Showing posts from September, 2009

Love and Marriage

What do you see to the right there? Do you see a toothpaste tube with every last bit of toothpaste squeezed mercilessly from its insides? Or do you wonder why anyone would even dream of throwing out what is obviously a tube of toothpaste with some life left in it?

My friends, on a good day, the lifeless piece of refuse pictured to the right can make me ponder lovingly the endearing foibles of the man I've hitched my life to for eternity. It can remind me of the admirable male strength my husband must possess to be able (for almost 20 years now) to squeeze just a little bit more from a seemingly empty tube of toothpaste.

But on a bad week? That picture is Exhibit A of why half of all marriages end in divorce. I swear, without me around to holler "Nuff" and walk all the way to the linen closet to get a spankin' brand new Colgate, Larry would still be using the tube he started in 1991. What's up with that?

Housewifely Matters

I've spent the better part of my week sewing patches, insignia, etc., on Boy Scout uniforms, a Brownie vest, and Civil Air Patrol BDU's. I'm thinking that I made a mistake not raising my kids to be anarchists.


You know, sometimes just a little bit of change makes a big difference. Here in our household we are all excited about my new cleaning tool purchase: It's a vacuum! It's a Swiffer! It's both! It's 2 cleaning tools in one!

The kids actually fight over who gets to use it next. My floors have never been so clean. Those are Susie's legs there in the picture - see? So easy, a 4-year-old can do it!

And, yes, it is a little worrisome that I can be so enthused over a household appliance without even being paid to endorse it. Without a doubt, I need to get out more.


And now, a conundrum that needs solving, folks. The laundry detergent I currently use (the cheapest High Efficiency perfume-free stuff I could find) has …

A Toast!

For a long time, we had no toast. That's right - no toaster oven, no pop-up toaster. I guess at first it was a matter of money or an I-don't-have-time-to-clean-one-more-appliance issue; but gradually our toastlessness morphed into a lifestyle - we were toast refuseniks. Oh, there were the times we threw caution to the wind and toasted several pieces of bread at once under the broiler...but days like those were few and far between. My children accepted that their lives included no regular toast.

Then, about 5 years ago, I found a stainless steel 2-slice toaster at the thrift store for 3 dollars. Deciding it was time to rethink my ban on toast and liven up our menu a bit, I took the creature home and stored it in a cabinet, whence we would take it occasionally in an attempt to toast our sandwich bread. This was always a challenging proposition, as our new acquisition was something of an overachiever with apparently only 2 settings - burned and incinerated. What could I e…


Happiness is setting aside 2 hours to go through our mess of a filing system...thereby serendipitously stumbling upon 120 dollars worth of IKEA refund cards.

Best of all, Larry doesn't know I found them. Mine! All mine!

Also? Having come to the realization that I will not have a working dishwasher anytime soon, I purchased a Michael Graves dish drying rack from Target today. Form and function combined, folks! It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

7 Quick Takes (Why 7? I Don't Know)

Bruce Springsteen turned 60 yesterday. I remember thinking that he was ancient when he turned 35. Let's see...that was back in 1984...I was all of 21 then. We can conclude from this that 21-year-olds are stupid. Or else, it's just me...
Onestinkbug I can handle...but to look at my den wall and discover at least 20 of these lovelies crawling around (with more pouring in the window) is a bit more than I can stand. So I escaped to Starbucks Wednesday night and left Larry home to deal with the invaders. One of the creatures hitchhiked along on my dark-brown sweatshirt and wasn't discovered (by me) until I was inside the store. [insert silent scream here] Apparently, there is no escape.
Enjoy the picture - misery loves company.My skin is crawling from all that buggy Internet research I just did.Uncle Matt was planning to visit this weekend; that is, until he heard about the headcold we're passing around the house here. Coward.Or maybe he just doesn't like stinkbu…

A Note From Canada (Plus A Bit of Soapbox)

This comment was left at Margaret and Helen's blog, a blog by 2 old ladies who have been lifelong friends.  The blog itself is...well...indescribable.  Helen, who lives in Texas, is usually the one mouthing off.  If you take offense when people make fun of Rush Limbaugh or the rest of the far right wing of the Republican party (and really, people, where are all the moderate Republicans these days?  Why aren't they telling these death-panel people to sit down and shut up while the rest of us use the brains God gave us to figure out health care?), don't bother visiting.  But really, it's a hoot.

Anyway, the comment was by a Canadian; I thought it was worth sharing.  Sometimes it helps to get an outside perspective on our particular brand of crazy.  Purely anecdotal, of course:

We Canadians aren’t quite sure what to make of the hoopla over healthcare in the US. (Most Americans I meet are boggled that we know so much about American politics, but really, when you share a bor…

Sick Leave

Ironic, isn't it? A day after reading all those health articles (so you don't have to!), I've come down with something. I wish it had a fancy name (or, wait - maybe I don't); but it's just your garden-variety, lie-around-on-the-couch-and-blow-your-nose type of virus. With a touch of feel-like-crap-and-wonder-if-life-is-worth-living bacteria thrown in for good measure....

