Saturday, October 31, 2009


There are advantages and disadvantages about living where I live.

It's true that you can't just run out and pick up a gallon of milk down the road.... unless you have a milk cow or goat on your property... and actually I have a neighbor with two milk goats, so....

You do continually get charged by your cell phone carrier for international calls, since the cell towers in Mexico are closer than the ones in Arizona.

And bright floodlights occasionally fill your bedroom when the Border Patrol is hunting someone in the middle of the night.

Well, okay, maybe it's not just occasionally.

But you don't have to purchase any Halloween candy.... at least not any candy that you don't want to eat yourself.

Because we don't get any trick-or-treaters. Mainly because it's pitch black out here after 6:45 p.m..


No street lights, only porch lights that are motion activated. Add to that dirt roads, houses that are frequently a quarter of a mile away from each other, and a relentless stream of illegal immigrants

So you don't even need pumpkins like this one around to scare everyone off.

But wait a minute, do you think this could help the Border Patrol and scare off some of the illegals?

Friday, October 30, 2009


As a parent, there are times that your heart simply jumps into your throat.

When your child does not get off the school bus you have been waiting for.

The first time they drive off in your car without you.

Their first date, or dance, or year at college.

Having a child is having your heart live outside of your body.

Last night, my son got to experience that sensation.

I had told him I was going to be at a church meeting Thursday evening, and I even had put it on the family calendar.

However, my husband decided at the last moment to also attend this same meeting.

So our son came home to an empty house - no note from us about where we were - and only one car gone (which somehow threw the world every more off balance).

And the dogs refused to tell him where we had gone to.

He called our cell phones (which were both off since we were at the church) - called his sisters - the state highway patrol - he even called the emergency room at the hospital just to make certain we hadn't been in some horrible massacre or terrorist attach (which would have been masochist bliss for his dad, that's for sure).

Poetic justice... at last.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The coldest temperature ever recorded in the world (outside of a lab, I mean) was at Vostok, Antarctica, at minus 89.2 °C (-128° F, for all you non-metric Americans).

The coldest in the U.S.A. was -62.11° C (–79.8°F) at Prospect Creek Camp in northern Alaska.

The coldest in Arizona was at Hawley Lake -40° C (-40° F - and isn't that cool that it's the same both in Celsius and Fahrenheit?)

Sierra Vista got down to 11° C. (11° F) in 1985 (and I'm not making this up!), with the lowest recorded in Palominos, Arizona has been the same.

That puts our local weather report back in perspective - tomorrow night is predicted to get as cold as -5° C. (23° F).


But now we have a GREAT excuse to go shopping tonight!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I have watched way too many episodes of "Law & Order" (although only re-runs that have Lenny still), so I know how to read someone their Miranda rights (and if you want to know some more about the origin of this, read this), how to handcuff someone (but let's not go there tonight, okay?), and (most importantly to this post) how to play good cop / bad cop.

Parents sometimes use this technique, which supposedly undermines what is ideally the "united" guardian front (i.e. the child learns to go to one parent instead of the other for certain things) - but show me a kid who doesn't already knowthat dad will say 'yeah, you can watch that show' and mom will say 'but only two of those cookies before dinner.'

Tonight, this method of confrontation was used with a certain offspring who is currently living at home.

And normally my husband plays the "bad cop" with the gusto of a top Nazi commander in a Jewish ghetto. I mean, it is frightening how frightening he can be.

This time? He completely surprised me by straddling nicely the subtle line between physical abuse and actually making our son uncomfortable enough to understand the importance of what we were discussing.

However, he did break his own ring finger on his right hand immediately following our discussion.

I guess if you aren't allow to get violent with your offspring anymore, you can at least get violent with yourself.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I hate going to church.

Almost each and every Sunday, I am racing out of the front door at the last possible minute (or on days such as today, 20 minutes later that that), usually wearing whatever was the closest to the door in the closet, having frantically stuffed my two bags with what I think I am going to need in church.

And I tear up our dirt road - me, the resident who is OBSESSIVE about people driving ANY speed on our roads that raise ANY dust, who normally is creeping along at about 8 mph and continually staring at her rear-view mirror to ensure that I am not leaving any sort of cloud behind me - I go hauling truck at about 30 mph, HUGE swirls of tan clouds being kicked up by my tires.

