Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I just talked to my mom and she said that she has received "the call" from Clint. His regular doctor was back today from vacation and officially informed him that there is nothing more that can be done. He then made some calls and wants his family to come to the hospital to say goodbye.

If you are a praying person, and even if you aren't, please keep Clint, my mom, her brothers and her sister in your thoughts and prayers. The next few days, maybe weeks, are going to be VERY hard for them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hobo Present

UPDATE: At the end

On Friday I bought a gift for my sister-in-law and her husband. (Hi guys... yes you are getting a gift, if I can figure out how to get it to you.) On Sunday I wrapped this gift, complete with bow and everything (I got a little wrapped up in the holiday spirit). Now the problem becomes how do I get it to them?

This morning I found a box to put it in. My first thought was that I would just wrap brown packaging tape around the box to block out the words and then mail it to them. However, my first pass around the box proved that idea unsuccessful. You could still see right through the tape if you looked and considering the box I picked was my digital camera box, some wonderful person would probably see it and walk off with it before it ever made it to Molly and Marshall. (No guys, I did not get you a digital camera, so before you unwrap this gift and get all excited let me burst your bubble. We love ya... just not $200 worth of love!!)

Therefore, my next idea became wrapping paper. I was going to turn wrapping paper inside out and mail it that way. That may be what I end up doing, although I have a feeling it won't be very pretty if I do it that way. Wrapping paper is so thin that I will still have to wrap it in packaging tape to keep it from ripping. Poor Molly is going to open her mailbox to find a package that looks like something a hobo threw out!! :-(

So, in a latch ditch effort to save face (or package in this case) I have decided that I would like to wrap it in that brown packaging paper. My only problem: where in the hell do I buy that stuff?

UPDATE: My wonderful friend Jessica has assured me that if I go to the post office with my wonderfully wrapped present, they should have an appropriately sized USPS box for me to ship it in. I think given my other options, this might just be my best. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Black Friday

On Friday, I decided to brave the crowds and see what all of this after Thanksgiving shopping is all about. For the past SEVERAL years my motto has always been that I would rather pay a little more and not have to deal with the people and the lines than to go on this day. This year, Danette had this wonderful idea that we should get up at the crack of dawn and leave for the stores by 5:30. Gee, why hadn't I ever thought of that before? Really, I knew I kept her around for something!!

I for some lunatic reason agreed to go with her. Unfortunately since I was a "virgin" to this whole shopping mayhem I did not think to make a game plan. So, when I picked her up at 5:30 I had ABSOLUTELY no idea what I wanted, or even what was on sale. So, we started out at American. They had an over the range microwave there that she wanted to look at for her mom and dad. Seeing as how I had never done this before, and did not know what I was in for I was amazed when we pulled in to the parking lot only to find it was full.

Who gets up this early??

So, begrudgingly I dragged myself out of the car into the FREEZING cold to stand in line with the other idiots of the world. The line ran from the front door all the way down the sidewalk to the back of the building and then curved around and came back up through the parking lot. When the doors opened at 6:00 I was waiting to be trampled. It was like a fat man running for the last piece of chicken on the buffet. By the time we made it inside lines were already formed clear through the electronics section.

Apparently their hot item of the morning was IPODs and digital cameras. Needing neither of those, we made our way through the middle of the store to the appliances section. Back there it was dead. Apparently microwaves and dishwashers just don't get peoples motor running like cheap electronics. Either way, the microwave we wanted only came in black, so we headed out the door. As we were walking to the car we looked in the window and noticed that there were DVD players stacked in the window.

I wonder if they are having a sale on DVD players? (Note to self, next time just keep walking) Sure enough, they had a special $14 DVD player, after mail in rebate of course. Well since our DVD player had stopped working, I thought that $14 was not to bad to spend for one, so back in we went. It was at this point that I became convinced that the people in American were suicidal. If I would have been a gun carrying woman I may have shot someone. As we entered the TV/VCR/DVD player area I noticed a line. So we asked, "What is this line for?" Oh that line, well that is for everything. Yes... EVERYTHING!!

Why would they want to have a line for TV's and a line for DVD players, just put everyone in one line and let them battle it out. As we were standing there we noticed that not only was there only one line for everything, they were also following standard procedure to check people out. (i.e. they were taking everyone's name, address and telephone number and typing it into the computer) Finally someone came up and told us there was a shorter line in the back. So, back we went. Just a side note, don't you think it would have made more sense to put people who have an account in one line versus people who don't in another. Meaning that those with an account could just give their phone number and have their information come up and be on their way. I know, I'm asking too much.

Anyhow, when we got to the "shorter" line in the back we were behind three other people who also wanted the DVD player. The first woman was older (70's or 80's) and was writing a check. The man took her information, watched her write out the check and then handed her some paperwork and said take that, and your check to the desk to get your receipt. WHAT?? Have you ever seen and elderly lady write out a check? We waited for 5 minutes while she wrote it out only to have him tell her he wasn't even going to take it there!! Couldn't he have just said write your check out at the desk and they will give you your receipt?

