Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I want their life...

I snapped this picture of my two remaining kittens sleeping on my bed just now..

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I want their life for many reasons. Here are a few...

1. They don't have teenagers telling them how dumb they are.

2. They don't have to purchase year books for four children each year
3. They don't worry when one of their offspring goes off to meet with a member of the opposite sex.
4. They have someone feed them, clean up after them and they don't pay bills.
5. They don't have car payments
6. They can play with a piece of yarn for hours and be entertained. Again, no money is involved.
7. They can nap whenever they darn well please.
8. Again, they don't have teenagers.
9. Did I mention the no teenagers thing?
10. They don't have to buy clothes.

And with that, I'm off to drive up to Seattle. Why? Oh, so I can get guilt tripped for not living there any more by my family of course.

I want to be a cat.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A cold weather tip

Do not go outside to scrape the ice off your vehicle at six in the morning with flip flops on your feet when it is only 24 degrees out. It will not end well for you or for your feet.

Not that I'd do such a thing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Somnolence

I was up and running early this morning, as I had a two hour choir practice. Did I mention that I'd auditioned for a special choir? Thankfully Simon Cowell was not there and I passed muster. For the next three months I'm apparently in Choir Boot Camp, at least that's what it felt like this morning. I'm assuming it's going to be rigorous the entire time.

Of course, I then took a nap. A delicious nap.

Later on my father showed up for a surprise visit. I wish my camera was working (it's DOA, unfortunately) as I wanted to take some pictures of his dog Amy and my dog Cassie playing. Well, Amy was trying to play and Cassie was trying to pretend she wasn't a huge Lab, she was really a tiny puppy who could fit under our coffee table and hide from Amy. Cassie is such a wuss.

A bit later I got to hug and hang on to my friend Dan, just back from Iraq.

"Hiya beautiful!" he said as he held out his arms. Is it any wonder I love this guy? I do wonder, though, how the Army keeps him when his eyesight is obviously very compromised. I hugged the stuffing out of him. Four days ago I was talking to him online while he was in Bahgdad. That day he'd told me of how he and his men had come under attack. "They tried to get us today, Pam" he'd said. It frightened me.

And now...I got to hug him and kiss his cheek and tell him how glad we all were that he was home safely.

He shared with us some of what he's experienced. It gave me chills.

He's only here for two weeks and then he's headed back.

But I won't think about that now...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Making Orange Juice

Sometimes. like today, when I've got an over abundance of oranges, I squeeze my own orange juice for the children. Today little Miss Ashley Rose wanted to help me out. Of course, she had to sit on the counter in order to do it right.

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And naturally, one should always taste the product to ensure the finest quality.

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Here she is pressng the oranges. She's got some serious power in her left hand.

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And here's a fun special effect on her last picture.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Two Favorite Males

Hubby is owned by our cat. Lock, stock and barrel. When hubby goes to bed, so does Bobo. Right on top of him. They're both sleeping beside me as I type this right now, so I took their picture.

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When hubby isn't around, the feline deigns to crawl on top of me and sleep. I'm second best. Second in line. It's ok, though. Everybody loves Daddy the best and that's as it should be. He's the greatest.

Friday, January 19, 2007

American Idol: I'm So Ashamed

Pam's Newspaper column for Pacific Publishing

I have spent the last five years of my life resisting something that seemed to have gotten most of my friends addicted. I already suffer from a Cheeto addiction and I figure that's all the addictions I can handle right now. People gushed about their need to see this thing. Once wasn't enough. They wanted more. Had I seen it? Wasn't that a wonderful thing? Wasn't that a travesty of justice and goodness and all things honorable? I was not going to fall victim to it. No how, no way. I was better than that, wasn't I? I didn't need to feast on other people's misery. There was nothing enticing me to spend days talking about it, waiting for it, then waiting for the next one. I...would...not...watch...American Idol.

Until this past week.

It got me. I never saw it coming. Oh sure, I thought. I would just peek at it for a minute and then flip over to the Discovery Channel and watch something educational. I was above that cheap and tawdry grab for fame. Simon Cowell held no attraction for me. Avoiding rude people in the real world is an art form for me, I had no desire to inflict one on myself voluntarily.

And yet...I did.

It was like coming across a horrific traffic accident. I was powerless to look away. It's human nature they say, a morbid curiosity if you will, about something bad that is happening to other people right before your very eyes. You're thankful it's not happening to you. When people refuse to shut up about something, when they keep asking you if you've seen it and you keep saying no, they give you that googley-eyed gasp of horror as if you'd just told them you don't believe in baseball, apple pie or Mayor Nickels ability to beat Governor Gregoire in a thumb wrestling contest to decide the fate of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. That's just crazy talk.


