Monday, October 31, 2005

Camping Tales

We are so blessed. Just a few miles from our home is Indian Boundary State Park. I could stop the review right there & it would be complete.. but you know me better than that.
For those of you who are unaware, we have moved to southeast TN, from our home in Sarasota, FL. So our camping venues have changed dramatically. We are loving this time of exploration to find wonderful new places to enjoy nature.
Indian Boundary is a jewel of a park, and probably the nicest facility we have had the pleasure of camping in. If the sites had had individual water facilities, rather than the every 4-5 sites water spout, it would have won hands down. Each site was spacious, clean, & beautiful. Lots of colorful trees, natural shrubs & brush to maintain privacy, while not cutting you off from your camping neighbors. Since we always rent 2 sites, we have had problems in the past with the 2 sites not communicating. Not a problem at Indian Boundary.

We arrived at the park about 5 pm on Friday. We would’ve arrived sooner, but Dan had to stop for a fishing license, which turned into the Inquisition (nothing goes smoothly when you’re dealing with a computer generated license!) Anyway, we knew we’d have to step up the pace in setting up camp, since we wanted to beat the darkness that arrives about 7 p.m. And we worked out a pretty good system of getting it all done in a timely manner. I did take a 5 min break to walk down to the lake’s edge & watch the sunset.. glorious across the water! Our set up time was a record 2 hrs & 15 minutes.

Across from us, we met some very nice people from Knoxville, Charley & Shayna. They participate in a great camping group called Tennessee PopUp Campers. Visit their website at; www.tpuc.com By the end of the wk-end we were having serious ‘Pop-Up’ envy and if all goes well, we may be joining their group one day. Enjoying a/c & heat.. in the great outdoors..wow.
Thanks for being such great camping enthusiasts, Charley & Shayna! Hope to see you again next spring.
*This was the last wk-end of the camping ‘season’ at Indian Boundary, sadly. I could see going there every couple of weeks, even during the winter.

Friday evening, we settled into the ‘dining’ tent w/ bbq pork (2 kinds) , corn on the cob, and a mustard potato salad that complemented the pork very well. Then it was time to sit around the campfire & watch the wood burn.. oops. Folks, with 4 acres of available wood, can you believe we forgot to pack any? And given that, we still forgot to buy any? You just can’t get a roaring fire from charcoal. So we put on the trusty ‘fake’ log & enjoyed the glow. Then we started to add more & more layers to our clothing line. I was at 2 coats & gloves, when we decided to surrender to the cold & go to bed.
The good thing about the cold was that there were no bugs; what self respecting mosquito or fly could exist in that temperature?

We all know the term, ‘..cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra in an ice storm..’ ? It’s a true saying.. no myth there! By the time we got into bed, our breath was writing messages in the air, and we were shivering like an indoor dog, left out in the rain. Folks! It was danged cold! We tucked blankets around us, put our heads under the covers & prayed for survival. My hips ached like they did years ago when I slept on an unheated waterbed.
But Saturday dawned clear & sunny as a bell, and eventually the cold night was a distant memory (sort of). The sounds of feuding crows is a nice way to wake up to a new day.

Dan fixed a hearty breakfast of sausage, eggs, & biscuits. We took a good walk around the entire camping area, and over to the beach of the lake. We had sites 12 & 14, which butted up to the lake.. excellent places! Next time we might try 16 & 17, & be right by the dock, for easy access to the water for canoeing.
Dan fished the afternoon away, while I finished my book, ‘A Fine Balance’ (good read).
Later on, we walked the lake’s edge to the dam.. saw some great fish (on the wrong side of the dam, of course)

Dan found lots of good wood for sale at the Camp Store (love those facilities!), so we had the obligatory roaring fire for the rest of our stay.
For dinner, he grilled Cajun chicken & Italian red peppers & wild rice. Yum..
With foreknowledge of the cold night ahead, we were prepared for the witch’s boob. I went to bed fully dressed, coat & all. And slept under several coats laid over my feet. Toasty warm at last.
Mental note; get a tent stove!

