Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This just in...

I turned on the heater today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We Are the Champions...NOT

I saw this on The Reluctant Optimist and HAD to share it.

Go check him out if you're ever in the mood for something irreverent, but thought provoking. Sometimes it's not safe for work, but he always warns you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Ragsland Exchange

So tonight the boys and I are watching Wheel of Fortune.

I solved the puzzle with only about 10 letters showing: AN UNFORGETTABLE ISLAND EXPERIENCE.

The boys and I were talking about how I would so win if I could get on Wheel. Jake asked me how my friend Sherri did when she got on and we talked about that a few minutes when finally someone solved the puzzle. It happened to be a prize puzzle where the winner got a trip to Hawaii's big island to stay at the Hilton Waikaloa Village. As they were showing the clip of the resort, I told the boys that I'd been to Hawaii and that's where I stayed.

As they were watching, Zac turned to me and said, "You know I stayed up all night the day before you came home from that trip."

I asked, "Because you missed me so much?" and Zac replied in his usual teenaged-I-don't-like-my-parents-way, "No, I was just up all night." He then went back to the dining room table to finish his homework.

Jake leaned over and whispered to me, "He stayed up all night because he really did miss you."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All the Single Ladies

Check out this video. In my recent memory, I don't know if I've laughed as hard. And I certainly hope this family submits this video to America's Funniest Home Videos.

I originally saw this clip on a blog called "Notes to Self." If you have a moment, go over there and check her out. The author's name is Kyran Pittman. She's an ex-pat Canadian who married a man from Arkansas. She is also the daughter of noted poet, Al Pittman.

Her words are like a soothing balm.

Friday, September 25, 2009

School of Rock

Today started just as an ordinary day, with a few changes...or also called A Day In the Life.

I got up early. George slept in. I showered. I woke up Zac. He was annoyed that I didn't wake him up earlier. He wanted to ride the bus to school.

The bus came about 6:35. I woke Zac up around 6:15. He hustled around, got dressed, got his PE clothes, and gathered up his homework. He was outside by 6:33 waiting with Haley, our next-door neighbor, for the bus.

I finished cooking breakfast (breakfast tacos). Zac assured me he would eat breakfast at school. (He's reading over my shoulder and confirmed that he did eat at school. He just called me a weirdo.)

I sat at the computer and caught up with my internet friends Suburban Bliss, McK Mama, McVal, and The Reluctant Optimist, among others.

George was still asleep. Before you go and judge him for sleeping in, I think this was the first time since May he'd slept after 7:00. I went and started getting dressed.

Jake woke up around 7:40 and stumbled into my bathroom. I encouraged him to lay down in bed with Dad for a little while longer. He got up around 7:55 and started getting dressed. I went and got his breakfast together for him.

We left the house at 8:20. The usual talk ensued:

"What time is it?"
"Are you speeding?"
"Did you get my ______ in my book sack?' (You may use your imagination to fill in that blank. It's been everything from homework to field trip money, to a love letter for Joselyn so far in his scholastic carreer.)

I dropped him off at school at 8:36. School starts at 8:40.

I got to work at 8:45 and did the usual. I helped a couple of customers, answered the phone and answered their questions, (self-storage is very mysterious), ran some diagnostic junk on the computer. My co-worker, April came in at 12:00 for me because we were closing on our refinance on our house at 2:00.

I booked home to find some papers I needed to complete the cashier's check I needed for the closing. Naturally, I cannot be trusted with such an important piece of paper. I'd had it in my hand just the day before, knowing that I needed it today, I set it aside. I think I set it in the pile of papers I threw away, because, you know, I was multi-tasking and cleaning out my important paper basket while I got all of my stuff together.

I called George to ask him if he would come home to help me look for said important paper. He was at Jake's school giving him a Tylenol and making him drink a bottle of water. The school had called me while I was still at work to let me know that Jake was in the office complaining of a headache. I asked them if I could bring him some Tylenol, they said sure. I had a lot to do today and didn't need an ill child on top of it all. I figured he was a little dehydrated because he didn't drink anything in the morning before he went to school.


George told me to forget about it and meet him at Sammy's for lunch. George had a cup of seafood gumbo and I had the shrimp salad.

We went back home and tore it apart looking for the important papers. We did not find them.

I had to sign an affidavit of loss at the bank. They made the cashier's check for the closing.

We closed on the house. Dude. 4.875% for 15 years! I told my mom that I felt like a real grown-up today. I shopped a good mortgage and really scored a deal.

Anyway, we got all of that done and went home. The boys got home from school and we pittled around.

