November 23, 2011

Secrets To Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

You might think a girl who was hosting Thanksgiving dinner for eleven in 17 hours with not a pie, casserole, or pan of rolls prepared would be up late getting on that but if that girl is me, well, you'd be dead wrong. My house is a wreck, the laundry is piled up, a quarter of the dishes in the whole kitchen are dirty but I needed a new mix cd so I chose to get on that. And now here I sit blasting my new tunes in my ears and blogging, still not getting anything done. Except for blogging. 

Domesticity is not a great talent of mine but you can bet your candy ass I'll pull tomorrow off brilliantly because what I am good at is performing well under pressure. Also, faking it. 

Truth be told, I'm really not responsible for much tomorrow. My husband is in charge of the turkey - we fry our birds 'round here - so he'll be hiding in the garage with Opa "monitoring" the turkey for roughly four hours... which is odd because it only takes an hour to cook. Wonder what that's all about? *snicker* Kid sister is making the obligatory green bean casserole and mashed potatoes and gravy. I offered to take care of the potatoes but apparently instant mashed potatoes aren't good enough for some people. Snobs! My mom is making something like thirteen pies, a sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and no doubt three different salads. Can we say 'show off', boys and girls?  I'm really not sure the person responsible for the ham has been appointed to his/her duty as of yet but here's hoping it's not me because what I know about baking a ham is a non-measurable amount. 

What I am responsible for is my mom's famous refrigerator potato rolls. Wait, their official name is "my mom's famous refrigerator rolls' so why, pray tell, am I making them? True story - I got our Kitchen Aid mixer out to make the dough earlier this week and I swear on my laptop Asher scolded me saying "Hey! Why you messin' with Daddy's tools?!?!" Clearly I don't do much cooking/baking, little punk ass! 

Okay, back on topic: I also will be whipping up two pumpkin pies, a corn casserole, and a batch of dumplin's. Throughout all of this I will be guided by the infamous mother-in-law recipes. You know, the kind of recipes with instructions such as 'two pinches of ginger', 'a sprinkle of cinnamon', 'a dab of sour scream' pretty much assuring that I will royally fuck something up? Yeah, those. Fun times. 

My Grandma is coming and I told her dinner was at 5pm. If you tell my Grandmother she is eating at 5pm and there is no food ready to eat at 5pm... There better damn well be food ready at 5pm. She may be a sweet old gal who works tirelessly to abolish the death penalty but she's got no problem doling out a good whack with her cane to get shit back on track. 

November 15, 2011

Who Trains Wal-Mart Cashiers?


Dear Idiot Wal-Mart Cashier,

Something to keep in mind if I come through your check out line next time. Cut the small talk, mkay? For real, I won’t be offended if we just complete this process without polite, or in this case – impolite, conversation.

You asked the question, Do you have kids?

And I replied - What tipped you off – the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and Danimals or the fucking preschooler in the cart? Um, yes, yes I do have children.

Then you asked - Are any of them still at home?

And after a moment to see if you were joking - Good God, woman! You mean besides the preschooler that should have tipped you off to the fact that I had children in the first damn place? Yeah, I still have kids at home. How fucking old do you think I am? Are you trying to get jack-slapped? 

Next came this gem from you - Microwave French fries? Don’t you like homemade?

And it was all I could do not to throttle you so I replied - Oh for fuck sake! Did you miss the part where we established that I have kids? Yeah, I do like homemade but the kids prefer quick as opposed to made with love by Mama so them’s the breaks, Little Miss I’m 17 So I Think I Know Everything About Everything But Somehow I Don’t Know I’ve Insulted My Customer 16 Times During This Conversation? 

Seriously, stop talking to me before you really screw up and ask me when I'm due and whether I'm having a boy or a girl. Before you inquire as to when I had my sex change. Before you  r e a l l y  go too far.

Sincerely,
The Woman Who Had Every Right To Wring Your Scrawny Neck

November 14, 2011

That's Gross

We have a small Jack Vettriano print in our kitchen. This one, in fact...


My nephew Jayden looked at it this weekend and said Aunt Amanda, is that real?

Me - What? The picture?

Jayden - Yeah. Those people *scrunched up nose* kissing.

Me - Well, it's just a painting.

Jayden - So that's not you and Uncle X?

Me - No, it's not us.

Jayden - Oh good cuz that's really pretty gross.

November 13, 2011

If I Was The Complete Package

Skinny Bitch and I were smack talking the other day about how incredibly unfair it is that some people get to be Trump-style rich, Skinny Bitch skinny, Heidi Klum beautiful, Tina Fey funny and *insert famous genius* smart. We are both of the opinion that it's a total crock of shit for one person to get to be all of those things when most of us are lucky to get a two-fer combo. Upon further consideration I think in my case, God knew better than to bestow too many blessings on me and here's why I feel that way. I can be a little... um, how should I put this... much. I can be a little much. Hell, I bow up and get all cocky after a good run. If I were rich AND beautiful AND skinny AND funny I would be impossible to be around. I would be absolutely, unbearably obnoxious. You wouldn't be able to tell me a damn thing, I would be terrible! I know this with every fiber of my Amanda-ness. Hey, at least I'm honest. And God, if at any point you'd like to throw one or two more of those pesky attributes my way, well, who am I do question You?

November 10, 2011

Phobia Runs In The Family

I think I've written before about my odd phobias. Balloons - the rubber ones - China, Oprah Winfrey, trees growing out of water... There are a few. My mother can't really talk about the vastness of the universe without at some point putting her hands over her ears and humming so as to drown out the taunting from her beloved daughters, Kid Sister and myself. We're truly a blessing in her life, I tell ya. 

Speaking of Kid Sister... she's afraid of escalators and split level homes. I know! It's absurd. You go to a multi-level mall or airport or store and get ready to take the stairs because that brat cannot make herself ride an escalator. We've only just discovered this split-level home phobia. The neighborhood Asher's school is in is full of 1980's split levels like this
And she cannot stand to be near them! Something about half in the ground, half out and creeping her out. It's hysterical! So, being the supportive big sister I am, every time I take Asher to school I snap a picture of one of them and send it to her phone. I truly am a blessing in her life. Hee hee hee.

November 8, 2011

We're Still Alive

Me, the Mr, Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bastard ran the Beer & Bagel 4 Mile Trail Run this past Suday. And survived. Well, it was always expected that the Skinny B's would survive because they're both freak running people but he and I? Not so much. I had run 425 miles this year when I crossed the starting line, him - oh, about 22 miles. The son of a bitch crossed the finish line one second before me. Men suck!

Brag time - this year that course was absolutely designed by terrorists. I know for damn sure it was longer - by at least a 1/2 mile. And the hills - oh my God, what did I ever do to those people? Also, three creek crossings? In November? Nice. Still, I came in twelve minutes faster than last year. So I pretty much kicked it's ass. And today I pretty much can't walk. 

November 4, 2011

Call Me A Mommy Blogger, I Dare You

I hate to write yet another post about the horrors of the drop off/pick up line at school. It just screams 'mommy blog' and you know how I feel about that label. But, fuck it, I'm writing it anyway cuz it's pissin' me off. 

