Monday, January 31, 2011

Unexpected visitors.

We just had a nice weekend. Many tasks were done, and many were left undone. The stock show animals were taken to market, pens were cleaned, everything had that feeling of being 'finished up'.

I enjoyed a lot of time at my desk creating projects for new classes. The boys had some hours of just being boys. There was bike riding, hole digging, and just plain ole' country living.

Then, as we sat down for the regular Saturday night taco dinner, the most wonderful unexpected thing happened.

The cousins stopped by.

It's funny when the cousins stop by. All on their own. Because they can both drive now, and they have a deep well of independence. It was a choice. It completely blessed our weekend.

They were happy to stop long enough to eat some tacos. The Bossman is famous in these parts for the best tacos, and I expect the cousins thought the visit might end there.

It didn't.

We thought it was a perfect night for a fire, so the Bossman and Mav fired up the pit, and all the cousins gathered outside. We didn't have any fixings for smores. We didn't have anything special. Just each other. As it turns out, that was more than enough.

I listened to many glorious conversations about classes at school, friends, sports, Bar b Que grills and new jobs. Some funny stories were shared, a jacket was borrowed, dogs chased balls and enjoyed their ears being scratched.

The simplicity of the evening surprised me. And, made me feel happy. And, grateful.

Then, I grabbed the camera and took a few snapshots. These pictures don't come close to capturing the feeling of the evening. The togetherness the cousins felt. The comfortable feeling of knowing someone their whole life, and the expectation of things yet to share.

The past year or so has been hard on the cousins. Life lessons have been learned. Experiences have been had. Worst nightmares have come true. We have lived through it all. Together.

Maybe all those things were floating through my mind during that enjoyable evening. I'm not sure. I don't think any of the cousins were thinking about any of those things. I'm pretty sure they were just happy laughing together. When they are all older, they might look back and remember the tough times together, but I really hope they just remember the unexpected times of joy.

As I'm remembering the evening, one quote stands out. I'm not sure why. About half way through the picture taking, the Bossman asks me to take more pictures of him with JM. That request rings in my head, still. I still don't know why. I snapped several, we laughed. I remember. And, I'm thankful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Incredible shrinking mom.

I just wanted to take a moment to alert everyone. In case you didn't notice. I'm shrinking. Hopefully, not in an osteoporosis way, but more in a 'my babies are bigger than me' way.

Exhibit A.

Handsome much?

You know your life is taking an odd swing, when you sit down in your car and notice a seat adjustment. The seat is way, way back. In a way that makes my feet not touch the pedals.

Then, just as I'm wondering out loud, who in the sam hill adjusted the seat..... the 12 year old reminds me of a driving lesson with his dad.


You're 12 years old. Stop adjusting my car seat.

And, practice driving in Dad's car.

And, lean down here so you can hear me.

I need a nap. And, some Vitamin D.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Can't Fix 'Stooopid!'


This is my dog, Colonel.  Isn't he so cute?!

Recently, he was quite ill....he made rather 'un-cute' sounds....and, he left very 'un-cute' items on the carpet for Mr. Analytical.....who knew a sweet, small doggy like Colonel could upchuck so many previous meals!?!

Well, Mr. Analytical does!

Which leads me to my current state of perplexity.....

I'm concerned about the level of intellect of those currently employed in the "retail" industry.  Before embarking on an Internet scavenger hunt for the best possible steam-cleaning-machine-bargain, I decided to call local stores for price know, save Mr. A some shipping costs ('astonishing' is the word for which you are searching to describe my level of thoughtfulness...)

Disclaimer:  "The following is a true story.  Only the names have been changed to protect the 'stooopid.'

PrissE:  *dialing phone*  *ring, ring, ring*

Home Station Improvement:  Hello.  Thank you for calling Home Station Improvement Store.  You break it, we fix it.  How may I help you?

PrissE:  I need some price quotes on your in-stock carpet cleaning machines.

*Let me take this opportunity to give all you potential bloggers a piece of friendly advice:  the truth is always funniest....maybe a little unnerving on occasion, but always funniest!  And the following is no lie.*

Home Station Improvement:  And what will be using the machine for?

PrissE:  ??????????  WTH????????

*I'm sorry, stalkers...I just could NOT resist...*

PrissE:  Well.....scrubbing the carpet by hand didn't get rid of all of the blood and evidence, so I thought I'd give a carpet-cleaner a shot!

*Guess what?  Her manager will return my call as soon as she can......*  

SOOOOO, in conclusion and in observance of this momentous historical day, I am sharing my dream with you, blog-stalkers!

That man-kind would someday find the cure for the exceedingly dangerous and extremely contagious disease, 'Stooopid.'  It's a disease that can affect bazillions at any given moment!  Always be on your guard and take proper precautions to combat this terrifyingly 'stooopifying' phenomenon!