George and the boys left for baseball practice and I went to the grocery store. While I was picking up the 7 things on my list (which turned into $150 later) I heard this kid saying "Dad, can I get a Pepsi?! Dad! Dad, can I get a Pepsi?!" and I thought that it sounded like something my kids would say/do. Well, when I looked over there, it was Jake! yelling at George for a drink. I don't think I'll ever forgive those kids for demanding Pepsi products. I'm a very loyal Coke person. I think they just do it to annoy me.


I went home and started dinner. I watched the replay of "Fast Forward" and watched "Glee" that I had recorded from earlier in the week. I think I'm going to like "Fast Forward" and "Glee" is easily one of my favorites this season so far.

So the boys got home and of course George changed the channel. He did change it to Palladium, though, so it wasn't all bad.

The boys got in the shower and we watched the first part of the concert on Palladium: Rush. I had to pause it for the boys. They were about to receive an education from the finest in rock music.

We watched and listened to Geddy Lee sing "Tom Sawyer," which, if I remember correctly was the first song played on the juke box we had in the cafeteria when I was in 8th grade. We contiued to marvel at Neil Peart's primer on drums for the solo section of the concert and were dazzled by the guitar stylings of Alex Lifeson. All the hits were there, Limelight, Spirit of the Radio, Tom Sawyer, Working Man, Fly By Night. Oh My Gosh. It was a time warp.

To the boys' credit, they recognized the greatness. They watched the entire concert and were duly impressed. Zac begged for drum lessons and Jake dragged out his guitar and played the 3 chords he knows (C, G, and D) while singing a song he made up. It was awesome.

We had HOMEMADE chicken parmesan for dinner.

I call it an excellent day.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I'm sure President Bush was behind this, you know, because he doesn't care about black people and all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


What you’ve all been waiting for.

Or maybe not. I’m just hoping that I can give this story justice. I’ve been teasing it long enough that it’s probably lost it’s humor.

It’s like when the movie Home Alone came out. George’s dad had seen it and did nothing but talk about how funny the movie was, how he was laughing so hard he was crying, and that it was now his favorite movie. When George and I finally got around to seeing it several weeks after it’s release, we didn’t find it nearly as funny as the people, especially George’s dad, who had told us about it.

So, with that in mind I will tell you about when my mom got in the fight with the other fan at Jacob’s game this summer.

It was crazy hot here at the beginning of the summer. The temperatures had been at or above 100* for several days, with about 2000% humidity. It was the type of day that everyone, including myself, believes we have all the time here in south Louisiana. Having lived here now almost 6 years, I’ve learned that the summers here aren’t as bad as the rest of the world thinks.

Anyway, it was crazy hot, over 100*. We were at a 7-year old tournament in Donaldsonville, LA. This park where we were playing was horrible. There was absolutely no shade, no stands except some small stands directly behind home plate, and not much space between each field. I’m not sure if hot and cramped describe the park well enough.

Several people brought their own EZ-UP tents for shade and placed them in the designated areas to watch games. When we entered the tournament a couple of weeks before, all of the parents received a packet of instructions from the D-ville park. The instructions were all of the usual things: no profanity, yelling at the umpires was grounds for ejection, etc., etc. One unusual piece of information pertained to the use of EZ-UP tents. It stated (and I’m paraphrasing) that if you put up a tent for your game, you must remove it when your game is over or allow the next team’s fans to use it. No big deal, right?

Well, our game came up. The game before ours was an 8-year old game. There were a couple of grandparents for that team who had their tent up on their team’s side of the field, which, after their game, became our team’s side of the field. They left their tent up and in that place because their other grandson was playing our team in the next game, but they had the other dugout and didn’t want to move it to the other side. As it turned out, their 8-year old grandson had the game after ours too, so they were set for 3 games in a row. Ordinarily it wouldn’t be a big deal, except that the day before they were also there and thought the Zachary fans, very rudely, moved their chairs from under the tent to set up our own chairs. We did move their chairs, but we were under the impression that, according to the tournament rules, we could use their tent if it was left up. So you can probably tell by now that their feelings were already hurt and they were on the defensive.

When we were setting up for our game, they made it very clear that they were not moving. They had set up for the 8-y.o. game, the 7-y.o. game, and the next 8-y.o. game because their grandsons were in all those games. They were in the front of the tent very spread out and right next to the fence. We reminded them of the rule that they were supposed to share their tent with the next game if they didn’t move it. They said fine and pointed to all of the area behind them.

Here’s where it begins to get a little fuzzy.

I was the team’s scorekeeper and had to be able to see the game, so I wiggled my chair in there next to grandma. I was sort of under their tent and the one next to us straddling the poles. My mom, on the other hand, was behind them and couldn’t see anything. I scanned the fence and noticed that if the dad who was standing at the fence scooted down a little I could get my mom’s chair in right next to grandpa. He, happily, moved down and helped me get the chair in and mom sat down.

As mom was settling in, she said, in a louder than normal voice, “We could all get in under this tent if these people weren’t so hateful.”

Grandma said, “We’re not hateful, it’s our tent.”

Mom replied, “Well the tournament rules state that if you leave your tent up, the next team’s fans may use it.”

Grandpa said, “You all can go ahead and use it, but we’re not moving.”

Mom said, “Well you’re supposed to move for the next game.”

By now, the whole tent was in rapt attention to the conversation between my mom and this couple.

Grandpa’s voice getting a little louder, “We don’t have to move the tent, this next game is ours too. Our 7-y.o. grandson is playing in this game, and our 8-y.o. is playing again after this game. We came all the way from Gonzales to see our grandsons play in these games.”

Mom, getting more and more aggravated, said (something like), “Well good for you, my other grandson is playing a tournament in Gonzales right now and we’re missing that game for this one. We came all the way from Zachary for these games and I came all the way from San Antonio, Texas to see my grandsons play baseball this summer.” (Read that with all the sarcasm you can muster).

**Aside** Zachary is about 50 minutes from Donaldsonville, and Gonzales is about 20 minutes from D-ville. You can figure for yourself how far San Antonio is from D-ville. Nevermind. I’ll figure it out for you--7 hours, 49 minutes, according to the map on my iPhone. Did I tell you that I have an iPhone?

Grandpa replied, extremely rudely, “Well why don’t you just go back to San Antonio, Texas?” (Again with the sarcasm!)

Mom said, “I only get to see my grandsons play ball once a year. I don’t intend to miss their games. And as a matter of fact, why don’t you go back to Gonzales where you came from?”

All this time, mind you, I’m sitting next to grandma, and, obviously, we’re going to be sitting next to this couple the entire game! The other parents on our team were speechless as we surrounded these folks.

Thankfully, the game started and we were able to focus on the game. At some point, the daughter of the grandma and grandpa (mom to the ball-player grandsons) came over to visit her parents on the opposing side. I'm not sure how the conversation came around to this, but she reminded all of us Zachary people over there under the tent that we moved all of their chairs out and replaced them with ours. Then someone from our team reminded her of the tent rule. Oh brother, I was afraid it was about to begin again. She laughed it all off and basically counted it up to super hot weather and high tensions for the games. Of course, we all knew better.

We got them though. The Zachary 7s won the game something like 14-2. It was a 10-run mercy rule game. that I write this and read over it...I think they think we must be like the Kenner team!!!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rage Against the Machine

Check this out. I think I may be on a GOVERNMENT WATCH LIST!!

I'm sure Barack Obama is really interested in Zac's iPhone, the boys' baseball games, and what I watch on TV.

You know, with the imminent threat of terrorists, the spiraling down of the economy, and what not, checking in on what I'm up to is a matter of national import.

P.S. Click on the image to enlarge. The entry in question is the second one on the list.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Ragsland Exchange

Tonight we were watching Neil Young's Prairie Harvest Home concert on Palladia. Or whatever it was called. I kept commenting to George that every Neil Young song sounded alike. George is a HUGE fan of Mr. Young, so I occasionally indulge him. Anyway, he said something about his 21 year-old daughter finishing her last year of college and how he wrote a song for her. He called it an "empty-nester" song and compared it to the songs he used to write for girls when he was younger. So I asked George if Neil Young was married, figuring such a HUGE fan and all, he'd know. He did not. I looked for the tell-tale wedding ring and finally noticed it.

All the while, Zac, waiting to jump into the conversation said, "He must be married, he's got a daughter."

I, the ever-realist, said, "Well, sweetness, you don't have to be married to have children."

To which Zac replied, "Oh yeah, he could've adopted her."

I don't yet have the heart to tell him otherwise.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Birthday, Redux

As I told you yesterday, it was Zac's 13th birthday; and as you may remember, he had quite a nice list of items we could get him.

George and I are officially THOSE parents. You know, the ones who make it difficult on all of the other parents because they get their child something ridiculous for a birthday or Christmas.

We got Zac "the best birthday present EVER!" (his exact words) The hyper-link will send you to my sentiments regarding birthdays and iPhones.

An iPhone.

