Friday, November 30, 2007

Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin

So I found the boxes yesterday that contained the items from our previous bathrooms. We had two bathrooms in the other house, a master, and the one the kids shared. Obviously, we kept toilet paper in both places, and I always tried to have a spare package or two in the garage. I don’t shop in bulk, technically, but toilet paper is one thing I do NOT like to discover I am out of, once it is too late, if you get my drift.

And do you know what I discovered in those boxes? Once I was finished emptying the contents of the boxes onto my bed? Sixty-eight rolls of toilet paper --- SIXTY-EIGHT!

What the crap was I thinking? (no pun intended) That Mr. Whipple was going on strike? That the entire free world would run out of toilet paper? That I might need to TP the houses of every single person in the state of Indiana??????

I can’t find my electric knife, the curtains for my kitchen, or Brayden’s right Sunday shoe. But by golly, we can wipe with confidence.

The only thing more shocking is remembering that the packers didn’t leave us one darn roll when they packed up.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

No DNA Test Necessary

Kellen: “Mom, can I move my bedroom downstairs?”

Kristie: “No, why would you want to do that? I thought you liked having an upstairs bedroom.”

Kellen: “Well, I thought having stairs in our house would be cool. But it’s not. It’s too much work. First you go upstairs and realize you left something downstairs. Then you go downstairs and realize you left something upstairs. It’s tiring -- my legs are tired!”

And there is the proof, if you ever doubted it, that the boy sprungeth forth from these loins.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Ahhhh, I have to admit, that g-mail or hot-mail or fan-mail or whatever-the-hell-mail servers you guys are talking about sounds like what I should have done. Too bad I wasn’t bright enough to do it BEFORE I lost all my e-mails. Unfortunately, “a day late and a dollar short” seems to be my middle name sometimes. (PS Did I mention that I just found out the reason my cell phone -- the cell phone I have had less than a year -- is on permanent roam and shoots everyone to immediate voice mail is because they don’t have Verizon within a hundred miles of here? So looks like a new cell phone is in my future, as well. Consequently, if anyone couldn’t reach me by e-mail the past two weeks, so then tried to call me and also got no response --- I promise I’m not avoiding you -- I’m just technologically jinxed. And I have a cell-phone sized paper weight I can give you in apology.) But thanks for the heads up --- I’ll certainly handle things more efficiently if we ever move again.

Which, by the way, TOTALLY isn’t happening. Because Blaine caught a stomach bug on Thanksgiving. Then caught a head cold two days later. Then pulled a muscle in his back yesterday morning trying to move a piece of furniture. Which means, in case you haven’t figured it out, that I am unpacking every single solitary box by myself. He is alternately laying on the sofa taking muscle relaxers for his back, shivering cold, covered in blankets, then sweating to death, then getting up to blow his nose, then running for the bathroom to be sick, then complaining after he runs that his back hurts worse. (Shhhhh, don’t tell him, but I’m such a control freak that I actually prefer to open all the boxes myself. However, I want *him* to think he owes me big-time for this, so let’s keep it our little secret, all right? Thanks.)

I did, however, want to share with you something that happened Monday morning that I found quite humorous.

Blaine and I walked the kids to school for their first day, then walked back home** by 8am. The moving van was waiting in front of our house when we returned, and the movers got started right away unloading our stuff.

About 8:30, my front doorbell rang. When I opened it, I saw a lady standing there with a plate of home-made banana nut bread and a card. I have to admit I was a little surprised. While neighborhood hospitality is certainly nice, I definitely didn’t expect someone to ring my bell the first hour we lived here.

I opened the door, and this is the conversation that ensued:

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Neighborhood Lady, with a very nice smile: “Good morning, this is for the people who live here” and she handed me the plate.

Me: “Oh, how nice! That’s so sweet of you!” {then I extended my hand to her} “I’m Kristie.”

And she said, “Hi, I’m Pam” and then sort of looked at me, waiting for something.

I stood there, wondering if I should invite her in, despite the fact none of our chairs or furniture or anything to sit on had been unloaded yet.

Then Neighborhood Lady paused, and turned back to look at the 18-wheeler unloading furniture and boxes in front of my house. Then she turned back to look at me.

Neighborhood Lady, obviously realizing something is not quite right here: “Oh ….. are you moving IN? I mean, have the Smiths (named changed to protect the previous owners) already moved out?”

Me, suddenly realizing that the banana nut bread wasn’t for me after all: “Um, yeah, they moved out on Saturday. But if this is for them, I can totally get it to them. It’s no problem.” And I self-consciously gestured to the plate, realizing I was holding a gift intended for someone else, that I had simply ASSUMED was for me. And I LOVE banana nut bread. Mentally, I had already poured myself a glass of milk and was preparing to feast.

I don’t know why *I* felt embarrassed, but I did. Like maybe she thought I was trying to bamboozle her out of a plate of home-made banana nut bread that was NOT meant for me.

But then she did pretty much the nicest thing she could have done, in my opinion. She just looked at me and said, “No, you keep it. Instead of a good-bye gift for them, now it’s a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift for you.”

So seriously, that was really kind, wasn’t it? Even if I did totally weasel myself some banana nut bread with a card that reads “Best of Luck! We’ll miss you!!”

Then, a few hours later, my best girlfriend from Junior High named Marla, the one I discovered boys with, and spent countless nights at her house sleeping over and scaring ourselves to death watching creepy movies like Halloween and The Brood (seriously -- have you ever seen The Brood?!?) and whose parents even took me on vacation to Missouri with them and didn’t get mad when I got carsick in their station wagon, stopped by on her lunch break to say hi and tell me she was bringing dinner over.

Then about an hour after that my best male friend (male, but not gay, but friends in a completely platonic way, which I feel obliged to mention every time I tell people one of my best friends is a guy and they look at me funny and then inevitably ask, “And Blaine is ok with that?” and I have to say, “Yes, as is his wife” like it’s such a bizarre thing for a man and a woman to be friends --- but I have digressed) Louis stopped by after that on *his* lunch break to say hi.

Then the wife of the elementary school principal came over to introduce herself and brought us a cake she had baked.

Small towns ROCK!

Now, I'm off to unpack a few decillion more boxes.***

**************

**We are so close to the school that when I stand on my front porch, I can hear the kids playing outside for recess. How cool is that?

***A decillion is a one with 33 zeros after it. I know this because it is the word Kellen will be portraying in Friday's Vocabulary Parade. Although what kind of costume we're supposed to put together, I have no earthly idea.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pass the Kerosene Lantern, Please

Yesterday, when the Cox guy came to set up my computer (can you hear the angels singing?) we discovered there was no phone jack in the office. I hate technology.

He said he could install one, but it would cost us an extra $55.00. I hate expensive technology.

Late last night after everyone else was in bed, I unpacked all the computer components and did my best to hook everything back up (bearing in mind I was NOT the person who unhooked the stuff in Georgia and had no idea which wires went to which thing.) I hate technological work.

Naturally, both the keyboard and the mouse did not work. I hate technology even more.

Then I realized the instruction manual to the computer was packed in a separate box, but good guess as to which one, piled up all the way to the ceiling ..... so I gave up and went to bed, having technological nightmares all night, with visions of ten days worth of unopened e-mail taunting me.

I got up this morning, and discovered both the keyboard and the mouse, which weren't working last night, and to which I had done NOTHING in between, were now working fine. Have I mentioned I hate technology?

Got ready to try and access my e-mail, only to lose power in the entire house. Called the electric company, who didn't technically confess they had turned power off instead of transferring the account, but I have my suspicions. They agreed to send someone out to turn it back on, and we commenced unpacking in the dark. At this point, I told Blaine life would be easier a hundred years ago, without all this electronic, high-powered, high-speed, high-voltage, breaker box stuff to worry about.

Thirty minutes later, with the temperature in the house falling rapidly, I confessed that I wouldn't like to live in the Dark Ages after all, and was very grateful when the electric guy showed up.

