Friday, September 30, 2005

Checking out the Blog Neighborhood

Recently when I was viewing my blog after updating I hit the next blog page to see who was my neighbor. She is a 20 yr old Canadian who is going through the woes of dating at least thats what I got from the quick peek of her entries. She started blogging in May of this year and from looking at her comments she is like me only getting spam comments. I don't know what the etiquette is for your neighbor in the blog hood. Do I send her a comment just to say "Hey, How are ya? I'm Jo. I blog next door to you and just wanted to introduce myself." Because whose to say that the minute I hit send that someone with a blog name thats alphabetically between us won't move in her spot and then I won't be her neighbor anymore and she'll look out her blog window to catch sight of me and it could be an 80 year old man. She'd be like "He's Mountain Mama? Yeah right who is he trying to fool!" So I guess I'll just mind my own business for now, but I will tell you this...if I hear Mountain Man moves in I'll be locking my doors and windows because who knows what kind of guy he might be. But on the other hand, the bears keep getting in our garbage at night...he might come in handy. Hhmmm...wheres that recipe for huckleberry pie.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Walk, Don't Run to the Bus

Steven has been riding the school bus for 2 weeks now. We've been enjoying our walks to the bus in the morning since it gives us our alone time to talk about things. Today the topic was his loose front tooth. He is worried he will lose it at school and won't be able to bring it home for the tooth fairy. He didn't say that, but instead asked, "Does my teacher have a baggie at school I could bring my tooth home in if it falls out?" No mention of the tooth fairy, but I know that is the major concern of his. I told him his teacher has dealt with many loose teeth and she is an expert on getting them home. He seemed relieved.
The first day I put him on the bus was harder for me than the day I took him to school for his first day. As I was walking back home, this sob just erupted from deep inside me. I walked home in a blur of tears. When I was little I hated riding the bus. I was so scared of the older kids. I don't know why since they never bothered me, I guess because they were just bigger. As I got older I didn't mind it especially since Dennis rode the bus also. Dennis was in my class, very cute and a nice guy. I wasn't brave enough to sit with Dennis, but just knowing Dennis was there was enough to make the ride bearable.
Today as Steven and I were standing waiting for the bus I had this urge to just scoop him up and take him back home with me. I don't know why for sure but it may have to do with the fact that on the days I work I don't get to see him until 2 hours before his bedtime. I miss his funny stories, goofy expressions, snuggles....I just miss him.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Turkeys, Racoons, and Bears Oh MY!

My porch has been a virtual wild kingdom of late. About two weeks ago, I had 10 turkeys pecking on my porch for crumbs of dog and cat food. The boys were able to slowly sneak to the sliding glass doors and sit to watch the turkeys up close for 5 minutes. The consensus was they are a pretty darn ugly bird, but tasty to eat. Steven offered to jump on one and bring it to me so I could it cook for dinner. I politely declined his offer and told him I would get one from the store that was already plucked. He didn't quite understand what the big deal would be about for plucking a few feathers. I on the other hand could only think of chopping the head off...shudder.
On Monday night, I walked into the livingroom to spy a doe looking through the sliding glass door. The lights were all off except the TV so I don't think she saw me standing there. She kept moving her head around as if to get a better view of the inside of the house. After a minute of watching her, I took a step forward and she stepped back a foot and looked at me with her ears down. She very slowly stepped off the porch like she was trying to act nonchalantly about being caught snooping. Made me wonder what she thought of how we live. Thursday night as I was going to turn the TV off I caught movement on the porch out of the corner of my eye. There two very plump racoons stood on hind legs looking at me through the door. It reminded me of the furniture commercial with the racoons checking out the comfy recliner and couch. They looked like they wanted to come in and kick back for awhile. Not.
Then yesterday while I was washing dishes I looked out to the yard and noticed something looked different. It finally dawned on me that it was a lack of color I was noticing. Hubster had planted marigolds around an ugly transformer to hide it somewhat and now all I was seeing were flower stems. When Hubster went out to check the damage, he found a small bear track. About 5 feet away, he found a bigger print. Oh yippee, we have a mama bear and cub around. The bears ate all the fresher blooms off and spit out any blooms that were starting to dry up. Only the best and freshest will do I suppose.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Damn..Rock Star is Over.