Believe it or not I generally keep pretty calm in that little cul de sac from hell. I do! I've seen other parents do some dumb shit. Daily. But the teachers are probably a new target in this scenario. Look, I imagine line duty isn't a favorite part of a teacher's day. I mean really, six hours locked in a building with 300 elementary school kids? There is not enough medication in this universe, mkay? Then there's the little matter of the fact that teachers are not traffic directors. They clearly have not had so much as a conversation with a traffic director either. They suck at it! So I've made it my mission to explain a couple dos and don'ts of directing traffic in the school drop off/pick up line for those poor teachers. 

Do not wave each hand in a different direction while looking at me wondering why I don't know what you want me to do. I'm assuming by the waving that you want me to move my car but do I follow your left or right hand? I'm not a fucking mind reader!

Do pay attention to your fellow line duty teachers. Read on to understand why.

Do not pull a child in front of my moving vehicle to take him/her to their parent's vehicle in the far lane. I am trying to read your coworker's fucking mind and therefore not watching you try to kill one of your students. And when you do step out in front of me and I slam on my brakes and give you a look that says Teachers are supposed to be smart so why the sam fuck did you just step out in front of me?!?!  don't look around like it's not YOU I'm taking issue with.

Whatever you do, DO NOT wave me forward and simultaneously walk your pansy ass in front of my car because beyond the Teachers are supposed to be smart so why the sam fuck did you just step out in front of me look I might just throw the Jeep in park, roll down my window and scream Really, right now?!?! Ya know, because I've been watching Jersey Shore lately.

October 25, 2011

You Know She's A BFF When...

...she gets you a voodoo doll as a souvenir from N' Awlin's which is the correct pronunciation of the city's name. Need I write another tutorial


photo from voodoo-king.com



Yes, the Skinny Bitch bought me my very own voodoo doll and all I can say is Um, I need like 16 more of these. I carry many grudges. And also, I love you, Skinny Bitch. Unless I'm hyperventilating while running. Then? Not so much.

October 24, 2011

Yay, Yeah, and Yea - There's A Difference

It's time for another tutorial in understanding what is written in this blog. Yay is pronounced like 'hay' with a y at the beginning, like Yay, you got me soap on a rope. Again. Yeah is pronounced like... well I can't think of a rhyming word but instead of saying 'yes' you say 'yeah' like Yeah, I heard you the first sixteen times you made that joke. Then there is Yea which I never use because when I see 'yea' I think 'tea' with a y at the beginning and what the hell does that mean? Then I have to read and reread the sentence to get some context to figure out what the person is trying to say and all that extra work could be avoided if the writer would just follow the simple rules of Yay, Yeah and Yea as I have set them. These words are not interchangeable, they are not synonyms, they are homonyms and I just had to google that so take this seriously, please. When I write 'yeah'  or 'yay' you are to pronounce it in your head the correct way so as to interpret my words and thoughts the way I mean for you to.  Gawd, I hate it when I don't control  e v e r y t h i n g  in the universe!

Class dismissed.

October 21, 2011

There's Really Nothing Wrong With Cheating

I'm falling behind in my reading and it's all my iPhone's fault. Well, perhaps the blame can be shared evenly between iPhone and the Words With Friend app. In case you are my mother who refuses to get a smart phone, you probably know Words With Friends is online Scrabble. And I'm addicted. I've hit my maximum number of open games and I haven't played Angry Birds in 4 days. That's addiction, baby. 

One sad side effect of this is that my I can't fucking stand to lose-ness comes out. After getting my ass handed to me a few times I started cheating. Yeah yeah yeah, you bet your candy ass I started cheating. I was losing like 350 to 96. The kind of losing that's just not funny. So if you're playing me I'll let you know how to tell when I'm cheating. When I throw down words like caducei it's safe to say I'm plugging those letters into A2ZWordFinder.com. When my big comeback to your ossify is pay, well, I'm probably sitting at Aidan's school waiting to pick him up. And that's just the truth, folks. It's really not all that bad I mean I'm expanding my vocabulary not selling nuclear secrets, mkay?

I would like to note that thermic and iridic, those were both all me, thankyouverymuch.

October 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Me

Yes, one year ago this week I started running. Three weeks later I ran my first race, Beer and Bagel. And in three weeks I'll be running it again. Maybe. I'm already getting nauseous when I think about it. More on that later. So what did I do to celebrate one year of running? I got hit by a car.

Yes, during my run yesterday afternoon I got hit by a fucking car, y'all! Actually an SUV but that's neither here nor there. Skinny Bitch, are you reading this? Need I tell you AGAIN that this running shit is going to KILL me? 

A little over a mile into my run, I'm on the corner of a road with no sidewalk just kinda there on the side of the road waiting to cross, and a car that had been waiting to turn finally turns and the DUMB FUCKING IDIOT BITCH behind him is staring down at her iPhone and ever so slowly makes her turn INTO ME. I punched the hood of her truck and I swear on my laptop, bitch didn't even look up. In fact there is zero evidence to suggest that she ever realized she committed a hit and run. She just kept driving up the road Probably still playing Words With Friends. And I finished my run. Which, by the way, put me over 400 miles in 2011! 

So yay for still running and yay for not dying from running and boo for getting hit by a car and yay for not dying by getting hit by a car.

October 18, 2011

I Need Aidan To Ride The Bus

This blog is the perfect outlet for my numerous letters that need written to specific people or objects I encounter throughout my day. Instead of my gun, I blog about the idiots. It makes for a more socially acceptable read: infinitely less enjoyable for me outcome. And I guess it's better for the idiot, too. Today's letter basically wrote itself.

Dear Mercedes Minivan Mom,

Don't pretend you don't know who I am. I'm the gal in the Jeep that your overpriced bitch-mobile nearly took the front end off of. Remember? After you cut me off I followed you three blocks out of my way, all the while honking my horn because I know how expensive a Mercedes is to repair so the ramming YOUR side of the thing option was off the table. Listen, I got your number, bitch. I know you weren't late for work because you look exactly like me - like you woke up six and a half minutes ago, threw some bread and an oatmeal creme pie in your kid's lunchbox and hauled ass to get him to school on time. You were probably even wearing Crocs without socks with your reindeer pj pants. We're an easy breed to pick out of a group. So, let's have it. What is your rich-bitch excuse for being a rude, drop-off line bully? I'm gonna review my auto insurance and maybe make some changes so next time you try that shit you might just take my Jeep to your driver's side door.

Sincerely,
Bitch In The Jeep Who's Just Crazy Enough To Do It

October 16, 2011

Quotable Sunday

"Why don't you eat some make-up so you can be pretty on the inside, bitch!" - Unknown (but I adore whoever said it)

October 14, 2011

The Difference

There are only a handful of people who understand the difference between a kid freaking out and a kid freaking the fuck out. There's a distinction and when I find someone who gets it, well, I get kinda possessive and basically force them to become my friend. My latest victim is Aidan's friend's mom. The kid's dad is Aidan's football coach so she became my prey at the first football practice. She really didn't stand a chance, I mean, I know where she lives since practice is there and our boys are in the same class... This chick ain't goin' nowhere!

I came home floating on a cloud of commiseration and acceptance the night I determined she knew 'the difference' and I excitedly told my other half about it. Having known me for 6 seconds, he could visualize the immediate future and he warned me not to stalk her because I'd scare her.