I recommend having an ample supply of donuts on hand and keeping the coffee hot for when the police come to call........

Friday, January 7, 2011

If Jesus Drove a Motorcycle...

Fridays are my FAVORITE days of the week--well, really it's Fridays at 3:30, to be precise.  This isn't Friday at 3:30, though.  This is a Friday at 1:00ish (in my not too distant past).........and I have completely ROCKED this day!

Up, dressed and ready for the day before 10:00am (really before 7:00am!), I am already feeling super-awesome.  Plus, it's Sonic day for my kids' teachers!  Doing good is just how this day is gonna roll for me, I can already feel it.

In my quest to make this the best "doing good" Friday ever, I stay at my kids' school and volunteer for the entire morning!  I am KILLING this 'good deed' thang!

I have been so fabulous to others this day, I've decided to listen to what Jesus is telling me in my heart: PrissE, my Fabulous PrissE, please take a break and refresh yourself.  On this day of good deeds you deserve a reward.....Starbucks at 1:00 in the afternoon is a most appropriate reward for your selfless giving.  Who am I to argue with my Jesus?!?  I hit the road!!  ..........and the story begins......

There are 3 things on this super-cala-fabulosa Friday that occur to me:

1.  The highway between my kids' school and my Starbucks is NOT terribly busy at 1:00ish on Fridays--at least not on this particular Friday, praise the Lord!!!

2.  It's difficult to be an intelligent woman among stereotypes of stupid female criminals, desperate housewife-type drama queens, and horror movies where the girl always falls when she's running from the killer. For that reason, I have come to the conclusion that some 911 operators might not possess the gift of 'discernment' when interpreting a caller's eye-witness description of a 'situation in progress.'    

3.  Also, it is, apparently, NOT funny to text a photo to your husband of the inside of a state trooper's car with the caption that reads, "Guess where I am??" [smiley face, smiley face]....go figure.        

I will tell you this:  when PrissE calls for back-up, my city sends the Cavalry!  Within mere minutes of my reporting the motorcyclist driving the opposite direction--straight TOWARD me--down a 65mph highway and passing me within only 3-4 feet of my driver's side door (and me convincing the 911 operator that the reason I could be soooo detailed and tell her the exact make/model of the cycle--it was a Ducati!--was because, "Yes!  I DID witness this with my OWN eyes!), the "reinforcements" were screaming towards us--in this order:  3 State Troopers, 1 ambulance, 1 fire truck, 2 city police cruisers AND 1 First Responder vehicle (albeit, I am slightly concerned about the response time of the 'First Responder.'  Mind you, I did just list these in the order in which they arrived...)!

Thankfully--and miraculously--NO ONE was hurt....including the motorcycle driver!  And, because the police were all, "No, Ms. PrissE.  You will not be allowed to interview the cycle driver," I still don't know how in the blue-blazes he managed to enter the wrong side of a divided 4-lane highway and travel at least 1/4 of a mile without a scratch on him!

But I do know this...if Jesus drove a motorcycle, THIS  is the "scooter" He'd ride!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fingerprinting 101

I watch almost every episode of 'Law & Order'. I recently saw an episode that showed the bad guy being fingerprinted with this cool scanner thing. The prints showed up instantly on the computer screen! So, when I found out that I needed to be fingerprinted as a requirement to continue working at school, I was so excited!

The first step to being fingerprinted, was to log on to the secret company's website and fill out a questionnaire. I thought it would be a breeze, because..... after all, who knows me better than, well, me! I'm answering the obvious questions. No problem.

Then, for no obvious reason to me, I was asked..... What is your hair color? They gave me several choices, but I had no idea what to answer because right now, my hair is blonde-ish.... tomorrow afternoon, my hair will be copper (not red), but this time last year, my hair was a dark brunette. No one has clear recollection of what my 'original' hair color was, and I wasn't given the option to click, 'random', so I was stumped! I answered, 'brown', and just prayed the federal government would accept that.

I arrived this morning at the secret company's office and checked in. The office lady was finishing up with the appointment before me, so she asked me to take a seat and wait a few minutes.

While I was waiting, I could hear the conversation between the office lady and the customer being fingerprinted.

Ofc Lady: You're gonna have to come back. Your fingerprints are all smudgy and blurry.
Customer: Ok. What does that mean? Why are my prints smudgy and blurry?
Ofc Lady: Well, you've spent all these year pushing papers at the school, and your prints are worn off. You need to use plenty of moisturizer and drink a lot of water and come back in two weeks. They need at least 8 good prints from you, and I can tell you that none of these are good.

The customer exits the area, looks at me, and wishes me luck.

Keep in mind, that I've been watching Law & Order, so I've got a pretty good idea that I'm going to be arrested as soon as the office lady sees that I don't have brown hair.

