Appreciate

We've all had those days. Those days where you wake up and think, I love my life. I love the fact that it's not perfect. I love that it's a struggle sometimes. We learn more that way. It makes us appreciate. Speaking of appreciation...

I've been following along with a blog at the recommendation of Cam. This one blog turned into a few more blogs. The first blog was the Nie Recovery page. At first, I read because of the story of tragedy that happened to Nie Nie & her Mr. Neilson. Now I read because of who she is, what she does, and how she does it. I, like many, many others, don't know Stephanie or Christian, but as a wife and mother... I feel connected in some cosmicly weird way. After moving from the recovery page to her actual blog, I will admit that she is the homemaker I strive to be. While I'm sure their life before the accident was far from perfect, it was happy and that's what matters. They made it work. I guess everyone at some point or other would like to improve themselves and sees things in others they wish they had. I hope it's not just me who feels that way.

I envy their sense of family. Stephanie's sister, C Jane, continued on with her blog. In addition to writing posts in her own and taking care of the Neilson's children. There is also her sister-in-law's blog that I've also taken up reading. I am amazed with myself that everyday I think to myself, "I wonder how the Neilson's are doing today?" It also amazes me that I know I'm not the only one.

I hope that you will visit their pages. I hope that their story will make you feel differently about your own story.

Please click the badges to the left in my side bar
. Monatary donations aren't the only way to help. Letters & cards are a great way to send your thoughts and prayers to the Neilson's & their family.



A Letter

Dear Jack Frost,

While Autumn is my favorite season of the year, I was not prepared for your early arrival. I see that you are in a hurry to get to the next season on the list, but I am not. I know that the first hard freeze of the year must have been fun for you, but at 6:30AM, when the sun hasn't even crested, frost is not fun. Frost is dangerous on wooden porch steps.

I know that I should not complain. This is the end of October and it should be chilly this time of year. I distinctly remember a little joke you played a couple of years ago, where you brought the snow one day and then the very next day you called in sick and it was 70 degrees. *Yes, I am serious about this people.*

This time I will let you off with a warning Mr. Frost. But next time you may not be so lucky.

Completely Random Tuesday

Yes, that's right folks. It's "Completely Random Tuesday". And by that I mean, I'm going to talk about things that may or may not have anything to do with the other. Let my rambling begin...

First, let me say that I have no idea where this body came from. It's like I woke up one morning and someone had taken the old body. It was total invasion of the body snatchers. Without the whole alien life forms and stuff...well, I hope so anyway. Ok, so I'm lying. I've watched the transformation. I've stood in the bathroom in my undies staring at my butt in the mirror. I'll admit without shame. Except... it's more of what Cam would call "my hail damage" as opposed to "my booty". When did this happen? When did I become the person who has trouble pulling her leg up to tie her freakin' shoe? Seriously people, I gotta do something here.

Even now, I still here the "Oh, you're so skinny"'s and I wish I was your size. I just shake my head. Smile, thanks. This is an announcement to those people -- I'm not that skinny people! These individuals don't see me with my clothes off & all the horror that entails. It's not about what I weigh. That doesn't bother me. It's not about the size of my pants. That did bother me for a while, but I'm over that now. It's about where all this "stuff" has taken up residence on me. It's in all the wrong places. Couldn't it just migrate to the appropriate places?

I am a procrastinator, I am a lazy person. Exercise sounds like torture to me. I don't want to do it. My excuse to myself that exercise is good will be a Wii Fit. I keep dropping hints to my husband. Maybe he will take the bait.

What the problem here is that I didn't used to have to do anything to stay skinny. Then I turned 29. I swear that is when I started noticing. Just a few months into the year...

...and speaking of this year. If you want to call it that. I prefer a hole in the space time continuum that has sucked everyone I know into a black hole full of shit for the year of Two Thousand & Eight.

