Friday, August 26, 2011

Emergency Preparedness

Yea, I know you've seen dozens of these, however this one is slightly different.

The only thing I am going to say is this:


You have a MUCH greater chance of dying by staying put and the storm doing exactly as it's forecasted or it getting worse than forecasted!  If you evacuate, yes it may be a bit annoying with having to deal with crawling traffic as everyone works to evacuate, BUT if you do evacuate as ordered you stand a much better chance of staying alive.
It is that simple.  Prepare your totes of water, food, emergency supplies, changes of clothing, important documents and have them ALL IN THE SAME AREA, take the time to clear out a small closet if you have to to put it all in, just make sure it is all off the floor if it's a ground level floor by at least two feet.  Flood waters rise QUICKLY.  What looks like 6 feet from your property one hour could VERY easily be 6 ft high IN your house the next.  If you're told to evacuate immediately you'll have everything gathered for quick and easy load into the car and go.  If nothing happens, well, then nothing happens, but you were at least prepared!  A fool surrounded by their belongings is still a fool!

Don't be stupid people.  If it turns out you spent $50 in gas for "nothing" it's 100 times worth it!  What happens if you don't spend that $50 to get out of town when you were asked or ordered to and then it becomes too late?  Are you going to be the family clinging to what's left of a tree in rapid waters?

Yes, I know.

I was doing really well with updating here on at least a mostly regular basis, but once again life takes hold and sucks me in.

Mikeal is turning 9 years old today.  I may cry.  I'm Mom, that's what I do.  It's really hard for it to sink in that I have a FOURTH grader!

I've also been quite busy with school and really need a semester off or something, but alas, without screwing up my degree program and my financial aid that's not happening.

I have been working more on my glass painting. :)  I have a few in finished stages, others in drawn stages, some are somewhere in between....but here's a sampling. :)  I'll create a blog post when I get my shop opened up to sell them, but I am taking custom orders at this time if you have a specific request.  Anything smaller than the 18"x24" windows can be custom sized, but will only come in a metal frame with a chain hanger.  The window options are 3 panel 18"x24", solid 18"x24" (measurements are of the glass itself, not the window frame), and a 3 panel 24"x 24".  Prices all are dependent upon size & detail.  And the bigger the piece the more the shipping is.  Stupid shipping costs.  If I ever quote you on a shipping price and the actual shipping turns out to be less than my quote I will refund the difference back to you by your preferred method immediately (Money order or PayPal).  If the shipping price is more than what I quote you, I cover the additional cost.  Prices will never be more than what I quote!  Custom orders take a MINIMUM of one week to complete, up to four weeks for large pieces.  I reserve the right to decline any custom requests.  Some things are just out of my skill level.  Payments are not expected until after we have agreed upon a design, with full payment not being due until I am ready to ship the piece to you.  At this time I only am doing decorative pieces, none that are intended for use with food items or beverages!  I reserve the right to modify any of this as I see fit.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mac na bèiste!

Ok. I'm done. Like seriously DONE! First our safety bubble/savings pops with Brian not working much at all for a while due to a layoff and then shoulder surgery...then we get a $525 vet bill...then school starts & the kids need clothes...then something went crappy with the car that had to be fixed...the electric bills have been outrageous...then I get a speeding ticket and find out my license was revoked from Oklahoma, despite the fact I'd paid out the ASS to get everything with it 100% cleaned up. I got it back about 3 yrs ago, no tickets in 6yrs until yesterday. And now today my fridge dies...and it's packed full of food. And did I mention that both of my new classes start today?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Warning: This is long.

This blog post is going to most likely be fairly jumbled and confusing and annoying and I can't promise that I won't swear during it. In fact, one can almost put money on the fact there is going to be swearing. Sadly I don't have words strong enough to express my complete disgust and irritation and pissed-offness that has prompted this post...I'm not even terribly sure such words even exist, so I'll see what I can do to create one or two.

So may want to grab a piece of paper and create your own timeline and see if you can make any sort of sense of it all with me.

I was pulled over for speeding on Saturday. Legitimately speeding...I was irritated at an idiot driver, sped up to avoid a collision, didn't pay attention 1/2 a mile down the road that I was well over the speed limit, until it was a hair too late. Not the biggest big deal....I'd thought. Annoying & upsetting, for sure, but I was in the wrong and I'm a big girl who wears her big girl panties, I know when I'm in the wrong and can accept the consequences of my actions. It sucks, but it is what it is...

Onto the "I'd thought" part...I was informed that my license has been revoked.


This is where you're going to need your thinking cap and a pen and piece of paper.

I have not been pulled over since October of 2005. Not for ANYTHING. It is currently August of 2011. So that's almost SIX years without a single moving violation of any sort.

