Depending on how old you are, you might remember that years ago, there weren't a hundred different football bowl games. Back when I was younger and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, there were only four: the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl. Last year there were 28 different bowl games. 28!!! And, according to About.com, there are 30 games this year! What the hell is up with that? They range from the original bowl games to the Chik-fil-A Bowl to the GMAC Bowl to the Motor City Bowl. Apparently, anyone with a little extra cash on hand can have their very own personalized bowl game, so here's what I've decided to do... I'm going to start my very own bowl. It's going to be called the Huffstetler Toilet Bowl, and will feature the two worst college teams I can find. And, in the true spirit of competition, I'm going to change the rules in the last 5 minutes of the game and make it so that whoever has the least amount of points, wins. And why do I want to do this? Because I want my very own Toilet Bowl.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Let me backtrack just a bit, and tell you about Christmas Eve.
Our incredibly generous apartment manager, Colleen, organized a Christmas Eve Open House for the residents of our complex. Now, Colleen doesn't do anything halfway, and the Open House was no exception. She began baking just after Thanksgiving, and continued until the day before the event... I know - I was there. There were cookies, bars and treats of every description. There were mini sandwiches, meat and cheese trays, mexican cheese dip, meatballs, little smokies and delicious punch, and everything was paid for out of her own pocket. She and I worked until after 10 pm on the 23rd trying to get everything set out and organized, and ended up being greatly rewarded by the appreciation of all the people who showed up. Kenin helped out a lot, too, and now has plenty of places to run off to if I ever lose my mind and kick him out. You should've seen all the little old ladies practically swooning over him!
Anyway, during all the preparation, I saw how exhausted poor Colleen was, and I asked her if it was worth all the trouble. She immediately answered that it was. She told me that so many of the residents, due to age or health problems, were unable to go anywhere for the holiday, or no longer even had any family left to go to, and this was her way of giving them Christmas and letting them know that they were still cared about. At that point, I couldn't quite understand how she could deprive herself from something so basic as sleep, just to do this for people who weren't her family. The next day, however, made me completely understand. The Open House was a huge success! Everyone was so greatful for it, and really seemed to have a good time. Newer residents met older ones, and the few children that were there were a big hit and adored by most everyone (my own little one drove me crazy, but that's another story LOL). The event itself only lasted for 3 hours, but the feeling of caring and giving that came along with it will last forever, and I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I have strange dreams. And I don't mean those dreams that disappear from your mind after you've been up for 20 seconds, either. I have dreams that stick with me for years!
I've dreamed that I poured concrete to make a motorcycle seat with Jon Bon Jovi, and dreamed I was a spy - a female James Bond if you will - swimming in a pool, trying to get away from the bad guys. One time my then-best friend, Betty Jo (yes, I know how southern that is) was a gang leaders girlfriend and he used her for bait so that he could find me and kill me. When things get rough, I have a recurring dream that I'm driving uphill (like San Francisco uphill) on the interstate, trying to get to my parents house, but there's all kinds of road construction, and eventually my car takes flight to get away from it all. I've dreamed that World War III takes place in Boston Harbor, but I lead my friends and family to safety in the mountains (and as far as I know, you can't see Boston Harbor from the mountains). I've been fought over by actors Don Johnson (ew) and Jared Padalecki (yum). Sometimes I'm flying over the beach in a plane, defending it from aliens. Before I met Kenin, I had a recurring dream that always ended with me being held closely by a big, strong man, and I always woke with an incredible feeling of safety. Strangely enough, or not strangely at all, since I met Kenin, I've never had that dream again. And last night I dreamed I was pregnant and in labor in a hospital emergency room on a gurney next to an old black man, who was also in labor.
Weird stuff, my dreams, weird stuff.
Friday, December 2, 2005
Do you cry? I cry. A lot. And it's not because I'm sad or depressed. I mean, I cry at commercials. Commercials, for God's sake! How crazy is that?! You know those Hallmark commercials? Those make me cry sometimes. But you know what really gets to me? OnStar commercials. You know, the ones where the person's been in a wreck and they call OnStar and then the OnStar rep calls 911. Don't ask me why, 'cause I don't know. I just know it happens. And movies... oh my. If I see a movie trailer that looks like it might be sad, I know that I'll have to wait until the movie comes out on netflix before I can watch it. I get a major case of Rudolph nose when I cry, so crying at the theater is a definite no-no for me. I still haven't watched the Passion of the Christ because I don't think there's enough kleenex in the world for me to see that movie. I can watch the last 10 minutes of a movie I've never seen before and cry, so you know I'm bawling at movies that are repeats for me. I won't have a clue what the movie's about, but if the last few minutes are sad, or even happy(!) then I'm done for. I think the movie that made me cry the most was The Notebook, which is probably the greatest love story ever written, as far as I'm concerned. If you haven't seen it, DO!
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Okay, here's proof that I really went to Denver to see the family.
