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Monday, January 31, 2005

Tall Tales

I always knew my family members were exaggerators but I never knew how much until yesterday. My mom, two of my sisters, an aunt, an uncle and I were all trapped in an elevator. We were heading for the first floor of a five-floor building. I pushed the button and the doors shut. We began to talk and it took a minute to realize the elevator stopped but the doors never opened.

I have a mini claustrophobia issue but my mom, one of my sisters and my aunt have a serious case and were not taking it well. For three of the longest minutes of my entire life there was hysterical laugher and screaming.

My uncle was trying to get someone's attention by slamming his hand on the doors while repeatedly yelling "Hey! We're stuck in here! Someone get us out of here!"

My sister Anita grabbed the emergency phone to let the maintenance guys know we were stuck. Although she isn't one of the claustrophobics, she wasn't exactly calm about the situation as she shouted into the phone, "I've got a bunch of claustrophobics in here and they are going to lose their minds if you don't get us out soon!"

My sister Angie, who has asthma was barking like a dog and couldn't catch her breath. She kept saying, "Oh shit! Oh shit!" in between her coughing and nervous laughter.

My mother was laughing so hard I thought she was going to piss herself. It was that crazy laughter you might hear in an insane asylum. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA! Oh my gosh! HAHAAHAHAHAHAAAA!" And her body was jolting back and forth like Rainman on crack.

My aunt was nearly in tears and shouting, "It's too hot in here! Isn't it hot? I need to take my coat off. When Is someone going to find us? Good God it's hot!"

I didn't have the heart to tell her that we were not lost and that it really wasn't hot in the elevator. I stayed quiet leaning against the wall watching my family members freak out one by one. It wasn't long before I could hear the sound of help. I could tell by the lights that we were in between floors. I started getting nervous thinking about having to climb out of the elevator.

The doors were spread apart by a very nice maintenance man, who offered his hand to help us step out of the elevator. It was only a seven inch step, hardly a big deal but it was still nice of him to offer his hand.

There were a few people in the hallway looking as we emerged and that's when the storytelling began.

By the end of the night, everyone was telling the story and adding a little more drama. They started by saying we were in there for 10 minutes, which was really three but by the end of the night turned into almost an hour.

The seven inch step was described by my mother to my nephew, "They had to pull us all out of there because we were stuck between the floors. Oh my gosh it was so scary!"

I pulled my nephew aside to tell him what really happened because my mother was getting way too much sympathy from the poor guy. I like to exaggerate as much as the next chick but not like that. Hearing this turn into what it did, I couldn't help but wonder how many times I have been hoodwinked by one of their tall tales.

(Sorry for not being here and not commenting on your blogs the last few days, life is getting a little crazy. If I am MIA again soon, don't think I gave up the blog, I'm just busy lately. As always, thanks for stopping by!)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Superb Succulent Skullet,

(Background information can be found below "Tough Love Taught Through Generations" comments section if you are wondering what this is about.)

My life is now fulfilled. Your comments had my heart aflutter. Maybe people won’t understand what you and I have but for the next few lines of text, I will try my best to define my undying love for you and all of your glory that is Skullet Biker Dude.

DISCLAIMER: This is not for the squeamish, young, old or anyone with a heart condition. Consider yourselves warned.

There is something in the way he smiles
He rides his bike for several miles
Upon my doorstep is where he lands
Upon my breasts are his two hands
He feels my heart begin to race
With the tip of my finger I begin to trace
The outline of his sexy skullet
Makes me want to just say fuck-it
Tearing my clothes off one by one
For a bareback ride off in the sun
He takes me to a higher ground
Where all of his sexiness is abound
I love the flesh that tops his head
I begin to ravage him in bed
I twist my fingers 'round his locks
I get so hot thinking about his socks
How I long to feel his pedal power
To pump me hard for at least an hour
We enjoyed a little slappin' asses
We got so hot and steamed up his glasses
It felt just like a good bike ride should
Satisfied us both as we knew it would
We were very safe and used protection
To keep his other skullet safe from infection
Now you all know the story of my sexy biker dude
Just looking at his picture puts me back in the mood

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Just look at that perfect body! He is soooo dreamy!

Oh, his socks, I love his socks! Someone hold me back!

Skullet: Pronounced "SKUHL LET"
A hairstyle in which the top is bald, but the back is long, left wild and often uncut. Even when the back is cut, it is still longer than the skull top. It is the sign of the sexy biker dude.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I Look Like Luka

All I really have to say is, my son is lucky I love him more than 80's music. My name isn't Luka and I don't live on the second floor. And child abuse isn't really funny. But accidental grownup kind is a friggin' riot.

A couple days ago, Lane 1 was getting ready to play in the snow. He had his boots, hat and coat all in place. When I asked him where his gloves were, he realized they were in his coat pocket. I insisted that he put them on as he complained about how tight they are. I offered to help.

This is the point where I, as a mom, need to let the 12-year-old boy figure this stuff out on his own, if nothing else, for my own safety.

I held the left glove in position as he shimmied his hand in. Realizing what a tight fit the gloves were, I made a mental note to pick up a pair of adult size for him.

I held the right glove in place but his hand didn't shimmy as well into this one. I began losing my grip of the glove. He kept pushing his hand, which slipped my grip even more, causing his partially buckled fist to punch me in the eye, hard, really hard.

I felt like one of those cartoon characters with little blue birdies flying around my head. I don't think I have ever been punched in the eye before. That shit hurts!

His jaw dropped, his eyes bulged while filling with tears and he was rendered speechless.

I calmly and silently walked away, which only freaked him out more. He kicked off his boots and ran after me.

"Ma... dude... oh man...Mom?'

My icepack efforts were fruitless, I still wound up with a shiner.

In an effort to mend fences and keep me in good spirits, my darling son played "Eye of the Tiger" and has been calling me Rocky ever since. He's so sweet. I wonder if he knows Rocky eventually kicked Apollo Creed's ass.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tough Love Taught Through Generations

The stories I have shared here about accidental abuse inflicted on myself or my children, are only the tip of the iceberg. Growing up in a virtual insane asylum, I witnessed my fair share of tough love. I can now see that this is somewhat of a genetic defect that the whole family can enjoy. (Enjoy is such a strong word.)

As I sat with an ice pack over my left eye last night (I'll tell you about that tomorrow), I thought of my sister Mary. She was the sister who was in trouble the most, or maybe I should say she was the one who caused the most trouble.

At the busy age of 4, her favorite room in the house was the bathroom. One day, she placed her little hand tightly over the faucet and then turned the water on, spraying the entire bathroom. When Dad caught her in the act of her good time, he tried to stop her. He told her she was making a mess.

She giggled.

He said, "Stop."

She giggled some more.

He started to reach for her, trying not to get all wet. He fell over nearly landing on his head, he slipped again trying to get up. She gave him one quick squirt of water to the face while he was down.

She ran, still giggling.

The chase was on. Mary was in the lead by a determined 4-year-old stretch. Dad was coming around the corner, and was a grownup foot behind. She ran into the kitchen safely into the arms of Mom.

Dad, was not so lucky. When he screeched around the corner, he ran into the refrigerator, toes first. His little toe separated from the others as it got caught up on the tiny foot under the fridge. With Mary still giggling safely in our mother's arms, Dad bounced around doing a pain dance while holding his broken toe.

Mary wasn't completely spared. She grew up to have three children of her own, who are bringing tough love to a whole new level. I can only imagine what our grandkids will be like.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Repetition Revisited

Let me begin by saying how thankful I am to be able to put the following story into my memory bank. Time to put the past behind and move forward.

Anyone who has spent any time around kids knows that they learn best through repetition. I have read and reread hundreds of children's books to both of my kids repeatedly. The repetition of that never really bothered me. I knew it would build good skills for their future.

Now that they are older, 10 and 12, there are less reasons and opportunities for that kind of learning... unless, my daughter, joins cheerleading.

Oh crap!

I've never really been a fan of the whole cheerleading thing. As a kid, I viewed the girls on the cheerleading team as a group of snobby bimbos. Yeah, I know it's wrong... now, but I was 11. Gimme a break.

My opinion of those girls at the time was not a direct result of stereotypical bull that I heard in the hallways of my school but rather, a firsthand experience. In 6th grade I was 5'8". I towered over the cheerleaders. It should have been obvious that I was not one of them.

One day Nancy, one of the most popular girls in school asked me if I was interested in joining the team. Being the kind of kid who would try basically anything, I told her I would be happy to join.

Practice after practice, no one took the initiative to teach me the cheers or moves. Being a quick learner, I picked them all up on my own, practicing quietly every night in my room.

On the day of the big game, my first real game, I was all sorts of happy, until the squad captain came to me.

"Lois, we need you to kneel down and let Nancy climb onto your back so Amy came climb onto hers."

"Do I look like a fucking ladder to you? What about 'sis boom ba Kelly needs a bra'? What about 'we will, we will rock you'? What about Marcia Brady's nemesis 'FF-FIL-LL-LMO-OO-ORE Filmore Jr. High!' ... ?"

I found out that day, no matter how hard you practice, some people have already planned out your future.

"The hell with that!" I continued, and walked my happy ass right out of that smelly old gym. That was the end of my cheerleading career.

My daughter, who is 4'10", has been for the past ten years, the kind of child who is shy and tries her best to blend in with the crowd. Like the chameleon in the movie "Doctor Doolittle II", her blender is broken. Or maybe she has somewhat outgrown her shy ways and no longer wanted to blend in. At any rate, she broke the news to me.

"Mom, I want to join cheerleading. Sarah and Megan and Liz and Brooke invited me to join."

Although that was a huge step for a shy little girl, I feared history repeating itself.

