Monday, April 28, 2008



Well, I stayed up all night, and just as I was about to call the jail to check on the status of Nick's release, Nick called me. As it turned out, the city of Raytown doesn't want my son, they mostly just want his money - which is what I figured. So I drove out to pick him up. We cruised past McDonald for breakfast, and Nick wolfed down two breakfast burritos before we got home. He is SO happy to be home again. Almost as happy as Pete was. Nick was out of the car and running for the front door, almost before I parked in the driveway. Before I could gather my stuff and get out of the car, I could hear the welcoming barks from inside the house. Nick is absolutely crazy about Pete. (and I'm pretty sure Pete feels the same about him.) It was total chaos as five dogs attacked him all at once, jumping, barking, and slobbering everywhere. I couldn't even walk through the living room. When things finally settled down a bit, the rest of the family woke up and straggled down the stairs, one by one. First Dad, then Jake, and finally Heather. I got Jake off to school, Heather went back to bed, and around 8AM, Roy took Nick with him to do some installs at work.

The house was suddenly quiet. I looked around at the dogs who hadn't had that much early morning excitement since Christmas. They were all snoozing away in their own patches of sunshine flooding through the living room windows. I went upstairs, looked at myself in the mirror, and almost fell over. I looked like death warmed over, and I knew that if I didn't get some sleep, it would only get worse. So, I climbed back into bed for a few hours sleep.

Around Noon, the dogs informed me that they needed to go outside to bark at people and generally create the afternoon chaos, that they have perfected to an art. I really tried to crawl back into bed, but the phone started ringing, the guys came home, and Jasmin showed up with her kids. Jas insisted that we all go to her house for a bar-be-que.

I ran her out about 4:30, explaining that if we were all going to her house, I really had to get the dogs out for their walks and get them fed otherwise, we might not have a house to come home to. Nick volunteered to help me walk the dogs, which should have helped, but as usual, Nick had about 20 times more energy than me. Even though we accomplished the task in record time, I was exhausted when we got done!

I felt like a zombie for most of the evening at Jasmin and Jason's, but I was so hungry, that I ate TWO burgers and a plate full of starches. They were really tasty starches, but it probably wasn't the smartest choice. I didn't care.

Since we got home at 9:30, I've been sitting on the couch like a catatonic lump. I think it's nighty-night time for me. Hopefully, I will wake up tomorrow feeling like a normal person. Nick has plans to apply for some jobs , so maybe Heather and I can get some work done. I don't really want to think about it right now. I just wanted to let y'all know how things went today, and that my family is all together again, for now.
I'm shutting things down and going to dream land. Good night.


This, is what I think.

This is one of my new favorite songs, by one of my all time favorite goups. Listen to the words, they seems very honest to me at this point in time, they're printed below.

watch video

WHAT THIS WORLD NEEDS by Casting Crowns.


What this world needs, is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind.

Another two bit politician peddling lies,

Another three ring circus society.

What this world needs, is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you.

Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth,

Another prophet in Armani suit.

What this world needs, is a savior who will rescue,

A spirit who will lead,

A father who will love them, in their time of need.

A savior who will rescue,

A spirit who will lead,

A father who will love.

That's what this world needs.

What this world needs, if for us to care more about the inside, than the outside.

Have we become so blind that we can't see?

God's gotta change your heart before he changes your shirt.

What this world needs, is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance,

Blending in so well that people can't see the difference,

'cause it's the difference that sets the world free.

What this world needs, is a savior who will rescue,

A spirit who will lead,

A father who will love them, in their time of need.

A savior who will rescue,

A spirit who will lead,

A father who will love.

That's what this world needs.

*People aren't confused about the gospel, they're confused about us.

Jesus is the only way to God, but we are NOT the only way to Jesus.

This world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie, my demonination, or my translation of the Bible.

They just need Jesus.

We can be passionate about what we believe,

But we can't strap ourselves to the gospel,

because we're slowing it down.

Jesus is going to save the world,

but maybe, the best thing we can do,

is just get out of the way.*

Jesus is our savior, that's what this world needs,

A father's arms around you, that's what this world needs.

That's what this world needs.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A quiet weekend - how strange !

Hey there,

Another week end gone, and somehow, I managed to survive. Saturday was beautiful. Sunshine and 7o degrees. (21C ) Roy had some side work, installing a furnace for our landlord, that kept him busy for most of the day. I spent the day chasing down the kids, and walking the dogs.
Saturday night, I went to go visit Nick. He's a wreck. He's set to be released tomorrow(Monday) morning at 5:30 AM, and he is terrified that they are going to hold him on a DUI warrant out of Jackson county. Why the Hell does he wait until the last minute to even consider these things?! Apparently, he missed a court date in Febuary (because he was being held in Johnson County) so before they release him, they will call Jackson county to find out if they want to come pick him up. Supposedly, he wasn't concerned about it before, because " Jackson county never bothers to pick up any one on a misdemeanor charge" however, he is currently in a pod with another guy who has been waiting 10 days, for Jackson county to pick him up on a misdemeanor charge, just like his. So once again, my son is discovering that he isn't nearly as clever as he thinks. He is adamant that we MUST bail him out if they decide to hold him. "because if they hold him on his DUI in Jackson county, he will miss his court date for his DUI in Prairie Village, and when they release him in Jackson county, he will be held for Prairie Village , and it will be another 6 months before he gets out !" (Oh, NO !!!) In spite of everything that he has been through, He just doesn't seem to fully comprehend what a mess he has made of his life. He just walks around doing whatever he feels like doing, without a second thought to the consequences, because he is "so much smarter than the system that is trying to repress him, and keep him from living his life." It's all a conspiracy. Most days, I want to believe in him, and have faith that he will eventually, pull his head out of his ass, and live some kind of productive and normal life; but times like this, I just want to slap the shit out of him until he comes back to reality.
Uh - hem, So . . . I am just sitting here this evening, biding my time until 5:30 AM, when I can call the jail to find out what Jackson county wants to do with him, and whether I need to go pick him up. The true insanity of the situation is, that they just might go a head and release him. I have no idea what kind of drugs the people who run our court and justice system are on, but they are obviously as equally screwed up as the people caught up in the system.

Okay, I'm done with my little rant. Today, has been cooler, and I've been trying to get caught up on some much needed housework. So of course, the day has just slipped through my fingers. I don't know what's up with this weekend, nobody seems to have much energy, or interest in doing anything. Things have just been kind of quiet around here. Jacob spent the night at his friend's house on Saturday, but as I mentioned on Friday, I haven't had a lot of kids in and out like usual. It's been kind of nice for a change. I think that I could get used to this. I probably better not though, nothing sane seems to last long around here.

