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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Here Comes The Rain Again

My Honey (best friend who lives in Tennessee) was here all weekend. The visit was hurried because she was in town getting her things out of storage. She never imagined when she left four years ago that it would take this long to retrieve her family's belongings. Every item had a story.

Honey has four kids, which means, a lot of what she had stored was seasonal clothing that her kids have now outgrown. After going through 20 or so rain-soaked boxes, on my tarp-covered living room floor, 90% of the clothes were repacked to send to the Salvation Army.

In yesterday's comments a couple of you mentioned how shitty it is when you are doing something nice and something bad happens to you. Well, this weekend we had another one of those "What the fuck" moments.

Mr. Lane and Mr. Honey were on their way to drop off the clothes and Mr. Lane's truck broke down, while loaded with clothes for the needy. Is that not just another one of those moments where you can't help but wonder, what the fuck?

I went to fetch the guys in my car. It was pouring down rain and dark outside so we opted to leave the boxes of clothing in the back of the pickup truck, which they pushed into a repair shop lot.

We have no idea what is wrong with the truck and the mechanic hasn't looked at it yet. All I know for sure is that I am officially the go-to-gal. I drove Mr. Lane to work (40 miles away) right after Honey and her family left. He had to drive to Nebraska so my bitching about an 80-mile round trip drive seems beyond stupid and selfish. He's expected back for some afternoon delight and then I have to take him back so he can deliver seed corn to Iowa. His life is so exciting.

I've been freelancing like the wind, trying like hell to get some jobs that pay now because being broke is not my forte. Don't the powers that be realize I was intended to be a spoiled rich bitch? Again, I wonder, what the fuck?

All of this work and additional driving means much less internet fart around time for me. Hell, I was going to have another contest for Home Fire's 45,000th visitor but it happened in the midst of this crazy busy work, I missed it. Maybe when 55,555 sneaks up I'll be more prepared and do something. Anyhow, don't think I've deserted any of you. I'll catch up.

So there's my whining and complaining for the week. I have a couple of weekend funnies in my mental files. I hope to find enough fart around time tomorrow to share.

Side Note To My Mom: Fuck being nice Mommy. It just gets you into more trouble. So go on with your bad ass self.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Whole New World Mom

My mother resigned herself to a New Year's Resolution of becoming a nicer person. That's a weird resolution even for my mom. She said she had spent too much time being angry and being mean. (her words so don't give me any shit people)

Day one into the new year, Mom and I were on the phone. She began talking about how happy she was. That is until the dog started barking insanely for no apparent reason. "Shut up you stupid dog! You scared the shit out of me!"

"Hey, uh... Mom? This new you?"

"Shut up Lo! She scared me!"

"You're not starting out so good."

"You're right. From now on, seriously, I am going to try harder and just be nicer."

Since the month is almost over, I thought I'd let you guys know how well my mom is doing with her resolution. First, in her defense, things have been pretty shitty in these parts as of late. Basically what that means is she fails miserably every single day. She cracks me up because as soon as she realizes she blew it again, she seriously says, "Oh shit. Guess I need to start over... again."

Last week she was coming out of the hospital from visiting my sister and she saw a lady lose her footing and fall. The new and improved Mom rushed to the lady's side to help her up and brush her off. As she bent over to help, some, "big, fat, stupid, mother fucker" (her words) knocked her over while also trying to help the lady. And, that "sonofabitch didn't even bother to apologize" to my mom.

The guy who knocked my mom down hurt her bad enough for her to visit her doctor the next day. He messed her back up so bad that my mom's doctor wanted to admit her into the hospital to put her in traction, to which my mother said, "Fuck that! Oh shit, guess I better try that nice thing again some other time."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Update On The Broken Bopsy Twins

Mary is home and Angie is about to be booted from the hospital any minute. Those two have had a rough ride over the last few weeks. I'm happy both on are the road to recovery.

Angie ended up having surgery on the infamous kidney stone. By the time it was removed from her body, it had grown to 1/4" X 1/2". Bidding wars on eBay are going to begin any second, I'm sure. Ang is still in a lot of pain, still pissing blood and still wishing for better drugs.

Mary arrived home and had to climb a flight of stairs to get into her apartment. She said it was easier than before the surgery. Can you imagine? Her body was cut from her boobs to her box and it was easier? She really must have been a fucked up mess before the surgery.

My Honey is coming for a weekend visit from Tennessee. I'm sure there will be all sorts of spoonin' to report Monday. For now, go listen to Kyle Shannon and tell him Lois sent ya. He finally updated his site and I got that bitch to say my name, again.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh No, It's The 5-0

It's like the feeling of getting kicked in the stomach. We woke up Saturday to find our garage had been broken into. The only thing missing was Lane 1's bike.

Remember the look on his face when he got the bike?

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Imagine the devastation in his sleepy eyes when he awoke to find it missing. It broke my heart.

Mr. Lane has thousands of dollars of tools that were untouched. My bike and Lane 2's bike were still there. Even the dirt bikes that had the keys in the ignitions both remained in the garage.

