Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sleeping Cuties

I know I shouldn't have stopped mid-transfer to snap a picture of this little boy sleeping on the stairs, but I simply couldn't help myself.  He wanted to stay awake until 'So you think you can dance', dance, dance was over at 9:00 tonight.  Well, short story short, he didn't make it.  And, though I can actually still kind of carry him on flat ground for a few feet, stairs would never happen with a 10 year old thrown over my shoulder.  I just finished walking him around the corner from the living room, torso hunched over, head dangling to the floor when I had to set him down on the steps to reconfigure my grip.  He sat there with his upper half circling in a counterclockwise motion totally unaware he was anywhere but neatly tucked in his bed.  Bah-ha.  
While upstairs, I thought I might as well catch the Dandy in passed out mode as well  and squirt some ointment into his right eye.  He really dislikes this procedure when awake so I figured since I was already a marionette master, why not also become the  "ointment fairy" and leave blurred vision behind as my signature move.  It's not really a fun surprise; but a surprise none-the-less. Even in sleep though this one's tricky-rat durn!  He managed to keep that eye guarded by pillow or blankie with his every move.  I guess I'll have to revert back to screaming headlock style tomorrow night.

Oh the sweetness of my sleeping babes.  I'm just drinking it in.  And now I think I'll sit and listen to the silence for a while.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What? For ME? (A.K.A. Yet another self centered entry)

HEY EVERYBODY!  IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!  Oops, but if I don't stop yelling about it I may get a citation with a sarcastically placed bow on the corner from my silence loving town.  Sorry guys....I'll put the crock on simmer now.  

Yes, it is my special day. And for some reason this year I'm on a little marathon of celebrating.  It started with a huge batch of this from my Mo and Do, that I actually purchased at the beginning of summer to attempt to undo next years wrinkles (ah, vanity).   Then on Saturday,  all three of our ninety year old Grandmas rang in their warm wishes with cards in the mail.  I was so touched that even Jamey's dear Grandmothers could  manage to think of me so far away and get a card off ahead of time when their lives are still as busy as mine!  What an amazing generation.

Then on Sunday my precious Mother-in-law made about 400(give or take ;) of her famous eggrolls and all the sides for our large Siloam family of 16 to celebrate, you guessed it, ME!  Oh man those things are good!  They have these translucent little noodles inside with sausage...DON'T GET ME STARTED.  I had two, because I'm a lady.  But, when Dandy wasn't managing to eat the eggroll left on his plate, I crammed that sucker in my mouth like a starving stray animal, wildly looking around to see if anyone was encroaching on me from either side.  But, you know, it was MY birthday dinner so BACK OFF PEOPLE!  

Ahem, cough. [composer regained].  Next evening comes, and Jamey and the boys having already presented me with this, also surprised me with this sign outside the dining room.

And then I saw these guys.

That's when I squealed and grabbed the camera and took in the whole scene.

Jamey made a huge dinner of homemade meatballs and spaggetti with all the trimmings.  He and the boys gave me the 5 star treatment, waiting on me from all directions!

I told him if this was thirty-nine, I'd have to really strap my boots on for forty because I can't imagine feeling more special!  Tee hee HEE!  

I'm still giddy because I'm scheduled to go out with some gizzurl friends tonight to see two of my favorite dude actors Pierce Brosnan(forever Remington Steele to me), and Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy, twice over-sigh); not to mention the always fabulous Meryl Streep- all wrapped up together in one of my favorite musicals to date!  MAMA-MIA!  

I grew up listening to ABBA.  On family road trips growing up, my Dad tended to pop a cassette into the player and it would remain there throughout the trip, playing over and over for the entire drive.  Needless to say, some of the most memorable moments in my upbringing have the lyrics of 'Dancing Queen' and 'Super Trooper' scripted secretly inside them much like Gollum's Precious.  

When I saw Mama Mia with my bff Arlynda in a Traveling stage production a few years back, my eyes glowed as they drank in the whole show with thirsty nostalgia rushing back into my mind for neglected sips.  AHHHHH!  (Belch-whoops,where'd the lady go, birthday girl?)  Naturally, it only fits that the movie would come out in perfect time to see it  CELEBRATION STYLE.  Yips!