It also helped that it was shot here in Seattle since I'm, you know, here.

Those poor, misguided people auditioning before the judges. How could someone not have mentioned to some of them that they had absolutely no talent. Was there not someone honest enough in their families or circle of friends that might have mentioned to them that, um, hey, you're tone deaf dude. And that whole 'sexy' look thang you think you've got going for you? It's not working. No, really. It's not. And please wear a bra next time you're out in public.

I was talking to my hubby about that last night and saying the same thing about family/friends not telling these people that they really had no talent/gift for singing and should not try for the audition. And all because they don't want to hurt their feelings by being honest.

Me: "I love to sing but I know I'm not good enough for something like that"

Him: "Oh you are too! You have a beautiful voice. "

Me: (giving him The Look) "What did I just say?"

And with that comment I suddenly knew why those people had gone on to audition for American Idol. They, and I apparently, have no Simon Cowell in our lives. No one to tell us the bitter, painful truth about things.
Yes, that skirt makes your butt look enormous. No, I don't want your mother to spend the summer with us. That is the ugliest baby I've ever seen. Of course I don't want to see pictures of your vacation to Yellowstone Park, are you kidding me? Your cooking stinks. That nose ring looks ridiculous. Yes, there is an age limit on wearing spandex, and you passed it a looong time ago.
As long as my very own personal Simon Cowell doesn't tell me that Cheetos are fattening, then it's all good. Can anyone tell me when the next episode is on?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hallelujuah and then the not so-hallelujuahs

The ice melted, the snow has all but disappeared and the best part is that that children went back to school today! It's good this happened. Very, very good. If I'd gone one more day with a Snow Day I'd have gone insane.

Yeah, I know. I'm there already. Hush.

I took my newly-minted 18 year old out to lunch so we could talk today, between high shool classes and college classes. It's amazing what she will say when there is no one there to witness it to interrupt. She's got a boyfriend and this has perplexed us. By us I mean her parental units. And I don't mean we're surprised she has a boyfriend, she's gorgeous. What's not to love? What intrigues us is that the boy is younger than she is and ...how shall I say this? He's cute but not so bright.

"Mom, I say things and he doesn't understand some of the words I'm saying"


"Like....what? Are you using your SAT vocabulary on him?"


"Um, no. Just, you know. Regular words."

Yeah. He's a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But he can play the guitar! And he's cute! And ohmygosh!

This from my daughter who has been in the Gifted Program at school. Who goes to college AND high school at the same time.

Does this mean I've raised a shallow eighteen year old who cares more about having eye candy on her arm than having someone with half a brain? I'm ever so proud.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day Seven

My children are once again home from school on a snow day.

I'd say more but I fear the people in the white coats may come to cart me off.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: SCHOOL CANCELLED. AGAIN.

Yes, it's been snowing for two minutes. First there was no school news. Then the website and news channels said it was running two hours late, then the Complete Snow Wussies of the Puyallup school district canceled all school for today.

I'm sure, had they consulted me, Mother On The Edge, they would not have canceled anything. In fact, it's highly probable that they would have added classes and perhaps even offered to keep the children overnight and pay for their college educations.

Day Five Hundred and Seventy-Five, trapped in my house with roaming packs of wild teenagers, prepubescents, one child, five cats and one dog the people who mean the most to me.

Remind me to thank Mother Nature.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day Six: Are We There Yet?

Although we've had no snow in six days, this doesn't mean we're not in a state of panic, depression, horror, boredom snowbound-ness. It just means that what fell six days ago is still with us, as is the ice glued to our roads and when I say roads, I mean my driveway.

Oh sure, we could have spread rock salt and melted it but that would mean we'd miss out on all the gut busting (and spine shattering) fun of Trying To Get Mom To The Suburban Without Falling.

So far so good.

We slid our way up to Seattle today, searching for The Best Bread In The Universe. (don't tell my father, he thinks we drove up there to see him) I bought five loaves of The Best Bread In The Universe. I kid you not. Five. I expect that it will all have been consumed by noon tomrrow. I mean it when I say it's The Best Bread In The Universe.

We are expecting another snow storm to hit us in the morning. So help me, if they cancel school I'm going to ...I'm going to....I don't know what I'm going to do.

Probably eat some bread.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Day Five: Someone Shoot Me

I won't lie to you. Things have gone from bad to worse. Today is the fifth day of my enforced confinement due to the cold and snow. We made it to church, but I was called upon to leave early in search of The Girl who had walked home on her own.

