Monday, September 29, 2008

My Favorite Part

Recently, Colin went with two of his friends to see Sleeping Beauty at El Capitan in Hollywood. He went because I've taught him to love the movies no matter if it's a chick flick or not because there might be something wonderful you otherwise would've missed. And on this trip Carson was going so it couldn't be that bad right? Calliegh was of course our princess for the day. See Andi's blog about that with pics. 

My point of this post was a little conversation with Colin last night on the way to a birthday party.... 

Colin: Mom, remember when we went to see Sleeping Beauty?
Me: Yes. 
Colin: You know what my favorite part was? 
Me: Tell me. 
Colin: I liked the part where that dog had on a pointed hat...

(pause to hear my thinking...I'm thinking about the movie. I don't remember any dogs especially ones with a pointed hat. I can think of the fairies with hats, Maleificent with a pointed hat of sorts but no dogs.....Colin interrupts my thinking and finishes his thought)

Colin: know the one that said, "Eiii Chiwawa" (Little laugh from Colin) That was so funny!

Again I pause to try to figure this out and then it hits me. Colin's favorite part of seeing Sleeping Beauty was the previews for the new Disney movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Can you guess where we'll be on Friday?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How old?

Colin: Mom, why don't you like Spongebob Squarepants?
Me: Because, he's not nice. He says and does things that are not nice. I don't like him.
Colin: But I like him.
Me: You think you like him because it's a cartoon but that doesn't necessarily make it right for kids. It's actually for adults.
Colin: It's for kids and adults.
Me: No. You're not old enough to watch Spongebob Squarepants.
Colin: How old do you have to be?
Me: Thirty five

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Just finished this book yesterday. It was absolutely delightful! I loved it. Written in a unique style of nothing but letters back and forth from the characters. It takes place in 1946 just after WWII in London and the Channel Island of Guernsey. It's a great historical lesson mixed into the story and while you're learning something, you simply forget you're reading fiction and these people become like your friends. It makes you want to write a letter, receive a letter, and cherish the written word in someone's actual handwriting. As bloggers, you'll find this much like what we do now, posting our lives back and forth, sharing the latest events and our thoughts on random things and finding friends through other friends. You'll wish to visit and have coffee and eat some pie and share a story. Filled with stories of love, heart break, humor, heart ache, recovery of the destruction of war, and true friendship, I recommend it highly. It's a gentle read. It quiets the soul. I give this book strong-weak-in-a-way.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Diagonal Crossing

Can you say brilliant? When I walked through this it felt like the first time I drove around a round about. Amazed at the beauty of perfect thinking. I said, "Who thought of this?" So simple. So perfect. Can we put one on every busy corner? This is one of the Brighton corners.

In 1987, the City of Beverly Hills modified traffic signals at eight intersections within the Business Triangle to include an exclusive pedestrian phase where all approaches would stop to let pedestrians cross the intersection either diagonally or conventionally. The intersections included:

Brighton and Canon
Brighton and Beverly
Brighton and Rodeo
Brighton and Camden
Brighton and Bedford
Dayton and Canon
Dayton and Beverly
Dayton and Rodeo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Longer a Virgin - I've Been Sprinkled

My friend Jo Anna is one of a kind. She is the mother of five kids that she loves dearly but drive her crazy and give her great stories to share and make us all laugh. She's the one that will volunteer to drive anywhere and take as many in her car as want to fit. She's the organizer of "field trips" to various places just for fun, to create a memory, to share a good time with good friends. She is a great photographer, an avid Dodger fan and I think she's fabulous! Today she planned a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes. 

Sprinkles is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. So a group of us went and I had high hopes that were not disappointed. I've had these famous cupcakes but haven't been to the store until today. There's something magical about going to the store. Sort of like the first time you step foot into a Krispy Kreme with the "hot" light on. It's impossible to describe how wonderful a hot Krispy Kreme is until you try one right out of the icing-fall. Anticipating that the Sprinkles Cupcakes would be a very similar experience I couldn't wait to get there. We walked in the door and there they were: little paper pockets of pure sin all lined in rows waiting for us to take them home. I understand why they keep their daily choices to approximately 10 or a person would never be able to complete an order. Let me just tell you this: These ain't your mamma's cupcakes.... these are little pieces of heaven that will have you praying that all the calories in these mounds of confection perfection will miraculously somehow stick to those skinny-ass hips prancing around Beverly Hills and not your own. 

So there it is, I'm no longer a virgin, I've been Sprinkled. I highly recommend it. Worth every calorie you smell and swallow. Fantastic. Thanks Jo Anna.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer's End

Today is the first day of Fall. Hard to believe that summer's over but in truth, it's been a long summer's journey with many unexpected turns. It's brought perspective with truth and acceptance and sometimes without understanding. The following includes the summer's events in synopsis form. To delve in too deep is hard. There was a time of silence on my blog this summer and since this is a place I purge my thoughts as well as keep my friends and family up to date, I'll recap with you and share pictures as I go. Although this will be stunted, it's still a little long by blog standards. 

