Apr 30, 2011

Prayer for Aid Against Perils

This prayer comes from the Book of Common Prayer, which is basically a collection of books that dates back to before the Reformation.  It is used by all protestant religions and also the Catholic church to this day.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, oh Lord;

And by thy great mercy defend us from all perils

and dangers of this night;

For the love of thy only son,

Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welcome to my new page

I intend for this to be a page that will be a collection of prayers gathered from around the world, from all different religions.

I was raised as a young child in a Southern Baptist Church.  My mother was a Methodist.  Throughout my life I have been blessed enough to attend Catholic, Christian, Assembly of God, and Pentecostal churches.  Some had excellent sermons.  Some had excellent music.  Some had excellent rituals.  They were all different and yet all someway the same.  They all had God and people who loved Him.

Believe it or not, I almost became a Philosophy Major in college. 

I have always been interested in prayers, and how they may have changed throughout the years.  I have kind of collected them.  It started when I would run across one in a book, and then look up the reference and discover many really wonderful collections.

Throughout my life, I have been struck by their beauty, and at times have found that if you know a prayer by heart, you can say it when you can't find the words to pray to God as if you were having a conversation.  Sometimes there are no words.  The good news is, God already knows.  You don't even need words.  Prayer is tool that you can use.  It can almost be a way of meditation to put you into a place or frame of mind where you can get calm enough to feel God's presence.  Prayer can be a way of keeping you focused, but calm.

I have always been particularly jealous of the Catholic religion because they have so many prayers.  (Also, the Saturday night service option).  Many of the prayers you will find here will come from there.  I also have found great comfort in prayers to Mary, or the female part of God. 

I believe that whatever religion you belong to, when you pray sincerely, God always hears, whatever name you use.

I will probably Title each post with the title of the prayer to make it easier to look them up later.

If you know one that you would like to see posted, feel free to send it to me or I can link it, or you could become a guest poster!!  I don't have any prizes to give away, but I will glad give you a share of the $2.41 I have made from this blog so far.  And I think that is kind of fitting, being as it's sharing prayers and all, don't you?  Sharing prayers should be it's own reward.  I have a good feeling about it, anyway.

So, since it took me all afternoon to figure out how to finally actually add a page to my blog, I will see about figuring out exactly how to do that. 

Enjoy.  Relax.  Read a prayer.

Apr 29, 2011

Time to myself....

Tonight, my house will be quiet.

Tonight, no one will stumble into my house at any hour of the night.

Tonight, no dishes will have to be done.  No laundry either, unless I just feel like it.  I'm not thinking that is going to happen, tonight.

Tonight, I will not have to worry about anyone coming to my door.

Tonight, dinner can be a bowl of cereal.  Or popcorn.  Whatever I want!!

Tonight, I will be able to take a bath without locking the door.

Tonight, I will turn off the alarm and not have to worry about what time I will get up tomorrow.  This may not sound like much, especially given the fact that I wake up around 5 am every morning of the world, but it makes a big difference just knowing that I will not "have" to get up by any certain time tomorrow.

Tonight, I will be able to get on the computer anytime I want.

Tonight, no one will be killing zombies in my basement. 

Tonight, no one will be saying things like "Screenpeeker!!"  "Are you serious??"  "Really?"  "You just had to shoot me---REALLY?" 

Tonight, no one who weighs more than I do will run up the stairs yelling "Nobody kill me!!!"  Nobody who weighs less than I do will either.  Nobody will at all.

Tonight, I will be able to watch anything I want on TV, and if it means I land upon a show about Gigolos, well, so be it.  There will be no one to shield from such information.  Side note:  from what I've seen, men and women in this field make about the same amount of money also.  IF I had wanted to upset y'all, I would have said men made more and sat back and waited for the fireworks.  LOL

Tonight, I will be able to talk out loud to myself, sing, and dance around my house with no one to watch.  Or record me on their phone.

Tonight, I will probably miss all my kids and smell their pillows.  Except for the one who always sneaks the dogs in to sleep in his room.  I can smell his room without actually entering it.  All the way down the hallway.  Note to self:  More Febreze.

Tonight, I will not feel guilty about not cleaning that room.

Tonight, I will just shut the door and put it out of my mind, delirious with the freedom from guilt.

Tonight, I can even sneak the dogs in and let them sleep with me.

