Monday, February 28, 2005

Prized Possessions


From Promises Journal Jar: Are there any family heirlooms in your possession?  Tell about them and how you acquired them.


As most of you already know, my Father wasn't the best role model and there really will never be a Hallmark Card that encompasses all the truths (good and bad) about him as a Father, a Son and Husband......but he was my Dad...... and I loved him....... flaws and all.

The one thing I will always will be able to be proud of him for, was his service in the Air Force. He was America's Soldier and earned my respect for that. I was only 16 when he passed and didn't put much into his career as a soldier, but as I got older I saw the sacrifices he made, I understood the sacrifices my family made for him to do his duty and serve his country.

I was asked by his Mother when she was trying to get her estate in order, what of hers would I like to have when she was a hard question to be asked because I didn't want to think of her passing.......I'm not very good at saying good-bye and letting go....She asked if I wanted her spoon collection.......I'm not a spoon collecting kinda I politely declined.....I told her when I thought of something I would let her know and it was left at that.

Some time had passed and again I was again wondering how my life would of been if my Father was still present and that always leads me back to his unexpected death at 41, then the funeral that followed and the procession of memories that flood back to me with the tears as hot as the day he died. I thought of the folding of the American Flag (which each fold and tuck symbolizing something while the Soldiers are readying the casket for burial) (American Legion)

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life  The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.   The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks and who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world. The fourth fold represents our weakernature; for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.” The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded. The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

The flag is normally given to the surviving spouse of the deceased soldier, next in line is the first born of the deceased soldier, when there isn't a spouse, then it is presented to the parent(s) of the deceased soldier. Due to my Parents divorce the flag should of gone to my oldest Sibling, my brother, but the Honor Guards erroneously gave it to my Father's Mother.... I now knew what I would like from my Grandmother upon her passing. 

It kind of became a family fued among my Father's family that I asked for the flag, My Grandmother told me that she would have to ask his remaining siblings before it could be given to me.....I personally think a persons CHILD preceeds sibling ties and was upset that the Flag was not given to me when I asked for it.

The flag was finally turned over to my Brother in 2003 without my knowledge, and I later found out he was told not to tell me, because I would be all right the flag should of been given to him in the first place but that is water under the bridge....He wasn't aware of my want, if not need to have my Father's flag.

On my 40th Birthday(2003) my Brothers gift to me was my Father's flag..(tears again........sorry) my sisters gift to me was a beautiful oak display box with his named engraved on it........I was told to sit down and close my eyes.....I'm thinking "Why all the drama, but ok" I can't even begin to tell you how much love I felt when I opened my eyes and there before me was my Father's flag. His Flag along with his dog tags keeps my father alive for's something tangible I can hold onto when I feel like Daddy's lost little is something I can pass onto the beautiful granchildren he was never to is a testament to how much my Bother and Sister love me.......he was their Father too but they loved me enough to let me be the Keeper of the that with a few of my Children's things (locks of baby hair) are my prized possesions.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The child returns.........

The 19 year old child has returned to the rat (blonde) named "Alice" with her...(augh!) After having a quiet breakfast with just my husband the phone rings and it's my daughter, with trembling voice," Mom....When can I come home?" at first the question caught me off guard, I'm thinking why is she asking me if she can 'Stop by'...then I rewind the question in my head and realize she is really saying "Mom ..Can I move back home?" I ask if she is alright because I can tell she has been crying, and she says "Yes" I then ask because of her one word answer, (a trick us Mother's are clued in on early)"What happened"...silence......."Can you talk"........"No" is her response, I say come home right now! we hang up.

Then the "WARRIOR" in me kicks in, I call right back........"Do you need me to come help you get your things together?".......... She says still sniffling, "Please" I quickly grab the cell phone, my truck keys and tell my husband better get some bail money together, because "MOMMA" is gonna hurt someone if someone hurt one of her babies!

The house she moved into was her friends house, who's parents are going though an ugly divorce, the parents live in different houses now with the kids alone in the main house but the Dictator of a father still shows up at the house from time to time and since he doesn't have the wife to push around anymore he goes after the children and their friends.....I guess yesterday morning was my daughter's turn. He was lucky he left the house before the speed of light because that's all it took for me to get there.

I can't tell you how many times when those kids were growing up, the Mother and the Father would get into it and the police would be called and the kids were always asked is there a safe place you can go while all this blows over (Parents fighting) and a squad car would show up in my driveway for the kids to be dropped off here. My home has always had an open door policy when it came to being a safe haven.....I knew what it was to grow up in a sometimes happy sometimes violent home......alcohol related of course....and since there was no pattern to my Fathers alcohol addiction there was no way of guessing what was coming was always coming,  but we just never knew when.

I was not happy when my child told me this was where she was moving into, but she was almost 19 and we all know there is no stopping a child at that age....and a lesson or two or three learned along the way can hopefully stop her from making a bad decision later in life. She lasted exactly 1 month and two weeks out of the nest.

Now there is a not so small matter of a "RAT" being in my house............anybody want a rat?????????????

Tuesday, February 22, 2005



Seagull:   Se Habla Espanol (Do you understand spanish?)

Kim:   un poco ( A little bit)

Kim:   ¿usted habla inglés? (Do you understand English?)

Seagull:   un poco


Seagull:  ¿cuidado para compartir algo de su desayuno? (Care to share some of your breakfast?)

Kim:  ¡Toqúelo y le desplumaré tengo gusto de un pollo! (touch it and I'll pluck you like a chicken!)

Seagull: Adios!

