Thursday, December 02, 2004

On with the show...This is it!

Here goes the whirlwind of Christmas performances/concerts. Tonight is the opening of the middle school's production of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Mayhem #2 is Susan. We had to borrow her props. The theatre folks found a beat up trumpet to be her horn and a tiny bow with suction cup arrows for her bow and arrows. Mayhem #2 was not amused. We got an animal horn, looks like a powder horn, and a 3 foot bow with five arrows and quiver. I told her she couldn't really shoot the bow because the arrows are target arrows and someone would wind up with a hole in them. There are a few people she would like to shoot.

Tomorrow is the lighting of the community Christmas tree and Mayhem #1 and the band are playing at that. They usually wear their marching uniforms and Santa hats. The band director said no gloves because it wouldn't be cold. Mayhem #1 was not amused. It's always cold.

Saturday is another play performance. (They skipped Friday because of the tree lighting.) And next week is the high school band concert and the week after that is the middle school concert. Every year the high school band plays the song "Sleigh Ride" and somehow they make it snow on the band director. Mayhem #1 and another girl are in charge of the snow this year. They have no clue. There is no catwalk above the stage and they can't really attach anything to the the light rigging except maybe a box with a pull cord. I hope they figure out something.

There has been a blizzard in my house and there are snowmen everywhere. I started collecting them a few years ago. The tree is up, but naked. Mr. Mayhem is in charge of the lights. As soon as he gets that done (in all his spare time) the girls and I will finish the job. The Christmas letter has not been started and I bought my first present today. For a planner like me, this is a very bad start.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Allow me to reintroduce myself...again

This was my title last Sunday when I tried this. I got about two paragraphs of whining in before the computer froze. I guess this means, "Quit your whinin'."

Oh, wait a minute. My coffee cup's empty. I need more chocolate coffee.

Okay, I'm back.

I guess the big news this week is marching season is over. The only other time they'll have to wear the uniform is for the community Christmas tree lighting where we stand around in the cold, listen to the elementary choirs sing, which you can't hear even with microphones, listen to the band play (yeah band!), and wait for Santa to show up on a fire truck. Anyway...
The band kids are glad marching is over, except for the three guys who also play on the football team. By losing Friday night they blew their playoff chances. The band marched it's show one last time at half time, but we were missing about 20 kids, not to mention the band director. That may not sound like many, but when you only march 85 that's a big chunk. Mr. Mayhem didn't mention to you when he told you about the band competition that two of the boys were throwing up their toenails the morning we were suppose to compete. So, between the "band flu" and the cross country meet, there were a few holes.

Mayhem #1 is so glad it's over. For now the stress level drops. She can actually go to calculus tutorials in the morning, since the band doesn't have to be there at 7:15 anymore, instead of trying to get them in around her work schedule. Speaking of work, she went to work in her pajamas yesterday! Complete with Eeyore slippers. She works at a card shop and they were having an open house in honor of the new movie "The Polar Express." Mayhem #2 and I stopped by to see everyone in their pj's. After we left everyone commented to Mayhem #1 that she didn't look anything like her little sister. She said, "She doesn't look anything like me. I look like the rest of the family." Mayhem #2 is a red head. The rest of us are brunettes.

As far as everything else goes, I don't feel like whinin' this morning. I'm tired of living in limbo. I want my life back, and until my Mom decides to have one I'm stuck. Some days I just can't handle it. You know it's bad when going on a band trip with 85 high school kids is considered a vacation. Oh yeah I wasn't going to whine.

Uh-oh...My coffee cup's empty again. Gotta go.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hi guys

Thanks for all your prayers. Keep them coming because nothing has changed, except my frustration level is getting pretty high. Tomorrow I'm going to try to get Mom to a doctor to try to get the stomach issues under control.

Friday night I had the priviledge of driving to Venus. How is that possible you ask? Well Venus is a little don't- blink- or- you'll- miss -it town. The kind where the elementary, middle school and high school are all within a stone's throw of each other. And that includes the football stadium and baseball field. The people I was driving with gave these directions, "Get off the freeway at McDonalds and go for awhile then turn right at Whataburger."

The game was pretty uninspiring until the second half. We finally won one with a score of 49-7. Our principal asked me to take a picture of the scoreboard so we could give it to the new head coach as a trophy of his first win. Something told me to take it quick or they'd turn the scoreboard off. Sure enough. I had the camera trained on the board as it counted down the last seconds. I snapped the picture and turned around to my friends, and they told me the score was wiped out.

On the way home, we had to stop at said Whataburger because one of the ladies riding with me is pregnant. Potty stop! The rest of the way home we discussed old TV shows we used to watch: The Virginian, The Rifleman, Big Valley, Dukes of Hazard, Hardy Boys, A-Team, Perry Mason, Matlock, Partridge Family, Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider. The consensus was that we wished that some station would play reruns of Magnum, P.I. If you didn't notice, most of these shows had cute guys in them. This conversation started when I told them about the Capt. Jack Sparrow and Will Turner posters I bought my girls. Teenage girls never change.

Next week the high school has a by week, but the band has their pre-UIL marching competition on Saturday. Pray. We need it. Plus report cards come out on Thursday. No pass. No play. I told them they better keep those alternates.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Might be awhile

My blogging time may be cut even shorter. If Mom's blood labs come back normal this morning my brother will bring her to my house. I need to figure out how to be a drill sergeant because I want to help her get stronger and eat better. There is no excuse for her to be malnourished except she won't take the time to fix herself something healthy to eat. Pray for us because this will probably get ugly. It's really up to what Mom is willing to do.

This is also Mayhem #1's senior homecoming week. She'll be on the band float for the parade. Last year she got to be on it even though she was a junior, but the trailer was so small she almost got bounced off the end right in front of a fire truck. Every day this week they get to dress up weird. Like pj day, nerd day, twin day, etc. I'll probably have to help her figure that out, although she may not wear her pj's because she says she'll fall asleep.

Next Monday Mayhem #2 tries out for a part for the school play which is "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." She wasn't impressed with the play adaptation of the book, but she still wants a part. She's going to be on one of the middle school floats in the homecoming parade this week.

Give me strength. I can't keep up.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Here and gone again

Well, I'm home for the moment, but on the road again tomorrow to check on Mom. She's still in the hospital and they're running a bunch of tests today. They can't seem to figure out why she still has a fever, where or what the blood infection is or why she is still nauseous when she gets up.

It's taken two days but the laundry is about finished. By Thursday of last week, Mr. Mayhem said that if I didn't come home soon I'd have to spend some time on the phone with him walking him through the laundry routine. Mayhem #2 was extremely clingy when I got home Sunday afternoon. Every time I turned around she was two inches from me. Then again so was Mr. Mayhem. Mayhem #1 had to tell me how hard it was to take care of getting her sister where she needed to be and get herself to school and work. I told her to think of this as practice for next year at college. I think they all realized how much I do for them. Mostly I get tired of thinking for them.

My brother couldn't figure out why I sounded so tired when I called and updated him every night on Mom's condition. Let's see...I got up at 4:30 to be at the hospital early so I wouldn't miss the doctor. I talked with the doctor, even if I had to follow him down the hall. I helped Mom with eating and whatever and I usually didn't get lunch before 3:00. I'd be back at the hospital by 5:00 to help her with dinner, and I would leave between 8:30 and 8:45 to go find some dinner. I usually got to bed a little after 10:00. Repeat for several days. After my brother spent Sunday with her by himself he was pretty exhausted.

I have to commend the nurses. They are fabulous. The doctors on the other hand leave much to be desired. I still can't get over how many people insinuated that Mom's fall was my fault because she lives alone...the doctors, the case manager, the social worker, etc. They see her as an invalid. Four weeks ago she drove herself 250 miles to my house for my niece's wedding. Last week she drove herself to the doctor. With my mother, hard headed is an understatement.

Thank you for your prayers. I think the whole family needs them.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Do I have to tell my wife?

Ok. I’ll try this again. Everything froze on me just a minute ago. It’s a good thing I wasn’t very far along yet.

Mr. Mayhem worked all last weekend to get some pressing projects done for some meetings that he was going to have yesterday. I, being the understanding wife that I am, didn’t complain. I wasn’t thrilled, but neither was he so why make him miserable. He went to the office early and went to retrieve his files from his computer, but half of them were gone. Apparently the server at the new office had a squabble with the server at the old office and they were both very confused. They had to take the new server back to the old server and see if they could patch things up. My bet is that the old server is feeling jealous because he never gets to go anywhere. (Ok… so maybe there’s a more technical explanation, but I am the computer illiterate of the family.) Anyway…. The really sad thing is that his files would have been fine if someone hadn’t accessed them on Monday. He told his boss that the worse thing about this was that he (Mr. Mayhem) was going to have to come home and tell me that he spent two days away from the family for nothing. He prefaced telling me with, "I took this news better than you're going too." What a comforting start. You have to remember that this is the man that came home one day and said, "I quit my job." My apprehension was high. Now he's frantically trying to fix everything. I don't think he'll have to work all this weekend, but probably one day or the other.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

No excuse

I looked at my site meter just now and saw how many of you still come by even though I'm a delinquent blogger. The kids went back to school yesterday so my most recent excuse is gone.

