Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh, To Be In England...

My friend Carol, never one to take things lying down, left a lengthy comment after I accused her and her beloved of being, shall we say, a bit challenged in finding an obvious landmark where she has lived for at least 15 years. She began with a nod to Candice, the one commenter who had confessed to her own difficulties in this area:

Thank you, Candice, for your support. Before I address Suburban Correspondent's unprovoked attack, I must agree with her about the garlic sauce. Unbelievable. It was a masterly melding of the garlic and yogurt into a beautiful marriage of flavors -- not a marriage of convenience, mind you, but of unbridled passion -- juxtaposed with a whipped texture that filled the condiment cup like delightful, garlicky giggles. Oh, that the flavor could linger as long as the memories.

As for the mall: we
found the mall. We just couldn't find the restaurant. The fact that we made it at all is a testament to Human Will. And we more than made up for our tardiness with our sparkling conversation.

I must attest to the truth of her last statement, which would be obvious to anyone reading her comment. Whereas the great majority of us wield the English language as a blunt axe, chopping out random phrases in an attempt to communicate a faint semblance of what we are thinking or feeling, Carol uses words as an accomplished surgeon might use his favorite scalpel. And often the results can be just as cutting. "I would have hated you in high school," she told me at dinner. "You were one of those short girls."

"Are you sure she's your friend?" Larry asked me later.

Who cares? I'm a fool for anyone with a finely-turned phrase. "Masterly melding...unbridled passion...garlicky giggles..." indeed!

The world is all the poorer for this woman's not having a blog. Alas, she steadfastly refuses to keep one; she maintains that she has nothing to say. [None of us do, Carol; but does that stop us? I think not.] She belongs, I believe, to a different era, perhaps to a Jane Austen novel, where heroines drop archly witty bon mots whilst admiring suitors look on. She's Elizabeth Bennett, if you will, but with a Kindle instead of a spinet.

And, Carol? In high school, I was violently jealous of you long-legged coltish creatures who intimidated the boys by (literally) looking down at them and who weren't pulled off-balance by an over-endowment in the chest area. Oh, that I could have sailed through my teen years with age-appropriate clothes from the (too-large) juniors sizes and the assurance that no one (including those mean boys) would even think of calling me Punky Brewster...

The grass, my dear, is always greener...

[Photo credit: A Belle Abroad]
[Photo credit: Sweet Girl Sugar]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Heart Science

Sometimes there are scientific findings that restore my faith in the essential rightness of the universe. This one, for example...

Can you believe it? Eating a dose of chocolate every single day can lower my risk of heart attack and stroke. Sure, the article says that a mere quarter of an ounce is necessary to produce these health benefits; but if chocolate the size of a little foil-wrapped Easter egg is good for me, wouldn't an entire bag of those eggs be even better?

I'm on it.

[photo courtesy of]


And for those of you parents who agonize over the benefits/disadvantages of video games, here is a scintillating discussion (courtesy of The Onion) on whether violent video games are adequately preparing kids for the post-Apocalyptic world.

Make sure to check out the comment section. Apparently there are people out there who do not understand satire.

Monday, March 29, 2010

With Friends Like This...

In the comments yesterday, my friend Carol took me to task for not giving you more details of our dinner out together. For some reason she wants me to share how I completely lost control of myself while sampling the garlicky yogurt dip that came with the shish kebab. Maybe she didn't like watching me lick the bowl...

In my defense, the yogurt was not merely garlicky, it had become one with the garlic. It was a religious experience, I tell you.

I won't even mention here that Carol and her husband arrived at the restaurant late, even though they used both MapQuest and GPS to guide them. You know how hard it is to find a prominent indoor just blends into the background...

(She doesn't even have a blog of her own to defend herself on. Guest post, Carol?)


If the spirit so moves you, head on over to Suburban Matron and drop an encouraging note. She has her mastectomy tomorrow (Tuesday). She's being a lot braver about this than I would ever be.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Twitter, Explained - And IKEA - 2 Posts In 1!

Congratulations, Bloggess! Thanks to your post, I finally get the appeal of Twitter. For those of you unaware of the Zombie Apocalypse, I suggest you click on that link now. Who knew that getting your brains eaten by the undead could be so amusing?


Larry and I went out to dinner tonight with 2 other couples. We all left our children (15 total) to fend for themselves. I highly recommend this activity to other long-suffering parents. Just first make sure your fire insurance is up-to-date...


