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The Ramblings of a Redneck Diva
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Mood:  amorous
Now Playing: Trace Adkins - Rough and Ready
Well, the Mystery Tour Friday night wasn't quite everything I wanted it to be, but it was fun regardless. For one thing, they had entirely too much of it staged and cued this time. Kinda ruined it for those of us who wanted a good authentic scare. Tif, however, got her $10 worth and kind felt like she needed to pay them extra because she was scared beyond belief. She didn't sleep a wink that night, bless her heart. It started at 10 and we left the theatre at 1:15. It was much longer than any other tour we've taken before, but normally there aren't more than 10 in a tour. This time there were 30. It took a lot longer to get to different parts of the building waiting on all of us to get settled and such. There were some really spooky things that happened that I truly believe were real, but like I said, too many things were too cued. Such as, "Sometimes when it's quiet you can hear the faint sounds of an orchestra from long ago..." *cue the violins* And then from the stage...the sound of a violin. And not even a good one at that. I'd like to think that anyone performing at the theatre would've sounded better than a cat in a washing machine. But then again, I guess when you've been dead for 60 some years you might be a little rusty the first time you cross over and pick up the fiddle again.

Last night we went to Tulsa to the Talons game. Second round of the play-offs and naturally, they won. Goooooo Talons! Arena football just entertains me to no end. It's so much more action packed than regular football and definitely more violent. Not that violence entertains me...okay, so yes it does. I do love WWE, remember?

After the game we went to a big ol' country bar where my sister became really good friends, very quickly, with Mr. Tom Collins. Sadly, the relationship was over just about the time we hit the interstate, bless her heart, and had to pull over to let him out of the car to find his own Buick. The fact that she claimed repeatedly "I never get sick when I drink" was what jinxed her. She even made the typical drunk's oath: "I am NEVER drinking again!" We all laughed, having been there ourselves. She solemnly swears she will forever be the DD, partaking only of Diet Coke for the rest of her life. Shalom, she has spoken. Whatever.

I am always amused by people in bars. Take 1500 horny cowboys/cowgirls/rednecks, place in enormous building with two bars and one giant dance floor, mix in a smidge of bad country band, copious amounts of liquor and generous amounts of hormones. Blend well. The results:
^Girls squishing themselves into outfits that have no business whatsoever being on their squishable bodies.
^Men trying to unsquish aforementioned girls from their clothing, sometimes on the dance floor, sometimes leaning against the bar (the latter of which we witnessed last night *shudder*).
^Attached couples doing their dead level best to piss each other off and/or make each other jealous.
^People showing off tattoos and piercings that should have never been done in the first place.
^Lots of boobies. Most of them less than half-way covered and several of them threatening to tumble all the way out the first good sneeze that comes along.
^Guys competing for the coveted "Alpha Male" position in the Pool Table Jungle.
^Girls giving other girls looks that could be skated on, have been known to cut glass and might possibly even be used as the jaws of life in certain situations.
^Really bad dancers (My cousin and I would know nothing about that, btw)
^People putting their tongues in places that honestly a tongue should never go, especially in public.
^Conversations that border on disgusting and the filing of felony charges.
^Entirely too many middle-aged women who look like they've been rode hard and put up wet. Many, many, many times...over and over and over again.

I could SO go on further, but that was just a small sampling of what we experienced. Of course, I'm sure someone else today is blogging about the pathetic looking table of oh-so-obviously married people in the corner, giggling every time the blonde dumped her ice in everyone's lap, watching two of them attempt the Cha-Cha Slide and fail miserably, the two guys watch ESPN on the overhead TV until their eyes would start drooping, the fat chick trip over her flip flops repeatedly, the newly-turned 21 year old shake her thang like a thang was SO obviously meant to be shaken... but I would have no earthly idea who would blog about those poor folks anyway...

The Diva has spoken at 10:41 PM CDT
Friday, August 13, 2004
Black cats, ghoulies, ghosties and possibly even toenail fungus
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Birds chirping merrily outside my bedroom window - Dang, I feel like Snow White or something
Oohhh Friday the 13th, woooooooooo...spooky day....wooooooo....the unsettled spirits are walking abouts.....woooooo...okay, enough of that crap. Big freakin' deal, it's a Friday and it's the 13th. I ain't buyin' it.

But, I am partaking in some spooky haunted festivities tonight, so I guess maybe I buy it a little. Nah, I really don't, but this is the only time they're giving this tour until October. The town we live in has this beautiful old theatre that was built back in 19somewheresprettyold and it's in the process of a million-some dollar restoration. Well, I've been going to the Coleman Theatre Beautiful since I was a child, used to watch Pink Panther cartoons there and even saw Bambi for the first time there. We've done Little Theatre there, gone for opera events, movies, talent shows and anything else you can use an old theatre for. It's on the National Historical Registry (or whatever it's called) and is right on Route 66, so it gets lots of publicity. It's haunted, as well.

Two years ago in October they opened it up on Friday and Saturday nights for Mystery Tours. You pay your $10 (used to be $5 till it got popular, lol) and spend an hour and a half to two hours in the locked theatre getting the piss scared out of yourself. Good times, lemme tell ya. It's not like a spook house where the headless dude comes out of nowhere with the chainless chainsaw and there is no part of the tour where you have to crawl through cold spaghetti and feel peeled grapes. This is legit, people. I went 4 times the first year it was opened up like this and the tour was different every time. Now granted, I do believe the tour guide does a few things for theatrical purposes, but I do believe there are spirits and energies there that are not of this time or world. We've smelled the cologne of the old theatre manager, heard "Abigail's" skirts rustling through the balcony, felt cold spots and last year Sis even felt Abigail touching her hair, trying to calm her down when she had a full-blown panic attack. Last year in the balcony as well, we could hear the noise of a crowd from long ago. It was very faint, but it was the murmur you hear before a performance begins, quiet talking,etc. The first 4 times I went it was eerie, spooky and entertaining but at no time did I ever feel threatened or really frightened. Last year I went on the tour one time and left before it was over. Whatever was in the theatre with us that night did not want us there and wasn't happy we weren't leaving. I felt like I should oblige since he/she/it was so adamant, so I sat in the van through the rest of the tour. Sue me.

But I'm going again tonight to see just how scared I can get again. Sure to be a treat! I'll write about it over the weekend, you can bet on that, lol.

Btw, if you type in you are going to be directly linked to a XXX site. Of course, you are going to do it now, lol, but I thought I'd give you fair warning. There isn't a good official site for the theater anymore, but a Google search will turn up some articles on it.

The Diva has spoken at 3:56 PM CDT
Thursday, August 12, 2004
First Day of School!
I officially have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener. *sigh*

The morning went off without a hitch, although the wait for the bus was a rather chilly one. I think it was about 50 degrees this morning and I haven't gotten out the windbreakers and jackets just yet. Brr! We weren't quite sure when the bus would come, so we walked down there about 6:45. Last year PsychoDriverFromHell would show up anywhere from 6:55 to 7:15 and if you weren't ready, pissonya and you missed it. She drove like 55 on the dirt roads and got the kids to the school earlier than they were supposed to, allowing more mischief to occur than should've. I just automatically prayed every morning that the kids would arrive safely. So we now have a really jolly looking older fella driving for us and he seems just about as grandfatherly as you can get. The kids love him already. Several parents had complained about the earliness of the bus, so it has been moved back and doesn't get to our house till 7:20. That allows my kids to sleep past 6:30, bless their hearts. Of course, Sam gets up, pees, puts on his clothes, brushes his teeth and he's ready for school. Abby requires a tad more preparation seeing as how she takes after her mother, lol. We have to foo-foo the hair at least 5 times, curl it, fluff it and whatever else may be necessary. Then of course there are the two sets of earrings to be installed into the earlobes, the body glitter to adorn the arms and chest, the body spray to just make her obnoxiously odorous and usually I find her, at least once, just standing in front of the mirror gazing at herself. I'm so glad Kady's going to be a biker chick.

