Saturday, December 26, 2009

Don't Know Why

Seriously, I don't know why I've been avoiding this blog like the plague. I'm not even sure I'm spelling plague correctly even, but avoiding is what it is. To the point, even, that I have it on my favorites, and I avoid using even that! Fear, I believe, fear of find out that everything I did last year went down the toilet when I went back to work.

I don't blog anymore.

I don't know why I don't blog anymore.

I was really good at it.

I loved the people I met here.

I loved the blogs I read here.

I loved the back and forth banter here.

So, I won't call this a comeback, although I do hope it is. I do hope those of you who came before will come back again.

Merry Christmas, Kaye.

And a Happy New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Bounce With Me


"No, come on, it's easy. I promise. All you gotta do is just bend at the knee, keeping time with the beat. Just bounce with me, and every once in a while pop your hip to the side. If you drink at the same time it won't look as bad, either. Just drink fast cos your beer goes flat if you don't."

Yes, those words came out of the mouth of...me.

Going out ten years ago was cake. It was a whole lot of cake. Chocolate even. We'd open the night at a restaurant bar, stay for about an hour, and then mosey on down the street (literally...it was across the road) to the local meat house for the "older" people, and dance and drink til "closing time" (remember that song?...I know who I want to take me home). Waking up the next day only produced slight soreness in the legs and a vague smell of tobacco and beer on your breath. Nine out of ten times, the stale smell seeping slowly through the air served as enticement and encouragement for a night of the same.

Good times...good times.

As luck, fate, and whatever the hell you want to call it, I found myself chaperoning a dance Friday night. Someone (me) came up with the bright idea to go to the neighboring bar (small, local, full of "mature" men). I mean, we were there, we were old enough (forty is old enough, right?), and the dance ended at eight so there was sure to be more than enough time for us to socialize and have a good time sans kids (snicker). So we went.

Well...remember a few posts back? My newly single boss? Female? Attractive? Single? Female?

Seems like all of those nice "mature" patrons of the local watering hole wanted to keep her and company with a nice supply of water. Round after round after round, and before you know it, we were leaving the safe watering hole, filled with lions wearing dentures and venturing out to the big town...teeming with cheetahs.

Or so we thought.

I have to say, I picked a good time to be married. The female:male ratio is like 1,000,000 to 2, and I have to say, the odds are not in the female favor. Cheese and rice, when did that population boom bust out at the seems?

All said, we had a good time. Drank lots of beer. Listened to a good band. Smoked. I must smoke when I drink. It goes hand in hand...literally.

I must say though, flashing forward ten years and waking up the next day, beer and stale smoke playing tag on the strip of my tongue, didn't have the same effect on me as it once did. There was no repeat performance that Saturday night. My legs creaked, my ass ached, I had gas.

But it was worth it.

We're doing it again this weekend.

This time the husband is coming.

It's some one's birthday.

Good times...good times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

To Everything Turn Turn Turn

My heart is big (almost the same size as my butt, actually). My heart is worn on my sleeve, it resides behind walls, it tears down walls, it's guarded, it's vulnerable, it's soft, it's hard, it breaks, it mends, it closes, it opens. I strongly believe that this is the case with just about every heart that beats.

Sometimes we are blinded.

Sometimes we are hurt.

Sometimes we are riding high.

Sometimes we just are.

Travis, as you all know, hurt my heart with his death. The part that holds his memory bleeds freely. And I thought it would never truly heal. Maybe I was wrong.

I have been using Travis.

He has been visiting my classroom, my students, my school, and me.

Last week our school's air conditioner was broken. Air conditioner? Yes, air conditioner. WE live in the south. It's still hot here. Really hot, and sometimes, unbearably hot. Due to the complete misery in the classroom, I took my classes outside for the teaching. And by the twisted fate of a broken air conditioner, I was able to share Travis's story with my class.

You see, we have a boy. I will call him boy. Not the best family, not the best situation, not the best choices available. He has two roads ahead of him. One filled with the same decisions his parents made. One that leads him to the same life he was brought up in. One that is easy for him to take because the way is already paved. Then there is the one that will be hardest. The one that forces him to break away from what he knows...to rise above all that he has known. Not an easy one. I was able to tell him the story of Travis. His struggle, his downfall, his rising from the ashes, and his ending. I told him of how even though claimed by death, he had become finally free.

As the words moved beyond my lips, I felt that I had lost all control over what I was actually saying. The story I was telling was ringing with power. I wish you could have heard it. There was true power there.

I think he heard.

I hope he heard.

My heart has started to heal.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Homecoming 2009



Where did the time go? Once upon a time they were in diapers and toddling precariously across granny's kitchen floor. Once upon a time they declared undying love and devotion while falling asleep in each other's arms. Once upon a time their best friend was just an arm's length away.

Now they are grown. Now they only love each other when mommy has had enough of the teen age waste land they create with their words of wrath. Now they have iPod, PC, boyfriends, and foot ball games.

Soon they will move on. Soon they will graduate. Soon they will go to college, find their true love, marry, and bring home babies of their own.

Their cycle will renew. Their cycle will reverse. They will remember who they are, and from whom they came, and to whom they first gave their hearts too.

And they will remember their best friend.

And they will remember each other.

Just like we did.

Here's to homecoming 09!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wow!

What a frenzied flurry! My weeks are super busy, but I solemnly swear to personally (or hire someone else to do it) visit each and every one of you who graced me with your presence for my SiTS FB day. I am truly honored by your responses, and the time you took to read through my posts.

Tammy, Pam, Anita, Kaye, Tink, and the rest of you (yes, YOU know who YOU are) who have been stuck with me over the ages, thank you for your visit and the amazingly lovely things you mentioned about me not only here, but at SiTS roll call as well. YOU GUYS ROCK THE CASBAH!

I promise more time, and time freely given.

Thanks, guys.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Welcome to the Show, Come inside, come inside

The kettle is on...the coffee is brewing...I had my young daughter make muffins...the potatoes are stewing...

Ah, what? You're not here for the evening of amateur poetry night? You're a coneseur of SiTS and BiTS?

Well, you can come in too! It's been ages, I'm glad to see ya!

Just to tell you a bit about myself...I'm Alex, married mom of five ranging from ages 18 to 1, and in hot pursuit of my sanity. If you see it lurking under a rug, or in some hidden corner, throw a bucket over it and let me know before you head out. It always seems to escape me, especially now that I've returned full fledged to the "working" mom field (ha ha ha...that cracks me up...now that I've experienced being a SaHM the definition of "working" mom has forever changed). Please ignore the cobwebs, my blog has fallen into a slight state of disrepair. Nothing that scented candles can't cover up!

Anyway, welcome to my blog. I am honored and privileged to have been chosen as the Tuesday Featured Blogger. Welcome, welcome. May you enjoy my written word as much as I do (yes, there are times when I just crack myself up). Here are just a few of my favorites sure to bust your gut or water your eyes.

What is Old again is Now New
The Number you are trying to reach is no longer in service
You kiss your momma with that mouth?

Now that I've had my spiel, please feel free to read on. I've touched on just about every topic I could think of...and if you notice the lovely awards I've gotten over my blogging time, they are active links to brilliant people who think I'm brilliant too.

How could one go wrong with brilliance, especially if you have a great pair of shades.

Thanks for coming, and don't forget to take your gift dinner mints when you head out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reality

I've never been much of a reality T. V. fan (except, of course, when Chris Daughtry was on American Idol). The bickering, "off camera" plots, ugly, back-biting nastiness made my stomach roll and churn more than the Bering Sea (Okay, busted...I'm a sucker for The Deadliest Catch). However, this year my daughter has tickled my curiosity (along with the fact that her former English teacher is one of this year's contestants and she won't tell us the outcome...grrr). This year the reality T. V. is closer to home in more ways than one. This year something has caught the corner of my eye, and its roots are deeply embedded in reality T. V.

Biggest Loser is into its second (?) season.

I'm sure you've heard of it. Men and women struggling with obesity are paired up and paired off in a competition to take off pounds...and let me tell you...are they ever. You'd have to see it for yourself to believe it. Seriously, due to the week long intervals between shows, the pounds seem to literally melt off. However, if you've even tuned in to one show, melting is definitely what is not happening. These guys are working their asses off, and competition or not, the support they provide to each other makes one wonder if you're actually watching a back biting, hash slinging reality show of the twenty first century. When it comes time for elimination, contestants are literally in tears at having to make the decision to send someone home, knowing full well the hardships and temptations that person will have to face minus the support group they have come to depend on over time.

