Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's in a name? A lot, if you live on my street...

When giving my address to a service person over the phone recently, I was amused to find that the street name actually made the person on the other end of the line laugh. I know it's an interesting street name because I've gotten similar reactions before. See, we just moved here a year and a half ago, so it's still new to me that I get such a reaction. In my old town, I had a street address that made it sound like I lived in New York. You know, one of those fancy-shmancy newfangled 911 addresses with lots of numbers in both the house address and the street name too. I sounded important.

Now, I just sound plain... well, hick! I no longer live on the high-falootin' sounding 1500th St., but I reside on good 'ole Muddy Trail. Yep, you read that right, I live on Muddy Trail. You would be shocked at how many times I have given someone my address and they've come back with "Is it really a muddy trail"? Yes, Virginia, it truly is a muddy trail.

There are probably some paranoid people cringing right now, criticizing me for revealing the name of the road I live on, so if you happen to be a serial killer reading my blog and you want to come and kill me, please feel free. My giant dogs will be happy to eat your face for lunch and so will my shotgun if the canines should fail. Hey, I told you I'm a hick! Why, the dogs almost attacked my husband accidentally when he went out back the other night and forgot to announce himself. He wanted to see if he could spot our goldfish in the pond better with a flashlight and he was wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt. He had the hood up because it was cold. He didn't turn on the back light because he had the flashlight. Thankfully, our giant alpha male recognized his voice when he said very loudly, "WHOA!!!" just prior to nearly being eaten. If they'll eat us, I'm certain they'll eat you too. But, I digress.

Don't get me wrong, Muddy Trail is a fine place to live. It's a good road at some times of the year, not so good at other times. Central US weather can be brutal with its extremes. I actually took a picture of the road last spring in case we had to prove car damage from the condition of the road, which literally disintegrated due to too much moisture.

We also had to make an emergency trip last winter to the car lot to purchase a four-wheel drive truck so we could get up the hill to our house on the ice and snow. Our poor pathetic little Dodge Dakota was not cutting it and was stuck at the bottom, despite numerous attempts. Bye-bye, Dakota. We have not missed you. Except that part about the gas mileage. We do miss that.

If you go past our house, the road then does turn into an actual muddy trail. It is technically a through road, to our amazement, and is shown as thus on GPS. Therefore, I am constantly re-routing people. If you follow GPS to try to access our house from the wrong side, you must cross a pretty big creek, or crick, as we hicks refer to it. Only certain hicks can successfully cross and an appropriate hick machine is definitely required. We knew it was a bad road when we had to help both the snow plow and the tree cutting trucks when they became stuck at our house last winter.

I walk down Muddy Trail with my dogs for exercise daily and it's really a lovely walk. P.S. If you are a serial killer reading this blog, I must say that it's also a perfect place to dump a dead body. Trust me, I am ever-vigilant to look each and every day for dead bodies at the creek, er crick, whichever you prefer, and luckily have only found a dead goat body so far. I don't know why I do that, look for dead bodies. I'm thinking that perhaps there's a good thriller in my head somewhere just waiting to be born. I am a writer, after all. Too bad I'm a humor writer. It might just turn out to be Ghost Goats of Muddy Trail by Cindy Brown. Oh, LOL, help us all. So in summary, I ask, do you have an interesting story about your street name?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eye-Fi, You-Fi, We All Need More Wi-Fi!

Have you heard of Eye-Fi? If not, you are missing out on pure magic.

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve"

I see this happening more and more and yes, it happened to me recently. I can't take any credit whatsoever for achievement in this field of technology, but I once dreamed of a concept like Eye-Fi. Now, I have it at my disposal. Amazing!

I love technology that purports to make life easier and then actually follows through and delivers. My Lumix digital camera died a slow painful death recently and I did a lot of research in order to choose the perfect camera at the perfect price, just right for little old me. I landed on the Canon SX210IS, which one reviewer described as the "Cadillac of point and shoot cameras", and decided that we were meant for each other, till mechanical death do us part. I noticed it had a function called Eye-Fi. I didn't know what Eye-Fi was, but was glad to see that my little bundle of joy was Eye-Fi capable, whatever that meant. Upon further investigation, I found out that Eye-Fi was one of my dreams come true. In a nutshell, take a picture and it flies to your computer without you being required to do a thing. No cords, no removing your card and finding adapters, nothing. It just flies through the air like magic.

