Dec 30, 2006

A President, the God Father of Soul and a Dictator

Finish this joke:

James Brown, President Ford and Saddam Hussein arrive at the pearly gates on the same weekend. The three men wait their turn, hardly believing who they are standing next to while ol’ Peter looks flips through his giant book looking for their names. Soon _______ leans over to ________ and says…

Come on internets...Prizes will be given!

Dec 29, 2006

Go Now

Last night after derby practice some of us threw lipstick on and went to Oscar’s Pub where the Rockford Register Star was having another fabulous party. This one included free pizza and the launching of their new magazine Go Now. It’s a pretty handy little weekly that’ll come out before the weekend and tell you where all the good bands, good food and good parties are and all the cool things that Dan and I would have to get a sitter to go do. It was a nice party, I ran into a fellow Mommy blogger, Brektater Tots and my buddy from third grade who works for the Ice Hogs so our little table of Derby Girls was pretty amusing with all sorts of personalities in the mix. I heard the Go Now people will have a party like that once a month. Last night they gave away an I-Pod and a Foos Ball table, I didn’t win either, but I did get a carabineer that lights up and entitles me to cheaper beer when I flash it at the bartender. You can’t beat that (except with maybe free beer) but you should go check out the new website anyway - Go Now!

For you, I took pictures of Derby Girls, Blogging Mommies, Ice Hog guys, Journalists, and the inside of my purse, apparently I need a camera case.

PS Andrew: So far I like song #3 and song #8.

Dec 28, 2006

Pontification of Social Issues that Really Matter: Forget Poverty and Civil Liberties, Let's Talk Birthdays

Christmas Eve-Eve, after she opened the pony we had the following conversation

“You got a pony!”

“I love it! I want to play with it”

“Wow, what will Santa bring you now?”

“Nothing, I already got a pony.”

“Is there anything else you want?”

“Nope, I already got a pony” duh mom

This, following a conversation she had with Santa in which she asked him for a pony and he said “what else would you like?” and she looked at him with an expression that said “What do you mean old man? I just told you I wanted a pony – what else is there?!” and he looked back at her like he had never met a child that only wanted one thing before.

So now that she possesses the lone object she so desperately desired, we will throw her a birthday party. It will be a small party. I’ve decided to take the heat and only have a few toddlers her age over, no grandparents, no aunts and uncles, and not everyone that was on the initial list of party guests.

If I invite everyone we feel very close to whom Ella plays nicely with their children and whose kid’s birthday party we’ve been to we’d have 47 people in our home next week. And though this sounds fun at first and I do have a half sheet cake pan, I’m sure somewhere past 20 guests is were the party focus changes from birthday celebration to damage control. I have to start using phrases like “Oh no, please don’t put pop in the dogs bowl” or “I think your baby either swallowed the Lemon Meringue doll’s shoe or a piece of yellow Playdoh” and perhaps the saddest phrase often uttered at large parties we’ve hosted “Does anyone see Ella?”

Last year I made the hard decision to invite a few of Ella's most frequently played with buddies her own age and the party was tiny and manageable and a relief. Not even her grandparents came that day but later I found dear friends who also looked foreword to Ella's birthday gave her presents and then I felt guilty for not inviting them to the party. But the thought of digging crayons and shmooshed grapes out of the bathroom sink drain, because lets face it when 50 people are in one place who knows where all the kids are or what they’re doing does not sound like an enjoyable time.

I know the rule is you’re supposed to just invite kids numbering the age of the child plus one, but it seemed too hard and honestly my pangs of guilt hang over from last year. I consulted the internet to see what people actually think and blog about (because that’s where the truth is told out into the anonymous blogosphere). Some moms
obsessed over popularity like school girls themselves. I read a story about an aunt uninvited to a child’s birthday and how hard she is taking it. My guilt-o-meter was running on high after that and next I read an account of a neighbor lady who’s children were not invited but the party-mom tried to talk to her about it to keep the friendship healthy. Resulting in her mulling it over with her internets and amongst her bloggies, people agreed it’s tacky to talk about a party if you aren’t inviting someone. While I agree, here I am brooding at length well knowing that lots of you who read might like to celebrate with us.

Then the voice of reason or at least an opinion I liked rose above the din.
Katrina writes the simple truth.

“…Again, I get that there's a certain amount of etiquette that should be followed. You wouldn't send your child into school with invitations for all but one child, allowing him to make a big deal of who's invited. And who's not. But if my son were to innocently find out that he was not invited to a party that a few other kids were invited to... yeah, my heart would break a little at his sadness. But this is another one of those life lessons -- we don't always get included in everything. Kids we play with and get along with might not invite us to their birthday party. That happened to me plenty of times as a child. And it happens as an adult - people I know and get along with don't invite me to every single gathering. What would it say about me if I got mad every time I wasn't included?...

…My point is, there are these "life truths," for lack of a better term, these "that's-just-the-way-it-is" concepts that my kids need to know and come to terms with in order to become functional adults...”

She’s absolutely right; people can’t invite everyone they know to everything they do. It would be ridiculous and you just can’t read that much into an invitation. Adults don’t find their worth or identity in what events they are or are not invited to so why not extend this concept to our children. Just because I don’t invite everyone to a dinner party doesn’t mean I don’t value them it just means I only have one roast. It shouldn’t diminish the value of our friendship, it’s not a reflection of one’s worth it’s just the way it is. So, I am encouraged to stop feeling guilty, it doesn’t mean that I like someone less if we choose to not invite them to the three year old’s birthday and I need to remember that they probably won’t care either. I mean, who really wants to watch my kid get hopped up on too much cake and throw a fit after she opens the first present and wants to play with it while I want her to open the rest of the presents?

I guess my point is this; we all want our children to have the charmed life we never had. But worrying about other peoples feelings constantly is tiring and unrealistic. While I shouldn’t try to purposely hurt feelings, I can’t live a life based on whose feelings may be hurt, it’s impossible and too many women try to do it. Perhaps that’s the deeper issue here. I just have to have confidence that my friends are mature adults and understand. In the mean time I will do the best I can. Either people will accept that I like them and like me back based on Me, not on what I do for them or invite them to - or they won’t.

So dear bloggies consider yourselves uninvited, how ya like me now?

Dec 27, 2006


My in-laws decided this year for Christmas they would rescue a kitten from the humane society. He’s a little black thing with a white patch on his chest. They call him Elbi as in L.B. like ‘little boy’ or ‘little bastard’. He’s very tolerant of children. Ella carried him around as much as she could on Christmas Eve and I don’t think she squeezed him too hard and he didn’t scratch her too much. He’ll do great at my in-laws, sleeping on their bed and napping on laps, as long as he keeps his nose out of the fridge. Twice while we were there someone was getting something out of the fridge and Elbi was peeping at all the food while the giant door swung closed on his little body. My father in law even said “Jeese there’s something wrong with the door – it won’t shut” my husband’s reply “There’s a kitten in the hinges Dad.”

