It is my home, my neighborhood, and my history. It is what I am and where I came from. Embarrassing? Yes Boring? Never

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I could not finish my dinner tonight because there was some man who’s thong was showing. Sometimes buffets are too much for even me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What are men doing here!!!!????

Yesterday was a little rushed. We had a baby shower to go to in the afternoon, but we realized at 10:30 AM the party actually started at 11:30. (Note, it is a shower for my ex brother in law who is the same age as my son, never mind, this is a another whole list of characters .) I had taken a big dose of cold meds (I have been buying so many over the counter cold medicines that I am sure I am now appearing on some list of suspected meth cookers!) in an effort to get a nap in before we go to the shower. I was actually all hopped up on the Sudafed all during the shower. Angel gets ready, I wrap the package, and we bolt from the house. ½ hour late really was not too bad, everyone was still eating. (note, we were totally talking about going to Applebee’s after the shower because we think the momma to be is a vegetarians or the stricter ones, and we thought the food was going to , well, uh, suck. I apologize for this judgement. They are also pretty well off and sometimes the expensive high class food is very, well, tiny.) The food was not bad at all, of course I always think that mine is better, but really no complaints. I was a little concerned also because it was a shower with men at it. Okay, I am old, this is different and I do not understand why men have to be there. I have to admit, I like all girl functions. Little prejudice coming though, but it is like ‘they’ are intruding on my fun. But actually I get it now. The father to be was all into being a dad and the baby stuff and he looked adorable all 6 foot macho Italian holding all those tiny little pink clothes. And I have to admit that it was more comfortable having the person that I know, which was the Dad, there to talk to. Of course, how happy he and his parents were that we came, made all the difference in the world. I love my ex in laws. They always make me feel missed and welcome and they love my children. They are as kooky as me and embrace my craziness as i embrace their quirks. I am glad my ex father in law was allowed to be there. (note, I think the other men were there to watch their children while the wives enjoyed themselves. So I get it now. the kids were all playing outside with the dads. Very nice idea, I totally get it now!) Even stoned on Robotusson I felt really at ease, or because I was stoned on Robotusson. (Note, Angel had to go buy the presents because I was so sick, she bought double of some stuff because she has another shower to go to. I apparently did not remember that through my Halls haze and put everything in one box. She is a little irritated at me.) I had won a flower and I am glad I went. The whole excitement of the party wore me out, I tool a Nyquil nap.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Cannot do ED at 5 AM

With a 103 degree temperature and a headache that all hangovers would be jealous of, I crawled to the bathroom at 5 a.m. to find E.D. all over. Seems this horrific black plague hit Fat Cat like scallions at Chi Chi’s and the explosive diarrhea some how was left for me to clean off the seat before I could go. Since the plague has only taken up residence in my head (I find it ironic that my brain is what is effected by the plague while my husband’s area of infection is much lower, where I have always assumed his brain really was) I choose to crawl to the second bathroom. Thank heaven my nose is so stuffed with snot that I cannot smell that bathroom. I drug myself to work, with a box of tissues and a can of chicken noodle soup, because I have been told I was not considered for a move in the company because of my attendance issues (by the way, I asked for my attendance record, to see how many days I have actually missed, but then the subject kept changing and obviously it is not a clear strike as someone thought it was). Upon arrival before anyone else, I actually did go into my bosses cube and cough. Yes I did it. I know it was childish but I am sick and disorientated by the fever. She however called of today. I spend 4 hours staggering though paperwork and trying to not vomit from the phlegm that is dripping down my throat, while one of my co-workers is breathing through her shirt to avoid my germs. (Note, while she was in the restroom, I went to her cube and touched stuff). I ran to the candy store on my lunch, because I have a huge desire to spend money on chocolate, that I will use to coat everything once I get better. As I am holding the chocolate in my hands, it actually starts melting. My fever is that high. I come back to work and the exhaustion of the trip breaks me into tears. I just sit for the next 4 hours crying, at my desk. A picture of the total professional at work. By the time I get home, I just want to collapse. I am on the couch when I realize the plague has now spread to the dog, who, while perched atop my resting body, throws up his body weight in partially digested cat food. I just cried.

