Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bad Blogger.....Part Deux

Okay, like a Band-Aid…I’m going to catch the rest of the missing link up quick - in one rip, one breath even so here it goes…….

Deep breath….. 

After the Ren Fest we spent the next day doing family things, running, errands, dinner, moving a few last things of Meg’s - the  next week was spent working from early to late, covering a late hour open house on Wednesday, a community meeting on Thursday and Friday was filled with doing next Monday’s work a head of time on top of regular Friday work - Tuesday was filled with left over Monday work in addition to Wednesday’s work all because I had to go out of town on a business meeting and would be gone for Wednesday and Thursday. Friday of that same week was spent catching up on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday’s work so that we could have an actual paper the next week. Saturday we woke up early to go watch the Missouri Western Homecoming parade that our high school band was participating and that my 8th grade son was invited to march in. That afternoon we ran errands around the city, picked up four, yes four, scarecrows from Michaels (they were on sale!) Hit the bookstore for coffee and a read, pet store for crickets and headed back home. That afternoon I went into work to update our website, then we were off to a friend’s house to help him cut down, cut up and split a tree on his property. Sunday we were up and at ‘em early. It was winter wood cutting time. We traveled through four different pastures and tree lines, selecting trees, cutting, hauling and splitting wood then stacking it on the trailer. After the wood was stacked we all huddled around the bon fire, roasted hotdogs and marshmallows - YUM - Monday was spent working still catching up and then covering a hearing - over garage sales no less - and Tuesday was spent getting ready for Wednesday’s publication! Yesterday we got the week’s paper out and then… has been somewhat normal. 

gasp……cough…..deeeeeeep breath! 

And there you have it. 

I think I will take tomorrow off…being so busy has left my homestead in a shambles. I don’t know where you find the Stepford potion….but I could use it right about now. My kids have decided that with mom working so much it is okay to leave a trail of socks, shoes, various other clothing items, dishes, books and video games in a snail-like fashion all over the house.

 Maybe it is like Hansel and Gretel….they are worried about getting lost in our mansion of a home so they need to leave a trail to find their way back!

 I’d buy it but, our house is not a mansion and even after they find their way back…..the trail is still there! It only disappears with my threats of banishment from the kingdom. 

Besides, I have some creative juices I need to put to rest. So I will take tomorrow and enjoy some time by myself sketch a little, clean some house, write a chapter or two, do my laundry, sew on a couple of projects….yes….I can taste the peacefulness productiveness as I type.

 Can’t wait!

 I’m blogged out for the day….I’ll leave you with some pictures from the last week to keep you entertained…..or tortured….whichever.

A 1 a.m. house fire....nothing like standing in the rain documenting a flaming structure! No one lived there though, so that was a good thing.

There's my boy.....On the left.

Not exactly the Axe Men....but we did get some firewood for the winter!

"Hey grandma....what's that?'

"Hi Jaden....See....It's a fuzzy catapillar."

"I want to hold it Grandma."

"Okay....That's enough. I'm done."

Have a wonderful day....I'll talk to you all very soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life interrupted......Missing kids

Okay gang, 
So I am holding off on the continuation of the update because of some breaking and very important news...

I am using whatever means necessary to help these kids and families. We have two area kids that have taken off and families who are in need of finding them. One is a 14 year old girl the other a 16 year old boy. I will post the details below with a picture but I am asking all of you who come across this to please forward especially if you have contacts in Arkansas, California or Colorado.

Authorities are stating that this case does not look good and the kids have been missing since Friday night, Oct. 17. 

This is a legitimate case - Please help if you can.



Christina Paige Alley, 14, and Levi Samuel Carlson, 16,  have been missing since Friday, October 17 when it is believed that Levi took Paige from a football game in Lathrop, Mo. According to authorities, the two were last seen between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. that evening. 

Christina is five feet, two inches tall, 130 pounds with auburn hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a royal blue in color shirt with lace on the sleeves, black
in color pants, and sandals.

Levi is five feet, eight inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He
was last seen wearing a black in color hoodie sweatshirt and possibly jeans. 

The couple were last seen in Lathrop and possibly headed to either California or Arkansas. They were driving a maroon, 4-door, 1996 Toyota Avalon with license plates PD0A5U. 

