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The Ramblings of a Redneck Diva
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Teach your children well
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Kids & other noisy things
This scene just played out in the next room:

Kady comes running down the hall bawling her head off. You can tell it's not a real cry because she's got her jaws unhinged in order to create the most noise possible, yet there are strangely no tears. She is also punctuating her cries with little "WahhhhhHAaaaaaaHAaaaaaHaaaaaa"'s as she runs, each step making her voice hitch.

Mr. Diva: (I really do like that name) Abby! What did you do to her THIS time?
Kady: Sissy! Twisted! My! FINNNNNNNGER!! (more bawling)
Abby: DID NOT!
Mr. Diva: Abby LeAnna, you better not be twisting no fingers! Come here and let me twist your finger!
Abby: Nuh uh! (starts backing away)
Mr. Diva: I'll twist your damn finger right off, little miss.
Abby: I'm sorry! Gaw!
Mr. Diva: I'll break you kids of that fightin' if I have to beat you to get you to quit.

Thatta boy, got this parenting thing down pat.

The Diva has spoken at 7:05 PM CST
I'm not sure I want to share
Mood:  not sure
Topic: All in the family
This morning I commented on Heather's daughter's birthday post. (Yes, little Leta is a few days shy of 1!) While reading the comments others have left (Oh I hope someday I have that many commenters...I guess I need to get a job so I can get fired and become famous.) I learned of an article in the NY Times about blogging mommies. (Btw, you will have to register in order to read the article, but it's worth it.) I read it and became inspired all over again, even after just having posted late last night about the benefits of blogging from a stay at home mom's point of view.

When I was done with the morning's blog events, I nearly skipped into the kitchen (Note: I highly recommend wearing a bra during a skipping attempt after the age of 30.) to share with my husband my newfound wealth of knowledge about blogging about your children, your marriage and your life in general.

The man is completely perplexed by this blogging business that consumes me. He said, "What in the world do you write on there?" I laughed and said, "Well, I posted yesterday on the pathetic snowfall, I posted in the fall about the demolition derby, I posted about the first day of school and just last week shared about Ab hearing us having sex." No kidding, his face contorted into this mass of blushing, confusion, embarrassment and I think I saw a hint of downright anger. He turned from where he'd been looking out the kitchen window and said, "OH SHIT YOU DID NOT WRITE ABOUT THAT." I said, "Well, of COURSE I did! It's funny! And I got comments on it, too. And it's all about the comments and what the reader wants, dear." I said this with the faux snobbish confidence of a burnt-out author writing a mindless column in a newspaper, mind you. He didn't see the humor in it, to be honest. He was still reeling and mortified. "I cannot believe you shared that with total strangers, Kristin. Honestly! Now all these people know that we. have. sex." Ummm...I can't speak for all of you out there, but I'm thinking that y'all pretty much knew we had sex before that post.

I just smiled and patted his arm and said, "Come on, honey. Let's go out to the computer right now and I'll let you read the actual post so you'll know that I didn't talk about too many particulars -only about your enourmous pecker." His eyes...oh how they widened. "Just kidding. There's only so much creative license I can use." The eyes ceased being wide. He was losing patience with me and grumpily said, "I don't want to read it. Just tell me what you wrote." So I related to him my version of it all. The more I talked, the more he grinned. He had his arms crossed over his chest, was leaning against the kitchen counter and was nodding his head, remembering the entire thing. "It was pretty funny, wasn't it?" Bingo!

I was feeling like I'd won a small battle. I had given him insight as to why I write on here. I share because I care, people. I was on my way out of the kitchen when he said, "Ya know, I think I could blog, too."

Oh my gosh! Don't you know that his blog would be the most redneck blog EVER?? If you think I'm redneck...wait'll you meet him. I said, "Well, if you really want to, then by all means, let's get you signed up." Of course, then he says he'll write a blog if I write it for him. Huh? I write my own, from my point of view. I don't think I could write his point of view even if I tried. That's his to relate, not mine. Upon my repeated refusal, he asked if maybe I'd at least consider typing it if he actually came up with the words.

You know, the family that blogs together might just end up in a big fight, ultimately ending with one sleeping on the couch. At least, I'm thinking that's how it'd go at my house. The man and I can't hang up a picture together without someone getting yelled at. What makes us think we can blog together?

I suggested that we call his blog "Mr. Diva". He didn't like that one in the least. He'll probably want to call it something like "Rural stud" or "Redneck - hung and proud" or something awful like that. If this blog thing comes to fruition, I right now, at this moment, reserve the right to deny all association with that man, cut ties at any given moment and quite possibly permanently move my sleeping quarters to the living room.

The Diva has spoken at 1:13 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2005 1:23 PM CST
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Obsessive much
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Rambling much
I am a slave to my counter now. I've had this blog since June and have never felt the need for a counter. Until now. I got all hooked up with Blog Explosion and Blogarama and now with all this promised traffic I feel the need to know how many visits I get.

I can keep track of how many are new visitors, repeat visitors, what OS they use, what brand of toothpaste is in their bathroom cabinet as I type and when their last bowel movement was. It's scary really.