Well, since I'm up for the night, I might as well make use of my time, I've still got laundry to finish ,and the family room to clean, and if I get bored, I just might wake up my hubby to entertain me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nothing New

Hey there,

I'm still around, haven't gone anywhere. I've been busy posting on some other blogs and working on some new projects. This horrid rain has turned cold today, so I had to move all my plants inside this morning. My kitchen is currently over run with slightly wilted potted plants. It's so sad. But they'll be okay I'm sure, they always are, they wouldn't dare die on me! No really, they won't die because I am such a nurturing and attentive Earth goddess. In fact, I'm thinking of changing my name to that. Maybe, I'll just have a T-shirt printed with "Earth Goddess" printed on it, and see how that goes first. It might not catch on. Besides, having my drivers license changed is such a pain in the ass, I hate waiting in that line. You would think that an Earth Goddess would go straight to the front! But no, stuff doesn't work that way. At least, not for me. Oh well.

Can you tell that there isn't much happening in my life ? Oh my god, I was just sitting here, and I could have sworn that I heard a cow moo - in my living room. Does that ever happen to you? Okay, turns out that it's just Jake's cell phone that's set on vibrate, laying on on the desk. Why would I immediately think that it was a cow? We don't have that many cows in Olathe. Just a few, not many, and they don't usually graze in my living room. Ugh, now the stupid thing is going to beep all night. Maybe, I should just shove it under the couch cushions so I don't have to listen to it. It's okay, that's probably the first place he'll look for it in the morning. That's where it usually ends up anyway. I'm pretty sure that when we are all asleep, the dogs move stuff around. They think that it's funny to do stuff like that. My dogs are just a bunch of pranksters.

Well, like I said, there isn't much happening - I don't even have a bunch of kids spending the night - and it's Friday. How weird is that ? I don't really have much to say, I just wanted to blog because I miss you all. I'm kind of sleepy so I should get myself to bed.
Good night.

Love ya,
(the Earth Goddess)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Book meme for Sparsely Kate


I'm in between books right now, however, Heather is reading Eclipse, the third book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I was up late last night writing chapter questions for her, which means, I have read this book twice in the past month. It just so happens, it's the book closest to me right now, so here goes.

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer.

The 6-8th sentences on page 123 are:

Jacob wasn't smiling. His dark eyes were critical of my reaction. "It's a bit more powerful than that, more absolute."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thunder and Cannon fire

Civil war re-enactment @ Mahaffie Farmstead and Stage Coach Stop.

Hey !

It's me again. Well, the rains finally arrived. We are in the midst of a major down pour right now. Poor Pete, he's having a rough couple of days. Even though yesterday was sunny and dry,
Yesterday, we were awakened to rounds of gunfire, as well as cannon shots. (As far as Pete is concerned, Cannon fire, gunshot, thunder - they're all the same.) We have mornings like that about 3 or 4 times a year. Around here, that's a sure sign that spring has arrived. We live only a block from an historical site known as Mahaffie Farmstead and Stage Coach Stop. It dates back to 1858, and it's the last remaining actual stage coach stop along the Santa Fe Trail. Several weekends a year, from April through September, life around here becomes very interesting. Mahaffie hosts civil war re-enactments, wild west days, festivals, craft shows, and even baseball games that are all done in full authentic historical dress and weaponry. No one bats an eye to see people dressed in civil war uniforms gathered at the gas station on the corner, or carrying Pizza Hut pizzas on horse back to an authentic civil war camp located at the park behind our house. When I took the dogs on their walks yesterday, they had their first encounters with these odd people, and with horses, as they were stabled in the parking lot.

In other news:
I feel like I've been incredibly lazy today. I did the school thing, I got some of the laundry done, cooked dinner, did dishes, fed the dogs, so it's not like I didn't do anything at all - it's just no where near what I planned on accomplishing, nor what needed to be done. About halfway into the day, I realised that all my grand plans were being challenged by my spring allergies. I am SO in denial about all my human frailties. Every year, I greet the change of seasons with open arms and excitement . . . until my body rudely reminds me of what I must endure before I am worthy of enjoying all the pleasures that go along with Spring and Fall. SUCKS. Again, I'm whinging. They could be so much worse. So far, I'm just feeling kind of itchy and lethargic; hopefully, it will end there. Of course, it would probably help if I didn't behave with such reckless abandon every time the sun came out, or the temps start to hover around 60 or 70 degrees. ( 16-22 C.) If I didn't throw the doors and windows open during the day, last night, I slept with the window open all night, and if I didn't spend every possible minute outside soaking in the sun. But, what would be the point in doing all those sensible things? You know me, I'm a certified resident of La-La land. So I guess, I probably deserve it.
Nick was moved back to Olathe today so that he can be released next Monday. He was really hoping that he would get to stay in Ottawa County until the last few days. He has visitation tomorrow evening, Thursday morning, and Saturday evening; So I will go, and listen to him complain about how the time is absolutely dragging on. Nick really isn't the kind of person who complains a lot, but there really isn't anything else for him to do.
Well, there really isn't much else that's news. Our down pour was brief, and it seems to be over and done with now, so I think I'll toddle off to bed.

Monday morning

It's Monday morning and I'm just looking for any excuse to avoid starting my week a little longer. Yesterday was BEAUTIFUL, and it's still nice this morning, although it's supposed to start raining around 3 or 4 PM.
Heather is up and we should be doing school. Why is it that the last quarter is SO hard ? It's not quite far enough along that we can start counting the days until summer vacation, but our spirits are SO ready for it. When I think about wrapping up her studies, I look at all the the plans I made last fall, and there is still so much that we haven't done. Is life always like that ?
Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Is it a promise of more to be attained? Or just a reminder of what we failed to achieve? I guess it just depends on how you choose to see it ?

Uh - oh, Heather just came in and she is already trying to negotiate today's school work. I have to be strong, remember who the parent is . . . stick to the plan and ignore the sun shinning outside the window. Oh, if she only knew that I feel the same way !

Well, I need to pry my ass out of this chair and get to work.
Oops, that didn't work. I walked right through the kitchen and out the back door. So instead, I took those photos of my deck that I was supposed to take yesterday.

Okay, Now I really am going to start school. Have a great day everyone !

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunny Days

I have been such a busy, busy little girl today. When I woke up to discover that the sun had returned, I just got all excited and full of energy. I got on line to check the weather forecast, and decided that it's (FINALLY) safe to move all my house plants outside ! (well, all but a dozen or so, anyway.) It took me almost four hours to get them all moved, and arranged in a spots that will make them happy.