Another sunny morning to greet us on Sunday. I thought I’d ‘slept in’ a vulgar amount of time.. but the time change saved me. Dan had the fire going well, & breakfast was superb. Eggs, links, fried potatoes, biscuits & the usual Sunday morning ‘soda pop’ of champagne. How civilized!
We had set out some Halloween decorations, thinking the kids of the campgrounds might come by ‘trick-or-treating’ the way they did in FL last year. But no.. So we are stuck with 3 bags of candy. Any takers?

Everyone in the camping areas were friendly & helpful. The host family was very amiable (we have been to areas where we never even knew our hosts existed). But Indian Boundary has some lovely people in charge. We broke down camp at our leisure.. so no time records set there. And the sun was warming to almost 70 degrees, so the layers were coming off as we worked. Unfortunately we were too tired (lazy??) to go canoeing this trip.. but the lake was certainly inviting for such activity.

Definitely a 4 Star campground, and we would recommend it most highly. Just please, let us get our reservations in 1st, okay?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Camptown Races..

And we're off for the week-end to Indian Boundary State Park, for some 'nipply' camping. It's been 20-24 degrees every morning this week.. but the highs have reached 55-60, & sunny! So we won't complain. I find myself wishing for a pr of longjohns to pack, however. I guess we'll have to just snuggle extra close to create some heat in the tent.

Looks like we'll soon be started on having the basement converted to an entertainment room. I'd love for it to be done by Christmas.. so we shall see. The guy who was going to re-do our driveway, was too busy for it.. so we'll use those funds to complete the room. Actually, we're getting pretty good on that stagecoach rutted road that we call a driveway. I'm so glad I sold the Lady Lexus & didn't subject her to the wild ride..
Yippee Kii Yay! Makes you hold tight to the door handles & grit your teeth. Who needs Busch Gardens roller coasters??

The colors are a poppin' in the forest. After all the frosts, I'm sure they'll peak out this week. Then we'll see how the horizon changes when all the leaves are gone.
They tell me it's a 240 degree view of the mountains when that happens.. cool.

Someone dumped a litter of pups on the Cherohala Skyway.. 4 little fellows that stuck together until someone picked them up. Ugh.. people.. the worst 'animals' in the world, are homosapiens.
No more spotting of 'wild' animals this week, after the fox & bunnies of last week. Probably because it's still hunting season, & they have the sense to stay out of harms way. I've heard that some local farmers have spray painted the word 'C-o-w' on their cattle, to avoid them being shot at for deer.

I do hope that everyone has a happy Halloween! We'll be handing out goodies to the campfire set..;o)
Pictures next Monday!
Have a peace-filled wk-end..

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Now 2002..

On the 2,000th US Death in Iraq
By Fernando Suarez del Solar
t r u t h o u t | Letter

Wednesday 26 October 2005

Yesterday, October 25, 2005, the toll of US fatalities in Iraq reached the significant number of 2,000. On March 27, 2003, just seven days after the illegal occupation of Iraq began, the fifth US casualty (and the second Latino) fell - my son Jesús Alberto Suarez del Solar Navarro. Now, two years and seven months later, we have reached 2,000. 2,000 young people, each with a dream, each with enormous potential, each manipulated and deceived for immoral reasons by the group of powerful men who dragged us into a criminal war. 2000 families destroyed, 4000 parents devastated, with their most precious treasure - their children - torn from them. And who cares? Who cares about these young people who are dying? Only the families care, it seems, since Bush's criminal government continues with its rhetoric about how Iraq is better off and how we will not leave until the mission is completed. What mission? The personal agenda of a ruling clique, because clearly there is no humanitarian mission in Iraq. When I learned that we had reached the awful figure of 2,000, I wept. I wept because the pain of knowing that another young American had died reminded me of my own tragedy and my own pain. I thought about his parents, his mother who must feel the ache in her soul knowing that her son died in an unnecessary war, and his father who, like me, was proud of his son and of his nation. And unexpectedly his nation betrayed him, and his son was gone.

