can start getting used to earlier bedtimes and earlier wake ups. We won't discuss how that earned me the title of Evil Mom. Heh.

My mom-in-law begins her 2nd hard core round of chemo on Monday. If you have time, please drop a prayer to the deity of your choice for her to respond well to the treatment with few side effects, and grace and wisdom for her doctors. As well as patience for M & I over the next few weeks. We plan on taking off most of next week to go up to Amarillo to help out when we can, and also to take the boys on a little mini summer vacation. They need to have that, since so far their only trip out of town was to San Angelo for a funeral. I'd like them to have some happier summer trip memories if possible.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

When In-Laws Become Family

When you marry, you not only gain a life partner, but a whole bunch of new family members. If you are lucky, they like you and you like them, and Christmas and Thanksgiving and kid birthdays and family reunions are pleasant and full of memories.

If you are blessed, some of those new family members take in you into their hearts and love you and you do the same to them. Eventually there comes a day when they are no longer "in-laws" but just family. Beloved family.

I have been blessed. My darling hubby's family is not perfect, and there are those that I'd just as soon never see again, but for the most part, I've grown to love these folks as though I had grown up with them. Even crazy Aunt Dottie. Especially Aunt Dottie - because that girl has some *wild* stories! For each family member, that moment where they became *my* family was different. For Aunt Dottie, it was the first time I met her, the day after MDH's father had passed away (Dottie was his dad's sister). She came up to me, gave me a hug and whispered in my ear "I'm the hussy of the family." I loved her instantly.

For Uncle Cooper, it was the first Christmas in our first house. We bought it when E was 2 and I was pregnant with J. By the time Christmas rolled around, we had two little boys and I threw everything I had into making that first house that we owned a home.

Now remember - I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. I now spend a day and a half just putting up the tree and decorating it. Making my home full of Christmas cheer is something I love to do. But a decorator I'm not. Back then, decorating was buying things here and there, and getting hand me downs and throwing them together. Most of *my* decorating sense at the time was left over from living with 3 other chicks in my early 20's - which could be called "Party Girl Chic 1988" at best.

That Christmas, Uncle Cooper and Aunt DeDe came by the house after seeing his mother. They live in San Angelo, but drove up to see his mom who lived in Lubbock pretty often. And they always made time to come see us, and they just *adored* E & J. At the time, they didn't have any grandchildren, and I think our boys were substitutes or something. So they dropped by for a visit, and shortly after Cooper came in, he looked around my home, and turned to me and said "Isn't that tree pretty? DeDe, will you look at this house? Boy - this whole room is just great. Mysti - you did a great job."

And with that, Uncle Cooper became family. I was very fond of him before, but that moment of affirmation soothed the soul of this young mom and wife in a way that even I didn't realize I needed. I felt like that maybe, just maybe, I was getting this wife & mom thing done after all.

We had many years with Uncle Cooper. I can still see him watching a little E or J and saying "DeDe, will you look at that?" with boundless pride and love at something they had done, whether it was crawling for the first time (which E did at 8 months at their home in San Angelo) or waving a toy and grinning. Uncle Cooper was as close to a paternal grandfather as my kids will ever have, as MDH's dad passed away before we married. He was a man who loved his wife and daughter, and never said an unkind word to anyone unless it was warranted. And even then he was more likely to keep his counsel I think than to be ugly.

He worked for Santa Fe until his retirement, and then spent his days golfing as well as with the Silver Hair Legislature. And last night, after a battle with leukemia, Uncle Cooper passed away. The world is much sadder place without him. And this morning, my heart is breaking. I know he's in a better place. But I already miss him so.

Please keep DeDe and Denise, his wife and daughter, in your prayers today. And my husband, who was always so close to him. Today will be hard for all of us. This weekend .... well - I just don't think I'm ready to think about it yet.

I still can't believe he's gone.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - 7/16/07

I missed posting menu plan last week due to some family stress as well my son's birthday, but my mom-in-law is now home, and God willing, her PET scan later this week will be clear enough for them to extract her t-cells. Thanks for all y'all's prayers, and if you could keep 'em coming, that would be great.

Now - for food!

Sunday - Grilled chicken, potato packets, steamed broccoli

Monday - Homemade pizza, salad

Tuesday - Sonic night

Wednesday - Mom's burger stuff, tater tots, green beans

Thursday - Teriyaki chicken, stir fried veggies, rice

Friday - Smorgasbord of leftovers

Saturday - Fried fish, fried taters, shoepeg corn & pea salad

After much effort, we finally got our not-so-easy set pool set up and filled with water. It was lovely for about 3 days. Then, like all pools that haven't been treated, it started to get a bit - discolored. So of course, we tossed in some chlorine. That's what you do with pool water right?

Did you know that water in West Texas - especially well water - has a high metal content? And when that high metal content comes into contact with chlorine, it oxidizes? Yeah - me neither. And oxidized water can turn *colors*! In our case, that color was brown.

Of course, we didn't know that's what was going on at first. We just knew we had brown water. So of course, M runs and buys a ShockIt pack and tosses it in. Then we had REALLY brown water! Or - as our friend Kenny said - it looked as though we would have a nice batch of fudge by morning.

It turns out the trick is to treat the water with something called "Metal Out" which bonds to the metal, and causes it so settle on the bottom. Then you have to vacuum the bottom, then filter the pool for eleventy billion hours, and eventually the water turns clear again.

We've had this pool since before July 4th, and no one has swam in it since July 3rd. Boy - we're getting our money's worth now! In all fairness, I can't blame the kids for not wanting to swim in brown water. Or slightly yellowish water. But if they don't get in pretty soon, I'm going to be forced to shame them into swimming by forcing myself into a suit and getting in. And honestly - is it fair to scare the bunnies and bird on our land like that?

I don't think so either.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Big C

It's odd how when a doctor tells you a loved one is in remission, in this day & age, you just take that to mean that everything is going to be ok. That's how we felt back in December. That everything was going to be ok.

Um. Not so much. Last month, during my mom-in-law's 6 month check up, they found 3 new masses. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday to begin a new course of chemo, then they will extract t-cells to re-implant after a 2nd heavy dose of chemotherapy. She is only 60 years old.

She never smoked, although her first husband smoked. She never drank much, although I've seen her have a wine cooler or two at a bbq. She never did recreational drugs, although she has been on various other medications her entire adult life for various emotional issues. In short, she didn't engage in any of the normal risk factors that have been shown to lead to cancer.

Yet she is fighting a particular nasty type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma anyway. And it irks me.

She's a nice lady. I really do like my mom-in-law for the most part. She lives 4 hours away, but she took me in and treated me like family from the first time my husband took me to meet his family. She's had a rough life at times, and doesn't deserve to be in a fight like this. For her very life. But she is.

And I'm at a loss because I can't just walk away from my job and go take care of her. That's my first reaction. I want to be there in Amarillo. I want to be able to bring her whatever they'll allow her to drink, and hold that goofy little plastic pan they give you to hurl in, and just listen to her talk (because, good Lord love, that woman does love to talk!).