Okay, it sounds like magic, but the technical terminology would probably explain it better. It's a memory card with Wi-Fi in it. You set it up to connect to your home wireless connection, set up your parameters as you want them, and shazam! Literally, I can take a picture with my camera, walk over to my computer, and it's on there. Creepy. Creepy and faaaaaaaa-bu-lousssssss! I jumped on eBay and ordered one. Bonus that I got it twenty dollars cheaper than retail - holla! When it arrived, I nervously set it up. At first, it wouldn't find my wireless, but after several tries and me blaming all inadequacies unnecessarily on Vista, it connected. I tried it, not really expecting to be impressed. Let me tell you, I am impressed and Eye-Fi lives up to the hype!

It even features the ability to upload to your favorite sites like Facebook and it stores all of your video and photos on a website for seven days for free so you can access your info from anywhere, anytime. you can pay for a premium service that lets you keep it longer if you wish. You can also have unlimited storage on your memory card. I'm not sure how this works. Maybe Chris Angel or David Blaine are involved, I'm not sure. Shhh! I told you, the thing is magic!

Who ever said dreams can't come true? Believe it, achieve it, receive it, that's what I say. Merry Christmas everyone! I'm off to snap some photos.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Connection Addiction - Are You Immune?

My husband took me out to eat recently. We went to LongHorn Steakhouse and I must say that we had the best steaks we've had since our honeymoon eight years ago in Las Vegas. You wouldn't often describe meat from a cow as luscious, but this meat, well, it practically melted in your mouth. I even told the waiter and managed not to drool when saying it. But eating cow is not what this post is about. It's about communication.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we realized we were in for a wait, a very long wait, a one-hour-wait-to-seat-two-people kind of wait. We sat on the little waiting area bench and talked to each other. My husband had to use the bathroom facilities and so I filled my time with one of my favorite activities, human observation. Almost every person who entered the restaurant took their little "your table is ready" notification apparatus, which looks alarmingly like some sort of Taser device, by the way, found a place to park themselves either sitting or standing and promptly pulled out their phone to do whatever. Some already had their phones in their hand when they came through the door.

Now, being the human observer that I am, I took note of the dynamic the phone played in various situations around me. People who were waiting by themselves, I could understand. There is a need to "do" something while you wait. Me, I am still a connoisseur of the fine art of vegging, i.e. being in a vegetative state, or quite the opposite of "do" which is to do nothing and just be still. I have always said that patience is a virtue and this is part of it.

The woman beside me, I noticed, was on Facebook. Not that I was snooping, I just happened to glance and see that familiar blue and white I know so well. Of the group of four beside her, three had their phones out and were excitedly exchanging information. I overheard one woman say to the other, "Now you've done it. He has your number. Who knows what you'll get from him now!" Across the entryway, several sat on the opposite bench, poking at their phones. I wondered if they too were on Facebook or if they were texting or perhaps playing Angry Birds while looking important and busy. A young man waiting alone used his phone to serve as his Walkman, ear buds intact. Old fogies, you know what that is, the Walkman. Go ahead, date yourself right a long with me. Younger generation, you would know it as the archaic version of the iPod. A young boy played a loud game on his phone, or perhaps the phone belonged to one of his parental units, these days it's hard to tell. We get our kids phones at stupid ages. By we, I mean you, of course.

Then there was the couple who came in, looking quite ritzy and well-off. A husband and wife, I'll presume, who immediately pulled out their respective communication devices and ignored each other completely. Maybe they were talking to each other on their devices, who the heck knows? It made me feel bad for them. Can't they talk to each other? Do they hate each other? Are they so bored with one another that they are forced to shift their focus to avoid divorce? I remembered the days of beepers. Remember? The only time you were ever interrupted when out in public was if you really were important and you had a beeper. Respect, man, now that was respect. You were a doctor or a chief of police or some highly regarded profession. "Excuse me, I have to take/make this call," meant it was really important. Someone was dying, being born, or on fire. Nowadays, that same person might be interrupted with an "LOL!" Sheesh.

Even when seated at our table, I observed people using their phones while conversing with their table companions. Personally, I find this very rude if it is done consistently. I am here, pay attention to ME! Is it a status symbol, something to make a person appear prestigious? People like to feel needed, possibly even need to feel needed, some acutely more than others. I realize this. However, I believe we are in the midst of a connection or communication addiction epidemic. Some people just cannot ignore a text or go without being "connected" for even an hour. It's a sickness, really.

