Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oooh Happy Happy Day!

The history of the R-ticulator Pop-

Many Many years ago- perhaps a decade ago. How old am I?

Okay way more than a decade ago...I was providing speech therapy for some children who were having a hard time saying their "r" sounds. They would say "wing" instead of "ring" or "witch" instead of "rich." Try explaining to a seven-year old that your tongue has be separated into 3 different parts and be in 3 different or maybe 4 different positions while saying 1 sound.

I thought "If only I could get into this child's mouth and put the tongue in the proper shape." I tried. Even though I was thinner back in the day, my hand was too big, and the child would gag, and the parent would wonder why they called me.

I tried all of our tricks of the trade to shape the tongue- dental floss, tongue depressors, etc. They were moderately successful- but- when a parent is paying per session- moderately kind of stinks.

So, with the encouragement of Sott, Jack-ee, Poppi, & the patience of Chandelier. I started to design a "tool" that I could just slip under the client's tongue- to shape things nice and neat for the "r".

I tried 2 zillion prototypes for years- some made of wax, some of chocolate, some of bubble gum, some of lollipop. I reshaped, restructured, ordered a million molds, bought a dehydrator to suck the moisture out (don't ask)...tested with other professionals, gave away a million samples. Cried and called Jack-ee- who reassured, cheered, and motivated. Called Poppi- who supported this endeavor in every sense of the word.

Contacted the patent attorney who was wonderful. Received my first reject letter for the patent office. Cried, prayed, and called in the supports. Wrote a letter of protest to the patent office. Received my patent & cried tears of joy.

Sold the pops as bubblegum. Sold too many pops- couldn't keep up of production. Tried to get the pops made in America- The American Manufacturers wanted an initial run order of 4 million (exaggerated) I contacted a importer. After blood, sweat, tears, and FDA approval- The shipment arrived from China. Poppi and I met the truck- and I cried...a little on the outside and a lot on the inside.

Hired and fired 2 website design and maintenance companies. Pestered my friend into allowing me to use her children for the website pics. Thanks for that!

Customers loved the product- sent in some suggestions for tweaking and asked for a plastic, washable, reusable tool. Found an American plastics company (VenTel). Toured the facility- Holy Smokes- what a beautiful, clean, organized, professional, well run facility. Gave them the Pops, the improvement ideas- The product was the culmination of everything I imagined. I celebrated and again was encouraged by my crewe.

Shared an office with Sott's Mattress place- We are funny like that.

Moved to Ireland- Placed project on hold. My faithful supporter and alley, Poppi, tip-toed to heaven and I grieved.

Returned home, prayed some more, and decided to manage my own website. Use the Pop every chance I can on my high school kids who are teased and can't say their "r" sound. Get that sheer sense of joy and relief every time the client says his/her first beautiful and accurate "r."

Ordered stock, received stock, and have begun the distribution process all over again.

Many thank yous to core crewe of God, Sott, Chandelier, Jack-EE, & Poppi. Your support, faith, encouragement, wisdom, and honesty has helped me more than I can express.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Birthday Boy & the Beach

This is the second weekend in a row that I have been lucky enough to spend time at one of my favorite beaches.
Honeymoon Island- It is a state park- and it is gorgeous...and one of my favorite parts of this beach is the scent of the water. It is like a fresh, lavender, clean, salty scent...
Unless you visit during red tide. Then it smells like dead, rotting fish.
But today was a fresh, lovely scent.
And the water was clear.
& the birds were hungry.

And the boys were hungry.& tired from last a little....cranky.
14 year old birthday parties for Boys are soooooo easy. MUCH easier than for younger boys.
No themes, no entertainment, no party favor bags, no parents.
The invited kids just show up, play, talk, and eat. They eat a lot. Of course, we had to make ourselves almost invisible...because...we ....are.....embarrassing.
& here we are being ignored again.
Chandelier is reluctant to acknowledge us...
They always come back for food and drink. Thank goodness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Instead of cleaning house

Scott frowns on the Gator Calling- So I waited until he was gone tonight- and went a visitin'. Alli Gator was on the other side of the pond. So, I locked the dogs in the house & threw one of their balls in the pond.

Alli was not in the water, but he sure felt the ball hit. He scrambled & I ran- Hence, the unfocused shot.
He is under water, but coming....
Then his head surfaces and he bee lines for the ball. You can see it at the bottom of the pic.

Just his eyes are visible, but he is still traveling towards the ball.
Here he comes-
Click on the picture to enlarge- he is debating- food or not?
& he eats it.
Pulls it under- like he has to fight it ...
& he spits it out.
& gives me the evil eye...