Now my back deck looks like a jungle. But that's okay, my back yard is sort of my little refuge during the summer months. I love to go out there in the mornings to sit and gather my thoughts before the day begins. Then, in the evenings, the whole family likes go sit under the stars and relax. Sometimes, Roy will build a fire in the BBQ, and the kids will roast marshmallows, or make s'mores.

I was going to take a picture to post, but I got distracted by the huge dust filled spaces that the plants left inside the house. It's absolutely unbelievable how much dust my house gathers! So I stared cleaning and rearranging things inside to fill in the gaps. My house seems so strange and bare with all this space, but I also feel like I have a little more room to move, and that makes me happier. By the time I took a break and looked at the clock, it was after 6 PM and I still hadn't gotten the dogs out for their walks, or started dinner. I tried to do both at he same time, but that didn't work out too well. Roy finally had to pitch in and take Midnight out so that I could cook. I think it was around 9 PM when we finally got fed !

As I was cleaning up, Jasmin stopped by to visit with her friend Shawna. Jas had written a blog about Shawna, and I commented that I had yet to meet her, so they decided to stop by on their way to crash a prom party. I can hardly wait to hear how that goes! I guess girls will be girls. They just can't stay away from the prom thing.

Jacob has gone to spend the night with one of his friends, Roy has already gone off to bed, and I think that Heather has crashed out too. (she and Ana were up until 5 AM last night) So, things are very quiet here right now, even the dogs are zonked out on the couches and chairs, dead to the world, with their little tails wrapped around their noses, or their paws in the air, and in Pete's case, his tongue sticking out of his mouth. Silence is such a lovely sound.

Nick called this evening. He's doing well, although, he only has 7 days until he comes home, and he's feeling restless and anxious. He will be released at 5:30 AM on Monday, the 28th. I think he asked me three times if I would be there to pick him up. He really worries that he has been forgotten . I think that is a common struggle for people that are incarcerated. Even though they are surrounded by other people, 24 hours a day - 7 days a week, they feel isolated and alone, because they are so cut off from the real world. I think I'll wait about a week to have his little homecoming party. Unfortunately, experience has shown me, that no matter how badly he wants to get back home and return to a "normal" life, the first few days will be difficult for him. I noticed the same thing with Roy. It takes a few days to feel like a normal person again. He is always very quiet, almost overwhelmed, for a while; So I try to keep things around here very low-keyed for the first couple of days. It's really very sad.

I can hear my hubby talking in his sleep. He's up there just chatting away to somebody. Sometimes, I think he has more to say when he's asleep, that when hes awake. Well, at least the stuff he says when he's asleep is funnier. The thing is, if I ask him about it in the morning, he never remembers even having any dreams.

Well, Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm again. I'm going to try and get some more yard work done before the rains return on Monday.
Good night.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday Night

Hi -

I started my day in a really crappy mood. I don't know why, and since I am a woman, I don't really need a reason. But then, this evening, Jasmin came by to drop off Ana. (who is spending the night.) Jasmin and Caleb decided to stay and hang out, while Jas sewed clips into some hair extensions for clients tomorrow. There's just something about having all my kids together - it always seems to turn into a party. Jake and his friend came home from their school dance, and things got really wild. Jake comes up with the funniest stuff, and when you put him and Jasmin together - they are hysterical. So I finally got my evening of fun. I was kind of missing Christian and Nick, and my hubby spent most of the evening with his head in an on line poker game, but it was good, it was what I needed.

I need to plan something for when Nick gets home. Maybe a big dinner, or some thing like that. It would be nice, if it would quit raining long enough, to BBQ in the back yard. I really need a bigger house, or at least something more open. I've actually got alot of space here, but everything is so divided, and I am sick of stairs. It will be better when it gets, and stays, warm enough to get this jungle of plants back outside. Still, I should probably get my self into house hunting mode again. I'm just really doubtful that I'll be able to find what we need, for the price we can afford. :(

Oh, since Mel has been posting some updated photos, I realised that the few photos I have are kind of old and sucky. So I made Jasmin, (and Roy, and Jake and Heather) take some new photos of me this evening. Unlike Mel, looking at me does NOT guarantee that you will have any idea who you are dealing with. Well, it's late, and I need to run these girls off to bed, and pick up the house a bit. Good night.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Rain, rain, and more rain !

Allo -

Well, my little playmate (Caleb) didn't come visit me today. :( We woke up to cloudy, gray skies this morning and by 1:30 -2:00 PM, it was pouring down rain, thunder and lightening. *sigh* So . . . Caleb stayed home with his daddy. Although, I'm sure he would have had more fun with me.

So instead of being a poop, and pouting around the house, I finally got caught up on all that school stuff, I did the dishes, and cooked some really yummy Teriaki Chicken and rice. I guess tomorrow, I'll tackle that mountain of laundry in the basement, and do the vacuuming, yadda, yadda, yadda. Once again, we're headed for a rainy spell, so I might as well get some stuff accomplished around here.

Jake has a school dance tomorrow night, and he's having a friend come home with him afterwards to spend the night. Heather and Ana were both kind of disappointed that They didn't get to play together today, so they are planning a sleep over for tomorrow as well. I'm not really sure what the point is in doing all that house work, except for if I don't, I'll have twice as much cleaning to do later. So it's starting to look like another typical weekend around here.

I don't know why, but I've been feeling almost as blah as the weather. Just feeling kind of tired and drained. I'm thinking that I'm going to get myself to bed early tonight, catch up on my sleep, and hope that will give me the energy boost I need.

Hope that you all have a great weekend (the sun must be shinning some where ? !)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Moms just wanna have fun too !

* I wrote this last night, I just forgot to post it, too much attitude, I guess.

HI !

I'm being very bad today. And you know what ? I don't care. I've got tons of school stuff that I should be doing, I've got tons of laundry that I'm ignoring. This has been a beautiful day, yet I haven't taken the dogs out. - I just feel oddly indifferent about that. I didn't do the dishes today, and I didn't vacuum the rug either, and no one has even noticed.

You want to know why? Because I didn't feel like it. I'm sick of doing all that crap. I'm sick and tired of being so responsible! I don't want to be a grown up, I want to have FUN!! I want to be silly, and play, and laugh my ass off. I honestly can't remember the last time I did that. Can you ?

So I am feeling very rebellious, but also a little bit sad too. I could easily throw a temper tantrum, because of the sheer unfairness of it all. Why does being grown up have to suck so much ?! I am absolutely bored of doing the same old crap.

Thankfully, Caleb is coming to hang out with me tomorrow . . . maybe. Unless it rains. If it rains, Jason won't have to work, and he will keep Caleb at home with him. Caleb just turned three, and fun is all that he cares about. Well, M&M's are important too.

