Zap It!

I don’t usually blog about products, but today I am.  I have come across the most awesomest (is that a word?!) “tool”.  The thingy is called The Original Bug Zapper by Zap Master.  Have you ever seen those bug lamps people have out on their porches or decks? The kind that makes a zap/sizzle noise when the bug hits the light? WELL….. the past several weeks we have had a fly/gnat problem at our new house.  Anytime a door was opened, about 50 billion bugs joined our family. Ugh! It was driving us all crazy.

The other day at Walmart my husband showed me this thing he had found to kill flying bugs. I said, “let’s get it”. Now this thing looks just like a badmitton racket. The “racket” is strung with little pieces of wire and is powered with 2 AA batteries.  You use it like a fly swatter but it zaps the bugs…..okay, well it electrocutes them in mid air. Don’t be sad….they don’t even know what hit them. Literally. Now, don’t go calling PETA or anything….it’s just gnats and flys, well and an occasional moth. When the bug hits the racket it not only makes that zap sound, but the electricity turns the wire a blue color. I was so excited to get rid of the pests that I was running around the house like Luke Skywalker with his light saber. May the force be with you.  Take that!!!! Zap! Zap!

Our house is now a much nicer place and I can actually cook in the kitchen without having to bat away flies and gnats. (and believe me they were very pesky….and on my last nerve) Our house is now a bug free zone……but I have my Zapper out and ready for use….just in case.

NEA is a nightmare!

As a new school teacher I was expected to join the National Education Association. I was young and naive, so I signed up and paid some very healthy dues to belong to this teacher’s union. After several years I started doing some research on the NEA…on my own. I didn’t just listen to what I was being told by NEA reps. When I started digging more deeply into what the NEA supports AND funds (with my dues money!) I knew I had to get out….and get out quickly.

NEA is a huge union of  educational professionals.  I was under the mistaken assumption that they cared about our country’s children and those that taught these children.  I thought my dues money was going towards supporting educational policies…policies that would help the system.  I was wrong. So wrong.

I’d like to submit an article that I read recently that gives just a small window into the mind of   “the elite” of the NEA. (because I believe many teachers don’t know the real truth…and if they did they’d be appalled. )

Peter Heck wrote an excellent article that deserves to be read.

Tim Horton’s AND Coldstone Creamery

I am in heaven! Well, as close as one can get to heaven while still being on earth. On the way to Wal-mart this evening, Scott and I were driving through Bellefontaine. I was minding my own business looking out the van window and pondering the deepest questions of life….when BLAM! There is was! A new sign going up underneath the Tim Horton’s sign. Cold Stone Creamery. A combination that I’m sure makes the angels sing. Not only the best coffee and hot chocolate around…but now they are teaming up with the best ice cream around. Who knew there could be such bliss?
The ice cream side hasn’t opened yet, for now it is just the sign that has me all excited. I cannot believe my good fortune. Life is good.

Who Is That Woman In The Mirror?

Okay. I admit it to the population at large.  I do color my hair. My childhood blonde started going dark in college and I didn’t like it. (Nothing against you brunettes or redheads, just for me…I liked my blonde) It was around that time that Loreal and I became good buds. Well, last night I was staring at myself in the mirror as I have a tendancy to do. Not because I’m vain but because I think to myself,   “Lord have mercy. Girl you need some work.”  Of course, I say this in the most loving, well intentioned way….. Well, to be honest I have not had the time nor the energy to properly maintain my lovely golden locks as of late. Lets just say that I need a touch up. Oh, Okay! Fine. I need an extreme makeover. As I was giving myself the once over last night I saw it.  A white hair. It stood out like a beacon in the night. It mocked me. I was appalled! I came in closer to do an intensive inspection of the crown area.  What? A couple more!  For the love of all that is good….what is happening to my hair???? That’s it. I’m making a Walmart run. Tonight is color night and that is all there is to it.

Somewhere along the way something happened. How can this be? When did I get old? Where’s my ball cap?!

Joe Lives Under The Tub

Joe is very nervous and likes to not be disturbed. Loud noises scare him. So, Joe has decided to live under the whirlpool tub in the master bathroom. Yeah, you heard me. Under it. Oh, did I forget to mention that Joe is one of the two indoor cats that we own? Joe is a big scaredy cat. Any noise and he thinks someone is out to get him, and he runs for the hills….or in his case the bathroom. When we first moved to our new house, here in lovely rural Ohio we thought Joe had escaped when a door was accidently left open.

We fretted for two days and feared the worst.  We thought maybe he had made a nice, chubby, abeit furry dinner for some wild animal.  Domestic indoor cat ala mode. My husband and I even walked around the area calling his name, hoping that the corn would part and Joe would miraculously appear before us in all of his black and white furriness. Nothing.