Kim: Adios!

lol lol lol

Mexican Out Door Market


This is the Mexican Out Door Market up in the hills, where you could buy anything from clothes, to jewelry to prescription medications (without a prescription) They had knock off designer bags along with free shots of tequilla in every booth. The salesmen were very aggressive with you outside the booths in trying to get you to come in, you had to be very stern if not rude to get them to stop pulling on you and to get out of your way. It was very colorful there and the smells of the kitchens was enough to make you mouth water. One of the girls bought a poncho for $25 bucks and just 3 shops down they were trying to sell us another one for $160! Oh we had our game faces on and of course we won....I got him to come down to $20! lol talk about mark up! lol

Ships Flags (abstract)


I thought this shot would look great taken out of context.  I like the series of lines and cables with just a shot of color here and there.


Port of Encenada Mexico Baja California

Look at the size of that Mexican flag!

Mexican Dancer


Mexican Dancer who performed outside of building dedicated to the natural fountain that is made when the ocean rushes in between rock formations

Desperate Housewives Cruise ...finale

How sad and deflated everyone awoke Monday.......our fun was coming to an end.......back to the land of "MOM!" being screamed at the top of sombody's lungs.....back to being "Hun" was nice to actually be called by my first name for awhile.

I'm going to miss Alfred's rich Jamacian accent asking me if there is anything else I need....I'm going to miss walking into the dining room and having food I didn't have to prepare there, I'm going to miss the Ya Ya Sisterhood of having my girlfriends at my side.....forever at the ready to cause a lil mischief....but........a few things I won't be missing now.........(Now for the things that I was getting a lil tired of.....yes! even Utopia has it's pitfalls!)

I won't miss Sandy calling her husband on the 2 way (We all have nextels) every hour or so.........I kid you not! Talk about seperation anxiety......and of course her Husband would call another Husband and so on......they were more informed of our comings and goings that I was! Now I know why my Husband 2 wayed me and asked if I was behaving? my response....I think, we are behaving....or was it because he knew me sooooo well! lol

I won't miss Laurie (the sister-in-law) whining........."There's no sun! I need sun!"........geesh you can get 'sun' in a tanning booth! I had to remind her.........look where you are girl! We are in the Pacific Ocean on a ship catering to our every need...on our way to Baja Califonia Quit whining already or I'm going to push you over board!

I won't miss sharing one small teeny tiny bathroom with 4 other women.....I won't miss having only one outlet!.......I won't miss waking up with that 'fuzzy' feeling in my head every morning that I am sure was alcohol induced every night!

I won't miss living out of a suitcase and having a limited supply of my shoes! LOL.......I won't miss the late night "last cigarette" the 3 smokers had to have in the bathroom everynight in a no smoking room


would I do it again?........................




In a a New York minute........absolutely!


We are already planning our next trip! lol lol lol sign of the "rainman" child on the plane home........I was sooooo dreading I would see that face.....hear that voice all the way home again!..........MY BAD! lol lol lol

Monday, February 21, 2005

Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #48: When Pets Attack!  

By the end of the story you won't be able to tell who really attacked who!!!! lol

  Cat-napping in process  

 For those of you who don't already know, I have my own business....I started a business 7 years ago mostly out of boredom, and for some crazy reason I didn't think raising 4 kids gave me enough to do....I started my own Pet Sitting business. I have a clientel list totaling 75, it's just like having grandchildren, you get to love the pets, play with the pets then send them home when it's time! Some of the animals vacation at my house while their 'Other" family is away on vacation or business and some of the animals stay in their own home and I visit them 3 to 4 times a day as requested by their 'other" parents.......I'm kinda like a Foster Mommy! lol....This story is about "Lucky" a Golden retriever and the "Cat" that lives with him! lol  

 Lucky is a sweet, adorable and very affectionate golden retriever that I take care of in his home while is family is away, they always told me there was a cat that lived there with him, but I never seen a cat......Oh there was evidence that a cat lived there alright, I put food and water in a dish every morning and every night the food was gone, there was even evidence left behind in the litter box, but still no signs of a cat.  

On the last trip, on the last day of me taking care of the pets, I just returned walking Lucky and entered the house through the big garage door, just as I closed the inside house door on lucky for the night, the over head garage light went out and I heard a meow from inside the garage........Uh oh! Somehow the cat got into the garage while I was either taking Lucky out or brining Lucky back in.....So here I am, in the dark, trying to get this cat to come to me,  you see the light inside the garage was burnt out, so only the overhead garage door light worked for a few minutes at a time whenever the door opened or closed, so I am crawling around the garage floor, saying, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty" and this cat will not come anywhere near me, how do I know? I hear the bell around it's neck going back and forth under their truck still parked in the garage.......then I see a shadow dart outside........uh oh Bigger trouble! The cat has left the building!  

 Now this cat is sitting in the bushes that spreads through out the whole front of the house, I am getting the "chit" scratched out of me but not only the bushes but this cat too! My arms are all cut up, my face is bleeding, and I have all kinds of foliage stuck in my hair and I am now covered in dirt! I finally get this cat, who I have never seen before locked safely in my arms and when I open up the house door to put the cat back in.........their cat is sitting inside the doorway looking back out at me! No wonder this 'other' cat is attacking me.......he doesn't live there!!!!!  

Now as I'm wrestling this 'other'cat to try to read it's name and phone number on the tag around it's neck by only the light given off by my cell phone.........first call......"Do you have cat named Tinkerbell?" we don'! (How rude!) a few more minutes spent wrestling with this cat again to get the right phone number, more scratches, more of my blood drawn!...second call.....teenage boy answers........"Do you have a cat named Tinkerbell?"....."Uhhhh yes".... "Ok, I found you cat and I'm at such and such address, could you please come and get your cat?"........"No lady, just let her go, she's an outside cat, she can get home on her own".......Click (GRRRRRR!)  

So I put the cat down and back into the bushes she runs and I return to my truck a lil beaten and bloody and to tell you the truth a lil worn out over the wrestling match! I walk into my own home a few minutes later and my husand says, 'What the hell happened to you?" I said, "you wouldn't believe me if I told ya".....he leaves it at that! lol  

I find out the next day......right after I pulled away, Lucky's family pulledup, thought it was their cat too and went through the same ordeal I did!!!! lol  

Now I know where that old expression came from.........."LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN!"

