Friday, June 30, 2006

A Pelican's Tribulations

While I really prefer to write about my own life experiences, sometimes you hear something that is just too good to pass up. Such as the poor pelicans on the California coast.

Pelicans held on suspicion of being drunk
California detains 'drunk' pelicans
Drunk Pelicans Busted in California

Better watch out Contagion. I heard they are headed your way in search of Goblin Ale.

A Prankster’s Tribulations Gone Awry

My sister, vw of one happy dog speaks is going to be writing some posts about our father. She didn’t want me to set you up for them but give you an idea of what happens when a prankster is set up.

Our father loved to play practical jokes (Ever wonder why they are called practical? Isn’t ‘practical joke’ an oxymoron?), but the one thing he didn’t care for was to have them played on him.

One day about 25+ years ago, he receives a birthday card. An anonymous birthday card. The card itself made fun of his age. Needless to say, dad was incensed that someone would send him this kind of card. The address had been typed so he made everyone he knew with a typewriter or access to one to type his address and give it to him.

We were all sitting in the front yard one day with the neighbors discussing the origins of this mysterious card, and who could possibly have sent it, when the names started flying.

What was so amusing was after the first couple of years, dad started getting anxious or angry if they were late. They were coming from all over the country with “wish you were here” written in them. One even had a grey hair inside it.

After 9/11 they stopped coming.

A couple of months ago, I ran across a stack of the cards I had bought and set aside to send. Somewhere I have a couple of letters from postmasters, stating that the mission had been accomplished. It was fun and I was sorry that it had to end.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

And you don’t believe there can be a tribulation in a joke?

Oh yes there can, and a doozy of one at that.

Scamp, is our main character again, at about age 3; maybe 4. He was such a cute, tiny and precious tot. It was hard to believe that this soft-spoken child could harbor a sense of humor to rival any adult’s that I know.

Picture the setting: Poppa sitting out on the back patio, watching as the children play in the yard. Mamma comes out and he asks her if the roast is going to be cooked on the grill or in the oven. She replies that she is going to cook it inside.

Some time passes and Scamp needs to use the restroom. Inside he bounces, straight back for the bathroom. A few minutes later he bounces back out and looks at Poppa and very clearly says, “Mamma said to get your damn ass in that kitchen and get that roast.”

Anyone who knows my father, knows that would surely get his dander up in a hurry and in the house he storms, yelling at mom about how she said she was going to cook the roast. Finally she gets to say her piece, which is the roast, is in the oven and where did he get that idea from.

Both head out on the side of the house where Scamp is laughing his butt off.

An Exercise in Tribulation

Blog Prompt: What do you do for exercise? Do you have any goals, favourite exercise activities?

Meg hit this one on the head: Exercise? What’s that?

Of course I have goals, I have just lost the will power. I could blame it on a two-year regime of steroids, but let’s face it I’ve done that before and got rid of the weight, so the reality is I just lost the will power.

But let’s say that I didn’t lose the WP and that I didn’t have to keep an eye on a 2 year old constantly; then I would have to say my favorite exercise is yoga.

Why yoga? Well, it works, at least for me. I use to get up at 6 and work out for an hour then I would be ready to face the day. At night I would do a 30-minute workout and be ready for a good night’s sleep.

Hey, hey, I can blame the loss of WP on no sleep. That works. Yeah, okay, I have no WP left because I’m not getting any sleep. (somewhere in the distant background: excuses, excuses). I’m not listening to you….

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tribulations of a Doomed Date

Bug of One Happy Dog Speaks and Pan use to be best friends, through part of middle school, high school and beyond. And although they had done a lot together they never did actually date and the following may be an indication of why. In fact, Pan didn’t’ date at all until he graduated from high school.

Pan and Bug had planned on going to D&R’s apartment for a party one evening when he was home from college on break. As he was leaving his parents home, he told his mother that he would be picking up Bug and taking her to the party.

This party was your typical home from college break party, but on the way they passed a Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Bug spotted the vehicle of a friend of hers and wanted to stop in and say hi since she had not seen them for in a while. Pan could never deny her anything back then, so they stop. She introduced him to the others and then they mentioned going to a dance club and would the two of them like to come along.

Bug, still being Bug, walked out with Pan and asked him if he would mind too terribly if she went dancing instead of the party. According to him it was no problem as that meant he could stay at D&R’s and drink instead of being the designated driver. So back into the pizza parlor they go wherein Bug proceeds to tell her other friend that she is going to catch a ride to the dance club with them. Her other friend, still being polite, asks why she doesn’t ask Pan to join them. Her reply (now this is priceless) is, “Oh, no, he’s too good of a friend to do that to!” When Pan said that it was kind of hard to keep a straight face given the stunned look on the other guy’s face to this comment, probably hit the nail on the head.

Bug, still being Bug, walks Pan back outside to this car and he advises her that when she gets back in, she may want to explain the remark, meaning that Pan can’t dance (ever seen Forrest Gump dance? Well you got the picture then) and she didn’t want to subject him to just sitting there while everyone else was having fun.

Now one would think this is sufficient to be a doomed date, but no, there is more and after what follows, I can well imagine that Pan gave up any ideas of dating Bug again. So here in his own words, Pan tells the rest of the story:

“Oh well, it would have been nice to hang out with Bug a little longer, but I knew she’d almost certainly enjoy dancing more than the party we had been on the way to, and now I could have a drink or ten (I was not particularly good at moderation at that point in my life, but I did avoid having to drive if I was going to be drinking). Being a somewhat considerate child, after I had been at the party for a while and, had enough that I realized I did not need to try and make it back to my parents, I called home. My mom answered the phone. I told her I had been drinking, and felt it would be better if I just stayed the night there.

Long pause ….. FINE! (Ouch! I got some frostbite on my ear). Now I’m really puzzled. Mom had never gotten upset about my drinking with friends any other time I had been home on break, as long as I told her whether I would be coming home that night or not. I had already had a few, so maybe I didn’t say it very well. Maybe there was too much noise in the background. Maybe I just needed another five or six drinks, what the heck, Mom had already hung up on me. Not much more thought about that (or anything else for that matter).

The next day, mind, we are definitely NOT talking about morning, early in the afternoon; I make it back to my folks house. Say hi to Mom. I don’t exactly remember the greeting, but the frostbite this time just about cost me a couple of fingers and my nose. I apologize for not making it home, and try to point out that I did call. Mom explodes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this mad before and it is certainly the maddest I can ever remember her being at me, at least until years later when I told her what I got my wife for mother’s day. Tink can explain that one.

Mom wasn’t mad that I got drunk and stayed at D’s, she mad that I got drunk and made poor Bug find another ride home. As soon as I get the chance, I explain that we had a change of plans wherein Bug went dancing with other friends and I went to the party by myself. Thank god for the quick thaw before I lost any toes."

Tribulations of a Good Laugh

Blog Prompt: The last time I laughed really hard...

Would have been when Indiana got his leash, oh, no, that wasn’t it. Maybe it was while I was writing about having SCS, nope not then either. No doubt, both of those are funny and I had a good laugh, but they aren’t “THE” laugh.

“THE” laugh is a chortle that starts from deep within the belly shaking loose like Krakatoa. It is the one that makes you spit milk from your nose (or whatever you are drinking); turns your face red from the lack of oxygen, makes your eyes tear so bad you look like your crying and starts all over again whenever anyone dares open their mouth.

I had one of those in my accounting class in college. I felt so sorry for my instructor, especially since it wasn’t anything he was doing or had done. Whatever had caught my fancy happened on the way to the class. But for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.

Then there are the times that the children do something so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh. I have lots of those. But listing them here would leave me with no blog fodder.

More recently happened to have been last week when Pan took me to dinner. He rolled his eyes when I said I was taking a little notebook with me to make notes of some of the things said that might spark a memory worth blogging about. Now at this point it is still just a tad underside of amusing.

Once we got to the restaurant, he got into the swing of things and started rambling off things that happened in both of our lifes. Out came the pen and paper. Yet there was no way I was going to be able to write down each and every word so we had to think of descriptions to fall back on.

Then it started. The tribulations of naming tribulations; wherein we were trying to come up with descriptive titles all including the word ‘tribulation.’ It’s not easy; let me tell you, especially if you are married to Pan. They got so out of hand and both of us were just about rolling with our thought processes that night.

