Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Pictures of the fence and the birthday party are up on Flickr. Please to view and enjoy!

Wednesday Bites - The Lawn Boy Edition

The last few times I've cut my grass, it seemed to need cutting again rather quickly. So I took a look at the mower and realized the wheels were still set high from last fall. D'oh! Problem solved. I am so smart. *eyeroll*


I am very excited about my new (well, new to me) electric weed whacker. I couldn't get the old gas one started so my yard was looking unkempt around the edges. But no more!! My Sugar brought me his old electric one and I zipped through weeds, grass and ivy like a hot knife through butter!


Yard work is instant gratification - overgrown lawn? One pass with the mower and voila! All evenly cut and smooth. Empty pile of dirt? Add some mulch and flowers and bang! Instant color and texture.


I like doing yard work. It is rewarding to sit on the porch with a cold beer and admire the fruits of your labors. That being said, I did hire a my babysitter's son to clean out the ivy and limbs from behind my shed. However, once it's clean I will pretty it up. I'm thinking white gravel and maybe a couple of potted plants for color.


My goal tomorrow is to rebuild the flower bed in my front yard. The dogs and I need to be out of the house while my carpets are being cleaned, so hopefully it will be nice weather. I'm using the old bricks from the backyard to re-do the flower bed border, and then cleaning out the old mulch and replanting flowers and laying out new mulch. Pictures, you ask? Why of course!!


Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Half A World Away

I just talked to my brother, Travis. He is currently stationed in Iraq, on a Coast Guard ship patrolling the Gulf against belligerant Iraqi gunboats looking to blow up the oil derricks. At least that's what he can tell me. I suspect there may be more to it.

They are out for 21-day cruises, then they come back into dry land for 6 days. He is currently in Bahrain, enjoying his short stint of freedom.

I love talking to him, but as much as he entertains me with funny stories, we have been ignoring the big white elephant - how we both are handling what life has chucked at us.

I want to know how he's doing being so far from home for so long. How he's doing being on the front lines of a war. A WAR, people! I don't care how grown up he thinks he is being married with a child, he's my little brother. The one I cut out of a tree. The one that busted my head open by body slamming me into the couch. The one I locked out of the house when he wouldn't take out the trash, so he threw a rock at me and broke the front door and I got in trouble while he ran off into the woods to hide with a bag in which he'd packed a handful of Tootsie Rolls and clean underwear. The one that took Jessica and Kelli to the beach and taught them to boogie-board and the fun of an underwater camera. The one that taught Jessica how to drive a go-cart. The one that did donuts on the jetski until Kelli flew off, and she came up sputtering and demanding "Do it again, Uncle Travis!"

The one that put on his dress blues, white hat and gloves and carried Jessica's coffin to the limo, and never once stumbled through his tears.

He wants to know how I'm doing, facing the rest of my life without two of my children. He wants to make sure Sugar is treating me right. He wants to make sure I'm treating myself right. Am I ready to go back to work? He wants to know how Maddy is handling things, and would she like to come to California when he comes home (Um, I'm going to go with Hell Yeah on that one).

He told me today that he wears a patch on his Kevlar vest which has three roses and the girls' names on it. When he gets back, he's going to give it to me.

Today we finally talked about all this, and he started to cry. I had to go in an empty office so I could cry too. He cried because he's tired of being there, and he misses his family and he wants to come home. I cried because I miss him and I want him to come home, too. We cried because the girls are gone. We both sat on the floor, leaned our heads against the walls and cried into our phones, wishing we were half a foot away from each other instead of half a world away.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Student of the Month Is Cuter Than Yours

Maddy was awarded Student of the Month for her elementary school. I'm very proud of her. She didn't win cash, but got some nice swag.
Way to go, MadMad!! Dinner at Cracker Barrel to celebrate!

Mending Fences

The fence is up. It is beautiful. My yard looks so much cleaner now. Not just because the sections on this fence are actually straight, the posts don't lean, and you can't see through the holes where pickets were missing. It looks clean because we cleared out piles of ivy that were growing through the old fence. I really think it was holding up the fence in some places. We also cleared out piles of old bricks in the corner (which again, were helping to hold up the fence), and I cleared out the small jungle between the shed and the fence. There is still a small jungle behind the shed but you can't see that from the pictures so be kind and don't point it out. I'm working on it. (And by working on it I mean trying to hire someone because DAMN that ivy is in the ground for life.) I wish I could just set it on fire, but our town has some goofy ordinance about uncontrolled burning. Spoilsports.