Do you see where the gun could have gotten me in trouble? The next two ladies had credit cards, as did I, but that still did not rush the process much. Name, Address, Phone number, run the card, go over to ANOTHER desk, sign your credit card receipt, get your receipt. DVD Player?? No, you have to stand in THAT line over there that says pickups to get that..... Three lines later we had DVD player in hand and headed out to Best Buy.

They opened their doors at 5:00 so by 6:30 you would have thought that it would be clearing out a little. No such luck. The parking lot had a few open spots but mostly people were still inside, waiting in line most likely. I dropped Danette off so she could run inside and see if they had the microwave here. I found a spot and as I was walking in just marveled at the people I passed. Carts FULL of electronics. One couple had 2 printers, 2 Computers, and several other items I didn't get a close look at. They had at least 10 boxes on this flat cart they pushed out though. Another woman came out with her poor kids who looked like all they wanted to do was go back to bed. They looked to be 2 and 4. I'm not thinking there is any electronic device in the world worth dragging those poor kids out of bed for.

After I got inside I noticed that the DVD's that I wanted to look at ($5.99 & $6.99) were all just piled into these big bins for people to dig through. So, for the next 30 minutes or so, Danette and I dug through bins. I ended up with about 14 DVD's. Probably more than I needed (okay definitely more than I needed) but they were SOO cheap!! Of course all the cheap goodness came at a price. The price I had to pay was that line. Oh the dreaded Best Buy Day After Thanksgiving Line!!

On a brief side note, I would love to know what percentage of Best Buy's annual profits are generated on that day. I did a quick google search but didn't come up with anything and I didn't want to know bad enough to keep looking. However, I'm guessing it is a decent percentage, and I'm also guessing that it is partly because of that line. That was the only store we went to all day that had a line that ran from the front of the store to the back and wound you through every imaginable department. None of those rope line dividers for them. No, they wound you through actual merchandise in the hopes that you might see something that you just could not live without.

Once we emerged from that store we decided that a Target trip was in order. So, we headed to spot number three. There I got more DVD's at low, low prices and also a few Christmas gifts. After Target we headed to Merle Hay mall where I bought myself a wonderful pair of earrings (from my parents of course). Shhh... I have NO idea what is in that box. EARRINGS?? Why they are beautiful.. thank you.

We also attempted to get Bryce this REALLY cute Craftsman rolling tool chest. Unfortunately, I have picked the "hot" toy for the season and not only was Sears sold out, but every other store on-line is also sold out.

So, Danette and I decided, that since he is ONLY 15 months, he will not know if he gets the toy for Christmas or in January. So, I've decided to hold out until I find a cheap one on eBay (today they were $51, love ya buddy but not that much!!) or until they are back in stock.

Speaking of Sears, that was also where I had the following conversation with my dad. "So dad, hypothetically speaking, if someone were going to get you the wrenches you were looking at in the paper yesterday would you prefer standard or metric? Just hypothetically speaking of course." No, he has NOO idea what he's getting for Christmas!! Note to self, next time find out specifics before looking for tools that you know NOTHING about!!

After we left Merle Hay we headed to Home Depot in Ankeny. Danette wanted to look for a barbecue set and a wrapping paper holder. I liked the wrapping paper holder so much I bought one for myself. As for the barbecue set, we couldn't find it. When we inquired as to whether they were sold out we were informed that technically they were never in. I guess the Home Depot ad was a national ad, and those particular sets had never made it to that store.

Just for fun, after Home Depot we decided to head out to Jordan Creek. (I know, great planning huh? From one side of town to the other.) At the mall we got straight to business, Cinnabon. VERY important first stop. After that, hard core shopping. My mom decided to purchase me a new watch. (Shh... I don't know what's in that box either.) Then, as we were perusing the build a bear shop for a new outfit for Emma's bear I decided to call my mom and see what my sister wanted for Christmas and if she wanted me to pick up any gifts for her.

Since she is dealing with Clint I thought it would be helpful to her to not have to do as much shopping this year. (Hence buying the earrings and watch myself.) So, I got a list... and when I say a list, I mean a LIST. It was one of those oh I don't know what I need. I guess I need a pair of shoes, oh and I need this, oh and how about this, oh and then I need one of these and one of those... you get the point.

After I got "the list" I got my mom back on the phone and we discussed what she would like me to buy for Lindsay. At that point, my almost finished shopping day got a lot longer. It was around 12:30 when I talked to them and we were at the mall until around 2:00. Once we left the mall, we decided to make our third trip to Target, and stopped there on our way to the interstate. (If your counting that's Target off 141, Target in Merle Hay, and Target off Mills Civic Parkway)

Finally we were on our way back to our side of town. We made one more stop at Menards in Altoona and then back to Danette's by 3:30. In all, I finished shopping for five people and started a sixth. If nothing else, Friday forced me into the "holiday spirit." I even wrapped all of the presents last night which if I'm not mistaken is about 4 weeks earlier than I normally wrap anything, if it gets wrapped at all!! :-)

Here's a map of our adventures for your viewing pleasure!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Family Traditions

On Thursday, I spent my 26th Thanksgiving with my dad's family. This is the day that we also celebrate Christmas with them. It was decided early on that we would do Christmas then because Grandpa & Grandma used to go to Texas every year and they didn't want to have to wait until Christmas to go.

