Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Day In The Life

Hannah came home from spending the evening with her best friends Mo and T.  They had been "playing" in the basement over at Mo's house.  When Hannah walked in I noticed she was wearing a different outfit from the one she left the house in hours before.  I, being a girl, made the conclusion that since Hannah had left our house wearing a sweater with a cami underneath, she probably borrowed a shirt from Mo when she got overheated.  David did not.

David: Who's shirt is that?
Hannah: Mo's.
David: Why are you wearing it?
Hannah: I got hot.

(see?  I was right)

David: Where did you change?
Hannah: (puzzled) In the basement.
David: At any time, was your shirt off in front of T?
Hannah: NO!
David: Are you sure that is Mo's shirt?
Hannah: Yes!
David: Was Mo in the room when you changed?
Hannah: No!  Geez Dad.  I borrowed her shirt.
David: Did T "borrow" (air quotes)  a shirt too?  Was his shirt off at any time?
Hannah: No!  

Saturday, January 29, 2011


This morning David asked Bubba to go take out the trash and the weeping and gnashing of teeth began all over again.  This child does NOT like taking out the trash.  Oh well.  Bubba started hyperventilating that David meant he needed to take out the bathroom trash and flung himself on the couch and started to weep.  So, David added that chore onto his original intent of taking out the kitchen trash.  All this because of last week's bathroom trash incident.

Sometime after the yelling ceased (David) and Bubba disappearing to pick up the trash I walked upstairs to get something.  I find Bubba coming out of his bathroom wearing bright blue nitrile gloves and carrying a garbage bag full of trash.  I started to laugh.

Where'd you get the gloves? I asked.  Bubba shrugged and answered, The orthodontist's office.  

You see my kids have this HORRIBLE habit.  When they walk into any room with a box of gloves, for example a lab, a dentist's office, a hospital room, a doctor's office, they think that they need to stuff a pair in their pocket for later, or better yet, wear them everywhere for the next few hours.  The weirder the glove color, the better.

Bubba, remembering his most recent acquisition at the orthodontist's office on the 20th, happily took out the trash this morning.  David made the comment later that we needed to "get" a box for Bubba for future chores.

Friday, January 28, 2011


David and I decided that we would try and start getting rid of "stuff" in 2011 and downsizing a bit (which is a complete laugh).  One of our purging kicks this week has been to download ALL of our cd's onto our hard drive and get rid of all 200+ discs.  We NEVER buy discs anymore, we exclusively download from itunes, it's so easy.  So far, we have listed 70 discs and sold approximately 30 ish (things change by the minute).  

David's task is to download everything and mine is to list and ship.  He got the WAY better job, but who is complaining?

My shock is that people actually want this stuff, and they want it on discs!  We are listing every cd ever purchased so there is some great stuff on the listings...Billy Ocean, MC Hammer?, Dire Straits, Robbie Williams (I know! I can't believe I'm getting rid of them), Yanni (thank God!) and the list goes on.  So being the competitive nuts we are, it has become a competition to see who's discs are selling first.  David is claiming that he has/had the better taste and his discs are selling before mine, which they aren't.  

As I see our sales increase I start pitching the idea that we are saving on space if we replace all these discs, all this plastic, with a really nice pair of black leather boots in a  ladies size 10.  He is arguing that we should spend the money on programming books or some other dumb nerdy stuff he needs for work.  We'll see how much the grand total is, maybe we could buy both boots and books.

The bad part?  Suddenly David has rediscovered all this music he hadn't listened to in ages, so every time we are in the car together I'm subjected to such atrocities as Van Halen...John Denver...Milli Vanili...the Carpenter's...and Yanni.   Yes, he is such a girl sometimes.

New Art

I bought this wonderful new print for our bedroom at Metsker's Maps when we were in Seattle over Christmas.  I decided to bite the bullet and take the print to Michael's to be framed, rather than do it myself, and they did a pretty good job.  It fits perfectly over our desk.  

Desk from Klaussner in North Carolina, chair from UNC surplus, lamp from Laura's stash at NET (I seriously do not know how it got here), the bracelet framed in the shadow box was a wedding gift from Mikey that I recently framed myself with a cheap frame from Michael's, phone from Target, and black plague from

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Lunch

I ate lunch with my class today.  We were in the lunchroom alone, and all having a grand time when there was a lull in the conversation around the table.  At precisely that moment in time I glanced down the table and saw two boys talking.  And what did I hear?  Two words.  Said rather loudly. One of them said "BIG NIPPLES."