We tore down the old fence on Friday afternoon. It only took about an hour and half. Of the ten posts, we found two that were properly set in concrete. The first post we pulled out was only buried 4 inches into the ground. I'm not a professional, but I think you need a bit more stability than that. Of course, that kind of master craftsmanship explains a lot about the state of the fence. Just sayin'.

I bought my fencing from Home Depot. A nice feature they offer is the ability to place your order online, and they will pull it and get it ready for you to pick up. This is especially handy when you're dealing with 6x8 fence panels. They don't fit in the cart so well.

They also offer tool and truck rental, but they do not take reservations, so it's first come first serve. My plan was to get there right when they opened to make sure I got what I needed.

On Friday, I ran by to get an extension cord and a garden hose. While I was there, I stopped by the online order desk just to verify that my order wasn't lost in cyberspace. I also verified that they opened at 6am. The clerk said "yes, 6am."

Saturday morning, Sugar and I arose at the buttcrack of dawn and headed out to HD. As we approached the store, I could see 4 or 5 people standing by the doors. I started to freak out (because that's what I do best) and started spewing a stream of consciousness along the lines of "oh no, I knew I should have gotten here earlier how the hell am I going to get 10 fence panels and posts and concrete to my house with this short-bed truck, and and what if they rented the auger already and oh holy hell that guy has on a Home Depot jacket and I'm wearing my Lowe's jacket they won't rent to me becauseI like the wrong NASCAR team and I want this fence done today because I can't bring my dogs home without a fence".... and on and on like that. I'm suprised Sugar didn't shut my hand in the door just to give me something to freak out about.

Ahem. Anyway, we pull into the parking and I leap out of the truck before he gets it stopped, because the the 4 or 5 people standing outside the store? Are now being let inside!! OMG!! I half walk/half run toward the door, and the door shuts and I see the employee re-locking it! Nooooo!!!! As I hurtle toward the doors, the kind yet confused Home Depot employee opens the door again and says "Can I help you?" I said I was there to pick up my order and he says "We don't open until 7."

WHA? Oh no no no, the lady at the contractor desk yesterday said 6am. He replied "That was our old hours."

WHA? Old hours? You. Are. Effing. Kidding. Me. I could have slept another hour.

By this time Sugar has caught up to me and has heard the 7am opening time. He takes me gently by the arm (before I harm myself or others) and turns me to go back to the truck. Another gentleman has heard this exchange as well and says "They always opened at 6am before." Ha! Validation!! However, validation doesn't open the doors, so we leave.

After that auspicious start, we only ran into a few more problems, which required buying more concrete and a chain saw (I told you that ivy was FIERCE!) and digging out a couple of buried surprises, such as a metal fence stake and concrete from previous fence posts. Someone apparently did the job correctly in the past. I also have a partial section left over, which I can use for future repairs.

All in all, it was a 12 hour job, start to finish. No one was seriously injured, we didn't run out of beer, and we also managed to haul off the vast majority of the old fencing.

So thanks to my Sugar, my neighbors Vinny and Lou, and my BFF Lynn for loaning her husband, Brian.

Next major project - the deck.

**Pics will be on Flickr later. I'll update.

Friday, April 25, 2008

In Case You Missed It...

Here is the link for the story that KSDK ran last night. I thought it was tastefully done and very informative.

In other news, the criminal trial of Mr. Mitchell will not start for several months. Here is the story regarding the pre-trial hearing yesterday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Had to Share

I'm having a bleah day and I read this just a minute ago. I had to share. It was very inspirational to me and calmed a few of my freak-outs I was having.

I'm going to write "Trust" on my bathroom mirror. Just as a reminder.


The Mundane

Remember learing about onomatopoeia in English class? I think mundane is an example. It's just a blah sounding word, isn't it? Munn-dayne. Bo-ring.

I really wish that I had been blogging longer, and could go back through my posts and relive moments in my life. Even the mundane.

