Tuesday, April 28, 2009


it's safe now, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I know you were all waiting on tenderhooks to see if I could pull off finding lodging on the cheap...well, I did. (bwahahahahaha)

Finalizing details with arrival and such tomorrow, but as of right now I gots me a nice little pad in a finished basement. Complete with fridge, microwave, bed, shower AND it's close to all the transit I could want or need.

Yep, I'm one resourceful chick. Eat your hearts out, lol.

So in just a little over a week and a half I'll be dropping onto Texas soil for a brief (VERY brief) visit, then onward to Oregon (go west, young...er...well, go west). Any Portlanders dropping by feel free to point me in the direction of a good coffee house (nyuk, nyuk).

HJ, Cyg...I'll wave at ya from the airport...I promise!

Now back to our not-so-regular schedule (schedule said like the British with the whole funky ssshhced thing).

Are ya freakin' over the whole swine flu thing like the WHO? Just wondering...I don't really have an opinion on it yet, too early...but I tend to err on the side of "we ain't seen nothing yet" just cause I know that the numbers are probably higher than they even think/know/guess...not everyone goes running to the doctor when they start getting sick, some can't afford it (ME!!) and some have a massive fear of doctors. Should be interesting, non?, to see how this plays out...containment is a goner, too late...prevention, fat chance because this puppy is new and a mutant (not the hot kind like Wolverine or Cyclops either). Just gonna keep an eye on this one, 'bout all one can do at this point.

Well, that's it for the night folks...gotta pull the bread out of the oven and spend a little time sippin' some ginger tea (just about have this cold licked). Catch ya tomorrow...maybe!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear Congress,

Is there any reason in particular that you cannot get this passionate about the problems we face in our own country?

Five members of Congress arrested at Darfur protest

I do not begrudge you the right to protest that which you feel is wrong. I do not ask you to stop believing that those less fortunate deserve your help. I only ask that you look to your own country and to your countrymen, women and children. There are more than enough less fortunate here to warrant your outrage. The numbers are growing by the day due to Congressional/Presidential actions.

You are elected on faith by those that believed you would do what you promised. Have you? I certainly hope that the current issues facing our nation are not what you promised and that you do indeed intend to get equally passionate about the injustices on the homefront as you are about those that are not so close to home.

However, I will not hold my breath.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's all about Adaptability...

so I've been saying. Got a real test on that theory this weekend.

Because I don't have a 'real' credit card, the rental car company tacked on an extra $200 to my deposit for the vacation/getaway car. Um...no thank you. Canceled the car, canceled the hostel...gonna spend a week puttering around Portland instead.

Doesn't stink too bad, lots to see and do there (I'm particularly excited about that massive bookstore Powell's....yeah baby). The other upside is that with the canceling of the rental, I was able to get a cell that I can actually post to the blog from (oh the tech junkie in me is just ecstatic). Add to that the Portland is a leading city in 'green' living (yes, we know how I feel about the green wave) and I'm sure to pick up some ideas that I haven't already had to put into play here.

See, flexible plans. Now if I can just find something affordable to live in for a week, lol. The hostels there cost as much as a hotel room nearly...so I'm going all nuts looking for a sublet that I can actually afford...yeah, good luck!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I have done the unthinkable. No, not picked up and walked away from the mess around here (I did say unthinkable, that's always a thought)...I took the oldest screamer to 'Kindergarten Roundup' tonight AT HIS REQUEST.

Yes, I realize he is five. Yes, I realize what I have done. He's not registered yet...there is the 'placement' test first. No worries there, my boy will blow them out of the water. He did tonight. Not to brag at all...it's the truth. He left several aides and two teachers with their mouths hanging open when he A.) gave them the complete playground rules before they asked B.) spelled his name for them without a pause C.) colored a very colorful version of Sponge Bob, then wrote out the word Sponge Bob as I spelled it to him and told them that he dreams in color so his Sponge Bob is colorful and not just yellow (gotta love 5 yr old logic).

The kid is a sponge (like most start out being) and got it into his stubborn little head (thank you Mom...intense sarcasm there) that he NEEDED to go to "school in a building"...I said fine, knowing full well that the first time the school tries to tell me he is too hyper that's the end. I will jerk his not hyper butt out of there so fast their bobble heads will pop right off. He is five...that is what five year olds do...get crazy, play, pretend, talk, not pay attention, etc.

I'm disgusted by two things already...well one really but it's two things about that one thing that drive me batty.

"Recess" (and I use that term VERY loosely) is two 15 minutes sessions. Two 15 minute sessions. I'll repeat that once more for those that skipped the first two times or simply can't believe what they read...two 15 minute sessions. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. Oh, did I mention that this is an all day kind of thing? Yeah...what happened to half days?

