Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jihad on Double Stuff Oreo's

First things first...Update on Gramma: She's doing wonderfully! She broke her femur just below the joint that goes into the hip socket. They replaced that with a brand spankin' shiny new joint. She's been moved into the rehab unit of the hospital, and they are doing intensive therapy on her 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. She'll be there for a couple of weeks then moved into a nursing home for further therapy. Can you say WHEW? I'm so relieved.

Now on to more amusing things....

We're having our 2nd major ice storm of the new year and yet again I'm SOOOOOO lucky to have my kids home with me. Well all of them but my 5 yr old who's spending the remainder of this week and part of the weekend with her godparents.

After doing morning chores my son Ty, who is 14 and I'm convinced is hollow at this point, comes in "I'm hungry". Hmphf, big surprise there. He knew I'd went to the grocery store yesterday, so food is not lacking in this house at the moment. He promptly went to the counter and found my MY double stuffed Oreo's and cracked the package open. Well that's ok, it was one of those things where I was PMSing and bought them then had a salt craving...they've been sitting in my truck for upwards of 2-3 weeks now. Upon hearing the package crinkle my 12 yr old daughter, Destiny, hollers "What's that noise?!?" and had to come in the kitchen to investigate. Katie at that point, the resident 16 yr old daughter, "What's going on over there?"(She's kinda oblivious to things sometimes...go figure) and then she proceeds to the counter as well. Gary, my Dh's 27 yr old son, looks at me, looks at them, then meanders over that way.

Ok so now I have 4 kids clustered around my counter, attacking the package of Double Stuffed Oreo's. Looked like buzzards flocked into my kitchen on a carcass. No way was I going over there to break it up. I'd loose an arm or something.

So that got me to thinking...and bear with me, my mind works weird ok. Jihad, hmmm.... I know Jihad means:
1. Islam. An individual's striving for spiritual self-perfection.
2. Islam. A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
3. A crusade or struggle: “The war against smoking is turning into a jihad against people who smoke” (Fortune).

-definition thanks to

My first thought was "Holy mother of Mary...what did did the Oreo's do to deserve that?!?"

My second thought looking at the mangled package lying on the counter....hmmmm if we could get Al Qaeda members (particularly Bin Laden) addicted to Oreo's, I could send our kids out and viola'.....he'd be an easy target then. All they'd have to look for is the mangled remains of a package of Double Stuffed Oreo's and a dazed and confused old guy with a 3 ft beard lying in the mountains or desert. Easy pickin's for them then.

Third thought and the one I voiced "Kids, get in here and clean up this damned mess you made!"

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Scared......not a word I usually associate with myself, but tonight yes definately.

Phone rings at work, private line, and it's my Dad's fiancee'

"Shit your working"

Rut roh Spanky, I don't like the way THAT sounds as a phone converstation starter...

"Yup, sure am, or else I wouldn't have answered the phone here at the PD huh? *chuckle* What's up? Everything ok?"

"NO it isn't *pause*

"Dammit, how'd I know you were going to say that? What's wrong? Are you ok? OMG Dad's not had a wreck has he, please tell me he hasn't wrecked"

"No no, I'm fine, and your Dad hasn't crashed his semi again BUT ....*long pause*"

"Woman, don't do that, it scares me. What's the matter, what the hell is going on?"

"It's your Gramma"

At that point my heart dropped to my toes, and I started feeling my stomach tightening up.....

"OH NO, what? WHAT? WHAAAATTTTT? How bad is it?"

"Well not sure.....She fell today and and while I don't know too much yet, she's most definately badly bruised her replaced knee, her hip and her elbow. All I know is her and Dad (Grampa) stopped to get a get well card for a friend in the hospital, and when she came out to get in the car she went down, hit her knee, then her hip, and caught herself with her elbow"

Whew, while that's definately not good, I was expecting far worse in all honesty...

"Oh no, did she break anything?"

"Don't know yet for sure, but possibly"

Ok my Gramma is 91 years old with late stage osteoporosis, she fell on pavement, the chances are pretty good something broke or cracked.

"I was hoping you'd be able to go down to the hospital in Mtn Home with me tonight but since your at work guess not huh?"

"No because we don't have anyone to fill in unfortunately, I might be able to get someone for tomorrow night though, not sure I'll have to make a phone call or two to see if he can do it."