Left to right, there's my Dad (This is the only picture I have of him smiling... ever.), my wonderful sister-in-law, Guli, me, my brother, Robert, and my son, Hunter. The cutie pie in the front is my daughter, Ashlyn. Thanks so much to Aunt Sally, who took the picture!
This is a picture that I took last night from my bedroom window. Yes, it's a bit distorted, by - you guessed it - snow! I came home early from Denver (Saturday vs. Sunday) so I could miss the nasty weather that was headed our way. We ended up getting a blizzard here in Iowa on Sunday, although only about 4 inches of snow fell. Then, yesterday, we got 4 more inches and it's supposed to snow more tomorrow, be cloudy on Saturday and then snow again Sunday and Monday. Ah, I love winter. (Okay, enough about the weather.)
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I felt a bit lazy today, so while Kenin was at work, Ashlyn and I watched CSI and A Love Song for Bobby Long (great movie). Last night I got home from my parents house and boy, was I glad. It wasn't that I'd had a bad time or anything, just that I missed my own home. And my husband. And my cats. And my own bed.
I got the kids up early Wednesday morning and we headed west toward the Rockies. After a 10 1/2 hour drive, we made it to Denver. The kids behaved fairly well, though Hunter was especially anxious to see his friends again. We got to see my parents, my favorite aunt, Sally, my brother, Bob, and finally got to meet Guli, my newest sister-in-law, who is FABULOUS!! My dad complained about the kids, we all got caught up on what's going on in everyone's life, and other than sleeping on the sofa bed, everything was good. Bob, Guli, and I took the kids to see the latest Harry Potter movie Thanksgiving night, and though it was okay, had I not read the book, I'd not have known what was going on, so if you haven't read it, don't waste your money. We'd planned on staying until Sunday, but bad weather was approaching so we came home early.
I guess I ought to say "I'm sorry" to Al of Al's Lock and Safe in North Platte, NE. I had a blonde moment and locked my keys in the car at Burger King. Or, at least I thought I did. Anyway, I called Al and he was on his way out to save the day when I discovered that the rear door on the Durango wasn't locked after all. I'm not really sure how that happened since the other doors were locked tight as a candy jar at a Weight Watchers meeting, but that's the way it was. Wanting to keep that extra $40 he was going to charge me to open my unlocked car (not to mention the embarrassment factor), I left before he got there. So, uh, sorry, Al. (I'm going to mail him $20 just for his trouble.)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
So much crap to do, and so little time to get it done in. I guess I could put what little time I have to better use by not blogging right now, but what the hell? Tomorrow, at some point between the hours of 4 and 5 am, I will load up the car and kids and head to Denver for Turkey Day. I must be insane to take all the kids and leave Kenin behind (my poor baby has to work), but I miss my family. I'm going to see my brother (younger, but not little by any means) for the first time in 3 years and I get to meet his new wife, Guli, for the first time. Plus, my aunt and parents will be there, too. Anyway, lots to do, lots to do. I have pick up Kenin from work and take him to the doctor, do some last minute laundry (hell, I only did 5 loads yesterday), clean out my car so we can all fit in there with Hunter's bike that he wants to take, pack, and I have a lunch date with my friend, Laura. Patrick's already thrown a screaming fit and it's only 8 o'clock. Hunter's being obstinate and doesn't want to get ready for school. So, yeah, its' gonna be one of those days...
Monday, November 21, 2005
Yesterday I spent the day just hanging out with Boogie (aka Ashlyn) watching the tube and being goofy. I feel like we have a pretty good relationship considering she's a teenager. When I was her age, I didn't want a thing to do with my parents and only thought they'd been put on earth to embarrass and bug me. I don't know how typical that is, but that was me (yes, I was a pretty screwed up kid). Ash and I make it a point to spend time together, usually bonding over episodes of Gilmore Girls, shopping, or going out to eat. Ash actually hangs out with me and Kenin in the evenings, talking and watching the tube! I'd have NEVER done that, even if you'd have paid me, so I know I have a decent kid on my hands. Yeah, she gets in trouble some, but what kid doesn't? I look back at the way I was, and she's so much like me, but so different at the same time. I admire the hell out of her. She's her own person and doesn't care what other people say or think. She's not the Follower I was, always trying to fit in somewhere, anywhere, and always with people who used me. I'm proud of her. Speaking of parenting... I have become my parents. Well, not totally, but to a point. As a kid you think your parents are dumb as a box of hair, right? Well, the older you get - especially once you have kiddos of your own - you realize that they weren't so bad after all. My kids have almost every single rule that I had (granted, I broke them all) when I was growing up. I open my mouth and hear my parents voice coming out and sometimes it just astounds me that I was such a complete idiot as a kid. Just like my parents told me, I tell my kids "When you have a child of your own, you'll understand why I do and say the things I do." And you know what? They will. I think the biggest difference between my parenting style and that of my own parents is that I joke and kid and play around with my kids a lot. They know I'm the boss, but Kenin and I act like kids, too, sometimes. We're very open with the kids about things, and they know almost all of those deep, dark secrets of my life. My kids know I got in a lot of trouble growing up, that I was in the nut house for a while as a teen, and that there were a number of things that I did that they should never do. Since the kids were toddlers, I've drilled into them that they must graduate from high school, go to college, get married and THEN have a baby. I want so much more for them than what I had. My teenage and early adult years could've been really good, but I made a lot of mistakes that I don't want to see them repeat. They're good kids, and I want the best for them.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
It's snowing!!!!! I've really missed the white stuff since leaving Montana, and now it's finally decided to come visit me here in Iowa. It's not sticking to the roads, which is good, but everything is soaking wet now and it's supposed to be 18 degrees tonight, which will really make commutes suck tomorrow. Hee hee hee... I'm so glad I don't have a 'real' job. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Living in Montana, where the water was nothing short of just plain nasty-tasting, I became a fan of the Culligan Man. Although I swear I tried to get used to the not-quite-as-bad-as-Montana water, I just couldn't do it. Thankfully, Kenin agreed, and I had wonderful Culligan bottled water back in my abode within 2 weeks of moving to Iowa. Life has been good water-wise... until now. (Okay, perhaps that's just a wee bit more dramatic than things actually are, but read on, and you'll see what I mean.)
Last Friday, I had 2 bottles of water delivered. All was well until I went to change out an empty bottle later that evening. As I was lifting the new bottle into the cooler, I noticed some water on the floor, but didn't really think too much about it because, well, I have kids and a husband and you know how they can be. However, once the new bottle was in place, there was a strange bubbling sound, and I saw a crack in the bottle. Of course, this crack just had to be in the worst possible place - at the bottom of the bottle. At this point, I figured I had two options: 1) let almost 5 gallons of water slowly dribble out through the crack and all over my kitchen floor, or 2) change out the offensive bottle and replace it with one without a crack. Naturally, I chose option number 2, intending to call Culligan and ask for a credit.
So this morning, I called Culligan and asked to have more water delivered and about a possible credit for the screwed up bottle. Know what they told me? They said they'd give me a $1 credit. One dollar????? Are they nuts? That five gallon bottle of water that I couldn't drink cost me $4! So now I'm supposed to pay $3 for water I never even got to use? I don't think so! Now I can get redneck when I have to, and this situation might just warrant that. It's not like I'm trying to get free water from them or anything. I just don't want to pay from something that I didn't use. I think I'll accost the Culligan Man when he comes tomorrow and see what happens.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
While perusing the online version of the Conway, Arkansas Log Cabin Democrat this morning, I came across the story of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights proposed boycott of Wal-Mart. Apparently, Wal-Mart changed it's traditional "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" because there are so many year-end celebrations by different faiths and the Catholics are all fired up over it.
The thing that really gets my goat is the lack of tolerance by the Catholic League. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit! You mean there's really more than one celebration going on in December?! And all along I thought that Hanukkah and Kwanzaa were just myths! Give me a break, people. "Happy Holidays" is something generic you can say for the entire 2 last months of the year. It doesn't mean that Christmas has all of the sudden been abolished just because you weren't greeted with "Merry Christmas" when you walked through the doors of Wal-Mart. It means that this is America and there is more than one religion out there and "Happy Holidays" is a way to include everyone. I swear, some people...
Monday, November 7, 2005
I know, I know... I suck at keeping this thing updated. I could throw out all sorts of excuses like the fact that I had surgery (I'm now minus a gallbladder), or that we've had some major issues with my daughter, Jena, or even that I got unnaturally engrossed in playing Freecell and making a movie. While all of the above excuses are very real, the true and simple fact of the matter is that I get lazy. And sometimes it's not just your 'ordinary' lazy, either. It's more like the I've-got-9-loads-of-laundry-to-do-and-my-family's-about-to-have-to-go-to-school-and-work-naked kind of lazy. Do you ever get like that? I mean, where you can ALWAYS find something better to do than what you need to do? It's not like my house is nasty dirty or anything, but there always seems to be something else that I should be doing. Our house was always neat and orderly when I was growing up, so how I managed to turn out like this, I'm not really sure. Oh well, that's just me. Like it or lump it, I always say.
I miss my friend, Lynn. She's in Billings, Montana this week, waiting on her hubby, Dirk, to come home from Iraq. He's been gone for about 15 months and is finally coming home Thursday, so I'm totally excited for her and her kids. But I still miss her. When I lived up there, we'd go to lunch 2 or 3 times a week, for like 2 or 3 hours at a time. It's not like we ate the whole time, either. We talked and laughed and made fun of life in a teeny, tiny little cow town. She was my fount of sanity, and I feel like I could use a nice big dose of that right about now. People in Sioux City are great, but well, they just aren't Lynn.
I have a 3 legged cat, Angelo, who's species challenged. He thinks he's a dog. Why, I'm not really sure, because we don't have a dog for him to imitate. He's currently learning to fetch. We toss a balled up piece of paper across the room (at least he's smart enough not to go for the fake throw) and he chases it, picks it up, and carries it around with him. He doesn't quite bring it back yet, but we're still working on that. Ya gotta love freaky animals.