Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Gloomy Day

It's overcast and rainy here this morning. Yesterday was actually really nice. I hope we continue to get some nice days here and there before Winter settles in on us. I dread it.

Being from the South (AL and GA the first 12 years of my life) means I am no fan of the Winter. Especially not the snow. Some people think it's lovely - when I see it, I want to pack up and move to Florida. Forever.

I've been here for 25 years, so you'd think I'd be used to it. Nope.

I think I'm cold blooded, like a lizard or a snake.

Maybe that's why I love them so much. We're kindred spirits. I even have a tattoo of a lizard.

I thought today was going to be a day where I could just relax and not have much going on, but I sat down last night and began making a list of things that I did need to do.

Luckily, they're all things I can do inside, at home (pay bills online, make phone calls - that sort of thing).

I've got to get Sissy up and fed, then it's time for my shower and time to get started on my "to do" list.

It'll be a good way to stay busy on this gloomy old day.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Sunday was an overcast day and pretty boring. I did several loads of laundry, did my crossword puzzle, the cryptoquip, read the paper, clipped the coupons, fed the natives. The usual.

By about three pm, I had some free time to make a couple of phone calls. I called my friend in Tennessee and spoke to her for a bit, then I called Nana M (my biological mom).

She took a new job about a month ago. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but it's somewhat like a temp agency job, but this one sends its' employees to different locations for the duration of the job. So, she's been in a different state for about three weeks.

She went grocery shopping yesterday and when she returned to the hotel the company is providing for her, she realized her wallet was missing. She doesn't know if it dropped out of her purse or if she absentmindedly put it in the front of the cart, then forgot it after she loaded the groceries or what.

But, it's missing. It had some cash in it, but more importantly, had her driver's license, her bank card and a credit card (with some other important items). It also contained her social security card and copy of her birth certificate. The last two things can be easily replaced and she's already called to put a block on the cards and get new ones.

Luckily, she had just bought enough food to last her for a long while and she really won't be needing anything in the next week or so.

I feel bad that she is several states away from "home", but I have faith that everything will work out quickly. We're still hoping that someone might find the wallet and turn it into customer service of the grocery store.

Here's the wild "it's a small world" portion of this story.

I have belonged to a yahoo group for over 10 years. We're a group of 30 or so gals who were all expecting babies in April of 98. We started out on AOL, then moved to a private loop off of that when some members decided to go with different service providers.

We all mean a lot to each other and many of us have formed pretty tight friendships, even if we haven't all met each other. One gal I'm particularly close to lives in the state where Nana M is right now. Nana M is Jewish and my friend who lives in the same state is Jewish.

Nana M had mentioned a Jewish Temple nearby her hotel that she had noticed. I said, "That temple is where my friend "J" works as a preschool teacher. Let me ask her if they attend services there as well." So, a few emails and an IM later, I find out that "J" and her family do attend that temple AND they are 10 minutes away from Nana M.

My friend J is going to be picking up Nana M for tonight's services for Rosh Hashanah (which is Tuesday). How cool is that?

I've never met "J", so she'll meet my biological mom before she meets me, but that's cool. I'm very happy for them all and I know that Nana M and J will get along famously. And, I can't thank J enough for her kindness to offer to look out for Nana M while she is in an unfamiliar state.

God is good, y'all. Please keep my bio mom in your good thoughts that she can work out this missing wallet situation with a minimum of hassles.

It's Monday - so you all know where to find me. (The Mart of Wal).

Saturday, September 27, 2008


When my mom (the one who raised me) died, I took the jewelry from the house. That included her wedding band, dad's wedding band and her engagement ring. The engagement ring had always been promised to me - as long as I can remember.

She promised the piano to my brother. He decided to sell that rather than move it, and that was his choice.

Her engagement ring is beautiful. My dad had bought the seven diamonds separately and had them mounted in a custom setting, which was white gold. The band was yellow gold.

I hate yellow gold with all my heart because it does not look good on my skin tone. It seems to be a common thing with my biological family also. My bio mom says, "You're a _______. We never wear yellow gold."

The Evil Twin's wedding band and mine are the same white gold - same shape and fit. My engagement ring is white gold.

So, after my mom passed away, I wore her engagement ring on my right ring finger. The band was so worn out from it's many years of usage (almost 40). I wore it for nearly 3 years before that tiny yellow gold band just wore through at the bottom.

I took it to a local jewelry place for a repair. It cost much less than I thought it would. And now, I have a "new to me" ring.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hot Dog Heaven

Today was "Family Hot Dog Day" at Buddy's school. These family days pop up at the end of almost every month. It's nice to be able to spend time with your child during the school day. I know the kids really get a kick out of having their parent(s) show up.

Each month, the hot dog sale is presided over by a class' homeroom moms and helpers from that grade. Guess what grade is first up this year?

If you answered "Fifth", get yourself a sticker!

Yes, it was fifth grade's turn to work the sale.

Here's where it gets a little tricky: In past years, they did Family Pizza Day which was really easy. The PTO would order pizzas from one of the nearby chains (like Dominoe's or Pizza Hut), then sell the slices to the parents who stopped by. The school children received a slice of "store bought" pizza too, along with some fruit and perhaps a salad and their drink.

Then, the Federal Hot lunch program said that wasn't allowed. If the kids continued to get pizza like that (and us mean parents continued to send the children messages about eating unhealthy foods), then no more Federal Hot Lunch program (which subsidizes the school, so we can provide free or reduced lunches for children who need that service).