"Guess you won't be able to go down tomorrow either then if you have to work. *sigh*"

"Oh like hell I won't, what time do you want to leave? I can sleep while you drive if I can't find someone to work."

"OH I shoulda expected that shouldn't I have?"

No shit Sherlock, this is my Gramma, my hero, the woman who has taught me so much, and yet I have a suspicion has forgotten more than I'll ever begin to know, she ranks third only below #1 God & #2 my children....I will be there even if it means forfeiting a few hours of sleep

"Uh DUH ya this is GRAMMA we're talking about, so what time do you want to leave?"

Well after that we got into the mundane conversation of the logistics of our trip to the hospital and all that jazz.

Now as I mentioned my Gramma is 91 years old. She's lived through the Great Depression, mumps, measels, not one but TWO lightning strikes (the second one rendered her blind for 6 months and almost killed her), two very difficult pregnancies, loosing her husband (my paternal Grandfather) due to a massive brain aneurism that left him in a brain dead state with no hope of recovery, she had to make the decision to take him off life support facing having to raise my Dad and Aunt (ages 11 and 9 at the time) having over 200 acres of crops in the field to look after and the farm animals that made their living, 5 step children and another husband, 27 (no that's not a typo) surgeries over the years some major & thankfully most not, my Dad about being killed in a semi accident almost 37 years ago, loosing two step children to fatal accidents (one in 1957, and one in 2007) and I'm sure many other trying times and incidents that I'm not even aware of. She's my hero. No other way to say it. There is nobody in this world I look up to more or respect more than my Grandmother.

A few years ago she had to have rotator cuff surgery, which for most is a relatively minor surgery. Her's was a bit more serious as she has COPD and the anesthesia was a concern. Luckily they were in their winter home of Arkansas so I could go to be there just in case something happened. The surgery went wonderfully, a complete success. I was a nervous wreck as it took her a little while longer than expected to come out of the anesthesia and as soon as they said she could have visitors, I made a beeline for her room. I was totally unprepared for the sight that met me there. I was expecting her to be groggy, the IV's, the monitor equipment....sure. What I wasn't expecting was my normally vibrant, active Gramma to look so fragile. She had fallen back asleep in the few minutes it took that nurse to come and get us. She looked comfortable yes, but so vunerable at the same time. According to my Dad, my face went ashen and he couldn't begin to explain my expression, he said my face drained of color and just went slack. He seriously thought I was going to faint. That's when Gramma's age hit me, she was old. Even worse, our time was short with her. I smoothed her short permed white hair back like I would one of my children's when they were sick and she woke up. I guess my face was still pretty blank and she reached for me and said "Child, I'm ok, are you?" I couldn't speak very well but I managed to mumble "Ya I'm fine, I uhhhh wellll....." and she said "Ya honey, I'm old, we don't look so great when we're waking up" and chuckled. Oh the sound of that familiar laugh, it lifted all the weight off my shoulders, I KNEW Gramma was going to be ok then. Then she scared me, she asked everyone but me to leave. My Aunt, Dad, my Dh and her nurse all left and it was just me and her. She asked me to write down my full name and social security number and I did but I had to ask why. She just said that she needed them for some legal paperwork, her will. I told her I didn't want anything but her, whatever she was putting in there to give to the Dr's to keep her going for years to come. She smiled and looked at me with the MOST serene, thoughtful look I've EVER seen and said "Oh my dear dear girl, you've always been Grandma's girl haven't you?" "Yes Gramma, forever and always, you know that" in not much more than a whisper, it was all I could manage as I felt like my heart was being twisted. "Dear C, I'm old when God calls for me, I have no choice in the matter. You understand that day is coming don't you?" I couldn't speak, all I could do was hold her hand in both of mine and nod as a scared child would. "Good, now I've lived a magnificent, though at times, difficult life. I'm tired, I'm ready to go home. Not out of malice or spite mind you, but I am just tired. I don't expect you to understand, your still a child, but one day you will....." At that point the nurse knocked on the door because she needed to take Gramma's temp again, and the rest of my family came back in. Of all of the conversations I've had in my short life of 32 years, that one scared me the most of all. It was my realization that while Gramma is tough, she's not invincible and someday I will loose her too. The last few years I have made peace with that as I've watched her age. I'm not looking forward to it, and I'll do anything in my power to postpone it out of sheer selfishness.

Now we face surgery #28, and well.......