AT LONG LAST, computer was up, connected, working, and ready for me to change my e-mail server to the OKC Cox center from the Middle GA Cox Center.

This was the point where I discovered that despite what I was told in Georgia about having 30 days to keep my account and e-mail, despite the fact it is Cox Communications in both states, despite the fact we can PUT A MAN ON THE FUCKING MOON, that it is NOT POSSIBLE for them to transfer e-mail, or for me to receive any of the e-mails that have been sent to me the past ten days.

That in order to turn ON my Oklahoma e-mail account, they have to turn OFF the Georgia account, and when that happens, all e-mails on the server, approximately 1200 by my estimate, will be automatically deleted.

That was the point where my head spun around and monkeys flew out of my ass, because it was only 10 am and it was the second time TODAY that a customer service person had said to me, in so many words, "Too bad, so sad."

SO!

If you have e-mailed me in the past ten days, I did not, and will not, receive it. Please read the following instructions:

1. If you are a friend and e-mailed me personally, please send it again.
1 1/2. If you are a stranger and e-mailed me personally, please send it again.
2. If you are one of my online bills, I promise, the check is in the mail. Er, the internet.
3. If you are any of the occasional spam mail I get, which thankfully isn't too often, take a hike anyway.
4. If you are any of the online retailers who e-mail me, I'm hoping I've been deleted from your address book because you people reproduce like bacteria on wet bread.
5. Someone from my leukemia parents list, please bring me up to speed on how everyone is doing.
6. Someone from my surrogacy list, please bring me up to speed on how everyone is doing.
7. Someone from my scrapbooking list, please bring me up to speed on how everyone is doing.
8. Logan from the OKC Cox technical support team, thank you for explaining it to me and have a very nice day. You were efficient and helpful and kind, and I appreciate that you agreed with me that the entire situation blew.
9. Tanya from the Middle GA technical support team, you need a serious in-service on customer support. When I told you not to talk to me like I was stupid, I meant it. You almost ruined my morning with your snippy little attitude. You will get coal in your stocking.

I hate technology. But I liked Logan.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Money Pit

Since the movers aren't coming until tomorrow with our things, we had some time to kill today and decided to visit our rental property here. If you remember my blabbering last summer about the first house we bought, desperate to get in the school district, but then hated with the intensity of a thousand burning suns, you already know we decided to keep it as rental property after finding a much-better-for-us house to live in just a few blocks away.

We had "renters" in it {cough} my sister and her family {/end cough} for the past eight months or so while their new home was being built, and we knew it would need a little bit of work before we could advertise it for rent again. A little. A teeny tiny smidge of work.

So we went today and walked around, and poked and prodded, and basically, summarized the eensy beensy bit that needs to be done to the place:

*Carpets need to be ripped up in the living room, hall, and all three bedrooms.
*Hardwood floors underneath need to be sanded and re-finished.
*Or, we say the hell with it and go to Big Bob's Used Carpet Remnants.
*Bathroom floor needs to be replaced.
*New sink and cabinet in bathroom.
*Bathroom desperately needs additional lighting.
*Section of wall above shower is falling off.
*Kitchen needs new flooring.
*Kitchen cabinets need to be sanded and re-painted.
*Part of the ceiling near the hot water heater is falling down.
*Kitchen sink needs to be replaced.
*Trim throughout entire house needs to be repainted.
*Walls throughout entire house need to be repainted.
*Possible roof leaks in two of the bedrooms.
*Possible stagnant water under the house because dear God what is that smell?

Good Heavens, it's a miracle my sister didn't report me to the Slumlords Association of America.

So in a nutshell, does anyone have the phone number to "Flip this House"? Or "Extreme Rental Home Makeover"? Or "Heaven Help Us We Were Total Morons to Buy This Dump and We Know NOTHING About Home Repair and We Are So Screwed"???????

PS. Less than 24 hours until the Cox guy shows up to work his high-speed magic and I am connected to the internet from my home computer and once again I will have e-mail at last, e-mail at last, Praise God Almighty, e-mail at last!!!!!

PSS. Reminder to go to: Marey's site and order your cute-as-a-button Santa Plate before the holidays. I don't want to freak anyone out, but today is the 25th, people, exactly ONE MONTH before Christmas, and you NEED to have this plate in your possession by Christmas Eve. If you already have a plate, please consider making a donation, because the fundraiser truly is an admirable cause.

PPSS. Kim, I know! I can't get my *(*#&$(#&*$ cell phone to work here, what's up with that it's always worked before, and I'm roaming all the #)$&#)*(% time and it only rings once before booting everyone over to #(*&%$#(*&%$*(#& voicemail. I am SO SORRY!

PPPSS. E-mail --- 24 hours!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

These Boots

It snowed here last night. For about a minute and a half. My kids were hysterical joyful, and insisted on going out today to buy boots and gloves and hats for when we start walking to school on Monday. Only the fact that the snow melted as soon as it hit the ground kept me from having to buy sleds and toboggans as well, thank goodness.

So off we went to Wal-Mart this afternoon. (Only because it is closer to my mother's house than Target.) Where I discovered an entire aisle of cute and fashionable winter shoes. Well, as fashionable as you can be, buying footware just one aisle over from motor oil and dishtowels and hamster food. The kind of winter shoes they just don't need to sell in Georgia. So it was actually quite fun.

I also discovered that my 10-yr old daughter is now in a size 9 ladies shoe.

At first I was all, "What the hell? I JUST BOUGHT you new shoes two weeks ago and you were in an eight and a half ---- how are you ALREADY in NINE????!!"

Then I was all, "Oh, my poor precious baby is getting so big! How is it possible when only yesterday she was teething and I was rocking her in my rocking chair and she threw up all down the front of my shirt and now her giant Bigfoot feet are in a size 9 .... I just blinked, and my baby is grown .... how did this happen!?!?!" {weeping}

And then I was all, "Hot damn! She's in the same size as me now, so that means I can totally borrow those cute boots! Woo-hooooooo!"

And then we went and ate Chinese food, and then had ice cream.

Perhaps I should have purchased a 9 WIDE.

Friday, November 23, 2007

There's No Place Like Home (clicking heels together)

And at last, we have arrived.

Eighteen hours straight driving, 950 miles, one van, one truck, one boat, three kids, one dog, 2100 pounds of household belongings, and two adults who were divorce-court-grumpy by hour 17 ---- but we made it. Even better, we saw beautiful fall foliage in Alabama, discovered a Sonic with a playland (truly, heaven on earth if ever there was one) in Mississippi, and suffered no flat tires, very little rain, no carsickness (although the dog did pee in my van) and no speeding tickets. So not only did we make it, but I'd say the trip was a huge success.

Ironically, it doesn't feel like we are "home". It feels, instead, like every other vacation we have taken these past twenty years. Our house won't be available until Monday, so we are spending this week at my mom's house, living out of suitcases with no structure or schedule. No set bedtime, no vegetables, and I couldn't tell you the last time the kids had a bath, unless you count Kellen falling in the pond at his cousin's house yesterday.

The difference between this and every previous visit is that we are not crunched for time. Normally we have seven to ten days to see everyone, go everywhere, do everything we want to do. This time? No big rush. So we're laying around my mom's house, watching a lot of tv (she has TWO sets, so according to my kids, is RICH) and doing a lot of nothing. The kids are alternately relaxed, and bored. Monday, though, they start school, we get in our new house, and the movers arrive with our things from Georgia, so the pace will pick up once again.

In the meantime, I've eaten at almost every restaurant I had missed while I was away (no surprise that would be my first priority, is it?) and we've gotten the kids enrolled in their new school. Funny story there, for later. We've spent Thanksgiving with the cousins, braved the mall for more school shopping, and seen two movies. And sadly, no, I *don't* have a laptop, so "spent lots of time updating on the computer" is not on my list of accomplishments this week.

All told, a successful re-entry back to OK, although there have been a few things we completely didn't anticipate:

1) The wind, my gosh, the unbelievable wind. I had forgotten that it gusts and blows here almost non-stop. I am cold, and I foresee a drastic haircut in my future because this shit whipping me in the face every time I go outside is completely unacceptable.

