Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out Tom Selleck!

I hate homework. I know I have been out of school for a really long time, but nobody clued me in about kids and their homework until I was smack dab in the middle of it and haven't found my way out yet. Call me crazy, but I can count on one hand how many times I asked my parents for homework help and I thought my kids were going to be the same way.

I was so terribly wrong!

Not much of Tanner and Brooks' homework kicks my fanny (geez! It's only 2nd and 4th grade!), but I grumble louder than both boys combined. Last night's assignment was a freakish one time exception. Tanner had to write an article about an imaginary contest and this is how it went down:

Stache Dash 2011

Annual mustache growing contest in downtown Oklahoma City. Grand Prize winner receives one thousand dollars cash. Gus O'Stache's mustache measured at 40 feet. "I'm so excited to win the prize this year," says Gus. "I can braid, twist and tie it in a knot." When we asked Gus what was the worst thing about having a mustache, Gus said, "I trip on it a lot."

Best of luck to Gus's mustache!

Tanner and I were giggling thick as thieves. For the record, my only contribution is Gus's name and Tanner did the rest. At least we had one night of fun homework and then it'll be back to the slog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When 24 hours is not enough

I like to be busy.

There is something irritating about sitting on my butt all day long, day in and day out. It is fodder for creative atrophy. My house is up for sale so, with it comes all the cleaning and fixing and realizing that six years of gunk has accumulated in more places that I thought.

When I get busy, I go into hyper drive. Start Trek's warp drive has nothing on me. This month we got the house ready in record timing, I got the dog trained, did Thanksgiving for two extra families, began teaching art classes, and wrote a book.

Yup. I wrote a book. Like I said. Hyper drive.

I didn't intend to finish said book so quickly. It is riddled with errors and I have two characters that are incredibly flat, but the bones of it are good and already I am slavering to do edits. Today, instead of writing out a complete bio for all my characters, revamping their dialogue and filling the plot potholes, I am taking a break. Breaks are good because this morning as I literally bounded out of bed to go running with Britt at a frigid 6:30 am, dropped the boys off at school, and cleaned the house for a showing(all before 9am), I realized that I needed it.

For my break, I went and got my oil changed. Rock on, right? Jiffy lube is awesome. It's the place where life stops and forces you to chill for the time it takes to fill an oil pan. I always take a good book or my iphone to catch up on e-mails because there literally is NOTHING else to do, but sit there and relax. At my Lube station, they have these fantastic leather chairs I could zonk out in and they keep the waiting room nice and cozy warm. Cue snoring.

But I didn't get the chance to catch some z's today. I was under the limelight and it was exponentially uncomfortable. I sat down, answered a few texts and got in on a back log of e-mails from mid October I hadn't replied to. The guy across from me said his hellos then proceeded to stare at me, unblinking for well over ten minutes. It was unnerving. After my fourth e-mail, I looked up and gave him my "do you mind?" smile. He didn't mind at all and kept staring. In fact staring was not enough and he traveled chair by chair (about a minute sitting in each) until he was sitting right next to me.

WEIRD! This is where I lean away like he's putting off offensive body odor because I have issues with strangers getting into my personal bubble. He then scoots as close as he can, wheezing cigarette and beer fumes into my face and says, "you a pretty lady."

Okay. If he were a little kid, I'd laugh. If he were a hot, young college grad, I might even be flattered, but when you have on a sharp business suit and look about forty-ish, you're kind of asking for a slap in the face.

I fan away the cloud of beer and thank him as nicely as I can while pushing him back into his own chair with my finger. My oil change break is over and I escape with beer-boy hollering "call me!" on the way out to the car.

If this is what a break is like, I think I'd rather be insanely busy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Birthday.... to me.

Another year older and I say, fft! Who cares?

I'd take a picture of myself to record the momentous occasion, but I am sitting in my office wearing a leopard print bathrobe with sleep gook in my eyes. Not a pretty picture at any age.

Last week with my Sunday School class, my sweet little ten year olds wanted to know how old I was going to be. I stupidly told them to guess. With kids, you should never have them rattle off numbers. Apparently I look roughly seven to twelve years older than I am. Didn't think I looked that old, but, hey, I learn something new every day.

My sons know how old I am turning. They didn't need to guess, however their problem stems from not blabbing it to the world. If we go out, they'll tell any Tom, Dick and Harry that their mom just had a birthday and she's an old fart. Sweet.

