Monday, October 29

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

We had another near-fatality during church yesterday. I discovered it when I got home and saw the insides of one very precious Ty Beanie Baby strewn all over the floor. DogSpot accomplished a near decapitation and I arrived in the nick of time to save the bear's life. This particular Beanie has been a constant companion to Brainy Boy since he was a baby and we call him Snowy. Snowy would also be precious to collectors if he hadn't been so well-loved since it he is actually a rare polar bear named Chilly. Snowy has a fraternal black brother that we call Soot, whose official Ty name is Blackie. Soot is not nearly as sweet to collectors as he is to us. Snowy has been through many traumas with Brainy Boy, even getting his own x-ray when Brainy Boy broke his arm when he was four years old.

Luckily Brainy Boy rode to church with Muh Main Man in the truck so I had time to do a little damage control before he got home and saw the tragedy. I tucked the insides back as best I could and things looked a bit better by the time Brainy Boy got a glance. In true hero form, Muh Main Man assured Brainy Boy that he could repair the damage and he's had a bit of experience in this particular area, if you remember from poor Silver here just a few months back. As you may have guessed DogSpot was the culprit but she didn't act appropriately sorry enough for Brainy Boy's taste. She's in the virtual dog house even as we speak.

Happily, Muh Main Man came to the rescue, did his magic, and Snowy is alive and well. Muh Main Man is getting so good in the needlepoint arena, that I'm going to ask him to make me a ruffled blouse next.

Saturday, October 27

Muster of Creativity

My least favorite aspect of each school year is the creativity needed to complete required projects. Grades depend on them, People. And that is not my department. Little Chic was gypped in this very desirable feature in a mother, but fortunately she got doled an amount appropriate to fulfill us both.

The first picture is her atomic model of the element sodium. We shopped for supplies together, she selected and I paid. Then she assembled with me only monitoring the burn factor of the hot glue gun.

The second picture is one to which I can claim a measly portion of bragging rights. PTA mom friends took me under their wings and we made these strawberry treats for the class Halloween party together. I can take credit for the look of shock on each and every fruity face.

Wednesday, October 24

Fur is for People Too!

As I laid down for a rare snuggle with Brainy Boy last night, he remarked, "Mom, I like it when you snuggle in bed with me better than when Dad snuggles with me." I was shocked at this revelation since Muh Main Man is a lot more inclined to these bedtime snuggles than am I. I thought that perhaps it was because Dad falls asleep on the bed and takes up way too much room. This doesn't go over well with Brainy Boy who likes to sprawl across the entire bed. He doesn't even allow DogSpot to sleep with him.

But the truth was revealed when I asked him why he like snuggling with his mom so much. "It's because Dad's legs are furry."

So there ya go. Just wait till he realizes that his are getting furry too.

Tuesday, October 23

Like No Apple Tree I've Ever Seen

I bought this little gem monstrosity today and once we got home and were in the middle of devouring it, I noticed this little tip. Which we did not need since the Short People suddenly decided they don't mind nuts all that much....

"...If for some reason you have the will power not to finish the apple in your first sitting, put some lemon juice on the remainder of the raw apple, and wrap the apple tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate."

Seriously, People. If for some reason? What, are they being funny because they know their apple is so delicious that you can't resist eating the entire mammoth at once? Or are they being sarcastic because they know the only person who would buy the caramel, chocolate and nut-laden calorie heavyweight and pay $7.95 for it would be somebody who regularly binges on way-to-big-for-one-sitting servings?

They could've saved themselves the paper, because No, we did not have the willpower to save any of it.

Monday, October 22

Walking on Streets with Dogs

It seems that our walking dilemma has resolved itself, thanks to a little doggie bridle that I found at Petsmart. The same day I bought it, Rochelle suggested it saying that it worked well for her dog.

