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September, 2008:

Oh Dell . . .

So 6 weeks or so ago I got my new Dell laptop – woo hoo! One of the first things I tried to do was burn some photos to a CD and then to a DVD. Nothin’ – all it did was lock up the PC . . . hard reboot. It would churn and churn and churn for about 3 hours, telling me it was burning the photos to the disc, but then crap out at the end. Not happy!

So I get online with Dell support one morning . . . it’s IM support . . . I can type fast . . . their support guy can’t. Anyhoo . . . he ended up taking over my PC remotely and would tell me when to put in a readable disc . . . I would . . . he’d do stuff and try to burn files to it . . . it wouldn’t work. 1 1/2 hours and 6 ruined discs (CDs and DVDs) later, one finally worked – he got one friggin’ file to burn to one disc. Whoopdy doo! His declaration was that the discs were just bad. Um, really? NOT! I do not accept that only 1 of every 6 discs is usable in an entire spool. And also, Hubby has the exact same laptop, but a couple years older, and he can burn whatever he wants to any of the discs in about 30 seconds . . . even the same files I tried on my PC! So it’s not the discs. “Well, from time to time discs on a spool are bad. That’s the answer.” What (pause for dramatic effect) EVER!

I was so mad!!!

So I let it go a couple weeks, then tried again . . . nothing worked. I bought new spools of CDs and DVDs . . . no good. Hubby was nice enough to call them yesterday to try to work all of this out . . . 2 hours 3 minutes and 8 ruined discs later, the support guy concluded that it worked, but we could only burn music files. Um, EXCUSE me?! We did NOT buy a brand new laptop with a DVD burner so we could put music files on it. Sheesh! Then the support guy says “Well, we need to restore the system to it’s original factory setting – you’ll lose all your data on your hard drive, but that’ll fix it.” Um NO again! It hasn’t worked since day 1! Not happening. THEN, he says it must be a software issue so he’ll transfer us to software support . . . for $50. Um no . . . how about you just send me out a new DVD burner and we’ll call it good – because this one DOES NOT WORK!

He finally agreed . . . sheesh.

Is it too much to ask that when I order a new computer, it works? And that if it doesn’t, they fix it – free?

So You Call Yourself A Fan?

Saw this motorhome on the way through Iowa . . . I couldn’t tell who was older – the motorhome or the driver :-)

Remember When . . .

. . . you used to run so fast that both of your feet were off the ground at the same time . . . just because you WANTED to?!

How I Spent My 36th Birthday

I spent my 36th birthday riding 14 hours in the car . . . through Iowa, Nebraska, and Eastern Colorado – and boy let me tell you, it does NOT get any better than that! I mean, what excitement! Iowa . . . the land of the cow . . . and low speed limits, because quite frankly, you HAVE to be ready for those fast-moving cows that might suddenly bolt out in front of you :-) Nebraska . . . ever driven I-80 from Omaha to Colorado? Fun fun fun! The most exciting thing I’ve seen on that drive is when Queen Taunya and I were road tripping pre-kid and saw this humonstrous dead bloated cow on the side of the road – seriously, this thing looked like the Goodyear Blimp, and we are SOOOOO glad we were not there to see it explode! And eastern Colorado . . . just know that Nebraska is a treat compared to Eastern Colorado – apparently the Coloradans think brown, tan, and other shades of brown/tan are actual “colors” as evidenced by the huge BROWN sign that says “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.”

Anyhoo . . . because I know you’re SOOOOOO excited . . . here’s how it all went down.

0826 – leave Mom’s house
1100 – after many detours for construction, finally cross over into Iowa. Ya know how I know we arrived in Iowa? Because we saw one of these beautiful signs :-)

Note – this is the sign off the IA highway department web page. Apparently, they don’t know how to take non-blurry pictures in Iowa. Maybe they had the shutter speed set too high to get a glimpse of a fast-moving cow. And apparently, they felt taking the picture on a typical cloudy winter day would do wonders to attract visitors to this wonderful state.