Neither Paige nor Levi have a Driver's License or much experience with driving a motor vehicle.  Levi is known to be bi-polar and off of his prescribed medications.  He has threatened suicide, but is not known to have a weapon.  

The destination of the couple is unknown. According to authorities, some friends of Levi's mentioned that Levi always wanted to be a "rock star" in California.  Paige has some biological family in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Area.  

In an update issued on Monday, Oct. 20, authorities stated that information from sources advised that the pair may be headed to Colorado and that Levi had a guitar with him that could be used to pawn for money.  Levi was known to have mentioned wanting to live in the wild in Colorado to fish and hunt. Authorities are contacting pawnshops in the area to see if they noticed Levi or Paige selling any items for money. 

An Amber alert was issued for Christina late Monday Afternoon. 

Any with information about the teens are asked to please contact Clinton County Sheriff's Office at 816-539-2156 or call 911.

Please say a prayer for all involved with this case. 

Thank you my friends. Go home, hug your family tight today and know how blessed we all truly are.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bad Blogger.....

Well, forgive me readers for I have sinned, it has been seven days since my last post. I am officially a bad blogger. please reserve my penance until you have read a recount of the whirlwind that is my life.

Prior to my last post we took the kids, minus one, to the KC Renaissance Festival. Stephan bailed on us to go hang out with his buddy for the weekend. I couldn’t even guilt him into it....I must be losing my touch. 

We had a great time though. Jaden was so fun, I think all the movement, people and colors kept him interested. And he had a great time trying on hats...

Okay, so it was us that had the great time while he tried on the hats, but I swear he didn’t mind.

And Becca....well she found the Sock Hut......She is one crazy sock lovin' girl!
I even ran into Mother Nature.....I was taught at a very young age not to upset this woman....they even made a commercial about that!
Megan got to play Fair Maiden at the Jousting event......
We had a family disagreement on which Jouster to support....of course there was the one who wore the faithful red and blue....then the others were black and gold....well KU was a given but the black and gold are also our high school colors....oh the delima.....Well half of the family went with the Knight in college colors and the other cheered for the high school representin' Knight....
Black and gold started of strong......but events took a quick turn for the worse.......
Yep,  college kicked high school's but and you would be correct in saying that they carried the dead, black and gold night off the field on a stretcher!
Jaden was all about trying to snatch the balloons of any unsuspecting child who wandered too close....
The food was delicious and the games were fun. I kicked Rob and Aaron’s butt in archery.
Look up....that's me winning! Look down....that's Aaron's first shot of the day....and to think he advanced to the crossbow after that.

The girls are convinced that they are going to dress up as fairies next year and join the fun.

I think this fairy meant business!

 Aaron just liked all the knives, jousting and bungee jump. Did you know that they had that event back then? 

Look at that girl in the background!

“Here ye, here ye.....everyone gather round for the royal bungee bounce. See how far you can fling your knights!”

Anyway, I had not been in years and it was fun but the characters did not seem to stay in character as much as they used to. Back in the day, I remember that the characters would really play the part and would try to engage you as those characters. Last weekend I saw texting-wenches, gum-popping fairies, cell phone-talking pirates and a few ipod-wearing gypsies. Few spoke in the ‘language’ and none of them, unless they were in a formal show, actually held character.

Here are a few miscellaneous pics from the day...

We still managed to have fun. People watching is one of my all-time favorite hobbies. 


"Grandma, can I have one of these to take home?"
Overall, the day was nice, not too hot or cold, lots of walking and then we went to dinner afterwards. Everyone was beat by the time we got home.

On a work note, I did find my new personal assistant this weekend though....

Now if I can just get the boss to budget him...

Sunday was pretty much a lazy day. Should have cleaned house but there was too much rest to catch up on. We watched football and spent time together as a family. I did spend some of the day messing around with my digital camera and its settings. 

Oh yeah...I lept ahead of the pack in my football pick by two! Yep, that’s right - I am the pick’em queen right now. 

I did get my new writer last week! Man that is a nice thing to get to say. Can’t wait until he’s acclimated and in full swing. Maybe then I’ll be able to schedule a few days off.  

Election propaganda is getting ridiculous and we are gearing up for the actual election coverage.

I am working on a surprise trip for DH....don’t worry, by the time he reads this we’ll have gone and returned so no worries. ….I hope. 

