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    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Kudos to MetLife

    The claim is already processed for yesterday's dental total due?

    $57.00. I'll take it!

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008


    No question. Large metal hooks coming at your mouth to, in the most simplistic, scary, painful fashion, "clean" your teeth, are part of a dental procedure that IS 'barbaric', at best. Surely with all of the world's seemingly endless technology and resources we have in this day and age, SOMEONE can come up with a better way? No?

    No. And do you want to know why? Because the dental hygienist is making $4.50 a MINUTE doing this fun Little-Shop-of-Horrors-inspired job, that's why. Surely she makes enough to pay off researchers and make it worth their while to NOT find a painless, trauma-free method for removing tartar from the human tooth. You know, they give dogs general anesthesia to do this kind of work*. I wish I was a dog.

    But, I have survived my first (of many to come**) day at the dentist. Teeth clean, gums, uh, invigorated, and attitude re-vamped to take consistently better care of my teeth, and to go see Miss Dental Torture Chick MUCH more often.

    *Yes, I know it's mostly for the hygienist's benefit, not the dog's, that they put them under for teeth cleanings - and why? Because, dear reader, a dog would CHEW YOUR FACE OFF if you tried to do to them what that chick did to me today. Hell, I almost bit the bitch myself.

    **How many more? How ever many more visits it takes to do three crowns, redo one that my last dentist fucked up, and fill four cavities. Plus a follow-up with the hygienist and another cleaning in six months. That's how many more.

    I've Been Gone Too Long...

    ...and now I'm going back. To the dentist, that is.

    It's been WAAAAAAAY too long. Years, frankly. I know. Bad, bad girl, suitable for flogging and beating for my negligence toward my teeth. (I KNOW, alright?)

    All that ends in 7.25 hours, you'll be glad to know. Let the ass chewings from hygienist and dentist alike begin. Can't wait.

    So Dr. G, here I come. Let me have it. Lay it on me, I can take it.

    Why do I have the soundtrack of "Little Shop of Horrors" playing in my head?


    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    I Want My Mommy!

    And I'm getting her!

    Mom's coming this weekend, she'll actually be here today. So we'll have a good weekend full of M*A*S*H, yummy beachy foods and staying up until 2 AM laughing our butts off. And maybe even working on her cookbook that's been in process for years now. IF I get my office cleaned - it's a nightmare in here right now.

    We were planning a trip to the zoo, but I had forgotten that the College World Series nightmare is down there this weekend, so we'll skip that until next time. Nooooo thank you. You remember what happened LAST time I tried to go down there during CWS time. I will be SO glad when they tear down that pile of crap and move their stupid "event" elsewhere.

    Sunday, June 15, 2008


    Ugh. Sometimes I think the END of period hormones are worse than the pre- and during period hormones, because I'm bitchy tonight and it's just the way it is.

    Looooooong weekend. And not at ALL what I had wanted for Greg for Father's Day weekend. Poor guy. He really got hosed.

    Saw the ILs and stayed at their house. The dogs tear up their yard, so we get to feel bad about that and spend our weekend rebuilding flower beds fourteen times so that's always a nice time, too...

    Fun, fun compared to root canal and toenail surgery performed simultaneously.

    On a completely different subject, it's come to my attention that a good friend of mine might be moving farther away than I ever dreamt; certainly farther than we'll ever be able to afford to go and visit. I am ECSTATIC for her and her family, and it will be an incredible, exciting, awesome experience for them (if it happens, which is likely). But my heart is sad, and I hesitate to admit I cried a little when I found out. The selfish, needy (and almost certainly unattractive) part of me had secret-if-unfounded hopes that someday they would all move CLOSER, not farther away from us. I am so blessed by her, and her friendship, and while I know it will continue as it always has, the idea of such great distance makes me sigh and get misty, no matter how freaking SWEET I know it is for their family and how excited I am for the potential opportunity. Boo for the whiny childish part of me that steals my joy when I want to be happy for my friend.