So, like I said, look out forty, thirty nine's already a giddy mess of "Aw shucks" as it is.  I simply couldn't feel more special or more youthful.....unless, well....there is one thing that would make it puurrrrrfect.  A comment from YOU!  Thanks everyone for such a great birthday! Love and perhaps even hugs, Shans

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Mid-Summer Nights Dream Job

I haven't been bloggercising much this week, I realize.  And, like exercise, when you slack off on your regular activity, you tend to slowly drift away until one day "puff", it floats away from the mother ship entirely adrift in cyberspace.  That's pretty much what has happened to my Myspace page.  Occasionally someone will find me on it and I'll plug in momentarily, but otherwise it is fully adrift. 
 And Facebook?  Faget about it.  I haven't ever connected with my spot in that realm.  It's there, but only gets scraps of attention from me.  I don't think a huge amount of people my age have these types of accounts so maybe that's why I've lost interest.  The Fogunator 2000 (the Aging ray gun of life) must be taking affect on me because I can't keep up with all of these new sources of communication. 

 Right now I enjoy blogging. Quite a lot actually.  I especially enjoy checking in on other people.  I hope to continue fitting it in when I start working or schooling or creek snorkeling my way to fitness, whatever, while the boys are back in school this Fall. I've never really been known for my multi-tasking skills.  So if busy happens...blogging might, in fact,not.  

And that brings me to the yearly question:

  What should I do for the next school year? 

 Let me see what happens if I just brainstorm it right here and now.  

  • Try for a part-time job at the University down the street- low pay but might get the "work" gears turning again (and I could still pick the kids up after school).
  • Get a job at a dentist office in town- There are no Oral Surgeons here so it would just be regular dental work.  (lower pay-may be boring)
  • Drive to one of the bigger cities to work-  Definitely would have to make enough to cover driving and car use.   And of course it's  far from kiddies who need me every day at 3:00.
  • Nothing- Keep blogging and kickin' around the house.  Not a real plan for the future but veeeeerrry easy.  Availability level to kids-HIGH. Depression also possible here due to aimless "kickin'" guilt.
  • Stay home AND WORK on the house- Make a plan and execute it!  I don't do much when I have lots of free time and little spending money. Still quite available, though working on the house IS easier with $$$$
  • Take a couple of classes at the Community College 40 minutes away- Involves study, spending money AND driving.  Would take prerequisites toward Nursing school.  Would I ever get accepted in with my G.P.A curled up in a ball and rocking in the corner feeling entirely inadequate?  This is unknown.
  • Homeschool my kiddos- What?!  I've been pondering it every year for five years.  Why stop now?    
  • Get an LPN at a closer tech school- And creep along toward my Bachelors in Nursing goals while working under people I could have given birth to.  This might make getting accepted into nursing school more possible for me, so if I really want it...
  • Go straight to the four year school 45 minutes away and just try to finish in whatever I'm closest to (or go for Nursing there)-  This costs more than Community College, but is about the same distance out of town.
  • Get a degree online- Do people really do this or are all the ads just trying to convince me?  What I like about this option is I would never have to take 'Public Speaking' because I would never actually be in public.  This type of degree might not hold water with every company I would want to work for AND it's on the pricey side.
  • Finish my stupid degree at JBU- I went there 3 years and then went elsewhere for my forth and fifth (I'm still kicking my younger self in the hind).  The price would be the highest yet, and they don't have Nursing.  I'd have to get a degree in Broadcasting or Psychology since I have the most hours racked up in those. And those may not make my money back, ever. Grrr. 
  • Have Hubby teach me Graphic Design- I have some design ability inside me somewhere. I just don't know if it wants to come out on a daily basis.  This would be "experimental only" for a while.  My personality is right on the line between artsy and practical.  I put things together in my mind and wish I could execute them so, maybe.  At least there would be no sewing involved.
  • Take some computer class to be more hire-able in an office setting- This would be at that Tech school again just outside of town.  A possible yawner.
  • Go to school for my original dream:  studying theatre, dance and vocal music- Who am I kidding? I'm too old for two out of three of those and I don't enjoy "drama people" in general.  We are way too much when three or more are gathered together, jazz hands splayed.  
  • Take Real Estate Classes and be "Licensed to Sell"- I house hunt all the time but would I suddenly feel annoying if I could turn a profit from finding people houses?  Plus, the market is mush right now so I might only be paying fees to keep my license current.
  • Keep plotting some genius business idea to make money in this town-  So far I've got nuttin'.  
  • Find jobs in another city- Leave sweet little Siloam, Jamey's whole family and a decent public school system, in the dust. :( Sad, but oddly exciting because I like change.
Well, that's certainly a list.  I wonder if I'll choose any of those things.  I feel no more certain now than I did last year when pondering my future. But, I DO feel a touch more ambition this time around. Or maybe I just want to be able to buy stuff. Can't tell.