But then again, that's why we're all here, right? Secretly we're all just a bunch of nosey-assed, voyeuristic, busybodies who get our kicks knowing what goes on in total strangers' lives. Honestly, until I started with the blogging, I kept pretty busy with the neighbors and my kids. Getting a phone call about whose dog tore up whose trash and slung it all over the yard was excitement. The occasional invitation to a Pampered Chef or Tupperware party was enough to make me nearly wet myself. And who wouldn't get excited at finding poop smeared all over the toilet (and wall) by the three year old who conveniently forgot to wipe but was so engrossed in the Gameboy that she forgot to tell you and you discovered it when you walked into the bathroom and the smell of shit smacked you in the face. I mean, who wouldn't? Those are pretty exciting times - times that might be enough to sustain someone. But that was before blogging.

Now, I cannot wait to fire up the ol' Dell every morning and see what Dooce's pinchably adorable Leta did now, even though I've never met Heather or her pinchable baby. I had empathetic pains when Beth started complaining of abdominal pains and asked her readers for help. I laugh obnoxiously loud at Friend Monkey and his musings and enjoy giving my .02 to Babs regarding her questions and ponderings. File Girl and I share a love for Napoleon Dynamite yet we've never even spoken to each other.

But these people - you people - are a part of my life now and I can't fathom things without you. Sappy? Oh gosh yes. Desperate? You betcha. Okay, only bordering on desperate. I mean, I haven't stalked anyone whose blog I read. Yet. Karen is going to end up with me on her doorstep one of these days, though. She says I'm only partially psychotic, God love her.

Blogging has given this lonely stay at home mom something to get excited about. Yeah, the Tupperware parties are pretty awesome, don't get me wrong. I daren't give those babies up, no way - there are still pieces of plastic storage-ware I don't have yet. But in between peddling parties, dogs with trash fetishes and preschool poop escapades, I'm enjoying keeping up with the folks whom I've never met, have never babysat their kids or taken them soup when the whole family is sick, but I know about their struggles with infertility and then prematurity, the bad days they have at work (Okay, so I'm related to Courtney, I guess she doesn't count. I actually DO know her.) and their ridiculous tigger slippers. I would have a hard time giving up all this excitement. Call me adventurous if you will, but sometimes you gotta live on the edge.

Besides, haven't I enriched your life in some way by telling you about my eldest child hearing us have sex, about how I (almost)kicked ass in the Demolition Derby and how I called my son a "little shit" when he threw up on purpose? I mean, come like peeping in my windows, too. Don'tcha?

The Diva has spoken at 11:08 PM CST
Dirty snowman
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Kids & other noisy things
Around 9:30 this morning I had finally heard enough "Momma, can we play in the snow"'s to last me a lifetime and we all got dressed and headed out into that whole 3 inches of snow we got last night. Evidently we got more during the night because it wasn't that deep when I went to bed.

This was Kady's first time to ever play in the snow, bless her baby heart. Her first winter she was too little, I'm talkin' like 2 months old. Then the last two winters she's been sick on the rare occasions we've had enough snow to play in. Sad that the child is 3 and just now has played in the snow. She really enjoyed herself. Well, until the puppy knocked her onto her back and started licking her face until she screamed. And being the kind, compassionate mother I am, I stood there and laughed until I could finally get enough breath to yell at her older sister to help her.

Sam got a facefull of snow, courtesy of his older sister. He loved it though. A year ago he would've dissolved into a puddle of tears and then stomped into the house. Today he laughed. Huge improvement.

The snow was sparse, at best. It was melting and dripping and mushy gooshy nasty. And dirty. And I don't think that snowman ever got as tall as Verne Troyer, either.

The Diva has spoken at 10:15 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:29 PM CST
Friday, January 28, 2005
It's about freaking time
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: It's a good thing
We got snow. A whole inch. I'm not complaining. But I'm not quite sure exactly how to explain to the children that if we take all the snow in the front and back yards it wouldn't be enough to make much more than a Verne Troyer-sized snow man.

This was the view out my front door around 5 this evening:

The Diva has spoken at 9:52 PM CST
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Complete utter nonsense
Good heavens, WHY oh why are the pictures I post on here so HUGE?

All the other blogs have these cute little, non intrusive pictures and I post freaking museum-sized, in your face photos that will scare the living hell out of you if you're not prepared.

I'm not the geek I think I am when stupid things go wrong with my blog and I'm perplexed to no end.

Of course, it could be that my brain is muddled due to the fact that


The Diva has spoken at 4:34 PM CST
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: All in the family
Today is my mom's birthday!! She's an amazing woman and those of you who actually know her, will have to agree. She's strong, funny, beautiful, caring, giving, smart, and she shares best friend status with my sister. My mom has gone through so much crap in her life, yet she's still the most amazing person I know.

My entire adult life I've been honored to share an ever-present resemblance to my mother. So much so that total strangers will walk up to me and ask me if I'm her daughter. Or else they hear me laugh and say "There's only one other laugh like that," and then ask if I'm her daughter. I'm honored. I only hope that, in the long run, I turn out to be half the mother to my kids that she has been to me.

She's always supportive, never judgemental, willing to listen and so full of motherly wisdom that she amazes me. If I have a crisis I call Mom. This is what I do. Drives my husband batty, but someday when our kids (I hope) call me for advice like I call my mom, he'll know that I was just preparing myself for life as a mother of fully grown children who still need their Momma from time to time.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you so much.