Anyway, in these two 15 minute sessions the boy and his classmates will either play outside on a playground OR play in the gym with weather demands. During these two 15 minute sessions there will be approximately 100 (see that? 100) children supervised by 2 teachers. 2 teachers. I will not repeat that since it makes my stomach twist. It should be noted that there are class aides, but I heard no mention of them in the supervisory roll. You can see where my problem lies, right?

My child is the most accident prone creature I have ever in my life met. He had his first set of stitches due to an accident BEFORE he was a year old (did you know that a waxed candle wick can and will pierce and rip skin? I didn't until then). His second Christmas (first walking Christmas) he sported a massive black eye for all the pictures and went by 'Bruiser' for the two weeks that followed. The boy has been to the ER more times in his short 5 years than I've been my entire life. Now, the past two years (almost) have been good, no ER visits since the battery swallowing episode. But still...you have to see why I'm a little iffy about 2 teachers.

Let's not even get into the whole 15 minutes of exercise. Excuse me, you will not be able to contain my child with so little exercise. I really do apologize ahead of time for the trouble it will cause you dear teachers...no, not really. You ask for it when you ask a five year old to sit in a chair and be a worker ant. Newsflash: You have your work cut out for you if you intend to crush that kid. He won't be crushed, his Momma won't let you drug him...you, my friends, are SOL. Good luck trying to make him fit the mold. I can't even get him to write his alphabet in order...the letters are all there, just scattered all over the page like a giant find-a-word puzzle.

I've had this child with me for five (LONG) years...I'm sorry that he wants to go, but I won't deny him the opportunity to see. I don't have it in me. He's so different from his little brother that it is night and day. The youngest will probably never ask to go, but I won't tell him no either should he want to. The oldest has always rushed into life headlong heedless of direction...he is a true force of nature that will not be denied.

So it is with great sadness (and a fake smile, as exampled tonight) that I relinquish my oldest child to these people. These people that will not enjoy the wonder in his eyes when he learns something new, not the way that I do. These people that will try to make him be something he isn't. I know that I can say NO. But I take the blame in saying yes...and hold out hope that he hates it, though I know he won't. I take comfort in knowing that I am giving him an opportunity (for what I don't know yet) and that it's only until December (one way or another).

(It should be noted that the spousal unit is incredibly torn up about this. He is scared for the fearless one. I'm not so scared as disappointed that he wants to go...after all he didn't get the idea from me.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On this day...

the day before the much ballyhoo'd Earth Day, I want to preach on 'green'.

If you don't watch TV, you're missing out on nothing except being deluged with commercials on greening up your living space, reducing your carbon footprint and instructions on how to help reverse global warming. Newsflash: Dear Greenies, it is NOT in your best interest to try to undo that which Ma Nature herself has set in motion. That's right I said it.

I do believe in Global Warming, evidence of a warming trend in general is overwhelming...I DO NOT believe that it is entirely man-made or reversible (in other words, Mr. Gore your ideas are not my belief). Why? Because it is a cycle that this blue space marble we reside on goes through. It cools down, it heats up, please repeat as necessary...insignificant species that do not have the ability to adapt disappear and become fossils, oil and pretty rocks. It's a cycle that takes way longer than we (ie humans) have been in residence. A cycle that we are only just scratching the surface of with our paltry scientific studies.

However, like most things, we (ie humans) tend to look to the easiest explanation (big spirit in the sky plays in mud and makes man, human advances warm the earth to dangerous levels, etc...okay, I'm sure I touched a nerve somewhere with one of those) and look for an uber complicated way to 'fix' things. Please don't fix my section, I'd rather not see the damage you can do.

This does not go to say that I believe that we can't do something about the situation. No, far from it. We can practice sustainability. Self-reliance of a sort.

Stop with the whole buying of boxed goods that take more energy to process than you receive from them, stop with the using of chemical laden products that just get tossed in the garbage and buried/stacked/dumped somewhere that screws with ground water, learn to garden responsibly (ie compost for your own fertilizer, use gray/rain water, pick the flippin' pests off by hand)...the list goes on and on folks. It's actually a quite logical list. Think of how you would handle the problem in the first place then do the opposite...we've been trained (for the most part) over the years to do that which is exactly wrong for living a life free.