Speaking of Kady...gotta do the Mommy thing and relate a Kady-ism from this morning. She cried when Bubby and Sissy got on the bus, which I was expecting, so on our walk back up the driveway I was trying to distract her with conversation about the upcoming day's events. Plus talking to her kept my mind off how durn cold my toes were in my flip flops and it kept Kady's teeth from chattering, too. It was foggy as all get out and from the end of the driveway you could not see the house. We had made it about halfway to the house when it finally came back into view, although just barely. Kady looked up, stopped in her tracks and threw her little arms up and said, "OHHH NOOOOOO!" I looked around thinking snake, turtle, mouse, lion, tiger, bear, whatever. I realized where she was looking, which was directly at the house. She dropped her arms and very emphatically said, "Oh Momma, my house is melting!!!"

The Diva has spoken at 9:44 PM CDT
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Stupid mood thing won't let me put in "pissed at the universe" .... rassin' frassin'....
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Big n Rich - Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy
My first thought was actually to write this entire blog in caps because that's just how crappy I feel today. Like I just want to yell at everyone. I'm having a serious pity party or something.

Oh yeah, today's Tif's 21st birthday so

Okay, that out of my system I can go back to being sullen and cranky.

I forgot to write about my adventure at the clinic on Monday. This one is sure to captivate. Okay, first of all the reason I even decided to swallow any pride and clear my afternoon schedule to sit at that durn clinic was because my allergies are just about to kill me. Secondly, I am decided that I am now ready to lose some of this damn weight.

I have in recent years come to revel in my queen-size figure and my self esteem has skyrocketed, realizing (finally!) that I am sexy and attractive in my own right and if nothing else, my husband loves my curves. But just in the last few months I have become a slug - a hateful, lazy, tired-all-the-time cow and I hate that. I have 3 kids who I would like to watch grow up and the road I'm taking is sending me to a miserable existence on blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications and no energy to watch ballgames and anything else. I don't want to be that kind of mom!!! SOOOOO...I thought I'd see if they would prescribe me some of those magic weight-loss, appetite reducing pills. Ha! That was a silly thought on my part. It's the Indian clinic, hello! As the hateful doctor told me: "We don't DO diet pills here." Okay, want me to smoke some peyote or what? Native Americans are at such a high risk for diabetes and heart disease, you'd think they'd be a little more aggressive in weight loss approaches. But no. He did offer to let me visit with the dietician. Nah. All they are going to do it put me on a 600 calorie a day, salt restricted, no fat, no flavor diet that there is no way I'd stick to. Well when I went in I had already decided to start Weight Watchers again, I just thought the diet pills would give me a boost or something. *sigh* Weight Watchers is still the plan, just sans drugs. So while he's looking over my chart and I'm sitting there in the incredibly uncomfortable silence he hatefully tells me that my blood pressure is high. Hmm... your attitude and the stress of the clinic itself doesn't have a thing to do with that, Mr Dr-man...nah. I told him that I wasn't having symptoms of high blood pressure (I had a little bout with it about 5 years ago when my marriage was heading towards the creek without that proverbial paddle) and his all-too-quick response was, "Of course you don't have any symptoms. You never do till you fall over dead of a stroke." I'm betting he never gets friendliest employee there at IHS.

So after another uncomfortable 5 minutes of him judging me, he says he's sending me for an EKG, chest x-ray and labwork. At that point I was glad for two reasons: Glad that he was almost done with me and getting ready to go harass someone other unsuspecting soul. And also glad that I was at the indian clinic because all the crap he just ordered would've cost upwards of $2000 at a regular doctor's office.

He tells me to take my top off and he'll send in someone to do the EKG. Enter Nurse Ratchet. "Lie back and relax" she says as she jerks out the little foot rest at the end of the table. The sound of that alone send my blood pressure up another 20 points. So she then throws open my paper gown, exposing my entire chest. Okay, I'm not a real modest person, but come on, let's give a person a little shred of dignity. She goes to sticking little circles all over my chest and stomach. I was just focusing on a little dot in the ceiling overhead. Then she grabs 12 wires with aligator clips on the ends. Maybe it was an insane thought, but I just worried for the safety of my nipples at that point. No kidding! She was clipping those suckers on those paper circles quick as you please and I was certain that one was going to end up on the end of a nipple and then I was going to punch her square in the nose. Fortunately she hit her targets all 12 times and it was over in about a minute after it started. I was feeling pretty violated and was actually looking forward to the labwork and just wanted to put my bra back on. I was not happy with the whole way things were shaping up at that point. Okay, so on to x-ray where this kid who was not a day over 13 (Okay, so I exaggerate) tells me the machine is down and can I come back. Do I have a choice, geez. Then he tells me that Tuesday it'll still be broken, Wednesday they'll install new parts, Thursday will be regular scheduled maintenance so Friday will be the earliest they can do it. Fiiiiiiiiine. He then tells me to go back to Waiting and someone will call me to Lab. I get to Waiting, no sooner settle my rump in the chair than they call me to Lab. It's the same kid who just walked around the corner, picked up a different phone and paged me to Lab. AGHHHHHHHHH He tells me that it's a fasting test and asks when can I come back. I say "Tomorrow would be fine." Come on, here's the interactive part of today's blog, guess what his reply was.... go ahead guess.... Yep, they can't do it then. I suggested Thursday. Nope. I was really frustrated when, through gritted teeth, I said "What - about - Friday?" Bingo! Then it was back to Waiting at 5 minutes till 4. One hour in the clinic at this point. Which, I really shouldn't complain, because it used to be on a walk-in basis only and you just counted on a 4 hour minimum wait any time you walked through the doors. I settled into a chair, wishing I had brought a book....played a game of Snake on my cell phone till the battery started beeping....counted the ceiling tiles....watched a fly crawl all over the sign to the Pharmacy....mentally compiled a list of Christmas presents for the kids.... and Praise the Lord at 4:25 they called me to the Pharmacy to pick up my little bottle of steroid nose spray - which, by the way, gives me such a vicious immediate headache that I'm sure it's giving me a tumor.

I just can't be happy, can I?

The Diva has spoken at 11:19 AM CDT
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
The countdown continues
Mood:  special
Now Playing: Casting Crowns - The Voice of Truth
I took my kiddos to the school today to pick up school supplies. We are so blessed to be Native American because that means FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES!!! Gotta love it. Last year, before I realized we actually got these tasty morsels of free school supply goodness, I went out and bought all of Ab's stuff at the friendly neighborhood WalMart. Even with our 10% associate discount it was $35+. Geez, that was a big pinch in the checkbook for this poor indian woman - how do poor white people afford it? Last year she had to have 8 glue sticks. (Guess they glue a lot in first grade. Still not sure about that one.) The stinkin' glue sticks were a buck a piece so that equals out to .... aw heck if you can't figure that up you need help, lol. This year I think she has to have 6. Still lots of gluing going on in that elementary school.

