Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obnoxious Navy Fans at the Texas Bowl

One of the really fun gifts Joe got for Christmas this year was a sack full of noise-making Navy Spirit wear from Bill the goat.  I have to admit that the cowbell is the loudest, most obnoxious tool in the chest.  I also really like it because I was not hoarse from yelling after the game because anytime I felt like yelling, I just clanked that cowbell long and loud.  A few people sitting near us moved to another section.  I think it was because they really don't like the Navy.  One man came up to me and asked if Bob was a former player, or if we had a son playing.  The implied question was, "Why are you guys so loud?"    

Before the game we went to the Alumni sponsored Brigade tailgate party.  Everyone filled up on brisket, smoked sausage, honey bbqued chicken, apple chipotle potato salad, cookies, brownies and soda.  This sure beats filling up on expensive, heartburn-inducing stadium food.  We were really glad that Jeff could meet us for the game. 

We found some removable Go Navy tatooes for Joe's Under-eyes.

John sat with the other Midshipmen while we took our loftier seats.  It was a really fun game, mainly because Navy won.

When we got back to the hotel after the game I saw a table of Missou fans lamenting the day's loss.  I had to start the conversation about how when Missou made the first touchdown in the first 23 seconds that I thought it would be a long game.  They brought up the point that their team seemed to go home after the first minute of play.  Then they brought out the point that they had a hard time coming up with insulting things to say about the USNA.  They couldn't even think of any good jokes about the navy.  I thanked them for being so patriotic to let Navy win.  I didn't bring up the point that they could look on youtube for Anti-Navy spirit spots put out by Army and Airforce who don't worry that they are being un-American for trying to defeat Navy.

Go Navy-Beat Army! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Christmas 2009

This hasn't happened since 1926!  I wish I could say I was really happy about this, but I lived in Alaska for 5 years and I have had enough snow for the rest of my life.  But what a beautiful sight.

Santa came early and replaced my computer that was failing.

Joe got a new watch thanks to a great deal Dad found on the internet.

We got Joe a few new shirts at Aeropostole.  He is at that age where these things are very important to him.  Fortunately, I found a sale where they were selling these forty dollar shirts for about five dollars.  Joe asked me if I thought he should keep the tags on his clothes so that people would think he spent a lot of money on them.  My answer is that I am posting what I paid for them on the world wide web.  Eleven year-olds are so funny. 

John in his new work out jacket, Bob in his Navy Jacket(thanks Megan and Chris) and Joe sporting his new watch.

Bob and Joe in matching Navy jackets.

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Deep Inside the Ford Museum

While in Michigan we took another peak inside the Ford Museum.  Because it was winter we spent our entire time inside the Museum instead of the village.

I found a car that matched my coat!

Bob thought this little car would be fun to drive.

Joe picked this car as his favorite.

We found one of the earliest Harleys.

This is a replica of the coats that Captain Byrd wore while exploring the South Pole.  It weighed about 50 pounds.  Joe wanted to try it on too.

Cute Mittens!

The Ford Museum theme is all about American innovation and engineering. Joe was able to power up a bunch of lights by turning a crank.  I have heard about connecting a generator to a bicycle then hooking the generator to a tv.  Of course, the Muir's havn't incorporated this into our home yet.  Can you peddle a bike from a reclining position?

Poor Chris had to work while we headed to Dearborn.  It was really fun to spend extra time with Megan.

Joe was so tired he fell asleep on the way back. Megan covered him up with her cute pink coat and took his picture.  Aren't big sisters great?  It was a fun little trip up north.  We were glad to get back home to Texas where we were under the impression that it rarely snows.

Master Megan

On December 18th Bob, Joe and I went up to Michigan in preparation for Megan's graduation from Eastern Michigan University with a Master of Accountancy degree on Sunday, December 20th.

Congrats to Master Megan!
Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

Last year during the Christmas season Megan, my daughter, posted pictures on her blog of a party she had with her friends.  They all went to Good Will or Salvation Army Thrift Stores and bought the most obnoxious Christmas sweaters they could find and took pictures of each other and posted them on her blog. 

This was the best they could do at Good Will.  Evidently, this is the new Christmas party theme for young adults.  There had been a run on Christmas sweaters at all of the thrift stores in Ann Arbor during December of 2008.  I have heard that Chris found something "new" at a thrift store this summer and paid a whole dollar for it.  I can't wait to see the 2009 Beatty Christmas picture.

As I was getting ready to go to the PTA Board Holiday party today I found my Christmas sweater and almost put it on until I remembered that they are out of style and a source of mocking by the twenty-something crowd.

Imagine that!  What could be more festive than faux snow around the collar and twin santas with fuzzy beards carrying trees with ornaments and presents flying in the air?  Perhaps, if your kids are really nice to me, they can borrow my sweater for their own Christmas Sweater Party.  I think this sweater may be as valuable as a baby blue polyester tux someday. 