Break the cycle, do something unexpected...don't 'go green' for the sake of going green...go sustainable for your own peace of mind. Knowing that you don't 'need' to run to (insert whatever store you want here) to pick up dinner, diapers, bug killer (there is a reason they are there after all...think cycle of nature again) and whatever thing you don't really need in order to live is a massive relief. This again cycles back to prepping, long term. By retraining your brain to think 'out of the box' that it has been forced in for all these years, you are in essence training yourself to survive.

Learning to save seeds (good ones, heirloom...not genetically enhanced), learning to garden responsibly (square foot is a good place for beginners to start, imo), learning to do without a disposable lifestyle....these are tiny, tiny baby steps to becoming truly green and self-sufficient.

If you must celebrate Earth Day, plant a FRUIT or NUT producing tree suitable to your zone (decorative trees are pretty, sure...but can you eat them?). Don't make a run to the store for disposable diapers, make a run for cloth and save yourself some future visits. Look up your local nursery in the phone book and ask about heirloom plants that haven't been tampered with OR find a good heirloom seed company (start with www.rareseeds.com) for your garden. Start small, read up and apply...look at that, you're on your way to reducing your carbon footprint and becoming self-sustainable. Easy, no?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mommy's Day Off (Extended Edition)

this is becoming a trend in our house. Not so disturbing, which in and of itself is disturbing.

The screamers departed the premises on Wednesday evening, with the eldest informing me that he would not be home again until Monday. My mother just laughed and stated they could stay as longs as they/I wanted them to stay. An ongoing trend in the Ozark house...my willingly sending my children off to the parental figures for extended stays (upwards of 3 days at a time now).

I distinctly remember a time when I disliked even leaving my screamers for short jaunt to the grocery...now I'm waiting, bag in hand, at the door when my parents come to get them. As of this very moment, I have NO clue when my children will return. I'm not worried, I know where they are. Besides I managed to survive my childhood under my parents' supervision, my boys should be able to do the same...right?

So Mommy has another day off...and has no clue what to do with it!! The weather thingy down on my toolbar is saying partly sunny with a high of near 70 today. Methinks I'll be grabbing my camera (the good one...the 35mm...fine, I'll take the digital too) and going for a wandering walk around the lake. But first, I'll be sleeping in...which translates to anything past 7:30, lol. (For the record the current time in my hills is 1 a.m.)

Today is sure to be nice...silence, sleeping late, quiet coffee time, long walk...yeah, nice. If I'm feeling spunky, I may just walk into town for lunch. But then again lunch in the woods sounds good too. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Sorry I've not been on much lately, other than to Tweet updates and random thoughts (see Twitter in right column).

I'm one busy Momma these days (and not just because I've seen the sun for two days straight)!! Been busy filling out college applications, working on essays for said applications (good grief) and now I have two articles to add to the writing mess. Keep in mind there is still a house to run, screamers to chase after and blow bubbles with AND a trip to get ready for (working on last minute needs that I can find el cheapo via a neighbor that used to hike but can't anymore...can we say bartering him down to prices I can afford?). Toss in a little extra research on schools of choice (oh how I wish I could go to Lewis & Clark right off) and I've got just a little extra time on my hands...very little.

I've got a few posts in the works, but well...let's face it...I'm going to get the school stuff done first, lol.

Hope the weather is treating all well, the gardens/seedlings are doing brilliant and you all are taking even just a few minutes a day to do something for you!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

If you are reading this....

HELP!! I am being held hostage against my will by two little boys covered in dye and waving eggs on spoons at me! My fingers are probably multi-colored and I am certain that I reek of vinegar.

At this moment, I am most likely using one of the following phrases:

'Please don't drink the dye'
'Put the spoon down son'
'Mom, I hope you weren't attached to that particular cup'
'Boy, I will break your fingers if you flip that spoon at me one more time'
'Do not encourage them Dad'

I am likely stressed but laughing and dotted with a myriad of color. A migraine is probably forming in the back of my skull that I won't feel until sometime later tonight. I am probably sneaking glasses of wine behind my mother's back. I might be taking pictures of the chaos, so be prepared.

Hope your egg dyeing adventures are as interesting as mine...I am resigned, no help is on the way....this wasn't in the bailout.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Random Fun Fact of the Day

My connection with Texas. I have family there, but that isn't the fun connection (sorry family). The fun connection isn't even HJ, Cyg and Mayberry (though they rank higher than family).

Nope, the fun connection is this: My hometown, Potosi, was founded by the father of the father of Texas. Yep, ol' Moses Austin (Stephen Austin's father) founded little Potosi. Breton Creek is just down the road along with a little park commemorating Mine รก Breton (M. Austin's original acquisition).