The depression death spiral continues. Just in time for the holiday weekend. I am so freakin’ pathetic.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I had a gun waved at me while being robbed. I held my mother in my arms while she slipped away. I have been beaten up. I worked two jobs while I was pregnant to make ends meet.

I get so sick of trying to see the positive side of things. I am just done. I give. I am tired of the fight. I am tired of making lemonade out of the life lemons. I have done it enough.
I watched Alzheimer’s eat my fathers brain before it took his life. I watched my brothers go to prison. I was mugged in park with my babies at my feet. I have had a car stolen.
I am tired of being optimistic. Always hopeful that next time will be better. Putting inspirational messages around to help keep myself up. Finding the rainbow after rain.
I buried my brothers. I divorced. I watched my husband on a ventilator and wondered when he would be gone. I had a plane crash right beside me.
I cannot even mention some of the worst things. I cannot breath them out loud even anonymously. There are bizarre things that people just won’t believe. And the endless pounding of everyday disappointments. I have ‘refocused’ , ‘regrouped’, ‘recovered’ and 'resovled'.
I give. No more. They win, I am broken. I’ll just be as negative as everyone else, I has to be easier.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


My son comes home July 11. Now we are just counting the days.! Pretty soon they will tell us to stop mailing, because they will be getting ready to transition. I have several companies (of course, not the one I slave for ) that have had a list of 12 soldiers, my boy included, that send packages every so often. Lots of my friends have sent notes and items. In fact I have been seriously impressed by all those that genuinely wanted to do something to let a soldier know that they were appreciated. In case anyone is wondering what they can do, let me give you some seriously good suggestions.

1. Get the name or names of soldiers through relatives of soldiers or family of soldiers web sites
2. Even if you do not know your soldier personally, cards and letters . Mail is always good. Not sure what to say? Print off some of those jokes in your ‘In box’ , ones in good taste would be preferable. Humor is key. Keep it light and funny, such items as holiday cards, video game and sports articles.
3. Magazines. You may want to have them sent to you and forward them on to the correct address. Some magazines will not allow you to send to an APO address. Keep in mind though, the location will determine what kind of content will be allowed, if you know what I mean.
4. Packages are a huge treat! Make sure the items included can take being baked at 150 degrees. Nothing that will melt. Coffee creamer, candy, gum, beef jerky, and a personal favorite, socks. Boots all day in the heat will rot the socks off these kids. Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, zip lock bags, foot powder (again with the rotting socks) , and good deodorant soaps. Don’t worry if your soldier will like everything you send, one of his bunk mates will!
5. If sending to Iraq, there should not be any alcohol, any pornography, nor pork products.
6. For the ultimate in fun, pick a month ( I choose Halloween, October, for my son) and hit up every person you can think of and have them send a card or what ever they can send, all month long. It became fun for all the senders too, cards were sent out from ‘dead celebrities’ to aliens.
7. Do not expect anything in return. This is for them, not for the thank you. They do not have time to write you back. You will hear their ‘thank you’s, during prayers or the quiet time at night before you sleep.

The point of all this is to encourage you to take 10 minutes and send a note to a soldier. Sometimes being at war is extremely lonely. My son has shared with many that never received packages. He will be coming home, but there are many other mother’s sons and daughters there. Alone in so many ways.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Watch Yourself in the Parking Lot!

