Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good Things Come To Those Who...


That is the word that describes this year so far, and we're barely 1/4 of the way into 2009.

In January, my sister-in-law was very ill. We spent several days not knowing whether she would live or not. In the end, she did not. Because of weather issues, we had the unusual situation of delaying her funeral for a week.

We are waiting for results from Savannah's kidney stone analysis to return. We're waiting for the next surgery to be scheduled.

We continue to wait for further developments in our foster-adoption case. Our babies are part of our family, but they don't share our name.

Tom's employer is sifting through employees holding positions that are less than 100% necessary. Tom received word yesterday that he is apparently still needed. For that, we are thankful.

I am not by nature a patient person. Neither did I recently pray and ask God to grant me patience! I'm not that silly! That Serenity Prayer....unh uh! Deanna does not pray that prayer! No sirree!

Never the less, God knows what Deanna needs, not only BEFORE Deanna does, but even when Deanna refuses to admit out loud that she has a need. So for whatever reason, here I sit, learning patience. And because God knows His plan for me, I must learn to trust that He will work everything out for good, even when it looks like God is not making sense.




Monday, March 30, 2009

Tearing the Wrapper Off Counts as Exercise, Right?

Miniature Cadbury Caramel Eggs just don't have the appeal of the larger ones. Sure, it's easier to hide one in your mouth if one of the kids happen to appear in the room while you're sucking one down enjoying every small nibble. But darn it, they're wrapped in foil. Got any idea how long it takes to unwrap one of those things? I don't either - I gave up and just ate the gold shiny stuff along with the chocolate and caramel. Figured it might help me with the elimination process later on.

I also like to eat chocolate chips. My mother-in-law thought I was a complete loon when Tom and I first got married, because she had never heard of eating chocolate chips sans cookies. *BOGGLE* She thought it was such a strange notion that one year for Christmas, she bought me a bag of chocolate chips as a gift. It was practically my favorite gift that year, proving that sometimes mothers-in-law actually do get it right!

In the nearly-18 years I've been married, I can probably count on one or two hands how many times I've baked chocolate chip cookies. However, my hips tell a story of proportions best left denied. We won't go into that right now.

This issue with chocolate isn't held by myself alone. It is a familial trait. My oldest sister employed various methods of weaning her body from the desire for chocolate chips. One of my favorites involved her putting the yummy morsels in her deep freeze in her unheated, subzero temperature cement-floored garage in an attempt to fool her brain into thinking it could go without chocolate. Her feet didn't care that she had no socks on - they just automatically marched her body down the hallway and planted themselves in front of the freezer while she munched on frozen Nestles. I'm thinking she gave up on the notion that this plan worked, because she didn't develop frostbite requiring amputation.

Hershey's Kisses do in a pinch, but for all the work of unwrapping the chocolate, and picking off the pieces of that darn white tag that rings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" bells in holiday commercials, you'd think the bite would last longer. Then again, maybe it would, if I actually bit instead of inhaling.

I like regular Hershey Bars, without almonds. There is no reason to clutter up perfectly good chocolate with nuts! But several years back, when they changed the wrapper to the shiny, slick plastic stuff, it nearly sent me over the edge! You have to grab the end just right, and pull it slowly open or you rip it, and therefore ruin the presentation of a perfect bar of chocolate. You actually have to put effort into ripping a straight line down the center, because otherwise the evil wrapper-gods sit and laugh at your mounting frustration as you watch the chocolate ooze out the end - melted at the mercy of your angry hands. I had to ask what was wrong with the old Foil-covered Paper Wrapping, so I called to complain. Yes, I actually called that 1-800 number they provide for just such comments. I complimented them on the quality of their food product, and told them they were causing issues with my addiction by forcing me to slow down in the presentation process. They took my comments under advisement, and most likely fell off their chair laughing. It did me no good - they didn't return to the former packaging.