2) Speaking of cold .... it is freaking cold here, compared to Georgia. Maybe not compared to Antarctica, but considering it was in the 70's when we left Georgia, this is cold. The high yesterday was 36, not counting the bazillion degree wind chill difference, and there is an 80 percent snow forecast for Sunday. Except for the one brief dusting we had in Georgia about four years ago, my kids have not seen snow since we lived in Ohio. Kellen is already hoping school will be cancelled Monday so he can spend the whole day sledding, and Kendrie informed Blaine yesterday that "it is too cold here, and we need to move back to Georgia NOW!"

3) That I would have to re-purchase, to the tune of $144.72, all the school supplies that I had JUST BOUGHT three months ago in Georgia. It might have looked cheap, but I should have asked for any scissors or pencils or rulers or folders BACK, is all I'm saying. Maybe crawled around under their desks their last day of school and picked up crayons, or something. And if my status as a germ-phobe was ever in question, you should have seen my look of horror when I realized NONE of my kids' teachers had Purrell on their supply list.

4) That when I turned in my computer modem and DVR to Cox in Georgia last Friday, and they assured me that I had 30 days before I would lose my e-mail account, that what they *actually meant* was that my e-mail address would be SAVED for thirty days, pending reinstatement at the new address. I did NOT anticipate that my account would be shut down in the meantime, and I would not be able to access my e-mail from the Cox home page like I always do on vacation. Are you hearing what I'm saying? NO E-MAIL, PEOPLE, I HAVE NO E-MAIL CAPABILITIES. No sending, no receiving. If you've e-mailed me this past week and it's bounced back, that's why. I'm trying really hard not to freak out about it, because it's just e-mail for goodness' sake, not an oxygen lifeline, but if you know me .............. well ............ I'm freaking out and you know it. I just need to keep taking deep breaths and reminding myself that as long as the movers AND the Cox guy show up like they're supposed to on Monday, life will resume as normal.

No e-mail {whimper}

Until then, I do have a fabulous referral for all of you. Please visit Marey's site and check out her fabulous Santa plate fundraiser. I'd love to show you our adorable plate that we purchased last year, but I HAVE NO COMPUTER OR COMPUTER GADGETS OF MY OWN UNTIL MONDAY AND CAN'T UPLOAD PHOTOS (beating a dead horse here, aren't I?) So just trust me that the plates are adorable, and the charity is admirable. If you already have a plate of your own, buy one as a gift, or just reach in your pocket and make a donation.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

TTFN

Pre-Travel-Almost-Calamity-#1: I've been sleeping with my cell phone for alarm clock purposes the past few nights, ever since the movers packed up my actual alarm clock. Yesterday, as they were coming to load the truck for the last day, I took the bedding off the bed, unknowingly wrapped the cell phone up in the bedspread, and put it all in a packing box. Considering that is our ONLY source of contact for the next two weeks, I'd say it's a good thing we realized it before they put that particular box on the truck.

Pre-Travel-Almost-Calamity-#2: Our dear friends and neighbors Susan and Ray (Nicholas' parents, and our future in-laws) graciously offered to keep Lager the Wonder Mutt at their house these last few nights while we are in a hotel here in town. This morning, the kids had a soccer game at 9am, with their end-of-season soccer banquets afterwards. Luckily, Susan had forgotten her camera and zipped home real quick in between. There, they discovered Lager had fallen into their koi pond in the backyard, and was unable to get himself out. Considering it was a brisk 30 degrees when the game started, and had only warmed up to about 50 by the time they found him, it should come as no big surprise we've renamed him "Popsicle Pup". No fear, however; he is now snoozing in their Florida room with the room heater going full blast and appears to have recovered fully.

Pre-Travel-Almost-Calamity-#3: I have recently discovered the Sonic onion ring. Not so much discovered, perhaps, as "become obsessed with". The calamity is not in the ring itself, but in the fact I've eaten them every day for the past week and can no longer fit into any of the clothes I held out in my suitcase. Hopefully the box containing my fat clothes will be the first thing I unpack in Oklahoma, or we might be in trouble.

We're off for now. Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Library Lady

I know I went on and on a few entries back about how much I love this town and how much I’m going to miss it. And I am … really, I am. Except maybe for one little thing.

As I’ve mentioned on this site before, I read a lot. And I read quickly. The speed of my reading ability is matched only by the speed with which my wallet snaps shut when I visit the local book store and see the prices on newly released hard-backs. I am a quick read, AND I’m cheap. Not a good combination.

To combat that, I go to the library, quite often.

Last time I was there I was browsing through the paperback section, in an “airport-fluff” sort of mood, when I heard a voice at my elbow ask me, “Do you like mysteries?”

And I turned to see a slightly older woman, short in stature, with a pleasant smile on her face. I was a little surprised, because while I’ve always found the library workers to be very helpful if needed, I’ve never had one essentially solicit me in the paperback aisle.

I smiled politely, thinking perhaps there was a newly released mystery she wanted to recommend, and said, “Actually, no, I don’t care for mysteries, thank you” and turned back to browse. She said, “You don’t like mysteries? Have you read any of {insert name of mystery author} books?” So I turned back to her and said, again, politely, “I’m sort of a wimp, and mystery books make it hard for me to sleep at night. Blood and violence and murder just isn’t my thing … but thank you for asking” in a voice that I *thought* made it clear I appreciated her concern, but didn’t need her help. Then she asked, “Well what about so-and-so?”, as if she didn’t hear me in the first place. I just sort of smiled and said, “No, really, I’m just looking for a little humor or fiction today, but thank you very much.”

Then she started mumbling to herself … “Hmmmm, you need mystery-light. Nothing too gory or creepy. Who would be good … oh! I know just who. Follow me!” she announced sprightly, and strode off. And I’m standing there, thinking, “Huh????” But because I didn’t want to seem rude, I followed her, right over to, yes, you guessed it, the mystery book aisles. Where she started pointing out all her favorite mystery authors, and telling me about each of the series, and giving me way too many details about the heroes and heroines and pulling books off the shelf and literally stacking them in my arms. And for a few brief seconds, I started looking around for the Candid Camera hidden camera, expecting Alan Funt to leap out from the periodicals, because what else could explain it?

But after a minute, I realized two things: this woman did not actually work at the library, and she thought she was being helpful. Luckily, I wasn’t in any big hurry, so I let her lead me around the mystery section for a few moments, took the books she recommended, and thanked her for her help. I then stood around in the aisle for another moment or two, peeking out of the corner of my eye, and once I saw that she had checked out and left the building, I put all the books back, then went back and got what I really wanted.

I was going to talk about it on this blog when it happened, but it seemed sort of mean-spirited to make fun of her. She really *was* just trying to help, albeit a little annoyingly. I think maybe she was lonely, and wanted to feel useful. But hey, I think her heart was in the right place. End of story.

Until today. When I went back to the library to check out one final book to hold me over while we’re in the hotel the end of this week. (Jan Karon fans, take heart -- I was finally able to get the first book in the Mitford series and I’m so excited to start it!) And as I was standing at the check out counter, library card in hand, I heard a voice behind me ----- “Do you like mysteries?”

Oh my gosh, on second thought, maybe it’s time we left Georgia, after all.

PS. Olivia, like the others have said, I’m glad you came back. I have no doubt that I drive people away from this site quite often with my boring, tedious, never-ending ramblings about absolutely nothing of importance. But I would feel genuinely bad if I drove someone off because something I wrote was careless or insensitive. LOTS of adjectives come to mind when I think of my own personality, but “purposefully hurtful” isn’t one of them.

PSS. Unfairness alert!! How about the fact they opened a brand spanking new, ginormous Kroger, complete with a Starbucks inside, just a few miles from my house, only two days before I move away? I don’t even LIKE coffee, and I feel sad about not getting to shop there, cafĂ© mocha latte in hand, from now on.

