Tuesday, March 30, 2004


My aunt Liz and her two kids Samantha and Charlotte live about half an hour away from where we are now in Arizona. Last weekend we had a 7th birthday party for Charlotte. We made a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, and I baked a luscious chocolate cake with fudge icing.

I put some pictures up over on mom's blog. The blonde is Charlotte, the redhead is Samantha, and the really weird looking one is my aunt Liz. :-) (Hi Liz!)

Next weekend we're having a party for Sam. Her real birthday isn't until September, but what the heck - she needs a party too!

The pictures are located HERE

Monday, March 29, 2004

Porno Versus Romance Novels

Feeling the need to zone out one night, I picked up a romance novel. It was about a woman who answered an ad in the paper from a cattle rancher looking for a wife. Basically the man didn't want intimacy, he wanted sex and somebody to cook/clean/have kids. The woman in this novel set out to change him, and ended up molding him into the perfect husband in only 100 or so pages.

The Christian Right is always in an uproar over porno. I think they should forget the porno and pay more attention to romance novels. It's romance novels, not porno, that's having a detrimental effect on the moral fabric of our society.

Think about it - romance novels encourage women to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to men. Then men in romance novels always have the perfectly sculpted bodies, are absolutely amazing in bed, either start out rich or come into money very quickly, and are molded into exactly the type of husband the woman wants, with very little effort. Romance novels encourage women to fantasize about the unattainable.

Porno is very attainable. With a fair bit of athleticism and a healthy taste for adventure, you can experience pretty much everything you see/read about in porno.

If you don't think my opinion is true, please send a male with romance-novel like attributes to me in Concho, Arizona.

Friday, March 26, 2004


We need at least 973,125 boxes to pack up everything and sort it in this house. Yesterday I hit up the bar, grocery store, liquor store and the Family Dollar for boxes. I completely stuffed the back of the SUV with flattened boxes. We now have enough to last us through the weekend.

We'll be having a yard sale this weekend if it isn't too windy out, so I'll be scarce on the online world. The wind may gust to 90 mph, though! Maybe an inside sale...

On other news, I got my Arizona learners permit yesterday! When I want my license, I troop down to the office, pay $25 to take the test, and it's good for 30 years.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Hi from mean ol' Wendy! ;-)

To see Heather as cowgirl, look at the pic on my blog.......

Wendy's Blog

Cute, huh? :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


There's a difference between the detrimental material crap in this house, and beneficial material goods. For instance, this house is filled with knick-knacks. There are all sorts of angel doohickies, about 50 pounds worth of ceramic mugs of all shapes and inscriptions, decorative spoons, doilies, and enough plastic flowers to fill up the Grand Canyon at least halfway. Not much in this house is worth anything...Even though it cost a pretty penny when they bought it. The material things in here don't contribute to happiness or security...They just get in the way and collect dust.

I'm not saying they should eschew possessions and live in a cave. Some material things ARE good....But not the majority of things in this house. Think of the useful things they could have bought in lieu of that toy watering can filled with fake, dusty ivy sitting off to my left...Heck, they could have bought a real watering can and some plants to spruce up the place!

They (Suzanne and DICK) currently live on more than 60k a year. They owe thousands upon thousands of dollars more than they currently have. Pretty soon their home, car and most of their possessions will be gone, and all they'll be left with is mountains of debt.

I've made less then half of their current yearly income during my entire lifetime. What do I have to show for it? A house, totally paid for. A van, totally paid for. A year's worth of backpacking food, totally paid for. Lots of cool backpacking and other sports equipment, totally paid for. Tangible things, useful things...not boxes of knick knacks so ugly and useless that we haven't been able to sell them for 5 cents in a yard sale.

My current list of material wants:

A 1960's-70's era Chevrolet C-10 4x4 stepside long bed pick up truck

A couple hundred acres of land in Alaska, Montana or northern Arkansas to build a homestead on

A painted horse to graze and ride on the aforementioned land

A hunky, talented guy to do the dishes and other things

See the difference? My material wants are useful, practical things. I'm not likely to shove them onto a shelf to gather dust. They're things that I'll be appreciating every day.

Grrrrr. Arrrgg. I'm going to indulge in some therapy by hurling some knick knacks into the dumpster.