Dec 26, 2006

What would you pack?

This is my “booger sweater” so called because you could wipe a booger off of a toddler’s face with the sleeve and never find it again in its popcorn style knit. It has a booger texture and booger colors. I bought it during my eight month of pregnancy with Ella from a second hand store. I couldn’t bear to spend more than five dollars on a sweater I wouldn’t wear past the end of my pregnancy. I’ve washed it at least 100 times since Ella was born. I often throw it on in the morning over the tank top I sleep in. Ella climbs into it with me to get warm sometimes. If I ever needed to travel the universe and have to pack a small bag to do so, along with my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and my towel I’ll pack this sweater.

Photo taken by Dan, Christmas morning, with my new camera.

Dec 25, 2006

Ella Sings Christmas 2006

Dear Bloggys,

I hope you had a wonderful morning and I now present to you home-movies! Unless you like sappy happy Christmas songs sung by little kids, feel free to run the other direction and check back tomorrow.

Love to Everyone! Bombadee and Family

Ella Sings Christmas

Dec 22, 2006


Here's hoping your holiday season holds all the joy of a first snow angel.
Peace, Dan, Jenny & Ella

Dec 21, 2006

Four Calling Birds

We bought a set of books for my daughter that include pictures and lyrics to her new favorite song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Of course the best bit is belting out "Fiiiiiiive Gooolden Riiiings!" at the top of our lungs, but the by far the best illustration is "Four Calling Birds"

Meme 5 things

I Have Been Tagged!

Thanks to Utah Jo for the tag.

Five things you didn't know about me:

1. I always have an escape route worked out in my head at any given time
2. I occassionaly like reading about biochemestry and genetics
3. I learned how to successfully throw an axe at age 8 (like it actually hits the target and sticks)
4. I play piano but I don't read music
5. I don't have any idea what my next dream job is

Now tagged in return: Tater Tot, Punky Mom, KtJ, and Cameo

Dec 20, 2006


We did't sleep very well last night and so we slept in this morning . Now I'm rushing to get us ready and to the mall. Christmas shopping awaits!

Dec 19, 2006


I dug up some old artwork yesterday. This one was the start of a children's book, unfortunately I never found a writer to collaborate with and the book has been in a box since then. What can I say the internet was different then; writers didn't roam freely expounding ideas into the wind, blogs weren't on every corner and you had to be careful who you spoke to lest they jump out from under a bridge and ask you what you were wearing (shudder). So here's the first illustration... anyone want to write the first paragraph? How about just a poem? Just a single word? What have you got internet?

Autumn Road 1994 JMM

Dec 18, 2006


Today I present to you
"Christmas Munchkins"

Dec 16, 2006

Freaks, Geeks, Uniques, and Mother’s

We spent last night in Milwaukee so we could see the Brew City Bruisers Skate. It was very fun and quite the contrast to the previous night. It’s such an odd mix of people at the Roller Derby. There’s the hip, the tragically hip, the big hipped, those who hip check and some who might break a hip. We saw a rainbow of hair styles from the pink haired mowhawk sported by Cooley McCoolerson to the blue haired color wash on Granny McLoyalfan. The bout was tremendous; we witnessed some incredible skating and some hilarious antics from the support staff (great mascots). It was worth all the gas we bought for the drive up to see the Rushin’ Rollettes clinch the title in the Championship Bout.

Dec 15, 2006

The Man

We went to a Construction Christmas party at the Country Club last night and I swear there were so many women there you could count us on one hand. The place was quite the collection of old, plump white men, in suits, smoking cigars and talking about their golf game. We did run into some friends we hadn’t seen in ages, the food was good and we even won a door prize so the whole evening wasn’t a completely pompous waltz. I shouldn’t complain but given my choice I’d rather have grabbed up our buddy George and sat and talked with the bartender in the next room all night (we knew her too).

Dec 14, 2006

Loosing the War

My friends KTJ is secretly a fairy, but not one of those that hands out ball gowns and dances the frost onto rose petals when winter starts she’s more like the kind that ties your hair in knots when you sleep and hides your keys in the refrigerator. She’s deviant that lady. The first time I met her, our husbands (long time buds) decided it would be low key for us to all go see a movie together, it was kind of a dry suburban evening until (insert ominous music and tink laughter here) KTJ started a popcorn fight with the teenagers in front of us. That was when I knew for sure I had to be friends with her.

Something about the spark in her left eye makes people totally forgive her when she does these sinister things. I alone could never get away with secretly inserting a giant green olive into every drink at the bar without getting kicked out forever. It was funny when Jack wondered aloud why the bartender put an olive in his beer but when Jeff exclaimed “What a terrible bartender, he even put an olive in my Amaretto Stone Sour!” KTJ’s eye twinkled and I could no longer hold the laughter in.

Sunday she e-mailed me this:
Urban word of the Day

Hasselhoffing: The act of changing a colleague's desktop wallpaper to display the manly physique of David Hasselhoff. "Dear God man! I leave my workstation for a few moments to visit the big boys room and you've Hasselhoffed me!"

This was pure gold! When Dan left for Peoria Monday, you guessed it, Tuesday morning I woke up to Dan yelling “Do I have to put a password on my computer?!”, now that's a good morning indeed. Just for fun I sent a Hoff to KTJ’s Myspace page, she returned the favor with two Hoffs for me, I sent two more, and she retaliated with two more and now I am in a Hasselhoff War with my favorite Imp. Yet I am fighting the battle on two fronts because this morning I woke up and THIS was my wallpaper:

I had been Pammed in the night.

Dec 12, 2006

Laundry List and Other Stuff

What a busy week this will be, I’ve got skate practice tonight (Woohoo! I can’t get enough lately)

We are going to see Grandma tomorrow where Ella will hang out and watch Cinderella for the 400th time and Dan and I will go Christmas shopping. Dan will buy everything in sight and I will watch for terrorists.

Thursday night Ella will get to visit her cousin and Dan and I will be at an office Christmas Party where dress casual - means a sweater and khakis for Dan and 40 outfit changes before we leave for me.

Friday we’re going to Milwaukee to eat at the
African Hut and see the Brew City Bruisers Championship Bout (“Grandma Got Run Over by a Roller Girl”). We’ll stay over night and use up our credit card points at the hotel and swim in the indoor pool.

Saturday I’ll be catching up on laundry. Oh – did I mention the dryer is almost dead? Yeah, it’s no longer getting hot and yes, we’ve replaced the igniter once before – Dan checked it, that’s not it, it’s just old and decrepit and we’ve gotten our $200.00 worth. So I’ll spend half the day restarting the dryer until it dies completely and then we’ll get a new one for Christmas (I could think of better things).


