Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...

Let me tell you a little bit about my upbringing. My mom had the worst habit of running out of gas. My brothers and I learned to wear shoes every time we went out because the chances were good that we'd be walking back. Most people wear shoes anyway, but that's beside the point. It came to the point that I never worried about running out of gas because it was pretty much a given: if we were in the car, we'd soon be walking though my mom had a knack for making it fun..ish.

As an adult I've run out of gas once, yet my oldest was constantly worried it would happen. When it finally did we were half a mile from home, and a gas station, had a gas can in the back, and a daddy four minutes away. Also, there was a dude outside mowing his lawn, and he gave us the tablespoon of gas we needed to get around the corner. We never had it that good as kids.

Anyway, I was heading to a friends house a month back when I had a flashback to my childhood as I passed a van stopped on the shoulder. I flipped a u-y and headed back around. Eight children with no shoes (amateurs) spilled out of the van which had run out of gas. They'd been on the side of the road for ten minutes, and the mom had just decided to gather her chick and walk to the nearest gas station (five miles up the road) when I showed up. I loaded the van with offspring (one was an infant-there was no car seat) and took the kids home where we also picked up a gas can.

We left the kids in the car of the oldest boy and went to fill the gas can. At the gas station I offered to fill the three gallon can as it was clear they were low on funds, and I'm glad I did because that gas can had a faulty cap which I found out after we reached her van.

I started to smell gas as we neared her van, and when I opened my trunk to get the gas, I found that the can had tipped over. This shouldn't have been a problem as the cap should have kept the contents inside of the can, but it didn't so most of the gas spilled into the back of my van.

It was awesome.

Thankfully there was enough left that she could get her van to the gas station, but I was out of luck. I scrubbed the back with soap and water, covered it in baking soda, vacuumed it out and tried kitty litter, pulled out the foam under the carpet, scrubbed with soap and water again, tried Fabreeze, left the windows rolled down...My last option was to pull out the carpet, but that's a level of white trash I never want to revisit.

All hope was abandoned as I had just about made my peace with my new gasoline perfume when a friend showed up with an ozone machine. This machine is used to remove the smell of smoke and pets from a house. Wouldn't you know, it removed the smell of gasoline, too!

Every once in a while I still catch a whiff of gas, but I think it might be because the smell is burned into my olfactory.

Or maybe it's just there as a reminder to never help anyone ever again.

Just kidding...mostly.

Thanksgiving. Months Later...

So it's been a couple of months, (almost a year) but I believe that feeling sorry for ones self is better done in private. I think I'm done now.

Anyway, Thanksgiving.

First off let me say that I love my Gramma. She is feisty, and independent, and the only reason we still see our family at least once a year.

But she cannot cook a turkey. She obliterates it.

It's always been dry, but this year I almost choked to death. Deserts have more moisture. We've all tried to help take some of the "responsibility" for the meal off of her shoulders, and she has agreed to a point. The turkey and stuffing are hers. She refuses to hand them over. The stuffing was a frightening brown this time. I wouldn't touch it to save my life. We drive to my gramma's house every Thanksgiving without fail. We don't go for the food.

This year our day at Gramma's was cut short as we had to get on the road. My mother-in-law's uncle had passed (the first week of October) and we were headed to N.C. for the funeral. We made it to our first destination without a problem. We left 80 degree weather and the next morning it was forty. That was fun. And that was when the adventure began.

The van wouldn't start the next morning. We made a new friend so we could get a jump start. By the time we were on the way home, Mr.D. refused to turn the van off even when we stopped for gas. I was certain we would die in a fiery explosion of unnecessary caution.We had jumper cables, man! On the plus side the trip home was filled to the gills with anticipation. Also, it took six forevers to get home.

Words Are Hard...

That's my new motto which is ironic because I'm a writer.