Having been in the boat they are in, and finding myself still taking a ride in that same boat, I sit and share the pain they are experiencing. Yes, I cry. Yes, my daughter laughs at me, but still, the tears come. Whew, the courage. Phew, the pain, Whoa, having to walk out and be recorded wearing those damn exercises bras. Jeez, is it really worth it?

Apparently, it is. And I say more power to them. Live long and prosper. May the road rise with you. Shake your booty. You're a brick...house.

Gotta love it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ciao, Bella

My baby sister has added a fifth addition to her home, Miss Isabella Cait. If you'd like to see a bundle of roly poly, feel free to click on the link and greet Miss Bella. Apparently, she was so interested in making her entrance to our universe more grand than either of her brothers and sister, (her youngest brother was delivered on a triage gurney) that she chose the ambulance rolling gurney as the birthing bed, and the hospital parking lot as the labor and delivery room! What a birth. Mom and daughter are making their way towards recovery, although Bella is struggling with a case of jaundice that will require a few more days in the pedatric unit. Go tell her hello! Babies are like puppies and kittens, we love em til their poop starts to stink!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

con flick ted

I've been married not quite as long as many of you out there have been. I'm like Leo, a late bloomer, that is when I decide to even wear bloomers. Hate the damn things, always cutting off your circulation, and they are either too small or too large. Perfect isn't even in the vocabulary.

However, I'm not here to talk about bloomers or the lack thereof.

June will make my seven year anniversary. Feeling itchy yet? Let me tell you, if there were any itches to be found, I think it would have happened long before seven years. Why wait seven years to scratch an itch anyway? And if you're going to be itchy, why marry someone you're allergic to in the FIRST place?

Anyway, I lived my life in reverse, I suppose. I had my daughters, reared them as a single mom for ten plus years, and then met my husband. He fit in well, so we decided to keep him. We've been together for about 8 years or so, six of them as dearly beloveds. And while it has been quite a lovely trip for us all, we've had our share of speed bumps, pot holes, and hole in the walls (yes, throwing shoes and chairs across the room can often create holey results). Add three more offspring to the mix, stir and serve chilled over ice and there is my family. Love them. All of them.

A friend of mine went the complete opposite route. She went to college, married, created offspring, became employed, careered, and after 17 odd years...divorced. She's entering the world I left not so long ago. Dating, searching, dividing, and conquering. But the thing is, when you're originally single (completely...like no kids...no ex husband), the "world" is different. Your view on relationships is different. It is easier to date because you don't have that instant reflex of fidelity, commitment, relationship, stop screwing around with other people, kind of attitude. Your attitude on relationships is still on "marriage" mode because for the longest time that is what you had. Get it? It's hard getting back that "single" lifestyle. You probably don't even like the guy you're dating "that" much, but for the last ten to fifteen years, you've only been with one guy, so that is what you know.

Weird, isn't it, when you think about it.

Last week, Kathleen, over at Easy for Me, asked about the differences between solitude and loneliness. I think having that person with you for the longest time, sharing routines, responsibilities, and the bed suddenly up and get can leave you to the path of both. My friend, the one who left her marriage of upteen years, is experiencing both: the peace of solitude that comes from making a decision that was right for her family as well as her, and the loneliness of not having someone there to share with: the day, the night, the waking moments, and the sleeping moments.

So, here's to you, chicky. May you wake up between the sheets and say WTF, I'm cooler than that.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

At What Point?

At what point do you decide to make the one decision that will change your life forever? When do you decide that enough is enough and the most you want to make out of life is waking up, caring for your family, and live for YOUR day? When? What makes that final straw final?

I still get joy from teaching. I still can make them laugh. I can still laugh at them. I can still love them...forgive them...grieve with them...teach them.

For the most part.

There are those days...there are "those" days...and there are days like today. Today was tough. For one, I've spent the majority of the week thinking Monday was Wednesday and Thursday was Friday. Makes for a terribly loooonnnnngggg week. To make matters even better (heavy laced sarcasm), they think that teaching just isn't enough, they must also pile on so much paper work that even the trees growing in Brooklyn must be a shakin with enough fear to skin their bark. It's hard to imagine why test scores are flailing when it is more important for teachers to cross their t's and dot their i's instead of getting down to what matters.

Teaching.

Of course, when you are finally able to step in and teach, you have the Little Johnnys of the world sitting in their desks just daring you to be the adult in the class and challenge their snot nosed sarcastic attitudes with sugar and spice and you better treat me nice or I will cross my arms, pout, and refuse to do anything resembling class work until you have to threaten me with detention in which I will catch a fit, call you a liar, and pretend that my mom is going to beat me if you call her on the phone. Yes, that is a true story!

Enough!

When is enough?

Today was enough. . . But just for today. I will be back again tomorrow.

After all the tears, after all the jeers, crossing of arms, eyes that kill...Sixth period came along.

Thank whatever Gods may be for even the smallest of miracles.

Andy danced for us today. I swear I thought he was going to break something, but he just threw himself on the floor and started spinning around in his own semblance of a break dance. I'm teaching my sixth period class to call the principal "School Master." She gets a kick out of it. We get a kick out of calling her that. Small miracles, huh?

Gotta love em.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Introducing Andy

I want you all to meet Andy. Due to privacy rights and such, I won't be posting his charming face here, too bad, too, because he would have captured your heart as well. Andy has been diagnosed with autism, however, he has to be one of the most social autistic boys I've ever taught, and I've taught quite a few autistic children. Andy has a power about him that sends out threads emanating from every pore in his body. These threads stream out and slowly tuck into you, immersing Andy's charisma deep into the hapless victim before they even suspect it. I know this...I'm a victim. He's smart, he's charming, he's bright, he's unaware of the effect he has on people. They are automatically drawn to him, and I just can't figure the how or why. He demonstrated break dancing for the class today. It was wonderful. It was astounding. It didn't look a think like break dancing, but Andy just held up his hand to someone saying that's not break dancing and said, Now wait, (holding out his hands) I never told you it was break dancing. It's my dance

Now that I am giving him time alone, just me, him, and my post, I think Andy is for us, what Yoga is for Madonna. He touches our inner peace and allows it to work again. Sometimes all he can deliver is a vacant stare, but when he is on the go, what he gives is priceless. I wish you could all meet Andy. He is a diamond in the rough.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What was old again is now new

Crayon smells drifting from a newly opened box, paste, not glue, smeared across pieces of construction paper, and the smell of old paper back books stacked once again on a rickety bookshelf bring back the welcome of returning to school. Stacked with that also comes the slam of lockers, screeching of new shoes, and voices dreading and loving being back in the halls of the hallowed. Even as a teacher, my nose has a hard time resisting the urge to bury itself within the box of newly opened crayons, or smear glue over the palm of my hand creating faux dead skin. Admit it, you all did that at least once in your life...if not...you;re missing something wonderful.

Walking back into the school year was as rough, and not as rough, as I expected. Getting into the swing of thing, flooding my brain with new curriculum (ugh), a new reading series, and one hundred fifty students to learn from, and of course, educate. With it, though, came a flood of memories that find my healed heart hurting once more, and I find myself dealing with a grief I thought I had managed. I find myself grieving once again...and I'm okay with that.

So once again I share with you this story.

We were both new. The size and volume flowing through the halls of the school threatened to bulldoze the both of us, and although we were eager to meet and greet the swarm of people buzzing around us, the sheer number of over one hundred fifth graders threatened to topple the poorly assembled self confidence that allowed us to put one foot in front of the other.

It was my first teaching assignment...well...my first one that had me teaching a full classroom for more than one week at a time. I was a student teacher. Christmas break was over, and the kids were definitely not ready to begin the second half of the school year. Standing in front of the class (did I mention that I was shy?) being introduced to the reluctant prisoners, I could smell the nervous sweat emerging from pores I didn't know existed. I had no idea fifth graders could be so intimidating. And right when the buzz saws starting going off in my head and I knew I"d be making imminent contact with the concrete floor, totally embarrassing myself, he walked in and saved me.

He was the new kid; just moved in from another school. His fist clutched tightly around a stack of pencils, a worn out binder, and a school bag slung across his shoulder were the weapons of choice. However, he clearly won the battle with a huge smile as he introduced himself, Travis...came from so and so school...mom just moved back to hometown...where do I sit?...and so on. Together we took on the school and awkwardly danced our way through the fifth grade year. But this really isn't about me at all, and then again, it is.

