Sunday, November 29, 2009


Laughter is sometimes automatic, even when extremely inappropriate response and/or to something tragic.

One of my favorite lines from the sci-fi classic "Stranger In A Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein is when the main character, Michael, a human raised in the Martian culture, finally comprehends laughter - we laugh because it hurts so much.

I try earnestly not to laugh when someone is made a fool, or makes a major mistake - but sometimes it is simply impossible.

It hurts too much to do anything other than laugh.

But this afternoon, I didn't simply laugh, I ROARED for a couple of minutes.

I have to separate my horses when I feed them - otherwise the mare simply allows the colt to gobble up everything.

And it becomes a bit of a dance to get the mare on one side of the fence, the colt on the other, hay on both sides but senior feed only for the mare.

Tonight, the colt burst into the corral in his usual flamboyant manner, bucking and kicking and showing off for my benefit.

And promptly slipped in the mud, went sliding on his side until he slammed against the fence.

Nothing was damaged other than his pride - but yes, I did laugh. A lot.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


What is the expression, those who cannot do, teach?

I love teaching about time management - I just aren't always as good about managing my own personal time.

I am just finishing a lesson on "Using Time Wisely, and have been alternating that with playing "Bejewled", watching "What Not To Wear" on TLC and completely relating to the women who do not know how to dress themselves well and particularly the ones who don't feel at all good about the way they look.

Is this multi-tasking or avoiding what I really need to do?

Okay - I think what I need to do is finish my lesson, find something to wear that looks nice to church tomorrow, and have down time.

Man, I am SOO on track.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Phobias are, by definition, irrational.

I have acrophbia (fear of heights), and pteridophobia (fear of ferns), and hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia(fear of long words), (and yes, I am kidding about the last two).

Again, they don't have to be reasonable in any way, shape of form, but often originate from a bad experience with the thing that becomes the phobia (I'm certain that can be stated better, but I'm in a hurry tonight - it's getting late).

I think it's interesting that a lot of phobias seem to be hereditary - genetic, or simply learned?

But back to the story.

My husband suffers from dentophobia - fear of dentists - from a bad experience with one when he was little (stupid DDS or DMD or BDent or more likely some "Medical Degree By Mail") who slapped him).

So... maybe it really isn't a phobia

And for years, he has been literally letting his teeth rot away.

It finally got painful enough (three broken molars and 80 lbs. lighten... hmm... this could possible be marketed as another diet plan... see my other blog later tonight....) that he agreed to see a dentist.

Who then referred him quickly to an oral surgeon.

Who then scheduled the removal of the tooth in the worse shape on (wait for it) THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING.

I mean, really.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Every year in the military, my husband would offer to bring home any soldiers or civilians that didn't have near family to spend the holidays with.

And the offer has been taken up every couple of years - some lonely privates, an American model that we got to know in Germany, and TONS of missionaries from our church.

We've continued the tradition even when back in the states, and it has always helped to have a couple of extra mouths to get rid of the HUGE amount of food my husband prepares every year (something to do with childhood memories of empty plates at Thanksgiving after his father left).

Today, two days before Thanksgiving, we found out that someone in my husband's work area would like to spend the holiday meal with.

But they are bringing someone with them.

Their mother.

Suddenly, the dynamics of Thursday have all been changed.

I mean, instead of a lonely, isolated military person, I am having:

1) A female staff-sergeant. This is someone who FOR A LIVING tells large groups of soldiers what to do and HOW TO DO IT CORRECTLY.

And, even more frightening than that,


Suddenly I am cleaning out corners that never see the light of day - I am stuffing all sorts of piles into the spare bedroom (AND LOCKING THE DOOR LEADING TO IT).

Please - wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.

Monday, November 23, 2009


There are worse ways to spend a week than to be stuck in the small farming community your mother-in-law lives in, with her, your husband, your niece-in-law, her seven-year-old son, and 'husband.'

But it just isn't coming at the moment.

I learned more about NASCAR than I ever wanted to know... which wasn't anything to begin with. I still don't understand how people can spends hours watching cars doing laps - when you watch athletics run, you can at least admire their legs, not their tobacco and auto parts logos.

I ate at two, TWO, of the most outstanding restaurants in my husband's hometown on the main street.

And oh my, yes, there are only two restaurants there, how did you ever guess?

We did have lunch with a high-school buddy of my husband's who is just a sweetie - the only person he's really kept in touch with since high school, to my great relief.

I did get to know Kitty, a Siamese-Persian-almond-eyed feline-cross of some sort, extremely well. Well enough that my own cat hasn't forgiven me yet even after washing every single bit of clothing that might have come in contact with him.

My heart-strings were tugged like a chinese jump-rope over a huge, loopy lab/pit mix that was tethered in the back yard until a home could be found for him (did you know it costs $175 to ship a pet in cargo one-way?).

(And how old do you have to be to remember chinese jump-rope? Do kids play that anymore?)

So I've come home six pounds heavier, my complexion amazingly clear (maybe humidity is good for something), and with more dirty laundry than I care to admit.

But at least I am HOME.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It was only an hour drive, a two hour flight, an hour waiting, another two and a half hour flight, twenty minutes getting my truck back, then a two hour drive home.

