Saturday, December 20, 2008

Apparently - I Did It All Wrong

I didn't raise my son correctly, and I made a lot of mistakes. This is what I'm being told by all the things I read in contemporary books about how to raise a kid. Seems you're not suppose to feed them anything other than breast milk or formula, but at the time I couldn't make one and I couldn't afford the other.

When I brought my son home from the hospital I had no idea what a mom did with such a little baby all the time. I didn't have a steady job and no day care would take him under 10 weeks so it looked like I was going to be there for a while -- holding him and you know, being a mommy. One of the first memories I have of my inability to be said mommy was when I woke up with him next to me and realized I hadn't put him back in his crib. I could have rolled over on him and not realized it.

The same day, a little later on, I realized I hadn't fed him. I realized I had completely forgotten to do it, and I also realized that I had diapered him with his hand stuck inside the diaper! Wow. This was really going to take some thought huh?

Something else I wasn't expecting happened. When I brought Reuben home from the hospital I also brought home a condition which didn't allow me to breastfeed for more than a couple of weeks. I was told the best formula to start him one was milk based and I tried that - but we found ourselves at the hospital with what appeared to be meningitis, but it turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to milk based formula. OK. I get it, I've just about killed my kid a couple of times and I've only had him for less than a month. I think I even dropped him once. It was snowing and I lost my footing. At least he landed in the grass.

When I couldn't afford formula and was too proud to get on welfare, I remember something my mom told me about a formula she either made for us, or she heard about. It would have been a 60's thing, not something any sane person would have tried in the late 80's, but I was poor and I never claimed to be sane, I was just a mom without a job and without any means of feeding my kid properly. I had options you know, there were people at my church that wanted me to let them adopt my son. This was settled before I gave birth with me screaming at them and I think I used the one-finger salute in the hallway of God's house...not my best moment. If anyone thought I would give up my baby they didn't know me. Hell, he's 22 and I still wouldn't let anyone have him - - they could pry my dead fingers off of him before trying. (oh, and yes, that goes for Caity Baby too, I tease, but I wouldn't ever really let her go.)

I bought a can of Milnot brand canned milk and poured it in a pitcher. I added 3 more cans of water, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. THAT became my child's formula. I know, I know, I'm the worst mom in the world, I should be arrested for child abuse, I should be hung by the neck until dead...but as you see, he's fine. Milnot cost about 25 cents a can and you know, I probably even got the generic brand if it were a few cents cheaper. I know I used tap water, which is something I probably wouldn't do now either - - and the maple syrup came into play because I didn't want to use just sugar. It dissolved better and when you mixed it up it looked like formula so no one complained at the church, or at the daycare when they finally took him at nearly 3 months.

Something else I did that we're told not to do. I spanked my kid. Yes, yes I did, I admit it, I turned him over my knee and let him have it a few times. I even popped him in public - - in front of GOD and everyone. I was actually approached once and I told the woman I was within my religious rights to spank my child. She asked if I was a Pagan, I told her no. I explained that I was a Baptist - - we do that still. (Keep in mind that was 1988 I don't know if Baptists still spank or not, I haven't needed to do that for 15 years or so.) LOL

Well - there you have it. I bought him 2nd hand clothes, used books, old school supplies, let him eat pizza off of plates at Chuck E. Cheese rather than paying for a pizza when we went to parties. I never stopped him from rolling down hills, playing in the pond water, and from time to time I even yelled at him from the bleachers like a hillbilly - - telling him to "KILL" someone. I meant the quarterback of the other team usually, but he knew what I meant. We had hand signals too, I could have been a Defensive Coordinator - - he got every call.

I let him drive without a license. I know I bailed him out of trouble too often, and yes, I lied to the school secretary several times when he just didn't' feel like going to school - or when I wanted to spend time with him. I screwed up big time I guess, but even after all the faults, and all the drama I put upon this kid he became a man. He did it. He grew up, and he made good decisions. He worked for over a year at his first job, again for more than a year at his second (granted it was Hooters, and any boy would show up for that one) but you know what - - he turned out fine. Oh, and he got over the milk thing too. I don't know when, but by the time he was 11 he was drinking nearly a gallon of regular Whole Vitamin D milk every day! Tell me that wasn't expensive! I was working then. Thank God.

So, go ahead young moms...make mistakes. It's part of the plan. Just remember even if you forget to feed them - - to love them. Somehow that seems to be the key to success...that, and prayer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Faith and Hope vs. Shock and Awe

Shock and Awe! It may bring back memories to you that aren't pleasant to think about, try to remember the reason we set out to make our statement in the first place. Please try to remember that we don't obtain freedom freely, and that the peacemakers are the ones who usually hold the guns. Pray for them.

Faith goes to as many as she can go - and I know that means that I need to take her. I pray that this continues, as I believe her calling is more important than what I can comprehend with my mind and heart. I am always moved to tears when I see her with soldiers. I am always the one to cry first - - and hug the longest when we have to say good bye.

Whether we see these faithful and brave men and women at USOs, airports, base PX/BX, or at military hospitals we know they have been through more than we will know, they have been through more than we will ever attempt. (Basic would flat out kill me!) Faith has never been disappointing, never has she not been 100% accepted by each and every soldier we see - - even some that were a little afraid of dogs or didn't' grow up with them want to know Faith because of her courage, her tenacity, and her spirit. We don't have to be Christian to believe in the power of a higher force, but for me it is the only way I know. I hope through Christ and His grace that Faith can continue her journey.

This video was created and distributed by a wonderful man near that GREAT city of NYC. He's an impressive soul with a giant heart not only for animals, but for the troops. He, like I, wish the Shock and Awe were over. Faith and Hope should remain.
Come home guys, come home girls. We're here to love you when you do, and we thank you now knowing you are protecting us and defending our nation - - voluntarily! Godspeed.

Here is the link to the YouTube created by Randall Goya aka "Decibel.Places"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Farewell Steve - We Will Miss You

Steve (Named after Steve Irwin before he passed away actually)

Our little guy is gone. I wish now I would have taken more pictures of the kids inside of him, but then again I'm glad that some of the things my kids did inside of Steve are NOT recorded (Reuben!) Laura was so funny the other day when she got a call from Reuben and let him know that Steve was being sold at an auction. She said "I really do hope they don't find your DNA and trace it back to us." To which Reuben responded "Laura, we owned the car, of course they'll trace it back to us!"

It's true. The creditor has spoken! I thought Reuben was paying for Steve and he thought I was paying for him. The fact that we missed two payments wasn't brought home until the day after Thanksgiving when BAM...5:00 a.m. my doorbell rings and it's not Avon, it's not even the lady next door that sometimes locks herself out and needs me to give her the key she trusted me with. It was - - Emilio, wait, he played the Repo was the Repo Man!

What was really nice, and I mean this with everything in my heart - they actually allowed Caity to drive Steve to work one last time so she wouldn't lose her job. It was the day after Thanksgiving after all, and she does work in the mall! She had to be at work in 15 minutes and they followed her. Actually, they put one of the helpers in the car with her - - she was a little freaked that she was driving a few miles with a man she'd never met, but with the assurance that she could take her brother down so she could probably handle this guy - - Reuben is a Spc. in the Army and trained to kill. You know, I say it all the time, I wish the Army took people with Asthma! Caity would be the perfect assassin! She would be good - - and she would get into her job! She'd love it!