The hot lunch program said that we could do the pizza, but it had to have a child nutrition label on it, which means it had to be ordered from the food service that delivered the other food supplies. This rule was for both the children AND the parents.

The down side of this was that the pizza tasted like cardboard.

But, the school had to go along with it and so the appropriate number of slices was ordered each month and the home room moms would heat 'em up and sell the slices (they were more like rectangular cardboard slabs).

So many parents complained about the nasty pizza that midway thru the year last year, PTO decided to switch it to hot dogs.

Fourth grade (Buddy's class) was early in the year, so the homeroom moms (including yours truly) did a PIZZA sale.

We'd never done the hot dogs and had NO CLUE what was expected of us.

I, of course, had to drag Sissy with me and for the first half hour or so, she wanted me to hold her so she could cling to me and expose my pretty light blue Vera Wang bra to assorted passers by. I wasn't much help (and felt bad and helpless). I was happy for the breast exposure, though. You all know how I like to waggle my tits in everyone's faces.

There were a few mishaps, but we flew by the seat of our pants and pulled it off. I even got to sit down with Buddy when he came down for lunch.

It was an adventure and now, fifth grade moms have done our duty and will no longer have to do Family Hot Dog day for the rest of the year. Next Family Hot Dog day will be done by Fourth grade, so all I'll have to do is show up and get my dawg. Whew!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Fart in Your General Direction

I read this article in our local evening paper today. Please.... read the whole thing. You'll be glad you did. "Breaking" News!

Click article to enlarge.

I read later that the charges had been dropped (flushed? Sorry, couldn't resist).

That's a Hair Don't!

I got my hair cut early yesterday. I typically wear it short/med. length and really, I didn't change the length much, but just went with a different style.

The jury is still out on whether I like it or not. I'm sure I'll be okay when I finally get the hang of styling it in a manner I find appealing.

The thing is, it seems like once women reach a certain age or become mothers, there's this unwritten, unspoken "hair length" rule.

Like, it's considered too youthful to wear your hair too far below the shoulder line. All I know is that the Evil Twin does not like me with bangs - he says it makes me look too young.

At first, I thought, "So? What's wrong with that?" Then, I realized that it's just probably not cool to forever look like I'm in my early 20s when I'm really a mom of two and now 40.

Come to think of it, I can't think of any moms at Buddy's school who have hair more than an inch or two below their shoulders.

That's not to say I don't know ANY moms or gals around my age who have long hair. My own biological mom has hair so long she can sit on it - she always keeps it tied back and braided, though.

It just seems like the norm is to reach a quiet compromise with ones hair once one is past the age of 30 or so.

I wonder why that is?

I mean, I can see from a mom's point of view, why it might be easier to have shorter hair. Shoulder length hair will dry much faster than waist length hair. A busy mom needs every spare moment she can steal.

What about women in the workforce? Is there something more professional about shorter hair? Wouldn't it be enough if the hair was just clean and brushed?

If I can get this new 'do to cooperate during styling tomorrow, perhaps I will add a new pic. Otherwise, it might be a day or so until I get the hang of the new style.

I have other thoughts on the topic, but I am currently too tired to get into it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corny Stuff

I keep the TV on the Noggin channel all day. That's the channel that plays preschool shows with no commercials. It's pretty much the old stand bys - Blue's Clues, Little Bear, etc.

Sissy doesn't really watch it much, but there are a few shows she really gets into like Blue's Clues. That's one of her favorites.

As I said, there are no commercials, but there are little bumper clips in between shows - most of these have two cartoon characters - Moose and Zee (a little blue bird).

You'd think I would get enough of these spots during the day. But, there are some that are just really catchy.

One they did last year around Halloween time (but haven't started this year yet) is a song about candy corn. I posted this little clip last year:

It's pretty sad that at night - when I finally have a few moments to myself - that I seek these things out on YouTube.

I just get such a kick out of that little song and it's true: I really don't like candy corn.

Buddy loves it, but then again, what are candy corn but little sugar tepees? Both of my children are like little flies. They love the sugar.

Even as a child, I wasn't a fan of candy corn. Then again, I'm not much on sweets as an adult either. I mean, I like things like cake and sometimes, a pastry. Every so often, I'll get a craving for a Snicker's bar. If I buy the full size one, I cut it in half and really can only consume half at a time. Or, I buy a bag of those teeny square ones and will pop one or two in my mouth.

Don't get me wrong - sometimes I can be a werepig when it comes to the sweets. For example: a person needs to get their sweet tooth on to enjoy the deep fried cheesecake at Mayberry's.

Just don't think I'll be eating candy corn anytime soon. And yes, we do have a bag in the snack drawer because Buddy asked for it. Blech!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Animal!

Over the weekend, while I was spending time in my hammock and the Evil Twin pushed Sissy in her swing, I heard an unusual scritching sound.

I turned in the direction of the noise, and saw two squirrels - one chasing the other around a tree trunk.

I looked over at the Evil Twin and said, "I think those two squirrels are getting ready to be involved in some afternoon delight."

Then, I started thinking (bad!).

If a female squirrel is just hanging around, minding her own business and a male squirrel happens along, he can just have his filthy way with her.

The indignity of the animal world! Squirrel rape!

Man, that sucks. And, to think, no celebrity backs the cause of trying to prevent this from happening!