I have watched every episode of Rock Star this summer. Every Tues & Wed I made sure the boys were tucked into bed so they wouldn't disturb me. Hubster quickly figured out on his own to not talk to me, ask me where the whatever the hell he can't find is, initiate sex with me, walk in front of the TV or breathe too loud while I was engrossed in Rock Star. I haven't been this fanatical about a tv show since the Bionic Woman. Shut up. Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man had an awesome love story undertone.
When I first started watching Rock Star I so wanted Jordis to win but I honestly couldn't picture a woman fronting INXS. Brandon literally gave me the "ick" shudders and I didn't care for his singing or style. I quietly jumped from my chair when he was sent home whispering YES! YES! that night trying not wake the boys in my ecstasy. Towards the end I went from wanting Suzie to win, then Mig, then Marty, but I knew deep down J.D. would end up winning. I have to admit watching him the last 2 weeks he is the perfect match. He was just a little too smug earlier in the show and that turned me off of him. I'll be watching for releases from Jordis, Suzie, Marty and Mig curious how far their careers will go.

It was nice to have a show for me to look forward to watching though. I scared myself a while back when I was looking for something to watch and my heart quickened when I saw Jimmy Newtron was on. I actually pushed select and started watching it when it dawned on me the boys were in bed and I could watch anything I wanted. I admit I had to force myself to find something else and Jimmy was a damn rerun at that. I made myself go to bed early that night because my second choice was Spongebob. Need more adult contact.

It sounded like they may do another Rock Star next summer. Man thats a long time from now. So I guess I'll have to find some other shows to look forward to watch. But I may have to block Nickelodeon on my remote or I may find myself waiting with baited breath to see if Jimmy and Cindy will finally realize they are meant for each other.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Open House

Tonight Steven and I attended our first open house at the Elementary school. Hubster stayed home with Dean since the poor little fellow is sick with a nasty cold. The school had a scavanger hunt where you went to each classroom and found items listed on a piece of paper. It was an excellent way of meeting all the teachers and see the classrooms. I actually went to school there first through third grade before we moved to Helena. So it was fun seeing how different the class rooms have changed. The kindergarten class rooms are in an old dormitory building with the 6th through 8th graders. Steven and I did pretty well with the scavanger hunt. Since he can't read I did the majority. At one point when we were leaving the dormitory Steven was trying to whisper something to me but I couldn't hear him because of people talking around us so I told him to wait until we went outside. Once down the steps I leaned down and asked him what he needed. Steven looked around to make sure no one too close and whispered, "Mom I had to fart when we were around people and I squeezed my butt cheeks together so hard they started to hurt." Without laughing, I asked him if he still needed to fart and he nodded yes. Still not laughing I told him "Okay we'll just walk over that way quickly and you let it out." When he nodded I could tell he was still trying very hard not to fart, so we quickly walked away from the other people. After about 10 steps I asked "Did you do it?" He nodded with a smile, "My butt feels much better now!" Still not laughing, I said "Good job honey." As we continued to walk to the main school building I had tears in my eyes from trying not to laugh. What a kid!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Life in the Gutter

On September 6th I opened the bowling alley up for a new season. I love my job. I manage a little 6 lane house and have 7 employees. Even though it may seem like a pretty easy job it has its headaches. Anybody that has been in a management position will agree that it is basically a glorified babysitting job. The bowling alley is a big part of my life and I've been trying to think how to include my job in this blog without revealing too much. I am really lucky right now as I have a very good crew who all love their job. But they don't have that love for each other. Red is a bartender who has been with me for a year now. She is a real sweetheart but on the lazy side when it comes to sidework. Navy is, as the name gives away, an ex navy gal. She is a seasoned bartender and very regimented about her work and expects the same from everyone else. Baby is a 20 yr old single mother who is good at all aspects of the job, but speaks before she thinks therefore has the potential to put customers off. The sad thing about all of them is they are desperate for money and more hours so they constantly find things to complain about so as to take shifts away from each other. To be a manager you have to balance the good and bad about people, find there strengths and weakness.
My weakness is I get too involved with my employees. I'm privy to all there problems with lovers, parents, and children. I know what keeps them awake at night and what they go home to. So I struggle to keep a balance between being a friend while being a hard nosed boss. It gets tough and stressful. The only advantage I have is I don't play games and they know I lay it on the line. Navy is my biggest problem which may seem odd because she is the best bartender and worker out of the three. But I know she can see herself in my job and feels she could do better. I'd give her the credit that yes at the bar part she may do better, but when it comes to the bowling portion I'm good. I've bowled for 20 yrs now and I know what bowlers want and I give it to them. I have good people skills which she doesn't. I may sound arrogant but I've had to step back and ask myself would she be better for the job? Should I walk away? No. Because my strenths totally out number hers. So I watch my back and do my best.
Now you know one of the things that keep me awake at night.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