I've read some bloggers who have asked their readers to tell them if they are getting boring, or are blogging about certain aspects of their lives too much. To them I say, blog it. Don't count on your memory. Man, I wish I'd had this media when my kids were younger. I've been racking my brain trying to remember funny little moments in their lives. Hell, I wish I'd been better at writing in their baby books. I thought, "oh, I'll remember this." And now I don't.

Photographs do help. I put together photo boards for the funeral, and I would find pictures and say "oh yeah, I remember why she was doing that." One of Jessica's friends told me that she was so glad Jessica took pictures all the time, because now they can look at them and remember what they were doing, even if it seemed ordinary at the time.

They died five months ago yesterday. I remember what we were doing last year at this time. Jessica had gone to Senior Prom and was gearing up for graduation, and we were dealing with stress of finding student aid. Kelli was doing cheerleader tryouts, and looking forward to summertime. Maddy was looking forward to her first communion and getting out of school.

There's so much more, I'm sure, but what was it? The combination of age, daily brain overload, and grief is clouding my memories. I try to grab ahold of them when I can, but it's like catching smoke sometimes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Bites - The Technical Version

I joined Twitter. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, but now I can't leave it alone. You can get updates on your cell phone too. One more reason to spring for the iPhone. I can upgrade my phone now and I'm really thinking I might get one. If you have one, tell me the pros/cons. Is it worth it?


I also updated my blog roll...finally. If I left you off (a thousand apologies) or if you want to be added, let me know. I need to get Google Reader going, too, but baby steps, people.


I will be setting up a website for my girls soon. I am not the most tech-savvy gal in the world, so this oughta be a learning experience. It will be a place for people to post pictures or stories about the girls, and give updates on their benefit in July (more info on that later). Hints, tips and help would be appreciated.


Maddy has to do a school project on frogs and toads, with pictures, of course. Thank goodness I have access to a color printer. How did we do our homework before Google Images? How did we do our homework before the internet? And by "we" I mean those of us born before 1986.


If you haven't heard about St. Louis Bloggers Guild, check it out.


Happy Administrative Professionals Day! Make your boss take you to lunch. Or if you're the boss, take yourself to a nice looong lunch. Preferably with cocktails.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Upcoming News

On Thursday, April 24, during the 10:00 pm newscast, Newschannel 5 will be running a story about how Missouri and Illinois police auto accidents are internally investigated.

I was contacted by Leisa Zigman about this story. She told me about the content, and asked for some better photos of Jessica and Kelli, which I gave her. However, I did not comment for the story.

Just an FYI if you want to watch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Want To Be A Loser

As I mentioned last week, I'm going to make some changes around here. *points at self*

When I was working out last year, I felt good. I wasn't trying to become a supermodel - I was just trying to get healthy. I need that feeling again.

So, this morning I packed my workout gear and joined the gym in my building. I have to say I'm LOVING it. The woman who runs it, Cindy, is just so darn perky! She didn't faint when she weighed and measured me, and I appreciate that. Although I almost did. Yowza. Those are some harsh numbers.

Her gym is having a Biggest Loser competition. It starts today, and runs for 6 weeks. You pay $5 to join. Weigh-in is Monday morning. If you don't gain weight, you don't pay. If you gain, you pay $.10 per ounce up to $2 max. At the end of six weeks, whoever loses the most wins half the money, then the other half is split between 2nd and 3rd place. I don't think I'll win but the motivation of not paying is good. I like that the weigh-in is on Monday, because I tend to indulge on the weekends.

Cindy also suggested that I email her daily what I'm eating and she'd give me tips on how to do better. I'm hoping that will make me a little more cognizant of what I'm eating and try to substitute grapes for Doritos.

Oh, and the upside is I get to go shopping. Remember the bras? Yeah, sports bras might be a good idea when running on the treadmill. I don't want to put out my eye.

PS to my STL readers - Enjoy the weather today. I think we might actually have Spring now. Here's hoping!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Freaky Friday

If you're in the Midwest, you may have felt the shake, rattle and roll this morning during the earthquake.

This morning at 4:40 I woke up with my bed shaking. I thought since it was 40 minutes after 4 (and I just turned 40), it was Jessica and Kelli jumping on my bed and saying Happy Birthday. So I said "you're a few days late but thanks, I love you guys" and went back to sleep.

Later this morning, I had to call my babysitter, Becky. When she answered she said "did you think the girls came to see you last night?" I was shocked that she would know what happened. Then she told me it was an earthquake, but she also woke up thinking it was either the girls or her mom (who died last year) coming to visit. Neither one of us initially thought it was an earthquake.

When we moved in our house, we had a few incidents that led me to think our house was haunted. It is almost 100 years old, and built in a neighborhood that has had other reports of paranormal activity. I had have the TV channel change when the remote was nowhere near me. I also had Kelli's closet doors shut on me and when I said "knock it off," I heard a kid laughing, but my girls were downstairs. I also heard noises upstairs like the girls were walking around their rooms, but no one was up there. Sometimes the dogs bark up the stairs for no reason (at least that I can see).

After we had been in the house for a few years, we stopped hearing the noises. I figured the ghosts realized we were there to stay and they left us alone. However, since the girls have died, the noises have come back. At night I sometimes hear someone walking around in Jessica's room and I have heard the doors opening, but I know that it wasn't Maddy, and the dogs were downstairs.

The only rooms on our second floor are their bedrooms and the bathroom. I go up to their rooms once or twice a week and look around, just to make sure the roof hasn't caved in. I've started saying "I know, I miss them too," and the noises stop for a while. I think the ghosts miss them. Or maybe it's Jessica or Kelli coming to check their rooms and make sure Maddy hasn't "borrowed" something.

My babysitter has also had a few things happen at her house since their deaths. Becky was very close to Kelli, since she would go over there during the summer and help her with the little ones. Becky would buy the big jar of cheese balls at Sam's, and Kelli would get some, then later she would sneak back in the kitchen for more. Becky had bought some a few weeks ago, and she heard breathing by the jar. Maddy said "it's Kelli, she came to get cheese balls."

Becky also said her cat was meowing at a wall once, then laid down and started purring, and she thinks Kelli was petting the cat. Becky also told me that one of the little girls, about 8 months old, was sitting in the high chair during lunch. All of a sudden, she looked in the corner and started babbling, but there was no one there. Becky said it was like she was having a conversation with someone - she was babbling, then waiting, then babbling as if in response to a question.

I believe in ghosts. I don't think that Jessica or Kelli would come back and sit in the kitchen and chat with me, but I like to think they might try to send us signs that they're okay. Like the dreams I had. Perhaps it's just a 100 year old house creaking, and I'm looking for something that isn't there. I like to think otherwise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Single and 40

First of all, thanks for all your birthday wishes. I had an exciting and glamorous birthday - I took my sugar to go pick up his new motorcycle, and then he and Maddy took me to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I got an iron and wood bench for my front porch from Maddy and a diamond circle necklace from my sugar. My bench has a five-point Texas star set in the back of the bench. My necklace is very gorgeous and shiny. They both did good in the present department.

My birthday wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, considering. I did miss the balloons and cake that Jessica would have given me, and the artistic card and cookies that Kelli would have made me, and the perpetual grief they would have given me about turning 40, but all in all, it was a good day.

I was off yesterday because I had a lengthy to-do list: pay my water bill, get a building permit for the new fence, finish painting my bathroom, go check the girls' gravesites (vandals hit the cemetery last weekend but their sites are fine), file my divorce, and take Maddy to her eye doctor appointment.

I not only completed everything on my list, my divorce was finalized yesterday. I wasn't expecting that. I figured I would file it, and it would be set for hearing in a couple of weeks. Imagine my surprise when the clerk said "come with me" and we headed up to the second floor courtrooms. In a bit of a panic, I asked if I had to see the judge, as I was not dressed for court, unless jeans and an Indianapolis Motor Speedway t-shirt are the new black suit. Luckily I didn't, but God, how embarassing would that have been?

So, speaking of appearances, my bathroom scale has been under my bed since the bathroom remodeling began last week. I hauled it out yesterday and stood on it just for fun, then fell off of it when I saw the readout. Of course, my first response is "that can't be right," but after consulting with my jeans and my shorts, it was indeed correct. Holy hell.

