Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Not dead but tryin

So. About two weeks ago, I got stung by a wasp on my foot. I'm allergic. This was PAIN in new ways. I thought I'd been stung by a scorpion at first. Bees don't hurt like this. Fire ants don't hurt like this. The European Paper Wasp is a cast iron BITCH of firey death and destruction. It felt like someone had put a cigarette out on my foot. Luckily, it was a single sting on top of my foot, and I got ice on it and benedryl in me fast, but I was miserable for days.

In the middle of that recovery, with my system already weakened, I went on a rabid cleaning spree of my bedroom, the full dusting/vaccuming/bagging/sorting/washing chaos associated spring cleaning or massive nesting. Without a dust mask. Having four cats.


Cue massive sinus infection. I'm still recovering, it's been about a week. Although, it seems as though nature used it to help me make up for the last six months without decent sleep. I've spent the last week in a near-coma, doing little more than sleeping. And of course, the ragweed count has been topping the charts for the last few days, which isn't helping.

Rita is coming.

My parents, who have stayed through every single hurricane since they moved into that house 40 years ago, have bugged out. They got my grandparents out, up to Wylie at my aunt's, which makes perfect sense. They aren't in good shape, and MUST have electricity, and besides, just wussy Allison flooded their place.

But even my baby sister, who hiked across Europe alone, has bugged out. As I said before, Houston is a swamp, and has every intention of returning to that state with even non-hurricane heavy rainfall.

Mercifully, they aren't coming here, or -I- would have bugged out. So we do have some emergency crash space, but no room for pets brought in, considering Zamboni doesn't take strange animals well and tries to eat them, and I don't think our short little gate would keep a dog in the yard. Besides, it's just too damn hot to leave a dog outside right now. We've been breaking heat records this week.

Current projection is that even this far inland, Rita will still be a Cat 1 when she hits us. Not much of a big deal, we desperately need rain, and the only way our position would flood would be if pretty much all of DFW was under about 10 feet of water. The real threat is the potential of tornadoes spawned by the storm.

Freeways are parking lots. There are No Hotel Rooms in TX, period, evacuees are having to head out of state to find places to sit out the storm. I-45 is totally northbound now, the southbound lanes opened up to northbound traffic to speed the evacuation.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Dateline: September 11, 2001

The first plane hits. DG wakes me up, in time for me to see the second plane strike the WTC.

After some deliberation, and a sheer mental and emotional need to have them with us, DG goes and brings the kids home from school.

Dateline: September 8, 2005

Thing 2: Mama?
Me: Yeah, rabbit?
Thing 2: You remember that day when the bad guys attacked? And you came and got us out of school and brought us home? And I held your hand while you cried?
Me: (quiet hug) Yeah, baby, I remember.

She was in kindergarten. Four years. She still remembers. Not all of the details, of course, but she remembers.

Time passes, but is not forgotten.

(while watching CNN video)

Thing 2: Mama ... is that from the hurricane?
Me: Yes, baby.
Thing 2: Oh. My. God. I HATE hurricane Katrina. (note: I wasn't aware how much she even knew about it.)
(long pause)
Thing 2: Mama? What about all of the little kids down there? What happened to them, and the babies?
Me: (sighs) Some of them managed to get out with their families. But not all were able to. A lot of people died down there, and some of them were kids.
Thing 2: It's not FAIR!

You can only shield them from so much, and even when you do, they are going to find out. And some things shouldn't be forgotten, or glossed over, or ignored.

Insomnia Zombie

It was past 7 am this morning when I finally fell asleep. That was WITH medication assistance. I won't admit to how much I had to take to finally pass out, however, for the paranoid, I know well my own medication limits (and how my body does or doesn't to it, with my effed up brain chemistry), but it hasn't taken that much in a long time.

Out of that, I got less than 7 hours sleep. Probably closer to 6.

Haven't had a cycle quite this bad in a long time. Sure, I go through the phases, but with chronic insomnia, it tends to sneak up on you, and you don't realize just how bad it is until you have nights like last night, or the 48 hour days. I've gone more than 72 hours solid without a single hour of sleep before. And I ACHE from the lack of real sleep. Both brain and body hurt, and I feel like I'm in a fog.

On Insomnia.

There's multiple ways in which insomnia affects people. There's the "can't go to sleep" folks (sleep onset insomnia) that can lay in bed for hours without passing out. I'm one of those. There's the "early wakers" (sleep maintenance insomnia) who go to bed with no problem, then will suddenly snap wide awake well before they've gotten enough sleep. Occasionally I have this problem as well, but I'm lucky enough that if I don't move, usually I can drift back off.

But then there's a third problem, and it's very common to those with fibromyalgia, RSD, and other chronic pain disorders, as well as those suffering from depression. REM disturbance (REM rebound, excessive dreaming, where the body leaps right into REM instead of going through the stages). Or rather, in my case, Too Damn Much REM sleep.

I am a Stage 5 sleeper. I go from Stage 1, which instead lasts at least an hour or longer when I finally start to drift, to Stage 5. Stage 3/4 damn near doesn't exist.

