Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Found this, courtesy of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac:

Memorial Day

by Dennis Caraher

High school band. Memorial Day.
Country cemetery. Marched all the way.
We stood in formation, took off our caps.
Stood with the nation, we played taps

Year before Kennedy, year before King.
Last year I cared about anything.
But for that moment, we were one.
Honoring soldiers

At Arlington.

Notes drifted across the plains.
Swallows signaled oncoming rain.
Station wagons, pickup trucks
Rescued us then turned to rust

We put on new uniforms
Crisp, creased. Tattered, well-worn
Some forget where we come from
Some come to rest

In Arlington

When he was twelve, took my only son
Lost ourselves in the Smithsonian
Then Abraham, above the Mall.
Then raised our hands, touched the wall.

Headstone horizon, eternal flame
Unknown lie with familiar names
Sacrificed daughters and sons
So I could cry

At Arlington.

[Photo credit: Big Universe Learning]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Ranson, West Virginia!  Come on down!  Or, at the very least, comment on one of the dozens of posts you've been reading over the past few days.  You might also want to check your laundry and make sure the kids have been fed.  We all know how addicting this blog reading can become.  Myself, I don't remember anything from the year 2008 that isn't blog-related.

Sad, but true...

It's still hot here.  I think I'll just post about the weather for the next 3 months - it's all I think about anymore.  That, and how to procure a swimsuit that fits within the next 2 days...I've had my other swimsuit since 2006 and its spandex has lost its containment properties.  I need a new one to SQUEEZE into, as my Susie would say.

That's a cute story - everyone should go back and read it.  That includes you, Ranson.

Susie is 6 now and as jaded as a 6-year-old with several older siblings can be.  We presented her with a bicycle on her birthday yesterday, expecting squeals of surprised excitement.  Instead, there was a shrug and a happy "I thought you were going to do that."  Oh, well - I guess the magic years are over.  Susie has persuaded me that it's time to have her first real "kid party," a vaunted rite of passage in our house.  Lord help me, I don't know what to do with 10 little girls for 2 hours.  So far we've purchased the requisite party goods and planned the entertainment: a sack race and Pin the Tail on the Donkey and lemonade and cake.  

Is anything else required?  I sure hope not.  That pretty much tapped out my creativity right there.

[Map image: Epodunk]
[Party image: Webweaver Clip Art]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

12 Steps

[Yes, I've switched the font again - Homemaker Man said the other font looked too serial-killerish, which creeped me out so much I had to change it.  But it got me wishing for a ransom-note font - you know, with all the letters looking as though they'd been cut out of different magazines and newspapers?]

Here in these parts we've begun that 3-4 month annual endurance test known colloquially as "summer."  The windows are shut, the AC is on, the freezer pops are a-freezin'.  We're hunkered down, trying to take the weather conditions day by day, or - as necessary - hour by hour.  The only way to endure is by following the 12 Steps of Summer:

Beats a fire hydrant!
*Admit our powerlessness over the weather

*Turn our suffering over to an all-seeing Power, One who theoretically has our best interests at heart, although really, last summer made me wonder if that's true.  I mean,  95+ degrees 10 days in a row - are you kidding me?

*Conduct a searching and fearless inventory of our freezers for all confections cold and sweet

*Make a pact with a similarly suffering mother to trade air-conditioned playdates, trips to the pool, and no-cook pizza nights

*Humbly ask God to remove all potential pool poopers from our midst, lest a longed-for afternoon of water fun become an at-home whinefest of Biblical proportions

*Make a list of any and all SAHM's in the vicinity, in order to generate more play dates.

*Offer playdates to such SAHM's whenever possible, except where doing so might cause one to harm another person's brats children

Our favorite!
*Continue to conduct freezer inventories so as to ensure a constant supply of Italian ices and sorbets

*Seek through prayer and meditation the Divinely-administered strength not to run away to northern climes, sans children and husband, by mid-August.

*Attempt to offer to fellow sufferers succor, whether in the form of iced confections or moral support

Actually, that's only 10.  It's too hot to remember the other 2.  Lord help me, it's not even June yet.

[pool image credit: Pool Swimming]
[Italian ice image credit: Hubby Diaries]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easy Street

Ah! That feels better!  I just needed to slip into something more comfortable.  I'm not sure about this text font, though - does it look too slapdash?  I don't want to hurt my image of being a painstaking crafter of the written word, you know.

That is my image, right?

I guess I was just feeling sort of expansive today - ready to take on new challenges, present a new side of myself to the world.  You see, I was the Bunko queen last night, what with rolling no fewer than 4 Bunkos.

I practice a lot, you know.

So I came home and woke Larry up to show him my 30 dollars worth of winnings.  And then we danced up and down the stairs singing Easy Street...

I can't kick quite as high as Bernadette Peters, but I have no doubt Larry would really rock a pair of suspenders.