For the next few days, I offered as much encouragement as possible and listened over and over again to "Open the barnyard, kick out the hay. We're the girls in the USA. Turn up the radio. What do ya hear? Elvis Presley doin' a cheer. Sayin' F-I-G-H-T, sayin' F-I-G-H-T. I'm sayin' F-I-G-H-T. Fight, fight, fight for the victory!"

My flesh crawls just typing that. If I heard it once, I heard it a million times. "Repetition will help her learn this," I told myself.

"Great job sweet pea! Now why don't you try doing the cheer for your brother?"

She bounced happily away. I could hear Lane 1 cringe as his sister began to cheer. He listened a couple of times and then shooed her out of his bedroom. She came back to me for a "little more practice".

"I think you got it, sweetie. Do you know any other cheers you want to practice?"
"No Mom. I need to make sure this one is perfect."

I do have a breaking point you know. And I can only listen to my sweet daughter shout, "...Elvis Presley doin' a cheer. Sayin' F-I-G-H-T, sayin' F-I-G-H-T. I'm sayin' F-I-G-H-T. Fight, fight, fight for the victory!" so many times!

"Sorry kid, but Elvis is DEAD...D-E-A-D, I'm sayin' D-E-A-D!!!"

As it turns out, she would only be 'performing' once in front of people. My mind raced with the amount of practice she put into this routine for one stinking show. This was almost as bad as being used as a ladder.

The big high school football game was Friday and she and her little friends were part of the halftime show. She did better than all of her friends, and I'm not just saying that. Thankfully, I think I've seen the last of "Elvis doin' a cheer".

When we got home she said, "Mom, promise you won't get mad?"
This is the opening line my kids use when they think I will be upset at the next thing to come out of their mouth.
"I promise. What?"
"I didn't like cheerleading. It was kind of stupid."

I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to hear those words come out of her mouth! So I asked, "What?"
"I didn't like cheerleading. You aren't mad are you?"
"No. I'm not mad. Say it again."
"Say what again?"
"You know..."
"I didn't like cheerleading?"
"Yeah. Say it again."

I couldn't resist. Using her moves to the Elvis cheer, I shouted, "I'm sayin' G-O-O-D, I'm sayin' G-O-O-D, I'm sayin' G-O-O-D!"

Monday, January 24, 2005

Thank You

It's really hard to say which is the worst way to lose someone you care about. A sudden death takes everyone by surprise and a long illness causes suffering for all involved. It might be safe to say there's no good way to die and there is no good way to lose someone.

I wanted to stop in to let you guys know that I am doing better since the shock has somewhat worn off.

Your kind words during this rough time mean a bunch to mean. Thanks!

P.S. I realized if Pat were here right now he would tell me to get back to writing. So I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Make A Call

I want you to do yourselves a favor. Make a phone call to someone you haven't talked to in a while, someone who you have thought about but for whatever reason haven't gotten around to calling.

I lost a good friend today, a friend that I should have taken the time to call more often. His sudden death caused by an aneurysm took everyone by surprise.

For the next couple of days I won't be around Blog Land. If you want an e-mail letting you know when I've updated, leave your e-mail address in the comments and I'll be happy to let you know. Otherwise, I'll see you in a couple of days.


P.S. For your reading pleasure in my absence, checkout my archives, and visit the blogs that are linked on my right sidebar.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Spirit Of Springfield

A couple of years ago, I chaperoned a field trip to Springfield. With about 42, 9- and 10-year-olds, the numbers seemed to be stacked against us few grown ups. I am amazed that I lived to write about it, seriously.

The day began at my son's school at 7 a.m. where I and 10 other grownup chaperones did a kid head count, picked our teams and headed out for what seemed like an eternal bus ride from hell.

Much like Gilligan, the Skipper, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann, we were headed for a three-hour tour. Unfortunately the bus driver did not refer to the bus as the Minnow. Had she, I would have known to run quickly in the opposite direction.

It was too late, the wheels were turning and so was my stomach. The combination of the smell of the old bus, candy, children, carbon monoxide oozing from the exhaust system and the sound of 42 kids and one adult who apparently had never been on a fieldtrip with their child before, singing 99 Bottles of Soda On the Wall, made my stomach feel seasick at the very least.

Yes, I did say "99 Bottles of Soda On the Wall". In this day and age, not only can the kids not sing "99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall" but parents no longer can drink 99 bottles of beer before embarking on a trip such as this, which I feel may have made the day a little more tolerable.

The teacher told the kids to stay with their group. That part was easy, at least while we were on the bus. Once our bus landed upon the great city of Springfield, we visited the tourist center. My group no longer was together. Or could it be that I was the only one not with the group?

Anyhow, I finally found my group and we took the grandiose tour of the humble home of Abraham Lincoln. Not much inside was originally owned by the Lincolns. Most were 1800 replicas. The kids didn’t seem to care. It was a free day off of school, and that was what really mattered.

My son was one of the students in my group. I tried to pawn him off on another chaperone but I was stuck with him. If you have ever been a chaperone for any field trip, you know you always get your own child. Not only that, you also know your child will behave the worst out of everyone in your group.

Lane 1 was the one in my group walking ahead, talking out of turn, standing up on the bus while it was moving and touching things inside of the Lincoln home, until I told him that the home was haunted. Okay, so the house isn’t really haunted but it did stop him from messing around while we were in there.

I told him that Abe’s son who died from tuberculosis was still there in spirit. At first, I got the typical, “Yeah right, Ma!” response from him. So I did what any good mom would do. I blew on the back of his neck and then turned away quickly.

“Hey Mom, did you feel that?”
“That breeze,” he nervously said.
“Maybe it was the wind. Yeah son, I’m sure it was only the wind. Or maybe... no it couldn’t be, never mind buddy.”
“What Mom? What else could it have been?”
“I don’t want to frighten you, so never mind,” I said, knowing I had him under my spell.
“Hey Mom, you don’t think it is the ghost of that Lincoln kid do ya?”
“Well, he did die in this house,” I said, wide-eyed. “In fact, I think he died in this very room.”

Lane 1 suddenly had no trouble staying with the group. He also, suddenly, didn't think he was too old or too cool to hold his mom’s hand. It was one of my most shining moments of motherhood.

I did for one moment consider the ramifications of lying to him with such a story but was able to shrug off the guilt by thinking, nightmares, schmightmares!

Friday, January 21, 2005

To Pee Or Not To Pee, That Is The Question

My blogging buddy Michelle brought to light the Shee Pee. Chicks peeing while standing is all the rage, apparently. The nuts and bolts of this story are, a company supplies disposable, waterproof, pissing cones so women do not have to sit while going number one in a public bathroom.

"HEY! Wait a cotton pickin' minute!" I thought. "That's my invention! Who told? Damn it all to hell anyhow!"

No, really, I did invent that, I swear. Here's what happened... Fade to black. Fade back in... Lois Lane, a 9-year-old girl sits nervously awaiting her turn in the dentist's office.

I was sitting with my mother in the waiting room. I was terrified because I knew how many times I didn't actually brush my teeth when I was told. I also knew how many snacks I ate in any given day. I was aware of the fact that my sister came home crying from her last visit to this very office. She walked out with four less teeth, two fillings and a mouth stuffed with bloody cotton. I knew that eating an occasional glob of toothpaste, could not actually prevent cavities, but it did help in the event my mother said, "Let me smell your breath." (She really said that sometimes.)

During my wait, I flipped through every page of every magazine. I talked my mother's ears off. I paced a worn section out of the rug, and then I saw it, the water cooler!

"Ohh, it makes bubbles and has it's own little cone cups! How cool are these?"

I started to get an idea. It was a really cool idea. (Who knew how ahead of my time I was?!) I drank about 30 cups of water. After the water kicked into my system, I headed toward the bathroom, cup in hand.

I bit the pointy end of the cone cup off, pulled my pants completely off, stuffed my panties into my pants' pocket (you never know when or where a panty raid might take place) tossed my pants on the top of the stall door, I straddled the toilet and let it flow into the cup, which drained perfectly into the toilet.

I thought, "It works! But I need to work on my aim."

I put my pants back on, washed my hands and ran out of there like my ass was on fire.

I told my mom, very loudly, "I can pee like a boy!" Everyone looked at us. My mom didn't say anything.

"Lois, it's your turn."

My mom still looking at me like I was insane, I excitedly told the nurse, "I can pee standing up, just like a boy! I can hardly wait for it to snow again! I am going to pee outside and write my name in the snow!"

By this time, I think the nurse was afraid of me or maybe that was a look of sympathy for my mom. It's hard to tell the difference when you are a kid.

When Dr. Smiley came in, I took a big deep breath because I was going to tell him all about my pee cone. I think my mom knew what I was going to say but wanted to keep my invention a secret, or something.

She put her hand over my mouth before I could shout, "Hey, guess what?!" I wanted to bite her hand but I didn't want the dentist to think he had a wild one who might turn on him biting a hunk of flesh out of his meaty hands. So I quietly gave my mother the "I'll behave. I promise." look.

I took a bunch of those cups and hid them in the sleeve of my coat to later share with my friends, who by the way, also thought I was nuts. Not one of them would even give it a try. I felt very alone in my quest for pissing upright. This was evolution in the making but no one was willing to give in to change.

The first snow finally fell. I grabbed a cone I had been saving for a snowy day. I clipped the end off with my scissors. By then, I learned cutting it on an angle helped me to aim better. I didn't bother bundling up and off I went. The big tree in the backyard was my stall. I dropped my drawers, I also had mastered the act without taking my pants completely off. I positioned the cone.

L-O-I-..............."Darn it!" S (an S is hard to pee straight)

I was very proud of myself. I was the first girl on the block, maybe even the first girl in the world, to write my name in the snow!