The Diva has spoken at 4:29 PM CST
Thursday, January 27, 2005
"I like your sleeves."
Mood:  silly
Topic: Rambling much
My gosh, Napoleon Dynamite gets better every time I watch it. Heather thought I was a stark raving lunatic and stared blankly at the screen and me, I'm sure wondering how the hell our parents' DNA could produce two such incredibly different people. At first I thought maybe she didn't like it, but then remembered how Paul sat there totally unimpressed through the first 30 minutes or so. I think it takes that long to get into it the first time. After she finally opened her mind and allowed herself to enjoy, she was laughing right along with me. Of course, not as hard as I was laughing, but she's only seen it once. When you've seen it as many times as I have, you start laughing at the beginning and it doesn't stop till the last game of tether ball ends. *sigh*

Tonight was Brownies. What a wonderful group of girls I have!!! What a wonderful sister I have! She got a little white cake AND a carrot cake (since I don't like white cake and icing) for me, brought it to the Brownie meeting along with 3 brand new gnomes!! One is my biggest gnome yet. The other two are actually two of my smallest gnomes. Hmh. Hadn't thought of that until now. Anyway, the girls thought it was cool that Miss Heather surprised me with all that and they sang Happy Birthday and we all ate cake. Then they made "Food People" by gluing pictures of food onto construction paper and making people out of them. Like banana arms, broccoli ears, apple eyes, etc. They dug it even if it does sound dorky. Hey, it was for a badge.

Sis brought a pot of beans down and I made cornbread. We watched Napoleon Dynamite and ate beans. It's cold outside, we were snug in my incredibly hot house by a roaring fire, all five kids were playing well (For the most part. The only fights were when my two oldest children called their youngest sister or cousins "morons" or "idiots". Public school is great.)and all was right with the world. Such simplicity, yet such a wonderful evening. It honestly doesn't get much better. Well, I could be rich and skinny...

So yeah, it probably won't get any better. And I'm okay with that.

Here's something wonderful: We are under a "Winter Weather Advisory" tonight!! Gary Bandy, the meteorologist at KSN, assures us that we are getting some kind of precipitation tonight and that quite possibly we could get as much as two whole inches of snow!!! TWO WHOLE INCHES, PEOPLE! Of course, I have become accustomed to ignoring a forecast of snow because it never happens, and didn't go to the store today. That pretty much guarantees we'll get snow.


The Diva has spoken at 11:43 PM CST
Monday was a good day, I just forgot to tell you the good parts
Mood:  happy
Topic: It's a good thing
Okay, in the midst of all the whining about Ladies' Night and how I'm an unlucky loser, I forgot to tell you the two awesome things that happened on Monday!

First, I got a puppy! 4 years ago, Paul got the kids a puppy from a guy sitting out in front of Wal-Mart. This is pretty common around here. Those of you who live not in Smalltown, Oklahoma, might find this weird, then again you may not. But around here if your dog has a litter of pups and you don't feel up to feeding all 12 of 'em, you take the pups to Wal-Mart, sit their cute little puppy butts in a shopping cart and stand at the front doors all day long, hoping to find a few families full of kids whose parents are just a little too easy. When Paul got Jake, he didn't consult me first, just brought home a pup. Of course, the kids and I were ecstatic and we love our Jakey so much.

So when I saw a guy sitting in the back of his pickup the other day, with a colorful, hand-colored banner down the side of the bed that said "FREE PUPPIES" I was intrigued. From where we parked, all I could see were wiggling masses of fur, but they looked like cute wiggling masses of fur. I asked Paul if maybe, possibly, we could get a new puppy? He was downright rude when he said NO. I whined all through the store, putting on a shameless show of juvenile temper and basically just pissing my husband off. I even had our youngest child saying, "Daddy, you mean!" I will use every resource I have at my disposal to get what I want, know this. So when we left the store, I looked up at him, pouty look and everything, and said, "Well, you big meanie, can I at least go look at them?" He sighed and said, "Fine. If you'll shut up, go look at them, but you're not bringing one home." Honestly, I half-skipped over to that truck! Inside the bed were 4 black, wiggly, whiny, squirmy little masses of puppy-ness just peeing all over the place! I was hooked. I asked all sorts of questions, how old (9 adorable weeks), what kind (Lab and Heeler, which translates into Mutt and Mutt when you get down to it) and then had to walk away, tears threatening to spill... Head down, I dragged myself back to our truck and all but begged my husband for a puppy. It really was quite shameless. He was standing firm, refusing, not giving in.

Until Kady started crying.


Without ever looking at me he said, "I will drive around the building. You may pick out a male. You try to sneak a female in here and I will toss you and the dog out."

So here is the latest addition to the Diva Family - Little Dog.

He whines and howls a lot. This is starting to wear on the husband. I've tried reasoning with Little Dog, but he is only 9 weeks old... I just pray he learns quickly.

Now, the second awesome thing that happened on Monday - I bought this:

If you haven't seen this movie - oh you just MUST! I laughed myself into a coughing fit the first time I watched it. It gets worse each subsequent time I watch it. I will end up on oxygen if I don't learn to pace myself.

I actually wanted to name the dog Napoleon, but Paul said that when people call their dogs it should be names like Molly, Bo, Rosco, Flash, etc. He said he'd be damned if he'd yell for Jake and Napoleon. He's very closed-minded if you ask me.