Ab has been so apprehensive about starting 2nd grade, bless her heart. The poor child is so painfully shy and just worries about everything, so I kind of expected it. She has made such amazing progress since she was 4, but she still has trouble with some new social situations. She does not get this trait from me because I am, after all, a Diva in my own right, so it's very hard for me to fathom this debilitating shyness. To me a new social situation is just a chance to shine, lol. To her it's a chance to perspire and wish for the nearest hole in which to crawl. I knew she'd meet her teacher during Open House tomorrow night, but I wanted to wrangle a more personal meeting and God heard my prayers today. We were headed toward the room where the school supplies are kept under armed security (just kidding - I mean, school supplies are expensive but not enough to warrant a militant overthrow or anything) when the other 2nd grade teacher popped out into the hall. We were visiting with her awhile, our families having known each other since our families began, and lo and behold Ab's teacher joined us in the hall. Fortunately one of Sam's little friends was there in her mom's classroom and they ran off to annoy that poor woman, so I could kind of prod Ab into talking to her teacher. She found her desk and she's sitting by her buddy,McKenzie, so that in and of itself makes 2nd grade worthwhile in her mind. The reading book they are starting out in she has already completed because she at least got her reading skills from her mother (and yes I'm bragging) and she was so relieved to know that 2nd grade is going to be something she can actually do. It's one of those things I've been telling her for weeks now, that she is capable of succeeding, capable of learning and not being overwhelmed, but I guess seeing the book with her own eyes was what she needed to assure herself. Works for me.

Sam has no qualms whatsoever about starting Kindergarten. This is the vast difference between my two oldest children. Abby kind of hangs back and observes. Sam jumps in, bringing attention to himself, drawing the quieter kids into play, completely comfortable in virtually every situation. I always worry that Abby will be too quiet and won't be recognized. I worry that Sam will just talk the teacher to death, lol.

Sam is having a banner day today anyway. At lunch today he was just chowing along and got this strange look on his face, a mixture of pain and "what the heck?". I thought he'd bitten his tongue, but usually he yells like his leg has been ripped off when he does that. I asked him what was up and he replied, "I bit my tooth." Wasn't sure I quite understood that, so first I had him rinse his mouth because I really wasn't interested in getting a close-up view of a mostly-chewed pb&j sandwich. Then upon inspection realized that he has a very loose tooth. Upon even further inspection we discovered he actually has two very loose teeth. They're so wiggly I bet they don't see the second week of school. Of course, he has shown everyone we've seen today his loose teeth, walking around with his finger stuck in his face, wiggling like a madman.

It's good to be the mom. How can life get any better than getting to experience such little miracles and joys and laughs? I get tired, I get frustrated, I feel inept and I sometimes cry at how inadequate I feel, but gosh...this is what I was put on this earth for. What a purposeful life. Makes me feel pretty durn signifigant in the grand scheme of things.

The Diva has spoken at 5:40 PM CDT
Monday, August 9, 2004
Countdown to school
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Rugrats playing in on the living room TV
Agh, what a weekend. I'd rather not even have weekends if they aren't going to be halfway enjoyable. I won't go into the details (to protect the innocent, lol), but the husband and I fought fiercely all durn weekend. Sunday was a horrible day, I cried most of it. But Sunday night I got an apology from him, which I deserved, because he really had been a big butthead. The apology was a surprise because I can honestly count on one hand the times, in our 11 1/2 year marriage, that he has apologized to me. Does that say something bad about him? Or me? *shrugs* Either way, I got the apology.

Today I got four new ceiling fans installed in my house!! This may not seem like a big deal to most because hey, they're ceiling fans after all. But we are cooling a nearly 2000 sq ft house with one window air conditioner. Surprisingly it does a really good job of keeping things tolerable, but Lord have mercy, the utility bills are obscene. My mother in law bought all the kids stand fans the year we moved in, to try to circulate some air around back there, since their rooms are around a corner and down the hall from where the AC is, but they just don't quite do it all the way. Plus they're bulky and take up a lot of room and I have this constant fear one is going to get knocked over and someone's going to either be scalped when her long curls get tangled in the blades or someone's going to lose a finger. But now we have fans safely installed on the ceiling, so the only one I worry about getting mangled by one is my son, who sometimes thinks he is Super Man. I mean, what 5 year old boy doesn't? He will jump from ungodly heights wearing only his Spongebob underwear with his choo-choo blanket tied around his neck. Oh to be 5 again... Of course, I had Wonder Woman Underoos back when I was 5 and I wasn't jumping off of things because, well, that was just dangerous and I might bleed and that would be messy and oh so uncomfortable, plus I hated that sticky outline bandaids left. Need I reiterate the whole "girls are so much more high-maintenance than guys" statement...???

The Diva has spoken at 1:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 5:08 PM CDT
Friday, August 6, 2004
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: "Hey Arnold" playing on the living room TV
I'm in a very obnoxious mood this morning. That means that the checkers at WalMart and the 16 year olds with McJobs who are pouty about having to go back to school in a week had better BE NICE. I'm in just the right frame of mind to waylay someone.

Oh yesterday was SUCH a wonderful day! I was surrounded by a house full of children all day and it was heaven. A noisy heaven, but still heaven. I sent the big kids outside when the little ones took a nap, giving me some quiet time. That was all I needed to recharge and then I was ready to go again. All 8 kids and I were outside, the weather was, it was just one of those days where you feel like you're doing something right in the grand scheme of things.

The boys had their light sabres and were battling some unknown evil lurking in my side yard, the two little ones were climbing all over the big toy (my two year old has no fear, btw, which means she'll either be a gymnast, biker chick or the president one of these days), one girl was playing with the dog, one was playing in the chat and one was swinging. It's not the first time, but man did I notice the difference between the boys and the girls. It wasn't evident in the little ones because they all pretty much play the same at that age with only few differences. But the bigger kids, there is definitely a gender line drawn in indelible ink. The boys form a team, an alliance, to play together, feed off each other, and truthfully there are few arguments between them in group play. They are more inclined to just go with the flow, the characters changing from time to time, the evil they are fighting can go from dark jedi dude to an indian in the canyons to a bad guy runnin' from the cops and the boys don't care, they just want to be the hero no matter what. Girls....oh girls....we are so much higher maintenance as a whole, aren't we? The girls all want to maintain control of the hierarchy, they all want to be the mommy when they play family, they all want to cook, they all want to be the diva on stage and how dare anyone try to share the limelight. If you do, oh sister, you better be ready for a fight. The principle is the same: Girls and boys alike want to be the hero/heroine, but boys are a little more flexible in how they attain that. Girls aren't. Period. We all took a walk down the driveway (1/10 mile) and the boys were running and riding the bikes ahead of everyone, racing, skidding the tires in the rocks, yelling, chasing the dog and just generally enjoying the freedom of movement. The girls were picking flowers, holding my hand, handing me flower after flower, putting flowers in my hair/their hair, looking at the birds, giggling when they saw a rabbit run across the field and just generally enjoying the beauty of the moment. It's the same in adults as well. When Paul and I walk, he's there for the sole purpose of getting to where we are going. His stride is long, his steps very fast, he looks straight ahead and doesn't talk. I, however, (and being a short-legged 5'2" doesn't help) walk very slowly, my stride being obviously very short, my steps fast only because it takes 2 of mine to equal one of his. I look from side to side, enjoying the scenery, commenting on things I see, trying to drag conversation out of him. It's just funny, the difference between men and women, because it starts when we are mere children.

Well, I gotta run. I had no intention of writing so much today! I'm playing maid today and doing my weekly house cleaning job. period's late and I'm going to take a pregnancy test while I'm in town. Pray, folks. Not sure how I want you to pray, but just do. :)

The Diva has spoken at 10:12 AM CDT
Thursday, August 5, 2004

My first night working at the baseball field concession stand this summer I told my husband that the kids could stay up till I got home. It was 9:00 before I got in and they were glad to see me. I was greeted by 3 smiling, yelling kids, who enveloped me around the knees and waist with hugs. I reciprocated, of course; who could resist that? Then I sent them all back to brush teeth and get ready for bed. Sam, our 5 year old, turned to walk down the hall then came running back and barreled into me, hugging me tight. He said, "MMMMMM, smell so good!" I kind of mentally preened for a minute, knowing that scent is a very strong sense and there are things to this day that when I catch a whiff of them, memories come rushing back. I was lost in the split-second reverie of creating a sweet "mommy memory" for my son until I heard the rest of his comment:"You smell like popcorn!!"