I do not know if Bush in his self absorption and his feigned Christianity understands the tremendous suffering he is causing - the families' anguish, the harm to our nation that he has placed in even greater danger. But I am sure about one thing. Bush will receive his punishment, a punishment that will make him cry tears of blood as my family and 1999 other families are shedding as they remember their lost children.

How much more blood will it take to end this criminal war? How many more Iraqi children have to die? How many more brave young Americans will have to make the ultimate sacrifice? How many more parents will have to weep for their sons and daughters? Who can answer me? Who?

We must demand that the lies and the dying stop today.

End the occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home now.

End the occupation of Iraq. Bring our troops home now.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of Jesus Suarez del Solar.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Change in Advertising..

Bushit has gone from 'No Child Left Behind' to..
'Any Child But Mine'..

2000 young souls sacrificed for his 'agenda'.


I've awakened to 30 degree weather for the past couple of days. We still have some FL visitors here, until thursday evening. I don't think they've taken their coats off for the past 48 hrs..ha
But the nipply air has caused a color riot in the forest.. soooo gorgeous!
Over the week-end, we drove to NC, across the Cherohala Skyway, & then back to TN via the GA route. I'm already biased as to 'ours' being the prettiest of the autumn colors.
I think the mountain air has affected my brain cells , because I actually BAKED something from scratch this morning! Fruit bar cookies. Now granted, they came out so undercooked that one must eat them w/ a spoon, or else freeze them to hold any kind of consistency. Just like the fudge my mom used to make! So those genes have maintained..
Dan has gone to ferry the trash to the dump. He wore his 'camo' boots to do this job. (??) I will never understand men & their toys.. ;o)
I'm only seeing 1 goldfish in the pond these days. Either the other 2 jumped ship, or were instant 'sushi' for some raccoons. We may have to create a chickenwire 'guard' for the pond. Ah, nature..
I have seen my spiritual totem, or Power Animal.. the 'falcon' several times around here. Once sitting proudly on my fence. I feel very protected by him.
Dan showed me our 1st snake.. a little green grass snake, so no heart attack there.
The squirrels have discovered the bird feeder in the backyard (which the birds were shunning). So we now have the 1st $100 squirrel feeder, w/ $30 seed in it. But whose counting, right?
Still loving life on a mountain top. I swear, I'm going to have to get after those mandolin lessons, so I can wail 'Rocky Top' as the sun sets behind the horizon. Mint Julip anyone? Or maybe hot spiked cider might be a better choice.

Monday, October 24, 2005

adopt your own virtual pet!

Life in Hell, usa

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Le Week-end!

My fellow blogettes, & you know who both of you are..
I may be away from the magical kingdom of blogdom for a couple of days. We have some FL hurricane evacuees flying in tonite & tomorrow.. & we'll be making merry until Monday. 'Wicked Wilma' will not take away our joy!

So I do hope you have many fun things on the social calendar your ownselves, & I want every juicy detail.
Take pictures! I swear Schmoopy is the only one listening to me about this..
Until we meet again, Taa Taa for now. Happy Trails..

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Birth Order

Thanks Addict for the good idea for today's blog.. Click to take the test your ownself!

You Are Likely a Second Born

At your darkest moments, you feel inadequate.
At work and school. you do best when you're evaluating.
When you love someone, you offer them constructive criticism.

In friendship, you tend to give a lot of feedback - positive and negative.
Your ideal careers are: accounting, banking, art, carpentry, decorating, teaching, and writing novels.
You will leave your mark on the world with art and creative projects.
The Birth Order Predictor

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Curiouser & curiouser..