What a bunch of savages (and I mean the animals and the celebrities).

But, ya know? I have never seen squirrels involved in any hanky panky.

You'd think, after all this time on the planet, I would have witnessed that. No. I think the only thing I've actually seen is dogs doing their thang. Dogs are apparently very horny critters.

And that's why Ice Cube once said, "Men are like dogs. They just want to smell it and knock it." (I spoke to the Evil Twin and he said it was Ice T who made that statement - like I said, I get my Ice's mixed up sometimes... but whoever said it knew what they were talking about).

He's smarter than he looks.

This update was brought to you courtesy of horny squirrels. Have a nice day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Midas in Reverse

My lone tomato plant actually produced tomatoes (and is still working on a few green ones). I had brought the ripe ones in, washed them off and put them in the fridge to cool down. Then, I sliced one for Buddy - that kid LOVES tomatoes.

He put a little salt and pepper on the slices and ate every last bite.

I didn't even taste it.


Because I was afraid it wouldn't be suitable for eating since I had something to do with it. Actually, I had very little to do with it, other than sticking the plant in the ground and watering it on a regular basis.

But, something in my mind tells me, "Well, if I was involved then it's just not going to be any good."

I have very little faith in any of my accomplishments or endeavors. Most of the time, things turn out fine.

So, the Evil Twin said to me, "Oh, you'll let Buddy eat it, then, even if it was bad?" No. I know Buddy. He is about the pickiest eater in the world and even though he loves tomatoes, he would never eat one that tasted gross.

I was pleased that he liked it and even said it was very good, but I still had my doubts.

I'm that way with all food things I'm involved in. I'm sure it won't be edible. I almost always turn out really tasty things. My family likes what I cook (most of the time), so why do I still have these doubts, these feelings of inadequacies?

It's like nothing I do (in my mind) will ever be good enough or even just passable. I think I'm a perfectionist and way too hard on myself.

I hope by just getting it out there, I can let go of these stupid low self esteem issues.

I think a lot of it comes from my mom (the one who raised me). She was Southern through and through and always acted very apologetic about each meal she served. Even though she was an amazing cook.

It's just the Southern way: "Aw, shucks. I'm not convinced it's edible." And I think I've ramped that whole thought up a notch to be "I'm not capable of creating an edible dish."

We all know how the lingering thoughts of inadequacies can cripple us. We probably all have our "thing".

Mine is low self esteem regarding cooking. If you would like to share yours, the comments section is right down there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Made a Decision

I had a weird dream last night. I usually always have weird dreams. I won't go into the whole thing, but it involved roast beef sandwiches.

I was a vegetarian for nine years and I still have "issues" with meat and textures, especially.

There are times I can enjoy a roast beef sandwich, but ordering roast beef at a restaurant is a very iffy proposition.

At places I feel very at home, I will ask about the roast beef before I order it.

One place I never had to worry about was Subway. It was always fresh and never fatty or undercooked.

Until about a month or so ago, when we picked up Subway for our Saturday Night Special. I got the $5 foot long roast beef sub. It was disgusting. The only thing I can figure is that with their $5 foot long promo, they had changed distributors and the quality had gone WAY down.

Then, there was one time at Mayberry's where I received a very fatty "Opie" sub (roast beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, mayo).

When I woke up this morning and recalled my dream involving gristly roast beef sandwiches, I decided - at that moment - that roast beef is completely dead to me now. I will never order it again.

Then, the Evil Twin and I got to talking about Arby's. I maintain that their roast beef product is a chopped and re-formed meat block. There's never any fat on their sandwiches. I'm really not sure what the deal is.

So, I suppose I will continue to eat the occasional Arby's sandwich, but all other roast beef offerings are off the menu, for me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thank Gooberness, It's Friday

And I just can't seem to get myself together this morning. It's already after 9A, and I have not had a shower yet. That's not like me.

The bed IS made (I must make the bed each and every morning before I get in the shower - part of my OCD tendencies), but I just can't seem to make the next transition. I feel like being lazy.

So, I'll be lazy for another few minutes and watch "Jack's Big Music Show" with Sissy instead.

We have a lot to do this weekend. We need a new garden hose for the back faucet (old one sprung a leak last week - I tried to duct tape it, but that didn't work so well for me). Buddy needs new tennis shoes. And, we need a new toilet seat for the main bathroom. The one on there is nice, but it has this silver coating on the back (where it attaches to the bowl). That silver stuff started flaking off a while back and it's hell to try to clean it.

Hello, Target! Here we is!

The Deep Homo (Home Depot) had a special on their website last week featuring free shipping on fireplace supplies, so I ordered two of everything we needed and voila! We're in business for actual wood burning fires this winter. Well, except we need to buy a cord of wood, which I'm sure won't be difficult to obtain.

We had both fireplaces cleaned and prepped back in March. So, this is the first year we'll actually use the fireplaces and we're looking forward to it. Our old house didn't have a fireplace.

I'm going to fire up Beauty today and make a pound cake. Between pound cake and apple crisp and other fall favorites, I'll never lose the 7 pounds I need to lose to get back down to 120.

A little exercise wouldn't kill me, ya know? But, I'd have to give up blogging time to squeeze in exercise - the rest of my day is completely booked... what with all the lazing around and napping in my hammock and such.