Oh, you want to know why they took Steve? Well, I lost my job you know - - my foundation didn't take off, and over the summer three would-be endorsements fell. Caity warned me about giving up my teaching position to take Faith around the country, but it just seemed that I was meant to do it, and I still actually feel as if I made the right decision...but maybe I could have planned a bit better. Why should someone at the detail shop somewhere at an auction have to put up with finding panties, pictures, Taco Bell wrappers, gum, peanut butter sandwiches, and probably a few butted out cigarettes in the backseat of a car we couldn't live without? I did get my rosary out of him, and that's about it. I lost too much to cry over now. You don't think about that until it's too late.

I took Steve to see Reuben graduate from Basic Training. I took him to see both Oceans - I took him to see Chicago, Seattle, Detroit (where I threatened him, he straightened up!) I took him to see the Grand Canyon, I took him to Texas over a dozen times and two of those times were in less than 24 hours when Laura decided to stay with the traveling band at Ozzfest on August 3, 2007 and then decided against it when I got home! I had to go right back down to Dallas in less than 12 hours from the time I went down the first time. STEVE...the hero!

You may remember that Steve spent 11 weeks in the shop this fall. He was hit by a woman leaving her church. She didn't have insurance and I had liability only. She was 74 and didn't have anything other than social security. I wasn't about to put her in jail for not paying...I just prayed about it. God sent Todd Freeman of Freeman Collision (405 942-6455 if you need him) and he did the work for free! Seriously - there are really some very nice people in this world, and Todd is certainly one of them. I didn't see my Steve for nearly 3 months, but he was in great hands.

We got Steve back at 5:30 p.m. the Wed. before Thanksgiving. I drove him to Stillwater to pick Laura up for Thanksgiving, and returned her that night. It's a good thing I didn't keep her another day - they came to get him early early early in the morning on Friday. When they say JOY comes in the morning - - I can say it does. I just watched them drive away with Caity, knowing he would be gone - but it hit's not a bad thing. Now that Todd fixed Steve up he can be sold at the auction for a good price and I won't owe as much as I would have to the creditor had he been hit and not fixed. Jesus really does take care of me....I'll trust Him to find Steve a good home too.

Now, there's NO WAY whoever gets my little silver love will be able to match our compassion (and in Reuben's case, passion) for Steve - - we took him to see Carrie Underwood's house, Toby Keith's house, Garth Brook's farm, and then to Nashville to see where they live now. We took him to the lake and drove him into it to help pull out a boat that got stuck. We brought more than 50 animals home to foster and/or find homes for during the time we had Steve, and we ... well, we will truly miss him. His departure was a little like his namesake's....shocking, but now he's in better hands. Godspeed to you Steve. You will be remembered.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Heisman Winner - SAM BRADFORD!


You could hear Heisman Winner Billy Sims of Oklahoma screaming out "BOOMER" and Heisman Winners Steve Owen and Jason White from Oklahoma shouting back "SOONER!" just as soon as Sam Bradford's name was announced as the 74th Heisman Trophy Winner! You could also hear my son screaming it from the sands of Iraq! YES! 4:00 a.m. and he's pumped! I got the call! "Did you see it Mom, did you see SAM?"

Such a moment! Sam, being the best-boy that he is, hugged his mother first, before taking the stage; and yes, he thanked God first before reciting the litany of names he had memorized I'm sure - people in his life who brought him full-force to that stage tonight.

Not a single Oklahoman thought anyone else should have won - apparently quite a few Heisman votes were not cast his way, as Tim Tebow, the 73rd winner, and QB from Florida was actually the recipient of more 1st place votes...but those standings from all three places, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, do count when you tally it all up. Those who wanted Colt to win voted for Sam to be second. Those who wanted Tim to win did the same! Sam's number 1 votes were plenty to be sure...HE WON!

Just a week ago Sam underwent surgery on his left hand, so there he stood on stage just like Tim Tebow did last year - with a cast! Naturally it was covered in CRIMSON gauze; and yes, he wore a crimson tie like his coach Bob Stoops. I thought Bob was going to cry when Sam came down stairs to hug him - he couldn't have been more proud of anyone. Sam's performance on and off the field have been monumental - being a member of the Cherokee Nation he has always had a strong foundation of what it is like to have honor, pride and a grounded sense of power and inspiration. He knew this award would only strengthen his abilities to forward several causes for the Nation, for the university, and certainly for the great state of Oklahoma. He will forever be a hero, a legend, and of course an Oklahoma Sooner. He'll be bronzed soon too, and join the great men who have been chosen before him to hold the title of the BEST football player in the nation!

Sam, at 21 years old, just happens to be from the same school district as my children; having attended a rival school of my son Reuben. Reuben and Sam have suited up and played against each other at least twice, and even though those games didn't fare so well for Bradford - - he's made up for them and for every one of his fans (including Reuben) as an Oklahoma Sooner quarterback with excellence in his game, and victory in his heart. Boomer Sooner Sam!! BOOMER SOONER!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nineveh! You Will Get There.

Oh, if it were easy EVERYONE would be riding in a whale to their own personal Nineveh. The fact is, it's not easy. It's not recommended either by the way. Me, I personally prefer to just fall on my face before God and say "Here I am - send me", it just seems to work out better for me. I get sea-sick easily.

There are those however, one in particular that I can think of, who just seem to think that living life as-is will suffice and that there really isn't that big of a hurry or urgency to make it to ... well, we'll say Nineveh. I don't feel it is my place to correct this man. I don't feel that it is my right to do so either. In fact, the truth is - - it really is between him and his God, which by the way happens to be MY God, and He just also happens to be the same God that sent the life-saving, obedience-teaching, gratitude forcing whale that scooped up our dear friend Jonah, and brought him to the ONE place God had told him over and over to go to in the first place.

This man, this wonderful, gregarious, gracious, fantastic man knows he's to do this ONE thing. He's been told, he's been told more than once, and it's gotten to the point that I have now been told through meditation, through dreaming, through feeling, and prayer - - I KNOW this man is suppose to do something specific and he hasn't. I don't fight it. I know I've been told so I can continue to ask God to hold back the whale...I can't promise however that God will, and I can't promise that holding back the whale is all that good - - what if God forces this good man to then SWIM himself rather than being carried for three days to the place he's suppose to go. Wouldn't that tire a man out? No thanks...falling on my face seems like such a better option.

You can catch me praying for the man. I do it every day. I sit on the middle of my bed, I'm with dogs, so you know I'm in good and blessed company. I hold certain rocks in my hand to pray. I don't pray TO the rocks, I pray WITH the rocks. The Bible is clear about rocks and their abilities to call out to God when we can't, or when we won't. I hold rocks to remind me to call to Him by name. I hold colored stones for different people; usually based on their birth stones. I have three children I have three colored stones for them. I was born in November, I have a yellow stone for me when I need extra loving from God and even from myself when I'm mad at me...I do that - I get mad at me. I have another rock, a blue rock, a rock for this man...and I hold it in the same hand that I hold the God-rock in. I want the rock to be as close to the God-rock as it can be when I begin to ask God to show mercy to the one I love....because I do love him.

Nineveh is often considered a place that one one wants to go - - understandable. However, it was created the same way and in the same day that God created the Garden of Eden, so I guess it goes to show that whatever He wants He gets - one way or the other. I'm hoping the whale comes along rather than an Angel with a fiery sword that cuts in every directions. I think I'd rather care for a man whose been vomited up than one that's been destroyed....that's just me, but then again, I'm the on face down on the floor at the very instant I think I'm being asked to do something chance of that fish finding me. I'm on the bus, I'm asking the conductor to step on it, "WHICH WAY TO NINEVEH? TAKE ME THERE NOW!" That's me. Coward that I am. I never challenge God, no thanks - too chicken. (He makes the chickens too you know) Wouldn't it be nice if we all just paid a little bit of attention to the beating of the heart? We aren't beating it ourselves you know.

