Oh my gosh, I almost wet myself!

So, DH and I were in our bedroom, and I saw a strange yellow light. It only flashed once, so following the “it has to happen twice before it could be anything bad and require DH to go outside late at night alone” rule, so I chose not to inform DH of this obviously harmless light. We watched a movie and as we were getting ready to fall asleep, DS comes in, sees us still up, and says “Oh, are you guys going somewhere?” I love this question for so many reasons. First, it implies we are in the habit of taking late night jaunts, totally unannounced. I wonder if he thinks we are like the 12 dancing princesses, off to an evening of dancing to wear out our shoes? Only this time, the clever fellow caught us in the act before we made good our escape. Second, we were in our PJs, not sure where he felt a night gown and boxers would be proper attire, but apparently in his world, actual clothing was optional. Third, we were in our bed with the lights off, on our phones. Not sure what the thought process was there, perhaps we were taking a nap before our midnight journey? Or maybe we might have rockets on the bed and were about to blast off. Yeah, no idea… obviously this line of thought comes from DH’s side of the family.

So after a rather confused look on our faces, we say “No ,why?” DS says, “I saw the car head lights are on, so I thought you were leaving.” Quite honestly, this was slightly terrifying, but we do have a clicker that can turn the lights on. So technically, one of the littles could have gotten hold of it and turned them on. This would, of course, imply we were blind for the last two hours we were watching a movie, because we were staring in the direction of the car. But in times of crisis, one must come up with all possible reasons why this does not require investigation, instead calling for the sticking of one’s head under the covers.

We tell DS that no, he hasn’t discovered our escape plan (yet… we are tricky), and that the clicker must have turned them on.  So just head off to bed and we will take care of it. I felt like at this point the only logical choice was to get the whole family together and sit in the bath tub with a blanket over our heads, lock the bathroom door, and wait until morning. After all, if it works for a tornado, it must be a good idea! DH however had the most absurd idea of actually looking out the window to see what was going on (you can see where DS’ thinking comes from). After a few more helpful suggestions from me that involved everything BUT looking outside (I have to say checking under the bed until morning was brilliant), he peeks out. He says that the head lights aren’t on, the hazards are. This piece of information is exceptionally horrific, because that means someone is IN THE CAR!! There is no other way to turn them on!

Obviously, the options have been seriously limited. We can run in circles screaming, “What will we do?!?!” or just drop dead from fear right then. As usual DH comes up with another crazy idea of going outside!!! It is like those scary movies where they find a head in the toilet, and go to warn the others. No!! You never do this! You just run and find new friends later. I am sure they were lovely friends, but seriously people, there is a head in the toilet, it’s time to go!

At this point I decide we should call the police.  DH then informs me that he is actually a police officer, and has not been engaging in a rousing game of dress up for almost 20 years. I reply that I know that, but I meant the REAL police. He, of course, took the comment in the best way possible and had we not all been about to be murdered by the hazard light killer, it might have lead to a quite interesting and potentially loud conversation. Sadly, we have anywhere from a 12 to 30 min response time from the county sheriff, so at this point, we have to decide:

  1. We either call and wait, while praying whoever is in the car patiently waits in the car with the hazards on.
  2. We see who it is.

As you can imagine, I voted for the wait and pray method but DH and the dog voted for the latter (still not sure why the dog got to vote). After losing the vote, I decide we should look out the window one more time, just in case maybe everything miraculously was better. Sadly this was not the case, however, when we did check we couldn’t see any shapes, but there appeared to be movement. Now not only where we dealing with the hazard light killer, we were dealing with a headless hazard light killer. This piece of information made DH feel more at peace, because it appeared no one was in the car, but obviously it only meant they were an extra small hazard light killer (still headless of course). At this point, he and the dog (she will never get another bone from me, her politics are terrible!) decided he should go outside. Now, as the dutiful police officer/firefighter wife that I am, I know his gun is not enough, and I feel the need to provide back-up for him.

Back-up can be provided in many helpful ways. My way was to hang on him and beg him not to go (I am a professional, don’t try this at home). In fairness, I had no choice! Who wants to be the widow of a victim of the extra small, headless (of course) hazard light killer? I mean, could you imagine that on a tombstone?