You see, teachers love their kids...we really do. Well, most of them anyway. When they walk through those doors of the hallowed insane, they become ours, and we love them and teach them and encourage them to reach for the stars and tackle the universe. But every once in awhile there comes a student that for some reason invokes more. And even though you only have them for a short while, the impact they make on your life lasts forever. For me, Travis was that student.

His fifth grade year wasn't all peaches and cream. Although he had that winning smile, it wasn't easy for Travis to make friends. As far as school went, Travis was an average kid that loved science and never did his homework. His bowl cut hair and ill fitting jeans kept him apart from most kids, but eventually he found a niche with a small group of boys, trading cards and telling stories. The stories that child would tell like the time his mom introduced him to this famous rock star, or the time he got to stay up all night playing some game, and how his parents let him do whatever he wants, and why he didn't do his homework because his step dad punished him last night and made him did holes in the backyard and then fill them back up again and he was doing that until 2:00 in the morning. Or the time he threw him out in the middle of a winter night wearing nothing but boxers because he was being too loud. I wanted to take him home. Keep him safe. Allow no harm to come to him again. He moved before the year came to an end.

He came back the next year, and then moved again. Two years later he returned once more. He was no longer the scruffy little guy in ill fitting jeans struggling to fit in. He fit in. Not with the best of crowds either, but he fit in. His eight grade year was a rough one, in and out of trouble, in and out of school. He found his first love, albeit a rather young first love, and finally, moved on to high school. Of course, it wasn't all caviar and champagne. Travis fell into a rough crowd, dropped out of school, and just kind of wandered. I never knew when I was going to pick up a paper and read about his incarceration or even worse, death. And even though I was no longer his teacher, I still wanted him to succeed. To get out of the rut he was in. To become, as corny and cliched as it sounds, the man he ought to be. I still loved that kid.

I saw Travis last spring, and you wouldn't believe the turn he had made. Yes, he was still the goofy kid I taught in fifth grade. They never do grow up you know. But he had reached his turning point. He was clean, drug-free, sober. He was employed, responsible, alive. He was in love, and with the same little girl he had met in eight grade, and she loved him in return. He had gone back and earned his G.E.D. His life was on the road to recovery and damn it all he was becoming the man he ought to be. I had never been so proud. We talked for a while, I think I told him how proud I was at least a half a million times before giving him the teacher student hug and walking away. I cried, not in front of him of course, did the Calvin and Hobbes happy dance, and went back to school and told everyone I could meet that my baby boy was becoming a man. You see, I wasn't the only one whose heart Travis had captured. The science teacher became his "mom" during sixth grade, and in the eight grade, the guidance counselor adopted him. We loved him. We were his alter ego moms. He made us proud.

Travis died in February. He was killed after loosing control of his car and crashing into a tree. I am going to miss that kid. The one I saw grow up into a man. And I will always remember him as the fifth grade boy who walked into my classroom and stole my heart.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Top Ten

As I have posted previously, this week marked the week of my return to the work field, and while the negatives of my return are surely numerous, the positives have been piling up, thankfully, so all is not for naught but a paycheck.

Of the positives that have I have been collecting:

Humans. Yes, they really do exist (faint)!

Voices, other than the ones sounding off in my head and from the lips of small children.

A different sense of purpose other than using a toothpick to scrape off things from under my nails that must NOT be named (or eaten, tasted, and smelled either).

Silence while the sun is still shining and my eyes are open.

Lunch that is MINE, all mine.

Dropping the kids off at daycare.

Looking forward to picking the kids up at daycare.

Missing them during the day.

Not having to cook, uh huh...yeah...uh huh. Wait...nevermind. I still have to cook. Damnuson.

and the top positive that comes with the return to work...

::drumroll::

::dramatic pause::

Going to the bathroom by myself and not having six hands knocking, three mouths wailing, six feet stomping, three persons demanding to be let in.

PIP (potty in peace)...who'da thunk.


Now, while I have a moment to my PC, I'd like to extend my thanks to Ms. Viv and Ms. Fiona who have bestowed upon me ego boosting awards...I am humbled and honored. The awards are posted in my side bar with an active link to each of these wonderful blogger's blogs. Thanks, gals.

By the way, Ms. Savant, you never muck up anything when you drop by for a visit...ever...no matter what the topic.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Don'tcha Want My Body...and You Think I'm Sexy: A Sookie Stackhouse Review


Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble, the witches have invaded Louisiana, and our rust flavored heroine finds herself bubblin deep in the cauldron's melting pot.

In Charlaine Harris's "Dead to the World," another New Year's Eve has come and gone, and Miss Popularity, Sookie Stackhouse finds herself spending it at Bon Temp's local watering hole, Merlotte's...working. Although the past few whirlwind months of Sookie's life was filled with hot dogs and cold meat, New Year's Eve finds our beloved blond still holding on to her summer tan for dear life, but desperately single. Contemplating the fate of a cold, lonely bed, Sookie's drive home finds her something even colder, a half naked, barefooted hunka hunka burning vamp by the name of none other, Eric Northman. The problem is, as Sookie is soon to realize, Shreveport's sexiest vampire hasn't got a clue as to who he is, where he's going, and to whom he is running.

Dorthy's tornado has nothing on the whirlwind adventure Eric's amnesia takes Sookie on: Witches, bitches, and a were in disguise! Sookie sets out to find the keeper of Eric's memory, dodge a bitch in heat, and find her missing brother.

Could life get any more complicated?

Will our eternally tanned, blond, ponytail wearing heroine make it through the wilderness without losing her life, or her heart?

This time it's Eric Northman...and he ain't just playin Dixie...

Eric Northman says, "Sookie"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Words of Wisdom

This is just a rambling of ramblings, nothing to write home about but something to sit to tea with.

First note of business! Take a moment to click on this link here and read the words of wisdom that came from the mouth of Lynn. I am so thankful I did. I had NO idea that my nether regions were much smarter than my upper regions! Brilliant, just BRILLIANT, I say.

Next point of meaning! I've been out of the loop lately. Quite out of the loop. I miss being able to calmly read my normally scheduled blog spots, add my two cents, or just laugh for laughings sake. Life here has been quite chaotic. Girls in band camp, my arm hurting like the hounds of hell have been chewing on it, havoc, you name it. To those of you I follow like Kirstie Alley stalking Jenny Craig, I have not abandoned thee, its just these new meds I'm on make me pee alot, and whine alot, and sleep alot, and make my housework grow alot, and it just drains my courage at attempting anything that remotely causes my brain to function alongside the ass that needs to function all at the same time. I'll figure it out someday.

Moving right along, Sandy at It's a Jungle Out There (Or something near like), has awarded me with a most honorably mentioned award. I have it displayed on my side bar (Or will once I'm done writing this here post). She thinks my commenting style is worth something mentioning...Personally, I feel that in most of the blogs I read, comments just have a way of finding themselves left behind. I read some of the most comment worthy blogs. I would hope that mine can only inspire the same. The award calls for me to nominate five amazing commenters as well...Well, truth is, even if you're stopping by to say hello on an average basis, in my eyes, that makes you pretty darn amazing. I honestly would have stopped writing long ago if I didn't have anyone stopping by to share their opinions on what I have to say. Silence is golden, but not here buddy. So I share this award with YOU. All of you. Yes, I know what you're thinking...I've got a case of lazy ass that won't let me link up your names to your websites so I'm taking the easy way out (busted!), but that's not true...not true at all. Sandy is a wonderful commenter who like Pam comments back when you comment on her posts...it's like having a wonderful conversation. Kathleen builds my ego up so large that a dull pencil could probably pop it after reading the comments she leaves behind for me (she's a comment back person like Sandy and Pam as well), Housewife Savant's comments are like reading mini posts when she stops by...if they fail to crack you up, then the post material was too maudlin and it's time to refocus. When Anita and Tammy stop by to leave their words of wisdom, I feel like I just got off of the phone with them and they imparted crucial information to some serious chic flick drama, Mimi is just a rollicking bellyful of laughs when she stops by...I swear her comments make my monitor tremble with her joyful noise, and Brandy is into vampires...well sexy vampires just like me! But when I'm asked to hand out awards I feel like I'm going to leave someone out accidental...someone that definitely deserves a mention like MsMoonlight, a comment backer like Pam and Sandy, too, but she's got BEEFCAKE...er...a really nice layout on her blog...very tasteful...very peaceful...just very. ah hem. Yes. She and Ms. Fiona are new to my commenting world. I feel like I'm at the oscars and the band is starting to play over my speech...so I'd also like to include Ms. Tink, Ms. Kaye and Ms. Viv. My commenting section would be quite lonely without you. In leaving this section, have I cheapened this award by offering it to more than five of you? No, I think not. It is more of an honor to me when you decide to take the time to leave a few words of encouragement, wisdom, humor, or just plain saying hey, howya doin. Thanks, guys. (see? even as I speak I am leaving out Sheila and Yaya, how can I even think of doing that?)