Mr. Mayhem took Mayhem #1 to school and I went with Mayhem #2. Two weeks ago we spent hours at school getting registered and picking up her schedule. So we walk in the door and the first thing we have to do is stand in line to get a new schedule. "New" must be a relative term because nothing on her schedule changed. I dropped her at the courtyard, with much complaining, and went to my duty station....the copy room. On the way down the hall I was informed there was no paper. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it hard to make copies without paper? I scrounged around and came up with 6 reems of green paper and one teacher gave me some white so I could do the history teacher's maps. (The kids were going to have to color them and green paper makes most colors look icky.) I spent 2 hours running copies while I kept the paper hidden and only pulled out a little at a time. I have to say that I do feel this is my right. When I filled out my volunteer info form, I completed the "job wanted" blank with Copy Queen. This is the last year the middle school can abuse me.

I picked up Mayhem #1 and was immediately informed that she wasn't going to learn anything in AP English. AP calculus only had 9 students, but they talked too much. There were way more kids than desks in Economics, the Yearbook teacher kept saying that some of the kids would have to go because there were too many, and the assembly where the band was suppose to march into the auditorium didn't work right either. French 3 was good. Art was good. Lunch was good, though overcrowded. The real problem with her schedule, besides a few bad teachers, is that all of her classes except English is only offered once. To get her art class in we were forced to drop honors physics, and move English. Then she still had one empty class and there were only 3 choices she could take. That's how she wound up with yearbook. I told her to hang on until things settled down a bit.

After dropping Mayhem #1 at the house to get ready for work, I went to pick up Mayhem #2. The parking and the pick up system at the middle school is atrocious. It takes forever. As soon as she gets in the car, I hear about how her locker is way down on the other end of the building and upstairs. She only has one class upstairs and it's nowhere near her locker. Her schedule has her running from on end of the building to the other. A locker somewhere in the middle would be nice. I'm going to let her work this out. The homeroom teacher that handed out the lockers she was given has requested that some of them be relocated. Mayhem #2 is very worried about being late to first period because it and the current locker are on opposite ends of the building. They are not allowed to carrry backpacks and lunch boxes to class, especially this class since it is the technology lab. Once again, hang on until things settle down. She practiced her oboe last night and I was informed that her reeds were shot. Funny, but they were fine for the few times she practiced over the summer. I guess I better go call the oboe teacher and see if she has any reeds made. Then I'll have to drive to Arlington (30 minutes) to get them. And pay a fortune...

I know. Hang on until things settle down.......but when?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Surrogate band member

It only took two tries to get in here.  It's been a while and I forgot my user name.  It seems that here lately I really do forget my name. 

Yesterday, Mayhem #1 had to work, so Mayhem #2 and I took her place at the band car wash.  This year's drum major decided to raise money to help fund band camp.  Normally the kids donate canned drinks and bottled water and then have to buy them during camp.  This never made any sense to me.  Sounds like a racket.

So from 1:00 to 2:30, I stood on the street corner holding a sign and waving.  I kept talking to the people as they drove by.  "Come on.  You can do it.  Wave back.  I'm standing here overheating.  The least you can do is wave.  It's a wave, not a commitment!"  I guess it's a good thing they couldn't hear me. 

One guy did talk to me while he was waiting at the light.  He asked who was having the car wash, and when I said the band he asked if it was a good band.  I said yes, and he said, "You must be the flute player." 

"No," I said, "I'm just a mom."  He said, "Congratulations."  Why I have no idea.  Then the light changed.  I laughed.  I guess standing there in shorts and a t-shirt, tucked behind a poster board, wearing Mr. Mayhem's TCU hat, I looked like a teenager.  It made my day until someone suggested he was trying make a pick up.  Granted his car was cool, but the poodle in the back seat just didn't say "Stud."

We were only there for two hours, but by the time we got home we knew where we'd missed with the sunscreen.  I forgot the back of my neck.  And for some reason the back of my right leg and the back of my right hand got burned.  I guess the sun was on that side.  Mayhem #2 got burned just above her water shoes and on the back of her hands.  Who would ever think to sunscreen the back of your hands?  


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It's his fault!

Mr. Mayhem fessed up to being the cause of the uncommon amount of rain we've had this month. He said he asked God to water his grass so we wouldn't have to run the sprinklers. As the rain started again this morning, I told him I was beginning to feel like Mrs. Noah. I'm not telling you what he said. And he better not either!

Mayhem #1 hasn't worked this week because of the rain. They consider working in a small metal building during a thunderstorm to be a health hazard. Not to mention, no one would stand in the rain for a snow cone.

I've been working with Mayhem #2 on her room. We've been trying to make it more "her style" with the understanding that she'll keep it neat enough that it won't drive me crazy. I'm going to look for some mosquito netting contraption to go over her "private" corner. How about a dome of silence?

I now have 28 days to get my mom's clothes altered for my niece's wedding. Mom is short, and getting shorter, and has short arms. I really don't like making alterations, but I got nominated. Two pairs of pants and a jacket. I also need to put some darts in Mayhem #2's new capris since she has no waist.

I'm having lunch with a friend today after I take Mayhem #1 to work. (Assuming it's not raining and she can work.) I'm still having lunch with my friend even if it is raining.

Water, water everywhere
And all the boards did shrink.
Water, water everywhere
And not a drop to drink.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Not the relaxing evening I thought...

I know most of you who stop by won't read this till Monday, but this is the only time I've had all week. Mr. Mayhem is out with the office playing games. I hope he doesn't get hurt. He is prone to, you know. Mayhem #1 and #2 have gone to the youth evangelism conference over in Dallas with the rest of the small youth group. And there is the stress for the evening....

The youth guy took them alone. There were two guys and two girls on the bus. Plus Mayhem #1 went with a female Sunday School teacher after work. We've told this guy not to go on outings alone especially with girls and no female sponsor. To top it off, the group is suppose to spend the night at the church and the female Sunday School teacher isn't staying at the church. That means no female sponsor for the night. Plus, two other churches are coming to spend the night in the building. Does any of this sound wrong to anyone but me? I haven't decided if I want to go get them and make them sleep at home. I'll see what Mr. Mayhem thinks.

I did follow part of my plan for the evening. I went to Starbucks with a gift card and got my cafe mocha. I'm stuffed. I'll have my Blue Bell Fudge Brownie Nut ice cream later. Carbs don't count today. I'm trying to be wild and crazy and relax. (I don't think I'm doing it right.)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm still here

Quick! Before anyone gets up! I'll try to put a few thoughts down. You know, I often have ideas I'd like to blog about, but by the time I can get around to it, I've forgotten my idea. (Are there too many commas in that sentence?) Here's just some rambling.

Since it's Thursday, I'm taking my friend to chemo. It pretty much takes all day. Once I get her all settled, I'm going to go have lunch with Mr. Mayhem. We haven't decided where were going yet. Nothing fancy is required. It's nice to spend time with him since he's leaving tomorrow to go see his dad.

He's leaving and my mom is coming. My niece is getting married next month so there's a bridal shower to go to. I guess that means I better go shopping soon. Maybe I'll be able to blog this weekend since I'll be sleeping in the living room with the computer. (Well, not with the computer. It's staying on the desk.) Mom's visit requires some special grocery shopping. I have to get the kind of coke she likes, and her coffee. And she doesn't eat bird of any kind. Bring on the sacred cow!

Mayhem #1 still doesn't have a job, but we're still trying. We applied at the Y, and sent in a resume for an internship at the slide library at the Kimbell art museum. We discovered that Mayhem #1 doesn't know how to write a professional letter. She can write any kind of essay you could imagine. We should be able to get her new SAT scores online tomorrow. I sure hope they go up for the sake of scholarships.

Mayhem #2 went to the orthodontist yesterday. Not only did she get her wire changed, but she got rubber bands put on. She is not a happy camper. I made her some pudding and then bought her a Frosty from Wendy's. I never had to cater to Mayhem #1, but Mayhem #2 is a real wimp when it comes to pain. She's slowly working (when I force the issue) at reorganizing her room. Mostly she goes from playing computer games to playing N64 games. (And wishing for an Gamecube.)

Friday, June 11, 2004

First boo boo

We sent the girls off to a youth night at church tonight. It's mostly a hang-out and game night. Sometimes there's a movie. I think they're decorating t-shirts this time. We told Mayhem #1 to call us when they got to the church. The conversation went something like this...

"We're here. Uh, I hit the curb and the tire is sort of skunt up, but it's not flat. The metal part is bent sort of."

"Is it the hub cap or the rim?"

"Uh...I think it's the hub cap."

"Is the hub cap going to come off? I don't want to lose it."

"Uh...I don't think so."

"We'll come look at it."

Mr. Mayhem and I hop in his car and we're both trying to figure out which curb she hit because there aren't many on the way to church. We're almost there when we reach an intersection where the road goes from being one wide lane to two narrower lanes. There's a low spot on the right side of the road and a broken curb. (No, she didn't break it.) We both said, "That's it."

The tire was a little more than skunt. It had a cut in it so we brought it home and Mr. Mayhem will go pick them up later. I didn't want her to come out at 9:00pm and find a flat tire. I'll take it to the tire place in the morning.

