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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Give A Little Bit

Thanks to the few of you who clicked on the link and donated to the American Red Cross over the last couple of days. For those of you who can't donate because of financial constraints, but want to do something, I have a couple of ideas. I know I am supposed to be rich by now, but like most of you fine folks, destiny just hasn't seem to have caught on. Since I am unable to send billions of dollars, I'm doing what I can.

I'm sure many of you have been keeping watch on the hurricane footage, death tolls and damages. The amount of havoc is astounding. Seeing that but being so far away, gives me a very helpless feeling. Wheels on my mental bus went round-and-round, and then I made a plan.

I called the school and talked to the principal. I asked if we could set up collection stations in the school for donations. He thought that was a good idea. He also offered to donate all of the chapel and Sunday service offerings for the entire month of September. Bonus!

After hanging up with him, I called many of our local stores and asked if they would be willing to match or double what the students at St. Peter, Paul and Mary collect for the Red Cross. So far, four have said yes. I have calls into six other places. Fingers are crossed.

I told each business to collect the money over a week's time. In the end a check should be written for the amount, or double (their choice) to the American Red Cross. I offered to put a press release together highlighting their business for contributing. They liked the sound of "free" advertising.

I haven't set a financial goal. I'm just happy the plan is taking shape.

I thought about asking our local ice cream parlor if they would donate an ice cream party for the students at St. Peter, Paul and Mary if they reach a certain dollar amount. My wheels are still spinning on that idea.

That feeling of helplessness has subsided slightly. No, I can't be there for the rescue efforts. No, I can't give much money personally. No, I can't bring back the lives that were lost. But my idea can make a small difference.

What else can we do but give a little bit of our time when money falls short?

Monday, August 29, 2005

My Town

On my sidebar I am listed as living in Sycamore, Illinois. I'm not actually in Sycamore. I felt it was important to say that because I bash my hood quite often on this blog. In fact, I'm about to do so again in today's post. I'd hate for the city of Sycamore to get a bad reputation on account of me. The town I live in isn't far from Sycamore but actually falls into a different county. I chose Sycamore as my location because that's where I work and play the most. Plus, it can actually be found on a map, unlike my town.

The carnival came to town and of course Lane 1 and Lane 2 really wanted to go. What kid can pass up snow cones, cotton candy and elephant ears? It was also an opportunity for them to see a lot of their friends from their old school. Before going to St. Peter, Paul and Mary, both used to attend the local public school. They were in seventh heaven seeing their old classmates. Girls were running up to Lane 1 and hugging him. (It's okay, I only broke out in small hives this time.) Lane 2 bubbled over when four of her best girlfriends yelled to her from the Gravatron line. I spent the entire day following my kids and their friends. I felt like a stalker after a few hours.

I began people watching while the kids were on their selected rides. You can only smile and wave at them as they go round and round for so long ya know. I tried to find a shady spot as I watched people walk by.

The sun was blazing. It was so humid I felt like I was sautéing in my own sweat. The 90 degree temperatures seemed magnified as a hint of outhouse, the smell of fried dough and body odor wafted through the air.

The roar of the rides and 80s rock blaring, kids screaming some in fear others in delight, was simply deafening.

I watched as the tired faces of other parents made friendly smiles at one another as if to say, "I feel your pain."

I saw a mad rush of people leaving the parade area and heading toward the main stage. Each one had a lawn chair tucked under their arm as they walked briskly. I didn't know at the time who was performing but as I wandered about, I spotted him sneaking up the alley. Elvis. There he was, all alone, carrying his luggage. He had sweat dripping off of his sideburns as he huffed and puffed up a slight hill. I couldn't not approach the king.

"I'm sorry that you really are dead and are just now entering hell. Need help with your bags?"

Elvis courtesy laughed and said, "Thank you. Thank you very much."

Okay, fine, he really said, "No thank you. But if you wouldn't mind, could you point me in the direction of the main stage?"

After saving the king, I got myself a cold drink. I thought of Eddie Murphy in Delirious. When I saw the sign... I knew it was... a sign. "Real, fresh lemonade... made with real lemons" read the sign. Who doesn't love a little redundancy once in a while? I just had to give "Lemonade, that cool refreshing drink" a try. The sign wasn't lying. I knew that lemonade was made with real lemons by the first sip. The biggest lemon seed in the world squeezed itself through my straw and lodged itself firmly into my throat. If choking while shooting lemonade out of your nose isn't fun, I just don't know what is.

The sea of bodies, displayed lots of skin. Many people were covered in tattoos, some were tanned, some sunburned. I wish I knew what it was about the carnival that makes young girls dress in their most hoochiest outfits.

I would have taken a photo to show you the first girl I saw to make me throw up a little in my mouth, but she was probably only 15-years-old. Yes, there were several sights that made me ill but this imaged burned itself into my brain. I know how wrong it is to make fun of people, especially a child, so I'll just go ahead and describe her while your imaginations run wild. At the age of 15, she should know what not to wear. And if she doesn't, her parents need to drag her ass back in the house and redress her.

Just the thought of a teenager wearing a revealing outfit makes me cringe. This one particular child was, in my humble opinion, over the top. I keep telling myself she is just a girl. She will outgrow this "style."

Her hair was bleached blonde with black roots. She wore lots of makeup. Her eye shadow was the same color as her blush, dark brown. She also wore a thick layer of black eyeliner on her top and bottom lids. She outlined her lips in brown pencil and had another shade of brown lipstick on. Her tongue was pierced and she kept flicking her stud with her top teeth.

She wore skin-tight, hot pink capri pants with a white tee-shirt. The front of her shirt said, "Single and loving it!" The back of her shirt said, "Back on the market!"

She was wearing a black lace thong that was sticking out of the top of her pants, as were the tops of her butt cheeks. Her shirt was pushed up so her belly would show. Yes, I know it's in style people but the child had rolls of baby fat hanging out of her shirt. It was like a pack of bratwursts sticking out of there.

I know I'm no fashion expert but I just wanted to take the child to the side and tell her if she didn't cover herself up a little better, she would wind up pregnant with a carnie baby before the night was through. I refrained.

As the day turned to night, I continued people watching. I decided it's time to move to a new town when you have a difficult time telling your locals from the carnies.

MooAlex put a summer blog together with contributions from eleven bloggers. It's pretty cool to get a peek into everyone's summer. I sent her a couple of photos, which you may have already seen here. I also sent her the video collage I made for my family. The song accompanying the photos is JoDee Messina's Because You Loved Me. I chose that one because without those people, and even those animals, and all the love they showered me with over the last three months, my summer wouldn't have been nearly as great.

Those of you who are in or near Katrina's path or have loved ones there, I wish you all safety. To make a donation to the American Red Cross, please click here.

Friday, August 26, 2005

She's Got The Look

Well maybe it's not exactly the look I was going for. Maybe it suits me. Maybe it doesn't. Besides, it's just hair. It'll grow back. Right? Many of you saw in the photo posted yesterday that my hair was obnoxiously long. The key word there folks would be "was." That's right. It's gone. Almost all of it.

I've been seriously thinking about cutting my hair since the rest area mishap. Some of you will remember reading about that fateful day. While I was going to the bathroom, my hair had trickled down my back, to my butt crack, scaring me to death thinking it was a bug.

That wasn't the only thing to prompt me to cut my hair, however. My daughter, Lane 2, and I grow our hair out for Locks of Love. The organization designs and makes prosthetic type wigs out of donated hair. The wigs are given to disadvantaged children who have lost their own hair due to various medical conditions.