I am going to be making an effort to step away from my maudlin posts for a while. Things have been crazy here!

On parting. The school year is starting up...soon...very soon...knocking on my back door...August 6th. I ignored it for as long as I could, but knocking it did a come. Beginning August 6th, I am leaving my year long sabbatical and heading back into the work force. Not willingly, I will tell you now, but not kicking and screaming either (I will save that part for later). Not being a SAHM, and having oodles of test papers to grade, lesson plans to write, and books to read will surly knock into the time I've been able to spend here, writing and reading and commenting. So, Pam, please don't clean up your blog list and throw me out. I'm still here, I promise! (plus it would break my heart to pieces!). That goes to all of you...don't clean your blog list and throw me out. I'm still here. I'm still reading you guys. And I will still be writing as well.

Just not as much.

And my humor may take on a bitter sound.

And I may complain alot.

And I may talk about playing the lottery.

And I may cast poisonous eye darts to the majority of you.

And I will definitely be counting the days.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Now

Tuesday night, or in all actuality, Wednesday morning, just after midnight, I was awakened by the sound of speeding cars, the flashing of blue and red lights, and a low-flying helicopter. With the sounds fading off into the distance, and not being in the habit of chasing ambulance/fire trucks/speeding policemen, I tugged the blankets off of my stingy blanket burdened husband telling him that something bad must have happened down the bayou (everything is down the bayou where we live). He muttered something about cold feet and went back to sleep. I spent the night listening to a circling helicopter and hoping that someone's child was not missing.

The next morning found me struggling to get out of bed at 7:30 in the morning and dragging my protesting rear end out of bed in order to bring the teens to band camp. No fun for any of us. Before we could leave our small town and drive to their high school, we were stopped by a giant sized road block of police men and their cars. Of course my fluttering mind and harebrained mentality immediately thought of the missing insurance ID and out of date brake tag. Crap. No way out of it, I'm sure they would see if I'd take an alternate route (yeah, our town is that small...not even a stop light). They stopped us, rolled down window, and to my charign, asked me if I knew the man in the picture. He shot a police officer, and had run off into the swamps. No, I didn't know him. I knew his parents. He attended our school five years ago. He's just a kid.

He was just a kid. He came from a broken home, if you could have called it a home to begin with. At school, he was classified as EBD (emotionally behaviorally disturbed), attended a self contained setting, didn't get along well socially with others, and had a behavior plan. Behavior plans target specific behaviors...such as stealing from others...if it's a target behavior...you have a plan put in place to try and fix the targeted behavior. Among other things, many students tend to use these as a get out jail free card. Poor kid just wasn't right in his head. Now added to his own personal challenges, rumor mill has it going on that his father...you know...the one that is suppose to make sure they grow up into a decent upstanding person...was having the step mom drop him and his son at houses undergoing construction in order to help him steal copper that could be stripped and sold. Nice role model there.

He was arrested later that day. The helicopter pinned down his position in a nearby swamp, and some twenty odd officers surrounded him, and fortunately, peacefully arrested him. The police officer that had been shot is now in stable condition, suffering from gunshots to the shoulder, leg, and buttocks.

When asked if the 18 year old had any regrets, he responded simply by saying, "Yeah, I shouldn't have shot him. That's it."

Sometimes I wonder, as a teacher, as a mom, as a citizen, if we are doing justice to the youth of today. I see so many of yesterday's behavior problems, the ones with behavior plans that gave warnings, allowances, this and thats becoming today's crime offenders. What can we do? Honestly? There is only so much that can be done in the classroom and in schools, and even then, without parental involvement and support AND carrying out their part of the plan, what good can it do?

My heart goes out to a kid who has committed a mansize crime and has absolutely NO idea what he is in for now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not in MY Town

I live in a small rural area. Our "city" is roughly thirty minutes away, and is growing at a rapid rate of two fast food restraunts, one department store, and a better than average food dive every three or four months. The population is a cool 100,000 and growing. Not too big, not too small, even though Teen Two prays daily for the addition of a "TGIF." And although it is a small "booming" town, the crime rate has stayed relatively "low."

Yes, we have the usual city crimes: robbery, drug marketing, prostitution, violence, but for the most part the crime scale isn't on the ricktor scale. So, we live in blissful ignorance of big city living. Many people do.

Last week, one of my co-workers experienced what lax, blissful living can do. She was peacefully shopping at the local Wal-Mart. It's the super size one, so you can do all. It was one of the few times where she was able to escape home with only one of her three boys, the four year old. While she was shopping, with her son secured in the shopping buggy, some guy literally picked up her son out of the shopping cart. Just picked him up. She was fortunate enough to be able to grab onto his legs and pull him away from the man, screaming for help at the same time, however, the man was gone before she could get even a description of him. This story makes my blood run cold and hot at the same time. It scares the hell out of me, and at the same time, makes me mad enough to lay a hurtin on someone.

Of course, this story is the one that stays out of the limelight. No need to cause panic to the public. No need to cause undue stress to the masses. I understand all of that. There are no major details to provide. But I am on alert now because of the knowing. I'm on the "watch" when I have to be in a store. Where I might walk three steps away from the buggy to pick up a box of cereal, I am now pushing the cart along with me.

Before the addition of Abs (4), Gus (3), and V (1), I held my breath through the younger years and was on guard like a pit bull hungering for a pound O' manflesh. I thought that once they hit the teenage years, and could trust them enough to be aware of stranger danger, I find that danger is something that is everywhere and for every age. Remember just a few years ago when boyfriend kills girlfriend and chops her up to stuff her into the trunk of his car? That was someone she knew and should have been able to trust!

Is this a sign of times? No, I don't think so. Crimes against humanity have been happening since the dawn of time. Adults preying on children isn't a modern day past time, it has happened since cavemen knew they had something growing between the nethers. The main difference is modern inventions allow for more macabre tools to fall into the hands of monsters trying to pass as humans. Modern communication and the information highway allows for news to travel faster than the Pony Express could deliver. And the worms are coming out into the bright of day instead of staying hidden in the caves they deserve to be buried in.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Reading Challenge

How cool am I, huh? Since I've read this series at least 4 times (except for book one, I've only read it once), I figured I'd go ahead and give this challenge a try. Galley Smith is holding a Harry Potter Reading Challenge just for the fun of it, and the giveaway of it. The fifth grade teacher in me cannot resist the opportunity of winning a new set for my classroom library! Click on the link and check it out. You have a year, ya know.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And the Fur is Gonna Fly: A Sookie Stackhouse Review



ClubDead: A Sookie Stackhouse Mystery written by Charlaine Harris

A year ago I would have been on the phone dialing 911 before the corpse even hit the floor. But that year had been one long learning curve. (CLUB DEAD, page 19)A year ago would have found Miss Stackhouse still a "Miss" girl trying her best not to read the minds of local Merlotte's customers, and not one Were greeting, Shifter meeting, Vampire dating, "Ms." girl of Bon Temp Louisiana.

Once again Sookie Stackhouse, local waitress to Bon Temp's watering hole and girlfriend to resident vampire, Bill, has been thrown into the loop of things. Things have settled down for Sookie and Bill. No longer threatened by Maenaids, religous fanatics, and sex fiends, the young couple have gotten back to normal...too normal. It seems that Bills no longer interested in locking lips and sinking fangs into Sookie. His new love lies behind the closed circuits of his computer screen...Bill's new "secret" project (www.findafangbanger.com?). Things go downhill from there when Bill mysteriously runs off, leaving Sookie explicit instructions if he should go "missing," in which, of course, he does.