One needs a score card these days to keep up w/ the Plame-gate investigation. How many piglets will be placed on the spit?? Rove certainly.. Libby probably.. & now Cheney adds even more pork flavoring to the mix. And still we see Bush doing the 'moonwalk' as he retracts his word on 'firing anyone involved'.. to 'firing anyone indicted'.. to not firing anyone at all. The man cannot speak w/o a script, & who will tell him what to think w/ these guys gone? Karen Hughes can't be expected to carry the whole load. Condi can't give up her shoe fetish long enough.. & Laura is somewhere sedated on homeopathic Halcion. Big Bad Babs might be called upon to speak for sonny boy.. but lord knows what frogs come out of her mouth these days.
So little schrub will be left to bat his eyes like a southern gal caught w/ her knickers down.. fidget in his seat, wiggle his feet, & repeatedly proclaim, 'It's hard work thinking of what to say!'
With his poll scores down to 39% (guess he's aiming for his Daddy's low score of 29%)
one can only guess what his next course of action will be. He knows that 'fear' strikes a friendly chord among his sheep.. so I look for the color code to hit 'hot pink' very soon.. new alarms & bells will resound across the land. Altho they're losing their ability to create too much hoopla, what w/ the farce of the subway threat, etc..
Even the far right wingnuts are beginning to question the leadership ability of shrubby-boy. He's just not carrying that cross the way they wanted.
So here's hoping that justice fights thru the tremendous amounts of bullpoop in D.C., & we actually live to see the day when Rove & Cheney are roomies in some federal pen. Like the pigsty they came from, it won't be all that great a transition for the oinkers. And like the movie "Deliverance", of whom Rove bears a striking resemblence to the chubby actor who 'squealed-like-a-pig', these good ole boys are going to be squealing all the way home.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Cure for Stress

What is about reading on the front porch while the sun pours through your pores.. that makes your eyes automatically close & your brain send out the bliss vibes?
I swear I can't get past 10 pages without falling into the unconscious state.
But that's not such a bad place to be..
My only distant worry is that bee
On my knee
Tomorrow is another day, & frankly Scarlett..

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Autumn peeking thru!

The colors are starting to change..
Today I started my day at 40 degrees.. but it quickly advanced to something compatible w/ life. And it's now 70.. wahoo!
I've worked quite a bit outdoors.. weeding, general cleaning.
Since Dan has mowed the pasture.. it's so much easier to see the barn & even parts of the Peace Valley. There's lots of work still to do. And unfortunately the lottery did not go to us (however, it was a rollover! Cool)
In the meantime we will do as much as we can by ourselves.
I'm off to the front porch to peruse magazines.. & just 'breathe' the mountain air.
Heaven on earth..

Friday, October 14, 2005


Learning to live w/ new critters in my world has been a 'Crikey!' experience. Until you've been nose to nose w/ a wolf spider the size of a saucer (at 1st I compared it to my palm.. but it's growing in my mind).. then you haven't had the adrenoline rush that bespeaks 'Fight or Flight!' I don't care how harmless they may be (I've heard conflicting stories.. but my mind opts for deadly venomous) & the thing is said to be able to jump for 1/4 mile.. ok, 25 ft. Same thing.
Twice I have come across dead scorpions in the curled-tail, crouching-tiger position. Yes, dead is dead.. but people, they were ALIVE at some point in time!
Spiders of all varieties proliferate here. Yanna went around naming them while she was here.. Charlotte, Bob, Carol, Ted, Alice. I'm sure we'd be out of monikers in a 24 hr period if we seriously went about it.
Just walking across the lawn results in disfiguring whelps on my exposed skin (ankles & fingers), from the mosquito hoard. Dan gets NO bites whatsoever.. NADA. Does being Scotts-Irish affect your blood this way? Or is it the scotch he has flowing in his bloodstream?
We have pretty green grasshoppers, dozens of varieties of butterflies, beetles, & bugs-w/-no-names. I try to be Buddhist in my thinking that all God's creatures have a right to live. Just not w/ me.. in my house.

