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Seminole, Texas, United States
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 29

You Don't Come First Anymore!!!

I'm going to vent a little bit about the job.

In the course of business, my office handles CPS (Child Protective Services) cases.  On the majority of cases we are appointed as attorney ad litems for children meaning we represent the child's interests in the court proceedings. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) acts as the "ground troups" since CPS caseworkers are so overloaded.  CASA is the very critical "filler" to keep even one child from "falling through the cracks."

I'm not even going to attempt to give any of these parents the benefit of the doubt.  Mainly because I haven't seen a single one that deserved to be p***ed on if they were on fire, much less more opportunity to keep their children in abusive, neglectful and miserable, most times squalid, conditions.

The majority of these parents are hardcore drug addicts.  Every once in a while we will run across a parent who is just plain lazy/miserable and could care less about their children being happy and healthy.  Believe me . . . there are children in every single community in this world who are either being abused and/or neglected.  This crap does not discriminate along economic, race, religious, etc lines.  Although you will find almost every child of a drug addict being neglected.  Feeding their addiction is the addict's number one priority.  Feeding the kids? Not so much.

Which brings me to my job complaint for today.

We started out two years ago representing a little 3 year old girl (Leila) and her 8 month old half brother (Will).  CPS was contacted to intervene due to neighbors noticing the lack of care they were receiving from their meth-addled mother.  Both children are the products of "transactions" with two different dealers.  At the time of Leila and Will's rescue (really? what else do I call it?), their mother was pregnant again and still strung out on meth.  After the baby (Esteban) was born in late 2009, he was immediately rescued too.  Then in late 2010, another baby (Zina) was born.  She was rescued also.  All four children are now in the care of two different families with Leila and Will with one family and the two babies with another family.  CASA reports that all children are happy and healthy with only Leila having some dental problems.

You'd think that the mother would work her butt of to get clean since she's been screaming since day one that she "lives for her babies, her babies mean the world to her, she can't live without her babies!!"

Horse hockey.

She can't live without her meth and when push comes to shove, SHE comes first.  She's gonna get her fix and everybody else can go to hell.  But the whole while she is screaming to get her kids back and how much she loves them.

I am so sick of these piece of poo parents who don't give a rat's behind about their kids when they have them. But they get all offended and indignant when someone comes and takes better care of the kids.  Actually gives the kids a chance at being happy and healthy. Hey! Wait a minute!! Actually gives these kids a chance at being . . . . . a KID!!!

Let's not forget the case about the7 year old girl who routinely cleaned up her mom's vomit and got herself to school for almost 2 weeks before the teacher realized that the little girl was dealing with something pretty bad at home and instigated an investigation.  Luckily that little girl was re-united with her Dad who had divorced the mother because of her alcoholism and drug abuse but the court gave custody to the mother.  Once the court did that, the mother made it dang near impossible for the Dad to get his visitation. Go figure.

Today we got notice that one of the drug addict parents wants to relinquish their parental rights.

You know what?  I couldn't agree more.

Monday, March 28

A Wish to Live Forever

I met a fairy today who said she would grant me one wish.

"I want to live forever!" I exclaimed.

"Sorry. I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that," she answered.

Smiling slyly, I then said: "Fine. I want to die after Congress gets their heads out of their . . . .!"

As she narrowed her eyes and tightened her mouth, she replied, "You crafty bas . . . . . . ."

Friday, March 25

Two Dog (or Kid) Theory

Reading another great blog today wherein Oilfield Trash referenced his 10% Theory, made me recall our "Two Dog Theory."

As some of you may know, we have a 9 year old rescue dog named Hank. He is of the most handsome persuasion (he made me write that) and we loves him much.  Since we got Hank right after we moved to the country with lots of extra acres to spare, we didn't hesitate to rescue another pup from our local shelter.  Roger was of the very sweet and lovable, though particularly dim, persuasion.  Roger was with us for several months when one evening he and Hank went venturing off our property.  Now, what two 50+ lb. dogs could not accomplish on our multiple acres that they had to actually travel an extended amount of time to just get clear of, we have no idea. But they did and in the wee hours of the morning Hank came home.  Alone.

After an extensive search and even a lost pet notice published in the local newspaper, we never saw Roger Dog again. It was a very sad time at our house.  Even Hank seemed a somewhat forlorn that his little buddy was missing.  He had to chase squirrels and Joe Kitty all by himself.  And we all know how un-fun that can be.