Desperate Houswives (6)

While the other girls went and had their breakfast, I jumped in the shower, with 5 girls in one suite, bathroom time is at a premium, not to menton there is only one eletrical outlet PER ROOM!!!! I was able to join them for one more quick cup of coffee and then it was off to the Lido deck for some fun in the almost sun!

It was funny to see some of the other people that frequented the club up already, everybody was wearing dark sunglasses but a few started in on bloody mary's already.....I can't do that anymore....I need at least a 18 hour break in between my wild side's hell getting old huh?? lol

There was an older gentleman server that pretty much took care of us every night, at first I don't think he cared for us too much, but we grew on him! And while we are all laying their in our lounge chairs in 'day' clothes he approached us not knowing it was us, I guess we look different in day light! lol and I slowly raised my sun glasses and said, "It's us again Alfred!" and he put on a great big grin and finally agreed to take a few pictures with us! He called us the 'crazy girls' lol....I laughed and said, "Charlie might of had Angels but Alfred got stuck with the Crazy Girls!" lol Some how even in the cloudy sky I ended up with sun burn! This is why I don't sunbathe!

We decided to have dinner in the formal dining room, so I called our friends cabin and had them join us again, after dinner we decided to go catch the Stand Up Comedian's act....we were late of course so he made a big whoooopdie Do about us arriving and taking our we were holding up the show! I knew then we were in I was ready for him! lol

He asked the audience if there was anybody from the south there and of course 3 of us raised our hands......even though we all reside in the northern city of Chicago, one was born and raised in Texas, the other was born in West Virginia but lived in Texas and I lived there once too for about 2 years. So we raised our hands.......he asked, "Where from?"........I answered,"Chicago" (The look on his face was priceless!) he said,"So you think Chicago is in the south?"......I said, "If you were standing in Canada it was!".........He said, "Bitch!"...........I said,"Funny, but I don't remember giving you permission to call me by my first name!" ......he said, "After this show is over, I'm hanging out with those girls"....(pointing to us) big laugh from the audience. He was pretty funny! Later on, we met up with him on our way to the cocktail lounge,  he was sitting with friends, and as we walked by he yelled, "There is those Southern Chicago women again!" Of course we had to join him for a drink! lol

We ended up at the club again and after awhile, some of the girls decided to call it a night, but Annette and I went up on the Lido deck and found a Country Band performing, so we kicked off our shoes and danced under the stars the rest of the night......I tried to get Alfred to line dnce with us but he said.... he was to old and we were to wild.... (lol) in his thick Jamacian accent.....He always tried to sound gumpy but there was always a twinke in his eye!

Monday was coming to quickly and we weren't ready to jump ship :(

To be continued

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Desperate Housewives Cruise (5)

After a bit more shopping and a bit more dancing in the streets we finally were driven back to where we could get back on board the ship, after presenting our ID's and our Sign and Sail passes which were encoded with our information and a picture of us and one last stop to leave any alcohol (bottles) you might of purchased in Mexico (later to be returned to you when cruise was over) we boarded and headed back to our cabin to get ready for dinner, tonight we were having our dinner in the formal dining room with our new friends from California.

After showers were complete and the cabin was over powered with the scent of our perfumes and hair sprays....we actually had to have our cabin door open during this process! We were ready for dinner. The nice thing about traveling with girlfriends, is if you forgot to pack something or wanted to borrow something to problem! we swapped everything from clothes to shoes to jewelry......felt like High School again but without all the drama! lol There were plenty of places on board this night to have your pictures taken (professionally) with all kinds of back grounds and settings.....we opted for the one with the cruise ship in the background and some of the other girls had personal shots taken between to pedestals with roses, I chose not to since I hate having my picture taken, I'm much more comfortable on the 'other' side of the camera.

Dinner was excellent and I even tried escargot.....never thought I would eat snails but they were surprisingly ok, I expected them to be a lil slimey like sauteed mushrooms but they were more 'meat like' in texture....would I ever order them again?.......No, but at least I tried them....still can't get over that! lol I'm sucha a picky eater as it is! lol

After dinner our new friends joined us for cocktails then we all decided it was time to karaoke..... and sing our little hearts out, we did! It was much like watching the beginning of American Idol.......applauding the talented singers and there was this 20 something couple that could give the artists on the R and B charts a run for their money! They were fantastic!!! and then there were the ones that we sat stoned faced (ok sometimes not so stoned face were a few giggles escaped!) inwardly cringing at those that thought they could about nails on a chalkboard! yikesssssss! Afterwards we hit the casino again.

Ever since we started out on this lil journey the number 13 kept coming up, it was the number in the row of seats on our first flight out, it was the number given to us when we boarded to find our boarding pictures later, it came up a few more times where I can't remember the details so we thought lets give it a try on the roulette wheel.....we put $20 bucks down on it, the wheel went round and comes the lil white comes the number 13..........the ball hops into 13....then with one hop....into 24 it slides! drats! That would of been something huh?? $720.00 bucks on just one bet! The night ended up in the dance club again and we paid for it again the following morning.....I'm getting to old for this! lol

The next day was to be spent at sea, so I woke up early as usual and washed up a bit, put on my swear suite again and hit the tracks then breakfast, the other girls are not morning people let's just say, so I loaded up on caffein sitting up on the lido deck,  people watching for awhile.....when I returned to the cabin a little later , I brought back coffee for the girls as we got ready for the day.....Hmmm what kind of trouble can we get into today??? lol

To be continued....

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Desperate Housewife Cruise (4)

In the previous entry I forgot to mention that the first thing I saw when I woke up Saturday morning was a small, fast gun boat cruising at a fast pace towards us then right up next to us......I thought Welcome to Mexico girls!