They probably wouldn’t be funny to anyone else and I think everyone in the restaurant thought we were nuts. Maybe it was just having a life partner with whom I could laugh like that with, that made the evening so much fun. I take that back, there should be no ‘maybe’ in the previous sentence. He makes my life fun. Love you Pan.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

His Tribulations are Just Starting

Indiana B got a leash today. Bombshell came in with a box that required the jaws of life to open, but finally it was open and out pops this cute little monkey. It is suppose to be a backpack leash combo. Indiana loved it until he took off running while I was holding the leash and did a butt flop on the carpet. Not once but twice, then he refused to stand up but did the Marine crawl over to this mother in the kitchen. Once outside Princess had to get into the act and follow him around while holding the leash.

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Indiana and Monkey

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Off he goes

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Who's leading who

Poll on Tribulations is in

The Tribulations of Writing is now closed. Looks like the consensus is that my posts are just fine the way they are. Although I will be taking Harvey's suggestions as he put forth in the comments. Thanks Harvey. BTW I'm looking for my gold star for pretty much keeping to your 12 steps.

Coffee Tribulations

You Are an Iced Coffee

At your best, you are: hyper, modern, and athletic

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you're out with friends

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tribulations of Beauregard the Cat

I had a cat one time, actually I had lots but this is about a particular cat. It was a stray. Ex and I had gone boating on a river one day and as the day was hot we left the car windows down while we were gone. This turned out to be the shortest boat-ride in history as we sprung a leak shortly after leaving the dock.

We headed back to the dock and to the car for our long drive back home. We are talking about a 3 or 4-hour drive here. When we were more than half way this huge, beautiful cat crawls out from under the seat. There is no way I’m going to turn back so we adopted her and the kids named her Beauregard. To this day I have no idea where they came up with that name.

Anyway, as I said she was huge, even the neighborhood pit bull was terrified of her. Yet she still had the sweetest temperament, she just wasn’t afraid of anything. Periodically she would wander off for a day or two and then she would return.

To reiterate, she was a sweet tempered feline and would lie on the front porch sunning just about every day. One spring though, some blue jays built a nest in our rafters. Bad move if you ask me. Beauregard wasn’t interested in their hatchlings, but it still didn’t stop mama and papa bird from dive-bombing her every time they got a chance. I still remember sitting in the yard or looking out the window watching these birds dive down and peck at her. She would take it for so long then up would come the paw and she would knock them out of the air. She would look at them for a moment then lay her head back down and it would start all over again.

I sure wish I knew what happened to old Beauregard. She chose to take her walkabout when we were moving. We looked everywhere for her but never did find her. I hope that when she returned the family that was there either took her in or found a good family for her.

Names and Tribulations

Blog Prompt: The Story behind the name: Tell us about the reasons you gave your child the name you did. Or it could be a pet or the story behind your own name or a friend’s name.

The story behind Nuke’s name is rather amusing. My ex wanted to name him after my dad and after his grandfather. I agreed to this under the condition that three little letters were added to the end of his grandfather’s name so that Nuke’s name would “flow” better. It wasn’t until years later that Ex found out that by adding the additional 3 letters that it became my dad’s middle name. So Nuke is really named after my dad.

Scamp though was another matter altogether. I had originally wanted to name him Andre Dawson, but Ex nixed that immediately. We argued about his name for months while waiting for his birth. As it turned out Ex wasn’t there when I had to fill out the paperwork, but still not waiting further arguments when I got home I gave him my next favorite choice. And now I am glad, because it suits him much better than Andre.

Ex wanted to name Bombshell, of all things, Trixie. I went ballistic. With his last name, she would have a perfect name for a stripper. I wanted to name her after my mother, but Ex thought that was unfair as we named Nuke after my dad. Well as it turns out Ex ended up naming her after my two sisters, bug and ddpup. I couldn’t argue with that now could I, since they are my most favorite sisters in the whole wide world.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tribulations of Replacing an Alternator

Mine? Oh what can I say, Tom did something to his back and collapsed in the living room after taking the alternator off his car, my goddaughter called to say my best friend of 27 years died in her sleep (my tribute to her can be read below), and Scamp called to say they just left the emergency room. Honey had some chest problems, not stroke related though, but after everything else yesterday, I have completely forgotten what he said other than it was not life threatening. I told him if he didn’t take her to the Tastes of Hawaii anyway, he would be experiencing a some heavy hurt.

I was hoping today would be better, but it didn’t start out that way. The kids came over cranky. Princess had a sleepover last night where she and her friend stayed up most of the night. Indiana is always cranky when he gets up. Still we had to go get the relay for Pan’s car that we ordered yesterday. We made a stop by K-Mart to check out the prices of youth beds. Guess I will be buying one on Tuesday when I don’t have two children and an injured husband along.

On to the auto parts store to get the relay, stop at the grocers on the way back to pick up some rib eyes and a filet for dinner along with some kalamata olives that Princess can pit (I have already pitted ones but she wants to use the pitter, what can I say). All this time we are trying to get Indiana awake because it is nearly 3:30 p.m. He falls asleep as we pull in the driveway. While I was not happy about it, I realized that if I was going to replace the alternator I would have to do it as he is sleeping.

You heard right, I had to replace the alternator. Though I will be the first to admit that Pan helped a great deal. He did everything he could without straining his back any more (which amounted to a great deal). Then we got the relay put in and he started the truck. Yay, it started.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tribulation of a Lost Friend

I got a call today from the daughter of a friend. She told me that Kim had died in her sleep the night before. Kim was only 49, exactly one year younger than myself.

Kim has been on of my best friends for over 25 years. We had both moved into houses next door to one another about the same time. Her son was in between my two boys in age and I was pregnant with Bombshell at the time. I don’t know how we got to be such good friends. We were so very different. I was a SAHM and she was a stripper. We would get together during the day for coffee and talk while the boys all played in either the front or back yard.

Then the time came when I moved across town. We didn’t see one another as much but we still found time to talk on the phone. She was there for me when I told my ex I wanted a divorce. She was there throughout my divorce, as I was soon to be there for her through her divorce.

Over the years we seemed to merge into one another and exit out the opposite side. I became the working mom (as a legal assistant) and she became the SAHM, joining the PTA of the schools her children attended.

Finally I moved to another town, and even our telephone conversations became further and further apart. But it didn’t seem to matter. We both always knew the other was there when needed. And whenever Pan and I would go into Town to see our folks we would almost always stop in and say hello. Occasionally she would come over here. The last time I actually saw her face to face was at a scrapbook crop that I had invited her to.

The last couple of years, though, either she had not been home or I didn’t have the time. I didn’t get to say a proper good-bye, but from what my goddaughter told me no one had. This was unexpected. Still already I feel that lose of knowing I will never again hear her voice, hear her laughter, at least not during my lifetime.

Kim, I miss you. I love you.

Naval A School Tribulations

Scamp had his story and there is several surrounding NavyNuke as well. I believe they are shorter though. Mom, Dad, Pan and I all drove up to Charlotte for Nuke’s graduation from A School. This is from the guy who told everyone he was going to be a cook.

Again we head out to the parade grounds where they had a stage set up for the graduates to receive the Navy’s version of a diploma. As we were sitting there, about 6 rows from the front, with a Captain several rows ahead of us, dad was getting pretty antsy. He tends to do that when he is expecting something and he was sincerely hoping his BIL was going to make it to the graduation.

Strike One: No longer able to contain his anticipation he stopped a young ensign going by and asked him if Admiral BIL had arrived (yep my uncle is a retired Rear Admiral). The ensign went white with fear and ran to get his Captain. The Captain came back nearly as white as his uniform stating that he did not have notice of an Admiral arriving and was wanting to move us to the front immediately. Pan and I were desperately trying to hold dad back while mom explained, that yes, we were expecting Admiral BIL, but that he would be coming in civvies and would not be announcing himself as an Admiral. That there was no need to displace the Captain as we were not sure he was going to be able to make it and that he would have not problems sitting behind a Captain anyway.

Okay this is going to be longer than I had thought. On to Strike Two. The graduates started coming through. We are looking for Nuke anxiously and he is nowhere insight. An Admiral gets up on the stage to make a speech that includes what has been going on at the A School. One of the things he mentions is the number of marriages that have occurred during the last 6 months. Pan had been teasing me about Nuke getting married and I heard this I put a big bruise on his arm.

Strike Three. Still no sign of Nuke. Someone makes the comment that maybe he wasn’t going to graduate, but we all agree that he would have told us about that. The graduates are called up to receive their commendations, and then at the end a group of about six sailors are called up. One of them is Nuke. He had been named the Number One Electrician’s Mate Honor Graduate.