Fast forward to the next year.  Big Daddy's brother in the next county had a yellow Lab momma with a litter of pups.  They had found homes for all but one.  Afterwards we figured out why.  But by that time I was in lurve with Cecil and there was no way I wasn't going to take him home with me.

Cecil was of the solid like concrete persuasion and only slighter smarter. He was BIG for a pup and we wondered if we could afford to feed him and Hank plus the horses.  But he was very very lovable and he LOVED riding in the truck.  We had to park the truck outside the fence when he was out so he wouldn't tackle the truck trying to jump in the back.  We knew we couldn't afford to add auto body bills to an already ginormous dog food bill.

When Cecil was about 10 months old (and 80+ lbs), he had a terrible seizure.  We rushed him to the vet and after a very close brush with death and several IVs of medicine, he was stablized after two days and had a positive prognosis. The vet speculated that it was either poison  (set out by neighboring ranchers to kill ground hogs) or a genetic condition that would require daily medication.  It was a wait and see situation.  After a couple of restful days at home, Cecil perked up and ate his breakfast for the first time in 4 days. We thought he was going to make it.  The next night, he suffered another really bad seizure.  It only lasted a couple of minutes and when he came to, he seemed exhausted.  We decided to take him back to the vet.  He walked himself to a corner of the yard and laid down.  He wouldn't come to us when we beckoned him.  So we left him alone and checked on him periodically through the night.  He was breathing and sleeping so we thought getting to the vet the next morning would be okay.  Hank was by his side the whole time.

The next morning dawned and before I got out of my pajamas I went to check on Cecil.  He was gone.  As in left the property.  Hank was, too.  Part of me was hoping Cecil was fine and they went off on an adventure (which they knew they weren't supposed to do) but it still made me feel relief that he was going to be okay after all.

Hank came home the next day.  Alone.  We never saw Cecil again.

Some time after that I picked up a scared, skinny little yellow Lab female in the middle of the highway.  I brought her home and fed her.  Posted a notice in the newpaper about a found dog.  No responders.  So she became Macy.  About 3 weeks later Macy went off with Hank.

Hank came back home later.  Alone.

September 2008: a friend's Mastiff had 9 pups and not enough dinner plates.  So "Bart" got kicked out of the kitchen.  We bottle fed him and got him nice and fat and happy.  The best thing about Bart was that you could not talk him out of the house or yard away from the food bowl if your life depended on it.  We were confident that Bart would not be persuaded to follow Hank out on one of his "two go out, one comes back" excursions.

December 2008: We came home to one dog in the yard.  Hank.

So, along with witnessing the fun (?) our friends have with multiple children and our own luck with multiple dogs, we are true believers of the One Dog Theory.  We judiciously applied it to our family plan.  One kid also.

We have made it abundantly clear to Hank that he is NOT considered an adequate supervisor for the child.

Wednesday, March 23

I'd Do All Over Again

Today is a pretty special day.  Why it's not being widely publicized and on all the morning shows, I don't understand. Apparently rebels in Libya trying oust a dictator is important or sumthin.

But for those of you not in the know, today marks 9, count 'em, NINE years since me and Big Daddy took a stroll down the aisle of matrimony and made honest folk of each other. This anniversary is noteworthy if for no other reason than beng married to me is his longest relationship on record.  Second of course being the years shared with Hanker Dog.

A LOT has happened since that bright spring day in March 2002:

We sold almost everything we owned and quit really good paying jobs to move to the country.
We found out that living good has nothing to do with the numbers.
We endured a vicious political campaign to ultimately see Big Daddy declared Sheriff of the county.
We ventured off into gift store ownership that ended with a tough lesson learned.
We welcomed a beautiful baby Bear into our lives on April 14, 2004.
We got horses!!! and sheep and a 127-year old donkey named Peso.
We went through another vicious libelous political campaign that ended in defeat.
We questioned seven years of sincere, well-intentioned decisions.
We almost went under financially. Almost.
We started over.

So basically, we've been living life.

And loving every minute of it together.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, March 18

Gettin it for FREE!! Yay Me!

You can count me among the technologically challenged who could not care less about the iPhone or the Kinect gaming system and all that other hoo-ha.

I use my cell phone for, SURPRISE!, phone calls. A lot of times I must resort to texting since the majority of my family/friends/enemies would really rather not actually speak on the phone.

Big Daddy, on the hand, is counting down the days until his current crap phone (brand new Crackberry) is due for it's annual upgrade so that he can get his sweaty paws on the newest fastest most awesomest iPhone. Of course, at this time we have no idea which iPhone it will be seeing as how a new one comes out on the market every Tuesday. But he doesn't care . . . . he's just anxiously awaiting October 11th.  D-Day. Discontinue Day for the Crackberry.

I have to give him props though. My upgrade date was last week.  I still have my old phone (actually his old phone).  The flip phone that he got brand new in the summer of 2009.  I pathetically coveted that phone. Because it had a great keyboard and larger than normal screen.  Almost like a little mini laptop. I was stuck with the freebie phone that, even when it authentically got stolen, I HAD TO PAY $40 FREAKING BUCKS TO GET IT REPLACED!!!! But as soon as Big Daddy's first upgrade date came due, he cavalierly tossed aside the beautiful mini laptop for the Crackberry. And me and Mini have been very happy since.

But alas . . . Mini's warranty went out 6 months ago.  And it's as if the very life has slowly ebbed from Mini's lithium-ion polymer battery.  Mini shuts off in mid-text.  Mini shuts off with a full charge.  Mini shuts off during the wee hours of the night so that the alarm fails to wake me.

So . . . Mini is history.

Went online yesterday and for the low low low price of ZILCH (and an additional two year contract).

I am giddily expecting this little beauty to arrive some time next week!!!  OH! did I mention free shipping, too!??!!!!

Thursday, March 17

Mathletics 101

I'm sure juggling a budget is nothing new to anyone out here in the blogosphere, unless a lottery winner is reading and we all know how those folk piss off every cent before even glancing at the balance book.

I have spent the better part of the last three workdays hammering out a projected income/expense spreadsheet for the family. Apparently living like Rockefellers has not worked to our advantage and now, in anticipation of our annual summer vacation, we're going to have to do some serious belt-tightening to at least cover the expected fuel costs.  First casualty is going to be those silly expenditures such as toothpaste and deodorant.

No, really.  We're getting it down to the dollar here, people.  When you think about it, $0.58333333 is just an assinine amount of money to spend on a roll of toilet paper. No pun intended.

But during all the eye-crossing number-crunching, I think I have maybe initiated a new way for our little family to view our income and expenses.  And if my new budget is anywhere near successful, we gonna have us a little celebratory happening.  Like the purchase of a big ticket item we've been eye-ballin' for a couple of years.

And so long as my retirement plan of winning a multi-million dollar sweepstakes pans out, we're good.

Monday, March 7

Flashback: Aaron Watson @ Bertram Smokehaus

First let me say that I am NOT in a good mood about this blog. It's pretty much a slam but it has also been a beeyotch to get posted. I did it TWICE this week and both times gremlins booted me off before I could save it. Crap.

And if you think that is any indication that I need to be sweeter in this post or it will get kicked back too, you're wrong. I'm determined to be as gripey as I wanna be about this particular issue.

Here goes. We went to the Bertram Smokehaus this past Saturday night to see Aaron Watson. He was TERRIFIC. He sounded great (when I could hear him over the crowd noise) and he was an absolute doll when he came off stage to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans. I definitely want to see him again. Only not at Bertram.

Enough about Aaron. Let's get to the b***h-fest. The show was advertised to start at 7pm. The opening act didn't come on until after 8:30. That makes this next fact even more aggravating. There was NO PLACE to sit. The two picnic tables to the side of the stage were "reserved" so the rest of us were left to stand for 4-5 hours. No where in the advertisements did it say anything about "bring your own furniture." Except for the complete lack of seating, the venue is really nice. It is a patio next to an old hotel/restaurant (which I will talk more about in a minute) with a gazebo stage. There is also a covered pavilion on the other side of the patio with a big bar and some pool tables. Great set up for outdoor music. And the weather was beautiful.

What was it about this place that has me disinterested in ever going there again? The crowd.

I have never in my life been at a public event where people were so totally and completely rude. Not only were they SO LOUD that you could barely hear Aaron singing, standing in line and waiting to be next was apparently not something any of them were familiar with either. There was one guy I seriously wanted to punch in the jewels - I had been standing in line for 20 WHOLE MINUTES when he walks up, winks at the bargirl and gives her his order. WTH? Not a single gentleman in the place (except for my husband and probably Aaron).