So, if you see me sitting cross-legged in the middle of a bench, out in the park, or on the streets of a busy city...check my hands for rocks. If it looks like I need a blue tooth so I don't look crazy talking out loud - just bow for a second when you pass me, and know I'm not alone - you're not alone. "I CAN hear you now!" I love that...but of course you can Jonah! Because HE HAD YOUR NUMBER the entire time. One way or the other we will make our way to the Nineveh that we are called to visit.

Count on it.

A Prophetic Poem - Comes True

I wrote this poem just before Reuben went into Basic Training in September 2006. You wonder when you write something so simple, but so telling if it will actually or eventually come true. It has.

Matrix came to our family in the very usual way - - we went to the shelter to find a puppy. However, he was a rare find. He was too sick to be adopted. They were actually considering putting him down in a no-kill shelter. We begged. We were not allowed to take him home immediately, we had to secure a health program with the vet and guarantee that we would follow it. We had to check in, and be diligent with not only his medicines but also with having him neutered and following up with bi-monthly meetings to be sure the shelter had made the right decision in allowing a very wormy, very dehydrated animal to go home where children would be residing. Little did we know Matrix would become not only the most incredibly healthy dog that he has been -- he would become a prophet of sorts.

Matrix knows when one or the other of us is sick and he'll simply lay down with that person, not leaving them until it's time for them to be better. He's spent days with us at times; including me. Rarely leaving me to go outside or even eat. He just laid down beside me until I felt strong enough to get around. He's also trained so many of our fostered puppies and taught each of them when to eat, not to eat constantly, and not to sleep on HIS pillow or the back of HIS couch. He can be territorial.

The mix is amazing. He is 1/2 Beagle and therefore loves to point at squirrels, but he is also 1/2 Dachshund and feels the need to chase them up their trees. So, there he is pointing and stuttering across the yard until his Dachshund personality comes through fully and he's nearly grabbed the furry booger. Lucky for all squirrels he's got that hunter instinct rather than just the snagger! He's fast for a little fat dog too - - and all 28 pounds of him is perfectly overweight, not one ounce out of place. I tell him all the time he's the perfect size, the perfect color, the perfect mutt - - because he is.

I began my dream of there being a time when it was just me and Matrix as a joke. I would tell the kids "Hey, when it's just me and Matrix, I won't be making you stew because I can go out and bring him back something." Or I'd say "I don't know about you, but when it's just me and Matrix I'm going to turn the AC down and save some money, he doesn't care!" But what began as a threat has made it's way to reality. I wrote the poem for my poetry book Periwinkle (Xlibris, 2007) and it has become a reality. Laura is at school - Caity is marching to her own drum - and Reuben is (unfortunately) at war. In a few weeks I will be moving away from my home state and working full time in a land I have only visited with my dog Faith. I am not however taking Faith to live with me at this time. She will remain with my mom and, it really really will be...Just Me and Matrix. I hope you like the poem...and the dog.
When Its Just Me and Matrix

There’s gonna come a time
A day will make its entrance
When all that’s left in the house
Is just me and Matrix

We won’t throw towels on the floor
He never even needs one
He only wants to be let out
Or fed, or held, or loved on

There won’t be anyone to taxi
No toys that need to be fixed
Only peace and quiet
When it’s just me and Matrix

I tell him that he cannot die
I say I will replace him
He winks at me with a perfect smile
He knows I really love him

Laura will be off to school
Her sister Cait with her tricks
Will follow whichever drum she hears
When it’s just me and Matrix

Reuben will be off to war
I swear he’d better pray hard
I want to see my boy again
Barbecuing in the backyard

There will be a day I know
When the kids will leave the nest
And when they do I’ll cry a few
When it’s just me and Matrix

- Jude Stringfellow, 2006

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

$500K Really? 46 Pages? 9 year old author? (I smell fish)

I wasn't going to weigh in on this from the beginning last month when it was announced that a 9-year old boy wrote a 46-page booklet called "How to Talk to Girls" for his school fund-raiser. He supposedly wrote it himself, he "published" and sold it of course for $3 to get money for the school. A cute idea. Even then the rumor mills were grinding and claiming that the boy really didn't input that much to the booklet, but that having him as a young author would certainly be a great angle. I couldn't comment professionally without knowing more. I really couldn't argue with the intelligence of the kid, my 9-year old daughter hacked her way into the Pentagon. To say she knew what she was doing would be stretching it. To say this kid was all that interested in talking to girls at 9, just has me thinking it's a little "Millions of Little Pieces". Remember that one?

The kid's book comes out and he prints and publishes it for the school. Someone picks it up and somehow, by miracles that simply don't happen to experienced authors, this 46-page cute little self-help book makes its way into a major house. That part is almost believable. I could maybe, if I stretched my imagination think that someone his parents knew happen to know someone else in the publishing world but no, I can't really wrap my head around that at face value. You can call me cynical but I remember a case just like this in the 80's and then there's the Elizabeth Smart story. If it smells like a fish and it looks like it has fins, it's probably stinks if its left out too long. Time will show this too.

I think what really took the bait off the thorny hook for me was today when FOX, a respected network, whose parent company just happens to own the company that published the book in the first place, offers far far far too much for the movie rights. First time authors, big or little, old or young rarely get more than $50K. To offer 10 times that amount? It was unprecidented perhaps - certainly unnecessary. The publisher works with the studio, the studio and publisher owned by the same corporattion? Hand in hand. Too neat maybe?

The tough part - - its a kid. You work with them and suddenly you're a hero. Same as working with a dog. I know, I work with a dog. Dogs and kids right? They make everyone smile? Christmas release, big time movie and book deal for one of these guys? OK - ratings, but the problem is the hype. It's not that fair to the kid is it? McCauley Caulkin comes to mind, Michael Jackson, Lindsay, the Olstens; this sort of instant sensationalism isn't understood by the kid. It can however, be very very attractive and addictive for the parent. Jon Benet ring a bell? She told her mother no. People at the contests said she didn't really want to perform anymore. Maybe you remember hearing how "writing a book" would somehow make Elizabeth Smart's story seem more real. Right. (Halibut!) I'm just saying... maybe I'm cynical, maybe I'm a mom.

I'm sure the book is cute. I helped my kids write cute stories too. It would have been easier for me than baking a cake for the bake sale. But to go that mile-jump to say they did it alone would be both wrong and hurtful. How is the kid suppose to come up with a sequel if he's asked to at age 10? I mean sure, Teddy Roosevelt could have done it, but they learned French, German, and Latin at 8 in the 1860s. Had private tutors and rode horses at 6:00 for P.E. Normal kids at that time didn't even attend school. I'm thinking this kid is above average, like a Lindsay Lohan, like a Frankie Munoz. I don't see him taking the Pulitzer and I swear if he does his parents and he will face more than a few critics. I can't help it. I like the kid, he's adorable. My Mom-mode just kicks in; can't change that. You smell fish you check for bait.

Will I buy the little book? No. I already know how to talk to girls - it never works out the way you plan, but it can be done I suppose.

Well, I'm Not Cool Anymore (Not Upset About it Either)

So, it's gone. All that pain, all that care, all that work....gone.

I really wasn't trying to be cool, or trying to find my youth again. I wanted to do something that I have always wanted to do - - sort of face a fear. So, if I let it go after fully experiencing the event (the adventure) I'm OK with it. Let me walk you through it.