Like I had said in the previous entry, I quickly washed up, threw on my sweat suit camera in hand and went up to the Lido Deck. (open deck) As soon as the doors opened I heard the seals! We were just about into port and they were playing in the water, I had my camera ready....pushed the button....nothing happened....pushed the button again...........again nothing happened...I never changed the roll of APS film and this one was already shot up!....I know... DUH!!! By the time I made it back down to the cabin and back up to the lido deck we were already in port, no sight or sounds of the seals.....GRRRRR!

The town of Encenada looked beautiful with its green hills and valley's polk-a-dotted with small homes high in the hill tops, it had to have the biggest Mexican flag I have ever seen! Today was the day of going into port to do some shopping, we had all agreed with the recent travel advisory and threat to American tourists that we would decide if we were going to go into town by how we felt once we docked, our threat level seemed low and after talking to the Purser, we all felt it was safe enough to go into town, but not to go any further on any excursions. Ha! Once in town we heard about a quided trip up into the hills to a day market and we were in!

The street vendors in town hit you as soon as you leave the safety of the building which was loaded with stuff to buy too. We learned we had to be aggressive in saying NO! to these people or they would keep at you.....we later realized this was good training for dealing with the day market people! They were worse then a pushy Mother-in-law! They literally were grabbing at you and circling you with the lure of free tequilla shooters to get you to go into their make shift tents, I finally felt it was time to bring out the Not-So-Soft-Side of me! lol With 'the look' accompanied with only one NO THANK YOU! we came to a peaceful understanding! lol We only spent our money in the shops with the polite people on the street. We were all struck with the poverty these people lived in during the raod trips up and down the hills....The average income there was $5.00 A WEEK! They rely heavily on the kindness of tourists....every street corner had an elderly woman clutching a small baby asking for money.....and of course we were all bleeding hearts when it came to some one pimping their Grandma and their baby to beg for was a good day for those Grandmother's while we were in town.

The place were they set this street market up was high in the hills where the cliff formations created a nature small fountain like spray of water when the ocean rushed in, this was supposed to be the main draw of this place.....they built a round, white clay building with windows and seating all around and since they didn't have any plumbing that far up you had to pay 50 cents to use the washroom, this will forever crack me up! Not only did you have to pay 50 cents to pee you were rationed just 15 sheets of toilet paper and they even had an armed police man outside the door for what .......Pee crashers???? lmaooooo I still break out in a case of the giggles when I think about this! After shopping we hit the bar had a few beers and pee'd for free! lol

On the little bus that took us to the market we met a really nice couple that were native Californian's. (we ended up having them join our table for dinner back on the ship, and we clubbed together too.... the Husband thought we were all nuts, but he laughed along with us!) They were celebrating Her birthday and that is when I remembered that it was MY BIRTHDAY! Silly Me! We all went to lunch at a place called Mango Mango where we were given free Margarita's.....I think the more booze they gave away the more money I think they thought they would get from you in shopping! lol This is where our second shot at notoriety came into play........Yes we danced on the bar, we formed a conga line and made other patrons dance along with us and my Sister-in-law earned her first string of beads! lol

To be continued

Friday, February 18, 2005

Desperate Housewife Cruise (3)

I figure I better write at a much faster pace before I loose too many of the good little details! lol

There are several places to dine on the cruise ship, even though we had signed up for the early dinner 5:45 pm in the formal Dining Room, we didn't feel like going back to the cabin and freshening up from our long flight out there, and we sure as hell didn't feel like putting on our formal wear just yet, so we chose to eat in the Paradise Room, it was up on the lido deck and it had an indoor and an outdoor buffet, where you can eat under the stars if you wish, but it was a little to chilly that first night to eat outside.

It wasn't until we were seated and enjoying our dinner when the ship finally set sail, and for the first time I actually felt the ship sway, I decided it was a good thing that I had used my motion sickness patch which was small enough that it hid behind my ear. It was a weird sensation to feel your body being pulled back and forth in opposite directions and there wasn't anything you could do to stop it. I didn't feel sick just a lil weird.

Jims first rule was to not go out on deck by myself at night, but I couldn't help it! I wanted to see how dark it was out there and if I could hear the noise of the was surreal to say the least. I decided to call Jim on our Nextel 2 way radio to see if for 1, I could reach him and 2, to tell him I could definately feel the swaying, he didn't think I would and that the ship was large enough for me to not even feel like I was on water....but boy! I felt it! lol Now this is the same man who told me to NOT only go out on the deck by myself but to stay away from the rail if I did, and now he's telling me to look over the rail to see how high the waves are!! EXCUSE ME??? LOOK OVER THE RAILING??? ARE YOU CRAZY?? DID YOU TAKE OUT A HUGE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY ON ME OR WHAT?? He quickly came to his senses when I reminded him that if something happens to me he will be stuck raising the last 2 of our children on his own and one is a 13 year old girl on the cusp of pmsing....does he really wanna deal with that without me??? He said, "GET BACK INSIDE RIGHT NOW!" lol lol lol

After dinner we took off to the Casino to see if lady luck was smiling at us and of course she had her back to all of us that night, so we ended up at the night club........I think I may have 'sprained' my groove thing on the very first night of activating it again.......Alls I know was I was moving kinda slow in the morning as a put on my sweats to go for a morning jaunt around the ship and search of a dear old friend.......COFFEE!

To be continued

Desperate Housewife Cruise (2)

Since this was the first time in Los Angeles for the other girls, they were popping in and out of the sun roof trying to shoot off as many pictures as one can take going 60+ miles per hour, James the limo driver was wonderful, he put up with the grey poupon jokes, the standing up in the limo, the sing along to James Brown "I Feel Good" blasting out loud on the stereo system, and since he wasn't able to get out luggage all in the trunk of the stretch limo he had two suitecases up front with him. He even volunteered to ditch the limo and be our Chaperone the rest of the trip! lol (I think, he thought we may have needed one!) lol We were almost sad to see the dock because we were having so much fun in the limo!