I can't tell you how long my family has been here, how deep the roots go...but we like to tease Grandma by saying that the McCullouch's and Rawson's that made their home in MO came along with the Mormons and just ditched. (check it, Rawson is a biggie in that group)

Yeah, there's still lead everywhere...yeah, there are old smelters still in people's backyards...but hey, it's my Texas connection!

Educating you with useless knowledge is always my pleasure...Just call me Professor Mama.


A nice rambling post for ya today...since I feel like it!

Vitamins...do you multi, singlize or not at all? Me, I have a nice little multi that I take. Some of you might recognize it...it's called a prenatal and I picked up a couple of bottles for a big ol' $4 each about a month ago (set for a few months if I remember to take them every day...which I do not). NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT!!!! I take prenates because, well...they have everything my body needs and then some. I don't eat like I 'should'...I *gasp* skip the heck outta breakfast on most days and the prenates help make up for some of the bad. I also pop an Acaci pill in the am and the pm (got 'em for free, literally and they do give a boost) and a green tea tab (whopping $1 at the local grocery) when I remember it. Since I am a free sample junkie, I have a nice little collection of that cool new Benefiber drink mix stuff designed for bottled water on days that I need a boost (or just want flavored water).

Next! Mail...we have not gotten a single piece of mail in well over a week. This bothers me because our mailbox (and all the others in the row) have been beaten all to hell a couple of times this winter by someone with too much time on their hands. The spousal unit has been ordered (at least three times) to stop by the PO on the way home and discuss this with the Postmaster...he's also supposed to be calling about the title release on the van (which has been paid off since Feb.)...surprise, surprise...not been done. Dear jury, let the record show that I just finished calling the loan company and am thoroughly pissed at their stupidity for sending the release to the WRONG place...yeah, that's right, more phone calls for me to make since no one else seems to know how to do that. Sigh.

Next! Done, done, done....the above is just a tiny example of the bull that I put up with on a daily basis. It only furthers my thoughts on being done with it. What I see happening: single mom going back to school (maybe) and working her ass off full time to support two screamers...in a new State. Thinking that the December deadline was entirely too generous of me, thinking that it's going to end the exact same way it has every other time this talk has happened...thinking that the cycle is about to get broken (along with a few hearts). Thinking that I really don't give a rat's ass either.

Oh, oh....have you tried those new 'Breakfast on the Go' thingies from Emerald? You should. EXCELLENT! Especially for taking off into the woods with. Sure, sure...I could buy all the ingredients and mix it up myself, but let's be honest here...I won't. I'm an instant gratification kind of girl for the most part and this is instant. Besides, I'm sure that my mix wouldn't end up sealed in nice little single serving bags convenient for backpacking. Definitely taking some of these on the trail with me next month...along with my Jack Link's nuggets and Zatarain's rice packs...nice and healthy, eh? ;P

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Forgive Me...

for the slight abandonment after the slight rant the other day. I got knocked down temporarily by something...a bug, just plain tired...something. At any rate, I'm nearly up and kicking again after a couple of days of funk.

Also forgive me if you've see the following already, a couple of headlines that grabbed me this a.m. I've not done my blog rounds as of yet and don't know what everyone is ranting/rambling about today!!

Headline #1. Thoughts: The key word in the last sentence of this article is YET. Keep that one in mind.

Headline #2. Thoughts: (tongue in cheek) Looks like some are already living the dream of a simpler life. Piracy...hmm. It has potential.

On to other stuff...just a little over a month until 'the trip'. The spouse is starting to panic. See he was supposed to be putting back money, he hasn't been. But, being as I KNOW how this man thinks, I am good to go. He just doesn't know that, so I let him sweat. Evil, perhaps. But it is a necessary lesson, one he should have learned years ago. Now, this doesn't go to say that I have all the money for this trip I would like to have...not at all. It does go to say that I have enough to take care of the basics, which is fine by me. Movin' on.

Ahhh, eggs...Easter fast approaches, not that the screamers really pay attention to these things. What it really means around here is fun with dye and food. The screamers are insanely jealous of my playing with dye and yarn, so combining something they WANT (dye) with something they LOVE (food) is the best part of Easter. They do not like Easter morning sunrise service (something we do to appease my mother)...thinking on skipping that this year anyway...I'm having organized religion issues again (surprise, surprise).

Alas, the day is moving forward...the screamers are demanding sustenance and I'm in need of some of the sunny skies that are hanging around today. Ya'll get out if you can and enjoy a little bit of Spring.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do ya like it?

Well, members of the Obamanation, do ya? Do you like the 'change' you screamed for? 'Cause I don't. And yes, I have the right to bitch, whine and complain...I voted, but not for your guy.