Two things Ella said recently that made me and Dan look at each other quizzically:

"I’m gonna be a strong woman and keep my babies away from the cyoooties."
"These toys are for boys" (Sweeping her arm across the gun/sword aisle at the toys store)


Sock Dreams
Pinch your Cheeks
Highlife Bracelet
Tire Purse
Mental Floss Magazine
Ad Busters Post Cards

Dec 11, 2006

Slow Down

Forgotten Language

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dyingflake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Shel Silverstein

Photo by Ella

Dec 9, 2006

Germ Warfare

Tiny town is about 30 minutes down the smooth highway from Cherryvale Mall. This is the mall we frequent; this mall Santa has had my child in his lap. Yesterday a local man was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack against the same mall. Dan’s reaction – "Good for the FBI doing their job!" My reaction - "Hmm that makes me a little nervous." I guess Cherry Vale mall is the place to make your grand declaration; a few years ago another man lit himself afire and tried to hurl himself over the railing moments before Dan and I walked in to shop. I remember Dan turning to me and saying “Gross, somebody is burning something.”

It’s not in a bad neighborhood; in fact it’s tucked into the suburbs and has always been considered the nice mall in town. There is a Bergner’s, JC Penny’s and Sears and they just added a Macy’s. They have a Starbucks and a local Coffee Shoppe and any mall that can support two upscale coffee joints isn’t ghetto or Podunk. Ok, ok they do still sell mugs with your kid’s face vacuumed formed onto it and belt buckles with your favorite NASCAR number on them and
polished hunks of wood with your name burned into it proclaiming your house “The Bombadee Home” at the kiosks in center court but the Santa Clause has a real white beard not one he ties on and the food court has fresh sushi and bubble tea.

I’ll tell you what the bigger risk going there is – the play area. Every time we go Ella begs to go to the play area and in an effort to run her ragged enough to sit nicely in the stroller while I try on the fourth pair of blue jeans that I can’t bend over in without my underwear sticking out of the back, I park myself on a bench and let her play. The next week our whole family gets a cold. It’s a germ field of kid goo and we are not immune. Last year we suffered
3 ear infections at least two a direct result of that grodey ol’ playground that looks like the Candy Land Board come to life but is actually a micro-organic cesspool.

Maybe I’ll just buy everything online.

Dec 8, 2006

New blog?

Blogger just offered the beta version to me and then yanked it away because my blog is too big to move to the new version. I’ve been assured that support will available in the future for blogs like mine but in the mean time I can start a new blog if I want to. I’ve been thinking about a new blog for some time now. I think I might do it. I like the new features and I’d like to start fresh but Bombadee’s Garden contains the scraps of Ella’s first two years in it. Does anyone know of a service that will print this blog in book form for me? Perhaps I’ll print it out for myself and shove a copy into her empty baby book. Alas, we’ll loose the links but the photos and the stories will still be. Don’t look for any changes this week but don’t be surprised if I move.

Dec 7, 2006

One Week In

One week in and I have cabin fever already. Its freezing ass cold outside, the kind of cold that makes your eyes water when the wind blows, the kind of cold that makes you take off the jacket that makes your waist look tiny and dig out the grey-brown down filled parka that is an equal opportunity uglifier, the kind of cold that convinces little old ladies to forget their grandchildren and move to Florida. It’s really 7° but with the wind chill it feels like 10° below. It’s so cold we’ve gone nowhere all week and I’ve nothing to blog about except the weather.

Dec 6, 2006

America the Other Woman?

I spent an hour this morning writing about an Iraq war strategy, occupied Japan and the Marshal Plan. Editing, rewriting, redirecting, questioning and constantly finding myself back at the first and most important question – why are we all up in Iraq’s business?

Back in
September ‘05 I made the analogy to Extreme Home Makeover, wondering if we could leave this family with no home and just a rough sketch as we rode off into the sunset in our Humvee, but it seems to be obvious that this family hasn’t been able to handle the stress of a massive remodel and as a result they’ve decided to get a divorce. I guess some of the family really liked parts of the old house that we didn’t keep. So now it’s become a messy, heart wrenching, fighting over the VCR divorce where the kids suffer the most. So now what? Do we participate, helping Ms. Iraq throw Mr. Iraq’s clothes out on the lawn? Put the kids in protective custody? Slink away until the dust settles and then help them out with a deposit on a new apartment and some dishes from Goodwill? Maybe they’ll get a couple’s counselor and reconcile. Perhaps we can provide neutral ground and pay for a therapist then we can at least figure out how many bedrooms this new house will need.

Dec 4, 2006

Final Score

I awoke this morning with no voice left, a mysterious cut in the palm of my hand, and my teammates on the front page.

It all started innocently enough when I first read the paper and learned there would be a roller derby league here in neighboring city. I went, I joined, I became obsessed. It came together yesterday in one giant roller derby party. The crowd was incredible. They went wild any time one of the girls hit the floor. The paper reported a crowd of 650 but the ticket takers said 1100. There was a 15 minute line for beer (we'll fix that before next bout - promise). A sea of familiar and not so familiar cheering and yelling. Signs that read "Will Skate for Beer" and my personal favorite "Bombadee's B*tch" pointed towards us. Here's the thing though, even if 100 people showed up yesterday it still would've been the best, because we all just wanna skate. We've been practicing on cement and in parking lots for 6 months because we love this.
Although that wouldn't have been so nice for the charities we skate for. Yesterday was for a young kid hurt and paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. We'll be writing a big check to his family this week - Thanks Derby Fans.

We started off behind in the first period. The Screw City Slammers were making the rounds and we were skating as hard as we could. Half way through the first period we overcame our nerves and relaxed enough to remember our training. Stay low hit 'em hard, I know it sounds simple, but no, not so much when you're skating screamin' fast and taking it in the shoulder from a pinkie (SCS colors). At the beginning of period two we were ahead by 10 and kept our lead steady and strong, increasing by a few points here and there. The Slammers were missing points for fouls and out of bounds. By the beginning of the third period we were all whipped and a little cocky I think. We lead by 30 points but relaxed too much and they gained 26 of those back in the last period. Had we played five more minutes they might've had us. Final score 139 - 135, Demolition Dolls take the win!

Back in the locker room ladies were cheering and hugging and discovering what hurt. You just don't feel it when it happens it's after the jam is over you look down to see blood and then have to search out where it's coming from. Oh - It's me! I cut my hand somehow, just a tiny one, enough to be a pain when I do dishes, but not enough to stop me from doing them (dang!). When I arrived home Dan rubbed my neck and I ate half a pizza. I feel wonderful this morning and I can't wait for the next practice already!

Dec 2, 2006

Twas the Night Before Derby

Bombadee #00
Demolition Dolls
"Demolition is our Mission"

Bombadee is from Northern Illinois and has been skating with the Demolition Dolls since their inception . She uses old-school Reidell skates with pink Zinger wheels. She likes hip checks, bruises, catfights, things that go fast, coconut cream pie, fishnets, knocking mean girls down, and politics.

"Without ME it's just AWESO"

Tomorrow at 2:00pm is the first official Roller Derby Bout. We'll play the Screw City Slammers. I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. There’s been preparation all week and I’m still trying to get myself all together for tomorrow, clean socks and extra skate laces, all that. Please say a little prayer that I don’t break any body parts of my own.

Dec 1, 2006

Snow Day!

Snow Day! Everything is called off! Everyone stay home! SNOW DAY! Every kid go outside and play! SNOW DAY!

Oh wait, Dan works from home... sigh.

But, tonight we'll have friends over for dinner and light the giant Christmas Tree and sip Tom and Jerry's and munch cookies in our toasty sweaters.

I just have to say it two or three more times: Snow Day Snow Day Snow Day! SNOW DAY! It's such an unexpected surprise and it's been ingrained into me my whole childhood that Snow Days are a blessing.



Hey Jennie! Here's The Story and The Video AKA What we didn't see at the Excelsior and Excalibur Awards last night. We had a lovely time, the RRStar always knows how to throw a good party. Also for your viewing pleasure Halloween '06.

Nov 30, 2006


Hello my peeps. I'm taking Ella to the Doctor this morning - she has a cold in her chest and she can't stop coughing, poor kid. What an icky day to be sick and have to travel. It's the first day after the cold snap. I'll bundle her head to toe before we make the treck out to the pre warmed van and then the same when we go from the van to the docs.

Today is the last day of our insurance. Then we will float for a month with the option to pick up the old insurance at $1,000.00 for the month. On January 1st we'll be on the new insurance. So during the month of December, if our out of pocket cost is less than $1,000.00 we'll just pay it, if we need more than $1,000.00 medical treatment we'll get on the old insurance again. It feels precarious especially since we're facing possible ear aches with snot and coughing.

I just hope the new insurance includes our Pediatrician - we love her.

Nov 29, 2006

Hair History 1977 to 1990

Here it is... Something good.

Preschool - Not a care in the world, 70's bowl cut

Kindergarten - Needed to have it long so I could have braids and pony tails and pretties

1st Grade - Loved little house on the Prairie, had to keep it long

2nd Grade - I'm pretty sure I cut my own bangs before this one

3rd Grade - Refused to let anyone brush my hair and got a pixie cut. Kids in the neighborhood kept calling me 'hey boy' and I set to growing it out right away.

4th Grade - I wanted to look just like Janet from Three's Company

5th Grade - Feathered hair was just coming in and I had to have it.

6th Grade - The beginning of my obsession with hair in my eyes

7th Grade - Got a perm trying to emulate Madonna and it ended up too tight, I looked like a poodle. I hated my hair so much there are no pictures from 7th grade.

8th Grade - Feathered and big, I think I must've toned it down for picture day, or maybe I had swimming class before pictures. Notice the popped collar and the totally serious look on my face. That's because I was totally serious.

9th Grade - Smirk check, Metallica shirt check, hair in my eyes check, ok take the picture

10th Grade - Smirk check, black shirt check, hair in my eyes check, ok take the picture

11th Grade - Smirk check, black shirt check, hair in my eyes check, extra gobs of eyeliner check ok take the picture

What? No Senior Picture? No I didn't dig that far into the photo drawer. My Senior Picture was taken at the beginning of the "Grunge" look so I had just long curly hair and a nice dark red shirt on - pretty tame. I'll have to find one to show you all - but it'll just look like me only without the wrinkles - nothing crazy.

Nov 28, 2006

Instead of actually writing anything I sat and stared at this blank page for a good eight or nine minutes. It was nice to let my mind wander over things I might write and then just sip coffee. I will be back tomorrow with something good.

Nov 27, 2006

Finding a Minute

Oh busy busy day
Grant me time to breath and take a pee
Just five minutes meant for me
Lull my child into a nap
Put relaxation on the map
Oh busy buy day
I hardly have time
To finish this....

Nov 25, 2006

Black Friday

With coupons and fruit snacks in my purse, we made the big trip to the mall yesterday to do a little shopping and see Santa Clause. We talked about how it would be over breakfast:

“We’ll wait our turn. Then Santa Clause will put you on his lap and I will be right there too. He will ask you if you’ve been a good girl, what are you going to tell him?”

“Yes, I’m good one and I’ll tell him I want One Pony with a Brush for Christmas”

“Good! Remember you have to tell him loud in his ear like this… ‘SANTA CLAUSE, I WOULD LIKE A PONY PLEASE’ can you do that?”

“Yes, I will first tell him I am good and then I will tell him I would like a pony – looouud.”

After a forty minute drive we circled the parking lot for twenty minutes trolling for a space. Each barley missed spot was followed with “Crap!” and on the sixth or seventh exasperated turn of the wheel Ella started to whine she wanted out of her seat and the “Crap” turned into “Crappity crap crap!” and on the fourteenth or fifteenth circle for a spot I threw my hands up in the air and Ella asked me “Mom? Did you just crap?” and that was when I finally decided to park in the lot across the street.

On the hike through the parking lots we reviewed the Santa Claus visit. Ella agreed again she was ready to talk loud about the ponies and she would say ‘cheese’ at the end so I could take a picture. We fought our way through the first department store weaving in and out of lines twenty long sprouting from each register. When we finally reached the wide open span of the mall I bent down and took Ella’s coat off and asked her if she was getting excited to see Santa. She nodded and I hung our things off the back of the stroller. We strolled up to center court and surveyed the Santa Area. I bent down and asked Ella if she was ready, her eyes were wide as she nervously nodded. I circled the Santa Castle trying to stall while she found her nerve. When she seemed calm I unbuckled her stroller belt and held her hand as we entered the Santa Castle line.

The first turn had us waiting in front of a diorama of children all snug in their beds. “It’s ok to push the button if you want to.” I said and Ella toyed with the idea for a few minutes. I pretended I was entirely interested in what was on sale in the leather coat shop window while I proudly watched her through the corner of my eye find the courage to push the button. Sugar plumbs danced above the kids heads and Ella smiled and watched quietly soaking it all in. We rounded the corner fast and ended up waiting again in front of the third diorama this one of reindeer pulling a sleigh with Santa Claus in it. The little boy behind us clung to his Dad’s neck while the Dad tried to prod his son into pushing the button to make the reindeer legs gallop in the sky. Ella marched right over and pushed the button and when the father said to his son “See! She can push the button why can’t you?!” I winced a little in my head and leaned down to pick Ella up.

“We’re going to see Santa pretty soon. The baby in line in front of us is going to sit on Santa’s lap and…”

“Mom! It’s Santa CLAUSE” she said insisting I use his full name.

“Oh yeah. The baby will sit on Santa CLAUS’s lap and then we will see him, and when it’s your turn you can tell him you are a good girl and tell him what you would like for Christmas and tell him loud and then you will say cheese for the picture, ok?”