If I were an alien from another planet and I observed this behavior, I think my report would go something like this:

I observed the human race on the planet of Earth today. It appears they all need some sort of life support, battery pack, or energy device to keep them alive. Only the very young and old of the species seem to survive without the device, plus a few select others who seem to be immune to the need for this life-giving technology. Many of the subjects observed were required to pull the machine out and touch it with a finger hundreds of times before being able to put it back in its storage facility, a "pocket" or "purse". These devices beeped and chimed when the user needed a recharge and the user was required to pull out the device and touch it, presumably to continue life-force. Some were even required to put it up to the ear. We assume this was for people with advanced disease who needed an opening close to the brain for direct penetration of this energy. We were not able to determine what would happen if the prompts were ignored. We suspect that they would fall over in a slump and possibly die altogether. However, the beeps and chimes are never ignored. Therefore, we may never know.

As I pondered this at the table at LongHorn, I pulled a pen and piece of paper out of my purse and began to jot down notes for this blog posting. My husband said, "Look at you, old school with your pen and paper," and I thought to myself that yes, it would be nice to have one of those smart phones that I could take the notes on or an iPad and one of those cool roll-out wireless keyboards and then I could just whip it out and type these notes so much faster, right there at the table! And then I realized in horror that would make me "one of them". As usual, I made myself giggle just a little.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coffeemaker Shot Craps! Will I Survive?

At 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, I bumbled upstairs to wake up my daughter, then ventured back downstairs to find this note on the kitchen table: "Coffeemaker shot craps. The outlet works, but the coffeemaker doesn't. Take it back right away for a refund, get it fixed, or call my cousin who works at the Bunn factory. Must have coffee!" The note was from my husband who had been up late the night before. He was sleeping, so I dare not wake the bear to ask questions.

Three things immediately happened:

1) I was disappointed to know that I would not get my morning cup of joe, but I was headed to town, so I could get a cup in town - no biggie.

2) I thought of how my day would be overrun with this errand of repairing or replacing our Bunn extravaganza morning happy maker supreme machine.

3) I realized (gulp) that my husband would not be tolerable without coffee and that my life's mission for that day would absolutely consist of nothing but finding a remedy for the absence of brewed coffee in the house.

Our coffee is very important to us right now. It's what keeps us sane. It's what wakes us up joyfully. It's what protects us. Yes, you heard me right, it protects us... from him. I'm talking about my husband. It isn't bad enough that he drinks coffee like water on a normal day, but this of all days? This day? No, this couldn't be happening. You see, this was my husband's second full day of abstinence from a bad habit that will remain nameless (ah-ah-chew...excuse the sneeze) and he was doing fairly well. He had only lost his cool once so far and it was not horribly bad, considering.

Coffee, you see, was keeping him from going psycho on the three of us girls. I had heard multiple very deep sighs coming from within the belly of his soul that first day and I knew he was fighting it hard as it was, but without the blessed coffee? His note took on new urgency. I panicked with the realization that if I didn't get an identical coffee supplying machine ASAP, I could be subject to unspeakable withdrawal demons being unleashed upon me and my innocent children.

Then I decided to look at the Bunn fantastical wondrous beam of light to our souls machine myself to see if I could determine the problem, which he had failed to include in the note. We have one of those Bunn machines that stays plugged in all the time. It stores heated water so that when you put the water in, it just pushes out that amount of hot coffee in mere minutes. The only button you ever have to turn on and off is the warmer if you need it. It's really cool and really fast. I looked at the supreme coffee machine and noticed something right away. The power button was off.

Simply put, my husband had a brain fart. The red toggle switch had been inadvertently hit and when the coffee supplying machine didn't supply, my husband immediately jumped to the worst possible thought pattern. No wonder he came to bed with such a heavy sigh and prayed extra fervently that night before sliding into bed! I had to giggle. And yes, he even giggled with me later. Of course he giggled... because he had coffee properly coursing through his veins.

Folgers, have no fear. The wife is here to save the day once again. Until the next brain fart happens...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bird's Eye View From The Birth Canal

Okay, admit it. You missed my twisted sense of humor. You crave the next cerebral explosion of Cindy Brown's grey matter. It's okay. I will once again deliver a delightfully strange tale.

Today, we go on a journey through the birth canal. It all started with a dream I had recently. I know, I know -- it's possible you still may not have recovered from the Alan Alda dream yet, but I promise this is equally intriguing.

It was a night like any other night. Boy, if that didn't sound like the worst first line ever from a bad novel. But really, it was just an everyday underwear kind of day. You know, brush your teeth, go to bed, fall asleep. Really inane. But then, the dream came upon me. Gives me a shiver just thinking about it.

I dreamed that my ex-boyfriend was stalking me. There is absolutely no reason for me to fear this, so the dream started out as extremely illogical. In the dream, I had a current beau defending me against this particular ex. Again, this is crazy because I am happily married and I have no idea who this beau in the dream was except that he looked a little like that skinny little scientist guy from LOST, which is silly because I dislike beards.