She was a little upset, but we told her it was good that she let us know about it so we could make sure she was safe. One of life's little lessons.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

On with the show

Just two more nights of Vacation Bible School. Only two more nights to dress up as a geisha girl. I'm the "lovely assistant" to our wacky game show host for the opening assembly. (What ever happpened to saying the pledges, singing a few scripture songs, and praying?) I'm all dressed up in an authentic kimono, wig, white face, and big red lips. I told someone that they have no idea how hard it is to get your lips on straight when they go half way to your nose! I don't have to speak, just bow alot and annoy the host. I pout when he tells me to stop bowing. I also help the teachers prepare for their "challenges". This game is a cross between Jeopardy, Let's Make a Deal, and Fear Factor. How do I get myself into this?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Looky! Looky!

"I HAVE THE POWER!" Ok maybe we all have power now, but I got here first. And after reading his posts, I'm going to kill him. We made it through 90 1/2 hours of no power. In celebration, Mr. Mayhem and I took a nap. I'm so tired of being tired. I guess it sounds silly, but I'm tired of eating out. Tomorrow it's back to being good, on our diet. First, we have to go to the grocery store, and pick up our other food from our friend's house.

Mayhem #1 filled out half a dozen job applications this week. Three places were actually hiring. I hope they didn't call her while we were out trying to get cool. The answering machine and caller id doesn't work with no power. Maybe they'll call back. She was a bit overwhelmed by what all she had to write down. At least she didn't have to worry about the employment history part.

VBS starts tonight. All I'm doing is being in the opening skit. I'm the lovely game show assistant. I'll be in kimono, wig, and white face. It's a Japanese theme. I personally think it's a bit weird. Last year I wound up in a blonde beatnik wig, floppy hat, big sunglasses, and wild outfit. I was an under cover agent. It was fun to sit in the teachers' break room and watch some of the guys whispering together while they're trying to figure out who I really was.

I hope I can find time to blog later this week. Right now I'm going to get some more coffee out of my own coffee pot. Yeah!

Friday, May 28, 2004

How am I going to blog?

Well, school is out! (And there was much rejoicing!) But, how am I going to blog with both kids in the house. I guess I could continue to get up before the sun. I only have one lunch to make now. Mr. Mayhem says if Mayhem #1 gets a job it will be easy to work around Mayhem #2.

I hope she does find a job. She needs that experience. The problem is she's too picky. She thinks she can only work at certain places, like a bookstore or music store. Another problem is that alot of places want you to be 18 before they'll hire you. We're going to make her get started next Tuesday after she gets back from the state competition with her horn trio.

I better run. Here comes Mayhem #2.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm still here

I haven't had time to write much lately. I'm currently being Mom to two families. My friend that I was helping before still needs help, so I'm running her kids back and forth to school, taking her to the doctor, etc. It really stesses me, but she has no one else.

We have our last band concert tonight. Mayhem #1 is playing piano with the jazz band. Mayhem #2 had her play performance Monday and her talent show Tuesday. She was suffering from a stomach bug at the time, but we stuffed enough medicine in her that she didn't throw up on stage or back stage. Saturday we pick up Mayhem #1's costume for her talent show which is next Monday. She's playing Pirates of the Caribbean on the piano and dressing like Jack Sparrow (Excuse me. Captain Jack Sparrow.) Then next Tuesday is their piano recital. And I think that's all the big stuff until school is out on Thursday.

My anniversary was great. I loved my pork n beans. He made me cry with his post. I think I'll keep him. For now. Ask him about "Big Fat Wife Sweetie Face."

Monday, May 10, 2004

Tooth update

I thought I'd let you know that somehow I made it through the weekend with the pain in the tooth getting worse everyday. I went to the endodontist bright and early. She decided from the way I described this exquisite pain that the ligaments were inflamed. Now I'm on a six-day pack of steroids. Today I take six pills, tomorrow, five, etc.

After I took the first two this morning I started feeling very spacey and weird. I finally had to go lie down. Before I took the dose at lunch, I called the doctor's office and asked if I'm suppose to feel like this. After the allergic reaction last month, I'm a little nervous. I had read all the warnings and side effects. It could cause high blood pressure, which I just got back under control, so I went to the drug store and checked it. It was up a little, but not enough to make me feel like this. The lady at the office and I decided I'd take the next dose and call her back to let her know how I was feeling. I only had to take one pill this time. I let her know I was still a little spacey, but not as bad as before. Which is a good thing since I was driving around picking up kids.

Another of the side effects was increased sweating. No wonder I had to re-apply the pit stick and turn the ac in the car up to Arctic blast. I'm still waiting for the hallucinations.

When I told Mayhem #1 about the steroids, she laughed and said that now I know how she felt when she had to take her asthma inhaler. I was not amused. I told her to watch it because another of the side effects was mood swings. I told her I'd start talking like Awnold and have to "take her out because she was really bad."

The tooth is doing a little better. Now I'm off to take my four Advil and two steroids and go to bed before I get spacey. I'm a little afraid of what the dreams might be.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Back to my story

After the chaperone meeting, what we had to tell the kids was that we started performing at 8:30. That meant that breakfast was at 5:30 and they had to be on the bus at 6:30 in full concert attire. This is composed of tuxedos for the guys and "the lovely black dress" for the girls. The dresses are flattering on most body shapes, but the girls all seem to hate them. It is also know as "the flying cow dress." Don't ask me why. They had to bring a change of clothes because from competition we went straight to NASA.

We also had to read the rules to the students in each room. They can't be in the shower. The adults have to see every student. I had a room of seniors, a room of juniors, and a room of sophmores and freshmen. The seniors and juniors got an abridged version of the rules and signed the form that said they had been told the rules. The other room got the long version. All were told that if they messed up before noon they would be sent home with the revered retired band director who was leaving after he conducted the jazz band. Then we taped them in their rooms. This means we ran a strip of masking tape across the door jam and onto the door. If the kids open the door we know it . We had to assure the freshmen that they will be able to get out of their room if there is a fire. Duh.

Everyone made it to the buses on time and somehow the bus drivers made it to the high school that was hosting the event, but I swear they went the longest way possible. My mom, who lives in the Houston area, came in time to hear Mayhem #1 play with the wind ensemble and jazz band. Things seemed to go pretty well.

Everyone changed and we were off to NASA for lunch. That hamburger cost twice as much as a much larger burger from any fast food place. Now I know how the space program is being funded. Mayhem #1, her best friend, and I decided to go on the astronaut training facility tram tour. The schedule was tight. The place was crowded with all these other school groups. Unfortunately we had to wait in line for about an hour. When we finally got on the tram we had the priviledge of riding in the very back with the tour guide. I leaned over to Mayhem #1 and said, "Maybe it will be a hot guy." Ooooh!! She thought that would be great. Instead it was Melissa. A cute, perky college student. We had a good time with her. She was very enthusiastic and loved her job. She'd been at it for two weeks! We really appreciated the tour. Mayhem #1 was awed by seeing the actual places the astronauts trained. She kept saying, "This is so cool. This is the real stuff." It probably doesn't make any sense, but that meant alot to me. To know she appreaciated it. I went to an elementary in Houston that was named after one of the astronauts that was killed in Apollo 1. I watched them walk on the moon. Melissa wasn't even born then. Gosh, I'm old.

I'm starting to get loopy so I better go to bed. Paul Harvey and I will try to get to page 3 tomorrow.





Life keeps happening

Well guys, life seems to have gotten in my way again. I'll finish my story in a minute.

Do you remember that I went to the endodontist Monday to have my root canal redone? By Thursday the tooth was starting to hurt so I called the office. I got a recording that said that the office was closed the rest of the week for continued training. They did leave an emergency number so I called and left a message. The doctor called me back while I'm driving down the road, and after a brief discussion decides to give me an antibiotic. She asks for my pharmacy number and I told her I didn't have it right now because I'm driving down the road. Luckily I still had the prescription she had given my last month but never filled. I've been on the new meds now for a couple of days and my mouth hurts more now than before the first root canal was done. I'm sitting here waiting for the 4 advil and 2 pain pills to kick in so I can go to bed. Conveniently, the doctor will be back Monday from her conference in California. I think I'll be at her door very early.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Another mission completed

Mayhem #1 and I have completed the annual traveling musical mission known as the high school band trip. This year we went to Houston. The seniors were a little disappointed because this should have been the year we went to Disneyworld. We had a change in band directors this year and he wasn't comfortable trying to do a "big trip" his first time out. Oh well. It was still a good trip.

We left right after school on Thursday. Well, actually, we left right after we got the charter buses to come to the high school and not the middle school. This was a sign and we should have seen it. Charter buses! These kids are so spoiled. When I was in high school and our ROTC unit went on a trip we took a school bus. I've been from Houston to Pensacola, FL on a school bus. I've been from Houston to Bowling Green, KY on a school bus. These guys are such wimps.