I set a new low-purchase record at IKEA today - 5 dollars (not counting the bags of frozen meatballs, of course). And I saved Larry an additional 1500 dollars by not bringing home the bedroom furniture I was eyeing. But please! Do not give me any credit for thrift - the longed-for bed frame and dressers were just too heavy to load into the cart by myself.

When I told Larry about my foiled expenditure, he paled visibly, a reaction which speaks to his incredibly charming naivete. I mean, after all these years, he should realize how close to the financial abyss he treads by letting me loose like that. Particularly right after I do our taxes...

Because, yes! We can! We can get our taxes done before April 15th! Usually I have them done by mid-February; but this year? I have dubbed this year the Year of Procrastinating Dangerously. If I can shop for all my Christmas presents after December 20th, I can certainly wait until late March to mess with those IRS forms. What could be next? Perhaps delaying until the last minute to find jelly beans? Looks like I'm right on track for that...


What does one buy for 5 dollars at IKEA, you wonder? Why, a set of red measuring cups, to replace the set cobbled together from 3 different purchases over the past decade. Sometimes I just want things to match and look pretty, you know? Things like bedroom furniture, say...

Poor Larry. Wives...we'll spend whatever you make...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Word To The Wise

I have no idea why someone Googling "easter cupcake ideas" would land on my blog....I mean, unless there are those among us that feel that a volcano cake is appropriate for our spring festivities...

And in the News You Can Use category, this article tells us that
Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a conference said Thursday, renewing a sensitive debate about how lifestyle factors affect the disease.

So, if y'all excuse me, I think I'll put this box of Girl Scout cookies away and get off my computer-sitting rear end for a bit...

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday: 7 Questions

Why does my husband think that "in the den, next to the computer desk" is the appropriate place to store his kite collection?


How old do human offspring have to be before they can forage for food on their own?


For you homeschooling moms out there: Is 2nd grade really necessary? It seems to have slipped through the cracks around here.


Who invented the asterisk? And why?


Is it right to be jealous of the commenter who came up with the joke I wish I had made yesterday? Hats off to Murr Brewster, who opined that "A machine-gun carrying chicken in Starbucks would be all right."


Why do people repeat things that they have not investigated the veracity of? For example, the oft-repeated canard that we have just experienced a "government takeover of health care"? The government's establishment of health insurance exchanges for privately-run, for-profit health insurance companies does not constitute a "government takeover of health care." On the contrary, it facilitates the free market exchange of goods and services. Our family has participated in the prototype of this sort of exchange for the past 13 years. My health care and the decisions regarding it are made by doctors and private insurers. Mostly private insurers. Which is the subject of another post....

Be upset about health care reform, if you will - but be upset over facts, not fiction. Myself? I am upset that adults with pre-existing conditions are not fully covered for 4 more years. Put those diseases on hold, folks! We'll get to you eventually.


Do Weight Watcher's points count if you are stuck inside with the kids on a rainy day? Should health care reform have addressed this issue? Discuss.

Visit Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes! And leave a comment boasting of your own claim to fame...

[kite image credit: mdfamilyfun]

[chick photo credit: ChickenClan]
[hamantashen photo credit:]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sound Effects Mania

Walking into the den this morning to investigate the source of loud whistling (Why, yes, I am irritable - why do you ask?), I happened upon David saying to Brian, "Okay, now do a whistling cow being sneaked up on by a chicken...with a machine gun..."

That, my friends, is how I know my children are listening to way too much Prairie Home Companion.

(Start listening at 1:45:19 to fully understand what I am hearing around here almost nonstop lately)

How come experts never warn about the effects of too much radio-listening on kids, huh? I mean, a machine-gun-carrying chicken? Shouldn't I be worried?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Acting Like An Adult (For Once)

Sigh. Really, I've had this happen before. I forgot Susie's nighttime diaper last night and she wet our bed.

[Yes, she still comes into our bed. By the time you have 6 kids, you don't care anymore. Not much, anyway...]

And as we all know, in this sort of situation Larry gets up and tries to look alert while I clean up the damage. But last night? I managed to strip the 2/3 of our bed that Larry wasn't sleeping on, rub baking soda into the offending spot, strip Susie, and wash and redress her - all without his waking up. In fact, he snored through the whole thing, despite my efforts to be as noisy as possible. Somehow I resisted hitting him with Susie's pee-soaked puppy-dog pajamas. It was tempting, though.