The year actually started with my stepdad going to the hospital by ambulance and one of my half-brothers in handcuffs. It was serious. It was bad. I spent the first minutes of this year crying alone in my den floor.

Of course, there is the saga of the Stratus. Still paying for something we shouldn't have to. Family just doesn't do that to family. At least, most family's wouldn't. Alas, we don't live in that time. We fell into that hole in the space time continuum... are you following here people? Come on, keep up.

In addition, we pulled a few stragglers with us.

The LaBelle's made the now infamous "quickest move to Georgia" EVER. Before that, it was "roommate from hell who won't help out with anything around the house and thinks it's ok to walk on us" for a while. Just after returning from the "quickest move to Georgia" EVER, it was the "monster beneath the stairs" 's turn to contribute to the irrationalism of Two Thousand & Eight by removing their only means of transportation so that "it" could by a new one. And by "just after returning", I mean like the very next DAY!!! I won't even start about the "skill saw from hell" that took Mr. LaBelle unawares. That requires a post all it's own.

Now, we are to Ms. Jeep Chick. She has also fallen with us. Where would we be without friends to struggle with us right? We wouldn't have anyone to bitch too!!! Barbie Jeep's dad moved, tests came back not good, stepdad's with rare forms of the "C" word, her driveway floating away & the neighbor who refuses to believe she's in the wrong, Jeep Chick's "C" word is back & it brought a friend, Barbie Jeep's dad came back.... now leaving again.....

For the love of all things freakin' holy....can we get to a different year already?!?!?!?!? Someone throw us a rope or a life preserver a'la S.S. Minnow or something... just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of some fucked up shit....

The great thing in all of this.....

The store is now carrying Purity EGGNOG!!!!

AND

Nintendo just released Tetris Party in WiiWare for the Wii console. I bought and downloaded it. I've been compulsively playing it. I have Nintendo thumbs. Just picture huge throbbing thumbs like Tom when he puts his tail in Jerry's trap, that's what my thumbs feel like they should look.

Quite ironic since I've felt like a mouse stuck in a trap all year. Just think the joys of the holiday season have yet to grace us with their presence. What fun I'm sure this will be.

A Party!


Saturday went well. I'm still here and I'm still sane. Go me.

Neil changed his idea about what to be this year about 10 times. Finally, finally, he decided on a costume.

"The Gatekeeper"...


Now I swear I wasn't stealing the real Gatekeeper's thunder! I promise the tag on the costume said, "The Gatekeeper". It didn't dawn on me until people asked what his costume was.

Kaia, of course, knew she wanted to be


Chris really wasn't feeling the whole "dressing up" vibe, but I opted for

to make it easier for him.

I heard a great story. A story about

I don't want to spoil the ending for you though....

Our costumes varied

...and yes, that is my mom hiding in the background.

I am abnormally proud that both of my kids


And...


After the festivites were over and a few alcoholic beverages later, it's time for
a game of


And so ended our day...

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today was a day spent running my not so little ass off.

With my not so little list in hand. Looking like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.



I hope I remembered everything. I'm sure that I did not.

Have you ever had a great idea? A great idea that didn't seem as great the closer the time came for that idea to actually happen. Well, that's me. Right now.

Neil wanted to have a costume party for his birthday like we did last year. At first, I was in love with the idea. Upon discovering that the house elves were on strike, however, I'm not so much into the idea anymore. I can't seem to get my "occasional OCD" to kick in. I feel overwhelmed. There seems like so much to do in so little time. I am a procrastinator so I've waited until the very last possible moment to do most of what needs to be done.

We are a clutter-y family. Most of us are anyway. Sorry Cam, I'm not as organized as you are. Oooo... maybe I could just convince her to come over and clean my house.



I have to be honest here and tell you that when a couple of people said they couldn't make it (not you JeepChick!), I was ecstatic happy.

Less people = less food, less drink, over quicker.