Seriously, just this morning, I need to get myself ready, then I have laundry and dishes to attend to, then I have several bills I need to pay - taking care of all of Sissy's needs.... lunch at some point, dinner prep and then I have to pick up Buddy from school. Sort the mail, go through his backpack and check for homework/notes home, finish up dinner. Serve dinner, clean up after dinner, load the dishwasher (probably will need to start a load after that), get Sissy in the bath and in bed. Add in visiting all my favorite blogs and commenting, plus dealing with any relevant email and my day is full.

And I love the people who say being a stay at home mom is only glorified prostitution (i.e. we earn our keep in the bedroom for our "cushy" role of "not having to work"). LOL.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Happened?

Didn't there used to be signs on businesses stating "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service"? I guess all that has gone by the wayside because in my foray into the local Kroger to purchase the elusive cheese, I saw one guy in his car - shirtless.

I saw one guy leaving the store, shirtless. He also had his wife and diaper-clad only infant with him.

Then, when I entered the store, there was a shirtless man using the self-checkout line.

It wasn't so hot here yesterday. In fact, I thought it was a might chilly later in the evening.

I suppose I could "get" men removing their shirts on a blisteringly hot day. But, still, isn't that sort of thing just not done anymore?

I mean, if I wanted to see hairy man nipples, I could find more than my fair share of photos online.See?

Or, I could ask the Evil Twin to parade around topless. (I like my men hirsute - but no back hair - thanks!)

Oh, for the love of Pete, shave that shit off and help a child suffering from alopecia.

Note to grits who shop at the Saint Albans Kroger: wear a shirt. A wife-beater is fine.... better than nothing. Oh - and also? It's 2008. I'm fairly certain the mullet was never a REAL hair fashion style. There are barbers all over the place!

I'm starting to think I need a decent cell phone with a good camera. My current cell phone is only capable of capturing blobs on the camera side. If I had a better camera phone, I could document this nuttiness.

Then, since I hear from so many of you that your Kroger is full of the same kind of crazy, we could have a photo contest. (Prize to be determined later and as long as participation continues to be active.) Send me the most insane thing you witness on your day! eviltwinswife@gmail.com!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ready to Give Up! (Updated!)

Ugh. I went to WalMart on Monday, as is my usual shopping routine. I had a large list and picked up everything.

When I got home and started putting the groceries away, I realized that I only had two cheese slices left.

For the uninitiated, I lovingly make the Evil Twin's lunch every day except Wednesdays, which is when he and his co-workers head to a Chinese buffet. I make him two sandwiches - one turkey and cheese, one ham and cheese.

Now, he likes those processed individually wrapped cheese slices just fine (I don't care for them), but they are cheaper than the "real" thing and he'll eat 'em, so I buy them.

If I had known I needed cheese slices on Monday before my WM run, I would have put that on my list and returned home with a pack. However, I did not know I was running out. Thankfully, I had enough to do two sandwiches on Tuesday. Then, I decided that after the Evil Twin got home from work yesterday, I would run to the K to the Rogers and get cheese and a few other items that they have marked down this week.

We don't live in a super ritzy part of town, but we also don't live in a slummy area, either (not that there's anything wrong with that). But, the clientele at our local Kroger is something to behold. It's always a madhouse there and many of the shoppers seem to be lacking even the most basic social skillz.

So, it's always interesting, to say the least.

When I do go, I try to zip through as quickly as humanly possible. So, I had my list and sliced cheese was at the top. I also needed to swing by the pharmacy to check if they had a prescription ready for the Evil Twin. The thing was I had called the prescription in the night before, but it was out of refills, so the pharmacy would have to contact our doctor's office and get the go ahead to refill it.

The prescription wasn't ready because they hadn't heard back from our physician yet, but my favorite pharmacy tech took my number and said she'd call when she heard from them.

I checked out with the self check out line and made a beeline for the parking lot.

Then I realized I had failed to pick up the sliced cheese. FUCK! Briefly, I considered unloading my purchases into the van, then running back in. But, on second thought, I figured that Sissy and I could run by today and grab the cheese and hopefully, the prescription too.

Luckily, today is Wednesday, which means TET eats at the Chinese place. I wasn't in a desperate need for the cheese.

Wouldn't you know that shortly after I returned home, the pharmacy tech called to say they had received permission from the docs office and would have his refill ready in a short while? I told her I would pick it up today, so not to put a rush on it.

I think when I get into the store, I'll make my way straight to the cheese department, THEN get to the pharmacy.

That nasty, processed cheese food will be MINE, dammit!!!

UPDATE: A Friend on MySpace sent me this comment:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Being my Rebel Self

I received a blog award. Thrice, in fact. Firstly, by Laura and then from Ron , and also from a new friend, reader and sweetie extraordinaire, Vinomom. At least, I think I got tagged from these three. It's very confusing and being the dumb brunette, I'm often confused or the last one to get the joke.

It's a curse in life, to be sure, but I play the hand I was dealt.

Without futher ado, I give you:

It came with rules and all, but it's not in my nature to follow rules.

I'm a rebel, Dottie, a loner. (that's from the movie, "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" if you're wondering).

Anyhoo, I followed the biggest rule of the whole dealio and linked to those who listed me and thusly, my J-O-B is finished.

If I swing by your place and comment daily (or nearly daily - some days I'm better at time management and visiting/commenting) then feel free to pick up your award. Because you already know I love your blog.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Apple Crisp

It feels like it should be fall, but it's not. In fact, it was hotter than Satan's nutsack yesterday. The temperature has dropped quite a bit this evening. I think we're getting some high winds off the storms that are blowing through the lower Southern states.

We're kinda ready for fall, though. For a few weeks, Buddy and the Evil Twin have been riding my ass with spurs to make Apple Crisp. This is one of my stand by Fall recipes. It's so delicious, but it is time consuming (lots of peeling and slicing) - but the outcome is worth it.

For my family, I only do enough for an 8x8 pan (or roughly cut the recipe in half). I just wing it.

I use only Granny Smith apples. And for a while there, there was a dearth of Granny Smith's to be found.

Suddenly, I saw a bunch at the store and stocked up. However, I was feeling lazy and did not want to peel them.

So, mid day yesterday, I enlisted the help of the Evil Twin. I offered to make the Apple Crisp if someone would peel the apples for me. I would do the rest.

There were 9 apples on the small to medium sized side. As agreed, the Evil Twin peeled them. Then, I used my apple cutter thingie do (it cuts the core out and cuts the apple into 8 sections of about the same size). After that, I sliced them thinner still.

I had to give the kids a few slices because I over-estimated the apple quantity that would fit in an 8x8 baking dish.

I guesstimated with the sugar and such. 40 minutes later in a 350 oven and we had Apple Crisp.

The house smelled SO good.

Buddy, who loves apples anyway, was beside himself waiting for it to emerge from the oven.

I think this is the first time I've made this recipe since Sissy was born, but after it cooled down a bit, she appreciated it as well.

Buddy said, "You make the best Apple Crisp, ever!" Awwww. He knows how to flatter a mommy's heart.

It's Monday - that means Walmart shopping. I have my list ready to go and I suppose I'll pick up more apples for more Apple Crisp! Yum!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Wrong Number

I know I've mentioned it here before, but the Evil Twin and I have lived in this house since March 2004. We've had the same phone number for that amount of time also.

Yes, we still have a land line in addition to each having cell phones, but we don't use our cells often, so we have the pay-as-you-go accounts for those. I prefer the sound quality of a land line over cell service anyway.

I digress.

So, we've had the same phone number for years and yet, we routinely get wrong number calls on that line.

It's astounding that YEARS later, we still get calls for the same people. There are three in particular and if I ever find any of the three, I will pimp slap them for not notifying whoever to change their number.

Or, who knows - they may have just "made up" a number (happens to be ours) to apply for credit or mental health help (those are the two places that contact me about these people).

One wrong number person actually asked me if I KNEW the party they were trying to contact.

Oh, how I laughed about that. I said, "Um, ya know, when we moved in here, I called the phone company and they assigned me this number and I said 'okay'. I have no clue who had the number before it was assigned to me or their whereabouts or even who they are."

We have caller ID and an answering machine (chip or whatever). If the companies calling for Virgie, Sandra or Karen get our voice mail (which clearly states our last name), they leave a message, which I must then return the fucking call to let them know it's not the right number.

I mean, let's face it, I don't want them calling all hours of the day and night looking for Virgie, Sandra or Karen when not one of those characters live here. So, if I can set them straight and they remove our number from the database, it saves me at least that one call.

But, there will be more. Oh, don't I know it. Because, apparently, people who try to keep the mentally ill in check and to remind them of their appointments (Virgie) or people who are trying to collect on past due bills (Sandra and Karen)... these people don't give up.

If you call my house and my line is suddenly no longer in operation, you'll know I've had enough and switched to our cell phones. Thanks Virgie, Karen and Sandra! Oh and I can't sign off without mentioning "Pound Puppies". Thanks guys, thanks a lot. Get your own damn number!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Too Preoccupied

I'm sorry things have been lame around here lately. I received a new book about Disney World (a 2009 edition) and I've been extremely, intensely involved in that - thinking about it, planning it, worrying it to bits.

I've already booked our trip. I just have to figure out the ins and outs and what we'd like to do when we're there, so I can have some sort of outline, even if we don't follow it to the letter. There are some things we absolutely want to do and other things we couldn't care less about, so I'm trying to get a feel for the parks, best times for attractions and shows and narrowing down our dining options.

There is just so much to it I can't even begin to type it out. Even I am getting tired of dealing with it and I still have 8+ months before we go.

Plus, apparently, no one signed up to be 5th grade home room mom. I have said - EVERY YEAR - that I did not want to do home room mom. I will help, but I never wanted to be the "go to" person. So far, I've served as at least a helper every year. This year, like last year, I will be c0-homeroom mom with the same friend I did this with for the fourth grade students.

This friend is smart, creative and organized - I like working with her. The bad news is that the beginning of the school year and the very end of the year are the busiest times for homeroom parents. So, I'm preoccupied with all that stuff too.

Plus, Sissy is going thru a very bad case of the "terrible twos". Often, she's frustrated and crying over nothing and while her communication skills are improving, she can't always tell us why she's having a melt down and most times, we can't figure it out. (or more specifically I can't figure it out, since I'm home with her all day, every day).

My poor brain is just in overdrive every day and it's not really working well for me! LOL.

I'm going to gather up whatever semblance of organization I can muster and try to be productive today. Hope your Friday is a kick off to a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sullen Teenager

Some of you have heard me refer to our 10 year old son, Buddy, as our sullen teenager - even though he is not even a pre-teen yet.