The ship, 'The Paradise' was much bigger than I thought it was going to be so I was very happy about that, James took care of the luggage as we made way to check in, which was one of the huge bubble domes that look like a massive golf ball stuck half way in the ground, we were told by the man that checked our baggage that it was once used by to store a plane and memorabilia from the estate of the late Howard Hughes. By the time we all were cleared for entry even the lady that entered all our information was cracking up with us and wanted to come along too....we laughed even harder on our way off the ship, because even though she booked thousands of other people that weekend she remembered us and stopped us to make sure we had a good time.........but of course darling! lol

I had never been on a cruise ship before and of course I still had visions of the Titanic floating through my head, the entry deck was also the same deck as our suite and the view inside the ship was breathtaking! you could look straight up (atrium like) to the top floor and it was decorated in berle type wood with Faberge jeweled type turquoise finials at the peeks of everything. The main floor had a round bar in the middle with a platform behind it with a Cellist, a violinist and a pianist playing beautifully...again I thought of the Titanic! It had a small grand stair case fanning out two sides that lead up to the glass elevators and our state room was just far enough down the main hall to keep the 'lobby' noise away from us.

We made sure our luggage was in the room before heading back to the bar for a bon voyage cocktail.......I think because there wasn't any grand send off like you see in the movies with loved ones still on the shore to see you off and you throwing streamers over the side to say good bye somehow had to be September 11th related. We didn't mind we waved good bye to the seagulls instead! lol The ship wasn't expected to set sail for a few more hours anyway! lol

We made our way to the American Bar which was one level up from us, it was the only place besides the bars and the casino (which was closed) you could smoke, I only had one other non smoker with me, but we made due. The American Bar was not open for business yet, but you could enter to smoke and in the center of this bar was a circular bar made to look like a huge round white piano...fake keys and all with a white baby grand hidden in the center....this is were our first act of notoriety took place.....we all climbed up and began dancing and I did my best Michelle Pfeiffer impersonation in the "Fabulous Baker Boys" movie! Either little did we know or little did we care plenty of people had seen us and we were asked the rest of the long weekend, "Weren't you the girls dancing on the piano bar?"........Yup that was us! Ü

To be continued......

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Desperate Housewife Cruise (1)

Ok, we flew out of Midway Airport at some un-Godley hour with a connecting flight out of Atlanta, Georgia. (Don't ask me why we flew in a south east direction first, to then fly west, I didn't book the flights and we flew for free) We all were totally sleep deprived due to staying at a Hotel the night before closer to the airport so we could all travel together by Limo in the morning, We were scolded in the hotel bar at sometime due to the contents of our conversation and for the use of some profanity...........Oops....we bad!

We next continued the party in the suite after the bar closed down at 1:00 am only to have security called on us again because we all broke out in a case of the giggles around 2:00 am....Sleep happened somewhere around 2:30 with a wake up call at needless to say we were still a lil rowdy on the way to the airport, The flight into Altlanta was uneventful.....the flight into LA was the flight from hell for me at

Up one seat and to the right of me was a lil girl about the age of 13, and she decided to be my new best friend the whole 5 hour trip! Think Rainman trapped in a 13 year old girls body......Hi! Hi! Hi! Whats your name? Where you going? Who you with? Take off your sunglasses I want to see what color eyes you have! Are we almost there yet? do you see land yet, you know that there are people up in first class that are going to the grammy's (I swear I saw MC HAMMER! lol) Do you know what elevation we are at?.......The whole time I'm thinking this is why I left on this trip in the first place was to get away from my kids and now I have this sweet annoying child firing questions at me and I even tried to pretend to sleep where she reached back and poked my in the leg saying Hi, Hi Hi all over my girl friends are laughing their butts off and quietly thanking God it's not them.....and I just want to parachute off this plane....her Father sat right next to her the whole time, I'm sure silently grinning to himself better that lady than him....I think my ears started to bleed half way through the flight!

I was never so happy to see California.......She was definately challenging my sunny disposition, but I couldn't be rude to her, it's not my style......I only bring out 'Bitch' on an as need basis and this lil girl didn't need to meet that part of me.....but that part of me was lurking just under that plastered smile on my face.

We left that gate in a hurry and went downstairs to meet our limo driver and retrieve our luggage...happy to see everyones luggage arrived right along with us. I cracked up when I asked the Limo driver his Was James! So I finally got to say......"Home James!" and of course it was a fully stocked bar in the limo, so with the sun roof open on a day that was filled with cloudes and a few sprinkles, everytime we pulled up next to another limo we rolled down our window and said. "Pardon me......but do you have any Grey Poupon?" I'm sure we annoyed everyone, but we sure laughed alot, James enjoyed us so much that he asked if I would request him for our return trip back to LAX.......I said SURE!!!!!

To be continued

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I thought I would give you a glimpse of what was going on at my house while Momma was away..........Poor Poor Darling Husband.....giggle giggle


Sometime during Thursday morning after Hubby went off to work and he left our soon to be 19 year old in charge of getting our 2 lil ones off to school, when a pipe in the crawl space ruptured, now the usually bright 18 year old thought that someone was either in the shower or a toilet must be running somewhere in the house and left the house as soon as the bus picked up the two lil ones.......Hubby comes home from work to the sound of rushing water and goes to investigate the noise and see's old faithful in the crawel space drowning the floor boards in the living room........OH VEY! Hubby spends all night fixing the sump pump and then drying out the crawl space all day Friday.