    Enough whining about that, I need to knock that off. I am tired, and have done NO unpacking, and have LOTS to do. Not that there are any things that I feel like doing. Except eating. I DO feel like eating, though. Think I won't, but I sure feel like doing it. Ok, I'm whining about food now, move on Cathy...

    And I need to be turning up the thermostat, it's like a freaking igloo in here.

    HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the fathers I love, and especially to my dear, sweet husband Greg. You are more special than you will ever know, and the ones who can't see that don't matter. They just don't. You are the best man I know, and always have been. The best thing I ever did for our kids is have them with you. Never ever forget that.

    Gotta go hug my hubby and kids. That's the best medicine.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Things Are Prettier in Cobalt Blue

    So, for Mother's Day 2007, my dear sweet husband got me my dream appliance, that which I have drooled over and dreamt of in home stores for years and years - the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. White, 4.5 quart, 275 watts of power, shiny mixing bowl and attachments. I was ecstatic. I baked, I cooked, I mixed and blended to my heart's content. I gained MANY pounds making cake mix cookies, pies and cakes.

    As the months went by, I would, on occasion, notice that the lower speed settings would not "catch" right away, and the motor sounded louder than I thought it should. I was certain, however, that I just wasn't used to such a powerful motor which is why it seemed loud, and that I just wasn't getting the speed selector quite right in its groove. No worries. Mix on.

    When spring rolled around, the speed selector issue had grown steadily worse, and by end of April or so, the lower speeds seemed to have stopped working nearly entirely.

    Certain I had read that KitchenAid had a good warranty, I began looking around for the receipt and book with the serial number, etc.


    They seemed to have grown legs, been moved, or just plain disappeared. By the time I emailed Kitchen Aid, it was past Mother's Day 2008, and I had seen on my box that the warranty was one year.

    Hmm again.

    As I said, I emailed them.

    I received a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer (KSM75WH) for Mother's Day last year (2007). In the last few months, the lower gears have started cutting out, but I thought maybe I just wasn't getting them exactly in the "groove" of each setting notch. Recently it got much worse - the lowest two to four speed settings do not work at all most of the time. There seems to be a short of some type in the switch. I am uncertain of the exact date of purchase, as it was a gift and I do not have the receipt available at this time. This problem started a few weeks ago, probably right around the last week of April 2008.

    My hope is that I am incorrect in assuming that, since I am just now contacting you, the warranty is expired and I am just out a $200 mixer. I did not purchase a separate service plan; as I said it was a gift. I can only imagine what it would cost to fix it, probably close to what was paid for it. I am, frankly, very disheartened at the length of time this mixer worked without problems. The Sunbeam I had before my Kitchen-Aid still worked fine after 7 years when I got this one, which was supposed to be SO much better than the Sunbeam. Except my Kitchen-aid doesn't work now after only a year. It has never been dropped, abused or misused while I have owned it. It just stopped working properly.

    I am hoping you can offer me some sort of really, really great customer service, suggest how we can resolve this, and tell me that not all of your mixers die off about the time the 1-year warranty expires. I expected this mixer to last me for years and years, and it's already pretty much unusable. Please advise soonest? Thank you so much for your time!

    I received a response the next day.


    Unfortunately I am not finding a file for you with this mixer, please contact our customer service department at Kitchen Aid at 1.800.422.1230 and someone should be able to help.



    So I called. I was NOT optimistic.

    'Tasha' was very friendly, asked for my information, my mixer's information, and then asked what the problem was. I told her. Including the part where I didn't have my receipt, didn't know the exact date it quit working, but that it was about April of this year, after having received it in May of last year.

    She listened, then asked if I could hold while she would 'see what she could do for me'.

    I was still not optimistic.

    After a short time, she comes back on the phone. I begin to think I'm hearing things as she says "Cathy, what we can offer to do is replace the mixer. And you'll actually be getting an upgrade, we don't offer the 4.5 quart model anymore, so we'll be sending you a 5 quart Artisan (refurbished, guaranteed with 6 month warranty) mixer. Did you want another white one, or would you like to pick one of our twenty colors?"