So, ya know, I found her on Facebook approximately 13 seconds later. *cue slow shaking of his head* So I got her on the FB hook. Score! I tried to play it cool and waited a week or so before I got her cell number but once I got that, Bitch is mine!

Yesterday Asher and I hit Target after dropping Aidan off at school and who do I spot? Oh yes. It's first date time!  Y'all, it was beautiful. Just a beautiful, perfect, high class - ya know because it was Target and not Wal-Mart? - first date. We tried on dumb hats and took photos, we rolled our eyes at our children, she even offered to let me thump her kid. I refrained, thinking that more of a 3rd date activity, but the fact that she offered? Love!

Today we are both attending the class field trip with our boys. Now we're supposed to say we volunteered for the sake of our kids but you can bet your sweet ass we both checked if the other was coming before we committed to anything. Hee hee hee...

She doesn't actually know about the blog yet. I'll wait till like the 4th date to drop that particular bomb.

Update: I dropped the blog bomb last night at practice. I'll write later to let ya know if our field trip date goes down as planned or if she ran to the nearest courthouse for a no contact order. Not that a little legal form would stop me...

October 13, 2011

There's Sexist And Then There's What Asher Is

Asher hates girls. That's a fact. A commercial for Barbies comes on TV, Asher mumbles "Me hate girls." His biggest complaint about the preschool he started at this year? Too many girls. His favorite thing about the preschool he's in now? Not so many girls.

When we showed up at his first soccer practice this season he was furious to see girls there. Like wanted to check out, soccer was dead to him, pissed off that there were girls. Then, when he had to play games with girls on his team? That was it. He doesn't go to soccer anymore. So the kid owes me $100 which I will put towards his college tuition because Hello, why do you think I'm trying to get you into this sporty shit other than hoping one will be your ticket to college? Why can't you see the big picture, four year old?

When Asher gets really pissed at me he will mumble to himself about how I don't even have a pen!s as if that is the single explanation for whatever shortcoming I have shown myself to have. He still hasn't gotten over the shock of that discovery and I fear what will happen when he realizes that people with pen!ses only think they rule the world and it's girls who truly hold the power. Probably a lesson for a future time, ya think?

October 10, 2011

Musical Monday - 3 Penny Acre

I stumbled upon 3PA via Facebook - I actually went to high school with Bernice Hembree so ya know, if they get uber-famous I'm gonna claim we were BFFs. The truth - that we've never even spoken - is unimportant.  

October 7, 2011

Screw It, I Quit

Raising well rounded children is just too much work. I don't even work outside the home and I'm totally overwhelmed right now.

This was my September and while there were a few days without something written on them, trust me, I was jumping through my asshole with activities those days, too. I mean really, I don't pencil in my 5am runs, the hours I spend writing the shelter article for the paper, or the 25 minute blocks of time I need to hide from my children in the bathroom. It all adds up, ya know?



And what's with these fundraisers? Dude, people are only going to think the Congratulations, you're on the You've Been Deemed Obligated To Buy Crap From My Kid list  email is funny like 3 or 4 times before they start marking my emails as spam and stop taking my calls because seriously, who can afford that shit?
These kids sell Christmas wrapping paper for elementary school - if they sell 200 items they get some shit like a pencil that lights up. Anyone ever heard of the Dollar Aisle at Target? That's where I'm taking Aidan next time he comes home with one of those damn packets. They sell popcorn for $40 a bag for Boy Scouts and they get... um, to be a Boy Scout. And all this time I thought paying the membership fee was how they got to be a Boy Scout. Silly me. I think they might actually have to sell the rights to name their first born child for athletics next season. I can't keep up. Because everyone knows when I say "these kids sell" I really mean "I have to try to sell". It's kinda bullshit.

Look, I know there are steps I could take to make my life infinitely less hectic schedule-wise, I'm not stupid. If I pushed more Wii games and quit signing the boys up for football, soccer, basketball, etc.... I'd gain some ground. I could just buy Aidan a BB gun because that's the ONLY reason he even wants to be in Scouts. And if I could quit giving a shit if the dogs at the shelter get adopted I could sit at home on my unstressed ass a little more. But if I did that what would I bitch about here at ye ol' blog? I wouldn't do that to you guys!

October 2, 2011

Commercials Are The Devil

Dear Internet TV Episode Commercial Product Company,

Simply because you force me to watch the same commercial for your product four times during each "commercial break" I swear on my laptop, I will not buy your shit. Even if I would have in the past. Even if I have used it for years. EVEN IF you offered to support my blogging habit. Okay, I'd think about it if you offered to support my blogging habit but I'd make you sweat it. 

Sincerely,
I watch the damn show online to avoid commercials!

September 28, 2011

It's Time I Came Out of the Closet

You ready for this? Okay.

I hate shopping.

Yes, I know that's a violation of some woman code and they'll probably take away my v@g!na over it but it was time I came out with it. I think shopping sucks.

This past weekend I went shopping with the Skinny Bitch - kind of a last hurrah before the Beast and Skinny Bastard make deer widows of us. No worries, they usually come back home for the holidays. I learned something during that excursion - I now know that worse than shopping in general is shopping with skinny bitches. Like really, Let me just cut one of the legs off a pair of my yoga pants and I'll make you a tube dress out of it. Then can we be done with this shit and go get some Mexican food?

September 27, 2011

Dear CBS and DVR

Oh Em Gee, CBS, football - most especially NFL football - is not, I repeat NOT, important enough to run over into my Sunday evening shows. It's just not so don't start, okay? But just for blogging sake, let's go ahead and pretend it was. My dear DVR service provider, we've had a man on the moon, I would think you should be able to adjust DVR recording capabilities so that I don't sit down to watch The Good Wife only to find 53 minutes of football and just enough of my show to really piss. me. off. Ya know what? I'm done talking to you. I have to go find the episode online and I hate watching tv on the computer. So thanks for that!

September 24, 2011

Stupid Dora

Asher was watching Dora the Explorer one morning when she exclaims Who do we ask when we don't know which way to go? Now the correct answer is Map! but Asher responded Why don't you just ask Bennie, he's right there with you! Then Dora says That's right, Map! and Asher performs the perfect eye-roll, slowly shakes his head and says Why'd you have to go and bother Map when you could've just asked Bennie like I said. Stupid Dora!

And that, folks, is proof positive that Asher is my son. Yes, I'm proud. So proud.

September 21, 2011

Freakin' Men

Anyone remember close to a year ago when I started this running shit? And then I signed up for my first 5K that wasn't so much a 5K as an Al Qaeda training course? Somehow I lived through it and what did I go and do? I signed up again! I signed me and my Beast up. The Beast who hadn't run 12 feet in the last 3 years, his words, not mine.

It's roughly 6 weeks before the race and he starts training. First day - 2.5 miles in way the fuck less time than it takes me. Second day - 2.5 miles in way way the fuck less time than it takes me AND he tells me that he ran up the unholy hill into our neighborhood.

Skinny Bitch and her husband are also running with us and she went through the same damn thing. When I voiced my disgust that he and Skinny Bitch's husband can just up and decide to run and immediately are so much faster than us and run up hills that are not meant to be run up, he replied I'm sorry that men are superior in every possible way. We haven't spoken since.