We finally left after loading all the instruments and luggage. We were going to stop along the way for a fast-food dinner. The bus drivers decided to take the longest way possible. Mayhem #1 was on the lead bus and I was relegated to the second bus with the freshmen, sophmores, and problem children. My bus was hungry. We kept passing exits with lots of fast-food places. You know. The kind with enough places that 90 people won't blow them away. We finally called another chaperone on the lead bus and told them the natives were getting restless. They were surprised. They weren't hungry. Finally, about 45 minutes later, they stop at an exit that has three places to eat. I love Dairy Queen, but they have never been known for their fast service. The line of our kids ran out the door. I felt sorry for the locals who showed up and wanted to eat. Oh, and we were suppose to be back on the buses in 45 minutes. Didn't quite make it.

We were suppose to be at the hotel by 9pm. We got there about 10:15. The girls were on the second floor and the boys were on the fifth floor. The first thing I had to do was inform the former band director, who "retired" last year, but is now in administration, that he had to vacate his room because he was on the girls' floor. You have to understand that this man was the band director for 31 years. He made the band program. Most schools are good at football or other sports. Our school is good at band. It is the one redeeming quality of our little school. Anyway...He moved upstairs most graciously. After we told the kids to get in their rooms and be quiet. ("We're not the only people in the hotel, and the others are probably asleep.") We headed to our chaperone meeting so we could find out what we need to tell the kids before they go to sleep.

To be continued....I have to go pick up the kids.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Dust...my eye

My editor has recently told me that I haven't spent enough time blogging. My editor, however, has not had to do 47 loads of laundry, help a friend in crisis, deliver and pick up an extra child from school across town, volunteer at two schools, ferry the kids around, go shopping because I have no shorts or capris for this band trip, oh yeah, and pack for said trip!!!

I'll let everyone know about the trip when I get back. I can't do it first thing Monday though because I have to go to the endodontist and have my root canal redone. Yippee.

"Now, Mr. Editor, if you don't mind, I need to go finish packing."

This space for rent

Hmmm.

Looks pretty good. The paint's holding up pretty well.

Just a few cobwebs and some dead crickets that need to be swept out of the corner.

Oh, and dusting. Definitely need to dust around here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I was a bad mom

I was a bad mom today. I had the audacity to wake up and be sick. I never knew you could get a stomach bug from blogging. At least I didn't cut my finger off.

I'm doing better now, although my stomach has some unhappy moments. The reason this made me a bad mom was I was suppose to go with Mayhem #2 for her band competition. It's held at a little amusement park, so the kids get to perform and ride rides. (Not at the same time.) She was crying when she left this morning. Part of it was because she didn't get as much money as she thought she needed to ride rides. And the other reason was, "Mom, now I wouldn't have anyone to hang out with."

I learned a long time ago that I had to be my kids' buddy. We've never turned them loose in the neighborhood. Mostly because there were no kids their ages that lived nearby. And because I was never comfortable letting them out of my sight. Too many nuts out there.

My kids are not the popular kids. They make good grades and follow the rules. How nerdy can you get? Mayhem #2 has a few girls she hangs out with at school, when they're not hurting each others feelings. But these friends aren't in her band so they didn't go on today's trip. I'm sure she had a good day. I'm sure I'll hear about it either way.

What can I say? Mr. Mayhem and I are fuddy-duddies. (Is that how you spell that? I've never seen it written out.) We were born 20 years too late for the lifestyle we would like to live in. You know what I mean. Everyone in the neighborhood knew everyone, and everyone' values were similar. The kids played up and down the street until they got hollered home for dinner. You could sit on your front porch and relax in the evening.

I'm feeling very old.

Friday, April 16, 2004

What store?

Do you remember when your kids were little? Quite a few of you only have to look down to remember. I remember when riding the escalator was a carnival ride and the glass elevator was too scary.

When we would go to the mall, we always went in at one of the department stores. After cruising around in there for a while, Mr. Mayhem or I would say, “Let’s go out to the mall.” Somehow, Mayhem # 1 translated that phrase into, “Let’s go to the out mall.” We still go to the “out mall.”

In the out mall, and everywhere else, there are tons of stores. Jordana mentioned the “car store” in a blog not too long ago. Ours was called the “car place” because we were there to get the car fixed not buy one. This is also back when we had a Ford. Need I say more?

Of course there were the usual “grocery store”, “shoe store”, “drug store”. I always got tickled with the “hair cut store.” One day, we’re driving around an area with lots of places to shop and eat. One of the girls pipes up from the back seat. “Look, it’s the donut store.” Mr. Mayhem and I are looking around for a Dunkin’ Donuts or Shipley’s Donuts. This is way before Krispy Kreme. Imagine my horror when I figure out that what has prompted this innocent statement are the o’s in the Hooters sign we just drove by!

This has been an inside joke for Mr. Mayhem and me for quite a while. We finally let the kids in on the joke recently. They had no idea what we meant by the “donut store,” or that they started it. Maybe we can blackmail them with it later?

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Is it a sign?

Finally, here's the college road trip story. Several weeks ago I called and set up an appointment to have a tour of Angelo State University. I asked them to send me a map because I'd never been there. I never received the information, so the day before the trip I'm trying to find out how to get there from their website. With a little help from Mr. Mayhem and the atlas, I felt pretty confident that I could find San Angelo. I didn't know where to go on campus, however, so we printed off a campus map from their website. After looking at it, I was hoping that Mayhem # 1 could read it because it was way too small for me to read. (That's a whole other medical issue I need to get taken care of soon.)

Off we go at 8:00 am. The girls do homework for about the first hour and a half, and after that the gameboys come out. The bluebonnets were out in full force. (That's the state flower and they've seeded the side of the highways with them. Sometimes they're so thick it looks like water shimmering on the side of the road.) We made it to Abilene by about 10:45. Mayhem # 1 helps navigate me onto the correct state highway to go south to nowhere.

We're now on a two-lane road and still going 70mph. There's a sign that says we have 85 miles to go. It sure didn't look that far on the map in the atlas. Now that we're on a smaller road, the scenery is closer. Of course there are the usual cows and horses, but now come the buffalo, sheep, and goats. I never knew there were so many goats in Texas. One was so pregnant I said it looked like it had swallowed a 2x4 sideways. There was lots of cactus too. The girls commented on how different it made things look compared with the other grasses and bushes.

We had to go over some mountains and I think it was the Davis mountains. I know they don't compare to some of yall's mountains, but it was a change of scenery. As we started the upward trek, I spotted an 18 wheeler with a large tank of some kind. You know the "Wide Load" kind. I thought great, "Now I'm stuck and this will take forever." Luckily there were passing lanes so we blew him away. I noticed at the next uphill grade that there was a little car behind me and he acted like he wanted to pass me. I told him to come on when we got to the passing lane, but he didn't have the umpf to catch me. He became known as "Hampster Man". We teased him (without his knowledge of course) until he passed us on the downhill side.

We made it to San Angelo and negotiated our way to campus by noon. The tour is at 1:30. We still don't know what building to go to or which parking lot to park in safely. Things are not well marked. We decide to go back down the road to eat lunch because a) we're starving and b) our bums are numb. Over lunch at KFC, we figure out from the campus map which two buildings are administration buildings and decide to try to park near them.

We get back to campus a little before 1:00 and turn into the first parking lot to hunt for a parking spot and right in front we find a "Visitor" parking spot. Yeah!!! High fives all around! We go in the building, but it's the wrong building. We leave the car where it is in the very correct "Visitor" spot and walk next door. The admissions office had no reservation for us for the tour. They kept asking if I had called and I kept telling them yes. Luckily it was just a group tour so it wasn't a big deal. I was beginning to get bad vibes. We had prayed for wisdom before we left the house. I thought, "Ok, what am I suppose to be getting from this?"

The tour was ok. We had a good time, and the tour guide gave lots of good information. We didn't get to speak with anyone in the art department so that was disappointing, but we didn't know that we could've set up an appointment with a professor in advance. (That was probably in the packet of info we should've gotten after we made the appointment.) We didn't like the fact that most of the dorms were coed. The new building was basically like apartments. It wasn't separated by floors or wings. I'm sorry, but my barely 18 year old does not need to deal with the idiot boys right next door.

We finished the tour, filled out the evaluation, picked up a housing packet to look for the one all-girl dorm, and headed to the car. On the windshield is a $15 parking ticket!!! We're visitors! We parked in the "Visitor " spot! What more do you want? We headed back to the admissions office to get this taken care of. They say, "This has never happened before." They call the campus police and find out that they sometimes ticket those cars because the students will take they're parking placards off their rearview mirrors and pretend to be visitors. The tour guide and another girl admitted that they had done that before. They apologized and we headed to the car again, saying to ourselves that we hope there's not another ticket by the time we get there.

It's about 3:30 and I told the girls to finish their homework and we'd grab something to eat when we got back to Abilene. We get back on the road and then I start hitting all these little towns where I have to keep slowing down. That clues me in that I'm not on the same road because there was only one small town coming down. I don't know where I missed the turn off, but we figured out that we knew where we were and that we could get home from there.

I started noticing that the wildlife was changing. I pointed out several antelope. Then they noticed the llamas. The zebras finally convinced us that it was some type of nature preserve. After grabbing dinner at Sonic (nowhere near Abilene), I took another road to get back to the main interstate because going through the little towns was going to take forever. We finally rolled into the driveway at 8:00pm. Our bums were numb again.