Before you go high and to the right on me, allow me to explain. Zac's phone was due for an upgrade, and we wanted to get him an iPod for his birthday. Well, the iPod was more expensive than the iPhone!

We already had a media plan on the phone he was using, so the increased expense of the media package on our, already, exorbitant bill was negligible. You may remember the telephone bill we received a few months ago...

At any rate, it's fun being "those" parents once in a while. I'm grateful that we have the means to dote on our children lavishly...sometimes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

How come I'm never on these kinds of flights?

A couple on a Southwest Flight from Oakland to St. Louis got into a fight where one of the people began stripping off their clothes.

Why do I always sit next to the person who insists on talking to me the entire flight even when I've got a book open and my head phones in?

Read the story.

Gotta Feeling

Tonight's gonna be a good night.

Today is Zac's 13th birthday.

For his birthday dinner, he'd like to go to Texas Roadhouse. George and I usually have a pretty strict policy against eating out locally at a chain restaurant, but the Texas Roadhouse is fun with the peanuts and all, and has good steaks. We're all looking forward to it.

What do you get a 13-year old for his birthday? The list he's given is extensive: weight set, XBox 360, laptop computer, iPhone, iPod touch, a new bat, a new WOODEN bat, and the moon and the stars, with the space shuttle thrown in for good measure, just in case he wasn't feeling special enough.

I'll let you know tomorrow what we've given him, just in case he logs in to read this today. I don't want to give away the surprise. By the way, I love, love, love that picture I posted. Zac took it of himself with my iPhone and I use it as the thumbnail photo when he calls me from his phone. It makes me smile.

You may be wondering where I've been lately. Or not. But if you are, I'll let you know. I've been in a bit of a funk since July 26. My Aunt Rhonda and her daughter-in-law, Rachel (my cousin) were in a horrific car accident on that Sunday evening on their way up to their lake house. From what the several on-scene witnesses say, the guy driving his car south-bound on Hwy 281 was slumped over the steering wheel (probably asleep/hungover/drunk), cut across 4 lanes of traffic and hit Rhonda's car head-on while she was traveling north-bound on Hwy 281(both vehicles moving at 70mph). Miraculously, everyone survived. I don't know the current status of the 3 guys in the other vehicle, but, both Rhonda and Rachel are home now; Rachel, after a week in the hospital, with a serious abdominal surgery to repair some tears and perforations in her colon and a broken foot; and Rhonda, after surgery to set, pin and plate compound fractures in both femurs just above the knees, in addition to an extremely dangerous brain bleed. Rhonda also spent a week in rehab learning how to maneuver herself in and out of her wheelchair and learning exercises to begin the rehabilitation of her legs.

It's been a long 3-and-a-half weeks.

I don't know if I've ever prayed more in my entire life.

It is nothing short of a miracle that everyone survived, especially Rhonda.

Now the really hard work begins.

In other news (how 'bout that segue?), the boys started school on the 10th. I've been so funky lately that I didn't get any pictures, but they're basically the same as last year. They're both doing very well. Jake enjoys doing his homework and studying, if you can believe that, and Zac has settled in to the more difficult schedule I changed him to. He bragged last year that he hadn't used a single brain cell all year (evidenced by all A's and only 2[very high] B's on his report card for all four 9 weeks of the school year) so I changed his schedule to take Algebra I and the robotics elective. There was a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth over these changes all summer and spilling into the first couple of days of school, but he's doing fine now and really enjoys the robotics class. I think he's secretly enjoying the Algebra class too.

Anyway, it's good to talk with you again, internet. I'll let you know tomorrow what Zac got for his birthday, AND, I'll tell you about my mom fighting with the fan at Jake's baseball game this summer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Are the Champions Reprise

I'll try to do the tournament weekend justice. Unfortunately, I can't remember the scores, but a win is a win. We stayed in Jennings, LA at the Hampton Inn which was about 15 minutes from the small ballpark in Gueydan. The Madisonville and Kenner teams stayed there too.

To tell you that I was nervous about playing games in BFE (Gueydan) is an understatement. The weekend before these games we played in Donaldsonville at an invitational tournament (the one where the 7s won against Kenner). The facilities in Donaldsonville were pitiful. There were no covers over the stands, and only one set of stands, directly behind the backstop, not to mention that it was impossibly hot. Donaldsonville had no control over the weather, though, but it was miserable. And we had to go back for the 12s tournament.

Gueydan, however, did a really nice job with the tournament. You could tell that they had recently done a lot of upgrades to the area like new covers over the stands, backstop nets, and sidewalks around the area. The people running the tournament were super nice and excited to be hosting, and the concession stand wasn't ridiculously expensive. We were playing on their high school girls' softball field.