Personally, I am loving my birthday. Why? Last year my husband showed up on my special day with a bathroom scale and foot scrub, because nothing says "happy birthday" like a scale three days post Thanksgiving. This year, he wisely got me a wheat grinder. Sounds boring, right? It's not. It's a huge step up from last year and I have a good feeling that I am finally going to smack down whole wheat bread and bust its nose with fresh ground wheat flour. I'm thinking I'm going to get it to rise this time.

Anyway, here's to turning a whopping 32 today. Woohoo!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Britt to the Rescue

I have a dumb spot for dogs. Scratch that. I have a dumb spot for rescue dogs. Folks can have their pure bred champions that cost them an arm and a leg and I could care less. Get me into an animal shelter and I might come home with twenty dogs.

Today, I finally received all of Britt's adoption paperwork in the mail and reading it was difficult. When they found Britt she was an emaciated 20 pounds and covered in mange. They didn't know what color to mark her as because she had no hair and more fleas than was necessary. The shelter told me she couldn't bark, eat, drink or walk because she was so weak. This is why I own only rescue dogs.

Britt is now a healthy 50 pounds with a glossy black and white coat. She is happy, vivacious and the sweetest pup I've ever met. I love how smart she is and how she makes people love her and how she doesn't just wag her tail, she wags her whole body. Sure she does really dumb stuff like tear apart my yard and roll in dead armadillo guts, but she's worth it. As I live and breathe she will never go hungry, she will never be abused and she will always have a home to shed in (because she sheds more than a normal dog should, quite frankly).

Today, I officially own the most awesome dog in the world.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buckshot Therapy

Today I was supposed to post about Heat Wave for my online book group, Book Hungry. I was unable to write the post due to some very pressing and important matters. The emergency was unavoidable. Definitely life or death.

When I should have been studiously writing about all the reasons why I was disappointed in the book HEAT WAVE, I was out on a gun range. See? Life and death decisions here!

I have a fabulous friend, Lissa. Lissa and I hang out and this usually entails a lot of talking, laughing and eating. It. Is. Fabulous. She and I have some unresolved issues (not with each other, but general stuff that can piss a woman off) and we felt the need to go blast the hell out of sporting clays.

Insert *Evil Chuckle* here.

Why is it so satisfying to shoot a shotgun? The kick kills my shoulder and it gets expensive with the gun rental and ammo, but it feels so dang good. Being in control of such power, pulling the trigger and obliterating a small defenseless clay disk. Sigh! It's nirvana. Shooting with Lissa is even better because we both break out the crazy-lady-cackle like we just visualized the piss-off moment and shot the crap out of it.

I am still in a stupor of bliss. I swear the moment my shoulder bruise disappears, I'm going again. Enjoy the photo of me in my "moment". I get a solid ten for pulling off the Jack Nicholson look of crazed insanity.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Talkin'

I just want to sit back and have a little chit chat on this lovely Sunday afternoon. I usually don't get down and too serious in my posting because, let's face it, life is too dang short to get hung up on the dark side (Yes, I did use a Star Wars analogy. Don't freak out).

I teach the 9 and 10 year olds at church. It is a good age to be involved in their lives. They are a great group of kids and even on bad days, they are still amazing. Today's lesson was all about controlling what you say. Control your tongue and you have control over all things pertaining to your body (James 3 for direct wording).

I find this concept fascinating. I am not always good about keeping my tongue under control. I know I have inadvertently hurt someone's feelings or sworn. Cussing seems to be that one thing that will plague me until the day I die. I could blame it on my backwoods farm upbringing, but guess what? No excuses. I know better. I don't have a cow using my foot as a step stool, nor do I have chickens chasing me around the yard pecking at my legs. Like I said, no excuses.

My parents taught me well. I remember the day as if it were yesterday the one time in my life I heard my mother swear. In retrospect, she had every right to. At the time, I was floored. I had a boyfriend at the tender young age of 16. We were serious, or as serious as a girl and boy can be at that age. His mother was adamantly against the pairing and came to my house to tell me so. My mother, who is the nicest lady you'll ever meet, treated this irate woman with the utmost respect and kindness despite the fact that she was ranting about my scant likelihood of entering heaven and branding me a brazen whore. I do believe the wording was on the lines of "child of the devil, come to tear her son away from God" and the like. It was fairly unpleasant.