By the way, I think it's time for Skinny Bitch's husband gets a proper blog name. Skinny Bastard, perhaps?

September 20, 2011

Dreams

I've been having some whacked out dreams lately. I dreamed I was in nursing school. You will never catch me in nursing school, mkay? I don't do sick people. I went to EMT school, went on my first run on the ambulance, came back to the station and quit. I don't do sick people. It's probably worth noting that my mother is an RN and my sister is in nursing school. Rebellion, perhaps?

We've been discussing trading my Jeep in on something with better than 10 miles per gallon gas mileage since I'm running Aidan & Asher's Personal Bitch Taxi Service. I dreamed I was driving a horse and buggy, wearing an Amish bonnet. I didn't even tell the Beast about that one, he'll think that's a GREAT idea.

I say "we" but really it's just me talking and the Beast shaking his head slowly but "we've" also been talking about moving into a less expensive house. Problem is I want  an old craftsman style with a huge front porch and most of those are in neighborhoods I don't want to live in and in a different school district. Although, Duh, if I'm driving a smaller car and therefore saving gas money and we're living in a cheaper home, then it stands to reason that we could afford for me to drive the boys to their schools in the district we're in now. Still I get the slowly shaking head. Which is probably why I dreamed that we moved into an RV behind Aidan's school. And I was thrilled because we didn't have to move the swing-set since there is a playground at the school.

Somehow I tricked the people at the shelter into thinking I am capable of creating a calendar to sell to raise money for the shelter. I'm terrified I'm going to screw it up royally. I guess that fear is what led me to dream that when the calendars came in, instead of photos of adopted dogs for each month there were photo copies of my ass. You know, like when you sit bare-assed on the copy machine? Don't pretend you never did it.

I've also dreamed that Asher ripped my nose ring out and insurance wouldn't pay to repair the tear in my nostril. I was super-pissed when I woke from that one. I dreamed that Aidan filled out a fund-raiser order form for 200 items so he could get the big prize - an iPod Touch - and we were going to have to pay for it. I was amused upon waking from that one because if he sells 200 items he's getting the iPad. For me. I dreamed my veneers fell off. I dreamed I sewed my fingers together. On purpose. And I dreamed something hysterically funny about the Beast but he's dead serious when he says he will divorce me if I ever repeat it. Maybe he won't get an invite when I go private and I'll tell y'all then *wink*. Kidding, honey, you know I would never...

September 16, 2011

Example #9702

Just another example of my asshole-i-ness... Asher freaking drives me crazy with this 'don't sthep on any cwacksth, Mama!' *cwacksth = cracks* It's kind of a damn nightmare in Wal-Mart, mkay? So when he's not with me, I intentionally step on every crack I can. Every. single. one. It's like Mom Rebellion and I smile with every step.

September 15, 2011

Blue Obsession

So you know how I've said many times that Aidan gets an obsession and will. not. let. it. go? We're still going through his blue period. I'm pretty sure it won't have a Picasso-esque ending. The kid has at least 15 blue T-shirts, 8 pair of blue shorts, most of his shoes have blue on them, his toothbrush is blue, he's pissed that he doesn't have blue eyes... You getting the picture I'm painting IN BLUE PAINT for you? 

This week is Homecoming week so on Monday the kids wore their favorite team shirts. In what I can only describe as a moment from the Twilight Zone, he chose a *gasp* black Iowa Hawkeyes T-shirt. Tuesday they wore a color determined by their grade. Second graders were *gasp* green. He has exactly one green T-shirt and again, in a Twilight Zone moment, no problem. Wednesday was Crazy Hair and Hat day. And guess what color he wanted his hair colored. *gasp* Green. 

Ha! Kidding! He chose blue. And do you think I could find blue non-permanent dye even though Halloween stuff is out in the stores and there should be dozens of colors to choose from? Oh, hell no. One big, fat, blue/silver eyeliner pencil and 3 ounces of hair gel later and I present you with my Blue Guy. The photo doesn't give you the full blue-effect but let me tell ya, he looked awesome!
Asher chose a faux-hawk and he did love it, and rocked it if I do say so myself.

September 14, 2011

His Last Name Is What?

Asher has a new best friend at preschool. Why is this little boy so special to Asher? Because his last name is DS. And Aidan hasth a DS, Mama, stho he isth my besth friend!

Me - His name is DS?

Asher - Yesth.

Me - DS? I don't think his name is DS, baby.

Asher - Yesth, it isth. Histh name isth Little Boy DS!

Me - *lightbulb pops up above my head* Oh! I think his name is Little Boy Diaz, not DS.

Asher - Yeah, thatsth what I sthaid, Little Boy DS!

Me - Okay, well I hope you and Little Boy DS are very happy together.

September 13, 2011

Published

Oh yeah, guess who got published? Tis I, Amanda!

Before you get too excited, it's just an article in our local paper and I don't even get printed credit for it but I am now writing the weekly article for the shelter where I volunteer. Not a lot of opportunity to use my native language of pure, unadulterated profanity in the newspaper. As you well know there are few things I love the way I love to curse but one of those is our shelter dogs so for them, I'll sacrifice.

I'm working on a website/blog for the shelter, too. You know, because I don't have so much going on that I'm running my ass ragged as it is.

September 12, 2011

What To Do Today

Aidan is like me in that he is a list maker. He makes lists of people he loves and lists of people he hates. My name frequently makes both lists. He makes lists of things to pack when we go on trips and lists of fun things to do when we get there. He makes lists of offenses committed against him by Asher and lists acceptable punishments for those offenses. This past weekend he spent the night at Kid Sister's so he took to her kitchen dry erase board  to list the agenda for the stay...
1. Watch tv antel your mom waks up
2. eat brekfast
3. kil and eat sqirel and rabit

September 11, 2011

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Me - Asher, sit your butt on the seat and do not get up again! I'm sick and tired of talking to you.

Asher - Well, I'm sick and tired of listening to you talk.

Me - *speechless*

September 9, 2011

Dear...

Dear Asher,
I asked you thirteen times over the course of 3 weeks if you really wanted to play soccer and thirteen times over those 3 weeks you said "Yesth, Mama, me wanna play sthoccer!". So I wrote a check, a big fat check, for you to play soccer. And now, after one practice and one game, you 'justh wanna sthay home"? Um, no. No sir! You have 7 more practices and 7 more games in this season and you are going to 7 practices and 7 games. I am not afraid to drag you kicking and screaming onto that field. You cannot embarrass me, I've been at the doctor's office with your brother. It seems your father may be but I'm not scared of you. You're going next week!
Love, Mama

Dear Daddy,
See above letter to Asher - you are now forever banned from making reference to me being the weak parent, the one who gives in, or the one who gets run over by the boys. Also, you're fired from soccer practice transportation.
Love, Me

September 3, 2011

Little Ol' Ladies Ought Never To Clank

When I was growing up my mother used to try to kill me by making me watch old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. In black and white - which was the true horror of the situation. I believe I perfected my God given gift of extreme eye-rolling during those half hour torture sessions. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed pissing me off just a tad too much but that's an issue for a therapist.


On a completely unrelated note I probably won't be blogging much because I just started watching The Andy Griffith Show from season 1 on Netflix.

