Friday, April 27, 2007

shall we define irony overkill?

i drive a minivan. don't ask. if you want the whole story, click here.

the state inspection on my minivan has been expired since january of this year

on the way to dropping my son off at Mother's Day Out at the local FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, a TEXAS STATE TROOPER pulled in behind me. lights a flash'n

I was early for drop off. for once. so all the other moms were pulling in right behind me.

on this particular day i am giving my friend J's daughter, A, a ride to day care. J's hubby is the new preacher at MY church.

so to recap, State Trooper. lights flash'n. FBC of Nowhereville TX. me, my son and my preacher's daughter trying to unload and get into day care. i'm not certain, but i don't think i even brushed my teeth b4 i left home that morning.

so i say sweetly, "Mr. State Trooper, i know why you stopped me. here's my license and insurance card. may i please get my children inside?"

he politely granted my request.

i walk in with son and preacher's daughter. explain to all the wide eyed moms that NO, I was not speeding (this time) and that my inspection sticker was expired...

Kiss Kiss. Bye Bye.

hastily depart.

return outside to sign my non-moving violation.

i jokingly explain to the trooper that my husband is a CERTIFIED STATE INSPECTOR for the great state of TX and he (the state trooper) has absolutely no idea how much hell my hubby is going to catch when he gets home.

Mr. Trooper says "I don't blame you b/c this goes on YOUR record and NOT his."

want just a wee bit more irony...

Mr. Trooper tells me that usually if i get the inspection done in the next ten days they will waive the fine. that I will need to see Judge D in XYZ court.

i actually laughed out loud. Judge D and i teach sunday school together. i have never called him Judge D a time in my life - only by his first name. His wife is one of my dearest friends.

i am still not kidding. there are about 40 ppl TOTAL that go to my church. and one of them happens to be Judge D.

and Judge D has always told us that if any of us (from church) ended up in his court, he'd treat us the same as anyone else that ends up in his court.

so what do i do???

i phone Judge D's office number on the citation as soon as i pull out of the parking lot. oh yes i did.

of course he was not in the office.

sunday morning - at church - i am going to tell him that i know i am not supposed to ask for special treatment or anything....

but if he could lock my husband up for a few days over this little incident, i'd be most grateful.

Monday, April 23, 2007

in my next life

i will be a minimalist -

i have way too much stuff

i will be a nudist -

i have entirely too many clothes - most of which i don't wear but cannot stand to part with
NOTE TO SELF - stock up on sun block...

i will eat out more -
Way too many pots, pans, plates and kitchen gadgets

i will not have kids -
i will regret if for my entire next lifetime, but i gotta tell ya - for every widget i got, they have two gadgets. For ever single piece of clothing i have, they have THREE.

None of this ever really occurred to me as a serious problem-
too much 'stuff'
too many clothes
spoiled kids with almost every single thing they ever wanted and then some...



Sunday, April 15, 2007

true friends...

one of my brothers has often said you find out who your true friends are when you move and when you need a character witness. (don't ask how he knows about the second one.)

in any event, i am going to need a true friend for one or the other reasons soon. because:

A. I am either moving or

B. I am going to kill my hubby for not kicking it into high gear and helping me move.

any takers???

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don’t want to miss the bandwagon…

There’s been so much said, reported and written about ferocious, vicious, blood-hungry pit bulls lately that I feel it my civic duty to weigh in on such an important issue. Pit Bulls are just that - ferocious, vicious and blood-hungry – if raised to be such. But guess what, so are Rotties, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and yes, even Cocker Spaniels. I was chased up a pine tree – with a trunk thinner than my thigh - once by a St. Bernard with the biggest damn teeth I have ever seen in my life. (can you say Cujo?)

Children can and should be raised with love, understanding, patience and attention and they grow to reflect those traits - more often than not. Same thing works with dogs. Raise them with love, understanding, patience and attention and more often than not they grow to reflect those traits.

But as there are children raised in loving environments who later in life do not reflect their upbringing, so are there with dogs. Ever see or read Lord of the Flies? Hello??!!

I am NOT a pit bull expert by any stretch of the imagination. Not by a long shot. And I am not waving a flag that this breed is for everyone. But if you are going to have an opinion about anything people – have an informed one. Don’t believe everything you read and hear in the news. Anyone with half a brain knows how the truth can be distorted in our “non-biased” US media circus.

I am sharing the following with you from my gut, my personal experience and from my heart.

I am told there are two classes or types of breeds of pit bulls. Those with ‘game’ and those without ‘game.’ My limited understanding is that game pits are more aggressive and are more inclined to engage aggressively with other animals (specifically dogs) than non-game pits. My husband always - ALWAYS - told me that we would never own a pit bull that was game. That he would “put it down” because that is not a trait he wants to perpetuate in the breed. Again – this is his/our personal opinion. Not one shared by all pit bull owners.