Friday the almost 19 year old cooks dinner for her boyfriend and leaves the kitchen a total mess.......When Hubby see's her again, words are said but she promises to come home and straighten up the kitchen Saturday Morning. (She is the one still experimenting living outside the house but still likes to eat at home from time to time..GRRRRRR!) Needless to say she doesn't show up to do as promised so Hubby enlists the help of our 13 year old daughter.....beautiful, talented child that she is still gets confused with ordinary things, you need to explain in great detail every thing you want her to do, kinda like she doesn't have improvisational skills and in life you have to learn to improvise........Hubby tells her to load the dishwasher and run it, but does NOT tell her which detergent to use, so instead of using the detergent strictly for dishwashers.....Dory (Nickname for 13 yr old daughter) puts in dishwashing liquid.........15 minutes later my kitchen is a SEA OF BUBBLES about 2.5 feet high........Hubby drags out shop vac and goes to town busting bubbles, DORY is right behind him with mop and floor rags....Now Hubby has to take DORY to a meeting in an upcoming fund raiser she is entertaining at (Yes! she was picked to be part of the entertainment at the audition she did a few weekends ago!) So hubby and the 2 lil ones leave...Enter 18 year old who has no idea what happend and while Jim and the kids are gone, she adds the right detergent to the dishwasher (already cleaned dishes mind out) and leaves the house, but since alot of the wrong liquid was still in its system again Hubby walks into a SEA OF BUBBBLES.....

Sunday my 12 year old son becomes ill with slight temperature and a sore throat, Sunday night he's a lil worse.....but Monday hubby still sends him to school only to be called to come get him due to 'PINK EYE'

No wonder this man was THRILLED to death to see me come home on Tuesday, once again he has walked a mile in my fuzzy slippers and wonders how I am always able to handle everything as it happens without batting an eye and once again I tell him it's because I will always have him to hold me up.......

If I would of known any of this was going on I might of missed my plane.......accidently of course! lol

Back from my cruise down to Baja California........News at 11


Jose Cuervo (Shelly West)

Oh, it's Sunday morning and the sun is shining,
In my eye that is open, and my head is spinning.
Was the life of the party; I can't stop grinning,
I had too much Tequila last night.

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime.
Did I kiss all the cowboys?
Did I shoot out the lights?
Did I dance on the bar?
Did I start any fights?

Now wait a minute, things don't look too familiar,
And who is this cowboy who's sleepin' beside me?
Well, he's awful cute, but how'd I get his shirt on?
I had too much tequila last night.


Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime.
Did I kiss all the cowboys?
Did I shoot out the lights?
Did I dance on the bar?
Did I start any fights?

Oh, those little shooters, how I love to drink them down.
C'mon, bartender, let's have another round.
Well the music's playing and my spirits are high.
Tomorrow might be painful, but tonight we're gonna fly.


Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime.
Every time we get together, I sure have good time.
You're my friend, you're the best, mi amigo.


Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.
I like to drink you with a little salt and lime.
Did I kiss all the cowboys?
Did I shoot out the lights?
Did I dance on the bar?
Did I start any fights?

Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine.

Tequilla.....Well that's my story.....and I'm stickin to it!

Yes we danced on the tables (and the bar) we conga'd through the town of Encenada, we don't remember meeting half the people that were on a first name basis with us each morning, we have open invites to everybody's homes that we met.

We christened this cruise....."The Desperate Housewife Cruise"

But we all agreed What happened in Mexico....stayed in Mexico!

Everywhere we went we got, "Weren't you the girls that (insert any behavior) and we all said "Yup!!! that was us!"

Gotta love our Husbands .....right??? We know we sure do..... Thanks Guys!!!!!!


PS - I promise to post some pictures as soon as possible from not only my camera but the Girls camera's too!  Right now I'm off to the lol lol

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Goldylocks and the 3 suitcases

I had everything packed on Monday, everything except the things I need that I will need up to my departure later today, it was all packed with care in my smallest suitcase, I mean I am only going away for 5 days right? Then on Tuesday I tried to add the shoes and handbags that I still needed to be packed in there too...........small problem........not enough room for problem I got out the next size suitecase and repacked the clothes, the small travel toiletries added the shoes then the handbags.........there done! 

By Wednesday afternnoon I remembered everything I forgot to pack.........uh oh! medium problem........ran out of room (again).....ok drag out the largest suitcase........carefully repack clothes, put matching shoes into matching handbags when possible, add travel toiletries, add blow dryer with difuser......I can get away with using my Husbands blow dryer until I leave, add curling iron, add straightening iron......hey I'm a versitile girl...I like doing different things with my hair on a daily basis.....packed accessories for all outfits......I might even have room for my pillow with this suitcase! lol Oops almost forgot to add perfume....Chanel #5 for dress up, Davidoff for casual days and then my stand by since High School Halston......I still love that stuff and since I have used it for 25 years I think it's part of my DNA by now! lol

Now alls that I have left to pack is my carry on bag with the things I can not be seperated from in case my other bag gets lost......tooth brush, hair brush, tooth paste, make up bag MY CAMERA and GEAR, a book or two, (not that I plan on reading but just in case), my good jewelry and a couple of little things my two youngest children gave to me so I wouldn't forget them.........AS IF!..........I have stretch marks to always remember them by! lol lol lol


Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Packed and repacked

  OK I've packed and then had to unpack and move on to a bigger suitcase, it's my shoes that are killing me, I have to have shoes and then a handbag to match ever outfit ya know! lol...........all the way down to the accessories! I almost need a separate bag just for my shoes and purses!  

  While surfing the net about where we are going in Baja California on this cruise, I came across a travel advisory for all Americans visiting the northern boarder towns of Mexico......American tourists seem to be the targets for get rich quick schemes of kidnapping, even the unlicensed cab drivers are getting in on the action, they will hold you against your will and make you empty your ATM account before releasing much for a care free excursion huh?    