1130 – after 12 years of making “the drive” I FINALLY convinced Hubby demanded that we stop in Le Mars, IA at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Museum – I mean, according to the sign, it IS the Ice Cream Capital of the World! And it is MY BIRTHDAY afterall and I WANT ICE CREAM! We did have ice cream, after dining at Hardees for my birthday lunch. Yum yum!


1330 – arrive in Nebraska. And how do I know? Because of the huge orange construction cones that have become the state symbol of Nebraska. Seriously, that whole friggin’ state is one huge construction zone!!! Oh, and I also knew because of this beautiful sign as you cross the river:

Ahhhhh, those Nebraskans know how to take a good picture, I tell ya! Nice blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Definitely the good life 😉


At precisely 1332 I start to get really really annoyed at Hubby, who decided to NOT get gas at any of the places in Iowa. He has a habit of doing this . . . when the kids are in the car with us, and we’re out in the middle of nowhere, and all we want to do is get home . . . not stopping for gas because “Oh, we can make it to the next exit.” Shaaaaa!!! When we pulled in to the gas station that we just hoped we’d find since there wasn’t a sign when we got off the Interstate, the Highlander lovingly told us that we could drive a whoppin’ 2 more miles before Hubby was hiking his ass to a gas station. He’s lucky. Just sayin’. (Oh, and when I mention that I don’t think we’ll ever see a number as low as 2 on the ‘cruising range’ gauge, Dude pipes up and says “Uh Uh! Once, when Dad and I were driving, it said ONE!!!)


1730 – Somewhere in Nebraska, we stop for my birthday dinner . . . Subway here I come!!! Woo hoo!!! Apparently, we weren’t somewhere, we were actually Nowhere . . . the sign on the gas station said so. I was too busy enjoying my ultra-delish birthday dinner to get a photo.


1830 – Woo hoo, we’re in Colorful Colorado! How do I know? The lovely BROWN sign they’ve posted to let everyone know.


See what I mean? Makes ya just wanna rush to Colorado to check out all the beautiful brown and tan colored signs, and weeds, and cactus, and dirt.


2130 – pull into the driveway. Whew! We made it!


While it wasn’t the most exciting birthday I’ve ever had, I did have a wonderful weekend beforehand with my family – and my Mom even had a surprise party at her house for me and my SIL (her birthday is tomorrow). I must admit that my actual birthday wasn’t all bad. Afterall, my Hubby is one great guy. I found all kinds of wrapped packages in the storage compartments in the Highlander . . . lotion, a DVD, a magnetic notepad, Dots, and this – oh, and this :-) So I guess my birthday wasn’t a TOTAL bust 😉

Thanks For The Call

10:55 a.m. – I get up from my desk to take a trip to the lunch room to refill my water mug.

10:58 a.m. – I return to my desk. For unknown reasons, I check my cell phone. There’s a missed call and a voicemail . . . from 10:56 a.m.

10:59 a.m. – I listen to the voicemail. It says something to the effect of “This is the your son’s school attendance office. We’re just calling to check on his absense for today. Please call us back at XXX-XXXX”

Um, WHAT?! At precisely 7:20 a.m. this morning, I watched him walk to the bus stop, meet with his little friends, and get on the bus! What do you mean his absense?!

11:01 a.m. – I’m talking to the lady in the attendance office:

Me: Hi. I had a message from you inquiring on my son’s absense from school today.
Her: What is your son’s name?
Me: Dude.
Her: And what is the reason for his absense today?
Me: Um, he shouldn’t be absent. I watched him get on the bus at 7:25 this a.m.
Her: Oh. Can you please hold while we figure out where he is?
Me: Really? Please hold while you figure out where my 8 your old son is!!! REALLY?! WTH! How do you NOT know where he is?! Yes.
Her: I guess he is in class. It looks like the teacher accidentally marked him absent. She sent an email to our office, but we didn’t get it until after we’d done our counts for the day. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Me: OK. I appreciate the call.