Regardless, she said her piece and my mom let her drive away without comment. I ran. My place of refuge was down with my horse and that is where my mother found me. She comforted me, dried my tears and called that woman a few choice words. Now, never in my life had I ever heard my mother swear. We weren't allowed to swear or say gosh, or even shut up for that matter. My mother, to this day, stands as a paragon of strict upright living and her example is unparalleled, but for one brief moment in the midst of my teenage burdens, she cussed like a sailor on dry land. More than the words of comfort, her utter verbal breakdown made me feel infinitely better. I knew right then, she loved me more than her own values. In that moment, the respect for my mother deepened, my love for her increased and I have not heard another cuss word come out of her mouth since.

The words we say stick with us like branded tattoos on our character. While they might not be visible on our skin, they shape who we are. What will you say today?

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Privileged Parenthood

My sons informed me this morning that they want to be parents when they grow up. That's nice to know. I didn't tell them that I don't get paid a cent and it's a life long, 24 hour, 7 day a week job. I don't want to burst their bubble.

In their eyes being a parent is the ultimate lifestyle. We stay up past 8pm, we're in control of the fridge and the remote to watch football on Sunday nights. How much better could it be? It can get better obviously because at our house if someone misbehaves, they get to do dishes, laundry or vacuum. What kid loves to clean? Mine don't, but that's the privilege of being the parent.

My boys catch me doing sneaky things like snarfing Halloween candy before dinner. They can't have any because it would spoil their appetite, but miraculously parents don't have a problem with that. Dang, right?

We parents are also pretty great at healthy snack portions especially when dad hoards the chips. We drive super cool cars that really can go 100 mph and catch some air off a hill (disclaimer: it was a deserted country road and my oldest son wanted to see if the 100 on the speedometer was merely decorative. It was purely experimental...ish). Dad can grow a beard and mom's got a credit card. I mean, how much cooler can being a parent be???!!!

Parenthood is pretty dang cool.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Canines and Cops

Crazy days don't happen for me. I have crazy weeks, because a mere 24 hours isn't enough to cram in all that can happen to one woman. Bad days are for weenies and for the record, it can always get worse.

My dog chews. We've almost broken her of digging. She feebly scrapes her claws across the dirt, but knows it will do her no good. Chewing is another matter. She likes to gut things when she is nervous. I take Sunday's off from running with her to which she takes great offense to and unleashes the insanity on my outdoor furniture. This week while I was at church she chewed up my garden hose in exact one foot long pieces, tore apart her dog house, decimated the welcome mat and ripped the stuffing free from her bed. The dog has got serious issues with God.

I bought some no chew spray called Bitter Apple. It's supposed to repel the chew urge, but it's a bunch of bunk. My dog loves the stuff. First she will lick it off, then she will chew whatever I sprayed it on. I tolerate her taking apart her bed and my patio furniture (it's all cheap plastic anyway), but when she started chewing on my wood door jam I had to step it up a notch.

I whipped up a batch of cayenne pepper and shortening and slathered it on the door jam. For two days (holding my breath) she stopped chewing. This morning, I wasn't so lucky. Britt is a dog with a strict schedule and she needs her rawhide chew strip before 9am or she goes nutso (as in destructive chewing on my house). I was late in dropping off my boys to school, so when I got home, she was going ballistic on the door jam. At first she was deterred from licking off the cayenne pepper and in her frustration, shoved her face into it. Not so bright. She ended up with her eyelids so swollen, she couldn't close them over her bulging eyeballs and I ended up with a $130 vet bill.

I love that dog, but she is trying my level of tolerance.

On the way to drop her off at the vet, I got pulled over... again. I may or may not have driven across four lanes of traffic and cut off a policeman. The line on how legal it was is hazy, but I did use my turn signal and I wasn't speeding. When he came to my window he took one look at me and said, "Hey, didn't I pull you over last month?"

Why, yes you did. And yes, that time you pulled me over for something just as equally stupid too. Driver's license and insurance? Do you really need it? You should have it memorized by now.

While he stood there and checked my legal junk he asked, "So, do you know why I pulled you over this time?"

I do not know what got into me. I claim innocence because I looked him square in the eye and said, "Well, I saw you there and thought, dang, there's that one cop who always pulls me over. I should cut him off."

He stared at me and I wondered if he was going to laugh or slap handcuffs on me. "Seriously?" he said.

What the hell. I shrugged and replied, "What can I say? I missed you."

Thankfully he started laughing. I got back my license and insurance card and again, no ticket. If you all think this is odd that I get pulled over so often, I have to say that I am right there with you. Check out my mom-mobile:

I mean really, the car is ding kissed all over the place and I have a badge of honor on the bumper where I backed into my brother-in-law's beater. Would you pull me over? I wouldn't!