I had to pick up the "cake" this morning. It's not actually a cake at all, but a big ass chocolate chip cookie. In the local mall, there is a store appropriately named, "The Cookie Store". I remember it being there when I was a kid and I always wanted one of their ginormous cookies. Week before last while shopping with the kiddos, who were on Fall Break, Neil said, "Oooo... Mom I want one of those for my birthday." He doesn't know that I ordered one and I hope that he is surprised and happy. Especially since I paid just under $25 for the damn thing. I couldn't help but hope that it was all jacked up though so I could send it to the Cake Wreck lady. *insert visions of evil grins here* Although I don't know if she would count it as it's not actually made from cake material....

This is what I picked up...



Before all the cake/non-cake madness, I did the dreaded weekly deed of grocery shopping in hell Wal-Mart. I swear every week I go in there I come one step closer to just raking the shelf clean of Ramen noodles and making like a bandit for the door. What?!?! You mean to tell me that your kids couldn't live off that stuff for the next 10 years if you let them? Seriously though, it feels like every weekly trip gets more and more costly. Thank the stars that the price of a gallon of gas is now less than a gallon of milk. But how long will that last really?

Tomorrow is a scheduled post as I will be up to my neck in cleaning and preparing for a costume party... but have no fear, photos will come later. Wish me luck!

Averted Disaster

As I'm sure many of you may have seen, our quaint little college was on CNN yesterday! Crazy, huh? It's like, WOW we made national headlines. Then you realize what the news was really about and

kaboom


Mushroom cloud


....shame ensues. At least it has for me. All these police (campus, city, county, state) show up for what basically amounted to a "false alarm" a.k.a. a group of guys fighting at one location that ended up moving to a second location. They locked down (?) the school and reports were flying everywhere about armed gunman, hostages and all kinds of BULLSHIT. I put a question mark after the "lock down" because I didn't see any lock down. What I saw on the news was hundreds of students just standing around. Out in the open. Seemingly waiting for that unseen "gunman" to shoot them! Shouldn't a lock down be students inside buildings, under shelter, where they would be less likely to be harmed???

Obviously, the system has a few kinks to work out. But I suppose it's better to overreact than to underreact and have the worst possible thing happen.

Further information can be found at the following:

CNN Report-5 students taken into custody...
WBKO-Shots Reportedly Fired on WKU's Cam....

Videos-10/22/08



Ignorance is a Bitch

I know I've said it before. I'm probably going to end up saying it again. I'm going to say it now. Elizabeth Hasselbeck is ignorant. She is so full of herself. She.... she.... I just can't stand to hear her open her mouth.

"Well, change the channel!" You say.

I would, but I like to hear what the other women have to say. I sometimes wonder why ABC allows her to stay on the show. Then I remember that all of her silver spoon-ness is the reason why she is on there. She is so over opinionated. She would make a perfect politician because she continually twists words to her favor. I get so irritated by people who feel their opinion is the only one and they could not possibly be wrong about anything in their perfect little life. ARGH!

If you missed the episode that has sent me into my most recent tirade over Mrs. Elizabitch, please (please!) watch these videos. Now these vids are the entire show so the guest of the day, Bill O'Reilly is on them too, but just seeing her talk, even to him, shows how close minded she is.

Did she really make a reference to Kool-Aid a la Jim Jones????







Happy Birthday to My Son

Today is my son's 9th birthday. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I'm struggling to not burst into tears today. It may end up happening eventually, but for now, I'm good. I got through scanning some of his childhood pictures without breaking down so I have faith that I might just make it. Plus I've had about 3 cups of coffee... Here is a short version of 9 years with Neil.






















A Day at the Orchard

















Where is the Captain?

Today I braved the great outdoors with the devil's offspring my children. They are on fall break from school this week so we have been walking a very fine line already. Next Tuesday is my son's 9th birthday. He had mentioned that he would like some new clothes for his birthday. Seeing as how he needs new pants, I thought this worked out well for me. Ha ha ha... boy was I mistaken.