The 7s tournament began on Friday night at 8:00, of all times, against the Gueydan home team, which is actually Abbeville. We won that game and played again the next day at high noon against New Iberia. All of the games went 6 innings with no time limit. Jake played every inning but one. The New Iberia game was a blow-out. The score was something like 19-2, so the mercy rule was applied after the fourth inning. Jake only caught 3 of those innings so his legs would be a little less rubbery for the...du du du duuuuh...Kenner game at 6:00 that evening.

After the NI game, everyone went back to the hotel to eat a light lunch and relax. George had a bunch of sandwich stuff left over from a youth trip from which he'd just returned, so we got all of that out in the hotel lobby. Someone brought out a bunch of fruit, another person brought a bag of individual chips, and someone else brought out some cookies. It was like the feeding of the 5000, only there were only about 50 of us. We also had Powerades that I'd gotten donated from Coca-Cola in Baton Rouge. After lunch, everyone went to their rooms for a nap and to relax.

We made it back to the park in BFE, oh I mean Gueydan, for the game against Kenner. I don't remember the score, but it was a very close loss, which meant we played again Sunday afternoon at 3:00 against Madisonville, who had just played and won a game against Plaquemine. We won that game pretty handily, if I remember correctly, which put us back against Kenner. Because the tournament was double-elimination we had to beat them twice. The first game was Monday evening at 6:00.
We had checked out of the hotel Sunday morning, so the Monday game was a travel game. I think that worked to our favor, not being in the hotel. Our kids slept in their own beds, showered in their own showers, and relaxed at home without the excitement of the hotel. Jake slept until 11:00 Monday morning.

When we made it to the ballpark in Gueydan (about an hour-and-a-half away) the tension was high. Speaking for myself, I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.
We were the visiting team, so we batted first. Right away, we put 5 runs on the board. I think Kenner only put up one. We were back up and put up 2 more, then Kenner answered with 2. I don't remember the rest--it was like an out of body experience--but we won. I do remember that Jake had at least 2 throw-outs at first on the bunt and he had a put-out at home. He also kept countless runners on 3rd from running in to score. I think the final score was something like 9-7. We had a 30 minute break and had to play again.

The second game was much like the first. We stayed ahead the whole time even though we were the visiting team. At Kenner's last at-bat, the score was 10-8. We had to hold them. They put up 5 batters, two got on base, and the other 3 were out. Two of the outs were catcher to first base throw-outs. By the end of the tournament, Jake had caught 33 innings over 4 days. He was fantastic. He was a little bummed (and I don't blame him) that he didn't win the MVP for the tournament; his best friend, Derek did. Derek plays short stop and made some terrific plays in that position, but more importantly, he had some fabulous hits that drove in several runs.
We had a hard time explaining to Jake that it's really hard batting when you're the catcher because your legs are so tired.
All the boys got a first-place medal and the coach got a plaque for the win.

And now for the agony of defeat...

The 12-year old team played the following weekend back in Donaldsonville. Again, we played Friday night against someone I can't remember and won. We played again Saturday afternoon against another team and lost which put us playing again Sunday. Right after our game Saturday, a humongous thunderstorm rolled in and rained out all the games after ours which meant the Sunday morning 9:00 game got pushed back to 1:00, which after the schedule running late (the 12s also played 6 innings, no time limit), we weren't playing until about 3:30. We won that game. (I can't for the life of me remember who we played.) Since we won, we had to play again at 6:30 or so and we lost.
You can tell by the 12 yo recap that I spent my baseball emotional cache the previous weekend on the 7s. What's aggravating about the 12 yo games is that we've beaten all of the teams who beat us in this tournament. These 12s just can't seem to put it all together at the same time to keep a winning streak. On a positive note, Zac played beautifully. No errors in the field, a couple of spectacular catches at 3rd base, and closed out a game for the win on the mound. Baseball is a heartless game. No matter if you played perfectly, the team can still lose.

As far as summer goes, it's pretty much been baseball. My mom got to see a bunch of games, got into a fight with some other spectators (which I'll tell you about later-remind me), stay and play with the kids, and just hang out with us for a couple of weeks. The yard FINALLY got mowed Monday, and the pool is looking good again (nods to you, Jan and Lisa). School starts in just 19 days, but we still have some things to do. My aunt and cousin and her son will be here for a few days to do some fun South Louisiana stuff, we have a trip to San Antonio planned for my nephew's first birthday and while we're there, George and I will spend a night down on the Riverwalk for our anniversary.

