Saturday, June 27, 2009

Its Hot And My Brain Is Melting

Well the boy made it home from camp... Other than the fact he came home with hot pink fingernails, I have every reason to believe he had a fun spiritually enriching week.

I did make it into his room to clean and I lived to tell about it. The best part of cleaning out a long neglected closet is rediscovering long lost treasure.

We rediscovered the marshmallow gun.

Since it is too hot to even breathe outside we spent the morning shooting marshmallows at our dogs. Because really, watching mini marshmallows bounce off of your dogs heads while they try to catch them in their mouths just never gets old.

We need to get out more.

Don't worry! We really do love our dogs and believe me they enjoyed being pelted with marshmallows every bit as much as we enjoyed doing it. A good time was had by all.

Since my brain is melting do to this ungodly heat, and I'm on the topic of dogs, I came across this picture and I actually laughed out loud.

His name is Pee Wee and surprise, surprise he won the ugliest dog contest a few years back. The owner actually paid $1000.00 for him at a pet store!

I think we should just do away with the Miss USA contest and have The Ugliest Dog contest. I guarantee the ratings would go back up and I can promise you Pee Wee has never had any controversial augmentations and he has absolutely no opinion on gay marriage.

I have already sent Donald Trump a letter outlining my proposal. I'll let you know when I hear back from him.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Every Boy Needs a Ditch to Play In

My baby boy left for church camp yesterday.

Can I get an Amen to that????

My plans are to venture into his room and give it a good cleaning.

I hope my haz-mat suit gets here soon. I'm more than a little apprehensive about what I might find.

On the up side, I will probably get some good sleep this week because his neighborhood comrades will not be going with him and I'm pretty sure there is not a bayou to play in at camp.

There is just something about a big ditch that is muddy, smelly, and has who knows what living in it that makes it irresistible to young boys. This being Houston we have a lot of bayous in our area, and anytime Trey says he is going to "hang out" with his friends it's pretty much a guarantee they are going to make their way to the bayou. When he gets home the drill is - go straight into the shower and then bring me the stinky clothes. After he is clean the conversation will usually come around to him telling us what type of fun he had in the mud and muck. Here is a partial list of things he has done at the bayou through the years:

Peed on a snake. - That was a proud mama moment.
Fished a bike out of the mud because he was sure he it was a fixer-upper. - It wasn't.
Had mud fights. - I love my washing machine.
Found a cat's skeleton. - Lovely
Found matches and burned stuff. - OMG!
Skateboarded in his underwear in the bayou. OMG! Again!

Lest I ruin my June Cleaver image and have you think that there are no governing rules about the bayou, I have to clarify that there are certain times when it is off limits and the boys know it. Like when we had Hurricane Ike and the bayou was actually doing what it was designed to do, keeping flood waters out of Houston, the boys were not allowed to go near it. But most of the time there is little or no water in it and it is relatively safe to go around it. Well at least that is what I tell my self but "safe" might be too strong of a word.

So when he came home from "hanging out" on Friday, after he took a shower and brought me the usual stinky clothes to be washed, he told me that he and the guys came up with a great new game called "Nutball" Remember the ages of these boys..... the name Nutball should be taken literally.

The gist of the game was to take pears off of a nearby tree and try to hit the other opponents in their.... well.... Nutballs.

Lord help me I will never understand boys!

When I asked him how a game like that could possibly be fun, he told me it was a lot of fun as long as you were winning..... that made sense. In the end he was able to walk home and I didn't get any calls from the other moms stating they had to make a trip to the ER, so I guess the game ended alright.

When I dropped him off yesterday I told the youth pastor that I hoped there would be a lot of bible reading, hymn singing and time for quiet introspection at camp this week. I also told her not to let Trey be in charge of games. I don't think that church camp is ready for a rousing game of Nutball.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Since we like to cling to our guns and religion down here in the south, I gave him a gift certificate to get his concealed handgun license, and now we are getting ready to go to church!

I love you honey!

You are a great dad!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Forever Your Girl

Long before Paula Abdul was a semi-sober judge on American Idol, she used to have a song called "Opposites Attract". As much as I hate to admit it, I really kind of liked that song. It was the anthem on which my husband and I based our marriage..... Okay not really!!!! But I believe that on some levels it is the opposites in a marriage that are the key to a lasting relationship. Of course nobody has ever come to me for marital advice, so I could be wrong. But it seems to work for me and my husband.

He is a true country boy at heart. To him a good day is getting on the tractor in the middle of the Texas summer, and working until the sun goes down. I prefer to slather on my SPF 50, sit on my well padded tush in the shade, and read a good book. He sometimes gets involved in projects around the house and forgets to eat. I sometimes have so many projects around the house, I eat to forget. He doesn't like chocolate, I could live on it. He likes a big juicy steak from some manly restaurant, I like a spinach salad from the tea room. You get the picture... we are different.

So really it didn't surprise me when a few years back we were talking about old televisions shows and he confessed that he used to have a crush on Maryann from Gilligan's Island.

Well of course he did... she was a sweet, pretty country girl that probably enjoyed tractor rides. I on the other hand wanted to BE Ginger! She was always stylish, sophisticated, and oh man those clothes she brought on that three hour tour! Sure Maryanne looked cute in her short shorts and her occasional gingham dress, but come on, Ginger had the make up, designer gowns, and high heels! In my girlish mind there was absolutely no competition between the two.

Through the years we have learned to look past our superficial differences, and to appreciate the differences that complement each other.

