December 31, 2005
That Was A Poor Choice

Mr. Poppers Penguins appeared at our house around Thanksgiving, courtesy of my mother-in-law who was reading it to the children. She left the book here when she went home for a week.

Ron REALLY wanted her to finish the book. When she arrived for Christmas he immediately asked if she had remembered to bring the book. She told him she had left it here. Things deteriorated quickly from there, as they argued over the location of the book. Finally, she announced emphatically "I left it here, right on top of the dryer in the kitchen!" Big horrified silence ...

Ron sighed and muttered with disgusted resignation "Well. THAT was a poor choice." Demonstrating his belief that the book is now in the depths of a landfill somewhere far far away.

See, in our little world, I am often the source of second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances. Unless you make the choice to leave something on top of the washer/dryer in the kitchen. Bad things happen to whatever is left there.

Clutter is bad. A cluttered kitchen is evil. Nothing good comes of leaving clutter on the washer/dryer. I will go totally nuts if my kitchen is all cluttery! If I happen to be in the kitchen when a crazy person attempts to drop something on that handily empty space on top of the dryer I will caution "That would be a poor choice" in a grim quiet tone. But, I can't protect them from themselves all the time. Invariably they yield to the temptation like its a "wet paint" sign that needs to be touched. Stuff accumulates there, until its not there anymore.

Now, at least I know he's actually listening to that grim quiet voice predicting doom. (And, yes, the book was gone. But it only went as far as the coat-closet shelf, because I'm not nuts enough to throw out books)

December 30, 2005
Hijacked, An Analogy

Another creative analogy thought up by Lucy in the middle of the night for her amusement. That whole laugh-or-cry thing. Although I'm not sure maniacal laughter counts ...

My holidays were like being hijacked, or carjacked. Whatever. Imagine.

I have two weeks off. I plan on spending them in a fabulous resort in the Bahamas. I've been looking forward to this for years. I'm driving to the airport. I see a nice old couple standing on the side of the road next to a disabled car. Upon second glance, I realize that I know them! They're distant relatives. I take pity on them and allow them to share my vehicle in route to the airport. (cue music to Jaws)

While looking so sweet and gentle, they pull a gun (guilt) and force me to go a hideous rustic hunting cabin on a lake. (I don't like lakes/ponds, as opposed to rivers/oceans) They hold me there against my will for 12 of the 14 days I have of vacation. Torturing me with planning of a lake-vacation next year too. Finally, I escape and make it to the Bahamas, where I get to spend a few hours before boarding the plane for home.

I try to explain what happened when I get home. People don't understand why I'm cranky. Afterall, I got to go to the lake AND to the Bahamas. Let me re-iterate ... I didn't WANT to go to the lake. And I only got a few HOURS in the Bahamas, instead of a relaxing resort experience. (I got cheated out of the holiday I wanted and/or planned. Thats the point)

Next time, the old people get left on the side of the road!

You know, the more I whine the better I feel. And my husband is probably thanking goodness that I've quit looking at him while thinking things loudly. Not to mention that he's spared the horror of midnight analogies :)

December 29, 2005
Brussel Sprouts

My holidays have been like going to a fabulous restaurent for dinner. Imagine.

I order a great appetizer, which arrives looking wonderful just as I get up from the table to get something from the car. When I return to my seat I notice that everyone has shared my appetizer, leaving me only a prickley garnish of kale. Which is OK because I know the main course is coming, which will more than make up for the episode with the appetizer.

My entree arrives (with an unexpected and undesired side dish of brussel sprouts), just as I'm going to the rest-room. I return to the table to discover that my entree was so spectacular that it was devoured by my dinner companions. Leaving me a few brussel sprouts, which I don't even like. Which is OK because I know dessert is coming, which will more than make up for the episode with the entree.

My dessert arrives. I keep an eye on my dinner companions. But ... I drop my napkin. Instinctively I reach over to pick it up. In that moment, there is a frenzy that results in my dessert being consumed by everyone but me.

No one understands why I'm looking forward to staying home the next day and have peanut-butter-and-jelly for dinner. All I can say is ... at least PBJ is better than brussel sprouts.

This creative analogy brought to you by Lucy, who thought of it in the middle of the night while feeding the baby. There may be more of these analogies forthcoming. Or not.

December 21, 2005
Things I've Learned This Year

No matter how much I love my son, and no matter how much he loves Batman, I can't bring myself to use Batman-Christmas-wrapping-paper. Its just not right.