Earlier in the week, I took them with me to take some movies back and go to Hobby Lobby for a few things. They were surprisingly good. They didn't argue on the way to town. They didn't ask for everything in the store. I praised them for a job well done. Told them how well they were behaving. I even took them to Starbuck's for a Vanilla Bean. Ok, really I took me to Starbuck's for some coffee, but I got them something too! My first mistake was thinking they could behave themselves twice in one week.

Again, I had to go to Hobby Lobby for some supplies. If you don't have a Hobby Lobby where you are, let me explain. It's like someone bottled up heaven and put it in a store. Craft materials, holiday decorations, scrapbooking supplies like you wouldn't believe, home decor.... basically lots of breakable things. Before even leaving the car, I say, "Do not touch anything. Do not ask for anything. Do not ask for the same thing I just told you no about 40 more times. Do you guys understand me?" "Yes", they say. Did they do it? Hell no. There I was in the aisle trying to be a good mom, but looking like a total ass. "Stop doing that. Get over here. Put that down. Don't touch that. Get over here. Stop dancing through the aisle. Get over here. No, you may not have that. Get over here. No, you do not have to have that. Get over here." ARGH!!! I thought I was walking around with two toddlers in tow instead of a 7 and 9 year old.

It was same basic issue when we arrived at Old Navy. They were having a HUGE sale so that made me feel a little bit better. Before we got out of the car, I repeated the same thing I had said at the previous store. Did they listen? What do you think?

I get so jealous of the mom's with the kids that just walk beside them. The ones that don't touch everything they walk past. How do they do it? I sometimes want to stop them and ask them if their kids are on drugs because that's the only way I can see, short of duct tape, to keep my kids from running amok and making me look like the recipient of the Mom Who Has No Control of the Kids award. It always seems like I'm the only one in the whole damn store having to call my kids down. I get embarrassed and don't know what to do.

Today, though, I just gave up. I paid for what I already had in my hand and out the door we went. We didn't go anywhere else. We came straight home. I still don't think either of them understand though. I told them no video games, no cartoon. Go outside, I said.

Meanwhile.... I'm fixing myself a drink. I'm going to immerse myself in a new blog site that Gypsy emailed me. And I'm not coming out.... you can't make me.



A Home Town Parade

I have to admit that I haven't actually attended the "Tobacco Festival" parade in about 5 years. Before that, it was about 3 years. I remember going to the parade every year when I was a kid and I loved it! When my kids were old enough to "see" it, I took them. And was completely disappointed. I abandoned going for years because of that disappointment. I did finally attend after my step-dad moved here from Minnesota because I wanted to do that with him, but it wasn't that much better then either. This year, however, was nice. The Festival committee finally got smart and stopped having the "Battle of the Bands" ( where the local high schools marching bands would compete) at the same time as the parade. Bands make a parade in my opinion. There were even very well done floats this year. I know I've been posting quite a few pictures in my blogs lately, but that's what I'm about. I love to take pictures. I love to share them too. So does Gypsy so take a peek at her blog too!

Without further ado....

Waiting on the Jesse James Bank Robbery Re-enactment

Waiting patiently. It looks like there is a lot of shade here, but that is only an optical illusion.

James Gang riding into town.

James Gang Re-Enactment

Yes, that's right, not only do we celebrate the growth of tobacco in our fine county, we also celebrate a bank robbery. While it is said that Jesse James himself was present for this robbery, it is unlikely that he did as he was recovering from an injury at his relative's house in Adairville, Ky. His brother Frank was present, but we still call this the "Jesse James Bank Robbery Re-enactment". We are a proud people. I wasn't able to get any good photos of the actual "robbery" because, well, I'm short and there were taller people in front of me. Let's just say there was much shooting and yelling. If interested, check out the movie, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford".

After the mock robbery, we headed a little closer to the town square to get good curbside seats.

