Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Christmas Blog - 2008





Me and Matrix. Some day it's just going to be ME and Matrix.

Poor Matrix, he had to stay at Caity's place while we went to Grandma's this Christmas. She's in Glenpool, a town about 90 miles away, but I picked him back up before going home and loved and kissed on him, helping him to get over the shock of having to deal with the mess he had to encounter...it's overwhelming at times. Nevertheless, he had a great Christmas too. Matrix played with not only Rupert and Faith, but I took him to the dog park and he ran around and around and showed off those strong hound-legs of his. For a fat little weenie dog mix, he's a bullet! Not one single squirrel got too far from him. I can't say he's ever caught one, but he's never given up! At 9 he's still got it. He's my main squeeze.

So, if you know me, you know I write, you know I blog, I dream vividly and lucidly about what I really want to do with and to Gary Sinise. You know I have three perfect children, and you know I consume probably more Starbucks brand coffee than I should - more than anyone should really, but did you know there is actually another present, a gift that is actually more alluring to me than a Starbucks gift card? It is true...and my mother, because she gave birth and knows more about me than anyone, Jesus excluded, got me what I really wanted. Dark chocolate covered coffee beans. Yes, they could have been EVEN better if they were Starbucks coffee beans. The picture on this blog is NOT the same brand, but you get the picture - - where I (by myself) get the beans!

We're not a big gift-giving family. We're more of the hugging, loving, sharing stories, sharing food kind of family, but we do give little things and we do try to make those gifts mean something. This was a darn good hit! I didn't even think about putting them on my list, but now I have a really short list, and think I'll be taken care of. 1. Dark chocolate covered coffee beans. 2. Reload my Starbucks card at www.starbucks.com the number is: 6033 7523 0946 2547 (and yes, I have it memorized in case someone on the street wants to help out)

This Christmas my daughter Caity visited her boyfriend a 100 miles away - my daughter Laura came to lunch and had to be whisked back immediately to her boyfriend and her new world. Reuben was (as he was last year) in the Army, this time in Iraq, but he called and we passed the phone around the house for 30 minutes while he repeated the story about how he was rewarded by a 4-Star General for honor and valor. He has a new coin to commemorate it, and I'm sure photos will follow - how cool is that? My baby boy is just the best....my girls are just too sweet, and too pretty, so you know....Christmas is December 25th, another day in the life of a woman who is blessed and feels the need to thank God every day..not just once a year. Oh, but hey - - feel free to load up that card whenever you wish, and/or bring me coffee beans....with or without chocolate, but I do actually prefer chocolate.

Now that I think about it....I can vividly and lucidly dream about dipping Gary in a little dark chocolate for a little treat....oh go away, leave me alone,are you still here? You're still reading --- please, this is my time! LOL

Merry Christmas!

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. I just slug Caity now!) 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"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdqhDcAoQuc

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 Estevez...no, wait, he played the Repo Man...it 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 me...it'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.

Please Excuse My Daughter - Julie Klam



Please Excuse My Daughter - written by Julie Klam. (Putnam/Penguin 2007)

You can pick this up at any bookstore or through Amazon, but you have to pick it up. I can't wait to get my copy, it is going to be one of the best books I buy this year. I know that 2008 is almost over, but I always buy myself 10 books for Christmas, and this one is ONE of them. I will not be able to put it down - - I've been talking with the author, who seems so fun. She's articulate, amazingly funny, and has the best comedic timing next to me...hahahaha...I said that out loud didn't I?

I found Julie on Facebook. She had commented on another author's notes about how many lines from a song you can use before it needs to be credited, or even paid for. I would have had to look that up and I taught English. I have an entire lesson plan on plagiarism, but I would have needed to review that. Then after I read it was 2 lines I began thinking "Wow, have I screwed up?" I hope not. I wrote to Julie immediately and told her I thought she seemed knowledgeable...it took her 43 seconds to add me on Facebook. She must be like me. I keep one Window open to Facebook all day, another on LinkedIn, another on Gmail, and still another on Yahoomail. I'm shifting back and forth all day chatting with friends and then I have to get serious on another site and make money. This going back and forth is probably the reason I wear casual clothes and mismatched socks. I want to be prepared for everything.