DogSpot did not love it at first and tried using her very gangly legs to pry it off her nose. After a treat or two though, she forgot she had it on. She's like me that way. With the treats. Anyway, she pitched no fits and lunged after zero dogs, compliments of the strap going over her nose, giving me full left and right turning control of her head.

Don't worry, any activist friends out there. It's not a muzzle and her full treat-eating capacity was spared. And it has the word gentle in the name, so who can complain about a product named "gentle" anything?

Saturday, October 20

Katchy Keywords

On a whim, I decided to look at the keyword searches that people do and then come across my blog in the process. You know, for entertainment. I shouldn't be bored--I've got plenty to do, like put in my pot roast for dinner tonight. But well, it's Saturday.

Some of the results were typical like looking for "mom medical transcriptionist blogspot" or even "prairie home companion tickets" because we all know I've been a bit obsessed with that particular topic since September. But a few of them were just downright weird. Like "grape smuggling gear" or even "coal boy." Or try this one - "sleeping with a bruised side" and "consolation announcement."

But some of them were downright embarrassing that my blog would come up as a result of the particular search. Not just once either. I'm talking about the search that read "CVS model: sudafed tracking and pharmacy." And the other one that said, "sudafed as appetite suppressant." Nice.

What in the world have I been blogging about ?!

Friday, October 19

Admitted Defeat

I had such high hopes for sending my dad to the Garrison Keillor show in Charlotte tomorrow night. But, it's sad, folks. I just didn't succeed in my quest to score 2 tickets. Part was the fault of my shortsightedness in not realizing they'd sell out in a mere 7 minutes. Part too, was at the fault of one very dorky Mr. D who sold two tickets out from under me. But so it goes. As they say, "You snooze, you lose."

I'll know better next time and get them on pre-sale.

Wednesday, October 17

Things You're Dying to Know....and a little advice on the side

I'll be kind and start with the advice. I would not suggest under any circumstances that you personally taste this product to ensure that it will work to save your new little ivy plant that you got at the grocery store from the nibbling boredom of the cat. It will work, no need to taste it yourself. I already did. I'll not be sharing how I know this. But I promise you, it works.

Now then.

DogSpot and I were alone for our walk this morning. We did not have our usual companions so we went to a less distracting place than the usual neighborhood for our walk. This also worked. I was much less distracted. It's amazing what you can get the dog to do when you actually tell it what you want. She did splendidly, and my arm was able to remain at my side where it belongs rather than in the usual "Heil Hitler' look stretched out in front of me. Well, except for the small conniption she threw when we passed some other dogs but that's to be expected. It's amazing that I have a terrier and then am surprised when she acts all excited like, you know....a terrier.

Anyhoo...we celebrated our success, her with some left over pork chop and me with a stop at Panera. And guess what?! They have a pumpkin spice latte which is surprisingly as good as Starbucks' for a bargain .20 cents more. I still have to try the recommended Dunkin' Donuts variety which I'll be sure to do by week's end I'm sure.

Ta-Ta for now!!

Tuesday, October 16

Dog Walkin' Woes

In my Dog Whisperer enthusiasm, I've taken it upon myself to 'master the walk.' In the words of my man, Cesar Millan, it's important that I don't let DogSpot drag me along on our walks or she's gonna think she's the pack leader. And we can't be having that, now can we?

But DogSpot doesn't see things that way. Each morning, she gleefully hops in to the back of my Explorer, enthusiastically hops out when we've gotten to our walking spot, and then she just takes off. The poor thing has about strangled herself and crippled me in her quest to lead us off into the wild blue yonder and she's just about yanked my arm out of socket a time or two. You'd think the little beast weighed more than 33 pounds.

I've tried all the tips. I faithfully recored each and every episode of the show and pore over all the instructions. And I try to follow them, I really do. But my dog just doesn't turn into the little miracle that Cesar promises she will. I've used a regular collar, I've used a harness, I've used a backpack (which is on hold until her fix-it stitches totally heal), I've even used one of those slip collars.