Tonight, I will have my long awaited reunion with my Laura Ashley sheets.  I am new to these.  A friend of mine found some and bought them for a fund raiser for our local Humane Society.  I picked them up for $10 and noticed they were size "large".  True story.  I thought to myself, this Laura Ashley person must not know anything about sizing sheets.  Well.  Turns out, it doesn't matter.  That Laura Ashley knows everything she needs to know about sheets.  I put my "large" sheets on my queen sized bed and have had a terrible time getting out of it ever since.  Either I'm depressed or that woman makes some damn fine sheets.  I'm going with the latter.  Best $10 I ever spent in my LIFE.

Tonight, I can stay up reading till 4 in the morning if I want.  It won't matter a bit.

Tomorrow, I will get back on the ride of life. 

Back into the swing of things. 

I will feel guilty. 

I will clean.

 I will fix meals.

But TONIGHT....................Tonight is all mine. 

I'm going to enjoy every second of it.

OK, so I watched the wedding...

At least I have the guts to admit it.  Turns out there is some "girly-girl" left in here after all.  But I didn't plan it .  It just happened.

I, who normally roll my eyes at all things wedding. 

I, who didn't even plan my own and is particularly proud of the one that I only spent $125 on.

I, who didn't even have a back up for my outside wedding, we'd just get married at the Elk's, where we were having the reception anyway!  Screw it! (My in-laws-to-be thought I was nuts.  They weren't wrong, but none of this has anything to do with weddings)

I, who scorned everyone who said anything about all this hoopla, woke up this morning and literally could not find anything else on any station that is supposed to carry news. 

At 5:30 a.m. I went to every news station I have and each and every time was met with the same scene.  Which did not include the happy couple most of the time and featured a lot of music that I am sure was beautiful if you were there, but frankly left a lot to be desired if you were in America and just wanted to know whether or not it was going to rain, or if we might have a tornado.

Anyhoo, at some point it did show the happy couple.  They looked stunning.  I had to wait for her to stand up before I loved the dress, but I thought it was beautiful. 

With Di's dress, I did not at the time, and to this day I still believe I have not met anyone else who would pick that dress.  But maybe this was the point.  Maybe she planned it that way.  If so, it worked.  Up to this point, I had a very bad feeling about this thing ever since he gave her the ring that Diana was given.  Why Diana did not drop that bit of bad luck like the old lady did with the "heart of the ocean" in The Titanic is beyond me.  (Oh!  Charles, I don't know what happened!  It just slipped off.  I must have lost weight!) 
I didn't care for it the first time, and that was before it had all the ugliness associated with it.  Of course, Now Diana was in my mind, and I remembered how right after we finally made it home from having the twins, I remember every single detail of her death.  Because I was up.  It was the only thing on the news, and would be for days.  My first thought was "Oh, those poor boys".  Then I remembered how Charles actually stood up for her in death, assuring that she would have a royal funeral and walked with those boys into that same church.  Here came the tears, and even worse, the realization that I had watched this man since he was born.  Really, I had.  Whether I wanted to or not.

By now I was hooked, and THEN I think it was Joan Lunden who told a story about a common woman who yelled to William that "his mum would be SO proud of him" and how he looked at her and got emotional, and by that time I had to go dig a new box of Kleenex out of the linen closet.  By the time I made it back, it was more of the crappy (no offense) music and I had time to wonder why on earth they would drag trees inside the church.  The church, it should go without saying, is absolutely phenomenal.

The camera's panned the audience. 
There is Camilla.  Ugh.  How she ever had the nerve to show her face in public again is beyond me.  Some people just have no pride.  They could be the lucky ones, for all I would know about that.  I have too much.  It's a burden I happily bear.
The Queen has most excellent taste in clothes.  Choosing the usual suit and hat, but today in a pale yellow.
Everywhere there are strange and mesmerizing hats. 

By the time we needed to leave the house, we  I didn't want to leave because they hadn't come out on the balcony and kissed yet, and of course I remember the Charles and Di AND Andrew and Sarah (oh, has it not been painful to watch that train wreck?) and I felt I somehow owed it to history to witness this.  As if it won't be replayed at every opportunity for the next 40 years.  This made perfect sense at the time, which is how I now know I was under the spell.  (Somewhere studio executives were opening champagne and celebrating their ratings.)

This is how they get you suckered in.  To bring myself out of it, we went and got donuts before school and work and they had these sugar cookie sandwiches with butter cream icing, and we all had one in honor of the happy couple.  I didn't mention this to anyone else, but that is what we did.  Don't tell the boys.