“Here lies a man who gave his life protecting his family from the extra small,headless (of course) hazard light killer…”

No, it just doesn’t work, even the dog wouldn’t be impressed. My next suggestion is to send the dog out first (I will teach her to vote against me!). But, as usual, my genius is not appreciated and I am told that having the dog scare whoever it is (or, as I have started calling them, the ESHOCHLK) away won’t help and it is better to investigate. Now at this point, I feel like I should clarify a few things: DH was able to see enough to know the car was empty, and you should always call the police if you are concerned. So with cell phone in hand, I stood at the window as DH slowly approached the car. At first he came from the back, them proceed to move to the side and then just casually flung open the door. Out jumped a very annoyed cat! Apparently we didn’t respond to her first signal so she had to resort to a more obvious approach.

Clearly this story could have had a very bad ending and she could have died from heat exposure. Actually, two bad endings… we could have all been killed by the extra small headless (of course) hazard light killer! Cause, you know that wouldn’t have been good either! But thankfully, it was later when we got home and it wasn’t a hot day because of all the rain. We are so careful to check for kids but this is the first time she has ever even gotten close to the car, let alone went inside it.

From now on we will have to check for kids, cats, and extra small, headless (of course) hazard light killers… because you just never know, do you?

Guess we aren’t getting a Christmas card this year!

Yesterday, I pulled into my driveway, and my neighbor on the other side of the street pulled into her driveway a few seconds after me, but OBVIOUSLY didn’t see me.  They have 300 acres, and pretty much everything is hidden except for the mailbox and beginning of the driveway.  So, she pulls up and as she goes to open the gate, she notices she has a package.  She opens the door, and Pearl Jam is absolutely blasting out of the car.  Now first of all, I didn’t know anyone listened to Pearl Jam anymore, and certainly not someone who is 62.  But I don’t listen to anything, so maybe I am not current with what is “good music” (although I still say good and Pearl Jam don’t belong in the same sentence).

So she bends down to pick up the package and throws it into the trunk.  She does some little dance thing and starts to head back to the front of the car.  Then apparently some unknown force from the dark side compels her to go back to the trunk, and twerk to Pearl Jam of all things.  Again, perhaps I am out of the twerking music loop, but I am thinking Pearl Jam is not a top ten twerker (why yes I am very proud of myself for using those words in a sentence)!  Now, one time could easily be explained as some sort of seizure, but this was repetitive.  However, my very favorite part was when she couldn’t get up the last time, and had to sort of fall over and climb up using the fence post- let me tell you people – SUPER HOT!!!  What can I say is, she twerked once too much.

I realize at this point, the logical thought going through your head is that I must be mistaken, and don’t know what twerking looks like.  But rest assured, even though I had a proper upbringing, and because of this am not able to twerk, I do in fact know what it looks like, and this most definitely was it.  So after she climbed up using the fence post, it took her a minute to stand up straight.  She looks around and apparently decides the moment has passed (I would assume good twerking moments are hard to come by), and starts to go back to the car.  This was the moment I had to make a choice, our Christmas card was riding on this exact second in time!  I thought long and hard, was it worth the empty spot on the mantle, where the card would go?  Would I have time to become close enough friends with someone else in enough time to secure a new Christmas card? These thoughts ran around my head in mass confusion until in a moment of clarity it came to me: you MUST let her know you saw her twerking!  Do it for the children, no child should have to see that!  She had to be stopped… Christmas card or not, this couldn’t happen again.

So, I threw my hand up in the biggest wave possible and yelled (even though she was less than 100 feet away) “Hi, *insert name here*!”  It took her a second to orient where the sound was coming from, but once she saw me, a look of complete terror spread across her face!  It was something I thought was only reserved for roller coasters right before you go down the big dip.  But no, there it was in all its glory, and all for me.  She didn’t say anything, so this time I called louder and waved bigger.  She finally emitted the strangest sound, not sure how else to describe it other than all hope escaping from her.  It was obvious I had seen everything, and there was nothing left to say.  She turned around and ran (yes, seriously
ran to her car), drove in the gate, and used the remote to close it.

I have no idea what on earth would possess a full grown 62 year old woman to twerk in the middle of the road (her driveway is inches off the road), especially when she could go less than 50 feet and be completely unseen for the next 300 ACRES.  But it is obvious my next step is to start making new friends; I figure if I start now, I should at least get one new Christmas card!

So here is my PSA – don’t twerk in the street if you don’t want everyone to see it.  OK ,you know what?  Actually just don’t twerk AT ALL!!