I caught the eye of the blabber mouth, a.k.a. Johnny, and motioned for him to come over to my side.  He ever so slowly got up and, dragging his feet, came and stood next to me.  Johnny arrived, and knowing full well what he said, I asked him what he and his friend were talking about.  "Uh....body parts," he responded.  I asked what words he had used and he told me the two I was searching for.  Confirmation.  I told him that we don't use those words in school and he needed to be careful about sharing words with his friends, (he got in trouble two weeks ago for ASS) and I asked him to stop.  He returned to his seat.

Lunch continued and there was another lull in the conversation when I hear the "V" word from that same end of the table (didn't want the Google backlash with the real word).  Before I could get the child's attention he told his friend, "No you're one," and his friend countered by saying that Johnny was one.  I got up and removed Johnny from the situation before the va-jing-jang popped back into the conversation.

I asked Johnny what he had said this time, and he wouldn't fees up, so I told him that he needed to be silent for the remaining 5 minutes until we got back to class.

When we arrived back at the room I shared with my fellow teacher the events of the last 30 minutes.  And joy of joys, we got to write a note home to tell Johnny's parents the actual words used.  I LOVE writing porn to my parents.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Cheesecake Story

In my previous life I was a preschool director in North Carolina.  I know you are questioning why I would work in a germ-ridden environment like a preschool, when I am such a germ-a-phobe?  But maybe, this is the reason I have this phobia.  Kids are gross.

One fine day, years into my stint as director, a parent came into school bearing a homemade thank you cheesecake, of which the likes you have never seen.  This was huge for us at school because A. we rarely got good gifts and it was nowhere near Christmas, 2. I knew the cook very well, had been to her house, and trusted her and her cooking completely and C. it was the most beautiful chocolately pan of scrumptious goodness I'd ever seen in my life, and finally 4. I was really freaking  hungry.

I was known at school for my over abundant usage of hand sanitizer and penchant for hygiene. All my staff knew of this craziness and teased me relentlessly, offering me bites of their lunch after licking it in front of me, coughing on spoons before handing them to me or having the grubbiest kid in school hand me the left over birthday cupcake.

The cheesecake walks in.  Gratitude is given, the bearer departs, and drooling commences.  Immediately the staff scatters to find plates and utensils.  We all gather around the pan deciding how to cut this masterpiece of chocolate into equal pieces, when I get called away to the phone.  Upon my return, I see my friend and fellow Mysophobe Mamie, staring at the person cutting the cheesecake in pure horror.  I look around the room and actually, all the teachers and our secretary are staring at this fellow teacher (the cheesecake cutter) in silent horror.

Words cannot describe her actions.  She is in a zone.  She is cutting the cheesecake, picking up the cheesecake WITH HER HANDS, running her index and thumb over the knife to get the left behind cheesecake matter, LICKING HER FINGERS, picking up the crumbs that have fallen onto the sides of the plates with her bare hands, LICKING HER FINGERS, running her fingers around the outside rim of the pan, LICKING HER FINGERS, and the piece d' resistance?  She ran her tongue up the flat side of the knife and cut and plated more pieces, licking fingers or the knife at each use.  She was basically making out without with the knife and getting some form of her saliva over each and every piece.

As each one of us was handed a plate we looked at the others around the room.  Everyone of us walked to the nearest garbage can and immediately threw our plate into the trash and went into the bathroom to wash our hands with boiling water.  Sadly, not one of us except for the cutter, ate the cake.

Strangely, all the "spoon coughing" and "food licking" teasing stopped.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


As part of my usual Monday routine, yesterday had me at the physical therapist's office.  Usually (when I have gone for these last 8 sessions) I have shown my therapist, Maryann, my progress in my shoulder exercises then stripped down to my cami and Maryann will squirt ultrasound gel on my back and shoulders and proceed to use a wand to deliver something called e-stim.  

At first the e-stim did nothing.  Progressively it started making my muscles twitch and spasm kind of like I was having an involuntary tremor.  There was never any pain, but sometimes  Maryann would take this somewhat relaxing therapy and nefariously repeatedly run the e-stim wand over a specific muscle in my neck and make me twitch over and over until I thought I was going to need therapy for my therapy.  