I like to start the day by letting everybody know what to expect. If it is going to be a fun day, I'll let you know. If we are going to do something that you don't prefer- I'll give you heads up early- that way you can prepare yourself. Do whatever you have to get yourself ready...

Since I leave at the crack of dawn- I have to leave letters. Because no one likes to be woken up with my agendas.

This is this morning's letter:

Just ignore the 3rd grade penmanship- Evidently all of my teachers did. Do, however, take note of the "not"- Which is either Chan's handwriting or Scott trying to pretend like he is Chan. Funny.
At some point, Chan's brother by another mother (& father) wrote that he was "awsome"[sic]...and then tried to convince me that I had written it. Note: "written by tracy."

Bottom line- By the time I arrive home, everyone has cleared out, and my note has been modified. Clearly, the agenda system has failed...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chuck You Made be A Believer- Repost....

Story time...I am going to change some names to protect both the innocent and the others.
I have a close relative---he lives with me and I am responsible for his care. I'll call him, "Chandelier"- He enjoys Mixed Martial Arts- He takes lessons in Martial Arts.

The other day, I am sitting at home- enjoying a recorded UFC fight and eating a philly steak sandwich with extra cheese. The phone rings and I is Chandelier. He says, "Hey Big-Mama" cuz that is what he calls me now that I am into Publix Philly-Cheese Steaks and UFC fights..."Big- Mama"

I kid- I was watching "American Idol" and eating Robin's eggs (Easter Chocolate). Anyway, the close relative calls to let me know that the doorbell is going to ring soon and it is going to be the neighbor's father. Chandelier had protected himself during a scuffle and the father was not pleased...crud. "Sott"- my life partner...he wasn't home. Double crud.

I quickly turned down the TV and stripped naked. Yup naked. Big-mama was going to have to jump into the bath ...quick. I left my clothes in the living room and sprinted to the tub. The dogs, sensing my urgency, ran to the bathroom with me...barking loudly. I started the water and jumped into the tub before the water had time to warm...With the water running full blast and the dogs barking- I almost didn't hear the doorbell ring.

Well, darn- I am naked and in the tub. I CAN'T answer the door. So, I call..."Sott" from my cell.

"When are you going to be home?" Breathing hard- I can hardly get the words out... Sott is used to my dramas- he doesn't miss a beat..

Sott: "Why?- You want me to pick something up?"

He really is the most unsuspecting sweet guy. How God paired him up with Big Mama- We will never know.

Me: "Oh- I am in the bath and the darn doorbell is ringing. The dogs are going nuts...I don't know what is going on..."

Long story short- Sott eventually received a phone call. During which, I played dumb. In the process of communicating his concern, I heard that the upset Dad shared his opinion that boys should be in sports like baseball and not MMA.

I thought about that - Big Mama once shared this opinion. But, then I borrowed Chandelier's book by Chuck Liddell. I decided that it takes a huge amount of commitment, physical and mental strength and endurance to be a MMA fighter. I don't watch the fights. That is my choice- but I sure can appreciate the fact that it is a sport and a crazy tough one. I have supervised the training closely and am impressed by the instructors focus on safety, dedication, and responsibility. Bottom line- Big Mama supported Chandelier when he was in baseball and will fully support his martial arts training.

& will voice her support, naked in the bathtub, surrounded by her howling dogs...whose names rhyme with malentine and lippord

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Couldn't help myself....

Happy Mother's Day!

I have a storage unit the size of a double car garage with boxes filled to the brim.
Once in a while, I will go to the storage unit and pull something that I think I need. This week, it was a dinosaur hard drive- I was looking for some old documentation.
Instead- I found a lovely gift for Mother's Day. My sweet baby- when he was still a baby. Look at how tiny he was?! Look at that unfortunate paint color- The paint color story requires a separate blog post. I won't digress today.

Baby Face.

With his cousin, who was tiny too! & Granpa...Looking at this picture of my dad is helping me understand the role of genetics and body type.

Lil' Chan with Matsui

And my BFFs children were babies too!

These pics still melt my heart. They were taken in DC and NY- It was on this trip, that I realized Chan was truly a kindred spirit. I could suggest anything outlandish and he was game. I believe our family roles were cemented during this vacation. Chan & I throwing out increasingly insane ideas and plans. Scott adding the only voice of reason- providing a much needed anchor.

I adore that smile!

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

You are welcome...???

I received this very sweet thank you today.I didn't read it until I was putting it on my bulletin board. Huh? What?!!!

I had to google " blue foot boobies." We did not target the knowledge of the BFBs in speech- but I am keeping the card anyway!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Going Green

Cliffy and I are pledging to plant 1 tree in every hole that he digs over 6 inches deep. Today, I am planting 3.
Join us in this Tree in Every Hole Challenge!