If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Monday, December 29, 2008


WOOHOO! I just noticed that sometime recently I topped 10,000 visits from people who may or may not think that I'm totally insane. Heck, half the time I'm not even sure, so I went searching for a scientific process by which to determine my level of mental stability. And this is what I found.

The Muppet Personality Test

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.

You Are Fozzie Bear

Scares the fuzz right off my backside to think how accurate this test is. Ain't scientific research providin' some amazin' modern advancements!

Peace, Blessings, Thanks for stopping by, and WOCKA! WOCKA!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Norton Security Rant

Dear Norton:

The Norton Security Online provided by AT&T/Yahoo SUCKS! Yes, I said it. IT. SUCKS. Why would you foist a program like this off on people who trust your name? Does the fact that it came "free" with my AT&T U-verse package make it less important for it to actually catch people trying to attack my computer? Don't argue with me. It does NOT stop hardly anybody from dropping whatever nasty cookies they want to onto my system! Oh, I understand that people will try, but YOU are not supposed to let them! And if they do sneak by you, you are supposed to catch it when you automatically run that stupid scan of yours which is scheduled weekly right during my peak blogging time and slows down my system to a snail's pace and won't let me exit out of it without asking 9000 times if I am sure I want to cancel it and won't tell me how to reschedule it to some other more convenient running time!
Furthermore, why is it that every time the dang thing does finish running in only finds one cookie. JUST ONE. And the SAME just one every time! Every. Dang. Time. Same. One. Yet, when I run Ad-Aware it finds hundreds of cookies.. HUNDREDS!!! Ad-Aware kindly removes them for me and my system speeds back up to something similar to what I consider normal. Then a few days later when it slows back down again I have to run Ad-Aware again and... THEY'RE BAAACK! WHAT THE...?? WHY?? What good are you, Norton?? Tell me? What good at all????
So, I am officially notifying you that I'm switching back to McAfee. I NEVER had these problems with McAfee. It is quiet, cooperative, efficient and I can chat with a live support person anytime I need help. But most of all IT ACTUALLY KEEPS PEOPLE OUT OF MY BUSINESS!
Free, shcmee - I'll pay for something that actually works, thankyouverymuch! Yeah, that's right - thanks for nothing!
Your Soon-to-be EX-Non-Customer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hurry Christmas! Don't be Late!

The tree is decorated and all the presents are wrapped:


The food has been cooked by the most manly man I've ever known. It takes a real man to choose to do what he loves doing without worrying about what anybody else thinks. And this one does it with some serious style. See that black shirt? So far tonight he's cooked 2 pies, pumpkin and pecan, made cocktail meatballs, chocolate chip cookies, and is now making a cake. All in a black shirt. And he hasn't gotten ONE SPECK of flower on that black shirt! THAT, my friends, is true macho!


And the stockings are all hung by the chimney with care:


All that's left to do is try to go to sleep. Try not to toss and turn knowing that Bug and Twig won't be home. Again. And then there are all of the other kids that I miss so much all year long, but especially this time of year. This thing of having grownups for kids sucks. I guess I'd be OK if I didn't still put their stockings out every year. But, as you can see from the picture, I put out all of the stockings for all of my kids every year whether they will be home or not.

I've had the song "Where are you Christmas" banging around in my head for the last several days. All I could hear of it was the first part over and over again... "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?..." Then today, after a good cry and after finally watching this video, it dawned on me that I was missing the whole point of the song.

The point is SNAP OUT OF IT, WOMAN!

I am so awesomely blessed. I have a husband, who loves me unconditionally. A daughter who, though often the epitome of teenage pain-in-the-buttishness, does love me in her own way. I have two wonderful sons and a ton of other 'kids' and friends, all of whom chose to love me -- often inspite of myself! If that's not the definition of having Christmas all year, I don't know what ever could be.