Hershey's Nuggets are a much better option, if you have to unwrap. They're solid rectangles, and the wrapper is paper as opposed to flimsy, Kisses-type foil, so it doesn't rip. You can make them last for 2 full bites and feel like you've accomplished something. They have a melt-in-your-mouth option, if you're willing to hang on long enough. If you're not a chocolate purist, there are even several editions with various flavor enhancers like caramel, dark chocolate centers, and raspberry.


...for the immediate satisfaction without any of the fuss, go with Mini Hershey's Kisses. Found in the baking aisle with the chocolate chips and cocoa, these little temptations are smaller than your average Kiss, but packaged like chocolate chips. Therefore - unwrapped. Simply cut open the end of the silver bag, and pour the little boogers right into your hand. Directly into your mouth works if you're desperate, but this is usually only required for the first mouthful, after which you can dump some into a bowl and pick up smaller quantities.

Considering that we are so close to the Easter Holiday, I can't forget to mention one of my favorite places to sneak into once in a while. If you're anywhere near the Ft. Wayne, Indiana area and you're alone, visit DeBrand Fine Chocolates. I say alone, because if you haul the whole family in there, you're going to walk out with a T-shirt that says "I Went To DeBrand and All I Got For My 20 Bucks Was 5 Truffles and This Shirt That Won't Stretch Over My Hips".

My name is Deanna, and I'm a Convicted Chocoholic.

(image courtesy of google)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Attitude Tuneup Performed By Grandy

One of the blogs I follow is Grandy's Functional Shmunctional. The name caught my attention a year or so ago. I like blogs with weird names ever so much better than your ordinary Plain Jane-type. Susie Blathers On About Weirdness is more interesting than Sue's Blog. Call me crazy and dip me in garlic butter, but I'm just weird like that, I guess.

Anyway, a few weeks back Grandy started a weekly post called Sunday Stalker Spotlight wherein she interviews her followers and gives them a chance to talk about themselves. Ha! If there's one thing I'm good at, it's talking, so I rather enjoyed answering her questions. She was quite kind with the editing buttons and she let me ramble for a bit.

Grandy has a touch of the odd sense of humor that I find amusing, and while she's more succinct in her delivery than I probably will ever manage, she still keeps her topics varied. One of her recent posts was about having gastric bypass surgery. It made me stop and think about my attitude toward people and their health care choices.

I know several people who have had gastric bypass surgery, and before I read Grandy's story I would have been happy to tell you just what I thought of those people. Because my judgmental attitude can pop out at the most inopportune times, (with said attitude usually being accompanied by my unlocked and loaded mouth,) I could have railed for several minutes about how people should just go on diets and lose the fat. Then Grandy comes along, and tells us the multiple reasons she chose to have this type of surgery. She wasn't attempting to resemble Barbie - she just wanted to live!

So now how many of these people that I know have done the same thing? Sure, I'm betting that some of them might have had "lose 6 dress sizes" near the top of their list of "pros". I know that at least one of them wasn't enough overweight to warrant the surgery based solely on pounds, so her doctor told her to gain weight. I thought that was unethical, but now since learning more about the medical reasons why people might have the surgery, maybe gaining the extra 20 pounds makes sense.

Bottom line is - I'm not in these people's shoes. I don't follow them around all day to see if they're eating 100% healthy food. I don't know their family medical history, their stressors, their prognosis, or anything else about them. I can sit and watch the 450 pound man, carrying an oxygen tank, wheeze and puff up the 2 steps it takes to get to his table at Olive Garden. I can shake my head and think "Harumph! How many carbs is he going to eat today? No wonder he's so big!" - But my attitude stinks and it doesn't make me feel good inside.

So Grandy, thanks for inviting me over to your place. And better yet, thanks for encouraging me to reconsider how I view other people and remember that I just might not be seeing the whole picture. I'm going to work on living this lesson past today, and transferring it into other situations. I'm glad you're feeling better. And you just plain look good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Son and My Dad

Today he is 17. Wow.

Pop-Pop and Preston - born on March 24th, 55 years apart.

Each one goofy in his own way.