Why am I telling you this? Well, if I complain here, Larry doesn't have to hear it. He gets tired of my whining. After 20 years (almost!), I can't say I blame him. Myself, I get tired of how he ruins jokes by explaining them. Ah, marriage - she is beautiful, no?

There's no funny here tonight. And I can't find any funny anywhere else, either. What's up with that? Is there some sort of global humor malaise happening? WHERE ARE ALL THE JOKES, PEOPLE?

I need something to laugh at. Suggestions?

Health News You Shouldn't Read

I don't know how I managed to nurture my hypochondriacal neuroses before the Internet came along. I mean, what's an occasional article in the Readers Digest compared to the plethora of health information now at my fingertips?

First up, this article which mentions a link between depression and Alzheimer's disease. It says, "[P]eople who showed signs of depression before the age of 60 were four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's." In other words, if you are under 60 and depressed? It looks like you actually have something to get depressed about.

Fellow hypochondriacs, it's time to raise our disease alert to orange. Take a gander at this article, will ya? Plague? Did they say "plague"? Is it really a good idea to be messing around with the bubonic plague in laboratories? I mean, scientists are just as up for a good practical joke as the next person, you know.

Oh, and heart patients? Try not to get stressed about this, okay? Just think…

Knitting! Humor! Parenting! (Three Posts In One!)

Try the Figure 8 cast-on, my knitting friends said. It's easy! Anyone can do it! Knitting naif that I am, I trusted them.

See that eensy-teensy bit of knitting up there? That's 2 hours of my time. And a lot of tears. And a few curse words thrown in for good measure. But I conquered. And now I know that next time I experiment with a new knitting technique, I'll try it on something larger than size 0 needles. Because my eyes, they are permanently crossed.

I also cleaned the bathroom. A banner day, I tell you...


I just spent 20 minutes writing what I thought was an amusing riff on this article here. I had penned a few jocular paragraphs along the lines of how my hypochondriacal self has yet another thing to worry about, etc, when Larry took it upon himself to inform me that the subject of surgical patients catching fire? It is not humor material.

So, forget it. I'm obviously a sick, sick person to have thought there was a joke in there somewhere.


7 Quick Takes

You know, every single week I'm pleased with myself for getting that logo up there.
Lord help me, Susie is begging for help with her Hello, Kitty jigsaw puzzle. Where is that federally-funded preschool when I need it?
David is making apple dumplings in the kitchen. I love David.
A friend of mine who is a dean at a large university posted on Facebook,
Either there is a hooker convention going on around here or I am behind the times with the fashion.He obviously never reads my blog.I had to split #4 into #4 and #5 because I can't figure out how to hit the return/enter key without making a new number. I am in over my head with this automatic Blogger list thingamabob.I cut my thumb slicing onions (or, I sliced my thumb cutting onions - take your pick) yesterday, rendering myself unable to do dishes until the wound heals. Larry gets to do them instead. I predict a working dishwasher in my very near future...
Go to Conversion Diary for others' 7 Quick Takes...they'll hopefully…

Feeling Flush

I hate to do this, but...

Columbus, Ohio?

And Clemson, SC?

You should out yourselves, okay? I know some people don't like to comment, and I understand that (well, not really, but I accept that).

But if you're going to read, repeatedly, 20 or more pages at a time, a simple "Hi, I'm not a plagiarist" would be reassuring. Because if anyone is going to be interviewed on The Daily Show about kids, and vomit, and mice? It had better be me.

Just a little fantasy of mine...

Anyway, I've already hit the big time, as evidenced by my first check from Blogher. Are you ready?

39 dollars, people.

No! Make that 39 dollars and 18 cents. For two months.

Yes, I've whored my blog out for 20 bucks a month. I have no pride. Because Jon Stewart never calls, darn him....


That's it for today - I need to go yarn-shopping with my newly-acquired funds before Larry makes me use the moolah on something sensible like an IRA. What use is retirement if I have no…

Whine Night

One hundred and seventy-five people read yesterday's post, and not one of you could bother to tell me there was a typo in the first line? What's up with that?

The cicadas here are so deafening, I can't even think. I lost at Bunko tonight. I have to get up at o'dark thirty tomorrow to take a child to a doctor's appointment. I've gained weight from all the dairy we're eating since Theo left home. I collapsed in bed at 1:30 this morning, only to be woken up half an hour later by Rachel (she had a headache). Anna has a Facebook friend I don't like the looks of. My house is a mess. Susie peed on the floor twice today. Young moms in their 20's and 30's look at me as though I'm a sour old hag. Maybe I am a sour old hag. I have to file self-employment taxes by tomorrow. My dishwasher's still broken.