I'm coming to the sad conclusion that it's not the dog. It must be me. I guess I just have bad energy. And according to Cesar, you just can't walk a dog when you have bad energy.

Monday, October 15

Premium Sludge

I had such high hopes for today. After an appointment for some less-than-pleasant female maintenance, I drove myself over to Barnes & Noble for my 2 favorite things in one place. Now I love the library and all, but what really gets me going is when I get me some books along with some lah-tay. Starbucks, that is.

Now that fall has finally arrived, they have my third favorite flavor...that would be Pumpkin Spice Latte. Tall, nonfat, no whip. That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh. You get the idea. What about my first and second favorites, you ask? Well, my first fav (cinnamon dolce) has gone the way of all favorite things and has been discontinued. I was devastated to be sure. But then I discovered the gingerbread latte and got happy again. #2 won't be out until deeper into the holiday season. Apparently the fact that Christmas trees are already for sale does not influence the barista's ordering habits. But, I digress.

I plopped my books on the counter and optimistically ordered my drink. I was even happy as I plunked down $3.50 and I thanked the guy when he handed me my steaming cup. I took a swig or two and didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary but once I had gotten into my car and fully integrated into traffic, I splashed a drop on my hand. And Bloggies, it was orange. Now don't get me wrong. I realize that pumpkin is orange. Even the spices that go into the "spice" part are probably orange. But I've ordered this drink lots of times. It has always been brown. Like a latte. Not orange. And from then on, it just didn't taste right. And I haven't been right all afternoon. The more I think about it, they probably gave me a steamer, which is the milk and the flavor without the espresso. And we all know, that just won't do.

Sunday, October 14

Mad Hunter Strikes Again

It was another dandy day in the realm of bow hunting yesterday as Muh Main Man scored yet another success for the hunter and gatherer instinct that is so alive and well within him. The pressure was on as last year's record buck was something to be reckoned with. He didn't exceed the catch from last year but he did himself proud nonetheless.

The Short People and I did the appropriate amount of oohing and aahing, even running the camera into the deep, dark forest last night. DogSpot rose to the occasion in her first up-close encounter with a stag and made all sorts of fierce noise in an attempt to protect the homestead from the dead intruder.

Muh Main Man did resist the temptation to take the beast along to church this year. He save sthat privilege for the Pope & Young records like last year's but the picture was passed around to many an admirer, I assure you.

Saturday, October 13

Whoa, Bessie! We've Discovered the Ponytail

Like many moms, I am in constant battle between micromanaging every aspect of the Short Peoples' existence and letting them handle things appropriately on their own. Since I have two kids at opposite ends of the independence spectrum, this is somewhat of a challenge for my control-freak nature. Brainy Boy is completely happy letting me fulfill my management needs by picking out his clothes and combing his hair. In his mind, if it fits, it matches. And as long as he can see through his bangs, his hair is tidy enough. And he'd just as soon let me bother with it all as bother with it himself.

Little Chic, on the other hand, has long considered herself a fashionista and as such, takes all matters of personal appearance into her own hands. That's scary when said fashion maven is three years old. And when she has one favorite outfit that she considers her uniform. So early on, we had to establish a few ground rules. The clothes need to be clan. The clothes need to fit. And the hair must stay out of the eyes.

Now, it was easy to manipulate these rules to my liking in the early days. I could conveniently keep the faded kitty-cat shirt on the bottom of the laundry pile. I could ask the hairdresser to cut the bangs a little shorter so it was impossible for them to fall eyeward. But then she caught on. She started asking about the shirt she hadn't seen in two weeks. She decided to grow her hair out. And I let her! What was I thinking?!