 I decided to go a lot more subtle in my celebration attire.  I wore my white mock turtle neck which discreetly says JOY and a red jacket.  I looked Chritsmasy but not over-the-top.

So when I was at the Christmas party today I looked around to see who might still be wearing one of those ridiculous sweaters.  I was going to take a pictures and post them on my blog.  Not one person was so attired.  I wonder how many people were secretly laughing at me and taking my picture and putting it on their blogs last year.  I probably was the only one still wearing that kind of sweater and I just didn't notice that they had gone the way of the dinosaur.  I am so grateful that I have children.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joe's Pushy Mom

We have a winner!  I forced Joe to write a poem this year for the Arts In Education Reflections program for PTA.  He did not want to do it, but I told him that I had promised my friend Debbie, the Arts In Education Chair, that he would be submitting a poem.  There were tears.  There were accusations that I was forcing him to do something he could not do.  There was a shouting match.  There was a brainstorming session.  There was instruction on how to make simple phrases sound pretty.  There was a tutorial on how to make a rhyming scheme.  There was another shouting match about how long the poem should be .  Four lines just wasn't going to cut it.  And then finally there was a poem!

Beauty Is... was the theme.  Joe decided that the most beautiful things he has ever seen, he has seen in nature.  He decided to think back on his camping trip to the Olympic National Park to come up with inspiration for the beautiful sights he saw in nature.  Here is his poem:

Beauty Is Natural

Beauty is found on a lake at night

Moonlight shimmers both soft and bright.

Beauty is found in a forest deep

Trees making homes that the animals keep.

Beauty is found on a mountain so high

Snowy caps reaching ever up to the sky.

Beauty is found in a flowering glade

Where blossoms find sunshine outside of  the shade.

Beauty is found in Nature so dear

Making life better and giving me cheer.

I am happy to announce that Joe's poem won Judge's Choice at the school and district level and will now be going to state!  But more important to me is that Joe now knows he can write poetry.  I have to admit I love poetry.  I think it is a powerful way to use words to bring feelings and thoughts to the surface.

I know that I will not be able to influence Joe to do all of the things I think are good for him for very much longer. My older kids have taught me that.  But for now, Congrats to Joe!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Love of Country

I have been doing some family history research lately and have traced another line back to the 1640's.  Don't you love it when you can find Quakers in your background?  They kept such good records.  And they came to America a long time ago!

This is the second line I have traced back that far.  The other line I can trace back to the Puritans.

And, of course, there is the line that holds my Native American Heritage.

These ancestors settled the New Land.  They fought in the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean Conflict, The Vietnam War, and Jeff did his part in the Persian Gulf to support the war in Iraq.  They were on the front lines any time any new territory opened up.

I know that people whose ancestors have not been here forever love America too, but I can really feel it in my bones, as if it is part of my DNA.  Me and America, we have history.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Friends From India

On Black Friday Eve, the day that the rest of Americans call Thanksgiving, I went out to Best Buy to wait in line so that I could get the electronics for the family for the next year.  I started out as number 11 in line,  Numbers 1-7 were a family from Arkansas who had been waiting in line for 2 days when I got there. They thought Texas was warmer than Arkansas for two days of camping in November.  I wonder what their kids will write about Thanksgiving?  We went to Texas and went camping in a parking lot at Best Buy.  It was really fun!  Numbers 8 and 9 were two bachelors from Mumbai, India who are computer consultants for American Airlines. They are here for a few years.  They were interested to hear what I thought were some must see spots in the USA.  Number 8's parents are working on finding a bride for him.  I guess the kids in India trust their parents a lot more than we do here because I can see the men my parents might choose for me and I would have to decline.  Number 10 was a pad to sit on.  I moved him to the back of the line after he had been AWOL for 3 hours.  He showed up an hour and a half after that and was disapointed that he had been moved but promptly left again.  There is a certain ettiquette about waiting in line.  The first rule is that you really have to be there.  You can leave for bathroom breaks and for food but don't expect to take off for hours.  As the new number 10, I had gained the alpha spot.  Whenever people left they checked in with me to tell me where they were going and what they would be doing and when they would be back.  I thought it was pretty funny that I had that much power.  Numbers 11 and 12 were a couple from India who had a two year old that they took turns watching in the car.    The line continued to grow, especially after the Cowboys game ended.  Things were going pretty well until number 50 got there.  I don't know what his problem was, but I think it might have been that he got there several hours after the people in the front of the line got there.  He started making trouble with a lot of people.  I guess he didn't get the memo that I was in charge.