About the school? I don't know. With all the things that went wrong, should I take that as a sign?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Once again life has gotten in the way of blogging. How rude. I'll get to my story tomorrow.

Road kill

I promised Terry I'd cover his road kill deficiency. The girls and I went out to San Angelo, TX Monday to check out a college for Mayhem # 1. To get there you go west to Abilene and take a left to nowhere. Most of the dead were skunks and raccoons. There were a couple of coyotes too. But whoever got the deer must have had major damage to their vehicle because it wasn't a small one. I'll tell you about the rest of the trip later today. I couldn't yesterday because I was waiting for the doctor's office to call me back. A few weeks ago they took me off my blood pressure meds to see if the weight loss took care of the problem. It didn't. Believe me.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

I did it!

After the endodontist this morning, I went dress shopping. And I actually bought one! It doesn't look very Eastery. It looks very Hawaiian. It's teal with red hibiscus. I don't have to buy white shoes for it because I have some tan stretchy ones that will work.

Of course the problem is that the high for Sunday is suppose to be 57. That means I have to wear my frumpy sweater so I won't freeze to death. This always happens on Easter.

I'm taking the girls shopping tomorrow, and if they will cooperate, I'll look for a more Eastery dress for me. Oooo... I might buy me two dresses.

I hate the dentist

A little over a year ago, I had a root canal and crown done on a back molar. Apparently, the root canal didn't work right because it's hurt ever since. My dentist told me to go see an endodontist and get it redone. I've been putting it off because a) I don't deal well with major dental work; b) it hasn't hurt too bad if I don't chew on that side; and c) money.

Well, it now hurts too bad to ignore. They squeezed me in this morning to diagnos the problem. They told me to take lots of Advil regularly, and if that wasn't enough add the darvoset. If it starts swelling, take the anti-biotic. They'll fix it on May 3.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Another culinary delight

One day last week I made steak. Actually, Mr. Mayhem made it because that was the day I was doing my Rocky imitation...swollen eyes from the allergic reaction to new medication. For some reason I kept wanting to sing "The Boxer". And remember, I know the words.

Anyway, back to dinner. The steak was tough because it wasn't the best cut of meat. (It wasn't Mr. Mayhem's fault.) I've been avoiding it all weekend because I have a tooth that I need to have the root canal redone. I finally decided I could cut up the meat and make chili out of it. I started working on it and decided that was going to take forever, so I got out the blender. Of course when I told the girls this they didn't know what to think because they've only seen the blender used for liquid things. Actually, the blender did a nice job of shredding the meat.

I must admit that I use a kit from the store when I make chili. Mostly because that's the only kind Mayhem # 2 will eat. I didn't think I had alot more meat than usual, but it was a different texture so I had to modify things a little. I added the tomato sauce like usual and both kits. (I usually make a double batch.) Things were still pretty dry so I added a can of chopped tomatoes. Hmmm...and some water and that did the trick. I let it simmer for about an hour. I didn't put in the extra hot peppers. Once again, Mayhem #2 doesn't like spicy things.

The girls and I sat down to eat with our chili and cheese, and before too long we're all sniffing and guzzling whatever we're drinking. We decided our sinuses would be clear for the rest of the week. Mayhem #1 added sour cream to her second bowl to cut the burn. I added a little to the bottom of my first bowl just to finish it. Mayhem #2 has an extra bonus. She has the left over Irish soda bread from her school project so she's eating that with her chili. She eats very slowly most of the time and her food gets cold. I offered to reheat her chili, and she said, "No Mom. Really. It's hot enough." She finished the chili. And the bread, which she told me she couldn't finish tonight.

I can't wait till Mr. Mayhem gets home tomorrow. He loves it when his eye lids sweat!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

That wonderful time of the year

Here I am trying to think coherently at this nutty hour thanks to daylight savings time. It's not like we don't have electricity and can't burn the candles frivolously. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot. Mayhem # 1 doesn't know how to work the light switch, so, yes she does burn the candles. I'll be right back. I have to get her up so she can drain the hot water heater. Thank goodness it's gas. My editor suggested I try paragraphs so here goes.

Ladies, have you dusted off those white shoes yet? Unfortunately, I'm going to have to go shopping. You see, I'm 30 pounds smaller than I was this time last year. Even my shoes are too big. I like being smaller, but I have such a hard time shopping for myself. Mostly because I hate spending money on me. The girls and I went out last night, but didn't find anything for Mayhem # 2. She's sort of into junior sizes, but the styles...EEEEK. And the styles aren't much better for adults. I didn't look for me because all day long the girls had been fighting with each other. I decided to take them home and put them to bed. Yeah, you can do that with teenagers too.

I really need Mr. Mayhem to go shopping with me. I'll try something on and he asks, "Do you like it?"
"Yeah. Do you like it?"
"It looks nice. Let's get it."
"Well, I don't know. Maybe we can find one that's not so expensive."
"Gimme that." And off he goes to pay for it. That's the kind of help I need. When he buys more than one, I just about have a heart attack. (Not because he's cheap, but because there are so many dollar signs.) Wish me luck. I'm probably on my own this time. Of course I could make something, in all my spare time. Oh wait a minute. In all the years I've been sewing, I never have made anything for me. It's so sad.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Report on Retreat

Getting there was the first experience. I rode with a friend and since she didn't have the directions, I figured I was navigating. We both knew sorta where we were going. We left at 4:30 and thought we'd be there by at least 6:00 so we would have time to eat before it started at 7:00. My friend was the piano player for the event so she needed to be there a little before 7:00. We got there a little before 7:00, like 6:45 without dinner. The retreat was in a fast-growing area so the freeway was a dream with a million stop lights. We never did find the road the directions told us to turn on, but somehow we made it anyway. We had an ice breaker where you find people who match the comment in the box, like "Someone wearing blue." The problem with that was I'm so blind I couldn't read the comments. I know. I need to get my eyes checked. I'm just getting old and blind, what can I say. I won a door prize, but not the one I wanted. One of the little old ladies won the full body massage. The music was good and the speaker was good. When I'm going to have time to do the things she suggested, I have no idea. I felt a little left out because no one ever sat by me. (Except my friend when she was done playing the piano.) That seems to happen to our family wherever we go. My friend and I had fun together, although I did have to stop trying to help her get where we were going because she doesn't drive the same way I do. We did some shopping afterwards. I got some jewelry for the girls. I'm not very good at shopping for me. I got a few more smiles at church on Sunday from some of the ladies. So it was a good time.

Friday, March 26, 2004

I'm running away from home

I'm going on a ladies retreat tonight, and I'm a little nervous. I've never been on one of these before and I'm going this time because I didn't have a good excuse this time. Last year, the high school band trip was the same weekend. I've never felt like I fit in with the other ladies. I don't always feel very included either. As I told you in my first blog, I'm a bit of a dinosaur. I've also been more comfortable with guys. Maybe it's because I only had a brother, no sisters. Maybe it's because in high school I was in ROTC and on the rifle team. I like football and other sports. (As a spectator of course.) I can talk cars and identify military airplanes by silhouette. I have to admit, though, that there is a down side to guys. They're gross.

Well, I better go make that meatloaf.

All came back alive

Everyone survived the field trip. I did have to hold one little boy's hand, but I didn't wring his neck. I'm pro field trips, but why does every other kid in the state of Texas go to the same place on the same day as my group? We took 4 buses with 130 kids, but when we got ready to leave, we only had 3 buses. Seems the other bus driver wasn't a regular driver but an electrician for the district. Every field trip I've ever been on has had bus troubles. We had to cram everyone on 3 buses and three people had to take roll on each bus to make sure we didn't forget any of the little monsters darlings. As I called out the names they kept telling me that person was on another bus. I finally yelled at them that if I wasn't calling their name they needed to "Shut up!" Luckily the teacher stepped on the bus about that time so I had a little back up. You also need to understand that I hate to say shut up. To me it's just rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. My kids know when I say that, I've had way more than enough and another room would be a good place for them to be. By the time we got back to the school, I was thinking a sedative sounded pretty good.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

One more time

After the fiasco at the cattlemen's museum, I'm surprised, but pleased, that the school is letting Mayhem # 2 and the rest of the other 7th graders go on another field trip. Tomorrow we go to the science museum. They are studying forensics in science and there is an exhibit at the museum. Last night she had to come home, watch the news, and take notes about two women who were abducted and locked in their car trunk. They were located through the cell phone tower they were using while they talked to police. The class was going to discuss the clues the police might have to follow to solve the case. This story led off the news and she was frantically taking notes. At the end of the news cast, they said the police would be holding a news conference soon because it was a hoax. She asked, "Mom, what's a hoax?" I had to spell it for her too. The teacher was most disappointed about the turn of events. Anyway, pray for us as we go on our trip, because if I catch one of these hooligans out of line, there's gonna be a crime scene!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Bon Apetit

Lee, this blog’s for you. (or should I say Chef Pincotti?)