Caity told me she thought I would look cute with a nose stud. Everyone looks a little cuter with a little diamond twinkling on their nose - - women in other countries have been wearing jewels for centuries. I just thought it would be too painful to get it done and actually, because you don't want it done incorrectly, I also knew it would cost a little more than say an ear piercing at the mall. You don't want to use a needle and a cork, you don't want to experience too much pain - - well, I suppose some do, but I don't. I never really got into the whole holistic pleasure of hurting myself for the greater release. I'm a chicken shit.

We went to the 23rd Street Body Piercing, the little house of horror parlor on 23rd in Oklahoma City that has been serving people for many years now. Pain is part of their phone number I think it's 235-OUCH or something like that. As nervous as I was I was more excited about being able to face down an old demon. The demon of hurting too much to follow through a little idea like piercing my nose. I can't say it was a fantasy, a desire, or even a dream, but it was something I often wondered about. I couldn't imagine it being comfortable but was willing to go that extra mile for two reasons - I'm going through a rough patch right now; the fact is I needed this little procedure. It taught me a very very valuable lesson. I can do this. No matter what it is - I can do this. It may hurt a little. It may be a little silly, but if it needs to be done, I can buckle down, in this case relax and let it happen.

OUCH! Oh my gosh it really really really hurt. I'm not kidding you, no I'm not joking, it was the worst 12 seconds of pain I've experienced since my kidney stone, but I was allowing it. Heck, I was paying for this! Then, just as quickly, it was over and I was adorable...just adorable.

For about a month I fought the longer than average stem, something I thought they clipped a bit before inserting it into my left nostril. Oh, this would be a good time to mention that a woman in the tattoo parlor next door asked me if I thought there was a side of the nose you're suppose to pierce so you don't look like you're gay and available. I think I shrugged, that wasn't part of the equation for me, it wasn't about what others thought, it was whether or not I could do it. I fought the long stem for a few weeks. Some people don't know that boogers do actually crust up on the stems - they do. Cleaning it was hard at first, again painful, but again each day reminding me that the pain goes away, you work at it, you meet it and it becomes something really cool, something pretty.

It felt like it was time to let it go today. I don't think the date had anything to do with it, it was know, time. I cleaned it for the last time, removed the stud and gave it to Caity for her collections. I was even really super nice cool and took the boogers and stuff off of the stem, then I cut it back for her with wire cutters. She appreciated it. I watched her pop her stud in and out of her nose like it was natural to do it - - it is NOT natural. I guess I wasn't meant to be all that cool anyway. I do however like myself "that" much more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Get A Talent Agent Involved!

FINALLY - YES...I can say it - we've been asked to send the girls' information to a real talent agent in Hollywood that thinks he may have some interest in them. This would be the best news for oh, so many reasons. Let's count them.

1. Laura would no longer live in Stillwater, Oklahoma - where the Oklahoma State University Cowboys reside. Being a Oklahoma University Sooner fan, it has always bothered me.

2. Laura would be singing and happier than I know she is now chopping up meat and dishing out salads at the deli. Not that it isn't good work, it is, but she sings and the customers gather around to hear her now. She's known as the singing Deli-girl and that's not really the rep you need at 19.

3. Caity would be naked somewhere else instead of my house.

4. Caity would be somewhere else instead of my house.

5. Caity would be working - - wow, let me say that again. CAITY would be working.

6. Laura would finally realize that singing is hard to do, but she would meet the challenges. She loved touring last year, but was glad it was over too. This time she'd be acting and singing, and she's willing and able. She has her Orange Belt now too in Karate, so she's double-ready!

7. Caity would be out of my house. Wait, I said that already. I'm still moving to Ohio to get rid of her, but what I mean by that is, she'll buy her own house with the millions and millions that she'll be paid to do a movie about some drugged out actress who almost got her life straightened out and then accidentally overdosed. She'd be good at it - I'll even buy the video.

So there you go - we sent off the photos today - talked to the guy. Believe it or not there's a place in Hollywood for these two. I'm just peachy with it all, not to mention elated that I'll get to stop shelling out the money for this and that. Maybe I can be the one mooching for a while - - it would have to be Laura, Caity's got that Leo woman thing going on. She may hire me to taxi her, clean her house, and do her laundry - something I do now for free. I could be a live-in maid, but you know what? That would defeat my purpose of getting her out from under me...I'd be under her! No thank you. I think I'll just work my job and pay my bills - - maybe keep a little mad-money to see her movies a few too many times.

OHHHHH, I know, I'll stalk Caity. Yes, that's it. I'll be her official stalker. Everyone needs one. She can hire a private investigator to check me out and to be sure I'm not blogging about her, or pasting pictures of her all over my house. I do that now, but only because when I take them down she gives me the EYE. I can't stalk Laura, she'll be on my arm, holding my hand. It's impossible to stalk someone hugging you.

Thank you Rod Baron! Thank you!!! I'll keep you posted on the updates.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Loaded, Cocked, Ready!

It's just TOO hard to come up with a favorite for the Big 12 Championship Game. Was it Bradford? Madu? Maybe Greshem? Wow - you can't pick just one - like Lays potato chips, you just can't settle on ONE. I think the whole team - yes, even the guy that talked back to Stoops after screwing up - - you don't do that! It's BOB! If I had to pick a best of the best tonight, it would be Sammy! He's playing with a hurt hand. He'll have surgery in less than 12 hours - and he lead the OU Sooners to a history breaking 62-21 game over the Missouri Tigers who for some reason just can't seem to figure out that the last 4 times we beat them have NOT been a fluke. Hell, we admitted our loss to Texas - - they just can't admit their BCS loss to us. We tried to be humble - - but it really is hard, when you're a Sooner.

The FedEx National Championship game will be January 8 in Miami - I will personally be in Columbus, OH, but I'm pretty sure they get the signal up that way! I'm also pretty sure that if they didn't I could get the play-by-play from Reuben who is in Iraq and watching online. He and I MySpace throughout the game and comment to each other. Jeannie wasn't with me today - I won't even tell you where my BEST friend was...OK, she was in TEXAS...TEXAS of all places, saving tax money on tax-free shopping. WHATEVER! I text her 102 times as well - she appreciates me. My fingers are actually getting better at it. I'm using real live IM words too - not as good as my kids mind you, but I can somewhat spk im nuf 2 b undstd. Most of the time I'm still rather slow, but YOU CAN BET I was able to text the words "HELL YES! 62 points, we just beat the record!" No college team has EVER won 5 consecutive games scoring more than 60 - EVER...can you say WE DID IT!!(?)

Of course after the game Bob (Stoops - Head Coach for OU, but we call him Bob) plays off the record as if it wasn't a big deal - and quarterback phenom Sam Bradford backs his coach up with a shoulder shrug and a bit of a "Yeah, it was important, but not as important as winning the game itself" which is true. We're in the BCS National now facing Florida. I would SO have rather played TEXAS...boy that would have been a game - that would have been the real championship game. Some are saying Florida has an edge over us...WHAT? Some of those Sooners are Cajun....we eat Gators! No, really - we eat Gators! Boomer Sooner...bring it on. My prediction, and wow, this is like a month in advance...55 to 20. Us. Lock it in Sooners! Take No. 8! (National Championships that is). Boooooooommmmmeeeerr SOOOOONERRRR !!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sexual Intercourse Can Cause Pregnancy - WHO KNEW?

It's true! I was reading on the internet today the causes of some of the more common ailments and there it was in plain English. According to the site I was reading if two persons of the opposite sex engage in physical sexual activity the result can be that the woman becomes impregnated. This bit of information was fascinating to me for two separate reasons. First, I have been in the store near a pregnant woman and some idiot will say out loud to her "You know what causes that don't ya?", and the second reason is because I flat out can not explain the miracle of how these absolutely tiny slimy elements can eventually get together under what would have to be near perfect conditions and then somehow - literally seemingly out of nowhere, make a kid! I just accept the fact that sex is the vehicle used to do it.