I had set up a tent and had an air mattress and a sleeping bag.  I was pretty comfortable.  At about 1AM number 50 started to harrass number 11.  He was questioning why he kept going to his car and accusing him of not really being in line.  Number 11 grew tired of his harrassment so he told him he would not be speaking to him any more.  Number 50 started using really foul language and making gross threats.  I recognized this as a testosterone war.  What was number 11 to do?  He was a guy and he was being verbally threatened in front of over a hundred people.  Number 11 remained silent for about 45 seconds before he gave up on that resolve. I wondered if it would result in a fist fight.  Then he came out with the worst cussing he had ever come up with in his life, "Who in the hell do you think you are?  You go back to your own spot in line!"  Number 50 was urged to go back to his own spot by everyone else.   Later that morning I told number 11 that I was proud of him for not using horrid language and for not getting in a fight.  After all, it is shopping, and shopping should be fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

Today I went to Kroger and picked up a bunch of groceries to prepare for Thanksgiving.  I also stopped at Costco to pick up a fresh Butterball turkey.  After years of trying to cook a perfect juicy bird I discovered the secret was buying a fresh turkey.  I had always thought the free turkey or the cheap turkey was such a good deal.  Maybe they were a good deal but they were almost always dry. 

I made my cranberry relish this afternoon.  My Grandmother Bullock used to always make this fresh relish.  She knew that it had to be made a few days early for the flavors to meld in time for Thanksgiving.  This is how you make it:  Proccess a pound of cranberries and a whole unpeeled orange in a food processor or blender.  Add in a jalapeno with the seeds removed (unless you like it really hot, then leave in the seeds).  My grandmother never added the jalapeno, that is my little Texas thing.  Add a cup of sugar.  Put this in a covered container and keep it in the refrigerator.

I am going to try a new recipe this year. It is called a topsey turvey apple pie.  I will put it in the recipe blog after Thanksgiving when I have a good picture.  It is a cross between a pecan pie and an apple pie.  My freind, Cathleen made it for a pie contest at Spring Creek Elementary and I got a taste.  It was excellent.  If you can't wait to find it on my recipe blog, you can google it.  It is a Pillsbury recipe.

I am just glad I don't have pnuemonia this year. 

Can't wait for Black Friday!  I can be so much more competitive now that I am not coughing up a lung.  Last year I had to take a lot of breaks to catch my breath.  That really slowed me down.  The worst part was during the initial entry into the store when everyone was running and I just couldn't keep the pace and I felt my heart beating out of my chest because of the lack of oxygen.  Some may ask why I didn't just skip the best shopping day of the year when I was so sick.  I think this proves that I will have to be dead to be out of the fray.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Levi Johnston Makes Me Sick

I know I am not the only one who is tired of seeing and hearing about Levi Johnston.  He is the dorky kid who knocked up Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol.  He is using his notoriety to keep himself in front of the cameras and in the press.  But is anyone really interested in this guy?  He is the kind of kid that if your daughter brought him home you might consider moving out of state. If your sons brought him home you might count your silverware upon his departure.  He isn't buff, he's not great looking.  He certainly isn't smart.  Almost every word that proceeds from his mouth sounds suspicously like a lie that will extend his time in the limelight.  I guess that the only good thing about him is that he has taken some of the tv time away from John and Kate.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's No Crying In Football

Today Joe watched the Cowboys go down in flames.  He can't help himself for getting so emotionally involved.  I think when he gets older he will learn how to yell insults at the TV and get angry like most guys.  But for now, Mr. Tender-heart just sobs when things go tragically wrong.  He did manage to say, "Well, so much for the lead in the NFC East," several times.

I tried to make him feel better by telling him that maybe some of the recievers might be dating Jessica Simpson, to explain why otherwise great players were having a bad day, but he failed to see the humor in this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Happens to Evil People After They Die?

I was tucked up under my kitchen sink today, holding a flashlight in my teeth, with water dripping on me from a line I was trying to repair.  I was trying to remember how to turn the nut.  It is just opposite of what you would think when you are under the sink in that position.  My father started chiding me about my lack of mechanical ability.  You know,  that is one of my visions of what hell will be like.

My other vision of hell is working behind the ticket counter at Chuck E. Cheese while children with too few tickets painstakingly shop for treasures. 

Okay, so maybe these visions lack any doctrinal support, but I can't imagine worse fates than to be sentenced for eternity to either of these scenarios.

Feel free to share your own version of a horrible eternity in the comments.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Confessions of Vengeful Heart

One personality flaw that I have had to work on all of my life is vengeance. I know that I should not feel the need to take revenge, and usually I keep this desire under control. I have trained myself not to act on my vengeful feelings for a few days after I feel the urge. This time allows the feelings to simmer down and allows reason to take over. For several years I would just think of perfect revenge and act out the scenario in my mind, and then I would let it go. I thought I had progressed to feeling compassion for the offending party, as I tried to see his or her point of view. But this morning all of my self reported progress went down the tubes.