At the end of the day (I think that's an English expression, Fergie used to say it a lot at any rate, old chap!) I wish them all the best.  I hope they are very happy and have as many children of whatever sex as they want.  I hope they put that ring in the safe or vault or somewhere where it will finally rest in peace (anything that big is just tacky. I don't care if it's the Hope Diamond, which, incidentally, has not brought a lot of happiness to anyone either...), and I hope that they will above all lead a quiet, private life together. 

I will probably never bother you with such shallow drivel again.


Apr 27, 2011

In which we cry over Charlie the cat

First, I just have to say that I don't really care for cats.  At least, throughout my life I have never cared for cats, I have always preferred dogs.  I never hated cats, I just didn't really like them.  When you try to pick one up, all it's guts run to the other end, they shed on you, they often dig their claws into your flesh just because they like to do that kind of thing, and frankly, I just didn't trust them around children.  But that was before Charlie. 

Nevertheless, we have had quite a few kittens as pets.  Whenever the kids would talk me into having a kitten (or two) I would say "OK, BUT you have to understand that they are going to be outside cats, and cats do what they want.  IF THEY CHOOSE TO STAY, then they will be our cats, and we will get them fixed, and shots, etc., etc., but DON'T get too attached, because they are cats and they might just disappear."  I still stand by this advice, but I don't think we will be worrying about this problem for quite some time.  We stuck to it and many cats have disappeared with no more than a token tear shed, but that was before Charlie.

We have had Charlie for many years.  I don't know how many because he was one of many I figured would just disappear.  I knew better than to get attached.  We got him from one of the boy's babysitters, and got him fixed right off. He was actually the second Charlie we've had from that same place, the first on happily disappeared after befriending a recent widow in the neighborhood long ago.  We wished him well, and were not sad at his departure.  We were really doing good on the not getting attached thing at that point.  But that was before this Charlie.

Somewhere along the line our most recent Charlie got his leg broken.  I can't even remember how, but we nursed him through several weeks with a cast on his leg and when it came time for me to cut the tape away and take his cast off, he actually almost got mean with me.  I stopped and said to him "CHARLIE!!  You know I would never, ever, hurt you intentionally.  I just have to cut off the tape."  And do you know, he relaxed and let me do it without another protest.  He always seemed to understand what your intentions were.  He was not the kind of cat that would rub up against you, unless you invited him to.  Even then, he would just come over and sit by you.  I loved this about him because I can't stand cats that rub against me. 

With the kids, he would let my pretend grand baby pick him up UPSIDE DOWN and I would see his claws come out, then a pause, then they would go right back in again.  He would let himself go limp, to make it harder for her to drag him, and within seconds either I was there to help her carry him to the bench where he always hung out or she would give up and he would make his get-a-way.  He seemed to sense that she meant no harm.  "Eat!  Eat!  Eat bwekfas, Chaw lee".  But he wouldn't even defend his own food dish, and I suspect I've been feeding quite a few cats around the neighborhood for a long time.

After my mom died, every time I went outside there was Charlie, and I resented even seeing something else that I needed to take care of.  I felt bad about it, but that was just the way it was.  One morning I went out and there he was and I thought "oh, no, not again.  Just go away and leave me aloooooooonnnnne!"  I was whining in my mind.  At that moment, I heard my mother's voice give a little laugh and say "Just like God's love, that's Charlie.  Never pushing up to you but just always there waiting for you to notice."  And I realized two things.  I was really, really angry, and I probably needed to deal with that.  And my mother, like God, was still with me as close as my own heart.  It might have been at that point that I started getting used to Charlie and even become fond of him.

Over the years, I got used to his thumps on the front porch, being startled when he would suddenly emerge from the somewhere among the wreckage of the top shelf of the garage and jump all the way down, leaving the garage door up a little at all times, and admonishing every single member of my family, including the Cyclist, from feeding him EVERY time they went out the door.  He was probably the best fed cat, in terms of sheer volume, that ever lived.  Which may also explain the other cats hitting the all day buffet if they are in the area.......

Several times he has disappeared for up to a week at a time and we would think he was gone for sure.  I never could figure out where he went or what he was doing, but as he couldn't get anything pregnant, I figured it was nobody'e business but his own.  And when he came back?  He would meow outside and we would yell "CHARLIE?!?!" and he would meow again and Charlie would be back from whatever adventure he had been on and we would all rejoice that he was all right and now home.  He never made noise unless he wanted something.  No howling at the full moon or anything else from our Charlie.

