August 31, 2008

The Portrait of a Marriage

With the Democratic Convention and then John McCain's vice presidential pick announced this week, I didn't pay much attention to other news. So, this morning as I sipped French Vanilla coffee and watched This Week with George Stephanopolous (I would totally leave Rowdy for 15 minutes alone with that hot Greek in a closet....shishhhh), my heart broke when they reported that Del Martin had died.
Del was 87 and had certainly lived a full life as one of our nation's greatest civil rights leaders. Just three short months ago, she and her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, become the first same-sex couple married in California....again. The pair had wed once before, but their marriage was annulled by a bunch of judges, most of whom have failed in sustaining a relationship a quarter of the time Phyllis and Del have.
I don't really recall how these two women first came on my radar. In between their work as founders of the nation's first gay and lesbian magazine, The Ladder, and organizing multiple civil rights groups, they are really hard to miss.
I've always held an admiration for trail blazers, for those who go against the grain even at the risk of persecution. While I believe Phyllis and Del have been heroes of the highest proportion for consistently putting the good of the whole before themselves time and time again, my true regard comes from their dedication to each other.
In each book and article I read about the two of them, in each show or documentary telling their love story, they had the same statement: that from the time they first met each other in Seattle in 1953, they both knew the other would always be their partner. It wasn't a conscious decision, just like you don't make a conscious decision for your left arm to be your left arm. They were part of each other in a way that couldn't be severed.
So, since I embarked upon my own adventures in marriage nearly five years ago, I have channeled the commitment of Phyllis and Del on many occasions. To me, it's not an issue of sexuality. There are heterosexual couples like us that I could seek advice from and there have been many times that I have. But, with Phyllis and Del, they've never seen their love as a choice. It just was. And, that's what I want for my own marriage.
In one of the documentaries I watched on the two ladies, they both acknowledged that the other had, on many occasions, frankly pissed the other off. They lived together, they worked together. It would be impossible through 55 years of living so closely to another human being, sharing the same air and the same money, not to get peeved at times. But, the idea of separating, of existing apart, was never even thought of. Through too many arguments to count, times when I thought I might kill Rowdy if I didn't get away from him, I've drawn on the wisdom of Phyllis and Del. At a time when most marriages have little shot of making it past the first few years, largely because of our wildly unrealistic notions of matrimony, Phyllis and Del have taught us that true romance isn't glitzy and exciting. Rather, it is dependability, curled up on the couch watching re-runs on a Sunday afternoon dependable, sitting for hours in a hospital room dependable. Any first kiss under the stars is going to take our breath away, or at least many of them will. It's what comes after that, when you've climbed every new and exciting milestone and it's just the two of you that molds into what Phyllis and Del shared for 55 years.
I'm still new to marriage. As the road of life goes, we've just pulled out of the driveway. And, truthfully, I don't know if we will have the same success as my two marital heroes. Really, who does? But, when the times are hard, and I know some will be, I'll be thankful that I stumbled upon the story of Phyllis and Del, two of the great lovers of our time. From the openness in the relationship, especially at a time when so many fail, I thank them. And, for Phyllis, who at the age of 83 is living for the first time in 55 years without her spouse, my heart and prayers are with you.
Ever since I met Del 55 years ago, I could never imagine a day would come when she wouldn't be by my side. I also never imagined there would be a day that we would actually be able to get married. I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed. --Phyllis Lyon

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August 30, 2008

Grocery Store Prices, Just Makin' It Up As We Go

In order to fully appreciate this little conversation I am posting below, you need to know that I was at my local grocery store and literally standing in between the clerk and the assistant manager as they shared this exchange.

CLERK: She got some of that iced coffee, but it's not scanning. Do you know how much it is?


(brief pause, then clerk just pounds in a few numbers,)

ASSISTANT MANANGER: Just charge her 99 cents.

CLERK: I just charged her $1.99.

ASSISTANT MANAGER: Great, that'll work.

Then I'm just standing there, mouth gapping open in shock, looking at the clerk then back at the assistant manager. As soon as the assistant manager, the clerk had the same look and whispered to me that she would just charge me the 99 cents.
In spite of that, I was still shocked. And not because I mind paying the extra buck. It is, after all, just a buck. But, shocked because the assistant manager is just ballparking prices and willing to accept charing a customer, I don't know, DOUBLE. So, readers, tell me what you think about this.

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August 29, 2008

Apparently the economy so shitty that Diddy's flying **gasp** COMMERCIAL

The best part is when he gives a shout out to our Saudi Arabian brothers and sisters, saying that some sending him some oil for his jets would be greatly appreciated. I mean, how bad could things be if America's favorite hip hop mogul is forced to fly American Airlines. I'm gonna have to ship the boys via UPS to take a vacation.

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18 million cracks in the glass celing and some lady named Sarah Palin slips through

Well, Readers, it looks like we finally have a follow-up to Geraldine Ferrarro, the first and only other woman to be nominated as a vice presidential running mate. John McCain announced Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old Alaska governor who has served only half a term, will be second chair on his ticket.
I wonder if my girl Hillary busted her cell phone against the way when this news broke or if she's happy that the 18 million cracks she just busted in the invisible ceiling has now allowed some lady lumberjack to slip through. (Hey, Sarah calls herself "outdoorsy.")
I was really hoping John would give the veep nod to that dousche Mitt Romney just because we could mop that floor with his plastic-haired, flip flopping ceramic grin.
Sarah's political career really just started, so we don't know a lot about her. On one hand, she seems to be more conservative than McCain on issues such as abortion. That will please his base, but you know, conservatives scare Aunt Shonda.
On the other hand, she recently threatened to kick Exxon Mobile, Chevron, BP and other big oil giants out of her state if they didn't bend to her will. That's not so conservative.
Of course, she's already the focus of an investigative probe from the Alaskan legislature over a personnel case. As you know, I love crocked politicians, so this only warms my heart to her. Sometimes you gotta bend the rules a little, right?
When Hillary left the race, the only thing I liked about it was that the ridicules talking heads on the television, namely those asshole on Faux News, could stop the endless debate over pant suits and their witch doctor inturpretations over just what Hillary was trying to convay by dying her hair. Well, welcome aboard, Sarah. I hope you like fashion because you are about to get to talk ten times more about it than you will about the issues our nation faces.
I'll be an Obama Momma through the end of this deal. I think a four year extension of these poor Bush policies will leave us bankrupted or close to it and likely expanding this war into even more countries that we have possibility of winning in. But, if McCain does happen to win in November, at least we will still seeing history, a history that's been a long time coming.
As my girl Tina Fay said, "Bitch is the new Black."

