Monday, January 31, 2011


I unpacked a few boxes of books, thanks to wearing down my boss who really loves it when I pester him for a bookshelf until he gives in, and to P.J.s and his friend for hauling it across the frozen tundra that is my driveway.

Here's a gem that I've had since I was little, and is now Gianni's favorite bedtime story:

Socks For Supper, by Jack Kent.

Published 1978, which incidentally was an excellent year both for the written word and for short, fluffy, brunettes named Melyssa.

It still has my handwritten name in the front cover.

It's about a poor turnip farmer and his wife.  They only eat turnips because they're so poor.  But one day they decide to trade a pair of socks for some milk and cheese from their neighbor who has a cow.  I love the cheese in this picture.  So round and plump, and it totally makes me want some Gouda.

So, they become quite addicted to cheese and milk, but they don't have any more socks to trade.  So his wife unravels part of his sweater to knit some more.  This goes on until he doesn't have any sweater left.

I adore his little round belly and his need for a man-sseire.

Poor farmer. Traipsing through snow and blizzards half nekked, in his quest for a little Gorgonzola.  A bit of Cheddar.  A taste of bleu.  A true cheese lover would do no less.  They must have cheese!

I can relate.

In an ironic twist of fate, the cow farmer's wife had been UNRAVELING the socks in order to knit a sweater for HER husband!

I know.  Didn't exactly see that plot thicken, didja?

But the sweater doesn't fit the svelte cow farmer.

So, she gives it to the old man.  Because she had noticed, he didn't have one.

And of course, it fits perfectly.

The end.

I love this book.

Books make me happy.

Also, I want cheese.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy birthday, Anna Rose

Turning the big 0 - 1...

I loved this leopard print outfit...she wore it like, once.  Which is odd, because it would've fit the shrimp for probably another year.

She was such a coiffure challenged little girl.

Oh my heart, that little belly!

Dirt seemed to find her wherever she went...

Finally!  Enough hair for pigtails!  Eureka and pass the rubberbands!

This was number two birthday.  Note the tutu over the sweat pants.  This was the year of the princess dresses and moon boots and the year she rocked the mullet.

She doesn't wear tutus anymore (sigh). Or moon boots (sigh...of relief).  

She is still a shrimp.

Still has big brown eyes.

Still gets dirty.

Still is her own person.

But now she's nine.

I don't understand how that happened.

Please mail any spare, big eyed, no haired, chubby little elf babies to me soon.  I will take very good care of them, and I won't let these ones grow up.  Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye if I lie. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let me have it!

I wanted to be a writer ever since I was pretty small.  I also wanted to be an archaeologist, a dog kennel owner, a horse trainer, a ballerina, a dance teacher, and a cartoonist for Disney, but  mainly, a writer.  I wrote all the time, filling up spiral notebooks with stories about talking dogs (1986-89) and silly detective adventures (1989-1991) and dark and gloomy poetry (1992-1994).  When I was 16, I completed my first book (ahem, make that my only book).  It sits in my trunk/hope chest.  When I started this blog a couple years ago, it was really the first writing I had done in a long time, and it was refreshing, to say the least.  And my fragile artist's ego was boosted by the kind feedback, I won't deny it.  Since then, I've reverted back to the days of daydreaming plot lines, characters, and stories, but I have yet to write them.  The reasons are as follows, and in no particular order:

1.  I have kids.  Through the years it may have been only one or two, perhaps three plus a couple dogs, or a slew of small humans.  But whether it's one or nine, it sometimes feels like twenty.

2.  I have a husband.  He likes to eat.  And have my attention.  And he needs me to wash his underpants.

3.  I can't get too far behind on my television shows.  If I do, I forget things.  And I get cranky, because sometimes I really just need a shiny box showing someone elses life for a bit, to stare at while I eat Cheezits.