The kitties are finding their own way in new surroundings. The boys are heady explorers, trekking down to the basement & getting stuck down there when we close the door, upon coming up to the main floor. They are now banned from the guest room after they went to town on my sacred feather collection in there. Those proud feathers are now matted & gummed together.. damned cats.
Puki has brought the flea-bitis into the house after escaping 3 times, & picking up the beasts under the porch. I have to latch the screens now, so he can just look out & sigh pitifully, until we get the porch screened in.
Tigger has decided he wants to sleep on the dining table at night. Nasty habit, that. I will not have it.. but so far am too sleepy to get up & catch him red-pawed.
Buddy is becoming clingy & almost thinks he wants to be a lap-cat. He'll let us hold him, but he remains in a standing position.. not very cozy, I'm afraid. At least he's trying..
Tabitha has surprised us this week by spending more time out from under the bed, than vice versa. She is pathologically shy.. but wants so badly to be part of the 'group' thing. So in the evening when we're watching TV, she'll slink in & attempt to sit beside us on the couch w/o drawing attention to herself. As long as we don't make eye contact w/ her, she figures she's pulled it off & can't be seen. But if we smile or speak to her.. ZAP! she's gone..
Maybe she's just 'psycho', rather than 'patho'.

All in all, we are adapting well to TN. We find something new to love about it each & everyday. I'm thinking another 50 years of this, & I might just be sated.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

2 Trailer Family

Is this the true test for becoming an official Tennesseean? We now have 2 trailers parked behind the house. (No dead school buses as yet, however). One is our GourmetCampers- mobile, resplendent w/ camping gear deluxe. The other is a new purchase as of today, a 5X8 flatbed baby.. for hauling trash to the city dump. Oooo-whee.. we're uptown now, sugar-dumplin.

We're having the propane tank filled this week. Can you say 'second mortgage'?? Egads.. at $2.14 a gal, & the tank holds 400 gal.. I'm thinking we may give up cooking & heating. The pioneers could do it w/o the extras, why not us? But I doubt we're ready to take on tent camping 24/7, so we will pay the piper.

#4 cat Puki has escaped 3X so far, doing his exploration of 'things-under-the-porch'. He comes back w/ spider webbed whiskers & fleas galore! We've treated him twice for the fleas. Now I'm thinking more along the route of behavior modification; giving the poot a flea bath everytime he does his Houdini thing. He knows how to push his head against the wooden screen, til he can squeeze thru. I have to give him IQ pts for that.. the others haven't figured it out (yet). Having the porch screened will take care of that problem. If we can just get a carpenter to 'commit' to us. So far, everyone seems to be busy doing other things. Apparently they don't realize the import of granting my kitties outdoor access! New housing be damned here..

We finished out the Great Room last evening.. & it now looks warm & inviting w/ drapes, gallery-type hanging pics, etc. Y'all come see us!
Now on to the other projects, such as transforming the basement from a war zone to a real entertainment room. And the office to a servicable area for 2 (read: GET SANDE OFF THE TV TRAYS SHE'S USING FOR A DESK!!)

Just made some camping reservations for Indian Boundary State Park (the one just down the road from us). The park closes for campers at the end of the month.. so we had to get them in quickly! Can't wait to try it out & do some sweet-sleeping in the fall weather. Memories of Little Manatee River will simply vanish from my mind.. I hope.