I've been having a difficulty with words for some time now. I just can't get them out, or I can't remember the word I'm trying to use. It usually shows up when I'm tired, or anxious, or awake. It can be frustrating. Sometimes when the word won't come I end up describing it instead. For example "stop with the thing!" I find the kids usually know what "the thing" is so further explanation is unwarranted.

Apparently words are hard for everyone.

My kid sister is in college. She came home in a tizzy of frustration the other day, and explained that one of her classmates had asked "what is Grot-es-que?".

"We're in college!" she exclaimed. "We're only at TCC! It's not that hard!" Ha!

Another of my favorites happened on my trip to Utah wherein I noticed that the people of the state have some kind of grudge against the letter T. They live in the moun-ains, and wear shirts with brown bu-uns. I went to a store for some quil-ing supplies. T's were not meant to be ignored. T is so impor-ant that button has two and yet both are ignored.

Then there are the words that somehow collect letters like "warsh". Or how about the words that just get mangled completely. Realator. R-E-A-L-L-Y? Homer Simpson works at a nucular power plant. How about when someone calls in the Calvary. They call in the...mountain is Israel?

I understand sometimes words just come out wrong, but how about when they're said that way on T.V. How do they miss that? Lines are gone over multiple times with multiple shots of each scene. C'mon guys! You're making us look bad.

My sweet Minney has creative ways of saying words. Chipalot (Chipotle) or chipotle for Gringos, gibberish with a hard g, other ones I can't remember right now. That kid cracks me up.

Here's another thought. Last names. I mangle last names as frequently as I mangle other parts of the English language, but have you ever heard a character ask another character how to say their last name. I was watching a program the other day and one of the characters' last name was Gerace. Everyone could say the name without hesitation. I can think of at least three ways I would have said that name and none of them would have been correct. So they can say strange last names without a problem, but other words...not so much.

This isn't a rant so much as a comical observation. I find it amusing. Almost as amusing as I find people who lose their minds over the same thing.

Let me end with the funniest thing I've ever heard come out of my father-laws mouth. One day, he and his older son were sparing as they do. His son (not my husband) was giving him grief about not having a job. This son was in the same boat of unemployment, a fact that seemed to have escaped him. I watched from the sidelines as I make it a policy not to get involved in other people's arguments because I do all my own stunts.

Anyway, after several minutes he'd had enough, and in the middle of his son's tirade he blurts, "what's that, pot boy!" I died laughing.

Therefore, I am not calling the kettle black so much as observing just how cracked we all are.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I can't believe I almost forgot the most awesomest news!

My fourth book, Stan, is now available in e-book and paperback at

Stop in and take a look!

P.S. The covers come in matte format now, and they look A-MAZE-ING. Check it out if you're looking for something to read, and then leave a review.

I do love reviews.

Epic Fail...

Disclaimer *Gross things will be discussed. Those with weak constitutions are hereby warned in advance*

My youngest daughter, Minney, hasn't had much luck with her ear piercings. Her ears get infected in part because she requires quality earrings, but also because she tends to push the backs of her earring so close to the ear that hair and other grossness gets caught around the post, creating more grossness.

We've taken her earrings out several times, we've cleaned them thoroughly, but when she's left to her own devices they are neglected. It been a circus.

This last round of infection occurred after she lost the back of her earring.

Mr. D. and I were out, trekking through the wilderness while wearing pioneer garb and pulling a handcart with eight tired teens, a story for another day, and left the children with a friend who noticed that Minney's ear lobe was red and swollen. She removed the earring, with some difficulty, and set about cleaning the wound.

She cleaned Minney's ear two days in a row with antiseptic, and then would squeeze her lobe to try and clean out the infection. When we got home on the third day, my friend gave me the 411. I studied my child's earlobe and then gave it a squeeze (it's the little things that make life great) and she howled in pain. I noticed something in the piercing but didn't want to dig any further because gross.

The next morning I checked her ear confused as to why her ear lobe was so hard. So I squeezed her ear again and out popped...the missing back of the earring. I warned you at the beginning.