Christmas is only 64 days away so to avoid a panic attack I am focusing on Halloween - its only 10 days away. Thanks Carol for daily dose of terror as the counter numbers the day aways-guess you could say you’ve donated to my Halloween freight. 

I see this is getting pretty long…..I’ll post the rest in a second blog. Besides catching everyone up….it will look like I’ve actually done something productive!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How do you throw Jesus in the trash?

Recently I suffered a flashback of an ill-fated wedding present. My husband and I laugh about it now, but for a time, it was something that left us, well, in a quandary. 

For our wedding, we’ll just say, ‘over 20-years ago,’ we were gifted with a clock by some friends of ours. Now, this was not your ordinary clock you see. I like to believe this clock was one of a kind and soon you’ll understand why. 

Imagine an imitation grandfather wall clock molded out of cheap, gold - and I mean gold - plastic. As if that were not bad enough, the picture on the face of the clock was a holographic photo of Jesus. And Jesus was not placed on a palette of muted colors either. Oh, no. This was a bright, happy Jesus placed on a vibrant blue and purple background. 

I guess the placement of a holographic Jesus on the face of a clock with rotating arms was not sacrilegious enough....the great clock master of the ages felt  it necessary to top off the masterpiece, with even more cheap, gold plastic when creating the numbers that outlined the face of the clock. 

So, you can imagine the scene, while opening presents on our blessed wedding day, in front of the masses, the difficulty with which we pulled out this creation, swallowed, smiled, looked at our friends and uttered... 

“It’s beautiful. We love it.” 

For several years after, we were tortured with this gift. First with literally swapping clocks on the wall right before the arrival of these same friends for a visit to eventually- after we gave up the effort to even make them think we still hung it on our wall - trying to figure out what to do with the Jesus clock? 

Which begged the fateful question, “How do you throw Jesus in the trash?” 

Now, while the clock was a tragic thing, my husband and I just couldn’t make the physical move of putting something with Jesus on it, in the trash. The guilt. The damnation. 

You laugh, I know. But, you try it - go ahead. It really isn’t an easy thing to do.

For years, the poor, garish, Jesus clock sat packed away. In its box. In a closet. Waiting. It even traveled with us during the move to our first house. Eventually we found our out. 


 The way to get out from under the clock without going to Hell! 

Our problems were solved!

 We re-gifted it in a gag gift exchange!


It was genius.

Have you ever tasted a Jones Soda?

First off, let me say that as long as you stay within the realm of tastes that most would consider to be normal, the drinks are fantastic. Did you know that on occasion they put out 'special' flavors? Flavors that make you go hmmmm?

Recently a friend made a comment about her experience with some of these special flavored sodas. In fact, her comment brought back a memory that I hadn't thought of in a while. And, I just had to share.

The flavor my friend spoke so eloquently about, was one of a variety pack made especially for the holidays. It was a holiday pack of sodas based on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. My first encounter with these drinks was thanks to my sister in law who, during one of her adventures, discovered the drinks. (Yes, the same sister-in-law that prepared to meet her maker during a tornado by scrap booking-Yes, definitely another story for another time.)

Anyway...The flavors were something like turkey, potatoes and gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Really - I'm not kidding. And I must compliment Jones on their efforts too. Not because the sodas tasted good, but because they really did taste like turkey, potatoes and gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

I must say however, the flavored turkey dinner sodas made by Jones turned out to be a GREAT idea for the Thanksgiving holiday. Again, not because of taste but because several years ago we bought the thanksgiving six pack and it provided a great source of entertainment at the end of a long, stress filled, holiday event.

As tradition would have it, that year after dinner and dishes the adults were sitting around the kitchen table. My sister in law revealed her flavorful find. Knowing we could not let the children see one another's reaction to the sodas, they were cut from the heard one by one calling them in and letting them taste which ever ones they wanted to...PRICELESS!

The reactions on their unsuspecting faces combined with the, "your-my-parents-how-could-you-do-this-to-me," looks were grand.

Yes, we had a fine Thanksgiving that year.

Oh get off it all you softhearted sympathizers. 

We aren't a family of completely cruel parents. We tried them first. That's when we decided that the kids were probably smarter than the adults and wouldn't dare taste something bound to be so obviously horrible on their own.... we HAD to trick them!

