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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Comment Craziness Contest

This weekend marks my two year blogging anniversary. Crazy huh? I never expected the blog to turn into what it has. I never expected to make such solid friendships with so many strangers around the world either. It’s funny to me how close I feel to so many people I’ve never met.

This version of Home Fires, commonly mistaken for Home Fries, was started as a way to practice writing, a literary exercise if you will. Home Fires began as a humor column in a newspaper, in Sycamore, Illinois. Editors there, everywhere to be honest, frown upon some choices of words that one of my personalities, Lois Lane, likes to use… often. Yes, the colorful words. So this sort of became the R rated version of my newspaper column. But once I was attached to the readers here, it’s become so much more.

Now, when I sit down to blog, sometimes with an idea, other times without, I begin writing a letter to my friends, the ones who live in my computer. That would be you guys. The words form freely. There is no threat or concern of what you may think about me, because I know real friends don’t judge. Here I have owned up to some really stupid shit. And you guys have never belittled me for doing so. That is one of the things that make great friendships, in my book.

To celebrate the second anniversary, we are going to have another contest. I can hear the collective excitement in your eyes as you read that. Comment Craziness can’t happen without you. If you have been reading Home Fires for two minutes, two days, or two years, you can play along. If you are a blood relative of mine, or someone who is having sex with one of my blood relatives, you are ineligible. Sorry Charlie. The comments will be hidden in moderation so no one can see anyone else’s answers. You have all weekend (deadline Sunday 11:59 p.m. CST), and may comment more than once, but not more than five times. Comments will be revealed Monday, as will our winner.

Make a laundry list of everything you know about Lois Lane & Company. Items not found on the blog that may have been discussed elsewhere i.e. in person, the telephone, e-mail, in chat rooms, IM or MySpace, etc. don’t count and points will be deducted. Sucking up is encouraged but bonus points will not be offered. You can earn bonus points for things you don’t but would like to know about me or my family. But, if you ask a question that has already been addressed in the last two years here at Home Fires, points will be deducted. Easy peasy Japaneasy, right?

I know you are thinking there are too many rules but when you find out what the grand prize is, you might just be glad you took the time to play. To all of the new visitors here, checkout my archives on the right sidebar under “Cold Ashes” and you will find more than you could ever want to know about one blogger. To all of you, thanks for being here with me on this rollercoaster ride that is my life. Have a great weekend and good luck!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some Cheese With Your Whine, Madam?

First I am going to whine and then I’ll share a quick funny Thanksgiving outtake. So if you are anti-whine, skip the first part.

Here I am, still without a proper writing station. Since the move, I have only written one freelance piece. Not good. It’s hard to work with this current setup, and even something I love, blogging, has taken a backseat. My sister Angie says I am too much like Monk, the USA TV character who has obsessive compulsive disorder. Maybe there’s something to that theory.

Right now, I am in what one day will be my office. One day­… throw in a deep-hearted sigh. My big beautiful desk did not fit the pitched roof upstairs, so I gave it to a friend. When I have fruit from the money tree I planted out back, I shall buy a new desk. Until then, the boxes marked “DESK” are stacked to my waist and my laptop is perched on top. Our kitchen chair that broke in the move, is where my ass is gently planted. There is no table to set my coffee cup, so that is perched on another box, which unfortunately is slightly out of reach, please hold… okay, thank you. SLURP.

After finding the house and making it through the move, cleaning the old place, (and not getting my deposit back – insert bad words here, lots of bad words) unpacking way more crap than one family needs, throw in the loss of my Uncle Giant, a homeless person staying with us for a week and a half, a birthday party with 25 guests, 15 of which slept over, a consistently out of town husband (he’s in California this week), a teenager in wrestling and a pre-teen with too many friends who like to come over every single day, throw in Thanksgiving for good measure, plus a trip to Missouri this week to help my in-laws move (I’m leaving Friday), and it seems there has been not a dull moment. All of this in one month. I’ve never been so happy to see a month go bye-bye. Of course the fat fictitious bastard from the North Pole will be coming soon, oh joy.

So that’s my bitch session for the day. I think I am just really tired. My friend is out of town and I have her kids here all week. They are 12 and 13 years old. Add in my 12 and 14 year olds and you have a mix of all night chatting and giggling. Today I really gave them a run for their money. I thought I was brilliant. Here is what happened:

“Good morning! (Lights on) Time to get up!”

“But it’s still dark outside.”

“I know! Isn’t it cool to be up before the birds?”

“No! What time is it?”

“It’s 5 a.m. sillyhead!”

“But we don’t have to be up until 7!”

“Oh! Well, I decided since you took all of my alone time last night with all of your goofing off, I would do the same to you. You know, in my house, you are treated as well as you treat me, so get your butts up right now.”

Three beautiful little girls gave me the dirtiest looks ever. I was damn proud of myself. Lois Lane is certainly not Mary Fucking Poppins.

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great. Sister Anita was the ever gracious cooking, cleaning fool who did way more work than the rest of us. Sister Mary made a poisoned ham. I picked out of the pan before dinner, just to save the others. They should all be thankful for me. Sister Angie was off in Kentucky with her boyfriend and her outlaws (if Paparoach would get on bended knee, they would be in-laws, I’m just sayin’), probably eating a turducken. (That would be a chicken stuffed in a duck, which is stuffed in a turkey, for you Yankees who may not know about those animals inside of animals things. The thought of a turducken makes me think of dunking turds and the matryoshka, which is a Russian stackable doll where one doll fits inside of another doll, rinse and repeat. ) My brothers, I can only assume, since I am a terrible sister and didn’t bother to call them, were at their in-laws doing their own thing.

And Mom, hoo boy, she is something else. Mom was our hostess. But she sort of just directed traffic and told us what to do. Before we sat down to eat, she ordered my nephew Yoda to take the dog out. When he came back, the damn dog was in such a hurry to get back in the house, by the people and food, she ran straight into the screen door on the patio. My mother, dork that she is, gasped.

Wide-eyed, she said, “I think my dog is going blind. I wonder if the vet can do anything about that, like give her contacts or Lasik or something.”

Mary, Anita and I burst out laughing. Mom later claimed to be joking, but we know better. It was at that moment, we were all thankful for our mother, because without her, who could we make fun of?

I hope everyone of you had a great holiday. Thanks for sticking around during the odd time. I’ll be back soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the desk fairy stops by my house or that the money tree sprouts early.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Birthday Bathroom Bash

As my sister Angie alluded to in the comments of the last post, the bathroom was the place to be at Lane 2’s birthday party.

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Dinner tastes best when it is eaten in a tub.

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Breakfast too.

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Sinks are also a good source for gearing up the ol’ appetite, and looking in the mirror while one chews their food.

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Showers are fun places to stand and make goofy faces. Each took turns standing on the corner seat.

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Best buddies they are. Mojo Jojo and Lane 2 are having way too much fun laughing and singing about the newspaper wrapping on a gift.

Had the little darlings gone to sleep at a decent time, I would have taken a snapshot of them nice and quiet, only that didn’t happen. I think at least two of the little angels even talked in their sleep.

I am still in recoup mode and I just found out this morning that Mr. Lane so graciously invited his sisters and brother and their six kids over on Saturday, since they weren’t able to make it last Saturday. It’s like the birthday party that never ends.

Minus the kids and the sheet curtain on the window, isn't the bathroom huge and nice? More pictures soon. By the way, the camera that went missing, it was in my purse the whole time. I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hangin’ With Miss Lois

I am hung-over. I feel like I’ve been kicked, and thrown and… wait a minute! I didn’t even drink alcohol yesterday, or the other day, or for days and weeks before that. How did I get to feeling this lousy? Oh, the surprise birthday party! That must still be taking its toll.

Saturday afternoon, 20 or so 12 and 13 year old girls were here celebrating Lane 2’s 12th birthday. Oh yeah, it was a sleepover too, which means at least 15 of the little screaming darlings stuck around until the next day.

It is Tuesday, so I, in theory, should be feeling back to normal, right? I don’t.

Inventory: 25 guests, 30 cheese burgers, 24 hotdogs, 7 packages of buns, 4 bags of chips, 1 kettle full of popcorn, 15 boxes of movie size candies, 3 different kinds of cake, 5 gallons of cherry Kool-Aid, 2 gallons of pink lemonade, 1 gallon of iced tea, 1 gallon of milk, 2 dozen eggs, 2 pounds of bacon, 16 biscuits, 1 whole box of pancake mix, 1 bottle of syrup, 15 girls, 1 pillow fight, 1 eye poked out, equivalent of 10 geese exploded on carpet from said pillow fight, 8 sleeping bags, 1 mom trying to make accommodations, 6 phone calls from lost guests who all claimed to find the Lord’s lost sandal, 5 minutes of mom guilt for forgetting some friends to invite, 12 cancellations (thank god because we ran out of everything including food and sanity), 1 dad hiding in his bedroom, 1 birthday girl who was not only surprised, but happier than a pig in shit.

How long do you think my recoup time will last? Place your bets.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Something Happened On The Way To Heaven

A funny thing happened that I forgot to mention. Poor Mr. Lane… again he is the butt of the joke. It isn’t my fault he makes it so easy. Anyhow, we were just about finished getting all of our things into the truck for our big move and my old man pulled a disappearing act. It isn’t unusual by any means. He hides all of the time. The garage has always been his favorite place to hide from my honey-do-lists.

Since I always seem to find him in there, one might think he would try another location. But Mr. Lane, well, he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. I quietly walked into the garage and sure enough, there he was.

His hands were on his hips and he was looking up at a shelf. A few things left to pack into the truck sat atop that shelf. There was a small box and an old burlap sac. I could practically see his wheels cranking, but had no idea what was going on inside of that head of his. I stood watching him for a while. Finally, I cleared my throat. His thinking look turned into a concerned look. He stammered a bit trying to find the right words.

“What?” I asked.

“Well, it’s just… I mean…”

“Spit it out, honey.”

“Juanita, does she have to go with us?”

Inside I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. Outside I was calm, cool and collected. The items remaining on the shelf belonged to a friend of mine. She passed away about seven years ago. Since she didn’t have any family, I took care of her and the few things she cherished, like the stuff on the garage shelf.

Poor Mr. Lane was under the assumption that Juanita’s ashes have been in our garage for all of these years. I did have her ashes for a couple of weeks after she passed away. But after I held a memorial service for her at the local cemetery, where she’d volunteered for decades, they agreed to bury her ashes at no cost. Had my old man attended the service, or listened to anything I said at the time, he might have known that tidbit of information.

“Of course we are taking her to the new house! How could I leave Juanita behind?”

“But babe, it’s not like she is in a beautiful urn. It’s not like she is a cherished family member. She has been on a shelf in our garage for years, and she is all dusty.”

“Just because having her in the house freaked you out! Dust her off and let’s go.”

“But, babe… I guess it did bother me a little.”

Juanita was a great person. She was loud and rowdy, funny and full of spunk, which are some of the reasons I felt comfortable joking about her ashes. She believed, like I do, that when you are dead, your body is just an encasement that has nothing to do with your spirit. In fact, she told me that if I wanted to take her ashes and dump them on the mayor’s lawn, since she hated him that would be okay.

You know how married people have occasional issues with sex? It seems pretty commonplace for one to be “in the mood” while the other isn’t. Anyhow, during those times in the weeks that her ashes were at our house, when Mr. Lane was in the mood, and I wasn’t, I made sure to have her ashes in our bedroom. It was like a get out of jail free card. I would casually walk over to the dresser, tap the box and say, “Goodnight Juanita,” and I would be free and clear.

One night it was really hot and I opened the bedroom door but the cross breeze from the windows being open, caused the door to repeatedly slam shut. Something about a breeze on bare skin riled up my old man, but I was exhausted that day and really just wanted to sleep. So, I took the box of Juanita’s ashes and propped the door open with it. Mr. Lane was appalled and suddenly felt less tingly.

Anyhow, there were plenty of times I tormented him with her ashes and he was mortified. The thought of a new beginning with ashes from a woman he only met once, obviously was taking its toll.

“Babe, Juanita isn’t in there. That bag and box are just things that she cherished that I am not ready to dispose of. Her ashes were buried years ago.”

“Are you kidding me?”


“Man! Every time I’ve walked into this garage, I’ve said, ‘Hi Juanita,’ to stuff that isn’t Juanita?”

“Hahaha! I guess so.”

“Well, I guess it’s good that she got buried, but why didn’t you ever tell me about that?”

“I did, you just never listened.”


“Yeah, oh. Anyhow, grab Juanita and let’s go home.”

“But you just said…”

“It was a joke, honey, just a little joke.”

Monday, November 06, 2006


Anyone know where the hell I packed that camera? Pictures of the new house will come soon. Better and longer blog posts also will come as soon as I get an official writing area set up for myself. Trust me, this little setup I have today is not good for the creative mind or my back.

Anyhow, the kids seem to be adapting pretty well. One of Lane 2’s best friends moved to this town a few months ago and has made a huge effort to take her around and introduce her to some people. Mojo Jojo, has become an addition to our family. She is here a lot. At least she is a good kid, which keeps me from losing my mind. We had some doozies at the old place who hung out for days and weeks at a time.

The only things my girl doesn’t like about her school are it’s too big and they change classes nine times every day, which is a big change from her former class of 12 students together all day in the same room. I think she just needs more time for adjustment there.

The boy had a handful of kids stop by the other day. One was a girl, a twinkly-eyed girl. She smiled a lot at my son. That made me throw up a little.

There is a teen center here and they have dances every other weekend. Friday night the kids and I stopped in to check things out. Before long, the boy was playing pool with some other boys. And my girl was running away from a boy who was asking her to dance. And I became an official chaperone. A good time was had by all, except of course the boy whose heart was smashed to smithereens by my daughter. Here’s hoping he won’t be the last.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is It Wrong?

Is it wrong that I only want to hang out in my bathroom?

Is it wrong that I unpacked all of my things and didn’t touch one thing that belongs to my old man?

Is it wrong that I resent my old man for working at a job outside of the house, which leaves me all the grunt work?

Is it wrong that I let my kids eat candy for breakfast today?

Is it wrong that I think the cats not getting along, more like fighting and flinging their little bodies all over the place, is one of the funniest things ever?

Is it wrong that I have 1800 square feet of brand spanky new house and all I still can think of is the bathroom? (When I locate my camera, I will post pictures.)

Is it wrong that I am blogging when I have an old house that needs to be cleaned 30 miles away?

Is it wrong that I know my bastard landlord probably won’t give me back my security deposit, therefore, I’d like to crap on the kitchen counter?

Is it wrong that I ate candy that I stole out of my kids' trick-or-treating bags for breakfast?

Is it wrong that I stop blogging right now to go get everything done that needs doing?