My house

You can’t fall in love with a house.  You can’t have a relationship with wood, brick, and glass, yet that is exactly what happened.  When I found my house, it didn’t just belong to me like a possession but instead it completed a part of me I didn’t even know was missing.  Oh sure, so many people feel a connection to their homes, the joys and frustrations of home ownership do create a sense pride with the finished result.  But I wasn’t like other home owners.  There was no worry over leaky windows or improperly hung doors, my house had neither.  No arranging and re-arranging furniture until it fit perfectly, because the only furnishings my house had was birds’ nests and bee hives.  My house was perfect in every way just the way it was.  It sat off the interstate in an empty field just waiting to be noticed.  I remember the first time I drove past it, no one else in the car noticed it… but I did.  It looked so lonely, yet so proud, and I knew it was mine.  It had stories to tell, and I wanted to listen.  The house and the empty field quickly became my spot to think and dream.  So often, after a long day of errands, a few minutes there would clear my head.  I was very careful never to go in (after all, the police may not be so understanding about our relationship, and might call it something as silly as breaking and entering), but really there was no need to, I could see everything from outside.  At first I thought up excuses of what I would say if someone called the police (changing the baby, or reading a map), but my worries were unnecessary.  No one ever notices a old broken house, or the woman next to it.  Life zooms by on the interstate at 70 miles an hour, far too fast to notice the past.  For years, life went on this way.  Visits to the house were something woven into my life; sometimes often, sometimes not.  I always looked forward to the changing seasons because my house redecorated itself with each one.  In the Spring, beautiful wild flowers grew a lush carpet to the door.  In the Summer, it gave refuge with its shade to small animals, so chittering and peeping filled it rooms with life again.  In the Fall, the leaves coated its floors in a beautiful tapestry of golden oranges, reds, and browns.  But Winter was by far my favorite.  The beautiful icicles that hung from the windows and doors glistened in the sun like the clearest, most expensive diamonds in the world.
When my husband deployed, the house became a salve for endless lonely nights.  Many a nap-time was spent at the house, with the baby sleeping peacefully in a car-seat while I just sat.  When I was happy, I took great pleasure imagining all the joy the house had contained.  If I listened closely enough, I could almost hear
children running up stairs, and chair legs scraping the floor while being pushed up to the table for a holiday feast.  But mostly, I was sure there was laughter… with its high ceilings the sound must have resonated all thought the house.  On sad days I took comfort in its brokeness, even with no windows and doors it still was strong.  It didn’t need anything else but what it had.
After my husband returned, life got busy and the house became like a dear old friend you always meant to visit and write, yet could never find the time.  The visits became less, and the times became shorter, until I became one of those people who zoomed by at 70 miles an hour.  Just way too busy.  Every time I passed it I would promise myself I would stop next time, but never did.  Yet my house still stood waiting, it continued dressing itself for the seasons, and it provided a beautiful show every time I drove past.  I was sure it would always be waiting, there was no hurry, I had all the time in the world for baseball games and play dates.  It would always be right where I left it.  Until one day it wasn’t.  It just disappeared.  There wasn’t a board or brick left.  The first time I noticed, I pulled in, just sure my eyes had somehow missed the huge mass of boards and bricks, perhaps I needed glasses?  But all too soon the reality hit me.  When I stood on the earth where my house was, I knew it was truly gone.  It was obvious someone had torn my house down,  they had destroyed -piece by piece- something that was never meant to be undone.  I searched for a nail or board,  something that I could have and touch, but I found nothing.  It was like it had never existed.  I never tried to find out what happened and why.  Who would I even call, and what would I say (why did you break my house)?  But for two years, every time I drove past I would check.  I knew it wasn’t there but I had to look.
After a while, jobs change, families grow, and people move.  We settled out in the country, 40 miles away from where the house used to be, and started a new life away from the city.  Children and chickens filled my days and the spot where the house was became a quick view on the way to town.  Life had slowed down and we were happy.  We knew and loved all our neighbors, it was a quiet and close-knit community.  We heard a new family was moving in, but with the houses so spread far out and shielded by trees, no one knew where exactly or when, so it was quickly forgotten.  Until there was screaming in my front yard at 6:00 in the morning.  In Texas, going on anyone’s land uninvited is never a good idea.  Certainly, doing it at 6:00 in the morning, screaming bloody murder in your pajamas is an even worse idea.  Needless to say, it was not the wake up call I wanted.  I sprang out of bed, and threw open the door to find people in my yard, screaming and chasing after a dog who eating my chickens!  I pride myself on my hostessing skills, but in this situation, I was drawing a blank.  It seemed obvious some sort of screaming was appropriate, but I wasn’t sure at who.  The dog?  The people?  Or perhaps, just running in circles screaming like a banshee was the best plan.  I decided to go with the dog, since it seemed to be the popular thing to do; I always was a follower.  After a fun filled thirty minutes of Pin the Collar on the Dog: Pajama Edition, introductions and apologies were made, and the long forgotten possibility of new neighbors became a reality.  One chicken was lost, but it seemed an easily mended fence would solve the problem, and both parties left sure the problem was solved.  The solution lasted exactly 15 hours, when we went to let the chickens out the next morning it was obvious how unnecessary that was.  All but two were dead or injured, and in the middle of the coop was the dog gleefully going after the remaining two.  In a situation like this, two things go through your mind: first is sadness, very quickly followed by anger. Clearly this dog wasn’t safe and something needed to be done.  In the excitement of our early morning calisthenics yesterday, phone numbers were forgotten, so my only option was to go over to their house.  Country driveways are notorious for being long and winding, and theirs was no different.  Not only you could not see the house, but even the direction of the driveway was hidden so I wasn’t sure where I going, or when I would get there.  But finally, after the last turn I saw a gate, so I parked and started walking up to the house. The second the house came into view, I knew it was my house,  it wasn’t possible, but it was my house.  I was overwhelmed for a minute!  Seeing it with a new paint, shiny windows, and a beautiful red door seemed unreal, but even through the improvements I could still see my house.  Knocking on the door that shouldn’t exist was surreal, and watching the neighbors come from the kitchen to answer the door through the windows seemed like a television show instead of real life.  Dead chickens and destructive dogs were the farthest thing from my mind when the door opened.  For the first time ever, I got to walk inside my house and feel its floors under my feet and its roof over my head.  No more was it broken and cold, it was beautiful and warm.  Its colors and textures were more amazing than I could have ever imagined.  The house felt more like home than any house I ever had.  I had to know everything I could, I needed to see every room and understand how this was possible.  With each room, I saw a little more of the story was revealed, and after it was finished over a cup of coffee, it all made sense.  The neighbors had bought the land 20 years ago, and after they retired they were looking to build on the land.  But before they did, they saw my house (I guess someone besides me does notice old, empty houses), and, after contacting the realtor for the land, they learned the house was going to be torn down.  But demolition is very expensive, and the land owners jumped at the chance to sell it.  So for the purchase price of exactly one dollar, and the cost of moving it, my house was sold.
This whole time, my house was literally down the road from me sitting and waiting.  Every time I left my driveway, I passed my house and never knew it thanks to a few pine trees.  The full history of my house still remains a mystery, it was built in 1878, but many details just aren’t available after so many years.  Instead of being disappointed by the lack of information, it is comforting to know I still have room for my imagination.  After my first view of my house, the chicken situation was quickly resolved, and I left that day with two more friends.  Over the years, our two families have continued to grow closer, and we are so glad to have them in our lives.  Every year, more is done to bring out the beauty in my house: floors were sanded, stairs were repaired, and supports were added to give it a longer life. The utmost care is always given to insure the original look of the house is maintained, and with each project, more of the character of the house is revealed.  It has been wonderful over the years to see the house restored, and our family has spent many happy times in my home with our good friends.  But at the end of the day, I must leave.  My children’s laughter sometimes does fill my house, but I will never tuck my children in under its strong roof, or rock on its back porch while my husband and I grow old together.  It will always be mine, yet will never belong to me.