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Awards, Letters and Commendations
On being named Number One Electrician’s
Mate Honor Graduate

Tribulations of a Loss

Blog Prompt: If your house caught on fire or were in a flood, hurricane, etc....besides your family- what 1 or 2 items would you try to save and why?

If we haven’t gotten a fireproof safe if something like that should occur, I would take my external hard drive. It has all my digital pictures as well as those I have managed to get scanned in already, as well as a database of our dvds and books. If we have a fireproof safe (better make it waterproof too, lol, as we live in a hurricane prone county), then, ummmm, I’m looking around trying to decide. I guess it would probably have to be the I Love Me pictures of the boys which they had made in uniform. Scamp’s from boot camp and Nuke’s because he didn’t want to be outdone by Scamp (besides I asked him for one for Christmas). And why? Because they would be more difficult to replace, but then so would all of the paintings done by Nuke, my Aunt and Pan’s grandmother, but it would not be feasible to try and take them all of the walls and carry then out.

I would not worry about my camera as it’s case stays by my purse and I don’t go anywhere without my purse. So I know I would have those.

But if I couldn’t save anything from the house, I surely would be heartsick, but thankful that my darling Pan was standing beside me and holding me tight.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Fun - Never Argue with a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing And decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the Wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, "Isn't that obvious?")

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Tribulations of Writing

Going to post a poll here. It is strictly up to you to let me know. As you have no doubt noticed, I don’t write posts, I write short stories (and in some cases, not so short). My dearest mom has suggested that I start breaking them apart and making them into two posts.

So what do you think? Keep them long, possibly boring you to death to read through them or break them apart and leave you with the anticipation of the ending? Give you, say, until the 27th.

And mom, if you want a vote in this, you are going to have to post a comment. Or at the very least call and let me know.

Minus 10 Tribulations

Blog Prompt: What are the best 10 things you have accomplished since your LAST birthday that ended in a zero?

1. Held my daughter’s hand during the birth of her daughter.
2. Watched my boys graduate from boot camp; in addition got to watch Nuke graduate from A School.
3. Took Princess Z to the Gulfarium every weekend for three years. We still buy annual passes but don’t seem to have the time we use to, lol.
4. Held my daughter’s hand during the birth of her son.
5. Met Honey, my dil, and Ballerina, my second granddaughter, for the first time.
6. Learned to control my anxieties while Nuke was on a sub and Scamp was in Iraq and Afghanistan.
7. Took a trip to Las Vegas to see the Star Trek Experience and to eat at Quark’s Bar.
8. Talked with my boys and Ballerina (who is just starting to really talk now) whenever they would call, even if it was 2 in the morning and I had to get up at 6. .
9. Started taking my daughter to lunch once a week so that we could talk about ourselves, our lives and our aspirations.
10. Took Princess Z to Disney World for a week.

And there you have it. Nothing world shattering; no golden globes or Nobel Peace prizes, but a wonderful 10 years filled with love

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A Surprise Visit

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Visiting the dolphins

Thursday, June 22, 2006

50 tribulations

Blog Prompt: 10 things to do before your next birthday ending with a 0

1. Anticipate where Pan may take me for dinner
2. Hug my grandchildren
3. Talk to my kids
4. Talk to my mom
5. Talk to my sisters
6. Read a book
7. Watch a movie
8. Try to lose weight (notice I said try)
9. Clean house
10. Relax

This one was hard. Because other than lose weight, I really don’t have anything to do before I reach 50 (hence the title), other than ordinary everyday stuff. But those are things important to me.

I know a lot who read the blog think I am a new mother, so to speak, but Princess Z (7), Ballerina (3) and Indiana B (2) are my grandchildren. I just have Princess and Indiana so much it is like raising my own again.

My children are NavyNuke (29); Scamp (27) and Bombshell (25). Just for refresher.

The Tribulations of a Gunny Sergeant

Any Marines out there will be able to relate to this story I think. Scamp was going to graduate from boot camp. I don’t think any of his friends thought he would make it through, but he did and quite ably. One of the things you are asked (I would imagine in any branch) is if a member of the armed forces in your family will be attending. Scamp advised his gunny sergeant that his uncle, who is a retired Marine Lt. Col., would be attending along with Poppa who is was a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant, and then, of course, Pan and I. Scamp told me later that he wasn’t sure his gunny believed him or not about the Lt. Col.

Any way we arrive on the afternoon of Family Night and get settled into our room. NavyNuke was attending A school in Charlotte so drove down for the evening as well. He wasn’t able to stay for the graduation as he had classes that day. You can check out a picture of the Marine and Sailor together in my May Archives under Memorial Day post. Other than NavyNuke the rest of us were in civvies.

The shock came the next day as we headed into the gate. My BIL, that we will call Bear from here on out, and dad were in dad’s car ahead of Pan and I. Now dad’s car had an NCO sticker on it so can you just imagine the poor little guard at the gate when he realized a Lt. Col. was driving? And this was just the start. Once we got to the parade grounds we had to locate the bleachers for Scamp’s squad. Which we found relatively quickly as it was at the very end. But in our pursuit of them, Bear was trying to be routed to the center bleachers (btw they were covered, lol), as he was the highest-ranking officer on the base. He is a down to earth kind of guy and really wanted us to be where we could see Scamp the best (and get the best pictures). Still this is not the end of it.

After the demonstrations, we got to go onto the parade grounds to meet our Marines. The Gunny Sergeants, as expected, were trying to meet all the parents, spouses, girl/boyfriends of their charges. Scamp’s gunny was speaking with someone, so we all waited respectfully to talk to him. I wish I could convey the surprise on the Gunny’s face when he turned and was face to face with a Lt. Col. Everyone had a good laugh over it and we got pictures of the Gunny with Bear and Scamp. Now I just have to get them scanned in.

God Bless our Gunny Sergeants everywhere.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tribulations of the Water Kind

This is one of my mom’s favorite stories. It is one of Pan's family favorites as well, at least now it is. Pan’s dad was in the Navy. Yep we are a big military family here. He was transferred to NW Florida and they decided to buy a house. Pan was 4 at the time and the youngest of 5 children. All of the others were old enough to help with the unpacking, but not Pan.

It was a pretty hot day and after a while someone thought to ask Pan to bring them a glass of water. Yippee, something he could do to help. It is hard to be 4 years old and not to be able to help out. Off he runs and comes back with a glass of water. Soon everyone wanted a glass of water, and this 4-year was happy to oblige.

After a while he had to tell someone he couldn’t bring him or her any more water. When asked why not, he told them the toilet bowl was empty. According to him, he would like to know where they expected a child his age to get water. He couldn’t reach the sink. Everyone really enjoyed it until they found out where it came from, then they all turned green.

They were just lucky he hadn’t figured out how to flush the toilet or think about the other two toilets in the house. He guesses the ceramic bowl helped keep the water nice and cool.

Scents and Tribulations

Blog Prompt: So, on the first day of summer, write about one of the five senses (related to your summer experience):

The smells of summer

Living in NW Florida, we don’t really have seasons, per say, but still when I walk out and the breeze is blowing from the south, the smell of the fresh salt water invokes a feeling of summer. It reminds me of being on the boat, anchored at Crab Island and reading. Or anchoring overnight at the bayou and having a steak dinner and glass of wine, then blueberry pancakes and juice for breakfast all cooked by Pan.

The sights of summer
The sounds of summer

Seeing and hearing the children all outside playing tag or jumping in the kiddy pools also remind me that summer is here. School is out and it is time to play. Although I think we actually “played” more when I was a child then they do now. Seems everyone is either in little league, soccer, karate, ballet or some other activity which takes them away from the childish games I remember so well; like hide and seek until after dark.

The touch of summer

Nothing can evoke the memory of summer, like wiggling your toes in the purest, whitest sand in the world and feeling the lap of the gentle waves upon your feet as you traverse the beach. Building a sand castle at the edge of the water then watch as the water rushes up to take the castle down. Or how about lying in the sand and having someone bury you.

The tastes of summer

And what would summer be without the delicious taste of watermelon. Cut into slices and sprinkled with a little salt to bring out the juicy sweetness. Having the juice run down your cheeks and chin because you tried to put more in your mouth than would fit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Scrapping Tribulations

I have plenty of pictures to make scrapbook pages from; plenty of paper supplies and plenty of digital supplies. Now if I could just get my brain to go along with me. Lately it has been in the digital format as my grown children are using my scrap room as storage. And wouldn't you know it, the scrapping supplies are behind it all.