The morning after our search I was um……sitting in the bathroom, minding my own business so to speak. I began to hear an ever so soft, but undeniable scratching sound. My first thought was, “We had better not have mice in this brand spanking new house!” I leaned over from my sitting position and put my ear against the wall…..listening for the sound of some measly rodent. I didn’t hear anything in the wall.  As I’m leaving the bathroom I heard it again! This time I looked down to see Joe emerging from the back underside of the tub. (we have a garden style tub that sits in a corner and you can’t really see all the way back in there) Well, after giving Joe what for, for his thoughtless behavior of hiding for the past two days, I pet him. He was happy to see me, the big goof ball.

I went and told my half asleep husband that Joe, the prodigal cat, had returned…..okay, so he didn’t run away but he did hide and that is just as bad…especially, when you are sure that he is dead and half eaten. So now, if you should ever come to visit and have to use the master bathroom….don’t be surprised if you have company.

Walking and Talking

Several months ago I had mentioned to my friend, Diane, that I really needed to get back to my power walking routine. I used to walk about 20 miles a week and circuit train several days a week. Well, that workout had been totally and utterly forgotten fallen by the wayside over the past couple of years while my family has been making the BIG move to Ohio…..and my “fluffliness” has overtaken me my poor bod has suffered for it.

So, Diane says to me,  “I’ll walk with you, but we’ll have to do it in the morning before my husband leaves for work.”  So, at 5:30 am every week day (and sometimes Saturdays) we are pounding the pavement…in the dark. Luckily, both of us are good at prying our eyes open without too much trouble morning people. It’s great because not only do we get our 4.5 miles in a day, but we get to solve all the world’s problems before breakfast. Questions of the world? Any subject, any at all–and we’ve probably discussed them. and we’ll tell you what we think

I think I’m finally seeing some improvement in my “fluffiness”….and by improvement I mean less fluff, or at least it has shifted around or firmed up or well, something.  Which is a good thing. Woot! Woot! Believe me, I’ve got a long way to go—but at least I’m doing something.  I guess it helps that I’m now drinking enough water these days to float a boat properly hydrate myself and flush out my system. (okay–the pun WAS intended)

I still have a beef with the unfair fact that men can lose weight so much easier then women. Okay, so maybe I harbor some resentment over this fact….and I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it either! Yeah, and while I’m on the subject and I’m thinking about it….we also have hormone issues, “that time of the month” and we have to shave our legs. Well, okay women don’t have to shave their legs, but if they don’t then they are hairy rebels.  You get the picture.  I wonder if we didn’t end up with the short end of the stick here? Nah….I guess not. ‘Cause all us women know that, after all, we ARE capable of solving all the worlds problems before breakfast.

My Alter Ego

Most of you know me as Dawn. Forty-one year old wife and mom to three teens.  Christian,  former special education teacher–now home schooler, conservative talk radio listener, and sweet tea addict.  This is pretty much me in a nutshell. What you don’t know is that for the last 10 years I have had an alter ego. Her name is Lou-rraine. (with a southern twang) Lourraine is the “southern” mama that resides in all (okay, most) of us. She has been making “visits” since around the time my son started kindergarten. Lourraine isn’t around all the time, but she does enjoy making appearances whenever possible. She is quite the ham when left to her own devices.

Years ago, when riding in the car,  Lourraine would sometimes say things like, “Oh yuck. Road kill ahead. I hope I can straddle what’s left of that there opposum because I don’t want guts on my clean tires.”  To which my young son would make loud gagging noises in the back seat.

Or when my son would do something disobedient and Lourranine would say, “Son, I know I’m speakin’ English here. And I know you been taught English yer whole life. So stop looking at me with that perplexed look on your face…like I’m speaking some foreign language. Son…Son?…SON!!! Are you paying attention?!”

Or “If I told you once I told you fifty million times do not eat old food that you find in the couch cushions. Lord help me! Don’t ya know that you can get some sort of black, hairy tongue disease if you eat an old stale cheeto or hard as a rock M&M? That is plumb disgusting. What? You already ate it? Well, if your tongue starts growing fur, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Or one of Lourraine’s great lines: “Listen your mama and daddy didn’t raise you to act the fool. You get in there and you mind your manners and make me proud. Do I look like I care if everyone else is doing it? I am not their mother. I am YOUR mother……the good Lord gave me YOU to raise. I intend to do a good job of it. This is serious business.  And when you go in there remember this—GOD IS WATCHING YOU, and He will tell me if you misbehave. God and I talk about you. Just you remember that.”

Now, many years went by and like I said Lourraine made periodic visits, that usually ended up in fits of giggles and “mommy do that funny voice again”.  When I married Scott and became step mom to his two children, well they had never met Lourraine. She was a tad nervous to just prance around in front of strangers…as she was a southern lady and all.  But as time would have it, one day she popped out of nowhere. My new family found her to be quite hilarious…crazy….but funny none the less. They embraced her eccentricities… like they had a choice:)

On a trip this past fall we, as a family, decided that Lourraine needed to meet a family member that because Scott and I had only been married for 3 1/2 years, she had not met yet. The whole family would be in on it.   When the family burst into through the door after our long journey to visit, hugs were had by all. After all the “nice to meet you’s” Lourraine said, “I tried to get Scott to stop by the side of the road and strap the dead deer to the roof of the van. I thought the least we could do while visiting is provide a meal. You see some people see road kill on the side of the road and think “ewww”, but we see road kill and think “fast food”. Plus I think the antlers would make a real spiffy addition to the front of the van. Kind of like those long horn things ya see in Texas. ”

I know this particular aunt was probably thinking “Scott married himself a bonafide nut job.” You could see the panicked look in her eyes. That is until we all burst out laughing. Relief. Pure relief. Shew….she’s not really crazy. Well, at least not any crazier then the rest of us. Thank goodness she’s not certifiable.