Of course we all did begin to wonder when one of the kids just kept coming back for more. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In honor of Room Mothers everywhere...

So I was quite involved with my children's PTA organization when they were in grade school. For those of you who don't know what a PTA is, it is a Parent/Teacher Association....some schools now have PTSA's which apparently include students. 

One year, as PTA president I was left..uh...I mean honored with the charge of planning, organizing and hosting the school's student Halloween party. 

(For my girlies who know me in the real world AND who know the geographical details.....this event took place at Mark Twain Elementary....and in all likelihood, that is all the explanation they will need to make this story all that much more meaningful.....nuf said) party....grades K-5....short attention back on track. 

I thought it would be fun to let the kids all decorate a spooky tombstone out of paper grocery sacks. They could open the sack, use the inside and then cut out their tombstone. We would then use them for a game.....oh....say something similar to musical chairs. We had a big gymnasium and I thought what better than to let the kids go crazy in a game of musical tombstones?????

Who knew?

Apparently I caused all sorts of, "Oh, Hell No!" and "Oh No She Didn't!" reactions among concerned parents everywhere.

The school got so many calls about letting the kids 'dance on graves' and 'disrespecting the dead' and 'practicing devilish things' that they started giving out my number to complaining parents. 

Well, you can imagine after enough times of saying I was sorry and trying to explain that we were just having some innocent fun and not trying to turn their little angels into devil worshiping heathens, that I put on my pointy had and finally said.....well you know what I said.  

Yep. I said it. 

So....a word of advice to room mothers around the scholastic world...Don't, I repeat DON'T, let your students dance on the graves of make-believe, paper grocery-bag people. Otherwise, the townspeople might storm the castle and burn you at the stake!

We hosted that same activity at a couple of our own personal Halloween parties for the kids and everyone LOVED it!   

Now, I'm off to have my broom tuned up. Have a great day.


Friends, Pox Parties, revenge and getting back to basics

How's that for a post title?

It has been a couple of days and a lot has gone on. Wednesdays we put the paper to bed and until that point in the week, its crazy around here. I survived yet another week of life and here I am to talk about it. 

I was right, my daughter (you know the one who so tragically kidnapped my grandson recently) still comes home to eat and do laundry. God love young independence! 

The more time I spend on this blog site, the more neat people I find. I am finding some unexpected friends and very enjoyable reads. PDUb and Country Doctor's Wife, you are are both quite humorous experiences. Though Ree, you might need to take it easy on those scary morning drag queens. Even though I know you have an affinity for NY Freaks!

I read in an area paper (Yes, I have to keep an eye on what the competition is up to-its a dirty job but someone has to do it.) about a woman who was attending Chicken Pox parties  with her baby. I am not sure the writer was even old enough to know what that was, but I was a bit humored to hear they still existed. 

I remember as a young kid being so pissed off at my mom after I realized that she'd drug me to my cousin's house to play, have lunch and GET SICK. The excitement of getting to see my cousins hit the ground like Less Nessman's frozen turkeys after I'd dashed into my cousins' house, pried their location from my aunt and ran into the bedroom to be greeted by red-faced polka dotted children lying in bed looking like the last thing they wanted to do was play with me!

The rest of the day was spent in a push and pull contest between my mother, my aunt and me. I was trying to stay as far away from the sickos as possible (I wasn't as stupid back then as I am today), my mother kept trying to heard me into the disease room and my aunt was her partner in crime. 

Ahhhhh, memories. 

By the way, it didn't work. That time. We attended several more Pox Parties before it took.  I still have a scar from my mother's gift of the childhood disease....and not the emotional kind. 

I've often said that mothers have to stick together because the kids outnumber us....but I have never endorsed giving the kids a disease to keep them at bay. Well, okay....maybe that's a lie. 

My sister-in-law and I did the same think to our kids....however, and this is where my stupidity level kicked up a notch, between the two of us....we had 7 kids at the time and I was due with my 4th. And, I mean LITERALLY due. 

When I screw up....well, lets just say that I don't do it in a small way. 

Little did my sister-in-law, or I, realize was that my dear husband (twin to SIL's hubby) had never suffered from the dreaded CP as a child.....or as an adolecent......or as a teen. Nope, in great DH fashion......he got it as an adult. At the SAME time as our 7 children!