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August 28, 2008

Real Cowboys Don't Pay Entry Fees

I was already about half-sick when I was driving through Elk City, taking Rolan to the doctor's office today when I saw the signs of the inevitable. This is Elk City's Rodeo of Champions weekend. Each year I feel the same dreadful pit in my stomach when I first spot the red, blue and white banners. Like a cramping period, you can do nothing but grit your teeth and push through it. I am a well-documented fun hater and I'm sure you think this is just more evidence to that fact. Trust me, it's not. Just ask any of my former co-workers. (For further evidence of my fun hater status, click here or here.)
Now, I know that many of you locals are already all up in my arms by my last statements. I know because I've mentioned my pure disdain for this ridicules bullshit to some of you businessmen and, with your eyebrows scrunched all disapprovingly, you scold me for lack of loyalty to the town.
"Don't you know how much extra business this thing brings in for the town? they ask.
Well, fuck yes, I know this brings extra business to town -- a shit ton of unmanageable business. And, do you know how I know that it brings in a shit ton of business? Well, let me tell you how.
For ten years, I hustled and grunted through the swarms of descending "cow"boys, packed 10 to a dozen in each booth that typically seats four at the Pizza Hut. Then the parade would start, that motherfucking parade, and the Pizza Hut parking lot would get so damned full with onlookers, totally spellbound as though they've never seen a shitting horse or a high school marching band, that our delivery drivers would have to park two blocks away to come in and get another round of deliveries.
And, yes, the Pizza Hut made some sweet profits each of those years I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, explaining to one drunken "cow"boy after another that I would serve them a beer, just not Coors Light. We didn't carry Coors Light. And every other damned week of the year this wasn't a problem. But, on Rodeo Weekend when everyone is a bonafide, true blue cowboy, they cannot be expected to demean themselves by drinking Bud Light. So, while the restaurant I was working my dog ass off for was clearly some bank, I never made any extra money. Sure, there were a swelling number of tables, but they were generally bad tippers. Plus, I would spend half the damn day scrapping horseshit out of the carpet because you know each parent let their children run into the road to pick up parade candies they could buy 50 fucking pieces of for $1 at the dollar store. As Little Johnny or Little Suzy would bend down to snag their sugary prize, you could bet a million dollars their adorable boots with the waffle soles would land smack dab in the middle of a fresh turd. After the parade, they would mosey into the Pizza Hut where each one of the little bastards would brush their new boots off on our floor.
In between dealing with the hurricane of poo and the belligerent Coors Light loyalists, I would periodically have to lock myself in the walk-in to keep from laughing in the faces of local business people. I would see these folks on a regular basis throughout the year in their polo shirts and Gucci shoes, all combed and slick for a day of commerce. But, when the rodeo rolls around, you can bet your sweet ass they are dressed up like Pecos Bill.
Now, you are probably thinking, Shonda, I thought you dressed your kids in Western clothes all the time. I thought you married a cowboy and together you run like 7,000 head of cattle each year.
Well, you would be correct on all that. My husband is the quisessential cattleman. He ropes steers off a four-wheeler, chasing cattle down dusty lanes, lives half his life riding around in pick-ups taking head counts and patching fence and the other half doctoring sick ones and shipping off the ones ready to sell. And yet, with all this cowboy-esque duty, he manages to do it without looking like an extra in the Tombstone movie. Sure, he sports Wranglers and a pearl snap, sometimes even with a flower print, but he leaves the chaps at the house.
But, for these people on this weekend, it is like Halloween for adults. The more gaudy cowboy accessories they can pile on, the happier they are about it. As I would serve them pizza, just during this solitary week, they'd wink and say, "Why, Thank ya, Ma'am."
Then I would walk off, shaking my head at the bizarre alternate universe we will embark to once a year.
Now, I have to say that I really respect the hard work of the ten men on the rodeo board. They spend most of their year working hard to bring a professional level event to our tiny corner of the world. If half the community didn't go ape shit crazy during Rodeo Weekend, it probably wouldn't aggravate me a bit. In fact, I don't remember harboring all these volatile feelings about the thing until after I went to work for the Pizza Hut when I was 14ish. But, after slaving through that first year with barely a bump in pay, I knew this damn rodeo would forever be my arch nemesis.
So, listen up, folks. Take your kids out to the rodeo, I really hope you do. It's good family fun and I am all about supporting the community. In fact, my boys are getting old enough that I am sure I am going to have to end my protest and take them. But, if you wear Levis or Dockers for the rest of the year, by all means, wear them to this. If you let your children rush into the street during the parade, for God's sake, brush off the shit from their shoes BEFORE you take them into a restaurant.
However, if you are really wanting to witness some real life, crazy cowboy shit, come on out to our place. I think Rowdy has to rope a few steers later on this evening. After you see him drive his four-wheeler with one hand, zooming by at 30 miles per hour as he ropes a 900 pound steer, you'll nod your head and agree that that is a show. As I've always believed, Real Cowboys Don't Pay Entry Fees.

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August 27, 2008

Hay is for Horseshit, Hickman City

As I drove to my aunt's restaurant a few weeks ago, cell phone glued to my ear as always, I came upon a big black man in a turquoise western shirt, galloping on his gallant horse upon the paved city road. Before I even saw his face, I knew who it was -- my father's lifelong friend Ricky. When I say big, I mean BIG, well over 6 foot and built like a concrete refrigerator. And, when I say turquoise, I freakin' mean turquoise, blind-you-in-the-dark turquoise. I'm sure the sight of a man no smaller than the average NFL linebacker riding his horse all over town has made many a passer-by stop and gander throughout the years. But, Ricky has been riding his horses in town for as long as I can remember and he is far from alone in that. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of families who do the same. Yes, periodically you might stumble upon a little horseshit in the roadway, but that seems to evaporate into nothingness after a few vehicles have driven over it. The rear-end exhaust may smell a little worse than that of a Chevy Trailblazer, but it's much better for the environment. Plus, it gives the feel of the Wild, Wild West and God knows we are all about that.
So when the headline "One Horse Town Squabbles Over Banning Horses" on, I clicked on it figuring it was set in some suburb cresting upon a booming metropolitan. But, holy shit was I wrong.
Yes, apparently the city council of some Nebraska community called Hickman City (for real? Hickman? Not even a great fiction writer could make this up) voted last night to keep an ordinance that bans all horses within city limits.
For me, this would be no problem. I haven't ridden a horse since I got bucked off this wild bastard owned by a local attorney in 1995. The mishap resulted in a concussion and, much to my ornery husband's disappointment, I haven't been on one since. Oh wait, that's a lie. I did get on one 5 years ago at Packsaddle long enough to have a full blown panic attack. But, I don't think that counts.
Anyways, the article on msn will definitely pluck your heartstrings. A 76-year-old Hickman resident Harley Scott (awesome name, right?) and his 32-year-old horse Peter Rabbit are at the center of the controversy. If the ordinance remains in tack, Peter Rabbit will be forced to leave the farm he was born on over 30 years ago or Harley will face a fine of $100 a day.
So, good luck to you, Harley. And Hickman City Council, chill out, bitches. You may or may not have noticed that this Hickman City isn't a big tourist trap. The glitterati isn't descending to your non-existent resort in swarms. In fact, your "western" charm has probably been the only draw you've had and now you are biting the hand that feeds you. Oh wait, that's the wrong pun. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Is that it? Or is it, don't look a gift horse in the mouth? Screw it, you know what I mean.

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August 26, 2008

Cowboy Romeo

Okay, ladies, in case you are scouring the internet for evidence for the efficiency of endless nagging or drowning downpours of tears, you've come to the right place.
Just before we opened the doors to my aunt's restaurant today, the flower lady arrived bearing gifts for yours truly. Rowdy has insisted for a long time that buying gifts is a waste of energy and money. In fact, he even hates it when people buy them for him because he believes that they will, in turn, expect him to do the same for them.

I'd like to think that the gorgeous bouquet of roses, daisies and carnations was a symbol of his undying devotion, but I'm sure it had more to do with this desire to not spend three hours evaluating the ebbs and flows of our marriage. You know he just loves talking about his innermost feelings.
Either way, I'm tickled pink because my man showered me with romance on my 28th birthday. The flowers were blooming beautiful and the snazzy vase will make great decor until the boys use it as wicked weapon.
Oh, and happy birthday to Anna. The date of your birth is just another sign of your genius.

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Self-Celebrating Day Drinking: I love BIRTHDAYS!

Oh, birthdays, the one day a year when self-celebrating naricism and mid-morning day drinking is A-okay! How I love you, birthdays.
Ridge and I have already gotten into a jaw-locked battle of wills over one of my birthday prizes. Aunt Lyndi sent me a box full of goodies, including Burt's Bees, Jelly Bellys and this finger-lickin' Ghardi (or however the hell you spell it) caramel-filled chocolate.
Ridge cried for like 20 minutes, whaling, "No, it's not your birthday. It's my birthday. Don't eat my chocolate! Don't eat my candy."
And I was all, "Back off, punk. This shit is mine."
And then I slowly sucked all the sweet caramel goodness out in front of him and he flopped around like a protesting fish out of water. But, I didn't care because he's not getting my birthday. I don't care how cute he is.
So, happy birthday to you, Shonda. I only have one more year until I celebrate my first 29th birthday. My Grandma Nita tells me the third 29th birthday is really the best, but I still have a few years before I am there yet.

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August 25, 2008

An Ass Whoppin' You Can Take to the Bank: Pollyester Kotton For President.

Until this week, I thought I was an Obama Momma. Turns out, by Golly, I want Polly....ester Kotton that is.
This little gem stars an Elk City native who will remain nameless for the time being. Now, if you are an Oklahoman, you will recognize the names as local township, which only made me giggle more.