In my family we have a saying: "Reubens happen". It's a simple bit of wisdom really. If you have sex and you're not protected, a baby can pop out 9 months later! You don't have to be married for this to occur, so please, be careful. Not that Reubens are in any way bad - no, mine is fantastic, but he wasn't exactly expected. I was never really all that shy about talking to my kids about sex, but trying to explain the science behind the event of actually making the baby was something completely over my head. We just went over the general facts and left the pathology of it all to God. I think that may be one of the reasons I'm so damned fascinated with CSI and Forensic Files. I really don't get it - I want to get it, but then I start thinking about Quantum Physics and time travel - and I just have to stop thinking all together before my tiny little brain explodes. I was 4 when I told my mother that I was born in 1961, and if you turned 1961 upside down (and I showed her by writing it out and turning the crayola drawing upside down) it is still 1961. She looked at me and took away my green crayola! She told me to stop thinking, be a kid, and go get dirty. I obey very well.

My daughter Laura, who I may add I had sex to produce, is very similar to me in some ways. She thinks things out and wants to make sense of it. I was present once when she was mad and stared at a pencil on the table a bit too intensely. The pencil moved. We both screamed and I removed her from the room immediately. Perhaps that's the same reaction my own mother had when I was four, but I don't remember her screaming - - Laura still asks about that event, and she tries to reenact it as well. She knows she has a powerful brain, but harnessing it and forcing it to do something specific hasn't happened yet. I'm not doing a damn thing about distracting her from trying - it keeps most men at a safe distance and she won't end up pregnant if she's just staring at them. There may someday come along, a man that finds her abilities to mentally move objects interesting enough to stay - perhaps he'll be a Physicist!

Our family has always had a penchant for the unknown, being able to feel things, know things, see things - - some say it's because we're Celtic on both sides, some say it's because we have read just enough about the occult to get us into trouble, but I know you don't know things through reading about them. You know things because they are or because they happen and you were there to witness it. Like dreaming something will happen and it does and you think "I knew that would happen". I have a feeling, a knowing I call it. I know something about someone that will become reality someday and because there is peace surrounding it, and because there is absolute comfort about it I do not fear it. I personally can't wait for it to be true - - until it is I can say only that I have tried to send mental messages to allow it's coming. Is that right or wrong? I would have to say it's supernatural, but in the VERY same way that having sex facilitates a baby, thinking with deliberate intention creates the path for the future to be revealed in the exact way that you intend it. For the most part sex is deliberate - and thinking can be as well.

What do you think would happen if I sat on my bed every day and fully concentrated on this one event - if I put every effort of positive energy, positive thought, positive forecasting into it? How long would it take before the person I was trying to communicate with would suddenly jump from a slumber, or suddenly stop what he was doing and think "What the hell was that all about?" I may never know...but then again, I may know already. LOL (I won't say it's better than sex, but at least I'm not going to need to give the result a name and a diaper!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turn The Damn Music Down MOM!

It's true, I do listen to my music too loudly, but I've been doing it for years. My parents had to tell me all the time to turn it down or they'd turn it off. You never expect your own kids to come into your room, march over to the stereo, and pull the plug - - but that's happened to me on several occasions.

Now I listen too loudly on my ear buds and they stand there waving their hands or turning the light switch on and off to get my attention. You'd think they'd learn! What part of "leave me alone" confuses them? When you see me with my ear buds flying from side to side, and you can't get in front or behind me because I'm twisting, dancing, turning, and moving around - maybe that's a clue to bug off and let me be alone for awhile...a long while. I love my iPod.

What's really funny is that God decided to make my ears either upside down or backward, I'm not sure. I have to use ear buds to hear all the notes and nuances of the music. I buy the Sony ear buds because they have the little Left and Right L or R symbol on the actual ear bud. I have to put the L bud in my right ear, and the R bud in my left. The canals aren't built the way most people's ears are built. That, and the hole leading to my ear canal is too small to hold those round earplugs you see - most people I guess can pop them in and pull them down into place. They don't even fit in my tiny little ears. People pay great amounts of money to pin their ears back, and I'm having to hold my flaps forward to hear anyone speaking sitting a few feet away from me. That, and the tops of my ears look as if they've been nibbled on. It's a family thing - I got it from Dad and passed it onto Reuben. I've learned to live with my deformities.

When I saw that M&M set up a website so you could create what you would look like if you were an M&M I fell in love! I was so excited to see that they gave the little M&M a set of headphones. I haven't updated my M&M character, I bet they have earplugs now for them - but that's me...sassy smile, loud music, and that look on my face that says "I'll pay you if I get paid, if not, can you close the door when you leave? Thanks!" I need a sign for the door that reads "No, I'm not ignoring you I'm listening to Nickelback!"

Well, for whatever it's worth - my iPod has 80 gigs of which only 10 are being used right now, but that's still a lot of music. I have everything from Celtic dance music to Gospel, Latin, Soundtracks and new rock. Of course I have Steppenwolf, the Who, and the Bee Gees, but I also have My Chemical Romance, Sugarcult, and Aldo Nova! I think I have just under 4000 songs, so if I had to I could turn the thing to shuffle and be entertained for days - if the charge held. If you see me in public listening to it, I do try to maintain an even keel - I don't throw myself all over the street like I do in my house, but I do smile a lot and have been known to close my eyes and run into things. That's just part of it I guess - - loving music.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let Bedlam Continue - Boomer Sooner!!


Here in Oklahoma we don't have Bedlam Weekend. We don't have Bedlam Week. We don't even have Bedlam, we have BEDLAM! You are either born into a Sooner household, or you are born into a Cowboy household, and often times you are born into a House Divided, and in that case you can still come out OK if you begin loving the color RED early on! Go ahead, cut yourself and see if you bleed Red or Orange. That's how you can tell if you're really a Sooner or not. Anyone NOT bleeding RED is NOT a Sooner. It's a simple test really.

We Okies don't take kindly to anyone asking how Bedlam Weekend is going to pan out? We don't even know where to start with that one. We wear our colors year round. We drive our cars with ragged-out flags waving during every season. We give each other jabs and nods all year long, and we throw things at each other in the grocery stores when no one is looking! We go around putting our Crimson and Cream t-shirts in front of the Orange t-shirts at the stores, and we put all the Cowboy memorabilia high up so the kids can't mistakenly pick it out and want to take it home! We go the extra mile during certain times of the year, this weekend being ONE of those times.