Mayhem # 2 has a project in her Texas history class. They are researching the immigrants who came to Texas in the 1800’s or earlier. She chose the Irish. One of the things they have to have is a recipe from their people group. I told her haggis was out right off the bat. (I know that’s really Scottish, but she couldn’t decide which group she wanted.) Being the ever observant Mom, I noticed a recipe book the library had displayed around St. Patrick’s Day on Irish cooking. We looked through it last night and we’re alternately amused and grossed out. First she was appalled that 90% of the recipes contained some type of alcohol. I taught drug prevention classes at the school for six years so I guess it sunk in. Mayhem # 1 was amused with the recipes that contained Guinness. That’s her new favorite commercial. “Brilliant!” Most of the desserts were somewhat normal. However, the tea ice cream, whiskey parfait, and the Irish coffee jelly didn’t sound very appealing. The main courses seemed to be the most interesting. There was the tripe casserole or sweetbread and chicken souffle. Then we have the list of other body parts: calves’ brains in puff pastry; calves’ liver with marrow; pressed ox tongue; pigs’ feet with mustard sauce; loin of lamb in puff pastry; stuffed shoulder of connemara lamb; stewed ox tail; pheasants’ breasts in puff pastry with grapes and brandy sauce (That just sounds wrong!) ; and grilled chicken joints with fresh tarragon. Are you feeling all right, cause there’s more. How about some rabbit rabble, pigeon souffle, dressed crab (I prefer mine dressed over naked.), or skate with black butter? One of our “favorites” was the jellied eels. It was special because it contained the whites and shells of two eggs. I guess the shells gave it a little crunch. The other “favorite” was the winkle omelette. The name just killed me, so I had to break out the dictionary and find out what a winkle was. It’s a shellfish that eats clams and oysters by boring through their shell. This recipe also contained a “drop of anchovy essence.” Wellll doggies!

Monday, March 22, 2004

"To Serve You Better"

You know that when you see a sign that says, "Pardon our mess. We're remodeling to serve you better." whatever establishment you are in is lying through their teeth. Such as the grocery store that has installed the self check out lanes. Now after I've spent an hour trying to find what I like (which isn't always easy because they've discontinued it from last week) I have to check out the groceries too. Before I'd just put them on the counter and let the cashier do everything. Now I have to take the items out of the cart and scan them, put them in the bag, when the bag is full I have to put it back in the cart but that's impossible because my cart is still full of the rest of my groceries. Plus you have to slap the screen a few times because it knows you picked up the bag of groceries and it wants you to put it back. And while you are trying to scan your items the screen keeps telling you you're not doing it right. When you get to the produce, you have to type in the first three letters of the item. A whole lot of chaos happens when your screen can't find large limes, only small limes. You have to flag down some help. The help gets things going again, but then it's not ringing up the sale price. Flag down the help again and let them try to figure out how to override the price. Once everthing is scanned, then I get to scan my coupons, of which the screen only recognizes half. Flag down the help. Since I write a check for my groceries, I get to go see the help at another counter so they can take my check. So let me get this straight, I shop for my groceries, unload and scan my items, bag them, put them back in the cart, scan my coupons, go write my check, and take my groceries to the car, because there's not a bag boy in sight. What I want to know is, "When are they going to start paying me?"

I went to the store last week and discovered that things are about to get worse. Now you will be able to take a hand-held scanner with you as you shop and scan as you go. You will also have to put in a code on the produce scales so it can print a bar code label for you. Up until now only the froo froo market had those. I'll step off my soap box now, but I'm afraid I'll be looking for a new grocery store. One that doesn't want "To Serve Me Better."

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Ta Da

Look! We're all here. Well, maybe not everyone because I'm sure I forgot someone, and for that I apologize. Now I can find yall from my place instead of Mr. Mayhem's place.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

So embarrassed

Tuesday I went on a field trip with Mayhem #2 and about 40 other kids to the Cattlemen's Museum. Only in Texas. There were seven adults. The teacher broke the kids into six groups and she was going to float among the groups. The kids were told to stay with their group and not touch anything except the buttons that would make the little speeches about what you're looking at. These instructions were given at least twice. I had nine kids in my group and as soon as we walked into the exhibit area they scattered. All except Mayhem #2 and her friend. After about 5 minutes, the teacher called everyone together and told them that people were touching things because the alarms were going off. We had to leave the museum early because the alarms continued to go off so much that they had to turn them off. Another bus load of kids had gone earlier in the day and the museum praised them for being so good. Because of our kids, the two groups that were suppose to go Wed. couldn't go unless they had at least 10 chaperones. That was a subtle way of saying, "Don't come back." The really sad part was that many of the kids who were disobeying were the "honors" kids. The smart ones who you know know better. I've told my girls that being smart doesn't mean you know how to behave. I was afraid that this fiasco would keep the science class from going to the science museum, but I think that's still on for later this month. The trouble makers aren't suppose to go though. Mayhem #2 is excited about the science museum because they're studying forensics. If I'm going, there better not be any gross stuff. Some how I think I'm out of luck. I'm going and it will probably be gross.

The Pressure

I have a small problem guys. (The term "guys" means everyone and comes from watching too much Magnum P.I.. The main greeting was "Hi guys.") I'm a slow reader and I can't seem to get to everyone's blogs. Then it takes longer to think up comments. And sometimes I don't leave comments because I'm afraid I may not understand exactly what you're talking about and I don't want to show my ignorance. I have lots of blog ideas, but it takes time to get it all down. I have to be grammatically correct or Mr. Mayhem will correct it. (In case you didn't know. He knows everything.) So, I apologize for not getting to everyone's blog everyday. (Mr. Mayhem is laughing at this because he knows I mean it.) Remember, I'm new at this and please stop typing and scrolling so fast!

Monday, March 08, 2004

"They call him Flipper..."

I had to take Mayhem #1 dress shopping Friday night. Just getting out of the house was a comedy of errors, but we made it to the mall with two hours to shop. We did the typical cruise through the first store to check out what they had, and then proceeded to cruise through every other store in the mall because they may have something better and cheaper. Then it's back to the first store to buy something. The tone for the evening was set in the first store. She decided she didn't want anything that looked "suity". She wanted the drapey chiffon stuff. She pointed one out that had "bubbles" on it. I just busted out laughing. The dress was blue-green with trails of blue, green and white dots. I had to explain that that was the background for the opening credits of an old 70's show about a dolphin named Flipper. She tried it on anyway and luckily it didn't work. I don't think I could've looked at it without thinking, "Flipper." Of course I had to explain the show to her and sing the theme song. She thought everyone would be rescuing Flipper and I said no he was usually rescuing the people. She said, "Like Lassie under water." Yeah.

We also were looking at formals. You know. We have until the middle of May to find just the right one for band banquet. If you don't start now, the one you want will be gone. That's the other reason we had to cruise through the whole mall. Here we are in a little tiny dressing room with these huge dresses. She's whining about them being itchy. I'm telling her, "Wear a slip." I accidently picked up one that was completely strapless. I said, "Try it on. What the heck." (You have to understand. She's very modest, and this hot pink strapless gown was a shocker.) I'm behind her hooking hooks and zipping zippers and she says, "Mom, I don't think I can breathe." To which I responded, "Breathing's not allowed in this dress. What do you think holds it up? None of these dresses are made to be comfortable. They're made to make you look good." She's still thinking about that one.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Drama Mama

A couple of weeks ago Mayhem #2 tried out for a part in the UIL One Act Play. The play is The Princess and the Pea, and, of course, she wanted to be the head princess. You have to understand. This is the kid, that when younger, threw these amazing temper tantrums. Mr. Mayhem and I would stand and applaud and say, "The Oscar goes to..." Last year, the high school did The Music Man and they needed some younger kids for the crowd scenes. She winds up with the part of Amaryllis, partly because she can play the piano. She had to tease a boy, steal a scene, and play the piano badly. I told her, "There's no acting involved. You've been type-cast!" Last year, she got a minor part in the One Act Play, and the week before competition, she becomes one of the four major characters. She was the red-headed albino gypsy. Unfortunately, she didn't get a part in this year's play. She was devastated. Last week the teacher asked her if she would be the stage manager. We found out that she would be responsible for the props and their placement, as well as, making sure the actors were where they were suppose to be. And since our school is hosting the competition this year, she'd have to tell the other schools where their stuff went and where they needed to go. So basically she gets to boss everybody around. "Great, type-cast again!"

Friday, March 05, 2004

O S U R Part Deux

One of these days Mr. Mayhem is just gonna be dead...cuz I'm gonna kill him! The family went out to eat last night without Mayhem #2 who is on a student council retreat. We decided to go somewhere she doesn't like, and the choice was Razzoo's. Cajun is way too spicy for her and besides the bus stopped at McDonalds. We figured she go to eat out too. (Ssshhh. Don't tell. She'll be jealous. Unfortunately, we ran into her science teacher on the way out. If he says something to her next week we're busted.) Anyway, it must have been training night because we had a new waitress. There was also a brand new bus boy. We overheard the instructions about wiping off the table and the fact that the salt went in front of the sugar packets and the pepper went in of the Sweet & Low packets. We were waiting to order (which is something you do when you have a new waitress) when Mr. Mayhem reaches over and moves the salt and pepper so that they are longer in the appropriate places. I told him he was going to get that poor boy fired on his first night. I thought, "OK he'll put it back before we leave." While we're waiting on our food, I look down and he's taking all the sugar packets out of the holder and switching places with the Sweet & Low packets. He asks, "Is anybody going to help me?" What do you think, Bonehead? Mayhem #1 is trying to stay in her chair while she's laughing. I look around the room and inform Mr. Mayhem that our little sugar holder is now backwards compared to all the other tables. "It is? Really?" Believe me, "Momma has had enough!"