We love us a carnival, despite the fact they are incredible expensive for what you get.. Set up in some random parking lot with giant rides and impossible to beat games, and greasy food, and fun!! These are some of the conversations you can over hear if you happen to be there with my tribe--

1. “ I want to go to the carnibal, I want to go to the carnibal.” When we go to pick up George for an evening of rides, the Crack Babies totally freak out. They have no clue what a Carnival is but, by god, they want to find out! Zowie loads them up in her mni van and follows us. I told her I would pay for George’s ride and some tickets for the Babies. ($25.00)

2. “A round of funnel cakes all around, on me!?” Upon arrival at the carnival we find Number One and his wife. Dad gets all excited, because there is a possibility the grandkids are there, and what better way to be good Pappa than to get them a powder sugar covered deep fried dough clump. As it turned out only the two step grandkids were with them, but good enough! ($20.00)

3. “That was the girl who was on her third kid at graduation. “ Angel sees a young lady she graduated with, realizing yet again, how wonderful my daughter is, I buy her a few ride tickets, a sandwich and pretty much anything else she wants. ($20.00)

4 “The lesbians are here!” Dad is again completely excited because our alternate life style neighbors are here with their kids that call him Uncle Dan and adore him. He gives them money to play some games, where the idea of a grand stuffed animal is too much for anyone to resist, and too complicated for anyone to win! ($10)

5. “I am not holding your tooth.” Okay this was me, Dad cannot eat with his fake tooth in and there is no place to put it when eating a sausage sandwich standing up! He put it in his pocket after waving it around for awhile and I could eat my food without having a view of it. ($20)

6. “Isn’t that one of Number One’s baby momma’s?” Zowie sees them first, in the kiddie part and comes barreling at us with a stroller full of Babies. This means that there is possibility of another grandchild here, and we go off following her! We get there, see the grandson, and realize his mamma is unaware that Number One is here with his wife. My stomach gets all knotted up. We have to get another funnel cake. ($5)

7. “Is that Luigi from Mario’s brothers?” Number One’s wife’s attempt to make fun of the baby momma’s new boyfriend. Great. Even though she may be spot on in her discription, I really do not want to deal with unnecessary drama. We decide we need a lemon aid. ($10)

8. “And I will see YOU again later” Said by one of the ride operators to my 10 year old grandson, and the creep factor was so high, Angel brought the boy right back to us, We then bribed him with batting cages and leaving the carnival ($15)

9. “WTF” Dad as he realized we had spent all the money we brought but the last little bit, that he wanted to use to get yet another funnel cake. ($5) We realized for what we just spent at the ‘carnibal’ we could have got the lawnmower fixed.

10. “And women like you get their asses kicked in parking lots” As we go to leave, the babies start to rebell in such a high pitch scream, everyone started looking. They were bawling and throwing themselves against their stroller restraints. The ydid not want to leave the Carnival. In their frustration to express their will, one peed itself and the other began hitting himself. Zowie’s frustration level went up and I wondered how we are going to get them into the van. They were screeching, she was yelling, people were staring. All the issues they have from being so tortured in the womb flew to the surface, Zowie desperately tried to reel them in.. A woman who obviously had no clue as to what was going on nor who she was dealing with, approached Zowie got about a foot from her and began screaming that it was ‘ woman like her that need Children’s services called on them.’ Zowie’s reaction - pricelessly perfect in our barrel!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Need A Wife

There is a new 'Most Stupidest Show on TV' and dad cannot leave it alone. It is 'A Farmer Wants a Wife.' He walks around singing (to the tune of Farmer in the Dell) 'Farmer wants a wife, farmer want a wife, hi ho dairy oh, farmer want a wife.' There is also some sort of gyrating dancing that goes along with the song. I cannot stop laughing and he keeps asking me 'Am I wrong? isn't that the song?' I cannot even respond, it is so ridiculous. He watches the show with the intensity he does with TV poker tournaments and yells at the Farmer as to what would be the correct thing to do. He is also extremely serious about how he would like to have a 'Date with Dad' show and get trashy girls like on Rock of Love to compete for a date with him. This is not just one of his ramblings, he has this all thought out. There would be a stripper challenge involving a pole and possibly a trapeze. Then there would be a cooking challenge that would involve sandwiches with various lunch meats and salads. All this is, of course, after he gets his new hearing aids because then they are going to send him to Unassisted Living classes. I am hoping that Unassisted means he will be able to do things for himself. Because he cannot do anything for himself now. (the classes are part of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation program for auto workers to re acclimate into the work force, they are the ones actually paying for his new high tech hearing aids, because his hearing is so bad and after he gets the new aids then he will be eligible for various classes. He has to take the the Un-assisted living class first, because he is handicapped and this will help him develop skills to live on his own - Hmmm, I can only hope) I hope they teach him how to look up phone numbers and then dial them for himself. I am going to come up with a list of things he needs to learn. He says he told the case worker that with the unassisted living classes he would not need a wife anymore. Maybe not. Then after the living on your own class is over they are supposed to help teach him a new trade. He has decided that he wants to be a Fishing boat Captain. (although better than playing poker for a career, which he has researched by watching all the poker on TV humanly possible) This new boat thing is from the man that spent a week vomit-ting after a trip on the ocean. He has to have Dramamine when he takes a bath ! But he has now changed his mind, he has decided to be a Farmer. On the show. Not a real one. I am sure that there is a class that will teach you to be a reality show star. 'Farmer Fat Cat wants a wife, Farmer Fat Cat wants a wife, hi ho diary oh, Farmer Fat Cat wants a wife.' 'Come on to the barn Honey, I got a brass pole put in just for you'. He is all excited about his new idea. I can hardly wait.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Part Two, THE DAY

How to make your Own Mother’s day special

1. Send your mother in law flowers at work, sign your husband's and your bother in law's names so that she is completely thrilled that her sons are so thoughtful.
2. Get up at the crack of dawn and clean the house, because your in-laws will be coming over and your husband spent all week ‘thinking’ about what to do about Mother’s day.
3. Since everyone will be there at 2:00,wake your husband up at noon so that he can run around screaming that it is raining and the day is ruined because he cannot cook out in the rain.
3. Locate the golf umbrella to prevent your husband from melting.
4. Pour yourself some juice and add ice from the freezer, where you have carefully placed your vodka for a little kick to that juice.
5. Get out the side dishes you have made while you were up early and had time between the laundry and vacuuming
6. Eat several slices of cheese cake that you bought because ‘your mother in law loves cheese cake’ while you also have another cheese cake in the fridge for later in the evening.
7. Sit at the table having ‘juice’ while you watch your husband do dishes - by hand!

How to know you are a Special Mother having a wonderful day

1. Your son borrows a cell phone and calls you -- FROM IRAQ
2. Your two step daughters send you a card that arrives before the holiday
3. Your daughter in law calls you at 12:01 to be the first to wish you Happy Mother’s Day.
4. Your two oldest call you to tell you they love you and are thinking of you and wish they could be there.
5. Your two children at home manage to get almost everything from your wish list (and some other thoughtful items) and keep giving you WRAPPED gifts all day!

But the very best thing about Mother’s day, when you know it really is your day-
- Life time movie channel - all day, no channel surfing!- and a big box of tissues!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Part One, Reality Check

I have a friend that used to joke with me because I seemed to be running a home for unwed mothers, between Zowie and Number One's baby mamma's. But I think I have passed on my title.

I went to my brother's ex wife and my brothers two daughters. Now he died in December and I do not want to loose touch with his girls and I always liked this wife (which is by the way 5 of his 6 wives) She married well her second time around, and then the poor new husband had a near death experience. and is semi paralyzed to the point that their bed room is a hospital room. My god, I could not be this woman! She has a pregnant daughter, custody of her other daughter's two year old and a paraplegic husband. And I thought she had a lot to put up with when she was married to my brother! Angel and I were just in shock most of the day, which, in case you have not realized yet, is not a state that is easily achieved. Then they told us they were ALL leaving the next day and driving to Disney!!! How completely insane!!

You know, I think I am going to have the best Mother's day ever because of this day. It makes me appreciate what I have and especially what I don't have! I spent the entire day with my daughter, shopping, laughing, just enjoying her. We shared cheese cake. It does not get much better than that. She showered me with gifts through out the day, which made Mother's Day Part One, about as sweet as it could ever be!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Life's Like a Bag of M&M's (the kind with nuts)

Okay, got to tell you, I am a little drunk right now. So this may not be the cohesive letter I have ever typed, but I seriously needed to calm myself down. I seem to be in yet another downward spiral and it s ever so annoying. Although they do prove to be very entertaining afterward, they are most trying to go through. Yet again I interview for another position for which I am qualified, and it appears I have yet again, lost out to someone sleeping with a manager. (okay it is a wife of a director, so technically she is allowed to sleep with him, but it does give me justification to complain) Whine, wine, whine. …

My dogs are not letting me type. When I have the lap top on my lap, they think I am petting it and they get all jealous and start barking and pulling my hands and rubbing on the keyboard. It is slightly amusing. Right now if I was in an interview I would be asking you if you have dogs and if they are jealous and before you know it, I would have your life story and we would be B.F.F.’s. which seems to be my pattern. Then you would call me and tell me about how great the other people were and ask my opinion….

I just notice that my husband is not drinking, not a drop but is steadily refilling mine. That is because when I have been drinking, I am less likely to be annoyed by his breathing, by his presence and his constant channel changing. Not that I yell at him or anything, but I do get incredible agitated and tend to target something that is not really the problem For example, the worst I actually every blew up at him was over a stupid bag of M&M’s, actually both the worst screaming fits I ever through were over the M&M;s. Peanut M&M;s. He was eating them in his chair, one by one, ..

Sorry I had to stop and get Buster’s ball, because it rolled under dad’s end table . His OCD (Buster’s not dad’s) will not let him leave that ball and get another one. Oh no, he will scratch and dig and cry until you get it or he passes out from exhaustion. Dad turn’s off his hearing aids and I get stuck listening to it until I get up and retrieve the ball. Where was I?
Okay ,so Dad was eating these stupid candies, for like, ½ hour, when he turns to me and asks (with way more seriousness than when we discussed getting married, buying a house, or what to do about bailing out one of my relatives) how he wondered what flavor the blue ones were. I could not help myself, it was so idiotic that I just started screaming, THEY ARE NOT FLAVORS, THEY ARE COLORS. I think I may have grabbed the bag and flung them about the house. I am getting incensed just thinking of it right now. I just glared at him, actually caught myself burning him with my eye ball lasers. I may have to scream it again. …
Stupid dog now has to go out. I have to turn the light on because Duke is afraid to go out onto the porch without the light.

The other M&M drama, was the night we went to the ware house club and bought a ginormous bag of the candy, which he immediately took to our bedroom, so that the kids would not dare eat any. That night I fall asleep to the steady munching of peanuts smothered in scrumptious chocolate. I awoke several hours later and reached around to scratch my back when I found s substance smeared against my back. Now we have a water bed, not because we are some swinging, hipster couple but because there was once a near death experience with a 40 year old mattress (Oh, I will save that story for a more sober evening!) . So between the warmth of my sleeping body and the heat of the bed, the substance felt warm and was a dark color and for a few minutes I thought I had touched feces. Long enough of a thought for me to bolt upright and scream bloody murder and flip on the light to find….

Sorry, cat wanted in now, and we had barking as a door bell, and Dad still has his aids off and did not hear the announcement. Or the pitch has finally reached the point where only some people that can actually hear them.

Back to the feces. I flip on the light whilst screaming and found my husband in a near fatal M&M coma, with a 5 pound bag of M&M’s all over the bed, stuck to me , imbedded in my skin, and stuck all in his chest hair. There was more screaming by him, when he woke up and nearly choked on the ½ eaten peanut in his mouth. There were multicolored stains on the sheets and his chest (by the way, the color is amazingly resilient to soap when cooked into cloth and skin). I started freaking out , jumping around and hollering that he was completely insane and should just eat the rest of them and die. Which granted was not nice, and something you should not say to ones life partner, but I lost it. I forbade M&M’s from being in the house for about a year after that.

Now it is raining and the cat and Duke want to go out again, and Buster is checking the end table incase there is a ball there. And I have another drink, and dad has not changed the channel in about 10 minutes, and I may buy him M&M’s tomorrow. It is going to be a very busy day, because we have to go to my nieces babies’ birthday party tomorrow and she just got off probation and there is a big celebration planned. And I have just found out my favorite of my ex-sister in laws (okay, there are a total of 10, my two brothers were very popular with the ladies) has cancer, and I am cooking for mothers day, and well, I think it best if I have another drink.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The second my bare foot hit the diarrhea I knew the tone of my entire day. First step from my bed, and directly after silencing the alarm clock, I put down my foot and found the problem. Seems one of my silly little Pomeranians had a stomach issue during the night. As I hopped on my good foot (isn’t that a song) to the bathroom, I saw the little puff ball hiding his face and wiggling around. Buster is the color of caramel and just a happy little empty headed pudding cup, most of the time, as he has serious abandonment issues being a pound dog and all. He is the perfect picture of a pom, obviously pure bread, and dreamingly delicate. But we only traded a chicken for him, so I dare not complain (yes, that is quite a story, I will tell you later). After rushing as fast as possible on my foot, to the potty and simultaneously washing my other foot in the tub, (I found I am pretty agile for an old broad) I had the other dog (another pom - a gift, sad story there, save for much later) Duke, starts freaking out completely because I am not on the way down stairs to let him out. I get the little pool of poo cleaned up and now have whipped them into a barking frenzy while they are dancing around to go out. I lfinally let Duke out and found that Buster had poo residue on his backside (huge disadvantage to the breed - lots of behind hair). So I pick him up and take him through the house to the other bathroom to clean him off when I locate another puddle of excrement - with again my bare foot. Now I have to hop into the bathroom while carrying a dirty dog. After another foot bath and hosing off a dog I am seriously getting tight on time. I go into the kitchen to feed the animals when I see a plate by their dog dishes. Seems my dear husband decided the dogs needed rigatoni left overs some time during the night. Lovely. It is all making sense now, he is sabotaging my morning, I will have to plot my revenge.

As I return to my room to get dressed, I hear Duke, who I left outside barking to come in. I ran back down but it was a hoax, he did not want to come in, he wanted me to come out and let the my mother in law's dog in. (okay, I live right by my in-laws, with our back yards touching and our dogs are best friends, jealous aren’t you??) I shut the door and run back up to finsh getting ready for work. By the time I am done, Duke will still not come in, so I take off my heels put on my son’s tennis shoes that are by the door (size 12, they look like snow shoes on me) so that I do not get my heels ruined in the wet dewy grass. The stupid dog starts running from me and I have to move like a cross county skier in my giant shoes and lovely skirt and blouse ensombel. I finally get him. My mother in law is screaming for her dog which sends my dog into fits because he loves 'grandma'. I pull him to me and realize he is very wet and pretty muddy, and now so am I. Great, if I go 80 miles an hour, I may get to work on time. I have to change, I rush upstairs and whip on a complete new outfit, including new underware, because I now am wearing white pants, and I had on …… okay does not matter, and could fall into the too much information category.

I manage to get to work within a somewhat reasonable ‘close to on time’ arrival . And start up the computer, get the voice mails, and start the sorting of the faxes, when I feel a little uncomfortable. My pants do not feel like they are fitting properly. I run to the ladies room, and find I have somehow managed to put my underwear on backwards. As I am washing my hands, my boss comes in and starts to tell me about how busy she is and how her day is not going well.

I wish I could bring my dogs to work.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It is not just another day

So it is that time of year again, and every time I think it will change
When my mind becomes so clouded and my feelings so strange
I cannot stay focused, beneath the surface is just a river of tears.
At the very core of me, I am just a child faced with my greatest fears.

After 10 years, you would think the pain would dull
When I lost her I was an adult after all
I should not feel like this, I have children and a life that is my own
But this simple holiday makes me feel so all alone

Every day I miss her and think of her in some way
When I am making dinner or remember something she would say
There are little tunes and silly songs we would sing for fun
So many times I want to tell her about something my kids have done

I am jealous of my friends that have their mother’s still
And I want to tell them how special they should feel
How precious are those moments that I wish I could share
When only your mother would listen but now she isn’t there

My heart aches for children who have suffered this loss in their youth
I cannot imagine their pain and how they deal with that truth
I am not sure how they ever feel safe and not stay apart
When they have suffered tremendously with such a broken heart

So when my children ask me what I want on my special day
I have an idea , I know just what I will say
I want them to be thoughtful and kind, my answer is clear,
To those who are without their mothers who they hold so dear.