The Diva has spoken at 10:08 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2005 10:13 AM CST
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Kids & other noisy things
Ohhhhh, if we manage to raise these children without them ending up completely warped it's going to be a miracle.

As I mentioned maybe a week or so ago, I've been a little on the randy side lately. (Sorry if this embarrasses you, Cousin Keith - but keep reading. Trust me, it's funny.) Also keep in mind that since early 2001, our bedroom has been at the completely opposite end of the house from the children. We haven't really had to worry about ahem...noise. Well, now our bedroom is directly across the hall from the kids' rooms. I'm still in an adjustment phase, I guess. Tonight we were having a family dinner, which has been rare around here lately. I was basking in the glow of looking around the table and seeing my darling little family, enjoying a really good steak, when out of the blue Ab says, "I can hear you guys talking in your room at night." Paul and I both stopped our forks in mid-air and stared at each other, then turned to her. I know I turned 40 shades of red. Paul got this smirky grin on his face and asked, "Oh yeah? Well, tell me, Miss Abby, what do we say?" She kind of shrugged non-chalantly said, "Eh, nothing I can really understand. It's usually just Mom's voice. The other night she got kinda loud. Were you fighting?" It was all I could do to keep from just bursting into either laughter or tears. I looked down at my plate, trying to decide if I was amused or mortified. When I looked up, directly across the table from me is my ornery husband with a look of pure mischief on his face. While locking eyes with me he says, "No, Ab, your mom and I weren't fighting. We were just having a conversation. And if I remember correctly it was a pretty good one." My eyes widened, I was shocked he was being so blatant at trying to mortify me. I didn't say anything. I couldn't. It got very quiet in the dining room. Finally Sam goes, "Man! I never get to hear their conversations!! What were you talking about?" Paul opened his mouth and I just cut him off with "Nothing! Hey, buddy, you better eat. Tonight 'Lost' is on and you don't wanna miss that!"

So all evening I have had to endure my husband making comments like "Hey, when are we going to have a conversation again, huh?" and "Man, I'm tired. Let's go to bed and have a conversation."

I think my randy spell is over.

The Diva has spoken at 10:56 PM CST
Well, I owe it all to God
Mood:  hungry
Topic: It's a good thing
Okay, when I got off the computer last night I was feeling pretty sick. I went to bed after taking two Maalox and some Tylenol. I slept about an hour and then woke up when my sick husband crawled into bed. I was so nauseous and him moving around in the bed was making me sea sick! I asked him to go to the couch since we were both sick and we (he)were going to keep each other (namely me) up (with his coughing), but he said he was cold and needed to snuggle up to me. He was running a fever. How sweet of him to want to share his germs with me by snuggling. I told him to snuggle, but do it quietly and without much moving or else I'd barf on him. I got up twice during the next hour, thinking I was going to be sick, but nothing happened. I woke up around 2:30 this morning with the worst case of heartburn I've had since I was pregnant with Ab. After more Maalox I went back to bed and woke up almost fine this morning. I guess the fact that I ate two bowls of rice at 8:30 last night on a completely empty stomach just did not settle well. I have taken it kind of easy today, eating yogurt and crackers, sipping Coke. Things still feel precarious in the digestive department, but I still feel pretty okay.

Okay, so here's the "owe it all to God" thing. I laid back there in my bed last night curled up in a ball, chilling and praying. I already have one child sick with sinus crap (again), one child in the midst of an asthma flare-up and a husband who, if I were a betting woman, is on the verge of pneumonia. I just don't have time to get sick myself. So I prayed. Prayed hard. I don't normally buy into the making deals with God thing, but last night I was desperate. I prayed that He'd take away any germs that were contemplating making me ill and keep me healthy enough to take care of my family.

I think what cinched the deal was when I sincerely told God that if He'd keep me well I'd blog about Him and give Him full credit for any healing that might take place.

So here's to you, God - thank you so much.

The Diva has spoken at 4:26 PM CST
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
I'm definitely seeing a trend here
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Things in life that suck
This is pretty much going to be my usual Tuesday post from now on: Last night was Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino. I did not win. Again.

Mom's friend, Bev, however won $500. Yay Bev!

This morning when Jill brought Chandler she told me that her husband was at home in bed sick with a stomach virus. Chandler piped in with "Yeah, Daddy poops a lot!!" Ah, preschoolers are great. Well, around noon Jill called to tell me that she, too, was sick and she was going home. But they were both so sick that she didn't feel like they could handle Chandler and could he stay. I was already planning on him being here so I had no problem with that. Then upon hanging up, I Lysoled anything she came in contact with when she was here.

I'm afraid it was too late.

I have this sicky, squishy feeling in my stomach right now. My head started suddenly throbbing earlier and I feel kinda chillish. I pray it's because I let myself get too hungry, considering I didn't eat dinner till 8:30 tonight. Plus I went to bed around 2:30 this morning. Actually the last two nights, now that I think about it. So I'm praying with everything in me that I'm just tired.

You know what it's like when one person in the house gets sick. It progresses through the rest like wildfire. Agh. I am not prepared to handle that. It's been (as I type I am knocking on wood) 3 years since I've had a stomach virus. I get pneumonia every year in January and honestly, I'd rather get pneumonia then have a stomach virus. And by the way (knocking on that wood again) I haven't had my yearly pneumonia yet.