The summer basically started with the end of Spring and the Rocky Peak Children's Choir production of "Race To Win". I did the drama portion and it was a delight to watch the show come together and then watch the kids do a fantastic job. Colin was part of Pint Size Praisers. For only being three and some, he did a great job.
Lizzie, Colin and Caden -- best buds
The whole show was about learning to run the race of life with God instead of on your own merit. Little did I know, that would be the theme of the whole summer. 
About the same time that the musical was going on, Michael Crumrine arrived in town. He was about one month ahead of his family moving here from Texas. While Andi and the kids stayed to pack the house, finish school and say good-bye, Michael started a new job at Rocky Peak. We were so excited that our dear friends were moving to Simi Valley. In an instant, what was just another place to live, became like home. Michael stayed with us a couple of weeks before he got into his house. It was a great time getting to know him so much better. We all waited impatiently for Andi and the kids to arrive. 
There was one week where we had Michael and J-bird at the house together. It was great fun for both JD and Colin to have playmates. WALL-E opening was just around the corner and Bird got roped into watching trailers with Colin OFTEN!!! I'm not sure who enjoyed it more. I do know that Colin loves him some Bird!
The last week of May and the first two weeks of June consisted of moving. We moved from one house to another and although it was a great move for our family, it's expensive and exhausting. We were so glad to get it done. We took a short break and went to Disneyland with good friends from Colorado and jumped right back in. Then came time for the Crumrines to move in. Michael and his brother JD (also a John David) drove their belongings from TX and for a week we got their house all set up for Andi and the kids. By the end of that, I was happy to stay put the rest of my life. Fell in love quickly with our backyard and was looking forward to the summer that would take place back there. 

Andi and the kids arrived and we quickly got into the Beach Wednesday routine. Always a little chilly in the first few weeks but soon, there's nothing but sun and fun for all. Good friends and great kids. I can't tell you how grateful I am that Colin will grow up going to the beach. I grew up going to the lake but the beach is just yummy! Colin grew a lot this summer in his bravery. He finally tackled the waves and the critters with attitude and confidence. I became one of the moms dousing my kid with baby powder at the end of the day to get all the sand off. 
Picture by Jo Anna Wiseman
This summer Colin also grew in the area of swimming. He learned that his little life jacket would keep him afloat and overcame his fear of the water. He went from being a kid who needed his mommy to swim with him and hold him to a kid who was fearless about jumping, sliding, and getting all wet, all by himself. It was a remarkable transformation. Thank you to my friends with pools. He also learned about Star Wars, perfected some dance moves, and got really good at hitting a baseball in the back yard. He started playing video games on the computer and a Game Boy, compliments of Carson, and his vocabulary and his height both grew tremendously. Because of his height, he rode several rides at Disneyland that would or could be considered "scary" but he took them on and conquered. He even learned to monitor his own peanut contamination to prevent another trip to the ER. (We did that in early July) To say Colin grew this summer would be an gross understatement. 

About the middle of June - a week before Father's Day, Colin and I were on our way to Target to get a few things but specifically, a pregnancy test. I of course didn't tell Colin this is what were getting but on the way he mentioned that he would be faster than his brother. My ears perked up. "Your brother?" "Yeah, I'm gonna be faster." "What if you have a sister? You know we don't get to pick this. Would you be okay with a sister?" "Yeah.....but I'm still gonna be faster." We get home from the store and I take the test. It was positive. I held this news for about 24 hours and then had to tell JD. I showed him the stick and said, "Happy Father's Day." Well, to make a long story short, we miscarried the baby in mid July. This is our third miscarriage since Colin. I'm 41 years old and we decided that we do not have the fortitude to ride that roller coaster any more. This was not an easy decision but we feel it's the best one. We love our family just the way it is and have come to accept it with great love and gratitude. We are still open to other ways of growing our family but we've given up trying to control that. My favorite moment of this time on the ride was when Colin picked up the pregnancy test and asked, "Mom, what's this?" I smiled and said, "What do you think it is?" He said, "It's a Destinator." Perfect. I wish we could know our destiny as easy as peeing on a stick. I would drink my weight in Sunny D, daily. 

We celebrated the fouth of July with Granny and Pop. It wouldn't have been a complete summer without a visit from them. We had a garage sale and got rid of some more stuff. Also mid July we did VBS at Rocky Peak and I was in charge of one of the story rooms. The fun had can't be explained. Just know that we had a job to tell stories about Jesus and we did it with great passion and absolute fun. This picture is the day we were telling about Peter walking on water and learning to be brave. Each person dressed up as either part of the sea or part of the boat crew. Andi made the loveliest mermaid I've ever seen. I was an Orka and talked like Dory's whale talk from Finding Nemo the entire day. The kids loved it! This was my team and they were fantastic!
Kathleen, Cindy, Susan, Andi, Me, Danielle (Elaine, Sherill, and Will not pictured)

Late July, training started for the Cowboys just down the road. JD and Colin went and watched them practice. You see, JD's been waiting a long time for this, teaching Colin about football from an early age. Not sure Colin appreciated the significance but I know JD did. So far, so good, the Cowboys are doing well. Click on the picture and you can see Romo in the background.