Enter stage door left, Eric Northman. Bill is missing. Not just missing, but he's lied about his original destination, had no inclination of returning to his new lady love, and has flown the coup with "the other woman." Why that stinking no good low down dirty son of a bloodsuckin ho' dog leavin Sookie for another vampire? Apparently so...and now he's gone. Without a trace. Hasta La Vista, baby. And Eric's here to say, "Go get him, Sookie. Bring our boy back home."

Yeah.

Right.

Kings, Queens, and more Vampire Fiends are just a taste of what Sookie's going to have to battle if she wants to have her vampire boyfriend back.

Sookie's off to save the day, but who is going to save her?

Monday, July 20, 2009

So

After going to a scheduled stress test in order to rule out questions above all questions pertaining to the amount of pain, along with bouts of shortness of breath, I have been experiencing, the good doctor decided to admit me for, yes, you guessed it, further tests. Imagine my surprise when my 15 minute stress test turned into a four day hospital stay.

After being picked, prodded, and poked, we have discovered that:

(according to the heart specialist)

1. I am fat.

2. I need to loose weight.

3. I am fat (yes, he told me this at least twenty times).

4. My heart is operating at 31% in comparison to the average heart that operates between 50 and 57 % (did you know that your heart only works at about 55 to 57%, not 100%?).

(according to the good doctor)

1. My heart is working at 31%.

2. The damage was probably caused by chemotherapy all those years ago.

3. Medications can possibly bring the heart function back up to about 40%.

4. Weight loss will help in the recovery.

5. No more sugary stuff! No cheese! No white bread! No rice! No milk! No citrus fruits!

6. From the scans, stress tests, and angiogram (I think I spelled that wrong), it doesn't look like I suffered a heart attack, however, without the treatment, I was a sure candidate for one.

So, there's my rock and a hard spot!

How've you guys been?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

A year ago I would have been on the phone dialing 911 before the corpse even hit the floor. But that year had been one long learning curve (Sookie Stackhouse: CLUB DEAD, page 19).

Teaser Tuesday brought to from Charlaine Harris's "Club Dead," A Sookie Stackhouse Mystery. This will be the next book I review in my ongoing Sookie Reading Challenge. Enjoy the tease!

The idea of Teaser Tuesday comes from Ms. Kaye from the road goes on forever. Hope you don't mind me picking this up from you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

To Everything There is a Season

My eldest wants a tattoo. She actually wants more than one, but she will settle for one for the moment. How can I tell her no? Legally, in a few months, I can't. She's turning. Eightteen. 18. Ten plus eight. Twenty minus two. Nine times nine. 36 divided by 2. You get the picture.

She's also in love, a senior, planning on college, and moving out at the end of this school year.

When she moves out, she'll also be moving in, or at least she plans to, with him, the boyfriend.

What? What! What?

Yes, I know, there is an entire year in between. Lots can happen. Teenagers are fickle.

Sephie is not fickle. Not one bit. Gullible, maybe, naive, more often than not, fickle? No.

Ready to move out on her own? She can't even boil water for cryin out loud.

Momma is so not ready for this. So not ready.

What happened to my baby? The one who ran out of the room in terror when "The Great Mouse Detective" began, but would slip back in after the scary part...the one who staged Brittany Spears karaoke concerts in her granny's living room...the one who made the "hood" club in fifth grade, one that everyone could join...the next crocodile hunter (oh, she was mighty upset when Steve Irwin had a baby girl)...the one who wanted to try out for American Idol, America's Next Top Model, and run off to Broadway. She's been replaced by this almost 18 year old wanting to make decisions for herself.





I know she's leaving home.

I know she's growing up.

I know she's fallen in love.

And while part of me is rejoicing, hoping she'll wait til after college to marry, designing her wedding dress, and waiting for my first grandbaby (no, not now! at least ten years from now)...

The other part of me wants to lock the door and throw away the key.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas


***Spoiler Alert*** If you've been compelled to pick up Sookie and begin reading, there may be some minor spoilers concerning "Dead Until Dark." Minor, not major, so please, enjoy, but if you're the kind of reader that can't know a thing until you have read it for yourself, tread cautiously.***



One would think that after meeting the vampire of her dreams, finding telepathic peace, and dispatching Bon Temp's one and only serial killer, that Sookie Stackhouse would find peace.

Think again.

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temp's finest waitress and keeper of the brownest tan, once believed that her life was boring, uneventful, and desperately lonely. Enter Bill Compton, stage door left, vampire extraordinaire, and keeper of silent thoughts. "Living Dead in Dallas" finds the supernatural duo living in Betty Crocker paradise. Sookie warms up the blood for Bill while he warms up her sheets...and walls...and porches...and showers...Amazing heat for a dead guy. And just when things couldn't get any more normal than that, Sookie is thrown into the loop, and for a loop.

Ms. Stackhouse's psychic ability has become a prized possession for the Area 5's local hothouse sheriff, Eric. Apparently, opening an artery for Vampire Bill has made Sookie accessible to the sheriff, and keeping in line with his vampire nature, as well as a bargain struck in the past, Eric has loaned her to one of of the largest vampire nests in the United States...in Dallas. A vampire has gone missing, and Sookie is needed to hunt him down. And honey, this sets up a whole nuther ball game, as well as a new and upcoming church, The Brotherhood of the Sun. It appears that not everyone is as happy as Sookie when it comes to the outted bloodsuckers.

Think Sookie has enough on her plate? Well, what about dessert? She's fit enough, blonde enough, and tanned enough to handle it.

Meet Sookie's new neighbors: A dead body in the car of Bon Temp's finest, the small, quiet town's kinky, smutty, sex ring, and a wild woman that likes her meat raw. You think Sookie's had enough with just a serial killer tracking her Stackhouse self? Think again. We just opened up a whole new can of worms.

Like heroin between the covers of a book, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries are highly addictive, and "Living Dead in Dallas" provides one more score.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally

Meet Avery.


Avery is our youngest son.

He's blond haired, blue-eyed, squishy in more places than I can count, and has completed his first year of life.

He has two middle names, Voreneus Sidney.

When Avery was near the age of seven months (a little before a little after), I noticed his almost complete use of his left hand. I was so excited, a lefty! Finally one of us will be using their right brain. Over time, Avery continued to use his left hand, leaving his right usually dangling at his side. After experimenting with toys, nuks, small items, I realized he wasn't using his right hand at all. He wasn't trying to get up on his hands and knees, he wasn't crawling, and rolling from stomach to back and back to stomach was a chore.

When I brought this to the pediatrician's attention, Avery was referred to the neurology department at Children's Hospital. After a series of questions, poking, prodding, pushing, and shoving, the neurologist sat down and gave me the news.

Avery, more than likely, suffered a stroke in utero. The portion of the brain that controls the right side of his body doesn't seem to be working. With therapy, he can retrain his brain to start sending signals to that side. It's the brain area that isn't working, the right side itself is just missing the commands. There is a roadblock set up in his brain that is keeping the signals from crossing over. This has yet to be confirmed by an MRI (Avery was scheduled to get one in June, but has been suffering with a summer cold that absolutely REFUSES to go away enough so that he can be sedated), but the neuro is almost positive that this is what has happened. He has classic symptoms to a classic case. She also told me that it wasn't my fault. Nothing I did while pregnant caused the stroke to happen. It just happened (I looked it up...there is no known cause...it just happens). I was told to not (stop) beat myself up for realizing there was a problem with Avery so late because up until the seventh month or so, most of babies movements are involuntary muscle jerks which make it seem like the baby is using both sides of the body.

Here is what we can expect from our bright eyed bushy boy.

He will skip the crawling stage more likely (since he is over a year and not crawling...more likely than not). However, he hasn't let this get in the way of his exploration. Avery's method of travel includes rolling, pushing his legs (both of them...seems the right side of his body will mimic what the left side is doing) to reposition his body so he can roll where he chooses, and scooting around on his rear. The scooting, which consists of him being in an upright sitting position is basically him scooting across the floor using his buns of steel, his legs, and feet. I'll get a video of it up here someday. It's the funniest thing I've seen a kid do sans none! It's hysterical. The good doctor says that with therapy, he will regain the use of the right side of his body again, but that his mental learning will be slower than the rest of the kids his age.

Boy, that was a hard one for me to swallow. I think I was handling myself pretty darn good up until that part. Had a hard time not crying at this point. I think I did. And not because I was shamed at having a child with a possible learning disability. Don't even go there. Having worked with children with disabilities, I know first hand how tough it is for them, the ones that truly have a learning disability. That particular road will be a hard one for him. Maybe I did cry a bit in self pity, but my heart was breaking in advance for the struggles my son would have to endure in the future.