Here in Oklahoma we sometimes have to celebrate Bedlam Week often with both sides coming together at Thanksgiving, and we bring our frustrations, humblness, game stats, and new game t-shirts to Grandma's house. Those of us who can brag, boast, poke fun at, and otherwise jeer at those who have to sit in the OTHER room because they know their place - - at the back of the line! We laugh because the cranberry sauce is Crimson, but then again pumpkin pie is orange. We remind each other that we have 48 hours to be friendly, and THEY had better remember to bow when they need to. (We're usually Baptist so we don't really mean that literally.) LOL

Oklahoma has a tradition or two, and yes Bedlam is one of them...we have been known to say words we don't mean, throw a punch or two, or even break a good table over whether or not a play was really happens. Then someone reminds the offenders that we really do have 48 hours to be friendly and we go back to smiling, laughing, giggling a little and forcing the babies in the family to say things like "Go Pokes" or "Boomer Sooner"....weeding out the weak ones. I personally gave my son a red football to suck on instead of a binky, and it panned out. My sister dressed her little one up in Sooner red only to have her marry some guy from the other side and now she has to sneak Crimson kisses to her own grandchild, who by the way is wearing CRIMSON this year in her Christmas picture! That's right Peighty! BOOMER SOONER! (Say it three times to your daddy and Aunt Jude will probably pay your way to college!) LOL mean am I? there you have it - - OU BEAT TEXAS TECH 65-21 on MY BIRTHDAY yesterday, and we're on our way to visit the OSU Cowboys in their house on Saturday night. We will win this one, and we will take the BCS and we will take our 8th National Championship EVEN if we have to take it from TEXAS to do it. (Big Words...and yes, I'm hoping I don't have to eat them, at least I'm a vegetarian and they won't taste like crow if I do.) BOOMER SOONER BOB! BOOMER SOONER BOYS! Do it! You know, this is a good week to be in the GREAT State of Oklahoma if you're get to see it all - - stay long enough to appreciate the love, and leave before the final score gets posted...cause it's gonna GET LOUD!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day 2008

Baby Boy with tats on the gun.
Reuben and another in the snow
Ashley and her brother George - both Sgts (Army)
Marcus and Laura Levering (Army)

Baby Boy is active, but he'll be a Veteran some day. I will therefore celebrate not only those who are retired from the military, but those who are active and still making it happen for us!

I got these pictures of Reuben today and thought how very similar he is to my dad when he was in the Navy in the 50's. Pictures of my dad show him showing off his muscles, being all big and strong for the ladies, and just laughing and having a great time. You've all seen the photos of the men and women in the armed forces with their faces are serious, trying to look tough enough to eat sand and bullets if they had to. Well, this is a new generation - shouldn't we be a little more real about it? These kids are kids! They know their place, they know their duties. They know they have to be hardened in the field, watchful and ever-ready to do battle. They also know they have plenty of time to throw food at each other, go chase down a donkey near the Iranian border and ride it back to camp! (Who would do that?) LOL

Our soldiers are artful - some writing poems, music, songs, and stories about their adventures. Remember all the great music you heard in Forrest Gump? Remember Robin Williams in "Good Morning Viet Nam?" You can't be all serious - you can't be all buttoned up and squared away all the time. Let's take a minute to celebrate the love, the hearts, the smiles, the bravado, the craziness, and the camaraderie that these guys/girls bring to the uniform too. Let's take a minute and say thank you to anyone willing to wear that uniform and just be there to protect us so we can sleep or go to the bank without fear. Let's also take a minute to pray a prayer of gratitude for the levity, the fun, the humor, and the strength that these soldiers have inside of them. Strength enough to share and not to worry too much when they get caught both with their pants down, silly hats on their heads, sleeping with their friends, or goofing off with tanks!

Viva la Soldiers!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mr. Mayor - is That Really Appropriate?

It is NOT official - no one in the city of Arcadia, OK needs to worry JUST YET - but in 2010, or perhaps just before that, Reuben Stringfellow (currently Spc. Reuben Stringfellow, proudly serving in Iraq through the U.S. Army) will be making his official announcement. First we have to find out all the specs on exactly how to run for public office in the state of Oklahoma. Reuben's very excited about his possibilities. Should I warn the great people of Arcadia now? I mean, he'll be known as the foul-mouthed Mayor, or the burping Mayor. Maybe he'll change a bit before it's time to actually run. (Actually he'll be known world-wide through LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Oprah! He'll be the SMILING Mayor of Aradia, Oklahoma!)

There are currently 283 people living in the city limits. Of that about 200 or so are of voting age. We'll be asking them to register if they are not registered, and to vote of course for Reuben when the time comes. He has to finish his tour of duty in Iraq, then he has to return to Alaska for a couple of months. We can establish his residence easily enough - my father and mother have lived in Arcadia since Reuben's birth, and Reuben has legally lived with them on several occasions. His plan is to buy property as soon as he can, and to begin shaking as many hands as possible. Now, if that means sitting at the roadside Route 66 landmarks such as the Big Red Barn, Pops, and/or the Washington Irving monument to his camp site - drinking beer with the boys, kissing the girls, and just being an all-around Sooner bred Good-ol-boy, well, that's what it may take.

He's happy about his chances, he's wanting to do so much for the little blink-and-miss-it community, that to hear him and listen to his excitement, you'd think Arcadia was Edmond. (That statement really only works if you're a's like comparing a bass to a dolphin!) LOL So there you go - Reuben Stringfellow, Mayor of Arcadia! (Hopefully) We'll work on the campaign sign designs next week - get the commercial set up, decide where to shoot, when and where it runs, and maybe start a newsletter in the community so he'll have someplace to post his picture other than the post office. Hahahaha....Oh, sometimes I just make myself laugh. Love you Boy! (He'll have to clean up his MySpace now)
What's funny about all this is Reuben! He realizes that not many people will even be allowed to vote for him - maybe 150 will get around to it. He also realizes that the current mayor has been there for quite some time, and he doesn't want to upset anyone. Arcadia, I believe is the stepping stone for what may very well be the path that leads America to a Kingdom rather than a democracy if Reuben has anything to say about it. He's always spouting off "When's I'm President I'm going to change this!" Well, he thinks he can. He believes that holding the office makes one all-powerful - - and where that's commendable - it's also quite naive. We'll let him start with something manageable and see how he does - - maybe we'll all be spared the imperial attitudes of the would be leader of the free world. But how do we know it will remain a free country from now until the time he turns 35 and is legally qualified to run? That's a point to think about!

Arcadia is a little bedroom town of literally one quarter of a mile this way, and another quarter of a mile that way I think. Maybe land wise it's a full square mile - albeit it is quite uniquely situated! Arcadia happens to the Eastern boundary of the Run of the Unassigned Land which took place April 22, 1889. There's a marker to prove that. Washington Irving camped out there while traveling through - perhaps he had The Legend of Smokey Hollow in his mind or pen at that time. There are several Route 66 landmarks in that little area including the Big Red Barn, the newly built Pop's; a soda-food station to be challenged. It's awesome. There is also an annual rodeo, an actual post office, several little antique shops, and of course the school where Reuben went to Kindergarten, and parts of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. We moved and came back quite a lot. Arcadia seems to pull the boy back to her arms.

We'll see how he does. He'll be a college student when he runs. He'll have had three years of military service, a four-year high school education and football career behind him - lots of taking orders, learning to be a leader, and being able to strategize when necessary. He'll be young yes, but he'll be physically, mentally, emotionally, and passionately involved - - he's a Stringfellow! We know no other way - must put 200% in if we want to be successful. Like I said, I won't start the campaign sign's design just yet, but I've been asked to take several photos of the area, topographic and otherwise, so that he can be studying "his" locations and "his" territory while he's in the tank thinking again about why he's in Iraq in the first place. At least Arcadia, Oklahoma would know they had a Mayor that put everything before the Lord and behind his tank! Boomer Sooner, Mr. Mayor!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Sleep With a Blond Bitch - and a Brunette and Red Head Too!

It is true. I have a three-dog night nearly every single night. In fact, the only time I don't have three dogs in my bed would be the nights that I'm actually out of town and sleeping in a hotel with Faith - - no Matrix, and no Rupert. Faith of course if my blond bitch; by that I mean she's a female dog. Honestly, she's really very easy to sleep with. She lays right up against my back giving me support, and she rarely wakes me up. The only real complaint I have about Faith when she's sleeping with me is that she will eventually turn and begin kicking me off the side of the bed - - so I do have to stand my ground from time to time.