We’ve had three pit bulls in our marriage. In fact my husband had a house, a truck and a pit bull named Vice Grip when I married him. It was a package deal. And when we married I had the same misconceptions and biases against pit bulls that most people do. Until I lived with one, then two and now three.

And do NOT misunderstand me. Pits are a breed unto themselves. They were bred for fighting. This is their nature – this cannot be disputed. But they were originally bred for fighting other dogs. Not people. These dogs are ONLY for informed, educated, and loving owners – people such as my hubby.

But really folks - shouldn’t all pet owners make the effort to clearly understand the nature of their pets???

Once, our Vice Grip escaped through the open garage door, ran across the street, and engaged (in what Vice Grip considered play) another dog being walked by its mortified owner.

My hubby had ALWAYS told me that when the dog was “in the pit” fighting, that the referee (or whatever they call them) could put his hands/body between the fighting dogs – to disengage them and the dogs would not hurt the person. I had never tested this assertion before. Nor did I ever plan to. But in this instance I had no choice.

I told the other dog owner – as I ran up – “I am going to grab my dog (by the collar). When I do, pull yours away (by the leash).” And by faith alone, I grabbed Vice Grip, pulled – not even so hard, and he was immediately docile at my side. Never saw the neighbor again, but this is how I was told it should be – and this is how it was.

Years later I held Vice Grip in my arms as the vet put him down. He got off his chain and lost a battle with either a car or a neighbor’s cow. I wept as if I would never stop. Even bloody, injured and dying, that dog would not/did not in any way show aggression towards me. Only love and loyalty.

And I don’t know if our pits were unique or anything – but they really had no concept they were dogs. They sincerely believed they were people and when we actually treated them like dogs – it was a serious affront to their canine dignity.

Pits also have no concept of their size or weight or strength. Which unfortunately leads to many of today’s common misconceptions. Dixie Cup Cole climbed into my lap to watch TV when she was 65 pounds as she did when she was 6.5 pounds. Made her no nevermind. My lap was where she should be – therefore that’s where she went. She did the same to our kids – much to their chagrin and mashed little bodies. They quickly learned how to share the recliner with her and not be her pillow.

We don’t have any pit bulls now.

we had Dixie Cup Cole since she was a baby. This past January 1, she turned one. she was beautiful. gorgeous. green eyes, red nose. awesome combination. and as docile with the kids as you could ever ask for from any dog. Played rough with them when they initiated the activity. but never EVER showed any aggression toward them. Just active rough and tumble play.

Dixie and Savvy when Dix was about 10 weeks old

If you read this blog you already know - I can hardly take care of myself most days lately. I struggle to handle the kids. the house is a wreck. Taking care of the dog was just over the top. Neither David nor I could spend enough time with her to justify having such a physically STRONG dog around our kids. She could really hurt them just playing with them. Not with her BIG teeth or razor-sharp claws. But I’d be willing to bet she could’ve literally pulled all three of them – at the same time - by her leash the length of our seven acres and back without breaking a sweat.

So about the time we decided to move back to the city, we decided to move Dixie out too. Hubby was reminded that his nephew in Mississippi LOVED and respected pits and had a few. So he called and his Nephew was THRILLED to have our baby girl - especially with her papers and excellent blood line. Not to brag, but Dixie was a $1K puppy that was given to us from a dear friend when our last pit puppy BB was accidentally run over.

Nephew got her on Monday. took her straight to the vet. played with her all day - took her to work with him each day. Loved on her - reassured her that all was well in her new home and that she would be just fine. He said she was skittish at first in her new home but he was willing to do whatever was necessary to help her make the adjustment. Only yesterday afternoon, my daughter Savvy went over and played with her. A friendly, familiar face for our Dixie must have been a welcome relief.

but last night - while she was outside on her chain – hubby’s uncles dog's (not nephews other pits) attacked and killed Dixie. Nephew heard the commotion. ran out. Dixie was already down, but still alive. he wrapped her up. rushed her to the vet but he could not save her.

The dogs that killed her – pit bulls. Pure bred. With game. “Outside dogs” that rarely, if ever, were given the dedicated love and attention they required.

I would be willing to bet – and it tears my heart to pieces – that Dixie didn’t even put up much of a fight. She was always submissive to other dogs here. Always. I can just imagine her not understanding why these dogs were hurting her.

Sam is devastated it. it hurt her heart bad enough just to send Dixie to Miss. Hubby worked out this great story about how she (Dixie) wanted to be a Mommy dog and that Nephew had the Daddy dog and they would be Husband and Wife dogs and have Baby dogs. Sam still did not like it, but the thought of the happy dog family placated her well.

now there will be no happy dog family. There is no happy family at my house either.

i know it's just a damn dog.
but it's not either.

the night before she left us, hubby bathed her and that 65 lb 'puppy' slept in bed with us just like one of the kids. under the covers, head on the pillow. we never let her do this - was just hubby’s way of saying good bye. neither of us realized it would be so permanent.

I may never change anyone’s opinions about pit bulls.

