Monday, January 29, 2007

Parenting Advice?

I am just not a "kid person." I'm sure this is partly due to my own personality and partly due to my personal experience. A few have touched my heart, a few more have wrecked my nerves. Very few people have ever left their kids with me -- I'm sure this is due partly to my own words (as in "Nuh-uh, I ain't watchin' 'em,") and partly due to My Own Family's general consensus of... Of... Well, we won't get into that here.

My limited exposure never afforded me any major emergencies other than the basic stress of the situation. Both occasions were very spur-of-the-moment encounters thrust on me by someone who wasn't really concerned with the safety or well-being of the kids involved; just tremendously insistent that somebody else (ie not him) would be dealing with them while he was doing what he wanted to do.

The preschool-kindergarten little girls were pretty easy to deal with because I totally remember what I always wanted to do with my Sunny Saturdays when I was in kindergarten. It was usually a rare occasion in my family, but I always loved it -- Sure, we had a swingset in the back yard, but I always wanted to go to the Park because the swings were bigger and the slide was taller and there were seesaws and all the fascinating stuff we didn't have at home. We had lunch, we went to the park, we had a great time; I had to scrub muddy footprints out of the seat of my car, but that's a whole 'nuther rant too. Toddler Twins were a whole different situation, I didn't have a clue except to avoid the bizzarre household accidents and wait for time to clean the place up afterward.

I know I don't know everything there is to know about dealing with kids, but I have enough basic common-sense knowledge to make sure nobody's in serious danger. I know not to let 'em mess with guns & knives or plastic bags or lighters & matches. I know to keep 'em away from the stairs, I know to make sure no little fingers get slammed in the cabinet doors or shut in the lazy-susan. I know you've gotta watch 'em, even the teeny ones in the rolly-walkers -- you can't just get all zonkered out on dope and fall asleep on the couch while there's nobody else in the house who's conscious enough to make sure the baby doesn't push that rolly-walker onto the floor furnace and get baked. I know it's not a good idea to just hand 'em your keys because power outlets can be way too tempting. I know that it's not a good idea to let 'em pedal their tiny little bicycles around outdoors in the dark, especially not at three in the morning, and definitely not in the pits of a racetrack. I know without a doubt that you should never leave 'em in the car alone; regardless of weather, even if you leave it running and lock it up with your spare key, never never ever leave any kid in the car...

That's why I was stunned by what I heard on the scanner the other night. My folks have the scanners on twenty-four-seven; there have even been occasions of "shushing" at the dinner table, but that's a whole 'nuther rant too. The scanners are always on, and even though I've come to the point of blocking it out most of the time, this one particular call caught my ear.

The dispatcher was calling out to all the surrounding police departments that a lady had called 9-1-1 because her Chevy Tahoe had been stolen and her four-month-old baby was in the back seat. Now, as a compassionate human being, my first thought was about the poor mommy who must be scared to death about her poor little baby riding with a car thief. But then I wondered why she'd left the four-month-old baby in the car in the first place...

Babies involve a serious commitment, but it seems as though there are several people out there who have not figured this out. I can't tell you what all I've left in the back seat of my car over the years; but how does anybody just leave a Baby and get out of the car & walk away like they're not even worried about it? I worry like crazy if I have to leave my laptop bag in the car, and we're only talkin' about a couple grand and a few files to be lost -- a Baby is so much more than that, a Baby is a Living Soul that a Mommy carried and nurtured for nine solid months and then risked her life in labor to bring it into the world. A Baby is a much bigger investment than a Nintendo or a MacBook or a Leather Handbag or a Trumpet or any other fifteen-to-twenty-pound object that one might be emotionally attached to and possibly leave in the back seat of a car; because it's A Baby, you should pick it up and take it with you whenever you get out of the car. It's part of the commitment you got yourself into when you decided to mess around without protection. Don't look at me like that, if they'd planned for the baby and cared about it, they wouldn't have left it in the car, would they??

As a kid from a "family of car people," I was even more stunned when the dispatcher came back on a few minutes later. Ten-twenty-two; basically a "never mind," because the Mom had gone outside to see if the cops were coming yet, and when she did, she discovered that her Tahoe had not been stolen. It had rolled down a hill and out of sight because apparently she didn't quite get it in "park" before she got out. Silly Bitch.

One thing that bugs me about all the scanner-listening is that we never get to hear what happened after the cops got out of their cars and handled the situation.