Time marches on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Politics is show biz for ugly people...

I'm sorry folks, but you know I'm very lenient on my ugly scale.

But, for cryin' out loud, this is possibly the ugliest man I've ever seen.

P.S. When I gather my thoughts and photos, I'll update you on the 7-year old LA state tournament...SPOILER ALERT...we won.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Like to Sleep Late In the Morning

If you know anything about my family, you know that they DO. NOT. SLEEP. LATE.

I may be the only mother on the planet looking forward to those teenaged years where you have to get a high-rise crane to raise the offspring from bed.

Zac didn't sleep all night until the night before Jake was born. He was 5 1/2 years old. He's one of those annoying people (like my husband) who can go a million miles an hour, work all day and night, stay up until the wee hours of the morning, sleep a couple of hours and hit the ground running again, mostly with a smile.

Jake is my child. If he's tired, he will sleep. In the car, on the couch, in your lap, it doesn't matter.

It's a little after 10:00 in the morning as I write this. We just had a VEEERRRYYY long weekend in Gueydan, LA at the 7-year old state baseball tournament. So far, we've played 4 games. We have our last one this evening against...du du du DU...Kenner. We have to beat them twice because it's a double-elimination tournament. They beat us on Saturday and advanced to the championship game. We had to play an additional game in the loser's bracket in order to have to play them again, twice!

Anyway, Jake has caught every single inning of these 4 games, but one where we were winning something like 19-1 (that's 23 innings for those of you counting). He is whooped. He's got a mad case of heat rash. He is so hungry that he can't get full. He is tired.

Believe it or not, he's looking forward to tonight's games.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We Are the Champions

Jake's 7 year-old All Star team won the tournament we attended last weekend in Donaldsonville. There were 6 teams in their bracket, one of which was a team from Kenner, LA. Kenner is a "suburb" of New Orleans. I put quotes around suburb because if you've ever been to NO, it's difficult to delineate the community lines; however, folks from there are very quick to correct you if lump their community in with New Orleans. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that NO had 4 murders on Tuesday alone and they are still the murder capitol of the United States.

Anyway, the reason winning this tournament is significant is because a Zachary team beat a Kenner team. It's no coincidence that Kenner is from the NO area. They are ruthless players and parents. Their coaches verge on mean and their parents are rabid fans...and not in the good way. The kids are just kids, luckily and are very sweet. I guess baseball is the only thing they've got down there. In our experience with Zac playing All Stars, we have come up against Kenner at least 6 times, probably more, and have been absolutely annihilated by them because of their dirty play and pushing the limits of the rule book.

This was a sweet victory.

Jake congratulates the Kenner team after he receives his award.

We still have to play them in state this weekend. I'm sure the Kenner players have been duly reprimanded for their loss to a Zachary team. I'm anxious to see how it comes out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thank You

Everyone who actually left me a comment, thanks. I've been able to fill in a few blank spots on my stat counter.

Okay. Enough of the stat counter drama.

My mom and a distant cousin (I think I figured out that he's my 2nd cousin, twice removed) Cory, are here right now. They got here Sunday night around 8:30. We just hung out and visited. Yesterday, Cory took the boys to play laser tag and to a place called Celebration Station in Baton Rouge. Mom and I went to the grocery store. Today we went to New Orleans and checked out a little bit of the French Quarter. Tomorrow, George, Cory and the boys are going to the lake to do some tubing in the morning.

It has been CRAZY hot here for about 2 weeks. I don't know what's up with that. We've lived here since January 2004. It has NEVER been as hot here as it is here already. Today when we got back to the car from the French Quarter, it was 111 degrees in the parking lot. By the time we got back to Zachary, it had cooled down to 103. I think it will be worse tomorrow. Zac has a scrimmage tomorrow night at 7:00. I should be cooled to 85 or 90 degrees.

On top of it being stupid hot, we can't swim right now. We've had a yellow algae bloom in the pool and are having a tough time killing it. I think one more treatment ought to get it fixed. It'll be a long rest of summer otherwise.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Magical Mystery Tour

Mystery solved.

Remember a while back when I was freaked out by all the hits on my blog? Well this morning I looked at my stat counter and had 48 hits overnight!! When I looked at the details, about 40 of them were me, all in a row.

Last night I started reading my own blog and reminiscing about the past year. I started this blogging/public journaling thing about a year ago, and read the entire thing. As it turns out, every time I clicked a picture, changed a page, or followed a link, it would hit my stat counter.

Mystery solved. There is not some freak-show out there bent on stalking me and my family.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Fought the Law

Thank God for all the hope and change...