I'm exhausted. And all I've really done is sit for the past eleven hours.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


One negative experience can affect our entire life.

One candidate can turn you into (or against) a particular political party.

A poorly prepared meal can taint your taste buds forever (perhaps why I hate seafood so much).
And when you purchase a product that doesn't do what it is supposed to do, you are likely to give up on the entire concept.
I have, however, discovered something.

There are earplugs nowadays that actually can BLOCK noise.

Where were these 31 years ago, eh, when I married the king of snoring?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My niece-in-law (my husband's niece) is from Alaska. I am an Arizonian - at least for the past ten years.

So we are discovering an amazing amount of contrary realities as we are spending time together in Oregon

Alaska is the nation's most northern. Mine is far south - as long as you forget about Hawaii, Florida and quite a bit of Texas.

But I do live three miles from Mexico, so at least we both have international boundaries (Canada is still a foreign country, isn't it?).

An Arizona senator teamed with the Alaskan governor to lose the presidential bid in 2008 - but that has little to do with anything except to promote Sandra Palin's book, and I am NOT trying to do anything like that.

But perhaps just mention that a native Alaskan would like to be quoted as saying, "We couldn't stomach the wench" - I am slightly concerned about her still trying to run again in 2012, since we as a nation rarely learn from our past.

From an Alaskan viewpoint, the Oregon soil here is so DRY. And of course, to someone coming from Arizona, the ground here is green and squelchy and MUDDY.

The Oregon sun rarely is visible, which seems okay to an Alaskan - I am rapidly succumbing to S.A.D. from not having constant, bright sunshine every day.

The highways here are plentiful, broad and well maintained - when you are coming from Juneau.

And actually, they are pretty good compared to the dirt road I live on.

But Stefani has a beautiful, smooth and clear complexion without having to worry about sun screen - I am freckled, wrinkled and dried out.

She grew up on an island off the Alaskan panhandle - I grew up in the middle of Los Angeles in the years before sunscreen was used by anyone except nervous little old ladies who didn't want any more wrinkles.

Perhaps if I had a chance to do it over again, I might start out just a little farther north.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I am leaving home for six days, and I am terrified.

I'm not scared of flying - I've flown over the Pacific ocean enough times and watched "Lost" more than anyone should - and I am convinced if I ever am in a plane that crashes, it just means I'll be stuck with Sayid for at least four seasons - YES!

And even though I am going to what is probably the most BORING small town in the universe (look up the word "stodgy" in the dictionary - there is a photo of my mother-in-law's home town next to it), I am certain I can sit and nod and listen to her stories and mentally be a thousand miles away... hmm, perhaps with Sayid.... no, don't go there.

But I am leaving someone else in charge of my house... and my animals... and even the neighbor's animals (I'm watching them while they're in Texas).

My son.

I know he will feed the animals - I'm just worried about WHEN .

I am certain he'll separate the horses - I'm slightly concerned about him remembering to put them BACK.

He will walk the dogs... sometime.

And I am UTTERLY CONVINCED that my house will be standing when

I get back in six days....

But just barely.

So is there anyway that someone can guarantee that I AM gonna get some time with Sayid?!

I'll be able to leave happier then.

Monday, November 9, 2009


So many things in our lives are completely out of our control.

I cannot change the weather - although I can live where the weather is almost perfect. I have no influence on the state of the economy - although I do my best to financially support my local Target. And I cannot control the chronically depressed state of several individuals in my immediate family - I just try to keep their medications current and prescriptions active.

Living some twenty years as an military spouse, I have learned to accept multiple (and sometimes complete surprise) moves - assignments in which my husband could not let me know anything about until years later (including calls in mid-day to say, "Honey, I'll be gone for a little while" and then nothing else for a week) - and even once when he brought his "wife" home around midnight when they were working late enough on a mission (to which I replied, "so you DO know who you are sleeping with the rest of the night, right!?")

We even got to live ten years in the state of Maryland - which, by my limited definition, was hell.

So maybe I became just slightly MORE than a little compulsive about the small number of things which I could control.

I became (and have remained) adamant about certain brand foods, even through the period of lower-enlisted poverty - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - Ben and Jerry Ice Cream (when available) - Simple Green (back when you had to hunt for it) - Dove soap (long before the dippy "2/3 lotion! Be proud of your self!" campaign began).

And I believe my clinical obsession with office supplies developed along these same lines.

My third job (after becoming a mother) was with a non-profit health organization - and I was the one in charge of ordering office supplies for THE ENTIRE STATE. Well, for that particular non-profit organization. And for the 47th smallest state in the United States. Which is actually only 240 square miles larger than the county I live in right now.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that big a deal.

But it started this fixation on ANYthing that is sold in office supply place - folders, paper clips, markers, Pendaflex, desk organizers, bulletin boards, white boards, memo pads, three-ring binders, spiral binders, stapler removers, calendars.

Except pencils.

I hate pencils - I mean I HATE them. I must have repressed some memory of being abused by a No. 2 Ticonderoga sometime in my childhood and just have not discovered the correct therapy to overcome it.

However, I am now establishing SPAWM (Society for Prevention of Abuse by Writing Mechanisms) as a non-profit mental health resource for all pencil-abused individuals who need assistance in their tragic plight.


I am so happy.