But today is my son's birthday. He turned 14. His party is Thursday - he has waited all year to go see the new Harry Potter movie with his friends, and I can't take that from him. But I am seriously considering taking off work early on Wednesday and driving to Amarillo, even if it's just for a few hours. I don't like her being there alone. Her "friend" can't be there everyday, as he has to work. Her mother is in a nursing home, and I'm not really sure if she really knows how ill her daughter is. Her brothers - well, let's just say they are not there for her. All she really has is us.

I don't know what her prognosis is. The doctors were very vague with my husband and his mother, other than to tell her this t-cell thing has a 35% chance of working.

35%. That's a 65% chance it won't. Having the cancer come back so quickly after her 1st round of treatment is bad. I'm afraid - for her, for my husband. That my kids won't get to know her anymore.

Cancer sucketh. Much.

Add to that - my husband's great-uncle, who is also the godfather of my children, has leukemia. He & his wife, after months of fighting it, have finally called hospice. They took him home. And I don't know how much longer he has. He is another member of M's family that I love dearly. I am so blessed to have married a man with a family who was willing to accept and love me from the minute I met them. I know not everyone has that. The bad side of that is knowing that you might lose them soon - it's an ache I fight every day.

I read the blogs of several young women - women who are just starting their lives, with small children, women whose faith in God astounds me on a daily basis. Heather. Kelli. Amy. I marvel at how they hang onto God's strength - how they use their illness as a way to minister to everyone around them. I wonder if I would have that strength if it were me. Or would I rail against fate, screaming "Why me? ! Why me?!"

I wish I had a point. I wish I had some profound finish. All I have is heartache and dread. And a request. A request that anyone who reads this consider adding my mom-in-law and my great-uncle-in-law to their prayers. Pray for healing, pray for peace, pray for strength. And pray that I'll find some way to be a help to my husband and his family in the days and months (God willing) ahead.

Because right now I feel pretty helpless.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - 7/2/07 Edition

I seriously need to find more time to blog. All I've blogged lately are menu plans. We've just been so busy working on the landscaping at the new place, and work continues to be a mess. Maybe I'll add a little bit after my menu plan.

Sunday - Chef Salad

Monday - Spaghetti, salad

Tuesday - Sonic night

Wednesday - Fish fry, fried taters, fried okra, fried everything! (pfft. It's a holiday - calories don't count on holidays, right?) And watermelon for desert.

Thursday - Beef tacos, spanish rice, corn

Friday - Smorgasbord night

Saturday - Daddy's choice again - last week it was Pizza Hut. Wonder what he'll come up with this week?

In case anyone wondered, we are now the proud owners of a big ole John Deere tractor and plow. M had to drive the tractor home yesterday since he never could get the guy with a trailer to go out there with him. It only took him 4 hours to drive it out here, which was an hour less than it took him to bring the plow attachment home Saturday hitched to his loaner truck.

I think he's very glad to have that over with. Although we're afraid that the roads between New Deal and Hicksville will never be the same.

He plans on plowing up all of our weeds this week. Which sounds fine and dandy until I realized this means that I'll have 14 acres of dirt surrounding me when he's done. Because we don't have a way to *plant* all the land he's about to plow. If only he had found a shreader for the tractor first.

I meant to share with everyone our adventures in setting up one of those "easy set-up" 4 ft deep pools last week, but work got in the way. For now I'll just say that when they claim that you have to put it on an absolutely level area, they are not kidding. We had just a slight slope on the area we tried to set the pool, and sure enough, when it was about half-way full, the water caused the darn thing to collapse on that end, and it drained itself. I guess that's better than it rippin a hole in itself or something, but it sure made a mess. We have spent the last week trying to level the ground, and after much moving of dirt, last night we laid everything back out and voila.

Now it slopes the other direction. We seriously suck at this.

So tonight we will either pull the tarps back and rake out some of the new dirt, or we'll try putting more dirt on the other end. One way or another, tomorrow we start filling that pool, because we are SO going to have a nice cool pool full of water for the 4th of July y'all.

Even if it means I have to build a dirt wall all the way around the darn thing. Hmph.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - 6/25/07 edition

Last week went so well, I'm doing it again!

Sunday - Burgers & chips (I never said I was into health food)

Monday - BBQ chicken bake, microwave potatoes, green beans

Tuesday - Sonic night

Wednesday - Smorgasbord

Thursday - Beef & Broccoli Stir fry, steamed rice

Friday - Grilled pork chops, fried taters & onions, english peas

Saturday - Daddy's choice!

I hope everyone has a fantastic week - I'll be back tomorrow to share with everyone the joy of the so called Intex "easy setup pool."

Easy setup my rear area.......

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mysti's Pink Chicken

Wow - two comments and both of y'all wanting to know how to make my infamous Pink Chicken. I know - Pink Chicken just sounds wrong doesn't it? But honestly, it's one of those amazingly kid friendly dishes that I discovered totally by accident while on the South Beach Diet a couple of years ago.

And it's scary easy too.

Basically take about 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I've made them with either the breast from a bag o'chicken from WalMart or from just a regular package of chicken from wherever. The bag o'chicken cooks faster, but the size shrinks a bit as well. Put the frozen breasts into your skillet (all of mine are non-stick). Take about a cup or so of raspberry walnut vinagrette dressing and pour it over the the chicken. Then sprinkle about a teaspoon or two of worchestershire sauce over it. Sometimes I've also cut up a few cloves of fresh garlic over them as well - especially in summer when I'm trying to prevent being eaten alive by skeeters.

Now - cover the skillet and turn it on low - I mean really low. Like 2 or 3 low. Then go read a book or break up a fight between your kids, or watch House Hunters, or whatever it is you enjoy doing. Check back every now and then and turn your chicken so the sauce coats the chicken well. After about 45 minutes, I usually take a spatula and start breaking the chicken into smaller pieces, then stir it up so that even more chicken surface is covered with the raspberry walnut vinagrette goodness. The last 5 minutes (it rarely takes more than an hour to cook, but since you can go off and do other things, like change out of your work clothes, or fold that last loud of laundry, or read your new People magazine, it doesn't seem that long), I take the lid off the skillet, and let the chicken brown up a bit.

Serve over your favorite kind of rice, and voila! Pink Chicken. Too easy to even be called a recipe, but most kids will eat the tar outta it. Add a veggie or two and you've got a meal.

Now - if either of y'all try it, you have to promise and come back and tell me what you (and the kids) think, ya hear? Unless they hate it. Then you can just throw away the recipe and we'll just forget it ever happened.


(By the way - I noticed yesterday that my zinnias have sprouted! Yes - I'm a dork. No - I don't care - I just tickled that they came up!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I actually sat down yesterday and wrote out a menu plan for the week. I discovered pretty quickly not only how much smoother the week goes when we all know what is on the schedule, but also how much more *stressful* it is when I *don't* do it while going through this move.

So without further ado - my first Menu Plan Monday posting.

Monday - Pink Chicken, roasted broccoli, corn, saffron rice

Tuesday - Sonic night! We love those half priced burgers!

Wednesday - Spaghetti, salad

Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas, spanish rice, leftover corn, salad

Friday - Left over Smorsgabord!

Saturday - Grilled deer, potato, carrot & onion packets, salad

Of course - I have to convince the hubby to cook on the grill Saturday, but I'm pretty sure that he'll agree.