“I’m ready Mom!”

We waited and watched the baby take her turn. Ella confidently held my hand standing on her own two feet. We moved forward and watched the baby’s parents pay for two hundred and eighty two pictures of the baby and Santa and then it was Ella’s turn! I peeled her sweater off revealing her Christmas shirt. I turned to hang it on the stroller. I turned back around to find a crazed elf/lady of about 45 poking Ella in the ribs with an Elmo puppet trying to get her to cheer up before she sat on Santa’s lap. I quickly squatted next to Ella and put my arms around her. Ella pressed into me unsure of this new freaky element. The elf brought her face unusually close to Ella and gave her some fuzzy-wuzzy baby-waby talk about liking Santa “B‘cause him wuvs good widdow gews and bwoys and...” some other sappy drivel. At this point I think Ella tried to crawl into my shirt. I picked my horrified toddler up and exclaimed “Let’s get this show on the road.” while I skirted the elf and found our Santa Claus.

Santa Claus was smiling and ready with a twinkle in his eye and a wave for Ella, she climbed right up into his lap and leaned in. They talked about something briefly all quiet and close and I resisted the urge to lean in and eavesdrop by walking over to the camera and looking into the computer screen. I wanted that moment on film, Ella and Santa telling secrets to each other, “Let’s get a picture” I said to the elf. When she grabbed up that Elmo puppet and walked towards Ella I thought about tackling her to the floor and stuffing that stupid Elmo puppet down her gullet. Instead she poked Ella in the ribs with it and when Ella recoiled in horror she said “Did I find a ticklish spot?” and did it again. I rubbed my forehead and waited for the tears. Ella held it together pretty well and I paid for my $15.00 3x5 plus two sparkly key chains while Ella clung to my leg hiding from the dreaded elf with her hand up Elmo’s rear.

Here's hoping your Holiday Season starts off with a smile.

Nov 24, 2006

Economic Changes

Dinner Conversation from Yesterday:

Uncle Mark: What are you going to be when you grow up?

Me: Yeah Ella, what are you going to go to work and do when you’re big?

Ella: I’m going to be a mermaid and I’m going to go to work and build houses like Grandpa.

Dan: Yeah, you gotta have something that pays the bills

Uncle Mark: I understand the mermaid racket has really gone downhill since sonar and GPS and all. You know back in the day you could lure those boats out pretty easy and take ‘em down like that ~snap~ and then gather up all that booty, but now days you do all that work to bait them out and end up with an oil spill – shit, that’s hardly worth it. Those mermaids just aren’t in it for the money any more.

Ella: Yep.

Nov 23, 2006

Surreal Morning

When you step outside on the porch the neighborhood smells like turkey already. Country folk out here have Thanksgiving at like noon. Dan parents always served later because we could never get there on time they'd have dinner at 1:00 - gasp. We’d be finished washing up the dishes and home with leftovers by 4:00. Not this year, my Dad is doing Thanksgiving this year for us, my brothers, my grandparents, all my cousins and uncles we'll eat about 6:00 or so and follow dinner with port wine and hot chocolates late into the evening over cards and maybe even a chess board. This is the better arrangement to me; it gives us time to watch The Knights Who Say ‘Ni’ sing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” during the Macy’s parade before we even get a shower. Ella is enthralled by the knight’s tap dancing and is attempting it in her feety jammies and that’s top entertainment right there.

Nov 22, 2006

Give Thanks

I awoke this morning to more sunshine and the promise of temps in the 50s. This is good for a run to the city today to find a present for my Grandfather’s 80th birthday. Getting in and our of our warm car to shop with giant coats and hats and gloves and scarves for two is a project in itself and one I’m glad I won’t have to tackle yet. People will be on high today getting things ready for Thanksgiving and some may even be doing a little Christmas shopping. I expect to find crabby parents yelling at crying children in shopping carts and smiling old ladies winking in the direction of those children hoping to secretly convey some granny magic that will fix the mood in the cart. I’ll no doubt see gobs of teenagers dressed for August under the skimpiest of jackets standing around looking aloof and text messaging each other across the mall. I’ll see young mothers struggling with sticky toddlers in umbrella strollers and old mothers who will have every conceivable situation already prepared for in their designer diaper bags the two will judge each other through haughty sunglasses.

Ella will want to ride in the stroller and touch everything pretty and shiny, I will let her and in turn she will let me shop. She will want to ride the carousel at the food court and I will give her a dollar to ride while I get a smoothie. I will want to try on a new perfume at Macy’s and she will stare through the glass at the sparkly rings. We’ll stroll past Cinnabon and breath deep. When Ella hears another mother yelling for her child to “Shut up!” in the elevator she will cling tighter to me and whisper “She’s mean” in my ear while I nod. We’ll peek into Spencers at the gag gifts and gargoyles and the smoke rolling out the door, I’ll reminisce at Hot Topic, and Ella will play for a minute or two at the toy store. When we start to snap at each other it will be time to start home. Together we’ll sing during the long drive home and maybe Ella will fall asleep. I’ll carry her in to the couch sit down to read my e-mail. Today will be a good day. Thanks

Nov 21, 2006

Wrapped Around Her Finger

"Daddy, you and I will go and get that toy and we will bring it home and then you will open it for me and I will play with it and I will tell you 'Thank you very much Daddy'"

Nov 20, 2006

5 in the Morning

5 little things that are making my morning good

Instant Coffee
Enough sleep
Clean dishes
Wrens outside the window

Nov 18, 2006

Bettie and Clay

Clay and Bettie lived kitty-corner from us and every spring Clay would mix up a batch of blue cement paint and invite us over to help him paint the inside of his pool. Bettie would make bologna sandwiches and a few PB&J for Chris who was vegetarian and we’d have lunch afterwards. For the rest of the summer the pool would be open to us to use in thanks for helping. They were always good neighbors even when the rooster moved into their front hedge. Apparently a farmer had lent out an ornery rooster to another neighbor to keep a stray dog out of the front yard and the rooster decided he liked Clay and Bettie’s hedge better then his intended living quarters a few blocks away. Clay fed him corn for days until the police chief came down and chased him around the block and took him back to the farm he came from.

After they moved across town they always came to our front yard for the Memorial Day Parade and we came to reserve a table for them. We’d move our best lawn furniture to the front yard and I’d make a little sign for the top that read “Reserved for the Henneman’s” This tickled Bettie to no end and each year she’d look forward to t
hose margaritas on my front lawn during the parade, where they'd be treated like the A-list celebrities of the party. The week after she’d thank me with a premium bottle of Tequila, I never had the heart to tell her we have 4 whole bottles of unopened Tequila in our bar. But I don’t think it wouldn’t have mattered, she’d have given them anyway, and that was Bettie. Always sending down pies, jelly or bottles of Tequila, she was a good neighbor even after they moved.