(The singing starts at 1 minute, but it's worth waiting for; this song was the only worthwhile part of the whole darn movie.)

[Bunko image: Sacramento Scoop]

Monday, May 16, 2011


We've reached bottom, folks - we're reduced to bribing our youngest to behave, right down to the handmade chart and the star stickers and the promise of ice cream if Susie can just manage to rack up 7 "star days" in a row.  We've even co-opted Brian and Rachel by promising them ice cream, too, if they just remind Susie that she wants those stars.  Because, people?  I've become too old and decrepit to drag a screaming, punching 5-year-old up the stairs and into her bedroom. 

I know it will come as a shock to you (well, at least it does to me), but I am no longer the fit young mom who lassoed 6 kids and whipped them into shape daily for more than 18 years.  What remains instead is a broken version of my former self, a mere empty shell of a woman worn down by the ineluctably erosive force of whines and complaints.  And you know what?  I'm at peace with that.

Now if only that star-chart method would work for teenagers....

[Stars image: SodaHead]
[Tired image: Prime Physique]

Sunday, May 15, 2011


It rained yesterday, so I popped in the Annie video I picked up for 5 bucks at the grocery store.  I had never seen the movie, but I figured the little girls would love it.  I spent half the movie trying to figure out who was the actress who looked like a young Bernadette Peters, because - hey - Bernadette Peters must be too old to still look like that.

Of course, it was Bernadette Peters -  from 3 decades ago. 

29 years old, that movie was - and here I thought Annie had been produced sometime this century.  How old is Carol Burnett now, anyway?  Is she still alive?  And why didn't they do a better job on that stupid movie?  Was it an 80's thing?  Carol Burnett was its only redeeming feature.

And the dog - Rachel really liked that dog...

In other news, I managed to spend 500 dollars on groceries today.  But I bet my Harris Teeter discount card I'll still need to go to the grocery store tomorrow for something or other.  It's a special talent of mine.

[Annie image credit: IMDB]
[Groceries image: Preparedness Pro]

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Resigned To My Fate

That Craig's List dishwasher we bought in February, after more agonizing than it took to send Seal Team 6 after Osama bin Laden?  It's dead.

Yup.  Dead.

We didn't bother to bury it at sea, either.

But the very same morning that Larry failed to resuscitate said dishwasher's electrical box, someone posted a "works perfectly" dishwasher on Freecycle.  "Yes, please!" Larry emailed, and he picked it up and brought it home that evening.  It shall we say...vintage.

Yeah, that's the word - vintage.

Early 90's, at best...but hey, the lady said it worked perfectly, right?  Alas, she was unaware of our dishwasher-dooming powers; after several hours spent trying to hook it up (including 3 - count them, 3 - trips to Home Depot), Larry gave up.  So now we have a vintage broken dishwasher gracing our kitchen, while atop it sits my dependable Michael Graves dish-drying rack, which has never given me a minute's worth of trouble.

That's right, I've moved on with my life.  And I'm just hoping Larry gets me that dress in the ad there for Mother's Day...getting all gussied up might just take the sting out of handwashing the dishes.

The shoes would be nice, too.

[Dishwasher Ad:]

Friday, May 06, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Mother's Day Weekend Edition

1. That's right, folks; why make it just one day when it can be an entire weekend?  Mothers are pretty darn special, you know.  Without them, none of us would even be here.

2. I think I've found a new slogan, over there to the right...

3. Alas, my children's art teacher diabolically scheduled their art show for Saturday; I don't think I'm gonna get out of that one.  Each child selects one painting from the past year, which she mats and frames for display.  I'm sort of excited that I'll actually have some framed pieces of art for my living room.  And, as Larry points out, if you calculate in the cost of the lessons for the year, they will be by far the most expensive paintings we'll ever own.

4. Someone has got to keep this economy marching along.  Personal responsibility - that's what it's all about.

5. Osama bin Laden is dead, in case you hadn't heard.  Or in case you're Andrew Breitbart...

6. I'm getting old.  I know I'm getting old because, while watching Seth Meyers's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner, I kept thinking, "What a nice young man! And so charming!"  Since when do I think in terms like that?  Is there something activated in the Jewish female genetic code as the 48th birthday approaches?

 7.  I don't know why that video up there has Obama's face - but he's not too hard on the eyes, either.  Gosh, I sure hope no one was coming here for in-depth political commentary.  Apparently, I specialize in the superficial.

Go on over to Jen's 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary - she's never superficial.

[Mother's Day poster: Jewelry Insider]

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Math? What Math?

Totally got sucked down the Internet rabbit hole yesterday, looking at silly things like this -

 ...and I wonder why homeschooling around here has floundered, eh?  Oh, well, at least we covered current events.   Today?  Maybe we'll watch an historical movie...

Who knew the budget cuts would be so draconian?  And that VP Biden could be such an inspiration to our President?