It is Fall! And I am swept away.. breathless.. at the beauty that surrounds me. Every person on earth needs a little cabin in the big woods (Laura Ingalls got it right!).. I think this could bring about Peace on Earth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Childless, Shiftless, & Lazy

Well, I'm plumb rudderless w/ my kids gone. Don't know what to do, where to go, or who to antagonize. There is no structure w/o Barbie & her posse telling me how to live a better life. There are no meal planning strategies w/o Gummi Bears being the featured entree. Even TV is lack-luster w/o Cartoon Network or the Disney channel. Last evening we were forced to watch the news, for gosh sakes.
And look at me now! Listening to arias on the stereo.. reading magazines on the porch, glancing up occasionally at the magestic Smokies. Considering watching a foreign film in a bit, wondering what hubby will do w/ pork tenderloin for dinner.. Having just given myself a facial & now thanking the partner for a nice glass of wine.. You see?? Life is just shallow & unforgiving w/o kids in it.. ;o)

But I will persevere.. I will get thru the days of shopping mindlessly for something other than toys made in China. I will rise above the mundane sleeping in past nine. I will read those books, write those letters, compute those projects, make those honey-do lists infinitum. And yes, the days & weeks will pass, until once again I hear the blissful call across the field of dreams in my backyard.. 'GRANDMA! We're baaaa-ck!'
That will be a wonderful day..

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Barbie takes a Mate

Yesterday's 'improv' session w/ the Barbie-gang led by grand daughter Yanna was an interesting experience. I was quite impressed w/ her ability to create & think on her feet. Her taciturn wisdom & ultimate logic literally knocked my socks off (or 6" stilettos, in the case of Barbie#4)

Granted, I began to worry earlier in the week, when one doll said to the rest, 'Our boyfriends broke up w/ us, let's go get some plastic surgery!'
'I'm going to get new eyes & knees' Well, at least it wasn't the usual T&A..

Here's the scenario, as it happened. Understand, I cannot add the cute little 6 yr old voice to it, so you'll have to make do w/ the dialogue. My part is to play the part of Prince (dubbed Prince-y by those who know him well). He is in the States to procure a wife to take back to his country called EurAsia. He is interviewing the 'Barbies' to assist in making this momentous decision. He speaks w/ a strange Germanic/Indian/Tunesian accent. Hey, it's the best I can do, to sound exotic.

Prince; Barbie #1, you look lovely my dear. What would you do if I gave you 10 million dollars to spend in one day?
Barbie #1; Why, I would give that money to the poor of your country. I would feed the starving children.

Prince; Barbie #2, I love your hair. What would you do if you had 4 'good' children & 1 'bad' one.
Barbie #2; I would say to that child, 'honey, you know I love you. How can I help you to be a better child?'

Prince; Barbie #3, your dress is divine. What if you had 10 children & only 1 bedrm?
Barbie #3; I would put as many children as I could in the bed. The others would have to sleep on the floor around me.

Prince: Barbie #4, you seem very nice. How do you feel about having lots of children?
Barbie #4: I think that would be nice. I love children. I love pets too.

Prince: Ok, you are all lovely, but I am choosing Barbie #1. Come, let us get married. (There is hushed disappointment among the other Barbies)
Barbie #1, stands beside the Prince as a voice comes from the ether-world, 'Do you take this awfully wedded woman?'
Prince; I guess so
"Do you take this awfully wedded man?'
Barbie #1: (dramatic southern whisper) I do..

The rest of the entire dialogue hapens on the flight to EurAsia. The prince has spared no expense in providing a Cabbage Patch doll box for an airplane, complete w/ styrofoam seating.

Prince; My darling, I must tell you something.. I want you to have 25 children for me, & you must never leave the castle. You will be allowed no pets.
Barbie; WHAT!? Well, ok I guess. Actually I'm pregnant already.. look! Here's the 1st baby (producing a Baby Kelly doll from under her royal skirt. Kelly looks about 2, fully clothed w/ pigtails. The Prince doesn't suspect anything so far..)
Barbie; Oh my! It's twins.. here's the next one.
(Again, a female twin to Kelly)
Prince; This will never do! I must have an heir to my throne! I must have a boy baby!
Barbie; Well, I'm sorry, but this is the last one I'm having. You can adopt a boy. I'm thru w/ this.