In the early years we would always go to my Aunt Sally's house. I remember playing in their basement and every 5 or 10 minutes we would send a different kid up the stairs to ask if it was time to open presents yet. In those days we got TWO whole presents!! We did a gift exchange with the other kids and then Grandpa and Grandma also got us something. Can you imagine? TWO whole presents an entire month early!!

When I look back on it now, I am so thankful to have had that time. Not necessarily the presents (although that was the highlight at the time) but the family time and the tradition of knowing that every year, on Thanksgiving we would see the same people to celebrate the holiday.

When Jake and I first got together I thought that we would have to start splitting our holidays. I admit, when I found out he didn't have any holiday traditions I was a little bit excited. That meant that I would still get to see my family every year. However, the older that we have gotten the more it has saddened me to realize that our children will probably not have those traditions with his family.

Last year, the one and only tradition that his family had did not happen. Every year on Christmas Eve they used to go to his Grandpa Frank's house for seafood gumbo. (Okay, for those of you who know me NO, I did not eat seafood gumbo, but I did go and it was a lot of fun) Last year we did not get together. I'm hoping that this year everyone can set aside their differences, even if it is only for one day, and celebrate together.

Of all the things I learned when I was little this was one of the things that was ingrained the deepest. Holidays were family times. This year, because my Uncle Clint is sick, we diverted a little from our normal tradition.

We started our day at my Aunt Sally's fiance John's house. There we celebrated with my dad's family and also John's three boys. It was good to meet them and spend the holiday with them. By this time next year they will be our step-cousins and our family will be four people bigger. (Maybe we should start that gift exchange thing back up again ;-)

Around six we left John's house and went to Ames to visit Clint. We don't normally see my mom's family on Thanksgiving, but I think he was glad to see all of us and to get to spend one last holiday with everyone. When we arrived my Aunt and three of my cousins were there. They left around 7:00 and we stayed until about 7:30.

It was wonderful to have that time with him, especially now that we know time is short. It is funny how when someone is dying everyone takes the time to be with them, even if they never saw them before. I think it really makes you think about putting your family in first. To me, this is why having family traditions is so important. In today's society our lives are so busy that often we don't have time for our own families. During the holidays and some other times during the year I always know I will get to see them.

On Easter I will get to see my mom's family, in May for our May birthday party my dad's family, in June for our family reunion my dad's family, in September for our family reunion my mom's family, also in September for our September birthday party my dad's family, then comes Thanksgiving with my dad's family and finally Christmas with my mom's family. Seven family traditions I hope to continue to enjoy with my children.

What are some of yours?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Charlie and the WHAT??

The above image was borrowed (okay stolen) from this website that I read. So, stop over and give his site some traffic, and then maybe he won't be so mad that I stole his picture. It is a REALLY pretty picture.

So, this weekend Jake and I saw the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The impression I walked away with... this movie is CREEPY!!

Not creepy in a I want to watch it again to see what happens, but creepy in a let us never bring that into this house again sort of way. On one review I read, Willy Wonka's character was explained as having an almost Michael Jackson persona. I think that is an accurate portrayal. This movie destroys all that was fun about the original movie and gives it a definite "Tim Burton" spin.

About a month before this movie came out a friend and I were discussing how they are remaking a lot of the old movies and how it is funny that Willy Wonka was never re-made. We then both agreed that they could never top the old one. About a week later, the previews for this one came out. We were right, it doesn't even come close.

For those of you who have not seen the movie, stop here if you have any desire to see this movie. From this point on, I am going to explain to you what I found so creepy and disturbing about this movie.

First of all, in CATCF (I'm going to refer to them as CATCF and WWATCF from this point forward because it is just so much easier) Charlie has a dad. What is up with that? There was no dad in the original movie. It destroys the whole family dynamics to say that he has a dad.

Secondly, the beginning sequence where you get acquainted with Charlie and the rest of the characters has been CHOPPED!! There is no song with Charlie's mom, there is no feeling of the longing that he had to win the contest. NOTHING!! In the original I think it was a good 45 min to an hour before they got to the chocolate factory. In this one, it is maybe 30 min.

Also, in CATCF there is NO Slugworth. How do you cut out that character?? That is a MAIN character!! So, consequently jumping ahead a bit, there is no scene where they drink fizzy lifting drink, and also no scene where he has to give the everlasting gobstopper back at the end. What a crock!!