I'm scared....but I will be there no matter how scared I am, because this is MY Gramma.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dh and the great used car debate

Used car........two very small words but when paired together can cause monumental apprehension to people. Being me those words have never frightened me probably for the fact that I know just enough about vehicles to know when someone is blowing smoke up my neather regions. New car strikes more fear for me because I know the insurance is going to be just about as much as the monthly car payment.

Last week there was a disagreement of the minds around my house. My wonderful Dh had decided to purchase a used car from one of our co-workers. No problem as I know this co worker well enough to know he wasn't going to sell us something that was a POS. Sure it needs a little work but for $1,100 and the parts we need already being purchased, who could complain (especially when we could do the work ourselves as the repair is a reliatively minor job). Where the disagreement came from was about WHO is going to be driving this little gem. Dh's truck is starting to have a few motor issues and I was under the impression he was going to drive this car. Apparently Dh had told his 16 yr old daughter she could drive it. Now he had mentioned that idea and I told him my answer would depend on what it did to our insurance....she could drive one of the cars (either mine or the one he was about to purchase) but it had to be the one that was cheapest on the insurance. He seemed to agree with that and we went about our daily lives. Sitting at my computer last week imagine my surprize when I got informed by my 16 yr old step daughter that Daddy was buying this car for her. I was pissed. Not for the fact so much that he supposedly was buying this car for "her" I later realized but for several other reasons. Some having to do directly with her but most not. #1 She's been driving MY car for months now which is a minor inconvience to me sometimes as it's all we have that comfortably fits the other kids but I have my truck to drive and I don't take ALL the kids places very often #2 I've been pushing for 6 months for this girl to get a job to help pay these extra bills associated with her driving (my insurance jumped $40 a month just to insure her and lets not even get started on how much gas she's putting through my car and all the miles she's putting on it) #3 We have 5 kids at home, and in the next 4 years we'll have two more 16 year olds and now they are going to expect (and rightfully so now that he's done this) us to provide them with cars #4 I work 3 jobs......yes you read that right 3 jobs. I have my "real" job here at the PD, my 2nd job where I put in between 4-20 hours a week at Dollar General, and my 3rd job waiting tables at the local cafe that was previously my "real" job prior to the PD. Money was tight due to some medical bills, legal bills and the upcoming holidays so I worked in the area of 60-70 hrs some weeks to cover everything. Now excuse me if I'm a bit cranky when it comes to my wonderful Dh and his daughter spending MY money a bit loosely for non essential items (like $40 worth of gas every week for her to have the privelige of putting miles on my car). So when I got informed that this was going to be "HER" car, my blood boiled. Not a picturesque simmer of water for spagetti, a rolling sterilizing medical instrements kind of boil. I did not unleash my wrath on the child as I realized that this was her father's doing and I needed to take it up with him. Now it's not my money that bought the car, but my paychecks are the ones going into the joint checking account that the car insurance comes out of. Dh rarely if ever puts money into it, so at that point forsaw ME paying the extra insurance. Well Dh got home and I promptly followed him into the bedroom and gave him about 5 minutes to unwind and demanded answers. He assured me he didn't buy the car to give to the girl, but rather he had told her she could drive it. When I asked about the insurance his face went blank. He admitted he just ASSUMED that I'd cover it. Ehhhh wrong answer, try again. He very quickly got informed that I'd be putting my paychecks into my private bank account and then I'd put enough in joint checking to cover what the insurance premium is now....whatever the insurance went up, him and his daughter were responsible for. I got a sincere "Yes dear..." and again our lives went on.

Well the car came home Friday. The 16 year old was being royally annoying with her excitement. I was still a bit miffed and hadn't really put my finger on why....till a couple hours later. For 10 years me and Dh have been together, and we've had to start pretty much from scratch which meant giving up some of the things I'd have liked to have had. For years I've wanted a fast sports car. Not some new off the dealer lot kind of fast car, but rather a old muscle car kind of car. Again I got pushed to the back for someone else and well it pissed me off considering all the hours I've been working to pay bills that technically weren't even mine. Lets just say I was feeling a little jilted and put on the back burner. So when Dh came in, I again laid into him asking when I got my new car. That's when he made the worst mistake he could have........he LAUGHED. Then he saw the look on my face and realized the mistake. I was so mad I was near tears. The the "well when you find something let me know" started. I told him to kiss my white ass at that point and stomped in to the bedroom to get ready for work. He dutifuly came in about 10 minutes later and said "Really, I meant it...I really did...." Internally I was cursing him with words my Marine grandfather would blush at but I just looked at him. Not sure how as I was trying to keep my teeth from biting though my lower lip at that point.