Still I have plenty of digital supplies both purchased and free. I have also just purchased Paintshop Pro X, so one would think that I would just be jumping for joy to scrap something. I would if I wasn't so brain dead at the moment. Oh well.

I did make myself do one of the challenges from Digital Scrapbook Place which is displayed below. Maybe tomorrow I will feel more like it if I can get home from work a few hours before the kids show up.

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Mom's backyard

Complimentary Tribulations

Blog Prompt: 3 ways in which someone can compliment you are....

I get very embarrassed by compliments, although I do like to be complimented. Who doesn’t?

I like to be complimented on the little creativity I possess. I can’t just come up with layouts, cross stitch patterns or blog stories in my head. I have to have a little nudge, but usually, not always, I can take it and run.

I like to be complimented on my work ethics. My oldest paid me the highest compliment on that when he told me that I had passed them on to him. He was being sarcastic as he is in the Navy and the sailors who do not have good work ethics get transferred and he tends to have to carry their loads.

The best compliment of all though is on being a good mother. Everyone makes mistakes raising children; they don’t exactly come with manuals. And the best compliment I ever got was right after I started working at the newspaper. The cleaning lady came and was chatting with me one day while we were working. Suddenly she turns around and says, “You’re Nuke, Scamp and Bombshell’s mom, aren’t you?” “Well, yes,” I said. I had never met this woman before in my life. She advised me that the high school students considered me the best mom in Niceville.

Needless I was shocked as I was a mom to my kids; not a friend. But maybe that is best left for more blog fodder. Now I have to leave for work now.

Monday, June 19, 2006

SCS Tribulations

I just found out I have SCS. It is very debilitating. The symptoms are constant fatigue, bad eating habits; loss of appetite, overeating (for most with SCS it seems to be chocolate; but in my case it appears to be either turnip greens, salads or avocados); sleeplessness; inability to concentrate, decrease in sex drive, ability to speak in a tongue no one understands and repeated humming of the Noggin shows theme songs. How did I find out that I have SCS? Pan told me on Saturday. A look of shock and horror spread across my face. How long did I have? Well if it does not lead to the ATS I can expect a long and happy life. Apparently Small Child Syndrome lasts 10-11 years, and at the very least until they start school, whereas Aggravated Teen Syndrome can last a life time if not repressed immediately.

He even has a solution, but won’t consider marketing it. I think he likes to see me suffer. His solution? Why a child safe tranquilizer gun, of course. You would use one dart for the moderately active and up to three for the really strenuous children. Although we figured we would forego the child safe tranquilizer gun for Indiana B and go directly to the elephant gun. I am not even sure if one dart from that would slow him down though.

URGENT UPDATE: Pan just informed me that he is waiting for FDA approval on the tranquilizer gun, LOL.

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Indiana B

Now you can see where the name comes from. And does that look like a face that is going let me out of SCS in just a few short years? I think not.

Stay at Home Tribulations

Blog Prompt: What would happen (or have happened) if you didn't leave your house today? How far-reaching would the effects of that action be?

I don’t plan to leave the house today so there will be no far-reaching effects. I’m going to spend the day running after Indiana B and trying, at some point, to get him to lie down for a nap. That will be a time consuming trial in itself, as he does not like to take naps. By the time I get him settled I will be too tired to do anything except sit back and read a book. Although I should probably work on some kind of scrapbooking as I haven’t done either paper or digital in a couple of weeks now. Just need to figure out how to get the creative juices flowing again.

Here is something for Mom though:

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Indiana B and Mom

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tribulations of Choosing Dinner Guests

Didn't have time to do this yesterday and I am probably too tired to do it justice this morning. I don't get enough sleep as it is and I had to stay up and see the Discovery special on Krakatoa.

Blog Prompt: Name 5 famous people, dead or alive, that you would like to invite to a dinner party, and why.

I would have Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking to dinner at the same time so that I could sit back and listen to them debate. I would like to discuss their theories with them.

Since I majored in astronomy in college, I think the choice of Nicolaus Copernicus is a no-brainer decision.

It would be interesting to be able to find out if Homer actually wrote the Illiad and Odyssey and if, in fact, these works were based on even older legendary material.

Orson Wells would be another of my choices. He was a brilliant man and actor. I would love to ask him about his choices in his life.

A Tribulation for Mrs. Who

I love reading what Mrs. Who writes at the House of Zathras. We have so much in common although I am sure I am years older than she is.

But still we have a lot in common: A Wrinkle in Time, Babylon 5 and apparently cult classics.

Browsing her blog, I noticed that she has a child named Eraserhead. And wouldn’t you know, I just bought the dvd, which then set my mind in motion about cult classics.

First, how do they define what a cult classic is? I know that Rocky Horror Show, Naked Lunch, Brazil, Videodrome and Eraserhead are cult classics. But what exactly is the defining characteristic? Other than they are all extremely strange. Actually having read the definition of cult classic (at Wikipedia) I have determined that the aforementioned movies are probably best described at underground films as they are more experimental and cult. Though I have my misgivings about Rocky Horror anymore. I think it has gotten to popular to be considered a true cult or underground film any longer.

My own nominations would include Buckaroo Bonzai, Biggles Adventure in Time, 1984 and Sixth Sense. So what about you? Any cult classic/underground films in your repertoire? What do you enjoy about them and why do you consider them a cult classic?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bumper Sticker Tribulations

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Barbie is not a slut - her legs won't open

Highly unfair, they only ask one question and I haven't played Barbies in 40 years.

Schools and Tribulations Part II

When Scamp was in middle school, we had a problem with him skipping school. I spent hours up at the counselor’s office trying to resolve this problem. One of the solutions the school came up with was that I was to drop him off at school every morning at the office and sign him in. If he actually made it to a class he would stay, it was only in the morning that he would leave. But once I signed him in, I had to leave for work. And after making this suggestion, the school decided it wasn't their responsibility.

Although we can laugh now about Pan chasing a bunch of kids through the woods in his three-piece suit, he did not think it was especially amusing then. At least the school would call when Scamp didn’t turn up for class. I recall one account of Pan’s where he had to jump a fence and there was a gentleman watering his lawn, when Pan asked if he had seen a bunch of kids run by. The man wanted to know if he was the truant officer. He probably should have been, he took more kids back to school while he was chasing the Scamp. BTW Scamp had an IQ test in elementary school and he scored 118 out of a possible 120.

There have also been occasions when I was lied to by the high school. This is a fact, as I checked out what they were telling me. While for the most part, I was willing to take the school’s word for what they were saying about Scamp, at some point I had to check out his side. And what I found out surprised and disappointed me. I do not lie and do not appreciate being lied to, especially by someone who has some control over my child’s life.

This past January we took Princess Z to Orlando. Before we left I had the teacher give Princess Z all the work she would miss while we were gone and every afternoon we took a couple of hours to go over her schoolwork and complete the worksheets. When we got back the teacher said it was the wrong work; gave her another weeks worth and didn't even give her credit for what she had done.

I know is sounds like it’s all one sided here, but believe me I have always respected teachers and educators. This town just seems to have more than its share of teachers who don’t have the exuberance to be a teacher. These teachers appear to be there to write on the chalkboard and read, those who are only looking out for their own interest instead of their charges. I have always worked with the schools my kids attended, as I believe a parent should be involved. Private school was not an option either. We could not afford it and the teachers at the private schools here were the same. Or maybe I was just privileged to have outstanding teachers who took an interest in my education and me.

So what could the teacher or school done? I really don’t know, but it would have helped if they worked with me instead of against me. I was willing to support them; they should have been willing to support me.

For all the teachers out there who take an interest in their students (and that’s the majority) I applaud you. You are doing something that I neither have the aptitude or patience to do. You are special and I wish I could be more like you.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Party down tribulations

Blog Prompt: What do you consider a good party? Who (and how many) should be there? Music? Food? Conversation? Location? Party Games???

Party down dude. So who’s having the party?

I like intimate (less than 10) parties with close friends, finger sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres, glass of wine, lots of conversation and games like trivia or charades. If there are only 4 of us, then a dinner party is in order. This is when I get to show off my culinary skills and I love it. Afterwards we can sit in the living room with an aperitif and talk.