And the only thing I had to buy at the store for all this was the taters and milk for the kids. It's so nice to be stocked up.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Green Acres - HA!

No one tells you about landscaping when you plan to move a house out into the country. Or I suppose when you build one. No one mentions that when you try to plant those beautiful flowerbeds along your new front porch that the dirt there was originally part of the pad for the house - you know - the one they built up and levelled and PACKED SOLID so the house wouldn't slide down the property when you got 17 inches of rain since January.

Because if they had, I wouldn't have spent several hours with a hoe, hand tiller, shovel and mini rake trying to break it up enough so I could plant snap dragons, day lilies, marigolds and a plethora of verbena, zinnia and phlox seeds. I would have just put my foot down and said to my husband "I don't *care* that you bought a huge ole tractor, that won't help me with my flower beds, now you get thyself to Lowe's and BUY ME A ROTOTILLER!!!


But I must say - the flower beds do help with the house looking more like a home, and it will look even better once a few of those seeds sprout. I took some of the leftover brick from the house and created a border that is straight in spots, and wavy in others. That might have something to do with the unevenness of our yard. We've also had sod put down over about half the yard - so we have grass. Sure - it looks like it's gasping it's last breath before it dries out and turns to hay - but the landscape dude tells us that's just shock. I had no idea that grass was so sensitive. Apparently it has to adjust to its new home. At least the grass doesn't wake me up 4 times a night like my dog did the first week out here.

Tonight, we plant pinto beans in our garden. Not because I'm a big fan of plain ole pinto beans, or beans and rice, or beans and cornbread, although my husband loves them. Nope - I love me some green pintos. That's right - I pick 'em before they get all big and beany and I plan to can 'em just like my grandma did, and y'all - if you love home canned green beans, you will LOVE green pintos. Honestly. They are the ultimate. Cook 'em with some small new potatoes and I could just make a whole meal out of them. Which is why we are planting half an acre four rows of them.

We're also growing a ton of tomatoes, which I think I mentioned before. We had to re-plant due a hailstorm. And when we did that, I sure as shootin got some peppers to plant too. Both jalepenos and bell. Mmmm - hot sauce! M also decided to plant corn, cucumbers, watermelon and canteloupe in our "small garden." Now mind you - he didn't bother to pull any of the weeds that had come up since the garden area was plowed up. So guess what I get to do tonight? Along with my short young helpers otherwise known as my sons.

Last Tuesday, I took off work in the morning so that DishNetwork could come install their lovely two-room DVR tuner in my new house. I waited and waited, and planted lavender bushes by my porch steps. I then waited and waited and watched the landscape dude lay sod in my yard. After I planted my daylilies, I called the local phone service company to find out where the heck my Dish dude was and discovered that since the local phone service company couldn't install our land line for another month, they called Dish and canceled our appointment.

Without telling ME.

After a couple of hours of frustrating phone calls between said phone company and Dish and getting hung up on TWICE, I finally said pfft - called Dish directly and got it all set up for the Dish dude to do his thing tomorrow afternoon. I also expressed my extreme frustration with the phone company, and lo and behold, I get home the other day and there is some kind of trencher machinery out by our house and I'm thinking it may not be a month before we have a phone line after all. Heh.

Ah. The country life.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mom's, stove's and poo

I love my mom. I do. But I think she's getting tired of me calling her every single day asking "um - how do you get the Mr. Ice Tea oven stove coffee pot to work?" Because they left the fancy Mr. Ice Tea maker and coffee pot in the house, but not the manuals and now we are constantly calling her asking her dumb questions. Which is better than just buying a new oven because we thought the old one (which, by the way, is a Fridgedaire wall oven that was installed when the house was built in 1963) had died during the move. But no - apparently there is an extra dial you must turn to on and then it works like a charm.

I'm hoping I have more energy tonight to unpack the rest of the bathroom boxes and get the boys' rooms set up. I admit it - I come home, putter a bit, cook supper, then veg out because oh my WORD we still have a lot to do to settle in. And I'm nothing if not a champeen putter offer.

I sat out on my back porch the other night while the dog watered the new grass, and thanks to the eleventy billion inches of rain we've had this year, noted that there must be at least that many frogs out there. It certainly changed my idea of a peaceful, quiet country evening. Because frogs are noisy.

This morning, after I had let the dog out and J was nearly done with his morning waffles, I walked by the french doors and noticed a fairly short but thick twig on the floor. In the big town we just moved from, it wouldn't have phased me a bit, as we had decent sized trees in both our yard and the neighbors. But out in Hicksville, we just planted new trees and they aren't all that large. So - of course I had to go and poke it with my bare toe.

You know where I'm going with this, doncha?

It wasn't a twig. Nope - apparently sometime between when I let her in and I walked by the doors, my dog had left us a present. A new icky squishy present. I immediately did the "oh my heck my toe touched POOP! ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew get it off get it off get it OFF!!!" dance asked J quite calmly to run and grab me a wad of toilet paper from the bathroom, said ew only once and cleaned it up. A lovely way to start the morning, let me tell you.

And how was y'all's morning?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Home at Last

At last. We are moved.

Well - mostly moved. As mentioned here (my evil myspace blog), we moved what we four could because our helpers weren't able to help. So we still have to move our entertainment center, the big TV, the tall lamps, my washer & dryer, and the deep freeze. But that's ok. We're able to live in Hicksville now.

Of course, now begins the unpacking. I have my kitchen pretty much done, but it's hard to unpack a living room when you don't have an entertainment center. I think I'll work on our closet and bedroom tonight. And the boys' rooms. We still haven't set up E's bed. He's perfectly happy sleeping on his mattress on the floor, so it just hasn't been done. I'm hoping he and Dad will get it taken care of tonight, so he can unpack his stuff - I have two or three of his boxes in my living room, and I want them out !

We've had major storms the last week, so our garden is toast. I think we're going to attempt to re-plant this weekend. And I can start putting in flower beds and honeysuckle and lilac bushes and mexican broom and line the drive with iris' and....

What!? I can't help it if I like flowers. I can finish unpacking later. Those boxes aren't going anywhere, but if I don't plant soon, all I'll have is dirt around my new home. And that just won't do.

Last night I cooked my first meal in our new house. I was able to actually set the table (oh yeah - we still need to move my dining table and chairs - thank goodness the house has a built in kitchen table!) with real plates! And silverware! And I could fit the food on the table! Which my prompted this conversation:

"J: Why is there food on the table?

M: Because it's time for supper.

E: But we always just get our food from the stove.

M: That's because our table was always covered with junk. No more buster. From now on we eat like this. No more buffet style for you! We're going to eat like normal people!

J: This is just weird."

Bless their hearts - they thought people only ate like that on holidays. Just wait until they learn to set the table. And clear the table. And clean the table and the counters. Muahahahahahahahahahahahaha....

Even though we have propane in the propane tank, and a line run to the house, and regulators on those lines, and all has been checked out by the propane people, for some reason we still do not have the propane turned *on* - so I don't have hot water on the kitchen end of the house. Which also holds my bathroom. Needless to say, we're all using the shower in the kids' bathroom. It's much roomier than the itty bitty stall in *my* bathroom, so I'm not complaining *too* much - although it is kind of a pain to walk to the other end of the house with my contact stuff, towels, etc.

