Monday, February 26, 2007

I Love My Friends

I grew up with these gals. Molly (far right in the group shot) was my neighbor from birth until age nine. We go way back. I met all of the other friends pictured during my freshman year of high school.(Kim, Shelli, Kelli and Vicki) Like I said, we all go way back. It's hard to believe it's been that long! It feels just like yesterday when we were running the roads together. Jeez, do I have some wild and crazy stories about everyone pictured, but they wouldn't be blog appropriate. (You know, my mom and kids do read here).

I sat in some candy in my white sweat suit and luckily someone had a Tide stick on hand. Man, those things are awesome. Shelli was kind enough to scrub the spot out for me. She's a true friend! No, I was not enjoying it, in spite of that smile on my face. Ha!

Alec's Birthday

Here are some pictures from the weekend at Alec's birthday party.
(Kelli's oldest son). It was fun for both the adults and the kids!

Hockey Night in Houston

My dad and I took the kids to a hockey game Friday night. It was a first for all of us. We had fun. Hockey fans have some different traditions and we got a kick out of some of them. There were lots of cow bells ringing and special hockey songs. I never knew what a zamboni was until Friday night. I'd seen one but never knew it had a special name other than an ice cleaner, and never dreamed there was actually a song about them. The game itself was very fast paced and sometimes hard for me to follow where the puck was at times, but it was enjoyable. We went into overtime and had an extra period and then got to experience "sudden death". We lost by one point. Or is it a goal? It took me a while to learn to say runs in baseball verses points and I'm not claiming to be a big hockey fan. Cassidy and Caden were disappointed that they didn't get to see some "blood". There was a lot of shoving up against the glass that got intense at times but we didn't get to see any blood.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Something to Make You Think

There is a church by our house that has some of the most thought provoking billboard signs posted out front each week. They almost always make me stop and think. I'm not sure who is behind their thought for the week, but it's always a clever message and that person really deserves a raise. The current sign says the following:

This is a CH CH

What is missing?

I went about a quarter of a mile past the sign before I finaly got it.


It really hit home. I first saw it yesterday but was driving too fast to actually read and process it. As I passed it, I thought some of the letters had fallen and totally missed the message. Today I finally got it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Best Ever One-Liner

I know I've said before that I'm not very quick on my toes with comebacks and that they usually come to me five minutes later than when I actually needed them. However, there was one time when I produced a master piece comeback.

It was about ten years ago. My husband has always been known to be a bit of a nag. (For some reason that role was reversed in our house) He always said he had to stay on me or nothing would ever get done due to my procrastination and always running behind schedule. Anyhow, I don't recall exactly what he was griping at me about on that particular day but he was basically on me for a while about many different things. It was probably a day when he was doing yard work and I was supposed to be inside cleaning house but he caught me on the couch eating bon-bons and watching soaps or something. His philosophy on our "cleaning day" was always, if I'm out there working on the yard and the cars then you need to be in here doing the house and not camped out on the phone. He never realized I was multi-tasking and can do almost anything with a phone attached to my ear. Anyway, I honestly don't recall what he was nagging at me about but I know he wasn't holding back and I'd had enough.

I remember it like it was yesterday and actually so does he. He was standing on the front porch. We had a large concrete porch at the time. I was walking in the front door and he was saying something to me when I felt these little horns suddenly pop out of each side of my head. I felt my teeth growing into fangs. I think my fingernails even grew two inches. I felt fire roaring from deep within my chest. Try to imagine small amounts of spit spewing out of my mouth as I said it and my voice being very strained from all of the energy I was putting into it. It was sort of like yelling but more of a lower and deeper sound. Anger was radiating from within.

My exact words were, "Why don't you run on down to the feed store and pick up a saddle so you'll be more comfortable while you're riding my ass!!!!!!!!!!!!"

At that moment he realized he needed to lay off. The look on his face was priceless and one I'll never forget. We still laugh about my infamous one-liner and he'll readily admit that he had it coming. To this day it's still one of my proudest moments!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thank You For Calling XXXXXX

We had a new phone system installed at work on Friday. Our previous one was pretty archaic. This one has four lines and a state of the art voice mail system. It came with some pretty nifty options and we're still trying to figure it all out. We now all have our own voice mail. We just had one general mailbox before.