1st Day of School

We awoke nice and early. Steven ate his breakfast of cinnamon toast and glass of milk with the lights dimmed because the bright light hurt his sleepy eyes. I helped him take a shower and brush his teeth. Dressed him for his big day. His first day as a kindergarten. After he was dressed and shoes double knotted, I realized we still had 45 minutes until we had to leave for the school. I got Dean ready to go to Grandma's and that killed 5 minutes. First lesson learned of the school year we don't need an hour and half to get ready. Yeah, we can sleep in another half an hour tomorrow!
After we dropped Dean off, Steven and I headed to the school. We met the other little ones dressed in their brand new duds and parents with mixed emotions. I think the thing that surprised me the most was how many scared little kids were there without a parent or even somebody. In this small town, I can't imagine one business that couldn't have covered for a parent to take their child to his/her first day of school. Anyways, it broke my heart. Steven is a very social child and even he said he was nervous as we walked onto the playground. But pretty soon he was interacting with the other kids. I was a little worried about one incident that happened. He has a friend, Caleb from preschool that is in his class and they were instantly hanging out together on the playground. When we went into the classroom to get them settled in another boy came in and apparently was also friends with Caleb. The teacher told the kids to find a chair at the tables and be seated. Steven grabbed a chair and called to Caleb to come sit by him. Caleb and the other boy ran to another table and sat next to each other ignoring Steven. As the teacher began to speak, Steven kept staring at Caleb to get his attention. The teacher told us to say our goodbyes. As I leaned down to tell Steven goodbye, he asked me why Caleb didn't want to sit with him. The look in his eyes about killed me. I told him that it was no biggie, that he would see Caleb all day and be able to play with him at recess. As I drove home, I cried. I cried because my boy is growing up. I cried because I'm now having my first taste of not being able to protect my little boy from all the hurts to come his way.
I picked up Dean from Mom's and we went home to face out first day without Steven together. Dean spent many a moment laying on the floor crying for Brubber. Several times I wanted to sprawl out on the floor and join him. Finally the time came to go pick Steven up. We waited on the playground for the bell to ring. As soon as the bell rang the teacher stepped out with the kids in tow. As soon as Steven and Dean spotted each other they ran together and hugged. Major Mommy moment...aahhh! On the way home Steven told us about his day and how much fun he had with Caleb. He also told me he made new friends with 2 boys who sit at his table. I released the breath I had been holding all day. First crisis averted for now. Phew!

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I have literally been glued to Fox News. I am amazed. I am in shock. I am ashamed.
I am amazed at the devastation Katrina has brought to the Gulf Coast states. The homes literally blown away to just a foundation, peoples lives and belongings, just gone. Only roof tops showing in the flood waters in NOLA. I am in shock that in our times, our fellow Americans are suffering to such an extent when on foreign lands the good ole USA rides in on its white horse and saves the day. I am ashamed of our government, our elected officials, mainly our president. Bush you have shown your true self to us all. You have revealed to me that you are just a puppet. Without someone guiding your every word or move, you are useless. As the rest of us Americans were glued to our televisions watching helplessly this catastrophic storm approach land, your sitting on a tailgate vacationing with the good old boys. I'd like to know were you or anyone federally in contact with Mayor Nagin or any local, state official in the Gulf states? Anyone going over plans of evacuation? This whole ordeal has made me think back to when I voted for our mayor, our governor, our sheriff, what were the things that made me vote for them? I believe everyone who has voted for a local or state official votes for them on what they can do to help on an economic level. Do any of us vote truly based on the fact alone "Could this person act responsibly and quickly during a man made or natural disaster?" No we vote for the person we hope will help us keep food on our tables and keep our lifestyles in tact. I bet in the next elections, safety plans for our cities will be an issue. I know elected officials are just people like us, they just chose a career in politics. President Bush can't handle every single issue facing him, that's why he has department administrators and advisors. I understand that, what I don't understand is why he puts the people in charge of these matters in positions they are not qualified. Can we say Brownie? What the hell was Bush thinking? FEMA should have the most qualified staff and plan of attack considering we live in elevated terrorist level daily. But after listening to Barbara Bush say that these poor people of NOLA have it better at a crowded shelter than they did before the hurricane revealed what values she passed onto her son. Shut up Barbara.
The only good that came of this whole disaster? We finally got some honest reactions. Mayor Nagin, we felt the same as you. Quit your damn press conferences, get off your asses and act! Anderson Cooper, I too am disgusted with all the thanking and back patting of politicians. Why thank some fellow elected official paid from our tax dollars for coming to the site of a natural disaster? Its your fucking job and responsibility. Thank them when they get behind the wheel of a bus and drive hundreds of people to safe shelter. Thank them when they carry cases of water in the 90 degree heat for hours on end. Thank them when they place the body of the unidentified woman into a body bag. And if thats unreasonable, see who they would be thanking at that moment if it were their child and grandchildren admidst the others suffering at the convention center. Geraldo, you sometimes make me wonder how genuine your emotions are, but we felt your desperation at the convention center. On the other side of a bridge awaits food, water, and transportation to safety. Let them walk to help if help can't get to them. What the hell? No instead you station military at a blockade to keep people from reaching help.
My hope is that the next time we Americans step into a voting booth is that the emotions, the what ifs, will revisit us before we mark those ballots.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Fair Time