Anyway, I need to get myself off to bed. It's better than sitting here pouting. *SIGH*

Good night,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My first broken heart

I've been indulging myself again. Not with food, or shopping sprees, or even those blissful moments of solitude in a steaming tub of fragrant bath oils. Nope, I've been right here, at my computer desk, chasing down my teenage heart throb. Not many people outside my family know about such silly secrets, but I'll share them with you.

Once upon a time, at the tender age of 9 1/2 years old, I watched a television show called: Three Dog Night's Rockin' New Year aboard the Queen Mary. As I watched Three Dog Night sing their #1 single for the year 1971 - Joy to the World, I fell completely and hopelessly in love with one of the lead singers of the group, Chuck Negron. He was, without a doubt, going to be my future husband. The minute that I laid eyes on him, I KNEW this to be true. From that moment on, my every thought revolved around him. I began collecting all of the Three Dog Night albums (12 in all), gathering every tiny bit of information that I could find about him, and the group, and committing it all to memory. I was certain that when I became Mrs. Chuck Negron, all of this would be invaluable information.

Later, during my 7th grade year, my two BFFs fell in love with the other two lead singers, (Danny Hutton and Cory Wells) and became my co-conspirators in romantic fantasy. My world was complete. Not only would I eventually have the most glamorous and envied life of any girl, but my two best friends would share it with me ! What more could I ask for?

For almost a year my friends and I lived in our dreamland, just waiting for the day that Three Dog Night came to town and swept us away with them. Of course, the waiting wasn't easy. My brothers laughed, mocked, and ridiculed our dreams. More than once, my mother tried to calmly and rationally explain why I couldn't possibly be in love with a Rock star, 20 years my senior, who I had never met. But, It didn't matter what anyone said, or thought. It was simply a truer love than they could comprehend - it was destiny ! (Chuck, Danny, and Cory would realise this - as soon as they met us.)

After years of waiting and planning, my love for Chuck had finally reached perfection, and the fates arranged for Three Dog Night to play in my town. It was perfect, a Friday night, at an outdoor concert - we would meet, and fall in love under the stars. *SIGH*

My girl friends and I had less than a month to plan. We would have to shop for new outfits, buy new make up, choose the right perfume, have out hair and nails done to perfection. Everything had to be perfect for the night that we would meet our soul mates - our destiny. And of course, we had to buy our concert tickets and get permission from our moms.

I went to my mom to give her the happy news. Without even looking up from her news paper, my mother said, "I'm sorry, but you can't go. The whole family will be in Arizona the week of the concert, visiting my brother and his family."

I couldn't believe it!! I was devastated. No matter how much I begged and pleaded, there was no way of getting out of it, or making other arrangements so that I could go. Even worse, my other two friends weren't allowed to go either - some crap about 14 year old girls being too young to go to a rock concert by themselves.

That was my first broken heart. I cried every night until we got on the plane for Arizona. I spoke very little the entire trip. When we got home, I couldn't listen to my albums any more, it made me too sad. A year later, in 1975, Three Dog Night broke up. Shortly after that, my girlfriends moved away and we lost touch. I have no idea what finally happened to all my albums and my scrap book filled with information and all our plans. Eventually, life went on, but it was never really the same, never as magical, or as dream filled, as I remember it used to be.

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a book in the library called Three Dog Nightmare. It's an auto biography written by Chuck Negron. (who is now, 65 years old) For the first few chapters, he chronicled his childhood and the early years of Three Dog Night, much of which I knew by heart. Then, he began to write about what was happening to his life behind the scenes. That in his teen years, he started getting high on cough syrup, and then he moved on alcohol, pot and and other drugs. By the time they filmed Three Dog Night's Rockin' New Year s Eve aboard the Queen Mary, he was a hard core Heroin addict. By the time that they played in Kansas City, the day my heart was broken, his whole life was about heroin. Not long after the band's break up, he was penniless, had sold all of his gold albums for drug money, and was living on the street. He did eventually turn his life around, and formed a rehab support group for musicians addicted to drugs. It's a very sad and shocking story. When I finished the book, I realised that if I had met him, I never would have even liked him, much less loved him.

Only a few weeks after I read his book, I was channel surfing and happened upon a show called Intervention. It's a reality show about families that do intervention for family members and friends that are worst case drug addicts and alcoholics - sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Chuck Negron and his ex-wife were doing an intervention for his son Chuck Jr., who is also a heroin addict. In his case, the intervention failed, and his son is now serving time in prison. Very, very sad.

Chuck has gone back to singing solo, but mostly at small engagements like community fairs and festivals. In fact, the inspiration for this blog came about, because last night, while I was playing around on You tube, I came upon clip of Chuck Negron preforming here in Olathe for our annual Labor Day festival, Bull Whacker Days. Only 6 months ago, in September 2008, He was singing less that 3 miles from my house, and I had no idea. I remember that my kids really tried to get me to go to the festival, but I refused. Thirty years ago, I would have traded my soul just to be that close to him.

Honestly and truly, I have no idea what the moral of this story is. Maybe, it's pointless ? If you figure it out, I'd love to know.

Strangely, that is what has been floating around in my mind lately.

Good night all,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Give me a break.

Hey there,

Another Sunday night. I have no idea what happens to the weekends. Why do they just zip right by me? I decided to take a day off from my spring cleaning. (I know, I barely got started !) I think I just needed a day to relax and unwind a bit. So after my shower this morning, I ran a comb through my hair, threw on my overalls and a long sleeved Henley shirt, and called it good enough. That's right, Au natural.

I've spent most of the day puttering around the kitchen. Thankfully, my sugar cravings seem to have run their course, and I'm feeling a lot less anxious and frantic. I made a pot roast with lots of multi -colored veggies, and settled for chilled, unsweetened, pineapple for desert. (Instead of the cheesecake that I made for everyone else.)

After dinner, Jake and I went to go visit my mom. Nick had sent a letter for her that I needed to deliver. Mom has been playing around with her new printer that she got for Christmas, and she wanted to show off some photos of my niece's new baby that she printed off.

Afterwards, we stopped by Jasmin's house, to pick up Jake's skateboard that he left there, and to see Jasmin's new cat. She is a lovely white cat with beautiful green eyes, named Blanca. Jasmin went to Dallas, Texas last week with some friends for a marketing thingy, and she brought me back a really cool shirt, and a turquoise crucifix. I just LOVE presents !!!