PPSS. Moron alert!! (that would be me) (And geeky-computer-whining alert, as well) A few months ago, when I discovered the beauty that is iTunes and filled up my hard-drive with all sorts of music --- then had to buy a bigger hard drive, I paid to have all my software, files, and folders transferred over. The cd burning software that I had, Easy CD Creater by Roxio, for some reason, wouldn't transfer, so the kind souls at the computer shop who did the transfer gave me a free copy of another program, called Nero Smart Start. Maybe this is a perfect example of you get what you pay for, but although it was free, I can't make the dang thing work. And although I've been using it for a few months, I didn't even realize it wasn't working until today, when Kellen's soccer coach called to tell me the cd of photos I burned for him was blank. Which means all the back-up CD's of personal photos that I've been burning are probably also blank. I wouldn't know for sure, because they are packed away in a box somewhere, most likely with Brayden's dying virtual pet.

So my question, for anyone out there who can help me, is twofold: 1) If you use Nero, can you tell me what the heck am I doing wrong? After the burn I get the "successful burn" message, but apparently the discs are blank. Although when I tried to burn it *again*, it told me "not enough room on the disc." So I think the pictures are actually there, but why can't I see them when I go into my cd drive? And 2) What other cd burning programs out there can you recommend? Because I see a trip to Circuit City in my future, is all I'm saying, if I can't get this thing figured out. Gosh, I love/hate technology.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Three Things

First, Brayden, traumatized last night when she realized the guys packed away her Tamigatchi (sp?) and it’s certainly going to die in its cardboard box before we get our household goods shipped to us in two weeks. Traumatized even worse this morning when she realized they packed away her half-eaten box of Lucky Charms and she had to eat left-over donuts for breakfast. Truly, her life is a disaster.

Second, several of you have asked why are we feeding our movers and packers? (Today’s lunch was much cheaper, as there were only three of them, thank you very much.) Um ….. I don’t know. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do?? At least, that’s what we’ve always been told, starting with the “How to be an Air Force Officer and an Officer’s Wife 101” seminar that Blaine and I were required to take before he was commissioned and graduated. I know all our military friends buy *their* movers breakfast and lunch, as well, so maybe it’s just a big ole’ conspiracy by the government??? At least I *think* they all pony up for lunch ---- military wives reading this, you buy your people lunch, right? And hey, if a hundred bucks in fast food expenses makes them indebted to us, and means they will be kinder and gentler with our household goods, then it’s money well spent as far as I’m concerned. Sort of like insurance. Insurance in a Sonic bag. (Seriously? You people don’t buy your packers and movers lunch??? I am SO not considering that for my next career move, then. Well, that and the fact it looks like hard work and I avoid hard work whenever possible.)

Thirdly, to Olivia, I think you missed my point. Or I think maybe I didn’t state myself clearly. I was a WEENIE when we moved the first time. Small-town, small-mind, completely intimidated by anything that was different or out of “my” ordinary. It’s not something I’m proud of, and thank goodness through twenty years of moving around, my horizons have been broadened, but I can at least laugh about it now. Sorry you didn’t see the humor in it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Didn’t Mind …. Really

I didn’t mind when the packers didn’t show up this morning until almost 10:30 am.

I didn’t mind spending $11.50 on two dozen donuts for them for breakfast.

I didn’t mind when they’d only been here an hour and then all five of them took a smoke break at the same time.

I didn’t mind that an hour later, they took a lunch break.

I didn’t mind spending $58.72 buying sub sandwiches and chips for all of them for lunch.

I didn’t mind that they packed all our dirty clothes in boxes, never mind that I specifically asked them NOT to unhook the washer and dryer just yet, and what exactly did they think I was going to use them *for*???? But I didn’t mind, truly.

I didn’t even mind when they quit working for the day at 3pm. After all, they’ve been allotted three days to pack, and the movers aren’t coming until Friday, so it’s not like we’re in a big hurry. Honestly, I didn’t mind.

But when they packed up every roll of toilet paper in the house and taped them all shut in boxes? Knowing we were staying here until Friday????

THAT -- I minded.

I am a Disgrace to Military Wives Everywhere

When Blaine and I got married twenty years ago, and I started preparing for our first move eight months after the wedding, I was a little freaked. Actually, I wasn’t so much freaked, as I was boggled by the concept of moving. I grew up in the same house my entire life … which was less than two miles from my grandparent’s house, where my mom lived her entire life … which was only two blocks from my great-grandparent’s house --- you get the picture. The furthest I had ever gone away was my freshman year of college, when I lived in the dorms of the college that was about fifteen miles from my parent’s house. And I came home every weekend so I could drink with my friends spend time with the family I missed so very much. Growing up, I had never even moved from one house to another, let alone moved clear across the country, to a strange city, where I knew no-one, nor where anything was. Obviously, “adventure” was not in my bloodstream.

Back then, I remember talking to a girl I worked with who was a few years older than me. She had been a military brat growing up, but was now settled in one place, married, with kids of her own. She told me how much she missed moving around, and that after a few years in one place she started getting antsy to try someplace new. I remember thinking that was the most bizarre thing I’d ever heard ---- who in their right mind would WANT to move all the time?

Then, the day came for us to go, and although I wasn’t technically kicking and screaming when I left that final morning in OKC, I was certainly a reluctant participant as we drove out of the Denny’s parking lot and left my family, waving behind us. I can’t remember exactly, but I think there might have been a discreet dabbing of tears. And an even more discreet mumbling under my breath of “This better be worth it, you military bastard, or I will be on the first plane home before you can blink” shot in Blaine’s direction. Just maybe.

It took us three days to drive to California, partly because we didn’t want to kill ourselves trying to get there in two, so we stopped early every night and had a nice dinner, and partly because I made Blaine wait on me every morning so I could shower, fix my hair, and put on a full face of make-up which just makes me laugh because hello? We were driving half-way cross-country and saw no-one but gas station attendants and hotel clerks who I’m pretty sure didn’t give two hoots if I had on mascara or not.

But at last we arrived in California and yep, it was a bit of culture shock for this born-and-raised-in-one-place gal.

That assignment was for training for Blaine, at Vandenberg AFB, and was only four months long. So we knew we would need to rent a furnished apartment, and that I would be spending most of my time there alone while Blaine was off doing whatever it is they do to prepare young men and women to be nuclear missile launch officers. Personally, I didn’t see why it would take four months ----- push a button and end the world, or don’t push the button. See? How hard could it be? (Ha! That shows just how stupid I really was because did you know? They don't even HAVE big red buttons down in those missile silos. Did you know that? It's all done with a KEY, not a button. A KEY that Blaine actually got to turn one time. But that's a story for another day. For now, I'm still babbling about what a baby I was the first time we moved. Read on.)

But nonetheless, we went looking for furnished apartments with the list of available and Air Force-approved places the base housing office gave us. Naturally, we started at the cheap end of the list because we only had “x” amount of money to spend each month on housing and hey, it’s just four months, how bad could it be?

Wow, pretty bad, actually.

Most of the apartment complexes were run down, shabby, and not too inviting. I’m not a snob, by any means, but when we came to one that had several big, fat, Mexican women, sitting in the doorsteps, smoking cigars and giving us the hairy eyeball (no offense to any large, cigar-smoking Mexican women who might be reading this blog) I turned to Blaine and said, “You are planning to leave me alone here every day for four months in this apartment, and if you think I’m staying **here** by myself, you are on crack …… let’s just jump to the other end of the spectrum right now” and I demanded we wound up selecting THE most expensive apartment complex on the list. Which again, now I’m laughing, because at the time it was $550 a month, for a one-bedroom, one bath, furnished apartment, and it didn’t even have a television. Back then, twenty years ago, to us especially, that was an astronomical price, and I remember thinking I would NEVER in my life spend so much money to live anyplace again. Yes, we started with no TV, back in the day before home computers and the Internet. I was bored out of my mind. We wound up buying a 13 inch tv to put in the living room, and I learned to crochet. I had no friends, no cable, and made about 170 blankets while we lived there.

Anyway, I’ve gotten way off on a tangent here. The point was that I wasn’t crazy about the idea of moving in the first place, but after four months there, I was ready to move again. Temporary assignments have always been a little harder for me, because you’re not really there long enough to make friends or get comfortable. Just about the time you learn your way around, and find a new dentist, and a hairdresser you actually trust, it’s time to move again. I was eager to get to our next assignment, where we would be for four years, so we could settle in and make more of a home for ourselves.

And so we moved to Minot, North Dakota, the assignment where anyone who has never been there looks at you with a slightly horrified, slightly nauseous look on their face when you tell them you lived four years (and hence through four WINTERS) in Minot, North Dakota ….. but where the vast majority of people who have actually LIVED there, us included, will tell you in reality, it’s a really nice place. Sure, a little brisk in the winter, but a great place to live, especially if you’re like Blaine and like to hunt and fish --- or, as Blaine put it, North Dakota is GOD’S COUNTRY.

We made great friends; thanks to a departing squadron of fighter pilots we secured wonderful base housing above our rank; I worked for a year, then I went back to college; Blaine loved his job, and finished his masters degree --- all in all, a fantastic four years for us. (Well, except for those last few months when we had started trying to have a baby and we were all “WTH? We’ve been trying for three months now and I’m not pregnant, what is up with that????” Little did we know what lay ahead ….)

But I had to admit, after the four years there, I felt ready to move on. I felt a little “been there, done that, time to try something new” and that was the first time I felt like an authentic military wife. One who actually gets excited to move, and try new places and see new things.

We moved to Kansas for ten months (more training).

We moved back to OKC for three years, which was great for us because our family was right there. And leaving the second time was no-where near as hard because we had done it once and I knew I would survive the separation.

Then we went back to California for two years, a little more south than the first time, and I was WAY more than ready to move at the end because my GOSH, I am the only person on earth who didn’t like living in sunny Los Angeles, but ugh how I hated that place.

Then Ohio for three years, where we made some of the dearest friends we’d ever made. By now, we were in a completely different place as far as our lifestyle went. We had three kids, and loved what Ohio had to offer families. Leaving there after three years was the hardest move we had done, from an emotional standpoint. But we did it, because that’s what military families DO, and of course we survived it.

Then Alabama for ten months, which again, was a temporary assignment, and not long enough to enjoy what Alabama had to offer.

And then, Georgia, and now, preparing to move back to Oklahoma. So that’s nine moves in nineteen years, not counting the two additional moves we did (once in LA, once in Ohio) when we qualified for bigger base housing due to another baby each time.

And I can say, proudly, that I got the hang of this moving gig and actually started to enjoy it. Exploring new towns, making new friends, broadening my horizons --- all that crap. I liked it. And although I NEVER thought the words would come out of my mouth, I even started to feel antsy when we were in one place for very long.

But as you know, we got stuck here in Georgia for a long time --- five and a half years, the longest assignment we’ve ever had anyplace. I shouldn’t stay “stuck”, really, because that implies we haven’t liked it here, when just the opposite is true. We’ve liked Georgia very much --- we like our house, we like our neighborhood, we love our kids’ school. It’s a safe community, and my kids are active in local sports. It’s a nice town, with enough shopping and restaurants that it doesn’t feel “small town” but not too big, either. We’ve made lots of friends, although many of them have been military and have moved on, but local friends, too. And the state as a whole has lots to offer, which we’ve been lucky enough to see and do.

We *requested* to stay here, so Kendrie and Blaine could both finish their cancer treatments at their respective clinics, and the Air Force honored that request. Blaine had orders overseas that he turned down at the time of Kendrie’s diagnosis, and without our request to stay put, we’d probably have moved at least twice by now.

But we stayed here, by choice, and it was the absolute, best, without a doubt, smartest move for our family. And we like it here (have I mentioned we like it here?) so we didn’t mind.

And now here we are, poised after five and a half years to finally GO HOME, which has been our goal since Day One --- finish out Blaine’s military career with a final assignment back home, and then retire. Full circle, if you will. We’ve planned it, we’ve dreamed it, we’ve worked for it, we got lucky (sometimes luck has a large part to play in all this) and it’s happening.

So why then, after dreaming all these years that this would happen for us, after not only getting the hang of moving so often, but starting to truly enjoy these moves, and after being in one place for so long, and with our home town just sitting there, waiting for our arrival --- WHY do I feel such angst about leaving??? This is where the disgrace part comes in … what kind of military wife am I?

I can’t wait to go home -- I don’t want to leave.

I can’t wait for my kids to go to my old school -- I don’t want to take them away from the school they love here.

They will be with their cousins and will make new friends -- I feel guilty because they will miss their friends here.

Everything, EVERYTHING fell into place for our move. We found a house we love, in the school district we wanted (no small feat, which you already know if you were reading my blog last summer.) And after being told that there were no jobs available at Tinker, one literally falls in Blaine’s lap. In his career field. That he’s excited about. Not only does the job fall in his lap, but they want him to report six months earlier than we planned, which means our family doesn’t have to be apart during that time. Call it what you will; fate, destiny, providence -- God’s hand was all over this.

But I can’t help feeling this sadness about leaving Georgia. Sadness and worry and anxiety about a move that SHOULD be old hat by now. The kids will be fine -- they are smart and funny and genuinely nice kids and THEY WILL MAKE NEW FRIENDS. Every military kid on the planet faces this at some point in time, many of them face this numerous times. For us, though, this is our FIRST time for them to move after starting school and I feel such guilt about taking them from the place they are comfortable and happy and secure. Also, the security of knowing one of the best children’s cancer clinics in the country is only two hours away; I pray every night we never need it again, but I can’t believe its right here and we’re LEAVING it.

And then I’m all, “Oh, suck it up you moron, the kids will be fine and you’re certainly not the first or only person to do this and why are you having such a hard time with it???” and then I’m all, “Oh, my precious babies, I just want them to be happy and safe” and then I’m all, “Well, it’s reasonable to feel conflicted about leaving when you’ve been somewhere for over five years, cut yourself some slack. You’ve put down roots as a family, but you’ll do fine and put down new roots, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps for now“ and then I’m all, “But what if my kids hate it and wind up needing years of therapy because we’re ripping them from the bosom of security they’ve had for so long” and then I’m all, “OMG, woman, You are making me sick with your whining about this, would you just shut up about it already.”

See what I mean?

I am a DISGRACE.

I am a military wife. I’m supposed to be confident and capable and self-assured, poised to move my family into the future that is best for them, and to do so with proficiency and competence and mad-skills moving talents. I am NOT supposed to be a dithering nitwit who talks to herself and stress-eats chocolate by the boatload.

So don’t be surprised, when the packers show up in a few hours (I *think* we are ready … we’ll see how this goes) if there’s a bit of melancholy in the air. Also don’t be surprised if after discreetly dabbing a tear or two twenty years ago when I left my family for the first time, if I don’t discreetly dab a few more when we finally head back home on Sunday.

Because I am a disgrace.

And maybe a little bit insane.

PS. We are keeping the computer and taking that ourselves, because I told Blaine I couldn't bear to be offline more than a few days. And at that, I'll still probably try to squeeze in a trip to the local library to check my e-mail one last time after we pack up. And then curse the fact we are too cheap to buy a laptop. And the packers are not allowed to unplug the TV today because I need to see who gets voted off DWTS tonight. And they're not allowed to unhook the washer and dryer because I want to pack as many clean clothes as possible, right up until the last second. Obviously, my movers will think I'm insane as well.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Breaking My Heart

There reaches a time in every parent’s life when you realize your children have outgrown some of the traditions and beliefs of their youth. The Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa --- they all bite the dust at some point.

Somehow, some way, my kids still believe. I didn’t *think* they did, because their oldest OKC cousin was quick to blab the truth to them a few years back. Perhaps they were still young enough at the time that they chose to believe us over him …. perhaps my kids are just extremely gullible, who knows? But every year since I hold my breath, thinking THIS will be the year they ask the hard questions and discover the truth.

Tonight, almost in passing, Kellen said to me: “Mom, Alexander says there’s no Santa Claus.”

Stalling for time, I couldn’t think of what to say. I mean, he’s NINE, for goodness sake, how much longer do I think I can pull the wool over his eyes? By the same token, I wasn’t about to blurt out the truth if there was any way I could salvage this. So I stalled with, “Um, Alexander who?”

Kellen: “The Alexander in my class”

Kristie: “Oh, um. That’s too bad that he doesn’t believe. {awkward pause} Sooooo, who does he say brings the presents on Christmas morning?”

Kellen: “The parents.”

Kristie: “Wow, that’s so not good. You know the rule, you don’t get presents if you don’t believe, so Alexander must not get much.”

{Stalling again ……. Shit, what do I say now????}

Kristie: “So, Kellen, what do you think about that? About what Alexander said?”

Kellen, “I think he’s got it all wrong. I mean, parents aren’t magical enough to make it to ALL the houses around the world in one night, even if they had their own jet. Only Santa can do that.”

And I just smiled inside and said, “Yep, you’re right. Too bad he doesn’t get it.”

And while part of me was thrilled to know he hadn’t talked himself out of believing, another part of my heart just broke for the innocence he’s destined to lose someday.

(weep)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Po-Go Maniacs

Yes, the "Po-Go Maniacs". When told they had to come up with a name for their act at the Talent Show, this is what Kellen and Kendrie selected. Considering how they behave most days, I think "maniac" might have hit the nail right on the head.

It was truly a dazzling display of balance and skill and .... and .... um, jumping. The highlight of their performance was most certainly when Kellen very carefully laid his pogo stick down at the end, powerfully strode to the end of the stage, and took the biggest, cheesiest, one-arm-extended-and-one-arm-bent-across-his-waist bow you ever saw. Not sure if the audience was clapping louder for their talent, or for his cheek.

It was an enjoyable night. We had a gymnast, a juggler, lots of singers and dancers, and one poor kindergarten girl doing a jump-rope routine who popped herself right in the eye with the rope and ran off the stage crying. To her credit, she got back out there a few minutes later and tried it again, with much better results. Personally, I was impressed. I know adults (oh, hello, ME!) who wouldn't have gotten out there in the first place, and that five-year old had guts to do it not once, but twice.











I know I promised you guys I would branch into some new technology and figure out how that YouTube get up works and share the video ..... and my heart was in the right place ..... but MOVERS! COMING! IN! 72! HOURS! NOT! READY!

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Family That Chats Together ….

Another PS. I think I mis-led a few of you into thinking I had gotten a complaint from Cheryl or Jenny, when that is the farthest thing from the truth. They are both wonderful people (with great senses of humor) and my only wish is that I lived closer to either of them so we could visit more often. The complaints have been from people who feel the need to tell me there are moms on this earth who have lost their children (Like I don’t know? Like I haven’t attended the funerals myself?) who would give anything for what I have and that I should quit complaining about my own kids so much. I just wanted to clear that up, in case anyone misunderstood what I meant. But you're right. Pooey on those people anyway.

********************************

Sitting around the table this morning, I’m not even sure how, but the subject of girls’ bathrooms vs. boys’ bathrooms came up, and Kellen mentioned that at Kendrie’s new school, it will probably confuse everyone when she goes in the girls’ bathroom since she is such a tomboy.

Then he commented, “If you went in the boy’s bathroom, people would think you’re pooping all the time because you’d go in the stall every time.”

I replied with: “Do you have stalls only at your school, or do you use a urinal?”

Kellen: “A what???”

Kristie: “A urinal. You know, one of those white things on the wall that you pee into.”

Kellen (pause): “Oh, I get it! A urinal! Because it’s got URINE, ALL over it!”

At which point Blaine cracked up laughing, and I realized two things simultaneously:

1. We have very inappropriate breakfast conversations, and

2. They do not pay the custodians at my kids’ school NEAR enough money.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Almost as Much Fun as Being Boiled Alive

Our oldest daughter Brayden has gone through some sort of growth spurt recently. Actually, she’s been going through one for the past year and a half, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I had to buy her all new jeans last winter, and all new shorts this summer, and wouldn’t you know, not one single pair of jeans in her closet fit her now. I wouldn’t mind buying so many pairs if there was a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing them down to Kendrie, but no way **that’s** ever happening, seeing as how Brayden wants her jeans embellished with pink stitching and butterflies and sequins and feathers, for God’s sake, and Kendrie will ONLY wear jeans purchased in the boy’s department. (sigh)

But facing the fact that fall has finally arrived here in Georgia, and it was only 54 degrees when I took the kids to school this morning, and especially as it is certain to be cooler than that when we get to OK in ten days (OMG TEN DAYS I’M SO NOT READY WHY AM I SITTING HERE ON THE COMPUTER I SHOULD BE PACKING I TELL YOU PACKING!) I figured it was time to replenish her winter wardrobe. Not only are her jeans too small, but she’s outgrown all her long sleeve tops as well. And shoes. Oh, geez, don’t even get me started on the shoes.

And thus began the shopping spree otherwise known as “Who Invented This Fresh Hell?!”

We started with jeans, since that seemed to be the most desperate need. Brayden is average sized -- not heavy, not skinny. Just starting to get a little bit of a girlish figure, which she despises because “it makes me look fat!” -- but the biggest problem is she has short legs. The past year or so she’s probably put on ten pounds, but not necessarily grown much taller. So, 12’s are too small in the butt and thighs, 14”s are too long and too big in the waist, 12 plusses were the right length, but so big we could have hidden another kid in there with her. She wants LOW rise, but then complains when she sits on the floor (as she insists on testing in every fitting room) and the back rides so low her crack shows. She wants the big flare leg that is so popular, but because her legs are short, it’s like a stinking wedding train dragging behind her. I estimate she tried on 4,823 pairs of jeans. And every pair had a belt she had to fasten and unfasten. Not one pair fit.

I was exhausted, and we hadn’t even started on the shirts yet.

I love Brayden dearly, but I’ll be the first to tell you she has crap taste in clothes. I could take her to the nicest, most upscale department store in the state, and she will instantly gravitate to the clearance rack with the cheapest, tackiest, most poorly made clothes in the whole store. The shiny-er, and sparkly-er, and shimmery-er, the better. Sequins a plus -- GLITTER a double plus.

Then, because she’s just starting to develop a chest (won’t she be glad I shared *that* with you in years to come?) and she can’t stand her shirts to be skin tight (Thank you, God, at least we did one thing right) she’s topping out the girl sizes … girl plus sizes hang on her like gunny sacks … and junior sizes are flat-out too big. Plus, a lot of the Junior stuff seems to be even tackier and sequiny-er than the smaller sizes. I’m working very hard NOT to raise a Britney Spears Jr. but those clothes designers sure aren’t helping.

Anyway. The really depressing moment of the evening was when we discovered she has officially outgrown the biggest size in Children’s Place, one of my all-time favorite stores. After that disappointment, I caved and let her buy a piece-o-crap High School Musical long sleeve T from JC Penneys that will no doubt fall apart and shrink to doll size the first time we wash it. But at least we didn’t come home empty handed.

Then, the shoes --- my God, the drama of the shoes. I would swear, based on her behavior whilst trying on shoes, that she has some sort of sensory processing disorder. That, or she’s a spoiled rotten brat. One of the two, anyway.

First we disagreed over the general GOAL and PURPOSE of the shoes. I was looking for casual shoes she could wear with blue jeans; something besides tennis shoes. SHE was looking for something that would have been more appropriate for a Kid Rock video. And the problem is, we discovered tonight that she currently wears a size 8, which means not only are we forced to shop for Junior shoes, which we also discovered tonight means slim to none pickings, or we were in the ladies department where everything is too dressy. Plus, if her feet are already that big, she’s probably going to be twenty-seven feet tall, hence the too-long blue jean problem will soon disappear to be replaced with a permanent high-water situation.

We tried on shoes in eight, count ‘em, EIGHT stores tonight. Personally, I prefer the stores that have all their stock right out on the floor, so she and I can help ourselves to the various sizes, considering this is how most of our conversations went:

Kristie: "What do you think of these?" {indicating a black ankle boot with a modest heel}

Brayden: "I don’t like ankle boots. Can I get knee-high boots? Ooh, look! Those have fringe!"

Kristie (snort!): "No, I’m not buying you knee high boots .. these are to wear with blue jeans. What do you think you are, a go-go dancer?"

Brayden: "Well if I can’t have knee highs then I want low ones."

Kristie: "Here, here, try these."

Brayden: "That buckle is ugly."

Kristie: "Oh, for Pete’s sake!"

Brayden (sulking): "Fine, I’ll try them on."

Kristie: "Here’s a 7."

Brayden: (cue whining voice): "They’re too tight! I can’t even fit my foot in them! Ow! Ow!"

Kristie: "Calm down …. Here’s a 7 1/2."

Brayden: (cue dramatic voice) "They’re still too tight …. I don’t like them! They’re hurting my toes!!! Why can’t I try those?" {Indicating some bizarre pair of freaky crocheted pumps with a six inch heel. Or something, I wasn’t even sure.} "You never let me have anything I want, and those won’t hurt my feet!"

This is the point where I got annoyed, made a comment about ungrateful children, then made another comment about trying on boots with thick sports socks, and then snatched a pair of trouser socks off the rack, ripped open the package, and thrust them at Brayden.

Kristie: "Here, your socks are why the shoes are too tight, put this on. OK, is that better? Now … try the 8."

Brayden: "They’re too tight across the toes, but too big around my ankle."

And she proceeds to walk across the shoe department and yes, the shoe comes right off the back of her foot, at which point she makes a big display of almost falling down because of “these stupid shoes! Ugh! They’re all wrong!!!”

I glance at the helper-girl, only to discover she is psychic and can read my mind, as she says aloud, “Nope, no extra wides in that style.”

Damn.

Brayden: "Should I try the 9?"

Kristie: "Why would you try the 9? The 8’s are falling off your feet!"

Brayden: "They’re still too tight on the toes and I don’t even like these. Why can’t I have this pair of brown plaid lace-up Sketchers with the wedge heel? Or these hot pink party sandals? Or look, here’s another pair of knee-high boots!"

Kristie: "Because none of those match ANYHING in your closet!!! And for the last time, no knee-high-boots!"

This was about when I looked at the cashier and asked her to please kill me now. Or wait, let me pay for the trouser socks I opened, and THEN kill me now. The heck with this mother-daughter bonding crap.

My child will be the naked, barefoot one at school. Because I just don’t have the stamina to try again.

********************************************************

PS. I do feel compelled to mention, so that people will know (mainly the one or two people who have the need to e-mail me on a regular basis and let me know what a fucking whining complainer I am) that I *AM* kidding. The above journal entry is a JOKE. I mean, it all happened, exactly like I said, right down to the drama in the fitting room with the whole butt-crack thing, but the “kill me now” and “I’d rather be boiled alive” is clearly an exaggeration. Well, maybe not CLEARLY, if you’re not familiar with my sense of humor. But it’s supposed to be funny. I have no misconceptions that there are other moms out there who would give anything for a shopping date with their daughters. Even if their daughters are hard to please and impossible to find clothes for and the simple sight of a shoe store gives the moms hives. I KNOW that I’m lucky.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Favorites

Blaine: So what part about moving home are you looking forward to? What excites you the most?

Kristie: Ooooh, that’s a tough one. There’s so many. Oh! I know! The sub sandwiches from City Bites. Man, I love those. I’m going to eat there for dinner every single night the first week we are home.

Blaine: Yep, they do have some good sandwiches there.

Kristie: Oh, and Braums, too! Every night after the subs we are going to go there so I can get *real* ice cream; two scoops of chocolate almond on a cake cone -- my favorite! I miss Braums soooo much!

Blaine: Anything else?

Kristie: Oooh, yeah. The cinnamon rolls from Grandy’s. I’m going to buy a dozen the first day back so we can have them for breakfast every morning.

Blaine: I can’t help but notice everything you brought up is food related. You didn’t mention your mom, sister, or nephews on your “favorites” list.

Kristie: Well, a girl’s gotta have her priorities.

Pause.

Blaine: And how is it you’re always surprised when you look in the mirror and see the size of your ass?

Kristie: Zip it, skippy.

OK, so that last part didn’t take place OUT LOUD. But I know he had to be thinking it in his head!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Feel So Betrayed

Anyone familiar with this site knows of my deep and abiding love for the Sonic beverage. For the Styrofoam cups that don’t sweat, for the rabbit pellet ice, for the fact they serve God’s chosen drink … Diet Dr. Pepper … on tap. I have made no attempt to hide my obsession and in fact, have trumpeted the glory that is the Sonic beverage all too often in this journal.

Too often, would you say?

So often that they got cocky? Over-confident? Too sure of my love?

What else could explain the travesty, the outrage, the grave state of affairs that has just unfolded at my local Sonic? {cue scary tympani drum music}

Why else would they raise the price of their large drinks --- not by ten, not by twenty, but by THIRTY cents this week? $1.59, the old price, plus tax is $1.70. I could hand the car hop two dollars and feel generous when I said, “keep the change.” Now, the price of a large beverage has been raised to $1.89. Math isn’t my strong suite, but if I did the sums correctly, once they add tax the total cost just went up to $2.02.

It’s the two pennies. Those two pennies are testing my limits, pushing my boundaries, taunting me to see if it’s still worth it.

Oh, Sonic, what did I ever do but love you, and nuzzle you, and hold you close while I whispered sweet nothings in your straw? And this is how you repay me?

Is my love for the Sonic beverage strong enough to withstand the economics of the penny?

Only time will tell.

I might be forced to drive to the Chick-Fil-A across town, where I can purchase a same size Diet Dr. Pepper, also on tap, also in a Styrofoam cup, also with rabbit pellet ice, for only $1.49 (with tax). Sure, I’ll spend more than the difference in gas, getting to and from. But sweet, sweet vindication could be mine, as I thumb my nose at the corporate greed that has overtaken the Sonic people.

Or maybe I should find something more worthwhile to do than dwell on stupid shit like this. Like the fact my movers will be here in seven days and me ??? Still not ready!

Monday, November 05, 2007

If At All Possible

If at all possible, you should really try to avoid getting radiation to the side of your head, including your mouth. Otherwise, the following scenario could possibly, maybe, perhaps, conceivably, arguably, actually occur:

You could go to the dentist for a cleaning.

At which point they discover you have a cavity.

At which point you make an appointment to return the following day to have the cavity filled.

At which point they discover you actually have FOUR cavities.

At which point, they discover one of the cavities is so bad you need a root canal.

At which point, they refer you to a civilian dentist for a root canal the next day.

At which point, the civilian dentist realizes that the tooth cannot be accessed like normal for a root canal, due to the abutment you still have screwed in your mouth from your previous surgery.

At which point, they will decide the abutment must be taken out temporarily in order to do the root canal.

At which point, they will try to call your oral surgeon in Augusta to ask what kind of special screw is needed to remove and replace the abutment.

At which point, you will find out your oral surgeon is on leave.

At which point, your root-canal-dentist-guy will confer with your oral surgeon’s superior officer, and make the pronouncement that the cavity is way, way, way, way, way, and I mean in a BIG way, way below the gum line.

At which point these two gentlemen will decide, given your history, that it is best if the tooth, and the tooth next to it, also sporting a monster cavity, are pulled, rather than repaired.

At which point they will remember that you have had radiation to the bones on that side of your mouth. {Radiation which is pretty much the catalyst for these problems since they told you it would weaken your teeth, hence all the cavities in a person who prior to the radiation had only had four cavities his entire life, and in the year and a half SINCE the radiation, has had TWELVE. Radiation will also destroy your salivary capacity, which although none of us like drooling on our pillow while we sleep, did you know spit is actually very healthy for your mouth, and keeps your teeth in good shape, and enables you to actually chew stuff and swallow it …. Important stuff, like food that is not bananas or yogurt or oatmeal, and without it, without SPIT, you’re in a world of hurt. Although at least the bright side is you no longer accidentally gleek people.}

At which point someone will remember that oxygen therapy is needed when pulling teeth out of an irradiated head.

So see?

If at all possible, avoid radiation. Otherwise, you could go to the dentist for a cleaning, and wind up in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

But hey, remember that one time you went to the dentist for a cleaning and they found cancer?

Yeah, this is still way better.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

T Minus -- heck, I’ve lost track

We had our Pre-Move Inspection on Friday. This is when the moving company sends a representative to go through your house and take a look at what you will be moving, so they can guesstimate the weight of your belongings, how much time it will take them to pack up your stuff, how big a truck they might need, how many packers, how many movers, gives them a chance to rummage through your underwear drawer and make fun of your granny panties, and see if you have any unusual or special items they need to worry about. A hot tub, baby grand piano, or stuffed polar bear, that sort of thing.

We? Have nothing. The Pre-Move Inspection Person has always shown up to our house and laughed in our faces, because they usually allot three days to pack up our house, and it never takes more than one. I realize Blaine and I aren’t pack-rats, but geez, are we that pathetic that we own so little?

When Blaine called to tell me the Mover Guy was coming, my mind went to a stereo-typical blue-collar worker, wearing jeans, a chambray shirt, and work boots. Perhaps even a cigarette behind his ear, and a cheerful face with wrinkles by his eyes from smiling in the sun. Sort of like a construction worker, only without the hard hat. Until you get into Brayden’s room, at which point hard hat is optional. Perhaps even recommended.

So imagine my surprise when Blaine walked in the door yesterday morning, followed by a gentleman that can only be described as David Niven, on a sophisticated day. Much older than I expected, wearing white shoes, white slacks, a light colored sports shirt, and a blazer, which for goodness sake had a silk hanky in the pocket. Gray hair, and a debonair little gray mustache which was clipped neatly so as not to extend past his lip. I swear the only thing missing was the British accent and an ascot around his neck. The guy looked as though he should be teaching a wine tasting class on a Seniors cruise, or lecturing on hot house orchids at the local garden Expo, not walking through my house with a clipboard, wondering what kind of slobs we are that we don’t even own a dining room table (sold in the garage sale, along with the hutch, sofa, and glider … no WONDER they can always pack us in one day!)

Normally when the movers come to pack up our house, I have donuts and juice waiting in the morning, and we buy sub sandwiches or burgers for them at lunch. If *this* guy shows back up to do any actual packing, I’ll need to offer tea and scones, or whatever it is elegant people eat for breakfast, and for lunch, watercress sandwiches on my best china, which will most likely be already packed by noon. I have never felt like such a big fat slob, next to a gentleman so refined and classy.

But the best news of all is that thanks to (due to?) the Thanksgiving holiday happening right in the middle of our move, that will delay the moving truck enough that we can plan on a house-to-house move, which all military people know is a fabulous plus. Because when you have as little as we do, I guess it’s easy to lose the entire she-bang in a warehouse somewhere.

Then, Blaine and I made arrangements (shhhh! Don’t tell them!) to get the kids their Hepatitis A vaccinations next week. Apparently Oklahoma public schools require it, and Georgia schools don’t, so they’ve never had it. **That’s** going to be a fun surprise for all three kids on Monday, isn’t it?

Then, the lovely couple who are going to be renting our house here in Georgia came by yesterday to drop off their first months’ rent, measure the space to make sure their fridge will fit, measure for curtains, etc.

Then Blaine spent all day today cleaning out the garage, and I just don't understand the laws of physics that show you can place a small-to-medium-sized mountain of crap out by the curb (to include cracked rubbermaid bins, bent hula hoops, broken soccer chairs, a fertilizer thing you push across the yard missing a wheel, a card table with a ripped top, a bag of beat-up beach toys, and various and sundry other crap) and yet your garage doesn't seem ANY emptier?????

Holy crap. We’re really moving, aren’t we?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Book Fairy Bust

After my journal vent last year about how churches and their Fall Festivals were putting a big ole’ cramp in our neighborhood Halloween activities, I decided to take the bull by the horns (or the ninja by the sword, if you took a good look at the costumes last night) and declare my very own Fall Festival right here in my neighborhood. “Festival” is probably too generous of a term, but I did invite about ten of our neighbors over for a pre-Trick-or-Treat get together, which wound up being a lot of fun and a nice chance for us to be together with all our neighbors for what is probably the last time (sniff, sniff).

We had chili with all the fixings (thanks, Jeanette!) and hot dogs and chips for the kids; everyone brought salads or sides or desserts to share. I hit a clearance sale at Big Lots which means I was able to get Halloween tablecloths and decorations, and party favors (forgotten) and glow sticks (also forgotten and half of which were defective once we remembered them) for the kids. And the KidzBop Halloween CD playing in the background, which was really fun, until it started skipping on the Time Warp and none of us noticed for at least half an hour.

After the eating, and the chatting, and the swatting of the flies (hello? Was it not the last night in October and why are there still FLIES here???) the kids all ganged up and went trick or treating around the neighborhood, parents trudging along in their wake. Blaine and I always split up on Halloween; one of us goes with the kids and one of us stays home to pass out candy. I convinced Blaine that holding down that chair in the driveway and passing out candy was hard, hard work, and sat there all night and BS’d with my neighbor, who passed out candy with me. Whew, I was exhausted.

All in all, a successful night.

Then, right before bed, after the Gluttony of the "Halloween Night, I Don't Care, Eat Candy Until You Puke" Free For All, as it is every year, it was time to put the rest of the Halloween candy back in the buckets and leave it on the front porch so the Book Fairy could come and make her trade. Now, the Book Fairy was very organized this year, making plans ahead of time. No running out at the last minute to get ready. She knows that the boy child in this house loves Magic Tree House books, so she double-checked to see at which number his personal collection stopped, and the next two in line were the ones she bought from Books-A-Million brought in her magic fairy bag. The youngest child in this house loves Ramona Quimby, so the Book Fairy brought some Henry Huggins books, also by Beverly Cleary, thinking those would be just as good. Since the oldest child in this house enjoys Judy Blume, she brought a couple of those as well.

Wouldn’t you know, when the kids put out their bags of candy last night they quickly wrote letters to the Book Fairy telling her exactly which books they wanted in exchange. NONE of which were hidden under my bed in her magical fairy bag. I mean, do any of you let your kids wait until Christmas Eve to write to Santa? No! You get those lists in early December so you have some idea of what you kids are hoping to get --- hedging your bets, if you will. Last night, the Book Fairy was so screwed.

Most years, the next morning, the books on the front porch are met with smiles and happiness and an enthusiastic “Yes!”’ from each child. This year? Not so much.

Kellen took one look at his books and said, “I’ve already read these.” I said, “What do you mean you’ve already read them? They’re not in your book shelf. Uhhhhh, I mean …… are they in your book shelf? Maybe the Book Fairy didn’t realize you had already read them. When did you read them, anyhow?” to which he grumpily replied, “We have a library at school, Mom.” in his most patronizing tone. Little brat.

Kendrie was completely under-whelmed by hers as well, and Brayden’s only comment was, “Well, I’m excited to read these, but they are below my AR level at school. That’s why I’ve never bothered to read them before.” Leading me to the harsh conclusion that Book Fairy struck out not once, not twice, but THREE times this year.

I promised the kids I would take them to Books-A-Million to pick out some new books. I don’t want them to feel like they traded in all their Halloween candy for a bum deal. I still believe in the power of reading. I still believe in the power of the Book Fairy --- it’s a fantastic idea, and I want to continue the tradition for as long as my kids trick or treat. Thank you, Lisa B, for sharing it with me so many years ago!

But I can tell you that next year, that damn fairy is giving out Books-A-Million gift cards and calling it a day.