I told Julie I was going to have to find another title for my new book now. She took the best title! I could SOOOO write a book about Caity called "Please Excuse My Daughter" but the title is gone now, thanks to this wonderful woman. My book would have to include stories about how my daughter has nearly successfully driven me crazy with her tales, (we won't say lies) and her antics. Her book is about her really - how she was raised in a wealthy family with a mom that wasn't quite grounded in the realities of most people. She was more or less raised to be pretty she says, and in her words "raised to be have a rich man sweep her off her feet". I can't fully relate from the vantage point of how I was raised, but I can see where being raised to be pretty would be advantageous to a degree and detrimental at the same time. She says in the book that she wasn't prepared to go out into the real world with any real living skills...you know, to work. (God, I hate that word...it's mean and ugly) LOL

Go go go go go...Amazon.com awaits you. You can go to Barnes and Noble too, you can go to Borders. Just get this book!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Heisman Winner - SAM BRADFORD!





OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO U! BOOMER - SOONER!!

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 odd....no 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 dad...so, 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 just....you 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.

The Pee-Pee Game





I'm just laying there in my bed dreaming. I'm just dreaming and minding my own business (I don't think what I'm doing to Sinise in my dreams is illegal or even remotely wrong, besides I'm in REM. He can't complain.) when it happens. It never fails it happens all the time. Somewhere between squeezing the man's thighs and hoping he'll drown emotionally in the ginger warmth of my eyes, some long nosed Dachshund Beagle mutt puts his snout right into my eye socket! Good bye Gary, hello freezing cold backyard - - standing outside with a blanket wrapped around me for the next 4 minutes while the three of them (sometimes Faith waits until dawn to repeat this process) to do their little businesses - - why can't they do this at 11:00 p.m. when I'm going to bed. I don't wake them up to go pee. Seriously, I have never once pushed their butts off the bed when they're chasing rabbits or digging bones just to say "Hey, you know what. I'm going to the bathroom now. Let you know how it all turns out." I'm going to though...I swear some day I'm just going to do it.

The dogs are not the only ones routinely waking me up. When I move away I will still have to put up with the sisters fighting at 3:38 in the morning and one or the other of them calling me to see what my opinion of the situation is. Caity, who lives in the living room of my place now, will call me rather than walking down the hall way just to ask me if we have milk in the refrigerator. No, I'm not kidding - can you see where being able to deliberately go back into the arms of a warm and caring man, even if he's only a vapor of a memory from the last time I was interrupted, would be nice? I have the ability to lucidly dream and to actually somewhat put the man on hold and come back to him. I think he rolled over last night and said "No, forgetaboutit I'm going to sleep! Leave me alone." Poor man, poor poor fantasy of mine - even he was becoming a bit put out by all the distractions.

Reuben called at 7:01 a.m. which wouldn't ordinarily be a bad thing, but the dogs and the girls were enough to send me into a deeper slumber by that time. It wasn't coffee time, it was grab the last bit of darkness and get your butt back to sleep before the sun comes through your window time. Reuben's problem that just couldn't wait? (Remember it was something like 4:00 p.m. his time in Iraq.) He wanted to know if we were setting up a Christmas tree and where it would be! NO, I'm not kidding! Just about that time the dogs decided "Hey, she's up. We can go pee again." So, there we were; me and the mutts, dragging my Boomer Sooner blanket and doing the best impression of an Indian woman out on the wet Trail of Tears, barefoot with the sun barely coming up over the buildings behind me...just waiting on the dogs and explaining to my overtly traditional son (some many thousands of miles away, and far closer to the place Jesus was born mind you) that we weren't putting up a tree this year. I should never have admitted it, and I probably wouldn't have admitted it if my brain was working and if I had even 2 hours of uninterrupted rest - - but it was a normal night for me. I told the truth.

Reuben and his strict traditional ways will no doubt cost me this year. I'll have to go out and get a tree now, find the decorations I put in storage, not only wrap empty boxes to fake him out, but show him the presents I'm putting into the boxes before they get wrapped so he can open the file Christmas morning and see what the girls got, what I'm sending to him late, and what he and the girls collectively bought me. We weren't doing Christmas because we don't feel Christmasy this year. I got Caity a tattoo for Pete's sake. Do you think I should stuff her in a box and wrap it up ... good thoughts flowing in my head right now. OK, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to go next door, borrow Yvonne's tree, put it up in my place, get the decorations from the storage closet, put them on Yvonne's tree, send the photos - pretend to wrap Caity, that will be cute, and I'll even bake cookies and send them EARLY so he can have white-icing outlined gingerbread men shaped like they've fallen off of buildings....I'm telling you, the boy is so traditional! He was 9 I think when I dropped a gingerbread man onto the cookie sheet and he looked dead so I outlined him in icing...now REUBEN thinks its a real holiday tradition.