I love 'em both. Very much.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Monday and Sometimes I Just Rattle

THIS article is goofy! Do we really need to be told these things? I can go a step or two further in pointing out what should be obvious, but apparently isn't, since a news article has to be written to address these issues. Did they just need filler for this edition?

Bottled Water -
Everybody knows it's cheaper, short term, to drink water from your kitchen sink. (I say "short term", because over the course of your life time, you'll drink lots of water. You'll also be consuming fluoride in that water, if you live in town. So are you really saving money? How much fluoride does the average person take in during their life span? It ain't good for ya, you know! Highly toxic crap there, people.) I cringe when I see people buying those big 24-packs of water bottles. Even on sale, you rarely find them cheaper than 4 dollars a case, and that's for the store brand! Unless you're going on vacation and need the convenience, quit buying those bottles and go to your local Culligan water supplier, and fill up a few reusable containers. It's 25 cents a gallon. You do the math. (And if you're drinking filtered water for health reasons, you should be cooking with filtered water as well, by the way.)

Gym Memberships -
I think I have more friends who do NOT use their gym memberships than those that DO. "I haven't been to the gym in three months. I just can't find the motivation." Well then, can you just cancel your membership and give the fifty bucks to me every month? Go for long walks on warm days, and pick up a set of weights at a garage sale this summer for cold days. You'll be further ahead, plus you'll have the added benefit of improving your arm muscles by dusting the weights off once a month. We all know you're really not that into physical exercise, anyway.

Organic Produce -
"Sure, buying organic makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing, but it isn't always the best choice for your wallet. Fruits and vegetables like kiwis, sweet corn and broccoli require very little pesticide to grow. Others -- like avocados, onions and pineapples -- have thick or peelable skins that reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. “Any pesticide that remains is not getting through,” says Lempert."

WHAT??!?? "Here, Deanna - we only put a little rat poison on this broccoli. It will only make your left eye twitch for ten minutes after you eat it. But mind you, if you eat the apple that we full-on sprayed with the junk, watch out for full body convulsions followed by your tongue protuding out your mouth and wrapping itself around your neck causing death by strangulation. Don't bother suing us, because we warned you. And besides, it would probably be considered suicide."

For real organic stuff that won't cost an arm and a leg, and even if you have VERY limited space, check out Square Foot Gardening. We have big plans this year that hopefully will yield much better results than last year's space-wasting attempts to be more healthy!

Music Downloads, Insurance, Warranties, Overdraft Fees - Don't we know this stuff already? Must be the fluoride...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dressing Beautiful Girls

You know those gorgeous Easter and Christmas dresses you buy for your girls for their Holiday pictures? The dresses that get worn twice only because you vowed to make your little angels dress like girls so you could get your money's worth, and 6 months later you find those dresses being used on the Life-Size Barbie? Yeah, those dresses...

And you know how you bought that expensive jewelry kit, because you wanted to give only hand-made gifts for Christmas three years ago since Etsy made you feel guilty for having successfully single-handedly managing to blow up the earth by driving in your gas-guzzling, carbon something-or-other-emitting, ozone layer-destroying SUV to purchase gifts manufactured by Companies Not Eco-friendly with Greenliness? And remember how you felt when you found that kit in the back of your closet beside the unopened packages of glass beads and crystals and clasps and wire, and you recalled how many necklaces you DIDN'T make for your nieces that year? Yeah, that jewelry kit...

Face it - your daughters have long-ago outgrown those dresses, your crafting skills have moved on to Digital Scrapbooking, and you just don't have time for Ebay or Etsy. I can only say these things because I have first-hand experience with similar issues, stopping short of Etsy and SUVs, of course. (Have you read my post about my genius husband's vehicle?)

So, let's talk about what you can do with these beautiful dresses and jewelry trinkets you have stashed in Rubbermaid totes.

Please look here and here at Sarah's blog, then come right back and finish reading about how you can participate.


I have been in contact with Sarah, and she asked if I would be willing to help collect and ship dresses and jewelry that these precious little girls can enjoy. Savannah and I are very excited to be involved in this project.