For the past 6 days, Jake has been stuck in the house (except for school) and I think he needed to get out almost as much as I did. He chattered away as he raided Grandma's candy dish, and he had a few minutes to spend with Christian at Jasmin's house. He's supposed to be grounded until Tuesday, but I cut him some slack this evening. When we got the Internet back on, I found an email from his World History teacher, and he has managed to bring his grade up to an acceptable level. I figure that even a pyro needs to be rewarded for good deeds.

We got home around 10 PM, and everyone toddled off to bed by 10:15. So it's just me, the dogs, and the computer. As I'm typing this, I'm having a late night snack of baby carrot sticks that I'm sharing with the dogs. I can't believe that Peter is so spoiled, he refuses to eat carrots without ranch dip !!! That's just pathetic. I'm really pissed off at Princess. She has been such a bitch lately. The other day, Pete was trying to get her to play, and she bit him on the end of his tender little nose !! (she actually drew blood and left a scar !) Apparently, she's doing her best to live up to her name. Just a minute ago, she insisted that I give her a carrot stick, even though she doesn't like them. She took her carrot off and is guarding it ! She won't eat it, but she won't let any of the big dogs near it either ! So I took it from her - HA ! I don't know what I am going to do with this miniature Bully. I have never tolerated food aggression, or any type of violence with my dogs. She has always been "The instigator" of the group, but I just can't believe that this tiny little demon thinks she can push around four dogs, that are four times her size !! That's a lot of crap, I'm not gonna let her get away with that ! (creepy little mutt!)

Well, it's late, I'm going to get myself off to bed.

Have a great week everyone !


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Hey there !

Well, I have officially started my Spring cleaning today. In spite of the fact that it doesn't feel much like spring. Today has been cold, windy, and if you can believe it, we actually got some fairly heavy snowfall this morning ! Of course, it's just barely cold enough for snow, and it all melted the moment it hit the ground. It's just that looking out the window this morning felt so . . . defeating. I was about to get all pouty and insolent about the situation; but then, I looked over at my 13 year old son, who is spending his weekend being grounded, and I thought better of it. Stamping my feet, and throwing a temper tantrum worthy of a 5 year old, probably wouldn't be the best example to set for him. So, instead, I decided to put that energy to use cleaning. Although, doing spring cleaning is really just my way of being rebellious - as if I could defy mother nature by refusing to acknowledge it.

Normally, I would start at the top of the house and work my way down. However, Since Jake has the attic bedroom, I decided to skip his room, and move to the next level, which is the master bedroom. (Doing Jake and Heather's room is an all day thing that requires lots of patience - I wasn't quite feeling that rebellious.) I give the master bedroom a weekly dusting and vacuuming that I usually only takes about 30 minutes, but today, I spent almost 4 hours doing a thorough cleaning. (moving furniture, etc.) By the time I was done, the snow had stopped, and I had managed to put my frustration and energy to good use. Final results are below. (you can click on the photos to enlarge)

I had just finished up when Roy came home and decided to take a nap. He kicked his shoes off onto the floor, threw his hat on the night stand, emptied all the random change, screws, and wire nuts from his pockets all over the tables, Threw his work shirt in the general direction of the laundry hamper, and pulled the blankets over his head, and then . . . the dogs attacked him. Needless to say, the room didn't stay looking like this for long. I knew that when I took the photos, documentation might come in handy. Tomorrow, I'll tackle the next room, and by the time I'm done with that, I doubt I'll be able to recognise the bedroom. Oh well, that's the story of my life - one step forward, two steps backwards.
I know . . . you're probably wondering: How does she stand all the excitement, and why can't my life be as thrilling as hers? Well, you know, I've always been kind of "special. "
Unfortunately, this has been the extent of my reckless and stimulating day. Of course, you have to realise, that this is just the first step of my evil plan to manipulate the weather. For each of the next 7 days, I will spring clean a new room. By the time that I finish cleaning the garage, I'll be able to throw the door open, and the sun will be shinning, and the air will be fresh and warm, and VOILA ! Spring will have arrived ! A new season wouldn't DARE hide from me after I have invested a full week of spring cleaning ! Am I clever, or what?! Once I have fully mastered control of the seasons, the next step is, naturally, world domination !!! But don't worry, I'll remember my friends. Everyone else, is in serious trouble.
Well, it's getting late, and I should probably get myself off to bed. So much to plan, so many details, so much to do !
Love y'all,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Asylum Update

I'm so happy to be back on line !

I was so bored and lonely without all of you guys. And you know, I worry about you as well. So, in celebration of getting my Internet, phone and cable back, I made one of my favorite meals. Or at least it was my favorite this evening. Lately, I've been craving an Italian sausage sandwich. (no smart ass responses from the peanut gallery, please.) It was yummy. So now I sit here, with a happy heart, and a happy tummy, and all is right with my world.

Gosh, I wish I had some exciting news for you, but really nothing is terribly new around here. Just the same old things. Lots of kids in and out, Things have picked up a bit for Roy at work, but he's still underfoot more than I'd like.

The weather is warming up - in between thunderstorms - and I have been out with my dogs as much as possible. I am up to walking anywhere from 4 to 7 miles a day with them. I'm sure it would have some positive effect, if I could lay off the snack cakes and junk food. I'm hoping that now that I have all my other creature comforts, I won't be so obsessed with filling myself with comfort food to relieve the boredom and stress. My mind keeps drifting to thoughts of planting things and watching them grow, but then, I remember that we had hoped to move this summer. And planting a bunch of stuff seems like a waste of time and energy. At this point, I'm not sure what we will do if the finances don't improve. I really don't object to staying here, I really love being so close to the parks, walking trails, and schools. It will be hard to find another place with those things. I just wish things weren't so uncertain, then I could make plans. I'm really into making plans - maybe too much ?

I've been doing alot of reading. I have read all three of the Twilight Series books. Now, all I have to do is wait until August 2nd for book 4 to be released ! I'm really not very good at pacing myself, when it comes to reading. I tend to gobble a book up in one sitting . I've also read a couple of new (Dean Koontz) books that Nick had sitting on his shelf.

Several years ago, when Nick was in juvenile corrections , Nick wrote a letter to Mr. Koontz, telling him how much he appreciated and admired his writing. I was absolutely floored, when he PERSONALLY sent a handwritten reply of encouragement to him, along with a personalised, autographed copy of one of his non-fiction books on writing, and a subscription to his newsletter !! I was VERY impressed, not many best selling authors will take the time to do that for a teenager. Because he and I are both Golden Retriever lovers, I always suspected that he was a genuinely nice person, but this made me like him even more. Since then, Nick and I have pretty much read everything he has written. (which is alot!)