People do not listen to me. No matter how right I am, and no matter how insistently vocal I am, my extended family is continually shocked when hind-sight reveals that I was right. Very, very right. I am continually shocked at their inability to learn to listen to me.

One ounce of pomegranate concentrate (1 ounce equalling 15 pomegranates) will stop the growth of cancer cells when consumed every day. You can get it at SamsClubs, in the pharmacy section. About $17 for a one month supply.

Organic "feminine" products will eliminate most symptoms that are associated with your "monthly visitor". Leg aches, heavy bleeding, abdominal cramps, moodiness, exhaustion. Apparently, those are NOT traditional symptoms of menstrual cycles but ARE rather similiar to asbestos poisoning which is interesting because regular "feminine" products contain materials that are molecularly similiar to asbestos.

I thought the above was totally insane until Sam made me try the organics, practically at gunpoint. I'll be damned if they didn't fix everything by month two! I'm not even kidding. I went from someone who spent at least four days in a state of complete exhaustion and pain, to someone who could take multiple kids to Walmart without a second thought! You can get Natracare products from They tend to run on the small side, so the nighttime products work well for day.

You know how you use nail-polish? Well, there's such a thing as teeth-polish. Yeah, no wonder those stars have such sparkly teeth. Its NOT just a matter of brushing, no matter what my dentist says.

LLBean lists their sale items on the left margin of their website on the 1st of every month. December is the month they mark down their winter outdoor wear. And they sell out quick. Just so you know for next year.

If you didn't have time to send out Christmas goodies to people, don't sweat it. Lean back, relax. You can stand out from the crowd by sending Valentine's treats, when people will REALLY appreciate getting something. Buy solid red "christmas" basic supplies now on sale. Valentines is also a "red" based holiday.

There. Now we've ALL learned stuff this year. This site is nothing if not educational!

December 05, 2005
I Have A Plan

These are not words that my husband likes to hear me utter. Generally they involve him doing ... stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Stuff he generally has little or no interest in doing.

But THIS time I saw the glow in his eyes when I mentioned the "Walmart" section of the plan, the speculation that this could work, the remembrance that his wife is both smart and not-a-gold-digging-trollop.

Its a pain, an expensive pain, to take the children to the gym to work out. Technically, I can work out while they're in the nursery, but thats six dollars per hour which can add up quick. The alternative being that my husband could watch them which is also problmatic this time of year. I have an alternative plan!

The Winter Walmart Weightloss Plan! Think about it ... Walmart is laid out with the extra-large aisles forming a big square race track. Down by toys, across by fabrics/shoes, up through groceries, across by the registers, down by toys, etc. I just need a pedometer to measure the laps around the store. Its heated. Its always open. I can pick up milk if I need it (after my laps) without an extra trip getting kids in-and-out of the van. I have to leave the house anyway to pick up the boys at school. I can up the intensity of the workout by pushing both girls in the cart. Walmart is close to the house. Its free!

This is the PERFECT plan to get in a few miles per day! Bwahahahaha. I'll let you know how it goes.

December 03, 2005
Drama In A Small Town

Last night was the Christmas program at school. And, yes, it was a CHRISTMAS program because we send the boys to a private Christian school. It was certainly an eye-opening experience. Here are a few things that stand out in my memory.

During one of the acts, which was a quartet that can best be described as "barbershop quartet" meets "the Supremes", Cassie who is only three and who was standing on the pew to get a better view from the back-row loudly announced "That sound hurts my ears!"

Another scene involved a student leaping from the balcony and plunging across the audiences heads onto the stage. Envision a broadway production of PeterPan. Apparently he's the student in charge of special-effects. As a senior he refused to do some of the more complex special-effects (which only he could pull off) unless they found a scene that would finally let him fly through the air. I understood why my sons had been telling me I had to find a "safe" seat because the student with the rope had taken out someone during the dress rehearsal. As it was, he came periously close to obliterating the Mennonite couple sitting on the opposite end of the row in front of me! Well, I'm assuming they were Menonite. They might have been Amish. Now, THAT would have been a dramatic moment!

The big finale was ... ambitious. Have you seen the finale for the BingCrosby movie "White Christmas"? Well, they duplicated it. I am SO not kidding. They even had indoor snow! And a disco ball. (I've told my husband I need a disco ball, but I'm not sure he believes that I really NEED one)

It was certainly an evening.