I originally heard that Dr. Nidal Malik Hasan, the shooter at Fort Hood, had died by being shot to death by a female police officer at the scene. Good, I thought, at least it will be closure for the families of the victims. Then I heard he was still alive, but in the hospital due to his gun shot wounds. Well, at least he will be questioned and we will find out his sick motives for this shooting ,which will bring closure for the victims' families who have to know why. Then, this morning, when I woke up I heard on the news that he is paralyzed from the wounds he received. My feeling about this was not glee, but a feeling that he was getting what he deserved. Not only will he be locked up in a military prison, he will be guarded by the brothers in arms of the men and women he assaulted and killed, all of this while he is imprisoned in a wheel chair. I am hoping the guards feed him a solid diet of pork: bacon for breakfast, pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, and pork ribs for dinner. While they are at it, they should give him marshmallows for dessert for every meal.

So, obviously, I am back to square one on overcoming my desire for vengeance.

This whole situation makes me sick. As a member of a military family I think it is particularly evil that this man was an officer and a doctor. He was in a position of trust and privilege. Who were the geniuses who decided to transfer this troubled man to another base when he was being watched by the FBI for pro-terrorism statements on the web? It kind of reminds me of the abuse the Catholic church perpetrated on its members by transferring around pedophile priests to new and unsuspecting congregations. I hope that this problem will be investigated because our active duty military members deserve better treatment than this.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Feast and The Free Clinic

We started our Halloween feast with deviled egss.  The spiders are made out of olives.  These were really really tasty and so cute. 

What Halloween Feast would be complete with out bat wings?

One of our family favorites is a big serving of bones with blood dipping sauce.

Jack-o-burgers have been a family favorite for years. I fed this to everyone right before Joe went out Trick-or-Treating.  Joe got to go out by himself this year. Of course he had a phone and Bob and one of the other dads followed behind them about two houses. 

We made Megan's favorite Halloween treat for dessert.  I carved the tortillas and fried them in a little oil and then sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar.  Bob and Joe ate theirs with ice cream.  I felt that I had reached my sugar limit so I ate mine just as it came.

This year I dressed up like a Democrat.  Megan had given Joe a Barrack Obama Tshirt.  He refused to wear it and actually threatened to throw it away.  I saved it and wore it.  How could anyone waste a two dollar shirt?  I explained to the kids that last year I was Sarah Palin and I was campaining for John Mc Cain, but this year I was a Democrat.  All of the Democrat children were so happy that I had seen the light.  The Republican children were a little confused that I could change political philosophies so quickly.  I then asked them if they wanted their shot in the arm, leg or butt.  Almost all of the kids 6 and under tried to run away.  I asked them if they had read the sign about the free vaccinations.  Some older kids said they had already had the vaccination.  I asked them if they were pregnant because in Dallas county those are the only people getting vaccinations for H1N1.  I found one little girl who really had recieved the vaccine because she was a type one diabetic.  A lot of teenagers said they wanted a shot of whiskey.  Its pretty evident who was absent during Red Ribbon Week.  When the line got really long I told the parents that this was no way indicative of what would happen when our national health care plan passed Congress.  As you can probably guess, all of the children opted for their vaccine to be served in the oral suspension form. They got to choose H1(cherry) or N1(lemonade).  I also had the juice machine filled with plain water.  It is amazing how thirsty you can get while running from house to house. 


I started making slushees the night before. I got the machine all cleaned up and filled.  Each side takes 12 cups of sugar.  When I started up the machine the red side came unhinged and I had three gallons of double strength red Koolaide all over the kitchen floor.  It took me about an hour to clean it up.  I got the machine going over night and I cupped up about 160 slushees in the morning and put them in the freezer.  Then I started the next batch so they would be ready for the Trick-or-Treaters.  After a few hours I noticed that the red side was not freezing up.  Some of the electronics got sugared up during the big spill.  Fortunately I was able to clean up the connections enough to get the machine running, thus saving Halloween.  It was iffy for a while.

Joe dressed up as a rapper. He looked a lot like a football player with aviators.  By the end of the night I was exhausted!  I am glad Halloween comes but once a year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harley Time

The good news is Jeff is doing well enough in his business to buy a brand new bike!  He loves it.  It is really powerful and can go really fast. 

Of Course, that is also the bad news from a mother's perspective.  I am glad he is doing well.  I am glad he is able to get things that he wants,  I wish he would have purchased a car.  I wish he would at least wear a helmet.  But he is a one percenter and I guess that I am not going to change that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tracy Fisher Remembered

It is hard to believe what can happen in the space of a few days.  John called me last Monday from Annapolis and he was very upset.  He had just found out that Tracy Fisher had died that morning while walking to class at the University of Missouri in Columbus.  She was the picture of health, but she died of a pulmonary embolism.  To add to the sadness of the event, the next day was to be her 19th birthday. 