Coming up in season 4 is my favorite episode ever. The one where Ben Weaver suspects a shoplifter is at work in his department store. Barney disguises himself as a mannequin to spy on shoppers and thinks he caught the thief - a little old lady. As usual, he is wrong. Or so it appears. The store owner and Andy apologize to her and send her on her way while Barney fumes very animatedly over it. Just a minute later, outside the store, Andy and Barney stop the lady again only this time Andy makes her open her trench-coat which, as it turns out, is lined with stolen property. When Barney asks him how he knew the old lady had stolen property from the store, Andy replies "Well, when I bumped into her back in the store she clanked and little old ladies ought never to clank." 

Also totally unrelated, my mom's ringtone is The Andy Griffith Show theme-song.

September 2, 2011

Kick Rocks, Dude

I know I should be ashamed that I watch The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and worst of all - Bachelor Pad. But ya know what? Sometimes I just want to spend an hour using absolutely no brain cells what-so-ever and Bachelor Pad is a fantastic way to do that. Trash TV at it's finest! 

So this season the contestant who draws my wrath is Kasey. I have just a couple of things to say to Kasey, I mean he's not hearing me when I scream at the TV so maybe he reads my blog... Dude, we get it. You hate Jake. Jake is a douche. I'm with you on that. But you got a tattoo for a girl you had known for 3 weeks and roughly six seconds after you showed it to her she left you sitting on a glacier while she flew off with some other douche which kinda sorta makes YOU a douche, too. Also, I swear on my laptop if you insist on saying 'kick rocks' every 19 seconds I'm going to get a fork and shove it into a light socket. I understand that you learned a new and obnoxious way to tell some one to get lost and you've got to make sure everyone hears and knows how very clever you are but once you've said 'kick rocks' nine hundred and sixty four times it kinda loses it's charm. So knock it the fuck off or 'kick rocks', mkay?

August 31, 2011

See, I'm A Good Mom!

Except that I took zero photos of the boys on their real first days of preschool and 2nd grade. Oh, STFU, I had a lot going on that day, okay? However, the parenting gods presented me with an opportunity to redeem myself by opening up a spot in another preschool and BAM! A new first day of preschool for Asher photo op is upon me.



I haven't recreated Aidan's first day of 2nd grade. Honestly, I could take a photo of him any. damn. day. and it would look like the first day because the kid wears blue shorts and a blue shirt every. damn. day. I've explained before that I don't fight him on the the annoying wardrobe battle very often because I like to flex my parenting muscles on the issues that could lead him to the penitentiary. Where, I might add, they usually wear orange and he's not fond of orange so maybe fear of no blue clothes will scare him straight. Hey, it's a theory. And if not, I'll let the warden deal with it.

August 30, 2011

Not Ready For THAT Talk Yet

My kids are fabulous is that they listen to and like the music I like. None of that Wiggles shit, not in MY Jeep. This does pose some problems though, like I can't listen to any Eminem what-so-ever and I have to mute parts of songs when there are bad words Because you know they NEVER hear those words straight from my mouth, no ma'am. The other day we were listening to Bruno Mars', The Lazy Song so I mute the 'have some really nice sex' part. 

Aidan - I know what he says there, Mama. 

Me - Oh yeah? What?

Aidan - Sex.

Me - And what does sex mean?

Aidan - That I don't know.

Me - Good.

Aidan - Well? What does it mean, Mama?

Me - *turns up music to an unhealthy decibel*

August 29, 2011

No Rhyme Or Reason

Just a heads up - this post is simply random shit going through my head this morning. Please keep in mind I've been up since 4:45am, ran 5.12 miles, baked two loaves of banana bread, done two loads of laundry, cleaned the boys' room and almost finished the animal shelter article for the paper. This, after not going to sleep until 1am. I'd like to thank Mt Dew and 400mgs of caffeine pills for my productivity.

I'm wondering if anyone in the history of the damn universe has ever used super glue and managed to not get it all the hell over themselves? I'm typing one handed because three fingers of my left hand are stuck together and I almost pulled the "P" key off my laptop thanks to that maniacal substance.

Wow, my blog is the #2 destination for people searching for 'sid the science kid boiled ham'. I don't even know what to say about that... Also popular search terms that brought people here? 'Bird shit', 'Jennifer Aniston's nose/nose-job', and 'old lady lived in 1053A Kopke St.'. That last one screams Stalker to me but maybe I'm just paranoid.

This morning's run brought me to 321 miles in 2011. Three hundred twenty one MILES y'all!  So why, pray tell (I've always wanted to say 'pray tell', did I do it right?) does my ass still look like there are two basketballs in my jeans? Come on! I didn't run 321 miles for fun, dammit, I run purely for reasons of vanity and I'm getting zero payoff. And that is bullshit!

I saw The Help with Skinny Bitch and Kid Sister last night at one of those theaters where you eat dinner and drink booze while you watch the movie. This fool country girl is totally in awe of that whole experience. The movie, oh hell, that movie was SO GOOD! I cannot get "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." out of my head now. Also, Bryce Dallas Howard is DEAD. TO. ME. forever now. Yes, I know she was acting and yes, I get that if she made me hate her she did a great job. I don't care. I loathe her character from the depths of my soul and I will hold that feeling against her for the rest of my life. And let's be honest, that fact is going to make absolutely no difference in that woman's life what-so-ever so just let me have it, okay?

Gawd, the Disney Channel is soooo corny! Those kids cannot be that excited about the next episode of Suite Life on Deck.



August 27, 2011

I Almost Went To Prison

I hosted the Fearsome Foursome last night and somehow managed to survive. They showed mercy on me. All four of them ate what I made for dinner - it's really not all that surprising considering it was chicken and mac-n-cheese, actually thanked me for the cookies for dessert, there were no punches thrown, no biting, shoving, slapping, kicking, pinching, head-butting, hair pulling (yes, these boys pull hair), or full body take-downs. And that? No small miracle. Yay me!

Cut to 3am - Asher is up crying because he can't find his blanket. When I go in their room I automatically start counting heads and besides Asher, there are only two. There were four, right? Yes, I'm certain of it! What the... I shrug it off to get Asher settled down thinking one of them - and at this point I'm not even sure which one is missing - went downstairs to the guest bed. You're fine now, Asher, go to sleep, love you, night. Now where the hell is... turn body #1 over - Aidan, turn body #2 over - Julyan. Jayden! Where the hell is Jayden? I go downstairs to look for him. What did he not understand about don't go into the flooded basement? Oh yes, our basement flooded - more on that when I can think about it and not just cry. Jayden isn't there. Shit. Maybe I missed him on the couch in the living-room. Back up stairs I go. No Jayden. Check under the kids' beds. No Jayden. Check the garage. No Jayden. Check all the bathrooms. No Jayden. Shit, shit, shit! Front and back doors locked. Checked my room, my bathroom, my closet,  the laundry room, the linen closet, both hall closets. No Jayden. Oh fucking hell, I'm going to have to tell Kid Sister I lost her kid! I need to call the police. Yes, call police first, tell Kid Sister in police presence to avoid bloodshed. Oh shit, I've seen this Dateline - I get convicted of murder because I write a blog bitching about my kids all the time. *cue uncontrolled body shaking and dry heaving* Go back in boys' room and notice closet door is closed - the closet door is never closed. Open closet doors - Jayden, asleep on the floor completely unaware that he almost got me life in prison. Whew! That was close. I never would have survived the pokey.