So, Lourraine being the respectable southern lady that she is, tries to hold her tongue whenever possible, but sometimes if you catch me……..I mean her in the right mood you never know what might pop out of her mouth. She has such pearls of wisdom to share with her family. Things like, “Soda is nothing but acid that will eat the teeth right out of your head…then you’ll have to spend the rest of your life gumming applesauce for your dinner. Is that what you want?”  or “Dear sweet, sweet children of mine, you are offending my sense of smell. When was the last time you slapped on some deoderant? Honey, it don’t work if you don’t use it.”

Ahhh…….the world is a better place after Lourraine straightens things out.

I’ve Only Been Driving For 25 Years

My husband and I found out the other day that in order to get our Ohio drivers license we need to take a test. Not a driving test….but you know, answer the questions kind of a test. Oh, and not only that, but we found out that the tests are only given on certain days AND just so happens NOT on the day we were there. Wouldn’t you know it?

I was reading through the Ohio rules and regulations booklet that the cheery young woman handed to us.  I felt compelled to read it since there will be a test. I figure since I’ve been driving for DECADES I should know this stuff. Yet, I still get nervous thinking about a test. I asked some friends here in Ohio and they assured me it was very easy. Okay, girls. You better be telling me the truth.

After getting half way through the booklet this afternoon (it was raining and I had nothing better to do…obviously) I skipped to the back of the booklet for the sample test. I am proud to say that I got 10 out of 10 questions correct. If I had missed any of the questions I wouldn’t tell you anyway because it would have been humiliating.  I really DID get them all correct. No, I’m not lying!

Rest assured I will not be mowing down any school children getting off a school bus with flashing red lights, nor will I pull out into oncoming traffic when making a right hand turn on red. I am also quite sure I can handle the “who goes first?” question at a 4-way stop. I was reminded that the speed limit through residental areas is 25 miles an hour, unless otherwise posted. So there you go—I can now drive in a neighborhood near you!

I have also learned that there are vehicle inspections here in the Buckeye State before one can get their vehicle tags. This is new to me. In Tennessee one can drive just about anything as long as it has 4 wheels and a motor. I’m serious. I’ve seen cars with no doors, no hood, not much of anything. The whole car was held together with some Bondo and Mighty Mend It (Billy Mays R.I.P). I myself have no car to inspect considering I totaled my poor Camry a few weeks back, but my husbands van will need a new windshield due to an unforseen piece of lumber from Lowe’s making a sudden move to the front of the van.  Stupid wood.

I guess that is it for now. I’ve got to go. Maybe I’ll jump in the van and drive into town. Just for kicks.

The Pledge


I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

In 1892, 1923, 1924 and 1954 the American people demonstrated enough concern about the actual words in the Pledge to make some necessary changes. Today there may be a tendency among many Americans to recite “by rote” with little thought for the words themselves. Before continuing with our tour, let’s examine these 31 words a little more thoroughly.

I Pledge Allegiance—– I Promise to be faithful and true (Promise my loyalty)
to the flag to the emblem that stands for and represents
of the United States—- all 50 states, each of them individual, and individually represented on the flag
of America yet formed into a UNION of one Nation.
and to the Republic—- And I also pledge my loyalty to the Government that is itself a Republic, a form of government where the PEOPLE are sovereign,
for which it stands,—- this government also being represented by the Flag to which I promise loyalty.
one Nation under God,—– These 50 individual states are united as a single Republic under the Divine providence of God, “our most powerful resource” (according to the words of President Eisenhower)
Indivisible,—- and can not be separated. (This part of the original version of the pledge was written just 50 years after the beginning of the Civil War and demonstrates the unity sought in the years after that divisive period in our history)
with Liberty—- The people of this Nation being afforded the freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness”,
and Justice—– And each person entitled to be treated justly, fairly, and according to proper law and principle,
for All.—– And these principles afforded to EVERY AMERICAN, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or any other criteria. Just as the flag represents 50 individual states that can not be divided or separated, this Nation represents millions of people who can not be separated or divided.

Thus it is that when you Pledge Allegiance to the United States Flag, You:
*Promise your loyalty to the Flag itself.
*Promise your loyalty to your own and the other 49 States.
*Promise your loyalty to the Government that unites us all,
Recognizing that we are ONE Nation under God,
That we can not or should not be divided or alone,
And understanding the right to Liberty and Justice belongs to ALL of us.

For more about the Pledge go to this page.: