Thursday, September 30, 2004

Of Scarecrows, Politics And Chicken-dogs

I'm one of those people who, while having definite political views, doesn't like to be pigeonholed into one group or another. That's why I'm registered as an independent. It's the only way to get out of declaring a party in Iowa. I also have a certain distain for the political system. I can't stand the junk mail, phone calls and TV ads that deluge us around election time. I especially hate it when they beg for money from us little people when they're getting plenty of donations from corporations, but they think nothing of taxing us little people to death. Like Travis Tritt said, "Those politicians treat me like a mushroom, they feed me bull and keep me in the blind."

So I decided, this year, to employ a little creative evil genius and show my disrespect for politicians while at the same time decorating my yard for Halloween. I build two scarecrows and hung them in the front yard, and placed a large pumpkin between them that I had painted with a goofy face. The scarecrow on the left has a Frankenstein face, is dressed as a hippie, and has a sign in front of him that says "Kerry". The scarecrow on the right has a bulgy-eyed monster face, is dressed in Air Force overalls, and has a sign in front of him that says "Bush". The pumpkin with the goofy face has a sign behind him that says "Nader". I have yet to hang the banner that says "Scary, Ain't It?" out front of them. I need to get it laminated first.

After the scarecrows were mounted on their posts, I decided to see what my dog would do when he saw them. So I put a leash on him and took him out to the front yard. I could NOT drag that dog anywhere near those scarecrows! He growled at them, and all the hair stood up on his back, then he started barking at them but he wouldn't approach them. My big, 105 pound black lab - rottweiler mix dog is a chicken. If he'd have sprouted feathers I wouldn't have been surprised. But then again, labs were bred to be bird dogs. (HA!)

So anyway, now my Halloween-election year display is almost complete. I've already had a few laughs over it (which was the idea all along) and my Mom said it'll probably be on the TV news (which would be nice, but I doubt they'll come out to my small town) and I have an idea for next year's display. I'll dress up one of the scarecrows as a ferryman, put him on a raft, and tie Moose Mutt next to him with a sign that says "Entrance to the River Styx. Beware of Cerberus!"

Like anyone has anything to beware of, the big chicken.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Football Update

Well, sports fans, I'm now 0 - 3 in my fantasy league. This is to be expected in my rookie year, so I'm not upset. I'm having fun learning how to handle a team. However, if I don't win this week, it's very likely that I won't win at all because the team I play this week is the league's other 0 - 3 team, and if I can't beat him, I can't beat anyone. Oh, well, wish the Kickers luck. Next year will be better!

Friday, September 24, 2004


Today is my birthday, and quite frankly, it's no big deal. I'm old enough that birthdays just aren't worth getting too worked up about. However, I did get a couple of very nice gifts. My husband got me the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD. That didn't take much convincing - "Gee, honey, next time you're in Wal-Mart why don't you go to the electronics section and buy some DVD's?" It's like sending a kid to Toys R Us.

The other nice gift I got came courtesy of my oldest daughter and her elementary school. The school gives out monthly awards to three members of each class: one for citizenship, one for effort, and one for student of the month. Well, my girl won the Effort award for her class. What a great gift to get from your child, seeing them honored for working hard at their schoolwork even though its difficult for her (because of her autism). She tries so hard to do well, yet keeps a cheerful attitude. If this is not an answer to years of prayers, I don't know what is. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of my "disabled" baby, and helping her in school to achieve those things I was afraid she never would achieve. My heart felt so cold the day they told me she had autism. Thank you, God, for warming my heart back up.

I am also blessed that my youngest doesn't seem to be having any academic difficulty. After she missed that week of school, she and I sat down together and did her "homework" i.e. the stuff she had to make up. I didn't hardly have to prompt her at all, she just whipped right through it. Thank you, Master, for Boo-Boo being so smart, and yet so cuddly at the same time.

And now, a change of subject. After two weeks of fantasy football, I must admit that I am 0 for 2 and am in last place in the league. I don't expect this standing to change because in retrospect I chose a team based more on what I knew of the players from college, and not from their pro careers. I also went with players that I'd heard alot about on TV, but because here they only broadcast midwest teams, my roster is mostly midwestern players. I don't think I have anyone from an East coast team, and the West coast guys I have are from the collegiate Big 10 conference. Oh, well. There's always next year. Look out for the Nuclear Moose!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Getting Punted

First of all, an update. Boo-Boo is feeling better. This has been one of the nastiest viruses I've seen, and so please pray that she doesn't give it to anyone else. She's been out of school all week with fevers, vomiting, a rash and a cough (which just started yesterday). Poor baby, it's been a rough road, but she's really handled it well with lots of rest, fluids, Charlie Brown DVDs, My Little Pony toys and a few loving licks from Moose Mutt. She even got a phone call from a classmate who, when told Boo would be out all week, said "Waa! I miss her!" That was so sweet! She should be back in school Monday, praise the Lord.