I know I've been lax in my eating habits lately, and I know that Easter candy is the devil, so in the trash it went. I can't just stuff my face with whatever anymore. It's been creeping up on me - 2 pounds here, 4 pounds here - and it's adding up rather quickly. So NO MORE!! No more excuses of not walking at night or not taking the stairs at work. No more eating chocolate before bed. No more staying up late watching TV.

I'm not going to set grandiose goals of "I want to be a size 8 by May" or "I'm going to lose 10 pounds by Saturday" because that always backfires. I figure since I got here 2 or 4 pounds at a time, I'm going to go back 2 or 4 pounds at a time. Small losses, small changes. It will add up eventually. Since we are going to Dallas at the end of June, my goal is to look decent in my swimsuit by then. Maddy and I are also having our pictures taken in May, and I don't want three chins in my portrait. Jonathan Pollack is going to take some shots of me and Maddy. I like his work, check it out.

I think I'll look at turning 40 and getting my divorce finalized as my New Year. The changes begin today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100th Post - The Results

I was going to post this last night but I got a little distracted by some tequila at my pre-birthday celebration.

The general consensus seems to be that my readers are clamoring for 100 things about me. Although as Jeannette pointed out - I've given you 100 posts, what more could you want?

So without further delay, I present to you, in no particular order, 79 facts concerning my favorite subject - me. Yeah, I know, it's not 100 but I couldn't get past 79. However, I had suggestions that I write what I'm thankful for in 100 words, so I did that too.

1. I've been married twice and as of the end of this month will be divorced twice. But I don't look at them as mistakes, more like stepping stones along my current path.

2. I am 40 years old today. Today is also income tax day, the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

3. I have one brother, Travis. He is in the Coast Guard and is stationed in/around/near Iraq right now.

4. My mom died of MS in 1994.

5. My dad is awesome.

6. I hate mayonnaise, tuna fish, and boiled eggs. If I was stranded on an island with those three things, I'd starve.

7. I love chocolate, ham and swiss sandwiches, and Doritos. If I was stranded on an island with those three things, I'd weigh 900 pounds.

8. I love to read.

9. My dream vacation would be a warm sunny beach.

10. I don't mind flying but I'd rather drive.

11. I sing in the car. I've been known to dance a few times, too.

12. I'm not a great driver. I have a problem with things getting in my way when I back up, I follow too closely, and I have no patience with poky people. I did get a 100 on my driver's test when I was 16. Go figure.

13. I have a motorcycle driver's license. Don't worry; I probably won't be zooming around town on one of those anytime soon.

14. I love to cook.

15. My chili has won several chili-cookoff awards.

16. My dream job would be a party planner.

17. I don't balance my checkbook. Thank goodness for online banking.

18. I'm claustrophobic.

19. I'm afraid of snakes. I don't even like to go in the reptile house at the Zoo.

20. My favorite zoo animals are the penguins.

21. I'd rather be hot than cold.

21. I'd rather be tired than hungry.

22. I'm addicted to shoes.

23. I'm lactose intolerant so no fettuccine alfredo or ice cream for me.

24. If you convince/coerce/ply me with alcohol to sing karaoke, I will sing Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot because I know all the words and it's in my vocal range.

25. I've never won any prizes for karaoke.

26. I quit smoking in August 2006.

27. I believe in ghosts. In fact, I think I have one in my house.

28. I can type about 85 WPM.

29. I check my horoscope every day.

30. I make my bed as soon as I get up.

31. I'm so impatient I walk up and down escalators.

32. I am one of the few Southerners who dislike sweet tea. I do like lemon in my iced tea.

33. I stole gum from the store when I was 5 or 6. My mom wouldn't buy it for me. I felt so guilty it made me sick when I chewed it so I threw it away. I never told her, so I guess I didn't feel that bad.

34. I whistle by inhaling, not exhaling.

35. I can roll my tongue, but I can't roll my Rs.

36. I hate when people cheer before the end of the Star Spangled Banner.

37. I like white wine, but given a choice, I'd rather have a beer.

38. My second dream job would be as a personal shopper.

39. I feel naked if I forget to put on my rings and watch.

40. I go to Wal-Mart at least three times a week.

41. I make excellent Veal Marsala from scratch.

42. My favorite dinner is filet, medium rare, with a baked potato and bread. And a beer.

43. I gave birth to Kelli and Madelyn with no painkillers no epidurals, no nothing. I had Demerol with Jessica and it was not helpful.