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

O S U R

You've heard the saying, "I can't take you anywhere." Well it applies to Mr. Mayhem. I informed all the Mayhems Monday morning that both schools had open house that night. I was the only one who knew that. Why am I not surprised? And why do they have both campuses have open house on the same night. It blows the whole night. Luckily the girls only had homework from two teachers each. Gee, "Come to open house, but do all 87 pages of homework too." I just don't get it. Back to Mr. Mayhem. In every classroom we had to wait to speak to the teachers until another parent was through. While I'm standing near the teacher waiting quietly, Mr. Mayhem is horsing around with the little Mayhems and making them squeal and/or bump into things. He's picking them up and carrying them around the room. I give him the, "Mom has had enough look," and he straightens up long enough to talk to the teacher. We move on to the next room and start all over again. We did this 14 times!!! The last room he makes a Kramer-style entrance. I guess he was trying to impress the French teacher. As we were leaving he said his ADHD must have kicked in. He kept getting bored. I'm not buying it.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Politics? Me?

I've decided to wade into a very political issue around here. If I can wrest the computer away from the all the Mayhems today, I'm going to write a letter to the local school board about the dress code and lack of enforcement. This may sound like a petty issue to you, however, I feel that fixing this might fix alot of the discipline problems that we have. My theory is that if you have a rule you enforce it. By not enforcing it, it leaves the adults open for disrespect by the kids. The kids also figure out, "If I can get away with this, what else can I get away with?" Right now, though there is an overall district policy, each campus is different. And sometimes it changes from day to day. I'm suggesting going to a uniform. Nothing drastic. Something like blue or khaki slacks with certain colored polo-type shirts or oxfords. In the past, the argument has been that things get brought up so late in the year that people have already bought school clothes by the time changes are suggested. (That's why I'm starting now.) People have also said that it would be too expensive. Gee, you have to buy the kids school clothes anyway. Most of these clothes are no more expensive that jeans and t-shirts. Alot of the kids that I, as a tax-payer, buy breakfast and lunch for throw the lunch away and spend $5 on ice-cream and cookies every day. My kids don't have $5 to spend on junk. They even refuse to eat a school lunch. I oughta know. I make three different lunches every morning. (Heaven forbid that anyone should like the same thing.) Anyway, I've talked to my friend who is on the school board and she says that they will consider any letter that is signed. I hope I'm not burning all the bridges I've built over the last 12 years. I honestly think this would help the whole district. And besides I'm tired of seeing the guys boxers and the girls thongs!

Friday, February 27, 2004

The family and the church

I better write this now because I've discovered that I come up with things to blog and when I sit down to do it later, I've forgotten what those great ideas were.

I heard a Focus on the Family minute this morning on the radio and usually what they have to say is pretty useless or "Well duh?" Anyway, the guy said that many churches failed because the families failed and they failed because they didn't teach Christian values and morals at home but left it up to the Sunday School teacher once a week. I don't necessarily disagree with that, but I have a couple of points to go with it. Alot of the churches I have been in are not family friendly. The first thing they do when you walk in the door is pull everyone to their own SS class. I do agree with age appropriate teaching, and I do agree with adult SS parties without kids, because otherwise it's a free for all. However, I am not a children's church advocate. Children need to see their parents worship and they need to know that it's important to the parents. I'm not saying that learning can't happen in children's church, but it's the parents' job to teach the child how to worship. Many parents find it inconvenient to have the kids in church. They say, "I can't worship or listen to the sermon." That's selfish. I remember the days when I didn't hear much of the sermon. I also remember hauling my girls out, busting their bottoms, and bringing them back in. I never took them to the nursery because then they would figure out that if they acted up they got to play. (I am talking about when they are old enough to know better, not when they were babies.) Our church use to have children's choir during Sunday evening services because the parents wouldn't come if there wasn't something for the kids to do. I believe that the family should worship together. Our girls have never sat with the youth group. Not because we didn't allow it, they just didn't want to. Now the youth group sits with us. More than once I've been on the front pew because there was no room. All four of us play in the handbell choir and it's nice to do that together. Plus we can all go at one time. Once again, I spend a great deal of time going back and forth. I also disagree with the practice of having the children's activities on Wed. night run late. It's just not family friendly. It's a school night and the kids all have homework. These days, the girls get home maybe by 4:15, and that's with no activities after school. We eat at 5:00 and leave for church by 5:30. We usually get home around 8:00. I like to have them go to bed around 9:00 or 9:30. (They are not night owls or morning people. They're only good around lunch.) Doesn't leave alot of time for homework or showers or family.

I better tell you my other point. I've already forgotten it twice. Many people say, "I can't make my teenager go to church." Yes you can. You're the parent! Your job is to teach and guide them, not be their friend. And this training is the most important. They need to know that corporate worship is important, Bible study is important, being with other Christians is important, and they need to know that having God in all aspects of their life is important. And people think they will learn that if they let them sleep in every Sunday? I don't think so. Ok, ok. Stepping down now. Good day.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Oops

I found an oops in the fish tank last night. About a month ago, I bought a girlfriend for the boy swordtail. His name is Legolas. I've been looking for baby swordtails and wondering what's the hold up. These fish are livebearers so you have to put them in a net cage or everyone has a snack. I noticed that the girlfriend was growing a sword from her tail. That's bad you see because only boys have swords. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) Does anyone need a boy swordtail?

$1.25!!!

I just about had a stroke over $1.25 this morning. I ran one of those errands for the family this morning. I went downtown to the library. Mostly because Mr. Mayhem took a book on his trip and it was due this past Monday. (You owe me a buck and a half.) I decided to take back all 87 books that I had checked out for the girls since I was going because their books were due next Monday. Save myself a trip. Remember I plan. Anyway, you can park in one of the parking garages for free if the library validates your little parking ticket. It's free for the first hour and then $1.25 for the next hour. I had to pay the last time I went so I noted the time on the ticket as well as the time on the clock in the car and my watch. You also need to understand that I don't go to the library for myself very often. You see I'm a slow reader and since I just got a new book for my birthday, I'm good for a while. I kept an eye on my watch so I would have enough time to walk the block to the garage and drive down. I did have to spend a little extra time getting books for a social studies project for Mayhem #2. I pulled up to the booth at 10:01, exactly one hour by my calculations. She said I was over by 3 minutes, "1.25 please." I commented that I didn't think the clocks were set the same and she said that other people got back from the library in an hour. (Of course other people don't have to find 87 books for two teenagers who read when they should be doing other things. I'll discuss that another time. ) I fumed all the way home. I found the phone number and called them and informed them that their clocks were out of synch. She apologized and said that they usually give a five minute grace period for the library patrons. I'll have to check those clocks next time. I guess since I've gotten older (The girls won't let me say I'm old.) I don't feel like putting up with these situations where I wind up on the wrong end of things. One of these days I'll have to tell you the bra story.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The rest of the clan

I thought since I'd told you about the turtles, I'd better tell you about the rest of the pets...the fish. I just have a small tank with the standard mollies, sword tails, catfish, and guppies. Does anyone need some guppies? I have a whole bunch. The girls have even named one of them Gimli. They are so weird. My limited expertise has led to taking care of tanks for different institutions. As a volunteer of course, because somewhere on me it says, "Sucker." First it was at the elementary school. Now that I've graduated out of the elementary school, I have two 115 gallon tanks at church in our new building. I don't mind the job because I enjoy the fish, except for the little rosey barbs that bite me when I'm working. I yell at them and thump them. If they were big fish I'd let the pastor go fishing in there. It does get interesting when I have to go in up to my arm pit to arrange the plants. Plus one of the tanks has a design flaw. Well, the tank doesn't have a design flaw, but the slot in the wall where they put the tank has a design flaw. I know some man designed this thing and didn't think. The space is only 6 1/2 inches taller than the tank. I have just enough space to open the door. I have to get the long tongs out of the kitchen to reach the bottom of the tank because I can't get above it. (I hope you followed that.) Plus there is a wooden piece that comes down and latches to cover the light on top, and there is nothing to hold it open when I'm working. I told them I'm on strike until they get that fixed so it will stay open. I'm tired of getting beat up. So the moral of this story is be careful what you know. Someone will have a job for you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I was right!

Mr. Mayhem made it home this morning. And he did change my password on my e-mail account. That wasn't very nice.