But, he gets so sassy and moody sometimes, it just puzzles us.

I think it's fairly typical - kids seem to be doing things earlier these days than when I was younger. Or perhaps, I'm just turning into that old codger who grouses about kids in my yard.

Anyway, this past weekend, there was a Lock-In sleepover event at Buddy's school. A lock-in is where the kids bring their pillow and sleeping bags, then spend the whole night in the school gym. The school (PTO) provides pizzas and snacks. There are games and other activities and the kids have a blast.

Before dropping Buddy off, we decided to have dinner at Mayberry's. I was sitting next to Buddy (he was to my right). At one point, I looked over and on the crease of his nose, I spied a little bump.

I looked closer and realized it was a little pimple! LOL.

Of course, I had to call him "Zit-zilla" and "The Zitster". The Evil Twin had to chime in with "Pizza Face" and "Snow Cap". We all just laughed hysterically.

I don't know what to do.... he's only 10! What on Earth are we in for with this kid? I told the Evil Twin I better get the number for Pro-Activ...

The Evil Twin and I talked about being teens and we both assessed that we had been "moderately zitty" and that all those skin remedies back in the day were never worth the money. None of that stuff ever seemed to help.

I am not ready for a tween. I'm still fighting the occasional bump myself (along with fighting wrinkles with a metric assload of moisturizer each day). I do not want to have to add dermatologist to the list of docs we have to see.

I can't be old enough to have a kid with pimples yet, can I? ;-) Ugh!

This momming business is hard work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Blog Fodder

I just love the school year. Along with all the homework and hassles, I get to attend routine PTO meetings. I grumble and piss and moan about it the whole time, but the truth is: I have a love/hate relationship with all the drama.

I mean, I do hate the drama and the people who are chronic complainers and the people who hold the meeting up to drone on and on about a moot point, but deep inside, it all makes me laugh hysterically.

Because, really - what fun is life if you can't enjoy the little foibles along the way?

This was the first PTO meeting of the year, which means that it's also the most well attended meeting and the longest.

It started at 7 pm and I walked in the door to my home at 8:45 pm. That is nearly two hours of my life I'll never get back.

Luckily, I sat near some people I really enjoy, so like silly school children, we whispered our thoughts back and forth.

The meeting last night was in the gym, because there was something else going on in the cafeteria. The gym doesn't have the best acoustics and it was hard to hear at all, especially when the fan was on (it cycled on and off a few times during the excruciatingly long hour and 45 minute meeting).

I tried hard to listen to everything, but I mostly just zoned out and daydreamed.

That was fine - since this was the first meeting of the year, they had to go over all the little particulars about the school for new parents. We've been there since Buddy was in preschool and now, he's in 5th grade (ready to graduate to middle school next year) - so I already know the routine.

It's always interesting when a bunch of really different people with really different opinions get together. I dig hearing what sets certain people off.

Wanna know what makes me nuts? People who come to pick up their child and sit in the middle of the street until the child makes it to their vehicle. Note to those guilty: Pull over, butthole, and let the rest of us out of the road!

I just hope the next meeting is in the cafeteria - so I can hear all the nuttiness!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crazy Confession Time

I know you all just love it when I uncover yet another of my random quirks.

I have had a fascination with little people for a long time. I don't mean the plastic Fisher Price toys - I mean people who are actually dwarfs or midgets.

There is a difference: A midget is a normally proportioned small person whereas a dwarf has a regular sized torso, but stunted appendages. And within those two categories, there are many different kinds of dwarfism.

These days, little people prefer to be called little people as opposed to "midget" or "dwarf".

When I was in fourth grade, we had a substitute teacher who was a dwarf. All of the kids just loved him. He took the time to show us his modified car and talked about how his house was modified, too. His wife was also a dwarf and they had no children, because, as he told us, genetically, there was a chance they would have a child who did not have dwarfism and they weren't certain they could handle that.

He was tiny and I remember him climbing up the wooden teachers' chair to sit. He was fascinating and very patient with the kids and all the inevitable questions. After he had subbed a few times, the novelty wore off and he was just a regular old sub.

If there is a show on TV about little people, you can bet I will be a captive audience.

I wonder, "Where do they shop for clothes?". I can only assume that being a little person today is moderately easier than being a little person even 20 years ago. Not that I can even imagine how difficult their everyday life must be. But, with the internet, etc., at least today they have access to online shopping and plenty of medical resources.

Sadly. many of them are born with additional health problems which can serve to shorten their life span.

I used to watch the soap opera "Passions". One reason I got hooked on the show was because one of the stars was a little person. He had been born with a heart problem and needed surgery. The show gave him a hiatus. On the day the show "killed" him off (not really, but that's what we were supposed to believe), he died for real on the operating table. He was young - only 19 or 20 as I recall... It's been years ago.

I was at Kroger the other day and I saw TWO little people - not in the same shopping party. I almost couldn't believe my good fortune!

It's not like little people just exist on every street corner. I think that's what I find most interesting - it's a rare condition.

I wish little people everywhere knew how much I love them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The No Discuss Policy

I grew up in a fairly typical Southern family. I think my experiences and way of being raised was much like any other child during my generation (born in 1968).

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, Jimmy Carter was running for president. We lived in Georgia.

In my class, we had been asked to write a letter to one candidate or the other. Well, come on - I wrote to the dude from Georgia.