Lately though have been the dock parties. They are still pretty intimate, but no finger sandwiches or wine, instead you get plied with Pan’s famous burgers and a beer. There is a restaurant close to the dock, which has an outside bar with live music that wafts it way over to the boat, and dock. It is loud enough to enjoy, soft enough to be able to talk without having to yell. Not much room for games, but plenty for conversation.

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A & J

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More friends

Schools & Tribulations, Part I

I had someone ask me what a school could have done when my kids were having problems. I don’t know, maybe call. During Bombshell’s grammar school year and Scamp throughout his school terms in this town, I was spending a lot of time at the counselor’s office. Don’t get me wrong please; I liked school myself. I have the greatest respect for teachers. They put a lot of time and effort into educating our young. But now let me tell you some of the things that happened and maybe you can make a suggestion that will make me feel better about our schools in the county.

When we first moved here Bombshell was enrolled in the elementary school just down the street. It was a brand new school and she loved going there, at first. She was put into a class that she loved and a teacher she really liked and respected. It was also an advanced class. When they felt there were too many students in the class she was moved. Okay, I have no problem with that.

In this new class was a click of little girls. I don’t know why they invited Bombshell into their click; it obviously was not because they liked her. And apparently the teacher had issues too. It was during the Kuwait invasion that all this was going on and her class was writing letters to the GI’s. Bombshell really enjoyed that and so when they had to write a story around Christmas, she wrote on about Saddam attacking the North Pole. And when it looked like all might be lost, the Marines saved the day. I got a note that this was not appropriate subject matter for an eleven year old.

Now back to the girls, they would relentlessly tease Bombshell, and when she would complain to the teacher, the teacher would listen to what each of the girls had to say then tell Bombshell she was being ridiculous. It got to the point that I told Bombshell to talk to her counselor, which she did. I got a call from the counselor to approve Bombshell and the girls meeting with the counselor to see if they could work things out. I wholeheartedly agreed. At this point I still trusted the teachers and educators to take care of my little girl. Bombshell was still coming home in tears because what was happening was that the girls would say what the counselor wanted to hear and once they were out of the room, they would start in again.

But the really bad part came when, Bombshell made mention in class one time that she wished she had never been born. Instead of calling Pan or me (they said they were a long distant phone calls; blatant lie #1), the teacher and the counselor called HRS. The teacher and counselor told HRS that Bombshell threatened to kill herself (blatant lie #2). Because they made no effort to contact us, my family had to endure six months of grueling interviews and surprise visits from HRS. It was also during this time we started to receive phones threatening Bombshell; asking if we knew where she was; or if we knew what was going to happen to her. We had to have a tap put on the phone and guess what? It turned out to be the girls from school. As they were calling from the next county over though the Sheriff’s department couldn’t do anything except to call the parents. This information was given to HRS, by us and the sheriff’s department and when their interviews were over, the concluded there was some problem, but they could not determine if it was us or the school. You can make your own conclusion, I made mine.

Side note: about HRS, it was grueling but I am glad that there is an establishment to look out after the welfare of children.

Okay enough of the repressed feelings for one day. Will continue later.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tribulations not taken for granted

From Grandmother Bou which I heard about from Oddybobo:

What is it you have around you, in your state or your area of the country, that you have done, that you do or see frequently, that some may take for granted, that you feel certain that there are people in America who will NEVER ever experience?

Being an AF brat, I have traveled across the U.S. extensively. Most memorable sites have been the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon and the Redwood Forest. The beaches off Cape Cod, Massachusetts are beautifully stark. I loved walking on the jetties, feeling the cold ocean spray, and making a pet of my parents lobster dinner.

Seeing Lake Tahoe was enough to take your breath away. San Francisco lit up my eyes. Sacramento, San Diego, Anaheim, all held some form of fascination. If only I could see the rolling waves of corn and wheat in Nebraska and Illinois again. I leaned to drive a standard in a cornfield in Illinois.

I have only been off the continent twice. The first time was when dad was stationed in Guam. Guam is a teenager’s heaven. The black sand beaches for horse back riding, a glass bottom boat, and a century plant that actually bloomed while I was there. While stationed in Guam we took a trip to Hong Kong. It is a bustling, thriving city so full of live. I loved the Tiger Balm Gardens, the ride up to Victoria Peak and overlooking the river, which separated Hong Kong from China. We were allowed to visit the walled city. At the time we went there were only older folks living there as all of the young had gone into the city. The rules were different for the walled city and these folks were sitting around smoking their opium pipes. And no, we didn’t even get a whiff.

The second time was when Bug had me fly to Germany and spend a week with her. I loved Germany. The people, the beer, the food, the beer, the cities, the beer, the castles, the beer. Yes, I brought beer back with me. But I was the only one who would drink it. To dark for everyone else I believe.

Ocean and beaches surround Florida and each has its own appeal. In NW Florida we have white sand beaches. Very beautiful white sand beaches. That is where I live now. Five miles to the south are the beautiful beaches; one mile and I am at a secluded bayou; six miles brings us to a long lost island (and I mean lost, it was taken out by a hurricane eons ago) where we take the boat and anchor for the day. Just down the street a bit is a genuine German pub. We live in an area that was built up for German tourists. We can grill out steaks or burgers on the boat and watch the sun go down or have a dock party with our surrounding neighbors. Strange as it may seem, I know my boat neighbors better than my house neighbors. Here are some pictures for you to peruse.

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White sand beach

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Storm on beach (not a hurricane)

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Crab Island

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German Pub (dark beer in corner is mine)

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Sunset from the boat

And what is it you’ve never experienced, that you know others in America do, that you would like to do one day?

I would love to see more of Germany. My grandfather, his parents and siblings emigrated from there around the 1920’s or so. I would love to see where he was born and grew up. I would like to also see Ireland and Scotland. My MIL is Irish (100%) and my FIL is half Scot. Wonder what that makes Pan? But I believe dad is part Scot too. I know that he is part Swede as his dear darling grandmother Lily emigrated from there. I would also like to make it back to my birthplace; Rapid City, SD.

Blog Prompt Thursday, June 15

What were you like as a teenager?

Average. Yep, just average, at least in my mind I was. But maybe not quite average, I called mom to get her input and what she said kind of topples me from the average list.

According to her I was more trouble for my dad than I was for her. Then again, dad really didn’t have much of a teenage life so he probably didn’t understand the species too well. But I did annoy him a lot. I remember every time I did, he would give me a talking to. He would make a fist and stick out his pointing and middle fingers and prod me on the upper arm. I hated it and most times would end up thinking about how much longer he was going to be prodding me, than actually listening to what he said. Which is why I would, almost inevitably, make the same mistake again. If I had just ignored the prodding and listened I probably wouldn’t have annoyed him nearly as much.

And according to mom, what set me apart from most kids was that I called, all the time. She always knew where I was going to be. I called if the location changed. I called if I was going to be late. I still call her when I am leaving for a trip and when I get there. I call when I am going to visit and when I get back home. I just think it is considerate and respectful.

Another thing about being a teenager, I read a lot. A whole lot; more than most kids my age. We went to the library weekly and always had books at home. Now I have my own library at home and don’t have to worry about returning them. I still read a lot. Just about anything I can get my hands on, except westerns and gothic romances. Even I have my standards, lol.

Things I remember:
1) I did not wear make-up often. I didn’t like the way it made my nose feel and I still don’t wear it often
2) Bleaching my hair blonde.
3) Having all my hair chopped off to just below the ear.
4) Buying my own oxfords and wearing them. I loved the shoes. Not the pointy toed ones, but the round toe ones.
5) Babysitting. That is how I earned my money for shoes, clothes, my stereo and any spending money. I was a good babysitter.
6) Learning how to work the projector at the outdoor movie theatre.
7) Seeing Bob Hope while sitting on the shoulders of an airman because I was to short to see over the heads of the people in front of me.
8) I remember my first kiss.
9) Going to the Navy hospital in Guam where I would sing and talk with the guys who had been wounded in the Vietnam conflict were staying on their way back to the states.
10) Learning to develop film in the church’s dark room.
11) Singing with the Catholic Choir even though I was Lutheran.
12) The bomb scares the first two weeks of school every year in Guam and having to sit on the football field while they had dogs come and sniff.
13) And I did not drink until I was of age, unless it was a glass of wine with my parents.

Other than that, I was really just a average teenager. Doing teenager things, getting into teenager trouble.