...Continued from below

Mom and I went on a roadtrip shortly after I wrote the entry previous to this. We've been needing frequent escapes the deeper we get into this whole mess. It's fun, though :-)

We got ourselves lost in a different National Forest this time. I turned up a rutted dirt FS road and found out we were in a wolf relocation area. There were sheep corrals everywhere, and a dead coyote near the gate of one of them. It must have been shot by a sheep rancher.

We were so high up in elevation that we bumped into snow again. There were patches of it everywhere amidst the towering ponderosa pines. It started to rain when we got back down to regular elevation (about 6,000 feet). The temp dipped down to 71 degrees, and I actually felt a little chilly. I tell you, it's rough out here. :-)

We mosied over to Home Depot again and picked up more things for the house. This place has never looked better! We're putting in a mini herb garden on one side of the front porch, and lots of flowers on the other. I finished putting in the new screen door this morning. It's such a relief to be able to *open* the door without resorting to shoving and cursing to get out. One touch, and the door pops open. Ahhhh...

So anyhoo, back to my rant. My grandmother is nuts.

It's a good thing I've never felt related to her, or I'd be in tears. I'm starting to feel miffed about not being paid attention to, though. For instance....my 20th birthday was December 1st. My mom's stepmother sent me a card timed to arrive right on my birthday. Two weeks past and I still hadn't heard from my grandmother. My mom called her up and casually remarked on my recent birthday. I got a card in the mail a few days later...

While cleaning out this house, my mom and I have found piles of correspondence between Suzanne and tons of other people. She sends them cards, writes them letters longer then "Dear Wendy. Love Mom" and her email folders burgeon with lengthily correspondence. We know she pays attention to other people...Why not my mother and I?

When the docs were telling my mom she was going to die earlier this year, she told Suzanne about it. The next phone call my mom made to her, she didn't even remember.

I can be an egotistical, self serving snot sometimes, but at least I'm angelic the other 50% of the time. :-)

Material Stuff

Sorting through the mounds of the total junk in this house has really had an effect on mom and I. It's therapuetic for us to see something, go "That's junk" and throw it out. It's also very exasperating to see what her mom has spent her time, money and attention on over the years.

Growing up, my mom only had a few pieces of ill-fitting clothes. Meanwhile, her mother would go out and buy new things for herself, literally every day. Suzanne pretty much ignored my mother (Wendy) all of her life.

My Mom has always sent her letters and called, but Suzanne rarely has. Once mom complained that she never got a real letter from her mom, so Suzanne wrote at the top of a legal pad sheet, "Dear Wendy," and at the very bottom, "Love Mom".

My mom became disabled at a young age and ever since then has lived on a pitance. When I was young, mom tried to support her and I on $300 a month. When I was older, her income increased to a whopping $600 a month. Suzanne has never offered to help out. Once my Mom asked her for $100 to help her move into college. She never got any help. Meanwhile, Suzanne was living on more than $100,000 a year at the time.

With all that money to spend, you'd think they'd have something tangible to show for it. Nope. They're in debt up to their eyeballs. They refinanced this house when they were only a year away from paying it off. They pissed away the money, and now owe more on the house then it's worth. They recently traded in their 2000 Camry that was a year from being paid off, got $1,200 for it in exchange for entering into a 7-year contract for a $25,000 car that when the finace charges are computed, will have them owing $52,000.

Mom has been getting their finances in order, finding her mom and Dick homes to live in, selling everything in the house, putting the house and car up for sale, helping out in any way she can, etc. When my Mom asked her mom how many credit cards she owned, Suzanne said "I don't know". When she asked how much debt Suzanne was in, she replied "I have no idea"

To Be Continued...

Monday, March 22, 2004

We played hooky

Mom looked up at me from her perch on the computer chair. "I want to excape" she said furtively. We looked around outside to make sure nobody was coming, then quickly got into the car and drove away. It felt so good to be away from everybody's beck and call! For the past week, only a few minutes would pass in between people calling or knocking on the door. The yard sale on Saturday really wore us out, too.

I got us lost on some dirt roads in the nearby National Forest. We passed quite a few ranches and mini homesteads and only saw a few cars. We popped back out onto pavement and found ourselves near Pinetop-Lakeside, a fairly good sized town. We then drove to Show Lo and picked up some things at Home Depot.