So, to all of you who also struggle during this time each year, getting stuck in the what ifs and should have beens of your life; waiting for Christmas to find you, it is time to stop waiting for it to come to you and start looking around at your blessings. I bet that you find it with you all year, too.

Peace, Blessings, and a Very Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings or Can she get any stranger??

Luna Nina hosts a weekly feature called Unconscious Mutterings. I've seen it before, but have never actually jumped in. This week, I thought.. what the heck! I'm mostly unconscious half the time and my family is so accustomed to my mutterings that they just ignore me anymore. I might as well bug the blogverse with it for a change and give the folks at home a bit of a break.

So, here goes (I haven't read anyone else's so these are all straight off the top of my head!):

Luna Week 308 - Damama Week 1

Luna says ... and I think ... ?

  1. Carpet :: Cleaner (Yep, Hubby got on another cleaning tear today and we had our monthly house call by the rug doctor!)

  2. Bottoms :: Up! (Back in the 70s here in Houston there was a dinner theater production of a show called this. Does anyone else remember it?)

  3. Music :: man (I guess I'm on a musical theme kick now!)

  4. Nails :: Need fixing! (OH, Santa! How about a gift certificate for a mani/pedi? Just not to THIS place cuz I no liiike!)

  5. Watch it! :: Tinkbug! (This has become a part of our regular vocabulary ever since my friend's son started saying it when he was 2. Of course it was more like, "OOO bear auchit tinkbug!")

  6. Your life :: Today, peaceful. Tomorrow??

  7. Candies :: GODIVA (Mine that my daughter ate almost all of! She very kindly left me the dark chocolate and white chocolate ones (not bad), but those milky chocolate melt in your mouth small bites of heaven? G.O.N.E. All gone! GRRRR!! I guess we could call it just reward for THIS. NAH!! Not even close!)

  8. Chafing :: A booby issue (Don't laugh! If you have big'uns you understand. If you don't, count yourself lucky!)

  9. Svelte :: Patrick Swayze - He will be the first actor over whom I will actually cry when he passes. This clip of One Last Dance is long but so beautiful! Given his recent diagnosis, it has so much more meaning than just that in the movie. I cannot watch it without crying.

  10. Ding :: aling Oh quit rolling your eyes... This is not a self evaluation of my mental state - although it very well could be! Nor is it a reference to anything anatomical. I'm thinking about a Chuck Berry song, for pete sake! And if you are thinking about anything but cute little bells on a string then YOU need to be psychoanalyzed! HA!

So, did you survive your little tour of my meandering mental roads? Scary place, ain't it!

Until next time, I bid you..

Peace, Blessings, and HAPPY DINGALINGS FOR ALL!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Show Your Christmas Crazy!

Burghbaby calls it Christmasification. We just call it...


Click on the pictures for a bigger view or to see more in my Photobucket

Christmas 2008

View from across the street

Snowman & Boat

11' tall Snowman with 11' long tugboat


Dad says HI!
Hubby says, "HI! Hope you enjoy the show!"


Ferris wheel

Close-up of the ferris wheel and the new poles. Ignore that bucket. What bucket? There's no ugly bucket sitting in the middle of my picture!





Snoman & Rocking Horse

The ice cube snowman and the rocking horse.



There's a snow storm going on in that tummy and the 3' Santa and Frosty are having a ball!
In addition to all this light magic, there is Christmas music blaring incessantly playing nightly in order to drive me up a freaking wall because it is right outside my office window enhance the experience that is
Hubby's Annual Christmas Yard Extravaganza.

Dear Santa - Please bring me a nice camera that will take good pictures at night so that next year I won't look lame by having to post daytime pictures thus losing the awesome effect of all this hard work! Thanks!
For more Christmas Crazy you can pop over to:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekly Writing Assignment: Best Christmas Gift. EVER

Writer's Workshop

This is my third workshop entry. I'm a bit late this week, but at least I'm here! You've read several of the sadder experiences of The Little Girl, so today I thought I'd share a happy story of love and God's ability to surprise us with amazing gifts.

