Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Okay, I can't wait any longer. I'm so  excited about October! Halloween is my absolute favoritest holiday ever. I go all out. More so than even Christmas, which is kinda sad. I've been setting up a blog post for EVERY DAY next month, and I'm changing the header early because I'm so excited.

There will be lots of craft ideas, costumes and recipes, and  just general fun. Hope you'll join us, because I think Thing One might finally be rejoining us as a contributor to the blog.

By the way, Tomorrow is Thing One's birthday, and in her honor I'm posting a BEAUTIFUL picture of her. One where she dressed up and was prepared to have her photo taken. On purpose. This is, of course, a change from my usual habit of posting embarrassing photos of my poor offspring. In fact, I believe the primary function of this blog is to make them regret I am their mother......SO here is my Lovely Flattering Picture of My Beautiful Firstborn Who is Turning 21 and Can Now Buy Beer But She Won't Because She is a Good Girl:

LOVE YOU SWEETIE! Now, if there are any eligible young men out there who read this blog (or if you KNOW an eligible young man and want to help me out here...) YES! She's available! We'd love to marry her off because the Screamapillar and Eclair are tired of sharing a room.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Multi Tasking

Multi-tasking. Can't decide whether or not I think it's a good thing.

There are two differing opinions out there:




I think both are true. I like to listen to the tv while doing other worthwhile things, like playing Farmville. I feel like I accomplish more this way. I can plant virtual rhubarb and get the weather report at the same time. This works for me.

But in the kitchen, it is often disastrous. Just ask my family. I always burn the last batch of cookies, because my ADD brain has moved on to the next task without completing the first.

So sad, burned cookies.

If only there were another way, like a clone slave I could make do the second job for me, who I could keep locked in a closet once the cookies were done. And she could clean the house too.

Never mind, it wouldn't work. She'd have to be a clone of someone else, someone not a control freak like me. Because a clone of me would just mess it up more because she would try to multi-task also.

Can you imagine the disaster that would be?

So, I guess if I had to decide and I was being honest, I'd have to say multi-tasking is bad. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop doing it.

Would you like a burnt cookie?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I've tried to keep this all on the funny side, it's kind of the point here.

A week that started out with two funerals hasn't been too funny.

And today wasn't funny at all.

A good friend who dares to follow this blog lost someone important today. He was doing his duty to his country when he was called on to give the ultimate sacrifice. It takes him away from his lovely bride of 9 months. And a family who dearly loves him. Not to mention countless others who were close to him who mourn today because he called home.

I would be truly ungrateful if I did nothing to acknowledge that sacrifice.

I grew up in a military household. Navy brat. Moved from place to place. Dad was often gone on a cruise, deployed wherever they needed him. For the first fifteen years of my life.

Living on the ship, making cassette tape recordings he would send home for us, also sending dolls for my collection from exotic ports. We would send crayon drawings and macaroni artwork. I vividly recall his homecoming from Vietnam. I wasn't old enough to understand why my mother cried when he arrived. I was just happy. I never doubted that he would come home. I didn't know better.

My sister's dear husband is in the Air Force. Twice he has gone to Iraq. And has twice been returned safely to his family. What an amazing blessing that is. So many, too many, don't come home.

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Wagstaff, the least I can say is I thank you for your service. To his lovely wife, Tiffany, I re-read your deployment blog tonight and cried with you. To dear AmandaW,  I wish there was something more that I could contribute than these words: I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.

If you're a praying person, reading this today, please put a word in for this family? And for all our servicemen and women as they stand between us and the untold dangers of this world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dare I hope????????

Something of moment happened today. A sign went up. Next door. Where Leafblower-dad lives:

Wow. Dreams do come true... Actually, it says "FOR SALE OR RENT."

Here's a TOP TEN 

10. As many children as they can reasonably manage. And they need to reasonably manage them. I'd like to be able to use my gate (which is currently screwed shut top and bottom) without worrying that more windows will be broken while your children play in my backyard when I am not at home.

9. No unsupervised pets getting into my yard through holes in fence (created by unmanageable neighbor children) who will bite my children and have to be taken away by animal control because they've never had their shots (the pets, not my children. My kids have all had their rabies shots. Distemper and feline leukemia too.)

8. Kindness and consideration to all growing things. Like flowers. And trees. And grass. I'd like to have something green in my yard that is not destroyed and pulverized sometime before I die. My tulips are afraid. They refused to bloom this year.

7. Fruit from my trees should be eaten, not used to change the color of my house.

6. They need to have their own bikes, scooters and wagons. I can no longer afford to support the transportation needs of eight extra children. And please do not park your bicycles in my tree.

5. Curses written in sidewalk chalk on my porch and driveway should be spelled correctly.

4. I would appreciate a general decrease in the amount of sharing that goes on: keep your trash in your own yard. Or better yet, put it in your own trash can.

3. Stock your own infirmary. I should have bought stock in BandAid brand.

2. Make sure that your children have a ride to school BEFORE you leave for your pedicure. I have a job to go to after I drive your kids to school when they miss the bus and I don't like to be late.

1. Have half a brain, please? We don't want to have to put up this sign:

And Michelle? Please hurry up and finish nursing school so you can buy this house. Srsly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photo of the day.


It's okay. Looks like he passes. Goes from the top of his head to the back of his knees. He can still walk.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Once upon a time I had a lovely set of six stainless steel bowls. Much like these:

I love these bowls. They were big enough for a variety of cooking uses, they're easy to clean, don't stain, won't break, and are easy to store because of the whole nesting thing....yep. Loved these bowls. I love metal, wood and glass in the kitchen. Only use plastic if I have to.

Apparently Hubby found the bowls very useful too. For many of the same reasons: easy to clean, don't stain, won't break, and apparently because of the EASE THE DOG HAS FETCHING THE BOWL FOR HIM TO FILL.


He took my bowls and gave them to the dog.

One at a time they have disappeared. I now have two left. The itty bitty one (like our lovely Lab would bother bringing that back, it's too small to even hold a snack for her) and the really big one.

Today the really big one went missing. I really needed it to make Muddy Buddies for Dayna. I looked and looked and finally found it -- ON THE DECK.

Of course I panicked.

Eclair confessed that she used it for water balloons.


But I have decided to take premptive measures. I washed and dried my big bowl, and then got out my big paint pen:


You think that will ensure that my bowl doesn't disappear into the kennel?

I hope so.

But I'm realistic.

Probably not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I hate PTO

I don't hate PTA. I love PTA. It's PTO I despise. Some unaccountable organization that collects (I should say mercilessly hounds parents for) donations, with little or no accountability. No time-tested proven organization with fantastic programs providing opportunities to interact on a local, state and national level. No system of  working checks & balances.....just a bunch of mom's who could run off with the money and buy a new washer/dryer with our funds (wait - actually, maybe I could be treasurer for a little bit? I do need a new dryer, actually). And they come up with the most incredibly insane ideas for unrealistic fundraisers.

I was deeply involved in PTA at the other elementary school across town, where we lived until the year Luke Skywalker started Kindergarten. I helped out with everything, organized activities, and was always around to do the grunt work. They even threatened to make me PTA President one year. We had great fundraisers with good value exchanged for donations when we organized silent auctions and the like. We asked for donations from local businesses to take the pressure off of parents as well.

Eclair brought home the flyer for the "Old Fashioned Country Carnival" fundraising activity that is to be held this coming weekend. I swear to you that I am quoting this verbatim (with one obvious exception) and not altering it in any way. THIS WAS ACTUALLY PRINTED AND SENT HOME WITH EVERY CHILD. I can only assume they intend to carry out this plan:

To make donations fun1, we're selling candy cow-tails for $10 each2. When you buy a cow-tail, you get to pick a square on the (I'm afraid to mention the actual name of the school because my poor Eclair has to go there) field. On the night of the carnival we'll let a cow onto the field3. The square where she leaves her "pie" will be the grand winner4. The prizes for the grand winner will be......(etc. etc. etc.)....we will sell 5 cow-tails for $45 or 10 cow-tails for $90.

This is so wrong on so many levels.

1. There is nothing "fun" about poop.  I have potty trained five children. And cleaned up after one dog and two cats. And seen the monkeys at the zoo. I am here to assure you that excrement in any form is not "fun."

2. $10 for one cow tail. $45 for 5 cow tails. $90 for 10 cow tails. Wow. It's a good thing I'm a millionaire and have nothing better to spend my money on in this present horrid economy. Wouldn't want to waste my money feeding and dressing my child when there are activities like "Westerly Precipice Elementary Idol" to be funded. Or the ballroom dancing for fourth graders - Eclair would be truly deprived if that happy activity met the chopping block.  ***addendum: I have discovered that the prize for the "grand winner" is valued at $45. So why would I want to spend $90 trying to win it?

3. Cow. On the field. Where children play. And more children gather for 489 soccer games on Saturdays. And  -- the cow is being brought there for the express purpose of making a "pie!"  In order for this to be truly "fair" the cow would have to be turned loose in order to select the "square" in which she will choose to deposit her "pie."  Loose cow. That could mean anything from "wild cow roaming the field out of control" to "belligerent stubborn cow who refuses to move and commences pooping in the parking lot." 

4. I'm curious to know what they are going to feed this cow in order to ensure that the will be only one pie. Or is our devoted PTO President (now in her sixth year in that capacity) going to be standing ready with some kind of plug to prevent excess pie dispersal?

Seriously folks, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Anybody got the number for the Health Department? They just might be interested in this. Maybe they'll make a donation!

Okay okay! Lots of you like PTO! I just liked PTA soooo much better, and the PTO at Westerly Precipice Elementary couldn't care less if I lived or died and cow pooping as a fundraiser is a stupid idea. That's all. No more angry comments because I'm an idiot. You already knew I was an idiot, right?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adventures in the Laundry Room

How long can a family of seven survive without a dryer?