We would like to collect velvety, lacy, or frilly Holiday-type dresses for the children of SCH. You may have items left hanging in the back of your closets that you've forgotten existed. If it's clean, in excellent condition, and you would let your daughter wear it to church on Easter or Christmas Sunday, please send it to us. You also can be watching the clearance racks in the next few weeks, because Easter dresses will be discounted to very affordable prices. Sarah is looking for all sizes of dresses for girls from size 2 on up.

As for the jewelry, if you have gold or silver jewelry you no longer wear, the girls would love that, too. Sarah says that in the Indian culture, the "real thing, or at least real-looking" is most appreciated. The nicer faux jewelry at Claire's Boutique and similar stores is acceptable as well.

I asked Sarah whether homemade jewelry with glass beads and other things that Hobby Lobby is stocked with would be appreciated. She suggested that learning to make necklaces and bracelets would be an excellent vocational opportunity and possible fund-raiser for the older girls at SCH to participate in. So, if you have packages of the really pretty glass beads, crystals, wire, clasps, string, charms, or any quality jewelry-making tools or containers, OR if you would like to help out by making a purchasing trip to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or your favorite local shop, we will take care of getting that to Sarah as well. (Make sure you check online for Hobby Lobby coupons - they usually have a large selection of supplies on sale.)

The last item you can help with is shipping fees. We will be collecting items for a period of time, then combining them to ship to Sarah, or to her friends in the United States who will be traveling to visit her. If you don't have dresses or jewelry to donate but still want to help, you can send donations to cover shipping costs and that will be very much appreciated as well. Of course, if you would rather just ship things directly to Sarah, no one would be opposed to that. Just email her through her blog, and she'll let you know where to send things. Even better, you could start your own local project. We're planning to print some promotion fliers and distribute them to various churches and other organizations.

This will be an on-going project, as the girls will, of course, be growing and needing larger clothing sizes and new jewelry and jewelry supplies. The Indian culture is absolutely beautiful and full of color. (Look here for a glimpse into what a wedding looks like in India. GORGEOUS!!) We'll take donations anytime, so if you're a garage sale fanatic and find some great buys on princess dresses this summer, remember us!

If you have donations or questions, like needing my address, please email me through my profile page and I'll get back with you as soon as possible.

Why are we doing this? Well, for the quick answer, because Sarah asked. These girls are important to her, and they are important to God. I have more personal reasons why a project like this appeals to me, but in an effort to get started quickly, I'll save those reasons for a different post at a later time.

Thank you SO much!

**updated 3/22/09** Sarah has posted some FAQ's about Operation Princess right here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Renal Calculi, Morphine On The Side, Please

Today I am thankful for smart doctors, good drugs, and healthy children.

A few days before Christmas in 2006 (it's late, so in case you don't feel like doing the math, that's nearly 2.5 years ago) Savannah got really sick and spent a night in the hospital. Stomach cramps, vomiting, blah blah...

Lab work, xrays, CT and ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis, and about $8,000 later, the gist of the story was: "Yes, Savannah has gastroenteritis. It also appears that she may have a slight problem with her right ureter being enlarged and having a possible blockage, but we can't define the problem."

Her symptoms went away, and so did the testing. We were told the problem must have resolved itself, if indeed there even was a problem.

Several times over the next nearly-2.5 years, she would experience episodes of severe stomach pain, but it would only last for a short while and I would think "Well, she's getting close to being a teenager. All kinds of things are gonna start happening around here."

Last month, the pain returned more forcefully, so I scheduled an appointment to see a new doctor to whom we're in the process of switching all of our family care. He ordered several lab tests and more ultrasounds, upon seeing her past history. Only one test was abnormal - the urinalysis. And still the pain persisted, intermittently.

Last Tuesday, Savannah was in such bad pain I took her to the emergency room at around 10:30 PM. Now when I say "bad pain", you'd think an 11 year old girl would be visibly crying, making at least a small scene. Not my daughter. She curled up in the middle of the gurney and, barely audible, just whimpered occasionally. Lab work. CTs of the abdomen and pelvis. IV fluids. Pain medicine. Puke medicine. Infection medicine. Because, you see, she was still having issues with the urinalysis.