 What do you guys see in my future? Maybe one of you will give me an idea. Try not to make me cry with your answers. That irritating voice in my head is already leaving me a rude comment.  I plan on deleting it.   

Friday, July 11, 2008

A big FOOT release

Yeah!  This short film called 'Foot' that Jamey has been working on with three other guys is going to be in the ComicCon Film Festival in San Diego this year.  The fellow who's funding the film started the bobble-head phenomenon and used to own Funko  the toy company,   so there's also going to be an official b-head toy made of the Big Foot character in the film to go along with the DVD.  

Jamey did the sound recording and even wrote and performed the musical score almost entirely.  It's really good!

I got to do the voice of the Mom in the piece, a very short part of a short film, but it was fun to be involved.  I would LOVE to do voiceover work for a livin'!  There's just not much need for that type of thing around here and I don't do well with competitive types of work anyway.  They generally bring out the "flight" portion of my adrenal system causing me to run the other direction, arms flapping in surrender.  That's what happened when I majored in Broadcasting anyway.  Well that, AND the occasional hysterical fits of laughter at inappropriate times while attempting to report the news.

But, now the word "digress" comes to mind.  Something tells me I've gone slightly astray on my message here making it decidedly about "me" and nothing about ...what was I talking about again?...OH YES!  The FOOT movie!!    

I'll let you guys know when the film makes it to the internet so you can watch it.  The animation was done by a very talented friend of ours who has has a really unique style so it looks super cool.  And if it doesn't make me feel super cool to say "super cool",  then I don't know what would!  Winkies!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WFMW: Clean to the MAX!!

[The much more famous Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer hosts many useful tips on her site every Wednesday.  I thought I'd add one of my own.]

Do you ever find your floors in need of an overnight-sized clean.  Do you want to give them that extra level of protection they deserve so that they don't embarrass you when company shows up at the door.  

Then pop a giant maxi on your Swiffer* and get to work!  No need to buy expensive goes-with-the-product pads when you probably have a hospital flow level maxi right underneath your bathroom vanity.  With this special moisture locking core you can be sure to catch any awkward leaks.

Now that's protection that'll keep your floors fresh all day! 

*Swiffer has not been successful with tampon use.  Tampons however may be used for spot treatments and/or cleaning piano keys. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fireworks of all sorts

Let's see here.  Whasa goin' on....Well, I've got a little time this morning while Ratchet is at V.B.S.(vacation bible school, to those of you outside the Bible Belt, wink).  And of course Dandy is slaving away at school,  so I thought I would try post a little something.  

I guess I could tell you about my weekend.  Wait, maybe I shouldn't, it didn't go all that well. 

 We did have a good time celebrating the third of July with our family in town.  Ratchet and Dandy got to hold sparklers (while clothed in their mandatory flame retardant one-piece suits), and watch  from across the yard, as their uncle Daryl lit the larger rocket-shaped firecrackers for a slightly more dangerous feeling show. 

 Of course, it's never really fun unless you get the youngest of the children blubbering in tears at some point during the exhibition.  We managed to frighten my tougher than nails two-year old nephew a couple of times.  And, just when I thought noise sensitive Dandy was faring well, he got caught off guard by a loud boom and crumbled into his first of many sobbing moments that became a recurring theme for the next several days.

Like I said, it wasn't a very good weekend.  But I do have a couple of pictures of our group of friends before watching fireworks at the airport on the fourth.  I was far too busy OOHing and AAHing by the time the show started to get pictures of the actual reason we were there.  
(Ratchet, Dandy, Beck's Boy, and Dandy)

It is funny to me how small townish (red neckish) we look out in the middle of a giant field surrounded by trucks.  But it was fun chatting with my gf's and letting the kids run around in the grass together.  There were some men there as well but they never seemed to be where the camera was snapping.  

(Trish, Becky, Beck's girl, Me, Beck's Boy, and Beck again)

Dandy was having such a good night after an extremely iffy day so I had to get lots of pictures of him in this pleasant state.  The resourceful young tike made a house to 
live in while we were there waiting for the real action to begin.
This evening there was NO crying over the fireworks (from our group anyway) so that actually went without a hitch.

Ah, but the next day....Dandy was full of explosive behavior himself.  I could practically smell the gun powder rising from his little blonde head.  We were all vicariously distraught as he continued to explode in colors around us.  Breakfast brought tears.  Puzzles and toys brought tears.   Time out brought head slapping foot stomping tears.  You get the picture. 