Okay, moving on to the more disturbing parts. When they get to the chocolate factory (okay one brief digression, Mike TV brings his dad instead of his mom and Violet brings her mom instead of her dad what's up with that??) the gates open and they just enter. Then the doors open and there is a cast of singing dolls similar to the ones in Shreck when they get to the castle. However, in this movie the dolls burst into flames in the end and their faces begin to melt. As they are touring the factory they pass the doll burn unit, entirely too morbid for a kids movie!!

Oh, and speaking of singing, the Oompa Loompas don't sing like they are supposed to!! They sing individual songs for each child that have very dark undertones. There is also a whole sequence that shows Willy Wonka in Loompa land and how the Ooompa Loompas were being hunted and so they had to stay in the trees and eat bugs. But for some reason they worship the coca bean so that is how he got them to come to the chocolate factory. All around STRANGE!!

The demises of the children are similar, except that there are squirrels cracking nuts instead of geese laying eggs. Also, there are two kids left when they get to ride in the glass elevator. While in it they pass some cows being whipped (sexual tones anyone??) which Willy Wonka says is for whipped cream. They also pass a room with pick sheep being sheared. All Willy says about that is "I'd rather not talk about it." From what I could find in the reviews these sheep are supposed to be cotton candy sheep, but the implication is not clear. At first I thought it may have been a twist on the pink elephant, but one other website I read got the impression that it gave the allusion of bestiality. With as vague as they leave it, I think it is definitely open to interpretation.

Throughout this movie there are flashbacks to Willy's past which were never in the first movie, along with a reunion with his father in the end before he decides to let Charlie's family live in the chocolate factory.

Overall I'd say this movie left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and I usually LOVE anything chocolate. I think I will stick with the original!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


This is not what I set out to post about, but ever since I read this story this morning it is all that is running through my head. I, along with millions of other Americans watched in horror last week as the story of Kara Borden and David Ludwig unfolded. Kara, who is 14, got into an argument with her parents after she apparently was late getting home. She had been secretly seeing David, who is 18, and they also told her she couldn't see him anymore.

The argument apparently made David so angry that he plotted to kill her parents. Last weekend he came into their house and shot both of her parents, in front of her little sister, and then walked through the house calling for Kara while her little brother ran next door to call the police.
When the story broke Kara was missing. My assumption, and I'm sure several other people's, was that Kara had been kidnapped. This boy whom she thought she could trust had just slaughtered her parents and once he found her she feared for her life and so she went with him.

Today, the truth has come out. David walked through the house looking for Kara but could not find her. He then got into his car and began to drive off when he noticed her running after him. This girl, who knew this boy had just killed her parents, willing ran away with him hoping to get married and start a new life together.

People, how in the WORLD did it come to this? I'm trying to think back to being 14 (bear with me, it was awhile ago) and I know that I remember hating my parents. I know that I remember wishing that they would go away and leave me alone. I may have even wished they were dead, but I can GUARANTEE you, with 100% certainty that if someone (boyfriend or no boyfriend) had come into my house and shot them, the last thing you would find me doing was running after his car to go with him!!

Now, I have been told that at 14 most children are not fully aware that death is permanent. In fact, until children are 18 or 19 they are also not fully aware of their own mortality. This is the reason that teenagers tend to take more risks, drive more recklessly, and are now into playing the new choking game.

Just last night I watched an episode of CSI in which they portrayed a group of teenagers who had gotten bored with their video game and so they had decided to make it into real life. Now I understand that this is just a TV show, but there have been roomers that this is exactly the sort of thing that the boys did at Columbine. In the video game they shoot people for points. It doesn't hurt the imaginary people, they are just objects to be conquered. If children don't understand this line, or become desensitized to it, it could be easy for them not to fully understand what happens when someone is shot.

These excuses aside, our nation as a whole is becoming more and more violent. How do we make our children understand that violence is not a game? Especially when they see it on TV, watch it in the movies, and play it on video games?

I know how I understood it, but it is probably not the answer for everyone. I was a farmer's daughter. I saw hogs get slaughtered for the annual hog roast. I watched my parents bury our pets when they had been hit on the road. I was VERY aware that once someone or something died, it was never coming back. At the age of 13 I fell from a horse and broke my fall with my face. I blacked out and do not remember anything from the fall to the ambulance. I was also aware that I could be injured and could possibly die.

However, we can not take all of the children of the world out into the woods and let them watch someone hunt an animal. It's not practical, not to mention a little morbid for a school subject. So how do we do it? How do we make our children understand that killing someone in real life is not like it is in a video game? That their life is precious and that they can't do dangerous things without risking the possibility of ending of it?

I don't even have children yet, and it makes me want to put my imagined children in a bubble. My heart is SO sad for this girl. I know, or at least my optimistic heart hopes, that one day she will look back on this and be very sad. One day, probably in the near future, it is going to come crashing down on her that she will NEVER see her parents again. I hope, at that point, that someone is there for her. To hold her, to guide her, and to help her teach others so that this does not happen again.

In the end, I suppose it is up to each one of us. We need to address this problem head on, instead of sweeping it under the rug. If we don't ignore this type of violence, but instead talk with our children about it and help them to understand I think we can save several young lives. Maybe one of them will belong to someone you know.

