Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Black Widow

The Black Widow

Oh the tangled web she weaves
Untruths abound,
Lies she may even believe.

Amid the muddy vortex of her mind,
Delusions reign,
Reason left behind.

Heinous accusations spill forth with ease,
For these she should be on her knees.

Heavenly Father, guide her path,
Release her from bitterness, hate and wrath.

If it be Your will, breathe life into her blackened heart,
Remove the vengeful poison dart.

Searching for justice to right imagined wrongs,
She's sealing her fate to be impaled by her own thorns.

It is to this end that I feel pity and sorrow,
Delusions of the self righteous I feel, will leave her forsaken tomorrow.

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday Scramble 3-28-10

Whew!  What a couple of weeks I've had.

Let's see what I can update you on.

Well, Mikayla got in more trouble last week than she's ever been in in her life.  Why?  Because she insisted on telling Madison that there is no Santa Claus.  Said she couldn't stand perpetuating the lie anymore.  She didn't actually say perpetuating, but that's what she meant.

I threatened her bodily harm if she went ahead with it.

She did it anyway.

WHOP upside the head.

I can't even tell you the trauma this caused all of us.  Madison crying hysterically, asking why we've lied to her all these years, Jimmy over the phone from Kansas City yelling at Mikayla, Mikayla in her room crying for hours... and punishment!  Ooh, for five days Jimmy let her think that her hip hop classes were a thing of the past.

Thank goodness I convinced him not to take that away.  It's the first thing she's ever done that she's truly passionate about.

I love my sister.  You all know that.

But sometimes she's stupid.

The night of my nephew, Jonny's, play, we all went out for dinner at a Chinese buffet.

Blech.  Ptooey.  Need I say more?

But as we were sitting there over dessert, all of a sudden Jill looks at me and says, "Man, this ice cream is cold!"

Now what would you do or say if your beloved sister said something so completely ridiculous?  I mean really, was the ice cream supposed to be tepid?  I wanted to smack her, but instead I just called down the table to my brother and loudly announced what she'd just said.  Ya know, to make her feel even more stupid.  Jeff, of course, was not surprised, but rolled his eyes anyway.

Then, days later Jill and I are on the phone.  She's telling me about seeing her friend's mother's house for the first time and how beautiful it is.

Jill:  You should see it.  It has a porch that goes all around and then those big, tall cylinders.  So pretty!

Me:  Excuse me?  Did you just say cylinders?

Jill:  Yeah, what was I supposed to say?  Oh duh!  I mean, colanders!

Me:  Really Jill?  They have giant colanders on their porch?  What?  They have massive amounts of pasta to drain?

Jill:  Oh.  Shit.  What's the word I'm looking for?

Me:  Columns, you asshole!

See?  Stupid!

Love you sis!

I'm excited and I'm nervous.  I've decided I'm going to take online courses and get a certificate in medical transcription!!!!  I have two different schools I'm looking at and am just waiting for Jimmy to look them over and see which one will work best for me.  I know which one I want to use, but dammit, it's $5,000 for the course, versus $800 at Penn Foster.

This could potentially open up a whole new world for me!

Remember the pictures of all those adorable armadillos I showed you weeks ago?  Seems the poor rototillers are dropping like flies around here.

Actually, it's more like they're dropping like animals being shot by pellet gun-totin' neighbors who are out for blood.

I shit you not.  They're working together, the neighbors.  They've formed a regiment of sorts.  One traps, one shoots, others look on, another disposes without Justine seeing.

Last week, I was sitting out here in the bitch cave, minding my own business as usual, when suddenly I see 3 or 4 people skulking around the side of my next door neighbors' house.  Yes, I said skulking, because that's exactly what they were doing.  Grown men and a woman actually tip-toeing as to not alert me to their presence.  But I saw the murderers.

I just didn't know they were murderers at the time.

I raised my hand to wave at my good friend and wouldn't you know she looked down, turned around and the whole gaggle of them skulked away in the other direction?  One of them holding a garbage can?  They actually turned in unison like synchronized swimmers (Buzby Berkeley comes to mind) and walked away guiltily in the direction they'd come from!

I grew suspicious (wouldn't you?), so emailed my good friend to ask what they had been doing.

She said, "Well, Tim had an armadillo trapped in his trash can and we didn't want you to see and make you sad.  So we turned around."

Hmmm... What else?

"Well, we kind of bought a pellet gun to get rid of these things.  They're digging under the foundation of our houses now!  They've gone rogue!  Four down at my last count."

Then, a few days later, while on the phone, she says, "Hey, did you see the picture on my Facebook page?  It was on my front porch so we killed it with a shovel.