This was clearly the unfun portion of the weekend.  Jamey and I had different versions of concern.  Mine apparrantly took the form of a nasty visages and angry tones as Dandy once declared me to be "mean", looking at me sideways while asking his Daddy to button his pants. 

Jamey just got quieter and more down as the crying and vigorous gnashing went on.  
Then just when I thought our youngest had taken a huge turn for the worst on his summer maturing process, J realized his little head was warm.  Then I remembered noting the same thing the day before. " THAT'S IT!  BY JOVE HE'S SICKLY!"  We concluded at once. 

Normally one is not relieved upon discovering their child is ill.  But this was only a cold type thing with a mild fever. And that beats a mental condition hands down in a side by side comparison any day!  

Our little guy has enough on his plate without new unknown behaviors popping up on us out of the blue, so YEAH to the common cold...or hayfever-whatever-YEAH!  He never says he feels bad when he's sick, he just cranks up the attitude and the upset until we, the parents, can take no more!  You'd think we'd remember this, but so far it's been a surprise each time. [Wah-wah, YOU LOSE!  The video game in our heads is rudely sounding off...again]. 

But these things shall pass.  We will not be defeated. And fortunately for me, I've got Nice 'n Easy for those days that tend to whiten my hair before it's time. 
[Cheering sounds. I gave that round the one two punch now didn't I?]

Sigh...It's always nice(and easy, ba da bom) to pretend all troubles can be solved by tossing a bottle of color at your head.   Superficiality is bliss;  Ignorance is so last year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tennis anyone?

The young and energetic Ratchet and I have been filling our mornings of late playing tennis.  I discovered this delightful game only about a month ago when my exercisey friend, the effervescent  Beck Bleu, ask me if I wanted to give it a try.  We like to have talk-and -walks around the town already in the name of fitness and we even tried racquetball a few times, which I actually enjoyed, but the habit never really kicked in.  And, if truth be told, my club membership has always been a little off and on over the years going along with my off and on exercise style-so that tends to affect play habits as well.

I've always liked the idea of tennis, and then when Becky taught me some of the rules I was intrigued to know if I could actually learn to serve the ball into the proper rectangle and figure out how to control my over the fence tendencies.  

Two weeks later, Ratchet and I having completely taken up the sport, haven't improved hugely at this juncture.  Granted I am a full grown novice.  He is ten, and has named his various serves (none of them being legal no doubt).  He has the "Samurai" which is a winding and swirling of the raquet, that looks a little like Tai Chi or something equally thoughtfull, twisting his wrist all around before he hits the ball.  And then, he does one called the Jedi, which no doubt employs the force at some point to serve the ball with his mind.  This doesn't always work perfectly for him.  
My favorite of his serves would have to be the "Old man Jenkins" though, because he uses his racket as sort of a low cane for a bit before releasing the ball and then "pop", as soon as he hits it he yells in a geriatric voice "Oh my back!"  which never fails to amuse me even though it teeters on the brink of being disrespectful to the elderly.   

I'm always just trying to perfect my grunt while giving just enough but not too much power behind my swing.  I'm afraid I took up the grunt sound in fun, but as it turns out, after trying to play tennis multiple days in a row, I find it's the only thing that gets me through the short hour.  What an exhausting sport!  And we don't even get too many actual volley's going.  We just end up chasing balls so much that all the "non- game playing" is even a pretty nice work out for the both of us. 

Instead of playing the whole time Wednesday morning, we opted to take a little nature hike at the end of campus behind the college soccer fields.  I remembered that back when I attended JBU  there was some sort of hiking trail behind the school. So we took off in that direction, water bottles in hand, to give it a look.  

We soon found a trail out into the woods that was sort of lined with wood chips so I considered it worthy for some "city style" hiking fun.  Not long into the trail however we came upon a brand new wooden bridge spanning over a beautifully clear running creek.  Across this bridge was a gorgeous and new looking lodge style house thats walls were practically all windows.  It also had this tiered decking situation with a couple of chaise lounges at the other side of the bridge from us and very much resembling private property.  

That was the end of that walk as we didn't want to impose on anyone's land in this most secluded location.  But, I was so confused as to what that big beautiful house was doing back there. Did this belong to Mr. Pollard, JBU's president?   It felt as all things in the woods do to me, like we were the first to discover this scenic area. And my inner realtor kept wondering how I could get to this house by street to investigate further.  With all the windows in it however, we had quickly become the scenery to whatever lucky soul might be inside the house, and I didn't dare do anything that hinted at trespassing and would cause myself yet another run in with the law.  

