Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This is how it feels.
Today I began yet another season of public humiliation in the pursuit of giving my kids a little fun.  It's become a sort of summer tradition, you know, this First Wearing of the Swimsuit.  In a fit of motherly sacrifice, I pulled on that spandex-laced contraption (or, rather, squeezed into it, as Susie would say) and took the three youngest to the pool this afternoon. 

I swear, it gets worse every year, that swimsuit ordeal.  And there's not a darn thing I can do about it.  I mean, aside from the burqini option...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weather Calls For Rolling Thunder

I've wasted a good hour today looking for something meaningful to post here for Memorial Day.  Unlike last year, I've come up empty.  Because, you know, I only had the entire Internet to search on.

Every Memorial Day weekend, though, a bunch of folks ride by here who don't need to search on the Internet for something meaningful about this day.  This is the weekend Rolling Thunder takes over our roads, and I don't know a soul who begrudges them that privilege. Unless you have actually seen it, it can be hard to imagine how it feels to see thousands of motorcyclists making a pilgrimage to our nation's capital, all heading for that candlelight vigil at the Vietnam War Memorial. 

A LOT of motorcycles happening around here...

Goosebumps, gives you goosebumps.  Maybe because it eloquently demonstrates what this day is all about - the importance of remembering the fallen.

[Rolling Thunder image: DistrictGeek]

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fan Fiction

It's shaping up to be a busy day around here, what with getting ready for Susie's birthday bash and all.   Seems that cake just isn't going to bake itself.  Herewith, a few quick notes:

Sounds more irritating than an unhappy 3-year-old
Our AC doesn't work.  Temperatures are supposed to be around 90 all weekend.  Longtime readers may be noting that this type of mechanical failure seems to be somewhat of a springtime tradition around these parts.  I console myself with the thought that at least no one has chicken pox this time...

So I've just added "buy fans" to my errand list for today.  I'm not even going to pretend that this task is going to be any easier than last time.   Which, for the record, was 4 years ago, and one of those fans I bought no longer works.  Or, rather, it works, so long as you don't mind its emitting a piercing whining sound while it operates.  I don't need a fan to keep me awake like that - I've got kids who can do that job just fine.

Homemaker Man, to his dismay, has recently discovered The Giving Tree.  You can read his profanity-laced diatribe about this inexplicably lionized piece of children's literature right here. Or not.  As you wish.

Enjoy your weekend, you lucky folks with air conditioning!

[Tower fan image: SKB Mart]

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Good-Bye, Miss June!

Wow!  Next month, for my birthday, I was going to beg a few people to add themselves to my Followers list over there to the right, just so I could reach an even 300; but in the past few days there has been a sudden surge (as it were) that brought me PAST 300.  All the way to 301, in fact.  Go, me!

I'm proud to count myself among those people in this world who have life goals which do not make other people feel inadequate.  That's just the way I am.  You're welcome.

And I would like to thank Homemaker Man for explaining to me, in the comments on my previous post, that that round glass thingie on the XBox Kinect is used to spy on me while I exercise.  I had suspected as much.  I think I'll just stick to my Girl-Scout-cookie-eating exercise regimen, thanks.  It's something I can understand, and it doesn't require me to clean up the family room and organize the utility room first.

Girl Scout cookies are my friends.

In breaking blogging news, June Gardens of Bye-Bye Pie is bidding us a sad adieu.  After blogging for 5 years over the most inconsequential stuff one can imagine and making it actually interesting (in a weird sort of way), she has decided to hang up her keyboard and join more fully in that activity known to most of the world as "real life."  Good-bye, Miss June!  We'll miss your ding-dangs and your banter with Hulk in the comments. 

And remember - old bloggers never die.  They just forget to click "Publish."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exercise Can Be Complicated

[When I originally wrote this post, there was an ad at the top asking if I were a Pilates mom, or more of an aerobics type, or whatever; it also offered a chance to win an XBox Kinect to whomever of us would be willing to make a video of ourselves doing our exercise routines.  All this to explain the rest of the post...]

I'm none of the above, by the way.  I'm more of a Girl Scout Cookie Gal.  In case you were wondering...

Also?  I'm still trying to figure out how one would take a video of oneself while exercising.  Is that possible?  The video part, I mean, not the exercise part.  I know the exercise part is possible, of course.  But NOT probable, I must admit.  I'm sort of exercise-adverse.

Which might just explain why I am such a Weight Watchers recidivist, come to think of it...

Maybe Larry should buy me one of those XBox Kinect things.  Do you need a modern TV to use it?  Or do people hook it up to their computers?  I wouldn't want to exercise in front of my computer desk in the den, though, with that huge mess of papers and abandoned cables and wires and - hey, my lost Amazon Visa card! - staring me in the face.

As if I could even figure out how to work this thing...

Come to think of it, the TV wouldn't suit me much better - it's in the family room downstairs and I'd have to make the kids clean up their toy mess and then I would have to vacuum or I couldn't stand being down there.  And the situation in that sector of the house has just gotten worse since our neighbors gave us this huge brown metal cabinet (circa 1960) that I had planned to put in the laundry/utility room so Larry could stuff all his tools in it and close the doors.  That way, the laundry room (which doubles as a garage-type storage space for us townhouse dwellers) wouldn't look so messy.

Good idea, right?  Only, the horrid thing (the cabinet, I mean, not Larry) is making my menopausal-I-hate-ugly-furniture self miserable, because it is STILL hulking around in the family room until we manage to clean up the laundry room enough to move the cabinet in there. 

Do you see how confusing and difficult all this is for me?  No wonder I don't exercise.

[Xbox image: Digital Dialogue]

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

I just made my 12-year-old cry.  I'm not proud of that fact; I'm just putting it out there.

Larry doesn't have the funny hat.  Yet.
Larry's off on a Boy Scout bicycling trip that was SUPPOSED to provide him with quality time to spend with David and Brian.  But David had a scheduling conflict this weekend and Brian has a nasty chest cold, so Larry ended up taking Theo (who was supposed to cook me dinner) and left me with everyone else.  Something's wrong here.  I just can't figure out what.

We picked strawberries yesterday at a quasi-local farm.  As usual, we ate plenty in the fields to make up for the fact that it costs more to pick them ourselves than it does when we DON'T provide the labor.  After Larry paid for our flats of berries,  I asked him, "So what did that add up to?"

"You don't want to know," said he.

He's right.

All of which is to say that today I made the world's most expensive strawberry jam.  It's good, all right.

But it's not THAT good.

[Boy Scout bicycle ad: Bisikletci]
[Strawberry Jam image: Homemade Gifts Made Easy]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I also spent time eating these.
Awesome Mother's Day - I ignored everyone and pretended that I was footloose and fancy-free.  3 hours at the mall, trying on clothes (and yes, I did buy some, as a matter of fact), a nice walk all by my lonesome, 2 hours at the bookstore looking at books and magazines and reminding myself that I didn't have to worry about getting home "in time," a solo grocery run to stock up for Bunko tomorrow evening...

Actually, I guess that doesn't sound like an amazing day -- at least, not to a person with a normal life.  You'd probably have to have been in some sort of hostage situation at some point to understand how free I felt. the daily grind of mothering akin to being held hostage?  Are we parents all victims of Stockholm Syndrome?  Discuss.

[candy image: Find-n-Save]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

We went on a field trip today.  Was it fun for the kids?  Did I have to drive really far on an almost empty gas tank?  Am I wiped out for no good reason?

Yes to all of the above.  Filled up the tank on the way home - 71 dollars.  Just in case you (you, meaning Larry) were wondering what I do with all our money...

We could reduce our dependence on gasoline, you know.  We could walk places, say, instead of taking the car.  Good for our bodies, good for the earth.... 

Oh, wait, we already do that

We could sell our townhouse and move into the city, near trains and buses.  Abandon the wasteful suburban lifestyle, as it were....

Oh, wait, we ARE near buses and trains. 

I could just stay home all day, every day.

Right, like that's going to happen.  You know what?  I'll pay my 70 dollars every two weeks and be happy about it.  Some luxuries are just worth the money.

[minivan image: Car Scoop]
[gas pump image: Montgomery Advertiser]

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Small Things With Great Love

Love flash mob in honor of Mother's Day happening at Momastery right now!  For as little as 5 dollars, you can help make someone else's life better.  Pretty good deal, if you ask me...

Don't be late - last time we missed it completely.

But we can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful.

~Mother Theresa

Monday, May 07, 2012

This And That And The Kitchen Sink

I was going to write a leisurely post today about Listen To Your Mother, but it seems I am dying of some strange virus.  So I'll make this quick:

LTYM was awesome.  Once the video is up, I will link to it.  There are some excellent storytellers among us, ladies; and yesterday I was privileged to hear some of them onstage.


Larry has left me again.  But not before waking me up at 4:30 AM to say that he had missed his cab and could I drive him to the airport?  Later, I received a call from the airline about some missing luggage he had reported upon arrival at his destination.  Apparently, he has had a not-so-good day.  Serves him right.


Just kidding, Larry!  Come home, please!  And not just because you promised you would recaulk the kitchen sink this weekend!


About said sink: I mentioned to Larry the other day that I was going to go ahead and caulk it.   I'm feeling sort of fix-it empowered lately, what with my mad tub-unclogging skills.  Larry insisted that he would do it, don't touch it, it's complicated because we have to plan ahead not to use the sink for 24 hours...

Really, I don't see THAT as much of a problem, do you?  What?  I can't use my kitchen?  Oh, bummer.


I am impressed with all the strong opinions on flat top sheets versus duvets put forth in the comments to this post.  Apparently, the presidential candidates are neglecting a very important issue.


I now return to my fainting couch, while the poor children forage for dinner in my mess of a refrigerator.  Adieu...or, perhaps, good-bye?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Turning Over A New Sheet

Over the years (nay, decades) that we have been married, I had come to believe that Larry had no strong opinions about bedding.  Aside from his request that the bedroom not get too "flowery," I've been pretty much left to my own devices when it comes to picking out sheets, pillows, comforters, and the like.  So, when casting about for a solution to my latest midlife crisis, I didn't even think to consult him.

You see, for 21 years, EVERY SINGLE DAY, I made our bed.  I didn't mind.  I like making the bed.  Even the days when I was post-partum, I would get up, shower and dress, MAKE THE BED, and then lie back down on it with the baby.  If, by some strange confluence of events, the bed has not been made and it is already time to go to sleep, I first make the bed and THEN I pull down the covers and climb in.

A little weird, yes, but it makes me happy.  And Larry didn't care.

But after 21 years of this bed-making regimen, I began to suffer a type of repetitive-motion malaise.  I was sick of traveling to both sides of our bed multiple times to properly position the top sheet and the comforter.  I was sick of having to place it just so on the bed so it wouldn't get all squiggly and out of place by the end of the week. 

I needed my freedom.

So, once we got our new mattress, I placed a queen-sized fitted sheet on it and then I covered that with a down comforter encased in a duvet (from IKEA, of course).  Oh, how carefree I felt!  How liberated from the tyranny of overly fussy bedmaking! Instead of prissily tucking in the top sheet, I could just toss my duvet-covered comforter on the bed and walk away.  In the morning, instead of waking up in a tangle of pulled-out top sheet, I reveled in the feeling of the smooth fitted sheet beneath me and the crisp cotton-y coolness of the duvet on my cheek.

I was happy

And then Larry said, "Where's the top sheet?"

"We don't need one!" I told him.  "We have a duvet!"

"A what?" he asked.

"A duvet!  They use them in Europe - no one uses a top sheet there."

"This isn't Europe.  I need a top sheet."

"You're a guy.  You're not even supposed to know what a top sheet is FOR.  Besides, the picture in the mattress store didn't have one, either."

"What picture?"

"The big one on the wall, behind the sales desk..."

Cute? Yes.  Bed privileges? Never.
"The one with the woman sleeping with her golden retriever?"


"Does this mean you're getting a dog, too?"

Sigh.  I've begrudgingly supplied Larry with a top sheet, but I refuse to pay any attention to it.  When I make the bed, I pretend it isn't there, its ugly, fussy self all bunched up on his side of the bed at the bottom.  I hates it and the domestic bondage it represents.  Myself, I look to the future, a future devoid of unnecessary household tasks and stifling bedding.  A future where I can emulate the culturally advanced Europeans who sleep free of the gagging restraint of extraneous bed linens, even if Larry does insist that it is nothing more than a symptom of creeping bedroom socialism.

But I'm not letting a dog on the bed.  Blecch.

[Puppy picture: Dog Breed Sites]

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Boy Scouts Vow To Honor Mother's Day

There are tiny ants with wings all around my computer desk.  I am not happy.  And where is my bug boyfriend when I need him, anyway?  Larry, of course, doesn't care at all.  He sees me swatting desperately at these horrid creatures with last Sunday's church bulletin, yet he just ignores my distress and falls asleep on the couch. 

I'm telling you, chivalry is dead around here.  Marriage will do that.

We promise never to forget Mother's Day again.
Well! I had a post all ready to go, describing how my Mother's Day was being supplanted by the Boy Scout biking trip; but Larry came home from the meeting this evening and told me that he and the other dads had decided to move the trip to the following weekend. It turns out I wasn't the only troop mother complaining about her special day being usurped. 

And the best part?  Thinking I would have to celebrate a week early (or, as Larry called it, the Greek Orthodox Mother's Day), I had already bought a non-returnable ticket to LTYM for this Sunday.  Guess I'll have to go anyway...

Now if I could just get rid of these ants, my life would be complete.

[Boy Scouts image: PochoBlog]