Thursday, June 28

ACTS Dinner

The church we attend supports a local soup kitchen by providing the food and workers to cook and serve the food every other month. I have been wanting to get my kids involved in a compassionate activity for a while up to this point, I just haven't followed through. I've really been sensing the need to expose my kids to those less fortunate and give them an opportunity to show God's love to other people in a tangible way. So tonight, the Short People and I showed up at the United Methodist Church and helped fix food, served it and then cleaned up afterward. It was really a neat thing to see them get joy out of helping to make somebody else's day brighter. Little Chic wrote her own little synopsis of the experience.

Wednesday, June 27

Custom Orders

Well, you don't hear this every day....

"I'll have two nice pieces of tomato on a toasted bun with a little bit of ketchup. NO meat, NO cheese, NO nuthin'. And I'm only paying a dollar. That's what I did last time."

This particular order was placed today by Grandma Moses at the McDonald's counter with a clerk who looked extremely confused. It eventually took 10 minutes and four people to complete the order, figure out how to charge Grandma Moses and to realize that it was NOT a cheese sandwich that she was ordering (remember the NO cheese part?). Who says you need to go to Disney World to get a little decent entertainment ?!

Tuesday, June 26

I Gotcha, I Gotcha Not

We have a dirty little problem in our house...it's of the rodent variety. I suspected as much a few days ago when I saw telltale doo-doo sprinkled in one of my cabinets. Our log house has occasionally been a haven for a field mouse or two, but it's usually in the dead of winter when they are seeking refuge from the bitter elements. I can't say as I've ever had one during the warm months. Since field mice tend to be very tiny and they easily escape from spring traps, I am a hardcore, hardhearted catcher and I skip straight to glue traps.

Well, this little bugger helped himself to three cookie bits and left only a few stray hairs on 3 glue traps. I upgraded last night and used a larger glue trap that Ehrlich gave us, thinking that as the mouse tried to free itself, it would get stuck fast on the larger spread of glue. Apparently the paper backing of this glue trap proved just as delicious as the cookie as did the corner edging of my cabinet trim...the blasted critter just ate himself free!I made a visit to the hardware store and bought two of the Better Mouse Traps so we'll see how he likes his treat tonight!

UPDATE- 6/27: The one sticky trap that was left had tons of evidence including poop all over, lots of fur but no rodent. The two BETTER traps sadly were marketing scams. They weren't better at all. Neither one was touched.

Friday, June 22

Train Me Up

I haven't posted a status-check on the clicker training that I am doing with DogSpot and I'm sure you are waiting with baited breath, so I'll indulge you in a little update. DogSpot is doing brilliantly whenever she determines that we are "in session" as long as we are in session at home. If we are the doggie school...that's another story entirely. We won't be admitting in this post that I have had the urge more than once to be a drop-out because of the fact that I'm a basket case by the time the 2 hour session is over every Monday. It's just a wee bit overstimulating for DogSpot and let's just say her concentration level leaves a bit to be desired when her classmates are around. We have been able to determine that the ruckus she puts up is because she actually likes the other puppies and wants to play, so that's a relief.

In spite of her Attention Deficit tendencies, she has successfully learned all sorts of things like sitting, lying down, waiting for permission to get a treat when it is in front of her nose, sitting nicely when we are getting ready to go outside and all those sorts of mannerly things that make her more pleasant to be around. The biggest obstacle is that her four-month old paws are particularly big and clumsy and half the time she steps on her treat and goes crazy sniffing all over the place, not realizing that it's in between her toes!

Oh, and after living with us and coming in to the same exact living room every day for a solid month, she has just discovered the stuffed coyote perched up on our fireplace mantle. Believe me, it's taken more than a few sniffing sessions to calm her down and she still hasn't realized the dumb thing is in the exact same position it has been all along. We're in trouble if it takes her that long to recognize an intruder should one come upon us.

Thursday, June 21

Who had a Baby?!

I have been anticipating today for weeks. It is Thursday. It is the first day of summer vacation. I had big plans. Sleep until noon if I wanted. Let the kids stay in their jammies all day if they wanted. Hang out and do nothing worthwhile if I wanted. The kids would certainly comply with all of this. But the "baby" would not.

I made careful arrangements. I turned off the alarm. I forced an agreement from Muh Main Man to take the dog out when he woke for work. I put a pillow over my head so I wouldn't hear the phone ring before I was awake.

Everything went as planned until Muh Main Man followed through with his promise to take DogSpot to pee. He came back in and hopped in the shower. And she started to whine. And whine. And whine some more. She whined because he didn't let her follow him upstairs. She whined because she wanted to terrorize the cat. She whined because she wanted to jump all over me in bed all of which she did when he finally gave in to her bellowing. And so went my sleeping in until noon. I can't wait until she's older. I might as well have had another baby because she still needs to be watched like a hawk and she still likes to get up at odd hours to play and she still whines when she's not with one of us.

The only good thing is that now it is noon and I've gotten much more accomplished than I originally planned. O well, so it goes.

Tuesday, June 19

End of the Year....Sort Of

I guess only parents, teachers and kids can relate to the fact that the end of May or beginning of June is really like the year's end for us with school coming to a close. Wednesday is the last day of school for the Short People and it's much more like the ending of one thing and beginning of another than when the calendar year comes to a close in December. It's hard to describe all the activities and projects that go into closing out the school year--it's just something you have to experience for yourself. The parties, the picnics, the bringing old papers home...and we can't forget the moms getting together for one last breakfast together before we have our kids home all summer! You get the picture--it's been a little bit nuts around here. I'm living for Thursday...we'll see you then!

Saturday, June 16

Here, There & Everywhere!

We're here, they are there and we've been everywhere. Since yesterday morning, Little Chic and I have been on a 4th grade class trip to Albany, NY, we've been to the park with the dog, we've been to a softball playoff game (which she won 10 to 1), we've been to see a movie, we've met friends for ice cream and we even fit in a trek down to the Strawberry Festival for the afternoon!

We accomplished all this ramming around while Muh Main Man and Brainy Boy hiked off to a remote island in the Adirondack forest for a boy's weekend together. They are staying in a lean-to (basically a hut with only 3 walls) and outhouses for their 'necessary visits'. They say they are having a splendid time and I believe them. But I'm convinced we got the better deal.

Wednesday, June 13

Poor DogSpot!

DogSpot went to the vet today to get her second round of puppy shots. Not only did she gain 3 pounds in the last 2 weeks since we were there last, but she also developed a reaction to the combination vaccine she got. Who knew that could happen? This is more complicated than having another kid. I know what kind of medicine to give them.

It took me a few minutes to realize she was having an issue as I initially thought she had gotten into an ants nest outside. I kept smoothing out a few ruffles in her fur which looked like burrs and I helped her reach an itch or two that she couldn't get herself. When she gave me a pitiful look full in the face, I realized that the poor little thing was completely covered in welts! A quick call to the vet confirmed that dogs do indeed sometimes react to their shots and dose of Benadryl should fix her up. Lucky for me she likes Red dye #33!

It's Me...But Don't Get Excited

I'm trying this look on for size. My Zoot Designs template suddenly isn't looking right and I think it's them, not me. The web site where I got the template isn't functioning, so who knows...

Anyway, I know nothing about HTML code and I'll have to goof around with it a bit to see if I can add all my elements I want, but until then...we'll see what we see!

Tuesday, June 12

Something You Don't See Every Day

My teeny hummingbird trio is back for the summer and that always brings lots of viewing enjoyment as they come to the sliding glass door window and perch atop the feeder off and on all day. They are accustomed to our normal activity and as long as we don't make undue noise or ruckus, they stick around even when we draw close.

As I was admiring one of the thumb-sized males today, he began preening himself with his sword-like little beak. I couldn't believe he was able to fluff his own feathers with his beak being about as long as his body. It seems like it would accidentally stab itself but I guess not!!

Monday, June 11

Not What We Bargained For

Some days the best laid plans just go....well, awry. My bulging To-Do list had to be put on hold because Brainy Boy woke up feeling "puny" (as great-grandma would say) in the middle of the night. The symptoms were suspiciously like Little Chic's strep throat a few weeks back, and a trip to the doctor this morning confirmed it. Brainy Boy's weekend sleepover with a friend who was feeling icky, apparently rubbed off on him.

