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Totally Our Situation

CaptureIf the Ball and Chain was a crocodile named Larry, I would swear Stephan Pastis was looking in our windows…

Over and out.


College campuses are not designed to accommodate full size club cab long bed pickups, full of Freshman stuff.

Over and out.

My Son Goes to College Tomorrow

Don’t talk to me.

Unless you have sympathy.

Over and out.

This Is Just Sad

My poor kids.

So yesterday, old Stretch took his little big sister, aka College Girl, aka Perpetual College Girl, over to our storage locker to pick up a bed for to take to college.  They decided to use to the old truck, aka the ’94 Ford F250, to haul the mattresses with.  It didn’t occur to me to tell them to watch for wasps…..

When they got to the locker, the girl opened the tailgate and immediately took a sting on her left hand.  Another wasp flew out and stung the boy on his hand.  That was all the stinging that occurred.  When they got home, mama bear – and of course you know bears EAT bees, right? – took the can of Raid and went on the attack!  I blasted some sauce under the handle, backed up about 8 feet to watch, and those dirty bastards came out in a hurry, don’t you know it.  They didn’t get near me and lucky for them.  I’m a crack shot with a both a pistol and a can of Raid.

So, the boy, who is horribly allergic to nuts escaped with just a modicum of pain.  The girl, however…20150819_214937-1

Her poor hand is red and swelling more with each passing hour, and the swelling is now moving down her wrist.  It itches and is quite uncomfortable.  She normally has these long, slender, lovely fingers.  Lately her hand and fingers look like a rubber glove filled with air.  Mother Nature has been screwing with this kid since before she was born.  This latest attack will no doubt prove futile as well, but Lord, I wish someone would give this child a break.

Over and out.

Dear Bookmobile

My husband thanks you.  My banker thanks you.

Wal-Mart doesn’t thank you.

Over and out.

Or, the devil is in the details.

I’ve tried to write this story before; I did in fact write it once but then declined to post it as too personal.  I tried to write it again this morning but I only got half-way done and was already over 1000 words.  I used to say “just so you know…” before I went on to give full disclosure, but there’s no way to do this like that.  So, I’ll just say it.

While the country reels from the Planned Parenthood videos showing dismembered fetuses, I remember it being a week away from Christmas, 2002, I was 42 years old, carrying a dead fetus, aged approximately 14 weeks in my obviously befuddled uterus.  I was experiencing what is known in the medical world as a missed abortion – a fetus which has died but failed to be expelled from the body.

A surprise pregnancy in more ways than one, after I got over my initial shock, I was just fine with adding a 7th child to the family.  Who knows?  Maybe this would be the second boy!  While the mercy of time has dimmed the precise timeline, the important things are this: a) a child was conceived; b) a child grew for approximately 14 weeks, then died at some point; c) and the child needed to be evacuated.

After noticing a couple of drops of blood, my physician ordered an ultrasound which informed us of the death.  He scheduled me for a dilation and curettage for the next morning.  I went home and cleaned my bedroom.

The next morning was bitter cold and icy as I arrived at the hospital with my daughter and one of my girlfriends.  I spoke with the physician and asked him if the baby would come out intact.  He said no, they almost never do.

I was devastated.  I cried.  The physician cried, the anesthetist cried, the nurse cried.  Well, they all knew me and they knew all my other kids and they all worked with my husband.  Then I was out.

When they woke me up I was a bit disoriented, but my doctor came in and he had kind of a sad smile on his face.  “I got it out intact,” he said.

Well, one tiny little arm was missing, but considering the wee little thing was so small and fragile, it is a miracle that only one little arm, the diameter of a toothpick, was missing.  I can’t imagine ever being okay with my child – even though dead – being ripped apart as it was removed from me.

Too early to be gender-differentiated, I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl;  I was never able to think of an appropriate name for it.  God willing, I will find out what the heavens called this baby when my time comes.

I’m grateful I got to see and touch the child – I have a couple of pictures from an instant print camera.  These will fade in time, but the memory won’t ever go away.

