Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Rant and Maid Service Fee

Well Ocho, my stepson, has been moved in since February 14th. We knew there would be some adjustment, and there was and there is!

The first few weeks were quite pleasant. Life has leveled off to not much interaction. He sleeps until he has to go to work, works until 10, 10:30 and stays up late to sleep much of the next day. That in itself might not be that big of deal but some other issues have surfaced.

Like last minute need to wash clothes. Sometimes that means only one outfit. Hits me in my "don't waste" side. I have also realized that he, and Demolition D and The Man might need to be watched for how much laundry detergent they are using. That 32 load container that I grabbed to tie us over last Friday is basically gone, but 32 loads have not gone through that laundry room.

The leaving on of lights and TV's had waned, but in the past week has become too much work to do, apparently. So lights are staying on all night again (and I have chosen to try to ignore and not give up my sleep when I wake and notice). I guess it could be that he has his days and nights mixed up and does not realize that the lit room is actually lit by way of electricity and not natural solar energy. hmmmmm.

The no curfew in exchange for respect of letting us know his plans for the evening (coming home or staying with friends) has had its glitches, but I choose to leave that alone. Demolition D seems unaware of what is happening. So we will leave that battle out.

Then there is the issue of the kitchen. He is more than welcome to fix whatever he would like. The same rules apply though - clean up behind yourself! We now realize that is not a rule, it must be an option. There is a double sink in our kitchen. But we don't hand wash dishes, and even if we did, why should we, Will or myself, after a long day wash the dishes of a completely, healthy, functioning adult??? I digress, we have a double sink, running water, but even better yet, we have this modern appliance called a dishwasher.

It is only a couple inches from the sink.

Why can't the dishes as easily go straight into the dishwasher as into the sink? Why are we responsible for loading his dirty dishes, and seeing to it that the dishwasher runs and emptying the contraption? Well, we don't mind the last two, I would like to find the dishes once they are put up. So we will continue that. BUT, the dirty dishes and food in the sink. Not good.

So Will, respectfully "adult" to "adult" discusses this with Ocho last week at their lunch. Will tries to have lunch with Ocho once a week, just to spend some time together and chat. It is more a match of 20 questions, single word answers. Anyway, Ocho said he ran out of time. Will clearly let him know we are not his maids. He needs to pick up behind himself (and also get his room cleaned up).
Will also brought up a tub issue - cleaning the tub and drain behind himself, especially since there are three of them sharing and so far only The Man is cleaning the drain - since it won't drain by the time he baths (it is full of hair gaaaaroooooosssss). A dumbfounded looked surfaced and Will reiterated "we are not your maids, do you want to clean our drain." He thought that gross.

So yesterday, we come home from the day. No dinners were cooked at home - dinner at church. There in the sink is a bowl and several utensils and next to that an almost completely empty dishwasher (plenty of room). Ocho gets home later and Will calls into me, "are these your dishes?" (he knows they are not, but in trying to be light . . .) Nope. He asks Ocho, Ocho sighs in aggravation and goes to the kitchen to put them in the dishwasher. Will reminds him he needs to pick up behind himself. Should be good, right?


I get up this morning and all I could do is laugh!! There are crumbs and rice on the counter (not alot, but there) and dirty dishes and food crumbs in the sink! He ate after we went to bed and still did not put his dirty plates in the sink!!!

What is the thought here? Is this a stand of defiance or blatant disrespect?? A missing link that baffles my brain . . .

So, I wonder, what would be the going rate for maid service? Do you think if he were to pay us a cleaning fee it would be less aggravating? And, the next adult arrives at our home in less than two weeks, will we survive?

p.s. I love the way Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman capture the adventure of living with teenagers . . . some are so true!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

S Word Continued

Yesterday I said I thought I would stick with the “s” words and that the next one was stereotype. But I actually don’t want to after all. What sparked the thought was a snippet of a conversation between Will and The Man the evening before.

This month on the stores menu is Honey Bourbon Ham Steaks. Well, the recipe has bourbon in it and I have ran out. So I asked Will if he would pick some up for me while he was out and the liquor store is not open in the morning when I go to work.

He stopped by one to make the purchase. The one closest to our house is not an all night store, nor is it a scary place. The owner is regularly in the newspaper making wine suggestions and I suppose you would say it is a classier place than what ones mind usually conjures up at the name “liquor store.” (ooops, stereotype, liquour store = inebriated individuals wandering aimlessly through filthy parking lot - dark, dingy, barred windows etc).

