Monday, May 31, 2004

Embarassing Mother

I came in for supper to find out my mom had emailed the guy I have a raging crush on, and asked him what he thought of me.

I leave her unsupervised, and look what she does! I think it's payback for teaching Sam to ask her if she feels like she has hives...and if she's shifted her paradigm lately. (My mother hates the word paradigm.)

I'm going back outside until I'm not as bright a shade of red. :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2004

National Trails Day

Saddleback Summit in Maine

Saturday June 5th is National Trails Day! Check out the website below for fun things to do in your state.

American Hiking Society

I'm hoping to spend the day working on a trail with the Green Mountain Club. I want to use a pulaski. It's my favorite trail tool.:-)

Gardening with a vengence

Runaway Grass

I've been gardening with a vengence since coming home. The grass is taking over the place! It was already knee high in places when we arrived. Some of it is already belly button height.

I bought a weedwacker in order to find the garden. Four hours later, I uncovered about 1/4 of it. I was even out there past 9 pm, weed wacking with my headlamp on.

I've cleaned out 13 beds and a couple of tires so far. Some of the beds are pretty weed intensive...I spent more than an hour and a half on one of them. Gotta love witchgrass :-)Tomorrow is more of the same. I'm trying to get as much as possible prepped so mom can go out there and plant while I'm at work.


Ok, I finally admit it. The alligator was dead when I took its picture. If you go to my profile and click "View Full Size" you can see the hole that goes right through its head. (I airbrushed it out when I first put it on the website)

I was dike walking in Florida when I stumbled across the dead gator. Lacking anything better to do, I picked it up and took some pictures. My step-grandmother (the nice one) freaked out when she saw the picture of me biting it. I had her convinced it was actually alive. Heh heh heh :-)

Scary politics

I'v been working out in the garden this weekend to get it all ready for planting. I's nice to have more than one sunny day in a row!

I just came onlnine to check my mil when I found this scary article:

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005
The Draft will Start in June 2005

There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately.

$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. Please see website: to view the sss annual performance plan - fiscal year 2004.

The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18--26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.

Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a
shelter and includes women in the draft.

The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.

Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins that you know. Let your children know too -- it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!

Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.

Friday, May 28, 2004

I'm baaaaack!

It's good to be back! We got home about a week ago. Shortly thereafter, the modem decided to take a hike. Last night at 1:30am, I had an AHA! moment. I finally figured out how to make it work. We were all going batty without internet access - especially me, because I knew I had some good emails. :-)

So many interesting things to talk about! I'll fill you in tomorrow when I'm more coherent. I'll also write all those backlogged emails.

Testing new feature

Testing Blogspot's new photo program. This is my cat Aleka, asleep in the window in the computer room. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 17, 2004

In Colorado

Hi from Gunnison, Colorado!

I'm sitting at the library waiting for 3:30 to roll around. We have an appointment for the van to get its brakes fixed. Yesterday we were driving down I-70 when we heard an awful CLUNK! We figure some important part of the brakes must have fallen off, because ever since then, there's this horrible grinding noise whenever mom steps on them. It also sounds like a nest of mice have taken residence in the brake housing. Squeak squeak squeak!

Mom had decided a few days earlier that she wants my van when we get back home. Maybe this van caught wind of it and is protesting...

We should be home in a week or so. I may have to get a library card at this place if the repair takes a while. :-) Currently I'm betting the repair bill will be 261.53, mom says 150, and Sam says 200. It's a good thing I recently got my own credit card!

Anyhoo, the scenery has been beautiful. We've been to Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison, Curecanti, Colorado National Monument, Capitol Reef, and a few others. It's actually the cheapest way to travel, since mom gets a 50% discount on camping fees in the National Park System.

If you're legally disabled, you can get a Golden Access passport. It entitles you to free entrance to all units in the National Park system (388+) and half price camping.

If you're over the age of 62, you're entitled to a $10. Golden Age passport, which entitles you just to the free entrance.

If you're neither, you can buy a Park Pass for $50, which entitles you to free entrance.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


I'm typing this while listening to Sing, Sing, Sing preformed by the Boston Pops. If you don't bounce along to the song, you must be dead. I'm such a sucker for it. :-)

I'm back to being my usual perky self. I know that we're going far, far away from here soon! Tomorrow by noon is the plan.

Today was the last day of our sale. Towards the end of the day, mom made a sign "Buy the tables and everything on them for $75. We want to go back to Vermont!" One of our regular customers came back and actually bought everything! Yippie!!!!

We've only been here 2 months but we already know most of the neighbors. There are some awfully nice people around these parts.

I went to borrow a square drive screwdriver bit from the guy across the street tonight. When we went into his garage to look for one, there was my ultimate dream car. It was a RED 1950 Chevy pick up truck, with curvy wheelwells and running boards. It's in excellent condition. I positively drooled.