It’s inconceivable to think about what is going on in those clinics, with or without the donor’s consent – and I’m not referring to fetal consent.

God have mercy on us all.


For instance I’m a Catholic butt…..


Over and out.

(And just for the record, all of these photos are mine, even though I did not run them through Picassa to watermark them.  Just sayin’….don’t steal ’em.)

At the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City:

Jellyfish – ain’t it beeootiful?

20150730_141938 20150730_142021  Lion Fish

20150730_143626 20150730_143604

Found Nemo…..20150730_144026

Blood Shrimp20150730_144042 Bizarre little wormy thing that sticks out of the sea floor…..20150730_144131

Giant, I mean really big cucumber-type fish in the shark tank: 20150730_144843

Sharks! 20150730_144941 20150730_145012

Big spotted fish in the shark tank:20150730_145326


20150730_145135   Anaconda!! 20150730_151009

It was fun – the aquarium is set up so nicely and compactly that there is quite a lot to see in a very efficient space and it doesn’t take all day to get through it.  We missed the new baby penguins, but we did get to touch the medium sized stingrays.  In case you are wondering, they like to have their “wings” touched, so I obliged.  They feel squishy, like fatty tissue, and smooth.

I think we’ll go back!

Over and out.





Well, here in Utah they do up patriotic holidays real good.  In rural Utah, some of the small towns in a given area celebrate the 4th of July, and then the others will have the 24th of July (Pioneer Day, aka “Mormon Day”) celebrations.

The days are spent in the community parks – there are vendors of various stripes, lots of food and fun stuff for kids to do.  Along with Navajo Tacos, which are positively sublime, especially when prepared by real Navajo Indians, there are funnel cakes.

In case you don’t know, a funnel cake is a deep-fried confection made of cake batter swirled via a squirt bottle into hot oil.  While we were shopping yesterday in WalMart, we saw this:


So, of course we bought it.  The singing girl, aka Dolphin Caller, cooked us up some last night.  I was so busy eating mine that I didn’t think to photograph it first.  That will be remedied soon….

While we obviously don’t celebrate the LDS faith here in this house, we do take advantage of the summer relief that the celebration provides:  the parade that goes practically right by our house, the fun at the park, a lovely cookout with family (beer can chicken again this year!), and a pretty fair fireworks display, watchable from the front yard.  All and all, it will be a very pleasant day on Friday, and I’m really looking forward to it!

In other news…here is a picture of one of my three tomato plants.  20150721_135505The plant that died I never did replace.  This one struggled through our weird spring and did manage to produce two lovely tomatoes.  They are coming off the vine today, and the size of them is just slightly larger than a golf ball and slightly smaller than a tennis ball.  The cherry tomato and the golden tomato plants are doing very well, fruit-wise.

Then there was the little matter of my first-ever colonoscopy, which happened on Monday – hence, that cryptic post about Desitin ointment on Sunday evening.  I thought about doing the whole Katie Couric thing and having the test filmed and then posting it online,* but then decided to just tell you about it.

The prep is indeed the worst part of it, followed by the anticipation and nerves of the unknown, and then there is also that story that aired on MSN a couple of months ago about the guy who accidentally left his cell phone on and recorded the sound of his whole procedure and the awful things the surgeon and support staff said about the poor man.

But in my case, the ball and chain knows the surgeon, and the nurse was a little sweetie so I wasn’t too concerned.  That propofol stuff is unbelievable!  It’s like – BAM!- you’re out like a light! And the next thing you know, you’re being wheeled back into recovery and you open one eye and ask your husband when he came into the procedure room!  He laughed at me.

The long and short of it is that my colon is in tip-top shape!  However, I still have to go back in 5 years instead of the usual ten between visits, thanks to my sister, the first person in the family to ever have cancer.  And next time I will tweak the prep to make it less miserable.

Have a lovely day, week, and month, people.

Over and out.

* That’s a lie.  I never, EVER considered recording and posting it online.

Mother of Unfettered Evil

God help us.



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