If I ran the world, they'd take her license for being too stupid to park a car. The people from Child Welfare Services could take her baby so it could be raised by caring parents who want a baby bad enough to take care of a baby. And they could let the Repo Man and the Local Car Thieves flip a coin for who gets the Tahoe.

End Of Rant...

More later. _\,,/

Friday, January 26, 2007

Having Done The Right Thing...

Today was the day. For the most part, I'm handling it better than I thought I would; but still... I miss my Best-Good-Spoiled-Rotten-Kitty already, but I know he's not hurtin' or droolin' anymore.

Dr. Stout was very kind & caring; toward Shadow and toward me, and that goes a long way toward making an unbearable experience a little easier.

Take a minute for Shadow Cat, and I'll be back to write more later.

\,,/_ _\,,/

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State Of The Television...

Admittedly still attempting to distract myself from certain issues.

The "State Of The Union Address" is tonight, and boy am I ever glad there's an Oilers Hockey Game, 'cause I've found it harder and harder to give a damn about those "Addresses" over the years.

It's not about the President, and it has nearly nothing to do with politics; I ain't even goin' into any of that here.

What pisses me off is that they think they have to take over every channel. Is that really necessary? Really? Would it be so bad to offer us, as Americans, a choice in the matter of whether or not we watch? Wouldn't it be better to just put in on, oh, say one UHF channel and one VHF channel so that we might decide if we want to watch Bush or watch something else?

Nobody likes feelin' backed into a corner -- if people felt free to choose a channel (instead of surfing through six channels of the the same thing), I think they'd be more likely to choose to pay a little attention to the President's speech. Maybe he'd catch their interest while they were surfing during commercials, or maybe they'd check the listings and say something like "Hmmm, Dawson's Creek Re-Runs, a Benny Hinn special, a documentary on body lice, or the State Of The Union Address... Y'all wanna see what President Bush has to say?"

If I'm tryin' to find something to watch on TV and the only thing on every channel is the same thing that's on all the other channels; I'm probably going to say "Screw this, where's the DVD remote?"

Marketing is about choices; and tonight, when there's only one choice on broadcast TV, I'll be at the Convention Center watchin' Hockey.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

With Pictures, and it's Not A Downer...

This one's not gonna be weepy; I Promise.

Well, we're Iced In. I put my car inside and got out the diesel pickup for the weekend, and I'm glad I did. It was already getting slick when I left work Friday afternoon, and I wasn't real crazy about the idea of threading-the-needle to get into the driveway beside Clay's car. The truck did okay on the ice (with that crate of motor mounts in the back) but it wouldn't quite make the climb into the driveway; partly because it's uphill, and partly because I was trying to jump the curb with the left front wheel to leave lots of room between it & Clay's SHO. I parked it in the street (I really wouldn't want my SHO sittin' in the street, especially if some ay-hole could come around that corner and slide into it) and strung an extension cord to it. So far, thankfully, it's started up on the first try every time we've been outside -- this time when we cleared 'em both off, we covered up the windshields with banner plastic...

Rock 102.3 FM is long gone, but their leftover banners live on. Rock, Roll, Recycle.

Much like the last time we were snowed-in, I made sure I had some knitting stuff. This time, I bought a small ball of purple just because I was standin' there in the yarn department and thought, "Hmmm, I haven't done anything with purple yet, so how'bout this..." I think it's Caron, but I don't remember for sure and I can't find the label right now; it's soft & fuzzy and it's got a lot of fluff to it so I can knit with the bigger needles (I think they're 11's) and it comes out fluffy & thick. I'm really happy with this "Knitting Pretty" book that Clay got me for my birthday; it just seemed a lot easier to read & follow than that other book that I bought last year. Idiot's Guide's and Dummies Books are the best for computer stuff like Quark XPress, but I just didn't have much luck with knitting from one. Now, you might notice (as I just did) that some of the reviews are not-so-stellar; but I, personally, am happy with it. I have officially mastered the skill that I just could not acquire from that other book -- I can Purl now. Here's what's hangin' off my big blue needles right this minute:

It looks blue in the flash, but it's purple...

In further moments of domesticity, I also took a shot at homemade bread yesterday. It's been several years since that Tupperware Party (Hello Google!) where we watched our Tupperware Consultant (Hello Tonja!!) make cinnamon rolls with the big-monster bowl and the do-anything bread recipe; but I still sorta remember how it went, and I had an actual printed copy of a recipe, so it wasn't a total shot in the dark. I followed the not-so-well-edited instructions as best I could; mixed it all up in the big bowl and put the lid on -- supposedly, when it rises to the point that it pops the lid off, it's ready to bake. The "pop" took less than twenty minutes, and it smelled lovely. That's about the extent of my bread-making experience, I know it smelled good, but I wasn't sure about how it looked or how to tell if I'd screwed it up.