I think my Husband is weighing the pro's and con's of me being kidnapped and held for a ransom, more closet space for him and no one to tangle up his fishing gear anymore. But he thinks in the end they will release me because I talk to much! lol    

Since it will be just a bunch of us girls, we won't be wandering around as much as we planned on doing, so much for taking off with my camera and going off the beaten path for a few good shots. With my blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin and freckles I will surely stick out like a thumb and a sales woman I met yesterday, who traveled to where we are going in the fall, said her and her husband were marauded by young groups of kids to buy silver where ever they went, they were even chased a few times.     I also read about an American Woman who lived on a house boat and traveled back and forth by sea to where we are going for 20 years who was arrested and held in jail for 18 months for purchasing legal doctor prescribed medications in Mexico (cheaper) in 3 month allotments because of her time at sea. The law in Mexico states that she needed a prescription from a Mexican Doctor not an American one so she was treated as a drug smuggler and the American Consultant would do nothing to help her, her Fiance had to beg every other agency to help get her released and it still took them 18 months to get her into a prisoner exchange program where she could finish her sentence in an American prison where she would at least be given her medications. She was traveling with a 3 month supply of her seizure meds, (which I take) and anti anxiety meds which I will be taking for the first time because of my irrational fear of cruise ships.    

 I'm thinking maybe we should of opted for a cruise to Alaska now.........gulp! lol 

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Marvelous Night for a Moondance

I decided against my Husbands better judgment and went ice fishing with the guys, he seems to have a longer memory than I do........I now remember why I am not an ice fisher woman. It's cold and wet and very very slippery! lol I did manage to pull out a few fish though, even with my frozen fingers and runny nose!   And as usual I either messed up a few of my Husbands things or completely trashed them. He even threatened to squash me into one of the ice fishing holes if I tangled up any more line or lost any more bait without the benefit of it being trapped in a fishes mouth! I refuse to touch a wax worm.....I have my limits ya know!

It seems every time he takes me fishing either winter or summer I manage to destroy "something" of his that he has had since he was a boy and I get that "I've had that (insert item here) for more than 25 years, used it all my life and I give it to you and you either break it, tangle it or loose it in the water!" speech. It's not like a secretly wake up each morning and wonder what to trash of his each day right?? lol  

There was a time were he wanted me to go hunting with him, he quickly recanted the invitation because he said he knew he would be the one wounded if I held a weapon and besides I can't kill anything that wouldn't be trying to kill me first and cammo is not my color! lol And I don't think I could sit still that long or be quiet.........he'd probably end up shooting me to put him out of his misery for suggesting I tag along! So we mutually agreed I had no business in a tree stand and he has no business in a mall.  

I did like being out on the lake walking around though, it is an unusual feeling to be walking were you normally have to be driving a boat and with the quiet blue of the night it ended up being a marvelous night for a moondance. We had a roaring bonfire right out there on the ice and plenty of Hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps to keep me warm! If you enjoy mint meltaway candies from Fannie May then you have to try a hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps........yummmmmmy!  

 I just wish I would have brought warmer boots, a comfortable chair and my camera! There's always next time! lol

Friday, February 4, 2005

Reflections of the ordinary

  Reflections of the ordinary    

Do others see what I see
I see no exceptional face
I see ordinary blue eyes
found in many faces.
I see a small off centered nose
no more beautiful or more grotesque
than found in everyday faces
of other everyday people.
I see a nothing to talk about....mouth
lips thinning with the passing of time,
I do see a proud and stubborn chin
but no more stubborn then the next.
I once believed the freckles found
spattered here and there
to be kisses from the Angels
but that doesn't mean faces without freckles
have not been Angel kissed.

Some things found to be beautiful
are just ordinary in another ones eyes,
true beauty is not found on one's face
it is found in ones...... heart  

KMH 2005

Family Trip to Niagra Falls



A few years ago my family and I took a trip up north to visit our neighbor.... Canada. We traveled through Michigan to get there, then across Ontario on our ways to Niagra Falls.....I'm a sucker for Mother Nature and this is trully one of her masterpieces! I was overwhelmed at the size of these cascading waters!

If you look in the right hand side of the picture you will see 2 red dots, in between them is a group of about 50 people (yellow rain ponchos), I hope this gives you an idea of the size of the American Falls side of Niagra falls( The Canadian side has the horseshoe shaped falls). At night these falls are lit up from a building on the Canadian side of the falls that reminded me alot of an old fort wall. We stayed on the Canadian side of the falls with a breathtaking view high atop our hotel of the whole area, at night we dined at a place that with floor to ceiling windows and table side panoramic views.

This summers family trip is built around seeing Mother Earth from the inside out, after a family reunion on my Husbands side in Kentucky we will be taking a trip to Mamouth Cave to go exploring in and around the caves and hope to be told about a few more things in that area that are a must see. Then on our way to Nashville and then Memphis. These last two areas are by my lil ones request....Rachel wants to see the Grand Ole Opry (She's the aspiring Singing Cowgirl) and Jimmy wants to see Graceland ( at 12 he's a huge Elvis buff ) 

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Birds and the Bees (3 of 3)

CopyofDRAGONFLY.jpg               Do you know how hard it is to capture a Dragonfly in flight? lol


CopyofBUTTERFLY3.jpg      The Dance of the Butterfly



Birds and the Bees (2 of 3)


           "The busy bee has no time for sorrow."

 William Blake quotes (English visionary mystic, poet, painter and engraver. 1757-1827)

Birds and the Bees

RTHAWK3.jpg              RTHAWK1.jpg





Because I fly
I laugh more than other men
I look up an see more than they,
I know how the clouds feel,
What it's like to have the blue in my lap,
to look down on birds,
to feel freedom in a thing called the stick...

who but I can slice between God's billowed legs,
and feel then laugh and crash with His step
Who else has seen the unclimbed peaks?
The rainbow's secret?
The real reason birds sing?
Because I Fly,
I envy no man on earth.