There is nothing worse than listening to your self on a video or audiotape, or at least that's how I feel whenever I hear myself talking. It's brutal for me to watch videos of us with Lauren when she was a baby and I’m in the background cooing over her and all you can hear is my big mouth. I had the biggest country bumpkin accent you can imagine back then. I like to think that while I’ve still got a southern twang, that I’ve outgrown the one back from 1988 where I sounded like I walked straight off the farm and was dumber than a tree post. Basically, I would prefer to never have to listen to my own voice on tape for the rest of my life.

I remember the first time I ever had to record a phone message to be heard on the phone system at work. It was at a previous job. When my former boss informed me that I would be re-recording the message that was already in place and replacing the existing voice, I just felt sick at my stomach. It was a very long and wordy message and the thought of having to read a script and then be forced to hear myself anytime I called work wasn't something I looked forward to doing. I remember hoping he would just forget about it if I didn’t mention it to him but had no such luck.

One day he brought me the official script and told me to go into the conference room and get started. There were actually several different scripts that I had to record that would take people through various parts of the phone the system. The after hours, the option of selecting a specific department and let's not forget the part welcoming the caller that also required me to briefly describe and plug our product. I must've been in the conference room for hours, reading, recording and listening to each one before deciding what was acceptable and worth keeping verses starting all over and re-recording.

Friday was just about as bad, though not as lengthy as when I had to do it several years ago, except this time I wasn't given the option of doing it while alone. I had an audience, which made it worse. We were in the midst of setting up the system and the phone guy was there to instruct me on each step. He couldn’t leave until he knew we were all squared away. I also had other people in and out of my office, which only made it worse. There were a few times when my co-worker changed the script in the midst of the process and scribbled the change while the automated system was instructing me on what button to push next. I was trying to listen to the robot lady and read what new change he'd made at the same time. With all of the chaos I would mess up and we'd both start laughing in the midst of it.

I thought I was going to get out of it altogether this time because at first my boss wanted to keep Brian's voice on there, but then he thought better of it and decided a woman's voice would be a better image to portray for the company. I was so bummed when he changed his mind. Anyhow, I haven't yet had to call and hear myself (I can’t bear to) and am dreading the day when I do. Call me silly, but hearing myself talk isn't one of my favorite things to do. I’m sure a few of my real life friends and family feel the exact same way! I guess it could be worse if I sounded like Janice from "Friends", but even I don't sound quite that annoying.

Good Times and The Kid in Me

Cassidy and I had to go up to my work last night to borrow the paper cutter to use for her history fair project. The building was dark and empty and I made her go with me because I knew I would get the creeps going in there alone at night. Being in an empty office building does bring out the kid in me, though. I usually have a strong urge to just start running around.

It always takes me back to when I was a kid. I spent many hours at my mom’s office after hours. My mom worked at our church so it was like having full access to a whole world of fun. I used to walk there after school and hang out until it was time to go home.

I had so many options of things to do while I was there. I would often invite a girl to come along who walked home the same way I did. Her family owned the small Mexican restaurant located across from the church so we used to alternate going to the church to play or to the restaurant and pretending to "wait" tables. Sometimes I'd bring other friends along that lived nearby but many times it was just me.

I preferred having a friend because otherwise, I wasn’t brave enough to play in the empty building alone. It was a large church with four separate buildings, all large in size. We could go down to the nursery and play with the dolls. They had cribs, swings, walkers, etc. and we could play nursery or house, or use one of the many empty Sunday school classrooms and play school. We could go over to the gym and play volleyball or basketball. The gym also had a big cafeteria style kitchen and a fully furnished upstairs like apartment with couches, a kitchen and tables that we could play house in. Whenever I was there alone I used to follow the janitors around and talk their ears off. I would help them clean but eventually get preoccupied with my own entertainment. I was like their shadow. I’d follow them from room to room and do my own thing. While they cleaned the Sanctuary I'd play the organ or piano or run around up and down the pews or the stage. It was really cool to have access to everything while it was empty. If the janitors weren't there and I ended up all alone I'd just play "office" or "secretary" in one of the empty offices near my mom's, or read a book in the library. I never recall being bored when I was there.