Will, naturally, left The Man in the truck while he made a quick run in. When he came out a minute later The Man was locked tight in the truck and had a concerned, almost fearful look on his face.

Will asked if all was ok and The Man said “An alcoholic walked by”. . . . a pause, “a really bad alcoholic.”

So it is a silly example of stereotypes, but it made me think, where do stereotypes begin? I don’t know if The Man’s education at school and home about drinking has said, between the lines, alcoholics are dangerous and will hurt you- which being drunk most assuredly can be; or with the tragic death of my sister in law, he ties those items together for every intoxicated person. I even wonder about the fact that he looked at someone walking across the parking lot and assumed they were an alcoholic AND dangerous.

How often do we hold ideas that were not decided on the conscience level? I know there are times that I have realized that about myself. Did not know I even held an opinion on something until there was a variable involved different from the belief I unknowingly held – small silly things, but stereotypes still the same.

So that was the next “S” word, and I had more to say, that was until today. Today it just did not have the same importance as it did yesterday.

Today I feel sulky (in keeping with the “s” word). Today I also feel like skipping solemnly in the sand at the sea, skimming sea shells safely above the stingrays. Snuggling into the sofa searching for serenity, and finally: Staring at stars while sipping strawberry smoothies surrendering to the silence.

Life is good!

What’s your letter and what do you wish to do?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Memories: Smack Down

The gentle breeze this spring has brought has been truly a blessing, because when it dies down, there is a buzz in the air. All the rain received earlier this year left a breeding ground for skeeters.

So last night our neighbors walked over to say hello and visit for a few minutes. As we stood outside talking, the buzzing began. And while talking, Sue's look quickly changed and the expression said big skeeter on your face and before I could react and get my own hand up to swat away the pest . . .


Sue smacked the skeeter - which was still on my face . . .

It was quite funny and so appropriate for this post. A memory . . .

My MIL has a home a block or so off the beach - Gulf Coast and it has been the spot for many a spring break trip.

In 2004 Ocho invited several friends to go with us, so we had a house full of boys. The evenings were filled with cards, spoons and Taboo.

This particular memory involved the game Taboo.

Traveler got the game started and the rounds were made. Two of the boys were twins. When it came around for their turn again, one of the twins drew the card.

The word created immediate frustration and a rush to send clues of the word. But no words came. His hands flapped in the air at his inability to find synonyms or any word at that.

When suddenly his hand flew out across his brothers face. His twin looked at him, his hand holding his red cheek and in a split second hollered


Everyone of us wide eyed, busted out laughing. I did catch a picture, and even though to anyone who was not there, this picture means nothing, but to those of us who were there, we know the reason for the hand on the cheek and that Will was laughing so hard, to the point of tears, and that one word "smack" made a picture worth a thousand words.

The twins are now in college, one stayed here to go to the local community college, the other is across the state. I asked the one who stayed, the one who smacked his brother, if he remembered that game, he had to think for a second and then a smile came across his face and he laughed again.

Play along with Memory Monday at Gayle's . . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ever want to be something you're not?

I do . . .

This week I wish I were a poet.

Or maybe a song writer?

A successful business owner most of all.

Just seems when there is much to sort through and emotions cropping up, you should be able to turn them into something wonderful.

Make good of them. No lyrics or rhyme has surfaced, so I guess I will need to find another way.


The day is beautiful again. The Bradford pears are swaying in the breeze. Breeze/wind is not that common here - usually only with an approaching storm of some sort, but not lately, it has been quite steady and I am enjoying. Mesmerized by the swaying of branches, I could just sit and get lost in the watching.

I hope all of you are experiencing as beautiful of a spring, where you are, as we are here!

Take some time today to enjoy - I know I am!!


What is the wind for?
If it's not for songs in trees;
What is the wind for?
I feel a song inside of me.
Every day the wind blows,
I think of thoughts from my heart.
Wind melodies come and they go,
Without me knowing where they start.
What is the wind for?
If not for songs like these.
What is the wind for?
If not for songs in trees.
I have been going through life,
Both with comfort and pain.
I have been going through life,
Both with effect and in vain.
But still I hear wind songs,
As they steadily grow;
With melodies chanting,
That no one really knows.
Peter S. Quinn

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When all else fails . . . share a video!!