Matrix lays at the side of my legs before I actually fall asleep, then sometime in the middle of the night when he knows I'm at my most vulnerable moment, he crawls in between my knees. I'm usually on my stomach by this time; Faith on the upper side of my body, and now Matrix pinning me down with the length of his fat 28 pound Beagle/Dachshund body between the knees - his head over the left, his butt and hips resting on the back of my right leg completely cutting off my circulation. I suppose that could be a bad thing huh? Rupert is the wild card. He's either laying on top of my head so I can't turn my face to get away from his long haired body, or he's literally on top of my back - as if I was the highest point of the bed therefore he had to be the king of the hill at all costs.

I recently watched an infomercial that my mom suggested that I watch - she was joking of course, we've always slept with dogs. I was sleeping with my Beagle/Dachs Rover at the age of 1. My son Reuben was only 3 days old when he began sleeping with Angel, a full-blooded red-hairy Chow Chow: Talk about a watch dog! NO ONE came close to my kid! The infomercial suggested that sleep disorders were increased and even sometimes caused by allowing pets to be our bed mates. The highly qualified and well-meaning doctor suggested that we allow our pets to sleep in their own beds - - allowing us to sleep through the night without being disturbed by those needing to adjust themselves or to go to the bathroom. Something was mentioned about aggressive behavior in bed, and the fact that sometimes these animal bed mates can keep us up for hours but fall fast asleep the instant they close their own eyes - and it also brought up the sensitive fact that animals are flatulent - often.

Wow - I thought about that. Let's see: Don't sleep with animals because they make noises, roll over, scoot about, need to relieve themselves, could be aggressive or playful wanting your attention, and when they've successfully woken you up they can turn off the switch and go right back to a peaceful slumber without any regard whatsoever for your feelings....right...doesn't that...maybe .....describe most marriages? I'm just saying - - Dogs don't steal the covers, dogs love me no matter what I say, no matter what I do, and the simple fact is - we all fart! Bring on the dogs doctor - at least the herd in my bed are loyal, would fight to the death for me if required to do so (except perhaps during a thunderstorm) and they never, absolutely NEVER accuse me of sleeping with other dogs!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Say Goodnight Faith

Faith the Dog - Sgt. Faith

It was a great three years I have to give you that. We began touring sometime in 2005 with Faith going to schools, churches, counseling sessions, and military bases to see if she could bring the same joy to others as she did locally...and she did. We began our journey thinking it was just going to be fun, I needed to make enough money to support my family, and I needed to be able to get Faith's message out to the people who I believe needed it most. I can say without hesitation that we met our goals...well, not financially, but in every other way.

Finances should not have been the problem that they were. I couldn't and still don't quite understand why a person or a company would make a claim or a promise to me and then not fulfill it. At first I believed it was just an oversight, a mistake or mistatement. Time proved differently to me, it proved I was just a bit too nice or maybe naive to be in the entertainment business without a full time manager or agent who can not only find the work and performances, but can demand the money to be paid upfront. Mike Maguire is a manager/advisor and he's darn good too - but even he couldn't force some of the people who promised us to pay when they were suppose to. Many of these performances we ended up working for free - and you just can't pay the car payments, rent, electric bills, or buy food for the kids on an empty promise. Mike was as astounded as I was this summer to have 2 very different and very separate endorsements promise to pay by August 1 - and then declined to do so. Should I have seen it coming? A friend of mine in L.A. says I should have - he's a movie producer who did a motivational film with Faith. He and his staff paid us well, and paid us every single time they booked us...they were rare. I love them for being honest good people, but it hurt when he told me that I should have realized that people lie. I don't lie.

Because I have NEVER EVER not even ONCE been misled by the United States Army, the Marines, the Navy, the Coast Guard or any municipality - I will continue to take Faith to bases, hospitals on bases, V.A. hospitals, and humane societies if they are sponsored by municipalities. Schools and churches unfortunately are among the top places who just never seem to have what they pledged - but at least they didn't MEAN to let us down. It's just a fact of life - schools and churches don't have the means to bring out motivational speakers most of the time...and that's after all what I am, I'm a paid motivational speaker who happens to bring my dog Faith along for the celebration! Somewhere along the time people began wanting Faith to endorse their products and we said OK...until they stopped paying us, refused to uphold verbal agreements, refused to uphold written agreements, and refused to follow through with their promises. You just can't explain their lack of integrity to YOUR creditors - not easily or with result.

So, it is with heavy heart, tearful eyes, and a spotted wagging tongue that we say Faith is now entering into retirement. Sure, we'll allow someone to do a movie about her. Sure, we'll uphold contractual agreements that are already in place, and yes, we're open for more bookings - if they pay upfront! I know that sounds terrible, but maybe all of this has taught me to be a little meaner - a little more business, and less nicey-nice - - which is sad - - but it is a business. (Please don't tell Faith it's a business, she's simply in this for the smiles. I wish I could be too!)

It's been a fantastic, and phenomenal ride - I've been so privileged to have met some of the best people in the entire world....and I will no doubt see them again throughout eternity. God certainly blessed me..He blessed Faith...He blessed the world with Faith. She won't say Good Bye yet - we'll be around if you need us, but for now, until such time that we can do this - Good Night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Those Born on October 27

A Comparison!

These two - great and wonderful people have more in common than the woman pictured believes. She has a way of being a bit negative, not allowing herself to break out of the protective shell she has built for herself - but other than that, she and this man, this God-Sent man, have a lot in common other than just the fact that they were both born on October 27. (Theodore Roosevelt, pictured here as a very young and handsome man) was born 150 years ago today! Niki is slightly younger.

TR was indeed a dynamic man. He saw things in a way that others felt was over the top, or a bit aggressive. Niki sees things and wants to change them as well. She has great ideas and tends to maul them over in her mind a bit - I think if she were born in Teddy's time he would have been attracted to her not only because she is such a dark and mysterious beauty, but she is athletic, thinks out loud, and she comes up with really cool ideas. TR, unlike Niki, takes those ideas and blows them way out of proportion! He wanted world peace - he therefore kidnapped the leaders of Russia and Japan who had been arguing internationally, and he put them on his Long Island docked yacht. He took them for a little boat ride, refusing to return to shore until they could work things out. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for it, today our own president would be arrested for it.

When TR was young he had asthma - Niki has asthma. They both decided to do something about it. TR boxed and walked briskly for miles and miles every day. He rode horses and he forced himself to breathe. Niki runs and has finished in the top rankings of women in our city several times. She doesn't let her lungs stand in the way of her dedication to the sport - something else too; both TR and Niki are writers. They have ideas that they can't keep inside their heads. They believe, they dream, they think! If TR were alive today he'd scold Niki into putting her book to paper and getting it out there for the world to see. He'd tell her that it didn't matter if anyone else liked it, it was her work and it deserved to be seen. I tell Niki all the time that I envy her for being born on my very favorite man's birthday - Scorpios rule!

Both Niki and Teddy are animal lovers. Niki wants to open up a puppy palace and let the dogs run free for acres and acres. She'd sleep with every one of them if she could. She's pictured with her Jack, a Schnauzer, and my daughter's puppy Yuki, a mixed Chihuahua. Teddy had animals in the White House and on the lawn for years. He even had a badger living in the White House named Josiah! Imagine Bush or our next president even suggesting that! Gone are the days of real glory in that place.

So she's another year older and he's still 60 - up in Heaven no doubt smiling that big smile and chasing something from the saddle of a grand white horse. I doubt Niki will jump on a horse today, but she sure better think about chasing something - that DREAM of can't escape, she's a ROOSEVELT! hahaha...

Happy Birthday you two! I love you both - oh, and they both have bad eye sight too! Hahaha...I told your secret!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Acai - Thanks to Students

The Acai berry and of course, a beautiful bronze butt.