44. I'm a huge Elvis fan. When I was pregnant with Maddy I thought I was in labor on Elvis' birthday. If I had given birth that day I would have named her Madelyn Lisa Marie.

45. I love the smell of Baby Magic lotion.

46. If I were to ever have plastic surgery, I'd have the fat from my behind donated to those less fortunate.

47. I crashed an attorneys-only party. I'd had a few beers. The following work day was quite tense. I kept expecting a call from HR. I don't work there anymore so I think the statute has run out.

48. I was "requested" to step off the bar at Coyote Ugly - a place where women are encouraged to dance on the bar. I was on the bar with several other women, and because I was in my bikini top and shorts, I was asked to get down. My swimsuit top was not considered a shirt. I pointed out that one woman's shorts were cut so low you could see if she had a Brazilian, and the other one had on a strip of material across her chest, which could be considered a "shirt" in the loosest sense of the word, but I still had to get down, or put on a shirt. I maintained my principles, got off the bar, and took half the patrons with me down the street to the next bar.

49. I like the smell of freshly mown grass.

50. I'm halfway done and I realize this is harder than it sounds. Either that or I'm just really boring.

51. I can water-ski but I haven't done it in years.

52. My dream house will have a gourmet kitchen, at least two fireplaces, a three-car garage, a walk-in shower and a moat to keep out undesirables.

53. I just booked a flight to Dallas for Maddy and me in June. And before you start quoting #10 above to me, I'd rather fly than be in a car with her for 9 hours. I love her but she will talk me to pieces. Plus she's never flown, so it's about time she gets to enjoy the TSA experience.

54. I would like to visit Hawaii someday.

55. Summer is my favorite season.

56. I've been tornado chasing with my dad. I remember one Sunday after church we followed one until my mom was sufficiently freaked out, then we turned around and went home. I didn't think it ever got that close to the car, but I was a kid and thought jumping off the roof was fun. It was pretty cool.

57. Speaking of jumping off the roof, I did that at the Roby, Texas swimming pool. We jumped off the roof of the locker room into the pool. No beer was involved, if you can believe that.

58. I have owned 10 cars in my lifetime, by just counting the ones I primarily drove. If you count the ones my spouse(s) owned but they drove, I've owned 20. Detroit owes me big time.

59. I've had 11 different addresses in my life, and lived in three different states.

60. I've been to every state west of the Mississippi River, except Louisiana and the Dakotas.

61. The only foreign countries I've been to are Canada and Mexico.

62. I'd like to visit Niagara Falls.

63. I have seen the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic . I've seen Lake Michigan and I've flown over Lake Ontario . I drive over the Mississippi almost every day.

64. When I retire I'd like to be on or near water. Preferably somewhere warm.

65. My favorite color is pink.

65. My favorite flowers are yellow roses.

66. I enjoy watching professional sports except for basketball.

67. I haven't been to church since my daughters' funerals. I'm a little put out with God right now.

68. I still have trouble believing that they are gone.

69. I visit their graves every week, just to say hi and check their flowers.

70. I'm not looking forward to celebrating my birthday without them.

71. I'm not looking forward to doing anything without them.

72. I'd give anything to have them back.

73. I'm setting up a scholarship at SIUE in Jessica's name.

74. I'm also setting up a fund in Kelli's name for cheerleading.

75. I'm trying to focus on the positives.

76. It's not easy.

77. My dad planted trees for them at his house.

78. If not for my family and friends, I wouldn't get through this.

79. I am thankful for all the support and prayers.

Now, what I'm thankful for in 100 words (technically 106).

I'm thankful for my family, friends, and fellow bloggers for their prayers and words of comfort. It's been very hard to try to focus on anything positive from this, but it's getting a little easier. I felt like I was in a fog since November, and it's just now starting to lift.

I'm thankful that I have Maddy. She makes me laugh, she keeps me busy and sometimes she's the reason I get up in the morning.

I'm thankful for my faith. I'm not happy with God right now but I trust that there's a reason for all of this. Someday I'll know what it is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


This is my 100th post. I've been thinking about how to play this - should I answer 100 questions, or do I post my 100 favorite things, or give you 100 reasons why I'm so fabulous, or tell you what I'd spend $100 on or what? What's my motivation here? What do you, my faithful readers, want from me?