She's done with earrings for now, but has learned a valuable lesson.

There is such a thing as too tight.

Happy Tail Syndrome...

Doesn't that sound just wonderful? I mean, how can something so auditorily pleasing be bad?
I'll tell you how...

Sufferers of Happy Tail Syndrome are commonly dogs and their owners. I love Gus' tail. He swings that thing with nary a care which is where the problem lies. Gus suffers (though he doesn't seem to notice) because he somehow hurts the tip of his tail and makes it bleed.

I suffer because he leaves a bloody trail in his wake. Seriously.

Saturday morning, Mr. D informed me Gus had hurt himself. "Somehow your dog caught his tail on something," he told me as he held my pup in his arms. "There's blood everywhere."

My first thought? "Drama queen."

And then I went to the front room. Blood was EVERYWHERE.

It was a good day to clean the walls.

I spent half the morning cleaning up the crime scene and then the rest of the day trying to figure out how to bandage his tail while hindering his ability to smack it against the wall. A finger splint worked for a minute, until he got his tail going good and steady which disengaged the splint and sent it sailing across the room into my face.

After that I used a bandage which helped, but the glue pulls the lovely white hair out of his sit upon. One more application and the tip of his tail will be bald.

The only cure for Happy Tail is amputation so I guess we'll be keeping the bandage industry afloat.

In the meantime, call before you come over.

Irony Thy Name Is...


Let me begin by stating I hate dogs. I know those words fly in the face of the fact that I have them, but I hate them nonetheless. We've had five in the fifteen years we've been married. Why do we have dogs if I don't like them? I also have kids.

Our first dog, Jean Gray, was just an exercise in aggravation. We had to adopt her out before I killed her to death. No one looks me in the eye as they poop on the carpet and lives to see a new day. The next two, Peanut and Phoenix, were gut wrenching losses. We had to put them down on the same day after they contracted Parvo. Our hearts nearly broke.

I was content to be dog free, but was summarily out voted. To be fair, when Mr. D found the first half of the idiot twins at the shelter they were so cute, as puppies are wont to be, it was my idea to get the second idiot twin, a decision I get to regret for about twenty years. It was a rebound thing, what can I say?!

Those two morons couldn't be any dumber, thus Mr. D and I decided they were the last. For forever. I had no problem agreeing with that. Seriously I'm not a dog fan, but life has a funny way of intervening.

I was having a really rough day on the second of September, and my thoughts were troubled. I went with a friend to the Home Depot to help her with a project, but also to quell the voices in my head. We were looking at flooring when these two women strolled by with a shopping cart full of boxer/pit puppies. Puppies are cute, but they always turn into annoying dogs so I kind of stood back while my friend commented on the cart of cuteness.

Suddenly the only boy sat up and looked at me with the kindest eyes, and all of the troublesome feelings went away. I picked him up and instantly fell in love.

I brought him home.

Mr. D. was understandably unhappy to see the furry baby in my arms and kept waiting for the punchline. To his credit, if he had done the same thing I would have lost my shiz. However, he knows I'm not one to bring an animal home on a whim even though that's exactly what it looks like.

I can hear my sister in law losing her mind right now. She screams at the thought of a dog crossing her yard, but I have no regrets. Anytime I feel the niggle of sadness he's right there. He follows me everywhere, and he's smart. He's learned in three weeks what the idiot twins still can't manage at a year. Mr. D. complains that I spoil Gus, but how often does one find comfort in such an unexpected place?

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Like Gus.

The Blame Game...

It's a fun game when you're blaming other people, but it starts to get weird when everyone is blaming themselves.

See, what had happened was...

My family went to Utah this summer to see my brother, J.D. and his family. It was awesome. We slept in the living room on our fat air mattress. It was like a week long sleep over. We went hiking up a mountain, and hiking up another mountain and then to add a little variety, we went hiking up a mountain that led to a cave. A very narrow cave, I might add. A very narrow cave with a fault line running through the middle. It gives me chills just to remember it. Also, for the first time in my life I actually did walk uphill both ways. It was so very, very wrong.