Now that we've had our February snow, we're having our February rain. And I saw the first sign of spring yesterday. Euripides was out of hibernation. Euripides is one of our two box turtles. They live in the backyard in a 12 X12 foot pen. I just want to say that I didn't name either turtle. Mr. Mayhem named Euripides. The girls named the other one. He's Harry. Short for Harry Houdini. He has a tendency to disappear and/or escape. I didn't see him yesterday so I have no idea where he is. We've had Euripides for nine years. Mayhem #2 use to read him books and show him the pictures. Then she would say, "Mom, he smiled at me." We picked him up out of the road when we were at Granpa's house. Euripides is physically challenged. He only has three feet. He has four legs, but something like a cow or deer probably stepped on him. Fortunately, we don't have to build special ramps or parking places for him. It doesn't seem to slow him down any. Harry has only been here a couple of years. One of the teachers at the elementary school "saved" him off the road, but her husband wouldn't let her keep it. Everyone knew I had a turtle because I always took Euripides for show and tell. So I inherited another. Getting the turtle to start with came about because Mayhem #1 has asthma. No furry animals allowed. But guess who takes care of them? All of this to say, "It's spring!" Phooey on the groundhog. The turtle knows.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Mr. Mayhem returns

I know some of you are wondering where Mr. Mayhem disappeared to. He went to check on his dad over the weekend. When he got there he found out that his dad had a doctor's appointment today so he stayed over to go with him. He's probably somewhere in the netherworld tonight. Oklahoma. I'll be glad to have him back. Besides, I wanted to check my e-mail and I can't remember how to get there. I think he changed my password. I'm blaming it on him anyway.

The Movie

I'm not sure I want to go see The Passion of the Christ. It's rated R and I'm sure it's very gross. (See yesterday's blog.) I've read the accounts of the death of Christ. I know it was very brutal. Do I need to see it? The youth leader at church wanted to take the youth group and several of the parents said no, including Mr. Mayhem and I. Mayhem #1 thinks she wants to see it, but she's not sure. Mayhem #2 doesn't want to see the movie. I listened to them discussing it, and Mayhem #1 couldn't understand why Mayhem #2 could go see Lord of the Rings and watch all of that gore, but doesn't want to see the other one. Mayhem #2's response was, "Lord of the Rings was just a story. I didn't know any of them." I think she has a point.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Where have all the good shows gone?

I just finished watching my favorite TV show, Sue Thomas, FBI. It was an hour late because of a special on the The Passion of the Christ movie. I think I'll talk about that tomorrow. Anyway, I like this show because the good guys win every week, and everyone keeps their clothes on. It reminds me of the old Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Ok you guys may not like it because it's a bit sappy, but I'm tired of shows that insult my intelligence or gross me out. Most sit coms fall in both of those categories. The profanity is gross, and the kids in the shows have absolutely no respect for the adults. Gee, and we wonder why they act that way in school. I'm not saying that the TV causes all the problems with kids. I just wonder why we put up with it. The drama shows are nothing but sleeze, smut, and gore. Does everything have to be so graphic? And reality shows...puleeease. Where do they get this trash? Do they really think we're stupid enough to think that is reality? Even the commercials are offensive. I don't need women with their barely there underwear on my TV screen. As Mayhem #1 says, "That's just wrong!" Or what about the one with the kids getting their mouths washed out because of what they said over a truck. (which is very ugly by the way.) It's not cute...It's Wrong! And besides, most parents wouldn't wash out their kids' mouth because the parent said it first. I guess I live in a dream world because I would rather have a TV show or movie make me feel good. (I like Doc too.) I won't give you a run down on those old shows I use to like because I'd be dating myself. One of the local stations has started running Quincy, M.E.. I told the girls that was the original CSI. It was a whole lot funnier too. Ok, I'm stepping down off my soap box now. Good Day!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Too much of a good thing

We live in Texas and I'm sure you know the old saying, "That everything is bigger in Texas." One of those things really bugs me. Trucks. You know the ones I mean. The double cab full bed or the cab and a half extended bed or the ultimate, double cab extended bed dually. Why does anyone need that much space? Why does anyone need to take up that much space? These things don't fit in parking spaces. I keep threatening to get some white shoe polish and marking these vehicles with a line and writing, "Your parking spot ended here." Sometimes they're hanging out in the aisle. Sometimes they're pulled up in the space I'm trying to park in. A few weeks ago, there was one parked sideways in three spaces!!! "Son, if you can't take the door dings, don't buy it." I drive a normal sized Honda Accord, which someone was kind enough to key for me. I just want to be able to safely navigate the parking lots of the grocery store and mall. I want to be able to find a whole parking space of my own to park in. Is that too much to ask for? Oh, and I would like to be able to see when I try to pull out of my parking space. But I can't. Not only are the trucks the problem there, but also all the other boxes on wheels. ie-Suburbans, Tahoes, Explorers, Excursions, etc. And don't even think about parking next to a Hummer if you want to get your doors open. They are designed to go from the outside of one line to the outside of the other line. I'll stop now before I get going on the stupid jacked up trucks that require a Sherpa.

One other comment that I think about when I think of all these truck. I've told Mayhem#1 & #2 they are not allowed to marry anyone who goes by the name Bubba. His friends better not call him Bubba, his momma better not call him Bubba, and he better not call his dog Bubba! Know watta mean, Vern?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Home again, home again

It's Thursday so I should be at home. The term housewife is such a misnomer. I'm never here. You see, on Tues. I spend the morning at the middle school making copies and on Wed. I'm at the high school doing the same thing. I usually run errands after I get done at the schools. This morning I had to run an errand before school. Mayhem#2 had to be at the orthodontist by 7:30. I've been telling the girls all week about this appointment. At 7:04, I'm fixing my hair when it dawns on me that the appointment is TODAY! LIKE, I NEED TO HIT THE DOOR NOW! I'm sure you know that many women won't go out without their makeup in place. I won't go out without my hair fixed. I get the urgency across to Mayhem#2, tell Mayhem#1 Mr. Mayhem is taking her to school, tell Mr. Mayhem (who is in the shower) he's taking Mayhem#1 to school and finish my hair...sort of. It's amazing what you can do with hairspray. We made it and my nerves will be fine by this afternoon. Anyway, back to not being at home. I put so many miles on my car two miles at a time. That's how far it is to the middle school, and the high school is only two blocks from that. I usually take Mayhem#1 to school, come home, and take Mayhem#2 to school. Sometimes I can get them both in one trip in the afternoon, but not if one of them has some activity after school. This is just the minimum number of trips. Since we went to the orthodontist and had chains (that's what they call them) put on her braces, I have to go back to the middle school at lunch to give Mayhem#2 more advil. She is such a wimp. Even when the girls are out of school I have to take them to school. On Monday, Mayhem#1 had to go to the high school once to rehearse her solo and again to rehearse her ensemble. At the science museum a few years ago, there was an exhibit on risk taking. Which I don't do by the way...take risks I mean. Anyway, I did this questionnaire about how long you'll live based on your lifestyle and activities. It said I would live longer if I didn't drive so much! So if there are gaps in my postings it's because I'm never home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I Made It Back!

Look. I'm here again and I didn't even have to leave bread crumbs. You see, I'm the computer illiterate one in the family. As a matter of fact, that's how the first computer wound up in the house. Mr. Mayhem professed, "Honey, I'll be home more because I can do some work at home on the computer." Yeah. About the time the second memory upgrade came around, I told him, "You don't need that for work. You need it to make your planes fly faster!!" I'm slow, but I catch on.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. It was a pretty good day. The girls were off for Presidents' Day so I got stuck with them. Mr. Mayhem was nice enough to share whatever sinus crud he had last week. I would've felt better if I could've cut off my head. (The one with the new dye job that somebody forgot to notice.) The gifts were great. By the time I opened them I realized why Mayhem #2 kept asking, "Are we going to watch a movie tonight?" Mr. Mayhem would not have liked to receive the clothes and mixing bowls I got. If it's not a toy, it's not a good gift for him. I told him I should put a Game Boy Advance and Lord of the Ring game on the list just to harrass the girls. They all have Game Boy Color and can't play the new games with the "Hot Elf." When I say they all have a Game Boy, that includes Mr. Mayhem. For his birthday one year the girls pooled their money and bought him his own, because they were tired of him borrowing theirs! Another time I'll tell you about why Nintendo was grounds for divorce.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Just a little introduction

Well, here we go. The first thing you should know about me is I'm a dinosaur. I'm a housewife. (aka domestic engineer, I prefer domestic goddess) I'm also a mom, hence the name of this thing. Mom also stands for Mean Old Mom, just ask my kids. Although they do tell me I'm not old. So I guess that just makes me mean. I'm a marriage advocate. Another words, "You better be very careful when you pick out your spouse, because 'Till death do us part' is a long time." I'm a public school advocate, though I don't agree with where it is or all of Mr. Bush's ideas. (Believe me. This will cover alot of blog space.) I'm not much into politics, though I've learned to listen to talk radio some and I get more than I want from them. I don't work crossword puzzles or do math in my head, but I can plan and execute a kid's birthday party you wouldn't believe. I am in my element as a hostess. Erma Bombeck is my hero. I use to read her books in high school and laugh out loud. Now they're funny because, "Oh baby, have I been there!" Mr. Mayhem and I have been married almost 19 years. ("Honey, I love you nice and quiet.") Mayhem #1 is 16 and Mayhem #2 is 13. Two teenage girls...How am I still sane? If your wondering why my job is housewife and mother, it's because that's the job God gave me. (That sounds pretty self-righteous. It sounds like Moses and I are close buds.) I guess this will give you an idea of where I'm coming from. If you know Mr. Mayhem, I already have some other blog topics planned.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hello?

Can you hear me now?