John and Tracy had dated a few times a couple of years ago but the romance factor fizzled quickly for normal teenage reasons.  They ended up being great friends.  They both sang in the RHS choir.  John has always considered Tracy to be one of his best friends.

Over the last few days I have crossed paths with a lot of people who have known Tracy.  I kept hearing a reccurring theme.  Almost all of the kids she knew considered her to be one of their best freinds.  I started thinking about all of the groups she was involved with.  There was choir, theatre, The Talon Newspaper, and her synagogue.  I know she had more associations than this but just assuming there were an average of 100 kids in each of these groups she easily had 400 best freinds.  It is easy to see why Tracy had so many best friends.  It is because she had a generous spirit.  You knew that Tracy liked you.  She didn't make you guess.  If you ever crossed her path at Target or the grocery store or even in th hall ways at school she would acknowlege you.  She would always acknowlege me and I am, well, lets just say, I am a little older than Tracy.  Very few teenagers feel confident enough to run half way across Costco to give a hug to one of her 400 best freinds' mother who was sitting at a table eating pizza at the food court, but that was Tracy. 

There was an amazing turn out at her funeral service.  I loved her brother's rememberances of Tracy.  That had to be a tough, but he did a great job.  I waited in line for half an hour to sign the guest book.  I saw teachers, friends from all of her different activities, her freinds from her synagogue, her parent's freinds, and her freind's parents

How could a healthy young woman die so suddenly?  I think her brother gave a pretty good explanation at the funeral.  It was a matter of biology.  I remember when I was in my twenties I had started taking a new medication and the doctor was describing some of the rare side effects, which included death.  I remember laughing a little at this and the doctor, who was about 50, reprimanding me for my cavalier attitude.  So I pretended to take him seriously for the rest of the dire lecture of everything that could go wrong but probably wouldn't.  Now that I have lived a little longer and have experienced a few lightning strikes I understand  why the doctor was upset with me.  You just don't know when you will be the one in 1000.  You just don't know when someone's time is up.  After having a personal experience of loosing my son Matthew I realized that I wanted all of my relationships to be at a point that I would have no regrets if an unexpected death occurs.  This is kind of a weird attitude, I know, but I am shaped by my experiences.

For now, I am going to take a page from Tracy's book.  The picture at the top of this post was when Tracy showed up for John's Eagle Court of Honor.  I think we can show up for our freinds events.  I think we can cross the room to greet our freinds.  I think we can let others know that we really like them, like how Tracy let everyone of us know that we were among her best freinds.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hero Worship

We had a really fun weekend!  John came in from the Naval Academy for the Navy SMU game.  Grandpa Stockam came down from Arkansas for the game.

We attended the tailgate party at SMU.  I was surprised at how the SMU Coeds were dressed in little strapless mini dresses.  The SMU guys were dressed in khaki shorts and long sleeved pastel colored shirts.  I thought this was pretty odd. All of the Navy people were dressed in Navy Spirit wear.  And we were dressed warmly because it was a night game.  By the end of the night the SMU Coeds were shaking out of their cowboy boots and the SMU guys had nothing to keep them warm except for ill-clad Coeds.  I have a really unique thought, sweatshirts, maybe even with the school logo!   SMU could lower its tuition a little if each of the students bought one of these.

After a meal of Texas BBQ brisket we headed over to the stadium.  Navy was the first to score with a touch down and the extra point.  Then in the second quarter SMU scored three touchdowns in a row.  At that point Joe started crying.  I wish I could say that he was trying not to cry but that would not be truthful.  The tears were genuine.  He cares so much about Navy football that he just couldn't take it.

I am not sure what happened at halftime but it seemed like Annapolis High got off the Field and the USNA started to play.

Joe regained his composure and started smiling.  It was a tight game but Navy was ahead again.

      I went down to the Midshipmen section and I got John to pose for a picture for me.  He was pretty happy that Navy was ahead again.  But SMU wasn't going to lay down with out a fight.  They scored another TD to tie up the score and we went into overtime.  Fortunately Navy does great in Overtime and SMU stinks at it.  So Navy won by a fieldgoal.  It was a messy win but it was still a win and that is what counts. 