Once school started, it has gotten worse. I do occasionally hint that chocolate brown and black don't make the most attractive color combination, but other than that, I try to bite my tongue. And it's not the outfits that bother me so much. It's the hair. It's now gotten almost waist length. Believe me when I say that it is not a pretty site on an active 10 year old when hair is left to its own devices. Some days, I think it's Cousin Itt coming off the school bus calling me "Mom." Of course I've done my part to introduce clips, scrunchies and headbands. Sometimes they go to school in the appropriate place. But they never return. At the end of the day, the hair tie has somehow gone to hair tie abyss and is never to be seen again.

But this week was different. It was if I had never ever introduced the concept of a ponytail. Little Chic came in the bathroom before we left for school and asked me to put her hair up for her. "A high one ," she specified. I did, assuming that it would last for the first hour, and said my appropriate goodbyes to the scrunchie I'd never see again. But when she got off the bus, I saw a wonderful thing. The hair was fairly as I'd left it that morning! I started to jump with glee but I restrained myself. It's better to not notice the things you want to encourage. There's much more likelihood that it'll last if they think it's their own idea. The next day was the same. I'm pleased to report that it lasted all week. For the time being, Cousin Itt has disappeared and I'm hoping he has been inducted into the Fashion Hall of Shame, never to visit Little Chic again. Unless for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 10

Lessons From the Lunchroom

I substituted as a lunchroom monitor at the Short Peoples' school today. Some helpful things I learned were....

1) You can be eight years old in fourth grade. You can also be 11. That can't be good if you're in the same class.

2) Kids are fascinated by seeing people out of context. Several who have visited our house on play dates were flabbergasted that the same adult is qualified to fix them Easy Mac at their friend's house and officially supervise on the playground.

3) There are a zillion and one rules to soccer, and they change depending upon who is being the bossiest. If you make enough rules, the other kids get sick of it and will leave you and your little posse to play with the ball yourselves. Which was the original point.

4) Friends are good, but only if they are nice. As one very average-sized fourth grader told me, "That's my mean friend over there. She starts rumors about me. She tells everybody I'm chubby and that I only eat meatloaf." I pointed out that he's not chubby as anyone can clearly see and the lunchroom did not, in fact, serve meatloaf today, so it's safe to assume that the other kids at his table realize that he eats more than meatloaf.

5) If there's bad weather, it means indoor recess. And that means wear a safety helmet. You'll need it for the dodgeball game. Believe me.

Tuesday, October 9

What Qualifies as Normal ?!

You Are 50% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

You better believe I keep the weird to myself!

Monday, October 8

Where Ya Been?!

I know, I know. I'm keeping the world in suspense as to my whereabouts for the last few days and ya'll are just too doggone polite to invade my privacy by asking. And where, O where did I get that weird road sign pointing both north & south in one direction?

If you must know the truth, the Fam and I took us a little jaunt up into the Adirondacks for a night of fall colored bliss. We just love us a little jaunt now and then. The Short People had a Friday and a Monday off school so we decided to get away. From what, I can't say exactly, but it was a good excuse nonetheless. I vetoed the idea of hauling the camper and insisted on a hotel with a hot tub. The pool was optional. I was the hero of the Short People. It turns out that it wasn't too much of a fuss with Muh Main Man once I promised him he could do the driving in my new Explorer. So we were all happy.We trekked up to a garnet mine which turned out to be the largest garnet mine in the world. It's also the place that supplied the cornerstone for the new Twin Towers project. It was a fun day, but let's just say I will not be wearing a 20 carat garnet jewel anywhere on my body. The stones were a little more industrial than that but we still got into the spirit of trying to strike it rich. Muh Main Man was only a little disappointed that he didn't find the stone that would let him retire tomorrow. Little Chic was by far the champion jewel digger and came home with quite a collection of the deep red pebbles.

We also did a little touring of Ft. William Henry in Lake George where Brainy Boy bought yet another very long, very pretend wooden musket. He's been dashing around the world ever since, hurling threats at any would-be terrorists and doing a great job of it, I might add. I did see a small four-year-old cower behind his momma as my own boy was looking particularly fierce at one point and he wasn't even using the caps that came with it.