My teenager welled up with tears, threw on his coat and shoes and went outside to investigate. Nine inches of fresh snow fell Friday night. Lane 1 found tracks along side of our garage, just out of range of our security light. "It had to be someone young who lives in our neighborhood." I thought.

My boy came back into the house and was holding a footprint embedded in snow that he carefully scooped up.

"This was the only type of print I found by the garage. Put it in the freezer Mom."

He was so serious and upset, I can't tell you how sad I felt for him. At the same time, I couldn't help but smile. His seriousness was beyond adorable. When a boy is 13, there isn't much more he holds near and dear as his bike.

Mr. Lane went one way and Lane 1 went another to comb the neighborhood for more evidence.

Soon, Lane 1 came back with seven neighborhood boys. He showed them the trail of footprints by the garage. Mr. Lane came running down the street and told all of the boys, "Let me see your shoes." It was so funny. Without hesitation, each lifted a foot.

I called to him. He came back in the house. "Honey, don't you think that the little fucker who did this is wearing different shoes today since he was out traipsing in the snow last night?"

"Damn! I didn't think of that."

I handed him a hot cup of coffee as we discussed who we thought were suspects. He went back out to help our son. By then, he and the boys were out of sight. Mr. Lane got in his truck to drive around.

The phone rang. It was Lane 1. "Hey, Mom? I'm on a police man's phone right now. He wants to know if we have the serial number of my bike. He also wants to know about what time the break-in happened."

Knowing we live very far from any police station, I couldn't imagine how my son was talking on an officer's phone. I didn't question him. I just gave him all of the information.

Mr. Lane came back and I told him about the call. He decided to go back out to see if he could find the officer. Instead, he ran into our son and an even larger group of boys, no officer in sight.

Our neighborhood is really small and there aren't any kids we don't know. We had our prime suspects picked out and there they were, with our son, helping him find his bike. Mr. Lane approached the group and again demanded to see the bottom of their shoes. All cooperated.

He pulled our number one suspect away from the group and said, "Listen, I know that you are the oldest here. You know our neighborhood like the back of your hand. And I'd guess, you know exactly where that bike is and who took it. I will give you $125 if you get that bike back to my son. I don't even care if you took it, just get the bike back today."

An odd tactic but Mr. Lane couldn't stand the look on our baby boy's face.

The phone rang. "Hi ma'am. This is Deputy David Davies. I spoke to your son about his missing bike after he waved me down. Could I come over and speak with you?"


He came over and the first thing he wanted to tell me is, "You have an amazing young man. He was so brave fighting back his feelings and providing me with information."

That nearly made me cry. "He waved you down from the street?"

"Yes. Actually, I was on patrol in the neighborhood because there were other break-ins reported this morning."

He told me in all, nine garages and cars were broken into. He wanted to see the footprint my son had saved in the freezer. Atop the box of Eggos was the perfect foot print. He took pictures of it, and measured it and took some more pictures. He commended my son again.

I told him about the reward that my husband offered and explained why he singled out the one boy. Deputy David Davies was enthralled. He left but soon came back to say each reported location had the same foot prints.

Within a half of an hour of the reward being offered, suspect number two left the large group to go look on his own. In 15 minutes, he came running. "Dude! Dude, I think I found your bike!"

He led my son and the large group of boys to a yard, two doors down from our house. A yard they had passed 100 times in their search. The bike was tossed right next to a tree. No foot prints were near it, which sounded alarm bells within my son.

Mr. Lane told the boy that the reward he offered the other boy was not open to everyone but said he would give him a little something for his troubles. He handed him $45. We wanted to stiff him entirely and see if the little fucker would call the police to tell on us, but then again, we already had enough excitement for one day.

After a thorough investigation by Deputy David Davies and Lane 1, both suspects are now in juvenile custody.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Like A Rolling Stone

This was the craziest weekend on record here at the Lane Estate. First off I have to ask again for the good vibes patrol to come out in full force. Now I have two sisters in the hospital.

Angie's kidneys decided they wanted to form a rock band, apparently. She has been unable to pass the largest of her kidney stones, which now measures 5mm X 12mm.

She was admitted in excruciating pain on Saturday and hopes to be home to sell that painful little fucker on eBay by Tuesday. Her second choice is to put a bow on the stone's head and call it her third child.

The morphine is keeping her out of pain but man she is loopy. I was on the phone with her yesterday and she was telling me about all of the different drugs they have her on. She was trying to tell me they also are giving her Benadryl but instead said, "Ben and Jerry's". I guess that was just some wishful thinking on her part. Maybe Ang is on to something, a little ice cream always makes me feel better.

My sister Mary remains in the hospital recovering from her surgery. Her massive blood clot turned out to be not only a blood clot but a chunk of plaque lodged in her aorta. Mary also is on morphine. Hers comes via IV with a self-medicating button. I guess the medicine is making her a little loopy too because she is using her button as a detonator. Every time someone says or does something she disapproves of, she holds the button up in the air and says, "Don't make me blow you up!"

Hopefully both will be out soon and back on their feet. For now they are in two hospitals about 40 miles away from each other. Angie's hospital is 77 miles away from me and Mary's is 55. Sometimes being out in the middle of nowhere is a really bad thing.

Tune in tomorrow to learn why the police were at our house this weekend. I told you it was crazy.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Reading Rainbow II

You remember when we played Rejected Children's Books? If you would like to refresh your memory or are new to Home Fires, click here.

Life has been crazy here at the Lane Estate. I know that isn't exactly new news. During difficult times, my brain wanders off to do its own thing. (Don't worry, my sister Mary is doing well.) As my mind wandered off again, I was brought back to the children's book game. Here are some of my latest titles:

1. Hop On Pop, The Babysitter Does

2. Mommy Has A Buzzing Friend That Makes Her Less Of A Bitch

3. The Mailman Slipped Mommy His Package

4. Where's Waldo's Willy Wanker

5. Madeline's Methlab

6. Thomas The Tank Engine Ran Over The Stupid Fucker Who Went Around The Gates

7. Cap'n Hook Fingers Wendy

8. Ronald McDonald Makes Hamburglar Grimace

9. See Spot Run From Dick

10. Jane Plays With Dick

(Can you think of some?)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We Didn't Start The Fire

I've been spending an absurd amount of time trying to use my exercise bike, the LO Racer 2006. Trying is the keyword. If you are new here, welcome to Home Fires. If you would like to see the fancy bike I am writing about today, please click here. It was a gift from my husband for Christmas. Saddest fact of all, I actually asked for exactly what I received. This is one of those be careful of what you wish for deals in life.

Upon closer inspection of the 30-year-old stationary bike, I noticed that the original tension wheel was no longer in place. Whoever owned it before me was inventive, however.

Since most of you are fortunate enough to not be familiar with this type of bike, I'll describe it a little more so you can visualize what I mean. The center bar that is between your legs while on the bike has a tension knob. When turned to the right, it pushes down a rubber, free-spinning wheel that presses against the tire. The more you tighten it, the harder it is to pedal, giving you a better workout for your muscles. It is supposed to be made of rubber because it makes direct contact with the rubber tire. Mine, due to the inventive previous owner, is made of wood. Sure, it is shaped like a normal rubber wheel and at fist glance, I was fooled.

The wheel is supposed to be able to spin against the tire. Mine doesn't. With the tension knob barely turned and the wooden wheel barely touching the tire, I have to pedal with all of my might.

It's a little scary when you're pedaling your ass and see smoke coming off of your bike tire. I thought, "So that's what Mr. Petridish meant about friction when I was in science class in 5th grade." Before any flames decided to shoot from my tire and cause my lovely purple plastic streamers to go up in smoke, I decided it best to stop.

I never mentioned the fact that Mr. Lane bought me something besides this lovely Lo Racer 2006. I guess that'll be a post for another day. Trust me, it's another doozie and as soon as I get the opportunity to use it, I'll tell you guys all about my experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

She Blinded Me With Science

My son, Lane 1 was happy to go to school this morning. I was shocked too. That is, until he pulled a permission slip out of his folder.

"Hey Ma, can you sign this?"

"What is it?"

"It's a permission slip."

"For what?"

"To allow me to watch science porn at school."

"What?! Let me see that."

I read the permission slip. "Eighth graders at St. Peter, Paul and Mary School will be viewing a biology tape about the reproductive system."

"Science porn, huh?"

"Yeah and don't worry, I'll even take some notes and share them with Dad."

My sister Mary came out of surgery quite well yesterday. They are planning to move her out of the intensive care unit and into a regular room today. They expect she will be in the hospital for a week. She has a very long recovery ahead.

I'm thankful for the surgeon and doctors who have put my Humpty Dumpty sister back together again. I'm also thankful for my rotten teenager who keeps me laughing even in the most stressful times.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Shorts

While driving back from one of the farms Mr. Lane had the whole family working at this weekend, he pointed to a cattle farm.

He asked, "Remember when I tried getting a job there?"


"You really don't remember?"


"You have to remember. There was that one armed guy. I came home laughing my ass off."

"Well, what's funnier than a one armed guy? Sorry, it isn't ringing any bells, honey."

"Well, I went there and met this farmer. He took me out to lunch. While we were at this little local café, he said he needed help hauling the cattle from farm to farm but warned me how dangerous it can be. As he was saying that, this one armed guy walks by, we both looked up at him for a second, and I said, 'I'm sure a freakin' cow isn't gonna rip my arm off.' And the guy said, 'That's my dad.' I guess he did lose it in a farming accident. I am sure it wasn't a cow who caused the accident though. Maybe that's why those guys never called me back."

"You think?"

Yesterday while I was slightly exasperated, Lane 1 did something out of line, and I started to reprimand him but began with, the wrong kid's name, which I rarely do. My daughter looked shocked at me and said, "You seriously mistook that freak as me?"

My mother was, and still is the queen of messing up our names. She actually called me one syllable of each child's name, followed by "damn it, Lois." I thought I would be helpful one day and I drew giant Ls on my shirts like Laverne from Laverne and Shirley, but that only got me a major ass beating. At least during that beating she called me the right name. See, there is an upside to everything.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wanted, Dead Or Alive

Miss Snark, Last Girl on Earth and Barbara are the only people who I "know" who made it into the final voting stage of the BoB Awards. Congratulations ladies!

Thanks to those of you who nominated me. Remember I said I was writing a speech about how great is was to just be nominated? Well, I didn't get any farther than, "It was great just to be nominated." The end.

Anyone who has been reading Home Fires for a while knows all about my miracle cat, Chip. It you are new here, welcome. Please catch up by reading the four part series that began in the July 6th post. Yes, I know it is very long but it truly is an amazing tail.

My kids have a half of a day at school today. So I was rushing around trying to get my housework done early. I began writing out bills but had to stop to gather laundry. When I returned, this is what I saw.

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The little fucker has no manners whatsoever. He gets on the kitchen table and does what? Sticks his stupid paw into my glass of water! If that weren't bad enough, I pretended not to see him and snapped this little gem.

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Now I am left wondering, how many times did his kitty litter covered paws find their way into my glass? How many times did his butt licking face also wind up in my glass unbeknownst to me? I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Waiting

(Work stuff to get off of my chest, boring, not funny, read at your own risk or skip to the end. Thankyouverymuch.)

Tom Petty, the ugliest guy in rock and roll sang the words truest to life. The waiting is the hardest part. I hope one of these days to grow more patient because I hate spazzing out all of the time. There really is no sense in getting your panties in a bunch over something you have no control over, right?

Every single freelance job requires some amount of wait time. Every contact with every agent, requires the same. The book, the freelance work all sit waiting to be picked up by just the right person, publication or company. It's hard to keep plugging along sometimes. Days go by where I get so sick of waiting that I completely lose sight and wonder what the fuck it is I am doing.

Home Fires was a newspaper column long before it was a blog. While waiting for my book to get picked up by an agent, I thought it would be a good idea to seek a large syndicate to represent the newspaper edition, which is a milder version of what you read here. (excluding this stupid shit you are reading now) Like the rest, there is waiting involved.

Out of frustration, I e-mailed my buddy Scott the other day. He has a syndicated cartoon that's been running for 16 years with the same place I sent my last syndication query letter to. I asked him how long it takes the syndicate to respond. He said he wasn't sure but for him it was "two solid months, but that was 16 years ago."

Two months doesn't seem like a very long time, until I stare at the calendar and count days. It's been six weeks since the submission, so I have to just keep my shorts on. But there's this little goofy thing that popped into my head while I was absorbing this waiting game.

Postage. I realized at that moment, I sent hundreds of items to hundreds of publications. With each submission, I've included a self-addressed-stamped envelope. And guess what? Postage went up two cents between my sending them and now. So my stupid ass head ponders all sorts of things. "Do I need to make contact again? Should I send two-cent stamps all over the free world to make up the difference?"

Shit. Most of what I've submitted is on my laptop. The one that was jolted by lightning last week. I couldn't even guess where I'd need to begin a second attempt at contacting those people. So I just have to wait and hope for the best. The way-yay-ting is the hardest part.

Good vibes patrol, can you hear me? My sister Mary (41 yr. old with blood clot in her aorta) is going in for surgery Monday. You know the drill.

Remember the bath crayons story from a few days ago? William suggested I draw eyes on the wall as if someone is looking at my kids and husband in the shower. I did, but when I didn't hear any reaction from Lane 2 while she was showering, I thought the oversized eyes went unnoticed. Late that night I took my shower and saw the eyeballs I drew were covered with a crayon-drawn blindfold.

Jamie Dawn, who started this whole thing, suggested that I write, "Don't pee in the shower." I did, but again I heard no verbal reaction. After Lane 1's shower, I looked in the shower to see if there was a new message, and sure enough, it said, "Does that mean crapping is okay?"

Just know now that if ever I find a poop ball in my bathroom outside of toilet limits, I am sending the guilty party to live with my pal Jamie Dawn.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

When Will It End?

If you are just tuning in, welcome. This post is a part two of sorts to yesterday's tale. My mother gave all of her grandchildren gift cards for Christmas. Why am I still blabbering on about Christmas on the 11th of January, you may wonder. Well because, we are still trying to get our children to spend those lovely gift cards, that's why.

My sister Angie alluded to some of it in the comments yesterday. Way to spill the beans on my post Ang! Anyhow, thankfully, Angie was not paying too much attention to my conversation with her son Bubba Jr. who is also my godson.

I called him for his birthday, five days after Christmas. We were chitchatting about stuff and I asked if he used up all of his gift card.

"Actually, Auntie Lo, you can't get a good deal these days. It's like they just want grownups to be able to afford this stuff. I mean really, fifty stinking dollars for a stupid car that is likely to need very expensive batteries to just ride around the house. It's crazy."

He was as serious as any penny pinching 8- year-old can possibly be.

"You know, your cousin Lane bought one of those $50 cars."

"Really? I just can't see doing that. You know? Half of my gift card wasted on one thing, not gonna happen. So I told my mom, 'How 'bout I treat you to the snackbar?' because Auntie Lo, that is the best deal in town. Where else can you go and get two burgers and a pop for two bucks? Nowhere. I mean it, the prices are out of control."

He's 8-years-old, people.

Mary and Anita both tricked their husbands into taking their kids. I wish I were as smart as those two.

My friend Sam has created a comedy show, which can only be seen online. I've had the link for Dutch West up for a long time at the top of my sidebar. If you haven't been there, I'll give you some background and hopefully you'll take the time to visit.

It is a grassroots comedy show. To me it's like Saturday Night Live, MAD TV or a funnier version of Kids in the Hall. The quick links on the right of the main screen have all of the webisodes available. Click on the one you want to see, choose your viewer at the top of the page. (There are games you can play while it loads. The viewing preference is above the game.)

Click here to see my newest favorite webisode.

(Sam is the one in the red cap.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Mother, That Horrible Woman

It's been a while since Granny Oakley, AKA my mother, has been mentioned here at Home Fires. I'd like to give you a warm heartfelt story about her and our very special Christmas together, but it just wasn't meant to be.

This is the year she introduced her grandchildren to the infamous gift card. I can't prove it, but I am pretty sure she was fully aware of what her children would endure while shopping with their children. It's another one of those "paybacks are a bitch" deals.

She couldn't just give them a $20 card either. She gave each $100. Do you have any idea how much money that is, especially to a child?

Have you ever gone to Chucky Cheese? They have all these games the kids can play. If they play well, they are awarded tickets. At the counter, children can cash their tickets in for one of the prizes on the shelves. The prizes require a ridiculous amount of tickets, which means parents are stuck at the prize counter for hours on end with their child who is trying to "spend" their tickets.

Five tickets will get you a lovely green plastic spider ring or a temporary tattoo of a honeybee. Ten tickets will get you a tiny bouncy ball that's all glittery, that you, as a parent, will want to lodge into your own throat by the time you leave the fucking place.

Now, imagine if you will, 100 dollars. I can almost hear the collective sigh of compassion from you parents reading. Yes, I am thankful to have a mother who spoils my children rotten. But, you have to admit she pulled a fast one on all of us.

Standing in the select store with Lane 1 and Lane 2, here are some of the things I had to endure:

"Mom, would you cover tax if I get something slightly over $100?"

"If I just get a candy bar, won't they have to give me my change back in cash?"

"Ma, how much would this, this, this, this and this cost together?"

"If I get these two, will there be enough left over to get this?"

"Is it legal for them to charge minors tax? Seven and a half percent? Really Mom? What a rip off!"

Sure, it was a swell math lesson for all of us, however, like the Chucky Cheese counter, I found myself trying to lodge items into my airway. I mentally cursed my mother.

After days of this back and forth to the store stuff, Lane 2 spent a whopping 15 bucks. Do the math folks. Do you realize how much time was spent "shopping" with these cards? I'd like to take the gift cards and swipe them down Mom's ass crack and see her spit out some cash. What the fuck was she thinking?

Tune in tomorrow to learn that the Lane cousins also drove their parents crazy with gift card purchases, thanks to Granny Oakley.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Psycho Shower Scene

Jaime Dawn started something in the Lane household. A while back she had a post about a chalk board she has in her kitchen. Someone puts a message up, usually something very nice, and as the days go by, someone or someones come along to change the wording. So something that began as "Mom is a queen" the next day might say, "Mom is a queer."

I loved the idea and intended on buying a message board for our kitchen. I had visions of what kind of messages my husband and kids would leave. Nothing could have prepared me. We accidentally started a board on the shower walls with Lane 2's bath crayons.

She normally takes her crayons out of the bathroom when she is done. The day she forgot, was the day we got our message board. I saw the lovely easy-to-wash crayon sitting lonely on the shelf. I picked it up and wrote, "I (heart) Mr. Lane, Lane 1 and Lane 2." After a certain child's shower, it said, "I (heart) Mr. Lane, Lane 1 and Lane 2 smells like a fart!"

Mr. Lane soon took a turn, drawing his sorry version of a butt and wrote, "My butt was here!" No, I heart Lois or anything remotely romantic, but a drawing of his rear end.

I was pleased to see a child drew butt hair on it and poop balls on his masterpiece.

Mr. Lane cleaned that off of the wall, leaving nothing. During my shower, I wrote, "Mom rules and Dad drools!"

By the time Lane 1 was finished with his shower, the largest part of the wall said, "Lane rules the world! P.S. More than Mom!"

The graffiti on the shower walls isn't just another way to communicate silly stuff, it's a fun way to trick the kids and my old man into cleaning the shower.

My new pal Sissy, the resident formerly of Memphis, is now residing in the armpit of Illinois two miles away from the Lane Estate. New to the area she asked me to show her where all of the good shopping was. We first headed to DeKalb. We weren't very far from Northern Illinois University's campus and noticed many 20 somethings shopping among us.

Sissy looked at me in the grocery store very seriously and quietly said, "Lo, there's a lot of lesbians here."

I laughed and reminded her we were near campus. "Free spirits, Sis. Free love and whatnot."

"I don't think I saw this many gay people in the last fifteen years as I'm seeing right now."

"Are you a homophobe Sis?"

"Not at all. I'm just surprised."

"Well, look at us. Two chicks. I'm 5'9" sporting my shit kickers (cowboy boots). You're 5'11". We are grocery shopping together, with one cart I might add. What do you think that makes us look like?"

"Oh fuck, Lo! You go get your own cart." She giggled and shoved me away.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Frickn Frackn Frappr Fuckr

After many e-mails yesterday, I decided it's time to admit... I have no idea how you join my Frappr map. There. I said it. I'd really like to help, I just can't. If any of you figured it out and have a moment, please share a how-to-guide in the comments below for the others to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

In other family news, it would seem that they aren't all reading my blog anymore. I clearly stated a couple of days ago that I was sick of all the death and sickness among my family and friends. To adlib myself I said something like, "Cut it the fuck out!"

Here's proof that Angie isn't paying attention to this blog anymore. She went to the emergency room the other night and found out she has four kidney stones. "What the fuck?" I ask unto her!

"Oh my, I'm pinging rocks out of my cooter. Look!" Nice try Ang, but I ain't lookin'. Get fucking better and make it fast 'cuz I'm in a goddamned hurry. See what you have done? You made me damn god, and it isn't even his fault. Whatever Ang.

It's just like the little attention whore to do this. Take the sick little spotlight away from Mary's internal peanut buttery illness, and steal her wheelchair while you're at it. Angie has always been like that. When we were little, I could be burning up with a fever of 105 degrees fahrenheit, and damn it all if she didn't come down with a case of the projectile vomits.

I'd be all snuggled bugged up in our mother's arms getting all sorts of much deserved attention, and Angie would ruin it every time by barfing and then acting like a baby because barfing made her cry. Mom would fling me off of her like a hot potato and go running to Angie's rescue.

She would hold Angie's hair out of the way and rub her back and console her, while I died alone on the couch. A couple of times I think I saw Angie give me the finger when our mom wasn't looking. Chances are she is flipping me the bird right now.

Former Illinoisan Kyle Shannon, now resides in Suburban Hell. He recently began his own blog where he shares his rage with the world. I just "found" him a couple of nights ago. I bet the poor guy didn't even know he was lost. This isn't like finding God or anything but I do have to preach a little because he cracks my shit up. Anyhow, you know what it's like, you go clicking around the net and you're bound to find trouble. Poof, there was Kyle Shannon.

He blogs in audio posts only, which means if you are on dialup, you're going have to wait a long time for the 10-16 minute posts to load. Are they called Podcasts now? Or is that just what they call it if you're listening to it on something with Pod in the name? I never got a memo about that so I'll keep calling them audio posts until someone from the Internet police tells me differently.

So this Kyle fella is funnier than shit. In his latest post he's pissed off at himself for not being pissed off enough. I find that amusing. Plus he says my name a lot. (Narcissistic much Lois? No! Say my name bitch! ~ Mental note to self: Resolve to remove multiple personalities from my head.)

His earlier posts, before he knew there was a Russian spambot porn chick listening, are even funnier. So checkout his older stuff too, there is no expiration date on humor.

As his first fan, I am obligated by imaginary friend laws and clause to send all of you over to take a listen and leave a comment welcoming him into the world of Blog or Plog. So please take some time today or this weekend to stop by his site. Don't get caught listening at work. He says fuck more than I type it and I don't want your boss to think you suddenly came down with Tourette's Syndrome.

Have a great weekend everybody!

(Angie stop faking and get your ass back to work!)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Blame Bud

Bud Buckley hooked me into the Frappr mappy thingy, so now I must drag y'all with me. Add yourself by either getting your own free account or by adding yourself to mine. I'm the little blue pointy one in Illinois. You don't have to give your exact location. In fact, I prefer you not. Just put in the nearest big city so no one can stalk you.

I already have seven friends but I'd like to appear much more popular so get on with the show. Yes, you too. I know you come here to Home Fires every single day. I see you on my little narcissistic site meter. I know you are shy and like to remain hidden and I'm cool with that. Hell, I'm not even asking you to comment. Just stick your little pushpin thingy into my map thingy (and don't tell my husband).

While I'm thinking about this, who wrote the blog post recently "Can I buy a vowel"? I tried searching and wasted a bunch of time. Please give yourself credit in the comments. Whoever it was, and I really am sorry, was asking what happened to vowels. You got Flickr and Frappr and we all know they are missing one teeny tiny thing.

So this mystery person who I can't know right now, got my wheels cranking. The first thing I thought of was my dad. When he was annoyed, instead of swearing, he would always say, "Frickn, frackn.."

But the more I thought, I wondered, "What's going to be next? Flappr? Is this going to be all the rage? Will bloggers be flappng about all willy nilly? Will bloggers who Frappr and Flickr and later Flappr also Fluggr and Floggr? What the Fck?"

As you can tell, I was up late again fantasizing about Dr. Seuss. Give me your best made up version for the next new vowel lacking craze in the comments. The best of them will be posted next week.

My sister Mary had her surgery consult yesterday. They evaluated her and said she has a "quite impressive blood clot in her aorta" somewhere between her chest and groin.

They made her walk down the hall and back. When she returned, they checked for a pulse in her legs. She didn't have one. The clot is completely cutting off her blood supply, which means surgery to remove the clot is inevitable.

She has to be off of the blood thinners for a week before she can have the surgery, so it hasn't been scheduled yet. Thanks to all of you who have e-mailed asking about her. Mary is 41, much too young to be facing these types of problems. I can't say she got the best news but her spirit is good.

She was telling me about a dream she had on the phone this morning. Before I tell you, I have to give you some background on my sister. She is the Peanut Butter Queen. She has always loved it even plain. I'm not even kidding when I say she likes to just dip a spoon into the jar to get a little fix in the middle of the day.

When we were kids our mom would occasionally let Mary make lunch for the rest of us. It always involved peanut butter. Sure she'd offer us peanut butter and jelly, sometimes. But she was testing her peanut buttery wings and we were her guinea pigs. Peanut butter and bacon on rye toast was originally created by my parents but Mary tried to reinvent the wheel with her rubbery version. She also gave us sandwiches with peanut butter and lettuce, or her famous peanut butter and Fritos. We ate it and we liked it. Sorta.

Waffles, celery and English muffins also were things she fed us with peanut butter on top. To this day, she still eats this shit. And likes it. Really.

Back to her dream. She said, "I dreamt that when they opened me up instead of a blood clot, they found a big glob of peanut butter."

That was by far the funniest thing I heard all day!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hey Big Spender

For every Christmas I am never asked what I want until a couple of days before. Usually I say, "Nothing." This year, to my old man's surprise, I asked for an exercise bike.

"Lo, I can't get you one of those. That is the worst thing a husband can get."

"No it isn't. I am asking for a bike. If I were overweight and not asking for one, that would be a bad gift and I'd totally kick your ass. But I'm telling you it's what I want. If you don't get me what I really want, that is the worst thing you can do as a husband."

"Babe, you don't need one."

"Yeah I do. It's too friggin' cold out to walk or run. If my body is idle the whole winter, by the time the ground thaws, my ass will look like a hibernating bear's, minus the tail and fur."

"No it won't. Come on Lo, what do you really want?"

"Is this the part where I say 'Nothing' and you run off and buy me a something I don't need?"

"You are killing my Christmas shopping mood."

"Sweetheart, it is the eve of the eve. If you don't have an unbreakable Christmas shopping spirit by now, it wasn't meant to be. How about this, since you aren't feeling well, you just stay home tonight. Then, after Christmas, I'll buy it for myself when they are all on sale due to the resolution crowd. Sound good?"

"And then give you what for Christmas? You can't have nothing." Frustrated he finally asked, "What kind of bike do you want?"

"Just a basic run-of-the-mill bike. I don't want any stupid arm things that move, or any jumbo fan to cool me down, or any fancy schmancy gages. Plain and simple... like I like my men."

"Way to kick a guy when he's down Lois."

"You're welcome."

He really did feel sick and was running a fever. His determination to purchase my gift before his alleged death was cute... in a whiny pathetic kind of a way. He called me from his cell phone moments after he left. "Babe, you aren't going to believe this!"

"You were driving to the store and saw an exercise bike on someone's curb awaiting the trashman?" I offered as a guess.

"Come on, you know I'm not that cheesy."

"Okay, you aren't that cheesy. So what'd you find?"

"A bike! And it's just like you described."

"Cool. That was fast. Hurry home before your fever comes back."

"I have one more stop to make and I'll be there."

We hung up and my mind raced with how he was able to find exactly what I was looking for so fast. I'd actually been keeping my eye out for one at the first sign of frost and hadn't seen one anywhere nearby.

When he arrived with the biggest smile his face could hold, there was no way on earth I could not be thrilled about my Christmas present. With childlike excitement, he told me to close my eyes while he went back outside to get my gift. Even the kids were excited by his big smile and tone of voice.

He struggled to get the bike in the house. The kids were giggling in a whisper. I could hear paper and plastic being ripped open and more giggles. When I asked what was so funny, I was told to go in the other room. Blindly I went still listening to the sounds. It's funny what your mind can conjure up.

When I was released from the room, this is what I saw...

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It's a beauty, huh? It's a DP Pacer 2000, which my husband calls a LO Racer 2006. Notice the purple streamers? How about the honky horn? Who could ask for anything more?

He picked it up for 20 bucks at our local thrift store, information he proudly shared. My little bargain shopper's fever must have spiked again. His stupid face was so smiley and cute, I couldn't even say, "You're fucking kidding me right?!" Instead I smiled back, kissed his forehead, thanked him and said he needs to go lay down so he could be well for Christmas.

He wanted to lay on the couch so he could watch me, "pedaling happily." The kids couldn't contain their laughter anymore. "That's enough guys. Sure, it's probably as old as me but if it works, it's all good."

"Ma the brown tire and seat match your hair," my son giggled.

"All the cool moms match their exercise bikes," I claimed.

"Mommy? Can I squeeze your honky horn?"

They were mocking me. I wanted to joke too but the old man was right there watching it all unfold and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I put my shoes on and climbed aboard. I began pedaling. I smiled at him. He smiled back. The kids stifled their laughter with their hands over their mouths.

The seat, you know, the brown one that matches my hair color, was loose and sliding. Before long it was tipped upward making it feel like my cooter bone was about to be pummeled. I kept my game face on and told my old man I needed to adjust the seat. Before I could get to a wrench, my ass started to slide off of the back of the seat. Lucky for me there was a wall nearby to catch my fall.

The kids ran to their rooms because that was just too funny for them to bear. Mr. Lane began dosing off and didn't see me almost die at the pedals of his gift to me. I corralled the kids and we laughed.

After naptime was over for the sick guy on the couch, he woke up to find Lane 1 holding a stopwatch, standing at my left. Lane 2 was holding a clipboard and cheering at my right. I was sitting on my LO Racer 2006 with a motorcycle helmet on and was pedaling like the wind while honking my horn.

He blinked a lot and rubbed his eyes. I was smiling like crazy under that hot helmet. The kids were trying not to piss their pants. He offered an uncertain, "Hi?" And that was where we all lost it completely.

My buddy William not only nominated Home Fires for a BoB Award but also entered me into the Bloggies. I believe both intend to eventually open a voting option to readers. I'll try to keep you updated as I learn about all this stuff. Thanks again for nominating this ol' blog.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Who Is This BoB Fella?

Sorry I don't know the lowdown on the BoB Awards as asked in the comments of the last post. I think that you just get nominated and then the judges do the judging. I haven't seen any sign of voting over there.

Some of my favorite blog buddies are listed right along side of me. Besides Barbara nominating me for all around swell and dandy chick or something like that, Michelle also nominated me into the humor category. Thank you for that, Michelle. (THIS JUST IN) William of Poop and Boogies also nominated me in the BoB Awards. Thank you. How did I get so lucky to have all of you sweethearts in my virtual life?

I don't really know what all that means. Maybe more traffic and eyes over here, maybe not. Maybe I can win a pretty Burger King crown with glitter glue. That'd be hot. Maybe I just need to begin my speech writing where I say "It was great to be nominated."

So I was thinking about this award stuff. How can anyone judge this place as funny if I got dead people all over the joint? Dead people just aren't funny and nothing good can come of them. Time to clean up some bodies on this rotten year, formerly known as 2005. So you read me loud and clear family and friends, no more fucking dead people, ya dig?! Also no more serious illnesses, life threatening or not.

Now, for you new visitors who may have found your way into my cyber home via this BoB thing, welcome. Have a seat, grab a cup of your favorite drink (alcohol will increase the humor level here so booze is encouraged) and read some of my old stuff. I know you want to read what is right here in front of you. Sure, it may be easier than clicking yet another link but trust me when I say, the older stuff that I wrote was way funnier than the crap I am about to put before you. I'll give you a few links to some of the classic posts.

Here you have my breasts before powdered milk came out.

This is where you can read about my lack of bladder control.

Good things come to those who wait. This one here is where I was supposed to make my fortune. It's also proof that I was the first girl on my block, to pee my name in the snow.

Did you see Home Fires and think there were going to be stories about fire? Well, I'm not one to disappoint, so go read this.

If you are interested in a softer side of me, read about My Immortal.

I think those have been the favorites among the readers here.

Heart attack city is where I spent the better part of my day yesterday. I awoke to thunder and lightning. I lay in bed listening. I love storms. The rain came down in buckets and danced on the roof. A snap and a zap came out of the sky. It was loud enough to stir Mr. Lane. He jumped up and yelled, "What the hell was that?"

"It's just a storm. Go back to sleep."

"Its January. We never get storms like this in winter."

"Yeah, it is really weird."

Before long the two of us were headed to the kitchen for coffee. I opened the blinds so we could watch the storm. The transformer at the top of the pole at the far end of our yard was smoking. Mr. Lane called the utility company.

After the extended crew arrived, we watched them fight the wind and hail as they tried to work on the transformer. I kept getting nervous watching them sway so high in the air. I decided to see if the internet came back.

This is where the heart attack comes in. My laptop was plugged into a surge protector but somehow received damage from the storm. My wireless router was completely fried. None of my documents would open and everything was going haywire. Months of work had not been backed up. All of my work contacts were gone, stories, gone too. The latest edits on my book, also not backed up, gone.

It took a couple of hours to assess the damage. As I tinkered around, some of the things started working again. I'm hopeful to get everything back . My computer fixer guy said he is sure he can get all of the things back. He doesn't think the Toshiba is ever going to be the same again. (Dear Santa, is it too late to ask for a new laptop?) Thankfully the desktop he fixed a few months ago went unscathed during the storm so I am not completely screwed.