Speaking of Nick, He got farmed out again, back to where he was before, and he is a trustee there. He called Thursday night, and he's doing great. As a trustee, he can stay busy and that keeps him from losing his mind and helps time pass quickly. He should be home by the 28th of this month - just a few short weeks. He's a little nervous about that, but he has been working on a new plan to change his whole life, starting with his social life and friends, and taking things slow. I think that will be a step in the right direction, but he has never been a very patient person. He wants results, and he wants them NOW.

Ummm . . . What else is new? I'm afraid there's not alot. Jake has started hanging out with a new friend that is questionable. He seems to be a bit of a mad scientist/pyromaniac. Jake is currently grounded for creating some "pyrotechnics" using various substances from the shelf in the garage that is clearly marked: KEEP OUT! So, I guess that I am going to have to clear out that cupboard this weekend, and figure out how and where, the city will allow me to dispose of hazardous substances and aerosol sprays and such. What a pain in the butt, but I really should have done it long ago. Since Jake is grounded, maybe I'll have him help me, and we can discuss all the ways that he could have killed, maimed, and injured, himself and others ? I really hate being a hard ass, but he's kind of cute, I'd like to keep him around for a while longer.

I sort of miss my youngest daughter today. Since we got the Internet turned back on, she has been sucked into the computer ALL day. I don't know how she does it. I've spent alot more time today on the computer than usual, (sorting through weeks worth of emails, and catching up with everyone) and I'm about to go cross-eyed! Over the past few weeks, she did a really wonderful job of finding good ways to stay busy, and some new interests, and surprisingly, not alot of complaints. I'm hoping that she will become a bit more balanced about things, other wise . . . you know, I'll have to be a hard ass again. *sigh* Sometimes, I wish Roy were a little meaner, he's just too easy going.

Well, Like I said, I've just about fried my brain on this contraption today. I think My fingers are ready for a rest. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend !

Good night.
Love and prayers to all,

Friday, April 11, 2008

The next three posts ...

The next three Posts were written while I was MIA. Mostly they are just long, rambling lists of complaints and observations of my boring old life without my internet or friends, or T.V., or telephone - Ugh ! the whole thing was so tramatic - I hope that I don't need thereapy as a result! Anyway, I just thopught I'd throw them out there. Jake will be home from school soon and he'll throw me off the computer, no doubt. But I will post tonight and finish getting caught up with everyone.

Love you guys,

Monday Misery Monday, April 7th, 2008
(too many voices in my head)

I'm writting this on Word and hopefully, someday,
I'll be able to post it on my blog. I miss my internet,
my blogs, and my blog friends especially, so much.
Right now, I really need my blog and my friends. I
woke up this morning with something that I need to
work through. Maybe, something that I need to own
up to ? Unfortunately, typing it on Word, knowing
that there is no one to share it with, no one out
there who will give me honest feed back and support,
makes the whole exercise seem kind of futile. O well,
just another shinning example of the self- destructive,
self defeating fantasy world that I've created for
myself. *Sigh - Really BIG sigh*

Have you ever awoke, opened your eyes to a fresh
new day, filled with sheer panic and raw fear resulting
from the knowlege that you are OLD; and your life is
quickly racing to an abrupt and pointless end ?
No ? Well, just wait - You will.
I'm having one of those mornings. It could be
because I ran out of anti-depressants 6 days ago,
and I haven't got a telephone to call the Doctor/Dealer
and beg for more samples. Or, it could be because it's
an actual fact, and my brain is just now drug free
enough to allow such thoughts to float to the surface
and scare the hell out of me. Or, it could be the result
of the massive amounts of raspberry Zingers and
chocolate Ho-Hos that I shoved into my body last
night and early this morning. (DAMN the Hostess
snack cake makers ! I hope they all burn in Hell !)

I guess it really doesn't matter what the reason is,
Pandora's box has been opened, and I have to figure
out a way to clean up the mess. To be honest, the real
issue isn't that I am 45 years old, which is just a heart
beat away from 50 !!! (Dear God!!)
The real issue that I'm struggling with is, what I
have been doing to my rapidly, and not so gracefully
aging body; and the consequences that really are
inevitable if I continue with this behavior. To say
that 'I have to get my shit together', would be
the ultimate understatement of ALL time.

You all know that I kind of, half heartedly and
jokingly, struggle with keeping my weight out of
the Guiness Book of World Records for morbid
obesity; all the while, attempting to eat, bake, and
sneak as much sugar as humanly possible. Well. . .
as horrible as all that sounds, my day - to - day
behavior is actually worse.

For example: Last night, I bought a box of (10)
Hostess chocolate Ho-Hos, and a box of (12)
Hostess Raspberry Zingers. (I'm sorry Christopher,
try not to gag at the mediocrity of my desert choices - I
really am very sick person.) Anyway, in less than 12 hours,
I managed to eat all but 5 zingers, and 4 Ho-Hos. And
here is the sick part. I ate 2 of them in front of my
family- as they frowned at me, 7 of them - after everyone
was in bed asleep, and the other 4 - during the night. And
you know what else? If my husband or children ask me
what happened to all the snack cakes, I will lie like a dog !
Any sane person would have puked their guts up by now.
Not me, I have a death wish, apparently. In fact, the
phrase: "passive suicide" is not unheard of in the dark,
cavernous regions of my mind.

So, okay, I am a diabetic with a sugar addiction. Not
exactly breaking news, since most people develop Type
II diabetes as a result of eating too much sugar and poor
diet. Maybe, I have some kind of closet eating disorder.
Considering the fact that the whole world is out of control,
to the point that addictions and disorders have almost
become fashionable, none of this is exactly earth shaking
information either.
What has me disturbed, more than anything else this
morning, is my sudden realization that I seem to have
been in denial about the fact that I am on an almost
certain path of self destruction.
That, is really NOT okay.

There seems to be a part of me that isn't taking any
of this very seriously. I used to do such a good job
of watching what I eat, and I was constantly trying
to do better things for my health. As a result, I really
do have alot of good information stored in my brain.
And I know what I should be doing, so there really is
no excuse for me, or my behavior.
I know that alot of it is just simple human apathy.
As time goes by, it's easier for me to shove the memory
of having a stroke to the back of my mind. There is this
little voice inside my head that tries very hard to
convince me that the meds are going to take care of
everything - that taking them everyday is the limit
of my responsibility. I know that sounds crazy, but
you'd be surprized at how easy it is to listen to that
voice and actually believe it. ( or at least ignore the
truth) So this morning, I have a new voice asking
me questions like:
" Do you need a refresher course on strokes? Do you
realise that the next stroke could, and probably would,
be much worse than the first?"
I really hate that new voice. But it seems that getting
back on track is harder than I thought. In spite of
what I know. So far, I haven't had much luck with
just applying simple self control. There could be alot
of reasons for why that hasn't been very sucessful at
this point in my life, and I don't like what any of those
reasons say about me. Bottom line: There are too many
voices in my head. They are starting to argue
amongst themselves. (which of course, creates
the perfect distraction for me to indulge myself.)