I so just jinxed myself.

The Diva has spoken at 9:28 PM CST
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Just take your lower lip and pull it over your head...
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Things in life that suck
I couldn't tell you the last time I got a canker sore on the inside of my mouth (Duh, Diva - where else do you get canker sores?) but it's been a long damn time. It hurts.

Last night it got to be too much and I ended up pilfering through the medicine cabinet in search of the tube of Baby Orajel I used to keep in the diaper bag. It's been ages since I even carried a diaper bag, but I couldn't find an expiration date on it, so I guess it's still good.

Now I know why my children would scream uncontrollably when I'd smear that crap on their sore little gums! If you produce any saliva at all while the orajel is in your mouth (and you will, trust me) it is dispersed through your entire mouth. My tongue was numb, yet incredibly achey sore all at the same time! It was not a pleasant feeling. And forget about rinsing it out with water. Oh no, they make sure that shit stays in the mouth once it's deposited there, even if it doesn't stay in the exact spot you smear it.

Once I could sense the feeling coming back to my tongue I figured that the pain from the sore would come back as well, but fortunately it continued to numb the boo boo throbbing inside my lower lip.

Today I got smart, or so I thought, and put the orajel on a q-tip and then applied it. That didn't work. I tried it again. Still, no relief. Finally, I steeled myself for the total mouth numbing I was about to experience and squirted a buttload of that crap inside my lower lip. I looked like I had a chew in, but man I felt nothing for about 30 minutes. Nothing. I think even my knees were numbed.

The Diva has spoken at 5:26 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, January 23, 2005 5:35 PM CST
Oh the laughing
Mood:  lazy
Topic: All in the family
I found out last night that bowel movements are very very important to virtually all Glenns - not just me. Who knew.

We laughed our asses off last night. Oh gosh, we laughed. Stacey, the cousin from NC, brought her precious, quiet little husband who was meeting us all for the first time. The look on that poor boy's face when my mother grabbed him in a full frontal hug was absolutely a Kodak moment. He probably didn't say 50 words all night, while the rest of us laughed, guffawed, hoohawed, told embarrassing stories and just generally were loud and boisterous. Of course, I don't think my Paul said that many words either. At one point, I looked over at them both and said, "I bet you both are regretting marrying into this mess, huh?" And Larry, in his quiet Southern drawl said, "I'm just thinking this explains so much."

Stacey and I are bound by some inexplicable Glenn connection and quite frankly, we are both more than a little disturbed by it. As the evening wore on, the rest of the family became disturbed with it as well. The TV dinner brownies that get all hard and crusty around the edges - our favorites. Quiet husbands, naturally curly hair - we both got 'em. Clumsiness, which I prefer to call our own special style of grace - we're both clutzes. Either Heather or Courtney asked her, "Stacey, have you ever had the urge to drive in a demolition derby?" The room grew quiet in anticipation of her answer. When she said, "Actually, yes," we all exploded into laughter.

Uncle David started telling a story about when he lived in Nebraska and a woodpecker got into his house. Uncle David is petrified of birds. And also, Uncle David is one of the most Godly men you will ever meet. We were afraid after some of the tales of our drunken youth that his ears might begin bleeding. His purity was in danger. Well, after about 4 hours with us, he joined in, in his own way. Okay, so this woodpecker flew into his house and in the midst of his terror he called the cats, thinking they would take care of the invading bird. Well, the bird was hanging on the window facing and the cats couldn't get up there. So Uncle David said, "I threw up the cats." Now, at those words "I threw up the cats" we all collapsed into a cacophony of hysterical, rib splitting, stomach hurting laughter. Cousin Keith said, "He threw two pussies at a pecker!" and we got tickled all over again. He said the bird's beak was "this long" and held his hands up about 8 inches apart. Mom, very dryly said, "Agh, just like a man to exaggerate the size of the pecker." Again, the laughter. It was like that all night. It got worse the more tired we got.

We all so very needed last night. Family laughing together, sharing together and being Glenns and living in Oklahoma, we had to eat together, of course! If laughter really does add years to your life, after last night's comedy, we'll all live to be 150.

Everyone started yawning and we knew Stacey and Larry needed to get some sleep since they're driving back to NC today and I said I wanted to get a group picture. I handed Paul the camera, but then in realized that he'd be the only one not in the picture. Then I remembered that my camera has a timer. I sat it on the mantle and the first picture we all looked like midgets, it was so far away. The next one I cut off Larry and Uncle David. Finally it worked. So the group scattered and I said, "Stacey and Larry, I'd like to get one of just you two." Cousin Keith, in his Queer Eye voice, said "Fine, beyotch! I. am. OUTTA. here!"
and stomped toward the door. Again, the laughter.

Oh the laughter.

The Diva has spoken at 9:58 AM CST
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I hope to one day feel my toes again
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Rambling much
It's so cold that I haven't felt my toes since I went to bed last night. And then just now when I was unloading the dishwasher, I jerked out the top rack and, unbeknownst to me, there was a cup turned up, full of water. The jerking slung hot water halfway across my kitchen and up onto my leg and onto my slipper. Man, it felt good for awhile. That while has passed.

I got a paper shredder for Christmas. Now, we burn our trash, so I wasn't really too concerned about identity theft from my discarded junkmail, but still thought the paper shredder was way cool. Today I discovered a super awesome use for the strips of shredded paper. They make WONDERFUL fire starters!! Throw in a wadded up bunch of shredded paper, toss on some logs, stuff wadded up shredded paper all around the logs and set it ablaze. The kids wanted to make pillows with the shredded strips of paper, but I said, "Back off, ya thugs! That's MY shredded paper!"

Why would they want to make pillows with strips of shredded paper? You would get NO sleep what with the crunching. Those kids just do not think ahead.

Tonight we are having a cousin party at my house. Man, I am so excited. We are all anticipating it with much fervor and delight. That sounded very regal, didn't it? That's me, regal.

Our cousin, Stacey, is in from North Carolina. She and I WE SWEAR are twins or at least hmmm...cousins? Too many things we do alike. It's got us both a tad freaked. Yesterday she was going to give me her cell phone number. I didn't have any paper, so I grabbed my checkbook. Know that itty bitty border all around the calendars on the back of the register? That is seriously valuable note-writing space, people! As soon as I grabbed my checkbook and poised my pen over the itty bitty border Stacey said "OH MY GOSH! You do that too?" She's the only other person I know that uses that valuable space for note-writing. Unless y'all are just closet itty bitty space on the checkbook note writers.

Yesterday was my birthday ya know. I'm all of 32 now. Yeah, whoo hoo. Paul, Sis, Bub and I all went out to make the birthday rounds at the casinos for my $75 free birthday money. I got $10 at the first place, played for 30 minutes and walked out with $10.04. Already I was .04 up. What would the rest of the evening behold, I wondered. At the second place I got $20 and walked out with $15 more. Next place, I walked out with $39 more. At the next place I walked out with $7.55 more. At the next place, the Unhappiest Casino in the World, I blew it all quickly because the vibes were bad in that place. Then we finished the evening at the Big Fancy Casino, where I got $10, played on it awhile, put in a $5 of my own money, got it up to $15, cashed that out and then put in another $5, lost it. There was more gambling after that, but I was tired and kept trying to keep accurate account records at that point. All told, when I walked into my house last night and emptied my pockets I had $61 and about $2 in change. Not too bad considering I only put $2 of my own not free money in the machines all night.

But the best part of the birthday was when Courtney called to tell me that SHE GOT US FOURTH ROW CENTER TICKETS TO THE TRACE ADKINS CONCERT AT THE BIG FANCY CASINO IN FEBRUARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm excited, if you can't tell by the gratuitous overuse of exclamation points. I figured I'd used my birthday winnings to pay her, but Paul said that since he hadn't gotten my present yet, and IF I was okay with him not getting me the DVD of Napoleon Dynamite, he would buy the tickets. Total score!

Of course, now he's mad at me for speaking to a man who was sitting at a machine next to me whilst gambling last night. Glad he offered to pay for the tickets before that happened. I asked him this morning just how long his jealous self planned on not speaking to me and he said, "Eh, probably a month, if not two." He sounded like he meant it. Hey, he doesn't have to talk to me as long as he pays for those tickets.

The Diva has spoken at 2:57 PM CST
Thursday, January 20, 2005
What it means to be family
Mood:  special
Topic: All in the family
Tonight was the visitation for Uncle Homer. God bless my Papa, he took it hard. So did Aunt Erma, which could only be expected. They said she hadn't cried until today. I can only imagine the shock.

Most of our family is still around here, but some have branched out. Although, why they would want to do that I'll never know. This is Glenn Country, I'm tellin' ya. Our cousin, Stacy, we hadn't seen since Granny Glenn passed 8 years ago. I hadn't seen a couple of the other cousins since they were literally in diapers. It was so funny to be introduced to family members. I dunno.

Our family is well known and well liked around here. I'm not bragging. There was a pretty big crowd there tonight. Lots of people who may not have known Uncle Homer came for the family members they did know. That means the world to me. To take time out of your busy life to stop by and comfort a friend who's sad and hurting. When the crowd finally thinned a bit, we made our way back up to where the rest of the family was standing. We had gone back to a back pew while visitors poured through. It ended up with Sis, Mom, Cousin Keith (of Festivus underwear fame), his adorable and quiet wife Alyssa, our cousin Kimby, our cousin from North Carolina Stacy and me all kind of standing in a circle talking. Telling stories about Uncle Homer and Papa. Stacy told us all about her and her dad getting into a batch of flea-infested hay in Papa's barn. We laughed at the story about Heather getting flogged by the mean rooster up at the farm and me running so fast I made it to the house long before the injured one got there, screaming my lungs out. We talked about going to the Capitol with Papa and Uncle Homer and Papa making the cemi truck honk at Heather. It was a wonderful time of reminiscing with family.

Papa walked up to the circle about the time we were telling about the round barn in Arcadia that he and Uncle Homer insisted we visit back in September. Papa said to Keith, "Hey, you ever seen that round barn?" Keith, always on his toes, said "Yeah, I wanna try to get in the corner." I thought Papa was going to rupture something. He literally had to sit down in a pew he was laughing so hard. His face turned red and one of the cousins who hadn't heard the conversation, rushed to Papa and asked what was wrong. We all started laughing harder then. It was one of those "you had to be there" moments, but trust me it was a riot.

We are family. We may not talk every week to all of them and we may not get together at every holiday, but we are family nonetheless. It's when times are rough and sad that family means even more. We love each other and would go to battle for each other in the blink of an eye. Some of us are close and I cherish those relationships so much. Some of us aren't, but I guarantee you the family bond is still there.

When the funeral home people finally got tired of us being there and ever so politely prayed with us in an attempt to get us to leave, a few of us walked over to the restaraunt on the adjacent property. Cousin Keith, Alyssa, Mom, Uncle David, Paul, Ab, Sis and me all ate chicken and continued the reminiscing and laughing. At one point Keith gave me a sidelong glance, after just having said something a little on the risque side and goes, "Ooh I better be careful what I say - you'll blog it, I'm sure. I'm going to end up on the blog, aren't I?"

Yes, Keith, you ended up in the blog. Love ya, cuz!

The Diva has spoken at 11:59 PM CST
She's only eight
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Mommy Moment
The other night the phone rang and when I said hello I was met with "Is Abby there?" Well, I kind of giggled, thinking it was my niece, Addison. I asked who was calling. She replied, "It's Peyton." Oh. Okay. Alright. So I hollered for Ab. She had this weird look on her face when I handed her the phone and said, "It's for you." She trepiditiously said a quiet hello and then her entire body relaxed upon hearing Peyton's voice and she goes "WHASSSSSSSSSSUUUUUUUP?"

I just stared in awe at this creature that a mere 8 years ago emerged from my body, helpless and needing me for everything, relying on me to meet her nutritional, emotional and yes, conversational needs.

I just stood there and watched her twirl her hair around her finger and giggle into the phone. I must've been gawking. She finally rolled her eyes, flipped her head (if her hair was long it would've flung out dramatically from her shoulders) and strutted down the hall and out of my view. As she walked into her room she went "Gaw!"

A little later Peyton asked if Abby could come over. Abby asked and I told her no. It was a school night, I had a Girl Scout leader's meeting plus it was Ladies' Night. Hello, where does THIS kid's mom hang out on Mondays? I heard Abby say repeatedly, "No, Peyton, Mom said no." Then a little bit later she asked, "Mom, Peyton wants to know if she can come over here." I said, "No, Abby. It is a school night. If you two want to schedule some kind of play date (she rolled her eyes at the words 'play date') her mom can call me." So Abby relayed this message to Peyton. Obviously the message didn't sink in to the child's brain and I could hear Abby repeatedly saying "No. My mom already said no." Finally Abby had had enough. She said, "No, Peyton. Look. My mom said no. That means no. I'm not asking again. You obviously don't know my mom."

Now either that means that my child respects me enough that she knows that what I say goes. Or else she thinks I'm unstable and might snap at any moment. I'm going to vote for the first one.

The Diva has spoken at 4:06 PM CST
If I were a beagle
Mood:  down
Topic: Things in life that suck
It's exactly 3:30. I'm giving myself until 4 to complete this post and then I must shower. If I tried to go to the visitation tonight in my pajamas with my hair all freaky wild like it is right now they might either mistake me for one of the bodies in the back of the funeral home, all walkin' dead and whathaveya or they might just tsk tsk and say "Hmh. We knew it was just a matter of time before she went completely insane." So I'm going to shower just to save the confusion.

My husband laid his stinkin' lazy arse in bed till 11:45 this morning. Yes, that is a mere 15 minutes until noon. He's been able to sleep lately, allllllll through the night and I haven't, but funny how he was the one who slept 12 hours in a row. Jerk. I asked him to get up with the kids at 7:30 this morning and to let me sleep a little longer. He said he'd get up "in a minute" yet after 10 minutes of the kids asking me every 30 seconds for food, I gave up waiting and got up. So after I fed the kids lunch I said, "I'm going to take a nap, k? Can you handle watching them?" He jumped down my throat in a not unlike Napoleon Dynamite fashion and said "Gaw! Just GO to BED, willya?" Dude, I SO went.

My nose and feet have been cold all day and if I were a hound, I'm sure that would be a good thing. However, I found it to be rather miserable. I crawled into that bed, pulled up the flannel sheet, thermal blanket and the comforter, drew my legs up under my chin (Yes, I'm fat but I'm still limber, ha!) and closed my eyes, waiting for the blissful slumber to arrive.

It didn't.

The house was too quiet. Now, had I been lying on the couch with the kids, watching a movie, I'd have been out colder'n a wedge in about 2.4 seconds, but noooooo, I was cozy in my bed in the silence. Not sleeping. I squeezed my eyes shut and did my total body relaxation thing that I've done since high school. I start with the toes (that were so cold they were numb) and relax them, then the feet and move up my body, relaxing everything completely. Usually I'm asleep by the time I reach the knees, that's how well it works. It worked again today and I fell asleep.

For 10 minutes.

I woke up because my nose was cold.

I have a phobia about re-breathing air. My own or someone else's, doesn't matter. I can't breathe warm, already breathed air. FREAKS me out. So I pulled the covers up to nose, then tented the comforter over my head. It kept my face warm, but still allowed for circulation of air. Not the freshest air and it wasn't ideal, but dammit I was frustrated and tired of my nose being cold.