I don't know who I'm going to vote for in this president erection. Yes, I said erection 'cause somebody's gonna get screwed. --Pollyester Kotton

An Ass Whoppin' You Can Take to the Bank. --Pollyester Kotton

If you are an uptight, stick in the mud, by all means, don't watch the youtube video. However, if you like to giggle so hard you piss your pants a little, please watch. This paints rainbows all over my blues.

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August 24, 2008

Catholic Nuns Gone Wild: Miss Sister 2008

As the old saying goes, sex sells and it looks like one particular Catholic priest wants to cash in on the booty train.
As you know, I love the internet. In between snooping on myspace and shopping sprees on, pure bliss is always just a keystroke away. And when I stumbled upon this saucy story on this evening, my filthy heart went pitter patter. I mean, I love sex jokes and I love religion jokes, so finding this article is like hitting a pop culture jackpot.
Apparently this Italian priest and theologian Antonio Rungi is organizing an online beauty pageant for nuns because he feels their reputations as ruler-toting sadists or ancient, old hunchbacks just isn't fair. He wants the Catholic Church to recognize them as the hot pieces of ass they clearly are. My guess is now, with Rungi's assistance, they will.
Since setting up a blog is so simple (I think the existence of my blog is ample evidence of that), Rungi plans to start the contest through a blog he will run, of course, thus allowing nuns all over the globe to participate in "Miss Sister 2008." Once the Battle of the Biblical Beauties kicks off, Rungi wants us to "vote for the nun they consider a model."

"Ummmm....Sister Mary, the orphans are starving. Could you please bring more bandages?"
"Chill, Sister Rose. I'm uploadin' my pics to"


"Word up, Mother Superior."
"Word up, my child. Have you decided what platform you will be discussing in the pageant?"
"Like, totally, I'm talking about modesty."


"Sister Teresa, I need to tote some bling during the evening wear. Do you think I should wear the crucifix or the rosary?"


"I'm, like, totally stressin' about the pageant, Sister Katherine. What do you think I should do for the talent portion, feed the poor or treat the dying?"

Okay, I'll stop. I could seriously go on forever.
So, when any willing nun finds free time from, I don't know, serving the Lord, they can log onto Rungi's site, whatever that might be, and fill out a profile about themselves. A photograph is required. Naturally, they will be able to pose with a traditional veil or their hair uncovered. I mean, this is all about freedom.
As one would imagine, some of the Church's higher ups are already protesting the pageant. I doubt any of these upstanding folks are the same ones who shuffled dirty priests from one parish to another. I think their indignation is totally legit. Totally. What will the Baptists and the Methodists think, Father? Jeez!
Then again, maybe the nay-sayers are being holy sticks in the mud. Rungi has, after all, given his good word that this isn't going to exploit the nuns in any way. Religion? Exploitation of women? Never!
"We are not going to parade nuns in bathing suits," Rungi said by telephone from his town of Mondragone. "But being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. External beauty is gift from God, and we mustn't hide it."

Don't you want to serve God, sisters? Hike up your robe, girls. Your hot legs are an instrument of the Lord. I feel an 11th Commandment coming on.
Thou Shall Flash Thy Boobs.
Now, jump in the jacuzzi. That's just bubbling Holy Water, girls.

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The Spirit of the American Farmer

The alarm clock buzzed at 5 am. As though I was still dreaming, I sprung from bed, turning the damn thing off. Crawling back into bed, I remembered that Rowdy told me he had to be up that early.
"Baby, if you are still wanting to get out of bed at 5, then it's time to wake up," I said, softly shaking his shoulders.
I stumbled to the kitchen for a drink of water. When I returned, he was still half-asleep. I didn't want to go back to bed myself until I knew he was awake. After all, I turned off his alarm without thinking. Rowdy's unfettered will to work even in the most undesirable circumstances has always amazed me, so I knew he would be up in just a second.
Since I hitched my wagon to his star five years ago, my knowledge of agriculture families has taken on a new definition. Most of what I thought to be true before has gone to the wayside, things I didn't even know was done has turned out to be the foundation of farming and ranching.
With our operation, Rowdy has to be a jack of all trades. Before he goes out each morning and when he comes in late at night, he scours the internet for market data. And not just the Chicago Merchantile Exchange either, all of them. He scouts weather patterns and veterinary trends. He mechanics on everything from bulldozers and large tractors to pick-up trucks and plows. His days are long, longer than anyone else I know and I've never heard him even mutter a small complaint.
The rain fell early this year, so he's started sowing wheat. Although no time of our year is technically slow, this is hands down the busiest. The success of the crop is so dependent on Mother Nature, circumstances completely beyond our control. It must be done when it can be done.
I don't know anyone else who saves their vacation time to farm, but Rowdy's little brother Chad (please click on Chad's name for the GREATEST story ever) comes out every year to drive tractors and labor in the unforgiving Oklahoma sun. He lives in Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City, with his wife and children. Although he isn't technically involved in agribusiness, he is still married to our farming and ranching success. I'm sure many others are committed to their family's businesses as well, but I think his is particularly true of farm and ranch families. It's not just the notion of livlihood, although that's an issue at hand, but also being a part of the whole, belonging to something larger than yourself. Chad knows the prosperity of our year, or lack thereof, is tied to this expensive slither. Plus, he and Rowdy are closer than perhaps any other two siblings on the globe. I mean, they are like Fidel and Raul Castro, dominating a country, close. Although we do pay Chad for his hard work during this time, there are some things money cannot compensate for. He and his wife could use this vacation time to be off on some lover's retreat together. Hell, he could spend it swaying in the hammock in his backyard. Instead he's caked in sweat and dirt, tending to cattle and plows for us. In fact, Chad's childhood on the farm continues to play such a large role in who he is today, he wrote a song about it.
So, when Rowdy and I were in John Deere, the same dealership my grandfather ran the parts department and worked on many a tractor for nearly 40 years until his death four years ago, I spotted this bumper sticker on one of the office windows. It spoke to me, not in a tripping on acid way, but in a waxing nostalgic way.
Of course, our greatest motivation in this line of work is to provide for our family. But, even though we produces only a small little dent in the country's food chain, it is there, on the kitchen table's of strangers. We know that China already produces 1 out of every 2 vegetables grown each year. We might not be able to match that ever again, but we can at least do our little part.

PS--For all your readers who visit my page for my foul-mouthed antics and mishaps, I will be posting one you'll love later on this evening. I promise to dry up my recent sappy behavior.

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August 23, 2008

Joe Momma, Joe Biden. I'm so Excited!

I just checked my email. He's running with Joe Biden. He's running with Joe Biden! case you can't tell, I freaking love Joe Biden. I was kinda holding out hope for my favorite Republican Chuck Hagel to swoon the Democratic VP position, but I'm about to do a cartwheel. Joe's perfect! Top that, McCain.
Here's my email from Barack, which you know he wrote directly to me.
Shonda --

I have some important news that I want to make official.

I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.

Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.

I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.

Please let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:

Thanks for your support,


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Momma Needs A New Design!

So this week, the fabulous ladies at BlogMommas, particularly the blog designer Burg, are having the best contest I've found thus far on the web. What is it, you ask? A BLOG DESIGN, top to bottom blog design. In order to win, an enterant must write 5 reasons I must be the lucky person awarded the design. According to the blog, the winner will be picked on Monday "based on creativity and general neediness, LOL!!! Seriously, Burg and I will read every single entry and we’ll pick the best."
Now, I don't know much it will help for you, Readers, to pursuade these ladies, but I don't think it could hurt, either. SO, here goes nothing/

1. I'm a tight ass, so if it's free, I always want it.

2. Because I know someday this blog will further my quest for world domination.

3. This contest is being decided one day before my birthday, just one tiny little day. I think that in itself should qualify me.

4. I'm totally HTML retarded. Plus, I hate this layout. It's cluttered and uneven, but when I think about changing it, my throat closes up.

5. I looked through some of Burg's other designs and she's freakin' brilliant! BRILLIANT! So, I just want it.

6. (This bitch is a bonus, ya'll) Because I'm awesome.