If you're a smoker, my Obama lovin' pal...do you like that new 'tax'...can you still afford your smokes? If not, how long before nicotine withdrawal has you going nutty and cursing change?

How about the campaign promises...no bi-partisan goo, no earmark/pork spending...how ya likin' how that's worked out for us? Just curious...you know, someone else's change may not be the change you had in mind.

Personally, I hold to the whole 'change starts at home'...just like education. If you want something changed (your life, your situation, your gov't), you gotta do the changing and not depend on someone else to do it for you. We've become a nation of lazy, do nothing for ourselves people. We (I use the term loosely here) sit and wait for someone to come and tell us what to do. We are lost without someone else giving direction.

Then there are a select few (roughly 3%) that think on for ourselves, don't wait for MSM to tell us what is really going on and make an effort to ensure that we don't become one of the raging insane should TSHTF...we aren't looked on too kindly. We are played up as crazy, fight starting nutjobs. We should stop thinking, stop forming opinions and start following along, right?

Someone goes apeshit...people die. 'Survivalists' are painted up as the culprit because apeshit has/had guns. Newsflash, not EVERY survivalist has guns. Matter of fact, you're reading one. I take that back, we do have the shotgun. Whoa, watch out...gonna take over the city with a two barrel shotgun. You should really be more worried about what I can do to you without a weapon...you might be unpleasantly surprised.

The point is...you keep your change. Why? Because your change is nothing new...it's the same ol' bullshit that politicians have been slingin' for years. It's just a horse of a different color pulling the poo wagon now. Doesn't make it smell any sweeter and hell, it must be the wrong kind of shit in the first place...nothing grows where it falls for long.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's a Sign, I tell ya...

Call me a quack, but I really truly believe in 'signs'. Gut feelings, deja vu (I have this A LOT)...things written in the stars.

No sooner did I finish reading HermitJim and Cyg's posts (and commenting naturally, lol) and in my email popped a tidbit titled "Transformation Time." Weird, eh? It's astrology, take it as you will...BUT this was the main body:

Pluto, the planet of transformation, takes a whopping 248 years to complete a single cycle of rotation around the Sun. On average, it spends 21 years in each sign and 5 months of each year in retrograde.

Pluto turns retrograde in Capricorn on April 4, signaling in a time of destruction and rebuilding, rejuvenation and regeneration. It is a time for fresh starts and dead ends. The things that we hang onto the tightest can suddenly be taken away. We may be forced to reevaluate the things we cherish most.

During a Pluto retrograde period, we will feel pressured to eliminate and release the old, outworn, outdated and obsolete in our lives. We will be urged to let go of attitudes, thinking or communication patterns, security drives, and rigid emotions that no longer serve us. This is an excellent time to undergo an internal form of house cleaning, and look into ourselves to determine exactly what we do and do not need.

Pluto retrograde imparts an intense power for investigation, so we should use this time to assess what reoccurring patterns in our lives make us feel out of control, where and why do we continually give our power away, and under what circumstances do we react so defensively that we elicit attacks from others. Pluto retrograde marks a time wherein we should seek to gain greater control over our lives.

A little freaky if you ask me. What with all the massive change in the air and so many of 'us' ready to make some odd changes and decisions...well, this is just one of those hmmmmmm moments for me. The next 5 months should be interesting to say the least, would have been anyway but now it's REALLY going to get that way!

Sidenote Rant: Why the hell is it that my friggin' mp3 refuses to shuffle it's electronic butt to the songs I really want to hear...nooooooo....it has to go through all the stuff I'm not in the mood for first. No, I won't hit skip...I want it to read my mind and do what I want dang it!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Under $100 Challenge

I've set myself up for failure...plain and simple. How? I've challenged myself to feed this family of four on less than $100 a week and feed us well. As in lots of fresh fruit and veggies, lean meats and no junk (aka processed/boxed foods). Not so easy during this time of year since I can't hit the farmers' market just yet, head to the parental figures' garden for a veggie raid or step out on the porch for homegrown goodies. Oh, can I throw in here that I don't often have coupons that I use because well...let's face it...the off brand is generally cheaper anyway.

In theory, it should work. I have the menus for the month planned out pretty much, but will be shopping weekly instead of all at once (that allows for a switch up of meals if wanted). I have some 'cheating' help in the form of WIC for the youngest screamer that negates a bit of milk, eggs and cheese along with juice and dry cereal (oh, way too much dry cereal really...you should see all the freakin' boxes around here). PLUS, I will still be adding to the preps a little each week. It's feasible to do this, but the question remains...can I?

Should be interesting to see, eh?
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke