Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Believe In Science

And why wouldn't I?  Feast your eyes on the latest scientific finding, courtesy of the New York Times:


I need a new drug...

Here's the money quote: "By many measures, consumption of chocolate was linked to lower rates of stroke, coronary heart disease, blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions."  Well, I say praise the Lord and pass the Hershey's!  Preferably with almonds...

[Hershey bar image: Hershey's Vending]

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No More Dishpan Hands

Exciting news - "Ranson, West Virginia" has just outed herself in Thursday's comments.  Welcome,!  I'd link to her, but she doesn't seem to have a blog.  And yet more exciting news - Larry installed the used dishwasher for me.  It was gifted to me by my recently deceased friend, in a manner of speaking; her daughters had to replace all her appliances in order to sell her house.  I am convinced that this dishwasher will work out, as it turns out that my friend bought it on MY BIRTHDAY back in...oh...the year 2000.

It's not old, it's experienced.  Besides, she didn't use it much - just to drive to church on Sundays...

Never mind that it seems to be creating a puddle when I run it.  I can just mop that up.  The bar, it has been lowered around here, I'll tell ya.  Also exciting?  I used one of those cute little square dishwasher detergent tablets instead of the traditional powder.  What fun!  I never would have tried it, but that's what my friend used; and I don't want to make any changes that would destroy the magic.  It cleans dishes!  And dries them!  Without bickering!  How amazing is that, anyway?

[Cascade image: The Stir]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meteorological Meltdown

Our end of the country is experiencing a weather geek's dream - earthquake, tornadoes, flash floods, hurricane - it just doesn't stop coming.  The most entertaining part of all this are the comments on the Capital Weather Gang's Facebook page, comments like this one: "ECMWF is a good global model but is not necessarily the best for fine-grained hurricane tracks. I'd be looking at GFDL. HWRF is explicitly designed for this but their choice to stick with NMM core is 'interesting'."  

Those are the COMMENTERS, mind you, not the actual Capital Weather Gang professionals.  Weather geeks take things VERY seriously, apparently.

So I'm off to check on flashlights, batteries, water, etc.  I am fairly sure I won't find any of those items in our house, even though Larry and I have bought approximately umpteen thousand flashlights in the past 2 decades AND I purchase all sorts of batteries every single month at the commissary.  Tomorrow will undoubtedly be spent mingling with all the other flashlight-and-battery shoppers in the local stores.  That should be almost as much fun as shopping before a blizzard.  I can't wait.

On the up side, our upcoming camping trip has been canceled due to our not wanting to drown in our sleeping bags.  Which gives me more time to persuade Larry to buy that camper...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


For The Bloggess's sake, I sure hope God has a sense of humor.

And I'm loving all the advice I'm getting on the camper (in)decision.  But just so you know, it's not a choice between the camper and a dishwasher.  I've just inherited a dishwasher (glory, hallelujah) that I have high hopes for.  That is, if Larry can ever get around to installing the thing - he's been too busy lately strenuously ignoring all the pictures of campers I leave up on the computer screen.

It's late.  That's all for tonight, you delightfully helpful people, you...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Larry and I are vaguely considering a (for us) significant purchase (and no, it's not a dishwasher - why would Larry BUY a dishwasher when he managed to MARRY one?).  A friend brought to our attention a used pop-up camper for sale nearby; and, given that I have recently converted to being a person-who-camps, we're actually discussing it.  Well, I'm discussing it, anyway...

"Look, Larry!  It sleeps 6!"
"And, oh, a little sink!  Isn't that nifty?"
"Honey, it's a tent on wheels - no more, no less.  And we have a tent already."
"But it's cute!"
"$2900 dollars is never cute."

Now, while I doubt that my readership encompasses a large camping demographic, I am nevertheless throwing this question out there: Is a pop-up camper worth the money?  I'm thinking less mud on the sleeping areas, less chance of things getting wet in a storm, and - oh, look - a dinette table to play cards on while we listen to the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof...

Also?  It's cute.

[Camper image:]

Friday, August 19, 2011

7 Quick Takes: No Theme This Week

Congratulations to Emily of The Sassy Lime!  She sounds like a person who actually knows how to use a $25 gift card from; so I'm glad that the random number generator picked her to win it.  Emily, send me an email telling me where to mail the card, okay?


Larry and David come home from their Boy Scout trek tomorrow evening - exactly 4 days too late to save me from the angry, rabid bat that was flying around my living room.  Thanks a lot, guys.  But don't worry - I'm saving the clogged toilet in the master bathroom for them.


Gosh, "master bathroom" has such a spacious ring to it, doesn't it?  It's a misnomer, for the room is tiny - as in 7 Dwarfs tiny.  Heaven forbid you want to dry your hair in front of the mirror over the sink - you're forced to choose between constantly knocking your right elbow against the (open) door or squeezing your body against the vanity in order to swing said door shut.  If you choose the latter, beware!  One of many small people in the house will open the door into your back as you attempt to straighten your hair without burning yourself.


Silver lining? The children learn some new vocabulary words.


My friend and I didn't dress like this.
A friend and I took our kids bowling today.  I won with a 94.  I know, we're pros.


Nine-year-old Rachel got a 94 also.  I told her my score counts for more, because she used bumpers and I didn't.  I don't know why she cried like that.  These kids need to toughen up and learn how to compete.


You should check out Conversion Diary, the host of 7 Quick Takes.  Jennifer toughens her kids up by leaving scorpions in their toy pile.  She's one tough dame.

[7 Dwarfs image:]
[Girl bowling image: Domm's Bowling]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Blame My Husband

I've mentioned Larry and David are off camping in the wilds of New Mexico, right? So I've been flying solo here and doing a pretty darn good job of it, if I do say so myself.  True, we didn't have Internet all of Monday until I figured out how to fix it (I restarted something-or-other, sort of the modern equivalent of banging on the TV set to make all the lines disappear); and the children haven't exactly been eating healthy.  But we're managing.  And last night, even though there was a late bedtime and then I wasted an hour trying to dig through the crap piled 3 feet high (no joke) on David's desk, I remained responsible enough to head downstairs to the kitchen at 10:30 to do the dinner dishes.  Yes, no goofing off here!

As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I saw something black fly through the living room.   Oh, I thought, there's a bird in the house. 

A black bird...

At night....

This was the only bat picture I could stand.
And here, dear reader, is where I screamed, made an about-face, and ran out the front door.

Only it wasn't that smooth.  Because the screen door was latched.  So I continued emitting screams as I struggled with the latch and THEN I ran out the front door.

In retrospect?  I should have run up the stairs and shut the doors to the kids' bedrooms in order to protect them from what I assumed was an angry, rabid bat that could fly upstairs at any minute.  But no - I saved my own skin.  I'm not proud of that.

Running for help (feeling very much like I was starring in my own horror movie), I banged on a neighbor's door and - luckily - a zombie didn't answer.  My neighbor came over and chased the bat out of the house.  Because - did I mention? - LARRY WASN'T HOME.  He left his 3 youngest kids with a woman who apparently does not possess enough maternal instinct to save her children before herself.  How neglectful IS he, anyway?

[Yesterday's gift card giveaway is still open, if you care to participate!]

[mom image: Lay Out Locator]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wherein A Leopard Fails To Change Its Spots

Aeons ago (in blog time), I won a $25 gift card to from Married To My Sugar Daddy.  I was really excited to win it, too.  I thought, "It's about time I paid some attention to this make-up thing.  After all, I'm not getting any younger."

Let's digress here.  I have reached the august age of 48 without ever having worn make-up (aside from that BonneBell lip gloss stuff in 7th grade).  I cannot explain this phenomenon.  I mean, I know I can definitely use some make-up.  Something to accentuate my eyes and my cheekbones, say, in a desperate bid to draw attention away from the sagging lower half of my face....that would be nice.  I opened the catalog that came with the gift card.  Let's see...eye liner?  Mascara?  Some of whatever it is women rub on their cheekbones? 

Picture, if you will, a monkey let loose in an Anthropologie store.  I could make neither heads nor tails of what I was looking at, though I was fascinated by all of it.  I thought about ordering some things anyway and begging a friend to help me use it.  But the more I looked, the more confused I got.  So many varieties and colors!  Pretty ladies!  Lips! BIG lips! (insert puzzled chimp sounds here)  I put down the catalog, planning to return to it later.

I never did.  Perhaps at some point I will go up to some lovely make-up lady at the cosmetics counter in a department store and beg for help.  Someday, that is, when I can overcome the fear that the girl will either laugh at me or immediately commence yanking out my extra eyebrow hairs (of which there are many) the meantime, you, dear readers, have a chance to benefit.  This gift card will go to some lucky reader, preferably a woman with a higher make-up IQ than me. I know!  A giveaway!  Just like the Pioneer Woman!

Only, instead of a 1 in 25,000 chance of winning, your odds are more like 1 in 20.  How great is that?  Just leave a comment below to be eligible.  Remember - you've got to be in it to win it!

[makeover image: beauty makeup tips]

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Birthday Edition

  I managed to break my wooden size 0 Harmony circulars.  This is quite a feat.  I almost wept, having set myself the (slightly unreasonable) goal of finishing a pair of socks in under a month.  Does Knitpicks make emergency deliveries?


Looks like a rat to me...
Today we celebrated Rachel's birthday - a celebration which necessitated my spending 3 hours in that circle of Hell also known as Chuck E. Cheese.  My good friend accompanied me with her children, and we whiled away the time arguing over whether Chuck is a rat or a mouse.  Please weigh in on this important issue.


Yesterday I searched for the present I had promised Rachel for her 9th birthday - a boxed set of Harry Potter books. Not being a frequent book purchaser, I had no idea that this could be an expensive proposition.  Imagine my surprise to discover that this particular item costs $86 at Barnes and Noble.  Paperback!  Next thing I know, you'll be telling me pay phones cost more than a dime...

"Look," I said to the sales clerk.  "You're selling it for $50 at B& - I'd like to pay $50 here."

"I'm sorry," she said.  "Those prices are to compete with Amazon."

"Exactly!  I am a customer eager to buy from your store - show me how you can compete."

"You can only buy it for 50 dollars online, ma'am."

"But I need it tomorrow!  If you make me go online, I might as well go to Amazon."

Surprise! The woman being paid $7.50 an hour  really didn't care about my problem.  Having worked the same job in the past, I didn't blame her.  So I went home and checked out the price on Amazon - 49 dollars.  Hmmm...even with one-day shipping, it would still be less than buying it at the store.  But wait!  If I would sign up for an Amazon Visa, I could get 40 dollars off.

Let me digress here and explain that Larry is adamantly opposed to these "special offers" that, according to his defensibly paranoiac view of modern finance, are going to cheat me out of money down the road.  In addition, he hates credit cards that offer miles or points or whatever else.  Life is too complicated already, my beleaguered spouse claims, to have to choose between airplane miles or LLBean dollars every time he goes to pay for a tank of gas.

He's cute when he's crotchety, isn't he?

Anywhoo, Larry isn't home this week.  He's off hiking in the wilderness with David.  And I had PROMISED these books to Rachel for her birthday.  So I signed up for the credit card and got the whole shebang with one-day shipping for 29 dollars. 

Hopefully I can cancel the card before Larry gets back.  If not, I'll have some 'splainin to do...


I worked a temp secretarial job back in the late 80's, and a guy from a neighboring office told me, "The people I work with are really fun.  We're always laughing and joking - you know, like on Cheers."  Um, no.  No, your office isn't like Cheers.  And you don't look like Ted Danson, either.


I don't know why I told that story.  Maybe because every time I see a blog post titled "Hysterical!"  or "Funniest Thing Ever!", I know immediately that it won't be.  I think I'll call it the Cheers syndrome.


I'm cutting this short because it's late and I promised a neighbor that we would go to the Farmers' Market at 7:45 in the morning.  But make sure to drop by Conversion Diary, the host of 7 Quick Takes - don't worry, Jennifer doesn't suffer from Cheers syndrome.

[Chuck E Cheese image: Arcade Heroes]
[Harry Potter books image: Fall and Fly]
[Lucy/Ricky image:  Inner Toob]
[Cheers image: The Daily Eudemon]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not Your Mother's Beanbag Chair

Just popping in here to say hi  - Rachel is about to turn 9 (and those seasons, they go 'round and 'round...); so I'm tooling all over town today searching for a pretty beanbag chair to make the birthday girl happy.  So far? All I've found is this:

Not sure if it comes with the outfit...

Somehow, it just doesn't feel appropriate...

[Beanbag image: Boing Boing Gadgets]

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Public Service Announcement

To the gentleman talking loudly on a headset in Starbucks this evening:

I'm sure that the developmentally disabled janitor whom you chose to instruct on the "quiet" way to move chairs appreciated your lecture on the importance of not disturbing the customers while he cleans up all the food they drop on the floor.  He was too polite, however, to let you know that your interminable phone conversation is WAY more disturbing to the other guests than is his method of mopping.  Also?  He really isn't paid enough to care whether or not he is interrupting your completely inane conversation.  And?  I am finding your graying ponytail and beard to be as pretentious as your voice is grating.

You're welcome.

[PSA image: Baton Rouge Today]

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Knitters Heart Miss Manners

Let's hear it for Miss Manners, who has backed me up on my long-held contention that knitting and talking with my husband do not have to be mutually exclusive activities.   In response to a question about the propriety of knitting in church and at other public venues, she informed her dear readers that "There is a centuries-long history of ladies quietly doing needlework while remaining alert to what was going on around them."  

The knitting blogs are abuzz with this official approbation of what we proper ladies have known all along: it is not only okay to knit in public, it is downright traditional to do so.  So back off, you non-knitting muggles!  We have pointy sticks and we know how to use them.

[knitting image:]

Friday, August 05, 2011

7 Quick Takes: The Not-At-BlogHer Edition

Larry took Theo to his new, further-away school this weekend for orientation week, leaving me home alone.  Well, I wish he'd left me home alone.  Actually, I'm here with 5 children, all of whom insist on being fed...


I'm still not at BlogHer11.  My fairy godmother must have gotten lost.  Now what do I do with this dratted pumpkin?


I pulled carpool duty for a bunch of teens this evening.  The texting was so loud, I could barely drive.  Now I'm trying to remember what we did in the car as teens - you know, before all this texting technology existed? 

Oh, wait...never mind....


It stopped being too hot here.  Now I have no idea what to complain about.  Birthdays, maybe?  We have 2 of them coming up next week, meaning I need to bake cakes that actually look like something.  I don't have a good track record for that.  Also?  In an unguarded moment, I promised Rachel I would take her to Chuckie Cheese for her special day.  Lord help me...

Did I mention we spent 3000 dollars on car maintenance/repairs this past week for our 2 minivans?  That's in addition to whatever we spend on gasoline these days.  I don't even keep track any more.  I can't figure out how to cut down on our transportation costs. I mean, we could sell the house and move to the city, where in theory we wouldn't need to drive so much.  But to do that, we'd have to spend even more money and untold hours to renovate our circa-1970 bathrooms first.  Might as well save ourselves some stress by spending the moolah on petrol and staying put... 

If there are any economists reading this, take note:  this is how real-life consumers make their decisions.  So you can throw out all those cutesy supply-and-demand graphs that don't conform with reality and get with the program, all right? 

You're welcome.


The left shift key on my keyboard doesn't work, and it's driving me crazy.  I'd get a new keyboard, but I'm spending all my money gassing up my minivans.


You should check out the host of 7 Quick Takes, Jenn of Conversion Diary - she isn't at BlogHer11, either.  Probably because she's enjoying the weather in Texas too much to leave it right now...

[Texting poster: Zazzle]
[Empty pockets image: ICIS]

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cinderella Syndrome

Yup, it's that time of year again.  I'm home and everyone else (it seems) is off having fun, meeting each other and staying up until all hours of the night talking.  They're going to the ball, and I'm sitting home wondering how we managed to spend 3000 dollars over the past 2 days fixing our minivans.  Don't these other bloggers have minivans to repair?

I've always wanted to see San Diego, too.  I hear it's not humid there.  And, unlike last year, I wouldn't have worried about bedbugs  - I would have just wrangled a house guest invitation from JugglingJenn.

But BlogHer did give me a consolation prize this year.  They decided to feature my Camping Survival Tips post this Friday on the BlogHer website.  Yup, that does happen to be the one day a year NO ONE is reading blogs because they are all at BlogHer11. But hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

Now if only they'd give me a free ticket to BlogHer next time.  Because, ladies, 300 dollars?  Are you kidding me?  I mean, if I could afford 300-dollar conferences, I wouldn't be going camping in the first place.  It's not as if I have any sort of a hankering to commune with nature, you know.  I've got plenty of nature invading my personal space as it is around here. 

300 dollars...please tell me that includes the hotel room?

[Charlie Brown image:]