Oh.My.Goodness.  It's a harmless garter snake for goodness sakes!  These beautiful animals eat the disgusting vermin.  Stop squishing them!  Squish the vermin!  Hell, you can even shoot them with the pellet gun if it'll make ya feel better.  Leave my critters alone!

Holy crap, am I still living in Saint Augustine, or have I been transported to Buttmunch, West VA?  We don't shoot things in these parts!  We trap them humanely and release them a few miles from our neighborhood.

At least that's the way it used to be done.

I'm thinking it's time to move.

Or get new friends.

Does it occur to anyone else that I'm really not fit to live in suburbia?  Me, the critter lover, is meant to be out in the wide open, with animals walking up to my porch to be hand fed, birds alighting upon my raised hand, pecking gently at the organic seeds I offer.

I truly feel that my destiny is to commune with cattle like Temple Grandin.

I would just look a wee bit better while doing so.

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Words To The Dog

I want to thank you all so much for all the kind words you've shared, your prayers and your love.  I'm still struggling with the loss of Poo... in fact just spent another 15 minutes or so bawling my eyes out.  I've lost quite a few family members over the years and never doubted that they'd gone to heaven and were watching over me. 

But since Poo crossed over, my faith in heaven seems to be slipping.  What if she's not there?  What if I really will never see her again?  What if she doesn't know how much I love her?

I know this is not something that any of you can help me with.  I have to work through it on my own.  And even though I no longer practice the Catholic faith, it did soothe me a bit to read that in 1993 Pope John Paul II stated that animals do, in fact, have a soul, and go to heaven.  I pray it's true.

Anyway, yesterday Jimmy wrote a poem to honor Poo and I thought I would share it with you.

Here come some more tears.

Words To The Dog

I came into their lives when everything was new,
From that point on they were never just two.

Dreams yet spoken,
Were not made or broken.

I was the keeper of what is good,
During this time all was understood.

Living free and day to day,
It was quite fun-- I have to say.

I loved these two -- my mom and dad,
Along came another which was not too bad.

A lion at heart,
She and I were there from the start.

We saw creatures come and go,
We saw rain and we saw snow.

 We started north and traveled south,
Soon we added the girl with the birdie mouth.

She was the special one -- the first of two,
Our lives changed -- we had something to do.

We stood guard over those girls,
From diapers to little curls.

We saw them laugh and saw them cry,
We were to love them until we die.

We saw them off on their first day of school,
And lost some whiskers to some prehistoric tool.

At night we watched over their dreams,
It was purr-fect -- so it seems.

We managed with dignity and grace,
And kept the family's endless pace.

God has a way of knowing,
And we thought he had a way of showing.

Then to our dismay,
You came that sunny warm day.

You are clumsy and rude,
You would lick my face -- how shrewd!

My angels were moving faster and faster,
You, I feared were another disaster.

You are impatient -- thirsting for fun,
I slowly began to think that you were the one.

To watch my angels lives continue to unfold,
Because my days are waning as I am growing old.

I think it is time to pass on my meow,
For your simple bow wow.

I pass the torch, my canine friend,
For my time has come to an end.

Please watch over them for me,
Until they are ready to be set free.

There are tough times ahead,
So remember to choose carefully when going to bed.

Under your watch they will grow up,
And before long you will no longer be a pup.

There will be graduation days, proms and gowns, 
All the time there will be ups and downs.

Take it all in for a while,
And when in doubt flash that genuine smile.

I trust you will prevail,
For now I must set sail.

Meow Meow.

J. Oko March, 2010
For my family and Poo, rest in peace.

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today Heaven Shines Brighter, But My World Has Dimmed

I'm sitting here and I don't know if I can even write this post.  I don't know how to do this.  I don't know how to express to all of you the pain and loss I'm feeling.

This morning, we had to have our beloved, 16-1/2 year old Siamese cat, Stinky, put to sleep.

I guess it doesn't matter why, just that it had to be done, and we're all having a hard time handling it with any sort of grace.  You see, Stinky was our first child.  Jimmy and I brought her home just a month after we were married, and this little tiny furball became our life, and yes, our child.

For more than 16 years, Stinky was there for us, always willing to give us unconditional love.  Through several moves, two more cats brought into the family, the stupid Pug named Snuffie, two children, and finally, Strudel, Stinky did nothing but love all of us completely.  Except for Strudel, that is.  Once the dog came into our family, Stinky decided it was time to retire to the upstairs rooms for good.

Stinky, with her best fur friend and sister, Simmie.

Poo, as we always called her, was the most devoted and loving cat anyone could ever ask for.  She has brightened our lives beyond measure, and with her passing, has dimmed our lives, at least temporarily.

Jimmy held her for hours last night.

Jimmy kept telling me that Poo wasn't telling him she was ready to go.  The true problem was that we weren't ready to let her go.

This morning she tried to convince us she was just fine by licking Jimmy's leftover tomato juice out of his cup.

My Dearest Stinky Poo Poo Queen of the Kitties Oko,

I will love you always and forever.  All the thousands of tears I am shedding for you will never compare to the thousands of moments of joy you brought to my life.

I know you've made it safely over the rainbow bridge and will be there to greet me some day with a pounce and a purr.

My love to you always, 


Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

THE Gollum Dishes

Oh peeps, I was surely blessed a few weeks ago when I won a fantabulous giveaway on Michael's blog!  I'm sure all of you that frequent Designs By Gollum know all about Michael's "Gollum" dishes, right?

I can now say I know exactly why she, and so many others, have fallen in love with these dishes.  They're bright white, very simple, but at the same time pack a punch. My pictures do NOT do these pieces justice, and there are actually quite a few more I never got around to photographing.

Sure, the following is probably considered a tea cup, but since I mostly drink coffee I'm calling these my new, dainty coffee cups! 

Do you see the beautiful swirly pattern?  I love it!

And there are dessert plates, but since I rarely partake of the sweet stuff, I put some sauteed zucchini on one.

 That same night I had pasta with my homemade sauce and a huge plop of ricotta.

 Doesn't my simple meal look gorgeous against that bright white?

This awesome set also came with S&P shakers, napkin rings, a gorgeous serving bowl which didn't make it... it was in pieces when I opened the box (Waaaaaaaaaaaaa)... and a small serving platter.

Michael, I don't know how to thank you enough.  This giveaway was just above and beyond in every way possible!  These have since become my everyday dishes and I will think of you often as I sit down to eat, or... blech... wash them after dinner!

Now everyone, go give Michael a visit because she's got some other incredible giveaways coming up shortly! Her blog is such complete eye candy you might even forget to enter yourself into the giveaways.  Which would be fine by me.  More chances for me to win another!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Publix Says, "Where Shopping is a Pleasure", Is This What They Meant?

*Please excuse the disgusting, unadorned me.  This was food shopping people, not a trip to the mall!*

*Disclaimer*:  Madison had no clue why I was holding this thing and cracking up.

*Apologies*:  Please excuse the poor picture quality.  Taken with my phone which has no lens cover.  Because Strudel ate it!!!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday Scramble 3-14-10

I cordially invite you to join me each week in the Sunday Scramble.  The SS gives you a chance to write down your scattered, random, or just plain stupid thoughts.  No rules apply here.  I give you permission to write anything that's on your mind, whether it makes sense or not!

Okay, lemme know if I'm out of line here.  Each day, I bring Madison to the bus stop and then pick her up in the afternoon.  The girls' stop is half a mile from our house, as it is for many of the kids that take the bus.  So I totally understand all those moms and dads taking the time to bring their kids up there.  But tell me.  Is it really necessary to not only drive them up there, but walk them straight to the damn doors of the bus?  I'm not talking about the littles, but the kids who are 8, 9, 10, and 11 years old.

Then there are the moms that take it even a step further.  They accompany their kids on their bikes.  I have seen a some of these moms send their kids out a couple minutes ahead of them, and then they're seen pedaling like lunatics to get to the bus stop just to see their kid mount the stairs.  I watch all this, sitting in the comfort of my car, where I actually let me child walk from point A (my car) to point B (the bus) all by her lonesome.  The whole 30 or so feet.  Gasp!

Is it any wonder why there are so many children out there that are afraid of their own shadow and have no sense of independence?  It has to start somewhere, and dammit, I think walking 30 or so feet without holding Mommy's hand is a good place to start.

Okay, vent over.

Now you can tell me how wrong I am.

Yay!  Saturday night is my nephew, Jonny's, play!  I'm too excited for words.  Of course, I'll get home too late to add anything about it on this post, but hopefully I'll have plenty to say next week.

I've been rather quiet, haven't I?

Now, we must all bow our heads for a moment in recognition of TAPS  Yes, The Atlantic Paranormal Society.  My beloved Ghost Hunters.

Their little office front in Warwick, RI.

Founder, Jason, and Co-Founder, Grant

Last week they celebrated their 100th episode on the SciFi network and they investigated...

Get this...


Did you watch it yet, Sara?  If not, you're in trouble!