I finally drifted off when the kids came in from outside and put in a movie. It was the quiet noise I needed. They no more started playing the theme song to Arthur and I was OUT. I slept about 30 minutes then Paul started sending children back, one at a time, to ask me questions. I told them I'd be getting up soon. I was finally warm all over and hated to get up, even if I wasn't sleeping. Then he came back there and asked "Are you gonna sleep all day?"

Oh I wish.

The Diva has spoken at 3:46 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2005 3:47 PM CST
Wanna know what really bites?
Mood:  down
Topic: Things in life that suck
Being so incredibly tired and emotionally drained that you want to sleep - need to sleep - BUT because you have forty gazillion things on your mind you simply can't.

I put on my comfy pj's thinking that would relax me. It did. But not enough to sleep. I put in a scary movie (The Village) thinking that would well, scare me I guess. That's twisted thinking right there. I started to doze off at the beginning because frankly, it was a real bummer movie, if you want my opinion. But for some reason now, I'm wide awake. Last night I took two herbal sleeping pills because I was drained but antsy then too, and I slept really well. I guess I'm going to have to do that tonight as well. I need some rest. It's frustrating to be this tired and not be able to close your eyes and fall asleep.

We're keeping the kids home from school tomorrow. Paul's off on bereavement leave tomorrow and Friday. The kids are out of school on Friday anyway. We have had no routine or schedule, plus they're feeling a little neglected, I think. So we're going to keep them here with us. Ab's wanting to go to the funeral and I'm very torn as to whether to let her or not. She went to Paul's grandpa's funeral, but she was 4 and clueless. It was just a day to see cousins for her back then. Now she's 8 and has a concept of death and part of me thinks that if she wants to go, I should let her. Mom suggested taking her to the visitation tomorrow night and see how she handles that. Gosh, it's hard being a parent and trying to see ahead as to what might be okay for your child's delicate psyche or possibly detrimental. Especially when your own psyche is dented and frayed a little around the edges.

I'm just so tired.

The Diva has spoken at 12:49 AM CST
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
So hard to understand
Mood:  sad
Topic: Things in life that suck
My great-uncle Homer was killed in a car accident yesterday afternoon. It's a horrible shock to all of us and we're all reeling. My great-grandparents had three kids - Leo, Homer and Edith. Leo is my Papa. He's not handling this very well, obviously. Sis, Mom, Paul and I stayed in at his house till after 10 last night just being with him and his wife. He didn't want us to go. God, it makes me so sad when my family is hurting and I can't fix it. Aunt Edie said to Mom yesterday, "You know, us three kids are all in our 80's and we've never had a fight. Leo and Homer are my best friends." Mom told us that and then asked, "Now, how many people can say that?" Sis and I looked at each other and said, "Not us." That was followed by tears.

I was having a bit of a pity party for myself yesterday afternoon anyway. I had tried to watch a movie and no one would let me. I was getting madder and madder by the minute over things that were so trivial and I was being very immature. Finally I turned off the movie, stomped off to the kitchen to start dinner. The phone rang and it was Mom. I was talking to her about how I'd applied for a job that morning and how I was confused and torn and nervous (I haven't had a job in 10 years) and then just all of the sudden she said, "Someone's here! Gotta go!" I was crushed. She wasn't paying attention to me? How dare. My already fired up temper just snapped and I slammed down the phone, ran to my bedroom, flopped onto my bed and began crying, no sobbing. Now yes, I realize I was acting like a teenager. I don't know what came over me. I was hurt, confused, angry, sad, and I couldn't stop crying. I heard the phone ring up front and I ignored it. I figured Paul or the machine would get it. Ab came in with the phone and I came very close to just telling her to take it to her daddy, but I didn't. Mom said, "Are you sitting down?" Now, normally my rather playful mother will preempt a wacky, wild and rather gossipy statement with "Are you sitting down?" Sadly, yesterday she really needed me to be sitting down because the next thing out of her mouth was the news about Uncle Homer. I cannot begin to describe how I felt at that moment. My poor mother was wracked with sobs and I hurt so badly for her at that moment. She told me everything she knew then hung up to call Sis. I went up front and fell into Paul's arms, managing to get the words out through sobs. Now, that man is not know for his compassion and sympathy, but I will have to give him credit. He was amazing. Keeping me centered, making phone calls for me, helping with the kids... I am grateful to him today. I managed to get a sitter over here, called Chandler's mom and got him taken care of and then we went to town to be with Mom and Papa.

My Papa is a very unexpressive man. I was 20 years old before he ever told me he loved me. My mother was in her 40's before he ever told her. That's just Papa. He's a kind man and very well-known in our area as a good and honest person. Makes me proud to be a Glenn. But to see my tiny, 100 pound grandfather sitting on the couch, looking every bit of defeated and just plain sad, was about all I could take. When he looked at me face-on, the tear running down his cheek just about did me in and I wanted nothing more than to just curl up in his arms and make him better. I am so glad that we were there to keep him company last night. He needed us and we needed him.

The evening was a mixture of laughter and tears. We told stories, listened to Papa tell stories and when Heather told the barrel of chicken story about Uncle Homer we all laughed then cried. We watched the news at 10 and saw what they had to say. That house was suddenly as quiet as a Monday morning church. Then we all cried some more.

Mom needs us to bring the kids in to Papa's tonight. Papa needs them. She needs them. We all need each other.

Please send our family your thoughts and prayers this week.

The Diva has spoken at 9:15 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 9:20 AM CST

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