Him? How does he feel?

He thinks its cake.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Rant in the Making








Yes, I am being a total topic thief today. Thursday's inspiration goes out to two stupendous bloggers, Ms. Sandy and Ms. Savant. In fear of being known as a plagiaristic prat, I shall use a title of my own creation. Thanks, girls.

With our nations economy still rapidly plummeting in a downward direction, eyes turn towards means of finding a solution. More taxes, less taxes, tax breaks, budget cuts, yada and yada, but to no avail. Each solution found seems to predict even more dire consequences to our ever floundering economy. Focus: higher education, better jobs, provide stimulus to stimulate the unstimulateable...YES! That's the solution! Let's do it.

"Yes, boss. Let's!"

"What's the first step?"

"Cut Education."

Why is education, you know, the stepping stone of making the nation a better place, the cornerstone of society, the paved road to riches the first program the eagle eye focus on for measuring and cutting?

Tell me if this makes any sense to you.

I happen to live in a state that ranks 49th in the education system. Yes, that's right, 49th. Many reasons are given: large classes, high student to teacher ratio, lack of classroom supplies, no funding (hey, ever heard of a school board going bankrupt?...it did), under qualified teachers...and the list goes on and on.

Well, let's fix it.

Yes, let's cut funding to higher learning institutions. We'll reduce funding by 3 million to this campus, 7 million to this one, and a couple of million more to this one.

Cut cut cut...Snip snip snip.

Why is education always the first to hit the cutting board?

And that is just higher level learnin. Or is it?

With budget cuts in the works for the 2009-2010 school year, many teachers have already been laid off, forced to move to different locations, and job positions have been removed. With classroom sizes of 30+ to one teacher, the classrooms are in danger of becoming insufficient day cares instead of places of learning. How can you see to the needs of the few when you have throngs of the many huddled together in one room?

How do they fix it?

Cut more.

Offer less.

Take away programs.

Oh, not the ones that are the staples of school environment, but take away art. Drama. Music.

We don't need no kids exposed to them there things. It don't get them an education anyhow, now don't it.

Right.

Cut cut

Snip Snip.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Let's Go To The Movies, Again


After pausing in the perusal of the people's posting posted over the patriotic parade of the weekend, I noticed that one of my arms looked a bit "off" when being compared to the other. Now I know that some people are just made that way, "off." My eyes have always been offset, and as for my feet, well, let us just say that the left is an 8 1/2 while the right is a whopping 9. However, I do know that my arm has NOT always been "off."

I think it's due to the twisting Ms. Savant has been doing with the original post in order to get me to do due doo a part teux (truthfully, she didn't do much twisting at all, like an Earth Girl, I'm just easy like that).

In all actuality, the funnest part about this post were the comments yous guys (tee hee) left in return. It warmed the cockles of my mismatched feet seeing how our tastes ebbed n flowed. Please, feel free to add your own here (it serves as an inspiration to me and the rest of the movie nutters). Last day, Jillian even made one of her own! I was tickled green (not pink, because green is my favorite color and if you have to be tickled a color it should be your favorite color (grass green) don't you think?)!

So without further ado do due doo

Best come on line: "Is that a sausage in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" Said by Lili von Shttup to Sheriff Bart right before the lights go out. Blazing Saddles. Oh my. Can we say baked beans? Did you know that Richard Pryor co wrote the screen play?

First Male Frontal: Richard Gere in American Giggalo. His was the first naked man butt I saw. He was hot. Very hot. Terribly hot.

OH MY GOD THAT COULD REALLY HAPPEN: "When a Stranger Calls," the original. I say the original because I refused to watch the remake. The first one scared me so freaking bad that I absolutely refused to have a second phone line with a different phone number installed in any place I live. Ever.

Best B Movie: Can there be such a thing? Yes, there can. "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Okay, does that tell you something about my teenage past? If you have discovered something new about me without me having to tell you, then, well, you must have done it too!

Worse Actor But Best One TOO: John Wayne. Seriously, he wasn't that great of an actor, at first, but he aged like wine (he and Kate Hepburn) had chemistry in Rooster Coburn. I LOVE John Wayne. Seen almost every movie he has made. He's so...very.

Movie I will always remember: "Stage Door." I'm not sure if many of you have seen this one. It was Katherine Hepburn's debut, and it also starred a bevy of other beauties as well such as Olivia Hallivand and Ginger Rogers, amongst others. I am an "old" movie buff.

Best Pirate Movie: Sorry guys, "Pirates of the Caribbean," although I love Johnny Depp, has nothing on Errol Flynn's "Captain Blood," or Tyronne Power's "The Black Swan." Them there boys be swashbucklers for certain.

Best Movie Soundtrack: "Moulin Rouge." Both soundtracks released were terrific. I was disappointed when some of the really good songs were left out, but our first copy was played so often that it is no longer...er...playable.

Movie that launched a thousand abs: "300." This movie boosted Gerard Butler's career more so than a five pound bar of Godiva chocolate. Seriously! I saw him in "Phantom of the Opera," but didn't realize his potential until I saw "300."

Sexiest Voice in a Movie: Vin Disel in "The Chronicles of Riddick." There is a line he says (very corny, I know) where he comes up behind a beautiful woman, inhales deeply and says "It's been a long time since I've smelled beautiful." Oh. My. Swooness. His voice is so incredibly sexy.

Movie Quote No One Gets: "And don't call me shirley," from "Airplane."

Best Overtaken by Madness Scene: When Jack Torrance and his axe are breaking their way through a splintering white door...he pops his head in and announces, "Here's Johnny!" Yes, The Shining, the original version if you please.

Okay, it's your turn. Get your (my) creative juices flowing!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vampire Bill Says, "Sookie."


Since before the days of Bella Lugosi, Vampires have been starring in the dreams of just about every young girl in existence. Infamous, sexy, haunting, and hidden, vampires have stayed in the closet of humanity for thousands of years...

until...


now.

Charlaine Harris has outed the closeted vampire, and thrown them into the night. Recent development of a synthetic blood used to replace the consumption of human blood, vampires across the nation have publicly come out of the coffin, and ever since, Miss Sookie Stackhouse of Bon Temps, Louisiana has been "dying" to meet one.

In "Dead Until Dark," the first of the southern vampire mystery series written by Charlaine Harris, we find young, beautiful, blonde, but frustratingly single, Sookie Stackhoue. Why single? It appears Miss Stackhouse has a "secret" ability that allows her to hear the thoughts of those around her, and while some might consider this a gift, it makes dating near to impossible. Imagine knowing exactly what your main squeeze was thinking 24/7 including when you're both in the middle of doing the nevermind. Er, yeah, right.

Life for Miss Sookie was as boring and lonely as it could get until one dark mysterious (setting up the ambiance for you) night, when the doors to Merlotte's, a local feed and watering hole where Sookie waitresses, opens and in walks Bill. Vampire Bill. Tall, pale, handsome...the silent kind. Vampire Bill, you had me at hello, and you didn't even say hello. Mr. Bill Compten, a former confederate soldier, has come home to Bon Temps as sole (un)living inheritor of his estate. Aside from his dashing good looks, pearly white teeth, and bodacious sideburns, Miss Sookie's main attraction to Mr. Bill is his brain (snort...yeah...right). It seems that she cannot read his thoughts. Delighted at the silence, Sookie is drawn and captivated by the charming vampire, so it is no surprise when later that night Sookie risks her life to save him from certain death. Bill is later able to return the favor and thus begins the whirlwind of an affair that leads Sookie through a maze of vampire bars, exotic Vikings, Elvis, a stake supper, and a vampire hating serial killer that has Sookie's name written on the top of the "to kill" list.

The first man Sookie is able to love is also the man that leads her into danger after danger after danger.

Ms. Harris has written a book that allows the reader to sit back, sip on wine or chug a beer, and enjoy a book that is simply a book. No straining your brain trying to figure out hidden agendas and the sub plot of a sub plot's sub plot. Just pure book lovin simplicity at its finest.

A word of warning, the Sookie books aren't for the prude at heart. Juss sayin...Vampire bill has had over 100 years to perfect his...er...innings and outtings.

Enjoy! For what it's worth, I did.