Boy was that a lie. Seems The Eighteen Year Old's Boyfriend (hereafter referred to as The Boyfriend) got his drivers license on Tuesday. Just in time too, because The Eighteen Year Old just lost hers. Serendipitous, eh?

....young looooove......first looooooove........

It's still cold outside and we're expecting a snow storm on Tuesday. If anyone is counting, that will be Day Seven.

Please send an air drop of valium. Forget the food, just send the tranquilzers.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Snow Hostage Day Four: Off the offspring

Day four has brought desperation, anger, sarcasm, and boredom. How does this differ from any other day at your house, you might ask. Well, it just IS different. Trust me. It's mostly the anger part.

Perhaps it was the enforced seclusion that brought about the wild mood swings displayed by The Eighteen Year Old. Or perhaps it was the late birthday present of putting her cell phone into her name and on her dime, plus the very real (and soon to be fulfulled ) threat of removing her from our insurance and setting her free to be as free as free can be.

She say's she's an adult. I say prove it.

Meanwhile, the Two Girls played in the snow outside for hours, returning only to eat and beg me to take them some place that wasn't here and when the answer was no they went back out into the fifteen degree invigoration of the great outdoors. Yes, I'm The Mean Mom.

It's a gift.

Day four has left me with a clean house downstairs, as I clean when I'm highly agitated, and one less cell phone on my family plan.

Is it time to ship her off to college yet? Oh yeah, I haven't finished her application yet.

Note to self: Finish it SOON.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Snow Hostage: Day Three

Day Three. Things are getting worse. No schedules to follow, no time constraints, nothing to keep us focused and alert. We're losing our edge and perhaps even (shudder) our minds.

We've thus far resisted resorting to cannibalism, but I'm not sure how much longer we can hold out, especially since THE BOY has been exceptionally surly and tasty-looking. Surly does not always equal tasty, but at this point we're willing to risk it.

No school again, for obvious reasons. With six days off, we fear the need will arise for all of them to repeat their current grades as the memory of their current studies will have evaporated, thus pushing back our entrance into The Empty Nest Club. Not that we're looking forward to it. Much.

The food drop via hunky-air force-type males has not materialized. We were forced to buy pizza. It wasn't the same, but it staved off our hunger long enough for us to realize that perhaps The Boy wasn't as tasty as we'd previously thought him to be. We've decided to leave him alone for the time being, which won't be difficult as he's not speaking to us anyway. Apparently he's upset because we value money for college over money for dirt bikes. Yes, we're being unreasonable as usual. It's who we are. We are The Mean Parents. We are Here To Make Him Miserable, and of course We Are Not Rich Like Other Parents.

It's a burden, but one we're willing to bear.

We lost the littlest ones in a snowbank today. I'm sure we'll find them in the spring thaw. They'll be fine as they have their MP3 players with them to keep them company and fruit snacks in their pockets.

My husband has fled the state and gone south to Portland for the winter. Personally, I think he should have been aiming for much further south where it's at least warm.

I'll write more as my Snow Hostage saga continues into the weekend and beyond.

Rescue will not come until Tuesday. Pray for me people. Pray hard.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow Hostage: Day Two

And tomorrow will be day three, and then there is the three day weekend.

As you can see in this photo taken today, our entire neighborhood was out foraging in the icy snow for food.

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It's been brutal people. Simply brutal. Hubby never made it to work and is currently gone fetal under the blankets upstairs in bed.

I tell ya, if we survive it will be a miracle. Please send food and supplies via hunky-air force guy plane drops as soon as possible.

Think of the children. Please.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snow

Someone must have been listening to Chris' prayer last night. We got snow, school was cancelled but we didn't lose power as he'd also requested, thank goodness.

Ally and Ashley out in front of the house.

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Ash with the neighbor's doggie Drake. He's so cute!

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

And now the temperatures will be in the teens the rest of the week. Fun! I didn't get to go to the gym this morning but I'm going tomorrow if I have to ski there.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Storm watch part.....whatever....

We're supposed to get whapped by a huge winter storm this evening. It's been on all the news, everyone is talking about it, people have stocked up on food and batteries and candles and gasoline.

So of course it's not going to happen. You just know it won't. It's when they don't tell you it's coming is when you get smacked.

Christopher gave family prayer this evening before bedtime and I nearly choked when he said ".....and please make it snow really hard and long so we lose power and we don't have to go to school for a couple of days...". And then I must have had a 'look' on my face and he must have peeked, because he then said, ".....and please bless us so that we will be safe on the roads and that dad will be able to get to and from work safely on the roads with no problems....".

I swear all the kids were high fiving each other after that prayer.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Me? On the radio? Wha......?

As some of you know I've been working on two books ~~~one is about my friend, murdered when we were both fourteen, and the other a compilation of my newspaper columns.

I've been approached to be interviewed on a radio station about my books.

Neither book is finished, Neither book has been published.

"Go and do the interview anyway", my friends say.

I'm a little nervous about it, but I'll probably say yes.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I love animals....

Even most of the human ones, although for the purposes of this blog post, I am referring to actual animals.

Like my doggie Cassie. She's a sweet soul, wouldn't harm anyone but would perhaps lick you to death should you break into our home to steal our valuables. She's about five years old, a lab and hound mix. This morning she came up to me with her rawhide bone and wanted to play Gimme Dat Bone!. She faux growls at us as we try to get the bone from her. We chase her around the house and if we manage to get the bone, we toss it and she races off after it.

Here she is wanting to play...

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Another game she was playing with me this morning was Please Put Me Out Before I Puke On Your Carpeting Again. I seem to have won that round at least. Sadly, I've lost most others.

Ah yes, the joys of pet ownership.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

But it's a GOOD pain!

Today at the gym I walked a mile on the inside track, then went to the pool and did a workout there. My right knee has been bothering me so I was thankful I was able to at least do a mile. I need to get my walking back up like it was a few years ago. I was a walking foo. I've got a goal to walk in a Cystic Fibrosis walk in May for my nephew. Wish me luck!

Also, I've gotten a great many hits on my blog from people searching for Children's Hospital Ashley. What they're looking for is this story about a family and their decision to care for their disabled daughter in a rather unique way. Many people have posted horrible messages to the parents, while many others have offered their support and encouragement.

As the sister of a disabled sibling, my heart goes out to Ashley's parents. I don't believe that anyone should judge them if they've never walked in their shoes.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy Dance

Since the death of The Teenager's Truck, I've been getting more driving time than usual. I'm not going to complain though. It's been (dare I say it and jinx it?) good spending time alone with her and actually talking I've found, much to my amazement, that she talks more when the other children aren't around.

A Christmas miracle!


And I have learned some exciting things from her. For instance, today she told me that she wants to apply to BYU Idaho, room with Whitney and Sarah (two girls from our ward).

This is when I began my Happy Dance. It was really more of a Happy Wiggle, as I was driving at the time she told me this wonderful news. When I got home, the actual dancing began.

.....she's made an excellent decision....she's made an excellent decision....

As the official Parental Units of this girl, we are thrilled!! And we like Whitney and Sarah as well.

This almost makes up for the heart attack she gave me this weekend by coming home with a faux lip ring and passing it off as real. Almost

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

And lo, there was much wailing in the land...

Eighteen years ago today I became a mommy for the very first time.

Behold, I say unto you, there were stretch marks upon the belly and diverse cravings within. Verily, after 24 hours of labor, four of which were filled with pushing, there was delivered a small, squirming bundle who was laid upon my breast that I might feed it. And lo, this did cause much pain.

But not as much pain as giving birth to a teenager.

I would post a picture of her at birth, but my scanner has gone union and is refusing to work.

However, here's the finished product so far.

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All in all, I think we did a good job. I grew a renter! Yay!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years Day Rituals

No, they don't involve sacrificing virgins to Mt. Rainier, nor biting heads off of tiny reptiles. It's my annual DEATH TO SOCKS DAY.

Not all socks, mind you. Simply the ones that have tormented me during the course of the past year by never, ever finding a mate. They are mateless. Mismatched. Alone. Single. And it's true, one is the lonliest number. It's also the number that gets you tossed into the trash.

I don't know about you, but socks are the bane of my existence. I have had, at times over the years, boxes of mismatched socks, baskets of them, runaway socks hidden under my bed, stuck inside bedsheets. At one point I have about twenty PINK socks, in all shades of pink, in all sizes and not one of them matched. This is when I went for better living through pharmaceuticals. It's helped with that whole eye tic thing, but I've still got other physical manifestations of a nervous condition that I won't go into here on this blog.

Today was the day that this entire pile....

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Was tossed into the garbage here.

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This is an example of just why this must be done. For my sanity. For the children. For puppies and kittens and butterflies. So I don't go postal or start wearing my bathrobe in public and neglecting my personal hygiene.

See these two socks?

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I got that little thrill of victory when I discovered them. Two socks with purple bands around them! A match! Surely, for all that's holy, a real match!!

But no. As you can see, they are different sizes. I do not even recall ever buying these socks, much less shrinking one.

So, with my New Year's Ritual out of the way, I can proceed to the next ritual.

Buying more socks. ::sigh::