Flash forward to last night:

Dh came home from work and I was happily tapping on my faithful keyboard. We went through our post work chit chat and fell into the normal routine we have in the evenings. Now we are having an ice storm from hell and he was worried about the grocery situation as it looks like the roads will be horrid the next few days. As I'm getting ready to go to town with him, I told him "Heeeeeyyyy remember the other day?"

"Uhhh ummmm no. What?"

"Ya ya do, the one where I wanted to whap you upside the head with my tennis racket"

"Um dear, you wanted to do that several days last week I think, that doesn't help"

"The car discussion day..."

"OHHHH THAT day...ya I won't forget that for awhile. Oh boy, what did you find?"

"Nothing that I can afford quite yet but I do know what I want"

He sat on the bed with the deer in headlights look

"Remember dear, a '69 Vette isn't going to handle our road well and well you'd have to get another job to pay the insurance"

"Ya I know, not what I have in mind...."

"Pass me some of your Excedrin please, I think I'm going to need it"

"Nah, I want a '76 or a '79 Pontiac Firebird....V8, manual, with a limited slip differential, and the original honey comb wheels...preferably dark blue, black or dark dark red. Keep your ears open and ask Terry and some of the other guys to also....ok?"

He passed out....I win (I think)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ahhhh spring in the Ozarks.....pfffftttttt

Spring is well on it's way to us here in the southern Missouri Ozarks. How do I know this? Easy, work tells me it's so. I had my suspicions last weekend due to the craziness we encountered, but this weekend (and this weekend is just beginning) confirmed my fear.

Being a lowly police/fire dispatcher isn't as bad as one might think most of the time. Ya ya we have to deal with the occasional life threating situation, but as long as you keep your head on your shoulders and don't freak out things go pretty smoothly. Dealing with the disgruntled public, thats another thing that's just part of the nature of the beast. Let them vent, answer their questions and if worse comes to worse, tell them that if they can't be sensible, there isn't much you can do to help them....if all else fails, while they are threating your job hang up on them. Yes it's probably rude, but living in a town of 2,500 people, it's not THAT surprizing if you know the mayor and everyone on city counsel and doesn't mean your THAT important. No we can't tell them that per se, but we certainly aren't expected to put up with verbal assaults over the telephone either because we can't tell them they are being an idiot. Most of the time, our shifts are pretty boring and that's good. Until spring......that's when the unsavory characters start crawling out from under their rocks.....OHHHHH GOODIE. There is an upside to that though. It's an ego boost. You realize that while you have your faults, they could be oh so much worse. Tonight was one of those nights for me most certainly.

Being a Friday night, we (me and my on duty officer) were expecting to have to work. Nothing unusual we've become accustomed to that and actually look forward to it since the rest of our week is usually pretty boring. Now that being said, our night didn't start quite on the note we would have prefered. I got here first as I came in a half hour early so the guy I was taking over for could go home and feed his cows during daylight. There was a note for my night officer from a local manager at a local factory, didn't think too much about it. My officer came in about 15 minutes after I did and I gave him his note and went back to my chatting. After calling the guy that left the message, he left to go do a well being check on a fellow that lives in one of the local slum apartment buildings. The guy hadn't shown up for work the last 4 days and they were getting concerned. Well he went to check, the guy's car wasn't there, no one answered the door when he knocked, no funky odors met him at the door, all seemed well. Nothing more he could do, unless we have pretty good evidence of something hinky going on, we can't go kicking in doors and breaking into personal residences....that pesky 4th amendment prohibits us from that, go figure. I got a call from the officer telling me what he'd found out (or lack of what he'd found) and asked me to call the guy's landlord to see if he knew anything. So I call the landlord and lo and behold nope he's not seen the guy either, but if he happens to come to town he'll go in the apartment to check on the water lines and such and he'll call us to let us know what he finds out. Ok great, that works for me. After finishing that small detail my officer heads home for supper, and I settle in for some chatting and watching the Bud shootout practice on Speed channel. Phone rings.....oh goodie. I answer to which a self important windbag (can't give out names sorry) proclaiming he's being stalked and due to who he is, we know who's stalking him (sadly enough, ya we did) and he wants to get this shit nipped in the bud. So I holler at my officer interrupting his supper to inform him of this fellow's prediciment and he hightails it to the guys location. Upon his arrival both the stalker and stalkee are there. We've dealt with these fine folks for upwards of 2 1/2 years off and on so we know them quite well. And it's always bullshit kinda stuff...former lovers that have it in their heads that the other one is always out to get them or make them miserable in some way, shape or form. Us being the public servants we are, exist to make sure that the other leaves them alone because heaven forbid, they see one another in such a large metropolitan area such as ours. Well my officer informs them they've managed to leave us out of their quabbles for the last 6 months or better, we'd like it to stay that way and in all honesty we're tired of their shit. (All true but not very good for public relations.) We're expecting a complaint to be lodged against him in the morning. All of this and we've not even been on duty for an hour, NOT the way we wanted to start our night as it looms ominous possiblities for the rest of the 11 hours we have to spend together.