Active sleep. I wake up TIRED, because my brain is active all night.

And I've been doing this for 25 years. Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Does a Body Good?

I saw the commercials for the new Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares, and grimaced. I figured the things would be absolutely terrible, as bad with the excess "garbage" as granola bars and other so-called "healthy" portables.

I was actually pleasantly surprised when I looked at the labels. The calories are a bit high, as is the sodium, but for the most part, they really are no worse for ingredients than the instant oatmeal packets. And vitamin-wise, they're surprisingly high in nutrition value. Of course, they don't stack up to Real Oatmeal, IE, the stuff you actually have to cook, but not bad at all.

Let's see, comparatively, against old-fashioned plain oatmeal, unflavoured, nothing added:
--220 calories, versus 150
--Total fat: 4 grams, versus 3.
--Cholesterol: oo, not so great, 15 mg versus 0.
--The killer is the sodium. 230 mg versus 0. Ow.
--Carbs: 44, versus 27. Dietary fiber 3, versus 4.
--Protein: 4 g, versus 5

HOWEVER ... then you get to the vitamins.

--Vitamin A: 20%, versus 0
--Calcium: 20%, versus 0
--Iron: 20%, versus 10%

The rest is the Breakfast Squares only, as the plain oatmeal has none. Vitamin E 10%, Thiamin 20%, Riboflavin 20%, Niacin 20%, Vitamin B6 20%, Folic Acid 20%.

Granted, there are things in them that are not exactly on my diet. But in controlled amounts, and especially as a "sweet" treat, they sure as hell beat out banana bread, or any other form of sweet delivery besides fruit.

The biggest surprise came when I went ahead and bought a box, figuring I'd try them. The store didn't have the Oatmeal Raisin version, which I will now be hunting down. They did, however, have Banana Bread. Hmm. So I grabbed them.

There are chopped dried banana bits in them. Not bad. *nibble nibble* Moist, but not sticky. Hmm. You know I think I kinda like these. *nibble chew*

Maybe I better eat another to find out. Heated it this time.

Even my picky husband who will not eat a bowl of oatmeal decided they were pretty darn good.

Granted, I still want to try to make Alton Brown's homemade granola and protein power bars, but these will do just fine in the meantime. Alton had an entire show on granola, power bars, he even made "healthy" Rice Kripsie treats that looked most yummy. Granted, they don't have the preservative-laden shelf life of commercial bars, but nutritition, taste, and texture are probably at least 100 times better in his. And the way he worked the recipes, he left a lot of room for maneuvering them into something that works for each person. Lots of substitution options. I don't know if you can check the Food site for a re-run of it (in fact it was again late Tuesday night), because I'm not sure they list the late night episodes. I think last I checked, it was only new ones on the schedule.

HOWEVER ... The Power Trip. Recipes from the show. :D

Oatmeal. It's good for you.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Image Stream: Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

Time After Time.
I actually own the dress she's wearing in this one, though you can't see the detail in this small of an image. There's knotwork (mostly triskeles) along the hem, the sleeves, and around the collar.

Mischief, Mayhem, and Manslaughter.
Hail, hail, the gang's all here -- and one's about to be in some serious trouble.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Death by Furby

T2: (grim-faced) Mommy, that does it. I have bad news. The world is going to come to an end.
Me: (concerned) Oh? Now what?
T2: Furbies ... are BACK. That does it. Get the torches and pitchforks. EVIL, I tell you, EVIL!

But wait, there's more.

The far more ominous one with the Daddygod went as follows:

T2: Daddy, Furbys are back!
DG: Back?
T2: Yes, back, but this time they talk, and walk, and...KILL!
DG: They kill?
T2: Yes, they are the embodiment of evil. Now I have...MINIONS!
T2 meanders out the door mumbling to herself: Well, minions unless they rampage, then I'd have to put them down.

Why Parents go Grey

T2: Daddy, do you want a state?
DG: Say what?
T2: Do you want a state?
DG: What kind of state?
T2: When I take over the world. Do you want a state, or would you prefer a country, or a planet?
DG: Well, if you take over the world, that's only one planet, so I can't have one of my own.
T2: Well, I'm not stopping there, I'm planning on taking over the entire Milky Way.

She has a notebook, wherein three full pages are dedicated to who gets what portion of the planet when Little Miss Empress takes it over. She hasn't quite started on the rest of the solar system yet.

T2: Mama, you want a state?
Me: A STATE? That's all I get, a lousy state? You offered DADDY that much.
T2: (snorts, sounding SO like me) You get more than him, cuz you're better, Mama.

I held out for several countries, including joint rule of a few, and collected several states in the process.


Found in 8 year-old Thing 2's schoolwork (posted verbatim, spelling and all).

"We are learning about bugs. So Mrs. Wagner (ed. note: her teacher) brot a bee. It was died so we did not worie. It started to rain wene a strok of lightening and the bee was alive. We were scared, so Mrs. Wagner killed the bee so we did not worie aney more."