I had originally lost my license in June of 2001. I was 19 years old. Got drunk for the first time in my life. While in the process of getting very drunk I was assaulted by a couple of guys, I left the party in a hurry, walked 3 blocks to where my car was. Unlocked my car, from the passenger side because my driver's door lock mechanism was broke, and it wasn't a fancy enough car for button unlocky thingys. After unlocking the car I hit the power unlock button, shut the door, walked around, and discovered I did not unlock my fact I'd hit lock instead. The awesome part about that is I'd thrown my purse & keys into my car prior to shutting the door. So there I was, at 4am, drunk, for the first time ever, upset over being assaulted, and now my keys are locked in my car and I have no clue if I was still being followed or not - so was freaking out. I start wailing on my car windows with my pretty strappy heeled shoes when a cop rolls through the parking lot and asks me if everything was alright. I gave him the story about locking my keys in my car...left out the part about the assault, etc because I was upset in that moment about my car..and I was drunk. Drunk people are NOT rational, AT ALL. At least I'm not when I'm drunk. Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda, but didn't...yea... Anyways...the cop gets out of his car, looks in the window & sees my keys & purse laying right there, pulls out a slim jim from the trunk of his car & unlocks my car for me. I AM FUCKING DRUNK AND 19, PEOPLE! THERE IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH THIS! I get in my car and drive off. Two blocks down the road Mr. Nice Cop pulls me over, asks me if I've been drinking, because he said I was driving with my bright lights on, through town. Do understand at this point my bright lights did not even work on that car, a fuse had gone out or the switch had, can't remember now...but I was drunk & had only had the used car for almost a week, and I am not rational when drunk. Of course I admit to having been drinking, etc...he calls my grandma to come pick me up & take me to her house, I was to stay in her care for at least 10 hours to sober up. Oh, and my breathalizer test showed that I blew a .095, which at the time was just .005 below the legal limit...the next month the new law went into effect that the legal limit was only 0.08. Anyways, several court hearings later I convince the judge that I'm not going to pay a lawyer $1500 in addition to my fines & such, she accepts my guilty verdict and life went on.

I was also a very stupid 19 year old. VERY FUCKING STUPID 19 year old! I LOVED to race cars back then, especially on the highway...yea, add those tickets in on a suspended license. So I racked up some points on my own. By the time I was 6 months past my 19th birthday I was newly married to my ex-husband AND newly pregnant AND getting ready to move 600 miles away AND this was all during that period of time that my folks both ended up in jail over my sister's lies AND the rest of my family thought I was being petty and selfish for not bending over backwards to take in my 17 year old sister and 14 year old brother to finish raising. I was FUCKING 19 years old! If my almost 40 year old parents couldn't keep a handle on their 17 year old child what in God's green earth makes anyone think I can? But whatever...I was pregnant, married, and moving far away...most of my biological family thinks I'm utterly selfish and in need of serious psychological help (although my psychiatrist thinks I just need to talk to someone more often than just once every few months). some time goes by, I work to pay off/down all my fines, yada went on. My ex & I moved back to Arkansas about a year after moving away, my dad was sentenced to 30 years, my mom got out of jail, my sister was living with her now husband, and my baby brother was back with mom...My license was still suspended - thanks to my racing on a suspended license I'd lost my license until I was 21. Not quite the biggest of deals since my ex never allowed me to do much of anything anyways without him, so whatever. The times I did have to drive I was careful enough to not get caught nor in a wreck, so whatever, what's done is done.

Then it got a bit dicey.

In December of 2002, just 4 months after Mikeal was born and 6 months before my 21st birthday, my ex was arrested. He was charged with attempting to sexually assault a 5 year old little girl...and I won't go into all the details of that right now because I don't need to REALLY make my blood boil more than it is already, but it ended with him being thrown in jail for a while, in Missouri...we were still living in Arkansas, he'd crossed state lines to do this... I ended up needing to move back in with my mom, in Oklahoma. A month later my ex's adopted father bailed him out, yada yada, I was convinced at that time that he'd just been urinating & she walked in on him...I wasn't a terribly bright 20 year old either, but I was in a dark depression then, physically & emotionally exhausted from the abuse, etc. My family (aunts, uncles, cousins) of course wouldn't believe my husband would ever do such things I accused him of, I was just making things up for attention and I needed serious psychological help still for wanting to leave this great man that my ex was and whom I had a child with.

What's really fucked up is my mom witnessed firsthand the abuse of my exhusband...he'd come in, drunk & cranked out, one night & hit the wall of the bedroom where Mikeal & I were sleeping because I was asleep....that resulted in a fist fight between my mom, my brothers, and my ex husband. The oldest of my brothers, who was there because he'd broken his back a few months before and was finally at the end of his recovery...and living at mom's during this time period with his (ex) girlfriend and their oldest child (who was 6 months old at the time)...was the first to jump up and respond violently towards my ex for having DARED to even act like he was raising his hand at me! Then mom got involved because not only did he act like a threat towards me but he then was involved in a first fight with another of her children...and my mom is NOT a force to be reckoned with. My ex ended up with a bloody nose & some scars. Mom had a bloody toe. Daniel ended up thrown/falling off the deck and had a concussion. I was on the phone with the cops. I WAS DONE! I was so far past done with having anything at all to do with my ex that I was just D.O.N.E. - DONE! The cop showed, put my ex in the back of his car, then came to talk to us. He thought it'd be best to just not provoke him and let him sleep off his drunk. WTF! Daniel agreed not to press charges since he'd just finished his own stint in prison not but a few months before that and wouldn't wish it on anyone...Mom then left it up to me to press charges, since he was my husband. I said yes. Then was talked out of it by either my mom or the cop, the rest of that night is a bit fuzzy to me, I just remember ANGER and disbelief. Here I am, with a not even 6 month old crying child, abused for over a year by this man, my mom is bleeding, my brother is puking & convulsing, and no one wants to press charges, in fact I think it even got turned around on me that I'd somehow provoked this violent rage.

Mom kicked us out and we ended up moving 100 miles deeper into Oklahoma, into a camper, at my ex-adopted father-in-law's house (Charlie). I felt slightly safer about being there because Charlie was not only a long time foster father to teenage boys but he was also the newly retired police Lieutenant. Fuck was I wrong. Anyone that ever wonders why a woman stays in an abusive relationship...this is the exact reason why. They're shunned by family members or made out to look like they're the ones in the utter wrong...that they'd somehow provoked the abuser into being abusive...because to everyone else they're the greatest piece of shit to ever grace the Earth with their presence. I was finally 21 but because of everything we never did finish paying off my fines and I was never taken to get my license reinstated.

In September of 2003, Mikeal was only 13 months old, my ex was given a four MONTH sentence with four years PROBATION for attempting to rape this 5 year old. His lawyer had been able to get him a plea bargain where it was reduced to just indecent exposure. And people really wonder why sex offenders run the streets. You can look for yourself even...Here's the national sex offender registry listings. My ex's name is Bryan'll have to agree to the terms of use & then enter a captcha to search his name, but he's there. Last known address = moved out of state, to Arkansas...and that's all they know, as of about 2 years ago. Maybe he's in Arkansas. I suspect he's working under the table for his old boss, who lives in Missouri, but has contracts all over the country, selling newspaper subscriptions with a crew of young teenagers, door to door...somewhere.

But the most important thing about him going to jail is I was finally free of him. I did not take his family, nor their influence, into consideration. In October, less than a month after he was sentenced & booked, I wrote him a letter telling him that I was leaving him, I wanted a divorce, and that there was no way in any sort of Hell that I would ever take him back.

Within a week I started getting pulled over on my way too and from work. I had a toddler to take care of and couldn't do it if I just sat at home because my license wasn't reinstated yet. I spent a great many days in and out of that courthouse, sometimes my name was found on the docket other times it was like the ticket I was holding was something I'd dreamed up...On December 22nd my neighbor had gone with Mikeal and myself to Arkansas to take care of some of my license stuff...a good 3 hour drive, one way. We stopped at a nice place to eat, my neighbor got smashingly drunk, even though she was supposed to be driving me there and back because I wasn't able to get my license totally reinstated that day afterall. But my lovely neighbor was also kind enough to cause the waitress to spill a pitcher of beer on me.

I drove for 3's nearly 2am when we finally get into the home stretch of the trip. Less than 3 miles from my apartment I was pulled over. I was charged with a DUI. Damnest thing about that is despite the fact I REEKED of beer I was sober...and the breathalyzer test proved that I was sober. I blew a 0.00. But because I REEKED and because this was my ex's hometown, where I was the horrible evil wife who was leaving her husband while he sat in a jail 500 miles away, they booked me anyways. Told me that I was somehow cheating the test. Now, if you remember back to the beginning, I'm a big girl and I know how to wear my panties...I'm not above accepting consequences for my actual actions. I was put in jail anyways. I did get to make a phone call to a buddy of mine, told him what was up, he agreed to call a few other folks and they'd have my bailed out within the next day or two, in time at least for Christmas morning with my 15 month old son. On the 1st of January (10 days later) at 2:45am I was released from the jail. Who in their bloody right mind puts a 21 year old girl out, on the most dangerous night/morning of the year to either a) find someone sober to come to the jail and pick her up at that horrendous hour or b) walk the 10 miles home at this house, along the highway. It was also freaking cold, snowy, I had a sleeveless shirt on, that I'd been wearing for 10 days already, and no coat. I walked those miles home and thankfully made it there alive. I never did see the judge...she was out on vacation I was told. When I did finally get home I called my buddy who'd told me he was going to bail me out...he told me he was told that I was being released the next morning and when he showed up the next morning to see if I needed a ride he was told that I was already gone. The 50 some odd voicemail messages on my machine over those 10 days I was locked away basically confirmed his story.

I was continuously harassed though. First by the cops, then by my neighbor lady, then by my landlady (who's son was best friends with my ex while they were in high school), then over time learned the rest of my ex-in-laws were also set to make my life absolute hell while I lived near them. I lost job after job because of them, I sank into a darker depression, I lost vehicles, my family were under the impression that I'd brought this all on myself. I started drinking HEAVILY. I will admit now that I'm utterly shocked that I did not get arrested a few times for ACTUALLY being drunk while driving, but by then the harassment had slowed from law enforcement, since it'd picked up with everyone else..and Charlie also passed away around this time. Coincidence? Yea, you can judge that one for yourself.

In February I had a 3 week work conference to attend in Austin, Texas. Of course I made arrangements with my mom, my sister, and a few friends of mine to watch Mikeal for me while I was down there because I wasn't going to be reimbursed for the $10 an hour childcare during any seminars, etc I had to attend on a daily basis. I went down there, a week into it my baby brother was thrown off the back of a car (car surfing in the high school parking lot, less than 20mph) ended up in ICU for a week. No one was willing/able to get Mikeal, so I had to make an emergency dash to Joplin, MO, from Austin, TX, in less than 24hrs round trip. I'd made some awesome friends during my time there who were more than willing to accommodate Mikeal & myself during the duration of my conference. Mikeal ended up with coffee burns at the hospital while I was en route. A nurse had left her scalding cup of coffee at the edge of the counter & what does any 18 month old child do when they want a drink & see a cup? They grab it. Burnt the right half of his face & his neck - 2nd & 3rd degree burns. Mostly just 2nd degree. He wasn't hospitalized for it, they treated him and he was back to mostly normal Mikeal by the time I got there. I didn't do anything about it at the time because I was on a tight schedule, my mom was already distraught over Duke still not being awake, and it was just not the time to get into it.

Over the course of the next week Mikeal's neck started showing signs of severe infection, my conferences all wrapped up, and we went back to Oklahoma...I didn't have the funds to pay for the out of network charges if I was to take him to a hospital there in Texas. We get back to our apartment only to find that my landlady had removed all of my appliances...said that the appliances were only on loan to me because a previous tennant had left them there when she'd moved out and had come to get them...umm, they were sitting there in her garage. But whatever, I was just done. Completely utterly distraught and just done. Packed up what I could, put the rest into a storage unit and left. I went to visit my mom to spend a night there or so and help her out with Duke who'd just been released from the hospital. Later that evening Mikeal started running a fever, I took him to the ER (weekend, small town, only thing available). Found out that the burn blisters on his neck were infected with MRSA and to make the trip even more fun I'd been bitten by a brown recluse as I was packing everything in my apartment and that was a nasty site as well. I wasn't allowed to leave his bedside because they were short staffed and didn't have someone available to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn't fall out of his bed. During the initial first week there at the hospital I only left the actual hospital room three times to go smoke. Yes I smoked then. I also quit then. Not even my mom would come up and sit with him/us and she just lived 10 miles down the road more than once or twice...she was too busy with her new boyfriend. My car was stolen from the hospital parking lot, with a lot of my stuff thrown out into the ditch by the parking lot. I don't know, no explanation, car was never found, or no one gave enough of a fuck to find it, whatever...

After Mikeal was released from the care of the hospital and we spent a week at my mom's for more IV antibiotics my boss in Tulsa paid for me to stay in a place there in Tulsa. A few months into that I moved to Austin, TX. I couldn't stand the constant harassment anymore. Lots of shit happened, the harassment never did fully cease, but I was far enough away from it that I was able to feel safe living again. Eventually though I had to move back to Oklahoma to get my divorce taken care of 100% as well as take care of my other legal stuff...namely all the harassment tickets I'd accumulated and said FUCK IT to.

During my quest to get everything taken care of I spent time in and out of jail because of warrants that had accumulated...sometimes being 'forgotten' resulting in not seeing the judge even for the first time for weeks. One judge, whom I didn't see until after I'd been sitting in that jail for 29 days chewed out the jailer that had brought me up there. She'd had several previous traffic courts and I should have been before her during the first one after I was booked. Other tickets that I KNEW I had been given during that time just seemed to 'disappear' when I'd go to take care of them...only to show back up in the system some time later...I really wish I would have been better about keeping records of everything then. I did learn from all of that though. I keep EVERYTHING. All utility payment receipts, all court papers, all pay stubs, all tax forms, all my calendars where I right things down during the year. ALL of it. I can't afford not to anymore...not after all the hell I went through then.

I not only was harassed incessently but one of my ex-sister-in-laws, who was constantly in trouble with the law, started using my information when she'd get pulled over, arrested, etc. At one point in time *I* was booked on meth charges and had a felony charge against me for it - I'd found that out during my first trip to this particular county jail - I had to then prove that I was who I said I was, complete with fingerprint cards that dated from the time I was in Kindergarten. (My record was cleaned of MANY things at that time, but not until after I'd paid a lawyer almost $10,000 to hunt down everything to be able to do so.) There were car loans, repossessions, house loans & foreclosures, credit cards, utility bills, checking accounts, I don't know but it amounted to almost $700,000 of debt on my credit report. If you're new reading my blog I'm surprise you're still reading, but I'll let you know now I have NEVER had a credit card, etc...the ONLY thing I have EVER bought on credit was a kitchen stove a few years ago from a Rent to Own place and that was mainly just because it was an emergency and we expected to be able to find a decent working one quick enough to not have to pay on the 'new' one for too long...such isn't the case, we've since moved, and now that stove sits in my basement collecting dust, since about a month after I paid it off. I LOATHE interest payments. Loans are the biggest waste of money a person can ever come across!

Anyways...It took me a while and several tens of thousands of dollars but I got nearly all of it taken care of. Once in a while something will pop up, but the number has slowed DRASTICALLY! Do keep in mind that this was all around 2003-5 so things like identity theft were still 'newish' and when you're a single mom just trying to raise your child, while going through a horrid divorce and being harassed not only by your ex-in-laws but also by law enforcement that's supposed to be on the side of right and truth it's all QUITE overwhelming and the only thing you want to do is just move on with your life so you can breath for a moment...and that screwed my ass. I got to where instead of just fighting and fighting and paying lawyers I'd just pay things off, hang my head, plea no contest, and let it be. I was so screwed, I felt, anyways, and alone in fighting all of it and trying to support Mikeal I just wanted to be done with it.

I ran off a few times for a while. I was pretty good at not getting last ticket/run-in was in 2005.

In September of 2008 I was involved in an accident, a teenager saw the light was green, but didn't take notice of the fact that I had just barely taken my foot off the brake, because I had been stopped at the JUST previously red light. At that time I still had a few outstanding tickets etc to take care of but the judge told me, when I showed up for my court hearing for not having a license, after the wreck, that if I got everything taken care of and showed him a new reinstated license he'd drop the charges against me. My next court date was November 22nd...I had everything 100% taken care of, by just paying it all off and retaking my driver's test, etc by my court date. I had my new shiny Driver's license in hand on November 15th or so.

I've not been pulled over since. At least not until Saturday, as previously mentioned.

I've ran out of steam on writing this blog post...and if you're still reading, I'm shocked. But the end result is I still am fighting crap that I was ASSURED was taken care of, by court officials, 3 years ago. I have all the paperwork to prove I've paid everything. When my insurance agency ran my license, when we got insurance here, 18 months ago it came back clean...or at least nothing of the last 3 years. Then they do another check every 6 months. Our insurance just renewed in May. So as of May, as in three months ago, my license was still good by insurance company records. Here it is August, I've not been to Oklahoma in 18 months, and Oklahoma has revoked my license.

Fuck me running with a splintered bat anally. I'm TIRED of this BULLSHIT!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things To Look Forward To:

After being up way late last night and talking with a few folks on Twitter about old legends in reference to the towns I've lived in during my young life I have decided I'm going to blog each that I can remember. The only thing though is as I'm writing the stories I won't be publishing them immediately...they'll be pre-scheduled for publication in October. It's only fitting right? One doesn't normally tell ghost stories in the summer do they? I will neither confirm nor deny any of the legends and ghost stories being true or false.

It is also my plan to post a lot of my favorite holiday and Fall recipes during September. Awesome stuffing recipes, turkey recipes, fudge recipes, bread recipes, pumpkin name it, if I can think of it I'll have it listed. Check the tab at the top of my page to see all recipes.

Otherwise I'm just going to be blogging as normal - sporadically and often incoherently. Enjoy!