The third time, yes third time, I went to get a drink, I finally went in to the restaurant's bar to stand in line. It was a little bit long but the bartenders seemed to be keeping it moving and orderly. I walked in and got in line, a girl got in line behind me (volunteer firewoman hence Fire Girl), then Drunk Dude came in behind her, and finally Blue Turd (asshole wearing a blue shirt) got in line. I strike up a conversation with Drunk Dude and Fire Girl and we start talking about the building. Apparently Drunk Dude is a history buff because he knew all sorts of stuff about the old building. Okay, I'm no scholar but the building was pretty much laid out like a big open restaurant (saloon?) with the second floor landing going around the room with about 12 rooms upstairs. There was a big double staircase at the end of the room and a big long mirror on one wall. Seeing as how the building sat next to the railroad tracks, I assumed it was originally built as a hotel/restaurant or saloon/hotel or something like that. Well, Drunk Dude dissuaded me of that particular notion right quick. "No no no, this here was origly a yumber yard." Yumber yard? Oh, he meant lumber yard. Okay, I'm with ya - drunkbonics. So I asked Drunk Dude, "But what about the rooms upstairs? This really looks like it was built to be a hotel with a restaurant or saloon." He blinked at me like five times then said, "Noooooooooooo, it was a YUMBER YARD."

Okay, okay. It was a yumber yard. Because they always kept lumber upstairs in little rooms back then. Whatever.

Fire Girl and I just kind of look at each other. He's drunk but short fat and belligerent. We like him. Then I notice that all of sudden, Blue Turd is standing right next to me. EXCUUUUUUUUUUSE ME?!!!??! I. Do. Not. Think. So.

"Where do you think you're going?" I ask of Blue Turd.

"I'm just standing in line."

"And you're gonna stand your a** at the back of the line where you came in at." I was in NO MOOD to deal with this poo for a THIRD time.

Once I got through cussin him, I turned around and looked at the couple in front of me. They looked at me like, "Oh no, don't make eye contact with her. She's insane, she's insane. Should we go? I think we should go. Let's go."

I just smiled at them and calmly said, "I have stood in line tonight for a total of about 45 minutes and I have yet to get a drink because of jerks like him slitherin around and trying to cut in line. I really need a drink. Don't you think I need a drink?"

They both vigorously nodded in agreement: Yes yes yes you need a drink.

I thought so.

When I look back at Drunk Dude swaying behind me, he's giving me that wide open eyeballs rolling around look that says, "I just came in for a beer. I don't even know you people."

When I make it up to the bar, Drunk Dude taps me on the shoulder and says, "I think you mighta scarred him. I dunno where he went."

Where'd who go? Oh, gee. Looks like Blue Turd got outta line and left. Nice.

So I get my drink, go back outside and stand next to the husband for another 2.5 hours and finally get my picture with Aaron.

I'm blaming the rude crowd on the fact that 99% of them were from UT. Liberal outhouse. Guns Up!

Funniest thing of the night: Aaron's sound board had one of those big red Easy buttons from Staples sitting right in the middle of it. Hilarious.

Thursday, March 3

Leave It!

Having stayed at home these last two weekdays with a sick little Bear, I have gotten a bellyful of daytime tv. It was so bad at one point that I actually found myself watching "It's Me or the Dog" on AnimalPlanet.  Who knew AnimalPlanet aired such comedy?

The episode I caught was about a misbehaving canine (say it ain't so!) who expressed himself via gnawing on furniture, household appliances, and even the house itself.

So the trainer comes in and does her training thing, part of which is teaching the "leave it!" command to the dog.  Who, by the way named Carl, ruled the roost.  Just when it looked like he was gonna put his paw down about learning any silly rules from some British chippy, he actually obeyed the command.  The trainer informed the owners that Carl was not gnawing out of "separation anxiety" (there was a second non-gnawing sweet natured dog in the house too) but was doing so out of boredom.  All he had to learn was that his toys were for gnawing, Dog #2 and the house (with its contents) were not.

So after learning the new command, the trainer set up cameras and speakers in the house and had the owners leave.  Within 2 minutes of being left in the house, Carl ambles into the living room and starts gnawing on the coffee table.

As soon as he does, the trainer's voice booms out of the speakers: "LEAVE IT!!"

Carl stops gnawing. Lifts his head up and looks around.  I am totally not kidding when I say the look on his face was: "What the h---?"

Dog #2? He was laying on his bed nearby, just snoozing a little. With "LEAVE IT!" still rattling the rafters, Dog #2's rear end can be seen fishtailing out of the living room.

It was hilarious. Ah, daytime tv.

I think I mighta lost a couple of IQ points on that one.