BETTIMARIE HENNEMAN, 85 MERRILL GARDENS, Calif. - Bettimarie Henneman, 85, Merrill Gardens, Calif., formerly of Pecatonica, died at 6:24 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, in San Ramon Medical Center, San Ramon, Calif. Born July 24, 1921 in Alma, Neb., the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fay D. and Blanche (Jackson) Fuller. Lived 50
-plus years in Pecatonica coming from Moorhead, Minn., before moving to California. Married Clarence Henneman in Bartlesville, Okla. on June 5, 1943. Bettie was employed as a secretary by K.C. Soil Service. Member of Pecatonica United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women's Group, PTA, active in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts leader and neighborhood chairman, Methodist choir, vocalist and accompanist. Before moving to Pecatonica, she was a member of Fargo-Moorhead Women's Chorus, performing Handel's Messiah. Graduated from Dearborn High, Dearborn, Minn. Survivors include son, Craig (Carlotta) Henneman, Hayward, Calif.; daughter, Shelia Henneman, Anthem, Ariz.; son, Ladd (Carol) Henneman, Danville, Calif.; grandson, Christopher (Amanda) Harriosn, Pecatonica; granddaughters, Michelle and Nicole Henneman, Danville, Calif.; and Madison of Pecatonica. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter, Sherry Harrison; and brother, Frank Fuller. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in McCorkle Funeral Home, 203 West Fifth St., Pecatonica. Burial in Twelve Mile Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Pecatonica Rotary Club, P.O. Box 151, Pecatonica, IL 61063.

Nov 17, 2006

Be Careful What You Ask For

Does anyone else beside me watch “Ghost Hunters”? For those of you who don’t it’s a show where these Roto Rooter Guys get calls about unusual happenings and then go chase the ghosts. They bring cameras and magnetic detectors and infrared cameras and they go to haunted places and do and “investigation” and to debunk the claims of the haunted. I think the reason I love this show so much is three out of four haunting get debunked. They figure out that if you walk in “this spot” the chandelier moves or the “orbs” everyone has been seeing are actually a headlight reflection off of a bucket on the second floor stairwell. Of course that leaves one of four that they can’t explain and even so they just commit these places as “unexplained” it’s not very common that the word “haunted” comes from their mouths.

This week they went to Ireland and provoked a well known ghost in a well known castle and got hurt. One of the investigators was calling out into the air “What are you a wussy? Come on show yourself!” which these fellas sometimes do while trying to provoke an anomaly. So this guy is goading the ghost when he very suddenly falls to the ground. It took a few minutes before he wanted to get up and then he wanted to go outside immediately, he didn’t want to play any more. He just really got what he was asking for. Sometimes, it’s just not so smart to keep provoking a thing that you know could slam you to the ground.

Good TV I say. I love these guys. They will keep investigating oversees for the next few shows and I will Tevo every second. The European Ghosts seem to be extra feisty. Perhaps it's because they are older or maybe they just have a different understanding of the afterlife. All I know is that so far one out of one places investigated overseas has been officially called "HAUNTED".

Nov 16, 2006


Taking kiddo to the local indoor play ground today. I'm going to read and unwind while she plays.

Nov 15, 2006

Wash Day

The first thing Ella did every morning the past week was put her Cinderella dress on over her jammies. When things don’t quite go her way she performs a very stern “Bibbidy Bobbidy Bo!” on them to see if the situation changes and apparently it does scare monsters out of her bedroom and occasionally it makes the dog move. I will attempt to put Ella in tights and a dress today in an effort to thwart her constant requests to help her with her "pretty dress". Perhaps she will find her own dress worthy enough and forget about the silver sparkly frock with strawberry juice and kid grease on the front long enough for me to wash it today.

Nov 14, 2006

Crafty Tough Girl

I’ve been running my own little derby sweat shop from the house for the last three days. We decided as a team to get together and sew up our own skirts and then we picked this skirt:

It’s not the hardest thing to sew, but we are making eighteen of them. Folks are coming again today to hopefully finish up the first part and then we’ll do final fittings tonight at practice before we finish all the hems and zippers. Instead of costing $39.95 it’s going to run each girl about $15.00 for material.

Nov 13, 2006

Dream Job

Big changes around here! Well really only one big change, starting on Wednesday Dan will be working from home. He took a great new job doing the same thing he does now plus and he get’s to have a home office. I am thrilled to see more Dan around here. Between skating and meetings and practice and fund raisers I was missing him.

This all started back when we took the trip in September. Dan passed up a wonderful job offer in Las Vegas. When I say wonderful I mean REALLY WONDERFUL! We made a list of pros and cons and still couldn’t agree on a plan of action. Then Dan made a list of qualities his dream job would offer and it turns out the Las Vegas job met a lot of those qualities but left out some very important pieces. So, we decided that money isn’t everything and family and friends and small town living was a priority for us. Then one day, not long after, the “dream job” called the house asking for Dan. He’s in Peoria today and tomorrow meeting his coworkers. He’ll be home on Wednesday to work.

We are so very proud of him. He is our hero.

The Tater Tots have a man at their house with a new job today too. Good Luck Mr. Tot!

Nov 11, 2006

Big Hair and Leg Warmers

The Rage did a fund raiser last night at a local pub. They threw an 80s party and I spent the first half of the evening laughing about the songs they played and finding out exactly what my younger teammates thought eighties garb looked like and I spent the second half of my night (after a few beers) Rockin’ the Casbah. This morning I feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes and my feet hurt.

Nov 10, 2006

The Family Toboggan

When I was a kid we lived up the street from the greatest sled hill for two miles around. I say two miles because just two miles away was “Twin Sisters” sound scary? - It was, but I digress. We lived just two blocks from the greatest sled hill around it had a 45 degree angle for a good 8 second sled ride and ended on a baseball field so you were never in danger of smacking into the fence or trying to stop before you get to the slushy creek. My parents were serious about their down hills sports. As long as I can remember the family owner a toboggan and every November when the wind got cold and the air dry Dad would lay the toboggan out on the coffee table or the dining room table and get the bees wax ready. Our little hands would take the great hunks of buttery yellow wax bricks to the bottom of the toboggan until every dowel-hole, every miniscule crack and every crevice filled with wax smooth and shiny. It was like the Midwest version of a surfboard. Then we’d wait the long wait for snow.

When the snow finally came we’d pull on layers of winter clothes. First long underwear, then turtle neck, then knee socks with the long underwear tucked into them, then a sweater, and jeans and over those jeans another pair of jeans or sweat pants, a second pair of socks the outer ones wool, socks on your hands, winder coats, hats, mittens over the socks on your hands, and then mom would wind a great scarf over your face and you’d better be on your way out already or you’d be sweating. We’d drag the toboggan up the street through people s’ yards careful to pick it up were people had shoveled the snow so it wouldn’t drag on the sidewalk.

