sunset at moms

sunset at moms

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Narnian Dog

    I keep a picture of my dog, Ray, above my desk. My first and -so far- only dog, he was mercy shot by one of my husband's friends in an effort to ensure he wasn't just injured by some angry farmers.
    Ray was my best friend.
    I always wanted a dog growing up. I begged and begged and still no dice. Ray, née Knightley, came into my life shortly after I moved out to Idaho. Will's parents brought him home, and I was instantly in love with the copper colored puppy. Ray then became ours after we got married.

    He was a dopey dog, but he was faithful. Life with Ray was usually a bipolar seesaw of extreme annoyance and quiet familial trust. His color embodied Idaho: jumping around the field he looked like a mix between a white tail deer and a coyote. I'm now forever biased to copper dogs.
    In the spring when everything was thawing out, or after a particularly heavy rain, the ditches beside the road would overfill. The frogs would appear out of seemingly nowhere and would swim around the temporary stream. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was sit and throw rocks in the puddles on our driveway, so naturally I did it in Idaho too. Ray and I would go plop down on the gravel and huck rocks in the ditch. The galoot would end up in my lap, covering my one pair of jeans in mud and dog hair. It was our favorite thing to do.

    At the end of the Chronicles of Narnia series, heaven is described. It's the same Narnia, just perfected. Everything is right and true. All the faithful Narnians are there. It's all familiar, yet exciting and new.
    I keep a picture of my dog above my desk. Over 3 years later, and it doesn't take much to get me choked up about him. But I keep it there because it reminds me of heaven. It reminds me of Uncle Gail, and Grandpa, and the countless others I will say goodbye-for-a while to, permitted I live to an old age. It reminds me of the Life after this life.
    So hopefully, just maybe, up there somewhere is my Beautiful Copper Boy, with tail wagging, by a giant puddle. There's a big ol' pile of rocks beside it, and he's waiting. For me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Of Politics and Animals

    First, a moment of silence for Marco Rubio's suspended campaign. Sigh. I give up. I'd been asked by a friend when I was going to board the Cruz Ship. Begrudgingly, I do so now, though merely as stowaway. My only hope with him is he'll put Carly in his cabinet.
    Carrying on...
    I've written lots of conservative flavored blogs before, but never anything on war or the military. The last debate got me thinking quite a bit though, so here I sit.

    It doesn't take a lot to figure out I am not a Trump fan. So much so that I refuse to vote for him. No, I'm not voting for Hillary or Bernie, but I cannot in good conscience vote for the man, therefore I'll write Carly in if he's it.
    But Andie, you'll be helping the democrats if you don't vote! 
    No, Trump being the nominee helps the democrats. I want no association with him.
    During the last debate, water boarding was brought up. Let's watch the clip, aye.

    Let me start off by saying I watched the video of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a metal cage. I've watched the videos of Christians renouncing Christ only to be told they're false converts and to have their head yanked back by a masked man who then saws their throat with a knife until their body falls away. It's gut wrenching. It's terrifying. It's demonic.
    I often wonder how hard a person must be to pull that off. What has to happen to a person to make that acceptable? What training must someone endure to be able to do that to another human being and not blow their own head off at the end of the day?
    I understand it seems like justice to be able to torture the "bad dudes", as Mr Trump likes to refer to them. I know the meme that likes to float around come 9/11 of the man plummeting headlong out a window of the Trade Center, condoning the torture of the people who forced the man to choose the jump. But do we really think of what that would entail? Do we ever stop to think of our sons and daughters being taught to inflict that sort of suffering? (I feel I should state that I am pro-military, maybe more in line with Rand Paul, but I am certainly for our service men and women. The horrors of war are real and unavoidable, but I am strictly talking about torture) To not feel? Do we think of the deadening of their hearts, the warm blood of others covering them, and the nightmares they will deal with after it's over? PTSD is real, and there aren't enough people to help veterans deal with it as there is. You don't think torturing another human being, evil as they are, is going to cause psychological damage? What happens when it's time to come home? You then have thousands of people trained to torture others, most likely with PTSD, and with the VA like it is now, they aren't getting help. What happens then? They're just expected to go get a job at the bank or Wal-Mart and carry on like life is normal?
    When a vile person makes a vile decision, it makes sense: Bad trees bear bad fruit. When a good person makes a vile decision because the vile man did it first, it is folly. We uphold the law despite others' lawlessness, not throw the thing out the window and do whatever the flip we want. Our codes of conduct cannot be defined by our enemies actions.
     Another thought is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we go after terrorists' families, as Donald suggests, we are openly inviting them to do the same. Not that anything is stopping them anyway, but if we stoop to their level they have to think of new ways to horrify us. Terrorism isn't terrorism unless it makes our gut drop and our blood run cold. Why would we normalize this? Why do we want this to become standard practice for our children? If we keep digging, we may just find that hell is a place we can reach before we die.