Seven weeks, so far.

It started with this strange buzzing sound. Which progressed to no heat. And seven hours to air dry clothing. No thanks, I don't really want that utility bill. I know about these things, I work for the local power company. My wonderful dad came over to look at it. He glared at it and it started to work again. Then quit as soon as he left. He came back four weeks later and declared it dead: the part cost more than a new dryer. Lamesauce.

In case you're wondering? It was parts 11-20 that failed. Curse you, 11-20!


Well, line drying, of course. So handy-me puts up a clothes line in the backyard. Back & forth from deck to fence three times. About 60 feet of drying space. That should do the trick.


First of all, one load of towels takes two of the three lines, and won't be dry in time for the next load to be hung. So, add hanging wet towels from the deck railing. Hanging things on hangers to dry from the handy closet bar in the laundry room, and in every door frame of the house. Some things have to lay flat to dry, or they risk becoming so misshapen that they more closely resemble somthing Vishnu could wear. They're on the couches in the living room. More clothes hanging on the stair banister in the living room. More clothes drying flat on the downstairs couch in Luke Skywalker's room, and the upstairs couches in the family room.

Frankly it was starting to look like Kohl's blew up or something. Or more like DI, looking at our clothing. And the humidity made me think I was revisiting my childhood encounter with Ginger.

This plan did not work. Things happened to the hanging laundry. Rain. Wind. Bird poop. Ever dried off after a hot relaxing shower with a towel washed in hard water and hung out to dry too long? I guess towels that burlap-esque and crispy are good for exfoliating, right? Hand me that blow dryer instead, would you?

Then I made a discovery. An amazing wonderful discovery. Out of desperation, I hauled five baskets of wet laundry to the nearest laundromat. Spread them all out across a wall of dryers, and started dropping quarters in. Only to find (after dropping in two dollars worth of quarters) that this laundromat offers FREE DRYING. You heard it, sisters, free drying. The catch? Between the hours of 5am and 3pm Monday thru Thursday.

It could be worse, you know.

At least I didn't end up as part of someones PSA on dryer safety, like the poor sap who owned the dryer above.

So until further notice, you know where to find me. Monday thru Thursday at 5am at least.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Now I've Seen Everything.

My neighbor. Not the one with 8 kids. The other one with 8 kids.

Mr. Neighbor is cleaning out the mini van.

Not with a vacuum.

But a leaf blower.

Now why didn't I think of that?


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Harvest Time

For once.

Here's the totals:
2 zucchinni
2 cucumbers
2 peppers
? Tomatos (there is no official count, hubby eats them as soon as they are ripe - I never even see them)
1 Plethora of green grapes
6 strawberries (so far, still growing!)

So my black thumb is getting slightly greener.

On a brighter note, I was able to thieve the literal fruits of the labors of others.

 One of many buckets o'lucious sweet peaches.

and pears....

My dining room table is somewhere under that herd of ripening pears. Really.

And I will be canning all weekend. Anybody want to come help?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Art of Candid Photography.

Because I'm so amazing I will share all my secrets with you.

Oh, wait. Never mind. I don't have any. But sometimes I just get lucky. I had a wonderful trip recently to a cousin's wedding, and managed some great candids. So I thought I would share.

Aren't I wonderful and generous? Of course.

Let's start here. On the fly, had to document this one:

starring Luke Skywalker and his brother, Thing Two.

Well? This is the best I could do! The boys are always hiding from me! And a self portrait as well. Fine, fine work I must say.

This is a little better:

Why, yes, he is a happy baby. Why do you ask? And look how much he loves me.


"Yes, Mommy, I see you with the camera. I will now make a face that makes me look like an old woman."
Thank you, Eclair.


She gets mad at me all the time when I post pictures of her looking like this. But this is all I have. BECAUSE SHE IS ALWAYS MAKING A FACE. Doesn't it just make you want to invite her to your wedding? Just so you can have some of that included in your wedding pictures? Thank you Screamapillar. Why can't you be more like your sister? See? She's lovely!


Yep. A candid. If she had seen me coming, she would have matched the Screamapillar. I interrupted her talking to someone when she was masquerading as a rational human being.

The sunset light at the reception was fantastic. I recommend sunset. It's a good thing.


Above Eclair & cousin Tiela are hogging the swings because boys wouldn't want to use swings decorated with flowers and ribbons anyway, right?


Wedding candids are the best! You have to be totally on you toes, or you might miss something. Lots of hard work following Mr. &  Mrs. Euphoria about. So many wonderful things happen at a wedding, precious moments with grandmas & grandpas, friends & neighbors, little nieces & wouldn't want to miss a moment of it.


Unless, or course, you have brothers who are rowdy cowboys. This, you could definitely miss. Permission to scroll down very quickly? Granted.

Just to save you from that image, I give you this one instead:


Congratulations Taley & Carl.