After the game we went down to where the Navy players were coming out of the locker rooms after the game. Joe had a football and a sharpie.  He was trying to get as many autographs of the players that he could.  If any of you have ever talked to Joe about Navy Football you would have heard him mention the super hero of the team, Ricky Dobbs.  Dobbs is the quaterback and he is just an excellent player.  Navy plays the triple option so he gets in on a lot of the really good plays.  We found Ricky after the game and Joe was so happy to meet his football hero.  I was impressed that Ricky was so nice to Joe.  He even let us take a picture of him with Joe.  I told him how much Joe admired him and he gave me a big hug!  Thanks Ricky Dobbs!  I really appreciate it when a Celeb-type can be kind to his admiring fans.  This made Joe's day, week. month, and possibly his whole year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's my Fault the Colts lost the Game today

I wasn't on the field.  I am not the coach, assistant coach or the team manager.  I wasn't even in charge of bringing the post-game Gatorade.  So how did I blow it for the team?

Joe asked me to buy him an athletic cup to protect his delicate parts.  I went to Academy Sports and stared at the athletic protective cup offerings.  The LARGE youth protective cup was $5.99.  There was a protective cup with underwear for $9.99.  My reasoning on buying the cup without the special underwear was that Joe has lots of underwear.  I am a girl.  I only had sisters.  I think Bob must have taken care of Jeff's and John's protective needs.  I claim stupidity as my defense.

Joe wore his cup to the game today for the first time.  I sat there semi-watching the game and doing my sudoku puzzle at the same time.  So I really wasn't noticing that Joe wasn't making his blocks or his tackles.  At half time I heard the coaches reprimanding Joe for not doing his jobs.  I put the sudoku down and started noticing during the second half that he was playing football like he had never played the game before.  The coaches were correcting and encouraging him and at times got down right aggravated that he was doing nothing out there.   I couldn't figure out what his problem was.  Then within a 15 second time period I noticed that he had groped at his private parts twice, like Michael Jackson at a pop concert.  I knew what his problem was at that point.  His protective cup had been slipping during the entire game.  His head wasn't in the game because he was concentrating on his manhood problem.  Bob later told me that the underwear that comes with the cup has a special pocket to keep the cup in place during play.  How clever!

There were only about 4 or 5 minutes left of play.  I went down to the field and told the team manager about the problem. He thanked me for noticing with only a few minutes of play left.  He is actually a great guy and at a timeout asked Joe to remove his cup.  Joe stuck his hand down his pants and removed the offending article.  Bill put it in his pocket and then gave it to me.  Joe finally could concentrate on the game!  At least the other team didn't score another touchdown.  The Colts lost 21-0.

On the drive home Joe told me that he had to constantly adjust that darn cup .  One of his team mates told him to stop it because he was Freaking him out.  Of course he couldn't stop adjusting, with his cup trying to slide down his leg.

Now I am going to have to go back to Academy.  I think the special underwear is $5.99.  Had I bought it at the time I bought the cup I would have saved $3.00 and the Colts might have won the game today, but I wouldn't have this funny little story to post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swine Flu Phobia

I am not sure what all of the debate is about.  I have heard on the news that President Obama is trying to calm people's fears about taking the Swine Flu Vaccination.  You know,  it is really a  moot point.  There is so little vaccine out there that the problem is not people refusing to take it,  but people who want it not getting it.   At first the announcement was that only 2 year old children were going to get it.  But there wasn't enough to go around so only healthcare workers are being vaccinated at this time.

About 75% of our second grade was absent with Swine Flu last week.  Several schools in the DFW area are closing for the week because 50% of the kids are out with Swine Flu.  It must really be in style to have the flu because Joe was telling me a couple of days ago that he can't wait until he gets the Swine flu so that he can get a break from school.  I informed him that even though he wouldn't be  in school he would get the privelege of doing his school work.

I am grateful that the flu is not as deadly as the experts were predicting last spring.  My great grandmother, Grace May Haworth survived a really tough flu epidemic in Arkansas in the 1880's..   She was married and had two little boys.  Complications of the flu killed her husband and both of her children.  She was so devastated.  The mother in me wants to reach back through the years and comfort her.  Her own mother probably would have tried to comfort her, but she died in that big flu epidemic too.  I have heard about how bitter and mean spirited she became after facing these devastating trials.  She remarried a widower and became the wicked stepmother to his two children.  She had at least 8 more children with my great grandfather, James Hardee. But she could never contain her bitterness.  I have spoken with a descendent of the daughter Vergie Hardee from his first marriage, and she confirmed how hard it was for her grandmother when Grace May became part of her life.  Vergiewas kicked out of the house when she was 14 and went to live at a State School.  This wasn't a great place but it was better than living under the tyrrany of Grace. I wish the story had a good ending, like Grace started to feel better and everything was okay after that, but the situaton went from bad to worse. 

Ambus Hardee, James' son from his first marriage died in a boiler explosion on the USS San Diego off of the coast of Mexico in 1915 when the US Navy was gearing up for WWI.  Now James was in a spot similar to his second wife.  He had lost his first wife and one of his children to death and the other had no contact with him. James lost his footing and hope..  He just gave up, or as Grandma Stockam said, "He had three farms, he would sell one then drink it up, then sell the next, then the next."  The family had no resources and that is when Grace Mae took her kids and moved to Mounds, Oklahoma.