4.) What's the best gift you've ever gotten/given.

Since I've already told you about the best Christmas present I ever got as an adult in Meet the Kids: Daughter’s Broken Road Home, and I learned that cheating by pulling something from the archives is not a rewarding experience, I'm going to tell you about the best Christmas present a child could receive. Ever:

The little girl sat gazing in awe at the huge, beautiful Christmas tree that had somehow miraculously just appeared overnight in the family room of The House. It was so different from the tree at the foster home. That one had been thin and sort of shabby with lots of handmade decorations. This one was perfectly shaped, just like the ones in magazines, and it was decorated in all red and white with a bright, shining star on the top. Beneath it were beautifully wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes. Mrs. Ethel, the housekeeper and cook, had warned her not to be messing with them, but she was still tempted. She could see the name tags on the ones in the front and not a one of them was hers! She knew that disobeying would make Mrs. Ethel sad, though, so she quickly shoved her small hands under her legs to keep them from getting into what they shouldn't.

Several days that seemed like an eternity later, Christmas morning finally arrived. The rules at The House were different than at the foster home, so there was no tearing into the family room in a mad dash to find one's presents. Instead breakfast had to be finished and morning chores done, just like every day, before the presents could be opened. This was a working ranch, and the cows didn't now or care that it was Christmas; they only new it was painful not to be milked on time. It was one sad little girl who trudged solemnly past the family room, out to the hen house to gather eggs for breakfast at 4:30 a.m.

Three hours later, cows milked, eggs gathered, animals and girls fed, it was finally time to gather in the family room to receive presents. The girls had been told to dress in their Sunday best because a group of ladies from a local church were coming to join in the morning's festivities. The little girl was thrilled because that meant more presents. So lost in her fantasies about what awaited, she lost track of time and was the last one into the family room.

Trying to avoid the House Mother's questioning eye, the little girl crept quietly over to the empty piano bench that one of the older girls had thoughtfully saved for her. Sometimes it was really neat being the youngest girl there. Sometimes. The House Mother introduced the ladies and explained how the opening of the presents would be accomplished and then began passing them out. The little girl was thrilled when she received the first present of the day, given by the red-haired church lady with the beautiful eyes and a kind, sweet smile. Everyone waited while she opened her gift. Socks and underwear.

Socks and underwear?? The little girl opened her mouth to ask where the toys were, but the House Mother, quickly stepped in, picked up the panties and showed the rest of the girls the pretty pink lacy ruffles that were sewn in stripes across the back. Stripes that perfectly matched the lacy pink ruffles on the socks. She then told the little girl to say thank you to the nice lady for such lovely gifts. Grudgingly, the little girl smiled and, choking back tears, said thank you. The rest of the gifts were similar necessities that had been donated by various groups. No toys. No stuffed animals. No fun.

When the last girl had opened the last gift, the ladies said their goodbyes and left 12 very subdued young ladies quietly cleaning up the family room. The red-haired lady caught the little girl's eye and waved sadly as she disappeared out the front door.

Life on the the ranch quickly returned to normal. Each day started and ended the same, so weeks turned into months and months into years without much notice. About the only time anything really different happened for the little girl was when her caseworker, Mrs. W, visited. The bright, enthusiastic woman always brought a little something for her; usually a new coloring book or some hair brads. In September of her second year at the ranch Mrs. W brought good news: she had found a couple who wanted to meet the little girl. Mrs. W said that they had been trying to adopt a little boy, but that had fallen through, so she'd told them about the little girl and Mr. & Mrs. L had agreed to meet her. The little girl didn't allow herself to get too excited. They wanted a boy and she was just a cheap substitute. But it was something different to do, so she agreed to go meet the couple. It turned out to be a good decision.