And that’s not really my intent.

My opinion was changed. our baby is gone.

that’s really all that matters in my house.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

change, it is acoming

still here.
against my better judgement.

and to my local friends and family -
i apologize if you learn the following information here before you hear it directly from me...

we are moving
leaving the farm. (farm-ette)
moving back to the hustle and bustle of city life.
back to the old neighborhood my hubby grew up in.

i cannot begin to express to you how difficult this decision has been for us.
we love it here.
wide open spaces
no street lights
stars at night
neighbors - although the very best on the planet - not so close as to be able to string a clothes line between our homes.
a small country church where we are accepted, welcomed, and the people there have never treated our special needs daughter as anything but just special.

simple living at it's absolute very best.
a home we love. where the kids can literally run in and out the FRONT or BACK doors and i don't have to sweat it.

so why are we doing this?

the last week of March found me in the ER thinking i was having a heart attack. seriously. chest pain. difficulty taking a deep breath. sobbing uncontrollably.
after a medical work-up - heart and lungs - the prognosis was the worst panic/anxiety attack i have ever experienced IN MY LIFE. and i can count on one hand how many panic attacks i have ever had.

Side Bar: real life funny story from the ER. They whisked us right back when we said the words "chest pain." fella put us in a small ER room, gave me a gown - you know the ones - and told me to take off everything but my panties.
i don't wear panties (or drawers - as we call them where i am from). haven't worn them in quite a while - but that's another story...

so anywho, he comes back in and starts putting these ekg sticker thingies all over my body. imagine his shock when he pulls up my gown and sees 'christmas.' but he keeps going. sticker after sticker. finally i look at him and say, "You know - if you're going to see me nekkid, the least you could do is introduce yourself." He did - and kept right on with the sticker thingies.

my husband was cringing in the corner.

back to the serious stuff...

life has been pressing down on me to the extent that i could not/cannot handle it any longer. and i'm a pretty tough cookie.

daughter #1, Sam, goes to the very best school in the US - bar none - to assist her with her numerous learning differences and speech delay. With their guidance and instruction, she has a SERIOUS chance at a normal life one day. her tuition for the past three years has exceeded what i paid for my four-year college degree. and we have paid it gladly. as well as the fuel bill to get her back and forth. which thanks in large part to "W" get higher every single day... (i digress and if i start a rant on this one - i WILL have a coronary!)

hubby takes her to school every morning. with traffic it is over an hour commute. w/out traffic, 45 minutes to an hour. we are talking about an 8 year old child making this kind of commute daily and her parents doing the same to get her back and forth.

and me trying to work a full-time job.
with a three year old under foot.
no baby sitter since November.
no help with normal, daily house work.

and while my son just started a two day a week mother's day out program -and LOVES it - i cannot get him to school, pick up Sam in town and then be home to meet Savvy off the bus after school. every week - a balancing act.

and we - as a family - have at minimum - one Dr.'s appointment in Dallas/week. usually it is two to three appointments. that's an hour into town, and hour or so for the visit and then an hour back home. three hours running here, there and yonder when i should be home doing my job - the one that PAYS me so i can support my family.

so we are moving. to be closer to the school, the doctors and the in-laws (which have been nothing short of PHENOM in helping us out.)

we are selling a house
we are buying a house
i have sent my six year old daughter to Mississippi to live with my folks and finish out the last two months of Kindergarten there.


Cried for two hours the night before she left. laid in bed holding her as she slept and sobbed silently trying hard not to wake her or let my tears fall onto her hair. (she'd had her hair straight-ironed that morning and would have been extremely pissy with me if i had messed that up.)

she will be fine. 100%. she LOVES going to school in Mississippi. She has told me numerous times she wants to go back to school in Mississippi. So I asked her saturday night if she still wanted to go back to school in Mississippi.
"YES!" was the answer.
so i said "Pack your bags."
and she did in less than 5 minutes flat.

selling a house.
buying a house
packing. moving. working. taking care of kids.
it's going to be madness for quite awhile -
but eventually
someday soon
i hope
i pray
this brings sanity back to our lives
to our family

it's a hell of a lot of work being a family.
don't ever let anyone else ever try to tell you otherwise...

Sunday, April 01, 2007


crystal blue water
the surface above me
ripples moving
rhythmically with the wind
perfectly measured and matched
reaching for the surface
my fingers sweep and break through
then sinking
pulling hard
to reach the surface
prisms of air
- my life -
dancing away to the surface
my breath
leaving my body
at first
silent tears flow
mixing with the salt of the sea
kicking my feet against the pull from below
my legs are heavy
screaming out
there is no sound
just more air
floating up
above me
still sinking
the peaceful life sustaining surface
moving further away
reaching out
pulling for it
the light from above is starting to fade
my lungs are empty now
can't breath
needing to breath
can't decide if i want to
the dark is absorbing
the light is gone
almost peaceful here
and at the same time terrifying