    I almost dropped the phone. When I could get it together enough to absorb what was going on, I picked cobalt blue. She said they would send a pre-paid pick-up tag for me to return the defective mixer, and they would have UPS pick it up for me. She asked me if I needed anything else. She informed me of some great discounts they offer via their phone ordering, etc. The whole time I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - but it never did.

    I was still not all that optimistic, frankly. Surely this had to be a mistake! Surely they were not really going to send me a NICER mixer, with a BIGGER motor and capacity, with a BETTER bowl, and in my FAVORITE color? I'll believe this when I see it. I was sure this must have been dear, sweet Tasha's first day, and her trainer was in the bathroom when I called. Surely as soon as he came out, he was going to give her the tongue lashing of the day about giving away free mixers in exchange for crappy ones that don't even work worth a darn!

    But no. Seemingly Tasha is every bit the informed, helpful, friendly representative of Kitchen Aid that she seemed to be! Because as sure as you're born, what did my UPS man deliver late yesterday afternoon?

    THIS (ok, one that looks just LIKE this):

    It's really beautiful, all of the speeds work smooth as silk, and it purrs like a kitten. A 325-watt kitten wrapped in cobalt blue.

    Kitchen Aid earned my business for life. Go buy one next time you shop for appliances. They are worth every penny, and the people stand behind their products, and take honest customers at their word.

    These are good people, with good products, and we all KNOW those are hard to find in this day and age!

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    My Hero

    So Greg, as he has always done, came home to his defeated wife and crazy children, and immediately stepped into "knight on a white horse" mode for me, as he has done so many times in my life. For nearly 16 years now he's been getting out his trusty steed, just when I need him most, and rushing in to save the day.

    He handled dinner, promptly took over child care duties, and invited me to leave at my leisure to go do whatever I wanted. Eventually he convinced me, and while he bathed the kids, I slipped out for a few hours of retail therapy sans children and hubby. They gave him a run for his money at bedtime, but he was victorious in the end, and I returned home tonight to a quiet house and clean, sleeping children.

    How lucky am I? What a blessing I received today - from this man who had his own shitty day, who battled idiocy in large doses all day at his job, who has an assistant who thinks showering is to be reserved only for St. Swizzum's Day celebrations. I got lovingly picked up, dusted off, and sent out to rejuvenate, re-center and find myself again, even for just a little while.

    As usual, he is just what I needed. But then, it's always been that way. I hope he gets the chance to say it about me once in a while, too, but there's no questioning who is spoiling who around here, tonight at least.

    Tomorrow looks better already.

    Is the Party Over?

    Has the moment come, the moment when I say to myself, "Self - nobody's having fun around here, so it's time for a change."? Maybe so.

    Greg's job is stressing him out, and he works tons of overtime (mostly b/c the money makes our way of life possible, and because he's a hard worker). Then he has to come home to more stress from his loving family. I am at my wits' end. The kids, I'm sure, are sick of getting yelled at, and god knows I am sick of yelling.

    The kids are apparently bored with every toy they own, because unless I am sitting on the floor playing with them, they are only interested in the following items:

    • my make-up and hair acoutroments
    • the dogs, who they love to "LOVE" on by laying on top of them until they run away
    • kitchen utensils and dog water...together
    • toilet accessories of any kind
    • items of a toxic nature if Jackson the wonder-lock-picker can get to them, while she cheers on
    • my books
    • my clothes
    • Greg's clothes
    • Greg's video games

    The only item of theirs that they ARE interested in is crayons. But they aren't interested in writing on any paper (unless it's my form I need to send in to whereever), no no - just the walls and doors, thankyouverymuch.

    And for the second day in a row, Miss Big Girl has opened the front door and let her and Mr Little Boy out front - where they are free to get run over at any given point, or be kidnapped or bitten by rabid dogs out running around the neighborhood. Yesterday, when I gave her the verbal thrashing she deserved and explained exactly what would happen to her brother if he ran out into the street, she assured me she would "never ever ever ever ever" do it again. Apparently that "never-ever" warranty expired at midnight because she did the same fucking thing today. That's what I get for trying to do laundry for 2 minutes.