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August 22, 2008

The Intersection of Lives

Ridge attended his first day of Rainbow Lane on Tuesday. As I posed him front of the school's sign, the image in my mind was bittersweet. A little over 20 years ago, my mother propped me up next to the same sign and hugged me as I set off toward my education. As I stared at him, trying hard to burn every little detail in my memory, I was struck by the fact that he was like a baby AND a big boy, somewhere in between total dependence on my care and total liberation from his momma's watchful eye.
Because we didn't get the call for his acceptance into the preschool until Sunday evening, I got to follow him into Rainbow Lane. Mrs. Fryman had asked me to come early, not just to fill out the necessary paper work, but also to help Ridge get a feel for the place. He has, after all, never been without me or his father.
The other students started filing into the building, some with eager smiles pulled from one side of their faces to the other, some crying anxious pleas for their parents. Ridge just sat on the bench, watching his new classmates stream by him. I snuck into the front and finished his paper work. With a concert of childhood noises in my ear, I walked out of the building, away from my son, the student.
I've spent the last week trying to muster up enough gumption to write about Shelby Ford, his life and his death and his family that the great bulk of Western Oklahoma, myself included, have grown to adore. For those of you reading this who aren't from this neck of the woods, Shelby was a 33-year-old family man whose life was cut tragically short in a violent crash in Major County. Another Elk City man, Denton Wood, 22, the son of two well-known educators, was also in the vehicle with Shelby and continues to fight his critical injuries in the hospital.
As I drove away from Rainbow Lane Tuesday morning, Shelby's parents, Gary and Lou Ford, consumed my thoughts. When you grow up in a small town, often the same small town your parents and your grandparents were also raised in, you form rich, intertwining relationships with those who live and work around you.
Our lives are always at an intersection, crossing each other over and over again. On this day, I was sending my oldest son to school for the very first time as Lou Ford was preparing to lay her oldest son to rest. I tried to push that thought out, but I couldn't.
Gary Ford and his business partner John Edwards have been my eye doctors my entire life. One time in the 6th grade, Charlie Atteberry wrote on my eyeball with a dry erase marker (I swear). Gary shook his head and told us both that this was, in fact, a first for him. Their office is right behind the Pizza Hut I slung pizzas at for about a decade. Although there were many customers I truly loved, Gary and Lou Ford were at the top of that list.
When they would walk through the door with their family, each waitress would storm the door, tripping each other for the chance to wait on them. I'm sure their dependable good tips helped that, but their friendly demeanor is really what made us love them so.
Of course, I was also motivated by my teenage crush on Shelby. He was a cute, older boy who always smiled when I asked for his drink order. I haven't told many people about that, so let's keep that between us.
The Ford's oldest child, Toye, is the mother of two of the most well-behaved children we ever had in the restaurant. I could see she mothered her children the same way Lou had mothered her. The family baby, Ty, was only a year younger than me in school. Given our shared flare for the ornery, Ty and I have always been a bit like birds of a feather. Although my sister can aggravate me more than perhaps any other person on the globe, she also understands me more than just about anyone else. She knows where I came from, for she comes from the same place. I cannot imagine losing her and, for that, my heart is broken for Toye and Ty.
When I moved to Cheyenne to be with Rowdy, Shelby was living somewhere else. When he returned home, I was out here. It's not that far from Elk City, but I can still go months or even years without running into someone I've known forever. So, I guess for that reason I've never met his wife Patty. But, I know that she picked Shelby and he picked her. That in itself tells me that she is great. They shared two very small children, Avery and Cooper. I cannot begin to put a name on the emotions Patty must be feeling right now. While she is managing her own grief, she will have to find a way to explain to her babies how much their father loves them, even though he's not physically there. Just the thought of those conversations makes my heart tremble.
I dropped off food at the Ford's last Saturday. At least a block before I got to their house, vehicles lined both sides of their road. Their yard was littered with other townsfolk, flocking together in grief. I didn't stay long. I didn't want to be in the way.
As I told Gary and Lou to call upon us if they needed anything, Gary wrapped a firm embrace around me for several minutes. Lou grabbed my hands and said, "Shonda, there isn't anywhere else I would rather go through this than in Elk City, Oklahoma."
Gary shook his head. So did I. Their pain is for the loss of their son, for the loss of the father to their grandchildren and my pain for them. When you grow up in a small community, you have this very acute sense that we are all in this together. When you read about a fatal car accident in the newspaper, you can't just put it down and walk away. Whether they are a close friend or the familiar face from a business you frequent, you know them or you know someone who knows them. We are all interconnected and our lives intersect.
Or, as my friend Derek wrote in his newspaper, the one I contribute to:
This is about our community. Any community, really. The people you live with and laugh with and argue with and cry with....
In a town this size, our communities may not all be the same. Whether because of different churches, different friends, different-aged kids, different jobs -- we all move in different circles within this big circle that is our town.
But those circles all touch and bump together and overlap. We are all connected. We all need someone to be happy with when we are happy and to be sad with when we are sad. We all need someone to fill our pain.

I decided not to attend Shelby's funeral. I was helping my aunt at her cafe, as I will be doing each Tuesday and Thursday. Her daughter Cookie also works for her. Cookie and Shelby graduated together, so it seemed more fitting that I stay at the restaurant while they attended. Plus, to be honest, I just couldn't bring myself to see Gary and Lou hurt like that. I still can't stand the thought of it.
I picked Ridge up a few hours after I dropped him off. He bounced in the pick-up, excited artifacts tumbling from his lips before I could even say hello. In his hands were papers he had created on his first day. To you, it might seem like random scribbles, but to me, his momma, they were nothing short of DiVinci masterpieces.
Then I dropped him off at Mollie's and went back to the Hog Trough for a few more hours. Throughout the day, the Ford family would pop back up in my mind, especially Lou. I know her pain is no more or no less than any other member of that family, but as a mother, I was overwhelmed by the reality she faces. I thought of Ridge's first day of school, the way he jumped in the pick-up invigorated by his new friends, and I know that those same memories from Shelby's childhood will periodically flash into her mind.
I think time is a funny thing. Huge, rolling blocks of it will pass with few changes and then, out of nowhere, in a split second, in the bat of an eye, your entire existence is changed. The conception of a child is that way, so is the loss of one.
As I put my boys to bed Tuesday night, I ran my fingers through their hair, realizing the blessing I have in being their mother. Not just a mother, their mother. They are the same and different all at once. I read to them a little longer than I normally do that night and I have each night since. I'm sure with the busy hustling of life that will soon fade. I hope it doesn't, but I'm sure it will. Even in this tragedy, the Fords have continued giving to our community. And, that's Shelby's and Lou's gift to me.

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August 21, 2008

An Economy-Size Pain the Foot

Dear Reader,
I write this to you for your own good. Heed my cautious warnings.

As you know, I am lured into savings like trailer-dwellers into a flea market. That's a lot. Do you know how I know? Because I live in a trailer and nothing warms my heart more than a plastic Jesus with the Ten Commandments written in Spanish. Any place with multi-colored cotton candy and every design conceivable on Zippos is a tropic resort in my mind.
Focus, Shonda. Your readers need you.
Okay, I know it's hard to resist a good deal and, normally, there's few bad things that result in a little extra jingle. However, no matter what you do, DO NOT BUY THE ECONOMY-SIZE SHISH-KA-BOB SKEWERS.
Strolling through the Sam's Club about a year ago, the package caught my eye.
1,000 little sticks for, like, $2.
That's what I spent on a measly 100 not long before that.
I couldn't pass this up. That's like (let me do the math in my head) 900 free. Just imagine how handy that would be if I needed to torture, I mean use "enhanced interrogation tactics," on Rowdy. In case you've never submitted to a totally accurate allergy test before, those little prickly sticks can inflict as much pain as a leather bull whip. Trust me, you'd rather sneeze.
Even though I only make shish-ka-bobs and tempura 12 times a year, at the most, I just couldn't walk away from this bargain. Throwing the skewers, which were in a clear bag as round as a Pringles can, into my basket, I envisioned all the grilled delights I would serve with my nearly endless supply of, well, supplies. I brought them home, stuck them in my cookbook basket and they've rested peacefully there until last month.
Almost magically, Rolan became an adventurous, strong-willed explorer on his second birthday. He is literally everywhere. He's like the wind, like the destructive, giggling wind.
As he was crawling over the kitchen counter (and don't you know that I just freakin' love that he's crawling on the counter), the industrial-size package of shish-ka-bob skewers caught his attention. While most folks see culinary materials, Rolan saw a stockpile of drumsticks. ONE THOUSAND LITTLE MUSIC MAKERS, PERFECT FOR HIS TINY HANDS. And, of course, the metal legs striking out from his high chair chime when the skewers are struck against them. With a powerful tug from his strong little arms, the plastic bag was torn and wooden skewers flew all over the floor. They rolled under the stove and whisked into the living room. They were everywhere!
So, when you stroll past the skewers at the savings club at a price that completely disorients your reasoning, just move past 'em. Leave 'em alone. Trust me, Readers, there's few things more painful than a wooden lance piercing the skin of your unsuspecting feet as you stumble to the coffee pot.
So, Reader, I pray you listen to my advice. I only want what's best for you
I Love You,

PS-- Please ignore the messy, cluttered kitchen in the background. It's really not always that way. Well, that's a lie. It is always that way.

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Self-Defense Class in Cheyenne

Hello Readers,
Below is a repost from a friend of my man's. All the information for tomorrow night's self-defense is listed, as is the phone number for the woman hosting it. I told Rowdy I was thinking about going, but he seems to think I am already well-armed.
He said, "Well, I'm pretty for sure you could drive any kidnapper to abandon any promised ransom when you forged into the second hour of psycho-analysing what childhood event lead to the kidnapper's life of crime."
I was giddy as a school girl. "You think I'm smart enough to psycho-analysis a kidnapper?"
Then for some reason he just stared at me blankly while he shook his head. I'm sure it's hard being married to a genius with jedi mindtricks for cracking the criminally insane.
Anyways, all jokes aside, I think this class could be quite beneficial. Contrary to popular belief, crime isn't restricted to inner cities. A few years ago, an elderly woman was beaten to death in this Mayberry town and the killer(s) still remain at large. Then, a couple years after that, an Elk City woman was abducted outside her job and, using instinct and her cell phone, she was able to fight off her kidnapper. Long story short, living in a small town doesn't insure that you will never be a position to fight off a predator. So, if you are free tonight, attend the class.

Hey everyone,
For those of you who live in the Cheyenne area, I would like you encourage you to attend the free self defense class being held tomorrow night at the CHS Auditorium. For those of you with moms, grandmothers, sisters, friends, etc. in that area, I hope you will pass along the information.

I drove from Stillwater to attend the first class and I'll admit it was mostly because my mom & sister were organizing it. Self defense was not something I wanted to think about, much less learn. The thought of it just made me uncomfortable. I just can't tell you how thankful I am that I went to that first class! Not only is it so informative but it's so much FUN! I walked away from that class with so much more confidence.

I promise you that you will not only learn so much but you will have a great time doing it. We spend so much time and attention ensuring our children's safety, don't we? Take this class and help ensure your own. You will not regret taking the time to do this for yourself.

I'm very disappointed that I can't go to the class tomorrow night but I really hope that some of you will.

Thursday, August 21st, 6:30pm, Cheyenne High School Auditorium.

If you have any questions, just call Miranda at 405-684-7172

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August 20, 2008

Spiders on Crack and Lesbian Love Affairs

Okay, I'm really sorry that I didn't get the photos from Ridge's first day up yet. I was tired, so I took a nap. I said I'm sorry, dammit. You'll get 'em tomorrow.
As I've already disclosed on a previous blog, nothing warms my heart more than praise that stroke my eccentric ego. Yes, I love you Mommy gets close, real close to be exact. But, still, no cigar. I'm sure before too much longer I'll brainwash Ridge and Rolan to run their little fingers through my hair as they tell me how much smarter I artie wrote:am than all the other mommies. But, until then, I will just have to get that crazy need from you, my darling readers.
Almost as much as creative idol-worshipping, I love that so many of you get my twisted sense of humor. Next to a downpour or compliments upon my genius wit, nothing warms my heart like tits and ass jokes. I love you Mommy applies to this as well. As a mother of sons, I know someday my boys and I will have that to bond over. There friends are totally gonna be like, "Dude, where's your mom? We want to hear some of those fabulous ass jokes."
And then the boys are going to be not-at-all embarrassed. I'm sure winning life's parental lottery is going to be a blessing to them.
Anyways, back to my readers, my favorite people on Earth, people I love more than Bill Clinton. And I didn't even know that was possible. Unless of course Bill is reading and then he would be totally unsurpassable.
This morning Dustin, whose lavish applause already landed him in one post recently, sent me a youtube video "documenting" spiders on drugs. I laughed until I peed. Maybe I shouldn't have disclosed that. Jesus, Shonda. Any biopic that reviews how one species makes another it's bitch is gonna have me from the start. That's just how I roll, bitches.

Then, as if his awesome video wasn't enough, I want to share with you a comment I receive earlier this week. It really tickled my fancy.
Martie wrote:
If I was a lezbo... I'd be in love with you. You're about as cute as a speckled pup pulling a little red wagon (Ok, so I totally stole that line from some dude who used it on me 20 years worked for the weekend anyway).

Well, Martie, you might need to know that much more sweet talk like this and you might just have one short, fat lezbo on your hands.
When I told Rowdy about this, I could see the excited anticipation on his face. Like, so can we have a lezbo? Please, Shonda, please. I will feed her. I will walk her. Please, can we keep her.
After one of our kids was born, I told him I wanted to join a thespian moms groups and he was all for it.
I was like, So you don't mind if I have to drive 45 miles to be in it.
Him, No, at all if that's the closet.
Me, Yup, and then I might have to be gone a couple a nights a week for practice.
Him, They have practice?
Me, Uh, well, yeah, they aren't going to just put 20 women up on stage without it.
Him, Now wait just one minute. Why do you have to do this on a stage? Won't a bedroom work? Maybe a big hotel room?
Me, What the hell are you talking about?
Him, Nothing.

Okay, that conversation totally never happened. Being in a thespian group would be way too much work and would seriously cut down on my internet time. You know I'm letting nothing come between me and the world wide web. Nothing!
But, if I were to tell him I wanted to join a thespian group, I can tell you that's exactly how the conversation would go since supporting our ladies in the rainbow army is his top priority. We all deserve equal rights, huh Rowdy? When my husband thinks of all the oppression of lesbians, the way they can't make out with each other in frilly little nightgowns out in public, it just breaks his little humanitarian heart.
Anyways, thanks, Martie. As you all know, lavish praise is the way to my heart, so bring it on, bitches.
Okay, fine, you twisted my arm. I will leave you with one more. Cousin Cookie knows how to pluck the heartstrings of my dirty soul.
Well I have to give ya a high five for this one. I assume the cousin you preferred to is my well endowed daughter. It does make a difference when ya spend a little extra for the girls to be held up.No matter what its ALL about comfort. Don't let anyone tell ya different. I must add I think that you are the most brilliant, witty, classy but yet still with humor beautiful women whom loves the 'F' word, but wait there is more, who can cook.... Love you girl. Cookie

That's right. She called me brilliant, witty and classy and managed to keep a straight face when I asked her if she was being a wise ass.

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August 19, 2008

How To Spot A Real Man

Our nightly ritual is no less than a "enhanced interrogation" at Guantanamo Bay. For those of you who don't speak fluent Bush, that's torture. We're still conditioning Ridge to sleep in his own bed, no easy feat with the strong-willed, red-haired boy. I tuck him into bed and read him three books, kiss him on his forehead and tell him good night. A few minutes later, his door creeks open, his face peeks out. And then I start the process all over again.
On round # 6 or 7 last night, he drug out the dump truck book. Now, the jest of this tale is pretty simple. Old dude has a dump truck and rides around collecting animals to slosh up and down in it. It's kinda sadistic, really.
As we are reading our nightly stories, I always encourage Ridge to tell me what's happening in the illustrations. So, when the dump truck man arrived at the farm to load up even more animals in his truck, Ridge's eyes grew round and excited. He wanted to to talk about this.

Ridge: Is that boy a cowboy?
Me: Yes. How did you know he is a cowboy?
Ridge: 'Cause he has a hat and boots. He's a real man.

I laughed until my side hurt. Then I went and retold this little exchange to Ridge's cowboy dad, who thought this was the most genius thing he had ever heard.

Oh, don't forget to come back to mommalittle later today. I'm going to post first day of school photos.

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Bill, I Love You So, I Always Will.

Dear Bill,
Happy 62nd birthday! I hope you are having a good one.
I miss you so much, Bill. I look out the window and long for the days that the definition of sex was our most controversial national debate. Remember that time you said, "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is."? Oh man, I'm tearing up.
After you left office, the American people started looking for a president they could have a beer with. I told them all this was a mistake. Everybody knows good presidents are like the neighbor you'd have an affair with. Geez!
Now that Little George is borrowing billions from the Chinese each month, I'm so thankful for the budget surpluses you left us with. Just imagine how big our already overwhelming debt would be if you hadn't! I sure wish Little George would have followed your good example of "blowing" off steam, no pun intended. I think he needs a blowjob, Bill. Wars are the products of the sexually repressed, right Bill! That's why I follow your prestine example and get laid as often as possible. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask if you can just do your country. What's up now, bitches?
So, Bill, I hope your living it up on your birthday. Hell, look at who I am talking to you, I know you are, Big Pimpin'! You are my favorite president ever, hummers and all.
I Love You,
PS -- Aren't you glad the FDA approved Viagra, coincidentally during your administration. Now, that's what I call universal health care.

PSS -- I really, really love you. I love you like you love big-haired blonds with blue eyeliner. Kisses! Hugs! Remember that song, "Bill, I love you so, I always will?" Do you think that could be our song? Please?

PSSS -- Happy Birthday, Melissa! I love you half as much as I love Bill, which is a freakin' lot.

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August 18, 2008

Denise Richards: It's Not Complicated, It's Canceled!

Well, Readers, reality television took swing towards class this week. According to Star magazine, the desperate bid for self-promotion and stardom in Denise Richards: It's Complicated has come to an end just a few months after it's beginning. I think Denise is a soulless harpy willing to exploit anything, including her children, for fame. Clearly she's sucked so much money off poor Charlie that he can't even afford decent hair plugs. Not long ago, she accused Charlie of making unwanted advances and then later admitted that she simply made these charges up to make his new wife jealous. You know I like my reality television skanky. I'll take Rock of Love over Extreme Home Makeover any day of the week, but even this tacky TV genre has to draw a line in the sand. So, catch on the flip side, Denise!
My guess is she'll fire up her treacherous fingers and author some barely legible expose on marriage to my favorite man boy Charlie Sheen. Of course two weeks after the book hits print and the checks clear, she'll reluctantly reveal that half of it's wildly fictional bullshit. Naturally, as much as I detest Denise, I will purchase two copies to provide my sons with a cautionary tale of mindless sex through years of competitive partying. You don't want to be shackled to Denise Richards, do you boys?
But, until then, let's all take a minute to enjoy the break from America's hooker turned housewife. Oh, and by housewife I mean out-of-work actress pawning her meal ticket daughters off on a random team of nannies, unless the cameras are rolling, in which case the little money makers are front and present.

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If Preschool Were Heaven, It Would Be Rainbow Lane!

As I christened my new fancy schmancy birthday skillet last night, my cell phone was glued to my ear. As always. Lyndi and I were discussing some random tidbit from our alternative universes when my cell phone beeped, an unrecognized number flashing on the shitty Motorola screen.
It was Sara(h) Fryman, of the Rainbow Lane fame. Now, for those of you non-Western Oklahomans frequenting my blog, I know Rainbow Lane is gibberish to you. You probably think it's a swinging gay bar and, considering my flare for hot dudes in mini-shorts, I can totally see why you would suspect that.
However, Rainbow Lane isn't a bar and the only thing "gay" about it is the pure mecca of happiness that it is. So, for all you wordsmiths out there, it is like 19th century gay, not 21st century gay. Like hundreds and hundreds of other Western Oklahoma kiddos, I attended the miracle-working pre-school a little over 20 years ago. Long before I started breeding, I imagined my little angels (angels in my dream, I know no one puts that description on Ridge and Rolan unless they are asleep. And then it's only, don't they LOOK like angels.) be-bopping out of Rainbow Lane's doors as they eagerly told me of their eventful day.
Before Rowdy swept me off my feet and into the barely inhabitable wilderness that is now my home, I lived right behind the Rainbow Lane. In the spring, I would sit in my backyard and watch the gleeful children bouncing on the playground. I would even pour my beer into a colored cup in order to not corrupt their tiny minds. Noble Peace Prize, word?
Like most local parents, I called the private super school's owner when the boys were itty bitty to get them on the list, but the demand for the expertise of Rainbow Lane is no smaller than the organ transplant list. Seriously, you can get in line for a kidney and get one faster than you can sneak your child into Rainbow Lane.
Rainbow Lane is a preschool, so the time a kid can go is limited. Even though Ridge has been on the list for a pretty minute, as the school year approached and I didn't get a call for him, I buried my disappointment. There's always next year, right? Fingers crossed!
But then I got the call last night, just like the one when some strapping 19-year-old baseball player gets called to the majors from the farm team.
It turns out some foolish parent blew off this opportunity of a lifetime to have their kid in affordable private school, to give them a jump start on their education and now my baby boy is going to reap the benefits of their procrastination.
As Mrs. Fryman told me of the open spot, I could hardly contain my giddiness. Then she said the two words every late riser dreads: MORNING CLASS.
The school is 30 miles from our house, so the AM learning comes a little earlier for us than it would for the other students. And under any other circumstance, I would have grumbled a decline, but I was too freakin' excited to even consider that.
I asked Mrs. Fryman if I could talk about it with my husband and she graciously said yes. Considering that she has a list of other waiting kids who would jump on this slot like a midlife crisis on an impressionable young girl, I thought that was particularly nice of her.
So then comes the hard part, convincing my tight ass husband that this venture will be worth not only the monthly class fee, but also forking over gas money to make the nearly 60 mile round trip. Thank goodness for President Bush's global warming plan of making all fuel so damned unaffordable that folks are too poor to leak harmful emissions. I hope the Nobel Peace Prize people don't hear about this. That prize is mine, bitches!
I walk into the living room, my husband is kicked back in his chair and I go into the sales pitch.
I start by telling him that if he would have gone to Rainbow Lane, as I did, that he would know how much Ridge has to gain from this. Before I spoke to him, I had already snuck into the other room, calling my aunt to see if I can help in her cafe while Ridge is in school. Take that, gas prices! So, I lead the sentence with knowing how expensive the fuel would be, then explaining that's why I already lined up a little money maker while I'm in Elk City.
As I made my case, I told Rowdy of two of my friends opinions.
My friend the homeschooler who won't send her children to public schools because she feels the education is inadequate sends her kids to 2 years of Rainbow Lane. She's pretty cocky about her ability to teach her children. Rightfully so since she's a genius. And yet she feels like the master teachers at the Rainbow Lane can educate her kids as well or better than she can. Not only do they lay a solid foundation for their elementary education, but she says the experience taught her children manners and independence.
And then second story I told to Rowdy was of my educator friend who not only sends her children to Rainbow Lane, but also says she can see a difference in kids that got to go in her classroom.
Rowdy listened intently, but I could tell he was still on the fence. I mean, Ridge is almost 4 and Rowdy has visions of exploiting child labor dancing his head. Knowing what a lazy ass I am in the morning, I knew he would be impressed if I was willing to rise earlier enough to have Ridge in Elk City, over 30 minutes away, at 8:30 in the morning.
We discussed it a little more, me continuing to explain to Rowdy that the whole purpose of one life is to advance the genetic position for the next link in the chain. I could see he was warming up this idea. He is all about world domination, so that idea warmed his ambitious heart.
He decided to call his sister, who sent her two children to Rainbow Lane as well. I think maybe he expected her to say that it was a good experience, but not quite the life-molding event that I was painting it to be. So, it totally rocked my face off when she started praising the child-teaching methods of the Rainbow Lane staff.
I called Mrs. Fryman and accepted the open slot. Yes, I wish it was in the afternoon and God knows I should be growling like an attack dog by this time tomorrow afternoon. I am a bit nervous about my farm boy, Tom Sawyer, all wide-eyed and excited as he tells his new friends about cutting out and then eating calf balls. I hope he doesn't ask for the bathroom's location by announcing to one of his teachers, "Hey, I need to shit." When I take Rowdy around city dwellers, they normally circle him as though he is some relic in a dusty museum. Ridge is his little mini-me, so he will most assuredly bewilder his classmates.
I know I'm suppose to be all misty-eyed at the thought of my oldest boy starting school. I mean, he's never even been to a daycare. But, at least at this moment, I am not. I'm just too pumped about all the fun he is going to have.

Oh, stop by one of my favorite blogs, The Noble Pig, and enter her super cool giveaway. She's awarding not 1, not 2, but 11 prizes. I realize directing all of you to it is poor strategy, but Cathy is a culinary genius and I think you would like it. Plus, like any good momma, I put you, my chicklets, above myself. Right!

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August 16, 2008

Nothing Turns Me On More Than Sturdy Cookware

So, I went shopping for my birthday present with my grandma today. She, of course, wanted to get me a bra because that's what grandmotherly people always want to purchase for boulder bearers like myself. If your pimping a C cup or less, I'm sure you've never had this not-at-all-awkward convo with your female elders. But, if you are "blessed" as my cousin and I are, you undoubtedly have had the extreme pleasure of pulling your shirt up in front of strangers as your grandma rambled on about lifting and smoothing.
When Grandma called to schedule this underwear outing, she asked what else I would like for my upcoming birthday.
A skillet, I quickly replied.
A skillet? she quizzed.
Yes, a skillet.
For your birthday?
Yes, a skillet.
After Grandma generously dropped more cash on one bra than I have invested in ten others picked up in some discount bin, we went out in search of the perfect cookware. Now, fellas, you don't get an ass (or jugs, for that matter) this big if you don't take food preparation seriously. And, trust me, I take it, like, disassembling-the-live-bomb serious. Like the world's gonna combust if I don't master this lemon alfredo sauce serious.
We strolled down the aisle, first sailing past each beautiful skillet and then slowing down in front of our favorites. We held them above our heads, examining them against the light. We read dimensions and then compared that against its weight. If the store has a surveillance camera, I'm sure the geeky tech kid is gonna have a field day with that footage. (Yes, I'm calling someone else a geek. Let it go.)
After a solid 30 minutes of muling over our three favorites like we're adopting a kid from some foreign orphanage, we made our selection -- a dark, sleek lover I'm gonna make some beautiful, creamy, spicy music with.
Rowdy was home when I came in, a true oddity this time of year. I had a great time with Grandma and Rolan. On top of birthday prizes, she treated me with a delicious meal and, good Lord, Mississippi Mud Pie.
I burst in the house, beaming with pride for my new culinary find. I held my Extra Large Martha Stewart Fryer out toward him.
Check this out, baby. This bad boy's got a porcelain exterior. This is damn near 7 quarts of cooking right here. It was made with aluminized-steel construction for even heat distribution, I purred.
Then Rowdy said, You sound like some car junkie bragging about their wheels, Shonda.
You know, like horsepower and cylinders. I mean, that's what you sound like.

Yeah, Rowdy think he's a damn comedian.
Madonna turned 50 today. I wonder what Madge is doing to commemorate half a century of life. Alex Rodriguez, perhaps? (I thought I'd use this post as a slimy opportunity to mention Madonna sexing it up with Alex Rodriguez. In case you haven't noticed, ads pop up with similar themes to my blogs, so I was hoping that those might be the catch words that ads grab. Let's do it one more time for good measure, Madonna may or may not be getting it on with A-Rod. Okay, I'm done shamelessly fishing for funny ads.)
Anyways, my birthdays isn't for a few more days, but my paryting will likely be limited to entertaining with my new cookware. I know many of you think I'm overexaggerating about my fun hater status, so if calling friends, who are no doubt drowning in boredom when talking to me, to share my excitement over my new skillet doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.
Also, please overlook any typos in this post. My giant boobs are pulled up to my eyeballs, so I can only see half the computer screen. Thank goodness for the fancy, new bra. These bitches are like weapons now!

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August 15, 2008

You Rock My Face Off!

I have a confession: I love myspace. I don't mean love like it's kinda a good way to pass idle time. I mean love like inhaling the scent of your newborn baby love. That's right, bitches, I just compared a tacky online social network to the moment I first held by babies in my arms. What I can say, I really, really love it.
Now, the reasons for my undying affection are as vast as the catty bickering or sexy photos posted through the site. It's like an alternative universe. Ex-girlfriends talk shit to new girlfriends. It's Maury Show awesome and I can't get enough.
Although the viciousness of myspace does put a smile on my face, I'd be lying if I said the ability to keep up with old friends doesn't make me log on, like, a million times a day. It helps if they call their ex-husband/ex-wife a series of names that would make any sailor proud, but even if they appear all chemically-balanced, it's cool to keep in touch with the click of a mouse.
When I log on and see the red letters on the right, "New Message," I'm as giddy as a frat boy in a strip club. Who's it from? The fact that it could be anyone, literally, anyone makes opening the message as suspenseful as which chick on Rock of Love 3 will show her tatas first. Like I said, could be anyone.
Oh, did you know there's going to be a Rock of Love 3? I'm sure you as shocked as I am that Bret's love affair with Ambre didn't pan out.
Anyways, you can imagine my utter delight when I logged on yesterday to see I had not only a message from my old friend Dustin, but that subject for the message was "mommalittle."
The note was short and sweet and totally made my heart go pitter-patter. In case any of your boys are currently hatching plans to steal me away from Rowdy, let me make things easier for you. There's no need to call me pretty. I know I'm not and I wouldn't believe you if you said it. Plus, it's not nearly as effective as calling me brilliant or funny. My loyalty can be easily swayed if you throw those bitches out, particularly if you join 'em together. Hell, I might even get your name tattooed on my arm.
Dustin wrote,
i love reading your blogs!!! you rock my face off.

I'm not 100% sure what "rock my face off" means, but I know I love it like Kathy Griffin loves the "F" word, which is exactly how I love the "F" word, by the way. Now, Dustin's a little freaky-deek. His long-time nickname is Cochino, which apparently means nasty in Spanish. I'm taking his and the hundreds of folks who call him that at their word. My second language is Pig Latin, so I call him asty-nay. Dustin wears Cochino like a badge of honor, so I'm a bit nervous about the origin of this statement.
Whatever it means, this ranks up there with this hand-written Mother's Day card Rowdy penned for me the year after Ridge was born. In fact, I'm going to print off Dustin's message and paste it next to the hand-written card in my scrapbook.
Can't you just totally see the boys flipping through that keepsake in 20 years with their future brides?

Girl: Ummm....why did your mom print out this 2 sentence email that said she rocks this dudes face off?

Son (all embarrassed): I don't know.

Girl (confused, shaking her head): Ummm..... you aren't going to let her give a toast at the wedding, are you?

Son: No.

Thanks to Dustin for the sunshiny note. We've known each other our whole lives, although we don't get to see each other often these days. He's a city slicker these days. He recently had his right kidney removed and I quite thankful he's well enough to have his face rocked off, by me or anyone.

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August 14, 2008

Now You See Me, Now You Don't, Bitches!

The boys and I were acting out The Pirates of the Caribbean, their old plastic baby bathtub serving as Captain Jack's ominous pirate ship when Rowdy barreled through the front door.
As you know, I've somehow become a total disgrace to my gender and forfeited control of the...hmmmmm.....lovin' to my man, so I promptly jumped vessel when Rowdy summoned me to the bedroom. I know I've betrayed you, ladies. I'm sorry. I don't know how it happened. He seized the flag and I can't recapture the citadel. I promise I won't let him tell the others. What if they all knew they, too, could control the marital relations like a ruthless puppet master, yanking the powerless strings of his captive doll? Seriously, who wants to vote when you can't manipulate your man through lengthy deprivation of sex?
As Rowdy and I were walking down the hall, he informed me that he was going to Woodward for the night to make sure the 500 head of cattle we shipped arrived as expected. All nonchalantly, he then informed me he would return home sometime tomorrow afternoon.
I'm sorry, what? You're coming in here, throwing together less luggage than I'd take to the grocery store and telling me you are going on a mini-holiday two hours away.
Now, you know I like that his mind's on the money and the money's on his mind. Me and Snoop Dogg, we are one in the same. But, just popping this on me last minute only further lets me know this asshole isn't nearly as scared of me as he should be. God, if I was only in control of the intercourse.
Then, surfing the internet, I found the answer to my prayers, my stalking-Rowdy's-every-move, watching-his-every-breath prayers.
It's not available just yet, but according to the scientist at the University of California, Berkely, I may soon be able to hunt Rowdy totally undetected. Apparently these scientists and researchers, led by Xiang Zhang, are nearing the development of materials that will render people and other objects invisible, a dream come true for insecure folks like yours truly.
One step forward for man, one leap forward for stalkerkind.
I have LuLu-drops dancing in my unbalanced head.
If I could only get my hands on these "metamaterials--artificially engineered structures created at a nano scale that contain optical properties not found in nature," I could slather myself in, well, whatever the hell that is and monitor Rowdy's every move. I could be sitting in his hotel room as I type. Remember that movie When A Stranger Calls Back when the super creepy ventriloquist paints himself like the brick wall and then pounces on the unsuspecting woman. Except I wouldn't have to find some starving artist with a stomach strong enough to paint me in the buff. I could just lather myself up in this invisible psycho juice and monitor Rowdy's move like Big Brother. It would be his Orwellian nightmare. I don't think he knows who Orwell is, but with that kind of Godly power, I'd make 1984 feel like Sesame Street.
According to this article on, these recent findings by the University of California, Berkley and Zhang were funded in part by National Science Foundation's Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center and, of course, the U.S. Army Research Office. The findings, which will be in this week's Nature and Science, "could have broad applications, including for the military," the piece explained.
I wonder if this means someone will finally find Osama bin Laden. Clearly sniffing out the kidney dialysis center he's receiving treatment from will never produce the beanstalk terrorist, so perhaps if we were invisible, we could sneak up on him.
This new revelation is a little frightening. Turn on your tv. Now flip to CNN. Are they talking about the Olympics? I figured. Okay, wait a few minutes. Are they talking about Georgia yet? No, not Ted Turner and the Braves Georgia. I mean, Russia invading it's neighbor Georgia. Now, just imagine if all the tanks were unforeseen by the naked eye. The ability for mankind to fly below the radar, for any object to exist as though it's ghost, will have the same lethal effect as the atomic bombs we dropped on Japan. In the short-term, the impact could very well end a war, though their existence will likely lead to many more.
But, did the atomic bombs ever let me hide inside them to hunt down my man? No. Now that's a disaster.
You're going down, Rowdy!

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Return To Sender

The day after I posted this "hypothetical" play about a young wife being bombarded for freakin' years by telemarketers and bill collectors for her husband's former live-in girlfriend, the same woman, if only she were real, was at her mother-in-law's house when her husband's ex-wife called to pass on her good news, that she had a song picked up by some musician in Nashville. Now, because this make believe woman's husband didn't reproduce with his former spouse, there had been no contact between them in the decade since they've split the sheets. So, funny that the phone mysteriously rang not 24 hours after this post.

Okay, now put all the hypotheticalness (makin' up words, bitches!) aside 'cause now I'm keeping it real. (Yes, I realize I probably didn't use that term in the correct context. Hell, maybe I did. I just want to look hip. Do I?)
As Rowdy walked through the door for lunch, I noticed that he was carrying in the mail, a liter of envelopes riding atop a rectangle box. Weird, I thought, I'm not expecting a package.
I should've recognized Rowdy's ornery expression, like a little kid attempting to camouflage his eager anticipation as his teacher sits on a hidden whoopie cushion. But, I didn't.
I scooped the mail from him, filing through the paper. After I was done looking through it, the name on the box hit my eye. Shelly Little. Not Shonda Little, Shelly Little.
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If you haven't pieced it together yet, Shelly is the name of my husband's first wife, the woman he divorced, like, 11 freakin' years ago.
My eyes darted up at Rowdy. I can see his lips are pinched together like a dam over flooding waters, laboring in vain to hold back rushing laughter.
What the fuck? I ask, giggling in that soundless way you do when you are truly shocked. Is this a joke? Haven't you been divorced since the mid-90s?
Rowdy, doubled over from his hilarious victory of slipping the box to me all super sly, shook his head up and down. He was laughing so hard he couldn't talk. His face was red and his eyes were swollen with tears. Yes, he laughed so hard he cried.
Of course, that was only furthered as I mumbled, Is this fucking for real?
After I stopped grimacing like my superhero Lewis Black and Rowdy finally picked himself up off the ground, I realized what the box was, those fancy schmancy, super delicious Gevelia chocolates.
I stared at the box, deciding what to do with it. Naturally, my first thought was, well, to eat the contents. After all, I don't know how to contact my husband's ex-wife and clearly the mail man doesn't either. Then I thought I should scheme up some witty contest, rewarding one of you, my brilliant readers, with the chocolate pieces of heaven as a prize. But, then I remembered that tampering with mail is a federal offense and you know that I am a rule follower to a T. (Is that T or tee? Clear it up if you know.)
And then it occurred to us, Rowdy's first cousin, who also resides in this itty, bitty town, has a wife named Shelly. Sure enough, the chocolates were hers. We don't really see them that often, maybe once or twice a year, so it makes sense that it didn't register to us at first. Especially since Rowdy's hypothetical ex-wife just called his mom to tell of her recent good news from Nashville. (Congratulations, hypothetically.) Thank God it didn't. Otherwise we wouldn't have had this post.

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August 13, 2008

Perils in Potty Training

After about 25 trips to the potty, Rolan was pooped out, no pun intended. And of course, there's no place better for booty resting than the guitar.
Check out the TV screen. That's right, he's watching 25 Best Cougar Moments on VH1. Perhaps he'll inherit his father's love of older women.

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August 12, 2008

Don't Breed With A Cowboy, You'll Get A Cowboy Spawn!

I realize my blog's been a little Ridge-heavy as of late, but he's been kickin' out the quirky! I promise to post Adventures in Being Rolan soon. It's not like he's been laying low, after all.
Better than Christmas morning all covered in bows, Ridge's very favorite movie came on today, The White Buffalo staring thespian extraordinaire Charles Bronson. This cinematic masterpiece (cue super dry sarcasm) is the engaging journey through the legend of Wild Bill Hickok and Chief Crazy Horse and their hunt of a white buffalo. Why are these two historic figures from the Great American West chasing down this poor animal like rabid dog, you ask? Well, the answer is much simpler than you might think. The evil, treacherous white buffalo is terrorizing Indian villages throughout the countryside, blazing their camps to a fiery crisp along with many, many other murderous crimes. Hell, if this were true, US Grant probably would've made the white buffalo the official mascot of the Indian Wars.
Get back on track, Shonda. Okay, I'm done rambling post-Civil War propaganda.
As soon as the Western flick comes on the screen, Ridge is energized, bouncing on and off his rocking horse, passionately reciting lines seconds before they mumble out of Bronson the Bad Ass's lips. Then he runs to me, flings his arm towards the television, making sure I saw each and every totally believable thing in the movie.
In Rowdy's wicked scheme to dominate the television programming of this house for the rest of our damn lives, he, of course, only cultivates Ridge's love of ridicules old Westerns. The more our children's hearts beat for violent, sensationalized portrayals of the Wild West, cram packed with pitiful acting, the happier he is about it. I'd fight it harder, but in the very least, these movies are teaching the boys to correctly use cuss words, which is my great campaign in motherhood.
If you have, by some holy miracle, missed The White Buffalo, I suggest you watch. No, not because it's any good. It's not. (There's no sense in sending the hate mail, Rowdy Posse. I won't sway on this.) This flick will, however, make you think the shark in the first Jaws is totally legit.
Charles Bronson, "Oh Hell!"
Ridge, "Oh Hell!"
Fine day in parenting for the family Little. I hope I don't get the Bronson boot from the liberal left for letting my kid play with a toy guy, totally un-bleeding heart of me.

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Finish This Page, but click on the older posts, too.

The knee-slappin,' cursin,' GOOD TIMES don't start or end on the front page, so read the older posts! Maybe you missed something. Maybe you forgot. I try to post daily, so read the older posts!
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