I'd kinda figured on making a cookie-sheet-full of plain rolls and then fixin' up some cinnamon rolls to bake next. When I grabbed for a ball of dough to put on the cookie sheet, it stuck to me like crazy and was sticky and stringy as hell; maybe I messed up somewhere... I thought we'd managed to shoot a little video with the phone, but it didn't turn out. I had Clay get my mom back on the phone (because I couldn't get it off my hands) and she said it did the same thing when she tried it, so I went ahead and put six of 'em in the oven to see what would happen. After their twenty minutes at three-fifty was up, they didn't look anything like the ones sis-in-law makes every Christmas, but they smelled nice. They smelled nice and they were okay with butter while they were still warm, but something just wasn't right. I did up a round pan of cinnamon rolls too, with much the same result -- they smelled lovely, but one of 'em had bailed out of the pan to make a run for it across the oven rack. Even covered up with icing (also from the same recipe), they were a bit disappointing.

I had one last bit of dough left in the bowl and I'm too hard-headed to just toss it out, so I tried one last trick. I slopped a considerable amount of Butter Flavored Crisco onto the cookie sheet and rubbed a lot of it onto my hands too. I spread out the dough into an oval about 3/4-inch thick and then I opened the fridge. I found a little bit of spaghetti sauce and some pepperoni, but the only cheese I could find was swiss. I poured a little bit of sauce onto the buttery dough, then tore up a couple slices of swiss cheese and arranged them amongst the pepperoni slices and sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper on there too. I folded the oval over, pinched the edges together and stuck it in the oven for twenty minutes, then five more, and five more, and it came out pretty good. We had the pizza-ish-thing for dinner, and even though I had a hard time finishing mine because the red pepper turned out a little too hot, it was the best thing that happened with that disappointing dough. It turned out pretty good, and I'm sure it'll be better if I have more cheese next time I try it.

Today, Clay's been tossing the rolls out in the front yard and watching birds come after 'em. See? It wasn't a total waste of time & groceries.

More later...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Iced-In, and Testing...

Hmmmm... Wasn't that interesing... Very MySpace-y, but still interesting; especially the part about "Sevens as children often finesse their way around adults." heh heh...

Pasted-in from This Little Quiz:

the Adventurer
you chose AX - your Enneagram type is SEVEN (aka "The Enthusiast").

"I am happy and open to new things"

Adventurers are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me

Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
Don't tell me what to do.

What I Like About Being a Seven:

being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down
being spontaneous and free-spirited
being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.
being generous and trying to make the world a better place
having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures
having such varied interests and abilities

What's Hard About Being a Seven:

not having enough time to do all the things I want
not completing things I start
not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
feeling confined when I'm in a one-to-one relationship

Sevens as Children Often:

are action oriented and adventuresome
drum up excitement
prefer being with other children to being alone
finesse their way around adults
dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up

Sevens as Parents:

are often enthusiastic and generous
want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive

Friday, January 12, 2007

'Cause I Love The "Liberry" Too...

"You haven't blogged in days..."

Well, honestly, the thing that's on my mind the most is ShadowCat and that "Aggressive Tumor" he's got. I didn't want to stand here teary-eyed and typin', so I just haven't been doin' a lot of typing about it. I am doing my best to deal with this, but it's wearin' me thin -- I cry in the car, I cry at night, I get weepy when he snuggles up to me and then gets up to have a sneezing fit. Sometimes I think I can see it getting bigger, and making his eye look a little funny; but he's still eating and still purring, so he's still staying with me a little longer. I am really not doing well with the idea of carrying him into the Vet's office and then leaving without him, but I'm sure that's what it'll come to. I can just hear my oldest brother sayin' something like "Just take him outside and shoot him," but you don't just shoot something that sleeps in your bed; unless he tells you he Loves you and wants you to move in with him and then you catch him bangin' someone else. But that's a whole 'nother story that most of y'all have probably already heard. I guess what I'm trying to say there is that when somebody Loves Me, I don't do well with the prospect of having that taken away from me.

I said I wasn't going to stand in front of this computer and get teary-eyed...

So, back to where the title of this post came from!