After whipping through seven or eight lovely little airsick bags, and naturally receiving no help whatsoever with any type of oral medication, and waiting for the results to be sent from the radiologist-we-never-saw, lo and behold....

My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with a kidney stone of 5.5 millimeters.

Go get a measuring device.


Stop what you are doing and go find something that has that "Everybody's going to be using this someday! You'll be glad you learned it!!!" metric measurement system on it, and look at how big 5.5 millimeters actually is! Grown men scream and roll around on the floor for lesser stones than that! (I know - I'm related to one! As my sister says, "He never will let me forget that I had to wash my hair before I took him to the emergency room. He wasn't dying! He could wait a couple more minutes.") - Did I just digress, there?

Being 50 miles from the nearest pediatric urologist, Savannah and Mama were treated to an ambulance ride to this wonderful place called St. Vincent Mercy Children's Hospital.

Now, let me point out - my husband works at our local hospital. Has for over 17 years. Our boys were born there. I've had surgery there. I was there following my car accident. I worked there for a few years as a unit secretary. Our community is small. Not Mayberry-small, but close. When you go to the emergency room on the right night, you almost expect fellow patrons to call out "Norm!" So needless to say, but because it's me I'm gonna anyway, everybody pretty much knows who we are. If the kids are admitted, the nurses that pop into the room aren't always there to push drugs. They just know us, and they're stopping in to see what's new with our family. I like that.

St. V's is not so small. While we had one nurse for each twelve hour shift, there were no extras dropping in to check on Savannah's progress or ask if Gabe still has his little yellow blankie at home. But by golly, did we see doctors! Right off the bat, 3 students and/or residents barged into the room to begin bombarding us with questions. They were all writing. One had no clipboard. (Huh? No wonder President Obama is pushing for bigger Pell Grants!) I don't know if they planned to coordinate their papers once they left the room or not. One of them was never seen in Savannah's room again. Just as quickly as it came in, the whirlwind left. Apparently kidney stones in children are somewhat rare, so perhaps Savannah was a little like the albino rhino you hear about but never see, and they wanted their chance to say they saw history. Who knows. She slept through the whole interview process, anyway.

Surgery was scheduled for later that day, but because of emergencies, was postponed until the following late-afternoon. In that waiting time, her pain again completely disappeared. While I slept the morning away trying to recuperate from having NO sleep the night before, Savannah ate breakfast, cleaned the room, rearranged furniture, and watched some movies. Funny kid, that girl.

She is funny, too. Especially when she's been doped up with Demerol and Phenergan. Not only is she comical, but she's quite bossy. I was told to "Sit down!" and "Drink it yourself!" and given several stern looks by a normally fairly docile young lady. She vaguely remembers stating some of these orders, but she does not remember relaying to me her thoughts on her pain level. It is common practice in medical settings to ask people to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I think it's completely arbitrary, and rather stupid, because honestly, HOW in the world can you recall what childbirth feels like 11 years after the fact? Sure, you know it hurt back then, but you aren't in the throes of labor, so to reply to "Considering the WORST pain you've EVER had in your LIFE, how would you rate THIS pain?" is basically pointless. However, to remain politically correct and insure that this medical bill would actually BE insured, I was encouraging Savannah to "rate her pain".

"Now Sis, you told the nurse that it was 7 a while ago, and after your medicine, you said it was 5. What would you say it is now?"

Savannah very groggily muttered, "I don't know what time it is."

Folks, this is why Deanna isn't a nurse.

Deanna would love to collect a paycheck by picking herself up from the floor after a rousing round of raucous laughter, but she wouldn't want to find an NG tube shoved up one side of her nose and out her left ear by an angry patient who doesn't find the humor in his temporary drug-induced insanity, so hence Deanna remains a non-paid working mother who blogs, for no pay, about people's pain. And when my daughter flung her head back and glared at me because I told her "Ya know...this is GONNA find it's way onto my blog one way or another." ... Deanna was glad the real nurse had stepped out of the room momentarily, because Deanna was beginning to feel like the nurse thought Deanna was a bit heartless. Maybe it was the tears running down my face.