The sounds and stories that are written on its walls are not my own.


Life in Bubbaland isn’t something that can be easily explained, just like child birth it has to be lived through.  That is not to say all of it is bad or painful , just a lot of work. As with any foreign country, language is of the utmost importance.  After all, there are just some things hand signals don’t exist for.  However, in Bubbaland the rules are slightly different.  And instead of adding a new language to your vocabulary, it is more about forgetting unnecessary things like the ending of words, spaces between words, and let’s not forget those pesky words that have more than one syllable.  No, Bubbaland is all about efficiency.  Who has time to say the whole word when there are cows to be fed and tobacco to be chewed?  So you just kind of mush all the words together in your mouth, take a breath, and give it a go.  My first few experiences with this new language left me scratching my head and asking for one more try.  But I soon realized hearing it fifty more times wouldn’t help.  I was one of, “those people ,” the syllable users.  So having resigned myself to a life of never having any idea what in the heck anyone was talking about, I just got good at pretending and trying to respond in ways that didn’t make me sound like an idiot.  I found the best way to do this was to smile, nod my head, and say thank you.  This worked well until someone asked me if I wanted two pigs heads, but was that not a pleasant experience?!  But over time I adjusted, and now I have grown to hate syllables and spaces, like any true Bubbalandian should.  Why, just the other day I was at a friends home, and her husband said, “geyoabolful.”  And with out even needing to translate in my mind, I went and got myself a bowl full!!!