Take this time to make a call or send a card or a smile
Let them know you remember they will be sad for awhile
And let them know they are not alone, that you are there
And that you know their loss is painful and that you really care.

And in Heaven that mother who waits patiently above
Will smile down upon you with such a gesture of love.
There is no greater gift you can truly give a mother
Than to show kindness and compassion to one another.

(For Pauline, who loved a poem with all her heart! Happy Mother’s Day)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Spring has Kracked!!!

Ahh, it is May, and with that, the barrel begins to tip. All the sunshine and birds makes the little crazies restless and we begin to ramp up for the summer.

The top 10 ways to know it is spring on Kracker Lane

10. There is fresh junk rusty car in the drive way. ( Dad decides every spring to work on cars for extra money, this time he drug home a car belonging to an African American friend ; it has a lanyard tied around the stump of what used to be door handle, a mismatched hood, and several shoe size dents. )

9. Way too early in the season, Dad and Angel have planted the garden. (Since this decision was made spur of the moment and with a flurry of excitement, the only place that seemed appropriate was the 27 foot diameter dirt circle where my above ground pool used to be. So I have a large circle garden, tomato cages and all, directly in the middle of my backyard. )

8. There are piles of poop on the patio. (For some reason, having the patio open and cleaned off has always triggered the two stupid Pomeranians, known as A.D.D. Duke and Bi-polar Buster, to crap on the concrete. Granted, it is small enough to pick up with a tissue, but the quantity is like having a large gaggle of geese in the yard.)

7. The evenings are longer, and while we are porch lounging, people frequently stop buy with pleasant conversation. ( My Brothers 5th ex-wife, stopped by, since we were out, to let me know one of my nieces’ is pregnant and the other is almost off probation and may soon get her son back. Nothing makes you realize just how much you belong in a barrel than a visit from the family.)

6. A dead end street is the perfect spot for 4 wheeler races and mini bikes (did I mention the beer?)

5. The cops have made their first sweep of the season. (After the young guys stay up drinking half the night, the old guys who have to go to work, find the fireworks uncalled for.)

4. The annual contest over who will drag the window air conditioners out of the attic and install them begins. (Tank and Fat Cat antler butt over this while angel and I roast alive in the upstairs and cannot get to sleep at night . They both sleep downstairs where the temperature is about 150 degrees cooler and they can pretend that the air conditioners are really not going to be needed. This war is usually not resolved with out a shock and aw explosion on my part.)

3. The in laws disappear to the campgrounds every weekend. (With a NASCAR theme and jazzed up golf carts, they spend their weekends with about 25 other couples on a plot of ground 45 minutes away from everyone else, in a tiny camper with a big deck. We are always invited to come out for the weekend, but Memorial day is the one time we get to share in the joy of nature, the out of doors, and the pleasure of drunken old guys gossiping about the ‘idiots’ on the other side of the park.)

2. We fill the propane tanks for the BBQ season. (we have two gas grills and one charcoal smoker, where Dad helps out by cooking the meat for most of the meals. Of course, I still have to prepare everything, run out all the utensils he forgot, bring the water to put out the fire, and set the table but the meat is no longer my concern)

And the number one way you can tell spring has Kracked……..

1. The first major bonfire of the year is scheduled - our neighbors have invited all their friends ! Dad and Tank are getting their lawn chairs ready, because it will be different this year, this year there will be pretty ones, like on TV! - Hope is eternal as the couple next door set up the chairs, throw a couch into the pile of wood, and settle in for what Dad calls - LES FEST 2008. Yes, we have lesbian neighbors and the boys are sure those TV and ‘movie’ girls will show up anytime! Not like the previous years when they all rather looked like men. Stupid boys, it must be spring.