The first visit went so well that the couple invited her back to stay over a weekend, and the little girl, though still leary about putting too much faith in them, agreed to give it a try. Mrs. W assured her that if things were not comfortable she would come and take her back to the ranch. The weekend flew by so quickly that the little girl never gave a thought one to the ranch until it was time to pack up and head back.

Not wanting to send her back with dirty clothes, Mrs. L was gathering up her laundry when she stopped dead in her tracks, staring at the underwear and socks in her hand.

"Where did you get these?" she asked the little girl.

"They were a Christmas present a couple of years go. They were too big when I got them but now they fit me." The little girl, busy gathering up her belongings, looked up when she heard the woman catch her breath. Mrs. L had tears in her eyes.

"Do you remember who gave you these?" She asked softly.

It was then that the little girl recognized the red-haired church lady with the beautiful eyes and a kind, sweet smile. "It was you! You gave me my first present at the ranch!" said the little girl in amazement.

And that is how God used some socks and underwear to make a family. If the little girl had been given toys they would most likely have been left behind when she came to visit the couple. Had the socks and underwear fit when she'd received them, she would have long since outgrown them. Two and a half years is a long time in a little girl's life, so there would have been nothing to there to jog the memory of that Christmas long ago.

From that moment on, the little girl new that this woman was supposed to be her mother. Gone were the fears of never again belonging. God had made sure she knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that He had personally picked out her new parents. And she never got socks and underwear for Christmas again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Very Handy Tale

This time of year I really miss working in one particular office. They had absolutely the best cooks of any place I’d ever worked before or have worked since. The people there made those usually marginally bearable holiday and special occasion potluck lunches downright delectable!

When I first started working there, one lady and I always ended up in the bathroom at the same time. Once I even laughed and commented that our bladders must have been on the same schedule. She just smiled.

After a few months we’d become fairly good friends. I’d also noticed that each time we had a new female employee she was followed to the bathroom by my friend. It dawned on me that she must have also been following me in those early days! One day while we were at lunch I finally got up the courage to ask her about this particular idiosyncrasy. (I wasn’t nearly as brave back then as I am now – I actually had to work up the nerve to speak my mind!) Here’s what she said:

“You know all those potluck dinners we have around here? I follow them to make sure they wash their hands because if they don’t, I’M NOT EATING THEIR FOOD!”

Until then, I hadn’t really thought much about it. Since then, every time I eat somebody else’s food I always wonder about that hand washing thing. And if you know any of thes folks, I'd be doubly cautious!

And on that fine note, I bid you Peace, Blessings and Clean hands preparing all your feasts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weekly Writing Assignment: Worst Dentist Ever

Writer's Workshop

This is my second entry for this weekly bit of fun. Well, technically it's only my first since last week I cheated and pulled something out of the archives. And, I might add, was severely punished for my indiscretion by having nobody go read it! LOL! Lesson learned: NO CHEATING!

This Week's Prompt: 2.) Worst dentist experience ever.

The little girl sat in the sat in the waiting room with pale blue walls, white trim, and blue and white furniture, staring wistfully at the huge aquarium, thinking that the room should be inside it with all the fish swimming around the lamps and through the chair legs. She was so engrossed in her fantasy that the House Mother had to call her twice when the nurse said it was time to go back to see the dentist. Slowly she uncurled herself from the comfy chair and walked stiffly toward the open door. The big girls at The House had told her all about dentists and she was more than a little apprehensive about what awaited on the other side. However, she would never let them know that she was afraid. She’d learned at a young age that fear is something that can be used to hurt you and she would never let anyone have that power over her again. The pretty nurse in the white dress smiled as she reached to take the little girl’s hand, but taking it would show weakness so the little girl simply stiffened more and walked past her into the brightly lit hall.