Anyway, when the beau wasn't looking, the ex came up to me with a cell phone and said, "If we had a baby together, I'd want it to look like this," and shoved the phone's display in my face. The image I saw was of a woman, man, and child peering into the screen with those big caricature "awww" Puss-In-Boots eyes. That in itself isn't so strange. What was strange was that my dreaming mind interpreted that scene as the family portrait being viewed through the eyes of a baby being birthed. It was sort of a bird's-eye-view-from-kitchen-table-height kind of thing.

Yeah. That's what I said. So then it somehow translated into the realization that the picture had to have been taken by the actual baby, which of course is impossible, so how did they do that?! Okay, so upon waking, I was not even the least bit fascinated by the stalking ex part of the dream, but the compelling thought of how that baby got that photo. Then it dawned on me. It must have been new technology where the doctor puts a camera on the baby's head in utero and voila! -- baby films it's own family members as it is coming out of the birth canal!

I am actually shocked that they haven't done this birthing technique already. I told you, I'm an idea generator like you wouldn't believe, even with the most bizarre things. So the task then became analysis of the dream idea. Usually I can figure out where a dream came from if I think about it hard enough. There are obscure little triggers in everyday life that include themselves almost undetected, but most of the time, I can connect the dots. I still have no idea where Alan Alda came from in the wearing the bra to bed post, but I digress.

After a little thought, I had to laugh at myself. Thankfully, that happens a lot. It finally clicked that I had seen an MSN video teaser right before going to bed. It was about a couple attaching a camera to the end of their dog's stick and it of course recorded the action. That explained it! The stalking ex, oddly coupled beau, and the fact that I had no idea who was having the baby or who the people in the picture were... well, that must have been due to the pickled eggs I ate for lunch that day. What an entertaining journey through my grey matter that turned out to be, even for me! It wears me out just trying to figure out what my mind is thinking. So I ask, do you analyze your crazy dreams or just dismiss them? Freud it? Or forget it?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful For My Underwear, Literally!

Okay, this blog was never intended to be about actual underwear. It was a clever play on words about my blog content and who I am and what I represent to you, the reader. Many of my posts have actually been about undergarments, however. So why stop now?

Yesterday, I went nearly the entire day without noticing that I had inadvertently put on my underpants inside out. I found this rather odd. That isn't normally something I would do. At least I don't think so. Matter of fact, I just observed an older person earlier in the week who had done this with a t-shirt and thought "Oh boy, he's really losing it. Either that or he just doesn't care about himself like he used to." I pondered the possibility that perhaps I too was "losing it". Was I? I didn't feel embarrassed. Of course, until now, nobody but me knew about the underwear being inside out. Now all of you know. Go ahead, feel free to judge me or laugh hysterically, whichever urge is most present.

They didn't feel any different. I was completely oblivious! How could this happen? What if I was in an accident and they had to cut my pants off for surgery? Would the operating room surgical assistants giggle at my wardrobe malfunction? If by chance one of my family members saw that my underwear were put on the wrong way, would they laugh at me or think me incompetent? Would it be the butt (no pun intended) of family jokes for years to come? Did this mean I didn't care about myself or that my own mental capacity had been compromised?

In the end, here is the conclusion I came to... who cares? I realized that I should just be thankful for the basic concept of underwear itself and that I do not have to put on a coat and go out to an outhouse and poop in a chamber pot in the freezing cold, that I have toilet paper, and that I just simply have underwear at all. All of that led me to think of my Everyday Underwear blog and how thankful I am for that as well. I am thankful every day for all of my friends, family, and followers. I'm thankful for a roof over my head and food in my belly and all of those things you hear everyone say on Thanksgiving and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and stuff yourselves full of goodies.

Today I tell you the truth, I am most thankful for my sense of humor. Without that, I would have been mortified about the panties.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Killed In Action in Afghanistan - Dear Baby Brother

In the introduction to my blog, I told you it was good days, bad days, happy days, sad days and that you might laugh, cry, or possibly go insane from being a follower. Thus far, I have given you the giggles. Today, I give you the tears because they are also a part of life.

I was so saddened to get on Facebook this weekend and see that a friend, Helen, had a death in the family. But not just any death. Her little brother, Adam, was killed in action in Afghanistan. She wrote a beautiful letter to him, pouring out her heart. With her permission, I share it. Please note that Helen and her husband also serve our country. The following was written by Helen Teresa Dobereiner Durbin:

I'm sorry beforehand if this comes out a little jumbled and rambleish, but I need to get something out. First and foremost, I love you so much. I can't believe what's going on. I wish that I could sleep, but sleep isn't coming easy.