I somehow even got Jimmy to watch it a couple of days after the fact, and I could tell that he was intrigued.  He won't come out and say he's a believer, but I know he is.  The TAPS team is so professional and at the core, skeptics.  Not like some of those other ghost hunting shows where they're finding demons behind every closed door.

Congrats to Jason, Grant, Steve, Tango, and the whole TAPS team.  I heart you guys.  And Steve?  I still want to lick the outline of every tattoo you have.

Among other things.

Call me the next time you're in Saint Augustine, investigating the lighthouse, mmmkay?

Let me just say.  I hate blogs that have music playing on them.  How can I concentrate on reading when there are words being thrown at me through my speakers?  Eeks!

I don't know how I forgot to share these pictures of Strudel with you, but I did.

They're scary, so brace yourself.

This is what happens when three people stand inside the slider and the dog wants to get in.

Now this is attractive.

A short video to show you just how spastic this dog is.

Bless her heart.

Now what are you waiting for? Link up!!!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sunday Scramble: 3-7-10

Welcome kids, to another edition of the Sunday Scramble!

I honestly don't have too much to write about this week.  Yeah, I do believe I just heard a whole bunch of you sigh in relief.  Okay, so I tend to be a little wordy at times.  Okay, most times.  Bite me, okay?

So, the other night at dinner, Strudel was sitting at my side like a good girl (why is she good at the times that most normal dogs are not?) and I said to Jimmy, "Your daughter needs to be fed."

Jimmy:  They're at the table eating right now!

Me:  No, your other daughter.  The furry one.

Jimmy:  She's not my daughter, she's my dog.

Me:  No, just a few weeks ago we were talking about her and you told me how you love her so much that she's like one of your kids.

Jimmy:   Well yeah, but not my daughter!

Madison:  Fine daddy, then she'll be your dogger!

What can I say?  The kid is quick.

Mikayla has a new favorite word.  Biffle.  Yes, you read that correctly, although really, it's just BFFL, an acronym for Best Friends For Life.  But I swear to you, it gives me the giggles every time she says, "Strudel, are you my biffle?"  "Mommy, you wanna be my biffle?"  I mean, say it a few times.  It's a funny word!

Jimmy traveled to San Francisco again this week.  The guys had some free time so took a drive over the Golden Gate bridge.


Bastard, right?

Yeah well, they got rear-ended at the end of the bridge, so it's all good now.

They even stopped at Muir Woods.  Remember this picture from my last post?

You guessed it.  That's Muir Woods.

Bastard, right?

So last night while driving through the neighborhood on my way back from the Hess station, I noticed an armadillo walking on the side of the road.  You know me.  I had to stop the car, roll down the window and stare at him.  But then the dumbass started walking toward my car.  I'm thinking, oh great, he's going to walk right under my car and then I'll be stuck here, in the middle of the road, until he decides to get his armored ass out the other side.  I do believe these critters are blind as bats.

But obviously not deaf, because as soon as I stuck my head out of the window and said, "Well hello, little 'dillo!" He took off for the golf course.

And that's the end of my 'dillo story.

Tuesday night I picked up some Chinese food for me and the girls.  I like my food pretty spicy, so the chick at the restaurant usually throws in one of those tiny containers of what they call hot and oily.  Just warm oil with red pepper flakes soaked in.

Well, I ate my dinner, never using the oil.  While I was straightening up the kitchen I heard something being chomped on.

Yeah, you guessed right.

Strudel ate it.

She not only lapped up all the oil but she ate every flake of hot red pepper too!  Stupid, idiotic, deranged dog.  Would you believe it didn't even give her the squirts?  If I'd eaten that much of the stuff (I just drizzle some on) I'd be pooping fire for days.

I now have definitive proof, that while men can sometimes be amusing, at the very core of it, they're, well, idiots.

Yay!  My Aunt Barbara and Uncle David are coming down here next month from Utah!  I'm soooo happy about it because I haven't seen them since 2004!  Some of you know of uncle David from Facebook.  He's the one always picking on me, calling me fat and unhealthy (in his own roundabout way) and telling me to get rid of that dog!  I honestly don't know why I love the man, much less even like him, but dammit, I do.  He kinda grows on you.  Sure, it's a growth similar to fungus, but still.  He's Mi Familia. (like that?  Too much Mafia Wars, I'm telling you.  You'd better just hope, for his sake, that next month I don't tell you that I iced him) 

Oh crap, he reads my blog.  He's going to be mad at me now.  Rut roh.  I'm in for it.  He'll probably write up a dissertation on nitrites and the evil of red meat and make me memorize it.  And, not only is he a reformed smoker but, he's also a reformed fatty.  Being that I'm non-reformed on both counts, can you imagine the constant lecturing I'm going to have to suffer through?

