Thursday, January 31, 2008

Failure To Appear

My dreams of having a front row seat to the inner workings of the American justice system....are gone. Unfortunately, I was not picked for jury duty. And since I have no amusing tales from the courtroom to share, I will have to borrow one from one of WD's numerous trips to court.

One day, WD pulled over a young guy on a motorcycle for speeding. WD estimated his speed at 90 mph. He was not running radar at the time so he gave the guy a ticket for careless driving (as opposed to a speeding ticket). The guy argued that while he may have been going 10 mph over the limit, he was not going 90. So off to court they went.

Judge: Do you play college football?
Defendant: Yes, sir, I do.
Judge: Do you agree that when you practice something over and over again, that you get pretty good at it?
Defendant: Yes.
Judge: So would you agree that if this officer catches speeders on a daily basis, that he would get good at picking out which vehicles are speeding?
Defendant: Yes, I guess so.
Judge: Well, then, you've already admitted to going 10 mph over the limit, do you want to plead guilty to speeding or do you want to have a trial?
Defendant: I'll just plead guilty.

And with that short exchange, WD collected 2 hours overtime and went on his merry way.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Auntie Loves Me

When Big pup was a baby, Angie was our default babysitter. We relied on her a lot. She lives in Little Rock so it was very convenient for us to drop him off at her apartment while WD and I went out for dinner. Or to a Travs games. Or to I-30 Speedway.

One game they would play was one where she would pretend to bite his fingers. He thought it was the funniest thing ever. He'd laugh each time she'd bring his hand up and chomp down on nothing but air, narrowly missing his little fingers. But one time, she misjudged where his fingers were and accidentally bit him. He stopped laughing immediately, gave her a betrayed, how-could-you-do-this-to-me look, and started to cry.

A few weeks ago when Angie was visiting, she told him this story.

Angie: I just wanted to tell you that I'm really sorry that happened.
Big pup: Well, that was a long time ago so I don't think you should think about that.
Angie: So we're cool now?
Big pup: Yeah.

And then they gave each other high fives. Aren't children so forgiving?

P.S. No fever, still coughing. Going to school and he's so happy!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Triple Chocolate Mess

Who knew that a cake made in the crock pot could be so moist? In fact, it is so moist that there's no cutting this cake into squares, it just falls apart. Hence, the "mess" part of the cake's name. The "triple chocolate" part is chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chips.

Although making this cake is extremely easy, deciding on what cake mix to get is not. I must have stood in the baking aisle for 15 minutes trying to decide between chocolate fudge, dark chocolate, devil's food, german chocolate, milk chocolate, and triple chocolate fudge. Why must Betty Crocker make this so hard? It's like having to pick which of your children you love more. I love them all! I grabbed a box of devil's food and quickly found the chocolate pudding mixes. More choices. I chose chocolate fudge. Really, I don't think any of them would have been a bad choice.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pint sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients with a mixer in a large bowl. Pour into a greased crock pot. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. I did 6 hours on low and it was perfect.

P.S. Pups still sick, no school again for Big pup.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Unfortunately, I Love It, Too

It was announced last Thursday that McDonald's will also sponsor Elliott Sadler's #19 Dodge for the 2008 season. We will see the golden arches paint scheme in 6 races this year, including the Talledega race in October. This deal completes what they are calling a "trimary sponsorship" with Best Buy and Stanley Tools.

Team owner Ray Evernham was quoted as saying, "McDonald's has supported my team and my family for quite a few years now. They are more than just a sponsor, they are my friends."

Oh, Ray. I used to tell myself the same thing. But with a double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries, and a chocolate shake having 2470 calories and 99 grams of fat, they are not your friends at all.

And, yes, I did have a big mac Friday night, but that was strictly business.

Countdown to Daytona: 3 weeks.

P.S. The boys both have colds with a high fever. No school for Big pup today.

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Friday, January 25, 2008


We're taking a 6 hour round trip to Mountain View Saturday. Paying for gas with the credit card. Again.
Come on, Mr. President, I need that rebate check now.
The van needs an oil change. Five thousand miles ago.
I'm tired.
I have a sore throat and a bad cough.
There are socks and shoes and toys everywhere.
My kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes.
There are empty pizza boxes on the bar. I have no energy to cook.
I haven't been on the treadmill since Big pup broke his arm back in October.
I've gained back 5 pounds. Okay, 8.
I'm not waving. I'm drowning.

Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saudi Arabia

President Bush's tour of the Middle East last week, and his meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, brings to mind WD's "tour" of the country back in 1999. He spent the spring and summer of that year at Prince Sultan Air Base in Al Kharj--about 50 miles from Riyadh. As a member of Security Forces, he searched vehicles for bombs, manned M-60 posts, and stretched miles of concertina wire (or c-wire).

I asked WD to give me one word to describe Saudi Arabia. He said, "Flies. Stink. Heat. Scorpions." It's impossible for WD to say just one word about anything.

While he was there, a local Arab would come through the gates with a delivery truck bringing pita bread to the Pakistanis and Indians who were rebuilding the air traffic control tower. He would chit chat with the Americans, giving them some of the pita bread while security forces checked his truck. It was fresh and warm and so flavorful compared to the daily dose of bland chicken and rice that they were being served in the chow hall. It became a highlight of their day.

One day, while searching the man's delivery truck, WD found a couple of drums of diesel, bags of fertilizer, and a car battery charger. Just a few components to make a pretty good size bomb. The proper authorities were called in and they never saw the man again. Or the pita bread. And the poor Pakistanis and Indians were forced to eat from the Burger King and Pizza Inn on base.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


When I took down the Christmas lights from the front porch, Little pup stood nearby watching me work. After I climbed down from the ladder, he said, "Great job!" Thanks for noticing, Little pup!

Me: Your birthday is coming up. What kind of party do you want?
Big pup: A poo poo butt party!

Little pup (pointing to a package of cheese on the counter): What's this?
Me: Mozzarella cheese.
Little pup: Can I have some monster cheese?

Me: I love you.
Little pup: I love chips. Mommy, I want a frito.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wiederkehr Onion Soup

Did you know that my Granny B is a TV star? It's true. She made a small appearance in season 1 of The Simple Life. She and the other ladies of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Altus (Arkansas) belong to a quilting group and one day Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie just happened to drop by. With a camera crew. And what did these church ladies think of these Hollywood celebrities? Well, not much, apparently. My grandmother mentioned that they were filmed by a tv show but she couldn't remember what it was called or the names of the 2 stars.

Besides being the setting for The Simple Life, Altus is also home to Wiederkehr's Wienkeller Restaurant. While dining there with family one Sunday evening, WD raved about their onion soup. It wasn't until halfway through the meal that I remembered I had cut out a recipe for Wiederkehr onion soup several months ago. Jay Harshaw of the Fort Smith Times Record had printed the recipe in her column. So last week when our heat went out, I got out the space heater, piled extra blankets on the bed, and fixed up a pot of this delicious, creamy soup.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water
1 can French onion soup
1 can chicken broth
6 TBS flour (or 3 TBS cornstarch)
1 can milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat chicken soup and water over medium heat. Add onion soup, chicken broth, and flour. Whisk until lumps of flour are dissolved. Add milk. Melt in mozzarella cheese.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Welcome, Stanley

It's getting closer and closer to the start of the 2008 Nascar season. Testing has already begun at Daytona and drivers are getting used to their cars of tomorrow (COT) which they will run the whole season this year.

Tony Stewart is also getting acquainted with his new car--a Toyota. He has so many fans it will be interesting to see if he experiences any backlash going from a Chevy (very American) to a Toyota (very much perceived as non-American). Michael Waltrip and Dale Jarrett took a lot of heat for that last year so maybe they softened the blow a little for Smoke.

In Elliott Sadler news, Stanley Tools has recently announced that they will be sponsoring the #19 Best Buy Dodge for 12 races in 2008. One of those races is the Texas race in the fall. So I guess I'll get to see Elliott drive with the Stanley Tools paint scheme in November. It still breaks my heart that I never got to see him drive that M&M car. Mmmmm....M&M's. Gotta go.

Countdown to Daytona: 4 weeks.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Gulp, The Prom

I never went to any of the school dances when I was a kid. Except for the the big one: the senior prom. I remember the handmade decorations, the disco ball, the chairs lined up against the walls, and the theme: Midnight Masquerade. Or was it Moonlight Masquerade? Or Moonshine & Masks? Something like that.

This poem takes me back to those days. And, as a mother of 2 boys, I just want to put my arms around the boy in the poem and hug him and hold him and fix him cookies and hot chocolate and tell him that girls aren't everything, that high school isn't everything, that he's not the worst of the boys--that he could never be the worst--when he's so thoughtful and sweet and loved.

The Best Slow Dancer by David Wagoner

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

100th Post!

Wow, 100 posts! I never knew I had so much to say!