Friday, November 18, 2005

20 Questions

We have a new favorite game in the Hamilton household. It is called 20 questions. My guess is that most of you have played this game, or something similar to it when you were younger. The difference on this game is that only one person plays it. The person (or in this case object) guessing is a computer.Here is a picture of what the hand held version looks like. We first heard of this game from my aunt. She bought one for my uncle because she thought it would be something amusing for him to pass the time with since he couldn't get around much. They played it at his house and she liked it so much that she bought another one for her grandson.

We acquired ours Wednesday night while looking for a birthday present for Molly. Jake was so excited about it that he wanted to play it in "secret" when we were at dinner so that she didn't see. (We got her one as well as one for ourselves) I, however, didn't think that was such a good idea because I was afraid someone would ask him what it was and then she would hear them talking about it or see it. SOO... I, being the mean wife that I am, made him wait until after she opened hers to play with it.

It was like making a kid wait until after breakfast to open their Christmas presents. He couldn't eat fast enough and as SOON as we were done, I'm talking before the plates were even all cleared he was hounding her to open her presents. Once she did, she seemed to like the game and both of them played several rounds.

We have discovered that it is easy to fool the game if you think outside of the box. For instance, if it asks you, "Do you give it as a gift?" and you are thinking of a pizza. You could say yes, or sometimes, but in it's programming the answer to that question is no. So if you don't answer along the most of the time lines then it does not have as high of a success rate.

Just today I discovered an on-line version of this game. I like this version because it continually learns. With the hand held version if it gets it wrong after 20 questions it asks 5 more. If it still doesn't know it just gives up. The on-line version will ask about the same number of questions but it will guess 4 or 5 times and then in the end if it still doesn't get it right it gives you a list to choose from or a box to enter in what you were thinking of. Once it gets to your answer it will give you a list of items that you answered that it would have answered differently. I think I may have found my new favorite lunch past time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Just for fun...

I thought I would try this one too. (If you have not read the previous post, do so before you read this one. It will make much more sense that way!!)

Heather wants...
  • A new Job (not really...)
  • another baby (a first would be a good start)
  • your blood (HA HA HA HA... think evil movie laugh)
  • to hear from you (always... post comments!!)
  • Ed (who's Ed?)
  • to marry Ed (this Ed guy must be pretty good!!)
  • to be a step ahead
  • to be in 43 places at once
  • her marriage to work
  • advice/winning over administrators

What do you get with your name??

Heather needs...

I stole this idea from a blog I read, it's HILARIOUS!! Go to google and type in your name, followed by the word needs and see what comes up. I put it in quotes, because otherwise it won't work right. Here's my list... I am still laughing!!
  • men.... NOW!!
  • two therapists
  • a rest
  • a family who will commit to her 100%
  • a childhood
  • to access information ubiquitously to provide answers to client questions
  • a long walk in the woods
  • an environment that allows her to follow her own instincts and ambitions
  • to reserve a date later in the year when the weather is nicer.
  • a cape to tire her bull and prepare it for the kill
  • to start wearing a brassiere
  • to find the right balance between emotions and logic
  • to fly on Delta
  • to swing on some swings
  • to be congratulated for defending herself from unkindness and overly high expectations when she was a child

Apparently this is not a new thing. Here is another Heather who's website popped up when I did this search. Seems like she was fascinated by the first one that popped up too!!

In fact the more I look... the more it seems like I'm the last one to do this. I had trouble getting my 10 by the time I weeded out all the blogs that it was pulling THEIR lists. However, once I got to 10 and was on page 3 of the google search list, I decided why stop there. So... I put 15 if I'm going to steal someone else's idea I might as well put my own twist on it!! Maybe I should add, Heather needs to be in the loop more often!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Winter Weather Wednesday

Saturday: High 69, Thunderstorms in the evening, 8 Tornados

Tuesday: High of 39, Blizzard like conditions in some areas

Ahhh... the joys of living in Iowa. Don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Kicking Myself

For waking him up to come up to bed only to listen to him snore through most of CSI.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Male Influence

Last night we went to dinner at Keith's house. His girlfriend Karen had made a roast and invited us and her daughters and granddaughters over for dinner. Karen has four daughters, and three granddaughters and until 6 months ago they all lived together. Yes, that's eight girls under one roof if you are doing the math. Talk about hormones!!

Anyhow, it amazes me how little time it takes them to flock to Jake whenever we are together. At first I was kind of jealous of this. Like why don't they want to sit on my lap. Last night, it dawned on me. For most of their lives they have lived with their grandma, mom, and three aunts. They have had all of the "mom" figures that they need.
They have not, however, had a steady consistent male figure in their lives. Thinking back, I see this quite a bit when we are all together. They tend to want to hang out with their aunt's boyfriends as well. Last night, Jake was the only guy there (besides Keith) so he got to be the center of attention. First it was story time...Then Bella sat on his lap while she ate her desert. And finally, the one thing you really need a good strong boy for... I don't think Jake minded being their jungle gym in the slightest. What do you think?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Beating the System

My good friend Jess has a story that I think all of you should read. Go ahead, read it, I'll be here when you get back. Okay, now that you're up to speed (literally) with the situation, let me do a little of my own venting.