Okay my peeps, I obviously wasn't at much of a loss for words.  So I lied!  Bite me, k?

And when you're done taking a humongous bite of my hiney, leave a comment, then link up your scrambled post!  I love reading them!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This has never happened to me before.  I was laying in bed, in that state of half sleep/ half awake when an image popped into my head.  An image of bare feet on wet stones.  From there it turned into the following.  Please keep in mind that I am in no way a writer, and most especially not a fiction writer.  But it is what it is and I had to write it down.  Once I read it to Mikayla, she convinced me to post it.  So, here goes.


Barefoot, she silently padded along the wet stone path, ancient boughs reaching out above her, shielding her from the sharp needles of a heavy rain.

She is surrounded and embraced by the greens and browns of the forest, damp and pungent, the earthy scents filling her being with nature's miracles.
Birdsong brings a smile to her rosy lips as she imagines the birds are singing just for her, urging her forward down this meandering path as if toward her destiny.  The air is cool but she feels no discomfort.  She realizes that her clothes must be wet, and they should be heavy and sticking to her skin, but instead she feels silk and satin against her body.

With each seemingly weightless step she takes, her toes press into the slick stone, memorizing each vein and crack as if they were a map leading her to her destination, her future.  What should have been an ordinary walk through a beautiful woods is something else entirely, this much she can somehow sense.

A gentle breeze caresses her face, bringing with it the sweet smell of unseen flowers hiding among the green of the woods.  She cannot see them but she can picture them in her mind and loves them for their very existence.  Here in the forest there is the eternal cycle of life and death, and life again, renewed.

In the distance she spies something standing in the center of her pathway, small, but blocking the way to her final destination, her future, her truth.  Her easy gait falters; she is suddenly unsure of her journey.  Feeling overwhelmed she pivots on her toes, her intention to follow the stone path back to its beginning.  But to her surprise, the path has disappeared, in its place the forest, dark and impenetrable, surrounding her on all sides but one.

Now fearful, she turns back to her original direction and sucks in a quick breath, for there, before her, is an owl of such breadth and height as to be other-worldly.  Standing motionless, his golden eyes large, perfectly round, he gazed back at her knowingly.  She sensed that he was looking beyond her physical self, perhaps glimpsing her very soul.
Disconcerted, yet oddly comforted by the owl's presence, she took a moment to study him as he was studying her.  Larger than any owl she had ever seen, she gazed with wonder upon his snowy white feathers, wanting to rub her cheeks across their silky softness.  As if sensing her curiosity, the owl lifted and unfurled his wings, impressing her with their immense length. 

He gathered his wings to him once again and turned his head 180 degrees, as if to show off his incredible ability.  When once again he turned his regal head to face her, it was not his golden coin eyes she was looking into any longer, but instead, a reflection of herself.  It was as if the owl's eyes had turned into a mirror, but one of magic, because the image she now saw of herself was vastly different than the woman she had glimpsed in her mirror that very morning.
Gone were the flaws that marked her skin, leaving her face unlined and glowing with youth.  Gone were the many extra pounds of flesh, her body now beautifully rounded and curved, but healthy.  She also felt an inner peace, her heart filled to overflowing with love given and received unconditionally.

She was beautiful.  Both inside and out.  For the first time in her life she felt total comfort within herself.  Never did she want to break this image of herself; she longed to sit here with this owl for all time, for it was only here that she could ever be this happy, this content.
The owl blinked once, and when his eyes opened once more, she saw something new in the reflection, something she was sure had not been there before.  Standing behind her was a man, tall and broad, wavy black hair flowing beautifully in the soft breeze.  His eyes were of turquoise seas, clear and bright, looking directly into those of the owl.  One of his long-fingered hands rested lightly, gently, on her shoulder, their only physical connection.

Suddenly confused, she shouted out, "I don't understand any of this!  Why is this happening to me?"
And amazingly the owl answered her plea.

"You have come on this journey for a reason.  You thought yourself unworthy of love and beauty and refused to see that you have always possessed these traits.  I lured you here in the guise of a dream to show you what your future could be if only you believed in yourself .

The reflection you've seen in my eyes, the feelings of peace and love, have not been of your own perspective.  The man behind you.  This is what he sees, what he feels when he looks at you.  In his eyes you are utter perfection and truest love.  You are his every dream, his sole desire, the half that completes him.

The man behind you?  He is your future, if only you are brave enough to believe it is so."

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!