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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let The Good Times Roll

Can you kill me now? Holy shit people, health insurance is on the way, but I found out the deductible for my gallbladder surgery is really high. I don’t know what’s worse, the pain in my gut or my wallet. Or maybe it’s the pain in my ass, I mean, my husband, Mr. Lane. Now he has a “killer tooth ache” that is going to run another couple thousand to fix all of his oral ailments. At this rate I’ll be working in the nursing home until I’m ready to be admitted.

On to bigger, better, blissfulness. My daughter is the happiest kid on the planet. You could learn a lot from a kid like her. Since feeling like shit, I’m trying to take lessons from her. Remember how I said our summer has been filled with work? Well, little Lane 2 was not exempt. Somehow, however, she managed to make the best of it, sneaking in fun wherever possible.

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Here is how she celebrated the last day of school. She wore a horrid garage sale purple 80’s prom dress. And her friend Mojo Jojo wore hot pink. They look like caged animals don’t they? I was in the laundry room and heard the sound of girls screaming, “Mrs. Lane 2’s Mommy!!!” The school is across the street. With the washer and dryer going, I could hear them screaming. All they wanted to do was say hi. Fun!

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First full day of summer, I had the kids helping me in the yard. We had a couple of dead trees that needed to be yanked out. Even working hard, she was still smiling.

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Lane 2 convinced her father to be one of the “cool kids” and get in the picture with her and her friends. This was taken on Father’s Day in between lunch and railing work on the porch. Mr. Lane is known around these parts as “Mr. Lane 2’s Daddy” but that day they all called him “Big Poppa,” hence the rapper wannabe hat tip.

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The 4th of July was “the best day ever” and all she had was a giant sparkler to entertain herself with.

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The Cookie Monsters had a sleepover, where no sleeping took place. This was one of many overnight guests this summer who helped with weed pulling and other monotonous chores.

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Here’s another overnighter, Ashley. By the way, you have no idea how many photos these two girls took of themselves. Thank God for making digital cameras.

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She and Mojo Jojo with root beer floats in yet one more overnight junk-food-a-thon.

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She snuck a couple of friends (Ashley and Hailey) into her brother’s room to play Guitar Hero, while he was at work.

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When my nieces came for a weeklong visit, I took them to Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home since we were driving right by it to go shopping. There is my girl looking up between his legs. Always having fun.

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We were going to go to the mall but when she spotted Walmart, she asked if we could just go there instead, because it was more fun there. More fun than the mall?!? If you are in her little world, yes, it is more fun than the mall. Here she is trying on a bike seat and helmet. No bike needed for real fun, apparently.

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She got her cousin, Nancy to hop into a shopping cart so they could go fishing.

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Here she is with her cousins Nancy and Natalie riding on baby toys. More fun!

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They also played tennis while at the store. Why we didn’t get kicked out of there remains a mystery. Good times!

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In Missouri, she learned to make chicken fried steak with her Nana.

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And her grandpa taught her how to make tacos. Since her deck building skills are limited, she helped with most of the cooking and cleaning while we were at my in-laws.
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Helping set up and decorate the teen center before the big dance party, she and her friend Brenda take time to lick the streamers.

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The teen center has dances every other weekend, and that is always a good time if you are Lane 2. No work and all play.

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At the end of the day, when I’m laying in bed, feeling like crap, she always comes up for a snuggle, and to see how I feel. I totally love this kid!

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Even after shopping for school supplies, she was still having a great time.

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But this, right here, is why we are here today. This is my little girl looking like hell warmed over after working her little butt off in hundred degree heat in a corn field. She tried her hand at detassling, and as you can see, she fought the corn and the corn won.

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She wanted to work as a detassler to earn enough money for a dollhouse that she has had her eye on for a long time. The fruits of her labor paid off. Getting her daddy to play dollhouse with her was just a bonus.

Take time to smell the roses and lick the streamers. Have a great weekend everybody!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Down On The Farm

I can’t believe school starts Monday. Working has been a huge part of our summer here. It wasn’t planned that way, but seeing summer come to an end, I realize how little playtime we’ve had.

I am back at the nursing home fulltime.

It turns out that my gallbladder is sick of living inside of my body. Not having health insurance means, I’ve had to suck it up for weeks. Since I feel okay on an empty stomach, I’ve been waiting to eat until I can’t wait anymore. Then I eat and lay in bed until the pain stops. It doesn’t hurt so much if I eat plain crackers, bread, toast or rice.

Answered prayers don’t always come the way you want, but you have to take what you can get, right? So the day I was feeling most like shit, I got a call from the nursing home. The girl who works in activities is having her baby sooner than expected, and they needed someone to replace her quickly. They offered me health benefits, which was the answer to my prayers. Now I just have to wait for the paperwork to go through the proper channels and then I can get this sucker out.

On an empty stomach, I get to work at 7:30. By the time I pass lunch trays to the residents at noon, I’m hungry enough to eat a table. Knowing I’ll be too sick to work if I eat, I usually munch on a cracker or two just to get something in my system. I leave at 4:00 feeling hungry enough to eat my steering wheel. It sucks but what can you do, right?

Lane 1 began his summer working as a tutor at the teen center. Lane 2 was upset that her brother was “having fun” and she was bored. As construction started on our porch, she was no longer bored. We worked our butts off on that thing. Then we headed to my in-law’s house and built a deck. All Lane hands played a major role in both big projects. Granted, we didn’t get paid for our mad building skills, but we were working hard nonetheless.

The director of the teen center was singing the boy’s praises around town. She has been here her whole life, and knows everyone. As soon as we returned from Missouri, Lane 1 was asked to bale hay at a local farm. When that job was finished, another farmer hired him to do some concrete work at his place.

Once his work there was wrapped up, we had some concrete work of our own to do. We poured a rounded step and platform at the entrance of our porch. And we poured a slab where the garage is going to be. We built the railings for the porch and primed them. Thank God it has been too hot and humid to paint them.

By the day that work was done, Lane 1 was asked by yet another farmer to come to work at a pig farm. This is where it gets funny. First of all, he’s lucky the director of the teen center thinks highly of his work ethic. Can you imagine just turning 15 and having several job offers come your way?

On his first day, he ate oatmeal, took a shower, put on his least favorite clothes, fixed his hair and headed out with his Mother-made lunch and a jug of ice water. He looked all grown up. Plus, he looked and smelled awful nice to be going to a pig farm.

This was the first job that made me feel all mushy about my 15-year-old growing up. I wake him at 5 a.m., make his lunch, see him out and it’s surreal, still. A mini version of his daddy, off to work. I thought about that boy all day long.

When he came home, he looked at me, shook his head as if it was a rough day, and said hello. I noticed he was clean. His clothes looked like they did when he left the house. It seemed odd and almost suspicious. But the farmer called me and asked my permission for him to work because he is technically too young to work. So I knew it was legit. But why the hell was he so clean?

“Hey Mom, want to hear about my interesting day?”

“You bet I do.”

“Remember how I showered and stuff before I left?”


“Well, as soon as I got to the farm, I had to shower again.”

Thinking he fell into a pile of hog shit, I smiled and asked why.

“Oh, Ma, it’s nothing to smile about.”

That made me laugh. He was so serious.

“I guess people can contaminate pigs with germs and dirt and stuff. So before I start work, the guy tells me to take a shower and hands me a towel and some clothes. Not my clothes, like loaner farmer clothes. I told him I was clean already but he said we all have to do this everyday before we get near the pigs. So whatever, I showered. I go to get dressed and all these other guys are showing up for work. It’s like a big locker room with a shower room. Old farmer dudes just strip right there in front of me and head into the showers. It was so hard to not laugh at their wrinkly old butts. I tried to get dressed discretely and then I see a pair of tighty whities in the pile of clothes the guy gave me.”

He was so serious by this point, it was really hard to hold back my laughter.

“Dude, Ma, it was so not funny! I wrapped my towel back around my waist and asked one of the old guys if I could just wear my own boxers.” With a twang in his voice he continued, “And he said, ‘Sorry son, we all gotta share these-ins.’ So I’m thinking, ‘Great! I gotta wear these-ins after some old farmer’s saggy butt was already in them-ins.’ But I didn’t say anything or complain, Mom. I tried to keep my cool. I put on the tighty whities, only to find out that they weren’t at all tight. They were more like baggy whities. The butt sagged down practically to my knee bends.”

I had tears rolling down my face. There was no holding back my cackling laughter.

Crinkling up his eyebrows, he said, “I hate you.”

That statement made me laugh even more. One of the residents at the nursing home says, with a crinkled face, and her arms crossing her chest, “I hate you” all of the time. Since I told my family about her, we all imitate her when someone says or does something we disapprove of.

“So after you put on your baggy drawers, what happened?”

Twanging again, he said, “Ya know dem dare overalls? Well I reckon that’s proper-like clothin’ fer hangin’ ‘round hogs. So, I done put them-ins on.”

“Oh, son, I bet you looked hot!”

“You bet yer sweet petunias I done did!”

In that twang, he proceeded to tell me all about the rest of his day, and how he showered on his way out, getting back into his own skivvies. He was so funny and so cute, I wish I’d had a video camera rolling. That hard workin’ man who left the house that morning, turned back into that funny little boy of mine.

Tune in next week when I tell you all about Little Lane 2’s first job. Yep, dats rite. The youngin got one too. You’re all invited back again to this locality to have a heapin' helpin' of hospitality. Hillbilly that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Don't Rock The Boat, Baby

The once a week blogger strikes again. I wish there was more time for writing fun stuff. I miss blogging and interacting with you guys on a daily basis.

Did you all see the comment left by ANT in last week’s post? ANT is a comedian, who hosts Celebrity Fit Club and is a judge on Last Comic Standing. He is also an all around great guy. He has become a staple in my blogging diet.

So, like a good blogging buddy, I whored myself out and invited him over to Home Fires, via his comment section on his NBC blog. I was happy the video clip of my old man screaming like a girl made him smile. ANT has been having a lot of migraine issues lately, and that was a bad day for him.

If you would like to send some virtual love and well wishes to a wonderfully funny and genuinely nice little bug, go see ANT here.

Okay, since I still haven’t told you everything about our Missouri trip and more of life’s insanity has taken place, I figure one more tale from the Lane Family Frolics is in order.

See this? That is me. Happily taking in all of the summery goodness I could after a long hard week. After building a monstrosity of a deck for my in-laws, it was playtime. Nothing pumps my nads as much as water sports. And anyone who says, “Tubing isn’t a sport, Lois!” can kiss my happy white ass.

My old man took me for a drag across that lake at 40-50 miles per hour. Holding on and not dying was certainly a sport. P.S. I so fucking won.

Here is the boy looking exhausted from being dragged by his dad.

Here is the girl looking like life gets no better than this very moment.

Here is the Cap’n of the ship, Mr. Lane.

It was a great day. I love my family. But… yeah, there is always a but, isn’t there? I rushed my turn on the tube jumping ahead of the line because, frankly, I had to pee. So I figured the lake is as good of a spot as any. Not wanting to share my bladder discomfort with the family, I just yelled for dibs to be first.

I hopped on the tube with more ease than I ever have. I was kind of hoping to fall off into the water all girlish like, and take care of business, ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’. Only, this is my life, and any of you who have been reading this blog over time knows, my life is always ass backward.

On the tube, still having to pee, I tell the old man, “Go easy on me. My arms are still sore from working.”

He gave me that devilish grin of his, and I knew I was in for a ride. He whipped my ass around that lake like he was trying to give me shaken baby syndrome. He was obviously paying me back for the tick (see Tick Toc Ya Don’t Stop below) incident.

I held on with all my might. I screamed so much that eventually no sound came out. I was so out of breath I couldn’t even laugh. Literally no sound came out. I think the air was forcing itself so quickly into my throat that it stifled any sound that tried coming out.

Seeing that he couldn’t kill me, Mr. Lane finally gave up and slowed the boat. I swam to the boat but my urge to pee was long gone… until Mr. Lane reached for my arm to pull me out of the water. It was a pull my finger trigger I guess. Neat parlor trick, huh?! Grab my arm and watch me piss myself! Anyhow, I slithered from his grip and tried to, ya know, but he kept reaching for me and grabbing my arm. Can you imagine trying to pee while someone is yanking your arm out of the socket?

Wiggling away from him, I finally got a good flow going (good god why am I telling you this, and why are you still reading) and Mr. Lane, hanging upside down on the end of the boat, reaching his arm out, yelled at me. “Get over here so I can help you!”

“I didn’t want your help, Mr. Grabby! I wanted to piss, okay? And you keep cutting it off at the pass!”

Why didn’t I just think it? Why did my mouth utter those words? Why did the three of them stand over me and watch? Why did I drink a whole pot of coffee before we left? Why will my kids need years of therapy… never mind, I know that answer.

For the rest of the day boating, I heard several one-liners from my lovely bunch.

“Hey Ma, the water is kinda cold over here. Thanks for not warming it up for me.”

“You sure you should be drinking that bottle of water, Mom?”

“Honey, try not to crap in the cooler back there.”

They are so sweet, aren’t they? I hope you have a great weekend!