I received an invitation to his inauguration (all of which I still own, it's in the chest we took from my parents' house after my mother died).

I was very gung ho about his running (go figure), but I wanted to ask every person over 18 who they were voting for. I quickly learned that this was extremely rude.

My parents taught me a lesson at that time. There are three things that are not suitable for discussion outside of your own immediate family: politics, finances and religion. I was told that I should keep my thoughts on these matters to myself, lest I risk hurting someone's feelings or offending or alienating them in some way.

In the last week, I have had my feelings hurt a lot. It's one thing to have an opinion. It's quite something else to be (however unintentional) hateful to someone you might happen to like.

Every time I read another person's Facebook update or Twitter response about politics, it further chisels a sad image for those people in my mind. Out of respect and admiration for all my friends, I remain silent.

Because every time you insult my party in a personal manner ("They're a pack of morons."), you insult me as well.

I don't make apologies for my stance, but have some decency.

Because it's the polite thing to do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Snack Saga, Part II

Before I get started on the Part II, I must first disclose that letters were sent out at the beginning of the school year to all parents stating that due to the school's involvement in the Federal Hot Lunch program, we would no longer be able to send in cupcakes on our child's birthday. (Apparently, there is a big push towards fighting childhood obesity - a worthy goal and I get that...).

The school did state that there would be a celebration type thing each month for the kids who would have their birthday that month - not the same as mom sends cupcakes, but whatever. At this point in time, I'm used to arbitrary bureaucracy in life.

When Buddy came home and told me about the snack thing, I asked, "What kind of snack?" (IOW, I'm wondering what's expected of me, because there was no note and I wasn't sure if this shindig included sending drinks, etc.) - and that's why I called my first friend. Her son graduated from this same class a few years ago and she gave me some tips.

I picked up the chips and was then informed by Buddy that the teacher already had those.

Oooookayyy. Here is the deal at his school and Item A in my situation: All the children are given a snack break, usually around 9AM or so. There are snacks for sale in the school office for a quarter or the child can bring a snack from home. I send Buddy to school with a quarter each day for his snack.

Item B: The Fifth Grade students work all year long to raise money for their end of the year class trips before they graduate. Apparently, the 5th grade teacher sells her own snacks from the classroom (same price) and that money goes into the coffers for the class trip. 5th grade kids also work at every Fish Fry during Lent by clearing tables and waiting on customers to earn tips in the assorted tip jars set around on the Fish Fry tables. (Buddy's family will be above average tippers this year).

Item C: the only child in the school with severe peanut allergies is in Buddy's class (and has been since pre-school). We are used to this and read labels like crack-hos size up potential johns. Much like they don't want to solicit an officer of the law, we don't want to have this kid around any type of peanut product. Or, even a product that might have merely thought about being near a peanut.

After speaking with a second friend, whose son just graduated last year, she filled me in on the whys and wherefores of this snack business.

The teacher sells snacks from her classroom, the 5th grade nets the quarter for their field trips. She asks parents to send in assorted snacks every day, to be offered up for sale to further fund said trips.

I'm cool with that. I don't mind supporting that effort. But, now, we have some issues. The snack cannot be something perishable and truly, I wouldn't want to put the school at risk of losing funding if I sent brownies or such. I also now realize that it's not that I have to send one snack per student. The kids have a variety of snacks available in the room and they can buy whatever they want.

I need to buy snacks that have the ability to hold up for a few days or a week until it may be bought and consumed.

Buddy is taking a box of Pop Tarts and a box of fruit roll ups tomorrow.

I think I'll go to the exclusive Sam's Club and stock up on non-perishable snack items because I will be called upon again before too long.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ahhh, School Days....

Even though we're only a couple of weeks into the new school year, I have already been reminded of why having a school aged child drives me nuts sometimes.

I went to WalMart on Tuesday to pick up Sissy's new swing and also do my regular weekly grocery shopping.

On Tuesday evening, the battery in one of our smoke detectors started dying. The detector takes a 9 volt battery - which is one size I don't often keep on hand. Of course.

Then, later that evening, Buddy tells me that I'm supposed to provide snacks on Friday for the 5th grade. Okay.

I called a friend of mine who had an older son and asked about this snack thing and asked what was expected. She gave me some ideas and I went off to the store.

I decided to buy a big bag of the variety chips, since there are only 15 kids in the class and 24 bags of chips, I reasoned that gave each child a bag o' chips and a few left over for later (those chips have a half life, ya know?)

I hold them up and tell Buddy, "I picked up your snacks." He says, "She (the teacher) already has those in the class."

No big deal - they're the same variety pack I buy to stick in the Evil Twin's lunch every day, so I know we'll use them.

But, I have to make another trip to the store today. That's every day for three days straight I'm having to run to the store.

Since Buddy won't need to take it until Friday morning, I think I'll wait until the Evil Twin gets home from work this afternoon so I can just pop by Kroger by myself. Might as well pick up another four 12 packs of Cokes while they're on sale... (the Evil Twin only likes the brand name Coke and I only buy it when it's marked down - that crap is expensive!). LOL.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It Makes Me So Happy

I know I've blathered on senselessly about how much I love our back yard. It may cause people to pause and think, "What are they, a bunch of mutants from Siberia who have never seen a back yard?"

Well, no. Growing up, my family always had a suitable back yard - plenty of room to run, etc. In Georgia, we were lucky enough to have a little creek down below our yard. There were tadpoles and smooth stones to investigate. The water was shallow and cool - and a few areas along the creek had babbling falls, which were always fascinating.