Secondly, I wish you were here...especially today, your birthday. Happy birthday. I took you out last year for your first legal beer. I was so baffled that no one was going to do anything with you on your birthday, so I got Alayna dressed, got in my car, and drove 3 hours to take you to BWWs for a quick meal, beer, and laughing, then straight back home. I can't believe it's already been a year.

I wish I still had someone in my left handed corner. Now that you are gone, I have no left hand brother... and that is awful. That was just ONE of the many things that bonded us together. I wish that you hadn't decided to join the Army...yeah, I know you wanted to, I know you loved it, and I know you died doing what you believe in... but at least for now, that isn't good enough. We have such awful people and you're the one that God takes? Life isn't fair, and this just proves it again....and yes, I know, God has greater plans, God is wise, God blah blah blah. He took my grandpa and that hurt, but I understood... he had already lived his life, had 5 kids, been married for 69 years, live, loved, laughed... but Adam, he was 21 (almost 22) and didn't get the chance to truly live.

I wish I had gone with you. I know I'm "nasty girls" [(US Army) Term used by regular Army soldiers to describe National Guardsmen] and you were active, but I feel like maybe I could have protected you. Probably not, but that's how I feel.

I wish your nieces got to see you more. Alayna saw your page on Friday as I was checking to see if it was true, and she said "Uncle Ag-um?" and after I said yeah, she said, "LOVE YOU"... I think she was thinking you were on Skype. That was SO HARD NOT TO BREAK DOWN.

I remember....
     Taking you to your first day of high school (a senior talking to a freshman! YIKES)
     The dances we went to in a group, Homecoming...Sadies...
     Building forts with you in grandma Hantz's dining room
     Helping each other survive during Great grandma Smith's holiday dinners since we were the outcasts...
     Fighting over papas lap (you can have it for now, but one day, even if not soon, I will come and claim it back)
     Calling you "AD-DUMB" ...oh how that pissed you off.
     "DOBIE'S SISTER MADE OUT WITH DICKEY", Can't believe I even talked to freshman...okay, yeah I can because family is my world.
     Our walks with papa for candy
     Our walks to church

I tried to be a good sister and I hope you feel that I was. Sometimes we fought, but it wasn't for long because after all, family is family and I can't think of my life without family. I hope I helped make your freshman year easier.

I feel so guilty that I didn't talk longer with you on my wedding day.... I should have. Yes, I know I couldn't see the future, but you had stayed up ALL day to Skype with me, and then I barely said 30 words to you... and now, I can't ever hear your voice again. October 15th was the last time I saw your face and it was for seconds.

Oh, how I pray you back, but with mom coming back from Dover, I know it's not going to happen. I created a page for you. I'm so proud to say, everyone loves and misses you. I mean, I know what a great guy you are, I know how much love you had, and I knew you would one day do great things.... I'm just glad other people saw that too. So many people had loved you.

Nothing I say seems to amount to much. I have so much to say to you, so many thoughts, so many dreams to share, so many memories, so many... of everything that I now won't get to share (in person) with you.

You were supposed to get married in 2 short months, now you have a fiancee devastated.
You were supposed to be home before my birthday, now you will be with Papa watch the festivities.
You were supposed to be in the QC for Christmas, now you will get to celebrate with Papa.
You were supposed to live until after I died, now you have left me heartbroken.
You were supposed to have kids, and now you have a fiancee that's devastated.
You were supposed to be a great you ......

You told me a couple of months ago, "If i die before you, I want you to make sure 'I'll see you on the other side' is played at my funeral." It should have been a bright red flag because the day you told me that was September 11th. I had a dream that you died 3 days before a big event. I was thinking it was my wedding since I was dreaming it in October, but now I know it was 3 days before your birthday.

I talked to you Nov 12 on the phone and you told me, "I'm going on a dangerous route. If you don't hear anything by my birthday that means I made it back okay". That should have been another flag. Normally, you told me to pray extra hard for you and your unit when you went on dangerous routes... not this time. Maybe in your mind, you knew something was up and were just trying to put on a front. I couldn't tell you and now I can't ask you.

I can't believe I found out by Facebook that my baby brother was KIA... and then had to tell my mother because she wasn't going to be home for hour, that she needed to go home and wait.  How do you tell your own mother that she's going to get that dreaded knock on the door that is every mother/wife/NOK's worst nightmare? Trust me, it's harder than anything.

