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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

On The Road Again

Greetings from a sleazy motel in Wisconsin! We stopped here to get a little shut eye. Yet, imagine how my peepers popped at the sight of the sign that read, "High-speed Internet".

I pulled my laptop out of its case and immediately got that look from Mr. Lane. "I won't be online all night honey." I fibbed a little.

"We have to be up and out really early."

"I know. Don't worry. Just get some rest."

He was fast asleep in no time. Sucker! He is the fool driving, not me. I can stay up all night if I want because I am the lucky bitch riding shotgun and can sleep all day if I want.

We left the Lane Estate at 5 a.m. and made it to Minnesota by noon for Mr. Lane's work duties. Tomorrow, we are headed for Arkansas. Yee-haw! Unfortunately, this is no pleasure trip. No summer fun. Just four people, who happen to be related, crammed into a truck for what may be up to two weeks. I know I said one week (Mother) but I was given the exciting, good news today that it may take longer to get back to Illinois. Mr. Lane is a sneaky little shit.

So far everything is going according to plan. There was minimal whining and arguing among the children. (Keep your fingers crossed for their good behavior to continue.)

We stopped a few times throughout the day for the basics. Of course that includes taking pictures of a statue of what I think may be the world's largest mouse wearing a cowboy hat, standing atop a hunk of cheese. Lane 2 happily posed with the mouse for a photo.

And just down the road a piece we saw what might possibly be the world's largest chicken statue. Again we stopped. Lane 1 was really mad when I insisted he pose with his sister near the chicken, but like always he got over it pretty quickly.

The Spam Museum, another basic, was closed. All of the Lanes, besides myself of course, breathed a collective sigh of relief. They wouldn't know fun if it ran their asses over.

Because we rushed out of the house in the morning, I did not get the proper amount of caffeine, causing me to get a really bad headache. We stopped for breakfast, where I tried their coffee but it was too much like mud. Within 15 minutes of eating, I felt like I was going to puke or die.

How could I forget that my body rejects eggs? (Thanks Mom for passing that trait down to me.)

Around lunchtime I informed Mr. Lane if he didn't stop for coffee soon, I was jumping out of the truck while it was moving along the freeway. I was on the verge of a migraine. Isn't that terrible to be so addicted to coffee that your body just refuses to go on if you don't comply? He stopped and by the third cup, the pain was subsiding enough to communicate with that man.

"You look a lot better. You okay now?"

"I'm getting there. Thanks for stopping."

"I have an idea to keep this from happening to you again."

"Yeah? What's that?"

"We might be able to get some coffee bean suppositories and just cram 'em and go."

He claimed to be laughing with me rather than at me, but I'm thinking maybe he needs to be bent over for some backdoor bean lovin'.

Monday, May 30, 2005

How Do I Live Without You?

I don't. I won't. I can't!

Okay CW, and anyone else thinking such blasphemous ludicrousness about me, Lois Lane is not a quitter! My last post was just a warning of sorts for you loyal friends and readers who come back to Home Fires day-after-day. The truth is, I may not have the privilege to post every single day throughout the summer. But, I am not quitting!

The RSS feed on my sidebar might come in handy alerting subscribers of updates. There are 50 subscribers currently, which tells me adding that was a good idea.

My mom had a virtual shitball reading the last post. She does not subscribe because she expects daily updates no matter what.

She called and said, "I'll pay you to write your blog everyday Lois. What would you charge me?"

"That's ridiculous Mom!"

"Come on! You can't just stop."

"I'm not stopping. I just won't be posting everyday."

"Come on! You have to post something everyday. How about 10, no 15 bucks an hour? Fine 20. I ain't going no higher bitch."

"Bitch? Mom I'm not taking your money. I blog for fun and I am as bummed that I can't blog everyday anymore too. Really."

"Okay, Lois. I'll give you 25 dollars an hour. You just better write fast!"

"Lay off the crack pipe Mom. I'm not taking your money."

Cluster Fuck

I've been using asterisk symbols to separate my posts when I have a bunch of shit to say. Like today for example. Seven tells me that on some monitors, smaller than my own, my sidebar appears pushed all the way to the bottom. If you are seeing this blog and the sidebar is squished to the bottom, now you know why. And because I used asterisks on so many posts, I'm not going back to fix it all just yet. Thanks Seven for pointing that out to me.


I got a call the other night from my repeat drunk dialer, who doubles as my sister inlaw. We had a really nice talk. Typically when she calls, she is so lit, not much she says makes sense. This time she called before she hit the "Woooooohoo!" point.

I told her about the book I'm writing since her stupid brother, AKA Mr. Lane didn't. She asked all the normal questions and followed my every word as I answered. When I mentioned the content being mostly short family stories told in a humorous manner, the first words to come out of her mouth were, "You can't write about me being a drunk. Okay?"

She's no fun at all! Soon after that, she told me she has been looking for me on the Internet. Why would she be looking for me here? It seems Mr. Lane, while he never seems too interested in my stories, has talked to his sister about this here blog. He didn't know the name of my blog, however, knew what many of my stories were about. It took a lot of years for him to give a rip about my writing but he finally confessed to reading through some of the stuff I have copies of inside a folder in my documents. Thankfully ol' girl spends lots of her days and nights drunk and has yet to find Home Fires.

Road Trip

Mr. Lane came up with a brilliant plan to take the kids and I out of town for a week. First we are going to Minnesota and then to Arkansas, which I can't say without mispronouncing with a thick hillbilly accent, making it come out like, "Ark-can-sas" for no real good reason.

We have no real plan because mostly, Mr. Lane will be working. I'm taking my laptop with and hope to find a connection to the internet while I'm away. Can you see me start to twitch? I'll be working on my book. He'll be driving to his next job and the kids will be bored out of their minds. Our insanity should provide for some good reading for you folks. Because, really, what is funnier than someone else's miserable life?!

If blogging proves to be difficult, and all else fails, I have my cell phone with a camera and can update my Flickr account that way. I can also audio blog with my cell, but that's really scraping the bottom of the barrel, even for a junkie like me.

I am honored that so many of you folks want to take a peek into my little world. Here is the link to my Flickr account. Feel free to add me as one of your contacts and I'll add you too.

P.S. All of you meme taggers, and you know who you are, go visit Last Girl On Earth and she will tell you all about why I (and she) are anti-memes.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Baby We I Were Was Born To Run Blog

In a 1959 Superman comic book, Lois Lane was held captive by a guy, a tribesman, named Blog. Lois was told "marry me or die." I call that fate folks. Internet history tells me this was the first time the word blog ever was mentioned. Thirteen years before my birth, my true love was planned. Who'da thunk it?

After being out of commission as far as blogging goes last week, I felt it imperative to analyze my addiction. Did I miss it? You ask. Does a redneck loves them some NASCAR? Shoot! You bet they do! Blogging is like my crack. (Not that crack!) Not having internet access and being unable to blog, made me go into mini fits of withdraw. I paced, chewed my lip, tapped my fingernails until they all broke, kept looking out the window for a Comcast truck, cussed, called Comcast, cussed some more, cleaned stuff, paced some more and I think I might have cussed and called Comcast again.

Today marks the end of the school year. That means that Lane 1 and Lane 2 will be home fulltime. That also means blog time will be cut really short. Since I wasn't blogging this time last year, I don't really know how summer vacation will effect this here blog. Knowing how strong my addiction is, chances are, I'll find a way.

I set up a Flickr account but because this blog has all the makings of a cluster fuck, I haven't and don't plan to add it to my sidebar just yet. If you have a Flickr account and want to add me as a contact or if you just want to look at the pictures I have posted on mine, (not very many) let me know.

I expect pictures might be the main focal point for my blog this summer, since writing time will be cut short. (Why is it that I can hear my mother bitching and she isn't even here? Hey Mom, chill, I got your grandkids to take care of ya know, and a stinkin' book to finish.)

Maybe I will do some caption contests on days that I don't have time to write. No, there won't be any real prizes but the winners can walk away feeling like... well, winners.

Maybe Mom's saggy baggy boobs will show up on the net after all. Don't tempt fate woman!


It's birthday time again folks! Please take a minute to stop by E-Prego's, I mean, E-Lo's and wish her the best birthday ever. It's her last birthday bash before she enters the world of motherhood. Happy birthday E-Lo, enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

How's About Cookin' Something Up With Me?

If you grew up Lane style, you were a poor group of people. You wore hand-me-down clothes, shared a bath with your older sister until she got body hair. You, even if you were a girl, got your clothes in the boy's department of K-Mart because Daddy Lane said, "Boy's jeans are cheaper."

You wore Tracks gym shoes, the blue kind with the white stripes. When you stepped into a puddle, your toes and socks turned blue. It was your first lesson in chemistry.

You had so much fun goofing off and growing up Lane, you didn't really feel poor. In fact, for my brother Mark, he didn't know we were poor until he wanted his first pair of Converse as a teenager. The day he learned of our financial situation, he convinced Dad Lane to take him shopping for new shoes.

Mark was growing fast and coming of age. He wanted to be cool like his friends. He dragged Dad Lane into a store and showed him the $5 shoes he had his little heart set on. Dad Lane looked at the price tag, grabbed his chest, gasped and told Mark, "I'd cut your feet off before I'd spend that kind of money on shoes."

Anita found out we were poor around the same age. She really had her heart set on some Jordache Jeans, to which Dad told her, "Get a job kid!" And sure enough, crazy Anita wanted those cool jeans so bad, she got herself a job. She was the only Lane kid to buy her own school clothes for many years.

Of course while she was busting her ass working and going to school, some of us, or maybe it was just me, were sneaking into her room stealing her jeans. I might have been many, many years younger, but I was always long-legged enough for her jeans to fit just right.

Being poor didn't suck. We had the basics. We had a roof over our head, we went to a parochial school, we had a couple of loving parents who always made sure our tummies were full, sometimes on weird concoctions, but full nonetheless.

After My sister Angie left a comment on yesterday's post, a couple of you asked about the bacon spaghetti she mentioned. That was just one of those crazy concoctions that kept our tummies happy. You see, Mom was a creative cook. Back in the day, bacon was one of the most affordable meats. She and my aunt (Benny's mom), who happened to live right next door, decided to fry some bacon and add it to their spaghetti sauce because together they didn't have enough funds for Italian sausage or meatballs. They were always concocting stuff to feed their brood of children.

As it turns out we loved it and who knew years and years later, we would all still love it.

To answer your question, Ang, no, it wasn't bacon spaghetti that caused my burns, but now you've given me a hankerin' for that. So hopefully when I make it in the next couple of days, I'll be spared from any more kitchen disasters.

By the way, the one burn that was an inch under my eye has completely healed, without a scar. The other, on my cheek, it's getting better. Thank you guys for all the tips and concern.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It's Gettin' Hot In Here

You ever want something so bad you can practically taste it? Have you ever had a passion for fulfillment you couldn't contain? You ever want to be completely satisfied?

It's taken me a while to get the nerve to share this story with you folks. A couple weeks to be precise. I wasn't so much worried about you stranger friends, mostly just my mom. I'm sure there are some things I could write that would even make my mom cringe. I took the time to warn her about this post, so now I feel like I can really let go of my inhibitions.

Like I said, this was something I wanted bad. The need to be satisfied was overwhelming as I leaned over to see if it was still hard. I could feel the heat. It was a steamy moment I wouldn't soon forget. And then release. Bubbling over, so hot there was no holding back. Like a volcanic eruption, it splashed on my face taking me aback. Hot and dripping the pressure was released.

Where is your mind? This is a family blog you sick little monkeys. Okay, plain simple English, here's what happened. I was cooking dinner, spaghetti. I had a pot on each of the front burners of my shitty electric stove. The burner on the left wasn't heating properly so I had to relocate my pan of water to the back burner, behind my pot of sauce.

I was so hungry and had a taste for spaghetti so strong it was like one of those seven months pregnant cravings.

Whoever it was that said, "A watched pot never boils," was a friggin' liar!

As I watched the pasta swirling in the pot, I kept stirring and checking the noodles to see if they were still hard. As I went back for the millionth time to stir the pasta, the sauce, which was on a low setting, bubbled up right on to my face and chest.

Thankfully I don't cook topless, well, I did pull my shirt over my head really fast after the fact, and threw it on the kitchen floor. As the two big splashes of spaghetti sauce hit my shirt and I felt the heat, it was just reaction to whip that shirt off as fast as I could.

I immediately swiped the sauce off of my face, burning my hand too, and went to the washroom to get a washcloth. I put cold water on it, held it to my stinging face and hand, grabbed a second one for the burns on my chest, which didn't sting too bad.

I went back into the kitchen, with a washcloth tucked into my bra, holding it in place on the burns as I held the other to my face. I turned both pots off.

Trying to keep my game face on because the kids were totally freaked, wide-eyed and seeing me in the kitchen in my bra, I explained what happened and why it happened and then went on to lecture them about why I never let them use the stove, etcetera, etcetera.

Did I mention that the kitchen blinds were wide open? Did I tell you that while I rushed to get my washcloths I had to walk by the front door, which was also open, as were the rest of the blinds in the house? How about the fact that it was a really nice day and every fucking neighbor on the block was out, did I mention that?

A few days later, the burns on my face started to heal and that's when I told my mother what happened. You see, if she reads about me getting hurt, she is gonna be pissed. I had to make sure she knew I was okay too before I could tell her about what happened.

I was on the phone with her and explained the whole thing. Her reaction, "Oh my God! Lois, honey, are you okay?"

"Yeah Mom, it happened a few days ago."

"Why the hell didn't you call me when it happened?"

"Because I knew you would worry and now that it's all healing, I thought you could handle it."

"Could handle it? Do you know how many times I've handled you getting hurt?"

"Yeah, Ma, and I also know how you get all freaked out. I thought it was best to make sure I was fine before letting you know. That's all and I am fine. Really."

"Did it blister?"


"Oh man! How bad?"

"Eh, 'bout quarter-size."

"On your face honey?"

"Yeah. So much for that career as a model."

"It's not funny damnit! Your poor beautiful face!"

"Well fuck Ma, it didn't melt off. It's just a couple blisters. Really no biggie!"

"You better not pop the blisters because they will scar."

"Yeah I know, just like my leg did from that tailpipe."

"Oh God, that was terrible. I'll never forget that huge blister on my baby. Oh and how I cried. Hell we all cried."

"I know Mom. I was there."

"Hey remember the time you were sick and I made you a cup of hot tea..."

"....and I spilled it down the front of me and you ripped my shirt off to keep me from getting burned? Yeah, I was there for that too Mom. Hey, don't worry, I really am fine. My chest didn't blister and the ones on my face and hand really aren't that bad."

"Why do you..."

"...always hurt your baby? I don't know. I guess I am one of those sick freaks into pain and all. Anyhow, I gotta run and strike up the grill for my chicken."

"THE GRILL? Oh honey! Where is your husband and why can't he cook tonight?"

"Hahahaha! Okay, I know I haven't had much luck with hot things lately but give me a break! I've been cooking since I was 9-years old."

You cause one kitchen fire and get a couple second degree burns on your face and all of a sudden your mother thinks you are incapable of cooking.

Sheesh Mom, lighten up and from now on would you just call me Scar Face?

(Everybody sing!) Then one day she was cookin' up some food, and up through the pot came a bubblin' spooge. Sauce that is. Red t'mater, spaghetti sauce. You’re all invited back again to this locality to have a heapin' helpin' of hospitality. Hillbilly that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Hey Mom, thanks for worrying about me. I love you too. And thanks for the fireproof suit. It came in the mail yesterday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

When I said I won't censor myself just because my family members occasionally read Home Fires, I lied. Yesterday I gave a bunch of half truths to make myself feel better about what summers were really like growing up. Becka was right, I got dirt on that guy I talked about yesterday. And Spring's comment about PK Bar? Yeah, unfortunately I know of that place all too well. So now I'm going to set yesterday's record straight and we can get on to today's post.

PK Bar is where PK spends most of his days hitting the sauce. He starts with beer at 8 a.m. and moves on to the hard stuff at noon. PK always said, "You can't drink all day if you don't start bright and early."

While I'm shooting for honesty, I guess I should let you all know he is a crack monkey who works the streets of Chicago. He not only sells crack, he is also a client, which is why his teeth are all missing.

About 30 years ago, PK ran into my dad. Pops was trying to score a hooker on Rush Street because he and Mom were fighting and she had cut him off. As my dad waved his 12 bucks at the lady of the night, PK stopped him and said, "There's better ways to spend your money dude!"

Once PK got my dad hooked on crack, the two played chemist. They built one of the first meth labs in the country. Those summers that we visited with PK, well, the only lake we actually spent any time at was Lake Michigan, where PK made us dump the toxic waste left over from cooking up the goods.

During those hot summers, we Lane kids worked like sweatshop kids mixing meth and dumping barrels.

And as mentioned yesterday, PK did feed us. That part was true. Of course, the guy was so lit most of the time, he called himself a vegetarian.

When I asked him why he was eating a bloody rare porterhouse, he said, "Because I'm hungry, dumb ass!"

I cried a little and said, "But sir, I thought you were a vegetarian."

He said, "I am! I only smoke shit that grows."

So there you have it folks. PK really wasn't my daddy's friend, just his dealer and partner in crime.

The above information is 100% bullshit. PK just needed a little shit blown his way for saying he isn't family and can't be made fun of here at Home Fires.

Happy birthday wishes go out to my girl K. You want to read some hot stories that will make your Spidey senses tingle? Go read K and tell her happy birthday while you're there.

Lois waves all crazy like. Hi K! Happy birthday!

Call Me

Letting go is so hard. My son is going to be 13 in a few short weeks. A real live teenager. I'm scared but happy for him. He is beyond ready to be a teenager. He's always been one of those kids who was ahead of his time with a very grownup sense of humor and a passion for everything he believes in. He's always been so sweet, funny and loving and I guess I worry about some of the horror stories you hear about teens.

For now, however, he isn't a teen. He is still my little guy. Did you know that some people call kids his age tweens? It's the stupid newfangled way to say the kid isn't quite a teen. He is in between. In between what? Growing up and making his mother a nervous wreck?

The first opportunity to "let him go" happened yesterday. He is on a two-day trip with his class. Leading up to the trip, I, in an evil, selfish way, hoped he would misbehave enough for me to cancel his plans. How wrong is that? Anyhow, he not only behaved but kept his grades up, which is one of our ongoing struggles. So how could I not let him go? I couldn't.

The trip included four museum stops in Chicago, a hotel stay and a day at Six Flags Great America.

My biggest concern was the fact that he was spending the night in a hotel. He said he was sharing a room with his teacher and four boys from his class. It made me feel better knowing his teacher Mr. Thunder would be in the same room because Lane 1 sleep walks. It was nice knowing that there was going to be an adult in the room to keep an ear on him.

What else worried me was that Mr. Thunder was going to be sleeping in the same room because Lane 1 talks, yells and cusses in his sleep. I had this crazy vision of Lane 1 shouting out in his sleep, "Hey fucker!" or something equally off the wall, because with that boy, you just never know.

So nervous and happy about the teacher sharing his room, I had no choice. The boy needs to grow up and I, as a mom, need to let go. (Big icky horse pill to swallow!)

I let my son take my cell phone on his trip. I didn't tell him to check in or call me. I just showed him where the clock was and how to set the alarm because their plans included breaking off in small groups and meeting back at scheduled times. I programmed his teacher's cell number into the number one memory spot and our home number into the second. Just in case.

My phone rang at 10:15 a.m. yesterday. It was Lane 1 calling from my cell phone. His bus made it to Chicago.

"Hi Mom. It's me. Just wanted you to know we got here. Can I let John and Austin use your cell to check in?"

"Sure. You having fun yet?"

"Cool Ma, thanks. Love ya bye."

"I (click) love..."

12:05 p.m. phone rings. "Hey Ma? It's me Lane. (not Lane 1, just Lane) Um, so hey, just wanted to tell you we've left the planetarium and are at the Museum Of Science And Industry now. It was cool over there. We chased some seagulls in the parking lot and I shared my apple with one but I couldn't take a bite after it did 'cuz I was totally grossed out. Okay mom, so I'll talk to ya later."

"I love you son. Thanks for calling."

(Kids yelling "dude" in the background) "K Ma, bye."

1:28 p.m. phone rings. "H.. (cell cutting in and out) field.. so... hear... k.. you.. (phone dies)

I think he was saying "hi" and telling me that they were at "The Field Museum" and he might have even said "I love you" before he lost his signal. Or he might have been trying to tell me that he is in the field where Stranger Danger left him, which is why he has no reception and was saying he loved me because he doesn't think he will ever see me again. OH MY GOD! Hurry honey! Call Mommy back!

3:05 p.m. missed his call because I was picking his sister up from school.

4:00 p.m. phone rings. "Ma. Hey! We are stuck in traffic."

"Are you guys having fun on the bus?"

"No! It's hot and smells like nasty old bus and Brianna keeps trying to put makeup on me."

"So. Let her. You'd look great in drag."

(I hear him tell the girl what I said. She giggles. He courtesy laughs.) "I'll talk to ya soon Mom." (click)

5:02 p.m. phone rings. "We made it to the hotel finally."

"Oh good. Traffic was icky huh?" (Why do I say things like "icky" to him still?)

"Yeah and I got a headache. Brianna talked and sang the whole way. I thought letting her put makeup on me would shut her up for a while. It didn't. So now all I need is a feather boa and some earplugs. She said I look sweet in drag."

"Did you really let her put makeup on you?"

"Haha! Um, no. But she really wanted to."

"Awe, you should have let her."

"Riiight! K, see ya Ma." (click)

9:30 p.m. phone rings. "Ma?"

"Hey buddy! How you doing?"

"Mr. Thunder says it's time for us to wind down and get some rest."

"Yeah, you have a busy day tomorrow. Thanks for calling to say goodnight. I miss you."

"Me too. So hey, can I let Austin call his mom to say goodnight from your phone?"

"Sure. Thanks for asking."

"You'd kill me if I didn't ask."


"K, so (he whispers into the phone) good night. Sleep tight. I won't see you in the morning light. But don't worry 'cuz, I'll be all right. (back to normal tone) Is it cool if I spoon with Austin tonight Mom?" (Sound of boys cracking up and saying, "Gross dude! That's nasty!")

Wanting to cry and laugh at the same time I said, "You sleep tight too and give that Austin kid a big ol' smooch for me. I love you. Sweet dreams."

(I am happy to report we both made it through the night.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

We Are Family

My mom has been reading Home Fires since February. It took a while to explain to her what a blog is and why I have one. Since she now has a clue, she reads it every night and even passes the link along to family and friends through e-mail.

She doesn't even mind me making fun of her. In fact, I've been pretty lucky that everyone I've made fun of here has graciously taken this blog and my words in stride. I did get an e-mail from a guy not too long ago. He said although he enjoys reading my blog, he was glad he isn't family and won't be made fun of.

Silly, silly man, I say.

PK met my father on the job. They worked side-by-side and were great friends even outside of the workplace. PK is more like family than some of the people born into the Lanes. Why should he be exempt? He shouldn't.

This man shared his vacations with our family. Every year he invited my parents and their brood of children to come out to the lake for boating, tubing, fishing, swimming, sun worshipping, basketball and then some. Mom was smart. She always stayed behind, letting Dad take us kids. I think it may have been the only quiet time she ever got while we were growing up.

PK fed us the best and healthiest of foods, made sure we were plenty hydrated in the hot summer sun and tried like hell to get me to put sunscreen on. I think that's the only time I didn't follow one of his suggestions. And even though many times, I was too stubborn to apply sunscreen, PK always had a bottle of aloe with my name written all over it when I came back charred.

We visited PK so many times during his vacations that my sister Angie and I thought he lived in that cute little cottage on the lake. We eventually figured it out and when we did, we liked PK even more. I mean, how cool is that for a guy to welcome a shit load of extra people to his summer retreat?

After a few years of visits, once in a while my dad and PK would leave us kids alone so they could go golfing. We were older then, knew the rules, knew how to swim and fend for ourselves. Dad would give us a lecture in the car on the way.

"Listen, I want you to be on your best behavior while we are golfing. When we get back, that cottage better not be a mess. Make sure you rinse your feet before you walk in off of the beach. Don't eat all of his food. If you use a lawn chair or anything, you better put it away when you are done. Don't be fighting and making a scene outside, because you know the other people will tell PK when we get back."

It was the same lecture year-after-year, which he followed up with getting a couple dozen doughnuts for us. I don't know if that was my dad's way of buying our best behavior but sometimes it did feel like a bribe. My pockets lined with sugar, I was on my best behavior.

Until they left.

Angie and I couldn't behave ourselves to save our souls. We really did try but we weren't very good at that behaving thing. Sometimes we threw words, other times punches and occassionally we would try drowning each other. Good times! When Dad and PK returned, somehow, everything we messed was in its proper place. There were no visible signs of fighting, drowning, crying, cussing or any mess of any kind. We would slip our little halos on top of our horns just as they were pulling into the driveway. And just like in The Cat In The Hat, we would lie and say not much of anything went on while they were away. Unfortunately we did not have a seven-foot cat and two things to clean up all the shit we messed up. And because I was the youngest, I was always outranked and had to speed clean by myself.

Well I guess the truth is, I don't have any dirt on the guy, just on us Lane kids. I don't even have anything to make fun of him about. Not one tiny thing! PK has always been a really nice person. Damn him!

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I'm having internet issues again. For those of you keeping score, you are aware that it has been three months of on again off again service. Now I am officially pissed off. I have my limits ya know. Until today, I've spared my giant cable company the embarrassment of being named as the useless piece of shit they obviously are. I tried to give the benefit of the doubt, but the fact remains, Comcast blows goats!



I'll be taking a long weekend off from Blogland, not just because Comcast sucks but because the Return Of The Sith Sale. That's right folks. I am no fan of Star Wars but my little Lane 2 is a huge fan of garage sales. And because we have so much shit yet to get rid of, we will have another garage sale. I have created a friggin' monster. Someone help me to help her!


This Little Piggy

We finally got a new grocery store that isn't 20 plus miles away from our house out in the middle of nowhere. We Lanes were quite happy. We didn't run out on opening day. We knew better. The whole town turned out for the blessed event. Not us. We waited until the crowds died down, which seemed to happen rather quickly to our surprise.

A few days following their grand opening, we set plans into motion. Lane 2 and I worked feverishly on a list, while Lane 1 checked our in-house inventory, calling out items we were running low on. We would go to the new store first and checkout the goods. We would compare prices to the other store and we would then decide if we were buying certain items there or the old place. We had our plan flawlessly worked out.

I know it seems rather silly to be excited over grocery shopping. The idea of not being at the mercy of the blood suckers at our other, and for many years, our only store, made me giddy. The kids were giddy too because they have seen their mom freak out plenty of times.

It isn't unusual for me to say, "How can they be out of bread? Can you believe this guys, five and a half friggin' dollars for a box of cereal. God I hate this store!"

Because that scene plays out more often than I care to admit, we happily entered the new store. It had a weird smell. It was like walking into one of the markets in Tijuana. You know the smell of every type of pepper ever grown and then mixed together? That smell.

We walked through seeing that we would be hard-pressed to find any of the items on our list because it seemed everything, excluding the signs on the windows, was written in Spanish. Every sign on the inside, every label, everything was foreign to us.

The kids gave me that confused look. I gave it back, shrugging my shoulders. We walked isle by isle in hopes of finding something, anything, on our list.

"Oh, hey guys, look at the size of their meat counter. That might save us a trip to the butcher."

We were excited for a short-lived second. We saw lamb heads, cow intestines, tongues and ooo, pig's feet. And they weren't the jarred kind! Oh no! They were fresh wiggly piggy toes.

"This little piggy went to market," I recited as I wiggled each unwrapped toe.

Lane 1 and Lane 2 almost threw up right then and there. No wonder why the crowds died down so quickly. Who would eat that shit?


Take A Look It's Almost A Book

Who wants to play junior editor? While I am selling my wares this weekend, I would like to ask those of you who will be looking for stuff to read, to check through my archives. If you can, read through and find what stories or types of stories you like the best. I'd love your feedback on this.

Some of the stories here will be in my book. Yes, my book! How cool is that?! I just have to decide which stories to include. That part is the hardest for me. Everything you read here is a memory of mine. All of my memories are cherished, making them hard to choose from.

Many of these stories need to be retold, with more detail and more words, which is what I spend a lot of time working on these days. Since I feel like I am running in circles chasing my tail, I could really use your assistance.

Any willing participants can either leave comments at the end of the stories you read or you can e-mail your thoughts, ideas or suggestions. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, honesty is what I need right now. I'd much rather my "friends" tell me something sucks, than a publisher.

Have a great weekend folks! I'll be checking in on your blogs and returning e-mail, as soon as my cable internet, that's COMCAST, is back up and running.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Milk, It Does A Body Good

The truth behind the Lois and Aimee photo will now be told. Grab yourself a nice hot cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the ride. Today's stories are about boobies and milk, which is like cookies and milk, only much more fun.

Katey, Aimee and I had just finished having dinner at the pub. We were outside shooting the shit. I don't know how the topic of breastfeeding and boobs came up it just did. Perhaps Aimee's height had something to do with the topic at hand. Anyhow, what I do remember are the stories I shared, which I will now put in writing so I can add more things to yesterday's list.

I breastfed both of my kids, and my husband. Okay, so maybe he wasn't a willing participant, but when I'd come out of the shower, boobs engorged from the heat of the water pounding down, milk sprayed from the twins like two geysers. What's a girl to do? Open your towel, aim at your man and watch him run for cover. That's what. I'd chase that poor man around the house every chance I got.

I was like Clint Eastwood if he traded his guns for boobs, "Go ahead punk, milk my duct! POW! BANG! Here's milk in your eye!" I'd say with a sinister giggle.

A couple of times he screamed like a school girl and I was able to shoot him right in the mouth. Katey and Aimee laughed as I demonstrated the side-to-side motion in which I "shot" Mr. Lane. Keep in mind, we were outside, at a pub, on a Friday night, there was a line of people out the door, waiting to be seated inside. Did they slow me down? Hardly.

Next I shared the story of "Puddles". After having each child, I was thrilled to be able to lay on my tummy again. There was a down fall to that, puddles. A couple of nights, always at some ungodly hour, Mr. Lane would shake me and yell, "Your boobs are spilling all over me! I'm laying in a puddle now!"

Nothing like hurting a girl's feelings! He could have said, "Darling, please wake up, your cups runneth over." But since he didn't, I did what any other woman would do, I squeezed in as close as possible to Mr. Lane every night thereafter. He always said he wanted a hot wet chick in bed next to him.

Katey and Aimee were saddened by the news that Lane 2 was not born very healthy. I'll share that story some other time. But because she wasn't well and had to stay in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) rather than go home, I had to pump in order for her to have breast milk through her feeding tube.

I actually went to the pharmacy and ordered the best pump they had. The super duper industrial one. Every three hours I attached myself to two funnels, flipped the switch and watched the life get sucked right out of me. My nipples were pulled and tugged in ways no baby could possibly muster the strength to accomplish. I'd watch as my entire areolas were swallowed into the funnel, down the tube and into the bottle. (Okay, so I have totally exaggerated that, but still!) My body eventually started over producing, just like a cow's does.

Every morning I returned to the hospital with a full bag of bottled milk. It wasn't long before I was pumping 18 ounces of milk every three hours. Even if my little Lane 2 was a calf, she wouldn't have drank that much milk. Finally the nurse in the NICU had a little talk with me.

"You know Lois, your little girl is not going to need all of this milk. You might want to slow down on the pumping."

She acted like I was just some sideshow freak happy to be getting my pump on. And then, she offered the unthinkable.

"Lois, many moms aren't able to provide breast milk to their babies. Have you ever considered selling yours? You do have enough here to feed the entire nursery."

That bitch all but called me Bossy. I thought I caught her admiring my twins as if they were utterly, marketable. I wasn't having any of her insanity.

It was soon after that very moment that Aimee leaned in as if to rest her head upon my bosom for a little suckle. And just as I was telling Aimee, all I have now is powdered milk, Katey snapped the picture.

And as a quick aside from yesterday's inanity, the dirty truth about lopsided boobs. I can't blame them on becoming a mom. My right tit has always had a little more oomph than my left. If I could find a bra that had a 34" B + & C size, I would be the happiest woman alive. Okay, happiest is a stretch, I would be a little less apt to want to burn my bra at the end of the day.

Basically what all that means... this part is for the men, because I know most of you lovely ladies know what I'm talking about. So guys, look below at the picture of Imogene Coca.

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Okay, now, you see how her eyes are two different sizes? That is what my boobs look like. Except I hardly ever wear glasses on them.

(Mental note to self, add all of the above to yesterday's list.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Everybody's Fool

What have you learned from this blog?

Everything is supposed to be an educational experience. We are constantly learning new things. What I've learned recently is that I've spilled all sorts of personal insanity here. I thought I knew what I was doing. Like anything else, at the time, it did seem like a good idea.

I am fortunate to already have a husband because I doubt the information here would have helped me find one. In fact, I reckon had I not found Mr. Lane before I started my blog, I may have never known the pleasures of having a family.

Here's a list of less flattering things I've shared:

I have accident prone tendencies
I make fun of people who sing lyrics incorrectly
I'm a cat lady
I have rodents in my home
I wear men's jeans
I start fires
I shout at children
And I think everyone's favorite thing about me: I pee my pants

Can you imagine what dating life would be like for me if I were single? Keep in mind folks, these are just the things I've shared over the last couple of weeks. There's plenty more disgusting things about me in this blog's archives.

I guess this is sort of a warning to my single blog friends. No matter how much you think your blog is your own, to say and do as you please, it still has ramifications.

Sure there might be three or four Cambodian refugees who wouldn't mind dating me but I'm glad I reeled Mr. Lane in before he learned of all the things I've shared with you fine folks here at Home Fires.

Does this mean I am not sharing anymore tales of my personal embarrassment? Hell no! I already landed me a sucka! Tomorrow I might just tell you all about my lopsided boobies.

In the meantime, visit Katey, remember the birthday girl from last week? Yeah, well paybacks are a bitch and so is she. Can you believe she posted a picture of me breast feeding Aimee on her blog? Ahhh, just one more thing to add to the list.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Live And Let Die

My family has lived out in the middle of nowhere for about six years. We came from the city of Chicago trying to escape traffic and over population. My sister Angie lived out here back then and assured me I would not only love it, but said we would be near each other once again, like the good old days.

My darling sister ditched me for a guy and to move to the burbs less than a year after we settled. I'll never let her live that down. I guess that city mouse just never really liked it here. Me, on the other hand, I've turned my hurried city ways around and have really gotten into this country mouse lifestyle.

I love watching the sun come up without buildings blocking my view. I love the wildlife, and trust me there's plenty of that out here. One morning, Mr. Lane and I were sitting at the kitchen table having coffee. He got up, and opened the blinds on our sliding glass door just in time to see a doe skipping through our backyard.

"Get my shotgun, honey! Yeeehaw!"

I'm just kidding, we aren't hunters, don't even own a gun. I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Because, out in the middle of nowhere, attention is key. You never know when the wildlife you encounter is going to change your life for good.

I've written about the overpopulation of cats before and what we do to combat that situation.

My kids and I volunteer for a local animal sanctuary. We also take injured or orphaned animals into our home when the sanctuary is full. The amount of animals to grace our threshold, is too numerous to count, but they have changed our lives. My kids are relentless about bringing me half dead animals to "fix". One year they brought me a newborn field mouse. It didn't even have its fur yet and was wandering blindly and they scooped it up and brought it to me.

After two weeks of feeding the tiny thing a drop of watered down baby formula every hour, he grew his hair and strength. I made a habitat for him out of one of my gunboat shoeboxes, complete with toilet paper rollers for him to walk through. I told the kids not to get attached because when he was ready, I was going to set him free.

For the next two weeks, I hid his food to teach him to forage. I was thrilled that the little guy was ready to go. But, before we set him free, he found his way out of the shoe box. (He ate a hole through the side.) He was missing. We looked everywhere and couldn't find him. Assuming he found his way out of the house, we all but forgot about "Mr. Bo Jangles" (as dubbed by the children) and we went on with our lives.

A couple of weeks later, I saw something dart behind the refrigerator. It took nearly an hour to catch the little shit but finally healthy as an ox, and as fast as lightning, the field mouse was released into a neighboring farmer's field. Where he was no doubt, eaten by a hungry bird. Ahhh, the circle of life!

Actually, I don't think he was eaten by a hungry bird. I think he's found his way back home. That's right, I have a mouse in my house. This one, Mr. Bo Jangles or not, was not invited. This mouse also is not scared of the two stupid cats who live here. This little country mouse probably saw the sign out back that undoubtedly says, "Suckers inside. Help yourself to their stuff and while you're at it, crap in their kitchen cabinet under the sink because that is their favorite thing. Also pay no attention to the two cats who also reside here because they are too busy licking their crotches to chase you."

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Here, we have Patches. She was one of the first orphaned kitties we encountered. She was and still is a mean little bitch of a cat. The kind that will attack your nekkid legs as you walk out of the shower. Will the bitch chase a mouse? Fuck no!

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Next we have Guido The Killer Cat From Hell. He certainly isn't living up to his name! All this stupid bastard cares about is food. People food.

What the hell are these cats here for anyhow? They are by far the laziest cats on earth! I understand most cats at the age of 16 years, like Guido, are either dead or sleep most of the day away. I would, however, expect that a cat who sees a mouse, no matter the cat's age, would at least make an attempt to kill the mouse. Not Guido.

He was in the kitchen with me late one night. Patches was off licking her crotch somewhere and we saw it, a mouse. Do you think the fucking cat would have jumped off of my lap? Do you think he might have at least gotten excited? Do you have a fucking pulse cat?

I learned that night, the battle was up to me. I am a true animal lover. Do you know how hard it is for me to kill anything? I really am a sap underneath this tough bitch exterior. So I went out the next day and bought some "live traps" that would catch, not kill. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I even knew just where I'd release the little fella.

Fast forward to the next night. It wasn't one mouse, this guy brought friends. It sounded like they were playing basketball in my crawlspace under the house. I put a trap down there, one behind the washer and dryer, one in the garage, and one under my kitchen sink. I put a hunk of peanut butter way in the back of each trap and smeared a little on the little trap doorways.

They are making a fool of me, I swear. These mice are laughing at me and my traps. Late last night I saw two mice working together, one crawling into the trap grabbing all the peanut butter it could hold, while the other held the fucking door open for him.

And I think I even heard one of them say, "Hey Lois, I got yer friggin' trap ova here!" and I swear I saw the little bastard grab his crotch.

Today, the jig is up. And while I feel like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack, I'm ready for battle, a battle I shall not lose. No more Mrs. Nice Guy! No more live, save a fucking life traps. No more mice doing jumping jacks, playing basketball, running a relay right past my stupid fucking cats, no more making a mockery out of me! This is fargin' war!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On

Mr. Lane, Mr. Romantic, Mr. You're Not My Mom So I Don't Have To Buy You Stuff For Mother's Day, told me to buy myself a new pair of jeans a couple of weeks ago.

Since our son, Lane 1 has been wearing my jeans into the ground, I've been complaining that I have nothing to wear. Mr. Buttplug, I mean, Mr. Lane, suggested that I go in the lady's department for jeans, rather than the men's.

"But babe! You know I hate girl pants!"

"I know but you are a girl."

"Are you saying I don't dress and look feminine?"

"No! I'm saying the boy won't take your pants if they are girl pants."

"So, you are telling me that I should wear pants I don't feel comfortable in just so YOUR son doesn't wear my pants?"


"Listen, when I wear lady's jeans, I feel like my ass got hungry and ate my pants. The ride up my crack, not very comfy, ya know. How do you think that seam feels on some of my most sensitive spots? How about you buy Boy Wonder his own pants and leave me out of this equation?"

"I just thought that you wanted something for Mother's Day. Since he has taken most of your pants, I thought that would be a good gift."

"So, why not just buy me something and surprise me on Mother's Day?"

"Um, I don't know. It's not like you're my mom, Lois. Plus, I really don't know what size you wear and what kind you like and..."

"I am the mother of your children and that should count for something, shouldn't it? And maybe you could have looked at the tag on my pants, like I do to yours when I buy you clothes and surprise you."

"We have this same conversation every year. We are here now, so just grab a pair of jeans, okay?"

My tone was condescending, his was annoyed but it wasn't exactly an argument. It's just that I thought it was a shitty way to get a gift.

Off to the lady's department we went. I looked at all the new styles of Levis. I missed the days when all they had were 501s and 505s. Now there are so many hip hugging, low riding, regular and relaxed fits. Not to mention all the different leg cuts. Chick's pants are complicated. I don't need all that. I just want a pair of normal fucking jeans. The thing is, if you pick out normal jeans that aren't a special cut, you get stuck with Mom Jeans. Here's an SNL video clip in case you aren't quite sure what Mom Jeans are.

"Sweetheart, there's too many to choose from. Would you pick a pair or two that you would like to see me in and I'll go try them on and then maybe I can make a decision?"

Looking like he would rather swallow nails whole and shit them out later, he said, "Sure. How about these and these?"

"Those low-rise pants are a little too low don't you think?"

"I wouldn't know unless you tried them on."

I held the jeans against my body, "See here, where the waistband is? That's where my pubic hair begins, which ain't really the look I was hoping for."

"Hmmm. Okay, try these."

"They look like bellbottoms."

"But they won't when you wear your boots."

"Fine, I'll try them but I really don't think flares are supposed to be worn with cowboy boots."

"You're right. Maybe we can get you some chunky heeled shoes while we are here."

"Chunky heels? Are you fucking kidding me? Have you been reading chick magazines or taking some kind of fashion class I don't know about?"

"No! I saw this stuff on that makeover show."

"Sweetheart, you know how much I love my boots. Even if we did buy chunky heels, I probably wouldn't wear them."

Lane 1 chimes in. "Mom, go back to the guy stuff. I promise I won't wear your new jeans."

"Pinky swear?" I extended my pinky, interlocking with his and walked back to the men's department. I found and grabbed my size and style within seconds.

"That's it?" Mr. Lane asked baffled.


"Well shit. We should have done this in the first place."

"Uh huh." I smiled.

"Do you need anything else? A new bra or something?"

I raised my eyebrows at that man, "You really want to go through all this again?"

Friday, May 13, 2005

A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That

Haloscan is a Haloscam

That's right folks you read it here first. I had to send the blood sucking bastards at Haloscan 12 bucks to keep track of my comments. I've said before, you get what you pay for. Why would I expect a free service not to suck? Maybe because I am a fucking idiot.

So today I sent the pricks my 12 dollar "donation". Of course, in my mind a donation is something you offer or give because you feel compelled to do so. Donations are not supposed to be obligatory.

If you put your faith in a free service without reading the fine print, like I did, know that they hold your comments hostage after four months. You don't pay the 12 bucks, you never see your comments again.

Also, as you may notice, after 200 comments on this free service, they stop counting. I can only assume that they let the Jessica Simpsons of the world keep track of the free accounts because counting beyond 200 is unpossible!

What's even more stooopid, they can't find a way to keep track of more than 800 comments even if you do give them 12 bucks. So even with a paid account these fucking morons can't find a way to display more than 800 comments. I got your fucking donation right here!



Lois ranting? What is this world coming to? Yes it's true, I get pissed off once in a while (and pissed on, see yesterday's post). Now that I've posted my first real live rant, I feel a whole fucking lot better.

As you may have already guessed, my sleep last night sucked again. This cold is kicking my ass. No that doesn't mean a poop sneaks out when I cough, silly! I'm still just pissin' away, coughing every three minutes or as soon as my body gets in a comfy position.

I'd like to thank all of you cough/sneeze/laugh pee ladies out there for sharing your stories in the comments yesterday. MPP (Miss Pissy Pants) club members unite and don't forget BYOD! (Bring Your Own Depends)


Hollaback Girl!

Mr. Kiss This Guy, AKA Mr. Lane, strikes again. We had yet another discussion about lyrics over the phone a couple days ago. Yeah it's something we do quite often.

I told him to hold on as I put Lane 2's hair up. Even with the phone sitting on the table, I could hear him singing his crazy little heart out.

I picked the phone back up and said, "You're really jammin' aren't ya?"

"I Ain't No Harlem Black Girl," he sang happily.

Trying to contain myself was impossible. I belly laughed so hard I buckled over, rocking forward and back like Rainman anxiously awaiting Wapner. When I caught my breath, I made him repeat the words because that was just way too funny. The song continued to play on his truck stereo as he sang again, "I Ain't No Harlem Black Girl."

For those of you who do not know what song I am talking about, it's called Hollaback Girl. And while the real lyrics make little to no sense, Mr. Lane's rendition was still wrong. Funny as hell but wrong.

The songs full lyrics can be found here.

The song does have an inner-city, Afro-American sound to it but Gwen Stefani, the singer, is not black and I guess I could kind of see why Mr. Lane thought that's what she was singing. Kind of.

I couldn't stop laughing at him.

"Come on Lois! Why must you make a fool of me?"

"Oh, babe, you know I'm not making a fool of you! You do that on your own. I love your singing! You go on wit yo bad self home fry."

"Well then what is she saying?"

"I ain't no Hollaback Girl," I said through my coughing/pissing giggles.

"What the fuck is a hollaback?"

I went to my computer and did a quick search because I had no idea. Urban Dictionary told me there were 20 possible definitions submitted by various people. While many of them were funny, the ones that made the stupid song make a little more sense said, "A Hollaback Girl is a chick who takes no shit. She won't have a shouting match, instead, she will kick some ass."

After learning that, I kind of like Mr. Lane's version better.


Aged To Perfection

When you leave here, I would like for you to stop by my friend Katey's. She is one of the lovely ladies I met last month. Today is her birthday and she is going out of town. I'd love for her to come back and be swamped with comments and birthday wellwishes.

Now where did I leave that full frontal nude photo of that corporate peon? Ah, yes, right here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Celebrate Good Times

The Illinois Constitution has taken up a lot of time in the Lane household over the past couple of months. Lane 1 has been studying his little head off because his teacher told him and his classmates daily, if they didn't pass this one test, there was no moving on to the eighth grade. It must be a scary feeling thinking you'll be held back. Lane 1 has never put so much effort into any class, test or anything school related in all of his years.

As the test date approached, Lane 1 had been nothing but a pain in the ass at home. He had a short fuse and bitched and moaned much too often, and usually about nothing. I kept telling him to stop stressing about the test. I reminded him all he could do was his best.

My fuse also has been short because I have been fighting a cold from hell for more than a week. This is more like a case of an upper respiratory infection that is trying desperately to creep into my lungs. The kind of cold that prevents you from getting more than three minutes of cough-free sleep at a time.

When I cough it feels like I'm drowning. It is the worst when I lay down. When I feel a cough coming on, I can't catch my breath, the fluid gurgles, my chest wheezes as if I am whistling through my tits, the veins in head and neck bulge, I curl my body into fetus position trying to get leverage, I grab hold of my abs and chest as if to keep my guts from exploding through my belly button, blood flow and the sound of my pulse thunder in my eardrums, and finally when the cough comes out, I not only gag but splash a little piss in my drawers.

So should my fuse be short? I've lost countless hours of sleep not to mention control of my bladder. I have read stories about women who experience incontinence (that's the big word for Miss Pissy Pants) after having children. I always thought I was lucky because I'd never had that problem, not until now anyway.

My abs hurt as if I have been doing crunches non-stop for a week, only instead of getting a six-pack looking tummy, I got a friggin' keg. A couple of days it was so bad, I actually had to stuff a maxi pad in my drawers to save myself from letting the whole fucking neighborhood know that I have no control of my bladder. Otherwise, if my bladder was empty before the coughing jag came on, I'd be dry as a properly potty trained 3-year-old. (I'm a big kid now!)

Tired, sore and stressed, but actually feeling like the cough was subsiding, I picked the kids up from school yesterday. Thankfully the test is over and Lane 1 showed off his A as soon as he got in the car. He was glowing. Proud of himself and all of his hard work. Lane 2 and I were proud and glad too because frankly, we had enough of his bitching, moaning and freaking out.

I was happy for about two minutes and then the coughing started. It's hard to drive when you feel like you're going to pass out and piss yourself all at once. This was really a bad thing. I was sure the worst of the cough was over so I didn't not prepare for any water works. (meaning, I didn't put a friggin' pad on before I left the house)

As I tried to keep myself from coughing, Lane 1 told me he wanted to be rewarded for his A. He begged me to take him to Dairy Queen to celebrate.

"Come on Mom, please! I really did my best and I got an A. Can't we celebrate? Please?"

Lane 2 chimed in. All of a sudden she was his biggest fan and advocate.

There was no holding back the cough, or the piss dribbles.

"You know what guys? I've had a really crappy day. I didn't sleep last night again because I was up coughing and all day, I had the same problem with the added pleasure of. Oh never mind. Let's just celebrate at home. I'll let you two make some cookies."

"Mom, I studied so hard. Please?"

"Honey I know you studied hard. And I really am proud of you for that but I need to go home."

The disappointment in their eyes just killed me so I thought it best to explain why I was dead set against going to Dairy Queen.

"I'm going to tell you guys something that's wrong with me. It's also the reason I can't take you out for ice cream right now. When I was pregnant with each of you, my body took a beating. You both kicked and elbowed me in places on my insides that should never be touched. You both used my bladder as a trampoline bouncing against it over and over. You probably did little back flips by kicking off of it repeatedly. All of that caused my bladder to grow weak. Now, you know how sick I've been and how I've been coughing like crazy. What I've spared you from knowing is that when I cough really, really hard, a little tinkle comes out."

The laughter was insane. That was by far the funniest thing either of them have heard in all of their lives. I could tell I was going to get no sympathy whatsoever from these two.

Lane 1 asked through his laughter, "You got yourself a little puddle now, Tinklebell?"

"As a matter of fact smart ass, yes I do. And that's why I can't take you and why I have to get home quick."

"Can't we just go through the drive-thru? It's not like anyone will see you wet your pants there." Lane 2 almost said without laughing.

The child did have a point. I did want to reward Lane 1 for his A but not at the expense of my own embarrassment. The drive-thru was the prefect way to cover all bases and keep me from having to leave the house again once we were home.

"Okay, drive-thru it is."

"Thanks mom! Sorry I laughed about you peeing and stuff."

"It's okay son, it is kind of funny when you think about it."

As I pulled up to the speaker, Lane 1 told me he wanted the Blizzard of the Month. Lane 2 said she wanted a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard.

"Hi! Welcome to Dairy Queen, how may I help you?"

"Hi. Could I please have three small Blizzards?"

"Sure what kind?"

"I'd like two Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzards and one of your monthly specials."

"Which special ma'am?"

I didn't really know what Lane 1 was talking about when he said that but I thought the lady in the box would know. So I said, "Could you hold on a second please?"

"Sure. Let me know when you are ready."

"Son, what do you want?"

"The one there on the sign. A Brownie Batter Blizzard of the Month."

"Oh. Okay. Miss, we are ready."

"Go ahead."

"I'd also like one small Brownie Bladder Blizzard. Crap! I mean a..."

This Freudian slip was too much for the children to bear. I think they both pissed their pants hearing me slip up. The three of us laughed as I tried once again to order the stupid brownie thingy, which is what I ended up calling it to the lady because my mouth kept wanting to say 'bladder'.

We'd barely pulled out of the drive-thru to head for home when my cell phone rang. I had Lane 2 answer because I was trying to keep from laughing/coughing/peeing again.

Mr. Lane finished talking to Lane 2 and then she handed me the phone. There was just the regular hubby wife small talk stuff and I told him I hate talking and driving and said I would call him later.

As we were getting off of the phone he said, "Don't forget to stop by the drug store sometime today and get yourself some Pull-Ups."

I was too busy laughing to remind the moron that we ruined my body together.

To all of you who experienced TMI (too much information) from reading my post today, I apologize. To all of the wonderful moms who suffer from Miss Pissy Pants Syndrome. I sympathize. To Jeanette and Tony, psss... it really is a potty! To those of you who are thinking of making more fun of me than I already have, go right ahead because although my bladder is weak, I am otherwise a pretty tough broad.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Benny And The Jets

Does anyone know what today is? It's exactly one month, one week and one day away from my birthday. Shop now, shop early, shop often!

Do you know why May 11th sticks out in my mind as such? Because of my cousin. Today is Benny's birthday. He is and always has reminded me that I am younger than him by one month, one week and one day. It is an ongoing joke between us, always has been.

Benny was my first friend, my cousin, the first person besides myself that I noticed to be left-handed and most importantly, he is my elder. He always told me to respect my elders. I always had to remind the little bugger that he was only my elder because he was a preemie, and in my book, that's cheating! He was supposed to be born the same month as me and days later. At least I came out fully cooked.

Benny's mom was not only my aunt and godmother, she was also my mom's best friend. I imagine being pregnant at the same time brought them closer together, which meant, Benny and I always got to see each other.

I remember the two of us running around playing cowboys and Indians with crayons for guns. We went horseback riding one time and my horse's name was Zeke, just like the boy in school who liked me. We laughed our asses off about that one. As our horses ran at top speed passing each other on the path, we both screamed at the top of our lungs, "This is what I love!" I found it funny that we shouted it in unison.

Classic rock, as it's now called, played loudly on a boom box during most of our preteen years. We also played keyboards together, only, neither of us learned the entire song to anything.

I don't know how he feels about having his photo posted on the internet, I didn't ask him for permission but I do have a couple of my favorites I'd like to share with you guys. Besides, what are the chances of him seeing this anyhow? (insert sinister giggle here)

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Benny at 8 months old. Giddyup little buckaroo! (Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks?)

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Benny kissing me. This was one of our many trips to Brookfield Zoo.

And lastly, but because I want this blog to be work friendly, here is a link rather than the actual picture of his naked ass getting out of the bathtub he and I shared one day. I didn't include the nudies of me from that day. I'm not that crazy.

Happy birthday Benny! I love you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Come On Baby Light My Fire

If this is your first visit here at Home Fires, welcome! Typically this is not a site where the name of the blog is to be taken literally. But since I did set a fire at my mother's this weekend, Home Fires, just sort of fits.

Nothing says lovin' or happy Mother's Day quite like a kitchen fire. It's like the gift that keeps on giving really. And who better to give such a gift than myself? After all, three years ago I was given a plaque by a local fire department for my volunteer work and media coverage. They named me an honorary firefighter, one of two in the history of the department, quite an honor. Anyhow, along with the status and plaque, I get free lifetime ride-alongs. Nothing like riding a hot fireman. Hmmm... I did not just say that.

As much as I like the firefighting gear, I never wear it when I visit people. I should have, just this one time.

Like I mentioned yesterday, my mom is a cry baby. A few weeks ago when I asked her what she wanted for Mother's Day, she never mentioned the ring she has been asking for more than a year. All she wanted was for me to make macaroni and cheese. Yes she really is that easy to please. I protested and said one day she is going to get sick of macaroni and cheese, since she wants me to make it every time the family gets together. I reminded her how far away I live, and said it wouldn't be as good reheated, which was when she came up with a plan for me to cook at her house. Reluctantly, I caved.

The first thing she warned me about her kitchen was that her smoke detector goes off every time she cooks. She ordered someone to detach the wires, and take the smoke detector off of the ceiling. Nice dinner bell Mom!

As I began, I noticed she didn't have the right size casserole dish. She insisted it would be "fine" if I put it in a more shallow pan. Against my best judgment, I did what I was told. As it cooked, I could see it was on the verge of dripping over the edge of the pan, as the foil on top danced. I asked for a cookie sheet to catch any mess but all she had was a little one. She suggested I put aluminum foil at the bottom of the oven instead. I did what I was told.

Remember that part folks. Lois listened to her mother.

You know Mother's Day just isn't a holiday, unless something goes terribly wrong. I had taken the foil off of the top to give it the final browning and to release the steam build up. I never time anything when I cook. I go by smells and looks. Because I have a cold, my nose wasn't working, so I asked everyone to keep their noses on alert so it didn't burn. Soon after, I could see smoke in the air but of course, my nose still wasn't picking up on any aromas. I asked everyone if they smelled anything, I suppose everyone has a deviated septum and perhaps are also visually challenged. How could they not at least see the smoke?

I went back into the kitchen, opened the oven door and saw a pat of butter was kicked out of the pan by a noodle gone wild, apparently. It landed on the foil and instantly burst into flames.

"I've got flames people!"

Why they found that particular statement amusing is really beyond me. They giggled like school girls and came running to see. Not to help, just to see. The smoke detector, although detached from it's electric wires went off, apparently it comes with a backup battery. The dog started running around in circles barking insanely, as if to say, "We are all going to die!"

I was choking my friggin' lungs out from the smoke, and Mom Anita and Angie were laughing so hard, the three stood bent over, cross-legged to keep from whizzing their drawers.

Not one of the bitches handed me anything to put out the three-foot flames. I reached in the kitchen sink, grabbed a sponge, put the water on, filled the sponge, and while throwing and squeezing in the direction of the fire, all the while trying not to totally ruin my mother's precious fucking mac and cheese, I extinguished the flames.

An even larger puff of smoke came out of the oven and into my eyes and lungs, as the water sizzled against the heat. My sisters and mom were still laughing. The dog was still barking.

Red lines covered my eyesballs as tears poured down, puffs of smoke came out of my mouth as I coughed out the smoke that had entered my lungs as I battled the blaze.

So Anita finally decided to try making the smoke detector shut up. She stood with a big piece of cardboard, waving it at the ceiling, where the smoke detector used to be mounted. Mom and Angie were too busy trying to hold each other up as they cackled.

I kindly reminded Anita that she was merely fanning the ceiling and should really try to find the smoke detector. That sent her into a cross-legged fit of laughter. I pointed to the top of the refrigerator, where the smoke detector was beeping like crazy, but the bitches were too busy laughing. I grabbed it, tossed it to Mr. Lane, who finally got off of his ass to see what all the "hub-bub" was about, and I said "Throw that fucking thing outside and take the dog with."

That was another statement they found terribly funny. Did I mention yet that I hate those women?

Thankfully at the time of the fire, all of the kids were outside playing. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would have broken out otherwise?

Anyhow the hilarity ensued as they rehashed the entire scene from their perspective, while I scrubbed the oven.

Anita said, "Did you see Lois's eyes? They practically popped out of her head! Hahaha! Oh my God! And they were all red and tears were just pouring down her face! And Mom! Hahaha! Oh shit! If you could have heard yourself as you yelled 'Lois don't throw that water on my macaroni!' never mind she was trying to put out a fire! Hahahaha!"

Angie chimed in, "Yeah, and how about you and your ceiling fan smart ass? Hahaha!"

"Well I didn't know where the beeping was coming from!" Anita defended.

"Nothing like fanning a fire Anita! Hahahaa!" Mom added.

After the smoke cleared, literally. I made my mom cry. It wasn't because I handed her a bag of Twizzlers when I first walked in, making her think that was all she was getting for Mother's Day. Not because I made fun of her four week-old shiner and still lumpy head from her accident. And she didn't even cry because I caught her stove on fire.

She cried because I did get her that ring she's been wanting for almost a year. She was so happy to see everyone that she missed the surprise time and time again. I took the ring out of its box and hid it in her cigarette pack. I can't tell you how many cigarettes she smoked without seeing it in there.

Mr. Lane even tried helping her "find" it by asking to bum one from her. She still didn't see it. I decided it needed to be more obvious.

My sisters convinced me to put the ring under her soda can. I tried to will her to take a drink. I lifted my can of soda, took a sip, "mmm" looking at her the whole time. She didn't know why the rest of us were laughing, she just joined us by giggling along, assuming we were laughing about the fire, because what's funnier than a fire, macaroni and cheese flambé or suffering from smoke inhalation, really?!

I lifted my can again and almost in a cheers motion toward her, I raised my eyebrows looking right at her and took another sip. I felt like the Amazing Kreskin when she finally lifted her can of soda.

As she set the can back onto the table, she hit the ring and finally looked down. When she saw it she first asked whose it was and when we all said "yours", she burst into tears.

I told her to knock it off or I'd set another fire.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Tears Of A Clown

No one cried harder than my mom the day I flipped my Big Wheel, skinning my back from my tailbone to my shoulder blades. (4 yrs. old)

No one cried harder than my mom the day I was bitten on the back by a neighborhood kid for not sharing my candy. Her finger gently traced every tooth imprinted as she showed the doctor. (5 yrs. old)

No one cried harder than my mom the day I fell off of the neighbor's bike, repeatedly, while trying to teach myself how to ride on two wheels. Elbows, knees, palms and chin all bandaged up as she cried, and begged me to take a break. I didn't. (5 yrs. old)

No one cried harder than my mom the day I got a four and half inch burn on my leg from the tailpipe of a Harley. (7 yrs. old)

No one cried harder than my mom the day I got hit by a car. (12 yrs. old.)

I remember how she always told me to stop hurting her baby. There were lots more times my mom cried because of me over the years, this Mother's Day was no exception.

When the fog lifts from my holiday hangover, I'll tell you how I managed to not only make Mom cry again, but also how I set her kitchen on fire.


Selling My Soul

Having the garage sale felt like handing over my soul. Little Monty Hall (Lane 2 - thanks Randy) did amazingly wonderful. There's not enough time to tell all the gory details, however, know that next weekend, by popular demand, there will be a repeat performance of said sale.

I've also been bulldogged into adding a lemonade stand, complete with snacks. Thankyouverymuch Sarah.

Thanks also go out to Dante for the offer of a new motherboard. As it stands, Lane 2 could buy a laptop better than mine with the cash raked in thus far.


Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Today there have been 75 plus people looking for new stuff to read here at Home Fires. Sorry to disappoint but I was having a lazy morning.

If you have come here looking for a new story more than once today, you might want to check into RSS feed. It's an easier way for you to check for updates on all of your favorite blogs and news websites.

Sure, I'd love to set a deadline for myself and make sure I post everyday, but sometimes life and kids and work get in the way of my fart around time. If you're like me and spend a lot of time reading blogs or checking for updates, you might also be better off checking this technology out.

I added RSS feed to the right sidebar over the weekend and I don't understand everything about it just yet. What I do know is that you can "subscribe" to Home Fires and alike by clicking the link and choosing where you want your updates sent.

I use My Yahoo, where I can easily see every recent update on all of my selected sites by just logging in to that one site. I set up a free e-mail account and "added content" by pasting URLs into the designated place. I removed all of the crap My Yahoo's homepage came with and replaced it with the sites I like. It only adds sites if they offer RSS feed.

I thought I was covered with this technology by having my settings in accordance with Blogger Help, only Blogger didn't help. So I went to this site and signed up and finagled it onto my template.

If this sounds like something you'd like to do but just find it much too confusing, you can hire my buddy Se7en, the guy who designed Home Fires, for a mere 5 bucks to hook you up.

(Tomorrow I'll give you the lowdown on Mother's Day and tell you all about how we all almost went down in a blaze of glory.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Ode To Mom

Do you remember when I was young
I was your best behaved kid all along
Seven little brats and then there was me
I was a total suck up and I was your baby
When I thought about doing something bad
You'd lecture and threaten to tell my dad
But I wasn't scared of that old dude
He was a pussy cat... compared to you
There was something about us more special and true
There was something we shared, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"
When I went to school and made you a card
I spelled everything wrong but worked really hard
You smiled at me when you read what I wrote
"Here's a shiny maccarowny to where arrownd your throte"
Tomorrow will be special like back then
Macaroni and cards, I didn't over spend
You seemed to love the gifts made by me
So why try to top it with real jewelry
I know you wanted a ring of topaz
But Mom, I just don't have money coming out of my ass

(I'll see you back here Monday folks. As always, thanks for stopping by! You can sign up with RSS feed over there in the right sidebar, so you are informed of updates here at Home Fires. Happy Mother's Day! ~ Lois)

Friday, May 06, 2005

My Immortal

It's never too late even though life is over in the blink of an eye.

Today I want to tell you guys about my relationship with my mother in-law. She lived in Oregon, while her son and I both were in Illinois. He lived with his sister at the time, two blocks away from where I lived with my parents. We met at work.

When he asked me out I simply told him, "I don't date people I work or go to school with, but thanks."

He quit his job the next day and came rushing over to ask again. As a teenager, I was flattered that a young man, a teenage boy, could like me enough to leave his job. I said yes.

A few months down the road I got my own apartment and he soon moved in with me. His mother, Amanda, didn't like the idea. She'd never met me at that point but had already decided, I wasn't good enough for her little boy.

The test of time was not held in my favor as the years rolled on, she still didn't like me, not even after we finally met.

Because I couldn't understand, I asked my husband why. All he told me was she thought I wasn't good enough, wasn't pretty enough, wasn't skinny enough, wasn't smart enough and would never make enough money to be good enough for her son.

I wanted so badly to get her blessing. It just wasn't meant to be. I always wondered if she knew how much I really loved her son with all of my heart.

She didn't make it to our wedding. She never called to congratulate us on the birth of either child. She never sent a birthday card or called for any of us. She was distant and cold. It hurt.

She talked to her son through his sisters. I guess because she thought calling our house, a place I might answer, was just out of the question.

I tried to understand but couldn't. Some 14 years down the line, Mr. Lane went to visit her, without me and the kids. She didn't ask us not to come but she made no effort to make us feel welcome, so we stayed behind.

While he was visiting, Amanda introduced him to the "nice lady" across the street. She hoped they would build a relationship and her son would live near her again. She never seemed to take into consideration or maybe forgot that her son had a wife and children at home.

I guess he forgot too. He moved out of our house and they began dating.

He wanted so badly to please his mother that he left all we had as a family. That hurt too. A lot.

Human nature messes us up more than we realize as it unfolds. While I was on the verge of begging for Amanda's approval, year after year, my husband was telling his mother every bad thing I ever did, every mean thing I ever said, every negative thing about me, every tiny icky detail. And she, was growing hatred.

He never once took the time to tell her why he loved me, what our relationship was like when things were going well and she never took the time to get to know me for herself.

As a mother with a little boy of my own, I understand why she hated me all of those years. She only knew the worst things about me.

As people, we get wrapped up in complaining. We forget to share the good things. We focus on the negative. We are human. We make mistakes. My husband realized his mistake. Thankfully, it wasn't too late.

He called me one night while I was on vacation and he was with his girlfriend. He told me that I had been his best friend longer than anyone, said he missed me, missed talking to me everyday, he said he missed us, and wanted to come home because he said he made the mistake of a lifetime.

I cried.

Weeks went by and we tried to renew trust and friendship. He moved in with his sister 50 miles away from me and the kids. We eventually started dating again. I realized how much I missed him being part of our family. He realized how much he missed that too.

My heart still held so much hate for that woman. How could she do that to me, to us? She was supposed to see me as a daughter, the way my mother saw Mr. Lane as her own son. Why wasn't I part of her family?

It still hurt.

Mr. Lane moved back home but I still couldn't emotionally shake what happened. My hate grew. The thought of the other woman, who knew Mr. Lane was married, the mother in-law, who was supposed to be like a second mom to me filled me with hate.

Hate isn't my strong suit. My heart grew cold and I didn't like the person I was becoming. I needed answers. I wanted to know why this woman hated me. I wanted to know how she could break up our family. I still loved Mr. Lane so much that all of the anger was directed at his mom and not him. It was then that Mr. Lane told me all of the bad things he told her over the years. Sometimes, I was mean, but he admitted every story was "slightly exaggerated" and always "one-sided".

No wonder why she hated me!

A month after Mr. Lane moved back home, we got a phone call. Amanda was diagnosed with brain cancer.

I cried.

Nobody knows how much time they have left on this Earth but knowing her time was nearly up, it was time for me to grow up. Step up.

I drove to Portland to give it one more try. We arrived to a frail, shell of a woman. Still a woman, the same who gave birth to the man I loved. The man she loved. We had a common bond in him.

She didn't know we were coming. Mr. Lane and the kids went into her room and surprised her. She sounded happy as I listened from the other room. I wanted her to get the good news first before seeing me.

An hour after we settled in, I finally got the nerve to go into her room to say hello, to let her know I also made the trip to see her.

I walked up to her door and knocked. Her frail voice told me to come in. Her eyes held no emotion as I walked through the door. I knelt at her bedside, looked her in the eyes and I said, "I want to be here with you, for you and your son, my husband, if you'll let me. If you want me to go away, say the word and I promise to leave. I want to give it one more try with you. I want us to know each other. I want you to know that if you have to leave us, your son is loved as much as one person is capable of loving another."

She took my hand and pulled me in and for the first time in all of those years, she hugged me and said she wanted me to stay.

I cried and told her, "There's no place I'd rather be." And then I thanked her.

Over the next two weeks I got to know her, love her and get her love in return. I helped take care of her as any other member of the family. She trusted me. During the night was when she was most alert. Everyone else was usually sound asleep and it was just the two of us.

She and I would talk for hours. One of her favorite things was how I massaged her back and legs each night because she was sore from lying in bed all of the time. I would rub, she would talk. She shared stories with me about Mr. Lane growing up, her marriages, her family, her fears and her newfound faith. We bonded.

I had the privilege of holding her hand when she took her last breath.

It's hard not to have regrets. Time is so precious and life is too short. I always wonder what would have happened if I would have taken the initiative sooner, let her know exactly how I felt about her son, let her know the real me and most importantly let the hate not eat me away before coming to my senses.

Although she was only my second mother for two weeks, I still love her. Happy Mother's Day Amanda, my immortal.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cuts Like A Knife

The first time, I thought someone was playing with me. This time, because of timing and my IP tracker, I'm certain. This might sound really stupid to some of you guys but when I received a comment from Rosie O'Donnell, I couldn't help but be happy. Not just because she took the time to come to Home Fires and read stuff that I wrote, not because it was the second time she left a comment, either. It was because of what she said both times.

It's funny how words can make or break your day.

When I read her words to me saying she thinks I am funny, I felt there is no better compliment.

This is a woman who I've watched on TV, in movies and always admired her sense of humor, love of her family and her charity work. She inspired a post written about my special needs cousin just before Riding The Bus With My Sister aired.

This morning, as if what she said did not thrill me enough, I see all of these wonderful compliments. You guys have no idea what that does for me. I don't want to be sappy or show my inner narcissist off too much, but I love your words. You guys all make me very happy and keep me writing on this blog.

It's funny to think about how I considered closing up shop here when my dad died, two months ago. I felt so sad and lost and I never thought I would be able to write anything funny again. Thanks for taking me through this difficult time guys, it means more to me than I can express in words.


Oooh! Curtain # 2... Whaa-Whaa-Whaa, Loser!

An inferiority complex brought on by a 10-year-old child is no way to get me through the day. Lane 2 chose to have a battle of wits with me this morning. She won. Cable internet is down again and my day isn't starting out so great.

If you have been keeping track around here, you know my daughter is a haggler. Everyday and everything is like an episode of Let's Make A Deal. The bad part about that is, I always seem to choose the curtain with the goat. Who, incidentally, has a pile of steaming dung, not sold separately.

Do you have any idea how shitty I feel being outwitted by my baby? It's terrible really. I need to spend more time with my own mother to learn more about guilt trips so my little girl won't keep doing this to me.

She has a garage sale fetish, which I have written about here before. The story I haven't shared is that she has always wanted to have a garage sale of her own. I kid you not, the child has asked for years and every time, I have said no.

I know most of you won't believe this, but, I don't say no to be mean. She doesn't believe that statement either. I say no mostly because anything that we have and no longer need or use, is donated to local charities.

We have a homeless shelter not far away that gets our old household items and furnishings. We have a community college nearby that offers a place to donate business suits and nice clothing for poor women seeking employment, which is where all of my best duds are sent. We have a daycare center in town for poor families. Every toy and outfit my kids have outgrown has been donated there.

It's been a few months since we've made a donation to most of those places. We have plenty to give once spring cleaning is completely out of the way.

This morning 5:30 a.m.: "Mommy, can I have a garage sale this weekend?"
"Because why?"
"Because I said so."
"Please?! Pretty please, with a cherry on top!"
"Baby, why do you want to have a garage sale so badly?"
"So I can sell some stuff and get some money."
"Oh yeah. What do you need money for? I buy you all of the essentials."
"I know mom but I really want to do something that I don't have the money for. And since you won't let me take any money out of my own bank account, I thought I could sell some old stuff and get some money so I can use it for something really important."
"What is so important?"
"I want to get the desktop fixed."
"Honey, it just needs a new motherboard and I told you guys when you got that virus that I wouldn't be rushing to get it fixed."
"I know Mom. That's why I want to have my garage sale. I can make money and pay for the motherboard myself. It was after all, kinda my fault that it got messed up in the first place."
"A garage sale is a lot of work peanut, and won't you feel weird breaking our tradition of donating stuff to people who really need it?"
"I'll price everything reasonably so it won't cost poor people too much money."

How the hell do you argue that? I didn't know, so I said, "Okay. You can have your garage sale."

"oooo! I have a kumquat, right here in my purse!"

So here I sit with my goat and his pile o' crap, calling for garage sale permits. I love my little Monty Hall.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


You guys are great! Yesterday we played a little game "Children's Books That Didn't Make It". Little did I know at the time, the comments would be way funnier than the post. Those who participated should now give themselves a virtual pat on the back.

Here's another small handful of books I thought wouldn't make it. These also are the reasons why I should be sleeping by 10 p.m.

1. Moby Dick And The Adventures Of Papa Boner
2. Curious George Swings Both Ways
3. Black Beauty Digs Jungle Fever
4. My Little Pony Rides Black Beauty
5. Pocket Pool And Other Fun Activities For A Wet Day


Anyone notice anything different about me? Yes, I know you can't actually see me but do you see changes here at Home Fires? I feel thinner, prettier, less cluttered now and practically fresh as the morning dew.

I've reinstalled Blogrolling to help me better organize my links. While doing so, I may have missed one or two, so if you notice you aren't there anymore, don't think Lois hates you. She is just overwhelmed by all the links. All of a sudden I feel like I have multi-personality disorder. That other Lois has left the building. Anyhow, there were 15 new links added in the last week. Crazy!

In Other Newz

Like many of you, I start my day with a little news. Sometimes I am compelled to share the things that I've read here. This is one of those times. Marc and Michael Brummer, brothers and co-owners of Hobby's Deli in Jersey, thought of a way to help support U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

They won't be placing magnetic yellow ribbon emblems made in China on their cars, however.

These brothers must have been raised by a mom like my own. "Happiness is through the belly! Eat!" or so she told me and I assume their mom told them.

They are hooking up the men and women of the 42nd Infantry Division with 23,000 salamis. So far, two tons of dried meat (boy oh boy can I make this sound dirty in my head) has been shipped in what the brothers call "Operation Salami Drop."

I believe these guys are doing something really cool. Of course, I see silly headline opportunities within the heartwarming story.

Brothers Share Salami (incest is wrong, do not try this at home)
Soldiers Get The Gift Of Salami (so much for don't ask don't tell)
Salami Brings Smiles Across The Miles (I'd smile too if I was getting me some)

Okay, so maybe this won't get me a writing gig with the folks at SNL, Mad TV, The Tonight Show or Ellen but I hope I've at least humored my friends here. Since you guys are much funnier than me, I'd like to see some of today's headlines twisted with your best perversion. You can leave them in my comments or use this as another exercise on your own blog. Make sure you leave your link so others can checkout your silliness.