Upon arrival the hill was always a hodge-podge of downhill equipment. There would be a few good old fashioned sleds with runners; and you have to watch out for those I once heard about a kid who got his ear sliced off by getting himself run over by one, so we’d identify those right away and vow to stay far away from the front of them. There would be the kids who didn’t have anything but a piece of cardboard or a garbage bag they found, but those kids sometimes went the fastest. There would be the kids with the coveted red plastic saucers, we wanted saucers so bad. They were so sleek and plastic and shiny and red and didn’t require any prep and you could spin around on the way down on them. There would be a few plastic sleds with breaks on either side and there would be us and our Family Toboggan.

The hill would be great; we’d sled for an hour or so until you couldn’t feel your chin and your thighs would be getting wet from the snow finally melting through all your layers. The nice part about a toboggan is it was always your turn, it was always everyone’s turn and sometimes you could even fit on some of the kids who couldn’t get their garbage bag going, on the back with everyone else. I think you could fit about eight kids on ours. You just had to make sure you weren’t in between the legs of someone who might pee on you. You gotta put the pee-kid in front.

Finally with snot and sweat dripping down your face we’d argue with Dad about taking our hats off and then it’s be time to go, but not before the piece de resistance, Dad would surf down the hill standing on the toboggan. We’d gather up as he’d scope out where the cleanest snow was far away from the jumps and ice runs us kids adored. He’d put the toboggan reigns in his hands and stand sideways and we’d “Oooh” and “Ahhh” as he’d artfully surf his way down. Then we’d all clap and hoot and holler and start the slog home while rehashing every run, deciding wich was the best. At home we’d peel all the wet clothes off and sit in front of the wood burner in our long underwear sipping the hot chocolate Mom made. I don’t think I’ve had a hot chocolate like that since, but I’m going to give it a try this year. We have a great sledding hill just four blocks away.

Nov 9, 2006

Maybe We Should've Named Her Smart Alec

Conversation at the ice cream station yesterday

Codger: Is your name Billy? Hi Billy.

Ella: No my name is Ella!

Codger: Oh! I thought you were Billy.

Ella: No I’m just Ella…. Mom?

Me: You can tell him to stop teasing you.

Ella: Stop teasing me.

Duffer: Well, I thought you were Billy too; you say it’s Ella huh?

Ella: YES! I’m a little girl of Ella and my names is Ella.

Duffer: Well, how is that spelled, maybe if you spell it for me I could remember it

Codger: Yeah, how DO you spell “Ella”?

Ella: With letters!

Nov 8, 2006

Illinois (D)

It’s a good day to be a Democrat in IL.
We kept the Governor’s Mansion, the Attorney General’s office, Secretary of State’s office and Comptroller’s office and took the Treasurer’s office. Our own county picked up at least one board seat and retained our Sheriff with 67%. We have two great Senators here, you may have heard of them – Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. Oh, did I mention the sun is shining today and it’s going to be 70°.

Nov 7, 2006

jokester won’t be expelled

Here's the follow up article to the story I worote about on Saturday. It looks like the school has calmed down but the Winnebago County state’s attorney’s office is still deciding what to do if anything. Go ahead drop Paul Logli a line

Local News: SchoolsBomb jokester won’t be expelled
By Sadie Gurman

"ROCKTON — A Hononegah High School junior who joked in an online conversation that another student looked “weird enough to bring a bomb the school” no longer faces expulsion, the student’s grandfather, Jim Boyer, said Monday.Noah Boyer, 16, was arrested for disorderly conduct for the Oct. 24 conversation with a friend, which took place over AOL Instant Messenger. An expulsion hearing was slated for 1 p.m. Monday but was canceled Monday morning when a group of school administrators, teachers and staff decided it should not be held, Jim Boyer said.Noah Boyer, who declined to comment, will return to school today after nine days of suspension, Jim Boyer said.

...School officials decided not to expel Noah after his teachers rallied around him, he said.“The teachers really went to bat for him,” Jim Boyer said. “They were all in support of him and his work this year. I think that helped.”

...Rockton police learned of the Internet chat as it was unfolding, and arrested Noah Boyer for disorderly conduct. He still faces a criminal charge, as the Winnebago County state’s attorney’s office decides whether Boyer’s case deserves a formal court trial, assistant state’s attorney Pamela Wells said. Alternatives to a formal trial could include public service, probation, counseling or a number of other services, Wells said. "

Nov 6, 2006

Quick Monday

Hello bloggies, I've got to be quick this morning, so much to do this week and today is full.

Practice was wonderful last night though I'm a little stiff in the lower back this morning. Two women went down pretty hard during jams, I think they'll be ok but ice was needed. Though we are thankful for a practice place it kinda stinks that it's cement. It's extra slidey and so you have to temper your speed while fending off hips and shoulders from all directions. I haven't taken a good hard fall yet but I have been swung into the bingo tables that line the room. Not quite as bad as Bubbles the Brawler slidding into the bingo machine sending balls flying accross the floor but equally scary.

Nov 4, 2006

Thought Police in Illinois

Imagine you are sitting in class and you lean over to your friend and say “Wow, that guy looks weird... Weird enough to bomb the school.” And your friend says “You should tell someone about that guy?” and you reply “It’s a joke dude, he just looked weird”. Perhaps a teacher overhears part of the conversation, takes it seriously enough to call the police and make a big deal. Should you be suspended from school? Should you be arrested for initiating of a false bomb threat? Who is at fault? Does blame need to actually be placed?

Now imagine the conversation takes place via IM from your own home while playing Halo with your pal and your pal mentions it to her mom who freaks out and calls the police. The police come to your home, seize your computer, the school is called, and a big deal made. Should you be suspended from school? How about expelled? Or arrested for initiating of a false bomb threat, disorderly conduct? Who is at fault? Is there any blame or is it just a simple misunderstanding?


Published: November 3, 2006
Bomb joke may bring expulsion
A Hononegah junior also faces a criminal charge in the incident.
By Sadie Gurman

"During an Oct. 24 online conversation, Boyer, a junior at Hononegah High School, joked to a friend that another student looked “weird enough to bomb the school.”...

...The transcript of one conversation, provided to the Register Star by Boyer, reads “there is no bomb.” The chat took place over the networking program AOL Instant Messenger. “i was messing around.”...

Friend: anywho, did you tell someone about that guy?
Boyer: lol no
Friend: ... do it
Friend: whats his name?
Friend: Noah
Friend: whats his name?
Boyer: nvm it a joke dude he looked weird

…“I didn’t really do anything,” Boyer, 16, said. “I didn’t threaten the school. I didn’t purposefully try to scare anyone.”

The incident marks a new frontier in school safety, one in which school officials take any suspicious comment — even a joke made over the Internet — seriously, Rockton Police Chief Stephen Dickson said.