When I started this blog back in August I didn't tell anyone about it for 2 weeks. Not even WD (he was a little suspicious when I started taking notes during nascar races). I wanted to be sure that I could do it--that I could actually sit down and write something everyday. And during those 2 weeks I found that I really enjoyed it. To take a second of time and give it a beginning, middle, and end and save it for family and friends to read is very satisfying to me. It's a great way to document the memories that I have of my family growing up as well as the memories I'm making with WD and the boys. And with the way folks are spread out all over the state (and country, and world) nowadays, this "virtual scrapbook" helps us to stay connected and still be a part of each other's lives despite the distance.

So thanks for reading and here's to another 100 posts!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

These Are The Days You'll Remember

Well, here it is. My first attempt at putting together a music video of the boys. I have gained approximately 194 strands of gray hair from working on this project and if I never see the words "this file is not a supported file type and cannot be imported" again, it will be too soon.

Enjoy the video and please pardon my 4.1 megapixels. And forgive me if the clips run too long. And I apologize for the video ending way after the music does. And I'm sorry for...well, everything really. That about covers it. Roll tape.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Corn Chowder

Okay. Forget that it was 70 degrees outside last week. Arkansas momentarily forgot that it is the middle of winter. This week, the temperatures have dropped once again and they are even calling for a chance of snow over the next couple of days. That's more like it. Perfect time for another yummy soup recipe. And you can't get more yummy than Angie's Corn Chowder. Or more simple.

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
1 can (15-1/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 oz) cream style corn
8 oz velveeta, cubed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onion and red bell pepper in melted butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour and stir into a paste. Add milk and cream and whisk until thick (don't give up! It will thicken!) Then add the 2 cans of corn, velveeta, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Top with crumbled bacon, if desired. And, boy howdy, do I desire.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Get Your Motor Runnin'

Here's a video I took at the fall race in Texas. It's the best part of a race. The cars pass by in two groups making the final warm-up lap, as the field gathers they head into the final turn. The engines are revving up and the crowd gets louder as the cars approach the start/finish line. The pace car drops to the inside and heads to pit road. The green flag waves and they are off.

It. Is. Breathtaking.

For the full effect, turn this up as loud as you can, eat some 8 dollar nachos, and pretend there is a woman sitting thisclose to you, decked out in Jr. gear, finishing off her 12th can of Budwieser.

Countdown to Daytona: 5 weeks.

P.S. In the video, that is not WD yelling Git-r-done! (Or is it?)

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Yard Art

When we lived in Benton there was a manhole cover in our front yard. Not in the street, in our yard. The pups loved it. They would stand on it as a starting point and then run down the hill over and over. WD, however, cursed its existence every day for the 5 years we lived there. If only he had read Manhole Covers by Karl Shapiro, then he might have embraced it as a symbol of strength and longevity. Or not.

Manhole Covers by Karl Shapiro

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reason #23

In Big pup's catechism class last Sunday, the topic was how we can teach and show God's love. They were given a worksheet and the directions were to color the pictures that show family members teaching each other. Big pup colored the television. He thinks the tv is a beloved family member? That teaches us ways to show God's love? Don't say it. I know. I'm a bad mother. On the plus side, he is getting better at coloring.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday Momma!

Here's a picture of the birthday girl taken back in the 1950's with her 3 brothers. If you're looking for an amusing anecdote to accompany this picture...don't. Move along. Nothing amusing to speak of here. Nope. This woman is the epitomy of perfection. No messy closets. No junk drawers. Can push 2 babies out of her body at the same time. Uh-uh. Nothing funny at all. No strange quirks. No embarrassing moments. Perfection, I tell ya. Wait a minute.....

There was one time when she wasn't wearing her glasses when she was brushing her teeth, and instead of using toothpaste she used hemorrhoid cream.

That could be a little embarrassing if it were to get out, don't you think?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Guest Post!

Good morning! First day back to school today! Busy, busy, busy. Time for a guest post.

Hi. I'm Angie. Sister of the lazy dog and your guest poster for the day. I'm not even going to pretend that I'm going to do a good job with this, but maybe it will be a little better than a Monday Nascar post. Should I at least say I'm joking? Besides the Nascar thing, writing is another thing we don't have in common, so bear with me.