The Diva has spoken at 1:22 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2004 1:24 PM CDT

Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: The sound of one hand clapping
Well, it's 8:40am and I figured that since things were going well at this point I'd jump on and blog for a few minutes. I'm sure you're thankful and are now satisfied that your day will proceed as normal. Well, all I can say is you are welcome. ;)

Man, I was not wanting to get UP this morning! That sleep was just too good. I stayed up till after 11:30 because I was watching A-Z: Sixteen Candles on VH-1. This morning I realize that was incredibly stupid, see as how if I stop typing my eyes actually close. I forced myself to get up and make pancakes first thing, started laundry, put on my makeup...basically doing everything in my power to stay moving and awake. I'm sitting now and typing with my eyes closed, lol. You think I'm kidding? Nope, typing away with my eyes blissfully closed. :D

The Diva has spoken at 8:45 AM CDT
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Slumber party
Mood:  special
Now Playing: The sound of children sleeping and my husband channel surfing
Well, I think I may have bumped myself back up into the running for Mom of the Year. Or at least Aunt Kiki of the Year. I spent 45 minutes building the biggest living room tent made entirely of sheets that I've ever made in my life. I sometimes wonder if architect wasn't my calling. I mean, doesn't it mean I have talent when I can take 4 twin sheets and a stapler and create something that makes 5 children so happy they literally dance? I took pics and if I have a chance tomorrow I'll try to post them on here. (If someone has mastered this, gimme a buzz and enlighten me - I haven't been able to actually get one to show up yet. And no, I'm not a retarded monkey.)

One of my best friends called this evening to see if I could watch her two kids tomorrow while she works on her classroom, getting it ready for school. This means that I will have in my home:
one 9 year old boy
one 7 year old girl
one 6 year old girl
one 5 year old girl
one 5 year old boy
one 4 year old boy
one 2 year old girl
one 2 year old boy

If it wasn't so hot we'd play outside, but the heat index today was 103, so I'm not betting we do much outside time. And we only have a wading pool that measures mayyyyyybe 4 feet across, if that. No way in heck can 8 kids play in that without injury. I don't know how long the tent will last with that many kids, either. It should be an interesting day, to say the least!

Yeah, I'm thinking I may not be online much tomorrow, what do you think?

The Diva has spoken at 10:37 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 4, 2004 10:39 PM CDT
Mood:  down
This one truly will be short, folks, so write it down in the books that there actually was a day I wasn't long-winded.

I'm depressed as hell this morning. I have another FREAKING eye infection, I need $1000 in a bad way, I have PMS, it's raining, my throat hurts, a stupid bill collector called my husband at work this morning and of course in the grand scheme of things it's all my damn fault and aw screw it, why ramble on. I'm logging off and shutting down the computer for the day. I think I'll pop in Sixteen Candles, grab a blanket and think about on the days when I wanted to be Molly Ringwald.

I can remember crying for like 3 solid hours once because I wasn't Molly Ringwald. Huh???? Now I'd just like to be out of debt and halfway un-miserable for a few days in a row. Who the heck cares that I'm not famous and don't have the gorgeous red hair I've always dreamed of? Being Molly Ringwald is like the furthest thing from a priority now, but boy it was sure important when I was 15...says the bitter 31 year old.

Who was that wise woman that said "Don't rush growing up - it's not all you think it's going to be."? Hmmm...lemme think....oh yeah, now I remember - every adult woman I came in contact with as a teenager.

The Diva has spoken at 8:48 AM CDT
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Ever felt like a raisin?
Mood:  irritated
I took a Sudafed and two Benadryl this morning and I'm thinking now that that was a huge mistake. For one thing, about 30 minutes after I took them I got so sleepy I literally could NOT hold my eyes open. I took the Sudafed thinking it would counteract any drowsiness from the Benadryl. Well, no such luck - the demon antihistamine was too powerful. I, being the horrible mother/babysitter I am, planted my hiney in the big chair and sat in a coma-like state while the children watched an hour and a half of Nick Jr. Maybe I'm the only person who does this, but when I'm in the drowsing mode, I can actually have conversations with myself (and whatever other pink elephant happens along, lol.) I finally, after the last 30 minutes of listening to a too-happy animated puppy and Latino girl with a pet monkey, had to tell myself that either I had to get up or I was going to just slip on over into catatonic. When I willed my eyes to open they honestly had to be the driest eyeballs that ever existed. I hate that!!! Antihistamines are great, they certainly serve a purpose when the ol' allergies are giving you fits, but they also dry the crap outta ya. Ugh, I have already drank nearly a quart of sweet tea and still feel like a raisin. I normally take ZyrtecD and that doesn't dry me out near as bad, but it also hasn't quite been doing the trick lately. Christina-Marie, a precious woman who has been reading my blog, told me to take echinacea and lay off the wheat and dairy. Totally wishing I had taken her advice when she originally gave it. I'm sure I'd be over this by now, but noooooooo I had to procrastinate. I've driven by the health food store a dozen times and don't realize it until I'm already past and by then I don't wanna turn around, cross traffic, drag all 3 kids know the drill. If I can just survive through today I'm stopping there tomorrow night on the way to karate. Guaranteed.

Poor Ab woke me up about 1:30 this morning saying she was going to throw up. Why is it that children feel they must announce to their parents when they are about to hurl? She is 7, has her own bathroom, she could've gone straight in there, done her thing, then she could've come told me. But instead I wake up out of a deep sleep, throw my arm over my face because I have this deep-seated fear of one of the kids actually barfing on me when they come in to announce their intentions. I told her to get to the bathroom, grabbed my glasses and ran right behind her to the bathroom. Bless her heart, she was white as a sheet. We sat in the silence of the glaringly bright bathroom lights for about 5 minutes, she squatted in front of the toilet, myself sitting on the side of the tub, feeling pretty sure that my butt cheeks were permanently frozen there like the proverbial tongue to the flagpole. I finally decided to pry my buns off the frigid porcelain and told her to stay while I fixed her a pallet in the couch. I am so proud of my couch, so when the kids are sick I all but drape it in biohazard plastic. First all of the back cushions come off, then goes down a thick blanket, then I drape a towel over the pillow and down into the floor. Trashcan (double-bagged of course) goes on towel and child may then barf to their heart's content. I got her settled on the couch, collapsed into my big chair and we both tried to sleep. Didn't happen, but we tried. She didn't sleep because she was selling Buicks (think about it -- Buh-yooooooooooooooooooooooick) and I didn't because my "cheeky panties" were so far wedged up my rear end I was afraid we were edging toward surgical removal. Whoever invented that particular style of underwear was obviously a man because I feel pretty confident that most women really do like more of their buns covered than what cheeky panties provide. More than a thong, yes, but still less than the traditional bun covers. Don't get me wrong they are great to wear under clothing, but when you're just wearing your ol' ratty Eskimo Joe's t-shirt and them to sleep in, things get precarious pretty quick. Boy did I digress... Okay, so when she finally got everything out of her system, bless her baby heart, she fell asleep and I quickly followed suit, even with a wedge of cotton up my hind end. 5:30 came entirely too early. She wasn't running a fever, so I didn't feel it necessary to call the mom of the little boy I babysit. I figured if she was still sick I'd just quarantine her off in her room and Lysol the heck out of everything she touched. I moved her to her bed, did the Lysol routine, made tea and waited for Chandler to arrive. By the time she got up around 7, she was fine. She's still pale, but has managed to keep down some Propel and a slice of bread. She's playing with everyone, bossing them around, so obviously things are back to normal.