I could go on about the family's trouble and I may in a future blog post.  It is not a pretty story.

I think we can learn something from the hardships they experienced.  First of all, get the flu vaccine if you possibly can.  Second, you never know just how hard of a life people have had, so try to be gentle and kind even to those who do not appear as if they deserve this treatment.  Third, if you experience a great loss don't punish everyone else in your life.  Fourth, try to find joy in what you have.  Fifth, if you dwell on really sad thoughts you become weird. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Put One In The Win Column For The Colts

After losing about 5 games in a row the Colts finally put one in the Win Column!  Joe got to play the whole game. He played offensive guard and defensive Noseguard.  He made some really good tackles and just loved every minute of the game. Some might assume that he is just a gifted athlete.  Maybe.  But I think the fact that several of the players have been sick with Swine Flu every week during the game has a little bit to do with why Joe is getting so much playing time.

Edgar was actually the secret weapon on the team.  He would get the ball and run down the field and no one could catch him.  I think he made three touchdown.  At one point he was running down the field with a kid on his back.  The unknown Redskin finally fell off after about 10 yards.   

You know,  it is just good to win sometimes after the team practices and works so hard. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cattle Rancher's Daughter

Just one really big question, if vegetarians don't like meat,why are they always trying to make beans and vegetables taste like hamburgers?

As a cattle rancher's daughter I don't get why anyone wouldn't want to eat meat.  It is not as if cattle are any smarter than fish.  When we first started to build my father's herd I remember coming up with cute names for some of them. Who can resist a calf named Buttercup?  My father renamed our new found pets names like Dinner, T-bone, or Stewie.  My father told me, just as his cattle rancher and dairy farmer father told him, "If you want something to love on, go find a boyfriend or a girlfriend."  I learned very quickly the heirarchy of the food chain.  It is good to be on top.

Cattle exist in the numbers they do because we allow them to exist.  We guard them from wolves.  We grow hay so that they will have food.  We build ponds where there were none so that they will have water to drink.  We keep them worm free so that they will be healthy.  We provide male companionship so that they can breed and continue the species.  We buy dried corn to feed them to make their meat sweet tasting.  Then we sell some of the herd to the packers and the process continues.

I love beef stew, spagehetti with meat sauce, beef tacos and brisket sandwiches without guilt!  I have several leather purses, a really nice black leather jacket, and way too many pairs of leather shoes.  I even have leather seats in my car.  All of this, thanks to cattle ranchers like my father who know how to raise a really useful crop. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

But That's Not What My Teacher Said!

I have been tutoring Joe in 6th grade math.  It seems like the 6th grade math curriculum is an excersise in pre-algebra.  That is okay.  I can understand any sixth grade math thrown Joe's way.  I think my only problem is that I give more than what is required.  For example,  Joe was given a set of numbers and the question was to come up with a rule to find the next number.  This was the series:  13, 21, 29, 37...  It is pretty easy to see that the number increases by 8 each time.  But where did the 13 come from?  Of course I will ask that question.  I made the formula

5+n(8)    n=the number in the series...13 is the 1st number, 21 is the 2nd number...

because that was the algebraic expression of the number series.  Pretty simple, right?  Then I discovered that the teacher was assigning problems that had the answer in the back of the book so I checked out the answer that I, I mean Joe was supposed to come up with.  The answer was

add 8.

I looked at the question again.  You know, the book never asked for an algebraic expression to explain the sequence.  The questions was what do you do to get the next number in the series?  Using the newly discovered key, I corrected Joe's math assignment very quickly and had him make the needed changes.   Joe was pretty mad that I had looked at the answers.  He told me that was cheating.  I say it is smart.  It is not as if Joe hadn't done the work.  This was a chance for him to put his answers in the proper format so that he can get full credit for the work he has done.  Obviously, she is assigning the problems that have the answers in the back.  She wants someone to check them out.  I guess that someone will be me.   At least I will know when I am on the right track.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Voted In, Unopposed, In A Land-slide Election

Oh the life of a PTA president!  I am getting ready for the first general PTA meeting tomorrow night.  It is amazing how many details need to be attended to.  I  have the agenda set, the script for the meeting is typed up and sent to the secretary.  The Pizza has been ordered and the servers are ready to go.  We had to have the principal step in and negotiate a disagreement with the lunch lady who has become increasingly more territorial over the kitchen.  I have notified everyone except for the scouts who will lead the pledge about their part in the program.  Note to self...Contact the scout leaders today!  On top of that, I have been working on the calendar for the year, which I had to drop for a time as I worked through the hard drive crash. I promise that this meeting will start on time and I won't be fifteen minutes late as I try to print off the agenda, which is what happened at the first board meeting.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Football Report

Joe was struggling not to cry as we left his game on Saturday morning.  Not only had the Colts lost 40-0, but Joe was Singled out for not wearing his mouth guard during one of the plays so he will be running extra laps at Tuesday's practice.  Bummer, I know, but last year he got the team penalized at least 8 times for not wearing his mouth guard.  I hope he remembers in the future.  I hope the team can pull it together and do better in the future.  But I can honestly say that the team did not lose because of the mouth piece penalty. 