So there I sat, doctoring my three kids (ages 6, 3 & 16 mos at the time) AND my husband at the time I was due with my 4th baby at literally any day. Oh, it was a joyful experience.

I used to think that as a mom, unless I pissed my kids of a minimum of at least once a day - I was just not doing my job.  Now that they are getting older, I believe that they are getting their revenge. I really believe that teenagers and young adults are our own mothers' curse reigning down upon us in full form. I myself have uttered the fateful words....."I hope you have one child exactly like you.  THen you'll see."

Never fear. I do have faith in the circle of life though. And, as God as my witness,  I will have the last word.

Maybe I'll show up as a box of cremated ashes long after my death, leaking on counters and needing an explination from my kids as to what the dirt like substance is that the postmaster just wiped on his pants. (By the way - thanks CDW for such a great idea!) 

Or better yet, I'll come back as a stray dog, show up on my kid's doorstep, make them and all the grandkids fall in love with me and then once they think I am too adorable to kick to the curb, I'm going to plague them with my incessant love for digging up the yard and gardens. 

Either way.....I'll enjoy the ride!

This turned into a pretty long post because I had time to sit and physically write it out. Talk about getting back to the basics. Which, is pretty funny considering how the day started. 

This morning we had a staff meeting in which the point was, business is great and this year we are also going to focus on getting back to the basics. As everyone was pumped up and ready to dig in to a new day's work.....the transformers blew......twice.

So, while I had time to sit and think, and catch up on reading those pesky 'other' papers.....I began to think about my column and of my blog. Then I began to jot down some notes (Yes, manual labor is not pretty but putting pencil to paper is sometimes a necessary evil in this time of technology.) Then, it turned into this. 

Lucky you.

Actually - I am a pencil and paper freak. If I were ever a contestant on Survior..scratch that, as much as I tell myself how awesome I am, I could never hang......If ever my Princess cruise boat ran into the perfect storm and left me stranded on a desert island,  I'd  throw the kids overboard and save my pencil and paper. (it's okay....they can swim like fish!) 

Okay, we're back from the bad dream sequence.  I just thought it was funny that after the big hype about getting back to basics.....we all went back to our technology filled offices and I ended up handwriting my weekly column and this blog entry with a pencil.

(But I really meant what I said about saving my pencil and paper)

Have a great day!

p.s. How many of you even caught the fact that I was crazy enough to think I'd bring my four kids on a cruise!?! In a dream even!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Long day gone...

Well, I seemed to have survived the initial act of my oldest moving out. A little tearful when I walk into her room and see everything gone. But, reassured that I've raise a smart daughter and a good person. 

Today was deadline day and so it was a nonstop Tuesday as usual. In addition to my wonderful husband being thoughtful enough to bring me dinner, he also brought my grandson by to say hi! He snuck by and picked him up from daycare. Grandpa is missing him just as much as I do. Even his teenage aunt and uncles are noticeably suffering from the absence of the little guy.....and though they wouldn't admit it (even under severe water torture) I think they miss their older sister a bit too.

I got a good laugh out of our local sheriff's clerk today. I really think he believes himself to be a self-proclaimed savior and world problem solver. Today he wrote us a letter saying he knew how to save America from the bail-out problem. (He must have gotten hold of a recent erroneous email floating around cyberspace) He swore that if the government would pay the american people instead of bailing out the financial institutions people would be paying off mortgages, college tuitions and buying cars with cash....yadda, yadda, yadda. 

Problem was that he didn' t do the math......the entire formula worked out to $465.00 per person NOT the $465,000.00 he was touting. (Sound anything like the recent stimulus checks we received not too long ago?)

Now I am not saying I am in favor of or against the bail-out. I'm just saying that the poor fella didn't do his homework like so many others who blindly pass along these anonymous emails. I mean my God - If your going to hitch your wagon to a star, at least make sure it is not a falling one!

Oh well, it made me laugh today. I don't know about you but it will take a hell of a lot more than $465 to pay off my mortgage and send my 3 remaining children to college. But Hey, maybe his financial advisor has a few tricks up his sleeve that mine doesn't know about.

Its been a long day and it is time for me to sneak off home to bed. Hope your day was good and even better tomorrow.....

Sweet dreams,