Now, on to football, my favorite sport. And I'm not just saying that because I have a shirt-tail cousin in the NFL. I like the action, the strategy (as far as I understand it) and the way the fans interact with their teams. I mean, have you ever been to a baseball game where the people started tailgating ten hours before the game, and then went in to watch with their faces painted in their team's colors and silly headgear poised on their craniums? No! Baseball is boring - it's a bunch of guys standing around waiting for a ball to fly in their direction. There's no cheerleaders, no marching bands, and no half-naked guys with "CUBS" painted in large letters on their chests. That kind of juvenile behaviour is relegated to football, and being somewhat juvenile myself, I love it, and I love to participate in it. Therefore, when I found out that our church had a fantasy football league, I asked to join in. They let me, and I am the only female manager in a ten team league. It's fun! I drafted players, and when my roster needed some changes, I dropped and added a few guys. I've had to do some shuffling to get what I want, but I think I have a decent team. And I must admit, that even though I'm ninth out of ten after the first week, it wasn't by much. I only lost the first game by half a point, and the players that didn't perform for me because of injuries got traded out. So hopefully week two will be better. But the manager of another team told me something very important when I confided in him how nervous I was. He said it didn't matter if I had a lineup of all stars, it really came down to luck because everybody has bad days. So I'll post updates on my team's progress, and let you know how I fare at the end of the season. Now I need to go paint my face blue and yellow and put on my wig. Go Kickers!

P.S. I know "Kickers" is a weak name for a football team, but it's a reference to my shirt-tail NFL cousin. If I do this, next year, my team name will be Nuclear Moose.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Perils of Boo-Boo, Part Two

Sunday, I went to my parents house for an overnight stay. I had some business to transact in their town (namely, I wanted to borrow a trombone from my brother) so I stayed over until Monday. However, Monday morning my husband calls me and tells me Boo-Boo woke up at 4 am with a fever and she was throwing up. I apologized for not being at home, but he said he could handle things as long as I was home in time for him to go to his 5 pm meeting with some co-workers. Fine, I said. So I was home in plenty of time and off my husband went to meet with with his Master's Degree study group. (Have I ever mentioned that my husband is working on getting two master's degrees right now? Plus he works full time and STILL has time for his kids. What a stud!) Anyway, so off he went, and I was home with the girls. Boo didn't want any supper, just some juice, and afterward I took the girls upstairs for their baths. By this time Boo was very lethargic, so I took her temperature. It was over 104. And she vomited again, three times. So I called the pediatrician who said Get her checked out. However, after 8 pm all that's available is the emergency room, so I called my husband to come home (where my oldest daughter was) and I took Boo-Boo to the hospital. There, they tried to give her Tylenol, but she barfed again, so (MY POOR BABY!) they gave it to her in suppository, along with an anti-vomit medication. They were worried about strep throat and meningitis, so they took a swab from her throat and blood from her arms. They had to poke both arms because the first time they poked her she jumped and yanked out the needle, so they had to try again on the other side with me and a nurse holding her down. Well, fortunately, after all that medical indignation she suffered, the doctor told me that it's a virus (and a nasty one at that) so she's home with me today, asleep on the sofa-sleeper in the living room. There's more to this story (like me running to the 24/7 pharmacy at 4 am this morning) but I'm running out of time and space. I promise to update everyone on Boo's recovery, and also to write a (hopefully) humorous blog about my newfound experience at fantasy football.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Dog Daze

Summer vacation is over, and the girls are back in school. Now that they're gone, I find myself spending time with the dog that I used to spend with them: for instance, instead of going bike riding with the girls, I take Moose Mutt for a walk. Or I should say we mutually walk each other. If I want to go straight but the dog wants to turn (usually because he sees something to chase) we turn. Like this morning, we're walking through the "old" section of town (there's some beautiful 19th century houses there) and all of the sudden I get jerked to the right. The leash, instead of staying on my wrist where it belongs, is now flapping merrily behind a high-speed hyperactive dog who's chasing a rabbit into someone's garden. The homeowners are outside, and they're chuckling at me chasing up the alley yelling for the dog and trying to grab his leash. I catch him, apologize profusely to the homeowners (who are still laughing) and drag him away. I kept BOTH hands on the leash for the rest of the walk. At least when I shout at my girls to stop, they'll stop but then turn around and ask "Why?" in that "don't irritate us, Mom" voice.

So the day progresses, and I'm home watching the mid-day news when I hear the dog barking madly in his "stranger approaching" voice. This is not abnormal except for the fact that the sound is NOT coming from the back yard (where the dog's supposed to be) but from the garage. I go out the front door and there's my poor mailman Jeff, face to face with my dog whose back is bristling like a Fuller brush. I call the dog into the house and am forced to apologize profusely to Jeff, whose arms are loaded with letters, newspapers, and a package. (And it's a hot, humid day.) I get my mail, go into the house, and ask the dog how he got out of the yard and into the garage. Of course the dog says nothing but gives me that "Are you going to feed me now?" look. Arg. I take the dog outside and check all the doors and gates. All locked. Hmmm. Well, by this time now I'm hot, humiliated and frustrated and all I can think of is to take it out on the dog. So I did. I got out the poochie shampoo and the garden hose and gave him a bath. Now, he really needed one, but like all dogs, he hates the garden hose. Well, tough luck, mutt. You stink, plus I'm mad at you, so you're getting a bath. Bathing my dog isn't difficult even though he is so big - you just have to stand on his leash and learn to pivot with him when he moves. Now he's clean and I'm tired, so I'm going to finish my blog and get an ice cold Pepsi from the fridge. See you later!