Bill Compton says, "Sookay."


Over and out.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What do you think?

About Sean Connery...which is the most handsome, Young Sean or Older Sean? I'd have to say the older Sean still has the ability to make my knees vibrate, shimmy, and shake. What was dear Guinevere thinking when she chose Richard Gere over dear Sean.

About Yo Gabba Gabba...low budget train wreck or sneaky way to teach children manners without having to paint their bottoms red.

About teen angst...enough is enough already, don't you think?

About today's news...how much Micheal coverage does the world need? No offense meant, I was saddened by his passing, but he is gone.

About the sudden down play of Korea's arm race...knowing what color outfit Micheal will be buried in has become more important than knowing which country Korea is going to blow up.

About teaching the daughter to cook...should it be something they learn on their own, or do you drag them into the kitchen kicking and screaming.

About saving for college...I ain't got nothing to say about this. Well, I do, actually, its hard to save when you're in the process of providing for a family. The best we can offer is our help along the way, but if the daughter is going to college, it will be a combined effort from the both of us.

About the price of rice in China...everyone talks about it, but no one really knows how much they are charging.

About saving people across the world...our people in our backyards need saving...there are homeless everywhere...orphans living in the streets.

About waste...your own. Last night was fend for yourself night. It's the food night where left overs that aren't growing things get eaten.

About recycling...even in these days and times, the parish that I live in does not have a community recycling program. Yes, you can collect cans and other various aluminium's and turn them in for cash...but what about the plastics, glass, yada so on and forth.

About teen sex...you teach them what they need to know and pray they make the right decision even if its not the decision you want them to make. Remember the decision we made? Hopefully, in my case, she'll have better judgement.

About savings...If you spend your entire life saving and not enjoying some of the moments you've had while earning then when you look back, life is all gray and sweaty.

About the refrigerator light...how many times did you quickly open and shut the door before you figured out there was a switch that made the light go on and off.

About ghosts...Even in my forties, I find myself making the mad dash for the bathroom light, and only letting my arm into the room until the saving grace of the light bulb has chased the boogies away.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pleased Ta Meet Cha


Beth Fish Reads is starting the Sookie Stackhouse reading challenge (I know Jillian will be interested for sure). For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Eric...er...Sookie Stackhouse, she is the heroine of southern writer, Charlaine Harris's southern vampire series. The books with bite. Miss. Stackhouse was your everyday telepathic barmaid living in backwoods Louisiana when she meets her very first vampire. And while Bill the Vampire is your typical blood sucker, his social situation is anything but typical. Starting in July 4th, I plan on (trying my best) reviewing the Sookie books, and while I know the most of you tend to read a different line of books, Ms. Harris's books are light, fun, and easy to read. No vampire gore, but really hot, hot, vampire bites. This is my first attempt at a book review; wish me luck!

If you're already a Sookie fan, and would like to participate, you can link up and join Beth's challenge.


The Rules:

1. Between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, catch up on Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series. No matter if you're starting with book 1 or book 8, you have a year to read all about Sookie. Read Sookie in print, listen to the audio, read an eBook -- format is not an issue.

2. Sign up using Mr. Linky. Put your name in the top box. For the bottom box, please use the URL that links specifically to your blog post about this challenge, not to your blog's home page.

3. After July 4, I'll create a post with another Mr. Linky where you can link your reviews so everyone can read them track your progress.

4. If you don't have a blog and want to join in, sign up in the comments here. Later, let us know about your progress by leaving comments on the review link page on Beth's blog.

The Books:

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Best death scene EVER: Pee Wee Herman (paging Mr. Herman...Mr. P. W. Herman...I can't remember his real name) wins the best death scene ever when he is staked through the heart by Buffy in his pivotal role as the right hand man to the main biter in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Classic death scene...

Best Farewell Scene: The Princess Bride's Billy Crystal and Carol Kane frantically wave goodbye to the Dread Pirate Roberts and his cohorts. "Goodbye, goodbye! Have fun stormin the castle, boys."

Best Revenge Scene: The Princess Bride's Inigo Montoya: "My name is Inigo Montoya. You have killed my father. Prepare to die."

Top Tear Jerker: I Am Sam. If you can watch this movie and keep a dry eye then I hear by dub you heartless.

Unbelievable Ending: Pan's Labyrinth. SPOILER!!! There is no way I'm going to believe that she was actually...well...you know...instead of what I really want to believe which is she went to live...you know.

Best "I Didn't See That One Coming" Scene: The Butterfly Effect, but not the "politically correct" ending, the original ending where he goes back to the time of his birth and ends it once and for all. Oooo...I SO did not see that one coming.

Saddest Romance: Somewhere in Time. Oh, I wept...I sobbed. I couldn't watch this movie again because it so totally broke my heart.

Best Hand Holding Scene: Yes, I'm sure you've already guessed; Jack and Rose on the Titanic when he is teaching her how to "fly."

Movie Most Quoted in Chat Room Conversations: Monty Python's HOLY GRAIL. "I fart in your general direction."

Humor me, now, and tell me what's in your wallet...er...what's your best scene. I'm sure I have tons of others, but for some reason my fried brain doesn't remember them at all at all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's Go To The Movies










Actually, with the fast growing pace directors are taking with the cranking out of books into movies, I am probably the last person you want to be taking to the movies. Book movies annoy the hell out of me. They truly do.

It all goes back to one of the first movies I ever watched in the theater, "The Black Stallion." Fortunately, I went in opposite directions and saw the movie before I actually read the book. The movie was fantastic. Heat, sand, beaches, islands, lagoons, and of course, The Black, met every expectation a true horse lover could have. I was riveted. And when Alex Ramsey rode The Black, injury and all, down the final stretch, I was in my seat, grabbing the reins, and riding down that stretch with him. Only sheer will power kept me from leaping from my seats as The Black made one last tremendous leap that carried him over the finish line. And as fast as a leapin lizard, I carried myself to the local library and checked out "The Black Stallion" (yes, I know books should be underlined, but I haven't yet mastered the talent of underlining in blog posts...rest easy...I am working on it). Needless to say, the movie which had won over my heart in the opening credits, now paled in comparison.

Flash Forward a few decades.

Like the chicken and the egg, I can't remember which came first: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, or Lord of the Rings. And yes, I know I can do a quick search and find the dates, but I'm lazy, and am writing this late in the morning as opposed to early in the morning. My time is limited. I first read Mr. Potter's story in 1999, so when the movie soared to the big screen, I scooped up my children, bought popcorn and snickers (best combination in the WORLD), and lined up with the crowds. Movie crowds don't bother me, it's part of the ambiance that theater going is supposed to have. I once watched Batman (part one) while sitting on the stairs of the movie aisle. Anyway, I digress. The movie, while filled with sparklies, troll snot, and unlimited boogeys, fell short of the thrill behind the book, however, I did enjoy it. It could have been due to the length of time between the reading and the viewing, but I did enjoy it. HOWEVER, parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 cannot share the same fate. While the effects, and Richard Harris's excellent rendition of Dumbledore, were pleasing to the viewer's eye, the book purist in me demanded accuracy! Persephone actually moved to a different seat for The Prisoner of Azkaban after enduring only thirty minutes of elbowing, underbreath muttering, and exclamations of "Hey, that wasn't in the book!" Unfortunately, I am addicted, and the July release of Mr. Potter's sixth year will have me lined up in the theater, towing my unwilling victims...er..daughters with me.

Let's get this straight. For some reason Hollywood cannot do fantasy right. They've had a few accidents such as The Labyrinth (sheer brilliance), The goonies (applause), and Excalibur (a moment of silence). Okay, perhaps a few more, but I am talking about REAL fantasy...you know...like dungeons and dragons (and the nerd in me rears its ugly head again...back nellie, back!). Hollywood (sorry Jeremy Irons) has not been able to do a decent dungeons and dragons type movie ever. And while I am in NO WAY comparing dungeons and dragons to Lord of the Rings (blasphamy), I had my doubts and misconceptions when I discovered LotR was coming to the big screen. Did I let those doubts get in the way? NO FREAKIN WAY! I was giddier than a school girl sitting next to her first high school crush on the school bus...all trembly and shaky inside. How could I could seriously maintain my "school teacher persona in the public eye" control? Oh My Lanta! It was amazingly wonderful. Beautiful. Lovely. Aragorn (actually, I'm more of a Strider kinda girl than Aragorn, if you know what I mean). It was truly outstanding. Immediately after wards, being that I hadn't read the books since high school, I re read the series. And with a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, I grudgingly admitted that Hollywood had done a perty good job with their first attempt. Oh, and when the extended version came out on DVD...shudder...shake...drool...quake. Someone once said that the theater releases of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was just a trailer for the DVD extended versions. Oh, yes, they were right. While being a bit disappointed with Merry and Pippin's luncheon with the tree ents, along with a few other exclusions (adaptations), Peter Jackson did a helluva job. I envy those who watched the movies with absolutely no knowledge of the book for they definitely were treated to a fantastic movie.