Then before we knew it, it was August. We knew the other Crumrines (JD, Kim , Tyler and Tanner) were coming for a visit and they were going to stay with us. We had such a good time watching all the boys play and Calleigh be the lone princess, which she handled beautifully. We did Disney, the beach, etc. Good times with good friends. 
Carson, Colin, Tyler, Tanner and Calliegh

However, that happiness was shadowed by, a tragic accident crippled my family. My little nephew (3) got his left hand caught in a meat grinder. I'll keep these details to a minimum because it's hard to explain and my family reads this blog and it's all still very hard to take in. Orion was rushed to Tuscon for emergency surgery to save his fingers and hand. The prayers were answered and his fingers were saved, his hand was saved. He had three surgeries in one week. He was staying with my mom and dad in NM while his mom, my sister Chantell, was in Phoenix starting a new job and moving into a new house and starting her other two children in school. Orion was helping my mother make salsa. She was grinding chilies and onions in the grinder. Only for second did my mother turn away and that's all it took for a little three year old to be more than curious. At his side 24 hours a day for almost four weeks in the hospital were mom, dad and Chantell. He's home now. He's recovering. Although his hand will never be the same again, he still has it and will find a new normal faster than any of us will imagine. He's going to require much therapy and more skin graphs, but for now, things have settled. 
Colin and Orion playing in the hospital 

It was during those three weeks that our family drove to Phoenix to help Channy move in, then on to Tuscon to see my Mom and Dad and Orion in the hospital and then on to San Diego to do Legoland and Sea World. It was a difficult vacation as our emotions wanted to be on one side of glad or sad but we kept forcing them to mix together. Worrying for my family and celebrating Colin's fourth birthday. 

This was my favorite picture of the trip. We were at the Pima Air Museum with Dad. There was an engine behind glass and you could push the button and watch the engine run for a minute. As it did, Dad explained to us what each part was. Curious for more, Colin kept asking, "Papa, what's that?" "Papa, what does that do?" It was precious to me. A stolen moment of happiness away from the tragedy just down the street, engrossed in the joy and curiosity of a boy with his Papa. 

We returned home from that trip and dove head first into school and routine. Summer ended. God's grace poured over us again and again as we learned to run our race and live our life with Him at the helm. Knowing He is good all the time and that the trials we went through and are still going through are for our ultimate good and with his grace we will be more and more like Jesus. 

Welcome to Fall everyone. It's almost O-crap-tober. Breathe while you can and happy football, pumpkins, apples, costumes, and most of all thanksgiving. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Case for a Clothes Line

I had the same washer and dryer for over 15 years. It was a good set but old. Good enough to sell with the house in Henderson. Then JD and I moved to Dallas and we decided it wast time for a new set. We didn't spare any expense and bought the best and latest in new technology where these appliances are concerned. They were great! I loved the new set. I could wash more clothes in one load than I could accumulate in one week. I couldn't believe how much faster things were washed and dried. Less time, less water, less soap, less energy. It was a beautiful thing. And silly as it is, they were beautiful to look at as well. We obviously kept these little beauties when we moved to CA and my love affair continued. Then we moved to this house and the honeymoon was over. 

The first load out of the dryer that should've been dry in less than 40 minutes was more than damp. So I thought maybe something happened to the dryer during the move. I called an appliance guy. For the price of $35 he informed that there was nothing wrong with my dryer. The problem was in the vent. He said it was too long and he said it was probably clogged. I needed to call a different company to come clean out the dryer vent. Great! I obviously couldn't do anything about the construction of the vent but I could get someone to come and clean it out. 

So I call an air conditioner company who says in its ad that they also do dyer vents. I explain to the people that the vent is really long. It's the entire width of the garage and if they need to bring anything special to reach that they should. Of course that information was lost in translation and when they guys get here they claim if they had known it was going to be that long they would've brought the air compressor. Great! They do the best they can with what they have but while they're pulling the dryer away from the wall they break the hose from the dryer into the wall that then goes through the wall out to the garage and down the wall through the wall to the outside. Great! So now I have to get a new hose from Home Depot and JD will install that later. Great! Anyway, they get a lot of crap out of the vent run but are pretty sure they're going to have to come back with the air compressor. Will I do a few loads of laundry and let them know. Yep. They leave. I do a load to see. Not fixed. Need air compressor. Great!

In the meantime, I have to get laundry done. The dryer will dry things eventually but it requires more time than before on the highest heat the dryer has. Even after 65 minutes, they are just barely dry. So things like jeans, towels, sheets, etc NEVER get dry. So I decide to get creative and hang those types of things outside on the chairs of my outside table. What I discover is that in the morning sun the jeans will dry in less than 30 minutes, towels will dry in an hour, and sheets will dry in about 20 minutes. GREAT! So although my problem isn't solved a solution, temporary or otherwise has been found. So I delay in calling for the air compressor to come out. 

The longer it went along and the more loads that the sun dried, the more I liked the idea of an "outside dryer". It saved energy and it worked faster and better than the dryer ever did even on its best day. Also, the smell of sheets from the outside was so great. The jeans didn't need starch anymore, just a hot iron and they were better than if you'd have picked them up at the cleaners. Great!