Yesterday this all changed.  I demonstrated my exercises, got new exercises that looked completely lame until I tried them (wimp!), then Maryann informed me that my e-stim therapy was over.  As of yesterday she would be switching to a total hands on approach.  Manipulation.  My favorite part of the therapy, the mini massage/nap in the middle of the day part of therapy.  I was stoked.

Maryann asked me to lie on my back on a padded table, she told me to relax and she placed her hands underneath my back to "warm" the areas she was going to manipulate.  Frankly, I fell asleep after that part until who knows how much longer, when she went all voodoo on me.  I stir to find her shifting around to my head and placing her arms under each side of my neck.  I start to dose back off when of the sudden I realize her hair has fallen in my face.

I guess I should describe my therapist at this point.  Maryann is a petite thing in her late 40's, early 50's with stringy Marsha Brady hair, glasses, and a squeaky voice.  She is really nice, but a person that if you had to describe with one word would pick maybe...dowdy.

So Maryann's hair is in my face.  Ewww.   I am petrified to open my eyes because I can tell her face is pretty close to mine and I can feel her breath.  I am suddenly awake and thinking I hope this is going to be over soon when she does the grossest thing ever.  She burps.  Not like Bluto in Animal House or anything, but a nice sweet barely audible ladylike thing.  But her face was right next to mine!  I could smell what she ate for lunch.  I was disgusting. 

I know that burping is no big deal, and I know you all can relate when you think about your child or your spouse burping something supremely nasty in your vicinity, but a stranger?  Only an inch or two from your own mouth?

I am a H*U*G*E germa-phobe.  Someday I will have to share the cheesecake story with you, but I am known for my excessive hand sanitizer usage and not eating anything that someone else (outside my family) made, cut up, served, touched, breathed on, etc.  And Maryann burps in my airspace? Nuh-uh.

Then, after the hair, AND the burp, Maryann does this illegal, climb on to the table behind me and use her whole body to bend me into a pretzel, move.  Foul!  Flag!  It was a little too "Street Fair" for my taste.  Bending, writhing, folding.  I swear I was at the University Street Fair watching the freaks dance.  Which, by the way, is a whole ton of fun.  I just did not wish to be a participant.

After Maryann is done, thank God, she climbs down and proceeds to tell me how stiff (no crap), I was and that I needed to be relaxed for the therapy to be working.  She felt as though I was fighting the process.  Really?  Not for the reasons you are thinking, sweetheart.

I have to go back tomorrow.  I think I'm going to be bringing a face mask.  Too subtle?

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Life Is A Comic Strip

Bubba bounds off the afternoon bus today and excitedly drops a bomb, "That thing...Dad was wrong.  I'm supposed to have it for her by tomorrow."  What??

My brother has a Zits comic strip on the side of his refrigerator.   It reads something along these lines...Jeremy calls to his Mom, "Mom, I need to bring food to my class tomorrow."  

"When did you find out about this?" His mom asks while looking through the cupboard, "I think I have a box of brownies."  

Jeremy responds, "Uh, I got the assignment last month, and I have to bring a native Ecuadorian dish tomorrow."

As soon as Bubba finished his above statement I immediately thought of the comic. 

Let me go back in time to Friday, our snow day.  David was trying to motivate our children to get ahead in their schoolwork and the subject of Bubba's impending Science Fair arose.  David asked when the Fair was and what Bubba's project was.  Bubba had some lame, didn't know his stuff, Logorrhoea that took an hour or so to muck through.  

Basically, he didn't know what in the heck was going on. He couldn't say when the project was due, or what it was.

Back to today.  Bottom line.  Bubba has to come up with a Science Fair idea, execute said idea and have the raw data to his teacher by tomorrow.  He has had weeks to prepare, but he has waited until the last possible second.  

Here is where I want to look at Bubba and say, "What the f***?"  Instead, I say, "Call your Dad."


Man Up

This morning I had to take Bubba to school.  He needed to take his Stonehenge project to school and Bubba could not (we didn't trust him to) carry his backpack, lunch bag, and project on the bus.  I offered to take him on my way to work, but Bubba normally catches the bus at 7:15 and I leave the house for work at 7:45, so he was ready early and sitting impatiently tapping his feet.

Frustrated that he was jumpy, I set him to the task of emptying the trash cans in the house and taking the trash out to the curb.  A few minutes later he came back downstairs and shyly sat at my elbow until I gave him my full attention.  

Bubba:  I can't do the trash in our bathroom.

Me:  Sure you can.  Go take care of it so we can get going.

Bubba:  The trash is overflowing and I don't want to touch it.

Me: You put too much trash in, go take care of it.

Bubba:  But it's know.

Me:  We've gotta get going.  Come on, go get it so we can take it to the curb.

Bubba:  Nooooo.  It's got...lady convenience products in it.  I don't want to take it out.  Make         Hannah.

Me: (Giggling) Where did you get that phrase?  And, no it doesn't. Be a man.  Go empty the trash.  Come on.  (I push Bubba back up the stairs so we can depart.)

Bubba: (Weeping, gnashing of teeth. Crocodile tears.)  I don't want toooooo.  It has lady convenience products.

Me: (Laughing out loud) Will you stop saying that!  I am serious.  It is not going to kill you.  Go get the trash.

Bubba:  (More tears) Aaaaaa.  Ewwwwww.  I can't do it.  LADY CONVENIENCE PRODUCTS. LADY CONVENIENCE PRODUCTS!!!!

Me: Listen.  I am teaching you how to be a man.  Your future girlfriends, wife, friends will all think highly of you.  Man up.  Empty the trash.  Stop bitching about it.  NOW.

Bubba empties the trash and goes into the kitchen, pulls out the dish detergent, and scrubs his hands with the hottest water he can find, Silkwood style.

Me: I'm glad you washed your hands after you took out the trash.  By the way, those weren't "lady convenience products" dingdong.  Those were the cotton circles Hannah uses to wash her face.

Unrelated picture of Bubba sledding.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I really don't enjoy Facebook.  It's just a personal preference.  Mainly, I use it to connect with friends and family that I don't talk with on a regular basis, or connect with high school or college friends I haven't seen in years.  Facebook is not on my daily radar.  I don't have a farm, I do not operate a restaurant, I just use it now and again to stalk people from my past or people I have just met.  

Since people are curious and want to see how much you have aged since high school, or how many grey hairs you've sprouted since you've had kids, generally you want to put your best foot forward.  I got a bee in my bonnet and decided that my Facebook profile picture needed a tiny bit of help.  The above picture is the before.  A picture taken at a family funeral.  Hannah has always complained that it was weird because all you see is her boob and the bottom of her hair.  Whatever.

I looked through the 6500 or so photos on my Mac and decided that I liked this picture taken at my parents 50th wedding anniversary this summer.  Hair, check.  Smile, check.  Tan, check.  A few wrinkles, a few grey hairs, but not as many as in real life.  I posted the below picture on Facebook and when I went to add the caption I wrote "50th."  

Within an hour I had 5 comments on my picture (do you people have lives?) wishing me a Happy 50th Birthday.  What?!?  People.  I am NOT FIFTY YEARS OLD, not that there is anything wrong with that (almost 50) Laura.   My parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary, dimwits.  Way to make my day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Best Two Out of Three

Remember how I was making progress towards NOT becoming my mother?  Well, I took a huge step backward today.

We had ANOTHER snow day today and Hannah invited Mo, T and J (her other best girlfriend) over today to hang out.  Our house was chosen because it was the only house occupied by a parent, thirteen year olds aren't allowed to cook at home without a parent and it was suspiciously close to lunch time.  The kids disappeared into Hannah's room as soon as they arrived, which was fine by me, and I went to my studio (basement grotto) and started cleaning, painting and finishing up some projects strewn about.

After eating copious amounts of food the four teens descended into the basement to play pingpong.  The pingpong table is roughly two feet away from my studio through a two by four stud "wall" that has zero wallboard attached.   I could have played with them.  Bubba came down in tow, playing the part of the pesky little brother and put on a pair of roller-skates to pass the time on the cement floor.  Not two minutes later Bubba hit his head on the weight bench and fell flat on his back on the floor only to be ridiculed by the teens.  I took him upstairs, and out of sight, to calm down and  regroup.

When I arrived back downstairs, 10 minutes later, this is what I find:

I take Hannah back upstairs, away from her friends, and ask her what in the hell happened.  Hannah claims that someone (pretty sure it was Mo) kicked a ball (totally permissible in the basement) and it hit the insulation, knocking it down.   Let me interject to say that this insulation is stapled to the beam every half inch.  

HERE IS WHERE I TURN IN MY PARENTS.  I start into my rant:  if you want to have friends over, you need to make sure they are acting appropriately in our house...I have better things to do than to spend my time and money on repairing this mess...did you come and tell me right away that this happened, no...just wait until your father gets home...sure, tease your brother so I pick up the pieces of his shattered little heart...I sounded EXACTLY like my mother.

My 'cool mom,' let's go hang out at Hannah's house stock just dropped about 10 points.  Parenting: two steps forward, one step back.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sneeze

When I was a kid this picture hung in the nurses office in my elementary school.  I remember it well.   I don't remember being a hypochondriac, but thinking back I know that picture all too well for being an infrequent visitor.  

It snowed today (in Ohio? who'd thought?) and the kids were let out an hour early from school.  Bubba had an orthodontic consult this afternoon, and with the timing of the early dismissal and the late school bus I was idling in the driveway waiting for him when the bus finally came.  Luckily we had gone to the dentist for a cleaning on Monday, and we had a fresh toothbrush and mini toothpaste in the car, because Bubba had some seriously gross school teeth.  I thought I'd do the orthodontist a favor and I had Bubba brush his teeth on the way to the consult.

Bubba, being challenged, or a boy, or just plain ole' Bubba, popped the toothbrush in his mouth, worked up a froth, and two seconds later had to sneeze.  With the toothbrush in his mouth and nowhere to spit in the moving car he opened a corner of his mouth and daintily sneezed without too much of a fuss.  The first time.  

Then his second sneeze started brewing.  Dramatically he started sucking in a reeling back, so I yelled, "Not through your mouth!" before I thought too much about it.  I was concerned that he would spit all over the dashboard of my car.  Listening to his mother's instructions for the first time in his life he let the sneeze of a lifetime flow through his nose.

Let's just say that a garden hose would have done less damage.   And what did I do?  Bubba stared at me in shock, then I burst out laughing like I haven't laughed in ten years.  Bubba saw me hysterically laughing and he howled along with me.  My first thought after regaining my composure was at how much I have mellowed.  If Bubba or Hannah would have sprayed something all over the inside of my car when they were little, I would have had a monologuing yell fest.  So, of coarse, I started analyzing my life.  Do I have less stress?  Is it because I work and am away from Bubba and Hannah all day, and when I am with them I seem a tad bit more sane?  Do I just get along better with kids that can talk?

I stopped laughing about an hour later when the bill for "phase one" of Bubba's orthodontia was revealed.  $4000

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Virus and Narcolepsy

Bubba came home today and as we were talking about his day, getting a snack and unwinding he mentioned that his friend and our neighbor Jon "liked" a girl in the fifth grade.  Not really caring or paying attention, I moved on to the next subject.

An hour or two later Bubba brought up, out of the blue, that if he had to choose someone in the fifth grade, he would choose Mackensie.  I froze.  Dear sweet baby Jesus.  Did my 10 year old just say that he liked a girl?  What is going on in this house?  

I asked Bubba why he chose Mackensie and who asked him the question, why did this come up?  He said that he chose Mackensie because she was smart smart, not dumb smart, and she was nice.  (I liked his answer, but Mackenise is also on his rec soccer team so I am sure that had nothing to do with it.)

Is there some love bug that hits a household like a virus?  This is crazy.

Since our car accident I've been going to Physical Therapy twice a week.  My neck pain has disappeared, and my range of motion is getting better and better with my exercises, and the E-Stim, an electrical stimulation that my therapist rubs over my back to get my muscles moving.

The last few sessions, my therapist has added a neck alignment massage.  I lie on my back and "relax" while my therapist warms my problem areas and they manipulates them to realign them.  The massage and alignment is my favorite part of therapy.  It's like going to get a short massage twice a week, without paying for it, and I get to lie down for fifteen minutes in the middle of the day without any guilt.

I am a very easy sleeper.  So it is no shocker that I fell asleep in today's therapy session.  A crazy, lost fifteen minutes of my life, snoring sleep.  I was pretty embarrassed when I finally woke up.  Hey, she told me to relax.  I was just following orders.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A LITTLE Awkward

I met this really nice woman named Carol today.  We were talking about life and the subject of our kids came up.  She asked how old my kids were and I answered, and she made the comment that I seem to be making more and, I am going to have a high school aged kid and a middle school aged kid next year.  I laughed, made the joke about being a basket case, and Carol prattled on about how good the local high school was and all about the teachers, and how many extra curricular activities there were, then I suddenly realized that she is talking A TON.  Like WAY TOO MUCH.  Suddenly I realized that  I was standing there topless, flapping in the wind.