The screen door on this house is impossible. It's bent all to heck, pieces are falling out of it, and you really have to yank to get it open. We sprung for a $88 storm/screen door. We also picked up some pansies, rosemary, calendula, nice yellow flowers of some variety, chives and a small pot of basil. We already have primer and paint for the front porch. This place is going to look a million times better!

While we were out, I splurged on something for myself. I bought a cowboy hat. :-) It's black with a black hatband that has small silver studs and intervals of brown leather strips wrapped around it. With the black leather cowboy boots I found laying around this house, I'm now ready to run off and join a ranch. :-)

In other news, we recieved the newsletter from the nursing home my grandmother will be moving to permanantly. An excerpt from it:

Gentle Reminder
Recently some concern has been expressed about the motorized scooters used on the property. If you drive a motorized scooter, please be mindful of others. We have had complaints of residents being run off the sidewalks and almost run over in the rec room because of excessive scooter speed.
Your understanding and cooperation in this situation will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

We went to see Dick in his nursing home yesterday. He was acting like his grumpy old self. He swore, shouted, and was very irate. They have him on 5 times the normal dose of sedation just to keep him managable. You can tell he's really going downhill fast. Last time we were there, he remembered who we were. This time, he had no clue. He's making less and less sense as time goes on. The only thing he's sure about is that he wants to escape.

As we went to leave, the nurse came out to say goodbye. In the time that she did that, Dick slipped out the back door and made it about 30 feet over lava rocks in just socks. (They took away his shoes so he can't make it too far when he does manage to get loose). I saw him in the rear view mirror, so I stopped the car and went to lead him back inside. When the nurse had him 10 feet from the door, he asked "Are the people who came to see me gone?" She said yes. I was standing right there and he didn't even realize that it was I who had just been in there visiting him.

I hope that when it's my time to go, I fall off a cliff into a solid bed of limestone. Something quick and relatively painless. Alzheimers sure seems like a sucky way to go.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Wing 9 rules!

I finally got around to checking my email, and found a sweet letter from John, my RA back at Loring Job Corps. John is the best RA that has ever been there and probably ever will be. John rocks! He's a total sweetheart, too.

Anyhoo, I've been sporadically sending wing 9 postcards. (I just realized I have a backlog of three postcards and a letter sitting in the glovebox of the van...oops!) I promise I'll mail them soon! They've been checking my blog, so I figured I should squeeze in the time to write something.

Today we had our first yard sale. We've been here at my grandmothers for exactly one week. She just had to go into a nursing home, so we're here to sell every last thing in the house, the house itself, and her car. I'm beat. It was 85 degees out today. I carried 95% of the stuff out of the house until help arrived in the form of my aunt, her two kids and husband. I had to eat a couple of creamsicles just to stay alive. :-) We've rented a 20 cubic yard dumpster. What we can't sell, goes in there. It's good for up to 5 tons. The sad thing is, we've only been here a week and it's almost half full.

The past week has been a blur of cleaning. This house is a hellhole. You would not believe the amount of pure crap that resides here. We literally had to carve a path to walk through the house....there was just so much junk, you struggled to find a piece of bare ground.

Speaking of crap....I've gone through 3 pairs of heavy durty gloves and about a gallon each of ammonia and bleach cleaning up the place. My grandmother's husband (Dick) is incontinent. When we got here, there were dirty old people diapers all over the house, and shit smeared across the entire toilet bowl, lid and base, shit in the shower, on the floor, etc.... I had to tackle that the first few hours. It was vile. Pardon my french, but it really was quite disgusting. Dick is now in a home and is being well taken care of. He has Alzheimers and has to be locked in, unfortunately.

Upcoming projects include painting the water-stained ceiling, shampooing and vacuuming the entire house, installing a new screen door, painting the front porch and a myriad of other things. Mom and I have been working every day from 7am until late (sometimes midnight) at night. It's one way to burn off the calories! We have another yard sale next weekend - in fact, every weekend until everything is sold.

I told mom that when we're finished here, I'm running off to be a cowgirl. I figure ranchwork is way easier than what we've been doing here :-) Seriously though, it's always been something I wanted to do. I grew up on a vegetable farm, now I want to get into cows. A big part of it is the allure of riding a horse, wearing cowboy boots and a suave hat. :-)

Gotta go, more work calls. I'll try to update semi-regularly now. The first week was a blur. It has to calm down a little now, right?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Now that Heather is back.....

Now that Heather is back, I'll try to keep my opinions on my own blog.....