Now, most of you have met my husband. You know and if you don't I'm going to tell you; he is very particular about several things. Aesthetically pleasing is of most importance to him. Things have an order. Color matters. Texture is important. Flow of a room, theme of color, ideas of decor all matter. The outside is just as important. So you can imagine his chagrin to see our laundry hanging in the backyard. It probably wouldn't be so bad except we back up to a golf course and the whole golfing community can see our sheets blowing in the breeze. This mortifies my husband people. Mortifies him. While he appreciates clean, dry, ironed clothes he doesn't want the rest of the world to know our clothes get dirty. That's private. So, for my husband's sake, I keep the clothes that go outside to just sheets, towels, jeans and shirts. No undies, pajamas, or unmentionables. Those toss around in the dryer for over 65 minutes just to get barely dry. Exhausting.

I, on the other hand, don't give a rip. I don't care what people think. I don't care if they not only see sheets but underwear, bras, swimsuits, whatever. I don't care. If it were up to me the entire wash would be out on a line....a clothes line with clothes pins. We live in the land of eternal sunshine. It doesn't get cold and with the morning sun in our backyard, we could dry clothes outside all year around. I ponder this, think about this, and decide to present my case for a clothes line to JD. I did my research. I know without ever asking that he's not going to "install" a clothes line that stretches across the yard. Whatever I present must be removable. It has to be able to disappear from the sight of the world because for JD a clothes line with clothes hanging on it is just plain tacky white trash and he's not going there. 

So after planting the seed in JD's brain and watering it and nurturing it and looking for a long time to find the perfect solution, I find an umbrella clothes line that folds up and goes away when not in use. The base that's in the ground is the only thing "permanent". I pulled it up on the computer for him to look at and asked him to really consider this. He literally, went up the screen, glanced at the picture (didn't even sit down), backed up and shook his head and said emphatically, "No!" This was not just a simple "no", this was a "Hell NO! Not in a million years, not as long as I'm alive, ain't no way this will ever be in my back yard!" kind of no.So I put it to you, the reader, the objective, the unattached, the people who have dryers, the people who have dirty clothes, the people who believe in saving energy for the sake of our planet. If I'm going to put the clothes out regardless, shouldn't I be allowed to have a tool that accomplishes the goal better? Doesn't it make sense to utilize the technology available to our benefit? Don't you like clothes off the line? If it's a removable line, wouldn't it make sense? I do the laundry. I care for our clothes. I deal with the dryer problem. I've found a great way to save energy. I should have the line outside. I think laying the clothes on the table chairs is tacky. I think hanging the clothes on a line designed to hang clothes is smart. I don't care if the golfers can see it. And I'm pretty sure they don't care either. I rest my case. 

By the way, I did call for the company to bring the air compressor and finish the job. They set an appointment and didn't show. And I also think that even if they did come out, it wouldn't solve the problem. The problem is the old vent is 20 feet long, made of metal and holds the heat therefore, shuts the thermostat off on the dryer to prevent a fire. At least that's my theory. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bunny Story

The following story would have the disclaimer "viewer discretion is advised" if were a TV production due to "violence, adult content and adult language". It was a horrible experience mostly because there was nothing I could do to prevent the inevitable. 

The crime scene: from the backyard to the kitchen, around the breakfast table, and finally the front porch. This was the only picture I could find of the table and rug.
The victim: an adorable spring baby bunny probably just weened from his mamma.
The killer: an old fat family cat who was energized by the spring weather and motivation to bring a gift to his mamma.
The witnesses: a toddler boy and his hysterical mamma.
It was a lovely spring afternoon in Texas very close to Mother's Day. The cold had broken, the rain had stopped, everything was turning green and it was warming up. The back door was open to let in the fresh air and Tumbleweed was thrilled to be allowed in and out again. The back door led into a huge backyard of nothing but a lot of grass and a big wooden fence that went all the way around. Not exactly a place for hunting anything spectacular but Tumbleweed didn't know that. In the short time we had lived there, he brought several gifts to me; baby moles, lizards, and occasionally a bird. All arrived at my feet dead. Now you might be thinking, "Ah, poor animals." But they're not that cute and dead, they're even less attractive. Besides, I'm used to it. Tumbleweed has been bringing me gifts of love for many many years. It's like getting fresh flowers from your husband for no apparent reason at all. Always a surprise and sweet. Only with a husband you automatically wonder what he's done wrong that he needs forgiveness or what he's planning to do that he needs permission. I digress... Anyway, I always thank Tumbleweed for his gifts and pat his head and dispose of them discretely. Although I had seen bunnies in the back yard, they were usually too fast for Tumbles and would manage to squeeze under the fence before he could get them. But this day was different. This day, Tumbleweed was energized by the spring air and the bunny unfortunately didn't stand a chance. 

Colin had just woke from his nap. He was about a year and a half and still very much "toddling". I distinctly remember him playing in his room just off the kitchen. I'm working in the kitchen doing who knows what. Doubtful I was prepping anything for dinner, but for the story's sake let's assume I was being productive. It was quiet and peaceful. Then I hear this little noise. A squeal of sorts. I look up from the sink and I see Tumbleweed carrying something in his mouth as he trots into the house. He greets me with a meow (nothing like a cat talking with its mouth full) and I see the bunny. He has it by the throat and it's squealing for his life. I know this because a rabbit only makes noise when it is in dire straights; otherwise, they are quiet. This bunny was begging for anything to save it. Great! It's one thing for Tumbleweed to bring me a gift that's already dead or even almost dead (especially a lizard - who cares right?) but it is quite another when the gift is NOT dead and is cute like a baby bunny and is going to die if I don't do something. 

So I approach Tumbles and calmly say, "Put the bunny down. Let go of the bunny." Tumbleweed looks at me like I've just lost my mind. He's not going to drop his prize. Besides, he's not done with it yet. He still needs to play toss and catch, bat and swat, watch and wait. He just barely got it under control from outside. Drop it? Not gonna happen. Also, my cat is panting. He's worked really hard to get this little guy. But I'm thinking I can rescue the bunny if I can get Tweed to drop him. I continue to press for him to let go. He continues to talk with his mouth full. So I decide to beat him at his own game and I choose the "watch and wait" card. I figure, he eventually has to let it go no matter what he plans to do with it. He NEVER eats his kill so I'll get it eventually (it's for me right?)

Finally, Tweed drops the bunny. The bunny has been holding the "hold still and wait" card. As soon as his body touches the floor, he moves. I expect him to hop away and huddle under something and I'll never catch it, etc. I wish! Not this bunny. Apparently, many many rounds of toss and catch / bat and swat have already taken place. This poor animal was in horrible shape. 

At this point, I'm now horrified. I am no longer using a calm voice with my cat. I am no longer filtering my words for the sake of my toddler in the next room. I am absolutely hysterical. Probably not as hysterical as the bunny but dang close. The words coming out of my mouth are along the lines of the following: (read hysterically) OMG, Tumbles what have you done. Oh poor bunny, oh your leg, oh it's bleeding. Tumbleweed it's bleeding. I need a towel, don't get on the rug bunny, don't...oh my....shit! Tumbleweed, leave it alone, don't .... Stop! Bunny Stop! Oh, there's blood everywhere. What is that?! Are those intestines, is that guts, is that what guts look like? STOP! BUNNY! STOP! Tumbleweed, I will never forgive you for this. Colin, stand back, don't touch the bunny, don't touch the floor, no touch, hear me? no touch....This towel won't work, I like this towel. Oh, shit, shit, shit! Tumbleweed, leave the rabbit alone! Oh crap. You poor bunny. My rug! Tumbleweed you are in so much trouble. The baby bunny's back leg was broken but out of desperation he moved as fast as he could and he took off into the kitchen. As he moves, you're thinking, "Oh, good, you can rescue the bunny and save him from that horrible cat." In theory yes. But the bunny was no longer a cute fluffy ball of fur. It was drenched with saliva, blood and intestines trailing along behind his broken leg. And my cat no longer is trying to catch the rabbit but instead is just watching the rabbit try to get away. Admiring his work perhaps? So it hobbles along and then goes toward the round table in the kitchen that sits on a rug. Until that point the bunny had been on a surface that could be mopped of any evidence of brutality. But as he approaches the rug I become even more hysterical. At this point the only intelligible word in my hysteria is "shit" repeated over and over. I am beside myself trying to catch the bunny (failing). I've gotten a kitchen towel to grab it with, but it took me a moment to find one that I was willing to throw out, I've tried to get the cat away from the rabbit (failed) I've tried to tell Colin to move back (failed). I've tried to stop the bunny from running all over the rug leaving his body parts along the way (miserably failed). It was absolutely HORRIBLE! Literally, the bunny's bowels are strung around the table, a trail of blood is from the back door to the kitchen and around the table, the bunny is still bleeding, Colin thinks his mother has lost her mind and the cat doesn't understand why I'm getting involved in his game. 

Finally, the bunny is exhausted and stops. I yell at the cat to get away. I pick up the bunny with the towel. I feel his little heart beating with fear. He immediately knows that he's been captured again but somehow knows it's not by the cat. He starts to calm down. He's dying. He knows it and I know it. At this point, I'm just wretched with anguish over the whole thing. I apologize to the bunny that I wasn't able to rescue it. I apologized for my cat being a cat. I promised that he would be able to die in peace. I gently wrapped him in the towel and placed him on the front porch in the shade. I knew it would only be a few minutes and he would die. I didn't have it in me to put him out of his misery. I wouldn't know how and even if I did, I wouldn't have been able withstand one more squeal. We were both exhausted from the trauma. Enough was enough.

I went back in the house and Tumbleweed proceed to give me a mouthful of why I shouldn't have gotten involved, that he had the whole thing under control and he was not pleased with my behavior at all. I proceed to let Tumbleweed know that I don't want any more bunnies as gifts, not ever, dead or alive! Colin was still standing in the exact spot where I had moved him out of the way. He looked as if he had just witnessed something unique. I'd say; a murder would qualify as unique in my book. I just broke down and cried. I cried for the bunny and as I looked at my rug that would never be the same again, I cried some more. I cleaned up the scene of the crime and realized that I would always have blood stains on the rug to remind me of the incident known now as "The Bunny Story"

I eventually sold that rug without divulging the whole story. Practically gave the thing away due to some "wear and tear and a few stains". 

The next day after the incident I picked up Colin from Mother's Day Out. His craft he made was a lovely cutout of a Momma Bunny with her baby bunny all decorated with Colin's early attempt at coloring and a little message about a mother's love. Sick sense of humor our God has.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jaded Sentiment

JD has started a blog....I know! Anyway, I encourage you to drop in: Jaded Sentiment

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Double Generation Birthday Again

Three celebrations today: 

1. Happy Birthday to Granny, JD's mom. Beautiful and wonderful and delightful person. I'm so blessed. 
Jo Ann

2. The first great grand baby was born into JD's family today. Amanda, JD's niece, gave birth to Lathem Michael Ingrim at 7:11AM today weighing in at 7 lbs and 19 inches long. Well done Amanda. Welcome to the world little Lathem. (I don't have a picture yet.)

3. History repeats itself. JD was born 70 years later on the same day as his Great Grandfather, Daddy Wicks. Lathem was born 69 years later on the same day as his Great Grandmother, Granny. 
Daddy Wicks and JD, 1966 (72 and 2 yrs old)

We are celebrating around here today. Happy Birth and Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We lived in Henderson, NV during this event. Our house was under the flight pattern for the international airport in Vegas. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, planes were ALWAYS flying over. It was something you got used to. Then they stopped. They stopped for many days. It was so quiet and sad and hopeless. Not that I ever liked the planes flying over our house but I was so grateful when they began again. It was a sign of hope. I will never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nothing is Sacred Anymore

Natalie Dylan is going to auction off her virginity to finance some things in her life.  For example she's getting her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She wants to finance the book she's writing on the same topic and then wants to open a private practice. The irony in that is almost too much to bear. Who needs the therapy here? WHAT THE CRAP???!!! SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY! She says on tonight's 6:00PM news, "I am an educated woman. I'm looking for intelligence and I'm looking for an overall nice person." Does she really think that any guy who's willing to buy her virginity is going to fall into the category of "nice person"? This isn't Indecent Proposal Natalie, you're not going to find Robert Redford out there. 

So far the bid is at $275,000. BTW, this is not a new thing (just the first I've ever hear of it). Miss Natalie got this idea on the internet after watching some chick allegedly earn 1.5 million. 

Which First?

So I consider myself a person who knows how to clean. I grew up with the original Mrs. Clean....Jeannie (see post before this one) but I don't know the answer to this question. 

Do you dust or vacuum first? 
If you dust first you can sweep the dust from the top down from light fixtures to bottom shelves of book cases with a feather duster or even dust cloth, knowing the extra dust not caught in your dust gather of choice will fall to the ground to be picked up by the vacuum later. However, when  you vacuum you are no doubt going to stir up the dust in the carpets and on the floor that will eventually settle from the bottom shelves of your bookcase to the tops of the light fixtures. So it makes sense to vacuum first but then there's the annoyance of walking on your vacuum cleaner lines in the carpet (I secretly love these) to go back and dust. 

So seriously, which comes first the vacuum or the dust cloth? Thoughts....I'll take one and all. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jeannie - A Tribute

Jeannie Rose

There is a wonderful woman walking around on this planet. Her heart is larger than her body is allowed to contain so she's always giving pieces of it away hoping the receiver will care for it as the precious gift it is. She'll give you a piece if you asked, if you needed someone to love you, if you needed someone to care. She'll do whatever you need as she is a giver, a doer, a constant motion of task for the greater good of someone or something. She only rests enough to gather strength to do it again tomorrow. She knows no limit on how much is enough. If you need, she will give. If you ask, you will receive. And if you have the gift of her heart, you know it, you lean on it, you depend on it, it helps yours beat stronger, longer, is now a piece of your own and you can't imagine what you ever did before her gift of love.

She has a multitude of talents and gifts. One of her greatest gifts is tenaciousness. I've never seen her attempt something that she didn't succeed, then become an expert and then a teacher. I've also watched her just figure it out, do it herself, never to be hindered by gender, age, time, or doubt. If she wants something, there is little that will change her mind. Better to help or just get out of the way. She is a stubborn soul and expects excellence and truth, courage and bravery, compassion and kindness, strength and tenderness, faithfulness and commitment. She is a conquerer of challenge, a warrior for good, a determined peacemaker, a pillar of fortitude and perseverance, a steadfast source of wisdom and patience.

She was an employee with the utmost of ethics and dependability. She is the kindest of neighbors, the most loyal of friends, a loving and devoted daughter, a faithful sister, a dedicated wife, the very best of mothers, and the most generous of grandmothers. She is beautiful, loving, compassionate, warm, genuine and true. Her name is Jeannie but I call her Mom. Today she is 60. To me, she is one of the most beautiful women in the world. 

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you with an unending love. You are my bright morning star. 

"Neenie" with Colin (1 day old)

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Lizard Rescue

You've seen a picture of my backyard (it's at the top of the blog now) so you know we back up to a golf course where lots of little critters are known to hang out. Lizards are among one of the plentiful creatures, Tumbleweed (our cat) is so pleased. I'm from the New Mexico desert so I'm not phased by lizards at all, have been known to catch them and play with them, watch them but mostly try save them from Tumbleweed if they're not too far gone. Tweed and I have been together over 13 years, that's LOTS of lizards. Remind me to tell you about the bunny rabbit some day (holy crap). 