The weather's been pretty nice, though.

[Feel free to add your whine in the comments. Misery loves company.]

Box Lunches

Today I present to you a NY Times article about Bento lunchboxes that raises the bar on mothering. Check it out:

With cookie cutters Ms. Chen makes her daughter star-shaped vegetables; and with decorative skewers, a plastic top hat and pieces of nori (dried seaweed), cherry tomatoes become smiley faced, mustachioed creatures.
What I resent about this article (aside from its making me look like a complete slacker, lunch-wise) is the implication that a meal needs to be cute in order to be palatable to our precious offspring. Listen:

“I have to make her food look like something she recognizes,” said Ms. Chen, 42, a stay-at-home mother in San Leandro, Calif. “If her boiled egg is shaped like a bunny and it is holding a baby carrot, she’ll eat it.”
I don't know about you, but trying to even imagine a "boiled egg...shaped like a bunny" makes my brain feel weird. Explain this to me, will ya? Her child recognizes a bunny, but not an egg? Could that be, perhaps, because her mot…


One woman's memories of 9/11/2001

[Flight 93 Memorial photo: The]

Lowering The Bar

You know, I always wondered at my friends who complained about their kids' needing to poop in public restrooms (particularly restaurants - blecch). Imagine - I had made it through 17 and a half years of motherhood and not once had one of my children demanded to do #2 while we were out.

But my lucky streak ended last month. No fewer than 3 times in August, my Rachel insisted I escort her to a restaurant bathroom for serious business. Let me tell you, something about that experience does a number on one's appetite. The third time this happened, I was completely undone. All the way to the restroom and into the stall, I berated the poor child: "What's wrong with you? Why would you want to do this here? Can't you wait 'til we get home? No one else did this..." and on and on and on.

Look - I'm just reporting the facts. I'm not proud of my behavior, all right? And the person in the next stall looked singularly unimpressed with my parenting style …

Picture Imperfect

To the person who got to my blog by Googling, "houseguest had head lice"? I am so, so sorry. I would advise a flamethrower in the guest room. But I'm neurotic like that.

Yesterday Larry and I decided to invite some friends over to celebrate Labor Day - you know, just a last-minute, throw a few extra hotdogs and burgers on the grill kind of thing...

When will we ever learn? After blithely issuing the invitation, we realized that we had to clean up this dump we call home if we were going to allow people (with a crawling baby) inside it. I'm exhausted. And I can't help but wonder why we had been living with various colored buttons strewn all over the dining room floor. I mean, it's not as if I were actually sewing them onto the Baby Surprise Jacket I finished last month. That would make too much sense.

The upside, though (and there always is one, isn't there?), is that this morning I was surprised to find an (almost) clutter-free living area awaiting me…

The Truth Shall Set You Free

Another news article about brothers and sisters, but this one seems to tell the truth:

Sibling quarrels are a fact of family life. On average, young siblings argue or fight 3.5 times an hour, which adds up to ten minutes of every hour.So, Siblings Without Rivalry? Dream on! Don't waste your money on books telling you how to fix an unfixable problem - spend it on earplugs instead.

7 Quick Takes

Every week, I mean to jot down bits and pieces of the ideas that go through my head and then just slap them on here for 7 Quick Takes Friday. And every week I forget.Last night I dreamed that 12-year-old David was determined to donate a kidney to his biology teacher. Larry and I were unanimous in telling him that he couldn't do so, but we worried that David would sneak out and donate the kidney anyway. David was irate. He said that health care reform would ration kidneys and his teacher wouldn't get one. I explained to him that kidneys are already rationed. Then I woke up. Do you think perhaps I'm following the health care debate a bit too closely?David doesn't even have a biology teacher. He's homeschooled.I also dreamed that some friends of ours were living in our basement and they insisted on putting some of their furniture in our living room. Their furniture was ugly, and I couldn't figure out how to tell them that I didn't want it there. With…

Nothing...I've Got Nothing...

An elderly neighbor commented to me that, 50 years ago, if she had asked someone when an African-American could become president of the USA, he would have answered, "When pigs fly." So she thought it was interesting that President Obama was inaugurated this past January, and a month later.....


Or had you heard that one already? I always seem to be the last to hear a joke.


There seems to be a bit of a dust-up in yesterday's comments over whether applesauce can truly be considered a condiment. Heather T argues that, if a food can be eaten alone, it doesn't qualify. I maintain that, if a food can be used as a condiment (my kids put it on pancakes), then it is a condiment. Like a word can be both a noun and a verb....

There also seems to be a fifty-fifty split on the topic of yellow mustard. One of my Catholic friends tried to disprove my Gentile yellow mustard theory by claiming that, while she prefers brown, her Jewish husband only like…