Apparently zombie thoughts begin early around our house.

So do thoughts of taking over the world and acquiring minions.

"One day a bunny named Mr. Bunbuns lived in a forest he wanted to tak over the world becuse they made Mr. Bunbuns mad so he need some help. So he hoped around to look for help. He sees some friends and they sadly say yes to help take over the world. Mr. Bunbuns made the friends minions to take over the world. And the world came to an end. Becuse he take over the world."


Another one during "family time".

DG: (as an aside) Pooks, watch this.
DG: Hey T1, get out of our room now, mommy and daddy want to have sex.
T1: AAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH! Nasty! That's just gross!
Me: Gee T1, how do you think you were made?
T2: Huh? You mean you guys humped or something to make her?
DG and Me: ::thud, laughing like idiots::

It's Texas, y'all ...

... and even the freakin cats are armed.

Felines are clean beasts, and they even know to keep their hardware cleaned properly as well.

Nothing like a nice long catnap after a day huntin them damn dawgs! Them Maine Coons don't tolerate none of them strays a'trespassin on their turf.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina responses

This is me avoiding any political commentary on the situation. Frankly, there's enough of that shit already, and it's not helping anybody. Might buy some of the louder complainers their Fifteen Minutes, but it's not getting anything constructive done. Foamy the Squirrel sez it all for me on that, really. I'm just sayin.

Having grown up in Houston, I 'grok' the hurricane. All too well. I've lived through several of them, some major, some minor, a few tornadoes, and generic floods to boot. Face it, Houston started life as a swamp, and has every intention of trying to return to that state when water comes in hard and fast.

Houston is one of the cities getting refugees, and so is the area I'm living in now. So, I'm trying to keep things in a proper human perspective.

Among all the AP Wire photos of destruction and chaos and insanity, there are dozens of Human pictures. Pictures of people remembering to care for something other than themselves, pictures of people rescuing abandoned pets, pictures of parents trying to soothe their children, pictures of groups sitting around doing Basic Normal Human Things like fixing their hair.

And sometimes, it's the little things that make you remember you're human.

People not in the middle of a disaster area tend to forget it's the little things that can help us hang on, little things that make us feel human again. Something as simple as fixing your hair, or having a baby wipe to do the PTA bath -- Pits, Tits, and Ass for the uniformed, and yes, tits can get seriously funky, especially if you're over-endowed. The sweat funk can be seriously unpleasant. Your skin is screaming for all sorts of fun rashes to appear. Wear an underwire? Ooo, go ahead, get a blister in that sweat funk, and wait for infection. Sweat build-up in confined territory can get nasty fast. Now add in panic sweat, crowded conditions, the lack of ability to get any sort of shower (or even turn a hose on yourself), funk from fouled water ... Ick -- can go a long way as a restorative.

I mean hell, donating a few cases of simple deoderant might be seen as offensive by some, but damn, those in need appreciate every little bit. And Not Feeling Funky in unpleasant conditions is definitely something to appreciate.

Saw a whole lot of little kids that might have a few less nightmares if a few surprises were tossed in. If you're sending CARE packages to the refugees, and have it, toss in a few dozen yards of hair ribbons, ponytail holders, lip gloss (the protective stuff, chapped lips from lack of water are miserable), combs and brushes, small and easy to clean toys for the kids (stuffed animals in Funk conditions get gross fast).

May seem frivolous, but if you're sending anyway (and if you can, please donate resources, they're almost better than money, since you can drop them off at your local shelter/church organization/designated drop-off, and know that they won't have to wait a week or more to decide where it goes, unlike cash), send the stuff that will not only help the body survive, but the heart as well.

Suggestions of Things to Donate:
-- Clothing (come on, don't you have a box stuffed somewhere of clothing that doesn't fit anymore? Either yours, or your children's. Just buy new underwear if you're sending it, some things shouldn't be shared. Really. Ever.)
-- Cartons of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays (Never dealt with nicotene withdrawal? Yikes.)
-- Toilet paper
-- Toothpaste, toothbrushes
-- Diapers, diaper wipes
-- Tampons, pads
-- Formula, bottles
-- Deoderant
-- Razors, shaving cream, soap
-- Hair brushes, combs
-- Shoes (Shut up, Imelda, just put them in the damn box) and socks. LOTS of socks.
-- Nail clippers, nail files (Okay, paranoid, just get the soft emery boards)
-- Bottled water, canned food, can openers.
-- Antibacterial creams, antacids, bandages, vitamins (adult and chewable), pain relievers (Keep it legal. Though I'm sure the addicts would love you forever for your stash of prescription meds, they won't get there anyway.)
-- Bedding. Blankets, sheets (stick with flat), pillows and cases.
-- Pet food

... and don't fucking spam me with stupid promos for your get-rich-quick scheme crap. Don't spam me with nothing but promos for completely irrelevant bullshit. Don't spam me with Idiot Links to hijackers and viruses and trojans, because Stupid, I am not.

Just. Don't. Spam. Me. Seriously. It makes a Pooka cranky.