And while I'm on the subject, (or maybe, changing
the subject?) I'm finding myself even more shocked
by the fact that I am actually concerned about ME !
(of all people) What's up with that?! Seems like I
spend so much of my life being concerned about
everyone around me, that having a legitimate concern
about myself, feels very odd. That's another thing that's
really NOT okay.

Still, aside from all the personal revelations and self
righteous indignation, I have to figure out what to
actually DO about all of this. And that seems to be
the part that has my mind all tangled up. It all seems
so overwhelming this morning, because right now,
nothing in my life seems simple. It seems like every
decision, every move I make, sets off a never ending
chain reaction of crap that comes tumbling down on
me like a land slide. I simply feel like (our finances)
have us painted into a corner; and even doing 1 positive
thing, brings about 20 negative complications, that
affect me and everyone around me.

I know that sounds overly dramatic. On the surface,
everything in our lives is functioning and mostly okay.
We have food in the fridge, and all the (necessary) utilities
are still on. It's what is just below the surface that has me
stressed. The list of things that are being put off until we
longer; and the length of that list, is starting to cast a
shadow on to everything. It's starting to feel like we
would have to win the lottery in order for us to ever see
the sun shine again.
So of course, I guess I wake up this morning, and
added a few things to that list that have been
simmering in the back of my mind for a long time.

Maybe, subconsciously, I'm trying to force something
to happen. You know, the way they create avalanches so
that no one gets killed by sitting around waiting for it to
happen on it's own? I don't know, maybe that theory
works better with snow than it does with shit ?

Oh well. I guess I'll eventually just get over all
these panicky, random fears. Either that, or I can
always file them away in a dark and dusty corner
of my mind for future reference during my next
personal crisis. Like I said, it's just very disturbing
for me to wake up with so much anxiety drifting
around inside my head like the debris from a disaster
at sea. I don't like it. But I'm not really in a position to
make alot of grand and life changing decisions right

Why is it, that I feel like I have spent my whole life
dreaming and schemeing about things that I am
going to do, or change . . . "someday" ? As soon as
finances improve, as soon as my kids don't need every
second of my time and energy, as soon as this,
or that happens. . . I've been waiting 45 years
for "someday" to arrive ! At this rate, "someday"
will happen the day after my funeral!

Holy crap. This all just sounds SO pathetic and
whingey !! God bless anyone with the patience
to have read this far - even a saint would have
died from boredom before now !!!!
Enough, ENOUGH, ENOUGH !!! I'm going to go
take a nap, because I feel like shit, and with all
these thoughts in my head, I've really managed
to accomplish very little today. So, It
might be best to consider this whole day
a "do-over" anyway.
(chances are good that no one will even notice)
Besides, I'm out of smokes, and $, and Roy probably
won't be home for another 2 to 3 hours. I wouldn't
want anyone to get hurt in the meantime.

Another Sunday 3/30/08

Sunday, March 30th, 2008
A day without Internet . . . is alot like this :

Oh my gosh, it's Sunday morning. Well, it's not really
morning anymore, I slept through that. It's more
like . . . .12:15 pm. I slept until 11:45 am, because I
was up with the girls until 3 am. That's my excuse,
and I'm sticking to it.

Until a few moments ago, my hubby was upstairs
sleeping too.He woke up at a normal hour, but went
back to bed because he has his Sunday morning
headache. He always gets a headache on Sunday.
I went upstairs to wake him up because I was lonely.
When he naps, he pulls a t-shirt out of his dresser
drawer, and wraps it around his head and eyes.
I peeled the t-shirt off his eyes, and told him that he
looks like a terrorist sleeping in my bed. I'm
not really the sort of girl who would allow that sort of
thing, but because he's my hubby, I let him get away
with it. So now, he is here in the living room, playing a
race car video game. He's thinks he's Speed Racer, or
something. He's really just a big kid; but again, because
he's my hubby, I let him get away with
that too. There are alot of priveliges that go along
with being my personal stud muffin.

Jake is up at the skate park. He is actually the
reason that I got out of bed at 11:45. My kids are
always poking their heads into my bed- room and
telling me things while I am sleeping. They know
that moms can carry on a full, and semi coherent
conversation, even while they are asleep. I've even
been known to win arguments while I
am still asleep. Being a mother is a strange
and unnatural state of existance. I've often wondered
what I will do when my kids are grown and have lives
of their own. I think that I will have to go down to the
social services agency and see if they will loan out
some very disturbed foster children to me. Kids with
ADHD, or OCD, or PMS, or any combination of letters.
I love kids like that.

Heather and Alexis just got out of bed, and have
wandered down- stairs to the living room. They are
plotting to take the PS2 away from dad so that they
can play Time Splitters 2. It will be interesting
to see how that works out. Since they are females,
and my husband is easily manipulated by a pair of sad
eyes, and a pouty mouth, I doubt there will be bloodshed.

Well, have carpets to vacuum, and I have laundry to
wash, dry, and fold. So I had better get up and get busy.
Okay, it's now 10:30 pm on Sunday. I know that
when you last heard from me, I said that I was going
to go get busy. Well, it didn't work out that way.
I actually got up, and went outside to play with my
dogs. They chased the ball around until they wore
themselves out. When I came inside, I felt an over
powering urge to regurgitate my two slices of toast
that I ate for breakfast. In order to fight off my body's
rebellion, I went back to bed, and laid very, very
still. This usually works for me. My husband however,
gave me a very concerned look, and some much needed
extra attention. So . . . I decided to go with that instead.
I figured that the world wouldn't fall apart if I took a day
off. So with my dogs at my feet, to my side, and a couple
under the bed, I snuggled down to play sick. Of course,
I really wasn't playing, but it wasn't as bad as I let Roy
beleive either.

So after my thoughtful hubby made sure that I had
everything that I might possibly need, he told the kids
to not bother me. (which means, don't try to have
conversations with her while she is asleep.) Then,
he went over to Jasmin and Jason's house to watch
the KU game on Jason's gianormous big screen T.V.
For a while, I tried to figure out what might be the
reason for my sudden nausea. I hadn't felt that way
since I was pregnant with Heather . . .NAH, couldn't be.