August 26, 2011

About That

Remember my rant about preschool? Yeah... about that... after a week in the expensive private preschool I got a call that there was a spot open for Asher if we wanted it. Do I want it? Are ya freakin' kidding me? Yes, I want the spot. Wait, did he get the spot because I am screwed up enough? Ya know what? I don't even care. So now Asher goes to preschool free of charge, Monday through Friday from 12:30 - 3pm. I am thrilled! He is thrilled! 

Now before you start asking me what I'm doing with all my free time, let me give you a quick run-down. I drive Aidan to school and drive home to be Asher's bitch until I drive him to preschool and drive home. Then, two hours later I drive back to preschool to pick Asher up and we drive home. Thirty minutes after that we drive to pick up Aidan from school and drive back home again. Most evenings we drive to one activity or another and drive back home. Are you getting the pattern here? Driving. That's how I'm spending *all my free time*.  I'm not sure which font portrays sarcasm but imagine that last sentence in sarcasm font, mkay?

August 24, 2011

Birthday In The House

Today is Asher's 4th birthday. He's not impressed. He still believes great things happen when you're five and not four. I don't argue with four year olds. Maybe when he's five...

On Sunday we had a birthday party. The punk engaged in Captain America overload - Captain America cake, Captain America decorations, a Captain America costume, Captain America action figures... you get the idea. A fab time was had by all as you will see in the thirteen hundred photos I'm about to upload.

On their birthdays, the boys get to pick anything they want for dinner. Asher picked venison. I love him for that request for two reasons - Number One, I don't cook venison, Daddy does and Number Two, venison is my birthday dinner choice every time, too!

So - Happy Birthday, Asher. Even if you are only four.









August 23, 2011

I Win

Ha ha! I beat the internet!!! 

I say that as if I had anything to do with it. Mere seconds before I fashioned a noose, a kind soul at GoDaddy did in 1.5 minutes what I had been trying to do for 4 damn days. I think some sort of witchcraft was involved but whatever, it's fixed. The transfer is complete. I believe feeds and subscriptions remain unchanged and bookmarked urls will automatically redirect you here. 

If by some chance something isn't fixed... well... you better call GoDaddy because I can't help you.

August 20, 2011

Well???

Moment of truth, dear readers. What do you think of the new title/tagline and header? Cute? Clever? Delusional? Come on with it!

Yes, you're still at mykidsmightbemartians.com and no, I don't want to talk about why you're not at pardonmyblog.com right now. I think it best to keep the number of times I completely lose my shit over not being in total control of the universe to a minimum. Besides, I have a little boy's birthday party tomorrow that I have yet to buy food, cake, decorations, or gifts for. This is probably a good time for the blog to move to the back burner. Although Asher doesn't even care about this, his 4th birthday, because he firmly believes his life will get infinitely better at 5. I gave up trying to convince him that if he is ready to ride his bike sans training wheels when he is 3 or 4, he can do that. But I'm just the mama, what the hell do I know?

August 18, 2011

Blog In Turmoil

All that talk of changes here at ye ol' blog? Now I remember that I don't really like change all that much. Because it's hard. 

Maybe you noticed that Martians was a big fat 404 Error for a day or so. Then it was parked with GoDaddy and right now I believe it to be fixed. Kind of. It should be forwarding to the new url but it's not. And even if it was I don't think the new url is linked to Blogger where this blog-in-turmoil is hosted so when/if the forwarding works my blog won't actually be there anyway. So to summarize, I think the internet is trying to out me as an idiot. And Blogger is being mean to me.

Sid the Science Kid makes me writhe with irritation. Of course Asher loves it. Sorry, I'm easily distracted...

My blog designer is tweaking my header to reflect the changes I've got in mind. I can freely admit that I am a pain in the ass to design for. I'm picky, opinionated, and worst of all - impatient. What do you mean you can't read my mind and you will not be working on my design 24/7? The nerve!!! Just remember that I'm probably going to screw this blog up several more times before this is over. Sorry if you get redirected to some fetish porn site, my bad.

August 17, 2011

Live Like The Indians

The boys stayed the night with Kid Sister a few nights ago and when I came to get them they were all shirtless, shoeless, and weilding butter knives. Save your speeches, noone was injured. I was told they were indians hunting a rabbit for dinner. They had a trap set up - a green onion tied to the end of a broken fishing pole - and were hell bent to catch, kill, and eat a rabbit. I had no fear for the rabbit, come on, the trap was rudimentary at best. I asked if they'd had breakfast and was met with looks of pure disgust and asked in a tone which inferred that I was a complete idiot if I thought indians ate cereal. Before I could answer Aidan says No, mom, indians do. not. eat. cereal. *eyeroll* Yeah! *eyerolls all around* countered the other three and they went on their way. Uh, fine by me, smartass, I'll just read my book and not have to prepare four separate breakfast dishes to suit each one of your picky ass eating habits. Gawd, I really HATE that. Jerks.

Within the hour I had made a bowl of Fruit Loops, peanut butter toast, and scrambled eggs for the weakest of them of them but Aidan was holding out, determined to truly live the way of the indian. He'd pop in every once in a while to make sure I knew how hungry he was but that he was under NO circumstances going to eat anything other than rabbit.

That sure looks good, Mama, my tummy is hungry! But indians don't eat peanut butter toast.

Mom, do indians drink Diet Coke?
Me - I don't know, son.
Probably not. Hmph!

Hey mom, I wonder if indians had pretzels if they would have eated them. Naw, probably not.

Finally after a grueling ninety minutes he comes inside I'm pretty sure indians would have eated cereal if they had some. Cereal is just as healthy as rabbit I bet, hu, Mama?
Me - Uh, Fruit Loops is not as healthy as rabbit but I think scrambled eggs are.
Ok, Mama, I'll have Fruit Loops and scrambled eggs!

August 16, 2011

Us vs Them



Me and Aidan are on the cool side you and Mama are on the sucks side! -Asher

Well, you two suck, you got that part right, kid!

August 15, 2011

Cha-cha-changes

Oh, who among ye geeks can tell me if there is any way to block a certain IP address from viewing my blog? I'd like to redirect him/her to getafuckinglifeandquitstalkingme.com or perhaps heyidiottheinternetisnotanonymous.com. Either would suffice.

I tend to get the itch to change shit up when school starts. This year is no different. I'm contemplating a new hairstyle, new haircolor and ridiculous extensions, oh and this...
See it? No, not my bulbous honker and who forgot to tell me my nose was that freakin' big?!?! the teeny diamond stud I let a tattooed gentleman shove through my nostril last weekend. I quiver at the rebel I'm becoming.

Little known factoid about me in my wilder days - I've had my navel pierced three separate times and my tongue pierced twice. I also have a tramp stamp which I am $800 in to having removed. And I fully plan to get another tattoo. I mean really, I'm not 19 anymore, surely at 32 29 my choice will be more reasonable. It also surely will not be a tramp stamp and there might even be a sentimental meaning to this one. In an attempt to avoid giving my husband a brain embolism, the tattoo is on hold. For now.