4.  My dog needs his ears scratched on a regular basis or he gets anxious.  When he gets anxious, he gets gassy.

5.  I have to make things like French onion soup, and curried chicken, and oatmeal bread.  No, really, I HAVE to.  Otherwise I get anxious.  And when I get anxious, I get - oh, never mind.

6.  I have to peer into my son's ear canal and drop medicine in.  Cause he's my Pooky.

7.  I have to go to staff meetings.

8.  I have to throw snow balls at Cora.

9.  I have to wash underpants.

10.  I have to drink coffee with half and half.

11.  I have to finish "Eats, Shoots and Leaves."

12.  I have to edjoomakate my chitlins.

13.  I have to snuggle.

14.  I have to quote movies.  This takes more time and energy than one might think.

15.  I have to curse the printer.

16.  I have to play with Moose, all the while attempting to inject a little, oh I don't know, plot line into his scenarios, but finally just giving in to his world of shoot-the-bad-guys-then-bring-them-back-to-life-in-order-to-kill-them-again.

But I've decided if I let one thing go, I could, possible, just maybe, I'm sayin' perhaps, dedicate a little time to take a tiny plunge (a toe in the water, so to speak) by submitting articles to magazines.  If I'm rejected, hey, it'll be a great blog and we can all laugh at my nuttiness together.  Cuz we're in this together, don't you know?  We are.

So, here's what I need from you, and by "you," I am referring to all four of you readers who faithfully leave comments, the fifty something followers I am not sure are still out there, and all the rest of you incognito, plain clothed, Grouch Marx mustache wearin', lurkers, who tell me all the time they read this but refuse to make their presence known (are you hiding from The Man?  Witness Protection?  On the run from the FBI?  Are YOU the FBI?):

Leave me a comment and let me know which blog post is your favorite and which one could be transformed into magazine article, and which magazine you are thinking of.  If you have a fav homeschooling magazine, let me know what types of writings are published within.  If your favorite grocery store impulse buy is Good Housekeeping, let me know what you think they need.  Because I keep house.  And I'm good at it, if you consider washed underpants the definition of good.  And if you have always wanted me to write about something specific, like serving cheese burgers in the bathtub, or how to reuse paper towels, let me know, and I will oblidge.  Unless it's an article about car mechanics, because I will politely decline.  And if you've ever written a good query letter, give me some pointers!  Or, you know, feel free to write one for me.  Oh, and evidently, I have really high security on this (which makes me think men in black are gonna scale down the outside of your house if you try to leave a comment, Mission Impossible style, but I think I could be wrong), so you may have to REALLY prove your love by hitting the submit button several times.  Otherwise, you'll be like Heather B, who says, "But I comment all the time!" and then I'm like, "Uh, no you don't," and she's like, "Waaa?" and so on and so forth.

If you are reading this, this means YOU.  If I get one comment from someone and it says "good luck to you, weirdo," my self esteem will be completely and utterly damaged.  And you don't want to see what that looks like.  It involves sweatpants and Cheezits, and it's not for the faint of heart.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I forgot.

Adding on to the list of maladies I've had that I forgot I had:

1.  Grabbing the electric fence to see if it was on.  It was.  It smarted.  I remember walking into my house (I was probably 11 or so) and asking my dad oh-so casually,
'Hey, Dad...whatcha doin'?  Yeah....uh, is the fence on today?'
'Yeah.  Why?'
' reason.'

Then I went to my room and cried.

2.  Toe nail fell off.  Ballerina hazard.  Don't worry, I didn't paste it in my scrapbook or anything.

3.  We had a rope attached to a tall tree that was near a tall fence.  We'd climb the fence and launch into space and grab the rope and go flying ala George of the Jungle style, pushing off the tree and the fence.  One time I missed the rope.

4.  When Anna was a new baby she was sitting on my lap, holding the mail.  She flung an envelope around like babies do when they haven't fully figured out how to control their limbs.  The envelope hit me in the eye.  After a couple days of major pain, I went to see the eye doctor.  My eyeball (that's the technical, Latin term) was lacerated.  I had to wear an eye patch like Long John Silver for a while.  They said I'd need surgery, but it healed on it's own.  Although every morning even now, it takes a minute to blink my eye open, cuz it still smarts after it's been closed for a night.