So to sum this whole episode up the best I can, Savannah is now down one kidney stone. Unfortunately, a second one was found on the opposite side, so she must return for further surgery in the next few weeks. She's much more comfortable, she's feeling much better, and she got to ride in an ambulance, although she doesn't remember much about that. Except she loves to say that every time she woke up and looked for me, I was happily chatting away to the ambulance driver, flinging my hands and yakking about something. When I laughed at her and asked her if I really talk that much with my hands, she raised her eyebrows and smirked. I'm not sure what that means.

I just can hardly stand the suspense of how much this excursion is going to cost. Yeah for health insurance. And I'm trying not to be overly angry at the doctors who, two years ago, didn't further investigate the suspicious evidence on her CT, even though the surgeon told us last week that this stone has probably been there the whole time...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hold Fast To What I Know Is True

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Have a Right To Remain Silent?!?

Tom has a friend that, years ago in school, thought the Miranda Rights included "a cannon will be used against you in a court of law".

Ben Franklin, bless his intelligent soul, had similar thoughts a few years back, and thank his lucky stars, this idea
never took off!

It seems he believed people should be forcefully roused from their pillows by ringing church bells. If that didn't work, he proposed cannons being fired. At 4 AM, mind you. Or when the sun rose - now, I live in Ohio. The sun doesn't rise at 4. Neither does Deanna. Cannons or not. I often rise between 5:30 and 6:00, because I like to see Tom for a few minutes before he heads out the door to his very long work days. But until I've mainlined enough coffee to make me human, you're likely to get a fist in the face if you start belting out "Come On, Ring Those Bells, Light Deanna's Tree..." (there's a throw-back to the 70's with the Allowable Christian Christmas Music by Evie...)

For people who take issue with Daylight Savings Time, shush it! As someone who is ever so much nicer in the summer than in the winter, I appreciate all the sunshine I can get. They have a name for people like me. Actually they have lots of names for people like me, but the specific name I refer to is SAD. Do I sound like a SAD person? I'm not SAD. MAD might be more appropriate. Mouthy Affective Disorder is fairly accurate, but the doctors see it as Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD gets you in trouble with your insurance company, MAD gets you in trouble with the cops. So far I've managed to avoid trouble with both industries. Pretty much.

So here's to Ben Franklin's better ideas, mood music, and sunshine. Spring your clocks forward tonight.

I love summer!

Big Ben courtesy of Google/FreeFoto

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Odd Ending

So I was a bit grumpy when I stuck my last post on here. You'll have that some days. Especially days when people annoy me with stupidity.

Then there's days when people just amuse me, and ya get things like this.

We have a guy in our town (well, to be fair, it's the outskirts next to the cemetery, but still plainly visible) who went all out a couple years ago on planting tomatoes. He has a huge electrical tower monstrosity in his back yard, and it appears that to make it more tolerable to live with, he decided to plant his tomatoes in toilets. He had 6 or 7 toilets arranged in a circle beneath the tower. It was rather trashy looking, in a tasty sort of way.

Maybe he was friends with this guy and was trying to out-do him. I don't know if our city council or mayor ever told him to clean up his act, but we only had to see the outdoor tomato bathroom for one season.

Now out in Iowa, if you're an older person, you might want to join in on the naming of your group. It just doesn't bode well for senior citizens to be referred to as DOA. Unless of course they've been eating tomatoes grown in toilets. That might extend the possibility of being un-DOA.

If you're a foreigner coming into the state of Washington, it's probably best if you don't try to enforce your mother's manners on the border agent. Yes, we know it's nice to say please, but unless you want some pepper spray to flavor your toilet tomatoes, you best not be demanding the man with the weapons to treat you kindly.

Yes, it's nearing spring time, I have cabin fever and I'm itchin' to get some tomato plants in the ground. Bet ya just couldn't figure that one out!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Would Offer Her Coffee If She Was My Neighbor...

*The article written herein may or may not be the actual viewpoint of the writer. Writer chooses to contain her opinions on all below-mentioned names for various reasons (for the time being, anyway...)

Ok, America - Please make up your mind. Is Nadya Suleman irresponsible for birthing 14 children and mooching off the system? Or should she be banished from society for trying to earn money by selling the video of her octuplets' birth?

You say you don't want your tax dollars paying to raise her children, but neither do you want her to make her own money to feed and clothe the clan.

You trot right out to see John and Kate when they come to your church, and you religiously tune in to The Duggars. Do you think they're putting their family on display for free?

You just can't have it both ways, people.

Leave the woman alone! Unless you're gonna go offer to change diapers and rock those babies to sleep, shut up and go back to your video games!


For inquiring minds who wonder what kind of man would find amusement in being married to me...

Meet my husband - a very patient and long-suffering person. His dry sense of humor and lack of tact sometimes land him in hot water, but like me, he can fit in with polite society if necessary. (For more info on how he accomplishes that, see his Genius Tom label in my sidebar...)

1)Husbands Name: Officially, Thomas Scott. I call him Honey. He calls himself ELH when he writes something to me. Ever Lovin' Husband

2)How long have you been married?: 18 years on August 30.

3)How long did you date?: 4 months

4)What did he want to be when he grew up? A Preacher. He thought they only worked one day a week.

5)Who eats more sweets?: Oh most indubitably me.

6)Who is the better singer?: Ya know that song about singers who can't carry a tune in a bucket? He's a selective bucket carrier. He has better luck not sloshing the contents out if he's listened to the song for 29 years. Every once in a while, he'll hit one spot on, though. Jimmy Buffett seems to be friendly to his singing ability. Otherwise, I'm the better singer. "But after one round with Jose Cuervo..."

7)Who is smarter?: We're both pretty intelligent. He's just more gracious about it.

8)Who does the laundry?: He can, but I'm home, so I
do. He doesn't fold it the way I like, anyway. But I appreciate the effort. And the kids can refold.

9)Who pays the bills?: He brings home the bacon, I fry it up in the pan, the creditors enjoy the taste.

10)Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? It's closer to the door, so I do, because the kids always want Mom if they need something at night.

11)Who mows the lawn?: We have teenagers.

12)Who cooks dinner?: We share this responsibility. He cooks alot more in summer, because he's the grill chef. I make the sides.

13)Who drives?: He does. All the time. I don't like to drive. He doesn't like for me to drive. It's a mutual thing.

14)Who is the first to say they are wrong?: Oh brother - this is very hard for both of us. Fortunately, we rarely disagree. Life taught us it just ain't worth it. We split this, too. There's benefits to makin' up......

15)What is his favorite TV show/movie? He made me watch Duel. If your spouse ever suggests that you watch Duel, claim PMS and go to bed with the heating pad and a really, really, really long book. Unless, of course, you're in to sagas about middle-aged men being chased across the desert by demon-possessed truck drivers hellbent on bringing destruction to earth by eliminating the middle-aged man. And you never see anything but the truck-driver's boots. He dies in the end. At least it looks like he dies, because his truck goes over a cliff. Claim PMS. Unless you're a guy. That would be weird. And you might actually like the movie, anyway.

16)Who kissed who first?: He says I kissed him first. I deny that, because I don't actually remember. And Mr. Edwards would have a FIT if he thought the girl made the first move. So, Tom kissed Deanna first.

17)Who asked who out first?: He called me and asked me out. Blind-date. He was my third blind-date Tom. He is by far the best blind-date Tom.

18)Who wears the pants?: We both wear pants. I grew up being told Christian Women Didn't Wear Pants. Hooey! OH! You're asking Who's the Boss! He's the quiet boss. The kids ask me, generally, if they can do something, and he's fine with that. I keep track of the calendar. It just makes sense. But don't question his authority. That doesn't turn out well for the child questioning.

19) Who cuts his hair?


20) Name one of his favorite people (besides you)? Billy Graham and Morry Hummel.

And now you know!