The ironic thing is that Muh Main Man and I chastised Brainy Boy for being irritated at his friend when the friend remained at the sleepover even while feeling poorly (reportedly with a bad cold). Brainy Boy is a notorious germ-o-phobe and Brainy Boy had "encouraged" him to go home because Brainy Boy didn't want to get sick. However the sleepover wasn't at our house - it was at somebody else's and we had to review a few hospitality rules about not dis-inviting other people's guests. We also reminded him that during his sister's stint with strep, he had remained perfectly well and was not likely to catch his buddy's cold.

I just hate it when the kids are right! O well, so it goes...

UPDATE: The mom that hosted the sleepover checked her boy's throat and sure enough, even though he feels completely fine, he tested positive for strep too! He is thrilled that he gets to stay home from school tomorrow just as Brainy Boy will likely be heading back.

Friday, June 8

Franklin Fest

Can I just say, totally amazing?! For one thing, I have never been to an event that had so many unbelievable bands in one place. And singing back up in the humongous choir...it's a once in a lifetime experience.

I can't wait to take my kids tomorrow night and let them experience it for themselves. The bands are going to be even better since it's Student Night and is sure to be a big jam session. It gives a glimpse of God's powerful love for us when you see so many people at once discover the hope that comes from finding life in Christ. That's not something that happens every day.

Tuesday, June 5

Coal Mine Field Trip

Brainy Boy and I just went on the coolest field trip ever this past Friday. His 5th grade class went to a coal mine in Pennsylvania and I went along. It was so sad to learn that back in the peak of the coal mining years, boys went to work full time in the coal mines at 10 or 11 years old. That was the exact age of most of the 5th graders touring the mine, and it really hit home with them. We were down in the mine for about an hour, then we toured a museum next door that held lots of artifacts and mementos from the mine and the surrounding community. It was staggering to find out that 99% of the world's anthracite coal (the type you burn in a furnace) comes from this particular area in Pennsylvania. Anyway, here's a mug of muh boy and me down in the depths of the earth.

Monday, June 4

Back to School

Tonight starts a banner night of me learning how to train myself to get my dog to do what I want her to do. Not that there has been an overwhelming problem, mind you, but we want to keep things going in the right direction. As much as I loved and miss my HyperDog, there are a few....um...well, traits that we know we want to avoid. Like jumping up to shoulder height on any living thing that darkens the doorway. Like sitting on your chest while you are watching tv. Like demanding any and all leftovers from the kitchen table. You know, that kind of stuff.

I've already about convinced myself that DogSpot is a genius with her doing splendidly on her potty training, being such a good passenger in the van and already knowing how to sit when we got her. But we do need to curb that puppy biting and nip that snatching her own helpings off the plates at the table.

So, off we go to clicker training. I can tell already--this is going to be stressful with my obsessive personality and all. I've already been clicking and treating and class hasn't even started yet--just to see how it works. And then worrying that I'm not doing it right and thinking I should have waited until the teacher showed me how to do it. And then deciding....nah, I'll just try it again....and again...and again....But what can I say? Her veterinarian recommended it!

PS--You saw it right...each of DogSpot's eyes are half brown, half blue. And no, she's not deaf.

Sunday, June 3

Fallingwater

Little Chic completed her 4th grade building project for school and we turned it in Thursday morning. Contrary to strict instructions from ME to choose a simple, straightforward famous structure, she came home thrilled with her choice of the complicated Fallingwater. Muh Main Man came up with a simple design and still make it recognizable and she and I put on the embellishments, including the royal icing "water". So goes another year of finishing those projects that I detest!

Saturday, June 2

18 Years of Wedded Bliss

I know it's hard to believe since I'm such a hip, youthful-looking gal and all, but Muh Main Man and I celebrate 18 years of marriage today. The bliss part? Well, okay, maybe not every second, but a girl can't ask for more....a house, a car, 2 kids, a dog, a cat...and a great guy. Love ya, Babe.