I think that's it.  I need some tea now.  Did I mention my son has a hole in his ear?  Make it tea with sugar and cream.  Live dangerous, I always say.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Like Mother Like Son

Moose is accident prone.  In just the past four weeks ALONE he will have seen:

1.  A dermatologist.
2.  An MD.
3.  An allergist.
4.  An ENT.
5.  A dentist.
6.  A partridge in a pear tree.

OK, fine, he hasn't seen his allergist in the past four weeks, but it made the list seem more impressive.  I was thinking of how many times this ankle biter has been to a medical professional, and I'm thinkin' it's gotta be more than your average toddler.  Here are all the ailments I can remember from his scant life span:

1.  Severe eczema which led to:
2.  Severe food allergies which led to:
3.  An allergic reaction to an inhaler treatment which caused:
4.  An ambulance ride and overnight at a hospital.
5.  That cumbersome, pesky fainting habit that tends to freak people out.
6.  Stitches in his head when he lost a fight with a kitchen chair.
7.  Several more allergy related appointments.
8.  A bout with a skin virus that has now been treated with a peculiar serum they extract from a Blister Beetle which is exactly what it sounds like.  Four treatments and it's still not gone.
9.  A punctured eardrum from putting Q-tips in his ears in an effort to look like Shrek and then sailing off the couch only to land on his ogre ear.

I'm tempted to be irritated by his penchant for scars, but then I remembered I've had a few myself:

1.  Falling out of a tree one time (cuz you know there was more than once) I remember wildly  making a mental note that the way cartoon characters fall out of trees and smack each and every branch on the way down, bouncing to and fro and cracking branches off, is quite painfully accurate.
2.  Horse injury #1 was leading a stubborn horse by his lead rope when he bucked, diabolically wrapping the lead around my head and then taking off running, dragging me behind by my neck.  Left a rather nice bruise in the shape of a rope.  That one made my normally calm mother pale.
3.  Horse injury #2 was getting kicked in the ankle by the horse in front of me while riding my own.
4.  I have pencil lead in my leg from a pal stabbing me.
5.  I have a dent in my forehead from apparently falling off a deck as a toddler.
6.  I have a scar by my eye from belatedly remembering I am not a acrobat as I flipped myself off a handrail onto the cement below as a 10 year old. 
7.  Broken toe from horse injury #2 that was rebroken years later when I dropped a drawer on it.
8.  Cracked tailbone from slipping on ice.
9.  Two C-sections that caused an abnormal amount of scar tissue that caused complications for birth #3.
10.  Numerous swollen and twisted ankles.
11.  A winter from H, E, double hockey sticks, that resulted in five bouts of strep throat from Oct-Jan that ended in a specialist office, who cackled with evil mirth and said he loved a good challenge like me.
12.  A visit with an OBGYN who had the same reaction when I went to her with problems from #9 that are too icky for me to write about.

Next, Moose has his first dentist appointment.  I am dreading it.  I am not looking forward to the part where they sternly inform me, his parent and legal guardian, that he is riddled with cavities and what have I been doing, feeding him a bottle with koolaid in it every night before bed?  Then I have to weakly explain that I may or may not have broken him of the coconut milk in a sippy cup taken to bed a wee bit later than I had planned to, and that I may or may not brush his teeth daily.  Basically confirming to them that I AM THE WORST MOTHER OF ALL FLIPPIN' TIME ON THE FACE OF PLANET EARTH.   This cannot-be-denied-knowledge is embarrassing because a lot of time I can fake being a better mother than I actually am.  For example, if I am out and about at a friend's house and they serve hot dogs I OF COURSE boil it in purified water in a steel pot, slice it lengthwise to reduce the risk of choking, then slice it the other way into tiny little half moon pieces, then blow on it, then serve it with organic ketchup.  If I am home however, I toss a cold hot dog across the kitchen at him, whole.  Or I might nuke it.  Which will surely cause him cancer if the hot dog itself doesn't beat the microwave to the punch.