Well, I hear whines and yells coming from the living room. My cue to exit Stage Mom's Not Happy.

The Diva has spoken at 11:47 AM CDT
Monday, August 2, 2004
Initial Night
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: What the heck does this mean? Like what's playing on the radio right now?????
It's Monday so that means it's "Initial Night". Tif and her husband watch the OC and Paul and I watch WWE. Dunno, it was funny to me. :-)

I absolutely love watching wrestling. Not only is it an opportunity to watch half naked men exhibit gratuitous acts of testosterone-induced pseudo-violence, but hey, it's my right as a redneck woman to be able to watch what my man watches, which could include, but is not limited to, Nascar. And no, I don't watch Nascar. Just commenting that if I wanted to, it'd be okay. I enjoy a good rodeo, have been known to watch Arena football-when so inclined-and there really is nothing better than a demolition derby. I was supposed to drive in one last year, did you know that? Sadly I'm gonna be a grey-headed osteoarthritic woman and still talking about the time I was "supposed" to drive in the derby. It's actually on my list of things I want to do before I die. Getting married and having kids were two items on said list and I've accomplished those, so why can't I drive a derby once?


Last night after church and after it got dark, John, Tif, Eddie and Paul and I went out to hunt a cache. For those of you who are going huh right about now, let me explain what "caching" is. In order to cache you must have a GPS. People hide these caches all over the place, which can consist of nothing more than a log book and pencil or can go as far as being something like a landmark and you have to take your picture to prove you've been there. Most caches, though, are rubbermaid type boxes with a log book and some trinkets, goodies, what have ya. The idea is that you bring along things to trade out with the things you find in caches. Okay, anyway we insane people hide these things, log the coordinates on the website and then more insane people go find them, relying on the GPS, the weather and how good their hiking boots are. It's a blast and you can easily use up a whole day or night hunting and hiding these things. Lots of the folks in our church have this rather interesting hobby and we have been hooked as well. Check it out here!

Our pastor, James, and my cousin, Chad, are two of the most known cachers in the area and are infamous for their tricky and hard to find treasures. James hid one down in the woods, made up this supposed legend to go along with it and finds a rather twisted pleasure in scaring the holy poo out of people with it. It's a night only cache, so you have to wait till dark, don the boots, jeans and OFF, grab a flashlight and muster up your courage. So we all head out to find "The Legend of Johnny Marble" which in addition to finding the treasure, you might also find yourself face to face with Johnny Marble himself (aka James or Chad, depending on if they know your're heading out there, lol). We get about half way there and I'm telling them the stories I've read about it and John all of the sudden says "YOU MEAN WE'RE HUNTING JOHNNY MARBLE??? Aw geez guys, if I'd known we were hunting Johnny Marble there is NO WAY I'd have come!" And bless his heart, he was serious. John's not a big fan of being scared. But press on, we did. We parked right off the road, donned head lamps, grabbed flashlights, sprayed ourselves with a heaping helping of DEET and into the woods we went. Oh my goodness it was humid and the woods were so thick and John and Tif were both not wanting to be there, but I personally was having a blast. The brush and trees are so thick in there that the GPS is useless, so the trail is marked with reflective tape and tacks. We got a few yards in and lost the trail, which made us have to backtrack a bit and find a different trail. We got far enough in to find the old electric pole to the old house we needed to be at, but couldn't find the house, nor any more tacks. We were all kind of just looking around, wondering just where in the heck a house would hide, when all of the sudden we hear an alarm going off. John's Expedition has an alarm on it. And John's Expedition is a program car from the car lot he works for. Agh, so here we go, trekking back out of the woods, much faster than we came in. Eddie and Paul both were nearly running, John was just trying to make sure Tif and I weren't murdered by some tortured soul in the woods and Tif kept saying "I am not sure I'm your friend right now, Kristin. Yep, I'm really thinking I don't like you much anymore." LOL I was just laughing my butt off at her. John's thought was that Chad or James had actually set off the car alarm to make us come back up the trail so they could scare us, which made him goosier than all get out. Well, by the time the 3 of us bringing up the rear make it to the end of the trail, Paul and Ed have already come back to find us, bring with them the news that it's not the Expedition's alarm, but one at a nearby building. Well, Tif said she wasn't going back into the woods, John agreed, also saying that if someone was in the area setting off alarms, they could just as easily try to get into his car. So the hunt for Johnny Marble was aborted. *sigh* I haven't been caching in ages and when I finally get to go, we don't even find the durn thing. But truthfully, I understood where they were coming from, so I really wasn't upset in the least. Paul and I are going to try to hunt it again this weekend and I hope we actually find it this time. The luck we were having with not being able to even find the house makes me wonder what kind of luck we'll have the next time.

I haven't seen my little lizard friend out here in my room again, but I swear I hear him. In fact, while I was typing I had Paul come out here (because my feet were up on the keyboard) to turn on a light so I could see just exactly what was rattling around under my desk. I didn't see anything, but you know feet are still up here on the keyboard and I'm finding that, for a fat girl, I'm still pretty limber.

The Diva has spoken at 10:12 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 2, 2004 10:22 PM CDT
Sunday, August 1, 2004
"I'm not a pickle, I'm a cucumber."
Mood:  surprised
Okay, before I go ahead with today's blog I've gotta update you on the last one.

In addition to the awesome dinner and free play we got at the casino Thursday we also got a goody bag! I didn't even know about it until the next day when I dropped the kids off at Mom's. She told me she had a bag for me and Sis. I figured it was just something the kids had left or something she had found for us and was just wanting to get out of her house. No...they are actual tote bags that say "Quapaw Casino" and inside was a koozie, a magnetic clip and a t-shirt. Pretty durn cool eh? Y'all may not be excited, but this chick was impressed, lol.

I've had a couple of people ask how the driver's license picture turned out. Pretty almost alright, I guess. I mean for a driver's license picture it's not too bad. The only thing is, they made me take my glasses off! I have worn glasses since I was 11 and they are a part of me. I have tried to wear contacts two separate times in my life and I have actually had people tell me I look weird. I'm just meant to wear glasses. And my hair, which is really dark anyway, looks even darker in my picture, so I think I look like a big fat indian woman, LOL. No kidding! I told Sis that and when she looked at it, she goes, "Yyyyyyeah, I can see that." I called Mom, because I knew she had gotten hers renewed a few months back, to see if she had to take hers off, too, but nooooooooo they let her keep hers on! It's so strange that I had to take them off because I have the corrective lenses restriction on my license, so you'd think they'd want my picture to have me in them. *shrugs* Dunno. Maybe the lady at the tag office just needed a good laugh and I was the unfortunate person who she picked to cheer her up.

Okay, so on to today's actual blog, telling the events of the weekend...

Friday night we went out for Sis' birthday, which was a total hoot. Bub dropped Sis off at one of the small casinos in town, came out and picked up all of our kids and me and took us to Mom's to leave the munchkins. Then he and I met Sis and our friend, Melissa, at the Stables. We were just planning on hanging out until Paul got off work, then we were going to eat. Paul wasn't scheduled to get off until 8, so we were all hungry and cranky, but hanging, nonetheless. But miracle of miracles, he called me shortly after 7 and said he was on his way home to shower. So around 8 he called and said he was almost to town. About that time John and Tif showed up, just in time to get back in their car to drive across town to the steak house. The three couples had a really great dinner and just enjoyed visiting and laughing. I tell ya, some of the stories we tell when we're together. We were having such a good time I nearly cried all my mascara off.