My husband is the logical one when I tend to get emotional. He thinks things through when I tend to plow in head first and think later. He is a mechanical engineer type, and I don't even know how to use the television remote.

I suppose he has come to grips with the fact he started out a Maryann man that married a Ginger wannabe who somehow through the years has morphed into Mrs. Howell.... minus the millions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Summer Outfit

I changed my blog clothes for the summer. Just like a girl needs a new outfit to make her feel refreshed, I figured my blog could use a little change. I'm not sure if I like it yet so I'm counting on some feedback. Be honest and tell me if you think this background makes my blog look big!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Reason I Have a Secret Stash of Tequila, Chocolate, and Haircolor

Summer has finally begun. The mess in my house and the lack of food in my kitchen prove it.

I only have a few more years of marking the start of summer by the last day of school. The sentimental mommy in me gets sad when I think about that, but the stressed out, tired of checking home work and making lunches mom in me is doing a little happy dance in anticipation.

The year went smoothly for Ciara and she did well in all of her classes. Trey on the other hand? To him school is just a necessary evil until he makes it big as the worlds best skateboarding guitar player. You gotta love those lofty goals of thirteen year old boys!

Oh how I love my sweet, laid-back, easy going son. From day one he has made us laugh with his silly antics. While this go-with-the- flow attitude worked to my advantage when he was a baby, it doesn't work well in a no-nonsense atmosphere like school and when it calls into question my parenting skills, all bets are off. I suppose this school year was destined to be the year that my parenting skills would be put to the test.

For some reason our school district decided that seventh grade was the perfect time for it's students to learn about the "birds and the bee's". Now I get the whole " kids are so much more mature now and getting into things at an earlier age" thing. I'm down with that. See just the fact that I can use such an edgy phrase proves that I'm in the know! But I have to say:

Sex talk + prepubescent boys = someones going to get in trouble.

That someone would be my son. Here is how the phone conversation went:

Me: Hello?
Trey: Ummm Mom?
Me: Yes Trey?????
Trey: Ummm I got in trouble in Science class today. Here's my teacher.
Ms. I can't believe I have to teach sex ed to these kids: Mrs. Treys mom, your son said something very inappropriate in our reproductive class today. I could have him removed for his remarks, but I'm giving him a second chance.

So when I hung up the phone I did what any other mom would do.

I blamed my husband.

I started wondering what he could have possibly said, and where could he possibly have heard it? It had to be from my husband. I remembered the time when he let him watch that Austin Powers movie even though I told him I didn't think it was a good idea, and he takes him to the shooting range, who knows what they talk about out there with all that testosterone in the air!

Now my son is quite smart, and he figured that there is no way his mom would freak out in front of his friends, so he brought his whole posse home with him after school that day. His friends aren't always the sharpest tools in the shed, but when they saw me sitting at the dining room table lying in wait for my victim, they knew it wasn't going to be pretty and they decided it was in their best interest to get out of here.

Here is how our confrontation went:

Me: I can't believe you did that!!! You are grounded forever!! You are going to take up quilting and bird watching and you will never watch another Austin Powers movie or go to that shooting range again!! Now tell me what you said!!!

Trey: I told a girl that her pee would turn green if she got pregnant.

Me: HUH?????

I think it's appropriate for us all to stop for a moment and thank the heaven's above that the boy has no aspirations to be an Obstetrician.

Okay, apparently the paper I signed that said there was zero tolerance in the class meant that there was ZERO TOLERANCE in the class! So when my husband came home and we talked about it and voiced our relief to one another that it was something so silly, we decided he would have to be grounded anyway for breaking the rules in class. But instead of being grounded for the rest of his life it was only for a weekend, and he ended up getting off early for good behavior.

Oh and I cancelled his quilting class.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rantings of a Walmart Shopper

Many years ago we used to have Kmart's here in Houston. In fact my first job ever was at Kmart. In the shoe department! And they paid in cash every Friday! All was right with the world back in those days. But then one day Kmart deemed Houston unworthy of their blue light specials and they closed all of the stores in the area.

I'm still a tad bit bitter about the whole thing.

Fortunately for me Walmart was waiting in the wings with open arms to help me and my money transition through the loss.

It took a while for me to get used to Walmart. After all any adept shopper knows that Walmart and Kmart are like apples and oranges so I had to work hard to adjust. But like an athlete in training I was diligent and before long it was as if Walmart and I had always known each other.

So imagine my horror when I went to my local Walmart this morning only to discover that they are doing a complete remodel! Nothing was where it was supposed to be. I asked one of the employees why they were defiling the store and I was told it was to "update" and "give the feeling of openness" to the store.

Oh Walmart I wish you would have come to me first!

If I want to shop at an updated, modern store I will shop at Target. I will choose familiarity to trendiness any day of the week. I take comfort in knowing where everything is in the store. I look forward to mindlessly wandering down the aisles tossing things into my basket and I don't want to have to think while I'm shopping.

I'm sure millions of dollars where spent on marketing experts to tell Walmart that if they put the toys closer to the food they would sell a few more Hannah Montana dolls. Or if they move the pharmacy to the middle of the store more people would get their prescriptions filled there. They could have saved a bundle and just consulted with the people that shop there on a regular basis. I would have told them to forget about the remodel and invest their money in customer service training for their employees.

I'm sure I will get over the initial shock and in time I will know the new layout of the store enough so I won't have to exert any brain power to find my way around. It just takes this old dog some time to learn new tricks.