I pulled up my pants, ran into the house and screamed, "MOM! DAD! MOM!!! HEY! I did it! I wrote my name in the snow! With pee! Come outside hurry! You gotta see this!"

My parents gave me that look. You know the look of, "Should we commit her?" They humored me and came outside. I can't say they were exactly proud of me but they both laughed.

Imagine how much money I could have made off of that at the ripe old age of 9! Even though I will never see the fruits of my labor, I am pleased to know I wasn't crazy like everyone else thought. I was simply a couple of decades ahead of my time.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stupidity Rant Take One

My buddy Bloomin' Onionhead told me that I may not be seeing him online much for a while. He said he is having troubles with his computer. He thinks it might have a virus. Being one of my favorite online people, I didn't want to lose him to the death of a computer virus. Thankfully, he and I have never had unprotected text. Hearing about his potential virus, I breathed a sign of relief that I never downloaded with this man.

I suggested that he visit Trend Micro, where they have a house call option that will check for viruses. It took a while for the program to surf through all of his porn important files. When it was finished checking, Bloomin' Onionhead discovered he had 41 viruses. That man really ought to compute with surgical gloves, if you know what I mean.

He used the clean virus feature from the house call, which removed all 41. He said his mouse and keyboard seemed to be working better right away but was still having trouble with his sound. He checked all of the obvious settings on his Sounds and Devices feature in the control panel to no avail.

I apologized for not being able to help and said a sad goodbye, for I knew he was shipping his computer off to the shop for a sound check and it would be a long time before the two of us would type to each other again.

I know you are thinking, "Lois, where is the stupidity as mentioned in your title." Well, folks I am getting there. I had to first set the stage.

When I started my computer up today, I had no sound. I panicked. I thought of my friend right away. I tried to think back to all of the files that Bloomin' Onionhead tried to slip my way. I wondered if he caught me in a moment of weakness that I'd forgotten about. Maybe I was drunk one night and happily accepted something tainted from his hard drive.

"Not my precious laptop! Please, not that!" I cried.

I went to Sounds and Devices, "All drivers are working properly."
"Bullshit! If they were working properly then I would have sound!"

I wanted to crawl into a denial hole but instead opted for a virus check through McAffe. It found no bad files and no viruses. I went to Trend Micro to try a PC House Call. It also found nothing. Although this news made me happy, it still did not provide me with a reason why my sound suddenly didn't work anymore.

I right clicked on the volume controls in my taskbar, nothing was muted, everything was set at loud. I hobbled my way through the troubleshooter in my help options but none of those suggestions restored my sound.

I was devastated. I love to listen to music while I use my computer. I can't go without sound.

I went to various sites that Google helped me find. None of them helped. I spent hours trying to fix my sound and then decided to try Toshiba technical help. First I checked their website. It blows. So I tried calling the 800 number.

I went through a long series of recorded messages and finally got a real live person who amazingly was easy to understand, unlike the last guy. (See "I'll Tell You Where I've Been" in the December archives)

"Go to start, then run, now type in winver and hit okay."
"I'm running service pack 1, I heard 2 had problems."
"Yes, it does. Good. Okay. Now, I want you to lift the front of the laptop up and look at all of the buttons and lights."
"Okay. But I have gone through all of the troubleshooting options and checked that it wasn't muted as well as checked all of my drivers."
"Very good. Now did you lift the front of the laptop?"
"Do you see the indicator lights?"
"Do you see a wheel down there to the right of your wireless switch?"
"Turn the control to your right."
"Try the sound."
"Holy crap! It works! I thought that was to dim the screen!"
"You aren't the first person to think so. Our older models had the dimmer there and no volume control."
"Well, I feel absolutely stupid. Sorry for wasting your time. And thank you for your help!"
"It's no problem. Thank you for choosing Toshiba."

Short bus here I come! So now I wonder about my friend Bloomin' Onionhead. Maybe he doesn't have anything wrong after all. Maybe he just needs to turn his god dang volume switch into the right position.

(Hangs head in shame) I still feel like a complete moron!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Love Hurts

Accidental abuse is not just for kids. Lane 1 and Lane 2 have been taking turns inflicting pain on me for nearly as long as they have been alive. Here's a small handful of those lovely memories in no particular order.

Lane 2 got her first tooth at the ripe old age of three months old, which is really early. Because I was breastfeeding, I was the first to notice her pearly white. A lesson for the child that day was, "Do not bite the boob that feeds you!" Imagine if you will, the feeling of an itty bitty razor sharp tooth piercing your nipple. The lesson for me that day, "Band-Aids do not stick well to milky and bloody nipples."

Just last week, Lane 1 and I were fighting over the remote control (which you will learn is a common thing around here). He tucked the remote under his belly and rolled over on top of it on his bed. I pounced him like a cat trying to catch a mouse. I tickle tortured him but the brat just wouldn't give it up. I bit his ear and he flung back with his head, busting my lip open and making contact with the cartilage in my nose. I quietly got off of him, and walked into the kitchen for some ice. I could feel the blood running down my chin. This was one of those "see stars" moments. Both kids came running after me and their little eyeballs bugged out when they saw the blood. At first they had that "I really want to laugh." look and then, they saw the blood. My son, big, tough 5'3", 100 pound lug started crying and repeating, "Mom, oh my God. I am sooooo sorry! Are you okay?" I had no choice but to ham that one up. As I fake cried into the washcloth with all eyes on me, I busted into hysterical laughter.

About a year ago we were having a typical fight over the remote control. This time it was between me and Lane 2. (Just a little background on her, she is shy, quiet, smart as heck and a fairly sensitive person. She loves to goof around but is quick to stop if I tell her to. Unlike her rowdy brother who pushes his limits almost every time.) I reached for the remote, she pulled it away. She ran to the far end of her room but cornered herself. I thought, "Haha, I got you now my little freak!" But then something went terribly wrong... for me anyhow. She swung her body around to turn her back on me, as she clenched the remote tightly in her mitts, batting me in the mouth with it. Like a star hitter, POW, right into my mouth. One of my bottom teeth went straight through my lip. Even though it hurt like crazy, I had to squeeze blood out of my lip for effect, but hey, I do what needs doing around here. She was mortified. I'd say we are almost even for the last post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Accidental Abuse

It happens to the best of us. No matter how hard we parents try to keep our children out of harms way, we sometimes slip up. A friend of mine told me about her husband and son playing football in the house, which resulted in nine stitches in the forehead of her son.

I tried telling her that kind of thing happens and told her not to be so hard on her husband. At least he plays with his kids. Right? It wasn't like he bashed the boy in the head with a brick.

While none of my accidentally inflicted abuse stories resulted in stitches, I could feel this guy's pain. I shared a couple of stories with her in hopes of her not killing her husband. Because having a friend in jail for murder would really suck.

A couple of years ago we found a stray kitten. She was tiny and starving so we decided to bring her home and take care of her. I expected we would find her a home once she was strong and well, but Lane 2 fell in love. We were renting a small house and were not supposed to have pets.

By spring, the kitten had grown a lot and was looking for love, making it harder to keep her hidden. She began to howl at any open window to let the boys know there was some fresh pussy in town.

One night, while experiencing warmer than normal spring temperatures, I slept with the window partially open. The cat kept trying to get into the window.

While I was in a deep sleep, she snuck up to the windowsill. I woke up to the call of the wild. I closed the window but soon became overheated and reopened it. I could feel the cat trying to make a break for the window again, and while half asleep, I shoved her down with my foot.

Don't call PETA just yet. I didn't kick her. I gave her a slow soft shove with the top of my foot.

As the night went on, she grew more persistent, as did I. After at least 20 shoves off of the end of my bed, one might think she learned not to try again. Well she didn't.

My daughter did, however. Lane 2 was trying to sneak into bed with me and in the midst of my twilight sleep, I assumed my daughter was the cat again. And I kicked, I mean, gently shoved her with my foot... in the face. Her front tooth came out. Her mouth and nose were bleeding. I was mortified! Talk about a rude awakening!

My twisted little girl was laughing. I guess I have some more explaining to do. Her tooth was loose before she went to bed, hanging by a thread loose. She was just too afraid to pull it out earlier that night, which is why she was laughing. She was thrilled that the tooth fairy was coming after all. Plus she is one of those people who gets nose bleeds if the wind blows in the wrong direction.

At the time it was as funny as nine stitches to the forehead. Seeing blood on one of your own children and knowing you were the cause of it is one of the most horrifying feelings.

Now we can all laugh at what happened. Especially since she accidentally got me back. But that's a blog post for another day.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Tormented Tattletale

Anyone who has been paying attention to this here blog, is well aware of the fact that I was a little on the wild side as a child. I would like to let you know that it isn't entirely my own fault. I can't put all of the blame on Cindy Brady either. (See "Guilt Of A Girl" below) I feel there is plenty of fault left over for my siblings.

As the youngest child in the family, I was basically tortured, dropped, teased, smacked around and hated by teachers.

At school, I suffered for all of the bad stuff the other kids did. When teachers saw another member of the Lane family come through those doors at St. Whack 'Em On The Knuckles, they already made their judgments and planned out their own forms of torture.

At home I was the baby. Spoiled rotten, but only by my parents, which really pissed the others off. Don't worry, they got their revenge.

Lookout! Here comes another flashback!

I just turned 5. For my birthday I got the first 10 dollar bill I ever saw up close. (Yeah, a little poor and a lot deprived.) I really didn't want to spend the money. I just wanted to look at it, until I found out that money could buy candy.

I talked my brother Mark into taking me to the corner store. (Same store as in "Me And My Big Fat Mouth", see below.) For the low, low price of $5, he took me. Boy oh boy, did he take me!

Back then, candy was less than a quarter, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out how much candy I could purchase with the remaining $5. Mark wouldn't even carry my bag of goodies because he was too busy stuffing his face with his.

When we got home, I sat outside on the stoop eating Pop Rocks, minding my very own business. My sister Angie and a neighbor boy came along and asked what I was doing. I thought it was obvious but explained anyhow.

My sister gasped and said, "You can't eat those! Look at the back, the ingredients, you're gonna die! It has Carbon-DIE-oxide in it! Nice knowing you nerd!"

Her eyes were really wide and serious looking so I believed her. I spit frantically, trying to get them all out of my mouth. I handed her the rest of my candy to hold while I tried to save my own life.

Pop Rocks were stuck to my lips and tongue and were popping insanely. I was terrified. I went into the house to wash the poison out of my mouth.

My mother asked what I was doing and I thought, "How am I going to break the news to her that her baby is going to die? She will be so upset!"

From the bathroom I yelled, "Mommy I love you very much! Please don't ever forget me! Mommy, I don't want to die!" and I bawled like crazy.

She came into the bathroom to find out why I was crying and blabbering nonsense. I told her what Angie said and she got that look on her face. I wondered at the time why she didn't start crying. I was dying for Christ's sake!

She yelled out the window for Angie. She sounded really mad. When Angie came upstairs, she got into big trouble. I mean, BIG trouble. The kind of trouble that made my mother take her slipper off and beat some serious ass. My mother beat a per syllable lecture out on Angie's ass, which is how I figured out that I wasn't really dying.

When her beating was finished, knowing I had a few good years left to live, I asked Angie where my bag of candy was. She and the neighbor boy ate it all. That news made me bawl as if I were dying... again.

Our mother returned to our bedroom to find out why I was crying. When I told her that Angie ate all of my birthday money candy while I was washing the poison away, Angie got the slipper treatment again.

When Mark finally came back in the house, he made the mistake of not littering and had pockets full of candy wrappers. When Mom asked where he got the candy, and he didn't answer, I helped him out by telling her. He also received a per syllable spanking.

It's a wonder they didn't kill me. Thinking back, I know I was a pain in the ass. But they started it!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Guilt Of A Girl

(Long story, savor it because I will be MIA tomorrow*.)

I don't know if it had something to do with growing up Catholic and all the guilt that comes with it or if I was just really a good kid trapped inside of a bad little girl. Whatever the case, I am certain no child of six years should tote the baggage of guilt I did.

You know how some cartoons from the 70s and 80s played out a scenario of an angel and a devil on a character's shoulders? I really thought those things were real. So real in fact that I fabricated my very own. I had an angel on my left and a devil on my right. Although in the cartoons, the angel and devil resembled the person whose shoulders they sat upon, mine resembled Cindy Brady from the Brady Bunch.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Cindy Brady was a twit. Yeah, well she was the only one in the world, at the time, who could sympathize with a child of my birth order. Being the youngest in a large family, 10 in all, I guess I thought she could relate. So in an odd little way, she became my conscience.

I would like to now blame Cindy Brady for the following incidents, my cheating situation, the KitKat Bar incident, the confession/communion episodes, as well as the following story.

Buckle up tight folks! The Wayback Machine is out of control today!

Juan was a poor Mexican immigrant who came to my neighborhood one summer. His aunt, already lived in America and offered his family a place to stay. Her apartment was right next door from ours.

Juan was a pretty cool kid. I think. I mean, he didn't speak a lick of English but he always smiled and nodded every time I talked to him. He was my age but would begin school a grade lower because he had yet to learn the language. I helped him with the dialect as much as possible.

That summer Juan learned how to say every bad word I knew. He made me so proud. I always giggled when he said "sheet" instead of shit. And once we got beyond the initial communication hurdle of our origins, we became pretty good friends. I even shared my snacks with him. (If you read "Me And My Big Fat Mouth" below, you know how much I loved sweets.)

Right across the street from my dad's work was a Hostess Outlet store. Every few weeks dad would stop in there and come out with lots of bags of yummy goodness. Juan never had a "host cake" before. Every time I came outside with a snack in hand, I'd let him have a bite. One day it was a Suzy Q, another day a Twinkie. I remember him being fascinated by the three holes of cream at the bottom of the Twinkie. He even tried sticking his finger in one of my Twinkie holes (shut up) but I shook my head and said, "No!" which was the only universal word I didn't have to teach him.

"Loweez, I like mucho."
"I like you too Juan."
"No. I like host cake mucho."

Cindy Brady showed up on my right shoulder. "Ask him how much he likes the host cakes and see what kind of deal you can swing."

Looking to my left shoulder, the angelic Cindy Brady was fast asleep. I looked right, "Yeah, she really looks like an angel when she's sleeping doesn't she? Hurry up and ask El Capitan what he has to trade. See what kind of dinero he has on him."

"Si Loweez?"
"You have m-o-n-e-y?"

"Ask if he has a toy."

"Juan, do you have a toy?"
"Que? What?"
"You know t-o-y."
"No. No toy here. Toy Mexico."

"So this kid came here, all this way, to another country... with nothing? You need more friends!"

There really was nothing to barter with the boy, until one day...

About a week later Juan's aunt came home with a little orange tabby kitten. It was adorable. It looked just like a mini-me Morris cat from the 9 Lives TV commercial. On the very same day, my dad came home with a big bag of twin pack Twinkies for me and Juan.

"Lois, take one to your little friend and you can have the other."
"Thank you Daddy." I was happy and skipped outside to tell Juan the good news. Except his news was better than mine. Out of nowhere, there they were, atop my shoulders, and neither would shut up.

"We aren't as poor as they are! How come we don't have a cute kitten? That's not fair!"
"What a lovely kitten."
"Shut up you sap! We got a plan to work on."
"Whatever it is you are thinking, just forget it!"

I batted my eyelashes at that boy. "Hola amigo!"
"Hi Loweez." He never took his eyes off of that kitten to see me in my pretty sundress or my big smile. He didn't even see that I had two Twinkies, and one of them had his name written all over it!

"Hey, Juan? Can I hold the kitty?"

"Make a run for it. Possession is nine tenths of the law! Hurry!!!"
"You can't steal his pet!"
"Play Let's Make A Deal with him. We've got nothing to lose Lois."

"Juan. look what I have."
"Loweez! One is for me?"
"Sorta. You want to trade?"
"No money, no toy, no have trade."

"Oh yes you do my little burrito."
"Lois, don't. This is wrong! You can't even have pets in your building."
"Shut your trap missy! We've got business to do! Tell him Lois!"

"You have kitty. I have Twinkie. Trade?"
"What? I not trade. Trouble from Tia (aunt)."
"She won't know."

"Score! See you stupid fool! I told you we could do it! Haha! Now we have a real live pet of our very own!"
"We are going to get into big trouble for this!"
"We'll only get in trouble if we get caught so shut your mouth and everything will be hunky dory!"

I lied and told Juan I had to leave right away to clean my room. He didn't seem to care as he was shoving a Twinkie down his throat.

I traded a twin pack of Twinkies for a kitten. It was yet another perfect crime. All I needed to do was hide the evidence.

"Lois! You can't put that kitten in your toy box! He will suffocate!"
"I hate to say it but the twit is right. Oooh, look, a suitcase. Just stick him in there and leave the zipper open enough for him to breathe. God bless Samsonite!"

I pretended to play traveler. I had my Samsonite packed with everything I needed for my trip. I skipped through the house, suitcase in hand.

My mom stopped me in midskip, "Where you going Lois?"
"I am going on a trip. I am a great explorer and I have business to attend to. Goodbye Mother."

All day "El Twinkie" (I had to name him that) stayed inside of the suitcase. When no one was looking, I slipped him some milk. I also stole a can of tuna from the kitchen but I didn't know how the stupid can opener worked so I put him on a liquid diet.

Right before bedtime, I smelled something really nasty. I peeked into the suitcase. I sniffed. I gagged. El Twinkie oozed a bit of cream all over the inside of the Samsonite.

"Mommy? Can I take a bubble bath before I go to bed?"
"Okay sweetie, but you have to make it a quick one or you'll be late for bed."
"I promise."

She filled the bathtub for me. She saw I still had my suitcase and told me not to put it in the tub. I smiled at her.

Once she shut the door, I opened the suitcase. El Twinkie was acting really wild and running all over the bathroom. I whispered to him, "Stop." I think he only understood Spanish because he didn't listen.

I went to pick him up but he was all covered in poop. I bagged him with a towel and dropped him right into the tub.


I could hear my mom coming. I tried squishing him back in the water.

"I told you this was a bad idea! I knew we were going to get caught. One of these days Lois, you are going to have to start listening to me!!!"

I looked right for a little assistance, and there she was sound asleep.

"She's a lot of help now isn't she? Do the right thing Lois before you drown that poor little kitty.

My mom walked into the bathroom and there I sat with a soaking wet poop covered kitty.

"Oh my goodness! Lois! Where did you get this? Why do you have it in here? We can't have pets! You better answer me this instant young lady!"

"Juan gave him to me. And he was dirty so I was giving him a bath."
"Kitties don't take baths Lois! You could have killed him."

She got this look on her face. I could tell I was in big trouble.

"Lois, why did Juan give you this kitty?"
"Because I am nice?" I smiled at that woman but she didn't seem to notice.
"Tell me the truth right now or I am going to spank you!"
"I traded Juan fair-and-square."
"Traded? What did you give him?"
"A pack of Twinkies."

My mom walked out of the bathroom and took El Twinkie with her. I was very sad. I knew that she was going to do one of her meanest mom in the whole wide world acts, I just didn't know what.

Early the next morning, I found El Twinkie sleeping in my bed. We became quick friends. It was obvious to me that he loved me and I loved him too. I wondered why my mother had to ruin such a beautiful thing.

Nobody at Juan's house seemed to notice the kitten had a sleepover and if they didn't even miss him, then I thought they didn't really want him. Boy was I wrong.

That Juan kid was a tough nut to crack. All night he was questioned of the kitten's whereabouts but like a real friend, he didn't tell on me. When my mother knocked on their door, with me hiding behind her, the cat was out of the bag, literally.

The guilt I had about trapping that poor little kitten in a suitcase for an entire day bothered me for a while. That is until... another perfect crime came my way.

* (I'll be loaded down with good wholesome fun tomorrow. No! Not confession! If this wasn't enough, checkout my archives, read the comments sections after each post and see what others had to say. And don't forget to visit the blogs that are linked on my right sidebar. I'll see you all Monday.)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Me And My Big Fat Mouth

Earlier stories of my younger days and my wrongdoing have shown a less than angelic Lois Lane. Today will be no different. At the ripe old age of five, I displayed a stealth-like ability. Some children may have used this type of power on something less criminal, like sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar just before dinner time. Not me. I was much more big league than cookies.

Entering the Wayback machine. Fire up the engines. Prepare for launch in 3... 2... 1... Liftoff!

In a little town outside of Chicago, there once was a little girl named Lois Lane. For the most part she was sweet, cute and loved by everyone. Until one day she thought it would be a good idea to wander off to the corner store. The corner store was no place for a girl of merely 5 years, however, she was on a mission, she needed chocolate.

While neither parent, nor her seven older siblings were watching, she snuck off to the corner store.

She was so small, she wasn't seen by the store's staff as she crept in. There was no bell on the door to give her away, so, much like a Stealth Bomber, she was in and out and undetected with a Kit Kat Bar in hand.

Her mind raced with the excitement of getting away with "murder" and she could hardly wait to sink her teeth into that chocolate bar.

She looked forward, no one, she looked back, no one... "ah... coast is clear" she thought. She unwrapped her Kit Kat, littering in a landscape bush, and began her indulgence. It may have been the best candy bar ever made, in the history of ever.

Finishing her candy and her trek back home, she wondered if she would be caught coming back from the store. Thankfully for the little girl, no one was anywhere to be found. She sat on her front porch step licking the evidence from her fingertips. It was the perfect crime. No one was hurt and her belly was satisfied.

A few moments later her friend Emily walked by. She was happy to have a friend there to play with but was even happier to have someone to tell about her adventure. The two little girls quietly walked between the two tall apartment buildings in which they resided.

In the "gangway" the little girl told Emily everything that happened. Once she finished sharing her story, her mother called for her, from the kitchen window, where she was doing dishes, which happened to be the window directly above the very spot in which the two little girls were talking.


"Lois! Lois, come upstairs right now!"

The very frightened little girl said good bye to Emily, sure it would be the last time they would see each other.

The little girl headed up the stairs. Her mother was waiting for her. The little girl tried her hardest to smile but her mother asked, "What did you do?"

The little girl was a lot of things, but a liar she wasn't (not yet anyhow). She told her mother everything.

The little girl and her mother went for a walk that evening to the local corner store. The mother pushed the little girl forward in front of the store's owner and said, "Tell this nice man what you did in his store today."

GULP... SWEAT... PANT... CRAP PANTS (kidding).

"Um, mister, (nervously wringing hands) I... a, I mean, I was a, (sweat dripping from brow) I did a... (eyes welling with tears) I DID A BAD THING MISTER."

"Yeah, well whad ya do?" he asked.

Looking up at her mother in hopes she would do the telling, her mother sternly said, "Tell him right now!"

(in a quiet fast whisper) The little girl said, "I took a-a-a-a candy, and I didn't pay for it, and I ate it, and it's gone, and now I'm in big trouble, and I'm real sorry mister."

"Please don't take my daughter to jail sir," her mother said in a condescending voice.

The man looked at the little girl as she stared at her fingers and shoes and said, "Okay lady. I won't send your kid to jail. How 'bout she cleans my store and works off the cost of the candy she stole?"

"That is a wonderful idea, sir," said the little girl's mother. "I'll have her here as soon as she is finished with her kindergarten class in the early afternoon."

Without ever looking back at the man or her mother, the little girl exited the store with a big weight lifted from her little shoulders.

The next day after school, the little girl and her mother walked back to the corner store. The man was waiting for the little girl. Her mother left while the man handed her a big push broom. She was directed to go outside and sweep the sidewalk and return once her task was complete. Heavy as the broom was, the little girl managed to finish the job.

She headed back into the store as directed and was handed a regular broom. "Now you can sweep the isles."

Certain she had worked off the cost of the candy bar, the little girl headed for the exit once she was done sweeping. "Hey, kid, where ya think yer goin'? Here, take this and dust every shelf."

The little girl took the feather duster from the man and dusted the entire stock and all of the shelves.

The full time students were now walking into the store. The little girl saw her big brother and thought, 'Finally, I can go.' but her big brother just looked at her and the feather duster, laughed and exited the store.

Now bawling, the little girl asked the man if she could go home. He said, "Yes but, be back here the same time tomorrow."

Every school day for a month, the little girl did her corner store chores, until the debt was repaid.

The little girl never stole again, never not once again in all of 27 years to follow.

The little girl learned a valuable lesson from her thievery. First of all, she learned to keep her big fat mouth shut. But more importantly, she learned, it is easier to steal 20 cents out of the change jar in the kitchen and pay for a candy bar, rather than stealing it.


(This true story has been brought to you by... the best of my recollection)
Sincerely, Lois Lane (the little girl)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Confession Central

I've been doing a lot of searching of my mental files lately. I think about some of the things I did as a kid at my kid's ages (10 and 12) and wonder what kinds of things are they might be doing. I would be a fool to think they were not doing anything. Right?

I enrolled them into a private school after public school turned into a poor babysitter. So far, I see big changes in both Lane 1 and Lane 2. They are doing well, getting good marks, being challenged and all the other good stuff that I, as a parent, want to see from my children's school.

Just because it's a private school does not mean that I am naive enough to think they are holier than thou and do no wrong. I know they are kids, therefore, they do stuff. Hell, I went to a private school and look how I turned out! (See "Cheater Pants" below or continue reading this post.)

Thinking back to all of the different little not so good things, I was put in mind of one. It was an on going thing that I did and my parents knew nothing about. If there is a hell, I am certainly going there.

Entering the Wayback machine. Fire up the engines and liftoff!

My dad bought me a pack of Necco Wafers because I had been a good girl all week. It was the first time I ever had them. My dad said they were one of the best candies from his childhood. The little brown noser in me wanted to love them as much as he did.

I had to lie. "Wow Dad! These are great!"

I shared a few with him and skipped off to my room. My sister Angie, who was in trouble that week and didn't deserve a treat, knew something was up when I offered some to her. She actually liked them. I gave her the rest of the pack and told her to not tell Dad.

A week later, my father came home from work again, he had his hand behind his back.

"Lois, guess what Daddy got for you?"
"Ooooh, is it Fruitstripe Gum?"
"Uh... no. Name another one of your favorites."
"Is it a KitKat Bar?"
"Hmmm... think honey. What did you tell me that you loved so much last week?"
"Oh, (hangs head in shame) those round candies you had when you were my age? Please say no, please say no, please say no! "
"You guessed it! They're called Necco Wafers. Here you go."

He kissed me on the forehead and walked away. I saw my sister looking at me out of the corner of my eye. The bitch was smiling ear-to-ear.

"Here Ang, you'll like these too. You were a good girl this week, weren't you?"
"Yes Daddy!" she said batting her lying eyes at him.
"That's my girl."

When our dad walked out of the room, smirky bitch face held out her hand. She assumed since I didn't like them, I would be offering them to her again. Wrong!

"No. You can't have them. I like them."
"You liar!"
"No, I'm not a liar! And besides, I want to share them with my friends at school."
"I hate you!"
"I hate you more! INFINITY!"

I went outside to see if there were any neighbor kids I could talk into taking the Necco Wafers off my hands. There weren't. I went back into the house and put them into my book bag. I told my dad that I was going to share them with my classmates. He was proud and I know I scored more brownie points for sharing than Angie, stuff her fat stupid face did.

The next day at school during recess word spread like wild fire about my candy. Before long, I had a line of "friends" who wanted me to share with them.

I had a brilliant idea!

Being in a Catholic school, all of the students were familiar with confession. After we confessed our sins to the priest in the little box called a confessional booth, we said a few prayers, which cleansed our sin and we were able to take communion. (a round, thin wafer similar to the Necco but with much less crunch)

As I saw my line of "followers" growing, I said, "Step right up! The confessional is now open! If you want a candy flavored communion, you have to tell me your sins."

To this day I am amazed that the kids actually stayed in that line, let alone spilled the beans about their wrongdoings.

"Forgive me Lois for I have sinned. It's been three days since my last confession and in that time I have sinned by telling Mary that she is a bad word. A really bad word. The 'B' word."

"Okay. Go to the swings. Swing as high as you can. Jump off from the highest point while saying sorry to God and your sins will be forgiven." I placed the Necco Wafer on her tongue.

"Forgive me Lois for I have sinned. I got in a big fight with my brother this morning and told my mom that he started it when I really was the one who started it."

"Climb to the top of the slide. Slide down while saying you are sorry to God and your sins will be forgiven." I placed the Necco Wafer on her tongue.

This went on until the bell rang. We played again every time my dad brought me home a surprise. It was good wholesome fun, except for the fact that it was sacrilegious as all hell.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

BJs = Bad

Katey The Corporate Peon planted a wee little seed into my head. She along with millions of Hollywood stargazers was talking about the latest big breakup. As I read her words, I got a light bulb over my head. Although it was dim, it was there, I saw it.

Anyhow, I read the names Brad and Jen. In my mind I thought of the last big couple to call it quits, Ben and J-Lo.

"Hmmm," said my three brain cells. "Those names equal the initials B&J."

"Hmm," only two brain cells were participating at that point. "Is it possible that BJs are bad luck? Can BJs cause marital breakups? Mr. Lane has always told me BJs bring joy and happiness but that guy is like hardly ever right about anything. It's a curse! BJs are bad!"

Sure, I know what you guys are thinking, "It's just a coincidence Lois, don't spread this hyperbole (a fancy word for over exaggerated bullshit) around the internet."

Call it what you will gentlemen but now I have proof.

And ladies, BJs are bad, em-kay.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Cheater Pants

What you are about to read is real. The participant is not an actor.

I was in third grade. Eyes glance upward, thinking look crosses my face, fade to black... fade back in, little girl sits at desk. I'm in class doing my workbook assignment. It's hot so I begin to fan myself with the workbook. Hey! (I think) What's this?

The back of the book is like one of those puzzle books. It has answers in it. I think they are answers, anyway. Eyes become all shifty, teacher located, she is busy reading War and Peace. I better look a little more closely. Yup, those are really answers!

What if my teacher sees? Well, it's not like I am looking at my neighbors paper or anything. I'll just take a quick peek to see if the page I am working on is in here. It probably isn't. I mean heck, why would the teacher put the answers to every page in here? Right?! Wow! It is in here.

I wonder if I got the first couple of questions correct. I better check. Yes, yes, yes, cool, close, I'll just change the decimal place on that one, yes, yes!

Oooppps! I accidentally saw the next answer. Well, there's really no sense in not writing it down. I know what I saw, 575, or was it 474? I better take just one more little peek. Finger still bent, holding page where answers can be found, a quick flip back. Yes I was right, 575! But... oh shoot, I just saw the answer for the next question. I have very good peripheral vision I guess.

The scene repeats itself until all answers are accidentally seen and the workbook page is done.

I go home feeling like a just beat the system. I am a winner who is going to get a paper back tomorrow with an A+ on it! I am so cool!

Little girl settles into bed after a very long day, her wheels begin to spin, 'I am a cheater', she begins to think, she becomes upset with herself for making a poor choice, child vows to never look in the back of the book again, and seriously considers admitting to her teacher what she has done.

I get back to school the next day.

"Time to open your math workbooks to page 82 class."

I begin to raise my hand to discuss yesterday with the teacher. Hand goes up as far as earlobe and quickly comes down. Well, she didn't see me raising my hand, I guess I'll tell her some other time... when she isn't so busy.

Eyes begin to shift, back of book accidentally opens.

I AM A BIG FAT CHEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first step is admitting it right? I feel better about this already and after so many years of being haunted it really feels good to get the truth out there.

Monday, January 10, 2005

TV Trance

I am going to have to completely ban myself from watching television. Normally I don't watch anyhow but when I do, I get all fixated on some of the dumbest shit out there. And after last night's fiasco, I think I am officially done.

I planned on going to bed early, knowing I had a busy day ahead, it seemed liked a logical thing to do. TV always makes my eyes sleepy, so I put it on. I clicked through every channel, taking mental note of what looked worthy of flipping back to. I had four channels in my mental file cabinet. I didn't know the names of the shows, but they seemed somewhat interesting at a glance.

Yes, I know that cable has a guide that you can checkout so you don't have to exhaust your thumb, but not being really familiar with many shows, that service is useless to me.

The last time I did this sort of thing, months ago, should have taught me a lesson. That night I stayed awake until 3 a.m. watching none other than "Dog: The Bounty Hunter". They were having a marathon and my eyeballs would not get sleepy, they would not look away. My brain would not tell my thumb to hit power off. I was in a trance.

For those of you who have never seen this show, I'll give you some background. Dog, yes, he really calls himself that, is a reformed bad guy. He is a born again Christian. Sometimes he wears an overly tight T-shirt, and sometimes he wears a wife beater, (AKA a dego-T, AKA that white undershirt your dad used to wear under his work shirt) underneath a black leather vest. He wears either way too tight black jeans or leather pants, and when I say tight, I mean like male camel toe tight. His face is riddled with what can only be described as a bad case of teenage acne scars, which incidentally, it appears as if he wears a ton of foundation to cover up.

His hair, well, his hair is getting its own paragraph. He has a mullet, long, greasy, bleached blonde with dark roots, teased on top with a crazy ducktail thing going on up there and more hairspray than an 80's glam band.

The show is based in Hawaii and he is a bounty hunter. He is out there getting the bad guys. But he doesn't just get them and turn them over to the authorities, oh no. He preaches to them once they are caught, he shares his own personal tale of coming out of the gutter and then makes them pray with him and his trusty sidekicks.

Oh, you wonder about his sidekicks? Well, sure, I'd be happy to tell you about them. His main helper is his lovely bride. She has a similar style as her hubby but with much more cleavage. She is the type, "If you got it flaunt it." and boy, oh boy, does she ever. I'm not a guy or a lesbian but I feel quite confident saying most of the time people who think like that, are not the ones who should be flaunting.

Mrs. Dog is exactly what you might imagine if Mattel came out with a real Trailer Trash Barbie doll. She likes to yell and swear a lot, then prays later with the group. She wears about eight pounds of makeup (blue eye shadow, you can never have enough blue eye shadow or pink blush) and she is overweight. I have to add, the fact that Mrs. Dog is overweight would not have disturbed me had she not followed the flaunt it philosophy by always being dressed in mini-skirts and mini-shorts and mini-tops. She also made it a point to pick on how the criminals were dressed. She said they were tacky and said some looked like they came out of the Salvation Army closet. Talk about balls!

Besides letting her humungous boobs hang out, she has bleached blonde and highly teased hair, four-inch-long fake nails, which she had to repeatedly replace and they showed the process.

The other three sidekicks are young, in their 20s and look like what you might see on Jerry Springer or Cops.

To give Dog and his team some credit, they have captured 6,000 bad guys to date.

So, about last night. Yes, I know this is already long and you may have already thrown up a little in your mouth at the thought of Dog and crew. I'll be brief.

I couldn't remember the channel that I wanted to flip back to most, I punched in the wrong number. I know I couldn't have been interested in something on the Sci-Fi Channel, hmmm.

I paused, I watched, I lost control of my thumb, I was in a trance. The show, "Scare Tactics" was on. It was the first time I'd ever heard about it, let alone seen it.

"Her friends set her up? They are trying to scare the shit out of her? Not like practical jokes stuff but with fake murder and blood and fake cops? This is fucking crazy shit! How did this become a show? Why would anyone want to freak someone out like this? I wonder if anyone ever had a fucking heart attack over one of their stunts. I would kill my friends if they set me up like this! I'd be in jail right this very moment! Unfuckingbelievable!

Fixated, I watched the second part. One girl was tricked by her friends into thinking she was getting a job as a babysitter. The girl who was supposed to be the kid in need of a sitter waited for her mom to step out of the room. She told the babysitter that her mom kidnapped her and kept her in a cage.

The little girl was a damn good actress. She whispered "Help me, please, help me! I miss my daddy." By now the girl who is being tricked is in tears. Of course the fake mom comes out and wants to know what the little girl has said, orders her back into her cage and has a screaming fit. Holding a missing child poster with the little girl's picture on it, the babysitter tried to talk her way out of getting put in the cage or being murdered.

The babysitter swears on her mother that she won't tell if they just let her leave. The fake mother/kidnapper asks, "Are you scared?" The babysitter admits that she is. The fake mom then says, "You don't have to be scared. You're on Scare Tactics, your friend set you up."

I'm sure anyone who watches that show knows, the whole time these scenes play out, you as the audience, are thinking of what you would do. I'm no different, I had already mentally planned my escape with the little girl, seeing the lamp I would have bashed the mother in the head with. There would be no doubt, my ass would have been in jail.

So if you are a friend of mine and value my freedom, do not call that show and try to trick me!

This process I go through is very similar to a drinking binge. I have puked up enough reality TV to last me quite some time. I am officially back on the wagon.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Kooking For Kids

Cold weather brings out the stew, chili, soups and roasts at my house. I love to cook and the kids love to help. The other night we were making chili, what goes better with 10 inches of snow than a nice hot bowl of homemade chili?

Lane 2 was helping me and doing a great job until, I had her open a can of kidney beans. She actually was gagging. I didn't think her tummy was that sensitive that smelling or seeing beans could make her gag, but sure enough, they did. I told her I would take care of that part and handed her the spoon to stir the cornbread batter.

We sat down to eat and she started gagging again. Chili has never made her gag before so, I was beginning to think she had a touch of the flu. I asked her what was wrong, felt her head for fever, and she said that the beans remind her of fireflies and that totally grossed her out.

I have a hard time believing that same child who talked me into making her a kitty litter cake for her birthday, could be grossed out by something so innocent as a few friggin' beans. Are you wondering what I'm talking about when I say kitty litter cake? Scroll down and see for yourself. Sick looking shit I tell ya!


We have our virtual friend Greeny to thank for that suggestion. Personally, I couldn't bring myself to eat it, I mean, look at it. I know that nothing but yummy goodness went into it but still, look at that thing! And this kid was grossed out by a few beans?!

The power of suggestion is an amazing thing. After she said that, Lane 1 looked into his bowl sadly, and there they were, dozens of fireflies, or so he said. Way to ruin everyone's dinner little one.

In my family we were taught to eat everything on our plate. We ate it and we liked it, at least that's what our mom told us all the time. Growing up in a super sized society, I am a little easier on my kids than my mom was on us.

"Fine, if you don't eat it, you can starve. I'm no short order cook ya know? And this isn't Burger King and you can't have it your way. If you throw your dinner out, don't you dare ask for anything else until breakfast."

Most of the time these kids are looking forward to dessert. Even if it's nothing more than a little Jell-O with some fruit cocktail mixed in. Not this time. There was no dessert that was worth eating the mound of "bugs" in their opinion.

So there I sat, at the kitchen table, all alone, eating my chili. I looked into my bowl and saw nothing but fireflies! You guessed it, no dessert for me that night either.

Here's a link to the recipe, in case you ever want to make a kitty litter cake of your own.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Let's Talk About Sex Baby

Mr. Lane and I have been together for 16 years. That's a long time with many sexual moments and outtakes. I don't want to make anyone puke at the thought of us humping each other's brains out, so I'll try my best to be somewhat nondescriptive.

Back when, every time was like the fist time for Mr. Lane. (He would shit if he knew I was telling you guys this. HA! I guess this will show him he should have taken an interest in my writing.) Like In-N-Out Burger, bada-bing-bada-boom, and he was snoring! I tried telling him that foreplay was a good thing. I told him it would build me up to a happy plateau so I could be ready when he was ready, he just didn't listen.

Since those day, he and I have undergone a complete role reversal. I used to fantasize about being caressed, kissed slowly all over and have him run his fingers through my hair. But after so many years of that lousy bastid not being able to understand what foreplay is, I guess I gave up longing for that stuff. And now I find it rather troublesome and annoying.

Out of nowhere, about a year ago, Mr. Lane decided to give this thing called foreplay a try.
I gave him the "Hop aboard." look.
He gave back the "But I love you." look.
I gave him the "Hurry this thing along." look.
He rebutted with a "What's a matta for you?" look.
I gave him the "Sorry pal, the offer for foreplay expired." look.
He gave me the "Sad puppy dog needs a meaty bone to slurp." look.
I gave him the "Get this deed done and stop playing with your food." look.
He ignored all of the earlier looks and went to run his fingers through my hair, forgot to take my hair out of my ever so sexy ponytail and got his stupid fingers caught.
I gave him the "Rip one more hair outta my fucking head, and I'll kill ya!" look.
And he gave me the "Why don't you love me?" look.
I felt bad and let him tear every friggin' hair out of my head hoping the climb atop mount flesh would soon begin.

See what I mean about troublesome and annoying?

Over the years, we have gone through every position possible, slowly building up his stamina. For quite a stint, it was all missionary all the time. I'd look to the ceiling and think, 'Beige, we need to paint the ceiling beige.' Okay, so I saw that in a movie a million years ago, but it never failed, that's what I thought.

He never felt the need for foreplay then, so why now? I have to admit in his old age, he is getting good. There's really no need for all that foreplay stuff, not now. Sure maybe it would have been nice before when I used to call him Quick Draw McGraw. I tried to tell him he really didn't need to go through all of the trouble, and even in a nice way, as to not bruise his ego but he just wouldn't listen.

The foreplay thing, well, maybe I'll get used to the idea of it, but I wonder if he hasn't begun using it in an effort to make up for certain things that aren't what they were before. I mean, let's face it, our bodies are only capable of so much.

We finally managed to shy away from the missionary position but don't get too terribly freaky. I mean, it's all good, I get mine, he gets his, sometimes at the same time, not often, but good, ya know?

He doesn't expect crazy acrobatics from me like in our much earlier years. And it's a good goddamned thing too because, I'm a lot of things, limber isn't one of them.

To be honest, it isn't unusual for one of us to shout out during the deed, not in pleasure, but pain as a result of a locked up hip or lower back.

"Oh, oooooh, babe, oooh babe, stop! My fucking leg is stuck!"
"Ooooh, damn, mine too!"

So perhaps foreplay to him is like an exercise warm up. To get the blood flowing, (pun intended) and to loosen our bodies up (pun intended again). Who knows what that man is thinking. Maybe I'll get used to this foreplay stuff, or maybe he'll give it up. I just hope that whatever happens, the other is present when it happens.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Life's Little Lessons

I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up!

You've seen the Medic Alert commercial with the old lady, right? The one where she falls in her house but doesn't land by the telephone. All she has to do is push a button that hangs from her neck, shout what is wrong and help is immediately on the way.

There I was, outside playing in the snow with the kids, not killing them for accidentally hitting me in the back of the head with a snowball. I turned and ran, to escape what was becoming an all-out war of blizzard proportions, when my foot slid out from under me (reason 4,621 why people over 30 should not run on ice) and whammo! Down I went, hard.

I think I even obtained a new crack for my ass. I'm scared to look. Hitting your tailbone on concrete covered with ice sending jolts of pain through your back, probably isn't a good thing. But shit that was fun! I only wish I could walk well enough to fetch a nice hot cup of coffee.

Kids 1, Mom 0 = I'll get you my pretties!

Ding Dong The Kids Are Gone

Real school is back in session for the little Lanes. They weren't too happy about getting up, or eating breakfast, or showering, or brushing their teeth, or anything.

I gave them a gentle reminder that I could have made them go to school yesterday. I was also quick to let them know the staying home shit would never happen again if they continued to give me trouble about getting their asses ready for school.

The sound of silence here is downright deafening but man I love it!

Mom 1, Kids 1 = Haha!

Edited to say thanks whitey! I forgot to include their point from earlier.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Getting Back To Normal

Happy Anniversary To Me And Bloggy

Home Fires blog version is one month old! I feel like I've been blogging forever. Anyhow, I want to take a moment to thank you guys for coming back for more. I see a lot of new names in the comments section and lots of repeat visitors, which really makes me happy. Also having 1,230 hits so early in the game puts a smile on my face too.

The reason I am here is because Bloomin' Onionhead planted a mental seed in my head about blogging. So thanks to you Oniondude! If you've not taken the time to read his blog, you're missing out big time. Yeah, I know all of those words he uses look intimidating but it really is easy reading, not to mention funny as hell!

Besides all the new links, I've added a "Rate Me" option, a "Blogwise" and a "Blogarama" button. If you click on those I guess it is supposed to give me cyber brownie points with the blog gods or something. Anyhow, it's nice having Home Fires in their listings.

Comment Slacker

I've totally fucked up on responding to the comments! I hope now that the holidays are over and the in-laws are gone, and the shock of a blast from my past (Lee) is wearing off, I can get back to normal. I won't get sappy and emotional anymore either so the last three posts may be all the soft side of Lois you will ever read here.

I told Lee's story because I was so happy to hear from her again. I was shocked at the latest developments but mostly, I wanted to encourage her strength, coping and her writing. I seriously appreciate all of the nice comments but I really think any of you would have done exactly the same thing I did. She is the real hero in that story!

Winter Trickery

Now on with the show!

Fucking weather! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what you're thinking, "Lois, you live in Illinois, why are you so shocked about the weather? Illinois is the armpit of the world as far as weather goes!"

While that may be true, the armpit part, the rest isn't. I am not in shock over the weather. I am in shock over the school system. Yesterday was a friggin' snow day! Do you realize Lane 1 and Lane 2 were supposed to be enriching their minds with education but couldn't because of two lousy inches of snow? If you call shoveling snow, making snow angels, and tracking snow all over the house enrichment, then you're as nuts as the administrator who called off school. Two stinking inches!

And just to show you how much of a backward ass, country, podunk town I live in, today they didn't call school off and there are eight inches of snow, which continues to fall. What the hell?

I listened to the local radio station and heard all the schools in every town surrounding us were closed. I heard nothing about our schools. I turned to the TV. Same thing. At the bottom of the screen, every school from here to the state line, closed, our town, not listed. During this time I repeatedly tried calling the school to get the news from the horses mouth. First hour, no answer, second hour busy. A half hour into the third hour, which mind you, none of us have taken the initiative to get ready, principal answers to tell me school is in session today. I was quick to inform him the weather is much worse today than yesterday, as are the roads. His response, "Ironic, huh?" Fucking dufus! No wonder why my kids hate you.

I got off of the phone and broke the news to my kids, who by the way, had their little fingers crossed so tightly all circulation was lost, "For today's enrichment children, you will build Mommy a snowman." Fuck that if I'm driving them in this shit!

It's 9 a.m., do you know where your children are? Mine are right outside of the window I am looking out of. At this rate my snowman will be 10 feet tall by noon. I'd write more but I think I am going to get my boots and mittens on and take my happy ass outside for some good old fashioned ditch day fun!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

An Amazing Story: The Conclusion

(First time here? Please scroll down and read part one.)

I could practically hear her voice as she typed the messages to me. Lee seemed happy as she told me about the new man in her life. He is two years older than her and in the military.

Her grandmother home schooled her as she worked odd jobs over the past two years. This June she will graduate high school. She even said she hopes go to college. I am so proud of her!

Although she is a grownup now, she is still behind in her education. She was born with several medical problems and has always been considered slow by teachers and doctors. Her year on the road with a child molester, certainly didn't help.

Her family members are all doing well. She even began to build a new relationship with her mother. She spent many years of Lee's life, missing in action. A little older and a lot wiser, both began to bond, finally.

We talked about some of our fun times and I wanted to ask all of those questions that I am sure you readers have too. I didn't want to make her feel like her new life was overshadowed by Ryan.

Once she caught me up with the past two years, she said, "You heard about Ryan didn't you?
"No. I wasn't going to ask. What's up?"
"He's in jail."
"Lois, I think I'm ready to tell. I want everyone to know he's done this before."
"How old was the other girl Lee?"
"She was 12."
"Oh my God!"
"I can't believe you didn't hear about this. It was all over the news."
"Really? I keep pretty good track of stuff but when it comes to child molestation, I have a hard time reading about it. I may have seen the headline and just skipped over it."
"The headlines were something you would have skipped over. What he did to this girl was worse than what happened to me."

Neither of us know how many girls fell victim to this monster before he wound up in prison. I could tell Lee felt terrible and wished she had told years ago. We took the conversation slowly.

He was sentenced to 12 years and Lee knew he deserved more, as did I. The story of how he got caught is sickening.

Ryan met a woman who had a 12-year-old daughter. The woman was as much a monster as Ryan.

He found a way to weasel into their lives, befriend the mother and the child. When the woman fell on "hard times" (reason she gave police) she asked Ryan to buy her beer and cigarettes. She said she would trade those items to permit him to have sex with her young daughter.

The girl fought him as he held a knife to her throat. Her mother was in the house as he forced himself upon her.

This child was able to go to battle against two monsters by telling and all he got was 12 years. Her life, like Lee's, will never be the same and all he got was 12 years.

What's worse, her mother, the woman who is supposed to be there to protect her, only received four years and is up for parole in less than two weeks. She was arrested in August of 2004, but could get out early for "good behavior".

If Lee needs me to be there for her to finally tell what he did to her, I'll be there. My hope is that she never loses her courage to stand up and tell her story.

I am shocked and appalled by the latest events and I'm sorry I dragged it out for you guys. I've cried about a river's worth of tears since I got the first instant message... some for Lee, some for the other girl, some for anyone else whose path he crossed. Lee e-mailed me last night to say she read the first two parts of this story, which I am sure, isn't the half of it. She plans on starting her own blog and who knows, maybe it will help her to cope with all she has been through. Lee, thank you for letting me share your story and our time together with the people here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

An Amazing Story Part II

(First time here? Please scroll down and read part one.)

Mary met Lee's friend Ryan just one year earlier. She told them both he was too old to have a relationship with her. Ryan tried to convince Mary that he "loved Lee" and that he "already waited a couple of years for her to be ready to accept his love". Mary stood her ground said she couldn't see him anymore. Lee ran away that same night. She was 15-years-old and madly in love. He'd stalked her out since she was 12 or 13.

Ryan filled her young mind with empty promises to keep her submissive. By the time I met her she was completely run down. They lived inside of the cab of a semi eating fast-food every meal. She was very thin and pale.

Months after she came to live with me, she finally felt comfortable talking to her grandmother and dad on the phone. I remained in contact everyday. But we all knew Lee had to go at her own pace so there was no chance of her going back to Ryan. She was finally safe and all we could do was wait.

I gave gentle shoves as did her grandmother. We were able to set up weekend visits. I drove her to see them for the first time and could feel the pain and love in the air. I'm not a crier but this moment choked me up like nothing I've seen before. They were all happy to see each other again. Lee's dad, step mom, brother, aunt and grandmother ran outside as I pulled up to the house. I can't imagine what was going on in their heads as they awaited her arrival.

After a good weekend with family and friends, Lee was still not ready to move back. We drove back to my house Sunday night. Lee made an effort to call her real home everyday. She wanted so badly to be back home but just wasn't ready.

Mary and I had a long heart-to-heart about pressing charges against Ryan. Lee would have nothing to do with it and let us know she would tell the authorities we were lying if we tried turning him in. I called her bluff and contacted my detective friend. She was right. Without having witnessed Ryan doing something to her, we needed her testimony or no charges could be made. I was ready to lie. I told the detective I saw him with her. Being a friend of mine, he knew I was lying and said there is nothing we can do but try to get her back home.

She and I would stay up late at night talking about things like the woulda, coulda, shouldas in life. We talked about learning to live again, going back to school, meeting boys her age, putting the past behind and realizing her family loved her no matter what. She still loved Ryan. She wondered aloud if she could have both him and her family.

She was just a scared little girl, who needed to be loved. Every night I made a bed for her on my couch and every morning I woke up with her in my bed beside me.

After repeated stalking she finally began to see Ryan for what he was, the lowest form of life. He threaten to kill her, her grandmother, me and my kids or anyone else she loved in a feeble attempt to get her to come back to him. He was becoming terribly desperate as she began to find herself. It was becoming dangerous for all of us.

One day, without any warning, she picked up the telephone, "Gran, I'm ready to come home... for good."

I was happy for her. She was finally ready and had enough sense to know Ryan was no good. I dyed her hair back to black and took her out shopping for some new duds to begin her new start. The next morning, we took that long ride one last time. Neither of us said much in the car.

Saying goodbye didn't seem terrible. I knew I would miss her but I also knew she would be safer far from where Ryan worked, which was near my house. I knew we would still see each other and remain in contact. This goodbye was more of a "See you later." in our minds.

For the first year after she went home, she called, I called, we both e-mailed and instant messaged. She met a boy. Yes, thankfully, a boy and drifted away from me. She was in good hands at her grandmother's so I had to let go.

They changed their telephone number somewhere along the way and she stopped answering e-mail. I knew she had a new life but it still made me sad. I missed her. Finally, I gave up. Two years slipped away since then.

I've thought about her a million times during the last two years. I wondered if she was still with her grandmother. I wondered if she ever agreed to press charges against the man who took her innocence, and I wondered if she ever fulfilled all the dreams she spoke of on those many nights she couldn't sleep.

A couple of nights ago I was getting ready to shut off my computer. It was 1 a.m. and I was tired. I right clicked on my MSN Instant Messenger to exit. At the same time my AOL popped up. It wasn't a buddy name so I was going to hit the ignore button. In my mind I could see Lee's face. "Snow White" her long black hair, her pale skin, her thin petite body and her crimson lips. I let the message go through. It was her.

I thought I could wrap this story up for you guys in two parts but I can't. She and I typed back and forth until 3:30 a.m. Stay tuned for the bittersweet conclusion tomorrow.

Monday, January 03, 2005

An Amazing Story Part I

This post is a little out of the ordinary for me but since I'm in shock, I have to share.

Part I of III:

A few years ago Mr. Lane was driving a semi long haul. One of his coworkers, Ryan, came to our house to show off his girlfriend, Lee. Mr. Lane told me that Lee went on every trip with Ryan. She stayed cooped up in the truck with him 24/7. Although they worked together, they rarely were in the same place at the same time. This would be the first time Mr. Lane would meet Lee, the little truck pet.

Mr. Lane had told me stories about Ryan before I met him that night. Even though I try really hard not to pass judgment on anyone, especially people I've never met, I'd already decided this guy was a loser and his chick was a subservient kept woman. But, like always, I put on a happy face.

When they walked in I could not believe my eyes. He was around 33 and Lee looked like a kid. I would have guessed maybe 15 years old. Shocked and appalled, I had a quiet conversation with Mr. Lane. He too thought she was under age but suspected she was somewhere around 17. So the two of us worked out a way to bring up the question. Ryan jumped in quickly answering for her, claimed she was 18. The whole time they were there, I tried to get her alone to find out how old she really was. He just wouldn't let her out of his sight or earshot.

I took notes of every piece of jewelry she wore, her hair (which was obviously dyed blonde) and her eye color, what kind of purse she had, hell, I even peeked in to see the contents. I was just that sure.

When they left my house, I got on my computer and looked up the website for Missing and Exploited Children. I typed in her name, which I also thought was fake. When I came up with nothing in Illinois, I checked all over the US. I input age estimates and still came up with nothing. I searched for so many hours I don't even really remember how long I sat there. All I know is my eyeballs became clouded and grainy.

After coming up with nothing more than a gut feeling, I went to bed. I got up early the next morning and went to work. On my way, I stopped at the police station. Working at the newspaper I became close with local authorities and felt comfortable asking for a little personal help. I sat down with a detective friend of mine. I told him about Lee. I described her, height, weight, real hair color, fake hair color, eye color, jewelry, shoes, clothing and slight overbite. Unfortunately, he came up with no one fitting that description who was missing anywhere.

He said he would make some calls and keep checking and get back to me if he found anything out. Thankfully, he didn't think I was crazy, he wanted to find out who she really was too.

Months rolled by and I befriended Lee. She was the little sister I never had. I wanted to protect her and keep that sick bastard as far away from her as I could. I caused intentional waves between them every chance I could. She was finally ready to break it off with him and immediately moved in with me. She still didn't tell me the truth about how old she was or where she came from. The detective also came up with nothing.

Ryan began stalking her and calling my house dozens of times a day. I was afraid to leave her at home alone while I went to work. She was under strict orders from me to stay in the locked house with the phone nearby. It was terrifying for her. He even began calling me at work asking what I did to her.

I finally said what needed to be said. I told her to come clean and tell me her age and where she really came from. She confessed to being 16. I got her to give me her grandmother's phone number. Before she ran away with Ryan, she was in her grandmother's custody.

It was a difficult call to make. "Mary, this is Lois Lane. I'm calling about your granddaughter Lee."
"Oh, dear God. Is she okay?"
"Yes, ma'am, she's fine. She isn't ready to talk to you right now. But she is here safe with me. She's very worried that you'll be upset with her."
"Oh, my goodness. Oh, my God! She's really okay? I've been so worried!"
"Yes, she really is okay. With all due respect, if you were worried about her, why didn't you report her missing?"
"I was scared. I thought if I told the police she'd run away from me, then I'd never get custody of her again. I was afraid they'd put her in a home."

I looked over at Lee. She was crying. Big crocodile tears rolled down her little face as she stared into her hands, which she was wringing until she was white knuckled. Mary was crying too. I handed Lee a box of tissues and walked out of the room. I told Mary everything I knew about Lee's whereabouts over the past year she'd been missing.

Stay tuned tomorrow part II.