    ISIS, radical Islam, terrorists; their actions are reprehensible. They're all animals...but they're still human beings.  And in that judgment, we must remain set apart. No, we will not answer you accordingly. We will not kill ourselves in an effort to kill you. A dead terrorist doesn't matter when the vet who got him commits suicide because he can't escape his demons. We must keep to the high road for our dignity, our humanity, and for America.

    My name is Andie Dole, and I approve this message.

Monday, February 29, 2016


Good job on keeping your blog updated, Andie!

Eh, shut up.

Anyway, yes, it's been semi-eons again. Between Facebook detoxing, a bout with anxiety that left me on my butt and a death in the family, I wasn't too keen on writing. Or I was, but couldn't keep my thoughts straight and would junk the whole post. So here's a wee update.

Facebook free life = the good life. If you've ever considered giving it up, just take the plunge and do it. Life is seriously so much better when you're not ghost hovering around everyone else's. If I want to know something about someone now, I ask them in person. I find I hate people considerably less. Before I gave up Facebook I had a hard time concentrating on real pages because they weren't constantly scrolling or lit up, so I just didn't bother. Now that I'm going into month 3, I can read like I normally did back in the day and it's wonderful. 

Politics: ...sigh. Let's have a moment of silence to commemorate Carly Fiorina's campaign. Or let's openly weep.
Call me Mara...

I finally did start a YouTube channel, though not for the original purpose I proposed. I've started a series called FattyPantsFriday, and you can follow the blog here. After watching my friends' results on the Plexus products, I decided to jump in with both feet and go straight for Ambassador level. Since you can't get a custom URL on YouTube until you hit 100 subscribers, I'll just post the videos on that blog. So far I'm wildly impressed. But you'll have to read 'bout dat over dere, won'tcha?

Other than that, nothing super major has gone on. 

I'll write when I can formulate something worthwhile!

Monday, December 14, 2015

'Christopher Robin, you must shoot the balloon with your gun. Have you got your gun?'
'Of course I have,' you said. 'But if I do that, it will spoil the balloon,' you said.
'But if you don't,' said Pooh, 'I shall have to let go, and that would spoil me.'

When he put it like this, you saw how it was, and you aimed very carefully at the balloon, and fired.
'Ow!' said Pooh.
'Did I miss you?' you asked.
'You didn't exactly miss,' said Pooh, 'but you missed the balloon.'

Excerpt from Winnie-The-Pooh and Some Bees, by A.A. Milne.

Someone once said that if you wouldn't read a book written for children yourself, you shouldn't read it to your kids. Maybe CS Lewis said it, that seems very him. Regardless, this is probably my favorite interaction in a children's book of all time, and I thoroughly look forward to the day my children think it's as funny as I do.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Prayer for the Postman

Rory is becoming quite the little pray-er. She usually just recites a prayer she learned from a book she received for her birthday- Thank you, Lord, for giving me blessings everywhere. In Jesus' name, amen.
Today it was a little different.

Thank you for BoBo and for my mommy. Thank you for my daddy who works. I pray you keep him safe and from dogs. Thank you for good good food. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Reason I'm Ditching Facebook

    Twitter. Facebook. Myspace. Xanga. The Elms' forum. I have been online for about 12 years. My thoughts are littered across the galaxy of the world wide web. I was a die-hard Xanga girl for about 3 years, and then Facebook ate my soul when I was 16. I learned social etiquette from the internet, which may or may not be a good thing. I learned how to write, how something as simple as ALL CAPS AND EXTRA EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! can turn you into a sidewalk prophet in seconds. Being an incredibly lonely, broken teen, I found I had more friends online that I'd never met than in real life, and to be quite honest, they were the main reasons I didn't just hang myself. Who was going to explain to Shaylon and Aaron and Hannah and Katie and Alex and Steve (how I didn't end up a dead raped kid in a trash bag, I have no idea) that KetchupKween17/andiehobbit had offed herself? I couldn't hack that thought, and God graciously rescued the miserable wretch that was me. To this day, and until I die of natural causes, I will thank God for these people across America. They taught me that, "if you dress like a hooker, talk like a hooker and act like a hooker, men will treat you like a hooker", inadvertently how to type really fast to keep up, and that I "...Can't fail God. That would mean He needed you in the first place."

    Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, forever.

    Facebook will always be special to me,Without it, Will Dole would not be my husband. A friend suggestion, like the smallest person, can change the course of the future. 

    That being said, Will and I decided this week that our New Year's Resolution is to break up with Facebook in 2016. All I did was skim this article and I knew it had to be done. Will can speak for himself, but I've come up with a stupid long list of why I'm doing this.
In no particular order...

  • Social media celebritizes ourselves. You will only see my best -or most tolerable- pictures, hear the stories I deem fit for the public, and yet have no contact with me in the outside world, besides a passing hi at WalMart. Bow to me, I may as well be Johnny Depp.
  • I read all day long, yet learn next to nothing. The only thing I get is anxiety, a distrust for anyone who doesn't think the same as me, or I'm crying about a goat who won't eat because he gets separated from his donkey friend.
    ...That stupid goat gets me every time.
  • My kids deserve eye contact. How often do I bark at my kids because they're interrupting the most clever status in the world? Because I want to finish an article about being a better mom so FOR THE LOVE OF PETE GIVE MOMMY 5 MINUTES!!!! Yeah, my kids deserve my eyes, not the top of my unwashed messy bun.
  • Because people are worth it. We depend on church functions/ Bible studies to force us to be social. We exist together online and like each others crap, but that isn't a relationship. What happened to having people over for dinner and playing cards? You know why old people do that? Because it's FUN.
  • Because people are jerks. Yes, this is rather opposite from the last point, but it's true. I have been horrified at just how awful people can be. You cannot assume that all liberals are the devil, all conservatives are the devil, all blacks are thugs, all gays are family-hating fags, all Muslims are going to hack our heads off, all whites think they're supreme, all Indians are free-loaders, all gun owners are waiting to kill you, all Christians are high and mighty...etc That is not to say there is no right and wrong, because there is, and moral relativism is bull. But generalizations and stereotypes don't do anyone any good. There is a way to disagree, even discuss issues without ripping someone to shreds. You can't just assume the person you're talking to is uninformed because they don't agree with you. They are just from a different side of the aisle. Be civil, act like an adult, drink some coffee and carry on. 
  • Because I'm socially awkward. I wouldn't say I have social anxiety, and I'm certainly not an introvert, but most of the time I get home and would like to sit in a black cave agonizing over every idiotic, rambling story I told. I've hidden behind carefully thought out, edited blurps for so long that I've forgotten how to interact like a normal human being. 
  • Because knowing someone without ever having a real life conversation with the person is really awkward. I know so and so's parent just died, their favorite color and have looked at their vacation pictures from the summer...and I've only said hi to them in the hallway at church once. That's kind of... invasive? Creepy? 
  • Because idiocy is fueled by Facebook. How many issues going on today would be diffused if we all just up and stopped hashtagging the Sam Elliot out of everything?
  • Because you can have 500 friends and still be lonely 8 days a week. No explanation needed.
  • Because practical strangers don't deserve your highlights. Again, celebritizing ourselves. If you would never actually hang out with your acquaintance's mom, why are you letting her see your life? We're letting people be our friends that we don't actually want to be friends with. If we did, we'd have a real life relationship. Your highschool buddy's distant uncle doesn't need to see pictures of your gooey newborn. 
  • Because now is the time to look up from your phone and see who your real friends are. The world is on fire. Hi, World War 3. Are we going to repost about it til ISIS is on our doorstep or are we going to find like-minded people and figure out a plan for our own families? #Closetprepper
  • Because social media brings out the worse in us. I am guilty of the emotionally charged re-post. I'm far more articulate when I can type, and that is dangerous because I'm haggy enough as it is.
  • Because if you were really friends, you would be told big life news over the phone or in real life, not some generalized mass status. Ever found out someone you love is in the hospital because you saw a picture posted of them hooked up to IV's with no caption? Yeah, that's great.
  • Because I'm paranoid. Back in my day, if someone found out you blogged, they'd tell you the latest story they heard about a stalker who killed a girl they found online because she wore a school tshirt in her profile picture and he tracked her down. Nowadays people post their baby's nakey pictures for the whole world to see tra la la. Some cho-mo is going to get off on your sweet baby's innocent bath time. That should bother you. Once it's out there, it's out there for good. Private accounts get hacked all the time. Be careful.
  • Because I think in quotes and retweets. I rarely post anything I don't think won't get at least ten likes. Somewhere along the way my brain made the people pleasing connection and that translated to what comes out of my mouth.
  • Because if you'd rather fight online than in person, you don't care about people. Anyone is tough online. "Keyboard warriors" will win no battles. Real, hard conversations need to happen in real life, face to face, or at least a phone call.
  • Because if you only argue with people over Facebook, you are isolated. I live a generally conflict free life, but I also don't have many close friends. People are messy and you are bound to find something you both fiercely disagree on (Need ideas? Try vaccinations, guns, GMOS or abortion. That oughta hold you for a while). If you never see people's uglies, you might not fully appreciate the pretties.
  • Because if you wouldn't say it to their face, you shouldn't leave it as a comment. The rule of "If you have nothing nice to say don't say it at all" somehow got tossed and now unwarranted, unending rudeness is the law of the land. If you think a beauty guru is ugly, then Bon Jovi, you tell them. If you don't like that Doritos makes rainbow chips for LGBTQLMNOPs, not buying the product isn't the answer: tell them you hope they die instead! We will give an account for every hotheaded thing we say.
    Unless it's about Donald Trump. Cause he's a douche. #Guilty
  • Because most people who protest you leaving social media are the ones you've never hung out with. (This excludes family) It's super convenient to just read the status, laugh, and not have to deal with the actual person. You want the milk without buying the cow. Will and I are known for our GOP debate coverage, and that's probably the #1 thing people are saying they'll miss. We exist in real life too, invite us over for one and you'll get it all from the horse's mouth and I'll probably bring snacks. Have you tried my enchilada dip?
  • Because people assume their kids are safe online. You know what makes me insta-hot? When I see people commenting on someone else's content something along the lines of this.
    The picture is a 40 something's sports-bra'd, 50 pounds overweight, sweaty before photo
    "You really shouldn't post these kinds of pictures. My 15-year-old son could scroll through and see this and he needs to protect his purity (eludes to the fact that kid hasn't had the talk yet)." Let me tell ya something. If you want to protect your kid's purity, get them off facebook, and probably anything to do with the internet. If you think your sweet precious teen, even pre-teen who hasn't been clued into the birds and the bees is behaving online, you are wrong. Whether the exposure is accidental or intentional, pornography doesn't have to lurk anymore, it's just there. The spammer on the swap group, the meme, whatever. If your kid is online and hasn't had the talk yet, you are an irresponsible parent and your child is most likely already introduced to pornography or is going to be when they look up the definition to the terms they just read about for the first time. You have got to prepare your kid, or someone else is going to do a really crap job for you.
  • Because I need to write. Really write. This poor blog is so neglected I don't even know if it should be resurrected, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm working on a cookbook with my stepdad and have children's books I need to write down before the ideas explode out my ears. Yes, I call people douches and write children's books. The world is a funny place.
  • Because there might be a YouTube channel happening. Andie's Awkward Life? It might be a thing. Some stories can't be told through writing. Some things are so painfully awkward they need acted out.  And in between the shame of my life, I could do impersonations or makeup or cooking or something. It's just an idea I'm kicking around, we'll see if it goes anywhere.