Every few years, when our hair is more than ten inches long, we cut it off and mail it out. Lane 2's hair grows much faster than mine and she has donated many more times than I have. She found out about this organization one night when I was writing a story about a hair drive. A local salon was looking for people who were interested in making a donation. In turn, they would get a free haircut. I explained what my news story was about and she was intrigued.

She said, at the ripe old age of 4, "Mommy, I want to give them my hair." And, so, a tradition was born.

I had been holding out on my haircut because I wanted to make sure after the ten inches were off, there would be plenty of play for some style. I know. Lois Lane with style? Crazy idea I had one day. But I get sick of always having one length boring hair. I wanted layers. I wanted to actually get to use the curling iron I've had buried in my linen closet for 12 years. (no exaggeration)

I told Lane 2 that I was ready for my haircut. She jokingly asked while holding up her big scissors, "How short do you want it?"

Lane 2 has cut many of her Barbie dolls' hair. It's one of her favorite things to do. In fact, she has a style head Barbie that she has been dying to take her scissors to. I never let her because I didn't want her ruining a perfectly good toy. Yeah, I know, Barbie, head or full doll, not exactly a perfect toy, but my girl really loves playing with those things. Knowing if she gave her Barbie head a hair cut, it would turn into porcupine head Barbie, thus causing my daughter to no longer want to play with her, so I said no.

Since my hair had reached the right length, I asked my daughter if she would like to play Barbie head with me.

"For real?"

"Sure. Why not?"

The sparkle in her eyes and smile on her little face was like Christmas morning. I combed and parted my hair off into sections. I put my hair into four ponytails around my head, indicating to her where to cut. I measured to make sure the ponytails were long enough. Ten inches on each side and twelve and a half inches in the back meant we were ready.

She held the scissors quite unsteadily and said, "Mommy? Are you sure about this?"

I laughed and told her to go for it. Her smile lit up the room as she hacked her way through the first 12-inch ponytail. Half way through she asked again if I was sure. "Kinda late to change my mind. Don't ya think?"

We laughed as she continued to cut the rest. Something weirder than letting a 10-year-old cut off my hair was happening to me. I felt like a weight was being lifted from my head, literally. It wasn't much different than taking a barbell off of your head. What? You've never done that before? Okay, then imagine you have a stack of stadium sized pizzas resting on your head... what? Forget all that. The point is, once the weight of my hair was lifted, my two year old headache was gone. Felt like magic.

When one goes around with a headache for two years straight, all sorts of thoughts come to mind. Poor vision, too much computer time, not enough rest, too many pillows, slept wrong, not enough caffeine, stress or maybe... a brain tumor. And then I'd hear Arnold in my mind, "It's not a tumor! It's not!"

When Lane 2 finished working her magic, we headed to a salon so I could get layers cut into my hair. The people there thought I was absolutely insane for letting my 10-year-old cut my hair, but once the stylist got a better look, she told Lane 2 what a straight cutter she is.

By the time she was finished, she had taken another two to six inches off of my head. (Two inches in the back, six in the crown with layers in between.) I'd like you all to scroll down and look at that picture one more time and notice my straight, light auburn hair.

All of that weight had pulled my hair straight, apparently. When the lady finished with me, I had not only dark auburn hair but it was curly too. How friggin' weird is that? Guess I can throw away that old curling iron. I've never had curly hair. My mother claims I had "little ringlets" when I was a baby. Then again, she's got that old timers thing, so who really knows?

When Mr. Lane saw me, he thought I had my hair cut, permed and dyed but he liked it. I'm not so sure if I like it because it is so different. I don't even look like me anymore. It's weird having curly hair after all these years. I'm slowly learning how to make it look presentable. Yes, when I learn how, there will be pictures.

I have a nephew, Darktails, who has alopecia areata. That's a genetic disease that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles. What that means is, he's bald. No eyebrows, eyelashes, body hair. Nothing. Bald as an eagle. He doesn't mind not having hair. And he is by far the coolest looking bald person I've ever seen. He wasn't really the reason or inspiration for our donations because I've never seen anyone look so freakin' good bald. But knowing what he went through when he was a little younger with kids making fun of him always comes to mind as the scissors hack through mine or my daughter's hair.

I've never nominated Darktails as a recipient of a wig, even though he would qualify. He is content in himself and that is what truly matters. To be honest, I've never met a 15-year-old who is more comfortable in their own skin, as he is.

I'm not into beauty and all that crap. I know how shocking that might be for some of y'all. When I do cut my hair, have it trimmed or dyed, I do it myself. I've never had a manicure or acrylic nails and I hardly ever wear makeup. But when there is a kid with cancer or alopecia, and they are having self esteem issues due to baldness, I think they should have every opportunity to make themselves feel and look good. That's the real reason why Lane 2 and I do this.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Boys Are Back In Town

Dear family, I demand a recount. It appears some unregistered voters partook in the election at the bottom of yesterday's post. Those party crashers were... you, my family members, Anita, Mom and Yoda. More accomplices may have been involved, however, the criminal background of you three is longer than Santa's naughty and nice lists combined.

This one goes into the remarkable moments book. My mother actually commented on my blog. Seems she also voted for number 10, Barbie Head Lois. Oh, no, not just for herself. It seems that Mom, AKA Sybil, has also put in the requests of others.

Mother, you can barely get your dog Ginger to shit outside. So what are the chances that she has learned to type her own comment? I'm on to you, and your little dog too.

Yoda, my precious nephew. Born when I was merely 11-years-old, you are more like a brother to me, only no one ever let me beat you up. You spoiled little shit! Single, 22, blonde hair brown eyes, 6ish feet tall, 175ish pounds, never been married, no children, guitar player, funny, loving and kind... really, I doubt you need anyone pimping you out. But, ladies, if you are interested, he is up for grabs. Only rule, I do NOT want any details. Thankyouverymuch.

This is like a radio contest people, your votes don't count. Besides, everyone, whose vote really counted, wanted to hear about Katey and the hot men. I mean, really, who can compete with that? I know you are only voting for me so I'll be forced to show you my new look. But that can wait. Maybe I'll see you guys this weekend? Someone, hurry up and plan a gathering before I lose that lovin' feeling.

Okay, so on with today's post. Katey and I had a date last week. I planned to make two posts about our date. I've decided instead, to try my best to combine the two groups of men and make a Katey, blog and man sandwich, of sorts.

I invited her to be my date to welcome home our local soldiers. These GI Joes are good buddies of mine. The newsroom where I worked for years, was located next to the Armory. As the September 11th attacks were being carried out, I was in the Armory interviewing the guys, under the assumption they would soon be headed into war.

I had interviewed some of the guys before for various stories, from recruitment, to achievements. I volunteer for the Toys for Tots program, as do many of the soldiers. The inevitable came and the war was on. I was back for more interviews. Cried right beside them as we all said our goodbyes. Three soldier friends remain on active duty. All others returned from their various posts safe and sound.

A homecoming party was planned and I was invited. This time as a friend, not a member of the media. The invitation said, "Lois Lane and Guest." I called the Armory and asked if that guest, my date, could be a girl. You know, the don't ask don't tell policy. My friend laughed, said he had a visual and said he would prefer my date be a woman.

I called Katey and asked her to be my date. She said yes.

I wanted to show my date off to my other boys too. Yes, I have many men in my life. As an honorary member of the fire department, I thought the guys would want to know that I was on a date with a girl, plus, who doesn't like to checkout hot guys? Because we were ready with plenty of time to spare, I asked Katey if she would like to meet my comrades at the firehouse before we headed to the party. She lit up like a four-alarm fire.

Katey was given a tour of all the new facilities including the dorms, weight room, classroom, kitchen and the fire pole. She began dancing on it but I told her that wasn't really what it's for. She can be so silly sometimes.