Anyway, I digress.

Whilst on our trip we had the opportunity to spend time with some dear friends who decided to head for higher ground and left the great state of Texas leaving us all alone, but we're not bitter (maybe we're still a little bitter). This has what to do with the Blame Game you ask? Hold on I'm gettin' there.

We spent one evening with my friend Montie who was watching her sister's three kids so she could go out with her husband for their anniversary. The evening was going along nicely, Sharknado II was in my very near future and all was right with the world when we heard the soul piercing cry of a ruined evening come from the basement.

The youngest boy, barely eighteen months had crawled up in a chair and then promptly fell off. And bit a lovely hole in his tongue.

It bled and bled and bled, and I remembered why I changed my mind about nursing school. So. Much. Blood.

After twenty minutes of blood gushery Montie and I put the boy into the car and took him to the emergency care clinic around the corner. I drove while she comforted (and papertoweled his mouth) in the back seat. As we neared the clinic she declared tat the accident was her fault as she shouldn't have left the chair in the basement. I reminded her it was called an accident for a reason.

Mr. D called while we were waiting for the doctor to tell me that one by one each of the children came to claim responsibility for the accident. That's seven kids. There was a lot of blame floating around the mountains of Utah that night, but do you know who really is at fault? The parents. If they had never gotten married he wouldn't have fallen out of that chair. Happy anniversary Cam and Matt.

By the way, they (Cam and Matt) just added to their brood. Congratulations and welcome to the jungle Mia!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Colonoscopy? I'll Take Two...

Just kidding! One was enough.

So here's the thing. As one ages, ones body ceases to function as it did before. Things that once were easy and regular become painful and...not so regular. Sometimes this happens when one has borne many children, sometimes it's an obstruction. There are many reasons why, but it's a good idea (for the sake of peace of mind) to be able to cross some of those possibilities off the list.

This is my story. I'll spare you the details, and just say that my plumbing isn't working like it should. So I went to a professional. As I had exhausted all over the counter remedies, we skipped to the end and scheduled a colonoscopy.

Prepping for this procedure takes at least twenty four hours. We begin by eating only jello, popsicles (without pulp), broth, and coffee or tea (which I don't drink) and soda. This may sound fun to begin with, but there's only so much blue jello a person can take.

Around noon we take a Dulcolax. If you don't know what that does go Google it. Or ask a parent. Then around six we begin drinking a large jug of a juice called "Golytly" (Ha! That's funny because it's not pleasant at all). We can stop drinking the juice once everything comes out clear. Everything.

The next morning, we head to the hospital where we put on a paper gown, and awesome socks with grabby junk on the bottom so we won't slip and crack our skulls. A disposable heart monitor is taped to our finger, and a disposable hose is fed into our gown to keep us warm. We blow up like the Staypuffed marshmallow man. We find this quite funny. We understand the need for disposable everything, but the hose confuses us because it never touches us. We ask the nurse why and she tells us it's to "cut down on the cooties". We find this comical as well.

We have an I.V. put in our arm where we see we are now sporting a large bruise because apparently we "bruise easily." We remove all of our jewelry and hand it over to our spouse and then we are wheeled into the procedure room. A tube is placed in our nose to help us breathe because that tends to stop when placed under anesthesia. We think the tube smells gross.

We exchange witty banter with the staff until a white, cream looking substance is pushed into our I.V. We see spots and have enough time to exclaim "wow!" before our spouse is waking us up, and asking us nonsensical questions. We ask him when he started speaking French, and he looks at us strangely. We are told by the nurse that we "shouldn't drive or make any legal decisions for the next twenty four hours." This is funny also so we laugh.

We change back into our street clothes then are wheelchaired to the door where our spouse brings the van. We hit Chick-Fil-A on the way home for our first meal in thirty six hours then head home and sleep the medication off.