Click on the image to enlarge.
**UPDATE: In case you didn't notice, these are all mug shots. See if you can find the common link.**
P.S. I don't know the origin of these photos.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No More Words

...or at least not too many words.

Here is a picture post of events from Spring Break up 'til now (with captions).

Have baseball gear, will travel.

It was cold, overcast, and drizzly.

Cold, overcast, or's Spring Break. We WILL eat outside on the patio and we WILL swim.

Watching movies, reading, relaxing. Sweet Cousins.

Finally, it warmed up enough to ride Sea Doos and swim and blow bubbles in the water.

A boat ride; relaxing for some, but not everyone.

Bloom where you're planted.

Not what I would've planned for Mother's Day, but good nonetheless. See previous caption.

Team swim party.

Hanging around at home, trying to clean the living room rug after our sweet puppy ruined it.

Zac with his hair cut and braces. He looks older.

Time Marches On.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


With all this talk about my stat counter, it has an interesting feature. I can do a keyword analysis to see what words bring my many readers to Ragsland. Usually, they're the usual, my name or Wheel of Fortune. I figure those are people who can't remember the exact address, but remember those stories and get here that way.

The most recent different one, I think, was probably a surprising answer to their google query: "How to keep from losing your house."

If you've been with me a while, you know how I feel about that.

Sadly, a google search does not give the option of living within your means. Most of the responses to that search I read blamed the housing market, predatory lendors, layoffs, or just the bad economy (which seems to be the catch-all phrase for poor decision making).

It's never just the individual's fault for trying to keep too many balls in the air at once.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Get Together

C'mon people now...

I wasn't kidding. I neeeeeeeddd you to leave me a comment. See, when you come to my blog, I get a hit on StatCounter. It gives me an IP address (I think that's the web address from whence you came, like your e-mail or internet server {cox, comcast, road runner}). If you leave me a comment, I can compare it to the StatCounter info and name your IP address, therefore learning who all has been here.

I don't really want to name names, but, Wendy and Billy, and Rhonda maybe, I know you were both here and didn't leave me a comment (so I may confirm). The comment doesn't have to be complicated; just a shout-out with your name.

Help a sista out, yo?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Usually sometime every morning, I look up my stat counter for this blog. Yes, indeed, I installed a stat counter to keep up with who all comes to check us out here on the edge. Actually, my very good friend Susanne had to help me install it, but I've kept it going and understand how to use it.

That being said, when I looked at my stats this morning, there were 35 hits! Normally that would thrill me as it would indicate that more than the usual 10 people find The Ragsland interesting, funny, poignant, or compelling; a definite must read for your day! But it freaked me out a little because all 35 new hits were from the same person over the course of 3 minutes. What the heck? Was there a bad internet connection which only allowed 10 seconds at a time? I was flummoxed.

What I want you, yes you, reader, to do is to leave me a comment. Include your name and how you wandered over to The Ragsland. Even if I know you, I need you to help me with this; I don't want to change my address, but I may need to if the lurkers don't come out of hiding.

Thank you. That is all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Face Down

Remember this guy? Yeah, the jack ass she threw out? I don't remember if I told you that she finally threw him out. It was wonderful for about 6, maybe 8 weeks. Just her and the girls. She came out and visited, the girls came over to play, sans the WILD little "step-brother" who is always hungry and wants you to feed him.

Well, he was living with his mother somewhere on the west side of THE river and SHE (his mother) THREW HIM OUT!! He came back to M's house looking to just crash on the sofa for a couple of days until he could figure everything else out. You know how the rest of it goes. He was, obviously, irresistible. What, with the belittling, and the verbal abuse, not to mention the physical abuse. What's not to love? So, now he's back...with the crazy little boy.

I tell you all of this to tell you this story...

Tuesday evening while the boys and George were at practice, I went to Wal Mart. I haven't been shopping in WEEKS and the pantry was down to pretty much corn starch and brown sugar. Now, I'm a pretty creative cook, but I need a little more than that.

So anyway, I was at Wal Mart. I had just gotten there and had 2 things in my basket, hairspray and a pack of razors, when my phone rang. It was an operator from ADT Security. (We got an alarm system about 2 1/2 months ago--best money ever spent.) He said that the burglar alarm was going off and did I want him to dispatch the police? I was so surprised that I told him I didn't know, and what do people usually do in this situation? He said, "It's up to you Mrs. Ragsdale," probably choking back a laugh at my idiotic question. I said sure, go ahead. He turned off the alarm, dispatched the police and asked me about how long until I got home. Zachary's a pretty small town, so I was only about 5, maybe 7 minutes from home. I beat the police home.