Boyer said his expulsion hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. Hononegah administrators said they could not confirm the hearing and declined to comment on the incident. “It’s a student matter, and we cannot discuss it in public at all,” Associate Principal Ehren Jarrett said Thursday. “It’s a student privacy issue.”

Boyer was arrested for disorderly conduct, which happens whenever “a person does any act in such an unreasonable manner that they alarm or disturb another and provoke a breach of the peace,” said Pamela Wells, assistant state’s attorney for Winnebago County..."


What is happening here? Am I the only one who thinks the person that made the call to the police is at fault? If I say “Johnny Depp is good enough to eat” and you call the police and say I play to murder him then you are the dangerous idiot not me. While I believe any and all threats made at school should be taken seriously, the kid didn’t shout “He’s got a bomb!” in the middle of an assembly; he cracked a smart ass joke on the internet followed by “Dude I was just kidding.” It’s an outrage that the kid faces a conviction and possible expulsion, an absolute outrage. I find the measures taken by the authorities to be a gross overreaction and I feel it directly encroaches on all our civil rights.


Stephen Dickson (Chief of Rockton Police) -
Hononegah School Board:
David Kurlinkus (President) (Term expires 2007) -
Kerwood Watts (Vice-President) (Term expires 2007) -
Tana Vettore (Secretary) (term expires 2009) -
Sandy Fordell (term expires 2009) -
Diane LaForge (term expires 2009) -
Scott Moyer (term expires 2009) -
Bob Zoeller (Term expires 2007)

Nov 3, 2006


I am soo addicted to this game. I made it to level 11 the other night and worked on it for far too long. It's like untying knotted shoe laces only more so. It's so simple and so addictive.

Nov 2, 2006

A Present

Ella puts her hand out towards me in an effort to hand me something. I reach for it and she says "I have a booger, my nose spit it out. Here."

Nov 1, 2006


Thus begins the long slog through winter. We’ll have days and days of rain and slush from the sky and perhaps even a little snow that may stick before the New Year. The span above will turn a permanent grey and we will scrunch up and scowl every time we step outside in an effort to keep warm. My knuckles will chap after doing dishes and Ella’s cheeks will turn bright red with dryness and she will cry when I try to smear coco butter across her face. We’ll turn the heat down to 68° we’ll wear itchy wool sweaters and turn on the space heater before each bath. The dog will refuse to go out a pee on really cold slushy days and just do it on the deck creating little yellow ice patches close to the corner that I will want to hose off - but wont (gross). Can you tell this is by far not my favorite part of the year? I’d much prefer lying on the sandy beach at Pearl Lake sipping beer while Ella splashes spring water on her knees. So, I feel a list is needed.

Things I am looking forward to:

1. Turkey and stuffing
2. My first roller derby bout
3. Winter Solstice
4. The holidays
5. Ella’s birthday
6. Valentines Day
7. Another trip to Vegas?
8. Art gala/benefit for the library
9. St. Patrick’s Day

Oct 31, 2006

Three Brains

“Dude, there is a brain in your driveway! I was out there smoking and I walked out to the road and I swear to God there is a full brain extracted from the head of something in your driveway!”

“Ha ha, really funny. Did you think that was going to scare me or something?”

“Dude I wouldn’t sh*t you about this –
there is a BRRAINNN in your driveway! Come and look at it”

“Alright, let me get my shoes on.”

“What is that?”

“It’s a brain, I told you! Is someone mad enough at you to throw a fetal pig brain in your driveway? Or maybe it’s from a dead raccoon.”

“What? You think someone cut the brain out of a dead raccoon and threw it in my driveway? ... No, it wouldn’t be big enough. That brain came from something bigger.”

“If it’s fresh shouldn’t it be bloody?”

“It rained like crazy this morning; it would’ve washed it clean so there’s no way to know.”

“Dude! See – it is a brain isn’t it! How did you get a brain in your driveway?”

“That can’t be what it is, let’s look at it closer. Get a stick”

“I’m not going to poke it with a stick! Gross! ”

“That’s ok, I found one, I’ll poke it.”

“Dude, don’t lean so close! What if it…”

“What jumps onto my head and bites me? Yeah right, in the middle of the day in my driveway a human brain gets loose and bites me on the neck.”

“Where would someone get a human brain?... Maybe we should call the police?”

“Hell na! Do you remember the scarecrow incident?! Let’s poke it first”

“It’s mushy.”

“I think I’m going to puke”

“The stick poked right into it and brain juice came out.”

“Siiiick. Don't poke it anymore!”

“How in the F* did I get a brain in my driveway? What do we do with it?”

“Well, you can’t just put it in Tuesday’s trash.”

“Let’s ask my mom, she’s going to be home pretty soon”

“We have to wait for her or she’ll run it over with her car.”

“Mom! Stop the car! Don’t pull in you gotta see this!”

“Why are you kids standing around the rice cake I dropped this morning? My, oh- my, those really swell up when they get rained on…”

Happy Halloween!

Go see what we were for Halloween at TaterTot's Thoughts today.

Oct 30, 2006

Sixteen Years Ago Today

“Karla! I think you should go around the block, I just saw someone in the ditch.”

“What do you mean you saw someone in the ditch?! Like waiting to jump out?”

“No, I mean I saw someone lying in the ditch, like it looked like their leg was all twisted up. Oh. My. God. Someone just got hit by a car and their lying in the ditch! You have to go around the block!”

The car circles the block while five teenage girls search out the window in silence.

“OhmyGod! Someone IS in the ditch!”

“Oh their leg looks bent at a BAD angle, that’s not good.”

“Ohmygod,Ohmygod,Ohmygod,Ohmygod, what do I do? Should we stop?”

“Yeah, let’s stop and see if their ok…”

“What if it’s a prank and someone jumps out at us?”

“OhmyGod, OhmyGod what if their DEAD?!”

“AAAAAH! Don’t stop! Let’s go back to my house and call 911!”



“Ug Ick Groooooosse!”

“Ok, let’s go back to your house and tell your mom and call 911”

After much frantic yelling and one concerned call to 911 the girls get back in the car and drive up the street to see what the police find. The street is filled with at least three police cars and as they pull up to the crime scene a police officer walks up to their window. Karla rolls it down and they all lean over to hear what's happening.

“Are you the girls that called this in?”

“Yes sir. Is it bad?”

“You know you girls can get into a lot of trouble for this.”

“OhmyGod Officer we didn’t hit anyone! Are they dead?!”

“We’re going to jail! They think we killed someone!”

“Oh No ~whimper~”

"I swear we didn't hit anyone! I can't go to jail! OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod"

"Listen ladies, we don’t like false reports and you girls probably think it's pretty funny but it costs the taxpayers alot of money when somone pulls a stunt like this, do you understand?"


"Karla, it's a scarecrow... look over there, he's holding it up... it's a scarecrow!"

"We'll let you off this time, but don't you girls go pulling anything like this again ok?"