There was also a swing set and our rabbit hutch out back. My dad grew potatoes and corn in a large patch of the yard. In his smaller garden, he had tomatoes, radishes, onions, lettuce and cabbage, cucumbers, sweet peppers and sometimes strawberries.

In Kansas, we had a wonderful flat back yard. My brother and I were getting older, so there was no swing set, but we had plenty of games of soccer there and my BFF and I liked to work on our tans (this was back in the days before skin cancer was a concern).

When we finally settled into a house in WV, it didn't have a big back yard, but it had a nice patio area and my dad put his garden on the side of the house. He also put in rows of grapevines there. He and I would sit on the back patio and make homemade sauerkraut each year - then him and mom would can it and dole it out to the family over the years. That was the best sauerkraut.

Anyway, back to casa Evil Twin. When the Evil Twin and I first got together, just starting out, we had a few apartments. Then, we bought our first house - and even though it had a decent sized yard, it was very slope-y.

After Buddy was born, we would have liked to have put a swing set somewhere, but our neighbors behind us had a large rottweiler that was known to jump their fence and it would stand at the fence line and bare it's teeth at us.

Needless to say, we didn't spend any more time in the back yard than necessary (which was limited to the Evil Twin mowing the grass back there). The front yard was okay, but it was close to the street and we'd have to deal with nosy neighbors as we tried to enjoy the baby pool we'd set out for Buddy.

Ten years in that house was about 9 years too long. We found this house and found exactly what we needed.

We put in a swing for the kids:
(That's Sissy's new toddler swing in the middle).

My hammock resides back there (weather permitting):
It's amazing therapy! Best money I ever spent. The whole family clambers to get in it if it's available. It opens up opportunities for the kids and I to talk, the Evil Twin and I to talk, etc. When someone is in the hammock, they are not preoccupied with video games, laptops, bills, every day worries - you can let it all go when you relax like this. Best of all, it doesn't cost a cent, after the initial hammock investment, of course.

Then, we have the busy back patio:
There is a play tent and Sissy's Barbie trike. The chairs along the back wall are where the Evil Twin likes to unwind.

And, I'm gonna bring this baby right back to gardening.

This year, I decided I would try to plant tomatoes and see how I fared. First, I tried starting from seed.

That didn't go so well, as I killed all my budding little buddies by exposing them to too much sunlight.

Eff that.... I thought, "I'll just buy an already semi-mature plant and do that." So, I picked up a little dude from WalMart. I dubbed him, "My Next Victim" and transplanted him from his plastic container to this weird little planter area next to the porch:
There are actually a few ripening fruits! The bottle on the left is filled with red pepper spice mixed with water. I hose that plant down with this stuff to keep varmints off my plant. So far, it has worked!

I keep stalking my plant and wondering when the fruits will be fully ripe and ready for my dinner table. I must be out there every 20 minutes to see if there has been any change....Sheesh. I need a life! :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Give Me An Inch

Having a holiday weekend or extra "days off" around here totally puts a crimp in my routine. Sissy and I have been having a lazy Tuesday morning and we're trying to get it together so we can go to the store.

Sissy had a toddler swing on the swingset that had some sort of nylon rope material that it hung by. The rope was becoming frayed and the sticking out bits were sharp and hazardous. She didn't want to play with it because she had no where to hang on.

I found a better swing and ordered that. I decided to go the site to store option from WalMart (saves on shipping). I got the email yesterday that it was at the store and since I go to that WM at least once a week, I'll throw in my regular shopping too and get that out of the way.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm nothing if not cheap and efficient.

Plus, I kind of enjoy doing a mid day WM run because that means Sissy and I can stop by the deli and buy those yummy potato wedges and make that lunch!

I better get moving or I won't be able to make it there and back before it's pick up time for Buddy!

Must get motivated..... Happy Tuesday, campers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Late Update on a Lazy Labor Day

I thought I would pop in quickly this evening and let you all know that my labor day weekend was a bit on the boring side... Until last night!

I had just begun to get my drink on, and the phone rang. It was my new friend, Inanna and as we chatted, I started thinking, "Well, hell, why don't you just come over?" So I asked her and she accepted.

She and her 12 year old son wanted to grab something to eat first, but they were over in a flash. Buddy was thrilled to have another Pokemon and video game fan over! The boys immediately went to Buddy's room to play Wii.

Inanna and I had the BEST time chatting. At one point, we were both sitting in my hammock - rocking back and forth and talking about everything under the sun (or stars as the case may be, but it wasn't a very starry night last night).

I proceeded to get blotto drunk - good times, my friends. Inanna decided she was tired and even though I offered up the Blogger's Quarters (our guest bedroom), she wanted her own bed (and I can totally relate) and futhermore, she's only a few short blocks away from us.

I did, however, talk her into letting her son spend the night. He and Buddy were clearly having too much fun to stop - and I don't think they did stop until about 5 am. LOL.

When Sissy woke up - close to 8 am, I was feeling pretty rough, but got up and started the morning routine. I called Inanna to see if she wanted to come over for breakfast - and no, I didn't cook - I simply sent the Evil Twin down the street to Tudor's Biscuit World, which has some of the finest breakfast fare anywhere.

Inanna and her son are truly a delight and I hope we get to spend more time with them in the future.