The alarms sounded. They had a call. Most of them had to leave. Two guys had to stay back to man the station.

I started talking shop with one of the guys. He has dodged the bullet for every blood drive I've had at the station. "Sorry Lois. Just got my nipples pierced," was the last response I received from him. So I asked if he recently had anything tattooed or pierced. He lifted his shirt proudly displaying his nipple rings. He had Katey's undivided attention. I reminded him that was his excuse the last time and he motioned toward his pants. Katey's eyeballs were like two flying saucers. I swear she thought he was going to whip out some crazy penis ring right there.

We laughed and he said, "No way! That would be much too painful. Count me in for the next one."

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He took us to the engine room, fitted us with helmets and took our picture. He may be good at shooting water but he isn't so hot shooting with a camera. Here's Katey and I in all of our blurry goodness.

It was nearing party time so we said goodbye, and we were off like two prom dresses.

A short ride over to the party and poof, more men. Lots of very good looking GI Joes. Hugs all around, introductions to Katey were made and then we went right to the chow line. We ate some very dry pork and chicken. I shared my dessert with Katey. I'll leave that part to your imaginations.

We had plenty of eye candy entertainment with our meal. So much in fact, we became hungrier. Once dinner was done and the bar was wide open, everyone loosened up. Some danced, sang, formed a Conga line and others shared stories about their time away and their own personal homecomings.

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They bought each other round after round. Katey and I were smack dab in the middle of it all. I don't think either one of us were allowed to take money out of our purses. I wasn't quick enough with my camera to catch Katey slamming one back. Here she is with GI Joe (who she calls Willie) and Clayton.

Let me say right here and now what a good friend Katey has become. Not only did she agree to be my date, she also took every single shot for me. I've got that allergy to booze thing, or so I said. I'm just not a big drinker, plus I was driving and that's a major no-no in my book. So my girl, took many a shot in the mouth for me. (pun intended)

She began calling my buddy GI Joe, Willie because he played a nasty little trick on her.

"Katey, I know one word that I can say that will make you say yes to a shot of tequila."

Gullible, sweet as can be, Katey said, "One word, huh? What one word might that be?"

He leaned in, as if to tell her this big secret and gave her a big ol' slimy wet willie. The look on her face was priceless. I was laughing much too hard to be able to take her picture as she frantically wiped his slobber from her ear. Katey had officially been welcomed by my friends and soon took the shot of tequila like a champ.

She is as much a people watcher as I am. There were a couple of moments that something caught my eye and I found myself looking at Katey as if to say, "Did you see that?" Every time, she had the same look. Katey and I have never talked about our mutual annoyance of an overused non-word but once we heard a woman say it, we made fast eye contact with each other, lipped "irregardless" and laughed our asses off.

There was this lady, Mavis, who is a member of the VFW. Her husband is a veteran. The two are very active in their participation with this unit. Together, they really do a lot of great things. There's this one little tiny problem though. Mavis never wears a bra, and from what Katey and I heard that night, she rarely wears any under clothing.

Mavis was wearing a thin, light colored tank top. Every time she bent over, it was like watching two flapjacks flip out of a skillet. Could I take my eyes off of her? No. Much like a gory train wreck, I was captivated, as was just about everyone else. I think GI Joe may have thrown up in his mouth a little when he caught a glimpse. That was about the time that Mavis stories started flying. Many of the guys were happy to tell about the first time they saw Mavis in a miniskirt or a tight fitting dress. I'll spare you those details.

When the guy in charge, the commander, the leader of the pack, continually boasted about his role and rule over each and every one of the others came near, Katey and I cringed simultaneously. He's a good guy, don't get me wrong. He does have this little spittle problem, however. Okay, it's not a little problem. It's huge. He's the kind of guy that if we grew up together, I would have yelled in his face everyday, "Say it don't spray it!"

He is one of those power trippy types. He stands much too close when he is speaking to you. Nose-to-nose, military style as his spittle pours down. Pretty gross huh? And the poor old dude does not take a hint. When I clearly was wiping his spit from my cheek, he continued talking. I even tried a little intervention by letting my own spit fly, just to show him what it's like. "Oooops, I spit on you. Sorry."

"Oh, that's okay. That happens. So as I was saying. I am in charge of every one and everything and one day I'll be god!"

Did I mention he has an absurd amount of moles on his head face and neck area? Thankfully, I don't know if he has them elsewhere on his body. Katey? (She knows I'm just playin'. Friends don't let friends fuck ugly spittle dudes.)

Katey took the night and the guys in stride. She fit right in, as she always does. They treated her like they've known her forever too. I think she had a pretty good time, despite her cold. The hard liquor shots may have helped with her symptoms too.

GI Joe walked us to my car, hugged us goodbye and we headed back to the Lane Estate. And wouldn't cha know it, we were home by midnight and before my car turned into a pumpkin.

Katey also wrote about our date. You can read about it here.

Barbie Head Lois is up for tomorrow's post. If you would really rather read one of the other choices, today is the last day to make your vote count.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

High-tech Redneck?

David and Vince called me on the carpet. (See comments in post below) Fine. The truth is, Mr. Lane is a wannabe redneck. I didn't want to tarnish his image. He doesn't own a gun. There, I said it. He just has a pickup truck. Just because it's a diesel and a dually, does not give me the right to go around calling him a true redneck. I hang my head in shame for telling you fine people lies about my old man.

He makes a living from being a truck driver and was also a farmer but those things barely count as official redneck requirements. He uses a CB to communicate with his pals on the road, but has also been seen using a cellular phone. Just for the record, he was shouting "Git 'er done!" before the Blue Collar Comedy ever coined the phrase.

He never drinks beer out of a can, and never uses a koozie to keep his beer bottle cold. Speaking of beer, he hardly even drinks that stuff. He does like sweet tea, which I do believe is a redneck requirement.

Mr. Lane has never been in prison or the county jail, never been divorced, never been drunk and caught in bed with any of my sisters. He has, however been caught with Mama. He has all of his original teeth, and actually keeps his six month appointments with the dentist.

The saddest truth of all, he despises NASCAR. He likes riding dirt bikes but isn't exactly a fan of motocross either. His ride-on lawn mower, isn't even a John Deere. It's a Cub Cadet. He still shops at Farm and Fleet, but has also been seen buying his clothes at JC Penny.

He likes country music but has been caught tapping his toe to rock and pop music. When we were younger, he liked Spamburger hamburgers and corndogs, today however, I think he would rather starve than eat either.

He used to go fishing every weekend, but not so much for the quality bass time. He went to enjoy the water and to get away from me. We've never gone to a rodeo, but have walked along Rodeo Drive. He's rode horses on many a beach with me but that hardly makes him a cowboy. He doesn't even own a ten gallon hat or cowboy boots. He does call his baseball hat a "ball cap."

And yes, gentlemen, the saddest truth of all, the only gun he owns is a paintball gun. So there, I hope you are happy that I've finally told the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me blog.

It's a busy life here at the Lane Estate. In the last couple of weeks, I've neglected sharing all sorts of stuff. Do you ever have so much stuff going on that you just don't have time to sit down and write? Before another one of my wonderful readers gives me more shit, here's your choices for a post coming soon to a blog near you.

1. Corky comes to town
2. Death of summer
3. Vacation madness never ends
4. Rabid redneck town
5. Ricky's cousin Rocky
6. Hot men, and my friend Katey
7. GI Joe, and my friend Katey (photographic evidence)
8. Summer fun (movie)
9. Not so Regal Beagle
10. Barbie head Lois

Monday, August 22, 2005

Rainy Days & Mondays

Your regularly scheduled blog post has been interrupted by yet another animal emergency in my backyard. Sometimes I wonder if we have a sign out back that can only been seen by critters.