As a person who is married to someone who has had his fair share of run ins with the law it INFURIATES me that someone could so blatantly break the law and get off so easily. When I was growing up my parents always said it is not what you know it is who you know. I never put much stock in this saying until this happened.

Do you think for one moment that if Jake, or even I for that matter, had plowed through someone's mailbox and yard and truck and then LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT we would have gotten off with just "failure to maintain control of a vehicle." Where is the leaving the scene of an accident? Hindering an investigation (he lied to the officer at first)? Anything??

I told Jess that she should call KCCI, WHO, WOI, anyone. Make a big deal about it.... this is a city council man. However, it is not my story so I will just vent to you, my 10 readers, and hope maybe you will tell 10 of your friends about this injustice, and maybe they will tell 10 of their friends... you get the point.

Someone needs to make it known that we know what is going on, and we are not okay with the police making "family" exceptions. If you screw up, you should have to pay for it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year!! I don't know if they'll be snow......

What? What's that? It's not Christmas? Well you could have fooled the HELL out of me!! Is it just me or is the commercialization of Christmas moving it earlier and earlier every year? It wasn't even one day into November and the people were already hanging the Christmas decorations downtown. There are Christmas trees in the kaleidoscope and it is only the 10th of November!!

Every night when I watch TV I see commercials for Toys R Us. They are advertising their Big Toy Book for Christmas shopping. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?? In NOVEMBER?? Yesterday I called my friend and when I enquired what she was up to she said she was wrapping presents.

Oh is it someone's birthday?

No, I'm just wrapping the Christmas presents I have.

Who buys Christmas presents this early?? What happened to kicking off the holiday season with a mad 6:00 am dash to your favorite store on the day after Thanksgiving? I for one am boycotting. I refuse to think about or talk about Christmas Shopping for AT LEAST another two weeks. Heck, who am I kidding, I will probably be the one out on Christmas Eve night trying to get that last minute present. After all isn't that half of the fun?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Puppy Makeover

Yesterday we took the dogs to get groomed. In the three years that we have had them, we have never taken them to the goomers. (They are not high maintenance dogs.) However, they were starting to look a little shaggy, and we just weren't up to the 2 hours that it takes us to bathe, brush, and trim them. Besides the fact that it always looks REALLY choppy when we try to trim their docks and ears.

We were some what nervous about how they would act, since they have never been groomed before, but the people at the groomers said they were great and "so happy." When we got home, I tried to take pictures for your viewing pleasure. Perhaps I should have taken the pictures first and given the treats later. After a little bit of coaxing I did get them both to sit for a picture. Although as you can tell, Sadie obviously thinks that there is another treat involved in this procedure.

I was sort of hoping that they would give Sadie a pink bow. But I guess the bandanas are equally as cute. I think Jack would have looked a little funny in a bow anyhow. Speaking of funny, they sprayed them with something (Jake thinks it was puppy perfume) so they did smell a little funny. Clean, but different. As you can see, Lex was none to happy with this "new" puppy smell. Or perhaps he's just pissed that the dogs are getting all of the attention. He is, after all, cuter and cleaner. (At least most of the time)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Now Hiring??

This weekend I was discussing medical school with my sister. (I know, freakishly smart isn't she?) We were discussing her classes and such and she was telling me that right now they are learning how to tell if there is disfunction in someone's back and how to fix it.

She is going to D.O. school, not M.D. school (and since she doesn't have a blog I get to steal all of her good stories) so they learn how to "adjust" people as well as treat them medically. She was telling me that they practice all of their adjustments on other students. (They always have a "real" doctor standing by in case they pop something out of place.)

So, hearing this, I, and the other members of my family, inquired as to whether they practice ALL of their procedures on eachother. Apparently this is the case until they get to the more "intimate" procedures.

So what do they do then? They hire someone. That's right, they hire a man to stand naked and be groped by a couple hundred medical students. How do they advertise for that?

Male person to practice prostate exams on.
Outgoing personality as you will be "violated" by several hundred medical students
Ability to "control" your male parts in awkward situations
Please call 1-800-FEEL ME UP

Of course one of the other questions that came up was do you think it would be a gay man? We quickly came to the logical answer that it wouldn't matter. There are both men and women in this class so either way he'd be happy 50% of the time!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Extreme Makeover: Heather Edition

After my post yesterday, my friend Jess e-mailed me to say, "Okay so how hard am I going to have to try to convince you to let me do your hair and even a little make-up?!?!?! Can I, Can I."

My response, "How about tonight? I'll be over around 5:30." So, after work I dug through my bathroom cabinets and found all of the makeup I own. Well that's not entirely true. I found the makeup from the wedding. I own more than that.