A few years ago my husband had an extra job working security at an empty chemical plant. The plant had closed and was on the market to sell but they were keeping 24-hour security on site until it sold. The officer's who worked there had set up a little office with a couch, computer and DVD player and all they really had to do was make sure no one came onto the property without permission. It was a piece of cake job for them. The place was huge and almost completely empty. There were a few desks and chairs left but almost everything had been sold.

I used to take the kids up there to hang out and keep him company on Friday nights. After our first few visits we decided to take the dogs. We had a blast. We used the empty conference room to play paper baseball. The dogs ran around not sure what to think of all the empty space. The kids and I always played hide and seek and the dogs would try to keep up. What must've been a chemical laboratory was empty and really spooky looking. I would hide in there and then when the kids would come looking for me I'd pretend I was going to "cook" them in this big glass stove looking thing that was scary looking even to me. We'd run from room to room and chase each other. It was so much fun.

Out in the actual "plant" it was like a three story warehouse looking place with showers to be used for chemical spills and several of these huge empty containers where they mixed chemicals. They had ladders going down to the bottom on the inside. The thought of someone crawling down into one of those things made me feel weak in the knees. The inside of this thing resembled a giant blender with the metal blades that were built into the bottom. It had a lid on top that opened and when I looked down into this thing I wanted to faint! It's amazing to think that we're surrounded by chemical plants around here and for many people close to me climbing into one of those containers would be the norm.

The dogs would run the grounds with us and the feeling of having this huge, empty facility to ourselves totally brought out the kid in me. Those are some good memories. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the plant eventually sold. It sure made for some cheap Friday night entertainment for me and the kids while it lasted. I think my husband even enjoyed it. We never got him to play hide and seek but he was all for the paper baseball.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Watch Your Step, MeMe!

My poor mother suffered quite a fall down the hardwood stairs at my brother's home this morning. We're still not sure if my sister-in-law pushed her or oiled down the stairs yet. HA!

Actually, we're all laughing about it now but apparently it wasn't pretty. She spent the night over there last night to help out with the kids this morning. She was coming down the stairs and when she got to the landing she missed the first step and fell face first all the way down. The stairs are hardwood and so is the floor at the bottom. She landed face down, arms spread and the top of her head actually cracked the wooden hall tree that sat at the base of the stairs. It could've been much worse but she's okay. She's scraped, bruised and sore but nothing is broken.

We are warped and always laugh at this kind of stuff after the fact. My niece and sister-in-law thought she was going to be covered in blood when she lifted her head but she wasn't. She wouldn't let them help her up (she's too ticklish) and needed a moment to recover before trying to turn herself over and get up.

I talked to her earlier and asked her if it hurt while it was happening or only afterwards. She laughed at the question and indicated it was indeed quite painful. She mentioned feeling her b**bs hitting each step all the way down. Ouch!

I'm glad you're okay, mom! I love you. P.S. Are you going to sue them? HA!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Am Alive!

I have been totally neglecting the blog lately. There are a lot of things going on in my life these days and I haven't had much time on my hands to construct anything worthy of reading. Add to that my "writer's block" or "brain fart" and it's not a good combination. I'm working on it and hope to have something better than this to share soon. If not, please bear with me. I'll come around sooner or later!

Cassidy's wearing around her brand new and identical Nike Shocks (compliments of MeMe and PawPaw). She learned a very valuable lesson about how thieves come in all shapes and sizes. I got on to Caden tonight after he pulled his wallet from his backpack, which contained over $80 in cash. He'd been carrying it to and from school all week but had it "hidden" away in his zipper pocket. I almost lost it while she lectured him on child thieves and how ruthless they are and how kids could easily search through the pockets for stuff and take it.

We sold all of the baseball candy in record time and I'm proud to say that I never ate a bite of any of it. That's a first!

Lauren's got bronchitis and every time she talks my chest hurts. Her raspy man voice hasn't deterred her from conversing, though. She got a shot in her booty today and I had to hold her hands. She takes after her mother when it comes to needles and pain. We faced each other and I made ugly faces at her while she winced in pain. It was kind of funny.

This is our third week battling sickness. It's been a variety of stuff and I'd just like a week without someone having an issue of any kind. HA!

On a positive note, we're finally having some nice weather after three plus weeks of cold and rainy days. I love the rain but it was too much for even me. It's been nice to actually need my sunglasses again.

If I'm not back around in the next week my writer's block might be more permanent than expected and I might need reinforcements.