Once again the carnival rides and cowboys have arrived. Fair time in Montana. I've gone to our county fair for off and on 27 years now. I started going to the fair at the age 13 for the rides and games. My main objective was how many times could I ride the Zipper before I puked. (5 by the way.) As I got older the fair was more for showing off my new school clothes and shaking my Rocky Mountain clad ass in front of the football players. After high school, I would travel from Missoula to party at the fair. I only saw the rides because they were on the way to the beer garden. The demolition derby seen from my bleacher seat in the drinking section topped off the weekend. The Hubster and I got married when I was 22 and we occasionally went to the demo, but the fair was not a major attraction to us. Camping on labor day weekend was much more to our liking. The year 2000 was our first weekend camping trip with our 1 yr old son and our last. Camping with a 1 yr old + rain + sleepless nights = not fun. So the next labor day weekend rolled around and we decided to do the fair. Being Steven was only 2 yrs old, the rides he could go on were pretty limited. I had just gotten a digital camera and was very excited to take pictures of Steven at his first fair. When I got home and downloaded the pictures to my pc, I erased every single one of them. I was so devastated that I had lost those pics that Hubster took us back to the fair so I could take pictures all over again. We basically threw Steven on a ride took his pic and onto the next ride and so on and headed back home.
In 2002, Dean was 5 months old and Steven a month shy of being 3. Steven had a blast on the rides and playing games on the midway. Dean was quite satisfied watching the people and lights from his stroller. Hubster and I were simply exhausted. You know all the cables they run along the ground from ride to ride and across the midway every 5 feet? Not fun when pushing a stroller and trying to dodge running children and drunk cowboys. The next year, we wised up and invited Hubsters brother and wife to come with us. Reinforcements! You gotta love Aunties who love to go on rides with their nephews. Steven was a pro with the rides at this time and showed Dean the best places to sit on the rides. Although the teddy bear ride scared Dean and Steven spent the whole time trying to get Dean to quit crying. I was learning the best routes to take that involved the least cables. 2004, we once again wrangled Uncle and Auntie into coming with us. We had a blast. Hubster, the boys and I got our picture taken and it is the best photo of all of us I think we'll ever take. We still had the stroller with us, but more for hauling stuffed animals and diaper bag. I learned to be an aggressive stroller driver and make the unruly children and drunken cowboys step out of my way. Good memories were made that year.
Which brings us to now. No stroller since the boys are old enough to romp around for hours and not want to be carried. Dean didn't cry on any of the rides. They absolutely loved the dragon coaster. They're the two toe heads in the yellow shirts in the picture. They both won prizes on the midway throwing darts, rolling balls and fishing with magnets. We got another picture taken and it was the most awful picture we've ever taken. Oh well. Uncle and Auntie didn't come with us this time, so it was just our little family. I know our times of going to the fair as a family will only last so long and then the boys will want to go with their friends. I don't know what the future of the fair holds for Hubster and I. Who knows? It may find us attending the rodeo sitting in the bleachers in the non drinking section. Its evolution.