I tried to push that thought from my mind, but I kept
remembering the last time that my doctor x-rayed
my abdomen. It was about five years after Heather
was born. He was checking to see if I had passed my
most reccent kidney stone. When he came back into
the exam room, he said,
" I have an odd question for you. You said that you
had a tubal ligation about five years ago, right?"
I nodded.
"Then, why is only one of your tubes tied ?"
I looked at him and said, "Uh . . . that's not funny. . . "
I jumped off the exam table and followed him to the
light box in the other room. We both peered at the
x-ray, and sure enough, we could clearly see that the
left ovarian tube was severed and clamped, but the
right tube seemed to be missing the clamp-thingy.
Although, we did finally observe that the right tube
was cut, and he admitted that the x-ray might just be
a bad angle to show whether a clamp had been used.
Anyway, I pretty much put it out of my mind after
that. It's been 11 years, and no babies, so I think I'm
pretty safe.

Besides, I am 100% certain that I am NOT pregant !
But just considering the idea must have exhausted me,
because I fell asleep shortly after that, and didn't wake up
until almost 5:30 pm. When I woke up, my faux morning
sickness was gone, and my two youngest children were
downstairs bickering with each other over some stupid
thing. I could hear words like, "stupid", and "shut up",
and "make me !", and " I know you are, but what
am I?" drifting up the stairs. I turned on the
bedroom T.V. to drown them out. The T.V. came on,
tuned to the station that Roy was watching before he
left. An excited sportscastor informed me that the game
was over, and KU was in the big four! Whoopie.

Since Roy would be on his way home soon, and my
kids were acting like a couple of toddlers, I thought
I had better get up and do something - FINALLY.
I switched over the laundry, started a new load, and
folded the dry load. I cleaned up the living room and
kichen, which were disasters. Filled the dishwasher with
all the dishes strewn about, and turned it on. I gathered up
all the CDs and empty pop cans, and vacuumed
the rug - all before Roy came home and announced
that he was starving. I told him that I still didn't want
to think about food yet, so he and the kids ate chili dogs
while I settled for a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Then,
I fed the dogs and cleaned up the kitchen - again.

Roy and Jake have just gone to bed, and Heather has just
finished up her weekend home work, which always gets
done at the last possible minute. She will be in bed
soon and then, it will just be me and the dogs. Even if
I could sleep, there isn't much point in trying.
Thunderstorms are supposed to begin rumbling into our
area at midnight, and I won't get much sleep with Peter
curled up ontop of me, a leaf in a high wind.
So, I think I will do the last couple of loads of laundry,
prepare for school on Monday, and do my
best to comfort Pete, while I keep an eye out for
tornadoes. Hopefully, we will have the internet, cable,
and telephone back on by next weekend. Things are
starting to pick up for Roy at work, and we are all just
about as bored as we can get.
(as I am sure, this entry illustrates.)
I really miss chatting with my internet
Hope that everyone is doing well,
Love ya,

While I was away ....

March 29th, 2008
I have concluded that being poor is boring. It's hard to
believe that I have a house full of kids spending the night
even though I have no cable T.V., no internet, no phone,
no heat, and practically no food ! You would think that
they would find a more kid friendly house to hang
out at. At least, then I could enjoy the quiet ! Maybe
I could get some "grown up time" with my hubby,
or something? But no, I'm stuck doing laundry,
cleaning house, and washing dishes. You know,
the regular mom stuff. Today has been especially
difficult. First of all, it's Saturday, and the kids don't
have school. Secondly, our spring- time weather has
gone south for the weekend, and it's been cool and
cloudy all day. Just a very dreary kind of day.
I haven't been particuarlly inspired to do much of
anything. I didn't take the dogs out for a walk, and
instead of cooking dinner, I got pizza from
Little Cesear's.

Tomorrow might be a little more interesting. The
weather channel is predicting an outbreak of tornadoes.
Okay, I know that sounds morbid, but here in Kansas,
it's sort of springtime entertainment. We realise that,
technically, it could be dangerous and all, but people who
have lived here all their lives just get used to it. Besides,
there really isn't anything to be done to stop it. Almost
everyone around here has a basement, and those
who don't, know what to do, or where to go.
Actually, mid-summer tornadoes are much cooler
than spring tornadoes.

I remember when I was growing up, they would
almost always come in the late afternoon or evening.
After a long, hot day of playing outside, the wind would
suddenly pick up and grow cool, and the clouds would
start to roll in. All the usual naborhood sounds of birds,
traffic, and barking dogs, would suddenly go silent.
For a breif time, all the wind would cease, and the sky
would turn an eerie shade of emerald green.
If you hadn't gotten your butt home by then, you
had better run, because the wind, and sirens were
inevitable at that point.

In our neighborhood, if it wasn't pouring down rain,
all the families would gather on their front porches
to watch the skies. All the front doors would be left
open and the collective sounds of the speacial weather
bulletins could be heard in surround sound drifting
through screen doors, up and down the block.

As the clouds churned, mothers would wander out
into front yards, wringing their hands in their aprons,
to share the news of the last sightings, or where the
twister had last touched down, and what direction
it was expected to travel. Occassionally, they would
holler back towards the house at any kids under the
age of seven who dared to "take one step off that porch."

The men, usually still in their work clothes, would
bravely gather in the street as if their mere presence
would deter the tornado's path, and thus save their
families and homes from destruction. Almost always,
one of the men would have a police scanner set up inside
their garage, and once the doors were thrown open, the
serious, technical discussions would migrate in that

Most of the teenagers would assemble like a mounted
brigade on their bikes at the end of someone's driveway
gathered around a battery operated radio that was tuned
to the coolest local radio station. It was their job to carry
information from the dad's headquarters to the mom's
camp; and occassionally, and grudgingly, check on the little
kids left on the porches.

As the evening wore on and the skies darkened,
the ladies discussions would turn to neighborhood gossip.
The dad with the police scanner in his garage, would
almost always be the same dad with his personal
beer fridge in the same garage, and the sound of tops
being poped open would be heard.

Eventually, the "All Clear" would be sounded, and kids
would venture off their porches to chase fireflies. When
the rock and roll from the teens radio got too loud, the moms
would gather up the little ones for baths and bedtimes. As
dad's wandered back to their houses, they would drag their
older kids along as well.

Of course, all of that is exactly what the Emergency
Broadcast System tells people not to do, but it's a prime
time to meet any new families to the neighborhood, and
nothing brings a community together like impending doom
and the wrath of God. Since I was born and raised
in the suburbs of Kansas, I firmly believe that it's the
only way to deal with Mother Nature, and ultimately,
prevent disaster, and almost certain destruction.
It's always been that way here in Kansas.