Do feel free to suggest anything you'd like to see - stories, how-to, how-not-to, baking, cooking, farming, gardening, traveling, moving, working, single parenting, co-parenting, married life, single life, sober life, not so sober life... ! I do have quite a few experiences so throw something out there and I'll see what I can throw together...who knows, I may even make something up!

Great Memories

So I posted a day or so ago about those 'You know you're from..." groups on Facebook.

I'm a member of three different groups - one for my high school town, one for my dad's and one for my mom's. I grew up in the areas that my folks went to school & still have family out there, we didn't move to Oklahoma until I was 12 and I've been back to the Arkansas area many times over the years...even met my ex husband there.

Anyways, my folks went to school at rival high schools - which at least back in the 80s was absolutely taboo! I remember running across old cards given to them at their wedding where folks had placed bets on how long their relationship with last because she was from Town A & he was from Town B. For the record they didn't divorce until after their 22nd anniversary & that was only after Dad had been given a 30 year sentence to sit behind bars - I absolutely believe that had all the bullshit and lies not been told that year they would still be married and enjoying their grandkids.

But I digress.

It has been quite interesting to hear about the old towns and compare the stories, even add in some of my own or catch up some folks on their old classmates (my folks). Times have changed quite a bit!

It's also quite hilarious to compare my folks' hometowns to my high school town.

I remember when we first moved to Oklahoma, from Arkansas, Bill Clinton was still President (1994) and I was teased mercilessly by the Oklahoma Native Americans about being a backwoods hillbilly from Arkansas who was likely the offspring of brother & sister pair - I'm not, I assure you. I was teased for being a know-it-all, even though, according to the Okies folks from Arkansas were uneducated and very backwoods. Except anyone can compare the two groups NW Arkansas to NE Oklahoma and understand when I say if I was to be considered uneducated based on being from Arkansas it was only because Oklahomans only knew how to almost spell based on phonetics, not by way of a dictionary. ((Do they even use dictionaries in Oklahoma schools?)) They're, there, & their are all the same word, each used interchangeably. Proper nouns are what are proper nouns? Goodness! I'm SOOO happy I received my early education in a backwoods Arkansas elementary school (the same one my mom & her siblings went to even)!

Again, I digress. No real point in going into the details of it all. Oklahomans will still think they're all that because they have a great football team and everyone they know speak, spell, and write the same way, so they will never really learn the differences. Yes, I know I don't always seem to have spectacular grammar, especially here on my blog, but as I've mentioned a dozen times at least I write my rough draft here & submit it & rarely go back to edit it...unless I actually go back and read the post, then I'll edit it a few dozen times.

Today was a very great day for me where these groups were concerned. That is my purpose of this post.

In the group that centered around the town that my dad grew up in and went to high school at they'd started a thread asking everyone to list their graduation year. I never went to any schools in that district, but felt that it was important for me to comment on the thread anyways. I posted that my dad had graduated there in 1980 RIP Don Pierson <3.

From that post I was given feedback from a few folks who knew my dad. All of which mentioned they remember him as a 'great man'. Upon speaking with a few of them off the main board and in private messages back and forth I really didn't learn anything about my dad I didn't already know or believe about him...I did have a few things confirmed about the stories he'd tell that I never really knew for sure if they were true or if he just embellished for the sake of embellishing - you know those old stories your dad would tell about things he'd done as a teenager - yea, those kind of doubts.

Of course all the stories involved a party, hay, horses, beer, fast cars...a bit similar to what you saw in the old Dukes of Hazzard shows, except instead of the stories starring Bo & Luke Duke they starred Don Pierson & his buddy (different names for different stories or purposely omitted to protect the presumed innocent).

I herd a few that referred to my dad as the Horse Whisperer, something I'd mentioned here, Story #6. They'd tell me that he used to tell awesome stories and they can still think back and remember him sitting back on a hay bale, drinking beer from a Dixie cup, and hear his stories. I loved those stories! The only differences would be my dad drank unsweetened tea and sat in a recliner or on the couch when telling his stories to us kids. It wasn't until I was an older teenager that he went into the stories of keg parties and teenage reckless abandon. I didn't get to hear many of those stories. I did remember the story he told me about my conception...about it occurring in a briar patch in a valley...but didn't remember it until someone else had mentioned something to the tune of "Remember going out to the sticker bushes in The Valley to have sex with your girl". Of course I had to add my tidbit to that thread about my conception - the older generation got a kick out of it.

Of course there were also stories about the skating rink and how they'd have skate sessions where the boys all had to line up on one side of the rink & the girls on the other and how mortifying that was. I know that story from my childhood as well because it was one of those nights that my folks met for the first time. My mom had asked her best friend at the time to ask that 'cute guy' across the rink if he'd dance with her, because she was terrified of being turned down...then upon realizing that her friend went to some 'ugly dude' and had wanted to ask the 'cute guy' for herself my mom raced across the floor to ask him herself before she got stuck with the ugly guy! They dated for four years after that before getting married and having my siblings & myself. I found out my mom's friend still holds a slight grudge against her to this day over that.

Then of course there were stories my dad had told about he & a group of his buddies streaking through the town square - buck naked...but he was never caught by the police, some of his buddies were and were handcuffed, with their hands behind their back, for all the town to see that had gathered for the show. I don't know if my dad was ever actually a part of that group, but I did see a post in reference to the story...but I kinda believe it, it did take place around that same time period.

I never really believed the stories about the KKK holding meetings and chasing non-white folks out of town, but sadly, after reading the posts on the pages I'm left believing it was still going on as recently as the late 80s/early 90s. I know when we left, in 1994 there were only a VERY few Mexicans in the area, can't recall if there was more than one African American family in the area. I know there was one family in the next town over prior to the 90s, but they seemed to be quite well liked by everyone - one of the brothers taught the skating lessons at the roller rink & had since the 60s, up until his death, just a year or two ago, on the skating rink floor even, the other brother taught swim lessons. Of course since then it's been quite diversified thanks to Sam Walton and what started as just a Nickle & Dime store. One also can't forget all the tax breaks that Clinton gave to the businesses that were interested in starting up or moving to the state when he was governor. It was like the area just exploded from a rinky farm community of about 15,000 people to probably a million folks by now, in just 25 years.

But it was great. I'm sure there are stories I may never get a confirmation about, I've asked a few times, so we'll see what becomes of it.

This line that I received as a private message to me about my dad was the best one:
"I believe that there are a lot of people who thought highly of your father... I stand by your dad being one of the best ones."

...yes this post is slightly all over the place, I know this.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

You know you grew up in ____ if:

((Fill in the blank))

You had a swimming place called Blue Hole and at the bottom of the hole there was always some sort of legend about someone's cousin's friend's somebody that was rumored to have died there by being ate by a gigantic catfish, snapping turtle, or similar creature because they never recovered his body.

An old bridge called "Cry Baby Bridge" (or Hollar) where the reason they had closed down the bridge was because some lady had thrown her crying infant off of it and after a few months everyone was scared to drive across it because they could hear the baby crying still at night.

Halloween nights were filled with toilet paper, eggs, and other condiments or paper goods until the local businesses quit selling those products to minors.

There was always that one gas station that would sell cigarettes to underage kids.

Or that one store/restaurant that EVERYONE seemed to have worked at, at least once.

Can't forget the teacher who always had a suspicious thermos of stuff to drink all day or the one that would always leave for lunch (or when the drug dogs came around).

There was always that arcade or putt putt center that everyone always hung out at.

The crazy old lady/man with the fruit & veggie stand.

That one particular land mark you always still give directions by, but it's no longer there and only a newbie to the area would get lost.

That one awesome desert served at the school - whether it be a chocolate something or a peanut butter something else.

The building of the school that's always referred to as the "new ___" and has actually been there for 30+ years.

There was that one creepy male teacher whom you know would be sitting in jail for harassment or assault now.

That one teacher everyone feared to get a paddling from and only a few ever actually succeeded in not getting the paddling.

That time your football team finally defeated the rival team and it was by more than 20 points.

When the grocery store used to be...

One must not also forget the high school secretary that seemed to be ready to keel over when you were in school...and you find out she's still there, decades later you could write your own excused notes or a friend would call for you to be let out of class and she never questioned it.

Or the driver's education teachers who also doubled as a sports coach and was either high while teaching or scared out of their shorts if they weren't.

There was always that one lady who seemed to take on the role of Grandma to everyone, was always there in support of anything going on with the school and cheered for you like she was your grandma too.

When everyone was on the town 'party' lines.

No one cared a lick for the Algebra teacher.

The English teachers were always harsher than you thought necessary...and you noticed the former classmate that thought so obviously didn't learn a damned thing.

Or how there never used to be a stop light in the town...just less than 10 years ago even.

There was always that super cool party place that you thought you were the only ones that knew about it...until years down the road you realize your parents used to also hang out there and if you're old enough your kids go down there....but you can't remember how to get there anymore.

Everyone 'dragged main'.

The cops just made a show of getting onto you but you went back to what you were doing when they were gone.


You get the idea.

It'd not mattered how many different towns have popped up on my Facebook News Feed they all have the same stories...slightly different locations, different people, but all the same stories.

It's kinda sad when you think about it.