OK – cool for the call. I appreciate that they call when your kid is absent and you haven’t called them. In fact, it was AWESOME when they called me IN DALLAS last April and asked where my son was. I’d forgotten to tell them he would be missing school while we played at an indoor waterpark :-) GREAT moment for me to explain to Dude that I will ALWAYS know when he’s not at school 😉

Not cool that it took them almost 3 HOURS to call me! IF he was actually missing, do you know how far away someone could have taken him in 3 HOURS! Or what could have happened to him in 3 HOURS?! Sheesh.

And really – I’ve been to his school many times. The teacher could have walked to the attendance office faster than it took her to send the email that they didn’t read. Or, hey, better idea! Send the kid that you accidentally marked absent to tell them that hey, I’m really here . . . the teacher messed up!

So anyway – a teeny tiny scare for about 2 minutes this a.m. . . . but it really is amazing how many thoughts can go through your mind in 2 MINUTES!

Especially when the search for freaky guy was suspended without any resolution. The guy vanished and nobody’s seen or heard from him.

Little Voices – Part II

14 hour car rides require that Grandma send along a bag of chocolate chip cookies, because we wouldn’t want to starve to death or anything :-)

Dude: I’m H-U-N-G-Y.
Me: Really? You’re “HunGY?”
Dude: Yes.
Me: Spell it right, please.
Dude: (big sigh) Oh fine! I’m H-U-N… Oh whatEVER! Can I just have a cookie?!

I’m tellin’ ya – the boy needs to learn how to spell!

Little Voices – Part One

We had a wonderful time on our trip to MN last week/weekend. Of course, when you spend 14 hours in a car, twice, you hear some fun things from the back seat. And there is never a dull moment when you’re around Grandparents :-)

This Little Voice is compliments of my Princess. Noisy Grandma was getting ready in the bathroom. Princess was standing on the toilet, leaning on the counter with her elbows, just watching.

Princess: Grandma, what’s that stuff you’re putting on your face?
Grandma: It’s lotion to help me not get wrinkles.

30 second pause – deep concentration by Princess

Princess: Grandma, did you forget to put that on one day?

Random Recipes – Coffee Cup Cake

Yes, for real! You, too, are now only 5 minutes from chocolate cake :-)

Be sure to check out Pam at Random Thoughts to see what other yummy goodness is out there for recipes this month!

Random Recipes


  • 1 Coffee Mug
  • 4 T flour (regular flour, not self-rising)
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 T baking cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T milk
  • 3 T oil
  • 3 T chocolate chips (optional)
  • Small splash vanilla


  • Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.
  • Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
  • Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and mix again.
  • Put mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
  • The cake will rise over the top of the mug. Don’t be alarmed!
  • Allow to cool a little.
  • Eat! This can serve two if you want to tip it onto a plate and share :-)

God’s Children

This was forwarded in an e-mail and made me chuckle :-)

Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.

And the first thing he said was: DON’T!

‘Don’t what ?’ Adam replied.

‘Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.’ God said.

‘Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit!’
‘No Way!’
‘Yes way!’

‘Do NOT eat the fruit!’ said God.

‘Because I am your Father and I said so!’ God replied, wondering why He hadn’t stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked!

‘Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit?’  God asked.

‘Uh huh,’  Adam replied.

‘Then why did you?’  said the Father.

‘I don’t know,’ said Eve.

‘She started it!’ Adam said.

‘Did not!’
‘Did too!’

Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself.

If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Is That A Banana In Your Pocket?

Even though Dude did not find the perfect Halloween costume on our whirlwind tour of all stores costume on Sunday, he did find one that he found pleasantly amusing. It was this one from Old Navy.

Princess and Mom are browsing the kitty cat costume rack to see if they have the right size.

Dude: Hey Mom! Look at this cute monkey costume!

Me: That one is cute! Too bad you’re not a baby anymore or you could be that.

Dude: That would have been cool. Ya know what I like best about it?

Me: No. What?

Dude: The banana.

Me: (not really paying attention) The what?

Dude: The ba-NA-na. If I had this costume, I could have a banana in my pocket.

Me: (trying to hide my immature giggles). Dude, I wouldn’t go around telling everyone that you have a banana in your pocket.

Dude: Why not? What’s so bad about having a banana in your pocket?

Me: Just trust me.