— Anonymous

Wednesday, February 2, 2005



So lil ones....What do you want to be when you grow up?


Rachel....I wanna be a Cowgirl and a Singer...yeah I wanna be a Singing Cowgirl!

Jimmy....I wanna be the worlds greatest Baseball Player.... and a Rock and Roll Star!


Momma............Lord have mercy! lol

Tuesday, February 1, 2005



I came where the river
Ran over stones;
My ears knew
An early joy.
And all the waters
Of all the streams
Sang in my veins
That summer day.
-  Theodore Roethke, The Waking, 1948


Winter on the Prairie


“Even the smallest woods have their secrets and secret places, their unmarked precincts. And I am certain all sacred buildings from the greatest cathedral to the smallest chapel, and in all religions, derive from the natural aura of certain woodland or forest settings. In them we stand among older, larger and infinitely other beings, remoter from us than the most bizarre other non-human forms of life: blind, immobile, waiting….. altogether very like the only form a universal god could conceivably take.”

John Fowles & Frank Horvat “The Tree”


The Mighty Oak learns to bend



"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spread Your Wings.........Lil One

I think my middle daughter has moved out! lol She hasn't confirmed this yet, but she no longer comes home (1 full week now) and slowly remnants of her are disappearing (clothes, CD's. shoes, ect). I pretty much parent the way I was raised. My parents were raised to be independent adults, they both left their homes at 18, joined the military and never had the need to move back "HOME" anytime a bad situation reared it ugly head ( And believe me there were plenty of times they could or should have), so therefore they raised my siblings and I the same way. We were told during our mouthy teenage years(You know which time I'm talking about, the time where you spewed "I CAN'T WAIT TILL I'M 18 AND I CAN MOVE OUT OF HERE!" )You are all able to move out once and then return because you weren't ready to move out in the first place, (She was soooooo right about that! lol) but the 2nd time you move out, you better be sure it's the right time because there is no coming back home after that. To some it may sound harsh but to us it really made us stop and think hard about leaving the second time.

My older brother returned home the first time after only 1 week out of the nest, he moved into a one bedroom apartment with 3 friends who fought over a stray kitten one brought home, he came home one day to find the kitten had been turned back out on the streets, so he returned to the nest with kitten in his hand and his tail between HIS legs asking Mom if it was OK to move back in! lol.   My older sister never moved back in after she left the first time, and I of course took off to New York right after High School graduation, thinking I had the tiger by the tail only to return before my 22nd birthday.

So I informed all of our children this was to be my rule too, only one return to the nest then you will have to stand on your own to feet and keep flying! It's the only way to raise an independent child I think, I want my children to learn to rely on themselves and then that way they will never be disappointed.     So my middle daughter who will be 19 this month has decided that if she hasn't told me she has officially moved out then this time doesn't count, I say balderdash! It counts! lol She has a job, her own vehicle that she paid for and 18 years of me getting her ready for adulthood, she has moved into a house with a few girlfriends and so far everything is quiet on the western front....... 2 down.....2 to go......but then again they are only 12 and 13.....I wonder if they know about emancipation??? JUST KIDDING!!!!! I want a few more years of guiding them too and I still have few more "I told ya so's" along with a few more "I love you's" to pass along to them! of course the two younger ones are fighting over who gets Amanda's room........little do they know she'll be back.....Don't worry there will be no "I told ya so" on that one, it will be more like a "What took ya so long? and by the way welcome home!"      

Loving 40 Something

  How insightful this last year of my life has been for me. I continually learn new things about myself which I turn around in my head for a while, look at the pros and cons of what I have discovered and try to be a better human being after the revelations. I think what I have learned the most is recognizing my own personal growth and how easy it is to identify a person who hasn't experienced it yet. You know what I'm talking about, how many times have you ran into someone from your past and you sense they are stuck there, still viewing the world through only their eyes and not trying to view it any other way.    

 With the onslaught of reality TV, you get to see what other people think of themselves and then almost as an after thought, what others see in that person, most of the time it is the extreme opposite. It makes one wonder Is everyone seeing me in the same way I see myself? Last night's 'Trading Spouses' was a good example of that, One Wife was very supporting of her large family, you could see her "goodness" and dedication and not even question it, while the other Wife seemed self absorbed and really had no clue as to how other's perceived her. She threw a last minute party in her new house and thought she was a total hit with everyone who attended while you could plainly see the shock this woman caused in every situation at this party.    

There almost seems to be extreme opposites in every situation in life, there are those that want to go through life with their head clearly in the sand and then there are those that need to know every intricate detail, I am one of those, I understand everything better if I know everything there is to know about it, what I do with that knowledge later sometimes escapes me, I either file it away somewhere in my brain for future use or simply delete it, ( I can only store so much information! lol)

     Maybe it's because I don't seem to enjoy surprises, I like to know upfront, I wanted to know the sex of my children before they were born, some accommodated me with peeks during the ultra sounds and some made me wait and last one, my only son made me wait and see, the other's were met with "No sign of manhood" simply stated by the ultra sound techs. I shot down any attempts for a so called "Surprise 40th Birthday party" for myself......I am uncomfortable if thrown into the spot light without seeking it first myself. Some may think of it as a control issue, but I don't think it's gone that far yet, it's more like the security of knowing what I'm dealing most of the time and allowing for slight variations as life always manages to throw a few curve balls, and being quickly able to adapt when they do. Maybe it was a simple surviving mechanism developed early because of it's necessity.........(enough time spent on the shrinks couch over that one! lol)    

 I look forward to every 'AH HAH' moment now, always thankful for the lesson learned even if it's a painful one, I've learned to take what I need from it, apply it and then move on and try to be the person I want myself to be, and try to keep it real, without any facades to hide behind, otherwise I wouldn't be living my life