I must stop now because now I'm just getting angry... maybe one day... I wont be so angry, I won't hate the army for taking you away. I'll realize this was all part of the master plan when God gave you to mom.
I'll heal...
I love you,
     Your left handed sister.
RIP Adam Dobereiner, November 21st 1989 - November 18th 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Uh-oh. There's Something Floating In My Coffee!

I got myself a bowl of Cheerios and a cup of java with cream and sugar this morning at about 8 a.m. and sat down to write today's post. It is now 6:10 p.m. and I am just now getting around to writing it, dang it! Now I have to recap my thoughts in my head before playing them out as I would have this morning when it was fresh and hope it doesn't taste like day old bread. Nevertheless, it is sustenance.

I had my spoon in my Honey Nut Cheerios and had not yet stirred my coffee, so I used my cereal spoon for the task. I didn't check the spoon before thrusting it into the coffee and when I looked down to take a sip of the coffee, there were two Cheerios floating in the blessed java. At first, I was grossed out, thinking, "Oh crap, there are Cheerios in my coffee!" Determined to make the best of it because the word "cheer" is in the name, after all, I decided to eat the little floating circles. Hmmm, coffee flavored Cheerios! I immediately applauded myself for coming up with a new idea. Coffee flavored cereal! Cheerios has a lot of flavors, why not coffee flavored ones to go with your latte?

I know that some of you are just getting to know me, so understand that I love coffee. I love coffee with Creme Brulee creamer. I love lattes. I love coffee flavored candies, ice cream, and those Little Debbie coffee cakes. I love, love, love anything coffee to the yumpth degree! And yes, I just made that word up and I love it too.

I really think it is a great idea. If there is a coffee flavored cereal out there, I don't know of it, so enlighten me if one exists and I'll gladly give it a review. I love to talk about new products and things I try. I've often thought I could be a great idea generator. My mind formulates ideas all day long like a firestorm. If only I had the immense money, power, and motivation to make them all come to fruition... why, I'd be the next Ron Popeil! However, I've yet to find that job description in the local newspaper's help wanted section:

WANTED: Someone to come up with all kinds of cool ideas about anything and everything. Pays really unbelievably well. Benefits out the wazoo.  No education requirements. You can be dumber than a box of rocks as long as you can come up with killer ideas every now and then. Cindy Brown, if you're reading this ad, you're the only candidate we will consider.

As I said, that is an unlikely scenario, so I will just keep writing this blog and telling all of you about my ideas and hopefully the right executive will read my blog and pay me umpteen hundred-thousand dollars for my cool ideas. Until then... I am just bloggin' along through life, hoping you'll enjoy the ride along with me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vampire Puppies? I Don't Care, They're Still Cute!

Okay, before I start this post, I must show you a picture or two to melt your heart before I get to the gory details. These are my sweet little angelic puppies. They are purebred Great Pyrenees and we have five of them, eight weeks old . I keep an eye on them all day long with frequent checks on their location and welfare. Normally they don't get out of bounds, whatever that means on a twelve acre property on a dead end road in the middle of nowhere. If they try to cross the road, I go out and nudge them back and mama helps me corral them. Today, however, they decided to go walkabout like Crocodile Dundee. The normally present and attentive puppy parental units, Penny and Buddy, were absent. Then here the puppies came from across the road. Why on earth were they out there? I'll tell you why. Blood lust. That's why.

My gorgeous puppies had their muzzles and paws covered in blood. Naturally, I was preparing to start showing these beautiful white puppies for sale.. for $250 apiece... tomorrow. But here's what happens out here in the sticks. Somebody was kind enough to dump their skinned deer remains nearby and the dogs found it before I did and commenced to, gulp, well... devour what was left of it. Now, if you have never seen a snow white puppy covered in blood, consider yourself quite lucky. It was gross. And I got to clean them up. It wasn't so bad the first time. Then Penny decided to bring a nice pile of some juicy fresh innards over to our yard -- sorry, ack, I had to gag a little there -- so that she and the puppies could enjoy a bit more of a snack. They looked even worse the second time than they did the first time and again, I had to clean them up.

Ah, the joys of country living. My husband says it is normal for hunters to leave the unused deer parts out there for the coyotes. You know, the whole "circle of life" theory and all. I disagree! I've got your coyotes right here, buddy! They're our dogs! And so now, I am of course worried that these sweet little darlings have been turned into blood sucking vampire puppies. A similar process happens with teenagers during puberty, by the way. Why, I fear I'm going to have to change their names from Salt, Pepper, Wrench, Pillsbury and Angel to Edward, Laurent, James, Rosalie, and Victoria. Ugh. I am happy to have put them in their pen now and hope the "feeding" doesn't continue tomorrow. If it does, I might have to take pictures. Even covered in blood, the puppies were still adorable. They still look at me with those puppy eyes, as if to say, "Whaddid I do? I wudn't kiwl anyfing ever, mommy, I promuss!" Vampire puppies. Too cute.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies - of the devil?