I remember having to keep a journal in college for an English class, and I think my first journal entry started out with the line, "I have no idea what I'm supposed to write in this thing." Making lists was acceptable and so began my love of lists. Ah, everything's in order, everything's all right with the world. I have a little pink book of lists now. I think my Christmas present list goes back to 2003. I also have the dates of my menstrual cycle since 2002. Sorry, was that too much information? That English class was required, but I did take one voluntarily as an elective. It was an English Lit. class highly recommended by Ali. She loved it. Thankfully there was still time to drop it after failing the first test. Stupid Canterbury Tales. Who needs it anyway? I should have known better. In my high school senior English class, the big test of the year covered Macbeth. I think I got a D, unusual for me since I was an A/B student. The teacher - who, in this small town, bowls with my mother every Tuesday night, and later attended mine and Ali's bridal showers and Ali's baby shower, and let's not forget all those rockin' New Year's Eve parties! - said, "What would your mother say?" I guess teacher/student confidentiality was in effect and I certainly didn't say anything, so I guess we will never know. Or will we? Let's give Mom a call!

Angie - I just wanted to tell you I made a D on a Macbeth test in high school.
Mom - Well, ok.
Angie - Yeah. (Long pause...)
Mom - Why are you telling me this?
Angie - I never told you, so I just thought I'd tell you now. What do you think about it?
Mom - Everyone does that sort of thing at some time. I'm sure I have too.
Angie - Ok! Thanks! Bye!

I feel cleansed. It went better than a few years ago when me and Ali came clean about how we would stop at the gas station before school and spend our lunch money on snacks. She said if she had known, she wouldn't have given us any money. It's just that I wasn't a fan of the cafeteria food, and can't remember ever eating anything on the tray (just like Big Pup the other day!). Maybe that's why I was 110 pounds. Maybe that's the next diet I should try. Let's stop talking about high school and college. It's making my neck itch. Actually, I have rambled on long enough and should wrap this up in a clever little sentence that encompasses everything I've written so far, but I failed my Canterbury Tales test so it's impossible.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

1 In 160,000

Where's WD? He's wearing a red shirt. Not Budwieser red, Dodge red. Does that help?

No, not Kasey Kahne Dodge red, Elliott Sadler Dodge red.

Oh, nevermind.

Countdown to Daytona: 6 weeks.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

The End

Yes. It's another Icarus poem. I can't help it. I like poems about good ol' Icarus. And while Auden saw his fall as a failure, Jack Gilbert in Failing and Flying sees it as not as a failure at all. He sees it as the end of a success. Much like Angie and Frank's marriage. It was good while it lasted, but in reality it could not last long. After 8 years there are no regrets from either side. It is, simply, the end.

Failing and Flying by Jack Gilbert

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

And So It Has Begun

I knew it was coming. There was no way to stop it. WD embraced the idea years ago. I, on the other hand, reluctantly accepted that the day would come when my child would bring home his first....homemade ornament.

Have you seen my Christmas tree? I have carefully chosen each ornament based on its color, style, and how closely it's related to my woodlands theme. There are bears, deer, pine cones, berries, fish and fishing creels. There are not ornaments made out of popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. But that's exactly what Big pup brought home from school one day. Isn't it cute? I think he did a good job but it just doesn't "go" with my tree. Fortunately, he was happy about the idea of putting it on the wrought iron ornament tree--a kind of "island of misfit toys" for mismatched ornaments (WD's New Orleans Saints football shaped ornament, my Husky ornament, Elliott Sadler's racecar ornament, to name a few). A very nice compromise I can live with. And now I'm actually looking forward to all the homemade ornaments to come.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Little Pup Says...

It's funny to listen to Little pup express himself. He doesn't have the firmest grasp of the English language and it's always interesting to see which words he chooses to get his point across.

Me: Tonight's bath night. Are you looking forward to bath night?
LP: No, I'm looking backwards to bath night.

After seeing my hair the first thing one morning, LP: Mommy, your hair is wrinkled.

After WD came up behind me and lifted me off the ground, LP: Mommy is not an airplane! Mommy is not a toy!

And finally, my favorite, while recovering from pinkeye, LP: Mommy, your kisses are like eyedrops.

Awwww, can't he stay 3 forever?

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup's cold out there. With high temperatures in the 30's and 40's for the next few days, it's a perfect time for a bowl of soup. My favorite is broccoli cheese soup served with a loaf of french bread to soak up all that creamy, cheesy goodness. Forget the snickerdoodles, forget the greek spinach bake, if you try only one recipe from my "cookbook" let it be this one. After all, anything with a pound of velveeta in it can't be bad.

1 lb frozen chopped broccoli
1 pint half & half
2 cups water (I use 2 cups of the water that I boiled the broccoli in)
1 lb velveeta
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch with 1 cup cold water

Cook broccoli until tender; drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, add half & half and 2 cups of water. Then add velveeta, salt and pepper. When cheese is melted, add broccoli. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into hot soup to thicken. Ladle soup into a bowl, salivate, get out camera and take 36 pictures of said bowl of soup and hope that there's one picture good enough for posting.

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