    So maybe it's time. Maybe it's time to give up the fairy tale that this is what's best for them. Unless I spend 100% of my time with them, they are into trouble and we all end up miserable. And that's fine (for me to do nothing but play) except then they are living in a pig-stye, which is not what I want for them either. So if I want a clean house and to be home with my kids, they get yelled at all day, I feel like a bitch all day, and no one's having fun. Gee, that's fucking DANDY, huh?

    Mostly it makes me sad that despite my best efforts, I seem to be raising brats. The don't listen, they don't comprehend, they ignore until I scream; the little one speaks cambodian* but almost no english no matter how much I work with him; the big one has GOT to be up for an academy award by now with all the drama every time she gets reprimanded, and my patience has worn so thin that I feel on the verge of snapping at many points throughout the day. Hey, fun for everyone!

    So the solution might be for them to go to daycare, and for me to go to work. It makes me sick to say that, and maybe it's just the PMS talking here (it better be PMS). I love my kids. I love being with them when they are at their best, and hell, I even love them when they're not at their best, that's what love is. But they seem to have signed a pact with someone who hates me, wherein they have agreed to NEVER be at their best again, and to make me cry on a regular basis.

    So I figure, if I'm gonna be miserable, I might as well be getting paid for it. God knows they'll have more fun in day care than they are having getting into trouble every five minutes here at home.

    *No, not really cambodian, but his version of trying to talk sounds much more like cambodian, with its clicks and weird sounds, than any form of english. I found a speech therapist today who I may take him to since obviously I am incapable of teaching him the simplest of concepts. Great day overall. Yeah.

    Saturday, June 7, 2008

    Do You Go In The "Family" Bathroom By Yourself?

    Do you? Guilty? Don't like pooing in the "regular" bathroom for your specific gender? Feel like you need some space, some privacy? Wanna relax and take some time while you drop some friends off at the pool?

    Tough shit. That's right, you heard me. I did not stutter. You need to knock it off. I am SO not kidding. Listen up. It's called a "FAMILY" bathroom so people who need to go in a restroom together, but who cannot enter a public bathroom together, have some place to go.

    Say, for instance, a four year-old girl has to poop (we'll call her "Daughter"*). And suppose Daddy takes her, knowing that the store has a FAMILY restroom, and since the store is fairly slow, there's a decent chance it'll be empty, or at least empty soon.

    A note: Daddy will occasionally take Daughter into the men's room under ideal circumstances if absolutely necessary, but in this case, Daddy has already been IN the men's room and has seen that conditions are NOT suitable for Daughter to sit on ANY of the toilets in that facility. Without committing what we are fairly certain is at least a misdemeanor by going into the women's restroom, Daddy has only one suitable choice: wait for the family restroom.

    They wait patiently, understanding that sometimes "family" issues take a minute or two. But time passes, they wait longer and longer, and the bathroom remains occupied. Daddy calls Mommy to come and take Daughter into the women's room, concerned that time is running out. Mommy comes.

    As it turns out, Daughter had an URGENT bathroom issue, with a VERY loose stool, and couldn't hold it any longer. Now Daughter - a good, smart, well-potty-trained girl - has had an accident in a store. And despite Mom and Dad's best efforts to calm any concerns, Daughter is now humiliated, embarassed, sad and stressed out. Certainly SHE got no privacy, SHE had no time to use the toilet at her leisure, and SHE did her best to do what she knew was right.

    It's too bad the woman who sat in the bathroom taking a dump for 25 minutes can't say the same. She meandered out while Mom was in the bathroom cleaning up Daughter (thank goodness she's still light enough to lay on a changing table), and looked at Dad (who was still standing outside the restroom area) with a snide look that said "What? I can be in there if I want to!"

    I am now speaking specifically to said woman leaving the FAMILY restroom: No, actually, you stupid bitch, you can't. It's called a FAMILY bathroom. Not an "I'm-too-good-to-use-a-restroom-with-stalls-in-it-so-I'll-fuck-up-other-people's-day" bathroom. Don't like shitting in a public restroom? Go home. Or better yet - stay home. Not feeling well? You can lock yourself in a stall just as easily as use the ONLY restroom available for a parent with a different gendered child. I would bet money that you don't like shitting in a public restroom any LESS than my kid liked riding home in dirty jeans. But that's not YOUR problem, is it?

    People like you have no courtesy, no consideration, and make life difficult for others and don't even care. You had NO business being in that restroom, and you are LUCKY that Daddy was standing there, and not Mommy, when you sauntered your stupid ass out of there, or you'd have needed to go right back in to remove Mommy's foot from your ASS, you stupid bitch.

    I hope you shit your pants in church wearing white...while you're sitting in the front row.

    *I didn't use her name in this, even though many of you know her name. It just seemed awful to have to even put her name in any association with this. We felt so awful for her, and she was so devastated, that I just don't even want her name used in reference to it. She didn't deserve what happened, and it could have happened to anyone. But it didn't - it happened to my sweet girl, who looked me in the face with tears in her eyes as I cleaned her up, and with shame on her face said "Mommy, does this mean I have to start wearing diapers like a baby again?" Tell me now how that is better than someone having to suck it up and use a public restroom like the rest of us?

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    You'd Think We Live In The Country

    First it was the possums, giving us up-close and personal highlights of their creepy little rodent lives. Now, there's been a death in the yard. A squirrel death.

    Greta, Wondermutt #2, finally got one this morning. I wasn't sure she EVER would, she always seemed to let them go when I would watch her chase them. This morning I see one out in the back yard. Greta is laying about 15 feet away, just looking at it. I go outside and sure enough, it's dead - with pretty, brownish-gray-if-slobber-covered fur. Poor thing. Eyes still open, but dead as a doorknob.

    I ignore it and move on with my day. When Samantha finally convinces me to take her out so she can look at it, late in the afternoon, the eye is all but gone, and a mass of ants is there cleaning up what may be left of their feast. Damn, those ants work fast! Gross.

    Samantha wanted to touch it, and I toyed with the idea, being a country girl who, I'm certain, touched more than one dead thing in my life growing up. But I was convinced by some good friends (and my husband who absolutely forbade it) that looking was better than touching, as to avoid any negative precedents for Samantha in her future about touching things of questionable contamination levels.

    Sooo, as we went out to explore Mr Dead Squirrel, we did NOT touch. She really wanted to, as I said, but I explained the kinds of germs and varmints that often live on rodents of the like. She lost interest in touching with her hands pretty quickly. Actually, more specifically, she did still want to touch, but she said "I will put on my Dora gardening gloves and THEN I will touch him, OK Mommy?" I explained that we would then have to throw away her Dora gloves, so that nixed that idea. She then moved on to "I'm gonna poke it with this stick, OK Mommy?" Uh, no, dear, as Daddy expressed with MUCH vigor when he got home, "We don't touch dead things." So we didn't. I later used the pooper scooper to dispose of Mr Dead Squirrel...

    Actually she asked good questions, didn't get upset, said he was cute but never got sad about him being dead, but when she asked where I would put him, and I told her in the trash, she asked if that's where he would sleep. So CLEARLY she doesn't have a solid grasp on death overall, but that's OK. She'll get it soon enough. The second time we went out (before I cleaned him up), Jackson came, too, and Samantha ever-so-carefully took him by the hand and took him close to show him, pointing out the highlights ("See Jackson, the ants are eating his eye, because that's what ants do." and "Jackson, do you like his brown furry tail? I do!") and keeping him at a safe distance, lest the fleas and ticks get them both.

    So quite the day around here, what with the squirrel murder and the ants with their eye feasting. And we were even treated to a pretty stellar lightning show tonight after the kids were in bed, and we were spared the hail that beat up some other parts of the state, so it was a good day all around.

    Unless you were a squirrel in my back yard. Then, not so much.

    OH, and before you go feeling TOO bad for Mr Dead Squirrel who met his end in my dog's mouth, know that they are actually quite the vicious creatures...check out what they did to my friend Deb's trash container...