What was that funny smell, she wondered as she followed the nurse into the second room on the right. It was something she’d never smelled before, but it wasn’t really unpleasant. The nurse helped her into a big black chair with padded arms and a foot rest that her feet couldn’t reach. Then the nurse put a bib around her neck. The little girl thought it was strange that the nurse assumed she was such a baby that she would drool on her clothes, but she didn’t want to hurt the nice lady’s feelings by refusing to cooperate. After a few minutes, the old dentist came in and sat on a stool by the chair. He talked sweetly about what he was going to do, explaining that it was important for him to check each one of her teeth to be sure they were healthy. She thought that it didn’t sound so bad; not at all like the big girls had said it would be. The dentist showed her his tool that looked a lot like a long, skinny ice pick with a curve at the end. He said it was to help him count her teeth and asked her to open wide so he could begin.

One, two, three, four, she silently counted with him as he touched each tooth. Five, six, sev....OUCH! The little girl jumped and squealed loudly, startling the poor nurse so much that she nearly dropped the tray she was holding for the dentist. He, however, just sat waiting patiently for her to calm down enough so they could start again. The little girl quickly re-gathered her courage and opened her mouth. Eight, nine, teeeeeennnnn. This time the pain didn’t catch her so off guard and she was able to just whimper softly and squirm some instead of screaming in pain like she wanted to. And the dentist continued to count; glancing knowingly at the nurse each time the little girl squirmed and whimpered, the tears streaking down her small face. All in all, he found six teeth that were not very healthy at all.

The dentist patted the little girl gently on the arm and asked the nurse to go and bring in the House Mother. The little girl heard him ask the woman how a seven-year-old’s mouth could be in such bad shape. The House Mother explained that she’d only lived at the orphanage for a few weeks and before that had basically been raising herself. It was a wonder that all of her teeth weren’t rotted out of her head. The dentist told the woman that three had to be filled, one needed a crown, and two baby teeth could be pulled because the adult teeth were coming in under them. The little girl tried to listen as best as she could, but couldn’t hear much after that because they lowered their voices to just above a whisper.

After a few minutes, the dentist and the House Mother came back into the room and began explaining what was wrong with the little girl’s teeth. The kind dentist showed her a picture of teeth with fillings and explained how they would protect her baby teeth until the adult teeth were ready to grow in. She asked if it would hurt like the counting did and he assured her that he would make sure that it didn’t hurt at all. She also wanted to know if they fixed her teeth would that make her mouth stop hurting when she drank cold things. His assurance that it would indeed stop that hurt was all she needed to be excited about having the work done. He wanted to know if she was up to doing the first part today. She smiled brightly and said she sure was. That bright smile lasted about 3 seconds.

The dentist nodded to the nurse, held out his hand, and received what the little girl thought was the biggest needle she had ever seen in her whole life. He turned back to her and asked her to again open her mouth wide. Suddenly she remembered her first visit to the doctor when she came to the orphanage a few weeks before. They’d given her shots in her arm and hip with needles that were tiny by comparison, and those tiny needles had hurt like crazy. There was NO WAY she was going to let them stick that big sucker in her mouth! She immediately pulled her knees up to her chin and buried her face in the arms she’d wrapped firmly around them. No amount of coaxing could get her to lift her head until they promised to put the needle away. Reluctantly, the kind dentist handed it back to the nurse and sat patiently waiting for the little girl to look up.

“Honey,” he said, “we have to work on your teeth so they don’t hurt you anymore.”

Ok, you can work on them,” said the little girl, “but I don’t want a shot.”

“The shot is to keep it from hurting like it did when we were counting,” said the kind man.

“It didn’t hurt that much,” lied the little girl. “I don’t want a shot. Just fix my teeth without the needle.”

The gentle dentist shook his head and said that she didn’t understand how painful the drilling would be without any numbing medicine, but the little girl stood firm on the fact that she was not going to allow him into her mouth with the huge needle. Finally, after a very long time, the dentist and the House Mother stepped back outside and she heard the House Mother tell him to just do what he needed to do. And he did. But only to one tooth.