~ ~ ~ ~

p.s. Dear Carrie Prejean: Your standing up, stating your beliefs and convictions with confidence and no regret is refreshing! Lead the up and coming back to being true to ones own beliefs, not true to what is common and pleases the crowd. Back to thinking through and deciding not blindly following! Thank you! ( and please do not tarnish what you have set forth to do by posing in playboy, penthouse, myspace, facebook, etc. or any other questionable action that others in the past have chosen - stay on the high road)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Watch It Wiggle . . .

...see it jiggle, cool and creamy, JELLO brand gelatin. . .

Leaving the '80s and coming as far to future as a few years ago. For a couple of years,the church youth leaders would have an Annual Jello Wrestling Sunday event. Each youth would bring a container of prepared jello for the pool. Sometimes there was a lot of jello, sometimes not, but all came eager for the event.

Demolition D's first time going, well, he was a little skeptical. He went just to watch. This sort of fun was way out of his element. Most fun was, he was kinda like a grumpy ol' man in his early teens.

We did make jello, even though D had no intentions of participating any further than being a spectator.

He helped fill the kiddie pool . . .

Lo and behold next thing we know he (in the greay shirt) is in the pool for a match!

And then a little later another!

D emerged from his box and had more fun than I think he had thought possible.
Thanks JELLO!

Wiggle on over to Candid Carries for the foto fiesta!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going Political Today

As many have heard, today is Tea Party Day. Gatherings will take place across the country today basically saying no taxation without representation. To me it is to say, "hey, we don't like many of these changes that are happening without votes - such as a $4,700 pay increase for Congress when for many of us our financial future is currently hanging in the balances."

I have many thoughts running through my mind in regards to all this, so I will try to make sense of it as best I can.

I am not much of an activist, I like peaceful actions. Not into name calling or threats. But I think sharing and voting are musts.

Somehow I started receiving emails from an Adam Bitely. I have read a few and thought the perspectives were something to definitely consider. The articles are written from an extremely conservative view - a little further right than I am, even though I am conservative.

I was going to post an email that I received last night, that on the surface disturbed me greatly. But I did go read the link to the government report and wondered if the post did not slightly exaggerate what was really being said.

The link to the report and possible government response is here (this contains the post and the link to the report- towards the bottom). I think it is good to read and research reports and issues ourselves and not just go on someone elses perspective. I took this report to be concerned, not with conservative views in general - but violent groups pushing their perspective using dangerous means (how did you take it? Should anyone with a differing opinion be concerned or is it addressing the violent groups only?).

I have views differing from our President. I have views sometimes differing from our state congressmen. I probably have views that might not be exactly like my husbands. But I am not in a militia, nor do I plan to be, or any other violent group. That is wrong in my opinion. I do not hate or judge others based on heritage, gender or race. I think that we, as Americans should voice our "opinion" on items related to our country such as taxes, laws, who represents us, but I think we should keep some lines drawn. We need to stay aware, but not let it consume our very being and calling, unless of course, politics is your calling.

It is important. It is important though not to jump to quickly without educated opinions. I think there are many instances where laws have been passed that citizens have wanted as a result of hurt and pain, but we fail to see the bigger picture at that time. What are we setting up? Do we want the government to direct our every decision? We have to be careful! Every change that is made that takes us further from the original constitution takes us closer to a way of life we may not really want. There is a country that has nationalized healthcare. On the surface that sounds great! But they still pay - they just don't write the check, the government gets it in taxes. Because it is nationalized the government dictates other issues that can be realted to ones health - such as tanning beds are illegal in this country. For me, not a big deal - I think they are unsafe and do not use them. A personal decision. My health, my responsibility. That is just one very small point in all the bigger issues that abound and are at stake.

I guess my point is, how much government do we want in our daily lives? Do we need to have government dictate where we go, what we do, what we think and what our opinion is across the board because some do not take personal responsibility for their actions? Where is accountability? Do we want to become drones of the state?

But also, how do we get the real facts, not exaggerated information put out to instill fear to create action. All sides are spinning their tales. I prefer my world not to be made up of so much drama. I prefer the Golden Rule over all of it, and even greater than that God's command to love one another.

Which is where all these thoughts ended this morning, whether we live in a democratic republic, a country based on socialism, or even communism, isn't God suppose to be our ultimate focus? And in the end God is in control. He is who I ultimately follow, whether he leads me to stand up at Tea Party, attend church services or take time to spend some special time with family or feed a hungry family, that is where my utmost loyalty stands.