Slight veering from topic... you see every year or so I go on this kick where I am convinced that I am going to wear makeup and do my hair. It usually lasts for all of one to two days. After that I decide that sleeping is more important than getting up early and making myself look beautiful. After all, who am I trying to impress?

So, back to the story. After I gathered up some makeup, my curling iron, the blow dryer, and some misc styling products I have no idea how to use but I was told I should, I headed over to Jess's house. I arrived promptly at 5:45 (for those of you who know me well, anymore this is about as on time as I get) looking like this:

Yes, I'm aware that I look ridiculously stupid and partially drunk in this picture. This is as good as it gets people... ANYHOW...

Jess proceeded to work her magic. Or attempt anyway. We didn't rewash my hair because who has time for that? She just attempted to work with what I had. First we did makeup. She wanted me to put my own eyeliner on. But apparently even that is not something I can handle. (And she thinks I'm going to be able to do this by myself??)

So, we took it off and she applied it. It was about at this time that Shane arrived home. His comment, "It won't help." Thanks Shane. Way to boost my self confidence!! Just for that, we remained hold up in the bathroom and made him use the guest bathroom to shower. After we had him cook dinner, of course. (Pizza from Dominos. Shane is an excellent cook!)

From eye liner, we moved on to the rest of the makeup. After the tremendously bad job I did on eyeliner, Jess just stuck to applying the rest of the makeup herself. After every step I studied what she had done in the mirror. Now can I re-create it? We'll see.

After makeup we went to hair. We had a slight fiasco with a run away piece of hair and for a moment I thought she was going to give up entirely. At one point I believe she said I looked like a peacock. Now that is an attractive image, let me tell you.

In the end, this is what we came up with:

Jess said it looked good, Danette said it looked good, even Shane said it looked good. I, well, I think I look slightly less drunk in the second picture than in the first. And I definitely look a little less pasty, but other than that... I don't see a HUGE change.

Anyhow... I'm sure now you are wondering how I did getting myself ready this morning.

Let us never speak of this morning!!

Jake had to be to work at 6:00 this morning. (At least he has his jeep back and I didn't have to TAKE him) So, when he got up, I woke up. I then proceeded to lie awake upstairs until around 6:00 or 6:15 when I fell back asleep. Probably when I should have been getting up!! My alarm went off at 6:45 and I think it was around 7:10 when I finally forced myself to get out of bed.

When I got home last night I took a shower, because I can't sleep with makeup and hairspray so I was not worried about the showering part, but what I saw in the mirror was worse than any shower could have fixed anyway.

For some reason, this morning I look a WHOLE lot like Droopy Dog.

The bags under my eyes could have swallowed a Hummer. And I'm not talking about one of those Hummer H3's. I'm referring to a full size Hummer. You could have just driven that thing over the rough mountainous surface that is my face right now and straight into the grand canyon craters!!

I looked into the mirror at 7:15 and said, I can't fix that!! Besides my eyes, my hair just looked EXTREMELY un cooperative. I had the feeling that I would have to wash it again to make it do anything, and with all that time I wasted doing important things like sleeping, I didn't have time for that.

So, that was it, the decision was made. I pulled my hair half up, made a rough attempt at fixing my bangs and was off. Ask me about my new look on Monday.

Husband for Sale

only 50 cents....

Sorry, the words to a very old Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson song are running through my head right now... must... make... it... stop....

Anyhow, he's not for sale anymore. Only for about 15 minutes last night. You see, last night I went for an extreme makeover at Jess's house. She attempted to show me how to do my hair and makeup. (I will post about it a little later.) As I was getting ready to leave I got a call from Jake.

"Are you on your way home?"

"Yeah, I'm just getting ready to walk out the door. Why?"

"I need your help."

All kinds of alarms are going off in my head. "With what?"

"Your cat got out and he won't come to me."

"He did what?" At this point I'm becoming slightly hysterical.

"The door was open and he went out onto the back porch and when I saw him and tried to get him to go back inside he ran off into the trees."

"I'll be there in two minutes. If you loose my cat..." The phone is dead, he has already hung up.

At this point I grabbed the left over pizza and hurried out to my car. I pulled into Danette's driveway long enough for her to jump out of the car and then I was off. When I got home I didn't see him, so I thought maybe he had got him back into the house. Oh no!!

Lex had run into the trees and he had NO idea where he was!! All that kept going through my head was if I don't find him in 5 minutes I'm calling everyone I know with flashlights!! As it was I just had ours and was having NO luck. Plus the dogs were still outside so they were barking and whining and the cats were following me over to the trees. (Squeak and Mouse, the outside cats that he neither knows nor likes.)

I think there was lots of me screaming at the dogs to SHUT UP, and screaming at Jake to get those stupid cats inside and in kennels so they didn't scare Lex more than he already was. Finally Jake saw him. He had heard my voice and run out of the trees and towards the front of our house. Of course it was dark, and he was scared so he didn't come to me right away either.