Yes, my friends, I said "another".   On Tuesday night I was nearly sited for disturbing the peace.  I was sitting in a gazebo at one of the parklike areas in our town cackling away with a couple of girlfriends in the 11:00pm-12:00am hours of the night when a policemen drove up and shined his flashlight upon us.  He slowly walked over expecting to catch some raucous teens up to a pile of no good and then broke into a smile when he saw three somewhat classy(well decent anyway) 30 somethings perched, ever watchful of bugs, upon the benches inside the structure.  I, ever the rule follower asked "Are we not allowed to be here?" in a squeaky timid voice.  And he chuckled and said "Oh no, you're fine.  We just got a call complaining that there was a whole lotta noise coming from over here, so I came to check it out."  We said how sorry we were but I, then completely scared straight, had to endure belly laugh worthy conversation for another hour or so, burying my face in the crook of my arm as to stay within the noise requirements of our little sleeping city. 

So you see why I didn't need any more trouble with the authorities.  I was a couple fingerprints from spending the night in the pokey as it was.  After a few minutes  of enjoying the view, we decided to go back the way we came and try to find another path that would lead us to a new adventure.  

And what more could you ask on a nature hike than to run smack into a natural waste facility.  We discovered as we tramped down tall grasses trying to follow some tire marks that had veered  off a gravel road on another corner of the soccer field, a strange looking domed structure a little ways in the distance.  This clearly was some sort of top secret project that the government had placed in our city, unbeknownst to the majority of our residents. Being hidden so cleverly near JBU, yet completely disguised by densely packed trees surrounding it in a conspiratory circle, this place truly smelled of controversy.  We of course soon found out what we were smelling was better described as disgusting than controversial as our noses were finally able to tell our brains what was going on.  

There in front of us were the round troughs of waste being stirred slowly with what looked like giant clock hands and moving at the same pace, so slowly they weren't appearing in motion at all to our widely gazing eyes.  There were other containers in use that all seemed to be containing poo at different stages in the defunking process.  The ones farthest from us had the driest and most soil-like qualities.  I imagined the great dome was a greenhouse type of lid covering and dehydrating all of the paper products into a giant stack of stationery that we would all be licking and sticking in the very near future- all the while wondering if the glue on it was made from old horses.  "That might be the least of our tongue's worries"  I thought to myself as my mind processed with the same murkiness of the plant in front of me.  

The most fascinating and laughable part of the chain link fence enclosed plant just happened to be right in front of us.  There was this thing that looked like a tiny oil derek that functioned as a the gatekeeper to the other larger structures.  It made this automated clicking sound that to me seemed very much like something Stephen King described in his Gunslinger series about a mostly abandoned "world that had moved on".  It was so unnatural in its clumsy movement; as though it was the only functioning thing  left from an earlier time.  There were no humans here, aside from the unauthorized Ratchet and myself. And as we looked down from the awful clunking machinery, we saw some rusty muck collecting grates attempting to cover something below.  But these grates were haphazardly placed with two giant sections missing, exposing a current of brown water flowing underneath.  As we stood with wrinkled noses, watching the current flow into the oil derek shaped pump, we started to notice lumps floating by and realized we could in fact be watching the excrement of all the different townspeople we knew gathering into this one singular place.  It could be OUR leavings that had traveled miles down the road to this odd clunky pump that would determine, with a wave past a dumpster, what would carry on or be stamped "to solid for treatment plant use" with the occasional toothbrush or cell phone that lost its usefulness at first contact with toilet water.   

This was all very strange to take in.  We know for a fact that waste must be managed.  Yet, as you see it in the process, it kind of makes you want to stop voiding all together.  I think it might have given me the feeling that one gets when going to a meat factory to watch the process that we so enjoy taking for granted.  I, for one, know that should I ever want to enjoy a hotdog or a chicken nugget again (but this may not be the time to entertain thoughts of food) I most assuredly should not go near the place that makes them happen. No, I may not be ready to fully explore that type of raw wilderness.   I'll stick with seeing the finished (well, not THIS finished) product of most things.  I am not one who can always appreciate the steps in between.  It's best to leave the "Dirty jobs" to Mike Rowe and the nice people who can stomach such transformations I think.  

Now, where was I?  Oh yes.  Tennis anyone?