Speaking of walking - you never realize just how small your house is until you move into a bigger house and you have to walk all around it unpacking. If moving doesn't help me lose weight, I don't know what will. (Of course, it would help if I hadn't just started my fifth oatmeal raisin cookie this morning.)

When I sat down at the table for supper last night, I looked around in surprise at how we seated ourselves. I was sitting in my grandma's chair, my husband in my grandpa's chair, my kid's where either my mom and dad, or my uncle and his wife used to sit. And I marveled that we picked those seats. When visiting this house, while my grandparents lived there, I always sat on the other side of the table. The kid's side. Now I'm sitting on the adult's side. Like my grandma did. And I realized that I was content in this home. My home. And I was probably feeling the same way she did when they first moved into that house after they had it built.

Oddly enough - I think that I'm about the same age she was when she moved into that house. I just pray that Monty & I have as many happy years in this home as she & grandpa did. I hope that she checks us out every so often from heaven.

(And I hope she doesn't mind that I painted her paneling!)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Moving on up....

After months of of painting, cleaning, and frustration, I think we are finally making the big move this weekend.

I say I think because my darling husband has found more reasons to put off this move than there is tea in China. I'm hoping that the knowledge that while we will have friends to help us move *this* weekend, and they'll all be off partying in Cancun without US next weekend will keep him focused.

We finally got the house bricked. We have a pretty brand spankin new fridge with a water and ice dispenser in the door! Which makes me feel just so uptown, let me tell ya. M is laying some sod down this morning, so the dog will have something to relieve herself on (do not ask me why my cocker will not water dirt. She will only water vegetation. She is a weird dog. Cute and lovable, but weird.) We have a ton of stuff already moved in and unpacked. Unfortunately, we have a lot more stuff to move. I'll be packing dishes and breakable baking dishes tonight. As well as the getting the boys to pack the rest of their stuff in their rooms. I've packed most of my clothes, so we *better* move this weekend, or I'll be running around nekkid next week, which won't be a pretty sight, let me tell you. I've managed to gain TEN POUNDS in the last 6 months, although how I did that while working my tail off I have no idea. So that too should keep M motivated to move this weekend.

Of course, the boys will be less than thrilled, as we probably won't have our phone bundled with DishNetwork hooked up for a week or so, so they will be limited to the ridiculous collection of kid friendly DVDs we own as well as *gasp* - local TV. No Nik, no Cartoon Network. Poor things. I'd feel bad for them if they didn't try to take over the TV every single day. Hmph. *I* won't be going into TV withdrawals, because sweet Lord who watches over us all and meets every need, the Stanley Cup playoffs move from Versus to NBC on Saturday. Muahahahahahahahaha. Perfect. Now if Ottawa would just learn how to score a freakin goal in Anaheim!!!

The boys ended up doing very well in school this year, with both of them getting commended on all but one of their TAKS tests. And they came very close to getting commended on the other ones, but J missed by one question, and I think E missed by 2. Close enough. We are very very proud of how well the did academically this year. J was blessed with a wonderful teacher in Hicksville, and E does even better in small classes out there.

We started a garden. Just a little one, M said - we don't want to overwhelm ourselves with so much to do still on the property. Uh huh.

Someone explain to me how SIXTEEN TOMATO PLANTS constitute "a little garden"? And he won't plant peppers. I'm sorry, but if I'm going to do something with the tomatos from 16 plants, then by golly, there better be some peppers because I'm going to be making hot sauce, and while I'm willing to buy onions, we need PEPPERS!!!

Men. Love 'em, but sheesh. Besides the 16 tomato plants, we also planted cucumbers, yellow squash, watermelon and cantaloupe. Which is good because I love me some watermelon and cantaloupe. As soon as I get moved, we will be adding radishes and peppers. Both bell and jalepeno. But not so much jalepeno. Because those things are HOT.

Y'all keep us in your thoughts as we move this weekend. Primarily, pray that it will not rain another 5 inches, because seriously - having over 13 inches of rain this year already is so beyond weird, when our normal average rainfall is 5 1/2 inches.

Semi arid my hiney.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Breakin In to Hicksville

One of the things I really looked forward to about moving to a smaller town was getting to know my neighbors. I was convinced that folks in small towns were infinitely friendlier than those in the big towns, and that I would be welcomed into the fold via my homegrown family members that had lived in Hicksville all their lives.

Umm. Not so much. After a year of having my kids in school in Hicksville, and attending a variety of school events, I still only know my 2nd cousin and his family, the gal I went to high school with that also moved out to Hicksville this last year and .... well. That's it. I've met a couple of others. They've smiled politely when introduced. But other than that, I don't really exist to them.

Luckily, I have a great group of friends here in the big town, so it's not something I dwell on. It's not like I don't have people to hang out with. But I'm sure Daddy found it a little weird when he came to the boys' spring concert, and I didn't have a single person to introduce him to. I forget that we haven't really made any friends out there until I arrive to one of these school events (spring concert, track meet, etc) and see everyone else greeting each other. Then I realize that I really am the "outsider" still. And my kids probably still are as well.

When did small towns get so exclusive?

When I was in junior high, we moved around for about 3 years with my dad. We lived in small little towns all over the western part of the US. And I was always welcomed. I was new. Fresh meat, so to speak. I wasn't drop dead gorgeous, so the girls didn't feel threatened, and didn't hesitate to reach out to me. I wasn't butt ugly, so the boys were intrigued, and wanted to date me. I loved smalled towns. My folks loved small towns. My husband grew up in a small town. Why wouldn't I want to move my family to one and have my kids enjoy that lifestyle?

Now I have to admit - I'm a bit shy. I'm not the gal that will immediately walk over to you and talk you up, unless of course, I'm in "my element" - then I will definitely try to reach out and make you feel welcome. So maybe it's my own fault, for not finding someway to connect with the people of Hicksville. Maybe once we move, and are living out there full time instead of being commuters, we'll manage to make some friends. Maybe once we start going to church out there, it will give us more of a chance to interact, and the Hicksvillians will realize what fun, witty, fascinating people we are.

Or maybe not. What if we end up being the outsiders forever? For myself, it would make me a bit sad, but wouldn't kill me. As I said - I have real friends in the big town that I will continue to be friends with. We're not that far out, and we've already discussed what a great place the new house will be to gather and drink and eat and laugh, etc. For my husband? Pfft. He's not that social anyway.

But for my kids? THAT'S what I really worry about. Just how long will my boys be considered the new kids? When do they become locals? After a year? Two? Five? It doesn't help that the local bully brothers are in the same grades as my kids, and my kids are their latest targets. Or that the BB's (as I shall call them now, because heaven knows, I don't want them discovering this blog out of nowhere and threatening to sue ME because I've dared to say what everyone else tells us about their darling boys. And believe me - I wouldn't put it past them to run a daily google search on themselves, their boys, and Hicksville just to make sure proper respect is being shown to them. Pfft.) have learned their interaction skills from their folks. Yes - because if you dare to assign consequences to these kids, their parents are more than willing to bribe or threaten until the administration backs down.

I'd like to sic them on Osama. Trust me - dude would be TOAST.