I have some of the best students - seriously. I go away, I don't teach them and what do they do, they follow my career, they call me and give me advice. Some of them even ask me for my autograph -which is funny because the guy I'm talking about has my autograph when I signed him out from jail in the 9th grade. He got a copy of the paper! OK, so now one of my "babies" as I call them all, has an idea on how to get his old fat teacher skinny and pretty. He said he's going to make me look like his sister's friend's mom. I think I followed that line correctly, maybe it was his mother's sister's friend - I don't know...she's suppose to be skinny and pretty - but if she has a perfectly shaped bronze butt you can count me out. I don't tan that well.

I looked up from sitting in my car and there he was - my ex student Victor. I won't give out last names - he may want to remain anonymous for helping me. He was standing at my door with a box in his hand. The box had Acai Berry pills in it and he had 6 bottles. He looked like he was going door to door selling the bottles and I asked him if they were sealed. He told me they were, and then as if he had read my mind he stated he hadn't stolen anything - his sister's friend works for the drug store and they overstocked so he got them at 1/2 price. He gave me the name of the store and manager too. So, after calling and verifying his story I bought a couple of bottles from the kid and paid 25% off retail so he could have a little profit. He just wanted to see if they worked and I was the first fat person he could think of. I love these kids - their honesty.

To be perfectly honest, and I love this, he was a bit disappointed that I had already lost 45 pounds since I last taught English in the "hood" and he was saying he's going to take the credit for it when he comes back and takes my "after" pictures for his sales port folio - we had our picture taken 3 years ago and yes, he'll have a GREAT before picture let me tell you. I used to cringe at the sight of myself being just at 200 pounds, but now I don't. I see it as a long and hard journey that I went on, found it to be unpleasant at times, difficult at times, certainly informative but I didn't like myself or my body much - and I wanted a new me. If the ads are correct about this pill, this fruit, this Brazilian wonder - then I should be dancing in the sands around New Years, but don't count on the bright thong being wrapped around my bare cheeks - my son would kill me ESPECIALLY if I could pull it off - imagine what he'd do to me if I couldn't! NOPE, once a mom always a mom, and once an English teacher - - well, I go to church with MY 8th grade English teacher and I still call her Mrs. Williams. I just can't bring myself to say "Helen" in her presence! I think I've given up the notion that she lives at the school now...she lives at the church.

I hope this stuff does something cool - even if it just turns my colon purple, I don't care - something has to make these last 20 go away - forever!! I'm pretty sure the back of the bottles say to take 2 a day but I bet they mean pills and not bottles of pills....we'll see. I know I'm counting down the days but I don't want to be pushing daisies either for overdosing on SUPER FOODS.....I should make the bottles tiny little capes for Halloween - but I'd be the only one laughing. Nevermind.

Victor - I'll call you. ( something!)

Soup! SOUP!

FANTASTIC pea soup! (not my picture)

I admit it - I stole my kids' peas when I was feeding them when they were babies. No way they could tell on me, no way they could fight back. I just took them! I took the pea mush out of the jar too, I just did it because I could - and I don't remember a single time any of my kids fighting me for the stuff either. Nope, they just let Mom have their peas. Gave it up! They still do. (Laura fights a little now, but I can make a boat-load of frozen peas and give Caity one scoop and she's happy. I'm happy. It's a wonderful world.)

To the untrained mouth the soup in that picture could appear to be baby vomit, but it's not, it's succulent, dreamland-style, way-out-this-world good Pea Soup. The ONLY thing that could possibly make that bowl look better to me would be to add a few olives and tomatoes, a sprinkle of cheese, and there you have it - perfection. I could eat pea soup, butter squash soup, pumpkin or black bean soup - every last day that I'm alive from here on out - and I'd be smiling. Soup is really that great. I don't adhere to the old rules about soup any more than I adhere to the old rules about anything else really - soup is just too individualized. You make soup - you create it - it is you!

This afternoon I sat here wondering WHICH soup I would be making not IF I would be making it. Weather changing, make soup. Birds outside chirping - make soup. Dogs acting crazy and want to go outside and chase the chirping birds - they'll have to wait. I'm making soup.

I add about 2 tablespoons of golden flax seed meal to my soup too - (oh wait, that's the family secret. SHHHH) and that adds bulk as well as fiber. So, you get your antioxidants - you get your fiber for digestive purposes. You get health in a bowl is what you get - and that's no ordinary bowl either friend. I serve my soup in original and authentic Frankoma pottery. You just can't beat that bowl, and you know someone really loves you (in this case I love me) when they serve you in Frankoma pottery! Boomer Sooner!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Atlanta - Denver - Chicago - Seattle?

Atlanta Fountains - I assume downtown, I haven't seen them yet.

My resume (my newly revised and "Hyper-revised" resume has been sent all over the country to appropriate employers everywhere including: Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle - I will say this; Atlanta seems to be edging out the others if not only because of personal connections, it also has a few great colleges which could hire me as an adjunct so I could also get my teaching fix. I've been missing that actually - I need a few brains to pick. My dogs just aren't paying attention to me, and forget my own kids - no way! I can't get them to think in full sentences let alone write out essays by hand which would include multiple sentences, phrases, paragraphs and more - more - much more. I ran into one of my old students last night, he wanted to gift me with several books which were written by his uncle. He told me he always knew he had the Writer's Gene inside of him - meeting me made him realize he needed to find it. He's working on his first collection of stories now! Wow! I love that feeling - it's so intoxicating!! Better than choc...well, no, it's not better than chocolate, but better than something good!

So, Atlanta it may be! Where to live? What to do? Where to hang out? What to take in? Do I become a Braves fan? Can't give up the Cubbies that fast - no way, and my son would murder me in my sleep if I gave up my Packers for the Falcons - - in fact, he may want me to do a little freelance spying to help out his Pack in the future! I'll get the call, he'll explain the Op and I'm sure I'll agree to it no matter how stupid it sounds - it plays well with our Eternal Denial game that we keep running. That boy can out strategize anyone - good thing he's on our side.

The last time I spent time in Atlanta I was a kid. I went to Stone Mountain, we camped near by, swam, hiked, played in the woods, pulled ticks out of our hair, and danced around a fire like we were real Indians. I remember loving every second of the air, every green and ivy-twisted branch. I remember the people and their funny accents asking me and my brother if we wanted an Orr-ang Cu-rush sodie pop! You can't forget the people - they're too sweet.

Stone Mountain (1972) was also where I met the very tall, very good looking, very blond and beautiful John R. Schneider! You may know him as Superman's father on the WB's Smallville, or the original Bo Duke, but I remember him more for playing Camp Counselor in real life. I was almost 11 - I was in love. That was just about the time I took down my Snoopy posters and put up a David Cassidy poster - a few years later I put up a Bo Duke poster - even if I was a little too old to do it!

John and I met several more times in Hollywood during his Duke days. I was on the set as an extra, a writer, a hair-assistant, and an all-around Girl-Friday to the 2nd Unit Director - I reminded the Hubba Bubba chewing Schneider about our first encounter - he thought he was a fat kid, I told him I thought he was sent from Heaven itself. We both laughed about that - but that is my Atlanta memory....good looking men, great sodie-pop, and bald mountains with men carved into them - riding horses. It would be years later that I would come to appreciate the faces, the lives, the legends left by those men whose images still etch the sky and loam over the passersby and rock climbers of Stone Mountain. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson - my son actually told me about them when he was around 10. Ever the Civil War buff even at that age, he was able to bring alive their every deed - their every devotion to the wonderful people of the South. He told me he wanted to see J.E.B. Stuart included - I suppose there's still room for one more General perhaps if someone was so inclined.

Atlanta - looks like it's leading the pack today.