Okay, who can resist Girl Scout cookies? Well, maybe you can, but I cannot and even if I could, my husband cannot and so we end up with Girl Scout cookies every year in our home for a very brief period of time. I'm fairly sure they were sent here by Satan because they are sinfully addictive. They are gone almost as quickly as they enter the house, no matter how many boxes we buy, because we simply can't keep from pigging out on them. Thin Mints? Oh yeah, baby. That's what I'm talkin' about. And the Samoas! Well, let's just say that I make embarrassing noises when I eat them. My husband joked with me yesterday, "You want some mo'a?" and I had to laugh at his very creative comment. Then I wondered if that was actually why they named them Samoas, but quickly dismissed the thought that he might know more about Girl Scout cookie names than I know and I went on about my cookie enjoyment.

I notice there are people outside the US following my blog and the thought occurred to me last night that some people might not know what Girl Scout cookies are. Unimaginable! Why, they might not even know what Girl Scouts are! Do they have Girl Scouts in the south of France? I have no earthly idea. I think they're American, but who knows, they could have gone global since I last checked.

Most importantly, Girl Scouts sell cookies as a fundraiser and I'm fairly certain that's what they're best known for in our country. That might be all you need to know for this post, although on the box of cookies it does say that they are a "premier leadership development organization for girls," which is also good, but possibly secondary to the cookies. My youngest daughter was a Girl Scout two years ago and she enthusiastically sold more boxes of Girl Scout cookies than anyone in her troop. She even got a special patch. Why, I didn't even mind the gajillion boxes in my living room because I know the joy these cookies bring to one and all, young and old. Everyone has a favorite. People are genuinely disappointed when they miss this special sales campaign. People here in the US will actually hunt down Girl Scouts and grill them, "When are you selling the cookies? Make sure and come find me!"

And so I ask of you, which ones taste so good to you that you make your own jungle noises? And my foreign correspondents, what special treats sold door-to-door do you look forward to in your country?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Today

My husband made me cut his hair tonight. I want you to understand this clearly. I like cutting some hair, just not my husband's. Most of the time, I end up crying at some point while cutting Neil's hair. I don't offer to do it. He makes me. Why? No, he's not a control freak or anything like that. He wants to save money. There is just cause for him to assume that I would have no problem with this. I willingly cut and color my own hair when funds are tight and our ten year old daughter's hair as well, plus our thirteen year old lets me do hers sometimes too. However, admittedly, I have been banned for life at least once from ever touching her hair again. I must point out that the ban has been lifted. I cut and colored it tonight and she seems satisfied or perhaps just terrified to appear unhappy for fear of my reaction.

I have absolutely no formal training whatsoever, but I swear I can do a pretty decent job just from the experience of watching my hairdressers over the years. I've messed around with my own hair enough to have a little practical experience too. My hair, no problem. My youngest daughter's hair, no problem. She could care less as long as she doesn't look like a dork, which I would never do to her. My oldest daughter, well, she lets me do it when the mood strikes her or I tell her we don't have the $80 for the salon right now.

But my husband's hair... oh, my husband and his dark, thick, short hair. I fear this cut. I loathe this cut. I would rather sell my soul on a street corner than to cut his hair. Well, that's a bit extreme, but you know what I mean. I've accompanied him to many a haircut and I know how particular he is about his hair and I don't want him to look like a dork either, see.

Tonight was the night. He's been begging me for days to do it and finally he looked scraggly enough that I decided I'd better give it the old college try. I reviewed the previous attempts in my head, me in tears and him frustrated and saying, "Just do it!" and me boo-hooing, "But I don't know how!" and him trying to convince me that if I can cut everyone else's hair, I can do his too. But he wants me to use an electric razor on his. Yeesh! It might as well be brain surgery, really. I am so uncomfortable with those things!

So I decided to throw caution to the wind and "just do it" tonight and see what happened. Shoot, he had to shave his own head bald once because he tried to cut it himself once and screwed it up, so how bad could it really get for me? I didn't stress out. I didn't cry. I just did it -- and guess what, it turned out fine. I even remembered to take my bra off this time. Wait, I forgot to mention that part.

