Showing posts from November, 2009

Mistakes Not To Make

Well, one would think I would have learned from the trauma last year, would have known not to switch the kids' bedrooms around ever again.  But no!  The little girls requested that I take down their bunkbeds; and I was only too happy to agree, seeing as how I am too old and fat make up the top bunk properly and Rachel is too young to do it herself.

But that, you see, meant that the girls had to be moved to the bigger room.  They would have to switch rooms with Anna...Simple?  I think not.

Our upstairs right now looks as though the closets vomited all over the place.  Vomited shoes, clothes, forgotten art projects, shoes, school papers, tiny decorative boxes, hangers....have I mentioned shoes?  Half the stuff is in the right rooms.  Half isn't.  It is too late to go back and too daunting to move forward.  We are stuck.  Tell me, how many bobby pins does a teen girl need, anyway?  For that matter, how many hoodies?  And does a little girl really need a doll she never plays with? …

Kenny Rogers Would Understand

Have I mentioned that, when it comes to games, I'm a tad competitive? I've made Rachel cry at UNO; Larry's pathetic lack of interest in things like cards and backgammon and Yahtzee is a source of conflict in our marriage; and I've got an ineradicable need to win at Monopoly, due to my brother's never, ever losing a game to me while growing up. Given my proclivity for this sort of thing, it's no surprise that our family's peaceful Thanksgiving Day was made more complete (in my opinion) with a game of Texas Hold 'Em for me and the children. Because what's a holiday without a little gambling?

Brian, unfortunately, drove us all crazy by betting randomly, refusing to absorb any of the strategy of the game. He would put in 20 dollars, we'd all fold, and he'd win with literally nothing in his hand. I would call him a good bluffer, but he doesn't know enough about the game to do that. At the close of betting, he puts his hand down and asks…

Turkey Day

I'm sorry, folks, but the activities of cooking and eating and making small children cry seem to have taken up all my waking hours the last few days.  Tomorrow, I promise, I'll be back to explain how I traumatized my 4-year-old so that she'll never play Texas Hold 'Em again.  In the meanwhile, enjoy:

I know we've all seen this already, but - for me - it never gets old.


Who's slacking? Could it be me? I'd like to say I didn't post this weekend because I was too busy cleaning the house; but, looking around me here, I'd have to say that couldn't be true. The past 2 days went by so fast, I don't even know what happened to them.

I know I didn't spend them buying a phone battery at Target, because our house phone is still running out of charge after each 4.8 seconds of use. If you call me, talk fast. And if you called and left a message? Forget it.

And wouldn't you know, it's Thanksgiving on Thursday! Maybe I should find a turkey somewhere. Although, really, the kids should be perfectly happy with just corn, right? Corn and pie. Harris Teeter has pies on sale.

There! That's taken care of. I'm nothing if not efficient.

Efficient and unrealistic...I decided our family needed to do something different today, something fun that would provide our children with fond memories of parents who were willing to …

7 Quick Takes: Better Late Than Never

35 minutes more, and Friday's over - I have to do this fast, because I don't know how to change that sign up there to 7 Quick Takes Saturday.

Mrs. G has a post up at the Women's Colony in which she reminisces fondly about 8th-grade roller-skating nights.  I, too, remember going to the roller rink in 8th grade.  I managed to fall on my butt so hard that I must have bruised my tailbone.  All I know is that I could hardly walk and my mother had to write a note to get me excused from gym that Monday.  Whatever she wrote made the gym teacher laugh at me.  Thanks, Mom!I pulled out all the stops for dinner on Thursday:  I roasted 2 chickens, meticulously carved them up, made gravy from the drippings, and mashed my own potatoes.  At the last minute, I realized I had forgotten a vegetable and threw some frozen corn into the microwave.  Guess which item the children raved about?  That'll teach me to make an effort, won't it?
Larry thought the above incident was very funny.  …

A Grand Experiment

For the past decade I've tried subscribing to the "get everything done in November so you can relax and enjoy the holidays" school of thought. You know - address Christmas cards, buy and wrap the presents, plan menus, bake cookies, etc. And you know what? It never worked out that way. Instead, it felt as though Christmas lasted 2 full months. The season of Noel and Ho, Ho, Ho became an albatross around my neck. By the time 25 December rolls around, I'm sick of the whole thing and can out-humbug the most Scrooge-ish Ebenezer.

So I'm being a maverick this year, folks - going rogue, as it were. I'm not doing anything for Christmas until December 15th. Yup. Nothing. My favorite Christmases were the ones I had in college, when my friends and I might wander out to find a tree when finals were at last over and done with, and then we would hitch a ride to the mall and walk around and buy goofy presents. Afterward we'd all go to someone's apartment a…

Book Review (Sort Of)

I know it's hard to believe, but I'm not in the mood to post. Life is just smacking me around a bit too much the past couple of days...

Plus, I've been spending my spare time reading an actual book. If you haven't read The Glass Castle yet, check it out. The description sounds depressing, but it's not. I mean, it should be; but for some reason it isn't. The author is definitely not a whiner. Unlike, say, yours truly...

I'm thinking of doing a giveaway once I'm done with it, but I guess I'll have to buy it first. Right now it's still over at Barnes and Noble where I've been sneaking peeks at it rather than doing my editing work. I'm just proud of myself for reading something that has paragraphs that are longer than 2 or 3 sentences each. I think my brain's been shrinking.

Oh, and things got so bad in the refrigerator that Larry cleaned it out while I was gone on Saturday. I think it was the liquefied tomatoes in the bottom of t…

Let's Play Santa

I thought I would take a break from meaningless drivel that does the world not one whit of good and inform y'all of a coat drive that Sue is running for refugees in Salt Lake City.

I know! I had no idea there were any refugees in SLC, myself. But Sue says there are. They come from war-torn areas of Africa and Asia.

(You wouldn't lie, would you, Sue?)

Now, Sue and I go back a long way (I mean, in blogging years); and, although we may have had our disagreements now and then, say, like when I had to defend her mother's honor against Sue's slanderous post about her childhood eating habits, I remain convinced that Sue has a heart of gold and deserves our support in rounding up 100 winter coats for refugee children.

(Hmmm....that still sounds fishy....maybe they're just for Sue and her family? We all know how many kids those Mormons have running around.)

(More than 6)

(6 is normal, dammit)

Where was I? Oh! Oh, yes - coats. Sue came up with the idea of asking people…

Glass Houses

As previously reported, we traveled more than 3 hours with the kids on Monday to take advantage of the free admission to a living history museum. While there, we received a frantic phone call from Anna - she was locked out of the house and she had a horrible headache. We told her that the headache medicine was in the kitchen, suggested a neighbor's house to check for an extra key, and reminded her that we were too far away to come home and rescue her. She sounded upset with that.

After hanging up, I was mentally rehearsing my already well-polished "See? This is why it's important to remember your key LIKE WE TOLD YOU" discourse and thinking of following it up with a supplementary "You're old enough to keep track of important things like keys, you know" speech - when I noticed Larry staring at my shoulder. My, uh, empty shoulder....

"Where's your purse?" he asked.

"Purse? Where is my purse? Did I have it when we left the car?"


Veteran's Day

There's a lot of talk on a day like today about how selfless military people are.  People left and right in the blogosphere are thanking veterans like me for our service.  So I just want to set one thing straight.

I joined the Navy because I needed a job.  I had student loans to pay; I was ashamed of not being on my own (unlike many "kids" in their 20's nowadays); and no one wanted to pay a fresh-faced History major anything close to a living wage.

In other words, I joined the military for totally selfish reasons, as do many in the armed forces.  I joined for money, I joined to gain my independence, I joined in the hope I would get a chance to travel.

What I got was a lot more.  For the first time in my life, I worked and lived alongside people of another skin color.  For the first time in my life, I saw African Americans in positions of power.  And I came into close contact with those heretofore exotic people known as "Southerners" and "Texans." …

When Technology Goes Rogue

Last night we came home from our road trip (more on that tomorrow) to find a friend's email informing us that our computer - apparently feeling angry and betrayed by my absence all day - was sending out spam messages to everyone in my address book. Larry spent the next 3 hours (and let me tell you, after driving over 7 hours in one day, this was not what he had in mind for his evening activities) doing whatever magically tech-y things he does to erase viruses and build firewalls and generally batten down the hatches on both our computers.

[Ladies! If your husbands are ever similarly engaged, let me advise you - it is not the best time to helpfully mention that the clothes dryer is drying too slowly and maybe it's time to clean out the dryer vent pipe again. His response, as I can sadly attest, will not be a positive one.]

This morning I sat down to send an email to all my contacts explaining that actually, no, I was not trying to introduce them to an "international trade…

Only The Strong Survive

I know there are families who like nothing better than to pile everyone in the car and go off on a road trip for a day or two. I mean, I've read about this strange phenomenon. And we do have friends who managed to cross the entire country with 4 kids (ages 2 - 8) in a station wagon in a mere - are you ready? - 4 days. (No DVD players involved - they hadn't been invented yet.)

Our family, sadly, is not of that ilk. The kids' bickering during a 90-minute road trip last July almost put me in the loony bin. I've blocked out how we made it to our vacation spot 12 hours away last August without abandoning someone en route. And the logistics of preparing for a family car trip are enough to make me cry.

Which makes it all the more puzzling why I brought to Larry's attention the "Free Admissions For Veterans" week at a living history museum we've been too cheap to visit all these years. Why don't we just pop down there for the day? I asked brightly.

7 Quick Takes: Warm and Dry

Larry went camping with David's Civil Air Patrol this weekend, in sub-freezing temperatures. Meanwhile, I'm home eating the rest of the Halloween candy. Sometimes Dads do get the short end of the stick.Yes, it is surprising there is any candy left to eat. Don't rush me. These Twizzlers are chewy, you know.Hot Tamales, too - yum!Readers of this blog possess an impressive amount of scientific knowledge, if one can judge from their explanations yesterday of why the moon sometimes looks orange. I feel smarter just from reading all of their comments. And I like the way "Harry" (whoever he is) managed to combine a science lesson on the wavelengths of light with a little bit of child-rearing advice.
Gah, 3 more? This calls for candy. Smarties, anyone? We have a surplus.Theo's 18th birthday is coming up. I should write a heartfelt letter to him on this momentous occasion, expressing my love for him and my pride in his growing up to be an independent young man…


Too tired to write tonight - no jokes, not even a good link. The 3 fun-sized Snickers I consumed this evening may have something to do with my current malaise. I'm going to bed (before midnight!). But if someone could explain to me why lately the moon looks orange while it's rising but not orange when it is way up in the sky, I sure would appreciate it.

Exercise - Who Needs It? Not Barbie...

Every once in a while, scientific research comes along which reaffirms my faith in the ultimate justice of our universe.  This article, for instance, talks about a study which found that exercise does nothelp people lose weight.  Take that, all you self-satisfied early-morning joggers...

[Please note that I was way out in front on this important issue, as shown by this post from 2005, wherein I asserted that exercise can actually make one fat.]


David spent today teaching Susie how to joust with the craft-stick-and-duct-tape swords that he created.  I must say, Susie is a very giggly jouster, even when (especially when) theoretically cleaving her unfortunate opponent in two.

Whatever happened to playing with dolls, anyway?  Do little girls do that anymore?  My best friend and I used to spend hours playing with our Barbies.  At my house, my Barbies led a cloistered existence, focused on fashion and undisturbed by any love interests or significant others…

Prose And Poetry - A Twofer!

Larry took my giganto bag of candy away today, forcing me to break into my secret stash. Be prepared is my motto; he's done this to me before.

This year I tried to be one of those people who save the pumpkin scoopings and pick out all the seeds and roast them. I managed to do the "save the pumpkin scoopings" part all right. But there wasn't room in my refrigerator for them (not surprising). And then I forgot about them all day Sunday, even though they were sitting in a huge bowl on my counter.

Monday morning? Wow. You know, I had no idea that vegetable matter could smell like dead fish. Learn something new every day, eh?

And where's that NatureMill electric composter when I need it?

I leave you with a bit of doggerel (apologies to Joyce Kilmer):

I think that I shall never see
A day lovely as Halloween.

A Snickers bar with peanuts packed,
Fills up my mouth and gives good snack;

A Reese's cup with peanut butter,
Why, yes, I think I'll have another;

What's this…

Sexy Prairie Women Love Reese's

For the second year in a row, we saw a slide in our trick-or-treaters index - a mere 18 cute costumed children showed up at our door last night. That's down from the more than 70 we had come by 2 years ago. It's even less than last year's all time low of 27.

I don't know about you, but I find these numbers disturbing. And when I find something disturbing, I blame the Obama administration. You know, you get those government nannies interfering in your life, regulating your chocolate consumption and banning flammable flashlights from China; and all the fun is drained out of the holiday. What we have now is a population too demoralized to even think about trick-or-treating. They're all huddled at home, hoarding their Reese's peanut butter cups and hiding from the vaccination police.

Or else, it was the steady rain that deterred them. That's a distinct possibility.

Speaking of Reese's peanut butter cups, there seems to have been a bumper crop this year.…