Seriously.  All of the sudden I say to Carol, "Wow, you are so sweet, but I am a TAD bit uncomfortable right now, not to seem really harsh, but can you talk and do this at the same time?"  Carol giggled and very sweetly apologized and positioned me on the mammogram machine.  I went on, "I love my kids and talking about them, but it hit me all of the sudden that I realized one of us didn't have a shirt on.  And it was me."  

It is kind of a weird feeling.  Walking around that room, even though it was 75' and balmy, topless.  But I did my over forty thing, and went and got squished today.  And a HUGE shout out to my new BBFE (bestest boob friend ever) Carol.  I walked into the Mammogram lab today at 12:49 and was walking out to the parking lot by 1:17.  Wow. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sucker Punch

13 has gone and sucker punched me in the gut.  Hannah has been thirteen for less than 3 months and I'm afraid I am only dipping my toe in the pool.  My sweet girl.  She's a given me troubles.  She is fencing me out.

It is obvious Hannah is lying to us about her relationship with T.  We have proof!  Meanwhile I am going out of my way to be the conversational, open and understanding.  

Today was the start of the "I'm smarter than you.  I am right and you are obviously wrong," eye roll, attitude and arguing.  Still, I'm trying to be open, honest and conversational.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Church

We tried yet another new church this morning, and it was great.  Did you hear me say that?  I know, can you believe it?  It was great.  We actually liked it.  Every one of us.

The service we attended started at 11:15, one of their 4 services.   We chose that particular service because it was the only one left in the day after we had frittered away our morning.  David had found the place on the internet and it was one we hadn't tried in a 10 mile radius.  He hadn't gotten specific directions, but knew it was on Whipp.  We drive up and see this absolutely H*U*G*E building realize we have found it.  It is SO BIG that we all, every single one of us, say something along the lines of holy crap this is the biggest church we'd ever seen.  Crystal Cathedral, Montmartre, Notre Dame big.

We go inside and are continuing our rant on size, features, and all around amazingness when we see the submarine.  Inside.  Yes, I am serious.  In their kid's section they had a submarine.  Bubba exclaims, "Holy cuss word."  He says the words "cuss" and "word."  I am not bleeping anything out.

We walk into the sanctuary and it is packed.  We end up walking up into a balcony, then making our way down to a side section near the stage to find a seat.  Music is good.  Not amazing rock band music, but good.  Then, the organ, a massive beast taking up the entirety of the front of the sanctuary starts and every single one of us gets goose bumps.  Awesome.  

The people are friendly and nice, the pastor is funny and holds every person in our family's attention.  David laughs at the stories and likes his research.  Hannah takes notes and follows along.  Bubba finds the countdown clock on the back wall of the sanctuary and watches the time tick away contentedly.  I'm enjoying myself.  All is well.  Until we stand up for the final prayer.

We stand for the final song and sing.  The song finishes and everyone bows their heads to pray to be dismissed and all of the sudden there is a CCCRRRRAAAAAAAACCCCCKKKK. David and I, and everyone else in the sanctuary for that matter, open our eyes and look over and Bubba is standing at the end of the row holding the molding of the pew in front of him in his hands, with a look of shock on his face.  

He had apparently "fallen backwards" (since his eyes were closed) and caught himself by grabbing the molding of the pew in front of him, breaking the pew.  Luckily it hadn't broken off, and he wasn't carrying it around for all 10 million parishioners to see.

As everyone filed out of the sanctuary I walked over to the information desk and very kindly told the nice woman at the desk that their pew was broken, by us, and that it should be fixed asap, before someone was hurt by the multiple protruding nails.

Hmmm are we going back to the Church of the Broken Pew next week?  

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I hate days like this.  Days where nothing seems to go right and you just want to turn back the clock and start over.  Our day started with a walk at a local park with a friend.  We were supposed to meet her and her dog there at 9:00, and barely got out of the house by 9:10.  How embarrassing, we were 20 minutes late.

On the walk I took over 100 pictures of the dogs, our friend,  the snowy scenery, the kids, etc.   The kids got into a huge fight and could not keep their hands off each other and Bubba ended up giving Hannah a black eye. 

When we got home I started to download the pictures for our friend and I don't know what happened, but the pictures did not transfer and I had clicked the delete after downloading button and everything is gone, GONE!

I spent the morning trying to get the pictures back.  

After coming to the realization that my pictures were gone, I went to my craft space to work on valentines and finish some projects and my sewing machine broke.  Sam tracked mud and snow in the house.  By this time David said we all needed to go back to bed.

Sorry, no pictures to post.  Gone.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Conversations With My Mother

My mother and I have a great relationship.  I have a few self esteem issues that I'd like to blame on my parents, but other than that I grew up in a wonderful, loving environment.  Lately, like all 73 year olds, my mother has a few Idiosyncrasies that leave her children stumped and laughing, but stumped.

Today I called my mother to see how she was feeling and catch up since I hadn't talked with her in a day or two.   I start each conversation with my mother like this, "Hello, how are you doing?"  This means, in my mother's lingo, tell me what happen since I last talked to you, and please don't let me get a word in edgewise. 

So I give her the springboard for her monologue and she starts in.  Apparently she is trying to get her dog Rosie, pictured above, into her car to take her to the grooming salon.  

I am going to stop right here and interject a few things about Rosie (a.k.a Rosebud, Rose, Roosevelt, Rosalinda).  First, Rosie is referred as "Satan's Spawn" by my siblings and myself behind their backs.  Really, I swear, I am a HUGE dog person.  I love my dog, even with all her faults, but this dog?  I have my doubts.  Maybe it is because my parents treat Rosie as if she were my sibling.  Maybe it is that Rosie is not trained (through no fault of her own) and treats my parents home as a urinal, has ruined thousands of dollars worth of hearing aides, shoes, craft projects, computer cords, etc.  Maybe it is because she constantly trips my parents and drags them around by her leash.

Back to my mother trying to get Rosie in the car...the reason my mother is taking her back to the salon, she was groomed there earlier in the week, was because she wanted to buy a new coat for Rosie.  It seems that when my mother was there earlier in the week they didn't have a coat that fit Rosie.  The logical assumption was that they were out of stock, right?  

No.   Rosie was too fat for the coat.  It gets better.  After trying on each one of the coats in stock it appears that none of the coats fit around the rotund Rose-a-belle.  Not even the  larger dog sized coats.

I start to chuckle out loud.  My mother had to special order a coat for Rosie that had an extra long tab for Rosie's enormous mid section.  I laugh.  My mother continues...I just don't know why those coats don't fit her.  She has gained a little weight, (she's 14 pounds!) but I just don't know why those coats aren't fitting her.  I'm going to take Rosie back out there to make sure the one that the lady made will fit around her middle.  

At this point I am laughing out loud and my mother is demurely ignoring me, continuing with her errand story.  My mother likes to do this.  Ignore the other conversation participant and tell her story.  She is monologuing on how Rosie could have ever gotten so fat and what is making her that way.  I go against the grain and seize the opportunity.  

"I can tell you why Rosie is so fat," I interject.  My mother stops talking.  I continue,"She's so fat because you sprinkle a half a cup of cheese on her dry food every night.  She's so fat because Dad feeds her a steady diet of Chex mix all day.  She's so fat because you carry her.  She is so fat because she follows around Dad sneaking his food.  She's so fat because..."  I am ON A ROLL.  I am channeling some comedian and it is getting lost on my mother.

My mother interrupts, "Oh, I thought you were going to say that Rosie was fat because she doesn't get any exercise."

Well, there is that.


Today the kids had an early dismissal because it was the end of the grading period.  Hannah was home playing wii when I asked her if she was going to invite friends over or if she had plans.  She said no because Mo was at basketball.

I saw the opportunity and took it (uncharacteristically) and asked what T was doing this afternoon.  Apparently she and T were texting each other (crap) and with my prompting (see? I'm not like my mother), she invited T over to play wii with her and he accepted.

T showed up at the door a few minutes later (did I tell you that T lives a few blocks away?  And, unrelated, we are installing bars on all our windows and doors?)  Bubba ran out to see who was at the door and he said to his friend, "Oh, it's my sister's boyfriend."

I started to hyperventilate.  So this is it? Do Hannah and T think this?  I regain my composure and smile and welcome T into the house and ask if he'd like a brownie.

My Diet Isn't Going So Well

For Christmas Hannah received a gift card and all the tools to take
a cake decorating class at Micheals.

My diet isn't going so well.
I wonder why?
Maybe because she dropped her "take to class to decorate" cake on the kitchen floor
last night about 4:30, before her 6:30 class.  We made two more lickety split.
Maybe it is because she likes to practice.

Hannah came home last night with a cake that looked similar to 
the one pictured above.
After watching Duff on Ace of Cakes
she is a little disappointed with her "old lady cakes."
She claims she can't make those swoops around the side pretty because
she "always has a seizure."