So, since I can't decide, I'll leave it up to you. You tell me. The best idea wins.

And technically since this is my 100th post, my 101st post will be the results. We'll just call it "100 - The Results Show."

Talk to me....

Wednesday Bites - The Why Version

Why is it that when you're installing a floor, you will have to open a brand new box for the last lousy tile?


Also, why, after a clean safety record through 179 tiles, you cut your finger trimming the last tile? It was a good cut, too. I don't mess around.


Why is the temperature decent all week and then turns frosty on the weekend when you're installing a fence? 45 on Saturday? In mid-April? Seriously? Sadly, my dad has the flu so we had to reschedule anyway. Hopefully it won't be snowing then.


Why is it when you say "I'm just looking, I'm not going to buy," you wind up buying? It didn't happen to me (this time!), but my sugar bought a motorcycle yesterday, after saying "I'm just going to look." Uh-huh, yeah right. I knew as soon as he sat on it he was going to sign whatever they stuck in front of him.


Why did it take me until Thursday to post my Wednesday blog?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Inspiration Comes From Everywhere

On my way to work this morning I was thinking about what to write today. I mean, I was totally paying attention to the road and the other idiots, too but I can think and drive at the same time. Sometimes.

Anyway. I was reminiscing about our dinner last night and was there anything amusing that transpired that would be worth repeating? Perhaps when Maddy was trying to figure out what UR2SLW stood for on a license plate in her Hot Wheels coloring book and Sugar said "it's something your mom says when she's driving" and I had a brief moment of panic that Maddy would start hllering obscenities and gesturing rudely but she didn't. Thank Gawd. I like that restaurant and would hate to be banned from their awesome chimicangas.

I also had called to my dad last night and usually there's some funny stories from those conversations, but all we talked about was saws and drills and concrete and the other stuff I need for my fence he's helping me with this weekend.

Neither of those topics would be enough. I mean, my readers expect a certain standard of material when they come here. *snort*

And then, the heavens opened and the angels sung and some dumbass pulled over into my lane right in front of me with a license plate that read DADYSGL .

Well, cut off my legs and call me Shorty because lookie there - inspiration for a post today.

Let's talk about daddy's girls.

I will be 40 next week but I am still a daddy's girl. My mom used to discipline me but when my dad got involved I knew my life was all over. I could drive my mom nuts all day long and never give it a second thought but I was devasted if I disappointed my dad. I still try not to disappoint him. He says I'm not but...ahem. Moving on.

He's the one I call when I need to know how much concrete to buy for 11 fence posts, when my electrical outlets stop working (GFI reset button - hello?), when I open a beer at 9:00 in the morning at the NASCAR race, when I need to know some randow trivia fact, when I'm having a minor meltdown, and when I just want to know what's going on with him.

He is an awesome PaPa. He built Jessica a rocking horse when she was a baby, and he customized it to add a recessed seat with a strap so that she could sit in it while she was a baby, then he planned to cover the opening when she was older so she could ride it like a real rocking horse. He built me shelves for Kelli's room, and he took Maddy to go get more sand for her sandbox when he used it all up to mix concrete. He built them a playground in his yard, complete with a seesaw and swings. He almost bought them a merry-go-round when they tore down the old elementary school. He taught them math with poker and dice. He gave them half-empty cans of spray paint so they could run amok in the woods and paint the trees. Maddy still asks to paint trees when we go to his house.

He taught me how to change a tire, check my oil and replace the head gasket on my car. He taught me to swear in Spanish. He taught me how to shoot a shotgun and how to stack wood. He taught me how to drive a backhoe and how to water-ski.

He taught me to play the Tennessee Waltz on the piano and how to fake a waltz with a two-step. He taught me fractions with his socket wrench set.

But the best lessons weren't spoken - they were by letting me watch and learn and do. He never told me to move or get out of the way so he could do it. If I bent the nail, he'd yank it out and tell me to try again. When I'd smack my thumb he said "I bet that hurt! Now hit the nail and it won't hurt so bad."

I never want to hear his voice sound like it did when I called and told him Jessica and Kelli were dead. I never want to have to say "daddy I need you" like that again. He stood next to me while my daughters were buried and he let me cry on him, even though his heart was breaking, too.