Peas & Carrots

This picture doesn't show just how hot it actually was sitting there waiting for the parade to start.


My Shade Tree

This is Vegas being my own personal shade tree. It's great to have friends who are abnormally tall.

Logan County Sheriff

Our esteemed Sheriff. Notice the vehicle. We tax payers are footing the bill for that gas guzzler. When I was about 8 years old, I saw that man eat an entire box of spaghetti. By himself. He wasn't the sheriff then, but still...

Old School Firetruck

Local Fire Personnel

Auburn Fire Dept.

Logan Aluminum's Firetruck

The police were followed by the ambulance service and a multitude of fire engines, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles. All with sirens blazing. The last photo is of a fire truck from the biggest factory in Logan County. Basically it employs 75% of the community. As you can tell from the sparkly-ness of their fire truck, they have brand spankin' new equipment too. *Side note: They make those aluminum cans you drink your soft drinks and beer from.* Recycle those cans people!!!

Hoo ah

The Army JROTC cadets. That was me about 11 years ago. We marched better though.

Mitch McConnell

Ok, right before this awesomeness of a car rolled up, there was a white Suburban with Illinois plates that looked completely out of place. The driver was talking all secretly into his hand. I joked with Gypsy that he was a guy just passing through and somehow ended up in a small town parade or he was a Secret Service guy. I came this close <---> to actually taking a picture of that guy, but I didn't. Then up rolls the ol' Senator.... duh... he was talking all secretly in his hand because he was actually all Secret Service-y. So anyway, that's our Senator.

State Rep. Sheldon Baugh

State Representative, Sheldon Baugh

Elected Wingnuts

Our elected officials. Officially, I don't like many of them.

Lee Dockins

The Grand Marshall, Lee Dockins. I really don't have a clue what a "Grand Marshall" is.

Very Nice Chevy

I have no idea who some of these people are. I just liked the vehicles their names were attached to.

Democratic Float

I was excited by the Democratic float until I realized it had a jackass on it.

Ms. Tobacco Festival and her Court

Yea, yea...beauty queen and her court....whatever...


They were throwing candy from the trash can. I don't know how I really feel about that.


I was trying to get a picture of the little old ladies in their rocking chairs. I had no idea they were members of the "Trailer Park Ministry".



I love the bands, but this year they were very scarce. Barely 30 people to each band. And my old high schools' band didn't even wear their uniforms. Boo to you Logan County.



I called this the "Tractor Train".



This was the best float by far... Where the factory is located at in Lewisburg, Ky used to be a big farm with several red barns. Some of the barns are still there so I like that they incorporated the barn in their float with tobacco hanging it also. The cans on the conveyor belt were actually moving in to the "recycler".



Every year there is an "outhouse" race. I completely blanked out and forgot about it or I would have graced you with pictures from that too, but the lone outhouse in the parade will have to do.




My old high schools rivals, Russellville High. Their band was small too, but at least they wore their uniforms.




I couldn't help but snap a picture of this cute little boy. As soon as he saw the camera, he smiled and waved. It seems like a perfect small town photo.













These were just some cars and trucks that I liked. No idea what the point of them being in the parade was though. My favorite is the last one.



If gas wasn't a gazillion dollars a gallon.... I'd get me one of these. Minus the FFA group on the back.





The end of the parade always includes horses. That's how you know it's the end. They put them there because no one wants to walk through the poo.



But this year... they sent in the clowns to clean up the poo right behind the horses. Funny thing about those clowns... the sheriff's deputy on the golf cart behind them. HMMM... one might wonder. So the group of people next to us asked said deputy, "Are those inmates?" With his evil grin and shoulder shrug he replied, "Always."



This is like trying to travel through a closed sardine can. People EVERYWHERE.



I found this freakish tall man and took a photo with him. If you look carefully, you can see his wife taking our picture.





Memphis on his very first horse ride. He was a little excited.



Not his first, but certainly no less entertaining.



And here's our crew...