I counted: I went to bed at 11:22 and got up at 1:11 to let the dogs out. Faith didn't go. I got called by the girls at 3:38 and settled their problem - yes, it was indeed me that had purchased the green ribbed top from Old Navy. Yes, it was a Medium and no they couldn't have it. The dogs had to pee again - I guess because I was up. I got the call from Reuben at 7:00 so there you go and all three dogs forced me out into the freezing rainy weather barefoot for 4 minutes. I am just too nice - I had a little over 3 hours of peace - - but the bad thing was that Sinise was by this time, on his virtual stomach refusing to kiss me back to sleep! Meanie.

NOW...it's coffee time...and he left! Oh well, I'm good at this. He'll be back. Smiles, because she knows, there's not a damn thing he can do about it. Hahahaha

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.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Porn Star Names - I Have One.




This was ME in 1983. I remember I was freezing my butt off in November. We were at the Santa Monica pier. No, I wasn't a porn star.

When my son was trying to come up with names he'd call himself if he were ever to star in a porn film I reminded him that I was an extra in a couple of Raleigh Productions in the early 1980's. One of them was called "Love Scene" and it starred a beautiful Tiffany Boling and Brit Eckland. Both women were absolutely stunning. I had my clothes on and you only see me walking around the pool in my bikini, standing on the landing in a tight skirt - but my boobs were big - they put rubber fakies in my blouse to make me look somewhat appealing. You'd have to know me then, I was short at 5'7" and fat at 125 pounds. I had to have something going for me right? Had they let me speak I would have probably had a long drawn out Southern accent that would have needed to be clipped. I was merely background fodder - alas, my desires were to write, not to act.

In order to come up with the appropriate porn star name my son was asked by his good friend what the name of the street was where he was conceived or the name of the street I lived on when he were first born. I guess he felt like he had to ask me to find out, so he did. My answer was two-fold "Well, it's a numbered street really, do you want the street closest to it, and WHY on earth is that being brought up?" He explained that this was the right way to come up with a porn star name for yourself. You take the sir name of the street, and your given name is the name of your first pet - unless it's really stupid. So, my son the not-so-porn potential porn star became "Angel Rockwell". I did the math and I would be called Sandy Mueller. I think I'll change the spelling to "Sandhi Mueller". It looks better.

Caity Baby becomes Silas Bradley, but she decided our other dog Chubbie would be fun so she's now calling herself "Chubbie Bradley". Laura Cakes opted for the place she was brought home and takes her Pop's dog as her first dog, as we didn't actually own our own dog when we brought her home to Grandma's house for a few days after being held in the hospital with jaundice. She is forever to be known on the red-screen as "Gretchen Eastwood". I do think her name is the best of all of us. Believe it or not, you get a few interested looks when you ask someone what their name would be and you of course have to explain the process. Think it over, think what your name would be - and then write something online with your new pen name just for the fun of it. Refer to it in a critical blog, make references to it in such a way that someone believes you, and then at a party, over cream cheese dip with gelled pepper sauce you can explain fully what your motives were. Love that stuff.

The only other fun thing I'm doing tonight besides recovering from the wandering bands that ended up at my house overnight, is to play "Mp3" with the girls. Some people call it PONY but I still (due to my age) call it what it is - MP3. You set your iPod on shuffle and you ask a question that isn't a Yes or No question. You hit the button and let the next song title be your answer. If it doesn't fit you get ONE shot at a new answer. OK...let's play. How about this question: When we move to California this summer and Caity stalks Mac Sinise what will the outcome be? AND THE ANSWER IS: "I'm a Boy" by the Who. See...lots of fun. OK..what will Sinise do when he realizes she's ONLY stalking him to get to Gabe? (Perfect) "Follow You, Follow Me" by Genesis. Love it.

Can you tell I'm bored? I added 561 more songs to the iPod today. WOW.

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 !!