Anyway, while walking down the hallway, I saw this little guy. He wasn't running and I wasn't sure if he was alive. So I picked him up by the tail and got a better look and then he started to wiggle a little. I didn't want him to lose his tail and have to grow another all because of me so I put him back down. I couldn't decide if Tumbles had brought him in earlier and I missed it, if he came in on his own and had been trapped for a few days, or what but he had very little fight in him. So, I thought, let's see what Tweed thinks. Called for the cat, he came (he's really more like a dog in cat's fur). Had him check out the lizard, he batted it a few times and the lizard gave the same response of non-interest that he had given me. So decided best to gather him and take him outside. If it was going to die, I didn't want it to die in the house. 

Then Colin got in on the action. He volunteered to kill it in a duel of Sword vs Tail, but again the lizard declined the invitation of flight or fight. He was content for me to just escort him to freedom. Which I did. Later I checked on my place of deposit and he was gone. One more lizard saved. Or eaten by a bird ... guess we'll never know.

Feed Me...Meeee TOO!

Just a little amusement at Sea World. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stand UP

I watched the fund drive TV broadcast Friday night. I'm usually not one for sitting through these kinds of things....they make me feel guilty for being healthy, for being stingy, for being happy. Not to imply that I don't support the causes, it's just my heart can't take it. But I watched Stand Up 2 Cancer because it is very relevant to my life. I've lost three grandparents to cancer. I know friends who've lost people. My Dad is recovered from prostate cancer. My aunt is recovered from breast cancer. Also, anytime there's anything about a child suffering my heart can't bear it. It absolutely kills me to watch or listen to a story. And yet, even that has been relevant to my life recently. I feel like our families or families of close friends will be plagued again with the disease many times over in my life span, could even be me someday.

So I watched. While I watched I prayed for those people of whose stories they told, those families who've lost, those who've won against it. I prayed for the doctors who are so close to solving the mystery. I supported. I stood up. 

There was one story about a boy who was four. His mother's testimony was about his heartbeat. How she heard it before he was ever born and how she held her hand on his heart and felt it stop. She said, "All he ever wanted was to be five." As I have a four year old. I can't even imagine the heart wrenching pain she must have felt and is still feeling. I stood up for her. I'm still standing.

Friday, September 5, 2008


As we walked around Legoland I saw a couple of things that reminded me of some pictures I took while on a vacation in South Dakota. I thought it would be fun to compare. 
A Bison in the Black Hills of South Dakota 

The Bison at Legoland
Mt Rushmore at Legoland
Mt. Rushmore in SD   

We are created. We create. We create with our creations. We create using creation.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Journey to the Center of Earth 3-D

Colin talked me into going to a movie this afternoon. Just twisted my arm, let me tell you...not. We played movie roulette: where you go to the first movie starting that you haven't seen yet. I wasn't even sure there would be a movie available for Colin to see but I promised we would try. Sure enough, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D was playing in 20 minutes. Great!

Got our glasses, and treats and found a seat. BTW, on a Thursday afternoon before school gets out, there ain't NOBODY at the movies. 

So, after the movie, I gave it a strong/weak in a way. They did great keeping the unnecessary language out - can't remember any as a matter of fact. Did a good job with the 3-D stuff. Very cool special effects. Story moved along and all had fun. It's weakness was supporting actors to the lead three and the story itself but overall, I think it accomplished what it was designed to do. Colin loved it. 

I decided to go ahead and give you my thoughts if I see a movie instead of just posting the rating. You'll find the description of the ratings on the side. This way, everyone can give their thoughts if they've seen the movie or read the book. Seems like more fun that way for everyone. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stinkin' Funny

The following story falls under the category "TMI" so consider yourself warned. But because it is one of the most hilarious moments in my marriage, it bears revealing. Those of you who love me will still hopefully love me and those of you who can't decide, well this may or may not help you make a decision. I'll not hold against you either way. For me, it won't matter because it is what it is and I can't really do anything about it and there in lies the problem. 

Indeed a problem. We all have this bodily function but some people have a polite version and others fall into the vial category. I would definitely be in the later (according to my sweet husband). It's been an ongoing problem all my life and since the pregnancy / birth of my child it has become measurably more frequent, increased volume, decreased control, and heightened odor. Basically, I really can't help it, even when I try. 

Diagnosis: flatulence - noun 
1. intestinal, gas, wind; informal farting, tooting, formal flatus

Even when all is working as "regular" as it gets (which is once a day if I'm lucky) it requires attention to diet, exercise, water intake, junk intake at a minimum, just the right amount of fiber but not too much, etc. So after being on vacation for three days, one of those spent in the car driving, eating all kinds of junk because we're away from home and "on vacation", too many McDonald's stops, too much diet soda, too much everything; you can imagine how my system might be having a fit. The day of the incident, my mom had cooked a meal of fresh vegetables from the garden: cream corn, corn on the cob, fried okra, fresh tomatoes and corn bread followed by birthday cake and a couple of beers. My tummy was in bad shape. Let's just say it was rotten inside and an explosion was around the corner although unfortunately, never at my request. 