I'll close with what was truly the highlight of the trip for us all. After a long and agonizing wait, Brainy Boy was finally able to see, order and actually eat a real, live German schnitzel. Ever since he saw the movie "Hoodwinked" where they sing The Schnitzel Song he and his friends have violently debated over exactly what is....a schnitzel. Is it a shish-ka-bob? Is it a sausage? No, it's a fried pork chop. Well, pork schnitzel is, anyway. Now Brainy Boy is just waiting to return to school tomorrow to gloat that he is in the know. He loves to be in the know. He gets that from his Dad, I'm sure.

Sunday, October 7

Only in the Ad-DUH-rondaks!

I think it's that way...

No, I think it's this way...

Wednesday, October 3

School Tutor 9-1-1

This gives new meaning to after school tutoring.

Tuesday, October 2

A Prairie Home Companion

Ok, People. I got desperate. Since my deal-e-o with Mr. D fell through, I am now officially obsessed with getting Garrison Keillor tickets for my dad. The show is October 20 at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, NC. I need those tickets. Bad. Here was my desperate attempt to get sympathy from Craig's List today.

I had the great idea to be my dad's hero and get him tickets to see Prairie Home Companion for his birthday. He listens faithfully on the radio every Saturday and he even got me hooked on the guy.

I marked the ticket sale date on my calendar and got up Saturday morning feeling all smug, thinking about how great it would feel to be his favorite daughter when I presented him with those coveted tickets. You can imagine how depressed I was when I realized they'd sold out within SEVEN minutes of going on sale.

After skimming the web and realizing that ticket scalpers had bought them all and were unloading them for $300 apiece, I got the bright idea to try Craig's List. I thought I had it all wrapped up when a poster agreed to sell me two tickets that he could no longer use. So I was doubly depressed when he contacted me back before I picked them up and said he'd given them to somebody else! I mean, come on, Dude. It's my dad's birthday. I need those tickets.

So...I am begging, groveling, asking nicely. Anybody got a pair of tickets that I can have? I'll take any seats at this point, but I'd like to give my dad a decent view of his man, Garrison. I'd even take a lead on where I could get them if you have any inside info.

This goes for ya'll too. Whoever scores me these tickets is my new Hero. Money is an object, but price is negotiable. The tickets originally went for $30, $50 and $70. I need 2 of them. I'll pay more than face value, but I have a limit. Anybody have a need to be a hero today?!

Monday, October 1

A Day Like No Other

With any luck, I won't have many days like today. It actually started at nightfall last night when I got home from church, checked my email and had a nice note from Mr. D who was going to sell me tickets to a show for my dad's birthday. Apparently he found somebody else to sell his tickets to before he made arrangements for my brother to pick them up. I take it back. Mr. D is no longer my hero.

Then, because I get a bit obsessive when I'm into a good book, I stayed up a second night until 2:00am finishing a book. I turned off the light only to wake with a start at 5:00am realizing that Muh Main Man was violently ill from an egg salad sandwich he had at a church staff member's going away party. I did what I could to help him out, went back to bed and woke at 7am to get the Short People going for the day. Needless to say, a joyful morning was had by all.

Then, since it was weigh-in day for my Biggest Loser contest that I'm in, I decided DogSpot and I would try a walk because she has been dying to get out of the house since her surgery. Apparently there is a reason the vet gives a low-activity advisory for 10 days to two weeks. DogSpot stepped into a grate on the street and pulled the stitches out of her back paw. A canceled day of plans with Debbie made room for a quick trip to the vet where she lightened my wallet another $60 for skin cream, canine antibiotic and one of those fancy Elizabethan collars they give to dogs who lick obsessively. I guess I'll just use the NON-EXISTENT ticket money for the vet bill!! See?! It all works out, or so they say.

On the plus side, I did lose 2 pounds this week and I'm hoping that nightfall tonight will bring an end to the visit from Murphy. I don't like his Laws or his tricks.