Did Lord of the Rings cure me? Hell no. Just last year I took my daughters to see Twilight. And yes, my daughter would nudge and pinch when I began my mutterings...she wasn't in his room, she was in the car...oh..that didn't happen. Did that happen in the book? I don't remember that part. But I was pleasantly pleased. They did a good job. Personally, I think Bella kinda overdid the teenage angst head nudge awkwardness a bit, but overall, not a bad film rendition. HOWEVER, I did happen to see the trailer for "New Moon," and already I am chomping at the bit. Jacob did NOT phase in front of Bella when Laurent tried to kill her. Enough said! Well, not really. I do plan on seeing this one when it is released as well!

I'm a glutton for punishment. What can I say?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today





Last week I made a momentous decision to visit the physician. Unfortunately, it wasn't Leonard McCoy (yes, I know, deForest Kelly is dead...he's dead, Jim), instead it was Fadi Abou Issa. He's wonderful. He's extraordinary. He's popular so I ended up seeing his practitioner instead, who was not so shabby, I might add.




Blood pressure: check

Weight: WTF?!?!? (ignore)

Pulse: a little high

By the end of the visit, she tacked on a list of things to do: blood work, x-ray of lungs, MRI of the brain, this, that, and those.

Today was the day of my MRI. Have you ever experienced one of those? I had a very long time ago, but apparently I had forgotten what it was all about. Of all the cotton pickin things I've had to endure throughout my life, this had to be the most unpleasant. They ... made ... me ... take ...

Pregnant Pause


...


...


...


off my bra. Ladies, and the occasional gent, I am not Alex Gobraless. God didn't gift me with a huge set of maracas so that I can waltz into the MRI area and whip that sucker off so that them suckers could spring out. Nope. He suuuuurrrrreeee didn't. The MRI tech asked,

"Ma'am, you're going to have to remove your bra."

"Oh."

"You're not wearing a sports bra, are you?"

(looks down)

(giggles...laughs...snorts)

"Nope, not me."

Braless, I give new meaning to the words...ba dong ga dong (or whatever...I don't listen to country but the kids have sung it to me before).

So we stroll down the hall to the MRI machine. Let me say now, I'm so glad I'm not afeared of small spaces. That sure was small, paw paw. Well, I get into position.

"Ma'am? You'll need these ear plugs, it gets really loud in there."

"Thanks."

"Shove them in good. It's really loud in there."

"Okay." ::shove...shove::

Then I'm instructed to lie down on the small, extremely narrow (my butt was just about to do unbuttly things), MRI table thing. I place my head into this cup looking device, and then he places two cylindrical things over my ears.

Because it's really loud in there.

My arms are crossed over my belly, and as I'm sliding in he hands me a rubber ball.

"This is the panic button, ma'am. Squeeze it if you panic. I'll come running."

Huh? Panic? What?

"The test will take 20 minutes. Be really still because if you move, we'll have to do it again."

It. was. really. really. REALLY. . .

Loud.

As a matter of fact I felt like I was screening the music for "Flash Gordon: The Movie. Remember that one? Sung by Queen? He saved every one of us... Well...that is what it sounded like. Not only that. It would give me a series of little electric shocks beginning with my head, then shoulders, elbows, and leaving through my fingers. I almost hit the panic button because I was sure that my MRI machine was defective. It wasn't. I didn't panic, either.

Anyway, twenty minutes later, and after composing hundreds of posts, singing the lyrics to Flash Gordon, and taking small shallow breaths in order to keep my badonga dongs from moving too much (no way was I going to sit through another one of those suckers), my MRI was complete. A lovely new tech escorted me to the bra room where I reigned those suckers in, and I was on my merry way.

Test results pending.

I hope this was all for nothing.

The end.

Of Monkeys and Trees

A tale of a tail of a monkey and her tree. Have a sit down and enjoy what you see!


Monkey girl decided to climb up the tree.



No matter how much sissy pleaded, she refused to leave.



She was stayin, this was her tree.



So we called on the big guns.


Look where that got us.



She's still in that there tree.



PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Mything Link

While being a youngling, my nose was often found buried deeply between the covers of a book. Most of those books written by Piers Anthony; I was a Science Fantasy nut (and yes, I say Science Fantasy...I'm old school like that). One series I read, which was a favorite re read for me, was The Incarnations of Immortality. An awesome blend of both sci fi and fantasy...truly delightful (I thought I'd add that phrase to make me sound more...mature). Anyway, in one of Piers's novels he stated that long ago dragons were good natured. They ate over-populated herds of wildlife, and lived peaceful existences...no peasants involved. However, their peaceful habitation was soon threatened by knights seeking stature and glory and a lay in the hay which in turned caused dragons to be hunted to near extinction. According to Mr. Anthony, hells denizens offered to hide the dragons in the pits of...er...hell. It was, in all truth physically perfect for the dragons...however...after living hundreds of years in hell, a bit of evil permeated their reptilian coated bodies thus "turning" them evil. So tell me, if you can, where have all the dragons gone?

(Long time passing)

Great beasts of legend can seemingly be traced to authentic scientific explanation. Seasons, sun rise, sun set, drought, famine, disease, and pestilence all laid bare on the table of reason and sanity. Still the stories of myth were based on truth of a sort, were they not? So, where is the link?

Mything Link Number One

Dragons. Hmm. Dinosaurs? Maybe, maybe not. Although dinosaurs were huge, with terrible claws and gnashing teeth, according to science, they did not coexist with us homosaps at all. Good thing too, I think we'd have become homo prey instead of homo erectus. Someone somewhere over that rainbow saw that there be dragons and that them there dragons would swoop from the heavens, grab a cow (figuratively or literally, you decide), and be off. They would unhinge their jaws and flame fields, crops, and houses with chronic halitosis. According to legend, there ain't nothin like the smell of a sulfur laden dragon. So, where is the link? Hmm? Volcanic eruptions? Molten rivers of lava? Ash obscured visions of slippery shadows from the sky?

Mything Link Number Two

Fairies. An excerpt from Wikipedia.com: A fairy (also fay, fey, faery, faerie; collectively, "fae", wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, and other euphemisms)[1] is a type of mythological being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural If you've never spent the time reading up on the myth behind the fairy, take a moment or two. It's fascinating. Really, it is. There are so many types, makes, meanings, where they came from, and how they got there of fairies. Contrary to popular belief, most fairies don't have wings. Apparently wings are a thing of rarity. Whoda thunk, huh? One myth has fairies actually coming to life as a demoted angel. Some fairies are good, some are not so good, but when push comes to shove, where did they get their beginnings? Is there, like the myths that have come to science, some scientific explanation behind the story? Where's the link little fairy bug, where is the link? By the way, another contrary to popular belief, most fairies aren't tiny or small, but gloriously tall and wonderfully built. Makes you wonder.

Mything Link Number Three

Elves. Heart stopping, beautiful, drop dead gorgeous...yes...all of those came to mind when Legolas peered out from behind his elven bow wearing his elven tights and doing his elven booty shake. Seriously, there was a collective intake of breath the moment his pointy eared head emerged onto the screen. Although the first elf didn't make an appearance in Science Fantasy until the 20th century, they have been here for eons. Legends have them as beautiful and golden as the handsome Legolas, bringing good deeds forth like manna from heaven, and as dark and brooding as the dark man himself, glorifying in deeds as dark as themselves. Most elves are human like, with their extreme beauty being the main distinction. Their existence can be traced as far back as...well...a really long time ago. Where did they come from? What's their mything link? Where did they go?

Where have they gone? How did they get here in the first place? Where did they come from? Real or memorex?

What is your mything link?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice

Ye heathens! Celebrate...dance naked under the moonlight...running barefood across the sand...sleeping under the trees...harvesting a nice summer tan...reading your tea leaves and licking off the honey...