So then after dinner, John decided he needed to go on home and for some strange reason get some sleep, the big poo. So we took Tif with us out to Quapaw Casino. We all kind of split up, but about 5 minutes after I sat down at my machine, here comes Tif strollin up. She had blown $20 in that short 5 minutes! I'm tellin' ya, it's easy to do. Been there done that. It only took me about 15 to lose $15. A buck a minute...not good. So we left those machines by the wayside and headed to a different part of the building. I wanted to play my favorite game, RedBall. Tif and I got machines side by side and were having a ball. I taught her how to "woogie" her machine for luck, which she thought was silly at first, but after awhile we were both woogie-ing like crazy, lol. Paul was bored and sat down at a slot machine behind us and put in a dollar. By this time Sis was on the other side of me. He tapped Sis on the shoulder and said, "Uh, I think I just won $100." Well, imagine the three of us turning around simultaneously. That definitely got our collective attention! Sure enough, he had won a $100 jackpot. He went to the cage and got his cash, then decided to try it again. He put in a $10 and in $6 had won another $87. We were making him cash out when he won, otherwise he'd just play it all again. All told he won about $250 during the course of the night. Me, I just played $40 of his winnings, lol.

Okay, sidebar...a hilarious one at that... While I was typing along here, my internet answering machine rang and I needed to return the call. I walked out onto the carport to get my cell phone out of my van. I dialed the number as I was walking and it's a good thing poor Sarah didn't answer the phone because as I walked in the door I stepped on a lizard!! Imagine the scream that came outta my mouth. And imagine the surprise she'd have gotten had she picked up!! Iiiiiieeeeeewwww, I hate lizards!!! I was so busy screaming and jumping around that I'm not even sure where the stupid thing went. He could've run right back out the door, he could've run further into my bedroom. I'm not sure I'll be sleeping here tonight, lol. iew iew iewiewiewwwww iiwewwwwwwwww that was gross!

Okay, so now I'm not even in the mood to type any more. That stupid thing could still be lurking here in my bedroom!! Yeah, I'm thinking I want to leave my bedroom for awhile. If I get enough courage to enter this part of the house again today I'll write more, otherwise y'all may have to wait awhile, lol.

The Diva has spoken at 4:36 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, August 1, 2004 4:47 PM CDT
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Luck be a lady
Mood:  hungry
Well, at least the $25 I lost at the casino tonight wasn't mine. *sigh*

Tonight was my first ride in a limo, which I could SO get used to. We all met up at the casino and left our cars, so everyone could go home when they wanted later. Lemme tell ya, they were double and triple stacked in Aunt Janet's van when I arrived and when Aunt Janet said, "Climb in and find a lap!" I replied, "Oh dear, there is no lap in there quite ready for that." Man, was I ever glad when her sister volunteered to drive her car! We all gathered in Larry and Janet's house to await the arrival of the limos. They brought a black and a white one, a Lincoln and a Cadillac. I told the driver at the door that I wanted to ride in the Caddy, but to tell you the truth I just got in the black one because it was prettier and I couldn't tell the difference. We crammed 9 people into a limo that was probably only supposed to seat 6 or 7. And Mom and I ended up riding backwards and I was pretty thankful the drive out there was only about 5 miles. Any further and they'd have had to pull that long sucker over to let me hurl. So anyway, we just goofed it up real good the entire drive, really enjoying ourselves and probably making that poor driver think we were nuts. I'm surprised he didn't put up that little privacy window divider thingy. At the casino we all got out and they took our picture (and of course I forgot my camera!! But they're supposed to email them to me tomorrow) then the escorted us into the bar where they had the whole shebang set up. No pictures there since it's illegal inside the place, but it was pretty nice - for a bar inside a casino anyway, lol. They fed us t-bones that were so melt in your mouth it was incredible. My cousin Keith had a baked potato on his plate that honestly was as big as a football! I sat between my cousins, Chad and Keith, and that was probably one of the most fun meals I've ever eaten. We laughed so hard through the entire meal I'm surprised one of us didn't get choked. Here's an example of the kind of things we were laughing over:

Chad and Courtney are working at a motorcycle rally this weekend and Courtney is announcing. She was telling us how she is going to have to announce the wet t-shirt concert and wasn't really all that excited about it. When she asked them just how she was supposed to go about saying it they said, "Just yell 'SHOW US YOUR T--S!'" She was even less excited about saying that. Then they proceed to tell us how rough it might get with all those bikers and all that beer. I told her that if things got too rowdy to just yell my name over the intercom and I'd come up and show 'em my boobs because that was sure to clear the place in a heartbeat. Keith said if I just cut two holes in my shirt right off the bat I'd be able to control the crowd. But when I told him that the holes would have to be down close to the hem of the shirt he and Chad nearly fell out of their chairs. Crude, yes it is. Funny, even more so. Sadly, it's not too far from true. *shrugs* What can I say.

Along with the free meal we also got the $25 free play I mentioned, but we found two bonuses in our envelopes in the form of 2 free beers. Not being a beer drinker, I promptly gave mine to cousin Keith. So did just about everyone else. If the poor kid makes it home tonight it'll be a miracle, lol. I played my money to the best of my ability, which isn't saying much. I mean, how much ability is really required to hit the button over and over in electonic gaming? I played for over an hour on their $25 and came home with $5, so all in all it wasn't too bad. If I'd cashed out every time I won I'd have come home with $35 more, but oh well. I had fun while it lasted.

Tomorrow the kids and I have a bunch of errands to run, including getting my driver's license renewed. The state just switched over to a new sytem, not allowing you to use your SSN as your DL# anymore, which means now I have yet another set of numbers to memorize. I'll have to get fingerprinted, too and of course, have that awful picture taken. And it's supposed to rain, which means I will have the most horrendous hair ever. Just once I'd like to take a half way decent driver's license picture...just once! Of course, my last picture, while still bad, is a heck of a lot better than my Sam's Club membership card picture. Oh heaven's, that thing is atrocious!!! Even my mom, who tries to always make ya feel good, said, "Oh honey."

Well, I hear a piece of red velvet cake calling to me from the kitchen. Yes, I realize it's nearly midnight and yes, I know it'll go straight to my butt, and no, I really don't care. Then I'm off to get my beauty sleep before my photo shoot tomorrow!!

The Diva has spoken at 11:12 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2004 11:16 PM CDT
This weather rocks!
Mood:  spacey
We have had a week of the coolest weather I've ever experienced in July. Sunday morning it was actually cool enough to merit a sweater. The girls had goose bumps when we were going into the church! It's been so cool all week, it's given everyone this little shot in the arm that is unheard of during the hellish Oklahoma summers. Usually this time in July it's nearly 100' with heat indices as high as 110 and the humidity somewhere around 4000%. Right now the temp is 67. We've spent more time outside this week than we normally would - we've gone to the park, played outside... of course today it's raining, but still it's awful durn inviting to just run out there...

My uncle is running for state representative and Tuesday was the primary election. We were so hoping that he'd win with enough of a percent that there would not be a run off. To win you have to have 50% of the votes. He won with 49.3%. Agh! SO close!! Technically he won, but there still has to be a run off. Yesterday we had an informal meeting and we now all have only one shirt in our wardrobes, lol. My children are going to be labeled the poor kids at school because they will wear only their campaign shirts for the first 3 weeks of school, lol.

My aunt won a drawing from one of the casinos and we're all wearing our campaign shirts there, as well. They're going to think they're being invaded when we all show up with matching shirts and hats and whatever else they forage around for between now and then. I'm all for wearing my shirt in support, but tonight I'm all about the free steak dinner and $25 free play in the casino. Ya know, a girl's gotta have her priorities in order.