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He seemed normal enough. Young, curious, eating raisins, crackers and cat food. He was young enough to not be afraid of people but old enough to be away from his mom.

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As the morning progressed, he should have gone back to his home. He instead opted to hang around the Lane Estate a while longer.

I told Mr. Lane that the most obvious sign of a rabid raccoon was for it to be up and around during the daytime. And before I could say another word, the poor thing started frothing and seizing. I know he is just a raccoon but it really made us sad to see him that way. We decided to watch him but keep a safe distance between us.

I went online to checkout symptoms of rabid raccoons and found out, our little friend, no doubt, was going to die. From what I could tell, he was somewhere between the second and third stage of the disease. There is no cure and no hope.

I called our local animal control, you know the place that has yet to provide us with assistance during all of our critter crises, and of course, they proved useless, again. Animal control only takes care of stray dog complaints. I asked when they will be changing their name to Dog Control. They gave me attitude and the game warden's phone number.

Another new development that I've yet to blog about, my brother in-law Corky, moved from Portland, Oregon to be closer to his family here in Illinois. Mr. Lane and I offered him a place to stay. Although, he decided against actually moving in, he has been here for a week. He intends to stay with their sister until he finds a place of his own.

Corky is a huge movie buff. All of the talk about the rabid raccoon had his wheels cranking about Stephen King's 1983 horror movie, Cujo. Besides having a very active imagination, he is an animal lover. He was very upset that I called animal control. I explained that in this stage, he will continue to approach people, even neighborhood children. He will eventually bite someone.

After an hour of waiting for the warden to get back to me, I called the county sheriff. I explained the situation. We joked about our shitty animal control and the crappy county we live in. He told me to get all of the neighborhood kids to stay far away and said he would send a rookie deputy over to get his feet wet.

As we hung up, my phone rang. It was the warden. He was in the midst of some big investigation. Yeah, right! The warden asked if my husband was home. I told him he was and asked why.

"Well, ma'am, I am right in the middle of this here investigation and I can't come out to help. I think your husband outta take his rifle to him."

"Yeah. Um... my husband doesn't have a rifle. Don't worry yourself though, we called the sheriff and they are on the way."

"Great. Well tell the officer I said to gone ahead and shoot it. He can just dump it off in a corn field."

"Yeah, okay. Bye."

What kind of stupid fucked up redneck hell do I live in? No doubt the animal was going to be put down. But to assume my husband owns a rifle is beyond ridiculous. Poor Corky was mortified by the warden.

He said, "They're really going to kill him?"

"Yeah sweetie. There's nothing that they can do for him. He would otherwise die a very slow painful death."

"So they are just going to shoot him right here in your yard?"

"Probably. We need to send all of these kids home."

"Lois, you're kidding me right?"

"No. That's the way they do things here."

"Oh my gosh! That is just crazy. You know, if we were in Oregon right now, there would be a line of protestors keeping them from shooting the poor thing. They would call this animal cruelty."

"Sweetheart, I love animals. I really do. But I think it's much more cruel to not only take our chances on a child getting bit but to let him suffer. Maybe you need to go inside too."

"No, I'm fine. I can handle it."

The kids went to their respective homes and the deputy pulled into the driveway.

"I've never had a call like this before. Has it bitten anyone?"


Corky asked, "Are you going to kill him?"

The officer could tell by his tone that he was sad and really didn't want the raccoon to die. "I'm afraid so young man."

I tried to get Corky to go inside but he just had to be there. The officer used a low impact rifle with plastic tipped bullets. He said he was using that as a safety precaution because of this being a residential area. I think he also felt compelled to explain to Corky what he was doing.

He is now buried in our backyard turned Pet Cemetery. He is among friends. Picasso, a stray cat that was hit in front of the house, the opossum mom and three of her babies. Corky tried to make himself feel better by thinking aloud. "He didn't suffer. He had a decent last meal. He was petted and loved. He got a nice burial too."

I prefer happy endings too but this is life with the Lanes. Nothing is ever perfect. R.I.P. Ricky Raccoon.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Ulterior motives prompted our loving son, Lane 1, to set the stage for romance during our little getaway. Mr. Lane was sure the boy only set candles around the whirlpool tub so he could play with fire. It was a good theory, and for a while, we went with that.

My husband and I had some good quality time... scrubbing each other's backs. But like all good things, it came to an end. We got out of the tub and started drying and getting dressed. Mr. Lane blew the candles out. Instead of waiting for the wax to cool, he picked them up from the edge of the tub. One slipped out of his hand and landed in the tub. The lodge just opened in May. The whirlpool tub is brand spanking new. It was now coated with green wax.

Trying not to laugh at the old man, I said, "You know babe, I'm really not into that candle wax stuff."

By the time we cleaned the wax off of the tub, we were exhausted. We went down stairs to see what my mom and the kids were doing. Lane 1 actually thought we would let him go swimming again. He was buttering us up by setting up our romantic interlude so we would cave into his demands.

"Son, you were swimming all day. You'll be swimming all day tomorrow, and the next day. It's already 9 o'clock. The pool closes in an hour."

"I know Mom. I really want to go back."

"Sorry bud."

Lane 2 chimed in, "Boy, he's ungrateful."

"No I'm not!"

The argument was over before it really began. There is nothing either of my kids hate being called more than ungrateful.

In the morning the kids were up early. Lane 1 showered and ate as fast as possible and then asked to go swimming again. I told him I really didn't want him there without an adult.

Yes, he is 13 and by law he can be left unattended for a while, but that is not the point. Yes, he is a strong swimmer, but I am his mom and still worry. I know they have lifeguards there, but they are probably only a year or two older than my son.

That's sort of how the argument with my mother went. She thought it was perfectly fine for him to go without one of us to supervise him. Mr. Lane agreed. Lane 2 really wanted to get rid of her brother, making it unanimous. I was outvoted!

Lane 1 called the office and asked for a shuttle bus to pick him up. Yes, we really were that far away from the main entrance. Watching him step onto that shuttle was a giant leap for me. Yes, I hover. Yes, I am overbearing. Yes, I treat him like a baby. But, I did let him go.

When it was well beyond lunchtime, and there was still no sign of the boy, I decided to go fetch him. I'd been nervously waiting for everyone to get ready to go swimming. I felt such a strong urge to check up on him. Lane 2 was finally ready to go swimming, so at least I had a cover and didn't look like I was just checking up on him, heaven forbid.

The upper level of the lobby has windows that overlook the pool area. I went there first. No, I wasn't spying on him. I was simply looking for him in a sea of people. I spotted him right away. In the hot tub. Girl on either side. Three boys sitting across from him.

My little boy. He's a social butterfly. He can't help it if girls find him attractive. Of course the little shit was going around telling all of the chicks that he was staying in a villa. (If you have been following this vacation series, you will know that we ended up with a villa by default. Dumb luck, if you will. We paid $170 per night, not $400. Because of a computer glitch, we were livin' large.)

I quickly went down stairs to the swimming pool to get those sluts away from my baby boy. I casually strolled down stairs to go swimming.

"Oh, hi son. These your new friends?"

He rolled his eyes at me. "Mom, this is Trina and Samantha, Brad, Mike and Drey."

"Hi. Good to meet you. Son, are you hungry yet? I brought you some money for the snack bar."

"Yeah, cool Ma, thanks."

I tried walking to the snack bar with him but he picked up all sorts of momentum. Until... "Bobby. Bobby!"

He turned to look at me to see who I was talking to. "Bobby Boucher, those girls are the devil!"

"Oh my God Mom! I wasn't doing anything."

"So you expect me to believe you were sitting in the hot tub with two girls just enjoying the fine quality H2O?"

"Haha. Yeah, that's it. You should have seen Alexis. She was hot. She had to checkout already though. She is a junior."

"What would a junior want with a 13 year old boy? Oh, gross, never mind!"

"Samantha is a junior too and Trina's 15. They want to know if they can come over and checkout our villa."

"Ha! No. Commoners in our villa? Puh-lease! Do they know how old you are?"

"I don't know. Besides, Ma, age doesn't matter. Look at you and dad. He's way older than you."

I had a feeling the boy was trying to butter my biscuit again. I asked him if he would be embarrassed to have me join him in the snack bar. He vowed that he could never be embarrassed of me.

"Riiight. Which is why you were practically running away from me. Right Bobby?"

We had a nice conversation about school and girls... and the devil, over our Dippin' Dots and nachos. I think he likes my concern, in a twisted little way. I also think he likes being called Bobby Boucher.

I walked him back over to the sluts his friends and told him he could find me by the water slides if he needed anything.

He smiled at me and said, "Don't worry Mama, I won't be playin' that foosball."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Romancing The Bone

Sex sells and won as today's post. Married people generally don't have enough sex. There have been plenty of studies conducted to back that statement. We tend to get busy in other ways, like taking care of children, working and paying bills. Many women lose their sex drive after giving birth. There are lots of reasons married people aren't getting it on but I'll spare you.

Mr. Lane and I married after living in sin for a few years. For our next big trick, we conceived our son, intentionally, in my mother's converted garage. Can you feel the love? Then we had that child out of wedlock. This is what happens when Catholic girls go wild. Fox will probably being making a TV show about that soon.

I decided all of those years ago, I would take a car for a test drive before signing off on a five year loan. I might as well test drive a man before a lifelong commitment as well.

I always wanted children but never thought I would find a person who I liked enough to want to be with and have sex with for eternity. The jury is still out on the last part. (Shit. Did I type that out loud?)

When Lane 1 was about 6-months-old, I caved to the pressures of marriage. In January, we will celebrate seventeen years together and thirteen years of marriage. In that time there have been on again off again times of passion. Overall, I'd say we have a pretty healthy sex life. Compared to married friends of ours, we rule as horndogs.

Now that you know a little history, Mr. Lane and I did not plan our last getaway as an opportunity for shared passion. After all, my mom and our children were going to be with us. Sex might have been the last thing from our minds.

After checking out the bedrooms in our villa, Mr. Lane and I, in unison, told my mom that she would be in the master bedroom. There was a fireplace, a whirlpool tub, a king-size bed, a couch, TV, DVD player, dressing area, a full bathroom, a balcony overlooking a nice wooded area, and a couple of dressers and tables. She was after all, our guest. We wanted her to be as comfy as possible.

She protested with all of her might saying we should have the big room and enjoy its ambience. The only part of the room that truly interested me was the whirlpool tub. Having a bum back, there is nothing like those jets pounding away the pain.

You have to be really careful making a statement like that around my husband. Before I could explain that my back was giving me fits again, he said, "Oh yeah baby!" Then he sang, "L-L-L-Lois and the jets."

I gave him an elbow nudge. "Try to remember that's my mom standing there. And for the record, I did not want to play water sports, I simply hoped to pound the kink out of my back."

I think I heard my mother singing, "M-M-M-Mommy and the jets" but I can't be sure.

Mr. Lane assured my mother that we would be "romancing the bone" no matter where we slept. Can you imagine telling your mother in-law that you plan to get it on, with her daughter, while she is there, no matter where or what? She thankfully takes everything in stride.

We'd barely been in the villa for 20 minutes and Mr. Lane was "ready for bed."

The rest of that first day wasn't much different. At the water park, he kept "accidentally" copping a feel. At one point it was so bad he refused to go on the big water slide with me because, "Houston, we have a problem," he said, while peering toward his lower half.

I had no choice but to put that man in his place. While still in the lazy river part of the pool, I reached the band of his trunks with my toes, and pulled those suckers down. He was rightfully mortified and soon ready for that water slide.

The sexual innuendo carried on through dinner. First let me say, I know I've hyped this Grand Bear Lodge up quite a bit. It really is a great place. But if you ever go, don't eat their food. Learn from our mistake. The restaurant looks like a great place but their food leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyhow, after waiting much too long for our food to arrive, Mr. Lane was handed a plate of ribs. The kids teased him about how he intended to pay for them. (Please see Highway Lady, if that made no sense.)

He was complaining quietly to my mother and I about how crappy the ribs were. At the same time, he was going to town on them. Romancing the bone, if you will.

I leaned in, whispering in his ear and asked him if later he would treat me like a half slab. The poor guy started to choke. After turning all shades of red and purple, he smiled and raised his eyebrows at me.

Back in the villa, my mom refused to take her place in the master bedroom. "I thought we already worked this out Mother."

"Really, I don't need that big room and huge bed. You two go on."

Lane 1 said, "Yeah guys. Go on. All this mushy crap is going to make me puke."

The kid proceeded up the steps with a package of tealight candles. He lined the edge of the bathtub and began filling it up. Something about my son setting the romantic stage for me and his old man creeped me out. However, it didn't stop me from romancing the bone.

Stay tuned, tomorrow Bobby Boucher will make an appearance. And somehow, I'll work in the candle wax story too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There's Something Women Like About A Pickup Man

With our children and my mother hyped up on sugar, we arrived at the Grand Bear Lodge. Lane 1 started speaking erratic nonsense. My mother looked at me as if to say, "What the hell is wrong with your kid?"

Without saying a word, I gave her my look for, "You're the one who loaded him up on Twizzlers! What do you think is wrong with him?"

Doing his very best to try to annoy his grandmother, and picking up on our wordless conversation, Lane 1 sang, "Who do you blame when your kid is a brat? The musha untz ze fasha."

With a biff to the head, I said, "Nice Dutch accent son. Now, leave Granny alone."

The lady at the registration desk said we would be staying in villa Q1. They were set up like town houses. Each were two-stories with room enough for ten people to sleep comfortably. The property there is pretty big. Being sent to Q1 meant we would be pretty far from the main lodge, where all of the activities are. That part didn't sink in until we noticed how long the drive was from check-in to the villa.

On the way Mr. Lane was speaking in a most proper way. "Ladies, children, I will be your driver. I hope you find your villa as delightful as I find each and everyone of you. You shall find all of the comforts of home here in the villa at your disposal."

He rattled off amenities as if he were secretly working there. He pointed out the outdoor bar and grill, the miniature golf and ponds along the way. The kids sat high in their seats taking everything in, smiling all the way. My mother still had that excited twinkle in her eyes. Maybe she still had to pee, I can't be sure, but I think she also liked the look of the place.

"Driver, how much longer until we arrive? It seems to me that we are being put in the farthest villa away. "

"Yes ma'am. We wouldn't want to mix you among the commoners."

"I thought perhaps the desk clerk spotted my mother's bloomers in the back and found us disgraceful. Very well. Carry on."

"Yes Lois, that's what happened. They saw the rednecks coming with my fine suitcases and put us as far away from the others as possible."

"Now that sounds more like it."

We pulled up to the log cabin style townhouse, parking next to a Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0. Lane 1 had drool pouring from his chin. A quick check of the other cars surrounding us revealed, a BMW and a Lexus. We piled out of the pickup truck looking ever so redneck. We stood in front of the villa staring the way Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto stood at the gates of Oz. All of us giggling, we practically skipped into the villa.

"Your villa awaits, my ladies," Mr. Lane said while holding the door for us. He was on a roll with his role playing. All he needed was a little butler uniform and I so would have taken him right there in the doorway.

There are three days of vacation fun left to write about. I'm going to copy Cooter Ang and let you choose what comes next. I can go in order as the madness ensued or you can choose from the following...

A) Bobby Boucher
B) Red, Red Wine
C) Romancing the Bone

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

La Villa Strangiato

Vacationing with my mom is something I haven't done in years. We didn't go very far away but we had a great time. It really is just the company you keep. Initially, she wasn't going to come with us to the Grand Bear Lodge. Mr. Lane somehow talked her into going.

When we picked her up, she had bags and bags of clothes packed into plastic Target and Walmart bags. I called it her redneck luggage. She recently moved and didn't want to try to find her luggage. Yes, she really has some, and it's quite an amazing set, barely used.

We loaded her bags into the back of the pickup truck. She didn't notice that part until we were well on our way and one of my kids announced, "Hey Granny, there goes your clothes."

Someone had littered the highway with clothing and my kids thought it would be a hoot to make their grandmother think it was her stuff.

"Yup, there go her bloomers," Mr. Lane said looking at the rearview mirror.

"My what?! Oh no! Stop. We have to go back! Why were my clothes in the back of the truck?" One look at my face and she knew she'd been had. Looking into the back of the pickup she said, "Lawd have mercy on my bloomers."

We didn't tell the kids where we were going because they would have gotten all hyper knowing something fun was underway. We lied saying we were taking one last summer road trip with their dad. They bought it and eventually, so did my mom. We said we were going to Memphis and made up the vacation just to get her to come.

She yelled out the window for help shouting that she was being kidnapped. Lane 1 told her Memphis is beautiful this time of year and said we could stop at a KFC to look for Elvis and Tupac. Once bound and gagged, she went willingly.

Traffic slowed us a bit and I told her that her bloomers made a great parachute for ultimate stopping power. Then the kids asked if they could use her granny panties to hold over their heads while they jumped off of a tall building. One thing I love about my mother, she takes shit quite well.

Barely 40 miles into our little trip, we saw an old man standing at the side of the road. I gave Mr. Lane a hard time for passing the guy. "You can't not stop. Look how old he is and it's hotter than shit outside. At least see if he needs to use your cell phone."

He reluctantly turned around while my mother gave me some "dogooder" crap. "Woman, you want me to make like an opossum baby and stick him in your bra? Shut yo mouff foo!"

Once my mom got a better look at the old dude, she was glad we stopped. I think she was secretly wishing I'd stuff him into her bra. The guy lit up when Mr. Lane stepped out offering some assistance. He thanked him and said he had help on the way.

Back on the road Granny Oakley loaded the kids up on the candy she had smuggled in her purse. She was trying to get her mind off of her nagging bladder. She had already refused to pee in a bush roadside. She'd turned down every rest area and truck stop along the way, saying "I am not sitting on a funky toilet. I can wait." Yellow is totally her color by the way.

When we pulled into the lodge, the kids thought her bladder finally gave in to a public toilet. Mr. Lane walked her into the building, where they secretly registered and got the key to our villa. When they made it back to the truck and we told the kids what was really going on, their little faces looked like Christmas morning.

Getting there was really just half of the fun. There are more stories from our trip coming soon to a blog near you.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Crazy Opossum Lady

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post, "How Lois Lane spent her summer vacation" to bring to you grand finale of Crazy Opossum Lady.

A few posts ago, you read about the opossum babies I was taking care of. If you kept reading that week, you learned that I handed the babies off to a "professional" who specializes in opossum care.

Melzie said, "I can see Crazy Possum Lady becoming as infamous as Ugly Naked Guy (Friends) anyone up to composing a song for the bra babies similar to Smelly Cats?"

Being a freak always up for something silly, I jotted down some lyrics. After posting them, I had offers from musician blogger friends, willing to put music to what I had.

Vince Franco of Ramblings and Musings had the stomach and talent and offered his services. It's amazing how he nailed it! Vince thanks a bunch for composing music and singing this wonderfully silly song!

The song can be heard here.

Crazy Opossum Lady
Is that Channel you are wearing?
Are your breasts voluptuous and flaring?
Why is that smile upon your face?
Do you have marsupials inside your lace?

Crazy Opossum Lady
Holding babies in her cup
Crazy Possum Lady
Ooops, I just threw up
Crazy Possum Lady
Holding them near her heaaaart
Crazy Possum Lady
Oh God I'm gonna barf

How many babies can you carry inside of your bra?
Have they ever bitten you right on your tata?
Do you like the way it feels as they squirm about?
It's not for warmth, it's your own pleasure and it's time you let them out!

Crazy Opossum Lady
Holding babies in her cup
Crazy Possum Lady
Ooops, I just threw up
Crazy Possum Lady
Holding them near her heaaaart
Crazy Possum Lady
Oh God I'm gonna barf

Crazy Opossum Lady, Crazy Opossum Lady, she's crazy, crazy, a really crazy lady, with opossums in her braaaaaaaa. (A chorus of children dressed as opossums should sing this last part.)

Thanks again to Vince for his musical talents and for being such a great sport!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Summer Turns Me Upside Down

The last trip of the summer was by far the best. It started out with Mr. Lane and I trying to decide where to go, how long to stay and how much money to spend. Agreeing on Starved Rock was easy. There's beautiful scenery and jet skis. The best of both worlds for a family like ours.

We looked online for a place to stay and then we found Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Lodge. It has an indoor water park, with slides, waterfalls, a lazy river and a wave pool. They also have an arcade, mini golf, snack bars and restaurants. The resort just opened in May and that was the first we'd seen or heard of it.

We called to book a room and their computers were down. The girl took our reservation anyway and said, "I'm sure we have a room for your family."

Before getting off of the phone, her computer was working and she discovered she didn't have a room. They were overbooked. She felt bad and wanted to make it up to us. She gave us a free upgrade to a villa. Bonus!

Through the entire summer, we have been trying to get my mother to go on a trip with us. She always says she wants to go but never actually does. So, we kidnapped her. At least she thought she was kidnapped.

When we picked her up, she was ready and her "luggage" was packed. Mr. Lane and Lane 1 carried all of her Target and Walmart bags and put them into the back of the truck. Once the truck was moving, Mr. Lane told her we weren't headed to a posh resort. We were going to Tennessee instead. The kids played along, only they didn't know they were playing. We hadn't told them about our mini vacation because we didn't want them spazzing out before we got there.

"Oh hell no! You guys are not taking me to Tennessee."

"Yeah we are," Mr. Lane and I said in unison.

"I'm gonna hang my bloomers out the window as a distress signal."

"You'll slow the truck with those parachutes," we said.

For miles we had her going. We even lied and said her "luggage" flew out of the back of the truck. She fell for that hook line and sinker too.

There's a dozen or so new photos from our trip on my Flickr account. The pictures taken with my camera phone are blurry and crappy. My new digital worked pretty well, I just didn't always have it with me. I still have some film yet to be developed.

More photos and stories about our trip are coming soon to a blog near you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Where in the world is Lois Lane?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

Oh my God, you guys are funnier than shit! I loved all of your renditions of what happened with Frito. Thanks to those of you who tried to guess the ending. Many of you guessed bits and pieces. Lots of you made me laugh my ass off but none of you actually won the grand prize, which had yet to be determined. If you are new to Home Fires, welcome. Please read yesterday's post below and checkout the comments they are great. The following is part two.

Frito Bandito II

Jim left us standing there with the growling pitbull. He had to leave so he wouldn't be late for work.

Mr. Lane and I thought it best to wait it out while working on a second plan. We hoped Frito would calm down after he ate all of his food.

I called our vet asking for some doggie downers.

"Lois, I can't. He isn't my patient. If he has a weak heart, it could kill him. Plus, if he is as aggressive as you say he is, unfortunately, there's nothing we can do short of putting him down."

"Dr. Mac, please?"

"I'm sorry."

"What about a muzzle?"

"If he is in a kennel and won't let you get within four feet, how are you going to get it on him?"

"Good point. So what do you think we should do?"

"I think you should call animal control. He needs to be put down."

I got off of the phone and told Mr. Lane what the vet said.

"Lois, we can't just put him down."

"I think you need to tell Jim to call his dad. He should get the dog himself then. This thing is too dangerous."

"Let's give him a little more time to calm down. He might be perfectly fine in my truck."

"And he might shred your Snausages to smithereens. Do you really think he'll stay calm for two days? He is eventually going to have to eat again. Would Nick even want this dog as aggressive as he is?"

"Baby, I know as much as you know."

Mr. Lane called Jim and told him he needed to call his father. When he called back, he said his father wanted to sell the dog, not keep him. We were pissed. Jim was pissed. All of the worrying and feeling sorry for Nick, only to find out he was hoping to get some cash out of Frito.

The Lanes, suckers on the block. Bit on the ass once again. Fell for another sob story. I swear we have "Sucker" stamped on our foreheads.

He hung up the phone and began thinking aloud. "Who the hell would buy a dog as angry as this one? What was Nick thinking? Gonna risk my fucking life for him to get some money! I'll pay the sonofabitch with my foot in his ass."

"He probably was headed for a dog fighting ring. I've seen that on Animal Planet. Honey, you aren't taking him, right?"

"No. Not after all of that. I feel like such a jackass for feeling bad for the dude."

"Yeah me too. So now what do we do with Frito?"

We were afraid to leave him alone in our yard because there are so many neighborhood kids who could have gotten hurt. We tried to move the kennel but Frito barked viciously at us. Mr. Lane hooked a tieback to the kennel and dragged the kennel into the shade so he wouldn't overheat.

I went inside to get some ice cubes for him to chew. I approached the kennel, talking baby talk the whole time. I got closer than four feet. Progress. I squatted down to his level, looked him in the eyes, leaned in to put an ice cube in the kennel and that mother fucker barked, scaring the shit out of me. I flipped out of my squatted position into a backward summersault of sorts.

I stood up, brushed myself off and said, "Don't make me piss on that kennel to claim my territory dog! I'm the alpha bitch here!"

Once I regained my composure, I slid the garden hose toward the kennel, hoping he would take a drink. He was panting like crazy and the ice cubes never made it to him. As the hose neared his kennel, he charged the door. I threw the hose into the air, water splashed all over me. I screamed like a girl and ran into the house. Mr. Lane laughed at me.

After much discussion, we decided Frito's fate. He was going to be reunited with his dad. I called animal control and explained the situation. They would come to get him and put him to sleep but would be charging us $200 to do so. I protested the cost and explained the situation, telling them Frito wasn't our dog. The fee stood.

I hung up the phone, went outside and broke the news to Mr. Lane. Frito was barking like crazy and still hadn't had his "Last Supper." Lane 1 came outside and said a man was banging on our sliding glass door in the kitchen. I told Mr. Lane to call Jim and let him know that if he wasn't taking the dog back, and his dad wasn't coming to get him, we came up with plan B.

I ran in to answer the door. It was a utility man. He said he needed to trim the trees at the back of our yard because they were hitting the power lines. He wanted to make sure the dog he heard was tied up. Out of frustration more than anything, I told him what was going on with the dog. The whole story. Poor guy. I let him know he was safe to do his work because the dog was in a kennel in the front yard and wouldn't be let out any time soon. Animal control said it would be a couple of hours before someone could come.

Jim agreed that the dog should be put down. He apologized profusely for wasting our time and said he would pay back the $200. He said he had no idea his dad was just going to sell the dog.

At noon (remember, this Frito fiasco began at 6 a.m.) the animal control officers pulled into my driveway. They asked us some questions and they got the whole story. They thought the office shouldn't have demanded payment from us either, but of course, they had a job to do. They needed to collect a check and a dog.

Frito was losing his mind. He knew his fate. Mr. Lane and I felt terrible, it wasn't the dog's fault.

The animal control officers were like Frick and Frack, clueless. Everything they tried was a strike out. They couldn't get Frito out or approach his kennel. They were as nervous and scared as Mr. Lane and I. Professionals? We stood for an hour watching the two morons talk through their plan. Frito was taking notes, growling and barking the whole time.

At 1:15 the utility guy was pounding on the glass door again. Lane 1 came to get me. He was on the phone with his brother. He also fell for the sob story and wanted to do something. He called his brother to see if he could help us. He had pitbulls in the past.

I explained the officers were trying to get him into their truck and he was going to be put to sleep. His brother wanted to talk to me.

"Ma'am, if you act scared, he'll keep on charging and barking. You need to shout and let him know who is boss."

"Thank you for your advice but animal control is here and they can boss him all they like. Frankly, I'm scared of the dog."

"He probably senses that fear. So they are just taking him to put him down?"

"Unfortunately, yes. But there's really nothing else we can do. This dog is much too aggressive."

"Can I talk to the animal control officer?"

"Ummm, sure. Hang on."

I went outside, quickly explained who was on the phone and handed it to the officer.

"If we had a tranquilizer, this would be much easier. The office didn't let us know what kind of dog we were picking up and they never said how aggressive he is. No sir. I don't think so. How long? I suppose."

He handed the phone back to me and the guy asked me if he could have the dog.

"You really don't want this dog. He is mean as hell. He'd rather die of heatstroke than have an ice cube."

"I can be there in 20 minutes. Please at least let me see the dog before they take him to be put to sleep."

"At the rate these two guys are getting him into the truck, I'd say you have plenty of time."

By then, the utility guy, who reminded me of one of the Village People, had made friends with my kids. He was sitting at our kitchen table having a Diet Pepsi. Lane 2 is the little hostess with the mostess. She was talking his ear off, telling him about all of the animals that mysteriously find their way to our house. Lane 1 was telling him how disgusting he thought the opossum babies were. And, of course, told him all about the Crazy Opossum Lady.

I gave him his phone and told him his brother was on the way. He said his brother probably wants to keep the dog. He said he manages a junkyard and used to keep pitbulls as guard dogs. His last pitbull got hip dysplasia and had to be put down.

Macho Man went back to work and I went back outside to wait. When the man arrived, he walked up to the kennel and started talking to the dog. He was growling.

"Knock it off Frito! You want to go for a walk boy?"

The dog was growling and barking like crazy and this fucking guy was offering to take him on a stroll. Brave or stupid as can be, he reached his hand toward the kennel with a leash ready to hook onto his collar. The dog kept barking but wasn't charging or attempting to bite the guy.

Mr. Lane and I opted to go inside and watch from the front door. Yes, we are chicken shits. The animal control officers stood behind their truck in shock.

We watched in awe as this man eventually opened the kennel door and walked Frito around our yard. He squatted down, eye level with Frito and began petting him. Frito sat quietly.

The man, Leroy Brown, took Frito home.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Frito Bandito

Mr. Lane and I are proof that there's a sucker born every minute. Kindness can turn on a dime and bite you right on your ever-lovin' without warning. Obtaining the whole story, no matter what, is more important than I can stress.

As I tell you this story, think about how you would have felt and what you would have done. Tell me if you wound up bit in the end.

Our neighbor's uncle Al, died last week. When we heard the news, we felt bad for him and his family. Al was only 47-years-old and although he had been wheelchair bound for more than a decade, he wasn't sick and died suddenly. The coroner said he died as a result of a seizure, likely caused by his medication.

Al was found the next morning with his faithful companion, Frito, at his side. The part about his dog laying with him broke mine and Mr. Lane's hearts. We offered Jim our condolences and anything else he needed.

After the services, Jim told Mr. Lane that his father, Nick, (Al's brother) would like to keep Frito. He gave Frito to Al when he was a puppy. The problem was, Nick lives out of state and wasn't able to take the dog on the flight back home. Since Mr. Lane was headed in his direction for business, he agreed to bring Frito to Nick.

Frito was delivered to our house by Jim at 6 a.m. Monday. We were ready. We had a dog kennel, two bowls, a big blanket, some dog toys, bones, rawhide, food and a gallon of water. Frito would spend two days in the truck with Mr. Lane, before arriving to his new home. We wanted to make his trip as comfortable as possible. Lane 1 offered to go on the trip to help his dad with the dog.

My whole family felt so bad for the dog. He just lost his dad, and was going to be trapped in a truck for a couple of days with a stranger, just to be dropped off with someone else he really didn't know. We felt bad for Nick, even though we never met, because he just lost his brother. We felt bad for Jim and knew he didn't want to ask such a big favor.

Jim hopped out of his truck. He called to the dog to come out, "Come on puppy. It's okay. Frito, come."

Mr. Lane and I began to approach the truck, in an effort to coax Frito out. When we saw him, we looked at each other, our eyes were as big as flying saucers. Frito was a pitbull. A big mother fucking pitbull.

We tried really hard not to pass judgment. In our minds we chanted, "It's all in the way they are raised."

Knowing he already saw what I was seeing, I whispered, "Honey, it's a fucking pitbull."

"Good eye Lois."

"Well babe, I don't know if you should take him. I mean, what if he flips out and eats you?"

"He ain't gettin' my Snausages," he nervously said, holding his crotch.

Jim got Frito out of the truck and he seemed to be pretty calm. He didn't want Mr. Lane or I to approach him, however. He let us know with a subtle growl. Jim thought it best to lead Frito into the kennel. Mr. Lane decided the quickest way to make friends would be to feed him. He filled one dish with food and the other with water. He set them into the kennel. As he was closing the door, the dog charged. Thankfully, my old man has quick reflexes.

No one knew about Frito's food aggression. He tore the blanket apart burying his food. He growled and barked at anyone within four-feet of the kennel, even Jim.

Here's where I ditch you guys. Finish the story. What do you think happened next? Did Mr. Lane take the growling pitbull out of state? Is Frito living at the Lane Estate? Did any of us get bitten? Did Frito change his evil ways? I'll be back with the conclusion of Frito Bandito tomorrow. If anyone guesses the end of the story, there will be a grand prize in your future, and no. It's not Fritos.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

She's A Maniac

If you read my last post, you'll note that my sister Angie was the dictator in the family. Well, she ruled my little world anyhow. She left a comment asking me when I'll tell the story of the kitty in the "sam-so-nit" which has already been told. Obviously, Ang hasn't been paying attention. If you would like to know about the kitty who spent a day as my pet, 90% of which was inside of a Samsonite suitcase, please read this. This is one of the stories that will be included in my book. I guess in a twisted little way I am dying for the P.E.T.A. folks to protest naked when the book hits the market.

The Crazy Opossum Lady called last night to tell me the babies are doing well. Hearing from her reminded me of the mini video clip Lane 1 took of me feeding one of them. That can be seen here. Pay no attention to the sounds of the two crazy kids.

A few posts ago, Melzie said, "I can see Crazy Possum Lady becoming as infamous as Ugly Naked Guy (Friends) anyone up to composing a song for the bra babies similar to Smelly Cats?"

I got the words, all we need is some music, anyone have the stomach? Here's the lyrics:

Crazy Opossum Lady

Is that Channel you are wearing?
Are your breasts voluptuous and flaring?
Why is that smile upon your face?
Do you have marsupials inside your lace?

Crazy Opossum Lady
Holding babies in her cup
Crazy Possum Lady
Ooops, I just threw up
Crazy Possum Lady
Holding them near her heaaaart
Crazy Possum Lady
Oh God I'm gonna barf

How many babies can you carry inside of your bra?
Have they ever bitten you right on your tata?
Do you like the way it feels as they squirm about?
It's not for warmth, it's your own pleasure and it's time you let them out!

Crazy Opossum Lady
Holding babies in her cup
Crazy Possum Lady
Ooops, I just threw up
Crazy Possum Lady
Holding them near her heaaaart
Crazy Possum Lady
Oh God I'm gonna barf

Crazy Opossum Lady, Crazy Opossum Lady, she's crazy, crazy, a really crazy lady, with opossums in her braaaaaaaa. (A chorus of children dressed as opossums should sing this last part.)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Look What Followed Me Home

All of this talk about animals finding their way into my home got me thinking about when I was a kid. It's true, my little apples didn't fall far from the tree. I can recall several times I tried getting my mom to fix an injured animal or at least let me keep those that "followed me home".

I'd like to tell you some very heartwarming story about a puppy that followed me home once. My sister Angie was my accomplice with me that day, and we dragged that little fucker for miles were minding our very own business walking home. This adorable black puppy that we just had to have, was wandering around all alone.

"Ang? You see what I see?"


"Think we can take it without getting bit?"

"It's smaller than your stupid brain Lois. Of course we can take it and if it does bite, it can't be that hard." Angie began calling the dog over to us while patting on her leg. "Pssst, here puppy. Come."

I tried too, "Want some Bubs Daddy? Come here boy."

"Dogs don't chew bubblegum doofus."


When the dog was smart enough to keep his distance didn't come, we grabbed him by his collar and took him for a drag we led him by his collar, gently. He didn't have tags to tell us where he lived, which meant in our minds, he was ours to take.

When we arrived with "Baby" in tow, our mother quickly reminded us that we were renters and could not have a dog. We whined and pouted, begged and pleaded and when that didn't work, we lied saying he followed us home.

"You guys, he is someone's pet. He has a collar."

"But Mommy, (we always called her 'Mommy' when we really wanted something) he doesn't have tags, and he followed us home. If he is someone's pet, someone who takes good care of him, why would he come with us so willingly?"

I watched and listened in awe. The way Angie worked our mother was amazing. The lies she weaved flowed elegantly and effortlessly from her mouth.

Mom caved and let us keep Baby until his owners were found. We found out, not only was Baby not a puppy but he was a poodle. The name "poo"dle made us laugh for hours.

No owner came forward and we were told that it would be our responsibility to feed Baby, take Baby for walks and clean up any mess Baby made. Mom was willing to keep the dog hidden from our landlord just until we could find a new home for him.

Angie never did anything for that dog. He would leave landmines of shit under our bed. She would tell me because I had the bottom bunk, that I was closer to the crap, therefore, I had to clean up the crap. In the kitchen, I always seemed to be closer to the dog food and kitchen faucet than she was, defaulting me to feeding him and getting water in his bowls. I was stupid and Angie was good at manipulation.

Baby eventually went to live with our aunt. From what I remember about losing the dog, we weren't too sad. Maybe because he was staying in the family.

Angie and I, while visiting our mom recently, confessed about dragging Baby home. Mom was rightfully mortified and wanted us to come clean with the rest of the critters that "followed us home".

Ang looked at me. I looked at her. We looked at Mom and said in unison, "You can't handle the truth!"

I can only imagine what kinds of stories my kids will share with me one day. I cringe at the thought.