I hit the highway, pressing the speed limit as close as I feel I can (and for me, that's about 3 miles over - I am also compulsive about not driving too fast - why get a speeding ticket, EVER, when all you have to do is drive the allotted amount - and don't mind having drivers continually passing you with angry hand gestures).

I skid into the church parking lot, being forced to park at the far end of the lot (people don't start leaving church until after the sacrament is passed), walk as fast as heels and an A-line skirt will let me, try to slip into the front church pew without attracting attention (yeah, like that's possible), and catch my breath.

And three hours later, without fail, I walk out of church incredibly thankful that I came to church, I was taught, I learned, and I feel hopeful for this coming week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When we were kids, sleeping overnight at a friend's house was simply the best.

It was staying up as late as you possibly could, eating as much junk as you could, watching late-night television (this was before VCRs, DVRs and NetFlix), sharing secrets and observations, and getting the giggles over the silliest things possible, and finally falling asleep without really meaning to.

At several friends' homes, it also became a major competition to keep the younger brother/sister(s)...

1) out of the bedroom we were in,

2) away from the television, and

3) away from all of our treats.

However, all three of this must take place without...

1) alerting and/or alarming the parent(s),

2) causing any NOTICEABLE physical harm to the younger siblings, and

3) allowing them to tattle on you/us in the near future.

Sometimes it was difficult.

In particular, I loved staying over at my friend Annette's house - maybe because we never were bored enough to do anything illegal - maybe because her parents were the sweetest people I'd ever known - but I think mostly it was because it was the first family I had known who liked being together, enjoyed each other's company, had FUN as a FAMILY.

A novel experience for me.

And it was always fun.

However, at age 54, staying overnight with an invalid friend usually isn't as much fun. (And why are invalid and invalid spelled exactly the same? They are kinda related in meaning... but why are they pronounced so differently?)

Unless, of course, you are me and the friend is Margie.

Margie and I talked story for a while before she went to sleep - she proudly showed me her hugely enlarged lymph nodes, and I murmured appreciatively at the size. We talked about being perpetual students (she has a masters in special education), horses we had had, and her two dogs waiting patiently at the end of the bed.

We agreed that the oxygen-disbursing machine made a cyclical hissing noise that was rather comforting - sort of like a white noise machine.

We didn't watch any television because Margie can't sit up enough in bed to see a regular screen. I wish I'd had enough money right then to run out and get her one of those little 3" LCD deal; being in bed for weeks gets pretty boring.

She fell asleep around 11:30 p.m.

Then I took the dogs out, opened up my bag of goodies (left-over bread sticks from Pizza Hut - one of those things, like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, that is ALWAYS better the day after), and curled up on the couch under my favorite green blankee with a murder mystery I was re-reading to highlight and future research all the obscure Scottish phrases used (I mean, what is a stookie? What the heck does reives the kirk ti theik the quire mean?)

So in keeping tradition with sleepovers, I fell asleep without meaning to.

However, I falsely assumed since the were no younger brothers/sisters and/or parents in the house, that it would then be a quiet night.

I forgot about the dogs.

They chewed open the bag holding the bread sticks and ate them.

Oh, well, something have to stay the same.

Monday, October 19, 2009



Abdicate (v), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray painted very, very high.

Decafalon (n.): The grueling day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance when you’ve walked through a spider web.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I'm not a shoe person.

At all.

I have a pair of clogs that I wear to church - one junky pair of running shoes that I use around the horses - and one pair of not-quite-so-junky running shoes that I wear when I go into town.

In my closet are probably twelve pairs of shoes that I have bought, worn maybe three times, and feel slightly guilty every time I see them - like I am personally insulting them by not wearing them.

But I am absolutely hooked on this song.

And while I HATE HATE HATE music videos (to badly paraphrase an old Bloom County cartoon, it puts images of exploding porpoises in your head). click on the youtube link and DON'T LOOK AT THE MONITOR, just listen to the song.

It just makes me happy. And I hope the music makes you happy also.