All through the procedure, the little girl sat quietly, eyes squeezed tightly shut, tears streaming down her cheeks; her knuckles white from gripping the arms of the chair so tightly. Twice, the dentist asked her again if she would please take the shot, but she still refused. To back down now would show too much fear, and that just was not going to happen. Finally, after what seemed like a million hours it was done and the little girl slowly opened her eyes. Beside her, with his head in his hands, the kind dentist sat sobbing quietly. Across the room, the nurse and the House Mother stood arm-in-arm; the House mother with a wad of tear-filled tissues clutched to her mouth; the nurse openly sobbing as she dabbed at her eyes. Seeing the pain in all their faces was nearly too much for the little girl. She hated being the reason they were crying. Very softly, she reached up and touched the dentist’s face and said, “Please don’t cry. I promise that next time I will take the shot.” She looked toward the two women, “Oh, please, please don’t cry anymore.” Moving in unison, all three adults pulled the little girl into a group hug. It was the first time in her life that she realized how her own actions could have very strong effects on others, causing them pain.

It was a lesson she would never forget.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Make me over. PLEASE!

Do you ever watch Lifetime? You know, the cable TV channel? I don't usually spend much time watching TV unless it is something I've recorded so I don't have to sit through commercials. The other day I was watching a movie I'd DVR'd and had to pause my fast-forward to answer the phone. When I was ready to get back to my movie, I was intrigued by the commercial it had stopped on. Seems that if you go to Lifetime's website you can make yourself over with their Total Beauty Makeover tool. You can either play with their models or, fun of all funs, upload your own photo and futz around with yourself! It is so much fun to play with that I got sucked in for almost 3 hours. New hair, new makeup, new me! Well, old me with new do.

For quite a while now I've been toying with the idea of coloring my hair. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE! Believe it or not, the most I've ever done is add some highlights from time to time. Right now, it is totally natural -- gray and all. My naturally blond hair was a very solid YES answer to a prayer I sent up when I was a teenager. After watching so many of my blond friends' hair turn brown mousy or dishwater dirty I asked God to please let me have my Auntie's hair.

Like me, Auntie had blond hair all her life. As she got older, instead of going all dark, it stayed that beautiful childhood blond only changing with the growth of lovely silver highlights, slowly morphing into a beautiful, classic silver-white. My hair is doing the same thing. How do I know that it's a gift from God and not just genetics? I'm adopted, remember? So there's no blood connection to carry the trait. There's only a God connection to prove that even the smallest things are possible if we just ask. (Sorry, didn't mean to get all preachy, but this is one of those things that I feel pretty sure about and love for people to know so they can try it in their own lives. It is soooo cool when you realize that you just got blessed in a very tangible way. OK, back to the hair thing.)

So now you may be wondering why, if I have loved my hair all my life, am I thinking about changing the color. The simple answer is... I don't know. I just think it'd be fun to look a little different for a while. Not to mention that within the last two weeks I've had two people on different ends of the age spectrum comment on my lovely gray hair. IT'S NOT GRAY! IT'S BLOND WITH BEAUTIFUL SILVER HIGHLIGHTS. Of course, in my mind I'm still a 130 lb. hot model with smooth skin and an upper lip. Obviously my self image needs a makeover, too!

So here's the deal. I'm dropping in four photos. The first one is of me in October of this year, so it really is what I look like (dang it). I am so fair complected that I think I look all washed out and even older than my 52 years. The other three are the makeover shots. I want you to vote on which hair color you like best. With your help, at the end of the month I will decide how I want to start the new year. Leave me a comment and I'll tally them up in a post during the first week in January.

OK - Here goes ... (Note - the hideous eyeliner and fake lashes thing is NOT me! It was added by the program. I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it without screwing up the rest of the stuff!)

1. Just plain old me.

2. Strawberry Blond

3. Auburn Brown

4. Dark Brown

OK - now go vote. And send your friends over to vote, too. Believe me, I need all the input I can get.
(Edited to fix the size of those pictures! Much better! In the process, though, I noticed that the program removed my double chin! YAY! Why can't ALL photo editing programs do that. They have a button for red eye, why not add one for peach pudge?)

Peace, Blessings, and Lady Clairol calling!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twittering my life away - Confessions of a texting junkie.

Hello. My name is Damama T. And I am an addict. My drug of choice is Twitter. HUH? you ask? Is that some new Colombian Cartel import? I guess it could be. It is certainly as addictive as cocaine. But no, Twitter isn't actually a physical drug. It's more like a psychological drug. In case you have been living in the same dark hole in which I resided until a couple of months ago, according to their "About Us" page, Twitter is "a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices". In short, it is text messaging on steroids.

I have had a cell phone since the 1995 ice storm that hit Houston so suddenly the city was frozen within a matter of hours. Hubby couldn't find me anywhere and was scared spitless that I'd frozen to death somewhere on the road between Houston and Needville. As soon as we thawed out, he bought me a cell phone and I have never since been without one. Until recently, however, they were merely communication devices. Now my phone has become a social and emotional lifeline. And recently I've realized that I have become one of the hated abusers.

We have all been subjected to rude people who talk during movies, yell to be heard because they cannot hear in restaurants and stores, and interrupt personal conversations to answer calls. I have reprimanded more than one of my employees for talking on his or her cell phone during work hours because it was impeding productivity. I have walked out of more than one store because the clerk was on a call instead of attending to my purchasing needs. I have fussed at my daughter for texting at the table and talking too loudly in the car. Never in all my born days did I think that I would join the ranks of those uncouth louts. But indeed, I have devolved into a thumb-flapping, socially inept nitwit.

I started Twittering during Hurricane Ike back in September as a way of maintaining communication through the storm. During the ensuing weeks of power outages, long gas lines, and no land-line telephone communications, the ability to quickly and easily get insider information on supply shipments and short gas lines was a Godsend. I kept telling myself that once the storm was over I'd go back to actually talking to people. Like all addicts, though, the more I got the more I wanted until today I find myself unable to resist the need to immediately read and respond to each one of the 50 or so tweets and/or texts I get each day.

It has gotten so bad that my husband has threatened to quit taking me out to dinner, my daughter hates riding in the car with me (oh yes - I even text while driving), and my exercise buddy has banned my cell phone from the racquetball court! I even asked my auto mechanic, who was trying to tell me what repairs were needed, to hold on a minute while I texted a quick tweet reply. AND I WAS PAYING HIM BY THE HOUR!

All of this leads me to wonder: If I, a 52-year-old, relatively sane and stable woman, can become so addicted in such a short period of time, how can we expect our children who have grown up with all this electronic gadgetry not to be reliant upon it? How do we put that genie back in the bottle? There are lots of easy cognitive answers but absolutely no easy curative actions. I don't know of anybody who is willing to go cold-turkey, do you?

I wonder how long it will be before some mental health hospital develops a gadget-withdrawal unit? When they finally do, I have a feeling that I will be one of their first patients. Now excuse me; gotta go get my tweet on!

Peace, Blessings, and GO GO GADGET!

This post was written in participation of Brad Shore’s Cell Phone Users and Abusers blog contest.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MALE SWIMMERS - Who knew??