That's the most valuable lesson he taught me - family is the most important thing you have. You may be mad because they ran over your chain saw, or broke a door, or need money, but you never stop loving them.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Well, Hi!

Hi there! Yes, I've missed you, too. I've been so busy lately, and I kept thinking I'd post a short update and then I'd see something shiny and...Hi, I'm Dori.*

So, the home improvement is going great. My BFF Heather came over Friday night and helped me put in the new kitchen floor. She also lifted my oven and refrigerator so I could tile under them (because if it was just me I would have just tiled around them). She is SHE-RA! QUEEN OF THE KITCHEN! We finished the two-person part of the tile job, and since we still had beer, she primed my bathroom ceiling and walls while I finished the perimeter of the floor. It was a lot of fun. We sang oldies from the 60s, danced on the floor to make sure it was stuck, and then put in Hall and Oates for the painting. We also determined that staying in on a Friday night to do home improvement instead of going out did not mean we were old. It meant we were being smart, because the amount I spent on the floor was probably comparable to a full-on girls night out - however, not only we would remember putting in the floor, we wouldn't puke it up either.

BFF, Sugar, Hot Jason and I went to the Cards game on Saturday. What a great day. The weather was gorgeous, our seats were prime (12 rows off the field on the third base line) and the beer was cold. Oh - and they won the game. Bonus! Apparently I was on TV, too. My cousin called during the game and told me to take off my bumble-bee sunglasses. I hope I looked cute and wasn't picking peanuts out of my teeth or something. If you saw a woman in a pink Cards jersey with big sunglasses doing something goofy, that wasn't me.

Sunday was spent having lunch at Cracker Barrel with Sugar's grandparents, then off to Lowe's to return what I didn't need and buy more stuff that I do. We took Maddy to the park Sunday evening for a swinging time. She didn't crash and burn this time.

After a lovely dinner of Imo's pizza and salad, it was home to veg on the couch and admire the shiny new floor.

Pics will be posted on Flickr tonight. How was your weekend?

*Watch Finding Nemo to get the joke.

UPDATED: Pics on Flickr now. Please to view.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday Bites - The Dance Fever Edition

If you ever want to see me stop whatever I'm doing and start dancing, play this song.


My BFF Heather and I have some great dance memories. Once we were doing the polka at the American Legion and my shoe got stuck on the floor and I started to fall. She grabbed and caught me by the belt loop but it broke and I landed on my behonkus. There I am sitting on the floor and she's holding a piece of my pants. We weren't embarassed about falling as much as we both were praying "please don't knock over the flags and the POW table."

We also won a jitterbug contest at an Elvis-impersonator concert. Because we're awesome like that.


Best way to embarass your kid EVER - crank up your radio at a stoplight and start driver's-seat dancing. Bonus points if it's disco or anything from Bananarama. I guarantee you'll look over and they'll be curled up in the floorboard begging you to stop mom please JUST STOP IT! Or do it when you drop them off for school. That works too.


My kitchen has seen a lot of dancing in its time. My girls and I used to put on music and just dance around. Kelli tried to teach me Soulja Boy. Now that was funny stuff. I might be a stunning example of white girls can't dance. Jessica used to Vogue when she was 3 or 4. She was always a good dancer. With her white-blonde hair and a cute little black t-shirt with rhinestones along the collar, she was so Madonna.


Celebrate Wednesday with a little boogie, child.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mah Cleverness - Let me Show You It

I won the "Photo in Search of a Caption" contest on No monetary award, but their recognition of my fantastic-ness is reward enough. *snort* Honestly, I felt like Sally Field when I saw they'd picked me. They like me!! Really!!

Apropos of nothing, I would like to invite you, my dear readers, to not only leave me comments but email me as well. I get these awesome comments and I'd like to respond back, but the commenter has not used their email address. There's probably something technical I could do but this is easier. Or I could go into my comments and re-comment but again, I'm lazy and this is easier. Besides, I love email. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I have new mail. (See above Sally Field reference).

So, please feel free to email me at lakegal180 at yahoo dot com. I promise to personally respond to your emails. Unless I get 956,423 and then I will have my assistant, Maddy, help me. Lord knows what she'll write.