    So that's my story.You're probably already thinking, good riddance if that's how you really feel! If you aren't completely offended, or you are and you're still kind of delighted about it, hang on to your hats. My caffeine inducing shaking, Carly Fiorina red fingers are just getting started!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Boy

    A boy.
    I always wanted a boy.
    I had reoccurring dreams that I had a baby boy for as long as I can remember.
    On September 27, 2014, at 7:04 in the morning, that dream became a reality.
    For one year, I have learned all about the completely different species that is the male. If Rory rocked my world, Owen done threw my snow-globe life into a dryer.Everything is done rougher and louder with boys. He likes to cuddle more than Rory did. And food, holy cow, he eats and eats and eats.
    But this is my boy. My sweat-er. My napper. My lover of macaroni, and of cats. A goofy, naughty giggle as he runs down the hall. Flicked fingers for the 14th time that morning because he will not leave his daddy's books alone. The smell of a favorite blankie. He loves to be read to and can hear a sleeve of crackers being opened a block away. 
    Something happens to you when you have kids. All new instincts (mostly survival, I'm sure) kick in, new skills are learned, and new love takes root in your heart.
    But something happens right down in your guts when you have a boy. Rarely am I at a loss for words about anything, but there is no description for what I am trying to convey. It's not favoritism; I love my daughter with my whole heart and she is my joy. But it's certainly different.

    Happy first birthday, my Owen. You were, and are, a dream come true.