As the radio button was pushed, I was blessed with a song just beginning, and that is how I will end this jumbled up post of thoughts . . .

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Memories - Scent of Rain

As a play Monday Memories with Gayle, I don't have any old photos of my memories that these current photos stir up . . .

It has been several years since we have seen standing water in our area, and especially a week after the last falling rain.

But, these picture of water still standing reminds me of being young.

It brings a feeling.

A desire.

To kick off my shoes
Roll up my pant legs
Walk along the edge where the water was always warmer.
Maybe grab a cup and scoop up some tadpoles.
Watch them grow.
Did you know that tadpoles in a washtub do not need to be put in the open sun? Nope they don't need that much sun - it cooks them! Really!! I know - an act of kindness gone wrong.

Do certain days and particular elements of nature take you back in time?
Take you too childhood memories?
I hope so, they feel so good . . .
I loved setting my kids free in puddles after a heavy rain.

I hope they remember the simple fun and pleasures life offers.

I hope the fresh smell of approaching rain fills them with the desire to stop everything and take in those moments of life.

And maybe one day they will again dance in the rain.
Well, the skys are dark and the falling rain has just begun to fall again. The breeze coming in the open windows is delightful . . .
Share a memory today - enjoy it!
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein
:then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice—
Psalms 96.11-12

Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo Phun Phriday - Spring Break Days

Visit the foto fiesta at Candid Carries ... and check out her week of celebration as their world has had a wonderful thing happen - adoption complete!!!

Our spring break is over, but as other parts of the state take their break, The Man's fun continues. Our neighbor has been visited by grown children and grand children this week.The energy shifts in the neighborhood - there is more activity and the
wonderful sound of children playing.

As I looked out the window Wednesday, we had a gaggle of kiddos on the trampoline. I enjoy knowing these kids look forward to coming to see Grandma, but it is fun knowing they look forward to seeing The Man and Francie (the dog) on their visit too!
Sorry, the shots are through the fig tree (just last week there were no leaves - spring is amazing).
If I had tried to get any closer they might have quit!

(See, she spotted the camera, and then they all changed in their play)

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD . . . Psalms 127:3

Ephesians 1:18-21, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (NLT)

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Oh it is one of those weeks. I have been full of joy and moving forward with each day, but today the circumstances are creeping in. I am fighting them off, we are dueling!

“Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.” Mario Andretti

“He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances” David Hume

“Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.”

And lastly . . .

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances , for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

In the middle of this dueling match, one of the food reps came by to check in. I had told him that I was selling three of my tables/sandwich stations that I just don't use anymore. He has come across two people in the past week interested. One has to wait to see if the government extends their contract; the other is needing one soon. Yay, a possible positive circumstance!

* * *


* * *

And on a completely unrelated note . . . . well, maybe not (since life sometimes seems to be in the crapper . . . )

As I took a moment to peruse Overstock, looking for upcoming birthday presents, lookie what they have for your iPod:

...or, err your bathroom. Yup, might want to hurry over before these bad boys are all gone!

BUT, remember, ususally anything that falls in the bathroom lands in the toilet (even an iPod).

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Pilgrimage

Our camping trip was near a town that has a yearly tour of homes. I heard about it several years ago, knew it was in April, but really never gave it a thought until maybe May of each year. Always missing it . . .

Well, this year we landed in the town during this event. We noticed the signs saying Eufaula Pilgrimage. That seemed like an interesting way to advertise a tour of homes. I assumed because of the folks walking the streets and all those that rountinely come to have a peek.

As we packed up and left the campground, we came through town to find some lunch on our way home. The streets were a buzz with locals and visitors.

Some were dressed in 1800's attire....

We stopped and ate lunch at a place called the Cajun Corner. It was not bad, but the prices and the portions were in stark contrast- we left hungry but with a chunk of our eating out money gone!

While waiting on our meal, The Man noticed the specials on the board. One item was Surf and Turf, one steak of your choice and one fish of your choice.

The Man: "hmmm, that is a good deal up there"

Me: "which one?"

The Man: "that one"

Me: "there are three . . ."

The Man: "the Surf and Turf . . .you know, since you choose your steak you could get what you want and that is a good deal. Usually "rabbai" is good . . . "

Me: "what kind?"