Maybe 19 years of marriage can be a maturing experience, after all...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flattery Won't Even Get You Cookies

No real post tonight - I'm still sulking about those Reuben sandwiches...

I made the kids grilled cheese tonight, and Brian still cried. But he choked down half a sandwich so that he could try the Milano cookies a neighbor brought over (to sabotage my weight-loss efforts, no doubt). Then he discovered he doesn't like Milano cookies. So he cried again. I'm just glad he didn't vomit up the sandwich in retribution.


I'm not speaking to Larry, because - in an obsequious (and ineffective) attempt to flatter me - he said, "Wow, I really appreciate your doing the dishes the past few days."

The past few days? The past few DAYS? Try 10 months, honey...and counting...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Road To Hell...

I made a terrible mistake today. I don't know what came over me, really. But Larry took all the kids out kite-flying and picnicking all afternoon (and no, you cannot have him - he's mine!); and I was feeling so refreshed from being able to clean the bathrooms and do my taxes in blessed peace and quiet, I decided to make everyone a special dinner tonight.

Reubens. Honest-to-goodness Reuben sandwiches.

I've been meaning to make these for going on 20 years now; but I have never had all the necessary ingredients in the house at the same time. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that not only did I have the sauerkraut (unexpired), the rye bread (essential), and the swiss cheese (small miracle); but, lo and behold, there was an entire cooked corned beef in my refrigerator. (Don't ask - massive St. Patrick's Day fail around here...)

[I consider it no small coincidence that this marvelous confluence of events occurred on the selfsame day as the House's passage of the health care reform bill. Certain things can only happen about once every 50 years.]

Also? Fresh cantaloupe. Yum!

So I buzzed around the kitchen and mixed up my Russian dressing (mayo and ketchup - from a kid's perspective, what's not to like?), slathered the rye bread with it, shredded the beef, topped it with the cheese and sauerkraut, and fired up my panini grill. I was totally channeling Betty Crocker by the time I diced up the cantaloupe and put it in dessert bowls.

Larry and the children came back just as I slipped the first sandwiches on the grill. I was smiling, the spring air was pouring in the windows, angels were singing...

"What's that?" Rachel demanded.

"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches!"

"Is there mayonnaise on them?" she asked in alarm.

"Well, yes, but..."

"What are those?" asked Susie, as Rachel broke into paroxysms of wailing.

"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches! And, look! Cantaloupe!"

"No! I don't want those!"

Now we had a duet.

"What are those?" asked Brian, hearing the fuss and looking apprehensive.

"Reubens. They are a very special treat!"

"But they're on rye bread!" he said, in the sort of horrified tone most people would reserve for saying, "They are crawling with cockroaches!"

David walked in. No hope there; he's a vegetarian.

So we ate dinner, Larry and I, to a chorus of wails and complaints and with the sight of big, fat, sloppy tears (Susie's) dropping onto cantaloupe. And I am never, ever going to cook dinner for these ingrates again.

[Photo credit to SheKnows]

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Exercise Hoodies Quicken Weight Loss

Not really - I was just trying to find a theme here...

Took Anna to Target and bought her clothes. What else is new? I went through her closet the other week - if the nation ever faces a hoodie shortage, we are prepared.

David and Larry bicycled all day. Larry realized that he is getting out of shape. I guess his plan of exercising on all federal holidays isn't the best one. That's why I just don't bother.

This Weight Watchers thing has become a sort of rite of spring for me. Last year, and the year before...and now this year. I love traditions. All the weight I need to lose (again) is sitting on my stomach and my bust. I resemble an Easter Egg on legs. It's not a good look.

Told you! No theme...

Friday, March 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday: The Spousal Grudge Edition

I was complaining to a friend today that my husband is once again going to a really neat place on business, while I stay home with the kids. And she said, "No problem - I'll stay here and watch your kids! You'd be crazy not to go, too." I greeted Larry with this exciting news when he walked in the door, asking him how much airline tickets to Europe cost and what sort of a hotel were we staying in, babbling on and on about how lucky I was. People! I haven't even been on an airplane since 1994!

Whereupon Larry pointed out that I do not have a current passport. And you generally cannot procure one in less than 2 weeks....



Yesterday's post is gone. Larry the Censor did not like the reference to conjugal relations. He doesn't care that the joke doesn't work without it. I explained to him that, since we are married, it is okay for people to know we have sex. He doesn't agree.