As my sis/mom Bug wants me to point out, I liked bringing home strays. (Although how she remembers is beyond me, the tyke was still in diapers when I was a teenager.) But she is right, I loved bringing home strays: stray snakes, stray mice and stray boys.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ants and Tribulations

Ants. We have ants. Not just those little sugar ants but real ones. I caught Indiana B leaving a breadcrumb trail from the front door to the couch. And sure enough the little pests followed. He loves laying on the floor and blowing on them. Scattering them 4 sheets to the wind, so to speak. But you would have thought he learned his lesson after the 5th or 6th time he was bitten.

Still I have ants on my kitchen counter too. Finally figured out what was going on there though. A bottle of honey fell over in the cabinet and was leaking. I swear ants must have super smelling. Anyway, I got that all cleaned up, knowing that would take care of the problem. Ack, yesterday I went in the kitchen to find them standing in a circle on my counter. It was like someone had placed a mystic quarter on the counter and all the ants had gathered round placing their head on the edge of it. At least it made it easy to kill them. Poor things.

It is time for Pan to bring out the insecticide again and place it around the outside of the house. We have this trouble every year around this time. Has to do with the hot weather and sometimes rain. I just really hate using insecticide as it kills the spiders and rolly pollys too. But I hate the roaches and ants in the house even more


Just went into the kitchen and there are only two ants. Maybe they decided to go home after all.

Blog Prompt Wednesday, June 14

Finding Peace

The only way to find peace is to look within you. If you are not at peace how can you expect anybody else to be either?

And how do you find peace within yourself? I am sure it will be different from person to person. I, for the most part, am at peace with myself. I have lived a full life, with a wonderful husband, marvelous children, parents I love dearly, sisters I wouldn’t trade and friends. I have made mistakes and learned to go on. At this point in my life, I can even forgive my ex. All of these have contributed to who I am. And as I said earlier, I like me. Oh from time to time, I will fall, shaking up the peace I have, but I always get back up and start again.

If you mean world peace, I am not even sure that is possible in our day and time. Maybe it is, but everyone will have to look beyond his or her prejudices and their feelings of being wronged thousands of years ago. As a species we tend to harbor grudges and until we can let go of them, we can never truly have world peace.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Musings and Tribulations: Does your mind ever wander?

Mine does. I think it is because I think of so many things at one time, that I start to loose track. Last night I had actually started a post for my blog and before I knew it, I was off on a dozen different things, none of which had to do with the other. If I had been in my right mind then, I should have made a list.

Of course it was hard to be in one’s right mind when you have the Backyardigans playing on one television and Nanny McPhee on the other. I kept calling it Fanny McKnee to Princess Z’s sanguine. I wasn’t’ trying to be funny, it just happened that way. Again it may have had something to do with the Worman Polka going on, on the other television. Pan and I still wake up singing that one. Which is why, I bought two more Backyardigan dvds. Yip yip yip yip. New songs soon I hope.

Wanderlust again. Just got off the phone with bug. It was an interesting conversation about dead bugers and power rangers. But with both us forgetting what we were talking about in mid-sentence. And speaking of wandering minds, she was suppose to put the blog roll on last night and I don't see it yet.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post. I really do think about too many things at one time. I can be contemplating what I should be writing, the last article I read in Scientific American, what is going to be for dinner and if I can talk the kids into watching something other than children’s shows. And part of me is now saying end this post and go watch the newest video from Craig’s Watch and Learn Photoshop.

Pip pip and cheerio.

Blog Prompt Tuesday June 13

What is your scrapbooking history? Did you start with paper or digital?

Paper. Yep, that’s how I started. And it was all because of ddpup. She introduced me to the world of scrapbooking and since I had a brand new granddaughter, it was perfect. Then it became an obsession when I found out there was a scrapbooking store right across the street from where Pan worked. Then I became a fanatic. They offered classes, which I started taking. Sometimes I was the only one in the class but that didn’t matter to them.

Gradually I started using the computer to set up my layouts before actually doing them. Then I discovered the world of digital scrapping and I was hooked again. Right now I do more digital than paper scrapping, although I am hoping in the future, when things have settled down with the kids, that I will again paper scrap. I would like to combine the two, digital and paper.

This is one of my favorite digital scrapbook pages:

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Trash & Apple Tribulations

Blog Prompt: How did you get started using computers? When did you first get "online". Do you predate the Internet being available to the public or was it always here for you?

They definitely were not always here for me, lol. I remember the first computer I used but not the name. It took up the entire wall in one of my high school classrooms. It was used strictly for research and was internetted with a local college. 0h I don’t think they called it internetting then, but I don’t recall all the terminology.

After that I didn’t really have any contact with a computer until vw started teaching basic to adults in evening classes. Then I would have to go by mom’s house to practice on bug’s trash 80.

When I started dating Pan and the kids and I would spend the weekend at his house, we would stay up all night playing computer games on his Apple IIe. Did anyone else play them? The games that would give you a story and you had to type in your responses? No graphics at all. I loved those and we would make up the most outrageous things as a response. I almost miss them. We even bought our children an Apple IIe so they would have one of their own. Our next computer was an Apple IIgs.

We would have stayed with Apple if they had continued to support the II’s but instead they chose to spend all of their support on the Mac. We still have to the IIe's and the gs packed away. I know a lot of people who use Macs and I use one at work. Still I prefer the pc at this point. This is not a pc versus mac prompt though is it?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

No News Tribulations

I was feeling pretty guilty about not putting up something, even if it was just a little something, until I checked out vw and realized she hasn't posted anything either. Guess I will have to remind her about setting a good example for the children around.

But really there is no news whatsoever, and I am so tired I can't even think of too much to write about. Indiana B had night terrors last night so no one got any sleep. Right now he is sitting in a cauldron playing cars.

If I am up to it, I'll try to post something later. And in the meantime how about a picture of Princess Z to brighten your day.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Trips and Tribulations

Made it back from mom's house. Had a wonderful time and need to do it more often. I took Indiana B with me and he had a blast as well. Will post pictures later, if I remember.

It's only an hour and a half to her house, although sometimes it seems much longer and others much shorter. Guess it depends on whether I am driving or not. She had fried drummettes for dinner then we had egg rolls for supper. Yum. I don't eat alot of fried food, maybe a couple of times a year, so this was a real treat for me.

When it was Indiana's bedtime he cried and cried and cried. Mom made me feel so guilty (lol) about leaving him back there by himself in a strange house. But he quit soon enough and we had a very enjoyable and fun evening talking, laughing and watching tv with the mute on. Although she was conveniently looking the other way when there was a close up of a meerkat's butt.

She checked her e-mail and told me about some of it. I showed her how to send and receive between the schedule. I had Pan try and send some pictures of the kids. And they came through without any problems. Then all hell broke loose. Her computer had a serious hard drive crash. I was immediately on the phone with Pan (he writes computer programs and is the head of the MIS department of the company he works for). He gave some suggestions but told me without actually seeing it, he couldn't really do anything.

Still blue screen 2 of death. Every one knows of the blue screen of death. But this one was just that, blue. Nothing, nada, nilch. Just blue.

Early this morning I am on the phone with Bug, since she and her husband put together the computer for Dad and Mom. She found a fix for it, but you had to be connected to the internet, and for all I know we may have been. I couldn't access it though. The computer has bit the dust. It is gone, kaput. Not for long for sure. If that's not a tribulation, I don't know what is.

Blog Prompt, Weekend June 10-11, 2006

What else do you do when you are online besides visit DSP? Do you chat somewhere about gardening? Post to a cooking message board? Belong to a parent support group? Surf for tutorials for your software or run a home business on eBay? Tell us more about your online life

I use to belong to a Navy mothers group and a Marine Corps mothers group, but I don’t participate anymore. Personal reasons. Now I do my online scrapbooking and recently blogging, at my sister’s urging. And I really love reading what everyone has to write in their blogs. I look forward to receiving my newsletter from Watch and Learn Photoshop. Even though I haven’t updated my PS. I have found a lot of times I can rework it for my version of PS and for PSP.

I am on my computer a lot, but I really don’t get on line as much as I use to.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nights of Tribulations

Bombshell has gone to Tennessee for several days and we (Pan and I) have custody of Indiana B. First night was a heaven send. He went to bed on time. Fell asleep on time and slept the entire night.

Night two was a completely different matter though. He just did not want to go to sleep. Being in bed was okay, just as long as those sweet little grey peepers were toothpicked open. First he is in his bed (which happens to be a playpen); next Pan calls me back to take a peek and there the monster is on Pan’s side of the bed with the covers pulled up to his chin and pretending to play the x-box with the remote.

I know this doesn’t sound too bad, unless, of course, you put into perspective. This picture was taken maybe 7-8 months ago. Indiana has grown probably half a head since. But as you can, no doubt, tell, this is one high bed and I can just imagine him going off the side of it head first.

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And here is the one taken after he crawled into bed. Now isn’t this a boy after any man’s heart?

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Blog Prompt Friday, June 9, 2006

Are you where you thought you would be in life, when you graduated from high school? Are there dreams you had then that you still have now?

Yes and no. I knew I always wanted to be married to a best friend and a mother. Of those I have achieved my goal and it is worth giving up the other dream just to be where I am today. I would not change a thing about my life, even the bad, as that may change who I know am and, actually, I like myself. I no longer need the approval of those around me, although it is nice.

My dream to be a radar astronomer has been put on hold, and, who knows, maybe one day I will still achieve that goal. Nothing is fixed in stone.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

No Tribulations for School

Blog Prompt: "Who was your favorite or most influential teacher?"

Looking back I wonder why I never wanted to be a teacher. I loved school and learning.

There are a number of teachers who made more than a passing impression on me. Mrs. Sears, science; Mr. Behrens, science; Mrs. Allen, English and Latin, and so many others. Many of whom I kept in contact with until my late 20’s. Which was no mean feat since I went to high school in Guam and Illinois then moved to Florida.

I guess Mrs. Sears and Mr. Behrens stand out because while I was in their classes we built a green house on the room of the school cafeteria. We got to it by climbing out the science storeroom window. I remember raising fruit flies to use in genetic testing.

In English, Mrs. Allen taught us how the English in Shakespeare’s day actually talked. It was very fast and hard to understand, almost like a foreign language. I also had her for 3 years of Latin. I loved learning Latin and was disappointed to find out it was not a class offered in very many colleges. I can still sing Jingle Bells in Latin, LOL.

Again, looking back, as much as I loved school and learning, it is strange that it was not a profession I had chosen for my self. I had my sites set on the stars.

The Tribulation of a Maimed Squirrel

Don’t make Bug (vw) mad. Oh go ahead and make her mad. Just stay off a golf course when she is there, mad or not.

One advantage to having an older sister who moves away is that you learn to write, letters. Lots of them. Downside is that you never include the really great stories. Big sister’s solution: Wait until they grow up and marry her best friend. Hey, she wasn’t going to marry him anyway. Upside to this is that I get all the great stories on bug. Which brings us back to stay off the golf course when Bug is there.

She and Pan (see sidebar if you don’t know) really were best friends in high school and did a lot of things together. And one fine day, Pan suggested golf at the nearby Naval base. Off they go, for what was going to be a terrifying afternoon for all involved (except possibly Bug).

After a while, Pan was urgently requesting that they make a quick get-away before they were arrested for hunting without a license. Bug managed to take out 2 squirrels and a bird, or was it 2 birds and a squirrel? No matter which it was, how in the world do you take out any kind of small animal with a golf ball, much less three?

Note to self: Stay off golf course when Bug is there.
Note to self 2: Warn Brains

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Books and Tribulations

Blog Prompt: What was your favorite childhood book? If you have children, have you passed this book down?

Oh Oh. I loved reading as a child and still do. I remember going to the library every week to get a book to read. There was always the ‘new’ book to get and one tried and true. I especially loved science fiction. And my all time favorite was “A Wrinkle In Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle. There were others that I really enjoyed around the same time frame. They, too, were about time and the bending of time, but I cannot recall the names or the authors. I wish I could, as I would like to revisit the childhood memories contained therein.

But for passing it down, I never did, as I never owned it. Still it is interesting that when Disney made it into a movie, my mother remembered how much I liked the book and recorded the show for me.

Ballerina's Tribulations

Okay, Ballerina doesn’t have any tribulations. She’s only 3 for goodness sake. But she called and talked to me the other day. She said “Hi Tink, how are you doing?” then sang the alphabet song, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and counted to 30 for me. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what she is saying. Not because she is only 3 but because she speaks English and Japanese. Makes for some interesting conversations. Maybe one day she can teach me Japanese.

She also speaks Balladaddy. The secret language she and her daddy talk in. Personally, I think Daddy had more to do with making it up than she did. And I don’t think they are going to teach that language to anyone

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thanksgiving in June

Blog Prompt: What are you thankful for? How do you express it?

I am thankful for a truly magnificent husband who is smart, funny and kind. I am thankful that I have children who can talk with me without being ashamed or embarrassed or afraid they have disappointed me. I am thankful for a mother that I can call for anything and get the best advise in the world from. I am thankful for two sisters who are always there for me.

How do I express it? I hope by always being there to listen. By being there for them when they are in need.

Tribulations of a Bodacious Pinocchio

A trip to Olive Garden seems to bring out the humorous side of my dh.

Several years ago we had stopped off at one and they were having a wine tasting. One of the wines was a pinot grigio. Poor dh couldn’t remember the name so kept calling it the Pinocchio wine.

Then this past Saturday evening we decided to go to the new Olive Garden they built fairly close to our home. I had ordered the Bottega Vinala pinot grigio and being the bright man of the evening, dh decided that it should be called Bodacious Pinocchio. He figures he could remember that.

So next time you visit an Olive Garden be sure to try out their Bodacious Pinocchio.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tribulations of a Memory

Blog Prompt: What is your earliest memory? Why do you think it sticks with you?

I have several, all of which probably happened around the same time, between the ages of two and three. I am not sure which one occurs the earliest in my life.

But we can start with the day I ran out of my grandmother’s house naked. I don’t know why I did it (possibly I didn’t want to take a bath), or how I managed it. Yet I remember being naked.

Why should this memory stick with me? I don’t know the answer to that either. Maybe it was because I thought I was one of the “beautiful” people who could get away with anything or because I heard there was a nudist beach around. Could I have just been a precursor to the 60’s, a free spirit?

Sesame Street Tribulations

After a quick read at wRitErsbLock, I had to give this a go to.

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

The first observation is pretty accurate. My boss' wife loves to tell everyone what a great people person I am. How I really like everyone I meet. How I get along with everyone. Truth being, I don't like people. I like my own little world. I get along with people, there are even some I like. And I am not a good people person. If I am kind to you, doesn't mean I like you. I am just a kind person. Ask bug.

Logical? Yep, I am. Hey I studied astronomy as a major. What do you expect. Unfortunately my emotions do tend to rule me.

But really, a neat freak? Freak maybe, neat never. If you read my tag of 5, you know that most of my clothes end up in the living room.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tribulations of an Affair

Haven’t we all, at one time or another fantasized about having an affair? Not that we would really do it. I know I wouldn’t, I truly love, like and care for Pan and would not do anything to hurt him. But the fantasy is there. Even for him. So we play at it. Not as much lately, but it is fun.

But this isn’t about him, and me but about an affair I didn’t have. Got your attention now, don’t I?

After Pan and I married, I moved from my town to his town and had to find a new job. I found one rather rapidly as a construction secretary. And I worked there for about 5 years, then they decided sale and the new owners already had someone to replace me. So it is off to job hunt again.

And I found one. They hired me even before the attorney called and told them I could read minds. Again this isn’t about the jobs but about the affair I didn’t have. Had to lay some ground here.

In my new office was a young woman, probably 15 years younger than I. Very prim and proper was she, who thought I was having an affair. Prim and proper she might be but closed mouth she wasn’t. Of course, it didn’t help that a friend of Pan’s would call me at the office from time to time, disguising his voice and giving fake names. The others in the office knew it was the same guy each time.

I was getting a wee bit weary of the all the whispering behind my back so Pan, Mr. E and I orchestrated a lunch. Mr. E and I met at a restaurant next door to where I knew one of the other employees was going to be. After lunch, sure enough, pretending to be washing a window was my nemesis #2. Mr. E walked me to my car and then bent me over backwards to place one great big kiss on my delicate lips.

Off to the office raced nemesis #2 to let everyone know what was going on. I made sure to go back to the office with a great big smile on my face.

That afternoon, Pan stopped by the office to inquire how my lunch with Mr. E went and did our plan work, making sure that everyone in the office could hear.

After he left prim and proper came out to inquire who he was and when I explained he was my husband, she got all red in the face and apologized. He was who she thought I was having the affair with.

And Pan, you still got it.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oh the Bloody Tribulations

Okay, I admit it. I use to work for an attorney. Actually a very good and moral one. He was a sweetheart.

While I was employed by him, he was the president of the state attorneys association and one of the things he had to do was organize a blood drive. Which meant I was calling all the attorneys in town and badgering them into giving blood. I did pretty good too, although I noticed that there was one that I couldn't talk into giving blood: my boss.

Right, so we resort to dastardly deeds. Somebody from the office had to give, so I put my name down (and I am deathly afraid of needles, I pass out whenever I see one). Then proceeded to make sure he knew that it was me that would be representing our firm at the blood drive and because of my phobia, someone would have to drive me there and back.

Well we couldn't have that could we. So he decided that he would give of his blood also and had me schedule our times together so we could take one car, his. All the way there, I was getting more and more nervous, whilst he was trying heroically to calm my nerves.

Finally we get to the blood mobile and went in. I sat at one end and he at the other. You know, it doesn't take long to give blood and they give you orange juice afterwards. I was ready to give again just to get another glass of fresh squeezed oj. But they wouldn't go for that so I was ready to go. Except there seemed to be a problem:

My boss had passed out up front and I had to wait for him to come around. He didn't want to go back to the office right away, so off to breakfast we went, with me driving.

And what did I learn that day? The blood mobile has great orange juice.

Friday, June 02, 2006

School Tribulatioins

Blog Prompt: If you could go back to school (and time, money, other commitments are not an issue), what would you study and why?

Astronomy. When I started college that is what I majored in. But then I “found” love and got married before finishing.

I love astronomy. When I was 10 my folks took me to Macy’s in San Francisco and said that I could pick out my birthday present. I chose a telescope. They had two; one was small and sat on a table; the other, vastly more expensive, had all the bells and whistles, different magnification lens, a sun lens, and a tripod that held everything. It was a refractor telescope, which in my humble opinion is the next best thing to a compound telescope. I chose the “other” even though I had to wait nearly a week to get it.

It as worth the wait, just to see the moon in all its glory. To find Betelgeuse, the northern star, the rings around Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.

I still have the telescope but the lens has cracked so it is now longer useful. I keep it as a reminder of a distant dream, that maybe I will have time to make come true after all.

A Tree's tribulations

I have discovered that I am a tree. And not a very sturdy one at that.

Picture this:

Serene evening at home. Indiana had just had his bath and was running around while Pan was desperately trying to chase him down. Pan gives up. Pan is on his computer, Priness Z and Indiana B watching the Backyardigans (for the umpteenth time today) and me at my computer reading all the wonderful comments from my posts and thinking what I should do for a website.

Indiana comes over and gives my leg a hug then he reaches up for me as I feel the fountain of his youth trickling down my leg. Up I jump shouting "No, No." He starts spinning around and now we have a sprinkler. He is enjoying our discomfort so much that he is straining to keep it going.

I am tree and not a very sturdy one at that.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tribulation of the Firsts Kind

Blog Prompt: Here it is, the 1st of June already! So today's prompt is: Firsts. Yours or someone elses, big milestones or little experiences, interpret this one however you wish!

When I first read this, this morning, I was having a hard time trying to come up with one. There are so many. But shortly afterwards I got a first. I was flabbergasted and had to call my sister (who is an experienced blogger) to ask her what it meant.

I got tagged, for a meme no less. In the space of a couple of hours, I have learned exactly what that is and you can find the tag and my answers below. If I have tagged you in response, I hope you take it in the fun spirit in which it was sent.

Beyond that, there are a lot of firsts in my life, at least half of which are to depressing to address. But as far as fun firsts go, I would put at the top of the list, the first time I got to hold each of my kids; and the first time I realized the date of my divorce from hubby #1 would fall on Thanksgiving Day every 3 to 4 year. Now how is that for cool firsts?

Meme of 5 tribulations

Boy, you guys don't give the new kid on the block a break do you? :) So for Writersblock here are my answers:

5 things in my fridge:
Did I say beer?

5 items in my closet:
Pan's clothes
My clothes (hard to tell since most seem to end up in the living room)
Steamer trunk
I'm not telling

5 items in my purse:
NO checkbook
3 weeks of paychecks
Memory sticks

5 items in my car:
diaper bag
a computer desk (waiting to be transferred to my craft room for the last 3 years)
car seat

5 people to tag:
Harvey (because I want to see what he carries in his purse)
Loonyhiker (because she has the most outrageous and fun things to say)
Oddybobo (because I want to guilt her into drinks in Atlanta this weekend)
Sarahk (because she wants us all to know what she carries in her purse)
Sticks (because I can)

Hope I have lived up to all your expectations.

Clinical tribulations

When it comes to doctors I'm pretty easy-going. I figure they have put a lot of money and time in learning their trade. Same for nurses. I know there are bad ones, but on the whole most are very good at their jobs.

But that can't always be said about their receptionists. Yesterday I had to take Indiana B to an ear specialist. The appointment was actually set up by his regular pediatrician. I called the pediatrician’s office for better directions than my daughter left me with. They explained that the sign was hidden by trees, so gave me directions with visual aids as far as they could possibly do so.

I leave at 11 a.m. for a 12 noon appointment. Stop for gas (what, maybe 5 minutes), drive across the bridge and through the tourist trap town (another 25-30 minutes). I get to Airport Road and, trying to drive as slowly as possible, start looking for the office.

Finally I found an emergency care center. You do not want to go to the emergency care center in this town, no matter how sick you are. Apparently I went in the back entrance, but I walked through the entire center and saw No One.

Back out to the car to call the clinic.

ww: Hello. Thank you for calling WW, I’m Brandy. How can I help you?
me: I have an appointment at noon for my grandson. I am at the Emergency Care Center on Airport Road. Where are you located at?
Ww: We are located on Airport Road.
Me: Where at on Airport Road?
Ww: What is the patient’s name?
Me: Indiana B, but I just need directions.
Ww: Please hold.

Me fuming, not only am I not getting the directions, it is nearly 100 degrees out.

Ww: I’m sorry what doctor did you say you had an appointment with?
Me: I didn’t say, I don’t know. I just need directions.
Ww: I can’t seem to locate your appointment.
Me: We can work that out when we get there, please just tell me where you are located?
Ww: We’re on Airport Road.
Me: Yes, on Airport Road, I’m on Airport Road, I just need to know where on Airport Road from the Emergency Care Center.
Ww: Oh you have an appointment at noon. You have plenty of time to get here.
Me: Not if I can’t find it. All I need is directions to your clinic.
Ww: We are Airport Road.
Me: Brandy, I am on Airport Road, I am at the Emergency Care Center back door. How do I get to your clinic from there?
Ww: We are next door.

The woman should have been shot. But it doesn’t end there.

I get to the clinic and check in. I ask which list I need to sign and this receptionist (which I believe is not Brandy as it appears she just got there) points to a clipboard for pediatrics. I get ready to put down Indiana’s name and then she wants to know what doctor we are seeing.

Me: I don’t know. The appointment was scheduled through the BBWW.
Ww: Okay sign the list.

Again I start to put down Indiana’s name. And am stopped again.

Ww: I can’t find his appointment.
Me: Here is the card BBWW gave me.
Ww: Oh, that’s for Dr. G. You need to sign in down there (as she points clear across the room).

I sprint across the room to sign in. But the sign in sheet isn’t for Dr. G, but for Dr. C. I’m confused, but not going to argue the point now. Sprint back to the other end to see if she needs the insurance card. She shushs me, she might be on the phone, but I can't tell. So I decide to just take the kids in to the well kids wait room. And we wait…. And we wait…. And we wait. Finally at a quarter to 1 (it has now been nearly two hours since I left my house) this receptionist of no name waves me back to her desk when she catches my eye (she did not get up from her desk and come to me).

Me: Yes
Ww: Dr. G isn’t going to be back until 2 would you like to take the kids for lunch and come back then? Or I can reschedule
Me: (Thinking: Drive another ½ hour back; feed them lunch; drive another ½ back to the clinic and Indiana hasn’t had a nap yet). No, I would like to reschedule.
Ww: (pulling out appointment book.) When would you
Me: Actually I’m going to let my daughter reschedule. She can bring him in next time, because I’m not coming back.

By the time we got home Indiana was asleep and Princess ate 2 hot dogs because she was starving and I was looking for the liquor cabinet.