All evening I had been letting them out when I could in as much privacy as possible. I knew I was rotten inside. Dying to poop but to no avail until my body says so. Plus, who of you can poop in a strange potty? It's a mental thing on top of a tummy thing. Pitiful! So as we're getting in the car to load up and go back to the hotel, I'm getting Colin in his car seat and I let one slide thinking I'm outside, everyone's inside, good time right? Wrong! My husband has the nose of a dog. He can smell things that most humans don't smell and if it is a pungent smell, you'll know it by his face. I'm buckling Colin in thinking I've pulled that one off and JD's face scrunches up and he looks at me and says, "Did you toot?" Ever the polite one. I admitted my sin. He knows. I can't lie out of that one. Even Colin's toots smell like roses compared to mine. I knew they were bad. This one went outside then it floated in the car and decided to sit a moment under JD's nose before it dissipated. I said, "Sorry. I know. I'm rotten inside." 

We get back to the hotel, everyone goes to bed. Colin is asleep. I'm asleep, JD is reading his book. All of a sudden I hear JD groan and move. This wakes me a little and I roll over and there is my husband standing as far against the wall as he can (1.5 feet - we're in a hotel room) with his book in front of him with a face like I've never seen. Truly, I can't smell anything so I'm not sure what the deal is. He says to me with all seriousness (there is no humor or forgiveness in his words or tone): BTW, he didn't let me get a word in...
"This has to stop! This is bad. You can't do this. What needs to happen here? Do I need to get another room because I can't handle this. Isn't there something you can take for that? Do you want me to go to CVS and get you something? Do you need to potty? (I swear, he said potty) Do you think you can concentrate and not do that anymore? I mean for crying out loud, it's really bad!!!" I said, "I'm sorry!" JD reluctantly got back into the bed. Tucks me in so there is a barrier between us of bed linens and pillows and turns his back with a groan of disbelief. 

That night, I promise I dreamt about going to the doctor and told him that my husband was going to divorce me if I didn't do something about my flatulence. I guess I was successful in my concentrating on not tooting anymore because JD thanked me the next morning. 

During the vacation I was always up and ready before the boys and I would go to the lobby and read while they slept. The next morning after my reprimand I was getting ready and my feelings were really hurt over the whole thing. I mean seriously, it's not something I do on purpose. I wish I had a perfect body that didn't have gas, could poop whenever I wanted, pooped 2 or 3 times a day and had shit that didn't stink but I don't. I fumed over this in the shower and then I went and had coffee and breakfast. 

When I came back in, my coffee kicked in and it kicked in with a vengeance. As I sat and my body did what it should've been doing for the past three days, I began to feel compassion for my husband and his predicament. The stench was unbearable. I gave myself three courtesy flushes. And finally the humor of it replaced my hurt feelings. I was hiding my face in a towel laughing to the point of tears remembering my husband standing as far away as he could begging for relief from the endless torture of my flatulence. 

The Dunes

While driving on vacation from Tuscan to San Diego there were a few interesting sites out the window. We would have to get Colin's attention to look because for the most part he was watching his DVD player. By the way, can I just say, "Thank you God for portable DVD players." Whatever did we do without them? Oh, yea, I remember. We got to move around in the car when we were kids, you played, you could sleep across the back seat, lie in the back window, fight over the hump in the floorboard, etc. It was a small play pen but at least you move around in it. 

Anyway, we passed some sand dunes and we got Colin's attention and he thought they were cool. 

Later we passed this and Colin said, "Look, rock dunes."
Of course they are. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Colin has asked me several times in the last year, "Have I ever been to Legoland?" I find that funny but I think even now he realizes that we humans forget stuff. He's knows his Mommy does. So I tell him, "No, you've not been but we will go soon. Promise!" So as promised, we took him for his fourth birthday. Seemed like a perfect present. I think he agreed.

So when we got there, I expected stuff to be made of legos of course but I had no idea the detail and replica that would take place. As a kid there's a window from about 3 to 9 of enjoyment and fatasticness that will soon fade after 9 but as an adult, I could've looked at the statues, I guess you call them, for hours. JD and I were both disappointed we didn't have more time in "Miniland" where they've built New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and more. So, if you're past age 9 and you're curious, it's worth the bucks to go and marvel at the ability to create such things with little plastic bricks. The three roller coasters aren't bad either if you're in the mindset of a 5 year old. Even if you've never played with legos in your whole life, you'll be amazed and possibly even enticed to sit and build something.

You can't imagine the details from these pictures but truly, don't you think this looks just like Harrison? This is not made from clay or stone...we're talking little legos here. Amazing. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

PIMA Air and Space Museum

We're back from vacation. We were gone just over a week. We did a little triangle in the car from Simi Valley to Phoenix to Tuscan to San Diego and back home. Had a good time and have many pics from the trip. I'll share them and stories a little at a time so as not to completely bore the reader. 

While in Tuscan we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum where we saw every kind of air plane ever made. It was quite something. We went with my Dad who found it all very interesting as did JD and Colin. It was amazing to track the journey of flight from the Wright Brothers to the Black Bird, which by the way can fly from Tuscan to Phoenix in 3 minutes. It takes 1.5 hours to drive. We saw Amelia Earhart's plane that she retired when she was 90 years old, the Guppy used to haul equipment for NASA, Air Force One for JFK and LBJ, the B-17 from WWII, and so much more. It was overwhelming. 

Colin sat in several kid-friendly planes and pretended to be a pilot. The lighting in the video is too dark to see his face but if you can imagine from the picture, this was a priceless moment:

At least he listens to the Tram guy at Disneyland. Sort of...