Aw geez Louise, there are a lot of doctor appointments in cancer.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I learned in 2010

1.  I don't like moving.  I don't like Uhauls.  They wiggle.  It freaks me out.  They're really loud and bumpy.  They make my jowls shake when you are on a rocky road.  They eat my possessions. They're ridiculously expensive and that's before you do the math for their gas guzzling habit.

2.  I secretly enjoyed the government benefits of food stamps for a few months.  I should feel ashamed but we have never eaten so well in our lives.  I now miss medium rare steak more than I miss the size 4 I used to be.

3.  Going through difficult times in life, it's very helpful and recommended to have a life partner with a sense of humor.

4.  It's very helpful and recommended to have a sense of humor when going through difficult times in life.

5.  It is possible to live out of one half of a suitcase for 6 months.  Not screamingly thrilling, but possible.

6.  If you're low on furniture or things to do, nekked drumming is always an alternative to the humdrums.

7.  My dog is neurotic, but I learned to love the mutt more.

8.  It's 2,013 miles from Nampa, Idaho, to St Louis, MI.

9.  Approximately 1,013 miles of it is corn.

10.  Homeschooling is so the way to go if you're unemployed and traveling!

11.  I can drive a huge van like a bad mambajamba.  I don't know what a bad mambajamba is actually.  I think it might be a Star Wars term. 

12.   Gianni likes the ladies.  The ladies like Gianni.  And she didn't even get to witness the nekked drum show!

13.  You can sell my bed.  You can sell my couch.  You can give endless boxes of my very own stuff away to Goodwill.  But if you lay a hand on my book collection I will come at you like a spider monkey.

14.  Goodbyes stink.

This one stinks.

This one was rotten.

This one was tear ridden.

This one was-
I don't miss this nut all too terribly.
It's his wife I miss.
But she won't sit still for pictures.
Like me.
So we've known each other for eleventy seven years and have like, no photos of each other because we each duck and yell and take cover when someone takes out their camera.  And if I do get a photo of her she complains about her hair, or her shirt and makes me delete it.  And if she does get a picture of me I complain about my jowls.  And she deletes it.  At least she tells me she deletes it.
I suspect she lies.

                                 I miss her.  I had a picture of the two of us, but I looked jowl-y. 

There are others I miss (Jen, Anna) who evidently hide from cameras as well.

15.  Gianni grew hair.

16.  Michigan is humid.  Speaking of hair reminded me of that, thank you very much.

17.  I'm not ashamed to say I heart texting, emails, Facebook, and phones, so I can keep in touch with all my fruitloops.

18.  The first three weeks of being a mom to teenagers I did not sleep at all.  We're talking full-on zombie, night of the living dead.  Can you say, anxious? 

19.    Baptists are just Christians.  Shhh.

20.  It is not advisable to do Pilates on the floor when your toddler is perched precariously above you on the tip of the recliner.

21.  Public schools make me nervous.  They're full of oversized toddlers.  I want to put my fingers in my ears and shout at the top of my lungs, 'I'm a homeschooler!'  But I don't think this would do much for the reputation of homeschoolers in general.  Especially if I'm wearing my Star Trek shirt tucked into my sweat pants tucked into my moon boots at the time.

22.  If nekked drumming isn't your thing, due to a lack of musical ability, there's always nekked biking.  A few scant seconds after I took this shot, he ate the geranium.

23.  This picture has nothing to do with anything and wasn't taken in 2010, but it somehow seemed appropriate for this blog.  I want him back.  I want to chew on his nose cuz back then he let me chew on his nose.

I'm ending there, partly because dinner is about to boil over, and partly because I like ending my list on #23 for all you OCD people who will not be able to sleep at night because I didn't end on an even number. 

me and my jowls.