Doctor Doctor

I'm taking the boys to a medical expert to explain this shit...

I need someone to explain to me why it is that when the boys are downstairs tearing shit up and I am upstairs screaming at the top of my lungs STOP SLAMMING THE DOORS!!! they can't hear me but when they are downstairs tearing shit up and I am upstairs opening a bag of baked cheetos they come running like I played the sound over a fucking bullhorn. Anyone???

On a related note, am I the only one who thinks cloth candy wrappers and chip bags are a fantastic idea?

August 14, 2011

Preschool Saga

Fucking hell y'all, getting Asher into preschool has been a really 'pisses me off' experience. Let's start at the beginning, spring 2010. I made an appointment to register him at the public school Aidan goes to where we spent 2 hours going station to station manned by bitchy PTA members before finally being told basically suck it, bitch, he's not getting in. And why, may I ask, will he likely not get in? Well, because I'm not an alcoholic, unwed, teenage mother with a felonious, drug addicted baby-daddy. Or something along those lines. Now look, I'm not saying kids with family issues like that shouldn't get some leg-ups but if preschool is something all kids going into Kindergarten are expected to have attended then it needs to be set up with the public school system. But okay, he was barely 3 then, surely the year before he starts school he'll get in. 

Forward to spring 2011, same bitchy PTA members, same two hour registration mind fuck, same you're not screwed up enough, he's not getting in but there's more of a chance than last year so we'll let you know. When will you let me know? The week before school starts. Oh, so I can hope to hell he gets in here but when he doesn't I have ONE week to scramble and get him into another preschool that will undoubtedly cost as much as college tuition. Fabulous. Thanks a bunch.

Which brings us to today when we still don't have an acceptance or a fuck off letter. I call and of course the letters have gone out, don't know why ours isn't here but nope, he's not getting in. And the scrambling begins. By the grace of God a private school in town had one opening in their program - a two and a half hours twice a week for an amount significantly higher than the free public school program. We went, we saw, we wrote a check and now he's in preschool. A private Catholic preschool. We're not Catholic. I hope that's not a problem...

August 11, 2011

Wait, It's Time For School???

Dude! Where did summer go? Aidan and Asher start school next Wednesday! Oh yeah, Asher, too, thank you Baby Jesus. More on that later.

Instead of our summer being eaten up down in Arkansas for weeks on end, Kid Sister and the boys moved here and let me tell ya how freakin' awesome it is for my boys to have their aunt and cousins so close. They are lovin' it! And me? I'm lovin' all the nights they spend at Kid Sister's house. We don't know what to do with ourselves on all those kid free nights, it's just... weird...and blissful! But still weird.

I've read 16 books and ran 96 miles since school let out - most of those at 4:45am since the the husband goes to work at 7am now and oh hell won't I be glad when that shit is over. I took the kids - all four boys - to the zoo twice, to the city pool once, and to the sprinkler park roughly 18 times. We camped yes, sleeping in an air conditioned cabin counts as camping for one twenty-four hour period and barely survived. I got to do a couple adoption events with the shelter where I volunteer in addition to my bi-weekly walking sessions. I've come close to adopting, oh about 12 dogs at various times throughout the summer but Mr Sensible  put the kabosh on those - something about enough mouths to feed and messes... Whatev.

Asher finished his first soccer season in June and starts a new one with a local soccer academy later this month. He'll even have a weekly practice and he's super psyched about that for some reason. I think it's because it's yet another thing for me to schedule our lives around. Hold me. Aidan finished his first baseball season late last month. He has a one day football camp next week and begins flag football later this month. Oh yeah, Asher will be doing Kinder Nature at a nearby nature center on Sunday afternoons. Add all that to a birthday party for Asher that I have yet to plan, Meet Your Teacher nights at both schools and homeowner's association duties that will be fast and furious in the fall... Oh shit. Again I beg... Hold me?

August 10, 2011

Why Do We Say That?

I get why we say pair of shoes. Riddle me why the hell do we say pair of pants? Pair of swim trunks? 

Am I the only one to ask? The Skinny Bitch and I discussed this - during our camping trip which is a blog post all it's own - and we came up empty. Well, I think we would have come to some brilliant conclusion were it not for four small people and two grown ass men who shall remain nameless demanding food, drink, and supervision. *eyeroll*

So, my legions of fans (and by legions I mean all six of you), enlighten me. Am I over-thinking this? Why are we saying pair for an article of clothing of which there is but one. Unless you point to the fact that there are two legs in pants and shorts therefore deeming them worthy of being a pair. Hmmm, that kind of makes sense...

August 9, 2011

Is he a 14 yr old girl or a 7 yr old boy?

Sweet Baby Jesus, I wish uniforms were required for school. I'm telling you the fight over what Aidan will and will not wear to school is on par with ... uh... something really difficult, okay? It requires guerilla warfare tactics and even then, I lose. 

These days Aidan wears only grey or blue t-shirts and athletic shorts.  No, really, if the shirt isn't blue or grey, it hangs in his closet, untouched. Do ya think he'll go for a nice blue or grey polo shirt? Not on your life. Jean shorts? Nope. Khaki shorts? Negative. It's exhausting. What 7 yr old boy gives a shit what he's wearing? This is strictly teenage girl bullshit, I'm not sure how to process this.

We went school clothes shopping this weekend and to say it was the longest few hours of my life is a massive understatement. He now has 7 blue t-shirts, 8 grey t-shirts, 10 pair of athletic shorts - mostly blue and black, a pair of blue and black tennis shoes, a pair of grey tennis shoes, and one blue and black backpack. *shakes head* That boy is going to be the death of me. Or the reason I go to prison. Time will tell.

July 28, 2011

I Almost Forgot How To Blog

Stuff is happening though. I'll start catching up a little at a time.

Let's see... Okay, I'll start here - Aidan lost his first tooth just before his 7th birthday. He'd been mad as hell that he hadn't lost a tooth yet and when this one finally got loose, it hung on - or is it hanged on??? for weeks leading to him begging me to tie string to it and a doorknob and slam the door! I refused, he fumed and furiously wiggled the thing 24/7 until it FINALLY came out in his cereal one morning. I've never been so happy to see a tooth fall out in all my life.




More to come soon!

July 17, 2011

Robin Hood?

Aidan made out like a bandit for his birthday. I got him the iPod Shuffle, earphones because seriously, Apple, are there actually people whose ears hold yours?, and speakers to blare Dynamite at uncomfortable decibels. No, I'm not sure what I was thinking. Well, I was "the best mom, ever" for two days until Daddy broke out his gift. A freaking compound bow. Now, with visions of camo and bucks dancing in his head, I'm lame again. Um, fine by me, good luck keeping him quiet and still in the woods. Hee hee hee...


July 14, 2011

Norma and Her Toyota

My spitfire Grandma made the paper with her one woman quest to abolish the death penalty in Nebraska

Just a quick note to remind everyone - this is not a discussion on capitol punishment, I don't need you to quote the bible for me, and for the love of my laptop, please do not get started on politics. Be respectful, this is my grandmother and if you think I lose my shit over someone screwing with my kids, sit back and watch what will happen when it comes to my grandma. I'm sharing this because she is just too cute for words. I mean, how can you not love a woman who calls herself an old bag? 

from the Lincoln Journal Star...