Now, you might think that the removal of the bra thing was for entertainment purposes or simply a ploy to distract him from the haircut, but you'd only be right on one of those. The distraction did seem to help relax him. However, the real reason for the bra removal is that the last time, even though I had a shirt on over it, I somehow ended up with little tiny pieces of hair in my bra which poked me mercilessly for what seemed like an eternity after the haircut. It was probably only a few weeks, pulling tiny hairs out of the fibers of my bra interior with my fingernails substituting as tweezers extracting teensy-weensy but very irritating splinters. I looked like some sort of wacko, suddenly peering madly into my shirt like a crazy person and muttering, "What the...What the heck is poking me!!!???" Even laundering the offending bra didn't help, so I vowed, "No poke in the boob this time!" I've decided I'm removing the bra from here on out. It was better for both of us, really. And he sure enjoyed the haircut more.

And no, fellas, I am not going to take off my bra and cut your hair. Make your own wife "just do it". Then treat her really, really nice for the rest of your life because your hair is literally in her hands and a woman with scissors and a razor aimed at your noggin can be quite a dangerous thing indeed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Riots?! Here?!

I check my homepage for news every morning when I get on the Internet. This morning, I saw the headline, "Violent riots erupt" and I immediately thought, "Oh that's awful! What poor country did that happen in?" before reading on to discover it was our country! Then further shock set in when I realized that it was over a coach being fired. I had not been following the news stories on this topic, but the headline prompted me to investigate why a coach being fired would stir such emotion in the student body as to overturn a news van and that women would weep at the news of this termination.

Personally, I find it ridiculous, but it did prompt a conversation between my husband and I about the Occupy Wall Street protests, which again, we didn't know much about and felt the need to investigate. The problem with news media being so easy to access is that you feel like you should be on top of all the headline topics. I'm sorry, but in a normal day, I don't have time for that. I can barely run my own life and responsibilities. I can't keep up with all the uproar and scandal these days.

So then my husband says, "I wondered when the next civil war would happen. What if we had an uprising here?" and I said, "Occupy Fillmore!" and he said, "Yeah, we overturned a farm truck!" LOL-ing followed :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brassiere Or Straightjacket?

Recently, I found myself in the minority in a conversation about wearing your bra to bed. I found this a very unappealing thought and the other two parties, one elder and one teen, couldn't imagine not wearing their bra to bed. I felt peer pressure. Was I missing out? I had to know. Night before last, I tried it. I will never do that again. Not only did I feel like I was wearing a straight jacket, but I had a horrible nightmare in which Alan Alda was trying to stab me with an X-ACTO knife. Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Forgetfulness - Where's My "Easy" Button?

Why hasn't anyone invented a washer with a warning voice that says, "Hey idiot, you did a load of laundry and left it in here wet. This load will reek in T-minus twelve hours." I have to completely re-do the load and add bleach to kill the offending reek, usually the next day when I discover the forgotten load which by then, totally reeks. Sheesh, come on with a load detector, will ya? If dreams could come true, my washer would have that feature. I would pay extra to compensate for my idiocy.

Intro to Everyday Underwear

I was trying to think of a catchy name for my blog the other day. You know, an identity, a branding, a catchphrase people wouldn't soon forget. And it had to be witty. I was folding laundry the other day when it hit me. I had a tidy little stack of my underwear in a pile on top of the dryer. Even though my kids and husband make fun of them, my everyday underwear are my comfort zone, my security blanket, my "I don't care because nobody sees them" wear. I don't care what they think, even though they actually do see my everyday underwear. They're not old lady. I would never wear granny panties! They may be earthy colors and not hot pink, but they're not granny panties, I swear! They're bikini, for crying out loud! Old ladies don't wear bikini underwear and I am only forty-two. They're microfiber. They're silky and they're wonderful. They're Hanes, the fabric of our lives! No, wait, that's cotton. Anyway, they feel light as a feather and I can hardly tell they're under the old pantaloons. I'm not French, by the way. I'm just using the word 'pantaloons' because I feel like it.

Don't get me wrong. I have other underwear. I have the va-va-voom underwear, the sporty underwear, the underwear I'll wear if I lose 30 pounds - but those three categories rarely make an appearance on my butt. My favorite underwear is the everyday underwear. It's what I like. That's what I want this blog to be. Everyday Underwear for you and you and you and yes, you too, sir! I can't promise to be brief. I can't promise not to chafe. I can't promise there won't be wedgies occasionally. But I can promise you'll be entertained. So stay tuned. My life is quite interesting. I'm told that my witty and entertaining way of telling these stories of my life tickles the fancies of others. I love to share, so I'm sharing the inner workings of my mind with you. I'm as comfortable as everyday underwear and you won't want to be without that for very long, trust me.

By the way, no thongs allowed. Ouch!