Now, let me tell you this. Shredder was in the house, so I had the alarm set for "stay" so he wouldn't set off the motion detector. I left the back door unlocked because I wasn't sure if George had his house key. The gate across the driveway was closed and all of the gates around the backyard were closed. When the alarm is set and you come in, there is a 45 second warning beep before ADT is notified and the big alarm goes off.

When I got home, the back door was ajar and every light in the house was on. Luckily, Shredder was still inside. When I leave Shredder in the house, I close all of the doors to the bedrooms and bathroom so we don't get any surprises on the carpet (We've thrown away the living room rug. It was beyond cleaning. It was also over 10 years old, believe it or not.). I wasn't afraid to go in the house because I'd figured out what happened while I was on my way home.

I went around and turned off all the lights and looked around. Everything was fine. Still no police.

I went to the backyard and could hear the backyard neighbors (whom we really like) outside and could see the jackass with them. I opened our back gate (which we put in when we replaced the fence after Hurricane Gustav so the kids could get to the block behind us without going around the block. Perhaps you remember that we live on a pretty busy street?) I was a little more than perturbed when I asked them if they heard the alarm going off. The neighbors (whom we like) both shrunk up like little children in trouble and said they didn't hear anything. The jackass said that Ethan (hell child)went over and knocked on our back door but came back because no one was home. I, of course, went high and to the right and said that the police were on their way because our burglar alarm alerted the ADT people who then dispatched the police.

I, then, waited for the police. When the cruiser finally arrived, I told him that the back neighbor set off the alarm and everything was okay. In the mean-time, hell child came back to jackass to talk to him. My other neighbor (whom I like) asked hell child if he opened our back door. He said yes. It was only then that jackass acknowledged that there was something to say to his boy.

***Aside. The boy was in our house for at least 45 seconds; probably longer. He had enough time to turn on every light in the house!!! Close aside.***

OKAY...Now skip to Tuesday. (I began this post on Monday, immediately after all of this. Tuesday just piles it on. I'm finally pulling it all together on Wednesday.)

George and the boys are at practice. Jackass finds George at the ballpark (because his "step" daughter is playing softball) and tells him that I was incredibly rude to him and he didn't appreciate it. George, being the consummate gentleman and situation smoother, said that his wife does have a temper (he's walking on shaky ground here) and she was scared and nervous that she was called from shopping to attend to a potential burglary call at her home.

George came home from practice to tell me that jackass found him at the ballpark to tell him all of this. His solution is to not invite the (diagonal) back neighbors over and place a lock on our back gate. That's fine with me. My attitude is...if he wants to belittle or abuse a woman, I'm there. I will take him on. I'm taller and bigger than him. I can (will) take him.

George reminded me this morning when I dropped him off at the church, for the first of his several youth trips this summer, not to engage the neighbor. Before you all go crazy; I know, I will not engage this crazy man! I just know that he's a loser, but I'm not afraid.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Octopus's Garden

I'm calling this an octopus's garden because, I think, this is what one may do to a flower bed under sea. I think, if I remember right, that octopus (octopi?) gather up their things in a "garden" of sorts to nest.

From Wikipedia (the end-all of internet information):
The idea for the song came about when Starr was on a boating trip with his family in Sardinia in 1968. He ordered Fish and Chips for lunch, but instead of fish he got squid (it was the first time he'd eaten squid, and said "It was OK. A bit rubbery. Tasted like chicken.")[citation needed] Then the boat's captain told Starr about how octopuses travel along the sea bed picking up stones and shiny objects with which to build gardens.[1] Starr said that hearing about octopuses spending their days collecting shiny objects at the bottom of the sea was one of the happiest things he had ever heard, inspiring him to write this song.

Who vacations with the family in Sardinia? Where is Sardinia? I digress...obviously, we don't have an octopus, but we do have a 3-month old lab mix. Here are some of his special things and his work in the "garden:"

From this...

To this...

From this...

To this...

Here are some of the "special" things Shredder has collected for his "garden"...

That's a different soda can than the photo before.

I took him to the vet today for his 3rd set of puppy shots. He weighs 23 pounds now.

He's only about 13 weeks old.

As far as our human world is concerned, Zac got braces yesterday. He did great. They only did the top arch; they'll do the bottoms in a couple of months. They haven't bothered him too much, just the usual soreness. I think it makes him look older. BTW, the fauxhawk/mohawk made him too nervous. George trimmed it down to a really close-cut 'do on Saturday night before church. He's all good now.