The first time I tried to get up next to him he darted a little farther into the grass. I yelled to Jake to get up onto the road in case he ran that way he could stop traffic. Then I got on my hands and knees (I must have been quite a sight all dolled up and crawling through our front yard) and slowly crawled towards him, talking to him the whole time.

When I got up next to him he smelled my hand and seemed to realize it was me. I went to grab him and he started to take off, but by that point I had skin and I was not letting go!! He struggled a little the whole time I was carrying him inside and then once we got in he sort of "hugged" me before I put him down. After that he just laid in the middle of the living room staring like, oh my life is SOO rough.

Maybe next time he won't go exploring places he doesn't know... in the DARK!!

Later on, we were lying in bed and he came up to lay with us. Jake looks at me, and then looks at him and says, "You love that cat more than me."

"It depends on the day"


Thursday, November 03, 2005


Today, I feel like a schmuck. I went to lunch with a friend of mine at Subway. I went to pay for my food and the total came to $4.95. I handed this woman a $10 and she proceeded to give me $15.05 as change. I noticed it immediately as she handed me the three fives yet I did nothing. For a brief moment I was dumbfounded. Did I just do what I think I did? Where is my conscience? It was so busy that I was pushed out of the way rather quickly and the whole time I was filling up my cup I was thinking I should give back the $10. I should just walk up to her and say ma'am. I think I only gave you a $10. But did I? NOO!! I just looked at my feet and walked away.

Guilt is eating me, just enough to feel bad about it, but not enough to walk back to Subway and return the $10. Such a Schmuck!!

Fun with the Keyboard




(> <)

Can you tell I'm avoiding a HIDEOUS project?? What can you create?


Last night I got my hair cut. I'm unsure yet whether I like it or not. I'm still in that inbetween stage that happens after you get a new hair cut but before you actually figure out what to do with it. Does anyone else have this problem?

It seems like whenever I get my haircut I just LOVE it. Then I go home, wake up the next morning really excited to show off my new do and low and behold what I come up with SUCKS!! No matter how closely I watch her do my hair I can NEVER make it look exactly like she does. I always end up looking like some hair do experiment gone wrong!!

Today I flipped my hair out. I tried to take a picture but I have discovered that me, taking a picture of myself, doesn't really turn out all that well. Tonight I will ask Jake to take one. He will roll his eyes I'm sure and laugh hysterically when I leave the room, but he might just do it.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to try to flip it under. It is a little shorter than shoulder length and has some layers but I have a bad feeling that the under look could have me looking 12 and we all know I don't need to look any younger than I already do.

I've come to the decision that it should be mandatory every time you get a hair cut that they teach you how to actually DO your hair. Wash it, cut it, style it, THEN wash it again and let you do it. That way at least you will have SOME idea what you are doing when you get home!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Fell in a Well

and other excuses why I am late to work.

What? You've never used that one? Hmm... must be just me. Because yes, this is the SECOND time I've fallen into that well. Actually, if you want to be technical it is just an access pit now, as the remainder of the well has been filled in but it sounds SOOO much more dramatic to say I fell in a well. Anyhow, the first time I fell I was sort of in the middle so I ended up with my body down in the well and my arms sort of parallel bar like on the boards on the sides. When that happened I was a little shaken up, but had no real injuries. This time, I was not so lucky.

I know it doesn't look like much... but trust me when I tell you.. IT HURTS!! Let's try a little experiment. Take your hand and karate chop the front of your shin. Come on... I'll wait. I'm not going anywhere.... You did it, didn't you? You guys are SUCH DORKS!! Anyhow... it hurts... doesn't it? And it doesn't take much force to make it hurt. Now imagine the weight of your whole body crashing into the brick side of a well. I don't seem like such a weenie now do I?

The picture up top is from last night and the one below that is from this morning. It's starting to bruise below the cut and so I could have some really cool colors by the end of this week!! (I'll spare you any more pictures!!) ;-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Mmm... Tastes Like Chicken

This weekend we discovered that even without a mom to teach them, the kittens are still carnivores at heart. When I went to visit on Saturday I took one of my chicken fingers from BK and broke it up into pieces....

It continued this way through about half of my lunch. I think between the three of them they ate three or four chicken strips. What I didn't get a picture of, and what was perhaps the funniest part, was their reaction to eachother as they were eating. If one of the other kittens would get close they would growl and bat at the other one. However when I put my hand down there no sound was uttered. It was almost as if they knew, hey she's bigger than me. If she wants the chicken back, let her have the chicken back.

Of course after they ate, they had to wash their paws and faces. Always the lady, Annie ate daintily and then was the first to begin "cleaning up."

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but Angel is actually turning out to be calico. Every time I see her she has more and more red in her.

Today when my mom called to give me an update on my uncle (not good, but a story for another day) she mentioned that this morning she gave them the bone out of the roast. She said that they chewed on it all morning and didn't once fight with eachother.

She seems to think that Angel and Annie need to have kittens to learn how to hunt, but I think if we just keep giving them meat and a mouse and bird here and there they may learn it all on their own.