The Navy game was a good game.  Navy lost, but only by a few points.  The prediction was that Navy was going to lose by 50 points against Ohio.  I think the game showed just how well Navy can compete against the big guys.  Navy only has a student population of 4000.  I think Ohio State has 40,000.  And Navy was playing at Ohio.  John wanted to go, but there was no room on the boat to Columbus.  Since Megan and Chris are from Michigan they know all of the anti-Ohio State sayings.  We texted them to John during the game so that he would feel our solidarity with him.  Some of the appropriate sayings were, Fried Buckeyes taste Like Chicken! Ohio State fans can't read this text. There were some really inappropriate sayings coming out of Michigan. What insulting phrases rhyme with Buckeyes?  Put a 50,000 geniousy Michigan fans on that task and you can come up with the t-shirts you might see at the Big House.

Fortunately, Michigan creamed Western Michigan.  Maybe the Wolverines are crawling out of the hole they were in last season.

Bob, Chris and Joe were so happy about getting to go to the BYU-OU game.  What an incredible win!  Number 20 BYU defeating Number 3 OU.  No paper bags neccessary.  Cougar pride is alive.  I am glad I didn't sell those tickets so that Megan and I could have more to spend on our shopping trip.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream When Hope was High

Today is a big Football Day and we are going to follow 4 games.  First Joe has a game in his Pee Wee League.  The Colts have had a rough off season.  The head coach quit, taking his son with him and about 5 of our best players to another league up north in Plano.  But Joe is actually playing better individually.  We also have a kid on the team who has been shaving for 6 months and is still in the 6th grade.  That game starts in 15 minutes.  Hope is high.

We are going to go to part of the Navy vs Ohio State game.  This is the game with probably the worst odds.  But Navy has Ricky Dobbs.  We are hoping for a miracle here.

Chris really wants to see the Michigan  vs Western Michigan game.  Michigan should win unless Western Michigan pulls an Appalacian State.

Then the Big one.  I bought tickets for Bob, Chris and Joe to go to the BYU vs OU game at the new Cowboys Stadium!  They are going early and are going to watch the Michigan game in a restaurant close to the stadium so they wont have to fight traffic.  The BYU game starts at 6:00 PM.  I have faith that BYU can win this game but will the faith of the BYU players be strong during the game?  I hope the Fireside fired them up last night.  We went to Hard 8 BBQ with Megan and Chris then to the RHS game.  RHS won!  We are hoping that all othe football experts are wrong and that BYU will pull the Appalacian State upset!  I will report on all 4 games tomorrow.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Wish, Don't Start, Wishing Only Ruins the Heart

For over a week now I haven't been able to use my computer. I had a lot of advice as to what the problem might be and several people who looked at it but walked away scratching their heads. I took it in to Best Buy to see if the Geek Squad could fix it. I was told that a driver had uninstalled and that all I needed to do was to go home and install the driver. I took it home and Chris turned the computer on to install the driver but we got a blue screen followed by an automatic reboot followed by OPERATING SYSTEM NOT FOUND.

I took it back to the Geeks who informed me that my hard drive had crashed. No, I didn't back up my files. Yes, I lost pictures and everything. Bob, the thoughtful, gave me an external hard drive for Christmas. Just the kind of romantic gift any wife wants. Did I even open the package? No! When Bob was reminding me about this,  I turned the tables and asked him if he had backed up all of his files. Of course, he pulled out his recently updated external hard drive from the fire proof safe. What can I say about a guy who can make a fire with wet wood while it is raining? He is amazing and I need to take a page from his book. But for now I am going to ask John if he can perform a miracle by restoring the files on my damaged disk. I have heard it is possible with the right equipment and the know how. Maybe this can be one of his class projects.

I am now waiting for Sony to send me a recovery disk so that I can go get the computer out of Geek ICU. When that is installed my computer will be like a newborn on the first day with no stored memory or any of the programs that I have installed or downloaded.

I wish I had backed things up on a regular basis. I wish I knew that the trouble I was having was an indication of a crashing hard drive so that I would have backed up my files.

So, it may be a while, if ever, before I get those Washington camping trip pictures on the blog.

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.