Come back here, dammit!! ;)

A while back, I ran onto "Tales From The Liberry," and I get a real kick out of those stories. "Juice" tells some fascinating stories, especially considering I found it while Googling for an old boyfriend just to see what he was up to. Every now and then, he does a little piece called "Actual Conversations Heard In Actual Libraries," and they're big fun -- the same kind of fun I have watching people try to figure out the whole "turn-knob-push-door" concept comin' in here.

So, since I've gathered up these three gems over the past week or so, I am ever-so-proud to present "Actual Phrases Heard In Actual Salvage Yards."


"I've never ever been there, except for just that one time." (That one's from a HoMeSkOoL [tm] Kid)

"Oh, you know, that guy over there whose wife had that wreck and died that one time." (Despite the double one-time's, that one was not a HoMeSkOoL [tm] Kid; that one was an actual voting adult. And can you imagine how bad it would be to have a damn car wreck and die more than once? Come on, even Jesus only had to do it once to take care of everything for all of us!)

And just today, on the phone, I had someone try to tell me that "All of the five-point-oh's came out injected, if it was carbureted, it would've had to be a three-oh-two." (I'll be honest, I'm not sure what I could add to that one.)

Is it time to get outta here and go home yet??

More later...


Friday, January 05, 2007


Last night I had an idea for a fun and interesting and witty little post about a useful, nifty little item that I got for Christmas.

I also thought about sharing pictures of what's hangin' off my knitting needles right now, since I (finally) mastered the "knit this way, purl that way," last night too.

The Gourds were on Austin City Limits last night, and they were pretty cool too.

But right now all I can think about it losin' my composure on the way out of the Vet's office, and hoping I can keep the Angel Of Pet Death away for just a little while longer.

More later... _\,,/

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Well, Ain't That A Happy-New-Year-To-Ya...

Alternate Title: "Why Debbie Does Not Have A Gun In The SHO, Reason Number 321"

Last night when I got home, I caught a flash of something running across in front of my car; in the small gap between the bumper and the garage door. It was a tail, attached to a very large dirty white dog. I know, y'all are probably thinkin' "Yeah, you're the original dog-hater, you'd say they're all huge..." But seriously, if it's big enough to stand beside a mid-size American car with it's breath foggin' up the doorglass, it's a big feckin' dog. If it puts it's paws on the door of the car in order to get it's face closer to the doorglass, it's a big feckin' overzealous dog.

Gawd, I miss parking inside the garage, for so many reasons.

Dog-Phobia or not, I can say this for sure: My Cats are indoors, full-time, no doubt about it, because they're safer that way. I know that people are crazy, especially when it comes to other people's critters roaming around outdoors. My Cats do not walk on the hoods of anyone's car, they do not poop in anyone's petunias, they do not chase other animals or harass birds. My Cats are safe from other humans or dogs who might try to hurt them just because they're there; they'll never be run over by cars, they'll never be kicked or have rocks thrown at them. They stay inside where they're safe, because they're my spoiled little babies.

I hope someone in my neighborhood was worried sick about their huge dirty-white dog, because they may never know how close it came to having to limp home with a blow-gun dart or slingshot marble stuck in some part of it's anatomy. Even though I'm not a "dog person," I know that millions of people are -- I know even though there's a chance it wasn't waiting to take me to the ground and gnaw a hole in me to root about in my entrails; maybe it was thinking "The Humans Are Home! Yay!" and waiting for me to get out of the car to pet it or throw a stick for it. Maybe. But I'm not taking that chance.

I like to hope that I scored a few points for my conscience refusing to let me crawl into the backseat of my car and point the blowgun out a cracked window. I like to hope I also scored a few points for my "common sense" refusing to let me fire a few slingshot marbles where Mom's car or the $400 Ranger might have been caught in the crossfire.

Also, in the realm of New Year's "Good News And Bad News," after being so happy to finally get some money from the insurance company for that lab work bill, today I got a letter from them about another rate increase. The saleslady who put the pitch to me said they had not had a rate increase in however many years -- but now they've had two in the year I've been with 'em. If any of y'all have an Individual Healthcare Plan that's made you a happy customer for less than $165 a month, I'd really like to hear about 'em.

Looking on the bright side, I got an iTunes Gift Card in the mail today! Ain't that a sweet deal! I knew there was a rewards program, but I thought I had to get to 2,500 points to get the $25 card; I spent quite a bit less than that on the MacBook -- but, points are doubled on Apple purchases, so weh-hoo, it's here!

More later... _\,,/