Tomorrow's baby sister's 28th birthday and there are 4 couples all getting together to hit the casinos that give away free play on birthdays. Might get expensive for the 7 of us non-birthday folks, but Sis is going to have a ball, lol. Mom's watching all 5 grandkids overnight so that we can have a good time and not have to worry about dragging the kids out at some ungodly hour. Mom rocks. I'm looking forward to some fun "grownup" time this weekend. School starts in a few weeks, I'll start babysitting again next Monday...things are going to get serious again. Bummer. Kind of bites being an adult sometimes.

The Diva has spoken at 10:15 AM CDT
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
bring your own lampshade
Mood:  party time!
Happy Anniversary John and Tiffany!

Some friends of ours celebrated their first wedding anniversary yesterday and I meant to get a happy anniversary up on here before today.

Sorry it's late, guys! Love you both!

The Diva has spoken at 11:06 AM CDT
Friday, July 23, 2004
This is gonna take awhile, part 2
Mood:  hug me
Make sure you're reading these in order, folks...

Okay, so the drive there goes off without a hitch. We have walkie talkies and keep ourselves mega entertained the whole drive, talking about our own church camp and youth group memories, asking each other trivia questions, commenting on billboards, you name it. I made it to Stroud before the eye-crossing exhaustion hit me. Sis drove us in the rest of the way, while I sat in the passenger's seat, unable to sleep, but borderline catatonic, nonetheless.

Sis went as a cook for another church who was in desperate need for one (God bless her willing, helpful heart), but they weren't supposed to arrive till later in the afternoon, so when we hit camp she just went up the hill with us. The look on her face when we entered the cabin was so priceless...which I'm sure the look on my face mimicked it as well. I've stayed in some pretty rough church camp cabins before and this one was definitely in the "rough" category. But it smelled relatively clean and we didn't see rodents or roaches scatter when we opened the door, so I was counting blessings right and left. I had separate cook's quarters, which wasn't the Ritz, but it was workable. I scooted two beds together and made the kids one giant bed and they were ecstatic, claiming this to be one of the best vacations ever. Oh to be a child again... So Heather helped with the unloading and the settling in before I took her to her cabin. Oh if we thought our cabin was rough...her face dropped another 6 or so inches when she saw hers. (She called me later with the news that that particular cabin had had an outbreak of some awful virus that had caused several people in it to be hospitalized. They ended up having to bleach everything down, bless their hearts.)

Sunday night when we were packing my throat started to get this little tickle in it. I figured it was from being up so late and shrugged it off. Monday night it was still scratchy and by Tuesday morning I had no voice. None. It was nothing but a whisper. If you couldn't tell it from the way I write, I love to talk, so not having a voice is a bad thing for me. Plus imagine being the cook in a cabin full of loud teenagers with no voice. But everyone was really sympathetic and the youth really did pay attention well when I'd wave my arms to get their attention. The kitchen wasn't like the one I'd conjured up in my Super Camp Cook fantasies, but it was workable. And I'll have to give all the campers credit, they were WONDERFUL help, pitching in even when it wasn't their turn for KP. My kids were so incredibly well-behaved I was shocked. Not saying I was expecting them to be hellions or anything, but I figured that being away from home I'd be open to more bad behavior. Nope, they were angels. The other sponsors and even the youth did a wonderful job keeping them entertained and occupied while I worked.

Wednesday morning we ended up sending a camper home because her blood sugar when she woke up was 300. The camp dr wasn't comfortable with her being there with out of control sugars, so we had to call her mom. I ended up in the clinic that same morning because in addition to the loss of voice, I woke up with some horrific eye infection and my right eye was nearly swollen shut. He gave me a diagnosis of laryngitis (no duh), some yucky tasting medicine for the throat, with the instructions to rest my voice - ha! - and some antibiotic drops for my eye.

Thursday morning I got up early to make pancakes. Well, the griddle on the stove hadn't been cleaned since oh... roughly 1927. Maybe that's an exaggeration, maybe it's not. It was nasty, regardless. But how else was I going to make 60-some pancakes? I certainly didn't want to do them all in a skillet and I had a breakfast deadline of 8:30. I couldn't control the heat very well, add that to the buildup of grease (and trust me I did try to clean it, people) and we had one smoky cabin. I was crying, Alicia was coughing, we had doors propped open. It was a disaster. I was feeling like a total failure when my cell phone rang. Strange for it to ring at 7am. It was Sis, calling from her cabin at the bottom of the hill: "Kristin, I'm hurting for some reason." From the sound of her voice I knew she was serious. I asked where and when she said her lower back I knew right then and there it was a kidney stone. Our dad passes 4-5 a year, Mom has had two and I've had one. I know about kidney stones. I told her I was coming to get her. She protested, I told her to shut up, big sister was coming down, hush and be ready. I woke up the Sarah and Dedra, the two moms with babies, told them the situation, asked them to watch the kids and I'd call in a bit. When I got to her cabin she looked uncomfortable, but not like she was dying or anything. By the time I got her in my truck she was crying and I knew it was serious. She's a tough cookie and for her to cry...well, let's just say I could feel her pain, having gone through the same thing myself. I got her to the clinic on campus and it was closed until 8. It was 7:45 at this point. She said she'd wait. She was lying on the pavement, leaning over a handrail, sitting on the steps - I mean, this girl was seriously hurting. I felt totally helpless, begging her to just let me take her on to the hospital. Finally the nurse shows up and when I said the words kidney stone she said "Get that girl to the hospital now! The doctor won't be here for another 45 minutes I have nothing stronger than extra strength tylenol in here and that won't do a darn bit of good." I got the directions to the hospital, left the kids' carseats with the nurse and off we flew. I had to take her to Ardmore, which was only about 20 minutes from the camp, but it felt like I was driving to freakin' Egypt. She was so miserable, crying, moaning, writhing, she couldn't get comfortable...oh it was awful. I was praying for her some relief and praying that God would give me a voice because I had phone calls to make and doctors to talk to. About that time my cell phone rang and when I said "hello" I had a voice. Praise the Lord, it was the coolest thing ever. Heather said later that even through all that pain she thought, "God gave her her voice back so she could take care of me." I got her checked in and we proceded to walk the floor of the waiting room. She decided to stop and lean up against a wall. All of the sudden she got a weird look on her face. I asked her what was wrong, expecting her to just drop to the floor or something, but she just said, "It's gone. The pain is gone." Well, mine certainly never quit hurting, so I was perplexed, but we were certainly willing to take any blessing at that point. Anyway, we saw the dr, they started an IV, sent her to CT, gave her some morphine and we waited. The dr came in and said, "I have good news - you have 3 kidney stones." I'd hate to think what his idea of bad news is. She had one on the right, which was the one causing her all the pain. It had moved (which was what it was doing when it hurt so badly) down pretty low and he said he expected her to pass it within a few days. The other two are still up in her left kidney and will make an appearance at a later date, bless her heart. They released her and back to the cabin we went.

I called Mom and Sis called Bub and everyone decided we should come home. We didn't argue. I left her at her cabin to sleep while I went back to mine to pack. My kids were oh so mad at me for making them leave because they were supposed to go fishing with James, the pastor, that night. Oohhh, was I not a popular mom at that point. The whole cabin was preparing to leave for an afternoon at the falls and we'd be gone by the time they got back. The kids were bawling at all the good-byes, I was bawling because my emotions were a little raw by that point, plus I was exhausted and it was a pretty rough afternoon. I took them to the campus bookstore to get some cool "Jesus t-shirts", as they called them, and that seemed to make things better. Plus I told them I'd take them swimming at Auntie's this weekend, promised them Happy Meals at dinner and I may have even alluded to a cash bonus at some point. Hey they were crushed and I was desperate, lol.