Prince; There's something else I must tell you. The people of my country are very poor. I have taxed them so badly, they have nothing. All the money goes to me & my father.
Barbie; WHAT!? That is so wrong! You must stop taxing them RIGHT NOW!

Prince; Another thing.. you are broke now, so you are my slave in the castle.
Barbie; Oh no I'm not! I saved $64,000 that you don't know where it is. HA!

Prince; Maybe we should divorce.
Barbie; No! We have children. You will have to learn to be a better prince!
GI Joe from a distance; Do you want me to shoot him?
Prince & Barbie; NO!!

The plane flies on, w/ the new Princess calling the shots. You know, I feel better for women everywhere knowing that there's still some fire in the bellies of 6 yr old girls in this world.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Grandbabies & other miracles..

I'm getting to play fulltime Grandma this week.. my daughter's children from Atlanta, are here on their fall break. There's nothing like a 9 yr old boy & a 6 yr yr old girl, to bring your reality into focus. Kids see through it all, folks. They don't take wooden nickels, or excuses. And that's part of their charm.
We've worked out a nice routine to our days..
Gummi Bears for breakfast (because they're shaped like food, or else I wouldn't have bought into it, right?)
Then a little Higgly Family on Nick-TV. The characters are wearing, but the tunes are catchy.. long into the night, sometimes.
Then it's time for 'Happy Family', an improv game w/ about 1/2 dozen Barbies, who always maintain the personalities & names assigned to them. (God help you if they don't!) And also some various GI Joes & local heroes like firemen & polizei. They tend to be in & out of the Barbie's (aka Nina, Selena, Lisa, Cindy, Josie,Belinda, et al) lives, depending on how the gals feel about going solo, or needing dates for the prom. Going solo means they qualify to be in a 'Friend's Forever' TV reality show, as spies. But then there's that damned prom that requires smooching dates. It's a quandry.. much like real life.
And when Yanna allows Alec to play, you can be sure it will involve gunplay as well. Those GI Joes don't carry weapons for naught. And I have to agree w/ him, there are times when just spraying the gaggle of girls w/ machine gun fire, simply makes sense. Wipe them out, stop the bickering, the in-fighting over fashion-wear & start over..
Easy fix.
But the gals keep reincarnating as their same selves, same problems, same dates. Sigh..
After that high drama, it's usually lunchtime. Chips & dips covers how many food groups? Gatorade gives all the daily required vitamins, right?
Then we go on a field trip.. sometimes to the $ store (which takes 1/2 hr of driving thru the forest), sometimes to a local attraction. Tomorrrow we will go to a fall festival where the kids will pan for gold!
As the afternoon wears on, we play marathon bingo games, mancala games, or we draw. Alec reads a lot.
In the evening, we watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire, & they show me up by picking the correct answers 90% of the time. By 8:30, we're winding down, & it's time to watch a movie, all piled in bed together. Those are my favorite times. The kids share their dreams, hopes, ideals, fears, & just all around 'talk' while we lay there 1/2 watching the flick.
While they've been here, I've been able to play 'Tooth Fairy' TWICE, and nurse maid for some flu. And people, it's not like I thought when I was just 'Mom', (just added responsibility & work).. now, it's a 'privilege' when Grandma gets to have a hands-on experience. And I'll be missing it, when it's over..

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We knew it would happen sooner or later.. our independence has been revoked.

Declaration of Revocation
by John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium." Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour'; skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters.

You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise."

You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to re-spell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.

Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary." Using the same thirty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "uhh", "like", and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

Look up "interspersed."

There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary, then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to Cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier).

You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents --- Scottish dramas such as "Taggart" will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.

While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon." If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become "shires" e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters.

British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen," but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game.

The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.

Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).

We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005.

You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders," which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day."

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap, and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call 'French fries' are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian, though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or "gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2006) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon -- get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your cooperation.

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