In 10 years instead of 'remember when the drug dog would make it's rounds at the school' it will read 'remember when the drug dog lived at the school'.

Or remember when they installed the metal detectors at the school.

Or remember that time so and so's mom went to prison for not turning the kids in who were drinking in the field.

Or remember when the English teacher just gave you an A for being able to use they're, there, & their properly...forget having to recite Romeo & Juliet.

Oh how the times have changed...or not.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Shaped Crayons

So lately I've seen LOTS of blog posts about folks making their own shaped crayons using silicone ice trays. However, most require the use of a double broiler or paper cups and the oven to melt down the crayons and then pour the melted crayon into the ice trays....

I'm not big on having to clean stubborn messes, especially crayon wax.

Soooo imagine my utter glee at seeing a post where one momma mentioned making Lego shaped crayons using a silicone ice tray - in her MICROWAVE. All she did was unwrap, break, then put the pieces of crayon into the spaces of the ice tray - roughly one crayon per space...

She mentioned on her blog post about it taking 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the of her molds was just slightly bigger than the other one. But the 12 minute mold was about the size of my I went with it as a base. There is no mention of microwave temps/size/settings, but I have a very small, cheap microwave that I generally have to add extra time to any microwaving I do anyways, so I started with 6 minutes because I wanted to check the progress halfway through...

At the 6 minute buzzer I went in and checked on it. Because you know, the original poster had said 12 minutes for her smaller mold I figured I'd see the melting just starting to happen.

Instead I see this:

So I go back to search for the original blog again to see if I'd perhaps misread the directions or something, that way I don't run into that again...and it took me a while but I did find the original blog post I'd read about microwaving crayons in silicone ice trays...((linked above))

In the process of trying to find that particular blog I ran across several others that mention microwaving crayons in silicone molds...EACH one of them mention ONLY 1-2 minutes. Not 5, not 10, no where near 15...1 (one) OR 2 (two) minutes TOPS!!!

My brand new $5 silicone ice tray is now a part of my melted crayons that are now also permanently adorned to a plate.

Fun times. Fun times indeed.

**I have since discovered, by melting a few more shaped ice trays & a bowl that putting plastic onto a ceramic plate, into the microwave, with the intent of melting crayons is a BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD idea. It is BEST to just skip trying to short-cut this project by melting the crayons in the microwave, unless you melt the crayons in a glass bowl, first, then pour the melted wax into your mold. (Make sure to have good oven mitts to handle the hot glass bowl) Just go with melting the crayons in tin cans in the oven then pouring the melted wax into the mold or using oven safe silicone molds, in the oven, at a low heat, for a while.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer is Over

Ok..technically summer still has another month or two and the excessive heat warnings tell that summer is still in full force, but my children have started back to school.

But it's only the first of August! What do you mean they're back in school? Are you one of those deranged homeschooling moms who believes her children have to go to school all the time? Are they in private school? When you say school you mean a summer school program, right? <~~ All questions I have endured rolling my eyes at over the last week.

Short answer: Nope. My children are both in the traditional public school setting. Mikeal in the fourth grade and Mikaila in the 3 year old preschool program. Ok, Mikaila does get extra speech therapy due to her lack of being able to hear for the first half of her life, but she's making great strides!

They're in a school district that has conformed to a year round schooling schedule. It's really not as cruel (or pleasant) as some believe it to be. Here, in the US, children are expected to go to school 180 days of the year - of 365 calendar days. It doesn't matter if it's labeled as year round school or a traditional school year, children in a public school setting are only in school for 180 days.

What does this mean for my children in comparison to most kids in a traditional school schedule? It means they start school an average of two weeks earlier than most kids, but instead of not getting a Fall Break or only getting a 2-3 day Fall Break, they get 2 whole weeks. Instead of just one week of Spring break they get 1.5 weeks. And instead of getting 10 weeks of summer vacation they get only 8 weeks. That's the difference.

They start the beginning of August and the school year ends just before Memorial Day at the end of May.

They have four nine week quarters just like everyone else, except instead of ending a quarter on a Friday and starting the next one on the following Monday they get 1.5-2 weeks off in between.

So that's kidlings are back in school. Mikeal is in fourth grade, where they start switching all the classes around to other teachers for each different subject *mama sob*. Mikaila is in the 3year old program until after the Winter Break, where she'll switch into the 4 year old program when they start back. In the 3 year old program she is in school 3 days a week for 3 hours in the afternoon; the 4 year old program she'll be in school for 4 days a week, for three hours in the afternoon. She'll stay in the 4 year old program through all of next year, then will move into Kindergarten the year after that.

It is kinda weird not having them both home all day everyday fighting with each other every other 20 minute interval.