It probably didn't help that I couldn't recognize the decoration
on her cake when she got in the car last night.
I thought it was a butt, and was about to give her an earful on manners,
but it turns out it was two hearts that kind of ran together.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food By State

In my daily blog roll search I came across this site 
via craftgossip and had to investigate.

Take a look at this map of food by state.

Washington, I agree whole hearted.
North Carolina, you bet.  You could also add in red hot dogs.
But Minnesota?  I find offense.
I could not recognize what Minnesota's food was so I had to enlarge.
Minnesota's claim to fame is deep fried food on a stick?
Come on.  How about casseroles? 
 Fish? After all it is the land of 10, 000 lakes.

What the heck is Chislec?
Benne wafers?
Coffee milk?
Tomatoes are the food of Tennessee?  
Why not peanut butter and banana sandwiches?

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Defining Moment

Do you wake up one day and realize you’ve become your mother?  Is it a gradual transition?

Today was a snow day.   For me, snow day=get things done day.   As my morning progressed I formed my plans for the day.   I emptied the file cabinet and organized the items needed for 2010 taxes, filed away 2010 utilities, etc.   I had a Doctor’s appointment at 1:30, so I started making plans revolving around that end of town:  I’ll return that sweater to that store since it’s around the corner, I’ll go to the DMV and fix my license plate, I need to go to the post office, the grocery store…you get the idea.

Around 11 a.m., after I have showered and readied myself for the day, Hannah approaches and asks if she can go sledding with Mo (her girlfriend) and T (the boy she wants to profess her love to).  I grant her permission, reminding her that she needs to be home by 1:00 to watch her brother so I can go to the Doctor…realizing her life sucks, but she’ll get over it.

After multiple texts with Mo, Hannah comes to the realization that there isn’t enough room in the car for everyone invited.   Insert me being selfish.  Insert me wanting to get all MY stuff done.  My child is 13 and growing up fast, I need to stop being selfish, do her a solid and take her and her friends sledding.  It is NOT ALL ABOUT ME. So I man up, scrap the morning plans, and offer to drive all of them, including Bubba, to the hill. 

(Let me interject that Hannah’s feet have not only grown out of her snow boots, but her snow pants were 6 inches too short.  She’s KILLIN me with her growth spurts.)

Mo and T show up at our house a few minutes later and Hannah introduces me to T, a very tall, lanky, fun, smiley, braced filled, boy.
Confident enough to talk to adults, great. 

Cute, bonus. 

Looks strangely like my husband as a youth, a little weird.

We chat it up and are all standing behind the car, putting sleds in the back hatch when the subject of socks comes up.   T pulls up his pant leg to show us his socks, when it dawns on me, HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL T has extremely hairy legs.  This child has gone through puberty. 

***You know in the movies when the main character has some sort of stunning flash sequence of images race through their mind?  I stood there for all of 10 seconds and hundreds of images flashed through my brain…Hannah dating.  Hannah driving.  Hannah at prom.  Hannah getting married.  Hannah having her first baby.*** 

This man-child in front of me, is Hannah’s first love interest.  THIS is the beginning.  This is the start of boyfriends, dating, heartbreak, etc.  I AM OLD.  When did I grow up?  Why do I have to be the adult? 

One o’clock rolls around, the kids finish sledding and I bring them back to our house.  The plan has always been for me to go to the doctor, and Mo and T to go home until I am done.  This is our RULE.  NO BOYS, or any friends for that matter, in the house when we (the parents) are gone.

Hannah asks if I can bend the rule and T can stay for a few minutes to “help her with her homework project.”  All the while I’m getting the HELP SISTAH OUT vibe going on from Hannah.

Do I act like my mother?  I am at a crossroads. 

I agree that T can stay, for a FEW minutes.  The kids go to the basement to take their wet clothes off and I call Hannah back upstairs, into the kitchen.   My defining moment.  HERE IS WHERE I CHOOSE NOT TO BE LIKE MY MOTHER.

My exact words to Hannah: “I am letting T stay to help you with your project.  I have asked you to let him stay for a short time frame.  There is to be no kissing.  You are not to have sex.  Do you understand me?” I tell myself I need to open the discussion and say the words out loud so we are all comfortable with them now.

Hannah looks at me and laughs, then makes the promise that she will not kiss or have sex.  I hobble out the door, confident with my girl and her choices.  I am ancient.