Norma and her Toyota take on the death penalty in Nebraska

DAVID CITY -- Norma Fleisher has finished her soft serve at the Runza on Fourth Street. She's wearing her Summer of 2011 uniform -- SAS shoes, faded jeans, black fanny pack and one of two matching T-shirts she washes out at night in motel room sinks.
They say: Abolish the Death Penalty.
It's Sunday, Day 25, County 73.
Her weathered Nebraska map -- taped in the Sandhills, ripped just below Loup City -- is spread across the table in the Butler County seat while the after-church hungry and the shorts-wearing young fill up on burgers and fries.
Her '92 Tercel is parked out front, a magnetic sign on each white door with words to match her shirt.
She's ready for a nap, the 84-year-old Lincoln woman says. A nap and then on to Seward by supper time. County 74.
Most summers, the great-great-grandmother would be home tending her tomatoes. But last year, she decided to do this instead: Visit each of Nebraska's 93 counties with a message.
A message she couldn't have delivered 20 years ago: The death penalty is wrong.
***
On June 15, Norma backed out of her driveway and headed north. She was in Wahoo by noon, ready for lunch at the Dairy Queen on North Chestnut Street.
She had dinner in Fremont at 6. The next morning, off to West Point for breakfast. Lunch on the Pender courthouse lawn and then back to the second of many DQs to come -- this time for dinner, and this time in Wayne.
8 a.m. Noon. 6 p.m. Same routine, day after day.
She carries peanut butter crackers in the Toyota and Cheez Whiz and store brand Pop Tarts for towns without cafés. She totes Diet Mt. Dew by the 12-pack.
If she doesn't have an invite, she dines alone, parking the car where folks will see her signs. She keeps a journal in chicken-scratch pencil and reads while she waits for someone to take notice.
Sunday, she paws through a tote bag in her front seat for the novel she's reading now, "Fools Crow" by James Welch.
She's gone through all the books she brought, she says. Six so far.
She checks in with her son every night. She checks in with the Lord all the time.
***
Norma was glad to see Nebraska execute Charlie Starkweather in 1959.
Her husband carried a shotgun when he picked up two of their kids from school the day the bandy-legged murderer committed his last Lincoln crimes and fled west.
She was still in favor of the death penalty when she retired as a CPA in 1991 and decided to head to Africa as a missionary for the United Methodist Church.
The church sent her to Nashville instead. Said she wasn't suited for a Third World country, the small woman with soft white hair and gold-rimmed glasses explains.
"I wanted to suffer for our Lord, but my biggest hardship was when they didn't have frozen yogurt in the cafeteria."
She spent more than seven years at the Scarritt-Bennett Center dedicated to educating laity, eliminating racism and empowering women.
She served as the retreat center's accounting manager.
She served by visiting prisons, too, even though she didn't want to.
She'd started going to one of the three nearby Methodist churches. The controversial one, Norma says, in a poor neighborhood that believed what Jesus preached in Matthew 25.
Norma always had trouble with that chapter.
"I was OK feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, but when it came to visiting prisoners, I thought, ‘Why did Jesus want me to do that?' "
Dalinda was the first person she met behind bars -- an African American, HIV-positive, schizophrenic.
"She had the biggest heart," Norma said.
After that, Abu, on death row for killing a drug dealer. He's still in prison, Norma says, his case still under appeal. She went back to Nashville in 2001 to testify on his behalf.
"I told them all the good things he was doing for himself and the community."
That story isn't the first thing she tells strangers on her travels through Nebraska.
If she only has a small window, she starts with money.
It costs a lot more to kill someone, Norma says, than it does to keep him alive and in prison for life.
***
Back in Nebraska in 1999 -- after her time in Tennessee -- Norma joined Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty. She became a regular at its weekly vigils.
"We sit for what we stand for," she says with a smile, the curved handle of her cane resting between her knees.
Last summer, the idea that led her to David City on this steamy Sunday started to take shape.
She was sitting in front of the Governor's Mansion when Sally Ganem came out, curious.
The first lady asked questions, and then she listened.
"Being a bleeding heart liberal, I'm not in favor of much of what our governor stands for, but I sure do like his wife."
A few minutes later, a man on a motorcycle stopped. They had a nice chat, too. Norma didn't change his mind, and he didn't change hers.
But it got her thinking. Here she was in Lincoln, where lawmakers gather and citizens hold rallies calling attention to their causes -- death penalty opponents included.
What about the rest of the state? Who was getting the word out in Burwell? Or Franklin? Fullerton or Stanton?
Then she thought, "You old bag you, you aren't doing anything. Why don't you go?"
***
Last winter, after she'd highlighted all of the county seats in blue on a new map, she wrote letters to churches -- giving preference to the Methodists -- wondering if they'd be willing to host a potluck or a coffee where she could share her message.
"I reminded them that the United Methodist Church is against the death penalty and our bishop is against the death penalty."
Last month, two nuns went to see her off that first day in Wahoo. A couple in Wayne gave her a bed for the night. Another couple -- a retired minister and teacher -- bought her meatloaf and mashed potatoes in Grand Island.
Albion had a breakfast for her. Six adults and a 5-year-old showed up in Grant. One man came to a salad luncheon at the church in Rushville. His 28-year-old son had been murdered in Phoenix three years ago.
"That took the wind out of my sails."
A fellow death penalty opponent, the brother of a Lincoln woman murdered in 1980, went to see her in Central City.
On the small-town streets, people have been civil, she says. Some avoid eye contact, some smile. A few tell her they like her shirt.
When she has an audience, she tells them what she thinks executions do to us, as a society.
"We are hiring someone to take a life."
She tells them America is the only industrialized country to execute people. She tells them Iowa does not have the death penalty, but has fewer murders per capita.
She tells them it costs "three to 10 times more" to execute someone than to keep him or her in prison for life.
"If I see them losing interest I usually quit. I don't want to make enemies."
***
Her mom was always fiscally conservative, Nancy Kail says. Washing bread wrappers, reusing foil, refusing to raise Nancy's allowance without a good reason.
And it was the cost of executions that originally changed Norma Fleisher's mind.
"Then, of course, she learned more and that some of the time they're not even guilty."
They're all proud of their mom, Norma's oldest daughter says.
"All of us kids agreed, we didn't want her to do it, but we also knew better than to even attempt to talk her out of it."
An 84-year-old lady in a car with 125,000 miles that has been rolled once?
Norma understands.
"I've always called it ‘my hare-brained idea.' "
***
Sunday, after Runza and her afternoon nap and dinner at 6 with her grandson at Amigo's in Seward, Norma heads for home and nine days of rest.
Then a final push. She'll swing west to York, Aurora, Clay Center, Hebron. Then south and east to Fairbury, Beatrice, Tecumseh. The One Stag Café in Falls City. The Avenue Grill in Nebraska City.
And up north to Papillion, one last Runza.
Since June 15, she's put 3,200 miles on the car she bought new nearly 20 years ago. She's seen more of Nebraska than she ever had before or will after.
She knows she's blessed to be making the journey.
She doesn't know if she has changed a single mind.