The Man: "Rabbai - Rabbai usually cost 19.95 a pound . . . . " I don't remember what all was said after that, we laughed and let him know it was "rib eye" not "rabbai." Rabbai being a Jewish priest or minister . . . .

So after lunch we decided to walk around a bit. We came up on one house and decided to tour it You could pay per house or buy a ticket, we did not want to spend a whole day so, at the request of The Man we did tour this one . . .

The Petry house. I am glad we did, it was quite interesting. The same family has lived in this house since the mid 1800's - of course not the original original family - no vampires or living forever, but their offspring. I believe they said 4 generations.

I did not snap any pictures in the house since that seems to be what always gets me in trouble - snapping pictures where one is not suppose too. The house was filled with original furnishings and the folks that live there have been busy rennovating for a couple years. We thought it was interesting that that was the style they lived with - very few modern items were seen, I did not even notice a TV.

At the beginning of the tour we found out why Eufaula calls it a Pilgrimage. Not because those that come to see the homes, but those that give the tours of the homes. Every year the descendents of these homes, children, cousins, aunts and so on, come back to provide the tour. In this house there were grandchildren, cousins, long time best friends that came from as far away as New Jersey to help with the tour -all dressed in 1800's attire for the event.

This particular house turned out to be unique to all the other homes on the tour - it is the only home in the town with the original detached kitchen - that is still workable (is that the word). They do not use it, a newer kitchen was added in the main house, and when the newer one was added, the door was just closed and not thought much of. Each year it is opened back up for the tour...

The backyard had a great little garden area with the fountain in the middle (this is from outside the kitchen door). They even had asparagus growing, inspiration to try it, now that I know it can be grown this far South.

We finished the tour and headed back to the van to head home.

Later, Demolition D said the girl taking payment on the porch of the home we toured, had checked him out.

Demolition D: "pretty cool since my hair was a mess and I was wearing not such great clothes"

Me: "was she cute?"

Demolition D: "yep, and you know, I kinda liked the dress she was wearing. I think those dresses should be worn by more girls. Better than jeans and junky clothes. "

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm

That's my world . . . check out more sites from around the globe here

and when the clouds cleared

what did we do? We made memories

Well, we managed to fit in a quick (overnight) spring break camping trip. It has been a year since Will and I have been able to get one in, and that one was without the boys. So this year Demolition D and The Man were along. The Man camps alot with the Boy Scouts, so there was no concern there - he IS a happy camper. Demolition D, well we were not so sure.

Ahhh how wonderful it is when all is well.

Demolition D was happy from the start -he drove us to the campsite, about 70 miles away (loaded down with canoe and pulling the pop-up)

The smiles he had as he took on this new stage of driving was great. Smiles are always great, but smiles of accomplishment are even better.

So as we entered the land of no video games, no tv, how did the boys fair?

Well, great! All you need is

A stump

An axe

And boys!!!

A neighbor camper in need . . .

A beautiful lake with perfect weather


Ok, not really, we did not see any. Although a neighboring camper said he spotted a lake placid size mother gator on a bank while fishing. Ok not lake placid size, but he said she was bigger than our canoe.

But there was a catch made while out fishing . . .

Yup! A shoe . . . Will did catch one catfish, but I did not have the camera close by.

With all the rain earlier in the week, our spot was perfect - no campers between us and the lake.

The next morning dawned a foggy morning

. . . with some huge mosquitos (that is that spect)

The fog burned off and another gorgeous day was had. But not before breakfast . . .

The town home to the campground was having its yearly pligrimage. Does your town have one? Mine does not, so I was not sure what it was, and I will share. But not until tomorrow.

More pictures to follow . . . tomorrow . . .

Until then know that more memories can be found at Planet M files.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Riding Down The Highway

...lookin for adventure . . .

Rainy day humor. Yup, still raining, but the sun will come out tomorrow.

Then more rain on Sunday and freezing temps the beginning of the week. Ahh the South. . .

cow commercial

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Sky of Waves


The clouds were really great to watch yesterday - full of waves. Those waves started letting loose mid afternoon and by 7:00 this morning we were between 2" and 3" of rain. This on top of the 5" received Saturday. It has been so nice to watch and hear the rain, we have had so little over the past few years. On the other hand, homes have had water enter, roads have been washed out, schools cancelled (guess that is not a bad thing :)), and now river banks being watched, but no where near as bad as the Red River (our is expected to crest only 2 feet above flood stage)- for that we are all thankful!

Off to enjoy the sound of the rain . . . .