I typed that just to bug him. It will probably be gone by tomorrow, also.


Larry and David are going on a Boy Scout bicycling trip this weekend. Now that's the sort of trip when I don't mind staying home with the kids. Indoor plumbing is essential to my happiness.


Let's make this all about Larry, just to send him over the edge.


I've lost my sense of humor somewhere. But Brian is picking up the slack. He follows me around all day, asking me riddles that he has made up. That is, when he isn't relaying his latest bad pun to my purportedly appreciative ears. Actually, that may be why I've lost my sense of humor, come to think of it. It's gotten so that I feel constrained to give him pointers. "Brian!" I tell him. "You can't use a word in the riddle that will give away the answer!"

And you know what? He listens to me. I'll hear him telling the riddle to someone else, and he's fixed it. I'm so proud of him. I bet Jay Leno got started this way. Or, um, Suzy Soro...


Larry always explains his jokes. For 20 years almost, I've been telling him, "If you have to explain it, it isn't funny!" But he persists. David does it, too; so I'm thinking this habit might be genetic. I'm thinking schools should test for humor IQ's. They could offer remedial courses for people who score low: "How To Time a Knock-Knock Joke," say, or "The Punch Line is Supposed To Be a Surprise."


Larry made us pizzelles this week. Whatever he may lack in joke-telling ability, he makes up for in anise-flavored yumminess...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Party Of The First Part

I settled down to work tonight, first reading a (rare) email sent to me by my highly intelligent supervisor. It contained instructions for a new task. She wrote it as though it were in English and could be understood by anyone. Or at least by yours truly, who has been working on her stuff for the past 9 months....

I did okay until the second part. (And now I'm thinking..."The party of the second part and the party of the first part...") Part 2 involves creating a table or spreadsheet. I'm not up with that. I'm essentially a monkey who can type. Somehow, she has yet to figure that out.

So I'm writing this post instead. When in doubt, blog.

I hope that link up there works (you may need to log in to Facebook first) - it's a classic. What are waiting for? Go! There's nothing to see here but a puzzled primate scratching her head...

[Photo credit to the Ephemerist]

Monday, March 15, 2010

Armed And Dangerous

phdwithninekids just twittered,
"Do you know the way to san jose? (ok, I'm dating myself...but at least I don't know the rest)"

Well, I knew the
rest. And now I'm sitting here, grooving to Dionne Warwick while the rest of the family (sans Larry) is still a-snooze in their beds, thanks to that mind game of a time change yesterday.

While you attempt to get your day started an hour late, enjoy!


Oh, and for anyone interested in a feisty discussion on Mommy Bloggers (a title I, for one, wear with pride), head on over to this post at Motherlode and check out those comments. Weird baggage alert! Some of these folks have serious issues with people of the mothering/blogging variety. According to these naysayers, tomorrow's headlines will read, "Large Packs of Feral Children Roaming the US; Blogging Mothers Haven't Noticed."

Alice Bradley (of Finslippy) takes them all to task in her comment on page 2. But really - read them all. It's a breathtaking experience. Think about it - there's so much in this world to be riled up about: earthquakes, famine, wars, poverty, injustice. These people, however, are frothing at the mouth about women who happen to be keeping public journals on the Internet. You would think we were forcing people to read our blogs at gunpoint.

Now if y'all will just excuse me while I put my SuperSoaker away...

[Picture (once again) courtesy of HowStuffWorks]

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Horror! The Horror!

Wow - I've just become Exhibit A in the Icine forum topic "Things That Are Terrifying #451: Mommy Bloggers".

Context is needed, but not given, by this author - herself a mommy blogger. Her genteel tone when talking about all this is elevated to all the more horrifying by the realities of being a mommy blogger.

The horrifying post? This tongue-in-cheek jeu d'esprit, written over 2 years ago. Would it shock the person who linked to it to know that I have at least double that number of blogs in my reader now? And should I be flattered that she considers my tone "genteel"?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stinkbugs And Mousies And Ants, Oh My!

Well! That purchase of a brand-spanking-new Toyota minivan last year isn't looking so smart anymore, is it? You know, nothing adds a certain frisson to the driving experience so much as wondering if your car is going to stop when you want it to. Sort of Russian Roulette on the Road, you know?

It's still a great car to knit in, though. And what else matters?


I know you folks haven't heard a lot from me on the mouse front lately; but fear not, that isn't because mice no longer stop by around here. Oh, no, our house remains a popular vacation spot for any rodents looking to come in out of the wet and the cold. Of course, it hasn't helped that Larry decided to provide them with a continental breakfast special by storing the bird seed inside the house. PETA would have been proud of him.

Dealing with these pests over so many years has toughened me somewhat; I no longer scream and threaten arson the minute I discover mouse droppings in my kitchen cabinets; and my online research on purchasing flamethrowers has also dropped off considerably. Last night, however, tested my new-found stoicism; I discovered mouse droppings in the corner of our main bathroom. You know, the bathroom near the bedrooms, where we are supposed to sleep peacefully at night, without fear that hungry rodents will gnaw our faces off?

Now there's a pretty thought, no? Welcome to my creature-phobic mind. It's a freakin' nightmare in here.

I want a little credit for not immediately torching the house (after evacuating the children, of course). I didn't even wake Larry from a sound slumber to issue ultimatums involving exterminators and divorce lawyers. I'd like to think that, after 19 years of marriage and 13 years of homeowning, I've developed a bit of maturity in these matters.

Not enough maturity, of course, to prevent my entertaining the idea of leaving the mouse droppings on his toothbrush, of course. Just as a sort of statement, you know? A wake-up call, as it were...the desperate cry of a beleaguered housewife losing her fight with the grosser parts of the animal kingdom. It's not just the mice, you know; it's the stinkbugs, and the sugar ants, and the centipedes. It's all of them together. They're out to get me, I can tell.

[Larry just read this and said, "You forgot to tell them about the dead mouse I found floating in the tub of water in the laundry room last week." Yes, maybe because he never told me about it. Can you blame him?]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spare Parts R Us

My friend (you know, the mayo-giving one who doesn't bother to read my posts) called me today.

"Did Larry get the dishwasher hooked up right?" she asked.
"So you actually read my blog?"
"Yeah, I read it. Is it hooked up?"
"Actually, no - he hasn't had time to look at it."

[Significant pause]

"So, now you have 2 broken dishwashers in your house?"

Well, yes. That's one way to put it. Thanks.

[Picture courtesy of HowStuffWorks]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'll Drink To That

Sometimes? It's easy to believe that all is right with the world.

Now excuse me while I drink my way back down to a size 6...

[Photo credit: Lars Klove for The New York Times]

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Can't We All Get Along?

Homemaker Man has suggested that I solve all my appliance problems by putting ice in the non-working dishwasher and using it as overflow for my overcrowded refrigerator. Jillybean chimed in with the suggestion to leave the skanky Pyrex dishes in the garage. I don't have a garage; but she made me realize I could have left them in the minivan with the pizza. I mean, if it stays cold out...

Isn't that what's great about the blogosphere? Someone, somewhere, has an answer.

It's too bad someone doesn't have an answer for our beloved Mrs. G of The Women's Colony, who has run into some pretty heavy blogging weather of late. Myself being a person who winces at any comment that falls even a millimeter short of warmly supportive, I can't imagine how she has managed to withstand the barrage of hate comments, flaming emails, and threatening phone calls that has been unleashed upon her this week.

And why? Because she's not Christian enough. Heavens, people - before you click on that send button, just think for a minute - What would Jesus comment?

For you, Mrs. G...and all those people determined to save your soul...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Beware What You Wish For...

First, a round of applause for my devoted husband. Larry woke up early this morning just to install our brand-new used dishwasher as a surprise for me. I came downstairs to the sweet sound of its gurgling rinse cycle. Yes, I had doubted him. But I am willing to eat crow on this one, since I don't have to wash the dirty plate by hand.

It was a beautiful, hope-filled morning. I danced around the kitchen like Snow White cleaning up after the seven dwarfs. I loaded the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. I loaded the lunch dishes, too. While the dishwasher ran through its cycle, I emptied out my refrigerator and cleaned all the shelves, happy in the knowledge that all the nasty-smelling storage dishes I unearthed would be washed later in my marvelous machine. I took down my beautiful dish-drying rack and stowed it under the sink. I scrubbed its drip pan and stowed that, too. Hello, 21st-century!

But wait! Was that a puddle forming in front of my newly-acquired appliance? No matter, I thought. Larry would just need to tighten a hose. As I began to put my machine-cleaned dishes away, I noticed detergent residue on them. Whoops. I put them back in the dishwasher, to rewash after Larry gets around to fixing things. But there were all those dirty Pyrex containers piled on the counter....

I didn't have the heart to pull my Michael Graves dish drainer back out of the cabinet. Later, I washed and dried the dinner dishes by hand, ignoring all the dirty storage dishes. "I'll do those after Bunko," I lied to Larry.

So now I have dirty dishes in the leaky dishwasher, a non-working dishwasher sitting in my dining room, and a mountain of Pyrex in the sink.

But, hey - my fridge is clean.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Topless Tobogganers and Other Stuff

MSNBC has been kind enough to gather together weird news for bored people like myself. (Let's not wonder how the mother of 6 kids who homeschools, knits in her spare time, and has a part-time job can be bored. I agree, it makes no sense.) The headline "Second Annual Topless Toboggan Race Begins" caught my eye tonight. There's even a video.

Tis a strange and wonderful world we live in.


Today Larry brought home a free used dishwasher. It is now ensconced in a corner of my dining room. Shall we take bets on when it will actually be operational? Because, although my husband has the best of intentions, I'm not optimistic. I suppose I could use it as a sort of serving table at parties. Or maybe a toboggan...


I got a very pretty haircut on Thursday. Long-time readers (if I have any) will know what that means. It means that for the past 3 nights I have had head-lice nightmares. I'm thinking I might need some medication here.

Gah - now my head is itching again.


I wasted a lot of time this week trying, unsuccessfully, to use Twitter. How can anyone keep track of that many people and what they are saying? It's not like blogging, or even Facebook, where you can have a conversation of sorts. Would someone please explain this to me?


I'm back on Weight Watchers. Except tonight. Tonight Larry and I went out to dinner with some friends and we split an entree and a salad so that I wouldn't get fat and then the waiter brought a basketful of warm bread to our table, along with a dish of sour cream/feta cheese spread. Whereupon I said, "Screw it."

The bread was delicious.

Friday, March 05, 2010

In Which I Make Fun Of Rich Folks' Problems

[Welcome to this humble blog, Stumblers! For more hard-hitting (ahem) reporting on the alarming trend of wealth making you stupid, go here. Or here .]

This New York Times article discussing the increasing use of occupational therapists to teach young children how to write makes it apparent that, like many of the academic ailments we ascribe to our children these days, the current scourge of "dysgraphia" is most likely due to the unfortunate collision of normal child development and too-high academic expectations.

Wait! Make that the unfortunate collision of normal child development, too-high academic expectations and an extraordinary amount of disposable income, as is apparent from another quote in the same article:

“Even with the economy like it is, the hottest question when we socialized at our country house this summer was not what country club do you belong to, but who is your child’s O.T. back in the city. And how can I get an appointment?”

Let's see....I think the key words in the above statement are "country house," don't you? Higher-than-average household income is a better predictor of a kid's "needing" handwriting coaching than anything else would be. Let us pity the rich folks and their problems. As Joel Achenbach once complained, "The problem with affluence is it's so expensive."

Oh, and here is my favorite quote, from a parent explaining what drove him to seek therapy for his 3-year-old:

“The nursery admission people tell you they want your child to be ready to learn how to write,” said the father, who spoke anonymously so his son wouldn’t run afoul of nursery school administrators.

Afoul? Afoul of nursery school administrators? Now that is one movie I cannot wait to see. I hope it stars Bruce Willis as a divorced dad, desperate to prove his worthiness to his ex-wife by getting his preschooler into the finest nursery school money can buy. Yet, sinister nursery school administrators will make this an all but impossible task. Coming soon to movie theaters near you - Cry Hard! One man against the formidable forces of nursery school evil - can he possibly win?

You know, I get almost as many "hits" on my blog when I don't post as when I do. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I even picked up an extra Follower by not showing up for a week. If I promise to go away for a whole month, do you think I'd have as many Followers as VodkaMom?

And where have I been, anyway? I've been busy not cleaning my refrigerator, that's where. It's a very time-consuming form of procrastination. Also, I began to suffer an unfortunate addiction to the word game Scramble on Facebook. As in, I would start playing after putting the children to bed and suddenly the sun would be coming up and the kids would be coming down the stairs in their jammies looking for breakfast.

Well, not really - but almost. So I had to quit cold turkey. It's all behind me now. I'm clean, I swear it.