Oh dear. This has turned into a whiny "why don't they like my kids?" post, hasn't it? Actually, my kids seem to get along with the other Hicksvillians well enough, but they haven't really made friends with anyone. We've yet to get a call from anyone out there. That makes me so sad. While not a popular kid growing up, I always had a group of friends. And I think that my oldest would like to be that way, but he hasn't yet learned how to do that. After years of being bullied at his big town school, he just lost all confidence in himself. He doesn't know how to be a friend anymore, because those punks never let him have any. And I don't have a clue how to teach him that. I didn't learn those skills, I just "was".

I just wish it were easier.

I just thought it would be easier for them. And it's not. And that sucketh.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Slowly but surely

Goodness - imagine that. A whole month and still my house has not been bricked. To be fair, they were supposed to start that today. Before it started raining. And raining. And I'm pretty sure it's still raining out there. It's just bizarre. Technically we are in a semi-arid zone. At some point this last year, the "arid" part seems to have disappeared.

Despite all that - we are making some progress. We're moving things into the house. We're unpacking. I've ordered - and received - the cutest drapes ever which I will hang in the living room soon. Our new bedroom furniture has been delivered and arranged and is entirely too big for the current master bedroom - I've reassured M that once we re-do the old garage, it will look PERFECT in that room. We have two new couches which are much larger than M thought, and I've managed to not say even once "I told you we should have bought a love seat and a couch" or "YOU wanted two couches." We've planted trees, our brick has been delivered to our property, and each time we are out there we just count our blessings. It won't be much longer. And we just can't WAIT.

Some day. Maybe even before summer!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thy Will Be Done

Living in West Texas, the coming of spring is discovered in different ways than up north. There is no crocus pushing up through the snow. No - in West Texas, it's the first green of the dandelions in your lawn. Your iris' beginning to put on new broad leaves. The dirt blowing so hard you can't see more than two blocks and the sky turns brown. And of course, the most definite sign of spring....

The appearance of Ron Roberts on channel 28. To report on the latest round of thunderstorms and tornados and hail and torrential rain. Weeeehaaaa! Spring has sprung!

Last weekend we had a couple rounds of storms, including twisters over in New Mexico, and my favorite, low energy funnels in Lubbock during lunch on Sunday. My darling M, while down south at the lake "relaxing," was too busy cleaning bass to answer my phone calls informing him that his wife and children were about to take a trip to Oz, and to be sure and feed the dog because we don't want her to be barking at Toto and we'd miss him and for heaven's sake, DO NOT GIVE AWAY MY CLOTHES because I'm sure we'll only be gone a few days.


Of course, it wasn't anywhere near our home, and I did get a great deal of amusement of watching the plethora of Tech students who climbed on top of their duplexes to see if they could see the funnels, despite the large amount of thunder and lightening. Hey - we're in Texas. When there is a twister in the area, you can find us in two places - the front yard or the back yard. (or the roof apparently if you're young and immortal) The kids did get to see their first "live" funnel and as they are their mother's sons, both were tickled to death.

Last night we had another round, with bad storms off the east, then a line developing around bedtime on the Tx/NMX state border. I had hoped that we wouldn't have any rain out in Hicksville, because the ground is beyond saturated, and we can't get the house bricked until it dries out. I quickly gave up that wish in favor of praying that there would be no GOLF BALL SIZED HAIL! break out all of the windows in the new house and ruin everything inside. I spent two hours gritting my teeth and saying over and over "Thy will, Lord...thy will. If you must have rain, then let it rain. If you have a reason for busting out our windows and having us start all over, thy will, Lord. Thy will. But if you could have that hail dodge us, Lord, we sure would appreciate it."

M went by this morning. Lots of rain, no hail that he could see. The new trees he planted last week still have their leaves. My iris' that were planted by the road aren't shredded (unlike the ones in my flower beds in Lubbock).

Thy will, Lord. And thank you.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Through the years....

I am not a tall person. I'm all of 5'3 and 3/4" tall. (and yes - I do need to mention that 3/4, because when you're short, every. bit.counts!) My husband is taller, but he's still not basketball tall - he's only 5'10" - which is perfect for *me*.

So would someone please tell me how I ended up with a son who is apparently going to be 6'4"???

He has managed to outgrow all of the jeans we bought him at the start of school - the ones I bought kinda long hoping that he'd wear them longer. We already replaced 3 pair around Christmas. Today - as I stood in the new Target and approved the length (I'm tellin ya - I'm not buying any more jeans until next fall darnit!) and fit of 3 more pairs of size 16 boys jeans - I realized.

That's the last time I'll buy him clothes in the boys department.

He'll be 14 this summer. And he's quickly growing out of the size 16 boys clothes - and when I buy him clothes next time - it'll be in the mens department.

The. Mens. Department.

How the heck did that happen? I watched him walk out and place the jeans into the basket and I remembered the tiny baby he was - who gnawed so fiercely on his tiny fist - not understanding why nursing was so hard after being bottle fed by the nurses at the hospital when he had jaundice. And the trusting looks he gave me when he (we) finally figured it out.

I remembered the joyous moment when he smiled at me the first time - and how thrilled I was at that first wide toothless grin. So thrilled I didn't even notice that I had left my car keys in the seat when I took him into the nursery and told everyone he had just! smiled! at! ME! I didn't notice until I tried to open my car door and saw them sitting there - and I just laughed, turned around and went in to call my husband to come let me in my car - but first I told him about that smile.

I remembered his first steps - with his arms flung out to the sides for balance and his smile and his joy at being able to finally walk like the big people in his life. I remembered the first time he patted my pregnant belly and said "hi baby J! Come out now!" And the time he bit his baby brother's toe when I was nursing him.

As I drove us to Sonic for a drink and then home - several E memories floated through my mind. Memories of the story of the baby bear - where he told me they had one in his daycare class - and if they were good they got to take it out and pet it and feed it a little bear chow, and how he told it so convincingly - that even though I *knew* better - I still looked around the room carefully when I dropped him off. I should have known right then that embellishing would be his forte.

That little boy isn't a little boy any more. He's nearly a young man. One that is bright, witty, and onery. And while I'll always miss that little boy that used to run to me when I arrived to pick him up - I'm pretty proud of the young man that saunters up to my truck after school now - even if it does annoy the tar outta me when his first words are "'Sup momsie-o?"

I guess it's just all part of it, eh? And does it make me a total dork that I literally got tears in my eyes about 5 times while typing this?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Green Acres

New York
is where I'd rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Darling, I love you,
but give me Park Avenue.

As you might have noticed, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman is one of my must-reads every. single. day. What's not to love? She can burp "good morning" for pete's sake! And honestly, I'm getting a wee bit of a crush on her Marlboro Man. I mean - she posts pictures of him in CHAPS! A Texas girl like myself has a hard time resisting that kind of manliness. Luckily for her - I live eleventy bagillion miles away and I'm not near as gorgeous as she is. I think Marlboro Man is safe.

Wondering why I'm rambling about PW? Because this morning, she had a picture of her youngest. On a HORSE!!! He's like TWO! Who knew two year olds could ride already? I mean - horses are BIG! And he's LITTLE! And I'm so impressed that her two year old can ride and the last time I was on a horse my butt was so sore I couldn't sit on anything but PILLOWS for a week that I've resorted to use ALL CAPS!

I'm such a city girl. I had no idea kids that young can ride. How in the world am I going to manage living out in the sticks? On my way home from the house last night, I was plotting where I was going to plant my millions of iris bulbs that I dug out of our flowerbeds in town. I had visions of lining my drive with them - purple ones on the north, white ones on the south. I could see myself tilling the ground, planting bulbs - spacing them out enough that I didn't have to thin them for at least 5 years, then watering them in......

And realized that I would have to have a 100 foot hose to water all the way down the drive. Not to mention those I've already planted down by the road last fall.

It just never occurred to me before last night. I've always lived in homes where you just hook a hose to a faucet and bam! Water. You know - city lots. But I'm about to be on a BIG country lot and the well is a long ways from the drive and oh my hell - what am I gonna do?

Does Gebos carry 100 foot hoses? Cuz if they don't - I'm screwed. Oh! I wonder if a spray nozzle can shoot water that far?

See? I'm so unprepared for this. What if we get snakes? I HATE snakes! It's one thing to imagine "living in the country." I beginning to realize the reality will be a whole nother story.
What if a coyote eats my dog? I love my dog. I would not be happy if a coyote ate my dog. As a matter of fact, if said coyote did eat my dog, said coyote would not be long for this world. At least I don't have to worry about deer eating my garden like Katrina. But I'm betting I'll be battling bunnies all summer long to keep them out of my garden. Not that I have any clue how to battle bunnies that want to eat my black eyed peas and okra. Everything I know about battling bunnies I learned from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Anyone know where I can find a Holy Hand Grenade? Cuz I think I may need one......

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brittney shaved her head? Who knew?!?

Oh it is fun times in this part of the state.

Last Friday? The local city council of the town I will be moving *from* had the po-lice arrest - get this - The Chippendales.

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

20 minutes into the show I hear. I actually didn't go last Friday for varied reasons (including my husband was sick as a dog and *someone* had to keep the children from eating all the candy in the house and watching racy movies on TV). But many of my friends did - and some were not at all happy. I mean really - these guys didn't even get a chance to take their pants off! And they were wearing *hotpants* under the pants. Not g-strings. Not thongs. Not even BREIFS. Hotpants. Oooo - thank goodness the city council saved all those consenting adult women from being subjected to THAT.

Yes - I'm being sarcastic. I think it was dumb. I also think they really just wanted to shut the club owner down for whatever reason, and I get *really* annoyed when those in power use that power to a) punish those they don't like or b) tell me what I can & can't do morally. Excuse me - I'll make my *own* moral decisions, ok? And if they want to run all "sexually oriented entertainment" out of town - then just have the ouevos to say that. Sheesh.

AND - we get to hear all about it. Every newscast has another spin. Every day the paper has a new article. The local talk radio? All about it. We even have radio dj's raising cain at city council town meetings. I hear tell it made CNN. I'm telling ya - we're just quite the cosmopolitan town here in good ole West Texas.

I didn't even hear about Brittney's hair escapade until yesterday afternoon! Or maybe it was yesterday morning. Either way - we've been entirely too busy to worry about Brittney.

Anyhoo - for the two who read on a regular basis - I have 3 of the color walls done - and one coat on the red wall. We got the paneling painted yesterday. Of course, my youngest tells me that his wall isn't navy enough. Navy? No one said *anything* about navy - he said "like the Denver Broncos" and I thought I had gotten close enough to that color....

Apparently not. Now I have to fix it. And I'm betting that E's wall isn't "St. Louis Rams" blue enough either. *sigh* I wonder if I can talk the hubs into going back to the paint store?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Adjusting to Hicksville

I find it ironic that the last post I did was about hockey. Why you ask? Because they fired our coach Sunday night. AFTER a win. A win against a pretty decent team too. Now they've hired some former NHL superstar type who has never coached before for the rest of the season. This should be interesting.

My message board has just been a bundle of fun all WEEK. I don't think we've ever had this kind of traffic before. It just makes me glad we renewed our Gold (aka - no popups) status in the summer - I don't even want to think of what it would cost now to do it.

There are those who think it was wrong to fire our coach this late in the season. They go on and on about how hard he works - and how hard he tries. You know what? William Hung tried really hard too - but he still couldn't sing. If you ain't got the talent, you ain't got the talent, capesh?

The house is coming along - the hubs has painted all the tan walls with two coats, and this weekend we intend to get the color walls done. Then we wait a few days - paint the paneling and the ceilings. Then we get to start cleaning - woohoo!

E is having a harder time adjusting to Hicksville than I had hoped. While he's not getting bullied like he was in the big city, now - he's just kinda ignored. I don't know what to do - or what to tell him. I remember very well what it was like coming into a new school. It's not easy making friends. Sure - at first everyone is nice to you because you're new - but after awhile - if you don't find something in common with them - then they go back to their lives and forget you're there. And for a kid that really seems to *need* buddies - it's so hard for him.

I wonder if it might have been easier if he had stayed in basketball instead of opting for off-season training after football season was over? Now they're about to start track season, and he's going to be involved in that. Maybe that will help?

Of course, it doesn't help that he was struck by the acne curse - from both sides of the family. Both his dad and myself have such oily skin - and he does too. Poor kid - he started getting breakouts when he was 10. Now he's 13 and it's just a never-ending battle just to get him to wash his face twice a day and treat the bigger zits and scrub hard enough to get the blackheads....

Maybe I worry too much? Auuuuugggghhhhh!!!! WHY don't we get a teenager manual? Seriously - what do *I* know about raising a BOY? I was supposed to have DAUGHTERS!!!! Girls that I could teach how to apply makeup so they didn't look like mini-hos, and insist that they start wearing a well fitted bra early so they never had to worry about boob saggage at an early age. GIRLS!!!! By the time my little brother was this age, I was in the midst of teenage rebellion and totally ignored him - I have no idea what to do for E. How to help him make this transition - how to teach him NOT to piss everyone off. Because my son - he doesn't have that filter that keeps us from saying thoughtless stuff. Nope - he's brutally honest with others because he just doesn't filter.

He also tries to be funny. Sometimes he is - the kid is bright and witty and sometimes says things that literally have me laughing my rear area off. And he revels in that. But more often than not he tries to be funny - and unintentionally hurts someone's feelings instead. How do you teach them the difference? Or is it something that is just ingrained in someone? I have no idea. But it breaks my heart to see him hurt.

Friday, February 09, 2007

For the Love of Hockey

I may have mentioned once or twice before that I'm a bit of a hockey fan.

"A bit" would be putting it mildly. I'm a hockey fanatic. Truly.

In September, I start the ice watch. Where we wait for them to put the ice in at the coliseum. And once we (that would be me and my fellow fanatic, Jules) know that it's in - we go to smell the ice.

Smell. The. Ice.

Because we're freaks that way.

Oh - we don't get down to ice level and sniff it - it's just mainly walking into the building. There is a certain smell to a hockey rink. (No - not the locker room - that's a completely different stench) We go up to our seats and check out the ice - see how the logos look - if the red line is straight, stuff like that.

And then we wait patiently for training camp.

Ok - no I don't. I complain everyday unless there is a signing announced. I hope against hope that this year we'll finally have a team that will not only make the playoffs - but GO somewhere - maybe even the finals. Maybe even win the Cup. So I spend too much time on The King's Court, and wait for training camp.

Which I go to, by the way. For the entire first week. And take notes. Yes I do. Then I write up reports on the message board. I actually make a point to save up my vacation time so that I can take off for two hours a day for a week to attend a minor league hockey team training camp.

I told you. I'm a freak. I admit it. I'm not ashamed.

And I'm right there when the season starts. I'm in the booster club. I was even president for a couple of years. I go to all the games, and enjoy the thrill of the game, and the sound of skates on ice - a sound like no other. And as we start off the season with hopes of the playoffs - I'm excited and thrilled and wear my goofy crown and my hockey bracelet and one of my many jerseys (I'm from Texas y'all - we call 'em jerseys because a sweater is something you wear skiing.) and put on my hockey necklace and I'm so optimistic! And I just know THIS. WILL. BE. THE. YEAR!!!!

Then - the last few years, anyway- reality sits in. And we start losing. But I still go. Even though I'm pretty sure our coach just doesn't have what it takes to put together and coach a playoff team. Even though our team doesn't have what it takes to win a cup. I still go. Even when sneezing eleventy billion times an hour - I still go.

(Of course, Jules hates it when I do go then - because she sits next to me and has to spend the entire evening spraying me with Lysol. But I digress.)

Because when it comes down to it - I love hockey. And even when I detest the low down dirty sneaks that own this team, and the coach that is in over his head and too clueless to realize it....I still go. For the game. For the thrill of a goal. For the fun of seeing grown men duke it out then sit in the penalty box like chastened boys in time out.

Because I love hockey.

And that's all there is to it.

Attack of the Cold....

Could I please stop sneezing now?

I swear - I just sneezed eleventy-BILLION times just now. And I took a generic sudafed (that I had to SIGN for when I bought them - just so they would have PROOF that I bought them - just in case I used them to make crack or crank or whatever it is you make with 2 boxes of generic sudafed. Pfft - like I'd waste generic sudafed on CRACK!) just a couple of hours ago, so I can't take another one for another hour or two.

Colds are no fun. Although, after a couple of generic sudafeds and a couple of beers at the hockey game tonight - I bet *I'm* alot of fun. Or at least entertaining.

My buddy Lacasse better have worn his earplugs tonight - because unless he scores a few goals, I'd bet money that a doped up Mysti will be hollering that he sucks again.

Because, you know, I'm mean that way.

Especially after a couple of generic sudafeds. (yes yes - I know - it's really psuedopherineahuckahookasomething, but I can't SPELL that without digging out the package, and then I'd just be tempted to take one early, and we don't want Mysti getting loopy on psuedohookasomething so early, do we?)

Hmmm. Apparently just one is enough to get me typing in the 3rd person. That's a scary thought.

I keep thinking I'm seeing little white things falling outside. I certainly hope if they ARE falling - it's psuedohockasomething induced hallucinations, because I'm in no mood for more snow. We have to start painting the house this weekend. And we'd really like to be able to open a few windows. Otherwise - it won't be psuedopheromonehoookas that we'll be loopy on - it'll be paint fumes.

Now that I've scared off the two people who seem to read this blog - I think I'll go do my to do list for next Monday, and find something totally unredeeming yet amusing to watch on You Tube.

And sneeze.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Psst. Rumorville in Hicksville....

I hear tell - now - it's just hearsay. But I hear tell that a cement truck is supposed to head out to Hicksville today.

And, you know, might actually pour some of that cement in these frames. Ones that will actually form my porches.

I know I know - you shouldn't listen to gossip. But just in case.

I may have a porch tomorrow!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Did we REALLY love the 80s?

So - while perusing blogs instead of working hard this morning (ok - so I was opening mail while perusing blogs, so it wasn't a complete goof off morning), I came across this post. And I thought to myself....

(after watching the MC Hammer video)

What the HELL were we thinking back then? What on earth possessed us to think that wearing spandex workout gear in public - out of the gym - was a good idea? I mean really. I think back - and distinctly remember not only the pink bike shorts I wore on a regular basis in the summer - but the GREEN ones M wore.

As much as I love my hubs, this was not a good look. For either of us. I shudder to remember our horrendous taste in clothes. I remember sleeveless t's and acid washed jeans and ankle boots and huge earrings and heavens to betsy - PARACHUTE PANTS - and wonder ....

Were we *doing* that many drugs back then? Or were we drinking THAT much beer? Because my LORD - those were not good looks.

And we won't even discuss the whole running around in nothing but bike shorts and a black bra trend.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rain rain - go away.....

I am done texturing the house. Yes sirree - I've swirled my last swirl, dabbed my last crow's foot, and will be covered in mud no more.

Well - until it's time to do the utility room. But other than THAT - I'm done. Now we just have to mask off the trim, tape and cover the floors and then Monty can paint.

The tile in the kitchen, utility room and entry way looks wonderful. I love it. The new french door looks pretty cool too.

No progress on the porches, as it's been too wet and muddy after the Not-So-Great Blizzard of 2007. I had hopes for later this week, but according to Intellicast, we have a 30% chance of wet crap tonight, 30% chance for wet crap tomorrow, and 50% chance of wet crap tomorrow night.


Maybe next week. Maybe next month. Maybe by my birthday......

In other news, J got a "Notice of Concern" for science. Seems he's acing his tests, but not turning in his daily work. We recently discovered that he is supposed to be bringing home a science folder every day. That he hasn't been bringing home. Apparently he loves doing the hands on stuff - up until they start doing .... paperwork. Like worksheets and other evil handouts.

The horror.

So - last night he brought brought home his science folder. But not his incomplete worksheets. OR his science book. In case you haven't guessed, organization is *not* his strong suit. And I have yet to figure out how to help him get *more* organized. If anyone has any bright ideas, please let me know. Soon. Before he manages to you know, actually FLUNK science - while acing all the tests?

Of course, I did manage to scar him for life this weekend. After spending the day Sunday finishing up the ceilings out at the house, I came home and wanted nothing more than to take a shower and get the sand and mud and gunk off of me before I went to the hockey game. I go into my bedroom.

MY bedroom. I disrobe. Because the door is shut and it's MY bedroom. I hear J and the dog outside my door. I say - because I'm a mom and all psychic like that - "Don't come in here!" And what does he do?

Pfft. Opens the door when I'm standing there wearin nothing but my panties.

I'm telling ya -

Scarred. For. Life.

At the very least, I'm betting he'll never be a boob man.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nationals and a house report...

(because I know both of y'all are dying to hear about the house....)

I hadn't posted anything in a while, but I did blog about Nationals here. I love Nationals. I just want to giggle like a goofy kid when I think about it being on tonight. I just hope I can keep from reading all the spoilers online before then.

The house - well - the kitchen tile is down, grouted and sealed, and looks spectacular. No - really - I'm not just saying that. It brightens up the entire kitchen. And the entry way (we were able to do the entry way in the same tile after all. Of course, we have 3 boxes of broken tile to return) It's awesome. After the Not-So-Great Blizzard of 2007, the "farm" is tres muddy and it's utterly impossible for the porch dude to come pour my porches. :-\ I continue to gently pray for sunshine. And warmer temperatures. And NO MORE RAIN FOR TWO MORE WEEKS!!! Then maybe we could get this thing DONE. If you are so moved, feel free to drop a prayer about that as well.

I'll be texturing and muddin' and swirlin' this weekend. Wish me much luck - because if I can get that all done this weekend, next week - M can start painting the house. And once we're all painted - porches or not - we can get my matching bedroom furniture delivered, as well as the new couch and loveseat that my beloved is ordering today.

Baby's all about baby steps....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stock Show Day...

One of the advantages of my boys going to a small town school is that they have different holidays than the big city. (Ok - Lubbock is NOT a big city - but it's bigger than Ropes). This was a source of delight for my boys when they started school later than their friends, and when they got out of school earlier for the Christmas holidays. It was *not* a source of delight when they had to go back to school two days earlier than Lubbock did. Nor was it a source of delight when they had to go to school Monday while Mom got to stay home in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (pfft. I spent the day working on the house. They got to go to school 2 hours late due to the ice storm. Whiners.)

Another advantage is "Stock Show Day" where my kids get out of school at noon today. Now - they don't have any animals to take to the stock show, but by golly - apparently there are enough kids at Ropes ISD that do so that EVERYONE gets to leave school! Woohoo!

Of course, Mom still has to work. So DAD gets to go pick 'em up and spend the day with his sons.

Heh Heh heh. I should feel envious. But I know that I will spend the entire weekend cooped up with the 3 of them when the Great Blizzard of 2007 hits Friday, so I'm cool with working today while Dad entertains the boys. Muahahahahahahahahahahaha......

House report - (because I know that the two people who stop by due to bizarre google searches are just DYING to hear how it's going....)

The hubs has finished caulking the corners and baseboards and where ever else he needed to caulk, so I have the greenlight to finish texturing the ceilings and walls. The sliding glass patio door was replaced Monday with my new fancy french doors with the mini-blinds between the glass - and we discovered that new fancy french doors made today are about 5 - 6 inches shorter than sliding glass doors installed in 1963. Goody! More sheetrock for me to texture. Good thing I'm so darn good at that, eh?

The tile guy has laid all the tile in the kitchen, utility room and in front of said new fancy french doors, and will be grouting it today. I can't wait to see it! Of course, the tile they gave us for the entry way is the wrong darn color, so we have to pick some other tile for the entry way. I have a feeling that I'll be doing that at lunch - trying to find something that Lowe's has in stock. It doesn't *have* to match the kitchen - although it would have been handy.

The porches are still mounds of frozen dirt because apparently you can't pour concrete when it's eleventy-million degrees below freezing. And that situation isn't looking to improve anytime soon. I will be sending up gentle prayers, in between really important ones (like for my mom-in-law, who is doing very well, and my kids' godfather, who is not doing quite so well, and Emma Grace, and Kelli - and wow - what an amazing miracle THAT was! ) asking for the good Lord to please let it warm up for a few days next week so they can pour my porches. Of course, he's so busy with the important stuff, he may just tell me no and to quit my whining because I'll get moved into my new house in His own good time. *sigh*

I would be out there today texturing, but classes started last week and I just can't justify taking off. So that's where we are, and that's where we'll be for the next week or so. I'm off to see how many new grad students we have - woohoo!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

And this is the post in which

I brag about how well I did texturing!

Yeah - yesterday was a bit gloomy at Casa de Digby. I was *so* discouraged and extra nervous about try to texture the ceilings and walls of the new house.

Then I got out to "the Farm" and M informed me that the tile guy will start on our kitchen Friday (which has now been changed to Monday, but that's still cool).
And the cement guy will start framing my humongous porch on Monday.

THEN - I mixed me up some mud, rolled it on the ceiling, took my little whisk broom and made me some swirls. Yes ma'am - and they looked just darn near perfect. I so wish I had taken pictures so I could show everyone what a swirling ceiling mama I am!

(No. I am *not* being overly proud. Ok - maybe a little)

After that, I tried doing the texture on the walls and did a pretty decent job on THAT too!

I may have a whole new career future........

All in all, a great end to a day that started out like poo. In about 15 minutes I'm going to go see how it looks now that it's dried and plot when to do the rest.

And Monday - oh Monday! Monday the final steps before we move get started. Because after they do the porches, they can re-brick the house! And once the kitchen tile is done, and the house is textured and painted....

We can move!!!!!!

(And does it make me a super geek to be excited to discover that Owlhaven not only *read* my little blog, but even commented? Granted - it was about our mutual admiration for Rocks in my Dryer, but still! She's like - one of the *real* bloggers! I feel like one of the cool kids just walked by and said hi in junior high.

Yup. I'm a geek. Oh well.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Post In Which...

I gripe about how I have no desire to do anything at my job. And just whine alot in general.

I used to love this job. I really did. And parts of me still do. But I would much rather work on the house. I need to move. I really really need to move. My kids need to be in their own rooms and and I need a house large enough to put all my stuff and not have boxes everywhere so it won't seem like a disaster area anymore.


Tonight I attempt to texture the ceilings. I've decided to start with the old master bedroom/going to be M's office. That way I have some practice on a ceiling that only M or I will see on a regular basis. Grandma had pretty circular swirls on her ceilings - and I'm going to attempt to replicate them. Apparently it's done with a straw broom. When I decided to keep the ceilings as is, I thought those swirls were so pretty and unique. Today - hours away from figuring out how to do them myself, I see them as a big ole pain in my rear area! Wish me luck - I'm going to need it.

I have nothing witty nor thoughtful or entertaining to blog about. I'm entirely too busy stressing about work and the house. Today is the first day of classes, I'm 2 months behind on reconciling my accounts, and instead of taking care of all those things, I'm blogging.

Yeah - that's me. Ms. Responsible!

Part of it is my frustration with my new "advisor" person - who seems incapable of thinking for herself some days. This morning, a faculty member didn't show up for class. So said person came to me and asked *me* to find him.

Ummm - excuse me? I'm YOUR boss. You go find him, I have blogging to do.

(kidding! really! I was actually going through my to do list for the day)

But seriously. She does seem to have a problem realizing that both she and the other clerical staff member work for me and she is *not* my equal. I know - it's petty - but sheesh. I can't run an office if one of the staff thinks she can tell me what to do. Nope - Mysti don't play that way.

Not the best way to start off my day. Especially after my 13-yr-old came in this morning and said "Mom - why do all the clocks say 7:19? Don't you usually get us up before then?"

Oops. So begins what is shaping up to be a stellar day. Overslept an hour, the coke came out of the machine hot this morning, and now I've got a staff member with attitude. Woohoo!

(I know why I'm cranky. I know exactly why I'm cranky. I haven't had a smoke since Saturday night. And while I didn't smoke all *that* much - just knowing that I'm not going to have one seems to be making me cranky. Heaven help my boys and hubby - they don't even realize I've quit because I didn't want to make a big deal out of it - in case I change my mind again - and they probably think I've lost my ever lovin mind.)

Can I just go home now?