Next call.....well before I tell this story I have to give some background so you can truly appreciate how retarded it really is...

There are certain addresses in our fair town that there must be some kind of gasses or something seeping up from under the ground below them. These addresses are magnets for idiots to be quite frank. For the last month we've been dealing with one of these addresses. One of the incidents was that the tenent in the home (it's a rental) was being bothered by her mentally unstable ex husband. Repeatedly we were called over there to shoo him off because he was harrasing her. Then one day, a call to come over there because he's ranting and raving, refusing to leave. Our Chief of all officers was on duty, and goes over there, tells this fella to come on over to the car and the guy threatens to kill our Chief and refuses to put down the weapon in his hand......oh not bright on his part. He does start walking towards the Chief but stops and refuses to come further saying Chief is going to have to bring him in by force. Now mind you, the guy was/is a mental case, but still pretty stupid. After backup arrives the guy surrenders and they bring him in.....just to do a mental health committment on him. The next week another incident.....while working I get a frantic 911 call that there is a guy at that same address that had barged his way in and is getting the shit kicked out of him. I send an officer over and that was an understatement. My officers end up bringing in 3 guys, two in pretty good shape and one that well to be honest....I thought he was black. Don't see many of them in our area as it's a small southern town, still very racist in many ways. Then I notice the guy's arm in my's white......WTF? His head is black and his arm is white. I had to know what that was about so I leave my desk to wander down the hallway to the holding area. What I saw there would have been enough to make some chuck their cookies. To say this guy had been beaten was an understatement and the reason he looked black in the monitor....he was completely covered in blood. Not for the of his eyes was swollen shut, his nose obviously broken, various knots forming on his head, some nasty looking lacerations on the top, and side of his head, both lips broken open, and that was just what I could see from 4 feet away. These are the kind of incidents we've been encountering at least every 4-5 days at this address, we're getting kind of tired of it to be honest. Now with these kind of things in mind, read tonights incidents from people associated with this address. First a person that's moving out calls demanding to know why the people moving in were stopped by my officer and told that they were stopped because of living at that address and possible drug activity going on at that address. Ok first, my officer hadn't made any traffic stops at that point, second, even if he had, he's not gonna be telling the people that's why he stopped them. I told her that as far as our shifts, we hadn't done it and I had no idea what that was all about. She was appreciative of the info and we hung up on good terms. Fifteen minutes later another woman calls, this didn't go so well. It was the Mom of the guy that was "accused" of dealing the dope in and out of there DEMANDING to speak to the officer that stopped her boy and his fiancee'. Oy, I go through my spiel all over again and inform her my officer is out on patrol, I'm the only one here. OMG she goes off on me, and while she's raving I'm feeling my ear start to get's oozing through the phone to get me. Great just what I need, to loose more grey matter. I swear my intelligence diminishes just a shade everytime I speak or deal with these kind of people. Luckily once I've been away from them for a bit, it comes back. It's odd, but I swear it's true. Finally she stops for a breath and I ask her for a call back number, I'll have my officer to call her to ease her concerns. After a shocked gasp that I would do that for her, she gave me her phone number and thanked me and hung up. WHEW TG, the end of the phone calls. Luckily that's as far as it went at that address tonight because by the time my officer dealt with that woman, I really think he might have put alot of us out of our misery and just went over there shooting.

At this point, I'm convinced, somebody is out there flipping over rocks and these things are crawling out of their winter hiding spots. I swear it, wish they'd quit flipping over our rocks so they'd quit escaping and we could enjoy our spring that's well on it's way to our fine area.