Congratulations! You have survived your first colonoscopy. And because you have opened that door, even if you are perfectly healthy, you now get to have it done every five years for the rest of your life. You're welcome.

How I Love/ Hate Technology...

For the past couple of months, Mr. D has been dancing around like a nervous puppy in anticipation of our phone upgrades. I, on the other hand, am not so excited. Cell phones and I have this love/hate thing that we just can't get past.

It happens every time. We meet in a crowded store. I cautiously cross the room to get know him better. Promises are made, so many, many promises of how my life will be better, fuller should I let him in. I'm always hesitant, I've been hurt before, but he's so attractive. Pretty things don't ever lie, do they? My fears, while never gone, settle down and I feel like, maybe this time, it will be different.

And for a while it is. Promises made are kept, and I feel more and more at ease. I trust more, so I give more until...

My trust is repaid with a slap to the face. Everything I entrusted to him is gone. He loses everything I gave him, and hides the rest. He lies and tells me he is unable to perform the tasks he had accomplished just weeks, even days before. We go back for help to see if we can repair what we've lost, but all we can do is start over. It's more painful than I can bear. Everything we had is gone. I have to rebuild again, and I decide it just isn't worth it.

I seek comfort in other places, keep dates in other calendars, make notes where he can't get to them, hide contacts where he can never find them. There's no music for us either. We only interact when it's absolutely necessary, and only with contempt. We sleep in different rooms. Eventually, we become comfortable in our dysfunction, we feel we can be happy in spite of our troubles.

Until the day of upgrade.

D.P.'s (Newest) Near-Death Experience..

My brakes were squeaking. They tend to do that. Apparently, I am rough on my brakes. Mr. D. hasn't had to buy brake pads for almost five years because of some warranty. So when they start to squeak he just takes the old pads off and trades them for new ones. He was "fixin to" change them soon.

Apparently that was also a problem.

I was driving my squeaky wheeled self around town a few weeks ago when, after dropping the kids off at P.E.) I decided to go to my happy place, Bahama Bucks. Best. Snowcones. Ever.

Anyway, as I pulled into the turn lane I heard a loud "pop" and my brake pedal went all the way to the floor. And I was still moving. Realizing I was about to sail into traffic, I went ahead and punched the gas making it into the parking lot before the next wave of cars came by.

I nursed myself to a stop amid the painful groans of metal on metal. I still shudder at the memory of that sound, the sound of money being torn from our hands. I whipped out my handy dandy cell phone and Googled a mechanics shop. Thankfully there was a shop just around the corner about half a mile down.

So I carefully left the parking lot (goodbye Bahama Bucks) and practically crawled down the road to my destination. I pulled into the lot amidst another metal protest from my busted brakes. As I handed the keys over I could have sworn I saw dollar signs pop out of the guys eyes.

Sure enough, he comes out forty minutes later, giddy with excitement as he led me back to the shop to show me all of the things that needed to be replaced.

I'm not super educated in mechanical jargon, but I know enough to understand the difference between "need" and "greed". Even still this adventure was going to cost us an arm and a leg. Which I guess I don't mind because the van is paid off, and I only need one arm.

I was promised my van would be repaired by the evening, so after I made sure my kids had a way home, I embarked on the three mile walk back to the house. Now, let me just stop all of the gasps of protest right now. I have many friends who love my guts, and I know that anyone of them would have dropped whatever they were doing to come and get me, but I needed that walk. I needed to contemplate my life, the vastness of the universe, and the depth of my belly button. Also, my aft end is growing wider so I needed the exercise.

It was a fun walk, except for the rig that flew past and salted me with enough gravel to remove the top layer of my epidermis. That wasn't very nice.

I made it home in one piece, and my van was ready by the evening, as promised. Hopefully, we won't have to replace anything else for a while. Since we've already repaired the A.C., and replaced the battery.

Is that naïve?