I wasn't about to let Sis drive with morphine in her system, so that left me to drive the entire 5 1/2 hours home. That meant driving through Oklahoma City, something I had never done before. I'm just now getting relatively comfortable with Tulsa, for cryin' out loud. But hey, trial by fire is pretty proving sometimes and I really had no other choice. I prayed the kids would sleep through the city and they did. Halleuiah. It was 4:30 when we hit city traffic, but it wasn't too awful bad, but I was glad we didn't hit it at 5. We got home last night about 9 and I was never so glad to see our house in my life. Paul was anxious to see us, as well, because he was on the carport waiting on us. The kids screamed "Daddy!!" when they saw him, the dog barked and we were home.

The Diva has spoken at 6:13 PM CDT
Pull up a chair and sit a spell....this is gonna take awhile
Mood:  not sure
Oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my goodness, friends, family and fans of my blog, you are just gonna marvel at the adventure I call my life.

I'm home from camp, albeit a day earlier than I had anticipated. The reason will come later in the me.

Okay, Sunday was church, the final day at home before camp. Directly after church Sunday morning service we went to McDonald's for a 6 year old's birthday party. Ah, McDonald's...I'm lovin' it. :-)
We ducked out of the party just a hair early because I had to meet Alicia, the other camp cook, at WalMart to finish picking up our groceries. We had a lot of things donated by the churches, but there were still some things left to buy. Thank the good Lord in heaven that Mom offered to watch the kids while I went. We ended up with two carts full, saw several other cooks from other churches who were doing exactly the same thing, saw virtually every person I've ever met in my life and of course they wanted to visit, even ran into an old boyfriend, his wife and new baby. We finally got to the checkout, Alicia is freaking because she's thinking we've spent $500. Well, being the grocery guru that I am, I knew it wasn't that much, and sure enough, I estimated $200 and it was $216. Darn, I'm good. So we load it all into my van (which have I mentioned that the back doors still don't open?) and I go to pick up the kids at Mom, run out to WM to fill up the van, drive across town to meet Alicia to get Rubbermaid containers and the rest of the donated groceries, (btw, I'm still in my pantsuit and heels from church) then it's back home to unload the van, change clothes, start packing a few things in the Rubbermaid, then it's time for church again. I was basically there in body only because I couldn't focus on the sermon, only on what I had left to get done. After church we loaded up what was donated from our church and off I go to Sis' house, where she had dinner waiting, praise the Lord. Half way there, I noticed the battery light has come on in the van. Hmmm...I think, not knowing what that means other than maybe something's wrong with the battery?? I pull up to Sis', don't dare turn the thing off for fear it won't start again, holler at Paul, who's already there and he just gets this uggy "this isn't good" look on his face. I'm still thinking it's the battery, but oh noooooo, that would be too easy. It's the alternator. It's 8pm, Sunday evening, I'm leaving at 5 am, Monday morning, so what do you think the chances are of it getting fixed before I go? We take a look at Heather's van, it's too small. We get her in-law's SUV, a Bravada, and it's too small. I call the pastor, he says if I can at least get it to town we'll be alright because he's going to get a stock trailer. Whew, okay, that's great, not panicking quite as bad now. So we opt for Sis' van to drive there, we'll take the food to town in the truck and all will be well. We prepare to all head to my house to pack when I realize that the keys have somehow been locked in my van. Paul has to ride the motorcycle home, get his keys, drive back to Fairland, unlock me...ugh, I had managed to keep it together until then, but while he was retrieving keys I had a good cry. So we all meet back up at my house to start packing food because my mom's a whiz at things like that. Jon, my brother in law, calls Paul and they decide they really aren't comfortable with us driving her van all that way, can we take Paul's truck instead? It's a freakin' yard barge people, a big white Chevy with dual exhaust that screams "I'm a redneck", but it's dependable so we're driving it. We load all the luggage into Sis' van to get it to town, load all of the food into the bed of the pickup, Paul tarps it down and it's now nearly 1am. I fall into the bed at 1, Paul says he'll sleep on the couch so I'll be able to sleep better. At 1:15 I asked him to come to bed because I couldn't sleep. At 2 I gave up and started getting ready. We meet at the church at 5:30, expecting a stock trailer - whaddya know, no trailer. But God either shrunk everyone's luggage, increased the interiors of the vans or just did a miracle like with the bread and fish because it all fit. My 3 kids are squished into the back seat of the truck like sardines, Heather and I are half goofy from lack of sleep, we're in the church parking lot with 17 youth and we are ready to have our socks blessed off at church camp. Three 15 passenger vans, a pickup and an Xterra all head out at 6:35 am carrying 1 pastor, 2 youth ministers, 1 mom and breastfeeding baby, 1 mom and bottle baby, 2 goofy sleep-deprived cooks with 3 small children, 2 female sponsors and the rest is made up of youth.

God bless us everyone...

to be continued...

The Diva has spoken at 5:20 PM CDT
Saturday, July 17, 2004
The final countdown
Mood:  rushed
Well, I think I'm almost ready for camp. Almost. I think. :-)

I am skipping out on my uncle's campaign pig-roast tonight, even though the kids and I really needed some time out of the house, but I just feel so pressured I'm afraid if I leave the house I'll lose my energy. This much-needed break out here on the computer is already taking some of my steam, but I was headed that way anyway. Might as well chill while I'm doing something I love.

I scrubbed both bathrooms down today. Was that something that had to be done before camp? Probably not, but then again, yes it did. I am leaving my husband alone in this house for 5 days and if it's yucky when I leave it is only going to be yuckier when I get back, so I figured that by giving it a thorough scrubbing I'd at least be a little further ahead in the game when I got home. Amazing what rubber gloves, bleach cleaner and a toothbrush can do for a bathroom! Of course, now I can only smell bleach because I burned my nose, (great for those poor, sick sinues) but hey my bathroom's clean, lol. I cleaned Ab's too, which was certifiably disgusting. Never give a grade schooler her own bathroom. When she was 5 she painted a mural in Aquafresh Kids on the wall, at 6 she traced around all the butterfly appliques on the walls with pencil, and at 7 she has discovered glitter. That is the sparkliest bathroom in Oklahoma, lemme tell ya. But now it's also one of the cleanest. When I got done and could finally stand again, despite my poor, shaky, bruised knees, I called her in and began with "Look real hard at how clean this bathroom is at this very moment..." Used to she'd be all excited, like "What is Mom going to enlighten me with now?" but now she's wise to my motherly lectures and finds them not amusing in the least. She started the eye-rolling and the hip jutted out....Oohhhhhh that just drives me bonkers!! So I made the lecture longer. Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure if I get nominated for Mother of the Year, it's not going to be by her.

I have all of Ab and Sam's clothes in the small suitcase, all of mine and Kady's plus the towels and bedding in this humongous suitcase of Mom's that really should have it's own zipcode or something. I have no earthly idea how I'm going to cart that sucker around. Yeah, it's got wheels, but it's roughly the size of a double-wide. I have a big rubbermaid container that is going as the toy box, which will be packed once the kids finish watching Spirit here in a bit. All of the food that is here at my house is boxed and just needs to be loaded in the van, which husband doesn't know it yet but he's been nominated for that job when he gets home from work, lol. I need to pack toiletries, the hair dryer, 6 trillion ponytail holders and all of our pool stuff next. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, folks!

Well, husband just rolled in on his "Kawa-hog-y" (He wants a hog so bad, but there are also folks in hell who want ice water so...) and that's my cue to get busy again. I actually cooked tonight! He'll be so impressed. I want to make sure I'm in the kitchen when he sees actual food on the stove.

The Diva has spoken at 8:33 PM CDT

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