Last night Charlie darted right out in front of a neighbor of mine, by chance my dentist and by God's grace one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing in this life.  He stopped and sat with me and held onto my hand as Charlie quietly died, and I stroked Charlie and told him it was all right and that he was the best cat in the world.  He told me when Charlie was gone for sure.  He told me to get a bag from the house and the shovel and he helped me bury Charlie under the big grass where he loved to pretend to be a fearless lion.  I hope it wouldn't embarrass that man to say that I can't think of a better person to have gone through that with, poor man, he felt so bad.  I told him the same thing I have always told the kids, how you can't get attached because cats do what they want.  I told him a lot of things and he just listened and dug.  I told him I used to be pretty good at not getting attached, but that was before Charlie.

I watched the boys come down the street, one standing behind the other on 1 bike, laughing all the way down the hill.  I will never forget that moment.  I've never felt so old.  I told them and held them while they cried.  We put some lilacs on Charlie's grave and then we all went in and cried some more.  Quite a lot, actually, kind of all night long.  When I locked up for the night, for the first time in years, I let the garage door go all the way down.  No Charlie to leave the door open for now.  Then I cried some more.

This morning I saw the same look on my son's face as he let the garage door go all the way down for the first time he can probably ever remember.  But he didn't cry.  He just took a deep breathe and came on to the car.  And I thought how he was growing up, and how losing a pet is part of life, and how he will never forget Charlie.  We were lucky to have him at all.

Apr 22, 2011

You MIGHT be going through menopause IF.......


....You spend most of your days trying to focus on "important" things, but can no longer remember what they are,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You can't sleep through the night anymore, but frequently drop off when trying to pay attention to "important" things,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You brush your hand lightly along your porch rail and  instead of getting a splinter, the tiny piece of wood gives you a long scratch that bleeds,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You cry uncontrollably for two days and a night when someone you only knew slightly but you saw them every day and you cannot for the life of you figure out why this has hit you so hard, let alone how to explain it to the poor confused man who shares your life,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You see some teenager with her boobs flopping around exposed, pushing a baby carriage with a newborn in it up to the park at 9:45 pm and are (almost----SO FAR!!!) completely taken over by an urge to stop your car, slap the girl, and steal the baby,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.  *OR, you might just be a good person.  I'm cloudy on this one myself and have had these urges WAY longer than I thought I might be going through menopause.


...You keep candy around and sneak around to eat it and then carefully hide the trash, and THEN lie to your kids about having it,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You spend your days looking for stuff you believe you have lost, only to get side-tracked by cleaning out a drawer that has needed cleaning for the last----9 years or so, and end up only looking through your baby book,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You often fantasize about being a superhero with the power to seal people's mouths shut,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.


...You openly talk to yourself out loud, and instead of being embarrassed when someone else hears you, you give the old evil eye, as if YOU are offended that they are eavesdropping on your conversation,

You MIGHT be going through menopause. 

*and then you can't remember where you were in your "conversation".


...after years or decades, of politely turning away Jehovah's witnesses and those poor lost souls who only want to clean your carpets for free, and NOW you just slam the door right in their faces,

You MIGHT be going through menopause.

I even waved on a kid I knew selling "magazines" the other day.  I think all they do is get your information and sell it another 5500 times.  But that could just be me.  In any case, the chances that I will ever want to spend money on trash to throw away are very, very slim indeed.  Give it up, public schools everywhere or deal with us menopausal women who are in no mood.  Your choice.  Consider yourselves warned there, too.

I am still looking forward to the hot flashes, despite being warned by wise women to be careful what I wish for.  I have not experienced night sweats, as of yet.

On the other hand, my skin is completely different, always scratched or bruised but it won't tan anymore. 

I am oddly empty of tears most of the time these days, except for the days I can't stop them from coming, and then I am hard pressed to find a reason for them!  Usually this happens after a young girl has cried for what I consider no reason and am mystified that they could be so emotional.  I think God does this to me on purpose, for obvious reasons.  How quickly we forget!

I find it hard to sit through the parts of the news that don't interest me or depress me too much to stick around for the weather report.  I hesitate to mention that I rail against meteorologists who get it wrong, but I used to.  Now I only watch the amazing Katie Horner, who is kind enough to cover our area even though it is 250 miles away from her, and is extremely accurate.  Word.  Channel 5 Kansas City.

I sit down to watch a movie with my kids and I end up asleep.  They don't even mention it anymore and often I wake up to find them gone and the movie still playing.  This is the exact situation, reversed, in which I used to leave them once they went to sleep for a nap.  I find the irony comforting.  I am reaping what I have sown.

I verbally abuse drivers who do not use their blinkers.  WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT ANYWAY??!!!  I mean, the turn signal is about the ONLY thing they have never changed the position OR the mechanics of in my whole life.  There is just no good excuse for it and people should be more self aware, otherwise they *may* get rammed for their own good one of these days.  I try to hold off but even I give in to temptation sometimes.  And folks, I am getting more unpredictable.  Consider yourselves warned.

The thing that is working for me, and take this advice at your own risk, is keeping my mouth full.  That way I am less likely to speak.  This was advice given to me by another woman who had been down this road already.  It was solid gold, if you don't mind wearing elastic waisted pants.  I am getting there.

I am currently down to three pairs of jeans that "fit" me, but I haven't totally gone "street rat crazy" on anybody. 
**Not counting that telemarketer from India who I enraged enough by asking him if he believed in Jesus to make him call me approximately 47 more times whispering Allllllllllaaaahhhhhhh.  Not a good move, if you value a telephone that doesn't ring unless it's a legitimate call.  But strangely emotionally satisfying to know that finally YOU are under THEIR skin.  Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.  (Throws back head and laughs a long, satisfied laugh).

Living, still leaning, and still trying to keep my mouth mostly shut.  Or at least full of candy.

Also, interested in finding a cute little NO SOLICITING sign to save the innocent from the long walk up my driveway.

Apr 19, 2011

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World......

A look at the headlines today:

Kids will no longer be able to participate in "dangerous games" such as Freeze, Tag, etc.  From NY:


Shakes head and mumbles about a new trend toward the "art of manliness".......fantasizes about getting rid of adults who have such idea's with a deadly game of Red Rover.  Tells self to get a grip.  Takes deep breath.

Here's something different:  The Feds are trying to get Blago to shut up.  BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.  .......Wonders at the incompetence of Obama to even be a thug.  The Clinton's would have had this guy knocked off and all his computers stolen a LONG time ago.....well, whatever comes for this guy, I 'm sure he has bought and paid for it.

Looking further,  a Texan reporter apparently  not only asked Obama a serious question (the nerve!), but expected him to answer it!  This is actually worth seeing 

.  And I believe it.  Kind of embarrassed (for our country) at how much of a whiny crybaby it makes O look like, though.  Asks God to continue to bless Texas, expecially with the undeclared war in the streets down there on the border........which nobody ever seems to want to report or talk about.

and finally: for the cherry on top of this crazy sundae:
Instead of getting a grip and stopping these insane searches by the TSA, Congressman Jason Chaffetz is drafting legislation that will require parental supervision during the pat-down of a child.  In other words, he thinks that making even more rules for patdown's will help.
  Airlines clearly do not get it.  Stop flying while we still have some rights left or we will be standing in lines for the rest of our natural born days.

I wish there was still land left undiscovered and the idiot population hadn't grown quite so fast.  But here I sit, right in the middle of all of this.  Is it any wonder I don't want to leave my house anymore????  It makes me wish for the old days, when men were men, war was war, and nobody would have ever patted down a child for anything, let alone cried over a game of Freeze or Tag.

When I say real life is beginning to resemble The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, I am telling the truth.

For a light ending, let's look at this.  It's no less depressing or stupid, but it is kind of funny.
Some people in FL spent $14,000 on 6,000 capes(like Superman wore) for the unemployed.  If you are wondering why they would do that, or what good a cape would do an unemployed person, you are not alone.  I, too, wondered the same thing. 

"Workforce Central Florida Director Gary J. Earl defends the program, saying it is part of a greater effort to connect with the community."

Does that clear it up for you?  Would wearing a cape like Superman make you feel more connected with the community?  NO?????

Me either.

Meet you at the funny pages the next couple of days, huh?

Apr 16, 2011

Sweet Nothings

Me, putting my makeup on while the Cyclist stands beside me looking through his phone for a picture:  "MY GOD!  Have you seen these dark circles under my eyes?!!"

Without looking up or missing a beat, the Cyclist replies "They are beautiful.  I look forward to seeing them every morning."

Good answer, aye?  This is just one of the joys of dating when you are older.  I guess I can say we are dating.  Whatever it is, we've been doing it for five very happy and hardly ever dramatic years.

Once, after we had both been diligently working on trying to get a piece of Saran wrap unstuck for 15 or 20 minutes, I said "I miss seeing more than just about anything, don't you?"  and he looked me straight in the eye and replied "Huh?" because another one  of those joys is that the men usually can't hear about half of what you say.  This can be a wonderful thing, considering that half of the things I say either don't really matter in the first place or are statements that could lead to deep conversations which men don't really enjoy to begin with.  Also, you can get them to agree to things that if they had heard you right to begin with, they would probably never have agreed to in the first place.  This only works as long as they are still pretending they can hear, though. 

Sadly, the Cyclist and I have now passed that point.  We now negotiate like professionals. 

For example:  The Cyclist asks what we are going to eat.  I give him two options (no more than two or it will take forever) like spaghetti or tenderloins.  If one of the choices involve getting out of the house and going to the store, the other choice is the obvious winner, since neither one of us likes getting out of the house, let alone going to the store. 

Should he pick the choice that involves going to the store, I will resist that choice.  He will offer to drive me to the store, picking me up and waiting at the curb, but will refuse to get out of the car to go into the store.  I will finally agree to go into the store.  This has become our habit.  Why he would agree to get out of the house long enough to get into the car and back out again, but refuse to go into the store is beyond my understanding.  I would never agree to that because it makes no sense to me.  To me, it would be easier to just do it myself.  This has become our routine and I just accept it.  I enjoy the curb service, and I have the strangest feeling that I may have agreed to something I "thought" he said.......

Apr 14, 2011

Girl Talk

Conversation between two adult women, both disgusted, one peri-menopausal (me):

Me:  Do you think any adult woman looks at any man as anything other than a child?

Other woman, after significant pause:  "Mormon's"

Hysterical laughter from both of us.

Make of that whatever you will, just don't take it too seriously.  It was just "girl talk" and I would be bereft without it.

Apr 13, 2011

I'm baa-aack

With warmer temperatures (sometimes), we have moved outside and been working on the yard.  Specifically raking and burning leaves and whatever the dogs have reduced to small foreign objects.  Mostly limbs out of trees.  The other night the wind was blowing pretty hard and blew a pretty big limb out of a Pin Oak. The dogs ran over joyously, treating that limb like the gift from God it probably was, and reduced it into about 9 smaller twigs within 40 minutes.  Really.  For this reason I have also been playing a lot of Pick Up Sticks.  I have reduced my love handles to the point of being able to get my pants buttoned again.    YES!  Not that I really mind being bigger, but I can't afford new jeans AND gas, so I had to make a decision.  I decided, as is my habit on High Energy Days, to HIT IT!  After a couple of days spent picking up sticks in my yard, my body now feels like Arnold Schwarzenegger's looked like in the 80's (note the emphasis on the feels  and the absence of the word "looks"). 

It was starting to really get to me, and just when we can no longer wear sweaters.  I hate it when that happens. 

I have stopped making my way steadily through bags of candy, at least temporarily.  One thing that I should mention, and this is a safety warning:  Do not buy Crystal Light hard candy.  Thinking this would save on calories, I bought a bag of them.  These candies have 1/2 of what looks like meant to be a hole like a Life Saver, but the hole only goes half way. 
Listen to me when I say that this CAN cause the candy, when you suck on it, to adhere to the roof of your mouth in a manner that feels pretty danged permanent, necessitating you to use your finger to try to break the suction, directly after which the candy will zing to the back of your throat, choking you in an embarrassing manner, should you be unfortunate enough to be in a public place.  Maybe even if you are alone in the privacy of your own home.   I was at work, and I hate to admit it, but this happened to me several times.  It seemed such a waste not to eat it when I already had them right there.  So, for what it's worth, beware the Crystal Light hard candy.

In other news, I have had to have a conversation with my youngest baby that included the phrase "No, dear, you cannot start dating when you are 13 years old."  I am baffled as to why in the world I would have to say that.  If you were thinking the world has gone crazy, I can only say that I think you would be correct.  I also would like to note the big sigh of relief from my oldest baby after I uttered this phrase, followed by the words "Why can't all parents be as strict as you?"
I swear it is the truth.  The odds of a child expressing appreciation for the strictness of a parent, at 13 no less, are infinitely small.  I am going to have to remember it for a very long time and so have now documented that it does happen. 
Who says God doesn't answer prayers????

My only reply was "I have no earthly idea, honey, but all I have in this world that means anything to me is you kids, and you are not going down the wrong path on my watch", said with a smile and a pat on his leg as we drove down the road.  It was nothing but the honest truth, and I have the feeling we will be coming back to that conversation again, perhaps several times.  I won't go into what else I said but it involved anatomically correct words and my two babies begging me to stop. 

It went as well as can be expected

Any parent worth their salt is relentless.  Believe it, know it, live it.