Joe and I spent a long time poking underneath the hood. I sat in the cab for awhile and fiddled with all of the cool knobs and buttons. I unerved him when I laid on my back and scooted underneath to get a better look at the chassis.

Joe's brother is the one who actually owns the truck. He's put about $4,600 into it, including the purchase price. When I asked the brother if he'd ever sell it to me, he said he'd let it go for $5,000. Ooooooh, if only I had that much money :-) I would have bought it in a second!

I must stop drooling now.

Anyhoo, no idea when we'll be back in Vermont. Mom wants to visit a couple of the National Parks we haven't explored much in, like Zion. The last time we were in Zion, it was 118 degrees. Our car didn't have air conditioning. We skedaddled pretty quick!

More interesting things - last night I called Job Corps. It was so nice to talk to my roomate Sarah, good friend Patrick, and the cute R.A., John. :-) Mark was also in the office, so I got to congratulate him on getting his diploma. Way to go Mark!

Another vote for being a carpenter again came in today. It amuses me that there were so few (4) people who voted for me to get a boyfriend. I guess with all of the no-holds-barred blogging I've been doing lately, it scared you all. :-)

Speaking of blogging, I found a fascinating blog yesterday. It's the journal of a porno store clerk. It was featured on National Public Radio a while back Porno Blog

The end is near!

Yippie! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We're planning to get the heck out of dodge (Concho, AZ) tomorrow or the next day.

We'll be shlepping my 9 year old cousin Samantha back to Vermont with us. You can read about her on my moms blog. I'll no longer be an only child, but I think I can cope for the couple of months she'll be with us...

It'll be fun to have somebody to do things with! We can go to the circus, run around playing dress-up, go swimming at the local holes, tear down our road on our bikes, etc etc. I'll also finally have somebody to lay the blame on when I do something bad. Telling mom the dog did it just hasn't been working lately... :-)

I'm cleaning out my room for her to have and finally moving into my own house. How adult of me! It's been a long time coming.

The poll results have shown that an overwhelming majority of you guys want me to go back to work as a carpenter and get the van running. (I'll post the numbers when I find them again) The plan then is to buckle up my toolbelt and work my butt off. I want enough money to get my van in tip top shape and insured (<$2,000), sock away enough for taxes ($2,000) and save up for my 5,000+ mile hike ($6,000 or so).

Off to pack!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Going Home

We've held an indoor sale for the past two days to get enough money to go home on. Everything in this house now sports a price sticker. We try to sell it even if it is nailed down.

Today we sold the flagpole out front, some shelves that were screwed to the wall, and shutters from the window, among other things.

Today I made an almond cake with cream cheese frosting. I had my aunt bring over the beaters for the cream cheese because we had sold all of the utensils already. I had to swipe the bundt pan from the sale table and peel off the price sticker to have something to bake it in. Upcoming meals are going to be on the creative side as we use up the last of the food in the house....

For lunch I steamed the last of the frozen tamales using crumpled up aluminum foil in place of the steamer basket. Worked good.

AOL hasn't been letting my mother or I respond to email. Pretty soon we won't even be able to look at it, because the power, internet and other things haven't been paid for this month. Anyhoo, off to bed. It's been a long day.

Sunday, May 02, 2004


My mother and I have been doing everything under the sun for my grandmother and her husband for the past 2 months.

We've gotten their financial health in order, found places for both of them to live, furnished the new apartment, held sales to clean out their old house and get them some money, put their house and car for sale, taken care of the creditors, brought everything they needed to their respective nursing homes (Suzanne's is 5 hours away), done EVERYTHING they needed and requested.

We've gone $2,000 in debt to pay for our food, gas, and other living expenses while here.

Suzanne gave us $56 for our two months of solid work. (She didn't actually give. I asked)

We have no money to get home, let alone pay off the debt we incurred while here. We've already sold most of the things in this house and deposited the money in her account. (She's already spent it by buying knick-knacks and bouncing more than $2,000 worth of checks)

We haven't even gotten a thank you. The last time we were in Mesa to move her to her apartment, she told me to go back where I came from...among other things.

If you'd like to read my mother's take on this, check her blog: Wendy's Blog

If you'd like my grandmother Suzanne Dudden Moon Lupke's side of the story, feel free to call her at her at: (480) 218-4578

She'd probably welcome the phone call. She's screwed everybody else in her entire life. Her other two kids don't speak to her, none of her church congregation has called or visited and she has no friends to speak of, because she's screwed them all at one time or another. We're just the latest people on the list.

Poisonous spider bite????

I think we are in deep trouble....this is a bad bite and the skin and tissue is starting to die!

Any ideas?????????

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Blog of Note

I've been reading a Wal-Mart Blog for the past few weeks. I just checked it, and found a guest post by somebody who lives 12 miles from me. Small world. :-)

Wal-Mart Blog

I'm pro-Walmart for many reasons. I'll expound later. For now, I'm still in a funk after being royally screwed by my grandmother. Since I don't have anything nice to say, I'm keeping my mouth shut for a little while. :-)