** Warning - this one may raise some questions you have an interesting time answering.**

Burghbaby Twittered that she needed a middle name for her new puppy today. She wanted one that starts with "J" and reflects his love of swimming. After immediately thinking of Jacques (as in Cousteau) I wondered what other famous male swimmers there might be with names beginning with J. So I entered a Yahoo search for "famous swimmers." The results looked promising:

I know that's kind of hard to read, but if you click the picture it will open the selection list for you. That very first entry says:

History, Famous Swimmers, Swimming Animals, Swimming Stars, Great Swimmers
Information on the history of swimming, famous swimmers from ocean swimmers through Olympians, and a look at a variety of swimming animals.swimming.about.com/od/swimhistoryandstars/... -
Olympic Swimmers Bios and Profiles of Other Aquatic Stars

Cool! I'm thinking this is going to give me a great list of swimmers, and it did. However they were all mixed in together, male and female, and not really all swimmers. Some were polo players and coaches. I wanted just a list of famous male swimmers. Scanning the page I spotted the words "male swimmers" in the lower left-hand corner. Bingo! I'm thinking that ya gotta love About.com. They always come through! How shocked do you think I was when THIS is what they came through with??

Again, I know it's kind of hard to read so you can click the image to open the actual page. However, if you don't want to do that, for your reading convenience I've pasted the page's contents below. Who knew the words "male swimmers" were so rife with possible responses!

Peace, Blessings, and Swimming success to all!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Writer's Workshop: Pet Chaos

HI! If you came here looking for my first entry in Mama Kat's Writer Workshop, you will find the story of Snidley Whiplash HERE. (I cheated and pulled something out of the archives because I didn't have time to pull something new together this week.)

Here's where you can read more Writer's Workshop submissions...

Peace, Blessings, and No Writer's Block to all!

Port-O-Potty Fishing

Heather's Great Port-a-Potty Adventure reminded me of something I hadn't thought of in years.

Twig was about 3 when Bug was playing T-ball. The local field had a plumbing problem that year and brought in P-O-Ps to... ummm.. relieve the problem. Half way through Bug's game, Twig HAAAAAAD to go NOOOOWWWW!!!! The smell hit us before we ever opened the door. I tried to talk him into just going behind the bushes, but NOOO.

Once inside I realized that the quarters were way too tight for me to be able to help him get his pants off and back on. The only easy way was to leave the door open. Twig, however, even at the tender age of 3, was a modest little guy and would have no part of pulling his pants down in front of the whole world. After a couple minutes of him screaming, "Noooo Mooommyyy!! Cwose it! Cwose it!" I gave up and squeezed in beside him.

We had just managed to get his britches off when he realized that this was no ordinary potty. When he saw the bottomless pit over which he was expected to dangle his exposed derriere he began grabbing at me like some wild baboon trying to keep from falling out of a tree. He was sure he was about to fall in and never get out again. It was about then that I heard the keys hit the hard plastic surface. All I had time for was a quick shriek before they slid over the edge and vanished into the murky depths of port-o-potty hell, taking my stomach with them. Hubby was out of town and that keyring held the only set of keys I had to both the house and the truck.
I immediately grabbed Twig, forgetting that his pants were still down around his ankles, and hightailed it, with a screaming child tucked under my arm, for the concession stand. The whole way there I kept praying that there was something I could use to fish out the keys. All they had was a wire coat hanger that, as it turned out, wasn't long enough to reach the bottom of the muck. One of the dads came up with a ball of twine out of his tool box. And thus was invented a new Saturday-evening-at-the-ball park event: Port-o-Potty fishing.

For the next 2 or so hours every man within a 1/2 mile radius had to try his hand at port-o-potty fishing. Each just knew that if you hooked your wrist this way, or held your mouth that way, or dragged the string the other way, that he could land his prey. We never did get the keys back, and you do NOT want to know what all else was hooked!

I'd love to be around a thousand years from now when some archaeologist happens on that particular ... er... dump sight and finds a set of keys to a 1985 Ford F150 embedded in the remains. I wonder what weird conclusions they'll draw about the eating habits of the human inhabitants of that region. If you don't think that's ever gonna happen, go check out this article. It may just make you take a little bit closer look at the funny looking rock you pull out of the ground the next time you are out gardening.

And, not to worry you or anything, but beware the next time you enter a portable public facility. You may get this surprise on the way out:

Love, Blessings and Port-o-Peace to you all.


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