Slightly freaked out, I enter the area when my name is called. She's prepared the computer and tells me to enter my social security number. She then shows me the keypad and turns her head. No joke. So she can't see me enter my number. When that's complete, she repeats the social security procedure, and all I can think is, 'this is nothing like Law & Order.'

I'm starting to crack myself up, and I start to giggle for no apparent reason. The lady then takes my finger prints. First all fingers together, each hand. Then, all fingers separate, each hand. Then, each finger separate, rolling them slowly. During this procedure, she tells me,

"You've got really good finger prints. They're nice and clear! Look at your clean lines. If you ever do anything or get lost, the authorities will find you easily."

Well, after that statement, there was no way I could keep it together! I begin to laugh hysterically! I can't believe my good luck! If I ever get lost, my fingerprints will easily identify me!

The next step to the fingerprinting procedure is to have your picture taken. I've appropriately dolled up with lip gloss and I'm ready for my snapshot, when the lady tells me, 'don't smile.'

Well, this is a GIANT problem, because I'm already laughing! I can't hold it together, and I ask why can't I smile?

'The government is only interested in your eyes. They need a good shot of your eyes.'

She gives me a minute to stop laughing. Then, snaps the photo.

I'm sure they won't give me the picture to post on this blog, but if you can imagine me, holding my mouth shut and straining to hold my GIANT eyes wide open.... that's my mug shot.

During this whole process, the office lady never once laughed. She never asked me why I was laughing and she refused to re-take my mug shot! She wished me a good afternoon, and I left. I was only mad when I got to my car and realized I forgot to ask the obvious question.

If they were gonna take my mug shot. Why did I have to answer that question about my hair color?

Blog stalkers.... I need a favor. If I'm ever lost, for any reason, please don't let the authorities put that mug shot on TV to search for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things I Hope I Never Have To Say.......Again.

I'm sure your family is just like mine.....well, possibly not "just like" mine...but that's a post for another blog....

I will bet that your family is like mine in that, the holiday get-togethers are a time to reminisce.  Stories are told of past events.  Parents share the accomplishments of their children over the course of the outgoing year. And, if you're brave like I, you even share some of the family "bloopers!"

Often times, those "bloopers" are not so much things we did as they are things we said...and, it's those "bloopers" that really make us giggle and bring us closer together.

Here are just a few of the "did I say that" moments shared at our family gatherings this past holiday season: 

Me giving 'decorating' tips to a friend in regard to a lovely basket she received as a gift from another friend:
"You could put your pot in there!"
I'm almost CERTAIN that I meant her 'potted ivy'........

Mr. Analytical and I went to Denver this past year and had a great time.  One of the things I did to pass the time while he was in lectures, was hang out at the mall.  I love to shop and people-watch.  I even interacted with a few.  This conversation with a fellow mall-crawler, in particular, stood out to me:
"Excuse me, sir....(yes.  I said, "SIR!")  I LOVE your red cocktail dress!  The high neckline and open shoulders make your chest look almost hairless!...and those shoes are GORGEOUS!  The T-Strap TOTALLY covers the dark hair on the top of your foot!"
I searched that whole mall for that pair of shoes!

Sometimes, kids get bored.  When they've been home all day, had no one to play with, they tend to get creative in their quest for "fun."  Mind you, I didn't say any of this....this was alllll Mr. Analytical & Big:
Big:  "Dad.  Can I get on the roof of the house?"  
Mr. A:  "What for?"
Big:  "Just because."
Mr. A:  "Are you gonna be by yourself?"
Big:  "Yes, sir."
Mr. A:  "Sure."
PrissE:  WTH?!

Sometimes, birthday parties for 6-year old girls just don't go as planned............
"Little!  Get OFF that pole!"

I'm sure 2011 will bring no less in the "did I say that out loud" category.....and to Officer Seuss in Copperas Cove, Texas, "Thanks for not throwing me in the clink when I didn't think, before the voice in my head dared me and I said, WHAT?!  NO Ticket for my broken Wicket!"'s possible my next post could come from 'The Big House'.....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It’s quiet again.

The house is so quiet. School started back this morning, so the boys are gone, and it’s really quiet in the house. I enjoy this sort of quiet.

I've been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t think I’ll make one. I don’t normally make any, but if I do, I don’t usually keep them. This year, I don’t think I’ll make any.

I enjoy creating projects at my desk when it’s quiet in the house. Here’s something I created recently to share with my stamp club members.

It’s a cute birthday card using some new products from our ‘Sew Suite’ collection. It’s bright and wonderful, and I think everyone will enjoy it.

I hope all my blog stalkers enjoy this day. Whether it’s quiet or not…. Whether you create or not…. Just be still, and enjoy.